Monday, October 28, 2013

The following is an apology to my son, Chris. He and our lovely daughter-in-law Christine, both Buffalo Bills fans now living in Philadelphia, were at Sunday's Giants - Eagles game and posted that both teams sucked. I responded that, as Bills fans, they should be used to watching sucky teams given the performance of the Bills for the past 19 years.

An Open apology to Chris

While it is true that the Bills have 'sucked' for a couple of decades, that in no way diminishes the fact that the Giants and Eagles, as noted in your post, suck. It may be that the entire roster of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania NFL teams are collectively, according to H. Simpson,  'the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked'.

The Giants are a lofty 2 - 6. The Jets suffered through a 49 - 9 embarrassment. The Eagles haven't scored a TD in two weeks. The Steelers are a robust 2 - 5, heading for 2 - 6 next week in New England. And then there are the Bills.

In spite of the less than mediocre football currently available in the northeast, much of the NFL is hardly more entertaining than watching:
1. paint dry
2. grass grow,
3. the first 450 miles of a 500 mi. NASCAR race
4. Any WNBA game
5. All of the above

(In deference to our lovely daughter-in-law, I omitted soccer as a choice mainly because she could, no doubt,  out last me in a rumble and I like the way she drives the mean streets of Philly with complete abandon.)

The best that the NFC East has to offer are the Dallas Cowboys snatching defeat from the jaws of victory eight times a year, year after year after year...

The only thing black and blue about the NFC north are the foreheads of Chicago and Minnesota fans from pounding their heads against a wall in Green Bay. (The bipolar Lions are fun to watch - half of the time.)

The NFC South offers Drew Brees but they more than balance that out with three other teams that are a collective 6 - 15. How exciting!

AFC fans have nothing to brag about either. Like the NFC, only 5 of their 16 teams actually have winning records and that includes the 8 - 0 Chiefs who have completed half of the 2014 season without playing a team with a winning record. Now that's entertainment!!

So I apologize to all of those dedicated  Bills fans spending hard earned cash at the 'Ralph' for singling out their team in a league that provides a generally mediocre product, placed the lives of its players in jeopardy by suppressing concussion information for years, and whose multimillionaire owners are never shy or ashamed to demand taxpayers build them increasingly elaborate playpens.

Now I understand the explosive popularity of fantasy football. It's far more entertaining that the real thing.

- VK


I am not a Cardinal fan and I'm certainly not a Red Sox fan, so when you watch a World Series when your team isn't part of it, you tend to watch the game differently than when you have a rooting interest. So you watch for different things. You want to see grand slam homers, pitchers strike out the side on nine pitches, outstanding fielding plays and, of course, the odd play, the weird play, the crazy play.
And boy, have we had them in this series. Normally, when there is a Yankee-less series, I kind of watch the game as a background to reading or surfing the net. I usually go to bed early. But this year...who knows what else could happen? Will a fielder forget the number of outs and let a critical run score? Will the game end on a balk call? We could even see a walk-off hit-by-pitch.
I don't really care who wins (I DO! - Annie-O), but this is entertainment at it's best. David Ortiz,  hitting better than guys in a slow-pitch softball game. Shortstops who are so futile at the plate, they want a game ball when they manage to hit a loud foul. Sox catcher Saltalamacchia striking out 19 times in 32 at bats, which means he has gone the equivalent of 5 games with out touching a pitch. Managers who can't make a successful move; every post-game interview seems to start with, "I want to apologize to our fans for...", whatever happened that day. As Terry Francona says of managing in October:  "If you win, you are smart, and if you lose, you are dumb."
So now it's down to best of three, even more pressure. I can hardly wait.

From Brad Dickson's Bottom Ten
2. Connecticut (0-7): UConn continues to struggle with its bend and break defense.
 9. Eastern Michigan (1-7): The official word is that the school's eagle mascot flew south for the winter. I guess that sounds better than “escaped.”

"We got a kid in the minors, 22 years old, and in three years, he's got a chance to be 25."  -- Casey Stengel, discussing the poor state of the Yankee farm teams.
"Singer Wayne Newton’s yacht unexpectedly sank at a Lake Mead marina. Newton immediately rechristened it the SS Houston Texans."  -- Dwight Perry

"The way these World Series endings are going,  the fat lady won’t sing, she’ll slip on a banana peel."  -- Janice Hough
"Toronto has come in second out of 100 in a world ranking of cities having a good reputation. Or 99th if you include the Maple Leafs"  -- RJ Currie
"Some viewers are complaining that the Fox Network is making the World Series all about itself. There may be something to that. For the first three innings of Game 4 Erin Andrews was playing shortstop"  -- Brad Dickson
"Game 3 of the World Series ended with a Red Sox player called for obstruction, a call that is basically unheard of in major league baseball. Sort of like traveling in the NBA."  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, October 27, 2013


The Red Sox lost on a rare obstruction call last night. It's not like an umpire made a bad call or a baseball hit a pebble and hopped over a fielder. No. the Red Sox lost because their catcher, Jarrod Saltalamacchia made a very bad throw and Will Middleton, the third baseman, impeded the progress of a runner and was called for an obstruction. The call was correct.
I am NOT rooting for the Sox, obviously, and I was happy that St Louis won, but I felt no derision toward Boston for what amounted to an inadvertent play. What changed my attitude was reading the comments of Red Sox fans on ESPN. They ranged from "The call was wrong," "He wasn't in his way," It was the runner's fault," and "He wasn't trying to block him," all the way to, "Jim Joyce is a terrible ump and made up the call just so Boston would lose."
Even one of the Boston players got into the act. Jake Peavy said, "I cannot believe you make that call from home plate." Actually, it was third base ump Jim Joyce who made the call. Home plate umpire, Dana DeMuth simply signaled safe and pointed to third, indicating that the obstruction call overruled the call at the plate. I'm waiting to hear owner Larry Lucchino blame this on the Yankees, somehow. 

