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[Posted Wed. a.m.]
Draft Quiz: Pete M. and I were talking about this long ago and I kept it in a pile for today. Name the only college to have both the No. 1 overall pick in football and basketball in the same year. Answer below.
--In Los Angeles Monday night, the Mets fell to the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw, 10-6, though the Mets got to the ace, as he gave up six earned in 6 1/3, striking out 10. Kershaw gave up four home runs for the first time ever, but got the win to move to 10-2, 2.61 ERA. He has now yielded 17 home runs this season, more than any other year in his career...and we aren’t even halfway through. The six earned runs were the first time he had given up so many in more than three years.
But the story is Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger, who hit home runs No. 20 and 21 and now has the 21 in just 51 games, the fastest to 21 in baseball history at the start of a career. Bellinger also has five multi-homer games for the year already, and the record for a rookie is 7 by Mark McGwire. Amazing. Remember, this guy was in the minors the first three weeks of the season before getting called up.
The franchise record for home runs, by the way, is 49 by Shawn Green in 2001.
But back to Kershaw, I’ve been meaning to bring up the comparison with Sandy Koufax that others have done, and I did years ago.
Just for the record, again....
Sandy Koufax 1962-66:
1962: 14-7, 2.54 ERA* [led league]
1963: 25-5, 1.88*...CYA 1 [Cy Young Award]
1964: 19-5, 1.74*...CYA 3
1965: 26-8, 2.04*...CYA 1
1966: 27-9, 1.73*...CYA 1
Koufax then retired having won the ERA title his last five seasons, along with three Cy Youngs.
Clayton Kershaw 2011-15:
2011: 21-5, 2.28*...CYA 1
2012: 14-9, 2.53*...CYA 2
2013: 16-9, 1.83*...CYA 1
2014: 21-3, 1.77*...CYA 1
2015: 16-7, 2.13...CYA 3
Pretty amazing. But of course Kershaw continues to perform at peak level, and hopefully will for years to come.
But from 1962-66, Koufax had an ERA of 1.95 that was 65 percent above average, easily best of all pitchers during that span; Juan Marichal second at 43 percent above average.
From 2012 through last season, however, Kershaw’s ERA of 1.92, was 92 percent better than the league average. [2016 Kershaw was 12-4, 1.69, but he only threw 149 innings due to injury.]
Of course while Kershaw is likely to win more Cy Youngs and ERA titles, like this year, it’s also about the postseason and Koufax is 4-3, but with a 0.95 ERA in 57 innings, the best ERA for anyone throwing more than 50 innings in postseason play, plus he won three rings (1959, ’63, ’65).
Kershaw, we all know, has zero World Series appearances, let alone rings, and is 4-7 with a 4.55 ERA. And doesn’t he know it...that to be considered the best of all time, he needs some postseason success, and on the biggest stage late October.
Meanwhile, back to the Mets’ swoon, they are now 31-39 after losing Tuesday to the Dodgers, 12-0, with L.A.’s Corey Seager going 4-for-5, 6 RBIs, on the strength of three home runs. Bellinger hit No. 22, giving him 10 in 10 games, the first rookie in history to do this.
There is zero reason to watch the Mets anymore.
In the A.L. West, though, it’s....
Los Angeles 46-26
Arizona 44-27...the D’Backs a full 7 ½ ahead of the Cubs for the second wildcard slot.
--The Yankees came home with a six-game, West Coast losing streak to face the Angels and they promptly made it seven, losing 8-3 on Tuesday, despite Aaron Judge’s major league-leading 24th home run. Once again the bullpen imploded for New York.
So at 38-30, the Yanks are now a ½-game behind Boston (40-31), in what should be a great race the rest of the way. The Yankees will right themselves.
New York suffered a big blow last weekend down in the minors, however, as top prospect Gleyber Torres, who seemingly suffered a mild elbow injury sliding headfirst into home plate, was diagnosed Monday with a torn ligament in his non-throwing elbow and will now undergo Tommy John surgery.
