Thursday, December 25, 2014




Saturday, December 20, 2014


But wait, it's in the wrong direction. The Yanks have sent David Phelps and Martin Prado south to Miami.In return, NY got a pitcher with a 6-14 record, a 34-year old utility player, a minor league pitcher and a used bowling shirt, color to be named later.
All winter we've listened to Brian Cashman and the Yankee front office, extol the virtues of Prado and have listed him as the starting third baseman, the starting second baseman, a back-up first baseman and a relief outfielder with the ability to DH. Finally, we now know where he's going to play: in Miami.
And maybe Phelps wasn't the greatest pitcher, but he showed no fear on the mound and would start or relieve as needed. In return, NY received a pitcher who has never won more than 6 games in a season with a career ERA over 4.00. In fairness, he is only 24 and throws a fastball that averages 96 mph.
Garrett Jones is 33 and plays 1st base and right field. If he gets the at bats, he could be a 20+ homer guy. With Headley at third and Jones backing up first, A-Rod may be reduced to warming up the pitcher and pinch-running. Girardi is going to have a good time controlling that ego.

It's bowl time
The first game is already over with LA-Lafayette beating Nevada, 17-3. If you forgot about this game, never fear there are 38 more games in our future. So there's quantity, but quality? Not so much. Back in the dark ages (when I was a lad), there were about 10 bowl games and the teams playing had records like 8-2, 7-3 or 9-1. This year, in 10 of those games, the two teams have a combined 11 or more losses. Are these bowl games or scrimmages? It's good that these student-athletes get some time off from skipping those classes all year. Of course, for some, it's not all that big a deal.
Poinsettia Bowl  --
Navy (7-5) vs. San Diego State (7-5)

The game is in San Diego. Tune in to see the facial expressions of San Diego State players whose reward for a good season was getting to travel eight blocks.  --  Brad Dickson

If you play for the right team, you get to bask in the sun in Florida. There are 3 bowl games there. Or you could end up in the Bahamas or Hawaii. Not too bad, but be warned, you could also end up in Boise, Idaho, in the Potato Bowl, where the pre-game banquet will satisfy your craving for baked potatoes for some time. Or, you could be in the Bronx for the Pinstripe Bowl, where teams get extra points if they make it to the stadium without getting mugged.

I miss the days of sitting around my uncle's house on New Years day, eating for 12 straight hours and listening to my Uncle Al explain the benefits of playing a 5-team Round Robin ticket for $10. It was also fun hearing his pronunciations of some of the teams. There was Are-Kansas (Arkansas) or You-cla (UCLA). Laugh if you want, but he always made money.

"On Sunday, I plan to sit, not move a muscle and watch football. I'm going to pretend I'm Jay Cutler."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Panthers won an NHL-record 20-round shootout over the Capitals when Nick Bjugstad scored. The last time a shootout used that many rounds, it was ended by Doc Holliday."  -- RJ Currie
"Tiger Woods flubbed four chip shots in his first return round: “Watching Woods mangle all these chip shots was like watching Bobby Flay burn all the grilled-cheese sandwiches"   -- Cameron Morfit
"QB Jay Cutler said it has “crossed his mind” that he has played his final games with the Bears. But then presumably that thought was intercepted."  -- Janice Hough
"Riesa, Germany, hosted the World Tap Dance Championships this month. Roger Goodell’s handling of the Ray Rice case came in third."  -- Dwight Perry
"Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte says “I’d rather have the experience of playing in the NFL and die 10 to 15 years earlier than not play in the NFL and have a long life”. By the way, Conte has suffered at least two concussions and is still unaware that he plays for the Bears."  -- TC Chong
"Florida State and Texas A&M colleges will offer classes in “Autographing for Dummies 101” starting next semester. Stanford was the only school to previously offer this class, but their only student that signed up was Tiger Woods, who flunked."  -- TC Chong


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Wait for It

One of my nephews recently posted four ‘quotes’ (notably without citation) from four congressional democrats as proof they are unfit to serve in the posts to which they were elected. Were we to follow his advice, campaigns could be reduced to a three or four day affair, the Supreme Court would not have had to turn the Constitution on its ear in its Citizen United decision and the recent explosion of contribution ‘limits’ in the budget bill that assures the rich can more easily buy elections would not have been necessary.
While I’m sure he knows all of this, apparently the GOP is once again ready to compete and win in the “Let’s Say Really Stupid Things” competition held every day of the week, weekends and holidays included.
Responding to the news that President Obama has chosen to end a failed cold war Cuba policy and begin a process to normalize relations with the island, however not ending a horrible embargo, Florida senator Marco “Born with a Silver Spoon” Rubio has labeled the President a “traitor”.
South Carolina senator Lindsey “Chicken Hawk” Graham and John “Bitter Old White Guy” McCain (yes the BOW-G that gave us the Queen of Mean Sarah Pallin) may need reconstructive surgery after their heads exploded and jaws became unhinged trying to defend 50 years (that’s right, five decades) of grotesque stupidity – the embargo. (I'm personally deeply disappointed by McCain's stupidity because he has been been my mentor, guru and role model in my quest for Bitter Old White Guy status. Aunt Laurie can verify that).
Anyway, all of this crock of crap from members of the party that idolizes Richard “I Am Not a Crook” (well, yes he was) Nixon who normalized relations with Mao’s China and decided that the best way to secure that normalization was to crate and ship US manufacturing to a totalitarian, one-party commie regime; and the party that has anointed Ronald Reagan the Second Coming, the man who authorized the sale of weapons to Iran to raise money for South American death squads.
Isn’t it stunning that the US has normal diplomatic ties with Viet Nam, a country where 50,000 US soldiers lost their lives, where over 250,000 US soldiers were wounded, where hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese civilians were carpet bombed to death, incinerated with napalm (thank you Dow for developing better ways to slaughter through chemistry) and huge tracts of the country were rendered toxic with Agent Orange - but opening an embassy in Havana is, according to the deranged GOP, an act of treason?
You can be sure, my dear nephew, that the vitriol is just beginning and you will have more than enough really stupid quotations to cite when Ted Cruz, the last standing Bush brother, FoxNews, along with Glen, Rush, Cal, Michele, Sarah, the crazed Ms. Coulter and other blovating notables crank up.
And in local developments, you can expect the same level of hysteria and hyperbole from the oil and gas industry and its minions now that fracking has been banned in New York State.

In the meantime, I encourage you to keep an open mind, separate fact from fiction, recognize good news when it happens, and most of all, don’t believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.

