Saturday, July 31, 2010


Only four hits and if it wasn't for Swisher, the Yanks would have been skunked. Speaking of being skunked, A-Rod was foiled again. He's pushing 40 at-bats since homer #599 and it appears the pressure is getting to him. A-Rod seldom shows any real irritation towards the umpires, but last night he was visibly annoyed with two strike calls by the home plate umpire. His swing isn't the best, either. He's gone from hitting grounders to the shortstop to popping everything up, and obvious attempt to "lift" a ball out of the park. If he doesn't get it soon, they may have to prepare more "Special A-Rod 600" baseballs. The Yanks need a win, too, in case we've forgotten.

Yeah, that's what I thought. The announcement that the Yanks acquired Lance Berkman will occur about 1:00 pm today. The Yanks also just announced they've acquired Austin Kearns from Cleveland for a "player-to-be-named-later" (boy, that guy gets around). Why these two guys? I would think anyone the Yanks would pick up now should be some kind of "impact player," not two fill-in guys. I can hear it now: Playing first base for the Yankees,
Mark Teixeira
Juan Miranda
Lance Berkman
Austin Kearns
Nick Swisher
What, Joe Pepitone wasn't available? Well, that takes care of one position. Okay Cashman, now we could use a couple more left fielders.


Friday, July 30, 2010


Gotta love putting up a crooked number on the scoreboard. The Indian pitchers were throwing the ball everywhere, because when it was near the plate, somebody hit a frozen rope. The Indian catcher, Santana, was hopping all over the place, trying to stop all the errant throws. When one praticularly bad throw hit him flush on the knee, he had to be replaced the next inning. They would have replaced him right away, but it took Manager Acta 15 minutes to convince back-up catcher Jiminez that he HAD to go in.
At least A-Rod has stopped hitting those weak ground balls to the shortstop. That's a sure sign that he was trying very hard to pull the ball and ht a home run. He has been averaging a home run every 22 at bats, but he's up to 30-something now. I would think that means he should hit one against the Rays this weekend, always a good thing.

The Jersey man (?) who intentionally vomited on a man & his 11-year old daughter at a ball game in Philly, has been sentenced to 1-3 months in jail, 2 years probation and 50 hours of community service. Not only was the vomiting not a good idea, but choosing an off-duty Police captain only compounded the problem.
The rumor that the concessionaire was listed as a co-conspirator is not true.

I read a couple of days ago that a researcher (who obviously has no life) has painstakingly studied the box scores of the 1961 baseball season and discovered that Mickey Mantle actually scored one less run than he was credited with. That means he did not tie Roger Maris for the league lead in runs scored. This fellow also discovered that Maris was credited with one more RBI than he deserved, dropping him into a tie for the RBI crown with Jim Gentile of the Orioles. Well, I'm glad we straightened those records. End of story, right? Not Quite. It seems that Gentile had a bonus clause in his contract that awarded him $5000 for leading the league in RBI's. When told about it, Gentile was quoted as saying, "It's about time. Those bas***** better send that check!"
True story.

On a personal note, loyal fan JudyMaris kept AJ Burnett focused and effective Wednesday against Cleveland. When AJ walked a couple of guys, JudyMaris wanted to visit the mound, but luckily for AJ, her companion Dave, was able to convince her not to leave her beer untended.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Luckily, the Indians can't hit or it could have been a long night for the Bombers. Just when I've given up on Granderson and start working on trades (in my head, at least), he finds a way to pull another game out. He now has 3 homers in the last 2 games. Swisher's still doing it, too.
A couple more flubs by the umpires: a trapped ball in the outfield with the umpire calling it from just behind 2nd base. Don't try to get any closer, ump, you might see something. Both Teixeira and A-Rod argued pretty vehemently and neither one usually get too demonstrative, so you'd think the umps might consider their complaint a little more closely. Nope, they couldn't be bothered. Then the usual "the-throw-beat-you-so-you're-out" call at 2nd on Granderson. Curtis didn't complain, but he should have. Just another umpire out of position.

The Cincinnati Bengals are negotiating with Terrell Owens. Both T.O. & Chad Ochocinco ALWAYS want the ball, so I'll bet there'll be blood coming from the quarterback's ears before long. I don't know how many games they'll win, but the Bengals will surely lead the league in ego.

The Mets front office has decided to keep the whole ineffective coaching staff for the rest of the year. That shouldn't surprise anyone; they're also keeping all those ineffective players.

