by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

They Put Out The Damn Paper

The War on Civility found a new front yesterday, as a gunman walked into The Capital Gazette, an Annapolis, Md., based newspaper, and gunned down five employees. And then the staff still went ahead and put out today’s edition.

And while the gunman had his own issues with this particular staff, it’s disingenuous to pretend that a president who calls the press “the enemy of the American people” at every opportunity, including just two nights ago, is not an accessory to this crime.

2. Oregon Statement

One week shy of July 4th, and the NCAA is still staging championships. That all ended last night as Oregon State took down Arkansas in the College World Series. Last year Pat Casey’s team went an astounding 56-6 but lost to LSU in the CWS. This year the Corvallis-based Beavers faltered some (55-12) but beat the Razorbacks two straight after losing the first game of the double-elimination final.

A YUGE subplot of this team the past two years has been pitcher Luke Heimlich, who last season went 11-1 with a 0.76 ERA and this year was 16-3 with a 2.92 ERA. A few years ago Heimlich pleaded guilty to sexually molesting his 6 year-old niece. And now you’re in the midst of a land mine field

Another Beaver hurler, freshman Kevin Abel, was the star in Omaha. Abel pitched a two-hit shutout in last night’s decisive game and also got credit for the win Wednesday, coming on in relief. He won a record-setting four games in Omaha during this CWS.

What this CWS may best be remembered for, though, is a near-Bucknerian collapse by the Hogs in Game 2 of the series Wednesday night (we’ve already taken the switch to MH’s College Baseball intern for missing this): Arkansas had already won the first game and had a one-run lead with two outs in the top of the ninth when OSU’s Cadyn Grenier hit a foul pop close to the first base stands. Three Arkansas fielders allowed it to drop between them.

Given second life, Grenier followed with a game-tying hit, then Trevor Larnach clobbered a two-run go-ahead home run. The Hogs would not score again in this series.

Casey and Oregon State won the CWS twice before, in 2006 and 2007.

3. Jon Stewart Nails Trump (Again): “Gleeful Cruelty”

Man, do we ever need Jon Stewart and David Letterman more than ever. The former showed up on Stephen Colbert‘s show last night (must have been taped before The Capital Gazette shooting) and reminded Trump that as a nation, most of us are not assholes. And that you can’t turn lying and bullying into a virtue, no matter how often you try.

4. Bye Bye, Cars

If you live in Manhattan, you know what a panacea Central Park is to your physical and mental health. In the near-three decades I’ve resided here, I’ve always wondered what many of us have: How much more salubrious would CP be if cars were not allowed to traverse through?

After years of incremental steps, Central Park finally became a totally car-free zone this week (although I’m sure the cops will still zip through it whenever they like). Vehicles NEVER belonged here and the canard about how it made the flow of traffic all over the city easier was bogus. There’s only one horsepower that belongs in CP, and it’s attached to a buggy (and we’re not even crazy about that, for the horsies’ sake).

The closer all of Manhattan gets to being an auto-free zone, the better. We’d start with only allowing taxis, delivery trucks and mass transit. No more personal-use vehicles allowed in the city.

5. Whoa-oooooh, We’re Halfway There!

It’s a Friday and also the last day of June, which is the sixth month of the year and while July 2nd actually marks the year’s midpoint, we thought we’d have a little fun with superlatives/predictions/a look back.

Best Sports Moment Thus Far: Many to choose from, from Alabama’s championship-winning touchdown pass in overtime (ballsy call, Nick) to that crazy Hail Mary-ish pass in Minnesota that got the Vikings through to another round, to that NCAA women’s 4 x 400 final in which that USC sprinter redeemed herself from a year ago, but we’ll go with UMBC’s upset of Virginia in the opening round of the NCAA’s. A 16 had never beaten a 1 and the entire second-half gave us goosebumps.

Best TV Moment: We told you earlier this week. James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke” with Sir Paul McCartney. If you still haven’t seen it, find it. It’s all over YouTube.

Worst Horror Story: Believe it or not, totally unrelated to anything with Trump. For me it was reading about the six people who climbed into an open-doored helicopter for a scenic sunset tour of Manhattan. The chopper lost power, plunged into the East River and the six young passengers (but not the pilot) were so securely strapped in that they drowned. All were consciously and likely fine as they hit the water and then all sat next to one another as they drowned in the cold, murky water, just a few feet below the surface.

Worst Stock Picker: Me. This year’s stock pick, Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC), started the year around $27 and is now at $8.37. Oh, you didn’t realize I meant that you should short it? Anyway, other MH stalwarts, such as AMZN, NFLX and MCD, are all doing well. We shouldn’t have gotten cute.


Shanghai Noon

It begins with an under stable request from Pablo, but ends with an excellent point from Bomani (Have you ever asked a black man, “What country do you think you’re from?”)

Music 101

Prayer For The Dying

In one year in the early Nineties Henry Samuel, a.k.a. Seal, had three near-death experiences: he walked away from a nasty car wreck, came down with double pneumonia, and was standing right next to someone as they were fatally shot. The experiences caused him to ruminate a little on mortality, which produced this tune off his 1994 album, Seal (both of his first two albums were titled Seal), which went to No. 21 on the Billboard chart. We’ve always thought of Seal as Peter Gabriel’s English world-music soul brother. No?

Remote Patrol

World Cup

Argentina vs France

10 a.m. Fox

I don’t care what you say, Olivier Giroud is not THAT handsome. He’s just NOT. Okay? He’s not “Jerry, it moved” dashing and I’ll hear no other arguments on this issue. Lionel Messi and friends try to drive the Frogs back across the Maginot Line. Will they fare better in Eastern Europe than Napoleon? It’s knockout round time.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Snake Shack

One…two…three…perhaps as many as four Surrender Cobras spotted wearing German uniforms during its 2-0 defeat to South Korea. Let the schadenfreude begin! Here’s the deal: with Mexico crumbling 3-0 to Sweden, all the defending World Cup champions needed to do was beat South Korea. Which entered the match 0-2.

Ozil: the illegitimate grandson of Peter Lorre says, “Rick! Rick! You’ve got to hide me, Rick!”

