Week of July 28, 2017


17776: One of the Weirdest and Most Creative Things I’ve Ever Read

That title might seem hyperbolic…but this is really something else. The story is set in the year 17776. That is not a typo. The premise is simple enough: Sometime around the year 2024, human beings stop aging. We live forever. But no one new is born. We have infinite time. And what do we do with it? We play football. But with infinite time, football evolves significantly. Instead of 100 yards, the field and end zones become entire states. The entire country, even. Mostly told through three satellites hurtling through space, Pioneer 9, Pioneer 10, and JUICE, 17776 touches on an incredible range of topics and themes – aging, mortality, the existence of life, the existence of God, the existence of existence. It ridicules the NFL’s rule book, especially the rules that have developed around what is or is not a catch. Global warming. Cartography. Rising sea levels. Technology. Isolation. The evolution of the minivan. It’s all there, and it’s funny, and weird, and incredible. Jon Bois is a writer I have long enjoyed reading, and this is his magnum opus, in my opinion. If you read it, you may get confused at times, but you will not be disappointed. Or maybe I’m just weird as hell, and the appeal I see in this will not be seen by others. Which would be fine. But I loved it, and I hope you do, too. And, if you’re curious, there are some questions and answers from the writer here. -TOB
Source: 17776”, Jon Bois, SB Nation (07/15/2017);

PAL: I got through a bit more than half of this. It’s definitely something to read over the course of the week. Going through this reminded me of Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Book of Daniel, and even A Clockwork Orange. When you first start reading, how the story is told can overshadow what is being told. This 17776 story is perfect for a MFA literary criticism paper.

In the abstract, I like the idea of exploring the big ideas — isolation, evolution, god, mortality — through the insignificant absurdity of sport. It’s a nice bit of irony. But, as was the case with Kiss of the Spider Woman, I found it more interesting to write about 17776 than read it.

The art that we learn in school — the books that we read, the music we learn, the paintings we discuss — they aren’t necessarily the best of the lot; in many cases they are taught generation after generation because they broke the form of their time, and for that they can hold a significance that more expertly crafted pieces cannot claim. The rarest of air is reserved for those that both broke the form and were expertly crafted, emotionally revealing stories. Stories like The Book of Daniel and A Clockwork Orange.

I do love how hard Bois goes for it with this one. It’s way, way out there. – PAL


Running For Your Life

Several years back I joined seemingly every person even partially interested in running and read Born To Run, a nonfiction book detailing the all but forgotten Tarahumara people in Mexico known for running incredibly long distances with little more than a flap of leather between their feet and the ground. You can thank this best-selling work for all those people who wore toe shoes for a couple years. The idea was that the marketing of running shoes was dismantling millions of years of fine-tuned evolution in the human foot, and here was this tribe of people, some of the most elite distance runners in the world, that simply missed the shoe craze of the 70s and 80s. I tore through the book, and found the stories of the running farmers from Tarahumara fascinating.

The sequel to Born To Run should be one of Olympic glory, or winning the Boston Marathon. That is not the case. This story linked below provides a more morbid sequel for many Tarahumaras.

When it comes down to it, drought can make a farmer do just about anything.

The cartels took over much of the land surrounding the Tarahumara people. Droughts beat up their crops, and several of the Tarahumara men turned to a different kind of endurance challenge: drug running. They literally haul 40-pound bags of drugs over the border for the cartels. Their crops can’t support their families, and the other available jobs don’t pay enough. With their reputation for endurance known, the Tarahumara men became quite the commodity for the cartels.

We’re not talking about life-changing money – $700 – $800, but it is life-sustaining money. It’s also about the same amount as the prize money for winning an ultra-marathon in these rural parts of Mexico. 

