Friday, April 29, 2011


The hitting returns as quickly as it left. When Swisher & Gardner start belting the ball, the Yankee lineup definitely becomes lethal. Still, the key to the Yanks offense remains their ability to work the opposing pitcher as evidenced by the four walks in a row in the third inning off Sox starter, Edwin Jackson.
2nd baseman Gordon Beckham and shortstop Alexei Ramirez hooked up for a weird double play when Beckham made a diving stop of a grounder and "rolled" the ball to Ramirez who completed the double play. I guess he didn't trust Alexei to catch an actual throw. Well, whatever works.
Sabathia never really seems over-powering, but you look up in the 7th inning, and there he is. The Yanks are going to need their pitching to be effective because Toronto can really hit and they are next in the Bronx.

After a powerful start, the Texas Rangers are looking quite ordinary lately. Not only did they lose to the Blue Jays, but the winning rally started with a perfectly placed drag bunt, continued with a run-scoring error by Adrian Beltre, and ended with Jose Bautista getting caught off second base, but watching Darren Oliver throw the ball into centerfield for the final run.

The American league has only 5 teams with winning records out of 14. Doesn't seem like anyone is very consistent. The National league, on the other hand, has 9 out of 16 teams with a .500 or better record.

Attendance is down all across the majors. One writer, David Schoefeld, believes it's totally because of the economy, not the weather: "It was snowing Wednesday night in Minneapolis. It was snowing, and we’re supposed to lament that Target Field was only half-filled with hardy Minnesotans? We’re supposed to lament that Mariners fans are setting record-low attendance numbers for Safeco Field...and the weather has been unseasonably cool and cloudy -- even for Seattle -- with just one sunny day in April?"
Right, David, it couldn't be that. No, if people have money, they certainly wouldn't mind sitting in cold rainy weather to watch baseball. Next year, we face the possibility of starting the season even earlier and ending it later, if Bud Selig has his way. Hopefully, it will be Arizona and Tampa as the World Series competitors.


Thursday, April 28, 2011


...but a win is a win.
Cano's laser shot into the right field stands was all the scoring that Bartolo Colon needed. Ozzie must have had a premonition, because he got himself ejected in the first inning. He said the Ump had a right to toss him after what he said to him. Guillen could get fined for that, but he probably won't, because when he gets mad, he's impossible to understand, so there'll be no proving what was said.
Swisher and Posada need help badly. Evey now and then, Posada connects, and because he's swinging so hard, it's usually a home run. Swisher, on the other hand, hasn't even had a loud foul in the past three games.
Colon's out pitch, the spillover, backup slider, the two-seamer, whatever you want to call it, was absolutely unhittable last night. Add in a fastball that ran at 93-94 mph on average and touched 97 once, and you have a winner. Suddenly, it's the pitching that looks like the Yanks strong suit and not the hitting.
Speaking of pitching, the latest word on Phil Hughes is some kind of circulatory problem. Not good.

Boston's back in last place, but still only 4 games out. Crawford went 0-4 and is hitting .156. Francona has him batting in the 8th spot right now. He might want to bat him 9th but there's Jason Varitek, hitting a whopping .091. Saltalamacchia, who is supposed to be the full time catcher this year, is hitting only .186 with no homers and 5 RBIs. He might still be starting over Varitek, but scouts say his defense is terrible and Boston pitchers are not comfortable throwing to him. Jarrod, meet Jorge.

I've been complaining about all the hoopla that ESPN has been spewing at us and that the sports coverage has been deteriorating. Well, if you can put on a little show that's entertaining, then everyone can be satisfied.
I don't know who's responsible for this, but it had to be a lot of work. Even though it's really a promo for the upcoming NFL draft, another boring bit of quasi-sports, I have to admit this is pretty cute. Enjoy:


Wednesday, April 27, 2011


On Monday,the Yanks started a 4-game series with arguably the worst team in the American League. Two games, two runs and seven hits later, the Bombers (and I use the term loosely) are down 0-2 in the series. It's not enough to say they haven't been able to hit a curve ball, they look like they've never even SEEN a curve ball.

Who has looked good, so far? It's certainly a short list. Cano and Gardner (Gardner?) each happened to hit a ball hard. Other than that: nothing. Burnett & Nova both pitched well enough to win and Robertson continues to get big outs, but Soriano? Forget it. You can't say he'll get better when the weather warms up, either. He hit 97 MPH on the radar gun last night. The only ball that was faster was the one Konerko hit into the left field stands. It's beginning to look like Soriano was a one-year wonder and perhaps Cashman was right all along.

Chavez made a couple of very nice plays in the field, but Cano can't seem to catch throws from the catcher and swiped at a hard hit ball that he should have caught. A kindly scorer called it a hit.

You can blame other things for the loss: a home plate umpire who seemed to squeeze Yankee pitchers while being generous with the White Sox. A utility infielder shoved into right field by manager Ozzie "It's not my fault" Guillen, who made two fantastic plays to win (not save, win) the game for Chicago. It was so stunning, that Ozzie even forgot to take credit for it.

If the Yanks really are going to stay in contention because of their hitting, they better start doing it.

Yesterday was the 50th Anniversary of Roger Maris' first home run of the 1961 season. Roger went on to hit 61 that year to become baseball's all-time, single season home run hitter. I don't count the 'juiced' numbers for what is perhaps baseball's most revered statistic. At least it's not tainted anymore by the asterisk that was temporarily placed there by Ford Frick, aptly called by Charles Finley, "The Village Idiot."

From RJ Currie:
"A pharmacist in Mississippi says burglars who stole pain medication from his store are in for a surprise because the bottle was a decoy filled with kidney beans. Police expect an arrest soon as they've already picked up the thieves' scent."

From Dwight Perry:
"Duke linebacker Tyree Glover, charged with trafficking cocaine, has been kicked off the Blue Devils' football team. In other words, he chose to excel between the wrong white lines."


Tuesday, April 26, 2011



Every now and then, a young pitcher will show you why he got to the majors in the first place. Last night, Phil Humber exhibited the talent that got him drafted in the first round by the Mets. Actually, the Yanks drafted him three years earlier, but never signed him. The Mets traded him to the Twins, the Twins released him and Kansas City signed him. A year later, KC waived him and the Oakland A's signed him and then they waived him a year later. Now the White Sox have him and five teams are sitting around wondering why all that talent never surfaced before.

So he pitched a no-hitter into the 7th and shut the Yanks down completely. The Bombers are still in first, and leading the majors in runs per game with 5.74. It's an amazing stat considering only half the lineup is really hitting. According to talent evaluators at the start of the season, the Yanks hitting was going to keep them in contention, so I guess this is according to form.


