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


Thursday, October 30, 2014


I didn't realize all the best performances that happened in the series. I listened to Harold Reynolds, Tom Verducci and the irrepressible Joe Buck talk about the great performances we were watching. Harold Reynolds said, in describing Madison Bumgarner success, "We have never seen anything like this before."   And we haven't. I mean, imagine throwing three shutouts in one world, wait, that was Christy Mathewson. Well, "That was in the 'dead ball' era."  True, they didn't have hitters like they do today. Well, except for Ty Cobb.  Bumgarner did have 2 wins and a save. That's never been done before... except in 1958 when Bob Turley did it in the last three games of that series. How about Lew Burdette notching three wins in one series. He pitched 27 innings and gave up a total of 2 runs.
Pablo Sandoval had a marvelous series -12 hits, a .429 average and was a vacuum cleaner at third. A great performance, but not the best ever. 3 other players had 13 hits and two players had .500 averages in a 7-game series.

My point is this: These two guys were terrific in the series, but they weren't the best performances ever, and to say that diminishes the feats of others. Annie-O says they were just trying to build interest in the games and were just doing their jobs. Maybe so, but it's insulting to those who know  - and watched - better performances in the past to have those feats ignored by their zeal in praising Bumgarner and Sandoval.

But, it's the Fox Network, so what do you expect? A newspaperman once said, "Why let the facts get in the way of a good story?"

In a related story, while Joe Buck and cohorts were shooting themselves in the foot with their excessive praises, Jose Canseco was shooting himself in the finger. Couldn't even get the "foot" thing right, eh, Jose?

"Federal agents raided a lingerie shop in Kansas City that was selling unlicensed Kansas City Royals underwear."Throw out your contraband teddies and garter belts, and come out with your hands in the air."  -- Brad Dickson
" The NBA season started Tuesday night. The Philadelphia 76ers will be eliminated from playoff contention tomorrow."  -- Janice Hough
"Two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash is out for the season with nerve damage. It’s a shame the Lakers couldn’t sign Carmelo Anthony; I hear he’s got a lot of nerve."  -- RJ Currie
"In the movie ‘Ouija,’ they use the board to contact the dead. In the opening scene, they’re talking to the Jets."  -- David Letterman
"Beleaguered Florida football coach Will Muschamp is saying he’s adopting a bunker mentality: “Which one, Archie or Edith?”  -- Bill Littlejohn
"Titans running back Shonn Green has been charged with resisting stop/halt/frisk, suspended license, reckless driving and illegal parking after police in Franklin, Tenn., say he tried to avoid a ticket for parking in a handicapped space. In keeping with the theme, police replaced the Miranda rights with a two-minute warning."  -- Dwight Perry
"After scoring 82 points against Texas Tech, TCU ran out of celebratory fireworks. "Take a knee. We're out of bottle rockets. We can't score any more points."  -- Brad Dickson
"Harold Reynolds last night during the World Series telecast called Bud Selig “the greatest (MLB) commissioner of all time.” Hard to imagine but someone did it. Proved they could be worse about baseball than Joe Buck,"  -- Janice Hough
"At the WTA Finals, Eugenie Bouchard lost in straight sets to Ana Ivanovic. Roughly 2,000 people attended the Bouchard-Ivanovic match — 8,000 if you include photographers."  -- RJ Currie



Sunday, October 26, 2014


It seems that every other article on the ESPN site is about the two managers. "Bochy did this right; Yost got lucky with his game plan; Yost out-managed Bochy. Read the tweeter's comments on the managers moves."
In a word: Bullroar!
These managers have spent all season learning which of their players does best in certain situations and they apply that knowledge and experience when making critical decisions during the game. Whether they work or not is up to the players, not the manager. If the player succeeds, the manager is a genius, if not, the manager's a bum.
But, let's face it, the World Series is a Monday Morning Quarterback's heaven. Every move, every pitch is analyzed and rehashed ad nauseam. If you watch your team all year, you probably know what a manager will do in certain situations and that doesn't change just because you're in the World Series. That doesn't stop the analysts from second-guessing, though.  They have to: otherwise those genius announcers would have nothing to say.
That probably wouldn't stop them. I watched Erin Andrews do 90 seconds on the cost of a seat in the stadium during the game. And she did it from the stands. Okay, the cost was excessive, but shouldn't that have been part of the all-encompassing pre-game show? Years ago, when Monday Night Football began, sportscasters thought having three men in the booth was a dumb idea. Two men were fine: a play-by-play guy and an ex-jock analyst. And that ex-jock could have eaten a pizza between the times he was asked to speak. Now there are FIVE people doing the broadcast. So many, they have to have the Erin Andrews of the world out roaming the stadium. Maybe tonight, Erin will talk about the concession stands, you know, the history of the hot dog, when people buy the food...things like that. I can hardly wait till they get to the restrooms.
But don't listen to me. Phil Mushnick says it better.

