A Medium Happy 60th to Carrie Fisher. May the farce be with you.
Just one night after their honeymoon in Vegas, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump shared a dais at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City (just a few blocks from Trump’s home) for the Alfred E. Smith Dinner for Catholic charities (I know they fly private jets, but I’d never get used to flying as much as these people do).
Worth paying attention to: 1) the last :90 or so of Clinton’s speech 2) her easier manner with self-deprecating humor 3) the fact that Trump, as in the debates, does okay in the first half and then has a meltdown in the latter half; he should have cut it after the Melania/Michelle joke, which was the best joke, the best.
2. Best Baez
Baez was selected 9th in the 2011 MLB draft; Indian shortstop Francisco Lindor was taken 8th
Did you see Cub 2nd baseman Javy Baez’s defensive gem in the bottom of the 7th inning to rob Adrian Gonzalez of a leadoff bunt single? Baez raced in from Silverlake to field that ball and throw out Gonzalez. He was the game’s Best Baez, as Dodger reliever Pedro Baez surrendered five runs in the top of the eighth to put the game out of reach. Cubbies up 3-2 as we head back to Wrigley.
This is Eddie Gaedel-at-bat level surreal….
Also, about Jon Lester’s masterful pitching despite an inability to throw over to first base: say the Cubs win and he starts Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday. His little mental hiccup doesn’t hurt him versus the Dodgers, who were 26th in stolen bases this season. But against the Indians, who were 4th in stolen bases, Lester’s aversion to tossing over to first is going to cost the Cubs dearly.
3. Blue BaYoU
Brett Rypien threw three touchdowns and two pick-sixes. Boise State committed five turnovers and still somehow won.
In a game that kicked off at 10:15 EST, Boise State outlasted BYU 28-27. The Broncos are now 7-0 while the Cougars have lost four games by a total of eight points. Boise State should finish 12-0, but this does not feel like one of their Kellen Moore-level teams. I see a New Year’s Six Bowl in their future, but not a playoff berth. Just wondering if the SelCom will again put them in CFB apartheid by pairing them up with a potentially undefeated Baylor or Western Michigan.
4. Life’s Funny That Way
That’s Belichick in orange in the second row, next to Vinny Testaverde. Saban’s right behind him, in the last row. Also on that staff: Kirk Ferentz
Quick, who’s the best coach in college football? Gotta be Nick Saban, right? He’s won five national championships in the past 13 years and looks headed to his sixth.
Quick, who’s the best coach in the NFL? Gotta be Bill Belichick, right? He’s won four Super Bowls in the past 15 years and may be headed for a fifth.
Quick, who’s the worst team in the NFL and has been for the past decade? Gotta be the Cleveland Browns, right? They’re 0-6 right now and they’ve only had one winning season since 2003.
Just a reminder that between 1991 and 1994, Belichick was the head coach of the Browns and Saban his defensive coordinator. Saban would leave to coach Michigan State and Belichick would remain one more year before being fired on Valentine’s Day, 1996.
You never know….And, it’s okay to fail. It’s what you do after you fail that matters.
5. Sing Street
After he retired from kicking field goals for Notre Dame and a slew of NFL teams, John Carney became a fantastic film writer and director (wait, you’re telling me it’s not the same one?). If you didn’t see Once, stop reading this right now and find a way to see it. Now Carney is back in Ireland and is back dealing with lovelorn musicians in a movie that is more John Hughes.
This is Sing Street, an ode to Eighties New Wave and a young boy who starts a band in order to get the girl. And Lord Petyr Baelish plays the dad, so you cannot go wrong.
Joy To The World
“Jeremiah was a bullfrog/Was a good friend of mine…” You can’t write opening lines like that stone-cold sober, can you? Three Dog Night had a MASSIVE hit with this peace and love anthem in 1971. It was the number one pop single overall that year and sold more than 500 units.
No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama
CBS 3:30 p.m.
This will be Peak Uncle Verne & Gary, and probably the last game they do together featuring a No. 1 facing a fellow Top 10 team. Love this duo, my favorite in college football. Can anyone topple the Tide? Probably not, but the Aggies have had a week’s rest and Trevor Knight has some serious wheels to go with that arm.
The third and final debate took place last night in Las Vegas and the republic is still standing. Hillary had no good answer as to why her foundation accepts donations from human rights-violating countries, while Donald told moderator Chris Wallace, who did a fantastic job, that “I’m going to keep you in suspense” when asked whether he would challenge the results of the November 8 election.
Also, Trump said that all of his accusers have been debunked (not true at all; they’ve been debunked by him in the same way that he claims he has won every debate) and that he never denied accosting women based on the fact that they were not attractive enough for him (also not true). Trump is the garish, gropish guy at the office who has no idea how much of a misogynist and sexual predator he is, and every woman he meets who is attractive is a potential target. We met this character once before, on WKRP in Cincinnati. His name was Herb Tarlek.
2. A Quest Called Tribe
Francona demanded both the ball and a handshake from his novice starter after that sterling performance
Cleveland advances to its first World Series since 1997 as it seeks its first championship since 1948, as the Tribe shuts out Toronto, 3-0. Rookie pitcher Ryan Merritt, who took the mound with 11 innings of big league experience, allowed just two singles in 4 1/3 and then baseball’s most withering bullpen took care of the rest. An Indians-Cubs World Series would be muy bueno.
3. Brooklyn Codger*
King is getting more air time on FS1 than Clay Travis this week
*The judges will also accept L.A. King
One rather distracting aspect of keeping track of the Dodgers-Cubs series in Los Angeles is the constant view of 82 year-old Larry King, who used to attend games at Ebbets Field as a kid in Brooklyn. Los Angeles’s most famous expat of that borough has replaced Vin Scully as the most famous octogenarian inside Dodger Stadium.
