This week, the person we're throwing in the lake is: Me.
On the day of the Rockies home opener this past season, I was asked by KOA radio (Denver) if the local team could make the playoffs.
Playoffs? Were they smoking rope? The Rockies lost their best player -- Matt Holliday -- had a poorer pitching staff and were coming off a rotten 2008.
"I will tongue-bathe the Capitol dome if the Rockies make the playoffs," I said, smugly.
By the middle of May, I was looking clairvoyant. The Rockies were 10 games under .500 and about to fire their manager, Clint Hurdle. My tongue was safe.
But then the Rockies hired Jim Tracy and started playing like they all showered daily at Lourdes. They wound up 22 games above .500 and won the wild-card entry in the National League.
Me and my dome ideas.
A man is only good as his word. So, Tuesday afternoon, with a bottle of Purell, a bottle of Scope, Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr. and Denver mayor John Hickenlooper, I climbed the 96 steps from the third floor of the capitol building to the dome, as a man might to his own hanging.
The dome is the size of an Applebee's restaurant. I'd need to be Gene Simmons to tongue bathe the whole thing.
My wife, Cynthia, gave me a kiss. "Don't expect another for a long time," she said.
Nobody was ever meant to be inside the dome, but there we were among the unfinished planks and rickety walks. The window I was to lean out was floor-to-ceiling, with nothing to hang onto, and nobody brought any ropes or harnesses. Should a man die simply because he has a big mouth?
My son held on to one belt loop and the governor had the other as I leaned out. The gold-plated part is a good foot from the window, so I had to lean out well over a precipitous 100-foot drop, which was terrifying. Not to me, to Hickenlooper. He's afraid of heights.
"No! This is crazy! Get back in here!" he kept saying.
But I leaned out far enough -- thank you, Levi's -- pretended the dome was a Dairy Queen butterscotch-dipped cone and took a large St. Bernard lick. It was gritty and metallic and dusty. In the 119-year history of the dome, I guess I'm the first guy to know that.
The governor and my son pulled me back in by my loops and a man from KOA said, "So, what did it taste like?"
"Crow," I said.
In a gesture of sportsmanship, the Warner Robins (Ga.) girls softball team gave out commemorative pins to each of the players on the Crawford (Texas) team before the final of the Little League Softball World Series. In a gesture of unsportsmanship, the Crawford team gave the Warner Robins girls a business card with hitting instructions, as well as a card that read: "Don't Mess with Texas!"
In reality, though, Warner Robins had no problem messing with Texas. It clobbered Crawford, 14-2, to win the title. So in you go, Crawford, enjoy the lake.
And the splashdown goes to ... Henderson, Nev., Little League manager Todd Slusher, a shining beacon for coaches who want to take it way too seriously.
Here's what happened, according to Little League Baseball:
Slusher and his Legacy team were ahead of a team from Arizona, 7–6, in the top of the sixth and final inning. Problem was, Slusher still hadn't played one kid. The rules insist that each kid play at least one inning in the field and bat once. Oops!
So, Slusher, in trying to avoid a two-game suspension, "instructed his players to play poorly so that one run would score" according to Lance Van Auken, Little League's vice president of communications.
Suddenly, Legacy started playing like the 1962 Mets.
The Legacy pitcher walked the first batter, who advanced to third on two straight passed balls. Gee, of all the rotten luck.
But then the Legacy pitcher started throwing strikes, whiffing the next two hitters. So the Legacy catcher took over. He threw back to the pitcher wildly and over his head, but the Arizona runner on third didn't score. So the catcher did it again. This time, the Arizona kid did score, tying the game. Then Legacy got the third out -- lucky! -- allowing Slusher to play his one last kid.
Slusher denies he had his kids tank. "It's not like we never have any passed balls," he said. It's just how things worked out, he said.
Legacy wound up winning the game 12-9 in extra innings, but afterward, Slusher was suspended indefinitely by Little League Baseball.
Funny how things work out.
The more athletes use Twitter, the more their agents must want to chew holes in the furniture.
Take Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth, who pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter after killing a Miami man while driving drunk. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for the entire 2009 season Thursday.
Stallworth reacted on his Twitter page thusly:
"I'M A LITTLE WOUNDED, BUT I'M NOT SLAIN; I WILL LAY ME DOWN 4A WHILE 2 BLEED, THEN I'LL RISE & FIGHT WITH YOU AGAIN." Then, in an aside to his teammates: "STAY HEALTHY, GOOD LUCK THIS SEASON!!! I'M WATCHIN EVERY F--KIN GAME."
Uh, you're a little mixed up, dude. Mario Reyes, the 59-year-old man you ran over in your Bentley, is the one who's slain. He will not rise again. He will not be watchin' every f--kin game.
Maybe being thrown in the lake will refresh your memory.
I believe we've found the dumbest crook working in America today.
His name is Christopher James Carolan, 22, and he pled no contest to stealing a signed Michael Jordan jersey from the home of Spurs All-Star guard Tony Parker and his wife, actress Eva Longoria Parker.
Carolan's job was to work security at the home while the couple was on vacation. But police say he stole the jersey and then tried to sell it on Craigslist. Its estimated worth is $20,000, but Carolan -- the genius -- asked $500, and settled for $120.
The jersey was recovered and Carolan is in jail, awaiting sentencing.
So into the lake you go, Chris. We hope you're a better swimmer than you are a fencer.
Jump on in, Michael Taris of Levittown, PA. You've been a busy guy. Not only have you held jobs as a male escort, a male massage therapist and a professional wrestler, 7-Eleven says you tried to rip them off. According to the Pennsylvania State Attorney General's office, you saw a "small splash of coffee" on the tile floor of a Levittown 7-Eleven in 2007 and staged a very big fall to make it look like you'd slipped. Then they say you filed a bogus claim that you'd injured your neck and back. Except wrestling fans kept seeing you doing atomic leg drops and spinebusters in the ring. You're not particularly smart, are you, Michael? You've been charged with insurance fraud and criminal attempted theft by deception. So into the lake you go, Mikey. But just for us, could you make it a triple-jump moonsault?
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