David Ortiz belted a long drive to right that the right fielder made a great play on to prevent a home run, earlier this week. As he trotted off the field, Big Papi smiled and tipped his cap to the right fielder.

After Matt Garza threw his no-hitter at the Tigers last night, there was a shot of Tiger pitcher Justin Verlander leaning on the dugout steps watching the Ray's celebration with a little smile on his face and lightly clapping his hands.
THAT'S sportsmanship, and I applaud that.

Can someone please help this guy? He begging to get out of Houston because he wants desperately to play for a winner. Yeah, right, as long as the 'winner' will pick up his $16 million option for 2012. There are a number of teams that would trade for him, but he insists on that option and that sends everybody packing. Roy, let's be honest: you don't want to pitch for a winning team, you just want that money. I'm willing to pay you that $16 million option, but I don't own a team for you to play on. Well, that probably wouldn't stop you, would it?

Note: Judymaris & friend will be personally cheering the Yanks to victory tomorrow night in Cleveland. Look for her: She'll be on the Yankee side of the field in the 2nd deck with the cross hairs trained on A.J. Burnett, should he pitch himself into trouble. It'll save Girardi the trip to the mound.


Monday, July 26, 2010


***A-ROD GOES FOR #600***
I really hope he gets it soon. I'm tired of listening to how he'll be the youngest ever to reach it and how old Babe was when he did it. How the flashbulbs are going off on every pitch, how they're using specially marked baseballs, how...well, you get the idea. Do they have to make the same spiel every time he comes to bat? They have a penchant for replaying every little thing that happens on the field, right down to replaying the ball boy catching a foul ball, but when Teixeira hits a ball, they don't even wait for him to be thrown out at first before they show A-Rod walking to the plate and starting their , by now, hackneyed promo. Enough, already.

By the way, the Yanks won 12-6, no thanks to Joba, who is quickly moving himself to the top of the trade rumor list.

This rumor is on one of the NY Mets blog, and it's titled (no kidding):
Right now, baseball fans are thinking - Ted Williams for Joe DiMaggio . Correct? Not to Sam Page, from "Amazin' Avenue." His rumor: Gil Meche, Jose Guillen and Kyle Farnsworth from the Royals for Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo and Jeff Francoeur of the Mets. Anybody impressed? It's like trading a used stick of gum for a used wad of chewing tobacco. Sure, it's an even trade, but would you put either one in your mouth or any of these guys on the field?

Congratulations to Andre Dawson, Whitey Herzog, Doug Harvey and Bill Madden, a player, a manager, an umpire and a writer. Also selected was Jon Miller, an announcer (?). With so many choices, why him? It has to be a reward for being stuck in a booth with Joe Morgan for so long.

Yes, that's him: Dallas "Perfect-Game, Stay-Off-My-Mound" Braden got another win. He must have taken his own advice about staying off the mound literally, since this was his first victory in 11 weeks. One positive note: there's enough time left in the season for two more wins. Maybe.

According to our old friend, Bob Matthews, there's nothing to it. Here's all they need to do:
1) Lead the NFL in rushing
2) Have their quarterback develop Hall-of-Fame skills
3) Have their defense become great
4) Have their new coach be the smartest guy in the NFL
5) Have their wide receivers become all-stars
...There were 10 suggestions all together. Brilliant, huh?
Annie-O's comment: "What? Is it April 1st, already?" This is why we love old Wrong-Way Bob.


Friday, July 23, 2010


August is the part of the season when the early 'pretenders' cease to be contenders and inherently talented teams begin to take control. What can be embarrassing, though, is watching some perennial losers just give up.

Last night 3 Orioles were given the thumb in a losing effort. First, Ty Wiggington blew up because the first base umpire missed a call (No Ty, can't be). Then the pitching coach was booted for 'sarcastically clapping when the Twins scored a run because of the missed call. Out came the manager, flailing his arms, throwing his hat and asking when was the last eye test for the umpire. Oh, later the ump admitted he missed the call.

In the Yanks-Royals game, home plate ump, Eric Cooper, called a runner out as he was perfectly positioned behind Posada so he couldn't see the runner, the plate or the tag (?). Naturally, he blew the call, but did notice Posada's cute butt. Why else would he have stood there? Later, the third base ump blew a tag play in favor of the Royals to make up for it. Cooper also helped by calling balk on Sabathia for, I think, burping without stepping off the rubber. ...Okay, then you tell me why.

