IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

Eric Gordon poured in 27 points off the bench

The James Gang

James Harden shot just 20% from beyond the arc (3-15) but Stephen Curry was worse, shooting 12.5% from three-point land (1-8) as the Rockets knotted the series with a 127-105 win. Kevin Durant poured in 38.

Curry is now 2-13 from outside the arc in this series. Expect this to be a story line in the long fallow period before Sunday’s Game 3.

2. Wild Kingdom

An animal endemic to Mexico

“You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are,” Donald Trump said during a roundtable discussion with California leaders on sanctuary cities. “These aren’t people, these are animals.”

To be fair to Trump, he was most likely referring to MS-13 members. To be fair to animals, even predators have far more dignity and respect for life than gang bangers.

3. Weary Traveler

With a surname such as Cahill (K-Hill), you should be a dominant pitcher. And at moments in his 10-year big-league career Trevor Cahill has been just that. In 2010 he was an All-Star, had a sub-3.00 ERA, and went 18-8.

Last night we were briefly watching the first inning of the A’s-Red Sox game from the sidewalk outside of Blondie’s (a bar from which we are banned…seriously) when ESPN flashed a quick note about how many consecutive road starts Cahill has lost. We have been unable to verify the number on the WWW, but we think it’s in the thirties.

Anyway, Cahill gave up 3 first-inning runs and was facing Chris Sale and even though he pitched five scoreless after that, Sale doesn’t need that much run support to beat you. The streak continues.

4. Jumpin’ Jack Flash

We loved learning yesterday that the codename given to the mission that would become the inception of the Trump-Russia-Election Meddling (notice we did not write “collusion”) investigation was Crossfire Hurricane.

No lie, we were ruminating on this only last week, as we scoured tunes for “Music 101”, that this is one of the all-time great metaphorical terms in rock ‘n roll history. Totally original. Totally vivid. Just a wonderful job by Mick and Keef.

Tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime is on his side/Yes it is

It’s funny, and maybe it’s just us, but the older we get the more we appreciate the truly original lyrics and metaphors/allusions in rock and pop music: “Crossfire Hurricane.” “Tequila Sunrise.” “Suffragette City.” “Little Red Corvette.”

Anyway, read up here on what Crossfire Hurricane is all about. And here’s hoping the totality of this investigation is code named “When The Whip Comes Down.”

5. Rant

We see this as a musical, the 180-degree rebuttal to Rent. In our version, a middle-aged white attorney fights the noble battle of ridding America’s most diverse city of all languages except, of course, American. Which is totally a language.

Personally, I don’t care what language service employees speak to one another. All I’d ask is that they make eye contact with me and at least pretend to not be annoyed by having to take part in this business transaction as we partake in it (and I’m not just talking about the hookers…for once).

Music 101

Big Bang Baby

In the early to mid- Nineties, when nearly every American band of note was shopping at REI or thrift shops, Stone Temple Pilots turned it up and went glam. God bless ’em. This tune came out in 1996. RIP to Scott Weiland, the greatest rocker/Notre Dame football fan of ’em all (unlike Bon Jovi, he’d stay for the entire game).

Remote Patrol

Evil Genius

Netflix

We finally had the opportunity to dive into this four-part series last night and while it’s not quite Making A Murderer, it’s damn compelling. Basically, it’s an elegy to White Trash America and man is it depressing. And if the words “Pizza Bomber” ever sprang forth from your lips, then you need to watch this. Note well: American criminals are lazy (note how close to the actual home of one of the perpetrators the original crime took place).

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour


followed by…

Starting Five

1. Stormy (Not Daniels)

At 3 p.m. yesterday the skies overhead in New York City were cerulean blue, the air was warm, and it finally felt like summer. Two hours later, the sky was deep purple and the above was happening. If it does not kill you, nature is totally cool.

Train stoppages turned Grand Central Station into its signature metaphor bnmkl’g bn

2. A Man In Full

Iconic author Tom Wolfe passed away Sunday in New York City at the ripe age of 88. A journalist by trade but a writer deep in  his bones, Wolfe meticulously reported on happenings and/or trends and then spewed forth classics such as The Right Stuff (the nascent U.S. space program), The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (Ken Kesey and the birth of the counter-culture movement) and The Bonfire of the Vanities (Wall Street in the sybaritic Eighties).

If you read nothing else of Wolfe’s, read the closing chapter of The Right Stuff as he describes the crash test pilot Chuck Yeager endures and how he walks away from it as if it were a 20 m.p.h. fender bender.

Here’s Michael Lewis, the natural successor to Wolfe, profiling him three years ago in Vanity Fair.

Note: We were standing on the corner of 57th and Madison, well, it must have been at least two decades ago, when we spotted Wolfe in his vanilla suit standing almost right next to us, also waiting for the light to change. When it did, we walked next to him and said something like, “Mr. Wolfe, I’m only going to bug you until we get to the other side of the street, but I just had to thank you for The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. And The Right Stuff blah blah blah….”

Tom Wolfe could not have been kinder. He turned to me, he shook my hand, and with a smile on his face, he said, “Thank you.”

What we learned last night: Wolfe was actually a talented pitcher who earned a three-day tryout with the New York Giants in the early Fifties.

3. NoKo No Go?

How do you say, “We can’t stand Trump, either” in Korean?

Kim Jong-Un plays his “Two can play at the impetuous, unpredictable tyrant” card last night as North Korea says that if the United States insists on complete unilateral denuclearization as a starting point, that it will not even bother attending their summit in June. Your move, Mad Tweeter!

From The New York Times: “North Korea said Mr. Kim’s government would not give up its nuclear weapons unless Washington removed military threats against his isolated country. Without such assurances, it said Mr. Kim could withdraw from a planned June 12 summit meeting with President Trump in Singapore.

As someone said or wrote earlier this week, “North Korea without nukes is like Saudi Arabia without oil.” We don’t expect Kim (or as Mike Pompeo calls him, “Chairman Un”) to surrender his nukes voluntarily. Or involuntarily. But he will have fun yanking Donald Trump’s chain for awhile.

Hold off on engraving that Nobel peace prize.

4. Bummer Of 42

LeBron James scored 42 points last night—21 in the first quarter—but the We-don’t-like-one-another Cavs fell by 13 points in Game 2 in Boston. The Celtics outscored the Cadaverliers by 14 points in the 3rd quarter to reverse a seven-point halftime deficit.

Jeff Van Gundy on ESPN had a memorable night with a trio of great lines late in the game. First, on a ball boy who is a full-grown man: “We’ve got a guy who’s balding out there sweeping the floor.”

Smith’s push

After the refs wussed out on calling an obvious Flagrant 2 (automatic ejection) on J.R. Smith and instead called a Flagrant 1: “I can’t disagree more with that call.”

