Sunday, January 31, 2010


So this is how it went: The Yanks prepared to talk to Scott Boras about Damon and were told point blank, "Don't even bother to make an offer that isn't multi-years and NO pay cut." The Yanks said okay, and made no offer. After a few weeks, we are told they offered 2 years for $19 million. Boras laughed and Damon went along. When the Yanks decided they had to move on Nick Johnson, they went to Boras with about $6-9 million, 1 year, with incentives. Again, disdain from Boras, citing other teams were offering multi-year deals for more money. Yanks said go for it. After that, they signed Winn, Boras asked for another offer; they offered Damon what little money they had left to stay under their "budget." Boras & Damon were insulted and said 'NOPE.' One by one, other teams are going out of their way to publicly state they have zero interest in Johnny (and probably none in Boras, either). So now, Scott has messed up negotiations with the Yanks for A-Rod, Abreu and Damon. Someone should tell him the Bank of George Steinbrenner has closed and Hal S. is taking no prisoners. Nice going, Scott.

Certainly an exciting game, but kind of sloppy. K-State made some silly errors late in the game (how many lane violations on free throws have you ever seen? K-State had TWO.) Kansas wasn't much better, losing the ball on turnovers in critical times. Both teams had trouble making free throws in the latter part of the game. But, with the crowd and the ever-present Dick Vitale hype, it was easy to get caught up. For such a huge rivalry, I was very impressed at the sportsmanship showed by both clubs, helping each other up off the floor and smiling at one another.
I wasn't all that impressed with Kansas' center, Cole Aldrich. He's big and strong but he played even bigger because K-State just couldn't match up with him. If they played back of him, he just muscled his way back and had short little jumpers. If they fronted him, he took lob passes and went to the basket unopposed. He grabbed some offensive 'boards because of his size but often missed the put back (He was 5-13 from the field). He was drawn way out of position on defensive switches. Wait till he plays a center as big & strong as he is and has some athleticism. I think Onuaku from Syracuse would give him a real hard time.

Did I hear something about a football game today?

Friday, January 29, 2010


The New Jersey Nets (4-40) play the Washington Wizards (14-30) tonight. The odds on the game are only 3-2 that one of the teams will win.

BASEBALL PROSPECTUS has come out with an early prediction on the pennant races.
AL West: Oakland (with the Angels last!), AL Central: Minnesota, AL East: Tampa, Boston, New York. Even though they predict the Yanks to have the 2nd highest B.A., highest # of runs, and the highest OBP & Slugging Pct, they still pick them 3rd.

Bob Matthews now says that since the Yanks have signed Randy Winn, the Damon deal is dead. Yeah, you knew it all along, huh Bob?

***WE'RE #2, WE'RE #2...***
ESPN came out with their new power rankings today. Kansas, Syracuse, Villanova & Kentucky. Not a good 7 days for teams ranked #1.

#16 Wisconsin vs #12 Purdue. Purdue pulls it out with 9 seconds left, even tho' Wisc had TWO shots at it before the buzzer. 6'8" Badger forward, Keaton Nankivil, hit 7 of 8 three-pointers in a losing effort.

"Miguel Tejada was 31 years old when he left the Orioles in 2007. Two years later, he returns to the Orioles at age 35. Explain, please."

The media is reporting that Tiger Woods is in a sex rehab camp. A camp? Do they go around chanting “Two, four, six, eight, we don’t need to fornicate?

I'm rapidly getting annoyed with ESPN. Do they have to start EVERY 1/2 hour segment with two minutes of clanging, explosions and CGI garbage that has nothing to do with sports? Why all the explosions? I've never seen a Wide World of Sports segment titled "Grenade tossing." The announcers are also getting irritating: Getting cutesy, tossing little jabs back & forth and making up new words and phrases to describe the Top Ten plays ("Bartender, serve it up" - what the hell does that mean?). Today, they had "Trombone Shorty" (Oh, come on! Trombone Shorty?) playing some New Orleans jazz in the background while they talked about the upcoming Superbowl. Then there was a guy playing the trumpet while one of the announcers sat on a life-size plastic horse. Who thinks this crap up? It seems the only ones who are trying seriously to report sports news, are the women. Hey guys, how about entertaining US instead of each other. Oh, and a little more sports news and replays. I don't care about what's in your wardrobe.

