Thursday, August 28, 2008


OK Virginia. It's time to call in the dogs and p*** on the fire.

I too, think the playoff hunt is over. It took me an extra day, but I am a little more slow-witted than Vod (which is no big compilment, by the way). Picasner will no longer bother to analyze any more Yankee games, but I will comment on the oddities that pop up in sports which will certainly keep me busy. For example:

Mark Spitz has said that if he raced Michael Phelps, "They would probably tie". Only if Spitz ran along side the pool.

Scott Boras is Taking the Pirates and a draft choice to arbitration over...??? Will someone please find him a tinker toy to play with?

Hal runs the Yanks and Hank does the talking. I'm beginning to think Hank is just the diversion.

I'm still waiting for that Pirates hat. (Or a Cubs hat: go Sweet Lou)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Come On baby Light my Fire

No more analysis should be allowed.

There’s nothing to say about the performance of this team that has not been said many times this season.

Light the hot stoves now.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008


Vod Knocker sent me a link about the outrageous ticket prices that will be in effect in NYC next year. It appears the Yanks, Mets, Jets and Giants are the new Four Horsemen Of the Apocalypse. In dramatic lore, they were known as Famine, War, Pestilence and Death. In NYC, they are know as Cheatum, Screwum, Rapeum and Howe.
I guess if I want to see a game in NYC, I'll have to watch it on TV in a bar across the street from the stadium.At least the beer will be colder (and cheaper) (maybe).
We'll never again hear the players say "Our fans are great." Instead it will be: "Our corporate sponsors are better than your coporate sponsors".

Just when you think they couldn't sink any lower, someone comes along with a shovel. Brian Gorman threw a Twins player (Denard Span) out of the game AFTER the game had ended for throwing his helmet. He didn't throw it AT the umpire, just down on the ground. "Strike three, game over and, Oh yeah, you're outta here." I'm losing it here; can someone explain this? The game is over...let it go!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Play Nice

Yo, Chad, go easy on my favorite Joe West.

True, Joe may not be quite as mobile as the 3rd Air Cavalry but his games remain some of the mellowest in the majors. Everybody gabs with Joe at the plate, never get too weird when he more than occasionally misses a pitch, and his punch outs are the softest, least humiliating in the league.

As for obscure rulings... Joe got it completely right and it was in the Yankees favor. And Trembly knows Joe did him a favor tossing him. Any excuse for not watching the Oriole's, and on far too many nights the Yankees, is a huge favor. Today's 4+ hour
stink-a-thon was more proof of that.

So if Joe never strays too far from a hot fog vendor, cut him a bit of slack. His wardrobe needs it in all the wrong places.

Playing in October? I'd like to see these bozos play in August. Today's sweep of the sub-.500 was a heroic, if unsuccessful effort to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Another error by "The Captain" and Nady, in a less forgiving world would be charged with 2 errors on the subsequent play. An error of omission for not charging the fly along with the error of commission for not fielding it at all. Then again, last night, "X", how cute, let Johnny, I left my Arm in San Francisco, Damon called him off a deep fly to left without opening his yap, costing the Steinboobers a run. Just what this outfield needs - another tentative fielder to flank the armless one.

Tuesday - Thursday, a must win series.


A sweep is always good, especially within your division. Some suspect pitching but the offense has been responding. It will have to continue if we expect to be playing in October.

I have not been happy with the lineup either. I think Matsui and Giambi should switch places. A-Rod has not performed like a clean-up hitter, but pitchers still pitch him very carefully. Three run homers are wonderful, but I like the way Matsui tries to get something done with two strikes, unlike Giambi, who takes 3 shots at the fences every time up. Next time a lefty starts, maybe we'll get a better look at Cody Ransom.

I think Girardi is going with the adage " with who brung ya'". Might as well throw Steinbrenner's money out on the field and see where it takes you. It will be interesting to see how far the Pavano money goes. He did look OK Saturday.