And what does this have anything to do with baseball, in general, or specifically the Yankees? It's still illegal to scout in Cuba.  - Vod

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Memories do, at least in sports. We remember players running faster than they actually did. They hit better than the records show. The fielding plays were more spectacular in our minds than in the film clips we watch. I recall Mickey Mantle's catch in game 5 of the 1956 World Series as being better than the clip I saw a week ago. I remember watching Roger Craig of the 1960 Mets throwing over to first 20 straight times to keep Maury Wills from stealing - it was really only eleven - and Wills stealing on the first pitch he threw after that.
Recently, Janice Hough wrote in her blog:
"So the SF Giants “lost” Chase Headley to the NY Yankees, 4 years, $52 million. But the guy’s stats last year? He hit .243 with 13 home runs and 49 RBIs. We aren’t exactly talking Brooks Robinson here."
I responded, " Of course, at age 31 (Headley's current age), Brooks Robinson hit .253 with 17 home runs and 75 RBIs. We’re not talking A-Rod, either." She agreed.
I wonder how many people think Robinson was a much better hitter than his actual numbers? His fielding abilities as compared to his actual abilities warrant the same scrutiny. He was an excellent fielder,  but his great reputation was helped in no small part by a great World Series he had with his glove. It's funny that another very good fielder at third also had a great World Series but he is not thought of as any where near the fielder that Brooks was. That fellow was Graig Nettles. George Brett was even better than Nettles but he didn't have the show-off Series that the other two did. I read once that Clete Boyer was better than Robinson but his brother Ken was even better, maybe the best ever.
As they say, "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend."

** Brian Cashman and the Yankee front office have continually stated that they are NOT in the hunt for Max Scherzer, yet many columnists don't believe them. Today, Jim Bowden of ESPN listed the Yanks as the third best possible candidate for Scherzer behind the Tigers and the Giants. Of course, George Steinbrenner would have signed him up weeks ago, but his son Hal is much more conservative.
My prediction: If there is a "surprise" signing, it will be James Shields and not Scherzer.

** Do the Yanks know something about A-Rod that they haven't told anyone yet? They've gone from saying that he'll play a lot of third base to some third base, some first base, to Cashman's recent pronouncement that A-Rod is their full time Designated Hitter. If A-Rod was in very good health, I can't imagine him being this quiet about Cashman's statements. He may have matured a lot in the last year or so, but not that much. He's still a drama queen. I've got to believe that A-Rod hasn't progressed physically as far as he had hoped.

"Meanwhile, once again, rumors are that Sunday could be the Raiders last game in Oakland. And many fans are thinking “Promise?”"  -- Janice Hough
"A teenager from Morrill, Nebraska, won the bronze medal at the tap-dancing World Championships. He'll also receive the prestigious "Nebraska Kid I'd Least Like To Live Downstairs From" Award."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Astros said an October Taylor Swift concert at Minute Maid Park will be moved if it conflicts with a postseason game. Right. And I told my wife I’d be late for dinner if  Kate Upton calls."  -- RJ Currie
Talking about the death of Topps’ Sy Berger, 91, the father of baseball cards: “He will be laid to rest in a shoe box somewhere in an attic."  -- Conan O'Brien
"There is a talent gap between his 2-21 76ers team and the 19-4 Grizzlies: “To think we’re going to beat them apples to apples, we’re not. They’ve got better apples.”  -- Coach Brett Brown
"The Madame Alexander Doll Company plans to have a Danica Patrick edition, as well as other NASCAR-branded dolls, out in time for the 2015 holiday shopping season.  The NHRA, not to be outdone, will counter with Barbie and Ken in drag."  -- Dwight Perry
"Yankees GM Brian Cashman, lowering expectations for A-Rod during an interview today “I can’t expect Alex to be anything.” Oh, I don’t know. A magnet for tabloid headlines seems a pretty sure bet."  -- Janice Hough
"During a trial, jurors were told they may wish to look away because the prosecutor was going to show something they may find disturbing. It was footage of Johnny Manziel's first NFL start on Sunday."  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, December 14, 2014


There are some big rivalries in baseball: the Dodgers and the Giants, the Royals and the Cardinals, the Mets and the Yanks and, of course, the Yankees and the Red Sox, to name a few. But there's a new show in town, fueled by two teams with seemingly endless funds. The Chicago Cubs and the Chicago White Sox. Granted they play in different leagues, but they compete for the same dollars and the same headlines in the Second City.
The Cubbies, led by former Boston GM Theo Epstein, has signed the second best free agent  in John Lester and arguably the best manager in Joe Maddon, along with pitcher Jason Hammel. Not to be outdone, the Sox have signed David Robertson, Jeff Samardzija and now Melky Cabrera. Should be an interesting summer in the Windy City.

## With the signing of Cabrera, there are still two big names running free out there, but that's the last time the word "free" will appear in any sentence containing these two names: James Shields and Max Scherzer. Shields is probably looking for $20+million  a year for anywhere from 5 to 7 years. Scherzer..... well his agent is Scott Boras. He will likely try to pit all the "money" teams against each other. Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Tigers plus his always hidden "mystery" team. Word is that Boras is trying for the $200 million mark. You could buy a small country for that. I hear Guatemala is available.

## Just to show you it's not all about money, superstar Bryce Harper did not attend the annual Natsfest Fan Festival this year. This is something teams do to provoke fan interest and sell those season ticket packages. Why didn't he attend? he was protesting the fact that the Washington Nationals won't release him from the final year of his five-year $9.9 million contract that he signed as a rookie. Ya' gotta love his blame-shifting excuse though. "I have attended NatsFest each year and always enjoy my experience with the fans, but was unable to attend this year's event due to matters out of my control." 
I lied, it IS all about money.

## MLB scouts, evaluators and General Managers (and agents) are wondering why the Yankees have been so quiet. Are they really going into the season with the team they have or are they waiting in the wings to make a big surprise splash? They don't seem inclined to trade any of their prospects and the only free agent they seem interested in is third baseman Chase Headley.  If they're really going to gamble with the delicate arms of Pineda, Nova and Tanaka along with Sabathia's knee, then the free agent they better sign is an orthopedic surgeon. 

## Johnny Manzeil is starting at quarterback for the first time today. The prediction here is that he will flash his "money" sign every time he makes a big play or they score a touchdown and so will the defensive linemen every time they sack him.

## Sad news here in Rochester. A regular feature in the Democrat & Chronicle, "Leading off," a collection of quotes from around the sports world, has been discontinued as part of a general 'upgrade' at the paper.  Is Rochester such a white collar town that they no longer have room for a little humor? They seem to use more and more pages from the USA TODAY. Might as well cancel the D & C and buy that one. 

## The Syracuse Orange basketball team plays today. If they can't start shooting the ball a lot better than they have, then this season is about over with now.

"Golfer John Daly announced plans to get married for the fifth time. Or as he prefers to call it, 4-over par."  -- Dwight Perry
"Football coach Gary Anderson reportedly left Wisconsin over unhappiness “with UW’s strict academic standards.” Like what? Making players go to class?"  -- RJ Currie
"Junior Kentucky forward Alex Poythress tore an ACL in practice yesterday and will miss the rest of the season. Sad and a bit shocking, Kentucky had an actual junior on its team?"  -- Janice Hough
"Report: Jets players lied about concussion symptoms to get out of games."  -- The
" The NBA warned Lakers guard Nick Young about flopping. At this point, I think it's in everybody's best interest to allow the Lakers to just cheat."  -- Brad Dickson
 "There is speculation the Oakland Raiders will move back to Los Angeles: “L.A. should decline that penalty."  -- Ian Hamilton
"Gary Andersen, to reporters, on job one as the new Oregon State football coach: “You’ve got to get your ducks in a row ... What did I say? Bad idea. Go Beavs.”  -- From Dwight Perry
"One of my new favorite baseball players has to be pitcher Andrew Heaney. Traded from Miami to the Dodgers, he was then immediately flipped in trade to the Angels. And promptly tweeted “Well, @Dodgers we had a good run! Great to be a part of such a storied franchise."  -- Janice Hough




Monday, December 08, 2014


It's that time of the year when college football players are given another reason to skip a couple of weeks of classes. [Note to football players: Classes are those little rooms where a small number of people meet to discuss things like history, arithmetic, art (oils, not crayons) and books - those with hard covers.] They get to travel all over the country - mostly to Florida, California and Texas, to play football in special games called Bowl Games.

