But sometimes, things get to me, so I take the opportunity every now and then to become, as Annie-O calls me, A Crotchety Old Man.
## We have a new baseball commissioner, Rob Manfred, who hasn't been at his post long enough to irritate me the way old "Bungling" Bud Selig used to. Manfred has hinted at some changes he'd like to see such as reducing the baseball season from 162 games to some unspecified number. 154 might be a good number, anything to try and eliminate late October or early November World Series games. Another suggestion was having Sunday doubleheaders once or twice a month. They would have to be twi-night doubleheaders so owners wouldn't have apoplexy but still, eight of those a year would accomplish the same thing. As far as overworking the players, well, I have no sympathy. If they don't like it, have them put in a 12-hour day in a sheet metal shop in August with no air conditioning and in heavy denim overalls.
## While we're at it, Rob, fix the All-Star game. Let me say that again loudly: FIX THE ALL-STAR GAME. The current situation is the silliest thing I've ever seen since I had to watch umpire Ken Kaiser try to run to cover a base (oxygen, please). Play everyone, pitch everyone with no thought as to the game situation and have the result determine one of the most critical aspects of Major League Baseball: home team of the World Series. Either make it the exhibition game it was meant to be or tell managers, fans and teams that the best players are going to play or pitch regardless of how many players actually get into the game because we're trying our best to win the game.
## All winter and especially during spring training, I read how the Boston Red Sox had the best team in the AL East and that the Yankees were too old. Only Baltimore had a chance to beat out the Sox. I had mentioned that Boston had a terrible pitching staff and it wouldn't do you any good to average 6 runs a game if you gave up an average of 8 runs a game. Well, here we are, 20% of the way through the season and the Sox are on the bottom of the AL East and giving up an average of one more run per game than they're scoring. They have the second worst era in the majors and only Milwaukee has given up more runs. And the Yanks? They're in first place. The evaluators were right about one thing though, Baltimore is ahead of Boston.
## One of the big stories of the day is "Deflategate." (why does the media have to stick '-gate' on the end of everything?) QB Tom Brady of the NE Patriots is probably going to be suspended, but the question is for how long. Mike Lupica says this isn't an earth-shattering situation and he'll probably get 2 games. I don't get it. Cheating is cheating. A-Rod took steroids and lost a whole season. Pete Rose bet on baseball and was suspended for life. Jim Boeheim and Syracuse University broke NCAA rules and had 38 wins taken away. You can cheat in a lot of ways in sports and if you are penalized, the fans will still take you back, providing you admit the wrongdoing and serve your time. People want Rose in the Hall of Fame and A-Rod just took a curtain call after a home run. The idea of penalties is to force people to think twice before violating these rules. Sit Brady down for 8 or 10 games. Send coach Belichick and owner Robert Kraft with him.
## I see where MLB is proud of itself for reducing the average length of games. They have cut out about 6 minutes. Wow. This is NOT a significant difference. There is so much more that could be done. This is too broad a subject and should have a rant...er, I mean posting, all it's own.
## Oh, this is great. NY Knicks owner James Dolan is as clueless as it gets. He hired Isiah Thomas to coach the Knicks and not only did Thomas screw up the team completely, he also got himself charged with the sexual harassment of a female employee, which cost Dolan $11.2 million. So Isiah was finally fired. Now Dolan has rehired Thomas to run the NY Liberty, Dolan's team in the WNBA. If the ladies are smart, they will put a lock on the locker room door and make sure Thomas doesn't get a copy of the key.
## Just Letting You Know Dept.: While pitching his Centerstage interview show during yesterday's game, Michael Kay said his latest show with Alan Alda was "...a good one." Paul O'Neil asked if he ever had a bad one and Kay responded yes but refused to elaborate. He revealed the answer on his radio show. It was actor Dennis Quaid. "Quaid was horrible," according to Kay, "and acted like a jerk."
***THEY SAID IT***
"On “Inside The NBA” during halftime of the Clippers-Rockets game, Shaquille O’Neal fell out of his chair. NBA players who’ve been retired for four years are still flopping." -- Brad Dickson
"In the grand scheme of things, how important is the Tom Brady – Deflategate Story? Not that big of a deal. But really, as talented as the Patriots’ QB is..It’s almost as if Jennifer Lopez was caught using butt-enhancers." -- Janice Hough
"After being ruled out for the season with an elbow tear: “To be fair, 31 years of use is a lot to ask for from a ligament.” -- Brandon McCarthy
"Tom Brady & Barry Bonds both went to Serra High in San Mateo (Calif.), Rumor: School is strong in athletics, light on ethics classes" -- Jon Heyman, CBSSports
"Fans that watched the Mayweather/Pacquiao fight were not sure if they had watched a boxing match or “Dancing with the Stars”. -- TC Chong
" There were anxious moments for Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson at a White House state dinner. Whenever he tried to pass a biscuit, Malcom Butler intercepted it." -- RJ Currie
A pair of Michael Jordan’s rookie Nikes sold for $71,553 at auction. The left a size 13; the right a 13 1/2; both, presumably, with the tongue hanging out." -- RJ Currie
"What does Mel Kiper Jr. do for the next six months after the draft, work on his hair?" -- Reader Stuart Evans (From Phil Mushnick)