...probably followed by an apology. Ohio State football coach, Jim Tressel, has been informed by the NCAA that he is being investigated for "...failure to deport himself...(with) honesty and integrity." It would not surprise me if Tressel had to look up those two words. Sure Tressel and the University have self-imposed a five game suspension, but what real punishment is that? It probably means he will be forced to watch the games from the press box instead of the sidelines. He'll still run the practices and determine the game plan. That's as transparent a punishment as when Annie-O tells people that Chad actually has a voice in household policy. Yeah, right.

Now the NCAA could force OSU to forfeit some of it's wins from last year (which they may), or extend the suspensions for the coach and the five players (which they won't) or declare the players ineligible (you can laugh now). But, if things get too bad for coach Tressel, well, Janice Hough has foreseen that possibility: "I see a “leaving the university I love for an NFL job to help my family” speech in Tressel’s future."

This is the coach who preaches responsibility and integrity in his book, "The Winners Manual For The Game of Life." Apparently, it's a work of fiction.


Another NEWT for ESPN!

Where does ESPN find 'em?

Let's all welcome Rick Sutcliffe to the bevy of ex-jocks that ESPN passes off as sportscasters. Last night A.J. Burnett opened the 2nd inning giving up a walk and a single. Never one to jump to conclusions, Sutcliife opined that Burnett "simply looks lost" without "any idea where his pitches are going."

How lost was he? 8 innings, 3 hits, and 1 earned run. No wonder the Yankees got totally hammered.

Joe Morgan, where art thou?

Black Hole Discovered in Yankee Universe

When is the last time you saw a Yankee lineup with three and a half gaping holes? Yesterday.

Swisher - .227
Posada - .145
Gardner - .136
Jeter - .244

Apparently Kevin Long isn't working with everyone or perhaps he should join Buck Showalter in the I Used To Be A Genius but Now I'm Not Hall of Fame.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Only 144 More games To Go

The AL East is returning to normalcy. Yankees in 1st, Rays at .500, Red Sox almost there, Bret Gardner goes 0 - 5, and Buck Showalter has been drummed out of MENSA.


When I first heard about adding another wild card team in each league, I thought Bud was just making a suggestion, but it seems that he was dead serious. Most writers and analysts think that this is not a good idea, but it does have it's backers, one of whom is Joel Sherman of the NY Post. He has always had an unconventional view of sports.

First of all, he assumes that the extra wild card is is a foregone conclusion. He is already discussing whether it should be a three-game or a one-game series. He thinks it should be a three-game series because he feels a one-game series would be a danger to the 'better' team, the idea being that anyone can get hot and win one game. At least that part is true. He also says this would give the division winners an advantage by being able to align their pitching rotation, whereas the wild card team could not. Of course the division winner would be sitting around for three or four days, getting rusty. They would also lose any momentum they had built up.

Then there is the weather problem. How does Joel handle that one? He says there is little difference in the average temperature and weather conditions between October 31st and November 3rd, assuming that 11/3 IS the last date. One of his arguments (I hope you're all sitting down) is to think of the dates as Oct. 32nd & Oct. 33rd, not Nov. 1st and Nov. 2nd, and don't you feel better now? Right, that already makes me think it's warmer. He also compares this to pro football, where the Super Bowl was actually played in February, the NCAAs spilling into April and pro basketball still going in June.

He can't be serious. How can you make that comparison? Football is often played in the snow, and I have never seen a game postponed in basketball because of rain or snow inside the buildings where the courts are.
How much is Bud Selig paying you, Joel?

Cubs manager, Mike Quade was upset at the LA Dodgers when their catcher tried to steal 2nd in the fifth inning, with the Dodgers ahead 8-1. Quade said he was going to have to "...check his unwritten rule book, to see if someone had changed the rule."

Before you do, Mike, consider these facts: 1) The Dodger pitcher was up 2) There were two outs 3) Four days earlier, the Dodgers blew a game when the Braves scored 8 runs in the 9th inning 4) The next day, the Dodgers had an 8-5 lead and lost when the Cubs scored 5 runs in the 8th. Are you getting the idea that no lead is safe? I believe this "book" exists only in your head.

The Yanks hit 5 more yesterday to lengthen their Major League lead in Home Runs. The big news was the grand slam by A-Rod, his 22nd career bases-loaded blast. The record is 23 held by Lou Gehrig. Gehrig has held this record for an unbelievable 73 years so far. As far as the most famous records go, this is currently the longest held streak in baseball, longer than the following:
Babe Ruth's 60 homers (lasted 34 years)
Gehrig's 2132 consecutive game streak (lasted 56 years)
DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak (7o years and holding)
A-Rod hasn't broken it yet, but it does seem inevitable.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

From the Ashes... Vice President NEWT

From Buzz Bissinger of The Daily Beast

"There is simply no way to say with any degree of artfulness so I won’t even try:

Los Angeles Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt is a vile piece of shit who not only ruined what was once the classiest franchise in all of sports but should also face legal consequences if allegations are true that he did reportedly not pay any taxes on $105 million he siphoned from the Dodgers’ for his own personal use.

Some are saying they are shocked by Wednesday’s news of Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig appointing a trustee to take over operations of the Dodgers. Given McCourt’s track record, I have no idea why. Perhaps the most vigorous defense in his favor comes from Tommy Lasorda, a profane clown when he managed the Dodgers and even more of a profane clown on the talk circuit. Lasorda says McCourt really loves the Dodgers, which is like saying that Hannibal Lecter really loved his victims before he ate their livers."

The Dodgers franchise may be in shambles but a silver lining appears. While unimpressed that McCourt only skimmed $105 million for his personal use including $600,000 for fake jobs for his two sons, membership at seven exclusive country clubs, and $72.5 million for the purchase of a couple of weekend crash pads, presidential hopeful Donald Trump still believes that he may have found the perfect running mate in McCourt.

While admitting that he would have far more respect if McCourt had siphoned off "some real money" from the Dodgers, he knows McCourt's a guy with the right priorities. Sure, he reduced the Dodger payroll 30%, sticking it to those union stiffs, in a move that will appeal to the Trump's base of tea-baggers. But what clinched the deal for The TrumpWad was the $150,000 of Dodger money that paid for McCourt's haircuts during the last calendar year.

Said Trump, "Here's a guy who can hold his own in tonsorial discussions with congressional powerhouse and prettyboy John Boehner. Finally, a hair cut (and a NEWT!) the American people can believe in."

Friday, April 22, 2011


Baltimore started the season like a house afire, but it looks like someone brought a hose to the party. After a 6-2 start, and time spent in first place, the birds are now 8-10 and closer to last place than first. The Yanks will throw Sabathia, Garcia and Nova against the O's, while Buck Showalter starts three kids, one 23-year old and two 25-year olds. They're all right-handed, so we can probably look forward to 12 futile at-bats from Bret Gardner this weekend. If he doesn't start to hit this weekend, the Yanks are going to have to make some kind of move.
Pedro Feliciano may be lost for the year, but Brian Cashman has to be thrilled with the production of his other signings so far. Colon and Garcia have been terrific, while Eric Chavez has been very productive and Andruw Jones has been serviceable.

