Wednesday, December 28, 2011


## For a while it appeared that Jorge Posada might end up with the Phillies, but when Philly signed Jim Thome, that possibility went out the window. Not even an American League team could afford to have two left-handed pinch hitters who can't play in the field anymore. C'mon Jorge, you're starting to embarrass yourself.

## The Yanks and the Red Sox are the only teams in MLB that have been hit with a luxury tax. The Yanks will be paying $13.9 million, the same as they pay a utility infielder.

## The rumor is that Carlos Beltran made another bid to become a Yankee. When he originally hit the free agent market back in 2005, he supposedly offered the Yanks a discount to sign him. The Yanks refused and Beltran went to the Mets. Beltran has now signed with the Cardinals as the Yanks have passed on him again. Why is that? Bad Breath?

## The Mets have asked starting pitcher R.A.Dickey not to climb Mt Kilimanjaro as part of a charity event. Dickey's career record is 41-50, which could make him the Mets #1 starter.

## A-Rod went to Germany for Orthokine Therapy on his knee, as recommended by Kobe Bryant. Oh, those are two guys you want to see together. The only difference between these two, is that A-Rod didn't have to buy the jewelry.

## The market on Prince Fielder seems slow. To help it along, Scott Boras has produced a 73- page book, listing the advantages of signing Fielder. I'd like to read it, but I guess I'll wait till the book signing at Barnes and Noble.

## You can't fool the bookies. The papers are full of stories about Syracuse's first big test, playing Big East rival, Seton Hall. The Hall is 11-1 this year and beat the Orange in Syracuse last year. It should be a tight game. By the way, the line on the game is Syracuse -15 1/2. Yeah, real tight game.

"The fact that there has been little public buzz over Fielder means nothing. Boras operates in the darkness, amid smoke and shadows and illusion. No team interested in Fielder knows where it stands." -- Richard Justice, MLB.COM
"Researchers at a New York university say the leading cause of sickness over the festive season is overexposure to Christmas trees. A close second is Bowl games." -- RJ Currie
"Texas signs Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish but stipulates that he must change his name to Y'all Darvish." -- Mark Whicker, Orange County Register
"Ah, New Year's Eve in Times Square. For once a ball drops and no one's demanding it go to instant replay." -- Dwight Perry
"During her bus tour of Iowa, Bachmann has a strict “no questions” policy. From the debates, we know the candidates have no answers. Now there are no questions either." -- Brad Dickson
"Reports indicate the Toronto Blue Jays ended up 2nd in the bidding for the rights to negotiate with Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish. In that case, go with Texas, as the sushi from the Gulf is a step up from Lake Ontario." -- TC Chong


Tuesday, December 27, 2011


...but should have.

## A retirement party for Bud Selig. This would have been a nice present for me, too.

## A top-of-the-line starter for the Yanks. How long are we going to have to wait for Seattle to part with King Felix? I have a better chance to date Jennifer Aniston. (and I'm one of the few that hasn't).

## A major Bowl game WITHOUT a corporate sponsor.

## And while we're at it, baseball stadiums that aren't named after corporate sponsors. Want to play a game? Here's five stadiums and five cities. Match 'em up. (answers at the end)

A. Citizens Bank 1. Oakland
B. Progressive Field 2. Kansas City
C. AT & T Park 3. Baltimore
D. MinuteMaid Park 4. Detroit
E. US Cellular 5. Miami

## Anger management classes for Yorvit Torrealba, who was suspended for 66 games in Venezuela for striking an umpire. Imagine how much bigger the punishment would be if he had called him a name instead.

## An across-the-board reduction in ticket prices for sporting events. No, I haven't starting celebrating New Years yet, I'm just hoping.

## A gag for Rex Ryan. Norman Chad wrote: "I don't mind that Ryan always thinks he's going to win the Super Bowl, I mind that he act's as if he's already won the thing. Ryan is king of a small world -- his own." I didn't like Rex's dad, Buddy, either.

Mike Lopresti wrote a column that included a list of momentous sports occasion. I've been around for too many of them.
## Bobby Knight won his 3rd National Championship at Indiana -- 25 years ago
## Joe Montana won his first Super Bowl -- 30 years ago
## Franco Harris' "Immaculate Reception" -- 40 years ago
## Wilt Chamberlain score 100 points in a single game -- 50 years ago
## Babe Ruth called his homer in the World Series (maybe) -- 80 years ago
And No, I wasn't around for that one.

