Wednesday, May 29, 2013


It’s a great day to be a New Yorker, everybody!

During their long and illustrious history the Yankees have many phenomenal accomplishments, but none quite as remarkable as what they’ve achieved over the past three days and something no other team has ever been able to do.

These Yankees have made a less than mediocre Mets team look like World Champions.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013


So the big story all year has been the ability of the Yankees to compete successfully in the AL East with a bunch of replacement players. Right now, there are five 'starters' on the DL for New York: Granderson, Jeter, Teixeira, A-Rod and Cervelli. And that doesn't include the pitchers. Currently they are in 2nd place with a .600 winning percentage, but let's face facts, boys and girls - the replacement guys are not really scaring anyone at the plate. The six replacements (Wells, Overbay, Stewart, Nix and Youkilis/Adams) are hitting a combined .259, with 26 homers and 108 RBIs. You can't win when five of your full-time guys average 17 homers and 54 RBIs for the season. The Yanks really do need to get their big guns back on the field in a hurry or it's going to be a long painful summer.

Tampa Bay's Roberto Hernandez, who used to go by the name Fausto Carmona when he was a very effective pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, is now using his real name (we think), Roberto Hernandez. Apparently, his skills stayed with his alias, because Hernandez isn't doing well. Last Friday, the Yanks rapped him for 6 hits and 5 runs in 4 innings. Joe Madden, his manager, made this comment after the game - "He's just not himself, lately." Uh, maybe he is, Joe, and that's the problem.

**I DON'T FEEL A THING** (In tribute to my Aunt Kay)
When Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch the ninth inning for Cincinnati last night, he threw his first pitch to Nick Swisher way over his head and back to the screen. His second pitch came within an inch or two of Nick's head. At 100 MPH, this is not very pleasant. Chapman's manager, Dusty Baker, said "It wasn't a big thing." Sure, Dusty, it wasn't your head.

10 people were injured when part of the CAMCAT suspended camera broke loose and fell into the grandstand at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Three people were taken to the hospital. Fox Sports released a statement saying they "...were relieved to know that the injuries to the fans were minor." Let's see if the subsequent lawsuits are also.

[My Aunt was the resident surgeon extracting slivers from fingers and hands in our family. If you screamed at the pain caused by her needle, you got the above comment.]

Since I didn't post yesterday, I will say now that thanks go the veterans who fought bravely for us in various conflicts, and a special thanks to those who gave their lives in the performance of their duties. Our prayers  are with all of them and their families.

"Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy missed his start today because he cut himself washing the dishes. And all over America, men are going “See, honey, I’d love to help clean up but for men that stuff is dangerous.”  -- Janice Hough
" A long-term study of chess players and musicians has led scientists to finally conclude that practice doesn't make perfect. Wouldn't it have been easier to just follow the Chicago Cubs?"  -- RJ Currie
" Over the three-day weekend, Omahans flocked to see a replica of Sue the Tyrannosaurus rex on display at the Durham Museum. T. rex roamed the earth 67 million years ago. To put that in perspective, it's the length of two NBA playoffs."  -- Brad Dickson
"Beleaguered Cowboys QB Tony Romo had surgery to remove a cyst from his back: "Doctors report the thing was shaped like a large monkey."  -- Ian Hamilton
"An Argentinos Juniors soccer fan got so upset during the team's fifth straight loss that he tried to give manager Ricardo Caruso Lombardi a mouthful — as in, he threw his dentures at him. Alas, in keeping with the team's fortunes, his throw-in missed."  -- Dwight Perry
"A minor league baseball team in Greensboro, N.C., is using Labrador retrievers as ball boys. I feel sorry for the kid who was fired. “Sorry, Jason, we found someone who performs your job better.” “A ... a dog?”  -- Brad Dickson
"To the surprise of many, Niners coach Jim Harbaugh was chosen to drive the Indy 500 pace car. Less surprising? He finished second."  -- RJ Currie
"Sergio Garcia says he hopes to meet up with Tiger Woods in person to apologize for his “fried chicken.” Many fans would prefer the two wait to meet up until “Celebrity Boxing.”  -- Janice Hough



Saturday, May 25, 2013


## Isn't this ever going to end? How can one team be so snake-bit as this? Granderson has another broken bone - a pinkie, this time - that will put him back on the DL for another 6-8 weeks. David Phelps almost landed there, too. Another inch or two, and that line drive off the bat of Ben Zobrist would have hit bone instead of the fleshy part of his pitching arm.

The Yanks beat up on Rays pitcher Roberto Hernandez, playing under his real name these days, for four innings, scoring 5 runs off him, and ultimately winning 9-4. How can anyone not be impressed with David Adams? The 26 year-old is playing like a 10-year veteran instead of a guy with just 30 major league at bats.

