WITH ALL DUE RESPECT
Opinion, Commentary and Perspective on News, Politics, Sports, Lifestyle and Entertainment

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Photos: top left: David Maril with the late Chuck Thompson, the voice of the Orioles and Colts, the summer he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993; top right: a perspective shot of Maril at Wrigley Field; featured photo: journalist Ken Decoste with the late, great Harry Caray and Maril.

Cavalcade of Columns

There’s little difference between Trump working and being on vacation

Bannon forced the issue to jump off the president’s sinking ship

Democrats are relying too much on Trump’s ineptitude to be enough to regain majority status

By David Maril

While wondering how long it will it take for Donald Trump to claim his 17-day vacation was the most work-oriented and productive presidential vacation since George Washington was in office, it’s interesting to note the following.

YOU CAN BE CERTAIN that Stephen K. Bannon wanted out as the president’s chief strategist and set in motion himself the process that led to his departure from the White House on Aug. 18th.To even think he was outmaneuvered by Trump and his stooge presidential inner circle, is not giving this brilliant, egotistical fascist the credit he deserves for self-preservation.

Bannon is many things but he isn’t a fool. He could see, even if he postponed his firing, he was going to be butting heads with John F. Kelly, Trump’s new chief of staff.

Kelly is inthe process of limiting access to Trump and attempting to establish a disciplined system of order and etiquette in the White House. This is exactly the opposite type of environment Bannon, anything but a team player,thrives under. Bannon’sfreedom to leak information that boosts his own personal stature, and backstab cabinet members and other insiders, would have been curtailed.

But even more importantly, Bannon could see that the Trump presidency is going nowhere and on the verge of collapse. If the investigations into Russian meddling aren’t a big enough detriment to the president’s so-called big promises to restore America’s greatness, he has lost all of his credibility and influence because of his own unforced errors.

It has become increasingly apparent to 70 percent of the voting public that Trump’s lack of ethics, honor, etiquette, character, trustworthiness and decency make him unfit to hold office.

Bannon wanted to get off the sinking White House ship as quickly as possible before it crashes into the iceberg of reality.

Does anyone actually believe that Bannon was caught off guard making controversial media comments about Trump’s polices? He knew if he was critical enough of the president, and also kept building up his own importance, it would be too much for the ego-driven Trump to tolerate.

Now, Bannon can rejoin the populist, rightwing nationalist media Breitbart news network. He can promote whatever serves his self-interests and political agenda.

Bannon will revel in being free to attack all of his enemies inside the White House and government.

When the Trump presidency does collapse, or fails to get anything accomplished, Bannon will claim that after he left everything fell apart.

I’M NO FAN OF TRUMP, but I don’t think he is a racist. To me, all of his crass, hurtful, ill-advised comments are more a case of being completely self-centered and only concerned about what seems to be expedient to him over the short-term.

He will do anything or say anything, even if it is a contradiction to something he stated the day before, if he thinks it will benefit him. And if you cross him, pointing out one of his factually incorrect statements, he will become obsessed with verbal payback, ranting in a reckless manner that often is demeaning to what this country stands for.

If something succeeds, he is obsessed with taking credit, even if he had nothing to do with it. He has no interest in fulfilling his responsibility of being president of the entire country. His focus is energizing his narrow, dedicated base and drawing their adulation.

When he is under heavy criticism that he can not answer, he turns back to the past and begins boasting about his electoral college victory over Hillary Clinton. It’s only a matter of time before visitors who have dinner with Trump at the White House will be subjected to watching an election highlight film of his presidential victory while dining.

The only thing he enjoys almost as much as taking credit for something he had nothing to do with is shifting into scapegoat mode. Nobody in the history of U.S. presidents was ever quicker than Trump in affixing blame and taking cheap shots at decent people.

IT’S HUMOROUS THE WAY Trump, who probably believes the United States didn’t exist until the day he was born, attempts to make a case that all of these Confederate statues are such an important part of the country’s history.

The truth is most were created in the 20th Century, long after the last battle of the Civil War, and were part of a racist political effort to fight the Civil Rights movement.

While it’s fair to make a case that many of these statues are part of our political and cultural history, they should be displayed in history museums, with responsible and accurate labeling and signage that puts what they represent in an accurate context.

To showcase these statues in prominent places on public grounds as tributes, celebrating what these war figures represented, is irresponsible and hateful.

WHY IS THERE such a rush to dedicate statues and name streets and highways after celebrity individuals?

In Boston, the current owner of the Red Sox is eager to take Tom Yawkey’s name off the plaza street alongside the team’s ballpark. Yawkey owned the team for several decades and, among other things, made certain the Red Sox were the last team in the American League to integrate and have black players on the active roster.

Although Yawkey’s foundation has supported numerous charitable causes in the Boston area, his reputation will forever be sullied by his refusal to sign Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays, two of baseball’s all-time greats.

John Henry, the current team owner, has a legitimate point questioning the merits of having the road bear Yawkey’s name.

However, his eagerness to rename the road after David Ortiz, a player who recently retired, seems pointless. These types of naming decisions should be done carefully, with ample discussion time.

What’s the big rush?

YOU CAN’T MAKE STUFF UP LIKE Trump boasting he is the most presidential president since Abraham Lincoln.

Can you picture Lincoln addressing the Boy Scouts talking politics and bringing up inappropriate subjects?

Or how about addressing police and encouraging them to rough up arrested suspects?

Or Lincoln whining about the filibustering being responsible for the healthcare replacement rejection vote when it was not even part of the process?

How long will it take Trump to try and replace Lincoln’s face on $5 bills with his own?

MEANWHILE, WITH THE EXCEPTION of bashing Trump, there’s very little productive or constructive news taking place on the Democrats’ side.

Hillary Clinton’s new excuse book about how she lost the election to the worst president in our nation’s history, entitled“What Happened,” is coming out.

A better, more fitting title would have been her favorite Benghazi investigation quote, “What Difference Does It Make?”

THE WORST TITLE or theme, however, is what the Democrats came up with to turn the 2018 Congressional elections around and revitalize the base.

If it wasn’t so pathetic and the Trump presidency so embarrassing, new DNC chairman Tom Perez would draw laughter when he brags about the party’s new “A Better Deal” campaign slogan.

Wow, that should really fire everyone up,

With that type of bland, mediocre thinking, it’s surprising they didn’t come up with “Same Old Song And Dance.”

Or, even better, “Tell Us What You Want Us to Promise.”

I am half expecting to hear of a Nancy Pelosi autobiography: “We Have To Pass It So We Know What's In The Bill”.

Where’s the leadership candidate who displays statesmanship while combining vision with workable solutions?


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.


Bogus investigation into so-called statewide voter fraud showcases Trump’s narcissism and hypocrisy

Is the president admitting guilt when he says a failure to cooperate in an investigation indicates there is something to hide?

In some ways Nixon seems to be a role model for the president

By David Maril

While wondering who will be the first major Republicans in Congress to jump off Donald Trump's sinking ship, it’s interesting to note the following:

YOU ARE NOT OFF BASE interpreting President Donald Trump’s accusation that states not cooperating with the baseless investigation of voter fraud must have something to hide as an unintended admission of his own guilt. You can’t avoid thinking there must be plenty he doesn’t want the public to know about his business dealings and connections with foreign countries.

Using Trump’s own philosophy, if he has nothing to hide, why doesn’t he make the cloud hanging over his head disappear, and shorten this time-consuming investigation into Russian election meddling, by releasing his tax returns and focusing on cooperation and transparency?

Instead, the so-called President is arming himself with lawyers, dangling out threats that the special prosecutor had better stay clear of his family business finances, and exploring the scope of presidential pardons.

Meanwhile, the only reason for the national investigation of voter fraud is Trump’s refusal to accept the fact that Hillary Clinton, also a flawed presidential candidate, topped the president in the popular vote. The reality is too much for his ego to take.

YOU CAN BET THAT VICE PRESIDENT Mike Pence will be the first big so-called political ally of Trump to run for cover and distance himself from the blustering Commander and Chief if damning evidence surfaces against his boss.

It’s painfully obvious he is positioning himself to move into the White House if Trump does not finish his first term. But for now, he’s playing the role of a boot-licking, sanctimonious stooge.

When he stands near Trump while the president is speaking, he nods his head up and down like a bobblehead doll. Even if you don’t like Pence, it’s embarrassing to watch such shallow and sophomoric behavior from the Vice President of the country.

ONE THING ABOUT Trump is he treats his staff so poorly, he can turn even the most combative, disagreeable and inept people around him into sympathetic figures.

While departing Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not cover himself with glory in the position, he deserved better respect from the President for his loyalty. You can’t help but feel a little sympathy for the humiliations, especially on Saturday Night Live, he suffered.

The same can be said about Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is extremely unqualified to serve in his cabinet position. But even though he gave up his Senate position to be one of the first to jump on Trump’s bandwagon, the president enjoys berating him.

The irony is his biggest criticism for the one thing that Sessions did that demonstrates ethics and statesmanship. Trump is furious Sessions recused himself from the investigation of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election because he had met with Russian officials.

THE MOST LUDICROUS remark delivered by Anthony Scaramucci, Trump’s new communications director at his first press conference, was that his goal is to free up the president to be himself.

This, of course, is the opposite of what is needed. The president is contradicting and incriminating himself, creating obstacles to getting things done, with his lack of discipline in communicating to the public.

Scaramucci, a camera ready pitchman, like Trump, whose background is in Wall Street dealing, is being praised for the job because he has such a great relationship with the president.

But Trump doesn’t need another “yes” man trying to curry favor. He is going to be another Washington outsider who doesn’t understand how the government works. He will just make the president’s problems worse.

When Scaramucci kept talking about making it more possible for Trump to be himself, you couldn’t help but think back to the Nixon era when some of his supporters were critical of media coverage and were saying things like “Let Nixon Be Nixon”.

Nixon, like Trump, felt under-appreciated and also kept his own council.Nixon’s infamous quote in a David Frost TV interview, “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal,” sounds like vintage Trump rhetoric.

It’s significant to note Nixon’s self-righteous viewpoint did not stop him from resigning, during his second term, because of the Watergate break-in scandal.

Even if it turns out there’s no evidence of wrongdoing with Trump, his family, cabinet and rich cronies, you have to question where their judgement is in putting themselves in situations that raise such doubts of ethics and credibility.

TRUMP HAS MANY CHARACTER flaws, related to egomania, that make him fall far short of behaving in a manner that is presidential.

And it has nothing to do with being a Republican or pretending to be conservative.

The disdain that his detractors have for him relates more to character and is less about political ideology.

One of his worst, and most annoying faults, is his classless lack of respect for people, the office of the presidency and many of the established aspects of this country that make it great.

It’s an embarrassment around the world to hear his continual cheap shots at his predecessors and constant criticism of the press, the FBI, CIA and anyone or any bureau or organization that does not lavish him with praise.

The big danger is he sends inconsistent and contradictory messages to world leaders. It’s important that countries around the world to realize that the United States is bigger than whoever, at the time, occupies the White House. And no matter who is president, there’s a certain continuity that can be counted on.

ONE CERTAINTY IS that no matter what happens with the Washington’s healthcare quagmire over whether to replace, repeal or improve Obamacare, there are few heroes among the leaders in either party.

All we are getting is rhetoric on both sides.

It’s true theRepublicans, who own a majority in both houses and occupy the White House, have shut the Democrats out of the process, trying, without success, to railroad what they want through.

But if the Democrats were in power, they would do the same thing.

Is it too much to hope for some bipartisan committee work to produce a plan that meets health care needs and is practical enough to run in a more efficient way?


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Lawyers don’t get the respect they deserve

Jokes mocking lawyers are popular but unfairly brand an honorable profession

We shouldn’t let the grandstanding TV rhetoric from Trump’s lawyers shape our opinions of the legal profession


By David Maril

It’s always fashionable to knock lawyers.

People who wouldn’t attempt to tell a funny joke to save their lives can recite insulting wisecracks about the legal profession.

The fact attorneys are held in such a low esteem came to mind the other day when Marc E. Kasowitz, PresidentDonald Trump’s personal lawyer, made a fool of himself sending expletive-filled emails, which were published in ProPublica, that he’d sent to one of his critics.

As the president, his family and associates are starting to feel more heat from the investigations taking place surrounding his campaign and dealings with Russia, the process of lawyering up is well underway.

Trump is beefing up his army of lawyers and recently signed Ty Cobb. In contrast to the Hall of Fame baseball player who was a singles hitter, this Cobb is known as a Washington power player with a lot of clout.

Marc E. Kasowitz

Ty CobbIf words speak louder than action, there’s little doubt the president can use a heavy hitter on his defense team.

So far, some of the press conferences and TV appearances of his lawyers have been, at best, embarrassing. Their talking points lack credibility and sound as if they were composed by Trump propagandist Kellyanne Conway.

Making matters worse, Trump often completely contradicts what they are saying a few hours, or a day, later with his tweets and flippant remarks.

The public reaction is that you’d expect nothing less or more from lawyers, who self-righteously talk out of both side of their mouths.

IN 2004 AND 2008, when then Democratic hopeful John Edwards announced his intention to seek his party’s nomination for the presidency, derisive comments surfaced immediately about his legal background.

Before serving a term in the U.S. Senate, Edwards had been a personal injury trial attorney and specialized in corporate negligence and medical malpractice claims.

He ended up making a fortune through his success as a trial lawyer.

His detractors made disparaging stories about him dragging people with fake bandages into court and then having them get out of their casts and wheelchairs to dance around celebrating over huge settlements.

The fact that he was defending the rights of innocent victims was downplayed.

It turned out Edwards, of course, had bigger problems to deal with, related to infidelity to his wife and an affair that resulted in a child out of wedlock. He also was indicted on six counts of campaign finance violations. The former U.S. Senator was found not guilty on one account and the other charges were dropped when the federal judge declared a mistrial.

However, all of this just added to the low opinion, related to character, so many people have of lawyers.

UNLESS IT’S IN THE CONTEXT of a television program, lawyers today do not get much respect. For some reason the public revels in watching lawyers protect the justice system on TV but takes a dim view of lawyers in the real world.

When the subject of lawyers is mentioned, eyes roll and complaints of red tape and high legal fees are often raised.

To some, working as a lawyer ranks on the same level as being an embezzler, pickpocket or corrupt politician.

“They chase ambulances, looking for lawsuits to pry money from people and companies,” is a charge leveled quite frequently.

It’s not uncommon to hear comments like, “Lawyers and their litigation are ruining this country.”

Or — “Leave it to a lawyer to take something simple that can be settled out of court with common sense and make it a complicated issue that costs everyone money.”

A FEW YEARS AGO a neighbor of mine complained after a nearby house had been sold.

“I heard a lawyer bought the place,” he said. “Just what we don't need, a lawyer moving into the block.”

I mistakenly thought he was joking.

OK, there are greedy lawyers.

And there are attorneys around who do not always have the best interest of their clients at heart.

However, every profession has its share of people who don’t measure up under close scrutiny.

I have always believed lawyers who exploit situations unfairly are the exception rather than the rule.

TAKE A MOMENT TO EVALUATE the people you know who are lawyers. I think it’s safe to say we are all familiar with lawyers who work tirelessly around the clock to serve their clients.

Most of the attorneys I know will go out of their way to encourage settlements in cases before they go to court. With the exception of divorce cases, where too often emotion pushes things into a win at all cost mentality, the lawyers I know are reasonable and practical.

The process alone of becoming a lawyer, forging through law school and having to pass stringent state bar exams, is enough to discourage all but the most dedicated.

Many go into the law profession to defend people without enormous wealth, giving them a chance to compete on equal footing against the rich, famous and powerful in a court of law.

CERTAINLY IT’S TRUE we live in a society that has become needlessly controlled by litigation.

But that’s not the fault of lawyers.

Blame people who are too often greedy, self-centered and caught up in the ruthless nature of the corporate world for having a need to sue and demand unreasonable sums of settlement money.

For the most part, lawyers abide by a high code of ethics and steer their clients to play by the rules.

What could be more honorable than that?


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Trump’s leadership calls for a major overhaul of the job description for the office of U.S. President

Kids watching a new role model today see that bullying, bad manners, twisting the truth and lack of accountability go a long way

Norah O’Donnell should be the next CBS Evening News Anchor



By David Maril

Remember when you were a kid, growing up?

All through kindergarten, the lower grades, and even high school, there were always a few exemplary students who would stand out.

Many were at the academic top of the class but all were conscientious, polite, earnest and enthusiastic.

In short, they went out of their way to get along with other kids, teachers, and adults.

Some were good in sports and most also had schedules crammed with extracurricular activities.

They were often modest about their achievements and while they were striving to do well and being recognized, most were team players all the way.

Of course, to a segment of the “regular” kids, who were not as focused or organized, these youthful leaders were almost too good to be considered real. Some of their classmates considered them to be phonies, like the Eddie Haskell character in “Leave It To Beaver.”It was easy to write them off as “suck-ups” or “apple polishers,” trying to impress to gain favor.

Who from this group was genuine is a subject to debate another day.

But one certainty, it was not unusual to hear a teacher, administrator, or admiring older relative, say to one of these highly respected kids, “Keep this up, working hard and staying focused, and some day you’ll be president.”

That was the highest praise of recognition, being singled out as a prospect for the most powerful and influential political job in the world.

WELL guess what?

As we sink deeper each day, trying to endure the embarrassment of having Donald Trump in the White House, the job description for the next generation of political leadership posts is being rewritten.

Etiquette, manners, sound judgment, leadership, ethics, temperament, respect, honesty, responsibility and credibility are all being removed from the Commander and Chief position.

If Trump ever manages to get reelected for a second term, and he’s already in full fund-raising mode for 2020, it’s the green light to implement new standards and introduce different role models for the upcoming generation of kids.

Don’t be surprised to see bullies, braggarts, twisters of the truth, con artists and self-centered egotists dominate high school honor rolls and special achievement awards.

The value of looking out only for yourself will become paramount. Expect to see W.C. Fields’ slogan, “Never give a sucker an even break,”on the walls of many schools.

There will be special recognition for those who get ahead by bending or breaking the rules. In the new modern world, this is a sign of resourcefulness and knowing how to get things done.

Nepotism and conflicts of interest will become acceptable.

THE TOP students and upcoming leaders of tomorrow will be recognized for cultivating the ability to take credit for anything that is successful, even if they had nothing to do with the effort. Conversely, they will be adept at finding scapegoats when they make mistakes, skillfully pinning the blame on others.

To be considered a success, it will be come accepted practice to never let facts stand in in the way of your talking points.

If you can gain by saying something completely unfounded and untrue about an opponent, you are a fool if you resort to honesty.

Those who master the ability to contradict themselves each day, completely changing what they say, will be greatly admired.

In the end, all that matters are mammoth, unrealistic promises pitched to your admirers in the the tradition of a carnival barker. Everything is going to be great and whatever you are trying to promote is going to be better than anything else ever attempted.

Never get bogged down or sidetracked trying to produce the specifics of relevant details.

IF, DOWN the road, anyone has the gall to point out most of your more significant promises have not been kept, blame it on others. And never hesitate, in a pinch, to do the opposite of what you promised.

If anyone has the audacity to try and hold you accountable, create a diversion, making up phony issues.

And when all else fails, issue a classless, irresponsible personal attack on someone in the media to draw plenty of public reaction and divert attention from your failings.

This is all pretty grim.

Maybe what we need are some big-money political funding groups that focus away from the ideological stagnation of extremists in both parties and put their financial resources backing reasonable candidates who are respectful and have character, ethics and tolerance.

IF CBS, the network of the late Edward R. Murrow, wants to increase its Evening News ratings and maintain its journalistic credibility, it should name Norah O’Donnell its new prime time anchor. Scott Pelley’s permanent replacement has yet to be named and CBS has an opportunity to promote one of the most talented and respected TV journalists to its prime anchor desk.

O’Donnell has a poised, professional and engaging demeanor as a news anchor. Just as important, she is a polished interviewer who asks the tough questions in a respectful way. She would also bring a knowledgeable background to the job on the political, national and international levels.

IT WOULD CERTAINLY help if future U.S. presidents put working with both parties on more of a bipartisan level a major priority. In recent years, whichever party was in power has resorted to trying to push legislation through Congress without seeking input from the other side.

While this might succeed on a short-term basis, once the other party regains majority status, much time is wasted battling over replacing what had been passed by the other party.

The temporary nature of partisan politics is even more apparent the way Executive Orders issued by a president are often routinely canceled by the next Commander and Chief from the other party.

It’s disappointing the bipartisan efforts of a number of governors, like Ohio’s John Kasich, to get both sides together at the table to come up with a compromise and permanent solution to the healthcare political quagmire, has been slow to gain traction. The Wall Street Journal even went so far as to describe this idea of bipartisan negotiation as being unrealistic and a waste of time.

ALL MOTORISTS should want safety on the roads and be concerned about the welfare of motorcyclists. And there’s nothing wrong with all the warning signs to car and truck drivers about sharing the road and watching out for motorcycles.

But to be fair shouldn’t signs also be directed at motorcyclists for them to watch out for cars,, drive safely and follow the rules of the road while they share the roads and highways?

While the majority of motorcyclists are skilled and safe drivers, there are a few who feel they are entitled to share the highways without following the etiquette of the road, taking far too many chances.

Safety is a two-way street and while cars should indeed by watchful for motorcycles, the two-wheeled vehicles have the same obligation to follow rules and treat cars and trucks with respect.

ISN’T IT STRANGE that federal regulators are worried enough about the sports fantasy industry becoming too anticompetitive to attempt to block a proposed merger between DraftKings and FanDuel Inc.?

Where have the regulators been when it comes to media giants, store chains and other major businesses that are a lot more significant? Too many companies have been allowed to merge together, eliminating competition, jobs and product quality.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

The jury  still out in some minds on spending a day in  court

No matter how much people complain about their boring daily routines, few want the unpredictability of serving on a jury

Having to determine a defendant’s innocence or guilt is a responsibility many hope to avoid


By David Maril

Isn’t it funny how so many people who complain about being stuck in a routine moan and groan when the summons comes for jury duty?

Here’s possibly a chance for a full day’s pay from work along with the opportunity to experience something different.

However, when the envelope arrives, most of us try to postpone or get out of serving. Much of the time, you learn a day before having to report, that your services will not be needed. Other times, you do have to report and wait to find out whether a case will be scheduled that requires your jury service.

While reading accounts of the deadlocked jury in the Bill Cosby sexual assault trial the other day, I received a notice for possible jury duty in September.

Not having received a similar court invitation for four years, the hope was my name had fallen off the lost or been misplaced.

One never knows what type of case you might have to deliberate on. It could be a domestic dispute, robbery, a boring business case or some type of high-profile case that is full of violence, twisted behavior and numerous complications. A case can last one day or weeks. Who knows?

THE MEMORIES of my last date in court, which at the time was in Quincy, Massachusetts, are still fresh in my mind.

Entering the old courthouse, you felt as if you were in an airport when the security guard made you empty your pockets and walk through an x-ray machine. These days, with all the terror alerts and tragic, violent incidents all over the world committed by disturbed, irrational, and unpredictable individuals, the security precautions are no doubt even more vigilant.

A few decades ago, a call to jury duty meant formal attire. Four years ago, all but a few of the participants were anything more than casually dressed. Today, it wouldn’t surprise me to see a few potential jurors less than resplendent in tank tops, flip-flops and sweatpants or workout shorts.

My reporting date four years ago was in early December. The first words I heard when I entered the selection waiting room were, “I just hope I get out of here in time to make my office’s Christmas party,” a woman was remarking.

