Thursday, June 27, 2013


...who is he?
The Yanks played a game today with a lineup that stunned even broadcaster Michael Kay. I won't say the Yankee staff didn't know all the players, but manager Joe Girardi was seen buying a scorecard before the game. There is no truth to the rumor that the Yanks bought a special bus to transport players back and forth to Scranton every day.
The Rangers beat the Yanks 2-0, and it wasn't even that close. Phil Hughes went 8 innings and only gave up 5 hits and 2 runs, but Ranger pitcher Derek Holland was overpowering. He was never in any trouble, in fact, the Texas bullpen sent out for pizza in the7th inning.
Tune in tomorrow for the NY Yankee version of "Who's On First?"

***JUST WHEN YOU THINK IT COULDN'T GET STRANGER...*** does. Of course, I forgot A-Rod is involved, so this roller-coaster ride is far from over.
Two days ago he was thrilled because he was told he was cleared to play. Now A-Rod is telling the Yanks he isn't sure when he can play again. "It could be in July. It could be in August. It could be I won't be able to play at all this year," is what he told President Randy Levine. One rumor is that he's just being childish, another  is that he wants to get back quickly and retire because of a medical disability and collect his awesome salary before MLB can suspend him for violating it's drug abuse policy.

And, there is always the strange play that the Yanks seem to get involved in. If you're on first and the next batter walks, how do you get thrown out at second?  Texas' David Murphy was on first and took off for second on a full count. The throw beat him, but home plate umpire Gerry Davis said the pitch was ball four and therefore there was no steal. Murphy, however started  for the dugout, whereupon, SS Jayson Nix tagged him and umpire Dan Iassogna called him out. That should make Friday Funnies on ESPN tomorrow.

Dennis Rodman has stated that if Lebron James played in the 90's, he'd only be an average player.  And he's right. In 1990, Lebron was 6 years old.

"A new study says as teenagers, our brains experience enormous pleasure from social acceptance, so "teens follow other teens like lemmings." Unless one of them goes to a Miami Marlins game."  -- RJ Currie
" A giant panda in China just gave birth. She's stuck for a name since Kim Kardashian took "North West."  -- Brad Dickson
" Cleveland rookie LB Ausar Walcott was arrested Tuesday and charged with attempted murder after he allegedly punched a man in the head last weekend. Gosh, the Browns can’t even get the major headlines on the NFL police blotter."  -- Janice Hough
"Former Cub Kerry Wood found a body floating in a harbor.  I hear he strained his shoulder calling 911.”  -- Bill Littlejohn
"On Tuesday, Doc Rivers officially became the new coach of the Los Angeles Clippers. Following tradition, five minutes later, the Clippers began a preliminary search for his replacement."  -- Brad Dickson


Wednesday, June 26, 2013


It was just 36 years ago that Reggie Jackson uttered those famous words, "I'm the straw that stirs the drink."  That was the harbinger of controversies, escapades, fights and feuds that would highlight Reggie's five-year term with the Yanks. He fought with Steinbrenner, with Billy Martin, with Thurman Munson and irritated everyone within earshot - sometimes beyond.  He meant, of course, that he would be the key to the Yanks offense, and ultimately he was correct. He should have just BEEN the straw and "shut the f*** up about it," but Reggie's mouth was like a runaway train: there was no stopping it.

Now we have another player who's problem is somewhat different. His 'straws' fall from the sky without warning, hitting when you least expect them, but always, always devastating when they land. Alex Rodriquez, recuperating from hip surgery in Florida, should have been out-of-sight AND out-of mind, but he found ways to be neither.
Every minute bit of progression of Derek Jeter's rehab was reported in the NY papers, right down to how many ground balls he took, to the percentage of speed he exerted when running the bases.
But not A-Rod. When any Yankee official was asked about his progress, the answer was a very bland, "He's coming along nicely." In the meantime, A-Rod gave no interviews, appeared in no nightclubs and worked out in virtual secrecy. But you can't hold a good man - or a big mouth - down for long.
A-Rod has tweeted that he's been cleared to play ball. General Manager Brian Cashman isn't ready to admit that, and prefers that A-Rod not say that - or as Cashman put it, "A-Rod should just shut the f*** up!" This may have finally been the language that A-Rod understands, because there has been no response from him since.
Cashman wasn't upset about being upstaged, because the rehab and readiness issue is a complex one. Once the Yanks declare a player is ready to rehab, they have 20 days to either put him on the ML roster or assign him to the minors. Cleared to live a normal life by a medical physician is different from being able to perform baseball functions. These two things may be a ways apart. So Cashman has a legitimate point here and not just a childish tantrum over an A-Rod announcement. You can't afford a player on the roster who isn't ready to play.
To be fair, if a professional athlete has been unable to participate in his sport for a long time, naturally he's a bit giddy when told he's reached a great milestone, even if it isn't the final one.

And this is the big difference between the two straws. Reggie didn't care that his would be controversial, A-Rod never realizes that his will be.

The Yanks and the Rangers played a game last night in which six home runs were hit. With that many homers, you'd expect the score to be something in the neighborhood of 12-9. Instead, the final score was
4-3, the Yanks winning on Ichiro Suzuki's two-out homer in the bottom of the ninth. A game more reminiscent of the Bronx Bombers of the past. Go Yanks.