Even with all the injuries, you'd have to admit everything the Yanks try seems to work. You get the feeling they could pull a beer-drinking fan out of the crowd and he'd hit .280 and drive in 25 runs in a month. Even "Flash" Flaherty was somewhat amusing in the booth last night.

## Jesus Montero, whom Seattle acquired for his hitting, isn't. He's hitting .208 with 3 home runs and 9 RBIs. The Mariners sent him to Triple A Tacoma last night. They are also starting to work him out at first base.

## Finally, some good news for poor A-Rod, who is still almost 7 weeks away from putting on the pin stripes again. He finally sold his Florida home - for 30 million dollars, showing a profit of $15 million. I guess we can cancel that benefit dinner for him. I was getting concerned.

## The injury bug is spreading. The Red Sox put Shane Victorino and Wil Middlebrooks on the DL yesterday. Anyone feeling sorry for Boston? I didn't think so.

## The Dodgers are still 8 games under .500, and everyone in the front office is going out of their way to say that manager Don Mattingly's job is safe. This is NEVER a good sign.

"The NCAA has banned the painting of Twitter hashtags on football fields. This means Auburn has to get rid of its #WhoWantsToBeAMillionaire logo."  -- Brad Dickson
"This week in new movies: "Hangover III: Who Needs A Plot?" has opened."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Houston Astros fired a stadium vendor after a fan filmed him putting a tray of snow cones onto a bathroom floor while he used the facilities. Yikes. And here Astros fans thought the most stomach churning thing this year at Minute Maid Park would be the team’s play on the field."  -- Janice Hough
"A Blackhawks fan went into labour at the United Center watching Chicago eliminate the Wild and advance to Round 2. That might be the mother of all playoff births."  -- RJ Currie
"In case you missed it, ex-Washington hoopster Jason Collins came out of the closet. Given how many teams swept the Wizards this season, it was probably a broom closet."  -- RJ Currie
"So what does this say about today's societal values?  Asking price for Stan Musial estate: $1.795 million.  Winning bid for "Bea Arthur Naked" painting: $1.9 million."  -- Dwight Perry
"Thursday night was Lennay Kekua bobblehead night at the Florence (Ky.) Freedom baseball game, in honor of Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend. The first 1,000 fans were given empty bobblehead boxes."  -- Dwight Perry


Thursday, May 23, 2013


## According to Gannett Sports Columnist Christine Brennan, professional golf has it's "Silly Season" too. The parameters weren't specifically defined, but it seems to be based on Tiger Woods' involvement.  Sometimes he doesn't even do anything wrong intentionally, sometimes just being Tiger is enough. He has help, though, in the form of temper-challenged Sergio Garcia.
First Tiger makes an illegal drop, which is approved by tournament marshals (golfing on-hand umpires), but disputed by a call-in by a fan who watched it on TV.  This isn't baseball: in golf you can penalize someone AFTER the round is over.
Then Tiger is accused by Garcia of deliberately inciting fans boisterous reactions during his swing. Even though this event is not held in a church, you must maintain that same kind of reverence. Again, according to Tiger, a marshal gave him permission to begin play.
Now it's time for the verbal battles to begin:
Reporter to Tiger: "Would you consider calling Sergio and try to patch things up?"
Tiger: "NO!"
Reporter to Sergio: "Would you ask Tiger to dinner when you see him next week?"
Sergio: "Sure. We'll order fried chicken."
 (No laughter) Sure, what's a feud without a little racism.

On another front, golfer Vijay Singh is accused of using deer antler spray, a banned substance. He is later exonerated, but so what? Let's sue the PGA anyway. How does deer-antler spray help, anyway? Does it give you an advantage in the woods? (I will eschew the obvious "horny" jokes)

The PGA has officially banned the use of belly-putters, which sounds somewhat kinky if you don't know what a belly-putter is. For those of you who don't know, it's an extra long putter that is anchored against the golfer's body as he putts. It's supposed to give you extra stability. Baseball has it's corked bats, now golf has it's own illegal equipment.

## Oh yeah, baseball. The Yanks lose their second game in a row, which is unusual, and another player gets hurt, which is not. Kuroda got hit in the calf by a batted ball and eventually had to be removed from the game. It's not expected that he will miss a turn in the rotation, but it's early yet.
On the medical front, nothing has changed: A-Rod's doing fine as is Jeter, Pineda, Cervelli and Pettitte. Teixeira and Youkilis are "close." Nunez isn't talked about, nor is Stewart. Did I miss anybody?

## If you're in the mood for a little fireworks, check out tonight's game in Boston against Cleveland on MLB Network. It's Terry Francona's debut in Fenway Park in a different uniform.

## Jose Canseco, an admitted steroid user,  has been accused of sexual assault in Las Vegas. I wonder if he is trying out a PED, say deer-antler spray? I see a new book in his future.

