If you’ve had occasion since November to quote Blazing Saddles and say, “what in the wide, wide world of sports is going on here?” well, you’re not alone. The funny thing is, the wide, wide world of sports seems to be the only place where Trumpian deletion of traditional ethical standards seems to be faltering.
Vincent Viola, owner of the Florida Panthers, tapped to be Secretary of the Army, withdrew his name from nomination in early February because of difficulty separating himself from his business interests.
Jeffrey Loria, owner of the Miami Marlins, saw a potential sale of the team to Jared Kushner’s family fall apart because of the possibility that Loria would become ambassador to France, and selling a baseball team to the President’s in-laws would give the appearance of quid pro quo.
Now there’s Todd Ricketts, co-owner of the world champion Chicago Cubs (the phrase that may have started us all down this apocalyptic rabbit hole) and nominee to be Deputy Secretary of Commerce, running into similar issues to Viola, with CBS News reporting on Monday that Ricketts may have to withdraw because of what White House correspondent Major Garrett called “heavy financial separation issues.”
To be clear, that does not mean the Cubs are trying to find a taker for Jason Heyward and the $162 million left on his contract. Probably not, anyway. What it does mean, though, is that Knicks fans hoping that somehow, some way, Trump might be the way out from the James Dolan regime, think again.
It shouldn’t be that much of a surprise that everything Trump touches in the sports world goes to hell. After all, the guy has more than 30-year track record, and even back in 1984, he was harping on crowd sizes.
Driving from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh takes about five hours. Flying from one side of Pennsylvania to the other is about an hour and 15 minutes, plus however long it takes to get from Pittsburgh’s airport (approximate location: Paducah, Kentucky) to the actual city. So, it turns out after all this time that hockey really is “The fastest game in the World!”
On Wednesday at 2:28 p.m., Bob McKenzie of TSN reported that defenseman Mark Streit had been traded from the Philadelphia Flyers to the Tampa Bay Lightning, beating the official announcement on the Flyers’ Twitter account by seven minutes. At 3:20, ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun broke the news that the Penguins had acquired Streit from the Lightning. That’s Philly to Pittsburgh, with a stopover in Tampa, in 52 minutes – though since the trade deadline was at 3:00, it was really even faster than that, and just a matter of it taking time for the deal to be processed by the league office.
Elon Musk, eat your heart out.
A hot stock tip from 2015 National League MVP Bryce Harper: invest in sanitation engineering companies, because there’s a big backlog of parades to get through in some cities.
Speaking with USA Today about trying to win Washington’s first World Series since the 1924 Senators, Harper said, “I want to win it so bad, not just for the fans of D.C., but for the fans of Montreal as well. That’s what people forget sometimes. It’s not just D.C., but the Expos organization.”
Granted, some Expos fans did carry their allegiance over to Washington when the franchise moved after the 2004 season and became the Nationals, but the days of Nos Amours are gone in Montreal, at least until Major League Baseball returns there in the next round of expansion, whenever that is, and provided that they can actually get a stadium deal done.
Using Harper’s logic, New York has a backlog of eight championship celebrations for the 2010, 2012, and 2014 Giants, as well as the 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, and 1988 Dodgers (go ahead and ask a Brooklynite old enough to remember just how people felt about the Dodgers in 1959). The A’s championships in 1972-74 and 1989 should be moments of pride not only for Oakland, but for Kansas City and Philadelphia. All 27 championships for the Yankees are shared with Baltimore, and all the devoted fans of the 1901-02 Orioles. Oh, and when the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991, that really was Washington’s achievement, too. So it hasn’t really been since 1924 that a D.C. team won it all.
Or maybe Harper knows something that the rest of us don’t. After all, the Rams moved from Los Angeles to St. Louis, won a Super Bowl, then moved back to Los Angeles. But don’t forget, that Super Bowl also belongs to Cleveland, where the Rams originated. Actually, considering the Browns, might as well let Cleveland have that one.