Monday, December 31, 2012


Was I really gone that long?  Apparently it was fun, though. Annie-O said I sent a post card that said, "Having a wonderful time. Where am I?"  But I'm back now, so let's bring each other up to date.

Vod (or should I say, The Other Guy?) filled in quite admirably, ranting on about Syracuse basketball, Kevin Youkilis, Seattle Times editors, the Yankees in general, and, believe it or not, baseball caps.

** Let's start with the baseball caps. Not just any caps, Batting Practice caps. Batting practice caps? Why do you need special caps for batting practice? Don't they wear helmets during batting practice? Instead of spending money on BP caps, can't we add it to the payroll fund? That's where the Yankees could use the help. That could amount to $1000, which means they could sign...well, I hear Javier Vasquez is attempting a comeback. I understand he's pitching in Puerto Rico for the Ponce De Leon Lions, which is certainly an appropriate name for his team.

** Like most fans, I have always had my favorite player, that I would especially root for. The first was, of course, Mickey Mantle. but there were others. Sometimes it was an attitude, or an ability or even just a name. There was Sweet Lou Piniella, Scott Brosius, and who could forget, Dooley Womack? It's always sad when a Chad Picasner favorite is no more, since the selection of a new one is not easy. My last favorite was "Godzilla" Hideki Matsui. He has just announced his retirement from the game and he will be missed. A clutch hitter who always gave a maximum effort in the field and on the bases. He also had the ability to smack around Pedro Martinez, which is enough to put him in the Chad Picasner Personal Hall Of Fame.

** Speaking of the HOF (the one in Cooperstown), the list of candidates is out and contains the names of suspected and admitted steroid users, including the so-called, Toxic Trio, Bonds,Clemens and Sosa.. Some voters have said they WILL vote for them, some say they WILL NOT.  TJ Quinn, ESPN.Com, has a different take. He doesn't know what to do, so he's not going to vote. You're a columnist, TJ; you're supposed to offer an opinion and then defend it. This is the coward's way out and I hope they take your ballot away from you.
Bob Ryan says he'll vote for them some day, but not right now:

** Goodbye Steinbrenners? There is talk that while the whole Yankee organization is the most valuable one in professional sports, the baseball team itself loses money every year. I know, with the price of tickets, hot dogs and merchandise, it's hard to believe, but those outrageous salaries have to come from somewhere. Analysts are now saying that the real reason for the salary freeze is to show a paper profit from the team in order to make it more feasible to sell them.  Hal Steinbrenner has publicly stated that he is a numbers man, that all he cares about is the bottom line. He's not into baseball and never goes to the games. Though the Steinbrenner family may maintain ownership of things like the YES network, baseball itself does not hold any allure for Hal, and the Yankees may one day be run by another Vod favorite,  Rupert Murdoch. (Quick, smelling salts for Vod, please.)

"Georgia’s defense features middle guard Kwame Geathers, who goes 6-foot-6, 355 pounds. At Disney World, confused tourists tried to board Geathers after mistaking him for the tram."  -- Brad Dickson
" Going into Missouri Valley Conference play, the Missouri State men’s team was 2-10 with wins over Philander Smith College and Malone. Actually, Missouri State had three wins, but the victory over the University of Phoenix was disallowed on a technicality when it was realized the University of Phoenix doesn’t have a basketball team."  -- Brad Dickson
"Hard to keep track of all these bowls featuring mediocre college teams. I forget, which bowl did the NY Jets play in?"  -- Janice Hough
"Syracuse beat West Virginia 38-14 in the Pinstripe Bowl. Well, at least one New York football team has had a decent December."  -- Janice Hough
"Someone in the Texas DMV office messed up and classified Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy as female on his new driver's license, his wife tweeted. On the bright side, it's nice to see that those NFL replacement refs are finding gainful employment."  -- Dwight Perry
"Two players for the Texas Longhorns were suspended from the Alamo Bowl. I wonder if that was without pay?"  --Greg Cote
"Canadian bobsledder Kallie Humphries has won a record eight straight races dating back to last season. She's becoming a bigger name in going downhill than Lindsay Lohan."  -- RJ Currie
"Seven swans a-swimming, OK. Six geese a-laying, Fine. But five NBA games on Christmas? C'mon."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Lakers lost 11 of their first 12 games when Kobe Bryant scored 30 points or more. Why then don't they take him out when he reaches 29?"  -- Ron Goydic


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Happy Newt Year.  Really. Who makes this stuff up? That is one wicked hairdo.

Seriously, Happy New Year to loyal Picasner watchers checking into HQ.

It has been lots of fun reading the stuff that Picasner rounds up, poking a few of the most deserving in the eye, and venting off steam for the h-e-double-l-hockey-sticks of it. And that's the closest we'll get to an NHL season.

I have no idea where Chad is. Please send up a flare if you see him wandering the streets and if he's able to follow directions, tell him to phone home.

Still praying for peace on earth and good will toward men. Still getting a war going on somewhere that we're involved in every single day of my 68 year-long-life. That is not an exaggeration. And a House of Representatives controlled by Tea Party fear. That is not an exaggeration either.

But it spite of it all,
I'm able to grin
And think of the places
My get up has been.

(As sung by Pete Seeger)

Stay safe
Ride fast, take chances
See you around the quad
See you later alligator
After a while crocodile
Good night and good luck
And that's the way it was...
Hi Ho
Except you are there
Ta Ta
and Out
And who is this Vod Kanockers you speak of?

Saturday, December 29, 2012


In breaking news, the Seattle Times will no longer report Atlanta Braves baseball news and will continue to censor the organization until such time that they remove an offensive logo from all of their uniforms, souvenirs and memorabilia.

According to an unnamed Times copy editor, the offending logo carries negative psychosexual references. While you might think its the culturally demeaning screaming savage, it is, in fact, the capital 'A' logo that that has the Times editor's undies in a bundle. A is the 'scarlet letter' marking an adulteress. You know what that means... and we can't have our children exposed to those kind of ideas.

I must admit that going to bed is frequently a preferred alternative to Braves baseball, but for entirely different reasons.

Hi Ho.


The new Yankees home batting practice cap unveiled for 2013 featuring a white brim and squatchee. A white brimmed baseball cap? Mahvelous, dahling! Simply mahvelous! 

While the Yankees have no better taste in fashion than they do in 3rd basemen, the Atlanta Braves have set what may be an unbreakable record for bad taste in uniforms. Those morons are rolling out The screaming Native American warrior. Warning! The following image will be offensive to anyone of sound mind. 

Friday, December 28, 2012


We had 18 inches of snow in Victor last night. Brian, and Don were out with their snow blowers helping neighbors dig out. No out of town papers were delivered. Picasner is on vacation and, as always, ‘urged’ that I put up a post or two while he’s away. Under those circumstances, thinking about the current Yankees’ state of affairs could only lead to yesterday’s rant. 

It is a very big whoop that A-Rod is breaking down. He will always be remembered with the questions, ‘Was steroid use a causative factor in his physical breakdown?’, and ‘Was it worth it?’

He will not be judged alone. A-Rod will always be remembered as a Yankee, and they’re complicit in any blame. The Yankees knew everything they needed to know, everything, before they paid him the largest player salary in history. That’s disappointing.

Signing Kevin Youkilis, of course, is not about whether the Yankees become a bit more homely, but they do, both figuratively and literally. And its Kevin Youkilis starting at 3rd base for the Yankees.  That’s really disappointing.

