Gifts for Famous People

I know you are busy finding appropriate gifts for all your friends and family members. Now, image you had to get appropriate gifts for famous people as well. Here are some suggestions for a dozen folks who are known everywhere. (This is just for laughs, people. Don’t take this article as serious…just chuckle.)

Scrabble

Donald Trump. Santa could bring him a giant wall-size “Scrabble” game (see above). Using it would help him improve his vocabulary beyond “fake news,” “loser,” best, biggest, greatest, huge, etc.

 

Vladimir Putin. Because Russia’s National Animal is the bear, someone will send him a giant stuffed bear from Toys R Us. The gift card would say: from “an admirer” and the return address might read “Washington, D. C.” Hmmm.

ClimbWall

Serena Williams.  To help (as if she will need any) her get ready for another tennis season, she could receive “the infinite Climbing Wall Treadmill.” (see above) It will have “a continuously revolving face that enables endless vertical climbs on hand and foot-holds.” Advantage Williams.

 

Michelle Obama. She receives “an invitation”. It could read: “I’m sorry we didn’t have more time together during my visit to my second home, The White House. We could make up for lost time when you visit Mar-a-Lago. Does Barry golf? (When very young, President Obama was called Barry.) Not as well as I do, believe me. Bring him along, if you must. Donald.” Michelle would skip golf and challenge Donald to arm wrestling. Ouch.

Lit Net

LeBron James. As Mr. James nears his final NBA seasons, a gift that would help him maintain his shooting accuracy would be “The Glow in The Dark Indoor Basketball Hoop.” (see above) “The backboard, net, and ball appear white in daylight and glow green in the dark enabling shooting drills after lights out.” Look out, Mr. Curry.

 

Angela Merkel. The German Chancellor might receive a signed copy of: “Trump: The Art of the Deal.”   The inscription could read: “To my second favorite foreign leader, Angela. Sorry I forgot to shake your hand during your visit. We’ll shake everything next time. Donald.” No strudel for you, Mr. President.

ATV

Oprah Winfrey. She could buy herself anything with her earnings over the years, but she might not think of receiving “”The Amphibious ATV” (see above) “This is the world’s first high-speed all-terrain vehicle that travels over land and sea at up to 45 mph.” She could tow the President on his skies.

 

Jeff Bezos. The world’s only living $100 billion man! He would never think of receiving, from Amazon, a 100,000 piece LEGO building set. He could use it to build his own second warehouse. Cities overlooked would be envious.

TirePump

Tom Brady. Perhaps Commissioner Goodell will send him “the only automatic Cordless Tire Inflator.” (see above) “The desired pressure is set using its digital pressure gauge.” Eh, for use in future playoff games? Or if a car tire needs help on the way to the stadium…more likely.

 

Lin-Manuel Miranda. The creator of Broadway’s “Hamilton” will almost certainly receive an 8 X 10” glossy picture of President Trump inscribed: “always thinking of you, Donald.” Remember Miranda’s reaction to Trump’s comments after the hurricane hit Puerto Rico? “You’re going straight to hell @real Donald Trump. No long lines for you. Someone will say, “Right this way, sir.” They’ll clear a path.” Everyone knows how often the President forgets or forgives real/imagined slights.

BIGPiano

Audra McDonald. The 6-time Tony winner would love to receive “The Light Up Party Piano” (see above) only from Hammacher Schlemmer’s store. It is 8 feet long and lights up and plays music when anyone dances or jumps on the keys. Remember Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia in the movie “Big?” Maybe Ms. McDonald will use it in her next Tony winning performance.

 

Meryl Streep. Is it true Ethan and Joel Coen will give her the lead role in their next film, entitled: “Married for Money”, a biopic of the life of Melania Trump? Ms. Streep’s expected reaction? “It will be my greatest challenge yet.” (Rumor: President Trump will be played by Wallace Shawn. Vizzini, in “The Princess Bride.”)    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Favorite TV Christmas Shows

TV Guide listed 109 Christmas shows to be broadcast this holiday season. (Golly, I hope I counted correctly. Did I miss something?) I know everyone eagerly awaits their favorites. Here are my mine.

