Monday, April 30, 2012
## The Orioles refuse to go away. They're still atop the AL East with a 14-8 record. The next couple of weeks will be their biggest test of the season: they have series coming up against the Yanks, Rangers, Rays and the Red Sox, starting with the Yanks tonight.
## Albert Pujols is still homer-less, having gone 88 straight at bats so far, and 115 including last season, without hitting one. He's not the Angels only problem, however. No one is hitting and the pitching hasn't performed at all.
## Buster Olney reports that more and more teams are using shifts than ever before, led by Tampa Bay. They have used 125 infield shifts so far this season. Believe it or not, the Yanks are second with 50. I watch their games and I haven't seen it, which brings up the question, what constitutes a shift? How many infielders have to move and how far? I think Michael Kay is a fan of Olney's blog, so we may hear more about this tonight.
## A-Rod drove in two runs yesterday with an infield hit and a fielder's choice. Cheap, but they count. Those RBIs gave him 1904 for his career, 8th on the career list. He has a good chance to reach 2000 before the end of the season, a level only one other player has ever reached: Hank Aaron with 2297. A pretty impressive number.
## How often do you see this? A trade where everybody wins. The Yanks got Granderson, the Diamond Backs got Ian Kennedy and the Tigers got Austin Jackson and Phil Coke. All four players are performing very well and everyone is happy.
## Why are there still draft analysts still polluting the airwaves? Nobody knows how a college player's game will translate into the pros, least of all these experts. Every year, half-way thru the season, we hear announcers say things like, "What a great year this rookie is having and he was drafted 247th overall." Or, "Gee, he really hasn't lived up to the expectations of the club, who drafted him 8th overall." Remember Ryan Leaf? He was drafted AHEAD of Peyton Manning, and he was one of pro football's biggest busts. He couldn't run, he couldn't throw and he had the personality of an irate porcupine.
Enough, guys. Give it a rest.
## The NBA playoffs are in full swing and players are dropping like flies. Every year it's the same: come playoff time and all the players take it up a notch, but this year, sometimes the notch isn't there. It could be with the shortened training schedule, the players just aren't ready for the grind. I haven't heard this theory from any analysts yet, but there's still a long way to go.
## Freddie Garcia has been relegated to the bullpen and Phil Hughes says he's going to pitch like he was coming out of the bullpen. David Phelps is coming out of the bullpen to be a starter. The Yanks may have to purchase another bullpen car if this keeps up.
## The Jud from Phoenix, poses this question: "What happened to Yankee broadcaster Kim Jones? Did she go in the AJ Burnett deal?"
Okay, now it gets funny:
***THEY SAID IT***
"At the beginning of the season, the Kansas City Royals slogan was, 'Our Time.' That's been replaced by a new slogan: 'AHHHH!'" -- Brad Dickson
"With “All My Children” and “One Life to Love” gone, the Lakers are now America’s No. 1 soap opera." -- Norman Chad
"I don't want to say that the Cleveland Browns are a bad team, but two players they drafted have fled to Canada." -- Gary Bachman
"Reports are the NFL might suspend its Pro Bowl all-star game as a possible precursor to eliminating it altogether. Fans of the Pro Bowl are outraged. Well, one fan is. I couldn't reach the other one." -- Greg Cote
"Hear about the latest Pro Bowl proposal, in which the NFL all-stars play the Cincinnati Bengals? They'd call it the Pro and Con Bowl." -- Dwight Perry
"A New Jersey man paid $1.2 million for a 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card. Now he just needs a Jamie Moyer to finish the set." -- Torben Rolfsen
"Folks in Arkansas are still pretty upset about the Bobby Petrino scandal. I mean, what was their coach doing in a car kissing a pretty young thing? And she wasn't even his relative." -- Janice Hough
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Actually, I consider Joe West to be the 2nd best umpire in the majors (All the other umpires are tied for first.).
If you just look at the numbers, Ivan Nova didn't have a very good night, giving up 11 hits and 6 runs. A number of those hits, however, were of the seeing-eye groundball variety. If a couple of those ground ball singles happened to be hit at fielders instead of finding holes, it would have been a different story. It kills me that announcers and analysts never seem to mention this. They may be good hitters, but nobody can place ground balls that accurately. The Yanks, on the other hand, hit some line drives right at people. Well, maybe I'm prejudiced. Nah!
Justin Verlander wasn't Justin Verlander last night. He was pouring in the mid-90 fastballs, but there was no pop to them...until the Yankees hit them. Maybe the broadcast team was right; throwing 130 pitches in one game in April can't be too good for your arm.
...and Jeter's 15-game hitting streak is over, but his batting average is still .400. He has a chance to be Player of the Month, except for that guy in Boston, David Ortiz, who happens to be hitting .425. Apparently, he's drinking from the same bottle of Geritol that Jeter is, but I'm pretty sure Big Papi is not going out with Minka Kelly.
***AROUND THE LEAGUE***
The Rockies put up an 11 run inning against the Mets. The Mets were cruising along with a 6-2 lead at the time. That will sure give your bullpen a workout.
The Angels continue to struggle, losing to Cleveland 3-2. They are now 6-14 for the year and Albert Pujols is not helping. He's hitting .225 with 4 RBIs. He still has yet to hit a home run as a n American Leaguer in his first 80 at bats. I always thought the AL was better than the NL, but not that much better.
Philadelphia continues to lose and are two games under .500. The Washington Nationals are still going strong and lead the NL East at 14-6.
In the spring, Bobby Abreu gave the Angels an ultimatum: Play me every day or trade me. The Angels chose a third option and released him yesterday. I told you that was a possibility, Bobby.
The Marlins have lost 6 in a row but Ozzie Guillen hasn't bad-mouthed any of his players...yet.
***THEY SAID IT***
"The Guinness Book has recognized a Japanese man as the world's fastest human to run on all fours. Him and 11 U.S. Secret Service agents." -- RJ Currie
"On Metta World Peace's suspension: "I haven't seen an NBA player take an elbow like that since Kris Humphries got between Kim Kardashian and a camera." -- Jay Leno
"This just in: the Charlotte Bobcats' winning percentage is the exact same number as your odds of winning the Mega Millions Lottery." -- Brad Dickson
"The Golden State Warriors won their coin toss with the Toronto Raptors. So they now have a 72.4% chance of making another bad choice with a lottery pick." -- Janice Hough
"Had an apocalyptic nightmare last week that I was standing in front of Skip Bayless and behind Stephen A. Smith in a DMV line." -- Norman Chad (Thanks, Norm. Now I have a headache.)
