by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Chapter 34,692 of “Why I Love Animals So Much.” This is dedicated to our friend AIR who lost a special canine friend yesterday.

Starting Five

Nationals’ League!

Finally, a D.C. phenomenon they’ll write books about that has no concern with the presidency. The Washington Nationals faced five elimination games this postseason, and trailed in all five of them, including the wildcard game that heralded this October playoff season and last night’s Game 7 of the World Series (in both they trailed after the sixth inning) and won all five.

They became the first team to win all four World Series games on the road. They won despite losing their best offensive player, Bryce Harper, to free agency last winter. In Games 6 and 7 they faced former Cy Young Award winners, Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke, and they still won.

Now, about Game 7: Yes, Zack Greinke was working on a two-hitter in the 7th when A.J. Hinch gave him the hook. He’d just given up a one-out home run to Anthony Rendon and a walk to Juan Soto. And so in hindsight, sure, leave Greinke in to face Howie Kendrick. Instead, Hinch lifts Greinke in favor of Will Harris who on his second pitch gives up the go-ahead home run (which struck the right-field foul pole) to Kendrick. 3-2, Nats, who’d go on to win 6-2.

Howie’s go-ahead homer spelled doom in Houston

Blame Hinch if you like, but the Astros’ bats simply stopped producing, AT HOME, when it mattered: Houston did not score a run after the first inning in Game 6 and not a run after the fifth inning in Game 7. In three of its four home losses the Astros scored 3 or fewer runs and only one after the fifth inning, that one a meaningless ninth inning run in Game 2 when they already trailed 12-2.

It was symbolic that the top of the order came to bat last night in the bottom of the ninth—George Springer, Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley—and they all went down meekly via an infield fly and two strikeouts (swinging), respectively.

This entire run began four weeks ago and one day ago when Juan Soto’s eighth inning single somehow found its way past the glove of Milwaukee Brewer right fielder Trent Grisham when Washington trailed 3-2. Instead of a game-tying single it was a go-ahead single plus an error. And the magic had begun.

Washington becomes the first franchise to win four road World Series games. It becomes the first since 1914 (the Boston Braves) to be 12 games under .500 during the season and come back and win the World Series. And it’s a great career landmark for Max Scherzer, who typified this team’s Natitude when he broke his nose during batting practice in June and came back the following day to pitch seven shutout innings. Last night, with a cortisone shot in his back, Mad Max allowed two early runs and then settled down to give the Nats five strong innings.

He typified this team’s resilience and (don’t say it, JW!) grit all season. Congrats, Nats!

Stick To Hostile Takeovers

A peek at why blogging promotes such a healthy lifestyle (I believe that is Petchesky, with beard, in the back)

The memo, distributed to Deadspin staffers on Monday by new corporate vampire bosses G/O Media put it plainly: ““Where such subjects touch on sports, they are fair game for Deadspin. Where they do not, they are not.”

Of course, as the site’s guild pointed out accurately in its rebuttal a day or two later, “Stick to sports” is really a dog-whistle for “Do not speak truth to power.” And while the site that Will Leitch founded in 2005 has/had its flaws, it definitely yearned to speak truth to power.

On Tuesday G/O Media fired top editor Barry Petchesky, a workhorse and a writers’ type of editor. They thought they’d cut off the head. But, in a surprising and heroic move, particularly for 2019, the rest of the staff undertook an “I am Spartacus!” moment and resigned en masse yesterday. This morning the site’s top writer for years, Drew Magary, followed suit.

Will there even be a Deadspin going forward? Will G/O Media advertise for “expert writers” and will those writers take the jobs? Is Deadspin, well, dead?

While we salute Deadspin‘s staff for its heroism, we cannot help but wonder why the staff at SI did not do this earlier this month (or was it last month? Who can recall?). When Maven literally fired HALF of SI’s staff in one afternoon, why didn’t the other half walk out the door in unity? I understand, men and women have bills to pay, private-school tuitions and mortgages, etc.

But, among us journalists, the gesture of the Deadspin staff will not be forgotten. Maybe in a Lt. Col. Vindman world, they were reminded and inspired to do the right thing. Look at me, not sticking to sports.

Finally, from The American President:

“Do you fight the fights you can win? You fight the fights that need fighting.”

“Is the view pretty good from the cheap seats, A.J.?”

Twitter Blasts Facebook

Yesterday Facebook reported its quarterly earnings after the bell. That same afternoon, but earlier, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that his ginormous social media site will no longer accept political ads.

A timely strike, aimed perhaps on making america great again (small letters) but also at Mark Zuckerberg’s blatant disingenousness. Last week Zuckerberg appeared before Congress and behaved as if his site’s running of political ads, though not vetted for truth or accuracy, was a free speech issue as opposed to a collect ad revenue issue.

This morning, Aaron (not Andrew Ross) Sorkin had a few words to say about that in The New York Times. You must read this, as Sorkin sets up a fool-proof argument so as to hoist Z on his own petard in the closing sentence.

Load Management

Week 2 of the NBA season:

–The MVP of the NBA Finals, Kawhi Leonard, sits on the first night of a back-to-back (and what would be a 3 games in four nights stretch) in Utah. Reason? Load management.

–The Rockets beat the Wizards, 159-158, as James Harden goes off for 59 points.

–Karl-Anthony Towns and Joel Embiid, a pair of seven-footers playing for undefeated teams, go full wrasslin’ in Philly. Both players are too smart to throw a punch.

–The Suns take a 29-point first half lead on Golden State in San Francisco and hold on to win, 121-110. Stephen Curry breaks his left hand. The Dubs are 1-3 and allowing 126.3 points per game.

