Friday, June 29, 2012


A 10-game streak and a 5-game streak have spoiled us Yankee fans. I can accept losses, I can't accept blown wins.  Girardi was praised for most of the game for his outstanding use of the bullpen, but it all went up in flames last night.  "Look, you guys can second-guess me all you want," Girardi said after the game. Okay, I will. Girardi was in his best 'mix-n-match' mode last night. 'Mix-n-match' is manager-speak for "See how much I'm into the game?" and "See how good I manage?" and, finally, "Aren't I smart?"  Thursday night, the answers were, "No, no and no." Robertson, whose nickname is 'Houdini' because of his escapes, needs to be able to start with a clean plate until he setttles in. Hopefully, Joe has learned his lesson.

## The Dodgers got beat again and have lost nine of their last ten games. They are really hurting Donnie Baseball's chances to be manager of the year.
## Melky Cabrera went 2-2 with 2 walks last night, thrilling his personal fan club, "The Melk-Maids."
## The Giants recorded their 4th straight shut out last night. Nothing says winning streak like a pitching staff that doesn't allow runs.
## "Are They Crazy?" dept. The Phillies are quietly shopping slugger Jim Thome. Good thinking; who needs a guy with 600 career home runs? This may be the first sign that the Phillies are bagging the season.
## Girardi just apologized again for blowing up the ninth inning. At least the Yanks still have a 5-game lead.
## Nick Johnson is hurt and going on the DL. Congratulations to those of you who had 'Late June' in the pool.
## Cleveland 3rd baseman Jack Hannahan has come up with a good suggestion. When an umpire screws up, as Mike DiMuro did a few days ago, send him to the minors for a few weeks until he "plays himself back into umpiring correctly."  It'll never work, it's too good an idea.
## The NBA draft has started. A 'sporting event' (according to ESPN) that I'm not interested in. The only thing worth paying attention to is the various trades teams make, moving up and down in the draft order.  For example, the Charlotte Bobcats moved up three spots by trading one future pick and two Kardashians to the Celtics. I'm just kidding: it was only one Kardashian.

It's soccer for those of you living in a cave...or the United States. Here are some of the highlights of the tournament so far:
** Spain & Russia have been fined because of the antics of their fans during the matches.
** A member of the French team, Samir Nasri, has been censured and will probably be fined for cursing a journalist attempting to interview him.
** The German team has been fined $31,200 because their fans displayed a neo-nazi flag during a match.
** A Chinese fan, Jiang Xiaoshan, has died when he stayed up 11 straight nights trying to watch all the matches.  He was 26. (True story)
** An unnamed Ukranian team has been disqualified for failure to have a Kardashian associated with one of their players during the tournament. The coach claimed that they tried, but all the Kardashians were busy, what with the NBA draft and all.
There were some actual games played, but I can't seem to get any scores, plus I don't know what "nil" means. I think that Italy and Spain play for the title on Sunday on ESPN 3A at 2:00 AM.

"The Kardashian sisters were just interviewed by Oprah. She made them cry twice. Once after asking them a math question."  -- Brad Dickson
"Yanks lost Sabathia and Pettitte to injury a day after Toronto signs 49 year old Jamie Moyer. Not to be outdone, Don Larsen, Whitey Ford and Rich Gossage all reported to Yankee Stadium for tryouts today."  -- Tony Chong
"I think this is telling - to report on Tropical Storm Debby, NBC sent Ann Curry to Florida to be lashed to a tree."  -- Brad Dickson
"49yr old Jamie Moyer has signed with the Toronto Blue Jays who have sent him to their Triple A team in Las Vegas: Moyer is happy that he can get the “Senior” special at 5 and still make it to the park well   before 7pm game time."  -- TC Chong
"The PGA Tour is moving to a year round schedule starting October 2013. You know what that means? All Tiger, All the time.  -- Janice Hough

"Between races at the Olympic Swim Trials, 6-foot flames shoot from the pool deck. This demonstrates the difference between the Swim Trials and the College World Series. At the CWS when you see 6-foot flames, you know the brats are cooked."  -- Brad Dickson
"Researchers at the University of Tokyo have developed a robot with a special built-in sensor that renders it incapable of losing at Rock, Paper, Scissors. Unless, of course, the Pacquiao judges are scoring it."  -- Dwight Perry
"CBS's David Letterman, on the 28-mile  swim competition around Manhattan Island: "The winner gets a trophy and hepatitis."


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Very Interesting

Wait for it.  It's coming. Ahh, here it is. A race that includes the Yankees and the Red Sox.

After being written off early, the now healthier Red Soxs are currently one of the hottest teams in either league. Couple that with injuries to CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Bret Gardner a 6.5 game lead at the end of June doesn't look awfully big.

With the departure of Kevin Youkilis, Bob Valentine is firmly established, for now,  as the rooster in the Red Sox hen house ending months of internal tension - and all just in time for the resumption of intra-league play.

Dear Buster...

Nick Swisher is, indeed, more animated than a ball coming off a Sammy Sosa corked bat. However, it might be useful if he could trade a bit of his over the top exuberance for just a bit more... skill. We've all seen Swisher run to the wall and leap wildly into the air trying to catch a ball hit into the second deck - as well as wildly jumping for a ball that was in the park and knocking it into the stands for a three run dinger. Now that's entertainment.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


* Brett Gardner has been moved to the 60-day DL
* CC Sabathia is put on the 15-day DL with a muscle sprain in his groin
* Andy Pettitte is out for 6+ weeks with a fractured ankle.
This is HOPE WEEK for the Yankees, but for Joe Girardi, it means, "I HOPE I get thru this week." The Yanks are in first place in the AL East with the best record in baseball. If they were allowed to  play, the Yanks DL roster would probably be in second place.

## NY won again today, completing a sweep of the Cleveland Indians. The Yanks forte, the home run was a big factor, but let's give some credit to Eric Chavez who appears to be more dangerous at the plate than A-Rod these days. After pitching in 4 of the last 5 games, Rafael Soriano was exhausted out there, but managed to finish thegame. He gave up one run and got the last two outs with the bases loaded. Whew!
He did get a couple of hits in the series, but Johnny Damon's bat looked very slow to me. I think those 3000 hits he's after look out of reach. But, good luck, Johnny.

## Everyone is talking about the ball DeWayne Wise missed in left field last night. The replay is being shown over and over on most every sports program. Yes, 3rd base Umpire, Mike Dimuro missed it and I'd be furious if it cost the Yanks a game, but they do make mistakes.  What bothered me was the fact thet he threw out the third baseman, Jack Hannahan, in the 8th inning, for arguing about the play that actually took place in the 7th inning..  Apparently, Hannahan suggested to Dimuro that he check out the replay and that was enough to get him ejected. I could understand if Hannahan ranted and raved in the 7th and Dimuro got tired of it, but to toss him an inning later is just mean-spirited.

## Okay, LeBron, you won.  Now will you just go loll on a beach someplace and spare us the endless interviews?  He's been interviewed by everyone on TV except on The View, but I think that's only because they insisted he wear a dress. And that may even come to pass when the other spots dry up.

## A number of current members of the Hall of Fame are coming out against the inclusion of Roger Clemens. It will be interesting to see if this influences the voters during the next election.
"A racehorse jointly owned by Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol lost a race by a nose. The horse has been around the NBA long enough that he immediately flopped to the ground and claimed he was fouled."  -- Brad Dickson
"The federal jury has spoken — Roger Clemens is not guilty of perjury, but he'll always be guilty of being Roger Clemens."  -- Bob Molinaro
"Jamie Moyer is heading to Toronto. Good for him but what a waste with the timing – Moyer gets into the Canadian healthcare system just when he would have been eligible for Medicare."  -- Janice Hough
"The town of Middleboro (Mass.) passed a bylaw that outlaws swearing in public. For good measure, they banned hockey players."  RJ Currie


Tuesday, June 26, 2012


A nice little article from Buster Olney on ESPN today. For those of us who forget that it's basically still a game, here's a guy who lives up to that notion.