BTW, have you all noticed the ever-changing "Dweeb of Sports" Vod pays tribute to under the last picture to the right of the blog?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Right Answer

Who buys.




Instead of writing about the 'National Pastime,' here we are discussing menus.
The Picasner tradition has been homemade Nachos, with extra Jalapenos (Jap-a-lenos, according to my Mom), to limit Annie-O's participation. The last two years, we have been guests at my granddaughter's house (oh yeah, my daughter & son-in-law, too) for pizza & wings. As for Vod, the answer should be: who cooks (or who fetches).

What is more exciting than college basketball? The color in the stands, the crazed fans, the cute cheerleaders and the unbridled enthusiasm of the not-so-perfect college athlete. Where a vociferous arena of loyal students can incite a lesser talented team to heights they never imagined or previously attained. Last night, unranked Michigan gave 5th-ranked Michigan State all they could handle for 39:57 minutes of a game where the crowd was so loud, the announcers had to shout to be heard. State finally emerged with a win only after a last-second, 4-foot, fall-away jumper by Michigan, rolled out. There was so much yellow in the crowd, I thought I was watching a Prius commercial.

What was a hint yesterday, seems now to be a full-fledged accusation. Scot Boras' tactics are coming under more and more scrutiny, as this blogger notes:
See Vod, it's not just me.

Vod is only 2/3's right. Swisher is highlight reel from the "Dumbest Athletic Events" show. Gardner is pretty much the same except he gets there faster. And Granderson has also developed a reputation for taking some pretty strange routes to fly balls. This outfield may become, as Bob Uecker once said, "...the masters at turning the legitimate single into the surprise double." Where's Manny Ramirez when you need him?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are ready to unveil a statue of (I can't believe this) Bill Mazeroski in front of their stadium. There has been no word on the pose of the statue, whether it will be Maz turning the double play or hitting a home run. My suggestion: on his knees with folded hands in front of the Hall of Fame election committee. We'll probably go to see a game there this summer, I'll let you know.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hail Picasner

Our hero got it exactly right. Phil Simms, in a word, sucks as an analyst. Troy Aikmin, on the other hand, just gets better with experience. He can even do a Cowboys game and remain informative, insightful, and balanced.

On the basketball side, Sean McDonough (somebody spell that for me) and Jay Bilas are the best of the lot. Bilas recognizes players that bring more than scoring and together, Bilas and McD make Bill Raftery almost bearable.

Plea to the Yankees: Please, don't put Gardner and Swisher in the outfield at the same time. One of them is painful. Both... cruel and unusual punishment.

Huge disagreement in the Kanockers household about this year's Super Bowl. I want lobster bisque, shrimp, and fruit. My honey insists on the more traditional chili, pizza, and wings. Who's playing in this affair?


The Oakland A's used their money to sign Ben Sheets, so all that's left is some pocket change for Johnny Damon, which is the same amount the Yanks are offering. Xavier Nady has just signed with the Cubs so all that's left is Jonny Gomes (no way), Jermaine Dye (Yanks have nixed him once already) and Rocco Baldelli. I really liked this guy when he first came up with the Rays, but he's been bogged down with physical ailments since. He could probably handle platooning with Gardner. At least it would give Nick Johnson somebody to talk to on the Disabled List.

Chien-Ming Wang supposedly has a Major League contract offer from...? He isn't a Boras client, so the Mystery Team is out. We'll see.


Phil Sims is supposed to be the best color man on television right now, and I thought he was okay. He seemed to know what he was talking about had some interesting insights. But last Sunday... he talked way too much, repeated himself constantly and his 'excitement' seemed contrived to me. Luckily, it was a good game anyway.

Are teams intimidated coming into the dome? Is the large crowd too much for visiting teams to handle? Or is Syracuse just too good? Rautins was right when he said, "Everything flows from our defense." There were times when the Orange looked like they were part of the Georgetown offense, they caught so many of their passes. And nobody looks for their shot: they always look for that one last pass which leads to what Bill Russell used to call, "high percentage shots." Look out Villanova, here comes Syracuse.

One of the writers on suggested that maybe there was a 'situation' with the fact that both Johnny Damon & Xavier Nady are both represented by Scott Boras. The Yanks are reportedly looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder to platoon with Gardner and there is still talk of a Damon return to NY. Nady would be a good fit and the price is right, but there has been little movement. The question becomes, is Boras playing one client against the other, trying to up the ante on either or both? With Boras, anything is possible, especially since there no longer seems to be the Boras Mystery Team in play.

