IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Thursday, April 24


The blond dude (Scott Winters) is the younger brother of Mayhem from the All-State ads.

1. How Do You Like Them Apples?

The tech giant announces its best non-holiday quarter earnings ever, and Wall Street finally applauds, as the stock rises 8% after hours. Then CEO Tim Cook, finally stepping out from behind Steve Jobs’ shadow, announces that the stock will do a 7-for-1 split –to make it more accessible to the home gamers — and that he is suing Hooli for its Nucleus project.

An excerpt from Cook’s conference call…

2. Pine In the Neck (tip o’ the hat to you, Daily News)

Ay, there’s the rub.

New York Yankee pitcher Michael Pineda puts down his copy of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Purloined Letter” just long enough to apply a liberal, Biletnikoffian amount of pine tar to his neck. The best part is that he attempted this versus the Red Sox, who less than two weeks earlier accused him of using pine tar against them in Yankee Stadium.

My question: With the way dugout phones work now, Could Sawx manager John Farrell have called Joe Girardi and warned him to have Pineda remove the offending tar?

3. The Overweight Championship of the World

We’re only one week into the NBA postseason, and easily the most intriguing battle is Shaq versus Chuck. Did you see halftime of last night’s Blazers-Rockets game? Shaq was celebrating Dwight Howard’s DOMINANT first half, 25 points, and noting that he’d been urging Howard to play like this all season.

Barkley noted, aptly, that the score was tied and that this wasn’t Houston’s game.

Shaq went the “I have four rings, Tim Duncan has four rings, Kareeem has 16 rings…” route and nearly added, “And you don’t have any”, but even though he didn’t say it, we all heard it. The rest of the evening these two Alpha Dogs, who are separated by the Beta bunnies, Ernie and Kenny the Jet, seemed ready to spar.

Only at the very end of the night, some time after 1:15 a.m., were they jovial again, as Ernie announced a May 14 bout between the two (kudos to whoever thought of that name). This’ll be more fun than almost any Eastern Conference playoff game. It’s “Shaq Vs…Chuck.”

We’re not even one week in, though, and it’s smarter, funnier big brother versus more intimidating, more accomplished little bro who doesn’t pay him respect. These two may need to settle it in the backyard before May 14.

4. Cubs Lose! Cubs Lose!

Ruggiano: “TAKE me out of the ball game…”

100th birthday of Wrigley Field. Cubs lead 5-2 entering the ninth inning against, oh yes, the team with the worst record in the big leagues. And I can already assure you that the Kansas City Packers’ top hitter, Paul Goldschmidt, will strike out.

So what happens? Well, of course, the Cubs surrender five runs and lose. How? An error by shortstop Starlin Castro, a game-tying single that bounces off second base and into right field, and a two-out pop up down the right-field line that was eminently catchable, but dropped and resulted in a hamstring injury to the Cubs, er, Federals, right fielder, Justin Ruggiano. Honestly, no one could have scripted a more Cubs finish.

5. The David Robertson of Late Night

“It’s been clear to me that I’ve won television,” Stephen Colbert tells his old boss, Jon Stewart, in a cameo appearance on The Daily Show. “At this point I’m just running up the score.”

It’s a terrific moment, because Colbert is portraying is overbearing, tone-deaf, self-absorbed alter-ego.

In fact, it’s a far funnier moment than the one two nights earlier, when Colbert went on Letterman as the funny but decent guy he actually is. Which is why not a few smart people (Howard Stern, etc.) wonder if Colbert is just the latest, most famous example of the Peter Principle.

Clearly, as this insightful Daily Beast article attests, no one is going to replace David Letterman. In fact, his year-long victory lap will give us just more of a chance to appreciate how unique he has been (I’ve never needed convincing; he’s atop my list of performers in my lifetime). So Colbert becomes the David Robertson to Letterman’s Mariano Rivera, simply the best available. But not in the same league.