I live in the New York area, but my 12-year-old had never been to a game at Yankee Stadium until Monday night. She loved the massive scoreboard and hated the foul balls that zoomed past us repeatedly on the left field side. And while she decided as a child to give her allegiance to the Boston Red Sox -- her Kevin Youkilis shirt is now outdated, I told her Monday morning -- she got a kick out of the exuberance of Nick Swisher. "I think he's my favorite player," she said as he ran off the field after the top of the eighth inning. Her response was directly related to his effort -- nothing more, nothing less.

By the eighth inning, the New York Yankees had control of the game against the Cleveland Indians, carrying a 7-0 lead. Hiroki Kuroda came out to start the inning with his pitch count at 100, with an outside chance at a shutout. Lonnie Chisenhall laced a ball into right-center field, a hit, and as he came out of the box, the Cleveland DH was thinking about taking second base.

But Swisher rushed into the alley, hustling to cut the ball off, and he fired back toward the infield, holding Chisenhall to a single.
In a perfect world, this is what Swisher and others should always do. But the reality is that this doesn't always happen, especially when the outcome is decided, as it was by the eighth inning last night. Sometimes players don't hustle, don't care enough.

But Swisher had scrambled after the ball and made a nice play, and at least one 12-year-old fan noticed.
Shin-Soo Choo doubled Chisenhall to third base, after Kuroda was relieved, and Asdrubal Cabrera hit a line drive toward right-center field -- and Swisher again rushed over to glove the ball, spin and fire toward the plate. Chisenhall hadn't tagged up, so the Yankees' shutout was intact, and the fans in Yankee Stadium cheered.
Swisher was challenged again. Jason Kipnis hit a ball to right field, Swisher made a nice catch, and Chisenhall tagged up and scored. But the baseball gods weren't through with Swisher yet: Carlos Santana lifted a long fly ball down the right field line, and Swisher raced toward the corner, catching the ball before he reached the padding along the line.
From the stands on the opposite side of the field, you could see Swisher laughing about his crazy half-inning, his exuberance filling the giant scoreboard as he jogged off and some of the fans in the park gave him a standing ovation.
Some opposing players and coaches -- and fans -- don't like Swisher because they think he's too expressive, too showy, and that some of what he does is for effect and nothing more.
All I can say is this: Swisher's energy level is the same four hours before a game as it is when the cameras are on. He is loud and boisterous for batting practice. He is grinning and waving his hands when you talk to him in the clubhouse. He wears the same big smile when he's chatting with a teammate alone in the runway that leads to the Yankees' dugout.
The guy loves to play and consistently competes with the same level of energy in the eighth inning of a forgettable June game as he would in the playoffs in October, and there is value in that. It might not be worth nearly as much as Stephen Strasburg's pure stuff or Joey Votto's ability to get on base or the defense that Adam Jones provides for the Baltimore Orioles.
But it's worth something. Ask Charlie Manuel, who arrives at the park every day knowing that Juan Pierre will be on the field 5½ hours before a game practicing his bunting or his throwing or his break from first base. Ask Jim Leyland, who knows that Justin Verlander will always be prepared and will always be in shape and will always take him through at least six innings. Ask Ron Washington, who knows that any effort to take Adrian Beltre out of the lineup might require some sort of argument, regardless of whether Beltre is limping or bruised.
Or ask a 12-year-old, who went to a ballgame and came away appreciating a ballplayer -- a member of a team she does not like -- because of the passion he played with and showed on her first trip to a big league park.

There should be more players like him. Let's hope the Yankee front office recognizes these intangibles.



## Not hardly. They may be in last place in the AL East, but their winning percentage (.521) would put them in a tie for first place in the AL Central. Not only that, according to ESPN's very elaborate 'Chance-of Making-the Playoffs' percentage (38.3%), only three teams have a better chance of making the playoffs. Just think how much better their chances will be when they dump Bobby Valentine.

## Timing is everything. I wonder if Marlon Byrd was so anxious to get out of Boston, that he took a banned substance in hopes of being suspended for 50 games? Unfortunately, Boston released him and NOW he gets his suspension. Sometimes life just isn't fair. No truth to the rumor that Byrd said, "Darn it! Well, it was still worth it."

## There's a lot of noise that the Yanks inability to hit with men on base will doom them in the playoffs. I suppose that's possible, but in the meantime the Yanks woke up in first place this morning, three games up on Baltimore and sporting the best record in baseball. To which the Pittsburgh Pirates said, "We'll take that."  The Cubs said, "Us, too!" and San Diego, Seattle, Houston, etc., etc.

The Red Sox commented, "Yes, the beer is great, but don't forget the fried chicken." Uh, I think they meant the stadium not the beverage.

## Boston got beat last night. I guess Youkilis didn't get out of town fast enough.

## All-Star game voting update. There are a few surprises in the results so far. Albert Pujols is 5th in the voting for 1st base. Who would have guessed that at the beginning of the year?  Brett Gardner is in 9th place in the outfield list, despite having appeared in only 9 games and been on the DL since April 15th. Either the voters aren't paying attention or Gardner has a HUGE family. Chipper Jones is third place in the NL vote for third base, riding the nostalgia vote for all he's worth. Ryan Howard is in 5th place, despite not having played all year. Pretty smart. Why play and take the chance that you would drop a couple of places?

## "Just a pinch, between cheek and gum..."  Josh Hamilton is hitting .318, with 23 homers and 66 RBIs and is trying to stop chewing tobacco. This guy is addicted to too many vices. Even Lindsey Lohan is saying, "Dude, you've got to control yourself." 

"According to Forbes, Gisele Bundchen earns $45 million a year, almost five times what any other model makes. Shouldn't she have married a N.Y. Yankee?"  -- RJ Currie
"Marlon Byrd, recently released by the Red Sox, tested positive for a PED and was suspended 50 games. Just once I want to hear a player say “Yep, I was trying to cheat, you caught me.”  -- Janice Hough
"A passenger on a Kenya Air flight from Amsterdam to Tanzania received a partial refund after she had to fly across the aisle from passenger who died of a heart attack. Watch for  Kenya Air ads to claim “People are dying to fly with us."  -- TC Chong
"Michael Phelps is sporting quite a 'stache. Last time I saw facial hair like that on an Olympic swimmer, it was a member of the East German women's team in 1976."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Euro Cup is going on in the Ukraine. Portugal beat the Czech Republic. It was the highest scoring match in soccer history, 1-0."  -- Jimmy Kimmel
" Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather Jr., jailed on a child-support rap, is in solitary because officials worry about his safety if integrated with other inmates. Really? Now Jerry Sandusky I might worry about, but Floyd I sort of think might be OK."  -- Greg Cole


Monday, June 25, 2012

Thanks, Kevin

I will sorely miss Kevin Youkilis' pumpkin head in the Red Sox lineup and will remember him for making it absolutely clear that Bobby Valentine is a narcissistic, vindictive jerk.


##  I still can't see it. Sure the Yankees-Mets series is always interesting, but the only value is bragging rights. My biggest  complaint is that the match-ups create unfair advantages for some teams. This year the Yankees faced Cincinnati (1-2), Atlanta (4-2), Washington (3-0) and the Mets (5-1).  All four teams had a winning record and now have a combined .549 winning percentage. The Yanks went 13-5 against them, which means their overall percentage is .567, not including their record against the Yanks. So NY had to beat some of the best the NL had to offer. So who played teams like the Cubs (24-48), San Diego (26-47), Houston (30-42) or Colorado (27-44), an overall .372 percentage? Texas, who has the best record in baseball, played three of them and went 13-5 against them. Still sound fair to you?

