Monday, October 29, 2012


I tried to watch game 3 of the Series Saturday night. Honest. But with Syracuse staging a huge second half rally on one channel and Notre Dame v. Oklahoma on another, another punchless baseball game with the constant chatter of Captain Obvious and Major Confused was, on the one hand boring, and gratingly painful on the other.

Prince Fielder (1b) and Jhonny Peralta (ss) have filled my Post-Season Spectacular Failures Infield along with Yankee mainstays Robinson Cano (2b) and A-Rod (3b).

Sad, the NHL owners are flushing the season down the drain. After this year’s World Series I was hoping to watch some games with actual scoring.

Next time the Tigers make it to the World Series I hope they read the manual.

Football in JonesTown

Look! In the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s a Tony Romo interception!

(Apologies to hard core Cowboys fans Sandra Dunn and my nephew Tim)

Our First MITT

I’m pleased to award the first MITT with an Exxon-Mobil Cluster (Category: Tell Me What to Believe So I Can Believe it Too) to the increasing number of Delusional Climate Change Deniers Living Outside of the Path of Hurricane Irene, Record Droughts, Artic Ice Loss, Rising Sea Levels, and Crop failures.

Live well, my friends. Sandy the Frankenstorm is about to provide a reality lesson.


Sunday, October 28, 2012


** The final game of the 2012 World Series may be played tonight, if Hurricane Sandy allows it. We may get to see some of the game, if Fox Network allows it. They'll be busy with "other things."

##  The broadcast team of Joe "Boring" Buck, Tim "Misguided" McCarver and Chris "Meaningless" Myers, will lead us thru the world of banality and useless stats.
##  The studio heads will show endless shots of the fans in the stadium, who, by the fifth inning, will be shivering so badly that they will be unable to hold their $12 beers steady.
## We will get on the field reports explaining a play that occurred 2 innings ago, since, if Fox doesn't explain it, it doesn't count.
## My favorite is the in-game, right-from-the-dugout, interview with the manager. In case you decide to forgo watching the game, I can tell you what will be said: 

 - "So-and-so is throwing the ball well tonight, but he's been doing that for us all year."
 - "He's really seeing the ball well. He's been a big part of our offense. I don't know where we'd be without him"
 - "This team has a lot of fight in them. They never give up. They've come back all season."
 - And finally, "Thanks, Tim. It was nice talking to you."
Does this sound familiar to you?
## At least Erin Andrews won't be around to show us her latest outfit. She had to be worth looking at, because she's wasn't worth listening to.

** Two good things are coming out of this Series:
The Tigers helplessness at the plate is making everyone forget the Yankees inability to hit.
We don't have to watch Jose Valverde's shenanigans on the mound any more.

** Stephen A. Smith has put his foot in his very large sarcastic mouth again. During a recent rant on ESPN's "First Take," he used the N-word. First, he denied using it. Then he said it was a "misunderstanding." Finally, he said that because he is from New York, he was speaking "...very, very fastily."  Fastily? When in doubt, make up a word. Just do it 'fastily.'

** Word is out that Joe Girardi called the public address announcer the first time he pinch-hit for A-Rod and asked him not to mention A-Rod's name when announcing the pinch hitter. His intent was to spare A-Rod as much embarrassment as he could. One NY sports writer made a big deal out of this, saying that Joe should have been paying attention to the game and not the public address system. I think that writer should pay attention to sports and not try to instigate a controversy where there isn't one. I thought that was a decent thing for Girardi to do.

I love it when people quote from my favorite movie, like this one from Mike Vaccaro of the NY Post:
" Anyone with a taste for old movies and the current New York Giants had to immediately conjure the money line from “The Cincinnati Kid” last week, Eli-as-Edward G. Robinson-as-Lancey Howard telling RG3-as-Steve McQueen-as-Cincinnati Kid: “You’re good, kid, but as long as I’m around, you’re only second-best.”

"The growing list of sponsors who have dropped Lance Armstrong now includes Nike, Oakley, Trek Bicycles, Anheuser-Busch, FRS sports drinks and Honey Stinger. Think of it as jumping off the brand-wagon"  -- RJ Currie
" The college basketball preseason polls are out. Indiana is ranked No. 1 and Creighton is No. 16. And the Kentucky freshman class is No. 3 in the NBA Eastern Conference."  -- Brad Dickson
"According to reports, the Philadelphia Phillies are interested in Alex Rodriguez. This would set up the biggest challenge of A-Rod’s career: trying to pick up women in the stands who are booing him."  -- Brad Dickson
"D-III Misericordia ( Pa.) is now 0-7 — including beatings of 70-0 and 67-0 — in its first season fielding a football team: "Misericordia, in Latin, means pity, compassion, mercy."  -- Phil Mushnick
"Wyoming football coach Dave Christensen, who drew a one-week suspension and $50,000 fine for an expletive-filled postgame tirade in the face of Air Force counterpart Troy Calhoun. As Wyoming was celebrating "Military Appreciation Day."  -- Dwight Perry
" A Sacramento TV anchor was on live TV outside of AT&T Park yesterday in San Francisco when he was, shall we say, mistaken for a statue by a seagull. Shame it wasn’t Tim McCarver or Joe Buck  -- Janice Hough  {Thank you Janice!  -- C Picasner}
 "The Raleigh News & Observer reports that North Carolina wideout Erik Highsmith got busted for plagiarizing a poultry-farming report.    Written by four 11-year-olds."  -- Dwight Perry


Wednesday, October 24, 2012


There are a lot of things getting dropped these days:

** The Red Sox dropped Bobby Valentine. Actually, this was more of a case of not dropping him soon enough. I didn't think he'd make it thru July, but he did. Perhaps the Sox would have done a lot better if they had replaced him, but then we wouldn't have had "The E-Mail," the "Team Meeting," the denials and more denials. At least the drama kept a lot of comedians working.

** The Marlins dropped Ozzie Guillen, finally. This was another move that everyone knew about last July, everyone but owner Jeffery Loria. Once Guillen expressed his misplaced admiration for Fidel Castro, there was no place for him to hide. The Marlins also fired hitting coach, Joey Cora. Why did he get the boot? Did he praise Che Guevara while my back was turned? Loria can't be surprised at this. When you light a firecracker, why would you be surprised when it goes off?

** Cardinal Shortstop Pete Kozma dropped the ball. He dropped a lot of them. Has a shortstop ever had such a bad game in a playoff situation? In 1925 World Series, Washington Senator shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh committed 8 errors, but it took him all 7 games. Kozma was only charged with one error, but he really misplayed at least 4 different balls in that game. And, in what must be considered karma, the ball seemed to find him in every critical situation. The only consolation is that Pete wasn't a Yankee. If this had happened to a Yankee SS, his picture would have been on posters all over the city, inside a circle with a diagonal line through it.
Did anyone notice that Tim McCarver, explained one play where Kozma took one step the wrong way on a ground ball, by saying the runner at second, Pablo Sandoval, may have shielded the ball from Kozma. Replays showed that Sandoval was actually heading back to second and wasn't anywhere near the ground ball, and McCarver was quick to correct him...wait, no, he never did.