Five Films: 1945

By this point in her career Bergman had already played a love interest opposite Bogey, Charles Boyer, Gary Cooper and here Gregory Peck
  1. The Lost Weekend Best Picture Oscar winner stars Ray Miland as an alcoholic writer in New York City. I consider this an aspirational film. 2. Brief Encounter Director David Lean would go on to make beautiful films (e.g., Lawrence of Arabia) but here he makes a film about two married people who meet at a railroad station and fall in love. Strangers On A Train Platform, but no one gets murdered 3. Anchors Aweigh (Are you happy Susie B.?) Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra (skinny) on shore leave together in Hollywood, singin’ and dancin’, which is not to be confused with On The Town, where the two were on shore leave in New York (New York!), singin’ and dancin’. This is the one where Gene dances with an animated Tom ‘n Jerry, in case you had thought Paula Abdul came up with the idea first 4. Leave Her To Heaven Gene Tierney, never lovelier, never crueler. If you’re looking for a “comes in threes” film package, this, A Place In The Sun (1951) and The Godfather II all offer cautionary tales about going boating on a lake with just one other person. 5. Spellbound Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman in an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. Try to keep me away.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Anthony Rendon Saves Baseball

The score was 3-2 in favor of the visitors with no outs in the top of the 7th inning of Game 6. The Nats had a man on first when Trea Turner hit a dribbler to the left of the pitcher’s mound. And you know what happened next.

So what should have been 2nd and 3rd with no outs for the Nats moves to man on first with one out. If the next batter, Adam Eaton, hits into a double play and the half inning ends 3-2, we’ve got an entirely different ballgame.

Instead, Eaton made an out but then Houston area native Anthony Rendon jacked a two-run homer to make it 5-2. Rendon added a two-run double in the ninth for the final score of 7-2 to give us fans a Game 7.

Thankfully for baseball. True, Nats ace Stephen Strasburg was pitching one of the best games of his life, but a one-run game with nine more outs for the Astros? Anything can happen. And if it had, had the Astros won, all that the 2019 World Series would be remembered for is the umps getting it right by getting it wrong (we’ll explain below).

So, yeah, Anthony Rendon kind of saved baseball with his four late-game RBI last night. We don’t know who will win MVP of this series, but on Park Avenue (and at Fox), they probably would vote for him.

Rule 5.09

As we said, baseball caught a lucky break. The umpire interpreted the rule correctly, which only exposed the fact that the rule (Rule 5.09) has an inherent flaw. Baseball is fortunate that it did not decide the outcome of the World Series.

Why is the rule flawed. Because in essence it says that as the batter runs to first base he must be, for the final 15 yards (or 45 feet) between the foul line and the 45-foot line, which runs parallel to the foul line but is three feet to the right of it. The problem is that the base is fully to the left of the foul line. So you’re asking a runner sprinting to first to take an odd step to hit the bag cleanly, and almost no one ever does run to the right of the foul line.

The only reason Trea Turner “interfered” with the play, which is also obvious, is because Houston pitcher Brad Peacock made a poor throw to first base, forcing the fielder Yuri Gurriel to stop into the lane where Turner was running.

So what’s the solution? Well, first, baseball needs to change its rule because on almost every infield ground ball a right-handed batter takes the same route to first that Turner did. And it’s never called. And it shouldn’t be the batter’s obligation to not interfere with a throw to first simply because he is taking the most direct possible route to first.

So, one of two things can be done. Put an extra base to the right of the foul line the way they do in Little League or softball. That would be the runner’s base while the other would be the fielder’s base. But that sort of ruins the aesthetic of the diamond, and we like that.

Here’s the better idea. Make the running lane that is the width of the base and extends from both ends of the base toward home plate the designated safe area for a runner to be able to matriculate himself down to first base. So he may be to the left of the foul line but he needs to stay within the parameters of the width of the base. Makes sense, no.

Any fielder making a play, say on a bunt or a dribbler down the third base line, has to put his throw to the left of the runner’s left shoulder. And if the fielder fails, that’s the fielder’s fault, not the runner’s.

Another problem solved by MH. You’re welcome.

Four Aces

We believe Joe Buck said tonight will be the first Game 7 in which both starting pitchers, Max Scherzer and Zack Greinke, are former Cy Young Award winners. We’re not sure if we heard that correctly, but we’ll take a more cautionary stand and say it’s the first Game 7 featuring former Cy Young Award winners who both have a “Z” in their names.

It’s also the first Game 7 of a series, in any sport, in which the previous six games were all won by the visiting team. We happen to like the Nats tonight, by the way, because there is simply no one on the mound we’d rather have in 2019 than Max Scherzer, the heterochromatic hero.

Meanwhile, let’s talk Stephen Strasburg versus Justin Verlander. By winning last night’s game Strasburg, whom to this point in his career has not been Hall of Fame-worthy, moves to 5-0 this postseason. This October, certainly, he has lived up to all the hype with which his baseball debut was festooned back in 2010. Strasburg also has the second-lowest ERA in postseason history, minimum eight starts, with 1.56. Only Christy Mathewson, one of five charter members of the Hall of Fame, has a lower one with 0.97.

Meanwhile Justin Verlander moves to 0-6 in World Series decisions, which sets a new standard for pitching futility in the Fall Classic. Wild. Based on totality of careers almost every baseball cognoscenti would say Verlander is far more of a shoo-in for Cooperstown that Strasburg. And yet, those postseason numbers.

Call Of Duty

It’s going to be the hottest new musical for 2020, Vindman. Here’s a tease:

Alexander Vindman/My name is Alexander Vindman/Caught some shrapnel in my neck, man/Near Kuwait, near Kuwait

Like Alexander Hamilton, Alexander Vindman was not born in what is now the United States (he was born in Ukraine) and like Hamilton, he serves in the military. Vindman is a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army, a combat veteran in the Iraq War who received a Purple Heart, and someone whom Mike Pompeo promoted to Director of European Affairs for the National Security Council.

And now Fox Right hosts and loyalists, as well as the president, are attempting a smear campaign on him for testifying in front of the impeachment inquiry. This is all they have left: character assassination.

I imagine some Fox’ies will only hear the profanity and clutch their pearls.

Meanwhile, we heartily urge you to read this essay by Thomas L. Friedman in The New York Times.

