IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Tuesday, April 22

 STARTING FIVE

1. Ten Years After

I never really felt those Don McLean lyrics, “the day the music died” until I got word on a Friday afternoon in April of 2004 that Pat Tillman had been killed. On days such as today, you try to be careful not to appropriate his memory, not to ascribe qualities to him just because you appreciate those qualities, as opposed to him actually having those traits.

I never met Tillman, although he played college and pro football in my hometown, i.e., the Phoenix area. What I do think it’s fair to say about Tillman is that comfort and ease were never priorities for him, nor were being popular or cool. He came to his own conclusions and his B.S. meter was always properly calibrated.

Tillman’s sacrifice may have been no greater than any other soldier who died in the line of duty. But his character was rare. See the powerful doc “The Pat Tillman Story” if you ever get the chance and watching ESPN’s “OTL” on Tillman’s death tonight is a good idea, too. The young Ranger who was standing near him when he died, Bryan O’Neal, tells Mike Fish of ESPN, and I paraphrase, “Everything I do in my life is an effort to live up to the standards that Pat set.”

And here are some solid words from Jim Rome. Rack it.

And here’s a solid anecdote, told by Josh Weinfuss, about a dinner in Seattle that took place a few months before Tillman died. Doug Tammaro is one of the men behind the creation of “Pat’s Run”, which will take place for the 10th time in Tempe this weekend.

2. We Like Ike

For the second time in two weeks, Ike Davis hits a grand slam in his team’s win. What makes the Arizona State alum’s prolific clouts more unusual is that he was traded from the Mets to the Pirates between the first and second slams. Davis’s two grand slams after just 15 games puts him on pace to hit 21 grand slams, for 21 different ball clubs, in 2014. \

3. Girls Gone Wildling

Ygrittes, I’ve had a few/But then again too few to mention…

I wish there were even more time to recap Sunday night television. Instead, a few random thinkages: Ygritte shoots a father dead with an arrow to the head as he is talking to his son. And then the Thenns will…eat Crow? Cooking instructions: It takes 30 minutes as the Crow fries…Ever notice how Tywin Lannister always comes out a winner and never seems to break a sweat? He’s Gregg Popovich. Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen has the world’s most awe-inspiring army but never has to fight a battle. She’s Geno Auriemma. 

On “Mad Men”, of course Don Draper gets an “I love you” on Valentine’s Day from…Sally. While Peggy has turned into the nastiest cat lady of all time, or as James Poniewozik of Time aptly called it, into “Hannah Horvath.” Pete Campbell remains as self-absorbed and needy as ever –he’s “guy-coastal”–while Roger keeps his clothes on for an entire episode.

It is an episode filled with bon mots of wisdom, from “Just tell the truth” to “Cash the checks, you’re going to die some day” to “Keep pretending: That’s your job.” There’s the work kitchen scene, which is every bit as good as last season’s when Harry Crane commented on how hot Don’s new bride was within earshot of Megan (awkward). This time, it’s African-American secretaries Dawn and Shirley calling one another by their own names as a means of mocking their white colleagues who cannot tell them apart. And then, when the white secretary enters, silence. That’s pitch perfect.

Lou Avery: How do you spell “troglodyte?”

Reminds me of the SI writers meeting I once attended. The only black writer on staff then was Phil Taylor. As he walked past, one of the funniest people I ever met at SI –I’ll leave him anonymous here –said to me, but loud enough because he wanted Phil to hear, “See that? Those people always hang out with each other.”

Honestly, if this particular episode of “Mad Men” wasn’t for you, then I must say that this series isn’t for you. It’s the subtext and the character evolution that makes this show brilliant, not the plot twists.

4. Kevin is For Real*

You kind of figured that was going in. That’s the scariest part.

The Thunder still lost later, in overtime,  but this reedick four-point play by Kevin Durant that trimmed a five-point lead Grizzlies lead to one with 13 tick-tocks remaining was otherworldly. The funny thing, as others have noted, is that it seemed a surer thing than Kendrick Perkins’ point-blank layup that tied the contest later. If the Thunder somehow fail to make the NBA Finals, or even the Western Conference finals, is it too soon to do a “30 for 30″ on the fact that Durant and James Harden were once teammates?

*See what I did there?

5. Wheel or Fake?

That’s him in the stretcher, wondering, Why do I have to return home?

Did the 15- or 16 year-old Santa Clara lad really stow away in the wheel well of a Maui-bound Hawaiian Airlines jet over the weekend? How did he survive he decrease in both air pressure and temperature? Impossible! we all say, even though while this flight was taking place we were probably at mass celebrating the resurrection from the dead of an unemployed Jewish carpenter whom the Romans put to death. Life’s funny that way.

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993: Reggie Jackson, RF, Tom Seaver, P 1994: Phil Niekro, P, Rollie Fingers, P 1995: Pete Rose, INF, Mike Schmidt, 3B 1996: Steve Carlton, P, Denny McLain, P 1997: Jim Rice, LF, Don Sutton, P 1998: Dick Allen, 1B, Dave Parker, RF 1999: Nolan Ryan, P, George Brett, 3B

2000

Robin Yount, SS; 1974-1993, Brewers

To damn The Kid with faint praise,  Yount was a two-time American League MVP despite never leading the league in HRs, batting average or RBI. He may belong in the Hall of Very Good, but his inclusion is an indictment on the Eighties as perhaps the game’s most forgettable decade since integration. Yount did collect 3,142 hits, though, which puts him 18th all time.

Carlton Fisk, C; 1969-1993, Red Sox, White Sox

Pudge was an answered prayer to New Englanders. A native of New Hampshire who had a face that begged to be put on a Brawny towel package, Pudge was unanimously voted Rookie of the Year in 1972. Three years later he clouted the most famous home run in World Series history (sorry, Joe Carter), and most fans seem to forget –or not care–that the Sawx didn’t even win that Fall Classic. A born on-field leader, Pudge held the record for most home runs by a catcher (351) and most games played by a catcher (2,226) at the time of his retirement.

Remote Patrol

John Wayne Double Feature

TCM 8 p.m.