Because the McCourts are having extreme financial difficulties, Bud Selig has decided to appoint an overseer for the day-to-day operations. Naturally, the Dodger front office is incensed over this action by the Commissioner, as one exec called the move "irresponsible" and "shocking."
The executive claims there is a $3 Billion deal in place with Fox network, so the financial problems cited by the Commissioner's office has no basis. Okay, then why did McCourt have to borrow $30 Million earlier in the week to meet payroll?
Which brings to mind this question: why hasn't MLB taken over the operation of the NY Mets? Their financial problems are well publicized and they also had to borrow money recently to make payroll, too. Oh, I forgot. Selig and Wilpon are good friends.

Quick quiz: What division in baseball has only one team over .500? Why, it's the all-powerful AL East. Only the Yanks 10-6 record is on the plus side.

As a side note, Bud Selig has said that MLB will add one more wild card team to the playoffs. the two wild cards will have a playoff to decide which team will be allowed to advance and play one of the division winners. Why this change, you ask? It's to prevent the DISASTER of last year when they couldn't get both the Yankees and the Red Sox in the playoffs. Bud can't have that happen again.
Of course, this means additional playoff time will be needed. So either they have to start the season in mid-March, or replace "God Bless America" with "It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas" during the World Series.

Curt Schilling, the smartest baseball mind (in his household, at least), says there is nothing wrong with the Red Sox. "They just have to stay healthy, because they WILL hit and they WILL pitch." He also believes they will win it all. There's no reason to doubt him, is there? By the way Curt, how's the ankle holding up?

From Dwight Perry:
Q: What do you call a wardrobe malfunction in the Lingerie Football League?
A: A busted coverage.

From Greg Cote (also in Perry's column):
• Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, with a Mike Tyson update: "Not a lot of people know the former boxer races pigeons. I'd imagine the pigeons usually win."

Janice Hough had a lot of fun with the Phillies ball-tossing robot:
"A baseball-tossing robot – PhillieBot – was booed by Philly fans after its ceremonial first pitch bounced about 10 feet in front of the plate. Afterwards, he did get a message from Santa, saying “Don’t take it personally.” Just wondering, for a pitching robot, is WD40 a performance enhancing drug?"


Tuesday, April 19, 2011


**AJ Burnett goes for the Yanks tonight, but there is still no word on A-Rod. Eric Chavez has filled in very admirably in his absence. The Yankees biggest worry has to be Bret Gardner's continued futility at the plate. He looks like he's trying to chop and slice everything to left, instead of just swinging naturally. They need him on base to take advantage of his speed.

**The Red Sox finally got a decent game out of Dice-K. One more bad outing and his next start might have been in Pawtucket. The Sox aren't exhibiting a lot of patience right now. Mark Scutaro, who was the Sox savior at short last year, isn't hitting right now. Jed Lowrie IS hitting and playing regularly and not only is Scutaro benched, there is a rumor the Red Sox are trying to trade him. On the Carl Crawford front, it's not a good sign when you go 1 for 5 and you raise your average 10 points.

***Bob "Wrong-Way" Matthews has finally gotten one right...kinda. He predicts the Yankees won't keep up their home run pace, which would give them 312 for the season, 48 more than the current record. [Bonus question - Which team holds that record?] I would think that's right, but Bob thinks they will have 229 for the year and that's probably too low. He says the final numbers will include 38 for A-Rod, 36 for Teixeira and 29 for Cano, 103 all together. I think that's low by 15-20 homers. I'll keep track.

***Here's a couple of oddities that were brought to light by Jason Stark, noted Yankee-hater:
This one occurred during the Indians-Orioles game. With men on 2nd & 3rd with one out, the batter hit a long fly ball that allowed the runner on third to score and the runner on second to advance to third. But the Orioles made an appeal against the runner on second for leaving too soon and it was upheld. That's a double play, end of the inning. But the run was allowed to count since it wasn't a force play and the out was credited AFTER the run scored (The out is recorded at the time of the appeal).
One reader to Stark's column, brought up the fact that if the runner on third left too soon also, and they appealed the play at second first, the run would still count even if they then appealed at third, because the inning was officially over after the first appeal. It won't be long before we see an "Official Rules" coach in the dugouts.

Maybe the Cubs don't always win, but they are always interesting. They have had records of 1-1, 2-2, 3-3, 4-4, 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, and 8-8, so far this year. You tell me what that means.

[Bonus question answer: the 1997 Seattle Mariners. 264. It wouldn't be surprising if very few people got that right, but I sure hope Dwight Perry did.]


Monday, April 18, 2011


...and I'm not gonna---well, you know.


I used to like watching ESPN, but it's become a big pain in the nether regions. You have to watch all that fireworks that does nothing but rattle the windows in my house. They will spend 3 or 4 minutes describing all the special plays and stories that they plan on showing, and then spend all of 10 seconds showing it. They have two 'suits' (okay, sometimes dresses, too) that seem more like they're auditioning for Comedy Central than anchoring a sports desk. I just don't see the purpose of it all.

I finally wrote to them and told them basically to go back to a lone guy sitting behind a cardboard desk, reading scores and showing highlights. I don't need the Las Vegas show. I doubt that I'll have any effect and they probably won't change their name to the above suggestion, but I feel better.


Cleveland and Kansas City continue to surprise, Colorado doesn't lose and Boston is starting to look like the real Red Sox, even though Carl Crawford couldn't hit the ground with a bat in three swings.

How can CC Sabathia look like he has nothing, yet still be pitching in the 6th inning and keep the Yanks in the ballgame? Why can't anybody catch up to Mariano Rivera? Everybody in the stadium knows what he's going to throw and the batters still can't hit it.

The Yanks continue to hit home runs like they're using fungo bats (weighted bats that coaches use to hit fly balls). ESPN's crack(ed) announcing team stated that some 60% of the Yankees runs came as a result of homers. They said this was not good, but the Yanks led MLB in runs scored last year, so that's good. The bottom line, if you paid attention, is, that this is NOT good, but it IS good, which makes no sense. When did they start serving beer in the booth?

Joe Torre has made his presence known in his new position for the first time. He says the umpires are isolated from the game and he'd like to change that. Gee Joe, we'd like them to attend the game, too. We just don't like it when they think that THEY are the game. Yeah, I can see that Torre is going to be a big help.

