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Reopening Isn't Easy
[Posted Sunday p.m.]
Baseball Quiz: Well, we’re getting baseball and we hope they get the 60-game season in plus the playoffs. That would be a great sign for the country in terms of the coronavirus. So with 60 games, what kind of home run totals might we see? 1) Who holds the A.L. and N.L. records for most home runs in a month? 2) Who holds the A.L. and N.L. records for most home runs through May 31st (or like a 60-game season). [Four different players for the two questions.] Answers below.
--Nothing is easy these days. Toronto officials ruled the Blue Jays cannot play games at their home ballpark because government officials are worried that with all the travel to the U.S., and teams traveling from hot spots to Toronto, that it creates too much risk.
So Toronto, which opens July 24 in Tampa Bay and doesn’t play at home until July 29, has to find a new home by then and Buffalo, home to its Triple-A affiliate, is the natural choice, it being just a bus ride (about two hours) from Toronto.
But as I go to post, there’s a story they are looking for a major league field.
--Alex Rodriguez and fiancée J-Lo still have a shot at buying the Mets, even though hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen has submitted a higher bid, so various reports have it. [Plus Josh Harris and David Blitzer, who own the New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia 76ers, are in the mix.]
So A-Rod was on a conference call Thursday with reporters to pump up ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball,” where he’s still an analyst, and Rodriguez faced a question about “the prospect of a lockout and a lengthy work stoppage in 2022, that if you get involved in the management side, there is a lot of downside risk.”
A-Rod answers that the players may need to be ready to accept revenue sharing tied to a cap, at least this is implied.
“Downside protection is always the most important part of investing in anything. What I will tell you is that I was there for1994 when we walked away. I believe it was August 12, we were in Oakland. I was a young lad, 18 years old or so, Griffey I think hit his 40th home run that day. But understanding that the leverage of the players in 1994 was totally different than today.
“Today – then, we had a stranglehold on professional sports, baseball was one. Today, the NBA has become an international conglomerate. NFL is a juggernaut. Back then there was no Netflix. There was no SnapChat. There was no Disney+, ESPN+ and everything in between to attract your attention.
“So today we have to really work collaboratively with the players and the owners to say, how do we compete together to become No. 1? The only way it’s going to happen is they get to the table and say the number one goal is let’s get from 10 to 15 billion dollars and maybe we split the economics evenly.
“So that’s the type of the conversation, instead of fighting and fighting against each other because there’s too much competition out there right now.”
The answer did not sit well with MLBPA executive director Tony Clark. Per ESPN:
“Alex benefitted as much as anybody from the battles this union fought against owners’ repeated attempts to get a salary cap. Now that he is attempting to become an owner himself his perspective appears to be different. And that perspective does not reflect the best interests of the players.”
Over his 22-year MLB career, Rodriguez earned an estimated $448 million dollars. Late Thursday night, Rodriguez tried to do some damage control with the following tweet:
“Yesterday, when I was asked about the CBA expiring in 2021, I answered honestly, but never mentioned the word salary cap.
“My goal as a broadcaster and more importantly a fan of the sport is to grow our game.
“I suggested on the call that both sides – players and owners – work together to make baseball as big as the NFL and the NBA.”
A-Rod went on to say he was in contact with Tony Clark to make sure they’re on the same page in taking baseball to the next level.
--Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman said he doesn’t know if he has time to be ready for the opener after a scary experience with Covid-19.
On Saturday, the four-time All-Star revealed he had a high temperature of 104.5 degrees while sick with the disease and prayed for his life.
“I said a little prayer that night,” Freeman said in a video conference call. “I’ve never been that hot before. My body was really, really hot. …I said, ‘Please don’t take me’ because I wasn’t ready.”
Freeman said he feels great, but he just had his first workout Friday after receiving his second negative test for the coronavirus, which earned him medical clearance to play.
The Braves need Freeman’s bat. They had just signed free-agent outfielder Yasiel Puig to a one-year deal, but he tested positive and that voided the deal.
--Some of us like the daily “this day in baseball” notes from baseball-reference.com. I’m most interested in guys from the 1930s-1960s that I wasn’t too familiar with, or that just deserve to be remembered for being underrated or having done something out of nowhere where you imagine they were able to at least sit back and tell their grandchildren, “I did have this one moment few players ever get to have,” like being a marginal player for one’s career who suddenly throws a no-hitter or goes 5-for-5 with three home runs.