MLB will institute testing player for HGH (Human Growth Hormone) in a continued attack against performance enhancing drugs. Oh, wait. That's just in the Minor Leagues. The Major Leaguers can still use them until the Players Association can get more money from the owners before they will allow the player's privacy invaded. Didn't we go thru this 10 years ago with steroids? MLB saying they wanted to test but the MLBPA wouldn't allow it, while the MLBPA basically said, "you didn't argue hard enough."

AL EAST: NY & Tampa are hot, Boston slowly sinking between injuries & a pitching staff not performing as predicted.
AL CENTRAL: Chicago has suddenly gone crazy, while Detroit is falling off the pace. Meanwhile Minnesota's M & M boys are not living up to expectations.
AL WEST: If the Angels don't win the last 3 games of the series against Texas this weekend, the Rangers will take the division with out a fight.
NL EAST: The Braves are a surprise and Philly is suddenly developing a lot of holes in their pitching & hitting. The Mets have started their normal September swoon a month early.
NL CENTRAL: St Louis is starting to take command of the division and Cincy is coming back to earth. Milwaukee seems more concerned about whether or not to trade Fielder than winning ball games. As for the Cubs, well, it appears Piniella has seen enough - he's bolting.
NL WEST: Is there an NL West? San Diego is doing it with mirrors, San Fran can't hit and the Dodgers...I think Torre needs a cash incentive but the McCourts can't spend any money. He can't even shift the focus from himself by batting Manny 8th, because Manny's on the DL again. Maybe he should write another book.

## Boston has shifted Wakefield to the bullpen. Good idea. In a tight situation, it's always smart to bring in a knuckleballer to throw a few past the catcher.
## Jamie Moyer may have elbow surgery. If he does, that may mean the end of a career for Vod's favorite player (after Jeter, of course)
## AJ Burnett's pitching tonight. (I hope I'm wrong about this one).


Thursday, July 22, 2010


Our 'friends' the umpires are screwing up again. Everyone knows that a manager has to remove a pitcher after the second visit in an inning. This is to prevent a parade of visits to the mound so the game will move along. I admit that I thought the manager (or coach) had to cross the foul line to deem the visit complete, not just leave the pitcher's mound. To prevent managers from changing a pitcher BEFORE he's pitched to anyone by 'visiting' the mound twice, there is a codicil to the rule: If the manager visits the mound twice in one inning while the same hitter is batting, the manager is ejected, the pitcher MUST pitch to one batter and then MUST leave the game. Apparently, this is what should have happened the other day. Broxton should have been allowed to face one more hitter and perhaps end the inning. Mattingly could have known the rule, but he didn't have to. It certainly makes no difference whether or not I knew. But the umpires absolutely, positively MUST know the rule. This mistake may have cost the Dodgers a game. Why aren't these guys punished when they make such a serious mistake? And I don't mean quietly chastised or fined "an undisclosed amount." I mean taken out back of the woodshed and beaten severely. Well, maybe that's a little overboard, but we're obviously not getting their attention.

The umps did help the Yanks seal a victory by getting Gardner out of the game so Colin Curtis could hit the big three-run blast. Nobody still has any idea why Gardner was tossed, but there's nothing unusual about that. I notice that Matsui still has that Yankee Stadium home run swing. The Yanks fought their way to a 4-4 split of the season series. Now, on to greener pastures, outwardly known as Kansas City.

Bad week for the Yankees: we lost Ralph Houk, age 80, George Steinbrenner, age 90, and Bob Sheppard, age 100(almost). As faithful reader Judymaris said, "God must like round numbers."


Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Wait a minute. He's wearing the wrong uniform. Sorry, Yankee fans. Phil Hughes and the Yanks got blasted 10-2 last night. Luckily, the Yanks have only one more game against the Angels.

Pitcher Jonny Venters was suspended for throwing 2 consecutive pitches at Prince Fielder in a game. Have you seen Fielders size lately? It's got to be very difficult to throw a pitch toward home plate WITHOUT being accused of throwing at Fielder.

Extraneous thought: Can you picture the Giants Pablo Sandoval at third and Fielder at first at the same time? It brings new meaning to the phrase, "anchoring the corners of the infield."