## St. Louis likes to claim they are MLB's best baseball city and they're right. If you don't include New York...or Chicago...or Los Angeles...or even Detroit. Detroit? Well, when you have a city that's bankrupt, that is never called 'beautiful', or is not considered a vacation paradise, yet fills the stands and cheers the team even when they lose,  then they have my vote.
## The NY Daily News runs a feature every fall called, "Keep 'em or Dump 'em."  The player with the highest percentage of "Keep 'em" votes was Alphonso Soriano with 93%.  The  "Dump 'em" category was led by Joba Chamberlain, with 93% also. Hal Steinbrenner also got into the "Dump 'em" category with 54% saying he should go. Good luck with that one. The one baseball axiom that has NEVER changed is, "You can't fire the owner."
## A study conducted by Bloomberg News (whoever they are), rate the NY Yankees as the most valuable MLB franchise at $3.28 Billion. That's Billion. Ironically, the least valuable is the Tampa Bay Rays at $530 Million. That's Million. In line with this report is a comment from Phil Mushnick of the NY Post. "Good news: The Yankees are holding the line on ticket prices, maintaining them at unaffordable."
## As Vod has so aptly pointed out, Tim McCarver keeps proving that this IS the time to retire, in fact, it may actually have been last year. I love his front-running tactics. During one at-bat last night. a pitcher threw a ball that was called a strike. "A good call," intoned McCarver, "Right on the corner."  Replays showed the pitch clearly outside. Did McCarver comment on that? Nope! Later, a pitch inside was called a ball. "Close, but the pitch was definitely inside." says McCarver. Again, replays showed the call was wrong, But Tim was too busy focusing on his next mistake to mention it.
##  I read where Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, has suspended the sale of block seating privileges for some students, because he was unhappy that some of them were leaving the game early. What!? How does he get away with this? If students were rowdy or disruptive, I could understand his unhappiness, but even then, he shouldn't have the right to arbitrarily block them from buying tickets. Shouldn't he be concentrating on the game instead of clocking the departure time of some of the students? The stadium has a capacity of 102,000 and yet he was still able to pick out who left the game early. If there is any justice in the world, one of those students will have a parent who is a lawyer and Saban will find himself in court. It's really beginning to look like the title "Head Coach" really means "University President."
## Understatement of the year: "It’s important for receivers to catch passes thrown right at them." - Jesse Palmer

"Ron Artest renaming himself Metta World Peace is like Mahatma Gandhi asking that we call him by his nickname, Spike."  -- Phil Mushnick

"If A-Rod did take PEDs, after the circus he has created, it sure seems hard to think he doesn’t deserve the entire 211-game suspension, if not more. Indeed, it seems to match the number of lawyers he has working on this matter."  -- Tom Harvey, NY Daily News
"I'm getting a little weary of questions about whether Creighton can handle the physicality of the Big East. Creighton played in a league with Wichita State, a group slightly more physical than the Romanian kick-boxing team."  -- Brad Dickson
"David Ortiz played  first base last night in the World Series So after the controversy about Jon Lester, this will make Big Papi the second Boston player with a possible foreign substance on his hand – his glove."  -- Janice Hough
"I’m not saying St. Louis baseball fans have gotten spoiled. But they call errors Cardinal sins"  -- RJ Currie
"Tiger Woods’ agent threatened legal action after Golf Channel commentator Brandel Chamblee accused the golfer of cheating.“Where were you four years ago?” said Elin Nordegren"  -- Dwight Perry
"Ex-Oregon tight end Colt Lyerla was arrested on cocaine charges: “Teammates suspected something was up when he was on the line: He tried to snort it."  -- Alan Ray
"Advil was named the official pain reliever of the NHL: “This is the second-most lucrative endorsement deal, next to being the official bail bondsman of the NFL"  -- Brad Dickson
"Roger Goodell says he wants NFL teams in both London and L.A. “but it doesn’t matter which one is first.” And London and L.A. are thinking “You take the Jaguars, no, after you, no, after you….”  -- Janice Hough
"Jesse Palmer is the master of the silly gridiron terminology. "I like the way he runs north and south” (formerly known as straight ahead.)"  --  Phil Mushnick



Game 3 Highlights

It's hard to tell you anything you don't already know about the Fox broadcast team: Buck, McCarver and Rosenthal. Buck is a literalist. McCarver dwells on the obvious. Together, they are humorless and Rosenthal is a bit of a buffoon. But if you had the misfortune of watching tonight's game with the sound on you heard McCarver reach the epitome of inanity  with the comment, "This Boston team is teeming with team players." 

What an enormously clever tintinnabulation, Tim. We expect no less from the Fair and Balanced.

Aa regards events in the rest of the universe:

College football. Bullah Bullah. 

Andrew Cuomo is once again playing the whore for multimillionaire New York contributors, inserting himself into the NYC mayoral race.

We have not seen Picasner since his return from the west coast. 

Would love to be riding in Florida with Mike. Maybe in December. 

Ted Cruz, Rickie Rubio, Rand Paul. It's amazing how so many pols make Mitt Romney look rational, compassionate and honest - traits he had in astonishingly limited supply in the last election.

$40 billion dollar cut in food stamps will begin in November, just in time for Thanksgiving. How appropriate. How Republican. How American.

Love to Canandaigua. The city completed the renovation of downtown sidewalks and tree replacement.  Looks great and maintains the character of a vibrant city center. Today the merchants sponsored the Halloween children's parade and down town Trick or Treat. The city swarmed with characters all afternoon. 

If anyone has a useful metaphor for the enormity of the Homeland Security apparatus, send it in. There is so much cancerous and surreptitious  growth that no one in or out of government knows just where it ends. Well, someone has to be manning all of those cameras, flying all of those drones, running covert and special-ops missions everywhere, using 'enhanced interrogation techniques...

Never in my lifetime has a President of the United States been so reviled by an opposition party committed to his failure, willing to obfuscate, smear and lie and to tear the nation apart with threats of secession and Donald Trump. 

