Monday, May 17, 2021

Tipped pitches and injuries. This is what's wrong with the Mets

 The Mets went into Tampa Bay with a 7 game winning streak, and move to Atlanta tonight barely clinging to first place in the NL Least. To paraphrase David Byrne of the Talking Heads, 41 years ago, how did we get here?

The most obvious culprit, of course, is injuries, and as with other teams in the majors, including the Braves, the timing is just so bad.

On Sunday, outfielder Michael Conforto and infielder Jeff McNeil both left the game with hamstring tightness, and were placed on an already swollen injured list this morning, less than 24 hours after the Mets were swept by the defending AL champion Rays. The Mets are hoping in the next week or so to get infielder JD Davis, ace pitcher Jacob deGrom, and outfielder Brandon Nimmo back from the IL, but, considering Nimmo has already had a setback while on rehab in Syracuse last week, nothing's guaranteed.

Meanwhile, Atlanta will have their all-universe leadoff hitter, Ronald Acuna, Jr., back tonight, barring a setback from an ankle injury that kept him sidelined vs. Milwaukee over the weekend. Pitcher Huascar Ynoa, he of the grand slam homer against Washington a couple of weeks back, broke his hand in frustration after getting roughed up by the Brewers on Sunday, and is out for 2 months. Mike Soroka, who tore his Achilles vs. the Mets last year, isn't ready to return after he had to undergo a 2nd operation a few days ago. However, the Braves' offense is a little more intact than the Mets for now. That's trouble for the Mets.

The other problem seems to be pitcher Joey Lucchesi, acquired from San Diego in the off-season. Lucchesi got roughed up vs. Tampa Bay over the weekend, and there are online commentators who've noted that Lucchesi has been tipping his pitches, a problem he might've also had contribute to his demise with the Padres. Manager Luis Rojas is hoping Lucchesi can get one more go in the rotation, covered by an opener, as was the case in his last two games, but Mets Nation has turned on Lucchesi, determining that he's a reliever, nothing more.

Prediction: Lucchesi may be gone by the trade deadline.

The Rays' familiarity with another Mets reliever, Sean Reid-Foley, certainly helped in Saturday's 12-5 win. Reid-Foley pitched for Toronto last season, as did Aaron Loup, so I'd think Tampa manager Kevin Cash might've kept his scouting reports from last season handy.

If anyone thought the injury curse that plagued Citi Field left with the Wilpons, think again. It never left.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

On The Shelf: Man-Thing turns 50, but Marvel fumbles

 The Man-Thing made his debut in the pages of Savage Tales 50 years ago. A scientist, Ted Sallis, had been working on a modified version of the same super soldier formula that created Captain America some 30 years earlier, but, pursued by enemy agents, crashes into the swamps of the Florida everglades, and mutates into a mute monster, powered by emotional empathy, whose touch burns its fearful victims.

Veteran writer Steve Orlando, making his Marvel debut, was tasked with creating an all-new story for the character's 50th anniversary. Marvel, sensing big bucks, decided that instead of a miniseries, there would be a trio of 1-shot specials in which Man-Thing would co-star with the company's big guns, Spider-Man, the Avengers, & the X-Men.

Unfortunately, that strategy backfired. The last two chapters were released a week apart, and it didn't help that Orlando had created a less than appealing villain in the Harrower, an arrogant woman who wants the Man-Thing's powers for herself. By the time the X-Men chapter came out, I'd already decided this was a lost cause. Shoot, RL Stine did a better job with Man-Thing a few years ago.

Rating: C-.
Speaking of the black & white era at Marvel, which we really weren't, ye scribe caught a lucky break, and acquired a pair of issues of Marvel Preview, a quarterly anthology series that would adapt novels, such as Philip Wylie's Gladiator, or creator-owned characters, like Gil Kane's Blackmark. The series gave way to Bizarre Adventures around 1980 or so, so that Marvel could do more black & white uncensored stories of popular characters like the X-Men.

Roy Thomas, who adapted Gladiator into Man-God in 1976, revisited the concept at DC a few years later when he created the character of Iron Munro for his Young All-Stars series. I don't really remember if Marvel let him finish Man-God----he might've, but I'm not sure----, but bringing the concept back now in the 21st century would be nice right about now.

Rating for Marvel Preview: A-. Hey, they actually adapted Sherlock Holmes before DC did. That accounts for something.
We talked up the current Suicide Squad series a couple of months back. This was an outgrowth of a Future State miniseries during the winter, and in the probable future as now, Amanda Waller is more ruthless than ever. I honestly don't know if that would be the politically correct thing to do with Waller, treating her like just another power-drunk politico, which is what she really is.

However, I have serious doubts about whether or not DC will stick with any of the Future State concepts, even though the most hyped, Wonder Girl, debuts this week. Readers are desperate to get out of the grim-dark era that we've been stuck in since the mid-80's, but grim-dark-lovin' fanboys are like, well, do I really need to tell you?

The mistake DC made was piggybacking a Black Adam two-parter that belonged in the back of Future State: Shazam! on the back of this mini, and that was equally dull in repackaging Adam into a tragic hero yet again.

Rating: B--.
American Mythology, the license holders to the Three Stooges, decided to adapt Hanna-Barbera's 1977 bionic parody, The Robonic Stooges. The writers, including SA Check, who writes most of the Stooge adaptations for American Mythology, did their level best to retain the spirit of those shorts, most of which, if memory serves, were written by Norm Maurer, Moe Howard's son-in-law, who also had a hand with a certain pair of Super Friends characters ye scribe is so fond of, while adding the eye-pokes and slapstick antics of the real Stooges, which were left out of the cartoons due to anti-violence restrictions.

Rating: A-.
The Hellfire Club used to be enemies of the X-Men back in the day, but times have changed, and on the living island of Krakoa, a mutant itself, it seems the groups will come together for what is being billed as the Hellfire Gala. So Marvel decides to go all Glamour with a preview guide that shows off some formal mutant fashions for 2021. So not digging Professor X's new helmet, which he's had the last couple of years. The weekly event is a cash grab, nothing more.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

The GOPer game plan in 2021: Lie, deny, revise history, and just be stupid enough to think their base is the same way

 The late Robin Williams titled one of his comedy albums, "Reality.....What a Concept". Apparently, the Repugnants have decided to adopt that philosophy, but they're denying reality.

For example, Texas Rep. "Screwy" Louie Gohmert was on the House floor Friday, trying to defend the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, painting the Trump supporters as, get this, political prisoners.


After Schuylerville's Elise Stefanik was appointed to replace Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney as the #3 Republican on Friday, House Minority Leader/Minister of Propaganda Kevin "The Body Snatcher" McCarthy tried to say, just because they were in the same room with President Biden, that all was well, but, yet, they continue to bend the knees and kiss the ring of former president Pecos Pampers (Donald Trump), coddling the delusional, paranoid man-child by pushing his agenda that the election was stolen, when it clearly wasn't.


And, then, you have the House's Duchess of Dumb, Marjorie Taylor-Greene, still trying to pick a fight with Alex From The Block (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), out in the open, like a schoolyard bully. AOC, for her part, dismissed Mushmind's taunts by likening them to the rude barroom customers she used to eject when she was a bartender.

Unfortunately, Mushmind is trying to re-position herself as a victim, because that's what Repugnants do to deceive their base.

By the way, we know Elise Stefanik is kissing the ring of Citizen Pampers to advance her career, nothing more. Prolonged exposure to him, however, could be fatal. Just sayin'.

Finally, certain Repugnants, including Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, are making up a story pinning a recent shortage of Polynesian sauces at Chick-Fil-A restaurants on President Biden. This has been forwarded by Ted "Sea" Cruz and Fox Shmooze. Farron Cousins explains.