"The victory parade for the Miami Heat traveled 5 mph. Because it's South Florida, it was in the fast lane."  -- Brad Dickson
"Shanghai just finished hosting an international convention for scrap dealers. Even the NBA hasn't had so much trash-talking."  -- RJ Currie
" Rough night in Boston. #Bruins just pulled off a collapse so fast and awful you figured Bill Buckner had to be involved."  -- Janice Hough
"Robert Kraft, owner of the NE Patriots has accused Russian prez Vlad Putin of stealing his Super Bowl ring. Wasn’t there as song written about that? – Putin on the Glitz."  -- TC Chong
"Just wondering? Why do golf announcers always say, “That was a great golf shot” when you never hear “That was a great football tackle” or “That was a great baseball triple”?  -- Scott Hanson
"The Los Angeles Clippers are getting rid of coach Vinny Del Negro: “Sources say the ownership liked his style, but felt he had violated a time-honored Clippers tradition of finishing last and losing 50-plus games per year.”  -- Brad Rock
"There may be no truth to the rumor that San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich is prepared to leave for Boston where he would coach the Celtics and be Boston Pop"  -- Gregg Drinnan
"Brian Urlacher is retiring after 13 years with the Chicago Bears. Experts say, in another five years, Urlacher should stop hearing Jay Cutler whining in his sleep."  -- Brad Dickson
"A new study by neurologists claims to be the first evidence that by learning we generate new brain cells every day. I'm guessing the study didn't include Pacman Jones."  -- RJ Currie


Monday, June 24, 2013


Aaron Hernandez, tight end for the New England patriots, is a "person of interest" in a murder investigation that took place near his home.  He allegedly was friends with the victim. The police have questioned him and have asked for his cooperation. He willingly complied. The police then collected 15 bags of
evidence, which showed signs of having been tampered with. The police also asked for his cell phone, which he gave them - smashed into pieces. He will probably be charged with obstruction of justice.
Obviously, if you are famous and have money, the word "cooperation" has an entirely different definition.

Serena Williams made a remark about the morals of fellow professional tennis player, Maria Sharapova. Williams immediately apologized, professional athlete-style.
"If I said that and I offended someone, then I'm sorry." What does she mean, "If I said that..."? She doesn't know what she said? I love that. That means if you can't prove I said it, then I didn't say it. She continued, saying, "It's unfortunate Maria was drawn into this." Right, like it wasn't her who made the remark.
People sometimes try to distance themselves from evil people or people who are in trouble, but only professional athletes try to distance themselves from...well, themselves.

There is an interesting little drama currently being played out in the courtroom right now. Ed O'Bannion, former star basketball player for the UCLA Bruins, back in 1996 was playing a basketball video game with a friend in 2001.  Lo & behold. one of the characters in the game was an exact likeness of him. The company who put out the game, paid a licensing fee for the use of his likeness without his permission. Aha, but they had permission from the NCAA, who received the money for that right. O'Bannion sued the NCAA, "who quickly discovered that courts weren't swayed by the normally airtight NCAA defense, which was, "We're the NCAA."
Forced to produce documents and records in discovery, it came to light that O'Bannion was only one of many players whose rights the NCAA had sold to companies for many different commercial uses. All without compensating any of the players. O'Bannion and his lawyer immediately filed to adjust their claim to a class-action suit, which would force the NCAA to open ALL their books to scrutiny.The NCAA has objected - once again, the "We're the NCAA" defense has failed, and the matter will be decided sometime this week.
If this becomes a class-action suit and the NCAA loses, the resulting penalties, fines and restitution could run into the billions. That's right, billions. Which means their defense would become, "We're the NCAA"

Another problem with the new realignment in the divisions, which put's 15 teams in each league, is that there HAS to be an inter-league game every day. Plus, the teams playing in these games only play each other once. So you end up with the Dodgers coming to New York for a two-game series. Silly enough in itself, but when game one gets rained out, the Dodgers and the Yanks were forced to play a double-header the next day - get-away day for the poor Dodgers- because that was their only scheduled meeting in NY.
Last night, another inter-league game - St. Louis and Texas - suffered a rain delay. Because this was Texas'  only visit to St. Louis, both teams had to sit through a 3-hour rain delay. So did the fans, but then, who cares about them. The teams then completed a 3-hour ball game. If teams played more games against each other, impossible when they have to play so many different teams in different cities, this wouldn't happen.  It all seems very logical to me, but logic doesn't belong in 'Bunglin' Bud Selig's world.

" The Alabama football program is installing a waterfall in the locker room. I think it’s oddly appropriate that the most scenic, picturesque, romantic place in Alabama is inside a football locker room."  --Brad Dickson
"NBA champ LeBron James says he's happy he could "leave everything on the floor." Try that in my house and my wife will kill you."  -- RJ Currie
"This Serena Williams / Maria Sharapova catfight has gotten pretty nasty. Even Tiger and Sergio are saying “Just shut up and play.”  -- Janice Hough

"In the amazing Game 6 of the NBA Finals, Miami’s Mike Miller drilled a 3-point shot wearing one shoe. Nike later offered him half a contract."  -- Brad Dickson
"Is it just me, or did the first three games of the Stanley Cup final have more clutching and grabbing than a drive-in triple feature?"  -- RJ Currie
"Derek Jeter says he is making progress with his broken ankle. Wonder if he’ll be back in time for the next Yankees’ old timers game?"  -- Janice Hough



Saturday, June 22, 2013


Well, let's see. How much do you think Detroit would be willing to give up for a good, reliable closer?  They just designated Jose Valverde for assignment. Starting in 2007, he averaged 38 saves a year for 6 years. The Tigers released him last year but brought him back again this year for lack of a better alternative.
The Red Sox just gave up on Andrew Bailey - again! They tried everybody but Bobby Valentine to close out games.
These are two teams leading their respective divisions, and yet the ninth inning is a crap shoot for both of them.