Instead, Germany allowed a goal off a corner kick in stoppage time and then an empty netter. Auf wiedersehen.

2. Summer of Dictators Continues

In June it was Kim Jong-Un. Now, on July 16, one day after the World Cup final in Moscow, President Trump will meet Vladimir Putin in Moscow for a summit. The two will reportedly discuss whether Kawhi and LeBron can coexist in Los Angeles.

3. Civility Wins! (In the Detroit Tiger Clubhouse)

You can still say anything demeaning you want about anyone if you’re the President of the United States (or a blogger!), but that sh*t won’t fly in the Detroit Tiger clubhouse. The franchise fired pitching coach Chris Bosio yesterday for making a demeaning remark to a member of the staff. No one is sure exactly what or to whom Bosio’s remark was about, but  the former Major League hurler who once threw a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway is gone.

Bosio, 55, was also the Chicago Cubs pitching coach when they won the World Series two years ago.

4. The Gallopin’ Grandma

This is Emma Gatewood, the first woman to solo the Appalachian Trail and complete it. The year was 1955 and by that time Gatewood was already 67 years old and had given birth  to 11 children. She was  already a great-grandmother.

Gatewood is profiled in a new feature in The New York Times called “Overlooked,” in which  obituaries are written about people who are long dead but may have been somewhat, um, overlooked at the time of their passing (yours or mine should be appearing in the year 2132).

Walk on, Emma. Walk on….

Why she took to hiking is an intriguing story that I’ll leave you to find out for yourself. But she was the first woman to hike the 2,050-mile trail, the first person of either gender to do so multiple times (three in all), and by the time she died at the age of 85, she’d also hiked the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail.

If you’re thinking, Maybe she just couldn’t stand to be around her husband…you’re right.

5. L.A.Bron?

So you think Brentwood? Or should I pull a Kobe and copter in from Newport Beach?

We’ll know by the end of the day tomorrow, right? LeBron James either opts to remain in Cleveland or to become a free agent, no? Our guess is that, while Utah is the better fit and Philadelphia is his best bet for returning to the NBA Finals (to lose) a couple more times and that Boston would say, “Thanks, not interested,” our guess is that he follows his manifest destiny and heads to Los Angeles.

He already has two homes there, he wouldn’t be the first superstar to don a Laker jersey at the peak of his career or later (Wilt, Kareem, Shaq, Karl, Gary, to name a few), and that the Lakers just have the mystique.

Exclusive look at Laker preseason scrimmage

And if you think this is all just a ploy to inveigle Susie B. to return to the Comments section, well, maybe you’re correct.

Would LeBron (now L.A. Bron or LeBrea) insist on joining the Lakers on the condition that they acquire Kawhi Leonard? Perhaps. Remember, Kawhi grew up in the L.A. area and it seems as if he just wants to go home. A Laker team of LeBron, Kawhi and Kyle Kuzma would certainly be an upgrade, but they’d still be lacking enough dead-eye three-point shooters (sure, LeBron is a terrific three-point shooter, but he needs a marksman to dish off to when he’s doubled).

Kuzma averaged 16.1 and 6.3 as a rookie. He was arguably the steal of the draft. Do NOT lose this kid.

Notice I didn’t mention Lonzo Ball. He’s a good player and his shooting will (MUST) improve, but he’s not indispensable. And I’ve gotta think L.A. Bron would not exactly mind if LaVar were not around. Magic Johnson is enough off-court hot air for one NBA franchise.

But if the Lakers deal Kuzma to get Kawhi, they’re making a fatal error. They’d be dealing a taller, younger, less traumatized version of Kawhi to get Kawhi.

Also, I don’t know that you need Paul George. Just another limousine parked outside of Katsuya, know what I mean?

Music 101

Beautiful Sunday

Did you order the one-hit wonder? Well, here it is. Daniel Boone‘s 1972 ode to the sabbath, which is pretty much the polar opposite of Johnny Cash’s classic “Sunday Morning Coming Down” (written by Kris Kristofferson), peaked at No. 1 in four countries and went to No. 15 in the U.S. The British musician’s real name is Peter Green.

Remote Patrol

World Cup

England vs. Belgium

2 p.m. Fox

Citizen Kane

They’re both through to the Round of 16, but who cares? They don’t like each other, plus Harry Kane of England is in the lead for the Golden Boot (most goals.). You have to think Belgium will hold out Lokaku.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Aaron Judge is the nicest budding superstar you’ll find. Derek Jeter never played catch with a fan in the stands between innings (Yeah, but he was playing shortstop) Shaddup!

Starting Five

Diego F**k Yourself!

Argentina and Lionel Messi were less than four minutes plus stoppage time away from an inglorious group-stage exit from the World Cup and then this happened….

And then Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona, who’s sort of the Charles Barkley-Joe Namath-Dennis Rodman-Pete Rose of retired international soccer stars, reacted as he did above to a fan/fans who’d probably been heckling him most of the match.

Argentina, by virtue of the 2-1 win, moves on to the Round of 16 to face France, which has the most handsome player in the tournament, Olivier Giroud.

2.  Viva Alexandria!

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28 year-old Latina from the Bronx, defeats the top-ranking Democratic congressman under the age of 70, 56 year-old Joseph Crowley, in the Democratic primary. A change is gonna come, after all. Ms. Cortez, a former campaign worker for Bernie Sanders, campaigned on the platform to abolish ICE and as a working-class woman of color.

A few weeks ago Ocasio-Cortez was scheduled to square off against Crowley, who represents the Bronx and Queens but does not live in New York and sends his kids to school in D.C. The 10-term congressman instead sent a female surrogate to take her on. Bad move, Joe.

To his credit, Crowley conceded defeat by picking up his guitar and playing “Born To Run” in Ocasio-Cortez’s honor. For the first time in maybe forever the pol understood the lyrics, Highways jammed with broken heroes….

3. Civility War!

That’s John Lewis, now a U.S. congressman, being treated in a less than civil manner in 1964 for walking across a bridge in Alabama.

We don’t know exactly when it began, but it was some time before Robert De Niro took to the stage at the Tonys earlier this month and pointedly stated, twice, “F**k Trump!” Anyway, ever since the Red Hen owner POLITELY took Sarah Huckabee Sanders aside and told her that she was not welcome to dine there last Friday night, there apparently has been a WAR ON CIVILITY.