On the Cavs folding like a cheap suit late in the game: “The Cavs eyeroll each other more than a couple in a bad marriage.”

5. Tarp On!

As it began raining heavily during the sixth inning of the Yankees-Nationals contest last night, the above tarp was rolled out. Genius! How have we gone all these years without branding on tarps? Turns out the Nats are not the only ones who are making it rain when it rains…

…The Chicago Cubs have figured it out as well. This will be standard in all ball parks except perhaps Tropicana Field within a year.

Reserves

Suns at Number One

Will Talking Stick Arena soon be Marvin’s Room?

The Phoenix Suns, who infamously lost a coin flip in the 1968 NBA Draft to the Milwaukee Bucks—the Suns picked second and landed Neal Walk while the Bucks took a dude named Lew Alcindor—finally won the number one overall pick last night.

Do they take University of Arizona center DeAndre Ayton (owner Robert Sarver is a Tucson guy), Duke power forward/Swiss Army Knife Marvin Bagley III, who grew up in Arizona and led Corona del Sol (Tempe) to a state championship as a freshman in 2015, or 6’8″ White Euro Magic Johnson dude Luka Doncic, who has been coached abroad by new Suns coach Igor Kokoskov?

We honestly have no clue whom the Suns will pick or should pick. We do know that a lot of old ‘ballers prefer Bagley.

Ash Wed Every Day


To paraphrase Friend of the Blog Matt Zemek, there’s no better metaphor for America in 2018.

CHK Update

One of our pet stocks is Chesapeake Energy, an Oklahoma-based natural gas (read: Fracking!) (because the Chesapeake Bay is so close to the Dust Bowl) company we don’t necessarily believe in, but its stock we do believe in. For three years we’ve followed its yo-yo trajectory of up 10%, down 10% with somewhat relative certainty.

In recent months we’ve gotten in whenever it went below $2.85 per share and out after it hit $3.15 per share. Call it what you will, it has worked.

Last week CHK dipped to $2.92, which was still too high for us to jump back in. Then Prez Trump called off the Iran nuke deal, gas prices soared and well, just a week later CHK is trading as we type this at $3.74 per share. That’s a 28% jump in one week. Again, we DID NOT get in. But it woulda been nice. Stay tuned.

Music 101

Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)

A few of George Harrison‘s most popular post-Beatles hits were nothing less than prayers. This 1973 song and “My Sweet Lord” both fit that bill and both were also No. 1 hits. When this tune hit No. 1 in June of 1973 it knocked “My Love” from the top perch, which was rather significant because the artist behind that song was…Paul McCartney.

Remote Patrol

Yankees at Nationals

7 p.m. ESPN

Max is one of two hurlers (the other is Kershaw) who has won three Cy Youngs this century

You can tune in to Dubs-Rockets Game 2 later (9 p.m., TNT), but here’s an interleague contest with a ton of star power: Starters C.C. Sabbath versus Max Scherzer (four Cy Young awards between them), former Rookies of the Year Aaron Judge and Bryce Harper, and perhaps future Rookie of the Year Gleyber Torres.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

We imagine if that were our office we’d have a rather healthy view of ourselves, too. That and the lifetime appointment helps.

You Bettor, You Bettor, You Bet

By a 6-3 margin (the spread was 2 1/2) SCOTUS strikes down the federal ban on gambling, leaving it to states to decide whether or not to legalize it. One more reason to NEVER leave your couch!

2. Golden Statement

This is actually illegal in 14 states

Game 1 between the Warriors and Rockets was only 67 seconds old and already James Harden had forearm shivered Kevin Durant on a drive to the hoop (no whistle, of course). Afterward, Draymond Green was having none of it. As he retrieved the ball to inbound, Harden remained in his way, baiting him, so Green forearmed him to the neck/jaw.

Technical foul.

So what? The Dubs, after a shaky first quarter, tied it before halftime and led by approximately 10 most of the second half in securing a 119-106 victory. Harden got his—41 points—but the Dubs were too deep and too accurate. Durant scored 37 and Klay Thompson 28. Stephen Curry poured in a relatively quiet 18.

Game 2 tomorrow.

3. Follow The Money 

Ivanka at the wailing wall….

–60 dead Palestinians (zero dead Israelis) in clashes at the West Bank as the U.S. moves its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It’s worth noting that the single largest individual contributor to the Republican party is an American Jew named Sheldon Adelson.

…as 40 miles away, dozens of protesters are slaughtered. What in God’s name (literally)?

–Meanwhile in Asia, one day after Donal Trump tweeted about giving a break to China telecom giant ZTE, which had been a target of his tariffs attack, the Chinese government issued a $500 million loan to the Trump organization so that it can build a resort/casino/hotel in Indonesia. You cannot violate the Emoluments Clause any more explicitly than that, but the best a White House spokesperson could do was say, “I’ll have to refer you to the Trump organization.”

It’s not the same degree of depravity (fiscal corruption and treason as compared to genocide), but we’re kind of at the point in the Trump administration that would be like a human rights worker asking about that one rape and murder in Dachau while 4,000 other camp detainees were gassed to death that week.

4. This Is____Carly Jepsen

We saw this mashup for the first time Saturday night and giggled. FWIW, the “This Is America” video has already garnered 118 million views on YouTube. This parody has had 3 million.

5. Penn State Nixes Outing Club (Keeps Football)

It’s not a bad album cover for your debut

On April 2nd Penn State, citing “activities that exceed the University’s acceptable risk level,” sent a letter to its 98 year-old Outing Club (basically, they go on wilderness excursions) that it was being dissolved. The school also dissolved its Grotto Caving Club and Scuba Club.

Seriously.

The “Go Take A Shower With Jerry Sandusky” Club retains the university’s whole-hearted support, of course.

Music 101

Vindicated

They put out quite a lot of terrific, radio-friendly rock in the summer of ’04: “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand, “Float On” by Modest Mouse, “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and this tune by Dashboard Confessional. Lead singer Chris Carrabba saw a screening of Spiderman 2 and penned this song in 10 minutes, gave it to the producers (“gave” is used liberally here) and they used it for the closing credits. It’s a winner.

Remote Patrol

Cavs at Celtics, Game 2
8:30 p.m. ESPN

And we still can’t believe Philly preferred Fultz to Tatum in the draft

The Green C’s led by as much as 26 in Game 1 and coasted home most of the final three quarters. I’m going to go ahead and say they won this series when Cleveland was unable to put LeBron and Kyrie alone in a room together and persuade them to settle whatever issues they had. And I know Kyrie’s not playing in this series, but then either is Isaiah Thomas.

