The Pipp List

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Wally Pipp was a slugger for the Bronx Bombers inside an era when home runs were hard to come by. The first baseman was part of a formidable lineup that included Bob Meusel, Joe Dugan, Waite Hoyt and Babe Ruth; a club that would win three consecutive AL pennants as well as the 1923 World Series.

It was the kind of resume that was sure to land Pipp on the list of Yankees all-timers, considering the team was set up for more title runs over the next half dozen years. And then Pipp was benched for a diesel engine named Lou Gehrig and the rest, as they say, would become history.

Lou Gehrig would set the record for consecutive games played with 2,130. Gary Cooper even played the “Iron Horse” in the movie Pride of the Yankees. By the time Gehrig’s streak came to an end, Pipp had become a cautionary tale: Don’t call in sick or you might not have a job when you get back.

Gehrig has proven to be a tough act to follow, so it got me thinking. And when me thinks, it usually ends up in a list. Here then, my short list of some of the toughest acts to follow. And no, the former occupant of the White House who is currently auditioning for the show My 600-lb Life ain’t on it . . .

A Brief History of Air Jordan's - KLEKT Blog

Michael Jordan- Twenty three years after Jordan and the Chicago Bulls won their sixth and final title in a dynastic run that may never be duplicated again, the Bulls are simply meh. Not a single trip to the NBA finals since Number 23 left town. The closest a player has come to even getting into the conversation as the heir to MJ’s throne was Derrick Rose. Injuries short-circuited his career as a Bull, and his second and third acts have happened in other NBA cities.

As for the rest of the league, apologies to Kobe and Lebron, but that debate is about second place. MJ went 6-0 in the finals, whilst collecting six Finals MVP’s for good measure.

Billy Crystal- The host of hosts for any award show, in my opinion. As Oscar host, Crystal’s brilliance was always taken for granted. Only after he left did we realize how tough this gig really is, because no one has come close to filling his dancing shoes.

Bear Bryant- Nick Saban is the anomaly in that he might well have surpassed Bryant. But it took eight coaches to get to Saban, with Gene Stallings having been the only one to win a title in that time as Alabama boss. I’d take Saban only because I’ve seen him long enough to know he’s the best of this era.

Mario Puzo at 100: The Godfather author never met a real gangster, but his mafia melodrama remains timeless | The Independent

Marlon Brando as Movie Mob Boss- What Brando did with the role of Vito Corleone changed the game. Possessing an unsaintly cool with nary a wasted movement, Brando created a prototype Hollywood crime boss . . . that Al Pacino would match as his son Michael. Since then, you’ve had a handful of great performances but I’m sticking with the Corleones as the standard.

Joe Torre- He was called “Joe Bozo” in an infamous New York Daily News headline that ‘welcomed’ him to town in ’96. And then he led the Yankees to a title in his first season, and then won it three more times in the next four years. It has been fourteen years since he left, and the Yankees have one title to show for it.

Sean Connery as James Bond- I never paid much attention to the 007 franchise until Daniel Craig made the scene. I admit it, I’ve got little patience for nuance. While Craig is my choice, I’m guessing I’d get outvoted on this one.

Mickey Mantle- The Yankees have yet to replace Number 7 in center field and the chances are slim that they ever will.

Alex Trebek- The list of candidates to replace Trebek as host of Jeopardy is a who’s who list of celebrities with several names who I think would nail the gig. But to my way of thinking, that is testament to the man who captained the ship for thirty-seven years.

David Lee Roth, Van Halen - New York, 1979 | Charlyn Zlotnik

David Lee Roth- Roth was a bourbon milkshake and everything that came after his exit from Van Halen? Diet Coke.

Muhammad Ali- Larry Holmes was a worthy heavyweight champion who never deserved the criticism he received for not being Ali. No fighter in the heavyweight division was, is or probably ever will be Ali.

Welp, that’ll do it until the next list. And I send you off into this Tuesday with a classic tune from a gal who will turn 75 next week. She’s had quite the love life, and I bet you all the luminaries whom she’s crossed paths with have her on their short list. Yeah Warren . . I’m talking to you!