Mike Brito also has that “Weekend at Bernie’s” look
Those of us above age 40 find it weird to look into a home Dodger playoff game and not see Dodger scout Mike Brito, the man in the Panama hat with the radar gun, seated behind home plate. Brito, who discovered Fernando Valenzuela decades ago, is 81, by the way.
It’s James Corden singing in a car, but years before you or I ever heard of him. Here he is going Don Rickles on the England Football Team. Yes, that’s David Beckham and Stephen Gerrard. Thanks to my good friend Mike for suggesting this….
What won’t actors do to promote their movie?
In 1994 Soundgarden was poised to join Nirvana and Pearl Jam as the third leg of the Grunge invasion. They, too, were based in Seattle and lead singer Chris Cornell was every bit as charismatic as Kurt and Eddie and he could even reach higher notes. The whole movement sputtered after Cobain’s suicide, but this gem from the band’s Superunknown retains an irresistible turn-it-up quality. Note: Soundgarden and Stone Temple Pilots are very similar; they were poised to carry rock’s American flag into the late Nineties, but it just didn’t happen and we were left with the Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20. I’ll never forgive them for this.
BYU at Boise State
ESPN 10:15 p.m.
I know, I know. Game 5 of the NLCS and Miami at Virginia Tech. We’ll miss nights like this come January and February. But the Broncos are 6-0 and the Cougars, who ripped up Michigan State in East Lansing a couple weeks back, are likely the last team standing in the way of an undefeated season and a difficult choice for the Selection Committee. BYU has 3 losses by a total of 7 points, all to good teams. Prediction: both Boise State and Western Michigan go undefeated and the SelCom sends them to the Fiesta Bowl to play one another. Keep an eye on BYU QB Taysom Hill, an Idaho native.
A Medium Happy 50th to Jon Favreau, star and writer of Swingers and Chef
In his last four appearances, totaling 6 2/3 innings, Jansen has allowed no runs and two hits
Only two teams have played more postseason baseball games than the Dodgers, who played their 200th yesterday: the Yankees and Cardinals. Yet their 6-0 shutout of the Cubs in the NLCS last night marked the first time that the erstwhile Brooklyn Atlantics, Bridegrooms and Superbas had ever recorded consecutive shutouts in playoff games (they blanked the Cubs 1-0 on Monday).
So L.A. leads the series 2-1 and Game 4 is tonight up against debate.
2. Yet Another Notre Dame With A Problem
Notre Dame Prep, the McDowell Mountains in the background….
As the Notre Dame in South Bend trudges through a 2-5 season (despite having outscored its opponents in full), Notre Dame Prep in Scottsdale, Arizona, has just been placed on probation and ruled ineligible for the postseason. The Saints, as they are know, held a “summer football class” in June and put players in pads and would you believe, some photos were taken and placed on social media (No! Yes. NO! Yes.). Also, NDP sent out letters to athletes at other schools inviting them to attend.
Notre Dame Prep is a new and ultra-rich school, located in the wealthiest section of the wealthiest town in the Phoenix area. The Saints are 6-2 overall but 3-0 in their division and probably would qualify for the playoffs. Local media have located the “concerned” parents whose only takeaway is that they feel sorry for the kids, and we get it, but this was a fairly blatant violation of a known rule. More great life lessons being taught by adults.
3. Nigel, Please
Last Saturday ESPN’s College GameDay visited Madison, where the most famous local athlete is Badger varsity basketball player Nigel Hayes. The 6’8″ senior, who averaged nearly 16 points and 6 rebounds a year ago, is going to be a very wealthy man (especially relative to his classmates) a year from now. Hayes is just not wealthy now and yes, by being a major star who earns nothing (BESIDES A COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP VALUED AT $47,544 FOR OUT-OF-STATERS, WHICH THE TOLEDO, OHIO, NATIVE IS), that seems unfair to some people (athletes and sports writers, mainly).
You know what “employees” at other businesses do when they feel that they are underpaid or taken for granted? They quit. Hayes does not seem to want to do that.
If you think the NCAA is exploiting these players, I’d like to welcome you to every business in America, if not the world. This is simple economics: As soon as I or any university president reads the story of a 4- or 5-star athlete turning down a scholarship offer, maybe the system will change. As soon as a team goes on strike en masse (before a Final Four contest), maybe the system will change.
Instead of coddling these student-athletes, sports writers should give them a lesson in economics. Management’s job is to make you an offer that is good enough to keep you from leaving the job. It isn’t to cut you in on what you think is a fair share of the pie.
Of course, the comeback here is that it’s a cartel. I guess, but the idea that you’re going to overhaul the system because 3% of its members need to take this route for their profession (which is about how many make it in the NFL or NBA) is ludicrous. I was a pre-med paying full tuition: I’d argue that my future profession was far more valuable to society and about 33% of us were moving on to med school. No one stepped in and paid my way.
Yes, but you didn’t fill up a football stadium. No, I didn’t, but my (and my classmates’) intelligence was every bit as valuable a commodity. The thing is, I can’t get into medical school without an undergrad degree, and the better the undergrad institution, the better my odds. Same with the NFL and college football. The potential NFL player also benefits greatly by playing at an Alabama or a USC. Not to mention the countless tangible and intangible benefits: expanded horizons, life experiences, media exposure, sorority honeys, and in some cases, Alaskan king crab legs.
But it’s just not fair, you say. And you’re right. It’s probably not fair that Apple, which has a market cap o $632 BILLION, employs Asian workers who make a fractional amount of what a U.S. worker would. But I don’t see you putting down your iPhone and I don’t see you not attending college football games or not watching them. You’re not willing to sacrifice anything for this noble cause (I’m talking about you the consumer, not the athletes), which just makes you a whiner.