** Kevin Long is back in New York. The former Yankee hitting guru who supposedly turned Curtis Granderson's career around, will now be imparting his genius to the Met hitters. I suppose Granderson will be thrilled.

** Joe Maddon has left the Tampa Bay Rays. I love checking out the back page of the NY Post and the Daily News. Their headlines are hilarious. Today's Post headline: Say it ain't Joe. I wonder how they come up with these sayings seven days a week. I picture some 60-year old guy, mostly bald with a small ponytail, wearing cut-up jeans, a tie-dyed t-shirt, loaded with piercings and tattoos who comes in for a hour each day. They load him up with drugs, give him a topic and sit back. Then it's, "Wow. Maynard came up with a beauty this time."              Could happen.

"The Nebraska-Rutgers game was so important that ESPN sent its 89th play-by-play team. The Huskers’ last game with Rutgers was in New York in 1920. This may be the weirdest home and away series I’ve seen."  -- Brad Dickson
"Lions running back William Powell flew all the way to London for Sunday’s game — only to get released once the team arrived there. League historians dubbed his 3,760-mile flight home as the longest comeback route in NFL history."  -- Dwight Perry
"Rhetorical question of the week: Where else but in intercollegiate athletics could Idaho be in the Sun Belt Conference?"  -- Jack Finarelli
"When asked if his team prepares any differently for a home game than one on the road: “We don’t get on a plane."  -- QB Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears
" Need a reason to root for the SF Giants? Apparently their being in the World Series upset Kanye West’s plans to take over AT&T park for a private concert as a birthday present for Kim Kardashian."  -- Janice Hough
"During a postgame interview, Hunter Pence corrected Erin Andrews and told her she got her facts wrong. He can be suspended for that, right?"  -- Brad Dickson
"American tobacco company RJ Reynolds has instituted a no smoking policy at all its offices. In related news, the manufacturer of Ex-lax has removed all the restrooms from their buildings."  -- Tony Chong
"Luis Suarez — banned for four months after biting an opposing player during the World Cup — finally made his debut for Barcelona on Saturday. It’s probably no exaggeration to say he’s been champing at the bit."  -- Dwight Perry
 "Oops. Broncos practice squad player John Boyett, arrested for public intoxication in Denver, told police to “contact my boss, John Elway.” Make that “former boss.” The Broncos cut him yesterday."  -- Janice Hough
"New Zealand singer Lorde's song Royals has been banned from San Francisco radio during the World Series. For good measure, they banned Justin Bieber, just because"  -- RJ Currie


Monday, October 20, 2014


** The Giants won 88 games during the regular season, the Royals won 89. So if the Giants won SEVEN less games, they would have been a .500 team - and the Royals only 8 less. This wild card business may keep more teams - and fans - interested, but it can also water down the product. Just an observation.

** The Yanks have hired Gary Denbo as senior vice president of baseball operations. He will be in charge of the minor league system. Denbo was formerly the hitting instructor for the Yanks from 2006 thru 2008. He never played in the majors and only reached double A in the minors. As we used to say: "Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, administrate." Guess you've come full circle, Gary.

** In order to increase the pace of the game and help players through the season, the NBA is experimenting with 44 minute games instead of the usual 48. Good idea. Baseball is looking to shorten their games, so why not play 8 innings instead of 9? This could work.