Johnny Mac said one such guy who had a very underrated career was Bob Elliott, who back on July 15, 1945, had six RBIs in a game for the Pirates while hitting for the cycle.
Elliott, who played mostly for Pittsburgh and the Boston Braves in a career lasting from 1939 to 1953, was certainly one of the more underrated players of his generation. The third baseman / outfielder was a 7-time All-Star, N.L. MVP with Boston in 1947, six, 100-RBI seasons, finishing up with 170 home runs, 1,195 RBIs, and a .289 batting average. Plus he hit .333 with two home runs in a losing effort for the Braves against the Indians in the 1948 World Series.
Alas, Elliott died at the all-too-early age of 49 in 1966, the victim of a ruptured vein in his windpipe, which I can’t say I’ve ever heard of.
I’d like to remember hurler Gary Peters, 1959-72, who didn’t become a regular for the Chicago White Sox until 1963 at the age of 26, winning the Rookie of the Year award that season, going 19-8 with a league-leading ERA of 2.33. He then followed that up with a 20-8, 2.50 campaign, making his first of two All-Star teams. Peters also won an ERA title in 1966 with a microscopic 1.98.
In 1967, during the all-time great A.L. pennant race, Peters was 16-11, 2.28, but lost his last two starts as the White Sox stumbled in the final week.
The White Sox were 89-68, one game back, but lost their last five. It’s not that the pitching was that bad, rather they scored five runs total in the five games. Boston won it on the final day of the season, the first season I remember the whole way as a 9-year-old baseball fan.
Gary Peters finished his career at 124-103, 3.25, pitching for the Red Sox 1970-72.
He was also an outstanding hitter for a pitcher, batting .222 with 19 home runs and 102 RBIs in 807 at-bats. Hell, Peters had seven triples.
So we quaff an ale tonight to Bob Elliott and Gary Peters, underrated stars of the game; both of whom would have earned $10s of millions if they had played in the last 20 years.
Washington Red Wolves…or whatever they will be….
The soon to be extinct Washington Redskins hired a major law firm (Wilkinson Walsh) to review the claims of 15 women who in an article published by the Washington Post on Thursday allege they were sexually harassed while employed by the team.
The article detailed numerous allegations of sexual harassment, misconduct and abusive behavior by several team executives and football personnel over more than a dozen years. Male executives, the women said, commented repeatedly on their looks, sent them inappropriate text messages and pursued unwanted relationships.
The women’s allegations spanned from 2006 to 2019 and were made against Larry Michael, the team’s former senior vice president of content and its play-by-play announcer on its radio broadcasts; Alex Santos, the team’s former director of pro personnel; Richard Mann II, the team’s former assistant director of pro personnel; Dennis Greene, former president of business operations; and Mitch Gershman, former chief operating officer.
No women accused owner Dan Snyder or former team president Bruce Allen of inappropriate behavior. But some expressed skepticism that Snyder and Allen were unaware of the behavior. One woman, Emily Applegate, said she assumed Allen knew what was happening because his office was just 30 feet away from her and he saw her “sobbing at my desk several times every week.”
The women blamed the team for having an understaffed human resources department, which had just one full-time staffer who also performs administrative duties at the team’s headquarters, and said they viewed an environment of verbal abuse by top executives as contributing to the team’s inappropriate treatment of employees.
Applegate noted the chief operating officer’s (Gershman’s) expletive-laced tirades, when she recalled him calling her “f-----g stupid” and requesting she wear a tight dress for a meeting with clients, “so the men in the room have something to look at.” They cried about a wealthy suiteholder who grabbed her friend’s backside during a game, Applegate said, and the indifference the team’s top sales executive displayed when she complained.
But most of all, Applegate said, they cried about the realization their dream job of working in the NFL came with what they characterized as relentless sexual harassment and verbal abuse that was ignored by top team executives.
The stories go on an on…all of those named above were total pigs.
Santos and Mann were fired by the Redskins last weekend. Michael announced his retirement this week.
Snyder said Friday that alleged sexual harassment and verbal abuse of female employees by former team officials as described in the Post report “has no place in our franchise or society.”
