Yankees, Hurting, See Culprit: The Fitness Coach
The New York Yankees, suffering more injuries than usual this year, decide to fire their fitness coach. Uh, that’s the story, folks. Read all about this front–page news.
With one misstep on Tuesday, Phil Hughes, a Yankees rookie pitcher, lost his chance for a no-hitter. On Wednesday, Marty Miller lost his job.
Miller was not the manager. He was not even on the playing roster. He was the first-year strength coach, and he became the Yankees’ latest casualty in a dreary 10-14 start to the season that includes four hamstring injuries to pivotal players.
BACK (bottom of page A14):
Iraq Reconstruction Is Doomed, Ex-Chief of Global Fund Says
Think Iraq looks grim? Add to this tragic nightmare the billions of taxpayer dollars wasted on an ill-conceived reconstruction effort, one that not only helped to fuel the insurgency, but in doing so sealed its fate.
How did it all go so wrong?
While the United States initially donated $10 million to the fund, which now totals about $2 billion, Mr. Bell [former chairman of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq] said that it had shown no sign of giving more. He said many programs paid for directly by the United States appeared to have foundered because of a tendency by American officials to keep control.
“They go in and tell their guys how to do things,” he said. “It’s a microcosm of what the Bush administration has tried to do with the intervention. But you can’t impose mind-sets.”
Who could’ve predicted this? Though warning signs existed years before, here’s a flashback to an article in The Washington Post, “Despite Billions Spent, Rebuilding Incomplete,” from November 12, 2006:
Yet those inside the reconstruction effort say security concerns were hardly the only problem. Poor planning and coordination by U.S. officials meant that even successful individual projects failed to do the job; for example, health-care centers were built at great cost but had no water and sewer service. Poor work-site management by contractors meant that some projects went awry. And now that the United States is handing over reconstruction efforts to Iraq, many involved with the process worry that the Iraqis don't have the training or the money to keep U.S.-built facilities running.
This was not how the rebuilding of Iraq was supposed to go. In the fall of 2003, six months after the U.S. invasion, President Bush promised Iraq "the greatest financial commitment of its kind since the Marshall Plan." Top administration aides said they considered that plan, which helped rebuild Europe after World War II, to be a model for Iraq. Congress soon passed a spending bill that, while offering less money than the Marshall Plan, was expected to be enough to get Iraq back on its feet.
Riding through the streets of the northern city of Mosul three years later, taxi driver Sattar Khalid Othman has barely noticed.
"What reconstruction?" Othman said in an interview last week. "Today we are drinking untreated water from a plant built decades ago that was never maintained. The electricity only visits us two hours a day. And now we are going backwards. We cook on the firewood we gather from the forests because of the gas shortage."
Yesterday, once again, The Times bumps a damning Iraq article from its cover in favor of journalistic candy. Today, five more U.S. soldiers died in Iraq, with eleven others wounded.
Sure hope another Yankee doesn't pull a hamstring tonight.