AT 8:45 AM, a uniformed court officer named Joe, marched in to explain the proceedings. Joe turned out to be a very reasonable and flexible administrator. When he discovered one juror came in a day too early, he gave the man credit for the appearance instead of making him come back on his scheduled date.

Joe apologized to us for the fact the building didn’t have food service and promised he’d keep us informed of our status for the day.

He returned a few minutes later, introducing “Judge Buckley”, a short, grandfatherly looking gentleman in a dark robe who could have easily be cast in Lewis Stone’s role as Judge Hardy if MGM decides to start filming new Andy Hardy movies.

THE JUDGE WELCOMED us, told us about our obligations to weigh the facts if we served and how important a part of the system we had become just by being there.

After he left, we viewed a short movie reiterating our responsibilities.

Then the long wait began.

Joe explained there would be a lot of traffic in the hallway with prosecutors, defense attorneys, witnesses, prisoners and defendants milling around in the halls.

“Don’t be alarmed by seeing prisoners in handcuffs and chains walking with one of the officers.,” Joe said. “If you see one without any officer, you should be concerned and let one of us know,” he quipped.

Every hour or so, Joe would return with an update and send us on a 15-minute break.

At 11 a.m., he said all but two cases had been settled.

THE MORNING dragged on and the room seemed to get hotter.

The hacking sounds of coughs from people in the back of the room, fighting colds and flu, grew louder and more frequent.

A little after 10 a.m., a boy, looking around 16, hopped by in cuffs and chains, wearing a grin as if the whole spectacle was a big joke.

Earlier a handcuffed kid was led away in tears.

Lawyers were all over the place in the hallway, huddling with clients.

We had been warned to not talk to anyone in the hall in case we ended up serving in their case. But you couldn't help trying to listen in to their conversations, just to break the monotony.

One lawyer, heading away from the court room, was yelling at his teenage client. “What’s wrong with you? What are you trying to do, showing the judge so much disrespect?”

If this was Judge Buckley, you could picture him shifting out of his grandfatherly demeanor and being tough, upholding the dignity of the court.

At noon, Joe returned to tell us we were down to one case.

“The defense lawyer wants a jury trial but the judge is still working out some things,” he said.

AFTER JOE LEFT, a guy near the front, wisecracked, “It figures, we’ve got to run into the next Perry Mason, insisting on trying his case.”

A woman in the back countered with, “I hope there is a trial. I’ll take this over work any day. Wouldn’t it be great if we had to be sequestered?”

An annoyed gentleman in the front row turned around and answered, “The sad part is if there is a trial today, you are the type who will be the first person disqualified.”

Several others nodded in agreement

FINALLY, A little before 1 p.m., Joe returned and shut the door.

“Well,” he started and paused. “This case will be tried but the judge felt since you’d all been here since 8:30, it wouldn't be fair to make you sit on this case. It’s scheduled for Thursday and you are free to go.”

But like Sgt. Phil Esterhaus used to conclude roll call on “Hill Street Blues”, Joe put his hands up and added, “Just one more thing. The judge wanted me to be sure you understand you didn’t waste the day just sitting here. The fact you were here put pressure on others to settle. You have performed your civic duty.”

More than one person heading out was heard to remark, “It’s great to be free and work looks pretty good tomorrow.”


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Who are these diehards sticking with Trump no matter what he does or says?

Special survey study offers an inside look
at how President’s loyal supporters view the world

This hardcore group blames the media, Congress, Democrats, Republicans, CIA, FBI, environmentalists, scientists, and disloyal people in his inner circle for all of his problems in the White House

By David Maril

NO MATTER how many times President Donald embarrasses the nation with his lack of etiquette, ethics or judgment, his base supporters continue to believe he s the greatest thing to hit Washington since the White House was built.

No matter how low he drops in different national polls, there will always, apparently, be a diehard bunch of his boosters who will never allow his favorability rating to drop much below 30 percent.

The shocking aspect of Trump’s ratings is that 29 out of 100 people polled will always believe he’s doing a decent job.

Who comprises this diehard group?

It turns out that Trump was not exaggerating a year ago when, during the campaign, he boasted he could shoot somebody and not lose votes.


WHAT MAKES THESE PEOPLE so loyal? What will it take for them to give him an unfavorable rating?

It doesn’t seem to matter that the former FBI Director James Comey has branded him a liar and said, under sworn testimony, that the president tried to get him to back off the FBI investigations related to Russia’ s influence on the 2016 campaign.

Would these stooge supporters consider it a stroke of genius if Trump continues to insult our allies and cozy up to more of the despicable dictators around the world?

You just wonder what it would take to shake their confidence in this master publicity monger who could have also been a billionaire selling patented medicine and wrecked used cars.

Who exactly are these supporters?

What are their views, likes and dislikes?

WELL, TO FIND THE ANSWER, we went to a Les Philling, a stout profiler with an established and sudsy track record. Having written the book on categorizing beer drinkers and favorite hangover remedies, he’s eminently qualified to interpret what the results of a comprehensive study would probably reveal.

The tenacious Philling hopped to it and, mugging for the camera with a glass of ale, poured over his results. Here are the highlights:

OF THE DIEHARD Trump supporters, 62 percent believe the Brooklyn Bridge continues to be for sale for the right price.

OF THIS GROUP, 44 percent hang wolfsbane in their homes to drive off vampires.

AN ASTOUNDING TOTAL of 88 percent feel the late Richard Nixon was framed when he resigned because of Watergate.

ALMOST 30 PERCENT of these backers believe the earth is flat.

WHEN IT COMES TO CARS, 62 percent rate the Edsel as the best designed car of the 20th century.

DESPITE WHAT RALPH NADER says, 59 percent believe the Ford Pinto was the safest car built in Detroit.

ALMOST 65 PERCENT rate the Corvair their favorite compact sports car.

ON THE ISSUE OF FUEL ECONOMY, 85 percent believe they are fulfilling their patriotic duty if their cars and trucks crack the double-figure mark (10.0) in miles per gallon.

OVER 93 PERCENT OF THESE supporters believe Russia is spelled Ressha, the way Trump pronounces it.

MORE THAN 70 PERCENT OF Trump backers over 21 believe that Vladimir Putin is the Russian reincarnation of Winston Churchill.

SLIGHTLY LESS THAN 89 percent see Trump hotels as the natural places for world leaders to stay without any conflict of interests.

MORE THAN HALF OF THESE SUPPORTERS believe credit card companies encourage low minimum payments strictly as a favor and courtesy to their customers.

ALL AGREE THAT BANKS AND WALL STREET can serve consumers better without any government agencies monitoring what they do.

OVER A THIRD BELIEVE that throwing salt over your left shoulder brings good luck.

THE MAJORITY OF THESE boosters believe that car-pooling to conserve fuel is socialistic.

THE POLL REVEALED THAT 44 PERCENT of this group believes that people should have the freedom of choice to decide for themselves if they want comprehensive healthcare coverage.

THE MAJORITY believes emergency rooms eliminate the need to pay and sign up for health coverage.

NINE OUT OF 10 credit Trump with discovering and bringing to light the fact that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

ON A SIMILAR NOTE, 80 percent of this group believe Trump is the most trustworthy president since Honest Abe.

ON THE SUBJECT OF GLOBAL WARMING, 57 percent think it’s Al Gore’s invention, following up his discovery of the Internet.

AMAZINGLY, 98 PERCENT THINK Time Magazine should pick Trump rightwing nationalist advisor Steve Bannon as its Man of the Year.

ALMOST HALF OF TRUMP supporters think Brexit is a type of SOS scrubbing pad.

OVER 70 PERCENT BELIEVE that Trump is one of the country’s most generous philanthropists.

HALF OF THIS GROUP feels that Trump has accomplished more in his first five months than even Franklin Roosevelt did in more than three terms.

ALL OF THESE TRUMP BOOSTERS believe if it had not been for voter fraud, their man would have dominated the popular vote.

AS FAR AS STAYING INFORMED, this group believes the most reliable news sources for factual and objective information are Trump tweets, Fox & Friends, rumors on conspiracy websites, rightwing talk shows, and gossip on the streets.

ALL ARE IN AGREEMENT that the mainstream media kills coverage of all the great work and accomplishments going on in the Trump administration relating to tax reform, job creation, protecting the environment, reforming healthcare and reestablishing U.S. prestige around the world while looking out only for ourselves.

THEIR MOST TRUSTED newsperson is disgraced taskmaster Bill O’Reilly, who they rank in the same category as Edward R. Murrow.

MORE THAN HALF OF THESE supporters hunt for pots of gold when they see a rainbow.

ALL AGREE THAT TRUMP’S personal and financial empire tax returns are nobody’s business but his own and feel he is above reproach.

MORE THAN HALF OF HIS BOOSTERS would like him to appoint more family members to cabinet and staff positions.

AND FINALLY, 98 percent believe this survey is factual and accurate.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Is ‘Blue Bloods’ star Tom Selleck in the running for Trump’s new FBI Director post?

Comey needed to be replaced but did not deserve such bush-league treatment from the White House

With panel to search for non-existing voter fraud in place, investigators may be named soon to prove millions of spectators were edited out of presidential inauguration photos to make crowd seem smaller

By David Maril

While wondering if Donald Trump will nominate actor Tom Selleck to be the new Director of the FBI, it is interesting to note the following:

THE PRESIDENT admits he watches a lot of TV. It would figure he has to be impressed by the job Selleck, playing Frank Regan, does as New York City Police Commissioner on “Blue Bloods”.

Selleck probably would accept the position as long as he did not have to give up making those lucrative commercials pitching reverse mortgages.

THERE'S LITTLE question James B. Comey should have been fired a long time ago as FBI Director. Although a dedicated career public service official, he displayed a lapse in judgment, talking too much publicly, in the Hillary Clinton investigation. The former FBI Director became too much of the story.

To be fair, part of this was the fault of former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, his boss. She expanded his authority beyond investigative duties and recused herself from responsibilities as Attorney General after the ill-advised airport meeting with former President Bill Clinton.

However, the unprofessional and clueless way Trump handled the dismissal makes the affair look suspicious. You can not help but think Trump was worried about Comey’s focus on expanding the investigation of Russia’s political meddling and possible link to his campaign.

How could anyone on Trump's team keep a straight face while saying Comey was fired because of a report filed by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein critical of his handling of the Clinton investigation?

Of course Trump then contradicted his own storyline, revealing he’d planned to fire Comey for a long time. This was obviously true from the moment Comey refused to pledge his allegiance of loyalty to Trump over dinner after being summoned to the White House.

Trump’s response to criticism of his attempt to muzzle Comey’s independence was a Nixonian reference to the dinner conversation possibly being on tape.

No matter whether you think of Comey, the classless and bush-league way he was fired is way below even this White House’s standards. Comey deserved to be told in person and not learn from TV announcements while appearing in public.

The lack of class continues even after the firing. Trump’s non-stop criticism of him "not being up to the job" and calling him a “showboat and grandstander” would draw a flag and a 100-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct even in the NFL. Oh well, it takes a showboater and grandstander to know one.

“SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE” would have the most to lose if Trump follows through on his ludicrous threat to kill the daily White House press conferences. Trump insists all the misstatements and false information from his White House surrogates are because he keeps up such a whirlwind pace.

SNL comedy writers feast off the zaniness that dominates each press conference. As the show’s ratings have prospered during Trump’s presidency, the trials and tribulations of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer have become known all over the world.

It had to be a bit galling for the press secretary when Parade Magazine’s job salary listings showed Spicer earns $176,461 annually while his impersonator, Melissa McCarthy, reportedly makes $33 million.

TRUMP SEEMS TO BE DRAWN to conflicts of interest and ethical murkiness like a dog to meat scraps. His EPA administrator recently axed several environmental scientists from a key panel and plans to replace them with representatives from the industries the EPA is supposed to regulate.

This is like putting mice in to guard cheese. Having Scott Pruitt run the EPA is like the Ford Motor Company being forced to take orders from General Motors’ biggest stockholder.

WHILE THEY WON’T admit it, you can be sure many Republicans in the Senate were secretly hoping the House would not be able to pass its disjointed replacement for Obamacare. The Senate now has to deal with a controversial and difficult measure that in the end will prove costly to them in the next few elections.

How they voted from The Washington Post

If they do not pass a healthcare replacement bill, they will be criticized by their base supporters for falling short on a promise. But if they pass a bill that pleases the base, millions of Americans will lose health coverage and this will prove costly in elections.

Many Republican governors also probably have mixed feelings. If a replacement bill becomes law, they will have to deal with finding solutions in their states to helping numerous people struggling financially and unable to maintain health coverage they need.

THE PROMISES FROM GOP mouthpieces is nonstop about eliminating mandates, taking government out of our lives and restoring the freedom of choice to Americans. This is the talking point with any proposed Republican healthcare plan that is, in reality, short on coverage and high on cost.

One can only wonder what will be proposed next. Will mandatory use of seat-belts, which saves lives, be repealed? Perhaps Vice President Mike Pence, who has traditionally been a big supporter of the tobacco companies, could lead a movement to throw out all the government warnings against smoking.

EVIDENTLY THERE ARE NO similar concerns about keeping church out of government. One of Trump’s latest executive orders directs the IRS to stop investigating religious groups for getting involved in politics and campaigns.

Ironically, reports around the country indicate that a number of clergy are uneasy about this order allowing pastors and religious figures in nonprofit institutions to endorse political candidates.

AS IF THE WHITE HOUSE isn’t dysfunctional enough, Jeff Sessions, Trump’s so called Attorney General, is finding ways, in those moments he doesn’t have to recuse himself, to display his shortsightedness.

Sessions, a law-and-disorder advocate, has ordered federal prosecutors to return to the same tough policies against drug abusers that proved to be ineffective and cumbersome years ago. Evidently the jails are not filled up to Sessions’ satisfaction and he wants them restocked with lower-level non-violent criminals serving long, mandatory minimum sentences.

At the same time, the White House would like to slash the “drug czar” budget by 95 percent, dealing with the opioid crisis.

BUT WHEN IT COMES TO WASTING time and money on nonsensical obsessions, nobody can take a back seat to the Commander and Chief. Trump’s executive order appointing a biased committee of his lackeys to investigate voter fraud is laughable, even for him.

Despite no evidence of voter fraud, the committee’s task is to somehow invent a way to pretend that Trump got more popular votes than Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Any day now you can also expect a blue-ribbon panel to try and prove that millions of spectators attending the presidential inauguration were edited out of media photographs so the crowd would look much smaller.

YES, ANY AMERICAN prisoner-hostage situation in North Korea is disturbing. But why would anyone who isn't either a journalist or an undercover agent-spy venture into such a treacherous, inhospitable and horrible country in the first place? It defies reason.

USUALLY, AND WITH GOOD REASON, the ever-expanding Sinclair Broadcast Group draws criticism for deficiencies in its journalism standards. However the conservative media network deserves credit for its syndicated program Full Access.

The show is hosted by Cheryl Attkisson, a veteran hard-hitting reporter who had won a number of journalism awards at CBS. She relentlessly goes after the tough stories and covers politics instead of playing it.

THE SENSELESS DEATH recently suffered by a fraternity pledge at Penn State raises the question once again of why, after decades of tragedies in frat houses and sports programs, hazing in any form still is taking place.

ANYONE WHO IS NOT a right-wing zealot must have chuckled at the news the sanctimonious Jim DeMint, formerly U.S. senator from South Carolina, was dumped as president of the Heritage Foundation. DeMint, who is so far to the right on social issues he makes Sessions seem like a Socialist, quit his job in the Senate on Jan. 1, 2013, to grab the posh position as head of the conservative think tank.

When Congressmen walk away from their elected positions to a higher paying private sector job it makes you wonder what happened to their commitments and obligations to the voters who put them in office.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Trump should bury the hatchet with Romney and have him devise a replacement healthcare system

The president has to be judged by what he does since his talking points continue to be contradictions

How about Trump replacing O’Reilly as the prime-time host on Fox news?

By David Maril

While wondering why Donald Trump doesn’t confer with Mitt Romney on coming up with a plan to replace Obamacare, it’s interesting to note the following:

ROMNEY, THE 2012 GOP nominee for president, is without a doubt the most experienced Republican in implementing and managing a near-universal healthcare system. When elected governor of Massachusetts in 2002, he supported the enactment of state healthcare legislation. Before his plan was replaced by Obamacare, more than 98 percent of state residents were covered.

It’s true that Romney and the president are not exactly close pals. The former Massachusetts governor, who twice ran for president, was extremely critical of Trump through the 2016 campaign.

Once he’d secured the presidential nomination, Trump, under the guise of settling his differences with Romney, casually dangled the job of Secretary of State the former governor’s way.

That, however, seemed more an exercise in toying with Romney, getting his hopes up when he was not under serious consideration. The fact that Trump’s inner circle and staff kept speaking out publicly against Romney was a sign the appointment was never going to happen.

Still, considering all the missteps going on among Trump, the White House staff and Republicans in Congress to devise a replacement system, it would make sense to bring Romney on board to coordinate a proposal and game plan.

TRUMP LIKES TO GREATLY exaggerate his influence on things. One feat he has achieved is the ability to make time appear as if it is standing still. With all of his missteps, lies, inconsistencies, contradictions and bad judgement, his 100 days in office seem more like 100 years.

Trump wants everything both ways, or, as many would say, he defies the axiom that you can’t have your cake and eat it to.

His latest exercise in talking out of both sides of his mouth are promises, without details, of sweeping tax reform and a replacement healthcare system plan coming very soon. He keeps insisting, without any facts to back himself up, he will have had the most productive first 100 days of any president in U.S. history. However, at the same time, he hedges his bet by countering that this time period means absolutely nothing and is just an opportunity for the media to treat him unfairly.

YOUNG IMMIGRANTS LIVING HERE should be wary of Trump’s pledge that they have nothing to worry about because they are not targets for deportation. The president has established a track record of saying one thing one day and the opposite the next.

Words with him do not matter.

His list of flip-flops or contradictions include:

  • China going from currency manipulators to one of his close allies.
  • After urging former President Barack Obama to not get entangled in the Syria civil war quagmire, Trump allows a record-sized bomb to be dropped on the country and criticizes his predecessor for not taking action.
  • While running for president he declares NATO obsolete but after getting elected he states it’s not longer obsolete.
  • After outsourcing a sizable portion of work in his business empire to foreign laborers, he blusters against this practice after he’s elected.
  • After mocking Obama for playing too much golf, he sets a presidential record for hitting the links, becoming the Cal Ripken ironman of country club courses.
  • While he claims Obama ran a secretive administration, Trump eliminate the public disclosure of visitors to the White House while continuing to not make public his tax returns.

THE DEMOCRATS SHOULD STICK to the issue of Trump refusing to release his tax returns. The president’s arrogant defiance goes to the heart of his credibility issue.

While he keeps blustering about tax reform, how can anyone take him seriously when he won’t even make his tax returns public? Until he does, he will be unable to refute the charges his policies are influenced by financial conflicts of interest.

SURPRISING AS IT MAY SEEM, Trump and Hillary Clinton are very much alike in one very noticeable way. Both refuse to take responsibility and own up to it when they make mistakes and commit unforced errors of judgement.

Clinton, who is still blaming everyone, except herself, for blowing the 2016 election, gets properly put in her place in the recently published book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign.” It is a responsibly written and well documented account of her blunders.

IT IS PROBABLY NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, but with the ouster of talk-master Bill O’Reilly, wouldn’t this be an opportune time for Fox to build a quality cable news network?

The network could still feature conservative commentary. However, why not take the high road, changing the apparently sexist and outdated internal culture and switching from an entertaining but irresponsible tabloid newspaper style to more of a Wall Street Journal format.

With CNN and MSNBC grappling over the liberal and moderate viewers, Fox has the conservative audience to itself and there's no need to lower journalism standards in a desperate attempt for ratings.

ON THE OTHER HAND, you can’t help but wonder, in this crazy White House and media world, if Fox might try to find a way to strike a deal to have Trump replace O’Reilly. All the cries of this being absurd and unethical would be music to the so-called president’s rabbit ears.

IF O’REILLY ENDS up in court, and draws a guilty verdict for sexual harassment in the workplace, will Trump and his stooge attorney general Jeff Sessions try to issue him a pardon?

Another question is why it took Fox so long to decide to part ways with O’Reilly. Would this have even happened if so many sponsors had not pulled their support of the show? Revenue loss was the deciding factor. Not charges of bad behavior.

WHILE TRUMP PATS HIMSELF on the back for discovering, apparently on his own, that Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, Sessions broke "new" ground by describing Hawaii as "an island in the Pacific" in the process of criticizing a judge for ruling against the president's proposed travel ban. That's great policy for the Attorney General, knocking a judge. This does not bode well for the idea of separation of power.

IF CNN, OR ANY OTHER cable network, wants to resurrect the noisy political debate show “Crossfire,” two heavyweight hosts who would be perfect, and diametrically opposed to each other, would be left winger Michael Moore and right winger Steve Bannon.

This would be the battle of the disagreeable and obnoxious propagandist-documentarians.

ALTHOUGH CHICAGO POSSESSES one of the nation's most horrifying homicide rates, it does have the World Champion Cubs and leads the universe in network TV shows based on its city themes.

Dick Wolf, who saved NBC once with highly rated police-courtroom dramas, is bailing out the Peacock network again. He's already launched "Chicago Fire”, "Chicago P.D.”, “Chicago Med”, and “Chicago Justice.”

What else is left?


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Trump’s support of coal, showcasing his disregard for the environment, is too late to save the industry

U.S. foes are put on notice of Trump’s unpredictability with his quick action in Syria

The rise of fantasy league games and sports betting are the real reasons NBA commissioner is sticking his nose into coaching decisions on resting star players

By David Maril

While wondering when so-called President Donald Trump will announce his economic master plan of manufacturing cars that run on coal, it’s interesting to note the following.

TRUMP’S PROMISE to rejuvenate the coal industry has about as much chance of succeeding as trying to bring back conestoga wagons for travel. With cheaper and cleaner energy available through such sources as natural gas, coal has become obsolete.

Perhaps Trump will be able to satisfy his need to pollute the atmosphere by bringing freon back for use in air-conditioning systems.

UNFORTUNATELY, IT’S TRUE Trump’s decision to have the US launch missile strikes against Syria won’t end the country’s brutal Civil War. It does, however, serve as a symbolic retaliation for President Basher al-Assad’s cruel, inhumane chemical weapons attack on civilians.

It also could strengthen Trump’s hand in International matters. Foes, like Russia, of the United States now have a convincing example of how unpredictable and dangerous Trump can be, saying one thing one day and then changing his mind completely the next day. In a matter of hours, Trump went from being a proud isolationist to a world interventionist drawing praise from such Senate hawks as John McCain and Lindsay Graham.

WONDER IF DURING Trump’s meetings with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, he admitted, off camera, that automation is what is really killing so many American jobs and not China?

IF HENRY CLAY, (1777-1852) known as the “Great Compromiser” for his ability to broker deals in the House and Senate, were alive today, he wouldn’t be able to find work. Coming to agreements and defining common ground are obsolete in Washington.

It turns out that Trump, who had the label of being the master of making a deal, utilized mostly the strategy of “take it or leave it” to get what he wanted in the business world. In the White House, this is about as effective as a baseball pitcher who throws nothing but fastballs at the same speed.

Dysfunction and Trump’s “my way or the highway” attitude seems to dominate both major political parties. Even with a monopoly of power in the House, Senate and White House, the Republicans appear unable to achieve many of their horrendous, fattening up the rich, goals.

