Chris Sale Takes Pants (and Shirt) Half Off the Rack

DATELINE: Kindest Cut of All


Chisox baseball player Chris Sale has become a folkhero to fashionistas.

Having slashed the uniforms of his team to prevent showing up at the party in ugly pajamas, he has been suspended five games—and faces a likely trade to a winning team.

In a scene reminiscent of Psycho, the starting pitcher slashed prices of clothes by cutting off an arm and a leg. By sabotaging the throwback uniforms, untucked and knee high britches, Sale has sailed into the realm of baseball legend.

We’ve heard of players being cut, but this is the first time a player has cut his team’s shirt. This is no tale out of whole cloth, but it may be a tale of holes in the cloth.

If you don’t like the uniform, a new form of protest is available. You may not be able to bring a gun into the stadium, but no one is stopping you from carrying a butcher’s knife into the locker room.

Tom Brady has been suspended for 25% of the season for knowing about air deflation of balls. He never sliced and diced the team logo.

The price of chopping up pajamas is to be suspended for. Let’s do the quick math. It is more like a suspension for 3% of the season.

We may have noticed that baseball has low overhead. And, Boston is a buyer’s market. Sale may be a cheap commodity to trade for in a bullish market. Red Sox uniforms may be made of sterner stuff.

Chris Sale may be sailing on the open sea before trade deadlines and the SEC gets wind of his tactics.

Name the Stars in a 1950s Satire

DATELINE:  Starry, Starry Night


Blame the damn screenwriters.  That’s what the Coen Brothers do in their sly satire Hail, Caesar!

If this movie is any indication, those blacklisted Hollywood Ten practically got away with murder.

A roman a clef, the tale is a trivia buff’s dreamboat, sailing into the territory once claimed by Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly. This time the Gene Kelly role is played by Channing Tatum in a rousing number with No Dames at Sea.

You can try to pick out the old movie stars being lampooned: from Audie Murphy to Charlton Heston, Esther Williams to Carmen Miranda.

The cast has fun, and often that leaves the audience out. Not this time. We felt like we too were in on the joke because so many young viewers will miss the dreamboat, unless they are fans of TMC’s old chestnut classics.

In a nutshell, a group of despicable and underpaid writers kidnaps a movie star and holds him at the spaceship house once owned by Mildred Pierce out in Malibu. We can almost see Joan Crawford on the shore.

Eddie Mannix, a real Hollywood history fixer, is played by Josh Brolin as if he were Humphrey Bogart, who comes in to solve all the movie star scandals like a superhero. Tilda Swinton doubles down as Hedda Hopper, and Scarlett Johanssen swims like Esther Williams. It’s delightful.

Our money goes to to Alden Ehrenreich with his dead-on Audie Murphy impersonation as Hobie Doyle, down to the wavy hair and ‘aw-shucks,’ demeanor. A star is born.


Death of Deflategate 

DATELINE: Brady in Loss at a Loss


It ends with a whimper.

Ding dong, the wicked Deflategate is dead.  Tom Brady fooled everyone into thinking he’d go to the Supreme Court. Instead, he went down in flames, the victim of a nouveau witch hunt.

After a protracted battle, the enemy insurgents are breathing a sigh of relief. The imbeciles who taunted Tom seem reluctant to gloat. The NFL and their tin commissioner are eating a banquet of Sodom’s apples. May they choke on it.\

Brady usually posts humor on Facebook, but this was serious.

Injustice often overwhelms fair play. Two wrongs adorn the commissioner who shall remain nameless. If we could expunge his name from the record, we would emulate old Egyptians or modern Soviets.

We never thought it would come to this. There is no bang. The shot heard round the world at Foxboro now travels into the realm of legend and history.

Tom Brady is almost 40 years old. Every missed game diminishes his extraordinary career. The NFL has conspired to deny him his due. We might choose to walk away from the game but Tom will bite the bullet with his name on it. He will live to play another day.

Dream On, Celtics Fans!

 DATELINE:  Insider Trading

Blake without Testiness

Our summer just improved immensely. The rumor mill claims that Blake Griffin is headed to the Celtics. We are climbing the ‘Stairway to Heaven’, knowing it was not plagiarized.

We haven’t been so giddy since Rondo pushed around Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.

We are almost ready to commit our attention to every Celtic game on the telly. We can feel the breeze as Banner 18 is hoisted into the rafters. Who needs Kevin Durant when the man who put Testy Testi in his place comes to town?

Blake Griffin is able to jump over short men in a single bound. We wonder how high he has to go to outjump Isaiah Thomas.

