Wednesday, December 31, 2008


The Mets have made a big offer - 3 years @ $12 million per year. Lowe has told friends he thinks he'll be a Met. On the other hand, his agent, Scott Boras, has said, "Naturally, we've received offers from a number of teams." NATURALLY. Let's see, there's the Mets, and uh... the Mets, oh, and the 'Mystery Team', and...did I say the Mets? Boras never quits.

It has been reported that the Dodgers are pursuing Adam Dunn. He doesn't hit for too high an average, but he has 40-home run potential AND, unlike Manny, he can find left field without a guide dog. The minute this became known, Boras was on the phone to LA to schedule a meeting. Manny has to end up in LA. I can't see him playing for Washington or Baltimore. I know Boras follows the money, but I think Manny wants to play in front of large crowds in games that mean something.

Rob Neyer says a big reason that some big money was shelled out this year is because there are very few worthwhile free agents coming on the market next year: Matt Holliday and Brian Roberts and not much else. Better get it done now. I think he has a point.

Picasner watched the game last night: you think Gerry Mac could shoot? Andy Rautins was throwing them in from all over. Let's see if he can do that against the better Big East teams. If he can, Syracuse will be tough.

Mike Greenberg, ESPN: Is there a rivalry between Phil Mickelson & Tiger Woods? No, not unless you consider a hammer & a nail a rivalry.
The 2009 Women's Curling Calendar: Christine Keshan is back wearing a hat and not much else.'s a very nice hat.
Argus Hamilton, comedian: Last week when the Iraqi journalist threw two shoes at Pres. Bush, Terrel Owens complained that he was wide open on both plays.
The Lions fired their head coach. Mitch Albom thinks they shouldn't stop there. "When the fruit rots, you don't scrape off the skin and keep the insides."


Sunday, December 28, 2008


It's the Yankees. Yeah Scott, sure it is. It is to Boras' benefit to have the Yanks and/or the Red Sox in the mix for any free agent, since that automatically drives the price up. So, the Yanks are bidding for every one of Boras' clients...according to Scott Boras. Boras claims, for example, that the Yanks ALWAYS had an offer on the table for Teixeira. The Yankees say they weren't even thinking about it until after they signed Sabathia & Burnett. Boras is not one to let truth stand in the way of any negotiation.

Manny wanted to be signed before Christmas. He was wondering why he wasn't getting any big money offers. Now he's wondering why he isn't getting ANY offers. We know why, Manny. It was that great effort you put in with the Sox. Even proving what you could do with the bat in LA didn't erase that from any one's mind, in spite of what the "Avenging Agent" told you. ...and it's going to get worse. The longer you go unsigned, the lower the offer(s) will be and everybody knows how you react if you think you're underpaid. You better start calling teams yourself...and make sure you have your hat in your hand.

***BY THE WAY...***
Attention all MLB teams: Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds have not retired and are available. Just thought you'd all like to know.
Picasner think he'd rather have Don Sosa or Bobby Bonds: one makes cigars and the other passed away about 5 years ago.

Sorry we haven't posted much. Picasner is trying to recover from an overdose of prosciutto and home-made wine. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Friday, December 26, 2008


Rob has written that the Sox "didn't need" Teixeira. They made it to the 7th game of the AL Championship. They outscored the Yanks & the Rays handily. One player was not NEEDED to put them over the hump for that last game. Right, dream on, Rob. Beckett wasn't himself all year; who's to say he'll recover. Ortiz looks like he's slipping badly. Lowell is coming off hip surgery. They have no catcher. That's four question marks right there. Yes, they have a young phenom firstbaseman in the works (Lars Anderson), but he's at least a year away and Boston fans are no more patient than Yankee fans. I'm sure Francona would have found a spot for Tex, like maybe a late game defensive replacement? Rob, you're going to have to lay off that Egg Nog at Christmas.

If Tex had signed with Boston, the Yanks would have gone for Manny out of desperation. Now all he can do is crawl back to the Dodgers and get what he can. At least Boras did the decent thing: sent Tex to the highest bidder. He might have talked Tex into Boston at $10 million less, opening up a big payday for Manny, but he didn't. Picasner agrees with all of that...except for the words 'decent' and 'Boras' in the same sentence.

The Yanks are being excoriated (look it up!) by a lot of teams and writers for the tremendous amount of money they spent this winter. Wilbon & Kornheiser of 'Pardon The Interruption' have a different view, however. They make two good points: Yes, the Yanks have a lot of money, but they SPEND it to improve their team. They don't just sit back at pocket an obscene amount of profit they could realize from their whole enterprise. Secondly, they are charging an awful lot of money for tickets and realize that to justify it, they have to put a winner on the field and THAT'S what they're trying to do. Certainly worth the debate.

***LIONS ABOUT TO GO 0-16***
You can feel sorry for them, of course, but they are contributing to their own demise. Last week, they broke their huddle for the FIRST play of the 2nd half...with 12 men on the field - the first play of the 2nd half. There are two important facts here: One, they were told a couple of hours before that they were going to get the ball to start the half. Secondly, the 11-men at a time rule has been in effect for a while; like, forever. I guess Marinelli figured, well, nothing else has worked, maybe I can slip this one by.

I wonder what's going to take longer on Sunday: the actual games or the explanations of the playoff scenarios after? I'm sure the announcers will be explaining it the whole game. They may even mention the game being played on occasion.
If Derrick Ward runs for at least 52 yards today, the Giants will be the 4th team in history to have two 1000 yard rushers. Picasner remembered Czonka & Morris of the Dolphins and Harris & Bleier of the Steelers, but forgot Kevin Mack & Ernest Byner of the Browns. Sorry, Cleveland fans.

Picasner is off to enjoy a bit of his ethnic roots today.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


This is the way George used to do it. Lay in the weeds till everyone relaxes, then...BANG!, signing the big player like a bully stealing your ice cream. Big money day even for the Yanks: $22.5 mil for Tex, $26.5 mil for the luxury tax. We can now expect the other teams to start howling about all the money the Yanks are spending, all the while pocketing their share of the luxury tax instead of spending it on their own team.

Now the speculation starts on Manny. The Angels say no way, obviously Boston is out and the Dodgers are silent. Manny in NY is becoming more and more of a possibility. Cashman says no way, but how can you believe him now? Steven A. Smith is demanding that the Yanks sign him, saying a powerhouse NY team is what baseball needs. Of course, Smith's commentary has always generated more heat than light.

If they do sign Manny, however, even Picasner will walk around with a bag over his head.


This sounds like a Disney cartoon, and with Boras involved, it might well be, but the rumor is the Nationals have upped their offer to $184 million for 8 years and may be willing to go to 9 or 10 years. Even if your agent was Homer Simpson, you'd have to look at that offer seriously. If he takes it, there will be a lot of grousing about that greedy, money-hungry bum, but when you think that after taxes, thats about $10,000 an INNING, let them talk. Then there's always the possibility that he'll force a trade after 2 or 3 years (ala A-Rod), and he'll be with one of the Big Three (Yanks, Mets or Sox).

Another Scott Boras has signed for big bucks!! Wait, did I say 'another'? I meant his first. Yes, only one Boras client has signed so far, and normally this would not be unusual, since Scott likes to drag things out. But this year seems a little different:
The Angels told Boras to take Tex and find another playground.
The Dodgers made one offer and pulled it: Superman's too expensive.
The Red Sox told him good luck with the BMT, we're done
The Yankees said they didn't like any of his toys.

So Scott went out and showed them: He got Felipe Lopez a one-year deal for $3.5 million with Arizona. Normally this would be popcorn money to Boras, but a man's got to eat.
Even if Manny & Tex are still out there, Scott has a lot of other big names to offer: Like Bruce Chen and Ben Broussard and Byng-Hyun Kim and Sam Guarnieri...wait, that's my dentist. Well, you get the idea.

Merry Christmas to all !!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


The sports media is trying very hard to make the Yanks players in this soap opera. Since Red Sox owner John Henry told Boras to take his negotiations and...well,'store them in a dark place', the rumors have been flying that the Yanks would "swoop in and steal the thunder". Some writers even claim that NY is the BMT (Boras Mystery Team).
PICASNER'S TAKE: No way this happens, at least not at $185-$200 million that Boras is asking.

Manny claims the Yanks are ready to step up and offer 3 years at $45-$50 million per year. Actually, Boras probably won't let Manny sign until the Teixeira situation is settled. With Teixeira signed, it sets up Boras' favorite situation: a desperate team (Angels, Dodgers)versus the needy Yanks bidding for Manny.
PICASNER'S TAKE: Doubt the Yanks will go any more than 2 years unless really pressured. There is one other teeny, tiny problem with Manny: if he's forced to sign for something under what he thinks he's worth, how long before he shows his displeasure by slacking off? If he does that in NY, the fans will be throwing those $2500 seats onto the field at him.

One sports writer has nailed it: Boras is looking for that ONE DUMB OWNER, like maybe the Washington Nationals. It won't take Boras long to convince Teixeira that it doesn't matter where you play, as long as you make the most money. However, two years in last place has got to wear on someone that talented (See A-Rod and Texas). I don't think that lesson is lost on Teixeira.

The Sourgrape League (writers with teams that didn't get the 2 pitching aces) have started in criticizing Sabathia and Burnett. Most of the criticism centers around their ability to perform on the big stage.
***Sabathia never pitched well in NY. C'mon, Sabathia never pitched well against the Yanks, whether it was in NY OR Cleveland. Some teams match up well against certain pitchers; others don't. The Yanks could never beat Frank Lary of the Tigers in the 60's, the rest of the AL beat the crap out of him.
***Burnett has a fragile personality. The Yanks couldn't beat him in NY and the Red Sox couldn't beat him in Boston. Doesn't sound too fragile to me.

Let's wait and see who shows up. Picasner thinks the Yanks signed a couple of aces.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Teixeira to Boston. Teixeira to Boston. That's all everyone has been saying. However, Thursday, Boston officials flew to Texas to meet face-to-face with Boras and Teixeira. Late last night, owner John Henry sent an e-mail to the Associated press, saying "The Red Sox are NOT going to be a factor" in the acquisition of Teixeira. He said that after listening to the "other offers" it was apparent the Sox weren't going to pursue him. The Angels, Orioles, Nationals and the Yanks were all purported to be interested. It turns out there is another: The BMT (Boras Mystery Team). This 'team' always makes a high bid whenever Boras needs it. Has Scott gone over the line? With Scott Boras, there is no line.