Film Five: 1944

  1. Double Indemnity Fred MacMurray (Is this really the same guy who’d later play the kindly dad in My Three Sons), Barbara Stanwyck and the all-time great character actor Eugene Robinson in the definitive film noir caper 2. Laura For us, Gene Tierney belongs in the top tier of most beautiful film actresses, and then we have Dana Andrews and the wonderful snooty Clifton Webb, here aged 54, a full 19 years removed from his last role in a feature film (a silent movie). Another classic film noir 3. The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek/Hail The Conquering Hero We’re cheating some by putting these two Preston Sturges comedies as one. 4. To Have And Have Not Sure, it’s “Casablanca In The Caribbean” with a young Lauren Bacall in the Bergman role, but it’s got the “You know how to whistle don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow” line.
  1. It also has Hoagy Carmichael as the pianist. He’ll get a bigger spotlight in an even better film two years from now. And if that’s not enough, it has Walter Brennan, who won three Oscars without ever carrying a film himself 5. Gaslight Who knew that the term would outlive the greatness of the film? This is where it originated. Starring Charles Boyer as the husband who tells his wife, Ingrid Bergman, that she may be crazy for believing the things that she’s seeing and sensing.

Remote Patrol

World Series, Game 7

8 p.m. Fox

These don’t come around every year. What a great time to be a baseball-loving-kid. Game 7 tonight, Halloween tomorrow night.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

The Seven Ups

There are two NFL teams who are 7-0 and there are two NFL teams, the same two, who have allowed fewer than 100 points this season: the New England Patriots (61 allowed) and the San Francisco 49ers (77). Our guess is the Pats have received at least 90% of the shared media attention between the two franchises, who have never met in a Super Bowl, which is wild since the Patriots are tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for most Super Bowl wins (6) and the Niners are tied with the Dallas Cowboys for second-most (5).

The beauty of this, should the two meet in February, is that you may recall the Pats trading away Jimmy Garoppolo to the Niners two years ago because Tom Brady didn’t want Top Jimmy breathing down his neck. Also, the Niners were San Mateo Tom’s team growing up. The network will love this.

The Kid Stayed In The Picture

Evans with The Duke

Farewell to Hollywood bad boy and movie producer genius Robert Evans, who was discovered poolside in Beverly Hills, married seven times, became the top executive at Paramount Pictures while still in his thirties, and was the guiding force behind films classics such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Godfather, Love Story and Chinatown. Wives included Ali McGraw, Phyllis George (at the peak of her NFL Today fame) and Catherine Oxenberg.

“The End” came for Evans yesterday, at the age of 89. Now we’re going to have to go ahead his tell-all memoir, The Kid Stays In The Picture.


If you’re familiar with Los Angeles, then you know that’s the 405 looking north toward the hills that are home to some of the most expensive property in California. You’ve got Bel Air to your right and Brentwood to your left. Wind and drought and heat don’t care how much money you have.

It’s a catastrophic situation all over the state, where it just doesn’t rain enough, where there’s plenty of brush and winds and where, I’m sorry, there’s just too damn many humans to keep it all sustainable. California: it was a swell idea.

Okay, not to be so morose, but what exactly is the fix to this problem? Make more water? Next. Change the topography? Next. Hope that climate change reverses? Double Next. The easiest variable to change is population. But that’s also easier said than done. Then again, when even LeBron James is forced to evacuate his home, then Cleveland begins to look a little more promising.*

*Our editors strongly suspect this will be the Susie B. “I Have A Problem With You, JDub” topic of the day.

Whoops! I Married A Lesbian

For no other reason than that we stumbled upon this skit and had never before seen it, and yes, that’s Louis C.K. as the husband. If you ask us, and you didn’t but when has that ever stopped us, Kenan Thompson totally steals this sketch. He’s so good at not being the focus of a sketch and yet making you love him.

Five Films: 1943

I love a Deborah Kerr in uniform

This was a poor year for films, which we’re going to assume had a little something to do with what was happening across the globe. Jimmy Stewart, we know, was flying missions across the English Channel and Henry Fonda was on a small ship in the Pacific. Both came nearer to death than most people realize.

So we’ll plow ahead with our list but I doubt there’s a single classic in the quintet: 1. For Whom The Bell Tolls Gary Cooper and a blonde Ingrid Bergman (in color!) fighting the Fascists in the Spanish Civil War, but filmed in Napa Valley 2. The Ox-Bow Incident You’ve got Henry Fonda (filmed before he shipped out), Dana Andrews and Harry Morgan (a.k.a. Col. Potter from M*A*S*H) and a real lynch mob 3. Shadow Of A Doubt Alfred Hitchcock called this his favorite film 4. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp Never seen it but it gets high ratings by many and has a young Deborah Kerr, and we’re all for that 5. Lassie Come Home Why not? A collie and a prepubescent Elizabeth Taylor.

Music 101

Eyes Without A Face

The second single from Billy Idol’s massive 1983 Rebel Yell album, this ballad hit No. 4 on the charts in early 1984. If you’re wondering, the female background singer is Perri Lister. For decades I thought she was singing, “Pleasures of these eyes” but man, was I wrong. She was singing, “Les yeux sans visage” or “eyes without a face” in French. Why? Because that was the title of a landmark French horror film that was the inspiration for this song.

Here’s a link to a famous scene from it…

Remote Patrol

World Series, Game 6

8 p.m. Fox

Will Game 6 be Justin Time?

If this is the final game of the season, at least it’s an outstanding pitching matchup: Stephen Strasburg versus Justin Verlander. The only thing missing from the latter’s Hall of Fame resume is a World Series victory. We don’t mean a ring, we mean a single W. Verlander, a former Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award winner as well as an eight-time All-Star, is 0-5 in his World Series starts.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Alex Bregman had been having a hard-luck World Series until he connected on this grand slam in Game 4

Houston’s Woke-Up Call

The Astros lost the first two games of the World Series last week, at home, starting the top two Cy Young contenders in the American League. Then they fired their assistant GM, flew to the nation’s capitol, and took three straight from the Nationals.

In fact, Houston never trailed all weekend while limiting the Nats to one run in each game at their own park. Snoozers of games were these, but now the Astros return home needing one game to win their second Fall Classic in two years. Maybe a closed-door locker room celebration will be a good idea?

Fail Classic

(Who ever knew back in the day that Kentucky sharp-shooter Rex Chapman would have an even more deadly social media game?)

President Trump decided to attend Game 5 (where’s Barron?) of the World Series. He was met with a loud chorus of boos, a “Lock him up!” chant and and a giant sign out in right field that read “IMPEACH TRUMP” (those are the best seats Dems can get, apparently).

Understood that the Nationals Park is a mere block or two from the White House, but if POTUS wanted to hear cheers at a sporting event he’d have a better chance attending a game at the Texas team’s ball park.

