Sunday Morning Coffee — June 26, 2022 — Sunday Morning Scramble

EWTF? I mean really what’s going on in our country, our society, when public schools and places of worship are no longer safe and secure sanctuaries? It’s one thing to listen to the news and shake our collective heads when we hear incident after incident. It’s another when it hits close to home. And I’ve had two of those in three weeks. On Saturday, June 4 here in our Las Vegas community of Summerlin, we had an intruder come to Temple Sinai and try to talk his way in while Shabbat services were underway. He said he wanted to learn Hebrew. From security photos, he wasn’t the type of guy you’d want sitting at your seder table. Fortunately, it never progressed beyond a verbal confrontation with our security force outside of the building. Denied entry he threatened to come back, allegedly with a weapon, but fortunately never did. The police apprehended him three days later, before releasing him under the auspices of a misunderstanding. On June 16 the folks at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama, weren’t as fortunate. The church is located less than a mile from where Andi and I lived for twenty years. We had to pass St. Stephen’s every time we either left or came back into our subdivision. During a congregational dinner, three were murdered by a fellow diner. One was the aunt of a longtime colleague of ours at Medjet. The shooter entered the premises with packages of shrimp cocktail for the dinner, a bottle of scotch and a handgun. Which begs the question, a sad one, on what kind of security protocols did the church have in place? At our temple, we have a security guard out front and a metal detector that everyone, no exceptions, has to pass through. Had the church had a similar arrangement, and I can only speculate they didn’t, would that simple inconvenience have saved three innocent lives? So senseless. So WTF.

If you are coming to Vegas don’t rent a car. Instead, ride share or walk. Nevada gas prices have just surpassed Hawaii to become second highest in the country, right behind California, at an average of $5.64 a gallon. That’s a casino red chip and some change.

Pro-choice Nevada has long been the nation’s wedding capital but now will also become a destination for women’s right to choose.

Back in my day they were school Principals. Today, trendy, they’re now the Heads of School.

Sting in his sartorial splendor.

Date night two weeks ago was at Caesars. Dinner at The Palm and then into the Colosseum for two enjoyable hours with Sting. Sadly, I checked the next day and Jos. A. Bank is out of those snappy canary yellow leisure suits.

All steakhouses are overpriced, and The Palm is no exception, but it’s nothing like the price of a recent lunch in NYC. An anonymous bidder paid $19 million for him and seven of his friends to have lunch with Warren Buffet at Smith & Wollensky’s steakhouse. The annual charitable fund raiser was started by Mr. Buffet’s late wife Susie in 2000. This year’s winning bid is over four times greater than the $4.5 million in 2019, the last time the event was held, pre-Covid. Sure hope the bidder asked for a dessert menu.

From the ‘they are only fibbing if their mouths are moving’ department. I ran into Pete DeBoer, former head coach of our NHL team the Vegas Golden Knights, a couple of weeks ago at our golf club. He had been fired a week earlier. We gabbed for a few minutes and then I asked what he was going to do next. He told me he was looking forward to taking a year off, play more golf and enjoy the Vegas area while collecting one more year of a handsome payout from the Knights. Oops, that didn’t last long. The Dallas Stars waved a four year, four million a year deal in front of DeBoer last Monday. All of a sudden relaxing and golfing for a year didn’t look as appealing.

If you didn’t see the CBS News Special Watergate: High Crimes in the White House, stream it. Probably more fascinating today than it was 50 years ago this summer. Engaging, dark, deceitful, revealing and corrupt wrapped up in a two hour factual and comprehensive summary hosted by Leslie Stahl with Woodward and Bernstein commentary. Worth a watch.

And one more if you didn’t see it is the current edition of HBO’s Real Sports and the profile that Mary Carillo did on Chris Evert in her personal and family battle with ovarian cancer. Pretty moving.

If you are looking for a good, down the middle news site, give a look.

And on that subject, why do people feel the need to force their politics on me? It happens all the time— on the golf course, at dinner, at social gatherings and then the emails I get almost daily championing a position. I work really hard at keeping my preferences to myself, especially in this space where I try to be an equal opportunity basher. Sure, I have my beliefs on the hot-button issues of the day and partisan preferences, but it remains personal. Don’t infringe your values on me and I promise I won’t on you. I do however have good news for both the Biden and Trump bashers on each side of the aisle: neither one will be our next president.