"The Journey of Rafael Furcal"

Rafael Furcal wanted to leave LA,
So he declared free agency and went on his way.

He presented his talents that all the teams eyed,
But their hopes were all dashed when their offers were denied.

The Padres made an offer, Furcal said he might take,
But no one believed him: His interest was a fake.

The Braves offered a deal to which he couldn't say no,
Then his agent rejected it 'cause he wanted more dough.

Atlanta was offended, they said "You agreed!"
But the agent just laughed. You know it was greed.

Now lo and behold, He's back with LA,
"Cause it's what he wanted all along" (someone who'd pay).

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Picasner does not understand the Yankees apparent lack of interest in Mark Teixeira. This is definitely a man with all the tools: Great defense, switch hitter, power hitter, good on-base percentage, he's young and a great clubhouse presence. What's not to like? Here's the best argument. If the Yanks get him, then Boston doesn't.

The Yanks could always sign Manny if the Teixeira doesn't fly and they may sign him anyway since they need someone to protect A-Rod. Boston won't sign Manny and could be hurting, since it's thought that Ortiz is on the slide and Lowell is coming off surgery. Is Picasner the only one to see this logic?

I might have almost given up on Sabathia to go this route. Time will tell.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So you think Picasner has nothing to do? That he needs to get a life? Well here's an example of how little is going on in baseball right now.

Paul Lukas of ESPN has written a long article on which Yankee wore the most pinstripes across his chest. Really, the most pinstripes. Not only did he COUNT them, but he actually measured the thickness of the pinstripe (to the 32nd of an inch) and the distance between them (to the hundredth of an inch). From Babe Ruth to Sabathia. He projects Sabathia the winner (60 pinstripes) and Picasner is wasting no more time on this one.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


When he was with the Yanks, he was upset because he didn't get to play centerfield and leadoff. Consequently, he complained bitterly about it, yet did nothing when he was given a chance. Instead of releasing him, they should have shoved him into the East River. Now he's still trying to hurt the Yanks by trying to talk CC out of signing with the Yanks. It appears that CC recognized him for the blowhard he is.

He has refused to approve a trade to any American League team (where he'd be ordinary) and appears to want to go to a "pitchers park" where he'd be most effective. While you may frown at his courage, you have to give him credit for knowing his limitations.

The man is 46 years old. He may be the most amazing athlete in sports today. Curt Schilling was always considered a better pitcher, but Picasner would take Moyer over "The Drama Queen" any day. And Jamie doesn't need a fake bloody sock to prove himself.

Picaner doesn't understand this one. Multi-millionaire major leaguers risking their careers for what? Whats the point of this tournament? Can anyone tell us who won the last one? ...That's what I thought. The players make strange decision about who they play for. If, for example, you LIVE in Japan, and you play for Japan, okay. A-Rod says he's playing for the Dominican Republic. Why? He's lives in the USA. I don't think he can spell it, let alone find it on a map.
Well, go ahead, guys, risk your careers for nothing.

Bill Simmons says Browns 'receiver' Braylon Edwards should be playing a position with a new name: Outside Dropper. It seems he's dropped 27 passes this year. Picasner has a question: Why do they keep throwing to him?

Bob Molinaro figured out that the Yanks will be paying CC approximately $6250 per pitch this year. I can see it now: "CC, how do you feel?" "I don't know coach, how many pitches have I thrown?" "Well, you're only up to half a million dollars so far." "OK, I can probably go another $90,000."

From "Off-duty firefighter saves man from choking. The Cubs and the Mets are in a bidding war for him."

Terry Bradshaw says his Mom is glad he works on FOX because it's easier to spell than ESPN.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Much as Picasner hates to trade 28 yr-olds for 35 yr-olds, this news might turn it around. The Yanks are throwing Igawa into the deal. Hooray! Hooray! NY will probably have to pick up some of the salary, but look how much they'll save in transportation costs sending Igawa back and forth to Scranton. Picasner is willing to kick in a few bucks.

Most of the sports writers question why the Yanks aren't looking closer at adding a bat instead of an arm, specifically, Teixeira or Manny. Picasner agrees. If George were still running things, this would be where he'd pull off one of his coups. Never talk about Teixeira, only pitching, be very quiet, then...BAM! "Teixeira signs with Yanks for $200 million." Well, I can dream.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


Buster thinks the Yanks did a good thing all the way around: Vastly improved their rotation, kept all their youngsters, lost draft picks but gained a couple back, and reduced their payroll. Great, now all they need is 98 wins.

Mike says they got one good player and two question marks (Burnett and Pettitte/Sheets), committed to high salaries for the next 3 years and haven't produced a team with good chemistry since 1998. Thank you, Mike.

Mike Lupica's favorite winter meeting story:
The Yanks want Doug Melvin of the Brewers, to pick up a portion of Mike Cameron's salary in the Cameron-Cabrera trade. After out-bidding the Brewers by a mere $61 million for Sabathia, I can't understand why Melvin wouldn't be anxious to help the Yankees out.

I know the guy is like a yo-yo between the DL and the active list, but the man can bring it. Picasner thinks this makes Cleveland dangerous. If they can stay healthy, they can win the Central going away. Chicago gets a lot more respect than they deserve because Ozzie is 'entertaining'. The Twins continue to be a magic act and Detroit has terminal clubhouse fever (Nobody wins with Sheffield).

If the Angels don't get Teixeira, they will be very ordinary. Probably still win the division because the rest of the division sucks.

Yanks/Sox at the top with Toronto close behind. Sorry Rays, Picasner thinks you just had one of those years when everything went right. Still, with all those good young players, they could end up in the mix. Peter Angelos is still trying to buy crab cakes without the crabs (Talks big, but won't spend the money).

Friday, December 12, 2008


He's sitting at home working out by counting his money. Picasner hopes he's in shape when it comes time to drag his 250 lb butt to Tampa. Or is it 290 lbs? Or 311 lbs? I hope the Yanks have a 'relaxed-fit' uniform for him.

Jason is huddling with Scott Bore-us, sifting his offers from...NOBODY! When Coletti of the Dodgers heard Varitek was looking for 2-3 years, he couldn't hang up fast enough to hide the laughter. In spite of what Scott says, the Red Sox have NOT made any offer to Varitek.

Manny is also huddling with Scott, sifting HIS offers from...NOBODY! Scott, are you picking up on the pattern here? In the meantime, Manny is working out by watching cartoons and playing video games (by his own admission). Should help in your next career: Change boy at Chucky Cheese. Actually, Manny does have an ace in the hole. He's threatened to retire (Note: not a typo). Manny, the Batavia Muckdogs need a pinch hitter.

Cashman flew to Texas and basically told Andy: Sabathia, Wang, Burnett and Chamberlain. $10 Million for one year, take it or leave...SOON. Ben Sheets is next on the radar.

***THE METS***
They have Putz as set-up, K-Rod to close. Now, after Santana, they need someone to get to the 8th inning the other 4 games. Maines seems to get hurt a lot, Perez is leaving, Pedro can't reach home plate from the Assisted Living compound, and Pelfry is okay (for a NL team). So it's - "Johann Santana and get a bandanna". I don't see them doing too well with this roster.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Supposedly, the Yanks are going to trade Cabrera to the Brewers for Mike Cameron. Melky and a pitching prospect to the Brewers; Cameron and a set of crutches to the Yanks. This is obviously part of the CC deal, since Cameron is CC's best friend. Cameron has a "no-trade" list which the Yanks are on, but Mike is "willing" to waive that to play with Sabathia. Why do we want a 35-year old strike-out artist? Bad as he is, Melky has more potential than Cameron.

8 years at $20 million/year. Amazing. Who do they think they are, the Yankees? Actually makes sense for Mark, who comes from that area. Especially if you don't mind playing in games that won't mean anything from May 1st on.

They have 2 left fielders who are 35 years old, a centerfielder who is very fast but has been known to hit a ball as far as 2nd base on two bounces, a .219 career hitter at first, a 2nd baseman who doesn't try every day and a 36-year old catcher coming off shoulder surgery. HELP! Maybe they should even consider (gulp) Manny?

At least I've learned to spell 'Teixeira' without looking it up every time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


There's still a couple of points to be made.

The Veterans Committee has added one player to the Hall: Joe Gordon. For those of you too young to remember him (me too! me too!), he's a former Yankee 2nd baseman (also Cleveland). He played for 11 years and he doesn't belong in the Hall. Yes, he was an 9-time all-star and won an MVP, but really, a .268 career hitter. If they're going to let Mazeroski in, I suppose the bar is now low enough. At least Gordon AVERAGED 26 homers a year, great for 2nd basemen in that era, but that's not enough. I guess they'll have to change it to the Hall Of Pretty-Good players. 'nuff said.

It seems the deal is not exactly what it looks like on the face of it. CC has an opt-out clause after three years, like A-Rods. 3 years @ $20 million per year, the last 4 years @ $25 million per year. So the bar is raised, but not quite as high. Take heart all you AL teams. But wait!
Jayson Stark says the Yanks aren't done. He thinks it's possible that they may go after ALL THREE remaining pitchers. ...and Teixeira's not safe, either. I think that's a bit of saber-rattling. I know they knocked off $88 million in payroll and still have over 75% of it uncommitted, but really; all five big time free-agents? Say it with me: THE NEW YORK GLUTTONS.

The deceased Dan Quisenberry, former relief pitcher for the Kansas City Royals, had a very weird motion: he was a side-armed, submariner. He was asked one time, if a certain pitching coach had helped him. His reply: "Yes, he found a delivery in my flaw."


Nice chunk of change: $160 million. They had to go that high, because they were in a bidding war with...well, nobody. "I don't need no stinkin' competition." The pundits all said when Sabathia signed, the flood gates would open, but they didn't expect him to sign till next week. Now all the GM's have to dig out their checkbooks again.

