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By God...it was, Justify!
[Posted Sunday PM from my parents’ home…yup, been on Momcare watch all weekend, with Dad in rehab. I apologize for the following not being a usual Sunday BC…but as Tony Soprano said, “Whaddya gonna do?” Two hours ago, I was cleaning up a potty….]
Baseball Quiz: With Albert Pujols hitting a milestone Friday night, and with Pujols No. 1 among active players in RBIs, name the nine active, including him, with 1,000 ribbies. Answer below.
Granted, one can’t take too much credit for being right when you’re going with the favorite, but on a day when Churchill Downs saw a record 3+ inches of rain, there was no telling what was going to happen in the race. In the end, though, horse racing fans, at least for two weeks, can dream of another Triple Crown winner after Justify’s super performance on Saturday.
I was watching with Mom…quaffing Coors Lights…as we reminisced about the times my parents used to take me to the track, including Saratoga. Mom always loved the ponies.
Melissa Hoppert / New York Times
“Since 1882, when the Standard Oil Trust was formed, Franklin D. Roosevelt was born and the electrical age began with the flip of a switch that lit up one square mile of Lower Manhattan, no horse has won the Kentucky Derby without racing at the age of 2.
“The horse that did it back then was the chestnut gelding Apollo, named after the Greek god of many things, including the paradoxical powers to both heal and plague. He caught the favorite Runnymede in deep stretch to win by a half-length and earn the heaping sum of $4,560. No one in attendance that day could have predicted how long it would take for another 3-year-old to emerge who did not race at age 2 but would still sniff the roses on the first Saturday in May.
“Enter Justify, the undefeated chestnut colt with the big white blaze who had won three straight races in 2018 and is trained by the Triple Crown-winning Bob Baffert. Maybe the curse of Apollo would get the best of him at the Kentucky Derby, or maybe enough was enough, and the right horse had finally come along to send that curse the way of the billy goat and the Bambino.
“And on Saturday at Churchill Downs, amid a steady and driving rain, Justify proved he was indeed that horse, fending off Good Magic to win the 144th Kentucky Derby by two and a half lengths in 2 minutes 4.20 seconds, and putting his name right next to Apollo’s in racing lore. Justify also earned a $1,432,000 paycheck for his jockey, trainer and owners, and rewarded his thoroughly soaked backers with $7.80 on a $2 bet to win. Audible finished third.
“ ‘I’ve seen all kinds, I mean this guy, he’s just special,’ Baffert said. ‘He has that presence about him.’
“It was an emphatic statement coming from a trainer who, in 2015, won the first Triple Crown in 37 years with American Pharoah and who also presided over the world’s richest racehorse, Arrogate.
“Saturday’s result, which came in slop that made the race itself more unpredictable, marked the sixth year in a row that the favorite had won the Derby. It was also Baffert’s fifth Derby victory.”
Baffert, who is highly superstitious, said he wasn’t worried about the 136-year-old curse, but rather the fact his wife pulled out a green dress, which I didn’t realize is thought to be bad luck.
“She pulled it out,” he said. “I didn’t say anything. I thought, all right, we’re going to see how good this horse is.”
Meanwhile, Justify was ridden by 52-year-old Mike Smith, aka Big Money Mike. Baffert said prior to the race that the key was the break, especially in a 20-horse field, and if Justify broke well, Baffert wasn’t concerned. If he didn’t, it was race over. Smith did his job to get Justify out front at the start.
Smith, at 52, is the second-oldest jockey to win the Derby, behind Bill Shoemaker, who was 54 when he won with Ferdinand in 1986.
On to the Preakness. Runner-up Good Magic is already one that is not going to run in it.
One final note…Mendelssohn, a 6-1 favorite from Ireland and seeking to become the first European-bred horse to win the Derby, finished last.
--Friday, Albert Pujols got hit No. 3,000, and then a two-run single for 3,001, in a 5-0 Angels victory over the Mariners. [Shohei Ohtani had two hits as well.]
Pujols, at 38 years, 108 days, is the 10th-youngest to reach 3,000. His contract runs through 2021. He is the 32nd to hit the magic mark (then with a second hit became No. 31 on the hit list, Roberto Clemente finishing his career at an even 3,000), but by end of the season Pujols could be in the top 20. And top ten by end of his career.