 

 

 

 

Fool Me Once Shame On You, Fool Me Twice, You’re From Tennessee

I have a friend I’ve mentioned a time or two here on the blog. Imma call him Barry since that’s his name. We’re only friends because it’s damn near impossible to be anything else when it comes to this guy. His personality is why the word Affable owns a sweet parking space in Merriam-Webster. If he had a superpower, it would be his innate ability to make friends with anyone . . instantly.

I can’t relate to this, seeing as how I have mastered the art of irascibility for good reason. My social contract doesn’t include butterflies. Barry is different. He is chatty. He loves group texts, poker games with his pals, Facebook and parties. The more makes him all the merrier, and while I think that kind of mindset is fucking lunacy, it seems to work for him.

Love things are his kryptonite. Because the love thing can be quite volatile, unpredictable and at times, even flammable. This is antonymous to Barry’s yen for Zen, in which sunflowers and sunny skies are the standard expectation.

So it was that his last serious tango proved to be the kind of involvement that usually spans several Presidents, costs trillions of dollars and results in far too many casualties. The only difference being, there ain’t no production companies looking to buy the movie rights to the minutes of Barry’s theater of war.

Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it
-Winston Churchill

Barry could do with some Churchill right about now, because he’s currently entertaining . . you guessed it . . a new love thing. I’ll call her Bette Davis since that is most certainly not her name. And while I don’t know her in the least, I know Barry well enough to tally a half dozen reasons why he is asking for trouble. Again.

Want me to list ’em? N’kay . . .

1- She bears a striking resemblance to Vietnam. I mean, his previous love gone wrong. I mean, Vietnam: If the new girlfriend takes note of the striking resemblance, questions will be asked. And if the old girlfriend takes note? Questions will be asked. In either/or case, many questions. Not a single correct answer.

2- She is already talking about moving in together: That’s right. He hasn’t even driven his car into her lot yet. But it’s okay because she is talking it up as a roommate thing where they can share expenses. And I’m sure they will draw up papers, have them notarized and co-exist wonderfully in a platonic relationship.

3- “She’s a drinker”: His words, not mine. But if you’re asking me to wager a guesstimate as to how long the relationship will remain platonic based on this testimony? Imma go with moving day.

Okay, that’s enough. Shit, this doesn’t even involve me and I’m already exhausted.

I told Barry he should put the “Roommates With Benefits” talk on ice before things get out of hand. Which means he’s probably already looking into how to break his lease. Because he’s a social butterfly who probably never saw Silence Of The Lambs. Otherwise he’d know what to expect . . .

Heroes Of The Week!

With summer temps busy cooking up the numbers, I figure on keeping this week’s episode as chill as possible. I do not wish to mess with a thermostat that insists on writing hotter stuff than E. L. James could ever dream of. So we’ll keep it real and righteous and most of all, cool . . .

Now to the lineup . . .

Wear sunscreen . . and comfortable shoes: Daverius Peters thought he had missed his chance. The senior at Hahnville High School in Louisiana had arrived at his graduation ceremony with tomorrow on his mind, and then he was turned away. Problem was, his black top sneakers were in violation of the school’s dress code.

John Butler is a para-educator at the school who was in attendance as a parent that day, but when he learned of Peters’ predicament, he was ready to do whatever it took. After failing to convince the gate-keeper to give the kid a pass, yep . . he did whatever it took. He switched his size 11’s with the kid’s size 9’s and tomorrow got back to business.

“I wasn’t surprised because Mr. Butler is that type of person,” a grateful Peters told The Washington Post. “At school, if you’re having a bad day, he’ll be the one to take you out of class, walk around the school with you and talk to you.”

This journey of twenty thousand more tomorrows began with a single good deed.

Sign Her Up, Padres!: Attention, young ballplayers. Study this woman’s extension, her focus and yes, the fact that she snared that baseball with a baby in her arms. Now, y’all have no excuse, so get back to practicing!

Next Stop, The 2032 Summer Olympics: Chase Poust is seven years old going on Superman. Or is that Aquaman? Well, if you’ll forgive my indecisiveness in this instance, Imma go with both. The little guy was on a boating trip with his father Steven and four-year old sister Abigail when tragedy tried to strike, but was slapped down by the little guy.