There’s actually lots of good viewing available this evening (I’ll be DVR’ing “The Way, Way Back” on HBO 2 at 8 p.m.), but Turner Classic Movies lives up to its name with two of The Duke’s (not to mention director John Ford’s) finer efforts: first, it’s the 1939 film “Stagecoach” (1939)at 8 p.m., followed by “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962) with Jimmy Stewart, at 10. The latter film gave us the eternal truism, “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”

The Film Room with Chris Corbellini

Draft Day

by Chris Corbellini

While we wait for some foolish soul to tackle a movie about Super Bowl Sunday that doesn’t involve a low-hanging blimp, here’s the not-quite-the next-best thing: a film about football with virtually no football in it, the Kevin Costner flick “Draft Day.”

It should come as no surprise that the NFL wants the lot of us with discretionary income (Ed Note: People have discretionary income?) thinking about football year-round, and a good way to market the sport that way is to build up its annual Draft as the second biggest event of its calendar. What once was an April weekend of chain-smoking, phone calls and Pete Rozelle’s announcements in what looked like a 1970s basement is now a prime-time broadcast from Radio City Music Hall in May, and before the draft prospects even play a single down in the league they are introduced on the red carpet as if hosting Saturday Night Live.

“Draft Day” is the realization of that marketing mission. Here’s a non-threatening, Hollywood treatment about dreams being realized against the backdrop of the game (even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has a cameo). The league should be most pleased with the final cut, and the story’s within-reason authenticity. The rest of us will watch amiable, disposable entertainment that skims the skim of the surface of what could have been a terrific football film (Ed Note: In short, this film is the Dallas Cowboys of movies?)

       Full-disclosure here: I work on and off with the NFL’s offices in New York, Mt. Laurel, N.J., and Los Angeles. My favorite moment of the picture occurred when I saw a colleague get his own line of script in the third act. That happens when you put in some unofficial work for a production (usually gratis), and knowing that this guy wants his name in lights anyway, I chuckled when I saw him involved. Secondly, a show I’ve helped put together about draft prospects for the league’s network is in the final stages of production.  Please consider all of that when I write the following … I love the NFL Draft itself, for what it was and what it is now, for a reason somehow not shown in the movie.

“No, I said, ‘Fold your right arm over your left.’”

There have been some easy comparisons between “Draft Day” and “Moneyball.” I see that and raise you the following: Draft Day is a 90-minute football version of the Ricardo Rincon trade scene in Moneyball.  Remember, earlier in the movie, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) explains his backstory to assistant Jonah Hill by saying, and I’m paraphrasing, “You’ve got the Yale degree and a great apprenticeship here. You can bail at anytime. I’m 44 and this is it. Do you believe in this thing or not?”

It pays off later, as the duo work the phones to make the Rincon trade. It’s fabulous, it shows the smarts behind the brawn of the game, there are stakes involved, and it might have happened nearly verbatim. So, a Hollywood creative might think: That was a great scene, and meaty acting. You know what, football is enormously popular now. Do crafty deals like that happen in football? Oh yeah they do, on draft day.

Sub out Billy Beane for Sonny Weaver, Jr. (Kevin Costner), the Cleveland Browns general manger who appears headed for a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day: his girlfriend, the team’s salary capologist, Ali (Jennifer Garner), informs him that she’s pregnant; his disapproving mother demands that they sprinkle his late father’s ashes on the practice field; his coach (Denis Leary) comes at him like a two-headed hydra of James Woods and Barry Switzer. Toss in a ticked-off incumbent quarterback and an owner demanding he make a splash to appease their relentlessly tortured Browns fan base. It’s a grocery list of nightmares for an NFL GM, or someone in the audience who has ever been a middle manager in the audience.

I want the linemen on this side of the room, and the backs on this side of the room, OKAY!?!

So Costner makes his move early, becoming the other guy on the line with a Beane-like wheeler-dealer, giving up his future for the Seattle Seahawks’ No. 1 overall selection. (I thought this was fortuitous timing for the entire production, given the nationwide exposure of the Seahawks as Super Bowl champs. Of course, that doesn’t explain why Seattle had the top pick). From there, Costner gets his groove back and becomes The Man With The Plan, and it all ends well for our hero, some of the college players he targeted all along, the family and the franchise.

Sounds reasonable for a lukewarm April release, right (Ed Note: matches the weather)? Certainly timely, right? Maybe, but it really missed out on capturing the pure joy involved in being selected. If you are producing a sports movie with no sports action involved, and phone calls drive the drama, shouldn’t there be a climactic moment where a drafted player gets the call that will change his life? It doesn’t have to be showy, either. Think of the five most meaningful phone calls you’ve ever had. The map of your entire world is being redrawn, and it can be a quiet thing. They failed to capture that aspect of it.

On that note, one final personal NFL story: I worked on a production that wired Adrian Peterson for sound while he was waiting for the call in the NFL Draft’s green room. His family, seated at a table just like in this film, had suffered their share of head-shaking hardships, from the incarceration of his father, to the death of a brother (who was struck by a drunk driver right in front of Peterson’s eyes). A beat after the Minnesota Vikings called with the life-altering news, Peterson whispered to his mother, “It’s happening, mom.”

 

The powerful runner, now an All-Pro, nearly trembled as he waited for the official announcement. “Draft Day” didn’t capture that, or try to, not even with a game, giddy Chadwick Boseman (who capably played Jackie Robinson a year earlier, and here portrays a linebacker who unfortunately reminded me of New York Jets bust Vernon Gholston) celebrating with family after his name was called. The film doesn’t focus on the prospects behind a superficial scene or two, so their draft moments pass without much weight.

Which leaves us with Crash Davis/Ray Kinsella/Roy McAvoy to carry the picture.  Costner had two standout moments, one involving a yellow post-it note, and the line about “the great ones find a way to slow it down.” Paul Newman once said “I can make a good script great.” It was his gift, and because of all our years together with Costner, he can do it too in one genre – sports. Telling James Earl Jones that the voice at Fenway Park said “The man’s done enough, leave him alone,” in “Field of Dreams“, or dancing with Annie Savoy, or quietly absorbing his outright release from the Durham Bulls in a pool hall in “Bull Durham”.

Not appearing in this film.