With his 600+ home runs, he is one of just four in the 600 / 3,000 club…the others being Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Alex Rodriguez.
And he follows Adrian Beltre as the second Dominican-born player with 3,000 hits.
Pujols’ .560 slugging percentage is better than any of the players with 3,000, by the way.
And Albert receives a $3m bonus from the Angels for his 3,000th, part of several incentive clauses in his 10-year, $240 million contract.
[Sadly, my own agent, Scott Porass, didn’t negotiate a $10,000 bonus for my 2,000th Bar Chat column.]
--The great Ichiro announced his retirement, sort of, on Friday, though he said he’s not really retiring but for now is moving to the front office of the Mariners. It is really seen as a long “Sayonara” for the national hero back in Japan.
In an interview with the Associated Press, author Robert Whiting said: “He’s like a player from the early part of the 20th century. I don’t want to say he’s a dying breed, but it’s very unusual for a major leaguer now to succeed like this. He had power, but he chose not to use it.” [Whiting has written books on both Ichiro and Japanese baseball.]
Ichiro amassed 3,089 hits in the big leagues, plus another 1,278 in Japan. He’ll be the first player elected to the Hall of Fame from his native land. [He was just 9 for 44, .205, this season with no extra-base hits.]
The ‘semi-retirement’ is really all about next season, when the Mariners open against the Oakland A’s for two games in Japan. Ichiro will no doubt play in them and then “retire.” This is a super cool way to go out.
And I love this bit from the New York Times’ Tyler Kepner.
“Suzuki has always (had) a deep appreciation for the history of his craft. The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., enchants him – he has been seven times – and he has visited the graves of the Hall of Famers George Sisler, in St. Louis, and Wee Willie Keeler, in Queens. Suzuki broke Sisler’s single-season hits record in 2004, with 262, and broke Keeler’s record of consecutive seasons with 200 hits. Keeler had a seven-year streak from 1894 through 1901, a century before Suzuki started a 10-year run.”
Mets fans will get a kick out of this. Ichiro was officially released to clear a spot on the 40-man and 25-man rosters for former Met Erik Goeddel from Triple-A Tacoma.
--Also Friday night, four Dodgers pitchers combined on a no-hitter, 4-0 over the Padres. Walker Buehler, in his third big-league start, went six, and Tony Cingrani, Yimi Garcia, and Adam Liberatore, finished it off. It was the first combined no-no in Dodgers history, and only the 12th in the history of the sport. And with the game being in Monterrey, Mexico, it was the first no-hitter ever outside the U.S. or Canada.
Buehler had thrown 93 pitches, one shy of his professional high. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2015 and is operating under a tight innings restriction. At 23, Buehler is the most promising arm in the Dodgers farm system and now may become a mainstay in the rotation.
--One more time, the rise and fall of Matt Harvey, Mets pitcher, once the “Dark Knight.” The record is highly deceiving his first three seasons…the guy received zero run support
2012…3-5, 2.73 ERA
2014…out for the season…Tommy John
I watched the Mets’ 11-0 loss Thursday afternoon at Citi Field to the Braves, Harvey giving up five runs in two innings, and told Johnny Mac and Phil W., Harvey’s days were numbered, like a precious few. It turns out it was one…as Harvey was designated for assignment, and then refused to go to the minors.
20 years from now, some of us old-timers will be in our rocking chairs (hopefully nothing worse than that), and going to any little kid that passes by, ‘Hey, let me tell you the tale of Matt Harvey, Sonny.’
OK, it won’t go down like this…seeing as I’ll be inside, and kids can’t hear you because of their earbuds, anyway, let alone they wouldn’t know how to respond to ‘Sonny.’
Kevin Kernan / New York Post
“From Dark Knight to a dark cloud, Matt Harvey’s roller-coaster career with the Mets came to an end Friday when he refused a minor league assignment to work out his massive pitching problems.
“This move was good for everyone.
“Harvey regressed terribly from spring training and this was a decision the Mets had to make once Harvey declined their offer to work out his woes in the minor leagues.
“This was a pitcher who was trying to make his way back to the rotation as a fifth starter and had lost veto power after the comic book superstardom of his early years to the uphill climb of overcoming Tommy John and thoracic outlet syndrome surgeries.
