Friday, September 30, 2011


When reading the analysis of all the teams by the plethora of sports writers, I've noticed this intriguing fact. They say pretty much the same thing: the Yanks have the best and most powerful lineup and the deepest and strongest bullpen. Their defense is considered anywhere from very good to excellent. The starting pitching is considered to be more than adequate.
Only 6 of the more than two dozen writers and broadcasters I checked, pick the Yanks to make the World Series and only ONE, just one, picked them to win it all. No reasons, no explanations, no comparisons...and no faith.
I guess this is their way of covering both bases: if they lose, no one will have picked them and if they win, they can claim that the Yanks were the best team all along.

Yes, Atlanta faded bad enough to put them in the 'choke' category, but the big story was Boston because they were considered to be the best in the AL, maybe all of baseball, way back in March. Terry Francona will probably get canned, even though Theo Epstein says they don't believe in scapegoats. I've said before that Epstein deserves most of the blame, since he put this team together, including leaving them bereft of competent backups. But what about the players?
Youkilis likes to push players to play the game right, but when you're on the bench hurt most of the time, the players stop listening to you. In fact, one insider said he became more of an irritant than a cheerleader .
Big Papi, David Ortiz, second-guessed his own manager a few times during the year. When an established player does that, the manager loses the respect of the team. Not that Ortiz seemed to care.
Josh Beckett was a whiner and again according to an insider, wasn't well liked in the clubhouse.
Jacoby Ellsbury never talked or led, in fact, Jed Lowrie seemed to be the only guy on the team he would confide in.
John Lackey won the Cy Young award this his mind. How can a guy who is effective one time out of every 6 or 7 times he pitches, think a manager should never take him out. He could give up 7 runs by the third inning and would still curse Francona if he took the ball from him. Believe me, if Francona had a healthy Bucholtz and Matsuzaka. Lackey would have been the most expensive mop-up man in baseball. And he wouldn't have deserved that.
Here's the most intriguing player on the team. Carl Crawford. Obviously, he didn't have a good year, but there has to be more to it than that. I think he has become increasingly disappointed that he signed with Boston. He never looked like he was enjoying himself. There were many times when he didn't seem to be putting out a full effort. He missed two line drives in left field, one against NY and one against Tampa, that should have been caught, and looked like he didn't even care.
If there aren't massive changes in the roster over the winter, Boston is doomed again next year.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Red Sox Nation News

Bad News: Last night the Red Sox completed the most profound September swoon in baseball history.

Good News: This morning Red Sox Nation announced that they will now be able to hold their annual convention at the Salem, Massachusetts Taco Bell. Not only will there be ample room for the Red Sox "faithful" but it also provides the perfect venue for the upcoming post-season witch hunt.

Best News: To the delight of attendees, the convention is scheduled to coincide with the Salem Art(of)ichoke Festival.

Glad That's Cleared Up

NCAA president Mark Emmert says he is concerned about the perception that money is driving the current conference realignment decisions and stated "This is not the NFL, the NBA, its not a business. I thinks what came across is that all we care about is money and what we can do to our advantage."

Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim, trying to clarify statements by SU chancellor Nancy Cantor about SU bailing on the Big East and signing on with the ACC, said the Orange would never play an ACC home game in New York City. "With the football package it (playing in New York) might be the only way to get Notre Dame to play, and you make more money there." said Boeheim. "If we're playing're not going to take the Duke game out (of the Carrier Dome). "If Duke comes here we're going to make more money playing here than in New York City."

Its good to know that money is not driving the decisions.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I Hope My Millionaires Beat your Millionaires

Rays win.
Red Sox Win.
An amazing race.
Steve Bartman got out alive.
The Wrigley field crowd that hurled beer, brats, pizza, threats, spit...
Now they attend Republican presidential candidate debates.


It would be easy to blame the Sox' woes on their pitching, but in reality, they have problems all over. Their 3rd baseman is playing out of position, two of their thumpers, Gonzales & Ortiz aren't stepping up and leading the team, both of their catchers are injured and only Pedroia and Ellsbury look like they can handle the pressure.
Ellsbury runs into the wall and drops the ball -- no excuse here, you HAVE to hold on to that in this critical game -- followed up by Saltalamacchia letting the relay throw go right by him when they had the runner dead to right. Your ace, Beckett, has to shut down the Orioles. Pitching a 'good' game is not enough.
Am I being too hard on the Bosox? Yes, I am. But they deserve it. Everybody handed them the AL championship in March, and they were on the verge of running away with it in August and there are plenty of veterans that should be able to hold it together. Injuries are no excuse either. The Yanks had plenty, but they had enough on the bench to keep them in it and Boston just doesn't have it.
They'll complain because the Yanks didn't pitch Sabathia or Nova in the final three games, but it's not up to NY to get them into the post season. The Sox control their own destiny. Win the next three games (two in the regular season and one against the Rays in a tie breaker) and there in, regardless of who the Yanks put on the field. Quityerbitchin'.

His concussion symptoms returned after a light workout yesterday, which basically seals his fate for the post season. And because this is his 4th concussion, it's possible his career is also over with. I hate to see that happen, but his health is more important. The Yanks will take care of him, either way.

Another career that SHOULD be over with, is that of umpire Paul Schreiber. Last night, he came around the plate, stood in front of Russell Martin with his hands on his hips and 5 seconds later, he threw Martin out of the game. Why? Wait, I don't care what happened. When a umpire gets that confrontational and goes looking for an argument, the umpire is wrong. The minute he heard about this, Joe Torre should have been on the first plane to Tampa to can this guy. Umpires get criticized all the time and nobody 'showed him up.' If he can't take it, well, Walmart is looking for greeters.
Unfortunately, nothing will happen.