In this case, Costner did his best with a script that tried to serve both the die-hards (look, that’s the real NFL green room!) and general movie going public (look, Costner and Garner are having an in-office romance in a closet!).  There is another great sports movie in him, just like there was another great movie for a white-haired Newman about a small-town fix-it man called “Nobody’s Fool.” (Ed Note: That’s in my In Bruges Hall of Fame”, films that you REALLY need to see). “Draft Day” was not it. The framing is all wrong. In the classic “Bull Durham,” Savoy’s velvety voice tells the story about Costner’s minor league club and her belief in the Church of Baseball. This go-around, Costner’s narrator was ESPN’s bombastic Chris Berman, indirectly expounding on what makes the NFL Draft so easy to market. I preferred Annie.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Monday, April 21

 STARTING FIVE

The last time an American man won Boston, they didn’t hand out prize money.

1. Meb Wins!

American marathoner Meb Keflezighi, 38, wins the Boston Marathon in 2:08:37, becoming the first U.S. male since Greg Meyer in 1983 to break the tape on Boylston Street.

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya was a repeat winner in the women’s division, trimming nearly two minutes off the course record with a 2:18:57. Shalane Flanagan, a Yank, led the race through 17 miles before finishing in 2:22:02, which was a PR for her.

It was the largest field (approx. 36,000) in Boston Marathon history and, given the anticipation surrounding the race, appeared to have the largest number of spectators.

My question: There were about 36,000 entrants. Americans pay $175 to enter and foreigners $225. Put the income there at about $6.5 million. The race pays out $800,000 in prize money and a little more than that in fees to towns through which the race runs. Meanwhile, the Boston Athletic Association is probably still raking in $2-3 million (most race day workers are volunteers). So, isn’t this model a little bit like the NCAA?

2. Mad Men of Westeros

If you’re scoring at home, that’s the second Jaime-Cersei sex scene played out in front of a boy.

Jamie Lannister says “I don’t care” when his sister/co-parent Cersei tells him to “Stop” (dont’ fear: the Tallahassee Police Dept. is on the case) in front of their son’s death altar…the Thenns invade a peaceful Crow settlement, sparing one lad to inform him that he was going to eat both his parents (so, no boiled potatoes for supper)…Samwell deposits the woman he adores (and her son) in a whorehouse…the Hound robs a man who gave him shelter because he can…Stannis continues to be deluded by his own grandeur… It’s nice to see so many Game of Thrones characters picking up the slack for Joffrey now that he’s gone.

And wouldn’t the world be a better place if it had a Game of Thrones theme park or Game of Thones Las Vegas casino/hotel? Who wouldn’t love to see a life-size replica of the wall and Castle Black? Or cocktail waitresses who behave like Melisandre? Bouncers who wield Valeryian steel?

3. Knicks Nix Woodson

To nobody’s surprise, the ‘bockers fired coach Mike Woodson and his staff on Monday morning because doing so on Friday might have made too many of us compare him to the most famous martyr of all time. The Knicks fired Woodson because 1) James Dolan cannot fire himself and 2) he’s not that good of a coach.

Five Hall of Famers, but only three starters, in this photo (Lucas, Clyde, Reed, Phil, Bradley)

Here’s hoping Phil Jackson finds a way to let Carmelo go and reap something in return. Meanwhile, I’d recommend an obligatory viewing of Michael Rapaport’s “When The Garden Was Eden” at this week’s Tribeca Film Festival.

4. Rockets Trail Blazers…

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 46 points in Portland’s Game 1 OT win.

…1-0 after blowing a 13-point fourth-quarter lead at home. There are going to be some goats after one round of playoffs this month, and right now your leading contenders are Dwight Howard, Chris Paul –I cannot wait until State Farm rolls out its Steph Curry/Jeff Curry campaign, and Roy Hibbert.

5. Richard the Lion-Hearted

Richard: Geek chic.

As HBO comedies go, “Silicon Valley” has yet to hit its stride, but in Richard (Thomas Middleditch, who resembles Hugh Grant’s pale, wan, malnourished little brother) we have a protagonist who’s easy to root for. He’s pretty much the polar opposite of “Veep’s” Selina Meyer.

In fact, positioning “Veep” and “Silicon Valley” adjacent to one another allows for fun comparison/contrasts between the two ambitious leaders and their support staffs. Richard is decent and upright, while his crew is a little morally untethered, while with “Veep” it’s sort of the opposite. Not totally, but a little.

I love how in just two weeks we’ve gone from Richard negotiating with his incubator buddies as to what type of negotiator he is to Richard negotiating sternly for the rights to Pied Piper (even though the T-shirts are horrible and, yes, the Pied Piper was a mass murderer of children, but…)

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

Ducky Medwick

 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993: Reggie Jackson, RF, Tom Seaver, P 1994: Phil Niekro, P, Rollie Fingers, P 1995: Pete Rose, INF, Mike Schmidt, 3B 1996: Steve Carlton, P, Denny McLain, P 1997: Jim Rice, LF, Don Sutton, P 1998: Dick Allen, 1B, Dave Parker, RF

1999

Nolan Ryan, P; 1966-1993, Angels, Rangers, etc.

For the first half of his career, Ryan was known as pure heat, but wasn’t considered a masterful pitcher. More like a gimmick. After all, no pitcher ever issued more walks (2,795) or allowed more hits per nine innings (6.6). He also never won a Cy Young Award. Only in his later seasons did he garner the respect of the greater baseball community, as he set the all-time record for career strikeouts (5,714) while hurling an MLB-record seven career no-hitters.

George Brett, 3B; 1973-1993, Royals

Brett, who actually inspired the hit song, meets Lorde.

Imagine an affable Pete Rose and you have Brett, a 13-time All Star who won the American League batting crown in three different decades (the only player ever to do so). One of only four players in MLB history to collect at least 3,000 hits (3,154), 300 home runs (317) and retire with a .300 batting average (.305), Brett seemed that more dangerous at the plate when runners were in scoring position or the game was on the line.

 

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Friday, April 18

 STARTING FIVE

1. Rule No. 1…

…is, of course, “Gravity always wins.” Snow falls downhill (by definition of the word “fall”). An avalanche on the slopes of Mount Everest claims the lives of 12 or 13 Sherpa guides this morning, as Jon Krakauer rushes out to Staples to buy more note pads and pens.

2. tWITter

Conan turns 51…

How an IT guy from Peoria, Ill., landed a job writing for Late Night with Seth Meyers based on his tweets. This was not a “30 Rock” plot line.

Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien, who turns 51 today, airs rare footage of Jesus’ domestic life (something nice for Good Friday).