"BuzzFeed’s top 10 words in tabloid headlines: baby; secret; wedding; pregnant; marriage; sex; shocking; cheating; divorce; diet. Right up to diet, anyone else thinking of the NBA?"  -- RJ Currie
"The Economist says New York has the most billionaires of any city in the world. I can't see this being big news to Yankees fans."  -- RJ Currie
"Four women have qualified to race in this Sunday’s Indy 500. Yeah, four women going around and around in circles — or as that’s normally called, "The View."  -- Jimmy Fallon
"There's light at the end of the tunnel. As of  May 21, we are now definitely within a month of the end of the NBA playoffs. And no doubt about six weeks from the beginning of the 2013-14 preseason."   -- Janice Hough
"NFL free agent wide receiver Titus Young was arrested twice in 15 hours and three times in a week. With what’s going on in sports lately, he’s still expected to be a finalist for the Sportsmanship Trophy."  -- Brad Dickson
"Redskins fans are flooding millionaire QB Robert Griffin III with wedding gifts. Nice to know that so many people who probably wouldn't give a can of soup for a food drive will buy new sheets for RGIII."  -- Jeff Schultz
"Bea Arthur Naked" — an artist's fantasy painting of the late "Golden Girls" star — sold for a whopping $1.9 million at a New York auction. Makes one wonder what a Marge Schott knock-off might fetch."  -- Dwight Perry


Wednesday, May 22, 2013


## In spite of all the hullabaloo about how well the "retreads" are doing, the Yanks main problems continue to be the lack of scoring. New York's pitchers were pretty good last night, giving up only 8 hits. Unfortunately, three of them were home runs. Meanwhile, the Yanks only managed 5 hits and 2 runs and you aren't going to win many games like that.

## The San Francisco Giants sell "Game Used Gloves" in their gift shop. After making 8 errors in three games against the Rockies last weekend, I think it would be appropriates to remove the word 'Used'  from the description.

##  Nick Swisher was placed on the Paternity List by the Cleveland Indians. I didn't even know he was pregnant.

## The Yanks designated infielder Alberto Gonzales for assignment when they acquired Reid Brignac from the Rockies. Nobody claimed Gonzales, so he's back in Scranton.  

## I'm a little irritated. I was wondering why I hadn't heard Chris Dickerson mentioned when the Yanks were scuffling for outfielders, now I know why. I loved his swing and couldn't figure out why the Yanks didn't give him a real chance to make the club. Now we're paying the price.

## Both Miami & Houston are on a pace to lose 116 games. The MLB record is 120 by the 1962 Mets.
(I don't count the 1899 Cleveland Spider's 134 losses, since they may have played in a beer keg league.) Both teams are in last place, of course, but as Joe Garagiola once said, "It could mean they're in first place in Triple A."

"Marc Gasol was named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year. Later that week, he was named to the 2nd team of the All-Star Defensive Team. Will someone smarter than me please explain this?"  -- Greg Cote
"There are already too many arcane baseball statistics, but perhaps none as silly as this nugget from ESPN: A home run hit by the Orioles Adam Jones had a flight time of 3.09 seconds - the quickest of any in MLB this year. If you can find any use for a stat like that, let me know."  -- Bob Molinaro

[Another dumb one is adding up the total feet that the home runs travel in a game by one team. Not only worthless, but suspect, because the always say, " traveled an estimated... -CP]

"Russia's Alexander Povetkin KO'd Poland's Andrzej Wawrzyk to retain his WBA heavyweight belt.
In Scrabble points, however, Wawrzyk's name won a unanimous decision, 53-34."  -- Dwight Perry
"A group of first-graders took a field trip to LSU: "Two left with signed letters of intent."  -- Bill Littlejohn
"The British Horseracing Authority says seven steeds have tested positive for steroids. Coincidence? All seven had landed side jobs pulling the Budweiser wagon."  -- Dwight Perry
"Scientists say an asteroid is about to pass within 3 million miles of earth. Or, as Bob Uecker put it: "Just a bit outside."  -- Dwight Perry
 "The Cleveland Cavaliers have won the NBA draft lottery, meaning they can pick that highly touted future superstar….what’s his name….uh, never mind."  -- Janice Hough
"According to a recent study, disaster makes people think about sex. So there is a bright side to being a Toronto Maple Leafs fan."  -- RJ Currie
" The L.A. Angels owner said there is 'zero chance' of manager Mark Scioscia being fired. Considering how sports works, since he said this 48 hours ago, I am stunned that Scioscia is still with the team."  -- Brad Dickson
" J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks is accused of 'partying' too much. He's the first NBA player to shoot a free throw with a lampshade over his head."  -- Brad Dickson
 "O’Hare airport in Chicago has hired goats to eat vegetation. The Obama job creation team plan is working just great - if you are a goat. That has to be frustrating. You’re an airport worker who is laid off due to sequestration and as you pull out of the parking lot you see a goat who still has a job"  -- Brad Dickson
[If I had a "Best Joke of the Week" category, that one would be this week's winner.]