Quiz answers:
You shouldn't have gotten any of them, because the cities listed were all wrong. My point is that no one should have even tried. It should have been obvious that nothing matched. For the record:
C-San Francisco
D-Houston (you get 1/2 point if you said Miami)
E-Chicago (and I don't have to tell you it's the White Sox, right all you Cub fans?)

"On Christmas Eve, Brandon Jacobs cursed out Rex Ryan, who cursed back; on Christmas Day, Dallas fans booed and made obscene gestures at the NBA commissioner and Kevin Garnett choked a New York Knick. Who says Christmas and sports don't mix?" -- Brad Dickson
"The Orange Bowl has turned down a planned sponsorship deal with Camacho Cigars. When it came time to put it to a vote, bowl officials say, it was close but no ... nah, too easy." -- Dwight Perry (Wow, Dwight Perry showing restraint .)
Protests were threatened in Montreal because Canadiens coach Randy Cunneyworth doesn't speak French: "Nobody knew what Casey Stengel was saying, either, and nobody picketed Yankee Stadium." -- Len Berman
"As of last week, Nevada had sold a total of 10 tickets to the Hawaii Bowl. That's pretty bad when your fans are outnumbered by the guys in the huddle." - Brad Dickson
"Penn State quarterback Matt McGloin's locker-room argument with backup wideout Curtis Drake escalated into full-blown fisticuffs. Which certainly gives a whole new meaning to "hitting the hot receiver." -- Dwight Perry
"There are rumours the NFL will make Ndamukong Suh take anger management training. I just hope it's more than a one-step program." -- RJ Currie
"Derek Jeter reportedly gives each woman he sleeps with a gift basket of baseball items to remember him by. Which may tell you how memorable the sex was." -- RJ Currie

Hopefully, future postings will include more quotes from TC Chong. Thanks, Tony.


Sunday, December 25, 2011




The Yanks
The Red Sox
RJ Currie
Brad Dickson
Newt Gingrich
TC Chong (a new guy)
Scott Ostler
Jerry Perisho
Stan Kegel
and, of course,
Dwight Perry

Vod & Chad

Monday, December 19, 2011


It's been a very quiet winter, with the Pujols signing being the only big splash. The Yankees have been so quiet, you have to wonder if brian Cashman has been tied up, gagged and locked in a closet in Tampa by the Steinbrenners.

** Prince Fielder is the biggest name still in the unemployed ranks. Scott Boras is his agent, so don't think Fielder's price is going down. Boras is the master at finding the "ODO" (One Dumb Owner). If Texas doesn't win the bid for the Japanese phenom, Yu Darvish, they may step into the bidding. Theo Epstein still has to make a big splash in Chicago and Washington sometimes comes out of nowhere, so Boras is still in play.

** Buster Olney cast his HOF ballot yesterday and had some interesting comments on past balloting. For example, in his first year of eligibility, 23 voters did NOT vote for Willie Mays. 11% of the voters didn't think Joe DiMaggio belonged, in his first year. Buster thinks Barry Larkin has the best chance of being elected this year.

** Next years voting will be ver-r-r-y interesting. Some of the names that come up: Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa, Craig Biggio and Mike Piazza. At some point, all were mentioned in connection with PEDs. There will, of course, be the election of someone whose only claim to fame is one significant act, i.e. Bill Mazeroski's home run. I'm sure Curt Schilling will get votes for the "bloody sock." His stats aren't too bad, tho'. 216 wins and a career 3.48 ERA. An 11-2 post season record will help, too. I just hope they don't mention the sock on his plaque.

** I'm sure Barry Bonds is devastated over his "punishment." 30 days of house arrest, which should be more accurately labeled "mansion" arrest. And, he's appealing it! What's he want, 60 days mansion arrest? In the meantime, his trainer spent better than a year in prison, because he wouldn't testify against Bonds. Hopefully, Barry will send him a thank-you note.