That, my friends is scarier than Stephen King, the Alien trilogy or Hank Steinbrenner making decisions 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


## The Dodgers and the Red Sox made a huge trade that allowed the Sox to send their highest-paid, least-productive players to the Dodgers, at least, that's what it looked like at the time. The Dodgers were then supposed to win the World Series with the addition of those three players - Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzales and Carl Crawford. Well, they came up short, so changes had to be made.

First to go was Sue Falsone, Major League Baseball's first woman head trainer. Actually, there are some rumors that she quit and there are some that she was fired. Sue might not even know.

Next, was bench coach Trey Hillman, Dan Mattingly's right hand man, along with advance scout, Wade Taylor.

At a press conference, Mattingly said his option for 2014 vested when the team made the NL Championship. But, Mattingly added, "That doesn't mean I'm coming back." Mattingly says that with all the high-priced players, a manager needs to have a multi-year contract, " order to have some kind of leverage." I don't know how he figures that. Not one Major League club owner will hesitate to fire you just because you have 2 or 3 years left on your contract. Even two years after he was fired for the last time, Billy Martin still didn't know under which of his five contracts he was being paid. (I inadvertently wrote "pain" instead of "paid" in the last sentence. I almost didn't change it)
Dodger GM Ned Colletti was at the press conference and he sat unmoving, staring straight ahead the whole time Mattingly spoke. If Don thought he was threatening the Dodgers to renew his contract for more years, 'unmoving' is going to be Colletti's reaction to that, too.

## Tiger manager Jim Leyland has retired. He said, "When it's time to go, it's time to go. The fuel was running low." He didn't look like he had much enthusiasm during the playoffs. He was once hailed as a "genius," during his first two years as a manager. The most logical replacement would be bench coach Gene Lamont, but he has very little experience as a manager and no real success when he was. Jim Bowden former GM and now ESPN analyst says if he was the Tiger GM, he would look at recently fired Dusty Baker or Charlie Manuel. Ah yes, the Old Boys network: keep rehiring the same old managers over and over. Well, the term "genius" was never used in conjunction with Jim Bowden.

## From Brad Dickson's Bottom Ten
1. Miami (Ohio) (0-7): The RedHawks retain the No. 1 ranking after a loss to Akron in the in-state-rivalry-nobody-much-cared-about game of the week.
 8. New Mexico State (0-7): New Mexico State is located in Las Cruces, Spanish for “lopsided loss."

## A-Rods lawyers scheduled a press conference to talk about the hearing, but the arbitrator told them to cancel it because the hearing is bound by a confidentiality agreement. The lawyers claimed they were going to release "100+ page presentation." Why bother us with 100 more pages of allegations? Save iy for the hearing and force  people who are getting paid suffer through this malarkey. Oh, one more little tidbit. High-powered attorney Lanny Davis has joined the A-Rod defense team. Davis was formerly the White House special counsel for Bill Clinton. I guess we know what his duties will be for A-Rod.

## I read where NY Islander's  John Tavares was checked hard into the boards and when he went to the bench, he pulled his own tooth out of his mouth. Gee, and I thought I had bad dental coverage.

"Kris Humphries sold ex-wife Kim Kardashian's engagement ring for $749,000. Anyone who thinks that’s a lot to pay for a ring doesn’t foot a teenage daughter’s cellphone bill."  -- RJ Currie
"A professional soccer team will be called the Las Vegas Mobsters. You thought the name Redskins was controversial. Here's a group you really don't want to offend."  -- Brad Dickson
"Oregon was wearing pink helmets in its game against Washington State: So that partly answers the question: What happened to all their gear when the Lingerie Football League folded?"  -- TC Chong
"I remember the time I attended a Raiders-Chargers game. I would’ve felt safer at a Manson family reunion."  -- Norman Chad
"Basketball legend Michael Jordan’s 56,000-square-foot mansion in Highland Park, Ill., is going up for auction after two years of trying to sell it, The Wall Street Journal reported. Realtors aren’t expecting a bull market."  -- Dwight Perry
"Five ranked SEC teams lost on Saturday. No punchline. I just like writing that."  -- Janice Hough
"Even for those of us whose team’s are not in the World Series, one thing to smile about – after this year Tim McCarver is retiring!"  -- Janice Hough
"As of today, same-sex marriages are now legal in New Jersey. And today New Jersey governor Chris Christie announced he would no longer oppose gay marriage. He said, "How can I oppose anything that brings more cake into New Jersey?" -- Conan O'Brien


Saturday, October 19, 2013


St Louis Cardinals - 9, Los Angeles Dodgers - 0. End of story, right? Not really. There were more interesting stories than just the final score.

## Carlos Beltran continues post-season victory tour with three more hits and two more RBIs. He's hitting .337 with 16 homers and 37 RBIs in 45 games. He's so hot right now, I think they're making his uniform out of asbestos.
## The Dodger starter was Clayton Kershaw, arguably the best pitcher on the planet. He lasted 4 innings after the Cards lit him up for 10 hits, 2 walks and 7 runs.
## Don Mattingly failed again in his attempt to view a World Series game from a dugout instead of  from his favorite chair back home.
## The ebullient Yasiel Puig proved once again that enthusiasm isn't enough to make a good ballplayer. He made two more errors, including one more overthrow to the wrong base. He needs work and the Dodgers would be well-advised to start his instruction this afternoon.
## Dodger Joe Kelly and the Cards Scott VanSlyke had a 12-minute standoff in front of their respective dugouts for reasons unknown and were finally asked by the home plate umpire to return to their dugouts. When Kelly finally turned and went back in, the Dodger bench exploded, waving their arms and cheering. Unfortunately, it was the last battle they would win that night.
 So, now it's on to Boston (?) for the Cardinals.

Speaking of which, I can't see the ALCS going past tonight. Max Scherzer goes for Detroit and he's been overpowering, but the Tiger bullpen poses no problem for the Red Sox. As for the Detroit offense: Cabrera can't run - or even walk fast - Prince Fielder can't hit and there's no one to pick up the slack. And the game is in the friendly (for Boston) confines of Fenway Park.
I think Prince Fielder's struggles at the plate have gotten into his head. He's really pressing to point where he's swinging at the first pitch no matter where it is. And he's wondering why he's getting booed. Welcome to A-Rod's world, Prince.

