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Showing posts from July, 2022

Mike Trout Just Got Old

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  The Los Angeles Angels are snake-bit. They are cursed. Somehow someway someone put a hex on them. Sure they won a world series once, but that was 20 years ago. It must’ve been because Disney got involved with them at the time. It was fantasyland for Angels fans. Maybe it was the baseball gods punishing the San Francisco Giants and Barry Bonds for crimes against baseball humanity. Bonds cheated to break the most hallowed records in the game. The Angels beating Bonds and the Giants was just a happy circumstance. But, I digress. Throughout the Angels history, they have had one misfortune after another plague them like the plague. Players have died. The team more than once snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They’ve had bus crashes and car accidents. I don’t know if it’s been more or less than other teams, but the Angels sure have had a lot. The latest is with the greatest player they have ever produced. The great Mike Trout was available for the club to draft because of a technic

It’s Not Cool To Be This Hot

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  It’s hot as a blast furnace here in the Valley of the Sun. A motion of factors added up to me living here if living is what you call sweltering aimlessly without end. It’s so hot here the bees have given up and the birds sit around in the shade ogling and cat-calling the cats that stare at them from the cool indoors. If the cats figure out the mystery of the glass, the birds would be in trouble, until the cats realize that the air is hotter than a hot tin roof and their superior intellect tells them to get back inside toot sweet. All the  wildlife  has gone on with life elsewhere. Even stray dogs have found their way home. As have stray husbands. It’s tough to go out with the fellas after work when life is cooler back at home. Electricity is at a premium so if you’re sitting at a bar, your family at home is just as cool so you end up paying double. It is a good time to find out who the loonies are. Anyone on a golf course or a tennis court should have the nice young men in clean whit

The Pine Tar Incident

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  George Brett had a helluva stroke and then almost had one Gather around, young ones. I’m about to tell you about how  Major League Baseball  Hall-of-Famer Billy Martin turned fellow Hall-of-Famer George Brett into a human volcano. Which is quite the turnaround because Billy Martin was famous for his eruptions. Brett’s team, the Kansas City Royals were playing the Martin-managed New York Yankees that day. The backstory is that both teams hated each other, in a sporting sense. It wasn’t hatred like the Hatfields and the McCoys or the Montagues and the Capulets. That’s a whole other story. The teams in the late ’70s and ’80s were perennial playoff opponents. They often met in the American League Championship Series for the right to advance to the fall classic. The World Series. The Yankees, of course, dominated the Royals. They’d brush past them like the Royals were the weak peasant pretenders to the throne. The Royals were a folly standing in the way of the Yankees’ rightful royalty. T

Some Hotels Aren't So Hot

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  There is nothing hot about the hottest of hotels. From the polished brass and marble floors in the ones that shouldn’t cost as much as they do, to the ones where the desk clerk is ensconced behind bulletproof glass and the lobby air is circulated by a 30-year-old fan that looks like it hasn’t been dusted for 35. The type of people that check in to each aren’t separated by much more than what country made their clothing and accessories. If there is any difference between ultimately shoddy couture made in Pakistan or Vietnam, the differences are non-excitant.  Labels are the only difference between someone that has an American Express black card and someone that pays in wadded up cash and donated loose change. Do you think security is a factor? Let me ask you this. Which would you rather have in charge in case there is a decision to be made if there is a life and death situation? A passive, well-dressed dandy that is trained to hit a button summoning police that could take precious mi

How Long Have You Been A Martyr?

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  Well, it seems like everything today is a crisis. We can interpret every insignificant blip of action as a matter of life and death. Something that could be construed as a slight against someone personally can be blown out of proportion. It seems like we used to be tougher . People were a bit more understanding that accidents could happen. There was a common understanding that not everything could be adequate, much less perfect. There were going to be flaws. Human beings can, and will, make mistakes. That was recognized and understood. Things weren’t always going to go smoothly. Today is a different story.  Instant gratification is the rule by which this society seems to operate. Technology has made expectations immediate. If something doesn’t work or if behavior doesn’t match demand, then many gnashing of teeth occurs. It’s like when you order something from a fast-food restaurant and then get the order wrong. How hard can it be? It’s damn near automated. Even when you go inside a

The Angels Have To Move Shohei Ohtani

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  When Shohei Ohtani selected the Los Angeles Angels offer, it was like the baseball gods had finally smiled on the team. They finally won a championship in 2002 and they lucked into drafting the great Mike Trout in 2009, but signing Ohtani was a genuine gift. When he took off as a player last year they believed that he and Trout would form a nucleus that would send the Angels to the promised land. This season started out promisingly enough. But then there was a 14 game losing streak that cost manager Joe Maddon his job. Maddon was a coach for the Angels when they won the World Series. He was the manager of the Chicago Cubs when they ended a 108 year drought and became champions. The Angels went into a tailspin that they have shown no signs of coming out of. They were just swept by their cross-town rivals, the Dodgers. But to call it a rivalry is a misnomer. The Dodgers rudely treat the Angels like underlings. The Dodgers don’t know the rivalry exists. The time has come to face facts.

Lakers Have To Move Russell Westbrook

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  When the Los Angeles Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook a year ago, I was hoping for the best. Westbrook is a singular talent. He’s a type that excels at aspects of offence all himself. A player that handles the ball up and down the court. Westbrook averages what the league statisticians call a triple-double. He averages double figures in points, assists and rebounds. The dominant player that can be a one-man team. If he was in show business, he’d be the writer, director and star of his own production. The Lakers won a championship in 2020. They were beating the eventual Western Conference champion Phoenix Suns in the playoffs when disaster struck. Their superstar duo, LeBron James and Anthony Davis, went down injured and they lost the series and their season was over. James isn’t getting any younger, so the Lakers went out and got another future hall-of-famer to give James a break. The three NBA greats got together and agreed to change their way of playing to fit into a system that

Feng Shui Before It Was Cool

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 A distant relative with OCD became a legend. While having a rare dinner with family members recently, we began talking about our maternal great-grandmother. She was quite opinionated and could, with a fair amount of prodding, could get hysterically funny. She would verbally lambaste us whenever she felt we were being rude or overtly obnoxious. It was all in jest and when the good natured ribbing finished, we’d all be in fits of laughter. Granny was also the family historian. She had tales that were passed down through generations and we were all amazed by her almost total recall. Her memory was astounding as she could remember small and even trivial details. One cousin of mine wrote Granny’s stories and, if there was enough detail, she could confirm many of them.  An uncle of ours knew the Wright Brothers. Another cousin served as a messenger under General Pershing in WWI. One family member attended one of Buddy Holly’s last concerts. But the one claim that intrigued me was one that I

Smoked Elvis

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 I had just stopped for a smoke break when the UFO landed. It had been a slow night driving a cab in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey and the fog had settled over a lonely meadow. It was a perfect place for some peace until the flashing streak appeared. The craft settled silently as it landed. So quietly that the local dogs didn’t make a sound. I stood there a bit stunned when an opening appeared in the dark, semi-smouldering craft. From it drifted a being that looked like a kewpie doll encased in a six foot high jellyfish. Rubbing my eyes, looking and rubbing them again, I tried to visually decipher what the hell I was looking at. When it was close to me, I felt an unnatural calmness. I should’ve been going into fight-or-flight mode. My brain was telling me to do just that, but my body was serene. It was kind of soothing and enjoyable like superb weed and a glass of calming red wine. There was a trail of slime from where it traversed the meadow to the side of the road. I looked at it and i