Yeah, I know, big deal. Manny was playing in Taiwan, but just walked out on them. Let's see: he has quit on Boston, quit on the Dodgers, lollygagged his way out of Chicago and "retired" from Tampa Bay when the PED use caught up with him for the 2nd time. They say his bat speed is back, but, as Buster Olney says, "The specter of his being back on the 'pixey dust' is too strong." The pixey dust reference fits in with his fertility drug use that caught up with him last time.

St Louis has had the best record in baseball for a while now, but do you know what team has the next best record? It's the Pittsburgh Pirates. That's not a typo, the Bucs are 44-30, a .595 record. There still 88 games to go, so anything could happen, but this is clearly no fluke.

Umpire Angel Hernandez was behind the plate in Toronto against the Orioles yesterday. He's the only umpire who can get a call wrong, fix it, and still look dumb. Oriole Chris Davis swings and misses at a 2-2 pitch. The catcher misses it and Davis starts to run to first, but wait - Hernandez calls it a foul tic. Out comes the Blue Jay manager to argue. Hernandez calls the other three umpires together and then reverses the call. Here comes Buck Showwalter, saying you missed it two feet away, how does a guy 120 feet away see it any clearer?   Hernandez can't answer that question so he throws Buck out of the game. Problem solved.

We keep hearing how the  Yanks are waiting for the regulars to get back into the lineup, but these guys have been on the DL for a long time. Jeter, for example, hasn't swung at a pitch in a game in over 8 months. A-Rod, about the same. They aren't going to show up and start popping balls out of the park right away. They probably won't be comfortable at the plate for two or three weeks. Plus, those two guys might actually end up out for the year. So take a look at the team now - that's this year's New York Yankees. Pass the beer, please.

"A second New York Yankees player has been linked to a Florida anti-aging clinic. Either some of the Yankees were involved with performance enhancers or the team has a huge problem with premature liver spots."  -- Brad Dickson
"Sesame Street has just introduced a new character named Alex, whose dad is in jail. No word on Alex’s last name being Ochocinco.”  -- TC Chong
"A disgruntled former employee of Biogenesis now says clinic founder Anthony Bosch visited A-Rod at his request during a 1 for 9 slump in the 2012 ALCS. Is there anyone involved in this case who doesn’t make you want to take a shower?"  -- Janice Hough
" Tennis star Victoria Azarenka has reportedly launched a new line of perfume. Lemme guess; Estee Louder?"  -- RJ Currie
"So, what’s on the menu for next year’s U.S. Open champion’s dinner? Phil Mickelson doesn’t care. He’s just there for the seconds."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Food Network dropped Paula Deen after she admitted to using racial slurs in the past. That crashing sound you hear is the bottom falling out of the butter market."  -- Janice Hough
"Unconfirmed reports claim the new Kardashian baby has been named North West. That narrowly beat out 'Hey, Look At Me.'"  -- Brad Dickson
"A Colombian poet reportedly plans to sell his testicles to raise money for a European tour. I gotta say, that takes — never mind."  -- RJ Currie



Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Poor John Farrell, manager of the Boston Red Sox. He just lost Clay Buchholz to the DL for 15 days. Let's have a moment of silence in sympathy.  ...Okay, that's enough. In the meantime, Mark Teixeira joins his teammates on the DL for 15 days and Kevin Youkilis for 10-12 weeks with a herniated disk. So the Yanks now have FOUR all-star infielders and one all-star outfielder on the DL along with their season-opening shortstop and catcher.
The Yanks play a double-header today against the LA Dodgers, who have problems of their own.

I wrote last Sunday that G. Steinbrenner would have cleaned house because of the way the team was playing. At the beginning of the season, I expected that I would be writing something like that by May 1st, instead, the Yanks went on a tear and built up my hopes to the point where I began to see the playoffs in their future. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that they are now playing like I originally expected.

I still wish George was around.

  -- Under the heading  of useless stats, comes this little tidbit from the mouth of Michael Kay. "Brett Gardner leads the majors in 2-strike fouls." Has this kind of evaluation ever shown up in a scouting report? "No, he can't hit, Chief, but you should see him foul off pitches."

   -- My spell-check keeps changing Kevin Youkilis' name to 'Yokel.'  I was going to fix it, but then I thought, maybe it's right.

  -- The latest problem in ( stadium in Oakland, forced the teams to use the Raiders football team's locker room to shower because the sewers backed up into the locker rooms of both baseball teams. When Oakland says they are in deep s**t, they mean it. Maybe they should change the name of the stadium to ""

  -- The Feds are digging up a field near Detroit in what will probably prove to be another futile attempt to find missing former union boss James Hoffa's body. Why are we wasting money on this quest? What do they hope to prove if they do find it? Confirm that he's really dead? I think we all knew that.