Because it is his non-throwing arm, the team said he’ll be ready for spring training, but the 20-year-old was going to get called up soon to play third base for the Yanks. The only saving grace is that it is the non-throwing arm.
[GM Brian Cashman said Torres was not being called up to replace third baseman Chase Headley, but he was just saying that.]
--So this couple in Chicago, Stephen and Bronwyn, announced they would honor the Cubs and the city of Chicago with the birth of their child and they came up with the name, Waveland, for their baby girl.
I kind of like this, but then if she’s going through life as “Wave,” I don’t know...we need to think about this.
The Chicago Tribune reports that state officials said since 1916, only five others have been given the name “Waveland” in Illinois.
--Finally, I didn’t have time to relay the following, re the importance of June 15, 1977, in Mets history. The following is from a Bar Chat years ago; a great tale from the Mets’ past, albeit a depressing one for the team’s fans.
June 15, 1977...the Mets trade Tom Seaver
In 1966, a strapping California golden boy, Tom Seaver, was signed by the Atlanta Braves out of Southern Cal. But the contract was voided by the commissioner’s office over a technicality and major league baseball asked if any other teams were interested in him. Only the Indians, Phillies and Mets said yes, a lottery was held, and the Mets won the rights to the future Hall of Famer. One year later, in 1967, Seaver went 16-13 for a Mets squad that overall finished 61-101 and he was named the N.L. Rookie of the Year. In addition, New York City anointed him “Tom Terrific,” and later, “The Franchise.”
Of course in 1969, Seaver went 25-7, won the Cy Young Award and led the “Miracle Mets” to their astounding World Series triumph over the Baltimore Orioles. Seaver was the toast of the town, and it didn’t hurt that his glamorous wife Nancy was part of the package.
But after helping to lead the Mets to another Series appearance in 1973, the Mets reverted to mediocrity and Seaver was increasingly incensed that in the new era of free agency, Mets
management wasn’t doing enough to back up the solid pitching staff with a big bat or two, and Tom also wanted more money. By 1976, Seaver and the Mets chairman of the board M. Donald Grant were on a collision course.
Seaver was a complex person. Back in 1969, as an 11-year-old diehard fan, I wasn’t always aware of the impact of his statements, but Tom Terrific was a vehement critic of the U.S. role in Vietnam. “If the Mets can win the World Series, the U.S. can get out of Vietnam,” he would say that year. In fact, before the Series started, the New York Times ran the headline, “Tom Seaver Says U.S. Should Leave Vietnam.” The article quoted Seaver as saying, “I think it’s perfectly ridiculous what we’re doing about the Vietnam situation. It’s absurd! When the Series is over, I’m going to have a talk with (Senator) Ted Kennedy, convey some of my ideas to him and then take an ad in the paper.”
While his outspoken manner didn’t lose Seaver any fans in the park, one or two writers began to build up a grudge over this brash young superstar. Alas, after accumulating his 3rd Cy Young Award in 1975, Seaver went to training camp in 1976 on a mission. He was going to get paid what he felt he was worth. Only one problem; that spring there was a baseball lockout that lasted until mid-March and Seaver was one of the more outspoken representatives for the players union.
With free agency taking hold, Seaver desperately wanted to stay in New York, but he wanted to be compensated. Grant was getting tired of Tom and that spring he was ready to pull the trigger on a straight up trade for the Dodgers’ Don Sutton. Agreement was finally reached, however, on a 3-year deal that paid Seaver $225,000 per season.
1976 was a disappointing one for the Mets as they finished 86-76, in 3rd and 15 games back of the first place Phillies. Seaver had an off year, ending up just 14-11 (but with a great ERA of 2.59). Once again, the complaint was that the Mets simply didn’t have the bats.
