Look who rose to the occasion…again.
1. King’s Landing*
A little over six minutes to play and Indiana leads Miami, 73-69, at home. The Pacers could go up 2-0 and while that’s not the end of the series, it means the Heat must win four of five.
So what happens? Indiana leaves LeBron open for a three (big bucket at that moment), and King James and D-Wade combine to score all of Miami’s final 18 points (again, in just over six minutes) while the Pacers score 10.
Is that the series? We’ll see….
By the way, between LeBron failing to take the bait in a pre-game interview about a “looming possibility” of Miami going down 2-0 and his post-game interview with Doris Burke, where he was cool, collected and referred to Doris by name, he has become masterful with the media. The Decision taught him so much.
Finally, Mark Jackson, added as a third commentator by ESPN, asserted in the fourth quarter that Wade is the third-best shooting guard in NBA history behind only MJ and Kobe. No argument with those first two, but you could ask how Jackson omitted “The Logo”, Jerry West, who averaged 27 ppg over his career (D-Wade is in the 24 ppg range) while spending half of it paired with the most prolific scorer in league history. Then you remember that The Logo is currently the head consultant for the Golden State Warriors…
Neither of Jackson’s on-air partners, Jeff Van Gundy or Dan Schulman (?), bothered to challenge him on this.
*Yes, I am shamelessly appealing to my most loyal commenter with this item.
2. The 1.7% Solution
The Cavs are back to No. 1 at the draft
That’s correct. The Cavaliers, who have already had two No. 1 overall selections in the previous three NBA drafts, has less than a 2% chance of landing the top pick last night. But they got it. So, okay, NBA, you may now officially stop pitying the Cavaliers over “The Decision.”
Maybe the best part of the Draft Lottery was seeing Bill Simmons mouth “That’s bull” (or maybe he was saying, “Those Bulls?”) as the Cavs’ ball appeared. Did you know that the Boston Celtics, who have won more NBA titles than any other franchise, have never selected No. 1 overall?
The Cavs will select either Jabari Parker (Duke) or Joel Embiid or Andrew Wiggins (Kansas). They did okay with a Dookie in 2011 —Kyrie Irving — while their selection of a Canadian, like Wiggins, didn’t turn out so well last season (Anthony Bennett). Simmons has already said that it’s going to be Embiid, and don’t let anyone say differently.
Me, I don’t care what anyone says, a back ailment before one’s 20th birthday is a serious red flag. I love Embiid, too, but I’d take Wiggins.
Of course, the Cavs will wind up picking whomever the homeless man tells owner Dan Gilbert that they should pick.
3. Chicago Does Have The “L”, After All
Tanaka falls to 6-1
Through it all, Masahiro Tanaka does not lose. Then he takes the mound last night versus the Chicago Cubs, against the lineup that cannot get 1.45 ERA teammate Jeff Samardzija a single W (he pitches this afternoon, by the way), and what happens? Tanaka loses, of course.
That’s baseball. Johnny Cueto, he of baseball’s lowest ERA and WHIP, also lost last night. And Clayton Kershaw, who owns the best ERA of any starter since baseball’s integration, got rocked on Saturday night against the D-Backs.
Tanaka allowed 8 hits (6 singles, 2 doubles) and three runs in six innings in the 6-1 loss.
4. From Cavaliers to Cavil-Ears
Alex Guerrero, who is 27 and batting .376, had part of his ear bitten off by Miguel Olivo, a teammate and catcher who is 35. So who do you think goes?
A dispute in the dugout of an Albuquerque Dukes game will forever have the Dodgers’ Triple A affiliate linked to Mike Tyson as far as internet searches are concerned. Really, what else is left to say about this?
5. John Mulaney Week
So I’ve got a profile of comedian John Mulaney coming out later this week and here’s how I feel about this young man’s talent and future. So each day for the coming few days I’ll feature a favorite bit of his. This is “New in Town” from the comedy special of the same name.
Watch what’s happening here. Mulaney takes an incident on the streets of New York City that can and probably does happen to most of us, and wrings out every last ounce of humor from it. Most comedians could make a joke out of this, but the blend of observation (“You’re going to close with ‘new in town’?”), physical comedy (the push) and voices (“There’s no single guys left in Manhattan.”) is sublime.