The internal strife over healthcare reform is fascinating to watch. The Tea Party far right zealots, obsessed with budget cutting, brought down the wrecking ball on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s original plan to replace Obamacare.

Trump tried to come to Ryan’s rescue by inviting doubters to the White House for a few strings of bowling.

No doubt he will have to host a high stakes bowling tournament when the financial costs to taxpayers are revealed on building his Wall of Shame along the Mexican boarder. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of the slipperiest politicians around, admitted recently he doesn’t expect Mexico will pay for building the wall.

RYAN, BY THE WAY, demonstrated that if he tires of politics, he could have a profitable career pitching time-sharing properties to people who have to listen to these long-winded presentations to collect their free prizes. Ryan’s rambling but enthusiastic powerpoint presentation of his healthcare proposal seemed more appropriate for talking people into buying a week of vacation time at a resort they will probably never be able to use.

There’s nothing more misleading than when Ryan, and other Republicans, somehow managing earnest facial expressions, boast about how their policies give Americans the freedom of choice. What they don’t say is the choice is to either overpay for something they need or decide they must go without it because it is unaffordable.

AS LOW AS THE EXPECTATIONS were for Jeff Sessions as Trump’s Attorney General, he is off to a good start being even worse than most reasonable people feared. With a background of intolerance and a track record of overly simplistic thinking, he is nothing more than a scared, barking dog trying to act tough standing behind the president.

Sessions recently had his wings clipped by a federal judge in Baltimore when his department’s request to delay the already agreed upon overhaul of the city police department was refused.

What sense would it have made to scuttle an agreement that was reached by the Justice Department, mayor, police officials and citizens of the city to improve trust and eliminate racism in a police department that has struggled for decades?

In Session’s fantasy world, anything that might curb police power is a threat. Taking the lead from Trump, Sessions makes up his own false statistics to back his absurd policies. Despite falling crime rates around the country, Sessions vows to lead an aggressive crackdown on homicides he claims, without any proof, are surging.

He warns of a long-term rise in street violence in the immediate future. This is nothing more than irresponsible rhetoric from a public official taking the low road.

THE WHITE HOUSE has released its second version, slightly watered down, of an unpopular and controversial travel ban, limiting access of people deemed a security risk.

There is, however, one travel ban plan that would be popular and save the taxpayers a lot of money. How about putting a limit on worldwide travel the Trump family makes to increase their business wealth?

The security requirements to protect the presidential family on these business trips is astronomical and the public should not be subsidizing the Trump financial empire.

It was reported that a family business trip by Eric Trump, the president’s son, in January resulted in a $100,000 bill just for the Secret Service and embassy staff.

SPEAKING OF THE TRUMP DYNASTY, the president has given his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, numerous hats to wear to solve all of the world’s problems. It’s surprising he didn’t nominate him, instead of Neil Gorsuch, for the Supreme Court.

But if he accomplishes nothing else, Kushner will have made a major contribution to this country if his friction with Stephen K. Bannon forces Trump to dump the controversial strategist from his team of White House advisors. Bannon, an intolerant extremist, hampers Trump’s feeble attempts at credibility.

WITH THE ELIMINATION of the filibuster in the Supreme Court Justice confirmation process, opening the door for approval by simple majority, there will be more pressure for justices who favor viewpoints of the minority party to hold off retiring until the minority party returns to majority status.

You can be sure the liberals currently serving will try to hang in there and hope that Trump is only a one-term president and a Democrat takes over, making it more likely their seat would be filled by a person with their philosophy.

Gorsuch won’t change the balance of the court because he is replacing the late conservative Antonin Scalia. But if a moderate justice retires on Trump’s watch, a conservative replacement will stack the deck to the right. Conversely, when considering retirement, a justice will be more apt to leave the bench when his or her party is in the majority.

WITH FILIBUSTERS on the verge of extinction, there’s a need to produce a new version of Frank Capra’s classic “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” Actually the movie needs a complete, major overhaul to be relevant today.

The title would be “Mr. Trump Goes To Washington” with the naive and idealistic Jimmy Stewart role erased from the script and replaced by the bullying, greedy business mogul, who was portrayed in the original by Edward Arnold.

ONE CERTAINTY, there has never been a United States president who uses such warped snap-judgements weighing in irresponsibly on questions of legality.

Without knowing the facts, he gives Fox News celebrity Bill O’Reilly a free pass, declaring him innocent of sexual harassment charges by numerous former female staffers.

Conversely, he determines on his own that former national security adviser Susan Rice has committed a crime by unmasking names in a classified foreign intelligence report.

ONE HAS TO WONDER what former U.S Congressman Ron Paul, who ran as an idealistic, principled libertarian candidate for president a few times, feels about his son, Rand. The junior senator from Kentucky seems to be preoccupied with pandering tenaciously enough to try and earn the support and friendship of Trump.

Rand seems programmed to say anything that will land him in front of a camera. Wonder what he will do when Trump quickly turns against him and makes him pay for being critical of bombing Syria?

WITH THE RAIDERS POSITIONED to leave Oakland by 2019 for greener, as in Las Vegas dollars, pastures, one has to wonder why the team’s fans would even consider buying tickets and supporting the franchise for these lame duck seasons.

SPEAKING OF VEGAS, there’s more than meets the eye in the issue of NBA Commissioner Adam Silver questioning the rights of the league’s coaches to rest star players in regular season games to prepare for the all-important playoffs. At first glance, he is simply raising issues of the image of the league on televised games and expectations of fans who pay inflated prices for tickets.

However, you have to believe the underlying factor is the move by the NBA, and other professional sports leagues, to embrace fantasy league games, edging into wagering. And the way things are going, with the NFL moving a team to Las Vegas, once the greedy pro sports leagues figure out a way to maximize new revenue from gambling, openly betting on games will be a reality.

With large sums of gambling money riding on the outcome of games, all sorts of questions could be raised even when star players are rested for legitimate reasons. It’s an interesting dilemma and puts even more pressure on coaches, who should have the right to make decisions on who starts and how playing time is decided.

DALLAS GREEN, who died recently at age 82, was one of the best baseball executives of all time not in the Hall of Fame. A tough, old-school taskmaster, he won a World Championship as manager of the 1980 Phillies.

A few years later, as general manager of the Chicago Cubs, he turned around a franchise that had been, for the most part, the laughing stock of the league for decades. At 6-foot-5, Green projected a commanding presence and was an outspoken and colorful baseball figure who had a solid background in scouting, talent evaluation, building major league rosters and farm systems.

YOU CAN TALK about Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis all you want but the real king of Rock And Roll is Chuck Berry, who died last month, at age 91. He was a lyricist, composer, and pioneer Rock And Roll and Blues guitarist who achieved stardom despite the obstacles of racism in the 1950s and 60s.

NO QUESTION TONY ROMO, retired Cowboys quarterback, has the marquee name. But isn’t CBS taking a chance throwing him into the booth for the network’s prime football telecasts without any training?

Wonder what Jim Nance, his smooth and superb play-by-play partner, thinks of having to work with an analyst getting his training on the job? With network and advertising executives, celebrity status means more than talent and experience.

DON RICKLES, who died at age 90, definitely took the art of comedic insults to an expanded, popular level. It should, however, be noted he was not the only significant master of this wise-cracking genre.

Jack E. Leonard, who was the emcee of a Friar’s Club roast for Rickles, was really the pioneer of this type of late-night network TV humor. And of course, Rodney Dangerfield was also a master of the insult.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Democratic and Republican parties no longer doing what’s best and serving all the people

It’s time to form a centrist-moderate party, with Kasich running for president, that stresses tolerance and bipartisan cooperation

Stubborn and self-centered extremists have too much power in both parties


By David Maril

I’m a lifelong Democrat.

Years ago in college, I marched against the Vietnam War when Richard Nixon expanded military action with accelerated bombing in Cambodia.

But you know something? I’m ready to join a new political party if it could be successfully launched.

The new party?

Let’s call it the Tolerance Party. It’s base would be moderates and centrists with a mandate for civilized debate, common sense, ethics, flexibility, and respect for reasonable points of view presented in a responsible way.

I don’t know about you, but isn’t it getting tiresome listening to the rhetoric and pontificating of diehard right-wingers and self-righteous extremists on the left?

The United States has never been more diverse, with numerous regions and countless communities of different cultures and people with wide ranges of lifestyles and points of view. That’s America and it’s something to be proud of.

CONVERSELY, the political mood in this country, especially among the elected officials running the show in Washington, could not be more rigid, short-sighted, self-centered or divisive. There’s little effort or concern to find common ground, compromise, be respectful and get things done for the good of the overall country. Too many things are ego driven, battle lines are drawn early and it’s my way or the highway.

Democrats are laughing and rejoicing over the ineptitude of the Republicans who, despite controlling both Houses and the White House, were unable to kill Obamacare and replace it with their patchwork plan.

The lack of leadership and unity in the Republican Party is astounding. There’s no sign of teamwork or rational behavior to achieve success.

On one side, there’s a group of stubborn, unrealistic conservative ideologues who don't know the meaning of teamwork.

Then on the left side of the party are a group of moderates who did not want to throw their economically struggling voters under the bus just to get a bill passed.

In the middle were the traditional Republicans who were stymied trying to placate the two sides.

Paul Ryan, a well-intentioned Speaker of the House, doesn’t have the vision or leadership skills to control this disorganized and undisciplined body. Donald Trump, our so-called president, was only interested in putting a win on his personal scoreboard and exposed the fact that he is not a master negotiator when it comes to the ways of Washington.

YES, IT’S A GOOD THING the Republicans were too screwed up to accomplish their healthcare mission. Killing the Affordable Care Act would have taken away health coverage from millions of poor people and made the healthcare problem even worse.

However, the reality is the dysfunction on display with the GOP is a frightening illustration of what is wrong in Washington.

And this isn't just limited to the GOP.

The Democrats are just as divided and in as much disarray.

Instead of laughing at how foolish Ryan and Trump came off in mishandling their healthcare scheme, divisive and self-centered Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer should look in the mirror and then try to contribute a little bipartisan leadership.

What should happen, for the good of the country, is for a bipartisan panel to be formed with both parties represented, to come up with a plan to fix the problems with Obamacare and fortify coverage for all Americans,

Instead, we have Trump gleefully declaring it will be politically wise for Republicans to let Obamacare implode and then blame it on the Democrats. He will no doubt continue to do whatever possible to pull the legs out from under the program.

On the other side, the Democrats are making it as difficult as possible to open the door for working with the GOP, figuring it will help them in the 2018 elections if enough voters are angry at the Republicans for not working on the healthcare problem.

THIS IS THE WAY it’s been in Washington for the last decade or so. Both parties share in the disappearance of etiquette and respect. Today when politicians disagree and have different points of view, there’s little room for discussion, listening and thought. Instead, it’s now acceptable to demonize anyone with a different opinion. The intensity of cable and Internet media coverage, driven too often with a biased political agenda, has accented the differences in political viewpoints and made this uncivilized discourse even worse.

When one party has the majority of power, there’s less and less effort to work with the other side. More and more legislation is passed strictly on party lines. Which means when the other party gets back in command, much that had been approved is reversed.

There is plenty of blame to spread around for this partisanship. While I often agreed politically with the liberal views of Pelosi, when she was speaker of the House, and Harry Reid, when he was Senate Majority Leader, they both made me wince with their obnoxious, self-righteous and dictatorial styles of leadership. They, in many ways, are responsible for creating today’s hostile atmosphere and lack of cooperation between the two parties.

BELIEVE ME, I am no fan of Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate Majority Leader. He lowered the standards to Reid’s level years ago when he announced his goal in the Senate was to make sure Barack Obama was a one term president. That’s not exactly a quality, constructive leadership statement. And he lowered the standard even more when he made it impossible for Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, to even get a Senate hearing last year.

Which of course, is why the Democrats figure they have no obligation to be cooperative during the hearings for Trump’s nominee, Neil Gorsuch. But what good will come out, over the long haul, for Schumer to attempt a filibuster? It may trigger McConnell to change the voting rules.

Obama had a number of positive qualities. Negotiating with people he didn’t particularly like, however, was not one of them.

There were times, such as when his healthcare bill was being put together, he could have reached out for more bipartisan support. This would have made it stronger and secured its future better. Unlike many politicians, he did not relish meeting behind closed doors with opponents, twisting arms and cajoling and negotiating deals.

But on the other side, he was not always treated with the respect he deserved. The harsh rhetoric from silver-tongued vipers like McConnell did not help.

But enough on all this quibbling and dysfunction. This country is crying out for positive leadership and rational, quality choices.

FOR ALL INTENTS and purposes, the 2016 presidential election was a pathetic joke and even some of Obama’s unreasonable critics are starting to wish he was still in office.

On the Republican side, there were too many similarly self-centered and narrow-minded candidates who refused to be team players and dropped out to unify behind one person. One conventional candidate established early in the campaign would have been able to prevent the disaster of Trump capturing the nomination.

But as horrendous a candidate as Trump was, what does it say about Hillary Clinton being unable to defeat him?

And what does it say about the Democratic party when the committee leadership had to work behind the scenes to undermine the campaign of Bernie Sanders, a 75-year-old Socialist who isn’t even a Democrat, for Clinton to win the nomination? It should have been pretty obvious that Hillary, a tiresome, untrustworthy and opportunistic hack, was unelectable.

While Trump has been even worse than expected, the Democrats are not even close to finding a leader who can bring the far left, traditional liberals and centrists together.

Senator Tim Kaine could have been that person. However, while running with Hillary, he was forced to play an unnatural, for him, attack-dog role that killed his chances. Senator Elizabeth Warren, overly abrasive, is a strong left-wing voice for consumers but she’s not a leader who can attract a wide enough base to win a national office.

Since both parties are torn apart by zealots who refuse to work as a team and find middle ground, we need this new Tolerance Party.

IF WE COULD SECURE big money to get behind this unconventional bipartisan type of party, made up of Democrats, Republicans and Independents, the solid presidential candidate would be Ohio’s John Kasich.

Kasich, the governor of Ohio, is a moderate Republican and, most importantly, he reaches across the aisle and works with both sides. A people person who isn’t a prisoner of political labels, Kasich is ethical, principled and practical, believing in getting things accomplished for his electorate in a reasonable way.

Kasich is experienced in producing legislation at the local and national levels while displaying the rare balance of supporting helpful domestic social programs with responsible budgeting skills.

All of this seems unlikely.

But on the other hand, who would have figured a year ago that we’d have a blustering egomaniac in the White House making up fake news, insulting our allies, creating internal strife and making most people worry about his judgment?


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Why won’t Trump release his tax returns to end ‘witch-hunt’ investigations of alleged Russian ties?

In promoting his plan to increase military spending the president may be weakening our security by making US armed forces seem underarmed and undermanned

New Democratic Party leader comes well quipped with cliches and slogans but lacks substance to unite extreme left, traditional liberals, moderates and centrists

By David Maril

WHILE WONDERING WHY, if he has nothing to hide, President Donald Trump doesn’t release his tax returns, which would crush all the momentum out of the conspiracy theories that he has financial connections to Russia, it’s interesting to note the following:

WHY IS IT THAT TRUMP is unable to resist building himself up at the expense of everyone and everything else?

He made a point of patting himself on the back, during his recent visit aboard the $13 billion aircraft carrier USS Jerold R. Ford, over plans to increase military spending by $54 billion. But in the process, he made the current state of the Navy sound as if it had been reduced to a few leaking vessels with the durability and might of toothpick sculptures.

To continually harp on how our troop numbers have never been lower, plus his misleading rhetoric that we no longer win, he sends a very dangerous message to our enemies around the world.

ONE CERTAINTY is the president has introduced new meaning to establishing a populist movement. With most of his cabinet appointments, he’s reducing the number of billionaires out of work and, perhaps, keeping them away from unemployment compensation.

ISN’T THERE ANY ROOM for protecting consumers in Trump’s so-called populist movement? If Wall Street regulations are rolled back, stock brokers, and all portfolio managers, should be required to formally issue a disclaimer to consumers that they invest at their on risk and these investment companies are not putting their clients first.

NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY LEADER Tom Perez didn’t waste any time spewing out cliches and tiresome slogans that will do little to mobilize voters and heal the rift and dysfunction between the different factions of the party. His zeal in repeatedly spouting “We are going to lead with our values,” grows old very quickly.

WHILE TRUMP SEEMS SATISFIED pandering to his base and not trying to widen his group of supporters, the Democrats are squandering the opportunity to build a wide and unbeatable tolerant coalition that includes the hard left, traditional liberals and moderates.

MAYBE I AM MISSING SOMETHING, but will someone explain how Sen. Bernie Sanders can seriously attempt to influence the direction the Democrats take when he refuses to drop his Independent status instead of joining the party?

Better yet, when was the last time someone in the media asked him why he has not registered as a Democrat after trying to secure the party’s nomination for president.

LISTENING TO HILLARY CLINTON’S recorded message that she intends to always “be there” for the party, played at the Democrats’ election for party chairperson, provided a chilling thought that she hasn’t written off seeking the nomination for 2020.

She just doesn’t get the message that she is responsible, thanks to her un-electability, for Trump residing in the White House.

WHY IS IT THAT SO MANY REPUBLICANS shed crocodile tears about how it would be unconscionable to leave the burden of our growing national debt for our children and grandchildren while remaining apathetic about whether they will have clean air and water to breathe and drink?

Strange how the GOP remains silent as the White House advocates a 20 percent slash in the budget of the Environmental Protection Agency.

ANOTHER CONTRADICTION is in the GOP’s talk about cutting back on federal government powers and putting more enforcement focus for officials at the state levels. At the same time narrow-minded small-thinkers, like so-called Attorney General Jeff Sessions, talk boldly about cracking down at the federal enforcement level against states that have legalized marijuana.

Sessions, apparently a graduate of Trump’s Academy of Ignoring Facts, continues to insist the crime rate has never been higher in this country despite statistical evidence that indicates the exact opposite is true. It’s no wonder he had such difficulty getting his story straight on whether or not he met with Russian representatives when he shouldn’t have.

CHUCK SCHUMER AND NANCY PELOSI, the Democrats’ minority leaders in the Senate and House, sound so partisan when they hold press conferences they turn me off even when I agree with them. Pelosi was much too gleeful when she addressed the media about Sessions’ glaring inaccuracies in his confirmation hearings for Attorney General.

THE MOST INFORMATIVE and concise hour of daily news coverage, especially when it comes to politics, continues to be CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper.

THE BIGGEST WASTE OF AIRTIME on a so-called news network is the morning show Fox And Friends, lowering the bar for shoddy standards and a lack of professionalism every day.

WITH TRUMP FORMALLY DECLINING to attend the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner, on April 29, it would be an appropriate time for the media members, who participate in this somewhat outdated affair, to modify the format and take on a more serious tone.

After months of Trump’s outrageous and irresponsible attacks on the media, it would make sense to shape the event around an affirmation of the crucial role an investigative media plays in keeping the government honest and what journalism means preserving the health of a democracy.

The media should leave the satire and slapstick humor to TV offerings like Saturday Night Live, which owes its revival to the bizarre nature of Trump’s presidential world.

CAN THERE REMAIN any doubt that Casey Affleck is a much better actor than his better known brother, Ben?

THE LATE BILL VEECK, baseball’s promotional genius, frequently would say that baseball has to be the greatest sport ever played. However, with Commissioner Rob Manfred, Veeck ’s theory may be put to its greatest test.

It’s hard to take the Commissioner seriously whenever he considers introducing changes he thinks will improve the game.

His latest obsession is coming up with a way to shorten the length of time it takes to play major league games.

So far, he’s ignored the biggest waste of time, too many commercials between every half inning. Reducing commercial air-time, of course, will never happen because this is a source of revenue for the prospering owners and players. Strange how all this extra commercial money has not kept ticket prices from rising to a level unaffordable for many families and young fans.

While speeding up the replay process on contested calls will help, what about cracking down on batters stepping in and out of the batters’ box?

Instead, Manfred’s newest gimmick solution is to make the intentional walk automatic.

Well, let’s see, pointing to first base to signify the walk a couple of times a game, instead of delivering the pitches, should shave a minute or two off every other game.

But while achieving this minuscule victory, the chance of something unpredictable happening, which is what sports are all about, is eliminated.

It doesn’t happen often, but teams have stolen bases on intentional walks and pitches have occasionally thrown wild pitches.

I remember, as a kid, watching a game between the Orioles and Red Sox, with changeup bullpen specialist Stu “The Bullet” Miller on the mound facing Boston’s Lee Thomas in a crucial late-inning situation.

First base was open but when Miller attempted to walk Thomas, the slugger swung and missed at the pitch that was way off the plate.

The same thing happened on pitch number two. Thomas wanted to hit and he was not going to settle for an intentional walk.

Suddenly handed an 0-2 advantage, Miller and the Orioles decided to take their chances with Thomas. Miller threw an 0-2 changeup that would have been a strike and Thomas swung and missed, striking out and ending the Red Sox threat.

Also under consideration, supposedly, was to no longer make it mandatory for a hitter who has belted a homer to circle the bases and touch home plate, thus removing a chance for fans to cheer their hero for the four-base feat.

Another stupid idea that had been under consideration to shorten games was having each team start extra innings with a runner on second base.

Heck, why stop there?

How about loading the bases for the start of each extra inning and providing 12 outs to score instead of just three?

Or how about a hockey puck shooting contest between each team’s top player?

Nothing like turning the games into a big joke.

GOOD NEWS FOR baseball fans is that Bob Costas, retiring from NBC’s role as TV network host of the Olympics, will have more time to do play-by-play of baseball, his favorite and best sport.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

The business of celebrities personally signing autographs often becomes impersonal

Trump’s autographs may have distinctive value if he maintains his current presidential pace

How much signed memorabilia was autographed by the actual celebrity?

By David Maril

What is the big deal about celebrity autographs?

It’s bad enough so many people are influenced in what they wear, drive and even think because of what a Hollywood celebrity or multi-millionaire athlete gets paid to endorse.

Autographs, if you come right down to it, only have real meaning at the end of letters or checks.

Hastily scribbling down a name hundreds, or even thousands, of times each day is about as personal as applying your logo with a rubber stamp.

During the 2016 political campaign Donald Trump, now officially our so-called president, could often be seen jotting down his signature on baseball caps, scraps of paper and whatever else his mesmerized fans handed his way as he worked through crowds.

Who knows, maybe Trump’s will be worth a fortune if he becomes the first U.S. president to quit because of a disdain for all the “losers, liars, so-called judges, and fake news journalists" that have the gall to question his ethics, temperament, expertise and judgement.

Still, the whole autograph process, to me, is superficial and a waste of time.

I’ve never understood why so many of us are obsessed with memorabilia personalized by the expanding group of rich and famous people.

WHEN I COVERED major league baseball, it seemed astounding, if not pathetic, to see a dozen or so adults crawling around on the sidewalk outside the players’ parking lot at Fenway Park hours after late-night games. They were trying to get a glimpse, through the gap at the bottom of the canvas covered fence, of the shoe-tops of their favorite Red Sox players getting into cars.

What’s the big deal with autographs?

Granted, there are collectors who actually make money wheeling and dealing by selling and trading, turning it into a business on the side.

I can’t, however, fathom the passion some people display building up their own personal collections of movie stars and other celebrities. Many professional athletes, for example, add to their fortunes by formally appearing at events to sign autographs.

Some of these celebrities don’t even look up at the people who are paying to have them sign.

FOR YEARS, CELTICS’ GREAT Bill Russell’s autograph was the one signature collectors craved. As a a player and coach, Russell had a strict policy of refusing to sign autographs. The NBA’s all-time, in my opinion, Most Valuable Player felt it was a stupid exercise in superficiality.