Of course its ‘good business practice’ to sign ageing players to a single year contract if you can. But for this team, it’s a clarion call that the last links to recent Yankee greatness are short timers who will be gone soon. That’s painfully disappointing.

And, most disappointing is a front office that has made it abundantly clear that reducing payroll is the organization’s primary goal, not reaching and winning a World Series.

The Dodgers moved west in ’57 leaving many Brooklyn faithful with little interest in New York professional baseball until Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris staged their remarkable drama in 1961 and their championship run through 1964. No team since the Cardinals’ Gashouse Gang provided more entertainment than the dysfunctional Billy Martin-led late 70’s mob; then, nearly 20 years of mediocrity before the emergence of the young, homegrown stars Jeter, Rivera, and Pettitte, all who will be soon leaving. They will all finish playing for an organization not committed to the elite level of baseball they provided throughout their historic careers, marking mediocrity’s return.

So, this season, I’ll watch Andy Pettitte starts, our local high school team and mourn the last gasps of “Yankee Baseball”.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Snork!

If the Yankee off-season gets any more boring… A fat photo of Derek Jeter has been the most exciting development since October and there’s no indication that’s going to change.

A-Rod is falling apart. Big whoop.

Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera have signed on for one more year – for the 34th time.

The Yankees managed to get a little bit older and a lot less pretty with a single signing. Yes, that would be Kevin Youkilis.

The greatest controversy is which of three marginal major leaguers will be the Yankee catcher. That could be even less pretty than a Youkilis FatHead poster.

Ah well, we have the ever optimistic Chad to find the positive in this miasma of retreads, soon-to-be-remember-whens, and those who never were.

In the meantime, I’m off to Lord & Taylor to stuff a few things into my backpack before heading south for sun, surf, golf and a first-hand look at the Adventures of Wingnut Man, Rick Scott.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


The basketball team at Syracuse University, that Central New York bastion of integrity, sportsmanship and intellectual honesty has had a difficult year, embroiled, at first, in Coach Jim Boeheim’s knee-jerk statements that accusers of assistant coach Bernie Fine of pedophilia were only ‘in it for the money’ and, most recently, buying into sophomore guard Michael Carter-Williams' theory that the civil penalties he incurred from shoplifting at the local Lord and Taylor was simply a ‘misunderstanding’.

We are left to wonder whether Carter-Williams 1) did not understand that stuffing an expensive bathrobe and other items into his backpack and leaving the store without paying was not a benefit reserved for all heretofore entitled athlete-students or, 2) he did not understand that Lord and Taylor, like other retailers, stays in business by actually charging money for the goods displayed in their stores.

Not to be outdone in the battle for local headlines, the SU football team will be playing in the Pinstripe Bowl this weekend for a trophy named after a convicted felon, George Steinbrenner.

That seems fair and balanced.

Monday, December 24, 2012


... to each and everyone from the world-wide staff at Chad Picasner at Large.

Saturday, December 22, 2012


I recently posted a letter to the editor of the Seattle Times. In it I mentioned an offending name, so it may not get published.

"I understand a quip by a fellow blogger has been removed from a column because an over-zealous editor thought the bloggers name was too suggestive or profane. The name, an OBVIOUS joke has been aired many times and even originated in a prime-time comedy series. If this editor wishes to protect the public from such a terrible thing, he should edited out of his paper, something that is, in fact, a terrible thing: the Newtown, CT. shootings and leave those of us who intend to amuse and entertain, alone. The offending name: Vod Knockers. I hope I didn't injure the psyche of that editor."
Chad Picasner

HWSNBN and I don't always agree, but we both respect each other's right to speak our minds - without editing, even though we are both capable of editing anything posted on this site. This editing, by the way, was not done by my friend and nationally esteemed writer and editor, Dwight Perry.



It is common practice among sports writers to share quotes from columns and blogs appearing in other print and digital publications. As you know, Chad is particularly adept at scouring the web for fully attributed quotes that are amusing and intended to illustrate a point. As unlikely as it may seem, several dozen quotes from Chad Picasner at Large have appeared in newspapers across the country and always with full attribution. No longer.

An unnamed editor at the Seattle Times, that scion of the fifth estate, championing free speech and a free press, quashed a proposed quote from CPL because he objected to the author’s byline, Vod Kanockers.

Apparently, “ He Who Shall Not Be Named” carries meaning that, if uttered, will invoke the full wrath and fury of a jealous and vengeful God, or, at least, the ire of a small-minded editor playing Moral Police Chief. No doubt that Antonin Scalia is dancing in the streets of Seattle celebrating censorship of that most vile, evil and corrupting entity – a name.

Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name?” The answer comes from Two and a Half Men, season 4, episode 2, way back when the show was actually funny:

Who's Vod Kanockers [4.2]
Alan: [reads newspaper headline]: "Mudslide kills 600 religious pilgrims." And yet both my ex-wives live on.

Rose: Boy, you look like hell.
Charlie: Well, that's strange, 'cause I feel like crap.

Charlie: Let me tell you something about feelings. Feelings are like your mother's breasts. You know where they are, but they are best left unfelt.
Rose: It's an interesting analogy, but may I point out that a mother's breasts are a source for nourishment and comfort?
Charlie: Yeah, well, my mother's breasts were a source of silicone and Russian vodka.

Charlie: Yeah, well, I don't have to face anything I don't want to face, and I don't have to feel anything I don't want to feel, and that includes Mom's vodka knockers!
Jake: Who is this "Vod Kanockers" that you speak of?
Alan: Eat your dinner.
Jake: The name's Kanockers. Vod Kanockers. 

Pretty scary stuff, eh? 

However, this mindless act of censorship did pique my interest and a web search turned up several Vod Kanockers. One I found particularly relevant is the author of a definition appearing in the Urban Dictionary (

1 definition by Vod Kanockers
1. Drama-shit

The attitude of someone who constantly starts drama because they are shit.

Exp. We are so pissed with people and their drama-shit attitudes.

Good to know that particular Vod has work in Seattle.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Politics Imitating Baseball

Gurgle, gurgle, gurgle. That’s the sound of social security checks and elite Yankee baseball going down the drain, to the benefit of those with incomes of $900K, who, according to House Speaker J. Delusional Boehner, can’t afford to pay a little more in taxes, and to Yankee bossette Hal ‘Big Cheese’ Steinburglar who is cutting the Yankee payroll.

If you’re a senior or disabled and a Yankees fan everyone in town is throwing you under the bus. We know the Republicans have promised to gut social security since FDR, if they ever got the chance, and now Obama, who never held a position he wouldn’t back away from, has willingly provided the knife for the first cut. Obama claims this cut will be as surgical and precise as a drone strike – the ones leaving dead bodies of innocents buried under rubble and strewn over the landscape from attacks on vehicles. 

Our buddy Hal has decided that the future Yankee mission shall be “Let’s be Pretty Good As Long As It Doesn’t Cost Too Much”. On the plus side, the Yankees cannot be accused of ageism in their recent signings.

Golf has the Senior Tour and MLB has the Yankees.

