IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 89th to El Hefe who, like other great men (e.g. Fred Flintstone) knows you only need one outfit. We’re throwing him a Communist party!

Starting Five

This Great White, recently filmed, has an agent and is accepting offers to appear in either Jaws 7 or Sharknado 4– or both.

1. Big Fish, Big Pond

Video of this great white shark, thought to be between 20 to 25 feet long, taken off the coast of Mexico, surfaced this week (as did, thankfully, the divers, who I imagine needed a fresh change of drawers).

2. What If I Told You…

The roof was closed for yesterday’s game….

….that all 15 home teams had never won on the same date in baseball (since MLB went to 30 teams in 1998)? That happened on Tuesday. Coming up on “15 for 15.” Also, what if I told you that of the 290 previous no-hitters, not one had ever been pitched on August 12? That happened yesterday afternoon for the first time as the Mariners’ Hisashi Iwakuma, 34, pitched one against the Orioles at Safeco Field. Rule No. 6 (You can always see something that’s never before happened at any baseball game).

That’s the 4th no-hitter at Safeco Field since it opened in 1999, the most at any one ballpark since that year. If you’re into no-hit trivia, this link has some tasty items, such as the smallest crowd ever to witness a no-hitter (1,247 at Fenway in 1965).

3. Yes, and Howe!

Howe, 68, joined Yes in 1968

What do you get when a guitar god looks like a cross between Gandalf and Skeletor? Steve Howe, lead guitarist of Yes. Although other classic rock axe men touring this summer get more attention (Keith Richards, Pete Townshend, The Edge, Eddie Van Halen), Howe is a virtuoso and he still brings it.

Howe was also the lead guitarist for the early Eighties supergroup Asia.

Yes (“Roundabout,” “I’ve Seen All Good People,” “Leave It,” etc.) is touring all month through mid-September with a younger lead singer (Jon Davison, 44) who looks as if he was plucked directly from the cast of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat and who sounds exactly like former Yes front man Jon Anderson. Go see them. Will you be glad that you did?

Yes!

4. The World’s First Unlikeable Australian

Even John McEnroe, a.k.a. “Superbrat,” never stooped so low. Yesterday at the Rogers Cup in Montreal, a match between French Open champ Stan Wawrinka and Aussie Nick Kyrgios crossed the line when Kyrgios, during the match, told Wawrinka that a third tennis player, Thanasi Kokkanakis, had slept with Wawrinka’s girlfriend, Donna Vekic.

(Yet another life moment already covered in Seinfeld: it’s part Milos and part George at the end of the “Jerk Store” skirmish).

I know what you’re thinking: What does Donna Vekic look like?

I know what else you’re thinking: What’s the next meeting between Thanasi Kokkanakis and Nick Krygios going to be like (never mind Wawrinka)? And isn’t just saying the words Thanasi Kokkanakis kinda dirty?

Wawrinka retired (quit) trailing 4-0 in the third set, even though there was no love lost. Kyrgios should be receiving a $10,000 fine at least, while Vekic should be receiving an irate phone call.

5. The ABC’s of Journalism (“Always Be Curious”)

I love what Indianapolis Star columnist and amateur MMA scuffler Gregg Doyel did here. It’s not that the column is so engaging, though it is. It’s that this column never happens unless Gregg wanders up to a policeman on an artificial leg and asks what the story is there.

As adults, we often let stymie our natural curiosity in deference to being polite. You’re taught not to be rude. That’s no way to be a good journalist. Good for Gregg for being nosy. We all got a terrific column out of it.

Music 101

When Doves Cry

Summer of ’84. Springsteen was finally a national phenomenon due to Born in the USA and Van Halen (1984) and Def Leppard (Pyromania) were also monsters, but nothing was blowing people’s hair back quite like the opening riff of this tune by Prince. It stayed at No. 1 all of July and half of August.

The entire album was a revelation. And even the movie was good. It was the summer of Prince and if, like me, you had the good fortune to be woken up by an alarm that played these opening chords, there was no way you were hitting “Snooze.”