[In 1975 the Mets had acquired slugger Dave Kingman from the Giants. Kingman was the bopper the Mets had always sought, and he hit 36 home runs in ‘75 and was on his way to 50+ in ‘76, having hit 32 by July 19, when he tore his thumb ligament diving for a ball in the outfield. Upon his return, he hit only 5 more the rest of the season. As a team, however, the Mets hit only 102 home runs the entire year. There was no one else in the lineup. Kingman, a rather surly individual (I’m being kind), also felt he wasn’t being paid what his true value was and he joined Seaver in bashing the front office.]
During spring training in 1977, Seaver confronted M. Donald Grant on the lack of hitting. Seaver said that Grant was pinching pennies by not going after the talent the Mets needed to get back on top. [Specifically, that season Seaver was miffed the Mets didn’t sign Giants slugger Gary Matthews, who ended up in Atlanta.]
Seaver also wanted his contract renegotiated. [For his part, Kingman wanted Reggie Jackson type money (Jackson having signed a $2.7 million deal with the Yankees in ‘76).] Enter the New York tabloids, specifically the Daily News and its two lead reporters, Dick Young and Jack Lang.
Over the years, Young, perhaps the best known sportswriter of his era (he wrote a big Sporting News column as well as his New York beat), wasn’t afraid to stick it to Seaver, and, on occasion, wife Nancy. Young was seen as a toady for Grant. Lang, on the other hand, was a good friend of Seaver’s. As the ‘77 season opened up and Tom’s contract dispute continued, the Daily News would run dual columns on its back page...Young for ownership, Lang for Seaver.
Lang relates what happened in mid-June, as the Mets were in Atlanta to face the Braves. “I asked Seaver...instead of asking for an increase in salary, why don’t you get them to extend your contract? Then you’ll be guaranteed that you’ll stay here a few more years.” Seaver agreed that an extension was the way to go and he worked it out with one of the Mets’ principal owners who could win Grant’s approval.
But that day, Dick Young ran a column about how Nancy Seaver was jealous of Ruth Ryan (Nolan’s wife) because the Angels had just given Nolan a long-term contract and a big raise and now Nancy wanted the same deal for Tom. Lang was the one who broke the story to Tom as they were sitting around the pool. “WHAT?” said Seaver. “That’s it! That’s it!” Seaver ran to a phone and screamed at a Mets official. “That’s it! Get me outta here!” That night, “The Franchise” was traded to Cincinnati for Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Dan Norman and Steve Henderson. [Kingman was also unloaded the same evening for Bobby Valentine and Paul Siebert.] While the city of New York knew of the problems between Seaver and Grant, it was a total shock nonetheless. The New York Post ran the headline, “Dick Young Drove Seaver Out Of Town.”
On the issue of M. Donald Grant, Seaver said later, “I just did not want to work for that individual anymore. The whole organization was chaotic. There was no direction. There was no strength, there was no Gil Hodges.”
New York Times legend Red Smith, another Seaver fan, would write: “Tom Seaver has been one of the finest pitchers in the game...He is his own man, thoughtful, perceptive and unafraid to speak his mind. Because of this, M. Donald Grant and his sycophants put Seaver away as a troublemaker. They mistake dignity for arrogance.”
As for Young, he became a real cause celebre. “When Dick Young dragged my wife and my family into this, it was all the abuse I could take,” said Seaver. “He’s a mouthpiece for Don Grant. Grant has admitted he seeks Young’s advice. He has been siding with Mets management ever since the club hired his son-in-law to work in their sales department.” Young defended the kid's position with the Mets, while not denying that his relationship with Grant had provided the contact his son-in-law used to secure his position with the Mets.
“What it comes down to with Seaver,” Young retorted, “is that he wanted more money. Everything else is extraneous. If he says he told them it was all off because of my mentioning his wife and Ruth Ryan - all because of one sentence - well, I find that pretty hard to believe.”
Of course, the Mets franchise collapsed, as the won-loss record and attendance figures below make clear.
1976: 86-76 1.5 million attendance [1970 it was 2.7 million.]