The Good and Baghdadi

Baghdadi: a terrorist who badly needed a colorist

So the good news is that self-proclaimed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, also known in caliphate circles as “Who’s Your Baghdadi!” (sources), was killed by a joint U.S./allies special ops mission over the weekend.

The strange news, of course, is how our president handled it.

–First, on Saturday evening the President tweeted out “Something big has happened” before Baghdadi’s body had been identified.

–Second, the photo of Trump and the Joint Chiefs of Staff watching the raid was apparently posed and taken 12 hours after the actual raid (at the time, President Trump was apparently golfing.

–Third, President Trump seemed to take a vindictive “Make them fly!” GOT character’s delight in seeing the ISIS leader’s demise. He said that Baghdadi had died as a “coward” and “whimpering and crying and screaming all the way.” The man who never served a day in the actual military seemed preoccupied with calling his adversary a coward.

–Fourth, because it always comes back to Obama with this president and his followers, Trump proclaimed that “this is the biggest one perhaps that we’ve ever captured. This is the biggest there is. This is the worst ever. Osama bin Laden was big, but Osama bin Laden became big with the World Trade Center.”


Taking A Chance

We admittedly didn’t know much about Chance the Rapper when he first appeared on SNL for the pre-Christmas episode in 2017 (we think; maybe it was last year), but we absolutely loved his two musical performances and we haven’t said that often in the past decade (Gotye’s performance also stands out).

Chance hosted SNL over the weekend and he was terrific. He’s got all that Justin Timberlake energy and like JT, he could easily be a cast member if he ever wished to take the enormous pay cut. And like JT, he’s impossible not to like (even your mom will like him). We only watched a small part of the show, but the opening monologue was clever and timeless. Judge for yourself.

You Debt Your Life

I will never forget walking down Broadway a couple summers ago and listening to this college-aged Trumper boy argue with his liberal dad about conservatives and fiscal responsibility (it was a scene out of Family Ties three decades later). Then pop dropped the hammer on his son, informing him that the only president who’d managed to eliminate the federal budget deficit in the past 40 years was a Democrat, Bill Clinton. And the kid flat-out did not believe his dad. It sucks when facts destroy your paradigm, right?

Why is this timely information? Burying the lede here, but the U.S. Treasury on Friday said that the federal deficit for fiscal 2019 was $984 billion, a 26% increase from 2018. I guess we should be thankful that they’re still releasing honest information (or at least I assume).

Also, the gap between revenues and spending was the widest in seven years. Most of the reason for the ballooning of the budget was military spending, medicare and interest payments. Those goddamned teachers and their demands.

It’s funny how conservatives are not conservative about spending once they’re in office.

Film Five: 1942

  1. Casablanca Humor, romance, suspense, wit, unfinished champagne cocktails and Nazis. There’s a reason people consider this the standard by which all films should be measured: it is. 2. Mrs. Miniver The Brits put out a war film of their own that involved no battle scenes and it, too, is a classic. Greer Garson was the Myrna Loy of the UK and that’s Teresa Wright as the bird-next-door, who would also have a major supporting role in The Best Years Of Our Lives. 3. Now, Voyager So many classic films used an ocean cruise as a part of the plot (this, An Affair To Remember, Sabrina, Holiday, The Lady Eve) and yet none of them sunk. Bette Davis and Paul Friedrich from Casablanca and perhaps the most famous cigarette-lighting scene in history. 4. Woman Of The Year The essential Hepburn and Tracy film 5. Holiday Inn A crooner (Bing Crosby) inherits a small estate in Connecticut, so he has a most pragmatic idea of turning it into an inn that only opens for the holidays and puts on lavish song-and-dance numbers. Sounds like you’re just printing money, no? With Fred Astaire in an unforgettable dance scene in which he plays it drunk, an original performance of the song “White Christmas,” and Bing doing a song in blackface to get your woke kids upset.

Remote Patrol

The Kominsky Method


America’s favorite geriatic platonic male couple returns for Season 2. Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin are joined this season by Jane Seymour (as Arkin’s rekindled-after-half-a-century love interest) and a very out-of-shape looking Paul Reiser (as Douglas’ daughter’s December-to-her-May love interest). We’re halfway through and while it’s not quite as good as Season 1, it’s still a treat to watch these two old pros and Oscar winners bat the ball back and forth.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

No shake for Moscow Mitch. Meanwhile, Trey Gowdy and the fine art of a political party impaling itself:

Starting Five

Blown Save*

*The judges will also accept “Fall From Grace Classic”

A brief timeline of how the Houston Astros completely mishandled the Brandon Taubman, up to and including after they terminated him yesterday afternoon:

–After the Astros dispatch of the Yankees thanks to Jose Altuve’s walk-off bomb, assistant general manager (not assistant to the general manager) Brandon Taubman turns to three female reporters in the Astro clubhouse and yells, ” “Thank God we got Osuna! I’m so [expletive] glad we got Osuna!”

(Roberto Osuna is the Astros closer who was suspended 75 games a year ago for domestic violence. Only an hour or so before Taubman had allowed a 9th-inning home run to D.J. LeMahieu and technically been given a blown save).

–SI reporter Stephanie Apstein writes about the incident two days later, and only after the Astros refused to give her access to Taubman for him to expand on what he meant. The story dropped on the eve of Game 1 of the World Series.

–Tuesday morning, the Astros release a statement, the gist of which is contained in this tweet, verbatim:

–In other words, the Astros’ OFFICIAL response to Apstein’s story was to call it Fake News, a tactic that may play well locally in Texas but won’t work in a “national” league.

–Next, at least three other reporters, all eyewitnesses, confirm Apstein’s account. Further, they point out that no one had asked Taubman a question, that he had just lashed out on his own.

–Just before Game 1, Astro manager A.J. Hinch calls the issue “very disappointing.” Taubman issues an apology of the “I’m sorry if you were offended” route, which as we all know is the world’s lamest apology.

“I used inappropriate language for which I am deeply sorry and embarrassed. In retrospect, I realize that my comments were unprofessional and inappropriate. My overexuberance in support of a player has been misinterpreted as a demonstration of a regressive attitude about an important social issue.

–The Astros lose both Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, at home.