Why do they lie so much? Because it's easier for them to deceive their base than telling the truth. These idiots tried to pin the recent gas shortage, triggered by a supplier being hacked, causing panic buying, on Biden, but that didn't work, obviously. Repugnants would rather ignore facts to advance their agenda. However, their false god, Trump, is on the hot seat, as there's reports he could be extradited to New York, something that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis could object to, but I don't know if he can object if the Federal Government implements the extradition order instead of New York. DeSantis has done enough stupid things in service to Citizen Pampers, but this would torpedo his Presidential chances in 2024. Stay tuned.

If you've been vaccinated, your card is your ticket to summer pleasures

It's been almost two months since I received my 2nd dose of the Pfizer vaccine, with no side effects. In light of the Center for Disease Control's amended guidelines, I still carry a mask when I travel, just to be safe. Have to have it when you're riding on a bus, for example. It's called erring on the side of caution. The vaccination card that was issued after the first shot now serves as a golden ticket, if you will, for dining at certain restaurants and attending sporting events or other activities this summer and forward.

All I need, really, is to get a plastic case big enough to hold the card so I can carry it.

Personal feelings aside, there are still some unfortunate pockets of resistance to the vaccine that actually will slow the healing process.

The biggest line of resistance consists of anti-vaxxers, people who have a problem with vaccines in general because of some misinformation that spread online a ways back. I'd not be surprised if some of these people are also members of Donald Trump's Legion of The Brainwashed, because they're gullible enough to believe any lie that comes along. In my mind, I think some of these folks have never gotten past the stage when they were children of fearing the needles that the vaccines are carried in.

Unfortunately, some of these anti-vax knuckleheads have a problem with businesses that are requiring proof of vaccination, including one in the home district.

Matt Baumgartner owns the Troy Beer Garden, formerly Wolfe's Biergarten, on the corner of King & 4th streets. He has a cocktail lounge, the Berlin, on the 2nd floor, set to open later this month, where he's politely asking for people to show proof of vaccination.

Photo courtesy of Bill Dowd, via the Albany Times-Union.

After Baumgartner made his announcement on Thursday, he's been flooded with threats from anti-vax clowns, most of them from out of state, and Troy police are looking into these threats. Baumgartner is doing the right thing, looking out for the safety of his clientele and employees, but the anti-vax tin-heads don't see it. According to the Albany Times-Union, Baumgartner has said that some of the threats come from Florida, which is run by a deranged governor in Ron DeSantis, one of the biggest Trump apologists and sycophants there is, putting politics and state revenue ahead of public safety while bowing at the altar of Citizen Pampers.

And if these anti-vax morons have a problem with just dining out in our fair city, they most likely will have a collective cow over the return of live sports and theatre productions. The Tri-City Valleycats are setting aside certain sections at Bruno Stadium for vaccinated fans, starting with the home opener on June 4. Again, it would be a good idea to bring your vaccination card with you when you're buying advance tickets. The Bruno Stadium box office is open Monday-Friday from 9 am-5 pm. I would imagine the Troy Fighting Irish semi-pro football team will follow suit. Troy Foundry Theatre has a production debuting outdoors (weather permitting, of course) on Wednesday, running through May 30, and vax cards are likely to be required.

To the anti-vaxxers, I have to ask. Why would you risk your health believing a lie?

Friday, May 14, 2021

You don't see ads like this anymore (1968)

 I first ran across a copy of Guideposts in the waiting room of a doctor's office some years back. Founded by Norman Vincent Peale and his wife in 1945, Guideposts is still active today, and has always been a non-profit project. Now 76 years strong, its positive messages are just what we need to wade through the mess of today's society.

However, you just don't see them promoting the magazine or the organization like they did back in 1968, when a series of ads would air. Most, like this one, were narrated by Art Fleming (Jeopardy!):

A little of this and a little of that

 We touched on this over at Saturday Morning Archives earlier this week, but it bears discussing here, too.

The CW, jointly run by ViacomCBS & WarnerMedia, is reviving one of Nickelodeon's popular game shows of the 90's. Only this time, Legends of The Hidden Temple, per its original host, Kirk Fogg, is being targeted at adults, not children.

I think I get why. Any "kids" being interested would be the children of the show's original target audience and/or contestants. That would be a good way to make this more of a generational, legacy series. Interviewed earlier this week, Fogg looks like he possibly could return, too.

Stay tuned.
On the heels of the Legends announcement comes word that the CW will take the last step, and expand their primetime grid all the way across, adding a Saturday slate as early as next year.

Assuming the new Legends, like other game show revivals, is a hour-long block, it'd be a perfect match for Powerpuff, Greg Berlanti & Diablo Cody's updating of The Powerpuff Girls, which is reportedly already in production on a pilot.

Locally, WCWN (Spectrum digital channel 1212) will have to move Ring of Honor Wrestling's weekly show to a later time slot on Saturdays. It already airs Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at midnight. The only disruptions would be for Mets or Yankees broadcasts, usually on Friday or Saturday nights.
The Centers for Disease Control announced Thursday that vaccinated citizens can go without masks outdoors and indoors, the latter except for crowded venues such as hospitals, nursing homes, theatres, et al, or on public transportation, such as buses and trains.

Here in New York, however, Governor Andrew Cuomo is advising caution, since there were 22 deaths attributed to COVID-19 on Wednesday. As ye scribe can attest, local businesses are still requiring masks for the duration, although that could change as summer approaches.
Is this the face of a high school student?

Photo courtesy of Yahoo!

Audrey Nicole Francisquini, 28, snuck into a Hialeah, Florida school, posing as a student, just so she could promote her Instagram page. Otherwise employed by Carnival Cruise Lines, Francisquini took advantage of a day off to attempt her little stunt. She evaded school security, but, unfortunately for her, her Instagram ads gave away her location, and she was arrested later in the day.

The other shoe dropping could very well be Carnival dumping her before she even goes to jail. Just desserts for this week's Weasel.

It was one thing when Hollywood hires actors to play characters much younger than the actors themselves, a practice as old as time, from Our Miss Brooks to Riverdale. But how is it possible that every time we hear about an adult posing as a student and getting busted in real life, it's usually in the south?

The above picture should make a good mug shot, and a caution to anyone else who wants to try something like this. It ain't ending well.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

They're better off putting the cards under lock & key........

 A number of years back, in an effort to thwart shoplifters, a Rite Aid Pharmacy in Watervliet (now a Walgreens) began stocking their sports cards behind the counter, and you had to ask the clerk for what you wanted, just like you would for cigarettes. Customers were coming in, and, not having enough cash or a credit card to pay for the cards they wanted, would steal instead.

I know this because I shopped at that Rite Aid, and purchased a few packs over the counter. It was safe and effective.

Today, Walgreens and other retailers might want to take a look at that strategy.

Ever since the pandemic hit last year, adults, influenced by a YouTube "guru", began hoarding cards, going so far as to camp out in parking lots to await shipments. The kids, unless these hoarders were parents, were being denied. Walmart in Troy, for example, stopped carrying sports cards for a few months, since the hoarders were ignoring collectible card games like Magic: The Gathering and Pokemon, the latter a multi-media franchise all by itself. Oh, sure, they still carried supplies like packs of card sheets (35 sheets for $5 is a pretty good deal), top loaders, & penny sleeves, but it just wasn't the same, and it was getting frustrating.

A few weeks back, that same Walmart had blaster boxes of this year's Topps Heritage baseball cards. I bought two boxes, hoping to start building the set. While I was at the checkout, another fellow showed up, scooped up the remaining three boxes, then scurried away to finish his shopping list.

Until Wednesday, no one that I knew of resorted to violence because of the hoarding.

In a Milwaukee suburb, four men were arrested after a scrum over some cards, and one of these goofs decided to pull a gun at a Target store. The chain then posted a sign saying that as of tomorrow, they would no longer be selling the cards, including Pokemon and Magic, at stores, but they'd be still available online.

The greed of these people is ridiculous. They want to hoard the cards and collect the profits for themselves. Either they're flippers, buyers who then re-sell the cards on eBay and other online sites for profit, or box breakers, who go on YouTube themselves and open the boxes, then invite offers for bids from interested customers.

So, is there a solution? Yep.

