by John Walters

Starting Five

Not the Amazon we mean, but you get the picture

Amazon Amazeballs

It’s quarterly earnings season and before yesterday, FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) had been hit kind of hard. After Netflix announced earnings late last week, the price of shares of the stock dropped more than 10%. When Facebook announced after Wednesday’s closing bell, the stock dropped roughly 20%, with Mark Zuckerberg‘s brainchild—a company that is still just a teenager—losing $119 BILLION in value. It was the single-worst day for an American company, in terms of total loss of value, in history.

Zuckerberg personally lost $15.9 billion, which means he may soon be shopping for blue and off-blue T-shirts at Marshall’s.

But then came Amazon yesterday, after the closing bell. The Bezos behemoth announced earnings had jumped 49%, and though the stock had fallen almost 3% yesterday as fearful investors assumed a Facebook redux, it was up more than that this morning (up $70 per share to $1,880). By year’s end, if not sooner, Amazon will eclipse $2,000 (which, for Susie B., means it will be at least a 56-bagger).

p.s. MH’s investment arm, Walker Capital, would also like to point you to Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), which had a solid earnings report on Wednesday and is up 25% in the past two days. Plus, its buy-in per share is just a little over 1% of the cost of Amazon stock ($19.74 versus $1,867).

2. Mouthy Michaels

Two nights ago on a cable news show it was suggested that Michael Cohen‘s new counsel, Lanny Davis, 72, might have erred by releasing the first Trump tape to CNN because the more evidence that is put forth in public outside a trial, the less the Special Prosecutor will be inclined to deal with Cohen. And then a second person on the panel, a woman I believe, offered that much like Rudy Giuliani, another septuagenarian (74), maybe Davis’ best days are long behind him.

It is rather funny. Michael Avenatti, 47, has been cleaning Giuliani’s clock in the court of public opinion, and every one of his predictions thus far have come true. Meanwhile, last night Davis and Cohen leaked that President Trump was informed by his namesake son about the Russia meeting before it took place, which may not move the criminality needle much but, if true, is just one more example of Trump being exposed as a liar (how many thousands of examples do we need?).

Giuliani’s retort: “Cohen’s a liar…he’s been lying for years,” might have had more oomph if he’d only have remembered that Cohen spent the past decade or so in service to Giuliani’s current client, which is to say that if Cohen has been lying, he’s been lying to protect Trump.

Avenatti’s wife, Lisa Storie. Count the number of buoyant objects in this photo.

One last bit here: I don’t know why any of the Trump operatives are not playing offense on Avenatti, who himself is in the midst of a divorce from a woman who looks a lot like a wannabe Trump sidepiece. Avenatti’s wife, Lisa Storie, wants a divorce but claims Michael has been neglecting moving forward on this as he travels the country (or, more to the point, betwixt CNN’s and MSNBC’s Manhattan studios) in defense of Stormy Daniels and other women Trump allegedly bedded. You’d think Bill Shine would call one of his old friends at Fox News and push the narrative that if Avenatti were such a champion of women, why isn’t he listening to his own wife (who’s holed up in Newport Beach, Calif., a postively hellish place to have to endure such travails, but we digress…).

3. Where Is The Love (Where Is The Love, Where Is The Love, The Love, The Love?)

Stanford rusher Bryce Love opted to forgo Pac-12 Media Day in favor of attending class at the most prestigious university west of Princeton, New Jersey, and because most (but not all) sportswriters never took a pre-med course, some in the field seemed put off by the gesture. Love may be a Heisman hopeful, but he also aspires to become a physician.

This CBS Sports video discussing Love’s absence is rather comical. First, at around 1:14 the host commits a Freudian slip (“We love it that athletics are so important there in the Pac-12”). The writer on the scene, Dennis Dodd, says, “First of all, Bryce Love HAS to be here.”

Why? It’s freaking July.

Dodd goes on to exploit the Love no-show to throw tons of shade at both the Pac-12 and commissioner Larry Scott, sounding like little more than a Fox & Friends propaganda stirrer.

No one loses the Heisman Trophy in July. Besides, conference media days are nothing more, particularly for national writers who are just a taaaaaaaaad entitled (and this scribe was one of them), than a July junket betwixt Birmingham, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, where little of any real value is gleaned. Unless, of course, you troll a head coach but even then it’s not one of the national writers doing it.

Med school is intensely competitive in terms of acceptance. Every grade matters. And the people who excel in such courses are the types who prefer laser focus toward their goal as opposed to flying to Los Angeles fro the day to sit and answer anodyne questions from middle-aged men. Dennis Dodd should have simply said, “Here’s a young man whose priorities are something we can all admire. He’ll do his talking between the white lines.”