–The Astros fire Taubman. General manager Jeff Luhnow admits that the organization was wrong to put out the release that it did, but refuses to specify who was behind it. He does say that only Taubman and one other Astro employee were interviewed before the release was put out. In other words, the Astros had at first thought this would be just small potatoes and figured it would be easier to snuff out Apstein’s credibility than to tackle the issue head on.

–At a presser on Thursday evening, Luhnow is asked if he or the Astros have personally apologized to Apstein. He says no, that it’s been a hectic and chaotic time and he has not had a chance. Perhaps Luhnow does not realize that Apstein is seated in the room at the time.

What is it with the city of Houston this fall? First, the college football team tells two of its top players to take the rest of the season off. Then the Daryl Morey tweet goes sideways. Then this. I don’t want to repeat the obvious and fitting mantra here, but you know, “Houston,….”

And Then There’s Rob Drake

Brandon Taubman is out (and he’s going to have to wait about 50 weeks to atone…bad timing) but umpire Rob Drake is still employed even after a tweet from Tuesday night, since deleted (as too his entire account has been), in which he promised to buy an AR-15 “because if you impeach MY PRESIDENT this way, YOU WILL HAVE ANOTHER CIVAL WAR!!! #MAGA2020.”

Drake also issued a bullshit apology by putting the conditional on it: “I want to personally apologize to everyone that my words made feel less safe.” Which is really saying, Hey, MAGA, I know I don’t have to apologize to you because you get it. I’m just apologizing to these cucks because if I don’t I may lose my job. Bear with me.

Then Drake adds, “I never intended to diminish the threat of violence from assault weapons, or violence of any kind.” Oh, we know, Rob. You actually were promoting it as a threat.

Freedom of speech, sure. No one is imprisoning him. But he also just threatened an armed rebellion due to a legal process. I wonder what MLB will do about this. Answer: probably nothing.


It’s not even Halloween and the Los Angeles Clippers are already NBA champions. Okay, not really, after beating the Lakers by 10 on Tuesday the Clips rolled up to San Francisco and put up 141 on the Warriors on the night the Chase Center was christened.

The Warriors, under Steve Kerr, had never surrendered that many points in a game before.

Keep in mind: the Clips haven’t even had Paul George in either of these two games.

Note well: this is the season Patrick Beverley will become a national cult figure beyond just the know of NBA insiders.

Also note: It’s going to be a long season for the Warriors and I hope Klay Thompson just sits the whole thing out.

Funny moment: Before the first bucket was even scored (history will record that L.A. led 14-0 before Golden State scored a point in its new home), play had to be stopped when a fan seated courtside spilled his beer on the floor. TNT announcer Kevin Harlan noted that that was a very expensive beer he’d just spilled, but then realized and said that if he could afford to sit there he could probably afford to absorb that loss without any care.

Klay Thompson speaks to the crowd before opening tip. Huge miss by TNT not to cover it live.

There’s a part of me that’s glad to see basketball back in The City itself, and there’s another part that’s sad that the Warriors leveraged their success of the past half decade via the Splash Brothers into a venue that their real East Bay fans will never be able to afford and that will just become a vanity play for Silicon Valley’s plethora of billionaires and millionaires. The irony being, of course, that the product will never achieve the greatness or glory of the past five seasons. It’s over, kids. Sorry.

And Now A Word From Katie McCollow…

And if you’re one of those ‘gram types, you can follow her on the ‘gram at @katie.mccollow. All she wants are life’s simple pleasures: fame, wealth and an US Weekly cover.

At The Movies: 1941

  1. Citizen Kane Even if, like us, you feel that one viewing is enough, you have to appreciate that Orson Welles did this all (write/direct/star) as a 25 year-old, that he took on one of the most powerful men in media (William Randolph Hearst, on whose life it is loosely based) and that he did things that had never even been thought of before in film. On a shoestring budget. The Quentin Tarantino of his time 2. Sullivan’s Travels From Preston Sturges. Joel McRea (who joked that he got the roles that Gary Cooper wasn’t available for) as a big-shot producer who goes undercover as a hobo to better understand the plight of the poor so he can make a film that better depicts them only to realize that what they really want is what he already does so well: comedies. With Veronica Lake as The Girl. McRea later turned down a chance to make another film with Lake, saying, “One Veronica Lake film is enough for a lifetime” 3. The Maltese Falcon Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre in a classic film noir set in one of the three best cities for the genre, San Francisco 4. The Lady Eve Another Preston Sturges comedy classic, starring two all-time Hollywood heavyweights, Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda 5. The Wolfman Is that a full moon I see? A must-see of the horror genre.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Don’t know if it’s real. Don’t care.

Starting Five

Kicking Their Astros

The natty nat Nats won their 8th consecutive postseason game, blasting open a tight World Series Game 2—it was 2-all in the top of the 7th at Minute Maid Park—with a 6-run frame that was jump-started by a solo home run by 36 year-old catcher Kurt Suzuki. He’s part of the team’s Los Viejos (“the old men”).

Justin Verlander, who allowed that homer, is now the first pitcher in Major League history to be 0-5 as a World Series starter. Also the Astros, the first MLB team since 1955 not to issue even one intentional walk in an entire season, did issue one in the top of the 7th—to Juan Soto—and it backired (although 3rd baseman Alex Bregman’s inability to handle an infield hit to his left did more damage).

You hate to see it

The Nats also won eight in a row to close out the regular season. Meanwhile, Astros’ aces Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander have lost in consecutive starts for the first time all year. The last team to lose its first two home games in the World Series and recover to win? The 1996 New York Yankees.

Unwelcome Matt*

*The judges will also accept “Storming The Gaetz”

In the GOP’s latest edition of “You Can’t Do It But I Can,” Congressman Matt Gaetz (Reprehensible—Florida) led two dozen junior colleagues on a bum rush of the Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF) where the House impeachment inquiry was taking place.

Gaetz & Friends’ ostensible stated goal was “transparency,” but the real goal was intimidation and distraction. The very reason that the hearings are held in private—even though half the committee are Republicans, a fact that Gaetz and his cronies pretend to be unaware of—is to prevent witnesses from corroborating stories based on previous testimony they’ve heard and to allow the investigating members to do their jobs without outside interference. It’s the same reason the public isn’t allowed into a grand jury hearing.