"When Tiger Woods withdrew from the WGC-Cadillac Championship last month, I still can’t believe the helicopter didn’t follow him all the way to Perkins restaurant." -- Norman Chad
"LFL teams are reportedly taking 2012 off for promotional tours to give lingerie football more exposure. My wife doesn't think that's possible." -- RJ Currie
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Jerry Crasnick, ESPN, wrote an article about the best nicknames. There are a lot out there, but Crasnick did lay down some criteria which made it a little more interesting:
# Shorthand riffs on actual names do not count (A-Rod, K-Rod, etc)
# When a player officially renounces his nickname (Mexicutioner for Joakim Soria)
# No John Sterling-ism (The Giambino, etc) (Thank you, Lord)
What are we left with? Here's Crasnick's top ten:
10) Big Donkey (Adam Dunn)
9) Tony Plush (Nyjer Morgan)
8) Pronk (Travis Hafner
7) Joey Bats (Jose Bautista)
6) Zorilla (Ben Zobrist)
5) The Flying Hawaiian (Shane Victorino)
4) King Feliz (Felix Hernandez)
3) Kung Fu Panda (Pablo Sandoval)
2) Big Puma (Lance Berkman)
and the number one nickname:
Big Papi (Do I really have to give his name?)
Some of the names are cute, but most have no romance and some do not have universal recognition. Not that I'm an expert, but I never heard of the bottom five. 'Big Papi' is cute and I like 'Kung Fu Panda' and the 'Flying Hawaiian', but I'll bet that 'Big Papi' is the only nickname that follows a player into the Hall of Fame. In fact, right now, he's the only name on the list that has a chance to go in.
There are some nicknames which will be forever recognized: 'The Bambino', Joltin' Joe', the 'Georgia Peach,' the 'Splendid Splinter' and, of course, 'Yogi.'
Some players belong in the Hall just because of their nicknames. Names like Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown, John "Blue Moon" Odom, Enos "Country" Slaughter and my personal favorite: Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell. Now there's some nicknames with heart.
## Yanks lose 2 of 3 in Texas.
It's wrong to blame it on one guy, but if A-Rod doesn't start hitting, the Yanks are going nowhere. Hughes and Garcia better start earning their money, too. It looks to me like Girardi has lost all confidence in Hughes. Maybe the experts on the bench see things I don't have the ability to see, but to pull him after two plus innings says "I can't wait for him to straighten out and my offense isn't going to score a lot of runs". In the meantime, Texas threw a piecework staff of pitchers out there and still the Yankees couldn't do anything with it.
# Not that NY is the only team underperforming. The Red Sox, the Angels and the Phillies are all playing lousy. Plus, Detroit is suddenly in third place. They're only a half-game out, but it means that two other teams are right with them.
As bad as A-Rod is doing, Albert Pujols is worse. Age may be catching up with A-Rod, but with Pujols, it's all in his head.
Speaking of ageing ballplayers, Is Jeter going backwards? Is there some drug that MLB hasn't caught up to, yet? Is Minka Kelly that good? It would certainly explain the smile on Jeter's face.
***THEY SAID IT***
"A US man says he accidentally shot himself by dropping a dumbbell on a bullet. He is not be confused with Plaxico Buress, who was a dumbbell." -- RJ Currie
"The Canucks got eliminated so early from the playoffs, rioters complained that they didn't even get a chance to finish training camp." -- Dwight Perry
"Lingerie League's planning a foray into Asia, Australia, Canada and Mexico: In other words, it's expanding to places where they don't understand football, but might understand lingerie." -- Brad Rock
" The oldest living former Major League Baseball player, Conrado Marrero, just turned 101. He spent the day mulling over a five-year contract offer from a desperate Kansas City Royals organization." -- Brad Dickson
"Florida point guard Erving Walker agreed to pay $301 for stealing a taco, The $301 is believed to be the most ever paid for a taco outside of Yankee Stadium." -- Bill Littlejohn
"The New York Yankees have come out with new team fragrances, for men and women. The perfect choice for those who want to smell like money." -- Janice Hough
Monday, April 23, 2012
During spring training, Bobby thought that it was insulting that Joe Girardi wouldn't play any extra innings against the Red Sox. He said he had a pitcher warmed up and Girardi was disrespectful for not finishing the game. Apparently it's okay for Bobby to play his little games, though.
Anyone else notice that Valentine doesn't seem to know how to handle his press conferences? He'll start a sentence, or an idea, and not know how to finish it. "I guess we've hit rock bottom and if it gets any worse... we, um...we'll have to ...to...find new ends of the earth...I guess. (Shrug)" I think he's as lost as his team seems to be.
## Jerry Hairston, Jr. seems to be a part of every Top Ten Highlights on ESPN. Here's a guy who plays every position on the field except pitcher and catcher and is a decent hitter with a great understanding of the game. I don't know why the Yankees let him get away.
## The Yankees next two series are against the Rangers and the Tigers, arguably the best two teams in baseball. The Yankee lineup is as powerful as any in the league and, if they can get a lead heading into the 7th, they have a bullpen that almost assures them of a victory. If their starting pitching doesn't start to perform, however, Detroit and Texas have hitters that could put the Yanks in a big hole. You won't be able to count on a weak bullpen like they have in Boston.
## Only 16 games into the season and Texas already has a run differential of +52. That's over 3 runs a game and that's scary.
## Tennessee's Womens basketball coach, the legendary Pat Summit, is retiring because of health issues. She is suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's. She leaves with 1098 victories, the most in college basketball, men's or women's. This is a big loss for college sports and we wish her the best.
***THEY SAID IT***
"A New Jersey man paid $1.2 million for a 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card: "Now he just needs Jamie Moyer to finish the set." -- Torben Rolfsen (Vancouver comic)
"The glue is barely dry on Ted Williams' new commemorative postage stamps, and Red Sox fans are already grumbling. As in, how many would it take to mail Bobby Valentine out of town?" -- Dwight Perry
"Got to love this ESPN headline: “Metta World Peace ejected for violent hit.” -- Janice Hough
"Time Magazine named Tim Tebow one of its 100 most influential people. While they were at it, they changed their name to Tim Magazine." -- RJ Currie
"Actor Wilford Brimley threw out the first pitch before a Colorado Rockies game. Wait, my mistake, that was starting pitcher Jamie Moyer warming up." -- Brad Dickson
"Florida point guard Erving Walker agreed to pay $301 for stealing a taco, The $301 is believed to be the most ever paid for a taco outside of Yankee Stadium." -- Bill Littlejohn
"This weekend is the launch of America's first professional Ultimate Frisbee league. It's the only sport where players get tested to make sure they use drugs." -- Jimmy Fallon
While Boston Boo-Birds greet Bobby Valentine every time he walks on the field, sports pundits everywhere continue to remind us that Bobby Valentine has forgotten more baseball than any of us will ever know. I wish they would come clean and tell us that most of what Bobby has forgotten and what he still "knows" is, well, mostly wrong.
