Schmuck stops: My takes on the 'white' Sox flap, the Preakness and an Orioles team only a mother could love

News item: Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora insisted after Wednesday night’s extra-inning victory over the Orioles that the decision by about half his team to skip Thursday’s White House world championship celebration was not an indication that the clubhouse is fractured along political or racial lines.

My take: Not sure star pitcher David Price would agree, since he was the one who retweeted and endorsed a Twitter comment by a Boston columnist that suggested the guys showing up to visit Donald Trump were mostly the “white” Sox.


News item: Improbable is expected to be the favorite to win the Preakness next weekend after getting boxed out and finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby.

My take: I put all my eggs in that basket last week and lost a bundle, but I can guarantee I won’t make that mistake again. I don’t have any money left.


News item: The rebuilding Orioles entered the weekend with a surprisingly competitive 9-12 record against the American League East and a dismal 4-12 record against everybody else.

Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini figures to be a very nice trade chip come midseason, but he doesn't want to go anywhere — not even an odds-on World Series contender.

My take: In fact, if it weren’t for those six fireworks displays by the Minnesota Twins, the Orioles would be a pretty consistent .400 team.

News item: Japanese two-way star Shohei Ohtani has returned to the Los Angeles Angels lineup after undergoing Tommy John surgery last October. He got his first hits of the season Thursday and will serve as the designated hitter this weekend when the Angels visit Camden Yards.

My take: If you’re not intrigued by the nascent Orioles rebuilding project, there are still four good reasons to take your family to the ballpark this weekend — Mother’s Day, the budding Japanese Babe Ruth and future Hall of Famers Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

News item: Superstar receiver Odell Beckham Jr. told a writer from GQ this week that he wants to turn the Cleveland Browns into the “new Patriots.”

My take: It’s a nice thought. Everybody else outside of New England would be happy if the real Patriots would just hurry up and get old.

News item: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently gave Jason Garrett the ultimate vote of confidence, saying Garrett has the potential to become the longest-tenured head coach in franchise history.

The last couple of weeks have sucked the wind out of the Preakness, which should be a cautionary tale for the people who want to move it to Laurel Park.

My take: Garrett only needs to coach the Cowboys for another 21 years to pass Tom Landry, who just rolled over in his grave and can’t stop laughing.

Bonus take: That said, if Garrett were to coach for a couple more decades, he would probably be even money to eventually win his first Super Bowl.

News item: Free-agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel told Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports that he has gotten contract offers that agent Scott Boras wanted him to accept, but is willing to sit out the whole season on “principle” if he cannot get a deal he feels represents his fair market value.

My take: I admire anyone who stands up for principle at his own expense, but it’s certainly a lot easier to do that when you’ve already earned $30 million and seem quite content living in baseball exile on an ocean-view golf course.

News item: Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Josh Bell hit the fourth home run ever to exit PNC Park and reach the Allegheny River on the fly — a shot that was measured at 472 feet.


My take: Impressive, but he’s just lucky that Jackie Bradley Jr. wasn’t playing right field.

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