1977: 64-98 1.1 million
1978: 66-96 1.0 million
1979: 63-99 0.8 million
1980: 67-95 1.2 million...oh, these were dark years.
Seaver went on to a successful career with the Reds, before coming back to the Mets in 1983, now age 38, for just one season, and then retiring after the ‘86 campaign with a 311-205
career mark (198 of those wins as a Met).
Meanwhile, Dave Kingman hit home runs for 4 different teams in 1977 (Mets, San Diego, California and the Yankees), before signing a 5-year deal with the Cubs, his best season being ‘79 when he slammed 48 home runs. And except for a brief flash from both Zachry and Steve Henderson, the players the Mets got for Seaver never panned out.
[Primary Sources: “Talkin’ Baseball” Phil Pepe; “The New York Mets” Jack Lang and Peter Simon.]
Last Thursday also represented the 30th anniversary of Kramer taking “one magic loogie” in the face from Mets reliever Roger McDowell, the “second spitter,” outside Shea, after Newman told Keith Hernandez, “nice game, pretty boy.”
College World Series
Out thus far through Tuesday, CSU-Fullerton and Texas A&M. Remaining are Oregon State, the winner of LSU-Florida State, Florida, and the winner of Louisville-TCU...the two elimination games held tonight and tomorrow.
Weather permitting, we’ll be down to the finals by end of Sunday, finals commencing Monday.
--Thursday could be nuts. Tuesday, the Brooklyn Nets traded solid center Brook Lopez and the 27th overall pick to the Lakers for D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mosgov. The Lakers cleared cap room for a run at free agents like Paul George in 2018 and possibly LeBron; at least that is Magic Johnson’s dream. [Lopez’ contract expires after next season, providing L.A. more space.]
--The Hornets then traded for Dwight Howard in a deal that sent forward Miles Plumlee, guard Marco Belinelli and this year’s 41st pick to the Hawks in exchange for Howard and the 31st pick.
Atlanta thus gave up on Howard, after inking him last offseason to a three-year, $70 million contract. He then averaged 13.5 points and 12.7 rebounds after averaging 18.4 and 13 in his first eight NBA seasons with the Magic.
--In reading the current issue of USA TODAY Sports, there are nice comments on Wake Forest’s John Collins, who is looking like the 15th or 16th pick on Thursday.
Adi Joseph: “Many projections list Collins as a power forward, but his future clearly should be at center. He has shown great offensive skills in workouts, including range out to the three-point line. They come along with his solid athleticism and relentless work ethic. Ten years ago, he’d have been a top-10 lock...(has) the ability to punish mismatches...”
--Meanwhile, the Cleveland Cavaliers and GM David Griffin parted ways after three straight trips to the NBA finals because the team and Griffin couldn’t reach agreement on a new contract, his existing one expiring June 30.
The Cavs don’t have a draft pick so being without a GM is no big deal, but, free agency looms and the Cavs will have some issues to address. The assistant general manager, Koby Altman, does remain in place and the Cavs have been contacted by Indiana about a possible deal for Paul George.
Griffin oversaw the Cavs’ return to prominence after LeBron returned from Miami, orchestrating the trade for Kevin Love, among other moves.
--I have to admit I didn’t know of the close relationship between Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka until this week, but by the end of Sunday, wasn’t it amazing just how alike the two are in the way they walk, their demeanor, their game....
Mark Cannizzaro / New York Post
“In defense of his 2016 U.S. Open title, Dustin Johnson failed to make the cut this week. But when Johnson left Erin Hills Friday, he apparently was not finished having an impact on this U.S. Open.
“Johnson, whose flat-line personality borders on catatonic at times, would never be mistaken as a motivational speaker. Yet there he was on Saturday night calling his pal Brooks Koepka to give him a pep talk in advance of Sunday’s final round.
“Koepka entered the day one shot out of the lead and playing in the second-to-last pairing, and Johnson called to tell him he was good enough to win his first career major championship – the same way Johnson had done it a year ago at Oakmont.
