Who says dreams don’t come true?

When I was an undergraduate hoping to win a Rhodes Scholarship and/or the national debate championship, I had high hopes, but not high enough to dream that someday I could cite an article called “Jane Krakowski Denies Secret Romance with My Pillow Guy.”

If my parents were still alive, they would be so proud.

For the record:

“Jane has never met Mr. Lindell. She is not and has never been in any relationship with him, romantic or otherwise,” her rep told Page Six. “She is, however, in full fledged fantasy relationships with Brad Pitt, Rege-Jean Page and Kermit the Frog, and welcomes any and all coverage on those.”

Lindell, meanwhile, told the Daily Mail he’s “never even heard of” Krakowski.

Here is the short cut to the COVID report for Friday.

Here are the number of new cases reported in the USA on the last three Fridays:

Two weeks ago: 302k
Last week: 248k
This week: 192k

Yes, the present fatality rate is still extremely high because there were so many new infections 2-3 weeks ago, and that represents the typical course of the virus. The future, however, looks promising because of the ever-decreasing rate of new infections and hospitalizations, so the light continues to shine at the end of the tunnel. At the moment, the world’s vaccination efforts still seem to be outrunning the spread of the virus. Yay, us! (Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the new, faster-spreading strains don’t reverse this trend.)

Here is the “new cases” trend for the last eleven days:

USA World
Last Tuesday versus the previous Tuesday -2% -3%
Last Wednesday versus the previous Wednesday -9% -6%
Last Thursday versus the previous Thursday -16% -9%
Last Friday versus the previous Friday -18% -9%
Saturday versus last Saturday -19% -16%
Sunday versus last Sunday -17% -18%
Monday versus last Monday -34% -19%
Tuesday versus last Tuesday -23% -13%
Wednesday versus last Wednesday -20% -12%
Thursday versus last Thursday -16% -12%
Friday versus last Friday -23% -15%

In addition,

  • US COVID hospitalizations declined for the tenth straight day.
  • US COVID patients in ICU declined for the eighth straight day.
  • The number of COVID patients on ventilators in the USA declined for the fifth straight day.
  • The positive testing percentage stayed out of the red zone – for both Friday and the 7-day average.

He retired as the all-time home run king, despite being a slim, average-sized man (6′, 175 pounds). Barry Bonds eventually bested that particular record, but Hank and Ed Mathews still hold the record for the most homers as teammates, edging out two guys you may have heard of – Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.

The home run totals in Aaron’s prime years were diminished substantially by his having played in County Stadium. Although Aaron never hit 50 homers in a season, thereby denying him a special place in the baseball pantheon, he did have three separate years in Milwaukee when he hit at least 25 on the road. A road total like that normally guarantees 50 for the year, but Aaron finished with 44-45-44 those years. In his twelve years with the Braves in Milwaukee he hit 185 homers in County Stadium and 213 on the road. (I discussed the issue of home park impact on lifetime home runs totals in a lengthy article.)

(NOTE: After the Braves left Wisconsin, Aaron hit 190 at home for them in the Launching Pad and only 145 on the road, so his lifetime totals just about balanced out).

Although Hank is remembered mainly for his pursuit of Ruth’s lifetime home run record, the real Hank Aaron story is that he may have been the most consistent hitter in baseball history. He’s remembered for having a hammer, but he could also wield a scalpel. Baseball batting averages vary quite a bit from year to year because even a few hits have a significant impact. For example, Ted Williams needed only five more hits to achieve his second .400 season in 1957. Just five hits. But if you look at careers in two-year increments, a lot of the random variations, like injuries and plain old luck, tend to smooth out to give us a sharper image of true performance.

Here a snapshot of Hank Aaron’s youthful career in two-year increments.

1955-1956 .321
1957-1958 .324
1959-1960 .324
1961-1962 .325
1963-1964 .323

And that’s Hank Aaron in a nutshell. He never batted .360. He never hit 50 homers or knocked in 150 runs. But if you wanted a guy in your line-up who was just about a sure thing to hit .320 with 40 homers for a decade or more, Henry was your man.

And who wouldn’t want that guy?

Plus Hank had a lifetime post-season average of .362, could steal bases when needed, and played his position with consummate skill. He could also fill in at the other outfield positions, first base, and even second base in a pinch! All of those skills led to his having received MVP votes in 19 consecutive seasons and having been chosen as an all-star in 21 consecutive seasons.

He was inducted into the HoF with 406 votes out of a possible 415 …

those other 9 voters were total assholes.


Gallery here

This was one of our top nude scenes of 2020. It had an odd path onto the list. It had the 4th seed coming into the finals, based on its strength in a semi-final round in which voters were allowed to rank all 77 entries. Then it ultimately dropped down into 20th in the finals, when voters had to pick a single selection. In other words, just about everyone felt it was one of the best nude scenes of the year, but pretty much nobody thought it was THE best.

“After making history by being impeached, (the President) lambasted his political opponents, painted himself as a persecuted hero and skipped his successor’s inauguration as he finished up his single term in office. In a bitter farewell address, he railed on about his many grievances and insisted he had no regrets from his time in office.”

The president in question was Andrew Johnson.

Johnson was still expected to attend the event as of the very morning of that Inauguration Day, but he begged off when his carriage came for him, and stayed in his office until the very last minute of his Presidency. “The last minute” is not a figurative expression in this case. He left the White House at noon, precisely as his term expired.