by John Walters

Happy 54th birthday to the President… although, how do we KNOW it’s his 54th birthday? Has anyone seen a birth certificate?

Starting Five

That’s the third cycle of Beltre’s career, tied for the most in Major League history.

1. Beltre’s Belt Way

Is hitting for the cycle an anomaly or an indicator of greatness? Some of the greatest hitters in the game’s lore never hit for the cycle, among them Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Barry Bonds, Pete Rose and Derek Jeter.

And yet a disproportionate number of men who have hit for the cycle are Hall of Famers. Between 1911 and 1960, by my count, 48 of the 95 cycles were hit by future Hall of Famers. In one glorious stretch in 1937, the two men who hit cycles closest to one another were Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.

Anyway, Adrian Beltre of the Rangers went for his third career cycle last night in Arlington versus the Astros. He hit a 2-run triple in the first (getting the difficult hit out of the way first), a double in the second, a single in the third, and a 419-foot home run in the bottom of the fifth.

Beltre finished 4 for 5 with 3 RBI in Texas’ 12-9 win. He becomes the fourth player in Major League history to hit for three cycles in his career (John Reilly, Bob Meusel, Babe Herman), but the first to do so since 1933. Which is, ya’ know, 82 years ago.

2. Money, It IS The Shoes!*

$15 million-plus per year for 13 years to wear one brand of shoes? How valuable will this contract be if the Rockets never advance to the NBA Finals?

*The judges will also accept “Happy Feet” and “My Adidas”

Reportedly, adidas is offering Houston Rocket guard James Harden $200 million over 13 years. Harden, 25, was the runner-up for the league MVP award last year (the players voted it to him, though). Harden’s chief talent is drawing fouls and growing facial hair.

Harden’s contract with the Rockets calls for him to make about $50 million over the next three seasons, so his adidas deal, if he signs it, would be in the same ballpark of $15-16 million per year.

3. Summer of….Hate

The moment of the fatal stabbing

Is it just me (or is it Twitter) or is everyone in the world a little angrier — and more violent toward one another — than usual? Above, a radical orthodox man stabs a 16 year-old girl taking part in a gay pride march in Jerusalem. She died from this wound a few days later.

I count four guns in this photo, if you include the one on his t-shirt.

Here, a man peacefully protesting the Confederate flag at Stone Mountain, Georgia, encounters a pro-Confederacy advocate armed with a pistol and a semiautomatic rifle. Two cops on hand, and neither has drawn their weapon yet in this photo.

Oh, and two men were shot in the parking lot outside the PNC Bank Center in New Jersey last night following a J. Cole rap show. According to a witness, they were speaking to a woman, making remarks about her body, and a third man stepped out of nowhere and shot them. Both are in critical condition (Am I a terrible person if I admit that I don’t really feel bad for these two?).

I think Mister Señor Love Daddy had it right 26 years ago when he advised, “Whoa. Y’all take a chill. You got to cool that shit off. And that’s the double-truth, Ruth.”

4. Miss Worlds

Besides the world records, Ledecky has perfected the “Water Bosa.”

Get ready for U.S. swimmer Katie Ledecky at next summer’s Olympics (thankfully, she will be swimming in a pool in Rio, not in the water outside). You’ll remember that as a 15 year-old at the London Games Ledecky won gold in the 800-m freestyle.

Yesterday at the World Swimming Championships in Kazan, Russia, Ledecky broke her own world record in the 1500-m freestyle. The six-footer, who will matriculate at Stanford next month (I think), now holds the world records in the 400-, 800- and 1500- meter freestyle. She’s got quite the Ironman career in front of her someday.

5. Adios, MotherFOXers

This photo has absolutely nothing to do with the story below. We learn a lot by reading The Big Lead.

Did you really think Jon Stewart was about to go gently into that good night? On the first night of his final week as host of The Daily Show, Stewart lit into his longtime nemeses, seeing their hypocrisy allegation and raising it. Here’s the video.

Music 101

Radiation Vibe

You may know Fountains of Wayne for “Stacy’s Mom,” but I love them for this earlier tune.  Just two nice boys who attended Williams College (I had to mention this before Dick Quinn wrote me a note to tell me that).


5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. John –

    Totally agree with you that there seems to be a lot of hate going around. Especially during a summer where people claimed that “love won.” I think both sides of [insert issue here] need to take a step back and breath before speaking/writing/etc. (me included). If you’re a believer (however you want to define that), you’ll want to take into account the need for love to go with truth. And if you’re one of those who think that love is the only answer, realize that there needs to be room for truth with love.

    Also – and not to add to the hate (too late) – but no coverage or opining from you on the Planned Parenthood videos? I see a lot of words from you on poor lions, tigers and bears (oh my!), but not seeing anything on the PP/organ harvesting stories.

  2. Ledecky won’t go to Stanford until 2016. All the college swimmers basically take all of 2015-16 off to train. Missy Franklin already left Cal.

  3. Well, thank goodness for Katie the Great as she is singlehandedly saving Team USA from disaster at the Swimming World Championships! (And where is she from, you ask? Why, that scintillating state of swimming, home of the BEST swimmer of alllllll tiiiiime Michael Phelps – MARYLAND! Yeah ,that’s right, little ole MD’s got TWO, count’em TWO of the best swimmers ever! 🙂 )

    I don’t know whether the rest of the world is catching up or we are just having a crappy meet OR that this is proof that “selecting” a Worlds team a YEAR in advance is asinine, but so far, except for Katie, we are doing only slightly better than Ronda Rousey’s latest ‘opponent’. The men FAILED to even QUALIFY for the relay Finals we USED TO OWN- the 4 X 100 free! And today, we got no medals in the Men’s 200 Free (Lochte 4th) nor in the Women’s 100 Back (2013 world champ Missy was 5th). And in the Men’s 100 Back, the 2013 world champ, American Matt Grevers only got a bronze. And yesterday (Monday), the USA got NO MEDALS. Can’t remember the last time that happened at a Swimming Worlds or Olympics.

    It’s only Day 3 of 8, so things could turn around (I expect at least one more Gold as Katie has the 800 yet!) but I would imagine the folks in charge of USA Swimming are a bit “concerned” about Rio.

    BTW, the 2013 multi-world champ of the men’s distance Free races (Sun Yang) had a “3 month doping suspension” last year. WHAT exactly is a 3 MONTH suspension for doping? Where is that penalty in the rulebook? Isn’t is supposed to be TWO YEARS? Or at least one & that’s if you PROVE the drug was in your system inadvertently. And then he got all haughty when the media dared to actually ASK him about it.

    And then there’s the Hungarian gal, Katinka Hosszu, (nicknamed Iron Lady) 26 years old, who is swimming the BEST of her life these past 2 years. She’s been a great swimmer for several years but for a woman to hit PEAK FORM in her mid-20s is, um, unprecedented I think…

  4. Whoo-hooo! Katie just won another GOLD in the 200 Free! And Missy got the Bronze. Wow, I thought there was a good chance Katie would medal in this shortest of her races, but wasn’t expecting the gold. She’s on track to win gold in all 4 of her individual events (only 1 more to go) & probably also in the 4 X 200 relay.

    Don’t you think Katie would be the perfect 1st guest for NPH’s new talk show? As she’s…wait for it…LEGENDARY LEDECKY! 🙂 🙂

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