Not surprising, a good number of runners trying to cross the border get caught, so it makes sense that this sad trend was discovered by a West Texas attorney named Paul Chambers. Like the men he defends, Chambers has carried his own weight of drugs. This story does an excellent job profiling the pawns of the drug trafficking world. – PAL

Source: The Drug Runners”, Ryan Goldberg, Texas Monthly (July, 2017)


Friggin’ Millennials

By now I’m sure many of you are sick of the talk about Kyrie Irving requesting a trade out of Cleveland. Hell, it’s a slow time in sports – The NFL and college football hasn’t started, baseball is still a little bit outside of a playoff talk, Wimbledon’s over, the three golf majors that matter are in the rearview – but even with all of this, the amount of talk radio spent on Kyrie Irving has been a bit much.

Still, I share this story because it clearly breaks down just how little sense Irving’s request seemingly makes. The writing is crisp and clear.

Why does Kyrie Irving, 25, no longer want to play with one of the best 5 players in NBA history any more?

He wants to be the centerpiece of a team and is envious of players like John Wall and Damian Lillard.

  • Wall and Lillard have won nothing. Kyrie has been to 3 straight finals, has an iconic moment in NBA history from game 7 against the Warriors, and has won a championship
  • Kyrie is more popular in terms of jersey sales, all-star votes, and shoe sales than either of them

Kyrie wants to be the focal point of the offense. But what do the numbers say?

Kyrie attempted more shots per game (19.7) than all but five other players in the NBA this past season; more than Harden (18.9), Wall (18.4), Curry (18.3), or James himself (18.2), and only 0.1 fewer than Lillard—who, again, missed the All-Star Game and whose team got swept out of the first round of the playoffs. Irving had the ninth-highest usage percentage (30.8) in the NBA—again, higher than Wall’s (30.6), Curry’s (30.1), and James’s (30.0). As ESPN’s Zach Lowe notes, Kyrie even held the ball longer than James did, according to the NBA’s player tracking database.

Kyrie provide a list of potential teams he’d like to join: San Antonio, Miami, New York, Minnesota.

  • San Antonio has their focal point and MVP candidate: Kawhi Leonard
  • Minnesota has a couple studs, Jimmy Butler and Karl-Anthony Townes that aren’t simply going to hand over shots
  • The Knicks are the Knicks…let’s move on.
  • Miami is not good.

So what does he want? I think writer Alberto Burneko nails it:

“It’s possible that no one in the history of the league has ever had it that good. Kyrie Irving wants to give it away so that he can play with worse players, so that he can get a larger share of dimmer shine.”

Talk about a millennial, right? – PAL

Source: Just What In The Damn Hell Is Kyrie Irving Thinking?”, Alberto Burneko, Deadspin (7/25/17)

TOB: Something smells fishy about this to me. The buzz about LeBron leaving after next season has been strong for weeks, months even. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Kyrie says he wants a trade. Either he wants a trade because he knows it’s his only shot to get out – they are not trading their only good, young asset next year after LeBron leaves – or he and LeBron are somehow in cahoots. Consider: When LeBron left in 2010, Dan Gilbert made a fool of himself with his comic sans letter to LeBron. LeBron came back, but the relationship never seemed warm, and I think LeBron came back to win a title for Cleveland and rescue his legacy, and the fact Gilbert got a ring along the way was a necessary evil. But if he now wants to leave, he needs to do so while saving face – he needs the public to think, “Well, of course he left. Who wouldn’t leave?” So, maybe LeBron and Kyrie work together to get what they each want – Kyrie gets out now, so he’s not stuck there post-LeBron, and LeBron gets to leave without becoming the villain. As Michael Scott would say, win, win win. The third win is for me, because I solved the mystery.


Video of the Week: Caddyshack was released 37 years ago this week, so let’s just stop and appreciate genius –


PAL Song of the Week: Alabama Shakes – “Dunes”




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“I have flaws. What are they? I sing in the shower. Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally I’ll hit somebody with my car.”

– M. Scott

 

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Week of July 21, 2017

Our thoughts exactly.


What’s Right with Sports, c/o Tour de France

MONT DU CHAT, France — A white-haired man was dancing naked in the middle of the mountain road, his sunburned body rocking imprecisely to a pop song pounding from a set of speakers. His halfhearted attempt to cover himself with one hand as he swayed was mostly ineffectual, which only made his friends laugh harder and cover their eyes. Behind them was a 20-foot-long, homemade banner that read, “VIVE LE TOUR.”