Seven guys were tossed from games yesterday. Apparently, this close to the end of the month, umpires were concerned that they weren't going to reach their quota. I think they'll make it.
The Chosen Seven:
John Russell, Pirates
Clayton Kershaw & Joe Torre, Dodgers (an obvious 'Toss one, get one free' deal)
Joe Girardi, Yanks
Bob Schaefer, Dodgers, again (a bonus ejection)
John Farrell, Red Sox
Coco Crisp, A's
All got the thumb for 'arguing', except Coco Crisp, who was booted for having a silly name (at least that should have been the reason)

In Girardi's case, he came out to argue an 'out' call at first base and was arguing calmly with the first base umpire when the home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman showed up. Giradi asked him what HE was doing there and pointed him in the direction of home plate. Dreckman wasn't doing a very good job behind the plate, so maybe he thought a change of scenery would help. (It didn't)
Ah, and now the Dodgers plight. When the manager, Torre, and the bench coach, Schaefer, were both ejected, that left none other than manager wanna-be, Don Mattingly, in charge. Don showed he needed more seasoning in the ninth inning, with this little gaffe.
With the bases loaded in the top of the ninth with one out and the Dodgers clinging to a one run lead, Don went out to talk to his ace closer, Jonathon Broxton. After he was done, he turned and walked off the mound, stopped and went back to talk again. Oops, Don, that's a no-no. Leaving the pitching mound ends a visit. Giants manager, Bochy, called it to the umpire's attention and Broxton was forced to leave the game. The next pitcher gave up three runs and the Dodgers went down to defeat. Mattingly claimed afterward that he knew the rule (I'll bet he didn't), but said he didn't realize he had left the mound. Yeah, right. Thats my story and I'm sticking to it.

The 10-story mural of LeBron James was removed after it was pelted with rocks: "Perfect. Because what says futile outrage more than throwing rocks at a cement wall?"


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From Moscow with Love

Comrade Chadski,

Why do you rant about our agent, Comrade McCarverski, that we have creatively placed deep within Fox "News"? Thanks to Comrade Tim and pretty sidekick LoverBoy Buckov, we now have many Americanskis attentively listening to incessant babble from our many other deliverers of lies, jibberish, and balderdashness that stupid listeners believe is "news". Please, do not draw attention to McCarverski's hallucinations or some Americanskis might understand he is out of same mold we use to produce Herr Beckski, Comrade Hannityski, and our other "news" guys at Fox.

Otherwise, we have place for you in stalag, gulag, or RNC.

Your Budski,
Comrade Vodovich

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dumb D' Dumb Dumb... Dumb

Here's what I have learned from reading this blog.
Dumb players, dumber umpires, dumbest announcers.
Quite the national pastime!


...Tim McCarver vaults into the lead.

...but this was insulting. First, we had to watch McCarver totally and intentionally lose control of an interview with Reggie Jackson & Tommy Lasorda, now he's dropped way below any limit of good taste. In a rant that was, I guess, supposed to "honor" his good friend Joe Torre, McCarver has compared the Yankee front office to Communism and Nazism. Will this never end? When will Fox Network wake up and dump this guy? I'm not going to quote from this column, I'll let you read the whole thing yourselves.
Okay, Joe Morgan, McCarver has moved the bar even lower. The ball's in your court.

The good news is that the Yanks took two out of three from the '2nd best' team in baseball, increasing their lead in the AL East to a season-high 3 games. The bad news is the loss of Andy Pettitte for at least a month with a strained groin, an injury no male ever wants to suffer. The dumb news is AJ Burnett slamming his hands into a door in frustration, cutting his hand. Fox Network even interrupted McCarver's idiotic blather to show Yankee pitching coach, Dave Eiland, examining used baseballs for signs of blood. Not to check for intentional doctoring, even though Whitey Ford could probably make a blood-soaked ball write his name on the way to home plate, but to see how badly AJ was hurt. He was hurt enough to come out of the game, but not before he hurt the Yanks chances in the game first. Did we learn nothing from Kevin Brown? Next up: a rare two-game series with the Los-Angeles-California-West-Coast-Near-Anaheim Angels, or whatever they're called these days.

I'll leave it to Vod to report on the results of the British Open, which is professional golf, memory serves.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Everyone is Invited

Hey, Chad, please include Jeter Boy in the Teixeira - ARod Race to Mediocre Batting Stats. Sadly, God is busy with more pressing matters than Derek's .269 and continuing to head in the wrong direction BA and can only infrequently provide our hero a favorable response to his on deck RFBs (Request for Blessing).

And, to continue the Chad Picasner at Large tradition of stating the obvious, Tiger Woods is a mess, and it's more than his golf game. ESPN has produced player introduction vignettes that display the player's digital image (waste up view), name, and national flag, while an announcer delivers a few comments about the player. Phil Mickelson displays his goofy grin, and Paul Casey, like everyone else, flashes a nice smile. Everyone but Tiger. Tiger turns to face the viewer, folds his arms across his chest, and stares expressionless into the camera. It is the image of a man with far greater problems than reading the break on the next putt or how to sell the Nike Method putter. Oh, my. I guess he's got that figured out, getting it mentioned in CPaL!