“This story has strengthened my commitment to setting a new culture and standard for our team, a process that began with the hiring of Coach [Ron] Rivera earlier this year.”
The NFL responded in a statement of its own.
“These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values,” the league’s statement said. “Everyone in the NFL has the right to work in an environment free from any and all forms of harassment. Washington has engaged outside counsel to conduct a thorough investigation into these allegations. The club has pledged that it will give its full cooperation to the investigator and we expect the club and all employees to do so. We will meet with the attorneys upon the conclusion of their investigation and take any action based on the findings.”
Among the many examples is Dennis Greene, the team’s former head of business operations, who was accused of sexually harassing women on the staff when he encouraged them to wear tight skirts and low-cut shirts, and asked them to flirt with people who own luxury boxes at FedEx Field, the team’s stadium in Landover, Md.
Greene, who resigned under pressure in 2018 after 17 years with the team, had been in charge of selling luxury suites and oversaw a program involving cheerleaders called ambassadors, who had been hired not to cheer, but solely for their attractiveness. He left the team in May that year after the New York Times published an investigation into the program. That report described him as examining each ambassador from head to toe as the group stood in an inspection line for him on game days.
Greene also oversaw a 2013 cheerleader calendar photo shoot in Costa Rica. Sponsors and well-heeled supporters were invited on the trip and watched as some cheerleaders posed topless for the calendar shoot. [New York Times]
Jerry Brewer / Washington Post
“To hell with the name. It doesn’t matter what you call Daniel Snyder’s ruinous franchise. It will still be offensive. The team needs a reckoning – or a wrecking ball – as much as a re-branding. If this isn’t the trigger – if the sexual harassment allegations of 15 former female employees and two reporters cannot obliterate a despicable organizational culture – then neither Snyder nor the entire NFL ownership club is worthy of anything other than scorn.
“It would be a mistake to look at the latest scandal…only through the lens of Snyder. The heartbreaking details of abuse and misogyny should have felt devastating. Washington is alleged to have fostered a predatory office atmosphere in which young women felt they had no better option than forcing themselves to cope.
“It’s critical that you first reflect upon the bravery of these women. Their perspective makes you realize how completely Snyder failed them. Determining Snyder’s culpability isn’t as simple as whether he can be directly linked to inappropriate behavior. He is still at fault because he developed a culture of manipulating, belittling and micromanaging that created a pathway to more disgusting sins. In addition, with only one full-time staffer in human resources, there was little in the organizational structure to hold those men accountable. Think of all the bright sports careers that those jerks redirected.
“Just two years ago, the club stood accused of objectifying its cheerleaders and making them accessible to premium suite ticket holders during a bikini calendar photo shoot in Costa Rica. That New York Times story resulted in Dennis Greene, the team’s president of business operations, losing his job.
“So we’re dealing with a repeat-offender franchise that prefers hole-patching to comprehensive reform and carries on enabling its sickest addiction.
“How long should we wait for the organization to do the right thing? It took the franchise 87 years to get rid of its racist name. Snyder had spent large portions of his 21 years in charge puffing out his chest and claiming his right to be insensitive. On Monday, he finally changed his mind, and it seemed that pressure from corporate sponsors and local leaders forced his hand. But perhaps Snyder also was in a rush to jam the news cycle with a historic decision to dull the impact of a bombshell report he knew was coming.
“Add it up. It took only the novel coronavirus pandemic, racial unrest, unprecedented pressure from all angles and sweeping allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse for Snyder to say, ‘Okay, I’ll let go of the racial slur in our name.’
“What unfathomable set of circumstances would it take for women in his organization to be free from harm?
“There is no justifiable reason for the NFL to waste any more of its reputation on Snyder. He has little to offer the league besides losing and disgrace. Football already has a long and shameful history of ambivalent reaction to women who accuse team personnel of misconduct. With the sports world still quiet and recovering, this is no time for the NFL to remind people how callous it can be.
“ ‘These matters as reported are serious, disturbing and contrary to the NFL’s values,’ the league said in a Friday morning statement, declaring it will monitor the situation.
“A fair process is warranted, but the NFL should do more than wait out this one. Snyder must go. If Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t think he has leaguewide support to force Snyder all the way out, he should figure out a way to make him a figurehead owner who takes the money but leaves it to the league to build a functioning organization. If Goodell doesn’t have the spine for it, those corporate sponsors should apply the same pressure that worked in convincing Snyder to change the team name….