Friday, May 17, 2013


## Along with the box scores, all Yankee games should have an injury report attached. You know:
2b - Cano (5, 4th inning - Noesi)
HR - Wells (9, 7th inning, 0 on, Noesi)
PM (Pulled Muscle) - Pettitte (3, 5th inning)
SG (Strained Groin) - Stewart (1, 8th inning)

The report says that Pettitte has tightness in his left trapezius. I thought I saw them on sale at Target last week. Could be wrong.
Stewart pulled a groin muscle last night, too. Just what a catcher needs. If he goes on the DL, Cashman will be calling up the second string catcher from Scranton. Maybe what they really need is another team trainer. Or a witch doctor.

Granderson has been a real difference maker so far, hasn't he? Gardner came twice in critical situations and came up empty, Empty? He struck out both times. Even Annie-O was having trouble staying positive with that. "At least he didn't hit into a double play," was her comment.

The only guy on the team I have any confidence in is Lyle Overbay. He might look terrible at the plate for three at bats, but if he comes up in a crucial situation, he hits the ball hard.

Has anyone else noticed that the worse he does at bat, the slower Cano runs to first? And why is he taking the first pitch of every at bat? It's not like he chooses not to swing, he leaves the bat on his shoulder and just stands there. Then, of course, we have the 20 second (on average - I timed it) stroll around the plate. He taps his spikes, adjusts his helmet, adjusts his jersey and then, re-tightens his batting gloves. That one kills me. why does he have to re-tighten it, what all he does is hold the bat on his shoulder? I think we have a spoiled-brat superstar on our hands. Maybe the trainer told him to avoid pulling a muscle.

David Cone, who is not the brightest bulb in the marquee, has twice suggested a squeeze play. When you're struggling for runs, this can be a very effective play. Gardner is trying bunts, or faking them, all the time. Why not try one with a man on third? Where's Billy Martin when you need him?

Toronto is in town this weekend. Finally, a team the Yankees can beat. They'll probably need to score more than two runs, though, which may be asking an awful lot.

"Tiger beat Sergio Garcia to win The Players tournament. Garcia hit 2 balls in the water at the famous #17 island green at TPC Sawgrass. Sergio said his inner demons got the best of him, when he thought he saw Tiger in the group in front of him walk across the water to the green. --  TC Chong
"Has anyone noticed that NBA playoff scores are starting to resemble football scores?"  -- TC Chong
 "MLB is thinking of expanding video review in 2014 and possibly making all calls other than balls or strikes subject to instant replay. Stand by for Yankees-Red Sox games going from four to five hours."  -- Janice Hough
" San Francisco pitcher Jeremy Affedlt discovered a clerical error from earlier in his contract and, as a result, returned $500,000.00 back to the Giants.A similar situation with Alex Rodriguez might involve the return of the Louisiana Purchase."  -- Bill Littlejohn
"The youthful Astros had to cancel their annual player wives charity gala for lack of wives. Maybe the Astros should sign a power-hitting polygamist."  -- Matt Youmans
"The White Sox one-hit the struggling Angels. It's not that impressive — the Angels mustered only two hits during batting practice."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Big Ten announced its 2014 football schedule, with each team slated to play Ten games.
In other words, 12."  -- Dwight Perry
"The cicadas ending their 17-year underground stay to infest New York: They saw Yankee Stadium and the first thing they said was, 'Wow, Mariano Rivera is still pitching!"  -- David Letterman 
" Thomas Tusser is credited with the proverb "A fool and his money are soon parted." In a related item, Jerry Jones gave Tony Romo a $108 million contract extension"  -- RJ Currie
 "Q. What do you call a fashion-store promotion that saw 50 young Swiss women race 375 metres through Basel in their undies?   A. Over too quickly."  -- RJ Currie


Monday, May 13, 2013


## How does a team that's thrown together from cast-offs, second stringers and promoted-before-their-time minor leaguers, lead the toughest division in the AL, maybe in both leagues, for almost 25% of the season? There are Yankees standing on the field in Cleveland right now that I'm sure never expected to be there back in February.
What is going to happen to some of these players when the "first-string" guys start returning from the DL? Some will just go back to Triple A, as I'm sure they expect, but what about the major league players that Cashman has picked up as insurance when more and more players got hurt? A couple of them have to realize that there will be no room on the roster.