As Peter Gammons so aptly stated, "Everything's tied to everything," so you can't tell anymore. Here's Picaner's picks and reasons:

AJ Burnett
Positives: American Leaguer, used to pressure, power pitcher, last chance at a big contract
Negatives: CC proved the National League is easier, fragile
Yankee's odds: 50% chance Said to be leaning to Atlanta

Derek Lowe
Positives: former AL-er and Eastern div. player, gutsy, doesn't get hurt
Negatives: Thought to be leaning to the Sox, 36 years old
Yankee's odds: 60% chance Picasner's favorite

Ben Sheets
Positives: Potential star, great stuff, Yanks may be the only team willing to blow big bucks
Negatives: NL-er, very fragile
Yankee's Odds: 80% chance (especially if they lose one of the two above)

Mark Teixeira
Positives: You name it, young, great fielder, power hitter, etc.
Negatives: Scott Bore-us client, wants 10 years, leaves no place for Posada in 2010, did I mention Boras?
Yankee's odds: 40% they'll only go for him if they don't get the pitching they're after...oh, and Boras

Robinson Cano to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp, and sign Orlando Hudson, free agent to play 2nd. Picasner likes it, but the Yanks would probably have to throw in one of the young pitching phenoms. He's 25 and a potential SUPER-star. Dodgers will never do it. 20% chance.
The Brewers will probably let Mike Cameron go. Right a 35-year old, .250 career hitter. The thought is to use him till Austin Jackson is ready. 20% chance.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

SILLY SEASON - 12/9/2008

The Sabathia saga continues. "CC wants to be a Dodger" - Dodgers. "We're still in it." - Brewers. "We're kickin the tires" - Red Sox. "We're waiting for Teixeira" - Angels. "$$$$$$$" - Yankees
Sabathia's had lunch with the Red Sox, the Dodgers and the Yanks (twice). How many shrimp cocktails can you eat? Cashman has brought in the big guns - Reggie Jackson. For what? To discuss the name of the candy bar? Knowing Reggie, it'll be "CC AND ME".

...And the rest of the field:

Only one buyer - the Mets

A few buyers - Cubs, Rays & Mets

They were great last year...on paper. I guess Leland ran out of magic.

"I googled 'better late than never" and got a picture of OJ Simpson"

One of the few suitors for Varitek has dropped out. "This improves Varitek's position," according to Scott. He can find a silver lining in anything. If they dropped an A-Bomb on Cleveland and killed millions, Scott would say: "Yeah, a lot of people died but look at all the space we have to bury them, now." Scott, please go home.

Saturday, December 06, 2008


Picasner is now convinced that he can earn money at home with the help of Bob Matthews' sports acumen. Bob, as you loyal readers know, is a sports columnist for the Rochester D & C. His forte is predicting the outcome of sports events...and he's not very good at it. Therefore, betting against him could be very profitable.

Yesterday, Bob went to great lengths to explain his pick in the Mid-America Conference championship game. "The Buffalo Bulls have enjoyed a fine football season but they'll be in over their heads at Ford Field in Detroit against Ball State tonight. Ball State is ranked 12th in the nation and has outscored opponents 416-200...etc." His prediction: Ball State 42, Buffalo 17. Well Bob, you had all the facts on your side, score: Buffalo 42 Ball State 24. I guess you still have to play the game, Bob.

I believe Bob also took Custer and the points against the Sioux. Watusi, you should call up Matthews' column every Thursday and get his pro-football guesses.

Friday, December 05, 2008


It seems everyone is waiting for Sabathia to set the market. The Yanks have been waiting patiently for CC to decide and CC seems to be waiting for some California team to make a comparable offer. It isn't going to happen. If Sabathia accepts a much lower offer to play on the west coast in this economy, the MLBPA will be planting burning posters with dollar signs on them in CC's front yard. If the CC logjam breaks at the winter meetings, the rest of the free agents will fall like dominoes. Then the trade rumors will start to fly.

Scott met with Brian Cashman yesterday, discussing Derek Lowe, Mark Teixeira etc. No offers were made and the meeting apparently only lasted an hour, but Cashman reportedly spent the next two hours washing his hands.

Looks like Andy's choices are Houston (doubtful) or the Yanks. I read the Yanks seem willing to offer him $10 million. Are they crazy? Picasner believes that's about $1 million per win. If he doesn't get injured.

Does Larry Bowa carry that much weight? Cashman is reported to be looking at 2 "elite" pitchers.

That would be 1 year at 1st base and 2 years on crutches. He was a scary hitter in Yankee Stadium last year, but there were plenty of signs that he's on the downslope of his career and that slope is steep.

As usual, Baltimore is posturing about major free agents like Teixera and Lowe...until Peter Angelos finds out they actually want money to play there.

Next week will be very interesting.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Without talking to Scott Boras one last time, the Dodgers have offered Manny Ramirez arbitration. LA has positioned themselves perfectly. After offering $45 million for two years and being refused, they could now possibly get Manny for one year at anywhere from $22-$28 million. Sure, it's a lot, but at one year with free agency staring him in the face, Manny would have to continue to go all out. That's the big problem with Manny: how to keep him interested. If he doesn't accept arbitration, the Dodgers get 2 draft picks and got Manny's services for a couple of months for FREE, thanks to the Red Sox, when he personally carried them into the playoffs. The longer this drags on, the more gun-shy teams will become, reducing any potential offers. Will Manny swallow his pride and accept arbitration? Will Boras talk him into going free agent? Will other GM's make low-ball offers, thinking him desperate? Will Boras issue another chapter to his "Manny Is God" book? Will Picasner stop sounding like the closing of the sitcom "Soap"?
***NO - YES - YES - YES - YES, please***
We'll find out more Sunday night when arbitration acceptance expires and later next week at the baseball meeting in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


There is talk that the Yanks have a real problem facing them in regards to their number one icon: Derek Jeter. His fielding skill and batting prowess are converging to the point where he has no position. What this means is, his range at short has deteriorated enough that he is no longer an effective shortstop (or second basemen, for those of you looking for the simple solution). He no longer hits with enough power to warrant a corner position (3rd, 1st or left/right field). Yet, he is still a good enough hitter to remain in the 2 spot and get his 600 at-bats per year. What to do, what to do.

Never fear, sports fans, Picasner has the answer. In fact, Picasner has felt this move should have been made a few years ago. CENTER FIELD. The Yanks have been looking to upgrade there ever since Melky Cabrera has shown an increasing ability to be pathetic from both sides of the plate and intersperses an occassional bonehead play with his speed and great arm. Jeter has the speed and his arm is still tops and besides, he has a rare quality that makes him very valuable: he seems to find the one big play that changes a game. It's something that can't be taught. He'll find a way to utilize that ability in center. One more year at short and then move him. 190 hits, 15 homers, 100 runs scored, 70 rbis and 25 stolen bases...yeah, we can live with that.

Now, we need a shortstop.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


While that's no revelation, what's interesting is that it's a mirror situation. Teams used to throw money around like it came from a Monopoly game, now General Managers are sitting back, waiting for salaries (and the stock market) to stabilize at new levels. Free agency used to be a game of Chutes 'n Ladders, with no chutes. Them days is gone.

2 months ago, it was a no-brainer to offer Bobby Abreu arbitration, thinking it was a good deal to get him for a year at $16-$18 million if he accepted. Now, the best Bobby can expect is an $8 million offer. Other than the "Elite Four" (Sabathia, Burnett, Teixeira & Lowe), none of the free agents are going to reap a major payload, despite any 80-page scouting manuals that Scott Boras publishes. Now before you all start mailing your tear-stained dollar bills to help poor Scott, consider this: 22 clients of Boras, spanning the last 10 years, signed for a total of $1.2 BILLION. Yeah, that's no typo. If this trend continues, we will definitely need a program to tell the players, because there will be a lot of minor leaguers being called up.

The nominees have been announced and Picasner is beginning to feel his age. He recognizes all the names. Bummer. The sports columns, blogs and sportscasts will soon be filled with arguments for and against players. Most arguments will be a litany of statistics but Picasner feels a big consideration should be what he calls, "effect on the game." To properly evaluate that, you really need to be a contemporary of that player, that is, you had to be following basbeball when he played to recognize his full value. For example, Tim Raines, good player, nice career, no dice. On the other hand, Ricky Henderson, for many years, the premier leadoff man in baseball and often changed the course of games with his rare combination of speed and power. Other players may have stolen a lot of bases or hit more homers, but Ricky was pretty much in-your-face. That's what is meant by "effect on the game".
Ricky Henderson
Lee Smith
Bert Blyleven
Tommy John

Saturday, November 29, 2008


If you want to be a General Manager, you have to manage every area of your team. You have to consider length of contracts, defensive positions, lineup positions and even clubhouse chemistry. Omar Minaya even pays attention to room on the disabled list, which is why he asks for all the medical records on free agents BEFORE negotiations start. I can't wait to find out what kind of spin Scott Borus puts on those: "Why, this is the same kind of elbow problem Catfish Hunter had. See what company he's in?" Trouble is, that kind of manipulation will work on some GM's.

Picasner has always felt that numbers do not come close to determining the value of a player on defense. But, the scouts are always trying. They have come up with a new rating for defense, but it's only been applied to one player so far: Jason Giambi, 1st base: Horrible. (True story)

According to Dwight Perry, Seattle Times, If the Detroit Lions played in the days of Julius Caesar, they would be 10-point underdogs to the Christians.

No, really! He was "accidentally" shot in a nightclub last night.
How could you make this stuff up?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The Angels are unwilling to go beyond 7 years for Teixeira. Bore-us wants 10 years (probably because that's what A-Rod got). Artie Moreno is one owner that isn't afraid of Boras, who likes to drag things out until everybody panics. Good for you, Artie.

It's been said they're willing to go as high as $135 million, which is close enough for Sabathia to go to California. Uh, ten years for Teixeira isn't really that bad, is it, Artie?

Fine, you're not getting $16 million from the Yanks.

Mel, you might want to try the Dodgers. Torre, Mattingly, Proctor,'ll be like old home week. Emphasis on the "old".

He'll have to get it from Jorge, 'cause no major league team is going to pay it. As a concession, Boras says he willing to accept 3 years and not 4. Gee, thanks. Boston is willing to talk but indications are that what they're saying is, "Here's your hat, what's your hurry?" How does the Batavia Muckdogs sound?