Rudolph

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Raindeer. I like to start the season on a light note. I watch Hermie (“I want to be a dentist”) –a discontented Elf, and his friend, Rudolph the –well, you know. They want to be “independent” together. (It’s my second favorite line in all the Christmas TV shows. My favorite line is –wait a bit, you’ll see.) And Yukon “Silver and Gold” Cornelious, The Abominable, and –from the Isle of Misfit Toys— Charlie-in-the-Box.   “Who wants a Charlie-in-the-box?” I do, and so do you, right? Will Christmas be cancelled or will Rudolph save the holiday? What do you think, kids?

CBXmas

A Charlie Brown Christmas. Is there ANYBODY who hasn’t seen this show? “It’s not such a bad tree after all, Charlie Brown.” “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” And, as Charlie’s younger sister reads him her “endless” gift list for Santa, she says: “And if that’s too complicated, just send money: preferably, tens and twenties.” (Charlie moans; and his sister says, earnestly) “All I want is my fair share.” THAT’S my favorite line. And for those few of you who are seeing it for the first time: don’t worry. Everything turns out OK.

XmasCarol

A Christmas Carol. Yes, I know there have been many versions of this film. Starring, as Ebenezer Scrooge, Alistair Sim, Michael Caine, Patrick Stewart, Albert Finney, and many others. My favorite stars George C. Scott as Scrooge. Scott is perfect: from a money grubbing b__________, then questioning, worried he’s waited too long, to a believer: “I’ll believe in all 3 Christmases –the past, the present, and the future. I swear it on my soul, Jacob Marley.” He’s a better Scrooge than he was as Patton –and that’s saying something. The location filming –in a town the same age as the story itself – and cast are marvelous. Remember: Edward Woodward as the Ghost of Christmas Present; David Warner as Bob Cratchit; Susannah York as Mrs. Cratchit; Roger Rees as Fred; and, as Jacob Marly: Frank Finlay –who would scare anyone into believing anything. Glorious.

 

XmasStory

A Christmas Story. Written by NYC’s Jean Shepard, who has a cameo in the film (He says: (To Ralphie) “The line starts back there.”) Yes, Ralphie and all the kids—good and bad, Ralphie’s Mom (Melinda Dillon, the wife in Close Encounters of the Third Kind), Dad (Darren McGavin, check his bio on www.Imdb.com), and grown up Ralphie (check his bio AND picture today in Imdb) –everybody is fantastic. Were your Christmas’ like this? If you have not seen it, do yourself a favor: watch it this year!

Miracle34St

Miracle on 34th Street. This is the film that, legally, answers the question once and for all: Is there a Santa Claus?   No smoke and mirrors, no magic trick, yes or no. You will like the answer and the way the story unfolds. Acting is fine and the black and white film won’t take away from your enjoyment. Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for his performance. You will enjoy it, too –even if you could not see it when it was first presented for your viewing pleasure in 1947.

XmasinWales

A Child’s Christmas in Wales. This may be hard to find. It was a TV movie (1987) based on the Dylan Thomas poem of the same name. Perhaps a local theater company may put on a production. The story: A family is celebrating Christmas and the young boy doesn’t want to go to sleep. He listens to his Grandfather tell of his Christmas’ of long ago. The Grandfather is planned by English actor, Denholm Elliott (A Room with a View), who is magnificent. A true family movie that will warm your heart and leave a happy tear in your eye. Give it a try. It’s worth your time.

