by John Walters

Starting Five

Heat Stroke

The hottest (103 degrees) Game 1 of a World Series ever. The shortest World Series game (2 hours and 28 minutes, with “America the Beautiful” tossed in) since 1992. And a 32 year-old, 5’11” ginger with a beard, long hair and a bald spot hitting his second game-winning homer in as many Dodger home games for the lads in blue. As someone on Fox, perhaps it was John Smoltz, maybe Keith Hernandez, floated after the L.A.’s 3-1 victory, “Very seldom do you see a guy in his late 20s go from a journeyman to a superstar.”


Yeah, let that hang in the air for a moment. Justin Turner hit 15 home runs in his first six seasons of Major League Baseball. He has hit four in this postseason alone and 64 in his past three seasons, since turning 30. Old man strength or HGH?

Meanwhile, Clayton Kershaw, the most dominant regular season pitcher since at least Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax, pitched the gem we knew he had in him: 11 strikeouts, no walks and only three hits.

Flake News

First it was John McCain standing alone. Then Bob Corker, another Republican, stepped up in the past two days. Then yesterday Jeff Flake, a man at last who doesn’t look like your grandfather, had his say. Here is his speech in full…

Here is a more condensed version.

While I somewhat admire Flake’s stand, I’m bothered by this line: “For the next 14 months, relieved of the strictures of politics, I will be guided only by the dictates of conscience.”

Isn’t that the crux of the problem in a nutshell?

Emboldened by the courage of McCain, Corker and Rubio, as well as by the drive-by, never-mentioned-Trump-explicitly tongue lashing of Bush 43, more Republicans will be expected to speak out against little Donny Trump.

Maybe our republic has a chance yet…

3. A Thin Line Between Love and Tate

Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week this season: Stanford’s Bryce Love has been named so twice, while Arizona’s midseason replacement QB Khalil Tate has been named three times (the last three in a row).

Love is the nation’s leading rusher (198 yards per game) and among players with the minimum amount of rushes/games, its leader in yards per carry (10.27). He is rightfully the Heisman Trophy frontrunner or at worst, in second position.

But keep an eye on Tate. Since becoming the Wildcat QB three games ago (all wins versus Pac-12 foes; he got not one snap in the previous two games, both losses), he has rushed for 327, 230 and 137 yards. His yards per carry average is a whopping 13.7. The 6’2″ sophomore from southern Cal powerhouse Junipero Serra replaces Donavan Tate, who is 27 and the son of former UGA standout Lars Tate, but if you read Billy’s comment in yesterday’s MH, you already knew that.

Conceivably, Bryce Love could win the Heisman Trophy while Khalil Tate could win Pac-12 POY.

By the way, here’s just another reason to LOVE Saquon Barkley.  This could be a Tom Rinaldi story if only the girl later developed cancer.

4. Roasted!

Did Chris Hayes just absolutely destroy Bill O’Reilly last night? Yes, yes he did. Watch this.

Locate petard, then hoist, aaaaaaaaand done.

5. Lost In Venice

If you’ve been to Venice, you’ve probably gotten lost in Venice (my personal record: one visit, one time very lost, nearly missed train). Of course, if you’re leading the Venice Marathon, you don’t expect to get lost. But that’s what happened last weekend, when the six leading runners (all Africans) followed a motorcycle off the course and were misled (literally) several hundred meters (at around the 15-mile mark) before realizing their error.

The pack leaders lost at least two minutes. The eventual winner? An Italian, Eyob Faniel. Crafty paisans.


On the other hand, you are looking at all the reasons anyone ever took Jenn Sterger seriously as a journalist

Jenn Sterger Unloads

In the wake of the Sam Ponder/Barstool Sports fiasco, Jenn Sterger unleashed a rant on ESPN’s own sexist and sexual harassment ways. No huge surprise here, but why not name the jerk, Jenn?





Music 101

From The Beginning

In the early Seventies, there were quite a plethora of tunes that featured some excellent acoustic guitar musicianship (this song from Emerson, Lake & Palmer, songs from America, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Jackson Browne, etc.). This song always reminds me of being in the desert, and I can’t exactly tell you why. The English trio’s tune peaked at No. 39 on the Billboard charts in 1972; it deserved better.

Remote Patrol

World Series, Game 2

Astros at Dodgers

Springer took a golden sombrero form Monday night’s defeat

Let’s shoot for another sub-3 hour classic, guys. Verlander vs. Hill.

4 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. “Let’s shoot for another sub-3 hour classic, guys. Verlander vs. Hill.”

    It was a bit of a perfect storm that kept last night’s game so short — pitchers throwing a ton of strikes, aided by an ump with a generous zone; just 211 pitches thrown in the whole game (the average game has around 300); every run was scored on an HR, meaning that there were only eight non-HR baserunners in the game (three of those wiped out on double plays) and thus very little pitching from the stretch, throwing over, etc.; and only one mid-inning pitching change.

    I’m not sure last night’s game was a “classic,” but it was 2017 baseball in a nutshell — high on strikeouts (17 total) and offense completely dependent on HRs.

    • Joe Sheehan phrased the above better than I could, in his newsletter today (which you should definitely subscribe to if you consider yourself a baseball fan):

      “Last night’s game took just 2:28 to complete, even with the added commercial inventory. It was a stunning turn of a events in a baseball postseason that has seen the average game stretch more than three-and-a-half hours. As novel as it was, and as well-played as it was, if all baseball games looked like this, soccer would start to look very, very good. Nearly 30% of the batters struck out. All four runs scored on home runs. There was almost literally no baserunning in the game; the only plays on the bases were force outs in double-play situations. There were 17 strikeouts and two walks. This was just typical 2017 baseball with good pitchers and a large strike zone. It was enjoyable because it was the World Series and everyone involved was famous.

      You don’t want baseball to look like this most of the time. If you call a strike zone this large in every game, given what the average pitcher in 2017 can do with a baseball, you’ll kill the sport dead.”

      • I would argue that baseball games, like baseball players, should come in all different shapes and sizes. Last night’s game was a classic, but I wouldn’t want everyone to look that way, just like I wouldn’t want every player to look like Jose Altuve (or Justin Turner or Yasiel Puig).

        Still, I’m all for ZERO mound conferences, which would cut down on game duration.

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