Stores like Walgreens can go back to keeping the cards behind the counter. For Walmart, Target, et al, putting them under lock & key, where a clerk would be the only one who can open the case, would be the solution, in addition to putting limits on how many packs can be purchased in one visit. The locked cases work in other stores for items like razor blades, which is what CVS does.

And, as for the YouTube "gurus" encouraging this crap, just stop. Think of the little kids who can't afford the inflated prices on packs or single cards. Cards are meant for the kids, but are for all ages, and have been for a while. It's time to stop ignoring the kids, stop hogging the cards, and share.

Remember Eva Savealot? (2000)

 Back when 1-800-COLLECT was a thing, they tried an interesting advertising campaign, creating the character of Eva Savealot. Alyssa Milano (Charmed, ex-Who's The Boss?) played Eva during this year long campaign, which might explain why AT&T would answer with Carrot Top......!

MCI, the parent company of 1-800-COLLECT, is gone now, but this was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

What Might've Been: All's Fair (1976)

 Norman Lear thought he had another hit for CBS to go along with All in The Family, Maude, Good Times, One Day at a Time, & The Jeffersons when All's Fair hit the air in September 1976. The critics thought so, too.

Set in Washington, the central plot was built around a conservative columnist (Richard Crenna, ex-Our Miss Brooks, The Real McCoys, Slattery's People) who was in a developing relationship with a woman half his age (Bernadette Peters), a liberal photographer. Back in those days, you could depict relationships involving opposing viewpoints without anyone getting too salty. In today's toxic political environment, that might not be possible.

Veteran writer-producers Bob Schiller & Bob Weiskopf had been working for Lear for a while, and their resume extends all the way back to the 60's (The Andy Griffith Show, for starters). The two Bobs co-created the series with Rod Parker, and with that kind of creative pedigree, you could make a case for why the critics thought CBS & Lear had another hit.

Viewers, on the other hand, voted with their remotes. All's Fair was cancelled after 1 season.

All's Fair marked the return of Crenna to comedy, since his last series, Slattery's People, a drama, had been 12 years earlier. He still has the chops to make it work. I think a complaint about the show might've been that Peters sounded a little like Sally Struthers (All in The Family) at times. The supporting cast also includes Jack Dodson (ex-The Andy Griffith Show, Mayberry RFD; he was recurring on Happy Days right around this time), Lee Chamberlin (ex-The Electric Company), and, in his first series, Michael Keaton. CBS saw something in Keaton to give him some more opportunities, including Mary Tyler Moore's two series in 1978, Working Stiffs (w/Jim Belushi), & Report to Murphy, before he turned his career around in the movies.

Marcia Rodd guest stars in this sampler:

Notice how twice Lanny (Keaton) is cut off when he tries to name-check Cheech & Chong. I wonder if the comedians were off-limits back in those days.

Rating: B.

If you're a Republican, you should be ashamed!

 Today's Repugnant Party is all about appeasing a 70-something man-child who will never admit publicly he got his butt whooped at the polls nearly 6 1/2 months ago, taking his cues from a Texas twit who began sowing doubts about his own election failures two years prior to the 2020 Presidential election.

An hour ago, the Repugnants decided to remove 2nd generation politico Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, from her leadership position, which would make her the #3 in terms of power among the GOPers, because she has refused to back down on her belief that the Repugnants should move away from Citizen Pampers, aka Donald Trump.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo!

The Repugnants would rather buy into the Big Lie, that Trump had the election stolen from him, despite the fact that there is no evidence to support his delusions any more than Russell Ramsland in 2018 when Ramsland failed in a bid for a Congressional seat. They are looking at Trump for what he is, a celebrity and a proven charlatan who lacked the charisma of the last "Hollywood-type" that was in the White House before him, that, of course, being the late Ronald Reagan, who parlayed his acting career into a successful political career, ending when his term ran out in January 1989.

Trump, in effect, is the Anti-Reagan. No charisma. No political experience until his election in 2016, and even that was via the Electoral College because he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton. But, if you believe his detractors, Trump has been a career con man, famous just for being famous, just because he was a Noo Yawka.

The Repugnants are set to tap Schuylerville's Elise Stefanik as Cheney's replacement, despite the differences in the two women's voting records. The Repugnants don't like that Cheney won't kiss the ring or bend at the knee for Citizen Pampers.

However, it could all go for naught, given the fact that Trump is facing several lawsuits in New York, as well as a criminal investigation into some shady things. If Trump goes down, and it would be a major disappointment if he didn't, but all the signs are pointing toward him going down, then the Repugnants will have more eggs on their collective faces for supporting a sore loser.

And if that happens, what excuses will they have?

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

When wrestlers shill: Ric Flair for CarShield (2021)

 WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is doing a series of ads for CarShield, which has previously employed the likes of ESPN icon Chris Berman and rapper-actor Ice T (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; now shilling for Tide with another WWE Hall of Famer, Stone Cold Steve Austin), and hockey player Ryan O'Reilly.

Ric is either solo or other wrestling personalities, such as AEW's Peter Avalon and NWA announcer David Marquez, join him. In this case, NXT's L. A. Knight (Shaun Rickert, pka Eli Drake with NWA & Impact), dressed as the Overcharger, shares the ring and screen with the Nature Boy.

Funny how this spot started turning up shortly after Knight debuted in NXT. 

A little of this and a little of that

 I would not be at all surprised if the LGBTQ+ community looked at Caitlyn Jenner as a sort of Benedict Arnold.

Jenner, who came out as transgender a few years back, and had a reality show made of her transition from male to female, announced her intention to run for Governor of California recently, but she's also come out against transgender athletes sharing a locker room with natural women, if you will.

After getting slammed by ABC's Jimmy Kimmel last week, Jenner has someone coming to her defense in Fox Shmooze's Spam Hannity, a frequent target of Kimmel's. Spam warned Kimmel he'd have no problem talking to Kimmel's bosses at Disney about some of the things Kimmel has said and done on his late night show.

Typical GOPer garbage. Spam and his Fox Shmooze compadres keep feeding lies and misrepresentations to their brainwashed base, then turn around and whine when they get slammed for it.

We tried to get in touch with Fox Shmooze's public relations representative.

"No comment."

Gee, what a surprise.
Tomorrow, the GOPers in Washington will vote to remove Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, from a leadership position, and sub in New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, who went all in on Donald Trump's Big Lie in order to advance her career. Ms. Stefanik has youth on her side, and actually sided with the former president fewer times than Ms. Cheney did during Citizen Pampers' term.

What the GOPers don't realize is that Trump decided to model himself after North Korea's Kim Jong-Un, and they bought in.

On the other hand, Kim has not embarrassed himself publicly by behaving like a man-child with arrested development, as Trump has, over and over again, the last five years and change. 

Bellevue awaits Trump. It's inevitable.
One of television's most prolific producers, Greg Berlanti, will have three fewer series on the air when the fall 2021-2 season begins.

His 2nd year series, Prodigal Son, will wrap next week on Fox, joining CW's Black Lightning, which ends its 4 year run May 24, and Supergirl, which will end in September after 6 seasons, in leaving the air. Both of those series' endings have been planned out in advance, but Prodigal fell victim to declining ratings since returning in January. On the other hand, word on the street is that Painkiller, a proposed spin-off from Black Lightning, might not make it to series. Khalil Payne, aka Painkiller (Jordan Calloway), doesn't register as a heroic role model, even as an anti-hero, due to his dual personality. The CW hasn't made it official yet, but if WB wants to go forward with it, it'll likely land at HBO Max.

Stay tuned.
The Golden Globes usually signal the start of awards season for movies during the winter. However, the resulting kerfluffle over this year's event has led NBC to cancel plans to carry the event in 2022, and a number of Hollywood stars, including Tom Cruise, are choosing to boycott the event.

It wouldn't surprise anyone if a certain bloviating man-child with no stake in the event decided to weigh in sooner instead of later.