Things that we don't need to see:
Valentine is gone, but he still can't keep his mouth shut. Now he's saying that David Oriz "refused" to play after he came off the DL with his achilles injury. Bobby says that Ortiz saw that the Sox weren't going to compete after the big trade with the Dodgers, so he just didn't want to play. Now what good does that statement do except trash another player and team leader on the team. No one has ever questioned Ortiz' commitment to the Red Sox (or Youkilis, either), but Valentine seems intent on blaming everybody but his own inability on the teams collapse. I hope we've seen the last of him.

Another former Red Sox icon is in the news, also. World Series hero Carlton Fisk, has been charged with DUI, after law enforcement officers found him asleep in his car with an empty whiskey bottle on the floor. 
There may have been a lot of good explanations for those things, but it's hard to explain why the car was found in a cornfield at the time. Fisk, who was celebrated for his "body english,"  couldn't quite sell this one to the officers.

When you read the scouting reports on the Tigers and the Giants, the consensus is that the Tigers have the best pitching and the best lineup, you have to wonder why they only won 88 games in the regular season.
Because the Tigers are in the Series, we risk having a team with less than 90 wins being declared MLB's best team for the second year in a row.I'll never get used to this.

" Owner Jerry Jones says he believes the Cowboys can win the Super Bowl this year. That's an even bigger stretch than his last facelift."  -- RJ Currie
"According to, the brain is constantly making decisions you don’t know about or can't understand. Especially if the brain belongs to your wife."  -- RJ Currie
"Not that the Yankees are trying to get rid of Alex Rodriguez or anything, but rival GMs are suddenly getting baseballs in the mail with the Yankees' phone number scrawled on them."  -- Dwight Perry
"Justin Verlander, the Tigers' ace pitcher, has a glaring weakness after all: He's 0 for 33 lifetime as a big-league hitter. Which is kind of like complaining that Brooklyn Decker doesn't like to cook."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Miami Marlins have fired manager Ozzie Guillen. So congrats to all those who had October 23 in the pool."  -- Janice Hough
"Alex Rodriguez was benched for Game 3 of the series between the Yankees and Tigers and was seen flirting with women in the crowd from the bench. Coaches weren't worried. They know A-Rod always has trouble scoring in the playoffs."  -- Jim Barach
"NYY infielder Pay-Rod hit .120 in this year’s playoffs. However, his average for hitting on female fans behind the Yanks dugout was reportedly .625."  -- TC Chong
 "Close to 20,000 Husker fans attended the game at Northwestern. Some had such good seats that they felt like A-Rod at the ALCS."  -- Brad Dickson

2. Akron (1-7): The Zips are now playing for pride. And when you’re called the Zips and are 1-7, there’s not much of that left either.
 5. Kansas (1-6): Kansas was blown out by Oklahoma. To their credit, after watching footage of Oklahoma’s 63-21 win over Texas, most of the Jayhawks still showed up for the game.


Saturday, October 20, 2012


I've made some suggestions for fixing the Yankees, but ESPN writer, Wallace Matthews, harks back to more stressful times, the regime of George M Steinbrenner III, When the answers to the Yankee problems resided in the nearest Chase-Manhattan Bank.

"What would George do?
Let's start from the top.
The first thing he would do is berate his older son, Hank, for negotiating what is now indisputably the worst contract in the history of professional sports, the deal that extended Alex Rodriguez for 10 more years and a minimum of $275 million.
The next tongue-lashing would go to George's other son, Prince Hal the younger, for being so foolish as to suggest the Yankees cut payroll rather than stuff the holes in the roster with freshly minted dollar bills.

Then, he would tell GM Brian Cashman not to plan any Christmas vacation, because he would be spending the holidays in his office at 161st Street and River Avenue in the Bronx.
He would send his manager, Joe Girardi, a loudly ticking clock to remind him that his contract is up at the end of next season. He also would deliver to his doorstep a new bench coach, preferably someone like Stick Michael or Stump Merrill, who could step into the manager's job at a moment's notice if, say, the Yankees lose the first two spring training games of 2013.
Kevin Long? Enjoy your new duties as the hitting coach for the Piscataway, N.J., Little League.

Even the traveling secretary, Ben Tuliebitz, gets sentenced to a year of riding his bicycle to work after putting the Yankees on a train that broke down on the way home from Baltimore after Game 2 of the ALDS.
Now, on to the players.
Not even The Boss would have much of an appetite for eating $114 million of his own money, so the odds are he would accept the fact that he and Alex Rodriguez are forever joined. Then, he would proceed to make A-Rod's life hell with a continuous series of public and private insults. No doubt, he would still have Howie Spira's phone number.
For Nick Swisher, a chauffeured ride to the airport. For Curtis Granderson, $2 million, lovely parting gifts and the Yankees' home board game as going-away presents. For Robinson Cano, some (thinly) veiled threats to produce "or else" if he wants to get that big contract he's banking on when he becomes a free agent in 2014.
CC Sabathia gets a lifetime membership to Weight Watchers and an order to straighten out his Yankees cap. Russell Martin gets a three-year deal, but at half the money he would have gotten if only he had signed during spring training. And The Boss lets everyone know it.

Andruw Jones is reduced to picking up Derek Jeter's dry cleaning. Eduardo Nuñez is forced to wear a baseball glove 24 hours a day for the entire winter. Mark Teixeira is ordered to winter ball to learn how to bunt.
And too much walking around his new 30,000-square-foot mansion is blamed for weakening Jeter's ankle, causing it to snap in Game 2 of the ALCS.
 This is what used to pass for tough leadership around here. This is the way The Boss got results. This is how he was able to build the character necessary in players to become a True Yankee."

Unfortunately, the bank vault is now closed, with the only key lying in the tightly clenched fist of Hal Steinbrenner. Brian Cashman will have to work his magic with smoke and mirrors. It may be time to start putting names on the backs of the Yankee uniforms.



There is no explaining the annual demise of the Yankee bats in the playoffs,even though we had a preview of it in the month of September. But where do we go from here? With all the big names on the Yankee roster, it's easy to fall into the trap of standing pat, but there is one fact that cannot be denied: No One Gets Younger. The Yanks are an old team and that means making some hard decisions.

Another question that is paramount in the Yankee front office is how productive will Derek Jeter be? He will hit but with a severe ankle injury, his limited range will certainly be reduced and you can't win with shortstop that plays on a dime. The answer is obvious: push hard to move A-Rod and move Jeter to third. He has a great glove and strong arm. The Tigers are winning with a third baseman whose range is limited to how far he can fall down. Then use Nunez at short. I don't see how the Yanks would not embrace this move.