Years ago, they had generic names like Gator Bowl or Sun Bowl or even Liberty Bowl. The big ones were named Orange, Cotton, Sugar and Rose. These games used to belong to the athletes and the students, but now they are owned by corporations. The Cotton Bowl belongs to Goodyear, the Orange Bowl to Capital One and the Sugar bowl is the property of Allstate. At least the #1 bowl is still called The Rose Bowl.

Of course, if that's too boring for you, we have some new and improved names: the Gildan, the Royal Purple, Ticket City and, of course, the Tax Slayer. Now doesn't that warm the cockles of your heart? Maybe nest year we'll have the Cockles Bowl, but for now, enjoy the Duck Commander Bowl. The winner of the longest name goes to the San Diego Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl. When the marching band spells that out at halftime, it will be the first time abbreviations will be used.

At least all the "big" teams are in, the ones who have earned their place with stellar seasons. Teams like Navy (6-5), and South Alabama (6-6) and Fresno State (6-7). Well your have to fill the spots. There are 76 of them available. That's right, there are 38 bowl games plus one Championship game. So 39 games, three on ABC, one on CBS and thirty-five on ESPN. 38 games in the space of 16 days, sometimes as many as 5 in a day.

As long as we're talking about the participants, can someone explain to me how a team can be rated #3 in the country, win their last game 55-3, and drop to #6? TCU would like to know that, too. Naturally, they are a little upset.    Make that a lot upset.    Pissed, even.
How can the committee who makes those decision, possibly justify their actions? They don't even attempt to explain the arrogance of their choices. I am reminded of a routine by Lily Tomlin when she played her telephone character, Ernestine. "We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."

## So now it starts - the famed Baseball Winter Meetings. The owners will throw around more money than my grandchildren do when they're playing Monopoly. It seems that everything hinges on Jon Lester. When he signs, the floodgates will open. There are two position players that will draw some money: Chase Headley and Melky Cabrera. After they go, any major movement will come from trades and there will be some big ones. Last year, ESPN had a minute-by-minute feature of the activity at the meetings. Presidential elections don't get this kind of coverage.

## From Brad Dickson's "The Bottom Ten":
9. Tulsa (2-10): The postseason banquet is at a Wendy’s drive-thru.
7. Kent State (2-9): The Golden Flashes won their last game of the season. Ask Bo Pelini where that will get you.
 3. Connecticut (2-10): UConn has enough returning players to challenge for No. 1 next season.
...and the number one team--

1. Georgia State (1-11): The Panthers ascend to No. 1 and win the mythical Bottom 10 national championship after winning their first game by one point over Abilene Christian and then losing the next eleven.
Last ranking of the year. I've picked #9 Tulsa and #3 Connecticut to play in the Prep. H Backdoor Bowl.

## One final note, Daisuke Matsuzaka, after spending 8 years in the Major Leagues and amassing all of 56 wins, has signed to play in Japan again. Don't feel too bad for him; he got basically one million dollars per win while he was here.

"The NFL suspended Ravens defensive tackle Haloti Ngata for four games for using a banned performance-enhancing substance. Team officials figured something was amiss when he missed the quarterback and toppled the goal post."  -- Dwight Perry
"A sure sign the Raiders have given up on the NFL season: Their challenge flag is white."  -- TC Chong
" The supposed reason the BCS has a four-team playoff instead of eight is that extending the season would interfere with studies. Yes, and they said this with a straight face."  -- Janice Hough
"The World-Herald reported that Bret Bielema called reports linking him to the job hogwash. Isn’t “Hogwash” the name of the Arkansas fight song?"  -- Brad Dickson
"Hawaii play-by-play broadcaster Robert Kekaula has apologized for signing off from a telecast at Fresno State with the words "Good night from the armpit of America."  Coincidence? His player of the game was the right guard."  -- Dwight Perry
"The University of Alabama-Birmingham is shutting down its football program. A football program that can’t work in Alabama? That’s like having a failed cheese store in Wisconsin."  -- Brad Dickson



Saturday, December 06, 2014


## The Yanks have improved in two places: shortstop and the bullpen. Didi Gregorius may be a fine shortstop but he has yet to prove he can hit major league pitching. When one scout was asked about Gregorious' play at shortstop, he replied, "His defense is very good." When asked about his hitting, the scout said, "His defense is very good." Okay, I get it, but he doesn't have to do too much to hit as well as Jeter and that would certainly be better than Brendan 'Automatic Out' Ryan.
Ah, but Andrew Miller is a different story. This guy is lights out just like Dellin Betances. I don't think David Robertson will be back, but they may not miss him too much with these two guys. My only worry is that Girardi tends to overuse his big bullpen stoppers. There are reports that Miller turned down an offer from the Astros that was $4 million higher just to sign with NY. If Robertson signs with Houston, his stats may suffer since he probably won't get many save opportunities.

## The Winter Meetings start on Monday and the agents are all primed and ready. They prefer the owners meetings since the owners don't have to check with anybody to pay out the big bucks. How big? Well, to start, consider that Max Scherzer turned down a 6-year deal for $24 million per year last spring. There are reports that Jon Lester is looking at 6 years at $25 million per year. James Shields won't get quite that much but it will be enough to keep him in cheeseburgers for a while.
I just read that the Yanks are preparing an offer for Scherzer. It's supposed to be so big that Brian Cashman had to send out for more zeros for the check.

## Buster Olney says he will turn in a blank ballot for the Hall of Fame as a sort of protest that the voters can only include 10 names on their ballot. He feels that there are at least 15 candidates worthy of election out of 34 on the list. Is he voting for every name he recognizes? I mean, Aaron Boone?  Eddie Guardado?  Darin Erstad?  I see only six names that I would list:
John Smoltz
Craig Biggio
Mike Piazza
Jeff Bagwell
Lee Smith
Mike Mussina

## One sportswriter has written an article saying that Yankee fans should get ready for a last place team this year.  Certainly possible if everybody gets hurt again. on the other hand, Baltimore hasn't gained a thing yet and have lost Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis. Tampa hasn't made any significant moves and we're still waiting for the Red Sox to come up with a pitching staff. Toronto has added some good pieces but that's what everybody thought last year and look how that turned out. Let's wait until March before we make any wild predictions.