"Mike Mussina is the new basketball coach at his alma mater, Montoursville, Pa. high school. Returning players are already hard at work on their four-seam jump shots."  -- Dwight Perry
"Fathers Day is always a big day for awkward family phone calls. Especially. in the NBA, where the response to a “Happy Father’s Day phone conversation often starts “So which one are you, anyway?"  -- Janice Hough
"Major League Baseball suspended eight players and coaches of the Dodgers and Diamondbacks involved in a brawl. I say while the players and coaches are suspended MLB should put 'em to good use and require them to sit in the stands at a Miami Marlins game"  -- Brad Dickson
"Lindsey Vonn told a reporter she and Tiger Woods work as a couple because they're so much alike. Then, she climbed into her car and backed into a tree."  -- Brad Dickson
" JaMarcus Russell says he has a tryout upcoming with the Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens. In a related story, Paris Hilton has an application in to Mensa."  -- RJ Currie
"For the first game of the College World Series, on the top of the third base dugout, "college" was mistakenly spelled "colllege." This is what happens when 35 beer gardens are open within 100 yards of the stadium"  -- Brad Dickson
"A truck carrying 6,000 gallons of Scotch overturned and ignited just south of Newark (N.J.). The blaze was extinguished using foam and the tears of two dozen New Jersey Devils."  -- RJ Currie



Sadly, everything said in Chad's latest post is stone cold solid, right on the money, you can take it to the bank, spot on balls accurate.

I suspect he could add a few more names to the list without breaking a sweat but Chad is too kind to pile on.

This isn't a Yankee team. It's a yankee team.


Sunday, June 16, 2013


Okay, I understand that the Yanks have something like $75 million in salaries sitting on the DL, and they want to get the team salary under $189 million next year, but I doubt that would prevent George Steinbrenner from bursting at least 10 blood vessels watching this team struggle. I am convinced he would be looking to acquire some guys who could actually HIT the ball with men on base.

Tell me most of this wouldn't happen:
Neal - back to Scranton
Adams - back to Scranton
Romine - Back to Scranton
Brignac - Released
Overbay - Released
Wells - Traded or released
Youkilis - Traded or released
Hafner - Traded or released

Yeah, he might have to eat another $37 million in salaries, like that ever bothered him. And it wouldn't stop with players, either. Girardi - fired, trainer Stevie Donahue - fired, hitting coach Kevin Long - scourged, then fired, then scourged again.

Some of the rest of the players wouldn't be left out, either. Hughes, Chamberlain and Sabathia would all be blasted in the papers. As far as lolly-gagging Cano, he would be blistered so badly, he 'd be running hard to first on strike outs, just in case the catcher missed the third strike.

And so the great payroll reduction would end, not with a whimper, but with gunfire.

"Rising U.S. tennis star, Sloane Stephens, says one thing she wishes was different is "that boys weren’t so stupid." She's young. In time she'll wish men weren't so stupid."  -- RJ Currie
"Major League Baseball is offering a discount package on MLB TV for Father’s Day to “Give dad the gift of live baseball.”. And children of Marlins’ fans are thinking “Who hates their father that much?”  -- Janice Hough
"Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari recently got married. Several Bears’ offensive linemen attended the ceremony, so before the bride could throw the bouquet she was sacked."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Mariners’ 31st-round draft pick: lefty pitcher Michaelangelo Guzman. Giddy scouts say Michaelangelo is good at painting the corners and has a really high ceiling."  -- Dwight Perry
"Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott were paired for the first two rounds of the U.S. Open. Guys in all the other groups could play in their underwear and drink tequila on the greens for all anyone would notice.”  -- Greg Cote
"A Minnesota woman running in a half marathon developed back pain that led to her giving birth when she didn’t even know she was pregnant. Which meant when filling out the baby’s birth certificate, where it said ‘race’ she put down ‘did not finish.’”  -- Jim Barach
[This item came from Dwight Perry's column, "Sideline Chatter." I suspect from the style, that Dwight is on vacation in Hawaii. THAT is the way to spend Father's Day.  -- CP]
"More information is coming out on the NSA scandal. Apparently the government used super-sophisticated spy tactics that previously were only available to the New England Patriots coaching staff."  -- Brad Dickson
"Even poor Manu Ginobili has hit more shots than Yankee hitters did in Oakland this week."  -- Mike Lupica
"This Sunday is Father's Day. Or as NBA players call it, "Don't Answer the Phone Day."  -- Conan O'Brien
"If you're looking for a thoughtful, inexpensive gift for dad, here is an idea: Try not to roll your eyes when he says something."  -- Jimmy Kimmel



Friday, June 14, 2013


## It took more than five and a half hours and the way the Yanks were hitting in the clutch, they could have gone another five hours without scoring a run. Teixeira, Hafner, Youkilis and Wells, hitting 4-5-6-7, were  almost as inept as possible. In 32 plate appearances, they managed 3 walks and a hit batsman. That's 0-28 if you're counting. Those are the RBI spots in the lineup. Yeah, RBIs, right. Here's how they did -
11th inning - bases loaded, 1 out.  Hafner strikes out, Youkilis strikes out.
13th inning - 2 men on, nobody out. Hafner flies out, Youkilis and Wells strike out
14th inning - bases loaded again, 2 out. Teixeira pops out to short.
In all, the Yanks left 10 men on base in the 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th.
Joe Girardi said, "It's frustrating, but you just have to turn the page." Maybe the Yanks should burn the page instead.
As one sportswriter put it, "This would be a powerhouse team - if it were 2002."

## How can it get worse, you ask? Well, look at the Los Angeles Angels, the Yanks next opponent. With a lineup that includes Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick and Josh Hamilton, the Angels are hitting only slightly better than the Yanks. Their pitching, however, is horrible. As the Yankee announcers pointed out last night, the Yanks record against sub-.500 teams is a lot better. The Angels are 10 games under .500.
I guess this series pits the incompetent versus the incapable. Your choice.