“ ‘Dustin actually called me and told me, ‘Just stay patient, just keep doing what you’re doing, you’re going to win the thing,’’ Koepka said after storming to a four-shot victory.
“Asked to expand on the conversation he had with Johnson, Koepka laughed and said, ‘Yeah, I mean there’s probably not that much that’s that interesting to be honest. It was a long phone call. For us it was like two minutes. It wasn’t much.’
“It was, apparently, more than enough.
“With most of his closest competitors somewhat running in place in the final round, Koepka pinned the gas pedal to the floor on the back nine and left everyone else wandering aimlessly in the waist-high fescue grass lining the fairways.”
Thomas Boswell / Washington Post
“When Brooks Koepka tapped in his final putt to win the 117th U.S. Open by four shots and tie Rory McIlroy’s record of 16 under par in the ancient event, the 27-year-old may have had the most muted reaction in the history of humans who were still breathing. He gave two little fist pumps. Upon reflection, he added one more. ‘That’s probably the most emotion I’ve ever shown,’ Koepka said afterward. That? That was it? Ever? ‘What, you didn’t see that fist pump on 18?’
“When this event ended, Koepka’s image might have been summed up – entirely incorrectly – by one of his quotes this past week when he said that nothing in golf ‘really gets me too worked up, whatever happens, bogey, double bogey, birdie, eagle, I mean, I’m pretty chill anyway.’
“Hence, the notion that the gifted Koepka, from a long line of fine athletes, including a great uncle (Dick Groat) who was National League MVP, was some sort of Big Chill of the PGA Tour. An emotionless flat-liner, a good friend and workout partner of stoic world No. 1 player Dustin Johnson, man of few syllables, much less words....
“But about an hour after his final putt, as the size of his accomplishment sank in and everything it meant began to dig into Koepka, he conducted a remarkable long mass interview in which he opened up so much, was so frank and interesting, that the Man of No Emotion who won the U.S. Open was replaced by a vastly more interesting person – that is to say, the real Koepka.
“ ‘It’s taken me a long time to learn how to not try to win. I’ve been trying to win too badly. I feel like I’ve underachieved,’ Koepka said of his four years on the PGA Tour after spending three years playing tours around the world. ‘I put myself in contention so many times, but I never quite came through. I’m not a big fan of losing.’”
--Koepka became just the second Florida State Seminole to win a major, the other being Hubert Green, who texted him congratulations. Green won the 1977 U.S. Open and the 1985 PGA Championship among his 22 PGA Tour titles. Green had the outstanding mark of finishing in the top-25 in a third of the PGA Tour events he entered.
Daniel Berger is another current FSU alum.
--For Rickie Fowler, his T-5 represented his sixth career top-5 finish in a major, leaving some wondering why he wasn’t angrier with himself for failing to close the deal.
--Not for nuthin’, but Rory McIlroy has now missed 4 cuts in his 9 U.S. Opens. He has three cuts total in his other 25 major starts.
--Ricky Elliott, Brooks Koepka’s caddie, received over $200,000 of Koepka’s $2.16 million payday. So Golf Channel’s Rex Hoggard asked Elliott what he planned to do with his newfound wealth?
“Buy a 12-pack of Heineken,” Elliott repliled.
Total respect for the looper.
--In preparing for the U.S. Open, Erin Hills had to shut down for a long spell, as is the case virtually everywhere it is held. But senior caddies who lost months of work were compensated for their time on the sideline, according to Golfweek. The standard per bag, by the way, is $120 there. That’s not an easy walk, as you saw.
--Tiger Woods announced on Twitter that he is getting “professional help” to deal with medications used for back pain and sleep issues.
“I’m not at liberty to say where he is, but he is receiving in-patient treatment,” said agent Mark Steinberg, in a phone interview with ESPN’s Bob Harig. “Tiger has been dealing with so much pain physically. And that leads to insomnia and sleep issues. This has been going on for a long time.”