Behind 20 points with 90 seconds to play, John Thompson III implored his team to stop fouling, especially to stop fouling Andy Rautins. It didn't help, they still kept fouling. John Thompson I teams would have kept on fouling, even into the tunnel after the game. I applaud that bit of sportsmanship from JT III.

Only 19 days to pitchers and catchers.


Sunday, January 24, 2010


In todays' D & C, Bob Matthews predicts that the Yanks will win between 103 & 114 games this season. Of course he also said that the Bombers have an "age" problem: Posada turns 39 this year, Jeter turns 36, A-Rod turns 35 and Rivera is 40. There it is, a nice out for Bob if the Yanks fall. The bottom line for Matthews: the Yanks will win or the Yanks will lose...and somehow he'll still be wrong. He is again predicting that Johnny Damon will be back with the Yanks. Yeah, right.

A lot of kudoes going out to the Orange for their defense, but as Vod pointed out, Rautins is the key. He is so active at the point, you get the feeling the opposition is telling him where the next pass is going. ...and he does it for the whole game. Between steals, assists and defense, he is All-American quality. Then add in his 3-point shot making

Being a former ref himself, Vod is especially tough on the "Z's", but he was spot-on here. Critics say if the refs called everything, the game would be a parade to the foul lines and very dull. I think the players would adjust and we might see actual basketball. The big call this year is 'Charging.' I still think this is the most difficult call, since refs have to watch players coming together from two different directions at the same time. The result: inconsistency. Of course, they ought to be able to do it, since there is no walking, carrying (or palming) or 3-second violations called. My particular favorite: Technical foul for hanging on the rim. It's supposed to be allowed to protect players from taking a nasty fall and that's all. I've seen players doing pull-ups and nothing is called. Why do they have to grab the rim at all? Showboating, that's why.

We complain about basketball refs and baseball umpires but not football refs. Why? well, part of it is that football is not a continuous action sport: one play, stop and everybody lines up again. You have the opportunity to 'review' each play. You can't stop a baseball play in the middle to see if a ball is fair or foul, you can't stop a basketball play to time a 3-second violation. I still think the quality of the officiating has deteriorated in the last few years.

The good news is, my 'editor' is recuperating and back on the job. Welcome back, Annie-O.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sun Struck

Always the feminista the SportsBabe almost got it right with "Tiger Woods now apparently says he’s a “sex addict.” So what’s the difference between a sex addict and most men? Means and opportunity."

Many men have the means and more have the opportunity thanks to happy hours and happier women. What she omitted was the single factor more important than either means or opportunity, the self discipline to turn down the opportunity.

Lunch at the Dinosaur Barbecue and a hike up the hill to the Dome on a rare, sun-filled January day in Syracuse for a game as good as the food. Tied at 34 after a turnover filled first half, SU used a huge 2nd half run to bury Marquette. The Warriors were rolling the ball to half court to save time with over 8 minutes left on the clock in the half so forget the 5 point margin of victory. This game was settled long before a Marquette rally in the last 1:30 made the score "respectable".

Wes Johnson dropped in 22 with 15 rebs. His only iffy stat was a team leading 6 turnovers. SU got 24 from their two-headed 5, Jackson and Onuaku, on a combined 12 - 13 shooting. Andy Rautins was face guarded all game long and only put up two shots. But, to his credit, he contributed in many other ways leading the team in assists (6) and steals (3) and playing shut-down defense at the top of the zone.

Kris Joseph was again the big 6th man logging 33 minutes and 14 points. Jardine was more than credible with 5 assists in 20 minutes.

If Picasner is right about J. Damon's "retirement" we can only hope that he can take Big East zebra Jim Burr with him. Jim snoozed the entire first half and his crew obediently followed suit. I might need to rethink this, though. Given his inability to call steps and his propensity to take large junks of the game off, he might be bucking for an NBA call-up. Burr's No Call of the Game - Marquette's Lazar Hayward took a pass with his back to the basket while standing stationary on the foul line. Amazingly (?) he was able to turn and lumber in for a lay-up without a dribble - or a travel call by Burr on the baseline. Now that's impressive.