Josh Dobbs: Starting SEC QB, aeronautical engineering major. Easy? No. Possible? Ask him. Or the people who put together Nike marketing campaigns.
Could the NCAA do more right by its student-athletes? Absolutely. Pay for their parents’ traveling to at least one postseason game per year, for starters. Give every four-year grad at least 72 further credit hours (I’d even go up to 144, about the equivalent of a four-year education) that he could either give to a family member who qualifies academically or for his or her own use. Assist by providing more education, not with money.
There are three major money problems: 1) Not all NCAA athletes have the same valuable (probably 1% or so would really be missed by the general public) 2) Once you agree to pay them, you’ve set a market. And now negotiations as to price become a constant aspect of the game and 3) You surrender the idea that young men should be going to college to receive an education; it’s just a minor league. The idea should be to reform the system and stress the value of the degree—and allow young men to earn meaningful degrees—not to be so jaded that we accept that it’s just a marriage of convenience.
Still, as soon as a Rivals 100 player turns down a scholarship, you may see university presidents and athletic directors huddle and discuss. But until then, well, these are mostly smart businessmen. Why pay more for something when the people who have the free will not to sell it (their athletic talent) to you do so anyway 100% of the time?
4. That 3rd Quarter
It’s been four days, I’m finally ready to talk about Stanford 17, Notre Dame 10.
What I want to discuss, as Keith Arnold and I talked about on our podcast, is that 3rd quarter. Not just because it’s where it all went bad, but because it’s a fascinating character study of Brian Kelly (who nine games ago had a 72% winning mark in South Bend and now has a 67% victory mark).
First drive: Notre Dame gets the kickoff to start the half (Finally!), but DeShone Kizer throws a pick-six. Great undercut of the route by Stanford’s Quenton Meeks (who had missed most of the last three games for the Cardinal) and a terrific open-field run to score it. Huge momentum change.
Second drive: On 3rd-and-7 in Stanford territory, Kizer misses an open Kevin Boykin, a completion that would have rendered a first down. On 4th-and-7 Kelly opts not to punt and Kizer, facing heavy pressure, throws a pick downfield. It’s a bad pass, but the pass the play before was the real error.
Third drive: The Irish defense forced a turnover just two plays later (on an insanely great play by Jarron Jones, the best defensive play of the season), so Kizer’s pick was not a huge blow. It’s midway through the 3rd quarter, your starter has just thrown picks on consecutive drives, and you still lead. If you’re ever going to give Malik Zaire a shot, now’s the moment. I think most of us can agree that this wasn’t the worst move, to shake the offense and Kizer out of his doldrums.
On the first play, Zaire sprints around right end for 13 yards. The stadium is energized. As is the team. Oh, what’s that? A flag? Holding on Quenton Nelson. I think that one flag changed the trajectory of Zaire’s career. Now it’s 1st-and-25 and the offense is deflated. The Irish will punt. But Stanford will punt right back. If you’re keeping count, the defense has now allowed one offensive touchdown in nine quarters, dating back to the second half of the Syracuse game.
Fourth Drive: Center Sam Mustipher snaps the ball high, fast and to the right of Zaire, whom Kelly has given a second chance. The ball sails out of the end zone. Safety. The score is now 10-9. On his second drive, Zaire was not even given a chance to touch the football.
Fifth Drive: Stanford scores on offense, finally, and gets the 2-point conversion, because of course (have you been watching Notre Dame football the past three seasons?). It’s now 17-10 and I tweet something to the effect, “If Kelly doesn’t put Kizer in now, that is a huge mistake.” Kelly sends Zaire back in. Three and out.
And there, kind of, is your ballgame. By the time Kelly finally returns to Kizer, for a 3-minute drive, he’s rusty and out of sync. He still almost pulls it out, though. He still should have not been on the bench that long. One series? Sure. Two? Maybe. Three? Never.
You have to wonder if Brian Kelly felt so much guilt over the hand that Zaire has been dealt that he made that the priority, massaging a former starter’s ego, over winning the game. It’s not Zaire’s fault. These are problems Nick Saban never faces. He’s a cold-hearted mofo, but it’s about putting your best team on the field and giving all of them the best chance to win. Ask Blake Barnett.
5. Matt Taibbi
If you have yet to read Matt Taibbi’s “How Trump Lost His Mojo,” from the Sept. 22 issue of Rolling Stone, I highly recommend it. It’s one of his masterpieces. This race changes so often, the major gaffes and low moments, that some of these issues will seem stale one month later. But the writing is too good to be ignored.
Describing a rally: “The audience roars. This is the Trump they fell in love with. It’s the same uber-confident, self-congratulating gasbag who bulldozed the Republican nomination on the strength of long, unscripted rants that were glorious tributes to every teenager everywhere who has ever taken a test without studying.”
Canada Dry Humor
In case you have not yet seen this. Our Canadian friend Moose sent this. I think Canada is trying to help us, but it’s a wee bit patronizing, eh?
Reach Out of the Darkness
1968 was the most tumultuous year in American history since the end of the Civil War: the Tet Offensive, the assassinations of MLK and RFK, Chicago riots, Nixon’s election, etc. (and yes, 2016 may still give ’68 a run for its money). It was Peak—or Nadir—Sixties, and this song by Friend and Lover is a groovy, hippie folk plea against the violence and chaos. I think this tune also ended the Mad Men episode that concludes with Megan Draper watching footage of the RFK news. The song peaked at No. 13, the duo’s only hit.
Game 5 , ALCS
TBS 4 p.m.
Game 4, NLCS
FS1 8 p.m.
