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We Want Spring!
[Posted Sunday PM]
NBA Quiz: Name the only three active players with a career 24 points per game average. Answer below.
Boy, the start to this season is disjointed.....but....
--The Shohei Ohtani Show continued since last chat. The Angels are trying to figure out how much they can play him, both DHing and pitching, and keep him sharp and they seem to have settled on pitching him once a week (which was the plan at the start), while DHing him Tues. thru Thurs., Wed. thru Friday, giving him the day before a start and the day after off.
Thursday he hit his first triple, a bases-clearing shot to the right-center gap in Kansas City as the Angels won 7-1. That gave Ohtani 11 RBIs in 26 at-bats. He then went 2-for-4, including a double, in Friday’s 5-4 win. 11-for-30, overall, .367.
Manager Mike Scioscia is catching a little heat, at least on social media, for not moving Ohtani up in the batting order from eighth, but Scioscia is pushing all the right buttons thus far. And Los Angeles is winning.
So Sunday he was to hit the mound for his third start but the game was postponed. Six in MLB were called off today, a record.
--Yes, the weather sure has sucked, especially in the Midwest and East thus far this season. Saturday, though, the Braves and Cubs did manage to play in “miserable cold, wet and windy conditions” at Wrigley, with the Cubs staging a huge comeback, down 9-1 in the third and 10-2 in the sixth to rally for a 14-10 win.
It was 10-5 in the bottom of the eighth, when Chicago used five walks, two hit batters, an error and a wild pitch to come back against four Atlanta relievers – all nine runs scored after there were two outs. Javy Baez had the key blow, a bases-clearing double making it 10-all.
At the start, the temperature was 38 degrees, with a 24 mph wind and a steady mist. As the game progressed, conditions only got worse. They played the game because this was Atlanta’s only trip to Chicago and Sunday’s forecast was awful...and today’s contest was postponed.
But Saturday was a huge win that showed a lot of character. As manager Joe Maddon said, “It would have been easy to pack in that game.” Maddon then criticized MLB for allowing the game in the first place and he has a point.
--Today, the Mets played in 41-degree air temps, 32 wind chill...awful. But New York, with manager Mickey Callaway making his first big mistake (at least to us fans...though not worth detailing), won 3-2 thanks to good old Wilmer Flores, who emerged the hero yet again...hitting a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Brewers; the Mets now 12-2 after having their nine-game streak broken Saturday night. You had to be watching to understand how ginormous this was on so many levels, starting with not burning a bullpen in a game that given the conditions seemed destined for 15 innings.
[It was Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball and 95-year-old Rachel Robinson, the most beautiful woman in America, made an appearance at Citi Field. Rachel is truly remarkable. We love her.]
--The White Sox-Twins entire series was rained/snowed out this weekend in Minneapolis, giving the White Sox four postponements already this season, ditto the Twinkies. Talk about brutal scheduling this summer. If you can pitch, you might want to send an audition tape to both teams.
--As a result of Wednesday night’s bench-clearing brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees, Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly was suspended six games and Yankees DH Tyler Austin was suspended for five.
Padres pitcher Luis Perdomo and Rockies star Nolan Arenado were suspended five games each for their roles in another brawl last Wednesday.
Jorge Ortiz of USA TODAY notes that while the NBA, NHL and NFL have rules in place forbidding bench players from joining in fights, baseball has no such restrictions, other than prohibiting players on the disabled list from entering the field.
Ortiz: “The argument is both teams don’t have the same number of players on the field at the same time in baseball, as opposed to those other major sports. That means an offensive player involved in a skirmish could be facing a 9-1 disadvantage, although with coaches, the on-deck hitter and possibly baserunners also on the field, the disparity wouldn’t be as big.
“Still, it’s a valid point, but it doesn’t explain why players in the bullpen are not strictly forbidden from joining in the ruckus. There’s no more ridiculous sight in baseball than pitchers sprinting all the way from behind the outfield to partake in one of these quarrels.
“Yet it happens time and time again.”
--Buster Olney tweeted that according to Elias Sports Bureau, “During the course of Bartolo Colon’s career, he has pitched against Eddie Murray, born on Feb. 24, 1956, and Richard Urena, born Feb. 26, 1996 – players born almost exactly 40 years apart.”