Sunday, September 25, 2011


***YANKS WIN 9-1***
The Red Sox 'second best' pitcher was just that yesterday, when you compare the game's two starting pitchers. Lester is one of the top lefties in the game, but it was hard to determine if he was not himself or the Yankee lineup was hot. Maybe both. The Sox looked like a good team that was trying too hard. The worst part was that once down 3-0, when Lester was supposed to limit the damage, he promptly gave up a three-run blast to the captain. And everyone, including Francona, knew it was over.
Montero continues to impress, probably hitting himself onto the playoff roster, especially since we won't see Cervelli. Girardi has already said Martin will catch everything, so Posada seems to have made it too.

It didn't take long for the Fox announcers to screw up their "analysis," yesterday. Jeter led off with a scorching drive headed for right field, only to see it flagged down by a leaping Pedroia. "He missed timed it," they said. "He caught it on the way down." Two straight replays proved that Pedroia nailed in at the apex of his jump, but they never backed off their claim. I'm screaming and Annie-O promptly turns the sound off. Thank you.

The papers are full of a breach in the relationship between Francona and Theo Epstein, along with the speculation that Francona will be gone. Somebody has to pay for this meltdown. It ought to be Epstein, since HE'S the one who failed to provide Terry with players who could fill in for their devastated pitching staff. Cashman gave Girardi Colon, Garcia and even Luis Ayala and Cory Wade. Epstein gave Terry two guys named Miller and Bedard, who sounded and pitched like a vaudeville comedy team. Let's not forget Lackey and Crawford, who weren't much help either.

One more Yankee win or Texas loss and the Yanks have home field advantage until the World Series. Which is a very good thing, since even Girardi has admitted that this team was built for Yankee Stadium, with so many powerhouse left-handed hitters and a few righties who like to go to right field.

The NY Daily News runs a "Gratuitous Photo of the Week" every Sunday. Today it's Sarah Palin. The woman is amazing. She's got Tina Fey down to perfection. She even sounds like her.

The Yanks have taken the 'set-up and closer' theory of relievers to a new level by adding a second lights-out set-up man, Rafael Soriano. The Yanks have tried to make every game a 6 inning affair to get to Soriano-Robertson-Rivera. But they also have Cory Wade and Luis Ayala plus a rejuvenated Boone Logan and pretty soon Girardi going to tell his starters, "Just get us through the National Anthem."

A couple of beauties from my friend Dwight Perry:
"Leo Nunez, the Marlins' 28-year-old closer, it was discovered, is actually 29-year-old Juan Carlos Oviedo. In other words, he was already a player to be named later." -- dp

"Yet another Yankee, catcher Russell Martin, revealed he hates the Red Sox. And in a related story, your dog doesn't like the neighbor's cat." -- dp

"ESPN extended its "Monday Night Football" contract with the NFL — to the tune of $1.9 billion a year. This means two things. Hank Williams Jr. doesn't have to look for work until 2021, and your cable bill is about to go up again." -- Norman Chad

"Elephant polo — yes, polo played atop pachyderms instead of ponies — is gaining popularity in England. I can just picture Prince Charles playing, and one elephant whispers to the other: 'Get a load of the ears on that guy.'" -- Brad Dickson


Friday, September 23, 2011


The same day I said the Yankees would play hard the rest of the season until the playoff spots were decided, they went out that night and gave up two touchdowns (plus a two-point conversion) to the Tampa Bay Let's hope it was just a normal let-down after clinching the division title. Colon looked absolutely drained and Scott Proctor couldn't get anybody out. It did appear that the Yankees had gotten into the head of manager Joe Maddon. In the 8th inning, the Yanks started to put a little rally together and Maddon immediately went into a 'mix-n-match' mode. Ahead 15-6, and Maddon managed like it was 7-6. If Posada had hit a home run with the bases loaded in the 8th making the score 15-12, I think Maddon's head would have exploded.

Brian Cashman has admitted that the Yanks faked interest in Carl Crawford to drive up the Red Sox bid. After signing a 7-year, $142 million contract, Crawford immediately faked interest in playing.

Italian swim star Filippo Magnini lost a 100-yard race to two dolphins. I wasn't impressed until I heard that the race was on land.

West Virginia University Athletic Director, Oliver Luck, has banned T-shirts with an obscene message on them. In Morgantown, that's any T-shirt with Syracuse University on it.

According to Jim Boeheim, "If conference commissioners were the founding fathers of this country, we would have Guatemala, Uruguay and Argentina in the United States." It's bad enough that they're already in the Big 12.

The Yankees will have a ceremony honoring Roger Maris before the game tomorrow. No truth to the rumor that Bud Selig will throw out the first asterisk.

"The NFL has ordered its teams to perform searches from the ankles up at stadiums on game days. The plan has already nabbed scores of miscreants — and that was just at the players' gate." -- Dwight Perry
"Germany sets aside a season to celebrate with drinking: They call it 'Octoberfest.' We refer to it as 'football season.' " -- Comedy writer Tim Hunter
"In Vegas you can now wager on Lingerie League games. Imagine having to tell your kids you lost their tuition money because a halfback was pulled down at the 2 by her garter belt?" -- Brad Dickson
"The NFL has warned teams that fines and suspensions will follow if players keep faking injuries. In a related story, the New York Giants are suddenly 7-5 favorites to reach the next World Cup." -- Dwight Perry

After being told that when you're sick, you can hug someone but you can't kiss, My 4-year old granddaughter immediately told her father, "I can't kiss you Daddy, 'cause you make me sick."


