Sunday, April 27, 2014


...who say dumb things, the owners can be just as insensitive. An audio tape has surfaced that allegedly has the LA Clippers owner, Donald Sterling, spouting some very racial remarks to his purported girlfriend about associating with certain ethnic groups. NBA president Adam Silver has said he will investigate thoroughly to confirm or deny that it is in fact Sterling on the tape and that the tape has not been altered. If it is Sterling, Silver promised quick and severe penalties. Mike Lupica, NY Daily News, suggests that Sterling be made to sell the team. I don't know if that's possible or if it should even be attempted, which does not mean I condone this behavior. Fine him (millions), suspend him (at least a year) and force a public apology, and do it now.

MLB, in all it's wisdom (Yes Sheldon, that's sarcasm), has corrected an earlier mistake by going back to a long held tradition of allowing a force out at 2nd base even though an infielder drops the ball trying to complete a double play. Forced to clarify a situation that was sure to be challenged during the year, basically said that unless an infielder had the ball in his hand, controlled, when he dropped it, then the runner would be called safe at 2nd. Multiple circumstances and replays showed that the definition of the rule wasn't proper and so now they have gone back to the old interpretation. So if the fielder catches the throw, the runner is out, regardless of any control issues when transferring  the ball to his throwing hand. Good for them.
By the way, I have always felt that when mistakes occur when throwing to first or dropping the ball when attempting to throw (or the firstbaseman drops the throw), it should be an error. Now the rule is that you can't anticipate a double play so there is no error charged. Why not? There are enough double plays that you would think they know how to do it. They are major leaguers - it's an error. Deal with it.

The Buffalo Bills make enough mistakes when it comes to player evaluation and roster decisions, that there is no need to expand their decision making to other areas. The Bills cheer-leading squad has sued the Bills for uncompensated mandatory hours plus inappropriate rules for the members of the squad. The Jill's rulebook has some of the most intimate rules for personal care that I've ever seen in print. Even my old Italian grandmother would never dare to express things that intimate with her daughter. So the Buffalo Jills have attempted to stop this kind of abuse through the use of a lawsuit. The team has responded in the mature, legal manner for which they are noted: they suspended the whole squad. That's one way to deal with the problem.

There is talk that MLB may eliminate the "Pine tar on the pitchers person" rule over the winter. Joe Torre cautions against this change because, " could lead to abuse, whereby a pitcher would use it to alter the flight of the ball and that would be dangerous to the hitter." I have never heard of a hitter who, after being hit, said, "It wouldn't have happened if he didn't have pine tar on the ball." Why is Torre always on a different side of a discussion than everyone else? Maybe he needs pine tar to controls his thoughts better.

"There are three starters who are throwing a splitter more than 20% of the time: Masahiro Tanaka, Hisashi Iwakuma and Hiroki Kuroda. There's got to be a common denominator here, but I'm just not seeing it."  -- Sam Fineberg.
" To“save” golf, there’s a proposal to make the cups 15 inches wide. At majors this would allow Bob Costas to report from inside the 18th hole."  -- Brad Dickson
"Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda got ejected from Wednesday’s game against the Red Sox when umpires discovered sticky tar on the back of his neck. Guess Pineda wasn’t kidding when he said he needed to grab a little pine."  -- Dwight Perry
"Yankees pitcher Pineda got caught using pine tar: “Pineda missed two full seasons after blowing out his shoulder, and now he might miss two starts after suffering the mother of all brain cramps."  -- Ian O'Connor
"Earth is 71 percent water: “No, wait a minute — that’s Yankee Stadium beer.”  -- David Letterman
"Dan Marino and Joe Montana will play in a flag-football game to say goodbye to Candlestick Park this July. When asked if they knew who will sponsor the game, the 49ers reportedly replied “Depends?”  -- Janice Hough
"A Cubs official told a 100-year-old fan he couldn’t take part in an opening pitch ceremony after he arrived 15 minutes “tardy.” OK, Cubs, that’ll be another multi-decade curse."  -- Brad Dickson
"An entrepreneur plans to open a combination saloon/indoor shooting range in Deadwood, S.D.Just don’t make the mistake of telling the bartender: “Two quick shots, please.”  -- Dwight Perry
"The Buffalo Jills Handbook has many rules. Here's one: #11 - Treat adults as adults.  That's good advice. Shame it doesn't apply to women."  -- Nestor Ramos, Rochester D & C
"The LA district attorney’s office says that Aldon Smith will probably only be charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony for telling TSA he had a bomb at LAX airport. Another athlete who should be glad stupidity is not a felony."  -- Janice Hough
"What do you call a power runner for the Fighting Irish arrested for DUI? The drunk back of Notre Dame."  -- RJ Currie