Monday, May 10, 2021

Musical Interlude: Stagger Lee & Personality (1979)

 From season 2 of Sha Na Na:

One of the gimmicks in the series was the boys' repeated efforts to lure in bigger stars to appear on the show. When your team leader is a dimwitted bass vocalist (Jon "Bowser" Bauman, billed as Bowser J. Bowser), things are bound to go south in a hurry. The writers of Dukes of Hazzard managed to perfect the gimmick as the "Celebrity Speed Trap" in a number of episodes of that series.

Anyway, Lloyd Price showed up near the end of the 2nd season. If you can get around Bowser being a fashion victim, Price, backed by most of the boys' dancing, and Dave "Chico" Ryan joining Lennie Baker on sax, performs two of his biggest hits, "Stagger Lee" & "Personality".

No self respecting judge would wear sneakers under his robe, and someone should've explained to Bowser that American judges stopped wearing powdered wigs years ago. I'm not even sure they still do in the UK.

In memory of Price, 88, who passed away over the weekend.

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Sports this 'n' that

 Let's give the Jets' 1st round pick, quarterback Zach Wilson of Brigham Young, some credit. He gets it.

Interviewed on Saturday, Wilson said that the starting job has to be earned, just like at any other level of football, be it high school, college, semi-pro, whatever. Wilson earned his spot at BYU, and awaits a competition come training camp in late July.
Mets ace Jacob deGrom left his start today vs. Arizona when he experienced some tightness in his side again, the same malady that forced him to miss a start vs. St. Louis last Monday.

Unfortunately for the Arizona Diamondbacks, they couldn't take advantage, as the Mets completed a 3 game sweep, 4-2, running their current winning streak to 5 in a row. If Philadelphia loses to Atlanta tonight (that game is underway as I write), the Mets will have sole possession of first place in the NL Least, heading into a 2 game interleague series with Baltimore and former Met Matt Harvey, starting on Tuesday.
Eight days ago, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert had saddled his 7th Kentucky Derby winner when Medina Spirit crossed the finish line.

Today, there's a possibility that Medina Spirit could be retroactively disqualified after it was reported that the horse failed a drug test. Churchill Downs has hit Baffert with an indefinite suspension as a result, but Baffert plans on appealing.

The suspension would also be honored at Pimlico, site of next Saturday's Preakness Stakes, and by the New York Racing Association, ahead of next month's Belmont Stakes.

Unfortunately, someone with no interest in the Triple Crown just had to weigh in and whine. Ladies & gentlemen, Donald Trump:

"WAAAHH!! That horse is a drug junkie! WAAAHHH!"

Of course, Citizen Pampers had to piggyback on the news to push his scam that he was cheated out of the election 6 months ago. Let me offer this for Mr. Trump, since most of America would like him to go away:

                          S.      T.      F.     U.!
Well, we found out who the "golfer" is hitting a no-look putt to Michael Jordan's bemusement in that Gatorade ad. It's former soccer star Mia Hamm. Should've figured that given the pairing of more recent soccer star Abby Wambach with Usain Bolt.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Musical Interlude: Here I Go Again (1987)

 Whitesnake landed its biggest chart hit in 1987 with "Here I Go Again", but what drives the video, however, is actress Tawny Kitaen, then the companion, later wife, of singer David Coverdale.

In memory of Tawny, 59, who passed away on Friday.

Sports this 'n' that

 James Dolan, New York's worst sports owner, was at it again earlier this week.

With the Knicks heading for a NBA playoff berth, and the Rangers eliminated from Stanley Cup contention, Dolan, who usually doesn't involve himself in Rangers business, decided to scapegoat team president and former star goaltender John Davidson on Wednesday, dismissing Davidson, who has also been a broadcaster for the team.

We get it. Dolan is another thin-skinned man-child who's gotten most of his negative press for meddling with the Knicks. The guy's never played hockey or basketball that we know of, plays in a garage band in his spare time, and has been cast as a blase villain to sports fans throughout the five boroughs. In short, this George Steinbrenner wanna-be felt he just had to get a back page headline this season.

We don't know if the Knicks are a one year wonder under Tom Thibodeau. The Rangers are in a down period, the #2 team in the city after the Islanders for the first time since the Isles' golden years of the 80's. With Radio City Music Hall soon to reopen, maybe Dolan, who also owns that property, can chill.

Meanwhile, the team raised a stink over the NHL refusing to suspend Washington's Tom Wilson for dirty play vs. the Rangers earlier this week. The statement from the team, making the rounds of social media, was also rare, and a sign that Dolan was taking an interest in the team for a change.

Let's see how long it takes before they start chanting "Fire Dolan!" at Rangers games.
Gatorade's new ad campaign has track star Usain Bolt and soccer icon Abby Wambach in a battle of the sexes to the beat of "Anything you can do, I can do better". But who is the golfer with Michael Jordan? Inquiring minds want to know!

Meanwhile, Megan Rapinoe is making it seem like a soccer ball can have an effect on cell phones in ads for Subway. Special effects, y'all.
The Cleveland Indians may be feeling a wee bit snakebitten this season.

Three weeks after Carlos Rodon of the Chicago White Sox tossed a no-hitter at them, the Tribe fell silent again, this time against cross-state rival Cincinnati and Wade Miley.....

To MLB suits, that's four no-no's this season, but it's really five if you count Madison Bumgarner's 7 inning gem vs. Atlanta, which MLB won't count, as we've discussed, because of changes made 30 years ago, and that's going to remain a topic the rest of the season unless commissioner Rob Manfred can tell the stat nerds to chase themselves and give "Mad Bum" the credit he deserves.
Multi-tasking announcer Matt Vasgersian (MLB/ESPN/Fox) may have caught a bad case of homerism when he signed on to call a select number of Angels games for Bally Sports this season. As a result, some of his calls on Sunday Night Baseball are a little more over the top than before.

Maybe after the season, Disney can have him do some simulated games at Disneyland.

Speaking of ESPN/Disney, Tuesday's Yankees-Astros game broadcast was way over the top on purpose, since May 4 is now "Star Wars Day". Cross-promotion, you know. Could've been worse. Tim Kurkjian could've been given the night off in favor of America's Moron, Stephen A. Smith, who polluted a Monday NBA broadcast the night before.

Friday, May 7, 2021

Citizen Pampers tries to start a new social media venture. It's failing, and GOPers are whining about Facebook.......

 Former president Donald Trump decided to do an end-around on his ban from Twitter and start his own social media platform, which, according to early returns, is another failure in a series of many.

Farron Cousins explains:

As if that wasn't enough humiliation, some of Citizen Pampers' GOPer allies are trying to put the heat on Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to reinstated Trump's account there. The company's oversight committee decided to keep Trump banned from the platform for at least another six months, after which there will be a review.

Trump's predictable reaction, echoed by the GOPers:


What the GOPers fail to comprehend is that Trump abused his privileges on both Facebook & Twitter by spreading nothing but lies about the 2020 election. He refuses to accept the fact he got his butt whooped more than six months ago, and America's Oldest Baby is not going away until he's forced off the front pages after various investigations into his alleged frauds as a businessman. We reached out to one of his various associates:

"Haven't seen anything. Haven't heard anything."


Thursday, May 6, 2021

Weasel of The Week: Ron DeSantis

 This is just too easy.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, one of the biggest supporters of Citizen Pampers' presidency, banned most media outlets from an event this morning in West Palm Beach, where he signed into a law a controversy-generating bill that, like, in Georgia, restricts vote-by-mail access and scales back the number of ballot drop boxes in the state. In other words, it's legalized voter suppression.

Photo courtesy of Yahoo!

Only Fox & Friends was allowed to cover the event, so what does that tell you? DeSantis thinks he's doing the right thing. Like his Georgia counterpart, Brian Kemp, he's disenfranchising minority voters in an attempt to ensure that the GOPers retain control of politics in the Sunshine State.

Why is this? Because despite the fact that there are African-American GOPers (Tim Scott of South Carolina, we're looking at you), most African-American voters tend to skew toward the Democratic party, according to studies.