Remote Patrol

Bye Bye Birdie

TCM 8 p.m

Ann-Margret in all her glory. A scene-stealer so seductive that Mad Men would use it as a story arc in an episode later. Is the musical any good? Who knows? Who cares? Just watch the scene with the hottest babe of the early Sixties.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

British fashion model, repeat Vogue cover girl offender, and Victoria’s Secret runway vixen Cara Delevingne turns 23 today.

Starting Five

Well, this is a helluva way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (I know, wrong Asian nation)

1. Chinese Laundry

The above photo does not do justice to the massiveness of the explosion that rocked Tianjin, China, on this night, but this video does (watch how it takes a second or two for the sound waves to rock the dwelling where our videographer is; also, note that “Whoa!” in Chinese is pronounced “Whoa!”)

The BBC is reporting that the explosion occurred at a petrol plant, cause unknown, and is reporting injuries only, not deaths. We’ll rely on the ordinarily helpful and open Chinese government to provide more details later.

2. Sketchy

Is that Tom Brady or Josh Duhamel?

Forget about whether or not the NFL and Tom Brady should settle, today’s court hearing in New York City was hijacked by Twitter once the courtroom sketch artist’s rendering of Brady found its way onto the web.

We are a nation of highly productive and creative people, mostly using these talents to amuse ourselves.

3. “Pay That Man His Money”

Geno’s Instagram selfie post jawbreaker

On one side, you have New York Jest quarterback Geno Smith and his broken jaw (“Listen to the mandible rain/Listen to the music on the chin”). On the other, you have teammate and linebacker IK Enemkpali who felt that Smith owed him $600.

Who is at fault?

Well, sure, you shouldn’t just go punching teammates in the face, even if they wag a finger in yours and tell you that you’re a chump. Granted.

But, did or did not Geno owe IK that money? They agreed that Geno would attend IK’s football camp. IK paid for the flight and a limo beforehand. Then, Geno didn’t go. Was it due to the death in a motorcycle crash of his brother’s best friend or was that just an excuse? Does it matter?

Also, Geno is due to earn $1.37 million this year, so the equivalent of $600 to him is, if you are earning $100,000 a year, about $44. You know what would have been wise? If the two had just decided to split the difference.

IK is gone. And Smith has shown that he’s not very wise or mature about reading situations, not that a quarterback is ever called upon to do such things.

4. James Corden Blues*

This will all end with me waking up one morning to read,Late, Late Show Host Dies in Fiery Single-Car Crash with Meghan Trainor” and then I’ll just roll back over and go back to sleep.

Thanks to Great Friend Of the Blog (GFOB) Moose for telling me about this and all other current events pertaining to Canadia.

5. Hamilton 

Gang of New York

“Yes, it really is that good.” 

Thus began New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley’s review of the new Broadway smash Hamilton, which he wrote last week. The show is just your standard hip-hop musical about the nation’s first Secretary of the Treasury featuring a mostly non-white cast so, yes, boilerplate.

But it’s the hottest ticket on Broadway since The Book of Mormon first premiered.

Music 101

Titanium

I’ll admit, I’d never heard Titanium until Anna Kendrick and Brittany Snow sang it a cappella in the shower in Pitch Perfect. But the 2011 hit by French DJ David Guetta, with vocals by Sia, is a classic in the sense that you can not just tire of hearing of it (at least I can’t). “I’m bulletproof/Nothing to lose/Fire away, fire away…”

This live version isn’t the cleanest, but it captures the song’s energy well. This is arguably the best song written about a naturally occurring element since Nirvana’s Lithium.

Remote Patrol

Se7en

SyFy 9 p.m.

Is this Kevin Spacey’s greatest role? Brad Pitt’s? Morgan Freeman’s? I like to think that some struggling screenwriter in Santa Monica had a very simple and wonderful idea — a serial killer who based his acts on punishing the Seven Deadly Sins — that turned into one of the better thrillers of the Nineties (I don’t know how it actually happened, but that would be nice).