When a strong current swept Abigail away, Chase didn’t hesitate in going after her with Steven jumping in in an attempt to save them both. It soon became apparent to the father of two that he wasn’t going to be able to do so. He made the decision to have his son swim for shore while he stayed behind and tried to catch up with the bobbing life-jacket that was keeping his daughter alive.

It would have been easy to panic in this life and death situation, but Chase kept his cool by pacing himself on the hour-long long swim to shore- he took turns swimming, floating and dog-paddling. When he finally reached land, he rushed to the nearest house and called for help.

An hour after that, Steven and Abigail Poust were found more than a mile from their boat, alive and kicking thanks to a boy who can have his pick of superhero outfits, made custom, of course.

missing wallet returned 46 years later

Nothing Is Ever Lost, Only Misplaced: Big thank you to the lovely Dale for this time-capsule classic that took place in Ventura, California. It’s a case of lost and found . . and then found some more.

While working on the remodeling of the historic Majestic Ventura Theater in Southern California, Tom Stevens came across a wallet in a crawl space. He took to the theater’s Facebook page, asking if anyone knew a Colleen Distin. A few thousand shares later and Colleen received a phone call, informing her the wallet had been found.

Last Friday, she met with Stevens to collect her lost wallet, during which they talked about its contents: Poetry, notes, a $200 check, old photos of high-school friends as well as one of her mother who died several years ago. Oh, and a $5 ticket stub from a Grateful Dead concert she attended in 1973 . . . two years before she lost that wallet.

Forty six years removed from the day she lost it, a little part of her world came calling; reminding her of all the good people she once knew, and a certain good person who she has just come to know. And it was thanks to the overwhelmingly positive response to her story that she decided to share it with others. So while you could say that wallet was forty-six years late?

I kinda think it was right on time.

We cap things off for this Friday episode with a couple whose love for each other is just the beginning of the story. Krystal and Patrick Duhaney are true believers whose mission is to share their good fortune with others, by way of Target runs. And yeah you read that right. You see, they’ve taken to stuffing money in baby supplies at Target stores in the Los Angeles area. The tote board stands at $1,000 dollars and counting, upwards.

Baby number three is on the way and it’s reminding them as to how expensive this parent business can be. As a registered nurse and founder of Milky Mama, Krystal and her husband find themselves in a good place financially, and so they decided to pay their gratitude forward.

“We recalled how hard it was for us as new parents to afford some of the basics and we could imagine how difficult it must be during this pandemic,” Krystal said during a recent appearance on the TODAY Show.

This beautiful couple figures out the math of a complicated place by sharing some of their good fortune with others. Because that’s how you grow a world that is in constant need of watering. We get plenty of forgettable on the regular, stuff that leaves you shaking your head in disgust. But then you read a story like this and you find yourself shaking your head for a very different reason. Because stories like this make you realize that sometimes the great big world just needs a hug.

These two are supplying.

Yellow Brick Roads, Amanda Peet and Roundabouts

Sigmund Freud believed that dreams were the royal road to knowledge, while the late comedian Mitch Hedberg complained that he was sick of following his dreams so he was just going to ask them where they were going and hook up with them later. I relate to both of these mindsets. So then, here in my interpretation of the dream I had last night.

In the dream I was riding along on a double-decker bus in a city whose identity is a mystery. I’m sipping on an Orange Crush adult beverage and I am the only person there. I navigate the stairs to the second floor where Amanda Peet and Zach Braff are canoodling in a seat as dusk approaches.

Okay, Amanda Peet and Zach Braff played a married couple in a forgettable comedy called The Ex back in the aughts of 2000. I never saw the movie. Consciously, I had no blessed idea these two had been a cinematic pairing, which goes to show you the power of advertising. Oh and My friend Jess sent out a group text last week in which she was sipping on an Orange Crush whilst playing arcade games with her husband.

Obviously, I’m the humorous sidekick because they ain’t upset with me for disturbing their romantic moment. I ask what our next stop is and Peet wants to try the new Bobby Flay restaurant while Braff wants pizza. I side with Peet, because even in my dreams I side with the lady.

I don’t know who’s driving the bus and I don’t care because a Rob Zombie tune starts kicking in which he plays the violin while a lyric soprano provides me with the most soothing rendition of a song I have never heard, but is instantly my favorite.

