Saturday, June 17, 2017

Michael Phelps will race against a great white in Shark Week event

By Tony Mangia

Without an Olympics this summer and no other human being to beat in the pool, it seems only logical that Michael Phelps takes on one of the fastest and, just for fun, one of the most fearsome swimmers on the earth, namely the great white shark.


In what could possibly be described as Shark Week jumping the shark, the Discovery Channel announced that 23 time Olympic gold medal winner  Phelps will race a great white shark as part of its popular summer series on July 23:

"They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks. He is our greatest champion to ever get in the water: Michael Phelps. 39 world records. 23 Olympic golds. But he has one competition left to win. An event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before. The world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps V Shark – the race is on!"


According to ThoughtCo.com, sharks cruise around at around 5 mph, but great whites can reach top speeds of 25 mph — about "10 times faster than the typical human swimmer" when they are in attack mode.

One can only guess that Phelps is hoping against attack mode and won't be paddling for his life since the the Olympic chum, I mean champ, has only been clocked at a top speed of 6 mph.

But it's not like Phelps hasn't been training and researching his competition. Last week the 31-year-old went cage diving with some great whites hopefully to get a leg up and keep one out of his toothy rival's mouth:


The network is hyping this live broadcast as a once in a lifetime event and is hoping their viewing audience bites.

But just in case you don't remember other "monumental" Man vs Beast competitions like Nat Geo Wild's Man vs Cheetah back in 2014 when a couple of NFL players raced a spotted speedster in separate enclosures which ended up about as exciting as watching the big cats napping at the zoo.



And speaking of dozing, there were high hopes in 2014 for the Discovery Channel's Man Gets Eaten Alive By An Anaconda which ultimately turned out to be one of TV's most laughable and epic fails.


Either way, real sports fans know a race doesn't count if the players don't compete on the same field of play, bumping shoulder to shoulder,  leg to leg or, in this case, arm to fin.

I'm sure plenty of people will tune in to watch the colorfully named Phelps Vs. Shark: Great Gold Vs Great White. Just don't expect to see any red — especially in the accounting books.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Congressional Baseball Game will go on Thursday in light of GOP shooting

The annual Congressional Baseball Game will go on as planned, Rep. Martha McSally announced in an all-member briefing after House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and four others were shot by a deranged Bernie Sanders supporter while the Republican team was practicing Wednesday morning at a Virginia ball field.

"It will be play ball tomorrow night," Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) and manager of the GOP squad, confirmed later in the day. 


Despite the cowardly armed sneak attack aimed at Republicans, it won’t stop the annual charity match-up from being played 7:05 p.m. on Thursday at Nationals Park, according to the game organizers from both parties.


During a solemn address to the chamber Wednesday afternoon, House Speaker Paul Ryan injected a moment of levity – joking that the wounded Congressman's biggest complaint will be having to spend time on the disabled list.

“Knowing Steve Scalise as we all do, he is likely really frustrated that he’s not going to be able to play in the baseball game,” Ryan said of his friend — who is still listed as in critical condition.



Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), manager of the Democrats, invited all players from both teams to dinner at Democratic headquarters on Wednesday night.

“We’re united not as Republicans and Democrats but as United States representatives,” said Barton during the joint appearance with his Democratic baseball rival Doyle.

The annual congressional baseball game dates back to 1909 and is considered a bi-partisan event open to everyone.

Every year Senate and House members of each party fortify friendships off the floor and on the field. Members usually wear the uniform of their home states and districts, and although proportional representation is not required, elected officials of many states play to bring home the victory trophy.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, (D-Calif.), who is on the Democrats’ baseball team said the Democratic team practices at a different facility than where the shooting occurred. Swalwell noted that they usually have security, but the Republicans likely had “even more” due to Scalise’s rank in the House Republican Leadership.

President Trump touted the "heroism" of Capitol Police officers, and said their presence prevented what would have been a "massacre."

There is expected to be an increased number of fans in the stands — and more security at the gates— this year as the game has now taken on national significance.

