THE CHEAP SEATS with STEVE CAMERON: Hearts can be that way, and other things

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Here’s the critical question for today…

Did you remember to take home a lovely Valentine’s Day gift?

No, a kicking tee or that video on how to land a sea bass probably weren’t the right calls.

Hint: There will be florists open all day.

Now then…

We haven’t done a notes column in a while, and some of you like them enough that you’re getting grumpy — to the point where you think I’m not listening.

False.

But, shoot, we can’t have you even wondering if I take your mail seriously, so let’s fix things right now.

If it’s notes you want, it’ll be notes you get.

Martha, hand me that cello, would you?

(Sorry, that was too corny to pass up…)

ITEM: Nope, we’re not going to hammer the Houston Astros organization in this space. Not today, anyhow.

That issue deserves an entire column (or more), but I WILL answer one question that I’ve received so many times that even Sammie the World’s Greatest Cat is tired of looking at it on the screen.

More people than the entire population of Lichtenstein have written to ask: “Why aren’t any players being punished? Why just Astros manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow?”

Simple: The players were granted immunity.

MLB felt that was the only way it could get to the bottom of “Garbagegate.”

They needed to know how it started, who took charge and kept it going, what executives approved the scheme — and for all of that, they needed players to tell the truth.

Which would have been impossible without immunity.

I know, it sucks, but all you’re going to get from the athletes is this official blanket statement of remorse.

Baseball execs want this mess to go away, and it won’t.

Instead, we’re getting another lie because…

The players’ only remorse is over the fact that they got caught.

ITEM: I didn’t really mean to seize simply on issues that make me angry today, but it’s kind of started that way, huh?

Next up is the absurd matter of crap pay for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.

Maybe you already know they’re being paid junk money by the U.S. Soccer Federation.

At least, it’s awful when you compare it to their male counterparts.

We could come up with a joke here about what the women and men each earn per win, or per trophy…

But I don’t think any of this is funny.

I mean, this is the 21st century and we’re still squabbling over equal pay for women?

The USWNT has filed a class action lawsuit on the issue of this pay imbalance, and if it goes on schedule, the suit will be heard May 5 in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

One item that offers some hope: The U.S. men’s team is solidly behind the women.

Here’s part of a recent statement from the men’s union…

“The women’s 2017-2021 (collective bargaining agreement) is worse than the men’s 2011-2018 deal,” the statement Wednesday. “The federation continues to discriminate against the women in their wages and working conditions.

“What we believe should happen is simple. Pay the women significantly more than our recently expired men’s deal. In our estimation, the women were due at least triple what our expired deal was worth in player compensation.”

The men claimed the federation wants their pay to stay at the same level as in their expired contract.

“It’s a desperate attempt to cover up the fact that what they did to the women in 2017 is indefensible,” the statement said.

Again, I ask…

Why is there an argument at all?

ITEM: Zach Norvell Jr. assumed he’d be lighting it up in the NBA this time of year — much as he did for Gonzaga the last two seasons.

Zach still has a chance, but time is ticking away.

“People in the league told me I’d be drafted high in the second round,” Norvell Jr. said. “I sat with my whole family watching the draft, and nothing happened.”

Zach licked his wounds, and signed a two-way contract with the Los Angeles Lakes — a deal that saw him playing for the Lakers’ G-League team.

Ultimately, though, he was released.

That result could turn out to be good or bad.

Norvell Jr. now has signed a 10-day contract with the Golden State Warriors, who needed help after trading away three guards in past two weeks.

If Norvell Jr. impresses the three-time champions, he’d be eligible to sign another 10-day contact.

Beyond that, he could be signed for the rest of year — or cut loose.

“I’m doing everything to take this chance,” Zach said. “No matter what happens, I can learn from the best here (Steph Curry, Klay Thompson and coach Steve Kerr).

“But it would be a great to make this roster.”

Indeed it would.

Email: scameron@cdapress.com

Steve Cameron’s “Cheap Seats” columns for The Press appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He also contributes the “Zags Tracker” package on Gonzaga basketball each Tuesday.

Steve’s various tales from several decades in sports — “Moments, Memories and Madness” — run on Sundays.

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