by John Walters
Tweet Me Right
I mean, what a tragically uninformed thing to write. These are basically in-time (no pun intended) chronicles of the past 90 years.
Girls Just Wanna Have Run
The U.S. women scored less than three minutes into their final group stage match yesterday, versus Sweden, the nation that knocked them out of the 2016 Olympics. The Yanks won 2-0, meaning they exited the group stage round with 20 goals for, zero against. Are you paying attention, Michigan? THIS is how you do a Redemption Tour.
Next up for the U.S. women? Spain, Monday, in the Round of 16. The knockout stage begins tomorrow. The breakdown: eleven European nations or present/former British colonies, two squads each from Asia and Africa, plus one from South America (Brazil).
Men Without Hats (That Depict The Team They’ll Actually Be Playing For)
The latest fly in the ointment for the NBA draft, held last night, is the obsolete custom of marching young men up to the stage wearing the baseball caps of the teams that technically drafted them, but for whom they will not play since behind-the-scenes trades that cannot officially be announced before July 6 preclude them from donning the caps of the franchises for whom they will actually play (got that?).
De’Andre Hunter, Lakers (really Hawks). Jaxson Hayes, Hawks (really Pelicans). Cameron Johnson, Timberwolves (really, Suns). And that was just in the first 11 picks. There were more. It’s not a big deal, but everyone involved knows where these players are actually heading. Until some team reneges on an unofficial back-room deal, why pretend?
Next weekend the Red Sox and Yankees will trek to London to play a pair of games (why not a three-game series?) at West Ham’s London Stadium. That’s all cheerio and brilliant and all, but soccer pitches are rectangular or oval, in terms of fan access, and baseball stadiums more triangular. What you are left with, as you can see here is an ENORMOUS foul territory that is in play. Gonna be an inordinately high number of foul ball put-outs, and truly, is there a more exciting play in baseball than that?
By the way, if you head over to Europe next week, you can criss-cross the English Channel and see the Women’s World Cup, this series, Wimbledon (begins July 1) and then the Tour de France (starts July 6 according to Susie B.). Not a bad sports holiday.
We’re actually relieved that President Trump acted with uncommon discretion regarding Iran, even though we were “cocked and loaded.” The first hint (and the latest insertion into our overflowing catalog of Trump misstatements for the eventual “The Worst Wing” tome) that something was amiss was when the president went out of his way yesterday to inform the public that “we had no one in the drone.”
Yeah, that’s kinda what made it a drone. It’s like announcing, “This bird had wings.”
Anyway, leave it up to you on whether to take Mike Pompeo and the lads at their word as to whether the drone had crossed the plane of the goal line or not (i.e., was in international waters or not) and we’ll commend Trump for not, for once, following what his Fox News and/or Fox & Friends cohorts want him to do. And you can call him a chicken hawk if you like, but Donald Trump is smart enough not to start a war with Iran on the same day the S & P index hits an all-time high.
Or maybe it’s just that Iran shot down a U.S. drone and the White House turned around and attacked Philadelphia? That is, after all, the city where the Dems held their 2016 presidential convention.
Now it’s one thing to float the idea, as a professional franchise, of splitting time between two neighboring cities. Once upon a time, after all, there was a “Kansas City-Omaha Kings” and the Boston Celtics used to regularly play a couple games per season in Hartford (as the UConn Huskies still do).
But what the Tampa Bay Rays are now exploring, with the MLB’s permission, of splitting time between south Florida and Montreal, well that’s just goofy. Two cities more than 1,000 miles apart, in different countries with different languages? I can just see the fan t-shirts “WE THE NORTH—AND SOUTH.”
It’s kinda like your parents telling you, “We’re not getting divorced, but your father and I are going to start seeing other people. Oh, no, it’ll be great. Twice the number of trips to Six Flags.”
Baseball in Florida after April Fool’s Day don’t really work, despite the large population base. Four cities to which Tampa should seriously consider relocating: Nashville, Indianapolis, Salt Lake City, Portland. Any and all of them would support baseball better.
(Also, while “Ex-Rays” is the go-to name for this team, should it come to pass, we also like “Inter-Nationals.”)