He's Number One... but Behaves Like Number Two
After watching Bobby tip his cap to the booing home crowd as he walked back to the dugout after making a pitching change I've decided to tip mine to tailgating drivers and morons who cut me off at 70 mph. It's the same as giving them the finger, right?
For Insiders Only
I was told by reliable source in the Red Sox front office that Bobby Valentine was hired because they considered him the best man to see eye to eye with team leader Dustin Pedroia. They are now concerned that height was not the best criteria to use in making their decision.
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Case in point: Giradi said before the game that David Robertson would be unavailable. When it became a one run game, and holding the Sox down was paramount, the use of Robertson became almost imperative. Almost! Girardi still refused to use him...and Mariano Rivera either. He was willing to live or die with the rest of the bullpen. Valentine, on the other hand, was mixing and matching relievers in spite of the fact that he was already six runs behind. He better hope that tonight's game gets rained out, because he's blown out his bullpen. Granted, they aren't very good, but Valentine didn't help the situation any.
He hasn't made any friends in the clubhouse, either. The Kevin Youkilis comment is well-known, but it seems he severely criticized shortstop Mike Aviles during spring training in an episode that was described as a "very ugly scene." Other Red Sox players intervened and were so vocal that Valentine was forced to apologized to Aviles. These types of incidents are not easily forgotten by players. In fact, it is said that David Ortiz is the only real advocate Valentine has in the clubhouse.
When asked about the boos he hears when he steps out onto the field, Bobby said, "I've been booed in two different countries." It seems to me, that that is because he's only managed in two different countries. In my opinion, the over/under for his termination is the All-Star game. I'll take the over...because that helps the Yankees the most.
Sabathia goes against Daniel Bard tonight if the weather holds.
## Congratulations to Philip Humber for his perfect game against the Seattle Mariners yesterday.
## AJ Burnett picked up his first win Saturday against the St. Louis Cardinals. 7 innings, 3 hits, no runs, 7 strikeouts and NO wild pitches. Good for him.
***THEY SAID IT***
"Organizers of the London Olympics invited The Who drummer Keith Moon to perform at the closing ceremonies, unaware he's been dead since 1978. Just to clarify: Being dead since '78 won't necessarily disqualify you from performing at halftime of a Super Bowl." -- Brad Dickson
"The coach of our Lingerie League team has not been announced, but my money's on Bobby Petrino." -- Brad Dickson
"And anyone watching Sunday night’s “ESPN Game of the Week” will have fun watching Terry Francona try to keep that smirk off his face" -- Janice Hough
A sign held by demonstrators against Ozzie Guillen, outside the Miami Marlins Park: "BOICOT (sic) MIAMI MARLINS"
"The NBA postseason approaches. A championship team always takes its game to the next level. The price of a beer goes to $9.50." -- Alan Ray
"Kentucky's starting five has declared for the NBA draft, which should leave plenty of salary cap room for next year's UK team." -- Bill Littlejohn
Saturday, April 21, 2012
The Yanks used the long ball effectively, hitting 5 homeruns off starter Clay Buchholz, ruining Fenway Park's 100th anniversary party. as ESPN writer, Wallace Matthews said, "Invited to share the centennial of a 7-6 Red Sox win over the club from New York then known as the Highlanders, the Yankees didn't just attend the party. They trashed it."
Two former Red Sox, Pedro Martinez and Kevin Millar, stood on the dugout and tried to incite the crowd, but only succeeded in embarrassing themselves by whooping and hollering. Bobby Valentine was booed and, to add a further insult, the crowd serenaded him in the ninth with a chant of "We want Tito! We want Tito!" Well, so do I.
***WHO'S FIRST, WHO'S NOT***
With less than a tenth of the season gone, it's always fun to see what teams are over-achieving and which ones aren't.
Most of the teams currently in first expected to be there: Texas, Detroit, New York (tied) plus the Dodgers and St. Louis. But Washington and Baltimore? Well don't expect to see the Orioles fighting for the crown come September, but Washington's pitching staff was thought to be pretty good and they're outperforming expectations. They might still be around at the end.
In last place is where some real surprises are taking place. San Diego, Cubs, and Kansas City are used to looking up at the rest of the league. Nobody expected the Angels and the Red Sox to be wallowing in the basement. I've already mentioned the Sox' problems but the Angels are a different story. They look like they're waiting for Albert Pujols to carry the club on his back, but he hasn't performed the way he can yet. But even if he does start mashing the ball, you can't rely on one man to take you to a pennant. They'll do better when they figure this out.
## The White Sox and the Orioles played before a whopping crowd of 11,800 fans at Cellular Field in Chicago on Thursday. Where's Ozzie Guillen when you need him?
## Bud Selig announced yesterday that the Oakland A's are in need of a new stadium if they are to survive. Gee, thanks, Bud. You appointed a "Blue Ribbon Panel" to study that two years ago, and it took this long for you to come to this conclusion? We all knew this going in. The question we want answered is, what are you going to do and when?
***THEY SAID IT***
"Congratulations to Jamie Moyer on his first win with the Rockies. Word is they had trouble clocking Moyer's fastball; they couldn't find an egg-timer." -- RJ Currie
" Fenway Park is 100 years old today. Wow. When it opened those “Cubs World Champions” shirts had barely faded at all." -- Janice Hough
"Aggieland Outfitters had to recall a bunch of SEC T-shirts that mistakenly had North Carolina on them instead of Missouri. Next thing you know somebody will screw up a Big East T-shirt and put San Diego State on it. Wait. What? ... uh, never mind." -- Dwight Perry
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
## On the other hand, Denard Span and Ron Gardenhire would just as soon not remember. Both got tossed in the 3rd inning, Span for arguing a strike call, Gardy, for just arguing. It did seem to me that umpire Greg Gibson had a pretty short fuse. But, at least it provided the over-crowded broadcast booth something to talk (and talk, and talk) about for the next inning and a half: how to argue with the ump without getting evicted. Now that I know, I'll never get thrown out.
## 49 year-old Jamie Moyer became the oldest man ever to win a baseball game. The game took only 2 hours and 48 minutes, which is surprising considering how long it took Moyer to walk from the dugout to the mound and back, using his walker.
## Not to be outdone by Texas' $26 hot dog, A Cleveland Indians affiliate, the Lake County Captains, now offer a $20 fish sandwich.
The sandwich contains 4 quarter-pound fish fillets, 8 slices of cheese, 6 ounces of clam strips, a third-pound of french fries, cole slaw, lettuce, tomatoes pickles and tartar sauce. The team says Pepto-Bismol is extra.
According to the Captains, the hoagie will feed 2 fans uncomfortably, or 4 fans comfortably. They said it's also what killed Gregory Peck. It's called "The Moby Dick."