Our intrepid announcers made a big deal of "rotation play" of the umpires on Saturday. Actually, they were just covering for Joe "Tons O' Fun" West, who, after running to third, was waiting for oxygen. After Mora performed CPR, he was back behind home plate. By the way, Joe, thanks for throwing out Trembly for arguing about another one of your obscure rulings. After he complained a while, say "that's enough" and walk quickly away. If he follows you, then toss him. (Besides, the walk will do you good)

One final note: The Dodgers are 11-10 since the advent of "Manny being Manny". Scott Proctor is still on the disabled list (Is anyone surprised?). Now pay attention, boys and girls. Scott has ben on the 15-day DL since June 26th. Here on the East Coast, that's 59 days. Ah, California. Must be a metric calendar.

Tuesday, the greatest rivalry in sports: Mt Sanai vs Boston General. Bud Selig will be throwing out the first Orthopedic Surgeon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tinker Toy Boy

Joe Girardi has shown us several remarkable consistencies all year. One, he has tinkered with the lineup, giving a day of rest to position players, frequently at the cost of playing with his best lineup. The results have been mediocre at best. Two, he has consistently kept arod and Big(?)G in the 4 and 5 holes. The results have been disastrous. when you 4 and 5 guys are hitting .245 and just over .200 with RISP - wouldn't you think the Tinkerin' Joe might try a change bit of a change. Those are their averages for the year - and as the Amazing arod recently noted (duh) the team needs the 3, 4, and 5 to produce. Will someone please tell Joe that it's not happening , has not happened, and is unlikely to happen with his cast in concrete 3 - 5 lineup.

With the addition of Nagy and the return of Matsui even Joe should be smart enough to know that he has, yes, options! Alternatives!! The Possibility of Doing Something Slightly Different!!!

But now it's August and we're stuck with a second base arm in center, a wall-frightened, claustrophobic right fielder, a frequently zoned-out 2nd baseman, R(etread)-Rod behind the plate, and the Chokers batting cleanup and 5th.

Perhaps the Mighty Picasner has some insight into this situation that he would share?

Holy Cow-pie

Take a few days off in the north country and what happens? 11-3

arod (definitely a "small a") tells us that the 3, 4, and 5 hitters need to produce in order for his team to win. What a revelation! I'm sure that Yankee fans everywhere are overjoyed that someone associated with the team discovered the formula for winning 134 games into the season. I hope he passes that information on to Joe Girardi and the rest of the the team. They will be, no doubt, thankful for the advice.

Sadly, arod (definitely a "small a") has not practiced what he preached, going 1 - 9 in the Toronto series and partnering with
Big?G for 6 or 7 Ks in one game. No, they we're not pitching but I can understand if you're confused how these incredibly wealthy slugoids could strikeout so many times while at bat.

Props to Picasner for executing a superb rear guard action keeping a flicker of hope alive for desperate Yankee-istas, but we know its a futile effort in 2008, the 10th anniversary of 114 wins.

Seen in its proper light, the 2008 season is an affirmation of the principals of winning baseball that knowledgeable fans revere: defense, throwing strikes with command, defense, smart, tough at bats, defense, team chemistry, astute management in the dugout and insightful coaching on the basepaths... While the Yankees have not consistently displayed these qualities this season, the Rays have, the Red Sucks (cheap shot that they deserve) try to, and the Bluejays have started to since the arrival of Senor Gaston.

On the plus side - M. Kay and Al Leiter are terrific and help keep me watching and I have earned a dispensation from going to a September game. My daughter and significant other will be using the tickets to take their respective mothers - freeing me up for motorcycle miles upstate (the real upstate) with Mike and golf with Merle if all goes well.

So look for that silver lining (LOL)!!!

It can be the freedom not to deal with the whole mess.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Ahh, my favorite rant: Major League Umpires.

First: Baseball announces the start of instant replays (on home runs only), which is a good thing. For reasons that are not clear to me, the umpires boycotted a phone call to discuss this (How do you boycott a phone call? Stand with your back to a ringing phone? Pick up the handset but refuse to listen?) I can understand that they might have some questions on it's implementation, but...a boycott? Just another example of their arrogance. You are NOT the boss of baseball; you WORK for baseball. My Dad had the best definition of an employer/employee relationship:
"The boss marks the spot and I dig the hole." Got it?
By the way, the umpires are now on board. I guess we had to be shown how important they are, first.