## The Yanks went 5-1 against the Mets, beating RA Dickey in the last game, even though he didn't personally get the loss. They did it with the long ball, hitting  15 home runs in the six games, including 7 at the imposing Citifield. The Mets mouthy closer, Frank Francisco, who called the Yanks 'chickens' and 'whiners,' did get the save on Friday, but has since gone on the DL. It supposedly was a muscle strain on his left side, but it could have been an over-worked tongue.

## The Red Sox finally concluded a trade sending Kevin Youkilis to the White Sox for two meaningless players. As usual, now that they have separated, the real stories between Boston and a released player come out. Youkilis apparently has not, and never will, excuse Valentine for his remarks about Kevin's efforts. Most of the time, when a player is on the trading block, a team will play him so that teams can get an idea of his value. Boston doesn't do that. They sit a player to decrease his value, just to embarrass him. Even Kevin Youkilis brother, Scott, a restaurant owner in San Francisco, tweeted that he hoped his brother was headed to Chicago and followed with, "I wonder why? Bobby V is a joke."  White Sox GM, Kenny Williams talked to Kevin after the trade and said, "I can't tell you exactly what he said," Williams said. "He wants to come in and he wants to prove some people wrong."  The next White Sox series in Boston should prove very interesting.

## Buster Olney did a column on the 'Most Dominant Pitches Of All Time,' based on the opinion of some baseball evaluators. The winner was Mariano Rivera's cutter.  From one evaluator: "Mariano's cutter is the single most devastating pitch in MLB history. Probably the only pitch that was equally predictable and devastating."  What was interesting was that there were votes for Gaylord Perry's Petroleum Product Ball and Whitey Ford's Mudball.

"The Toronto Blue Jays pitching in brief: Right-handed, left-handed and short-handed."  -- RJ Currie
"Hear about the Cubs infielder who got caught with a foreign substance in his mitt last week? It was a baseball."  -- Dwight Perry
"Dale Earnhardt Jr. has finally ended his four-year victory drought: "This is the most important development in NASCAR Nation since the advent of naked-lady mudflaps."  -- Mike Bianchi
"Its gotten so bad for the Florida Marlins, who have now lost 15 of their last 17 games, that today Fidel Castro expressed amazement that Ozzie Guillen was still in power."  -- Marc Ragovin
"The 2011-12 NBA season is finally over. The 2012-13 NBA preseason starts next week."  -- Janice Hough
"NY Mets closer, Frank Francisco better not lay an egg in his next appearance."  --  TC Chong
"The Omaha Storm Chasers have been sold to a New York man. Now he’s claiming he was duped. After seeing all the kids, the rides and the games, the new guy thought he was buying an amusement park. “Baseball team? What baseball team?”  -- Brad Dickson
"Oklahoma City Thunder point guard and former UCLA Bruin Russell Westbrook, after Game 2 of the NBA Finals: “I’m not making no adjustments.” So while it’s been a big week for the UCLA basketball and baseball programs, the English department just took one on the chin."  -- Brad Dickson
"Roger Clemens is innocent. Shockingly, the Justice Department has become the Washington Generals of the legal system. Heck, those fellas couldn’t convict Benedict Arnold of treason."  -- Norman Chad


Thursday, June 21, 2012


## In an interview Joel Sherman, of the NY Post, had with Kevin Long, the Yankee hitting coach says he likes A-Rod's swing. He's getting "...good looks and could go on a two-month tear."  A-Rod has 11 home runs and is on a pace for 26 or so, but what bothers Kevin is the fact that he has only 6 doubles.  According to Long, he still hits the ball hard, but he's not elevating it. You'll notice that we aren't hearing  any solutions. 
Most hitters have an "arc" to their swing. The bat starts high, comes down level in the middle of the swing and finishes high. Hit the ball as the bat starts up and the ball goes up. Hit the ball as the bat comes down and you hit those Derek Jeter type double-play grounders. I think A-Rod's reaction time has slowed to the point that he's hitting down on the ball. I must be wrong, however, because no one is paying me hundreds of thousands of dollars to tell anyone these things.
One sure way to get more homers out of A-Rod would be to trade Phil Hughes so Alex could bat against him a few times. That seems to be working for everyone else.

## Kevin Youkilis is definitely on the trading block. The Cleveland Indians are extremely interested and Boston seems willing to cover some of Youkilis' contract.
Here's one I don't understand. Detroit is looking for a corner infielder. With Cabrera at third and Fielder at first, why are they looking for a corner infielder? 

## Second place is a big surprise this year. Baltimore, the White Sox, the Mets and Pittsburgh are all within striking distance of first place. Back in March, they were all supposed to fight to get out of last place. Instead, the Phillies are holding up the rest of the NL East and Boston just fought their way up to 4th place in the AL East.

" Usain Bolt is OK after being in a minor accident. He was going 35. No word if he was inside a vehicle or on foot."  -- Brad Dickson
"A planet four times the size of Earth may have been found just beyond Pluto. It was  discovered by  accident when one of Josh Hamilton's home run balls landed there."   -- Brad Dickson
"A judge denied Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s request to be released from jail for health reasons. Among other things, Mayweather claimed he wasn't drinking enough because he wasn't allowed bottled water and doesn't enjoy tap water. Gosh, this is practically a violation of the Geneva Convention."  -- Janice Hough
"Maria Sharapova finally won the French Open. Thus she completes the career Grunt Slam."  -- RJ Currie
"Troy Aikman pays his ex-wife $1.75 million as part of their divorce settlement / Unfortunately, Troy retains custody of Joe Buck."  --


Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The streak might have gone on, but the Yanks biggest problem this year reared it's ugly head again: they don't hit with men on base. Swisher was 2 for 2 with runners in scoring position last night but the rest of the team was 0 for 9. One of Swisher's hits was wasted when third base coach Robbie Thompson sent Teixeira home from second on a hit to right. You'd think he's know better. The ball was hit hard, it was right at the right fielder and Teixeira's speed is well...he's been known to finish third in a two-man race.
A-Rod was 0-4, with two strikeouts, in fact, the first four hitters in the lineup were 1-16. At least the broadcast team spared us two repetitive statements that we're all tired of.
1) "A-Rod was really blasting them in batting practice. He's ready to break out."  No, he's not.
2) When Kuroda stepped off, faked to third and then to first, we didn't have to listen to "Aha. The old 'Jeff Nelson'"  Actually, there were sounds of a minor scuffle from the booth at the time, which indicated to me that Flash was clamping his hand on Michael Kay's mouth. I figured that Flash was in the booth for a reason.

##  Boston has climbed to one game over .500, in spite of the fact that there are problems in the clubhouse. David Ortiz was quite vocal in defending the Sox, saying there were no problems with the team chemistry. This was in response to Buster Olney saying, "...unhappiness that exists among the Boston players and staff is multi-layered and deep."  In talking to the Boston writers, he said he wasn't going to comment on things written by outside writers because they aren't around the team all the time and don't know what's going on in the clubhouse. He then said, "You guys are here every day. If I'm going to comment on articles, I'm going to comment on the stuff that you guys write."  That sounds good, but I will say that the information I learned to write about who hates who in my last blog, came from Dan Shaugnessy, a Boston Globe writer, who covers the team on a regular basis.

##  It must be smoke and mirrors. Somehow, Don Mattingly still has his Dodgers in first place with baseball's best record, in spite of all the injuries.

## The Yanks will face the hottest pitcher in baseball on Sunday night. The Mets R.A. Dickey is coming off of two consecutive one-hitters. The Yanks will finish up with Atlanta today at one PM, since it's 'getaway' day, with Thursday being a travel day.  The Yanks won't play until Friday night at Citi Field. If you've ever seen New York City traffic, you know that a day and a half to cross the city is not unreasonable.

## One of the little joys I have is watching the back pages of the two NY papers, the Post and the Daily News, to see the headlines they use. It's funny how they try to describe the biggest sports news of the day. They are both clever but different...usually. This week, the headlines were the same twice.  Sunday, it was "TEX-TRA SPECIAL," honoring Tex's 2-run double in the 14th inning, and Tuesday, it was 'HALL NO," commenting on Clemens not-guilty verdict. Someone is going to get reamed for this.