Also, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN comes the NBA Draft Lottery, which is only slightly more rigged than the Golden Globes. Watch as Adam Silver punishes the Phoenix Suns for tanking the final three months of the season (we say 4th pick at best for Phoenix).

 

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour


 

Starting Five

Green Day

In Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals, Cleveland took a 7-4 lead and then Boston went Kilauea volcano on their hides, going on a 17-0 run and leading by 18 after one quarter. The Celtcs led by 26, 61-35, at the half and Brad Stevens and the team minus its top two players would hold LeBron to 15 points on the afternoon.

For Game 1, lose the final two words on that shirt

“I have zero level of concern,” saith LeBron: “I didn’t go to college, so it’s not March Madness.”

Was that just a straight-up syllogism or a knock on Boston’s Final Four Fantastic coach?

2. The .700 Club

After an Anemic April, Stanton has been having a Marvelous May

The Yankees, at .500 (9-9) after 18 games, are now at .700 (28-12) after forty. Two weird figures: 1) With Giancarlo Stanton‘s home run in yesterday’s 6-2 victory, New York now has four players with 10 home runs after 40 games: Stanton, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius. No Yankee team has ever done that and no one in baseball has since the ’03 Texas Rangers,

2) Remember our Gregorius chants of last month when he was leading all three Triple Crown categories? The Yankee shortstop has since plummeted and is currently in a 1-34 slump. For as well as he started and as poorly as Stanton did, Didi is now batting .260 an Stanton .252.

3. Hamburger In A Pickle

How did fans of Hamburger SV, a soccer club that has been part of the Bundesliga, Germany’s top professional league, handle the team’s relegation, which became official on Saturday on the season’s final weekend? You’re looking at it.

Hamburger, based in Hamburg, had been the only club since the formation of the Bundesliga in 1963 that had never suffered relegation (demotion to the second division by finishing so low in top division). In fact, their stadium has a running clock that tells the number of years, days, hours, minutes and seconds that they’ve been in the premier league in Germany. Or had. Now they must play a home-and-home against Holstein Keil of the second division. If they do not win that, they’re headed down.

4. Holy City Embassy

You may want to rethink that trip to Jerusalem: at least for awhile. Today was moving day for the U.S. Embassy in Israel, as Donald Trump keeps yet another foreign policy campaign promise (you have to give him that) by relocating the embassy from Tel Aviv to the Holy City. More than 1,000 Palestinans protested at the border fence in Gaza, which separates the two tiny countries, and Israeli soldiers killed 37 of them.

Jerusalem, under the U.N. charter that recognized Israel as an independent state in 1948, is an international city in that it is not strictly under Israeli control. Both Israelis and Palestinians consider Jerusalem their capital as there are sacred shrines to both religions located therein.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the creation of the independent stat of Israel, so this is not just a coincidence. Ramadan begins later this week. It’s going to be Kilauea over here, too, and our moving the Embassy to Jerusalem, right or wrong, will be seen as a tremendous snub by Muslims, not that Donald was doing much in the way of being amenable to their concerns before this. Stay tuned for suicide bombings.

5. James Madison High School Graduation

This was our favorite sketch from SNL the past weekend. We especially liked the way they promoted it as if you were headed to a monster truck rally or WWE event.

 

Music 101

Falls Apart

Why didn’t Sugar Ray last? They actually had a number of terrific songs blending different styles (ah, maybe that’s why) from Sublime-style surf punk (“Fly”) to Jack Johnson-y beach mellow (“Someday”) and a lead singer who looked as if he could and would steal your girlfriend during the guitar solo (I’m not the first to suggest Mark McGrath is just a better-looking version of Ethan Hawk) and he could sing. I’m sure there are reasons this late ’90’s SoCal band dissolved and far too soon, but they did release some memorable tunes. This is our favorite.

Remote Patrol

NBA (Western Conference) Finals

Rockets at Dubs

9 p.m. TNT

Game 1 in Oakland: The Beardman of Alcatraz

If not the two best teams in the NBA (they are), the Rockets and Warriors are by far the two most entertaining (and this is Reason No. 348 why a 30-for-30 on the 2009-11 OKC Thunder needs to be made, as two players from that team are two of the three best players in this game). Also we love that Mike D’Antoni is maybe, finally, at last getting the credit for creating the atmosphere in which this type of offense is flourishing.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

WIN-nipeg!

J-E-T-S, Jets! Jets! JETS!

The Winnipeg Jets took down the Nashville Predators 5-1 in Game 7 of the Western Conference semis last night and move on to face the Vegas Golden Knights. The last time a Canadian club advanced to the Stanley Cup finals was 2011 (Vancouver).

2. Sad and Sadler


Wherever you stand politically, you have to respect John McCain’s service to the United States, from his 13 years in the U.S. Navy (five years in a North Vietnamese POW camp when he could’ve walked out any day he wanted to) to his 35 years in Congress.

So here we are, as Senator McCain is in the fading twilight, and fellow Republicans are taking the cue from their Supreme Leader (who openly mocked him in July of 2015) and dancing on his grave before the death certificate is signed.

Sadler

Yesterday White House staffer Kelly Sadler mocked McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel as CIA director by saying, “He’s dying anyway” (she had no idea it would get out) while on Fox Business News an old white man argued that torture works, it worked against McCain, and “that’s why they call him ‘Songbird John.'”

It’s a measure of the people who are cracking wise, not of McCain, these snarky comments.  All we know is the type of people who say such things have never dared risk anything of value, including their lives or values. They’re sheep.

3. Not Fair

Meet Kiyaunta Goodwin. He’s 6’7″, 370 pounds and he’s just finishing eighth grade in Louisville. His feet are size 18. He already has a verbal offer from Georgia. Stay tuned…

4. Combine Nation

Greak Freak II?

So yesterday I opined that there should be an NBA Combine and very soon after I was told,  “There already is.” Oh, well, never mind. Anyway, here are some of the intriguing names who will show up in Chicago May 16-20:

Grayson Allen, Marvin Bagley III, Mo Bamba, Kostas Antetokounmpo (Giannis’ bro, 6’10”), Jalen Brunson, Michael Porter, Jr., Trae Young.

And here’s some of the intriguing names who will not be there:

DeAndre Ayton (declined), Luka Doncic (still playing, Real Madrid), Bonzie Colson (recovering from foot surgery).

I think everyone who attends should be required to play the World’s Longest Game of Horse. Who wouldn’t dig that? Also, a 4-on-4 full court league should spring up, single-elimination style.

5. Don’t Overlook The Overlook

New York City is a hyper-bustling metropolis that can drive anyone insane, but it is also an island of infinite hidden wonders. Case in point, The Overlook, a sports bar on East 44th that we’d never visited. Didn’t know about the front-to-back wall mural of famous cartoon characters who were sketched by the original artists (e.g. Bil Keane, Al Jaffee, Mort Walker, Dik Browne, etc.) Learn more about it here.