Love Actually

Love Actually. This film is loved or avoided by everybody. The bottom line (IMO): A wonderful Rom-Com well written with a fantastic cast. Worth seeing if only to figure out which group you fall into or watch what seems like every English actor you’ve ever heard, and some you haven’t. Laugh with Bill Nighy (Billy Mack) or cry with Emma Thompson, enjoy the relationship of Colin Firth and Sienna Guillory (you do not know her, but you will remember her), and ask yourself: is that what happens when an X-rated film is made by Martin Freeman (The Hobbit –all 3, and Dr. Watson to Cumberbatch’s Holmes) and Heike Makatsch (try to remember her face). Fine writing and good acting with Christmas as a background for many stories.

 

 

Try any of my suggestions if you are still uncertain if you will like any of these productions. You might find a new Christmas pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Dog’s Life

Have you ever wondered how a dog (your dog?) perceives life? This article consists of cartoons by Charles Barsotti, whose drawings appeared in The New Yorker for more than 40 years. It can answer the question I just suggested. (Caution: I am a dog person –as some of my previous articles have shown.)

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Giving Thanks

 

Toppic

Thursday is Thanksgiving. I, like many of you, will sit down to a meal of turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, a variety of vegetables, and pumpkin pie (a la mode?). We may remember to say “thank you” to the pilgrims in Massachusetts (and the Indians who helped them survive), but all of us will have a list of thanks for the blessings that came our way in the past year. Here is a list of events for which I will say “thanks.”

Another year of marriage to Donna; our 38th.

There was no need to say “good-bye” to any family members or friends.

Another year of no major health problems (a la my back operation of 2013).

Our first full year with our 4th dog: Luna; it was a joy for all 3 of us.

Three new families moved into our neighborhood bringing 6 “new faces” with them. Their ages ranged from 1 to 7. Their names were: Maddie, Declan, Emma, Lily, Andrew, and Kerry. Luna greeted them all; most of them greeted her, as well.

A year of writing blog articles; Some of my favorites were: “Thank You, Chuck Berry;” “Dog Stories: Angus, Jake, Luna;” “From Zaharias to Ledecky;” “Paris, 1946;” “30 Years with Homer.”

Another fine year from CBS Sunday Morning, who welcomed their 3rd host (Jane Pauley) in 38 years.

Two exceptional television programs: Ken Burns’ “The Vietnam War” and “The Wizard of Lies” (with Robert DeNiro portraying Bernie Madoff).

Exactly enough ice cream from my favorite dairy farm, Merrymead, and Ben and Jerry’s (but what did they do with Chocolate Cherry Garcia?).

A great year of baseball. Starring The Houston Astros, Jose Altuve, Giancarlo Stanton, Max Scherzer, Corey Kluber, and many more.

Another great year of hamburgers (from Bruno’s, Red Robin, Five Guys, etc.)

Wonderful movies (eg, Beauty and the Beast and Get Out).

Finding another excellent screen writer: Taylor Sheridan. His work: “Wind River” (2017), “Hell or High Water” (2016), “Sicario” (2015).

 

 

What will you include in your “Thank You” list?

 

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Roy “Doc” Halladay: 1977 – 2017

Halladay1

On Tuesday, 11/7/17, Roy Halladay died when the plane he was flying, crashed. His wife and two sons were not on board. He had retired from baseball in 2013 after a 16 year career. He was 40 years old.

Chase Utley, former Philadelphia Phillies’ second baseman and Halladay’s teammate: “My heart hurts writing this. I can still remember the first day we met. It was 5:45 AM on the first day of Spring Training when I arrived. (The official starting time for players was 10:00 AM. Some arrive earlier.) He was finishing his breakfast but his clothes were soaking wet. I asked if it was raining when he got in. He laughed and said: “No. I just finished my workout.’ I knew right then he was the real deal.”

Utley is a fine ballplayer and a legendary hard worker with an eye for detail. A good base runner, but not the fastest man on the team, his career record for stolen bases is 151 steals in 172 attempts: a success rate of 88%. In 2009, he attempted 23 steals and was never caught. He had a good base running coach and took instruction well. He seldom made mistakes. In February of 2010, he met a man who worked harder than he did.