A wonderful twist ending that I won’t ruin here, but I will ask how a film that looks to be set in an East Coast city has its climactic moments in terrain that resembles nowhere you would wind east of Amarillo, Texas? My only qualm with the film.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 47th, Skyler White (Anna Gunn). “Workin’ at the car wash/At the car wash, yeah….”

STARTING FIVE

Toronto slugged 6 homers, including Bautista’s 10th inning game-winner, in the Bronx over the weekend.

1. Eight-and-O! Canada

The Toronto Blue Jays are held to just 10 runs (nice job, Yankees), while sweeping the Bronx Bombers in New York over the weekend. The Yanks scored just one run in the three-game set, and that was disputable. NYY was shut out in consecutive games for the first time since 1999, which had been the longest streak in baseball.

Since acquiring shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Toronto is 11-1, but the lone loss was on a day they did not play him. Toronto (61-52) has won eight in a row and is just a game and a half back of the Yankees. Toronto also has baseball’s best +/-, +129 runs. Still, they have sports’ creepiest team song.

If Billy Beane were their GM, he’d probably be trying to unload both Juan Bautista and Josh Donaldson today.

2.  He’s The Life of the Party!

According to Donald Trump, there are two “wherevers” in the above photos.

But which party? As Donald Trump surges to a 23% lead ahead of Ted “Ewww!” Cruz in the GOP polls, you have to think that no one is more pleased with this (outside of Trump) than the Dems. And if/when Trump runs as an Independent, it’s only going to be worse for the elephant men (and iCarly).

Dig it: there are more than a few people who are tired of being told that gay marriage is no different than straight marriage, that it’s not your place to weigh in on any racial issue if you’re not a minority, that it’s not okay to equate Islam with terrorism. Arguing the nuances of those issues is irelevant these days. You’re either all good or all evil. Trump appeals to that (larger than you thought) portion of America that is sick of tip-toe’ing about all of it.

There’s a reason, after all, that he cited Rosie O’Donnell. Trump isn’t going away no matter how many racist/sexist things he says, because he’s not about to apologize for any of it. That’s his secret. And he’s tapped into a YUUUUGE demographic.

3. Alphabet City

Names that were not seriously considered included “Bing-O!” and “Goofle”

Did Google actually change its name to “Alphabet,” or did it create an over-arching holding company for all of its subsidiaries and name it as such? Here’s what Larry Page and Sergey Brin had to say. 

4. The International

And after we win, we’re going to hack into a GM car’s operating system!

Why did ESPN’s SportsCenter provide highlights of a video gamer tournament called The International Dota 2 on Sunday? Well, partly because it sold out Key Arena in Seattle, partly because it offered more top prize money ($6.6 million) than any event this year other than the World Series of Poker, and partly because it received 4.7 million views on-line. Just imagine if Trump had entered.

The winning team, Evil Geniuses, was American. That’s the first time in the event’s five years that the U.S. has produced the winner. Couple this with that American team of mathletes winning that world math competition last month and WE’RE BACK, BABY!

A sign of the apocalypse or a step in evolution? It is what it is. The Matrix is real.

5. “J-E-S-T, JEST! JEST! JEST!”

Yes, New York Jet quarterback Geno Smith put his finger in the face of linebacker IK (short for “IKEA?”) Enemkpali and IK responded by punching Geno in the face and breaking his jaw in two places. Geno will miss 6-10 weeks and…chewing food.

This is the Jets-iest thing to happen since Mark Sanchez’s butt fumble and Brett Faver’s flaccid weiner text pic. I expect Ronda Rousey to announce that she could beat up IK Enemkpali within the hour.

 

 

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Charlize, angel: Happy 40th to the woman who had to pretend to be romantically interested in Tobey Maguire in The Cider House Rules. Now THAT is acting!

STARTING FIVE

Noted: Jon Stewart and John Kasich wore the same ties last night.

