by John Walters


Starting Five

1. Baltimore-or-Less

And the strangest part of it was, it was “Chris Davis Bat Day.” Orioles win, 8-2.

2. Twilight-weights

The two met last winter at a Miami Heat game: “You’ve got the brains. I’ve got the looks. Let’s make lots of money.”

Manny Pacquiao is 36 years old.

Floyd Mayweather is 38 years old.

My story in Newsweek.

3. Chelsea, Handlers

Chelsea’s glow-in-the-dark kits were too much for Leicester

Chelsea scored a come-from-behind win yesterday at Leicester and are now one win away from securing the Premier League title this season. The Londoners will hoist whatever BPL  winners hoist for the first time in five years if they defeat Crystal Palace –not a strip joint, though it should be– on Sunday at Stamford Bridge.

Watch this coup de grace goal in the 83rd minute by Ramires.

4. Trading Places (the easy lazy headline to use here)

I missed this last week — because I’m currently without a working TV — but Jerry Seinfeld appeared on Late Show and Dave handed him the keys to the desk.

5. M(ay)ock Draft

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock only does one mock draft. Which is all you should do. He revealed it yesterday.


by John Walters

A lightning round edition, as we have an early work day out west….

Starting Five

1. Err Jordan

“No tip! No tip!” (a Seinfeld reference on Jerry’s 61st birthday). DeAndre Jordan goal tends in the game’s crucial play, while Blake Griffin briefly — and catastrophically — forgets the Clippers’ nickname: Lob City. Spurs up 3-2.

2. $einfeld

Streaming service Hulu purchases rights to stream all 180 episodes of Seinfeld for $1 million per episode. That’s a better deal than driving empties to Michigan for the extra deposit money.

3. Like Rain on Your Wedding Day

On the day that Twitter was to report its quarterly earnings after the bell, a software company that searches for data on the web finds the underwhelming report an hour early and releases it. TWTR stock was going to plunge either way, but this way they lost 18% of its value before the trading floor closed. Isn’t it ironic: Twitter upended by news that was put out there in social media before they wanted it out there?

4. Riot Girl

A mom in Baltimore, a Baltimom,  is already close to being Time’s Man of the Year for giving her son what-for for taking part in the Baltimore riots.

5. Step Moms

These are (just a portion of) the Santa Monica Steps, which you’ll find at the northern end of 4th Street. This was part of my workout yesterday. Lots of yoga moms there. Probably would’ve been more difficult if I had run up the stairs. Maybe next time.


by John Walters

Starting Five

1. Baltimore

Previously on The Wire….

Protests erupted in Baltimore yesterday in the wake of the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died within 45 minutes of being taken into police custody on April 12. In the words of the immortal Al Czervik, “So what? So…let’s dance!”

2. The Real Housewives of Kings Landing

“I wish we had some wine for you. It’s a bit early in the day for us.” Oh, Margaery, I hope you enjoyed that line, because you are going to pay for it. Cersei is still the Queen Bee. Andy Greenwald’s typically marvelous recap is here.

3. Indonesia: Not Messing Around

The Bali Nine, as they’re known

Nine prisoners are scheduled to face a firing squad in Indonesia today for attempting to smuggle eight kilograms of heroin from Bali to Australia in 2005. The shooters will stand just 5 meters away from the death row prisoners. I wouldn’t expect any Pulp Fiction-type miracle of missed shots.

4. The Firstros?

Jose Altuve, batting .325, waves goodbye to the cellar

Because I have no idea how long this will last: the Houston Astros, long celebrated here and deservedly so as the Lastros, are in first place in the American League West (13-6). The Firstros are one of the rare A.L. West squads who have assiduously avoided putting Justin Josh Hamilton on their roster, and it’s working for them.

Another-Texas-City Keuchel is 2-0 with a 0.62 ERA in four quality starts.

5. The XX Games

Jenner during his 1976 gold-medal winning decathlon competition

I am strong (Strong!)

I am invincible (Invincible!)

I am woman!

It’s cool that Bruce Jenner sat down with Diane Sawyer of ABC and spoke for TWO HOURS about his transgender situation. It’s astounding that, on a Friday evening, 17 million Americans tuned in to watch. Somewhere Dwight Stones is wondering what he needs to do to draw that much attention.

Honestly, if you were looking to wager back in 1976 which US Olympic track and field gold medalist would eventually do a gender change, I think the surer money would be on Dwight. And look at SI, putting a track star on the cover! Those were the days.