## The Phillies rookie infielder, Freddy Galvis, has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance.  Galvis gave the standard answer to his test results. "A trace amount of a banned substance -- 80 parts in a trillion -- was detected in my urine sample.  I cannot understand how even this tiny particle of a banned substance got into my body."  Maybe the sample was collected in a crumpled Miller Lite beer can.

"The jury at the Clemens trial supposedly slept through the part when Roger’s pants caught fire."  -- TC Chong
"The first-ever World Burping Championship was held last Wednesday in New York. It's the most gas heard in the Big Apple since Rex Ryan hit town."  -- RJ Currie
"In describing an errant tee shot: "That ball is so far left, Lassie couldn't find it if it was wrapped in bacon."  -- CBS Golf analyst, David Feherty
"NBA doctors have red-flagged Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger because of back issues. In other words, "With the sixth pick in the 2012 NBA draft, the Portland Trail Blazers select ... "  -- Dwight Perry
"MLB today denied the New York Mets' request to have the one hit in R. A. Dickey's gem Wednesday changed to an error. Considering the amount of chalk that "foul" ball kicked up in Santana's "no-hitter," I am surprised the ruling didn't come with a "P. S. You really don't want us to revisit these things."  -- Janice Hough
"When Tiger was in rehab, they asked him if he knew what monogamy was. He said that he had some furniture made out of that stuff.'  -- TC Chong
"Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker, LaMarr Woodley, is getting married.  He expects to feel the most pressure in his athletic career as Ben Roethlisberger waits in line to kiss the bride."  -- Brad Dickson


The Vuniverse

LT knows that changing channels during commercials is required male behavior. Last night, however, she suggested that I switch when the Yankees get men on base because, well, absolutely nothing happens then. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Planet V

My wife, LT,  is not an untypical Yankee fan. She has a NY decal in the window of her car, likes going to an occasional AL East Yankee game, and will watch the World Series when the Yanks are in it. Tonight we were catching up our chats and the fate of several ex-Yankees came up.

I mentioned that A.J. Burnet was pitching with the Pirates and that Melky was now a Giant and leading the NL in number of hits. When Melky’s name was mentioned Laurie fondly recalled “The Melkman” and A.J., one of those guys that New York overwhelms a little.

We agreed that everybody should like “The Melkman” and that if A.J. would hit Joe Girardi in the face with a pie after every game we would warmly welcome him back and be his biggest fans. There’s nothing quite as strong as Yankee (past or present) loyalty.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


## And how! A nine-game winning streak, 3 straight series sweeps and a game-and-a-half lead in the AL East. Washington is a young, inexperienced team and they played that way. Four errors, passed balls, wild pitches and an inability to break open any of the games. They certainly have the talent and Bryce Harper is a future super-star, but the Yanks held him in check the whole series limiting him to two single and a double in 15 official at-bats.
The Nationals bullpen, which was supposed to be a strong point, failed to keep Washington in the game. The starters were effective but not the relievers. The Yanks battered Brad Lidge to the point that Washington released him yesterday.
The Yanks play their final six inter-league games this week, 3 against Atlanta and 3 against the Mets. Then this inter-league foolishness is done.

## It appears I owe the Mets an apology. I thought the appeal they made to get Dickey his no-hitter was childish attempt to get something that wasn't really deserved. It turns out that MLB HAS an appeals process just for this and teams can lobby to change hits to errors and vice versa. So all along, I should have been sneering at 'Bungling' Bud Selig. Joe Torre is the one who makes the final decision, so he's in for some derision, too.  So Bud, Joe, consider yourselves sneered at.

## As previously mentioned, Lance Armstrong has been charged with blood doping and the Cycling Association is prepared to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. No point in my commenting on this when Mike Lupica has said it so well:
"There are enough people who believe that Lance Armstrong, cancer survivor, worldwide symbol of cancer-fighting, was the one clean guy in a sport so dirty, it makes you miss the days when the mob ran boxing in the fifties. Cycling now makes pro wrestling look serious and should be banned from the Olympics immediately."

## The Red Sox have put Josh Beckett on the 15-day DL. Awwww.

## I recommend the Cubs-Red Sox game on ESPN tonight, at least the pre-game show with Terry Francona. We may see some fireworks, because there are a lot of bad feelings hanging in the air. Francona hates Larry Luchino, Luchino hates Theo Epstein, Josh Beckett hates everybody, SS Starlin Castro hates Bobby Valentine, Mgr Dale Sveum hates the Red Sox front office and finally, everybody hates Josh Beckett.   Joseph Stalin had better relations with Adolph Hitler. So get your popcorn ready, I think there's even a baseball game.

"MLB has yet to reach a decision of the future of the Oakland A's, has yet to reach a decision on the future of the designated hitter, has yet to reach a decision on Pete Rose.  When last spotted, commissioner Bud Selig was standing frozen at a supermarket checkout pondering, "Paper or plastic? Oh, I don't know..."   -- Brad Dickson
"Last night Giants pitcher Matt Cain threw his team's first-ever perfect game against the Astros. The Astros went three hours without making it to first base, or as I used to call that — a date."  -- Jimmy Fallon
"It is my last night in Chicago. In four days, I did everything you can do here. I ate well, drank a lot, and earlier this afternoon I beat the Cubs 11-2."  -- Conan O'Brien
"The Red Sox and Cubs are on national television again Sunday night. Both teams are in last place. Everybody hates everybody. Let’s play two."  -- Dan Shaughnessy
"Sidney Crosby will reportedly be offered a 10-year deal worth $90 million. It's conditional on Penguins management having their heads examined."  -- RJ Currie
"Happy Father's day. Or as they say in the NBA, so many baby mamas, so little time."  -- Janice Hough
"It's been a tough PR year for the Mariners, too. Not only did they sit Dustin Ackley on Dustin Ackley Bobblehead Night, they demoted Alex Liddi to Class AAA Tacoma on the eve of Italian Heritage Night. At least the M's left the concessions stands open on Fight Hunger Night."  -- Dwight Perry
"Knicks guard Jeremy Lin secured the trademark rights to the "Linsanity". Anybody have the heart to tell Jeremy his 15 minutes are already up?"  -- Greg Cote
"The town of Middleboro, Mass., passed an ordinance making swearing in public punishable by a $20 fine. Balancing the budget will be a snap, city fathers say, just as soon as they can convince Ozzie Guillen to move there."  -- Dwight Perry


Friday, June 15, 2012


## The Mets are continuing their appeal for a hit to be changed to an error, so R.A. Dickey can be credited with a ho-hitter. Mets' manager, Terry Collins would like to see Dickey get his no-hitter, but holds little hope the appeal will be upheld. Everyone has their opinion and even Dickey thinks that getting it via an appeal, "...cheapens it, in a way."  Buster Olney says that he would be inclined to say it was a really good play if successful, then he would call it a hit if the fielder couldn't make the play.  As good a criteria as any I've heard. Joe Torre is the person responsible for making the decision and that decision is due today. Based on Torre's history, he'll probably call it a hit, but try to find a way to charge A-Rod with an error, even though he wasn't in the game.

##  Another debate has sprung up about a no-hitter. There are some sportswriters who claim that Matt Cain's perfect game with 14 strikeouts is the BEST pitched game ever.  Seems like a silly argument because all 22 perfectos could be considered as the best. Again, I turn to Buster Olney. I don't always agree with him, but this is two in a row. Olney says he thinks the proper thing is to consider the opposition for each perfect game. With that as the determining factor, he feels the best one was the one thrown against a team that won the pennant, had FIVE future Hall-of-Fame position players on it plus it was in the most pressure situation in baseball: the World Series. If you haven't figured it out, he is referring to Don Larsen's game in the 1956 Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.  