Donaldson and the Jays will attempt to do some more staving of elimination today
Or you can watch the third debate, but I’d rather just wait to see how SNL distills it down to 10 minutes in three nights. Did you know that the first pitch of Cubs games has been taking place at 7:08, that’s 19:08, Central time? Love that.
A Medium Happy 78th to Mary Ann herself, Dawn Wells
A Band-Aid would have technically been a foreign substance
The Bauer and the Gory*
*The judges will not accept ‘Let It Bleed’
Cleveland Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer, noted drone attack survivor, is forced to depart Game 3 of the ALCS in the first inning when his pinkie won’t stop bleeding. The Tribe won anyway, 4-2, to move within one game of their first Fall Classic since 1997.
I cannot wait to hear Trevor Bauer’s political views in 2028.
The Big 12 has ten members. The Big Ten has 14 members. Let’s begin there. When I was a child my dad could never explain to me how the Atlanta Braves were in the National League West or the Dallas Cowboys were in the NFC East. So that is where we begin: that two major conferences in college cannot even count. Think of the children, Bob Bowlsby (at least the SEC is geographically accurate).
Anyway, The Big 12, after months of what a certain feisty former female editor (whom I love) at Sports Illustrated would have called “finger banging” Rice and Houston and BYU, among others, the Big 12 has decided not to expand—for now. I would have invited Rutgers myself, just for the giggles and the easy W. Big 12 Expansion, your 2016 SI Sportsperson of the Year.
p.s. The above two paragraphs are ALL the professional energy I’ve ever devoted to this topic. I’ll never understand why my colleagues get so riled up about these kind of topics.
3. Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Dylan’s Door
The Swedish Academy, the scholars who hand out the Nobel Peace Prize, say they have “given up” trying to reach Bob Dylan. Even though his whereabouts are fairly well-known. The troubador played a concert in Indio, Calif., last weekend and one in Las Vegas last night.
Guys, it hasn’t even been a week yet. How many times must an Academy reach out to Dylan, before they will hear back from him? The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind…
4. Lady and the Trump*
*The judges will accept donations for this hed
Above, that’s cartoonist Tom Toles of the Washington Post. And this scary one below, in Rolling Stone, is courtesy of artist Victor Juhasz.
And then this, below, may be the most terrifying. As one friend shared, “Just this month this election has been hijacked by a Bone, a Bush and pu**y. What is happening here?”
Here’s who I think Jann Wenner will make sure gets in: Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, Joan Baez, Jane’s Addiction.
Here’s who I would put in (max. of four): Yes, ELO, The Cars, Pearl Jam.
I understand Tupac’s iconic importance. If hip-hop/rap is rock-and-roll (I’ll leave that decision up to someone else) then yeah, he’s in.
People Are People
I always found I liked about 40% of any Depeche Mode song. They were definitely nowhere near my favorite New Wave band, but now they’ve been nominated for the R&R HoF and don’t you be surprised if they’re inducted. This song is a classic example of my 40% rule: I can’t stand the refrain (which actually leads off the song), or the verses, but I love the “Can’t understand what makes a man/Hate another man/Help me understand ...”. This 1984 song was their first hit single in the U.S. climbing to No. 13 on the charts.
Indians at Blue Jays: Game 4, ALCS
TBS 4 p.m.
Cubs at Dodgers: Game 3, NLCS
FS1 8 p.m.
Andrew Miller: 9 postseason innings, a 0.00 ERA
I’m in Arizona this week. You want me to start watching October playoff baseball at 1 p.m.??? What do you think—okay. The Indians are 6-0 in October. The city of Cleveland has a 9-game win streak in postseason sports since falling behind 3-1 to the Warriors.
A Medium Happy 54th to Mike Judge. Who knew “Idiocracy” would get here so quickly?
Dallas at Green Bay: Dak’s Entertainment!
Here Comes Cowboys
After yesterday’s easy 30-16 win in Green Bay, Dallas is 5-1 with two spectacular rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, in the backfield. Elliott rushed for a career-high 157 yards against the Packers (who’d been allowing 42 rushing yards per game). The Ohio State stud has 703 yards after six games; only Eric Dickerson ever rushed for more in the first half-dozen games of his career (787).
Prescott, meanwhile, attempted 176 passes before throwing the first interception of his NFL career yesterday. That’s the most attempts before the first INT in NFL history.
Elliott left school a year early, or else he would have been playing down state in Madison the day before….
The Cowboys head into a bye week before visiting Philadelphia on Halloween Eve, but even if Tony Romo is healthy, the Cowboys (HOT TAKE ALERT!!!!) would be foolish to mess with this youthful synergy.
Circle (or Hi-Lite) December 1 on your calendar: Dallas at Minnesota on Thursday night.
2. “Bye Bye” Bye*
Notre Dame football in 2016: Ineffectual Brutality
*The judges note that Notre Dame’s offense did not look in sync on Saturday evening…
Notre Dame limps into its bye week 2-5 after going scoreless in the second half against a McCaffrey-free Stanford team and losing 17-10. For the fourth consecutive week, Stanford scored only one offensive touchdown, and that in the second half, and yet they are still 2-2 in that period.
For Notre Dame fans, the season has descended into ranking losses by degree of humiliation, frustration and hostility toward Brian Kelly. This Stanford outing, in which Kelly played “Do I Or Don’t I?” with his QBs throughout the second half, is No 1 for me.
The title here references what the Stanford strength coach said to Kelly as the teams walked off the field. Irish are off next Saturday (they can’t lose!) before hosting Miami on October 29.