The Rays' BJ Upton (A.K.A. Mr Hustle), gets tagged out at first for "attempting to go to 2nd". I saw the play on Youtube before it was "removed" and I have to say it was a pretty chickenshit call, even by the broadest interpretation of the rule. Of course, the umpires won't discuss it because...well, maybe they'd have to admit they blew it?
Even dumber is the crew chief saying "I've called players out for less". FOR LESS??
When did he ever call anyone out for this? I've never seen this called ever at the Major League level. When are these boys going to be shut down? Maybe we have to rename it "Major League Umpire's Baseball". Sorry, Mr Selig.
I hope the umpires don't read this: I'd hate to be thrown out of watching tonight's game.

Monday, August 18, 2008


A good day for the Yanks, however, I hope Cano watches the way Gardner approaches the game. Gardner hits one into the gap and leaves the box thinking TRIPLE all the way (of course, his blazing speed helps). Cano hits one and thinks WOW, LOOK AT THAT, and then decides to "run". Girardi is supposed to be tough; why isn't he dealing with this? Something along the lines of what Joe Maddon did might be in order. Maddon was so upset with BJ Upton's lack of hustle, he waited till Upton got to his position in center field before he pulled him from the game. A little embarrassment can go a long way. Charley Manuel of the Phillies has twice pulled last year's MVP J. Rollins for not hustling. Come on, Joe, deal with this.

Of course, Girardi is not alone. Terry Francona never dealt effectively with the "Manny" problem. Instead of "Manny being Manny", it should have been "Manny Not Playing". Joe Torre is no better. He told Manny to cut his hair and it appears it took two weeks for those words to find their way thru his dreadlocks. Then he only took an inch off to which Torre said was "OK for now". I guess the rule is: "If you hit, you cannot convict".

Nady impresses me more every day. He hits, fields and HUSTLES. Gardner sure looks better this time around, doesn't he. I still like Christian a little better.

This should be interesting: Nady, Damon, Abreu, Gardner, Christian and Matsui vying for 3 outfield spots and one DH. Too bad it isn't softball: a short fielder would certainly take some pressure off.

Dateline April, 2008: Place your bets - who will have the most wins by August 15th: Johann Santana or Mike Mussina? Who can believe Mussina? He has the accuracy of a laser scope, a curve like Bert Blyleven and a fastball like my wife's and he wins.
If you get to watch him come off the mound, you will see that he also knows how to schmooze the umpires, too. Whatever works.

One last chance to prove they belong: the next six games. They must win at least 5 out of 6. Good luck.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Getting Late Early

August 16

The Yankee death spiral has, at least, come at a convenient time. The Little League World Series is in progress and televised so there is an opportunity to see some decent baseball.

Good News: Richie Sexson is gone.

Bad News: Brett Gardner is back. Interesting trade off - Cabrerra's .240 for Gardner's .140

Name the Steinboober: We have seen him fall flat on his face between 1st and 2nd and, most recently, get picked off in the bottom of the 9th with no outs in a tie game.

Murderer's Row: A-Roid is hitting .232 with RISP. "Big G" - now that's a knee slapper - .212

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The Yanks did not get any breaks today, but when you're losing and not playing well, that's what happens. Hard hit balls right at fielders, opponents balls that seem to find holes - it's like the gods are punishing you for playing lousy. There is still, of course, the Yanks nasty habit of getting nothing out of rallies (and I use the term loosely).

And then there is Mr Cano: getting in people's way, losing 2nd base (it's that white thing in the middle of the field, Robbie) and running like he thinks his pants will catch fire. Wait, that might be a good idea. Are you listening, Joe? I believe they should put Betemit on 2nd for the whole weekend series and leave him there until Cano decides he wants to actually play and play hard. By the way, where's our "captain"? This sure sounds like a job for him. If you've seen "A Few Good Men", you'll know that this is the time for a Code Red. If you lose because the other team is better, that's one thing; if one guy is screwing up the whole team, get rid of him.