Saturday, July 17, 2010


Nick Swisher continues to have an unbelievable year. It seems every hit he gets comes in a clutch situation. He's still an adventure in Right Field (Yes, I'm being kind), but he's carrying the Yanks with his bat. CC pitched better than the stats would indicate and the Yanks are still hitting in bad luck, so it was the kind of win that really takes the wind out of an opposing teams sails.
BJ Upton got picked off of first by Rivera, which was very surprising, since I couldn't remember Mo' even throwing over to first before. Apparently, Upton was just as surprised. They showed him in the dugout afterward, screaming obscenities. Michael Kay said he was barking at the umpires, but Annie-O thought he was upset because Posada seemed to be making fun of him for being picked off. We'll see if anything comes of it today. I noticed that Texiera's and A-Rod's batting averages are getting closer: Tex's average is .253 and rising, A-Rod's is .269 and falling. Sounds like an old grammar school math quiz - "When will they pass each other?" Answer, probably about the 7th inning today.
By winning Friday, the Yanks made sure of one thing: Tampa Bay WILL leave town in 2nd place.

Bengie Molina beat up the Red Sox last night (Hooray!), by hitting for the cycle. His last hit was the toughest one to get, a triple. Extremely surprising, since Bengie may be the only guy in the majors who couldn't beat his brother, Jose', in a foot race. Bengie chugged around 2nd and lumbered into 3rd like it was uphill all the way. Two pitches later, he had to be helped off the field because he had strained a quad rounding first. Since triples were uncharted territory for him, he probable didn't recognize the pain. Hope it was worth it, Bengie.

Sabermetrics, of course, are the convoluted mathematical equations that statisticians use to prove that opinions have no place in evaluating ballplayers. It does take all the fun out of arguments, though. Colin Wyers of Baseball Prospectus makes some interesting points against the validity of what he calls "Defensive Metrics," statistics that rate the defensive ability of fielders. I've always wondered how you determine 'Range Factor' when managers and coaches often position players to 'cheat' towards where history says a ball will be hit. How do you factor in a hard ground ball hit right at a 2nd baseman as opposed to a seeing eye, 10-hop grounder that trickles into the outfield. These sabermetrics have a long way to go before they'll convince me.

Unfortunately, they'll do it with out Yogi Berra, who fell down some stairs at his home this week and won't be attending. Luckily, the 85-year old Hall of Famer didn't break anything, but he's not up to making the trip. We'll miss him.

...and I'm sure we'll see more of them. This one's from Lou Piniella:
During the 1987 season,while in his stint as replacement for Billy Martin -- one of the many times Martin was fired by Steinbrenner; Lou both replaced, and was replaced by, Martin in New York -- the Yankees were playing the Angels in Anaheim*. Tommy John was pitching for the Yankees, out-dueling the Angels' Don Sutton early, 1-0. Both pitchers were savvy old veterans in their 40s.
Steinbrenner was watching the game on television, and saw the broadcasters focusing on Sutton apparently scuffing up the baseball. That led to a long discussion on air of how Sutton seemed to doctoring the baseball, giving his pitches tremendous movement that night.
The Boss flew into a rage, and insisted that a call be put through to Piniella in the visiting dugout at Anaheim Stadium.
"Lou, are you crazy?'' Steinbrenner said, as Piniella told it. "Everyone can see Sutton is cheating but you. I insist you go out there and make the umpires search him.''
Lou replied calmly, "George, who's pitching for us today?''
"Tommy John.''
"Well, who do you think taught Sutton how to cheat? Tommy's got a shutout. Do you want the umpires to go out and check him, too?"

"That shut him up."


Friday, July 16, 2010

A quote from Harvey Greene, the former Yankees PR director: “The phone would ring in the middle of the night and you knew it was either Mr. Steinbrenner or a death in the family. After a while you started to root for a death in the family.”