## Speaking of no-hitters, here's an interesting little tid-bit. The umpiring crew for Matt Cain's perfect game was Ted Barrett (HP), Mike Muchlinski, Angel Campos and Brian Runge. Earlier in the year, when White Sox pitcher, Phil Humber threw his no-hitter against the Seattle Mariners, this same crew worked the game, this time with Runge behind the plate. And when six Mariner pitchers combined for a ho-hitter, there they were again, with Runge behind the plate. Runge's grandfather Ed, was a major league umpire from 1954 thru 1970. Paul Runge, Brian's dad, umpired in the majors from 1973 until 1997.  Brian wears a sweatband with the #13, Ed's number and carries his dad's strike/ball indicator with him for every game.  Here endith the history lesson.

## The good news for the Yanks this weekend: they won't have to face Stephen Strausburg. The bad news is they will face Gio Gonzales, Jordan Zimmerman and Edwin Jackson. Their combined totals are outstanding. Their combined record is 14-10 with a 2.78 ERA and a WHIP of 1.06. They walked 65 and struckout 207. It could be a long weekend for New York.

"People hate the Heat for the same reason they hate the Yankees: too much money for the best players, and they've all dated Kardashians."  -- Alex Kaseberg
"After the Patriots released receiver Chad Ochocinco, Giselle Bundchen said this was one of the most difficult decisions she's ever had to make."  -- Brad Dickson
"Los Angeles celebrated the Kings Stanley Cup victory today by parading through downtown and tying up traffic for miles and miles. This is generally known by LA commuters as Thursday.  -- Tony Chong
"The pro-marijuana activists team — the One-Hitters — smoked their White House counterparts in a softball game this month, 25-3. To no one's surprise, the winners left 'em loaded every inning."  -- Dwight Perry
"Former Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan withdrew his name for Charlotte’s head coaching job, which was a good thing.  He would have faced some tough interview questions, for example: “Are you the man who can lead us to double-digit wins?”  -- Torbin Rolfsen
"So Tiger Woods shot a -1 during the first round of the U.S. Open. Anyone hear ESPN talk about who’s actually LEADING the Open? Yeah, me neither."  -- Janice Hough
"Boxing News: Judges awarded Bradley a split decision over Pacquiao in which observers called “unbelievable”. Who knew that some Major League umpires were moonlighting as boxing judges?"  -- TC Chong
"From the Do As I Say, Not As I Did file comes word that Adam "Pacman" Jones will be among the speakers at this month's NFL's rookie symposium. Coincidence? Participants' gift bags this year include an Xbox, an iPod and lots of $1 bills."  -- Dwight Perry


Thursday, June 14, 2012


## Lance Armstrong is now being investigated by the US Anti-Doping Agency for alleged blood doping. This has been going on for 10 years or more. You couldn't catch him before, what makes you think you'll get him now?  Let's hope this case doesn't go to court where some incompetent District Attorney will blow it.

## The Clemens case is in the jury room and the jury has asked to see some of the exhibits. I guess they're considering starting their own Hall of Infamy. Don't drag this out. I don't think they'll be able to come up with anything, since it's only 50-50 that the D.A. would have been able to prove that Roger once pitched in the majors.

## The Yanks completed a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves, making use of great pitching and the home run ball.  After Granderson's two-run homer to take a 3-2 lead in the 7th, you got the distinct impression that Atlanta was done.
The Yanks head to Washington for a match-up of two of the best teams in baseball today.

## Congrats to Matt Cain on his perfect game. He needed a couple of great plays, but that's certainly not a condemnation of his performance. He  struck out 14, so you know he was overpowering in his own right.

## If you can't get it on the field, win it in committee. The Mets are going to appeal a play in R.A. Dickey's one-hitter last night. In the first inning, Upton hit a slow bouncer down the third base line. David Wright tried to bare-hand the ball, but it skipped away. It was called a hit, but the Mets think it should have been an error. Even if he fielded it cleanly, he might not have been able to get the out.  I think you have to call Upton's ball a hit. If you're going to start appealing these plays, we'll need a new designation: an H,P: a Hit, Pending. It's a hit, unless we need to change it to an error, so the pitcher gets a no-hitter. This will be a scorer's answer to a mulligan.

## Speaking of mulligans, ESPN ran a little segment where they broke down the field at the US Open in San Francisco in order to pick the winner. They eliminated, for example, every player over 45, because no one over that age ever won it. You had to be American, because no one who ever won it was a foreigner. And so on and so forth.  Tiger was one of those eliminated, but there is no truth that he lost out because of the category "No player with more than one affair" has ever won.

## The LA Kings have won the Stanley Cup, which means the NHL finals are over. So we're down to one last 'winter' sport that is still going on. Game two of the NBA finals is tonight. Luckily, there will be no rainouts, so Game Seven (if needed) won't compete with the Fourth of July celebrations ...probably.

## Theo Epstein has admitted that he "...made some mistakes," when he was the GM of the Red Sox. It was understandable to him, though. "...there was a lot of pressure in the environment at the time to do something," Epstein said. "You don't have to get everything done in one offseason just because of what's going on in the environment around you." Translation: The Yankees were doing something, so I had to also. Signing big-name players to monster contracts doesn't always work out and when they don't, you have to face the music. Cashman is still taking heat over the signing of  Michael Pineda. Cashman, however, is still there while Epstein fled to the Cubs. With a 21-41 record, the worst in baseball, the only way for Epstein now, is up.

"LPGA golfer Natalie Gulbis gave the weather forecast on the Weather Channel. She had no idea what she was doing, so she fit right in."  -- Brad Dickson
"A 6-year-old fan tried to entice Brandon Jacobs back to the NY Giants by sending him $3.36. Or as they call it in the CFL: top dollar."  -- RJ Currie
"Former "Seinfeld" star Jason Alexander has apologized for calling cricket a "gay" game. Aapparently Alexander has never watched men's figure skating."  -- Jim Barach
"Ex-NFL player Wade Davis has divulged that he is gay. He kept his sexuality a secret during his playing days. Davis’ teammates should have realized he was gay when he insisted on lining up behind the tight end on every play."  -- Gary Bachman
"Chad Ochocinco has signed with the Miami Dolphins. the addition of Ochocinco will provide the Dolphins with some much needed tweeting depth.  -- Brad Dickson
"How expensive will beer be at the London Olympics? They're charging more per head than the New Orleans Saints."  RJ Currie


