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Kwame, everyone’s new favorite Detroit Tiger and ‘One Tough Nerd’

From A to Zowie

Kwame, everyone’s new favorite Detroit Tiger and ‘One Tough Nerd’

(Published in the June 2, 2010 issue of the Clio, Michigan-based Mt. Morris/Clio Birch Run/Bridgeport Herald).

By Richard Zowie

…Last week came the news that former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was sentenced to 1.5 to five years in prison for violating his probation for perjury and for hiding assets instead of paying back restitution to the Motor City.

Wow, was I shocked.

Ok, not really.

While he’s serving his time in prison, I sincerely hope that Kwame’s handlers will encourage him to use his free time to listen to the Dave Ramsey Show and learn about money management. I’m far from rich, but it amazes me how Kwame had a $120,000 per year computer salesman job (before taxes, but in Texas where there’s no state income tax) but at one point said all he could pay towards monthly restitution was six dollars. I hope he likes making license plates…

…Detroit Tigers fans are no doubt excited about their team’s closer, Jose Valverde. As of the writing of this column on Sunday afternoon on May 30, in 22 appearances he has a microscopic 0.44 ERA (he’s given up only one earned run) to go with his 1-1 record and 11 saves.

Sigh. As a Houston Astros fan, I remember how Valverde was very successful in his two seasons as a closer with the Astros. This past offseason, Valverde wanted a multi-year deal of around $10 million per season. Houston wanted to go to arbitration. Valverde, figuring Houston would whine about their team and payroll and would argue to an arbiter they should be able to pay him a few million less, refused and filed for restricted free agency.

True, Houston saved about $10 million annually by not re-signing Valverde and will get a draft pick or two from the Tigers, but one has to wonder if Detroit indeed got the better end of the deal. Especially since Houston now has one of the worst records in baseball and especially since Houston has been horrible drafting players lately. It’s pointless to draft a promising player if you’re going to offer him a contract that’s laughable…

…This is 2010, which means we’ll have the fun task in November of electing a new governor. I suspect the main issue with Michigan voters will be the economy and fiscal responsibility. The “One Tough Nerd”, Republican candidate Rick Snyder, looks like he could fit that bill as he founded the computer company Gateway and turned it into a successful company. But in 2006, Dick DeVos looked pretty solid as the head honcho of Amway, only to fall flat against Governor Jennifer Granholm in the main election.

What dirt could there be on a computer geek/businessman like Snyder? Maybe he likes to use the ancient 5.25 floppy disks for skeet practice, or maybe he’ll be caught sometime with cannibalized Commodore 64 parts in a Gateway computer. Or maybe he’ll be caught on camera having no idea how to text message on his cell phone.

Something needs to be done since Michigan has turned into a business-unfriendly state with an economy that’s in the toilet…

Richard Zowie’s a reporter and columnist for the Herald. Visit his blog at http://www.fromatozowie.wordpress.com or e-mail him at richardzowie@gmail.com.

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