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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

​Donald Trump picks ‘The Man From Glad’ as his running mate

Clinton and Trump wouldn’t have a chance
of winning without each other

NFL sacks Brady, its marquee quarterback,
for a minor infraction while giving lip service
to the major issues and problems that could destroy the league

By David Maril

While wondering if Gov. Mike Pence, just picked by Donald Trump as his vice presidential running mate, has finally acknowledged that smoking cigarettes are detrimental to a person’s health, it is interesting to note the following:

PENCE who brings new meaning to the term bland, is a dead-ringer for “The Man From Glad,” the old TV pitchman for trash bags who had white hair and wore white suits. Perhaps if a “Mr. Whipple” look-alike was available, Pence would have been bypassed and continued to run for reelection as governor of Indiana.

PENCE IS a more conventional and safer pick than controversial New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie or Newt Gingrich, the disgraced former Speaker of the House. One certainty, he will never overshadow Trump. His “claim to fame” is his track record of being out of touch with the times and few legislative accomplishments in Congress or as governor. Evidently Pence wanted to be Trump’s sidekick so much, he pursed the job despite being quite critical, in private, of the GOP’s presidential nominee.

SINCE Trump officially announced the selection of the Indiana lightweight as the VP pick on Twitter, perhaps this is the new means of communication to be used to deliver his state of the unions and other important policy speeches if he is elected.

IF TRUMP is elected, it wouldn’t be surprising if Christie, a formal prosecutor, is named Attorney General. Gingrich would be perfect as Trump’s full-time attack dog.

Mike Pence and the Man From Glad: which is which?

DESPITE ELEPHANTS being retired as performers, don’t be concerned about the GOP no longer being represented in circuses. Because of the dexterity they have displayed with their endorsement of Trump without supporting him, Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader and Speaker of the House, respectively, will be offered jobs as high-level tight-rope walkers in circuses around the country.

ON THE Democrats’ side, it is interesting to speculate on how much the unpopular Hillary Clinton would trail in the polls if anyone else but Trump was running against her. Of course, the reverse is also true with Trump. A Democratic candidate who had credibility and some level of trustworthiness would be preparing for a more lopsided victory than Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater or Richard Nixon over George McGovern.

IT IS NICE to see CBS has the sense to enlist the services, on a part-time basis, of retired newsman Bob Schieffer for commentary and perspective during this election period. But on the other hand, why doesn’t CBS give a few deserving up and coming journalists a chance for airtime to sub for Scott Pelley on the evening news? Do they really need to use 73-year-old Charlie Rose? This isn’t a knock on this solid newsman. However, he is already one of the main anchors on the lengthy weekday morning news program while also continuing his daily interview program on PBS. How much airtime does he need?

SPEAKING OF Pelley, why does he continue in his role as a commentator on 60 Minutes. Isn’t anchoring the prime-time evening news enough?

IF I WAS head of CBS news, Norah O’Donnell would be the prime time news anchor and Pelley would go back to full-time to 60-Minutes.

THE BEST TV political journalists today are Jake Tapper, Dana Bash, Jeff Zeleny, and Wolf Blitzer on CNN, Matthew Dowd on ABC, and John Dickerson on CBS.

WITH ALL THE DEATHS and tragedies from recent shootings around the country and the terrorism in Nice, France, one story offering some international hope has been buried. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin over a more cooperative effort in Syria makes a lot of sense. While there are a lot of rough edges to work out, the United States and Russia should be seeking ways to fortify alliances and work together on major issues, such as combatting terrorism, of mutual interest.

INTER-LEAGUE play has destroyed much of the appeal of the Major League Baseball All-Star game. The fact that players from both leagues regularly face each other has taken away the intrigue of how they match up against each other that the All-Star game used to offer. There was also more of a sense of league pride in winning the game. For many years, during the 1950s and early 1960s, when the Yankees were dominating the World Series, the NL saved face by winning All-Star games. Even though the All-Star game determines the home field advantage for the World Series, the affair seems more like an exhibition matchup than a sports event of any magnitude.

WHY CAN’T WE have more professional athletes like Tim Duncan, who recently retired quietly after 19 seasons of excellent play in the NBA? In our world of boorish celebrities and inflated egos, Duncan personified unselfish team play.

IT IS PUZZLING to try and understand the priorities and thinking of the cast of characters who make up the National Football League’s governing hierarchy. Commissioner Roger Goodell,, nothing more than the owner’s portfolio manager, is no doubt celebrating the court ruling affirming his power to suspend star quarterback Tom Brady.

But with all that is wrong with the NFL, why was so much money and effort focused on dishing out a four-game suspension, an unheard of major penalty, for the minor infraction of using slightly deflated footballs? If they are so worried about the footballs, why aren’t full-time referees and officials hired for games? Why aren’t game footballs stored and put into play under the supervision of officials? It seems fairly certain that doctoring footballs has been going on around the league for years.

This is nothing more than a clumsy attempt to penalize the Patriots because of past team controversies and the win-at-all cost reputation of its successful but media unfriendly coach, Bill Belichick. Brady, a model, respected NFL star, gets singled out while numerous undisciplined players, on all kinds of supplements, are out of control with their behavior on and off the field. If the NFL really wants to have a positive impact, it should focus on coming to the rescue of all the former players who are struggling with brain injuries, psychological problems, and crippling physical ailments from not being protected enough when they played the game.

Brady, 38, has announced he will serve the four-game suspension and come back and rejoin the team in midseason. The NFL should consider itself fortunate that one of its most popular stars, who has won four Super Bowls, doesn't just walk away from the game and enjoy the rest of his life. Soon to be 39, he is in tremendous financial shape, leads a celebrity life and has his health. But Brady loves to play the game and is a competitor. You have to believe there are some NFL fans who usually root against New England pulling for Brady to have the last laugh and win another Super Bowl on Goodell’s watch. It would be enjoyable watching the ineffectual commissioner have to present the trophy to the Patriots on national television after the game.

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.