Tag Archives: Roger Smth

the bloviator



to talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way



Real speech comes, on average, in packets of 10 or so words at a time, rather sloppily juxtaposed. Rapid, spontaneous talk makes more use of parataxis — the stringing of simple clauses together, such as in this segment:

Look, having nuclear — my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at M.I.T.; good genes, very good genes, O.K., very smart, the Wharton School of finance, very good, very smart — you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, okay, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world – it’s true! – but when you’re a conservative Republican they try – oh, they do a number – that’s why I always start off: “Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune”– you know I have to give my life credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged – but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me … (speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Sun City Hilton Head, South Carolina, July 19, 2016)

In writing, this would likely be rendered using hypotaxis, which entails clearer subordinate clauses. The same sentence would be written as: “My uncle Dr. John Trump, who was a professor at M.I.T., had very good genes, which lent him considerable intelligence.”



Donald Trump, press conference, September 7, 2020:

The story is a hoax, written by a guy who has got a tremendously bad history. The magazine itself — which I don’t read, but I hear it’s just totally anti-Trump; he’s a big Obama person, he’s a big Clinton person. And he made up the story. It’s a totally made-up story.

In fact, I was very happy to see Zach Fuentes came out and said now he’s — that’s — I think that’s number 15 — and these are people that were there. That’s the 15th person. General Kellogg, everybody that was there knew what happened. And so I was happy to see that Zach came out and said it’s not true. He just came out.

And it’s a disgrace. Who would say a thing like that? Only an animal would say a thing like that. There is nobody that has more respect for not only our military, but for people that gave their lives in the military. There’s nobody — and I think John Kelly knows that. I think he would know that. I think he knows that from me.

But Zach Fuentes, as you know, worked for John. And I think they both know that. But Zach came out, as you know, today or yesterday, last night, and said very strongly that he didn’t hear anything like that. Even John Bolton came out and said that was untrue.

Now, what was true is that we had the worst weather. I think it was as bad a rain as I’ve just about ever seen. And it was a fog you — you literally couldn’t see. I walked out, and I didn’t have — I didn’t need somebody to tell me. I walked out and I said, “There’s no way we can take helicopters in this.” I understand helicopters very well. And they said, “No, sir, that’s been cancelled.”

They would have had to go — Secret Service, I have the whole list — they would have had through a very, very busy section, during the day, of Paris. They would have had to go through the city. The Paris police were asking us, “Please don’t do it,” because they’re not ready. When you do that, you need a lot of time. They take days and days and days to prepare for that.

I wanted to do it very badly. I was willing to sit in the car for two hours, three hours, four hours. I didn’t care. It didn’t matter. And I had nothing else to do. I went there for that; I had nothing else to do. It was ended because of the terrible weather, and nobody was prepared to go through, in terms of Paris, the police, the military, and the Secret Service. And they came out very strongly and said, “Sir, we can’t allow you to make this trip.” If I wanted to: “Sir, we can’t allow you, from a safety standpoint.”

It was a phony story, just like the dirty dossier — the fake, dirty dossier; just like the Russia collusion; just like all of the other phony stories. And there’ll be more phony stories.

But I do appreciate Zach coming out. But Zach now is the 15th person that’s denied it. Zach now, I think, also talked about the weather aspect of it. And he’s probably the 14th or 15th person that blamed it on weather. So that’s enough of that.


— posted by Roger W. Smith

   September 8, 2020

did Jim Brosnan use the spitball? (and, did he admit it?)



From: Roger W. Smith

To: Paul Aron

December 28, 2015


Dear Mr. Aron,

By chance, I recently discovered your book Did Babe Ruth Call His Shot? and Other Unsolved Mysteries of Baseball in the New York Public Library. I consider it a very lucky find.

I am reading the book now and enjoying it immensely. It is stimulating, informative, and very well researched. I have given copies as Christmas gifts to my two brothers.

The bibliographies at the end of each chapter are very well done, in my opinion.

I do have one correction to make that I think is in order. In Chapter 21, “Who Threw the Spitter?” you refer, in the bibliography at the end of the chapter, to Jim Brosnan’s book The Long Season (New York: Harper & Row, 1960).

I read the book in paperback around the time of its publication as an adolescent. It’s a great book, in my opinion, one of the best baseball books ever written. And to think it was written by Brosnan himself!

In your bibliography for Chapter 21, on page 169, you state: “… you have to wonder why he [Brosnan] never mentions a spitter, though he was frequently accused of throwing one.”

Brosnan, in fact, does mention throwing a spitter, his throwing one, that is.

On page 111 of my worn paperback edition of The Long Season ((New York: Dell Publishing Co., Inc., 1961), Brosnan writes (in his diary entry for April 20):

 I, personally, like to work on my spitball in the bullpen. The spitball is illegal, of course, although it’s quite popular in the National League. (Also, the International, Texas, Pacific Coast, and most other leagues I’ve worked in.) It’s not an easy pitch to control and requires constant practice. Most practitioners in the National, International, Texas. etc. leagues throw their spitballs most of the time they’re pitching. Many of them are quite successful, and I’ve often wished that I could get away with spitballs, myself. However, there’s a knack to it. I, personally, need a good stiff wind blowing straight out from the plate in order to get anything on the pitch.



From Paul Aron

to: Roger W. Smith

December 28, 2015


Thank you for your kind words about Did Babe Ruth Call his Shot? Thanks also for pointing out my error. I also read (and loved) The Long Season as an adolescent, and I obviously didn’t re-read it carefully enough. I’m not sure the publisher has any plans to reprint the book, but I will alert them to the error and make sure that if there is a reprint the error is corrected.