And that would be fine except that we’re not going to be getting the Stephen Colbert of the Colbert Report. We’re going to be getting the real Stephen Colbert, a man we hardly know. It’s like trading for Steve Nash and then telling him that Kobe feels more comfortable running the point.

Funny that at the end of his bit with Stewart, Colbert quips, “I’m really going to miss me.” Maybe more than you realize.





The Hall

Charter Inductees: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner 1937:  Tris Speaker, CF; Cy Young, P ; 1938: Grover Cleveland Alexander, P; Eddie Collins, 2B 1939:Nap Lajoie, 2B; Joe Jackson, LF; 1940: Billy Hamilton, OF; Cap Anson, 1B; 1941: Wee Willie Keeler, RF; George Sisler, 1B; 1942: Rogers Hornsby, 2B; Pie Traynor, 3B; 1943: Mickey Cochrane, C; Frankie Frisch, 2B 1944: Ed Walsh, P; Old Hoss Radbourn, P 1945: Lou Gehrig, 1B; Kid Nichols, P 1946: Ed Delahanty, LF; Lefty O’Doul 1947: Pud Galvin, P; John McGraw, INF 1948: Carl Hubbell, P; Addie Joss, P 1949: Harry Heilman, OF/1B; Monte Ward, P/SS 1950: Cool Papa Bell, CF; Jimmie Foxx, 1B 1951: Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, P; Josh Gibson, C 1952: Paul Waner, RF; Charlie Gehringer, 2B 1953: Mel Ott, RF; Hank Greenberg, 1B 1954: Eddie Plank, P; Dan Brouthers, 1B 1955: “Wahoo” Sam Crawford, OF; John Clarkson, P 1956: Chief Bender, P; Bill Dickey, C 1957: Sam Rice, RF; Joe DiMaggio, CF 1958: Bill Terry, 1B; Heinie Manush, LF 1959: Dizzy Dean, P; Tim Keefe, P 1960: Gabby Hartnett, C; Mickey Welch, P 1961: Bob Feller, P; Ducky Medwick, LF 1962: Luke Appling, SS; Jesse Burkett, LF 1963 Jackie Robinson, 2B; Zack Wheat, LF 1964: Jake Beckley, 1B; Rube Waddell, P 1965: Ralph Kiner, 1B; Lefty Grove, P

The Cobra

1966: Ted Williams, LF; Smoky Joe Wood, P/OF 1967: Roy Campanella, C; Max Carey, OF 1968: Goose Goslin, LF; Rabbit Maranville, SS 1969: Stan Musial, 1B/OF 1970: Ferris Fain, 1B; Earle Combs, CF 1971: Warren Spahn, P; Yogi Berra, C 1972 Satchel Paige, P; Sandy Koufax, P 1973: Robin Roberts, P; Whitey Ford, P 1974: Mickey Mantle, CF; Eddie Mathews, 3B 1975: Lefty Gomez, P; Hack Wilson, CF 1976: Jack Pfiester, P; Johnny Mize, 1B 1977: Ernie Banks, SS; Mickey Welch, P 1978: Roberto Clemente, RF; Chuck Klein, RF 1979: Willie Mays, CF; Luis Aparicio,  SS 1980: Al Kaline, RF; Enos Slaughter, RF 1981: Bob Gibson, P; Harmon Killebrew, 1B 1982: Hank Aaron, RF; Frank Robinson, OF 1983: Brooks Robinson, 3B, Juan Marichal, P 1984: Hoyt Wilhelm, P; Arky Vaughan, SS 1985: Lou Brock, LF; Pete Browning, OF 1986: Sidd Finch, P 1987: Willie McCovey, 1B, Roger Maris, RF 1988: Willie Stargell, 1B, Catfish Hunter, P 1989: Earl Averill, CF, Billy Williams, LF 1990: Johnny Bench, C, Carl Yastrzemski, LF 1991: Jim Palmer, P, Joe Morgan, 2B 1992: Rod Carew, 2B; Gaylord Perry, P 1993: Reggie Jackson, RF, Tom Seaver, P 1994: Phil Niekro, P, Rollie Fingers, P 1995: Pete Rose, INF, Mike Schmidt, 3B 1996: Steve Carlton, P, Denny McLain, P 1997: Jim Rice, LF, Don Sutton, P 1998: Dick Allen, 1B, Dave Parker, RF 1999: Nolan Ryan, P, George Brett, 3B 2000: Robin Yount, SS, Carlton Fisk, C 2001: Kirby Puckett, CF, Mark Fidrych, P