I'd sure hate to get "hooked" on this one.
## Boston got beat 18-3 last night. Starting pitcher Jon Lester was terrible, but reliever Mark Melancon was worse. Considered to be a great pickup by the Red Sox, Melancon has not performed well. In 4 appearances, a total of 2 innings, he has given up 11 runs, which is an ERA of 49.50. That's an average of 5 1/2 runs an INNING. Boston wasn't sure if they were going to use him as a starter, in long relief or short relief. It turns out to be comic relief.
In a related story, Kevin Youkilis went 0-4 with 4 strikeouts last night, and is now hitting .176. On the other hand, he did break two helmets, so he must be coming out of his slump.
## All five starters for the NCAA Champion Kentucky Wildcats, have declared for the NBA draft. I don't know how well they'll do as pros, but based on their mumbling, incoherent interviews at the press conference, all five are NBA-interview ready.
***THEY SAID IT***
"The first long-distance call from Boston to New York occurred March 27, 1884. Unofficial transcripts have the first words being, "What'll you give me for Jamie Moyer?" -- RJ Currie
"A brush fire forced a shutdown of the New Jersey Turnpike near the Jets' Met Life Stadium.
Alas, it was just Tim Tebow, standing next to a burning bush." -- Dwight Perry
"Panthers GM Dale Tallon said he hoped his players grew playoff beards all the way down to their rear ends: "OK, so anatomy isn't his strong suit." -- Ian Hamilton
Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal, on the popularity of athletes' designer colognes: "What man doesn't want to go into a department store and come out smelling like Dirk Nowitzki midway through Game 6?"
"Congrats to Jamie Moyer on his first win of the 2012 season. The lefty thus becomes the first MLB pitcher to have a win transmitted not only on the internet, but also by Morse Code." -- Janice Hough
"YouTube has amazing video of someone making a basketball shot from a Goodyear blimp. Turns out the shot was taken by Kobe Bryant during a Lakers game, after he ignored two wide open teammates under the basket." -- Brad Dickson
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Buster Olney has brought up the issue of CC Sabathia's work load as being the cause of his poor start this year. According to Buster, CC has averaged over 250 innings a year since 2007. Gee, maybe we should ask CC. Buster did, and CC waved him off saying that he just didn't have the 'command' that he would like. Wouldn't that be a result of fatigue?
We never seem to get straight answers to questions in baseball, whether you're talking to players, managers, umpires, front office personnel and MLB executives. It's always the same: blah, blah, blah, and you walk away thinking, "What'd he say?" They respond with cliches or drag the topic away from the point, or they use my favorite dodge: "Um, I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment at this time." At least they learned one thing from Watergate - how to respond without answering.
## SECOND EXAMPLE
Apparently, Bobby Valentine missed some of the non-response classes. After criticizing Kevin Youkilis, Valentine tried to explain his comments at a press conference. It was a complete failure, and I mean, complete.
"When I said he wasn't committed, I meant his swing was...He wasn't...um...That's all. He knows I'm behind him, I wasn't criticizing his...I was just...ah...I meant that he...I would never..."
He couldn't even think of a decent lie. Later, he explained that Youkilis' lack of mental commitment by saying that"...he wasn't breaking as many helmets as he did last year." THAT'S how you tell if your players are trying? By counting broken helmets? It wasn't a good lie, but at least he tried.
## THIRD EXAMPLE
The Oakland A's want to move out of their football stadium and into a new park in San Jose. The San Francisco Giants say that's part of their fan base and refuse the A's permission to move. The A's wants MLB to get involved and make a decision. Here's the problem: If Baseball says the A's can move to San Jose, the Giants will take them to court and so will the city of Oakland, which claims the A's have a signed commitment to stay there for several more years. If Baseball says the A's can't move, the city of San Jose and the A's will take them to court. What a dilemma. What is MLB's response? It's this: [---------------------------]. That's right, nothing. It's the ultimate double talk. Saying nothing by saying nothing. You can't be criticized for a bad decision if you don't make one. See children, that's why they're in charge.
## FOURTH EXAMPLE
I wrote about the Dodgers umpire-assisted triple play against the Padres yesterday. Today, MLB released a statement saying the Padres were "partially correct." Which means, of course, they were 'partially incorrect.' It's hard to be wrong when you argue both sides of the question.
MLB's explanation was that umpire Dale Scott "...exhibited an incorrect mechanic." Excuse me? Doesn't that mean he made a mistake? "No," they said. " He raised his arms to get out of the catchers way and then inadvertently raised them higher with his palms up." That's baseball's sign for time out, foul ball or simply, no play. And now, it seems that it also means, 'incorrect mechanic.' I hope that explains it to everyone. If not, see Bobby Valentine's comments earlier.
***THEY SAID IT***
"The Spurs lost to the Jazz after sitting out three of their biggest stars. Not to be outdone, the Bobcats lost to the Wizards after playing all of theirs." RJ Currie
"North Korea's ballyhooed long-range rocket launch turned out to be a lot of hype that backfired before it got very far. In other words, the aeronautical equivalent of a Rex Ryan Super Bowl guarantee." -- Dwight Perry
"Larry Bird, to CBS's David Letterman, on the trademark smile of longtime NBA rival Magic Johnson: "My goal was to take three of them teeth home with me."
"New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said this weekend that he didn’t think Boston fan favorite Kevin Youkilis was “as physically or emotionally into the game.” What’s next? Valentine saying he loves and respects the Yankees?" -- Janice Hough
"Tiger has lost his mind," said CBS commentator Nick Faldo after Woods took himself out of the running at the Masters Tournament at Augusta National by angrily kicking his nine iron and carding a dismal 75. Seems like the only one who can handle a nine iron in the Woods family anymore is his ex, Elin Nordegren." -- Bob Mills
Monday, April 16, 2012
Why on ESPN? What's so special about this game? Maybe they just think that the country should get a chance to see Mauer and Morneau play before they get hurt again.
I'd rather see Rochester at Scranton (actually played in Rochester) so I could watch Bellances pitch.
## Valentine's at it again. He's tried for months to get the Yankees to engage in a war of words, with no luck. The Yanks just treat him like an escapee from an asylum and snicker and walk away. So Booby is trying a new tack: attack one of your own players. He's quoted as saying that he doesn't think that Kevin Youkilis is as committed physically or emotionally to the game as he has been. I'm no big fan of Youkilis, but he's no slacker. He's in an horrendous power slump. His last home run was on August 10th of last year. Jeter went thru a terrible slump that lasted a year and a half, but he's obviously back. For two straight years, David Ortiz looked like his career was over for the first two months of the season, and now, he's Boston's major force. Valentines defenders (I think it's his family) say he's trying to light a fire under Youkilis, but I don't think that's effective. Even Dustin Pedroia said, "Maybe that works in Japan, but not here."