My son had texted me last night before to let me know the Rob Zombie Munsters movie was a go.

The bus stops and a party group boards. It might be early evening but their Drink-O-Meters are already working on 1 am, so I stay on the top level as we ride along. We pass a billboard featuring Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas and then we come to a huge Roundabout. I mean, this sucker is so big there is a lake in the center of it. We’re winding around this thing for quite a long time and then we come to our destination, or so I thought.

I had a discussion about Roundabouts with my daughter last week. She was complaining about how they’re popping up everywhere. As for the billboard, I’m currently watching The Kominsky Method. with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas.

It’s night when we arrive at a vacant strip mall, an abandoned baby carriage sits in the middle of the parking lot. We walk for a while before coming to a restaurant that looks nothing like a Bobby Flay joint. Seated at a table in the front is Post Malone, and he shows us a gleaming white tooth he just pulled out of his dinner. Sara Bareilles “Yellow Brick Road” comes on as we reach our table, where our meal awaits.

And then I wake up.

As for that last part? I have no clue. But I’m holding out hope for the sequel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Aliens . . .

I know what you’re probably thinking right about now. Life on earth looks like a peach tree pie with fresh whipped cream on top. I mean, we’re one big swimming pool with myriad endeavors to turf your toes on. If you dig endorphin chow, you can eat well. If you just dig real chow, you can eat even better. All that and Vera Farmiga lives here!

But there’s a flip side your realtor ain’t so eager to fess on. We are a genuinely crazy ass lot, and scrums just so happen to be our wheelhouse. The bigger the scrum, the more ferocious we become.

What? You need a few examples? Ooookay . . .

We go to war so that we can create future trade partners . . . There are tons of casualties, and they will be memorialized in big budget motion pictures and federally funded memorials. Their sacrifice will be remembered but the lesson will be lost as soon as the next conflict arises.

About those trade partners . . . The leaders of industry and government are the protected class when it comes to these wars. Their offspring are also protected so that they can broker future business deals with the vanquished enemy. Its a bloody racket, and I mean that quite literally.

When something wicked this way comes . . there’s sports! . . . No matter how untethered we become as a society, we can turn to sports as an avoidance mechanism a way to bring people together. Much like the corrupt senators of ancient Rome, today’s power brokers feast on the indifference of a population that really doesn’t care to know just how fucked we really are. LeBron James is our modern day Spartacus, with the only difference being, everything.

And if you’re wondering where ancient Rome is located, well . . that’s the point.

We love our reality television . . . Even if there isn’t a lick of reality to it. We consume it in vast quantities and then we cull a diabolical poetry from the ashes. The particulates fuel much of the population, providing them with a manifest-ish destiny. Imagine going to war against an endless procession of armies who fear public speaking more than death. Good. Luck. With. That.

Brands, algorithms and metrics have replaced the human soul . . . See, we can be every bit as bloodless and uncaring as you! No offense.

Okay, I’m being totally presumptious on that last count. But I can’t help it, seeing as how the more advanced a species becomes, the less time they spend focusing on their warts. And really, who am I to say? Maybe you guys have actually learned from the mistakes of your ancestors. Hell, maybe we’re you’re ancestors . . in which case, this is awkward. For you. But going to war with relatives, distant or otherwise . . that’s freshly baked into our DNA.

Yeah sorry but, the chances are good you’re like any other life form that drives and votes and screws. You only think you’re the next step in the evolutionary cycle. But as our American philosopher Mike Tyson once said, everybody’s got a plan until they get punched in the face. And we have one helluva right hook. And we’re ignorant. And with every day that goes by, we get closer to that dead end town called Nothing To Lose-Ville. So if you’re here to throw down with us, I would suggest you get to stepping.

Seriously, time is of the essence here. Wolf Blitzer ain’t getting any younger, Chuck Norris is jonesing for one more epic bar fight, and I’ve heard Will Smith owns the F/A 18 Hornet he ‘flew’ in the movie Independence Day and he really wants to try it on for size. I suggest you watch the movie before you make any rash decisions. And should you decide to come in peace instead, super cool decision. Starbucks is going to name a series of drinks after you, Netflix is going to hand you a blank check and you’ll score a summit meeting with our leader.