Ozzie Smith, SS; 1978-1996, Padres, Cardinals

The Flip

The Wizard is in the top three among –most would say he’s No. 1–among defensive shortstops, winning the Gold Glove for 13 consecutive seasons while setting Major League records for assists (8,375) and double plays (1,590). The latter record has since been broken by Omar Vizquel. A 15-time All-Star, Smith also finished with 2,460 career hits.

Gary Carter, C; 1974-1992, Expos, Mets

The Kid was an 11-time All-Star and one of the leaders of the unforgettable 1986 Mets. One of the few catchers to eclipse the 300-home run mark (he retired with 324), Carter’s signature look was an ear-to-ear grin. If there were a Hall of Fame for exuberance, he’d be a charter member.

Remote Patrol

Clippers at Warriors, Game 3

TNT 10:30 p.m.

Thankfully, Blake Griffin’s performance in Game 2 saved me from writing that his best performance this month is in the latest KIA ad (“Mmm-umm, MMMM-umm, thank you…”). Blake’s out saving the planet, one KIA Optima at a time, while Stephen Curry is helping entire grammar schools take an hour or two off from class to play hoops in the gym. No wonder nobody knows SAT words any more.

4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING! Thursday, April 24

  1. You know the 1st thing I have to say – that was a FLAGRANT FOUL! Even YOU’D have to agree! Poor Sweet Pea LeBron – if that had happened to anyone else, they’d have to bring in a stretcher & the offender would have been booted. Do NOT understand the refs these days.

    And I can’t believe you are actually noting the WORST athlete commercial of all time – those KIA ads are EXECRABLE! And they keep making them! Makes those Cliff-Chris ads CLIO-worthy by comparison. (Actually, I get a kick out of Cliff/Chris but apparently other sports fans don’t agree).

    Speaking of TV ads, I love the new one with Damian Lillard trashing those who’ve “never won a ring”, much to the consternation of his house “guests”. Poor Mailman.

    And as mentioned here, I don’t follow baseball, but I heard about the ‘Pine Tar Incident’ all last night on ESPN. I don’t get it – all the baseball guys say it’s ok to use, “no one has a problem with it”, but this guy’s “crime” is that it was “so blatant”. So, if it had been hidden, all would be hunky-dory? And I thought only the guys in charge of pro-cycling were idiotic hypocrites.

    BTW, meant to mention this Monday – thanks so much for the Marathon link, I wouldn’t have known we could watch online without your tweet. Still surprised Universal Sports allowed “free viewage”. I was able to click in & out & saw both the women’s last mile/win & then the men shortly after. All was fab until the screen froze about 30 feet from MEB actually crossing the Finish Line (ARGH!), but the rest was great. SO happy for Meb & American distance running. I was really hoping Shalane could win too, but she set a personal best AND the best-
    ever American women’s time too, so even though she was very disappointed, I thought she did great. Also, I finally found a list online of the Top 20 finishers of each race & was pleasantly surprised to see that MANY of them were Americans. Don’t understand why the TV networks never show more than the 1st 3-5 finishers.

  2. I enjoy Shaq on that show (more than I think you have in the past), but it’s always been blatantly apparent that he can’t stand that CHARLES is the most beloved/critically applauded TV sports guy. He wears his jealousy like one of the much-missed Sager’s jackets – loud bordering on ugly.

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