The shot heard ‘round Sesame Street

July 25, 2023

The shot heard ‘round Sesame Street - In baseball, the so-called Shot Heard ‘Round the World was a walk-off three-run homer by New York Giants outfielder and third baseman Bobby Thompson in the ninth inning off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca to win the 1951 National League pennant. On Saturday night, the Oakland A’s beat visiting Houston 4-1. Zack Gelof hit his first major league home run in the seventh inning and raised his batting average to .276. I knew at 4 a.m. because I woke up (I’m woke, dope and no joke) and checked the box score. By 5 a.m., multiple muppets were posting and boasting about Zack’s home run. Local muppets celebrate more often than Kool and the Gang. 

Sign and assign - On July 21, Jake Gelof, the 60th pick in the 2023 MLB Draft, signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, receiving a $1,334,400 signing bonus. Jake is expecting an assignment to the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. They are located in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and play their home games at Loanmart Stadium. I told my wife Susan, “I think the name has to do with surfing, which makes sense as it's California – you know, Surf City and Surfing Safari.” “She replied: “I think you mean cowabunga, which is not Cucamonga.” In an early Sesame Street sketch, Cookie Monster tries to fool Ernie that Ernie has a dreaded disease called “Cucamongaphobia.” The term cowabunga goes back to the 1950s, uttered on “The Howdy Doody Show” by Chief Thunderthud. If I were teaching now, students would be asking, “How did we get from Jake Gelof to Chief Thunderthud?” 

Cold cuts - Pick a number and wait to hear your name called. Ninety players will be invited to each NFL team’s training camp this week. Each team’s final roster will be 53. Sixteen can be assigned to the practice squad. Although some players make stupid money, teams are not stupid about how they spend their money. Cheaper players have the best chance of earning a spot on the bottom of the roster; they are not necessarily the best players. The crescendo of cruelty is making the final cut then still getting cut when a team decides someone’s last cut is better than a last-kept player. Training camps are a fun adventure for fans to attend, but you can’t give away preseason tickets. 

Snippets - Special prosecutor Jack Smith is 54 years old and a Harvard Law School graduate. As an athlete, he has done 100 races across the globe since 2002, including nine ironman triathlons. He now has a security detail that follows him around, the reasons being obvious. Brian Harman, a 36-year-old former University of Georgia star, won the British Open by five shots, holding off a following field just waiting (some expecting) for him to falter. Harman has the lefty sweet swing, hitting all balls true. He was deadly accurate. Harman is 5-foot-7, 155 pounds and balding. Local fans along the links were relentlessly razzing Harman, saying unspeakable and unrepeatable words because they wanted local favorite Tommy Fleetwood to win. I think any wanker who screams “in the hole!” at a rolling golf ball should go heckle toddlers at a chip and putt. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) owns a 22:11 5K and ran the Boston Marathon in 3:57:27. The Baltimore Orioles (61-38) are at the Philadelphia Phillies (53-46) for a three-game series this week. Former Phillie Scott Rolen and former Atlanta Brave Fred McGriff were inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame July 23. Players must clear the 75% threshold of ballots cast by baseball writers to be considered for induction. Notably still not Hall of Farmers are Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez and Curt Schilling. Alia Marshall, Cape and Northwestern field hockey star, will return for her fifth year to play for the Wildcats while working on her master’s degree in speech pathology. Sonja Friend-Uhl, 52, former Cape and William and Mary track star, won four age-group gold medals (50-54) at the USAT Masters National Outdoor Championships at North Carolina A&T in Greensboro. Sonja won four national titles in four days, including the 5K (20:11), 400 meters (65.09), 800 meters (2:29:03) and 1,500 meters (5:04:75). I’m having carpal tunnel surgery on my left wrist Wednesday. A week after having surgery on my right wrist last March, I pulled my right calf muscle walking across the turf at Legends Stadium. Someday, all my tendons and ligaments  will unravel like Boris Karloff in the 1932 film “The Mummy.” I coined a new term, “anachrophobia,” which is the fear that no one knows what the hell I’m talking about. Go on now, git! 


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