So Tiger is getting help. Good. I hope the pain goes away and we see him as an assistant coach at the Presidents Cup this fall.
--And this just in Tuesday afternoon. Out of nowhere, Phil Mickelson is parting with longtime caddie Jim “Bones” Mackay. Mackay has been on Phil’s bag since he turned pro in 1992, the pair winning five major championships and competing in 11 Ryder Cups. The on-course banter between the two has been the stuff of legend.
For now, Phil’s brother, Tim, who is also Jon Rahm’s agent, will replace Bones.
When Mickelson won the 2013 Open Championship, it was Bones who broke down. That’s also Lefty’s last triumph.
Golf World is reporting there is speculation Mackay is taking another bag or will take a TV job. He is more than capable of the latter.
“After 25 very rewarding and memorable years, Bones and I have mutually decided to end our player-caddie relationship. Our decision is not based on a single incident. We just feel it’s the right time for a change....
“Bones is without a doubt one of the most thoughtful people that I have ever known. The next player to work with him will obviously be very lucky.
“My relationship and history with Bones far exceeds golf. He has been one of the most important and special people in my life since the day we met and I will always be grateful for everything he has done for me. Amy and I, and our children, will always think of Bones, Jen, Oliver, and Emma as family. We are looking forward to sharing life and friendship with them forever. My brother Tim will be on my bag for the rest of the year. Bones has not used his veto this year and I heard a rumor that he is trying to pass his veto to Tim. For the record, vetoes are non-transferable.
“After an amazing 25-year run, Phil and I have mutually decided to go our separate ways. Player-caddie relationships don’t often last that long. I will always be grateful that I was around to witness so much of Phil’s career. When Phil hired me in 1992, I had one dream: to caddie in a Ryder Cup. Last year, at Hazeltine, Phil played in his 11th straight Ryder Cup. It was so cool to have a front row seat.
“I wish Phil nothing but the best. His game is still at an elite level, and when he wins in the future (definitely the Masters), I will be among the first to congratulate him.
“I do want to say for the record that I did not use my ‘veto’ this year. I would like to pass it along to Tim, in all its glory.
“Thank you, Phil.
Jim Bones Mackay”
There has to be more to this.
--The PGA Tour will begin blood testing next season as part of a tighter anti-doping program. The Tour announced Tuesday it would expand its current list of banned substances to match that of the World Anti-Doping Agency. And, the Tour is going to begin reporting suspensions for recreational drugs, the new transparency going into effect in October, which is when the 2017-18 season begins.
So with the advent of blood testing, the Tour will be able to detect the use of human growth hormone, which can’t be revealed through urinalysis.
This is all good.
--Older Jets fans mourn the passing of a great, linebacker Larry Grantham, the leader of the Super Bowl III defense. He was 78.
Grantham, the right outside linebacker, was an original New York Titan, who became the Jets in 1963 after three seasons.
He was only 6-feet, 200 pounds, but ended up being a five-time All-AFL first-teamer during his 13 seasons in New York and he was inducted into the Jets’ Ring of Honor in 2011. Grantham said at the time:
“That probably climaxes a career and doesn’t take second place to anything. I’m not in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and sure, that’s a great, big honor, but to me this honor with the Jets is unbelievable. Just think of all the players they’ve had up there from 1960 till now. It’s something I can’t put into words.”
Grantham played his college ball at the University of Mississippi, where he was an all-time great.
Grantham was one of just 20 players to play in all 10 seasons of the American Football League’s existence. He was to be buried in his hometown of Crystal Springs, Miss.
--It has not been a good last few days in Alaska.
From the Associated Press: “Patrick Cooper had already turned around after reaching the halfway point in a popular mountain race in Alaska when he somehow veered off the trail and became lost. That’s when the 16-year-old Anchorage boy encountered the black bear that would take his life in a rare predatory attack.