Thursday, April 24, 2014


Is there anything worse than cheating? Yes, getting caught. There's a number of baseball rules that get broken every game and nothing is done about it, except in extreme cases. The only doctoring of bats that is allowed is pine-tar (excuse that word) on the handles for better grip. But, as we have seen, bats have been "corked," loaded or hollowed out. If caught, the bat is "ejected," not the hitter. Umpires are not allowed to call time out for a batter when the pitcher is on the rubber ready to pitch. They do it all the time. I've seen an ump refuse a last-second time out only once in the last five years, and then the batter glared at the ump like he had just insulted his mother.
So Pineda's pine-tar incident is just another example of, "They all do it, just not that obviously." So Pineda gets ejected and probably suspended for something everybody does. Even the opposing manager, John Farrell, seemed apologetic over raising the issue, but if you do the crime, you'll do the time.
One more point: the Yankee announcers seemed sure that the Yanks will retaliate in kind during tonight's game. Don't bet on it. First of all, that would just look childish and petulant, and secondly, do you really think any Red Sox pitcher would be that stupid as to try and do anything like that?

Michael Robinson, Seattle Seahawk's fullback, will be appearing on "The Young & The Restless," the CBS soap opera. If that's his interest, why doesn't he just sign with the San Fran 49ers, they have all the drama you could want.

Congratulations to Albert Pujols, who hit his 500th career homer on Tuesday. He's 34 years old and in the third year of a 10-year deal. He's averaged 41 homers a year so far, but the questing is, can he average at least 25 homes a year for the next 7+ years to reach that magic 700 number? The major problem is injuries, of course, and Albert is starting to have his share, so you'd think the odds are against him. A couple more 45+ homer years would certainly put it in reach.

One of baseball's magnificent late season collapses took place in 1969, when the Chicago Cubs basically had it won until they let the "Miracle Mets" swoop in and win. How bad was it? Chicago sportswriter Mike Royko described it as, " bad I thought the Cubs were going to move to the Philippines and rename themselves the 'Manila Folders.'"

Speaking of soap operas. there is one brewing in the NY Knicks front office. Owner James Dolan hired former Knick player and coach of multiple NBA champions, Phil Jackson,  to be General Manager of the Knickerbockers. Unlike with previous GMs and coaches, Dolan promised Jackson complete autonomy for decisions involving basketball operations. Yeah, right. Jackson began his house cleaning by firing the coach and his staff and then tried to fire some of the front office staff. "Hold on, there," said Dolan, "We need to talk about this."  So much for autonomy.

"Sammy Sosa was absent from today’s ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. Supposedly he wasn’t invited. But maybe the Cubs just sent him an invitation in English?"  -- Janice Hough
"Defensive end Jason Vega re-signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers the same day he popped the question. He now looks forward to scraps, verbal abuse, getting pushed around and battling offensive people. And that's just the wedding planning."  -- RJ Currie
"Scouts are confident Johnny Manziel has enough character issues to succeed in NFL."  -- The
"NBA commissioner Adam Silver has a  plan to raise the minimum player age from 19 to 20. However, the league’s age maximum will continue to be Kevin Garnett.”  -- Seth Meyers
"Cowboys QB Tony Romo turned 34 on Monday. Meanwhile, his back turned 64."  -- Dwight Perry
"Another thought about Pineda. He had to know they were watching him after the alleged pine-tar on the glove earlier this year. And he puts it on his neck?! I don’t know if Jesus wept, but Gaylord Perry certainly did."  -- Janice Hough
"New NASCAR star Chase Elliott is a high-school senior. He recently set a record when he became the first driver to lead a race while texting."  -- Brad Dickson