1. Jons Voyage

If you love Jons — and I happen to be partial to them, even if they don’t spell their names correctly — it has been a tough few months of loss:

Jon Hamm… Departed from our screens on a weekly basis with the end of Mad Men, although he’s far too funny, handsome and charming to be gone for long. In fact, Hamm was a guest last night on a Jimmy Kimmel Live repeat that aired simultaneously with The Daily Show finale. At one point the other guest, sexy Lizzy Kaplan of Masters of Sex, noted that she would be spending her birthday flashing a man in a gorilla suit and Hamm quipped, “Are they still casting?”

Funny people

Jon Snow: Murdered in a mutiny by the Night’s Watch. He really did know nothing.

Look at all those careers that The Daily Show helped launch

Jon Stewart: Signed off from The Daily Show last night (Sepinwall’s review), but not without an inspiring reunion of his former correspondents (Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Ed Helms and Steve Carrell, to name just four); an homage to the tracking shot in Goodfellas with a cameo from the man who made it happen, Martin Scorcese; a final warning that “bullshit is everywhere”; and his Moment of Zen, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band playing Land of Hope and Dreams before a segue into the climax of Born to Run. For a child of Jersey raised in the Seventies, it doesn’t get any better than that.

2. Know Your Rights (from your Far Rights)

The first GOP debates (jayvee and varsity) were highly entertaining and I imagine Roger Ailes, Chief of Propaganda at Fox News,would love to develop these into a weekly series. My quick takes:

John Kasich: Most sane.

Ted Cruz: Still the man I most suspect of being a birthday party clown with all the attendant baggage.

Ben Carson: When I have Siamese twins, I’ll phone you…but not before then.

Marco Rubio: Impressive. As soon as he starts to shave, he may have a future.

Kelly: As Trump and Rubio learned, this kitten has claws

Rand Paul: What is that thing atop your head?

Chris Christie: Moves on to the next round.

Scott Walker: You’re coloring your hair. Stop it.

Jeb Bush: Those glasses and that pallor. Where’s your cardigan?

Mike Huckabee: Nice zinger that destroyed Trump AND Hillary in one shot. But you look too much like a mortician or someone a mortician is currently working on. Also, when you said, “The military exists to kill people and break things,” I mean, just, wow.

Donald Trump: Hey, the Rosie O’Donnell line made me laugh. But the longer he talks, the more you realize that he has no new ideas. He’s just shouting at the wind.

Megyn Kelly: As myself and my colleague Alex Nazaryan noted, the Fox honey, who has a law degree, is by far the most electable.

3. GOP GameDay

On this day, Lee Corso‘s 80th birthday, how can we not take note of this photo from MSNBC’s debate coverage? Does anything say “ ‘Murica!” better than a grammatically incorrect sign wondering about Joe Flacco’s talent level and a pair of men smooching?

This scene would’ve been perfect if Chris Matthews had donned an elephant headgear at the end of the pre-debate show. Also, that’s @PFTCommenter hoisting the sign.

4. Aldon, All Done?

(Soon to be “Former”) San Francisco 49er linebacker Aldon Smith is charged with DUI, hit-and-run driving and vandalism, and is booked into jail. Linebackers are supposed to run and hit, not vice versa.

Smith becomes the second former Mizzou DE first-round pick to get in serious trouble with the law in the past month over reckless driving (Sheldon Richardson of the Jets). For Smith, a former first-team All-Pro who is still only 25, this could be it in the NFL. This is his second DUI and fifth arrest in the past 3 1/2 years.

5. Citizen Kane

Former Conn Smythe Trophy winner Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks is having a face-off with investigators in his hometown of Hamburg, N.Y., on suspicion of rape. Well, that’s not good. Kane has helped the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cups since being drafted in 2007.

Music 101

Pleasant Valley Sunday

The Monkees were a TV show that masqueraded as a band (really), but they were actually good musicians with a few really classic songs in their arsenal. This one, which peaked at No. 3 in 1967, was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin and is inspired by the road on which King lived (Pleasant Valley Way) in West Orange, N.J.

Remote Patrol

Dodgers at Pirates

ESPN 7 p.m.