Nice way to rewrite the narrative, Clayton Kershaw. After closing out the Nats in Game 5 last week, the best starter in baseball’s regular season since Sandy Koufax blanks the Chicago Cubs, 1-0. Dodgers tie the NLCS, 1-1. Unbeatable trivia note: Only one other pitcher has ever blanked the Cubs 1-0 in a postseason game. His name was Babe Ruth (1918 World Series, which Ruth’s Boston Red Sox won)
Mosul is located in northern Iraq
Oh, you wanted to talk issues instead of groping? Okay, this is Mosul, a city of 650,000 that is rich in oil reserves. ISIS has controlled it since 2014 and right now Iraqi and Kurdish forces are attempting to take it back. The U.S. is helping in a limited role. ISIS is reportedly using civilians as human shields. One Kurdish general said, “If I am killed in battle, I will die happy because I have done something for my people.”
5. Job Security: Kate McKinnon
The SNL debate openings aren’t exactly original, but they have been funny mostly because Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon are nailing their impressions. McKinnon is SNL’s reigning MVP and she’ll be it again this season.
As for the comedy writing, the formula is simple: 1) Take the most outrageous moments of the previous debate and 2) exaggerate them. It’s easy. It’s formulaic. It’s not very original. But it’s working because what’s happened in the first two debates has been so easy to parody.
Before You Accuse Me
Going old school today. This song is better known by Eric Clapton’s cover of it, but the legendary Bo Diddley first recorded this hit in 1957. He released it as a “B-side” to “Hey Bossman.”
Game 3: Indians at Blue Jays
TBS 8 p.m.
A Tribe-Cubs series is looking increasingly possible. That would be I-80 incredible.
Jose Bautista has been paying attention to American politics, as he’s now claiming the ALCS is rigged and that the umps are on the Tribe’s side. Riiiiiiiiiight. Cleveland teams, meanwhile, have now won eight in a row since the Cavs trailed 3-1 in the NBA Finals last June.
A Medium Happy 89th to one of the better Bonds, Roger Moore…..
Hands Kristin Anderson*
*The judges will also accept “Forced Trump”
The story of Kristin Anderson, who tells of being felt up by a stranger (Trump) at a New York City nightclub in the 1990s broke earlier today, but it’s not even the latest such story to break in the news. Are ALL of these women lying (answer: NO)?
2. The Hours
Kershaw gets the save. The last time he got a save, in a minor league game, it lasted 121 minutes. And current Dodger closer Kenley Jansen was the catcher
Gone With The Wind…….226 minutes
Lawrence of Arabia………. 227 minutes
Game 5, NLDS, Dodgers-Nats (9 innings)……..272 minutes.
3. A Message For Steve Bartman
The Cubs fans is a Domer, and a smart and successful one, so he already knows this. But on the 13th anniversary of Cub shortstop Alex Gonzalez making an error that led to a 6-run inning and Steve Bartman going on to be blamed for it, we just thought we’d run this reminder.
4. Anyone Have Lou Dobbs’ Phone Number?
FOX Business News anchor Lou Dobbs, who has cold sores older than most of Trump’s accusers, tweeted out the phone number and address of one of them yesterday. Then he quickly deleted the tweet and apologized. I mean….
My old friend Richard O’Brien, one of the true good guys at SI (and the ultimate survivor), wrote a tremendous piece on the death of former New Orleans Saint Will Smith earlier this year.
Laugh all you want, but this song by one-hit wonders The Bay City Rollers was a monster hit in the mid-Seventies. It also gave you no excuse for not knowing how to spell a certain day of the week. This song actually hit No. 1 on the charts in the first week of our bicentennial year. Strangely enough, despite the title and despite topping the charts, BCR never had a chance to perform this on Saturday Night Live.
No. 1 Alabama at No. 9 Tennessee
CBS 3:30 p.m.
No team has been more entertaining this season than the Vols, and who knows how much gas they have left in the tank after the past three weeks? The Tide have already been on the road in Oxford and Fayetteville, plus that season opener in Arlington. Tennessee came as close as anyone (besides Ole Miss, of course) to beating Bama last season as they made a national title run. You get a legit Top 10 matchup plus Uncle Verne and Gary. Enjoy!
A Medium Happy 45th to Sacha Baron Cohen! Very niiiiiiice!
The Audacity of Grope
I know, I know. The issues. ISIS is chopping off people’s heads. And honestly, if The Donald just refused to engage all of these new sexual harassment allegations from years ago, that would be his better strategy.
But, here is whey this is going down: 1) Friday’s tape in which he bragged about in essence sexually assaulting women and 2) Sunday’s debate in which he told Anderson Cooper, “I have tremendous respect tor women, no one has more respect for women than me…no, I have not (grabbed them by the…..).”
Make it stop….
Now Trump is lashing out, threatening to sue The New York Times. Is he also going to sue the Palm Beach Post? And People? And…people? If he sues, the NYT can depose him and depose every woman who ever had a gripe with him. Meanwhile, the election is less than four weeks away…unless it’s actually will be held on November 28.
That’s award-winning New York Times reporter Megan Twohey. When she phoned Trump for a comment Tuesday night, he called her “a disgusting human being.” We’re so far beyond why he’d be a terrible leader at this point, no? But I’m sure there’s a banana republic (or a Banana Republic) he’d be able to manage.
A New Leaf
Matthews scored a hat trick and then added a fourth goal cuz why not?
Making his NHL debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Scottsdale, Ariz., native Auston Matthews, 19, scores FOUR goals in the first two periods. No one has ever done that. The Maple Leafs still lost to Otttawa, 5-4, in OT. The Leafs last won the Stanley Cup in 1967—this season marks the 50th anniversary of their drought.
3. Ballad of a Thin Man
Not a bad week for Hibbing, Minn., native Bob Zimmerman. He opened for the Rolling Stones last Friday night in Indio, Calif., and will do so again tomorrow night, and today it was announced that he has won the Nobel Peace Prize for Literature. And he didn’t even have to submit a manuscript to a publisher! When asked to comment on the honor, the man we know as Bob Dylan replied, “Himmmina mummina ho. Zibbit rikkish ooh.”