## The Dodgers are 9-1 and Don Mattingly is being touted as manager of the year. Yeah, 10 games is long enough. Let's start the voting now.
## Joe Girardi continues to over-manage. If you want to change the lineup, fine, change it. But this business of moving guys around based on who's pitching, seems completely unnecessary. Jeter, Granderson, Cano and A-Rod have been hitting effectively against both right and left-handed pitchers for years. It's okay, Joe. We know you're the manager. There's no reason to move everybody around other than to make it clear who is in charge of the lineup card. Sit down and go to sleep, Joe, we got this.
## The Clemens perjury trial begins this week. Again. The New York papers devoted two full pages to bringing all the details back into focus, including pictures and charts. The first attempt was declared a mistrial on a technicality, which was totally stupid. Even though it resolved nothing, I was gald it was over, because I was just tired of it. Now we have to go thru it all again. Throw his pin-cushioned pricked butt in jail and let's move on to important stuff, like, how's that $26 hot dog in Texas selling?
## Our first major umpire goof has occurred. If you missed it, don't worry, there'll be lots more. The Padres found a way to BUNT into a triple play, with a large assist from home plate umpire, Dale Scott. With two on and no outs, Jose Guzman tried to bunt. When the pitch went high and tight, he tried to back out of the way, but the ball hit his bat. It landed in foul territory, then rolled fair. Catcher AJ Ellis picked it up, threw to third and the Dodgers continued around the horn completing all three outs. Umpire Dale Scott had immediately ruled a foul ball when it first hit the ground, but the ball was live and no call should have been made. A 'foul ball' call sent both runners back to their bases, making it an east play. Dale Scott did NOT get an assist on the play. ...but he should have.
## As the old joke goes, "I went to the fights and a hockey game broke out." There were so many fights during the Philadelphia-Pittsburgh playoff game yesterday, that I'm surprised to see they actually got the game in. ESPN hockey analyst, Steve Levy, thinks there should be so many fines and suspensions after this game, that we may see the first three-on-three professional hockey game in history.
## Whoa! Did I just hear umpire Jim Joyce call a strike? My mistake; it was a car backfiring. I won't say he's loud, but Joyce could be heard two stadiums away. This man is a candidate for a Riccola commercial.
***THEY SAID IT***
"An Israeli unicyclist got into the Guinness Book of Records by pedalling over the tops of 127 empty beer bottles. That'll give the Red Sox clubhouse something to shoot for." -- RJ Currie
"Spotted on the back of a "Bobby Petrino Motorcycle Club" T-shirt, all yours for only $22.99.
"If you can read this the blonde fell off!" -- Skreened.com
"Boston Bruins forward David Krejci escaped with only minor aches around the collar after a sheet of glass fell on him while celebrating his team's first playoff win. Doctors, unsure how to list it on the insurance report, finally settled on pane in the neck." -- Dwight Perry
"Eli Manning will host SNL. Giselle Bunchen said that they would have asked Tom Brady again but the show would have unreasonably expected her husband to do all the comic work." -- Janice Hough
"The membership committee at Augusta say they will still not admit women to the club. However, beginning next month they are going to start admitting effeminate men." -- David Letterman
Friday, April 13, 2012
## Because baseball pundits are constantly talking about velocity when analyzing pitchers, it becomes the major reason offered when pitchers do badly. The latest victim of this curse is the Giants Tim Lincecum, who was shelled for 9 hits and 8 runs in less than 4 innings last night. When Lincecum came up, he threw in the mid-nineties, often nearing 100 MPH. Now he's averaging about 92 MPH. so naturally, this is the cause for his decline. Decline? It's one game, for crying out loud. I didn't hear any comments about Freddy Garcia losing velocity when he got slapped around in Baltimore. Of course, for Garcia to hit 100 MPH, you'd have to total two pitches. At least.
Garcia is an example of how pitchers learn to 'pitch' as opposed to 'throw' as they get older. It makes you really appreciate Mariano Rivera, who still reaches 92 at age 42.
## UPDATE: Jesus Montero is hitting .280 with no homers and 2 RBIs in 25 at bats. Michael Pineda had dinner at an Outback Steak House in Scranton, PA, last night. I'm just sayin.'
## Vod has apologized for calling Curt Schilling an 'ass,' while Booby Valentine is around. There is room at the top for both, Vod.
## To commemorate Fenway's 100th anniversary, ESPN Boston has released a list of the all-time top 100 players. Not exactly all Hall-of Famers. consider that #41 is Carl Mays, who compiled a 67-40 record with the Red Sox. Curt Schilling is #29, behind such notables as Harry Hooper (#20) and Smoky Joe Wood (#15). Interestingly, Babe Ruth is #8. #1, of course, is Ted Williams. Hard to argue that one.
## Is it me or does it seem like Joe Girardi is over-managing like never before? He appears to have little faith in his pitchers since the intentional walk is playing a big part of every game. Let them play, Joe.
***THEY SAID IT***
"Burger King apparently is introducing a Bacon Sundae. For all those who thought their menu was a little too health conscious." -- Janice Hough
"Over 2000 women in a recent survey said they spend three hours a week redoing chores their husbands had done. The rest said their husbands don't do chores." -- RJ Currie
"NFL Magazine is folding after producing just four issues. Four-and-out? How fitting." -- Dwight Perry
"The Mets' started 4-0. "I don't want to say it's surprising, but today the Mets tested themselves for steroids." -- Jimmy Fallon
"Opening day at Dodger Stadium: It was a little different this year. Instead of throwing out the first pitch, they threw out the last owner." -- Jay Leno
"Van Gogh Vodka announced a new Peanut Butter and Jelly vodka. If James Bond wasn't dead, this just killed him." -- Janice Hough
"Levi Johnston, the 21-year-old father of Bristol Palin's son, has gotten another woman pregnant, according to TMZ. I'm thinking he's one impregnation from an NBA career." -- Cam Hutchinson
"The Saints' bounty-driven defense have taken out more players than Kim Kardashian." -- Alan Ray
Thursday, April 12, 2012
A quick trip to Villa Incognito…
“The true believer can believe in a political system, in a religious doctrine, or in a social movement that combines elements of the two, but the true believer cannot truly believe in life.
A true believer may worship Jehovah, Allah, or Brahma, the supernatural beings who allegedly created all life; a true believer may slavishly adhere to a dogma designed theoretically to improve life; yet for life itself – its pleasures, wonders and delights – he or she holds minimal regard.
Music, chess, wine, card games, attractive clothing, dancing, kites, perfume, marijuana, flirting, soccer, cheeseburgers, any expression of beauty, and any recognition of genius, or individual excellence: each of these things has been severely condemned and even outlawed by one cadre of true believers or another in modern time.”