“In the NFL’s bylaws, Goodell has the power to pursue ousting an owner. He can take the issue to the executive committee, which is made up of all 32 owners. It requests 24 owners to vote out an owner if Goodell convinces them he or she ‘has been or is guilty of conduct detrimental to the welfare of the League.’…
“(I would) like to know where on the scale of ‘detrimental to the welfare of the League’ perpetuating a toxic culture of abuse falls. I would like to know whether unrestrained harassment of women such as former marketing coordinator Emily Applegate, reporters Rhiannon Walker and Nora Princiotti, and more than a dozen others fits under this ‘detrimental’ umbrella. And if their pain isn’t compelling enough for the owners to scrutinize Snyder’s value to the league, I would like to know the answer to this question: If you simply protect one of our own and the culture in Washington doesn’t change, are you prepared to be branded an accomplice the next time Snyder’s boys do something bad?”
--NFLPA executive DeMaurice Smith spoke to members of the Pro Football Writers Association of America on Friday and said the impact of revenue loss amid the pandemic in 2020 will be felt into next year. Specifically, the “dramatic drop in revenue this year” could approximate $70 to $80 million per team, which would see the 2021 salary cap plummet all the way to $120 million, a steep drop from 2020’s $198.2 million cap.
The Eagles have a league-high $267.3 million in salary committed for 2021. The Giants $164 million. The preference, Smith said, would be to figure out a way to avoid that, possibly spreading out the decline over several upcoming years.
--With cases of the coronavirus growing rapidly in many parts of the country and the NFL Players Association wondering whether training camps should open in “hot spot” cities, there is mounting concern surrounding an on-time start.
The league and owners insist they are on track for a July 28 start to camp – with an eye toward beginning the regular season as scheduled Sept. 10. Some are talking of relocating teams.
According to data posted on the NFLPA’s website, there were 72 known Covid-19 cases among NFL players as of a week ago, or 2.5% of all players, with at least five more identified in recent days, with offseason rosters set at 90 players per team.
In a videoconference with owners Friday the focus was on hot spots and franchises such as Miami, Arizona, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Tennessee.
Of course while football has had the luxury of sitting back the last few months while MLB, NHL and NBA attempt to plow forward, many health experts expect the virus to be even worse in the fall and winter. But it’s bad now…real bad.
July 28 is just a week away.
And tonight as I go to post, players took to social media in a coordinated effort to urge the league to listen to the experts’ guidelines on safely reopening. Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, whose wife is pregnant, tweeted: “I am concerned…Training camp is about to start…And there’s still No Clear Plan on Player Health & Family Safety. We want to play football but we also want to protect our loved ones.”
--One player note…the Tennessee Titans reached an agreement with star running back Derrick Henry on a four-year, $50 million contract that includes $25.5 million guaranteed, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Henry becomes the fifth-highest paid running back based on average annual salary, $12.5 million, trailing only Christian McCaffrey ($16 million), Ezekiel Elliott ($15m), Le’Veon Bell ($13.1m) and the Texans’ David Johnson ($13m).
Henry won the NFL rushing title with 1,540 yards last season and during the Titans’ run into the playoffs, became the first player to rush for 180 or more yards in three consecutive games.
The restart to the NHL season is Aug. 1st at its two hubs in Toronto and Edmonton, but then there was a big storm Thursday night in Edmonton that damaged the arena, Rogers Place, though Oilers officials said they were confident it would not hamper the planning and preparation for the return of hockey.
Western Conference teams are scheduled to travel to Edmonton on July 26.
--So we had back-to-back PGA Tour events at Jack’s Place, Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio, only this time it was The Memorial, not last week’s Workday event (subbing for the John Deere Classic).
And it was a different golf course, hard and fast, needing rain, not getting it, lots of wind drying out the greens, and heading into the final round we had….
Jon Rahm -12
Ryan Palmer -8
Tony Finau -8
Danny Willett -6
Finau blew a three-shot lead on the back nine Saturday, going backwards from -12, while Rahm birdied three coming in to take a commanding lead.
Tiger Woods was making his return to the tour and he barely made the cut and started Sunday T37, +2.