Thursday, September 22, 2011


Why are broadcasters asking their partners in the booth, "Do teams have an obligation to play their best players when playing teams that are fighting for playoff spots, when their own club is out of it?" Just to give them the benefit of the doubt, I will assume they are just trying to start a dialogue and aren't seriously suggesting that a team back off against one team and not another.

Now that the Yanks have clinched the pennant, I'm sure Girardi will rest certain 'older' players, but he's done that all year. In fact, take a look at the lineup the Yanks put on the field for the 2nd game last night. If the Yanks have a one run lead in the ninth tonight, you can bet your bottom dollar we'll see Mariano on the mound. Look at what the Orioles have done to all the playoff contenders in the last 10 days. Baltimore has been the AL's most dangerous team during that time.

Annie-O didn't understand why I was rooting for Boston last night (stay calm; I have a reason). If Boston clinches, the Yanks can look at some young players, pull the regulars after one or two at bats,and get the team rested and healthy for the post season. If Boston doesn't clinch, the Yankee games will have an entirely different feel. That's why the Angels and the Rays can count on the Yanks to go hard after the Red Sox this weekend.

I think Boston has to sweep the Yanks this weekend. If they don't , they'll be on the outside looking in. Gonzales is playing well in spite of being hurt, Pedroia and Ellsbury are going all out, but that's where it ends. The biggest bust free-agent signing this year, Carl Crawford, has not produced at all. Michael Kay said he was surprised that Crawford hasn't at least stolen bases. Well, to do that, you have to get on base first. Crawford's on-base percentage stands at .295. That is embarassing low. Might as well not talk about Boston's pitching because...well, they don't have any.

We've seen a few occassions this year when ballplayers have forgotten how many outs there are, which leads to situations like Teixeira and Cano both standing on third base, but Posada has out done them all. He forgot what inning it was. It's a good thing the Yanks still give him a uniform, otherwise he might have ended up in the wrong dugout. Yeah, he knocked in the winning runs, and we thank him for that, but in the post-game interview, he seemed proud of the fact that he thought it was the ninth inning instead of the eighth. Maybe he was hungry for pie.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

F'get About It

Beating the Rays while the Red Sox lose? The Yankees have no sense of humor.

Jim Boeheim, on ESPN's PTI today, confirmed what everyone has known for years, i.e. football and money drive decisions made by athletic departments and their associated administrations in BCS schools. It was good to hear someone from the upper echelon of sports-ademia confirm that the pursuit of money is their business, effectively averring that their players are a huge cog in a professional, money making organization.

I appreciate Jimmy The Rat letting us know that this defection was spurred by the league's rejection of the ESPN television deal($$$$$$$). Whether it's Deep Throat's "Follow the money." directive (Watergate, for all of the oblivious young Republicans out there) or Cuba Gooding Jr.'s exhortation to Tom Cruise "Show me the money!", the smell is the same.

ACC football is, at best, irrelavent, so SU will fit right in and Pitt can continue to pretend that they have a successful program. The basketball people can pretend that a possible home game every other year against UNC and Duke can compensate for leaving decades old rivalries behind. And everyone, except most of the athletes and all of the fans, can have a great time counting the money, money, money, money, money...

When Tony Soprano is named the next Commissioner of The Big East, we'll see who takes their business out of the greater New York - New Jersey area.

I'll be following SUNYAC and Empire 8 basketball and Ithaca and Cortland football. It's local. It's well played. And DIII has actually figured how to have a great national championship tournament in both sports! Who'd a thought?

Monday, September 19, 2011


...and after that...



Deutscheland Uber Alles and Why YES Sucks

Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Really, it is. While that's cool enough, leave it to the meticulous Germans to set themselves apart. Last night, in voting, Germany elected a representative of the youth oriented Pirate Party to a national office. Well done and "Arrrgh!" to all.

Congratulations to Mariano Rivera on his record setting 602 saves. He closed the game in style with a strike out.

And leave it to current management to immediately cheapen a great accomplishment. If you were watching on YES, the very first commercial following Kim Jones' moving post-game interview with Mo was for a commemorative ball, numbered, signed by Mariano, and marked with the "official" 602 saves trademark for the fantastically low price of $199.00. So much for savoring a moment of baseball history when you can shill for immediate cash. Another moment we'll never forget. Very slimy boys.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


The NY-Toronto game is only half over, but the Jays have made so many great plays in the field, I think it would behoove Girardi to call time and ask the umps to count the number of Blue Jays in the field. There just has to be more than nine of them.

There has been a lot of talk about the many injury problems the Sox have had, which is the reason they're not running away with the AL East. On the other hand, the Yankees have had just as many injuries and lost time for their regulars as Boston, yet they're leading the division. Why is that?
While Theo Epstein was being crowned as the King of the General Managers this winter for signing Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzales among other moves, what got lost in the process was the devastation he created in the Sox' farm system. Cashman, on the other hand, has his best prospects still in hand, and put together a cadre of one-year back-up players who have outperformed Boston's bench. Colon, Garcia and Chavez have produced far beyond the expectations of the so-called experts and their youngsters have shown they deserve the accolades they were getting in the minors.