3. Giggle Meals

Comedian Amy Schumer, with help from Josh Radnor Charles, sends up the tropes of Aaron Sorkin.

4. “We’re No. 10!”

But be sure to read all of Grantland’s pieces lauding the Motor City as it promotes “Bad Boys” this week.

In a list compiled by Forbes of America’s “10 Most Miserable Cities”, my home of New York City finishes outside the single digits. Of the nine more miserable, California, Illinois and Michigan split evenly with three apiece. Detroit and Flint were Nos. 1 and 2.

 

Okay, kids, I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date. Will return to this later…

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

Johnny Bench, 7 bal

 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993: Reggie Jackson, RF, Tom Seaver, P 1994: Phil Niekro, P, Rollie Fingers, P 1995: Pete Rose, INF, Mike Schmidt, 3B 1996: Steve Carlton, P, Denny McLain, P 1997: Jim Rice, LF, Don Sutton, P

1998

Dick Allen, 1B; 1963-1977, Phillies

The essential Dick Allen: Note the cig

The “Wampum Walloper” may be the best position player not in Cooperstown. How many other players have been named Rookie of the Year (1964), league MVP (1972) and have led their league at least once in home runs, RBI, triples, runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, total bases and walks? A controversial player who was at least a decade ahead of his time in terms of social issues, Allen remains left out of MLB’s Hall. But not mine.

Dave Parker, RF; 1973-1991, Pirates

If it weren’t for a cocaine habit, the Cobra would probably have gone on to become one of the 100 greatest players of all time. Physically gifted like another contemporary named Dave (Winfield), Parker was a seven-time All-Star as well as the 1978 MVP. He was also the first player to earn an average salary of $1 million per year. A two-time batting champion, he also helped two different teams to World Series championships, in 1979 and ’89. Like Allen, he is not actually enshrined in Cooperstown.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Thursday, April 17

STARTING FIVE

Notice the FC Barca fans showing their appreciation for Bale’s goal.

1. Gareth Bales Out Real Madrid

(The judges would also have accepted “Keeping it Real”)

Oh, this was just a magnificent singular effort by the prince of Wales in the Copa del Rey. That it was also the game-winner made it even sweeter. We’ll likely never see Bale play in a World Cup, since Wales has only qualified once, in 1958, so enjoy him between August and May.

2. Faulty Towers

With a 5.04 ERA, Wade Miley is actually the ace of the staff. Team ERA is an MLB-worst 6.02 (the state’s area code).

The Arizona Diamondbacks find themselves in unfortunate serpent stances: an MLB-worst 4-14 after being swept at home by the New York Mess. They are 1-11 at Chase Field. They traveled to Australia to begin the season for a two-game set in Sydney versus the Dodgers and failed to score a run. They’ve allowed 115 runs in just 18 games. Everyone is playing in their pool right now. The honeymoon for manager Kirk Gibson is definitely over, but the GM, Kevin Towers, is taking the blunt of the blame.

Do Jeff Hornacek and Ryan McDonough do baseball?

3. Lake Bell Epoque

And she still wants to be the starting quarterback for Bob Stoops.

That’s Brooklyn royalty Lake Bell on the cover of Esquire and no, I still don’t understand why HBO chose not to review “How To Make It In America.” Where’s my Rasta Monsta energy drink?

4. Gnash-ville

Over the next 11 days there will be 89 films shown at New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival, but none has more teeth than Zombeavers, the seminal “undead semi-aquatic rodent horror flick.” The full list of films is here, and I encourage you to see a few if you’re in town. Me, I’m already working on a Kickstarter campaign to fund my film, ZomBiebers.

5. “Oui Out, Bitches!”

Dust off the beret. Did anyone inform Kobe that there is a Disneyland much closer to his Newport Beach home?

Laker legend Kobe Bryant said “Au revoir” to the worst season in franchise history one day early, jetting off to France on the eve of the team’s final game, in San Antonio. The Lakers defeated the league’s best team, 113-100, to finish 27-55.

Reserves

Walhbergers

Donny Donnie Wahlberg inducts himself into the Over-Chicked Hall of Fame by getting engaged to Jenny McCarthy. Mark Wahlberg as a brother-in-law? That’ll be interesting.

Bullets, Near Broadway

Tanaka has struck out 28 batters in 22 innings. The splitter has filth all over it.

If the Yankees do make the playoffs this season, it’ll be because of their pair of aces: 25 year-olds Masahiro Tanaka and Michael Pineda, who both anchored shutouts against the Chicago Cubs in the Bronx yesterday. It was baseball’s first doubleheader sweep shutout since 1988, and the two hurlers, both of whom are in their first active year in pinstripes (Pineda was injured all last season), were brilliant. Tanaka allowed just two singles, both on bunts.

The Cubs, by the way, have never won a game in the Bronx. They were swept in both the 1932 and 1938 World Series, in a 2005 interleague series (in which Derek Jeter hit his first and only career grand slam), and yesterday.

***

Jerry Seinfeld’s 10 funniest jokes

****

Man you don’t at all feel sorry for

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

John Clarkson

 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993: Reggie Jackson, RF, Tom Seaver, P 1994: Phil Niekro, P, Rollie Fingers, P 1995: Pete Rose, INF, Mike Schmidt, 3B 1996: Steve Carlton, P, Denny McLain, P

1997

Don Sutton, P; 1966-1988, Dodgers, 4 others

As a rookie Sutton, then 21, found himself in the same Dodger rotation as Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. His career was almost the polar opposite of Koufax, one of length and consistency that rarely approached untouchable brilliance. Sutton won 324 games in 23 seasons, finished with 3,574 strikeouts and 58 shutouts, all of which place him in the top 15 on those respective lists. And yet he only had one 20-win season.

Jim Rice, LF; 1974-1989, Red Sox

In the summer of 1975, sports’ greatest debate was which Boston Red Sox rookie would win American League Rookie of the Year (if not MVP): Rice or Fred Lynn (it’ll be a “30 for 30″ some day; book it). The latter would win both, while Rice would finish 2nd and 3rd in the respective categories…and go on to a more prolific career. The eight-time All-Star led the A.L. in total bases three years in a row, becoming the first player since Ty Cobb to do so. Good company.

Remote Patrol

Life Below Zero

National Geographic Channel 9 p.m.