Funny, no one was mentioning civility after “grab her by the pussy” or “Pocahantas” or “Little Mario” or mocking the NYT reporter’s handicap or pointing at the press and declaring, “They’re the enemy.” But now every Deplorable you can find is taking his white gloves off, sniffing at Jeeves, and declaring that they shan’t put up with such umbrage while issuing the harshest of “Good day, sir!”‘ ‘s in your general direction.

You know what? F**k ’em.

4. Lost Boys

In Thailand, an entire soccer team of teenage boys is missing after they went spelunking in a cave that is subject to tidal overflow. On Saturday the dozen boys, ranging in age from 11 to 16, and their 25 year-old coach, apparently parked their bikes outside the complex of caves and traveled through a narrow, 50-foot channel to enter the caverns.

The caves are off-limits during the rainy season, which has just begun, because they can become flooded and trap visitors. A sign outside them says as much. The team has now been missing for four days.

5. Cold Fun In The Summertime

Take a gander at Gander: We’ve actually passed through this northern Newfoundland town (don’t tell anyone: it’s beautiful up there!). It’s also the setting for the sleeper Broadway musical hit, Come From Away. But it’s also located pretty far north, and so earlier this week kids were wondering if they’d have a snow day instead of having to go to school.

Granted, it was a light dusting compared to what the Ganderians (?) are used to, but it’s still snow in the summer time.

Music 101


Dive into the clever, nerdy, guitar-addled mind of Jonathan Coulton, the only rocker who probably enjoyed high school chemistry lab. He has a mix of songs as quirky and funny as the one above, such as “Millionaire Girlfriend” and “Skullcrusher Mountain.” This is a man who keeps his picks and capo in the same art box as his icosahedron D&D die.

Remote Patrol

World Cup

Mexico vs. Sweden

10 a.m. FOX

Germany vs. South Korea

10 a.m. FS1

“Chicharito” is Spanish for, Didn’t I used to be in Party of Five?

El Tri are 2-0 in Group F and on the verge of elimination. Que? When Germany defeated Sweden on Saturday, it put both sides at 1-0-1 and within striking distance of Mexico. If Deutschland, the defending World Cup champs, put a big hurt on South Korea (expected) and the Vikings beat Mexico handily, our best friends directly to the south will be sent home on goal differential (since all three sides will be 2-0-1 and 1-0-1 versus each other). It’s bordering on insanity.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Nature ALWAYS adapts. When will man learn?

Starting Five

It was a chippy match, and Ronaldo (who got a yellow card), might have deserved a red card late

Portugal Escapes

If you were glued to the set on a Monday afternoon watching Portugal trying to desperately elude Iran in a soccer match, you’re not alone. The Lisbon gang hung on for a 1-1 draw with the upstart Iranians, who had a golden chance at a go-ahead goal in stoppage time that would have knocked Ronaldo & Co. from the World Cup, but it was shanked wide.

Portugal gets Uruguay in the Round of 16. Spain gets Russia.

2. Hogs Get Slaughtered

In the past 24 hours, in a two-fer only he is capable of, Donald Trump took on a black Congresswomen and one of the most iconic middle-aged American white guy brands that has ever existed: Maxine Waters and Harley-Davidson.

Over the weekend Waters, who will turn 80 later this summer (hopefully), reacted to the Red Hen Kerfuffle by advocating more grass roots defiance. “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them,” Waters said at an event in Los Angeles. “You tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Well, that sounds more like harassment than free speech, and maybe “push” was the wrong word choice. No, it definitely was. But then Donny Sr. tweeted a not-so-veiled threat:

Then yesterday Harley-Davidson, responding to the tariff war Trump initiated, announced that it would shift SOME of its motorcycle production overseas. See, Donald decided to put tariffs on European imports, thinking they’d cower as if the Republican party has, but instead the EU struck back with tariffs that would add a 31% increase to the price of a Harley in Europe, so the Wisconsin-based manufacturer announced it would some of its production to Europe.

Now Donny is threatening that H-D will lose its “aura.” It’s so maddening when all the subjects don’t kiss your ring, isn’t it, Donald?


3. But Would You Bake Them A Cake?

ESPN’s Body Issue made its debut yesterday and Olympian couple Sue Bird (hoops) and Megan Rapinoe (soccer) made quite the splash. Another former UConn Player of the Year, Breanna Stewart, also shows up. UConn women’s hoops must lead all teams in Body Issue selections, as Diana Taurasi is a former model.

If we know Geno at all, he’s been making jokes about how it is a travesty that he has not yet been asked to pose, as he is the sexiest person in the UConn program (psst, Swin Cash is/was; has she been asked?).

4. Fox Plays Its Red Card

There’s a short connect-the-dots between Fox News and Vladimir Putin and we wonder if that had anything or everything to do with this puff piece Fox aired yesterday on Josef Stalin’s dacha, or vacation retreat, in Sochi. When a segment begins, “Think what you will about Josef Stalin….” WHAT?!?! The dude was responsible for the deaths of as many as 20 MILLION people. Think what we will?

The piece did delve into Stalin’s paranoia about being assassinated, but never speculated as to why. Maybe if they’d mentioned the millions of his own countrymen that he had executed? There’s pivoting to video and then there’s plain ol’ propaganda. You DO remember whose regime inspired 1984 and Animal Farm, don’t you?

5. And I Would Run 100 Miles

It was more than a little warm for this year’s annual Western States run across 100 miles of wilderness terrain in northern California. At the Mile 78 river crossing, the mercury climbed to 106 degrees. And yet overall winner Jim Walmsley set a new course record (as opposed to setting an old course record) while female winner Courtney Dauwalter ran the second-fastest female time yet.

Walmsley, who lives in Flagstaff, Arizona (of course), shaved more than 16 minutes off the course record, crossing the finish line on the track at Placer High School in Auburn, Calif., in 14 hours, 30 minutes and 4 seconds. Second place this year finished an hour and 24 minutes behind.

You may remember Walmsley as the man who two years ago was leading Western States and 20 minutes under the course record when he took a wrong turn with less than 10 miles to go and lost it all.