Instead, he sounded like someone who is upset that the tail isn’t wagging the dog (aren’t these the same people who write columns excoriating the dog for letting the tail wag it?).

4. Judge Benched

We won’t see this for another month?????? No!!!!!!!!

Just as the New York Yankees were welcoming All-Star second baseman Gleyber Torres back from injury, fellow All-Star Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch on the wrist last night. Jakob Junis’ 93 mph fastball came on a 3-2 count (of course) in the first inning. Judge suffered a fractured wrist and it’ll be at least three weeks before he swings a bat again. He’ll miss at least one month (and one Red Sox series at Fenway).

Judge actually remained in the game, scoring in the first and getting an infield single in the 3rd inning before finally being subbed.

The Yankees were 50-22 before the summer solstice. Since then they are just 15-14. Not coincidentally, the last time Judge, Torres and catcher Gary Sanchez (who apparently reinjured his right groin while being lazy Tuesday night in Tampa) were all on the manager’s lineup card on the same day was June 25. Now the trio may not share a lineup card again until September.

Yes, in fact we do know that Sanchez is hitting .188 and this year, at least, Austin Romine is the better call. But Sanchez is still only 25. Maybe he’ll figure it out.

5. The Tour de France Is Still Pedaling Along (Even If Susie B. Is Not Providing Updates)

Thomas: Great. White. Wales.

Heading into the final weekend of the Tour de France, and we really like France’s chances of beating Croatia. Wait. Right country, wrong July event.

Entering today’s mountain stage in the Pyrenees, Stage 19, Geraint Thomas of Wales leads Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands by 1 minute, 59 seconds. And if you’re reading this early enough, you can see it live on NBC Sports Net.

If you’re in search of a Tour de France piece with a little more meat on the bone, here’s the New York Times yesterday taking a deep dive on the event’s renowned “podium girls.”

Music 101

Nights Are Forever

That set. Those mustaches. Those collars. I LOVE THE SEVENTIES! England Dan & John Ford Coley wrote what would become a future Yacht Rock Classic in 1976. From the album of the same name, this song would peak at No. 10 while the first cut off the album, “I’d Really Love To See You Tonight”, would hit No. 2. The duo were friends and classmates in high school in Dallas.

Remote Patrol

The Great Santini

10 p.m. TCM

Robert Duvall as Bull Meacham, an unforgettable character: Dad, husband, Marine colonel, pilot, all-around hard-ass with just enough charm (on most days) to skate by. That’s Michael O’Keefe, whom you may know better as Danny Noonan from Caddyshack, as the son. Duvall and O’Keefe would both be nominated for Academy Awards for this film, an adaptation of the Pat Conroy novel. From 1979.

p.s. Two months earlier, at least by release date, Duvall appeared in another film as a Marine colonel, a movie that you may remember him better by due to a three-word line: “Charlie don’t surf!” (Apocalypse Now).

2 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. That England Dan & John Ford Coley video couldn’t be more Seventies, even if it had Dorothy Hamill and Donny Osmond waiting in a gas line.

  2. I’m SORRY, I’m SORRY! Yes, (hangs head in shame) I’ve been neglecting my TDF updating duties so you can “dock my wages”. 🙂 Ahem, let’s see, well jdubs has already mentioned who’s currently leading but we need to BACK IT UP a little to find out why “G” winning this year’s 2018 is prettee damn eventful. Geraint Thomas is a member of Team Sky, AKA the SUPERVILLANS of cycling & whose Tour de France leader for the last 7 YEARS has been Brit-by-Kenya Chris Froome, winner of 4 of the last 7 Tours & who had PLANNED on winning #5 this very month. BTW, winning 5 Tours is a big damn deal as excluding Lance, it’s the most Tours won by anybody & there is a very small select group who have achieved it. So, Froome desperately wanted to join that “club”. PLUS, Froome raced this year’s Giro in May (the Italian 3 week cycling race) & wanted to be the 1st guy to win both the Giro & Tour back-back since the late (doper) Italian cyclist Pantani more than 20 years ago. Everyone who has tried it since has either, er, crashed & burned or just flamed out in the TDF of exhaustion. (My opinion – pure HUBRIS to attempt winning those 2 Grand Tours back-back & the cycling gods will NOT allow it!).