"I thought I was watching the movie "King Kong" on TV. An enormous hairy creature was climbing the Empire State Building. Turns out, it was actually the Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun doing offseason conditioning. Braun, the reigning NL MVP, reportedly tested positive for the highest level of synthetic testosterone ever seen in an MLB player. The last time this much male testosterone was seen in an athlete, it was an East German woman." -- Brad Dickson
"Breaking news : David Stern does not approve Kobe's divorce. Vanessa moves back in." -- Jerry Perisho
"Raiders fans are clamoring for QB Terrelle Pryor. Yep, the rookie third-stringer who has yet to take a snap in a game and is more of a project than that bicycle you will be putting together on Christmas Eve after seven eggnogs." -- Scott Ostler
"Dodgers manager Don Mattingly will don a dress and portray Mother Ginger in "The Nutcracker" for his hometown Evansville (Ind.) Ballet. In other words, a tutu pitch." -- Dwight Perry


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


## Here's a new theory on how to handle the press and fans of your former team: send in your wife. Albert Pujols didn't try to justify or explain why he left the Cards for the Angels, he let his wife Deidre do it. I guess he figured, hey, she's a beautiful articulate woman, what could go wrong? Good try, but no cigar. She claims that the Cards lied about their offer, going only to five years which she considered an insult. She also said, "When it all came down, I was mad. I was mad at God because I felt like all the signs that had been played out through the baseball field...Let me say that Albert and I never, not one time, ever made plans to leave this city." I don't think this is what Albert had in mind, blaming God.
Before He gets to the "It's not about the money" aspect, as so many free agents do, lets make one thing clear. Albert never met with the Angels owner, Arte Moreno, never met with the GM, and never met with the manager, Mike Scioscia. He just accepted the offer. Apparently, meeting with the Angels accountant was enough. A method often used by the Yankees.

## Speaking of the Yanks, they have been so quiet this off-season, that the only headline on ESPN concerning the Yanks, has to do with their signing Freddie Garcia, which occurred almost two weeks ago.

## The Red Sox appear to be closing the door on re-signing their captain, Jason Varitek. They have signed a one-year deal with catcher Kelly Shoppach, who hit a whopping .176 last year.

Last year, at this time, I made fun of some of the bowl games. This year, Brad Dickson has done a far better job and I can't compete. See for yourself:

"The L.A. Lakers reportedly tried to acquire Chris Paul in a three-team deal possibly involving Andrew Bynum or Pau Gasol. And a pair of Kardashians to be named later." -- RJ Currie
"Reigning National League MVP Ryan Braun reportedly tested positive for so much testosterone that it was twice as much as had even been found in a major league player. Braun said he'll comment soon, but right now he's too busy shaving 19 times a day." -- Brad Dickson
"Congress has opened the way for horse meat to be sold for human consumption: "I recommend No. 4 from the last race at Hollywood Park." -- TC Chong
"Arte Moreno spent $331 million on just two players? Can we just start calling them the Los Angeles Yankees of Anaheim?" -- Dwight Perry
"The teams listed 6-7-8-9 in the final BCS rankings are not going to BCS bowl games. Teams ranked 10, 13, 15 and 23 are. Makes complete sense to us." -- Carl Steward


Sunday, December 11, 2011


Okay, sports fans. Here are your questions:
Who was the MVP of the National League this year?
Answer: Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers
Who was recently suspended for PED use?
Answer: Right again, it was the same Ryan Braun.
Braun has appealed his 50 game suspension, because he says the testing was flawed. Early reports indicate that he may have a case, but no player has successfully appealed a suspension for drug use. That's MLB for you; guilty even when proven innocent. We'll continue to watch this one.

Cincinnati and Xavier had themselves quite a brouhaha (Annie-O's looking up that word), last night. 8th-ranked Xavier ran all over U of Cincinnati, 76-53, but Xavier's star guard, Tu Holloway, wasn't satisfied with that and engaged in a little trash-talking with the Cincy bench and Cincinnati player Kilpatrick until all hell broke loose with 9 seconds remaining. There will be multiple suspensions when the officials sort this one out.
Kudos to Cincinnati coach, Mick Cronin, who told reporters after the game, that he, "...literally took the jerseys off some of the players himself, and they wouldn't be allowed to put them back on until he determined who was worthy of playing for the Univ. of Cincinnati." Cronin says he also asked officials to start calling technical fouls on all the trash-talkers, to try and stem the hard feelings, but that never happened.
We'll probably see replays of this all day. Maybe players all over the country will learn something from this, but I doubt it.