"Nebraska coach Bo Pelini let a cheerleader call a play during the Cornhuskers’ spring football game. Just one problem: The entire backfield was in motion."  -- Dwight Perry


Sunday, April 20, 2014


I quit watching at 6-1. I checked back and it was 8-1. I went to bed at 12-1.  I checked the score this morning when I got up and it was 16-1. Is the game over yet? I was afraid to look.
Ken Singleton says that the Rays were having trouble scoring runs. I think that problem is over with. Is Nova really hurt or did he just want out while his ERA was still in single digits? In four innings, he gave up 8 hits and 8 runs. Two of the Yankee relievers, Matt Daley & Dean Anna, did the same AS this in only 2 innings. Isn't Daley the pitcher the Yanks picked up to replace Cesar Cabal, who has been sent to Siberia? Doesn't seem like Daley was a step up, does it?
Talk about versatility, Dean Anna is the utility infielder. Last week, Girardi said he was the emergency catcher. Last night, he was the emergency reliever. He's not available today, he's working his shift at the third base concession stand.

Last week, Buster Olney interviewed several club officials about the fact that two very good free agents, Stephen Drew and Kendry Morales, were still unsigned. Tony Clark, president of the Players Union, says this is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement, because no one is supposed to comment on the availability of free agents and by doing so, they have hurt the value of those two players. Clark wants an immediate and full scale investigation by the Commissioner's office and that the guilty parties are punished. He's left out one important thing, as Buster Olney states:
"When an agent informs a reporter that a player has drawn interest from a team or teams when in fact there is none, as part of an effort to artificially bolster the player’s market value, that’s a CBA violation. When a report comes out that a player has offers from X number of teams, where is that almost certainly coming from? Yes, the agent. And this has been happening for years and years, and Clark knows it"  
Olney also says very little will actually happen on this situation, because, "This whole thing is about creating a smokescreen for a negotiating mistake" Both players turned down qualifying offers of $14.1 million on the advice of their agent, the well-know Scott Boras. Boras is the master of the "mystery team ploy" that is supposedly offering big money to his client but is never named and never shows up. 
"So the idea that a handful of anonymous opinions somehow affected their market value is so laughable that it’s incredible that anyone in a position of authority -- Clark, et al -- is taking it seriously." 

I don't know who is actually going to pitch today for the Yanks. It's supposed to be Vidal Nuno, but the last two games may have scared him off. It may be pitching coach Larry Rothschild, whose advice probably isn't worth too much to the Yankee staff right now.

"Steve Masiello was denied the head coaching job at South Florida after it was learned he attended, but did not graduate, from Kentucky. If you deny a job to everyone who attended but didn’t graduate from Kentucky, half the players in the NBA will be gone."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Saskatchewan Roughriders rewarded Darian Durant with a contract extension. The deal is said to involve multiple years and all the water he can walk on."  -- RJ Currie
"The Columbus Blue Jackets had their first playoff win ever Saturday night. And two questions from most Americans. 1. Columbus has a pro team? 2. What sport?"  -- Janice Hough
"Why didn't John Calipari leave Kentucky to coach the Lakers? He has more NBA players this year than the Lakers do."  -- Steve Van Gundy
"Saskatchewan’s Graham DeLaet wasn’t distraught after missing this year’s Masters cut:. He already owns quite a few green jackets, though they all say ‘John Deere’ on the front."  -- TC Chong
"Brewers backup catcher Martin Maldonado lived a sandlot player’s dream Friday night — hitting the cover halfway off the ball on an infield hit to third against the Pirates. League officials immediately confiscated Maldonado’s Wonderboy bat and his bottle of Ryan Braun vitamins."  -- Dwight Perry
"Creighton’s Ryan Fitzgerald hit the first inside-the-park home run at TD Ameritrade Park. To give you an idea how big the outfield is, to get to the ball the left fielder caught a bus."  -- Brad Dickson



Saturday, April 19, 2014


Washington manager, Matt Williams, yanked Bryce Harper from the game today for failure to run out a ground ball. This is something Joe Girardi should have done starting two years ago. We'll be waiting.