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

See Ya'

As Attila was to the Huns, George was to the Yankees.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Probably only two things separate the New York Yankees, as the most successful professional sports franchise, from the rest of the sporting world, or rather, only two people:
Babe Ruth and George Steinbrenner
Babe, single-handed, dragged the Yanks from the ranks of baseball, to unprecedented winners. He did it with skill and charisma, at levels never before seen in sports. Steinbrenner returned that success to the team, also with charisma but with a passion for winning. Let's be honest: the bucks played a big part, too, but other owners had the bucks but never achieved what George did.
He took chances, hired players and managers, with just one thought: winning. Did he go overboard in his enthusiasm, his outlandish treatment of people? All the time. But he won. And he was always in control.
"There is nothing quite so limited as being a limited partner of George Steinbrenner's," one of partners, John McMullen, said later.
He's been ill and out of the picture for some time now, so his passing isn't the shock it might have been, but he will be missed.



This will be our yearly rant:

The game was originally intended to showcase the best talents in the game. That meant the best pitchers and the best position players, with maybe a little help in the later innings. Pitchers were only allowed to go three innings max.
Now, the roster has expanded to 30+ players and EVERYBODY plays. Even my old friend, Bob Matthews got this one right. He quoted manager Joe Girardi, who said, "I'll do my best to get everyone into the game." Matthews countered with, "He'd should have said, 'I'll do my best to win the game.'" And he's right. Especially since now that the game has such a tremendous impact on the World Series. Hopefully, Joe, this will become your bed to lie in.

The New York Mets, who already have a reputation for improper, if not ludicrous, handling of player injuries, appear to be on the same path once again. Third baseman David Wright stopped a game in the middle of an inning and called the training staff onto the field to attend to shortstop Jose Reyes. He said he saw him wince on a throw to first. Why does Wright have to make that call? What happened to the manager and the Met's trainer? If Wright could tell there was something wrong, why couldn't the Mets? Wright also couldn't understand why they allowed Reyes to bat left-handed the next day when his oblique muscle hurts the most when hitting that way. The Yankees, on the other hand, have been known to sit players because of a hangnail. In my opinion, the Met's owners have put some careless individuals in charge of these million-dollar players.

We'll be hearing Vod's opinion on all this in person at lunch today.


Sunday, July 11, 2010


There probably won't be much to write about the next few days because of the All-Star Exhibition. Hope no one gets hurt.

Winning 6 out of 7 on the West Coast is an excellent week for the Yanks, who usually struggle out there. Of course, Oakland is still "rebuilding," and Seattle, expected to rely on pitching and defense, got neither except for King Felix Hernandez.

***A BIG LOSS***
Bob Sheppard has passed away at age 99. Having grown up listening to his dulcet tones, I always thought that's the way a stadium announcer was supposed to sound.When I heard announcers in other stadiums, I actually thought, "Well, he must be substituting for the real guy." Little did I know.

Bill Madden, NY Daily News, says the Yankee broadcast team, specifically John Flaherty, over-analyze each pitch in the game. According to Madden, their efforts to give fans an insight into the game, end up flooding the airways with too much information. Eventually, people just stop listening.
Personally, I have a problem with this "Pitch-by-Pitch" sequence. Occasionally it's informative, but too often it's just a rehash of what you've already seen. Today, Jeter struck out on three pitches and we were forced to suffer through the at-bat again, with the only comments being, "Strike one, strike two, ...and strike three." Wow! Thanks, guys. I was wondering why Derek walked back to the dugout.

It was kind of a dull game, as the "Play-of-the-Game" showed you. It was Flaherty catching a foul ball hit back into the booth. Flash, if you could have caught like that when you were wearing a uniform, you'd still be in one. He was pleased, anyway. "Boy, I haven't caught a ball in 6 years," he said. Unfortunately, he retired 4 years ago.

By the way, Spain won that game the rest of the world watches while we're all busy with baseball. Four more years until we hear the melodic tones of the vuvuzela. ...Thank the Lord!


Friday, July 09, 2010


It's not often the Yanks lose out on a player they go after. Supposedly, the Mariners were concerned about the sprained ankle of 2nd baseman David Adams, who was an integral part of the deal. I can't believe that this could kill the deal. If the Yanks really wanted Lee, they would have found a way around it. Seattle got Justin Smoak and 3 minor leaguers from the Rangers. Justin is hitting .209 with an OBP of .316. (Do you think that last name might be mis-spelled?)
I guess will have to wait until the free agency period for the Yanks to break the bank.

Okay, I lied; this really isn't really a surprise. Even Girardi says they weren't counting on him so this is no setback. In his career, Johnson has made more money sitting in a recliner on the DL, than a lot of major leaguers have made on the field. The Yanks should just GIVE him to Boston. It might be two months before the Sox realize they had an extra player on the DL.