Music 101

There She Goes

She calls my name/Pulls my train/No one else could heal my pain

Four lads from Liverpool recorded one of the best pop songs of all time, and none of them were named Ringo. In 1990 The La’s burst onto the scene with tons of promise, but then mercurial lead singer/writer/genius Lee Mavers pulled the plug on the entire operation. I love this band –so does Mike Myers: every time he has appeared on Letterman since this song came out, including last month, this has been his play-on music.

What The La’s copped so well from the Beatles was the ability to write simple, catchy pop songs. Here’s one you’ve probably never heard that fills that order, “I Am The Key.”

Remote Patrol

Game 5: Spurs at Clippers

TNT 10:30 p.m.

This just in: the Spurs have activated Robert Horry and Bruce Bowen for tonight’s game at Staples Center….


by John Walters

Starting Five

Currently the count is 3,600 dead. That number will rise.

1, Nepal

A 7.8-magnitude earthquake, the worst in 80 years, strikes north of Katmandu and devastates the country of 27 million. Aftershocks measuring 6.7 and another registering 5.1 in India also strike. At least 18 climbers on Mount Everest perish due to concomitant avalanches.

In the coming days, mudslides, dysentery, disease, and more suffering.

2. Strong & True

She may not be co-anchoring “Weekend Update” anymore, but Cecily Strong upgraded her Saturday night comedy game by hosting the White House Correspondents Dinner. Not known as a stand-up, Strong had some wicked good lines (the Aaron Shock picture show dragged, though).

POTUS was no slouch, either. Best prez? Worst prez? I’d go with funniest prez, at least in a very long while.

Her two Strong-est lines: “President Obama, your hair is so white now that it can talk back to the police.” And, “Next season, Sarah Koenig (host of Serial), pick someone who definitely did it. Like Amanda Knox (sotto voce: “Her DNA is on the knife”).

Strong will need to adjust to wearing the same uniform more than once in the same season in the NFL

It’s a strong week to be named Strong. First, Cecily, and as Bruce Feldman predicts –and I fully concur — Arizona State wideout Jaelen Strong was a men among boys last autumn (just ask Southern Cal) and will rise up the draft board.

3. Boston Slammed Crowder

Up by 19 in the second half in Game 4 of a series they were leading 3-0, the Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith cheap shots Boston’s Jae Crowder (after Kendrick Perkins had earlier done the same) and earns an ejection. Probably a Game 1 suspension for the subsequent series versus the Bulls. And, J.R. does this on the anniversary of another time he was suspended. You can take the punk out of New York, but you can’t take the punk out of the punk….

4. The $6 Million At-Bat

In the first inning of last night’s 6-4 victory against the No Mas Mess, Alex Rodriguez hit a home run. A cheapie. It bounced off the top of the wall in right-center field, which is already a short porch, and into the stands. Still, that’s career home run 659.

A-Rod’s next will be his 660th (counting, yay!), which will tie him with Willie Mays for fourth place on the all-time list and instantly trigger a $6 million bonus due him from the Yankees. So, yes, a lot of those blasts were clouted when A-Rod was being injected, and the Yanks are contesting the bonus, but it’s not as if the Pinstripes did not realize what Alex was up to. So it’s hard to feel too sorry for them.

The Bombers appear to have no plans in place to celebrate A-Rod’s milestone blast –as prayers that he hits it on the road appear to be going unanswered — and when he was asked about a fete for his feat, he simply said, “I don’t have a marketing degree.”

 5. Amazing Amelia (Addendum)

Rodeo Beach: It’s too bad the course is not scenic

One of this site’s unintended but proud duties is to chronicle the continued feats of Chicago attorney Amelia Boone, whose will exceeds her remarkable talent. The World’s Toughest Mudder, you may recall, tore her medial meniscus and suffered a tibial fracture early last autumn. Six weeks later, she won a Tough Mudder event in Las Vegas.

Less than two months after that Boone, who never fancied herself a runner per se, won a 15-mile Xterra run near Fountain Hills, Ariz. on Super Bowl Sunday.  Six weeks after that, she completed the Georgia Death Race, a 68-mile wilderness run. And this weekend she finished first among females –and 3rd overall — at the Rodeo Beach Rumble just north of San Francisco.