“Baseball can be cruel. But it also is fair. Mickey Callaway and pitching coach Dave Eiland were not invested in Harvey like the past regime was. They have much bigger problems to worry about than keeping Harvey happy as a mop-up man in the bullpen while trying to get his career back together.”
Eiland said, “His stuff is not there. I don’t mean to be negative or crude, the stuff was not there. In all my experiences of putting guys in the bullpen, going as far back as Phil Hughes with the Yankees, almost immediately their stuff ticks up. It just didn’t work. …When you are trying to win Major League Baseball games, it’s hard to have a guy rehabbing, it’s not fair to him or the team.”
“In the majors it is about stuff. It’s not about going to Los Angeles for a party when you might pitch the next day out of the bullpen. It’s not about how good you were before you were hit with injuries.”
Meanwhile, the Mets are in freefall after their 11-1, 12-2 start. [They lost today for a sixth straight time at home, 3-2 to Colorado, thus falling to 17-15.] And while star hurler Jacob deGrom turned out not to have a crippling elbow injury, as feared when he exited his last start after four innings, the Mets, who initially said he would make his regular start on Monday, placed him on the disabled list, smartly taking a precautionary move that will have him making a start next Sunday instead. He’ll throw a 50-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday.
But, boy, is this team a mess.
--The incredible Yankees (24-10) have now won 15 of 16 after a 9-9 start that had some locals wanting to fire new manager Aaron Boone. Today, 21-year-old Gleyber Torres capped a comeback from down 4-0 in the bottom of the eighth with a three-run blast in the ninth, 7-4, over Cleveland, in the Little Band Box in the Bronx.
Yes, I’m jealous…very, very jealous. It’s not as much about the Yankees’ streak and record, it’s about their young talent, of which my Mets have virtually zero.
The 15 of 16 is the first time since 1980 for the Yanks. Domingo German, in his first start, threw six innings of no-hit ball before being removed due to his pitch count.
--Clayton Kershaw last threw 30 starts in a season in 2015 (33). He was just placed on the disabled list for a third straight year, this time with biceps tendinitis. The other two reasons were a herniated disk (2016) and a strained back muscle (2017). He’s Hall of Fame bound, 145-68 lifetime, 3 Cy Youngs and an MVP, but no way is anyone else giving him what he already has in L.A. in terms of Kershaw exercising his option at the end of the season.
--What a performance Friday night by Houston’s Gerrit Cole. A one-hitter with a career-high 16 strikeouts in the Astros’ 8-0 win over the Diamondbacks in Arizona. Three weeks ago he struck out 14 against Texas. 77 Ks in 50 2/3 thus far this season, 3-1, 1.42 ERA. I’ll get into Houston’s starting staff next time.
--St. Louis catch Yadier Molina is expected to miss a month after most unusual surgery…on his groin after being hit by a foul tip. He required an emergency procedure to repair a traumatic hematoma. The Cubs’ Kris Bryant fouled off a 102-mph pitch from reliever Jordan Hicks.
“That was a bad one,” Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. “Those don’t necessarily feel better tomorrow.”
All of us guys are grabbing our crotch in sympathy. It’s almost ‘light a candle’ stuff.
[I do realize the preceding precludes me from ever winning a Pulitzer.]
--On Saturday, Florida State baseball coach Mike Martin became the all-time winningest coach in college baseball history with a 3-2, 13-inning win at No. 9 Clemson, FSU No. 15.
Martin has coached 2,688 games and his 1,976 wins surpass the late Augie Garrido. Garrido was best known for his days at Cal State-Fullerton and Texas.
Going back to Thursday, Boston went up 2-0 on Philadelphia with a 108-103 win in Beantown, as 76ers rookie sensation Ben Simmons had a horrendous night, one point in 31 minutes with five turnovers.
And in Toronto, the Cavaliers whipped the Raptors 128-110, even though Toronto shot 54.3% from the field.
The problem was Cleveland was better, 50 of 84, 59.5%, as LeBron James was superb, 19 of 28, 43 points, 8 rebounds, 14 assists, with just one turnover. Kevin Love chipped in 31 points and 11 rebounds.
Friday, the Warriors fell to the Pelicans 119-100 in New Orleans, Golden State up 2-1 in the series, as Steph Curry was held to 19 points on just 6 of 19 shooting from the field, while Anthony Davis had 33 points and 18 rebounds for N’Orlins, with Rajon Rondo adding 21 assists and 10 rebounds.