Monday, June 11, 2012



## MLB umpires may make mistakes, are sometimes confrontational and never seem to go away, no matter how old they are, but I've never felt they were dishonest or made decisions based on outside "influences." Nor have I ever heard of anyone else accuse them of being corrupt.
But professional boxing judges---well, that's another story. In fact, the fight game is as corrupt as any major sporting event, from the commissioners, to the promoters, thru the managers, and even down to the boxers themselves. Since much of the sport is subjective, most of the time, it goes unnoticed. But even when the suspicions of foul play are as evident as the Bradley-Pacquiao fight this past weekend, nothing will ever be done about it. Even the Nevada State Athletic Commission's executive director, Kevin Kizer, plans no probe or examination of the scoring of the fight.
"I had Manny ahead, but that's fine," Kizer told the newspaper. "All I can say is I think every judge should strive to get better. Every fighter who loses a close fight like that wants to look at the judges."  That's fine except that every outside source, boxing analysts from every section of the media, had Pacquiao winning by a wide margin. If ever a sport needed a national commission and an unbiased National Commissioner, it's professional boxing. They could start with these three simple steps:
1) All fight promotions and contracts be approved by the commission.
2) All judges trained and approved by the commission
3) ONE, and only ONE, association and ONE champion in each division, with the commission to determine championship matches.
That would solve most of the problems. ...It'll never happen.
## Okay, that fight is over, but a more entertaining one is on tap. MLB has changed the rules of the draft. Let's not go into what the changes are, or how the draft works, suffice to say that it's designed to keep bonuses in line and help the lower market teams sign their high draft choices. This does not sit well with agents, especially uber-agent, Scott Boras (everyone genuflect now, please). The battle looms over the Pittsburgh Pirates selection of pitcher Mark Appel. Appel was expected to be chosen first or second in the draft, and was likely to get a signing bonus of upwards of $8 million. Instead, he lasted until the 8th pick and will probably get an offer of $2.8 million from the Pirates. The Pirates could ignore the guidelines and give him his $8 million, but the penalties are so severe that this is almost impossible. The Pirates are allotted only $6.56 million for all 11 of their picks combined. No one believes that Boras (bow your head) will let this go unchallenged. Pirate GM, Frank Coonelly, is considered to be as stubborn as they come, so this may be a better fight than the one in Las Vegas.  The ultimate winner will be clear-cut:  it'll be the one with the most money.
## The Yanks completed a sweep of their 2nd biggest rival - the NY Mets - this weekend, using 8 homeruns to subdue the crosstown opponents. Frankly, the Mets were not expected to challenge for the division title and this series may have exposed their weaknesses, of which there seemed to be many. Not enough hitters, a leaky defense and a bullpen that scares no one.
The Mets' Ike Davis looked positively helpless at the plate this weekend and is hitting only .162 with an on-base pct. of .244.  The Mets refuse to send him down, believing that would devastate the young man and prefer to have him work out his problems at the major league level. Major league pitchers are not known for their sympathies towards struggling rookie hitters, so I don't see this as a viable solution. It won't do Davis' confidence any good to finish the year hitting below .200.
AJ Burnett won 3-2 yesterday and has a 6-2 record with an ERA of 3.61. Good work AJ, even if he did accomplish it against minor league competition, the KC Royals...and the National League.
It's a shame we didn't get to see an attempt at a Triple Crown Saturday.  I'll Have Another was retired to stud  after injuring a tendon. No truth to the rumor that he injured it in a pick-up basketball game. Unlike Pro-basketball players, horses don't go to stud until AFTER they retire.
"Talks have broken down between the NFL and the NFL Referees Association. Actually, the talks never got started — the referees’ microphones didn’t work."  -- Brad Dickson
"Three Ohio State football players were arrested for public urination and trying to elude police.
Apparently the Buckeyes' running game still needs a little work."  -- Dwight Perry
"Maria Sharapova finally won the French Open. Thus she completes the career Grunt Slam."  -- RJ Currie
"In 2012 SF Giants fans have gone from “Let Timmy Smoke” to “Timmy’s pitching, we’ll need to smoke.”  -- Janice Hough
"The NBA postseason continues. This is the time of year when the casual observer of the game starts to pay attention. But enough about the refs."  -- Alan Ray 
"The 49ers tried to woo Peyton Manning, but coach Jim Harbaugh still insists they intended to keep quarterback What's-his-face.  -- RJ Currie
"Q: What do Seattle and Miami have in common?  A: They're the only cities in America rooting for the Heat."  -- Dwight Perry
"The University of Colorado is trying to sell its basketball court, with a minimum bid of $5,000. Colorado  recruits: That’s the first sign you did not sign with a basketball school — you find the court listed on eBay."  -- Brad Dickson


Saturday, June 09, 2012



The Seattle Mariners used six pitchers to ho-hit the Dodgers, 1-0.

It took only six innings for Stephen Strasburg to strike out 13 Red Sox.

After six batters in the third inning, Johan Santana had given up four home runs,

Last week, Santana made history.  By the sixth inning last night, he WAS history.

## Can someone explain this to me?  Tony LaRussa, who retired after winning the World Series last year, will manage the National League in the All-Star exhibition game. Why? Just because he won the NL pennant? Would he manage the team if he had signed with another club this year? Would he be in the dugout if he'd gotten fired? There is this dumb rule that the winner of this 'game' gets the home field advantage in the sport's championship series. That's a big thing and the manager of the NL is a guy who couldn't care less. Every time I think Selig can't make any worse decisions, he lowers the bar another foot.

[Tony Chong has informed me that a quote attributed to him, actually was written by Janice Hough. Sorry, Janice. I don't know how I could have made that mistake. They don't even look alike....I think.]

" says if reality TV's upcoming Bikini Hockey League takes off, there will be a lot of interested viewers. Won't it depend on how much they take off?"  -- RJ Currie
"The L.A. Coliseum, home to USC's football team, was used as the scene of a pornographic movie 10 years ago. Red-faced school officials say they really shouldn't comment until they've had a chance to study the films."  -- Dwight Perry
"Anyone want to guess the no-show percentage tomorrow for a sold out Belmont Park?"  -- Janice Hough
"Producers of "Dancing With The Stars" announced a huge shakeup in the way  Stars are chosen. Apparently, producers are not going to skim through a 1984 issue of TV Guide."  -- Brad Dickson
"A new gun range opening this summer in Lewisville, Texas, will have two rooms available for hosting children’s birthday parties. Probably not a good idea to blindfold the kids trying to break the pinata with a 22."  -- Gary Bachman
"The Disney Channel and Disney Radio are banning all ads for fast food, sugary cereals and high calorie snacks. It was either that or change the song lyrics to, "It's an extra-large world, after all."   -- Alan Ray


Thursday, June 07, 2012


## Okay, I think I've heard this one enough times: "The Baltimore Orioles are in first place, but can they last?" The season is one-third over, are they still going to keep asking this question all year?  The Orioles may have finally come together or the rest of the division is slumping. Either way, Baltimore is proving to be a force. If they're there at the end, some idiot is bound to say, "They have an eight-game lead with seven to play. Will they make it?"  Sounds like Tim McCarver to me.

## If you predicted this one at the beginning of the year, the men in the white suits would have come for you. The first results for the All-Star game are in. There are a few excellent choices for first base: Mark Teixeira, Adrian Gonzales and Albert Pujols, to name three, and you'd have to believe that Pujols would be the favorite. Pujols is currently fifth in the voting. Fifth, by a lot. Usually, a players reputation will carry the votes as evidenced by last years votes. Derek Jeter was voted in as the starter even though he was hitting .257 with almost no power. Now it appears that voters are actually paying attention to how the players are doing.

## Janice Hough, Brad Dickson and the like  are always poking fun the Yankees payroll and the cost of going to a game at the stadium (yeah, me too). So who has the highest average ticket price? It's our old friends up in Boston. The Yanks are only third. Here are the top five:
Boston $88.26
Toronto $71.89
Yanks $70.81
Cubs $65.24
Mets $63.56
This the AVERAGE ticket price. If you really want to pay $1200+ for a seat, the Yankees will gladly accommodate you. If you watch the game, it looks like those seats are readily available.
Here are the top ticket prices for the other major sports:
HOCKEY - Toronto Maple Leafs  $199.62
BASKETBALL - LA Lakers  $169.80
NFL - NE Patriots $241.86

## I was watching ESPN this morning and I saw some great plays, however, most of the great basketball plays were not in the Top Ten. Why? Because ESPN thinks watching a guy drive and dunk the ball with no opposition, is a great play. Forget the beautiful spin moves or the thread-the-needle passes or the three-point shot with a defender draped all over you. No, they've got to highlight the really tall guy, jumping. Whats next, watching a pitcher throw a pitch for a called strike two? I'm beginning to think that ESPN doesn't understand the game. What do they understand? The answer is easy: promotion. Especially self-promotion. Just for the fun of it, I recently timed one hour of ESPN and found that there were only 38 minutes of actual sports reporting. the other 22 minutes were spent on commercials, promos of what they were going to show, and noise and fireworks to let you know what program you were watching. ESPN stands for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network. It ought to be EsPN because there isn't much in the way of sports being shown.