Ten ways  you know you're a temporary player:
10. When the traveling secretary tells you, "We're playing in Toronto next. See if you can catch a ride with somebody."
 9. Your post-game meal is a peanut butter sandwich and an orange. 
 8. Your "locker" is a stool in the groundskeeper's closet.
 7. You're paid in cash after every game.
 6. You bed is a cot in the trainer's room.
 5. You ask for a bat and the batboy tells you to get it yourself.
 4. You're not allowed to use the hot water in the shower.   
 3. You have to buy a ticket to get into the stadium.   
 2. They won't tell you what the signs are.
And the number one sign you're a temporary player:   
 1. They send you out on the field in your street clothes with your number written in magic marker on a piece of paper pinned to your back. 

The umpires are really distinguishing themselves this year. Let's review the last week.
++ Three umpires can't tell if a ball is home run or a double looking at replays that are so definitive, that even Stevie Wonder said, "Hey, c'mon dude!"
++ An umpire is so confused that he allows a manager to change pitchers illegally.
++ A home plate umpire awards first base to a player with a 3-2 count.
They can't see, they can't read and they can't count. A triple threat.

Actually, a manager cannot protest a game on any play that is a judgement call. A protest is only allowed when a rule is broken or incorrectly interpreted. In reality, an umpire breaks a rule a number of times in every game. This rule is very specific. An umpire is NOT ALLOWED to call time once a pitcher is in his windup or in his stretch position, ready to pitch. There is no room for judgement in this rule. Even if the batter has a heart attack and falls dead, play must continue. And I am not exaggerating here. It would be interesting to see a manager protest this call once. If it's on Joe West - even better.

 "The Lincoln Marathon drew entrants from all over the world, possibly because Lincoln is a cosmopolitan center full of entertainment and dining options. Or, more likely, it’s because Lincoln doesn’t have one hill."  -- Brad Dickson
"NFL free agent wide receiver Titus Young was arrested twice in 15 hours, tying the record set by Otis on “The Andy Griffith Show.”  -- Brad Dickson
"Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia bicker so much, are we sure they didn’t used to be married to each other?"  -- Janice Hough
"Some 78,000 people have applied to take a possible one-way trip to Mars.  Actually, it's 77,999.  Dennis Rodman's application is considered a return flight."  -- Dwight Perry
"Star Trek Into Darkness" is opening in theatres. The crew of the Enterprise boldly goes where no man has gone before - to a Miami Marlins game."   -- Alan Ray
"Five people have been arrested after fans tore out their stadium chairs during the recent Under-17 Glasgow Cup soccer final between the Celtic and the Rangers. They obviously misunderstood 'Please take your seats."  -- Ian Hamilton
"A Texas Longhorn baseball player used pitcher Cory Knebel's urine to beat a drug test - only to have it test positive for Adderall.  That's one blown save."  -- Bill Littlejohn
"The Los Angeles Angels, off to their worst start in franchise history, played a game against the Astros under protest. The Angels vs. the Astros – the only ones protesting should've been the fans."  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, May 12, 2013

It’s a great day to be a New Yorker everybody.

The Yankees are in 1st and there are still several state legislators who have not been indicted. Hard to say which is most remarkable.

With just over 20% of the season completed the Yankees, aka, ‘The Few and the Feeble’, have ripped off an impressive string of wins behind outstanding pitching and the extraordinary contributions of several players who were considered ‘veterans’ ten years ago. And the kindest thing one can say about Robinson Cano, with respect to his performance on this team of overachieving graybeards, is that he’s playing like a man twice his age.


Sergio Garcia should receive a Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nomination for his self-portrayal in Tin Cup 2, also known as The Players Championship. After plunking two in the water at the famous Saw Grass 17th, posting a quadruple bogey, it’s fair to say that Sergio will not be vacationing in Hawaii, or any other islands, any time soon. 

If he needs advice on a location to recover from this near-drowning experience, dropping 6 shots in the last two holes, I’m sure that Tiger Woods would wholeheartedly enjoy telling Sergio exactly where to go.


Thursday, May 09, 2013


I'm thinking of starting a second blog with the above stated title. You know who those guys are, right? That's correct: The Men In Blue, The Arbitrators, The Three Blind Mice (plus one).It seems there would be a lot to write about, none of it too complimentary.

They missed two more beauties on Wednesday.

In Cleveland, Oakland A's Adam Rosales hit what he thought was a game-tying home run in the top of the ninth, only to have the Umps rule it a double. Manager Bob Melvin respectfully asked for a review, confident that the Umps would see what he saw on the replay: the ball hit off the railing above the yellow line denoting a home run. After a few minutes, three (I almost said...("blind mice") of them said, "Nope, it's a double." Naturally, Melvin objected and was promptly tossed for his trouble. As Melvin said later, "The only four people in the stadium who didn't get it right."  Aaron Boone, analyzing the play for ESPN, was so shocked, all he could do was throw up his hands and stutter, "I don't know what to say."
Umpire Angel Hernandez and his crew knew what to say, "Rosales is on second and Melvin is in the showers." Afterwards, of course, they had nothing to say.