Looking for a Starbucks

This is NOT a Bret Easton Ellis novel brought to the screen. Or one of the worst Elton John albums ever. Instead, it’s a peek inside the lives of seven Alaskans who prefer living on the outer fringes of North America and the habitable planet. With a cameo by no one you’ve ever met.

 

 

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Wednesday, April 16

STARVING FIVE

1. Food, Glorious Food!

The NCAA deregulates…your appetite? All Division I schools may now provide “unlimited meals and snacks” to its athletes, guaranteeing that the country’s 70% obesity rate is in no immediate danger of falling. College football also added a 40th bowl game, in Orlando. It was more bowls everywhere yesterday.

I will salute the first football team to put a  fixins bar on the sideline…

Also, does this mean players can engage in Joey Chestnut vs. Kobayashi-style competitive eating contests?

Of course Andy Staples, SI‘s bard of barbecue, had to, um, weigh in on the topic.

2. Kiss, and Makeup

Sure, they’re millionaires, but not a doctor or lawyer in the group. Oy vey!

Okay, sure, they’re really a nostalgia band at this point. And they’re hopelessly narcissistic. But Kiss has made the cover of the Rolling Stone, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and booked a live gig on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show in the past fortnight. I LOVED Brian Hiatt’s profile of the band in RS and urge you to read it if for no other reasons than 1) the lede and 2) to learn what Peter Criss told Paul and Gene when he first met them.

Also, do you ever need a good excuse to recall this philosophical discussion on the value of Kiss from “Role Models?” (“I didn’t know Jews could sing like that.”)

3. Smells Like VIP Spirit

If Kurt Cobain were still alive, being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame probably would have killed him.

The surviving members of Nirvana, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, play a private gig for 230 invited guests  in Brooklyn (of course…as my colleague Alexander Nazaryan has aptly stated, “Manhattan is the new Brooklyn) following the band’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. Joining them as lead vocalist for the band’s seminal hit was none other than Joan Baez….wait, I’m checking….Ohhhhhhh, Joan Jett. Anyway…enjoy.

4.  Peeling the Layers

Death to America. But we’d like to try a waffle taco first.

Here’s a story from The Onion that you might not want to forward to any of your pals who know the words to Alan Jackson’s “Proud to be an American.” Whether or not Al Qaeda was this smart, this advanced in game theory, I’ve always suspected that the best tactic for them, following 9/11, was to just sit back and allow certain unnamed men in power overreact. And what has happened?

I’ll stop now. I laughed. But only because I think it hits a little too close to home.

5. Cheeky Brits

Viking Quest, on the Thames.

The Times of London shows off its comedy chops. There are at least three editors I could name from my days at Sports Illustrated (all of whom attended or lived in Princeton…or were named Jerry) who would have “fixed” this item.

Reserves

“A millionaire comedian walks into a bar on the Lower East Side and….” (I liked the third graf).

*****

If you didn’t watch the Hillsborough doc on ESPN last night, I highly recommend catching it at some later date.

****

Florida State would like our only memories of the fall of 2013 to be the school’s national championship in football and its quarterback’s Heisman Trophy performance, but Walt Bogdanich and the New York Times have other ideas. By the way, how much extra does it cost to make every web layout look this good? Because, IMO, it’s worth it.

****

?????

It appears from the above photo that ubermodel (see, cuz she’s German) Heidi Klum is sharing an intimate moment with Jonah Hill…but actually the 40 year-old stunner (I take all my literary cues from “Page Six”) is topless on a Mexican beach with something called a Vito Schnabel (that’s what, two Axis powers?). And he’s 27. Seriously, A.J., you’re better-looking (and younger) than he is. Go for it! (fyi, A.J. is the son I never had and is an occasional reader of this blog…he may or may not be famous some day, but he’ll always be entertaining).

*****

Boston $trong

The two Emerson (Lake and Palmer) College students who began printing “Boston Strong” T-shirts last April in hopes of being able to sell 110 of them and contribute $2,000 to the One Fund? They’ve sold 59,000 plus and made $893,000. Take that, “Catholics vs. Convicts.” Seriously, I think those two kids should keep a little of the coin for themselves. They’ve earned it.

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993: Reggie Jackson, RF, Tom Seaver, P 1994: Phil Niekro, P, Rollie Fingers, P 1995: Pete Rose, INF, Mike Schmidt, 3B 1996: Steve Carlton, P, Denny McLain, P

1997

Phil Rizzuto, SS; 1941-1956, Yankees

Holy Cow! It must have been great to have been “The Scooter.” Never the best player on those Yankee dynasty teams, and standing just five-foot-six, he was nevertheless the 1950 American League MVP. To have played at Yankee Stadium in perhaps the most exciting era in the city’s history, a guys-and-dolls era when your teammates were Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra. The Scooter turned more double plays than all but one player in MLB history and was part of seven World Series winners.  A five-time All-Star who retired with a .968 fielding percentage, second only to Lou Boudreau at the time, he was also one of baseball’s best bunters. His number, 10, was retired by the Yanks, fittingly. Born in Brooklyn, raised in Queens, and made famous in the Bronx (where he was also the Yankee broadcaster for four decades), the Scooter is an indelible part of the Big Apple.

Ferguson Jenkins, P; 1966-1983, Cubs, Rangers

The firs Canadian inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (his dad was from Barbados, his mother a descendant of slaves), Jenkins had an eight-season tear in which he won at least 20 games in seven of them (while never pitching for good teams). The 1971 National League Cy Young Award winner, Jenkins went 24-13 while tossing 30 complete games. One of only four pitchers in baseball history to fan more than 3,000 while walking less than 1,000.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Tuesday, April 15

STARTING FIVE

Bostonians exercising their 1st amendment rights to “peacefully assemble.”

1. Portrait of Resilience

The Sports Illustrated cover of what appears to be the entire populace of Dorchester perched at the finish line of the Boston Marathon is an example of a brilliant idea perfectly executed. Kudos to SI photo dept. head Brad Smith for pulling it off — I don’t yet know who shot it, but perhaps occasional reader MoeCav will enlighten us. As for whose idea, I don’t know, but a number of the top editors are either from Boston or attended college there.

And you thought I was going to lead today with a story on a very different photo, now didn’t you? (I won’t even link to it; Phyllis reads this, after all).