4. All’s Well That Ends Wells…
Remember that Wells Fargo CEO with the made-up-rich-kid name (John Stumpf) who was getting his hiney chewed out by Elizabeth Warren during a congressional subcommittee a few weeks back? We wrote about it. He “retired” yesterday.
On September 20 Warren called Stumpf’s leadership “gutless” and added “you should resign.” Well, he has. Effective immediately.
Forgot to post that yesterday. That’s comedian Bob Newhart, whose eponymous Seventies sitcom was based in Chicago, reminding the Cubbies that he’d really like to see them win a World Series before he moves on. Other voluble and famous Cubbies fans include John Cusack and Eddie Vedder.
Dr. Robert Hartley, completely over-chicked
Back in the early to mid-Seventies, before people began televising college football on Saturday nights, CBS owned Saturday night prime-time. You had The Mary Tyler Moore Show, followed by The Bob Newhart Show, followed by The Carol Burnett Show. And no one put a #Funny on the screen to inform you that you were watching comedy. It was sort of self-evident.
Sorta wondering whom the Cubs will have throw out the first pitches when they advance to the World Series (yes, they will). They’ll host Games 3, 4 and 5.
Also, a Happy Birthday to my sister. She’s somewhere north of 29…..
What a band Blondie was. Gorgeous lead singer with a seductive voice, and they could go from punk (“Atomic”) to uptempo rock (“Call Me”) to dreamy (“Sunday Girl”) to reggae (“The Tide Is High”) to this, disco-infused-rap. The only thing Debbie Harry couldn’t do, as this video illustrates, is dance. She’s Elaine Benes out there. This song hit No. 1 for two weeks in 1980. Yes, a blonde white girl sang the first rap song to hit No. 1 on the charts (apologies, Sugar Hill Gang).
Game 5: Dodgers at Nationals
FS1 8 p.m.
How can you expect to hit one of this dude’s pitches when his eyes are hip-motizing you!?!?!?
This is why the Nationals signed heterochromiac Max Scherzer. To take the hill in a closeout game. Scherzer is earning $210 million over seven years.
A Medium Happy 66th to Susan Anton. It was the Seventies; don’t judge.
That sight, so rare in our lifetimes, of seeing the Cubs celebrate
Earthquakes, Bay Area residents knows, are sudden and shocking and create seismic change. So did the Chicago Cubs last night at AT&T Park. Down 5-2 in the ninth, having just gotten two hits off Matt Moore (10 strikeouts), the Cubs went single (Kris Bryant), walk (Anthony Rizzo), double (Ben Zobrist), single (Wilson Contreras), error (on what should have been a double play), and single (Javy Baez) off his bullpen.
Four runs and only one out, off five relievers. Cubs win, 6-5. Game over. Series over. Even-numbered year streak over, at three.
The Giants and their fans will always wonder What if? What if we’d just gotten three outs and moved the series back to Chicago? With Johnny Cueto on the hill and MadBum waiting in the bullpen and with all the pressure of 108 long years pressing down on Wrigleyville.
We’ll never know. Maybe these Joe Maddon Cubs really are different.
2. Miracle Met
Yes, Tim Tebow laid his hand on a person who was suffering from a seizure in Arizona, and then that victim seemed to be comforted. The man’s name was Brandon and he told Tebow, who was signing autographs after going 0-3 at the plate in his Arizona Fall League debut, that he was a Georgia fan. Brandon, who was on the ground for 15 minutes, was whisked off by paramedics and is okay.
That’s one miracle for Tebow. Two, if you count that he won a playoff game as a starting quarterback in the NFL.
3. Onward, Christian Soldiers*
McCaffrey had just 35 yards rushing after getting hurt in the first half versus Wazzu….
*The judges are entirely plugging the Newsweek story of a hack they know. Skip immediately to the next item!
If you stayed up to watch Washington State at Stanford last Saturday night in Pac-12 After Sark (and I did, because I never miss an opportunity to watch Christian McCaffrey), you saw a vintage McCaffrey gallop in the second quarter. The junior, last year’s Heisman runner-up, took the handoff and headed right behind his blockers. Seeing the running lanes more clogged up than the 101 during rush hour (pro tip: ALWAYS take the 280!), he quickly reversed field and scampered 23 yards.
It was the most 2015 McCaffrey play of 2016. Soon after, though, he was gone, not to return. All coach David Shaw will say is that he is “banged up” and that they will not make a decision on him until Friday or Saturday, regarding Saturday’s was-supposed-to-be big game at Notre Dame.
Is this the play on which McCaffrey was hurt?
I wrote about McCaffrey in Newsweek. About how it wasn’t fair that he was robbed of the Heisman last season, and about how it’s a shame that this season has been such a disappointment. In Stanford’s last three games, they’ve scored five touchdowns: two on defense and another two, both to J.J. Arciga-Whiteside, with less than :30 on the clock. There was a fifth meaningless second-half TD to JJAW at U-Dub.
No McCaffrey TDs. None.
4. Vagina Monologue*
*Warning: NSFP. Not Safe For Phyllis
On her show, Full Frontal, host and The Daily Show alumna Samantha Bee went off, not exactly half-cocked, at Donald Trump’s 2005 bus comments. She ended her rant by free associating about every last euphemism for that part of the female anatomy that has ever been conjured.