We're not done, boys and girls. down in Tampa, Florida, Rays manager, Joe Maddon, noticed that home plate umpire Scott Barry, said a ball was fouled off a batters foot, but that clearly didn't happen. He mentioned it to Barry, who just glared at him. He asked again for Barry to get help, at which point Barry removed his mask, walked toward the dugout and gave Maddon the old heave-ho. Maddon running out screaming, "You know that didn't happen. You know that didn't happen."  As is usually the case when the umpire has no defense, he simply wouldn't discuss it.

Umpires will make mistakes, it's bound to happen. You can only hope it isn't the determining factor in a win or loss. In any case, when a replay clearly shows the umpire is wrong, why does someone have to get ejected? It costs the evicted person money and a possible suspension. Who would risk that if they didn't believe they had a case? Former umpire, the late Babe Pinelli, felt that people should be allowed to have their say and to do anything he could to keep players and managers in the game. 95% of the time, those people felt they were right, so let them vent. Pinelli wrote a book about his career as a player and umpire, called Mr. Ump. I read the book. He never once said, he showed me up, or he disrespected me, in the book. It ought to be required reading for all umpires.

Sorry folks, I just got a call from Joe West. I've been ejected from this posting.

Glad to hear AJ Happ is doing fine after being struck in the head by a line drive. Very scary.

Okay, okay, Joe, I'm going.

"The NBA fined Bulls guard Marco Belinelli $15,000 for making an obscene gesture in Saturday's Game 7 against the Brooklyn Nets. That works out to $7,500 for every person in Brooklyn who is offended by an obscene gesture"  -- Brad Dickson
"Pau Gasol will be the latest Laker to have surgery, with an operation on his knees scheduled for tomorrow. This Los Angeles team is increasingly becoming an expensive burden on Medicare."  -- Janice Hough
"In Denmark, attractive young women have been helping police to slow down drivers by posing topless on busy roadsides. Those are my kind of speed bumps."  -- RJ Currie
"The minor-league Norfolk (Va.) Tides set an International League record last season by using 75 different players — 25 of them starting pitchers. No big deal, newly arriving players say, once you get used to the turnstiles in the dugout."  -- Dwight Perry
"NASCAR hit Joe Gibbs Racing with a penalty for using an engine part that was 2.7 grams too light. Moral of the story: Spare the rod, and you'll get the shaft."  -- Dwight Perry
" On Thursday and Friday, a solar eclipse will occur over Australia. I feel sorry for the losing soccer coach who says: "At least the sun will come up tomorrow" .. and then it doesn't."  -- Brad Dickson
"Texas A&M reportedly plans to increase seating in their football stadium to 102,500. Not to be outdone, the Saskatchewan Huskies will add a folding chair to their luxury box"  -- RJ Currie


Monday, May 06, 2013


...if you're an umpire. "HE SHOWED ME UP."  How can you show up someone who is supposed to be almost invisible. Third base umpire John Hirschbeck threw Bryce Harper out of the game yesterday after calling a checked-swing strike on him. After calling the swing, Hirschbeck immediately threw up his hands and started barking at Harper while walking towards him. After Harper tossed his bat and helmet, Hirschbeck ejected him, saying, "I had no recourse. He showed me up."  See for yourself.

My complete and utter distaste for umpires who instigate fights is well known and somebody (Sleepy Joe Torre?) has to do something about it. Not one fan paid money to see Hirschbeck umpire the game. If he happened to miss the game and there were only three umpires on the field, it might be 5 or 6 innings before the fans noticed.

## The Yanks lost another player yesterday. Eduardo Nunez left the game in fourth inning with tightness in his rib cage. An MRI was negative and Nunez hopes to play on Tuesday. When is this carnage going to stop? There are three infielders already on the DL - A-Rod, Jeter and Youkilis. Chris Nelson doesn't appear to be an answer: 0-7 with 3 strikeouts, so far. 2nd straight bad outing for Andy Pettitte. That's not good either.

## Boston's bubble finally burst, getting swept by the Texas Rangers this weekend.
Roy Halladay got beaten up by the Miami Marlins, giving up 9 runs in 2+ innings. His ERA is now 8.65. There is something wrong there.