Do you know how difficult it is to train as a runner in Chicago in the winter, this winter? While slaving away at a prestigious law firm? Look at the quote, taken from a case, that she has posted at the top of her blog, Race Ipsa Loquitur: “The timorous may stay at home.”

Music 101

Sloop John B

So hoist up the John B. sail/See how the main sail sets/Call for the captain ashore/Let me go home

Did the “California sound” exist before the Beach Boys did? Debatable. The Wilson brothers et al. took this from a West Indian folk song, rearranged it with their trademark ethereal harmonies, and included it on one of the greatest pieces of vinyl ever pressed, Pet Sounds. The song was released as a single in spring of 1966, a very good year, and rose to No. 3 in the U.S. an No. 2 in the U.K. in  1967.

Remote Patrol

Game 7: Islanders at Capitals

NBC Sports 7:30 p.m.

Who will win Game 7 of this Stanley Cup playoffs first-round series? Who cares: the real question is, Who will win Game 8?



by John Walters

Starting Five

Granted, these are some nutty throwback uni

1. Golden Statement

Pelicans by 1 after one, 26-25: Warriors, come out and play….”

Pelicans by 11 at halftime, 63-52: “Warriors, come out and play-ay!”

Pelicans by 20 after three, 89-69: “Warriors, come out to PLAY!”

Maybe just shut up and play defense?

Golden State outscores New Orleans by 20 in the fourth quarter and wins 123-119 in overtime as Stephen Curry scores 40 points. GS up 3-0 as the legends of Steve & Stephen, Kerr & Curry, continue to grow.

“You Warriors are good. Real good.”

The best.”

 2. Play Brawl!

Then again, the Royals are 12-4, which is the best record in the American League. Put ’em up, put ’em up!

Where can we buy tickets to the Mayweather-Royals bout? Or maybe just Pacquiao-Ventura? In three of Yordano Ventura’s four starts for Kansas City this young season, a benches-clearing contretemps has occurred, including in last night’s game at Chicago. Simmer down. Simmer down, now!

Meanwhile, the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight tix went on sale yesterday and all 14,000 of them were gone in 60 seconds. I do hope the bout is fast and furious. Some 1,100 of those ducats, not for public sale, were sold at $10,000 per ticket. The true heavy hitters will be in the front rows at the MGM Grand.

3. Calbuco!

Gee, I have no idea why ancient peoples, with no idea how science works, witnessed sights such as this and decided that God was punishing them. Anyway, click here for a score of photos of the first eruption of the Calbuco in Chile, in 42 years. See, Calbuco, this is what happens when you keep things pent up inside for too long. Serenity now, insanity later.

4. Jamie, FOX

This photo of Rosie Huntingon-Whitely appears here because she is a fox, which is a 1979 term for hottie.

You recall Jamie Horowitz? The programming whiz at ESPN who is mostly responsible/to blame for many of the shows we despise so much (First Take, Sports Nation). People watch those shows and Horowitz brokered that into a prime gig at NBC, which lasted all of 10 weeks (read this Vanity Fair piece).

Now the Williams Amherst College alum has been named FOX Sports National Networks President, which is another way of saying, “You’re Almost, But Not Quite, Eric Shanks.” I know Jamie a little. A little. The feeling I’ve always gotten is that when he’s not reading The Prince by Machiavelli, he’s reading The Art of War by Sun-Tzu.

Horowitz is scheduled to return to his alma mater appear at Williams College on April 30 to hand out the Frank Deford Award to some deserving Eph undergrad.

5. Amazon, Amazin’

My friend Mary Pat, spouse of one of my closest friends on earth and certainly my dearest friend in McHenry County, Ill., Smoron, last week: “I’m thinking of buying some Amazon stock before next week’s earnings report. I think it’ll be good news.”

Dubs: Yeah, yeah, whatever.

Amazon (AMZN) reported after the bell last night and the stock is up 12% in pre-market trading this morning. What was I saying earlier this week?!?

Oh, and the Apple Watch goes on sale today. That little-known equity is up nearly 5% this week, which makes Tim Cook “happy.” It’s not rocket surgery.


Music 101

Hold On

This sounds like a good song…for me to POOP on! I only say that because the band behind this Seventies Arena Rock standard is Triumph. If you ever wondered if This Is Spinal Tap was inspired by real-life bands, well, this Canadian power-chord trio certainly qualifies. Triumph is to Rush as Seger is to Springsteen. The song reached No. 38 on the Billboard charts in 1979.