#1 ranked Kentucky was beaten by un-ranked Indiana, 73-72, on a last-second three point shot by Christian Watford, followed by a court-storming by the Hoosier fans. You gotta love that kind of enthusiasm. Of course, I am always for John Calipari getting beat. Basketball the way it should be.
They mentioned early in the game, that it was being broadcast back to Kentucky to 53 radio stations and also to Indiana to 43 more stations. That's quite a fan base for both teams.

## So with #1 Kentucky getting beat and earlier, #2 Ohio State losing, is it possible that #3 Syracuse will be named #1 in the country on Monday? I'm not sure they deserve it quite yet, but it is exciting.

## The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl pits Illinois against UCLA, two teams with 13 combined losses, and is appropriate for participants that are obviously from hunger.

## Tim McCarver has been named this year's winner of the Ford C. Frick award by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, which is awarded to a broadcaster for "major contributions to baseball." I've never been a big fan of McCarver, but I will congratulate him for winning the award in hopes that it means he's retiring.

"The rats are bigger than pigs out there in Wrigley Field. You want to take a look? I think the rats are lifting weights." -- Former Manager Ozzie Guillen
"Dwight Howard bolting Orlando for the Clippers would be like your wife leaving you for Arnold Horshack." -- Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel
Lindsey Vonn had a four-race win streak since splitting the sheets: "I heard 43 World Cup skiers filed for divorce this week." -- Charlie Gay
"Michael Jordan's future neighbors at an upscale golf development in Jupiter, Fla., are already complaining about his boisterous posse and cigar-butt littering on the course. If they think that's bad, wait'll he starts sticking his tongue out at them." -- Dwight Perry
A genetics group studying American males says men under six feet tall have more children. In a related study, 99 per cent of geneticists haven't heard of the NBA. -- RJ Currie

Just thought you should know: Manny Ramirez has been officially re-instated by Major League baseball. Let the bidding begin (Hah!).


Thursday, December 08, 2011

Foxx News: Fair to Rare and Increasingly Unbalanced

What to do when your "news personalities" Glenn Beck and The NEWT go off the farm for richer lives in Figment of My ImaginationLand and the republitwit primaries? No problem. The creative team at Foxx, never at a loss for for identifying the next scary boogey man to shake us in our boots, have outdone themselves.

Mommies and Daddies! Run! Hide! Save your children from... THE MUPPETS!!!!!!!!

Warning!! The above link contains video clips from Foxx News that may cause belly shaking laughter, intense head scratching, and utter disbelief in sentient beings.

View at your own risk.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011


Usually you're officially a new member of a team when they announce you at a press conference. Not so in Boston. Bobby V is officially a Red Sox because he has publicly announced, "I hate the Yankees." Yeah, we get it. Can we all go home now? Think you hate them now, Bobby? Wait till the season starts.

## As we stated earlier, Hanley Ramirez has refused to move to third to make room for Jose Reyes. He reportedly said he wants no part of an "...A-Rod demotion." Is he going to demand a trade? A man who hit .243 with 10 home runs last year and has a reputation of playing hard only when he feels like it, doesn't have a lot of cards to play. And, they're all low ones.

## Big Papi has accepted arbitration from the Red Sox. Good thinking on his part. No one will pay him what he'll get in arbitration and will certainly not give him a multi-year deal.

## The Marlins are really playing hardball. Pujols took too long to make up his mind on their 10-year, $220 million offer, so they pulled it and promptly made a deal for Mark Buehrle. Looks like Albert will end up back in St. Louis.

## CJ Wilson is still trying to pull off a long-term, big-money deal. No one seems inclined to offer one, so he may wind up back in Texas, who has expressed interest in retaining him. They may go to 5 years, which is a big change from previous offers.

## A lot of sports people seem to think that the Angels are ready to make a big money plunge into the free agent market, but no one knows where. We haven't heard too much about Prince Fielder lately. Maybe he's a candidate.

## Big rumors that the Yanks are shopping AJ Burnett hard. They're even willing to absorb some salary. Annie-O says she's willing to kick in a few bucks, too.

## The Yanks have won the bid on infielder Hiroyuki Nakajima, who will be used as a back up for Jeter & Cano. I hope he doesn't get used too much. I'll be looking up the spelling of his name all summer.