The NBA has started it's second season, the Playoffs. They should end by, oh, middle of June? They will continue to play a style that would have Dr. Naismith sneaking into the Hall of Fame in Springfield at night, and erasing his name from all the displays. It's called: Walk, Stuff and Hang from the Rim.

I'll be calmer tomorrow.


Sunday, April 17, 2011



Two more homers, Teixeira and Cano both hitting 2-run shots. Freddy Garcia was masterful, shutting down the Texas lineup on 2 hits. Garcia did it by mixing a large assortment of curves, sliders, cutters and other slow breaking pitches, with precisely placed fastballs, if you can call 85-87 MPH pitches, fastballs. It seemed like he had a different pitch for each situation. As A-Rod commented, "The catcher needed six fingers."

I admit I was not thrilled with the news that the Yanks had signed Andruw Jones. I saw him play last year and he looked overweight, out-of-shape and over-the-hill. But he came into camp slimmed down and has played left field very well so far. He also seems to have regained some bat speed.

Eric Chavez better be ready to play since the prognosis on A-Rod does not look good. He hopes to play tonight, so we'll see. The Yanks need his bat, since he & Cano have been the only consistent hitters so far.


It's funny how different people see situations from a different perspective: Carl Crawford did not play yesterday. The Boston papers say, he was being rested. The New York papers say, he was benched. Francona said simply, "I didn't put him in the lineup."

When the Yanks signed him and until he pitched yesterday, the NY papers referred to him as "Garcia." After the great game he had yesterday, they are now calling him "Freddy." I guess if he wins three or four more in the next couple of weeks, they'll refer to him as a 'Cy Young candidate.'

Joba Chamberlain saved a game against the Orioles by blocking the plate on an O's attempt to score on a wild pitch. Catcher Russ Martin said, "With his size, Joba wins that battle every time." I don't think we'll hear anything about Joba's "weight problem" for the rest of the year. See, it's all about perception.

From Janice Hough: "And they wonder why Americans can’t count: Big Macy’s ad in the Friday paper. “One Day Sale – Shop Today and Tomorrow.”

From Dwight Perry: "And in entertainment news, this looks like the end for two long-running soap operas. But enough about Manny Ramirez and Barry Bonds"

On ESPN's The Sports Reporters today, Mike Lupica talked about how Dwayne Wade took control of the Miami-76er's game at the end. Said Mike, "I always thought it would be LeBron James that carried the team, but I was wro...rrr...rr. Wro....rr." The word is wrong, Mike, and you're not Fonzie.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Nightly NEWT - Fair and Balanced

The Daily Beast reported that when HarperCollins publisher Judith Regan was fired in 2006, she alleged that a senior executive at News Corp., HarperCollins' parent company, had asked her to lie to federal investigators vetting Bernard Kerik for the job of Homeland Security secretary. The executive wanted Regan to keep secret her past affair with Kerik, who would later be convicted for lying to White House officials. Now, court documents have revealed that the mystery executive was none other than Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes—and Regan claims to have a recorded phone call in which she and Ailes discussed her relationship with Kerik. The existence of the tape possibly explains why News Corp. quickly settled Regan's wrongful termination suit with a $10.5 million payout. What a NEWT.


***YANKS LOSE 5-3***

...and yet, miraculously, they're still in first place. Nova had a tough night. When you only give up 4 hits, but the opponents score 5 runs, you've done something wrong. I think the reason that Nova only gave up 4 hits, was because he couldn't throw a ball close enough to the plate for anyone to hit it. He only walked 5, but the Texas hitters probably should have taken more pitches and they certainly would have had more walks. All this goes away, of course, if the Yanks could have hit something other than ground balls.

"These are the saddest of possible words:

Andrus to Kinsler to Moreland.

A trio of Rangers, and fleeter than birds,

Andrus to Kinsler to Moreland.

Ruthlessly pricking our pinstriped bubble,

Making a Yankee hit into a double,

Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:

Andrus to Kinsler to Moreland."

(Apologies to Franklin Pierce Adams)

Hitting into 6 double plays is absolutely ridiculous. If baseball is truly cyclical, as I've often stated, the Yanks won't hit into another double play until two weeks from Sunday.

Phil Hughes is now on the DL with a "dead" arm, whatever that is. Maybe he should take up the knuckleball. With Hughes gone and Nova stumbling, the Yanks are down to Sabathia, Burnett and three days of rain.


They lost again and would now have to win three games in a row to TIE for the worst record in baseball (providing certain teams lose all three). The Sox can't score: they're on a pace to score 620 runs for the season or less than 4 runs a game. They can't pitch: they have a team ERA of 6.79 which means giving up 1100 runs for the season. I'm no math major, but that can't be good.

Pedroia is hitting .348, no one else is over .260. Crawford is the most disappointing, hitting only .137 with no homers and 2 stolen bases. As to the pitching, Matsuzaka has an ERA of 12.86, Lackey's is 15.58. Both pitchers have given up more earned runs than innings pitched: Matsuzaka, 10 runs in 7 innings, Lackey, 15 in 9.

From Janice Hough:

"Now, the most famous food from Montreal is smoked meat. But for fans hoping to retaliate, unfortunately nothing is getting smoked in Boston these days except the Red Sox."

And you thought the Yankees had problems.

Here's an interesting bit of trivia for you history buffs: On this day in 1940, Bob Feller threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in Major League history. What's even more interesting is that the season STARTED on April 16th, and game 7 of the World Series still ended on October 8th. Are you listening, Bud?


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Barry & George - RIP

I was saddened to read that Chad suggested that the Bonds and Simpson cases were in any way analogous. Clearly he did not intend to equate a double homicide with the charges Bonds faced, only that both defendants had the resources to mount a defense. The Bonds' prosecution didn't face a resource problem either, spending over $50,000,000 of our money in a largely futile pursuit of what?

A more apt comparison of cases would be Bonds and George Steinbrenner. Both were found guilty of obstruction of justice, although, never willing to settle for second best, George has, unlike Bonds, the added distinction of a second conviction, making illegal campaign contributions.

But enough, there's no winners in any of this. Baseball owners have been giving fans the finger for decades and now players are rich enough to do likewise. There are no heroes in this multi-billion dollar comedy of bulbously blown up bodies, freak-sized heads, liars, almost-apologists, guys who aren't here to talk about the past, and the myriad of others who weren't asked what they stuck in their rears.

For the time being, I'll watch the Stanley Cup playoffs, ride, play golf and wait for the NCAA professional football and basketball seasons. Now that's where there's some real money.



When A-Rod is hitting, it seems to energize the whole lineup. Teixeira and Posada broke out of mini-slumps, but not Gardner. He doesn't look aggressive at all. He seems to want to slice everything to left field instead of just hitting the ball. Where's Kevin Long when you need him? Look how Kevin helped Jeter: a slashing single to right and a "powerful" drive to the ...pitcher's mound. No matter, it added up to two hits.