Good to know?
It's a slow sports day when the newspapers, blogs, and talking head are fascinated with the 4,300 calls and texts that Bobby Petrino sent to his clandestine honey. How exciting to learn how many texts and calls were from his hospital bed! Oh, oh... why one call was reported to be 22 minutes long. Well, isn't that special.
What's is really disturbing, Sarah Palin may have stumbled into the truth. There may, in fact, be a "lamestream" media. In the sports page.
Ozzie's emotional apology has moved me to offer one of my own. I have referred to Curt Schilling as an ass in several posts. Sorry, Curt. With Bobby Valentine available I did a disservice naming you.
Remember when Jack won The Masters with that over sized putter. Almost everyone had one in the weeks following. What’s the over/under on pink drivers you will now see every round?
Ping had a good day on Sunday as Oosthuizen and Bubba are sponsored by them. The only people that cried more than Bubba that day were the execs at Nike.
According to ESPN radio: dating back to last season, Red Sox starting pitchers are 4-17 in their last 32 starts. Fans are totally baffled, wondering how they managed to win 4 games. Official score keepers are considering adding PWI (Pitching While Intoxicated) to Boston pitching stats.
An Ontario man has been charged with impersonating Justin Bieber on Facebook. This is not to be confused with Justin Bieber posing as a man on Facebook.
Tiger said after the tournament “Thank God my short game saved me”. Talk about a stripe change, wasn’t it just Friday that Tiger was heard cursing “God Damn it!”
Ozzie Guillen is in hot water for telling Time Magazine that he loved Castro. Outraged Cuban-Americans have protested and now Ozzie will fly back to Miami to clear the air. He will say that it was all a big mistake as Kim Jong-il is who he really admired.
Congrats to Bubba “Blubber” Watson for winning The Masters golf tournament. Watch for him to appear in Kleenex ads soon.
Transgender contestants are now allowed to compete for Miss Universe. This should open the door for Chaz Bono to sign up for the next Mr Universe contest.
Stanley Cup playoffs start today, otherwise known as Riot Season in Vancouver.
A police officer in Nanaimo BC disguised himself in a bunny costume and ticketed people talking on cell phones and not wearing seat belts. His haul for the weekend? 250 lbs of carrots.
--TC in BC
***THE PLAYOFFS HAVE BEGUN***
Professional Basketball and Hockey, two sports which are not high on my list of watchable sports, have begun their second season. This is good news for those of us who watch ESPN, because it means we're nearing the end of what ESPN considers 'Top Ten Highlights' which consists mostly of basketball dunks. To be fair, some of the plays that end in dunks are somewhat impressive, but mostly all they say to me is, "Look at me, I'm 6-10." Hockey is a little more impressive, because skating for me meant a way to fall down on ice. Give me baseball highlights every time.
The Cleveland Indians are about to sign Johnny Damon to a short term contract. How low has he sunk? Well, the contract stipulates that Damon is gone once their regular outfielder, Grady Sizemore, returns from injury. Damon can't be too pleased with his agent, Scott Boras, for coming up with this one. Boras, of course, is running around saying, "See. I told you I'd get him signed."
***IN OTHER BASEBALL NEWS...***
## The Yanks found a way to squeeze out a win in spite of another spotty performance by a starting pitcher. Out of six games so far this year, only Phil Hughes has looked impressive in his start and they lost his game. Sure, they have three wins, but they're all against Baltimore, and none were overpowering. Maybe home cooking will do some good.
## Boston lost again. It won't last, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can. Fenway Park is celebrating it's 100th anniversary this year, and Terry Francona will not be a part of it. Sure, the one Red Sox that I respected.
## Last years Cy Young award winner, Justin Verlander, is 0-1 in two starts this year. Bad start? Not exactly. in 16+ innings so far, he has given up 6 hits, 3 walks and 4 runs. The vaunted Detroit lineup has not been kind to him. I am glad to see that their closer, Jose "I can celebrate with the best of them" Valverde, has a 6.75 ERA and 2 blown saves. Who is celebrating, now?
The "They Said It" section will return tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
In a sloppy, sloppy game, the Yanks finally pulled it out in the 12th innining, thanks to a ground-rule double by Raul Ibanez, who is still not one of my favorite players. In the meantime, Freddy Garcia gave a great impression of AJ Burnett by throwing five wild pitches. Yeah, that's right, five. The best line of the night came from Kenny Singleton, who said, "(Catcher) Russell Martin is getting to personally know the fans behind home plate." Unlike AJ, however, Garcia somehow managed to keep NY in the game until the fifth, when Girardi finally pulled the plug.
Baltimore's rookie pitcher, Wei-Yin Chen, threw four great innings, sandwiched around two bad ones. The game might have ended sooner, but third base coach Robbie Thompson made a glaring error by sending Nick Swisher home from first on a double to left by Robinson Cano, in the 7th inning. With the score tied, no outs and the nos. 4-5-6 hitters coming to bat, it wasn't a good gamble. Plus, Nick had just been hit in the toe by a pitch, limped down to first and was obviously favoring his foot while on base. In George Steinbrenner's heyday, I'd be writing about Thompson's demotion to Double-A Trenton, right now. As Singleton commented, "If the runner can't score standing up in that situation, you don't send him."
There was concern that the Russell Martin-Robert Andino feud would escalate, but that never really happened. Martin had accused Andino of tipping pitches to the Oriole batters while on 2nd base, a baseball no-no, but both said it was over. Garcia did throw the ball over Nick Johnson's head, but with the control Freddy had exhibited, that might have happened even when Johnson was sitting on the bench.
But, a win is a win, Rivera got his first save and Jeter, his first homer.
***NOBODY SAID HE WAS A GENIUS***
We knew the "Ozzie -My Mouth Is Always Open- Guillen" act was moving to Miami, but who knew the initial performance would be Oscar-winning? ...and suspension-winning. At least the bar has been set: loving a Communist tyrant is worth five days.
ESPN televised the "I'm Sorry" press conference live at 10:30 AM yesterday, and interestingly, it was all in Spanish. So most of the nation had no opportunity to be further offended, just the Cubans living in Miami who were outraged to begin with. Even Miami sportswriter, Dan Lebatard, came out on the correct side of this issue.
***BOSTON CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE***
I don't care why or how, I'm just happy.
***OH, COME ON***
The Yankee bullpen will be short handed tonight. Rafael Soriano will be unavailable because he, I can't believe I'm saying this, broke a fingernail. What's next? "I can't make it tonight, Skip. I'm having a bad hair day."
