The latest news from Bizarro White House comes this WTF headline:

“Most Implausible Alibi I’ve Ever Heard”: Trump Ridiculed for Blaming Rick Perry for Ukraine Call.

Yup, I can believe this whole thing was Perry’s scheme. Trump may seem to be the “great and powerful Oz,” but Perry is the little man behind the curtain. I’m not even sure that was Trump’s voice on that call. After all, we saw a WRITTEN transcript. It seems obvious to me that it was always Perry, impersonating Trump! That guy is a mastermind, the ultimate puppet master!



It’s always disheartening to see that our country’s president doesn’t have any idea how the government actually works. Good thing he’s not on “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” Just for the record, as any good 5th-grade student knows, senators can’t be impeached. No such thing. The impeachment process is for officials outside the legislative branch.

Senators can be expelled from their chamber, but it requires a 2/3 vote of their colleagues. Good luck with that.

In another tweet, ever the classy guy, Trump called Romney an ass

Ex-Ukrainian prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko said that he told President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, that there was no basis for a case against former Vice President Joe Biden or his son, Hunter. “Sometimes the mayor is very wise, but sometimes he gets carried away.”

Rudolph responded with one word: “Liar.”

So testy. I guess Ukraine wouldn’t let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.

Lutsenko is the guy who had agreed to go after the Bidens in order to curry favor with America. Trump mentioned him in the infamous call, “I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved.” (That must have been a difficult one for Zelensky to field, because he is the guy who actually “shut down” Lutsenko!)

So, if Lutsenko knew there was no case, why did he agree to go after the Bidens? He’s a politician and knows exactly which side of the bread is buttered. He explained to the failing New York Times:

As soon as he got the invitation from Rudolph W. Giuliani, President Trump’s personal lawyer, it was abundantly clear to him what Mr. Trump’s allies were after.

“I understood very well what would interest them,” Lutsenko said in an extensive interview in London. “I have 23 years in politics. I knew. I’m a political animal.”

When Mr. Lutsenko sat down with Mr. Giuliani in New York in January, he recalled, his expectations were confirmed: The president’s lawyer wanted him to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter. It was the start of what both sides hoped would be a mutually beneficial relationship.

It’s apparent to everyone but Rudolph that Trump, when he runs out of lies and deflections, is going to throw his lawyer under the bus. Either Rudy hasn’t figured that out, or is willing to fall on his sword. I just hope that Giuliani is on camera when it finally dawns on him, so we can see something like this:

Remember, Minnesota won their division and set the all-time record for most home runs in a season. On paper they were about even with the Yanks. They each won more than 100 games, scored about the same amount of runs, allowed about the same amount. The Yankees hold a slight edge, but the Twins were expected to put up a good fight.

Hasn’t happened so far.

The Twins made the bizarre decision to give the start to Randy Dobnak, who has pitched a total of 28 innings in the majors and started the season as an Uber driver. Oh, yeah, the kid wowed ’em in Ft. Myers and had a terrific start last week against the Tigers, so he might have a great future, but this is the present, and facing the Charlotte Stone Crabs ain’t exactly like taking the mound in the post-season against the New York Yankees. Predictably, the Yankees lit him up like the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. He faced only 13 batters, allowing six hits and two walks, and he left the third inning with the bases loaded and nobody out.

————–

To give you an example of how much offense the Yankees can put on the field, their #9 hitter, third baseman Gio Urshela, batted .314 with 21 homers.

If he had hit like that at Coors, it’d look like a good season for Rogers Hornsby. He would literally be the best hitter on the Rockies, but on the Yankees he bats last. (Not joking. Urshela had a .902 OPS on the road; Arenado led the Rockies at .866.)

To be fair, Urshela never showed any signs of that offensive talent before this season. He kicked around the minors for a decade, including six seasons in AAA, where he was a steady .275 hitter with about 10-homer power. He played for two other major league teams previously, and never managed to hit as high as .240 in a season. In his two seasons with the Indians, he got into 148 games, equivalent to one season as a full-time player, producing only 7 homers and a .225 batting average.

Olivia Wilde in HBO’s Vinyl. That show about the music industry in the 70s had some great credentials. Scorsese produced it, Mick Jagger helped with storylines, Bobby Cannavale starred, Olivia Wilde got naked, and there was lots of good music.

But it just didn’t catch on. HBO axed the series after the first season, even though they had previously renewed it! “After careful consideration, we have decided not to proceed with a second season of Vinyl. Obviously, this was not an easy decision.”

At least we’ll always have Paris Olivia Wilde naked. Her extensive nudity in the series led to a fourth place finish in our Top Nude Performances of 2016.

Friday’s Scoreboard

The Nats won, but they had to use their two star pitchers to do it. Not a lot of faith in the ‘pen. The tied the series, which was critical, but will have to cross their fingers from here.

The Braves squared their series, as the Cards once again proved that it is not possible to win a game without scoring.

The Astros won because, well … because Verlander was unhittable. And dats da name o’ dat tune, as Baretta used to say.

The Yankees put up a 10-spot on the Twins. Did you know that the 2019 Yankees hit the second-highest number of team home runs in the history of MLB, despite losing their two top musclemen for much of the season? Two years ago, Stanton and Judge combined for 111 homers. This year they hit 30.

So …

Guess who had the highest team homer total in history. The 2019 Twins. Guess who is third. The 2019 Astros. Guess who holds the NL record. The 2019 Dodgers. Guess who is second and third in NL history. I reckon you’ve figured out this pattern by now. It’s the 2019 Cubs and the 2019 Brewers.

Ten of the top 20 in baseball history are from 2019! It was obviously the year of the home run. When the 1961 Yankees, the fabled team of Mantle, Maris and company, poled 240 in 1961, it was considered one of the most difficult records to break. It did hold up for 34 years, then 1996 came along, and all hell broke loose. After those 34 years when no team came very close, three teams broke the record in the same year, and the Mariners raised the bar again the following year. In one more year, Mark McGwire would leave Maris’s individual record of 61 in the rear view mirror.

And so on.

The mighty 1961 Yankees are now in 29th place on the all-time list, and the new record is 307. Here’s how to put that number in perspective. Take the 1961 Yankees in your historical fantasy league. I’ll allow a DH, and I’ll let you draft 1927 Babe Ruth with his 60 homers to be your DH. That imaginary team still hit fewer homers than the 2019 Twins.

It’s insane. Teams are hitting homers now about 20% more frequently than they did in 2000, the year of peak steroids. Today’s players are hitting three and a half times as many homers as they did in 1927, when Ruth lashed his 60.

This may have triggered an extinction event. At this point, that is an unsupported hypothesis. Scientists postulate a general time period in which a major extinction event is likely to have occurred, but have not yet been able to pinpoint the cause or the point of origin.

One thing that makes this especially intriguing is that it did not happen 60-some million years ago, ala Alvarez, but in the time when modern humans were propagating. It therefore must have had a direct disruptive impact on human life, and not just upon those near the impact crater. The climate could have destabilized globally, which would have affected humans through the food supply, and through unexpected climatic events for which they would have been completely unprepared. (Imagine primitive humans, living placid lives in a Hawaii-like climate, suddenly facing an Alaskan winter, for example.)

Anyway, at this point we are dealing with suppositions and possibilities, but it definitely arouses ones curiosity. There is so much yet to learn.