In a series that bores me to tears, the Rockets took a 2-1 lead, 113-92 over the Jazz in Salt Lake City.
On to Saturday, and LeBron did it again…his second buzzer-beater of the playoffs (the other Game 5 against Indiana), the Cavs prevailing over the Raptors 105-103, Toronto now down 3-0.
LeBron finished with 38, and the resurgent K-Love had 21 and 16. Demar DeRozan had just 8 for the Raptors, who have now lost nine straight playoff games to Cleveland, the Cavs looking to sweep for a second straight season.
And Philly went down 3-0 to Boston at home yesterday, 101-98 in overtime, as the Sixers celebrated too soon.
In the final moments of regulation, Philadelphia’s Marco Belinelli made a long 2-pointer that tied the score at 89-89, sending it into OT. But Philadelphia thought it was a 3-pointer for the win. Sixers coach Brett Brown left the court, and the confetti cannon operator shot it off, confetti spewing everywhere. Arena employees scrambled to clean it up. The Celtics considered it confetti karma.
But aside from the confetti guy not having a good day, once again, Ben Simmons was a goat. After flubbing a dunk late in the fourth quarter, he missed on a put-back with 17.2 seconds left in overtime when the 76ers could have stalled with the lead. Instead, Al Horford made a go-ahead layup with 5.5 seconds left in OT, and then sealed the win when he stole the ensuing inbounds pass and was fouled, making both.
So how freakin’ good is Celtics coach Brad Stevens?! No Gordon Hayward. No Kyrie Irving, yet Stevens is getting the most out of Duke rookie Jayson Tatum, the 20-year-old with five straight 20+ efforts at the best possible time, and the rest of his crew.
Today, Golden State regained its mojo, 118-92 over New Orleans for a 3-1 lead; Kevin Durant going off for 38.
--Shaquille O’Neal said the Lakers are in line for a major renaissance this summer, predicting both LeBron and Paul George will join the team in the offseason.
I agree on George…that’s been a layup for some time now. But I think it’s a natural for LeBron to join the 76ers…knowing how he wants titles.
--The Knicks, after an interminable search, settled on former Memphis coach David Fizdale to be their new head coach, the 12th in 18 seasons! Eegads. Now you know why Knicks fans are constantly reaching for the sword.
Fizdale, a former assistant at Miami as well, and recommended by LeBron, is supposedly the Knicks’ way to attract James to New York.
As Michael Powell of the New York Times writes: “This is like panning for gold in Central Park. You can knock yourself out shaking that pan; ain’t nothing there but fool’s gold.”
As for Fizdale’s predecessor, Jeff Hornacek, he was 44 games below .500 in his two abysmal seasons.
The Knicks haven’t reached the playoffs in five seasons.
Mike Vaccaro / New York Post
“The Knicks did the right thing Thursday. They hired the right man. That doesn’t fix everything. It doesn’t guarantee anything. But hiring David Fizdale is a step in the right direction, a big step. Fizdale alone doesn’t make them champions or even winners. But it puts them on the right path, points them in the right direction. You start with that.
“Fizdale isn’t Red Auerbach, he isn’t Red Holzman, and right now you’d have to say he isn’t erven his old boss and his old friend in Miami, Erik Spoelstra. He’s a young coach who had some early speed as an NBA boss in Memphis, making the playoffs his first year, and then ran into a 7-foot speed bump named Marc Gasol and it went sideways for him from there. He’s made mistakes and will make more. He’s had growing pains and will have more. But he was the right man at the start of this process and winds up the right choice at the end. The Knicks got this right.
“Because what the Knicks need most, right now, is leadership, they need a guy with a confident voice and an able foundation who will start the slow process of making them a competitive team, and then a representative team and then, in time, a winning team. By all indications Fizdale fits that bill.”
Yes, Knicks fans know we have to be a patient.
“It will be a slow, torturous trip. What we know for certain is the Knicks need more players, better players than they have now. We know they need to get Kristaps Porzingis back healthy, and playing at a level near where he was at the start of last season… That will be Fizdale’s biggest challenge, along with cultivating Frank Ntilikina and whomever they happen to get out of this year’s lottery, and whatever pieces they can assemble the first couple of years….