Two playoff-bound teams and two Cy Young-caliber starters. Clayton Kershaw takes his 37 consecutive scoreless innings streak into PNC Ballpark to face Gerrit Cole, the major league wins leader with a 14-5 record. Besides, PNC is my favorite of the new ballparks.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 22nd birthday to Carl’s, Jr., burger spokes bikini-wearer Charlotte McKinney. Discovered via Instagram.

Starting Five

80,000 people were killed on impact, another 60,000 died within the year.

1. Hiroshima

Today is the 70th anniversary of Hiroshima, when the United States became the first and still only nation to drop an atomic bomb on an enemy at war. The stubborn Japanese still refused to surrender unconditionally and so, three days later, President Harry S. Truman ordered a second nuclear attack on Nagasaki.

Hiroshima today

As 17 Republican candidates square off in Cleveland tonight — seven in the jayvee game, and 10 in the varsity — I’m trying to picture a leader under those conditions surviving today’s social media gauntlet. Truman had only been president for about four months, and he had not been elected: he’d been elevated to the port with the death of FDR.

And yet Mr. “The Buck Stops Here” gave the command that led to the largest single-day loss of life known to man. Of course, it may have saved countless lives in the long run. But I doubt the antagonist party and pundits would have cared to see that nuance.

2. The Far Side (of the Moon)

Astounding photo of the moon and the earth here (Do you fully appreciate how few people in the planet’s history have had access to such a view??? Sit up and show a little respect and gratitude. Geez, you people…). For the record, this is ALWAYS the far side of the moon, but it is incorrect to call it the “dark side of the moon.”

What’s the difference? The far side of the moon never changes, since the moon’s rotation is such that we only ever see the same half of it from earth. This side you are seeing here, the far side, is never ever seen from earth.

The “dark side of the moon,” besides unofficially being the soundtrack to The Wizard of Oz, is the half that the sun is not illuminating at any given time (just as the “dark side of the earth” is what we’d call “night.”). So, looking at this pic, you are actually NOT seeing the dark side of the moon. Got it?

3. Deadliest Kvetch

You’ve probably already seen this, but just in case and, by the way, just one more example of over-analysis being a terrible trait (and trend). These crab fishermen off the Alaskan coach, the cast of The Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch, were, for this one play, far wiser than the Seahawk coaching staff. “WHY DID THEY THROW IT?” asks one of them in utter disbelief. Why, indeed?

4. At Least The Hed Did Not Read “Notre Dame Is Back”

Heading into the 2015 season, are the Fighting Irish one of the four best teams in the country? Sports Illustrated seems to believe so (or it recognizes that the Irish will do better  at the newsstand than Baylor or Oregon), but this alum is skeptical.

(For the record, SI put out four “regional” covers, but two of them had teams from the Midwest, ND and Ohio State; also included, Auburn and TCU. Apparently “East” and “West”, as in west of the Rockies, are no longer regions).

I do agree that Alabama is not finishing in the top four this season. It’ll be a down year in Tuscaloosa, even if the Coaches’ Poll has the Tide at No. 3. Here’s SI‘s Top 25.

Do the Irish have the potential to be so, with 18 returning starters? Sure, but they are thin at tailback, even though they have one great one (Tarean Folston) and one with the potential to be great (C.J. Prosise) and their QB, Malik Zaire, is a first-year starter. And his backups are neophytes.

I can’t shake the manner in which the Irish just laid down last November in Tempe and Los Angeles, and unforgivably at home against Northworstern. Louisville was a solid team, but the Irish still should’ve won.

Joe Schmidt is footballese for “Pat Connaughton.” Love this kid. On and off the field.

Just my opinion, but Notre Dame wins at least two of those games if Joe Schmidt is in the lineup. They were a rudderless team without his leadership. Joe’s back this season, which is why it is possible that SI may be correct. And keep an eye on sophomore Drue Tranquill.

By the way, I met a few Notre Dame students last week. Absolutely great kids, but when did the prefix “rising” get attached to your year in school? “I’m a rising sophomore.” Hey, kid, I’ll let you know if you’re rising or not. Until then, shaddup!