All in all, an enjoyable distraction from this week's Supreme Court decision that overturned over 100 years of settled law. Damn, how reality always creeps back in.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Coaches in the Big East like to say that their teams often don't have outstanding records because they are always beating up on each other. Well, it can't be too much fun playing in North Carolina, either. Last night, unranked N.C. State beat up on Duke, ranked 6th in the nation. Vod has already expressed his opinion about North Carolina, but reputations die hard. In the Tarheels case, they might not die at all, as evidenced by this comment by "expert" Jay Bilas:

North Carolina questions: The defending national champions have had a rough ride of late. They sit at 12-6 and have lost three out of their last four games. Everyone is asking: What is wrong with North Carolina? The young Tar Heels have played a very difficult schedule and lost to Texas, Kentucky, Syracuse, Clemson, Georgia Tech and College of Charleston when shorthanded. North Carolina is young and inconsistent at the guard spot and has lacked some mental and physical toughness. That said, there is no cause for great alarm in Chapel Hill. What North Carolina is going through is normal for younger teams with a lot of personnel turnover. But North Carolina is not used to normal; it is used to extraordinary success. There is still time for North Carolina to make strides and become tougher to beat. And this is an NCAA tournament team. North Carolina is not a great team, but the Tar Heels can be good, will get better and will survive this tough stretch.

A loss to College of Charleston didn't tell you anything, Jay? The Fightin' Hush Puppies (or whatever they're called) have a record of 11-6 with losses to powerhouses E. Tenn St. and Coastal Carolina.
I would say that Vod has a clearer picture of N. Carolina's future than Jay Bilas.

According to what I've been reading, the '$13 million a year' is a joke, the '$10 million a year' is a distant memory, and no one is interested in a stop-gap '$4 million for one year' deal. Johnny, you're retired, it's just that no one has told Scott Boras yet. Johnny's last phone call to Scott included the plea, "Take whatever the 'Mystery Team' offers, Scott." Says Scott, "There's something you should know, Johnny..."

Tiger Woods now apparently says he’s a “sex addict.” So what’s the difference between a sex addict and most men? Means and opportunity.

At one point in her Senate campaign, Martha Coakley referred to Red Sox World Series hero Curt Schilling as a “Yankees fan.” In retrospect, that may have been when many voters in effect told her to “put a bloody sock in it.” Good idea, does anyone have a red marking pen?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


After 7 loses, 3 consecutive, and getting hammered by Wake Forest at home, can we finally expect North Carolina, the most overrated basketball team of the season, to drop out out of the top 25?

Saturday, January 16, 2010


In the movie "A Guide For The Married Man," a fellow is instructing his friend on how to cheat on your wife: "Deny!," he says. "No matter what the situation, deny it. No matter what she knows, deny it. No matter what she sees, deny it. Deny, deny, deny!" It's a comedy and you're not supposed to take it seriously. Somebody should tell that to Tony LaRusso.

LaRusso has denied that Mark McGwire ever took steroids, that he never saw anyone (including Canseco) take steroids and he never saw anything in the clubhouse. When Canseco wrote that he and McGwire injected each other, in an interview, LaRusso said: I don't think there's any doubt that it's a fabrication," La Russa told Mike Wallace. Now McGwire has confessed (kind of), but that hasn't stopped Tony: "Well, they can believe it or not. I don't really give a s---, to be honest," he said on St. Louis radio this week. "If they think that I'm lying, then they think I'm lying." Well, guess what, Tony? We think you're lying.

Even after androstenedione was spotted in McGwire's locker, LaRusso said, "This guy goes to the gym every day and works. All that hard work is being tainted by crap like this."

So although Canseco has confessed, McGwire has confessed and drugs are spotted in plain sight in the locker room, Larusso continues the facade: I'm telling you -- we ran a clean program," La Russa said in his radio interview. "That's the way it is. That's what I say; that's what I believe. If they believe differently, that's America; they can believe anything they want to."

Deny, deny, deny! Maybe Tony should be banned from the Hall of Fame, too.

A comment from a reader (1/14/10)
Brenda said...
Another Theory -I think it may also have to do with the amount of time the issue was left open for public interpretation.Andy (yeah-I forgave him), A-Rod and Giambi addressed the allegations very soon after being outed with a minimum of denial time. McGwire et. al have left their mostly implausible denials, indignation and silence to fester in our collective consciousness for a long time. The betrayal has sunk in and stayed for too long. Forgiveness may come, but it too may be as long in coming as the confession.
Definitely a contributing factor. -CP


Thursday, January 14, 2010


McGwire continues to be vilified totally in spite of his "confession." Yet, the furor over A-Rod seems to have disappeared and Andy Pettitte was almost interrupted in the middle of his revelation with cries of "We forgive you, Andy." Why are some exonerated and others persecuted? Well, I have a theory.