2. Coachella Fitzgerald McRainey

Fans take in the Haim set. If nothing else, this should inspire a Big Head Todd & the Monsters reunion.

So there’s like 166 bands and tickets cost $375, and that’s before you factor in transportation, food and lodging. The last time I attended a music festival (Pemberton, 2008) is probably the last time I attended a music festival. And I’m not the only dude who’s down on them.

Then again, I’m old. If Guns and Roses reunited for this, I’d at least give it a shot. If three of your five favorite bands on the bill were The Replacements, The Pixies and The Cult, then you are probably…me.

Also, there was/is a band playing there named UZ. How many disappointed fans showed up expecting to see them? Don’t the organizers of Coachella know that U2 fanboys now need reading glasses and might easily misread that band’s name? Of course they do!

Festival was both last weekend and this weekend in Indio, Calif., which is Spanish for “dust gets in your food.”

3. Lap Dance

Phelps’ agent should also land him a cameo in “Sharknado II.”

So, Michael Phelps is jumping back into the pool. Because he’s not exactly a charismatic personality, he’s not handsome or dumb enough to be Ryan Lochte, and how long do you want to be shilling fritos on your sub and flatizzas for Subway? Phelps is the greatest swimmer that America has ever produced, even better than Mark Spitz (who once dated a woman who appears regularly on NBC), but most of us who heard him say that he was retiring after London thought, He just needs a year or two off. He’ll be in the pool in Rio. And so it looks as if Phelps, who will still only be 30 then, will be.

Besides, did you see what was going on with Tinder at the Sochi Olympic Village? I’m sure Michael did.

4. Veep is Peeve Spelled Backwards (Kinda)

They may be amoral clowns, but they’re still better than the real thing.

So much terrific television on Sunday evening, as there has been for years, but no program features better ensemble acting than HBO’s “Veep.” Think about the degree of difficulty. On “Walking Dead” or “Breaking Bad”, for example, but particularly on the former, it’s just one person soliloquying (is that a word? No? Deal with it) followed by another. Even “Game of Thrones” isn’t so verbally challenging; it’s the action where choreography is required.

In “Veep”, however, it’s often multiple people bickering at once, and the frenzied chaos is so authentic that you forget you’re not watching a documentary. Besides, Julia Louis-Dreyfus is a unique figure, a self-absorbed female anti-hero who may be more venal than everyone who works for her. Oh, and I don’t know where Tony Reali finds the time to appear in the show, but I think that he does.

I hesitate to call it the best show on Sunday nights. But right now, it may be the smartest.

5. Pullit Surprise

Journalism’s last angry man. You’re welcome.

Medium Happy isn’t losing sleep wondering when its Pulitzer will come (though we do wonder when Matt Taibbi will receive his long overdue bauble). Anyway, the Pulitzers were announced yesterday and some dude from the Washington Post (or, WaPo…or, as Jonah Ryan of Ryantology calls it, the Washington Toast), gave a really nice speech.

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993: Reggie Jackson, RF, Tom Seaver, P 1994: Phil Niekro, P, Rollie Fingers, P 1995: Pete Rose, INF, Mike Schmidt, 3B

1996

Steve Carlton, P; 1965-1988, Phillies

“Lefty” finished with a 329-44 record and 4,136 strikeouts, which are 11th and 4th on the all-time lists, respectively. He is the last National League pitcher to win at least 25 games in a season (27-10 in 1972) was the first to win four Cy Young Awards. The 10-time All Star once struck out 19 batters in a game, though to be fair, it was the Mets in the Sixties. On the dubious side, Carlton holds the MLB record for most balks, with 90, which is more than double anyone else.

Denny McLain, P; 1963-1972, Tigers

I’m going off the grid and saluting a Detroit Tiger pitcher for having a singularly sensational season (and he likely won’t be the last Tiger pitcher I praise thusly). In 1968 McLain transcended sport, making the cover of Time magazine and appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show (with his quartet and guitarist Bob Gibson, performing “The Girl From Ipanema”) as he went 31-6. McLain is the first and only pitcher since Dizzy Dean, who did so in 1934, to win 30 or more games (Dean was on hand to congratulate him). The following year McLain was still brilliant, going 24-9 and pitching three more shutouts than the previous season. He was named the All-Star starter, but when the game was delayed one day due to rain, he chose not to cancel a scheduled dentist appointment. He visited the dentist, then flew himself (he had a pilot’s license) to Washington, D.C., and arrived at the park in the second inning. Those were different times.

Yes, I know all about his gambling involvement.

Remote Patrol

Hillsborough

ESPN 8 p.m.

A cynic (looks around) might note that ESPN’s first soccer-themed doc to get viewers gassed for the upcoming World Cup is not so much about soccer as it is about death and mayhem. Noted. Still, the tragedy that took place 25 years ago today in Sheffield, England (as I’m sure Bill Hubbell will tackle later today in Day of Yore) that claimed 96 lives was a signature moment in sport, and it occurred just before SportsCenter began to take off, which means that it really never resonated here. I’m not even Googling it, but I bet that Clive Gammon wrote the story for SI, because back then Clive Gammon was Grant Wahl, and that’s one of the best jobs in sports journalism: SI’s lone soccer writer (although now the editors there actually care about soccer so you can’t pretend to be an expert as much as you used to be able to…but I digress).

Quick aside: watched the Champions League final in 1998, a classic between I believe Man U. and Bayern, in a bar on the Upper East Side. With me were Steve Rushin and Jeff Bradley (Bob’s brother). Few journalists in America back then were as up on soccer as those two (in fact, I think ESPN even noted one or both of them during the telecast)…and they were with me in a a bar on the UES. Again, times have changed.

STARTING FIVE

Joffrey’s dad, apparently, is not the only king slayer

1. He Had It Coming

Young King Joffrey gets the comeuppance we’ve all been waiting for, on his wedding day. Either that or he had a wine-and-cake allergy. Not to worry, Castle (and Beckett) are on the case. Seriously, though, the police lineup should be everyone in Westeros not named Cersei.

Meanwhile, since it’s April and since wine played a large role in Joffrey’s demise, how about a face-melting, kickass song from April Wine? April Wine is Canadian for “Scorpions.”

By the way, I love the guy on Twitter who wondered why Bran Stark was visiting the Ticket Oak. Brilliant.