Remote Patrol

Late Show

CBS 11:35 p.m.

Seinfeld, Duchovny, Dave, most likely in the early 90s

We are less than one month away from the final show (tears, shredding of garments, self-immolation to follow) and tonight’s guest is the legendary Jerry Seinfeld. Don’t watch if you don’t feel like it. For me, this is personal. My two heroes, and it’s probably the final appearance for Jerry, who’s been making the scene on this program since the 1980s.


by John Walters

Starting Five

The 6’4″ first baseman is batting .347 in this nascent season

1. Duda, Who Stole My Car? 

The New York Mets –not Mess–make it 10 in a row with a second straight conquest of the Braavos (“Valar Morghulis“) at Citi Field. Lucas Duda drove in the game-winning run in the 8th.

Most of these wins have come without David Wright. At 12-3, the Mets have baseball’s best record as today’s first pitch is at 1:10 p.m. The last and only time the Mets opened 13-3? In 1986, the last year they won the World Series.

p.s. The Yanks have taken 2 of the first 3 from Detroit, which has the A.L’s best record, in Motown.

2. Buenos Diaw

A late steal by Boris Diaw (who was once tres chubby) forces overtime in L.A. and the Spurs steal one on the road in overtime. Spurs-Clips now at one game apiece with the reminder that if this goes seven, Game 7 will be on the night of Saturday, May 2, the same evening as Mayweather-Pacquiao. 

3. Yes, But Is She Still *#%$-able?

Hello, Irony. In the same week that People magazine anoints a 50 year-old actress, Sandra Bullock, the World’s Most Beautiful Woman, Amy Schumer does a bit with a trio of over-40 actresses about no longer being, in Hollywood’s eyes, suitable for mattressing.

Louis-Dreyfuss, Schumer, Fey and Arquette


If you haven’t seen the bit, from the season premiere of Inside Amy Schumer, here it is (but don’t show Phyllis!).

p.s. You can’t win everything, Taylor.

4. Kurt’s Last Song

Nirvana, following their morning run

Nirvana played its final gig on March 1, 1994, at an airplane hangar in Munich, Germany. Kurt Cobain’s voice was in horrible shape, as he was suffering from both bronchitis and laryngitis (and heroin?). Anyway, Rolling Stone has audio of the final song the band played together in public, Heart-Shaped Box. As you’ll learn if you read the item –or if you keep reading here — the band opened the show with a sarcastic version of The Cars’ My Best Friend’s Girl (I’d like to hear that).

5. Guardians of the Gala (see?)

Amy Schumer pranks Kanye, who’s always up for a good joke, especially if it’s at his expense

JW, where were you Tuesday night? We couldn’t find you.

Oh, you know, I attended the Time 100 Gala at Lincoln Center.

Really?!? As what!?!

Well, my gym is in the 2nd basement of the building. So, I mean, I was there.


I mean, I totally deserved to be there. It’s cool. I’m attending the Newsweek 200 Gala next week. We’re going to block out a few picnic benches on Stone Street and grab some pizza from Adrienne’s. I think Amy Schumer would enjoy it more, anyway.

Aaaand, Scene.

So, yes, Nerd Season officially began this week with the Time 100 Gala. Up next is the White House Correspondents Dinner, where Will MacAvoy will be served a subpoena, followed by Anna Wintour’s annual shakedown of the fashion industry, better known as the Met Gala. 

Music 101

O-o-h Child

Someday, child, we’ll walk in the rays of a beautiful sun….

Believe it or not, in the summer of 1970 there was a group of five African-American siblings from the Chicago area who scored a Top 10 hit with an absolute classic and they weren’t the Jackson Five (who hailed from nearby Gary, Ind.). No, this was The Five Stairsteps, and even though their vocals aren’t quite up to the Jacksons’ standards, this tune stands the test of time. It’s been covered more than 20 times.

Here’s the band performing lip-synch-live on Soul Train. Any time you get to see Don Cornelius is a good time….

Remote Patrol

Jimmy Kimmel Live

ABC 11:30 p.m.

Why am I touting this? Because Earth, Wind & Fire are performing with Chicago. That’s a lot of brass. This pairing of Chicago-based horn sections is only about 40 years late, but hey, who’s counting?


by John Walters

Starting Five

1. LeBron James Is Awesome!*

The Cleveland Cavaliers went up 2-0 in their opening round series against the Boston Celtics, who despite having no talented players taller than 5’9″, would probably beat five of the teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Anyway, a headband-free LeBron James scored 30 points and teamed up with Kryie Irving to score the Cavs’ final 28 in the 99-91 victory (Boston has beaten the spread in both games, FYI).