Girardi proved once again that he has no idea how to handle pitchers. Burnett pitched an overpowering game for six innings, then, when he should have been all done, Girardi sent him out for the 7th. After a drive over the head of the centerfielder, Joe should have know he was done, but no, he waited until AJ gave up a pair of two-run homers. Nice going, Joe.

Phil Hughes goes tonight in what may be a big, big test for him. Watch for the 92+ MPH fastballs. If you don't see that, it means that Phil's troubles are continuing.


Barry Bonds proved once again, that hiring multiple lawyers and hiding the truth, gets you off no matter what wrongs you commit. I have a sneaking suspicion that Bonds and O.J. Simpson are off having drinks together.


When it was announced that Josh Johnson of the Florida Marlins had a no-hitter thru 7 innings, but had a pitch count of 102, Michael Kay asked Al Leiter if Josh should go back out for the 8th inning, obviously expecting Al to say no. Well, Al said yes. Actually, Al said, "ABSOLUTELY!" The emphasis is Al's. Michael couldn't believe it and kept repeating that the pitch count was 102 and it was April. In the same situation, would Leiter go back out: Yes, absolutely. Then he asked if Al would let his own son go out there: YES! Then Michael told Al to ask one of his pitching coaches, Dave Righetti, what he would do. When Righetti said he would send the pitcher back out, Michael Kay finally shut up.

Let that be a lesson, Michael. A famous lawyer once said, "Never ask a question that you don't already know the answer to." Since I'm not sure Michael knows the answer to too many questions, maybe he shouldn't be asking so many.


He said he apologized to the third base coach last night for 'throwing him under the bus.' It came up again, that the coach never told him to go, just that home plate was uncovered. Hopefully, that little brouhaha is now over with.


Keith Law thinks the 'Save' is a useless statistic, since it unfairly credits a pitcher for an achievement that is often tainted. A pitcher enters the ninth with a three run lead and gives up two runs before getting the third out. That's a 'Save' but a terrible outing (It's an ERA of 18.00). Without the 'Save' stat, a manager might not arbitrarily pull one pitcher just to put in a 'closer' so he can pad his stats. It might actually help a pitching staff in the long run.

Law goes on to propose a "Hoffman," which is not quite as arbitrary but still one of those artificial stats with seem to become the fashion in baseball. I agree with the elimination of the 'Save' but not the "Hoffman." Why not just credit a pitcher, any pitcher, who enters the game in any inning with a lead, gets at least 3 outs and leaves with that lead, with a "Hold"? We are already familiar with the term, it more clearly defines what happened and eliminates that specialty player with an artificial record. Never happen.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


This just in, one of Newt's exes tweeted suggesting that, in the interest of biological correctness, the GRAND NEWTWEENIE be renamed the TEENY NEWTWEENIE.

NEWT or Not?

Throwing a coach under a bus with a cheesy explanation?

While not quite a NEWT it certainly is a WEENIE.

Had he thrown the coach under an actual, speeding bus and then offered the same bogus excuse he would be the first recipient of the GRAND NEWTWEENIE.


...he opened his mouth. Josh Hamilton, the Texas Rangers big gun, broke his arm yesterday trying to score on a foul out to the 3rd baseman. The Detroit Tigers, showing why they are in last place in the AL Central, committed the cardinal sin of leaving home plate uncovered. With the third baseman and the catcher standing next to each other by the dugout, Hamilton tried to score by beating the catcher to the plate. Using a headfirst slide, he was tagged out and broke his right arm in the process. He'll be out 6-8 weeks.

Some of the geniuses (and I use the term loosely) at ESPN say it was a dumb play because it was early in the game and it wasn't critical. Yeah right, scoring runs is only a minor function of the game.

I have always been an advocate of the theory, 'When everything has to go perfectly for the defense to get you out at home plate, go for it. Make them execute the play.' This will put pressure on the defense during any future plays. So Josh made an aggressive play and tried for it. Good for him, even though he was out.

My problem came AFTER the play. When he was interviewed, he said, "I didn't want to do it. I thought, something bad is going to happen, but the coach said go for it and you have to listen to your coach." First of all, the play was in front of you and the runner's judgement takes precedence over the coaches call. Secondly, it was reported that the coach said, "There's no one at home! There's no one at home!" So what we really have here, is an experienced major leaguer blaming the problem on the coach instead of taking responsibility. It was your call, Josh, man up.

[Note to Vod, does this qualify as a nomination for a Newt?]


Another loss with no hitting. Give David Price of Tampa credit, but if you look at the current batting averages of their lineup, you can see that it didn't start last night. We Yankee fans have had to endure the "Red Sox Nation" for some time now, so it was interesting to see all the empty seats for the last inning of the defeat at the hands of the Yanks. Maybe they're not the diehard fans they claim to be.


Most of the discussions on his retirement (excluding the drug issue) focuses on his impressive hitting prowess. I think we should also remember his 'entertainment' value.

**His disappearance behind the Green Monster during a pitching change to 'relieve' himself.

**Forgetting he was still in the game and having to be called out of the locker room, get dressed again and go out to play the field in the ninth inning of a game in LA.

**Making a tremendous diving catch of a throw...intended for someone else. He's still the only major leaguer in history who has been credited with an interception.

**Making a great catch in the outfield and climbing the wall to high-five a fan.

**Mocking (in a kidding way) Melky Cabrera after Melky stole a home run from him.

Yes, Manny being Manny is a highlight reel all by himself.


Rochester's triple A club was beaten 3 out of 4, as Scranton was led by the bats of Jesus Montero and Jorge Vaquez. Vasquez has impressed the Rochester writers by blasting a couple of tape-measure homers.

From Janice Hough:

It’s not a typo, Cleveland is in first place in the AL Central. The last time the Indians had such an unexpectedly good week, Custer was involved.

From the king of the punsters, Dwight Perry:

Kim Clijsters is suddenly doubtful to play in the French Open after dislocating her ankle and tearing ligaments while swinging to the music at her nephew's wedding. On the bright side, she's the No. 1 pick for Dancing With The Scars.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yanks Off - No Nightly NEWT

However, several well-deserved awards include Daisuke Matsuzaka nailing down the They Love Me Pitching Batting Practice Golden Nerf Ball for allowing 7 runs in 2 innings to the previously hapless Rays.

Former Rays pitcher (?) Dan Wheeler, now a Red Sox legend, receives the coveted How to Get Even with Your Last Team Pie in the Face for allowing his ex-mates to score 4 runs in one inning of work. Dan was also 1st runner up for the Golden Nerf.

Sadly, Tim Wakefield secured the It Breaks My Heart Memorial Hankey for another tear-filled relief role by an aging gentlemen who should be doing something else with his life.