This could be the first line of a novel (and one I’d no doubt keep reading). Instead, it is the opening to a story about the rabid crazies who run alongside cyclists as the chug, heave, and trudge up mountains in the Tour de France.

Every year fans make their way up winding mountain roads, set up camp to witness a sporting event they will see with their own eyes for less than 30 minutes (the overall race is takes place over the course of 21 stages and covers over 2,000 mile). Some fans come up days before, and others scope out the prime real estate along the route weeks before the riders suffer past them. They pass the time with seasons of Top Chef, wine, endless games of pétanque (a french lawn bowling game), more wine, late night firecrackers, and beer, all along a mountainside. Obviously, the race is just a small part of it. Said one spectator, “If the cyclists never came up on Sunday, we’d still be O.K.”

It’s not just retired guys crossing off a bullet on their bucket lists, and it’s not just college kids looking for an excuse to drink on a mountain. No, it’s all of them and everyone in between. And it’s exactly the kind of loose, unsponsored tradition that hits me just right.  You’ve got some experienced crews, who’ve learned over the years that a little class and fine cuisine don’t weaken the camping experience:

And then you have these idiots (I use that term affectionately):

The fridge, the TV on someone’s desk from school, the grocery cart – it all screams college adventure. Of course, all of this leads to the race. Spectators choose to watch on the mountains because of the speed. On flat portions of the race, teams whiz by in a blur. It’s different in the mountains:

Crowding the course, inches from the cyclists, the spectators could yell almost directly into their ears and look straight into their eyes. George Bennett of New Zealand cracked a big smile when he spotted a man dressed like an insect, furiously snapping his cloth pincers. But otherwise the riders had blank, detached expressions. Some seemed pained. A few of the stragglers received pushes from helpful fans.

The irony of my speaking to the purity of the spectator experience of a sport that has been anything but on the up-and-up is not lost on me, but I want to do this. It looks like a lot of fun. Hell, a woman from a nearby town brings up fresh baguettes each day! – PAL

Source: On Tour’s Mountain Roads, Beer, Baguettes and, Briefly, Bikes”, Andrew Keh & photographs by Pete Kiehart, The New York Times (07/18/2017)

TOB: I’m certainly not one to turn down a party, but there’s something about this I can’t get behind. Hanging out for up to a week to see some dudes ride by on bicycles for a few minutes? As one of the spectators said, “You’re here so long, and then it’s over so quick. It’s bizarre, if you think about it.” I’m with you, dude. I would have a lot of fun, but I don’t think I’m traveling to France for that. 


The Greatest Tennis Player Ever is Still Doin’ the Damn Thing

I’m not really a tennis fan, though I find it interesting to follow from afar. That doesn’t particularly make sense, but it’s true. I don’t watch, but I like to read about the players, and the rivalries, and the records. From a distance, I’ve become a huge Roger Federer fan, despite watching maybe three Federer matches in my lifetime. The first was his Wimbledon Final in 2008 against Rafael Nadal. Nadal won in an epic match, and I woke up at like 5am to watch (it lasted nearly 5 hours). The most recent time I watched Federer was this year’s Wimbledon Final, last weekend, against…honestly I already forgot his name. Celic? Cilic! Roger crushed him, though to be fair Cilic was suffering from a truly gnarly blister on his foot.

There’s something about Federer that makes him easy to root for. A lot of it, for me, has to do with his age. He’s just a few months older than me, and he’s playing tennis at a level no one his age has ever played. He’s also simply, undeniably, great, which is something I can always appreciate in an athlete. And there’s something just likeable about him. As Giri Nathan points out…it shouldn’t be that way. Federer should be an absolute tool. But he’s not! Or he comes off not that way. Even his opponents report being unable to dislike him. He’s just too goddamn nice. And not in a fake way. He wipes the tennis court with his opponents. He’s an absolute killer out there. And then he smiles and embraces his foe afterwards, almost apologetic for the whuppin he just gave.