James also had nine rebounds, seven assists, two blocks, spent halftime in Baltimore marching with protesters, and killed him a b’ar when he was only three.

*Susie B.-sponsored post

2. New York Citi

Kevin Plawecki, a 1st-round pick from Purdue, made his Major League debut at catcher last night and had 2 hits. Travis d’Arnaud suddenly feels a lot better.

Derek Jeter retires and passes the wand to Flushing, as the New York Mets stretch their glorious start at their ballpark, Citi Field, to 8-0 with a 7-1 defeat of the Braves. The Mets are 11-3 and have now won 9 straight –11 in a row, back in 1990, a streak chronicled in Sports Illustrated at the time by a young Steve Rushin— and have done so without David Wright, who tweaked a hammy last night. Jonathon Niese, the Mets’ fourth starter, pitched shutout ball into the 7th inning.
Watch out for the Mets. Seriously. Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey and Bartolo Colon are 8-1 and have respective WHIPs of 1.14, 1.00 and 0.80

3. Oz, The Great and Powerful

This Oz(zy) once sang about needing to see his “Rock ‘n Roll Doctor,” but it probably wasn’t our Dr. Oz

So, on the opening day of May sweeps, Dr. Oz will address on his syndicated talk show the 10 doctors, as opposed to the four out of five doctors, who want him to resign from his position at Columbia Medical School. I agree that Oz should stop making claims that he can give patients a heart, a brain…courage. Other than that, I just wish he’d stop sending me “Fat Burner” emails. PLEASE, Doc.

4. You Deserve a Break Today*

“C’mon, baby, light my fire/C’mon, baby, light my fire/Try to set the night on fire/Try to set the night on fi-URRRR!”

I hear people saying –some directly to me– that this final half-season of Mad Men is lazy, unfocused (“just like you, JW!”), that it’s not as funny now that Belushi and Murray left. But I’m still enjoying it. Why I loved Sunday’s episode:

–Was that an ode to a show of that era, Love, American Style, with the two strange romantic arcs: Joan and the retiree (he was straight outta Love Boat central casting, by the way) and Monotone Glenn and Betty going all The Graduate on us? I was really hoping for a fadeout view of Betty reclining on a chaise with mutton-chopped Glenn in the shot farther away but viewed through her bent leg.

“Mrs. Draper, are you trying to seduce me?”

–The scene with Don and Peggy? That’s a time-capsule scene for that pair. You can feel the tension. She enters annoyed, then becomes sincere, then exits pissed. “Why don’t you tell me your dreams so I can shit all over them?” Classic.

–And then there’s Mathis. It’s like this, Johnny. No one intentionally walks a guy who has to bunt to get on base, you know? Anyhoo, I love reading Mark Lisanti’s “Mad Men Power Rankings” almost as much as I enjoy Mad Men. I’m going to miss both.

*The catchphrase from 1970 that Peggy will NOT come up with, which will haunt her forever. It was named the No. 1 ad jingle of the CENTURY by Advertising Age.

5. Their City of Ruins

“Iraq burns; its fate will forever remain on our conscience,” so reads the story’s last line.

Remember the Iraq War (no, not the Gulf War)? There were a few so-so films (Jarhead, Three Kings, Courage Under FireIn The Valley of Elah) and one or two excellent ones (The Hurt Locker, American Sniper), and then we pretty much left? Well, the country is a dumpster fire these days –and perhaps it always was. I’m going Deitsch on you here and recommending this story in Rolling Stone, by Matthieu Aikins, from last month titled “Baghdad on the Brink.” 


p.s. from yesterday: On the date I wrote about how awesome Under Armour stock is, it tumbled more than 5%. I have a certain touch.

Music 101

Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough

Keep on with the force/Don’t stop/Don’t stop ’til you get enough

The first track from Michael Jackson’s first post-pubescent solo album, Off The Wall, igniting the fuse of  the brightest solo pop career in music history. Written and recorded by the King of Pop, this was his first No. 1 hit in seven years (Ben, 1972, an ode to a rat) and the first of 10 No. 1 hits he’d have (not including duets). It also earned him his first Grammy. The pre- and post-pubescent Jackson are essentially two different people (and artists) and this, in a sense, was Michael’s coming-out party.