This was the topic of an article in the NY Daily News today. The choices they listed were:

Babe Ruth's 714 career homers
Roger Maris 61 homers in a season
Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak
Mariano Rivera's 600+career saves
Derek Jeter's 3000+ career hits

The one that stands out in my mind is DiMaggio's streak. Other than Maris, the other accomplishments have a base in longevity. Mariano has had a number of blown saves, Jeter's career batting average isn't the highest in Yankee history, which means if Lou Gehrig, for example, had played longer, he probably would have exceeded the 3000 hit mark, too. But DiMaggio streak leaves no room for error, A hit every single game for about two months. One bad game and the streak is over. I can't see that mark ever being beaten.

Serena Williams was fined for berating the chair umpire at the US Open Tennis tournament. Serena, who earned $500,000 for her finish in the standings of the US Open Series, was fined a whopping $2000. Do you think she was properly chastised? No truth to the rumor that she responded, "Here's a check for $4000. That should cover next year."

"Another weekend of college football. The Oklahoma Sooners face their biggest test of the young season. A multiplication quiz in Jock Math class." -- Alan Ray
How about the mistakes, the mental errors, the lack of focus at times in the Nebraska-Washington game Saturday — and that was just by Matt Millen in the press box. -- Brad Dickson
"There were 33 college football games available on TV on Saturday in Omaha. I'd like to congratulate the one guy in town who got some yard work done." -- Brad Dickson
"A Nebraska man converted a school bus into a high-speed drag racer after installing a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom fighter jet engine into the vehicle. I’m thinking I’d want to go 367 mph if I had to drive kids to school every day." -- Cam Huthinson
"WBC Welterweight Champ Victor Ortiz has been posing in briefs in ads for Maybe Ortiz misses being on the undercard." -- RJ Currie



***A BIG WIN***
It didn't look good for a while. Not with Bartolo Colon alternating throwing a devastating 'spill-over' fastball with a batting practice lob. Not with Robinson Cano running the bases without a care in the world...and a brain in his head. But then A-Rod, swinging the bat with confidence, lined a ball into the left field stands with two men on, and the Yank's bullpen taking control, they finally began to look like the team with the AL's best record. And Mo' was the icing on the cake.

He finally caught Trevor Hoffman's record for the most career saves, but it never took that particular number for Rivera to be proclaimed as the best closer ever. One of the major reasons in my opinion, is that Rivera's saves were for a team that was always fighting for a championship. Every game seemed pressure packed, with some kind of title at stake. Not to belittle Hoffman, but Mo's saves were more than just a statistic; they not only won games, but also World Series rings. As Joe Girardi says, "Number 602 just puts the final stamp on the best." Amen.

There are a lot of 'good' teams and 'good' players, there is always the moment in a play or a game or a season, that separates the great and the not-quite great:
Against the Rays on Friday night, with men on 1st and 2nd, Upton hits a ball to shortstop and broke his bat in the process. The bat, the ball, the runner from second and even the third baseman all reached SS Mark Scutaro at the same time. Scutaro missed all four. Oh, yes a splintered bat is certainly a dangerous thing and it happened very fast, but the 'great' players handle it. Derek Jeter, for example, would have avoided the bat, caught the grounder, started a double play and built a birdhouse out of the pieces of the bat.
Maybe the Milwaukee Brewers are the team with the 2nd best record in the NL, but as a team, well that's a different story. With less than two weeks left in the regular season, Prince Fielder decides it's time to remind everybody that he won't be in Milwaukee next year. Frankie Rodriquez complains that the Brewers won't let him share the closer job with a pitcher who has saved 42 out of 44 chances this year. What's their motto? "There is no 'I' in team, but there is a 'me'?"
Then there's the Dallas Cowboys' quarterback, Tony Romo, who suffers from what I call Nomar Garciaparra Disease. That's the ability to put up some impressive statistics but still find a way to make a crucial mistake when the game is on the line. Nomar's mistakes seemed to have gone unnoticed, but I remember him making great plays at shortstop all game, only to fail in the middle of a Yankee rally. Romo has made some glaring mistakes at crunch time ever since he began his career, but look at his numbers and you have to be impressed by them. He's still young enough to overcome this handicap, so we'll watch and wait.

Tim McCarver is at it again. He started talking about a team with the best bullpen (I don't even remember who he was talking about) saying with a lefty-righty tandem like them in the bullpen, they shorten the game better than anyone else, including the Red Sox, the Yankees, etc. Two guys shorten the game more than Soriano-Robertson-Rivera? I don't think so. Last seasons save leader (Soriano), the leading strikeout artist among relievers this year (Robertson) and some guy named Mo', shorten the game better than anyone else. I wish they could do the same to McCarver's tongue.

"The Cleveland Browns have started 12 of the last 13 seasons with a loss. There haven't been this many failed openers since I was dating." -- RJ Currie
"Tigers manager Jim Leyland had said he was wearing the same underwear during the team's 12 game win streak and didn't plan to wash or change it until they lost. This might explain the team's recent great pitching during the streak. No one wanted a visit on the mound." -- Janice Hough
"Health inspectors found food safety violations at Wrigley Field. This comes as a shock to Cubs fans. They always thought the nausea and vomiting was a result of the starting rotation." -- Alan Ray
"NASCAR is trying some new initiatives to go green, including planting trees and using ethanol fuel. Most controversial is the idea of having NASCAR drivers carpool in the race." -- Conan O'Brien
"The NCAA found Boise State guilty of numerous violations for prospective and enrolled student athletes totaling 63 young men. The athletic department has lost scholarships and was put on three-years probation, but the only post-season ban will be a year for the women's tennis team. Yeah, that'll teach them." -- Janice Hough

That's all for now, I'll try to do another posting later today.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Now That's a Craven Image

Picasner and I have, from time to time, had our differences on subjects as diverse as baseball, politics, religion, and the desirability of particular women. In spite of that, we've remained good friends. But now he's placed that friendship in jeopardy and crossed the line of rationality, sanity, and yes, even good taste with his comment "Bud, everything you do is wrong, starting when you put your pants on in the morning."

