Wednesday, August 15, 2012


...and still hitting homers. They're still on a pace to hit 250+ for the season. They've beaten the Texas Rangers twice using their biggest weapon - the aforementioned fourbagger.  Nick Swisher has had the big blow in both games including the Yankees 9th Grand Slam of the season.
In the first game, the Yanks continued the the rude welcome the American League is giving to Ryan Dempster, or as one wag calls him, Ryan "Dumpster." The final score was 8-2, but the game never seemed that close. Last night, Matt Harrison escaped a number of tight spots only to watch reliever Alexi Orgando try to throw 99 mph fastballs past the Yankee sluggers. As David Cone likes to point out, fast isn't enough.
Two home runs later, the game was in Hiroki Kuroda very capable hands.

Now the word is that some of the Red Sox players had a meeting with the owners and GM Ben Cherington about 3 weeks ago, to complain about Bobby Valentine. Apparently, Valentine wasn't too worried because it was only 17 players. The other 8 weren't told about the meeting. One of the things they complained about was the fact that Valentine left Jon Lester in a July 22 game, in which Lester gave up 11 runs.
Pedroia has been mentioned a number of times as the most vocal critic, but has denied that he wants Bobby fired. "It's tough," Pedroia said. "We had a meeting. I'll be honest with everybody. We had a meeting in New York. The coaches had a meeting. Bobby had a meeting. We all had a meeting. Basically, when I spoke, I said we all need to do better. That includes owners, Bobby, coaches, especially the players."
They're not playing very well, but they seem pretty good at talking about it. Here is Buster Olney's take on the story and an accompanying piece by John Tomase.

...and they can play soccer, too. You can say all you want about the scantily-clad beach volleyball players, but there was nothing more beautiful to me than the USA Women's Soccer team showing their grit, determination and talent in winning the Olympic Gold Medal. The USA won the most medals overall and the USA women won 17 of the 29 golds, nothing inspired more nationalism than the soccer team. Congratulations.

I don't have much love for the international style of "basketbrawl." Some of the fouls the refs allow are vicious and mean-spirited. Carmelo Anthony suffered an intentional blow to the nether regions, which would have resulted in an ejection in the U.S. and probably a bloody nose and more on a sandlot court.  This method of fouling from behind to prevent fast breaks is reprehensible. Under international rules, that's a foul and the ball out of bounds. In civilized basketball, that's an intentional foul, two free throws and the ball out of bounds. In the Olympics, I didn't see screens, I saw muggings. I applaud the USA team for maintaining their composure through all of this.

They know how to answer a question without saying anything. This question was put to the Dallas Cowboys' Tony Romo after a pre-season game:
"What will your team work on when you go back to practice this week?" The answer- "We'll probably work on what we need to work on." Okay, thanks for clearing that up.

A while back, I complained that when Chad Curtis was arrested, they described him as "Ex-Yankee Chad Curtis..." even though he had played for 4 other teams beside New York. Yesterday, another  story began, "Former major league outfielder Chad Curtis..."

This one to former Red Sox, Johnny Pesky, who died Monday at age 92. He only played for 10 years in the majors, 7+ years with the Red Sox, but he was beloved in Beantown in no small part for his spirited play. He was a Billy Martin-type but with more ability. He hit .307 for his career. He will also be remembered for the famous "Pesky Foul Pole" down the right field line in Fenway. It was named by former Sox pitcher, Mel Parnell, but no one knows the circumstance behind the moniker. Some say it was because Johnny sliced one of his career 17 homers around the pole to win a game for Parnell, others say Parnell was kidding Pesky on his lack of home run power by referring to the pole which is 302 feet from home plate, and he might 
even have been just calling it "that pesky foul pole" as an announcer. It doesn't matter. As they say in the movies, "When the legend becomes the fact, print the legend." 

"South African gold medallist Cameron van der Burgh admitted to cheating in the 100-metre breaststroke by kicking more than allowed at the start. That's dirty pool."  -- RJ Currie
"In case you've lost track, Chad Johnson switched his surname to Ochocinco and then back to Johnson again. Now his name is Mudd."  -- Dwight Perry
"Swim star Ryan Lochte fessed up to urinating in the pool: "Now we know why Lochte went last in the relays."  -- Alex Kaseberg
"Alex Rodriguez put his Miami mansion up for sale for $38 million: The home boasts nine bedrooms, 11 bathrooms and 426 mirrors."  -- Gary Bachman
"Belarussian shot-putter Nadzeya Ostapchuk was stripped of her gold medal just hours after the close of the Olympics because she tested positive for steroids. On the bright side, Ostapchuk threw her shot in disgust upon hearing the news — and bettered her Olympic mark by 5 ½ feet."  -- Dwight Perry
"Evelyn Lozada is seeking a divorce 41 days after marrying Chad Johnson. This almost makes her an honorary Kardashian."  -- Janice Hough

[Brad Dickson is on vacation until next week - CP]


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