*The judges also considered “Paper or Plastic,” “Six-Pack” “One Item or Less” and “I’d Bag That”
Yes, that’s Oscar winner Gywneth Paltrow, who’s been working out, for a Bazaar photo shoot. My instincts tell me that’s the Pioneer Market (the signs on the window are a giveaway) on Columbus Ave., which is this fantastic anachronism of a grocery store on the posh Upper West Side in the 70s. However, the other photos don’t seem to verify my claim. We’ll get MH’s (on) crack research staff to look into this.
The Pioneer Market. A scene out of the UWS’ gritty past….
Probably the only time “placenta” has been used in a hit song. In the last great days of MTV as a music station, the band Live from York, Pa., went to No 12 on the charts with this 1994 song. Few lead singers have had a less glamorous name look or name than Ed Kowalczyk. The song was not originally released as a single, but the album (Throwing Copper) was a hit and people couldn’t help but notice that this song was actually better than the three songs that had originally been pulled as the singles. Live, along with Soul Asylum, were a Lollapalooza-worthy if not R&R HOF-worthy band of the early ’90s.
ABC 8:30 p.m.
Can a half-hour comedy on network TV that is not exactly a sit-com (no live studio audience) actually succeed in the 21st century? Probably not, but we like that, like The Grinder last autumn, someone is giving it a try. Solid premise, and Minnie Driver gives the show about an untraditional family plenty of cred. If only it were on NetFlix or AmazonPrime.
A Medium Happy 49th—yes, he’s still alive—to Artie Lange
Ken Bone: Red, White, and You
It is actually Emily Deschanel’s birthday today, so this is kind of a two-fer
He’s 34, married, and has a son. His parents were enjoying “Thanksgiving dinner” the previous night, which means there’s probably some Canadian in his family or background. He’s self-deprecating and quick-witted. Ladies and gentlemen, Ken Bone (@kenbone18), the one good thing that has emerged from this election.
2. Cubs Lose, Cubs Lose
The Giants refuse to relent on this whole even-numbered thing…
Madison Bumgarner was far from perfect, surrendering a three-run homer to opposing starter Jake Arrieta in the 2nd inning, but the Giants still do not know how to lose when MadBum pitches in an elimination game. San Francisco won 6-5 in 13 innings on Joe “Don’t” Panik’s RBI double. The game lasted five hours and our minutes, so if you were watching on the East Coast, you were up past 2:30 a.m.
Separated at Mirth: Hunter Pence and….
…Pied Piper founder RIchard Hendric
Aroldis Chapman gave up a two-run triple in the eighth off a 102 mph fastball to Conor Gillespie to allow San Fran to take the lead, but then Kris Bryant’s two-run homer in the ninth off Sergio Romo tied it and forced the four extra frames.
Both Los Angeles and San Fran host Game 4’s today in which they will be attempting to stave off, as opposed to staving on, elimination.
3. Adios, Papi Grande
Ortiz, 40, will likely gain at least that many pounds in the next six months
The Red Sox went meekly into the New England night, being swept by the Cleveland Indians. David Ortiz, the Dominican Babe Ruth, walked in the eighth inning and was pinch-run for with the Sox trailing 4-3. The runner never scored and Papi’s place in the order never came up again, anyway.
Boston, which scored more runs than any club in baseball this season (878, or more than 5 per game) was held to seven runs in three games and never scored more than one per inning. They last led in the third inning of Game 1, 2-1. The Sox won 11 straight in mid-September, then folded like a cheap tent, losing eight of their final nine.
Still, we’re going to miss Big Papi. There was simply no one who smote a baseball quite like he did, and no one in baseball who seemed to deliver more frequently in the most crucial moments. In his final two at-bats, he lined a screamer to center that nearly dropped, but still was good for an RBI, and then later walked on a 3-0 count. He was kind of hoping, you could tell, that the ump was going to call Ball 4 a strike. On to mofongo.
4. Carnage in Vermont
All five teens were 15 or 16 years old
Late Sunday night in Vermont, five teens in a Volkswagen Jetta heading southbound on I-89 were struck head-on by a Toyota Tundra headed the wrong way in their lanes, The car burst into flames and all five, high school juniors, were killed.
It gets weirder. As the first policeman arrived on the scene and attempted to douse the flames, someone stole his police cruiser, drove off, and crashed into multiple cars before being ejected. It’s assumed that the thief, Stephen Bourgoin, 36, is the same man (at least by me), but police have yet to confirm that. Bourgoin, of Williston, Vermont, is in critical condition.
And here’s the latest Ana Navarro-Scottie Nell Hughes fracas. The Trump apologist went to Fifty Shades of Grey, the Twilight films, and Magic Mike to defend Donald Trump’s ugly sexism. As Navarro called Nell Hughes’ argument, it’s “Fifty Shades of Crazy.”
And here’s Mike Huckabee calling the GOP who are abandoning Trump as “bed-wetting, hand-wringing Republicans.”
I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)
Here’s David Letterman introducing Scottish twin brothers Charlie and Craig Reid, a.k.a. The Proclaimers, in 1989 as they perform their one major hit. The tune went to No. 1 in Australia (where someone we know once danced atop a picnic table to it; XXXs beer may have been involved) and New Zealand, and to No. 3 in the U.S.A. “Haver,” by the way, is not Scottish for vomit; it means babble or talk nonsense.
Golden State Doubleheader, Game 4s
Nationals at Dodgers
FS1 5 p.m.
Cubs at Giants
FS1 8:30 p.m.
Yasiel Puig is 0-4 in the postseason
Day baseball at Dodger Stadium with Clayton Kershaw taking the hill as L.A. attempts to force a Game 5 and a trip back East. Twilight baseball at AT&T, as the Giants try to force a Game 5 at Wrigley.