Remote Patrol

Game 2: Spurs at Clippers

TNT 10:30 p.m.

The new star on Team Epcot actually grew up not very far from Staples Center

Sign in the Los Angeles Clipper locker room: “We Don’t Lose To Virgin Islander, Argentine, French, Italian, Brazilian, Kiwi or Australian Players.” I want San Antonio to win, but I want Michelle Beadle to sit down and shut up. It’s a conundrum.


by John Walters

Starting Five

This is not even a paid ad. We are doing it ALL WRONG at MH.

1. U(S)A!

The sports footwear and clothing company, Under Armour, reports earnings today. Under Armour (UA) is trying very hard to be the 21st century Nike, and thus far you cannot dismiss the Maryland-based company and its charismatic founder, Kevin Plank.

Here’s the thing, though, and why I’m leading with a stock story. Some of the most oft-mentioned brands of the past year or so have soared 100% 50% or more in value over that period.

Think about this: millionaires hand their money to hedge fund managers, who routinely promise an annual return of less than 10% in return for you handing them a minimum of $1 million (sometimes I specialize my stories specifically for An Inconvenient Ruth). Anyway, sure, great, but you haven’t had to be a genius or an alum of Goldman Sachs to find big returns in stocks the past couple of years. Look at the trendy names, invest in them, and just sit back and watch. To wit:

NetFlix (NFLX)….. Last April 21: $349 Today: $567 Up 62%

Apple (AAPL)….  Last April 21: $75 Today: $128  Up 71%

Chipotle (CGM)….Last April 21: $522 Today: $686 Up 31%

Under Armour (UA)….Last April 21: $53.50 Today: $84.76 Up: 58%

The question, of course, may be, Are their runs up finished? Perhaps. Under Armour, as I said, reports after the bell today (this is where I’m obligated to tell you I own UA stock, so hell yes I’m biased). The important thing I’ve learned, though, is to be less of a trader and more of an investor. Buy good companies and just walk away for awhile.

2. Headey, Lamar Make Magazine Covers (“That’s Headley! No, Wait a Minute, It’s Not. My Bad.”)

Lena Headey– that’s Queen Mother Cersei to you–on the cover of More, because they can’t come right out and call it Cougar

Lena Headey, who is pregnant, will not reveal the name of the father. Art imitates life sometimes. And then Kendrick Lamar made the cover of the Rolling Stone (when you cannot personally identify one song by someone on the cover of RS, you’re officially old. That’s me.)

Okay, so who’s the stylist?

3. EGOT Does Not Equal GoT

Helen Hayes, the first female EGOT winner

I discovered this while reading a(nother) dry and funny Stephen Douglas post in The Big Lead, this one dealing with Michelle Beadle’s Spurs fandom (Can we all agree that Beadle has become juuuuuuuuuust a little too full of herself? No? Well, whatever…). Anyway, it’s called EGOT, and it stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and refers to people who have won all four.

Only 12 people have done it, including Audrey Hepburn, Mel Brooks and Whoopi Goldberg (yes, Whoopi Goldberg). The latest, and youngest, member of the club is Robert Lopez, a talented lyricist and writer who co-created The Book of Mormon and Avenue Q, as well as writing songs for Frozen. Lopez is 40 and he may or may not have twin brothers who are taking part in the NBA playoffs.

4. The Price is (Bleep)

“Always Be Closing…with Aroldis Chapman!”

I went to a pre-game manager’s presser and Glengarry, Glen Ross broke out. Cincinnati Reds manager Bryan Price, in a pre-game meeting with reporters (standard), unleashes the F-word 77 times in five minutes. I have to admit, I was shocked: I thought Sparky Anderson was still managing the Reds. Also, who’s the guy who counted the number of F-words and how long did that take? “Are you sure it’s 77, Skip, because I got 75.” “Okay, let’s start over.”

5. That Item in Which The World Showers Taylor Swift with Love and Adulation Again (and Kanye Is Not Allowed in the Building)

MH has exceeded its use of Taylor Swift pics already for 2015 (and it isn’t even May), so please enjoy this photo of Stormile Swift (who recently won the Stromilestone Award)

That girl wins the Milestone Awards at the ACMs on Sunday night. Mom gives the introductory speech in which she reveals that Taylor wrote her breakout hit, Love Story, in one hour after her parents told her that they strongly disapproved of a boy (“and rightfully so!).