And the recipient of the You Light Up My Life Halogen Halo goes to... Kevin Youkilis. With the bases loaded and no outs the Pumpkin-Headed One hit a wicked shot to second baseman Ben Zobrist who snagged the liner and doubled up Dustin Pedroia at 2nd. Now that's entertainment.

Have a dandy. VK

Monday, April 11, 2011


Well, we knew they weren't going to go 1-161, even though that would have been nice. Beckett looked like the Beckett of old, but other than Pedroia, the Beantown offense did not look good. Sabathia had nothing, but the Sox kept him in the game until the 6th inning.

2nd base umpire Mark Wegner actually upheld one of the actual baseball rules last night. What was he thinking? Okay, Youkilis did break the rule by sliding outside the baseline, but why call it now? I think they invoke some normally uncalled violations once a year, just to establish that they exist. So take heed players, slide to your heart's content. No umpire will make that call the rest of the year.

I hate to say it ('cause I have to live with Annie-O) but Jeter looks more and more like he's over the hill. He looks helpless at the plate and he has very little range in the field. Not a good thing.

The worst job in baseball has to be hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox. Look at the stances of Youkilis and Carl Crawford. Dave Magadan had to take one look and say, "Where did you find these guys?" Willie Mays used to hit with one finger off the bat; Youkilis hits with one finger ON the bat. Crawford looks like he has taken the first step towards first base. [It's interesting that when I googled 'Red Sox coaching staff', one of the three choices was 'Boston coaching staff 1975" What the hell was so special about 1975?]

Dwight Perry says that the Tampa Bay Rays have cancelled 'Manny Ramirez Bobblehead day' for obvious reasons. It's a shame they had to cancel the event for the person from whom 'Bobblehead' got it's name.

A loyal reader writes that she misses the comedy, announcing team of Miller & Morgan. They didn't set the bar very high, but McDonough, Valentine and Hershiser managed to get under it. After listening to Hershiser, I felt they should either wake him up or me. Valentine thought everything he said was funny (it wasn't) and McDonough obviously graduated from the Columbia School Of Boredom. ...with honors.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Nightly NEWT

As you know, Youkilis was called out for behaving like a Newt trying to take out Derek Jeter with a slide, who at the time of the slide was completing a double play throw while in an area code not shared by second base. Consequently, the successful double play was allowed to stand but Pedroia, who was occupying 3rd, was not allowed to score on the play and was returned to the base. You know, as regards Youkilis, the only thing that would make me happy would be pitchers - all pitchers - throwing at Youkilis on very pitch of every at bat (it's his beard, pumpkin head, and stupid stance-antics that are really annoying). While without exaggeration, and regardless of my enormous personal bias, his slide was "over the line", completely bush, and totally Newt-worthy.

None the less, Bobby (I love My Name) Valentine is tonights's first star! Bobby (I Love the Sound of My Own Voice) Valentine receives the coveted Nightly NEWT for his absurd "explaination" and "analysis" of the Youkilis slide. Especially noteworthy was his comment that someone had actually gone completely over the bag on an earlier slide in the series and was not called out while Youkilis was tonight. What a NEWT.

ESPN receives the Miss Ruuner-Up for Corporate Stupidity Award for hiring Sean McDonough (occasionally on-task, but that should always be easy for a purported play-by-play guy), Valentine (I Am A Gasbag hear Me Roar), and the always Inane Orel Hersey-Hiser, to do Sunday Night baseball.

PS - If Hersey-Hiser's broadcasting was either really good or really bad, I'd learn the correct spelling of His last name. But since it's always inane, why bother?

Beckett was an 8 inning assassin. And while it pains me to acknowledge his performance, Varitek called a masterful, veteran game. If you recorded the game go back over several innings and count the time between Beckett's pitches. Nearly every pitch was delivered within 20 - 22 seconds from the time Varitek returned a ball to Beckett's glove.

Dustin Pedroia has taken his wife's "You Stink!" comment seriously. Despite Predoria's claims that he is not intimidated by his spouse we'll let the home - away numbers speak for themselves, with Mrs. Pedroia's permission, of course.

Jeter abandoned "The Stance". Same results.

Teixeira cruised onto the .1nterstate with another 0-fer. Special thanks to Robinson Cano and Eric Chavez for each getting a base hit. CC Sabathia - sloppy but only 1 run.

And finally, we probably saw the last 9th inning Freddie Garcia will pitch for the rest of his career.

A dandy to all. VK


There seemed to be a split over whether ballplayers who used PEDs, who were accused of using PEDs or who were suspected of using them, belonged in the Hall of Fame. Well, Manny Ramirez has resolved that issue by being blatantly caught using them for the 2nd time in a year. As Mike Lupica says, "It's like he thinks the rules don't apply to him." Now, sportswriters are coming right out and saying that guys like Palmeiro, Bonds, MacGuire, et al, will never get elected. As one writer put it, "You hate to see athletes with so much ability, lose an accolade they probably would have achieved without the cheating." Certainly an understandable attitude, which is why there was so much waffling on the issue. But that reluctance is disappearing. Why? Because Manny crossed that line.

***THE COLLEGE ISSUE*** Drake University staged a little party yesterday. A custard Pie Fight. It was their attempt to get into the Guinness Book of Records by having the worlds largest pie fight. Approximately 700 students participated. So it seems that , "Hey Mom, I made Dean's List!" is being replaced by, "Hey Mom, we made Guinness by throwing pies!" Those parents must be so proud.

Not like the parents of Rutgers University parents, whose sons and daughters spend their hard earned dollars on commencement speakers. Speakers such as Nobel Prize winner, Toni Morrison ($30,000). Oh yeah, and Snooki ($32,000). Snookie? Okay, that's crossing a line.


Oh boy, where to start. How about the boys at Fox Sports (I use the term loosely). Yesterday, Joe Buck turned a boring Yanks-Red Sox game into a poetry reading. If you don't want to be there, Joe, please leave. And take Mr. McCarver with you. Tim simply doesn't have anything interesting to say. After watching all the Yankee games all year, it's difficult at best to listen to national broadcasters, because they bring up things Yankee fans have known for some time, as if they were revelations. Now, they're saying things that are very obvious to everyone, simply because they haven't done their homework. When McCarver tried to tie Boone Logan of the Yanks to former player Bob Boone, simply because of the name Boone, well...he crossed the line.


Media people don't even like each other. This little tidbit from the NY Daily News' Bob Raissman (who, I think, doesn't even like himself): "ESPN...traded in Joe Morgan, a perpetually ill-prepared gasbag for Bobby Valentine, a perpetually full-of-himself windbag." Okay, it's true, but can't we all just get along?