I tuned into this year’s Wimbledon Final (ok, on DVR-delay – Roger and I aren’t 26 anymore, ok?) because this really could be his last. After last year’s Wimbledon, even Federer thought he might be done. He needed a break. So he took a full 6 months off from tennis. When a 35 year-old athlete does that, the end is near. But what did Federer do? He came back and won the Australian Open and Wimbledon this year.

But how long can he keep it up? He’s now outlasted his once young, upstart nemesis Nadal, age 31 (while he won the French Open this year, it was his first since 2014, after having won 9 of the previous 10). He’s also outlasted his even younger upstart nemesis, Novak Djokovich, age 30, who failed to make a semifinal in a major this year for the first time since 2006, and is battling injury.

So, this might be it for Fed. Or it might not. I hope not. The match last week was nothing special, but I will gladly watch him do things like this a few more times:

-TOB

Source: There Is No Hiding From Roger Federer”, Giri Nathan, Deadspin (07/17/2017)

PAL: We have some really great writing in the stories this week. Giri Nathan’s musing on rooting for Goliath nails it:

If he is in your commercial break or in the pages of your magazine, he is peddling things outside the realm of almost every viewer’s means. If he is on the tennis broadcast, he is doing things outside the realm of almost every peer’s physicality. Nor is he particularly bashful about any of this. His personal monogram, a precious little gilt alloy of his initials, could inspire a world of resentment, but, somehow—no, this makes a weird sort of sense, even when it appears on corny cream blazers or cardigans. Maybe this is the most direct way of framing the issue: I see a man walk onto court caked up in all this, as Federer did in 2009—

—and not only do I not loathe this man or cheer for his humbling, I even hope for him to win, and want him to keep winning even after he’s already won more than any other man ever has.

Like TOB, I’ve maybe seen Federer play five times, and yet I was sucked into watching a “best Federer shots” compilation at lunch today. That one-hand backhand is…damn, if it isn’t a thing of beauty, headband and all. I don’t really care enough to take into account whether or not Federer is a good guy. I just like to see obvious, masterful grace in a sports.


Do It for the Bumper Sticker

With SF Marathon taking place on Sunday (remember that, drivers), it’s fitting to share this cool, interactive series of 7 runner profiles from the Chronicle. In addition to their varied backstories and reasons for running, the subjects also share training logs. It’s pretty interesting to see the different approaches. Jorge Maravilla, who finished 3rd in last year’s race, has a very different training program than someone who’s trying to finish his or her first marathon. That much is a given. But would it surprise you to find that he doesn’t log the most miles, or even the most elevation gain?

It’s also a bit alarming to see some of the training logs, and you find folks only putting in 3 days of running in a week. Not going to lie – I think Lauren going to be struggling at mile 19 on Sunday. She’s averaged 18 miles of running a week in her training.

And then you have the over-achieving family. The dad runs ultra marathons at record-setting times. The dude’s 70. He’s the guy running more miles than the guy hoping to win the damn thing. His daughter ran seven 20+ mile runs in her training and is hoping to qualify for Boston. Hell, they ran together on her wedding day.

All kidding aside – all the best to the runners this weekend. Don’t poop your pants. – PAL

Source: Seven Runners, One Mission”, Erin Allday, Emma O’Neil, The San Francisco Chronicle (no date given)


Goals.

This is a shameless shoutout to my father-in-law, Ed, a loyal reader of the blog. Ed loves soccer more than you love any non-living thing. I’m fairly certain of that. Ed is 71, which sounds old (sorry, Ed), but he doesn’t let that keep him on the sidelines. Ed plays soccer every week (multiple times per week?) with a group of guys around his age. But they aren’t a bunch of old dudes struggling to motor around the pitch. No, Ed and his team, Golden State Legends, also travel the world to lay waste to the competition. In recent years, soccer has taken him as far as Peru. Last week, Ed traveled to Nashville, Tennessee, for the United States Adult Soccer Association’s Soccerfest, and, for the third straight year, Ed’s team took home the championship. Competing against teams from as far away as Japan, Golden State Legends won the title 3-1 against a team from Georgia. Ed even scored a goal in the tournament, while wearing a do-rag, and there’s photographic proof!

