The Inglewood City Council welcomed the St. Louis Rams (well, Stan Kroenke’s money, to be precise) west by sidestepping a public vote and hailing the unanimous council vote as “the best financial arrangement in the history of stadium deals in this country.”
That was Mayor James Butts who said that, and I can guarantee without hesitation that he will deny having said that a thousand times before trying to reframe it as (a) a misquote, (b) taken out of context, (c) not entirely precise, and then (d) a concession speech when Inglewood voters find out that like every other city ever, it got rogered but good on the deal.
In the meantime, he said before the vote the sidestepped the ballot box, “We need to do the will of the people and we need to do it tonight,” Butts said just before the vote, and “Now we can celebrate” right after it.
What a hopelessly naïve (or diabolical, we’re not sure which) maroon.
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More inside politics (and we still hate Candy Crowley for retiring, by the by): Bill Simmons, who makes methamphetamine feel sluggish, churned out an extended (is there any other kind?) piece at Grantland on 2015 NBA trades, and somehow found a reader who hit onto the idea of a 2016 Presidential ticket of Bill Belichick and Gregg Popovich.
This is of course certifiably insane on its face. Popovich would be the President on that ticket –- the charming policy wonk who owns a room with a glance, and Belichick the Chaney-esque vice-president/dark eminence. Michael Beschloss can thank me later.
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And bouncing off the Inglewood news, the Raiders are now faced with two serious decisions –- the first being whether to jump with both feet into the Carson deal with or without San Diego, and the second is breaking the news to their fans that there is a just-discovered black hole (via Nature and via NBC) that is 12 billion times the mass of the sun and seems to have been created a mere 900 million years after the Big Bang.
And, it needn’t be added, this black hole isn’t afraid of the Raiders’ Black Hole one teensy bit.
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This was a particularly lousy day in sports, between Derrick Rose’s knee and Josh Hamilton’s drug relapse (not counting whatever it is with Dez Bryant), and then Larry Sanders telling The Players Tribune that he has been treated for anxiety and depression, thus explaining why he is not playing basketball now.
I suppose you could discover from all this that, and we exempt Bryant here, that being an athlete isn’t your get-out-of-humanity card, and that the worst jumping is the one that leads you to an incorrect conclusion. But I’ll bet we don’t. We never do. I mean, we haven’t yet.
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David Ortiz hates the new pace-of-play proposals, especially the one that says hitters have to keep one foot in the batters’ box.
As though you expected anything else.
“I call that bulls---,” he began gently enough. “They don’t understand that when you come out of the box, you’re thinking about what the guy’s trying to do. This is not like you go to the plate with an empty mind. When you see guys coming out of the box, we’re not doing it just for doing it. Our mind is speeding up. I saw one pitch. When I come out, I’m thinking, ‘What’s this guy going to try to do to me next?’ I’m not walking around just because there’s cameras all over the place and I want my buddies back home to see me.”
Well, that’s Ortiz. There are plenty of other preenins yobbos in major league lineups. Still, he continues.
“Just tell them to throw the ball. Hey, look. This game has been going on for over 100 years, and the nature of the game. I don’t care who you are, you’re not going to change. That is our nature. Pitch comes through, you come out of the box, you go back in it. But you throw a pitch and stay there, and the pitcher’s going to go right back at it? I don’t know about that.”
As it is, under the new proposal, the initial proposed fine for stepping out is $500, which means Ortiz can step out 32,000 times this year before he starts to actually lose money. Based on the number of pitches he has faced since people started counting that (he has 32,422 going back to 2001), he would have to play another 14 years to lose his 2015 salary of $16,000,000.
In other words, Big Papi, you may or may not be on the wrong side of baseball history, but for sure on the wrong side of math and economics.
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Piers Morgan, the former CNN dartboard, is an enormous of psychotic Arsenal fan, so when the Champions League draw came out and he saw who his team would face, he was disturbingly ecstatic on Twitter:
“BOOM! We drew the one team worse than us. Perfect. #monaco #afc #cldraw.”
Wednesday’s final: Monaco 3, Arsenal 1, at Arsenal. Nice work, pal. You freakin’ nailed it, again.
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The NHL trade deadline is Monday, but already there have been two deals – momentary Shark Daniel Winnik traded from Toronto to Pittsburgh, and Carolina traded Jiri Tlusty to Winnipeg for a couple of draft picks.
If this ruins Deadline Day, I will hate them all forever. But if it leaves all those Canadian TV guys on the set dissecting five-day old news and literally begging teams on set to do something, anyway, my mood will be assuaged.
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If you were disappointed by the Cleveland Browns’ idiotic re-non-design, this by David Rappoccio might help your mood.
Or maybe it won’t, but what else do you have to do with your day?
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Russell Crowe, the owner of the South Sydney Rabbitohs rugby club and an occasional actor, is suddenly interested after some fans’ enthusiastic prompting in buying Leeds United Football Club. That is the team that played the villain in the book and film, “The Damned United,” which starred Michael Sheen and Timothy Spall, and has fallen upon almost comedically hard times.
Crowe may buy the team and he may not, but he still has to explain “Rabbitohs.”
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And finally, Detroit manager Brad Ausmus says he is going to join the Cubs’ Joe Maddon, the Rangers’ Jeff Banister and the Astros’ A.J. Hinch as tweeters. This seems nuts, until you hear what he intends to do with his newfound loss of free time, via ESPN senior maniac Jayson Stark:
“I’ll probably have a rant, a Twitter rant, sometime,” Ausmus said. “Maybe get in a Twitter feud with, like, Taylor Swift. Break the Internet eventually, I’m sure.”
The Internet is drenched in shame knowing this.