Reserves

Brooklyn 9-9 was canceled yesterday after five seasons, and though we never watched it, people say it was funny. This moment alone makes it all worthwhile…

Music 101

Under African Skies

In 1987 New Wave was waning, hair metal was waxing, and Madonna and Michael still ruled the world. Then all of a sudden an old standby, Paul Simon, a legend from two decades earlier, released an album called Graceland that was unlike anything anyone could remember hearing on the radio. Defining the music was silly; it was just just harmonies and rhythms stitched so deep into our cores that it defied categorical rules. That’s Miriam Makeba on vocals and this concert took place in Zimbabwe.

Remote Patrol

Evil Genius 

Netflix

In 2003 outside Pittsburgh a man walked into a bank with a bomb strapped around his neck and demanded cash. He was given some but didn’t get very far. When the police stopped him, he told them that he was a pizza delivery man and that someone had strapped this to his neck, that it was a bomb and it was going to go off. Soon after he told them, it did. What happened and why? We many finally know.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

The MH staff got to rub elbows with CBS Evening News anchor Jeff Glor last night. Not that we are suddenly media titans (again), but he treated his staff to a few rounds of ale and whatnot at our other place of employ. Great tipper, nice man. Good luck at the commencement speech at Syracuse this weekend.

Starting Five

Eighty-Six The 76ers

The record will show that Boston advanced “easily,” 4-1, over Philly, but the final two losses came in overtime and by two. Last night in TD Bank Center Garden or whatever it’s called, Philly led 109-107 before a couple of bad turnovers and a missed Joel Embiid layup sealed their fate.

Sharp’s update: The line was Boston minus 1.5 and the Celtics led by one with just 2.7 ticks left when Marcus Smart attempted to miss his second free throw. He tossed it hard off the front rim, but somehow the sphere bounded up and over, ricocheted off the backboard, and bounded through. Celts win by two. If you had Philly plus the points, it was a doubly bad beat.

Michael Cohen, Renaissance Man

World’s Most-Screwed Individual

Not only did Michael Cohen graduate from the Worst Law School in America, but as the financial records disclosed by Michael Avenatti demonstrate, he’s also a respected accountant (hence the $600,000 payment from a South Korean airplane manufacturer) and a health-care expert (hence the $1.2 million from Novartis).

It’s amazing that a one-man shell company set up in Delaware is able to draw not only interest but substantial fees from corporations based in South Korea and Switzerland, not to mention AT&T. Especially since none of the principals at those companies had never met him in person.

Hmmm.

Now you can ask yourself, Does any of this ever get revealed if Avenatti isn’t representing Stormy Daniels, if the news of the $130,000 payout is not released, which sends Avenatti poking through Cohen’s financial records? And our answer is YES. Wethinks Robert Mueller and pals were way ahead of Avenatti on this (might someone from his office even have leaked these figures to him?) but it sure makes a difference with this evidence out in front of the public long before Mueller files any charges.

And dig: None of these companies denied this. In fact, a few of them released higher payment numbers than Avenatti originally disclosed. Maybe they want their money back?

3. Mass. Murder

Brett Gardner, perhaps the only Yankee yet to play hero during this run, had three hits last night, including the go-ahead triple in the 8th inning

On the morning of April 21st the New York Yankees, losers of two straight, woke up to find themselves with a 9-9 record. The Boston Red Sox, waking up a few hours later on the West Coast, were 17-2. Pundits wondered if the Sawx, with a 7 1/2 game lead on the Bombers just three weeks into the season, would “run away with the A.L. East.”

That night the Sawx were no-hit in Oakland. Earlier in the day the Yanks had exploded for a 7-run sixth inning to beat Toronto, 9-1. Last night New York exploded for a four-run eighth inning (in both big innings, Aaron Judge homered) to beat Boston in the Bronx and win their 17th game in 18 outings, since the morning of April 21.

The Yanks are now 26-10. Boston is 26-11. New York is in first place. Buckle up, it’s going to be a fun summer with these two.

4. Meanwhile, Al Pacino Has A Word For The Mets

A midweek matinee in Cincinnati between the Mets and Reds got interesting when the Let’sGo’s handed the umpires an incorrect batting order in the top of the first. Second- and third-place hitters Wilmer Flores and Asdubral Cabrera were actually written in the reverse order in the lineup card exchanged at home plate before the game.

So, after Cabrera doubled with two out and no one on in the first inning, Reds skipper Jim Riggleman apprised the home plate umpire of this and Cabrera was called out. His double was wiped off the face of the earth. This is what happens when you trade the Dark Knight to Cincinnati for a jar of pickled beets.

Anyway, any history of the Mets now must include this anecdote. The Mets lost 2-1 in 10 innings.

5. “Oh, My Aching Bach”

This is Dane Johansen, 33, and he was a man on a mission. In fact, he may have visited a few missions. In 2014 the native Alaskan embarked on a  600-mile pilgrimage in northern Spain, trekking the famed Camino de Santiago network of trails. His task: to play and record Bach’s six suites for solo cello in 36 churches along the way. Johansen accomplished the suite feat with his sweaty feet in 45 days.

Hands down, this is and will be The New York Times-iest article of the year. Let’s just end the competition now.

Reserves

Satire need not be long or overdone. Here’s Andy Borowitz with a funny idea and he didn’t belabor his point….

***

This type of thing seems to be happening more often lately. Maybe this Yale student can have a chat with those two Native American siblings at Colorado State. The irony of this is that the Yalie, a 34 year-old woman who is earning a Masters in African Studies, just had her thesis handed to her.

Music 101

Fooling Yourself

As disco took over on one end of the spectrum in the late 70s, and punk ruled the other, a lot of teens wearing retainers and with terrible bowl-shaped haircuts had no one to believe in. And then Styx came along. A lot of their music gets slagged and rightfully so (“Domo arigoto, Mr. Roboto?”), but this is one of their better tunes.

Remote Patrol

Game 7: Winnipeg at Nashville

8 p.m. NBC Sports Net

A Nashville-Las Vegas Western Conference final is still a possibility, as is a Las Vegas-Tampa Bay Stanley Cup final. Gordie Howe must be forechecking the grave next to him.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

It really is a disproportionately small finger that Trump has on the button of the nuclear arsenal

Deal Or No Deal

In the past week or so, with President Trump’s handling of North Korea (welcome back to the three prisoners) and now North Korea, we’ve learned a lot about his style of “diplomacy,” which is definitely 180 degrees different than his predecessor’s. In a nutshell: I have more power/money/weapons than you do, and I’ll be an even bigger bastard than you guys are if you force my hand.