Gerber baby Ann Turner Cook then and a few years later.

We all knew her by face but not by name. Ann Turner Cook died last week at the age of 95. Since 1928 she has been the image on all Gerber baby food products.

For some reason, on a whim, we went to a Korean BBQ joint for dinner on Wednesday night. Never again. Why would I want plates of raw meat tossed my way to cook? Way too much work and contrary to a pleasant dining experience. It’s one and done.

In baseball it’s hard enough to win one game, just ask the Cincinnati Reds, never mind 44 in a row. Unless you pull for St. Mary’s Prep in Orchard Lake, Michigan, who concluded their season a perfect 44-0. The Eagles finished as the number one ranked high school baseball team in the nation.

And as long as summer is now officially here, some other baseball notes:

The Pacific Coast League, the highest minor league loop out West, has changed both the size and distance of its bases. The bases are now 18 inches in diameter, from 15, with the hope of reducing collisions and injuries. The distance between the bags is now 87 feet, from 90, to try and encourage more base stealing and excitement. We are reminded of the words penned by the late, great sportswriter Red Smith who once wrote, “90 feet between bases is perhaps as close as man has ever come to perfection.” No longer if you are playing in the PCL.

I probably knew this once upon a time, but like so many other things have forgotten it. The only player in major league history to hit a walk-off inside the park grand slam home run was my favorite player as a kid, the Pirates Roberto Clemente. It happened on July 25, 1956. Clemente was 20 and in his second year in the bigs; I was four and still staring at Ann Turner Cook. The Pirates trailed the Cubs 8-5 in the bottom of the ninth. Two walks and a base hit by Bill Virdon loaded the bases. Chicago brought Jim Brosnan in to pitch to Clemente with nobody out. He hacks at the first pitch and puts the ball over left fielder Jim King. The ball hits the wall and rolls toward center field. Clemente in his speedily awkward, hands flapping, running gait was off to the races. He ignores third base coach Bobby Bragan’s stop sign and heads home. Ernie Banks captures the relay from center fielder Solly Drake and throws to catcher Hobie Landrith. Clemente beats the throw but over-slides the plate. He reaches back before Landrith can apply the tag. Game winner. Walk off slam. The only one ever.

And before we leave the grand slam aisle, we must acknowledge Texas Rangers teammates Toby Harrah and Bump Wills who in 1977 hit the only back-to-back four bases in the game’s long history.

One last baseball note. Imagine the parlay odds you could have gotten on this father-son combo: Vladimir Guerrero Sr., who retired in 2011, hit 87 home runs in his first 403 career games. His son Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who presently plays for the Toronto Blue Jays, hit 87 home runs in his first 403 games. That’s a big deal. But it almost pales in comparison to Cecil and Prince Fielder. Cecil, the dad, a UNLV product who debuted in 1985 with Toronto and won a World Series with the Yankees in 1996 and retired an Indian in 1998. He slugged 319 career homers. Prince, the son, who broke in with the Brewers in 2005 and retired as a Ranger in 2016, also hit 319 career homers. That’s good enough to tie with Pops for 122nd on the all-time dinger list. Now that’s incredible.

I have no problem with any golfer who wants to make more money bettering themselves. So no issue at all with the guys going to play on the LIV Golf tour. I originally thought the PGA was being a bully by denying them from playing on the big stage. But the more I think about it, the PGA is private and can choose to associate with any independent contractor they desire. Somewhere there has to be a middle for both sides and we’ll eventually get there. Meanwhile, do you know what LIV stands for? It’s the Roman numeral 54, as all LIV Golf events are 54 holes with no cut.

Strongly disagree with Wimbledon banning all Russian tennis players, including men’s top seed Daniil Medvedez, from the fortnight which begins tomorrow. To be consistent, I hope they also bar Russian ticket holders from attending and remove all the Stolichnaya from the grounds. No doubt that will bring Putin to his knees.

And finally, a few mornings ago I walked into the locker room at the gym and there was a 20-something fumbling with a hair dryer trying to get it started. He asked me if I knew how to use it. I laughed. “Kid, take one look at my head. Do you really think I know anything about hair dryers?”