## Michael Pineda has been outstanding in his rehab in the minors. Scouts say his stuff is approaching #1 starter status. He could be back in the majors right after the All-Star break. One analyst says that would put the Yanks in a position to trade Chamberlain and possibly Phil Hughes for outfield help or a full-blown shortstop if Jeter can't make it back. There is a guy in Miami that might help - Giancarlo Stanton.

Gwen Knapp of Sports on Earth, reports this little tidbit. An Oakland Raiders coach  gave JaMarcus Russell a DVD loaded with plays and ideas to take home overnight and critique. The following day, Russell brought the DVD back and said he was on board with everything he'd watched. 
The DVD was blank.

"Pete Rose is making over $1M a year just signing autographs. They don’t call him Charlie Hustle for nothing."  -- Tony Chong.
"Browns receiver Josh Gordon is blaming his two-game suspension on codeine from some cough medicine he took. On the bright side, the stuff obviously worked. Gordon only coughed up the ball once last season."  -- Dwight Perry
"I suggest the name "Old England Redcoats" if London gets it's own NFL team. Why not? They've been itching  for a rematch with the Patriots."  --  Steve Schrader
" Belmont Stakes winner Palace Malice was named for a 1959 Three Stooges comedy short. I guess that's a better name than 'Nyuk Nyuk.'"   -- Len Berman
"The NFL Players Association is investigating Jay-Z's role in the recruitment of Jets' QB Geno Smith. Jay-Z reportedly has Smith working with his wife, Beyonce, to become the first NFL quarterback to lip-sync signals."  -- Brad Dickson
"Police arrested a man and a woman for allegedly using counterfeit bills to purchase items at Wrigley Field concession stands. Incredulous investigators say they'd never see Ernie Banks likeness in a $20 bill before."  -- Dwight Perry
"First the Padres, now the Diamondbacks. Is a bench-clearer with the Giants next? Los Angeles Dodgers quickly becoming the top team in Major League Basebrawl.  -- Janice Hough
"Bartolo Colon is one of the MLB players facing possible punishment in the Biogenesis of America scandal. Might be the first time a Colon ended with a sentence."  -- RJ Currie
" On "What Would Ryan Lochte Do?" Lochte and his girlfriend broke up over the phone. Because it's Ryan Lochte, I'm guessing it wasn't a smartphone."  -- Brad Dickson
"Rafael Nadal captured a record straight eighth French Open title - then slipped from fourth to fifth in the world rankings. Bet that's the last time they let Florida tally up the points."  -- Dwight Perry.


Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Graeme McDowell said that the only way this year’s U.S. Open can ensure fair play is to allow players to lift, clean and replace their shots, removing any mud their ball might pick up at a soggy Merion course. Defending his position, McDowell pointed out that his typical low trajectory, high spin shot is more susceptible to the effect of mud than the high trajectory shots played by most Americans.

Several local players at Winding Creek Golf Club in Victor, NY, in complete sympathy with McDowell, have tweaked local rules not only to eliminate the “McDowell Mud Conundrum” but also have expanded McDowell’s lift and replace solution to eliminate discrepancies caused by changes in wind, temperature, barometric pressure, ball construction, club design, swing planes,  age differences, experience, skill, race, religion, sexual preference, political orientation, time of day, lunar position, social status and income, among a total of 3,784 variables that may adversely effect a particular shot.

The list was carefully crafted to include only those variables beyond the players’ immediate control because no one wants to make a mockery of the game.

Players in the first foursome to use the “McDowell Menu of Lift, Clean and Replace” each opted to pick up their ball up at each tee box and replace it in the hole on each green - scoring an Ace on each hole! The front nine was played in record time with each player carding a course record 9.

In an effort for further fairness the group decided to fill out their cards for the back nine without traversing each hole given that one player was a bit tired after walking the front nine, one was prone to getting lost, and all felt that drinking a few beers guaranteed a more equitable use of their time.

The “McDowell Menu” has proven so popular that locals are now not only all scratch golfers but have achieved that status without the need of golf clubs, golf balls, golf carts, golf shoes, golf gloves, golf umbrellas, greens fees, golf tees or really stupid looking clothing.

Oh, this also solves the Anchored Putter Dilemma. Whoot! Whoot!

Thanks, Graeme. Ignore all of those who said you were only looking out for  your own self interest. Your solution is not only fair for you, but also fair for us all.

Next time: Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who’s the Fairest of them all? It’s not the USGA.


Monday, June 10, 2013


The Yanks aren't the only team keeping things in the family. The Mets have drafted former player Lee Mazzilli's son L.J. in the fourth round. Forty years ago, in 1973, the Mets drafted Lee in the first round. The 22-year old Mazzilli is a second baseman.

No one knows how this is happening and everyone is waiting for the balloon to burst, but instead, it keeps getting bigger. They're winning with old men - Ichiro Suzuki, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. They're winning with kids - David Adams, Adam Warren and Austin Romine. They're winning with 2nd & 3rd stringers - Chris Stewart, Lyle Overbay and Jayson Nix. The leading hitter is Brett Gardner at .284. To quote Butch Cassidy, "Who are those guys?"