Of course, all of these rules were fine when Bill Clinton was being impeached. But suddenly Gaetz and Co. behave as if they’re here protecting the American way. The question here is simple: Why are so many Republicans so hell-bent on people not knowing the truth?

Kyrie Eleison

Brooklyn is gonna love Kyrie Irving. And he’s gonna love the borough right back. In his Nets debut last night, Kyrie Irving puts up 50 points, although the Nets fall by one in overtime to Minnesota. Irving was 7 of 14 from beyond the arc and 17 of 33 from the field overall. Wethinks Kevin Durant’s Achilles’ healing process just sped up two weeks off last night’s game alone.

The Doctor was way ahead of his time

Kyrie’s still not the greatest Net named Irving (or at least pronounced that way), but it was a good start. Also, not only did he score 50 but he now looks 50.

While we are talking NBA, we love Michael Jordan and always will, but he’s flat-out SO wrong about what he said about Stephen Curry (not a Hall of Famer yet). Forget the five straight NBA Finals visits (and three championships) and the two MVPs for a moment. Curry’s three-point shooting single-handedly (with some guidance help from his left hand) transformed the way the NBA game is played.

Before Curry no player had ever hit more than 243 threes in a season. While leading the league in three-pointers for five straight campaigns, Curry took the single-season mark not only just above 300 but above 400 (402 in 2015-2016). He did for the three what Babe Ruth did for home runs and look how baseball has changed since Ruth. And within two years, three tops, he’ll surpass Ray Allen as the NBA’s all-time leader in threes and become the first player to reach the 3,000 career threes mark.

Love Jordan. That statement is asinine. Let’s move on.

Tesla Soars, While Twitter Tumbles

In millennial stock news, shares of Tesla (TSLA) soared nearly 20% ( $254 to $299) after an earnings beat after the bell yesterday, which will make your battery-powered drive to your favorite avocado toast outlet so much more cheerful this morning.

Shares of Twitter (TWTR) did just the opposite, after a pre-opening bell earnings report. It’s down almost 20% ($39 to $32).

In other millennial stock news, Bitcoin is taking a pounding of late and Chipotle is down about 8% from last month’s all-time high.

At The Movies: 1940

Is this the funniest final shot in cinema history?

A continuing series in which we list our highly subjective choices of the five best/favorite/most watchable films from every year in cinema, beginning in 1939:

  1. The Philadelphia Story : Three all-timers (Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart at the top of their craft) and Stewart wins Best Actor as a make-up call for the previous year’s snub, in the process snubbing his life-long friend Henry Fonda, who deserved it for No. 3 on this list) 2. His Girl Friday : Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell, back when newspapering was cool and stylish. One of the best snappy banter films ever made 3. The Grapes Of Wrath There’s no place like home, but this time you have to remain in Oz and it ain’t pretty 4. The Great Dictator After 13 years, Charlie Chaplin finally does a talkie and lampoons Adolf Hitler (in 1940!) while so doing 5. Rebecca Alfred Hitchcock’s first American production yields him a Best Picture Oscar even though this is not one of his five most well-renowned films.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Taylor-Made For Impeachment

I’m just a Bill,

Yes, I’m only a Bill,

Testifying up on Capitol Hill,

But I’m a 50-year public servant

And I kept meticulous notes

And when the Senate reads my statement

Then we’ll get the impeachment votes

And they’ll put it in a public box,

Yes, I hope and pray that they will,

But today I am still just a Bill…

Forget the nine-plus hours of answering questions from the impeachment inquiry. Ukraine ambassador Bill Taylor, a Vietnam veteran (apparently it was not inconvenient for him to serve) who has a half-century in public service, laid down a 15-page opening statement that nails Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo, Mike Pence and Bill Sondland dead to rights.

It’s all over but the shouting now. Seriously.

Nats Ding Cole*

*Don’t credit us for that headline; credit The Houston Chronicle, which is running it this morning.

The Nationals, who’ve now won like, what, seven consecutive games or something, were unintimidated by Astro starter Gerrit Cole, who had won 16 consecutive starts and had last lost a game on May 22nd.

Speaking of May 22nd, on that day the Nats were 19-30 and would lose again the following day before mounting the long uphill charge that would lead them to a 5-4 Game 1 win in Houston.

Notes: 1. Ryan Zimmerman connected on a two-out solo home runs for the Nats in the second. It was the first home run in World Series history by a Nationals player and it was hit by the first player the Nats selected in the draft, 15 years ago (give the dude who made that call a raise). Also, it was the first home run in World Series history struck by a player whose surname begins with a Z. 2) Juan Soto, who turns 21 on Friday, had a home run, double and single after striking out in his first at-bat. “I’m not gonna lie, my legs were shaking my first time up,” Soto told Ken Rosenthal afterward 3) Late in the game Fox’s Joe Buck noted that the Astros pitching staff is comprised entirely of righties and then informed the audience that the last time a World Series staff had not a single southpaw was 1903. What Buck did not add, yet should have, is that 1903 was also the very first World Series.

The 1903 World Series, by the way, featured pitcher Cy Young of the victorious Boston Americans and outfielder Honus Wagner for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Americans won 5 games to 3. Also of note is that Pittsburgh’s Exposition Park used a rope to hold back outfield spectators and it was ruled that if a ball rolled under the rope and into the crowd it would be a ground-rule triple. There were 17 ground-rule triples hit in the four games at Exposition Park.

Miami Heat

Four flight attendants for American Airlines were arrested at Miami International Airport yesterday primarily because one of them is a terrible crook. When a customs agent asked Carlos Aberto Munoz-Moyano how much cash he had on him, he initially replied, “$100,” then got nervous and told the truth: $9,000.

Customs agents quickly rounded up other flight attendants on the same flight from Chile and found more than $22,000 of spending money on them. If you’ve spent any time around flight attendants, you know this isn’t casual walking-around-money for them. So they’re most likely drug mules, no? Carrying not the supply but the payment?

The next time you fly American international, ask your flight attendant if he or she has change for $10,000.

