by John Walters

Starting Five

In Spicer's defense, Hitler never pulled a ticketed passenger off a commercial flight

In Spicer’s defense, Hitler never pulled a ticketed passenger off a commercial flight

Springtime For Hitler Comparisons

It feels as if we’re shooting fish in a barrel at this point, but today’s Another Day Of Trump brings us Sean Spicer, who from his perch in the White House briefing room compared Syrian president Assad unfavorably to Adolf Hitler.

“You had someone who was despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons. So you have to, if you are Russia, ask yourself is this a country and a regime that you want to align yourself with.”

Dig: I’m not averse to a Hitler comparison if it’s accurate. Things that make people uncomfortable shouldn’t bother you if they’re true. What was actually objectionable here, of course, is that Hitler DID sink to using chemical weapons in gassing hundreds of thousands if not millions of Jews and other unfortunate prisoners in his camps. That should be more bothersome to anyone who cares. The schmuck (Yiddish word; don’t @ me) who speaks for POTUS couldn’t even get that correct.

All of this took place on Passover, by the way….

2. A Cespedes For The Rest Of Us

Who cares how many different vehicles Yoenis Cespedes drives to work at spring training. When the season begins, he smokes the ball. Last night Cespedes, whom Moneyball genius Billy Beane traded away two summers ago (there are still Oakland A’s fans who insist this was a smart move), clouted three home runs in the Let’s Go’s 14-4 mugging of the Phillies. That’s the second time in less than two years Cespedes has had a three-homer game for NYM. No other Met has ever done it twice.

Still not as big a deal as when Colon smacked one home run last year in San Diego

Still not as big a deal as when Colon smacked one home run last year in San Diego

Cespedes hit all three homers in the first five innings. He later doubled and grounded out. The Mets got four other home runs, including two from Lucas Duda, Duda, all the Duda day.

3. Oh! Canada

Okay, kids, maybe this is the year when The Great White North hoists a Stanley Cup. Canada, which invented the sport of hockey (yes, they also invented basketball, albeit in our country), has five count ’em five franchises in the Stanley Cup playoffs: Montreal, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton and Toronto.

The land of Justin-not-Pierre Trudeau has a 5/16ths chance of smooching Lord Stanley’s Cup, which no Canadian club has done since Montreal did so in 1993. Canada clubs have only even gotten into the Stanley Cup finals five times since then, losing all five times.

Great One II: Connor McDavid, just 20 years old, led the NHL in points this season

Great One II: Connor McDavid, just 20 years old, led the NHL in points this season

One interesting thing: None of the five clubs will face one another in the first round. The Canucks (ironically, the Vancouver Canucks are the one Canada team that did not advance to the postseason; UPDATE: Oops, sorry Winnipeg; we forgot you) could all advance to the second round or all be gone by then.

Montreal and Edmonton are the best bets to advance.

4. Cat On A Hot Tin Stoop

Bye Five? That’s Cat Greenleaf, host of Talk Stoop, who just slapped Nicole Richie in the face. What else is there to say?

5. No Direction Home

Cantrell, left, congratulates Kelly, right

Cantrell, left, consoles Gary Robbins, who finished six seconds beyond 60 minutes (and also went off course)

I confess: I’d never heard of the Barkley Marathon that takes place deep in the woods of Tennessee six weeks ago. I know a little more about it now.

What do I know? That it’s kind of insane. Gary “Lazarus Lake” Cantrell founded it after learning of the prison escape of MLK assassin James Earl Ray, who went AWOL for 55 hours but only covered eight miles. Cantrell thought, I could do at least 100 miles.

So he founded an ultra marathon with almost no amenities and a poorly marked course. Racers have a choice of doing the 60- or 100-mile run and the cut-off time is 60 hours. The registration is secretive, limited to 40 entrants, and costs just $1.60. Racers must bring a license plate from their home state.

To prove they’ve completed the course they must show up at the finish line with pages from various books that Cantrell has hid along the course at checkpoints. InΒ its 17 or so year history has only had 15 finishers.

Two weekends ago one man, John Kelly of Washington, D.C., finished and thereby won the Barkleys. His time was 59 hours and 30 minutes. Another man finished SIX SECONDS after the 60-hour cut-off time. No woman has ever completed the course and Cantrell, a proud red-state chauvinist, smiles when he is reminded of that. That’s your cue, Amelia Boone.

Music 101

Gimme Mick

In 1979 Gilda Radner, as Candy Slice, spoofed punk legend Patti Smith on Saturday Night Live, as Paul Schafer portrayed Don Kirshner and other cast members portrayed various artists (Bob Marley, Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton) performing at a festival to shed light on the horror that is yeast infections. The tune is so catch that 38 years later most of us who watched it that night can still repeat the chorus.

Remote Patrol

Rangers at Canadiens, Game 1

7 p.m. NBCSN

Two of the Original Six, I believe.

7 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!


    Well, the usurpers in the WH have finally shocked me, in a week where the ‘Surely, impeachment can’t be more than a day away – tomorrow, tomorrow..! News’ include Trump’s campaign manager Manafort revealed to have received Ukraine ‘Black Ledger’ payouts (apparently he 1st pooh-poohed its legitimacy & NOW says the payment were, ahem, legit) & that the FBI obtained FISA warrants to surveil former Trump adviser Carter Page, believing him to have been an AGENT OF THE RUSSIAN GOVT, the current WH Press Secretary attempts to illuminate just how dastardly is this Assad fellow by throwing in an aside (an Assad?) during one of his pressers that not even Hitler “gassed his own people”. Uh, guess we all now know who slept thru ALL his 20th century History classes. I’m assuming Workmen’s Comp claims have been filed by ALL in the Press Room for all those jaws dropping/crashing to the floor. My god, HOW does this man still have his job? Because HE’s the ‘Smart One’ in the Worst Wing?