Chad mentioned that several pitchers would be trying out padded caps next season. I ‘d feel better if some of our owners and politicians tried out padded cells to prevent injury to others. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


** Most analysts have designated the Toronto Blue Jays as THE team in the AL East. They are vastly improved, some of their "All-Stars" are suspect. Pitcher Josh Johnson was a staff ace at one time, but his velocity has decreased significantly over the last three years. Ricky Romero was knocked around by just about everybody. R.A. Dickey may find life a little tougher battling the patient hitters in the AL East. Jose Reyes is very talented, but he's also very temperamental and moody if things don't go his way. Jose Bautista is coming off a serious injury and a 'clean' Melky Cabrera is a mystery.
They'll do very well, but don't expect them to run away and hide from the rest of the division.

** I don't believe the Orioles will be as successful as last year. Everything went right for Baltimore last year. they had a 29-9 record in one-run games. They also won 16 straight extra inning games. They ranked 9th in runs scored  (4th in the AL East) and 10th in batting average. Good indications that luck may have played a significant part in their record.

** Boston didn't help themselves very much, but outside of Josh Hamilton and a couple of big-name pitchers, there wasn't very much to choose from.

** The Yanks basically stayed the same, too. They did sign Kevin Youkilis, but lost A-Rod and no one knows what Jeter, Pettitte and Rivera will be able to accomplish. The Yanks did dump Freddie Garcia and Andruw Jones. Garcia is still out there and Jones will be playing in Japan next year.

** Tampa traded one of their best pitchers that all they did? What's going on in Florida?

** Some MLB pitchers will be trying out padded caps next year, to help reduce injuries. I don't know how much help that will be, but I guess it can't hurt.

** A minor league outfielder in the Tampa Bay organization has been suspended 50 games after refusing to take an offseason drug test. He hit .244 with 4 home runs in Class A last year. What's he trying to hide? If he was taking PEDs, they sure didn't help.

** The Yanks were hit with a $19.4 million luxury tax for last season. I don't think that includes Michael Pineda's salary, but he sure was a luxury.

** Free-agent update:
Nick Swisher is available and it appears the two best possibilities are Texas or Cleveland. He wants a multi-year deal so the Yanks are probably not involved.
Michael Bourn isn't signed. He's looking for 5 years but there seems to be  little interest at that level. If Boras tries for a one-year deal, again NY might be interested. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (Boston, the "smartest" city, remember?) says the Yanks "could use a leadoff hitter."   Right, with Gardner, Jeter and Ichiro, they already have three guys that could fill that spot.

"There's a new version of “Miracle on 34th Street.” In this one, Tim Tebow starts a New York Jets game at quarterback"  -- Brad Dickson
" Missed the post game news conference,   so  how  much did Gisele Bundchen complain about her husband’s Patriot teammates?"  -- Janice Hough
" This just in: Beverly Hills 90210, Washington Wizards 87."  -- RJ Currie
"December 15   started Capital One Bowl Week, which runs until January 7. And they wonder why many football players are bad at math."  -- Janice Hough
 "One popular Christmas gift this year – ugly sweaters. Who ever knew that members of the PGA and local news anchormen would be trendsetters?"  -- Brad Dickson
" Did you see the Manny Pacquiao fight? He got knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the 6th round. Pacquiao hit the canvas face first. Was that really that big of a deal? Passing out face first in Vegas -- who hasn't done that, really?"  -- Jay Leno
   And the non-sports item:

 "US Weekly reports Katy Perry spotted Russell Brand at a nightclub and hid behind a table. She found Lindsay Lohan under it."  -- RJ Currie

Congratulations to Jim Boeheim on his 900th career victory.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

It’s a bleak day in paradise...

Cold and overcast, today is the third consecutive day of no golf – a first since April – and a return to, aaargh, the gym. Sure, last winter’s gym schedule paid off in flexibility, strength and all that other crap that gym people are obsessed with, but time on the golf course completely trumps gym time as a far superior, socially unredeeming activity. And gym time stridently announces the onset of winter. Bummer, indeed.

I use the fitness room at the local Y. The facility is decent and the staff is friendly, but there are neither facilities nor staff anywhere to compensate for the frightening visions faced when working out at a gym.

The first hurdle is the locker room. Regardless of the locker I choose, some gnarly old dude or soaking wet sasquatch will exit the shower, hang (literally) in front of the next-door locker, and finish drying his junk while I’m tying my shoes. That’s barely (no pun intended) the worst of it. The visual insults are far from finished. 

Enter any workout room in America and you will be transported to Halloween Central. Selecting the appropriate costume, apparently while dropping LSD, is an essential ingredient for successful exercise. Take a look around and you’ll see the ‘Compressionites’, clad head to toe in skin tight compression gear – rumored but not proven to speed up healing for the overly zealous iron-pumper and the excessively fashion conscious - and the ‘Spandexers’, also sporting form fitting clothing, regardless of the form being fitted. Even a quick glance at one of these exhibitionists provides far more information than you will ever care to know.

Equally disturbing are the Casual Carls and Cathys – wearing old, worn, way-beyond-loose clothing seeing some gym time before merciful delegation to the ragbag. Unintended consequences? Every time a Carl or Cathy stretches or bends, body parts best left unseen fall out or pop up into full view.

Add in the bull moose bellows of the workout grunters and the over-ripe aroma of sweat and disinfectant permeating every corner of the gym for a really nasty odiferous cocktail … my next workout is going to involve coffee and donuts.


Friday, December 14, 2012


I never thought I'd ever be writing this sentence.

The Yankees signed the outfielder they were negotiating with for LESS money than two other teams.

Yes, it's true. Get up off the floor. The Yanks got Ichiro Suzuki for two years for $13 million dollars. At least one other team, reportedly the Phillies, offered at least $14 million. The word yesterday was that a two-year deal was dead, but I guess not. I guess Ichiro really liked playing for New York. Either that, or he found a really good sushi bar on 8th Avenue.

While Suzuki is a Gold Glove right fielder, the report also says that Ichiro can also play center in case they trade Granderson. It seems that every move the Yanks make, every rumor that floats around, has some mention of a Curtis Granderson trade. Why are they so anxious to get rid of this guy? 40 home runs don't grow on trees. Is it just the money?

I know that batters HATED facing Nolan Ryan when he was on the mound, but it seems that no one cares for him sitting behind a desk, either. Michael Young bad-mouthed the Ranger front office after he was traded, Josh Hamilton signed elsewhere without so much as a see-you-later, CJ Wilson left, Zack Greinke snubbed them and Justin Upton won't be going there either. Maybe Ryan needs to change his deodorant - or his facial expression.

It's been a long time since all the top free agents were signed before Christmas. Superagent Scott Boras, who likes to hold out till the last minute, must be sitting in a fetal position in a corner of his office with his thumb in his mouth. The biggest "name" out there now, is Nick Swisher. Another sentence I didn't think I'd write.

What's going to be the biggest rivalry in baseball next year? Texas and the Angels? The giants and the Dodgers?  Or Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner?

I just read that the Hamilton Tiger cats (That's a Canadian Professional football team for those of you without a newspaper) just fired their head coach. They also have no General Manager , no offensive coordinator, no defensive coordinator and no stadium. Um, I may have misspoke about them being a professional football team. All they have left is the team logo.