## Free agent Roy Oswalt, who's 34 years old and has a bad back, is looking for a three year deal. Good luck with that one, Roy.

## Sergio Mitre is a free agent and available. Just thought you might want to know. Here's hoping Brian Cashman doesn't find out.

"Celtics guard Delonte West reportedly met with Nike to try to convince them to go into the condom business. Possible slogan? Don't just do it." -- RJ Currie
"Turns out two passengers sustained minor injuries in Ndamukong Suh’s car crash this past weekend. One described him as “going so fast, it was violent.” Bet that’s the last time anyone riding with Suh tells him to “step on it.” -- Janice Hough
"A man lost in an Alaskan storm says he survived on cans of frozen beer. Cracked a Bills season-ticket holder, "And that's unusual because ... ?" -- Dwight Perry
"Because the NBA season begins on Christmas, to kick things off the Minnesota Timberwolves will be losing to a team of elves." -- Brad Dickson
"The San Diego Chargers lost to the Denver Broncos in overtime Sunday. They're now 4-7. The Chargers' season has really blown up in their faces. I'm not sure if those are lightning bolts on their helmets or the Chevrolet Volt logo." -- Wendel Potter
"Well, the NFL today suspended Detroit Lions defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh. For two games, he repeatedly slammed the head of a Green Bay Packer player into the turf and then stomped on the guy's arm. See, in the NFL, that gets you a two-game suspension. At Walmart, it gets you a $2 waffle iron." -- Jay Leno
"A Swedish lingerie chain is under fire for making female employees wear name tags displaying their bust size. Certainly sounds like a personal affront." -- RJ Currie


Tuesday, December 06, 2011


ESPN is having a lot of fun these days, reliving coach Jim Mora's famous "Playoffs?" rant. For those of you living in a cave, in a press conference after an Indianapolis Colts loss, a reporter asked if the Colts still had a chance at making the playoffs. Mora's response was to repeat the word playoffs a number of times in an incredulous manner. Really pretty funny. In fact, they built a beer commercial around it. That's when you know you've made it.

Which brings to mind one of the inconsistencies of the sporting world, at least to me. Why is it that one of the country's major sporting events, college football, has no playoffs, but everyone else does? Professional sports leave no stone unturned when it comes to producing games that have a chance at championships hanging in the balance, games that produce income. But college football doesn't. No, they have coaches and computers determine who gets to play for the crown. Granted, you do get the occasional Cinderella (meaning 'unworthy') team winning the championship, such as this year's St. Louis Cardinals, but usually the team that wins, is one of 4 or 5 that deserve it.
But here's college football's big game that leaves a couple of really good teams without a chance to win it all. Why don't they have playoff games? Don't they need the money? They do have a kind of playoff system, but it doesn't matter if you win or lose, you're still not going anywhere. They're called "Bowl Games," and they are full of pageantry and history. ...They just don't count.

Baseball's big off-season event is under way down in Dallas. So far, the big player is the Florida...excuse me, Miami Marlins. They have already signed closer Heath Bell for $27 million dollars and shortstop Jose Reyes for $106 million. They have met with the agent for Albert Pujols twice and are supposedly ready to offer a contract in excess of $120 million and all the Cuban sandwiches he can eat. The last time the Marlins did something like this, they won a World Series...and promptly sold or traded everyone away the following year. The Marlins now have to convince shortstop Hanley Ramirez to change positions. That didn't work so well when they suggested it last year. This could be fun: two guys standing at shortstop and no third baseman.

In the meantime, the Mets are down to one legitimate major leaguer on their roster, David Wright, whom they refuse to trade, claiming they're trying to win in 2012. They can't make a trade, because no one wants their players. They're trying to lure free agents by moving the fences in, but they'd have to move them to the edge of the infield dirt to make it attractive enough for the hitters, but then the free-agent pitchers won't go for it and the current staff is already on their knees saying a rosary.

The Yankees are quiet with GM Brian Cashman saying he's, "...not going to be stupid." No, he'd rather jump off a building than sign some of these high-priced free agents. And, in fact, he did jump off a building. ...Dressed as an elf. Cashman's nothing if not a man of his word.