Best soundbyte from Brian Kelly’s presser this a.m.: “We don’t play for conference championships.”

5. There’s No WiFi in Heaven

The Grand Canyon is cool and all, but they’d rather be getting to the next level on Game of War

Interesting piece in Outside magazine noting that outdoor gear has never been more advanced but that the target demo would rather just stay indoors and play DraftKings or Call of Duty (why live real life when fake life is so much more gratifying?).

Music 101

See Me, Feel Me

So many songs from The Who to choose from for their first appearance here, but I went for  one that doesn’t get as much radio play. This is a live performance from Woodstock, which took place 46 years ago this month (The Who are currently on tour, by the way). Roger, Pete and the lads went on at 5 a.m. and played a 24-song set at that festival. The single-day ticket cost $6 and included Santana, Janis Joplin, Sly & the Family Stone, The Grateful Dead and Creedence Clearwater Revival as well)

Remote Patrol

The Daily Show

Comedy Central 11 p.m.

Good night and good luck… finding someone who will ever be able to so astutely and adeptly rake through the bullshit that pols and pundits toss at us.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 69th, Jennifer Marlowe! (We were always more Team Bailey ourselves)

Starting Five

Life of Bryant: He won’t get to strike such lovely poses this autumn….

1. Bryant: Park

Notre Dame, in what has replaced the An Tostal keg toss as the school’s most feared annual event (see: 1988), declared 2nd-string running back Greg Bryant academically ineligible for the 2015 season. Bryant joins Davaris Daniels (WR, 2014) and Everett Golson (QB, 2013) on the “Prominent Offensive Players Who Sat an Entire Season Due to Academic Mishaps” wall of notoriety.

I don’t want to call it “shame.” Bryant, apparently, earned a “B-minus” when he needed a “B-plus” to remain eligible. That’s not shameful. That’s just failing to draw the kidney’s countercurrent exchange of ions correctly on the final.

Bryant and Tarean Folston both matriculated in 2013 as frosh of high toutage from Florida. But Bryant missed the last 10 games of 2013 after three games and three total carries (he was granted a medical redshirt). Last season he carried 54 times for 289 yards but was oft-criticized for picking and choosing holes to much, and for fumbling.

Folston, on the other hand, has been a beast. The stocky 5-10, 215-lb RB from Cocoa, Fla,, gained 470 yards on 88 carries as a freshman and last season had 889 yards on 175 carries.  He’s a bruiser who stays healthy. Folston will get even more touches this season, while C.J. Prosise, the slot receiver who “committed” offensive interference at Florida State, will open a lot of eyes as the backup. He’s a stud.

Bryant will have two more seasons of eligibility remaining should he choose to return. He’s not kicked out of school; he just can’t play in games this season. He can even practice.

2. Ten Angry Men

It may just be me, but if I’m going to watch 10 men on stage at the same time, there better either be two baskets involved or they should be doing an a cappella rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.

The GOP debate, airing on Fox News, is tomorrow night. I cannot wait for the moment when Donald Trump turns to Ted Cruz and says, “You’re fired!”

Meanwhile, our friend Matt Taibbi has created a drinking game for tonight’s event, which I do not recommend if you are trying to get dry. He will be live-tweeting the debate at @mtaibbi.

3. Jeepers, Peepers

Last night I happened upon Another Period on Comedy Central, a comedy of manners starring Michael Ian Black, Christina Hendricks (Joan Harris!) and Paget Brewster. It’s kind of a Downton Abbey/Keeping Up With the Kardashians satire set in colonial Rhode Island. Funny stuff, and MIB is quite  hilarious as the over-the-top obsequious butler.

Oh, and Sepinwall enjoyed it, too.

4. Gone Girl

This is Natalia Molchanova, 53, of Russia. She is the world’s most decorated free diver ever, with a total of 40 world records and 20 individual gold medals from the Freediving (great songs Tom Petty never wrote) World Championships. Or, should I say “was…?”