I have mentioned before that I play a weekly basketball game in my neighborhood with a bunch of guys as young as their 20s and as old as 70 or so. I have always hoped my body will hold up and allow me to continue to play basketball until that age. But now I have a new goal: play basketball at such a high level, at age 70, that someone gives me a big ol’ trophy.

Congrats, Ed! -TOB

PAL: The things guys will do to curry the favor of the in-laws, am I right, folks? I kid! I kid! Love that Ed and his buddies are getting after it, chasing down titles, and doing it with a little do-rag flair to boot.


Video of the Week

The drive-by-dunk challenge. Not nearly as cool as the pool slam dunk craze from a few summers back. Good lord, teens are bored.


PAL Song of the Week: Pink Floyd – “Have A Cigar”




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“He’s a great guy. Smart. Strong. Loves holding my hand…People don’t realize he loves holding my hand. And that’s good, as far as that goes. I mean, really. He’s a very good person. And a tough guy, but look, he has to be. I think he is going to be a terrific president of France. But he does love holding my hand.”

-Trump, on French President Macron

Week of July 14, 2017

Casper Lang making it look good. 


Ain’t Nothing But A Family Thing*

The same thing happens to me after every 4th of July. I go back to Minnesota, spend a summer week at my favorite place on earth: my parents’ cabin. I play catch with my nieces and nephews, play cards, take boat rides, sit around the bonfire, and run long stretches of country roads. The days go on forever, the mosquitos are insufferable, and the conversations run into the morning hours. Then I say goodbye, again, and hop on a plane back to California, having caught another nasty case of homesickness.

I love California, but I miss Minnesota. And then Uncle Gary sends me this story. It’s a great story, but it’s not helping this round of homesickness.

There are pockets in Minnesota that are obsessed with baseball. Yes, we’re known for hockey, but the entire state doesn’t fall in line on that one. In fact, there are many parts of the state – places like Chaska, New Ulm, Wilmar, and Luverne – small, beautiful towns more or less out of Field of Dreams that love baseball. Baseball has a long tradition up north, and nowhere is that tradition more alive than Stearns County. I know, albeit secondhand. We’ll get to that in a jiff.

It’s called townball. Mens league baseball. In Stearns County, a collection of small towns 100 miles up I-94 from the Twin Cities, townball has seen very little changes over a very long period of time.

The uniqueness of the Stearns County League is that it dates to 1950 in what is basically its present form. Regal was an early member, as was Freeport. Meire Grove and Greenwald were Green-Grove until separate teams were formed in 1959.

For nearly six decades, it has been those two, plus Farming, Lake Henry, St. Martin, New Munich, Richmond and Roscoe. Of course, 1983 saw the admission of Elrosa and Spring Hill.

To be a true Stearns County town, Farming resident and Mike Schleper claims three requirements: “a Catholic church, two bars, and a ballfield.”

I was 18 when I first saw just what Stearns County baseball was all about. My future college roommate, Ryan Nett, invited me up to his place for the weekend ahead of us going to school. We had played on a fall league team together, hit it off, and ended up deciding to play baseball at a small college in South Dakota. I grew up in the suburbs, and by that I mean exactly what you’re picturing in your head right now. As far as I knew, Ryan grew up just outside of St. Cloud, a 15,000-student state college town.

Ryan did not grow up in St. Cloud. He grew up in Farming, Minnesota, on a farm. He played on a townball team with his three brothers. His dad had played on the same team. The Farming Flames field, to a suburbia kid, seemed to be in the middle of nowhere, along a country road surrounded by nothing. But — and I mean no disrespect — much of the township of Farming is a series of country roads surrounded by open space.