The Yanks & the Rays traded blowouts in the first two games of the four-game set. The Yankee relievers looked particularly inept, especially Cesar Cabral, who faced six batters and hit them all - three on the bat, three on the body. "Country" Joe West then threw him out of the game, mostly, I suspect, because he thought he was next. (Well, I can dream, can't I?)

Speaking of dreams, the Yanks are in first place, the Red Sox are in last. Can the season be over now, please?

The Yanks lead the American League in Hitting, Slugging and On Base Pct., yet they're seventh in runs scored with 69, 25 runs behind #1 Los Angeles. Why is that?

Is it my imagination, or does it look like Jacoby Ellsbury could steal second carrying 1st base coach Mick Kelleher on his back?

I wonder how A-Rod is going to feel next season when he discovers he is the late inning defensive replacement for Yangervis Solarte? By the way, this man needs a nickname, badly. The way Michael Kay says his name, it sounds like a foot infection.

Okay, one more time. In Thursday's game, Ray's pitcher, David Price threw a pitch on the outside corner that was called a ball. Flash Flaherty took that opportunity to point out that Tampa's catcher Jose Molina pulled the ball in and that he was one of the best at "framing" pitches. The replay showed that the ball actually crossed over home plate and the Rays still didn't get the call.
So much for the effect of framing pitches.

Recently, David Ortiz took 33 seconds to run out a homer. That's an average of 8.25 seconds per base, which is still faster than Cano running out a grounder to 2nd.

"Giants QB Eli Manning underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle and doctors say he should be able to run in about six weeks. Though a cynic might ask: “How will they be able to tell?  -- Dwight Perry
"More than 90 cruise-ship passengers came down sick with vomiting and diarrhea off the Southern California coast: “Officials blame either the norovirus or a 2014 Lakers highlight reel.”  -- Jerry Perisho
"Spanish golfer Pablo Larrazabal was stung 20 times and finally jumped into a lake to avoid a swarm of hornets. The last famous golfer to be stung significantly was Tiger; but that was only in his wallet."  -- TC Chong
"The NBA playoffs start today. Which means there’s only about three more months left in the season."  -- Janice Hough
"The New York Yankees turned the first triple play of the MLB season. With the new policy, it will be under review until it's declared official in six-to-eight weeks."  -- Brad Dickson 
"An angler found a 101-year-old message in a bottle in the Baltic Sea. It was a Cubs fan saying, ‘Wait ’til next year.’"  -- Bill Littlejohn
"If Pablo Sandoval is going to struggle to hit his weight, maybe he should eat more."  -- Janice Hough
"Happy birthday to hit king Pete Rose, who turned 73 on Monday. Charlie Hustle celebrated like he always does, sliding head-first into his birthday cake."  -- Dwight Perry
"Bubba Watson celebrating his Masters win with a trip to Waffle House. Unlike Tiger Woods, however, Watson actually went for the food."  -- Janice Hough
"A pair of Wall Street financiers bought Milwaukee’s last-place NBA team for $550 million. There’s a shrewd investment: over half a billion dollars to get a few lousy Bucks."  -- RJ Currie