Shane Victorino, a 10-year career switch-hitter, isn't anymore, at least for the rest of this season. He had to stop hitting left handed back in September because of an injury, but he tried again last night and then abandoned it, saying he, "...wasn't comfortable from the left side."

The New York papers are talking about the Yankees organizational meetings, which start on Monday. Rumors, theories and wild guesses are rampant. For the first time in a long while, the subtractions seem to outweigh the additions. Rivera, Pettitte, Hughes, Chamberlain, Youkilis and Overbay are gone. So are Granderson and Kuroda, although the Yanks are rumored to be making offers to both. If A-Rod's suspension is upheld, there is a potential $31 million in salary that becomes available.
The Yankee targets include the Braves catcher Brian McCann, Japanese star pitcher Tanaka, the Cardinal's Carlos Beltran (finally) and, of course, Robinson Cano. Good luck with all that and the $189 million salary ceiling.

"Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has been found not guilty of insider trading. This is a good thing because, in Texas, I'm pretty sure they send you to death row for that. Cuban was found not guilty by a jury of his peers: 12 loudmouths in T-shirts and jeans."  -- Brad Dickson
"Former NFL wide receiver Irving Fryar has been indicted in a mortgage scam.In other words, prosecutors say, he was taking it from the house."  -- Dwight Perry
"Archie Manning, the father of Eli and Peyton, held a press conference earlier today and announced Eli was actually the son of Frank Sinatra."  -- David Letterman
"FOX has announced that all World Series games this year will take place at 8:07pm EST, except for Sunday night’s game which will start at 815p. Way to pull in children as lifelong fans…. kids on the East Coast will be lucky to make it up for 3 innings."  -- Janice Hough
"The Washington Redskins are changing their name because of all the negativity, shame, humiliation, dissent, polarity, adversity, defiance, hatred, animosity, contempt, discrimination, division, violence, counter-productivity, ill-spirit, un-Godliness, and hostility associated with their name.From now on they will be known simply as the Redskins."  -- Thank you John Roberts
"The Minnesota Vikings play the NY Giants next Monday night. Think it’s time for fans to take their annual Bye Week"  -- TC Chong "Reuters reports an Australian pig drank 18 cans of beer, got into a fight with a cow, then passed out. On the bright side, it's been made the official mascot of the NHL."  -- RJ Currie
"Creighton University has unveiled a new logo. It's a fan talking on a cellphone while sipping a latte"  -- Brad Dickson
"The Ravens-Packers game featured what some are calling the longest explanation ever by an NFL official. Halfway through, Sen. Ted Cruz shouted, “get to the point."  -- Brad Dickson


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A. B. B.

So, how is everyone enjoying the playoffs? Aren't these games just thrilling?  Naw, not to me. As anyone who reads this blog knows, I root for the Yankees, the Bronx Bombers. The key word here is "Bombers." I don't mind seeing an occasional 1-0 or 2-1 game, but only occasionally. During these championship series, I've been forced to listen to the announcers talk about "...the masterful pitching job" that so and so is doing, and the "...the complete domination of hitters exhibited" by so and so. Okay, they are great pitchers, but I want runs. I was brought up on five o'clock lightning, tape measure home runs and the BIG inning. It ain't happening.

When Shane Robinson of the Cardinals hit a solo shot in the seventh inning against the Dodgers to make the score 4-2, analyst Nomar Garciaparra talked about how big that was, that a 2-run lead was like a 5-run lead. It sure is when the games being played right now, average only 4 runs a game total.

Think about this: those four teams have played 7 games and there have been only 28 total tuns scored and 11 came in one game, a 6-5 win by the Red Sox over the Tigers. Take that away and in six games, we've seen 17 runs, less than 3 runs a game. You can't even say they are well-played games because they aren't. Guys are getting picked off and there have been 6 errors charged. Outfielders can't seem to decide who should catch a fly ball, so no one does. Is this the best that MLB has in terms of talent?

Yes. I know I'm in the minority, but where are the big bombers? Where is the three-run homer? If David Ortiz hadn't belted a grand slam in the bottom of the 8th inning of Game two, I might have thought that Selig had banned home runs for the playoffs.

The games remind me of my youth playing sandlot ball at age 13, 14 or 15. Any pitcher who could throw the ball to the catcher without an arc would dominate the games. Better baseball? Maybe. But we had more fun playing pick-up games with scores of 21-19. I suppose if your favorite team is still playing, you're enjoying the games, but in our household, we're not, mainly because of the title of this posting:
Anybody But Boston.

## Can't have a baseball blog these days without some mention of A-Rod. Here's today's bit of slimy information. The two lawyers involved in the hearing almost came to blows last week. A-Rods lawyer, Joe Tacopina, and Anthony Bosch's lawyer, Jose Ayala, had a heated verbal exchange outside the courtroom which, some observers said, might have become physical except for the intervention of cooler heads. I'm finding it hard to believe that ANY 'heads' are involved in this, let alone 'cool' ones.