While we're in the dumping mood, here are some more moves they should make.
First, the obvious moves.
Andruw Jones.  It was a nice summer, but he faded as quickly as the leaves in the fall.
Freddie Garcia. Time to retire, Freddie
Nick Swisher. He's entertaining, but he's no longer a threat and a change of scenery is needed for both of us.
Curtis Granderson. Mr. All-or-Nothing has become Mr. Nothing. He forgot the rest of his game, base hits and stolen bases.
Phil Hughes. He has a world of talent with no clue how to use it. Trade while he has value.
Rafael Soriano. He can do the job but why am I always nervous when he comes in?
The need to get younger sends Chavez, McGehee, Stewart and Lowe out to pasture.

There are a couple of old-timers that may be serviceable for one more year. Pettitte, if he wants to return and Ichiro, who seems to have some life left in his legs.

I think the coaching staff needs some revision, too. I'm no fan of Larry Rothschild or Rob Thompson. There must be somebody out there that could help with the pitching, since the Yankee broadcasters are always talking about pitching coaches on other teams as, " of the most respected pitching coaches in the game." If there are really than many, somebody ought to be able to help.
Thompson made some awful decisions at third base this year. I'm all for being aggressive, but when a runner gets thrown out by 30 feet, someone  sure wasn't paying attention. The Yanks absolutely have to bring Larry Bowa back. He knows his stuff and it would be nice to see Robinson Cano  run hard all the time.

One thing Cashman has to avoid, is bringing in some of the big names that will be available, since they all come with flaws.
Josh Hamilton has more addictions than a perp on NCIS.
Justin Upton is a head case
Zack Greinke is another head case
Joe Mauer (the rumor is he's available) is too fragile
Kevin Youkilis is over the hill
Tori Hunter is also done
Bite the bullet and use the farm system: Austin Romine, Chris Dickerson, Melky Mesa and Kevin Russo.

We'll see what the plan is in the next couple of months.

"Monday is Columbus Day. Historians say the Italian explorer crossed the ocean in 1492 with three rickety old vessels. The Nina, the Pinta, and a Carnival Cruise fun ship."  -- Alan Ray
"Singer Leann Rimes says talking to someone who isn't interested in her personally is why she enjoys rehab. Most of us call that marriage."  -- RJ Currie
"Scientists at Cal Tech claim to have discovered the smallest numeral known to man. I believe it is A-Rod's batting average during the ALCS"  -- Brad Dickson
"I don't know how things could get much worse for A-Rod. I read that he was observed flirting with two women in the stands, and that he's dating a WWE diva. OK, things just got worse."  -- Brad Dickson
"Has anyone noticed that Prince Fielder & CC Sabathia have been time sharing pajamas all year?"  -- TC Chong
"Stephen Strasberg went to Staples and bought some black Sharpies to see what he would look like in pinstripes."  -- TC Chong
 "A U.S. company has designed the first portable stripper pole that attaches to your car bumper for tailgate parties.  You know your husband had a good time at the game when he pulls into the driveway and there’s a stripper pole on the back of the pick up."  -- Brad Dickson
"During the ALCS, A-Rod had some unforgettable numbers, and he got them from two women sitting in the stands."  -- Alan Ray
"The Cardinals finally beat the Giants 3-1 in Game 3 of the NLCS — sandwiched around a 3 ½-hour rain delay. Or as they call such an interlude at the Orange Bowl: the halftime show."  -- Dwight Perry



The sweep is complete and, as expected, most of the discussion has been about what’s wrong with the Yankees rather than what’s right with whomever they played. It was Detroit, right? 

Important Stuff

Regardless of the fortunes of our favorite club to love or hate, work at Picasner at Large never ceases. In late breaking developments we have retired The Newt. While he enjoyed a lengthy run through a mixture of Machiavelli, P. T. Barnum and Sen. Joe McCarthy, Newt has rendered himself irrelevant. Another bizarre presidential run and a helping boot in the ass from Willard the Mitt, an obfuscater of equal skill and an equally astonishing lack of ethics, has reduced Captain Crap, our favorite fascist, to less than an interesting footnote in the current political landscape. We now will pay homage to Major Mitt the conqueror. 

The Captain is dead. Long live the Major. 

With our new standard bearer we will be awarding MITTS in entirely new categories including the coveted “That’s Not What I Said. OK. That’s What I Said but I Meant the Opposite”. No shortage of nominees there. 

We are also currently reviewing candidates for the equally prestigious “Tell Me What You Believe So I Can Believe It Too” MITT. Hi ho.

Baseball - Part 2 

In case you missed it, two National League baseball teams are still competing to determine who will face the team that beat the Yankees (was it the Tigers?) in the 2012 World Series, not that anyone cares. 

Really Important Stuff

We’ve had more than our share of strange requests here at Picasner, and while we do our best to meet the entertainment and pseudo-psychological needs of our loyal readers, we are unable at this time to fulfill Bob the Golfer’s request that we write his obituary - not because the topic is is a bit to morbid for the delicate sensitivities of Yankee fans but because Bob the Golfer has not yet joined great Ptah’s hugh side. That is to say, he isn’t yet dead. 

If we grant Bob the Golfer’s wish, how long would it be before his students, acolytes, disciples, and vast gallery of admirers demand equal recognition? And god knows the staff of our ‘You’re Outt’a‘ Here Bozo’ division is already busy preparing the obits of those soon to depart the warm, loving bosom of the Yankee’s bottomless bank account for the chilly wastelands of small market ball clubs. Heave ho.

However, if Bob the Golfer will wait until the Yankee’s post-season carnage of trades, releases, and Meadow Lands burials is complete before cracking open his skull falling headlong over a thirty foot embankment rescuing an errant shot of Billy Guitar or Don with a Dent in his Head, we’ll do our best to honor his memory.

The Final Word

It should be fun for all baseball fans to watch Justin Verlander pitch in the World Series. He works quickly and throws gas. Miguel Cabrerra, Triple Crown winner - say no more - and Prince Fielder is a hoot to watch doing anything or nothing at all - and can you think of a better Halloween costume? Everyone else, not so much.

Prayer of the Day

May the Giants come back to eliminate the Cardinals so that Mark McGwire isn’t allowed to sully another fall classic - but, hey, we’re not here to talk about the past.


Thursday, October 18, 2012


If you read the many articles on the sports page and on line today, two things jump out at you: 1) Will A-Rod be traded? and 2) Who is playing for the Yankees today?  Interesting, yes, but not what you should be concerned with.We should be talking about what we expect out of the starting pitchers, analyzing their previous start and speculating on the various scenarios that might occur.