Monday, April 14, 2014


Oh, yeah. Not a good visit to the Big Apple for John Farrell and the Boston Red Sox. Farrell certainly can't be a big fan of instant replay. It's supposed to "get things right," but things didn't work out that way for the Sox.
First, Yankee pitcher Ivan Nova helped himself to some pine tar which neither the Red Sox, Farrell, the umpires or Joe Girardi seemed to notice.
On Saturday, Farrell was a victim of an instant replay challenge that got blown when a Yankee runner stepped briefly off the second base bag while a tag was glued to his hip. But the replay system didn't see it that way, when even Stevie Wonder was saying, "Dude. Come on!"
And finally on Sunday, an out call at first was reversed when the replay official said the Yankee runner was actually safe. He might have been safe - but he might not have. Didn't look THAT conclusive, but, alas, the reversed call meant another run for NY, a run that proved decisive.
Just to add insult to injury, managers are not allowed to argue replays, so arguments and ejections should have been eliminated, but Farrell had had just too much. Out he came and "Balkin'" Bob Davidson gave him the rest of the night off.
Everyone knows I'm a Yankee fan and could care less about the Red Sox, but it was embarrassing and I feel bad for Boston.                          No, I don't.

Brad Dickson is on vacation and the Seattle Times is being selfish with the online postings of Dwight Perry's column, so the quote section will begin again as soon as there are more available.


Sunday, April 13, 2014


Another controversy in the Saturday game in New York. Again, the Red Sox were on the dirty end of the stick. I can't say I'm unhappy about it, but it does seem a little cruel.
The Sox challenged a call at 2nd base when the Yanks Dean Anna appeared to briefly lose contact with the bag as he got up. The Sox infielder held the tag on him the whole time and then asked the ump to call him out. The replays CLEARLY showed Anna off the base while the tag was still on him, but after reviewing the play, the umps refused to overturn the call. MLB's excuse was that there wasn't a replay available that made it possible to overturn the call. That's funny. Yes network's replay was crystal clear as was Boston's. MLB has said that they will view every replay that exists; the replay center is in New York as was the game, but somehow... Sometime Monday, Joe Torre will probably have a press conference announcing that the replay system is working as expected, which apparently means the major market teams are getting the benefit of the doubt. Replay system or not, if this happened to Billy Martin, he would have drawn blood out there.

Luckily, I don't ever listen to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the radio. Sterling tries to come up with a special home run call for every Yankee. The one he has chosen for Brian McCann is (hope you're sitting down), "Oh, McCann can, yes McCann can..."  sung to the tune of "Can Can." Even Suzyn Waldman has to be holding her fingers in her ear on that one.

Girardi says one of the reasons the Yanks wanted McCann is his ability to nurture young pitchers, and he is part of the reason the youngsters on the NY staff are doing so well. That and his ability, " frame pitches so well," which we all know, fools them dumb umpires all the time.

In spite of the fact that ball clubs continue to baby pitchers by limiting innings, pitch count and warmups, pitchers are dropping like flies. There have been SEVEN Tommy John surgeries so far this year and multiple shoulder injuries. Come on all you pitching coaches, did you ever consider that Nolan Ryan might be right?

"As usual, they will beat each other up in the AL East. It's divisional Fratricide."  -- Bob Ryan
"During a minor league hockey scuffle, a St. Charles Chill player got ejected for biting an opponent. Fans were shocked! A hockey player with teeth?"  -- RJ Currie
"One man at the Masters saw Rory McIlroy’s face  in a pastry and bet $1,600 on the golfer.   It’s also one of the few times John Daly’s face wasn’t seen in a pastry."  -- Bill Littlejohn
"Gaylord Perry has to be shaking his head over this Michale Pineda alleged pine-tar controversy. As in, “Dude, Vaseline is colorless.”"  -- Janice Hough
"A 54-year-old woman will try out to be an NFL cheerleader. Hey, if she doesn't mind standing in front of 60,000 fans in nothing but two postage stamps and some twine, more power to her."  -- Brad Dickson
"It’s “Undie Sunday” at the Bakersfield (Calif.) Condors hockey game Sunday, when fans get to throw undergarments on the ice, for charity, after the Condors score their first goal.Looks like they’ve scheduled a hockey game — until the Tom Jones concert breaks out."  -- Dwight Perry
"When asked about Derek Jeter being held out of the game yesterday: "I wasn't hired to run a farewell tour."  -- Joe Girardi
"Connecticut beat Kentucky at AT&T Stadium in Dallas to win the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The only thing weird about the game was that Jerry Jones did not show up on either sideline in the second half."  -- TC Chong