" A group of idiot Texan fans have been showing up at Matt Schaub's house to harass him. You know your season is off to a bad start when you take out the garbage and get sacked."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Sharks’ keen, green, teen goal machine, Tomas Hertl is the only guy in the NHL who is missing his front teeth because they haven’t come in yet."  -- Scott Ostler
" The Lakers and Warriors are playing two exhibition games in China: They’ll see overcrowding, traffic congestion and air pollution. And once out of California, it’s on to Beijing."  -- Alan Ray
"Usually the Giants lose on Sundays, but they wanted to get it in early this week so they could enjoy the weekend."  -- Jimmy Kimmel
"On Sunday, the Chiefs sacked Raiders QB Terrelle Pryor 10 times. The first two times during pregame warmups."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Plymouth (Ind.) High School band has been banned from playing “Rocky Top” at Rockies sporting events because the song’s third verse includes a moonshine reference. Next up on the prohibition docket: No more road games in Champaign, Ill."  -- Dwight Perry
"A referee at a high-school football game in Covington, La., tried to eject a police officer who intervened in a sideline spat — and got himself hauled off to jail instead. Apparently “offsetting penalties” didn’t apply in this case."  -- Dwight Perry
"ALCS teams Detroit and Boston led the majors this season with a combined 3191 hits. They've put more men in scoring position than Paris Hilton."  -- RJ Currie

"The Jacksonville Jaguars have reportedly been using ball boys as scout team wide receivers in practice. The worst part: On Wednesday, a ball boy burned Jaguars' defensive backs for five TD receptions."  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, October 13, 2013


More and more sports writers are commenting on  mistakes Don Mattingly is making. They say that he gets out-managed by the more experienced managers he's up against. And the press does it almost apologetically because Mattingly is well liked and they consider him a gentleman. Even so, they jump on every move he makes especially when the moves don't work. As Charley Manuel, formerly of the Phillies, found out, if strange moves pay off, you're a genius. If they don't, you're fired. This doesn't bode well for Mattingly.
The last couple of years, the Yanks have failed miserably in the playoffs, mostly because nobody hits. Then there's Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals. Pitchers can't seem to get him out in the playoffs. In 41 games (150 at bats), he's hitting .348, with 16 homers and 34 RBIs.  That's about 70 homers and 150 RBIs over the course of a full season. Compare Beltran's post-season stats with the Yankees TEAM totals for the last two post seasons: 11 home runs and 50 runs scored in just under 500 total at bats.
Just to add salt to the wounds, I've read that two different times, when Beltran was a free agent, he offered the Yanks a discount to sign with them and was refused both times. Nice going, Cashman.
Runners don't 'run forward for yards,' they run "north & south." Okay, if you think about it, you can sort of accept that, but what about this one: "He high-pointed the ball." Any idea what that means? That's what they call it when a receiver jumps up in the air to catch a pass. Please! This is what you get when there are three people in the booth competing for air time and trying to get noticed. Sometimes competition isn't a good thing.
My sister-in-law, a staunch Dodger fan,  mutes the sound during post-season games and listens to Vin Scully on the radio. Given the choice, who wouldn't do that? She does complain that Scully's broadcast is 4 or 5 seconds ahead of the TV broadcast. I've got news for you, Sweetheart. Vin Scully is WAY ahead of the announcers on TV  and it has nothing to do with timing.
The Dodgers are down 2 games to none and the Red Sox are behind 1 game to none. Pitching is everything in a short series and the Dodgers are about to face the Cardinals best pitcher, Adam Wainwright. The Red Sox hill is even steeper. They go up against Max Scherzer (21-3) and a rejuvenated Justin Verlander.
As a side note, last night, those four teams faced off and the result was a total of 2 runs and 17 hits. The Red Sox needed a one-out, ninth-inning single to just keep from being no-hit.
The Yanks are highly interested in Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. He will be one of those bid-posting pitchers that the Japanese teams force MLB teams to pay just for the right to negotiate with the player. Which means, teams will probably pay anywhere from $30 to $40 million  just for the exclusive right to try and sign him. Tanaka went 24-0 last season and hasn't lost since August of 2012. Maybe he'll be worth it, but I have just 4 words for Brian Cashman: Hideki Irabu & Kei Igawa.

"After making a play in the Miami Heat exhibition game, Michael Beasley celebrated by hitting himself in the head so hard he required medical treatment. Worse, the ref called a flagrant foul on Beasley and awarded Beasley two free throws."  -- Brad Dickson
"Did you see Peyton Manning run for a touchdown against Dallas? For a while there I thought he'd draw a penalty for delay of game."  -- RJ Currie
"Clemson  suspended two players for “poor behavior.” And NY Giants fans said “You can do that?”  -- Janice Hough
"The Dallas Cowboys shut down their postgame locker room a bit early Sunday after media members got into a scuffle queuing up around linebacker Sean Lee’s cubicle to discuss the 51-48 loss to the Broncos. Or to put it in football terms, the press coverage was bump-and-run."  -- Dwight Perry
"I’ve never watched Breaking Bad. Is it a documentary on the NY Giants and Jacksonville Jaguars football season?"  -- TC Chong
"The Nobel Prize for chemistry once again went to the Yankee Stadium hot dog."  -- David Letterman

"The Chicago Bulls’ Derrick Rose said he’d run over his own mother on the court to win a game. Bad news for the Charlotte Bobcats, who recently signed Rose’s mom to a five-year deal."  -- Brad Dickson
"Looking for a little something different for that Texas A&M fan on your holiday list? Thanks to upcoming stadium renovations, a square of Kyle Field sod can be yours for just $20. Or $10,020, if you can get Johnny Football to stamp his cleatmark into it."  -- Dwight Perry
"The New York Giants are 0-6 and nobody is more frustrated that quarterback Eli Manning. After the last game, he was so angry he threw his helmet - and it was intercepted."  -- David Letterman


Thursday, October 10, 2013


##  Joe Girardi is back. Four million a year for four years, plus incentives. Gee, I hope he wasn't 'insulted' like the previous manager was.

##  I had to reread this twice before I was convinced it wasn't a joke. Paul O'Neil is interested in becoming the manager of the Cincinnati Reds. It seems he was contacted by owner Bob Castillini about his interest in the job. O'Neil is a native of Cincinnati, so I can see why such an offer would interest him, but I can't see him as the manager. He is fun to listen to in the booth, but I don't think he could handle the statistical part of the job that has become mandatory in the last few years. I think he just wants in on the post-game buffets.

##  Detroit and Oakland play tonight to determine the final member of the championship series. Those series will start Friday, and if all goes well - no serious rain-out delays - the World Series would end on October 31st if it went seven games. Whew, just made it.