Dauwalter, 31, finished in 17 hours and 27 minutes flat, an hour and 13 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher for females.

Walmsley is a north Scottsdale native who attended the Air Force Academy and then worked on intercontinental ballistic missile systems in Montana as part of his five-year service obligation. It was running outdoors in Montana (he’d been a standout cross-country guy at AFA) that made him fall in love with ultra trail running.

Crazy Fact: Walmsley’s high school teammate, James Bonnett, was the youngest Western States finisher (at the time), crossing the finish line when he was 18 years old.

Dauwalter, like Walmsley, was a varsity college athlete in the state of Colorado. She was on the Nordic ski team at the University of Denver. She’s now a school teacher.



Music 101

Wishin’ and Hopin’

Dionne Warwick originally recorded this song in 1963 and released it as a B-side. Dusty Springfield (above) heard it, recorded it, and then the song’s writers, the hit-makers Burt Bacharach and Hal David, leaked it to a New York City deejay (Dusty was ambivalent about stepping on Dionne’s shoes). It became a No. 4 hit in 1964.


Remote Patrol

World Cup

Iceland vs. Croatia

2 p.m. FS1

Nigeria vs. Argentina

2 p.m. Fox

Croatian striker Luka Modric has a checkered past….

Group D: Croatia is through to the knockout round. Iceland MUST win and hope Argentina wins and   Argentina MUST win and hope Iceland loses. Nigeria is in if it wins or draws (I figured this out on my own so it’s probably about 50% correct).




by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

1. Day Tripper

Not just the best thing we saw this weekend, but the best thing we’ve seen this year. Sir Paul is impossibly gracious, humble, warm, funny, sweet, insightful and altruistic. Also, the execution of this idea was imaginative and inspired. We’ll say no more other than to suggest that the long and winding road is a glorious one, for all of us.. Simply watch and remember that these are the final lyrics from the final recorded Beatles song….

And in the end,

The love you take,

Is equal to the love you make….

2. Plucked From The Red Hen

We wouldn’t have refused to serve Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her party, but we would have definitely separated the younger patrons from the older and not told either side where the other was seated. Then, as someone suggested on Twitter, we would have never brought out the meal and every time Sanders inquired about it, would have told our waiter to say, “I’ll have to get back to you on that” or “I”ll have to refer you to the kitchen.”

MH has obtained Sanders’ rescinded order: “bull-your-base and a Coke with no ICE.”

The restaurant’s owner, Stephanie Wilkinson, explained her actions and how the incident unfolded to The Washington Post. It is a little ironic, no, that MAGA types feel it is their right to refuse service to people based on their sexual orientation but are outraged when service is refused to them because they have a policy that directly contradicts Jesus’ most fundamental rule: Love one another.

3. Now THIS Is A Royal Wedding 

Everyone’s favorite Game Of Thrones couple (unless yours is Jamie and Cersei Lannister—ew, you’re creepy!), Jon Snow and Ygritte, got married for reals this weekend in Scotland. The King of the North getting hitched to a dead Wilding…hey, if Melisandre can give birth to a phantom demon, anything is possible.

Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie, both 31, wed near Inverurie and then, because of course Leslie’s clan owns a 900 year-old castle, the party retreated there for the royal bedding. The guest list included a number of GoT stars but, wisely, not Walder Frey.

There are a few folks out there, not nice folks, who are claiming this is the second royal marriage in the U.K. this summer with a bastard groom.

4. Senegal-Ease-y Feeling

Sure, we were gobsmacked by Germany’s stoppage time goal versus Sweden that halted the “From bad to Norse” path they defending champs were traveling. But it’s been impossible to ignore the pure joy that Senegal, which played to a draw versus Japan yesterday, brings to each match. The above was from a practice session. It’s almost as if these player don’t realize that they live in a sh*thole country.

5. Super Steeplers


At this weekend’s USA Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Evan Jager (men) and Emma Coburn (women) each won their seventh national championship in the event. Jager’s are consecutive, while Coburn has won hers over an eight-year period. Jager’s race was delayed nearly three hours by thunderstorms on Sunday but he said he’d have been willing to wait until 2 a.m. to run it.

We see the steeple, but where are the people?

The star the meet was Arizona State alum Shelby Houlihan, 25, who doubled up by winning both the women’s 1,500 and 5,000. The last woman to do that was proven drug cheat Regina Jacobs in 2000. Also, how can we get through this item without noting that Notre Dame alum Molly Huddle won the women’s 10,000? We cannot. We did not.

Houlihan upset Jenny Simpson in the women’s 1500

Note: The Western States, the granddaddy of 100-mile races, also took place this weekend. We’ll get to that tomorrow.

Music 101

Go All The Way

If you were a child in the early Seventies, you occasionally found yourself (on afternoons when it was too cold to go outside and play) sitting in front of the tube watching the Mike Douglas Show, a PG-rated afternoon talk show originating from Philadelphia. Somehow Douglas, the most gracious and polite of hosts (and a decent crooner himself) would book hot artists who’d then (almost always) lip-synch their hit tunes. Working in Mike’s favor: American Bandstand was also based in Philly. For bands, it was a two-fer.

Here are the Raspberries, whose lead singer Eric Carmen would have a hit solo career, singing about a girl asking a guy to, as the title bluntly states, “go all the way.” It was in the afternoon and I was probably eight years old, so I had no idea what he was talking about.

Remote Patrol

World Cup

Iran vs Portugal

2 p.m. FOX

The two earlier Group A matches won’t change the final standings: Russia and Uruguay are onto the knockout round of 16…their match is simply for seeding. This one is a win-or-go-home (and it’s a lot different returning to Tehran than it is to Lisbon) affair in Group B.  A draw sends Portugal and Ronaldo on to face either Russia or Uruguay.

By the way, Iranian fans are already doing everything in their power to help their side….


by John Walters

Starting Five

1. Giancarlo Walk-Off

We turned the Yankee game off early. To be fair, we switched to The Philadelphia Story (“South Bend…it sounds like dancing”) at 8 p.m., in the 3rd inning. When we switched back to YES at 9:55 p.m. it was still only the bottom of the 7th inning and the Yanks trailed 5-3. We went to bed.