There seems to be a new big three on the horizon—and who needs Durant? Blake, Horford, and Russell Westbrook seem green around the gills, with Thomas playing Rondo in the remake of the 2007 season.

There is a new version of Lost in Space being planned by Netflix. So, a new version of the Big Three ought to be ready to go in September in Boston.

Oh, yes, it’s only a ‘Paper Moon’—and there is nothing but ‘Dust in the Air’, but we feel like singing again.

Al Horford, Blake Griffin, and Russell Westbrook, as the new Celtic Dynasty makes those pesky Warriors likely to meet their match—and it must make LeBron quake in his new action movie, The Monster That Ate Cleveland.

Sibling Rivalry among Patriots

DATELINE: Soap Suds & Star Patriots


Move over, Dallas and Dynasty. Move over, Empire and Gotham.

The bromance of the century has gone from a menage a trois to a mangy menagerie.

Brady posted a Facebook picture of himself and latest companion Justin Timberlake together socially. Not to be outdone by Photoshop, Edelman added himself to the duo, complete with a Scalley hat.

Heavens, we always thought three’s a crowd, Julian.

Yes, for those who are following the off-screen antics of Julian Edelman (JE11) and Tom Brady (TB12), you already know about the gold digging pal Gronk (Gronk4ever). This combustible situation has grown all the more complex with a new player tossed into the inferiority complex.

Out with the old and in with the new has taken on a new meaning. Wes Welker, the original Brady Bromancer, has re-entered the social media whirl.

Julian Edelman stuck his head in the photocopy machine of Welker and came out as the new go-to-guy.

Gronk is a tad jealous—and posted a response to the latest photobomb by Edelman. “…How many TDs would I have if I **** Brady like you??”   Yes, the stars and two question marks are the hallmark of a Gronk tweet.

Welker also has taken aim that Edelman’s copying of Welkah is the sincerest form of flattery, but a little goes a long way. The three stooges have evolved into the four Marx Brothers.

Gronk, Jules, Tom, and Welkah.  You gotta love’em.

Brady Needs More SCOTUS than Scrotum

DATELINE:  Deflategate is Almost Round the Bend

ultimate bag job

It’s the bottom of the ninth. The Patriots are down by a big one, and there is only one strike left on Tom Brady. Will he swing and miss? Or as he has done all his career, will Tom hit the home run to win the season?

Tom has plenty of money in the bank, but unfortunately he has nothing in the 2nd Circuit Court en banc.

The Jet loving jurists decided to issue a one sentence denial to Tom Brady and his union. They love Goodell all the more than those pesky New England Patriots and Tom Terrific. Play he must not for four games, at this point.

Tom has said, “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death,” or was that Tom Paine?  Tom has said, “I regret I have only one life to give to my team,” or was that Nathan Hale?

Tom’s pain may be Donald Trump who insists that Ruth Bader Ginsburg should retire. Right now she is what stands between Tom Brady and another Super Bowl.

Someone ought to alert Donald to the fact that Ruth of the SCOTUS may be able to stay the NFL’s suspension—and breathe new life into Brady. He only needs to be pumped up with some refreshing air pressure. No one doubts Tom has a scrotum of major proportions, but he may be sacked anyhow.

Tom may have used up one of his cat lives last week when he went down to the Hamptons to try to retrieve Kevin Durant for the Celtics. That nearly went as badly as having an entire court of appeals say no.

Yes, We Have No Home Runs, MLB

DATELINE: Inside the Park Homer


The baseball All-Star Game has evolved to the point that no one truly cares about its flashy lack of substance in the manufactured pre-game stunts.

Take your Home Run Derby.  Take it, please.

Most of the bona fide real home run hitters have opted not to participate. They claim, rightfully, that to change their routine swing will throw off timing and ruin their batting ability.

We could hear the ghosts of Mickey Mantle, Harmon Killebrew, and Willie Mays, and Dick Stuart, laughing.

MLB is so off in their timing they made a text request to Red Sox young star Mookie Betts to join the event this month. He flatly turned them down, in the mode of Ty Cobb.

We were a bit surprised to hear that Mookie was one of the last people to even receive an “invitation” to the party. It’s always nice to be asked, even if you don’t go, but he was voted a starting outfielder for the American League and does not lead the league in homers.

It’s kind of insulting to be an afterthought. And, he said no thanks. It was in the great Nancy Reagan tradition. He joined fellow teammates David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez, the real homer sluggers, who also said no.