Colon, 44, has a 1.64 ERA in 11 innings for Texas this season.
--Mets announcer Gary Cohen had an amazing factoid Saturday. Rookie Manager Mickey Callaway had a nine-game winning streak in his first 12 games, and Gene Mauch, 26 seasons, nearly 4,000 games, never had one!
--Aside from the Mets at 12-2, the surprises this year are Boston at 13-2, Philadelphia 9-5, the Angels at 13-3, and Pittsburgh 11-4.
On the other hand, the other day, Mets GM Sandy Alderson made a startlingly candid comment, saying some teams were already “not trying,” i.e., tanking.
Well, you’ve got the Reds at 2-13 (good gawd!), Kansas City at 3-10, and Tampa Bay 3-12.
--With the Mets game a total bore Saturday night, I watched a lot of the 76ers-Heat Game One and Miami played a strong first half in Philly, taking a 60-56 lead, only to be blitzed in the second, 74-43, as Philly rolled 130-103 behind JJ Redick’s 28 and Marco Belinelli’s 25 off the bench. I’ve gotta admit, and you should have caught a hint or two of this in recent weeks, but I’m fascinated with Philly’s run, having closed the regular season with 16 consecutive wins. It’s a very likable team. And now Markelle Fultz is contributing.
Remember, the Sixers were 10-72 just two years ago!
--Toronto beat Washington 114-106 on Saturday in its opener, which was significant because the Raptors entered the contest with a 1-12 record in the first games of playoff series.
--Portland suffered a bad loss at home to New Orleans, 97-95, as Damian Lillard was just 6 of 23 from the field...that’s all you need to know.
--Today, Boston had a good 113-107 opening win against Milwaukee in overtime.
--But the Pacers upset the Cavs in Cleveland, 98-80, as Victor Oladipo scored 32, 6 of 9 from three, while LeBron was 24-10-12, with only three turnovers, but he got zero support.
--In the season finale on Wednesday for a playoff spot in the West, Minnesota came through, 112-106 over Denver, the T’Wolves ending a streak of 13 consecutive seasons without making the playoffs, which was the longest active playoff drought and one season shy of tying the Clippers for longest drought in NBA history.
As for Denver, it became the third team since 2009 to miss the playoffs with 46 victories.
--NBA teams attempted 33.7% of their shots from behind the 3-point line this season, the seventh consecutive season they smashed the previous season’s record for 3-pointers.
In the year before Stephen Curry entered the league, only three teams attempted more than 26% of their field goals from behind the 3-point line, and not a single team relied on 3-pointers for more than 33.5% of its shots. Now, every team is above 26%.
--The Knicks fired coach Jeff Hornacek hours after another miserable season was completed. This is the team’s record the last four campaigns, the last two under Hornacek.
The last 50-win season was 2012-13, 54-28, but the last 50-win campaign prior to that was 1999-2000, 50-32.
In other words, it has been one painful ride for Knicks fans. We are ready to erupt with our support, but give us a freakin’ product!
Hornacek sucked, no doubt, but there was zero talent, outside of two or three players, max, on the roster. I mean we like to think Kristaps Porzingis, who is out until at least next January with an ACL tear, is a budding superstar, but the NBA is replete with similar talent and Porzingis is always hurt.
So who will the Knicks tab as their next coach? Mark Jackson is among the finalists, but his issues at Golden State keep coming up, as mysterious as they are, while former coach Jeff Van Gundy seems to be in the top three or four, along with former Memphis coach David Fizdale and G-League coach Jerry Stackhouse.
I like the idea of Stackhouse (thus far), or Van Gundy, though am intrigued like all Knicks fans with Jackson.
Stackhouse was an assistant coach with the Raptors before taking a step back to get head coaching experience in the G-League, which you have to respect. He’s definitely viewed as an up-and-comer.
--Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook needed 16 rebounds in Wednesday’s finale to wrap up his second straight season averaging a triple-double, thus becoming the first with multiple seasons achieving this, and he had a remarkable 20 rebounds.