The Yanks would wind up winning 7-5, however, on a walk-off home run by Giancarlo Stanton, what is being called his first signature Yankee moment (I’m sorry, I think his two 5-strikeout games in one homestand in April were that). And he did crush that pitch by the Seattle reliever, a breaking ball on an 0-2 count.

As much as we’d like to credit Giancarlo, we gotta blame the Mariner reliever Ryan Cook for this one. As I watch the Yankees this season, and as someone who’d never seen Stanton play on a regular basis, I’ve learned one thing: NEVER throw Stanton a pitch in the strike zone, and ALWAYS throw him smoke. He can’t lay off smoke and it doesn’t matter where you put it.

Reaction to Cook throwing Giancarlo a breaking ball in the zone on an 0-2 count

Stanton is in the midst of his best week as a Yankee—four base hits in Monday night’s game, homers both Tuesday and last night—but he’s also third in the A.L. in strikeouts with 98. Not many of those third strikes are called. How anyone loses Stanton on an 0-2 count, much less allows a game-winning home run, is something I don’t understand.

2. ICE Capades

We don’t want to tell anyone how to do their jobs, but when you happen to be in the detention office business and your group of detainees are one ethnic demographic, then lying to them about your true intentions may not serve you well in terms of how history remembers you. As an example, “Let’s all go take a shower” comes to mind.

Now comes word that ICE has been lying to airlines, saying the kids they are transporting in removing them from their parents to detention centers, are “on a soccer team.” I guess it’s better than transporting them by rail car (also bad optics).

Meanwhile, President Trump signed an executive order yesterday saying that the government will no longer do the Sophie’s Choice things with kids and parents but that, per a quote from an HHS spokesperson, “There will not be a grandfathering of existing cases.”

Perhaps not the best term to use there?

3. Schmidt Happens

Yesterday on Twitter John McCain’s former campaign manager and frequent MSNBC guest Steve Schmidt announced that he was leaving the Republican Party. Our only question: What took you so long?

Next time, try a taco truck.

Meanwhile, every day we regret not having been more diligent about making “The Worst Wing” or “Another Day Of Trump” (which do you prefer?) a daily segment. We’d reserve for only the most Trumpian moments, which we’d classify as those that combine unethical behavior with overwhelming stupidity. Yesterday’s candidate was obvious: Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen deciding to dine out at a Mexican restaurant after her historically awful press conference talking about illegal immigrant children being separated from their parents.

4. Gimme Mitch?

The closest thing tonight’s NBA draft has to those halcyon days of Prom-to-the-NBA draftees is Mitchell Robinson, a seven-footer out of Pensacola (and, for his final two years of high school, New Orleans), who simply took a gap year after graduating high school in 2017.

Robinson enrolled at Western Kentucky, then left, then returned, then dropped out, all before the season began. He played on no teams this past year, but he is apparently a gifted shot-blocker and yeah, a seven-footer with a 7’4″ wing span.

Is he a first-round pick, as many experts think he should be? Maybe, but it may be worth noting that his birth date is April 1.

5. Say Goodnight, Grayson? 

The most well-publicized and overly polarizing college basketball player of the past four years, Grayson Allen of Duke, will likely be selected tonight somewhere in the final 10 picks of the first round. Any higher than that would be a major surprise.

In four years in Durham Allen won one NCAA championship and averaged 14.1 points per game. His best season was as a sophomore, when he averaged 21 ppg but also became infamous as a serial tripper. The 6’4″ Florida product is athletic (or, “insanely athletic for a white kid”) but seems to have had some of his thunder stolen by 6’5″ Donte DiVincenzo of Villanova, who also won one NCAA title and actually scored 31 points in the championship game. He’ll almost certainly be selected ahead of Allen.

Allen will have had SIX Duke teammates, including two this evening, selected as top 10 picks in the draft. Can you name them (We’ll put the answer below Remote Patrol)? Allen actually had a terrific NBA combine and you have to keep in mind that his scoring numbers would have been better if he’d not played with all those top 10 picks. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes and how he fits in with his pro teammates.

Music 101

Sugar Sugar

The number one single from the year 1969, a year that gave us Woodstock, Let It BleedAbbey Road and The Who’s Tommy, was this tune by The Archies, a band that in reality did not exist. The song was performed by a group of studio musicians (Ron Dante on lead vocals) managed by Don Kirshner and written as an accompaniment piece for the hit cartoon show, “The Archie Show.” The tune spent four weeks at No. 1 in the U.S., and eight at No. 1 in the U.K.

Remote Patrol

NBA Draft

7 p.m. ESPN

Here’s how we see the Top 5 going: DeAndre Ayton (Phoenix), Marvin Bagley III (Sac-Town), Luca Doncic (Atlanta), Michael Porter (Memphis), Mo Bamba (Dallas).

Answer: Jahlil Okafor, Justise Winslow, Brandon Ingram, Jayson Tatum, Marvin Bagley III, Wendell Carter.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

This is beyond perfect. What he did to women, he’s now doing to the flag and the country. Thanks for the symbolism, Donald.

Starting Five

1. Russia Wins Nyet Again

Russia 3, Egypt 1. The Reds now have a +7 goal differential after two matches. The only other three host countries who have been that far ahead after two matches all went on to win the World Cup. So the question becomes, will Russia visit the White House after it wins (you bet)?

By the way, after yesterday’s upset wins by Japan and Senegal every continent except Australia and Antarctica (the latter is not entered) has a win in this World Cup already.

2. Dow and Out

After more than 120 years, General Electric is booted from the Dow Index. When the Dow was created in 1896, a dozen companies made up the index. Now the Dow is comprised of 30 companies and yesterday GE, whose stock is flagging ($12.75), became the final original member to disappear from it. Maybe they should focus on electric cars?

Walgreen’s will replace it. Relegation is not limited to soccer.

3. Luka vs. Deandre

Who’s No. 1? Luka Doncic is 6’8″, he’s 19, he passes like Magic Johnson, and he was MVP of the Euros last summer. His coach there, Igor Kokoskov, was hired two months ago by the Phoenix Suns (coincidence?). The former is Slovenian, the latter Serbian. Close enough.