## The other night, the YES announcers mentioned that in addition to leading the Yanks in home runs, Granderson also leads the team in walks. Their point was that Curtis does more than just hit the homers. That's fine, but they neglected to mention that he also leads the team in strikeouts. (A-Rod is second) Another forgotten stat: Derek Jeter leads the team in hitting into double plays with 9 (I thought it was a lot more than that).

## Headlines that make no sense: Hallady's rehab is on schedule: Still out 6-8 weeks. Right, and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

## Jamie Moyer will not give up. He was released by the Colorado Rockies last month, and has now signed a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles. Apparently, Jamie Moyer is still NOT dead.

## The second biggest question in the AL is why the Tigers are doing so badly. The answer seems obvious: their defense is so bad, they couldn't catch a cold. They have ONE plus-defender, Austin Jackson, and he's on the DL with an abdominal strain.  I think he would still be better than the current outfielders even playing centerfield doubled over in pain. They are a team of Designated Hitters.

"How about Detroit D-lineman Nick Fairly getting pulled over for driving 160 kph. Looks like Ndamukong Su isn't the only Lion who likes to step on it."  -- RJ Currie
"On a highway in western Pennsylvania, rush-hour traffic was backed up because two cows were mating in the road. OK, that's one thing. But then state police held up traffic for another 20 minutes so the cows could spoon."  -- Brad Dickson
"American gymnast, Shawn Johnson retired at 20 years old, to make room for younger gymnasts. The current favorite for All-Around title in the 2012 Olympics, is a Romanian embryo."  -- Brad Dickson
"The New York Mets have now gone two games without a no-hitter. It's the second-longest such streak in team history."  -- Budd Bailey, Buffalo News
"Last Friday, in case you missed it, was National Doughnut Day. St. Louis Cardinals hitters, a little too caught up in the moment, celebrated by going 0 for 27."  -- Dwight Perry
"A beer at the London Olympics will cost $11 USD this summer. $11?! “Is the government subsidizing prices”, asked Yankees fans?"  -- Janice Hough
"Pitcher Juan Carlos Oviedo of the 'Miami Ma' was caught playing under a fake name and suspended by MLB for eight weeks for age and identity fraud. The pitcher will be eligible to return July 23. Guess he’ll be known around the clubhouse as the 'player to be named later'."  -- TC Chong


Monday, June 04, 2012


#  Baseball is a strange game. The Yankees finally managed to look like they could hit and they did it against arguably, the best pitcher in the game today. Verlander looked just a little off all day, but it wasn't all his fault, at least according to him. The game started 7 or 8 minutes late because of a ceremony honoring Maglio Ordonez. It was supposed to last about 4 minutes, but it actually lasted 3 or 4 minutes longer. Justin claimed it threw off the rhythm of his pregame ritual. He also said that the pitches that he "practices," weren't being called strikes, so he had to throw it over the plate more and the Yankees were able to hit it.
Next time, he should hand the home plate umpire a stack of newspaper clippings, so he'll know to call more strikes.
A-Rod hit a monster home run, or, as my Dad used to say, Verlander did a good job of hitting his bat. 

# George "The Animal" Steele threw out the first pitch before a game here in Rochester. Steele, as you professional wrestling buffs remember, used to tear off the turnbuckle padding with his teeth before a match. Fittingly, today he tore the cover of the baseball off with his teeth and threw the remnants of the ball toward home plate. Wrestling was a part-time activity for George. His full time job was, believe it or not, Principal of a high school in Detroit. (It might have been the other way around)

# Detroit doesn't have a very good defense. They made three errors and had two passed balls in the three game series. Santos, the catcher, looked particularly helpless behind home plate, and the Yankees seemed to be able to steal bases at will. Miguel Cabrera needed to be introduced to his glove before every inning, and waved at a throw from the second baseman that allowed Cano to score. Even Verlander looked disgusted at that one.

# I saw the San Diego Padres on ESPN's Top Ten  Plays this morning. It wasn't the Padres that were being highlighted. I did notice that they wore camouflage uniforms. With an 18-37 (.327) record, this seemed appropriate.

#  At a chocolate-tasting event here in Rochester, Dr. Greg Seeger, Medical Director and Psychiatrist at Rochester Genera Hospital, announced, "Chocolate is not a food, but a medicine. Eaten in moderation, chocolate can have a positive effect on diseases like diabetes and heart disease."  I have been unable to confirm that he was carried from the room on the shoulders of the chocoholics in attendance. Reporter Nancy O'Donnell said those believers see "death by chocolate" as more of a challenge than a warning.

# All 10 members of the eastern divisions of both leagues are over .500. Last place Boston would be in 2nd place in the Al West and the NL Central. Bud Selig better not find out or he may add three or four more playoff spots.

# Comedian Bill Maher has purchased a share in the New York Mets. That's what they need: more jokes.

# The Mets honored former pitcher Jon Franco, in a ceremony before the game yesterday. This delay so upset Met starter, Jonathon Niese, that he was only able to pitch 6 shutout innings, but, unlike Justin Verlander, he had to be removed from the game after experiencing a rapid heart beat (true story). Don't these pitchers have enough problems with upsetting their pre-game routines?

# The final leg of the Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes ,will be run this Saturday. I'll Have Another will try to win the Triple Crown for the first time in 34 years. Just so you are aware that this IS a 'professional' sport, the horse's trainer, Doug O'Neill, has been cited for 25 separate violations in the past 7 years, including doping his horses. Let's see, PEDs in the Olympics, boxing, baseball, football, cycling and now, horse racing. What's left? Chess, bridge and Texas Hold 'em.

"Londoners discover beer prices at 2012 Olympics were set by the N.Y. Yankees."  --
"There is speculation that Lakers forward Pau Gasol would rather play for Chicago: "Not the only Spaniard to want to run with the bulls."  -- RJ Currie
"Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It’s staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in.”  -- Casey Stengel
"Nice win for the Boston Celtics in OT tonight. As they take over the temporary mantle of “America’s ABM Team.” (“Anyone But Miami.”)  -- Janice Hough
"Do you know how tough the Belmont is? To go a mile-and-a-half when you’ve never done it before? That's like asking me to go a year-and-a-half into a marriage."  -- Norman Chad
"It’s a big night for hockey fans. It’s game one of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Kings are in the finals for only the second time in their history. What was on ESPN today? -- the national spelling bee."  -- Craig Fergusen
"Israeli scientists say they have developed a cannabis plant without the high, for people who want to use medical marijuana and not get stoned. That’s like developing Viagra that makes you just want to be friends."  -- Jim Barach


Sunday, June 03, 2012


## I keep hearing and reading about how shaky the Yankee pitching is, how the bullpen is suspect and what a great job Girardi is doing using the pitching that he has. To me, it's still the hitting that is the problem. The analysts do mention how poorly they hit with runners in scoring position (RISP), but they give you all these positive statistics when they come to the plate. That's because the numbers are very good.  They hit but not when it counts.
The Yanks are 5th in runs scored, 3rd in slugging, 4th in batting average and 1st in home runs, yet their run differential is only +19. If you don't look too deeply, you say, "See, the pitching isn't. good." Well, it isn't outstanding, but the offense is averaging a little over 4 1/2 runs a game. Last year, it was almost one whole run per game more. Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson lead the team in RBIs with 33, which places them 17th in the league. But they hit a lot of home runs.

Congratulations to Johann Santana on his no-hitter Friday night. Too bad that it's been tarnished a little by another horrid call by an umpire.  This one was by Adrian Johnson, who called a hard hit shot down the third base line foul when the ball clearly hit the chalk. Okay, he blew it, but at least he didn't feel that he had to toss anyone when they came out to argue. 
Laz Diaz little tantrum is being played up quite a bit. Of course, there are some people who just don't get it. Mike Lupica for one: "I'm not quite clear, am I supposed to organize a protest rally because an umpire was mean to Russel Martin in Anaheim?"  Well, yes, you are, Mike. Umpires are supposed to have a non-partisan attitude in the game. Going out of your way to "punish" a player who doesn't agree with you, is NOT being objective. Sometimes I think Lupica doesn't understand the game.
Just where is Joe Torre, who is supposed to deal with this kind of a situation. He's too busy telling interviewers what a bad teammate A-Rod was when he was the manager of the Yankees. I almost said he 'was managing' the Yanks, but it's become clear in retrospect, that he just sat in the dugout, trying to keep from nodding off, while Don Zimmer made all the tough decisions. When Zimmer left, so did the harmony and positive attitude in the clubhouse.