McGwire, Bonds and Sosa used PEDs to break some long-standing and revered records: those of Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Hank Aaron. Records are usually broken and baseball did celebrate the emergence of these new records until...we discovered they cheated. While A-Rod, Pettitte and Jason ("I'm sorry for...something") Giambi were castigated to some degree, they didn't break any major records. Yet. It seemed easier to forgive those transgressions for that reason.

In spite of the talk of returning to the old home run records and the denial of the Hall of Fame, those tainted numbers are, and will always be, in the books. It does not help that none of them can seem to tell the WHOLE truth which angers us even more. We still await the tearful, or otherwise, stories from Barry (Creme & Clear) Bonds, Roger ("I'll sue") Clemens and Sammy ("No hablas Ingles") Sosa. We may even be due a confession from Bud ("What happened?") Selig.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


As Bob Ryan might say, "I'm shocked! Shocked!" Yeah, right. So how did this play out? Well, we got tears; none of the other confessions went that route, so at least he was original. He apologized, as did the others, and he wished he hadn't, just like the others. All this pretty much according to form.

He says that his testimony in front of the Senate committee came about because his lawyers were trying to get immunity for him, and when they couldn't, it was decided that he should "just not talk about it." Immunity?? What immunity did he need? He wasn't still playing or working for MLB, so what were they going to do to him? A-Rod didn't 'ask' for immunity, nor did Andy Pettitte. Even though he apologized for "something," neither did Jason Giambi. So this is where we start to go downhill.

Then he said he only used them for "health reasons." Sure, the health of his bank account. He got big and after he stopped playing, he got small again. Yeah, right. Health. He said they "didn't help him hit home runs." Now we're buying a ticket to Fantasyland. For the first 6 FULL years of his career, before steroids, he averaged 33 homers a year. The next 5 years after steroids, he averaged 53 homers per year. (There were two years in between when he only played a total of 75 games.)

Finally, he says that he was "given a gift by the man upstairs." That's right, Mark, blame it all on Bud Selig.

Monday, January 11, 2010

What Underwear

Given the latest 'underwear' threats I can only hope that Picasner is not plucked up by the CIA and renditioned to Jordan for 'further discussions' about HOF underwear.

Saturday, January 09, 2010


As far as baseball goes, I'm bored. In scouring the sports media, I find the biggest discussion taking place right now is what caps HOF members should wear. Followed, I'm sure, by what style underwear they use: boxers or tidy-whiteys. One being as inane as the other. By the way, is everyone aware that the HOF actually decides what cap is used, not the player. They usually go with his choice, but they don't have to.

By the way, Vod, I only said the addition of Holliday would make the Yanks moves LOOK more productive, not that I necessarily approve of that move. I have always felt that National League pitchers didn't fare too well in the AL, but is it possible that hitters fall into the same category? Holliday's record indicates just such a scenario.

The orange is starting to look like they're relying on their talent to win games: everybody just standing around instead of working an actual offense. Boeheim has already taken off his jacket, please don't let him go any further tomorrow.

Lunch today with Vod and his much better looking mate at our now usual watering hole, the Fairport Village Inn. I'm already starting to laugh.

Friday, January 08, 2010

An Active Imagination Is a Good Thing

"Actually, I did notice that they did seem to run plays FOR Rautins last night, and it seemed to me he was looking for his shots more. Well, maybe I was just hoping for that and imagined a lot of it."

You're right on both counts. They do run plays for Andy, particularly double screens to free him for 3s. But he is an infrequent choice for several reasons. 1. When they run a half court offense its from the inside out to establish a threat from the 5 - AO and Jackson are giving them a combined 20 a game. 2. Johnson is their primary scorer and Joseph is coming strong. 3. Rautins is, in fact, running the point when he's on the floor with the not yet ready for prime time freshman Triche or when he's teamed with Jardine who is more comfortable playing the 2.

On the 2nd point, Rautins took only 8 shots in the Memphis game. He does so much else and hits so many crucial buckets that it is easy to imagine he's shooting more than he actually is.