Deandre Ayton is 7’1″, runs like a deer, has a soft touch from 15 feet, spent his final two seasons of high school ball and only season of college ball in Arizona, and wants to be No. 1. The Suns’ owner, Robert Sarver, is an alum of the school (U of A) that Ayton attended.

Do either of these ties matter? In a post-GSW NBA, does having a 7’1″ center matter as much as having a 6’8″ wizard who can stretch the half court? Can the Suns at least breathe a sigh of relief that Ayton doesn’t have a stage dad like LaVar or Marvin II?

The brain says Ayton. The heart says Doncic. We’ll see…

4. Talking Dread

If you ain’t Hearst, you’re last…

We don’t know the amiable, Jesuit high school-educated host of all those shows that air immediately after our favorite AMC shows do, but if we had to call this one, we’d side with Chris Hardwick and not his ex, Chloe Dykstra. But then who’d have thunk all that about Louis C.K. nine months ago?

Anyway, in reading up on Hardwick, the oddest thing we learned is that his wife is Lydia Hearst, which means that his mother-in-law is Patty Hearst, a woman who knows more than a thing or two about controlling relationships and being unjustly detained.

5. Grass Man

This man, Rodney Smith, Jr., was inspired to perform a single act of kindness and now it has turned into a crusade: mowing lawns pro bono for veterans and/or the disabled. He’s a mower and a shaker!

Music 101

Voices Carry

Aimee Mann is on tour and at age 57 she still looks like a supermodel and sings like an angel. Mann wrote this song in 1985 when she was the lead singer of Til Tuesday and it shot up to No. 8. If you’re nice, she’ll close with this song.

Remote Patrol

World Cup

Iran v. Spain

2 p.m. Fox

Weapons of Mass Destruction vs. the Inquisition. You make the call.



by John Walters


Tweet du Jour

Hot dog? No more.

Starting Five

President Trump, Kellyanne Conway, Melania, Rudy

From Here To Uranus

Yesterday President Trump called for the establishment of a sixth branch of the military, which he has dubbed Space Force. “When it comes to defending America, it is not enough to merely have an American presence in space,” said Trump. “We must have American dominance in space.”

You gotta remember, the only two things Donald Trump cares about are women and real estate. If he can’t f*ck it, then he wants to own it.

2. Tony Reali-ty Check

In the closing moments of yesterday’s Around The Horn, host Tony Reali discussed the personal pain of losing a child in child birth. The video speaks for itself. Well said. Reali had been off the show all last week and now we know why.

3. The Artois of the Deal

The first series of World Cup matches will end today and what we know is that northern Europe passed its first test. If your country is located along the  North or Baltic Seas, you’re happy. Winners thus far, sporting a 1-0 mark in the Group Stage: Belgium, Denmark, England, France, Russia and Sweden.

The irony of this, of course, is that northern European sides are 6-1, not 6-0. The lone loser? Tourney favorite and defending World Cup champion Germany.

Citizen Kane

For our Euro, the most impressive squad of that sextet and of the tournament thus far is Belgium, who took down Panama 3-0 yesterday. The Belgians face Tunisia on Saturday and then catch England later next week. The Limeys won in stoppage time yesterday when a Harry Kane header off a corner kick, his second goal of the match, broke a 1-1 draw in the 92nd minute.

4. Nielsen Ratings

White House Chief Prevaricator Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn’t feel like talking to the press about “kids in cages” (I feel confident this will be the central plot of “Coco Dos”) so she sent up Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen up there to do it for her.

Quick background on Nielsen: Florida-born, Georgetown-educated (then UVA law), both parents were Army doctors, never married, no kids (which means she must either be gay or a blogger). Anyway, I read the entire transcript and, sorry, kids, I’m on her side.

5. Power Powell Couple


In a Pacific Northwest coup, the University of Washington has hired Oregon track coaches Andy and Maurica Powell to oversee their track and field program. After 13 years in Eugene, the couple will head the 6-7 hours north on I-5 to Seattle. Maurica has been named Director of Track & Field and Cross Country. Her spouse, Andy, has been named Head Coach of Track & Field and Cross Country.

We imagine the couple will figure out the division of labor between themselves. Both Powells grew up in Massachusetts and then headed west to run track at Stanford under Vin Lananna. When Vin left The Farm to head to Eugene in 2005, he took the two recent grads with him. There as associate head coaches, they oversaw the distance runners.

Andy Powell

. Oregon, with harriers such as Galen Rupp and Edward Cheserek and Matthew Centrowitz having trained under the Powells, has been by far the most successful track and field and cross-country program in the nation the past dozen or so years.


Music 101

Under The Bridge

When did rock groups stop writing classics? I don’t know, but it was AFTER this Red Hot Chili Peppers tune was released in 1992, back when MTV still mattered (the first Real World was the beginning of the end of MTV and the advent of reality TV). We don’t think we’ve EVER been able to listen to this song on the car stereo without singing along (at a disturbingly high volume and low pitch at the end of the song….it isn’t pretty).

The song, which was buried on Blood Sugar Sex Magik as the 11th track, is the band’s most successful single (No. 2 on the Billboard charts)

Remote Patrol

World Cup

Russia vs. Egypt 

2 p.m. Fox

Gotta go to Mo!

One country inspired the Pyramid Scheme. The other inspired Russian Roulette. You make the call. The Egyptians get back Mo Salah, who led the Premier League in scoring this year and took Liverpool to the Champions League final, where he was taken down on a dirty tackle and injured his shoulder. They need the win after a late loss to Uruguay last Friday.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

Starting Five

Hirving Lozano scored the match’s lone goal….

1. Mexicult!

In the first weekend of World Cup play, South American powerhouses Argentina and Brazil could only manage draws against Euro upstarts Iceland (at 335,000 citizens, the tiniest nation ever to play in the World Cup) and Switzerland. Meanwhile, defending champion Germany lost 1-0 to Mexico. Ronaldo scored a hat trick as Portugal gained a draw against finalist favorite Spain and Russia leads the tourney in goal differential thus far in plus-5.

…and it triggered a “seismic event” in Mexico City, which knows a thing or two about them.