It’s not something they extol at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, tyrannical diplomacy, but short-term, it’s working. Kim Jong-Un (or as Mike Pompeo calls him, “Chairman Un”; it’s “Chairman Kim”) appears to speak the same language and is now sending home three U.S. prisoners and talking about getting rid of his nukes. Will Iran, which took our money and then funneled (always with the funneling) a lot of it to militants we were fighting elsewhere in the Middle East, suddenly realize that we’re no longer the soft step-parent they assumed we were?

On the other hand, no one in Europe likes that Trump pulled out of the Iran deal. Moreover, the signal, and anyone who dealt with Trump the casino-0wner or Trump the real estate-magnate or Trump the husband could have told you this, Trump honors a deal only so far as it is beneficial to him. The moment it is not, he cuts and runs and cares not about the bridges he has burned. That’s what Michael Cohen and the slush fund is for, to assuage the hurt feelings.

Anyway, we’ll see. Trump is taking a victory lap this week. Is North Korea playing him, or are they really sincere because Trump has either 1) made some very dark threats or 2) paid them off in some secretive way? Will Iran become more or less amenable to behaving?

We’ll see.

And finally, here’s a conspiracy theory: What if Trump is telling men like Kim and Putin and China’s Xi, “Look, dudes, the only thing keeping me from turning America into a dictatorship is the freaking free press. Help me score a few wins against them, turn the public further in my favor, and then I’ll be able to get away with being more punitive toward them. And then we’ll all get richer and America will be just like you.”

2. The Last BOY Scout*

*The judges will not accept “The Boy Scout Handbook of Mormon”

To read any Brigham Young University football media guide in the 1990s (and we read our share) was to discover that a disproportionately high number of Cougar gridders were also former Eagle Scouts. In fact, the other religion within the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, i.e., the Mormons, is the Boy Scouts of America.

But, as of December 31, 2019, the Mormons and the B.S.A., who have a fruitful relationship for more than a century, will split. In a joint statement, the two organizations announced the divorce, with the increasingly global church announcing that it will form its own independent youth scouting group.

The personification of most Mormon adults I’ve met.

In 2013 the BSA announced that it would admit gay scouts.  A year later, transgender scouts. A year after that, in 2015, openly gay adult scout leaders. And last week, it said that it would take the name “Boy” off the Scouts as to openly welcome girls into the program. So from whom do I buy my cookies now?

It might be fair to say that the Mormon church had finally had it with all this progressiveness. Can’t you just get a “Social Justice Warrior” merit badge and be done with it?

3. Three Months, Three No-Hitters, Three Countries

Big Maple gets a hug

Since the baseball season officially began in March, we can say that this is its third calendar month. And last night in Toronto James Paxton, a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners who is Canadian, threw the third no-hitter of the young season. And for what it’s worth, it was tossed in the third different country.

The first, by the A’s Sean Manaea against the Boston Red Sox on April 21, came in Oakland. The second, a combined job by a quartet of Dodger pitchers against the hapless San Diego Padres, happened last Friday night in Monterrey, Mexico. And now a third in Canada.

Paxton, who threw a 99 mph fastball on his 99th and final pitch, becomes only the second Canuck (after Dick Fowler) to toss a no-hitter. And it’s the earliest point in the season baseball has had three no-no’s since 1969, a season that would see six no-hitters in all. It was also baseball’s 299th regulation-length (9 innings) no-hitter.

Paxton, a.k.a. Big Maple, made news earlier this season when an American Eagle landed on him during the national anthem.

4. Knotted at 116

You probably weren’t paying attention, but last weekend in Gulf Shores, Alabama, UCLA won the NCAA Beach Volleyball national championship. If you’re saying to yourself, I didn’t know there was an NCAA sport for beach volleyball, well, it’s only been around since 2016 (Title IX: it was cheap to add and creates more schollies for women and no, they don’t wear bikinis).

What makes the title newsworthy is that now UCLA and Stanford are knotted at 116 for the most NCAA championships won by one school. At No. 3, and you might have guessed, is USC with 104. But who’s No. 4? We’d never have reckoned, but the school has less than half USC’s total (51).

The answer, and we were shocked: Oklahoma State University, but unlike the other three schools, all of theirs are in men’s sports. How did this happen? Well, two-thirds of the Cowboys 51 titles have come in wrestling and another 10 in golf.

5. Funnel Of Love

Most likely on CNN or MSNBC this very moment

Yesterday America’s unofficial special prosecutor, Michael Avenatti, who has gone from zero to household name in the past two months, released a report claiming that a Russian oligarch with ties to Vlad Putin wired at least $500,000 to Essential Consultants, LLC,  a shell company set up by Michael Cohen.

Here is where it becomes far more interesting: in a time period stretching from just before the 2016 election to this past January, more than $4.4 million passed though Essential Consultants coffers, and some of those payments originated with “legit” companies: $99,000 from Novartis Pharmaceuticals, $200,000 from AT&T.

The largest payment known came from Columbus Nova, about $500,000, which is a New York-based investment firm owned by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg.

All of the above claim these were “consulting” fees, but let’s face it, you’d receive better advice, legal or non-legal, from your barber. This was pay-for-play to Donald Trump, with Michael Cohen acting as the intermediary. Is Trump that greedy or is he that broke, or is it a little bit of both?

Hal Holbrook said it best: “Follow the money.”

Music 101

Suspicious Minds

Legendary talent. Arguably the Abraham of rock and roll. Elvis Presley had it all: looks, swagger, a voice, charisma, musicianship and mystique. He was to culture what the atomic bomb was to warfare. By this time, 1970, he was a drug-addled shell of his former self, literally a Vegas lounge act. He’d die 7 years later, only 42 years old.

Remote Patrol

Who The F**k Is That Guy?
Netflix

Alago, left

A documentary on the life of Michael Alago, a gay Puerto Rican kid from Brooklyn who in the early Seventies, barely a teenager, snuck into clubs such as CBGB to see the biggest names and music and within a decade or so was a 24 year-old A&R exec signing bands such as Metallica. He’s still only 53. If you love the seamy underbelly of the music biz, or at least learning about it, this is for you. It’s like HBO’s Vinyl but real.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

Literally 3 hours after The New Yorker story appeared on line, Schneiderman resigned

When Will They Learn?

On Monday afternoon The New Yorker released a story in which four women accused New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman of physical abuse. By the time the sun had set, Schneiderman, 63, had resigned. Two of the women, ex-girlfriends Michelle Manning Barish and Tanya Selvaratnam, went on the record and provided their own names and their own harrowing testimony of being slapped across the face and choked. Both said that Schneiderman had threatened to have their phones tapped and that he’d kill them if they broke up with them.