Russell preferred to shake hands with a fan and have a brief conversation to signing his name on an object. Because Russell’s autograph was in such short supply, it became extremely valuable.

In contrast, we had Cal Ripken, who would spend hours of his time signing autographs for anyone, especially kids.

When Ripken was an active player with Baltimore and the Orioles participated in a Cooperstown exhibition game, he stood outside the stadium for much of the afternoon signing more than a thousand baseballs, bats. shirts and scorecards.

To give Ripken his due, he at least conversed with fans when he signed autographs and most , if not all, were for free.

Supposedly his signature is on so many items, it’s not worth much despite that fact baseball’s all-time ironman is in the Hall of Fame.

MY FAVORITE AUTOGRAPH MEMORY occurred when Harmon Killebrew was a star for the Minnesota Twins.

One day preparing to cover the Red Sox, I listened to a sportswriter colleague from another newspaper complaining in the Fenway Park press box about his boss.

“I’ve got a managing editor at the paper who is a big Harmon Killebrew fan,” he explained. “He gave me this baseball and he practically ordered me to get it signed by Killebrew sometime in this series. I’ve put off doing it but tonight’s the last game of the series and he’s been calling me every day to get it done.”

For the most part, sportswriters who cover pro teams refrain from asking players for autographs or any other favors. It’s demeaning and unprofessional. You are there to cover the games and the athletes without assuming the role of hero worshiper.

This particular writer was old school all the way and the thought of approaching even an affable, unassuming player like Killebrew, and asking for an autograph, was very distasteful.

“That’s the last thing I want to be doing when I’m in here working,” he said. “I don’t even get autographs for my kids when they ask me. I’m not a free-loader.”

As the Red Sox game entered the seventh inning, he was still talking about how he hated to approach Killebrew and ask for the favor.

FINALLY, ANOTHER SPORTSWRITER friend, who was an outspoken columnist with a distinctive sense of humor, offered a solution.

“Give me the ball,” he growled. “I’ll sign it and the pain in the neck editor will never know the difference. Here’s Killebrew’s signature on this scorecard page and I can can come pretty close.”

He grabbed the baseball, took his pen and signed Killebrew’s name. At first glance, the counterfeit autograph looked authentic.

We waited a few weeks, until the next Red Sox home-stand, to find out what happened with the signed baseball

“I gave it to the managing editor and he was all excited,” the sports writer reported.

“He took it home and it’s mounted on the wall over his fireplace. He says it’s one of his proudest possessions.”

I can still hear my old columnist friend laughing over his success forging the autograph.

“Serves the boot-licking stooge editor right,” he proclaimed.

Which makes you wonder how many autographs on bats, balls and other memorabilia were actually signed by clubhouse attendants and team employees instead of the actual celebrity.

Ironically, the substitute signers probably put more thought and effort into producing the fake autographs than the celebrities.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Is “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better” replacing “Hail to The Chief?”

The selling of advertising on The Great Wall Of Trump would be an appropriate way for the wheeler-dealer to finance the eyesore if Mexico refuses to pay

TV sports audiences deserve gold medals for endurance after putting up with half a century of Brent Musburger’s babbling

By David Maril

AN UNCONFIRMED RUMOR is that President Donald Trump will change “Hail To The Chief” to “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better,”’ as the official tune introducing his formal arrival at an event.

THE BIGGEST surprise coming from recent news cycles is that Trump hasn’t officially taken the credit for the stock market busting through the 20,000 point barrier.

WITH A NUMBER OF STATES ready to implement legislation requiring 2020 presidential candidates to make their tax reforms public in order to allow their names on the ballots, someone like Trump, trying to hide business dealings, will be forced into full disclosure.

WHETHER OR NOT YOU AGREED with their politics, it showed a lack of class, even for Trump, and respect for the office of the presidency to not formally acknowledge the presence of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, his predecessors, in his inauguration speech.

Artist's rendering of Trump's new wall.

HOW LONG WILL IT BE before the president proposes selling advertising on The Great Trump Wall to help finance it?

THE THREAT, UNDER CONSIDERATION, of tacking on a 20-percent tariff for goods coming in from Mexico would actually have all of us raising the $12-18 billion needed for the wall ourselves because we would be paying higher prices for these products.

WHILE THE COMPLAINER AND CHIEF accuses the media of producing fake news when stories are covered differently than he imagines them, he is, in reality, the inventor of fake news and would deserve to have any academic building, where creative writing is taught, named in his honor.

THE PRESIDENT’S SOLUTION to send federal troops into cities dealing with high rates of homicide, violence, drugs and crime seems in direct conflict with the Republican party philosophy of strong state autonomy, local solutions to problems and cutting back on the reach of the federal government.

WHEN TRUMP SAYS people in Chicago shouldn’t have to worry about being shot when they walk down the street for a loaf of bread, one has to wonder when was the last time the great dealmaker actually entered a store and bought any ingredient to make a sandwich.

YOU WOULD ALSO HAVE to doubt if any of his billionaire cabinet picks, who are heavily invested in oil, would know how to fill up a car gas tank at a self-service pump.

OR WHEN WAS the last time billionaire charter school advocate Betsy DeVos, Trump’s nominee for education secretary, set foot in a public school?

THERE’S IRONY in the fact that the president's way of looking out for the welfare of the “forgotten people” seems to rest on taking care of the wealthiest Americans in the world and surrounding himself with moguls who are out of touch with the poor and middle class.

SPEAKING OF OUT OF TOUCH, when will activists and politicians on the left and right wake up to the fact that celebrities participating in rallies usually prove to be more a distraction than a positive influence. Just because they are well-known and admired as entertainers doesn’t make them responsible leaders or spokespeople. Madonna’s recent meltdown in the Women’s March in Washington, using a four-letter word and a reference to wanting to blow up the White House, was outrageous and unacceptable, no matter what your political views.

ONE OF THE MOST overlooked election stories is the unfortunate setback for Virginia’s Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s candidate for vice president on the Democrat’s ticket. Kaine, an eminently more qualified candidate for president than Hillary, will forever be linked to her horrendous campaign of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The Virginia U.S. senator was never allowed to showcase his impressive background of statesmanship at the local and national levels. His compassionate dedication to public service was overshadowed by the attack-dog role the Clinton strategists wanted him to play. Perhaps they were concerned he would overshadow the former first lady.

WHILE KAINE IS NOT MENTIONED as a 2020 presidential possibility, Mass. Senator Elizabeth Warren gets continual support from the hard left of the Democratic party. Although she is staking out credibility on progressive issues, she hurts her cause with an abrasive, self-absorbed and unreasonable style in Congress. You don't get much done by failing to build wider coalitions and extending your base of support.

HOW LONG WILL it be before the president launches an official investigation of fraud in the U.S. Post Office because a Forever stamp hasn’t been designed and issued yet with his face on it?

WOULDN IT BE FUNNY if Trump’s absurd waste-of-time-and-money investigation into voter fraud ends up proving that he was awarded more electoral votes than he deserves and should have lost the election?

TRUMP’S OBSESSION WITH VOTER FRAUD could mean revising the “If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It” rule to “If It Ain’t Broke, break it.” Or perhaps, “If You Break It You Own It,” becomes, “II You Break It, Someone Else Owns It.”

SPEAKING OF BREAKING, if you had a dollar for every time CNN flashes a “Breaking News” logo, accompanied by its dramatic musical lead-in, you’d soon be a millionaire. It won’t be long before commercial breaks are introduced by the “Breaking News” signage.

WHILE CNN REMAINS THE best cable news source, it is starting to allow too much airtime to political hacks and one-note commentators, like former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. The news network needs to utilize David Gregory, former Meet The Press host and a credible journalist, more.

THAT SAID, HOWEVER, Ana Navarro and David Axelrod are two former political activists who do convey a sense of professionalism and offer significant and worthwhile insight.

CHUCK TODD, WHO succeeded Gregory on “Meet The Press,” displayed the type of tenacity the late Tim Russet would have appreciated when he refused to let Trump apologist Kelly Ann Conway off the hook in answering a pertinent question. If Russet, the 16-year host of Meet The Press, was still alive, he’d have a field day exposing all the fake news and misstatements coming out of Trump’s White House.

WHILE THE DEATH of the extremely talented Mary Tyler Moore has drawn numerous comparisons to Lucille Ball for having been a pioneer figure for women achieving stardom in television, the wise-cracking Eve Arden (“Our Miss Brooks’) also deserves to be included as part of that iconic status.

SPEAKING OF TV icons, Mike Connors, who also recently died, starred in the 1960s and 70s detective series “Mannix” as the most durable and punched-around private eye in television history. One critic determined Connors had been shot 17 times and accumulated 55 concussions over the 194 episodes of the series. Connors, however, was pretty durable in real-life, living to the age of 91.

IT IS UTTERLY amazing that Brent Musburger, retiring this year, has been able to thrive half a century as an irritating, overly-hyped, and trite play-by-play babbler distracting from major sports events on CBS snd ESPN. It took the NBA years to recover from the silly nicknames for players that littered his basketball broadcasts.

I APPRECIATE AND SUBSCRIBE to the magazine “Consumer’s Report.” One thing, however, that has always mystified me is why in evaluations of new cars it often puts emphasis on design of the dashboard instrumentation. It’s one thing if you are renting a car for a day and don't have time to become familiar with “confusing” design. But if you are buying a car, this all becomes meaningless after driving it around for more than a few days.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

The more people dream about winning an easy fortune and purchase lottery tickets, the more money goes to cities and towns

There’s nothing wrong with spending money on the lottery as long as it’s not me

It’s easy to be a double-winner by not throwing away money on loser tickets and, at the same time, saving on taxes that are kept lower because of revenue generated by the public duped into playing the lottery

By David Maril

Even with the growth of casino gambling, the get-rich quick format of scratching a game-winner or coming up with the right number on a huge payout ticket in lotteries remains strong.

We all have our dreams about the lottery.

Personally, I can never get enough lottery talk. It’s terrific to see so many people throwing money into lotteries and helping keep my taxes down.

Every time a potential lottery dollar payoff figure rises into the hundreds of millions it’s intriguing the way we all become obsessed with the subject.

Lottery talk is a nice diversion.

We all love to fantasize about how our lives would change by winning $400 million. Even just one million bucks would do.

Few of us, however, acknowledge that the odds of winning a $370 million lottery jackpot are perhaps around one in 200 million.

I would suspect your chances of taking a first place in the Boston Marathon are greater than capturing one of these lottery bonanzas.

You probably have a better chance of hitting a game-winning homer in a World Series than connecting on the big lottery ticket.

STILL, MILLIONS of consumers spend every available dollar to buy as many chances as possible for a shot at a giant prize.

You hear people swear that “after” they win they’ll never report for another day of work.

Some talk about buying a half dozen resort mansions all over the world and playing golf and going fishing every day.

A few get into a philosophical debate over whether they’d purchase a Ferrari or a Corvette.

I’ve heard some lottery players say they would welcome the chance of being rich and famous. Others, taking a cautious approach, plan to move away and keep a low profile so they won’t be hounded by requests for financial support.

Some dream about taking the big payoff all at once, not worrying about taxes. They are in a state of euphoria figuring out how they’ll “manage” to live on thousands of dollars a day for the rest of their lives.

Others, thinking more conservatively, want the payments drawn out.

I’m a dreamer also.

Every time people around me open up their wallets and pocketbooks to buy as many tickets as possible, I look forward to all the things I’ll be able to buy and do because I no longer throw any money away on lotteries with little chance of winning.

I WASN’T ALWAYS SO SMART and thrifty. For several years, decades ago, I figured out what I thought was a lucky combination of numbers and purchased a couple of twice-a-week lottery season tickets in Massachusetts.

The nice thing was this way you didn’t have to keep track of the winning numbers. If you won, the state would send your check with your proceeds.

It was, for a while, fun to hope in the back of your mind when you sorted through the daily mail you’d see an envelope form the state lottery commission with your winnings. I think, however, in four years, I only received one check for the measly total of $25.

The biggest problem is that once you have that special combination of numbers automatically entered for each of the weekly drawings, you are afraid to not renew. You can’t avoid fearing the week you drop out is when the season ticket comes through.

I finally, however, did have the will-power to quit. But I think it was more of a case of losing track of when the payments for extending had to be sent in. Once out of the lottery, I never checked the numbers again for fear I’d see my combination ending up being the winner after I had quit.

ABOUT AS FAR AS I GO these days for pursuing an instant fortune is taking a few minutes to paste the correct stickers on the Publishers’ Clearly House contest entry forms.

It doesn’t cost anything except a little bit of time and a 47-cent postage stamp. I never even consider any of the magazine deals they offer.

Supposedly, when Ed McMahon was the contest’s pitchman he would drive up to the winner’s house to present the big check.

I maintained hope that one day I would answer the door and be greeted by Johnny Carson’s jovial old TV sidekick.

Unfortunately, McMahon died in 2009 at age 86 and I’ll have to settle for a lesser celebrity to deliver the big check when I win.

COMPARED WITH MOST people, I’ll bet I’ve saved thousands of dollars over the years not joining in office lottery pools or buying quick picks and scratch tickets.

If it’s true that the lotteries boost our town and cities with financial support, I applaud and encourage people to keep buying up the tickets. The more money others spend on lottery tickets, the more I'm probably saving on taxes.

Believe me, I’m not jealous any time someone I know says they’ve won even as little as $500 from some type of lottery ticket.

What they are not saying say is how many losing tickets they’ve purchased.

In the general scheme of things, they have probably, overall, lost more than they’ve won.

THE ONLY TIME THE LOTTERY gets on my nerves is if I’m in a hurry and stuck in a checkout line behind someone selecting 25 scratch tickets. When they deliberate as slowly as if ordering a deluxe supper at an expensive gourmet restaurant, my patience wears thin.

I become even more critically judgmental when a few minutes later I see that person sitting in their car tossing out all the losing scratch tickets on to the parking lot.

In addition to the money they have wasted on the worthless tickets, they should be fined for littering.

IT’S NOT EASY refusing to play the lottery.

Numerous times I have been hounded and badgered by co-workers who team up to buy a number of tickets to increase their chances of winning a jumbo payoff ticket.

They are unable to understand how I can even consider refusing to contribute into the pot.

“You’ll be sorry. You will be the only person at work tomorrow after we win,” I have been warned more than once.

Funny thing is the next day they always show up at work.

And they have several dollars less to spend on their coffee and lunch.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

We should make our Internet email system more secure and stop whining about hacking

What would be a safe topic for Trump and Obama to talk about on their ride together to the Inauguration?

New York Times feature on Golden State Basketball Coach Steve Kerr is a landmark profile

By David Maril

While wondering how former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders expects to continue playing a key role in shaping policy for the Democrats when he remains an Independent and still hasn’t joined the party, it’s interesting to note the following.

THE SCOOP of the New Year would be if someone could record the conversation between outgoing President Barack Obama and the incoming one, Donald Trump, on the 10 minute ride on Jan. 20th to the inauguration.

This could be the most contentious presidential inauguration commute since 1953, when Harry Truman was turning over the White House keys to Dwight Eisenhower. After a rocky transition period, ’Give Em Hell Harry’ and Ike had differed over a number of things, including what type of head-gear, homburg or traditional top hat, to wear to the ceremony.

Obama is obsessed with seeing his healthcare and progressive legacy, built heavily through executive orders, preserved. Trump wants to put America in a time machine and travel back to the 1950s.

The two obviously do not like each other and you wonder if they will break out into a fight over who would have won if Obama had been able to run for a third term.

Maybe they will argue over whether the Russians are guilty of email hacking.

If they can at least agree on music, maybe loud stereo speakers will save the day.

WHILE THE EVIDENCE points heavily to the Russians being guilty of hacking into the emails of Democratic Party officials during Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the focus on the issue is all wrong.

Instead of whining, pointing fingers, and trying to come up with lame, cumbersome and ineffective ways of punishing Russia, the solution should be to take measures to improve cyber security.

Unfortunately in the real world, expectations are that foreign governments are always going to continue this type of surveillance, striving for successful attacks on privacy. The answer is to strengthen national defense minimizing and eliminating this threat of cyberattacks by developing better, more secure technology.

By complaining, pontificating and making accusations about all that Russian President Vladimir Putin has done, it makes the United States look weak and encourages more of these types of actions.

Making such a big public deal plays right into Putin’s hands, giving him the appearance of having the power to influence an American election

IT TURNS OUT the wall Trump was promising to build has nothing to do with Mexico. Instead, it is actually his construction of a direct connection to Wall Street.

Good thing Trump is an outsider and not a Washington insider. As an outsider he has “limited” himself to converting his inner circle into the DC annex of Wall Street.

Trump is starting to make Hillary Clinton, who he criticized for being too close to Wall Street, look like a rural populist.

WE CAN’T LET 2016 fade completely away without saluting former House Speaker John Boehner for issuing the nickname of the year. It is true Trump made insulting, and at times, somewhat clever nicknames his trademark.

However, the usually good-natured Boehner unloaded with the toughest zinger of all.

After Boehner retired from the House, he stopped hiding his true opinion of the sanctimonious, ruthless and self-centered Ted Cruz. His description of the Texas senator “Lucifer In The Flesh,” drew quite a few chuckles from insiders in both parties.

JOHN BRANCH’S poignant, profound and comprehensive feature on Golden State Warriors basketball coach Steve Kerr on the cover of SportsSunday in the Dec. 25th New York Times is one of the best profiles ever written in a daily newspaper.

In the glitzy, NBA world of hype and inflated celebrity status, Kerr’s intelligent and perceptive sense of perspective is refreshing and hopeful.

WHILE MARVIN MILLER, the man who revolutionized modern baseball securing players’ rights and fair-market salaries, is shunned for selection to the Hall of Fame, former Owner-Commissioner Bud Selig easily gets in.

Selig’s plaque should note he was the Steroids Commissioner, looking the other way, and praising many of the sluggers, later shunned, when homer records were being smashed while performance enhancers were in heavy use.

A GOOD NEW YEAR’S resolution for any network, like CNN, that is trying to fairly cover news would be to do a better job of separating journalists and commentators from political activists.

In fact, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to either cut back on the activists’ air time or eliminate them completely. You know what they are going to say on any issue before they even speak. It’s just wasted air time.

BASEBALL INNOVATOR BRANCH RICKEY often used a the term, “addition by subtraction” when a team would lose a player who was overrated.

When TV personality Megan Kelly rejected a $20 million offer from Fox News, to extend her contract, the conservative cable network won on two fronts.

While Kelly will eventually report for duty at NBC, Fox saved a ton of money and won’t suffer losses in the ratings. Veteran conservative commentator Tucker Carlson, who takes over her time-slot, has a built in audience. People who lean to the right, have no where else to go if they want coverage slanted in their direction.

Fox, a cable ratings giant, offers mostly entertainment, thinly disguised as news. With the exception of a few serious journalists, like Chris Wallace and Brit Hume, the on-air roster consists of popular blowhards who know how to hold their audiences.

It will be interesting to see if Kelly, who is more an intruding personality than a journalist, fits in at NBC. At the peacock network, she won’t have a loyal, captive conservative audience.

WHO IS THE GENUIS who came up with eliminating anchor desks from newscasts? Sometimes when a news telecast begins with an anchor like CBS’ Scott Pelley standing in the middle of an open floor holding a script, it looks as if someone played a prank and is hiding his chair. Or maybe the bills were not paid and the furniture was repossessed.

Instead of worrying about a modern, interactive look, stepping out to you, the viewer, how about a focus on stories and content? That’s what the shrinking news audience seeks. And the number of viewers will continue to decrease without better, more relevant coverage,

JUST A THOUGHT, but you have to wonder how much satisfaction Marco Rubio must be getting from Chris Christie’s excursion into obscurity.

When Christie, doing Trump a favor by cross-examining Rubio in a debate right out of the Republican presidential primary campaign, it looked as if the Florida U.S. Senator was pretty much finished in politics. Several months later, however, Rubio decided to seek reelection in the senate and won.

Christie, meanwhile, was considered for a Trump inside post but dumped when the George Washington Bridge traffic scandal resurfaced in the news. Christie is no longer popular in New Jersey and couldn’t run for reelection as governor anyway because of term limits.

While Rubio keeps all of his future political options alive, returning to the senate, there’s nothing on the table for Christie.

Maybe Rudy Giuliani, another former Trump cheerleader, can find a spot for Christie with his business dealings. Or perhaps Newt Gingrich, also a Trump alumnus, can tutor him on becoming an overpaid TV political second-guesser.

TIM KAINE IS ANOTHER former national headliner who, like Rubio, is returning to the comforts of the U.S. State.

Kaine, who was Hillary Clinton’s nominee for vice president, was not used properly during the campaign. Instead of being able to showcase his diverse, experienced background and thoughtful demeanor, he was put into an attack dog role and it did little for the ticket.

THE NEW PRESIDENTIAL STANDARDS introduced by Trump of not taking literally what is said makes you think of John Mitchell.

Richard Nixon’s controversial attorney general during the Watergate years proclaimed, “Judge us by what we do, not what we say.”

That seems even more relevant today.

WHY IS THE GOVERNMENT getting involved with pressuring airlines to allow cell phone calls on flights?

Most passengers and members of crews don't want this, preferring peace and quiet instead of the echoes of babbling reverberating through the airplane.

So much for taking naps.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

2017 calendar arrives crammed with mixture of surprises and big events

Trump to dominate world news and politics will never be the same

We have not heard the last from Hillary Clinton as the media is challenged to do its job

By David Maril

ONE of the great perks of formerly being in the newspaper business is all the great anonymous sources you develop over the years that remain readily available to provide inside information.

With 2017 on the scene, here’s a guide and calendar with highlights culled from an army of experts, inside traders and outside traitors.

JANUARY

4th: With several cases of flu already reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns of a flu season more severe than usual, stressing the importance of the flu vaccine and washing hands.

5th: Stocks in companies that make disinfectant handiwipes are up more than $15 a share.

11th: Legal experts predict the TV network battle over who owns the rights to the “swoosh” sound used on sports broadcasts, accompanying graphics, will wind up in front of the Supreme Court.

15th: One town in Eastern Pennsylvania makes history by having three Dunkin Donuts so close together they share the same parking lot.

20th: After having the words of Lavern Baker’s 1950’s hit changed to “Tweetly Dee,” Donald Trump makes it the official introduction tune of his presidency. It is played at his inauguration and is to be performed in the future by the White House and military bands, replacing “Hail to the Chief.”

22nd: Hillary Clinton, appearing on Face The Nation, Meet The Press, Fox Sunday News and State Of The Union, says she’s ready to resume the serenity of life as a private citizen and is now at peace with herself knowing she won the popular vote against Donald Trump.

27th: Hillary Clinton announces on ABC’s 20/20 program she is running for president in 2020.

FEBRUARY

3rd: Former Secretary of State John Kerry denies rumors that he has two look-alike fill-ins to help with security that also make him appear as if he’s in more than one place at a time

7th: Persistently pestered about whether he’s going to rescind Pete Rose’s lifetime ban for gambling from baseball, Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred says the odds are 10-1 against it because he is repulsed by any hint of betting.

10th: A government task force studying homeland security recommends adapting the blueprint used by many NFL teams in scrutinizing the use of tickets by their season ticket holders.

13th: Trump downplays the threat of Global Warming and says he knows more than the scientists, who are a bunch of losers.

15th: A costly, six-year government study on loan practices reveals consumers are most vulnerable borrowing money when they are short of cash.

18th: A national association of telemarketers wants to repeal the anti-telemarketing “Do Not Call” bill, saying it is a threat to the health and fitness of the American public. “For many people, the only exercise they get is when we call, making them get up from the dinner table,” a spokesman explains.