2. Bubba Gumpin’…

Bubba Watson.

Someone named Bubba won something in the South. You are either a Masters person or you are not. I can appreciate how beautiful the course is, but my view is tainted by how exclusionary the place is. As April events go, I’ll take Pat’s Run in Tempe, which celebrates the life of Pat Tillman and in which tens of thousands participate.

3. NCAA Union Talk

Mat Bodie and Colin Stevens lament the fact that they’re not being paid for this.

And it has nothing to do with players’ rights and/or Northwestern. Nope, Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., won the Frozen Four after outlasting Minnesota on Saturday night. The Gplden Gophers had advanced to the final by scoring the game winner versus North Dakota with 0.6 seconds left on Thursday night.

No lie, I spotted a dude wearing a “Union, Men’s NCAA Hockey Champions” t-shirt yesterday.

So this is curious…the NHL is a major spectator sport. And there’s college hockey. But there’s also junior professional hockey and granted, hockey is still not a revenue producer at most schools. The beauty of this is that we can still almost have a national championship featuring Union vs. North Dakota, and players can still be drafted, but no one skulks around with a surly look on their face all day long.

4. Pronunciation is His _ _ _ _ LL _ _   _ _ _ L

In case you missed this gem from “Wheel of Fortune.” That’s the game show’s second viral video in the past month. I’m beginning to become suspicious. Not a big deal. It only cost Julian one million dollars.

5. Peggy and the Plunger

If you think I’m hot, you should see my brother Bailey’s girlfriend.

The season premiere of “Mad Men”: Don writes ad pitches in absentia just to stay sharp…yet another 90s TV teen brunette pursues an affair with Don (Linda Cardellini last year, Neve Campbell last night)…two classic 60s tunes that are heavy on organ and where the organist was also the vocalist are used masterfully (Spencer Davis Group’s “I’m A Man” and Vanilla Fudge’s “Hangin’ On”)… Ted Chaogh eats his toast dry because that’s the kind of life he’s living these days…Pete Campbell has gone LA LA and he’s even more insufferable (but not as angry)…Ken Cosgrove now has Keith Olbermann’s problem… Joan goes to college (for an afternoon)…the kid from “Cougar Town” has a business degree…Peggy is now a loathed Upper West Side land lord…Lou Avery is every implacable, stuck-in-the-mud boss you’ve ever had…in the Time-Life Building (I’ll just name him “Peter Carry” for as long as he remains on the show)…Meg’s teeth still need fixing…Nixon is inaugurated, marking the last time a man with that bad a hairline would ever become president of the United States…Don buys Meg a TV and doesn’t have to wait for cable to be installed…and Roger appears to believe ’69 is more than just a year.

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993: Reggie Jackson, RF, Tom Seaver, P 1994: Phil Niekro, P, Rollie Fingers, P

1995

Pete Rose, INF/OF; 1963-1986, Reds, Phillies

The Hit King is No. 1 all time in the single-most important category in the game: Hits (4,256). He’s also No. 1 in games played (3,562), at-bats (14,053) and outs (10,328). He was also a 17-time All-Star at five different positions. Numbers don’t tell the entire story with Rose, who also had a 44-game hit streak in the summer of ’78: he was a feisty overgrown child who played every game like he was nine years old –he even had a nine year-old’s haircut. For gambling as a manager, he deserves to  be out of baseball. But he is far too integral to the game’s history to not be in the Hall.

Mike Schmidt, 3B; 1972-1989, Phillies

Rose’s teammate for a time, Schmidt is arguably the greatest hitting third baseman in the game’s history. If not the greatest at the position, bar none. A slugger, he led the National League in home runs in eight different seasons and retired with 548. By the way, the Phils’ infield of the ’70s –Schmidt, Bowa, Cash, Allen — is nearly iconic as that of the Big Red Machine’s –Rose, Concepcion, Morgan, Perez.

Remote Patrol

Gone With The Wind

TCM 8 p.m.

Sort of eerie to air this classic on a day when there are tornado alerts across the Central Time Zone (not to mention on the anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination). Anyway, if you’ve never caught this Civil War classic in its entirety (I have not), here’s your chance to at least DVR it and save it for some time when you have four hours to kill. Which, if you watch Yankee-Red Sox games, you do.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Friday, April 11

STARTING FIVE

There’s no foreign substance replay, as far as I am aware, but no, that ain’t dirt.

1. “You Say Pineda, I Say Pedroia”

The Yankees and Red Sox meet for the first of 19 times this season, with pinstripe pitcher Michael Pineda stifling the World Series champs in a 4-1 victory.
Let’s see: “P-i-n-e….” That can either lead to “Pineda” or “pine tar.”

2. Goo Goo Goo Joob

Walrus and Smallrus

Craig Stadler, “The Walrus”, is ten over, in 95th place, after one round. His son, Kevin Stadler, “The Smallrus”, is two under, tied for fifth. The difference? Daddy already owns a green jacket.

3. LOL, Lolo

Will Lolo solo at ESPYs? (I hereby publicly request to be her escort)

Winter (and summer) Olympian Lolo Jones makes a crack on Twitter about Drake hosting the ESPYs (“It’s going to be tough for him to hand out all those awards to Rihanna’s ex-boyfriends”). The female hip-pop princess’ legion of fans responded with a collective –and profane — “No, you di’unt!”

4. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions

Nirvana, and its surviving DNA.

Inductee Yusuf Aslam, a.k.a. Cat Stevens, admits, “I never thought I’d be sharing a stage with KISS.”
Or even a record collection.
Michael Stipe inducts Nirvana , Chris Martin inducts Peter Gabriel whilst reading from “The Book of Genesis”, Bruce Springsteen inducts the E Street Band, and Tom Morello inducts KISS. Tom’s getting a lot of good gigs these days. He must be likeable.

5. Big Chimpin’

Chimps escape from the Kansas City Zoo. Keep an eye out for the one the other chimps refer to as “Caesar.”
(The judges would have also accepted, “Don’t get body-slammed by a lowland gorilla.”)

Reserves

This AT&T parody of “True Detective” and its own ads is brilliant (“That’s not even a thang”). Give that man or woman who thought of this a raise.

***

Nora Tobin, personal trainer.

