I had fun doing this montage of topical matters a while back, so here we are again, with weasel ears & dunce caps to hand out.
Weasel #1: Robinson Cano. The Yankees' 2nd baseman was the team captain of the 4-man AL team in the Home Run Derby last night in Kansas City. The fact that Detroit's Prince Fielder won the Derby became secondary to the fact that the paying customers in attendance booed Cano out of the building.
What was his offense? Supposedly, he'd made a promise to try to pick a player from the host Royals for the Derby, but failed. He went with Fielder, Jose Bautista (Toronto), & Mark Trumbo (Angels). That an AL player would win was guaranteed when three of the four NL sluggers, including team captain Matt Kemp (Dodgers), were eliminated, along with Cano, in the first round of play, and the last NL man, St. Louis' Carlos Beltran, was KO'd in round 2, along with Trumbo, leaving Bautista & Fielder. The KC fans showed their lack of respect for the league by ragging on Cano, which gives them a collection of Dunce Caps to pass around.
Weasel #2: Ian Desmond. The Washington shortstop was chosen as a reserve to back up St. Louis' Rafael Furcal, but then it was reported on Saturday that Desmond was pulling out due to an oblique strain. How, then, to explain Desmond being able to play against Colorado Saturday & Sunday, and hitting home runs in both games? If he's got a strained oblique muscle, and that injury has sidelined some players for lengthy periods, it sure didn't seem that way over the weekend.
Here's the thing. Desmond could still play, even if it was maybe an inning or two at the end of the game. Plus, he'd have a day or two off before the Nationals' next game. I get that he wants to be a maximum health for the Nats' stretch run, but he's not exactly winning respect from his peers by dropping out of his 1st All-Star Game three days before.
Weasel #3: National sports media. It isn't just in New York that the media is crapping on NL manager Tony LaRussa, who retired after leading the Cardinals to the World Series last fall, for choosing San Francisco's Matt Cain over the Mets' RA Dickey as the NL starter. Associated Press columnist Jim Litke took LaRussa to task in his column, which appeared in today's papers. It isn't because LaRussa was concerned over the effect of the knuckleball, Dickey's #1 pitch, on Cain's teammate, Buster Posey. It's more a case of the fans voting Posey in as the starting catcher, and it made more sense to have Cain, then, start the game, working with Posey, since they already have a rapport and continuity. LaRussa has promised that Dickey will not share the fate of fellow knuckler Tim Wakefield, who was on the AL team 3 years ago, but never got into the game.
Weasel #4: US Anti-Doping Agency. These shadowy zealots won't leave 7-time Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong alone. They continue to insist that Armstrong used performance enhancing drugs, and now they claim to have evidence that proves it, yet they're unwilling to present said evidence or witnesses that they say will testify against Armstrong. Who's running the USADA anyway? Bill Belichick? Look, the last thing we need is a CIA-type agency running a witch hunt in sports, but that's what these guys have been doing, and it needs to stop. Ironically, it's a quote from troubled pro wrestler Scott Hall that comes to mind in this case for the USADA. Don't just sing it, bring it.
And if they can't bring it, Armstrong, who had a lawsuit tossed Monday, will file a fresh one, and, sooner or later, the truth will be told.
Ok, I'm done handing out "awards". Let's move on.
If you're a fan of Family Feud, you have to be wondering if current MC Steve Harvey, after two seasons, will return for a 3rd. Harvey now has a self-titled talk show debuting in September, on top of his radio show and, presumably, Feud. If the show's current handlers, Fremantle Media, Debmar-Mercury, & 20th Century Fox, have any plans for the coming season, they're not talking. Yet. Feud marked its 45th anniversary last year with 0 fanfare. Not a surprise there.
A tip of the cap to Gasoline Alley's Jim Scancarelli. In recent weeks, he's paid homage to comedy legends in his strip. For example, he included characters resembling the Three Stooges, working as exterminators (paying homage to a classic Stooges short, "Ants in the Pantry"). That lasted less than a week. Currently, Skeezix is dealing with a snotty store manager modeled after actor Frank Nelson, best remembered as a member of Jack Benny's repertory company who greeted Benny with "Yesssssss?" every time. Now, if only Scancarelli can fit in analogues of Benny and the rest of the gang..........