Music 101

And When I Die

This 1968 tune, as recorded by Blood, Sweat & Tears (that’s 1960s for “Chicago”), reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts, but the real story here is Laura Nyro. The songwriter, who also penned Wedding Bell Blues (“Bill, I love you so/And I always will…”) wrote this uplifting tune about death in 1966 when she was just 17, and then sold it to The Mamas & The Papas for $5,000. Then two years later BS&T recorded it.

The lead singer with the strong, rich, raspy voice is David Clayton-Thomas, and his story is right out of Inside Llewyn Davis. Barely surviving on handouts in New York City in the Sixties, he was singing at a Greenwich Village club one night when Judy Collins saw him. She told her friends, who were looking for a lead singer in their band about him, and the next thing you know he was singing lead for BS&T. And then the first album they did together sold 10 million copies. It’s just…that…easy.

Remote Patrol

Paris St. Germain at F.C. Barcelona

FS1  2:45 p.m.

Thomas Muller leads Bayern, as he led Germany to the World Cup last summer. But will we even see him today?

With apologies to the dudes at FOX Sports, who do a splendid job of covering the footy, they’re airing the wrong game. Yes, Lionel Messi is the greatest artist to work in Spain since Picasso, but Barca is at home and already have a 2-goal lead heading into the 2nd leg of the quarterfinal. Meanwhile in Munich, Bayern must rebound from a 2-goal deficit as it hosts surprising FC Porto. For much of the winter, Bayern Munich looked like the best club team in the world. Injuries have ravaged them, however, but the UEFA Champions League final will be played in Berlin. Germany’s glorious year of soccer uber alles is at risk.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Smart enough not to grow a mustache.

1. Anagram: Handsome –> Don Shame

Allow me to take up the defense of Don Draper. When Johnny Mathis tells him, “You don’t have any character; you’re just handsome,” I thought, Well, he’s half-right. Don has his flaws –one very serious one– but time and again in this episode he’s doing the right thing. He’s actually very zen.

As my TV-viewing host and friend, Chris C (THANKS!). noted,  it was the Beautiful People episode of Mad Men. Lots of Don, Joan and Betty. Also, wondering if Matt Weiner will really kill off his son in Vietnam. We’ll likely never learn.

Great close last night. “Now we just have to find a place for you,” Don hears as the camera fades out and he stands in the hallway looking into his empty future.

2. Harmonic Emergence

Segal (top, middle) dazzled the crowd of 2,800 on hand

Attended the International Championships of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs) at the Beacon Theater on Saturday. The winners, for the fourth time: the SoCal Vocals from USC –although a shout-out to Baylor’s VirtuOSO troop, whose rendition of Uptown Funk was the night’s biggest crowd-pleaser.

The SoCal Vocals shrewdly showcased a beautiful, vibrant brunette female vocalist whose name I believe is Nikki Segal. She had a terrific voice and an even more captivating stage presence. Bigger things ahead for this one.

3. Mad Matrimony

Everyone favorite (or least favorite) Wall Street pundit, the perpetually frenetic Jim Cramer, gets married (even though some of his buddies reportedly warned, “Don’t buy! Don’t buy!”). Cramer, 60, wed 49 year-old Lisa Detwiler, 49, of the Corcoran Group, a real-estate firm. It is the second marriage for both, so they’re diversifying.

4. “That’s a Really Big ‘Shoe”

Only 7 schools of 125 or so averaged as much attendance last season as the Buckeyes got for their spring scrimmage. THE OSU did lead the nation in attendance last season.

Nearly 100,000 braved idyllic April weather in Columbus on Saturday afternoon to watch defending national college football champion Ohio State face…Ohio State. The Scarlet & Gray Spring Game. Announced attendance inside Ohio Stadium, alias The ‘shoe: 99,391 at $5 per person (mostly). That’s a school record. And that was with Braxton Miller, Ezekiel Elliott and others not even suiting up.

There’s nothing the hell to do in Ohio.

5. No Safe Harbor

A typical refugee vessel. There is no Lido deck. The all-night buffet is you.

An estimated 700 Libyan migrants drown in the Mediterranean when their ship capsizes. Not to be confused with the 12 Christians who were thrown overboard and drowned last week by their fellow fleeing Muslim passengers. We have a lot less to complain about than most of the world (not that it stops us from doing so).