And so Rahm closed the deal to become World No. 1, the first Spaniard to do so since his hero, Seve Ballesteros. It was the 25-year-old Rahm’s fourth career win.
But there was a late controversy over whether Rahm intentionally improved his lie before a spectacular chip shot for birdie on 16. I think he did improve his lie, ditto Dr. Bortrum felt that way, but I also do NOT think he was trying to cheat. And I hope the a-holes on social media don’t give him a hard time. He f’n won by five strokes, call it three if you want, as it looks like the tour ruled. This is no Patrick Reed, in other words.
By the way, how brutal were the conditions today? Eight golfers shot 80 or more, including someone I mention below.
--Whither Bryson DeChambeau? The best player on the tour since the restart, Bison hit his tee shot on the par-5 15th left into the water on Friday.
Attempting to reach the green he hit a fairway wood for his third shot out of bounds, on the wrong side of a boundary fence down the right side of the hole.
Now he’s hitting five. Attempting to reach the green again, he hit a fairway wood out of bounds in the same vicinity as the previous shot.
Hitting seven, he attempted to reach the green a third time, he hit a fairway wood well right near the previously noted fence. It bounced off the cart path multiple times and settled just short of a water hazard.
From their he pitched onto the green, leaving him 29 feet from the hole, two-putted and had his ‘10’.
DeChambeau went to No. 15 comfortably inside the cut line and instead missed the cut by two.
Some of us thoroughly enjoyed this.
Additionally, after a practice round with Tiger on Wednesday, nine holes, DeChambeau said the following in heaping praise on Woods.
“Back in the day, he was it,” DeChambeau said. “He was the golden star. He was the one everybody looked up to.”
As in past tense. Then this:
“Even now, he’s hitting it pretty long,” Bison said. “There were a couple holes he hit 320, 325 (yards). I’m like, that’s pretty good for his age. It’s amazing for his age.”
As one writer put it, while intending nothing but reverence and no disrespect, “his words dripped with unintended patronization.”
Woods, on the other hand, praised DeChambeau’s transformation.
“What Bryson has done is no easy task,” Woods said. “He’s put in the time and has put in the reps and he’s figured it out. He’s gotten stronger, faster, bigger, and has created more speed. But more importantly, he’s hitting it further. But let’s look at the fact that he’s hitting it as straight as he is. That’s part of the most difficult thing to do.”
--Brooks Koepka admitted on Saturday after the third round that the left knee that has bothered him for more than a year still “has its moments,” which just isn’t good. We’ve seen he can still go low, but he’s inconsistent and now we know it’s because he has his good days with the knee and bad ones.
Koepka revealed he underwent an MRI on Monday between the two starts in Dublin, Ohio, and he said that it showed that the knee, which he first injured last March, isn’t much different than when he re-injured his patella tendon, while slipping on concrete at the CJ Cup in South Korea, from which he subsequently withdrew.
Koepka underwent stem cell treatment on the knee in August after the Tour Championship. He shot 80 today to finish T62 and is No. 154 in the FedEx Cup standings, as in he’s currently out of the playoffs with just a few events left to qualify.
--The NASCAR All-Star Race was held Wednesday at Bristol Motor Speedway and won by Chase Elliott. NASCAR allowed 20,000 fans to witness it…an important first step towards a return to bigger crowds at most sporting events down the road…fingers and legs crossed.
But in a qualifying race for some drivers held immediately before the main event, Michael McDowell appeared to turn Bubba Wallace into the wall, destroying the car. Bubba then called McDowell “a joke” after. Wallace would have been able to race in the main event otherwise because he reportedly won a fan vote to qualify.
Elliott won the $1 million prize, though there are no points for the Cup Series awarded for it. But in doing so, with his father, Bill Elliott, having also won it, they became the second father-son duo to win the All-Star Race, following Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
--And at Texas Motor Speedway today, Austin Dillon picked up his third career win, defeating teammate, and rookie, Tyler Reddick on a last restart; a 1-2 finish for Richard Childress.
I had Dillon in my DraftKings lineup and still finished way out of the money, sending me into a deep depression as I go to post…I’m not likely to recover from it.
Except I have an appointment first thing tomorrow morning to give blood, so I probably won’t do anything rash tonight, savoring the Lorna Doone cookies you get after.
A few big games since last chat….
