Archive for the ‘Games Idioms’ Category

Yanks’ Young Slugger Faces a Bar He Set High

March 4, 2017

The New York Times Sports Thursday, March 2, 2017


Yanks’ Young Slugger Faces a Bar He Set High, by Tyler Kepner

Tampa, Fla.–Big expectations after a 19-homer outburst in a short stretch of last season. 

Gary Sanchez: “Everything seems positioned for Sanchez to be the next great Yankee.” He hit 20 home runs in 52 career games for the Yankees.  However, he set the bar so high, it may be difficult for him to reach the heights again.

The metaphors, a high bar, a low bar are from track and field sports: bars set low are easier than the ones set high.


Can Anxiety Beat Depression in November?

September 28, 2016

Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, September 3-4, 2016


Can Anxiety Beat Depression in November? by Peggy Noonan

” …Everyone knows what they think; everyone knows their impression of Mrs. Clinton and Donald Trump.” Ms. Noonan points out in this article that both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have been famous for a quarter-century.    “But not everyone knows how they will vote.”

Ms. Noonan further writes that the presidential contest will come down to a battle between depression and anxiety.

“Mrs. Clinton is depression in this race: You know exactly who she is, what trouble she brings–she always brings that sack full  of scandal–and she won’t make anything better.  Mr. Trump is anxiety: If you back him you know you’re throwing the long ball, a real Hail Mary pass to the casino developer and reality TV star who may or may not know how to catch the ball when catching the ball means everything…” 

This football metaphor/idiom is explained fully in the website  Basically, it is a  long pass thrown by the quarterback in a desperate situation.

Rio Olympics: American Women are Pre-eminent

August 24, 2016

Tuesday, January 23, 2016

In Top Effort by U.S., American Women Are Pre-eminent

By Jere Longman

Rio De Janeiro–“…The size and depth of the American States team resulted in the most gold (46), silver (37) and bronze (38) medals of any nation…

Most striking was the performance by the American women.  The American men won 18 gold medals, the same as Britain.  But the American women were dominant with 27 (not including a gold in mixed doubles tennis).  Had the women competed as a separate country, they would have ranked third in the overall medal count…

There are two primary reasons for this pre-eminance.  The United States is one of the few countries to embed sports within the public education system. And equal access to sports for women comes with legal protections, gained with the education amendment known as Title IX in 1972 and the Olympic and Amateur Sports Act in 1978.

About one of every two American girls participates in sports in high school, according to the U.S.O.C., nearly 85 percent participated in university-funded sports…

A level playing field benefits all athletes and helps our medal chances,’ said Jill Geer, a spokes woman for U.S.A. Track & Field.”

A level field includes not only the field itself, but the protections for women instituted in 1972 and 1978 at both the high school and the university levels.  When I was at U.C. Berkely before these laws there was no such protection and money was allocated to men first.  Women were on the U.C. tennis team,  but no women’s U.C. swim team.  I organized a intra-residence and sorority women’s group to compete: there was a butterfly-breast Olympic gold winner competing in our little group weekly, as well as other young women winning medals, one a silver medal in the back stroke and a gold in the relay.  And the young women in a local synchronized swim team had won national titles, but not for U.C.  This changed in the ’70s.

“Hope Trumps Fear”

May 13, 2016
  1. The New York Times INTERNATIONAl, Thursday, May 12, 2016

Mayor Assails Politics of Fear, by Steven Erlanger and Stephen Castle

LONDON: “The new mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said on Wednesday that his election in the face of a divisive campaign high-lighting his religion is a lesson to Donald J. Trump that Islam is perfectly compatible with Western values.

Mr. Trump is ‘playing into the hands of extemists’ and is ‘ignorant about Islam,’ Mr. Khan said…’But London,’ he said, ‘chose unity over division, and a rejection of the politics of fear,…What we have shown, and I hope it’s a lesson that Hillary and others in America take on board, is hope trumps fear,’ he said, adding ‘forget the pun.”

In Bridge, a trump card wins over other cards.  In the above paragraph hope trumps or wins over fear. 





Opening Next Frontier in Political Hardball

March 20, 2016

New York Times National, Monday, February 15, 2016

NEWS ANALYSISOpening Next Frontier In Political Hardball, by Emily Bazelon

“It takes no feat of imagination to guess how the debate about replacing (Supreme Court) Justice Scalia, who died unexpectedly on Saturday, will take shape.  Within a couple of hours of his death, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader joined by fellow Republicans like Ted Cruz, said that Justice Scalia’s seat on the United States Supreme Court should remain vacant until after the November presidential election.