Friday, April 11, 2014


It seems we have a 2nd pine tar incident in the Bronx - almost. Pitcher Michael Pineda had a substance on his pitching hand that resembled pine tar, but no one knows for sure. Red Sox manager, John Farrell said he didn't see it. Yanks manager Joe Girardi said he didn't see it. David Ortiz said it was a "non-issue." The umpire said no one complained, but the cameras picked up something. Pineda said it was dirt. Right. Special, wet, amber-colored dirt. He said it was because his hand gets sweaty and he wanted to keep it dry. I thought that was what rosin was for.
Maybe no one complains because everyone does something. So Pineda has his dirt, Buchholz had his sunscreen, Jon Lester had his green goo, and Gaylord Perry had his Vaseline ball. Two former players talked about it on ESPN BBT last night. Were they outraged? Did they think Pineda should be suspended? Were they critical of the umpires? No. they thought it was okay, just be more subtle about using it. Well, I guess my faith in following the rules has changed slightly.  It's okay to cheat, just hide it better. I hope all you PED users are paying attention.

Speaking of cheating, I find that the acceptance of PED use varies depending on whether or not the perpetrator plays for your team or not. Janice Hough,, openly roots for the SF Giants. When Convicted user Ryan Braun recently hit three homers in one game against the Phillies, Janice made a joke about checking Phillie Cheese steaks for steroids. However, the Giants have been hitting extremely well of late, and she credits the addition of Barry Bonds as hitting coach. No mention of his drug use, even though many other sportswriters (and yours truly)  joked about Bonds simply showing hitters how to "juice up."  I guess your sense of humor depends on your particular hero.

Kevin Youkilis - He's currently playing in Japan.
Jesus Montero - He's playing in the minors for Palm Beach, AAA affiliate of the Mariners.
Curt Schilling - Just completed his first round of chemo treatments for cancer
Bernie Williams - Still playing guitar with his band, the All Stars. He still hasn't officially retired.

Congrats to another UCONN basketball team, the women this time, on winning the Women's NCAA Div. I Championship. They finished the season at 40-0, an NCAA record.

"A study has found that 20 percent of NASCAR fans think BluRays are sea animals. The other 80 per cent think they play in the AL East."  -- RJ Currie
"The very first Major League replay challenge was made by the Cubs and lost. With that, the Cubs have been mathematically eliminated from this year’s playoffs."  -- TC Chong
"Tiger Woods will miss most of this year due to recovering from back surgery. His goal of surpassing Jack’s record of 18 majors does not look good. However, he should be able to pass his father’s record of 17 mistresses."  -- TC Chong
"NY Giants QB Eli Manning will have arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle today. But the team hopes he will be recovered and ready to throw interceptions in minicamp."  -- Janice Hough
"Longtime Blue Devils assistant Steve Wojciechowski landed the top basketball job at Marquette: “That leaves Duke with only one coach whose name you can’t spell."  -- Eric Kolenich
"M’s pitcher Hector Noesi threw just two pitches in the 12th inning in Anaheim, gave up a game-winning homer and was designated for assignment less than 16 hours later. For those of you scoring at home, that’s one run, one hit and no Noesi."  -- Dwight Perry
" John Calipari denied rumors that he will coach the LA Lakers. Meaning probably that LA didn’t offer him enough money, and/or he is pretty sure Kentucky isn’t going on probation next season."  -- Janice Hough
"Here's a ready-made suggestion if Lexington wants to name a street after the 2014 Kentucky basketball team: “Second Place.”  -- Tim Hunter
"The Houston market drew a 0.0 Nielsen rating for Monday’s Astros-Angels game. Among the competition in that time slot: the rain-delayed Duck Commander 500 stock-car race, which drew a 1.7."  -- Dwight Perry
"Kentucky is young. One player said making the Final Four was the second-biggest highlight of his year right after getting his learner's permit."  -- Brad Dickson


Friday, April 04, 2014


All winter I have listened to and read how the Yankees have upgraded their lineup significantly and will not be the tansy-pansies they were last year. And what did we get? They put just seven runners across the plate in a three game series against the Astros, a team that had baseball's worst pitching staff. I don't recall reading that they somehow traded for Verlander and Kershaw, so what gives? On the other hand, the pitching was pretty good, allowing only 19 hits and 11 runs in the three games.
I've got to stop reading the NY papers.