Around the horn:
## RG3 is on the bench in Washington. Word is, the coach has had it with him, his teammates don't like him and they don't think he'll ever be an NFL quarterback.
## The Knicks are doing well, aren't they? The famed basketball guru, Phil Jackson, has his own coach and his own players, has the team running his legendary triangle offense and has supposedly sold ball-hog, Carmelo Anthony on a team concept. The Knicks are 4-17, 11.5 games out and have lost 7 in a row.
## Kobe Bryant continues to take more shots and make fewer than ANY other player in the league.
## Giants coach Tom Coughlin can't get his team organized enough to get them all on the bus at the same time. If it gets any worse. we may see Peyton Manning ask his brother Eli to take his name off the jersey.
## It doesn't look like my favorite player will be back with the Yanks next year. Chase Headley is looking at more money than the Yanks want to spend on a third baseman. All this stems from the overboard contract Boston gave Pedro Sandoval. It looks like a good bet that Headley will end up in San Francisco.

"100 brains were missing from the University of Texas. Does this even need a punchline?"  -- Janice Hough
"A minor league hockey team, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, offered fans who attended a recent game free prostate exams. You think you hate it when fans remove their shirts..."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Knicks’ “triangle offense”: Carmelo Anthony shoots from all three corners."  -- Phil Mushnick
"Only in soccer: Seattle’s Sounders FC ties 0-0 in its final first-round MLS playoff game and advances. Then it wins its final second-round playoff game 2-1 and gets eliminated."  -- Dwight Perry
"Last Sunday, Patriot’s QB Tom Brady completed more F-bombs on the sidelines vs Green Bay than he did touchdown bombs."  TC Chong
"Jon Gruden is playing hard to get, but my sources tell me the Raiders believe they have a shot at landing Frank Caliendo.”  -- Scott Ostler
"Holiday shoppers in Houston are lying on top of flat-screen TVs to prevent others from buying them: “Instead of a referee, the manager of the store has to come over and determine who has possession."  -- Jimmy Kimmel
" New NU head coach Mike Riley has a master's in physical education. Uh oh, I think this means we just hired a gym teacher."  -- Brad Dickson
"A baby was born in Colorado that weighed 13 lbs, 13 oz. LSU coach Les Miles was about to offer the kid a scholarship until he learned it was a girl."  -- Janice Hough
"Several fire departments rallied to rescue over 1,400 piglets from an overturned trailer near Indianapolis. Over in D.C., there aren’t enough firefighters to save RGIII's bacon."  -- RJ Currie


Sunday, November 30, 2014


Ray Rice hits his wife and then drags her body out of an elevator, with the whole thing caught on tape. Rice is branded a wife-beater and blasted in the media. NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, suspends Rice for two games. Goodell is criticized for being too lenient. When it's discovered that there is a video of the actual attack available some months later, Goodell changes the suspension to an indefinite suspension. Then the Baltimore Ravens release Ray Rice. Now poor Ray Rice has no livelihood. Roger Goodell had this last video before the original suspension and only increased it when this news got out. Goodell is now criticized for apparently hiding "crucial" information. And now, after Rice's appeal, U.S. District Judge, Barbara Jones has ruled in favor of Rice and the "indefinite suspension" has been overturned.

Who is the real culprit here?

Well, let's start with the Judge. Had it been Jones' daughter that got decked in an elevator, would the judge have felt the same way? I doubt it.
Roger Goodell? He's not a commissioner, he's a spin doctor. "I should suspend him? Oh, okay. How about 2 games? Then, "They found out about the tape? Better make it 'indefinite'. Will that do it?"
But the bottom line is Ray Rice himself. You should never hit a women. NEVER! Short of hanging him, no punishment is too much. These professional athletes continue to act as though rules or laws don't apply to them. People like Goodell and Judge Jones help foster those actions. Rice's wife is not helping matters when she does interviews where she tries to justify Ray's actions. Sorry, wife or not, I don't buy it.

So who is the real bad guy?                All of them.

Rivalry weekend in college football
Kentucky - Louisville started the day off with a mid-field skirmish before the coin toss. "We hate them and they hate us!" Right, we got it.
Alabama & Auburn continued the love-fest in "The Iron Bowl." That has a nice ring to it.
Oregon vs. Oregon State in "The Civil War." Didn't we already have one of those?
Ole Miss & Miss. State played in "The Egg Bowl." I suppose that's better than "The Cannonball Bowl."
Then there's "The Little Brown Jug" bowl between Minnesota and Michigan. Now that sounds nice and quiet and cute.    But, wait. Where did that come from? Back in 1903, the Michigan head coach, on a 28-game win streak, was afraid that Minnesota might have poisoned their water jug, so he ordered another one. How warm and fuzzy is that?
A tight end from Auburn said that a fan in Tuscaloosa Alabama's home town, once gave him the finger. The "fan" was five years old. Three years ago, an Alabama fan poisoned the two iconic Oak tress in Toomer's Corners near the Auburn campus. He's in jail, but the trees died.
" Before the game with Michigan, Ohio State students covered every “M” on campus. Well, that’s pretty dub."  -- Brad Dickson.  So will the Michigan-Ohio State game become "The M Bowl?"

Is it possible that "Rivalry Week" has gone too far?

What goes around, comes around
A year ago, the Red Sox president commented on the millions of dollars the Yanks spent on free agents by saying, "Well, we do things differently around here."  The Sox then proceeded to upgrade from within with only minor forays into the free agent market...and finished last. Now Boston has shoved a ton of cash at free agents by signing Pedro Sandoval ($95 million) and Hanley Ramirez ($88 million). Apparently, not that differently.

"Enough with making fun of Winnipeg for that beer being tossed a Raghib Ismail in the ‘91 Grey Cup. Trust me, no Manitoban ever throws a can that still has beer in it."  -- RJ Currie
"On Black Friday I was kicked, punched and trampled – and I was shopping online."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Philadelphia 76ers are 0-16. At this point even the Washington Generals want to play them."  -- Janice Hough
"Washington State receiver Tyler Baker shares his apartment with his pet wolf.Bet he’s really popular with the neighbors whenever it’s a full moon."  -- Dwight Perry
"In Connecticut, a pig was kicked off a flight for being disruptive. This inability to have a pig fly does not bode well for the Chicago Cubs’ season."  -- Alex Kaseberg
"According to a report, a young Johnny Manziel was “snubbed” by Tiger Woods. Well, it’s about time that Tiger got some positive PR."  -- Brad Dickson
"Johnny Football Manziel got into a fight with a fan at 2:30 am in a night club last Saturday. The fan wanted a hug, and Johnny insisted he pay for an autograph first."  -- RJ Currie
"A spectacular one-handed grab by the Giants’ Odell Beckham Jr. is being called the greatest catch in NFL history, not counting Gisele Bundchen."  -- David Letterman
"What are the similarities between stellar QBs Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers according to Bill Belichick? They both wear No. 12"  From Dwight Perry's column
"A man in France broke a world speed record by reaching speeds of 207 mph in 4.8 seconds — on a bicycle.“The contraption apparently was powered by three rocket engines. Either that, or Lance Armstrong has been preparing for a comeback."  -- Ian Hamilton
"Ex-Purdue basketball coach Gene Keady once payed a hair stylist $600 a week to come up with that ugly comb-over. That’s like Quasimodo getting silicone injections to plump his hump.”  -- Scott Ostler
"A neutral arbitrator has overturned Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension by Roger Goodell. Being in the NFL is like being married; you rarely get to finish a sentence."  -- RJ Currie


Thursday, November 27, 2014


Best wishes to all from the morning shift here at Chad Picasner At Large.