Schneiderman, who had pursued Harvey Weinstein on criminal charges due to the assault allegations brought up against him last October, denied the accusations but resigned three hours later. He joins the short list of infamous ex-New York Attorneys General that includes Elliot Spitzer and Aaron Burr.

2. The Wholly Ronan Empire*

*The judges will also accept “American Farrow”

No male figure has done more to forward the #MeToo movement than Ronan Farrow, who  co-authored the piece on Schneiderman and who broke the story on Harvey Weinstein last October that sparked the entire crusade. Farrow, 30, won a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting.

Not bad for the son of Mia Farrow, best-known for her work in the title role in Rosemary’s Baby, and officially of Woody Allen. Although Ronan’s mom has publicly hinted that her ex-husband, Frank Sinatra, may have sired Farrow and if you ask us to look at the photo above and place our bet, we’re going with Ol’ Blue Eyes. Which would be funny because Frank was a friend of many, many people (and dames), but he loathed the press. He reportedly once nearly ran a few of them down after landing at LAX with Eva Gardner.

Anyway, Farrow (like Anderson Cooper) has turned out to be far more than the scion of New York celebrity. He’s a very bright young man (Yale Law School alum) who’s done some of the most intrepid reporting in the country in the past year. And to think NBC execs put the kibosh on his Weinstein reporting last year, which is why he went to The New Yorker with it.

Allen The Family: Those Were The Days

Finally, you cannot at all discount how Farrow’s own highly exposed personal life played a role in his dogged pursuit of sexual predators. Born in 1987, he was just a little boy when his father’s decision to leave his mother for his half-sister, an adopted Asian teenager, was all over the New York City tabloids. It was a pre-internet age, but that story ruled this city for a summer and his family imploded. As bright as Farrow is—graduating college at age 15—you can bet that that traumatic experience had an enormous impact on his life and his impassioned reporting.

We call that turning a negative into a positive.

3. The International Rifle Association

You can’t spell “Nicaragua” without “N-R-A”

At least the NRA has a sense of humor. On Monday they named convicted international arms dealer Oliver North as their new president. In case you are too young to recall, in the mid-Eighties North was a member of the National Security Council who played a huge role in selling arms to Iran, which was expressly prohibited since we had a trade embargo with them, and then funneling some of those profits to help fund the Nicaraguan Contras (which I hope will someday be the name of an MLB expansion franchise) in their war against their government, which was expressly forbidden by the Boland Amendment.

Ollie may have been the fall guy for some of these Beltway shenanigans, but he was convicted (those convictions were later dismissed by Reagan’s former Veep who would succeed him, George H.W. Bush).

Still, you have to admire the NRA’s chutzpah: putting the most infamous living American in terms of illegal sales of arms in the post as the president of your association. Bravo!

I wonder if any thought was given to asking Donald Glover if he wanted the gig.

4. Has Running Peaked?

Spokane’s annual Lilac Bloomsday Run, which is on our bucket list for races to run before we die (or our back and knees give out, whichever happens first) took place this weekend, as it always does on the first weekend of May. Sunday’s 12 km (7.46 mile) race had “only” 38,187 finishers, which marked the seventh consecutive year that the number of finishers had declined.

Sunday’s race had the fewest number of finishers since 1985.

Founded by runner and writer Don Kardong in 1977, less than a year after he finished in fourth place at the 1976 Olympic marathon in Montreal, Bloomsday (named after a character in James Joyce’s Ulysses) became synonymous with the road running boom. Its popularity peaked in 1996, when more than 61,000 runners finished. With that many runners and that relatively short a distance, Bloomsday is more a parade for most than a competitive run.

Maybe this is just a blip on the chart. Or maybe running is waning in popularity, which we’d be fine with, since it wouldn’t be so dang hard to get entries into the races we’d like to run.

5. Carpet Diem

Carla Delevingne: Actually, I’ll pass on the pudding, thanks.

On an insanely lovely early May evening in Manhattan, the MET Gala rode again. On to the costumes…

We found love in a Popeless place….

Is it us or is Rihanna beginning to look like Albert Pujols?

Wondering if Katy Perry took the M79 crosstown bus over to the shindig

Reserves

Be Best Galini

She is lovely, though

“Be Best.” Not Be Your Best or Be The Best. Simply “Be Best.” That’s our First Lady’s new program for children. Melania seems like a decent person trapped in a prison of her own design, but there’s also a sense of comic relief to so much of what she’s attempting to do. It’s funny how MAGA types are so adamant that people speak English but then give it a pass as long as they’re not speaking Mexican or poor.

Our Newest Hero

Gerald

You may have read about the film director who ignored safety precautions at a wildlife park named Glen Afric, roamed off into an area he didn’t belong, and was unwittingly killed by a giraffe. Carlos Carvalho, 47, was looking through the camera eyepiece trying to take closeups of a giraffe known at the South African game park as Gerald when the magnificent creature swung its magnificent neck and inadvertently struck Carvalho, sending him flying through the air. The blow was fatal.

This is the last photo of Carvalho, snapped about five minutes before the incident

Now, Gerald is not exactly our hero, but the owners of the wild life park, who announced that Gerald would not put down, are. Said their spokesperson, a woman identified simply as Jenny: “Gerald was not to blame and would not be put down. We are not going to shoot Gerald. He was not in the wrong. He’s just a huge wild animal and the guy disobeyed safety regulations. I’m very sad for his family. But I’m not one of those people who blames the animals.”

Thank you.

Thank You!

THANK YOU!!!!

At last, a little sanity.

Music 101

The Spirit of Radio

Senior year of high school, April 1984. We had an assembly and three of my classmates played this song in front of the entire Brophy Prep student body and 10:30 a.m. and the gym went nuts. You had to be there, but lead singer Michael Brockman had Geddy Lee’s vocals down perfectly and lead guitarist Chris Redl could flat-out shred. It was pretty damn epic. Oh yeah, Rush released this song in 1980.

Remote Patrol

NBA Playoff Doubleheader

Jazz at Rockets Game 5

8 p.m TNT

Pelicans at Warriors Game 5

At this point, I’m just watching for the TNT studio updates on gas mileage. Wake me for the conference finals.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Starting Five

Put this in the vault for “Best Sports Photos of 2018”

Raptor, The Best Medicine

In Game 1 of the 1992 NBA Finals, Michael Jordan scored 35 first-half points, a total that was greatly abetted by his then-record six three-pointers. After burying his sixth over Cliff Robinson in the second quarter, Jordan turned to Magic Johnson, who was part of the NBC courtside broadcast crew, and shrugged. It was as if to say, “Even I don’t believe what I’m capable of.”