So Westbrook finished the season at 25.4 points, 10.1 rebounds and 10.3 assists. He had 26 triple-doubles this season, compared to a year ago when he had 42.
This season his feat was under the radar because, for one, last season was so unique in that he was the first with a season-long triple-double since Oscar Robertson did so in 1961-62, Westbrook starting off with a bang last season when he had a 51-13-10 line in the Thunder’s second game, the first 50-point triple-double in 41 years.
But this year he was under a triple-double virtually the entire season. I know I for one would occasionally check the Thunder’s box scores just to see how he was doing and I’d muse, ‘doesn’t look like he’s getting it,’ with his beefed up supporting cast of Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.
But perhaps because of this last fact, Westbrook deserves more accolades. Well, we’ll see how he, and OKC do in the playoffs.
--The NFL Draft is now just 10 days away and the New York area is not just wondering which quarterback the Jets are taking at No. 3 (said to be as of today Josh Rosen), but what will the Giants do at No. 2?
The Giants have gone through the “process” with Sam Darnold, Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen and in looking to a post-Eli Manning future, they have concluded that for a No. 2 overall pick, none of the four is a franchise-making QB. The Giants believe that a No. 2 pick should not just be a potential perennial All-Pro, but also a future Hall of Famer, and by that reasoning, they definitely seem to be leaning towards going with current backup Davis Webb, who everyone in the organization loves, and thus selecting at No. 2 either running back Saquon Barkley, who they grade higher than Ezekiel Elliott, who went No. 4 to the Cowboys in 2016 (Elliott’s career off to a great start with a 104.6 yards per game average),while there are no character issues or concerns with Barkley.
But the other player the Giants are hot for is North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb. The team was very impressed with their meeting with him, Chubb smartly showing up wearing a suit and giving off an “ultra-professional vibe,” according to reports, and the Giants agree with other teams there isn’t another pass rusher remotely close to his level.
I think if I’m the Giants I go with Barkley (it still being assumed the Browns, at No. 1, are selecting Darnold, even if Mel Kiper is saying, today, it’s Josh Allen).
The draft is going to be fun, no doubt.
--The Dallas Cowboys released three-time Pro Bowl receiver Dez Bryant, who then tweeted that “it’s very personal.” Bryant stupidly went public with his grievances against an organization he spent his first eight years with, saying some of the coaches were not up front with him about his status.
“The way this whole situation got handled, I felt like I asked some of them to be a man about the situations a long time ago and they couldn’t.”
Bryant complained he wasn’t treated fairly. But he was set to earn $12.5 million next season. He said he would have been open to accepting a pay cut but that one wasn’t broached during his meeting Friday with owner Jerry Jones. So now he’s a free agent and there will be suitors.
But even though he’s still just 29, Bryant’s Pro Bowl years were back from 2012 to 2014, and he’s been plagued by injuries and/or mediocrity since.
--Of all the people you wouldn’t expect to be suspended for PEDs, quarterback Mark Sanchez is one of the them, but the free agent has been suspended the first four games of the upcoming season.
Sanchez wrote in a statement: “I was blind-sided by the news and I want to say unequivocally that I have never cheated or attempted to gain a competitive advantage by using a banned performance enhancing substance. During the past 9 years as an NFL player I have been subject to 73 drug tests – an average of 8 tests per season – and all but one has been clean.”
Sanchez claimed he has been using the same regimen of supplements for the past five years without any issues.
It’s nothing but Flintstones vitamins for your editor. Made from bedrock, so you know they’re pure.
--As reported by Andrew Beaton of the Wall Street Journal, the NFL “has asked a federal judge to appoint a special investigator to probe what it describes as a widespread fraud that has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in false claims to a fund meant to compensate former players for head injuries. The motion alleges fraudulent schemes by doctors, lawyers and players to illicitly tap the uncapped fund, which is potentially valued around $1 billion.”
The NFL has shelled out $227 million in claims thus far, and while I’ve written a lot on this topic in the past, and how players are upset how difficult it is to receive payments, the motion that was filed in District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania says that an independent administrator has recommended that more than 400 claims be rejected because of fraud, which is 23% of the total claims submitted.