“(Let) Fizdale establish something here. Let him make this a destination place. And then let’s see if some of the players who speak so highly of him now want to join him in a few years.”
--On the college hoops front, the other day I mentioned that Dematha High School (D.C.) star junior guard Justin Moore was looking at four schools – Villanova, Maryland, Louisville and Wake Forest. Well he chose Villanova. The rich get richer. #DeacsAreAFootballSchool
Friday, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs…the Lighting went up 3-1 with a 4-3 overtime win in Boston over the Bruins.
But what’s the deal with Boston’s Brad Marchand, who has now been caught twice during the playoffs attempting to lick an opponent on the face. Good lord. The league, rightfully so, is pissed, telling Marchand to cut it out. It’s making a mockery of the sport.
Also Friday, the Golden Knights beat the Sharks in Vegas, 5-3, to go up 3-2 in that series.
Then Saturday, Washington beat Pittsburgh 6-3 to take a 3-2 series lead, the Penguins, back-to-back Stanley Cup champions, on the verge of elimination. Should Washington wrap it up (Game 6 in Pittsburgh…Game 7, if necessary, in Washington), it would be the first time in the Alex Ovechkin era that they had advanced to the Eastern Conference finals.
Also last night, Winnipeg defeated Nashville 6-2 for a 3-2 series lead in that one.
And today, the Bruins were eliminated, 3-1…series 4-1. Sorry Pete M. and George R.
--Larry Brooks / New York Post
“If Bill Torrey did not preface every sentence that way, it sure was pretty darn close.
“ ‘Lookit,’ he would say as he did at a press conference in 1978, for instance, upon the announcement of the Islanders’ signing of a Swedish netminder named Goran Hogosta. ‘There’s no question that Hogie is a world-class goaltender and what that means for Chico [Resch] and Smitty [Billy Smith], we’ll have to see.’
“Can’t win them all.
“But for a time, and what a time it was, the Islanders of Bill Torrey and Al Arbour almost did win them all. The general manager and the coach, linked inextricably as quite likely the greatest such tandem in NHL history, are together again in the wake of Torrey’s passing at his home in Florida on Wednesday night at the age of 83.
“Bow Tie Bill and Radar.
“Nineteen straight series victories for the Dynastic Islanders through the four consecutive Stanley Cups from 1980 to 1983 and the ‘Drive for Five’ that finally fell three wins short in the 1984 final. Nineteen straight, a number that never has been approached in the history of pro sports and, it’s safe to say, never will.
“Nineteen straight with the players acquired through the draft and via trades by Torrey and then coached by Arbour.”
Torrey had worked for Charlie Finley, who owned the expansion Oakland Seals, and he then worked for Roy Boe on the Island, becoming The Architect from the moment he took control of the expansion Islanders in 1972.
“He selected Smith, Eddie Westfall and Gerry Hart in the expansion draft; Billy Harris (first overall), Bobby Nystrom and Lorne Henning in the amateur draft. The Islanders won 12 games. He added Denis Potvin (first overall) and Dave Lewis in the ’73 draft, Clark Gillies and Bryan Trottier (in the second round!) a year after that.”
He added Mike Bossy in the draft a few years later, and then in March 1980, pulled off what Larry Brooks called a trade that was “Dave DeBusschere coming to the Knicks to the nth power” when he dealt franchise favorite son Billy Harris and Dave Lewis to the Kings in exchange for Butch Goring.
“You could look it up.”
--Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can be a real jerk sometimes. He said he was surprised the team drafted a quarterback after he notified them about his plan to play three to five more years.
Asked on local radio in Pittsburgh Friday, Big Ben was pointed when asked about the selection of Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph with the 76th overall pick.
“I was surprised when they took a quarterback because I thought that maybe in the third round, you know you can get some really good football players that can help this team now,” Roethlisberger said. “Nothing against Mason; I think he’s a great football player. I don’t know him personally, but I’m sure he’s a great kid. I just don’t know how backing up or being a third [string] – well, who knows where he’s going to fall on the depth chart – helps us win now.”
Because you are one concussion away from being a vegetable, Ben! And you’re old, and Rudolph was just a notch below the Big Four and Lamar Jackson. I like the move Pittsburgh made.