##  Hated to see the Pirates lose, the fans were so happy and appreciative. Hopefully, this wasn't a one shot deal.

##  What Yankee manager has the most career wins as the manager? Most people would guess Casey Stengel (1149 wins), but it's not him. Billy Martin, by comparison has only 556 wins, 8 less than Joe Girardi. And it's not Joe Torre (1173) either. It's Marse Joe McCarthy, who ended up managing the Yanks for 16 years and totaled 1460 wins and seven World Championships. He might have even lasted with George Steinbrenner at the helm.  Nah!

##  This little item appeared in Janice Hough's blog today:
"When interviewed for local radio and asked for his NLDS prediction, Chipper Jones had predicted LA would beat Atlanta in 4 games.  So the entire Braves team boycotted his throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for game 1, and Chipper had to throw to the mascot. Sounds like Atlanta is just as classy as their fans’ Tomahawk Chop."  Boy, if that isn't a reason to root against the Braves, I don't know what is.

"Cowboys owner Jerry Jones called his teams loss to the Broncos a moral victory. Translation: they beat the spread and I made a shitload of money."  -- TC Chong 
"Mark Sanchez had season-ending surgery today, and said “I’m very disappointed that I can’t be out there to help my team on the field.” Many NY Jets fans are thinking that he’s doing a great job of helping his team by staying OFF the field."  -- Janice Hough
"Darko Milicic, the 7-foot former NBA draft bust, told that he spends a lot of his time fishing these days. So just call him The Big One That Got Away — with about $52 million."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Chicago Cubs are looking for a new manager. The job comes with the salary set high and the bar set low."  -- RJ Currie

It ain't sports, but...
"Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, who's 80 and the second-oldest member of U.S. Senate, is running for re-election. He will be traveling the state in a bus with its left turn signal on the entire way."  -- Brad Dickson


Wednesday, October 09, 2013


##  Boston Red Sox finally beat back the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 last night, and are in the AL Championship series. When the outcome became obvious, in a last ditch effort to get some recognition on ESPN, home plate umpire, Paul Emmel, chased Ben Zobrist back to the Rays' dugout after calling him out on a checked swing.  Okay, we got it, Paul. You're in charge. Now go home and watch the Series on TV.

##  There is a new trend in baseball. When your team doesn't have a good season, fire the 1st base coach. The Arizona Diamondbacks climbed aboard that wagon when they fired first base coach, Steve Sax. First base coaches all over the country are practicing those handshakes.

##  At the end of the season, Joe Girardi said he didn't want the negotiations for the Yankee managerial job to drag on. He's had an offer from the Yanks for almost a week and there has been nothing from Girardi. Meanwhile, the Robinson Cano negotiations are also at a standstill. The Yankee offer is not known, but Cano's original bid of $21,000 AN INNING, for 10 years. IS known.

##  Colorado Outfielder, Carlos Gonzales, has decided he won't have corrective surgery on the middle finger of his right hand, preferring to try rehab instead. Since it is the middle finger, I hope the workout is done in private.

##  Has AJ Burnett worn out his welcome in Pittsburgh? After giving up 7 runs in the 3rd inning of Game One, Manager Clint Hurdle has passed over him for the rubber game tonight in St. Louis. Burnett is a free agent after this season and turns 37 in January.

##  Larry Bowa, whose name surfaces every time there is a managerial opening, has announced he is returning as Bench Coach for the Phillies. No word yet on the first base coach.

"Nike unveiled new Pro Bowl uniforms today, changing their colors from blue and red to orange and yellow. Sure, that will do it. The reason the game has been so unwatchable has been the color scheme…."  -- Janice Hough
" An 80-year-old Colorado weightlifter has been banned for two years after testing positive for steroids. The 80-year-old was exposed after Jose Canseco showed up at the nursing home demanding he be tested."  -- Brad Dickson
"NASCAR's Danica Patrick will co-host the American Country Awards. And why not? Her marriage broke up, she's got a dog, drives a Chevy and all her chases end in heartache."  -- RJ Currie
"Oddsmakers have installed the Broncos as a record 27-point favorite over the Jaguars on Sunday. To put that in perspective, even Custer got 25½ at Little Big Horn."  -- Dwight Perry
" If our politicians can shut down the entire federal government, can’t they at least do us one favor and shut down the Jaguars, too? Now THAT would be public service!”  -- Mike Bianchi
"A woman streaker on the 18th fairway livened up the proceedings Sunday at the President’s Cup golf tournament in Dublin, Ohio. Apparently she’d heard it was a skins format this year."  -- Dwight Perry
"Not saying I don't like Mark Cuban's chances in his insider-trading trial. But his best character witness so far has been David Stern."  -- RJ Currie

"In Iowa City, a man whose last name is “Fudge” has been charged with stealing ice cream. I really have nothing to add here."  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, October 06, 2013


** "Smith has already had three walk-off hits this year!"
     (Of course, he's failed 87 times)
**  "He can do it all."
     (He's just not doing it often enough.)
**  "He didn't give in. He threw him a breaking ball in a fastball count!"
     (Everybody's throwing a breaking ball in a fast ball count.)
**  "He's one of the most respected (hitting/pitching) coaches in the league."
     (They're all the most respected coaches in the league. And they all get fired.)
**  "He brings more to the game than just a batting average."
     (I wish I knew what it was.)
**  "He great in the clubhouse."
     (...but he sucks on the field)