Success did not come immediately or easily for Halladay. After parts of 3 seasons in the major leagues, the Blue Jays returned him to the minors to rebuild his confidence and master a new pitching motion. He changed from an overhand, 4-seam fastball pitcher to a three-quarter arm motion, 2-seam fastball pitcher. In addition, later, Mariano Rivera taught him to throw a cut fastball. Later, back in the major leagues, his fastball slowed a bit. His response: use his off-speed pitches more often and improve his pitch control. The result was his continued effectiveness as a top notch pitcher.

Halladay’s work ethic was well known, but did his effort bring forth good results? Here are some statistics. His career spanned 16 years: 12 with the Toronto Blue Jays, 4 with the Philadelphia Phillies. He won 203 games and lost 105: a winning percentage of .659. He threw 67 complete games, leading the league 7 times. By comparison, the most complete games by a pitcher in the National League in 2017 was 2. Roy had 5 years in which he had over 200 strikeouts –but fewer than 40 walks. The most times any other pitcher did that was 3. He was one of 6 pitchers to win a Cy Young award in both leagues. For over a decade, he wondered how well he would pitch if he had a chance to pitch in Post-Season play. In 2010, he pitched the first game of the playoffs. He threw a no-hitter. It was only the second time anyone had done that.

In May of 2010, he pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history; he allowed no runs, no hits, no walks. Three months later, he commemorated the achievement by giving 60 Phillies teammates, coaches, the training staff and other support personnel engraved Baume & Mercier watches in boxes with the inscription: “We did it together. Thanks, Roy Halladay”

For his efforts, he was respected by opponents, revered by teammates, adored by fans, and loved by friends and family. Cole Hamels (teammate): “He made everybody better. Everyone rose to the best of their ability because of his effort.” Shane Victorino (teammate): “Blessed to have shared the field with you as a teammate, competitor, friend, and more importantly a brother.” Brad Lidge (teammate): “I think people really feel good when someone who works that hard gets rewarded. To see the success he had, it makes you feel like everything was right with the baseball world.” Dan Haren (pitching opponent): I wanted to be Roy Halladay.” The Phillies issued a statement that said: “There are no words to describe the sadness that the entire Phillies family is feeling over the loss of one of the most respected human beings to ever play for us.”

While he was playing in the big leagues, Halladay was a multiple time nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award given annually to a baseball player for work in his community. The organizations he supported provided food for Philadelphia’s poor and (along with Chase Utley) helped secure homes for rescue dogs.

When his playing career ended, he spent the Spring and Summer part-time in the Phillies organization mentoring young minor league pitchers. Also, he was the pitching coach at Calvary Christian High School, down the road from the Phillies’ Spring Training facility, as well as another team of young men. His 2 sons were on the teams with whom he worked.

After baseball’s 2018 season (ie, the necessary 5 years after he retired from baseball), the Hall of Fame voters will be permitted to consider including him in the Hall. The decision should be an easy one.

 

Halladay2

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Some other athletes who died in an airplane crash: Roberto Clemente, Thurman Munson, Rocky Marciano, Knute Rockne, the entire United States’ Figure Skating Team (1961), 14 members of the United States’ Amateur Boxing team (1980), Marshall University’s Football Team (1970).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TAP

Hines-Quote

When I think of tap dancing, I think of Gene Kelly (see below) “just singin’ and dancin’ in the rain” as he explains to a police officer what he is doing in that film’s famous dance number. Kelly had a 103 degree fever when that number was filmed. It did not seem to bother him.

 

KellyAstaire

And while I was too young to see Fred Astaire (see above) movies when they originally were in theaters, I saw the films when they came to television. I remember him dancing on the ceiling of a room. (Of course, he was not really doing that. The complete set on which the dancing took place ROTATED and Mr. Astaire made sure he was always dancing on a flat surface.) And I remember when he threw sand on his hotel room floor to soften the sound of his steps so he would not annoy a guest (ie, Ginger Rogers) in the room below his.