A-Rod, why are you wasting your time with Madonna when Danielle Gamba is available? Besides, I think she wants to meet Nick Swisher.

Speaking of Swisher, I read that he has already been called by Girardi, Kevin Long and A-rod, welcoming him to the Yanks. ...but no Jeter. How come? Maybe Derek was too busy calling Danielle.

The Yanks have announced they are holding the line on ticket Tampa. While this may be great for Watusi's daughter, it ain't helping us New Yorkers.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL! Annie-o and Chad will be dining with the #2 female Yankee fan of the Picasner clan, little Sarah.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Citigroup Bank will be paying the Mets $400 million over the next 20 years for the rights to name their new stadium "Citi Field". Now, of course, Citigroup is getting BILLIONS of dollars bailout money. Since the agreement was made 4 years ago and the Mets are unwilling to let them out of the deal, some local politicians want the stadium named "Citi/Taxpayer Field". Embarrassing? Yes...but not enough.

Picasner's idea: Hold the bailout money until Citigroup agrees to a name that does NOT feature their name. Names like "Mets Stadium" or "Wilpon Field" or even "Marv Thronberry Park (my favorite). If the Mets disagree, they don't get the $400 million. See, everybody wins (even Marvelous Marv).

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Nick Swisher's girlfriend, Danielle Gamba, is a former playboy Playmate.

According to Swisher's agent, Gamba is NOT his girlfriend. In fact, they have never even met.

I wonder if Brian Cashman knew this, and if he didn't, is Swisher on the block? Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


We talked a little about him in the last post, but this interesting tidbit just surfaced: How much has The Boss spent in his quest to win championships?
$2.3 BILLION. That's right, BILLION. That's a lot of money even for the Yanks.

The Yanks have said there is a 'time limit' on the Sabathia offer. Anyone buying this? If the Yanks pull that offer on Dec 25th, and CC comes back on Feb 1st and says he'll take it, what do you think will happen? "Sorry CC, we've sunk that money into Pedro Martinez." Yeah, right. Read the previous item, they've got to cut back somewhere.

Maybe the Lions can't win any football games, but they're doing better in one area. They are 3-for-9 winning coin tosses this year.
According to Gene Wojciechowski (Gene, please change your name; I'm running out of letters), "Having Matt Millen as your team president is like asking Britney Spears to babysit your kids."

Greg Norman and Chris Evert are starting to design tennis courts. I think the formats have been exhausted, guys. Maybe you should move on to bowling alleys or basketball courts.

It will include three floors of Wayne Gretsky paintings. Plans are on hold until they can find some other paintings.

Accused of insider trading, he is being threatened with fines totaling $750,000. When told, Cuban responded, "Ouch. Maybe I can get a loan from the Steinbrenners." Insiders say this will prevent Cuban from ever owning the Cubs. I was sure the Cubs would cost more than that.

Annika Sorenstam is having an interesting week. She missed the cut on the latest LPGA tournament, decided to retire, and then learned she'd been selected for a random drug test. I will lay 8-1 she doesn't show for the test. Rumor has it she will be designing golf course holes: not the greens, just the holes. "If Chris Evert can do it, so can I."

Friday, November 21, 2008


Mike Mussina retires at age 40 (next month) after winning 20 games for the first time in his career. Picasner believes he's capable of pitching two more years. On the other hand, Chase Utley and Mike Lowell have HIP SURGERY and will continue playing. Hip surgery! Even Chad's Dad never had hip surgery and he made it to 92.

The Red Sox are holding ticket prices in response to a failing economy.
The Phillies are raising ticket prices because...they won the World Series.

The Yankees are 'raising' ticket prices because..."No, we're not. This is a new stadium and we're just 'setting' the prices." Oh, I see. Sorry.

I don't know if he'll ever make the Hall of Fame, but you can't ignore his impact on the game. Detractors always pointed to the enormous income of the Yankees as the reason they would spend so much on players. However, George plowed those profits right back into the club, unlike other owners, who took their 'luxury tax GIFTS' and plowed them right back into their pockets.

Good luck, Hal. Oh, and you too, Hank.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Here are some examples of why I call it the silly season:

The Dodgers are rumored to be putting an offer together for CC. This offer will be "a little over $100 million". Uh, fellas, we're currently up to $140 million. Better talk to your accountants again.

There is talk that the Sox just want to drive the price up on the Yanks. Yeah, that should scare Cashman. He's not scheduling business lunches at McDonalds yet.

He says he may even pitch a little. Omar Minaya is thrilled and is holding open a spot on the DL for him.

Sure fooled the Sox, picking up a 29 year speed demon who averages 20 stolen bases a year, has a lifetime .344 on-base pct. with no power. All they gave up was a 27 year old power pitcher who averages less than a hit per inning and 8.5 strikeouts per 9 innings. Of course, if Coco Crisp does well, they should have no trouble naming a cereal after him.

But on the serious side:
Dustin Pedroia wins the AL MVP: Well deserved, congratulations!
Mike Mussina retires: Great career, good luck. I hope there is a Hall of Fame in your future.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Milwaukee doesn't understand the Yanks $140 million 1st bid. "We bid $100 million. Why didn't they just bid $101 million?" Sorry Brewers, this isn't a friendly game of marbles. That bid just eliminated all the pretenders.

The word is that the Players Association is "encouraging" Sabathia to accept the highest offer; no "hometown discounts". They couldn't care less about the Yanks, they just want to raise the bar on salary levels.

Picasner was thrilled to read that headline...until I read the rest of the story. The teams will consist of 4 Hall of Famers and 20 "other" retired players. 4 old men and 20 guys past their prime. Should be a great game. Thanks Mr. Selig, another fine decision. The original game was discontinued because of "scheduling problem". You have no problem scheduling the all-star game, though. Looks like another job for Commissioner Picasner.

Isn't it enough that Japan lost the war? Well, that's one way to make sure a traded player doesn't come back to haunt you.

The National League MVP winner is Albert Pujols. Don't get me wrong, he's a wonderful player and a great hitter. However,...most VALUABLE player. The Cards finished in 4th place, 12 games ahead of 5th place Cincinnati. Where would they have finished without Pujols? 4th place, 2 games ahead of 5th place? In Picasner's not-so-humble opinion, the very definition of the award means the winner should come from a team that at least made the playoffs. A player without whom they wouldn't have made the playoffs. In short, the most VALUABLE.

Maybe it's time to use the "HANK AARON AWARD", for the best all-round hitter in each league, not as a relacement, but an additional award. Solves all the problems.

Will someone please get me into the Commissioner's office?

Sunday, November 16, 2008


A loyal (?) reader wants Picasner to state his position on large market vs. small market teams and how to level the playing field. He feels the large market teams have more cash and can out bid the small market teams, who then have to rely on draft picks succeeding. How would the 'Commish' handle this?

Well Mr. Reader, the wheels of justice are already in place for this situation with only one minor bit of tweaking needed.

Hoping your draft picks work out? Well, when you lose a class A or B player to free agency, you get extra picks, usually first or second round plus 'sandwich' picks (that's a bonus pick between the 1st & 2nd round). So you get twice as many picks from the cream of the crop which increases your odds of some of them working out.

There is a salary cap and teams that exceed it pay a luxury tax to help the small market teams compete.
Now, here's the tweak I mentioned: Most of the small market teams POCKET the tax instead of using it. In Picasner's realm, the base would be the teams current salary, say, for purposes of argument, $90 million. If you receive $25 million in tax, the next years team salary must be at least $115 million or you give back the difference and you lose next years tax all together.

THAT is what is needed to help level the playing field. If we find, after a couple of years, that it's not working, we will address it again.

One final argument: How level do you want it to be? Who was in the World Series this year? Break up the Tampa Bay Rays!

Wow, two posts in one day.


Better late than never, but the real story is: They sent Manny an official letter after the July 23rd Game against the Yanks, informing him that he was suspended WITHOUT pay for refusing to play. Manny then agreed to play and the matter was dropped. Scott Boras, splitting his hairs as usual, said Manny was NOT suspended, that "intention to suspend" was not suspension. Right, teams threaten to suspend their best hitter all the time. May I remind you, Scott, that "intention to run to first fast" is NOT running to first fast, either.

The resident 'genius' in Detroit, Jim Leyland, is considering moving his CATCHER to shortstop. This is good news only to Derek Jeter, who should now have some competition as "The worst shortstop in baseball." Maybe it will work, maybe it won't, but it will be interesting.
The Tigers, who finished last in their division with the the 8th highest payroll in baseball, have announced a ticket price increase for 2009. If I'm a Tiger fan, I don't think I'd want to pick up a newspaper anymore.

This little item has GOT to tie into the Twins somehow. 13 restaurants in Austin, Minnesota have Spam on the menu. Spam! Apparently these restaurants won't pay for 'prime meat' either.

When players get traded, they bring their own glove. Nick Swisher brought something a little hotter: his girlfriend, Danielle Gamba. We can't put pictures on this blog, so I recommend you look this babe up. This is certainly Picasner's idea of "hot stove."

A lifelong Yankee fan, one of Jud's favorite players was Oscar Gamble, a left-handed outfielder with a 12-pound afro. He had to wear a cap two sizes larger to fit it over the afro. Well, sorry Jud: the afro's gone...completely. Oscar is now bald. Oscar was once quoted as saying, "When I'm at bat, I'm in scoring postion!"

Friday, November 14, 2008


Oilers coach Ted Green, after Shaun Van Allen suffered a concussion and couldn't remember who he was: "Tell him he's Wayne Gretzky."

Trading a career .260 hitter (Betemit), for a career .244 hitter (You do the math). Swisher is expected to take over 1st base. What happens if they get Mark Teixeira? "Mark, you're going to be our designated pinch-runner. After all, we've got Swisher now."

Only 2 rules: Offers must be 9 figures. You must supply your own knee pads.