Music 101 

Hands Across the Sea

I did not mean to hurt you/You took me by surprise/There is still a chance if we just close our eyes

There were more successful New Wave bands than Modern English, but there was no one who was both Newer and Wavier: their look, their sound, their band name and their big hit (Melt With You, the signature song of the era) all embodied the period. You may think of them as a one-hit wonder, but I always thought this tune, which feels a littl Thompson Twins-ish, deserved more love. A much-belated shout-out to the acoustic guitarist I came across in Jacksonville in 1995 playing this tune at a beach bar. I haven’t forgotten, dude.

Remote Patrol

Game 2: Pelicans at Warriors

TNT 10:30 p.m.

Curry & Kerr. Is there a Currier? A Kerriest?

Golden State is 40-2 at Oracle Arena this season. Good luck, Anthony Davis (35 points in Game 1)


by John Walters

Starting Five

“Laura Rutledge, come on down! You’re the next contestant on ‘The Sideline is Right’ “

1. When the Britt Hits the Fan

As I tweeted earlier, it’s kind of ironic that Britt McHenry was interviewing hockey players,  many of who never attended college and are missing their front teeth, this week.

So I’m going to assume that McHenry won’t be putting this on her demo reel?

Some folks tweeted that she in no way deserves to be fired, that you can’t can someone just because they say awful things. Maybe not, but she’s not Ken from Accounting. McHenry is a television personality. Part of her job is having the audience like her. And now the audience has seen that behind that pretty face was an ugly person. At least in that moment.

A one-week suspension isn’t long enough. It would be better for her if they suspended her for a month. Hell, Ballghazi went away. Why not this?

2. A Reminder…

Granted, it’s a long season and if Anthony Davis misses this shot, who knows what unfolds afterward in a different fashion for both teams? Still, the Pelicans beat the Thunder out for the 8th spot in the West despite having the same record (45-37), meaning they won the tiebreaker. So what happens if Davis doesn’t hit this crazy buzzer-beater?

And, yes, the score was tied at the time. So they’d have gone to overtime. Davis on the night: 41 points, 10 boards.*

*Read comment below by our friend Okerland for a great Paul Harvey nugget on this….

3. Cub Scouts…

…love rookie Kris Bryant. In fact, all scouts do. Today the Cubbies called up the rookie phenom slugger from Las Vegas.

Last season in the minors, Bryant his .325 with 43 home runs. This spring in the Cactus League, the six-foot-five, 23 year-old batted .425 with nine home runs. The Cubbies kept him in minor league ball the minimum 12 days, which means they’ll get to have hime an extra season before he may file for free agency. Don’t think Scott Boras will forget that.

Still, the drought is at 107 years. Money aside (if that’s possible), what player wouldn’t want to be a part of the history of bringing the North Side a World Series title?

4. The Ultimate Walk-Off

Model Giselle Bundchen, the Olivia Munn of the AFC, makes her last strut up and down the catwalk yesterday at the Sao Paolo Fashion Show. Bundchen, 34, is a mother of two. Bundchen, who is Brazilian except that she’s really German, has been walking runways at fashion shows since age 14.

5. Shame On Us

This is the world’s last male northern white rhino, now under 24 hour guard. Notice the one soldier stroking it as if to caress. There are a few female white rhinos. Let’s pray for a comeback.

Asshole poachers kill the rhino for its horn so that asshole people can use it for supposed medicinal value. Guess where rhinos live? Africa. Guess where terrorist organizations thrive? Africa? Guess what terrorist organizations want/need/crave? Funding, by any means possible.

If I had the money, I’d build ranches for endangered animals. All things wise and wonderful/All creatures great and small/All things bright and beautiful/The Lord God made them all.*

*Even if you’re an atheist, you get the gist.

Music 101

Happy Together

Me and you/And you and me/No matter how they toss the dice/It had to be

The Turtles, a No. 1 Billboard hit, 1967. This song knocked the Beatles’ Penny Lane from No. 1, spent three weeks there, then got bumped by Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Those were the days, kids.

Remote Patrol

Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

Spurs at Clippers, Game 1

10:30 p.m. TNT

Kawhi: I guess I’ll just have to DVR Veep

So Adam Silver puts the first game of the most intriguing first-round playoff series directly up against Mad Men and Veep/Last Week Tonight? This is NOT cool. Not cool. Gonna be quite a testy series.