(Thanks to Greg Auman for inspiring this week’s word chain)
1. Sterling. Silver
As Kenny the Jet said, “I think Donald Sterling has taken the concept of ‘ownership’ a little too far.” I know that it won’t happen, but the most beautiful thing in sport this year would be to see no one show up at Staples Center for Game 5 tomorrow night.
2. Ugly Betty
(the judges will also accept “Udder Cruelty”)
Bobby Draper is having a sublime afternoon with his mom on a dairy farm, even going so far as to guard her spot. Except that he forgetfully trades a second sandwich in his lunch bag –his mom’s –for gum drops because, let’s face it, kids don’t realize that their parents actually eat and go to the bathroom, do they?
And here’s Betty, famished (I thought smoking curbed your appetite), making him feel absolutely horrible about it. Only one week after Don bought Sally a patty melt when she claimed not to be hungry, Betty has a cow, so to speak, over Bobby’s innocent mistake. Cut to that night when Hank asks Bobby what’s happened, and he sagely replies, “I wish it was yesterday.”
That’s the universal reply for “What happened?”, or at least it should be.
Meanwhile, here’s Don reconciling with both Megan and Roger –and I think we all know which relationship matters more to him –as his personal recovery quest continues. Hey, he’s been loyal to his wife AND he’s not even drinking that much. He’s very close to locking up Husband of the Year, 1969, if not a Clio.
Anyway, after Roger stands up for him in front of the other partners –it’s what you like about Roger; he’s no angel (and he’s no Roger Angell), but he’s not a weenie. He’s not Pete– Don is offered an invitation to return, but only after acceding to become the Milton of the firm of which he is a partner. How long until Don is in the basement without a stapler?
3. Of Road Teams and Traveling
Through the first round of the NBA playoffs thus far, visiting teams are 18-12. And the lower-seeded teams are 16-14. In other words, no one is a favorite. No one, that is, except the Miami Heat, who have the only 3-0 series lead of all eight series.
Meanwhile, if there were ever a single undeniable example of just how little the NBA cares about enforcing its rules, here’s Houston’s Jeremy Lin taking four or five uninterrupted steps toward the bucket as three referees choose not to blow…their whistles. Even if he did take one dribble, as this writer attests, and he is probably correct, Lin still traveled before the dribble and after.
And as much as I love what Monta Ellis has done for Dallas thus far in the playoffs, his final lay-up on Saturday was precipitated by a blatant palm. If this make me an old man, I’m proud to be one.
As I said on Twitter, when the slo-mo music montages from “White Men Can’t Jump” are no more egregious than what is transpiring in NBA games without being called, you’ve lost me.
John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” made its debut on HBO last night, and it was predictably smart, funny and just a little bit angry. In short, triumphant. The Daily Show alum touched on the Racist of the Week race (Sterling versus Cliven Bundy…Bert Cooper feels a little left out, but that’s what happens when you force people to take off their shoes upon entering your office) as well as the general election in India, the largest democratic election of all time, which is being roundly ignored in American media –while video of a leopard on the loose in India is getting plenty of play.
My favorite line? When Oliver said, “Now we have to deal with Gandhi…which isn’t the first time you’ve heard someone with a British accent say that.”
After only one show, I’d say that the MVP of the project is LWT’s Research Dept. The video they were able to find was fantastic. Maybe Maggie and Jim went to work for them?
5. Chaos Is a Ladder; Had You Forgotten?
Turns out Lord Petyr Baelish, alias Littlefinger, alias the most enchanting elocutor this side of Christophers Walken or Waltz, was the mastermind behind King Joffrey’s demise. With a little help from Lady Olenna. While her granddaughter, Margaery, is schooling Prince Tommen on the arts of the teen sex comedy.
Still, as Deadspin attests and I agree, Baelish is running circles around the competition. “So many men are afraid to risk everything,” he tells Sansa, “and then they die.”
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
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 2002: Ozzie Smith, SS, Gary Carter, C 2003: Eddie Murray, 1B, Tommy John (Surgery)
Paul Molitor, INF; 1978-1998, Brewers
Though Molitor never led the league in batting average, he did lead it three times in hits and retired with 3,319, which puts him in the top 10 all-time (No. 10…or, if you don’t believe in Cap Anson, No. 9). One of only four players in MLB history with at least 3,000 hits, a .300 batting average (.306) and 500 stolen bases (504), “Molly” was also the World Series MVP in 1993.
Dennis Eckersley, P; 1975-1998, Red Sox, Athletics
The Eck is the first of only two players (John Smoltz is the other) to achieve both a 20-win season as a starter and a 50-save season as a reliever. As talented a starter as Eckersley was with Boston, he became the surest closer this side of sunsets as a reliever in Oakland. At his peak, in 1992, he won both the Cy Young Award and he American League MVP–as a closer–while recording 51 saves. Finished with 390, which at the time was second only to the Cubs’ Lee Smith (now it is sixth).
Spurs at Mavericks
TNT 9:30 p.m.
To satisfy the requests of my most loyal reader not to have given birth to me, it’s Heat versus Dead Heat. Which is to say, I like your LeBronsters in the East while out west I don’t think any single team has played itself out of looking like any less viable a candidate than any other–although Houston looks the most vulnerable. So, given that, I’m not going to abandon the Spurs. 2013 Redux. Let’s see if I’m wrong.
Word chain! And I still want to add “Bob” at the front when I see “Walk,” and “Phillips” at the end, and so on. Like the blog, an endless amount of links.
I’m all for an outright boycott, though I know even a 25 percent empty rate would be a big success. How about having those in attendance turn their backs to the court whenever the Clippers have the ball? For a quarter? More? Curious how much the TV folks will focus on crowd reactions as opposed to comparably meaningless early-game play-by-play …
Thank-you, jdubs! Before the Playoffs began, which of the following would have been most shocking to you to be down 1-2 in 1st Round : #1 East seed Pacers, #2 West seed & hometeam of this year’s MVP – Thunder, or #1 West AND overall NBA team Spurs? If neither the Thunder or Spurs get to the next round, it’d be more shocking than that other televised demise : Will Gardner’s.
Speaking of the Dead Heat – the funniest thing I saw on TV all weekend happened Saturday. I was clicking around all day/night between the various ESPNs, TNT, & NBATV to hear of updates & “reactions” to the NBA self-induced disaster (that they KNEW about Sterling all these years & did NOTHING is AIDING & ABETING the racist p.o.s & the disruption of the best 1st round of Playoffs in history is the least they deserve) & about 1/2 hour before the Heat’s game was about to start, ESPN mentioned how the Bobcats had not won a game against El Heat since the Big 3 got together. Up came a graphic chart on the screen & the guy blah-blah-blahed that the Cats had lost 17 in a row & other lopsided stats, etc. Unremarked upon by the TV talker was 1 line on the top of the chart, regular size print, it stated : HERE KITTY, KITTY. I laughed for 10 minutes & later giggled throughout the game.
One more thing – the LA chapter of the NAACP should either be shut down ASAP or their “officers” fired. If it is true that “EVERYONE” in LA knew FOR YEARS of Sterling’s egregious racist, discriminatory behavior, how is it remotely conceivable that the bigot be given NOT ONE “Lifetime achievement” award but be on the docket to be given his SECOND next month by that organization?! Because he gave them MONEY?! If true, that chapter (& possibly the org itself) should be subjected to national rebuke.