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