A Night at the Opera

Bernie Miklasz, writing for 101ESPN, called the Cardinals versus the Cubs game last night operatic.

Just when you thought that the Cubs owned all of the momentum and positive emotion and cranked-up energy, just when you thought the Cubs would win the night on a stunning comeback, Carpenter reset the stars, and put the baseball planets back in alignment.

I don’t know if this was Thursday night baseball or a Night at the Opera.

Acting … drama … plot twists … overwrought scripts.

Bernie is having fun here, but then he gets into the real story of the night.

Now, if you really want to talk about a comeback by a down-and-out guy who won a freaking game and saved his team from a horrendous, spine-weakening loss … well, say hello to Matt Carpenter, and you don’t even have to god him up, because most of the Cardinals fan base is endlessly annoyed with him anyway.

Carpenter didn’t have a sprained ankle; he was suffering from a broken season, and a Grade 3 strain of his baseball career.

It’s been a rough summer. But with one swing of the bat — hell, I refuse to write something stupid like, Swing of the magic wand,’ — Carpenter turned smoke into a game-winning strike and instant happiness. It wasn’t fireworks. It was more like fire Joe Maddon being in the works.

That last sentence. Whoa. Bernie’s on fire.

September 20, 2019

Promises, Promises

Ellen Nakashima, Shane Harris, Greg Miller and Carol D. Leonnig, writing in The Washington Post, tells the familiar tale of someone thinking the President of the United States did something so wrong as to use official whistleblower complaint and now the White House is blocking the investigation. This is kind of a big deal.

The complaint involved communications with a foreign leader and a promise” that Trump made, which was so alarming that a U.S. intelligence official who had worked at the White House went to the inspector general of the intelligence community, two former U.S. officials said.

Two and a half weeks before the complaint was filed, Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian and political newcomer who was elected in a landslide in May.

That call is already under investigation by House Democrats who are examining whether Trump and his attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani sought to manipulate the Ukrainian government into helping Trump’s reelection campaign. Lawmakers have demanded a full transcript and a list of participants on the call.

A White House spokesperson declined to comment.

The Democrats’ investigation was launched earlier this month, before revelations that a U.S. intelligence official, who previously worked in the White House, had lodged a complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community. The Washington Post first reported on Wednesday that the complaint had to do with a promise” that Trump made when communicating with a foreign leader.

The smart money is the whole whistleblower complaint centers on President Trump promising the new president of Ukraine $250 million in armaments if he’d reopen a criminal investigation involving Joe Biden and his son.

That’s one of them high crimes President’s get impeached for right?

Here, I’ll let Seth Meyers explain it to you:

September 20, 2019

Matt Carpenter

🤫 pic.twitter.com/feFUkBSSyr

— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) September 20, 2019

When the Cubs tied it in the 10th, I turned the TV off I was so pissed. I just knew the Cardinals and Carlos Martinez had just choked the win away.

I played with the dog a bit who could tell I was worked up and he calmed me down.

I took a deep breath, turned the TV back on just in time to catch Carpenter stroking one right out of the ballpark. Huge momentum shift in the game and the series.

Cubs are sinking. If they lose this four game series, they might be knocked out of the playoff picture.

Now, could the Brewers stumble a bit? Please?

September 20, 2019

I Wanna Go Back

I’m listening to a compilation of Eddie Money tunes on Spotify as I’m thinking back to 1983 when his videos for Shakin’” and Think I’m in Love” were all over MTV. A year later, Ric Ocasek was walking on water in the Magic” video and turning into a fly in the You Might Think” video.

These artists, among so many others, were the soundtrack of my high school days.

Age has a way with catching up with everyone. I’m not 16 anymore even though in my mind some of the pop icons at that time are indelibly etched eternally at the age they were when they meant something to me. Reality is they got older too.

Eddie Money passed away at age 70. Ric Ocasek was 75 when he was found dead at home.

Michael Hutchence, George Michael, Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Michael Jackson and Prince have already left us. When Sting, Bruce Springsteen and Madonna shuffle off this mortal coil, representatives of an incredible era of music will be gone.

As I’ve now reached past 50, the lyrics for I Wanna Go Back” mean so much more now.

I was listening to the radio
I heard a song reminded me of long ago
Back then I thought that things were never gonna change
It used to be that I never had to feel the pain
I know that things will never be the same now

I’m feeling so much older.

September 20, 2019

Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) Poster

This looks pretty good actually.

Also, if you ever wondered where Harley Quinn came from this story from 2015 by Abraham Riesman in Vulture explains the inspiration. Plus, here’s the Days of Our Lives clip that Paul Dini saw.

;

September 19, 2019

Creative People

Seth Godin on becoming a creative person:

There’s just one way to become one:

Do something creative.

It’s a little bit like leaders. What they have in common is that they lead.

Simply begin.

September 19, 2019

The Age of the Athlete-Politician Almost Upon Us?

Will Leitch, writing for New York Magazine, posits and interesting premise: Is it time for superstar athletes to become politicians?

It would seem time, though. There has never been a time when sports and politics have been so inextricably intertwined. From the NFL protests — which not only drew Trump’s ire but came this close to pushing Beto O’Rourke past Ted Cruz last year — to LeBron James and Stephen Curry fighting with the president on Twitter to the equal pay fight with the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team to Big Macs for unpaid football players in the White House, there is nothing about sports that isn’t politicized anymore. And athletes have begun to realize the power they have. LeBron was one of several athletes who hosted fundraisers for Hillary Clinton and will almost certainly do so again for the eventual Democratic nominee. Megan Rapinoe became a star at the Women’s World Cup as much for her statements off the field as her goals on it. Former WNBA MVP Maya Moore has actually put her basketball career on hold to dedicate her life to criminal-justice reform.

Sports is at the center of every major American issue at this particular moment, from class to race to #MeToo to militarism to labor relations. Simply by being a high-profile athlete, you have an identifiable political platform, whether you want it or not. Tom Brady has always gotten this wrong, thinking you can say nothing in the year 2019 and possibly get away with it. (Not standing for something is a stand.) Megan Rapinoe has a clear, easily understood, deeply compelling political platform already, right now, simply because of what she did and said during the 2019 World Cup. Who has a better rationale to run for president right now: Megan Rapinoe or Bill de Blasio? Who has more to offer the country?

Oh, I know the answer to that one.

September 18, 2019

Powerful

Survive the school year with these must-have #BackToSchool essentials. https://t.co/9KgxAQ0KGz
This PSA contains graphic content related to school shootings & may be upsetting to some viewers. If you feel this subject matter may be difficult for you, you may choose not to watch. pic.twitter.com/5ijYMtXRTy

— Sandy Hook Promise (@sandyhook) September 18, 2019

This is hard to watch. As it should be.

Kids shouldn’t have to endure this anymore. Vote for the people who will do something about this.

HINT: Not Republicans

September 18, 2019

No America, It’s Not Gonna Be Okay

John Pavolvitz, writing on his site, has some strong opinions on the state of the American experiment.

The only way things are going to be okay—is if good people make them okay…

I’m afraid he’s right.

September 18, 2019

Let’s Have a Good Show

Jeremy Werner, writing at his Illini Inquirer site, has one of the best behind-the-scenes stories on what it takes to be the lead broadcasters on a Big Ten football game. It is in-depth and practically minute-by-minute.

In my opinion, it’s one of the best stories Werner has put together. Really solid work and an incredibly fun read.

September 18, 2019

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