To help all you sports fans understand what is going on during the approaching negotiations, here are some phrases and their real meanings.
"Player is interested in going somewhere he has a chance to play in the World Series"
** I got $10 million, do I hear $11 million?
"We think the Mets are a good fit, but there are a LOT of teams interested."
** Oh boy, New York City money!
"He's a good player, but we're still exploring our options."
** How much do you want? Here, take it all.
** Go away, I wouldn't pay that much for Cy Young.
"He brings more than ability to the table"
** He's irritated everyone he's played for.
"We're going to wait and see how things play out."
** My owner won't give me a cent.
"He really wants to play on the west coast (or, in the National League)"
** Unless the Yankees make an offer.
"He's very interested in the Red Sox"
** That should get a few more million out of Cashman.
"Hi, I'm Scott Boras"
** May I see your check book, please?
"Hi, I'm Scott Boras"
** We'll need more than that.
"Hi, I'm Scott Boras"
** Did you hear me? SCOTT BORAS!

Picasner needs help on this one. The Silver Slugger Awards (best overall hitter by position) came out today. The American League had a winner listed at pitcher. How does that make any sense? What are the standards? One at-bat? By the way, the winner was Aubrey Huff of the Orioles, their designated hitter. Not only wasn't he a pitcher, he didn't even HAVE a position.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


The News is running a poll asking fans to keep or dump 21 Yankees. Seven players were "dumped" by the fans: Cabrera, Giambi Kennedy, Pavano, Pettitte, Ponson & Ivan Rodriguez. No surprises there, but Abreu was a keeper. I didn't expect that.

Why not? The Giants are used to having a big-hitting, bad-fielding left fielder that no one in the free world likes. While Manny probably won't be using "the cream" or "the clear", he's not far from using Grecian Formula, which, interestingly enough, is available in cream and clear.

### Note: the Bimb has mentioned that my references have been a little obscure. So, "the cream" and the "the clear" are two steroids that Barry Bonds allegedly used. (I use the word 'allegedly' very loosely)

Not only will the Yanks be participating as usual, but this year they have a 'war chest' of some $80 million in dumped salary which is burning a hole in Cashman's pocket. Cashman reportedly has been in the gym practicing throwing wads of $1000 bills at posters of Sabathia, Teixiera and Burnett.

This might be a good year to go see them play. You might get to see Randy Johnson working in the concession stands on his off days. So Arizona has a bad September and some poor secretary is out on the street. Wasn't her fault Adam Dunn couldn't hit in the clutch.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


It's been three days since my last rant. Sorry, but is it Chad's fault that things are slow? We have to scrape past the bottom of the barrel for anything.

Boras is insisting that Manny gets a six year contract. Why? Because Bonds and A-Rod both got deals that takes them to age 42. The only thing Manny led the league in last year was dreadlocks. So if he wants to emulate those two, he better start applying "the clear" or take up with Madonna. "The clear" is probably safer.

Reports out of New York are that A-Rod has told Cynthia, his ex, that he's "going thru a phrase" and to please wait for him. Apparently, "phrase" means Madonna and usually she's the one who does the 'going through'. This is like the ballplayer who was asked, "What's the toughest thing is sports?" "Explaining to your wife why "she" needs penicillin for "your" kidney infection," he said. Alex, do you really think this will work? There's 50 million guys waiting to find out.

Billy Beane, Oakland A's, just made a trade to GET a big star. Beane, who is the poster child for United Dump Trucks, always gets rid of stars, not acquire them. Cashman must have slipped him a mickey at the GM meetings. Hey Boras, there's another phone number to add to your speed dial.

Free agents are not allowed to talk to other teams until Friday, so things will be quiet till this weekend. Picasner's on the case, boys and girls.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


And the Yanks have indicated they want him back. What's the problem? They don't want to pay him big money, that's what. So they'll let him wait a while and maybe get him cheaper. Maybe.

Um, why don't they ask the Yanks? Aren't they the ones who have him? It's pretty bad when a guy disappears so fast and so completely, no one knows who he plays for.

Bobby's been managing in Japan for years. He's not a players manager; they don't like him. The Mariners should hire him. That way, Ichiro won't be the most unpopular Japanese-speaking guy in the clubhouse.

Reportedly, a lot of the Dodgers big offer is deferred money; that is, salary paid AFTER the term of the contract, probably without interest. This effectively reduces the actual value of the contract significantly. Yeah, Scott Boras will fall for this one.

Man, this guy is worth a a whole posting on his own. Have you ever heard of Oliver Perez? I mean, if you're not a Mets fan. Well, you will. Seven years in the majors with 55 wins. Boras has written a book about him...with 8 chapters. The "book" compares him to Santana, Sabbathia, Hamels, and (everyone please sit down) Randy Johnson and Sandy Koufax! Sandy Koufax? Why, are they both Jewish? The chapters have headings like "Durable Ollie", "Big Game Ollie" and "Perez Turns a Corner". That's as opposed to being able to "pitch" on the corner. Sounds like Yankee material, doesn't he sports fans? The Yanks like pitchers who can turn a corner. Melky should get Boras as his agent. The Yankees would be dragging uniform #7 out of retirement, by the time Scott was through.
Ya gotta love this guy!

Friday, November 07, 2008


Increase the number of umpires per crew from 4 to 5, with one umpire assigned to the official scorer's booth. This would be part of the regular rotation. An umpire would work a game at each base and a game scoring.
There are a lot of advantages to this. No scorer would have any kind of "alliance" with a team or player. the Umpires would get a day off from the physical demands of the job. The best advantage: CONSISTENCY. For example, if a team had a good fielding but light-hitting shortstop, there would be no "home-town" scorer giving that player the benefit of the doubt on questionable (or obvious) errors. The paperwork would also be consistent and not subject to change after a player berated the scorer in the clubhouse afterward. Since scorers are currently sportswriters for the home team, they often give in so players will still talk to them.
I'm tired of batters being given "hits" because the ball was too hot to handle. BULL****! They are major league fielders; there is no such thing as "too hot".

Picasner will never be named Commissioner of Baseball, but if you read these changes carefully, you will realize: HE SHOULD BE.

Thursday, November 06, 2008


The season shall commence on April 1st for ALL teams. The schedule should be set up so that the games are played in southern cities or domed stadiums for the first two weeks.
Each team will schedule 3 doubleheaders at home (and not twi-night doubleheaders). we're talking 2 games for the price of one). The 2nd game should be 7 innings (this is already allowed in the rules). Teams would then play 3 doubleheaders at home and 3 on the road, eliminating 6 play dates. -OR- Go back to a 154-game schedule.
Rainouts will be made up with twi-night doubleheaders.
The All-Star game will be a three-day break.
The season then ends on September 24th.
Playoffs begin for ALL teams on September 26th. Playoffs and World Series schedules would be the same: ONE day off for travel between cities. ONE day off between each series. Even allowing for the maximum number of games for each series, the season ends on October 21.
If two teams are tied at the end of the regular season, the playoff game will be the next day, but the playoff schedule remains the same. They lose their day off (Sorry!)
For the 1st series, four games will be played each day. Let 4 different networks broadcast the games so all can watch their favorite team. Weekend games will be played during the day, starting no later than 2:00 PM. Night games MUST start no later than 7:00 PM Eastern time. That means first pitch, not the beginning of McCarver's 35 minute explanation of baseball.
MOST IMPORTANT: There will be 25 seconds maximum between half-innings. If a network misses even one pitch, they don't get paid for that game.
If the teams are available, The next series begins immediately (after one day off), regardless of the day of the week.


Next: Scoring


Okay sports fans, turn on your laugh machine and get your drool-overflow cup handy, 'cause we're off and running.
The Dodgers have offered $25 million a year for 2-3 years. And Boras hasn't even sharpened his pencil (or his teeth) yet.
Brewers offered Sabathia $20 million/yr for 5 years. This is where Cashman was going to start.
I've read that they are "strongly" considering Pettitte & Mussina. I'm getting my eyes checked.
Cashman reportedly putting a package together including Hughes, Austin Jackson and Kennedy. Is Peavy that much better than Santana? And San Diego has no interest in Robinson Cano. Well, neither do I.
Picasner's reaction: BIG DEAL! I lost faith in the validity of the award in 1999, when Rafael Palmeiro won at 1st base after playing 28 games there (the rest as DH) when he was with Texas. Apparently he wasn't even the best first baseman on the Rangers, let alone the league. Bill James says (and he works for the Red Sox, so take THAT into consideration) that Derek Jeter is the WORST DEFENSIVE player in the majors! Wow! He has 3 gold gloves on his mantle: 2004, 2005, 2006. Did he lose a leg in the 2008 pre-season? So who is screwed up here? I say both: the Rawlings people, who pick the winners, and Bill James. To top it off, Rob Neyer, ESPN, thought the choice of David Wright of the Mets at 3rd base was a bad pick. He said Scott Rolens should have won, completely forgetting that Scott now plays for the American League. That's ok Rob, that makes as much sense as Rafael.
That's it for now, fans.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


This will be the start of Picasner's Platform - issues that need to be addressed.

It is an exhibition and should have no bearing on the home field advantage for the World Series. Eliminate the "every team represented" rule. Let's have the best players. Managers should have at least two pitchers in reserve through the 9th inning in case of a tie score. Players will wear their respective teams uniform, no generic all-star uniform, this way, a player will be more easily recognized and his team will get some recognition (The home/away uniforms as appropriate). Designated hitter ALWAYS, regardless of the game location. The pitchers generally don't hit anyway.

This will be determined based on the total record of inter-league play. The league with the most wins, gets home field. Isn't this the most logical thing?

Umpires will NOT prolong arguments. He may not follow a player or advance toward him . "Showing up" an umpire, such as pointing at the plate disputing a ball/strike call, is no reason for an ejection. Obviously, a player or manager cannot touch an umpire or vice-versa. An umpire will be required to do eveything in his power to keep a player in the game. Players should be allowed to argue calls, even if they are just venting. Upon review of any ejection, if it is determined that an umpire overstepped his bounds, the umpire will be suspended for an appropriate time.

Next: Scheduling

Monday, November 03, 2008


California is host to the annual GM meeting this year (What, you expected Idaho?). Scott Boras was carried in on a portable throne, with 6 GMs as bearers and Bud Selig tossing rose petals in front.
Brian Cashman reportedly brought two bankers with him and was handing out $1000 bills as party favors to all the agents. Scott Boras used his to light his cigar and an unfortunate assistant Gm who happened to be standing too close.

Manny to the Dodgers for 3 years @ $23 million each.
Sabbathia to the Yanks for $180 million for 6 years.
The Cubs extremely interested in Bobby Abreau.