--I can’t get into the supposed cheerleader scandal down in Washington. I’ve heard too many conflicting stories after a New York Times investigation revealed disturbing allegations about the way franchise officials have treated the Redskins’ cheerleaders, with former cheerleaders saying the team made them vulnerable for the benefit of sponsors and big-spending ticket holders.
--Jason Day had an amazing up-and-down back nine, losing the lead at the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, only to play a spectacular tee-shot on the par-3 17th that hit the hole, kicking camera right for a short birdie; Day going on to win his 12th career PGA Tour title over 21-year-old South African Aaron Wise and Nick Watney.
--Rory McIlroy (T-16) was making his first start this week since The Masters and he admitted he needed some time to “decompress.” Rory said he realized there was only one tournament that mattered to him these days.
“The Masters has now become the biggest golf tournament in the world, and I’m comfortable saying that. I don’t care about the U.S. Open or the Open Championship, it is the biggest golf tournament in the world, the most eyeballs, the most amount of hype, everything is at Augusta.
“For me it’s the most special tournament that we play, and it’s the one everyone desperately wants to win, but even if I was going for my first major, it’s still tough to win.”
--The fifth major, The Players, is this coming week.
Oh boy, the plot thickened. Dr. W., Chelsea fan, wondered if I heard the little pitter-patter of Chelsea feet after the Blues defeated Liverpool Sunday, 1-0, while my Tottenham Spurs, who earlier in the week appeared to clinch a Champions League berth with a win over Watford, inexplicably lost to West Brom 1-0 on Saturday. So with two games to go, the lead for the final Champions League slot is just two points over Chelsea! Aghhh!
And then you have the sudden fascinating race to avoid relegation.
Bournemouth beat Swansea 1-0, you had the West Brom win, Southampton picked up a crucial point in a 1-1 draw with Everton, and Stoke lost to Crystal Palace 2-1.
Bottom line, the standings after 36/37 of 38…
1. Manchester City 36 – 94
2. Manchester United 36 – 77
3. Liverpool 37 – 72
4. Tottenham 36 – 71 …Champions League line
5. Chelsea 36 – 69
17. Southampton 36 – 33* …relegation line
18. Swansea 36 – 33
19. West Brom 37 – 31
20. Stoke 37 – 30
*Southampton comfortably ahead on goal differential.
But Southampton travels to Swansea on Tuesday, for what should be an amazing game for those in attendance.
Wednesday, Tottenham hosts Newcastle, while Chelsea hosts Huddersfield.
The season ends next Sunday with everyone playing at the same time. We’ll go over some of the final scenarios next chat.
--Speaking of the Champions League, last Wednesday, Liverpool reached the final for the first time since 2007, advancing 7-6 on aggregate against Roma despite losing a dramatic second leg in Rome.
Jurgen Klopp’s men face 12-time winners Real Madrid, and Ronaldo, on May 26 in Kiev.
But Liverpool supporters were sweating bullets. After winning 5-2 in the opening leg, Roma scored three times in the second half, barely falling short after a 4-2 win.
--My brother was at Dover International Raceway, the Monster Mile, today as Kevin Harvick won his fourth of the year, 41st of his career. I’ll be joining him for the October race there.
[Harvick has eight top-5s in 11 starts.]
--Hershel McGriff became the oldest racer to compete in a NASCAR-sanctioned event, competing in the K&N Pro Series West race at Tucson (Arizona) Speedway on Saturday at age 90. And he played the national anthem on his trombone. He finished 18th.
McGriff won four races in 1954 in what is now the NASCAR Cup Series. He was named one of NASCAR’s 50 greatest drivers in 1998.
NASCAR, which requires drivers to pass a physical, has no maximum age rule.
--Uh oh…there are rumblings about the new owner of Sports Illustrated, Meredith, whose titles include Family Circle, Family Fun and Midwest Living. As in there are concerns conservative Meredith could tinker, or do away with, the swimsuit issue! Noooooo!!!!
At the same time, there are stories that Meredith, which really wanted TIME, as well as People, in its recent acquisition of Time Inc. publications, is looking to jettison SI as soon as possible so this swimsuit issue could become moot.
Meanwhile, TIME female staffers, at least some of them, have been upset at a long-running tradition of showing off the issue by handing out copies to every TIME employee. The New York Post had a story that in 2008, an employee complained about finding “under my door…a beautifully laid-out publication of porn. Who decided I wanted to look at 100-some pages of barely dressed girls with abs made of slate and boobs that defy reason?”