One of my favorite, Brad Dickson, is on vacation, but there is still enough out there:
***THEY SAID IT***
"A new survey says Canadians rank number five among the happiest people in the world. Number one if you exclude Maple Leafs fans." -- RJ Currie
"The Yankees got off to an 0-3 start this season — their worst since 1998. Just for old times' sake, the ghost of George Steinbrenner tracked down the ghost of Billy Martin and fired him." -- Dwight Perry
"So who's to blame for 49-year-old Jamie Moyer's 0-1 start with the Rockies: The AARP magazine-cover jinx." -- Brad Dickson (Thank you Dwight)
"In reference to Tim Tebow's sermon on Sunday - Now there's rumors that the church has been talking to Peyton Manning." -- Jay Leno
"In a Masters practice round, Martin Kaymar scored a hole in one by skipping it off the pond. It was the most impressive water feat at Augusta since Tiger used to walk on it." -- Janice Hough
" I'm glad baseball is back. I was getting sick of paying only $2 for a beer." -- Jimmy Kimmel
"Syracuse's Fab Melo, ruled ineligible twice last season due to academic issues, announced he will enter the NBA draft. So sounds like next year Melo will be going to class about as much as he did this year." -- Stan Kegel
Monday, April 09, 2012
It’s a great day for New York everybody!
A win. No David Cone. No Lou Pinella. Hoorah!
Augusta National still sucks but…
I’m sure you saw Bubba Watson’s amazing 40 yard hook out the woods on Sunday. The only differences between Bubba’s shot and my game are 1) My 40 yard hooks are never on purpose, and 2) they are generally into, not out of, the woods.
The 5th Annual “Who Would You Like to Punch in the Puss” Poll
It’s time again to get honest, let off a little steam, and tell us, if you could slap just one person up side the head, who would it be.
As always, do not include Curt Schilling because everybody wants to slap him upside the head. Also exclude umpire Joe West. It would not be fair to slap Joe because he would never see it coming.
Some of this year’s leading frontrunners include:
1. The guy who yells “Get in the hole!” after every tee shot in televised golf
2. Every man who casts a vote to limit the control of women over their own bodies
3. Any guy responsible for keeping Two and a Half Men on the air
All worthy candidates, but we know the depth of depravity of Picasner At Large readers and look forward to your choices.
Saturday, April 07, 2012
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
I'll make my predictions now, but first, here are the results of the predictions of the staff at ESPN.
Without boring you with the details, here are the predicted champions by the 49 voters:
Los Angeles Angels - 18
Tampa Bay Rays - 7
Texas Rangers - 7
Detroit Tigers - 6
Philadelphia Phillies - 5
New York Yankees - 3
St Louis Cardinals - 2
Boston Red Sox - 1
The Yankees were picked to finish in the money 48 out of 49 chances, 36 times as the East Div. winners. The only dissenter was Matthew Berry, who is a part of the Baseball Fantasy division, as you might expect. Interestingly enough, the Red Sox were only picked to make the post season 16 times. I guess I'm not the only one who has little confidence in Booby Valentine to accomplish anything.
NL East - Philadelphia (A year older but still good)
NL Central - Cincinnati (A team about to put it all together)
NL West - San Francisco (Too much pitching, not enough hitting but still there)
Wild Cards - Washington, Arizona (The Nationals? Am I on drugs?)
Champion - Cincinnati
ALEast - New York (You were expecting maybe Newark?)
AL Central - Detroit (Powerful lineup and just enough pitching)
AL West - Los Angeles ( Bought enough players in the off-season to do it)
Wild Cards - Tampa Bay, Texas (No Red Sox? And I'm not on drugs)
Champion - The Yankees (Annie-O says I have to)
World Series Winner - New York Yankees (See previous comment)
By the way, the poll of the 500 best MLB players is done. The first three players were Albert Pujols, Roy Halladay and Miguel Cabrera. Robinson Cano finished 10th.
***THEY SAID IT***
"The new Marlins Park in Miami includes a fish tank behind home plate and a bobblehead museum with 588 "inductees" on display. Pete Rose's bobblehead, when last seen, was still petitioning to get in." -- Dwight Perry
"John Daly announced he'll be spending a lot of time at the Augusta Hooters during Masters week. Now there's a tradition unlike any other." -- Bud Bailey, Buffalo News
"Kentucky coach John Calipari, to reporters, when asked if it's difficult to get young blue-chip talent to jell as a team: "I'll tell you what's hard — coaching bad players."
"I'm not impressed with the Mariners and A's opening the MLB season in Tokyo. What's next? Japan opening its sumo-wrestling season in Des Moines, Iowa?" -- Greg Cote
"The rotating sideline message board at Monday's Kentucky-Kansas title game, touting next year's Final Four in Georgia, referred to the 2013 site as "Alanta." Hidebound traditionalists immediately blamed it on a one-and-done English major." -- Dwight Perry
"Boston Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey will probably need surgery on his thumb, and Josh Beckett has also reported a thumb injury. When will they ever learn – get the ball boys to open your beer cans." -- Janice Hough
"In Alberta, donkeys are increasingly being used to guard sheep and cattle. The idea came from the NHL, where jackasses often work as enforcers." -- RJ Currie
Tuesday, April 03, 2012
## Question: Which team has the highest average ticket price? Easy answer, right? Don't bet the house on it, baby. It's not the Yanks. Boston leads the majors with an average ticket price of $151. Then the Yanks? Nope, it's the Cubs @ $109 and then the Phillies @ $101. The Yankees come in at 4th place - $90. You have to wonder if Hal Steinbrenner knows about this. Baseball is still running with the "Premium Game Pricing," a procedure used to screw the fan even more. Basically, the teams say that certain games are more in demand and therefore DEMAND higher pricing. For example, if you want to see the April 20th game in Boston against the Yanks, the average ticket price is...are you sitting down?...$509. That's the AVERAGE price. The Pirates, Brewers and Royals are at the bottom @ $48 average. Maybe the teams aren't as good, but at least you can go to one of the games without getting a second mortgage on your home. And, it's possible in those three places, to park your car without having to turn over your ownership of the car to the attendant.
Let us not forget that if you CAN get to the game, Texas has a $26 hot dog for sale, in case you've managed to hide some of the money.
## Curt Schilling has decided to attack someone other than the Yankees. He's taking on Booby Valentine. I've mentioned before that Valentine has a huge ego and likes to micromanage. Schilling describes it perfectly: "Valentine is interested in making sure you understand how much he knows about the game." He says that he was successful in Japan because there is a cultural respect for authority built right into the players that doesn't exist over here. Bottom line is that Valentine won't be successful because of the Boston media and the tenor of the clubhouse. I can't say I'll be unhappy.