Donald Trump exposed the warts in the GOP when he decided to run for President in 2015. Now, the GOPers are happy to wear those warts, even if it means putting their feet in their collective mouths on a regular basis. No amount of Compound W will fix that. DeSantis had his brains harvested to serve America's Oldest Baby, and signing a voter restriction bill makes him a Weasel. Enough said.

The GOPer civil war continues

 Republican House Minority Leader Kevin "The Body Snatcher" McCarthy got caught on a hot mic the other day expressing his misguided belief that Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney needs to be removed from position of leadership in the party because she's refusing to buy into the "Big Lie" that the election was stolen six months ago.

GOPers like McCarthy would rather cater to the fragile ego of a 74 year old man-child in Donald Trump than accept reality and move forward. Unfortunately, they also forget that Trump has a basket full of lawsuits and investigations to look forward to, and that will cost him any chance of running for political office again.

Let's go over it again, GOPers. Trump got smacked down at the polls six months ago. GET OVER IT!

The View's Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Senator John McCain, took her shots at McCarthy & Trump......

Cheney & McCain are old school, second generation Republicans. They'd make a great GOP ticket in 2024 if America is finally ready to elect a woman to the White House. McCain's comments suggest that the party would prefer to bow down to a misogynistic, prematurely senile 74 year old with the mentality of a 5 year old than move forward, that airheads like Marjorie Taylor Greene would be more representative of the party's future.

It's funny how the GOP's mascot is an elephant, and the Democrats' mascot is a donkey, when the last GOP president represented the latter symbol more than the former.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Musical Interlude: Don't Bring Me Down (1979)

 If you were listening to pop music in the summer of 1979, you couldn't escape Electric Light Orchestra's "Don't Bring Me Down". 

There are YouTube commentators who are jokingly confusing singer-guitarist Jeff Lynne with PBS painting host Bob Ross, just for kicks.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

What Might've Been: Escapade (1978)

 To say that Quinn Martin's luck was running out would be a gross understatement.

With Barnaby Jones still puttering along on CBS, and with Cannon having ended, leading to a TV-movie follow-up in 1980, Martin wanted to try something new. Actually, it wasn't that original.

At its core, Escapade was meant to be an American version of the 60's British series, The Avengers, which was enjoying a healthy run in American syndication, repeating only the episodes that had aired on ABC in the late 60's, with Diana Rigg, and, later, Linda Thorson, paired with Patrick Macnee.

With the follow-up, The New Avengers, still a ways away from landing here (and on CBS), Martin recruited Avengers co-creator Brian Clemens to develop an American version, hence Escapade. Granville Van Dusen and Morgan Fairchild are government agents working for a secret agency, taking orders from a computer. Now, if that part sounds familiar in a way, Martin tweaked the concept the next year with Robert Conrad in A Man Called Sloane for NBC.

Unfortunately, Escapade wasn't picked up, but then, I've already spoiled that, what with the reference to Sloane. Alex Henteloff (ex-The Young Rebels), by this point a dependable character actor, guest stars in the pilot:

Morgan Fairchild would eventually land a hit series with NBC's Flamingo Road, and, later, landed on Dallas. A few months after Escapade aired, she tried comedy, guest-starring on Mork & Mindy, which did enough to raise her profile. 

As for Van Dusen, he never headlined a series of his own, appearing in shows as diverse as The Young & The Restless, Soap, & The West Wing, but cartoon fans in the 80's will recall him having stepped in to voice Roger "Race" Bannon in the revival of Jonny Quest.

Rating: B.

Why can't Republicans accept the reality of losing the White House?

 Six months later, certain GOPers still can't reconcile themselves with the reality that Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election, and, of course, that includes Trump himself.

Speaking at Mar-a-Lago over the weekend in front of a smallish crowd, Trump urged his supporters to watch the ongoing recount in Arizona, which we talked about the other day, as there are pockets of resistance in southern states that won't accept the result of the election.

"WAAAH! I won! I won! WAAAAAH!"

And, then, you have Looney Lin Woodchips, digging out a year-old picture of himself and Trump at the White House, and trying to pass it off to the Legion of The Brainwashed as proof Trump is secretly working in Washington when it's clear he isn't. Trump's very presence at Mar-a-Lago kinda negates Woodchips' latest stunt.

Next, there's freshman Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who swapped her brains for rotten peaches before running last year. She is demanding that the GOPers remain loyal to Trump, who'd throw the whole lot of them under the bus at first opportunity. And, of course, there's also disgraced lawyer Rudy Goofiani, who claims the Feds didn't get everything at his New York office or apartment two weeks ago, claiming he has evidence on Hunter Biden. Silly Sidney Powell is trying the Tabloid Carlson defense, claiming that no one could possibly believe her claims of fraud, even though it appears she stated them as facts six months ago.

In other words, she wants to claim she was stating an opinion, which was Fox Shmooze's excuse to explain Tabloid's nightly garbage fire of a primetime show.

Online commentator Farron Cousins, for one, is offering the opinion that Trump actually gaslit himself into believing the "big lie", and now, Trump is sparring with Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, daughter of former VP Dick Cheney, who won't kow-tow to America's Oldest Baby or his new consigliore, House Minority Leader Kevin "The Body Snatcher" McCarthy, who is practically demanding that Cheney follow in lockstep with the rest of the GOPers. Unfortunately for McCarthy, Cheney has too much dignity for that.

Trump has criminal charges and lawsuits up the wazoo, and his only concern is continuing to perpetuate the con that he won the election, when it's obvious to everyone but him and his mindless followers that he didn't. No, what he's doing now is ensuring the spotlight stays on him, and not President Biden and everything he's accomplished nearly 3 1/2 months in office. Jealous much?

The sooner the heat closes in on the man-child, the better, and we can put the worst chapter in politics behind us for good.

Monday, May 3, 2021

Forgotten TV: State Trooper (1957)

 State Trooper spent three seasons in syndication (winter 1957-June 1959) after NBC passed on the series. The pilot had aired on Campbell Star Stage in 1956.

Rod Cameron top-lined as Lt. Rod Blake, and introduced & closed each episode, while providing narration in-between, the latter marking the series as a knockoff of Dragnet. It was a standard crime drama of the era, but that genre was growing toward the end of the 50's, and that might explain why NBC, as well as CBS & ABC, passed on the series, leaving it open for the fertile ground of syndication.

Let's take a look at the opener, "The Red Badge of Death":

Rating: B.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Sports this 'n' that

 After trading Sam Darnold during the off-season to Carolina, the Jests drafted Zach Wilson out of Brigham Young in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday. Darnold got off to a good start after being drafted out of USC, but fizzled out because of the chronic ineptitude of the Jests' coaching staff. Management thinks new coach Robert Saleh can maximize Wilson's talent. Saleh, remember, was the defensive coordinator in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, New England has found their QB of the future, as they picked Mac Jones (Alabama), who will compete for a starting job with incumbent Cam Newton and backup Jarrett Stidham. Knowing the Pats' history, color Stidham gone during training camp.

Florida's Kyle Trask probably won't see the field beyond pre-season. That's because Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay drafted him to be Tom Brady's caddy, and as we all know, Brady is loathe to come out of a game even when his team is well in command, although last season, Tampa coach Bruce Arians convinced him to let Jameis Winston finish some games.
Another year, another Kentucky Derby for trainer Bob Baffert.

As usual, the media 'round here slept on Baffert and Medina Spirit, who gave jockey John Velasquez his 4th Derby victory Saturday night. Baffert has won his 7th, more than any other trainer in the modern era. Churchill Downs was at 60% capacity for the Saturday card, and NBC devoted 5 hours of coverage, leading up to the Derby, which was the 12th race on the card.
Umpires never have it easy or difficult.