LeBron James has reached Shrug-Level playoff capability. His running left-side lay-up style 15-foot game winner against Toronto on Saturday was so nonchalant that, well, there was actually a total absence of chalant to the feat.

Conversely, didn’t the Raptors, now down 3-0 in this series, learn anything from watching the Pacers series. You always double, double, double LeBron in situations like this. He’s a fundamentals guy, he’ll pass out of a double team. J.R. Smith or Kevin Love can beat you, sure, but make them do it. Or make him give it up to Kyle Korver or George Hill or whatever mook is on the floor. Just don’t play iso ball with one of the greatest players who ever lived. Another week of Susie B.’s Sweet Pea euphoria crashing down on us like a world-record wave in Portugal is more than we can bear.

2. Earning Their Pinstripes

It was nice when the Yankees swept four straight from the Minnesota Twins, the last win coming on a Gary Sanchez walk-off home run in a 9th inning that began with the Yanks trailing 3-1 on a getaway Thursday afternoon game. That stretched the W streak to six in a row.

But then the Yanks had to hit the road to play seven road games versus the top two clubs in the A.L. West, one of them the World Series champs, and then follow that with three against the A.L. Central-leading Cleveland Indians. All without a day off.

So how did those 10 games go? New York went 9-1, capped off by Sunday’s come-from-behind 7-4 win at Yankee Stadium (they trailed 4-0 heading into the bottom of the eighth) that ended when rookie Gleyber Torres smashed a 3-2 pitch over the wall in dead center.

On Friday night Miguel Andujar, another rookie infielder who was not on the roster on Opening Day, hit a game-winning walk-off single.

On Friday Torres, 21, whom the Yanks acquired two summers ago when he was a prospect by trading Aroldis Chapman, whom they now have back on the roster, became the youngest Yankee in 49 years to hit a home run. Yesterday Torres became the youngest Yankee to ever hit a walk-off home run. And he’s the only known position player since 1900 whose team is 14-1 since he was called up to play for them.

The Yankees have gone from the Torre Dynasty to the Torres Dynasty, you might say. Anyway, they’re 15-1 over the past 16 and yet still in second place behind the Sawx, who come to the Bronx this week for a three-game series beginning tomorrow. It’s going to be a fun summer in the A.L. East.

3. Hawaii: April Showers Bring May Flows*

*The judges will also accept, “Hot Rocks” and “Hawaii Volcan-O”

It was only three weeks ago that a storm dropped two feet of rain on the island of Kauai, necessitating the obligatory interviews of shirtless surfer Laird Hamilton, who came to the aid of many.

Last week on the big island of Hawaii, the Kilauea volcano erupted and it has been spewing hot magma ever since. More than two dozen homes have been destroyed and more than 500 tourist lava selfies have been uploaded on Instragram. Meanwhile, the release of toxic sulfur dioxide gas have made much of the surrounding area smell like your junior year chemistry lab.

4. A Hero For Wildlife

We only caught the last five minutes of this 60 Minutes feature on wildlife photographer Thomas Mangelsen, but anyone who is cool enough to get Jane Goodall to hang out with him on a riverbank in mid-winter has something going for him. If you’re emotionally mature enough to appreciate wildlife beyond posting click-baity “Shark Nearly Attacks Paddleobarder!” or “What Are All These Cougars Doing In Colorado Backyards?” stories, take a few minutes to watch and appreciate this.

And we want to give special props to the producer of this segment, Denise Schrier Cetta, for staging a fadeout shot that was worthy of an Oscar-winning film. Just magnificent.

5. Say It Ain’t So, Joe

Above: Joe Cool

This is what Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon, 64, looked like when he was leading the Cubbies to their first World Series championship in 108 years back in 2016.

And this is what Joe Maddon looks like today. To each his own, of course, but those of us who are fellow Gray Rights advocates are disappointed. Did you lose a bet or something, skipper? All Maddon will say is, “It’s going to get darker.” Ew.

Reserves

Thank You, Neil Cavuto


Another Foxy sees the light about the president….

*****

Mud, Sweat and Cheers

For the sixth consecutive year, the favorite to win the Kentucky Derby wins the Kentucky Derby. Justify, trained by Bob Baffert, took the lead before the far turn and never looked back in the wettest Run For The Roses ever. The other note is that Justify never raced as a two year-old, although neither did you.

******

Confetti don Tutti

Speaking of unwelcome eruptions….

The confetti rained down on the court prematurely in Game 3 between the Celtics and Sixers Saturday night, an ideal metaphor for an OT game in which the young, talented but not very bright Sixers committed three careless turnovers in the half court in the waning moments of the contest and ALSO put up an offensive rebound put-back try with :15 left and the lead in overtime.

Simply put, the not-so-smart Sixers ran into a far more intelligent adversary in Brad Stevens, who designed two game-winning out-of-bounds plays, one at the end of regulation (only a lovely Marco Bellinelli fallaway corner shot spared the Sixers and forced OT) and the other at the end of O.T.

Go to school, Joel (Goodson, not Embiid; it’s from Risky Business). Go learn something. That’s the thought we had after watching the end of Game 3.

Music 101

This Is America

After failing his audition at Saturday Night Live a few years ago, Donald Glover has done okay for his self. He has a critically acclaimed, Emmy-winning hit in Atlanta, he hosted SNL this weekend, and as his musical alter ego, Childish Gambino, he just released this song and video that already has 10 16 million hits in one weekend. I’m still not sure if the NRA is going to love or hate this, although since it’s black people he’s gunning down, I can guess the answer.

What makes this song so powerful? The blending of uplifting African tribal rhythms with the shots-fired reality of urban America.

Remote Patrol

Capitals at Penguins, Game 6

7 p.m. NBC Sports Net

Can Ove finally take down the Penguins in a postseason series? The Penguins are 0-4 against the flightless fowl in Ovechkin’s career in the playoffs, including being knocked out each of the past three years. He’s one game away as the Caps lead 3-2 but this rink is in Pittsburgh.

IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

The King and SI

After 29 years at the magazine and website, Peter King opts not to renew his contract at Sports Illustrated and joins NBC Sports (and NBCSports.com). Sure, it’s a landmark moment in the life of the franchise because when Peter joined SI, there was no place else in sports (ESPN included) that any upwardly mobile journalist would desire to work. SI was THE destination.

ESPN and the web changed all that, of  course. And SI‘s foot-dragging approach to embracing the web (ironically, NBC Sports got into the web game WAYYY LATE…I was among the original group of hires in spring of 2006) but now, a dozen years later, they’ll finally come of age.