Let's start with the first subject. Speculation on the future of any player should be done when the player's team is eliminated, not while the series is in progress. It's not fair or proper to ask a player where he thinks he'll be playing next year, when he's still playing for his current team. This is the fault of the story-hungry media, not content with baseball stories, but only what stories will get the most headlines. They try to tie it into baseball: "You're not hitting, your team is losing, the manager isn't playing you, etc."  Then they pester him with questions that are embarrassing and inappropriate: "Are you mad at the manager? Do you think the front office had anything to do with this? Where do you want to play next year?"
How do you answer those questions and maintain any dignity? This is like asking a guy, "Well, how often DO you beat your wife?"
There is a game going on, fellas. Let's concentrate on that, okay?

Secondly, you have a core of players that have won consistently and put you in the final mix for a championship. Is this really the time to load your lineup with bench players and substitutes? Granted, the Yankee bench was probably the most productive of any team in the majors, but they are still the substitutes and relief men. Players go thru cold spells all the time, usually not for extended periods and certainly not 6 or 7 starters at the same time, but it can happen and it is happening. To play your secondary players at a time like this is not the way to go. One day off can be explained, but your core players got you there, give them the chance they deserve. If they win, fine. If they lose, at least you went down with your best players.
Pitchers are always told, "Don't get beat with your third best pitch. In a critical spot, challenge the hitter with your best pitch. If he hits it, then he's better than you, but you gave it your best shot.

Girardi is not giving his team it's best shot.


Random thoughts on recent developments

One indisputable fact, no baseball club generates more commentary, insightful or idiotic, than the New York Yankees. And clearly, now, the idiots have it.

One of ESPN radio’s idiot pundits, arguing that Baltimore deserved to be in the ALCS, opined that if Raul Ibanez hadn’t hit two homeruns the Orioles would be playing Detroit. He might as well have argued that if Delmon Young hadn’t golfed a dinger and if Eric Chavez hadn’t booted a routine play at third and if an umpire hadn’t played Blind-Man’s-Bluff blowing a game changing play at second base and if Robinson Cano had made a clean transfer on a potential double play then the Yankees could easily be up 2 – 1 instead of one game away from being swept  - in spite of the sudden onset of blindness afflicting Rodriguez, Granderson, Swisher and Cano. And let’s not forget Eric Chavez, hitting a lofty .000. Play the really stupid “What-If” game long enough and it’s not hard to justify why the Mets and Red Soxs ought to be playing.

Speaking of 1) the inability of the heart of the Yankee’s lineup to see the baseball, 2) the recent report that A-Rod has been getting women’s telephone numbers during games, and 3) the warnings of various side effects associated with one particular class of drugs, i.e. a sudden change in vision associated with various (ahem) male enhancement medications – is it possible that some of the boys have been mixing too many little blue pills with their sunflower seeds?

 The Yankees are really easy to despise. The current crop of Steinbrenners, a cold fish like Brian Cashman, a decent but colorless Joe Girardi, and a front office that is dedicated to sucking up every available penny from the public troth, don’t present anything close to a likeable image or organization. Regardless, I will never understand why people who purport to be baseball fans boo Derek Jeter. Whatever you think about the Evil Empire, Jeter is a first ballot Hall of Fame player who plays every inning hard, a shortstop with average skills with a flair for the absolutely spectacular, a consummate team player who has produced for seventeen major league seasons, and a player who represents his team and all of baseball with personal appeal and class. So, in spite of his friendship with Donald the Douche Bag Trump, mindless product endorsements, and disregard for his Florida neighbors… OK, boo him on the street but not on the field.

Yesterday, A-Rod handled questions about his benching with dignity and grace, and avoided getting baited into saying something stupid, like how he really feels about Girardi and his little band of decision makers. That is the clearest sign of his post-season departure – along with several other familiar faces.

Recent studies confirm that viewers most frequently use TV remotes and mute buttons during commercials and baseball games. Furthermore, commercials aired during baseball games are viewed in their entirety less often than commercials for hemorrhoid creams, low testosterone, and male pattern baldness aired on other programs. American men know their priorities.

Two final indisputable facts, 1) baseball is at its most entertaining when there is a Yankee controversy, and 2) a World Series without the Yankees has far, far less cachet, or put more directly, it’s So What vs. Who Cares. Hi ho.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012


...if you're a Yankee fan. Girardi used a similar lineup to the one I suggested yesterday, except I had Nix in there and Granderson out. It didn't help. Outside of a Nunez home run, the Yankee hitters were as helpless as ever. The only one hitting is Ichiro. I think I see the problem.

The Yanks should have traded for more Seattle Mariners when they had the chance.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


## Game three of the ALCS is tonight in Detroit. For a team that isn't hitting, the last thing they need is Justin Verlander.  If they can get to Verlander in the first or second inning for a run or (Gasp?) two, and CC Sabathia can pitch a complete game shutout, the Yanks would have a chance. Teixeira will get some good swings, Ichiro will create some havoc, other than that...

Maybe it's time for some big changes, and I mean BIG. What have they got to lose? Try this on for size:
Ichiro RF
Martin  C
Teixeira  1B
Ibanez  LF
Cano  2B
Nix  SS
Gardner  CF
Chavez  3B
Nunex  DH

At least you'd have a hell of a bench.

## I watched Matt Holliday take out Marco Scutaro at second last night. Was it a dirty play or just hard-nosed? Well, Holliday threw a body block and did not come in spikes high, which would have been dirty. Most second basemen are prepared to jump in that situation, since it is common to throw a rolling block to break up the double play.  There was no immediate reaction by any of the Giant players to retaliate for the hit. thank heavens Tim McCarver was on hand to tell us EXACTLY what the dividing line between clean and dirty is, citing a "rule" I'd never heard before:  "If he starts the slide before he gets to the bag, it's legal. If he doesn"t, it's illegal."   Funny that the umpires didn't call anything. Maybe they need a direct link to McCarver so they would know what to call. Leave it to him to stir up a controversy. Are we in need of replacement broadcasters?

## Curt Schilling's now defunct video game company is selling off it's assets to pay off it's debts. I saw a  partial list of the items up for auction, and there were a couple of missing items, such as:
1) One Sock, Bloody,
2) One Schilling Ego, Massive
Maybe things aren't quite that desperate yet.

##   There are some managerial jobs open and while nothing is really that serious yet, there are some interesting names that are surfacing.
vTony Pena is interviewing for the Red Sox position. Aren't the Sox afraid they'd be infected with "Evil Empire Disease?"
Jason Giambi (yes, that Jason Giambi) is talking to the Colorado Rockies about their management position.  Giambi has no experience coaching or managing, but lack of experience has never been an impediment for a dugout job. And as we saw in Boston this year, neither is the lack of ability.


