How cockamamie was last year’s election season? It was so cockamamie, I had never even used the word “cockamamie” other than in a 1969 spelling bee in which I finished seventh (out of 12 entrants).
So imagine my surprise when I asked myself the other day – is it possible this year’s baseball season has been as cockamamie as last year’s election season? You be the cockamamie judge:
—- The Cleveland Indians had a 22-game winning streak. Even the fictionalized Indians, in the 1989 movie “Major League,” never won more than eight in a row, and they had a slugger with a magical, rum-drinking voodoo doll.
These Indians were 31-31 on June 14. They were still only 48-45 on July 19. Then five weeks later, they woke up one North Ohio morning and started pulverizing foes, sometimes twice a day.
Among the streak’s amazing numbers: They won two doubleheaders in three days, they only trailed in eight of 198 innings played and they outscored their opponents, 140-36.
They were so dominant, the Electoral College couldn’t have hung a loss on them.
Anyway, how do you win 22 straight baseball games? It’s next-to-impossible to do anything 22 straight days, save for the time Mickey Rourke trashed his $5,000-a-night suite at New York City’s Plaza Hotel in 1994 for three weeks.
—- The Los Angeles Dodgers went 56-11 in a 67-game stretch, then immediately went 1-16. Nobody has been this good and this bad in a six-month span since Kevin Costner starred in “Dances with Wolves” and “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” in 1990-91.
Somehow – improbably, inconceivably and incomprehensibly – the Dodgers this season set the record for best home mark in Dodger Stadium’s 55-year history (57-24) and tied the record for longest home losing streak in Dodger Stadium history (nine).
These Dodgers had 10- and 11-game winning streaks before losing 11 in a row.
This is reminiscent of Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II” run, followed by his “Godfather: Part III” calamity; even the Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen couldn’t have saved “Godfather III.”
—- Former MLB commissioner Bud Selig was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. I hate to repeat myself, but this stumble bum and one-time automotive-leasing magnate was supposed to drive the integrity of the game; instead, he was the wheelman for the owners’ getaway car.
First he pretended PEDs didn’t exist, then he pretended he was policing it before anyone.
On a positive note, the Minnesota Twins just became the first team to make the playoffs following a 100-loss season, courtesy of the wild card – a Selig innovation!
Meanwhile – and I would think I was making this up but I’m not – Selig is going into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame this year. OF COURSE HE IS.
What’s next, Bart Simpson into the Burlesque Hall of Fame?
—- This season produced the most home runs in MLB history, shattering the 2000 record of 5,693. Why so many homers so suddenly? There is talk of steroids again, pitch velocity, batters’ adjusted launch angles, tightly wound baseballs, smaller ballparks.
Uh, how about climate change?
Best I can tell, it causes more hurricanes, more glacial retreats, more earthquakes, more ice sheets melting, more Giancarlo Stantons.
Forty-one players this season have hit at least 30 homers; twice this year, home run balls have smashed my windshield on the 110 freeway in L.A., causing me to switch to an electric bike.
Footnote: As a contrast to the home run derby, sublime 44-year-old Ichiro Suzuki surpassed 2,500 career singles on Sept. 8. That’s a lot, unless you compare it to Pete Rose numbers – 3,215 singles and 6,129 single-game sports bets.
—- We should’ve seen the home run torrent coming: The Giants’ Madison Bumgarner became the first pitcher ever to hit two of them on Opening Day.
How cockamamie is that?
Ask The Slouch
Q. President Trump says the NFL “is going to hell.” Will their fan base follow them there? (Rob Burns; San Antonio)
A. The NFL would do fine in hell – lots of Browns-Colts games; lots of domed stadiums, all taxpayer-funded.
Q. What is it with Kentucky? Not only is it home to Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, it is also home to Bobby Petrino, John Calipari and Rick Pitino. (Bradley Suter; Charlottesville, Va.)
A. You forgot Charles Manson and Nick Lachey.
Q. Are you disappointed that your Terrapins did not have a coach indicted last week? Does this show a lack of commitment at Maryland towards winning? (David Couger; Santa Fe, N.M.)
A. We stand by our school motto: Over Achieve, Under Armour.
Q. Will Rick Pitino’s loss of shoe contract affect what his horses wear? (Grady Chism; Indianapolis)
Q. Is it true that the Northwestern University basketball team was paid by Adidas NOT to wear their shoes? (Tom Martella; Washington, D.C.)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!
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