Becker, EY, and Reggie

Three notables from an unusually carefree weekend:

“Boom! Boom!” — The first was the unexpected and thoroughly captivating Boris Becker documentary on Apple TV+, “Boom! Boom! The World vs. Boris Becker.” I had been following Becker’s legal woes but hadn’t read about the two-part documentary from Alex Gibney — but what a pleasant surprise.

I have been a Becker fan since he came more or less out of nowhere to win Wimbledon in 1985 and again in ’86 (AND in ’89.) He was the first professional athlete that was also my age, so that blew my mind then (and now.) The film was a time machine for me and it left me feeling bad for Becker yet hopeful that he can get his house in order right quick.

April 9, 1993 — I’ve been fortunate enough to attend some memorable baseball games in my life, Game 3 of the 1984 ALCS and Game 3 of that year’s World Series certainly top the list, as does Game 4 of the 2006 ALCS. But the game I saw in person 30 years ago this week tops them all — and that’s saying something.

April 9, 1993 was the Colorado Rockies’ inaugural home opener, played in the club’s temporary home, Mile High Stadium. It was not my first time at the home of the Broncos, three years earlier my brother and I attended a Triple-A Denver Zephyrs game against Buffalo.

The Rockies faced the Expos that afternoon, a clear, crisp spring day that, in the shade, was borderline cold. Luckily for us — my brother and my good friend Doug— we sat in the sun, about midway up the right-field bleachers, better known then to football fans as the South Stands, where the rowdy Broncos faithful harassed the opponent.

This version of the South Stands was much more polite and excited, at least until Rockies leadoff man Eric Young treated us to a first-inning homer. The home team knocked 18 hits and trounced Montreal, 11-4

It’s tough to beat all the elements we packed into that weekend: Doug and I driving straight through from Ann Arbor to Denver, getting to see my brother for a few days, and seeing baseball history on Opening Day.

Of course, Doug does a better job of recalling the week here.

Reggie. I really don’t watch as much TV as this post would lead one to believe. After seeing a preview online of Amazon Prime Reggie Jackson documentary, I was in. I’m a sucker for anything baseball related from the 1970s and ’80s — I can never get enough of the Swingin’ A’s of the early ’70s — and this offered a big, carb-heavy serving of it.

As I watched, I couldn’t remember my feelings for Reggie Jackson when I was growing up. My hunch is that I didn’t like him because he was a Yankee — reason enough back then. Yet, I think I kinda liked him … ? When he left New York for my beloved California Angels, well, he was all right in my book. Again: I think … ?

Now, he’s in the Astros’ front office which is, at best, unfortunate. Oh, and one thing is certain after watching this: I hope to never watch another segment about Reggie and Billy Martin.

Staying Positive

Here’s something else that I wish I’d written. This time from/by Fred Wilson:

For every negative thought, there is a positive counter thought. If you don’t like the Celtics, maybe you like the Knicks. If you don’t like Trump, maybe you like Biden. If you don’t like Bitcoin, maybe you like Ethereum. It is a pretty simple move, and also a very powerful move, to focus on what you like versus what you don’t like.

Doing this not only can change how others feel about you, it can change how you feel about yourself. I highly recommend it. I hope it becomes a trend. We would all be happier and nicer. Social media would be tolerable. Life would be better.

Six days, $3.76 and 2,313 miles

The Post Office has always amazed me. Less than a dollar to send a letter from Arizona to Maine?

Thanks to the availability of tracking numbers, I’m addicted to watching the progress of packages I’ve sent or I’m awaiting.

Occasionally, this is an exercise in head-scratching.

Last week, for example, I sold a small item on eBay and mailed it, first class, in a 4×6 padded envelope, to a buyer less than 30 miles away.

I dropped it in the mail on Friday, in time for pickup by my neighborhood mail carrier. My guess was that it would be delivered the next day, or Tuesday at latest given Monday was a holiday.

Instead, it went from Phoenix to Los Angeles (!) for two days and then to Denver (!!) for a day and a half. If the Post Office site is to be believed, the package is out for delivery this morning.

Far be it from me to tell the Post Office how to run its business, but six days, $3.76 and 2,313 miles* to deliver a package less than 30 miles away should probably not be marketed as First-Class Delivery.

*For what it’s worth, driving distance from Phoenix to Bangor, Maine, is 2,935 miles.

Spelling Bee, An Endorsement

Completing The New York Times Sunday Crossword, as in any Sunday’s edition, remains a goal of mine but to be frank it’s far down the list.

For now, I luxuriate in breezing through the Monday edition, wrestling with Tuesday’s and settling for knocking out the Daily Mini in less than 30 seconds.

Lately my wife and I have been co-playing the Times’ Spelling Bee game, which has a simple if not challenging premise: How many words can you make with 7 letters?

Until last week, I thought I had achieved the highest ranking possible, Genius.

It turns out that a higher level exists: Queen Bee, in which a player makes all possible words from the seven letters.


That can mean only one thing: Solving the Sunday Crossword just got knocked farther down the list.