Her name is Oprah, and she has a book club. You’re gonna love her.

Heroes Of The Week! (500th Post Edition)

U.S. navy pilot who saw 'something weird' in the sky welcomes U.S. report on UFOs | CBC RadioOkay, can you tell I’m super excited about the upcoming Congressional UFO report that’s going to prove Mulder was onto something? The above capture, like the current news cycle, isn’t genuine . . but it’s all Obama’s fault for admitting this UFO business really is a thing! And so I have a deal for any aliens who might be reading this Friday edition. Leave us be and we’ll give you Marjorie Taylor Greene, the Cleveland Cavaliers and anything Jim Belushi ever starred in. And to balance the books, Imma throw in Nancy Pelosi, the Detroit Tigers and the original script from Cop Rock.

Let’s get to Friday . . .

White House Butler William "Buddy" Carter Retires After 47 Years

We’re kicking things off with a Cincinnati Special, delivered by our favorite Beach Boy, Frank, who does his thing over at Beach Walk Reflections.

An American Story: When it comes to having his finger on the pulse of a nation, Buddy Carter has achieved a  doctorate level knowledge over the past half century. As a butler on staff at the White House executive residence since the Reagan administration, he has seen it all. I mean that literally. He has suffered Reagan’s corny jokes, he’s served coffee to the Clintons, kept a close eye on W’s pretzel habit and most likely was the treated to Obama’s pipes whenever 44 laid down some Al Green in the hallways.

He was the man with a plan when it came to state dinners, or when a foreign dignitary came calling, or whenever the leader of the free world just needed a moment to vent. He attended the weddings of Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush, among many others. He accompanied First Lady Melania Trump to the funeral of former First Lady Barbara Bush in 2018. Such was the bond Buddy fostered with everyone he crossed paths with.

“For 47 years, across 10 administrations, Buddy Carter has been an integral part of the lives of US Presidents, their families and their home, the White House,” said Michael LaRosa, press secretary to First Lady Jill Biden .

Thank you Mr. Carter, from all of us.

QAnon Convention: Michael Flynn Backtracks, Denies Suggesting US CoupCoup Coup For Cocoa Puffs!: What if I told you a former National Security Advisor of the United States advocated a military coup? Well, if he was a democrat, Mitch McConnell and the Gang That Can’t Shoot Straight would demand he be locked up . . immejiately. But seeing as how Michael Flynn is Trump’s errand boy, they’ll probably run him for President in 2024 . . .

Lost Footage from “The Revenant”: Hailey Morinico’s “To Do List” for the Memorial Day weekend . . .

  • Grocery shop
  • Fire up the grill
  • Fend off an Apex predator

About that last item on the checklist . . the 17 year old from Bradbury, California nailed it. More specifically, she nailed a big ass brown bear . . get this . . who was toting her cubs. Which goes against every rule Ranger Smith laid out in his diminutive tome, “Don’t Fuck With Bears”.

However, this particular brown bear mama was going up against a fairly tenacious dog mama, so there was that. And the video serves as the tail of the tape in this knockout upset of the week, as Morinico came to the rescue of her fur children by doing what Leonardo DiCaprio? Couldn’t.

Jim Kelly, Class of 2002 | Pro Football Hall of Fame Official Site

I’m only excited because this shit happened in the eighties: After thirty-five seasons on the shelf, the USFL will make its return next spring. The original version was fairly successful as a spring football league, until they attempted to move to the fall . . which is owned by another well known pigskin property. The USFL will compete with the XFL for viewers, but if the former is half as much fun as it was in its three seasons of play, I’m betting on vintage for the win. Which means they’ll last a season to the XFL’s three weeks . . .

I wasn’t going to include this next story because the look of dejection on this homeless woman’s face in the above video was too sad for words. But you know what? If my Fridays are about mining the gamut, then it really is about the every single thing of a world that makes us rejoice one day, while bringing us to our knees the next.

And what’s more, it’s how I’m signing off on this episode . . .