Sunday was no day of rest for the front office of the Mets. Four players were sent to Triple A Las Vegas, including their one-time #1 prospect, Ike Davis.  As one writer put it, "They've finally lost patience with his inability to progress." In addition to bringing four players up from the minors, they also designated Rick Ankiel for assignment. Supposedly, manager Terry Collins' job is still safe, but, as the saying goes in baseball, "Don't send your laundry out."

This seems kind of cruel. Two years ago, this team had what was considered to be the best pitching staff ever assembled. With Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt and Roy Halladay, they figured to dominate the NL East for years.  Instead, Hamels is 2-9 with a .456 ERA, Hallady is 2-4 and on the DL, and Roy Oswalt is unemployed. Cliff Lee is the only one producing at 7-2.  What happened? This team, like the Yankees, got real old, real fast. Unlike the Yankees, they don't have the pinstripe magic.

Last September, McCarthy was struck in the head by a line drive while pitching. He was told at the time that the injury could make him prone to seizures, but this was the first time one struck. McCarthy is currently on the DL with a shoulder problem, and is on anti-seizure medication, so he doesn't think it will be a problem in the future. Good luck, Brandon.

"Since May 31, the NY Mets were swept by the Miami Marlins in five games over two series. Who knew that the best day so far in June for Mets fans would be last Friday’s rainout?"  -- Janice Hough
"Tennessee deadbeat dad Orlando Shaw has fathered 22 kids to 14 different women. I’m shocked– Shaw has never played in the NBA.”  -- Gary Bachman
" Kobe Bryant says there's a small chance his rehabbing will be over by the start of next season. Same goes for the Heat-Spurs final."  -- RJ Currie
"A Big Ten team making the College World Series field is as unlikely as a Kardashian appearing in the finals of the National Spelling Bee."  -- Brad Dickson
"That late third quarter run by the Miami Heat against the San Antonio Spurs could almost be considered elder abuse."  -- Janice Hough
"The biggest mystery of Alex Rodriguez’s alleged PED use: Why does his supply run out at the end of every September?”  -- Torben Rolfsen
"Suggested name for the Spurs’ highlight film if they win this year’s NBA title: “Mission Possible 5."  -- Dwight Perry
 "At the Tony Awards Sunday night, Mike Tyson danced with host Neil Patrick Harris. That sounds like something I'd dream if I ate right before bedtime."  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, June 09, 2013

FORGET THE GOOD & THE BAD...'s all about the druggies these days. It's been a few days after the latest Biogenesis news leaped back into the public eye, so all the sportswriters are taking their turn at the plate.

Mostly, it's a rehash of the same theme:  who is the worst character in the story;  Anthony Bosch, owner of Biogenesis, or the long list of "users," players we cheered for (or booed at) for years.Certainly neither of the two qualify for sainthood, so pick your poison.

As what may be a last ditch gasp, some players are asking the media and the public to wait until all the facts are out, suggesting that they will ultimately be exonerated. Perhaps they are just giving their publicity agents and  their spin doctors a chance to come up with some better excuses and explanations that they hope the public will swallow. That may end up to be a pretty big pill.

Frank "The Big Hurt" Thomas and other Hall of Famers have come out and said they don't want to see PED users put into the Hall. Supposedly, a number of current players have indicated to the Players Association that they want the use of PEDs stopped, no matter what the cost. Then you have people like William Rhoden of the New York Times, advocating the stance that the Players Union should back these accused players to the bitter end. In his words, "Do you want to be a part of a union that doesn't back you up?" I suppose not, but would you want to be a part of a union that advocates cheating and fights for cheaters?
A character in a John Macdonald novel once said, "People think if one side is evil, the other side must automatically be good. That's not always true."

While A-Rod may be the most famous name involved in this, Ryan Braun is certainly a close second in this drama. Braun, you may remember, beat a positive drug test by claiming an improper chain of custody. In his statement on the day he won his appeal, he spoke at great length about how the chain of custody was suspect and the various methods that were available to the testers to safeguard the samples weren't used. Not once did he claim that he was innocent  and didn't use anything illegal, it was all about the sample and the possibility of tampering. This position has infuriated everyone, from the Commissioner, to the players, and  the testers. If he is ultimately proven guilty, his punishment may be the most severe of all of them.  The baseball commissioner has one sweeping power to go so far as to ban, permanently from the sport, any activity which is not in the best interest of the sport.  I give you Kenesaw "Mountain" Landis and Joe Jackson and Bart Giamatti and Pete Rose.

The Yankees  are one big happy family. In the recent amateur draft, the Yanks picked the nephew of Paul O'Neil and Andy Pettitte's son, Josh.  Of course, Josh was chosen in the 37nd round, which means that some 1100 players were chosen before him. He does have a baseball scholarship to Baylor University, which he is expected to use. Why? Well, as Andy said, "The money isn't going to be there this time to make him forgo college, so he'll wait three years and enter the draft again." So much for family.

Is there a veteran player that's having a better season than 37-year old David Ortiz? A .317 batting average, 12 home runs and  45 RBIs, with an OPS (On base Plus Slugging) of 1.011. Nope!

The St. Louis Cardinals, who gave up Albert Pujols and Lance Berkman, and have lost pitcher Chris Carpenter, somehow lead the NL Central with the best record in baseball, 40-22 - .645.

Yesterday, the Yanks beat the Mariners, 3-1, behind 40 year-old Andy Pettitte and 43 year-old closer, Mariano Rivera. I don't know if that's a record for the highest combined age of a winning pitcher plus the closer, but it sure makes us 69 year-old retired folk feel good.