On Sunday Molchanova went for a “recreational” dive off the coast of Spain and has not been seen since. Rule No. 3,142: What goes down may not come up. Molchanova has been missing for three days and is presumed dead. When you lower yourself into a body of water to descend great depths, you may think of yourself as a world-class athlete. Then again, certain aquatic creatures may think of you as bait.

I’m sure some journalist will do a “deep dive” (too soon?) on Molchanova’s disappearance before long.

5. Lizard Man Returns

If you find yourself traveling through Bishopville, S.C., keep an eye out for this creature, who was photographed on Sunday. The local legend of Lizard Man extends back nearly 30 years, so of course this is not a hoax. Not at all. Where is Leonard Nimoy when you need him? Oh, that’s right. Sorry.

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Happy 54th birthday to the President… although, how do we KNOW it’s his 54th birthday? Has anyone seen a birth certificate?

Starting Five

That’s the third cycle of Beltre’s career, tied for the most in Major League history.

1. Beltre’s Belt Way

Is hitting for the cycle an anomaly or an indicator of greatness? Some of the greatest hitters in the game’s lore never hit for the cycle, among them Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Pete Rose and Derek Jeter.

And yet a disproportionate number of men who have hit for the cycle are Hall of Famers. Between 1911 and 1960, by my count, 48 of the 95 cycles were hit by future Hall of Famers. In one glorious stretch in 1937, the two men who hit cycles closest to one another were Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.

Anyway, Adrian Beltre of the Rangers went for his third career cycle last night in Arlington versus the Astros. He hit a 2-run triple in the first (getting the difficult hit out of the way first), a double in the second, a single in the third, and a 419-foot home run in the bottom of the fifth.

Beltre finished 4 for 5 with 3 RBI in Texas’ 12-9 win. He becomes the fourth player in Major League history to hit for three cycles in his career (John Reilly, Bob Meusel, Babe Herman), but the first to do so since 1933. Which is, ya’ know, 82 years ago.

2. Money, It IS The Shoes!*

$15 million-plus per year for 13 years to wear one brand of shoes? How valuable will this contract be if the Rockets never advance to the NBA Finals?

*The judges will also accept “Happy Feet” and “My Adidas”

Reportedly, adidas is offering Houston Rocket guard James Harden $200 million over 13 years. Harden, 25, was the runner-up for the league MVP award last year (the players voted it to him, though). Harden’s chief talent is drawing fouls and growing facial hair.

Harden’s contract with the Rockets calls for him to make about $50 million over the next three seasons, so his adidas deal, if he signs it, would be in the same ballpark of $15-16 million per year.

3. Summer of….Hate

The moment of the fatal stabbing

Is it just me (or is it Twitter) or is everyone in the world a little angrier — and more violent toward one another — than usual? Above, a radical orthodox man stabs a 16 year-old girl taking part in a gay pride march in Jerusalem. She died from this wound a few days later.

I count four guns in this photo, if you include the one on his t-shirt.

Here, a man peacefully protesting the Confederate flag at Stone Mountain, Georgia, encounters a pro-Confederacy advocate armed with a pistol and a semiautomatic rifle. Two cops on hand, and neither has drawn their weapon yet in this photo.

Oh, and two men were shot in the parking lot outside the PNC Bank Center in New Jersey last night following a J. Cole rap show. According to a witness, they were speaking to a woman, making remarks about her body, and a third man stepped out of nowhere and shot them. Both are in critical condition (Am I a terrible person if I admit that I don’t really feel bad for these two?).

I think Mister Señor Love Daddy had it right 26 years ago when he advised, “Whoa. Y’all take a chill. You got to cool that shit off. And that’s the double-truth, Ruth.”

4. Miss Worlds

Besides the world records, Ledecky has perfected the “Water Bosa.”

Get ready for U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky at next summer’s Olympics (thankfully, she will be swimming in a pool in Rio, not in the water outside). You’ll remember that as a 15 year-old at the London Games Ledecky won gold in the 800-m freestyle.