3) Massachusetts (0-6):  A-Rod is having a better October.
4) UNLV (1-6): Worst of all for local fans, they're consistently not beating the spread.  
7) UTEP (1-6): Folks rushing across the U.S.-Mexican border, are UTEP fans heading south.

"Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said early Sunday that Jose Valverde wouldn’t close tonight’s game. Well, not like he closed last night’s game either."  -- Janice Hough
"Convicted dogfighter Michael Vick, the Eagles QB, is a dog owner once again, and he's vowing to do it right this time. The way Vick has been fumbling the ball this season, the animal had better be a retriever."  -- Ian Hamilton
"So, Derek Jeter breaks his ankle while Alex Rodriguez remains good to go? What, did baseball's karma gods wake up in a bad Yankee mood one morning and say, "Let's play two"?  -- Dwight Perry
"What's the difference between Botox and the Bosox? Botox has better pitchers."  -- RJ Currie
"Ohio State reserve quarterback, Cardale Jones tweeted: "Why should we have to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL? We ain't come to play SCHOOL, classes are POINTLESS." If you're unfamiliar with Jones, he's a three-time winner of "The Most Intellectual Athlete on Twitter" award."  -- Brad Dickson
"Here's a sign that it's autumn in New York: Alex Rodriguez striking out with the bases loaded.  -- David Letterman
"A British rugby player had to have a testicle removed after taking a knee to the groin during a rugby match. Some people think he was upset about it because he took his ball and went home."  -- Terry Etter
"A woman featured on the show "Wife Swap" has been arrested for prostitution. Isn't that pretty much the premise for the whole show?"  -- Jim Barach


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Today’s game in the Bronx, played before thousands of empty seats (imagine the rant that curmudgeonly Clint Eastwood could have delivered to that many empty chairs), should have three certain outcomes: 1) It should wipe that stupid grin off Nick Swishers face, 2) pave the way for replacement umpires to work the rest of the series, and 3) send Kevin Long scurrying for employment elsewhere.

Please, someone, anyone at TBS, tell Ernie Johnson to occasionally shut up, particularly during the pitch. Ernie and the rest of the broadcast team, John “Captain Obvious” Smoltz and Ron “The Irrelevant” Darling have done a fine job adding insult to injury. I’m developing carpal tunnel from using the mute button to turn the sound on only as a pitch is released – and off as soon as another Yankee swings and misses. To be fair, Ron Darling has been broadcasting Mets games all year so he hasn’t seen baseball in months.

In unrelated news, Notre Dame had pulled ahead of Oregon in the really ugly uniform balloting when they wore two-tone helmets with a deformed troll stenciled on the side, but South Carolina stomped on the Irish’s effort with their Confederate States of America battle uniforms in a loss to LSU. 


Saturday, October 13, 2012


## It took 167 games, but the Yankees were finally able to beat down the Baltimore Orioles. In a season when everything seem to go right for them, the Orioles luck ran out but not till the last two innings of the last game. With the bases loaded, one out and down 3-1, CC Sabathia closed the door and then shut the Birds down easily in the ninth. CC was quoted later as saying there was no discussion with Joe Girardi in the dugout after the 8th inning, "...everybody knew I was going out for the ninth."  Now, the Detroit Tigers come to town to battle New York for the right to go to the World Series.

## The other big story of the series was the demise of Alex Rodriguez. It wasn't a mistake to pinch-hit for him, regardless of what Raul Ibanez may or may not have accomplished, and benching him was probably right, too. A secondary story involved the helplessness of Nick Swisher at the plate. The announcers and sportswriters seem to ignore the fact that, as inept as these two were, they both actually outhit Robinson Cano. Neither team hit at all, their combined batting average was .202. Is the pitching that good, or were both teams trying too hard?  I think we'll see a little more offense in the next series.

## Well, it happened: Washington lost the series against the Cardinals. After being down 6-0, they came back to beat the Nats, 9-7. And GM Mike Rizzo will be answering questions and defending his decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg right up until spring training next year. Other than the team management, I haven't heard much in the way of agreement to taking Strasburg out of the rotation.

## The two American League cinderella teams, Oakland & Baltimore are gone. Both of them had better records than Detroit, who is still in, but I believe the Tigers are the better team. In the National League, St. Louis is in the championship series, even though the three teams that are going home, Cincinnati, Atlanta and Washington, ALL had better regular season records than the Cards. If Detroit and St. Louis meet in the World Series, Bud Selig can rejoice in the fact that his playoff system made for exciting baseball, where everyone had a chance. Never mind that those two teams tied for the TENTH best record in the Majors.  Let's hope that San Francisco and New York play in the Series so we can be assured that a team with 88 regular season victories doesn't win the Series for the second year in a row.

## The two analysts in the TBS booth, Cal Ripken and John Smoltz, were both great players and appear to be nice guys, but were unable to bring much in the way of insight into the games. In fact, they were boring. There was no chemistry between them and both seemed very uncomfortable. The "Field Reporter" was so bad, I don't even remember his name. The smartest thing he said in five games, was to agree with the right field crowd in Yankee Stadium, that Nate McClouth's long fly was foul. Even he realized that it was the only way he'd get out of the stands alive.

"We know the Yanks have lots of money, but $28 Million a year for a benchwarmer?" -- TC Chong
"As a baseball fan, I think shutting down Strasburg was one of the stupidest things the Nationals could do. But if they had won the NLDS, as a SF Giants fan I would have learned to live with it."  -- Janice Hough
"Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers has won baseball’s ‘Triple Crown’ award. Say, wasn’t it just last year that he got in trouble at Spring Training in Florida for having a couple of Triple Crowns and getting behind a wheel of a car?"  -- TC Chong
" Ex-military parachutist Felix Baumgartner plans a 37-kilometre jump in a bid to be the first skydiver to break the sound barrier. It'll be the fastest free fall this side of the Texas Rangers."  -- RJ Currie
" The MLB postseason begins. It’s the only time of the year where most pay attention to the game of baseball. And those are the umps."  -- Alan Ray
"A restaurant in Williamsburg, Ky., has been closed after employees were seen taking road kill into the kitchen. The restaurant was named the Houston Astros."  -- Cam Hutchinson

" The NBA players' union is challenging the league's vow to unilaterally institute a system of fines for repeat flopping. In other words, the players won't take this falling down.  -- Dwight Perry
"On their return to the NFL during the Thursday night Baltimore Ravens-Cleveland Brown game, the regular officials were cheered and then booed two minutes later. It was just like my Honeymoon."  -- Alex Kaseberg
"Breaking news from the Major League baseball playoffs: Alex Rodriguez just struck out three times during batting practice.  -- Brad Dickson
"At Coastal Carolina University, someone was charged with public disorderly conduct/intoxication, resisting arrest, assaulting a police officer and domestic violence. To give you an idea of how troubled college sports are: this was the cheerleading coach."  -- Brad Dickson  



Thursday, October 11, 2012

When all is said and done, when the talking heads have inspected, interjected, corrected, rejected or respected the A-Rod Substitution Incident, one, and only one fact remains… BALD GUYS RULE!