This is the time of the year when all the awards are handed out, such as MVP, Cy Young, etc., or the debates start on the Heisman Trophy and the FIFA player of the year (That's soccer for those of you who don't have an Abby Wambach as a native of your town).

The University of Detroit Mercy has honored former coach Dick Vitale by naming it's basketball court after him. Wouldn't a megaphone have been more appropriate? ...Baby?

Former Cub third baseman Ron Santo has been elected to the Hall of Fame. Even though I feel his statistics are marginal, I offer congratulations to one of the finest gentlemen of the sport.

"Former Canadian Football League stars Joe Kapp and Angelo Mosca, both 73, got into a brawl at a football luncheon. This may be our last chance to see two 73-year-olds fighting until that inevitable Evander Holyfield-Larry Holmes match." -- Brad Dickson
"The posted speed limit on Ole Miss campus is 18 mph - the jersey number of ex-Rebels football great Archie Manning. Let's be thankful Wayne Gretzky never played college hockey." -- RJ Currie
"Venus Williams nearly experienced a Janet Jackson Super Bowl moment in Milan when the left strap snapped on her self-designed tennis outfit while playing Flavia Pennetta. Exhibition match? No kidding." -- Dwight Perry
"A working definition of Bowl Selection Sunday: "The day when we find out which teams that shouldn't be going to bowl games are going to bowl games that shouldn't exist." -- David Thomas
"LSU vs. Alabama again, this time for the BCS championship? Really? The last time a 1 and a 2 produced so little buzz, grandma was watching Lawrence Welk." -- Dwight Perry
"Ndamukong Suh failed in his attempt to have his two-game suspension overturned. Guess NFL commissioner Roger Goddell decided to put his foot down." -- Janice Hough

In case you missed it, Manny Ranirez has reneged on his retirement and is again looking to catch on with a team. Bud Selig seems inclined to give Manny another chance, since he reduced his 100-game drug-related suspension to 50 games. Not that it matters, by the time the 50 games are up, Manny will have forgotten that he isn't retired.
In a related story, Pedro Martinez has officially retired. It took him a year and a half to determine what everyone else already knew.
These two guys just won't go away.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

America Fiddles While the Permafrost Burns

Fabulous news for baseball fans everywhere south of Boston. Bobby Valentine will no longer provide anal-ysis on broadcasts! Thank you, Boston, for relieving us of a nagging pain. Now if Bobby V could find find room on his staff (or in the Charles River) for Joe Buck and Tim McCarver...

Today, Skip Bay-less (don't we all wish he would) predicted that Valentine would win the World Series within two years. I checked the calendar. It wasn't April 1st.

The Hall of Fame Ballots are out. Read it and weep.

Farewell to the Hermanator. One more incompetent narcissist flames out of the game of charades. With The Donald out getting $1,000 coifs, Michele Bachmann returning to The Twilight Zone, and the Hermanator rushing off to nearest boudoir, the Elephants are left to choose from Willard 'My First Name is Mitt' Romney and The Horniest Man on the Planet, I Wed Three Wives, The Mad Bomber of Congress, Our Own Repentant Sinner, The NEWT! Quite a treat for the 1%.

Tim Tebow. Praise Cheeses! And that's all we've got to say about that.

E$PN will air 31 of the 35 bowl game$ that will be played by the good, the bad, and the truly UGLY, aka UCLA. Too bad they won't keep the$e meaningle$$ clunker$ under rap$ for a$ long a$ they buried the Bernie Fine tape. But they have a re$pon$ibility to $hove a$ much meaningle$$ $**t down our throat$ as po$$ible.

And our trained-seal-citizenry watches this stuff? Then again... today, while searching for an appropriate birthday card for one of the sweetest woman I have ever known (yes, Annie, that's you), I was able to find Hallmark cards with multiple references to 'hot turds', 'farts', urination ('pee', actually), and sagging breasts ('boobs' in the current Hallmark vernacular). I have posted a letter to

Hallmark Customer Service
P.O. Box 419034
Mail Drop 216
Kansas City, Missouri 64141

asking them to please let me know what standard these cards meet that is consistent with 'caring enough to send the very best'.

I will certainly consider Hallmark the next time I need to offend someone with toilet humor or crude double entendre. In the meantime, I await their reply while shopping elsewhere.

