Tuesday, April 4, 2017


By Jim Szantor

Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations 
about the absurdities of contemporary life
  • Heady stuff:  Donald Trump once bragged about how he "screwed" Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in a real estate deal.  That means the guy with the world's worst hair outfoxed the guy with the world's worst hat! 
  • I don't think there are as April Fool's Day shenanigans these days, but no matter, we do have the Trump Administration!
  • The next time a politician backpedals on an earlier pronouncement, you could say he's trying to save both his faces.
  • Oxymoron for the Ages:  Political science.  
  • Speaking of politics,  about 40 percent of U.S. teachers said fears of backlash from parents and administrators made them hesitant to teach about the 2016 election.--The Atlantic.com
  • The untold health-care story in America:  If you haven't already noticed, there are no more hospitals--they have all become "medical centers" or "clinics."  I don't know how great the Mayo or Cleveland Clinics really are, but they were way ahead of their time in the nouveau name game.
  • If I were to diagnosed with glaucoma, I think I'd worry little about the "glau" and a lot about the "coma"!
  • It has been said that there is nothing sadder than an old baseball writer.  Or, one might add, a rainout on Opening Day!  (White Sox hosting the Tigers on April 3--didn't happen.)
  • Speaking of sportswriters, whatever happened to the old "No cheering in the press box" dictum?  You'll see these ESPN "reporters", or local guys, breathlessly interviewing the game's hero, with head bobbing and ear-to-ear grinning, as if they were the player's wife or agent.   Doesn't look like reportorial objectivity on display, does it?   Softball questions, lots of wet-kiss rhetoric. 
  • And as far as the players' postgame behavior is concerned, shouldn't the game's goat get the bath or the pie in the face, instead of the hero?  I'mjustsayin'.
  • Speaking of reporters (real ones, that is), every time I see  Carl Bernstein on CNN, I can't help but think of his partner, Bob Woodward, both of them of "All the President's Men"/Watergate fame.   I think of them as the Simon and Garfunkel of journalism.  
  • Our Wide But Crazy World of Sports:  Box seats cost $150, hot dogs are $7, the players and owners are all multi-millionaires, but the taxpayers pay for the stadiums where all this takes place.    How did we let this happen?  
  • With all the drug offenders, wife beaters and other miscreants in professional sports, isn't a Hall of Shame way overdue?
  • "Don’t trust a brilliant idea unless it survives the hangover."--Jimmy Breslin
  • Has anyone besides me had rotten luck in trying to "unsubscribe" from various unwanted e-mail sources?  And in this age of advanced and amazing technological derring-do, why does it take "30 days" to do the deed?   They can charge your credit card in a nanosecond, but unsubscribing you?  Not so fast.  
  • jimjustsaying's Party Ice-Breaker of the Month:  "Say [actual partygoer-s name here], did you know that killer whales, short-finned pilot whales, and humans are the only animals that experience menopause?"
  • "I use the word 'totally' way too much. I need to change it to something that’s different, but means the same thing.  As in, 'Mitch, do you like submarine sandwiches?' 'All encompassingly.'--Mitch Hedberg
  • Regarding those folks who (all due respect) have no children but have beloved pets, we all recognize in many cases that the pets are sort of surrogate children.  Or, as I look to call them, "furrogates."
  • I guess you could say I grew up in a rough neighborhood.  Our parish priest was also a licensed bail bondsman.  And the town's head librarian was a juice loan collector! Whew!
  • Another in a series of jimjustsaying's Stupid Warnings on Actual Products:  On a New Zealand insect spray:  "This product not tested on animals."
  • Three TV programs I never watch:  "Dancing With the Stars,"  "America's Funniest Home Videos" and anything hosted by or featuring Alec Baldwin.
  • Skiing never appealed to me.  I think it's what wine snobs do for recreation.   (All skiers are wine snobs . . . but not all wine snobs are skiers.)  I'mjustsayin'.
  • Going down hill at 70 m.p.h. on two thin boards doesn't make you an athlete.  It makes you an adrenalin junkie--at best--or, if it really goes awry--an organ donor.  
  • " 'I’m sorry' and 'I apologize' mean the same thing.  Except at a funeral."--comedian Demetri Martin
  • Newspaper Obituary  Nickname of the Month:  "Popcorn Bob."   As in, Robert J. “Popcorn Bob” Mazurek, Kenosha News obituary, Dec. 4, 2016.  R.I.P., Mr. Mazurek.
  • jimjustsaying's Term That Doesn't Exist But Should of the Month:  Simultaneous Doorgasm:  When two people open a car door from opposite sides at the same time and startle each other.  (Thanks to e-mailer douglas@gmail.com)
  • Today's Latin lesson:  Ego sententia nos erant in haud dico album! ("Hey, I thought we were on the no-call list!")

jimjustsaying's Annual Baseball Special

 Ten Favorite Oddities of the 2016 Season

April 2--Chasen Shreve is the first pitcher in a decade to allow a home run on each of the first two pitches he throws in a game.

May 30--The Cubs bullpen provides seven perfect innings — the most in a game since 1917, when Red Sox starting pitcher Babe Ruth was ejected and Ernie Shore completed a no-hitter.

June 1--Exactly one-third of the way into their season, the Cardinals whack their 10th pinch-hit home run, matching their total in the previous four years combined.

July 12--In an All-Star Game managed by Terry Collins of the Mets, none of the four players on his own team appear.

July 1--The lone run of a game scores on a passed ball for the first time since 1986, as the Reds edge the Brewers.

July 23--Red Sox TV analyst Jerry Remy is knocked out of a game when a TV monitor in the broadcast booth falls on his head.

July 28--Jeurys Familia of the Mets blows his second save in less than 24 hours after converting 52 in a row over the previous 360 days.

Aug. 31--In a major-league first, rookies on opposing teams hit grand slams, as Stephen Cardullo and Andrew Toles connect.

Oct. 7--Elias Sport Bureau notes that, for the fourth time in five years, a left-handed batter who didn’t homer against a southpaw in the regular season did so in the playoffs.

Nov. 2--Three different Cubs catchers drive in a run as Chicago wins Game 7 of the World Series.

Chicago Cubs firsts (in addition to winning their first World Series in 108 years)--Third baseman Kris Bryant, en route to being named the National League's Most Valuable Player, became the first ever to homer multiple times in a 5-for-5 performance more than once in a season.  And also: he became the first ever to homer three times and hit two doubles in one game. His teammate, center fielder Dexter Fowler became the first ever to hit lead off a World Series Game 7 with a home run.


The heroics of Cubs catcher Miguel Montero (reflecting bad strategy by two opposing managers):

Game One of 2016 NLCS:  Although it was his walk-off homer that clinched the division crown in September, he was hitting just .216 in that Game One when in the 8th inning, 3-3 tie, runners on first and second with two out and the pitcher due up, the Dodgers, presumably to get ace smoke-throwing reliever Aroldis Chapman out of the game, elected to buck tradition by loading the bases by intentionally by walking lefty swinging Chris Coghlan.  Montero--the lone left-handed bat left on the bench--foiled the Dodgers strategy by hitting an 0-2 pitch from Joe Blanton for a grand slam.

Then, in Game 7 of the World Series, Cleveland elected to walk Addison Russell on purpose to load the bases and bring up Montero, who singled to left field to score what proved to be the winning run!

(Thanks to Athlon Sports, my favorite baseball annual, for these nuggets.)