The biggest takeaway, with not all first round of games yet played, is the underwhelming play of the overdogs: Spain, Argentina, Germany and Brazil. But there are still two more matches for each of them in group stage.

2. New York Phil-harmonic

Who won the 118th U.S. Open? Who cares! Look what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday afternoon on the 13th hole during the third round. Anyone who has golfed even a little is able to understand this urge, and that it overtook one of the premier duffers of the past two decades, well, there’s a universal relatability to all of it.

We imagine Brooks Koepka will ring the bell at the Dow and be on a talk show or two. And he did become the first repeat U.S. Open champ since Curtis Strange in 1989. But on a course in which no one, not even Koepka, shot par all weekend, Phil stole the Open with this move.

We love it not because he broke the rule but because it was a spontaneous, instinctive act. Isn’t that why you fell in love with sports as a kid? Now if only he’d have buried that putt….

3. Meanwhile, Back At Shinnecock

We guess we were just wondering how necessary this story was. We’re almost annoyed with ourselves for giving it any more attention. The set-up: Dustin Johnson was the leader heading into Sunday and he’s married to Paulina Gretzky, who may have invented the Instagram bikini shot and is Wayne’s daughter.

She was out on the course, watching the final hole on Sunday with two friends and standing close to Koepka’s dad. When Justin holed in (he’d finish 3rd), Gretzky and her friends whooped and one of them asked, “Did Justin just win?”

The writer of the story is unable to identify who asked, but who cares? She’s a wife who, unlike almost all of us, is not watching it on TV with Fox graphics, but is just out on the course. At least she’s there. These are the kind of stories that slovenly sportswriters who’ve never gotten a date with any of the hot girls file because the 15 year-old in them is still upset.

4. The Daily Harrumph: Crossing A Line

Do we really want to wade into this border mess? Okay. Sure.

The administration crossed an imaginary line (of public outrage) when it became apparent that it was separating children from their parents who were being detained for illegally crossing a figurative line (the U.S.-Mexico border).

Now, we will cop to this first and foremost: I am not a parent. But, just to be clear here, a few things to know: 1) I grew up in a border state (Arizona), 2) my dad was part of the Dept. of Corrections (yes, he had to work for Sheriff Joe) for nearly two full decades and 3) I currently work with a number of Mexican-Americans, many of whom are my closest friends (and while you can’t say that without sounding like, “Some of my best friends are black people,” the point is this: I doubt there’s another sportswriter in America, even a part-time one like I currently am, who works more closely with and has more Mexican-American friends than I do).

So, with all that said, I’ll say this: Not all illegal immigrants are MS-13 members but neither are they all doe-eyed dreamers. You can respect and admire their desire to give their families better lives, but do not for one moment think that most of them have not figured out that their best bet, their only bet, to gaining access to the U.S. is to cross the border illegally and then cry, “ASYLUM!”

They’re smart people. And they’re gaming the system. One thing my dear departed Dad taught us, without saying so in so many words, is to be a little skeptical. Not cynical, but to have a healthy dose of skepticism. And while I have plenty of skepticism about the Trump administration’s true motives here (red meat to their white nationalist base), I’m also skeptical of people who casually ignore that the pre-existing policy provided huge incentives for people to illegally immigrate here and that they’re shrewd enough to exploit it. Trump is absolutely right when he calls it “catch and release.” The worst penalty right now is you’re no worse off than if you never tried to cross the border and you’ll just do it again the first chance you get.

(This does not make you, an alien, a bad person. It just makes you a recidivist offender.)

So as a government your options are to either change the system or figure out a way to curb the influx. If it’s between what’s currently happening and a “Wall,” I’ll take this 21 times out of 2o. First of all, stop with the Nazi Germany references. No one’s being taken away from their dads and moms forever, no one is being killed, no one is being targeted for genocide and extermination.

These adults really are breaking the law, they are well aware that they are breaking the law, and they’re counting on a soft immigration policy to get away with it. Quite simply, the empire is striking back. And while no one likes to think of a suffering child, I don’t know why you reward bad behavior that is incentivized because of the very soft rules on ILLEGAL immigration we currently have.

You want more people from Latin American countries to be able to live in the U.S.A.? Fine. Change the law. But please don’t drone on and on about how the president does not respect the rule of law when it suits your purpose and then conveniently forget about law when it comes to this.

This has nothing to do with the character of the people who want to live here. Demonizing them (MS-13) is wrong, but so is beatifying them. It’s not about that. It’s about whether you believe the U.S. has a responsibility to its own citizens, its taxpayers, that trumps (pun unintended, but also, intended) the dreams of millions of people who WANT to live here and, unlike people in AFRICA or ASIA, are able to get here by foot. Because one of those sides will have to pay a price, at least short-term.

(This, for me, is where Trump blows it and is clearly only trying to be a fear-monger to aging white Americans, etc. Portraying them as gang members is not only inaccurate—are all white male teens school shooters?—but also beside the point.)

It’s funny how quickly liberals forget their adherence to law and the Constitution at the sight of a child crying. Yes, it’s awful. But it’s not what you base policy upon.

p.s. My great-uncle was put on a ship in Italy by his family and sent to the New World all alone. He was about 10 years old. After 2-3 weeks, maybe even a month, at sea, he landed at Ellis Island. No one from the extended family who was supposed to meet him there showed up, so they shipped him back to Italy. He spent probably 6 weeks on a boat at sea, back and forth, on a voyage all by himself. He’d eventually make it here and he turned out fine. Not equating his odyssey with what’s currently going on, but also trying to point out that the kids being detained probably don’t have gluten allergies and don’t throw a tantrum when they don’t get to play three hours of CandyCrush per day.

5. Early Steve Carell

We were searching for a good example of improv this weekend and came across this long ago sketch involving Steve Carell. The actress, whom we don’t know, is fantastic. ‘nuf said. Enjoy.

Music 101 

Good Vibrations

How do you follow up the most transcendent American rock and roll album (Pet Sounds) ever released? You follow it up with a masterpiece that skyrockets to No. 1 in the U.S.A. and UK in the fall of ’67 (a pretty decent era for music) and, at 90 hours in the studio, was the costliest and most time-intensive single to that point ever produced. Architect Brian Wilson could have included this on Pet Sounds, but chose it instead as “B” side to a single. Even geniuses can be too smart for their own good (remember that, Susie B.). Wilson was inspired to write this tune after learning about how dogs respond to good and bad vibrations that other creatures emit.