"The Michigan Ballet Company has offered Ndomukung Suh a part in The Nutcracker."  -- TC Chong
"An Australian study says people with jobs where effort doesn't lead to reward are in poorer mental health than those looking for work. So if you're a NBA free agent, think twice before signing with the Raptors."  -- RJ Currie
"A Texas schoolboy was sent home for having the likeness of Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M's Heisman Trophy QB, shaved into his hair. My question: Where do kids find barbers capable of cutting these images of athletes? I'm lucky if my sideburns are even."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Lakers are really  struggling. It's taking some time for the guy who runs the team to learn the names of the players. But enough about Kobe."  -- Alan Ray
"At tonight’s post-game press conference, Eagles coach Andy Reid took full blame for the loss. He then fumbled the mike, it was recovered by an alert Cincinnati reporter." --  TC Chong
"Heat star LeBron James, tired of hearing criticism of teammate Dwyane Wade, told USA Today that "Charles Barkley needs to shut up." That's what you call taking it to the pie hole."  -- Dwight Perry
"Best rumor out of the NHL labor talks; in keeping with the theme, they'll play a watered-down season on thin ice."  -- Dwight Perry

Okay, I get one non sports-related item:
" Prison officials in North Carolina are calling for a criminal investigation after six inmates alleged correctional officers forced them to rub habanero hot sauce on their genitals. They then made them sing, "Goodness, gracious great balls of fire!"  -- Gary Bachman


Thursday, December 13, 2012


Not the Red Sox, not the Mariners, not the Phillies. Not even the Yankees, who were probably being mentioned just out of habit. No, Josh went to the Angels, the worst possible resting place as far as Texas was concerned. To add fuel to the fire, Hamilton had supposedly told the Rangers GM that he would have the last shot before he signed. Instead, the phone call was, "I've signed," not, "Can you match this."  It was rumored that Texas was willing to go 5 years at $25 million per year, just what the Angels gave him.
Anyone feel sorry for Texas? MLBNetwork analysts, Harold Reynolds and Larry Bowa have no sympathy for the Rangers. According to them, Texas had all year to close a deal, but preferred to let it hang to see if they could get away cheaper. I can't wait to see the scowl on Nolan Ryan's face the first time the Angels come to town, which will be the first weekend of the season. In fact, Ryan may offer to pitch the first inning, just to knock Hamilton down.
Trout, Pujols, Hamilton - LA has quite a lineup now. If they only had somebody who could throw the ball.

 It's interesting that the headlines that come out of New York are different from other teams.
Jeter -- I'll be ready to start the season (Broken Ankle)
Rivera -- I'll be ready to pitch the first game (Torn up knee)
Pettitte -- I've been working out. I'll be ready (broken leg and just old)
A-Rod -- Can I have your phone number, Honey?  (It's really a hip replacement, isn't it?)
So Youkilis is now officially on board. I have a feeling the big delay occurred because of the intense negotiations on how much of his facial hair he was going to have to shave off.
Ichiro is also signed, but for just one year. At one point, there was talk that the Yanks may go for two years in the hopes that Suzuki would get his 3000th hit in pinstripes. He's 394 hits away. Doing that in two years is quite a stretch, so cooler (and stingier) heads prevailed.

There appears to be a snag in the signing of Mike Napoli by the Red Sox. There's a rumor that there is some kind of physical problem. Not much is going right for the Sox these days. Awwww.

Don Mattingly, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, says that it's not fair to have such high expectations for his team, just because their payroll will top out at $230 million. For the record, NY's payroll is $209 million. Mattingly played a lot of years and also coached all those years in NY, but I never heard him say anything like that when he was there. It's called pressure, Donnie, get used to it. Don't forget, the sabermetric people  have this WAR thing that predicts 122 wins for the Dodgers next season.

The Cubs are so anxious to get rid of Alphonso Soriano, that they are willing to pick up $26 million of the remaining $36 million on his contract. Take my outfielder. Please!

On a similar note, Boston is sending the Dodgers $11.7 million as part of their mid-summer blockbuster trade. Good, that means hots dogs will still be $9 next season. The roll is extra.

ESPN has picked the top 125 baseball players of all time, some of whom are still playing. As you might imagine, Babe Ruth is #1, but some choices boggle the mind: Joe Morgan ahead of Joe DiMaggio? Roger Clemens ahead of Stan Musial? For the record, Mickey Mantle is #9.

" New Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni told a reporter “You’re starting to piss me off.” Funny, that’s exactly what Los Angeles fans are thinking about the team."  -- Janice Hough
"According to the Toronto Star, the movie The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey might cause viewers nausea. Who says nothing can replace the Maple Leafs"  -- RJ Currie
"The Lakers are so bad, when Mitt Romney talks about the 47 percent, he means Dwight Howard's free throw shooting."  -- Jay Leno
" Lakers star Kobe Bryant has now surpassed 30,000 career points. He knows without his teammates, he could only guess where he might be. Maybe 60,000 career points."  -- Alan Ray
"Robin Yount accidentally hit a former teammate, Cubs manager Dale Sveum, in the back and ear with buckshot while the two were quail hunting in Arizona. Alert statisticians immediately credited Yount with the offseason's first pickoff play."  -- Dwight Perry
"Bo Jackson recently turned 50. I'm thinking Bo knows Metamucil. --  Bill Littlejohn
"Alex Rodriquez just underwent hip surgery. Doctors advised him to take it easy and not exert himself.  The told him, "Just pretend it's the playoffs."  -- Brad Dickson


Tuesday, December 11, 2012


For the record, I only write when I'm inspired...or irritated...or excited...or drunk.  Because the Yankees don't seem  willing to be the Yankees, I'm bored.  So what is going on in the world of sports?

Not out of New York, but the Dodgers have picked up the slack. They're buying everybody in sight. One of the partners said that their goal is to have an all-star at every position. There were many times this past season that the Yankees starting lineup included an all-star at every position, including the pitcher. You can see how well that worked out.

The contract dollars for   Josh Hamilton seems to be ratcheting up. There is even a rumor that the Yanks may get involved. They don't need him, they're thisclose to signing Ichiro Suzuki. Of course, at 39 years old, Ichiro is not contributing to any youth movement.
What's going on with Youkilis? He's had an offer for five days now, and hasn't made a decision. Meanwhile, the people in Boston edited the "JOHNNY DAMON, TRAITOR" T-shirts to include Youkilis name and are waiting to put them on the market. Kevin's uncle Ed owns a bistro near Yankee Stadium and he's pushing for Youk to sign with NY, probably to increase his business.

I wondered why Cashman wasn't doing anything at the winter meetings but then I read this little item from the Wall  Street Journal, of all places:
"Brian Cashman came to the winter meetings in Nashville with his hands so fully tied that he lacked the authority to make offers to free agents. The situation was first brought to light by agent Scott Boras, who quietly suggested Wednesday that Cashman lacked the power to make offers.
 On Thursday, people within the Yankees organization confirmed that this was in fact true: Cashman arrived in Nashville unable to make offers to players, and without that power, targets like Jeff Keppinger and Eric Chavez took deals elsewhere"
Well, isn't that interesting? Maybe that's what's holding Youkilis back; he's not sure the offer is real.

Michael Young, recently traded to Philadelphia after 12 years with the Rangers, said he had " relationship with the Ranger front office."  He did keep cashing those paychecks, though.