More importantly, the sportsmanship represents the hopes of an America that is striving for unity.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Aaron Judge sends 495-foot home run over Yankee Stadium Bleachers

By Tony Mangia

Aaron Judge continues to wow fans with his amazing home run hitting prowess but, on Sunday, the gentle giant added an almost unbelievable shot to his young and growing legacy.


A day after hammering a home run hit harder than any one recorded in the Statcast era — a rocket with a 121.1 mile-an-hour exit velocity according to the charts — Judge went orbital again.

“I’m sure he can hit it up to 122 or 123,” teammate Gary Sanchez said after Saturday night's bomb. “He has a lot of power.”

Less than 15 hours after Sanchez's statement, and against the same Orioles team, Judge not only hit the ball with authority, he hit it for distance — 495 feet to be exact.
The reaction of his teammates shows the marvel of a home run ball hit into No Man's Land like that.


The best part of the dugout celebration might be 5'8" inch Ronald Torreyes getting a shoulder boost up to reach the 6'7" Judge's high five.

All rise... again.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Lone Saudi Arabian player honors moment of silence for London terrorist victims before match against Australia

In what can only be described as a disgraceful display of disrespect and lack of decency or compassion for human lives, only a single Saudi Arabian soccer player chose to stand still and pay respect to the victims of the London terrorist attack during a moment of silence while the rest of his team continued to warm up, kick around the ball and even tie their shoes before a World Cup qualifying match against the Australian team this week.

As a full stadium looked on, only Salman Al-Faraj politely held his hands behind his back and stared at the ground during the sixty second tribute before the match as his Saudi teammates ignored the gesture and walked off to their positions on the pitch like it was nothing but a big delay.

That's one out of 11 for all you keeping score at home or Homeland.


The Saudi Arabian team became the target of worldwide outrage for snubbing the minute of silence, with officials claiming it was "not in keeping with Saudi culture."
Video shows the Australian team lined up at the halfway mark, with the Saudi players ignoring the respectful moment as they get in formation to start the game — all except the 27-year-old midfielder Al-Faraj.

Footage seems to show Saudi captain Osama Hawsawi instructing his teammates to pay their respect and stand still only after sensing the crowd's reaction.

It was reported that Saudi Arabian fans watching at the Adelaide Oval also ignored the moment of silence, speaking loudly and moving around in the stadium.


After widespread outrage, the Saudi Arabian Football Federation issued a statement saying it "deeply regrets and unreservedly apologizes for any offense caused." 

"The players did not intend any disrespect to the memories of the victims or to cause upset to their families, friends or any individual affected by the atrocity," it stated.

"The Saudi Arabian Football Federation condemns all acts of terrorism and extremism and extends its sincerest condolences to the families of all the victims and to the Government and people of the United Kingdom."

Later, the same Saudi players still found time to kneel and pray after a goal.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mr. Met fired after giving middle(?) finger to fans at Citi Field

The unwanted drama at Citi Field continues to unfurl and even the New York Mets baseball-headed mascot has gotten caught up in the losing and frustration.

On Wednesday night, that four-fingered freak, Mr. Met, reached his own breaking point and flipped what must be considered his middle digit at some fans during the 7-1 loss to the Brewers. The loss halted a modest a three-game winning streak for the Mets and ended one costume wearer's career for good.


A video posted by @adelucia35 on Twitter captured the moment when Mr. Met flipped the bird to a group of shouting fans as the mascot walked toward a tunnel through Citi Field.

The incident came on a night that marked the 53rd anniversary of Mr. Met’s debut as the team mascot. 
"We apologize for the inappropriate action of this employee," the Mets said in an email from the organization. 

"We do not condone this type of behavior. We are dealing with this matter internally."

A Mets official told The Associated Press more than one person wears the Mr. Met costume during each season, and the person who wore it Wednesday night will not work in the costume again.

All kind of funny considering the real middle finger to fans is the 23-28 record the team is holding up to them.