We give thanks to my friends who helped make this blog interesting:
Dwight Perry
Brad Dickson
Janet Hough
RJ Currie
TC Chong
and more.

In honor of the day, President Obama pardoned a turkey and Brian Cashman did the same twice. Cashman's turkeys were named Scott Boras and Joe West.

I personally want to thank my editor, Annie-O and my cohort in crime, Vod Knockers.

Enjoy the day!

Chad Picasner

Sunday, November 23, 2014


New York City, once the focal point of professional sports, has fallen on hard times. Fallen HARD. A city that boasts two teams in all the major pro sports, has only one sport with a winning record this year: the NHL.
NFL - Jets 2-8, Giants 3-7  Both teams have very small playoff chances
MLB - Yanks 12 games out, Mets 17 games out  Neither team was close to the playoffs
NHL - Islanders 14-6. Rangers 8-7, Devils 9-9  Not stellar but respectable
NBA - Nets 5-8, Knicks 4-10  If the playoffs started today, they'd both be home.

It won't be my fault:
The LA Lakers are going nowhere and in the pros, if you can't win, you at least want to look respectable. Kobe Bryant appears to be trying to win all by himself. Unfortunately, he's not the player he was and I doubt that Kobe in his prime could help this team, and his method leaves a lot to be desired, too.
"Watching Kobe Bryant's season play out has been absolutely fascinating, because he just keeps shooting and shooting regardless of whether he’s really open, regardless of whether somebody else is open. Bryant could not do this without an incredible track record -- let’s face it, almost any other player would be pulled off the floor for shooting so much without success -- and unapologetic approach within each sequence."  -- Buster Olney
For the record, Kobe is averaging a shot every 40 seconds that he is on the floor. His career average is a shot every 1 min and 42 seconds that he is playing. When I was a kid, we would say, "He's got the glint (in his eye)"

It never stopped him before:
Some writers are saying Florida State's Jameis Winston should have gotten a penalty for touching a ref when he pushed an official out of the way in order to get a play off quickly. That's Illegal Contact. He should know that rule. He's committed the same foul off the field.

Brain Cashman is out on the street:
Before you start celebrating, it's simply a promotion to highlight the plight of the homeless. Cashman has done this before, he sleeps out all night in an alley with nothing but a sleeping bag. He says it's tougher than having to explain to George Steinbrenner why the Yanks lost an exhibition game to the Mets.

Some MLB executives have been warning other General Managers that the Yanks are a "sleeping giant."  While NY has been very quiet so far with no rumors of another blockbuster signing in the works, some execs say the Yanks like to step in at the last minute and sign a premium guy like Max Scherzer. It is Cashman's favorite trick.

Because of the record snowfall, the Bills-Jets game has been moved to Detroit on Monday night. Why isn't this game being played in Syracuse? The Dome has a capacity of 50,000 and is centrally located between two NEW YORK teams.

Thailand officials say they have intercepted a package bound for the U.S. that contained human parts: a head, a heart and a foot. No truth to the rumor that the arm had already been sold to the NY Giants.

Note: I haven't posted in a week so there is a plethora of funny and interesting lines out there, so enjoy.  - C Picasner

" The horrible weather back east continues. The Buffalo Bills and New York Jets game has been moved to Detroit on Monday for safety reasons. This is the first time anyone's ever gone to Detroit to be safe."  -- Brad Dickson
" If I’m ever accused of wrongdoing,” wrote Len Berman of, “I want Florida State and FIFA to investigate."  -- Len Berman
" New York City’ has a new drug policy. You can now walk around smoking weed, and all they’re going to do is write you a ticket. Unfortunately, the ticket will be to a Jets game."  -- David Letterman
" Bills coach Doug Marrone comes upon driver stuck in snow, pushes the car for 9 yards and then punts."  --
"The Marlins’ Jeffrey Loria gave slugger Giancarlo Stanton a 13-year, $325 million contract,  marking the first time a team’s owner was tested for drugs."  Jimmy Fallon
"The NFL fined Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch $100,000 for not talking to the media enough the past two seasons. To the surprise of absolutely no one, Lynch had no comment."  -- Dwight Perry
"Last week Nebraska played the Badgers, this week it was the Gophers. This is the rodent portion of the Big Ten schedule."  -- Brad Dickson
"Tiger Wooods and his camp are not happy with an “imaginary” interview by writer Dan Jenkins in this month’s Golf Digest. Eldrick called the article “hitting below the belt”, as it was made fun of his reputation for poor tipping and firing everyone around him."  -- TC Chong 
"Toronto Maple Leaf fans are tossing jerseys onto the ice to protest their NHL team’s mediocre play. That seems fitting. Judging by recent results, the Leafs have been throwing some empty uniforms out there, too."  -- Ian Hamilton
"The U.S. deporting violent criminals under President Obama’s new immigration plan: “So, this could impact your fantasy football team."  -- Conan O'Brien
"Instead of trying to dig all that snow out of Ralph Wilson Stadium, NFL officials shifted Sunday’s Jets-Bills game to Detroit. Or to put it in football terms, they took a shovel pass."  -- Dwight Perry
"Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari wished his daughter Megan a happy birthday today,  but he had the date wrong.  Give Calipari credit.  At least he remembered he had a daughter.....And he got her name right."  -- Janice Hough
"Discovery Channel filmed a man getting eaten alive by an Anaconda. In related news, Joe Maddon says his Cubs will make the 2015 playoffs, which is also pretty hard to swallow"  -- RJ Currie
"Taylor Swift,  Amanda Seyfreid and supermodel  Kate Upton posed for a courtside photo at the Knicks-Magic game. Also in the photo were Who Cares and Not Important."  -- RJ Currie


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

...and now for something completely different...

“Okay, here’s my theory. So, like in the past,” he began, “when the American people acted like dumb-asses, it actually didn’t matter. Because we were being led by smart-asses, right? But now we’re basically being run by lobbyists and pollsters, while Congress is a bunch of squabbling brats. So when people act like dumb-asses today it matters. We had the war on terrorism, the war in Iraq, the war in Afghanistan. We’re going broke buying these billion-dollar drones to chase a bunch of clowns through the Pakistani tribal areas. Meanwhile, every serious country is burning past us.”

“You make it sound like a race,” Tooly said.

“That’s what it is. There’s like one point two billion Chinese, and they want what we got. They become as rich as we are? Well, they just can’t. We’re at war already. You hear this stuff about hacking? I guarantee you, China has a zillion geniuses stapled to their desktops figuring out how to ram us. Look how they’re hoarding our debt. We basically mortgaged this country to Beijing.”

“I remember people saying doomsday stuff like this in the 1980s,” Tooly noted. “How America was falling apart and Japan was going to run the world.”