This is for all the Sabermetric fans out there. There is a stat called WAR - Wins Above Replacement, which, through some magic, they can put a value on players as to how many more wins they could contribute to a team over a "standard" player. A player with a WAR of 5, for example, is worth five more wins than the player he replaces. One writer put together the WAR on the LA Dodgers roster. Here are the results.
"Add it all up and we get 72.7 wins above replacement. Assuming a replacement-level standard of 50 wins, we're talking 122 wins or so."
 I'll be waiting to see how that turns out. (I noticed that every time I come across one of these Sabermetric predictions, the word "assume" finds it's way into the formula).  

The Yankees and the Angels have cut loose from the StubHub - MLB deal, to go a different way. StubHub offers tickets to various sporting events and concerts and the like, for a price, of course. The Yankees say they're doing it for the "...benefit of our season ticket holders," a statement which sends shivers down my back. 

In a recent survey, Boston was voted the smartest city in the U.S. If so, then how do you explain hiring Bobby Valentine?

" Bears receiver Brandon Marshall says some players are taking Viagra as a PED. I'm thinking the NFL will start imposing stiff penalties." --  RJ Currie
 "West Virginia has ordered Jonathan Kimble — who dresses in buckskins as the Mountaineer mascot — to stop using his musket as a hunting weapon after he killed a black bear with it and posted pictures on Facebook. Just be thankful Kimble isn't the mascot at some other place that issues weaponry — like, say, Army"  -- Dwight Perry
  [Mr. Perry just celebrated his 13th year of "Sideline Chatter" at the Seattle Times. And the hits just keep on coming. - CP]
"Geneva (Pa.) College's has a 43-year-old freshman swingman:  He's at that awkward age for a basketball player — too old to play college ball, too young for the Knicks."  -- Brad Dickson

"Seats still available  The three-point shooting — 6 for 31, 19 percent — in UCLA's 65-63 basketball victory over Texas on Saturday was downright torrid compared to this stat: Only 2,797 showed up to watch the game at Houston's 43,000-seat Reliant Stadium — 6 ½ percent of capacity."  -- Dwight Perry
 "The Los Angeles Dodgers new ownership has now committed $650 million to players under contract. Forget “The Boys of Summer,” we’re now approaching “The Billionaire Boys Club.”  -- Janice Hough
"Injury report for Steelers: QB Rothlisberger is now listed as probable this weekend. Safety Troy Polumalu is listed as questionable, however, his hair is listed as doubtful."  -- Tony Chong

 "The Heisman Trophy will be given out on Saturday. You have to like Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel. He’s put up more numbers than Lindsay Lohan’s bail bondsman."  -- Alan Ray
"The International Olympic Committee has stripped India of its right to participate in the games. In response, India said, "Fine, just try logging on to your computers now."  -- Conan O'Brien



Monday, December 10, 2012

I Don't Know Why Chad is not Posting so You Are Stuck with This. Hey, I'm not Happy Either.

I’ve been scouting the media for off-season Yankee info. Tough to find. Oh, the Food Channel is running a documentary on Derek Jeter, MedMD has a dedicated A-Rod page and the Social Security Administration has provided the Yankee roster with a dedicated login. The only other reference to a Yankee move is the fictionalized chiller on the Horror Channel. You know, the one about the Yankees offering Kevin Youkilis $12 million to play third base. Can you believe that some people think this is actually true? Hilarious.

Then again, the relative absence of the Yankees in this year’s horse trading may not be a bad thing. With few exceptions the available talent pool was pretty shallow and Hamilton and Grienke, the best available players, are not suited for New York service. Then again, we all might fell a bit better if Hal Steinbonner was not calling the shots (nothing good can ever come of that), Brian Cashman was playing lap dog in another town, the team had a proven catcher, a right fielder, a third baseman, an under 35 / under 250 lb. shortstop…

I could go on.

The following is presented merely as blog filler (flog?) because the Yankees are currently… uninteresting. Continue at your own peril. 

The recent documentary on the Pat Summerall / John Madon broadcast team brought up thoughts of great sports announcers past and present. Past greats include Red Barber, Dizzy Dean, Curt Gowdy, and Chris “He faked him out of his jock!” Schenkel. Now, the more broadcast sports I watch, the more often the Mute button is used.

I thought that sports broadcasting had hit an historic low when Frank Gifford, Don Meridith, and Howard Cossell were teamed up for Monday Night Football. Frank was a fine fellow but dull as a bag of doorknobs. Dandy Don was either 1) distracted, 2) distracting, 3) manic, 4) confused, 5) irrelevant, 6) dumb as a bag of doorknobs, or 7) all of the above. Howard was a pompous ass. Ah, but today’s lot of talking heads has far exceeded the banalities of the aforementioned.

Try watching a Joe Buck / Tim McCarver broadcast without setting you hair on fire. It can’t be done. At least when Buck is paired with Troy Aikman in football, everyone is nodding off by the middle of the second quarter.

I could go on and on and on and on…

But, you say, we can go to ESPN for pre- and post-game analysis – as well as post-pre, pre-post, pre-pre, and post-post game analysis from the best and the brightest. Sure! Bowhard Bayless, Stephen A. Stupid, JAWS (please shut the up). And someone tell Chris McHenry (could she be a droid?) its OK to move a muscle, any muscle, while on the set. Tedy Bruschi makes me wish I had one or two 40 ounc ers after listening to him. Jerry Rice loves everyone and everything (good for you Jerry, and I mean that), which disqualifies him from providing any meaningful analysis. Dick Vitale never shuts up and never broadcasts the game being played directly in front of his flapping gums – and that perpetual motion gasbag is an icon of excellence compared to Jeff VanGundy butchering an NBA game, and take a guess how Jeremy Schapp got a job?

I could go on and on and on and on…

However, in the interest of balance I give you 1) Doc Emrick – you always know who is on the ice, who is handling the puck, and he makes every game sound exciting even if it isn’t, 2) Chris Collingsworth – no one diagrams a play better, 3) Trent Dilfer – informed, logical and persuasive, 4) Merril Hoge – has his own tie knot.

I can’t go on and on and on, but I did warn you.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Where's My Red Sox Cap?

Kevin Youkilis. Really? Kevin Youkilis, the $12 million man?

If Derek Jeter put on five or six more pounds nothing hit to the left side of the infield could squeeze by him, eliminating the need for a third baseman altogether. The Yankees haven’t had a fully functional third sacker in several years and won’t get one in Kevin Youkilis; an ‘enlarged’ presence at short is a low-cost step forward. 

Eat, Derek, eat!


Thursday, December 06, 2012


Most major League teams are making deals like crazy, or talking to multiple agents all day long and giving interviews that boggle the mind.
Texas is courting every big-name free agent there is. I think they would be willing to offer Mickey Mantle $2 million to pinch hit, but only because they heard that Babe Ruth was unavailable.
The Phillies are going the trade route, the Dodgers want to guy every warm body and even Seattle is making big offers. They are pushing hard for Josh Hamilton.
Terry Francona, out in Cleveland, is taking a personally aggressive position with all the free agents, trying to talk someone into joining him in the 'mistake by the lake.'
Kansas City is trying for a top-of-the-line pitcher.
Arizona is asking for half a roster full of prospects for Justin Upton.
Boston is buying up as many 2nd line free agents as possible. I guess they feel if they can't win the AL East, they can at least contend in the International League

And while all this is going on, Agents and General Managers are all looking over their shoulder wondering when that big New York Yankee bomb is going to get dropped. Brian Cashman is typically  low key during the Winter Meetings, until he has that news conference where he announces the Yanks major move. But it isn't happening and Cashman says it won't, either. In the meantime, Russell Martin left, Eric Chavez has signed with the Diamondbacks, and Nick Swisher is definitely gone.  Ichiro is getting antsy because the Yanks haven't made an offer and Raul Ibanez is still wandering around loose.  Toronto just stole a catcher from the Yanks - Eli Whiteside, a player the Yanks couldn't wait to get from San Diego (I think it was the Zoo).
This news flash just came across ESPN: The Yanks just offered Kevin Youkilis $12 million for one year. There is one advantage if NY does sign him --At least we won't have to look at that silly goatee/mustache anymore. Kevin should fit in rther nicely in the expanding geriatric ward in the NY clubhouse.