"According to a new study, Houston has the fattest population of major cities in America. If they celebrate, I'm thinking we can rule out a victory march."  -- RJ Currie
"Just plunk down $100,000 on eBay, and an autographed Barry Bonds 1987 Donruss rookie card — which sells for just $2.99 unsigned — is all yours. What sets this one apart are the four words Bonds scrawled next to his signature: "Say No To Drugs."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Canucks stumbled out of the gate in the NHL playoffs: Even the rioters have made alternate plans for the Stanley Cup Final this year."  -- TC Chong
" NHL legend Ken Dryden is on a cross-Canada talking tour about preventing brain damage. Precaution one: avoid talks by Ken Dryden."  -- RJ Currie
"Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to resume baseball activities Monday in Tampa, Fla., and he can't wait to do some soft-tossing. But enough about the baseballs sporting his phone number for the female fans."  -- Dwight Perry
"Some have mentioned Tim Tebow would fit well with the New Orleans Saints. The headline read: "Tebow May Be Saint." Well, we knew that of course."  -- Brad Dickson
"There's talk that Charles Barkley may take the job as the Phoenix Suns' general manager. That would amount to a huge NBA shake up. For starters, it'd mean Mark Cuban has only the second biggest mouth in the league"  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, May 05, 2013


## Last year, the Washington Nationals stood up to public pressure and shut down one of the most talented arms in baseball, one that belonged to Stephen Strasburg. Taking the 'Pitch Limit' belief one step further, the Nats imposed an 'Innings Limit.' Critics argued that they might just cost the team a trip to the World Series or even the championship. It turns out that may have done just that. Washington argued that the future potential was more important.
A few years ago, the Yankees instituted the now-famous "Joba Rules," limiting Joba to a certain number of pitches, appearances and how many games in a row he could work. All this to protect that wonderful arm - or perhaps to save him from Joe Torre, who was known to ride effective relievers into an early grave.

So how has all this protection worked? This year Strasburg has suffered from a series of mysterious injuries and has not been the overpowering monster he was last year. Between the Joba Rules and the constant switching between starting and relieving, the Yankees screwed up Chamberlain so bad, it's taken him three years and Tommy John surgery to regain his old form, the freak ankle injury notwithstanding.

In contrast, I give you Bob Feller, who broke in with Cleveland at age 17. in the next five years, his inning count was 148, 277, 296, 320 and 343. So, by age 22, Rapid Robert had thrown 1384 innings. He spent the next three years in the military, but came back to pitch, effectively, for eight more years, winning 133 games over that span..
Walter Johnson broke in with the Washington Senators in 1907 at age 19. The Big Train, thought by many to be the hardest throwing pitcher ever, proceeded to pitch over 200 innings per year for the next 19 years, and over 300 innings in nine of those years.

The point is, you really can't tell how a pitcher will do throughout his career, how prone he is to injuries and how well he takes care of himself. A pitcher like Mariano Rivera, pitched for 17 years without any significant injury, only to be felled while working out by a knee injury at age 42.
So pitch these guys while they're going good and let the pitching gods decide their fate. Because we sure can't.

## The Yanks won again behind a superb performance by Phil Hughes and some timely hitting by the Stopgaps, Overbay , Stewart and Hafner. The most recent addition, Chris Nelson, failed to impress, going 0-4 with 2 strikeouts. Actually, the injuries to the pitching staff is probably a more serious problem, especially in the bullpen. Right now, it's just Mo' and there ain't no mo'.

## Toronto, picked by many to win the AL East, can't get out of it's own way. Tampa is still struggling and the Dodgers seem to have no chemistry, just a bunch of big names.
Buster Olney writes that Miguel Cabrera is on a pace for 201 RBIs and 256 hits. Conversely, the Astros are on a pace for 120 losses and 1600+ strikeouts. Interesting, but let's not forget there is still 84% of the season ahead of us.

We'll start off with the parting shot of John Saunders from today's Sports Reporters: (copy and paste into your browser)
" The Daily Telegraph reports "religious police" forcibly removed three men attending a Saudi culture festival because "women would find the men irresistible." RJ Currie was encouraged to stay."  -- RJ Currie

"A new survey says the U.S. city having the most sex per capita is Los Angeles, averaging 135 times a year. Or 12 times a year if you exclude the Lakers and Clippers."  -- RJ Currie
"Previously unbeaten Kentucky Derby favorite Verrazano, whose owner is from New Jersey,  ended up 14th in the race.   If he doesn’t perform better next race, he’s been threatened with retirement to Jersey."  -- Janice Hough
"Husker football players have been utilizing combat military training. The whole thing peaked after a workout last week when the team successfully invaded the Falkland Islands."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Phillies-Mets game was delayed 14 minutes because the home plate umpire was throwing up after swallowing his chaw. This is potentially the best anti-tobacco campaign of the modern era."  -- Brad Dickson
"Recently retired umpire Tim Tschida is now an assistant baseball coach at Cumberland (Minn.) High School. Tschida wears uniform No. 44 and coaches first base.  No word on whether he disputes umpires' calls."  -- Charley Walters
"Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts threatened to move the team from Wrigley Field if he's blocked from erecting a 6,000-square-foot video screen behind the left-field bleachers. Or to put it in layman's terms, half the size of Mel Kiper's big board."  -- Dwight Perry
"A new study claims that certain fish use sign language to communicate: Apparently they have a sign for everything — except for 'big metal hook.' "  -- Jimmy Fallon


