Wednesday, July 13, 2016

He's Back ... And Balder Than Ever!

For the longest time, I thought The Baldest Truth only had tens of readers. But given how many folks have asked why I haven't written in such a long time, I now realize that I have many more than that.

Dozens, even!

So for you loyal TBT readers, here's some stuff to chew on ...


Hey, GOP! You're Focusing On The Wrong POTUS Candidate!

I'm not sure why the GOP is trying so hard to get Hillary Clinton in such deep trouble that she will have to quit the presidential race.

If the Dems were forced to replace her with Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden or any number of other folks who aren't Wall Street-beholden pathological liars, the Democrat's margin of victory over the presumptive Republican nominee would be larger than Ronald Reagan's was over Walter Mondale in 1984.

The GOP should be thrilled that an unlikable, untrustworthy jerk heads the Dem ticket.

I mean, if the Republicans really want to win this presidential election, they'd work a little harder at getting rid of the anti-conservative racist on the top of their own ticket!


Sons of Pitches: Thisclose To Another Title

Our push for a second consecutive championship in Charlotte's old man's softball league fell one game short ... but not before we pulled off yet another spectacular comeback.

A few weeks ago, late in the regular season, we were losing 9-1 with two innings to play and came back to win.

In our first playoff game on July 5, with our coach (and pitcher and No. 3 hitter) Pat out of town and yours truly taking over in his absence, we blew an 8-2 lead and trailed 10-8 going into the last inning. We then scored 9 runs to win going away. (I had a single to start the rally but I also had a comical pratfall in my second at-bat of the inning -- I tripped over my own two feet about half-way down to first base, wiped out and gave myself raspberry burns on both knees. D'oh!)

Then, in our semifinal on July 12, we played an exciting, back-and-forth game with our opponent. We had a bad defensive inning, gave up 5 runs and trailed 13-9 going into the top of the last. But the Sons of Pitches do not quit, my friend. Again, the bottom of our order (which I am proud to be part of) got things going, and the big boys took care of business to finish off our 7-run rally. We got 'em out in the bottom of the inning, with the final play being a grounder to me at first base.

I saw the ball bouncing toward the line and took a step that way. I thought there was a chance it might hit the bag so I prepared myself for that possibility; it ended up bouncing over the top of the base. There was not going to be any Bucknering going on here, as I dropped to one knee and made sure the ball couldn't get through me. I fielded it and flipped to Pat covering -- a knee-high toss that made Pat work just a teeny bit before the celebration began!

Our opponents looked stunned as we high-fived each other, and I gave a thumbs-up to the other Mike -- a.k.a. "Good Mike" -- who suffered severe ankle and knee injuries during the season but still came out, walker and all, to support us. (Thanks to Mrs. Good Mike for getting him there and cheering us, too!)

After about a 10-minute break, the title game began. I was looking forward to the possibility of enjoying a "championship sandwich," with softball titles coming on both sides of the basketball crown my girls' team won last March.

We picked up right where we left off, with 4 runs in the first. But we promptly gave up 4 in the bottom of the inning and we never got the bats going again. Our opponent definitely outplayed us, pounding the softball on offense and making some incredible defensive plays to beat us decisively.

It was a sad end to a great season with an incredible group of guys. I'm already looking forward to fall ball starting next week. Yep, with softball in Charlotte, "fall" starts in mid-July. Should only be about 95 degrees with 80 percent humidity. But that's OK ... the Sons of Pitches are one tough bunch of old dudes!!!


What "Black Lives Matter" Means To Me

The correct response to a black person saying, "Black lives matter," is NOT "All lives matter." Why? Because it goes without saying that every human who has been born and occupies the planet "matters." Black people are trying to accentuate the special challenges they face in a country that still has many issues in dealing with race. To counter, "Black lives matter," with "ALL lives matter," is disrespectful and confrontational, and it certainly does not move the conversation forward in a positive way.

It would be like an activist saying, "End Darfur genocide," and me responding, "End ALL genocide." Or it would be like a non-profit group saying, "Prevent breast cancer," and me responding, "Prevent ALL cancer."

Yes, everybody wants to end genocide everywhere and to prevent all forms of cancer. But these folks are trying to call attention to THEIR issues and circumstances.

That having been said, there is no valid reason to incite violence in the name of Black Lives Matter. Doing so ends up weakening the message and pushing away the very people the movement should be trying to attract.


KD's Not Even The Most Interesting NBA Free Agency Story

Kevin Durant is a wonderful player and a good teammate. He will fit in with the talented Warriors and help them achieve greatness again. And I don't think choosing to join a juggernaut makes him any less of a man, as Charles Barkley implied. (Yes, the same Chuck who whined and threatened his way out of both Philly and Phoenix so he could play with championship contenders is criticizing KD for taking advantage of free agency to improve his lot.)

I'm not amazed that Durant was coveted by every team. Nor am I amazed by the big deals signed by the likes of Dwyane Wade, Mike Conley, Nicolas Batum, Al Horford and Andre Drummond.

You want amazing? How 'bout these contracts:

Matthew Dellavedova, Bucks, $38.4 million.

Jordan Clarkson, Lakers, $50 million.

Ryan Anderson, Rockets, $80 million.

Jon Leuer, Pistons, $42 million.

Timofey Mozgov, Lakers, $64 million.

Mirza Teletovic, Bucks, $30 million.

Ian Mahinmi, Wizards, $64 million.

Tyler Johnson, Heat, $50 million.

Talk about a Who's Who of What The Hell?

Meanwhile, ex-Bulls Joakim Noah and Luol Deng each scored a 4-year, $72 million contract, Noah from the Knicks and Deng from the Lakers. That wouldn't be so crazy ... if it were 2011.

The Lakers, coming off their worst season ever, somehow came to the conclusion that the road to salvation was committing $186 million to Deng, Clarkson and Mozgov.

But I guess I understand. To win an NBA title you've got have three great players.

Jordan-Pippen-Grant ... Bird-McHale-Parish ... Curry-Thompson-Green ... James-Wade-Bosh ... and now Deng-Clarkson-Mozgov.


My Kind Of Camp: No Mosquitoes, No Sunburn!

A great group of girls, including four players from last season's championship team, participated in my third annual basketball camp at the Scholars Academy gym.

I give all credit to my assistant Sholeh, a recent Scholars graduate as well as our All-Conference, co-MVP guard. It's easy to stay humble when a 14-year-old girl can shoot 14 times better than I can!


Cubbies Stagger Into All-Star Break

The first month of the season, the Cubs looked like the 1927 Yankees. The last month, they looked like the 1962 Mets.

The real 2016 Cubs are somewhere in between those extremes, probably closer to being a very good team than a very bad ballclub. But it says here that, in the end, they will be only good enough to break their fans' hearts ... again.

Hey, Cleveland, you wanna talk about futility for the ages? Cubbie fans will show you futility for the ages! Give them a call when you get to 108 years (and counting).


Writing for $$$, Not For Giggles & Snorts

Although I haven't been blogging, I have been doing plenty of writing -- mostly for the investing Web site Seeking Alpha. My latest article, which has generated 25,000 page-views and nearly 900 comments, is HERE.

I'm especially proud of the gratuitous Trump reference. Hey, page-views don't grow on trees, and I get a penny per click!! I'm now the site's top-ranked writer in the Dividend Investing Strategy category, with almost twice as many readers as the No. 2 ranked author.

And you thought I was just another pretty face.

Speaking of which ...

I recently did a podcast with a Seeking Alpha colleague, my first venture into that medium. I always thought I had a face for radio.


That's all for now, kiddies. I'll try to return to these parts in less than 3 months.

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