I go to the game. The small, grandstand is selling unmatched 6-packs of Premium and Mich Golden and Bud Lights. I sit and watch a wood bat game between teams comprised of has-beens, teenagers, and hot-shot college ballplayers. I get slowly drunk on the metal bleachers, and so does everyone else in the stands (which are full). Cars are backed up along the right field line. It could’ve been a postcard. Ryan, his older ox of a brother Aaron, and I think Ted play in the game. Ryan will want you to know he hit a home run, so let’s just slip that in right here. And the game, it’s not just ‘Hey, we’re just having fun’. These men with beer guts and teenagers with wristbands of faux flair are competing. They’re arguing with umpires and going in hard at second.

I loved it, but I thought it was absurd at the time.

Patrick Reusse’s story below captures the wonderful tradition of the Stearns County league. 17 year later, I don’t think it’s absurd at all. No, 17 years later, as I play softball in San Francisco, I think the Stearns County League sounds just about right. Remember, I’m in the thick of the post-cabin homesickness.

I stand at shortstop in these softball games, and – if I’m being honest – I can’t stand that I’m playing softball. I have to admit, A League of Their Own got baseball right: It’s the hard that makes it great. While everything about baseball requires precision, everything about softball is proximity.

There’s a familiarity in going through the paces of playing softball, but I don’t love softball. I don’t know if I even like it. Everything about softball is going through the motions of baseball at a slower, meandering pace, aided by longer, lighter, trampoline bats swung by men who either take it way too seriously or not nearly serious enough. There’s nothing exact about it.

My first love was baseball. So why am I pulling up short at second on a force out when there are guys older than me mixing it up in a real baseball game under the lights in Farming, Minnesota?

It’s easy to read this story and look at the pictures and react to the Rockwell, Greatest Generation quaintness of it all, but that would be missing the point. The league is more than that.

The Stearns County League pays for the Little League and Babe Ruth teams. They raise money from pull tabs and sausage breakfasts. When they’re short on funds to get lights, they reach out to family and the community, and they get it done. These communities built the league, and it became a part of their identity, as much as the Catholic Church and the two bars in town.

I’m realizing now my summary reads more like a meditation than a pitch for you to click on the story link below. But I think romance can lead one to meditate, and there’s something damn romantic about townball in Stearns County. – PAL

Footnotes:

  • This story was submitted by our loyal reader, Gary Livingston. Have a great story you think we should post? Send it to us at 123sportslist@gmail.com
  • * I’ll buy a burger and a beer to the reader who can tell me what show this title comes from (don’t be that guy and look it up)

Source: The Summer Game: Townball Rules Sundays in Central Minnesota”, Patrick Reusse, Star Tribune (7/10/17)


Don’t Be That Sports Dad

This week, Rays’ outfielder Colby Rasmus mysteriously “stepped away”from baseball for “personal reasons”. Rasmus will walk away from over $2M with this decision, which is ever the more peculiar because he’s on the disabled list, anyways.  He could have just sat there and collected his money. Rasmus was having a nice season – hitting .281 with an OPS of .896 and 9 home runs in just 37 games before he was placed on the DL on June 23. So why is he walking away? And what does that mean? Is it a retirement? Or a temporary break? And what are the personal reasons that led to his decision? I was curious about this, and then saw the following tweet from Toronto Star reporter Brendan Kennedy (Rasmus had spent the last few years with the Blue Jays before signing with the Rays in the offseason):

Yes, Colby Ramus’ dad made Colby and his brothers practice for four hours, every single day, year-round. That is some terrible parenting. In the short-term, I guess he was “successful” – Rasmus and his two brothers all played professional baseball. In the long-term, though, he was decidedly not successful. I am speculating, of course, but it’s not off-the-wall to suggest Colby is walking away because he hates playing baseball, and that he hates playing baseball because his dad forced him to play so much. Colby’s brother, Casey, unexpectedly retired, too, at age 24 while in the minor leagues.

Whether this is the reason for Rasmus’ retirement is unclear, but what is clear, from Colby’s quote in that tweet, is that his dad was a terrible sports parent who made his kid not enjoy the game he has played his entire life. The story evokes memories of other bad sports parents like Todd Marinovich’s dad, or Mary Pierce’s dad:

Jim Pierce’s treatment of his daughter Mary was possibly the most brutal of all. He once admitted training his daughter eight hours a day, sometimes until midnight.