** From Brad Dickson's "Bottom Ten"
 1. SMU (0-6): SMU lost to Cincinnati 41-3. The Mustangs were coming off a bye week, during which they practiced jumping offsides and getting beaten deep to stay sharp.
 7. Tulsa (1-6): The only hope of salvaging this season is to strike oil under the football stadium

** Fox has hired David "Big Papi" Ortiz as an analyst for the World Series. Just what we need: an egotistical loud mouth who won't know when to shut up. I wonder if he'll say anything when a hitter poses at home plate and takes 30-40 seconds to run (?) the bases after a home run?         Nah!

** The first volley has been fired. Two San Francisco radio stations say they won't play the hit song "Royals" by New Zealand artist Lorde, for the duration of the Series. Kansas City has responded by taking the "Giant-size" of any product off their shelves at the same time. Being an old fuddy-duddy, I've never heard the song "Royals" and I can't afford the giant size of anything.

** Brian Roberts has retired. A year too late, as it turned out.

** Second baseman Kolten Wong of the S.F. Giants, hit a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to lead the Giants to a 5-4 victory.  I suppose when his career is over, he'll be going into the Hall of Fame. Why not? Second baseman Bill Mazeroski made it and all he ever did was hit a walk-off homer. (Do I sound bitter? I hope so.)

"Some of Dwyane Wade's clothes are being sold. Just in time for Halloween."  -- Brad Dickson
"Drug agents say they searched the dorm room of Alabama tight end Kurt Freitag and discovered 112 grams of marijuana.  Guess he has his own working definition of "Roll Tide."  -- Dwight Perry
"Raiders coach Tony Sparano buried a football to symbolize a fresh start:  "He should have kept the football and buried the players."  -- Ian Hamilton
"Cowboys running back Joseph Randle got busted for shoplifting at a Dillard’s department store. It’s so sad. One of these days, the U.S. economy’s going to rebound and NFL players will be shoplifting at Neiman-Marcus again.”  -- Argus Hamilton
" The NBA is considering shortening their games from 48 to 44 minutes. I’d go with 46, as it’s the last two minutes that take forever."  -- TC Chong
"Georgia running back Todd Gurley was not expected to play on Saturday during an investigation into whether he received $400 for signing autographs. If a Florida State player had sold government secrets to Russia, his suspension would’ve been over by now."  -- Brad Dickson
"LeBron James, the prodigal Cavalier, has signed his first multimillion car-endorsement deal, for Kia’s K900 luxury sedan.  In keeping with the theme, he’ll drive one from Cleveland to Miami and back."  -- Dwight Perry
" And some people still think football players don’t need math skills. Tulane QB Nick Montana spiked the ball today near the end of the first half to stop the clock. On fourth down….."  -- Janice Hough


Sunday, October 12, 2014


     Let's talk about those wonderful broadcasters, without whom products like Bayer aspirin would remain fully stocked on drug store shelves.  We are bombarded with "information" from these talking heads, information that is usually either totally worthless or just flat-out wrong.
     There is the worthless stat that is common: "This guy is having a heck of a postseason."  Yeah, right. He's 2 for 6 with 1 RBI. Sounds good, but it's only 6 at bats. It could be, and probably is, two harmless seeing-eye ground balls and an RBI on a ground out. "The pitcher has an  0-2 record with a 5.66 ERA in post season play." It's true, but that all took place in the 2011 playoffs, three years ago. If  they mention it, they imply that that record is what he will do this year.
     Then they misuse true statistics. "Nelson Cruz has just passed Babe Ruth for all-time post season home runs."  Does this mean Cruz is better than the Babe? Do they say that Ruth hit ALL of his homers in the World Series? Do they mention that Cruz had 159 at bats and Ruth had 129? Move over, Babe, TBS Sports has spoken.
     How about the complete whitewash? These are the best post-season records for Kansas City since the 1985 Royals team. Wow! Oh, did I mention that 1985 was the LAST time the Royals were in the post season? Must have slipped my mind.

There are three guys in the booth and one or two on the field and they all think they have to contribute something to every play. I have been told at least six times that the Orioles got Nelson Cruz very cheaply and he has produced wonderfully. Six times! Come on guys, my memory isn't that bad. If someone would please cut the power to the booth, maybe my ears would stop bleeding.