  • Bill Floyd says:

    Roy, if I have ever engaged in a political conversation with you (I honestly don’t remember), I apologize. However, whatever I may I have said, I am sure I meant it. And, boy am I happy to hear that neither Biden or Trump will be our next President. One lacks sense and the other lacks brains. I will let you decide which is which. Another great “Sunday Morning Coffee”. Thanks.

  • James says:

    Petrol now $11 a Gallon here in London………Bit to go to catch up?

  • Paul Metlin says:

    Roy, such great information. It’s so unfortunate we r at this point in our lives…Just stay healthy and we must go with the flow.

  • martin robertson says:

    Interesting read as always Roy and I write this within walking distance of the birthplace of Mr Sumner.

    Lord Stanley’s silverware will have its home for the next 12 months by the end of this week and I was with you when you picked the Avs to reach the final all those weeks back. I thought your heart might have been ruling the head with the Rangers pick but they got further than I thought (I had the Canes to beat them in round 2 on my bracket).

    And by the way I, for one am a great fan of Roman numerals puns.


  • Thomas Turner says:

    Three feet less to run from first to second base…hmm, now that will encourage older guys to attempt the steal. I have a bad feeling about that.

  • Ken Rich says:

    I agree on the fact Medvedev, Rublev, Khachanov, Ivashka, and Karatsev should be playing and the other players agree with us. The women’s side of the draw is even more affected. It will be a diluted field which is unfair to the sport, players and spectators. It is a shame that politics has chosen sports as a stage.

  • Ed Rogers says:

    Why no coverage of USFL?

  • Roy Berger says:

    We draw the line on events that host under 100 people including families and vendors.

  • Betty Anne Cooper says:

    Good morning Roy,
    It astounds me how much I learn from you.
    I went to my very first baseball game on Thursday night at Las Vegas ballpark. The aviators did not win, however you couldn’t tell that by me. I did not understand one iota of what was happening. It seemed goofy, so long and beyond confusing. I loved the club level and our amazing seats. It was the most glorious night to sit outside and enjoy whatever it was that I saw there. So now I can just take all those Baseball words out of your
    blog and seem brilliant about baseball. Three guys were sitting next to me absolutely hysterical about the questions I was asking. They said “we want to buy you a drink.” I hope those guys are there again if I ever go again.

  • Roy Abrams says:

    Great blog as usual. That walk off inside the park grand slam was fascinating as only has ever happened….ever.

    I don’t think the phrase “walk off” was even created at that time.

  • Tom Teates says:

    “Russian tennis players may not be allowed to play at Wimbledon unless they denounce Vladimir Putin, according to the British government. This would include Russian born Daniil Medvedev”

    Well, Roy you must have forgotten September 1, 1939. How about German tennis players playing at Wimbledon? They didn’t. The slaughter of innocent Ukrainians must have escaped your attention.

  • Bondo says:

    I am sure our fellow club member JD will be happy to know your feelings on Korean BBQ since he owns 5 of them here in Vegas. I love the experience 😂

  • Roy Berger says:

    It actually was one of his places. Oh well, our first try at it and not for us. If he opens a good bagel shop, we are all in!

  • Roy Berger says:

    Ah, but fortunately the National Hockey League doesn’t subscribe to a certain blog responders thinking. The Ruskies are all over the Stanley Cup Finals played in two American cities.

  • Sean Gallagher says:

    Another great blog. Reading this is one way I have of not letting aholes piss me off.

  • mike stange says:

    Did not have a chance to read it Sunday morning but I can assure you it is just as good Monday morning…

  • Art Greenberg says:

    Very interesting info, as I have seen from all the SMC blogs that have come my way, How do you find time to do your other important duties, like golf and the important highly paid position at Temple Sinai??? I sure hope we are not overpaying you for Sinai duties.
    I enjoy the informational facts you continue to dig up. I too believe that neither the former ahole or the current dimwit will be our leader after 2024. BUT, I am getting closer to a vote for RB. With Sinai on his resume and blogs like these I think we will be able to kick you upstairs in 3 years. You will be just the right age to tackle DC.

  • Roy Berger says:

    No thank you sir.

  • adam rovit says:

    Don’t give up on korean BBQ there are some quality places that cook it for you

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