Texas is in bankruptcy and even though Seattle kicked in $2 1/2 million to offset Lee's $4 million salary, the Texas courts may not let Texas take on any more debt. Plus, the bankruptcy proceedings were already in jeopardy and if that falls thru, there could be no trade. This deal is developing more plot twists than a soap opera.



True to the Yanks method of acquiring superstars, Brian Cashman swoops down from out of the blue to pluck another star from the trenches. Rather than a "purchase," this would be a trade. In all fairness, however, I should say nothing is finalized, but the Yanks are reportedly offering two minor league prospects that the Mariners have coveted: catcher Jesus Montero and 2nd baseman David Adams. If it happens, I think the Yanks would like it to take place now, because Lee is scheduled to pitch against the Yanks tonight. We'll all wait for the news flash.

In talking about Stephen Strasburg and the All-Star game, he says:
"Here he is, a care package dropped onto a sport that doesn't deserve such gifts. And there they go, the dunderheads in charge, leaving him off the National League roster and out of the game entirely." Why? Just because of all the hype he's gotten? Good thinking, Jay. Let's see, who will we drop off the All-Star team? Tim Lincecum, Ubaldo Jiminez, oh, I know, let's drop Roy Halladay, he's washed up anyway. So according to Mariotti, it's not about your record or your PROVEN ability, it's how good your press agent is. Go back to covering Dog Racing or whatever you think sport is in Florida, Jay, we're not impressed.

LeBron James has decided to play for, who cares?

...with contributions coming from everywhere. Great pitching from Pettitte and Rivera, which we really expect. A timely, game-winning hit from A-Rod, which is becoming the norm. Three strikeouts by Brett Gardner was not normal but he made up for it by throwing out the speedy Ichiro at third and played a pretty fair left field the whole game. And then there's Nick Swisher, fresh off a successful campaign to get into the All-Star game (I wonder if Mariotti has ever heard of him) making a great play in the outfield and pounding out 4 hits. He's in a zone that can't be believed and he's relishing every minute of it.

Don't laugh, I think every newspaper in Boston has this headline. I was waiting to hear that Mark Scutaro sprained his lips kissing his wife good morning. Of course, I've never seen his wife, so...


Wednesday, July 07, 2010


A report out of New York says that Robinson Cano has backed out of the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game.
Obviously, Picasner was not responsible. The main reason was that Cano had complained of a sore back and didn't want to risk further injury.
I can't say I'm unhappy, though.



First Braden says it to A-Rod, then A-Rod says it to the A's pitchers. A slam & a solo by A-Rod, plus a gem by CC will give you a great shot at a win every time. They better get some wins now because Cliff Lee and King Hernandez are looming around the corner.
Rob Neyer said he went to Monday night's game and only saw two "Get Off..." t-shirts. The Commissioner's Office refused the A's permission to sell the shirt (so they couldn't use the team name or Braden's), Braden didn't like it and the Yanks ignored it. Apparently, so did the fans. Very classy, Oakland.

Okay, this is getting downright silly. Now Kevin Youklis had to leave last night's game because of an injury. It seems he hurt his ankle STEPPING INTO THE BATTER'S BOX. How could you make this up? He supposed to be able to play tonight but Francona has taken to carrying an oxygen tank around with him. There is a report that the Sox are considering changing their logo from a "B" to a caduceus.

There's a BIG special on ESPN at 9:00 pm tomorrow night, complete with a band, flags, confetti and fireworks. Why? LeBron James is going to announce what team he will sign with. He even had a press conference to announce when he would tell us who. And you think A-Rod's got a big ego? My pick: the Rochester Razorsharks, a member of the Premier Basketball League. Actually, the owner, Dr Severko Hrywnak (I'd like to buy a vowel, please), HAS made an offer:
$1 million, a Mercedes, a home on Lake Geneva, permission to also play in NBA (I'm sure), any number he wants and 49% ownership of the team. We'll be watching the ESPN show with special interest.

The Colorado Rockies, down 9-3 in the ninth, staged a furious rally, scoring 9 runs to win the game 12-9. Rockies catcher, Miguel Olivo, was quoted as saying, "I don't know how many we got, but I knew we had a lot of runs." Wouldn't you think knowing the score was a stat you'd want to keep track of? I hope they told him who won.

Robbie Cano has agreed to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game. After all the players whose swing got screwed up after doing this, I can't say I'm too happy. Reportedly, hitting coach Kevin Long isn't too pleased, either.

• Headline at "Tiki Barber suspicious that his new babies look a lot like Ronde Barber."