As I said, I doubt there will be any real movement now, but it's fun to dream.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

NOTES ON THE NFL (Aren't I versatile?)

So you all know that I don't just pick on the baseball writers, this little gem is from Matt Mosley of ESPN:

"Brad Johnson was picked off twice in the first half, and both interceptions led to Giant interceptions."
****Hard to dispute, isn't it. Thanks Matt, we'll be keeping our eye on you.


**The Yankees have declined the option on Damasco Marte. I guess $6 million was too much for a lefty reliever. Yeah, like they're falling off the trees out there. They could still resign him, though.
**Rumor has it that the Yanks will throw 6 years at $23 million/year at Sabbathia. The Brewers immediately offered CC the ownership of Miller Park Field.
**Scott Boras is Teixeira's agent. With the Yanks, Red Sox, Angels & Orioles extremely interested in Mark, Boras reportedly drooled so hard, he drowned two assistants.
**After a totally disappointing 2008 season, The Colorado Rockies say they are willing to trade everyone including Larry Walker, who retired 3 years ago.
**Rumors persist that Manny wants to go to the Yanks, just to hurt the Red Sox. Didn't he do that last year?
**The "World Series Neutral Site in a warm climate" talk is starting up again. Picasners opinion: NO!! There is a much better solution; start earlier.

The winter General Managers meetings start tomorrow. Expect nothing major to come out of it since there is so much money involved, I'm sure the owners will want some input. We may see some minor trades but that's about it.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Picasner is not oblivious to the real world. Baseball is all about money, money and, oh yeah, money. These numbers are so staggering that they are incomprehensible to the fans who support the game. Can any of us really understand what it would be like to have a NET INCOME of $1.4 million a month? That's $45,000 A DAY! CASH! AFTER TAXES! And you only "work" 9 months a year. That's A-Rod, what about the minimum salary. Well, you'd have to learn to live on a net of $250,000 a year. Poor guy.
Picasner doesn't call this the silly season for nothing. We are about to hear contract numbers tossed around that will boggle the mind and stun our senses. Granted, owners can do what they like with their money, but if some of their income was lessened, they may tighten their belts a little.

What we need, is a Commissioner that gives the game back to the fans. Make the game economically feasible for the poor fan and available time-wise to the young fan. Do this and you automatically build a fan base which will ultimately keep the game popular, and profitable, for years.

Picasner will begin to publish some changes that he believes will help with this.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Before we get to the rumor stage, what are the the current big questions?
** The Red Sox have some BIG question marks in their future:
Will Varitek sign a smaller, shorter contract than everyone thinks he'll want?
Will Lowell recover from hip surgery (exactly how old is he?)?
Will Ortiz wrist ever be the same?
Are Beckett's injuries curable or is it something more permanent?
Unfortunately, these questions won't be answered till spring training and the top free agents will be gone by then and no one will make major trades during spring training, when everybody is a contender. I feel so bad for them. ...NOT!
**The Yankees problems are different:
Can they sign Sabbathia?
Can they sign Teixeira?
Can they sign Burnett?
Will they resign Mussina and/or Pettitte?
If they sign these guys, how long before Steinbrenner raises the ticket prices? Maybe he'll just have NYC float another bond.
**The big question:
Where will Manny go, or should I say, who will Scott "The Vampire" Boras suck the life blood out of?

I'm sure will have some pretty wild rumors before the first of the year.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Welcome, sports fans, to the start of the Silly Season, a contest dedicated to rumors, guesses, suppositions and plain old day-dreaming.

**ESPN reports that Prince Fielder is available but the Yanks won't offer on him because "...they want to keep first base open for the eventual move of Derek Jeter to that position". ++I haven't heard this one before.++

**The Yanks may be interested in Mike Cameron of the Brewers for center field. ++Oh, yeah, that's what we need; another 35 year old outfielder.++

**Bob Brenly, Ken Macha and Willie Randolph are the top three choices for the Brewers job. ++Are you sure you want to do this, Willie?++

Picasner has decided he is going to campaign for the job as Baseball Commissioner. He will publish his platform later and asks for your support.

One final note on the Series. Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies. I'm glad you were able to eliminate your curse. What? You didn't know they had a curse?
Why, of course they did. The Phillies have not won a championship since they put up buildings in Philadelphia that were taller than the statue of William Penn. That was way, way back in...1984. Well, I guess it wasn't much of a curse, after all.

"Well Brad, your team has won the championship. How did you do it?"
++I think we won more games than everyone we played.++
Here's an interviewer with a great career ahead of him.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


We MAY play some baseball tonight, weather permitting. One sportswriter says we should call this "The Rainfall Classic". Selig insists we will not have a world series game without a ninth inning. Tonight we could see the first three-inning game in history. Thanks, Bud.

Due to a scheduling problem (Chad - can't be!), the Tampa Bay Rays currently reside in Wilmington, Delaware, at the Historic DuPont Hotel. The DuPont hotel was built in 1911, which was when game 4 was played. Maybe it only seems like that.

We're in need of some changes and Picasner has some plans. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


**Baseball rules state that it is the UMPIRE'S decision to call the game, but it has become accepted practice that the Commissioner makes these decisions during the World Series. My problem is that the game should have been called much earlier, even if it meant replaying the whole thing. Of course, we wouldn't have to make these kinds of judgements if the games were being played earlier in the day...and earlier in the month. Some people make deals with the devil; Selig makes them with Fox Network.

**Certainly part of baseball. The important thing here, is that no one got thrown out for arguing or gesturing or "showing up" the umpire. I wish they would show that kind of restraint during the season. Let's not even go into the "personalized" strike zones. Not to take the umpire's side, but I wonder when Fox shows their little box indicating the strike zone, it they ever considered that THEIR box is wrong? Nah, McCarver is always right. Isn't he?

**I don't expect the weather to get any better. Do you think they'll play to the end tonight? Maybe they'll play one inning a day till it's over; then a travel day if the Rays win, then maybe two more games... Lets throw in a free turkey to the members of the winning team. It should be just in time for Thanksgiving.

One final note: the Milwaukee Brewers are apparently entertaining offers for Prince Fielder. It has nothing to do with his ability, his pay or clubhouse demeanor. Did you see him the last couple of weeks of the season? I think Milwaukee no longer has any uniforms that fit him. Fielder's road uniform actually has "Barnum & Bailey" on the back.

Monday, October 27, 2008


All of a sudden, the Rays don't look like the devil-may-care world beaters that we've come to know. If they lose tonight, the Rays will be wondering just what went wrong. Well...
**The 3 & 4 hitters, Pena & Longoria, are a combined 0-29.
**To say the fielding looks shaky is being complimentary.
**Maddon's managing? Well, if you go against conventional wisdom and win, you're a genius. When you do that and lose, people begin to wonder if those are really sunflower seeds you're chewing on.
**It could just be one of those minor glitches that teams have from time to time. This was just a bad time to have it.

Perhaps it's the curse of Bob "Wrong-Way" Matthews, who predicted the Rays in 6. Thanks a lot, Bob. He also wrote at length Saturday about how the Steelers would overwhelm the Giants.
I sure hope he picks the Yankees to win the pennant in 2009.

C'mon Rays, keep plugging!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The media is doing their best to hype the World Series, citing a "return" to small ball, the way the game "used to be played." Well, excuse me, but I'm a Yankee fan, the Bronx Bombers, home of the five-0'clock-lightning.I don't ever recall the Yanks winning a WS game with a walk-off fielder's choice (THEY called it a hit, but c'mon).
The only ball that reached the outfield during the winning "rally", was an errant throw. Yeah, I know there were 3 home runs, but the other 6 runs were scored like a side order of fries. Okay, it's baseball and I can appreciate it, but it just doesn't feel the two league champions duking it out. It feels more like the JV game. At least this series will be remembered for the invention of a new position: The Rover Back.

Tommy Bowden: fired by Clemson. Still being paid.
Jeff Bowden: fired by Florida State. Still being paid.
Bobby Bowden: coaching Florida State.
That's three Bowdens, making a total of $6.5 million, only one with a job, and none actually earning it.

Here's the danger of big contracts to pitchers: $8 million to Curt Schilling for the year. One pitch (ceremonial) and that was in the dirt!

"Daunte Culpepper announced in September that he was retiring because no teams were interested. He now says he coming out of retirement so teams can continue to not be interested." - Greg Cote, Miami Herald

Fox certainly had enough time for introductions last night, didn't they?

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Dan Daly, Washington Times:
"Why did the Red Sox vote Manny Ramirez a two-thirds share? Probably because that's how far down the first-base line he usually got when he grounded out."

Jay Leno, after two housekeepers for David & Victoria Beckham were charged with theft: "The thieves took hundreds of dollars of cosmetics and beauty products. ...Oh, and they stole some of Victoria's stuff, too."

The Major League Baseball Players Association has accused owners of colluding and acting in concert against signing Barry Bonds.
...and the problem?

Greg Cote, Miami Herald:
"Fox Television is experiencing exceptionally low ratings (I wonder why - Picasner). Those people up there on the ledge threatening to jump? Well, they would be Fox officials if executives from AIG, Wachovia and Fannie Mae had left them any room."

See below for more on FOX!


"Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to the 2008 World Series, starring...FOX NETWORK!" Please, sir, can we play a little baseball? This is ridiculous. First they tell us WHEN they can play, now they tell us WHO will be introduced. Fox will only announce the starters on both teams, no subs or coaches. These people helped their respective teams get to the Series but they aren't allowed to be applauded for their efforts. WHY? Because Fox wants to make sure the first pitch isn't delayed too long. Who are they kidding? How many of us just fell off the turnip truck? We certainly don't want to cut into any of their pre-game drivel. In a rare moment of concern for the players and fans, Fox has graciously allowed them to announce the non-starters and staff...while Fox is in commercial! Oh, thank you, thank you.

I know this is an insane idea, but why not start the pre-game nonsense at 6:00, start the introductions at 6:45, and start the game at 7:00. Oh, sorry. My headband must be on too tight.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Well here it is, October 22, and I still haven't seen a World Series game. In 1956, the Series had already been over with for TWO WEEKS. Thank you, Fox network.