It’s called delay, delay, delay,” Donald J. Trump said at the opening of the presidential debate on Saturday night.  Harry Reid, the Senate minority leader, countered that it would be “unprecedented in recent history” for the Supreme Court to go a year without a full complement of justices.  Before the evening was over, President Obama promised to nominate a successor, saying he expected a timely Senate vote.”

Baseball has two balls, hard and soft.  The Big League Baseball teams play with hard balls.  The implied connotation of “Political Hardball” is that the Republicans and Democrats will play hard to deny a vote or get a justice confirmed.


Harvard Leveling the Playing Field

January 25, 2016

The New York Times, January 15, 2016

How Some Would Level the Playing Field:  Free Harvard Degrees, by Stephanie Saul

“Should Harvard be free?

That is the provocative question posed by a slate of candidates running for the Board of Overseers at Harvard, which helps set strategy for the university.  They say Harvard makes so much money from its $37.6 billion endowment that it should stop charging tuition to undergraduates…”

Another provocative question: Does Harvard short change Asian-Americans in admissions?

“Their argument is that if Harvard were free, more highly qualified students from all backgrounds would apply, and the university would no longer have trouble balancing its class for racial or ethnic diversity–making sure that Asian-Americans do not lose out.”

A playing field that is tilted, not level, is not fair to the players.  Harvard is trying to balance its classes for racial or ethnic diversity.

U.S. Iran Deals, Higher Hurdle Awaits: Syria

January 22, 2016

The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, January 19, 2016

After U.S., Iran Strike Deals, Higher Hurdle Awaits: Syria, by Carol E. Lee

“The prisoner exchange between the U.S. and Iran, coinciding with the completion of the nuclear deal, marked milestones in President Barack Obama’s policy of engagement, but ones that will be difficult to repeat as he turns to the next challenge: resolving the conflict in Syria.

With the clock winding down on the Obama administration, election-year politics in Washington and Tehran make prospects for additional cooperation deeply uncertain…

But any further advancement in Mr. Obama’s engagement policy, including on Syria, faces significant hurdles.”

At track meets, hurdles for runners and high jumpers are set at heights to test the abilities of the runner.   Higher hurdles are more difficult as implied in the headline above;  a higher hurdle awaits Syria diplomacy.

Game Changer: Could Beijing Finally Accept Taiwan?

November 15, 2015

Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, November 14-15, 2015



Could Beijing Finally Accept Taiwan?

“After a historic surprise meeting with the leader of Taiwan, Xi Jinping could go down in history for recognizing the island democracy-or choose conflict instead,” by Andrew Browne

The meeting between the presidents of mainland China and Taiwan in Singapore last weekend may signal a change in a relationship that has existed for 65 years, since 1949: a game changer.

U.S.Export-Import Bank Supporters Want a Level Playing Field

October 11, 2015

The Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday October 10-11, 2015


Trade Bank Renewal Gets Push Forward, by Nick Timiroas and Kristina Peterson

WASHINGTON– “A majority of House lawmakers took a rare procedural vote to force a vote later this month on reauthorizing the U.S. Export-Import Bank, a blow to conservative Republicans who want to close the trade bank….

Some 42 Republicans joined with Democrats to reach the 218 signatures needed to force a vote that would renew the Ex-Im Bank’s charter for four more years.  Supporters of the bank say it keeps U.S. firms on a level playing field against foreign competitors that enjoy similar support from their governments; opponents say it puts taxpayers at risk and allows the government to pick winners and losers.”

No one wants a tilted field in playing games, serious games of finance.



Hilary Clinton Forced to Play Defense

August 30, 2015

The New York Times NATIONAL Friday, August 28, 2015

Democrats See an Email Issue That Won’t Die: Concern That Clinton’s Response Falls Short, by Patrick Healey, Jonathan Martin and Maggie Huberman

“Democrat leaders are increasingly frustrated by Hillary Rodham Clinton’s failure to put to rest questions about her State Department email practices and ease growing doubts among voters about her honesty and trustworthiness…that she is not treating it seriously enough…

‘They’ve handled the email issue poorly, maybe atrociously, certainly horribly,’ said Edward G. Rendell, a former governor of Pennsylvania and a supporter of Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. ‘The campaign has been incredibly tone-deaf, not seeing this as a more serious issue.  She should have turned over the email server at the start, because they should have known they’d be forced to give it up. But at this point, there’s nothing they can do to kill the issue–they’re just playing defense.”

Mrs. Clinton has lost control of this issue and is on the defensive.