“Among the allegations: At least one player was advised to show up to a neuropsychological evaluation hungover and on Valium, to ensure that he failed cognitive tests required to qualify for a settlement. Medical reports submitted by one neurologist included identical vital signs for more than 20 different players. One doctor claimed to have spent 130 hours evaluating players in a single day – on two separate occasions.”
As I’ve noted before, the NFL has been accused of dragging its feet in paying players.
So now the league, with its motion, is saying deserving players are facing delays because of “deep and widespread” fraud.
“Ironically,” the motion says, “some of the lawyers who are complaining most vociferously and publicly about the slow pace of claims administration are themselves associated with the submission of questionable claims and the true cause of the delay.”
The filing details how in one instance, a single law firm representing more than 100 former players, is alleged to have “coached” players on how to answer questions during their evaluations and was “willing to pay doctors directly out of their pocket” for a qualifying diagnosis.
As they say, boys and girls, this is complicated.
--Japan’s Satoshi Kodeira won his first PGA Tour event at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, S.C., as the players raced the weather, Kodeira beating Si Woo Kim on the third hole of sudden death.
This one ended early afternoon, before the official coverage started, and I have to admit I was following it online because of my DraftKings lineup...and I won for the third week in a row (after about a 30-week losing streak).
Good week for some former Demon Deacons, as Webb Simpson finished T-5 (his fourth top ten of the year), while Bill Haas had his first, T-7.
--In the second round, Kelly Kraft hit a bird in flight on the par-3 14th hole, and the ball dropped into the water in front of the green.
Kraft made double bogey and finished at 1-over par, missing the cut by a stroke.
Kraft told PGATour.com the bad break definitely cost him the cut as he felt the tee shot was on a good line until fate intervened.
“It was probably 30 yards off the tee box and this giant, black bird swooped in front of it and hit it and the ball fell 20 yards short in the water. It would’ve been in the middle of the green. It might have been close. I got screwed.”
Kraft’s group asked for a ruling, figuring he would be able to re-tee without penalty. But because the bird is not a man-made object, Kraft had to play it as a ball in the water.
Too bad. No word on whether the bird is in concussion protocol. But then these days, aren’t we all?
--Steve Flesch won the Champions Tour event in Duluth, Georgia, but to me the story was Bernhard Langer finishing tied for second (with Scott Parel), after all the stories he was finally washed up, while Jay Haas had his best finish in ages, fourth. [Speaking of Deacs...nice weekend, father and son!]
--Finally, the fallout over Patrick Reed’s win at Augusta continues. We have never had a more polarizing winner. Mike Strachura of Golf World had some of the following thoughts:
“For almost as long as there have been champions in golf, there have been the winners we wanted and liked, and the ones that at best filled the gaps between the heroes. But it has never been the case when such a winner has been almost equally celebrated and denuded the way Reed was in the afterglow of his remarkable victory. In the post Tiger Woods’ era, our major champions have largely been of a kind, almost treacly sweet, shiny or scruffy but always in the right way. Movie stars all of them, albeit in different film genres. Now, we have Reed who seemingly can only be a soap opera we’re only too happy to gossip about.
“Of course, the reason is that Reed’s inconvenient story carries with it the heavy patina of being not only mostly true but previously well-documented. The simple fact is it can’t be covered up with one size 44 green.
“ ‘Our history follows us more publicly than it used to,’ said Kathleen Bartzen Culver, director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Culver noted that maybe two decades ago if Reed’s final round had been marred by a scoring discrepancy or lost-ball kerfuffle, the stories of his past might have surfaced briefly and merely as footnotes. But today those stories face boldly forward in the midst of an essentially flawless performance.
“Still, Reed’s past did happen, and very publicly....
“But unlike John Daly of a generation ago, where the confluence of his beer bottle past with his champagne glass victory toasts struck us as almost endearing, Reed’s chord rings with a harsher tone. This one has an edge to it that cuts deeper.
“Culver heard the groans in her own household as Reed won the title over the more popular Rory McIlroy, (Jordan) Spieth and Rickie Fowler.