Peter was, deservedly, the highest-paid person at Sports Illustrated the past few years. Not because he was the best writer, but because he had made himself the most relevant. How did he do that? By embracing, at a time when most other SI senior writers told the editors that they did not have the time or inclination to write for it, the website. Peter understood early the freedom that writing for the web provided (note: somewhere buried deep in the SI Vault or the plethora of blog posts I wrote for SI.com, enthusiastically, but that never touched the same audience) and he carved out a remarkable niche for himself. He pursued it wholeheartedly because the web was the one place that had the space for all of his thoughts on both the NFL and life beyond it. It was refreshing.

King was the first and still only writer at SI whose popularity spawned an independent, stand-alone website, MMQB

It helps that Peter is a remarkably good guy, cherubic and personable, genuinely interested in other people. He’s not soft; far from it. He’s just not adversarial as a default mode. He’ll be just fine at NBC, where Sunday Night Football is the NUMBER ONE NETWORK PRIME TIME SHOW in the country annually.

As for SI? Where does the mag and website go from here? There are still a few vets there who do remarkable work—Tim Layden, Jon Wertheim, Andy Staples, to name a few—but the pre-millennial stamp of this publication has almost entirely vanished. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but much like rock and roll music, the question I ask is, Who has stepped in to fill the void? (and don’t tell me The Lumineers or I’ll have to slap you).

2. The Path Of Priest Resistance

Like any good Jesuit priest, Fr. Pat Conroy, S.J., is a smart and somewhat defiant cleric. So when Speaker of the House Paul Ryan asked for his resignation, fully expecting that Conroy was like one of his GOP toadies who bends to the will of any Republican who polls higher (See: Trump v. Ryan), Conroy asked, “For cause?”

And when Ryan could not provide cause, Conroy said, “Well, F___ that, you’re going to have to fire me.” And Ryan, well, we all know who he is, he backed down like the coward he is. So Fr. Pat remains as the House prayer guy or whatever his job is, which let’s face it, is a total sinecure anyway.

All I know is, usually when two Irish guys skirmish (and you can’t spell “skirmish” without “Irish”), both guys arrive willing to take a punch. Not here. Paul Ryan is the worst fighting Irish I’ve seen since Charlie Weis’ 2007 outfit.

3.  Cash Mob

Yesterday on Interstate 70 in Indianapolis, the back doors of a Brinks truck flew open and as much as $600,00 in cash flew out the back and onto the road. Drivers stopped and stuffed their pockets as did anyone passing by. Brinks and the Indiana State Police are asking people to return the money. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dipped below 4% for the first time since 2000, but methinks someone (or maybe two guys) just tilted that figure in the opposite direction.

4. Let Love Rule

Almost (Hi, Susie B.!) all of us have become inured to LeBron’s dominance this spring, because last night The King posted his third 40-plus point game in the past five, but all anyone is talking about is how Kevin Love scored 31 points to lead the Cavs to an easy Game 2 win in Toronto.

It was nice to see T-Wolves era Kevin reemerge. Most of the time since he’s worn a Cavs jersey, Love’s play has been so tepid that I’ve redubbed him “Kevin Like.” Is it only a Punxsatawney Phil thing, or can the Cavs actually have a legit second option? This was the best Cleveland has looked this postseason and suddenly we all have to gird ourselves for the possibility of Cavs-Dubs IV.

5. Clicks Versus Classics

If you are into that sort of thing, my old co-worker at Sports Illustrated, Jeff Pearlman, recently released his 48th podcast about writers talking shop, Two Writers Slinging Yang, and his guest was another co-worker of ours, Steve Rushin (we’ll delve into why he had 47 guests before Steve Rushin another day…that’s just criminal).

Anyway, we’re not podcast consumers but we did listen to most of this (because we remember most of the tales first-hand or were there for them, I suppose). One anecdote Steve shared resonates with me: He told of the adventure he had writing a piece about golfing in Greenland and that when he returned, a high-ranking editor waved some market research at him and informed him, “This will probably be the least-read story in the magazine this year.”

And Steve’s retort, and I’m paraphrasing, was, “I’m interested in writing the story that people will be talking about three to five to 10 years from now. I can write 10 NFL stories if you like, but what can I write that will have a lasting impact?”

Amen. Think about that as you click on to your next “Way Too Early 2019 NFL Mock Draft” piece today.

Reserves

Eruption

A volcano explosion in Hawaii this morning, and record-setting geyser eruptions in Yellowstone earlier this week. The U.S. landscape is letting off steam. Can you blame it?

AL East 

Gleyber Torres, who was called up on the second day of this 12-1 streak, is batting .317 and got the hit that brought in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning yesterday

Remember when the Boston Red Sox were 17-2 and the New York Yankees were 9-9 and it looked as if the Sawx, even without Dustin Pedroia, were going to run away with baseball’s most top-heavy division?

The Sox are 5-7 since then and the Yankees are 12-1. New York just finished up a 6-1 road trip at the two stadiums where they’ve had the most trouble in recent years, Anaheim and Houston (they lost all 4 games of the ALCS played in Houston last October, as you’ll recall). Yesterday afternoon at Minute Maid Park the Bombers came back from 2 runs down in the ninth to lead 6-5, and then with the tying run on 2nd in the bottom half of the inning for Houston, Aroldis Chapman struck out AL MVP Jose Altuve on three straight pitches, all of them canned heat thrown right down the heart of the plate. It may have only been May, but it was thrilling.

FWIW: the Yanks’ lone loss since April 20, a period in which they have not had a day off, occurred Monday night in Houston. They arrived in town at 5:30 a.m. after playing ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” in Anaheim and then lost 2-1. They proceeded to shut out the World Series champs each of the next two nights before taking yesterday’s game to close out that series, 3-1.

It’s only May 4th, but look out. The Yanks are scary. Even scarier than the experts thought they’d be.

Music 101

Starlight

Back in the days before we realized that good band after good band was not naturally obliged to happen (or “before we got old”), we attended a “festival” on a rainy June Saturday in Giants Stadium where the headliner was Radiohead and the band directly ahead of them was Muse (Radiohead JayVee). Here in the U.S. the British band never fully got the love that they’ve garnered in Europe and even Asia, perhaps because they never had that one breakout hit song (even Franz Ferdinand and Snow Patrol did that). Anyway, this is a pretty fantastic live performance and you probably know this song even if you did not realize you did: Muse has a few songs like that, but you always come back to Matt Bellamy’s tell-tale falsetto (although that could be a song from Keane, too, come to think of it).

Remote Patrol

Rockets at Jazz

Game 3

10:30 p.m. ESPN

The referees had the temerity to call a lane violation on LeBron James in Game 1 at Toronto; maybe they’ll have the balls to call a push-off on James Harden tonight. I mean, I wouldn’t stay up late explicitly for that reason, but if you are up, well….