    I can’t decide if we’re all living in a Twilight Zone episode or if we’re just being punked.

    Meanwhile, have you heard United’s new slogan? “Not Enough Seating? Prepare for a Beating!” Catchy, don’t you think? I also like that another airline immediately starting advertising “Dragging Strictly Prohibited” on their website. Capitalism in action! One company covers itself in horseshit & another steps up giving out free air fresheners! Ain’t that America! πŸ™‚

  2. If Amelia participated in the ultra-marathon, they’d have to rename it the Boone Marathon.

    Why, by the way, is there not a Boone Marathon? Can someone fix this?

  3. But what I’m REALLY here for today is to announce that yes, the NBA PRE-SEASON is almost over & the REAL season is about to begin! Whoop, whoop! I know it’s been SUCH a disappointment for you jdubs that I’ve barely mentioned LeBron & the Cavs these past 5 months, but you know, I NEEDED A REST! I’ve been in RECOVERY mode & how dare anyone suggest I was shirking my commenter responsibilities (highly compensated or otherwise, emphasis on the latter) ! Now that the REAL season is about to begin, I’m rested & ready to chat EVERY DAMN DAY , well, at least the days Sweet Pea & the Boyz play &/or they say or do something to cause a ruckus in NBA Mediaville. Which, as you know, is every damn day. πŸ™‚

    1st on the agenda : Who is this year’s MVP? Sure, sure, that guy in the TV commercials eating sardines in the landlocked Midwest was impressive this season for the fish slurping AND all those Triple Doubles (excuse me Grand Poohbah, but didn’t you pooh-pooh such things awhile back as a contrived made-up statistical category?) but come on, WHO is the BEST PLAYER IN THE LEAGUE? Who sends the media in a tizzy & prompts the league Commissioner to light up the Billionaire Bat Signal to the owners when said player occasionally needs to rest his weary ass? It’s none other than LeBron ‘Sweet Pea’ James! Any other “MVP” is a charlatan.

  4. You don’t even need to rest Westbrook’s MAP case on triple doubles. Watch him play. He literally brings it every game. That’s a rarity for someone of that caliber to do day in and day out.

    Most telling quote in JW’s Newsweek piece on Westbrook and the MVP (from Billy D.):

    β€œYou only see Russ in games. I get to see what he does in practice every day, how he leads this team.”

    • I admit RW has had an impressive season but let’s wait till he has started for 14 straight years AND gone to 6 straight Finals AND at least been in the Playoffs since his 3rd year in the league AND played in 3 straight Olympics, before we declare him a Cyborg. Or even LeBronian. πŸ™‚

      The guys who have really ticked me off about the ‘rest’ issue are the former players who whine or rant that “THEY didn’t need no rest”. 1st of all, how LONG were their careers? Or how crappy did they play at the end due to injuries (Charles) or age (Shaq). And then there’s the constant comparison to Jordan & how he “never took off”. HAH! He played 14 NONCONSECUTIVE YEARS. He RESTED more than anybody! Played 9 years & then “retired” (AKA RESTED) for almost 2 full years. Then played 3 more years & retired again (AKA RESTED) before playing 2 more for the Wizards who did NOT get into the Playoffs during his tenure. I roared in laughter when he recently harrumped that no one on HIS team (Hornets) will be resting, nosiree. Let’s see, how many championships have the Hornets-Bobcats-Hornets won since he became owner? How many Finals have they been in? Have they even been in the playoffs every year? None, none & no. Meanwhile, the Originators of Resting (AKA the Spurs) won HOW many championships & been in HOW many consecutive playoffs? Yessiree, Jordan is a geenius!

      • Susie B.,

        As I noted in my Newsweek article (I trust you read it!), it’s not about who is the best player in the league (at least not to me). It’s about who had the best season. LeBron is outstanding and may still be league’s best player. Russ had a better season than anyone.

        Go Terps!

        • I, um, er, (hangs head, shifts uncomfortably in seat) printed out your article & took it home but did not yet read. Sorry, sorry! I agree that Westbrook had a FANTASTIC season. But come on, thinking *I* could pick someone other than Sweet Pea as the MVP is like thinking Trump could pick ANYONE other than himself for anything, ain’t gonna happen. πŸ™‚

          But let’s look at the numbers! Despite taking a few games off to rest his massively overworked bones, it was LBJ who averaged more minutes (37.8 vs 34.6). Westbrook led in pts, rebounds & assists (31.6 vs 26.4, 10.7 vs 8.6 & 10.4 vs 8.7) & yes, RW had 42 Triple Doubles while LBJ “only” eked out 13, but geeze, LeBron has started for 14 straight years! Anybody else able to put up his numbers at that age? They are fab numbers for ANY player at ANY age! AND look at the shooting percentages! LeBron was at .548 % while RW trailed FAR behind at .425%. They BOTH had fantastic seasons. And if I HAD to pick someone other than Sweet Pea for this year’s MVP, it would be Westbrook.

          Seriously, didn’t YOU gripe not too long ago that Triple Doubles were some made-up category?

          Did you ask/answer the following questions in your article – Who most helps his team WIN games & who makes his teammates BETTER? To me the answer is definitely not Westbrook but LeBron. (Although I don’t know WHAT the heck’s been happening with the Cavs since the beginning of March!)

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