The Battle Of L.A. Begins

kWh put up a game-high 30 in a game that had a classic ’70s NBA feel and look

On the NBA’s opening night, the Clippers outlasted the Lakers 112-102. Never mind that two of the top five players on the squads—the Clippers’ Paul George and the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma—were injured and unavailable. And even with that LeBron James, age 36, may have been the third-best player on the court after teammate Anthony Davis and Clipper Kawhi Leonard.

Also, new Laker acquisition Danny Green had 28 points. Keep an eye on the seasoned pro who, as you may recall, was Kawhi’s teammate in Toronto last season.

Horror In The U.K.

A trailer was found in Grays, England (about 25 or so miles east of London along the Thames) with 39 dead bodies in it. The truck is from Bulgaria and it entered the U.K. through Wales on October 19th. The driver is a 25 year-old from Northern Ireland. Seems what we have here is human smuggling gone awry.

Between this, Bill Taylor and the American Airlines item, it’s incredible what takes place every day that most people will never find out about. Only occasionally when something goes wrong or someone says something they’re not supposed to does the skulduggery get exposed. Conclusion: I’m living an extremely boring life.


by John Walters

Starting Five

Lost in N.J.

New York Jest

If you thought the Jets could never get a worse performance out of a USC-drafted quarterback than the Butt Fumble drama of 2012, think again. Last night, against the same New England Patriots that inflicted Mark Sanchez’s infamy on Thanksgiving night seven years earlier, 2nd-year quarterback Sam Darnold tossed four interceptions. He finished 11 of 32 passing.

The Jets lost 33-0 and Darnold’s QBR was 0.7. By comparison Tom Brady’s was 79.1. The Pats move to 7-0, although three of those victories are against tenants of Met-Life Stadium. Still, we think that Belichick and Brady are on a quest to avenge the 2008 season, which finished one victory shy of perfection. Is this the year?


The State Department statement was released Friday afternoon in hopes that it would be buried and it mostly was. But here it is: in a nine-page unclassified report that was completed last month and was three years in the making/investigating, the State Department has concluded that “while the use of the system for official business increased the risk of compromising classified information, there was no systemic or deliberate mishandling of classified information.”

In other words, Hillary’s private email server and those 33,000 emails that President Trump railed on endlessly about during the 2016 campaign were a big nothing. Now that we’ve put that to res—wait, what? He’s still railing about them? Even last night?

Um, yes. Apparently the State Dept. is now also committing Fake News, at least in the mind of Our Great Leader.

By the way, this is the same woman who sat for an 11-hour Congressional hearing about Benghazi where, again, it was ultimately found that she did no wrong. No matter how many times Congress, the GOP and many of the public try to burn this witch at the stake, the flames never seem to rise. I wonder why.

Pelican Rest

The NBA season kicks off this evening, but it will do so without everyone’s favorite bull-in-a-china-shop, Zion Williamson. The most heralded rookie in years will miss 6 to 8 weeks due to surgery on a torn meniscus.

The season is tipping off with two games this evening, the first being New Orleans at NBA champ Toronto. But Kawhi is now a Clipper and Zion is recuperating. The question every NBA fan is asking is, Does Zion’s go-hard-to-the-rim, Rex Burkhead style of hoops put his longevity at risk. He’s only 19 years old, after all.

Salzburg But Not Williamsburg?

The MH staff has visited Salzburg; it’s nice

The Lonely Planet has just released its Top 10 Cities to visit in 2020 and no, Brooklyn is not one of them. Here’s the list:

–Salzburg, Austria

–Washington, D.C.

–Cairo, Egypt

–Galway, Ireland

–Bonn, Germany

–La Paz, Bolivia

Kochi, India

–Vancouver, Canada

–Dubai, UAE

–Denver, Colorado

Then again, what do they know?

At The Movies

We’ve all heard that 1939 was the very best year for films, but then Eddie Mueller (TCM’s Noir Alley host) decided to stir the pot and say 1950 was best. And we’re no experts, but we do like films, so we’ve decided to grade years the way we do college football conferences: not by the totality of a year’s films, but by assessing the best from that year (i.e., the Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Auburn and Florida of a year).

Toward that end, and beginning with 1939 itself, we’re going to do a daily list of our five favorite films from a given year (now don’t go jumping ahead years on us, Susie B.). We won’t claim that these are the five objective best of any year, just the five we’d see (again). Your mileage may vary and you will be welcome to tell us one we’ve missed.

We’ll begin with 1939, the year that many experts believe was the zenith of the studio system in Hollywood. It’s hard to argue with the results (we may go back earlier in the decade later, but not yet):

  1. The Wizard Of Oz a true original with an incredible story and perhaps also a subtle political message, given the year, of the joys of isolationism, 2) Gone With The Wind overrated in our mind, as far as story goes, but the cinematography is outstanding, 3) Mr. Smith Goes To Washington a reminder that all the corruption you see now was on hand in D.C. 80 years ago; Jimmy Smith Stewart deserved an Oscar but lost it to George Donat, arguably Oscar’s first major screw-up 4) Ninotchka Greta Garbo and Melvyn Douglas in a smart and comic love story involving Communists in Paris 5) Stagecoach considered the original Western, with John Wayne in his breakout role under the direction of John Ford.

Most years won’t require this, but these films also deserve mention and were just off the list: Goodbye, Mr. Chips; Dark Victory; The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Charles Boyer also deserved the Oscar for Best Actor, perhaps even more than Stewart).

Music 101

Baby, Let Me Follow You Down

When the American Bard plugged in at the Royal Albert Hall in May of 1966, shouts of “Judas!” emanated from the audience. How dare the king of folk music go electric! But we love this version of Bob Dylan‘s classic (which he did not write, as he acknowledges), the crunchy guitars. And if you want to compare, here’s the acoustic original.

Remote Patrol

Lakers at Clippers (or whatever)

10:30 p.m. TNT

Let the turf war over the freeways of L.A. commence. LeBron and Anthony Davis versus Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are the headliners. Keep your eyes on Laker Kyle Kuzma, a budding superstar entering his third season. These two are the NBA preseason favorites to win it all according to Vegas.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Starting Five

Bring On The Nastros

Our guy D.J. LeMahieu ended an heroic 10-pitch at-bat in the top of the 9th inning with an opposite field two-run game-tying homer. Then in the bottom of the 9th with two-outs Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman gave up a home run to Jose Altuve to end the season.