“For seven years, eight hours a day, I hit 700 serves at Mary. I wouldn’t let her leave until she got it right. Sure she cried,” he said.

Like Damir, he was well known for berating Mary in public. After an altercation with a spectator in the French Open in 1993, he was banned from all Women’s Tennis Association Tour events for five years and Mary dropped him as her coach and placed a restraining order on him.

He then became embroiled in a knife fight with her bodyguard. Mary was eventually reported to have paid him £300,000 to leave her alone when he subsequently sued her, claiming a share of her earnings.

Geeze. Don’t be like that, Sports Dads. -TOB

Source: Rays Outfielder Colby Rasmus Steps Away From Baseball For Personal Reasons”, Dan Gartland, Sports Illustrated (07/13/2017)

PAL: This is a tough one, because there’s a lot of speculation. The guy could be sick, or someone in his family could be sick. He could be going through some personal problems that have nothing to do with his dad.

With that caveat in mind about Rasmus, I’ve never understood the overbearing sports parents. It just seems like a lose-lose situation, even under the best circumstances. I don’t know about you, but the “I know what’s best for you” approach doesn’t usually seem to work out with kids. Even if the kid turns out to be a professional, what kind of parent-child relationship does that lead to? Where is the joy in the game when your parent is berating you for the millionth time?

TOB: I want to be clear: I agree he could be leaving for many reasons, and I state I am speculating that it’s because of his dad. BUT. That doesn’t change the quote from Colby about his dad – that’s a Bad Sports Dad.


Cubs Trade for Quinana Leads to Greatest Media Correction Ever

On Thursday, the White Sox traded their ace, Jose Quintana, to the cross-town, defending World Series Champion, but struggling mightily, Cubs. The Cubs gave up four Top-100 prospects, including the their top hitting and pitching prospects – no small price to pay. Quintana has been a very good pitcher the last 6 years. He struggled early this season, but has been very good again since early June, and he’s under relatively cheap control over the next 3 years, for a total of $30M. The story would not be very interesting, and not something I’d normally write about here. BUT. The story got hilarious, quickly.

News of the trade hit without any leaks or rumors, which is rare. The GMs of the two teams reportedly met in private during the All-Star game, which explains how they could have done a deal of this magnitude without any major press picking up on it. I say major because a few hours after the trade was announced, a Reddit thread from the night before started making the rounds. There, a reddit user named “KatyPerrysBootyHole” (yes.) started a thread about a possible Cubs trade for Quintana:

Hey guys, take this with a grain of salt, but I heard from a friend who’s brothers friend works for the cubs (sounds like bullshit I know), that Q is going to the cubs in exchange for 4 players. Has anyone heard anything similar?

A short while later, another user named “Wetbutt23” (hell yes.) confirmed the rumor though clarified it was Quintana for four prospects, and later confirmed the deal was done and the players were undergoing physicals (KatyPerrysBootyHole confirmed Wetbutt23 was his/her source).

The names are funny, obviously, but what really got me was the fact the news of the Reddit thread forced CSNChicago.com to post this amazing correction to a story about how the trade stayed under the media’s radar:

Correction: While no national media had this story, a Reddit user named “wetbutt23″ had it last night. CSNChicago.com apologizes to wetbutt23 for the error.

Ohhhhh, yes. Every time I read that second sentence, I laugh. It’s days like these the internet really delivers the goods. -TOB

Source: KatyPerrysBootyHole And Wetbutt23 Broke The Jose Quintana Trade”, Barry Petchesky, Deadspin (07/13/2017)

PAL: My only question is whether or not this post is NSFW.

TOB: I sure hope not…


Video of the Week: 

PAL Song of the Week: Johnny Cash – “One” (U2)


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“It’s nice because the flavour of the Starbursts really bring out a similar flavour in the Skittles.”

-A. Dwyer

Week of July 7, 2017

Loyal readers,

It’s the week of Independence Day, and we’ve gone fishin’. Picture us as LeBron, more or less.

We’ll be back next week.

-PAL and TOB