Officer Conner Hjellming of the La Crosse Police Department was responding to a police call regarding a shoplifting incident at a Walgreen’s store back in December when compassion took the wheel. What he found was a young woman at the breaking point. She wasn’t stealing candy bars or cosmetics, she was stealing a pair of gloves and a hat to keep warm in the sub-freezing temps. So Conner let her have it. The gloves and hat, I mean. While warning her to steer clear of the store from now on, he paid for them. And so Connor’s job description, in which he promises “To Serve and Protect”, well . . mission accomplished.

And if you’re an alien reading this Friday episode, Imma give it to you straight. Don’t let the fact that we’re treating this beautiful place like a cosmic ping pong table fool you. Because inside this seemingly hopeless cause, this lost paradise of dreamers and this playground of schemers and this chain of fools, there is love. There is so much of the stuff that it could fill the oceans and the lakes, and the rivers and the streams and the kitchen sinks of every living soul. That’s 326 million trillion gallons of the stuff, for your information.

And maybe that’s what you’re here for. Maybe you figure we’ve screwed up our chance, so why not take our dibs. I’d like to think you’re so far advanced that conquest doesn’t rate, but who am I to know for certain? And it doesn’t matter anyways, because I’ll take the look on that young woman’s face when she realized that there was someone out there who actually cared enough to make the day she was walking through just a little better. And just so you know?

We have more where that came from.

 

 

Today’s Birthday! Gemini

The truth is not always pleasant, so it’s a good thing you don’t concern yourself with it. Thing is, the truth is going to be of vital importance in upcoming events . . so . .  you better start practicing. Remember the immortal words of George Costanza: It’s not a lie if you believe it. Trust your higher wisdom . . and when you fall short on that count, call in some favors.

Your dual personalities will come in handy this week, as long as you don’t get caught this time. Seriously, you’re about as nuanced as a sledgehammer. It wouldn’t kill you to read up on your Zen . . skip Happy Hour . . quit the Chia pet fetish . . find a new gig . . move out of the country.

Avoid those who wish to cause you harm, unless your spouse insists that you attend the family re-union. In which case, don’t forget the Xanax. Proceed with caution, and if possible, you should put off important decisions until clarity prevails. Never mind that clarity will probably arrive in the form of divorce papers. Hey . . it still counts!

Cosmic tip: Sleep in. Until July . . .

 

There Is No F In Accountability

When I was an old man, I thought I was a kid.

That’s how ass backwards the world feels to me sometimes. Because whenever I opine on how things used to be, it makes me feel as if I Benjamin Buttoned myself into the here and now. Where once I was lost to the thankless mysteries of the world, now I’m finding myself in this vapid little pill that keeps its insanity on retainer.

As with most things that fruit my loop, these changes whittled themselves into a monolithic curiosity with the wicked patience of a well done knuckleball. In the process, they turned yesterday into a bell jar full of pennies, which is about as yesterday as you’re gonna get.

This particular assessment came about as I was telling my daughter what school used to look like. Yanno . . back in the day. She’s a teacher, and as such, she’s taken to wearing steel toe boots whenever she has occasion to conference with those hard pipe hitting advocates known as parents. Because we’re living in an age where an unhealthy percentage of the parent population has gone and shoved accountability out of a speeding car. Why pass the buck when you can burn the fucker to a crisp?

I could never be a teacher, because for one thing . . I don’t like kids. And for another, I don’t like parents. My days would be spent drinking heavily and chasing it with painkillers and anti-depressants. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

“Most parents get that their kid can do better and that it’s a shared responsibility. But every once in a while you get a parent who isn’t having it . . ” My daughter said. Calmly, I might add. Which is why she’s going to be a great teacher, because that kind of thing doesn’t piss her off.

As for yours truly? Hell, nawh.

“When I got a bad grade on a report card, or I failed a test . . I caught hell for it. In waves. First it was my teacher giving me shit and then I got home and I had to hear it from my mother. And if the offense was serious enough, it went into the evening when the old man got home. I earned that shit and I remembered that shit. Because it was incredibly unpleasant shit,” I ranted, rather un-sweetly.

“Yeah . . it’s different now,” She laughed.

No shit.

I tell you what, even in a deliciously vegetative state of insobriety, I wouldn’t be able to stem my Cobra Kai when a parent gave their kid the look-away pass and followed that up by delivering a few misplaced adjectives in my direction. Nope. I would be teaching a very different kind of lesson at that point.

The kind I learned, a long time ago.