Vacation umpire Jose Navas, a relative rookie, had the spotlight on him in a tie game in Philadelphia Saturday night. Before I speak further, Close Call Sports takes a look at his pivotal decision from the points of view of both the Phillies & Mets' broadcast teams:

Baseline calls are, unfortunately, non-reviewable, and the homestanding Phillies were screwed. Then again, as history has shown, they have benefited from similar umpire miscues ruled against the Mets in years past. Navas blew the call on Andrew McCutcheon, and replay overturned the safe call in favor of Matt Joyce, giving the Mets a gift double play. Karma, you know. Man-child Bryce Harper was ejected, and the Mets cashed in the gift certificate, if ya will, when Michael Conforto took Hector Neris out of the yard in the 9th to snap a 3 game losing streak that has them now in 3rd place in the NL East.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

The future of women's gymnastics (and other sports)?

A German gymnast may have found the solution to the long standing problem of the sexualization of female athletes in her sport and others.

Sarah Voss has swapped out the traditional one-piece leotard for a bodysuit that extends all the way to her ankles.

Photo courtesy BBC News website.

In the wake of a scandal here in the US that exposed how certain people in positions of authority (i.e. Larry Nassar) exploited young women by subjecting them to sexual abuse and assault, a scandal brought to light by US Olympian Aly Raisman a few years ago, Voss may have just given women's gymnastics a means to allow young athletes to retain some innocence in competiton. Can you picture gravity defying Simone Biles, for example, in one of these suits?

And it doesn't limit itself to gymnastics, either. At the Rio Olympics in Brazil, women's beach volleyball players swapped out bikini briefs for shorts. That, friends, may have set the wheels in motion.

Back at home in the 518, certain local newspapers stopped publishing the pictures of candidates for Homecoming Queen & Court at various high schools, including Troy High about three years ago for the simple reason that in today's world, the perception of these young ladies being asked to assume "provocative" poses for an annual tradition became one of these teenagers being sexualized. 

High school & college cheerleaders, in cold weather, will leave their warmup suits on over their uniforms. The uniforms themselves, though, could be next for a redesign. I've seen many cases at the college level on TV of female cheerleaders going airborne in intricate routines that give television cameras a free view of their "bloomers" under their skirts. Doesn't happen as often in high school, from what I've seen. Then again, most college cheerleading units are co-ed, except for competition, which has been, from what I've seen on TV, exclusively for women.

Sarah Voss is hoping the bodysuits become the norm, replacing the tight, one piece leotards. I can't say for sure, but I think the leotards were mostly phased out of aerobic exercise for women in recent years in favor of more casual attire

But if television ratings for, say, ESPN or NBC, for example, start falling when male viewers reject the bodysuits on the young ladies, I'd worry.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Goofiani gets raided, then whines

 Three years after Michael Cohen had his office and home raided by the FBI, the same thing happened to Rudy Goofiani on Wednesday, as investigators seized his phones and computers, seeking evidence in his involvement in a scheme to dig up or fabricate dirt on the Biden family in the Ukraine, at the request, of course, of this week's Dunce Cap repeat offender, Dumb Donald I (Donald Trump).

So, of course, Goofiani is crying foul, but let's remember that he's being investigated by the same office that he himself ran years ago, so he might as well be crying wolf.

Worse, son Andrew, who was once famous for being with his dad at Yankee Stadium during the 2001 World Series, is now a card carrying GOPer himself. We thought he knew better. Not even 20 years later, he's become an idiot. He holds a presser on Wednesday afternoon trying to defend his dad, but it's a lost cause.

Unsurprisingly, Goofiani himself offered up nothing but BS on his Thursday radio show, then went on Tabloid Carlson's garbage hour on Fox Shmooze, claiming he still has evidence on Hunter Biden.

"Uh, don't you think he should've presented the evidence by now?"

Absolutely, but with the GOPers these days, it's all talk and no walk. The evidence is in the splinters of the windmills in their feeble little minds. It's a wonder the Goofianis' noses don't start growing like Pinocchio.

And of course, Citizen Pampers went on the phone and called Fox Bees Wax (Business) and claimed Goofiani was a patriot. I'm begging someone to have this idiot checked for brain damage.

In Arizona, they're trying another recount, but a judge laid the smack down on a Florida firm run by a conspiracy theorist because they wanted to keep their findings secret from the public. Sorry, but that ain't happening. The desert GOPers are trying to appease Citizen Pampers, but it's way too late. They're wasting their time. And ours. And, oh, by the way? Cyber Ninjas, the Florida firm, should issue a rebate since they won't find anything.

Finally, there's a headline on Yahoo! that reports two more GOPer idiots, Matt "Swinging" Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor Greene, are planning to go on tour promoting whatever lame GOPer agenda they have. They'll get more reaction from crickets, I'm tellin' ya! Worse, MTG apparently doesn't know how public education works, or so the reaction seems to be from another unhinged rant. There's no end to the GOPer stupidity.

Musical Interlude: The Girl Next Door (1964-5)

 From Hollywood a Go-Go:

Johnny Crawford (ex-The Rifleman, The Mickey Mouse Club) swapped his chaps and cowboy hat for a full time singing career after Rifleman ended. If memory serves, his first hit, "Cindy's Birthday", was released during his run as Mark McCain on Rifleman (1958-63).

In the winter of 1964-5, Johnny turned up on another series in the Four Star catalogue, the short-lived Hollywood a Go-Go, where he performs the David Gates-penned "The Girl Next Door". Host Sam Riddle does the intro:

I'm sure a lot of young ladies saw Johnny as a boy next door by that time.

In memory of Johnny, who passed away from a pneumonia, Alzheimer's disease, and, supposedly, since I've only seen this in one source, COVID. Rest in peace.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Much ado about very little

 Current Jeopardy! champion Kelly Donohue is facing a firestorm of controversy over something as innocent as a simple hand gesture.

Photo courtesy of Facebook via Yahoo!

Donohue has been accused by more than 450 former contestants of using the above hand gesture, which supposedly represents a white supremacist group. Donohue, on the other hand, has said he is no fan of racists. After having won his first three games, when he was introduced by announcer Johnny Gilbert (no relation to ye scribe) on Tuesday, Donohue raised one finger at a time to symbolize how many games he'd won to that point.

Hindsight being what it is, Donohue might've been better served avoiding all the unnecessary drama by having his fingers point upward in a more positive light.

Of course, it helps that CNN's Anderson Cooper is the current moderator, so if there was any real drama, he'd have a first person account, which he might or might not have shared on his show, since Jeopardy! is taped in advance.

It's a slow news week. Mountains are being made out of molehills because people need something to complain about.

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Vanity case: Coming Up (1980)

 In the summer of 1980, Paul McCartney released "Coming Up" as the 1st single from the album, "McCartney II". The gimmick here is that his normal group, Wings, isn't here, replaced by "The Plastic Macs", which is multiple images of McCartney playing all the instruments. Wife Linda gets in on the act, appearing not just as herself, but going in drag as the other backup singer.

The radio track sounds much better.

This wouldn't be the last time McCartney used extra images of himself. He did it again 2 years later for his duet with Stevie Wonder, "Ebony & Ivory".

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Dunce Cap Award: America's Oldest Baby (Donald Trump)

 The Academy Awards, aka the Oscars, are in a ratings slump, partially due to COVID. The annual celebration of the movie industry has achieved all-time ratings lows two years in a row, including this year's event, which moved back to the event's former berth on the calendar this month due to the pandemic.

Unfortunately, space cadets like Spam Hannity of Fox Shmooze and former president Donald Trump have used the low ratings to try to pin the blame baselessly on the Democrats and whatever alleged agenda they have.

Where America's Oldest Baby has a problem is with how ABC and the Academy promote the show. 

"WAAAAHHHH! It's the Academy Awards, not the Oscars! WAAAAHHH!"

Guess what, jackass? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) has used the Oscars nickname for their annual event since 1939, well before you were born. If you bothered to read a book of any kind, like a history book, you'd know that. There was even a movie about the event, "The Oscar", several years ago.

There were politically charged speeches on Sunday, that much is true, but the subject matter was more about gun violence against African-Americans, and attacks on other minorities, not whatever imagined Democratic agenda Citizen Pampers thinks was being discussed. That tells you all you need to know about Trump. He didn't see the show, but felt the need to rant with no evidence to support his whiny claims, as usual. What a shock.