Wednesday, Arsenal shocked Liverpool 2-1, thus denying the Reds a shot at the record for points in a season. Now with two left they won’t get to 100…Man City’s record from 2017-18.
Tottenham defeated Newcastle 3-1 to stay relevant in the Europa League chase, Harry Kane with two.
Burnley tied the Wolves 1-1, helping Tottenham.
Thursday, Leicester beat Sheffield 2-0 and Man U kept pace, 2-0 over Crystal Palace.
Then Sunday, a suddenly surging Tottenham, easily playing their best of the season, whipped Leicester 3-0, Harry Kane with two more (I’d say he’s healthy again), dealing Leicester a huge blow in its Champions League quest that the first 3/4s of the season seemed a certainty.
Meanwhile, in the FA Cup semis, Arsenal upset Man City 2-0, Saturday, and today, Chelsea ran all over Man U 3-1…so an Arsenal-Chelsea FA Cup Final, which is pretty cool. Go Dr. W.!
But back to the Premier League, I’ll go thru the final weekend coming up next time, but just know for now that Leicester is playing Man U in their finale. And Tottenham needs to hold off the Wolves for the second Europa League slot (though it’s more complicated than this…I’ll explain next chat), which would be a great consolation prize after a troubling season for Jose Mourinho’s boys, taking over a third into the season for the popular but largely underachieving Mauricio Pochettino. [Despite all of Pochettino’s success, true greatness is measured in hardware…Premier League title, Champions League crown, FA Cup…and nary a one during his tenure.]
Standings…36/37 of 38…games – points…
1. Liverpool 36 – 93
2. Man City 36 – 75
3. Chelsea 36 – 63
4. Leicester City 37 – 62…goal differential 28
5. Man U 36 – 62…GD 28
6. Tottenham 37 – 58
7. Wolves 36 – 56
8. Sheffield 36 – 54
--After 16 years, Leeds United qualified for the Premier League with its title in the Championship League (not to be confused with the Champions League). Reminder, bottom three in PL get relegated, top three in the Championship League get promoted.
Argentine Marcelo Bielsa has led the Yorkshire side to promotion in his second season in charge and is a hero to the locals for sure.
West Brom is second in the standings and hoping for promotion, but it’s iffy. The teams finishing 3rd thru 6th have a playoff for the third invitation to the big leagues. [A great system all around.]
--Real Madrid clinched a record-extending 34th La Liga title on Thursday. Barcelona is second with 26 titles.
Since the 2000-01 season, Real and Barcelona have won every league title save for Valencia (2003-04) and Atletico Madrid (2013-14).
--Trainer Bob Baffert was handed a 15-day suspension by the Arkansas Racing Commission on Wednesday after two of his horses, Charlatan and Gamine, tested positive for a numbing agent following their races on the May 2 Arkansas Derby program at Oaklawn Park.
Charlatan won a division of the Arkansas Derby while Gamine won an allowance race at Oaklawn. Each subsequently tested positive for lidocaine, a legal but regulated substance in horse racing. The Arkansas Racing Commission ruled both wins would be vacated and Baffert would be suspended from Aug. 1-15, ruling he is ultimately responsible for the condition of any horse that’s entered to race, even though Baffert wasn’t on site.
Baffert and his representatives have contended the trace amounts of lidocaine found in both horse’s systems came from a medicinal patch containing lidocaine worn on the back of assistant trainer Jimmy Barnes, who was recovering from a broken pelvis. They said the drug had been transferred from Barnes’ hands to the horses when tongue ties were applied.
Lidocaine is a legal substance used on horses for suturing wounds and other purposes. However, it is regulated because of its potential to mask lameness in a horse.
Charlatan suffered an ankle injury and missed the Belmont Stakes, and Baffert said the colt will miss the Kentucky Derby but may be back in time for the Preakness on Oct. 3.
Separately, a Baffert-trained horse, Authentic, won the $1 Million Haskell Stakes at beautiful Monmouth Park in New Jersey (it really is). This is the race where I went to see American Pharoah five years ago. My how time flies.
So Authentic could be in the Derby in September, though he barely held on yesterday.
--Here’s a great feel-good story, courtesy of the Star-Ledger (and AP) here in New Jersey.
“A newborn who was not breathing when she was born in a train station bathroom is doing well after a police officer performed CPR on the newborn and rushed her to a hospital.