A Medium Happy 57th birthday to Bradley Whitford. This may be my favorite scene from The West Wing, and this ran years before Twitter existed and before the true nature of commenters, trolls, etc., was fully appreciated. Long live LemonLyman.com
—Hillary looked feckless on the emails and on that whole “I saw a Stephen Spielberg film once” answer. She should have gone with Saving Paul Ryan. Not her best debate, She’s definitely hiding something on the deleted emails. Nothing as bad as, “We need to out nuke Russia,” but something bad.
“I had the time of my life/And I’ve never felt like this before/And I swear/It’s the truth/And I owe it all to you-ooou-ooooo”
—I mean, even @KellyAnnePolls is subject to a slip.
—Trump suggested that he’d be throwing HRC in jail if he becomes president. He’ll make a wonderful Third World dictator.
—Is Donald still answering the Aleppo question? Call me when he’s done.
—”And I’m unproud to be an American…”
—Just broked: NBC has suspended “Bushy.”
2. Toronto Rougneds Up Texas
Sign of the times, eh?
Toronto sweeps Texas, 3-0, and sends home a second team in one week with a walk-off hit at the Rogers Centre…okay, this one was a walk-off fielder’s choice with an error, the first such series-ending play in divisional series history.
One out, bottom 10th, runners on first and second. Russell Martin hits a grounder to short off Texas reliever Matt Bush (yet another Bush from Texas), Elvis Andurs throws a low relay to Rougned Odor, renowned Jose Bautista abuser, who throws a one-hopper that pulls first baseman Mitch Moreland off the bag, and that he fails to field cleanly. Blue Jay runner Josh Donaldson sprints home and dives headfirst into the ALCS.
Blue Jays win, 7-6. Series-ending error on Odor. Do you believe in karma?
3. We AARP The World*
The Stones brought their A-game, or so we are told….
*The judges are also considering “Rock of Aged,” Sucking In Their Seventies,” “Long-Lived Rock,” and Their Generation.”
Considering the lineup over the three days—Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters and The Who—I expected to hear more about the inaugural Desert Trip in Indio, Calif., but I really didn’t. The Los Angeles Times gave the shows an Under-My-Thumbs Up
4. Mark Burnett
Burnett started out in the USA as a Malibu nanny and selling T-shirts on Venice Beach. No lie.
In October of 2002 I had the good fortune of spending three weeks in Fiji, covering the final Eco Challenge. The event’s founder, Mark Burnett, was there the whole time. I had a lot of time to hang out with him and a few other journalists.
Now Burnett is better known as the creator of Survivor, The Apprentice and Shark Tank. All of which brings us to Donald Trump. What intrigues me about Burnett, who had as much to do with where Trump is today as anyone outside of Fred Trump, is that unlike Donald he is a self-made man; a war hero; an immigrant.
There’s actually a youth hostel and a bar on this island. I spent an excellent Sunday there once.
And yet he appears to be a Trump supporter, albeit not a vocal one. I guess once you get into that top one-tenth of one percent, your perspective changes. It’s also curious that Burnett produces Shark Tank, whose star is Mark Cuban, an outspoken Trump adversary. Arguably THE most outspoken one among billionaires.
Finally, I’ll leave you with this nugget of wisdom I recall Burnett sharing with me, as he discussed why some four-person Eco-Challenge teams were less likely to succeed than others. One night he said, “You’re never completely a failure until you blame someone else.” I wonder if he remembers saying that. And I wonder if he ever thinks about that wisdom in his assessment of Donald Trump.
5. Splashmouth Football
N.C. State: We came to rain!
It just keeps spiraling downward for Notre Dame (in a downward direction, Brian Kelly can really spin it), which has now lost six of its last eight games. Saturday’s 10-3 loss to North Carolina State in the outer reaches of Hurricane Matthew might have been forgivable if Coach I-Know-What-I’m-Doing had put the Fighting Irish in position to win.
But Kelly didn’t. Despite having at least two future first or at worst second round picks on his offensive line, Kelly insisted on throwing the ball in a hurricane (according to the indomitable and intrepid Pete Sampson of Irish Illustrated, the Irish ran just two more times than they passed in 64 plays). You’ve got Quenton Nelson and Mike McGlinchey, future NFL starters, on the same side. Run the ball behind them.
Subtract sacks from the rushing attempts and add them to passes. Notre Dame finished with 33 rushes/31 passes in hurricane conditions.
You’ve got Malik Zaire and C.J. Sanders, two of your five best playmakers, and you give each of them the ball once. You mess with your punt call, which is the play that cost you the game.
In short, your hubris compelled you to think that your mental acumen, translated to the actions of your players, could transcend a natural disaster. You sped right into the iceberg because you believed nothing could stop you. And yelling at your center, Sam Mustipher, at the end of the game was a pretty bad look. No one gets to yell at you. Trust me, they want to.
The Irish are 2-4 with five of their final six games against teams that can beat them. Irish do host Stanford next, maybe the only school having as bad a time the past few weeks outside of them and Michigan State.
Time of the Season
The British band The Zombies recorded this tune in 1967 at Abbey Road Studios in London. It climbed to No. 3 on the charts in 1968. A quintessential late Sixties tune, right down to the Hammond organ. This may be the best Doors song that the Doors didn’t actually write.
Nationals at Dodgers (4 p.m., MLBN, 1-1)
Indians at Red Sox (6 p.m. TBS, 2-0)
Cubs at Giants (9:30 p.m., FS1 2-0)
Maybe not in sheer numbers, but in terms of awe and a sense of being larger than life at the plate, Big Papi is the closest thing to Babe Ruth we’ll see in our lifetimes
Nat-Dodgers: Will Vin Scully show up in person? Tribe-BoSox: Is this the last call for David “Milk of The Papi” Ortiz? Cubs-Giants: MadBum pitching in an elimination game. SF has Chicago right where it wants them.