Aaron Judge called the season a “complete failure” and he’s correct. And hopefully the Yankees will learn and move on from Edwin Encarnacion and Giancarlo Stanton (impossible, I know) and maybe even Gary Sanchez. Also, they need an ace on the mound.

Nats-Astros will at least give us outstanding pitching match-ups with Gerrit Cole vs. Max Scherzer followed by Justin Verlander vs. Stephen Strasburg.

Champaign Nirvana

One of the better sports photos of the year

This is what NFL types will never understand about college football: Illinois has no shot at “the playoffs” but who cares? On Saturday a bunch of 18-22 year-olds overcame being 30.5-point underdogs and beat No. 6 Wisconsin thanks to a last-second game-winning 39-yard field goal by the dude above (James McCourt). Illinois trailed by 9 points with under 6 minutes to play but then a TD followed by an interception at midfield gave them the chance they needed.

Illini coach Lovie Smith is an easy dude to love and no one on the Illinois team will ever forget what they did and overcame Saturday. And that’s why Saturday rules.

Pompous Pompeo

With so many blustering and deceitful egos to choose from (Mick Mulvaney, the president, Stephen Miller, etc.), no one in the Trump administration comes off as more imperious and pompous and if-these-cameras-were-off-I’d-choke-you-out than Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. I truly wonder why he ever sits for a single interview.

Above, Pompeo sits with News4 pro Nancy Amons out of Nashville. Go to the end of the interview. You can just see the rage seething just below the surface.

Meanwhile, as many have said since Mick Mulvaney’s presser last Thursday, no three words better describe the Trump administration’s cavalier attitude toward democracy, toward the rule of law, toward ethics and toward the Constitution than “GET OVER IT.” It should be Trump’s 2020 campaign slogan if he is still in office. “GET OVER IT.” We’re going to do whatever it takes to remain in power, to make sure America wins, to keep rich men in white power. Get over it.

Was It The ROY Bus, Though?

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney likes to joke that for years Alabama rode in one vehicle and the rest of college football rode in the “Rest Of Y’all” or ROY Bus. On Saturday Tiger defensive back Andrew Booth had to ride a bus home after the team’s 45-10 win at Louisville, a 450-mile journey.

Booth was kept off the team plane as punishment for throwing this punch, above. He news ejected from the game and Swinney opted to give him some good ol’ fashioned discipline by making him ride the team bus home.

Where The Buffalo Roam

I mean, it’s a start. Good to see.

Music 101

Now You See It

We were watching the 1942 film This Gun’s For Hire (TCM’s “Noir Alley” pick) late Saturday/early Sunday and came across this little Veronica Lake number in the midst of the movie. Lake was only 4’11” and like her co-star in this film, Alan Ladd, would die at the age of 50. Lake battled alcoholism and in her later years worked as a waitress in a cocktail lounge in midtown Manhattan (note: we are not alcoholics and are over 50) under an assumed name.


by John Walters

Tweet Me Right

Funny, but where were you when it mattered?

Also a must-view:

Starting Five

Houston Spanks Yanks

Broadway legend Kelli O’Hara sang the national anthem before Game 4 at Yankee Stadium last night. That was pretty much the highlight of our evening as we sat in Section 207. Once again the Bombers loaded the bases in the first inning and, as with Game 3, could not take advantage. The Yankees are 0-13 with runners in scoring position, either last night or the last two games or something like that.

Timely hitting, from Game 2 late through the next two games, has been the difference in the ALCS. Houston, which won 8-3 last night on the strength of two three-run homers and four Yankee errors, can end it tonight.

Mick’s Message*

Mulvaney revealing just how much integrity is in this administration
  • The judges will also accept “Quid Pro Quotable”

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, speaking in a televised press conference, made the most LeBron-ian statement of the week when he said, “Did [President Trump] also mention to me in passing the corruption related to the D.N.C. server? Absolutely. No question about that. That’s why we held up the money.”

So, quid pro quo?

Later in the day, of course, Mulvaney said that the Fake News Media had misconstrued what he had said (by airing what he had said) and that “there was absolutely no quid pro quo between Ukrainian military aid and any investigation into the 2016 election.”

C.C. Ya Later

Back to the Yankee debacle, we did see C.C. Sabathia enter the game in the top of the eighth and record two outs before apparently straining something. The large lefty took one more practice throw off the mound and then departed the game, his face in his glove, knowing that was likely the final pitch of his professional career.

This from national baseball writer Tim Brown examines the impact of this changing of the guard:

More Jive Turkey

The two Mike Ps, Pence and Pompeo, traveled to Turkey because apparently President Trump’s letter (“Don’t be a fool!”) failed to have the desired impact on Turkish president Erdogan. So they went over and in person gave away the store.

So, if you’re scoring at home, Russia benefits, Assad benefits, blowhard American businessman with a hotel in Turkey benefits, ISIS benefits, and Turkey benefits. Kurds lose. Oh, and the G7 Summit that is to be held in the U.S. next June has now been scheduled to be held at a Donald Trump resort in Florida because who doesn’t love to spend June in south Florida? Oh, and that’s a direct violation of the Emoluments Clause, but who has time to enforce the Constitution any more?

So basically, the Turks agreed not to fire on the Kurds for 120 hours. After which time they will, to use Trump’s words, “clean out the area,” which is ethnic cleansing, which is a nice way to say genocide, which is a nice way to say slaughter. There is no negotiation. The United States basically got involved to give the Kurds time to get their money out of the ATM before the Turks mug them.

These are the same people who helped the USA in its fight against ISIS and Al Qaeda and lost more than 10,000 people doing so. You know what happened the last time the US left a major area after it had allied with the locals and then just deserted them? It’s called Afghanistan.

Chief Sitting Bullsh–

Kansas City Chief QB and active NFL Most Valuable Player Pat Mahomes dislocated his kneecap on a quarterback sneak against the Broncos last night. He’ll miss six weeks. The league office is pissed because there isn’t a defensive player they can eject, or suspend for the rest of the season, due to the injury. They are mulling making any contact with a quarterback illegal, though.

Last year it was two-time MVP Aaron Rodgers (2011 and 2014) being lost part of the season due to injury. Now it’s Mahomes. The State Farm Agent Curse may be real.