    Anyhoo, on the very 1st DAY of this year’s Tour, Chris Froome (who, if you remember my rantings a while back, had JUST been, cough, cough “cleared” of his doping with too much asthma meds in last year’s Vuelta (the Spanish 3 week cycling race & when I say “just” I mean 2-3 DAYS before the start of the Tour!) crashed & lost about 50 seconds. Meanwhile, his 2nd in command Geraint Thomas had NOT crashed, finished with the main bunch & thus, lost no time. Actually, Froome’s race COULD have ended right then & there as when he flew off the road & crashed, he BARELY missed a concrete 10 inch-in-diameter pole. Miraculously he missed slamming head-1st into it by mere inches, popped back up on his bike & kept riding but alas, he had mechanical issues which slowed him down & he lost a bit more time. As the race went on, day after day, GT looked good, NOT losing even a second to crashes or mechanicals & pretty soon, he was in the Top 3, then, voila, he got into the Yellow Jersey & has been wearing it ever since. HOWEVER, he was still not considered his team’s “main guy” because 4-time champ Froome was not that far behind & the Alps were starting & everyone assumed (you know the perils of ASS-U-MING, right?), Froome would attack on a mt stage & ride into the glory. DIDN’T HAPPEN. Anyone with eyes could see Froome was not his usual dominant-but-looks-like-a-praying-mantis-on-a-bike self but sometimes you just don’t believe when the Mighty Casey strikes out, now do ya? Anyhoo, GT actually won the Alpe d’Huez stage & got himself even further ahead but even then, he was still pretty much considered the “place holder” till Froomey’s legs got right, so everyone then looked to the Pyrenees, of which there were 3 stages/days & those finished today. The MAIN Pyreneean (word?) day was Wednesday (I took a vacation day so I could watch it all live) & alas for Froome, he CRACKED LIKE AN EGG (“cracked” means his legs just couldn’t get him up the damn hill & he lost a chunk of time, which is also called “getting dropped”). What did I tell ya about the cycling gods, hmmmm? Froom went from 2nd to 3rd overall & the guy in 4th (a ski JUMPER in a previous sporting life) was a mere 16-17 seconds back. Duh-duh-dunnnhhhhh! So, TODAY could have been a day that Froome loses his grip on the podium entirely OR makes a wild, crazy early attack & zooms into the Yellow Jersey, just like he did in May’s Giro (albeit it was the Pink jersey for that race).

    Ok, #1, there was NO WAY Froome would have attacked a member of his own team who was already wearing the Yellow Jersey & 3 mere days from Paris. (Well, MAYBE if that teammate was Bradley Wiggins but I digress…). Plus, Geraint & Froome aren’t just loooongtime teammates (8-10 years I think), they are buds. PLUS, Froome’s legs just didn’t have it this month (not after the Giro). Still, he is a 4-time champ & considered one of if not the best Grand Tour rider of all time (again excluding Lance, which I don’t but Wikipedia & the ASO does). So, what happened? WELL, for the 1st time in I don’t remember how many years, the final mountain stage at the TDF was actually EVENTFUL! (Even though it was not a summit finish, which drives me batty). SPOILER ALERT – Froome got dropped again on the final 2 climbs but a teammate helped drag him back to the main YJ group. BUT, the guy in 4th (Slovenian former ski-jumper Primoz Roglic) ATTACKS & actually solos on the final WILD DESCENT & wins the stage by 19 seconds PLUS the 10 second bonus, so now he is in 3rd & Froome falls to 4th!

    Tomorrow is a Time Trial & the guys sitting Top 4 are ALL good in this discipline (one is the current World Champion, who is sitting 2nd overall : Dutch guy Tom Dumoulin). Unless Gerraint crashes or has multiple mechanicals (always a possibility, shit happens in this race every damn day), I doubt he will lose the Tour. But the rest of the podium is UP FOR GRABS! Whoop-dee-damn-dooooo!

    On Sunday, anyone who’s still breathing & able to throw his leg over his bike, ride into Paris in kind of a “let’s be loose” & “hey, we survived” mode & then kick it up a little to zoom around the Champs 6-9 times & then finally it’s over. 🙂

    BTW, the Supervillains have been BOOED all the way around France. (Told ya & this was totally the UCI’s fault). They’ve also been accosted by various asshat “fans” while RIDING IN THE RACE, spat at repeatedly, & doused with water (or other liquid). If Froome had won this race, I’d have worn old clothes, a raincoat & hardhat to the final podium ceremony as who knows what would have been thrown then. As of now, they have to worry about tomorrow as racers are much more vulnerable when going one-by-one on the road. The gendarmes will get some OT for sure.

    I will then fall into my annual PTD (post Tour depression) , albeit this year’s MAY not be as teary as I’ll console myself with my AMZN. 🙂

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