“Japan was a boutique. China is the whole shopping mall,” he replied. “Our country was in charge of the world for a few seconds. So what did we do? Bitch-slapped Milosevic and Saddam, let global warming get out of control, and convinced the world that we’re a bunch of whack-job crusaders. And went broke doing it. That’s the story of our generation – the peak and collapse, all in twenty years.”

“I don’t actually mind the U.S. not being in charge anymore,” Bridget commented. “Not like we did such a great job with that whole superpower thing.”

“You think that we suck at it?” Duncan responded. “Check out the competition. You want Russia and China running stuff? Russia is, like, the scariest place in the sort-of-free world. And the Chinese will sabotage every climate-change proposal till they’ve had their turn at fucking the planet.”

- from a novel by Tom Rachman

Friday, November 14, 2014


I don't like to get into debates about politics or religion. I can get into enough trouble with sports. You can add political correctness to that list of no-nos, but I will deviate from that stance just this once.

There is a big debate over offensive team nicknames, nicknames that have been around a long time. That's certainly not a reason to retain them, but where is the line as to what names are offensive? For a long time, St. Johns University teams carried the moniker, "The Redmen." Obviously offensive and St. Johns  remedied that by changing to "The Red Storm." Washington's pro-football team refuses to change the name "Redskins," which is even more offensive. Tampa Bay went from "Devil Rays" to just "Rays." Cleveland is getting some heat for "Indians" and here is where the line gets a little blurred. It's not the worst name, but not the best, either. Cleveland didn't help themselves with that offensive cartoon character, 'Chief Wahoo.' Eliminating that name will change the whole identity of the team.  Perhaps we should look at "Pirates" or "Raiders" too. Neither name brings anything warm or fuzzy to mind. Oakland changed to the "A's" from "Athletics," if only in emphasis, but that may have been because, at the time, they really didn't have any athletes on the team.  At least we still have those old stand-bys: Lions and Tigers and Bears (Oh My!).

Tennessee has decided to eliminate the name, "Lady Vols," saying that it's sexist. It appears, however, that the Tennessee administration is the only body that thinks that. Their women's celebrated coach, Pat Summit, is decidedly against it also. Pat was the coach when the women on the team picked that nickname. Not accepted it, they picked it. Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post says it better.

Thus endeth my first and last foray into dangerous waters.

** Alvin Dark has died at age 92. Alvin (whose nickname was "Blackie," speaking of names) played for 14 years with a career .289 batting average. He also managed three different teams and won a pennant with the Giants and the A's. He was involved in one of the weirdest plays in baseball. "With Stan Musial on first, home plate umpire Delmore was embroiled in an argument with the catcher and pitcher, Musial took it upon himself to try for second base. Seeing that Musial was trying for second, Dark ran to the backstop to retrieve the ball. The ball wound up in the hands of field announcer Pat Pieper, but Dark ended up getting it back anyway. Absentmindedly, however, Delmore pulled out a new ball and gave it to Taylor. Anderson finally noticed that Musial was trying for second, took the new ball, and threw it to second baseman Tony Taylor. Anderson's throw flew over Tony Taylor's head into the outfield. Dark, at the same time that Anderson threw the new ball, threw the original ball to shortstop Ernie Banks. Musial, though, did not see Dark's throw and only noticed Anderson's ball fly over the second baseman's head, so he tried to go to third base. On his way there, he was tagged by Banks, and after a delay he was ruled out."
Where's instant replay when you need it?

** Clayton Kershaw has been named MVP of the National League. A great pitcher and deserving of the Cy Young award he's just won. I renew my belief that a pitcher, especially a starting pitcher,  shouldn't be named an MVP. They appear in approximately 32 games a season, which is less than 20% of the season. In playoff games, he may pitch in only 2 of 7 games.Consider what scenario of your best hitter playing just those games. Personally, I want Mike Trout playing in as many games as possible.

** The Yanks have traded Francisco Cervelli (one of my favorites, by the way) to the Pirates for lefty reliever Justin Wilson. Both are serviceable players but it always amuses me how much better players become when teams announce these trades. Cervelli has always been a backup but now he's projected as the Pirates first-string catcher. Wilson has decent numbers but he's going to be one of the main lefties out of the bullpen for NY.  We'll see.

** Show me the money. Giancarlo Stanton is currently negotiating a new contract with the Miami Marlins. Considered to be MLB's best slugger, he's looking to become baseball's wealthiest. The numbers being tossed around are $325 million for 12 years. That's about $27+ million a year. He's only 25, so it isn't quite that outrageous, plus, in 10 years, $27 million per year might be just average money. By the way, Miami's average ticket price last year was $27. Which means, the first 12,500 fans each game are needed just to pay his salary. That's about half their average attendance.

" According to a study apologizing is good for your health. If true, this means the CEO of Target and the general manager of the Chicago Cubs should both live to 180."  -- Brad Dickson
" Five members of Germany's women's U-20 soccer team posed for Playboy to promote the upcoming Women's World Cup. Now that's what I call a soccer pitch."  -- RJ Currie
"The world’s top ranked badminton player has failed a doping test. Badminton World Federation officials finally had to confront him when his serves reached speeds of 400 mph."  -- TC Chong
"Serial soccer chomper Luis Suarez, in his new autobiography, says he was treated “like a criminal” when his latest him kicked out of this year’s World Cup.Sounds like a one-man “Take A Bite Out Of Crime” public-service ad."  -- Dwight Perry
"University of Texas football coach Charlie Strong has kicked at least nine players off the team. At the current rate, by November 2017, Texas will be forced to play eight-man football."  -- Brad Dickson
"Justin Bieber visited a Pittsburgh Steeler players’ faith meeting: “He wanted to worship with the New YorkGiants, but they don’t have a prayer."  -- Alan Ray
"Kobe Bryant broke an unwelcome NBA career record with his 13,418th missed shot. Or as he prefers to call them, rebounding opportunities for teammates."  -- Dwight Perry
"LeBron James apologized to fans for not dunking enough in his Cavs return: “LeBron says he’s trying as hard as he can, but at the end of the day he’s just one team.”  -- Jimmy Fallon
" KOMO-4 TV in Seattle discovered that beer at CenturyLink Field is watered down. Wow. Imagine how loud Seahawks fans would be if they were drinking the regular stuff."  -- Janice Hough


Wednesday, November 12, 2014


** The Red Sox are going after Pablo Sandoval big time. The Sox will offer a lot of money but so will a number of other teams. Boston can offer one more thing Pablo: that fried chicken in the clubhouse during the game.

** David Robertson refused the Yankees qualifying offer and will test the market. The Mets are said to be big players in that one. Why would Robertson want to go to the Mets? He's a closer. For him to help the Mets, he has to close games. Don't you have to be ahead in order for that to happen?

** The Managers of the Year were just announced. Baltimore's Buck Showalter in the AL and Matt Williams of the Nationals in the NL. Good managers both of them and they did lead  their teams to first place in their divisions, however...
Maybe it's just my interpretation of the award, but if a manager has all the horses and is expected to win, then it's not much of a surprise when they do. Now if a manager has a team that is NOT expected to do much and ends up in the World Series, doesn't that seem that he got his team to overachieve? Shouldn't that be worth Manager of the Year? It does in my book, yet there's Ned Yost of the Royals finishing third.
It's not quite as glaring a situation in the Nl, but the Dodgers were supposed to run away with the NL title and did win their division, but there's Bruce Bochy of the Giants winning the World Series.