The writing is very, very tight. Notice how efficient this is. That’s no accident.
Please let me know if you find my man-crush unwarranted.
And then on Monday it was back to perusing Chapter 11 briefs…
Dan England at SB Nation pens a long form piece on studette attorney/mud racer Amelia Boone. Here’s my story on her for Newsweek from last autumn.
Hero Cat > Laser Cats < Pussy Galore
Tara the Cat, who rescued a four year-old boy from a dog attack on his driveway, throws out the first pitch at a minor-league baseball game. Tara was heard to quip afterward, “I would’ve preferred a plate of salmon.”
(One of our clever editors here at Newsweek wondered why they didn’t have Tara toss a ball of yarn.)
And who was taking the video, or was it a mounted camera? And who owns the dog? Hero cat compensating for horrible adults. Shocker.
Our final day. Hope you’ve enjoyed the series. Not sure if we’ll move on to an NBA Hall next, or a Fabulous Babe Hall. Or a Fawn Hall? An Anthony Michael Hall? Your suggestions will be heeded.
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, Carlton Fisk, C 2001: Kirby Puckett, CF, Mark Fidrych, P 2002: Ozzie Smith, SS, Gary Carter, C 2003: Eddie Murray, 1B, Tommy John (Surgery) 2004: Paul Molitor, INF, Dennis Eckersley, P 2005: Wade Boggs, 3B, Ryne Sandberg, 2B 2006: Hughie Jennings, SS, Herman Long, SS 2007: Cal Ripken, Jr, SS, Tony Gwynn, RF 2008: Tanner Boyle, SS, Crash Davis, C 2009: Rickey Henderson, LF, Duke Snider, CF 2010: Lee Smith, P, Garry Maddox, CF 2011: Roberto Alomar, 2B, Dave Winfield, LF 2012: Barry Larkin, SS, Johnny Vander Meer, P 2013: Phil Rizzuto, SS, Ferguson Jenkins, P 2014: Greg Maddux, P, Craig Biggio 2B/C 2015: Mike Piazza, C, Randy Johnson, P 2016: Ken Griffey, Jr., CF, Pedro Martinez, P 2017: Frank Thomas, 1B/DH, Tom Glavine, P 2018: Manny Ramirez, LF; Ivan Rodriguez, C 2019: Mariano Rivera, P, John Smoltz, P
Derek Jeter, SS; 1995-2014
“The captain, number two, Derek. Jeter.” A 13-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion who gets derided by the so-insecure-they-have-to-be-cruel blogger dudes, even though he will likely finish with more than 3,400 career hits. If he gets to 3,421, which is likely, Jeter will finish 6th all-time. Led the A.L. in Hits 13 years apart, in 1999 and 2012. What he lacked in range as a fielder, he more than compensated for with some of the more memorable defensive gems of all time–ask Jeremy Giambi.
Never led the A.L. in batting despite a .312 career average. Never won an A.L. MVP. And, oddly enough, in what will have been 11,000 career at-bats, hit just one grand slam (against the Chicago Cubs).
Ichiro Suzuki, RF; Mariners, 2001-2014
The Japanese native has 2,763 career MLB hits. Will he stick around at least one more season after this to chase 3,000?
Assuming Ichiro retires after this season –he turns 41 in October– one of the more innovative offensive careers in the history of the game will come to a close. Ichiro used the bat like a tennis racket, placing his shots, which allowed him to become only the second player after Pete Rose to collect 200 or more hits for 10 consecutive seasons. Led the A.L. in Hits seven times and in batting average twice, hitting .372 in 2004 when he also set the single-season record for Hits, 262.
A 10-time All-Star and a 10-time Gold Glove winner, Ichiro was of slight frame but as flexible as a seven year-old gymnast, as fast as a top sprinter, and as strong as a college football player in some respects. A truly one-of-a-kind player in his prime.
Thunder at Spurs, Game 2
TNT 9 p.m.
The irony of Charles Barkley calling out anyone else for being “big”…