“Cooper began running, and at one point he reportedly placed a frantic call to his brother, saying he was being chased by a bear Sunday in the Robert Spurr Memorial Hill Climb race south of Anchorage. The brother notified race director Brad Precosky, who alerted race crews to begin searching for Cooper, known as Jack.
“It took a couple hours for responders to locate the teen, whose body was found about a mile up the path. The bear was found at the site, guarding the body, Precosky said.
“A Chugach State Park ranger shot the 250-pound bear in the face, but the animal ran away....
“State Fish and Game spokesman Ken Marsh said Sunday’s attack was believed to have been a rare predatory move, not a defensive action such as when a female bear will protect her cubs, he said.”
Officials could not find the bear on Monday. Later that day, “a second fatal mauling at the hands of a black bear was reported nearly 300 miles northeast of Anchorage. Officials with an underground gold mine reported a contract employee hired to take geological samples was killed and another injured in a black bear attack.”
Two fatal attacks in essentially 24 hours, when the last fatal mauling in the state had occurred in 2013, when a man was killed by a male black bear. The last fatal bear attack in the greater Anchorage area was all the way back in 1995, when two were killed by a brown bear protecting a moose carcass.
Back to the race, runners have to sign a liability waiver because of the dangers, yet some insist on training alone, knowing the dangers. No freakin’ way.
But races themselves are safe because of all the people around and the noise that is being made.
As an aside, ‘Grizzly Bear’ is No. 7 on the All-Species List and it is not impacted by the above.
But ‘Black/Brown’ Bear, at No. 24, is being placed on six-month probation and fined $495. Should there be another fatal attack in Alaska during this time, the ultra-secretive ASL High Council in Kazakhstan would get involved, and we know that is a lengthy process.
--The other day The Economist had an extensive piece on elephants. While I have noted some of the facts in the article before, here are a few tidbits.
An average elephant living in and around Samburu National Reserve in northern Kenya travels as much as 60km a day.
“Elephants, about as unrelated to human beings as any mammal can be, seem nevertheless to have evolved intelligence, and possibly even consciousness. Though they may not be alone in this (similar claims are made for certain whales, social carnivores and a few birds), they are certainly part of a small and select group.”
“The nuclei of their social arrangements are groups of four or five females and their young that are led by a matriarch who is mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister or aunt to most of them. Though males depart their natal group when maturity beckons at the age of 12, females usually remain in it throughout their lives.”
Clans, which gather in the dry season, usually consist of at least 100 adult members, and may have twice that, which “means an adult (an adult female, at least) can recognize and have meaningful social relations with that many other individuals.
“A figure of between 100 and 200 acquaintances is similar to the number of people with whom a human being can maintain a meaningful social relationship.”
“Wild elephants engage in one type of behavior in particular that leaves many observers unable to resist drawing human parallels. This is their reaction to their dead. Elephant corpses are centers of attraction for living elephants. They will visit them repeatedly, sniffing them with their trunks and rumbling as they do so. This is a species-specific response; elephants show no interest in the dead of any other type of animal.”
‘Elephant’ remains No. 2 on the All-Species List.
--The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday issued an 8-0 decision that will help the Washington Redskins secure legal protections for its nickname, long a target of activists and some sports fans for being offensive. I wasn’t one of them, but I did expect the Redskins to eventually succumb to pressure and I long advocated a change to the name “Red Clouds,” that could allow them to keep the imagery and songs.
The court ruled that the government may not deny a trademark registration for potentially offensive names, with the case centering around an Asian-American band called the Slants that had lost its trademark protection, even though it said the name wasn’t intended to offend anyone.
“I am THRILLED!” Washington team owner, Dan Snyder, said in a statement. “Hail to the Redskins.”
Good for them. As for all the others who may use names that could be viewed as offensive to large segments of your potential audience or customer base, it goes back to being an economic decision. Which is kind of what our democratic capitalistic system is all about, isn’t it?