## There seems to be a rash of injuries lately. There are so many excellent players on the DL, that they could have their own all-star game. Currently, there are 184 players on the disabled list. That's an average of better than 6 per team. Is it poor training? Are players being babied? Maybe they're being over-trained. Maybe they are so strong, that tendons and hamstrings can't handle the stress. Something has to be done.  Look at this partial list of stars that are on the DL:
Matt Kemp, Troy Tulowitzki, Evan Longoria, Mariano Rivera, Carl Crawford, Chipper Jones, Jacoby Ellsbury, Roy Halladay and on and on. I'm not even including stars who have been on, but are currently awaiting their next visit, like Mauer and Morneau or even A-Rod.

## One bit of sad news. Pablo Sandoval of the Giants is being investigated for possible charges for an alleged sexual assault.

## According to Dwight Perry,  ex-Yankees pitcher Don Larsen, 82, who is auctioning off the uniform in which he pitched a perfect World Series game to pay for his grandkids' college educations, figures to fetch more than $500,000 for it. Larsen's pay for that entire 1956 season? $13,000.

"UCLA is catching some flak because it awarded a $54,000 football scholarship to cornerback Justin Combs, whose dad is millionaire singer Sean "Diddy" Combs. Or are the Bruins just getting a bad rap?"  -- Dwight Perry
"Why he picked the L.A. Kings — a team he once coached — to win the Stanley Cup Finals in six games: "Because my memorabilia will be worth more."  -- ESPN analyst Barry Melrose
"The Los Angeles Dodgers want to host the NHL Winter Classic. And why not? The previous owner specialized in snow jobs."  -- RJ Currie
"Phil Mickelson is leading a group trying to buy the San Diego Padres. Hope someone has told him the Padres’ propensity for low scores is not, as in golf, a good thing."  -- Janice Hough
“Turn back the Clock” day today at A T and T Park, as the teams wear uniforms from 1912. If the Cubs and Giants really wanted to be authentic, however, one of them would have signed Jamie Moyer."  -- Janice Hough
"The NBA lottery was just held. As usual, Kim Kardashian got the first pick."  -- Brad Dickson


Friday, June 01, 2012


## Three games in Detroit if the weather holds out. If it's going to rain, let it be on Sunday when Verlander is scheduled to pitch. Hopefully, A-Rod can show a little power. He doesn't think he's lost any power, but since those two blasts in one game, he's had no extra base hits. Thursday, he had three singles and got hit by a pitch, which was great for his on-base pct. and batting average but he didn't drive in any runs. A-Rod says he'll take that any day, which is fine if you're the leadoff hitter, not when you're batting clean-up.

## Speaking of singles, Johnny Damon is trying desperately to reach 3000 hits. He needs 263 more, which means playing full time this year and next if he's going to make it. Currently he's hitting .152 in 90+ at bats. That isn't going to do it even if he does play until 2014.

## The Dodgers are looking for help in the outfield and first base. Nick Swisher fits that need and word is he's not in the Yankees plans for next year. The Dodgers can afford to take on the salary, so don't be surprised if a deal goes down.

## Another headline that takes a second look:
I'll bet his wife is thrilled.

## listed the schedule for Terrell Owens Youth Football Camp:
9:00 - 9:30 Touchdown Celebration Drill
9:30 - 10:00 Making fun of quarterbacks
10:00 - 10:15 Walking out of practice
10:15 - 10:45 exercising in the driveway
10:45 - 11:00 Blaming teammates for your mistakes
11:00 Being asked to leave
Sharpie use is optional  -- Dwight Perry

***THE UMPIRES CORNER*** (New feature - but an old problem)
## I suppose everyone has seen the replay of a runner being called out when the first baseman is clearly 3 feet away from the bag. So bad, it's laughable, but at least no one was ejected for arguing. I think everybody was just too stunned.
## Laz Diaz, who was behind the plate for the last NY - LA game, got mad at Russell Martin for chirping about the bad calls, so he "punished" him by not letting him throw new baseballs back to the pitcher. Laz did it himself, because he knew that Martin liked to do it to keep his arm loose. When Martin objected, he told him he had to "earn the right" to throw it back to the pitcher. How childish can you get? How can an umpire do something like this and still claim to be objective? Why doesn't Bunglin' Bud Selig do something about this?
## Here's why. Bud is busy in Chicago scolding Hawk Harrelson, the White Sox announcer, for berating an umpire on the air.  First of all, I don't know what right Selig has to do this. Harrelson doesn't work for MLB or the White Sox. Harrelson works for Comcast Sports Net and WGN.
What happened was, a Tampa Ray pitcher hit AJ Pierzynski in the shoulder. No warnings were issued and nothing was said.The next inning, the Sox pitcher threw behind Tampa's Ben Zobrist and was immediately ejected as was Mgr Robin Ventura for protesting. That's when Harrelson went off on the air:
"What are you doing? He threw him out of the ballgame, you've got to be bleepin' me!" Harrelson said after the ejection. "What in the hell are you doing? What are you doing Wegner? You got to be kidding me. That is so bad, that is absolutely brutal. That is unbelievable. I'll tell you what, they have got to start making guys be accountable. That is totally absurd. Here's an umpire in the American League that knows nothing about the game of baseball. They have got to do something about this. They have got some guys in this league that have no business umpiring. They have no business umpiring because they don't know what the game of baseball is about."
Hawk is right, of course, but that makes no difference to the powers that be.

## In the Roger Clemens perjury trial, his former manager, Phil Garner, told this story. Whe he went to talk to Clemens on the mound, Roger complained about home plate. "It's off," he said. Garner and the grounds crew denied it, saying it was laid out with a laser, but they rechecked it later. It was skewed by a quarter of an inch.

## Boston GM, Ben Cherington, says the Red Sox are not actively shopping Kevin Youkilis. Translation: "Nobody will give us what we're asking for."

## Just to let you know that the Yankees never give up:  A couple of days ago, Coco Crisp mis-played a ball in centerfield hit by Robbie Cano. It was ruled an errror. The Yanks appealed the call and today the ruling was changed to a double. Now, if they can just figure a way to get losses changed to wins.

"The Seattle Mariners scored 21 runs against Texas this week.They would have had 22 but home plate became completely worn out. The Rangers’ pitching was so bad that owner Nolan Ryan was summoned to the bullpen in the 4th inning."  -- TC Chong 
"How fitting: The Charlotte Bobcats — after posting the worst winning percentage in NBA history — couldn't win the draft lottery, either."  -- Dwight Perry
"Snoop Dogg threw out the ceremonial first pitch at a White Sox game:  And as predicted, the pitch was pretty high."  -- Jimmy Fallon
"Lolo Jones, a 29-year-old U.S. Olympic hurdler, tweeted she's been 'saving herself' until she gets married. Chastity is tough. Marriage? Now that's a hurdle."  -- RJ Currie
It's not sports, but it's funny: The Los Angeles City Council voted to ban plastic bags.This makes LA the only place where you can get caught with a baggie containing marijuanna and do time for the baggie and not for wht's inside.  -- Brad Dickson
"The Dodgers have put 5 position players on the DL in the last two weeks, and have won 10 of their last 12. If they get a few more injuries Los Angeles could really run away with the division."  -- Janice Hough 
"'The Avengers' made more than $1 billion in its first 19 days. That's almost $2 billion a month; now we're talking 'Alex Rodriguez money'."  -- Jerry Perisho