21st: PBS schedules Ken Burns’ new 15-part, 25-hour documentary on the role badminton has played in the American way of life, to air on Monday nights.

25th: When questioned why cable rates keep going up, an industry spokesman explains, “We are continually adding new channels, like the Yodeling Network, Dinosaur Channel and Road Shopping Network.

MARCH

2nd: A poll in USA Today reveals that after the surprise victory of Donald Trump in the presidential election, 75 percent of Americans don’t believe polls are accurate.

6th: Despite an early startup of the flu season at the end of 2016, national health officials admit cases ended up actually being a little below normal.

14th: NBC, which is still airing Law And Order SVU, announces a new Law and Order spin-off show, called “Law and Order: SUV”. The series will deal exclusively with cases involving people who own heavy-duty, all-wheel drive vehicles.

19th: After Trump admits that Vladimir Putin is the world leader he most respects, Mitt Romney, suddenly ends his peace treaty with Trump and goes back on the attack. He resurrects his comments about “Trump’s bullying, greed, showing off, and absurd third grade theatrics.”

21st: After having dinner with Trump and discussing a possible post as U.S. Secretary of the Olympics, Romney says he has been "impressed by what I have seen and that President Trump is the very man who can lead us to that better future.”

25th: As plans are finalized to schedule the tearing down of the original Tappan Zee Bridge when the new one opens, a group of preservationists get a court order to halt the demolition, insisting the roadway at the northern end of the Garden State Parkway is a historic landmark and treasure.

APRIL

1st: Green Party nominee Jill Stein says there is controversy remaining over the presidential voting results from Texas and demands a recount.

6th: A star Russian marathon runner, who is a refugee from China and admits to hacking the Democratic Party’s emails during the 2016 election campaign, says he plans a lawsuit against Trump for implying he’s 400 pounds and sits around all day.

13th: The Florida Marlins announce that with attendance down, they have no other choice but to raise ticket prices drastically in the future.

20th: U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, says that despite all the criticism from the Republicans, opinion polls prove a majority of Americans believe Obamacare is a good thing.

23rd: When asked why the latest opinion polls show a growing number of voters worry about the federal budget deficit and are becoming skeptical of big-spending programs, Schumer says polls are meaningless and he doesn’t pay any attention to them.

29th: Federal regulators make it mandatory, beginning with 2018 models, for all hybrid cars to be equipped with sound-speakers that play recordings of truck motors roaring when the cars are in their electric modes. This way pedestrians will be able to hear the clean-air vehicles coming.

MAY

2nd: CBS has to deal with an age discrimination lawsuit against “60 Minutes” that claims that not enough on-air talent under 65 are considered when full-time jobs open up.

6th: Despite the early startup of the flu season at the beginning of 2017, national health officials admit cases ended up actually being below normal.

8th: Fox business commentator Lou Dobbs is hired as an honorary Mexico border patrol guard.

14th: A research project done by a media consultant company reveals that Barack Obama holds a 97-0 lead over George W. Bush in number of TV appearances for the first three months out of the presidential office.

20th: Another request by Amtrak for stimulus money to implement an upgrade project in the Northeastern corridor, that would remove half a million cars off the highways each day, is rejected by Trump and the GOP Congress because it has the support of environmental advocates.

28th: Trump invites Soviet President Vladimir Putin for a two-day visit at the White House and most of the time is spent with him teaching his guest how to tweet.

JUNE

3rd: A special translator, usually one of Trump’s staffers, becomes part of every public speaking appearance by the president to put the right spin on his words for American audiences. “We don’t want the public jumping to the wrong conclusions, taking his words literally,’’ a staffer explains.

8th: Manfred announces all MLB post-season games will start after 9 pm to maximize prime time audience slots and commercial revenue.

14th: Trump says that even though it’s only the crooked, lying media that cares, and not the voters, he plans to release his tax returns in the near future.

20th: Fox Sports is experimenting with six broadcasters in a booth for their college football broadcasts.

25th: Martha Raddatz hosts the program so frequently, ABC considers changing the name of its news program to “Sunday Morning without George Stephanopoulos.”

JULY

3rd: After several weeks of panels made up strictly of political activists and radio show opinion hosts, NBC renames its Sunday news show to “Where Is The Press?”

9th: With all of her excuses and finger-pointing for her defeat in the presidential election, Hillary Clinton wins the not so coveted “Poorest Loser” Award from the Sour Grapes Association. Trump, a few days earlier, dismissed his trophy as “Worst Winner”, given by the Sportsmanship Association, calling the group a bunch of chokers and losers.

15th: Trump says that even though it’s only the crooked, lying media that cares, and not the voters, he plans to release his tax returns in the near future.

20th: When accused of having too many conflicts of interest because of his connections to businesses while he is in the White House, Trump says his only conflict of interest is which football game to watch when two or more are on at the same time,

25th: Senator Elizabeth Warren accuses Republicans who vote against a Wall Street financial regulation bill she introduces as corrupt and evil and then complains about the lack of civility in Congress.

30th: Bernie Sanders insists he should be considered the leader of the Democrats despite refusing to officially become a member of the party.

AUGUST

3rd: Trump disputes the international findings that there is wide-spread Russian doping in the Olympics.

8th: In response to the criticism of him not attending security briefings, Trump, who says he “knows more than the generals,” begins scheduling his own sessions where he provides the military, CIA and FBI with his own updates.

13th: Actor Alec Baldwin, who has been praised for his impersonation of Trump on Saturday Night Live, says he will challenge Hillary in 2020.

19th: A study by one of the new think tanks reveals that 30 percent of successful politicians are skilled ventriloquists, adept at speaking out of both sides of their mouth.

24th: Trump says that even though it’s only the crooked, lying media that cares, and not the voters, he plans to release his tax returns in the near future.

29th: A White House spokesperson says people should not jump to conclusions just because a Labor Secretary is anti-labor, the Housing Secretary is anti-housing, the Education Secretary isn’t a big proponent of expanding public education, and most of the diplomats seldom practice diplomacy. He insists rumors are untrue White House chauffeurs will be hired without driving licenses, chefs brought on who have never cooked, judges appointed with no law degrees, and a surgeon general is about to be named who is a holistic healer.

SEPTEMBER

5th: A distant Trump cousin builds a Ritz Hotel in Moscow and arranges to have weekly appearances by the Soviet President called “Putin On the Ritz”.

12th: Weary of being criticized for communicating with the public only through rallies and tweets, Trump announces he will hold his own brand of weekly press conferences. The format will be the opposite of traditional. He will ask the media questions instead of them interrogating him.

18th: Leaked email documents, aided by China hackers, embarrass Trump and he demands a congressional investigation.

23rd: A fifth removed cousin of Trump opens a lucrative chain of luxury hotels in metropolitan centers around the world named Trump’s Presidential Suites.

28th: The decision to allow passengers permission to use cellphones on flights is so unpopular, several airlines institute higher fares for flights that don’t allow the babbling.

OCTOBER

3rd: One consumer group reveals that none of the celebrity spokespeople making commercials for Reverse Mortgages have ever owned a house.

9th: Trump says that even though it’s only the crooked, lying media that cares, and not the voters, he plans to release his tax returns in the near future.

16th: Vice President Mike Pence is recognized by a national press association as being the all-time most uninformative interview guest. Pence is credited with consistently sticking only to talking points, deftly changing the subject and always able to avoid answering questions.

23rd: A new dietary study reveals that a diet rich with deep-fried foods is not the threat to health originally believed by the medical world.

26th: A research project completed by a prestigious medical association announces that greasy foods are responsible for obesity and over 15 different diseases and health ailments.

NOVEMBER

1st: Several national store chains begin offering 24-hour Christmas special deals, opening at midnight.

9th: Disgraced Wake Forrest football radio analyst Tommy Elrod, who was let go for giving away game information to opposition teams, gets a job with WikiLeaks.

23rd: The highlight of the Thanksgiving Parade in New York is a giant Trump float featuring a 50-foot sized figure of the president.

26th: Prime time World Series TV ratings for the Giants and Indians World Series showed a drop in number of viewers under age 18, from 40 percent the year before to 1 percent.

DECEMBER

5th: To smooth over tattered relations with China, Trump visits the Great Wall. He meets with the country’s top officials to help with his design for building a wall on the border to Mexico he has promised his supporters. His plan for financing includes selling ads on the wall.

14th: A new network, available only on line, will combine fishing and golf and be called “Fish And Chips.” The creators boast it will be the only true “streaming” network.

21st: Trump says that even though it’s only the crooked, lying media that cares, and not the voters, he plans to release his tax returns in the near future.

28th: Calendar for 2018 arrives.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Holiday season is appropriate time to recognize quality work and extra effort

While it’s easy to criticize, making the effort to praise and show appreciation are too often overlooked

Making it a practice to always recognize and acknowledge a job well done is a worthwhile New Year’s resolution

By David Maril

As we proceed through the New Year’s holiday season in general, many of us are weary from making decisions about what to buy for gifts. You want to surprise members of the family and friends but on the other hand it’s disappointing if the gift is something not needed or wanted.

The high number of returned merchandise is responsible for the increase in shoppers who settle for gift certificates that can be used for whatever the person wants.

It’s a tough season of decisions related to gifts, donations and end of year expenses. We are besieged with requests for charitable donations. It’s the season when hundreds of worthwhile organizations need help. Often when you support one charity, your name is automatically added to other request lists and you almost need a wheelbarrow to carry in all the mail asking for dominations each day.

Many of these organizations are having an even tougher time than usual, and behind on their fundraising because people have already been called upon donations related to needed relief funds that are highlighted in the news.

THEN THERE ARE THE DECISIONS about gifts for people who perform services. If you still receive a daily printed newspaper, there’s the person who is out there in all kinds of weather, getting the paper in the vicinity of your front door every day. If they have not thrown the newspaper on the roof or broken a window, some type of a holiday bonus is due. But how much?

What about your mailman or mailwoman, providing postal delivery in rain, sleet and snow?How many others who do work for you deserve some type of reward? Perhaps you have a reliable, trustworthy mechanic who takes a special interest in giving fairly priced service for your car.

PERHAPS LOST IN ALL THESE MONETARY deliberations is the importance of simple recognition and appreciation for extra effort and quality work. This doesn’t necessarily mean money. Too often we take the easy, impersonal way out, simply writing a check and mailing it off to someone.

Here’s a different option to consider.

If someone has done a good job for you, take some time and call up the person’s boss and tell them you appreciate the quality work that was completed.

Better yet, write a letter.

We are all quick to call in complaints, fire off emails or write letters of criticism when shoddy work is performed. When we have a gripe, it doesn’t take much motivation to contact a business and express displeasure.

But what about when something is done well?

Some will say that’s what we are paying for.

But you know you don’t always gets what you have paid for. There is a lot of mediocre work being done by people going through the motions who just don’t care.

When you do encounter a person who is conscientious and takes the extra effort to provide a quality service, show your appreciation and make sure recognition is received.

HERE ARE A couple of examples.

I had been dealing with a mechanic in a car service department for years. After a series of significant repairs were done efficiently and at fair prices, I decided to write the owner of the dealership a letter, praising the mechanic and the work he had been doing over the years.

The owner was impressed enough to call the mechanic in and read the letter to him. The mechanic felt good about receiving recognition of his work from his boss and had to be gratified a customer appreciated the job he was doing.

Ten years later, this mechanic is now the service foreman at a large dealership in New England. I still take my Jeep, which has over 376,000 miles on it, to him for service.

I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I started this practice of trying to recognize extra effort and quality work.

I had a chimney, connected to a fireplace insert stove, cleaned and was impressed enough with the meticulous care the technician took to call the company and praise the way the job was done.

When I began the phone conversation I could tell the company representative was expecting a complaint and gearing up to go on the defensive. I heard a sigh of surprise and relief when she realized I was calling to praise the technician and not blast him.

“Oh, I’ll tell him about your call and I will also make sure the owner hears about this.,” she said. “We really appreciate this type of feedback.”

It’s even more appreciated because unfortunately companies seldom hear positive feedback from the public when it is merited.

It’s so easy to do but something we never think about.

WORKING FOR YEARS IN THE NEWSPAPER BUSINESS, you learn very quickly that you seldom hear reaction when you write or produce something good, even when it is appreciated, But when you make a mistake, misspell a name, or make someone feel slighted, the phone never stops ringing and emails full of criticism come pouring in.

Keeping this in mind, whenever I read what I consider an especially well written or informative column or investigative article, I will quickly email the journalist. I can tell by their responses they appreciate an occasional communication of praise to go along with all the criticism they generally receive. The same holds true with TV journalists.

So why not, going through this holiday period, make a list of the people who have done exemplary work for you and call their companies to spread the word to their bosses that you appreciate their work?

In fact, here’s an even better idea. Next year don’t limit this practice to the holiday season.

The other day, ordering over the phone children’s subscription gifts for a number of kids’ magazines, I encountered an extremely helpful person in customer service. In these days of mechanized prompts and impersonal computerized customer service, her assistance was impressive.

She took so much time explaining the different purchase options, I asked to be switched to her management supervisor, after the transaction was completed, and left a message of how terrific she had been. It is important for people to know that quality work and extra efforts are appreciated and should be recognized.

ONE YEAR WHEN I WAS WORKING early evening newspaper shifts, I used to stop in a takeout restaurant, with another copy editor, to pick up dinner that could be heated later in the microwave.

It didn’t take long to notice when one particular person, Adam, was managing behind the counter, the ordering process went quickly and smoothly. It didn’t matter whether there were three people in line or 30 when Adam was on duty. Although the youngest employee in this restaurant, he was also the most courteous and efficient and would step in at the right time to aid co-workers who were struggling.

On the days Adam, the restaurant’s assistant manager, was off, the line took forever, even if there were just a couple of customers.

I called up the company’s corporate office to praise Adam’s job performance and impact on the restaurant. The restaurant chain executive thanked me and said Adam would be automatically nominated for employee of the month award.

A month later, Adam was transferred to another branch and named manager. Perhaps putting in the good word for a deserving person contributed in a small way to the promotion.

Why not as a New Year’s resolution take the time to offer praise and recognition whenever it is merited? It offers you a feeling of balance and fairness when paired with all the instances where you are motivated to complain about something.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

​Voters in baseball’s Hall of Fame election are only qualified to judge former players on talent and their play on the field

It is up to Cooperstown Hall of Fame officials to determine character and integrity when certifying who is on the ballot

Eight nominees, including Bonds,
Clemens and Sosa, will be voted for on this writer’s 2017 Hall of Fame ballot

By David Maril

A few days after Thanksgiving, if you are one of approximately 500 participants in the voting for baseball’s Hall of Fame, the ballot arrives quietly in the mail.

There’s no danger of the voting being sabotaged by Internet hacking from Russia or crooked election officials tampering with ballots. Even better, voters don’t have to deal with months of attack ads on TV trashing the skills of one retired player in comparison with another.

However, election to baseball’s Hall of Fame shrine in Cooperstown is an extremely difficult journey. To be inducted, a player must receive votes on at least 75 percent of the ballots. The active and retired members of the Baseball Writers Association of America who vote are allowed to pick up to 10 former players on their ballot each year. They also have the option to not vote for anyone.

A special panel selects the former players who are eligible each year to be on the ballot. Former players must be retired five years and can stay on the ballot 10 times for consideration as long as they receive a minimum of five percent of the votes from the preceding year.

HAVING COVERED MAJOR LEAGUE baseball actively for over 25 years, I have been a Hall of Fame voter since the 1980s. To vote, you must have been a BBWA member and covered major league baseball for 10 straight years. Once qualified as a voter, you are allowed to continue up to 10 years after no longer actively covering games.

This electorate is a tough bunch. Last year, only two players, Ken Griffey Jr. and Mike Piazza, received enough votes to win election. Griffey, who is probably baseball’s most flawless modern-day all-around outfielder, had to settle for 99.3 percent of the vote. Only in the BBWA would a couple of voters find a reason not to select him.

In making our selections of who to vote for, we are supposed to consider statistics and special achievements along with judgements we have made as sports journalists covering the games.

One of the biggest gray, or undefined, areas in voting is consideration of the character factor. We are instructed to make selections based on “the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.”

While I feel comfortable, as a former baseball writer, on assessing talent and players’ impacts in games, their character and integrity are a lot more difficult to determine. Not being a licensed detective, criminal investigator or doctor, I refrain from considering off-field rumors and accusations related to such categories as use of banned steroids and other performance enhancers.

In my opinion, it’s up to the Hall of Fame panel to screen candidates who do not meet the minimum standards of the character and integrity categories.

For example, this is how the Pete Rose situation has been handled. He was formally investigated for gambling charges and has been banned from baseball and kept off the Hall of Fame ballot. People ask me all the time whether I vote for Rose. I answer that if baseball’s hierarchy at some point determines he is no longer banned from baseball and is put on the ballot, I will vote for him. His statistics as a player put him among the all-time greats. But until his association with baseball is formally restored, I would not write his name in on a ballot. He has to be formally included as a candidate.

MANY OF THE OTHER HALL OF FAME voters feel differently. If you examine the balloting the past few years and see that retired superstars like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, and Sammy Sosa have fallen short of the totals needed for induction, it’s obvious they consider themselves qualified in determining character.

I would ask those voters who take their roles seriously as guardians of the Cooperstown gates, how many of the current members in the Hall would be left standing if character was professionally investigated. When you start digging too deeply into such an undefined area, it opens the door to hypocrisy, inconsistencies and a lot of politics.

Another area I would differ with some voters on is the concept that there are two categories of inductees. There remains a strong belief that the honor of induction in the first year a player is eligible is reserved only for the special immortals such as Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Ty Cobb, and Walter Johnson. The thinking is the majority should not be voted in until their second, third or fourth ballot years.

I totally disagree with this. A former player is either a Hall of Famer or not. And the last time I checked, there isn’t a separate gallery at Cooperstown for players inducted in their first year of eligibility.

THIRTY-FOUR FORMER PLAYERS are on the 2017 Hall of Fame ballot. In all, I will vote for eight. Several of them are easy.

No matter how loud the talk of using performance enhancers surrounds Bonds, unless baseball officials ban him from the game, he’s an obvious Hall of Famer. Bonds is the home run king for a career (762) and single season (73). The 14-time All-Star outfielder, who earned eight gold gloves, is the only player to have won seven National League MVP awards. Despite all of this, he only received 44.3 percent of votes last year.

Roger Clemens also gets my vote and his ballot situation is as absurd as Bonds. Clemens owns seven Cy Young Awards, a 354-184 career record, an American League MVP trophy, and an incredible 3.09 lifetime ERA.

Sosa, also under a cloud of controversy, is another former player I always vote for. He’s eighth on the all-time home run list (609). And if character is a problem why was he selected as a winner of the Roberto Clemente and Henry Aaron awards during his career?

I continue to vote for former pitcher Mike Mussina. The things people, especially in Baltimore, forget is his 270-153 career record is almost the same as Oriole great Jim Palmer (268-152). Granted, Palmer was a more dominating pitcher. However, it should be noted that Mussina played a good portion of his career in Camden Yards, which is a launching pad for home runs. Also, some of the 10 years he spent with the Orioles were during a rebuilding period for the team.

Ivan Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez, and Trevor Hoffman, all making their first ballot appearances, will also get my vote.

“Pudge” Rodriguez is another definite Hall of Fame pick considering talent and winning contributions on the field. The 14-time All-Star catcher, making his first appearance on the Cooperstown ballot, won 13 gold gloves in 21 seasons of stellar play. He holds numerous records for longevity as a catcher and had a powerful arm.

With Guerrero, it is impossible to ignore nine All-Star seasons, a league MVP award and a .318 career batting average.

A .312 career batting average, 555 home runs and 12 All-Star appearances outweigh criticism of Ramirez for his inconsistent defense and quirky style of play.

Trevor Hoffman is one of the great all-time relievers with 601 saves and a 3.09 earned run average.

THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER candidates that merit strong consideration but I think come up a bit short.

The bottom line on pitcher Curt Schilling, who was a workhorse and always seems to be in the news, is he was 216-146, a good but hardly all-time great career record.

Gary Sheffield, Edgar Martinez, Jeff Bagwell, Jeff Kent, Magglio Ordonez Larry Walker and Fred McGriff all were punishing hitters but, in my mind, come up a little short.

The toughest former player not to vote for is outfielder Tim Raines, a seven-time All-Star who was a master base stealer.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

​No matter what is making headlines today, November 22 is a date that demands reflection for many of us


The tragedy and ramifications
of JFK’s assassination 53 years ago are still being felt

It can be argued that the political movement of suspicion, negativity and intolerance that swept Donald Trump to a presidential election victory was born on the day Kennedy was gunned down


By David Maril

I never thought I would think this, but with all the turmoil and uncertainty surrounding the aftermath of our contentious election season, it’s almost a welcome diversion thinking back to the national period of mourning we experienced when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, 53 years ago.

November 22 will always have strong significance for those of us who were old enough in 1963 to absorb the impact. Every year when the date of Nov. 22 approaches on the calendar, the memories of the tragedy return. We recall where we were and what we were doing when we heard of the shooting. Many of us still remember those black-and-white television images of people, for three days, standing on street corners, sobbing.

Although this was long before the days of the Internet, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and around-the-clock TV news coverage, everyone camped-out in front of their televisions, watching this grim saga unfold, hoping that Walter Cronkite or Chet Huntley and David Brinkley could make some sense of the tragedy.

The usually unflappable Cronkite came close to crying when he first read the bulletin that Kennedy had died. Huntley, usually an anchorman of strict formality, was moved enough to go off on a tangent, editorializing about the dangers of hate and violence in the country.

From Friday afternoon through the graveside ceremony on Monday, the nation listened to a soundtrack of muffled drumbeats and somber military hymns accompanying the sad images of JFK’s family in shock and mourning.

WHETHER OR NOT YOU AGREED with Kennedy politically, there is no question he was a charismatic figure. After the drab Eisenhower years, the youthful Kennedy conveyed optimism and — one of his favorite words — vigor. Perhaps his most positive legacy is influencing many young people to make sacrifices and become interested in public service, bolstering such organizations as the Peace Corp.

Kennedy’s death, not even three years into his first term as president, accelerated a growth of cynicism with politics and government. It’s not far-fetched to theorize that the national movement of suspicion, negativity and intolerance that helped sweep Donald Trump to a presidential election victory, was born on Nov. 23, 1963.

Before Kennedy’s body had even been flown from Dallas to Andrews Air Force base that Friday night, conspiracy theories were already spreading. Although Lee Harvey Oswald had been arrested and was the chief suspect, many Americans believed he was either a pawn or being used as a scapegoat to draw attention away from the true assassins.

The paranoia increased with the unbelievable sight, on live national television, of Oswald being shot as he was moved to a different jail location, by Jack Ruby. The ineffectiveness of the Dallas police in preventing Oswald’s murder made the possibility of a conspiracy and a coverup seem even more likely.

FOLLOWING OVER HALF A CENTURY of commission reports, investigations, miles of film footage, hundreds of books and dozens of documentaries, the numerous conspiracy theories remain strong today. They include:

Kennedy was hit by more than one assassin.

The CIA was behind the assassination because Kennedy was considered too liberal and a threat to the organization’s power.

It was the Mafia, as payback for Kennedy not fulfilling campaign promises he’d made.

Lyndon Johnson set the whole thing up so he could become president.

It was a right-wing hate group.

It was a Communist plot, tied in with the hard-line stance against Fidel Castro.

