by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
Last night Donald Trump kicked off his 2020 presidential tour, a.k.a. “BumpkinFest,” by playing all the hits off his 2016 breakthrough album: “Hillary’s e-mails,” “The Wall,” and of course, “Drain the Swamp.” The new album is titled Keep America Great, but we’re going with K.A.G. and pronouncing it “cage.”
Video showed a parade of “Proud Boys,” self-avowed white supremacists, marching to the rally in Orlando yesterday. It’s doubtful any of them read the Orlando Sentinel editorial that ran that morning declaring an endorsement for literally any candidate but Trump. The op-ed declared that “I could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and get away with it” is the truest thing Trump ever said amidst his more than 10,000 lies while in office, but we must disagree. Judging from the continued support and a full arena of 20,000 mostly yokels, we maintain that “I love the poorly educated” is the truest thing Trump has said in the past four years.
So many are so confounded that no matter what Donald Trump says or does, he still maintains a rabid base of support (even if his approval ratings forever hover in the 40% range). Saturday Night Live even did a skit on it this spring in which it imagined a Meet The Press episode in which Chuck Todd presents scenarios that would compel prominent Republicans to once and for all denounce Trump. Absolutely nothing would sway them, nor the types who showed up in Orlando last night, never mind all the hypocrisy that’s staring them in the face (he’s a trust-fund kid from New York City who had everything handed to him, lost it time and again, cheated on his wives, never attends church, etc., etc.).
Anyway, here’s one scribe’s humble answer for why the support NEVER wavers, and we bring it up because it rarely, if ever, gets mentioned: during the peak years of the Obama presidency, while there were a number of GOP pols who obstructed Obama, there was only one man who figuratively called him, “boy.” And that man was Trump. Every single time Trump raised the birther issue, he was basically calling the President of the United States “boy.” And that awakened in many a visceral response: here was one dude who wasn’t going to let America slide down a path of diversity and LBGTQ freakishness and Mexicans, etc. It’s never really said out loud, but that’s what the birther issue is all about. You may be the Commander in Chief and occupy the Oval Office, but I still get to call you ‘boy.’
For many, millions in fact, Trump was the one person in public life who was saying what they were feeling. Which is, of course, sad. And no, you’re not a racist if you like Donald Trump. But if you are a racist, you definitely like Donald Trump. So for the non-racists out there, please understand whose side you’re on. Because it’s really that simple.
Meanwhile, one week from today the Democrats will kick off a two-night, 20-candidate debate and we just wonder why someone with better graphics skills than ourselves has yet to create a poster that resembles those lineup posters Coachella and Bonnaroo put out each year.
Like, the biggest names on the first night, the ones that would belong on the top line, would be Elizabeth Warren and Beto O’Rourke. Night 2 has a much more loaded lineup, with Bernie and Biden, Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete (he’s like The Hold Steady of this DemFest).
Twenty candidates. It’ll be winnowed down to five—everyone mentioned above except Beto—soon and then the people not wearing red baseball caps are going to need to decide if they want a septuagenarian white dude, a female senator, or a gay military veteran who just happens to be the smartest guy in the room, to take on Trump. Purely from a sports matchup perspective, we’d love to see Mayor Pete because he seems most impervious to the Trump mud-slinging strategy.
You think they’ll be serving vegetarian avocado toast empanadas at Demaroo?
Last night the New York Yankees won their fourth consecutive game and, not coincidentally, outfielder Cameron Maybin hit a home run in his fourth consecutive game. The Bombers have now hit one over the fence in 21 consecutive games, their second-longest streak of all time. The longest came in 1941 and overlapped with Joe DiMaggio’s epic 56-game hit streak.
In short, this team can rake and Maybin can rake right with them. Here’s where the quandary begins. The Yanks acquired the 13-year veteran purely as a stopgap during the April epidemic of injuries, kinda the way your mom or dad buys Pei Wei for dinner until she has time to do a real grocery store run. On Monday the Yanks added Edwin Encarnacion to the lineup (buh bye, Clint Frazier), then last night Giancarlo Stanton (see ya, Mike Tauchmann) and later this week Aaron Judge will return.
So, outside of the starters, the 13 pitchers on staff and backup catcher Austin Romine, you have three players vying for two spots: outfielder Brett Gardner, infielder Gio Urshela and Maybin (and we haven’t even addressed what will happen when Miguel Andujar and Greg Bird return at some point; or what the Yanks will do when Kendrys Morales returns from the 10-day IL). So here’s Maybin, halfway to equaling Don Mattingly’s epic 8 consecutive homer games streak, the one that inspired Yankee fans to forever beatify him, in danger of being sent down just as he, or even just before he, potentially equals it. Because the Yanks can’t demote Urshela and they won’t hustle Gardner into retirement.
Is there another option? Yes. Here’s what the Yanks will do. They’ll send down a middle reliever to Scranton-Wilkes Barre and then spend the foreseeable future shuttling middle relievers back and forth between the Bronx and eastern Pa. So, yes, they’ll only have a dozen pitchers on staff but they’ll never be left hanging because as soon as one arm peters out they’ll just rotate that arm down and bring another one up.
Maybin stays. He’s more than earned it. And there’ll probably be another injury soon, anyway.
Take Your Ball And Go Home
For reasons that will always remain unclear to us, an NBA parent appeared yet again on an ESPN sports bloviation show Monday. During this appearance the show’s host, Molly Qerim, attempted a segue by saying, “Switching gears, I’d like–” and then was interrupted by the dad, who creepily said, “You can switch gears with me any time.”
Seated right next to the NBA Dad when he said this was ESPN’s highest-paid employee, Stephen A. Smith, who said nothing but smirked with chagrin. What’s notable about this, beyond the creepiness of it, is that Qerim’s husband is Jalen Rose, a dude who actually could ball and is now a highly valued member of the ESPN family.
Actually, you never needed to
So how did ESPN respond? It put out a statement that read, ““LaVar Ball’s comment to Molly Qerim Rose was completely inappropriate and we made him aware of that.” Which is not the same from noting that he will not be welcome back on their air any time soon.
This is kinda where we wish Jalen Rose had a little more Matt Barnes in him, because you just know Barnes would hunt down Ball and go Temecula on him. At the very least, Rose should place a phone call to Barry or Fuches, no?
Meet The Blacks
More than 1.6 million views thus far…
Two very viral videos of late, both featuring African-American parents and their pre-school kids, each effecting completely different reactions and in completely different situations. We don’t have any overarching wisdom to add to this incongruity, a lesson that we can tie up in a bow for you, other than to show them both to you and perhaps have you come to some epiphany that you will reveal to the rest of us.
Roughly 75,000 views thus far…
Max Scherzer, meet Marcia Brady…