Everyone seems to be picking the Rays to win it in 6 games. Picasner has also been leaning that way, until...Bob Matthews, Mr Wrong, picked the Rays in 6. Oh well, maybe this will be his accidental correct pick.

Jayson Stark writes that the last 4 WS haven't gone past 5 games. Think that has to do with one team sitting on their hands for 6 or 7 days? I do.

Willie Randolph is interviewing for the Milwaukee Brewers job. Good luck, Willie.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Since I have nothing to do until the networks decide I can watch the World Series, I'll just scan the sports world for silliness.

"Adam 'Pacman' Jones, Jerry Jones, Dow Jones. Keeping up with the Joneses just isn't what it used to be."
Speaking of Pacman, he has entered an alcohol treatment center. Is he supposed to be the featured speaker?

The Yankees have fired their special pitching coach. Why? Because the team didn't have any special pitching.

Bob Matthews, Rochester D & C, has to be my favorite whipping boy.You'd think he'd be right once in a while just by accident. In today's column, he "thinks" (& I use the term loosely) Manny Ramirez should have been the MVP of the NLCS. "Why can't the MVP be from the losing team if he is by far the most productive player in a series?" Bob, Bob, Bob. How "valuable" was Manny? If he wasn't on the team, would the Dodgers have lost FIVE games?
An interesting point made by Mike Wilbon, PTI, last night. Who's the MVP in the AFL so far? Why, it's Tom Brady. Silly? Yes, but think about it. The Pats went 18-1 last year and are lucky to be 4-2 this year. The biggest difference in the team? Right, it's Brady. Granted, this is a little overkill, but it does go to the heart of what MVP means.
Just Picasners opinion.

Monday, October 20, 2008


In his regular blog yesterday, Buster Olney mentioned that the Sox & the Rays had played 25 games against each other this season, so there should be no surprises in Sunday night's game...Except for David Price. Since Price only had 15 innings of Major League experience, no one on the Red Sox had ever faced him and he could make a difference. Exactly right.

He also implied that Varitek shouldn't be hitting in critical situations. Right again. Buster often starts the bandwagon as opposed to jumping on one that's already moving. Let's wait to hear his thoughts on the Series.

Speaking of which, when is the Series starting? Wednesday? Thursday? Next Shrove Tuesday? The Bimb says it's two east coast teams so we won't have to wait until some ungodly hour for the game to start. Oh, yeah? Wait 'til the networks get through with the schedule and the sponsors finish deciding how many commercials they want. I guarantee we won't see a pitch before 8:30 PM. That's the way to build a fan base: play the games when no one under 10 is allowed to stay up for the games. Ya gotta love Bud Selig.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


"Maybe we're supposed to win, maybe we're supposed to lose." Cliff Floyd of the Rays, doesn't sound very confident, does he? That's not the attitude I'd like to hear, if I were his coach. Just a reminder, Cliff, now YOU have to win, too.

Did anyone notice there was no left field ump for most of last night's game? I didn't think so. I always thought it was a ploy by the Umpires Assoc. to get two more umpires some playoff money. Ostensibly, they're there for fair/foul calls and occasional "trap" plays. I can only recall one instance when they were "needed", (NY-Balt playoff in the 90's) and then they got it wrong (Mr. Jeter thanks you).

Mr. Chamberlain was arrested in Nebraska (by their policeman) for DUI and speeding. Speeding, huh. I guess he can "bring it" in a car, too.

Picasner's opinion: Dallas isn't going to go anywhere with Romo and Terrell Owens. This week, Romo was out with an injury (his pinkie, poor boy), so Owens was going to have to screw up the team by himself. Luckily, he was up to the task.

The Rays have come back all year when no one thought they could. I won't be that surprised if they do it again tonight, But there is no way I would ever lay any money against this Red Sox team. It will be interesting to see if anyone succumbs to the pressure tonight.

Friday, October 17, 2008


MLBPA says they have discovered "evidence" to back up their accusation of collusion against Barry Bonds. Well, what's the evidence? Where's the grievance filing? Picasner's opinion: If everyone feels that Bonds would come with too much baggage, is that collusion? Who needs this; just go away!

A 7 foot 9 inch Mongolian (& his wife, of course), have just given birth to a son. Congratulatory cards were sent from every basketball coach in the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big East, etc.

George King of the NY Post, says the Yanks are going hard after...Coach Larry Bowa. Bowa probably doesn't want to go down with the sinking ship that is Joe Torre. I'll bet Hank S. thinks Bowa's going to be the new 2nd baseman. Uh, not quite, Hank.

Maddon says it was right to let Balfour pitch against Papi instead of bringing in a lefty. "It worked all year," he said. The playoffs are a new year, Joe.
Cliff Floyd is already explaining a possible defeat in game 6: "This is the luxury of a 3-1 lead. We don't have to win, they do." Lose one more, and YOU have to win, too, Cliff.

The Red Sox have voted Manny (Being Money) a 2/3 playoff share. It's wonderful that they would help these indigent players who unfortunately don't make the World Series.
The fact that Manny has enough money to buy a third-world nation, doesn't matter. A current Red Sox said he saw Manny stuff a paycheck into his locker with two others. According to him, Manny's bi-monthly check was for $964,000. Make that TWO third-world nations.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


There are strong rumors that both Pettite AND Mussina want to return for another year. So next year, instead of two 20-yr olds being the basis of the Yankee staff, it will be two 40-yr olds. As always with the Yanks, it may not be logical but it's always interesting.

Scot Boras (remember him?), is looking for a 6-year deal at "top" money for Ramirez. So it's become: MANNY BEING MONEY.

Word out of California is the Joe Torre Love-fest is over.

Meacham is out, does this mean Willie is in?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Actually it looked more like Sumo wrestling, all that belly-bumping. Except for Manny: hat off, dreadlocks in the wind, a crazed look on his face. For a while I thought a 64-year old Traveling Secretary had come on to the field.

TORRE, THE GENIUS...well, maybe not:
Joe is being attacked from every side. Everything he does is wrong. He didn't go out to calm Billingsley down. He took Lowe out too soon. He brought in a 20-year old pitcher in a 1-run game. He's even being hit for the buggy Cleveland game last year.
Even Clemens, that bastion of truth & honor, said he and Pettite both would have walked off the mound in Cleveland. Guess you're only as smart as your last World Series win, Joe.

I'm not a Red Sox fan, but it's sad to see a strong and valuable player lose it. Varitek looks lost at the plate and his reflexes seem shot. A passed ball by Varitek? Can't be! He doesn't seem to catch the pitches crisply; it's more like he's just stopping them. I don't think he's in line for any Posada-like contracts this winter.

Big Popi's not scaring anyone, either. His swing looks rusty and even when he hits the power. I wonder if he'll ever get it back. The Sox are getting a lot of praise for their youngsters, but I think the older players are dropping faster than replacements are being found: Ortiz, Varitek, Lowell, etc.

#1. Chinese authorities to investigate ages of Chinese gymnasts.
#2. Scott Boras to teach Ethics class at Harvard Law School.
#3. A fox has been slated to guard the henhouse.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I used to think that sportswriters were the gurus of sport, all-knowing dispensers of the inside info that gave us insight into the game. Alas, this is no longer true. Television, the internet and the preponderance of former athletes disclose the here-to-fore hidden facts like so many grains of sand. Since writers no longer possess these secrets, they now express their opinions, good or bad, right or wrong. They have become...FANS. While reading and hearing their opinions is interesting, we have also discovered they are not infallible.

TJ Simers of the LA Times, writes that Manny has become a team leader. Sorry, TJ, the words "Manny" and "team", do not belong in the same paragraph.

Mike Wilbon, PTI, says the Dodgers are a better team than the Yankees, based solely on the fact that the Dodgers are in the playoffs. Well Mike, that logic would lead us to believe that the Batavia Muckdogs (honest to God, Muckdogs) are also a better team because they won the Single A, NY-Penn League title. Set up a playoff round, Mike. I'll take the "underdog" Yanks.

A couple of weeks ago, Joel Sherman described the Mets as "The Best Uncrowned Team" in baseball. You're half right, Joel. They are uncrowned.

Gee, this is fun. 30 years ago, you didn't dare disagree with the likes of Dick Young or Jim Murray. Besides, they were "smart".

One final observation: The LA-Philly Beanball Wars were in full swing last night. Typical baseball fight, no hitting, just shoving and hugging, except for one glaring difference: NO UMPIRE INTERFERENCE. Yeah they helped keep the peace and issued their warnings, but nobody got thrown out. Thats as it should be. The players will handle these things, let them alone. Thanks, umps!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


If you want to know why there seem to be so many "upsets" in college football, you might want to look at the football polls. If the No. 4 team is beaten by the No.18 team, it's called an upset. OK, sports fans, riddle me this:
BYU jumps three spots in the AP Top 25 during a BYE week, then drops one spot after beating Utah State by 20 points. Excuse me?

Carl Edwards NASCAR driver, after causing a multi-car pileup at Talladega: "I always worry about the idiots when I come here. Today it was me."

Note: Syracuse University plays Oswego High today. Oswego is a 4-point favorite.

Thursday, October 09, 2008


That's all we've been hearing. How Manny saved the Dodgers. A monster 2nd half season for Manny. Sure enough, 1st inning and Manny powers a ball over 400 feet to within a foot or so of being a home run and Joe Buck & Tim McCarver are more than effusive in their praise. They are so proud of being correct in their pre-game analysis.


All the time, Manny was being Manny. Posing at the plate; smugly enjoying the flight of the ball, and not giving much thought to running. He ends up at 2nd instead of third, which he probably would have made. From there he would have scored on the passed ball, but nooo. More than likely cost the Dodgers a run, which, in a one-run game, is significant. His two "press agents", Buck & McCarver, never mentioned it. Didn't fit your analysis, huh?

Let's see if this gets any play in tomorrow's sports news.

(Added Friday morning, 10:00 AM) Well, I didn't read anything or hear anything. I can't believe no one else recognized this. Granted, if Manny's on third, they may have pitched differently, but still, the possibility's there. I believe Michael Kay would have mentioned it. This is one of his favorite complaints on baseball: players not hustling.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The Yankees are discovering that their high-priced seats are not selling as fast as they thought. A block of 4 seats behind home plate is priced at $10,000 per game. And they're not selling? I'm shocked! SHOCKED! I wonder if I can find any coupons.