Quick question. Part I) In this day of electronic marvels, where they can put a microphone on a player, replay an event half-a-dozen times from four different angles, show a closeup of a player spitting sunflower seeds, how come it took these amazing technicians two and a half minutes to figure out how to turn off the lights on a TV analysts both in center field that was shining into the batters eyes? Part II) - Is that a record for technological incompetence in a playoff game held at night in an American League stadium on a nationally televised game on a network other than ESPN?
Answers: Part I) They don't know  II) I don't care

"When you see what the Royals are doing - winning their first six playoff games - I'm sure, like me, the first thing you think of are the 1906 Cubs. Am I right?"  -- Bob Ryan, Sports Reporters
"Spotted at the Nebraska-Michigan State game: Joba Chamberlain. His beard was in seats 42, 43, 44 and 45."  -- Brad Dickson
"North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un hasn’t been seen in public for six weeks now.  On the bright side, neither has Dennis Rodman."  -- Dwight Perry
"Haven’t gotten your fill of Derek Jeter yet? His game-used socks can be yours for $409.99 — each.
That gives new meaning to the term “getting hosed.’"  -- Ian Hamilton
"How has the KC Royals Lorenzo Cain not been on ESPN’s Top 10 plays and Web Gems every single night of the season?"  -- Janice Hough
"During a high school cross country race in Alaska, a black bear wandered onto the course. No word yet if the winner’s time of 2 minutes, 47 seconds for the 5K course will stand as a record."  -- Brad Dickson



Saturday, October 11, 2014


Three more years. Last year, he went out and bought 3 superstars, but not a pennant. Now, there is no room for more super contracts, so he's going to have to find a different way. But first, he has to decide what to do with what he's got. The choices are: (A) Keep him, (B) Drop him or (C) Trade him. Let's go down the list of free agents -
Brandon McCarthy - (A) He's effective so they should try and sign him
David Robertson - (A) try to sign him but not for $15 million. $10 million or let him go
Hiroki Kuroda - (A) Word is, he wants to retire
Francisco Cervelli - (A) Sign him. He can hit
JR Murphy - (C) He's a good chip
Austin Romine - (C) He won't bring as much as Murphy, but it's something
Stephen Drew - (a) Why do we even have to discuss him (notice the small a). He can't hit but he's here and there isn't any viable alternative out there. Certainly nothing in the farm system.
Chase Headley - (A) He's the best 3rd baseman in the game and he'll hit enough.  
Ichiro Suzuki - (B) Past his prime. Not quite the hitter or fielder he once was and certainly not as fast. And speed was his biggest weapon.

What they really need is for these big sluggers to start slugging. McCann looked like he was starting to come around at the end of the year, but Teixeira, Ellsbury and Beltran have to step up. And if A-Rod can't produce, sit him down or release him. Yeah, I know it's a lot of money to eat, but if he can't hit, you're spending money on nothing anyway.

If the Yanks do bring Kuroda back, they could have a starting rotation called The 'A' Line.

** Bad year for coaches
 Boston's Gregg Brunn and Atlanta's Greg Walker both resigned, perhaps before they were fired. Milwaukee fired both Johnny Narron and Garth Iorg. The Yankees have dumped Kevin Long and Mick Kelleher. Long was the hitting coach and the Yanks didn't hit, so someone had to go. Why Kelleher?
His job was infield coach and first base coach. It's not his fault that the Yanks didn't get enough guys to first. But when they did get there, only Kansas City stole more bases than NY in the American League. They should have canned 3rd base coach Rob Thompson. He made a lot of questionable decisions this year.
At least they were all "well respected."

**Speaking of money...
(Anytime you talk about the Yankees, you're talking about money). The Dodgers are having their own problems. Josh Beckett is retiring. Injuries have killed what was a promising career. In the last five years, his record is 39 - 52. The Dodgers have four starting outfielders and only three positions. Unless they can talk baseball into adding "Rover" as a tenth position, someone has to go. Something has to be done about Puig. To paraphrase Crash Davis in Bull Durham, "He's got million dollar body with a 10-cent head." St Louis got so deep into his head in the playoffs, that Mattingly had to bench him in the last game. But you can't give up on him, there's too much talent.
Word is that both GM Ned Colletti and Mgr Don Mattingly may be fired. Maybe so, but Mattingly is going out swinging: "I'm proud of our season."