## If it's going to be a "once-in-a-lifetime" event, it's probably going to happen in Yankee Stadium. There have been many: Reggie's three blasts against the Dodgers, Jeter's Jeffery Maier-assisted homer against the Orioles, Aaron Boone's walk-off, and so on. Well, add another chapter, a performance as spectacular as any before it. Raul Ibanez's two, count 'em, two blasts that brought the Yankees back from the dead and painted Baltimore into a very small corner. And because nothing in New York is ordinary, Ibanez was pinch hitting for Alex Rodriquez, a man with over 600 career home runs and in the words of one Oriole, a "...half a billionaire." There was concern about how A-Rod would react to this, but all you had to do was watch his reaction to Ibanez's first homer and you knew it was not going to be a problem.
Lost in all that hoopla, was the tremendous job by Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankee bullpen. Two runs and seven hits over twelve innings, both runs coming on solo home runs. Plus another blown save by Oriole closer Jim Johnson. Maybe A-Rod is not scaring anybody lately, but neither is Johnson.
Tonight, Showalter is sending journeyman Joe Saunders to the mound, but we don't know yet who is pitching for New York. Oh, his name is Phil Hughes, but will it be the good Hughes or the bad Hughes?
By the way, Derek Jeter IS playing tonight. They were able to find a lightweight crutch for him to use, so his range may be somewhat limited, but he'll play. (Does anyone remember Chester Goode from the old "Gunsmoke" series? - "I'm coming, Mr Dill-an.")

## No three-game sweeps in the division series this year. The Giants send the series to game five after beating Cincinnati  8-3, riding the arm of Tim Lincecum. St. Louis took down Washington 8-0, leaving at least one unnamed National player complaining about the unavailability of  Steven Strasburg. Well, that's the price you pay when you make tough decisions. If Washington is knocked out, and especially if they don't get in next year, the Washington brain trust is in for some heavy heat. Oakland fought back to beat Detroit 4-3, knocking Tiger closer Jose Valverde around for three runs in the bottom of the ninth. Whenever you can keep Valverde from his bush-league celebrations on the mound is okay with me.

"I just tried to square-it up." (and you do this with a round bat and a round ball?)
"I didn't try to do too much." (I heard Ibanez say this FOUR times last night, to four different reporters)
"He kept his pitches on the black." (There hasn't been a black border around home plate for decades)
All the absolutely, totally useless statistics, and there are many. Example: "That's the first pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning in a playoff game by a guy forty-years old that tied the game on a ball hit to right field by a player wearing an even number..." and I'm only exaggerating slightly.
"As cool as the other side of the pillow." How about making that "As cool as Raul?"
"He has good numbers against..."  (Usually, this is followed by, "He has one hit in five chances." Yeah, that's significant.

I'm sure there are lots more. That;s why they put three guys in the booth, to make sure none of this tripe goes unsaid.

For your information: It's been a week since the Boston Red Sox lost a game. That's their longest streak on the year.

There should be a little extra enthusiasm at tonight's game: My daughter Jenny and her husband Matt will be in attendance.  Look for them - Matt will be the one with a beer.

"Watching Prince Fielder have to think that if he ever tries to slide into third base with Pablo Sandoval trying to block him it would register on the Richter scale."  -- Janice Hough
 "Lions are becoming a major concern in Kenya, according to CNN. And they're not exactly great news in Detroit."  -- RJ Currie
" About the proposed Bikini Basketball Association: "If teams in that league have a merchandise sale and the signs read, "All our clothing 75 percent off" — they mean it."  -- Greg Cote
"Eagles safety Kurt Coleman yanked a shoe off Steelers receiver Antonio Brown after making a tackle and threw it off the field, leaving Steelers fans incensed that a penalty wasn't called. For what, intentional grounding?"  -- Dwight Perry
"A Victoria's Secret is opening inside Dallas Cowboys Stadium. It's bad enough that half the NFL fans are shirtless and drunk with lettering across their chests, but now the wives accompanying them are going to be in garter belts and stockings."  -- Brad Dickson
"This year, artificial snow at a resort in Arizona will be made of sewage water. You thought you hated doing a face plant on the slopes before."  -- Brad Dickson

"October is National Toilet Tank Repair Month. Too late for the Texas Rangers, though: Their once-promising season is already down the drain."  -- Dwight Perry

Monday, October 08, 2012


## It was a close game until the ninth, but somehow it didn't feel that way. CC pitched great, but what was more important, he made pitches when he had to. All the pressure in a 2-2 game seemed to be on the Orioles, like the Yankees were waiting to see them blink. In the ninth, closer Jim Johnson did just that. More than win the game, the Yanks burst the Oriole fans' bubble and deflated the myth of Johnson's infallibility. Baltimore is now faced with the need to win at least two games in Yankee Stadium.

## The New York papers were full of predictions about the series. After reading the columnists Davidoff, Sherman, Vaccaro, Mushnick, et. al., you began to think the Orioles didn't stand much of a chance: The Yanks have baseball's most powerful lineup, the starters are great the bullpen is untouchable, Girardi is master bullpen manipulator, even the concession stands are terrific. The Yanks better win now, or you're liable to hear - The lineup is old, CC is no longer an ace, the bullpen is tired, Girardi micro-manages and, Hey, who picked those hot dogs?

## Josh Hamilton is no longer a Greek god in Texas. After his last at bat, he was booed by the Texas fans. He's a free agent and there is doubt that he'll return to the Rangers. Josh insists the boos will not be a factor,  saying, "I will choose a team solely on the word I receive from God." Oh sure, bring Scott Boras into this.

## What's Theo Epstein trying to do to the AL East? The Cubs GM has been trying to dump Alfonso Soriano on anyone, including the Batavia Muckdogs, all year. He has finally decided that he'll be willing to pick up a good-sized portion of Soriano's contract to trade him. Tampa, Baltimore and Toronto now seem interested, plus his old friend and newly-hired Cleveland manager, Terry Francona. He should talk to Red Sox president Larry Luchino. That's one guy Theo has proven that he can fool.

## One baseball analyst said it didn't seem right that teams like Atlanta and Texas, with 94 and 93 wins respectively, aren't in the post season, while St Louis and Detroit, both with 88 wins, are. I guess I'm not alone what I say that the playoffs encompass too many teams. I still believe the "playoffs" should include ONLY the teams in each league with the best record. But We'll have to wait until Bud Selig retires to have a chance to change that. As Chipper Jones said after his last game, "Let EVERYBODY in. Start the tournament in August and forget the regular season except to seed the teams."  He was kidding, of course.   ...I think.