## Juan Oviedo and Roberto Hernandez are about to be suspended for six weeks. Never heard of them? How about Leo Nunez and Fausto Carmona? Those are the names they been using while playing baseball in the U.S. Not only did they use fake names, but they also shaved a couple of years off their ages, too. Right now, they are both trying to arrange Visas out of the Dominican Republic, since the government is not too happy with this deception, either. It appears that ballplayers can't seem to find enough ways to cheat.
## Sad news to report. One of my favorite whipping boys, Bob "Wrong-Way" Matthews is retiring as sports columnist for the Rochester D. & C. His opinions and incorrect predictions have always been a wonderful source of joy to me and fodder for this blog. And just when he seemed to turn a corner, too. In his column on Sunday, he came up with some suggestions for professional sports that make a lot of sense.
* Make the NL adopt the DH
*Make hitters stay in the batter's box with no runners on
*Pitchers have to throw the ball within 12 seconds
*Eliminate having the winner of the All-Star game determine the home field advantage in the World Series (I would add, make the overall record of Inter-League play have the advantage)
* Limit the All-Star rosters to 28 and not require that everyone plays
*Sunday double headers (9 innings & 7 innings) to end the season earlier.
No more kicking of extra points. Run or throw for conversions.
Now, I'm really unhappy that he's leaving. Enjoy your retirement, Bob. Maybe we'll be allowed some 'guest' columns in the future.
***THEY SAID IT***
"Tuesday morning, after the NCAA Tournament loss to Kentucky on Monday night, a Kansas player wadded up a newspaper and tried to throw it away. The newspaper was blocked by Kentucky's Anthony Davis." -- Brad Dickson
"Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim called Charles Barkley an idiot. It's hard to believe that a man with this much wisdom and insight was unable to lead his team to the Final Four." -- Brad Dickson
"Amare Stoudemire is out of the Knicks lineup with a bulging disc. Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony is listed as day-to-day with an inflamed sense of self-importance." -- RJ Currie
"What’s wrong with college basketball? For starters, a team of mostly freshmen won the National Championship for Kentucky. And they won’t even be enrolled at the school long enough to watch them hang the banner." -- Janice Hough
"A group led by Magic Johnson purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers: Unconfirmed reports out of Indiana say Larry Bird is putting together a group to buy the San Francisco Giants." -- Bill Littlejohn
My partner in crime, Vod Knockers, has been suffering with a knee problem that has required crutches. An orthopedist has solved his problem by threatening to make him listen to Red Sox games if he didn't straighten up and start walking. And you thought there were no miracles anymore.
Sunday, April 01, 2012
***HA-HA-HA...I MEAN, REALLY? SORRY***
The "compensation" Boston got from Epstein and the Cubs apparently is a sore-armed pitcher named Chris Carpenter. This should be the final example to the Red Sox that Theo Epstein knew what he was doing. The worst part (or the best part, depending on whether or not you wear pinstripes) is that the Boston medical staff examined and approved Carpenter before the trade was official. Supposedly, the Cubs & Red Sox front offices are on friendly terms...or at least, they were.
***IT'S ONLY WRONG IF THE YANKS ARE INVOLVED***
The Red Sox and the Rays played to a 7-7 tie yesterday, with the game being 'called' after 9 innings. After the game, manager Booby Valentine, who complained bitterly when Girardi refused to play extra innings against the Sox, was heard to say...nothing. Guess it was just too difficult to find a way to blame New York.
***WELL, THAT'S ONE PROBLEM SOLVED***
There is no longer any question about which 5 pitchers are going to be in the Yanks starting rotation. Michael Pineda has been put on the DL to start the season with shoulder stiffness. He was slammed for 6 runs in 2+ innings in his last start and finally admitted that his shoulder was sore. Andy Pettitte chances just increased.
***HE'S STILL TALKING***
Ryan Braun again made a veiled reference to the "real story" behind his PED situation. Either tell us this fairy tale or just shut up. Nobody believes you. In the meantime, he hit a monster home run on Friday. And the questions remain...
***PROVIDING NEW JOBS***
With the influx of Japanese and other Asian and Spanish players, many teams have official interpreters, but Boston is going to have to go one better. With the addition of pitcher Ross Ohlendorf, who is allegedly the smartest player in the majors, Boston will be forced to hire an interpreter so Bobby Valentine will know what Ross is saying. Good luck with that one.
Do you get the idea that I don't care for Valentine? Very observant.
***IT'S DOWN TO ONE GAME***
Kansas and Kentucky won last night and will meet for the championship Monday night.
Louisville had a number of chances to beat Kentucky, but every time they got close, they would get wild and crazy and throw the ball away. Not really typical of a Pitino-coached team. Kentucky fans celebrated in a very subdued manner (for them) by burning furniture and flipping over cars. I can't wait to see what they do if Kentucky wins it all.
Kansas beat Ohio State in spite of the referees, who allowed OSU guard Aaron Craft to get in front of KU players and draw charges that weren't there. At least we're done watching him whine about every call that goes against them. Ohio St. has a well-coached team, partly I think, because their coaches don't have to worry about teaching them to dribble. Which works, by the way, when the refs don't know what walking is.
***IT'S DOWN TO THREE GAMES***
The women go at it tonight. The four #1 seeds vie for the chance to be in the final game. It sounds like it's the four best teams, but the seedings are still the result of some committee's best guess. Because it's one and done, anything could happen, but I'd like to see Connecticut against Baylor in the final game.
## 49 year-old Jamie Moyer has made the Colorado Rockies roster. Not only has he made it, he's projected as the #2 starter. All I can say is, GO FOR IT, GERITOL JAMIE!!
***THEY SAID IT***
"In Fresno, Calif., a team of amateur bicyclists training for a race was attacked by a cow. This is a clue you may not be ready for the Tour de France: You're pedaling as fast as you can and you're still caught by a cow." -- Brad Dickson
"Jeremy Lin will have knee surgery and probably miss the rest of the NBA season. He still probably spent more time on the court for the Knicks this year than most of the men playing basketball in the NCAA Final Four have spent in classes." -- Janice Hough
"What can you say about the uniforms Baylor sported during March Madness? If real bears were that colour, even Vegas wouldn't give them odds of surviving hunting season." -- RJ Currie
"Only in Japan: Security searched all fans entering the stadium to make sure they brought cameras and cell phones." -- TC Chong
"Jamie Moyer is still pitching at age 49. The scouts no longer point the radar gun at him; they just count "one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi ... " -- Jim Caple, ESPN
"The Texas Rangers concessions include a 2-foot-long chili dog covered with cheese — once again accentuating the fine line between concession food and weapons of mass destruction."
-- Brad Dickson
"Female beach volleyball players will no longer be required to wear bikinis at this years Summer Games. What do they think we watch beach volleyball for? The volleying?" -- Jimmy Kimmel