Forgive the pissy headline.
Nothing’s guaranteed. Nope, not a Giants’ three-run lead with three outs to go. (My heart.) Not a 3-1 NBA Finals’ lead with two series clinchers at home (My heart again.) Not Cam Newton’s dominance—just nine months after losing all of one time last season, his Panthers dropped to 1-4 on Monday. Oh, and he has barely anything to say about anything important these days.
Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick learned earlier this week that on Sunday he will finally throw his first pass for the San Francisco 49ers since 2015. For most Niners fans, the move feels far overdue. But who knew that in his months of bench warming, Kap would be featured on the cover of Time Magazine and ignite a movement in his league, in high school sports, and around the greater sports world, all without making a single completion? My word.
Conor Gillaspie. Ever heard of him? Me neither. Jk. Drafted by the Giants the same year as star catcher Buster Posey, and ahead of the current Gold Glove winner, shortstop Brandon Crawford. Hit the 3-run homer that sent the Giants’ to the NLDS, blew an Aroldis Chapman save on Monday, drove another one run on Tuesday. If he’s like any other Giants’ hero of the past six years (Travis Ishikawa comes immediately to mind), he won’t make the Opening Day roster and he won’t be in the organization come September.
Enjoy F&F folks. Sports are trash. I love sports.
Delay of game.
More thorns in the Rose trial. The best point guard in New York plays in Brooklyn. (We’ll get to him in a moment.) The most expensive point guard plays for the Knicks, which I wish I could say is the worst part of their Derrick Rose trade. As you probably know, Rose was accused of gang-raping a woman in 2013, and so, has missed his last two preseason games with the Knicks defending himself in his civil rape trial.
Rose, who has not demonstrated a shred of understanding about the nature of consent during the trial-- that’s not editorializing, he was unable to provide a definition during a deposition -- spent this week explaining why he brought the condom used during their sexual encounter with him, claiming that the NBA instructs rookies to ensure they don’t leave their condoms behind. (When Doe’s attorney asked Rose about his condom disposal, Rose “You never know what women are up to nowadays”).
Also, Randall Hampton, a friend of Rose and defendant in the civil trial, testified on Tuesday. He clarified a number of discrepancies between his version of the night of and Rose’s. In Hampton’s response: Rose “has trouble remembering things.” Thanks for clearing the air!
This isn’t even close to the worst update. Rose is under criminal investigation -- it’s one reason his accuser has thus far, kept her anonymity. Nadine Hernandez, one of the LAPD detectives investigating the incident, died from a gunshot wound. Examiners have yet to determine whether Hernandez’s death was a suicide as it was initially identified in the 911 call, or a homicide. It is tragic all the same.
The anonymity we referenced earlier may not have happened without Hernandez. Her letter to Jane Doe’s attorney urged the judge to keep Doe’s name out of litigation, not merely to help her criminal investigation, but for the accuser’s benefit. As she framed it, anonymity offers “great comfort to victims of crimes of such a sensitive nature.” Rest in power, Nadia.
Growing Linterest in racial justice. Back to the good point guard. Jeremy Lin was interviewed during last weekend’s New Yorker Fest where he shared some interesting thoughts about his Asian American identity in light of the recent Kap and Carmelo-led protests against police violence. Many Asians struggle to see their position in a civil rights struggle that tends to be framed in a black-white binary, so having one of the most popular and beloved Asian American public figures wrestle with that publicly was noteworthy:
According to filmmaker and journalist Ursula Liang, Lin went on to note that the worst racism he experienced was at Dartmouth, Columbia, Yale, and all the other Ivy League schools he destroyed during his remarkable Harvard basketball career. If nothing else, competing against racist nerds, playing in the shadow of Kaepernick’s protest, and having a lot of black co-workers and friends is pushing Lin to consider how he can against anti-black racism.
America: “A Beautiful Girl You Have to Ignore.” There’s few things lucrative about the athlete’s life in Cuba. And much of the island’s romance has been over mythologized by commercial-weary Americans hoping for a nostalgic paradise. Yet the Obama administration’s decision to restore relations Cuba suggests that the island may soon bare little resemblance to the contradictory Communist state it is today. Read Brin-Jonathan Butler’s meandering essay on the death of an era and remember: “With the first of over a million slaves brought to Cuba in 1520, today human beings are still being bought and sold as commodities, desperate to make it across the Gulf Stream, the most powerful and dangerous current on earth.”
Does Tom Brady still back Trump?
Baseball Diversity Digest
- Baseball has a Latino manager again, thanks to the White Sox for hiring Rick Renteria. The Mexican-American skipper formerly managed the Cubs. This is admittedly anecdotal, but it’s nice to see a brown manager get a second chance, especially considering how his last job ended. All you struggling workers that for no apparent reason, got fired or dismissed in favor of a white man, then watch that man receive all the credit: There’s hope for you!
- Korea Can Make (American) baseball fun again. This amazing article taught me about a leaping bunt or “frog jump bunt,” a bat flip that hit an umpire, what happened to a washed up former Giants pitcher, how the complexities of the Japanese/Korean relationship show up in baseball, that Korean pitchers take off their hats and bow if they hit veterans, and why young people find baseball games an emotional release. Now if only MLB wanted to learn from other cultures. Paging Rob Manfred. (Thank you, Mina Kimes.)
- Nicknames are for the Birds. Blue Jays’ play-by-play announcer Jerry Howarth doesn’t refer to Cleveland’s baseball team as the Indians. Why? Because Howarth opened himself to being moved by a gracious and moving letter from a First Nations’ fan sent over 20 years ago. Deadspin with interesting context. Check out #NotYourMascot. Hall of Fame pitcher and TBS analyst Pedro Martinez didn’t get the memo about Chief Wahoo. (PS: Please watch the ALCS. Both teams are incredible and deserve better than the worst ratings in a decade. Thanks.)