Sixty years ago baseball had an offseason TV show called Home Run Derhy—and every great leader in home runs took part for the cash (a paltry sum by today’s standards). No one ever thought hitting a tossed cream puff out of the park would ruin their careers, their timing, and tarnish their baseball reputation.

We are in a new era of sports. And baseball is still 60 years behind the times. No, we no longer watch home run derbies. It’s all so ho-hum.

Birth of a New Big Three for the Celtics?

DATELINE: Hoping for a Triumverate

 Boston sports

In the beginning there was Bird, McHale, and Parrish. Thence came Garnett, Allen, and Pierce. Now the Moving Finger seemed about to write a new chapter of Big Guns.

Though the Celtics were starting free agency looking like a candidate for the TV show The Biggest Loser, the roll of the dice out of Beacon Hill seemed to harbor a Boston change.

Late Saturday afternoon in the Hamptons, the Fourth of July fireworks grew into a frenzy.

The Boston Celtics sent a contingent to meet with Kevin Durant. This seemed to rival the Paris Peace Talks of 1973.

Delegations to convince superstars to join the ranks of a new team have become de rigueur practice in sports negotiations. Already, the Celtics reportedly signed Kevin Durant’s close friend, Al Horford, to a maximum contract—and that was considered a trump card for the Celtics strategy.

Of course, chief bottle washer Danny Ainge once put together the Big Three with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen. Now he was orchestrating another Big Gang.

Showing up in the Hamptons with Kelly Olynyk, Marcus Smart, and Isaiah Thomas, was the other secret weapon player: Tom Brady of the Patriots.

We’d seen him courtside at the Boston Garden, and now Tom Brady was courtside at a conversion party.

Not to be left out, Red Sox superstar David Ortiz sent Durant a tweet apologizing for not being at the meeting, but he had a game that afternoon.

Kevin Durant is cogitating at last report about joining the Celtics.

A Bracing Hug from the Serpent

DATELINE: Stunning Jungle Tale


Unabashed Niblio Torres

Without the lush greenery of The Emerald Forest, the new depiction of a similar tale can be found in the black and white masterpiece by Ciro Guerra.

It’s called Embrace of the Serpent. It rivals the Boorman film for its sympathy for the vanishing culture of the Amazonian native.

Though the audience for a film about the Amazonian jungle might be great, and the subject matter greater, it may not find its following unless word-of-mouth raises the awareness.

You seldom find a virginal performance with such power as given by Niblio Torres as the mysterious young shaman, sort of the last Mohican of his tribe, in the role of Karamakate. His elder version is played by Antonio Bolivar in equally adept fashion.

Torres likely will make few movies unless he’s called upon to play Incan princes. Yet, he is subtle, powerful, and utterly enchanting in his role.

The film tells two stories, forty years apart, as a German explorer and a Bostonian scientist, go on a journey down the Amazon River to find a medicinal and magical plant. Each man has the same guide, but forty years separate the stories.

When the scientist in 1950 confronts Karamakate, he tells him he has devoted his life to plants. The shaman informs him this is the most intelligent thing he has ever heard spoken by a white man.

Karamakate is pure in heart and spirit. The same cannot be said for the other characters he confronts. Only Manduca, the German’s Indian companion on the canoe ride, seems to have retained integrity, despite becoming the servant of the German philosopher.

You owe it to yourself to seek out the embrace.

NBA Players Strike Pay Dirt

DATELINE: Money, Money, Money

Not since the Great Land Rush in Oklahoma in the 19th century have we seen such a lineup. NBA stars and lesser lights are poised to be courted, wooed, and won, with cash sweepstakes to make millionaires salivate.

Yes, the NBA great free agency rush is about to commence.

As the clock strikes midnight, general managers will be on automatic call mode to their favorite players. Who will be signed first and by whom?

The NBA has released millions of dollars. The toothpaste is out of the tube. And, greedy players, greedier fans, and greediest owners, will make a play to win a championship by assembling the talent of the new age.

In 1820 if you saw talented black men going for the highest bidder on the auction block, you might be outraged as an Abolitionist. You might see it as the worst part of humanity. Today, the freedom to strike it rich has superseded racial barriers.

Kevin Durant is the big plum. He has already designated the six teams he will deign to give him fortune in men’s eyes.

The Boston Celtics, our sentimental favorite team, wants lightning to strike twice. With two superstars bought and signed on the dotted line, they believe they will buy Banner 18.

It is in the great mode of Colonel Rupert buying Babe Ruth. It is in the great American tradition of turning the wealthy into the nouveau riche.

Yes, they’re “movin’ on up,” to quote the vernacular of a 1970s song about the Jeffersons.