So with this in mind, on Monday’s Mike Francesa sports talk show for WFAN, a listener called in to discuss the case, and Francesa, hopelessly naïve, used the racially charged term “Orientals” and “Oriental-Americans.”
“The feeling is that it’s going to be the same answer to the same question [regarding the Redskins],” Francesa said. “The only other debate is that they were talking about themselves. They all were Oriental-Americans who were part of the group. ...They were some kind of a musical band from Oregon, and they could not trademark the name ‘Slant,’ even though they were a group of young Oriental-Americans.”
So later, a producer on the show told Francesa the term is offensive and the Sports Doctor said: “You’re telling me that is considered a slight if you call someone an Oriental-American? What is the proper term then, so I want to get it proper since Oriental-American is now considered a slight? What would be not a slight?” We’ll miss this piece of work when he retires in December.
--First it was Lionel Messi, then Cristiano Ronaldo. Now Spanish prosecutors have accused Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho of defrauding the tax authorities out of $3.7 million, after discovering he used a company in the British Virgin Islands to conceal earnings from the sale of his image rights.
The accusations date back to Mourinho’s time as coach at Real Madrid.
--Freakin’ FTC...along with California and Washington, they announced they are blocking the merger of DraftKings and FanDuel, the two having reached an agreement back in November.
The FTC’s point is that the two combined would have 90% of the market...good! That’s means bigger pots, for starters.
--We note the passing of comedian and comedy writer Bill Dana, 92. Dana was a staple on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Tonight Show,” “The Jackie Gleason Show,” and “The Andy Williams Show,” among others.
It was in 1959, writing for “The Steve Allen Show,” that Dana created his alternative self, Jose Jimenez. Let me just say that today, this is so politically incorrect it’s almost funny, but if you’re young and don’t remember the character, whose first language was not English, YouTube him.
But back in the day, “Jose Jimenez” was a big hit, as Dana invented a variety of professions for Jose, including deep-sea diver and, most famously, astronaut.
Dana never specified Jose’s nationality, but he said he was a portrait of a decent, striving immigrant and that the comedy was not rooted in ethnic disparagement but in the difficulty of assimilation.
Just understand his act was so popular, Jose Jimenez played at an inaugural-eve gala for President John F. Kennedy, accompanied onstage by Milton Berle.
In a 1964 interview with the New York Post, Dana said, “I’ve always detested a certain type of dialect that’s an unkind caricature. Jose is not a caricature. He’s the closest representation of a real human being that I can create.”
But many others saw the character as reinforcing negative stereotypes and by 1970, Dana stopped performing Jose, he said because some were misinterpreting his intentions.
After this, Dana devoted more time to writing and his credits include the 1972 episode of “All in the Family” in which Sammy Davis Jr. ends up in Archie Bunker’s living room, one of the better comedy bits of all time. I sure remember watching it that evening with my parents.
Dana was born William Szathmary in Quincy, Mass., on Oct. 5, 1924, the youngest of six children whose father, Joseph, was a real estate developer and immigrant from Hungary.
Dana’s mother’s name was Dena, so when it came to his show business career, Bill Dana selected a similar name to honor her.
Top 3 songs for the week 6/26/71: #1 “It’s Too Late” (Carole King) #2 “Rainy Days And Mondays” (Carpenters) #3 “Want Ads” (The Honey Cone)...and...#4 “Indian Reservation” (Raiders) #5 “Treat Her Like A Lady” (Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose) #6 Brown Sugar” (The Rolling Stones) #7 “It Don’t Come Easy” (Ringo Starr) #8 “Don’t Pull Your Love” (Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds) #9 “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot” (Jerry Reed) #10 “Sweet And Innocent” (Donny Osmond)
Draft Quiz Answer: The only college to have the No. 1 overall selection in both the NBA and NFL drafts in the same year is Utah...2005...quarterback Alex Smith (San Francisco) and Andrew Bogut (Milwaukee).
Next Bar Chat, Monday.