Hines

In the 1950s, variety shows on evening television (all 3 channels) often featured tap dancers (eg, Sammy Davis, Jr, the Hines brothers, Gergory and Maurice, with their Father, the Nicholas Brothers, Honi Coles, etc.). These experiences and a quote pointed me in the direction of a specific dancer. “Gene Kelly touched and inspired many people, notably Gregory Hines. (see above) Gene loved Gregory and spoke with warmth about him as a dancer and human being and about the terrific clarity and precision of his steps. The feeling was clearly mutual as evidenced in the tribute to Gene at the 1982 Kennedy Center Honors when Hines performed “I Got Rhythm” and “Fascinating Rhythm” in an homage to his friend and mentor.” Hines was a tap dancer, teacher, and actor on Broadway (receiving numerous Tony nominations in musicals) and in movies. His film credits included: The Cotton Club, Tap (yes, that was the film’s title), Running Scared (with an equally young and fit Billy Crystal), Wolfen (where he held his own with Finney), and White Nights (a dance film masquerading as a drama with Hines and Mikhail Baryshnikov (see below) matching each other step-for-step). He had his own television show in 1997-9. An exceptional talent, he taught and worked with Savion Glover.

Hines-Barsh

It could be said if you follow the evolution of “tap”, eventually you will arrive at Mr. Glover. He began teaching dancers when he was 14. “Glover had a heavy foot for tap. He (can) dance hard and loud in every step.” Kelly said “In our tap dancing, Fred (Astaire) represented the aristocracy and I represented the proletariat,” When told this and asked what style he represented, Glover said: “I represent the loud.”

His work with Hines occurred when he was very young. He was seen as a guest in many musical events (which can be found on You Tube). He was in Broadway’s “Jelly’s Last Jam” (choreographed by Gregory Hines and Ted Levy) in 1992. In 1996, he danced in, and was choreographer for, “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk”. He was nominated for Tonys in both roles, and won for Best Choreographer. In 2016, he was again nominated for a Tony as Choreographer of “Shuffle Along, or, the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed”. Reviewing the “Noise”, the New York Times said: “Mr. Glover meticulously and respectfully demonstrates many techniques, then blends them all into an exultant stylistic brew that belongs to no one but him. As dance, as musical, as theater, as art, as history and entertainment, there’s nothing Noise/Funk cannot and should not do.” And, finally, as Hines has stated: “Savion Glover is possibly the best tap dancer who ever lived.” Or, as I would put it: Savion Glover is more unique, creative, faster, and –occasionally—louder than anyone, period. (See below: Hines and Glover –young; Glover -now)

H-G-Red

SavionGlover

The bottom line is: I can talk and quote other people until you are tired of hearing how great Savion Glover is, but to truly appreciate his skill (and Gregory Hines’ as well) you must see and hear it. So, I will stop talking and suggest as strongly as I can that you go to You Tube, find these works, and enjoy yourself.

 

  1. Gregory Hines’ solo tap scene from White Nights (4 minutes).

2. Savion Glover at the White House (ignore Bill Clinton’s intro and watch Savion; if you want to skip Savion’s speech –while he catches his breath—and watch him and 4 other dancers tap in unison, tell me how they did it.)

3. Savion Glover’s Signature Demo. He finishes a glass of orange juice while standing on a roof top, then taps across the roof, down a flight of stairs, and across a room to refill his glass.

4. Dancing with Gregory Hines –joy2learn foundation. Now, DON’T PANIC = this is a 60 segment history of tap with each segment being 15 seconds to a minute+. Put time aside and treat yourself. You will admire Mr. Hines as a teacher, speaker, and dancer who can illustrate every tap step EVER.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baseball 2017: Awards

Baseball gives out awards in November: Most Valuable Player, Cy Young Award, Rookie of the Year. This article will be a discussion of the players most likely to contend for these awards.