“ ‘That’s a really interesting conversation that we need to have about sports in this society,’ she said. ‘How much are we celebrating the athleticism and skill and strategy, and how much are we celebrating a squeaky clean image that puts you on a commercial or a Wheaties box?’....
“Of course, the biggest player in what will turn out to be the rest of Reed’s story is Reed himself. He likes wearing the black hat, and as much as he talks about ‘Team Reed,’ its roster is not really expanding. With the wolves now at Reed’s door, he and his team are so far keeping them at bay. But that’s a lot of self to shield. Right now, it seems easy to simply not answer questions about your past like he did on Sunday at the Masters, to even stipulate what questions won’t be answered before granting an interview (as he has done) or simply abruptly canceling a media event on his Masters media tour (also done).
“ ‘He embraces that confrontational role now at 27, but maybe that will change,’ (Joe) Favorito (Columbia professor of communications) said. ‘Lots of athletes and celebrities kind of become benevolent dictators when they get to their 30s.
“ ‘If he chooses to not let anybody in and it’s an us-against-them thing that’s worked for him, that’s his choice. Life might be a little easier if he were a little more open and maybe played the game a little bit. It certainly makes you a little more marketable if you do choose to do those things.’”
The next big stage for Reed will be The Players Championship, and then the U.S. Open, where he’ll have a New York audience out at Shinnecock. There, at least, he’ll have some very raucous supporters, it being New York. That has the potential to be one very wild week if he’s in contention. You heard it here first.
--Golf Digest’s Course Ranking Panel was asked, “Where would you want to play your last round of golf?”
Augusta National 46.3%
Cypress Point 20.1%
The Old Course 11%
My home course 6.3%
Pine Valley 5.7%
Pebble Beach 3.9%
Royal County Down 3.3%
Well I’ve only played Royal County Down on this list (walked about half of Pebble), so I’d go with my ‘home’ course, Lahinch, in County Clare, Ireland.
I don’t understand why, from everything I’ve read and seen (a video of the entire course), you would possibly want to play Pine Valley and get the crap beat out of you in your final round.
Premier League / Champions League
--In weekend Premier League action, Saturday, Chelsea beat Southampton, 3-2, Southampton trying to stave off relegation, and not very successfully, while Crystal Palace had a big win, 3-2, over Brighton, Palace now handily in position to return to the PL next season. Ditto Huddersfield, 1-0 over Watford, while Swansea picked up a critical point with a 1-1 tie against Everton. Liverpool also whipped Bournemouth 3-0.
The biggie was Tottenham hosting Manchester City at Wembley, City having had a dreadful 10 days, losing twice to Liverpool in Champions League play and then blowing a 2-0 lead against Manchester United, losing that one 3-2. City had lost just four of its first 48 all-competitions matches this season prior to the skid.
So they were ripe for the taking by the Spurs, right? Wrong. Tottenham was totally listless, and outmatched, 3-1.
With the win, Man City could clinch the title if Man U lost at home to lowly West Brom today. I put this one on about 60 minutes in, and wouldn’t you know, West Brom scored a late goal and held on, for a stunning 1-0 win that gave City the title in absentia.
[Newcastle, playing great lately, beat Arsenal 2-1, the Gunners no doubt tired from having played in Moscow on Thursday.]
The standings after 33/34 of 38 matches....(games – points)
1. Man City 33-87 ...clinches title
2. Man U 33 – 71
3. Liverpool 34 – 70
4. Tottenham 33 – 67 ...Champions League line
5. Chelsea 33 – 60
6. Arsenal 33 – 54
7. Burnley 33 – 52...strong year...making a move on Arsenal! Can it crash the Big Six?
17. Swansea 33 – 33 ...Relegation line
18. Southampton 33 – 28
19. Stoke 33 – 27
20. West Brom 34 – 24
The relegation battle looked to be a six-, or seven-team affair just three weeks ago, but now Southampton and Stoke fans have to be in a deep state of depression (let alone desperation). Fans of West Brom have long since committed hari-kari or launched themselves off the Cliffs of Dover...though the few remaining after today are still holding out faint hope.