Yesterday at the World Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, Ledecky broke her own world record in the 1500-m freestyle. The six-footer, who will matriculate at Stanford next month (I think), now holds the world records in the 400-, 800- and 1500- meter freestyle. She’s got quite the Ironman career in front of her someday.

5. Adios, MotherFOXers

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with the story below. We learn a lot by reading The Big Lead.

Did you really think Jon Stewart was about to go gently into that good night? On the first night of his final week as host of The Daily Show, Stewart lit into his longtime nemeses, seeing their hypocrisy allegation and raising it. Here’s the video.

Music 101

Radiation Vibe

You may know Fountains of Wayne for “Stacy’s Mom,” but I love them for this earlier tune.  Just two nice boys who attended Williams College (I had to mention this before Dick Quinn wrote me a note to tell me that).

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Great Dane (-ish ancestry). Taylor Swift’s BFF, Karlie Kloss, turns 23 today.

Starting Five

1. Creature Feature

I love that the Empire State Building did this on Saturday night. Easily the largest animals to be associated with the grand edifice since King Kong. And I’m praying they meet a better fate.

Cecil.

All things bright and beautiful,

All creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful,

The Lord God made them all*

(and even if you don’t believe in ‘He’, they are the masterpieces of evolution. They need our protection. If you want to help, this is the site that Jimmy Kimmel mentioned for the organization, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit.)

2. 0:34

Rousey: “Say hello to my little friend.”

That’s how long it took Ronda Rousey to dispose of, well, I can’t remember her name, but that’s sort of the point, in Brazil on Saturday night in UFC 190. And that has been one of Rousey’s more interminable bouts. She’s Mike Tyson, reborn and with a sports bra.

The Pacquiao to Rousey’s Mayweather is Cris “Cyborg” Justino, who is Brazilian and attended Saturday night’s bout. The problem is that Cyborg fights for another label and at a weight class of 145 pounds to Rousey’s 135. ”

“I fight in the UFC, in the 135-pound division,” Rousey said after Saturday’s win. “(Cyborg)  can fight at 145 pumped full of steroids [she tested positive four years ago]or she can make the weight just like everybody else without them.”

Them’s…fightin’ words.

3. Tex-Mets

That Duda can rake

It’s August and both the Mess (tied) and Yankees are in first place? Who saw this coming?

The Mets, despited having the lowest run total in the majors, swept the Nats at Citi Field this weekend and so people in that borough are seeing waves of folks riding the 7 train now even before Serena Williams arrives later this month. Jacob deGrom (who autocorrects to “legroom”) and Noah Syndegaard are studs and suddenly I have an urge to shop at IKEA…or attend a weekday matinee game with Don Draper and Freddie Rumsen.

Meanwhile, Mark Teixeira smote his 29th home run and 74th RBI in a 12-3 win at Chicago yesterday. The Yanks went 6-4 on a 10-game road trip that concluded on Sunday and are 59-45. Tex, whom I thought was way over the hill, is now 3rd in homers and 2nd in RBI.

4. “Danger, Wil Robinson!”

HitchBOT will not be headed west.

This weekend in Philadelphia, the purported City of Brotherly Love, HitchBOT, everyone’s favorite itinerant robot, was beheaded (so THAT is where Walter Palmer has been hiding himself). HitchBOT is a robot that hitchhikes across countries –last summer it made its way across Canada– testing the good will of motorists.

“Sometimes bad things happen to good robots,” said one scientist affiliated with the HitchBOT project.

 

5. Anectodal Recall

People see you havin’ fun/Just a lying in the sun…. Shep, TCOB.

I had been meaning to see Supermensch, the Mike Myers-directed documentary on superagent Shep Gordon, ever since it was released in 2014. I finally did this weekend on Netflix.

Fantastic.

I don’t want to ruin a single anecdote for you — they’re tremendous — but do know that Shep, whose principal client, original client and best friend is Alice Cooper, crosses paths with Cary Grant, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Sharon Stone, Groucho Marx, Anne Murray and Teddy Pendergrass, not to mention that he is also responsible for memorable scenes in both Wayne’s World and Almost Famous.

Highly recommend it.