Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Sports this 'n' that

Nearly a week ago, President Trump did what he does best, inflaming his fan base, by shredding CNN's Don Lemon and newly minted Los Angeles Laker LeBron James. He continued his attack on the cabler by labeling Lemon the "worst interviewer" on television, which is questionable. However, in the course of that interview, we found out that James was starting a school for at-risk kids in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, and when Trump went to Ohio last Friday for a rally, he made sure not to mention James by name, or discuss the subject.

Now comes word, via Yahoo!, that more than 4,000 fans have signed a petition suggesting the 33 year old NBA star would replace Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. They forget that James went directly from high school to the NBA 15 years ago, and with the lack of college education, probably wouldn't be considered for the job.

In between, Trump has been ripped by a number of athletes not just in basketball, but other sports, too. James is also developing and/or producing television shows for cable and broadcast television, including a forthcoming Showtime miniseries that takes a line from Fox News' Laura Ingraham's criticism of James earlier this year, Shut Up & Dribble. James' production company has landed a deal with CBS for a competition series, and also produces NBC's The Wall.
Condolences to the family of NHL Hall of Famer Stan Mikita, who passed away earlier this week as a result of Lewy's Body dementia, the same disease that claimed radio & cartoon legend Casey Kasem a few years back. Mikita made a cameo appearance in the 1992 movie, "Wayne's World", a nod to his being a hockey icon in Chicago.
The Los Angeles Rams are prepared to start the season without star defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who is holding out for either a contract extension or a new deal altogether. I wish the player agents would just stop pulling these attention grabs in pre-season, and negotiate in private, away from the press, then get a deal done.
Yes, the Tri-City Valleycats are still clinging to first place in the Stedler Division of the New York-Penn League after taking 2 of 3 from Connecticut, but a series against Hudson Valley, set to start tonight, could wind up infringed upon by rain. What else is new? It's the Renegades' only visit to Troy this year, and that could prove problematic, schedule wise, as we wind down toward the post-season.
Mets manager Mickey Calloway may think Jason Vargas is just having a bad year.

Vargas, on his 2nd tour of duty with the team, fell to 2-8 last night after losing to Cincinnati. He only pitched 1/3 of an inning due to a mammoth rain delay as a thunderstorm came downstate, and had the teams cooling their heels for nearly 2 hours.

According to a report in today's New York Post, Calloway is open to putting Vargas in the bullpen in the season's final weeks, but is committing himself to keeping Vargas in the rotation otherwise, headed into next year. In this writer's opinion, Vargas' best days are behind him, and his future lies in the bullpen, after all.

Another report making the rounds says that it's expected that Calloway will return next year, writing off this year as the product of too many injuries. However, given the heat that owner Fred Wilpon and his son, Jeff, have gotten from the fan base, you'd think they were the 2nd coming of M. Donald Grant, the cheapskate representing the Payson family in the 70's when they owned the Mets.
Cody Rhodes may be a villain most of the time in the wrestling ring, but outside the ring, he's becoming a hero to the masses, not quite his late father, Dusty, but a hero just the same.

After reading a message on social media from a disabled fan in New Jersey, Rhodes pledged to ensure that the fan would get to see the September 1 All In event on PPV. The card continues to take shape as of this writing, 3 1/2 weeks before it takes place, and it was revealed on Monday that the program would start with a hour-long broadcast on free TV, specifically WGN America (check listings), while the show otherwise will be on Fite TV, and streaming online at a number of sites, including Ring of Honor's Honor Club streaming service. Rhodes will challenge NWA champion Nick Aldis on the card, while ROH champ Jay Lethal will face the winner of a battle royal taking place early in the card.

Rhodes will also return to the CW's Arrow this season, reprising his role as Derek Sampson, who fought the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) on a couple of occasions in season 5. Amell, by the way, is also appearing at All In, on a break from production on season 7 of Arrow.

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