As for the aforementioned Champions League, I was embarrassed I forgot about the action Tuesday and Wednesday until Ken P. told me. Real Madrid, which had whipped Juventus 3-0 in the first leg of the quarterfinals, was down 3-0 late on Wednesday at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Spain, a match headed into extra time, until in the third minute of extra time, “Ronaldo chipped a pass across the six-yard box to Lucas Vazquez, who was bumped from behind – and referee Michael Oliver awarded a penalty.
“Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon charged toward Oliver to protest the decision, and may have shoved him; video is shaky and other Juventus players swarmed around the official.
“Oliver showed Buffon a red card – moments before the penalty shot.
“Wojciech Szczesny entered the game as keeper as Juventus went down a man. Ronaldo took the penalty shot and slotted it well out of the new netminder’s reach.” [BBC Sports]
Talk about controversy. Juventus won the game but lost on aggregate 4-3.
It was Ronaldo’s 120th goal in Champions League competition and it made him the first player to score in 11 consecutive Champions League games, which is remarkable, given this is the highest level of competition. It would be like a baseball player homering in 11 consecutive World Series games.
So the other shocker was Roma, with a 3-0 win over Barcelona, eliminating Lionel Messi and Co., 4-4 on aggregate because Roma had the only away goal in its first leg 4-1 loss. It’s only the third time in Champions League history a team came from three goals down after leg one to advance to the semis.
Earlier we had Liverpool beating Man City to advance 5-1 on aggregate, while Bayern Munich advanced with a 2-1 aggregate win over Sevilla.
For the semis, we have Liverpool vs. Roma, and Real Madrid vs. Bayern Munich. [April 24/25; May 1/2]
--The Europa League is the competition a level below the Champions League, with No. 5 in the Premier League automatically qualified, and if you win it, you can play in the Champions League the following season.
So the other day in Moscow, Arsenal took on CSKA Moscow in a Europa League quarterfinal; the game ending 2-2, Arsenal advancing to the semis on aggregate, 6-3.
But the story was the CSKA fans chanted racist abuse at Arsenal’s black players throughout. A Reuters photographer reported he heard dozens of home supporters make monkey chants at Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck and Alex Iwobi, while a third Arsenal black player who did not come off the substitute’s bench was targeted with the same chants.
I bring this up because aside from the serious terrorism angle, the World Cup, staged in Russia in a few months, is no doubt going to be a scene of vicious racism.
As for terrorism, it’s going to be like the characters in the board game “Clue.” I’ll be shocked if we don’t have at least one serious incident outside one of the stadiums in use.
--Mitzi Shore, the godmother of comedy in Los Angeles, whose Comedy Store was one of the most important showcases for stand-up in the country, died Wednesday. She was 87.
“In the 1970s, David Letterman baby-sat her children and Jay Leno slept on the back stairs of her Sunset Strip club, where Jim Carrey later tended the door.” [L.A. Times]
For at least a dozen years, she was “all-powerful, during a remarkably fertile time for stand-up comedy – the 1970s and early ‘80s – when many of today’s comedy stars showed up in L.A. to go onstage at the only place that mattered,” Paul Brownfield, who covered comedy for The Times, wrote in 2003.
Mitzi Shore’s husband, Sammy Shore, founded the Comedy Store in 1972, Sammy being a comic who partnered with fellow comic Rudy DeLuca to set up the establishment. But when the Shores divorced two years later, Sammy gave Mitzi the club as a way of lowering his alimony payments.
The Comedy Store had been more of a variety room than a comedy club, but when Mitzi took it over she transformed it into comedy only. The timing was perfect.
Johnny Carson had moved “The Tonight Show” from New York to Los Angeles, which helped turn L.A. into the place for young comics who strove to appear on the show and the Comedy Store became “the place to be seen.”
Mitzi Shore influenced the likes of Letterman and Leno, as well as Jimmie Walker, Andy Kaufman, Robin Williams, Bob Saget, Richard Lewis, Garry Shandling, Elayne Boosler and dozens more.
Richard Pryor used the club almost exclusively to prepare for his 1974 breakthrough album.
