A satirical look back at some of the quirkiest, most eyebrow-raising things that happened in the sports world this week.
And you thought LaVar Ball claiming he’d beat Michael Jordan one-on-one was an outrageous boast? Hold my beer, said Adam Ottavino.
“I had an argument with a coach in Triple A about Babe Ruth’s effectiveness in today’s game,” Ottavino, a 33-year-old journeyman pitcher, claimed on an MLB Statcast podcast. “I said, ‘Babe Ruth, with that swing, swinging that bat, I got him hitting .140 with eight homers. … I would strike Babe Ruth out every time.’ ”
In Babe’s defense, though, hitting .140 with eight homers in today’s game would be a pretty good showing for a 123-year-old.
• From comedy writer Marc Ragovin: “Wisconsin GOP has just stripped Mike McCarthy’s successor of any coaching power.”
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• At TheOnion.com: “L.A. adds lanes for cyclists to recover from getting hit by cars.”
Not sick of trading
The Mariners’ Jerry Dipoto, despite coming down seriously ill during the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, nonetheless pulled off a three-team swap from his hospital bed.
It’s believed to be the first deal in MLB history that’s contingent on a GM passing his physical.
Two nuns have been accused of embezzling about $500,000 from St. James Catholic School in Torrance, Calif., to support their gambling craze.
Apparently they put too much money down on the Cardinals this season and not enough on the Saints.
Not on board with this
Delta announced it will drop zone boarding on its flights, starting in 2019.
Jim Boeheim, we hear, is inconsolable.
Paging Air Bud
A 4-year-old Whippet named Slingshot will be among those trying to break the Guinness World Record for farthest jump by a dock-diving dog — 31 feet — in Orlando, Fla., on Dec. 15.
The hardest part for jumping dogs, handlers say, is keeping them from scratching.
Nice approach angle
A Manhattan science teacher piloting a small plane with engine trouble made an emergency landing on the Paramus (N.J.) Golf Course.
It was a textbook up-and-down, witnesses say but style points deducted for not replacing his divot.
On Jan. 26, the Wiarton & District Curling Club in Ontario will host Canada’s first-tournament that combines curling and cannabis.
And of course they’re calling it … Bongspiel.
Tough to bear
Bad opening week of December for the Bulls: Chicago lost by 56 and the Dow lost by 1,149.51.
No tutus for Tie
Maple Leafs stars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner will perform in the The National Ballet of Canada’s Dec. 19 production of “The Nutcracker.”
“Big deal,” said Tie Domi. “I used to do it 82 nights a year.”
The Saints’ Taysom Hill, in the first 13 games this season, has a completed pass, a pass reception, a touchdown, a kickoff return, a blocked punt and a special-teams tackle to his credit.
We sense a Swiss Army Knife endorsement in his future.
Good in the paint, too
The Academy of Art basketball team is only 1-7, but you’d have to assume the Knights are adept at drawing charges.
According to WalletHub.com, the U.S. city with the least-sustainable credit-card debt in 2019 will be:
a) Colleyville, Texas
b) the one whose baseball team signs Bryce Harper or Manny Machado
West Virginia QB Will Grier announced he will sit and wait for the NFL draft instead of playing in the Camping World Bowl.
In other words, he’s folding his tent.
That’s the spirit
A 46-year-old Irish woman who claims she’s married to a 300-year-old Haitian pirate called Jack now says she wants to divorce him.
As for Jack, he reportedly ran off with Mantei T’eo’s girlfriend.
• Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, to the New York Post, on celebrities in L.A. not limiting their basketball-watching to the Lakers: “Did you ever watch ‘The Munsters’? Fred Gwynne (Herman Munster) and Al Lewis (Grandpa) tried to never miss my games at UCLA.”
• Jim Barach of JokesByJim.com, on the reaction to English golfer Andrew “Beef” Johnston getting engaged: “Well done!”
• Comedy writer TC Chong, after the first 12 matches of the World Chess Championship resulted in draws: “Norwegian Magnus Carlsen won it just before judges were going to decide the match using penalty kicks.”
• Janice Hough of LeftCoastSportsBabe.com, after MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said he wants to limit defensive shifts: “Uh, here’s a solution: Teach players to bunt.”
• Comedy writer Brad Dickson, after Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray won the Heisman trophy: “Which I attribute mostly to the difficulty of spelling ‘Tua Tagovailoa.’ ”
Talking the talk
• Gary Bachman, via Facebook, after the Warriors’ Steph Curry said he has doubts about the lunar landing, then later said he was just kidding: “Steph, there’s been more walking on the moon than what’s called in the NBA.”
• Jim Boylen, to AP, on how he celebrated his first win as Bulls head coach: “We had a bowl of cereal with my kids and watched the ‘Family Feud.’ ”
Tweet of the Week
From NOTSportsCenter: “Johnny Manziel’s #HeismanTrophy ballot:
“1. Jim Beam
“2. Johnnie Walker
“3. Jack Daniels”
Dec. 6, in case you missed it, was National Microwave Day.
And true to form, the Titans — with a goal-line stand and ensuing 99-yard TD run — needed just two minutes that night to cook the Jaguars.
Fact of the Week
From @NFLresearch: “Of the six highest-paid QBs (based on average annual salary) in 2018, Kirk Cousins is the only one whose team is currently in playoff position.” (The six: Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Cousins, Jimmy Garoppolo, Matthew Stafford, Derek Carr.)
Quote, end quote
• From SportsPickle.com, after Jacksonville stopped Titans RB Derrick Henry on third-and-goal from the 3: “The most Jaguarian thing ever is flexing and dancing when you prevented a guy from getting a 5th touchdown in a 21-point loss that eliminated you from playoff contention.”
• Bob Molinaro in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, after LeBron James scored 20 fourth-quarter points to rally the Lakers past the Spurs: “He turns 34 at the end of the month. Everyone should age so well.”
• RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, after Erik Guay retired as Canada’s most decorated skier: “In the minds of Canadians, he’s 1-2 with Justin Bieber for going downhill fast.”