"We have a mix of veterans and younger players. It’s a good combination of experience and ignorance." Cardinal Matt Holliday
"We’re not willing to lose a ton of games and give up experienced players for draft picks and live to play another day.  Because even though the owner’s first name is Hal, the last name is still Steinbrenner, which is not German for “patience."  -- Brian Cashman
"Geno Smith said he missed a meeting before last Sunday's game in San Diego because he was confused by traveling from the East Coast time zone to the West Coast. This guy must be a nightmare when Daylight Savings Time ends."  -- Brad Dickson
"Jets QB Geno Smith missed a team meeting the night before Sunday’s 31-0 loss to the Chargers. Apparently it was the one in which they installed the touchdown plays."  -- Dwight Perry
"Brett Favre said he's glad Peyton Manning is about to break his record of 508 touchdown passes. Then, Favre was immediately struck by lightning."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Baltimore Orioles or Kansas City Royals were in the World Series around 30 years ago. Most fans weren’t even born then. The only reason Pete Rose remembers is because he bet on them." -- TC Chong
"The Flyers brought back their IceGirls because crowds jeered at the IceGuys. It’s Philly: they boo Santa on his sleigh; what chance do guys shoveling snow have?"  -- RJ Currie
"The Yankees fired hitting coach Kevin Long. Right, because it’s his fault all these sluggers making over $10 million a year suddenly forgot how to hit."  -- Janice Hough


Sunday, October 05, 2014


Four playoff games on Friday, but only two on Saturday. The Giants and the Nationals tried to ease the pain for you baseball junkies by playing two games by themselves. Well, actually it was only one game, but they seemed to play it twice.
The KC Royals aren't satisfied with the usual 9-inning games either. They seemed to prefer extra-inning games, or what Michael Kay calls, "Free baseball." It isn't really free; they do manage to squeeze in a few extra commercials.

The Giants used 20 players, the Nationals used 21, which means almost everybody played including a trainer, a couple of batgirls and an ice cream vendor that wandered too close to the dugout. In 18 innings, home plate umpire Vic Carapuzzo saw 485 pitches, some of which he called correctly. Asdrubal Cabrera (my favorite baseball name along with Wilmer 'Vinegar Bend' Mizell) got himself ejected in the 10th inning for complaining about a strike call - complaining vehemently. Actually, I think he forgot to include overtime pay in his last contract and wanted out. Manager Matt Williams went with him because you need two people to play canasta.

This will be interesting. Baltimore plays Detroit today, as does Kansas City and the LA Angels. Baltimore and KC are both up two games to none, and if they both win today, they don't play each other in the next round until Friday. Why? Because it's very possible that the last NL 1st round game isn't until Thursday.  This also explains the 41 players used in the SF-Wash. game. Sure, use everybody. They get a day off on Sunday.

Boston's hitting coach, Gregg Brunn resigned for health reasons. Apparently the fact that the Red Sox batting statistics for 2014 were among the worst in baseball, had nothing to do with it. Gee, not even a little bit?

Derek Jeter is gone, Alex Rodriquez is back. 'Nuff said.
Except this: Steiner Collectibles is selling "Derek Jeter Game-Used Dirt," starting at $20 for a teaspoonful. Oh, brother!

Managers always say the toughest decision they have to make is when to change pitchers. Buster Olney says, " There is no perfect time for a manager to pull your starting pitcher."  ESPN's baseball analysts think there is: The batter just before your starter gets the crap beat out of him. Of course, they say this after the beating has occurred.


"A jersey worn by little leaguer Mo’ne Davis is heading to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. That reported three-alarm fire was just smoke coming from Pete Rose’s ears."  -- Brad Dickson
"So Derek Jeter is having a big party on Long Island this weekend, which is “trending” because of reports that it’s a secret wedding. Sigh. Well, to be fair, Jeter has been out of the headlines for almost a whole week."  -- Janice Hough
"Memo to Melo Anthony: If you have to tell us you’re an underrated superstar, you’re probably not."  -- Mike Lupica
"Between the fountains at Kaufman Stadium and the waterfalls in Anaheim, I’m taking a lot of trips to the bathroom."  -- Bill Fleming
"Authorities were unable to administer a breathalyzer to Michaels Phelps after he was stopped for suspectd DUI. He held his breath for six minutes."  -- Seth Meyers
"Kevin Durant is unable to palm an NBA basketball. Isn’t that like complaining that Peyton Manning can’t kick field goals?"  -- Bill Littlejohn
"What’s this we hear — Johnny Manziel wants to be Jameis Winston’s life coach?
So what’s next, John Daly taking Tiger Woods under his wing?"  -- Dwight Perry
"The Golden State Warriors’ new arena design resembles a toilet. But at least it shows sensitivity to women: the seat is down."  -- RJ Currie
"Manny Pacquiao was drafted by a Philippine professional basketball team. I'm thinking there's one bench-clearing brawl I wouldn't mind seeing."  -- Brad Dicklson