## A-rod has sued MLB. A-Rod has sued Bud Selig. A-Rod has sued the Yankee's team doctor. A-Rod has sued a hospital. He's sued everybody but Lance Armstrong. He has so many famous lawyers working for him, even OJ is saying, "Dude. Lighten up."
## Justin Verlander and Sonny Gray went head-to-head and gave up nothing in a game the Athletics won 1-0 in the 9th inning. Why do they say a 1-0 game is " of the best games...", but 10-9 slug fest is just "exciting?" Why can't that be the best, too?
## This is interesting. Buster Olney wrote as a part of his blog, "How Verlander could have won." He followed this with a long analysis of his pitching performance, listing all kinds of statistics. This was unnecessary. The real answer was: Have the Tigers score a run.
## Reggie Jackson has come out with a tell-all book. He loves George Steinbrenner, hates everyone else. Which is the basic concept adhered to by all baseball stars: FOLLOW THE MONEY.
## ESPN polled it's 35 experts on who they predicted would win the World Series. The results: Red Sox - 10, Detroit -8. No one else was close. If neither of these two teams are your favorites, don't be disheartened. Two of those "experts" picked the Cincinnati Reds. Those two have already looked dumb for 6 days.
## David Ortiz reportedly bragged that he would hit two home runs BEFORE Saturday's game. As they say, if you can do it, it ain't bragging! Big Papi is also well-known for enjoying his homers. He stands and watches them until they hit the stands and is also known to have the slowest home run trot in baseball. This could lead to something interesting in Tampa in the next few days.
## Tom Brady was asked by Vanity Fair, what his favorite article of clothing was. He said, "My wife's lingerie." Oh, yeah.

"Oakland’s Oaksterdam University, founded in 2007 by medical-marijuana activist Richard Lee, bills itself as America’s “first and premier cannabis college.” In a related story, Ricky Williams no longer lists Texas as his alma mater."  -- Dwight Perry
"Why did his first season in Cleveland go better than his final one in Boston: “We stayed away from chicken and beer. That helped.”  -- Terry Francona
"USA Today defines having five drinks or more in a row as binge drinking, while 10 or more is extreme binge drinking. Downing 15 drinks or more is called Lindsay Lohan."  -- RJ Currie

"The NFC East is so weak, I think one more Giants’ loss and they clinch a first round bye."  -- Mark Ragovin
"During all these college football games, universities like to run commercials touting their academics complete with lots of pictures. A shame players probably don’t see the ads, many of them would enjoy seeing what the classrooms look like."  -- Janice Hough
"Reportedly, USC Athletic Director Pat Haden fired Lane Kiffin on the tarmac at LAX and then refused to give Kiffin a ride back to campus. That's when you know a team's road trip didn't go well —- the coach is spotted waiting at a bus stop with luggage."  -- Brad Dickson
"Detroit Lion receiver Nate Burleson broke his arm in a car accident after running into a median while reaching over to grab a pizza falling off a seat. A lot of fans from Chicago have been calling — to check on the pizza."  -- Brad Dickson
"You can now purchase fantasy football insurance for $1,000 in case one of your star players gets injured. If you have fantasy football coverage and no auto insurance, you may want to re-examine your priorities."  -- Brad Dickson


Friday, October 04, 2013


## So what if the Yankees aren't in the playoffs. At least there are a couple of former Yankees there to carry on the tradition: AJ Burnett can't pitch and Nick Swisher can't hit. It's like old times.

## I think I've figured out GM Brian Cashman's secret plan. Spread all these under-achieving Yankees around the league. It makes the other teams easier to beat. Now if we can only get Boston to take on Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Vernon Wells, we won't have to worry about them for a couple of years.

## Don't you love having to listen to the announcers and "expert commentators" that TBS has to hire because of all the games they carry? These guys sound like they've never been in a TV booth before. They try to talk to each other like they were friends back in high school - assuming they made it to high school. When talking about the Dodger defense, one announcer (I'm not going to bother to learn their names) said, "I can't wait to see Puig throw. He's got a great arm." If you watch ESPN, you'd probably see him throw at least once a week. ...Or aren't you allowed to watch ESPN?

## Cal Ripken, Jr. may have been a great player, but he's not very dynamic. Here's a guy that could make "Flash" Flaherty sound exciting.

## There is a big uproar right now to try and get the Washington pro-football team to get rid of the name "Redskins." So how does Atlanta get away with that inane, annoying tomahawk chop?

## Apparently, I'm not the only one who thought Dusty Baker mis-managed the wild card game. The Cincinnati Reds have fired him.

## There is an article on the net that mentions some of the now defunct team names. Some names were too cool to lose, such as the Minnesota North Stars or the Dallas Chaparrals, but some...well, let's just say goodbye. The Boston Beaneaters, the Cleveland Spiders and the Brooklyn Bridegrooms. Three good reasons to wear your uniform inside out.

"Tampa Bay pitcher Fernando Rodney found himself locked in a washroom when the lock jammed. He was finally able to open the door when he moved his baseball cap to the “Unlock” position."  -- TC Chong
"In tonight’s NFL game, the starting quarterbacks for both the Bills and the Browns were both injured and knocked out of the game. Is this God’s way of saying he REALLY misses Tebow?"  -- Janice Hough
"What do you call Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker being out of the Titans' lineup with a hip injury? The Hurt Locker."  -- RJ Currie
"According to researchers at England’s University of East Anglia, the world will end between 1.75 billion and 3.25 billion years from now.Or whenever the Mariners win the World Series, whichever comes first."  -- Dwight Perry
"Patriots QB Tom Brady, to Vanity Fair magazine, on his favorite articles of clothing: “My wife’s lingerie.”
"Denver QB Peyton Manning has broken several records already this year. He confuses teams by constantly changing his no huddle play calls at the line of scrimmage. Yelling out “Papa Johns, Papa Johns, No Dominos, No Caesar Caesars” has totally confused defenses."  -- TC Chong
" Two football coaches brawled after an Alabama high-school football game. C'mon, guys, this isn't life or -- oh, wait, because it's high-school football in Alabama, it is life or death."  -- Brad Dickson
"Advil has been named the official pain reliever of the National Hockey League. So what’s the league’s official chewing gum — Chiclets?"  -- Dwight Perry

Dareya to print this dept.
A couple having sex on the tracks was run over by a train in Russia this week. This is the first documented railroad accident case where a train pulled out on time and people didn’t."  -- TC Chong


Wednesday, October 02, 2013


## You only needed to watch one half inning of baseball last night, to see that the Pittsburgh crowd was into it. I mean really into it. Although pitcher Johnny Cueto, manager Dusty Baker and all the rest of the Cincinnati Reds (and Annie-O) denied it, the crowd did get to Cueto. He maintained a staid look on his face, but his pitches belied his somber demeanor. Unlike a Duke basketball crowd, who gets personal with their taunting, the Pirate fans just chanted his name. The Bucs are riding a high horse of emotion right now.