Now this is just smart magazinery. Shape puts out a list of the “50 Hottest Female Trainers” (oh, and okay, “50 Hottest Male Trainers” [go wild, A.J.] in America. I’m waiting on their “50 Hottest Female Trainers in Iceland.”)

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

Chief Bender

 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993: Reggie Jackson, RF, Tom Seaver, P

1994

Phil Niekro, P; 1964-1987, Braves, 3 others

The ultimate knuckle ball maestro, Niekro lasted 24 seasons, winning 318 games (16th all time) and striking out 3,342 (11th). He retired at age 48 (only Julio Franco, who would come decades later, played at an older age). Niekro threw one no-hitter and is also the last pitcher to win and lose 20 games in the same season (21-20 in 1979). Ralph Kiner once compared Niekro’s knuckler to “watching Mario Andretti park a car”, which is a better line than most sportswriters have ever dreamed of. True to his quirky pitch, Niekro was born on April Fool’s Day.

Rollie Fingers, P; 1968-1985, A’s, Padres

While he technically has a losing record (114-118), Fingers was one of baseball first superb closers, saving a league-leading 35 games in 1977 and 37 games in 1978. In 1981 with the Brewers he won both the Cy Young and the AL MVP after saving 28 games with a ridiculous 1.04 ERA and –even though the stat had yet to be invented — 0.872 WHIP. A seven-time All Star and three-time World Series champ, Fingers merits induction for his handlebar mustache alone.

Remote Patrol

Mad Men

Sunday, 10 p.m.

So you’ve got GoT at 9 p.m. followed by , Don Draper Dick Whitman, last seen sharing a priceless moment with his children as they stood outside his childhood whorehouse as Judy Collins’ “Both Sides Now” played in the background. Seriously, though, that was one of the best television moments of ever. 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Thursday, April 10

 STARTING FIVE

Well done, Stat Boy.

1. Reali TV

So, Good Morning, America taps Tony Reali, the purloined letter of ESPN programming, to sorta replace Josh “Misdemeanor” Elliott. Good move. The Fordham alum hosts Around the Horn with aplomb and does a fine job as PTI‘s red pencil.

Meanwhile, Max Kellerman has carved out a smaller fiefdom, on radio primarily, in Los Angeles.

At some point during his first month on GMA, Reali should share this story. Lara Spencer will just gape.

Like Jim Nantz, Reali grew up in Marlboro, N.J., just a town or two over from where this scribe grew up.

2. Teed Off

This month’s Golf Digest cover model. But you’re right, Augusta won’t miss Tiger.

The Masters begins without Tiger Woods for the first time in 20 years. Both Jim Nantz of CBS and ESPN assure us that there’s still plenty of drama that awaits. Okay, sure. But they also have a vested interest in us watching. It’s spring time in New York City after a winter longer than even Ned Stark could imagine, so I’ll be outside, anyway.

3. Oscar, Oscar, Oscar

The Pistorius trial ratchets up the drama as prosecutor Gerrie Nel becomes your ex-girlfriend (“You just refuse to take responsibility for anything!”) and also accuses him of being terribly self-centered (an Olympic athlete?!? Mon dieu!). I have a hunch that the Blade Runner will break down and confess to knowingly shooting Reeva Steenkamp, but…that’s just a shot in the dark.

Also, take note of how Oscar will never utter the word “kill” no matter how many times Nel baits him to do so. Not that saying the word “kill” would be a confession to murder, but Oscar’s defense counsel, Barry Roux, understands that if you get Oscar uttering that word it’ll be on every news cast from now until people stop caring about this trial. He won’t let that happen.

4. NC-PAY-A

AD noted that he had the financial hardship of helping raise a child he fathered out of wedlock as a freshman. I’m a troll for mentioning this, of course. These things just “happen.”

ESPN puts a story on its rundown about how former NFL MVP Adrian Peterson, the most deserving Heisman Trophy winner who didn’t win a Heisman Trophy in the past quarter century, believes that college athletes should be paid.

Well, of course he does.

Peterson cites himself and Johnny Manziel as examples of guys who earned a lot of money for their schools –he is correct –and LeBron James as someone who would have made a school tens of millions. Again, correct.

Peterson fails to mention –and the ESPN scribe who wrote the story, Ben Goessling, never does, either – that that trio would represent 0.02% of college football and basketball players in any one season. By this reasoning, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are the reasons that you should drop out of college.

That idea, by the way, is a spoof premise in the series premiere of “Silicon Valley.” The idea that college is a dead end.

Peterson’s belief comes from a very personal perspective, and in his case he’s correct. Also, he’s correct that high school grads should be eligible for the NBA and NFL drafts. Let the owners decide individually whether or not to take the risk. But to use those three men as examples of why college jocks should be paid ignores the 99-plus% who are actually getting the better deal than had they not accepted the scholarship.

5. The Colbert Rapport

“Nation… the next host of ‘Late Show’ will be Stephen Colbert.”

I’m a Catholic white guy slightly younger than Colbert, so it’s no surprise that I love this choice. That and the fact that he’s fearless, smarter than the other kids in class, and hilarious.

The New York Times has its doubts, but then didn’t they just print a retraction about their dismissal of evolution or heliocentrism or women’s suffrage (something like that)? A reminder of just how funny Colbert can be.

So, yes, Reali and Colbert get upgraded TV gigs in New York City today. That’s Catholic Power, bitches.

Think about how difficult it is to play a character night-after-night, a satirical send-up of the far right who still manages to be engaging enough to draw in most everyone. Excellent choice. Other prospective hosts who would’ve been solid, at least to me:

1. Ellen Degeneres

2. Neil Patrick Harris

3. Kevin Spacey

4. Seth Meyers

5. Pablo Torre….He’s a quick study

 

 

The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

Jack Pfiester

 1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993

Tom Seaver, P; 1967-1986, Mets, Reds, Indians

Tom Terrific helped the Miracle Mets to their unlikely 1969 World Series win while also winning 311 career games (18th all-time) and recording 3,640 strikeouts (6th). A 12-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young Award winner and the 1967 NL Rookie of the Year.

Reggie Jackson, 1967-1987; A’s, Yankees

Senor Octubre

No one in the history of baseball whiffed more times (2,597) than Mr. October, but that from-the-heels swing also accounted for 563 career home runs, 463 doubles, 2,584 hits, 14 All-Star Game appearances and five World Series rings.