In the meantime, George Steinbrenner isn't turning over in his grave, he's trying to get out. I wish him luck.

"Rex Ryan says he’s sticking with Mark Sanchez. Frustrated New York fans wonder how long the Jets will be sticking with Rex Ryan."  -- Janice Hough
"Kentucky’s men’s basketball team (4-3) fell out of the top 25 since John Calipari became coach in 2009. Calipari is so reportedly so upset with the team he might threaten the players with drastic punishment – like having to go to class." -- Janice Hough
"A British team of 28 adult female gymnasts set a Guinness world record by contorting themselves into a 2012 Mini Cooper. My wife says that should fuel my imagination for months."  -- RJ Currie
"What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."  -- Sarah Palin
"Mike Tyson told the London Sun he caught then-wife Robin Givens in bed with actor Brad Pitt: Either Mike is lying to get media attention because he's promoting something. Or two, Brad Pitt can run faster than Mike Tyson."  -- Bob Ross of
"Ex-WNBA star Chamique Holdsclaw's was arrested for allegedly shooting into an ex-girlfriend's car: The good news is, it should take approximately three seconds to find 12 jurors who don't watch the WNBA."  -- Brad Dickson
"According to Forbes, the Toronto Maple Leafs are the first NHL team valued at a $1 billion. This just in: there's been a jump in the price of laughing stock"  -- RJ Currie
"Commissioner Bud Selig vowed to keep Marlins fans in mind while monitoring Miami's salary-dump trade to the Blue Jays. And the amazing thing is that his nose didn't grow an inch"  -- Jerry Greene
" The Marlins might plow the cash accrued from their big salary dump into signing major free agents? Marlins fans who trust that will happen should hold a meeting tonight at the Gullible Tavern, corner booth."  -- Greg Cote

       [Of course, you can't have a blog without some mention of Lindsay Lohan] 
" Lindsay Lohan was arrested for assault last night in New York City. I guess she punched another woman in the face and knocked her down at a club at four o'clock in the morning. This is the closest Lindsay has come to a hit in years."  -- Jay Leno


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

December 5, 2012

December, and it’s hard to find live people talking about baseball, unless they’re paid to do it or are crazed enough to spend time blogging. (My version of Word is so old that ‘blogging’ spell-check prompts include ‘bogging, ‘logging’, ‘clogging’, ‘flogging’ and ‘slogging’ – all accurately descriptive of what goes on here).

My daughter Sarah and beau Jason, both Yankee fans, will talk baseball if I bring up the topic but now they would rather talk about the Steelers and the Bills respectively.

My sons Josh and Chris… topics in descending order of conversational worthiness… 1) family (when they’re fed, otherwise…), 2) food, 3) the Bills, 4) snacks, 5) fantasy football, 6) politics (keep it brief), 7) careers, 8) food.

I played golf with my nephew Tim this week. Tim is a lifetime Mets fan. I don’t know how that happens. The most Mets info I have dates back to the really amazing 1969 team – and that’s just about the right amount to keep – and at this time of year even Tim, also a life-time Cowboys fan, is happier talking about Dallas. I don’t know how that happens either.

Even the A’s cap doesn’t generate much action in December. I wear team hats when I’m awake. No surprise, there are some I like more than others – hats, not teams. The iconic Yankees cap, of course, and the A’s, Tigers, Cardinals, Blue Jays, the Buffalo Sabres (the classic logo), Montreal Canadiens, and Penn (most in both wool and cotton versions for year round wear – a fashion must).

Anyway, each team hat generates spontaneous questions from unexpected sources, particularly during the season. The Yankee hat gets the least attention, unless you’re in Boston and then it will get you pushed into oncoming traffic. When wearing one of the other’s, occasionally a stranger will ask if you’re a fan. But the A’s hat is an entirely different story.

 Everywhere I go wearing that yellow crowned, green billed and top buttoned beauty, someone will ask if I’m an A’s fan. Most often they’re not, but people respond to that hat. It’s like being Canadian. When you wear that hat people believe you must be a mellow dude. They’ll ask if you like the A’s to initiate a conversation in the diner, gas station, and any and all slow moving checkout lines.

But in December the conversation is all about concussions, dirty plays, stupid coaches,  and the new anthem “Mothers, Don’t let your Sons Grow Up and Play Football”.

Spring can’t come soon enough.


Monday, December 03, 2012


Baseball's Winter Meetings start today in Nashville.  With the college football season basically over, college basketball not really into it yet and no hockey, ESPN goes all out to cover the meetings. Coverage is very encompassing. There is a blog that will inform you of every free agent sighting, every meeting, every phone conference and every wild rumor within minutes of it's occurrence. There is more tweeting going on than in a girl's high school bathroom. So stay tuned to "Silly Season Gone Wild" with your host, Chad "Didja hear..." Picasner.

Brad Lidge has informed his agents that he plans to retire. This should come as no surprise to anyone who looked up his record for 2012 - 9 innings pitched, 12 hits, 11 walks and 10 runs. Tony Pena has a better record pitching batting practice.

There is talk that A-Rod may need more hip surgery and may have contributed to his inability to get around on fastballs in the post season. If he does have surgery he might miss a month of the season. With Jeter possible missing time also, the Yanks may be looking for infield help.

The Washington Nationals are going all out to WIN NOW, so big deals may be in the offing.

The biggest mystery of the meetings is what kind of deals may be offered to Josh Hamilton. The Dodgers, Rangers, Angels Nationals and Red Sox all seemed poised to spend big money.

What's going on with the Jets? Rex Ryan finally benched  Mark Sanchez and brought in...who? No, not Tim Tebow. It was Greg McElroy. Tebow was put on the inactive list before the game because of two broken ribs which I think he broke, holding his sides, laughing at the Jets game plan.

Georgetown had a poor shooting night  a few days ago, scoring only 37 points against Tennessee. But Vols didn't do any better, putting 36 points on the board. And yes, there was a shot clock in operation.

There is still no National Hockey League games in sight. Hockey, that's the game that's played on ice, with guys carrying sticks chasing a little black thing. (Sorry, that's all I know about it)

Apparently, the suits that run golf are trying to show that they can be as dense as any other sport. There is now a rule prohibiting "Belly-Putting," which is so obscure, that it requires a long explanation. Vod could probably give you more exacting information, but it seems the simplest way to explain it would be to say that the rules committee basically said, "Listen, people are really enjoying this game and frankly, we can't have that."

The games may or may not be interesting, but the names of the bowls are always good for a laugh. I count 35 bowl games starting on December 15th and ending on January 7th. 8 of these bowls are food-themed:
Famous Idaho Potato
Beef O'Brady
Little Caesar's 
Buffalo Wild Wings
And, of course, the Orange and Sugar bowls.
If these eight combined into a tournament, the championship games would be at the FIGHT HUNGER BOWL. Boy, does this make sense to me.

