SEC baseball. For the fifth time ever two teams from the same conference will face in the final of the College World Series when LSU and Florida go at it tonight. (Previous times: 1988 - Stanford beat Arizona State; 1997 - LSU beat Alabama; 1998 - USC over Arizona State; 2011 - South Carolina over Florida.)
The Dodgers. Wow, the Dodgers are humming. HUM-ming. They have won 10 straight with a weekend sweep over Colorado and notched a couple of pretty interesting stats along the way. First, rookie sensation Cody Bellinger homered in the eighth inning Sunday. He now has 24 homers in the first half of the season, the most by an NL rookie before the All-Star game ever. Also, with his 11th win of the season - a 4-0 victory on Friday - Clayton Kershaw is now 93-0 in the regular season when he gets at least four runs of support.
Jordan Spieth. Dude holed out from the bunker in a playoff to win the Travelers. Good times. Better times for the game of golf which needs a) its young stars competing, and b) exciting highlights and dramatic finishes like Spieth's.
Chattanooga sports scene on Saturday night. The CFC won again. The Lookouts are cooking, too, winners of seven straight and 13 of their last 14. Saturday night a close to full house at AT&T saw another close Lookouts win. (Side note: Yes, we all think the buzz is cool around the CFC, but did you know that the Lookouts draw more head-to-head during regular-season games? Crazy right?)
Michael Chandler and the guy working his corner during Saturday's MMA lightweight title fight. Chandler was a 9-to-1 favorite but lost when the ref called the fight. After Chandler rolled his ankle - and his opponent Brent Primus wisely made the most of the ankle injury - the ref called timeout to let Chandler's corner look at his ankle. Chandler then gets up to shoot at his opponent and the corner takes away his stool. He tries to sit back down thinking the stool was there but falls to the canvas, and the referee then stops the fight, much to Chandler's outrage.
Meet the Press. Bernie Sanders was on the erstwhile NBC panel show and host Chuck Todd failed to ask Bernie a single question about the known FBI investigation into the Vermont senator and his wife. Not a single one.
Love. Apparently they still race NASCAR. Good for them. (That makes me think of that great scene from Major League, when the old lady at the swanky dinner party says, "I didn't realize they still had a team in Cleveland." To which, Jake Taylor says, "Yeah, we have uniforms and everything.) Anywho, at the NASCAR event at Sonoma, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. lost control of his ride and spun out his girlfriend Danica Patrick. Egad, that could make for a tough Sundayevening.
Julio Teheran (at least in Smyrna). Teheran, who is pencilled in as the Braves ace, has been wretched in the team's new home. He's lost six straight decisions there after Sunday's three-inning, seven-run, seven-hit setback to the Brewers. That said, the Braves are playing pretty strong of late, having won seven of their last nine. (Teheran got both of those losses, and has lost six consecutive decisions at home. His splits: He's 1-6 with a 7.58 ERA at home in nine starts; he's 5-0 with a 2.89 ERA on the road in seven starts.)
Columbia Fireflies ownership. Yes, that's the same group that owns the Lookouts, and at the same time that the Lookouts notched their first sell-out of the season, the New York Mets promoted some cat named Tebow. How much had the Tebow-effect helped the Fireflies? Last year, in 69 home games, the Fireflies averaged 3,785 per game. This year - after drawing more than 8,300 to a stadium with a listed capacity of 7,501 - the Fireflies are averring a South Atlantic League best 5,308.
As we just mentioned, Tim Tebow was promoted to high-A baseball over the weekend.
No, the movings and shakings of the 29-year-old minor leaguers hitting below .230 normally do not meet the level of interest to be 5-at-10 fodder. But Tebow - and his circumstances - are hardly normal.
There are folks bellyaching about this and if you are part of the outraged "he does not deserve to be playing" group, well, that's fine. He's 29 - which was seven years older than the average age of the low-A competition he was facing - and he's hitting .220 with three homers and 69 strikeouts in 214 at-bats. And he got promoted.
Want to know why? Baseball is a business, and the Mets - who are awful this year and have been ravaged by injuries to several key contributors - are a business. And Tebow moves tickets and jerseys and hats and everything else.
How is that a bad thing?
Is he potentially resented by his teammates? Maybe. Is he going to make the Majors? It's very unlikely, unless the Mets need to move tickets come September. But don't pretend like if Tebow gets a September call up you are not going to pay attention to see how many times he strikes out or if he can touch MLB pitching.
It also makes me wonder, I can't recall Jordan getting this kind of backlash for a very similar type of attempt that produced very similar results in terms of baseball.
It also is worth noting that Tebow's promotion is the exact baseline of business that has worked against Colin Kaepernick getting a gig.
There is little argument that Tebow's baseball production has been lacking, just like there is little argument that Kaepernick's skill sets and stats are better than several quarterbacks who have already signed free-agent deals. But the basic building block of business tells us that one puts people in seats and one would cause people to not go.
That's why one got promoted and one is still looking for a job.
You can put whatever name you want on, and some even use terms that have the dreaded isms on the back of them.
For us, we'll call it business. Or BID-ness if you so prefer.
This and that
* Love or loath John McEnroe says what he's thinking. When interviewed on NPR, McEnroe says Serena Williams is the greatest all-time women's player ever. And that she would be ranked around 700 if she tried to play the men's circuit.
* Side question: When does Charles Barkley get an interview to be a GM. Because it appears pro teams are now turning to TV studio analysts to run their teams. Louis Riddick is rumored to be a name the Chiefs want to speak with and Chauncey Billups reportedly has an offer from Cleveland.
* Mea culpa: Having listened to a couple of interviews this morning with Phil Mickelson, we were wrong. We questioned his decision about skipping the U.S. Open to attend his daughter's graduation. It's not like it was the birth of a child, but listening to Mickelson - and with the knowledge that his daughter was giving the class speech - he 100 percent made the right decision for him and his family. That said, where is the accepted line for personal decisions/sports commitment? What if a quarterback missed a Super Bowl because of child birth? Would we excuse/applaud/question that? Thoughts?
* Thought this quote from Patriots owner Robert Kraft to the New York Post on streaming NFL games was quite telling - and far and away the most important detail facing ESPN and all of TV sports partners: "The thing we have to be careful of is millennials. They don't watch TV, they don't have TVs or subscribe to cable. So we have to bring that audience in. Partly it's done through fantasy games and linking to that." He also added that the NFL will be "very interested" to see how the games do on Amazon, because it will be on Amazon Prime, a subscriber service.
* Just passing along some info: The Donald Trump robot in the Disney Hall of Presidents attraction is taking longer than expected to complete. (Insert Disney left-leaning joke here.)
* Martellus Bennett has played for some great QBs, including being a part of the Patriots' Super Bowl victory last year. Still, Bennett says his current QB - one Aaron Rodgers - is the best he's ever played with.
Weekend winners and losers. Go
On this day in 1896, the first movie theater opened in the U.S. in New Orleans. Admission was a dime.
Derek Jeter is 43 today.
Cher divorced Sunny on this day in 1975, and Elizabeth Taylor got divorced on this day in 1974. (Of course, since Liz had like 43 husbands, that kind of is going to happen every now and then.)
In honor of those two, let's do Rushmore of most famous celebrity divorces.