Just for a moment, imagine Bud Selig without pants and I'm sure you'll quickly agree that Selig putting on pants is ever so right.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


For all you fans who don't know why the Mets were refused permission to wear caps honoring the first responders to the 9/11 catastrophe, we've finally been told why. I'm sure we all think that MLB wouldn't have done something like that without a good reason, and they did have one.
It's policy.
Excuse me? That's it? Policy? And to top it off, Bungling Bud Selig is furious about it. Oh, not the decision. No, he's mad because the Mets made it public. I guess his thinking is, "If no one finds out, then I didn't do anything wrong." Bud, everything you do is wrong, starting when you put your pants on in the morning. Baseball would be better off if you just stayed in bed.

**The Yanks belted King Felix around last night, disappointing all the yellow-shirted fans in the "King's Court" down the left field line. Pretty good marketing ploy, though: $30 for a ticket, a shirt and "K" sign. Maybe they'll start one in Boston where the fans can hold up a Red Cross everytime Francona comes out to change pitchers.

**I noticed a couple of other Mariners seemed to have adopted Ichiro Suzuki's fall-away, women's-softball-style of hitting. Doesn't it seem like there should be some kind of "Unwritten Baseball Rule" against this type of hitting?

**Manny Ramirez was arrested yesterday on a charge of Battery during a domestic dispute. Manny may be retired, but it appears he can still hit.

**No wonder the National League won the All-Star game. Last night, the Pirates and the Cardinals used a total of 39 players in a 6-5 Pirate win. And the Pirates didn't even have to bat in the ninth inning. Both managers spent more time on the field changing pitchers, than some of their players. Only 10 of the players were pitchers, which means 29 were position players, due to this double-switch play which NL managers seem fond of. I don't get it. You start with the best 16 position players and end up benching most of them. Are the subs as good as the starters? I don't think so, 'cause you end up in the later innings with some of your best players on the bench. Of course, one of the managers is Tony LaRusso, who over-manages everything from what pitch to throw to whether the players are to use mayonnaise or mustard on their sandwiches after the game.

"A German woman has won this year's World Air Guitar Championship in Finland. Judges called it the best job of pretending to play since Randy Moss." -- RJ Currie
"Two dozen members of the 2010 Fresno State football team have been linked to welfare fraud. This is the worst thing I've heard about college football in four or five days." -- Brad Dickson

Tough question, Vod. My guess is the Philadelphia Phillies. Hope I don't win.


Monday, September 12, 2011


I know, it's hard to believe, but it's true. A couple of weeks ago, Buck Showwalter, who may not be the smartest man in baseball, predicted that the Tampa Bay Rays would win the wild card. Later, he amended that, claiming that he said they would be in the fight for the wild card. I sneered at this, along with everybody else. Who knew that Boston would fold like a wet noodle, that their famed starting rotation is relying on Tim Wakefield, who hasn't won a game in seven weeks, and John Lackey, whose last name seems very appropriate right now.
As I've said many times, baseball is cyclical - what goes around, comes around. Boston was never as good as they were projected to be in the spring, and they're certainly not as bad as they've played in the last two weeks. However, they are no longer looking up, trying catch the Yanks, they are looking down, trying to stave off the streaking Rays. That's never good. They haven't been hitting well, pitching well or fielding well. A triple threat.
Even David Ortiz, in channeling his inner Yogi Berra, said, "No one's to blame except everybody."
So it's come down to this: when Tampa plays New York next week, the Red Sox will be rooting for the Yanks. It can't get any worse than that for Boston.

Garcia fought his way thru 5 innings, the Yankee bats finally woke up and then their bullpen, obviously the best in baseball, shut the Angels down on three hits over the last 4 innings.
Mariano got the save, number 40 for the year, and now sits at 599 career saves, on his way to the all-time record. With one more year left on his contract, Rivera could end up with close to 650 saves, a record I don't think will ever be broken.
But I've been wrong before.

Back in 2001, after the 9/11 terrorist act, the NY Mets asked for permission to play their game wearing FDNY and PDNY baseball caps. Major League baseball refused. The Mets told Bud Selig to sit on it and wore them anyway. Yesterday, on the tenth anniversary, the Mets again requested to wear the hats in honor of the first reponders, but Selig, who is nothing if not consistently stupid, again refused. This time, the Mets front office, reacting, I suppose, to the threat of a severe tongue-lashing by Bungling Bud, acceded to his decision. From Janice Hough: "As if we needed any more proof that Bud Selig was an idiot." And also this: "As awful as acts of terrorism are, I suppose on some level it is comforting to know they are way outnumbered by acts of simple stupidity."

One of the funniest comedic writers around, and one of my favorites, Brad Dickson, wrote a wonderful column about the 9/11 disaster. It's certainly worth the read:


Sunday, September 11, 2011


I'm getting nervous. I didn't see the game, so I'm relying on the ESPN recaps.