This is the last one of the season, boys and girls, so enjoy.

"It was the best week of the season for Bottom 10 teams, which is possibly attributable to the fact that most didn’t have a game."
#2 Southern Mississippi (0-12)
The Golden Eagles jump three spots in the Bottom Ten even though they didn't play. That's just the kind of season it's been.

#3 Kansas (1-11)
Kansas lost to West Virginia, 59-10, in the first Prolonging the Agony Bowl

#10 Auburn (3-9)
The NCAA is reportedly investigating the Tigers again. On top of a 3-9 season and it's coach getting fired, now Auburn is in trouble more often than Lindsay Lohan.

"Not saying college football is overly in love with replay, but expect any day now to have an official review to see if a timeout is long enough."  -- Janice Hough
"Cy Young award runner-up Justin Verlander is reportedly dating supermodel Kate Upton. Can I nominate her for the sigh?"  -- RJ Currie
"Nebraska has signed to play football against Oklahoma on Sept. 18, 2021, and host Oklahoma in 2022. I don't think I've ever felt such a sense of anticipation over games that will be contested by athletes who are presently in the fourth grade."  -- Brad Dickson
"A brawl erupted at Hector 'Macho' Camacho's funeral between two women claiming to be his last girlfriend. At the bell, I had the woman in the purple dress and big hat leading on points."  -- Greg Cote
"Detroit Red Wings prospect Riley Sheahan was dressed in a purple Tinky Winky Teletubby outfit — and had a blood-alcohol reading of .30 — when cops pulled him over late on Halloween. If a visual like that doesn't end the NHL lockout, what will?"  -- Dwight Perry

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY BEST  FRIEND  - VOD KANOCKERS, who refuses to acknowledge his birthdays, mostly because he can't remember them.


Sunday, December 02, 2012


Headline on Roadrunner facepage: 5 REASONS TO WATCH SOCCER.

I believe these are three of them.

** So far, the Yanks have three wins and one loss. Pettitte, Rivera and Kuroda are back, Russell Martin is gone. Wallace Matthews, ESPN thinks there might be something more to Martin's departure than just money. Girardi did his best to keep Martin and Sabathia from teaming up, and even though Martin claimed it wasn't a problem, Matthews thinks that he may have had a little more resentment than he showed. I guess you can find all kinds of reasons if you try hard enough.

** Lets not forget that the Veteran's Committee also gets to elect a member to the Hall of Fame. This years list of candidates is not all that impressive, but there are some recognizable names on the list. Bucky Walters was a pitcher mostly for the Cincinnati Reds during the 40's. He ended up with 198 wins, but was a heck of a hitter, too. He hit 23 homers in about 2000 at bats. Then there's Marty Marion, shortstop for the Cardinals during the same period. Marion played only 13 years, had 1400+ hits and a .263 career average. He supposedly was a great shortstop but he did make 252 errors. By comparison, Derek Jeter has 241 errors in 18 seasons. Finally, there's Jacob Ruppert, former Owner of the Yankees back in the 20's. Other than screwing the Red Sox out of Babe Ruth (which puts him in MY personal HOF), I don't see that he warrants entry either. Sorry guys.

** Buster Olney has stated in his blog that he will continue to vote for Bonds, Clemens, Sosa, McGwire and Palmeiro, because he believes they were "...the best players up for election." He should probably add that they had the most help.  Here's my comment:
"I'm very disappointed in you, Mr. Olney. If a player cheats, how can you be sure that he WAS the best player? Please don't forget that character and sportsmanship are two measures to be considered when voting for someone. They knew they were doing something illegal or they would have acknowledged openly that they had artificial help.."

** Brian Cashman is again going to rappel down a building to help celebrate a holiday event in Stamford, Connecticut. He will be accompanied this time by Bobby Valentine. Because the event is in New England, there is some question as to whether Valentine will be allowed to use a rope.

** I'm not into college football, but last night's game between Georgia and Alabama for the SEC Championship was one of the best I've ever seen.  It was like two heavyweight fighters taking turns beating on one another. Last man standing - Alabama.

" Scientists say video evidence collected last year proves fetuses yawn hundreds of times in the womb. Thousands of times if Mom is a Maple Leafs fan"  -- RJ Currie
 "A little perspective, please? SF Chronicle story about SF 49ers QB Alex Smith is headlined “Playing well and then a cruel twist of fate.” Uh, I have no doubt Smith is disappointed to be demoted, but he’s young, healthy and making $5 million this year – Life could be a lot worse."  -- Janice Hough
"IKEA is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Britain. To mark the occasion, the British government presented IKEA with an unassembled plaque."  -- Brad Dickson
"Did I really just side with David Stern? Isn't that like rooting for shark in 'Jaws'?"  -- Mike Bianchi
"Phoenix — the country's No. 1 move-to destination from 2000 to 2009 — is suddenly experiencing a dramatic falloff in people wanting to relocate there, Forbes magazine reported. Especially top-notch NFL quarterbacks."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Chicago Bears Brendan Marshall says that NFL players are using Viagra as a PED. The NFL, where men are men and cheerleaders are nervous."  -- TC Chong
" The names Bonds, Clemens and Sosa are on the new baseball Hall of Fame ballot. The goal: drive Pete Rose completely bonkers."  -- Brad Dickson



Thursday, November 29, 2012


Thanks to the USGA and the R&A for proposing rule 14.1.s.t.u.p.i.d that defines the putting stroke in such a manner as to effectively eliminate the use of long putters. This rule will have greatest impact on amateurs, seniors, recreational, and physically impaired golfers – just the people that we want to keep off the links.

Golf has taken a tremendous hit over the past decade. Hundreds of courses have closed. The number of rounds played annually has been, in good years, flatter than Twiggy. The proposed rule will get duffers off of the remaining courses, open up additional tee times, ‘preserve the purity of the game’ (their words) and assure that the game will continue to be played ‘as its founders intended’ (also their words) – by Scottish sheep herders with feather-stuffed golf balls.

We know that those with short putters have always envied those with long ones… so I congratulate the ruling organizations for their patience in making this decision – waiting nearly 50 years since the appearance of long putters on golf courses before issuing the ruling.

The organizations were most disturbed that young amateurs with long putters have been recently been beating older, short-puttered professionals. How embarrassing.

Beginning in 2016, if the rule is adopted, everyone’s putter will be short. 

Hi Ho!


I've gone over the list, which became much easier when you eliminate the 'cheaters,' and I've come up with four that I would vote for.

Jack Morris - He pitched for 18 years, won 254 games and had a career 3.90 ERA. He also won 7 games in the post season. He was the go-to guy wherever he played.
Lee Smith - 18 years, 478 saves, c'mon. What does a guy have to do?
Tim Raines - 23 years, 2600 hits, 808 stolen bases and a .294 career average. He was also a good fielder with a decent arm. He should already be in the Hall but I guess he didn't play for the Yankees long enough.
Craig Biggio - 20 years, all with the Houston Astros. He had 3060 hits and a .281 lifetime average. He also scored 1844 runs, 15th on the all-time list.

And the biggie - no suspicion of  steroid use for any of them.