MVP, American League. There are at least 6 players who had seasons fine enough to deserve discussion in this category. JOSE ABREU played for the Chicago White Sox, the 27th best of the 30 teams in MLB. He gave fans something to cheer about. He hit .304, with 82 EBH, including 33 home runs. He had 102 RBIs, his 4th consecutive year with 100 or more. And he led the AL in total bases (343). JOSE RAMIREZ improved on his fine 2016 season with an exceptional year of hitting. He batted .318, scored 107 runs, and led the AL in doubles (56) and EBH (91). FRANCISCO LINDOR continued to be the Indians’ energetic, talented heart. His fielding continued to amaze and his offensive skill improved its power. His EBHs rose from 48 to 81, including more than twice as many home runs as the year before (from 15 to 33). He’s 23 and still improving. MIKE TROUT’s year was shortened by 45 games because of a thumb injury. Even so, he still hit .306, with 33 home runs and stole 22 bases. He had the highest OBP (.442) and SLG (.629) in the AL. He left fans imaging how well he could have been if he had not missed a quarter of the year.

Altuve

But the MVP race came down to choosing between rookie AARON JUDGE and the leader of the Astros, JOSE ALTUVE. Judge, at 6’7” and 282 pounds, attracted attention immediately. And playing for the Yankees added to the publicity he received. He led the AL in homers (52 –breaking Mark McGwire’s record for a rookie), Runs Scored, walks, and strikeouts (well, at least he has something to improve upon). Except for a 6 week slump after the all-star game, he was worth the price of admission. Altuve, depending upon what you read, stands somewhere between 5’5” and 5’8” –and it’s a package full of talent, energy, and leadership. He won the batting title (.346) for the 3rd time in 4 years, and has had 200(+) hits in all 4 years. Plus he hit 24 homers in 2016/7. He was in Houston before their rebuild started, and now he leads them to their success. Either player is a fine choice for this award, but I’ll choose ALTUVE (see above) because he played and hit at a high standard all year long.

Stanton2

MVP, National League. As in the AL, the NL has players whose performance demands MVP consideration. When it comes to consistent excellence in hitting, you could not do better than to start with JOEY VOTTO. In 2017, he gave you homers (36), EBH (71), 100(+) RS and RBIs, and a fine BA (.320). He’s hit .300 in 9 of his 11 years. But he adds the ability to draw walks to his repertoire: a league-leading 134 this year –the fifth time he’s done that. That skill enabled him to lead the NL in OBP in 2017 –the 6th time he’s done so. When you talk offense, you often end up in Colorado. This year was no exception. NOLAN ARENADO has hit and hit with power for 3 seasons. In 2017, he had over 80 EBH (87) for the third time, led the NL in doubles (43), had 130 RBIS for the 3rd year in a row, but this year he had highs in BA (.309), OBP, and SLG, as well. Plus, he’s had 4 consecutive Gold Gloves (at third base), too. One dimensional? You’re thinking of someone else. His team mate, CHARLIE BLACKMON hit well in 2016, and even better in 2017. Name the category, and he improved in it (eg, RS, RBI, EBH, BA, OBP, and SLG). Plus, he led the NL in 5 things: BA (.331), hits (213), triples (14), runs scored (137), total bases (387). What will he do for an encore next year? PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT of the Arizona Diamondbacks plays first base with Gold Glove ability (twice) and has finished 2nd in MVP voting twice. In 2017, he repeated himself for a third time: 30+ homers (36), over 100 RBIs (120) and over 100 RS (117), 70+ EBH (75) –and he steals bases, too (15 – 32 a year; 2017 = 18). He’s very good –every year. Who can be more valuable than such players? My answer to that question is: GIANCARLO STANTON. (see above) In 2014, he was 2nd in MVP voting partly because he led the NL in homers with 37 and SLG with .555. But, this year, he led the NL in home runs (59 –that’s not a misprint), 132 RBIs, SLG (.631), and EBH (91). Plus, he was 2nd in RS (123) and total bases (377). This year, he gets my MVP vote.