The Yanks won despite Rivera's current penchant for giving up home runs. I his numbers are great, but I'm getting very nervous when he comes in.

CC Sabathia may be the best mid-season pick-up this year, but isn't Xavier Nady a close second? I really like his swing: smooth, level and powerful. I understand Flaherty's point about swinging for the fences, but I disagree. There are always 2 or 3 sluggers on a team and when you go into extra innings, they should be going all out, especially with the score tied. Remember, in those situations, pitchers are being very careful. If they start aiming the ball, boom: home run. Keep on swinging, guys.

After media-created flirtations with Boston, the Dodger, and both NY teams, Barry Bonds has been rejected by the Astros. Aren't we done with this one yet?

The same day he hit two hrs and mouthed off about not playing the outfield full time, Gary Sheffield was placed on waivers. He should be scooped up in...well, never. He's 39, can't throw, has 12 hrs, 35 rbi's, hitting .223 and has a $14 million contract. Yeah, that's attractive.

In the 2-person beach volleyball, the men wear tank tops and bermuda shorts while the women wear g-strings and pasties (not really). Why is that? Are they selling athleticism or sex? Is that a stupid question, or what?

Boston 19 Texas 17. Is that the game of the year? This was so exciting, even Annie
got caught up. After one score update, she ran into the room yelling, "Boston just went ahead 14-14!" HUH? ("Don't you dare put that in the blog." OK.)

USA women's gymnastic team tanked last night. I guess it's no coincidence the American team is referred to as the Yanks.

Hank Steinbrenner says the problem with the Yanks is all the injuries. Yes, there have been some key injuries, but the bigger problem is not hitting with men on base. This "powerful" lineup, which had the potential to score 1000 runs, is on a pace to score less than 800. Cashman's not stupid: I fore see major changes nest year.

Some of Girardi's moves puzzle me. He pinch hits at strange times, doesn't push his starters, and insists on this program of resting people. Are they that old? What is he resting them for, the off-season? We're behind, play them. They can rest in November.

Will someone please tell Cano to run hard ALL THE TIME. Others are loafing too, but he seems to be the biggest offender. I hate seeing these millionaires trot to first and then turn it on when the ball gets by an outfielder. I guess by your 3rd year in the majors, you outgrow the "hustle" attitude. Maybe we should put a $100 bill on 2nd base; I'm sure they'll go after that (well, maybe not Manny).

Friday, August 08, 2008


Why do we keep hearing the same two statements about A-Rod from the Yanks intrepid announcers?
"He just missed that one." It's still an out; no extra points for "just".
"He's close." To what? The plate?

Does Giambi have a new good luck charm? The scruffy beard?

If Abby Wambach falls and breaks her leg, is there still a women's soccer team?

When will Tampa Bay's bubble burst (if ever)?

Will Carl Pavano make it back to the Yanks major league roster in time to go on the 30-day disabled list?

Has anyone been able to get the smile off Terry Francona's face yet?

I haven't heard anything about Brett Favre in the last 15 minutes. Is everything OK?

Did Texas pitcher Vicente Padilla just balk again?

Why is it that every time I think, "Boy, will I be glad to get rid of Abreu & Giambi.", they get hot again?

Melky hasn't started in 4 days; how tired is he? Or is Girardi as tired as we are of watching his futile attempts at hitting?

Do I have too much time on my hands?

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Former Yankee, Jeff Karstens, has now pitched 15 innings for the Pirates and has yet to give up a run. He is 2-0, with an ERA of 0.00. In other minor league news...

Kevin Millar says he was disappointed that Edwar Ramirez was tossed recently for throwing at him. "He's a cute guy with no out pitch and is lucky to be in the majors. I intended to hit one into the monuments off him." Good going, Kevin. Maybe next time Edwar won't miss.