Finally, congratulations to corporate America and its running dog consumers for turning Thanksgiving into a fuel stop for the Black Friday-Shop Small Saturday-Cyber Monday TriBuyathalon. I will note that this now-suckiest-of-all-holiday-perversions has been of enormous benefit to the body armor and pepper spray industries.

But wouldn't everyone be safer if all shoppers carried concealed firearms? Where's the NRA pansies when we really need them?

Oh yes, the headline. The horribly polluted Cuyahoga River, flowing through Cleveland into Lake Erie, attracted national attention in 1969 when it caught fire, although not for the first time. Randy Newman quipped that 'Only God can make a river but only man can make it burn'. Here we are, over 40 years later, and are torching off far more formidable natural features than rivers. Methane gas, escaping from enormous and rapidly growing expanses of permafrost, is providing spectacular pyrotechnics and, within five years, will boost the amount of greenhouse gases injected into the atmosphere by 30%. Aren't we ever so clever?

Have a great day. Do something.


It's not in full swing yet, so the sportswriters are having to make up a lot of the rumors. It doesn't matter, people embrace the silliest rumor so easily that even the sportswriters are having trouble trying to keep a straight face.

** The Pirates are so enamored with Andrew McCutcheon that they're thinking of signing him to a long term contract. Of course, to the Pirates, 'long term,' means one year.

** Jason Varitek may be wearing a New York uniform next year. No, not THEM, the NY Mets, who are looking for a right-handed hitting catcher. Jorge Posada made a pitch for the job, but the Mets stressed the word "catcher," and promptly hung up.

** The Cubs are shopping Matt Garza, hoping to fill a number of holes in their lineup. Theo Epstein is counting on his new 'BFF,' Brian Cashman, to send him some actual major leaguers. He's interested in Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez and any one of the Yankees' phenom pitchers. At last report, Cashman hasn't stopped laughing.

** There is a report that some of the veteran Red Sox players are unhappy with Bobby Valentine being chosen as the new manager. Bobby V. is quite the disciplinarian, so there goes the beer and fried chicken. Colonel Sanders can't be too happy, either.

** ESPN analyst Keith Law claims than Yankee pitcher Ivan Nova's record is due, for the most part, to pitching behind the leagues best offense, and says he will fail to live up to his "inflated, superficial stats" in 2012. Wouldn't you think Nova's 3.70 ERA might have been a factor, Keith? Keith's title is 'ESPN Insider." Maybe they should let him out a little more.

** There appears to be more interest in the free agent market for Prince Fielder than Albert Pujols. One reason is age. Fielder is 28 while Pujols is 32, and there a growing belief that Albert may be even older than his 'official age. Here we go again.

Things sure are dull when the Yankees aren't throwing players and money at every free agent out there. Normally, free agents like CJ Wilson and Mark Buehrle would already be raking in millions of Yankee dollars, but Cashman is making life difficult for the rumor-mongers with his sit-tight attitude. Come on, Brian, have a heart. Have dinner with Scott Boras or something and give the writers a chance to earn a living.

"MLB's minimum pay is going to $500,000 under terms of the labor deal. Remember when $100,000 was the highest baseball salary? Or to put it another way, I'll trade you five Mickey Mantles for one Eduardo Nunez." -- Len Berman
"The new MLB contract between the owners and players will reputedly include testing for HGH. Translation- The players have found something better." -- Janice Hough
"In the NFL on Thursday night, Poor Alex Smith. Yesterday he spent so much time on his back under large men, the 49ers QB was named an honorary Kardashian." -- Janice Hough

A-Rod is not happy about this:
"After lengthy and heated negotiations, L.A. Dodger home run wizard Matt Kemp has signed a new contract with the club. Under the terms of his new pact, he'll receive $160 million in salary and three Hollywood starlets to be named later." -- Bob Mills

"Arnold Palmer hit his 20th career hole-in-one at age 82. Afterward in the clubhouse he bought everyone a round of Metamucil." -- Brad Dickson
"Bears quarterback Jay Cutler will be out six weeks after breaking one of his thumbs. In a related story, the Broncos released Kyle Orton after six weeks of twiddling his." --RJ Currie

What the heck is going on in Syracuse? The Police Department isn't talking to the District Attorney, Bernie Fine isn't talking to anybody and Jim Boeheim is talking to everybody - out of both sides of his mouth.