It was related to retaliation for foreign assassination plots the U.S. was accused of supporting.

THE FACT MANY RECORDS RELATED to the assassination remain sealed have fueled the speculation. Over the years, there have been unsubstantiated reports Kennedy’s body was tampered with after the assassination and photos of his wounds were altered.

After Kennedy’s’ death, unrest and skepticism of the government grew with the division in the country over the war in Vietnam and — in 1968— the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King. This unrest made the JFK years, dominated by family “Camelot” images, seem even more appealing and his assassination a greater tragedy.

And it’s a story that won’t die. John F. Kennedy continues to make news.

In 1999, his son, John Jr., was killed in a plane crash. Revealing books about JFK’s personal life are still being written. When the sealed government records are finally released, more revelations will no doubt surface.

BUT NO MATTER HOW ASTOUNDING any new information is, nothing will be as numbing as the news we heard on that November day in 1963.

Despite worldwide terrorism, assassinations of presidents are not commonplace in our society. Kennedy was only our fourth president to be slain in office.

It’s true many Americans don’t know much about the assassinations of William McKinley and James Garfield. Garfield served less than a year and McKinley, whose biggest claim may have been defeating William Jennings Bryan twice, was overshadowed by Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Riders storming up San Juan Hill.

Although it’s been over 151 years since Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, there’s still significant interest in the details of the event. Historians ponder how the nation’s recovery after the Civil War might have been smoother if Lincoln had been able to serve his full second term. There’s continuing speculation on what the magnitude of Lincoln’s overall accomplishments would have been.

THIS ISN’T TO SAY THAT JFK WAS IN LINCOLN’S CLASS as a president of greatness. He made a major foreign policy mistake, with the Bay of Pigs, early in his term and he was slow, at first, to push for Civil Rights legislation. In recent years his reputation has suffered because of revelations about the controversial prescription drugs he was taking to subdue the pain from his physical ailments. Additionally, the published details about his philandering makes Bill Clinton and Donald Trump seem strait-laced.

Still, Kennedy is an important president because of his leadership impact on the nation. He revived a spirit of optimism and an interest, especially among the young, to pursue public service in this country and all over the world.

After a few stumbles, he grew into the job, standing up against the threat of a U.S. steel strike, holding his own against Khrushchev in the Cuban missile crisis and waking up to the work needed in Civil Rights.

Kennedy, who’d barely defeated Richard Nixon in 1960, was solidifying his overall base. Although he seemed liberal to some, he defied left-wing and right-wing labels. Kennedy once commented the problem with liberals was they didn’t care enough about winning and the problem with conservatives was they didn’t care enough about issues affecting people.

KENNEDY’S ASSASSINATION WAS A SHOCK to this country and shifted the mood from hope and enthusiasm to unrest, cynicism and violence. Historically, there’s even more speculation about Kennedy than Lincoln over what his final accomplishments would have been. Would Kennedy have pulled back from the Vietnam War quagmire? Would all the vigor and positive activism he’d fostered have continued to grow? Would he have been as effective as Lyndon Johnson in passing important Civil Rights legislation?

And, in contrast to Lincoln, the conspiracy issue will always surround Kennedy’s assassination. There’s a public fascination with whether Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone or even was the murderer. It’s no surprise that the Sixth Floor Museum at the former Book depositary, where Oswald fired the fatal shots, is one of the biggest tourist attractions in North Texas.

I believe this continuing interest in the Kennedy assassination is a good sign. Despite the violence and terrorism that is unfortunately such a big part of the modern world, the assassination of a U.S. president is still considered shocking, out of character and unacceptable in our country. If we get to the point where the JFK assassination is relegated to a paragraph or two in American history text books, we’re in big trouble.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Democrats blow it as Trump wins with fewer votes than McCain and Romney received in losses

Party needs fresh, ethical leadership at the top that provides voters with a quality slate of viable candidates

Despite all of his gaffs, Trump proves to be unbeatable because Hillary Clinton was the wrong nominee at the wrong time

By David Maril

On the plus side, we have a much needed break from months of tasteless, obnoxious political TV adds spreading distortions, exaggerations and lies about candidates for president, the Senate and the House.

If not for a classic World Series a few weeks ago, distracting us for a while from the horrible election campaign season, the October news coverage around the country would have been unbearable.

Tom Boswell, the eloquent sports columnist for the Washington Post wrote a terrific book years ago entitled “How Life Imitates the World Series.”

One certainty this year, politics doesn’t come anywhere close to imitating Wold Series behavior and action. With the Cubs defeating the Indians, the Fall Classic was a showcase of mutual respect between likable individuals on a competitive, pressure-packed stage. In contrast, the presidential election was a clinic in bush-league, boorish behavior by both major parties that became an embarrassing and painful process to watch.

Donald Trump, our next president, is the most unqualified person to ever be nominated by a major party for the country’s highest office. His is inexperienced as a political leader, an established blowhard and a trash-talker devoid of etiquette. His campaign was nothing more than pandering, with unworkable empty promises, to the frustrations of those dissatisfied with Washington who feel they have been left behind in the country’s economic structure. He’s the first modern president to refuse to reveal his tax returns and answer questions about his business dealings.

AGAINST ANY OTHER Democrat other than Hillary Clinton, Trump would be busy today getting back to his building and hotel empire and making excuses for his election loss.

This, according to most of the commentators and political experts, was supposed to be the election that spelled the end of the Republican party as we know it. We were spoon-fed the information that the Democrats would reclaim the Senate and had a chance of cutting into the Republican majority in the House. The GOP was described as being in disarray and turmoil, with divisions among Trump backers, the hard-right, and middle-ground traditionalists. Things were so bad, the last three Republican presidential nominees, George W. Bush, John McCain and Mitt Romney, did not even support Trump.

Well, it turned out to be just the opposite. It’s the Democrats who are in disarray without a leader. They failed to take back the Senate, didn’t gain much in the House, and, most importantly, lost the presidency because Hillary was the only candidate around capable of snatching defeat from victory.

ONE THING TRUMP was right about is that the Democratic primary process was rigged. Thanks to the Clinton money and all of their connections, party officials and leaders stacked the deck against anyone else with thoughts of running. Bernie Sanders almost overcame this conspiracy by party officials because of the enthusiasm of his supporters and the genuine tone of his message. Who knows how many other qualified Democrats refrained from throwing their hats into the ring because of the influence of the Clinton political machine?

Hillary was an extremely flawed candidate who had too many negatives. Millions of people who would have supported any reasonable candidate running against a loose-cannon like Trump, were unenthusiastic about Hillary. Overall, she is viewed as a tiresome, ruthless political hack who at best demonstrates a careless, cavalier attitude when it comes to judgment and at worst comes close to breaking the law.

Some will credit Trump’s upset victory to all the new and extra voters he attracted. This, however, is fiction. Trump actually drew fewer votes than McCain and Romney, who were defeated when they ran. The difference was that Hillary, despite a huge advantage in funds and having Bill Clinton, Obama and the first lady, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and an army of flashy celebrities supporting her at rallies, was an unpopular candidate.

HOWEVER, LET’S attempt to be positive. Trump, in his acceptance speech, eliminated his irresponsible and inappropriate rhetoric and seemed presidential. We can only hope that when he assumes the office he does focus on reaching out to all sides and demonstrates a softer, more reasonable tone. It would be a relief if he selects capable advisors and doesn't surround himself in the White House with bitter, insensitive and ambitious hacks like Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Jeff Sessions and Rudy Giuliani.

Another bonus is we will no longer have meals interrupted by phone calls with political messages. Recently in Massachusetts, I even received several calls from Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator, urging me to support a particular local candidate or how to vote on a ballot question.

At first, it seems like quite a distinction getting a call, even recorded, from an influential politician on the national front.

Then, you experience an attitude shift. Just because she is a U.S. Senator doesn’t give her the right to bother me at home.

This opinion becomes even more pronounced when the phone begins ringing more frequently with other political figures calling to have your vote go a certain way. You begin to realize this is an invasion of your time and privacy.

Years ago, when these political taped greetings started surfacing, I received a recorded call from Robert Reich, who was running for governor of Massachusetts. It seemed harmless enough, literally a conversation piece.

Now, however, getting these phone calls is no longer a novelty. The other day when I returned home, I had five voice-mails from candidates and their celebrity supporters.

MAYBE IT’S TIME to turn the tables and start calling these political figures back. If they have access to leaving us phone messages, why shouldn’t we be able to pester them when we have a question or want to deliver an evaluation of their job performances.

We put them in office. They call to tell us to vote. Let’s call them to urge them to work.

The possibilities are endless.

And if we connected with enough of these politicians and celebrities, they might stop bothering us, realizing what a nuisance it is being haunted by unwanted phone calls.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Security and privacy controls need to keep up with frenzied development pace of new technology


The loser of the Clinton-Trump presidential race may turn out to be the winner

Absence in Chicago of day games in World Series schedule robs national audience of experiencing what made the Cubs and Wrigley Field so popular


By David Maril

While wondering whether if our advancing robotic and online technology needs to slow down to give security and privacy controls a chance to catch up for our protection, it is interesting to note the following.

WHAT KIND OF NATIONAL SECURITY do we have when Harold T. Martin III, a 51-year-old NSA contractor, can take classified files home for 20 years, with 50 terabytes of info, without being caught? Donald Trump, if we suffer the misfortune of seeing him elected, could build the biggest wall in world history on the Mexico border and it wouldn’t make a difference in these type of dangerous security breaches right under the NSA noses.

EVERY TIME COMPUTER SYSTEMS are in the news for getting hacked into, I wonder what the rush is to develop robotic, self-driving cars and rely more and more on self-thinking technology that seems susceptible to being taken over.

YOU HAVE TO FIGURE technology people behind the TV shows “Mission Impossible”, many decades ago, were on the right track when the instruction messages on the tape recorder for the agents self-destructed in seconds after being played. The first email server provider that comes up with a timed destruction option that wipes out, in seconds, all traces of a message from memory and Internet existence, would make billions of dollars.

IN MASSACHUSETTS, THE POLITICAL BUREAUCRATS are taking bows, congratulating themselves for replacing all the toll booths on the Mass. Pike and eliminating over 400 full-time jobs. They insist, after commuters navigate through several months of chaos while the booths are coming down, that the change means fewer traffic slowdowns, less air pollution and safer driving conditions. What they don’t say is people will be driving at even higher speeds over the limit and the government will be developing the capability through technology to keep track and compile records of where individuals travel and when. The political hacks will switch from giving each other high-fives to finger pointing if the electronic billing gets tampered with and the system crashes.

HAS THERE BEEN A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN in the modern era that has generated fewer campaign signs and bumper stickers? That is one pretty obvious example of the low regard and lack of enthusiasm the public has for Trump and Hillary Clinton.

STILL, A CAMPAIGN SLOGAN AUTHOR could stay in business using a little humor. For Hillary, how about Oprah Winfrey’s "YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIKE HER." My favorite would be a campaign sign with Hillary’s face that says “THE LESSER OF TWO EVILS.” An appropriate Trump slogan would be “NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK.” In this case, the suckers are his supporters,

CHRIS WALLACE SURPRISED MANY VIEWERS with his superior job moderating Clinton-Trump Debacle III. The fact he works for Fox, a right-wing biased entertainment network masquerading as a news outlet, does not diminish the fact Wallace is a terrific journalist. If he was an anchor on CBS, ABC or NBC, he’d be a respected household name.

ROBBIE MOOK, HILLARY’S campaign manager, wins the Smile of the Year award for being able to project a grinning face 90 percent of the time when on camera. The tougher the question he faces, the wider the smile, accompanied by an “I am glad you asked that. This is something that needs to be asked.” Or, ”That is a great question." It would be interesting to know what he is really thinking. If he doesn't play poker, he's missing a great chance to make a fortune. As bad as the news for Clinton’s camp that the FBI was reopening the investigation into Hillary’s emails, Mook was still able to keep a stiff, upper lip on his smile.

ON THE PLUS SIDE, this presidential election provides the perfect tonic of youth, restoring relevance to SNL. Just when Saturday Night Live appeared tired, worn out and practically obsolete, this strange, often absurd political campaign has supplied the show with fresh, new material. Must of the comedy sketches related to the campaign, especially those mocking the debates, have been hilarious.

ALTHOUGH THIS IS THE ULTIMATE IN CYNICISM, I have to say these two candidates carry so much baggage the winner of the election could, in the long run, be the loser. Hillary Clinton's toxic dripping of embarrassing emails is not going to end after the election and she figures to have distracting and stressful investigations of her careless and decadent way of doing business haunt her through her term in office. For Trump, a victory would mean making a complete fool of himself as he deludes himself into believing he is a popular dictator who can run the country without a trace of tact, wisdom, poise and judgement. The loser of the election can relax and second guess everything from a safe distance. Trump, if he loses as expected, projects to be the worst sport of all time in defeat. He will revel in holding court with his band of loyal negativists, blaming defeat on a rigged system. Hillary, if she loses, can become a high-paid computer consultant for the Clinton Foundation or Wall Street.

THERE’S MUCH IRONY in the fanfare and jubilation surrounding the return of the Chicago Cubs into the World Series national spotlight. It’s true the Cubs draw much sentimental support because they had not won a Worlds Championship since 1908. The real reason, however, for the team’s huge national following goes back to the early 1980s when Chicago’s WGN was a superstation broadcasting almost every single Cubs game as cities and towns throughout the nation were being wired for cable TV for the first time. The colorful, exciting and charismatic Harry Caray, paired with the great baseball color man Steve Stone, introduced the charm and ambiance of Wrigley Field day games to millions of new fans. All the home games were played in the afternoon and fans all over the country, coming home early sometimes from work, would watch day baseball in a stadium with a hand-operated scoreboard and old-fashioned organ music.

Beginning in 1984, with upcoming stars like Ryne Sandberg, the Cubs began playing exciting, competitive baseball. The audiences, with Caray’s unique and straight-from-the-heart-of-a-fan commentary enhancing the game action, continued to grow. Sadly, Caray died in 1999, Stone jumped over to the White Sox, WGN became strictly local and the Cubs now play mostly night games. The real tragedy is that all of the World Series games in Chicago this year, because of advertising and business, were scheduled at night and the national audience was robbed of the chance to witness Wrigley Field’s day-game charm and what made the team so popular in the first place.

IF NFL COMMISSIONER Roger Goodell really wanted to punish the New England Patriots for the deflated football controversy, he'd have suspended Bill Belichick, the coach, for four games instead of quarterback Tom Brady. With Brady out, the Pats were 3-1. When the 39-year-old quarterback returned, he was entering mid-season well rested and in top physical shape for the stretch run. Belichick, the team's mastermind, is the irreplaceable component of the franchise and the Patriots would have struggled a lot more with him banished from games instead of targeting the marquee quarterback.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

In taking action against Billy Bush, NBC displays higher standards than GOP officials connected to the presidential election

There should be no joy in either party over the way Trump has dragged the presidential campaign down the road to mudville

Instead of whining and pointing the finger at suspects over email and computer hacking, the focus should be on correcting the problem and improving security


By David Maril

WHAT DOES IT TELL YOU when NBC, primarily an entertainment TV network, sets higher standards for its on-air employees than the Republican party when it comes to its presidential nominees? NBC suspended, and is terminating the services of lightweight Billy Bush for participating in the gutter-level tape that was uncovered where Trump jokes about his utter lack of respect for women.
The former Today contributor is likely to walk away with a departure settlement up to, according to some sources, $10 million. Not a bad payday for unprofessional behavior.
Trump, meanwhile, continues his embarrassing presidential campaign without any formal discipline from the GOP party moguls. Maybe they could offer him a buyout from running for the presidency.
EVEN THE REACTION AMONG politicians on both sides to Trump’s total absence of presidential decorum, is disappointing. Clinton supporters are showing far too much glee over the disturbing revelations that continue to surface. Sure, it’s something Hillary will capitalize on.
The reality is it makes little difference whether you are a Republican, Democrat, liberal or conservative. Trump’s campaign has been an embarrassment to the nation. There is nothing to be gleeful about. It’s a sad and pathetic situation.
On the GOP side, there’s certainly no glee. But there is also very little display of conscience and integrity. Except for people like Mitt Romney, John McCain, and John Kasich, the majority are testing the political winds to see whether it’s safer for them to denounce Trump and jump off his crumbling bandwagon or stick it out so they don’t hurt their party standing. Very little thought is going into what’s right and what is just not acceptable.
I wish the late Mike Wallace was still with us and could have 10-minutes of airtime for a one-on-one interview with GOP Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence. This guy must dive into a swimming pool of liquid teflon every day so he can be all things to all people and never answer a tough question.
WHILE THE CANDIDATES committed to a third debate, the viewing audience should have refused to participate. If Trump is ever part of another Town Hall forum debate, he should have a fence erected around him so he stays in his own territory when the other candidate is speaking. Another thing that might be helpful is for a candidate’s microphone to be automatically shut off when it’s the turn of the other one to speak.
POLLS ARE THE NEW RAGE. Every TV network, newspaper syndicate and internet media outlet produces them. I'll bet if a poll was taken of voters for and against scrapping the Nov. 8th election date and getting the voting done today, 90 percent would be in favor of immediate action. One thing we can all agree on, it would be nice to end this torture of watching two horrendous candidates insult the intelligence of the American public.
It will be a relief when Trump, in defeat, stops his campaign of ignorance and insults and goes back to what he does best, mugging for the camera on reality TV and bilking whoever he pleases on big business deals. Isn’t it strange that the endorsements and money have not been rolling in to Trump from the business sector. Wasn’t he supposed to be such a giant in the business industry?
If Trump was elected, it would be appropriate, in line with his personal philosophy, for his inauguration speech to include: "Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what your country can do for you."
Almost as big a relief will be Hillary halting her impersonation of a weather vane, shifting on her promises and policy statements according to the political breezes, and disappearing a bit from sight for a few months before the inauguration. Won't it be nice not having to hear her fake southern accent when she campaigns in Florida and the Carolinas?
INSTEAD OF POINTING FINGERS and whining about Russia or whoever is hacking into emails and our computer systems, why isn't the focus on coming up with solutions to improve our cyber-security? The fact that we are so susceptible to all this cyber hacking and meddling is the big disgrace and issue.
Russia spying and trying to interfere in our business? As Claude Rains said in "Casablanca" as he collected his winnings, "Gambling? I am shocked."
While the hacking in and stealing emails to publish to a worldwide audience provides interesting insight into what some of our high profile and powerful people honestly think, the problem is who decides, and why, certain people are exposed. There is no context of fairness when decisions of who gets hacked and embarrassed is done strictly for political motives and personal biases.
From this day on, anyone who puts controversial content into an email is a complete fool.
THE LACK OF PLANNING AND MAKING FINANCIAL commitments to maintaining public transit is surfacing around the country at the same time. Washington DC, New York, New Jersey and Boston are all experiencing equipment breakdowns and safety issues that are a result of necessary maintenance and needed modernization having been swept under the tracks and ignored for too many years.
The Nation’s Capital looked like Hooterville on Green Acres when there was such an issue of being able to provide subway service to fans after a Nationals night playoff game. Subway service, due to repair work, was shut down in the seventh inning,
NATIONALS MANAGER DUSTY BAKER, would have probably liked to have taken a subway out of town following his team’s elimination from the playoffs. Baker, who seldom lasts very long with one team despite an impressive regular season record, has now lost nine consecutive playoff games in which a win would have advanced his team to the next round.
Baker tends at times to over-manage and become involved in aspects that are not part of his job. Years ago as Cubs manager, his complaints about the local telecasts helped make Steve Stone and Chip Caray decide to quit the team’s broadcasting booth.
Baker could do no wrong during his first season in Washington. However, if the Nationals don’t get off to a hot start next year his situation will be interesting to watch.
FOR THE MOST PART, the announcers TBS and FS1 burden us with throughout baseball’s playoffs detract from the game.
TV analysts like to chatter monotonously about the number of pitches a pitcher has thrown. What, however, would be a great innovation is word counts for the babbling broadcasters. They should be given a limit on how much yakking they can do and, if they exceed their limit, they’d be forced to sit in silence, resting their vocal chords, for the next game.
Beside giving the play-by-play announcer some freedom to call the game, the threat of being removed in the early innings might make people like Ron Darling and Cal Ripken more thoughtful and selective in what they have to say.
NO QUESTION THAT DAVID ORTIZ, retiring Red Sox slugger, capped off a tremendous career as a power hitter. Boston, however, displayed a tremendous lack of perspective in commemorating the final stages of his career. To put him in the same class as Ted Williams, the greatest hitter in the history of baseball, is absurd.
Williams was so far above his contemporaries the way he hit for power and average he was practically performing at a level of his own. Ortiz, in contrast, was accompanied by a number of other sluggers in both leagues, hitting the ball into the seats.
Ortiz boosters point to his impressive post-season stats as a reason for him to be put in, or above, William’s class. That’s comparing apples and oranges.
In Williams day, the only post-season games were in the World Series and there were not numerous rounds of league playoff games. The Splendid Splinter only had one opportunity for post-season action.
It should also be pointed out that Williams spent his entire playing career, when he wasn’t losing prime seasons in World War II and the Korean War, playing left-field. Ortiz, on the other hand, spent much of his career resting on the bench as a DH between at-bats.
SPEAKING OF LEGENDS, was there ever a better ambassador for a professional sport than golfing great Arnold Palmer, who recently died at the age of 87?
Palmer ushered golf into the modern television era with his positive, determined and distinctive style, drawing a huge number of fans that became known as Arny’s Army.
Palmer conveyed a warm, honest demeanor and, even up to the end of his life, he was a terrific, likable pitchman for a wide assortment of TV commercials.

David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Trump elevates the status of cheapskates to the genius category


All of us failed to recognize
that being a tightwad and freeloader
is a sign of greatness

Will Trump be able to justify and explain away
his disgusting gutter talk about picking up women the way
he glorified ripping off Uncle Sam with his taxes?


By David Maril

It’s no secret that cheapskates are all around us. You can see them in action at any time or any place every day.

It might be in a long coffee line at the donut shop, watching a customer double-check the change down to the penny, and refusing to leave a tip after torturing the person behind the counter with an order of a dozen different hot and cold items.

Cheapskates are at their best in plush hotels. Often they will hide their luggage around the corner from the lobby desk so they won’t have to pay a bellhop to take suitcases up to their rooms.

While being a cheapskate was considered a bit of a character flaw, it never had the same stigma as being a thief or a liar. Cheapskates have often been the source of jokes and good humor. People love to tell stories about cheapskates they’ve known.

Groucho Marx always gets a laugh in the Marx Brothers movie where he pretends he’s going to give a tip but says, “Here, see this five-dollar bill? Well come back in an hour and I’ll let you see it again.”

Jack Benny made a career in show business drawing a lot of laughs by pretending he was cheap. One of his most famous scenes was his long hesitation when the robber sticks a gun in his ribs and says, “Your money or your life.”

THE INTRIGUING THING about being a cheapskate is that some of the biggest skinflints are comfortably fixed. Donald Trump, the GOP nominee for president, is the most recent example. Before the shockwaves of his lewd, and recorded, comments about forcing himself on women, while married, surfaced, the biggest unconventional revelation was his pride in not paying much, or any, federal income tax.

Here is a multi-millionaire, or billionaire, depending on who you believe, bragging about how smart he is paying a little as possible for taxes. His apologist stooge supporters, like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, even go so far as to describe him as a genius.

Well, that casts a whole new light on being a cheapskate. If being a penny-pincher is a sign of being a genius, we will all have to revise our standards and thinking.