If, like us, you’re sort of a B.B. groupie, this archival footage is pretty cool…

Remote Patrol

World Cup

11 a.m. Belgium vs. Panama

2 p.m. Tunisia vs. England

Put on your Hazards

Jump back! What’s that sound? It’s Eden Hazard taking on the Panamanians, followed by Harry Kane and the Limeys taking on Tunisia. Belgium is the smart sleeper pick to advance to the final.


by John Walters

Tweet du Jour

The next thing you know, the club pro woke up in Oz…

Editor’s Note: There’s more than the usual rancor today in “Another Day of Trump,” and we just need to say, “Pass.” We’re not up for it today. If you want to deal with ICE, the IG report, the Playboy White House reporter, Trump saluting a North Korean general, etc., feel free. In the Comments. 

(Okay, just one….)

Starting Five

Russian Undressing

In an opening World Cup match between the countries of Osama bin Laden and Vladimir Putin (talk about a Group of Death), Russia depantsed Saudi Arabia 5-0. We thought the Russkies, up 3-0 as extra time began, would start Stalin but instead they powered ahead for two more goals. And FIFA wants to expand the tourney from 32 to 48 teams? Russia hadn’t even WON a single friendly heading into yesterday’s opening match.

2. We Solve The Border Problem

We’re kind of kidding here, but then again we’re kind of not (and you don’t have a better solution, anyway): So we were watching some judge approve the AT&T-Time Warner deal earlier this week, and we didn’t really have anything compelling to say about it, but then we were watching yesterday’s bizarre scene in the White House press room and we thought, That’s it! A vertical merger!

If AT&T can take over Time-Warner in a mutually beneficial merger, one that rescues Time-Warner from, as Mike Tyson might say, “Bolivian,” why shouldn’t the USA take over most of Central America? Dig….

–We take over Mexico and Guatemala (we’ll let Belize decide if it would like to join the team). Suddenly Mexicans and Guatemalans don’t need to flee their countries because, hey, there’s an Arby’s and a Chipotle and a Starbucks and a Loews cinema and an honest, if brutal, police force right in town.

–Look how much tinier the border is (I’d toyed with taking over every nation before Panama, as the Canal is a natural, if man-made, border). The U.S.-Mexico border is nearly 2,000 miles long. The Guatemala-Honduras border is only about 300 miles long.

–Look at all that coast line you can now purchase. On either side. You’re welcome.

–Much easier for the U.S. to qualify for the 2020 World Cup.

–NBA, NFL and MLB teams in Mexico City within 10 years, if not sooner.

–The citizens of Mexico and Guatemala will not be eligible to vote in a U.S. election until 2024 (this is the only way the Republicans will go for it).

–If you’re unemployed in the 50 states, you can probably move to Mexico or Guatemala and get a job as back-of-the-house kitchen staff. Turnabout is fair play.

Oh, you say, Mexico and Guatemala would never go for it. Tough. It’s like, Dude, your kid keeps coming over our house to eat dinner because you never feed him. So I’m sorry, we’re just going to adopt him. And who on this hemisphere would stop us anyway? It’s not an invasion, it’s an annexation. We’re just vertically integrating, literally from a latitudinal standpoint.

3. Wind Hampton

At Shinnecock in South Hampton, the skies were blue but the winds were blustery, and the world’s top golfers suffered for it on Day 1 of the U.S. Open. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, the former a three-time champion, shot 7-over par. Adam Scott, 8-over. Allison Stokke’s fiance, Rickie Fowler, shot 6-over.

However, the world’s current No. 1, Dustin Johnson, is in the lead at 2-under. Gretzkys are great.

4. Happy Baby Daddy’s Day!

The real world is increasingly swarming The Onion and simply devouring it, as if reality is The Blob. The latest example: Target was selling Baby Daddy cards in the run-up to Father’s Day, which is Sunday. And then some P.C. folks decided it was racially insensitive,  instead of what it actually is, which is hilarious and sadly, too apropos.

So Target apologized and pulled the card from 900 stores. WHY?!?!?! If Chris Tucker released a film titled “BabyDaddy” tonight, it would be the top-rated movie at your local Magic Johnson theaters. But it’s wrong if Target does it? I was really hoping to buy five of these cards, then sit in Starbucks (or as I now call it, “Poop Here Free”) without buying anything and write notes in each of them.

The weird thing about these cards. Sure, you can purchase one, but getting the correct address for its intended recipient, that’s the difficult part.

5. Ring Of The Lords

With the summer solstice approaching, everyone on your block will be heading to Stonehenge in England (or 42nd Street in Manhattan) to witness the incredible views that are enhanced by man-made edifices. But you don’t have to be like everyone else. You can head to the Orkney Islands, which are just off the northern coast of the Scottish mainland, to bear witness at the Ring of Brodgar (which, c’mon, will satisfy that Game of Thrones jones that’s been building up inside for a year and won’t be sated for another).

The ring is a Neolithic construction, which means that it was erected at least 7,000 years ago. Which means you (probably) won’t find the word “TRUMP” atop any of the stones.

Music 101

Disco Inferno

Feel your pulse right now, then hit “Play” on the video and take it again in two minutes. In 1976 The Trammps released this to limited success, the song inspired by the early blockbuster film The Towering Inferno (O.J. Simpson saves a cat; no, really). When it was included on the MASSIVE Saturday Night Fever soundtrack a year later, the song went to No. 4. That’s Jimmy Ellis on lead vocals: Burn that mother down!

Remote Patrol

World Cup

Portugal vs. Spain

2 p.m. Fox

“No pick! No pick! It was just a scratch!”

Iberian throw down in a Siberian land! Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo, of course, who actually was raised on an island in the Atlantic, Madeira, that is closer to Morocco (but is part of Portugal). The Spaniards are a favorite to advance to the final, even though they fired their manager, Julen Lopetegui, earlier this week because he took the Real Madrid job. Real Madrid’s top player? Ronaldo.