** A-Rod's in the news, of course. Neither Girardi or Cashman has committed to A-Rod as the starting 3rd baseman, because they're not sure what he's got left. They're talking about a lot of DH time and backing up at first base has also been mentioned. Girardi says he has been talking to A-Rod about it and supposedly A-Rod said, "We'll talk about it."  Saying that you'll 'talk about it' is not the same as saying you'll do it. We all know about Alex's pride. He doesn't want to to be back-up anything. Chase Headley ought to be the Yanks main priority this winter.

** The Colorado Rockies say they will listen to offers for all-star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. Analysts say that Colorado can't trade Tulo unless they get a ton of first class prospects or a couple of MLB veterans because they don't want to irritate their fan base. Bull-roar! Tulo has a history of physical problems and anyone who trades for him may be taking on a medical case. No one could know more about this than the Rockies, so if they think it's a problem and he is not capable of putting on a full season at short, they'll take as much as they think they can get and the fan base be damned. There's also the matter of 6 more years at $20 million a year to think about.

** If you exclude the players that have retired or have accepted qualifying offers, there are about 120 free agents out for the taking. By the end of spring training, about half of them will be retired and don't know it yet.

"Omaha's Public Works Department announced its snow and ice removal plan. It's called "spring."  -- Brad Dickson
"Steelers safety Mike Mitchell launching himself over the line into the Jets’ victory formation: “In Mitchell’s defense, who knew the Jets had a victory formation?"  -- Bud Shaw, Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Got an alibi, comrade? Mike Vrabel, the Texans’ linebackers coach, lost the three Super Bowl rings he won with the Patriots when burglars broke into his Houston home. Not to cast any aspersions or anything, but how do you say “one for the thumb” in Russian?"  -- Dwight Perry
"OF Michael Cuddyer has left Colorado to sign with the NY Mets. What Cuddyer is about to find out… it’s not like the Mets are really better than the Rockies. But in New York, when a team sucks, people actually notice."  -- Janice Hough
"The Los Angeles Lakers finally won a game. They enjoyed the experience so much, they're planning to try to win another one next month."  -- Brad Dickson
"ESPN claims about 30 per cent of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team are out with legal problems. On the bright side, their NBA draft status shot way up."  -- RJ Currie
"While it has no chance of being a Top 10 on ESPN, here’s to Arizona State’s Demario Richard. After catching a TD pass to clinch it against Notre Dame, he tossed the ball to the back judge. That was it. Son, you’ll never get a Nike deal — or an ESPY — that way."  -- Phil Mushnick, NY Post


Sunday, November 09, 2014


** The Dodgers have a new GM. Farhan Zaidi says he plans to study the San Francisco Giants methods which have propelled them to the World Series three times in the last five years. He might as well. Using the Yankees method of throwing dollars around hasn't worked for either one of them.

** Wide receiver Kaelin Clay caught a 78-yard "touchdown" pass for Utah  yesterday, only he began his celebration a little early by throwing the football down at the one yard line. While he and the rest of his teammates did their little victory dance in the end zone, an alert Oregon player, Joe Walker, picked up the loose ball, now officially a fumble, and returned it 100 yards for an Oregon touchdown, tying the score. It all went downhill from there, with Oregon winning 51-27.  Apparently the coaches aren't spending enough time on TD celebrations in practice.

** A-Rod (remember him?) supposedly confessed to the DEA, that Biogenesis owner Bosch taught him to help beat drug screening by only providing a 'mid-stream urine sample.'
"Three words I’m willing to bet Grantland Rice, Damon Runyon, Red Smith and Jimmy Cannon never had to type: “mid-stream urine."  -- Mike Vaccaro

** Speaking of  Vaccaro, who writes for the NY Post, he recently wrote that it's time for the Veterans Committee to elect Gil Hodges into the Hall of Fame. Sorry Mike. Gil was a good player, a good manager  and a nice guy, but his numbers don't warrant that honor. 1921 hits, 370 home runs and a .274 batting average just aren't enough.

** Three more sportscasters colorful terms that we don't need.
"Put the ball on the ground"   We call that a fumble.
"Eye discipline"  I have no idea. Don't look at the cheerleaders when trying to catch a pass?
"He runs North and South"  Lord help us if the stadium faces east and west.

** The Yanks have signed their first free agent of the season. It's Chris Young, a backup outfielder that the Mets released over the summer because he played so badly. He did all right for NY, but which Chris Young is the real one? For the Yanks. it's a $2.1 million gamble.

** Pablo Sandoval, the Giants World Series hero, is looking for a 6-year deal. I haven't heard how much  money he's asking, but he will turn down a $15.1 million qualifying offer, so I suspect it won't be for a handful of magic beans. If you like innovative math formulas, listen to ballplayers agents. "Pablo is 28, Gustavo Vasquez, Pablo's agent said. He is still young. Maybe if he was 30 or 31 we could talk about four or five years. But he's 28. He deserves more than that." At 28, he wants to be paid until he's 34. But if he was 31, he wants to be paid until he's 36. Even Scott Boras makes more sense than that.

** Ichiro Suzuki says he wants to continue playing. He's 156 hits shy of 3000 hits. He probably needs at least two years to reach that goal. The Yanks don't seem interested and I think he'll have a hard time finding a team that will commit to two years, but approaching that milestone would put a few fans in the seats.

"This just in. Utah announces all football players will be required to complete enough math classes to count to 100."  -- Janice Hough
"Fox Deportes adding stock-car races in Spanish to its telecasts: “NASCAR previously had been broadcast in only two languages: English and Redneck. -- Greg Cote
"Former Alabama fullback Le’Ron McClain is facing charges in Tuscaloosa of trafficking in synthetic marijuana. Apparently he’s not a big fan of natural grass."  -- Dwight Perry
"On Saturday, Ole Miss played Presbyterian. As we went to press, it was unclear if that was the school named Presbyterian or the bake sale.It’s the Presbyterian Blue Hose. As if the name “Presbyterian” doesn’t exactly strike fear into the heart of the opponent, they have to go with “Blue Hose?"  -- Brad Dickson
"Cowboys QB Tony Romo flew to London in first class as those seats fold out into actual beds so he could rest his injured back. Meanwhile, backup Brandon Weeden sat in a middle seat in “Economy” between two 375 lb offensive linemen."  -- TC Chong
"I always tell the Wally Pipp story, even though the players never know who he is, that he’s the guy Lou Gehrig replaced and Wally Pipp could never get his job back.“The worst part? They don’t know who Lou Gehrig is."  -- Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians
"The final 42 seconds of Wednesday’s Knicks-Pistons game ran — I kid you not — 20 minutes, 12 seconds!  It took 1,212 seconds to play 42. With 42 seconds left, you could have ordered a pizza, picked it up, driven home and not missed the end!”  -- Phil Mushnick
" The ex-treasurer of the Oakville, Ontario, Minor Baseball Association was arrested for embezzling $468,000 from them. He's charged with fraud and corrupting the minors"  RJ Currie
"Lee Chong Wei,, the world’s top-ranked badminton player, has apparently failed a doping test. Badminton? Who knew, the most honest sport might turn out to be pro wrestling."  -- Janice Hough
"First it was Nate Burleson who broke his arm while reaching for pizza as he drove. Now DeAngelo Hall has re-torn his Achilles while grabbing a slice of pizza from his kitchen. Looks like Nate may have started a Domino's effect."  -- Bill Littlejohn