**How bad is it? Posada's catching, that's how bad. No truth to the rumor that the Yanks are going to activate Girardi.

**Russell Martin had to leave the game because he bruised his thumb. What's going on with this rash of thumb injuries? First A-Rod, then Martin and I hear that Girardi accidentally bit his while sitting in the corner of the dugout with his thumb in his mouth.

**The Yanks will call up Austin Romaine to catch until Martin heals and Cervelli is cleared to play after suffering from concussion injuries. Girardi won't let Montero catch because "he doesn't know the pitching staff. How much does Romaine know? After two weeks with the club, at least Montero knows their names.
By the way, Romaine sounds more like a dinner salad than a catcher. Lets hope he doesn't wilt under the pressure. (Sorry)

**A-Rod says he won't play because, "It is sore to a point that I can't really do real damage out there to help the team win." No problem A-Rod, there's plenty of damage being done already.

**Isn't it amazing that the two teams with the best records in the American League also have the most players injured? Do their team buses really have red crosses painted on the side?

**I read where Ozzie Guillen says he wants to manage the White Sox for the next 20 years. It must already seem like 20 years to White Sox GM Kenny Williams.

**The Yanks and the Red Sox are both on 4 game losing streaks. Don't start printing those World Series tickets just yet, guys.

"Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini fired his 36th soccer coach in 24 years: "Who knew that 'Zamparini' is Italian for 'Steinbrenner'?" -- Ian Hamilton
"The city of San Diego suffered through a 9 ½-hour electrical outage last week, but everyone finally got their power back. Except for the Padres, of course." -- Dwight Perry
"It's only fair in some ways that a Chinese group buys the Dodgers. We've been buying junk from China for years." -- Janice Hough
"To give an idea of how bad the economy is, the NFL had to borrow the quarter for the coin toss from China. And they want it back." -- ConanO'Brien
For Judy & Dave:
"Police in Bristol, Tennessee, caught up with a man outside a Nascar race who was drunk, naked and had a live racoon in his car. They asked him if he'd seen anything unusual." -- RJ Currie
"A New Mexico state trooper in full uniform was caught having sex with a woman on the hood of her car. She was so drunk that halfway through she said, "Hey, that's not a Breathalyzer!" -- Jay Leno


Thursday, September 08, 2011


...I just hope this doesn't turn into a game the Yanks wished they had won in a couple of weeks.

Probably the sloppiest game they've played all year and that includes spring training. Michael Kay said the grounds crew used 170 50lb-bags of drying agent on the infield Tuesday night. I think they broke that record by the 5th inning yesterday. 6 errors, 4 by the Yanks, and 4 wild pitches, 3 by AJ Burnett. Catcher Russell Martin scrambled around back of the plate like a soccer goalie on speed.

None of the infielders had very good games. It was Brandon Laird's first game at first base (he's a third baseman). Buck Showwalter had firstbaseman Chris Davis playing third. Michael Kay explained that both managers wanted to "...see if they could handle another position." I believe those questions were answered by the third inning.

Both managers treated it like it was the final spring training game, with a batting order that appeared to be set up by a committee of the Bleacher Creatures in right field. Eventually, Girardi had the "A" team in the game, but it was hard to tell the difference. Shortstop Eduardo Nunez looked like he was using an oven mitt instead of a glove. (No "hot-potato" pun intended)

Tuesday night, the Yankee management had the fans who stuck out the four-hour delay, move down to the elite seats, and not by announcement, but by personal invitation, one by one, and gave them tickets to a game next season. Yesterday, not to be outdone, they invited the 500 or so fans who braved the rain, by personally inviting them to sit in the dugout and gave them tickets to A-Rod's next press conference. I suspect some of those fans were left over from Tuesday and were just too wet and tired to go home. They won't make that mistake again.

Naturally, under these horrid playing conditions, the game went into extra innings. You could tell that home plate umpire, Gary Darling, was so disgusted, that the only criteria for a pitch to be called a strike, was if the catcher could reach it with his glove. Even Kenny Singleton, who normally gives the umps the benefit of the doubt on close calls, was making comments like , "Well, uh...."

Now they get to do it all over again today, but about 200 miles south in Baltimore, where the weather isn't predicted to be any better. I hope the game is. Oh yeah, the Yanks lost, 5-4.

The only good news is that Boston blew an 8-5 lead in two innings and lost to Toronto 11-10 in air-conditioned comfort at the Roger's Center. No weather-related excuse for them.

"Three players from the Mesa (Ariz.) Mountain View High football squad have been charged on suspected involvement in a home robbery. The bad news is they've been suspended from the team. The good news is they've been offered scholarships to the University of Miami." -- RJ Currie
"Derek Jeter has officially played more games than anyone else in the history of the New York Yankees. That's on the field; off the field, the record is still held by Madonna." -- Jerry Perisho
"Hurricane Irene battered the Little League World Series. Players on the team from Taiwan were huddled in the dugout calling the team's hotel to make sure their wives and children were OK." -- Brad Dickson
‎"32 games for the SF Giants, 5 errors. At least a few of them resulting in game changing unearned runs. Seems to me Orlando Cabrera should be spelt with a lot more “E”s." -- Janice Hough


Tuesday, September 06, 2011


You have the worst team in the AL East going up against baseball's best closer. Game over, right? Nope, instead it came down to J.J. Hardy swinging wildly at a pitch a foot outside to shut down Baltimore with the go-ahead run 180 feet away. Whew! Mariano Rivera has not looked like the Rivera of years past this season. No, he's looked positively (gulp) human. He needs 5 more saves to be #1 in career saves. If he does it this year, and he should, I wonder if we'll see him next year. He may retire rather than go out looking washed up.

