MAYA MOORE IS THE DEFINITION OF ‘PRESIDENTIAL TIMBER’…AND THEN SOME

Maya Moore must have had the most profound and deeply impactful guidance ever.

From God.

From her family.

Or from, I don’t know where.

She so far surpasses whatever a human being should be, it’s incomprehensible.

Unfathomable.

Or, she’s just that way, period.

This woman is the quintessential superstar.

Transcendent.

Never mind her perpetual rolling river of accomplishments and accolades on the basketball court.

Her hardwood achievements are the stuff of legend.

Naming her their inaugural Performer of the Year in 2017, Sports Illustrated called Moore, the greatest winner in…


WANDER FRANCO

Wander Franco is a twenty-year-old.

I have suits older than that.

Shoes too.

Good ones — in each case.

High quality.

Well-made.

Expensive.

Wander Franco is better than all that, at what he does.

Way better.

Franco is a switch-hitting rookie shortstop for the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays (86–51), who flashes leather in the field and has reached base in 33 consecutive games at this writing.

Among players under 21, Franco’s 33-game streak is now tied for the third-longest in major league baseball history, with the Pirates’ Arky Vaughan (July 12-August 10, 1932) and the New York…


DONNA BRAZILE AND MICHAEL STEELE

Donna Brazile is serious.

Serious as a heart attack.

But funny as hell.

The political strategist and analyst, campaign manager, and liberal pundit twice served as acting Chair of the DNC.

She and Michael Steele are as good as they get.

Believe it.

Steele is the former RNC Chair who served as the seventh lieutenant governor of Maryland from 2003–2007; he was the first African-American elected to statewide office in the “Old Line State.”

A conservative political commentator, attorney and Republican Party politician, in 2020 he formally endorsed Joe Biden for the presidency, after previously…


TANNER HOUCK AND NELLIE CRUZ

At first blush, it would appear that Tanner Houck and Nelson Cruz have precious little in common.

They are both male.

They each play major league baseball.

But that’s about it.

They are 16 years apart; Houck is 25 and Cruz is 41.

And their respective teams — Boston and Tampa Bay — at this writing, are heading in opposite directions.

Fast.

So what’s the deal?

Why lump these two together?

A star to be.

And a star already made.

Tanner Houck is a star in the making.

You can just feel it.

Drafted by…


TOKYO 2020 — WAS IT WORTH IT?

TOKYO 2020.

July 23, 2021-August 8, 2021.

It was.

It wasn’t.

It was.

It finally happened.

It finally closed.

Very weird in most every sense.

In fact, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics represented the strangest Games on record.

It began with a virus and a year-long pause.

It ended with a typhoon blowing through, and yes, still, a virus running rampant.

In between?

You name it.

The tense two-week extravaganza was held in the face of a raging and resurgent pandemic and was categorically rejected by many Japanese.

Plagued by months of entangled administrative…


VENUS WILLIAMS AT 41

It is incomprehensible, yet true, that not enough attention has been paid to Venus Williams, Serena’s elder sister, and one of the greatest tennis players — male or female — in the history of the sport.

There you have it: an introduction of Venus, framed by a reference to Serena.

Typical.

Sure, Serena’s accomplishments on the court have eclipsed those of Venus, but we’re not comparing beluga caviar to chopped liver here.

Serena may retire as the greatest player who ever lived.

Bar none.

Everyone else then, would take a back seat.

But let’s give Venus…


SIMONE BILES AND NAOMI OSAKA

And Michael Phelps.

Aly Raisman.

Andrew Luck.

Ronda Rousey.

Abby Wambaugh.

DeMar DeRozan.

Kevin Love.

Steve Mesler…

A handful of high-profile names, publicly and willingly intertwining themselves with the issue of mental health.

In an effort — among others — to blast to smithereens, the stigma associated with the subject matter.

Mental health is a universal reality; it’s part of being human, just like physical health.

The difference is that one’s mental health may not be as starkly visible to the lay eye of another, as, say, a physical injury for example.

You can’t live…


MARK FIDRYCH AND DENNIS ECKERSLEY

“The Bird”…Eck’s pal…

Two more unlikely friends would be hard to find.

Not exactly two peas in a pod.

But they did share a couple of commonalities.

Each could pitch, and both were nuts — as in, batshit crazy.

The Eck is in the Hall of Fame and Fidrych is dead, lest we jump ahead.

Let us not.

Rather, let’s backtrack 45 years to a time when a native son of Northboro, MA became the most famous athlete in America.

Just when Mark Fidrych morphed into “The Bird,” is open to question, but perhaps the…


CRAIG SAGER

The other night, (July 20) Milwaukee crowned its first NBA champion in fifty years when the Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns 105–98, to capture the NBA Finals, 4–2.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was intergalactic.

Chris Paul was devastated.

And all I could think about was that Craig Sager, in his resplendent glory, should have been there to cover it.

Of course, he was not.

Longtime Turner Sports broadcaster Sager, died at the age of 65, nearly 5 years ago (December 15, 2016).

Acute myeloid leukemia claimed him, following a very long battle.

After his initial diagnosis, Sager, who worked for…


CHARLES BARKLEY

“I am not a role model.”

“I don’t create controversies. They’re there long before I open my mouth. I just bring them to your attention.”

“When I was recruited at Auburn, they took me to a strip joint. When I saw those titties on Buffy, I knew that Auburn met my academic requirements.”

Quotable quotes: Charles Barkley has a million of ‘em.

After throwing a guy through a 1st floor window in a bar, Sir Charles appeared before a judge.

Judge: “Your sanctions are community service and a fine, do you have any regrets?”

Barkley: “Yeah I regret…

Peter J. Kaplan

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