Tuesday, November 04, 2014


Yesterday, teams begin making qualifying offers to their players heading into free agency. The amount this year is $15.3 million. If a player accepts, it's a one year deal at that price, if not, he's a free agent. Teams can negotiate bigger and/or longer deals even if the qualifying offer is made. Then it becomes a crap shoot for the player. Accept the offer and pass up a chance at more money or a long time deal - or - reject it and take your chances on the open market. For some players, the Q. offer is better than they could get on the open market, but some will want a long-term deal or a lot more money, so they roll the dice. There were players who rejected the offers and ended up siting out there a long time and ended up accepting less money. The kicker for those opting for free agency is that the original team will get a first round draft pick for any team that signs them and teams are very reluctant to give up the draft picks.
Here's a short list of players who have been given qualifying offers.
Max Scherzer
Hanley Ramirez
James Shields
Pablo Sandoval
Francisco Liriano
Russell Martin
Ervin Santana
Victor Martinez
David Robertson
Melky Cabrera
Nelson Cruz
Big names all, but some are worth it, some are not. Some players would be crazy not to accept the offers, since it's probably more than they could get on the open market. This will be verrrry interesting. Players have a week to decide.

Okay, it's official. Joe Maddon is the new Cubs manager. There is a problem: The Tampa Bay Rays are toying with the idea of charging the Cubs with tampering. Seems negotiations between Maddon & Tampa were moving right along when Maddon suddenly broke off the talks. Two days later, his contract ran out and four days later, it was pretty much decided that Maddon was the next Cubs manager. The timing is very suspicious.

From Brad Dickson's Bottom Ten:
5. Troy (1-8): The marching band is spelling out “BLEAK” at halftime.
9. New Mexico State (2-7): The Aggies were defeated by Texas State, a team that I’ve frankly never heard of.

Well that didn't take long
Alex Rodriquez's suspension ended when the World Series ended last Wednesday. Up to now, the A-Rod hot line has been completely silent. Bingo! Investigations have revealed that A-Rod paid his cousin almost $1 million to keep silent about Alex's involvement with drugs. I guess things are back to normal.

Things can't be that tough
I read about that Denver Bronco's fan who left the stadium and disappeared until he showed up in a parking lot in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I've been to a ball game in Denver and parking is a problem there, but this is ridiculous.

"Why should we have to go to class if we came here to play FOOTBALL, we ain’t come to play SCHOOL …"  --  Ohio State QB Cardale Jones in 2012
"Anyone find it ironic that with all that facial hair among the Royals and Giants, a World Series sponsor was Gillette?"  -- Jim Kozlowski
"For Halloween, some Purdue fans wanted to dress as a Boilermaker but were stymied when even they didn’t know what that was."  -- Brad Dickson
"Breaking news, a Kenyan has won the New York City Marathon” Wouldn’t it be more news if a Kenyan DIDN’T win the New York City Marathon?"  -- Janice Hough
"The new movie Ouija is about people trying to get in touch with the dead. Picture N.Y. Jets coach Rex Ryan giving a pre-game speech."  -- RJ Currie
"Ex-slugger Jose Canseco accidentally shot one of his fingers off while cleaning his gun: "On the bright side, he's taken so much human growth hormone that the finger grew right back."  -- Craig Ferguson
"How do the Philadelphia 76ers mark the end of Daylight Saving Time? They set their clock back one hour, and then some other team comes and cleans it."  -- Dwight Perry.


Friday, October 31, 2014


Just a few little tidbits in the news:

** Kevin Youkilis has retired. A decent player with an ugly beard and an even uglier batting stance.

** I keep reading that Joe Maddon is going to join the Cubs as their manager, but there has been no announcement. By the time he signs, it will be old news.

** Speaking of speculations and announcements, it's about time for the "Silly Season" to begin. Naturally, the big four - Yanks, Dodgers, Red Sox and Angels - will be mentioned prominently, mostly because they have the money and are willing to spend it. This year, the sportswriters think the Cubs will be throwing money around too.

** Because of all the publicity surrounding the World Series, Royals manager Ned Yost says his new-found fame has made life tough for him. When he makes reservations these days, he uses the name "Frank." I have the same problem. When I make reservations, I use the name "Ned Yost."  

** There are some analysts that say that the Royals 3rd base coach should have sent Alex Gordon home with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth. They say he probably would have been out, but the way Bumgarner was throwing, trying to score was a better chance than waiting for a hit. I agree with that theory. Force the other team to make the play. The relay man has to catch the throw, he has to make a good throw to home, the catcher has to catch and hang on to the ball and he has to find the runner and make the tag. If just ONE of those things go wrong, we have a tie score. We'll never know.

** John Lackey has an agreement in his contract that if he misses a year because of injury, he has to play one year at the major league minimum. Lackey will be earning approx. $510,000 in 2015. I wonder what his  agent will be making.

** It seems that the NFL is going to court to try to prevent the state of New Jersey from allowing betting on sports events. Are they crazy? If there is no betting, there won't be any football.

** Finally, one bit of good news: Alex Rodriquez has been reinstated and is officially a Yankee again.    Well, it's news, anyway. The Yanks will welcome him back with open arms and the $61 million they still owe him, but I don't think he should count on being named captain.

" The fastest-growing restaurant chain in the U.S. is called Twin Peaks. In a related story, Katy Perry will perform at the Super Bowl."  -- RJ Currrie
"Hear about the man who disappeared at a Broncos game — and then popped up more than 100 miles away? In pass-happy Denver, even the fans go long."  -- Dwight Perry
"Ex-slugger Jose Canseco shot off the middle finger on his right hand while cleaning his gun: “Doctors say he’ll recover, but he’ll never be able to drive in New York City again."  -- Bruce Murdock, KKCW Radio, Portland
"LeBron James has a new daughter. The baby was born in Cleveland but plans to move to Miami if it gets a better offer."  -- Conan O'Brien
"It seems somehow fitting that jeans manufacturer Buffalo David Bitton signed MMA champ Ronda Rousey to an endorsement deal. First she beats the pants off you, and then she sells you a replacement pair. -- Dwight Perry
"According to expert baseball analysts, Madison Bumgarner won the World Series for the SF Giants single handily. “Good to know”, said Kobe Bryant."  -- TC Chong
"A scientist is experimenting with designing robotic NFL cheerleaders. Of course we already have robotic NFL sideline reporters."  -- Brad Dickson
"Now that the World Series is over, ESPN can get back to the news they really care about, like this headline story today: “A-Rod’s suspension ends. Back in play for Yanks."  -- Janice Hough