Not quite as shocking is the fact that the unstable genius gets another Dunce Cap. I'd have Mortimer show up, but he's on vacation.

Tabloid Carlson thinks people wearing masks should go to jail

 Fox Shmooze has gotten away with calling Tabloid Carlson's nightly garbage hour an "opinion" program to avoid litigation against Carlson.

Unfortunately, to try to call Carlson a comedian would be an insult. To comedians.

Once again, Carlson demonstrated just how late night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Trevor Noah, Seth Meyers, and James Corden resonate with viewers better than he does during Monday's program.

As the screencap above indicates, the silver spooned jackass is encouraging opponents of wearing masks to call the cops on people who are following COVID-19 guidelines, even as those guidelines are changing. In other words, the people who don't want to wear masks and risk their own health are being encouraged to summon the police, just because they're uncomfortable with people obeying the rules and wearing masks.

It's been 13 months, people. COVID is still a thing because morons like Carlson have you snowblind to reality. This pandemic would've been over months ago had more people across the country utilized common sense (something Carlson doesn't remember exists unless it serves his agenda). Even if you've been fully vaccinated, you still wear a mask out of respect and courtesy until the pandemic is finally under control. With idiots like Carlson on the air, making money off stoking fear and distrust from viewers, mostly in the Bible Belt states, and in the suburbs, progress is at a relatively slow pace, not slow enough to fall behind a snail, but still.

The way I look at it, Carlson probably flunked science in school, which explains his ignorance. If he thinks this is a joke, I'd like to see him do stand-up at a comedy club, and see how far he goes before he gets pelted with tomatoes and tossed out.

Monday, April 26, 2021

It's time to give no-hit credit where it's due

 Arizona's Madison Bumgarner no-hit the Atlanta Braves in the 2nd game of a Sunday doubleheader. Unfortunately, because the game was just 7 innings, under new guidelines enacted last year, and due to a 1991 ruling by then-commissioner Fay Vincent, who was in charge of a commission on statistical accuracy, Bumgarner gets no-credit for a no-no.


Vincent's decision, 30 years ago come September, erased no-hitters from the record book that were lost in extra innings or were complete games due to shortened length (darkness, rain) or because the pitcher was on the losing team.

With 7 innings per game the norm in doubleheaders, at least for now, we're going to see this happen again and again unless current commissioner Rob Manfred changes things. And after yesterday, you have to believe people are hoping he does.

Here's a highlight reel of yesterday's game:

Vincent and his staff of stat nerds took the first steps to geekifying baseball. It needs to end.

Citizen Pampers may be meeting a collection agency.......

 This is just too rich. Literally.

Former President Donald John Ebenezer Scrooge Trump has yet to reimburse certain cities across the country for rallies held between 2015-20. How can someone be so crass & cheap at the same time? If you're Trump, it's real easy to do. Citizen Pampers is so focused on continuing to swindle the Legion of The Brainwashed, that he's ignoring the massive bills he's run up over this period.

Farron Cousins explains:

A little personal disclosure here. In my day job, I work for an insurance agency in the area. Some of our customers have had policies sent off to collection agencies when those policies cancel for non-payment. That does happen occasionally. The only thing that separates the former president from ordinary folks is his ego, arrogance, and defiance. He's so obsessed over getting his butt whupped at the polls nearly six months ago that he's developed a new reputation as a delinquent when it comes to his bills.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if the debt wipes out youngest son Barron's college trust fund.

Enjoy having your properties garnished, Trump. It's your own fault.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Fox's last Marvel: The New Mutants (2020)

 In 1982, Chris Claremont, acclaimed writer of The Uncanny X-Men, spun off The New Mutants, a new team of heroes introduced in a self-titled graphic novel before launching a monthly series which ran for a decade. As with the core X-Men of the era, the team was a multi-national unit, comprised of:

Danielle Moonstar, a Cheyenne who had the ability to cast illusions.

Rahne Sinclair: A Scottish lycanthrope.

Sam Guthrie: Son of a Kentucky coal miner who'd hoped to follow in his dad's footsteps. He was not initially injured in the books, unlike in the movie we're reviewing.

Roberto DaCosta: Son of a wealthy Brazilian family.

Xhanh Coy Manh, a Vietnamese emigre who could control people's minds.

For reasons known only to the producers, Xhanh was replaced by Ilyana Rasputin, the younger sister of X-Man Peter "Colossus" Rasputin. Ilyana would join the team much, much later in the comics after the experience of losing a few years of her childhood in a daemonic limbo.

About 18 months into the series, artist Bill Sienkiewicz took over as series artist from co-creator Bob McLeod, and it is one of his earliest arcs that creates the core of the movie. However, artistic and creative license take over.

Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga, niece of Sonia Braga) is presented here as a villain when she was a reluctant member of the X-Men in the comics. She recruits the kids through curious means, but it turns out she works for a sinister organization, the Essex Corporation. Danielle doesn't have her powers under control when she's brought in, but it will prove vital as we move on.

To appeal to today's audience, there's a very unexpected hookup between two characters you wouldn't expect. Ilyana (Anya Taylor-Joy) is the eye candy for the teenage boys, as evidenced by the torn nylons in several scenes. Rahne (Maisie Williams, ex-Game of Thrones) gets to be the headliner, even though it's more about Danielle.

Here's the trailer for a film that took two years to complete:

"New Mutants" is currently in rotation on HBO and is either wrapping up or will finish a stint on HBO Max.

Rating: B+.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Stupid breeds stupid

 A Cincinnati bar owner has decided to stop showing NBA games on his TV's until Lakers star and Ohio native LeBron James is expelled from the league because of James' comments, since deleted after Columbus police killed a 16 year old African American girl earlier this week. Granted, the woman was threatening two other people with a knife, but with this taking place mere hours before Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder in Minneapolis, the timing of this incident couldn't have been worse.

Jay Linneman feels athletes should just play and stay away from politics. Kinda hard to do when you have white police officers repeatedly cutting down African Americans, regardless of whether or not they're armed, and since the NBA is a predominantly African American league, well.......!
Congressman Ron Johnson put his foot in his mouth again this week when he made some disparaging remarks regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Granted, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has reinstated the 1-dose vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson after a 10 day pause following reports of some patients developing blood clots, but Johnson's pea-brained remarks only stand to remind us of how some GOPers intentionally keep their heads in the sand.

Or, as a philosopher named Carnac might've said, Mr. Johnson, may your shower be filled with baby oil.
Congress' resident Dumb Dora, Marjorie Taylor-Greene of Georgia, boasted online about reading all 15 pages of the New Green Deal proposal championed by NY's Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and has agreed to a debate. That was fine, but she crossed the line, as usual, by implying that AOC would be branded as "a scared little girl" if she didn't show up.

Farron Cousins, in discussing this on one of his channels earlier this week, likened Peaches for Brains' comments to a wrestling promo.

I can picture it. MTG as Charlotte Flair. AOC, or, Alex From The Block, as NXT champion Raquel Gonzalez. Any way you slice it, Taylor-Greene just made a fatal mistake. She obviously hasn't paid attention to AOC shredding other GOPers (you can check it on YouTube) the last couple of years. There's only one way to describe it, via "Forrest Gump":

"Stupid is as stupid does".
Tabloid Carlson was at it again on Friday.

Tabloid called real journalists "cowards". Which is funny coming from a silver spooned jackass whose Fox Shmooze garbage hour is all about opinions and tall tales that would make Pinocchio blush.

I would not say it's the pot calling the kettle black. That would be an insult to pots and kettles.

Classic TV: The Dukes of Hazzard (1979)

 Inspired by Gy Waldron's 1975 film, "Moonrunners", The Dukes of Hazzard, also created by Waldron, landed at CBS as a mid-season replacement in the winter of 1979.

