by John Walters

Starting Five

Training Wheels

Colombian Egan Bernal, just 22, becomes the youngest Tour de France champion in more than a century and the first from his nation to stand atop the podium. Pedaling for formidable Team Ineos, Bernal defeated teammate and defending champion Geraint Thomas by only 71 seconds, ending a streak of four consecutive British winners.

Telling: News of Bernal’s victory is not up on’s morning “Top Headlines” list.

Manitoba Manhunt

The New York Times’ photo showing the road into/out of Gillam

They’re still on the loose in the land of Canada Goose. Teenagers Kam McLeod and Breyer Schmegelsky have now successfully eluded capture for more than one week in a remote area of northern Manitoba with few people. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have manpower, dogs, drones, etc. and these two high school graduates and former Walmart employees have been able to out-Arctic Fox them for eight or nine days.

They are alleged murderers, sure, and dangerous. But it’s somewhat incredible that they’ve been able to remain fugitives this long and that authorities have now moved the populated area they believe them to be in from remote Gillam, near Hudson’s Bay, to York’s Landing, which is more than 100 miles south.

They may be captured today. They may be in Toronto. Who really knows?

Caleb Makes a Phelpsian Splash

As Susie B. has been telling you in the comments, American Caleb Dressel is swimming’s next big fish. Dressel, 22, won a record eight medals at the World Championships in Gwanju, South Korea, including six golds. During the meet, in which he also took two silvers, the University of Florida alum also broke Michael Phelps’ 100 butterfly world record.

There are now only four swimmers who’ve won at least four golds at a single worlds: Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Katie Ledecky and Dressel. Even though Dressel’s name is NOWHERE TO BE FOUND on’s homepage this morning, NBC will have made him a household name—and face—by this time next summer when the Tokyo Games are underway.

Bauer Out(r)age

We’ve all been there. One of our co-workers fails to do his job and that has a negative collateral effect on our performance (welcome to the cookoutateria, summer of ’19). It’s like Mark Wahlberg famously said in The Departed: “I’m the guy doing his job; you must be the other guy.”

So in the fifth inning of yesterday afternoon’s game in Kansas City, Cleveland Indians outfielder Oscar Mercado lost a ball in the sun that landed on the warning track. Then Bauer gave up three consecutive dinky singles, one that landed less than 10 feet from home plate.

A fifth inning that began with Cleveland in front 5-3 turned into a nightmare as Bauer allowed five runs. When manager Terry Francona stepped out of the dugout to yank his staff ace after what amounted to his career-worst performance (seven earned runs), Bauer tossed the ball over the centerfield wall. Francona, without even attempting to shield his mouth, “What the f%&$ are you doing?!?”

The dog days have arrived.

Track and Feels

On the final day of the USA Track and Field Championships, yet another sporting event ignored this morning, the men’s 1500 and men’s 5000 were decided by less than half a second. In the 1500, the metric mile, Craig Engels held off reigning Olympic gold medalist Matthew Centrowitz by 4/100ths of a second. In the men’s 5000, Lopez Lomong won by 27/100ths in 13:25.

Also, Notre Dame alum Molly Huddle won her fifth consecutive national championship in the 10-K and her 28th national championship overall. Erect a statue of her on campus!

5 thoughts on “IT’S ALL HAPPENING!

  1. Yep, FLYBABE (sorry, I may stop referring to cutie Caeleb with this nickname by Tokyo & then again, maybe not 😉 ) won 8 World medals, 7 of them Gold. He was fabulous! A couple things to know though – Since 2016, there are 2 more relays (Mixed) in the World Championships than in Michaels’ reign. 2nd, one of Caeleb’s recent World Golds was in an event not in the Olympics – the 50 Fly. Also, one of the new Mixed Relays is also not an Olympic event. 3rd, Michael & Caeleb are very different kinds of swimmers : Caeleb is a pure sprinter, at least up till now, he doesn’t swim farther than 100 meters in any event. The only events they have in common are 2 of the relays & the 100 Fly (which as I mentioned last week, Caeleb just broke Michael’s 10-yr old WR).

    As illustrated by my enthusiastic adoration the past week, I’m all aboard the Caeleb train headed to Tokyo (hmm, maybe that needs to be a “jet” since you need to go over water to get there…). I do worry a bit though as the hype & pressure that will now be thrust upon Caeleb over the next 12 months will be INTENSE. The year after Caeleb won 7 Golds in the 2017 World Championships did NOT go well in the pool. At least not after he turned professional early last summer. I was thrilled to see that he put that down summer behind him & came roaring back this year. Part of his troubles I believe were the pressure to live up to being the new “IT” guy in the pool. Well, that hype & pressure were MILD compared to what is coming.

    Also, Simone Manuel just won 7, count ’em SEVEN medals at the WC : 2 Golds in her individual events (100 & 50 Free), & 2 Golds & 3 Silvers in Relays. She actually swam in one more relay than Caeleb. Neither yesterday’s ESPN crawl nor any mainstream sports piece that discussed the Swimming World Championships has correctly stated the number of medals she won! (So, ahem, Simone has also won “4 Golds” at a single Worlds. 🙂 )

    As for the Tour de France – yet again this race was “won” by cycling’s SUPERVILLAINS. In fact, the 2015-2019 Warriors were mere posers compared to Team Ineos (nee Sky) when it comes to supervillainy. Imagine the NBA where there is no cap of any kind & ONE team is owned by billionaires willing to spend not twice, not thrice but TEN TIMES the amount of other teams. Think said team could win a title or two? What does all this money get Team Deathstar? Glad you asked – not only can they buy all the best riders, they can afford the best staff, equipment, testing, extensive training camps for multiple riders, AND (cough, cough) the best/newest/undetectable PEDs &/or illegal methods to boost performance. In a sport as poor as cycling, this vast financial difference among teams is the freakin Grand Canyon. And it MAKES ME SICK. It is also DESTROYING this sport & yet, they do nothing about it. (The money won in the Tour is the SAME as it was 15 years ago, does that tell you something?)

    And all due respect to World Cup champion, America’s newest sweetheart & a susie b fave, Megan Rapinoe, but NOBODY does a “SHIT SHOW CIRCUS” in France like the Tour de France. Some may say you can’t blame the ASO (owner/organizer of the TDF) for the freak storm last Friday. I say “maybe not the storm itself but the course had ALREADY been destroyed my mudslides & landslides in the weeks leading up to the Tour, they SHOULD have had a freakin BACKUP PLAN!” The 3 days in the Alps were supposed to be THE decider of this year’s race. Oh it was alright, just not on the bikes.
    This year’s race began with thrills & ended in travesty.

  2. How much do you think ESPN’s lack of coverage of those sports is because they don’t have the rights to them? I’ve always wondered how all-in they would go on Olympic sports if they ever got the rights from NBC.

    • ESPN does a good job of not giving credence to sporting events hosted by other networks. For example, if you ever visit ESPN on a college football Saturday, you’ll notice they only include ESPN-televised games on the top ticker.

      Albeit a slow time on the sports calendar, do you think more or less people would know who Joey Chestnut is if it weren’t televised by ESPN?

    • Conservatively, I’d say it has 80% to do with it. Will write more on this tomorrow.
      Thanks for the question.


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