Forgetful Picasner

Remember this little quote from our previous discussion about trading Cabrera? Its in your December blogs if you would like to reread what you wrote then, or I could just quote you here. Let's do that.

"The addition now of Holliday or Bay would make this deal, and the Yanks off-season moves, look a lot more productive."

Well, its a straight answer to your question about who ever said he wanted Holliday if left field.

It was you!

Thursday, January 07, 2010


In an act that almost assures their winning another pennant, The NY Yankees have signed...wait for it... Sergio Mitre for $850,000, or as A-Rod would say, "I'll get the tip."


Actually, I did notice that they did seem to run plays FOR Rautins last night, and it seemed to me he was looking for his shots more. Well, maybe I was just hoping for that and imagined a lot of it.

I like listening to Bobby Knight, but last night, he kept praising SU and seemed disappointed that they kept missing shots. The most interesting thing was that he (according to his partner) predicted the final score as SU by 15 at half time, and it ended up at 17. That seemed a little scary.

Andre Dawson was a GOOD player, not a great one, and doesn't belong in the HOF (in my humble opinion). It irritates me that people justify his inclusion by comparing his stats with those people who are already in, and THOSE people don't belong, either. At least the "Elect Mark McGwire" campaign still has no legs (juiced or otherwise).

At least Andre deserves it more than Bill Mazeroski!

Who wanted Matt Holliday in Yankee Stadium?

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Nice 2nd half for the Orange tonight. Chad got it half right about Rautins. Obviously he's the best 3 shooter on the team but don't look for him to start putting up a lot more shots anytime soon. He's running the offense from the point as a guard (thanks to the development of Joseph on the front line) and sometimes as a forward when he's forced to play there. Triche carries the "point guard" title but he's far from ready for the Big East and Boeheim doesn't trust Jardine there for extended minutes. That said, AR is clutch.

Bob Knight provides more insight into the game than most other color men - but I would like him to get a grip. He talks as much as Dick Vitale with two major differences. Knight actually knows the game and does not chug 5 Hour Energy Drinks every 20 minutes. Are you listening BABY? It's possible to add to the quality of the game experience without a nervous breakdown after every play.

Congratulations to Andre Dawson. Although failing to meet Picasner's standards for inclusion in the Hall, enough sportswriters say fit to induct a man with arguably marginal Hall numbers but a long career of outstanding play and unparalleled decency and sportsmanship. I was right. HOF discussions are so boring that even taking a jab at Picasner doesn't help. Night all.

A Deep Subject

Some outfielders play deep to compensate for a lack of speed but don't you think it's carrying things a little too far having Matt Holliday play left field in Yankee stadium from St. Louis.


HOF Picks? Boring

HOF Pans? Worse than boring.

Any baseball discussion that involves any topic other than the Yankees, Red Sox, the Mets for laughs is pointless... and the aforementioned aren't all that interesting at best.

Really. What of any interest ever happens in the NL. The Phillies, arguably the best the NL has to offer, played in perhaps the most boring, ignored World Series of our lifetime and then played the Patsy to the Yankees in a return performance. Manny was interesting only because he played in Boston. Now, who cares if uses steroids, HGH, crack, bites the heads off lizards or not?

Why is it interesting that Jason Bay signed with the Mets. Because he's no longer with the Red Sox. Why does anyone really care that Roy Hallady signed with Philadelphia. Because the Yankees won't have to face him in the regular season.

And when the most scintillating Yankee conversation that Chad can conjure is Bret Gardner in left field, then God save us all. Think about it. Even the Yankees are exploring new frontiers of inanity. A-Rod: beyond shallow with nothing interesting to say. Jeter: might have something interesting to say but is protected by handlers and still afraid of his mom. Cano: too stoned to speak. Teixeira: too many vowels in his last name to be taken seriously and has taken bland lessons from Jeter to assure commercial value. Posada: to macho to speak. Swisher: the haircut speaks for itself. We know undertakers (Billy Nelson) that are far more interesting and affable than Cashman and any sentence that contains the word Steinbrenner...

Yo, Chad, bloody enough?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


303 wins, 4874 strikeouts and 37 shutouts. A likely first round H.O.Famer. Trivia: what do Dave Winfield & Randy Johnson have in common? They both killed a seagull with a thrown baseball (except Winfield got arrested for his act).