Ah, just what the Yankees need: another slugger. Rookie Jesus Montero belted his first two home runs for the Yanks yesterday, putting another nail into the coffin of Jorge Posada. Well, we knew he could hit, I'd like to see him catch, but the word is that Girardi is just going to use him as the DH for the rest of the season.

Before we get too excited with yesterday's win, consider the plight of the hapless Orioles. The Associated Press had this to say about the efforts of Oriole starter Brian Matusz:
"Matusz had his best start in half a season, even though he lasted just 1 1/3 innings and 46 pitches while allowing five runs, five hits and two walks." Best start? Really? Of course, nobody really pitched well on either side. Yankee starter Freddie Garcia gave up 7 runs in less than 3 innings and Aaron Laffey was awarded the win even though he only recorded two outs.

The Tigers are in and, unless the Angels can mount a late season charge, so are the Rangers. The Yanks have a 2 1/2 game lead over Boston and the only question is who will win the division. In the National League, it will be Philly, Milwaukee and the Diamondbacks with Atlanta winning the wild card.

The Boston Red Sox pitching, once considered to be the cream of the American League, is a total shambles. Their ace, Josh Beckett, left the game yesterday with a strained right knee. Instead of "the cream," Boston's staff now looks like "whipped cream."

"Virginia Union and St. Augustine played a game in the middle of Hurricane Irene. In the history of college football, it has never been more important to win the coin toss and take the wind." -- Brad Dickson
"Derek Jeter has broken yet another club record — Mickey Mantle's mark for games played this week — further padding his legacy as the Yankees' all-time leader in amassing hits, singles, stolen bases and movie starlets" -- Dwight Perry
"The NFL preseason continues. When that gun goes off at the end of regulation, it can only mean one thing. Plaxico Burress is in the house." -- Alan Ray
"Tennis star Andy Roddick turns 29 years old on Tuesday. The man is married to Brooklyn Decker; what could you possibly get him that would make his life better?" -- Jerry Perisho


Saturday, September 03, 2011


The Yanks have retaken control of first place. This may make it easier on Michael Kay, who won't have to explain his "...virtual tie for first place" utterance for a while. In the meantime, Texas beat up the Red Sox 10-0, as Boston's 'powerful' starting rotation is now reduced to guys named Miller and Bedard.

One article described Ivan Nova as over-powering last night and while the statistics bear out that statement, anyone who watched the game saw all three Yankee outfielders make outstanding grabs in the deepest parts of the stadium. Gardner was especially brilliant and Granderson, labeled the 'Worst Centerfielder in Baseball,' made a spectacular grab for the second day in a row. Do you think people believe he's bad just because Gardner is so great? Even the old man in right snatched one off the wall to save a run. Nova may have recorded the outs, but he wasn't fooling anybody.

There's no doubt that Gardner was the player of the game, making three marvelous plays in left and hitting a two-run homer, his 6th of the year.

NY Daily News headlines from the morning:

Obviously, the cutesy-boys were out in force last night.

Geez, I hope so. (Oh, THAT Jesus)

This isn't cute, it's sickening. I'm afraid to check the NY Post, who leads the league in silly headlines.

Short post because of a family commitment today. Vod will have to be responsible for cheering on the Yanks in today's game.


Friday, September 02, 2011


Another four-plus hour marathon that didn't end until Mariano Rivera painted the outside corner on Adrian Gonzales with the bases loaded in the ninth last night (or was it this morning?). This is what happens when these two teams get together, displaying the kind of patience at the plate that bores everyone except Yankee and Red Sox fans. They are both so successful with this kind of strategy, that you wonder why other teams haven't adopted it. No one will swing at pitches that aren't strikes. In fact, they won't swing at pitches they don't THINK are strikes. That's why Gonzales is still standing at home plate as you read this, hoping the umpire will reappear and change his mind.

AJ Burnett made another one of his "change in mechanics," that will, of course, be effective for only one game. He still won't pitch inside, especially to a team that definitely NEEDS inside pitches - ones that leave little black and blue marks on hitters. Why is it that only CC Sabathia seems willing to punish Boston hitters when the Sox pitchers use the Yankees as dart boards?

Jesus Montero made his ML debut last night and seemed okay, but I did notice one flaw: he sometimes turns his head to the left when swinging at pitches. Not every time, but enough times that I noticed it. We'll see if Kevin Long thinks this should be corrected.

The bench can be a very lonely place when you pull a bonehead play, like not knowing how many outs there are. It's happened before and it usually makes the highlight reels, but Swisher won't like it if this shows up on ESPN's Top Ten.

I really get annoyed when Michael Kay and company go on and on, second-guessing a decision that Girardi makes. If Nunez had gotten a hit instead of hitting into a double play, they probably wouldn't have made a big deal out of the decision. Probably wasn't the best thing, but sometimes you just have to go with your hunches.

If Teixeira is hurt bad enough, or even if he isn't, the Yanks should bring up Jorge Vasquez from Scranton. With all the hoopla surrounding Montero, Jorge's stats have gotten lost. He hit only .260 this year, but he had 31 homers and 89 RBIs, compared to Montero, whose stats weren't nearly as impressive (.280 average, 18 homers and 69 RBIs).