18 have already been signed, but that still leaves 147 players waiting for offers, pens at the ready.  Nine of them are 40 years old or more. Historically, not much more than half of them will end up with jobs, which means that about 60 of them will begin their quest for the Hall of Fame in 2018.
Nick Johnson is one of them. His position is listed as DH, which, in his case, stands for Designated Hurt.

Mariano Rivera will probably sign with NY for $11 million plus some incentives, before the Winter Meetings.
Josh Hamilton is reportedly asking for 7 years at $25 million a year. Based solely on his ability, he's probably worth that, but he brings an awful lot of baggage with him, too much for a team to gamble on 7 years.
David Wright of the Mets has been offered a 7-year extension. He should take it. I don't think he could get that much more elsewhere. He's not the power hitter that  usually commands huge money.
The Red Sox may come back from the meetings with a new first baseman - Joe Mauer. Two years ago, this rumor would have been laughed out of the rumor-monger mill. His recent physical problems seemed to have soured the Twins on his value.
Nick Swisher to the Red Sox? Be still my heart. Wasn't Jonny Gomes enough?

" A new study finds people who have just been playing music have a higher tolerance for pain. In a related story, fans at Washington Wizards games will be given kazoos."  -- RJ Currie
" Ndamukong Suh was fined $30k for kicking Matt Schaub in the groin, but claims it was “inadvertent.” Right, like he’s going to say “Of course I meant to kick a QB in the nuts?”  -- Jancie Hough
   [I love Janice Hough - CP]
" New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett is being called a hero after catching a fan who fell from the stands. The fan has a lot to be grateful for, mostly that a Kansas City Chiefs receiver wasn't standing below him"  -- Brad Dickson
" It's starting to feel a lot like Christmas. Holiday decorations are going up, carolers are singing and Colorado just fired its football coach."  -- Brad Dickson
"To take four people to a Dallas Cowboys game with hot dogs and Cokes and some souvenirs will run you $634.78. My God, you could get a 50-inch HDTV at Best Buy for $550 and have enough left to buy 84 beers."  -- Rick Reilly
"Cardinals third baseman David Freese walked away OK after crashing his SUV into a tree after swerving to avoid a deer in the St. Louis suburb of Wildwood, Mo. For those of you scoring at home, that's an E-5 on a rundown play."  -- Dwight Perry
" Bud Selig vowed to keep Marlins fans in mind while monitoring Miami's salary-dump trade to the Blue Jays: And the amazing thing is that his nose didn't grow an inch."  -- Jerry Greene
"Tulane is the latest school to join the Big East for football. Perfect, now they can change the conference name to the “Big Easy” and be done with it."  -- Janice Hough
" Reports from the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show had guest performer Justin Beiber saying there was nowhere else he'd rather be. The guy's 18. This is news?"  -- RJ Currie



Wednesday, November 28, 2012


The Hall of Fame has sent out the ballots to the voters for the 2013 class. For some reason, the roster of voters is not published. Various writers willingly admit that they have a vote, but overall, the list is secret.

Supposedly, some of the players that may have a problem with PED thing,  are hoping the stance against them will soften over time, but that doesn't seem to be happening. There is a lot of discussion as to whether or not the banned substances should have a bearing on the election. Every year, the criterion for election is sent along with the ballot:
 Voting shall be based upon the player's record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character and contribution to the team(s) on which the player played.
 I've highlighted two important words in that sentence - integrity and character.  As I've said before, it does not seem right that the achievements of some ballplayers are aided artificially and still get compared to the achievements of those who did not use PEDs. 
For example: The career numbers for Ted Williams include 521 home runs, 1839 RBIs and a .344 batting average. Manny Ramirez (you remember him) has 555 homers, 1831 RBIs and a .312 average.  Very similar numbers, right? If Ted Williams is in the Hall, wouldn't this mean Manny belongs, if you go strictly by the numbers?  Do you really think a guy who has been suspended twice for banned substances and has been accused of tanking games because he didn't want to play for a team, really belong in there next to Williams? I didn't think so.
By the way, there are those people who offer this argument: "What's with this integrity and character distinction? What about Babe Ruth who never met a beer or a woman he didn't like? Or Ty Cobb who never met anyone he didn't want to beat up?"  Interesting argument, but I will point out that the above criteria was adopted in 1945, and those two players were elected in 1936. Oh, it's a technicality all right, but a valid one, nonetheless.

Some interesting names are appearing for the first time, besides Clemens, Piazza, Sosa and Bonds. David Wells and Curt Schilling make their first appearance. So do Sandy Alomar, Jr., Craig Biggio and Steve Finley. 

As Vod has pointed out, one of baseball biggest names is missing - that of Marvin Miller, a name that struck fear in the hearts of every front office person in baseball for many years. Miller was responsible for getting players the money they always deserved. In fact, the pendulum may have swung too far in the other direction, but that never would have happened if the owners hadn't been so horrifically greedy for so long a time. Actually, the people who vote for induction are really just 'suggesting,' since the Hall of Fame can induct anyone they want. Maybe this would be a good time to just impose their will and install him. I would go for that.

Andy Pettitte has signed with the Yanks for 2013 for $12 million. Next on the Yankee radar is Mariano Rivera. They hope that deal will be completed by the end of the week. Then, Cashman says the Yanks will look at players like Russell Martin, Ichiro Suzuki and Raul Ibanez.

The Red Sox have made their first big move. It's Jonny Gomes, whose biggest claim to fame so far, is a misspelled first name.

B.J. Upton has signed a multi-year deal with the Atlanta Braves. That's just what Tampa Bay needed - losing another good hitter.

Do the names Casey Close, Dan Lozano, Larry Reynolds and  Brian Greiper ring any bells? How about if I add the name Scott Boras?  That's right, they're all sports agents and according to former GM Jim Bowden, agents have become the most important figures in the winter meetings. The first five agents have the reputation for being fair, honest and professional. Scott Boras, on the other hand, has a reputation for being...well, Scott Boras. 

1. Akron (1-11)  The Zips lost 35-23 to Toledo in a game that would’ve been “The Battle for Ohio” if it weren’t for the fact that all the other teams in the state that are better.
2. Eastern Michigan (2-10)  Lost 49-7 to Northern Illinois in a contest that was the equivalent of two-week-old Thanksgiving leftovers.
6. UNLV (2-11)  Got drubbed 48-10 by Hawaii, a school with one win going into the game and whose season has made local football fans miss the competitiveness of the Hula Bowl



M.M. - R.I.P.

Farewell Marvin Miller. You did more to change baseball’s Plantation Mentality than any other person during my lifetime and yet we hardly knew ya’. Your exclusion from the Baseball Hall of Fame is a sad reminder of the century-long history of players as chattel.

Every youngster visiting Yankee Stadium will see larger-than-life images of George Steinbrenner, twice banned from baseball for being an above-the-law scumbag, twice reinstated because money doesn’t talk, it screams. So, while the likes of George become canonized in bronze, you remain the forgotten man, except in the paychecks of every player.

The enmity directed at you by the genteel Colonels of baseball as revenues grew from $50 million to over $7.5 billion dollars is a lasting testament to their everlasting sense of entitlement. What better leader for this group of later day Fauntleroys than the bumbling Bud Selig?

Rest in peace MM. You leveled the playing field by teaching the players that professional baseball is, first and last, a business, and when business is taken care of the game can begin.