1) Eastern Michigan (0-5) - The Eagles are based in Ypsilanti, Michigan. It looks like they won't be putting Ypsilanti on the map this year.  I mean, literally. I consulted two maps and they weren't on either one of them.
5) Massachusetts (0-6) - After dropping several close contests, the Minutemen are considered the best 0-6 team in the country. I've never understood why that's considered a compliment.
8) Colorado (1-4) - The Buffaloes had a bye week. Just to be on the safe side, I would have made this homecoming.

## One of the strange parts of the playoff format this year, is that the higher seeded team starts by playing two games on the road. It hasn't seem to hurt them, though, the visiting teams are 4-2 so far, with only Detroit winning at home. I don't know what that means.

"I fully expect to wake up tomorrow morning and see the SF Giants’ offense pictured on a milk carton."  -- Janice Hough
"The Blue Jays led the majors in walks given up. The Red Sox led the majors in giving up"  -- RJ Currie
"The 18-wheeler hauling Boise State's football equipment to a game at Southern Mississippi hit a cow outside Albuquerque, N.M. The cow, to no one's surprise, now sports an 0-1 road record."  -- Dwight Perry
"The working definition of "taking it to the next level" in the baseball playoffs: "They raise the price of a beer to $10.50."  -- Alan Ray
 "The Dolphins released Legedu Naanee: "The only receiver in the NFL with more vowels than catches."  -- Greg Cote
 "Last week, there was a 3.4 magnitude earthquake in Texas. The earthquake did $15 million dollars worth of damage - it destroyed one Texas High School football stadium scoreboard.  -- Brad Dickson


Saturday, October 06, 2012


##  The baseball world is abuzz about the 'controversial'  Infield Fly call. First of all, that didn't cost the Braves the game, their own infield did that. I learned the harsh realities of the Infield Fly rule years ago (in the late '50's, to be exact) when a Right Fielder missed a short pop-up that cost the Yankees a base runner. A Right Fielder! So it turns out that an infielder doesn't have to make the catch for that rule to take effect and the ball doesn't have to be in the infield.

So the only possible complaint the Braves could have, is that the call was made too late. Actually, the umpire was waiting to make sure the ball was easily catchable before making the call. The ball might have been a little deep to turn a double play if dropped intentionally. The call might have been made too late to help the base runners. But in the end, it was a judgement call, and, by rule, not subject to a protest. Actually, there was a rule violation: the umpires should not accept a protest when it's made against a judgement call. Which means they woke Joe Torre up needlessly.

I liked Curt Schilling's take: the shortstop wasn't anywhere near the pop-up, therefore it was a blown call. If you look at the replay, the shortstop's last step into the outfield before he stopped and retreated to the infield, was approximately 3 - 4 feet from where the ball landed.  Well, facts never stood in Schilling's way when expounding his skewed take on anything.

## Speaking of Schilling, there is a rumor floating around that he is going to sell his "bloody" sock memento to help pay his debts stemming from his ill-fated video game venture. Excuse me, but I saw his Sharpie-stained hose in Cooperstown. I thought those donated items became the property of the Hall of Fame. If that's not the case, then I hope somebody does buy it and takes it out of the museum. I'd buy it, but I don't want to waste a buck and a quarter (including tax).

## As long as we're talking about blunders in Atlanta, I believe that the superstation TBS comes in for a little chastising, too. They showed the three broadcasters in the booth doing the game and identified one of them as "Carl Ripken, Jr." Carl? Now there's a play that should be protested.

## In an interview after the game last night, Cardinal Matt Holliday described his home run as the result of "...trying not to do too much."  I love that. It only works in baseball. If I told my boss that I was "trying not to do too much," he might suggest I try that with another company.

## After the fans covered the field with bottles, cups and other products after the infield fly call, the Braves President said it was the work of a "small group of people who acted inappropriately."  Based on the amount of garbage on the field, that small group sure drank a lot. Plus, most of them had better aim than the Braves infielders.

## The Orioles put the Rangers out of their misery in the 2nd game. Based on the expression on Nolan Ryan's face near the end of the game, I think a few Rangers were going to be taken out behind the woodshed later. Josh Hamilton comes to mind as a prime candidate. He went to the plate four times and saw a grand total of eight pitches. two ground outs on the first pitch (one ended up a double play) and two strike outs.Not exactly a productive game, and not a good way to enter into free agency.
Now Buck and the Birds have another shot at passing the Yankees. To stop Robinson Cano, they may have to roll the ball up to the plate and hope that will hold him to a double.

"Quarterback Tony Romo threw five interceptions in the Cowboys' Monday night loss to the Bears. I haven't seen so many ill-fated passes in one evening since I tried speed dating."  -- RJ Currie
"I'm sure you'll immediately pick up on the irony. In 1955 the seventh game of the World Series was played on this date (Oct. 4). Half a century later, they've yet to begin the postseason."  -- Len Berman
"The NBA has adopted an Anti-flopping rule. The down side is that if they stop the action every time somebody flops, the average NBA game will last six days."  -- Brad Dickson
"Women baseball fans are still especially stunned by that so-called infield fly tonight in Atlanta that ended up well into the outfield – normally when men misjudge length they don’t err on the low side."  -- Janice Hough   {Just for the record, I didn't like this joke - Picasner}
"A giant 655-pound turtle was rescued and released off Cape Cod. The only other living things that big and slow play defense for the New Orleans Saints". -- Gary Bachman
" Ichiro, a base-hit machine once again since getting traded to the Yankees, was named American League Player of the Week on Monday after going 15 for 25 in six games. Coincidence? It was National Singles Week, too."  -- Dwight Perry


Thursday, October 04, 2012


## So says Derek Jeter, and he's right. While we know the participants, finally, and we know where they're being played, we don't know when. Maybe Janice Hough is right. They have to figure out how to schedule the games so that the Yankees get the most exposure. Like it or not, Yankee haters, the Bronx Bombers are the ones that pay the bills.

## Texas is on the downswing and Baltimore has found a way to win all year when they shouldn't have, so I'm going with the Orioles to win the Special, Play-in, Win-or-go-home, One-shot-extra playoff game...or whatever Bud Selig is calling it.
In the NL, Atlanta seems to be the team of destiny there.

## So with all the schedule finagling, a potential 7th game of the World Series will be played on Nov. 1st. In the meantime, with only ONE play-in game to be played, New York still doesn't start playing until Sunday, 4 days after the end of the season. Why?

## No word on any managerial terminations yet, even though they made it sound last night like GM Ben Cherrington was going to take Valentine's uniform off of him right there in the dugout after the last out. Bobby's not going down without a fight, however. In an interview yesterday, he said his coaching staff was not cooperative and was undermining him all year. I won't say Bobby is paranoid, but he also said somebody named "Chad" was bad-mouthing him all season.  Oops, guilty.
Down in Miami, Ozzie Guillen is leaving on vacation and says he's going to Spain, I think because he believes they have no extradition agreement with Bud Selig.