Then there's Steve Phillips, that bastion of truth and justice. His comment: "Thank God for steroids. It brought the game back from extinction." He didn't cross the line, he obliterated it.


The Yanks won, exhibiting power that has to concern the rest of the league. They're on a pace to hit 350+ homers for the season. Never happen, of course, but it is fun to watch. What isn't fun is watching the starting pitching. Who would have believed at the start of spring training, that AJ Burnett would be the most impressive starter on the team? Sabathia is Okay, Hughes is totally lost, Nova is erratic and we still haven't seen starter #5. Are the Yanks worried? They just signed another retread, Carlos Silva, from the ranks of free agency. Here's a guy getting $12.7 million from the Cubs, who was released even though the Cubs still have to pay him. Sure, it's a free roll of the dice, but doesn't something sound fishy here?

So now the Yanks have Bartolo Colon in the bullpen, waiting to slide into a starting spot, Freddie Garcia, gathering dust on the bench, waiting for Girardi to develop the guts to give him the ball and Kevin Millwood and Carlos Silva in Scranton, pretending to still be major leaguers. No, the Yanks aren't worried, they're just getting a head start on next year's Old Timers game.


Saturday, April 09, 2011

BUT, They're Not 1 - 7!

The keys to victory in Boston? Your first three hitters go 1 - 14 and your starting pitcher gives up 4 runs in 4.1 innings. And make sure that Boston's only effective pitcher is 58 year old Tim Wakefield in 2 innings of mop up work. It doesn't hurt when six other guys produce 12 hits and 9 RBIs, not to mention dominating performances by Robertson and Chamberlain.

Nice win - but:

Gardner is getting overmatched at the plate

Jeter is struggling with the new stance

Yes, Mark, it's April

Granderson's on the interstate with Posada (Tex is on the on-ramp)

Phil Hughes has taken over A.J.'s residency on Mars

No one knows if they have a fifth starter (or a 3rd or a 4th)

Flash remains the snooze button in the booth

And Joe Girardi still gives the most inane post game interviews in baseball

However, see title above.



***BAD THING #1***

Phil Hughes has nothing. I always want to give guys with proven ability, a chance to regain their form, but for me, Hughes is going to be the exception. If he just couldn't find the strike zone, or couldn't get his curve working, I'd be inclined to leave him in there, but that's not the case. He has no life on his fastball, in fact, he has no fastball. I think the Yanks should replace him until his velocity improves. In the meantime, put Colon into the rotation.

Carl Crawford does not look comfortable, either in the field or at the plate. He's too good an athlete for this to last much longer. Gonzales, on the other hand, looks right at home.

***BAD THING #2***

Manny has retired. Facing a 100 game suspension for failing a drug test in the spring, Manny opted out of baseball rather than go through the process. Why do I think this is bad? Manny was always good for at least one sarcastic comment a week. When you lose a great source of material like him, it makes it difficult to write a blog. Even his retirement is a terrific straight line. Janice Hough, Left Coast Sports Babe, devoted better than a third of her column to various punch lines over this. While they were funny, they basically eliminated any chance of me coming up with one that didn't steal one of her thoughts. Leave some scraps for us peons, will you please, Janice?

Yanks-Bosox on Fox Network today, which means McCarver. I must have done something horrible in a previous life. At least I won't have to listen to Joe Morgan on ESPN any more.


Friday, April 08, 2011



Let's enjoy it while we can. When teams like the Sox finally break out of their funk, the explosion will be heard for a long way. As often happens in slumps, calls go against you, weird plays happen to you and reporters circle like buzzards. Why do they ask the players questions they already know the answer to: "How do you feel about the losing streak? Do you think you'll come out of it? How do you start winning again?" What do they think the players will say? " We don't care because we're getting paid millions. We probably won't win a game all season. We could win if we could just score more runs than the other team."

Yesterday, I saw three calls against the Sox that could have (and maybe, should have) gone their way. Two days ago, the veteran catcher, Jason Varitek, allows a run to score because he doesn't tag the runner. Granted, he didn't see the 3rd baseman tag third on a grounder before throwing home, eliminating the force, but the real problem is that afterwards, Varitek said he, "...wasn't sure of the rule." He wasn't sure of the rule? That's scary.

Burnett looked pretty good, keeping his composure throughout the game. He walked the first two guys in one inning, but got out of it without a run. Last year, he would have been happy to get out with just a couple of runs scoring. A-Rod looks like he has cooled off a bit. so has Teixeira, but he is still having good at bats.

Too bad about Nishioka's broken leg. Nishioka and the rest of the Twins feel that nothing dirty occured on the play and they feel no ill will towards Swisher. Nick visited the Yankee X-ray room and offered apologies to the little 2nd baseman, who appreciated the gesture but said Swisher had nothing to apologize for. We'll see what happens when the Yanks go to Minnesota.

New York/Boston series starting today. This is no time for the Red Sox to wake up. The key to game for the Yanks: watch the velocity on Hughes fastball. If he can get up to 92-94, the Yanks should be okay. If not, we'll be solving a lot of Boston's problems.


Asserting his veteran leadership, Johnny Damon called a players-only meeting to get Tampa Bay on a winning track. What would be more helpful, Johnny, is if you and Manny had more than two hits between you.

I just read where the Red Sox and Adrian Gonzales are close to finalizing a contract extension. Are they still at this? I thought that got handled in Spring Training. Better make the deal fast, Theo, Gonzales is the only one hitting.

The Sox also brought up Alfredo Aceves from Pawtucket for the series against the Yanks. I guess the theory is , If you can't beat 'em, let them play each other.

I thought Vod was talking about the hat Francona wears when it's cold out. I saw him wearing it last year. It caught my eye because, as I said, my dad used to wear one. The 'Tea Cozy' thing I'll look for today.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Life at the Seneca landfill

Chad misses everything the first time.

I wasn't commenting on Terry's cold weather "ear-flap" cap that a few of the more sensitive boys wear in cold weather, but on how he always so daintily removes and replaces his "regular" cap while in the dugout throughout a game. I swear, he does it just like my Aunt Viola placed tea cozies on her brewing teapots back in the day. Watch him this weekend.

I do feel bad about kidding Dustin Pedroia. But these guys need to get it together now and if a few jibes help, good. Without a Yankee - Red Sox race (for first, not last), baseball's about as interesting as polo - just a bunch of rich guys and Newts (refer to photo bottom right) . Regardless, Dustin's wife has got it covered. He said that the first thing she's going to tell him when he gets home from the 0 - 6 road trip is "You stink!"


Freddie Garcia lost his start because of the rainout, but he did have a bullpen session to get his throwing in. Rafael Soriano pitched the last two innings for him... This is the last time the Twins will be in NY this season, so there is no word on when the game will be made up.