WHEN I WAS A NEWSPAPER sports writer, I had a rather low opinion of of high profile athletes and entertainers who regularly checked vending machines or pay-phones so see if anyone left change.

In covering sports for 25 years it was amazing, and downright humorous the signs of cheapness you’d run into among athletes and in the media.

During the Celtics’ glory days of the 1980s you’d see superstars, making millions of dollars, cramming cans of beer into their overcoat pockets to take home from the locker room after games because it was free. One well-known player was famous for pulling tip-money off restaurant tables and putting it in his pocket if he thought too much had been left.

And all along I had failed to recognize these great athletes were more than freeloading cheapskates. They were also geniuses. Some of them hardly spend a nickel on clothes and are more than happy walking around looking like human billboards wearing free clothes crammed with advertising. Trump makes us realize this, alone, is a sign of greatness.

You don't have to be thrifty with everything to qualify as a cheapskate. For instance, former NBA coach Chuck Daly, a Hall of Famer, was well known for his unlimited collection of expensive suits. But when it came to eating, Daly was the only coach in the league who would climb the ramps and stairs at the old Boston Garden to eat a free dinner in the cramped, smoke-filled and stifling hot press room. If the air quality and temperature were not bad enough, the food left something to be desired. It was joked that if they turned off the lights after a fish dinner had been served, everyone who had eaten would glow in the dark.

But then again, we already knew Daly was a genius with his success coaching great playoff teams in the NBA. The cheapskate angle was just another sign of his stature in the genius category.

I ADMIT IT, I WORKED IN a profession known for cheapskates. One well-known and very well-paid out-of-town baseball announcer used to make it a habit to invite people out to eat after a broadcast and then practically pull out a calculator when the check came, figuring what each person at the table owed.

Anytime free media food is offered, there’s danger of a stampede. One tennis tour promoter used to tell a story of serving tuna fish sandwiches at a media gathering in Worcester, MA. After the press conference, he returned to the room and saw one of the writers putting the dozen or so leftover sandwiches in his briefcase.

“I was so embarrassed for the guy, I quickly walked out and pretended I hadn’t see it,” he said.

But if he knew then what Trump has taught us, he’d admire and praise the resourcefulness of the media moocher.

One Boston sports columnist was famous for sharing a cab with other writers when covering one of the teams on the road and always being able to avoid paying for a share of the fare. He was also notorious for ducking out of the bar when his companions were buying rounds of drinks just before his turn to pay.

ONE MEDIA PUBLICIST I used to know had a system for just about everything. For example, whenever he had to meet someone at Logan Airport, he’d drive to one of the major hotels at the airport and park there for free. He’d go into the hotel and walk through the lobby, as if he was one of the guests, and then ride the free shuttle to the terminal. He’d retrace his steps with the person he was picking up.

You can’t top his method of economizing in the winter.

“I never waste money on snow tires,” he told me proudly one day. “The simple thing I do is make sure when it snows I get behind someone who has good treads and just follow in their tire ruts through the snow. One time in nearly a foot of snow, I was OK driving behind a bus with brand new tires.”

Which made for a good joke among a bunch of us who knew this guy pretty well. We always said the only problem was the bus was headed for Chicago. Forced to follow, he hasn’t been seen since.

BUT OF COURSE now, thanks to Trump, we know this thrifty character was a genius and far too brilliant to follow the wrong bus.

Now, the big question is how far can Trump take this strategy of turning a negative it to a positive.

We can only wonder how Trump will try to find a way to justify his gutter talk about women and make himself look like a hero instead of a complete zero.

Rational people believe this time he has gone too far. But a lot of us felt he had stepped too far over the line a long time ago.

If Hillary Clinton wasn’t such a weak candidate, with her own closet of skeletons, Trump would be defeated by wider margins than the presidential election losses suffered by Barry Goldwater and George McGovern.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

​Who is left to maintain the classic standards and components of a baseball broadcast?

It is uncertain whether a young Vin Scully or Dick Enberg
starting off today would be allowed to achieve greatness

Why do broadcasts need to be ruined by untrained former players and babbling, superficial play-by-play voices who spend too much time competing for air time and talking about themselves?


By David Maril

Two of baseball’s top all-time baseball voices hung up their microphones at the end of this regular season. What does it say about the state of baseball announcers when two of the best in 2016 were 88 (Vin Scully) and 81 years-old (Dick Enberg)?

Scully, who had been doing Dodgers games since 1950, retired with great fanfare on a national level. Enberg, perhaps better known for terrific, Super Bowl play-by-play of NFL football, ended his baseball career more quietly. The San Diego Padres’ market is a lot less significant than Scully’s Los Angeles, and also Brooklyn, where his Dodger legacy began.

Scully’s Hall of Fame career has been highlighted from all angles in documentaries, magazine profiles, interviews all over the country, and hundreds of moving personal reminiscences from retired and active ballplayers. A favorite of mine belongs to Rick Monday, a former Dodger player and currently a colleague of Scully’s on the team’s broadcast crew. He grew up in Los Angeles and his family had always listened to the Dodgers games. When Monday was traded to the Dodgers, after a number of decent seasons with the A’s and Cubs, he said his mother’s proudest day, related to his career as a baseball player, was when she heard Vin Scully talking about him on the team’s broadcast. To her that was full acknowledgement he had arrived as a big leaguer.

HOWEVER, LOST in all this coverage is the essence of what made Scully, Enberg, and all those captivating voices from the past, so great, bringing the game to life in the days when AM radio and 50,000 watt stations ruled the airwaves. These broadcasters usually worked alone, capturing the pace, drama and mood of the game. They were colorful, entertaining, and succinct enough to wear well over a 162-game season and not become annoying or repetitious.

Surprising to me was in all the coverage of Scully, little attention was paid to how he, at age 88, was still so effective and entertaining working every single inning and calling every pitch by himself. There were no babbling former players, overstating the obvious and making an infield setting up at double play depth sound like brain surgery. There was no chatter back and forth with another play-by-play partner about what they had for dinner yesterday or some stupid, trivial story related to them personally. Scully talked plenty between pitches. But only at the appropriate times and not in tension-packed situations. When he did tell stories, it was interesting background about the players and the history of the game. Not about himself.

As a native of Baltimore, I follow the Orioles pretty closely, watching them on TV and catching radio games. Yet, when the Orioles played three games in Los Angeles this summer, I learned a number of things about individual players from the 88-year-old Scully’s telecasts that I had never heard from nearly a dozen Baltimore announcers, including former players, with the team all season.

IT MAKES YOU WONDER whether a young Vin Scully breaking into major league baseball would be allowed to develop into what he became. If you really like baseball, watching and listening to the games today is a challenge. Most of the announcers either don’t know their place or they are not allowed to settle into what their roles should be. Beside the endless chatter with too many mouths trying to justify their reasons for being stuffed into overcrowded booths, there is way too much shrieking and screaming over inconsequential plays.

Scully reserved his dramatic calls for crucial moments. And he would usually step back from the microphone after the big hit or play to let the roar of the crowd take over. This sort of restraint, instead of two announcers trying to scream over the cheering, was a lot more common in the old days. Even the loquacious Harry Caray realized this and, after a a Stan Musial or Ryne Sandberg home run had landed into the stands, he would exclaim, “Listen to the crowd.”

Growing up as a kid before cable and access to so many televised games, listening to baseball games from all over he country over distant radio stations is what helped shape my interest in baseball. Spending summers on Cape Cod, it was a revelation when one night playing around with a radio I was able to get the Orioles, with Chuck Thompson, on powerhouse WBAL, 500 miles away. From the East coast, you could follow the Yankees, Mets, Tigers, Reds and Senators. When the atmospheric conditions were right, you could also hear Pirates games plus the Cardinals, White Sox and Astros.

The local announcers were, for the most part, colorful and distinctive. They divided the innings up, so each one worked solo, and effectively drew you in, describing the action and the atmosphere. There were commercials that had to be weaved in, but there was not as much shilling with almost every pitch sponsored by something or someone the way it sometimes seems today.

TODAY WE NO LONGER HAVE to battle static at night, trying to pull in a distant radio broadcast. No matter where you live, every game is accessible. All the radio broadcasts are available through satellite or Internet packages. The telecasts can be viewed by purchasing different cable, internet and satellite plans. I watch and listen to a number of games and while the raw, physical talent of the players keeps getting better each year the broadcasting talent is becoming worse.

In general, the teams have too many announcers competing with each other. Former players are shoved into the broadcast booths with limited training. While they know the game, many do not have an idea what it’s like to be a fan and what viewers know, don’t know, and want to know.

The drop in quality is everywhere, even including the major markets. Look at the Yankees, a team that used to have Mel Allen, Red Barber, Bill White, Frank Messer and Phil Rizzuto. Yes, even Rizzuto was good, particularly in his early broadcasting days, before he became a caricature of himself. Today, the Yankees have former sportswriter, Michael Kay, anchoring the TV broadcasts, doing radio play-by-play, as if unaware the viewer can see what is taking place. The army of former players that sit next to him providing color are uneven and usually nothing more than a distraction. Although John Sterling, the radio voice, is knowledgable, the broadcasts are not worth discussing.

Boston, which once had NBC network giant Curt Gowdy, radio greats Ned Martin, Jim Woods and Ken Coleman. is mediocre today on its best days. However, Tim Neverett, who came to Boston this year, has boosted a woefully weak radio team.

THIS ISN’T TO SAY that there aren’t any good baseball voices around today. The San Francisco Giants can lay claim to having one of the best radio and television broadcasting crews in the history of baseball.

Jon Miller, already in the Baseball Hall of Fame, is comfortable and terrific doing a whole radio game alone in the tradition of the old days. Dave Flemming, his younger radio partner, would be the lead baseball voice on most other major league teams. The two TV guys, Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow, are the best former players turned announcers in the game. With a rich voice and a concise, accurate announcing style, Kuiper is an excellent play-by-play announcer on TV and radio. Krukow is one of the few color men who knows how to enhance a broadcast. It is such a pleasure listening to these two work together, not stepping on each other’s lines and having a respect for game-flow and, when appropriate, silence. Every major league television broadcasting team should be forced, as part of training each year, to listen to a tape of a Giants’ telecast.

Other announcers worth going out of your way to listen to include DeWayne Staats (Rays), Steve Stone (White Sox), Jerry Howarth and Buck Martinez (Blue Jays), Marty and Tom Brennaman (Reds), Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse (Athletics), Denny Matthews (Royals) and Rick Rizzs (Mariners).

I was spoiled with my hometown team, the Orioles, for years, with Baseball Hal of Famer Chuck Thompson, also the voice of the Colts, who should also be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. My other favorites with the team were Ernie Harwell, Jon Miller, Herb Carneal, Joe Croghan and Frank Messer. Today, Gary Thorne brings an authoritative voice to his TV games. On radio, Joe Angel has a great baseball voice, solid knowledge of the game and a decent sense of humor. Sometimes, his casual approach, not always telling you what a hitter has done in previous at-bats or a player’s stats the first time up, can be annoying. The Orioles may be the only team, on radio broadcasts, that does not always give the opposition team’s lineup and batting order.

ONE OF THE BIG CHANGES, which goes back to the late 1970s when ABC had the Major League television contract, is post-season coverage. Before ABC insisted the World Series would be announced only by broadcasters on its network staff, you could enjoy the local flavor of the competing team’s voices doing post-season games. When the Orioles played the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series, Thompson worked the games in Baltimore with NBC’s Gowdy on TV. For the games at Dodger Stadium, Thompson did the radio, with NBC’ Jim Simpson, and Scully was on TV with Gowdy.

The local announcers were professional and did not openly root for their own teams, But you could sense the emotion and their excitement when their teams were doing well and won. This brought an air of enthusiasm to the games, often lacking with the polished, often generic, and more detached network voices. This post-season, if it were the old days, we’d have had Caray with the Cubs, Martin or Gowdy with the Red Sox, and Scully with the Dodgers during the post-season.

LOOKING INTO THE FUTURE, those announcers are gone. The bigger question is why does the quality and coherence of baseball broadcasts also have to disappear.

If a Vin Scully can show, in 2016, that baseball is still more enjoyable with one announcer alone, painting that lyrical picture of the game, why do we need so many blabbermouths fighting for airtime?

Even worse than the fact that Scully’s voice is leaving the game is that the art and legacy of his classic approach is also fading into history.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Colin Powell’s leaked emails reveal he is just as decent, honorable and honest in private as he is in the public eye


Who would dispute his tough but accurate
assessments of Trump, Hillary, Rumsfeld and Cheney?


If Trump somehow wins, look for TV's Dr. Oz to be named Surgeon General


By David Maril

WiITH MANY WELL KNOWN PUBLIC FIGURES there is plenty of embarrassment if confidential, personal communications are hacked, leaked and revealed, giving the public a behind the scenes glimpse of what that person really thinks. However, in former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s case, the public airing of some of his personal emails just reinforces the fact he is a decent, principled person who is fortified by excellent judgment and character.

While Powell is too much of a diplomat and has too much class to go around publicly voicing the comments he made in his private emails, who can dispute what his hacked messages convey?

Powell labelled GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump a “national disgrace.” Who, in their right mind, would argue with that? The retired four star general accuses Trump of embracing a racist movement with his absurd questioning of Barack Obama’s birth certificate and the legitimacy of him serving as president. He says that Trump’s recent effort to draw support from black voters reveals he takes “us” for idiots.”

Powell is very critical of the way the media has allowed Trump to control much of the coverage of his campaign, giving him far too much free air-time. The cable news networks routinely turn the live cameras on at many of his rally sessions, seldom including serious journalistic interview time to question his inaccuracies and lies. According to the New York Times, Powell told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria “It is time you guys started ignoring him (Trump). You guys are playing his game, you are his oxygen.”

Colin Powell with HIllary Clinton.

While Powell has worked with Hillary Clinton and respects certain aspects of her public service career, he’s completely realistic about her shortcomings. He is quoted saying she “has a long track record of unbridled ambition, is greedy and not transformational.” He is critical of the way she handled her email controversy. Again, is any of this off base?

Interestingly enough, Powell does defuse some of the criticism against her related to the 2012 attack on the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. He termed, in an email to Condoleeza Rice, his successor in the State Department, the investigation a stupid GOP witch hunt.

It shouldn’t be a surprise that Powell has a very negative assessment of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former Vice President Dick Cheney. He believes “the idiot Rummy” was disloyal to both President Bushes. He calls Cheney and his war-mongering daughter, Liz, “idiots” spending five years peddling a self-promotional book.

All of these comments and options makes the Powell even more likable and a rare public official to respect. The real Powell is as genuine, trustworthy and honest as he appears to be when the cameras are rolling and the microphones are on.

SINCE DR. KILDARE DOESN’T EXIST, if Trump is elected, one can’t help wondering if, in his world of unreality, he would name TV celebrity Dr. Oz as Surgeon General. Oz recently gave Trump TV free airtime in a ridiculous discussion of his fitness to be president. The overweight Trump, a master carnival barker, may have opened up the possibility of doing workout videos based on his arm waving during speeches. Maybe there’s a video empire partnership looming with Richard Simmons, producing “Workout to Donald’s speeches.” Too Bad Jack LaLanne isn’t still with us.

TRUMP, ARMED WITH HIGH TV RATINGS every time he takes his traveling unreality game-show persona in front of a camera, does play the media like a concert violinist. He can call a press conference, under the guise of making a major announcement, and lure the media into covering something that is nothing more than a promo for one of his business ventures.

His major announcement the other day is that Obama does indeed have a legitimate birth certificate. And he even offered the scoop, which nobody else had, or believes, that Hillary started the “birther” movement of skepticism over Obama’s legitimacy to run. No doubt his next big new press conference will be to reveal the earth is round and not flat. And, no doubt, all the cable news cameras will be their providing live coverage of nothing,

AN EXAMPLE OF HOW MANY REPUBLICANS are trying to distance themselves from Trump and his presidential campaign, is the fact that Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker nearly hosted a national meeting of GOP Governors at Boston in secret. Normally, a host governor would make a big deal, promoting the fact that such an event was taking place in a local city. Baker, a moderate Republican held this event so quietly it did not get any press mention until after it was over.

In Trump's world you could be looking at your new surgeon general, Dr. Oz.

WHILE HILLARY IS BEING TAKEN TO TASK by Trump lackeys, for trashing the character and quality of half of the nominee’s supporters, the candidate’s own son came out and said one of the main reasons his father’s tax returns wont be released is they are too complicated and complex to understand. That’s certainly not giving the general population much credit for intelligence or being able to recognize questionable financial and business practices.

The other reason given against releasing the corporate mogul’s tax returns is that they would be too much of a distraction from the campaign. Wow, that’s an interesting angle. So, in Trump’s world, anything that might compete with his empty promises and mistake-prone rhetoric should be off the table.

Chances are Hillary would be more than willing to agree to that policy. With the removal of any type of focus on her miss-steps caused by horrendous judgement and questionable character, she would be a much happier candidate. She might even go for Trump’s ludicrous suggestion the debates shouldn’t have any moderators. It’s becoming apparent that if you exclude their policies and proposals, these two unpopular candidates, viewed mostly as unfavorables, have more in common than originally figured.

WHEN HILLARY’S WELL-CHOREOGRAPHED return from her sick days battling pneumonia was accompanied by a recording of James Brown’s “I Feel Good” blaring in the background, I couldn’t helping thinking of more appropriate background music. How about “Smiling Faces Sometimes” by The Undisputed Truth? The lyrics, as she walked on stage, would have been terrific.

“Smiling faces sometimes pretend to be your friend.

Smiling faces show no traces of the evil that lurks within.

Smiling faces, Smiling Faces, Sometimes they don't tell the truth.

Smiling faces, smiling faces tell lies and I got proof.”

SPEAKING OF TUNES, since so much has been made out of Apple eliminating the headphone jack on its newly released iPhone7, wouldn’t it be appropriate to utilize Ray Charles iconic “Hit The Road Jack” in the background of commercials for the new device? It would be a nice spoof on the so-called controversy while the virtues are extolled of an iPhone that is waterproof, has an upgraded camera and is much faster and more powerful than its predecessor.

ON THE OTHER SIDE of the smartphone world is the Samsung Galaxy Note7 model that makes headlines because of its exploding nature. Why hasn’t Hillary hasn’t been offered a job as a pitch person, talking up the virtues of a communication device that can make everything disappear.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Lane switchers the route of most road and highway problems

Too many self-centered drivers
ignore traffic flow, safety of others

Widening the highways and adding more lanes
isn’t the only answer
when selfish drivers are to blame

By David Maril

Traffic jams and lengthy delays caused by accidents become worse every day. If you commute to work anywhere close to cities, and densely populated growing communities, driving times can be doubled and tripled by uncertain and unstable road conditions. Accidents and traffic tie-ups have gotten even worse because with lower gasoline prices this year there’s more encouragement for people to drive.

It’s not only on working days. People headed to getaway resort areas on weekends and holidays are often subject to the same delays with traffic problems exasperated by access roads and bridges that are not designed to handle these bursts of vacation activity.

The solutions usually offered are to widen the highways with more traffic lanes and build more express toll roads. But you know something? That solution is nothing more than the old “Field Of Dreams,” philosophy of “if you build it they will come.”’ Or in this case, more will come.

Want a simple, cost efficient solution? Here’s a simple, but because of human nature, not so easy answer.

Traffic would be greatly reduced and even the worst road quagmires would move along if we could find a way to convince the growing army of “I’m the only one who counts” to stay put in their lanes. Too many drivers have turned aggressive lane-switching into a deadly weapon, making it impossible for crowded highways to maintain any semblance of traffic flow.

These aggressive lane-switchers, who are oblivious to everyone else on the road, are even worse than the clueless legion of slowpokes who block traffic up in the passing lane, going 10 miles per hour under the speed limit.

Reducing traffic congestion is all about maintaining traffic flow. You see it all the time on Interstates, city highways and urban parkways. Four lanes, plus the breakdown track, are crammed with cars, creeping along at slow speeds. Just when one lane of cars gets up to about 30 mph, someone from a slower lane finds a way to force into the flow. Usually it’s done without a directional signal.

The abrupt, discourteous and unsafe maneuver forces brake lights to flash as cars, trucks and busses have to practically stop on a dime to avoid rear-ending the vehicle they are trailing. In seconds, the once free-flowing lane is stopped, thanks to the knucklehead who switched into the lane.

Just as that lane stops, the one next to it starts moving and the same type of abrupt lane-switching takes place, causing more chain-reaction sudden stops and another halt in the traffic flow.

These days, practically every type of driver is switching back and forth, trying to gain an extra second here and there, cutting other vehicles off. Sports cars, trucks, SUVs, luxury boat-sized vehicles, and compact high-mileage cars all partake in this foolhardy competition. You see them cutting in and out from the far left to the far right, making everyone else responsible for not running into them when they cut you off.

Many of these morons even have to have the last word when they exit the highway. They take great delight in cutting over to the right at the last possible second from three lanes over without even a turn-signal blinking. The few times directional signals are used, they are turned on as the car is barging into your lane, long after you’ve slammed on your brakes. Apparently it’s no longer necessary to put the signal on a few seconds before you move over into someone else’s lane.

The irony is that these reckless stunts gain very little time. Often, even the most active lane switcher will gain is a couple of car lengths over a five-mile ride. We need to find a way way to convince these knuckleheads they would actually get where they are going faster if they’d stay in their lane and let the traffic reach a steady flow.

But that would be tough to do. There’s some type of militant, hostile and self-centered attitude that seems to influence many of these people. They are the ones who will jump over to the breakdown lanes that are not supposed to be used, while everyone else is putting up with slow traffic, and go flying by.

The lane switchers are even a problem during off-peak time periods on wide open roads when there isn't any congestion and the traffic is moving along above the speed limit. With these fools on the road, it is practically impossible to create and maintain a safe driving distance between your car and the vehicle in front. You can be cruising along, maintaining a safe distance from the car in front, and the lane-switcher insists on squeezing over in front of you as part of a move to pass five cars in four different lanes in less than 200 yards.

It gets so bad, you actually end up rooting for tickets with heavy fines when these selfish speedsters get stopped by a surprise police cruiser waiting out of sight around a curve or over the hill. That’s a far cry from the days when many of us would flash our headlights warning vehicles on the other side to slow down because they were approaching a speed trap.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Don Rickles and Vladimir Putin would be good candidates for Hillary to select to portray Trump in her prepping for TV debates

Chris Wallace will be
the toughest and most effective
of the four chosen presidential debate moderators

Hillary should qualify
as the world record holder
for most prolific, and careless, use of emails


By David Maril

IF THE CLINTON campaign is looking for someone to play Donald Trump in preparation for the presidential debates, she should select comedian Don Rickles, armed with his full arsenal of insults and putdowns. Another half-humorous nomination they could consider is Russian President Vladimir Putin, a major-league bully on Trump’s level.

Even though Putin is obviously hoping Trump, a blustering fool he would hope to continually outsmart, will defeat Clinton, his love of the limelight would probably make him agreeable to playing such a role for Clinton. He’d also be hedging his bet, figuring she will probably win and it would be good for her to owe him a favor. This, of course, is not going to happen. Even with Clinton’s cavalier, careless and just plain old bad judgment, she’s not about to bring Putin, who is being accused of turning his team of hackers loose on her emails, in her election campaign.

Don Rickles, left, and Vladmir Putin: suitable Trump stand-ins

AT LEAST THE FIRST of the three scheduled nationally televised debates figure to draw, as Bernie Sanders would say, huge ratings. With such flawed and unpopular candidates trying to survive all the bad news continually dredged up from their pasts, this will give the undecided segment of the electorate a final chance to pick the lesser of the two evils.