Monday, July 05, 2010




1) JUST FOR SHOW: The rules say if a pitcher pitches on the Sunday before the game, he can't pitch in the game. Now they pick pitchers who do pitch on that Sunday and then they can replace them. So TWO players get chosen with only one of them actually on the team. Which is even more ridiculous when you read how all these guys get bonuses if they get named to an All-Star team. Yeah, they need that extra $25,000 when they're already getting $6 million a year. To put it into perspective, if we peasants make $600 a week, that's like getting an extra $2.50.

2) TOO MANY RIDICULOUS CHOICES: Ty Wigginton (hitting .246) is on the team. Why? Because he's Baltimore's default pick. Not Nick Swisher (.293 with 13 hrs) or Brett Gardner (.313).David Ortiz makes it. Why? Because of what he hit 3 years ago? Sitting at home is Kevin Youklis, hitting .300 with 17 homers.

3) THEY MADE THE GAME IMPORTANT AND STILL PLAY IT LIKE AN EXHIBITION: Everybody plays. Everybody! The best (and most deserving ) players are out of it by the 5th inning. Enjoy it, because I'll be watching Beach Volleyball, where they know what's important to their sport: athletic girls in the skimpiest of bikinis.

The Red Sox now have a starting nine on the DL. Pitcher Clay Buckholz officially became #9 yesterday, and STILL the Sox are challenging for the lead. Janice Hough says if the Sox can get a couple more starters on the DL, they could win this thing.

"Nationals rookie pitcher Stephen Strasburg lost his second game in a row," wrote Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, "temporarily delaying his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame."

Actually, this whole column is pretty funny, and worthy of your time.

My e-mail is not working. I can receive, but not send, so I've got to find another way to amuse myself for a couple of days. I will accept suggestions...but not from Vod.


Sunday, July 04, 2010


I'm done with the Census and starting my "second retirement.:

The Yankee bats have been silent for a while, thanks to the pitching staff of the Mariners, in part, but they blew it open yesterday. ...not really. An 11-run explosion fueled by Tex's 2-run double and Gardner's grand slam. A-Rod gets credit for 4 RBI's, if you just look at the box score. Check out the game live and you see one run scores on a soft ground ball that Romero missed completely and the other 3 on a 2-out bases-loaded easy fly that the left fielder turned into an adventure. Walks, a hit batsman and a silly fielding decision -- where were the hits? I counted three good ones. They'll have to do better than that.
When is Michael Kay going to quit spouting off the one thing he thinks he knows about hitting? Every time Brett Gardner hits a home run (all 4 times, now), Kay goes into his " Gardner has to guard against swinging for the fences and get away from what he does best." First of all, Gardner is not your typical "Punch & Judy" hitter like Ichiro Suzuki, who just slaps at the ball. Gardner will slap an outside pitch to left, but come inside and he gives it a full swing. He's still hitting .316, so obviously he's under control. Give it a rest, Michael.

The last I looked, Boston has 3 outfielders, a 2nd baseman, 2 catchers and 2 pitchers playing gin-rummy on the DL. Yet, they're still winning. Does this mean the 'right' guys are getting hurt? Nick Johnson is still there and the Yanks continue to lead the league, so he's obviously not being missed. Right now he's scheduled to come off in August, which is good timing: he'll have just enough playing time to get re-injured in time for the playoffs.

Today is George Steinbrenner's 80th birthday. A lot of people say he should be in the Hall of Fame, but Veterans Committee refuses to even make him a candidate. The argument against him is his two felony convictions, one for illegal campaign contributions but the 2nd is for paying off a known felon to try and find incriminating evidence against one of his own players. George was one of the most innovative owners in baseball and had an immense impact on the game, but that last conviction is hard to overcome. I believe it's the same area as the Pete Rose case.
The Committee won't let Charlie Finley in either, and he also had a big impact on baseball. In his case though, the Committee is just being vindictive. Charlie may have been too innovative.

Buster still thinks the Yanks will in on the bidding for Cliff Lee if (or really, when) the Mariners try to trade him this month. Not gonna happen. Why give up young prospects and/or good major league players for a guy you don't have a crying need for and you can just 'buy' this winter when he's a free agent? Time will tell...but I think I'm right.

Takeru Kobayashi of Japan, the legendary hot-dog eating king, won't be participating in the Hot Dog Eating contest today, because he wouldn't sign a contract with the sponsors, Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs. When asked why, he replied, "Oh, I wish I were an Oscar Mayer Weiner..."