As if there wasn't enough drama in the NY-Boston series, Michael Kay kept describing this game as a "...battle for first place." Important as being tied in the lost column is, the papers will still show the Sox ahead by a half-game this morning. The last three games of the series will be in New York.


This was worth watching, and especially good to watch cued up the DVR and fast forwarding through the interminable waits between pitches and commercials. Alfredo Aceves must be sipping Becket Kool-Aid. He was beyond hopeless wasting over a minute between pitches, making everyone step out, blah, blah, blah. Bite me Alfredo.

Finally, they put Freddie Garcia in an A.J. Burnet suit and send him out to the mound. Whoever it was had off-speed command, an infrequent but most effective slider, and other assorted junk. Does anyone know the whereabouts of Jamie Moyer last night? Burnet pitched six solid. Period. He had Ortiz out looking in the 6th on an unhittable, mesmerizing curve ball. The pitch also mesmerized home plate umpire I. Mustbe Blind, as he stood gazing for several seconds before call it a ball.

Logan came in an got Crawford swinging and in his only move tonight that displayed any imagination or invention Joe Girardi brought in Wade to turn Jed Lowerie around to the left side. Curtis Granderson save Girardi, Wade and possible the game with a spectacular diving catch on a sinking liner that Lowerie laced to right center. I suspect everyone in Fenway heard Lowerie scream "Fuck" as he crossed first base after Granderson's web gem.

Nick Swisher earned a pie in the face and a hand grenade down his shorts for not knowing the number of outs when he went to the plate in the 5th. Cano had just single with one out and Nick "Hey,Dude" layed down a sacrifice bunt. It was also interesting that when Swisher went back to the dugout, A-Rod was the first player to approach him. When Swisher came Derek Jeter gave him a look that we've all seen in grade school. The half smile look that gets flashed when you know someone is going to catch hell from the teacher. That's not a good look for a Yankee Captain, particularly in Boston.

Nice call by Girardi not to bunt Nunez in the top of the 6th but rather letting him swing away and ground into a double play. Had he bunted Russell Martin over to 2nd after his leadoff single that would have given Jeter and Granderson RBI opportunities. And who need those when you're down 2 - 1? Michael Kay was aware enough to suggest that Girardi could have used Eric Chvez as a pinch hitter in that situation. Apparently Joe was watching the game on his Dick Tracy Wrist Communicator and actually used Mike's idea in the 7th and Chavez drove in thie 4th run of the game.

Russell Martin was not big offensively but superb behind the plate. The Yankees are so solid defensively up the middle and it really starts with Martin and ends with Granderson. And we already know that Teixeira is the arguably the best defensive 1st basemen in the league - although he got out of position, grabbed a ball that was destined for Cano's glove, and made a poor throw to first that pulled a hustling A.J. Burnet off the bag at 1st- and Gardner the best defensive left fielder. This is the stuff that stirs my wahoo and keeps my syrup running.

Speaking of wahoo - Annie, I heard a rumor from a very unreliable source that Jacoby Elsbury is Jete's latest love interest. (Just want to see if your still paying attention).

Boston pitchers continued to hit Yankee batters. Teixeira got hit on the knee and one of Our Booth Bozos opined that Teixeira was lucky it was only a curve ball that got him - got him well enough to put him out of the game. They pitch inside - with intent to hit people more often than any other team in baseball.

David Ortiz is an ass. He showed up both the home plate umpire and 3rd base umpire last night. He waved a 5 Finger Salute to 3rd when he was called for a strike on a correctly called yes-he-went strike and turned and gave the home plate umpire the Ortiz Evil Eye and Babble on a called strike. Big Papi? Big Whoop.

Yawn. It's late. Nice win. I'll clean this up in the morning.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Outstanding game in Rochester last night. Fernandez went 8 strong for the Redwings giving up 1 run on 3 hits and shut down the rehabbing Pumpkinhead Youkilis. Redwings left fielder brought one back from over the wall on a great play to save a home run and, the big plus, we were not in front of a television for the Yankee fiasco.

Only downside was Melon-Noggin Youkilis going yard in the top of the 9th and locals sported more Red Sox gear than you typically see at the Goodwill store.

But the home team got a rare win, 4-2, with solid pitching, timely hitting and great defense - a much needed diversion from the Yankees.

With Burnet going tonight in Boston, rather than tune in to YES, we're going to stay home and stick hot needles in our eyes. Different strategy, same results.


Headline on ESPN:

"Yankees turn to Burnett to stop Red Sox"

So does my stomach.

"In his book, Dick Cheney lashes out at Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice. They got off lucky, Cheney shot one of his other friends." -- Brad Dickson

"In Genesee County, N.Y., someone called police to report that a man dressed as a clown was riding around on a golf cart. Turns out it was just a guy who was playing golf. It’s ridiculous someone could confuse a clown for a golfer. Clowns wear more understated attire and their shoes look less weird." -- Brad Dickson (Hope this wasn't my good friend Vod)

"So now the Big 12 has 9 teams and the Big 10 has 12. And we wonder why college football players aren’t good at math." -- Janice Hough

In memory of Mike Flannagan:
"Flanagan to the Orioles' mascot in 1986, after it fell off the dugout roof: "Take two worms and call me in the morning." (Thank you Dwight Perry)

Why did only 347 showed up for a Marlins home game: "The other 24 went shopping." -- Brad Rock, Salt Lake City Deseret News