--Director Milos Forman died. He was 86. Forman attended film school in Prague, and an early feature, “The Loves of a Blonde,” won international attention in 1965. But when the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia in August of 1968, Forman was in Paris negotiating to make a Hollywood film, though his first American feature, a youth comedy called “Taking Off,” did so poorly, Forman later said he wound up owing the studio $500.
Forman struggled his early years and went through a period of depression, and two wives, but then the producers of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz, sought him out because “I seemed to be in their price range,” Forman said in his memoir. It ended up being a perfect match.
Jack Nicholson was the movie’s star, but Forman – who had a reputation for coaxing big performances out of lesser-known actors – did exactly that with Louise Fletcher, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of the dictatorial Nurse Ratched, while the film overall won every major Oscar.
“Hair” and “Ragtime” followed and were less successful for Forman, and then Zaentz and Forman struck gold with “Amadeus,” which won eight Oscars, though Forman later wrote this one left him bittersweet, sensing his career had peaked. It had. He didn’t have another big box-office success after.
--I love this bird story from Melkorka Licea of the New York Post:
“Tompkins Square Park’s claw-sanova is now servicing not two, but three chicks at the same time.
“The red-tailed stud named Christo made the front page of The Post in March for dipping his, um, beak in the nests of two different female hawks. His supposed mate-for-life Dora had gone to an animal hospital for an injured wing and returned a few months later to find her paramour had taken up with a flewzy named Nora.
“But over the last month, the pair seemed to be patching things up, even though Christo would still make the occasional booty call at Nora’s nest.
“Then two weeks ago Dora re-injured her wing, believe it or not, fighting off an unknown female hawk. And it was off to rehab again.
“That’s when Christo’s wandering eye reappeared – along with yet another side chick.
“The new nest-wrecker is named Amelia.
“ ‘She was there within ten minutes,’ said Laura Goggin, 36, who’s been documenting the menage a quad on her blog. ‘I think she had been keeping an eye on the situation since she saw Dora was in a weakened state and took her opportunity.’
“The cheep slut even made herself at home in Dora’s nest near East 8th Street and Avenue B.
“ ‘Amelia started bringing twigs to it and spending time in it right away,’ said Goggin. ‘And Christo completely accepted her and brought her a rat, which is a nice gift.’
[Ed: I prefer Coors Light...whatever floats your boat.]
“Meanwhile, bird watchers say Christo still has the energy to visit his original feathered mistress Nora at her nest around the Jacob Riis Houses on Avenue D between East 10th and East 13th Streets.
“ ‘She never liked to be in Dora’s nest,’ said Goggin.
“Bird lovers – who have watched Christo and Dora rear 10 chicks and rule the roost at Tompkins for the last five years – are broken up by Christo’s fowl lust.
“ ‘We are all shocked and stunned that this is happening again,’ said Goggin. ‘It’s been an emotional roller coaster.’”
Personally, I’ve been depressed I haven’t been seeing any hawks outside world HQ for StocksandNews for months, but suddenly in the last ten days, six have appeared, a beautiful sight.
A new, admittedly long-delayed “All-Species List” coming this week. An old friend will be making its annual reappearance, speaking of birds.
Top 3 songs for the week 4/17/65: #1 “I’m Telling you Now” (Freddie and The Dreamers) #2 “Stop! In The Name Of Love” (The Supremes) #3 “Game Of Love” (Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders)...and...#4 “I Know A Place” (Petula Clark...the one and only...we love Pet!) #5 “Shotgun” (Jr. Walker & The Stars) #6 “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” (Herman’s Hermits) #7 “Tired Of Waiting For You” (The Kinks) #8 “Nowhere To Run” (Martha & The Vandellas... surprised it only peaked at this level...tune has aged terrifically...) #9 “The Clapping Song” (Shirley Ellis) #10 “Go Now!” (The Moody Blues...enshrined in the Rock Hall of Fame Saturday with Bon Jovi and others...outstanding week...)
NBA Quiz Answer: Active scorers at 24 ppg....
Kevin Durant 27.12
Carmelo Anthony 24.11
Anthony Davis 23.43
Damian Lillard 23.12
Steph Curry 23.09
James Harden 23.01
Russell Westbrook 22.97
Next Bar Chat, Thursday.