The Marlins beat the Mets in 20 innings last night. The teams used a total of 41 players including 16 pitchers. If ever two teams needed a rainout...

Ballplayers all have their own way of rehabbing. What famous Yankee infielder was seen partying at a racy Burlesque club recently? Nope, it wasn't Alex Rodriquez. It was Derek Jeter. (Sorry Annie-O)

" During the MLB draft, Commissioner Bud Selig repeatedly referred to it as the 2000 MLB draft, a mistake so stupid he’s just been named an honorary umpire."  -- Brad Dickson
" UNC leading scorer’s P.J. Hairston was charged with marijuana possession following a traffic stop in Durham, N.C. Really? You’re a Tar Heel and you do something illegal in Durham? About as smart as speeding near Fenway Park wearing a Yankees Cap."  -- Janice Hough
"Lori Birkeneder of Plantation, Fla., has collected more than 3,000 Barbie dolls, moving her up to second on the all-time list behind Derek Jeter."  -- Dwight Perry
"I think Applebee's has more stringent background checks that Rutgers University."   -- Colin Cowherd 
"What can you say about the Indiana Pacers' dismal performance in losing Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final? I haven't seen a bunch of guys look so bewildered on hardwood since my Grade 7 dance."  -- RJ Currie

"The San Diego Padres have a new postgame celebration ritual — dumping Gatorade on the sideline reporter. This is believed to be the first functional purpose for any sideline reporter in all of sport."  -- Brad Dickson
"Was there a lot grunting going on during the Maria Sharapova-Victoria Azarenka semifinal at the French Open? They sounded as if they were pushing a stalled Peugot across lanes of traffic in the Arc de Triomphe."  -- Steven Wine
"The reeling Miami Marlins called up veteran utility man Ed Lucas after 10 years in the minors. I wonder if he could tell the difference."  -- Greg Cote


Wednesday, June 05, 2013


## We can't seem to get through a week without some drug-related stories. Today, has more topics about drugs on their site than Pfizer Pharmaceutical.
Anthony Bosch, kingpin of Biogenesis of America, has apparently agreed to talk to MLB and name names, drugs and dosages for a vast array of sports figures. The biggest names are A-Rod, Ryan Braun, Nelson Cruz and Bartolo Colon. There are also some minor, but well-known players involved, such as Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Montero, although PEDs haven't seemed to help Jesus much.
The most interesting part of this will be MLB's efforts to charge Braun & A-Rod as second offenders, meaning 100-game suspensions for both. their reasoning is that the first offense was using the drugs, the second offense was lying about it. I'm sure the Players Association will have something to say about that.

## The Boys In Blue are at it again. Last night in the Cleveland-NY game, home plate umpire Tony Randazzo claimed that Indian shortstop Mike Aviles foul-tipped a pitch with two outs in the ninth. Aviles objected and replays proved him correct. Okay, it was a mistake and the game went on, with Aviles flying out to end the game. He got in one last shot at Randazzo on the way to the dugout and Randazzo threw him out. Aviles got thrown out AFTER the game was over. As usual, the BIB have to have the last laugh. What purpose was served in ejecting Aviles when the game was over and Randazzo was five feet from the tunnel and out of ear-shot of an obviously upset Aviles. Aviles could get suspended for this, but clearly Randazzo was the one out of control.

## Good news on the Yankee side (A-Rod not withstanding) last night. Tex blasted another homer, a three-run shot this time, leading the Yanks to a 4-3 win. Through six innings, David Phelps had only given up one hit, a ground ball to short that Jayson Nix took too much time with allowing Drew Stubbs to beat the throw. It would have been very interesting if Phelps had lasted into the 8th or 9th with that being the only hit. Would the official scorer have gone back and changed that play to an error? We'll never know, thank heavens.

## Speaking of scoring issues, back in the day (I'm old, I can say that), a Wild Pitch was something a catcher couldn't reach. Everything else was a Passed Ball. Now if a pitch bounces in front of the catcher and gets away, they call it a wild pitch, even if it hits the catcher in the mask first. Aren't these guys supposed to be major league catchers? If a fielder gets a glove on a ball but fails to hold on, it's an ERROR, I don't care how hard it was hit. Oh well, I guess I better go back to the days when fielders were men and umpires were quiet.

## We've all seen how companies are streamlining their operations, mostly at the hands of dismissed employees, but the Yankee farm team in Trenton may be carrying things a little too far. They use a Golden Retriever named Chase to run out on the field and return baseball bats to the dugout. Supposedly, he leaves no teeth marks either. How do you explain that job loss to a young boy? "Sorry son, we know you don't get paid much, but we've got a dog that will work all month for a bag of  Kibbles & Bits."

## Ohio State President, Gordon Gee, has retired, in part because of remarks made at a dinner, when he referred to Notre Dame University as "...those damn Catholics." Gee claims the remarks were made in jest, that he was "...just joking." Unfortunately for Gee, those "damn Catholics" weren't laughing.