I think Dusty Baker managed the game like it was the regular season instead of a one-and-done situation. He left Cueto in too long. What are you saving the bullpen for? After the 2nd home run, it was obvious Cueto was struggling with his command. It was time for a change and Dusty didn't make it. Game over.

## I don't think you'll see Joe Madden or Terry Francona make the same mistake tonight. This game is a toss-up. Cleveland's on a roll, but Tampa always seems to find a way to win without relying on a big superstar, although Evan Longoria could certainly qualify for that title.

## Texas disappointed their fans again, but management has found the cause and dealt with it. They fired their first base coach. This makes no sense. Wouldn't you be better off firing the third base coach? He's the guy that didn't send enough runners home. All the first base coach has to do is congratulate a player for getting on base and collect the various shin guards they wear. Was some of the equipment missing? Doesn't he know all the complicated handshakes? What happened?

## There is a report, denied by A-Rods entourage, of course, that A-Rod claims that he thought the drugs he got from the Biogenesis lab were legal. Haven't we heard this one before? Was A-Rod's cousin working there after A-Rod had to separate himself from him? You just knew this wasn't going to be a high-minded, sophisticated situation from the beginning.

"Also a result of the shutdown, the Air Force-Navy football game may not be played. Even if it is played, a private citizen will have to donate a coin for the opening flip."  -- Brad Dickson
"Sunday’s Raiders game has been pushed back to 8:30pm due to the A’s playoff game on Saturday. Supposedly it takes over 24 hours to remove the sewage from the baseball game and replace it with fresh sewage for football."  -- TC Chong
"A Pittsburgh win in October? Since when did they start Tuesday Night Football?"  -- Janice Hough
"What a perfect Northwest sports weekend, Huskies win! Seahawks win! Mariners’ season ends!”  -- Tim Hunter
"Four NFL centers are endorsing a new line of moisturized men's butt wipes. I can picture that phone call from a player's agent. "Hey, I got you an endorsement deal." "What am I gonna endorse -- a men's hair care product, an automobile?" "You better sit down."  -- Brad Dickson
"The NFL fined Panthers QB Cam Newton $10,000 for using a non-approved manufacturer visor clips on his helmet. Clipping penalty? No kidding."  -- Dwight Perry
"Lions receiver Nate Burleson broke his arm when he crashed his car while trying to save a couple pizzas from sliding off his front seat. Making him the first football player ever stopped by just two in the box."  -- Dwight Perry
"I’m not sure what to say about Funny Car driver Courtney Force's nude photo in ESPN's The Body issue. May the Force be with me?"  -- RJ Curry
"A jury has been seated in Mark Cuban's insider-trading case. It doesn't look good for Mark. The jury includes three NBA refs."  -- Brad Dickson


Tuesday, October 01, 2013


## Ahh, the playoffs have started. Well, almost. We did have a game yesterday. Two teams playing for the right to play in a game to see who has the right to play in the playoffs. I had to reread that last sentence to make sure I got it right.
Tonight, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati play to determine who will be the wild card in the NL. Tomorrow, Cleveland & Tampa Bay fight for the AL wild card spot.
On Thursday, LA & Atlanta play a REAL playoff game. Then on Friday, yes, FRIDAY, Detroit and Oakland  finally get a chance to play - five days after the end of the regular season.

I don't know why ($) it takes so long ($) to play all these games ($). Every year, they end up playing a World Series game in November, or close to it, and they wonder why. We all know why ($). You don't want TV viewers to have to make a choice on who to watch, they make them ALL available. More TV time, more commercials - oh, and more money. Gee, I never thought of that.

## A quote form Pat Hayden, Athletic Director of USC, in July, 2013.
"I anticipate the media will ask me if our football coach is on the hot seat this year.  He is not. I’m behind Lane Kiffin 100 percent."
Sunday, after two losses in five games, he fired him.

##  From Jesse Rogers, ESPN: "The Chicago Cubs had too much respect for former manager Dale Sveum to get into specifics about the reasons he was fired on Monday..." 
If they had that much respect, why didn't they provide him with a better team?  Dale, you should have pulled an "Eric Wedge," and fired the Cubs first. 

## I understand that in critical baseball games, hitters get overly aggressive and pitchers tend to overthrow, but that was some of the most aggressive and foolhardy baserunning I've ever seen in a playoff atmosphere.  A runner thrown out at second by 10 feet, trying to stretch a single into a double, and two runners picked off at first? Not too good. 

## The Biogenesis/A-Rod hearing started yesterday. There goes Selig's dictum that there should be no big announcements from teams during the playoffs. If there's a decision during one of the games, I guarantee there will be press conferences, interviews and an analysis from Buster Olney, during the game.

## Annie-O has decided that she will be rooting for Pittsburgh in the playoffs and I will be rooting for Cleveland. Neither one of us may have a favorite in the mix after Wednesday.

" Asked about benching Geno Smith, NY Jets coach Rex Ryan replied, “It’s not a thought at this point right now.” Mainly because he can’t think of an alternative."  -- Janice Hough
" During a debate with Skip Bayless on ESPN, Stephen A. Smith appeared to fall asleep. According to a quick survey, 90 percent of sports viewers would rather watch a guy sleep on ESPN than sample the NFL Network."  -- Brad Dickson [Sounds to me like Smith had the right idea. - CP]
"Some people call the Astros’ Baseball 101 Ladies Night an insult to women. Some women call the Astros an insult to baseball."  -- RJ Currie
"The Chicago #Cubs have fired manager Dale Sveum. No word on a replacement yet. But no job comes with lower expectations."  -- Janice Hough
"Mark Cuban's trial for alleged insider trading began Monday morning in Dallas. It's going well. So far Cuban's only been called for two technicals and fined once"  -- Brad Dickson