In our world of scripted public appearances, the unpredictability of how the two candidates will perform is intriguing. Is Trump able to keep his cool, acting somewhat presidential, and not digress into his juvenile practice of name-calling and cheap-shot character assassination? What are the chances Hillary will be able to convince the audience she has ethics and is somewhat more trustworthy than a ruthless political hack? Will there be enough time in between the mudslinging to for the two candidates to discuss serious issues, offering detailed proposals and visions for the future?

THE SELECTION OF MODERATORS is interesting. Lester Holt, NBC anchor, is a stable, solid and professional choice to launch the debate series on Sept. 26. The second one, which is a Town Hall Format on Oct. 9th, figures to be chaotic, co-moderated by ABC alarmist Martha Raddatz and CNN journalist-entertainer Anderson Cooper.

If the two candidates survive the first two debates, they will need to be on the top of their games for the final, Oct. 29th, moderated by Chris Wallace. If Trump thinks he will get a break because Wallace is employed by Fox News, a PR machine for the Republican Party, he will suffer a humiliating experience. Chris Wallace, the son of the late Mike Wallace, is an old-fashioned hard-hitting interviewer who is a principled journalist. If the candidates avoid questions, Wallace will make sure the audience knows they are ducking the issues.

HATS OFF TO GOP Vice President nominee Mike Pence for not falling into the trap that the other major party male candidates have done, wearing stupid looking, cheap caps. Trump has achieved a new presidential fashion low by wearing ill-fitting hats that resemble a fishing cap, that was run over by a truck, with a suit and tie. Tim Kaine, Democratic VP nominee, has been following Trump’s lead, wearing caps on some speaking appearances that make him resemble the host at a Three Stooges convention.

THE GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS should put Hillary’s name down now as the all-time most prolific, and careless, user of emails. If she does the impossible and finds a way to lose to Trump, she could add to her personal fortune by signing as a pitch-person for one of the big companies related to email services. Blackberry, Google, Yahoo, AOL and other services should be bidding for her endorsement since she is obviously the most prolific emailer of all time. Who else can claim to having 13 different mobile devices at the same time?

IT SEEMS TO BE IMPOSSIBLE to keep money out of politics. According to a report in the New York Times, some Bernie Sanders supporters are upset over the financing for “Our Revolution,” the political organization the former presidential candidate has formed to address economic inequities and take on the power of special interests. With the tax status of the new organization, it is allowed to draw large donations from anonymous sources. This source of funding goes against what the Sanders people stood for in his campaign.

Charlie Chaplin, circa 1916 and the late Gene Wilder

THE GREAT GENE WILDER, who died recently at the age of 83, was a late 20th century version of Charlie Chaplin. Both were intellectual and complex comedians who had so much depth to their humor. At times deceptively simple and clownish, Wilder projected a Chaplin-type sense of vulnerability.

There are a number of movies he did, such as “Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein,” that receive impressive recognition. My personal favorite, however is “Silver Streak.” Besides having a number of memorable scenes with Richard Pryor, the comedy-thriller, which took place on a train from Los Angeles to Chicago, had a tremendous cast. Beside Jill Clayburgh, the romantic interest, Patrick McGoohan was a terrific villain and Ned Beatty a character as a detective.

CBS WILL BE CHALLENGED to find the appropriate person to replace the retiring Charles Osgood as host of the Sunday Morning program. The 83-year-old Osgood had the rare blend of quirkiness and depth of perspective to strike a balance between offering off-beat and relevant features at a relaxed but lively pace. Here’s hoping they don’t even consider Charlie Rose, who already wears too many hats.

BOSTON HAS SOME SEEMINGLY contradictory values when it comes to historic preservation. On one hand, panic sets in every time there’s talk, following real estate transactions and redevelopment that the commercial electronic CITGO gasoline sign in Kenmore Square may not be saved. Thousands of people step forward with tearful testimony about how nostalgic the gasoline sign is and what it means to them.

But on the other hand, a few miles away, at Harvard Square, there’s mostly apathy that a historic newspaper-magazine stand may be forced to give way to something more in line with bistros and coffee shops. Never mind, in this supposedly academic area, that Out Of Town News represents a period of history, supplying magazines, newspapers and other print reading material from all over the world.

WHATEVER HAPPENED to the driving principle “keep right except to pass’? It is a tossup as to which type of driver is more dangerous: the slowpoke going below the posted speed in the passing lane or the demolition derby race car driver who passes in the far right lane.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

​Lochte should apologize fully for his immature and stupid behavior because it’s the right thing to do, not just to save his lucrative marketing deals

Baseball commissioner has no shortage
of ridiculous ideas to speed up the game

After Trump loses in November, he would have time
to play George Steinbrenner in a movie about the former Yankee owner


By David Maril

YOU KNOW WHAT'S the worst part of US Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s boorish, immature and stupid behavior representing this country in Rio De Janeiro? It’s the media’s reaction in this country. The coverage focus has been primarily on damage control and how the 32-year-old over-hyped celebrity could save his endorsements and marketing career.

The message seemed to be that he needed to “get out in front of this” and apologize. “Americans are forgiving if you admit your mistake and take responsibility,” one commentator said. The apology was all about him saving his career. But what about apologizing because it is the right thing, as a decent person, to do?

It turned out that Lochte’s apology, a few days late, had all the sincerity of a press release written by a corporate flunky. It was carefully scripted to avoid the fact he twisted the facts, lied, and embarrassed his country and the other American Olympians while committing rowdy, late-night bad behavior. And maybe he will get away with all of this. In short, with his thick skin and ability to avoid accountability, he looks like he is prepping for a long, successful career in politics.

One certainty is we are continually reminded the Olympics are not just about the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat. Lochte, and his swimming crime-mates Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, have to share the stage with other Olympic characters who didn’t exactly achieve gold-medal standards for behavior. Several boxing referees and judges had to be removed from the competition after their decisions were reviewed. Then there was Patrick Hickey of Ireland, called Europe’s top Olympic official, who was arrested for scalping tickets.

THE LATE BILL VEECK, one of baseball’s all-time innovators, had a terrific quote about the greatness of the game. Veeck, who set attendance records when he owned the Cleveland Indians and White Sox, always said, “Baseball has to be the greatest game of all to have survived all the people who have run it.”

Except for the fact he kept the job as baseball commissioner for a long time because nobody wanted it, Bud Selig did a pretty mediocre job. He was way behind on recognizing the use of steroids and banned performance enhancers and indecisive taking action in other significant areas.

However, Selig may end up looking like a giant compared to his successor, Rob Manfred. The new commissioner is concerned about the length of games and said he is contemplating shrinking the strike zone, limiting the number of pitching changes in a game, curtailing the number of defensive shifts and installing 20-second time clocks for pitchers.

These are absurd ideas. Why should a commissioner start dictating to managers what defenses they should set up in the field? Getting involved in strategy, such as pitching changes, is even more ludicrous.

If Manfred really wants to speed things up, he should cut down on the time between half-innings, when TV and radio squeeze in minutes of extra commercials, stopping action. He won’t do that, however, because commercials mean revenue.

Another area he could consider is technology. Since it is taking over the umpiring, why not get the arbitrators off the field and have everything automatically called by machine, including balls and strikes, eliminating the inconsistency of the umpires? This means calls are made instantly and are final. There’s no need to hold up the game for 3-5 minutes to have a play checked on replay back in New York.

IF A PRODUCER ever decides to make a movie about the late Yankee owner George Steinbrenner, the perfect pick to play the volatile, irrational, unreasonable and bullying figure would be Donald Trump. Both made firings and management shakeups part of their agenda. It would be interesting to hear Paul Manafort, Trump’s ousted campaign manager, compare the unstable conditions of working for the GOP nominee with the cloak and dagger political intrigue of being an inside consultant in the Ukraine. If Billy Martin, the manager Steinbrenner loved to hire and fire, was still alive, he’d have been perfect to replace Manafort in Trump’s campaign organization.

Chances are Trump would be available to star in a Steinbrenner movie. If he doesn’t completely self-destruct before the first of the nationally televised debates, the one-on-one moderated confrontations with Clinton figure to end his presidential aspirations.

Hillary is tough, bright, and well-informed. These debates will be a lot different than the Republican primary match-ups. Without a dozen second-rate Republican presidential wannabes flanking him and serving as a target for his insults, Trump’s ignorance of the complexities of foreign affairs, domestic issues and how government works will be exposed. If he tries to bully Hillary with his rude, heavy-handed manner, he’ll be even more unpopular with the reasonable electorate he has been unable to attract.

NO MATTER WHAT you think of Trump and the front-running Republican leaders who won’t jump off his bandwagon until they are convinced he will be pummeled in the election, the party chairman Reince Priebus deserves a lot of credit for diplomacy. He has handled an impossible job, trying to serve all aspects of the party, with precision and skill.

On the other side, the Democrats, with the abrasive, obnoxious and ruthless Debbie Wasserman Schultz, had a party leader who was ousted because of her favoritism to Hillary Clinton. Wasserman Schultz is such an unlikeable figure when she is on camera, she makes Hillary seem kind and trustworthy.

The ever capable Donna Brazile, who was called in to replace Wasserman Schultz at the start of the Democrats’ convention, wasted little time cleaning house and getting rid of the officials who were unfairly working behind the scenes to keep Bernie Sanders from getting the nomination.

HILLARY CLINTON DRAGGING Colin Powell into her email controversy, claiming the highly regarded former general and Secretary of State had advised her to use her own personal computer, reenforces her lack of character issue with many voters. When Powell was in office, it was a different time and there were different conditions. As always, Hillary is adept at twisting facts and selective use of information to avoid her own accountability.

BARACK OBAMA IS A BRIGHT, well educated person. It makes you wonder, however, if he has any respect for the intelligence of the American voters when he calls Hillary Clinton the best qualified and prepared person to ever run for president.

It’s fine for him to offer a robust endorsement and tout the skills and aspects from her background he feels she would bring to the presidency. But come on, doesn’t he realize how much credibility he loses among voters with such a broad-sweeping, ridiculous generalization? Words do matter and Obama comes off as nothing more than a shill, obsessed with keeping her focused in protecting his legacy. Looking at the history of the presidency, she is not even in the top 15 as far as qualifications going into the job.

HOWEVER, ON ANOTHER ISSUE, Obama deserves the benefit of the doubt with his insistence that the timing of the $400 million payment to Iran was leverage to free three American hostages but not ransom. If indeed this repayment of Iran money that had been frozen was agreed upon a long tim ago, it made sense to hold off delivering the funds until the Americans were put on the airplane.

If the payment had been quickly made and Iran held off releasing the prisoners, critics who are blabbering that a bad precedent has been established paying ransom, would have been all over Obama for missing an opportunity sitting there to insure the release of the Americans.

DON’T YOU THINK it is time for Liberty Mutual to give the Statue of Liberty a little bit of a break and stop using the iconic structure in its TV insurance commercials? The historic statue deserves better than appearing over and over again in the background of so many television pitches for car insurance coverage.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

Hillary’s historic nomination takes attention away from significance of Trump’s convention milestone

The Democrats become first major party to nominate a woman for president while GOP breaks new ground picking a joke

Trump is the first to hit the campaign trails without any of the background, qualifications or skills to be president

By David Maril

When Hillary Clinton officially ended Bernie Sander’s campaign for the White House at the Democrat’s convention, the media was all over the historic event of her becoming the first woman to win a major party’s nomination for the presidency.

However, everyone missed the other major story of historic importance coming from the Republican convention. Not as historic an achievement but more amazing in nature was the fact the GOP managed to nominate the first complete joke as a major party finalist to run for president. Somehow, the mainstream media, the biased Internet blogs, and the shrieking right-wing radio talk masters and mistresses were unable to recognize this once in a lifetime political result.

Sure, in the history of our nation, we have had some astoundingly unqualified presidents making messes of things all over the world. But never has such a major party candidate emerged who has absolutely nothing, in a positive sense, going for him to be commander and chief.

This has nothing to do with ideology. It would not matter whether Donald Trump was a conservative, centrist, liberal, socialist, libertarian, green party guru, Federalist, Tory, Whig or any other political affiliation. In fact, there is evidence at one time or another he has been all of the above when it suits his talking points.

None of these designations matter. What gives Trump his historical significance is how devoid his background is of any qualities and experiences that would give him a chance to avoid becoming a total flop as president.

Despite what you might believe, this is not a strong endorsement of Hillary Clinton, a political hack who is lacking in character. The focus here is on how horrendous Trump projects as a president. If you still don’t believe he is a joke as a presidential candidate, consider the following:


1 - Name one other major party presidential nominee who has never devoted time doing some type of public service work.

Sure, when the cameras are rolling, Trump refers to flashy financial contributions to charitable causes. While other candidates have been civil rights attorneys, served in the military, or volunteered time to organizations and humanity programs that aid people in need, Trump’s focus is strictly on business and making money.

2 - Name one other major party nominee who has absolutely zero experience in any kind of elected office at the local, regional or national levels.

Trump knows absolutely nothing about the inner, or outer, workings of the complex layers of government and is clueless about how to get things accomplished. His diehard, short-sighted support base relishes his brash, outspoken style. He promises them the overly simplistic solutions, usually insensitive and discriminatory, they want to hear.

His calling card is that he can cut through the red tape and corruption of Washington to get things done. The truth is that the only way Trump accomplishes anything in his business world is with power, wealth and a bullying style. Presidents don’t have that kind of power. To succeed, they need to master the art of diplomacy and building coalitions.

Name calling, insults and temper tantrums do not get anything done in Washington. Trump has even been unable to build any semblance of unity in his own party. He has alienated the entire Bush family along with McCain and Mitt Romney, the party’s last two presidential nominees. John Kasich, the popular Republican governor of Ohio, did not even attend the GOP convention in his home state.

3 - Has any other presidential candidate been so lacking in tact and class?

Trump’s public appearances are little more than lessons in juvenile-style character assassination. Instead of discussing the significant issues and presenting specific solutions with details, he focuses on immature nicknames for his opponents or whoever he thinks crosses his path. Anyone who takes issue with his crass and irresponsible rhetoric, is called a loser.

He revels in bringing out the worst and appealing to the lowest common denominator. It is pathetic when a presidential candidate starts laying down the groundwork of excuses for getting beaten by raising questions of whether the election will be rigged to keep him from winning.

Just when you think the level of his discourse can not drop any lower, Trump has an incident like his verbal attack on the grieving Muslim family, the Khans, who lost their son, a U.S. War hero, giving his life for this country.

Trump always has to throw in the last word, no matter how inappropriate, in an argument. He insults a former prisoner of war, like Senator John McCain, and casts aspersions on a well respected American judge, handling the court case against his ignominious Trump University.


4 - Has any other major party presidential candidate had such a questionable temperament to occupy the White House in an age of nuclear power and instability around the world.

Teddy Roosevelt believed in walking softly and carrying a big stick. Trump is just the opposite, stamping along like an elephant with nothing but names and insults to back himself up. So far, he has displayed an absence of poise when he is on the firing line and seems to respond to pressure with bursts of temper and irrational responses. Do you really want someone like this making decisions that involve the security of the world?

5 - Has any other major party nominee been so careless and inaccurate with what is said?

His words mean nothing and facts don’t matter. He talks of seeing news videos and film footage that never existed and describes events that never happened. Hearsay and rumor are Trump’s favorite sources of information. While he chastises the media any time he is asked tough, but reasonable, questions, and says his coverage is hostile and biased, he declares the National Enquirer a bastion of great journalism.

Trump has built a track record of saying one thing one day and then, after taking heat for the inaccuracy, saying the opposite the next day.

6 - Has any other major party presidential nominee been so clueless about foreign policy?

With his unworkable America First philosophy, he’s ready to shred many of the agreements and alliances with other countries that have been developed over many years. Russia’s Vladimir Putin, one of the world’s more untrustworthy and conniving leaders, seems to be Trump’s role model as being presidential. Whether he was joking or not, his request for the Russians to use their hacking skills to locate Hillary Clinton’s missing emails was not responsible public discourse from a serious candidate for U.S. President.

He is also partial to other dictators. Perhaps he believes he can rule the U.S. like a dictator, not dealing with Congress, if he becomes president.

It is astounding how many misstatements Trump makes on a weekly basis regarding the international scene. Oh well, at least he has finally realized that Russia is already in the Ukraine after declaring they would never go there.

With Trump’s track record, it is safe to say that if he is elected, the only wall that would ever be built on the Mexican border would have to be done by his own construction company and probably be financed some way by bankruptcy laws, which he adeptly utilizes.

The only reason anyone should even consider voting for a joke candidate like Trump is if the objective is to strive for chaos and even more ineptitude in Washington.

The problem is the joke would be on all of us.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

JFK’s message of devotion to public service and helping others is inspirational in this era of Trump’s irresponsible and self-serving babble

Logan Airport’s recordings of Kennedy’s speeches
more motivating than Trump’s egomania and Hillary’s hollow words

Will Washington ever revive anything close to JFK’s infectious spirit
of asking what we can do for our country and fellow citizens?

By David Maril

Looking for a cure to the headache that develops every time you listen to one of Donald Trumps’ irresponsible, idiotic and egotistical monologues? One remedy is available at, believe it or not, Boston’s Logan Airport.

When flying into Boston on Delta or Southwest Airlines, you are dropped off in the expansive A Terminal. Reaching the baggage pickup area, and access ground transportation, often requires a slow, steep descent down long escalators. Once at the bottom, you begin a marathon walk through a cavernous underground corridor that goes below the tarmac to the other side of the airport and terminal. The distance stretches out far enough to include two football field-length moving walkways for those who are not into fitness training in the midst of a trip.

The first time you make this trek, the tendency is to rush along and get it over with as quickly as possible. You end up taking big strides and, when possible, squeeze past those who are just standing on the automated walkway enjoying the free ride. But toward the end of your first A Terminal experience, just before getting on the mammoth escalators to return to ground level at the baggage area, you hear speech excerpts of the late John F. Kennedy coming out of the walls. The last section of the mammoth corridor promotes the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, located in Boston.

No matter how eager you are to reclaim your luggage and leave the airport, the earnest, positive tone in Kennedy’s voice entices you to slow down and pause, taking it all in. His vigor is therapeutic, making you feel hopeful, less cynical.

FIFTY-THREE YEARS after the 35th President of the United States was assassinated, his message remains relevant, resonating with enthusiasm and special meaning in today’s self-centered ego-driven world. You hear his voice issuing forth the challenge to tackle problems, make things better, and sacrifice to help others. Even cynical as I am, it is inspiring.

If you make flights regularly into the Logan A Terminal, you find yourself slowing down more and more at the end of that subterranean walkway to listen a little bit longer each trip. It lifts your spirits, puts you in a better mood and you feel charged up and ready to deal with whatever faces you the rest of the day.

JFK talks about the challenges of space exploration and the opportunities of scientific and medical discoveries. And his theme of how we have the character to do the right things, the more difficult they are, is an interesting idea to ponder these days.

It’s hard for anyone who was born after the middle 1950s to feel the significance many of us experience each year on Nov. 22nd. On that date, in 1963, Kennedy, in the third year of his only term as President, was assassinated while riding in a motorcade in Dallas.

The date passes more quietly every year. There are fewer, if any, references in newspapers or on television on Nov. 22 as time goes on.

A few years ago the National Geographic channel did devote a full day of films and documentaries to that tragic day that proved to be the birth of TV’s ’round-the-clock news event coverage. For four days, much of the nation sat in front of their television sets, mourning the tragedy of a vigorous, charismatic leader shot down in his prime.

WHEN YOU LISTEN to GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s self-centered and irresponsible rhetoric, it is pretty apparent that a significant part of Kennedy’s political positivism died with him and has never returned to the voting public. No matter whether you are a conservative or a liberal, Trump is an embarrassment to this country’s political system.

The appeal of an outsider not connected to Washington politics is one thing. However, a lack of experience dealing with the complexities of government, combined with absolutely no knowledge of diplomacy or world affairs, should be more than enough to discourage support for Trump. Adding in all of the strange, confusing, misleading and inaccurate public statements he makes, raises as much of a question about his supporters as the candidate himself.

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee who was treated by party insiders as the entitled, anointed frontrunner all along, sounds tiresome and insincere. When asked last year who she feels is her biggest enemy, she answered: “The GOP.” That’s a fine starting point for being President of the entire country! Her strengths are her husband’s name, the powerful fund-raising machine they have built, and the Clinton skill in playing the political game.

BERNIE SANDERS did stir some enthusiasm. Especially among young voters in the Democrats’ primaries. However, in contrast to JFK, his message was demanding the government do more for its people. JFK’s tone was people reaching out and unselfishly contributing to government with public service and helping those in need.

There was hope that Barack Obama would restore faith and hope to politics: Part of the Kennedy message was there; but Obama did not establish the right tone to deliver it and suffered from failing to master the art of negotiation, making deals and getting things done.

As the 2016 election campaign bumps along in the breakdown lane, listening to Kennedy’s positive tone makes you realize how hollow and uninspiring the political world is today.

All of the bitterness, financial influences and skepticism drives the most promising younger people away from politics and public service. When a person like Trump, fueled by negativity and nonsense, becomes a viable candidate, you know faith in the political system has hit an all-time low.

Will we ever have another inspirational political leader like JFK? This isn’t about Democrats vs. Republicans or liberals vs. conservatives: It’s about both parties offering candidates who want to bring people from the left and right together, with a positive, all-inclusive message that conveys leadership. Will the extremes of both parties ever be brought back in check so their will is no longer imposed, and room is restored for tolerance and finding common ground?

KENNEDY WAS BY NO MEANS a flawless, perfect President. His marital infidelity issues, ignored in that period by the press, are pretty well documented. There are questions about his health and medical treatment. We will never know how he would have resolved the Vietnam War, which he helped expand. He was slow to respond to the racial strife in the South, and it is up in the air whether he had the political skill to achieve what Lyndon Johnson did with the passage of the Civil Rights Bill and other significant legislation.

It is undeniable, however, that Kennedy lifted the mood of this country and was responsible for a whole generation of young people catching the spirit of trying to make a difference.

The Peace Corps and organizations like VISTA flourished, attracting young, idealistic people to volunteer and help with humanitarian projects, not only here but all over the world as well.

Ambition and ego will always be vital in any politician’s career. Hopefully, there is still room, along with those driving forces, to bring people together and do good work.

It’s not enough just hearing recordings that resonate with Kennedy’s vision. The important aspect is to learn from his message and tone. While walking through Logan hearing Kennedy’s message is uplifting, it’s also very sad when tapes of a president from over 50 years ago are more inspiring than live speeches by our candidates seeking the White House today.


David Maril has been a columnist, sports editor and copy editor at three newspapers published in Massachusetts, winning numerous writing and section-design awards. As sports editor of the Milford Daily News, he covered the Boston Red Sox, Celtics and the New England Patriots. At the Brockton Enterprise he served as vice president of the newspaper’s guild, dealing with contract negotiations and workforce issues through difficult economic times. He also served on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where he is a lifetime member and voter in Major League Baseball’s annual Cooperstown Hall of Fame balloting. For several years was a columnist for Voice Of Baltimore. The son of the late artist Herman Maril, whose work is included in over 100 museum collections, David splits his time between Cape Cod, MA and Baltimore, MD. He currently serves as president of the Herman Maril Foundation, which supports curatorial projects, art education programs and exhibitions related to the study of his father’s work. The website, featuring his father’s artwork, is hermanmaril.com. A graduate of Park School in Brooklandville, MD, David majored in English at Clark University in Worcester, MA.

If you wold like to comment on this blog David can be reached at david@davidmaril.com.

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