7 years for $120 million. Will there be enough money left over for Albert Pujols? Albert may have just moved a step closer to NY. Personally, I would rather the Yanks went after Joe Mauer. At least they have a position open for him.


***The Pujols-to-NYY rumor persists. I have to say that someone has been too deep into the eggnog on this one.

***The Red Sox have signed Adrian Beltre, who has managed to build a career around one good season. Supposedly, the Sox' intent is to improve their defense. $9 million is an awful lot to pay for a glove. Beltre was hurt a lot last year, including--this was hard to believe--a fractured testicle! Tiger Woods better hope Elin doesn't hear about this.

***His agent claims that 15 teams have inquired about Chien-Ming Wang. I wonder if that includes a 'Scott Boras Mystery Team'?

***I don't usually write about pro-football, but two teams had a very weird season: The Giants and the Steelers. Both started strong and then fell apart. The Steelers finished okay but are still out of the playoffs. The Giants...well, it appears someone better install some heart there. How can two teams with the obvious talent they have, fail like that? Let's see how the two front offices respond.

***The Buffalo Bills new GM, Buddy Nix, canned the whole coaching staff yesterday. That should get some attention. However, some thought should be given to replacing the scouting department. The coaches are only as good as the players they are given...except, it seems, in the case of the Steelers & Giants. The Bills haven't had a decent quarterback since Jim Kelly. Who's fault is that?

***The Syracuse Orange will have a chance to redeem itself tomorrow at the Dome against Memphis. Former Memphis coach, John Calipari, has moved on to Kentucky after putting his third team in hot water with the NCAA. I seemed to notice that SU guard, Andy Rautins, has stopped looking to take shots and seems more interested in passing than shooting. I think he's the best 3-point shooter on the team and should be taking a lot more than 10 shots per game. Watch for this tomorrow night.

Monday, January 04, 2010


If you'll recall, "The Silly Season" is how Picasner refers to the off-season, a time of wild rumors, crazy, over-analyzed trades and the optimist ramblings of enthusiastic General Managers. Well, this year is no different.
But first, an interesting sports poll, courtesy of ESPN:
Which players best season is better?
Player A: Lead-off LF, .330 BA, .429 OBP, .526 Slugging %, 50 SB (5 Caught Stealing), 123 Runs, 68 RBIs, 18 Homers
Player B: Middle-of-the-Order RF, .287 BA, .328 OBP, .568 Slugging, 11 SB (3 CS), 90 Runs, 137 RBIs, 49 Homers
ESPN results at the end of the blog.

I just find it hard to believe the the Yanks opening day lineup will have Brett Gardner in LF. In spite of Cashman's protestations about Matt Holliday, most analysts and writers are saying the same thing: "I'll believe it when he signs with someone else." Unlike Boston, whose romances are all over the sports pages, Cashman keeps a very low profile with players they are after, so who knows?

This one showed up this morning: Albert Pujols to the Yanks. They are referring to next year's free agency, I believe. There is still a potential Joe Mauer signing next year, too. I can hardly wait for Cashman's take on this: "I've been mandated to keep the payroll under $450 million." I can see another seat price increase on the horizon.

Seattle is quietly putting a decent team together on the West Coast, while the Angels have lost 3 valuable cogs from last year's team: Lackey, Guerrero and Figgins while adding Hideki Matsui. Doesn't bode well for the Halos.

I wonder why the Yanks haven't negotiated with Annie-O's favorite, Jose Molina? They must feel that Cervelli is ready and don't want to carry 3 catchers. 3 catchers isn't a bad idea, especially when one is a soon-to-be a 39-year old with deteriorating defensive skills.

Why would a team with a spacious outfield and deep fences sign a home-run hitting outfielder with marginal defensive skills? I don't know either; let's ask Omar Minaya and the NY Mets. Omar has taken such a beating in the press last year, I guess he had to sign somebody noteworthy, but I doubt the Jason Bay will lead the Mets anywhere. They have no pitching (Johann Santana, notwithstanding), no 1st baseman, a shortstop who spent more time on the DL than on the field, a star (?) 3rd baseman who has obviously let the dimensions of Citifield (used to be Shea Stadium) get in his head and a centerfielder who acknowledges that he would have preferred to sign with the Yanks. Good luck.

ESPN Poll results: 59% Player A, 41% Player B.

Only 44 days till Pitchers & Catchers.