Wednesday, October 01, 2014


I don't normally pay much attention to baseball once New York gets eliminated, but, as I told Annie-O last night, with so much on the line, players go all out. This mean the chances of some great play occurring increase significantly. Of course, it also means mistakes will be greater, too. And the networks will see to it that everything is magnified. So, party on, folks and I'll catch some of it.

**This is a new one. A game and a playoff spot turns on a simple tag at home plate. Billy Butler completely screws up a first & third double steal by leaving first too soon. The A's were able to throw out Eric Hosmer running home from third easily. However, the A's best defensive catcher, Goevany Soto, injured his thumb on the play and had to come out. That brought in Derek Norris, the regular starter, to catch the rest of the game. Unfortunately for the A's, Norris doesn't have a very good arm and the Royals almost ran him out of the stadium.

**I wrote on facebook that it was a bad week for Twins managers, Gardenhire became Garden-fire and Tom Kelly suffered a mild stroke. Gardenhire is one of my three favorite managers, along with Terry Francona and Mike Scioscia, I may add Buck Showwalter this year. 

**GM Theo Epstein says the Cubs are aiming for the playoffs in 2015. That's kind of hard to believe unless the Cubs were aiming for last place in the NL Central Division this year.

**Two headlines on ESPN this morning: "How The A's Lost" and "How The Royals Won." Seems like that should be just one article, doesn't it?

**From Brad Dickson's  "Bottom 10"
4. Troy (0-5): The low point of the season this far for the Trojans was last week’s 66-0 drubbing by Georgia in which Uga IX, the Georgia mascot,  ran for two touchdowns.

**Adam Dunn of the Oakland A's has announced his retirement. What, no farewell tour?

**Should it go that far, game 7 of the 2014 World Series will be on October 29th. Oh good, I was afraid it would interfere with Halloween. I can only handle one group of people with their hand out at a time. Kids I can deal with, MLB executives, not so much.

**Derek Jeter has launched a new athlete website. Phew! Thank goodness. I was starting to suffer  Jeter withdrawal pains.

**Greg Walker, hitting coach of the Atlanta Braves resigned yesterday after the Braves finished next-to-last for all MLB in runs scored. If history is any judge, I'm sure we will read at some point the he is "one of the most respected hitting coaches in the game." Why is it that whenever a coach is discussed, be it hitting, pitching, bullpen, bench or even Gatorade coach, they are inevitably described as "one of the most respected?" I suppose we'll never hear, "Nobody likes him. He's not very good."

"Suggested ticket-selling slogans for Michigan football: "Watching them in person is cheaper than breaking your TV."  --
"Tight end Joseph Fauria of the Detroit Lions, sprained his left ankle scrambling to prevent his 3-month old puppy from urinating in his apartment. Doctors say Fauria can't resume practicing until he can lift his leg."  -- Dwight Perry
"Forbes is out with a list of the 10 richest people in the United States. Six of 'em caught foul balls hit by Derek Jeter in the past two weeks."  -- Brad Dickson
"Theo Epstein said the Cubs’ “goal is the NL Central title next year.” And millions of women are thinking “Yeah, our goal was to marry George Clooney too.”"  -- Janice Hough
"A toast to Nova Scotia's Esther Chute, 101, who received an international award for 53 years of square dancing. And here's to the Chicago Cubs for their 106th year of going in circles."  -- RJ Currie
"Orange News reports a U.S. woman has spent over $20,000 to give herself a third breast. Looks like the Maple Leafs aren’t the only ones overspending on useless boobs."  -- RJ Currie
"Derek Jeter is one of those guys you pick first. Then you decide what sport you're playing."  -- John Madden