"New's flash: Grant Hill retires from the NBA - 13 years after his ankles did."   -- Dwight Perry
"I don't want to say that Tim Duncan is old, but when James Naismith was hunting around for a hoop, it was Tim who handed him a peach basket."  -- Greg Cote

"Ohio State president Gordon Gee is loose-lipped. It's not his first rodeo, and frankly, it's not his first time as the clown at the rodeo."  -- Bill Livingston, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Former Miss America Erika Harold announced she’ll run for Congress in Illinois in 2014 as a Republican. Her platform is expected to be shoes."  -- Paul Seaburn
"A man in California received 11 pounds of marijuana in the mail by mistake. At least he did the right thing. He called the police and told them someone accidentally mailed him 5 pounds of marijuana."  -- Craig Ferguson"
" The 2013 world table tennis championships just wrapped up, extending a U.S. medal drought dating back to 1959. Or as Cubs fans put it, just yesterday"  -- RJ Currie
 "Eleven race horses in Great Britain have tested positive for steroids. I knew something was up when three of the horses placed at last week’s Indianapolis 500"  -- Brad Dickson
" West Palm Beach, Fla., just hosted the Big East meetings. Welcome to the conference with 'East' in its name, featuring teams from Nebraska, Illinois and Indiana ... that holds its conference meetings in South Florida"  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, June 02, 2013


## Rutgers University can't get out of it's own way. Now they have hired (maybe) a woman named Julie Hermann as the new Athletic Director. Shortly after her supposed appointment, rumors surfaced about her alleged abusive nature toward her volleyball team at the Univ. of Tennessee. Abusive to the point that 15 of her players wrote her a letter complaining about her actions. Somehow, Hermann doesn't "remember" this incident. Somehow, Rutgers never thought to ask her about her coaching methods in the interview. No matter - she probably wouldn't remember them anyway.

## Ah, one of my favorite irritants - the NCAA. An unnamed female golfer at an unnamed (of course) Western Conference university was punished for using a hose not available to regular students to wash her car. The school also reported her to the NCAA, in case the NCAA should find out and sanction the offending school. Pretty dumb, right? What you have to remember is that when the NCAA is involved, that pit is bottomless. The NCAA has added a punishment of their own, fining the student for the cost of the water and the depreciation of the hose. That will be $20, ma'am. OUCH!
Years ago, one of the Univ. of Indiana's basketball stars posed for a picture for a sorority calender to raise money for a charity. The NCAA was ready to punish him severely until coach Bobby Knight threatened to expose this fiasco. The NCAA backed down. Apparently, looking foolish in the public eye no longer bothers them.

## Israel Gutierrez is not the funniest reporter on The Sports Reporters, but he has his moments. This 'Parting Shot' had me laughing:

## Yesterday, the Detroit Tigers beat the Baltimore Orioles, 10-3 with the help of five Tiger home runs. Four of them came in the 4th inning, three of them off of Oriole pitcher Jason Hammel. Immediately after the the third one, Hammel hit Matt Tuiasosopo in the head. It was a curve ball and a slow one at that. It didn't matter to home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, who quickly ejected him. Both Hammel and manager Buck Showalter protested, but no matter. If three guys in a row hit homers and the pitcher hits the next guy, he's gone even if he rolled the ball up to the plate and hit the batter in the foot. Bye-bye.

## The Yankee season continues to be strange. They lose four straight to a team that shouldn't be a problem, then beat Boston's second-best pitcher. This is followed by a game in which Boston's starter with the worst record completely silences the Yankee bats (I use the word "bats" loosely). Tonight, they face Clay Buchholtz, arguably baseball's best pitcher this year. I have no idea how this will turn out.
By the way, the Yankee first-team players that just joined the team - Youkilis and Teixeira - have two singles between them for the first two games.

Albert Pujols, with 8+ years and $218 million due him, has knee and foot problems and can't play in the field. He's hitting .243 with 8 homers and 31 RBIs. Of course, that's still 8 homers and 31 RBIs more than A-Rod has this year.

Things are going from bad to worse for Mariner Jesus Montero. The former Yankee was sent to Tacoma last week because he wasn't hitting. Now he's not running - he tore a meniscus and is out for 4-6 weeks.

Friday, Michael Kay started to say that a Red Sox player had "...good numbers against Rivera...", when his record was flashed on the screen - 0-10. Michael changed his tune in mid-sentence. Even Michael had to laugh.

The Mets, who just swept the Yankees four straight, have lost two in a row to the Miami Marlins. Those wins were the 15th & 16th for the Marlins this year, increasing their chances of reaching 20 wins by the All-Star break.

"North Korea test-fired four long-range missiles last weekend that barely made it offshore. That's 0 for 4 with four pop-ups, if you're scoring at home."  -- Dwight Perry
"Tommy John recently turned 70. Coincidentally, he was the first player to undergo Tommy John surgery."  -- Len Berman
"A cougar attacked a skateboarder in Banff this week. No one even knew that Cher was in Canada or what possible use she would have for a skateboard. TC Chong
"George Brett has been named hitting instructor for the Kansas City Royals. Brett said: “I'm scared to death right now ...” I know Brett was hired for his batting expertise, but I had no idea he was going to be a motivational expert as well."  -- Brad Dickson
" San Francisco 49ers ultra competitive coach Jim Harbaugh drove the Indianapolis 500 pace car. This is the first time the pace car refused to relinquish the lead until it ran out of gas on lap 312."  -- Brad Dickson
"Grant Hill announced his retirement today. The 39 year old forward was at an awkward age, too old to really contribute, too young to play for the Lakers.  -- Janice Hough
"Keyshawn Johnson complained about Justin Bieber’s speeding: in their neighborhood. When your behavior offends an ex-NFL receiver, it is time to clean up your act.”  -- Alex Kaseberg
"The NBA fined the Heat's LeBron James and the Pacers' David West and Lance Stephenson $5,000 apiece for diving in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.Or as the league's discipline police prefer to call it, a three-flop night."  -- Dwight Perry