“Body-camera video released Friday by NJ Transit police showed what happened when officers arrived at the women’s restroom in Newark’s Penn Station on Tuesday.
“Police found the mother, who had just given birth, cradling the girl, who was gray in color.
“Officer Bryan Richards began chest compressions and radioed for EMS, but ‘realizing the dire need for immediate medical care,’ Richards decided to rush the baby to the hospital, police said.
“While office Alberto Nunes drove, Richards continued to pump the girl’s chest and offered words of encouragement. A cry was heard as they neared the hospital and the baby began to breathe.
“ ‘Good girl. Good girl. Good girl,’ Richards said as the officers arrived at the hospital. NJ Transit said the baby is doing well.”
I saw these two officers being interviewed the other day. True models of their profession. And Richards goes in the December file for all the right reasons.
--I’ve been meaning to note an article by Geoff Edgers of the Washington Post on the old days; specifically, the days when you could join the Columbia Record & Tape Club and receive 12 albums or cassette tapes for a penny. Now you had to agree to buy eight more at regular prices over three years, but I doubt anyone ever actually did so. I can’t remember complying…you just kept rejoining!
But Mr. Edgers doesn’t mention Record Club of America, which was five for free with no obligation whatsoever.
It was so much fun getting the 12, or five, all at once. “Frampton Comes Alive!” was one that stands out in my memory bank. And the catalogues/newsletters were great.
Needless to say, such clubs eventually went bankrupt.
--Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick have split after dating for more than two years. I’m trying to get my people in touch with her people. I’ll let you know of any developments.
Top 3 songs for the week 7/23/77: #1 “Looks Like We Made It” (Barry Manilow…to Stage 2, outdoor dining, salons open…) #2 “I Just Want To Be Your Everything” (Andy Gibb…gotta wear a mask…) #3 “Da Doo Ron Ron” (Shaun Cassidy)…and…#4 “I’m In You” (Peter Frampton…that’s Stage 3…) #5 “My Heart Belongs To Me” (Barbra Streisand) #6 “Angel In Your Arms” (Hot) #7 “Undercover Angel” (Alan O’Day…he was a little too peppy for me…) #8 “Margaritaville” (Jimmy Buffett…take-out booze orders have been soaring in New York, though Gov. Cuomo today enacted some restrictions on same to reduce crowds…) #9 “Do You Wanna Make Love” (Peter McCann…Girls, be careful…might be a Washington Redskins staffer…check with H.R. …) #10 “Best Of My Love” (Emotions…what a crappy week…C- …)
Baseball Quiz Answers: 1) Most home runs in a month. A.L. – Rudy York, Detroit, 18, Aug. 1937. N.L. – Sammy Sosa, Chicago, 20, June 1998…Booo Boooo! 2) Most home runs thru May 31st. A.L. – Ken Griffey Jr., Seattle, 24, 1997. N.L. – Barry Bonds, San Francisco, 28, 2001…Booo Boooo!
Rudy York was a 23-year-old rookie for the Tigers back in 1937, slamming 35 home runs with 101 RBIs in just 104 games, 375 at-bats, 1.026 OPS. He’d end up with 277 home runs, 1,149 RBIs, .275 BA…six, 100-RBI seasons, 7-time All-Star…just a very solid ballplayer. An all-time Tiger great.
Next Bar Chat, Thursday…or sooner.
*And I just have to offer a product promo, which I don’t know if I’ve ever done here. I’ve been hankering for some good Carolina barbecue, which is totally different from what you’d get in, say, Memphis or Texas. Good old-fashioned pulled pork with coleslaw and a vinegar-based sauce.
And I can heartily recommend Kings Barbecue out of Kinston, North Carolina, which I’ve been to when I was working in the state back in the late 1980s. Easy to find online. I just devoured the last of my first two-pound order, after being in the freezer a decent spell, and it tasted fresh. Two pounds is more than it sounds. They pack it in…easily seven big sandwiches with each pound container.
The issue is the shipping cost. To some parts of the country it is definitely prohibitive, as Shu discovered; he being in Arizona. For me, I found it reasonable. And the Gel freezer packs they use are terrific! I use them now every time I go shopping to keep the frozen stuff cold. I’m serious.
[I sent their sausage links to my brother and he said they were great as well.]