You don’t have to look, babe. #KateUpton
But Sports Illustrated has more problems…longtime football writer Peter King is going to NBC Sports.
--There have been lots of stories recently of kangaroos attacking tourists. I’ve told you of how long ago when I was in a game park on Tasmania, ostensibly to see the Tasmanian Devil, which was smaller than I pictured, but more vicious, as you walked around you were surrounded by kangaroos, many at eye level, and they scared the [stuffing] out of me.
But the problem these days is that tourists are feeding them too much, specifically carrots, and they’ve become addicted to the sugar in them. If they find you don’t have them on you, it could spell trouble.
That was on the national news the other day. Brad K. then passed along a story:
“A mob of wild kangaroos that live in a popular picnic spot are viciously attacking the tourists who flock to see them,” and aside from carrots, the ‘Roos are addicted to fast food.
As reported by the Daily Mail, “One man who said he had not fed the animals was still given a large gash in his stomach. He had eaten McDonald’s before visiting the site.
“Lewis says the Kangaroos become highly aggressive after they see the food….
“Daily tourists are leaving the site bloodied and bruised after being attacked by the animals.”
The strange thing is the site where this wild mob of ‘Roos congregates has nothing near it except a large psychiatric hospital. No water, no toilets, yet thousands visit the place each week.
And it turns out that the unnatural diet for the giant rats can be deadly for them. I see a major lawsuit in the works. Kangaroos v. Man. ‘Kangaroo’ has never been highly thought of on the All-Species List, currently #287. ‘Man’ is down to #403.
--A man was mauled to death by a wounded bear the other day when he tried to take a photograph alongside the predator – the third wild animal-related selfie fatality in a certain state in eastern India, Odisha, which I haven’t been to. [I’ve been to Kerala!]
As reported by the Hindustan Times, Prabhu Bhatara spotted an injured bear and for some reason decided to take a selfie. When the man approached, “the bear’s fight instinct immediately kicked in.”
Somewhere there is video of the horrific attack, taken by a bystander.
Actually, according to the report, “A stray dog even attempted to go after the bear (and save Bhatara) by barking at it.”
So in Odisha, since December, you have this selfie fatality, plus a “Man was crushed to death by a wild elephant while trying to take a selfie,” and also that month, a youth was crushed to death while taking a selfie, also with an elephant.
Message sent…no selfies with elephants or bears.
--A giraffe has killed a South African filmmaker at a wildlife facility northwest of Johannesburg.
As reported by the Irish Independent: “Filming agency CallaCrew said Carlos Carvalho was filming a feature at the Glen Afric farm in Broederstroom when he ‘had a fatal run-in with a giraffe on set.’…
“South African media said Mr. Carvalho was near the giraffe when it swung its neck and knocked him over.
“The Glen Afric website promises tourists that ‘you can get up close and personal to a number of our resident wildlife.’”
Top 3 songs for the week 5/8/71: #1 “Joy To The World” (Three Dog Night) #2 “Never Can Say Goodbye” (The Jackson 5…my favorite of theirs…) #3 “Put Your Hand In The Hand” (Ocean)…and…#4 “I Am…I Said” (Neil Diamond) #5 “If” (Bread) #6 “What’s Going On” (Marvin Gaye…brilliant…) #7 “Stay Awhile” (The Bells) #8 “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Aretha Franklin) #9 “Chick-A-Boom” (Daddy Dewdrop) #10 “Me And You And A Dog Named Boo” (Lobo)
Baseball Quiz Answer: Active players with 1,000 RBIs [a/o Friday]
1. Pujols 1937
2. Adrian Beltre 1650
3. Miguel Cabrera 1634
4. Robinson Cano 1199
5. Adrian Gonzalez 1193
6. Victor Martinez 1137
7. Edwin Enbarnacion 1068
8. Chase Utley 1022
9. Ryan Braun 1006…Boooo Booooo!
10. David Wright 970…granted, it’s a stretch calling him active.
11. Brian McCann 959
12. Ryan Zimmerman 953
Next Bar Chat, Thursday…it might really be Thursday…depending on the Momcare schedule and the Premier League.