Your morning roundup for June 12, the day we made out with Mary-Kate.
What we watched: I wish I could say we watched the stars, or we watched a windy storm sweep through the northeast to scatter the summer weather. But alas, we watched the Mets. And these aren't just any Mets, but winners of five-of-six Mets. Mets with truly excellent work from Beltran, and Reyes, and Dillon Gee, and even Daniel Murphy, and bafflingly Ruben Tejada, But of course these were also the Justin Turner's night off Mets (and the no longer Jason Bay's night off Mets). Bay, after sitting for two games, went one for four. That hit made him one for his last 26. And so these Mets became the old Mets, despite R.A. Dickey's eight innings of three-run ball, at the hands of the Pirates and their inexplicably excellent closer, Joel Hanrahan. Then Huey Lewis played a postgame concert in Pittsburgh—which, by the way, drew the third-largest crowd in PNC Park history—and we all felt the Power of Suck.
What we're watching: Basketball, between the formerly ill and the now queasy ones. Dallas is up 3-2, playing tonight in Miami after winning two straight, but the Heat are fairly serious favorites, at least for game six. We suppose many eyes will be on LeBron, yes, for all that legacy bullshit, but also because the Heat won't win if he doesn't play well. Is it okay to talk about LeBron without couching it in five layers of self-reference?
Doyel'd: "You see what's happening, right? James and Wade think they have this inside joke, this secret little gag that nobody else is smart enough to pick up on. Then when the world does pick up on it — because they're just not that clever — they get defensive." [CBS Sports]
Ruler on Ice takes the Belmont: "As the field of 12 turned for home Saturday, no one could blame those in the crowd of 55,779 for checking their programs to see who in the world the No. 3 horse was floating above a sloppy racetrack like a big old river boat paddling down the Mississippi. Well, his name was Ruler on Ice, and he had not won since February. That was a pretty good reason for bettors to send him off at nearly 25-1. Ever heard of him? Probably not, and the colt's trainer, Kelly Breen, and rider, Jose Valdivia Jr., weren't household names either. By the time the strapping chestnut hit the 16th pole, everyone at Belmont knew there would be a great deal to learn about this gelding and his human connections as soon as they got to the winners' circle in the last and oldest leg of the Triple Crown." [NYT]
Nein piece: ""I just thought it was a little childish, a little ignorant," Nowitzki said before Saturday's practice at AmericanAirlines Arena. "I've been in this league for 13 years. I've never faked an injury or illness."" [ESPN Dallas]
Wait, this is the real issue today?: "Come out and say, yes, we were mocking him and so what? Or say, hey, it wasn't our best moment and we regret it. Anything, but what Wade did on the eve of Game 6. For Wade to call his an honest cough that evolved into a mugging for the cameras, because, "we knew you guys would blow it up," is worse than the act itself. Wade couldn't be more disingenuous on this matter, nor could the Heat deserve less sympathy for the treatment they consider so unfair." [Yahoo Sports]
Panamania: "A slow start doomed the United States against Panama, slowing the Americans' usual march to the quarterfinals of the Gold Cup. Instead, the surprising Panamanians guaranteed themselves a spot in the next round of the tournament with a 2-1 victory over the favored U.S. on Saturday night. "Sometimes you just come out flat for whatever reason. At this level, and against a good team, you can't do that," U.S. star Landon Donovan said, reflecting on the Americans falling behind by two goals in the opening half. "Some nights you come out flat and you don't get punished, but other nights you do. We learned a valuable lesson."" [AP via ESPN]
We are all Dave McKenna CXXVIII: Here's your daily link to Dave McKenna's brilliant "Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which we'll be posting until Snyder's dumbass libel suit develops a nice brown crust from the Maillard reaction.
Kenny Chesney, also defiling landmarks of American football: "With a mix of crowd-pleasing classics and his latest hits, country music superstar Kenny Chesney energized over 40,000 fans on the thawed tundra at Lambeau Field Saturday in the first major concert held at the historic stadium since it was renovated in 2003. For over two hours, Chesney shrunk a huge stage in the south end zone with a tireless performance where he stayed in constant motion, with fans getting a large dose of his 21 No. 1 hits, as well as a handful of cover songs." [Packers.com]