Thursday, May 02, 2013


Please take David Cone with you. Apparently, he has depleted his arsenal of stories and anecdotes. We had to listen to a repetition of his sabermetric statistics and his forecast of how they will finalize. After listening to Coney describe how bad the Houston Astro's team WHIP was for the fourth time, I was actually missing Joe Morgan (not really).  Part of his job, I assume, is to notice the little things on the field and point them out - ONCE. I had to listen to Coney describe how far apart Chris Stewart's knees were when he was catching so many times, I started to get nervous. Also, Stewart, we found out, is 6 ft. 5, in case you fell asleep for three innings.

Why are the official scorers so generous with their calls? Two nights ago, a hitter lined a one-hopper to the Astro shortstop. He backhanded it, spun around and let it fall out of his glove as he attempted to throw. Base hit. Last night, a batter hit a grounder up the middle, which Nunez missed when it hit off his glove. Another base hit. Folks, these are major league players. Both of those calls should have been errors. I also object to the difference between a passed ball and a wild pitch. The ONLY time it's a wild pitch, is when the catcher has no chance to stop the ball. Just because a pitch hits the ground first and bounces off the catcher, it shouldn't be called a wild pitch.

As long as I'm in a "rant" mood, let's call a time out - which umpires do indiscriminately.  Pitchers walk around the mound, pick up the rosin bag, check the infield positions, the outfield positions, everything but the disposition of the ball girl. The batter will step out on every pitch to restrap his batting gloves, adjust his uniform, tap his spikes do some calisthenics (Ichiro), or circle the catcher and umpire (Cano). Consequently, the games take 3+ hours. The umpire can stop this by simply saying "Play Ball," and calling a ball or strike depending on who's not ready. The rule book says, "The batter is not at liberty to step in and out of the batter's box at will." And stop calling time out for the batter when the pitcher is ready to pitch. I quote the rule: "Umpires will not call "Time" at the request of the batter or any member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come to a set position even though the batter claims "dust in his eyes," "steamed glasses," "didn't get the sign" or for any other cause."    The umpire isn't supposed to engage a player coach or fan in conversation, either.

** The Yanks found a way to win again, using some excellent base running by Eduardo Nunez and Ichiro Suzuki. Even Brett Gardner found the courage to steal two bases. And can we please quit talking about getting the "regulars" back? These guys are doing fine. By the way, the Yanks have traded for infielder Chris Nelson from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named later - which I hope, is David Cone.

**For all you fans who thought the Yanks should have gone after Josh Hamilton, he's currently hitting .214 with 2 homers, 9 RBIs and is on a pace to strike out 200 times.

There is a discussion as to whether or not Tim Hudson is a candidate for the Hall of Fame, not that he has won his 200th game. Why is Andy Pettitte thought of as a 'marginal' candidate, when he has 248 wins? And Mike Musina has 270 wins and he's been pretty much dismissed as a viable candidate.

"Texas A & M announced plans to renovate their football stadium to seat 102,500. Not that we need anything to put football in Texas in perspective, but the population of College Station, TX, where A & M is located, is 95,142."  -- Janice Hough
"Ohio State passed out rings to its football team for going 12-0 while on probation. The amazing thing is 20 minutes later, only 16 of the rings had been swapped for tattoos."  --  Brad Dickson
" A new survey says the U.S. city having the most sex per capita is Los Angeles, averaging 135 times a year. Or 12 times a year if you exclude the Lakers and Clippers."  -- RJ Currie

"The 12-team Big Ten is realigning its maligned Leaders and Legends setup, replacing it with East and West divisions. So now that they've finally aced geography, maybe they can move on to math."  -- Dwight Perry
"Notre Dame star Manti Te'o was passed over in the first round: The NFL draft gives football players a chance for the first time to feel what it's like to be picked last in gym class."  -- Argus Hamilton
"Summing up Tebow's career stats as a Jet: "17 magazine covers, 139 Daily News back-page headlines, 6 completions."  -- Rick Reilly
"In Purcell, Okla., a meth lab was found to be operating out of a golf course porta-potty. This is sign No. 1 that your new country club isn't all that prestigious."  -- Brad Dickson
"A Huffington Post report claims May has long been the best time to get a new mattress. "New mattress?" said Tiger Woods. "All this time I thought it was mistress."  -- RJ Currie
"Scientists in Japan have built a baseball-playing robot, and it's certainly authentic. Its A sample just tested positive for STP."  -- Dwight Perry