Baltimore is still on top and Boston is still on the bottom. The Red Sox Nation is not happy. When you're picked by everyone to win your division by at least 5 games and you start out 0-5, your fans will naturally get nervous. Boston fans don't get mad, they get vicious. If the Sox don't take two out of three from the Yanks this weekend, there are going to be effigies burned.


While Yankee fans have been complaining about losing Cliff Lee, consider the plight of the Tampa Bay Rays. They lost their bullpen, a starter and their two best hitters. What did they pick up? Two dynamos named Manny Ramirez, currently benched, and Johnny Damon, sitting because of sore legs. The Rays are also 0-5, and they would be in the news more if Boston had at least one win.

The Texas Rangers moved to 6-0 by beating the Mariners. King Felix took the loss aided by poor hitting, a terrible outing by the bullpen and three errors by infielders, who claimed the sun got in their eyes (well, it worked for the outfielders).

Silly things going on in the NL, too. San Francisco's in last place and Pittsburgh's in second.

I'm sorry that Vod made fun of Terry Francona's hat. My Dad used to wear a similar cap with what he called "ear-flappers," and no one had the courage to make fun of him, including his wise-ass son. CP-

An article in today’s NY Times reads 0 - 5 Red Sox Looking for Answers

That’s easy.

Ellsbury is too soft. After Tampa Bay, Crawford needs mittens to play in the cold. Pedroia is too short. Gonzalez has too many Zs in his name. Youkilis’s beard is waaay too ugly. Ortiz is too fat. Saltalamacchia, sadly, simply stinks. Scutaro? See Pedroia above. Terry Francona wears his cap like a tea cozy. And don’t get me started on that hideous bunch of pitchers. Would you let your daughter date Becket or Lester?

I didn’t think so.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011


I had hoped we were through with this, but I guess the ghosts have followed the Yankees from the old stadium into the new. Last night, Joe Girardi, NOT Soriano, gave away a game to the Minnesota Twins. The Yanks have been beating up the Twins so badly and so often lately, that I think they could beat them by sending out 5 coaches, 3 ballboys and 1 reporter (drunk or sober).

With a somewhat comfortable 4-run lead, Girardi replaced an untouchable CC Sabathia with an obviously tired Rafael Soriano, who couldn't have found the plate with GPS. It finally took a relievers nightmare, a bases-loaded walk, for, Girardi to come out and get him. Too late, Joe. So, five games into the season and Girardi has used Soriano 3 times and Mariano 4. Where's Scott Proctor when you need him?

Showalter has the Orioles riding high with a 4-0 record, leading the AL East. In the meantime, the Boston Red Sox are last with an 0-4 record. This won't last. The O's aren't that good and the Red Sox are the Red Sox. At least this gives the comedians on ESPN (I've given up calling them 'sportscasters') something to talk about.

Someone said that the NCAA Ladies played for the championship last night, but without Connecticut or Stanford, I couldn't get interested.

We get our first regular season look at Freddie Garcia tonight. I hope I don't see Soriano or Rivera. CP-

Monday, April 04, 2011



The Yanks problems were all on the pitchers mound. Chamberlain threw hard but seemed to be pitching in bad luck. As far Colon, well, I guess it's tougher to pitch against major leaguers than a bunch of minor leaguers trying to win jobs. For all the worry about AJ Burnett, Hughes is more of a mystery. In the 1st two innings, I only saw 2 pitches that were over 89 miles an hour. The "engaging" Yankee broadcasters noticed it, too.

The offense was pretty good the whole series, hitting 9 home runs in 3 games. The one question mark is still Cap'n Jeter. For all the talk about his 'new' swing, he is still hitting nothing but ground balls. I'm not Kevin Long, but it seems to me that he drops his front shoulder, giving him a downward swing. We'll be watching.

The Yanks will take on Minnesota, who comes to town for a four-game set today. Can someone please explain to me why 13 of the Yanks first 16 games are at home, and the other three are in Boston? Trying to take advantage of that fine northeast spring weather, no doubt. I don't know about NYC, but it's cold, windy and rainy in upstate New York.


Boston is now 0-3, but no one is panicking in beantown. I think Francona is the best manager in baseball, but why is Carl Crawford batting 7th? Did Terry lose track of him?

The Indians pulled off a triple play this weekend, one of the real oddities in baseball. No one ever mentions it, but in most cases, the triple play is possible because one or more baserunners make a mistake.

Resident genius, Jim Leland of the Tigers, refuses to call any of his pitchers, mop-up men, preferring the term, middle reliever. Saturday he brought in 'middle reliever' Brad Thomas, who proceeded to earn the title, mop-up man. Maybe we need a new name, Jim, like 'batting practice pitcher.

They may not be talented, but they are interesting. All three Seattle outfielders lost fly balls in the sun yesterday, which may be some kind of Major League record. In their defense though, how often have they even seen that big yellow ball we call the sun?

Brian Cashman says that new Yankee reliever, Pedro Feliciano, was "abused" by the Mets organization. Pedro is currently on the 15-day DL with a strained rotor cuff. Mets pitching coach, Dan Warthen, denies it of course, saying, "They knew how often he had pitched when they signed him." Doesn't mean he wasn't abused, Dan. Warthen also said that he never refused to pitch. Right, refusing to pitch is a good way to keep your job. Look at what Joe Torre did to Scott Proctor. Granted, Scott used to wear a disguise in the bullpen, but Torre always found him and he never refused the ball, either.

Congratulations to the Notre Dame ladies BB team, but it would have been fun to watch two Connecticut teams play for the championship on successive nights. On the other hand, the NCAA broadcasting staff would have been absolutely giddy, reminding us of it every two minutes. Brad Dickson's take on the game: "There is going to be unprecedented security at the NCAA championship game. And that's just to keep Christina Aguilera from singing the national anthem."

What good is a blog if you can't make fun of the Cubs? Extracted from Dwight Perry's column: New Cubs manager Mike Quade got booed when he came out to remove opening-day starter Ryan Dempster during a 6-3 loss to the lowly Pirates. "For those of you keeping score at home," wrote Barry Rozner of suburban Chicago's Daily Herald, "the honeymoon lasted 1 hour, 57 minutes."


Sunday, April 03, 2011

Will Trade Mute Button for Hand Grenade

Spent most of the afternoon surfing between the Yankee game and the NASCAR race from Martinsville. Listening to the broadcast team of Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds, and Darrell Waltrip for 4 hours - no problem. They're informative, engaging, and funny.

Michael Kay and Ken Singleton for 3 hours? They're informative, engaging, and funny (and Chad has a secret man-crush on Michael).

Listening to the NCAA Final Four crew including Jim Nance, Craig "Shut the f*%* Up" Kellogg, and The Other Guy for three and a half minutes? Please, shoot me now.

Saturday, April 02, 2011