Umpire Tim McClelland has injured his back and will be out for the year and may possibly retire. It's interesting that McClelland  has always been considered one of the best and most respected umpires in the game and yet he has been in the middle of some of the biggest and most controversial decisions in the past few years. He was the umpire who missed seeing two Yankees occupying third base at the same time. That's hardly a judgement call.

This little gem came from my friend Brad Dickson:
"On Friday, the Syracuse Chiefs, a AAA baseball team, is hosting "Deport Justin Bieber Night." It's just nice to see one minor league team stop with the dumb promotions and delve into important social commentary".
I've got to get to Syracuse this summer.

Met 2nd baseman Daniel Murphy has been criticized for missing the first two games of the season to be with his wife during the birth of his first child. Yeah right, you can always have more children, but miss a baseball game...? The talk-radio personalities had a field day with this one. Apparently Mike Francesa isn't the only clown that doesn't have his priorities straight.

Let's recap the Ryan Braun saga:
**Tested positive for PEDs
**Denied ever using them
**Took the examiner to arbitration and won
**Caught in the Bio-Genesis scandal
**Admitted to using PEDs and "apologized"
**Gets a standing ovation in his first game back
We know Braun has no shame, but what about the fans. Hit home runs and all is forgiven, I guess.

How's the new challenge-replay system working out? The whole idea was to get the call right and eliminate the controversies. Now the umpires refused to let a manager challenge a play because the request "...wasn't timely enough." It was before the next pitch was thrown. There was no timing issue mentioned in the rules. Were the umps worried that they wouldn't be able to exercise their haughty decrees from the throne?  I knew they'd find a way to screw this up.

The Oakland A's still have a problem with their stadium and it looks like they have very little chance of resolving the issue any time soon. One of the problems is that the drainage is terrible which is okay if you don't mind watering the field with raw sewage. Even the NFL's Oakland Raiders, who share the facility, have objected to this. C'mon. If the Raiders refuse to play in this mess, then you really have a problem.

College basketball's biggest show takes place this weekend. I'd predict a winner, but since my bracket picks became the laughing stock of our group, who'd believe me? Next year, I'm using Diane Chambers from "Cheers" method: Red beats Blue, Green beats Yellow, Orange beats...

" Vladimir Putin's divorce has been finalized. Some bad news for Vladimir: his wife got the Super Bowl ring."  -- Brad Dickson
"In the first inning of today’s game in Pittsburgh, Chicago Cubs OF Junior Lake wore the wrong road jersey. Out of habit Roger Goodell fined him $20,000."  -- Janice Hough
"Italian Simone Origone broke his own world speed-skiing record when he clocked 156.8 mph down a slope in the French Alps. Origone credited perfect skiing conditions and a good coating of Clark Griswold’s latest kitchen-lubricant spray."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Chicago Cubs in a 16-inning game that lasted 5 hours and 55 minutes. There have been seasons when both the Cubs and Pirates have been mathematically eliminated after 5 hours, 55 minutes."  -- Brad Dickson
" Ryan Braun desperate to regain trust of fans before cheating again."  --
"I'm questioning the logic of baseball’s new instant-replay system:  You really want to watch the Mets do that again?"  -- Alan Ray
"A Foot Locker store in Columbus, Ohio, had Aaron Craft basketball jerseys for sale with “Oiho State” stitched on the front.  Just be glad he didn’t play for Rensselaer Polytechnic."  -- Dwight Perry
"The president of the Miami Marlins, David Samson, wants his team to play quicker. This is news? For years Marlins fans have prayed for games to be over."  -- RJ Currie