The Colorado Rockies have fired their entire coaching staff; on a team that went to the World Series in 2007. Boy, those guys sure got awfully dumb, awfully fast.

Mariano Rivera had his scheduled shoulder surgery yesterday. All is well and he'll be ready to throw in 3 months. However, additional surgery on his hip to remove a lump was aborted when it was discovered the "lump" was his 2008 $15 million salary. Mariano was quoted as saying he will "deal with it this year" in hopes that it will improve when next year's "lump" will even everything out.

The Yanks announced that Yankee Stadium is officially closed. That's funny, I thought that happened in August.

John Lackey has been quoted as saying, "We lost to a team that's not better than us." When asked for his reaction to being eliminated, He said, "I felt like throwing something through a wall." Too bad it wasn't a ball...during the game.

Monday, October 06, 2008


Mitch Albom, of the Detroit Free Press, repeated my comments on the Univ. of Wisconsin Band on the Sports Reporters yesterday (with a little paraphrasing). OK Mitch, glad I could help. There will be a fee charged in the future, however.

Here's how my interest in baseball has waned now that the Yanks are out. As I watched the Angels-Red Sox game last night, the only thing that caught my attention is how knock-kneed Josh Beckett is. It looks like he could stand on 1st AND 2nd base at the same time.

Jerry Manuel, mgr of the Mets, talked about the off-season planning. "We have to see where we failed." Jerry, maybe you should start by looking into the Ambiorix Burgos situation, one of your pitchers who is currently evading an arrest warrant in relation to a fatal traffic accident. Failed driving test, perhaps?

Plaxico Burress, NY Giants wide receiver, has the best job he's ever going to get in football and he still acts like team rules are just guidelines. The fines are going to start cutting into that big salary very soon, Plaxico.

It's very possible that we be heading for a Dodgers-Red Sox World Series. Manny-being-Manny being introduced in Fenway Park in a Dodger uniform. THAT I will watch!

You have to love ESPN's Bill Simmon's description of Scott Boras:

"Let's pretend you were Boras last spring. First, grow fangs and imagine you sleep in a coffin. Second, divorce yourself from all parameters of human decency. (Concentrate on those dollars signs. Keep concentrating. Block everything else out.) Third, convince yourself the relationship between a player and his fans, no matter how long it has been cultivated, doesn't matter even remotely. Fourth, keep reminding yourself, as long as you can weasel Manny out of that '09 option with Boston, you're looking at a four-year contract elsewhere for $80-100 million ... as well as a big fat commission for yourself. You feeling it? You feeling like Boras yet? (Touch your new fangs to be sure.)" (Thanks Vod, for pointing out this article)

Saturday, October 04, 2008

VOD IS RIGHT! (As always)

Why can't I get interested in the playoffs? According to the news media, the games are exciting, yet I find myself watching reruns of "Third Rock from the Sun". It probably doesn't help that Picasner's "pick", the Cubs, are down 2-0 and heading into Lala-land. Maybe the next round will hold more interest. Yeah, Tampa-Philly, I can hardly wait. Interestingly enough, in March, Las Vegas offered odds of 150-1 for Tampa winning everything. I'll bet even Little Watusi never got on that bandwagon.

The name change hasn't made Chad Ocho Cinco (Johnson) any smarter: "Our '05 season we were unbelievable. That was the year everybody got arrested and went to jail and it was one of the best years in our history. Maybe, I don't know, maybe I should go out have a drink, get in trouble." Isn't this crazy? Hey Chad, what's the record for the most TD catches in a jail cell? What a role model. Change your number to Zero-Zero.

Sadly, another sports group has been suspended for allegations of hazing, alcohol abuse and sexual misconduct. A high school team? Cheerleaders? The Cincinnati Bengals (a good guess)? No, it was the Univ. of Wisconsin Marching Band. The Band? THE BAND?? This sounds like a tough school. Does the football team have to play wearing handcuffs? Do the cheerleaders have to shave every day? Legs and face? THE BAND?? I knew those Tuba players were up to no good. Sounds like a good candidate for an "Ocho-Cinco Scholarship".

One final note: Picasner is irritated with the constant listing of "Playoff Records". Even into the World Series. What happened to "World Series Records"? Mantle has 18 World Series homers. Manny has 26 playoff homers. Good for you, Manny, but they all aren't WS homers. And I don't want to hear the "well, they played in so many World Series" excuse. They played good enough to get there, didn't they? Keep your "Playoff Records", just make the distinction...please.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I don't want to make too big a deal out of this: People who live in glass houses with $200 million dollar windows...

The New York writers, however, are having a field day with it, as evidenced by the following headlines:

"Ya gotta bereave!" New York Post

"Ya gotta be leavin!" New York Daily News

"We just attended the 2nd Annual Heimlich Festival." Bob Raissman

Even the stadium was not immune:

"Shea No More"


A few predictions made by Peter Gammons for the 2008 season back in March,2008.
He's considered to be the Dean of sports commentators and an excellent talent evaluator.
It wasn't his best year:

"So it's easy to sit here now and say the Braves, Cubs, Red Sox, Tigers and Angels will win their divisions, but the Indians will win the World Series because of their great pitching.
OK, I'm guessing that the wild-card Indians will beat the Braves in the World Series. Now, here are some other prognostications, with considerable help from friends in front offices, dugouts and the scouts' seats."

Ah, I think you better find some new friends, Peter.

"1. Manny Ramirez, Red Sox. Just watch him run. The winter at Athletes' Performance Center in Tempe, Ariz., changed him physically and mentally, and it doesn't hurt to have David Ortiz in his tandem"

He ran, all right...right to another league. The Athletes Performance Center did a hell of a job with his mental attitude, didn't it?

"1. Justin Verlander, Tigers. He may be in the running every year, but in 2008 13.7 runs of support per start may win 25 games."

On the other hand, normal run support resulted in 17 losses. With 14 runs of support per start, I might win 11 games, which is how many Justin got this year.

"2. Josh Beckett, Red Sox. One man for one game."

Uh, which game would that be, Peter?

"1. John Maine, Mets. 20 wins?"

Close. 10 more wins next year and you're right on the button.

"5. Phil Hughes, Yankees. It's all there."

Unfortunately, "...there" meant Scranton-Wilkes Barre.


"7. Nick Johnson, Nationals. After two rough years, he is in the best shape of his career, and he can really hit."

And he did...for all 38 games. This guy is president of the DL.

I don't really want to make too much fun of Peter. He did get a lot of things right (Cliff Lee, Joe Mauer, etc.). It should just make us realize that we shouldn't rely too heavily on the opinion of "experts".

Monday, September 29, 2008


October baseball without New York. It's like spaghetti without meat balls. If you're hungry, you'll eat it, but it just doesn't satisfy.

I have no idea what to expect in the NL series. I've tried watching some NL games during the past two weeks and its simply too damn hard. The Mets announcers are dreadful, and with the sound off, you're forced to actually watch, and that can't be good for anybody. The Cubs are as complete a team as any in the NL (a compliment?) but if Zambrano can't regain his pre-no-hit form they are left with one competent stater. Philadelphia could be interesting to watch if Jamie Moyer gets a start, but only because he's older than we are and it could be fun to watch Ryan Howard strike out 28 times in a World Series. The Brewers? Basically a bad baseball team with one AL pitcher who carried them for 3 months.

The AL clearly has the stronger teams. On the other hand, so what and who cares. LA has the unique distinction of being both a power house and, at the same time boring. No defending World Series Champion has generated less interest than Boston and the illusory "red sox nation", although, to be fair, the famed "nation" is a bit larger than the Tampa Bay fan base - six season ticket holders in Tampa - St. Pete's, and, as far as I know, I'm it in the greater US north of Orlando. It was amazing, but I actually got congratulations from ushers in the Trop for wearing a Rays hat at a Tampa home game in April.

Oh, I almost forgot, the Dodgers and the Twins. The only interesting thing about the Dodgers is Torre and Manny and we've been watching them for over 10 years in the real league, and the only thing interesting about the Twins is who they don't have. Unlike Tori Hunter, Santana managed to sign his way out of any opportunity to play in the post season for ever. Sucker.

While I have no predictions - why bother - I do have preferences. I would like to see LA at Anaheim on the West Coast of the United States of America on The North American continent Planet Earth the 3rd planet Sol a sun in a solar system in the Milky Way Galaxy in the visible Universe lose early. Same for the other LA team. The last thing we need are baseball games starting at 2 am eastern.

I would like to see Boston play only until Kevin Youkalis takes one off of his butt-ugly pumpkin head. Hey, take a look at Papelbon's puss when he's taking a sign and tell me he's not the most popular guy in after-game showers. And as for the Rays, I like the hat far more than the team.

So, once again, we are left with the inevitable conclusion, what every baseball fan knows deep in their heart, baseball in October without New York isn't.



Just a few last items of note.

According to "Jud The Statistician", A-rod will produce ONE less playoff RBI this year than the previous 3 playoffs. At least he didn't have far to fall.

Trivia question: SF Giant catcher Bengie Molina hit a long drive to the outfield but was only able to get as far as first. In a spark of genius, Mgr Bruce Bochy sent in Emmanuel Burris to pinch-run. He then asked the umps to review the drive. They did and changed it to a home run. OK Jud, who gets the HR, RBI and Run Scored?
Bonus points: Bochy protested the game. What was the ruling?
Extra credit: Who cares?

Didn't we see a fine example of sportsmanship and team play from Papelbon yesterday? In spite of the bad conditions, he was out giving his "all", and making damn sure everyone, including Terry Francona, knew that he was. Poor baby.

The Bimb would like to see Youkilis shave his face...right down to the bone.

The Mets are improving. They only lost 6 games in the standing in the last 17 games, down from 7 games.

In order to reach the playoffs, the White Sox have to win their last 3 games: one down, two to go. (Picasner: "I'm betting against it")

The Marlins took their time going into the clubhouse after the game Sunday. Mets fans chanted: "Off our field!". No one is sure which team they were talking to.

Do we HAVE to watch "Manny being Manny" again?

Picasner will have a mild rooting interest in the Cubs. (Go Sweet Lou)