Kluber

Cy Young Award, American League. A number of AL pitchers gathered the fans’ attention this Summer. LUIS SEVERINO, at 23, became the NYY best starter. His record was 14 – 6; he had an ERA of 2.98, pitched almost 200 innings, with 230 strikeouts. Watch for him in 2018. JUSTIN VERLANDER won 15 games –that makes 9 years he’s won that many games or more. He pitched 206 innings and struck out 219. Traded to Houston late in the year, his record was 5 – 0, with a 1.06 ERA. I don’t think he will be in contention for the Cy Young, but he’s got some mileage left. Two pitchers stood apart from the crowd all year long: COREY KLUBER and CHRIS SALE. How did they do, in comparison? Wins: Kluber 18; Sale 17. ERA: Kluber 2.25; Sale 2.90. Strikeouts: Sale 308; Kluber 265. Strikeouts/Walks: Kluber 7.361; Sale 7.163. WHIP: Kluber 0.869; Sale 0.970. Plus, Kluber missed some time for an injury and did pitch 3 shutouts. Heck, I rooted for the Phillies this year. I’ll take either of them. But in a forced choice, I want KLUBER. (see above)

Kershaw 

Cy Young Award, National League. Four names keep repeating themselves as I review NL pitchers’ stats. ZACK GREINKE did not equal his 3 years with the Dodgers, but improved on his Diamondbacks’ 2016 season. He was 17 – 7, with a 3.20 ERA. And he struck out 215 in 202.1. STEPHEN STRASBURG had another 15 – 4 year and improved in other numbers. His ERA was 2.52, he struck out 204 batters and had a great WHIP = 1.015. But once again, I thought an award came down to choosing between 2 players. CLAYTON KERSHAW and MAX SCHERZER. Kershaw missed time for a bad back again. It probably cost him a half dozen starts. (Is he going to leave baseball early because of his back? Remember Koufax and his elbow? Another great Dodger left-hander.) Here are some comparisons: Wins: Kershaw 18; Scherzer 16. ERA: Kershaw 2.31; Scherzer 2.51. Strikeouts: Scherzer 268; Kershaw 202. Strikeouts/Walks: Kershaw 6.733; Scherzer 4.873. WHIP: Scherzer 0.902; Kershaw 0.949. Once again, blindfold me and I’ll pick either one. But, if forced to choose: KERSHAW. (see above)

Rookie of the Year, American League. Is there anyone who does not see this coming? In the year that MLB hit more home runs than ever before, the 2 Rookies of the Year did their part to add to the home run total. But, first, a word about Andrew Benintendi. If you reviewed all previous winners of the ROY award, would they all be able to put up these stats: Games 151. BA .271. RS 84. RBI 90. HR 20. Stolen Bases 20 of 25. Remember Joe Charboneau? Anyone, anyone? So before I state the obvious, lift your glass of root beer and join me in a toast to Andrew. May he play long and prosper!

Judge

Now we can make it official: Aaron Judge (see above) is the unanimous choice of everybody. 52 home runs, 114 RBIs, 128 RS, 127 walks, a slash line of: .284/.422/.627 and he plays in NYC. So, moving on….

Bellinger

Rookie of the Year, National League. Quick! Who broke the rookie home run record of Wally Berger , 1930 Boston Braves and Frank Robinson, 1956 Cincinnati Reds? That’s right Cody Bellinger, (see above) when he hit number 39 this year. Does it matter that he hit .267 and had 97 RBIs? He will become the 18th Rookie of the Year who played for the Dodgers, Brooklyn or Los Angeles version. Jackie Robinson was the first in 1947 and Mr. Bellinger will be the latest. And if you wanted to field an all-Dodger rookie team, you could do so (You might have to play Junior Gilliam at third base but he was there at some point in his career.)

Who were your choices for the above awards?

 

 

 

   

 

  

 

 

 

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