For the entirety of the series' 7 seasons (January 1979-February 1985), the main plot centered on former Ridge Raiders Jesse Duke (Denver Pyle, ex-The Life & Times of Grizzly Adams, The Andy Griffith Show, The Doris Day Show, Tammy) and his former friend turned nemesis, Jefferson Davis "Boss" Hogg (Sorrell Booke), a crooked wolf in a white suit. Jesse gave up running moonshine to save his nephews, Luke (Tom Wopat) & Bo (John Schneider) from prison, leaving them to serve 5 years probation. Cousin Daisy (Catherine Bach) was employed at Hogg's club, the Boar's Nest, but often had to help her uncle & cousins deal with her employer's crooked schemes.

Hogg's second in command, sheriff Rosco Coltrane (James Best), was a character in "Moonrunners" as well. Corrupted by Hogg, Coltrane is stuck between doing his duty and following orders from Hogg, who married Rosco's sister, Lulu (Peggy Rea).

The success of Dukes may well have prompted NBC to spin off The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo from B. J. & The Bear, but in doing so turned Elroy Lobo (Claude Akins) from being corrupt into more of a law abiding sheriff whose schemes never found fruition any more than Hogg's did. Unfortunately, Lobo lasted two seasons.

Dukes spawned two spin-offs. The first was Enos, set up when Deputy Enos Strate (Sonny Schroyer, "The Longest Yard") accepted a job in Los Angeles (Enos has previously been reviewed), so Hogg replaced him with his own nephew, Cletus (Rick Hurst, ex-On The Rocks), who was just as naive as Enos, but while he was inclined to go along with his uncle's schemes, his budding friendship with the Dukes negated the corruption. Enos, however, would eventually return home.

Country singer Waylon Jennings served as the Balladeer (narrator), and recorded the title song, "The Good Ol' Boys", which hit the country charts two years into the show's run. The following open comes from season 3 or 4, when Hurst replaced Schroyer in the opening credits.

During season 5, Wopat & Schneider left in a contract dispute, so Bo & Luke disappeared for a while, replaced by Coy & Vance (Christopher Mayer & Byron Cherry), who were not popular. The other spin-off? A Saturday morning cartoon, The Dukes, which was a mid-season replacement itself for CBS, and ran for 2 seasons (spring 1983-1985), with Uncle Jesse (Pyle) as narrator. Most of the cast reprised their live-action roles.

Despite the recurring "celebrity speed trap" gimmick that brought country stars like Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette to the show, Wopat & Schneider, each budding country singers in their own right, didn't sing on the show. 

As I've often shared here, my folks were into Dukes. What did you expect in a house that favored country music?

Rating: A-.

Friday, April 23, 2021

Celebrity Rap: Contents Under Pressure (1992)

 From the 1992 DTV Time Out: The Truth About HIV:

Who'd ever thought that Jaleel White, aka Steve Urkel from Family Matters, actually had some skills as a rapper?

White was one of a number of young stars recruited for Time Out, directed by Malcolm Jamal-Warner (The Cosby Show), who appears near the end of the video. The full length production also features Tom Cruise, Mayim Bialik (Blossom) and hosts Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Arsenio Hall.

But, check "Contents Under Pressure", a 90 second cautionary tale about premarital sex.

We'll be looking at Time Out another time.

A little of this and a little of that

 Washington's original Duchess of Dumb is back in effect.

Kayleigh McEnany, now a Fox Shmooze airhead, tried to shred President Biden's plans to expand the Supreme Court. Problem is, she got shredded herself on social media as users reminded her that the GOPers gamed the system to gain control of the Supreme Court, refusing to confirm current Attorney General Merrick Garland in 2016, then rushing the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett last year. The GOPers are afraid of losing control of the Court, that's all it is.

File photo courtesy of Getty Images via Yahoo!

Let's just put the card on the table. Her argument was, dare I say it, Kaylame.
The NFL is allowing defensive players, particularly linemen, to wear single digits on their uniforms. Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Tom Brady isn't a fan, but someone should remind Brady that this is a thing in the high school & college games. In high schools, most players are on the field on both offense and defense, and some colleges will assign the same numbers to offensive and defensive players (i.e. Ohio State)

That the 7 time Super Bowl champion isn't digging is a sign he's getting old, isn't it?
The Senate passed legislation that would serve to thwart the rising tide of anti-Asian hate crimes that have mushroomed over the last year due to the pandemic. The lone dissenter? Missouri moron Josh Hawley, whose excuses couldn't fill a water bucket.

Look, Hee-Hawley, this started because of your hero, President Pampers, a year ago, mocked the pandemic by attaching China to it, rather than actually do something noble and try to stem the tide.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if Hawley winds up facing some sort of unexpected scandal like fellow Washington pretty boy Matt (Swinging) Gaetz before the year is out. He certainly needs to be hoisted on his petard, too.
We're closing on a sad note.

Greg Jacobs, alias Shock G and Humpty Hump from the 90's rap group Digital Underground, passed away earlier this week at 57. Cause unknown as of press time. As Humpty Hump, Jacobs was the lead vocalist on the group's 1990 debut hit, "The Humpty Dance", which got a ton of airplay on MTV back then.

A year later, "Same Song" was included on the soundtrack to the movie, "Nothing But Trouble", directed by & starring Dan Aykroyd, co-starring Chevy Chase, Demi Moore, & John Candy. Aykroyd appears in the video, in which Jacobs raps as both Shock G and Humpty. Tupac Shakur made one of his first appearances rapping the last verse.

Rest in peace.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

A Classic Reborn: Truth or Consequences (2003-4)

 If you thought that you'd seen the last of Truth or Consequences after a short late 80's revival, think again.

In either 2003 or '04, Fox got their hands on the franchise, and decided it needed a 21st century makeover with even more dangerous and outrageous stunts, due largely to the popularity in this country of Fear Factor, which was over on NBC. There were no questions asked, contestants went right to the bizarre stunts, outfitted with body cameras. Sportscaster Chris Rose, then the host of the cable yack-fest, The Best Damn Sports Show Period, was tapped to host. 

Today, Chris is one of the busiest guys in sports television, although he's cut his workload by leaving MLB Network's Intentional Talk. He probably wishes this was lost forever. Unfortunately for Chris, but fortunately for the rest of us, game show legend Wink Martindale was able to acquire the pilot for his YouTube channel:

Keep in mind that Fox also fumbled with remakes of two other classics, Get Smart and Let's Make a Deal (rechristened Big Deal before CBS acquired Deal). Whomever was in charge of programming at the time wasn't exactly the sharpest tool in the drawer.

Body cameras on contestants. Hmmmmph. This belonged on MTV, which was on its way to losing its mission statement at that point.

Rating: C-.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

On The Air: WWE Most Wanted Treasures (2021)

 After becoming an executive with WWE, Paul Levesque, aka Triple H, has had a vision of building a physical WWE Hall of Fame museum. Today, there's a warehouse on the WWE property in Stamford, but if Levesque has his way (and fans hope he does), that museum could get a kickstart, thanks not to the online fund raiser, but a new reality series from A & E.

WWE Most Wanted Treasures, part of a new programming deal between the network and WWE, fills out some time on Sundays while Walking Dead is on break, has Levesque and his wife, Stephanie, at the warehouse (some interviews are done at the office), and meeting with some of their contemporaries, such as, in the opener, Mick Foley, and, in succeeding weeks, Kane, Undertaker, Ric Flair, and, of course, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Foley teams up with some authenticators from WWE for a road trip across three states in search of wardrobe or memorabilia he used as Mankind, Cactus Jack, and retro-hippie Dude Love during the Attitude Era. While Foley & Levesque were enemies back in the day, Levesque recalls an early meeting with Foley (as Cactus Jack) when the two were in WCW, circa 1993, when Levesque was starting out. To paraphrase the title of an old PPV, good enemies, better friends.

Here's the trailer, from A & E:

Foley was also a guest on another A & E show, Pawn Stars, which aired on Monday.

If WWE wants to do a poll to get that Hall of Fame in motion, I'm all for it.

Rating: A.