So far, A-Rod is 0 for Texas. Everyone who is watching the Yankees regularly will be surprised at this stat: the Yanks are 8th in the Majors in hitting into double plays with 103, 11 behind Toronto. It seems like they've hit into 103 just since the All-Star break.

No truth to the rumor that the National Mustache Association is suing Jason Giambi for shaving his 'stache and hurting their image.

4 of the 6 potential starters at the start of the season have spent time on the DL. I think that makes it the most dangerous position in baseball. ("Uh, no thanks, Skip. I'd rather relieve.") Has anyone else noticed that the two old-timers are still healthy? Maybe it's true: instead of babying these guys with limited pitch counts, they should just let them pitch till they get tired, like the old days. I seem to recall Al Leiter throwing 142 pitches in a World Series game, and he still has his left arm.

The Yanks "Probable Pitchers" list is now being announced by Mt Sinai Hospital.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon StarPhoenix:
"Jeff Kent of the Dodgers, to the Los Angeles Times: 'I don't hang out with the guys, never have. I don't go out drinking, look at porn, have a girlfriend or get divorced - so I'm selfish.'
"And Kent calls himself a professional athlete?"

Sunday, August 03, 2008


OK, maybe not the most well-played game ever, but one of the more interesting ones. All the sports announcers and analysts are harping on the great game Nady had and I-Rod's homer, and those kodo's are well deserved. However I think a lot more credit should be given to Justin Christian running the bases like a wild man and forcing the Angels to look very unsure of themselves. Great move by Girardi to insert Justin as a pinch runner with a 3-2 count on the batter. Everybody in the park knew he was going to run and still the Angels couldn't do anything about it.

The most impressive thing was seeing the Yanks hang in and never give up. If that's all that I-Rod & Nady bring to the club, it's enough.

The umps are at it again: throwing a White Sox pitcher out of the game for "intentionally" throwing at a batter. Right! With the bases loaded, yet. I wonder if they will ever get it right.

Buster Olney wonders why Selig never called Manny in to discus his obvious lack of "competition". Good question. Even if he didn't punish him at all (and we know how good Selig is at that), at least give the appearance of caring. No, Manny got what he wanted in the most heinous way possible. Good going, Baseball.

Saturday, August 02, 2008


All the "experts" say the Yanks went out and plugged all their holes. Maybe they did, but they still have a problem no one has solved yet. It's a lineup of streak hitters. When they can put rallies together, they're unbeatable, but too often they seem to face pitchers who shut them down. Damon and Abreu are the only ones who come thru when it's needed. Jeter likes to ground to 2nd (sometimes into DPs), A-Rod appears easy to fool when he's not "just missing" pitches over the plate, Cano was scary for a while (not any more) and Giambi looks helpless. Until they all get more consistent the Yanks are going nowhere.

So LA Dodgers are the big winners? How soon before Manny becomes Manny in LA-LA Land? How does Torre juggle 5 outfielders without a DH position before somebody becomes unhappy (Hope it isn't Manny)? Bottom line: NO THANKS! I think Boston did just great. Jason Bay's numbers are very close to Manny's and Jason hustles. Francona is smiling again, and I'm happy for him.

What happened to the umpires this year? They blew the call on a few homers, they're missing calls on the bases, the pitch calling is as rotten and inconsistent as ever, and they are throwing guys out of games like they get a commission. They follow people around to either precipitate arguments or prolong them. Now if a batter gets hit, they toss the pitcher regardless of the situation. Even announcers, those paragons of baseball acumen, are saying the umpires have no feel or understanding of the ebb & flow of the game. One ump blows an HBP call, saying it was a bunt attempt (how can you attempt a bunt when you're jumping out of the way of a pitch thrown at your legs?), starting a minor riot in Minnesota. Another ump misses a call at home plate on I-Rod that was ridiculous. Joe West felt the need to threaten a pitcher with a stopwatch 'cause "he wasn't pitching fast enough". Joe: just take care of second base...oh, and lose some weight. Maybe someone should bring a stopwatch to the dinner table for you.

I say again, guys: Shut up and do your job. You can't be disrespected because you're supposed to be invisible. Nobody came to the park to see you.