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A done deal is neither done, nor a deal
I started watching Bachelor in Paradise a couple of summers ago. It will never be mistaken for the height of televised art, but the show manages to keep viewers just hooked enough by the prospect of people hooking up or pairing off as the show makes its winding march toward fantasy suites. To be sure, it’s a kind of weird edging that none of us actually needs, while fans wait for the next actual Bachelorette or Bachelor cycle to resume.
Similarly, the Carlos Correa free agency saga is over (we think), with the shortstop returning to the Minnesota Twins (for now) after deals with the Giants and Mets collapsed like so many busted ankles. This sort of “will-they, won’t they” drama is uncharacteristic for baseball. In spite of the large sums of money being splashed around, baseball owners are actually quite risk-averse and pursue the sure things; they’re not given to moving ahead with loose ends hanging, and this was one hell of a loose end.
Not since the pursuit of DeAndre Jordan by the Dallas Mavericks (and subsequent barricading by his incumbent team, the Los Angeles Clippers) have we seen such high drama in free agency on these shores. Shenanigans like this are baked into the lore of football’s transfer windows (often referred to as the “silly season”) which take place in August and January every year. My favourite story was when my club signed a player right from under a local rival’s nose, after the rival had just flown the player into London for a physical and administered the physical (there’s even a fan chant about this).
The Correa situation provided so much fodder for observers of the game, it’s almost sad that it’s been resolved (allegedly). When there aren’t games being played on the field, the off-field stuff is all we have. And when the offseason activity comes with a sense of gamesmanship, it’s quite entertaining, especially when your team isn’t at risk of being screwed over. But of course, there’s no way to know for sure unless you watch right to the end.
As neutral observers, we definitely welcome more shithousing like this in North American sports. It adds a layer of intrigue and lols as long as we’re not left holding the bag.
Today is January 11, i.e., 1/11, so all today’s questions will have something to do with 1s and/or 11s and/or 1911 and/or 2011, and maybe even the span between 1911 and 2011. Enjoy! (Or don’t, we’re not your dads!)
Aside from the late, great Tony Fernandez (pictured), who wore #1 for the Toronto Blue Jays from 1983-1990, again in 1993, 1998, 1999, and in 2001, name at least three players who have worn #1 for Toronto and made at least one All-Star appearance over the course of their careers (not necessarily with Toronto).
According to Basketball Reference, 21 different NBA players have worn #11 this season. Who are the only two to have worn #1 at a previous point in their careers?
Among non-active or retired NFL players who primarily wore #1 or #11 over the course of their careers, Larry Fitzgerald has made the most Pro Bowl appearances, with — wait for it — 11. What player is at the top of the list among active NFL players?
Between the 2001-02 season and the 2011-12 season, 18 NHL players scored 250+ regular season goals. Of those 18 players, two wore #11 at least once. Who are they?
Answers from last week’s issue
What baseball player released his major label debut, The Journey Within, on June 22, 2003, while he was still an everyday starter?
As fans of The West Wing might know, former Yankees CF Bernie Williams is an accomplished guitarist and has released The Journey Within (2003) and Moving Forward (2009). We think it is insane that he hasn’t used “sweet chin music” as a song or album title, but accept that the universe cannot be willed to do anything.
What former pitcher was or is the lead singer of punk bands Scared Straight, Ten Foot Pole, and Pulley?
Scott Radinsky had a solid career in the big leagues while also staying true to his Simi Valley, CA punk rock roots. Related: “One Shot,” from Pulley’s 1996 debut Esteem Driven Engine, still slaps.
What name is synonymous with both a progenitor of and major figure in drill rap and a baseball player who played in the city said progenitor is associated with?
Chicago rapper Chief Keef is also known as Sosa, which is Sammy Sosa’s last name. (ICYMI, Sammy Sosa played in Chicago for the majority of his career.) As hip-hop heads know, Keef’s “Sosa” isn’t a Sammy Sosa reference, but rather a reference to Bolivian drug kingpin Alejandro Sosa from Scarface.
What former NHL player (who later became a head coach, and later still, an executive) recorded two albums in the early 1970s?
Before he was a head coach lobbing donut-related barbs at Don Koharski, Jim Schoenfeld was a Buffalo Sabres defenceman who recorded Schony (1972) and The Key is Love (1974) with John Valby before Valby became better known as Dr. Dirty.
What rap group’s single hit the Top 40 in the summer of 1993 based largely on a guest verse recorded by then-rookie Shaquille O’Neal?
“What's Up Doc? (Can We Rock)” by Fu-Schnickens was the lead release off the group’s Nervous Breakdown (1994) and featured some actually excellent work by Shaq Diesel. With due respect paid to the soft diss the Big Aristotle aimed at both Christian Laettner and Alonzo Mourning, our favourite lyric from his verse is “Forget Tony Danza, I’m the boss / When it comes to money, I’m like Dick DeVos.” Now deceased, DeVos owned the Orlando Magic when Shaq played for them (and after he left).
What active NFL player’s rap career includes a track called “Heavy 1s,” featuring lyrics like: “ain’t no vaccination for me, only evacuation save ’em homie” and album art symbolizing his “heavy nuts.”
RIP Padres legend Nate Colbert, franchise home run leader and MLB record holder with five dongers in a doubleheader.
Many thanks to Darryl “Chocolate Thunder” Dawkins for being named his name and to you for being named your name, unless your name is Quay Walker, who appears to be shoving his way to a rookie record for most ejections.
Until next week, be the Ezequiel Carrera you wish to see in the world.