## Congratulations to Miguel Cabrera for winning Baseball's Triple Crown. Some sabermetrics say the crown is worthless, because it's based on statistics that they feel don't evaluate a players true worth. If that's true, how come only 9 other people have accomplished it in 92 years? It involves hitting (getting on base), RBIs (driving in runs) and home runs (producing runs). Isn't getting the most runs the way we determine who wins the games? Where's Lucy Van Pelt when they need her ("Tell your statistics to shut up.")?
There are  twice as many perfect games (21, actually) than Triple Crown winners (10), so it should rate some kind of respect.
And Cabrera is deserving of the MVP, too.

"A new study out of Ottawa says 90 per cent of Canadians are happy. The rest are Maple Leafs fans."  -- RJ Currie
"Last thought for the night:   As the Red Sox stagger into the offseason, have to wonder, what if beer and fried chicken were actually PEDs?"  -- Janice Hough
"During the NHL lockout, several players plan to play in Europe.Which will be enlightening for Europeans who have never seen anyone with worse teeth than theirs."  -- Brad Dickson
"U.S. golfers' recent international struggles: "Thank goodness the Ryder Cup isn't war, because we'd all be speaking Scottish."  -- David Whitely
"Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is back in the lineup after suffering the effects of drinking too much caffeine. Teammates knew there was a problem when he hit a grand slam home run and was the first one to touch home plate."  -- Jim Barach


Wednesday, October 03, 2012


## 161 Games aren't enough, we need that last game to determine the match ups. We are blessed with TWO Cinderella teams this year, Oakland & Baltimore. Not only did these two teams make the playoffs, which is surprising enough, but both have a chance to be division champs. The A's have their fate in their own hands, but Baltimore will need the Yankees to lose and then beat them in a playoff game - a daunting task.
Accu-score runs thousands of simulations of every game and posts the results every day, by percentages. Usually the results end up being anywhere from 50% - 50%, to as much as 70-30.  Today, Baltimore win percentage was 55 and Oakland won 53%. The Yankees won 83% of the games,  I have never seen a number that high before. I'm guessing that most of that comes from the fact that Boston has a Triple A lineup and Matsuzaka pitching, not exactly a combination that brings fear to an opponent.

## The Red Sox looked like they were really trying last night, and went into the bottom of the ninth with a two run lead. I'm sure there was some celebrating going on in the Oriole clubhouse in Tampa at that time. The Yanks should have been way ahead of Boston by that time, but Mark Teixeira hit into two double plays and grounded out to short with two men on each time. When Raul Ibanez saved Mark & the Yankees with a pinch-hit two-run shot in the ninth and then won it with an RBI single in the 12th, no one was happier than Tex. ...and no one was sadder than the Orioles.
Teixeira said afterwards that he must have thanked Ibanez "a hundred times." Raul has done it all year. Of his 19 home runs, 10 have tied the score or put the Yanks ahead. Teixeira said, "Raul has done it from the first at-bat in spring training." Well, not really. He was so bad in the spring, I wanted the Yanks to release him until sometime in June.  Hard to admit, but Girardi was right and I was wro..., wro..., um, not right.

Bobby Valentine told reporters yesterday, that he was "100% sure he would be in Boston for the next two years."  And he will be: He has a two-year lease on his condo there.

## The Seattle Mariners have announced that they will be moving in the fences at Safeco Field this off-season. Before the Mariner hitters get too excited, they should know that the left-center power alley will be 378 feet instead of 390, and the right-center alley will be 381 feet, a reduction of 4 feet. Center field is also being moved in 4 feet. The Mariners hit 55 home runs at home this year (by contrast, the Yanks hit 134 homers at the stadium).

## Jayson Stark of ESPN, published his version of the 2012 awards. He believes that Mike Trout of the Angels deserves the MVP award. Personally, I favor Miguel Cabrera.
The funniest part of his list was the weirdest injuries of the year.
5) Tie
Ryan Howard dropped an iron pipe on his foot, breaking it while in the on-deck circle
David Ortiz blew out his Achilles heel rounding second while trotting home after an Adrian Gonzales homer.
Neither of these guys run very well to begin with.

4) Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy was on the floor trying to retrieve a sock when his wife dropped a suitcase on his hand, breaking it. She claimed it "just got away from her."

3) Josh Hamiton ended up with Ocular Kerititis (dried corneas) caused by drinking too much caffeine. He did offer an explanation: "Guys, it's me. It's Josh. It's going to be something weird."

2) Giants reliever Jeremy Affeldt made the list last year by stabbing his hand with a knife trying to separate two frozen burgers. This entry: He squatted down to catch a hug from his running 4-year old and sprained a knee ligament. It seems obvious that Jeremy is no help around the house.

1)  Tie (both occurred celebrating no-hitters)
Ramon Ramirez, Mets, blew out a hamstring running out to congratulate Johan Santana 
Aubry Huff, Giants, sprained a knee when he failed to hurdle the dugout railing rushing out to congratulate Matt Cain.

"Valentine will not be dismissed because he didn’t win. Valentine will be dismissed because he didn’t help. The next manager will be asked only to help more than he hurts."  -- Boston writer Brian MacPherson
"Biologists claim they have proof the zombie virus has spread to Washington state. "Finally! " say locals,  "An explanation for the Mariners."  -- RJ Currie
"If Rasheed Wallace, 38, comes out of retirement, as expected, it'll give the Knicks five players over the age of 35.In lieu of champagne, they'll celebrate any championships by spraying Mylanta."  -- Dwight Perry
"Tiger Woods KO'd a Ryder Cup fan with a tee shot: "Tiger said he was sorry, unless, of course, the fan turns out to be a divorce lawyer."  -- Brad Dickson
"MLB has said it could be FRIDAY until game times for Saturday are announced.   Basically so they can assure that NY will be in primetime. "  -- Janice Hough
" Division races are tight in Major League Baseball.  Detroit's  Prince Fielder has a saying about pressure.  When the going gets tough, the tough get nachos."  -- Alan Ray
"Kerri Walsh Jennings just revealed she was pregnant when she and her partner won their last Gold medal at the London Olympics. And may I join millions of women around the world in saying "Weaker sex, my ass."  -- Janice Hough

"NHL players have turned down the owners' latest proposal to end their lockout. Which was, start the season on time — but use replacement refs."  -- Dwight Perry
"Washington Redskin long-snapper, Nick Sundberg, is a human crash-test dummy at a taser company. Who says NFL players are unable to segue into successful business careers? If anyone with NFL ties became a crash-test dummy, I always assumed it would be Terry Bradshaw."  -- Brad Dickson