Thursday, December 31, 2015


We are ready to embark on a new journey. In college football, we await their new playoff system in which fours teams are not complaining about being short-changed in the rankings. The rest will all claim they belong there. Urban Meyer has Ohio St. ready to go. His team is rested and his star running back Ezekiel Elliott is ready too, he just can't drive. He was stopped for speeding, got so many tickets, the cop almost got writers cramp issuing citations. Is he suspended for the Fiesta Bowl? Of course not. This is Ohio St. Laws take a back seat to the "Program." Clemson sent three players home because they failed drug tests. Failed...or got caught?

The NFL completes it's regular season this weekend with a number of teams still fighting for a playoff spot. The rest will be trying to save their coaches jobs. A few will be unsuccessful.
In spite of the NFL continually trying to convince us that they are family oriented, the San Diego Chargers fined all-pro safety Eric Weddle $10,000 and placed him on IR  for watching his 7-year old daughter perform at halftime instead of being in the locker room. In a meaningless game, his team was ahead 23-0 at the time. Bah! Humbug!

The Syracuse Orange lost to Pittsburgh last night and will try again on Saturday against a Miami team whose only loss was by one point against Nebraska. No New Years joy for the Saltine Warriors (Google it).

We've been waiting for Brian Cashman to make a big move and he finally did. The Yanks are the proud owners of a flame-throwing left-handed reliever to give NY the best end bullpen in baseball. They've also acquired a player with a history of women beating. Unfortunately, it's the same person. It will be interesting to see how the NY fans react to him. My prediction? If he strikes out the side in the ninth to save a victory the first or second time out, all will be forgiven.

There may be an additional starting pitcher yet to come, but other than that, the team is complete. Many question marks and few answers. One of the problems is third baseman Chase Headley's defense. He made 23 errors last season when he had never made more than 13 in a season. 11 of his errors were throwing errors which lead some evaluators to think he has the "yips," a mental block when a player can't throw the ball accurately...or at all. Vod refers to that as a"Knob-block" after Chuck Knoblach, who suffered for a long time with that affliction. The good news is that Headley hasn't made any errant throws in months.

In closing, the Chad Picasner at Large team wishes everyone a happy and prosperous New Year.
May all your teams go undefeated  -- unless you're the Boston Red Sox.

"Donald Trump is supporting Pete Rose. I’m going to guess those two met at the barber shop."  -- Brad Dickson
"Mean Gene” Okerlund, the retired rasslin’ announcer, celebrated his 70th birthday at the Waterfront restaurant in Sarasota, Fla. In keeping with the theme, the daily special was sautéed cauliflower ears and pulled hare."  -- Dwight Perry

"Reserve Alabama cornerback has been sent home from the Cotton Bowl by Nick Saban for a “violation of team rules,” Proving once again that coach Saban can be a strict disciplinarian. As long as a reserve player and not a starter is involved."  -- Janice Hough
"The Huffington Post reports a washroom fight broke out among Giants fans during their loss to the Panthers. It all started when someone said the G-Men’s season was down the toilet."  -- RJ Currie
"Just in case Nick Saban’s $6.9 million yearly salary from Alabama isn’t enough to, you know, tide him over, he receives a $125,000 bonus for capturing the SEC title"  -- Bob Molinaro
"ESPN’s Ron Jaworski incorrectly announced that the NFL had overturned Odell Beckham’s one-game suspension. Jaworski was the host of ‘NFL Today, but now he’s the host of the Miss Universe Pageant."  -- Argus Hamilton
"Harlem Globetrotters icon Meadowlark Lemon died Sunday at age 83. Something tells us St. Peter just got a bucket of confetti dumped on his head."  -- Dwight Perry
" The Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year is Serena Williams. Or American Pharaoh if you ask Steve Harvey."  -- RJ Currie
"Nebraska won the NCAA volleyball championship at Omaha’s CenturyLink Center in front of the largest crowd to watch a college volleyball championship game — 17,561. On the downside the CenturyLink Center restrooms could almost accommodate the 561."  -- Brad Dickson

And finally, speaking for all the comedy writers out there:
"As we are about to begin a new year, I’d just like to take a moment to thank Florida. If it wasn’t for Florida I may not have had a career."  -- Brad Dickson


Wednesday, December 23, 2015


...for Cashman to get off his duff and try to swing a trade, is there anything else going on that interests me?

** The Syracuse Orange played a game last night and again, it was not televised here. It wasn't even listed in the paper. Why is that? As sporadic as their play is, it is a Division I  basketball team within 80 miles of Rochester.This is twice this has happened.

** I read that the Nebraska Women's Volleyball team won the National Championship. That brought to mind one of my head-scratching questions: Why do they wear those brief uniforms? It's T-shirts and panties, for crying out loud. Female track athletes wear the same thing except the tops are skimpier. Beach volleyball women wear bikinis - and extremely skimpy ones at that. None of the male participants in these sports dress in a similar fashion. Okay, so TV execs feel that will draw more viewers and I sure like beautiful women, but this is over the top for me. Next thing you know, it will come down to shirts and skins. Let's see ABC put THAT on the Wide World of Sports.

** Just want to make sure nobody misses the Independence Bowl on Saturday at 5:45 p.m. Two teams - Va. Tech and Tulsa - with a total of 12 losses. Odds makers feel neither team can win the game. Not interested? There's the Foster Farms Bowl - Neb./UCLA 11 losses. The Pinstripe Bowl has Duke & Indiana with 11 losses. I think the Oswego High School varsity could give these guys a battle.

** Odell Beckham Jr. of the NY Giants has been suspended for one game for trying to decapitate an opposing player last Sunday. He was called for THREE Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalties during the game. THREE??
Is this Coach Tom Coughlin's new strategy? If you can't beat 'em, beat 'em up? There is no truth to the rumor that Giant players will be armed for the last two games. Maybe the opposing teams should be.

** Why do baseball forecasters love the Boston Red Sox so much? Last year the Red Sox were picked to finish first in the AL East, which I thought was pretty optimistic. The Sox finished last.
This year, FanGraphs again picked Boston to finish first in their division. Okay, this time they did pick up a couple of good players, but it's still the same core players, including two big busts from last year, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. A better team yes, but first place?

Since I probably won't blog again till next week at the earliest, we here at Chad Picasner At Large would like to wish everyone a very safe and happy Christmas.

" According to the N.Y. Daily News, November ended an NFL run of over six years with at least one arrest per month. I’ll say this for Roger Goodell, he really is a man of convictions."  -- RJ Currie
"When diving for a loose ball, LeBron James crashed into Ellie Day, wife of golfer Jason Day, who’s OK after being taken away on a stretcher. To prove NBA superstars usually get the calls, she was whistled for blocking."  -- Brad Dickson
"Rockets wing Trevor Ariza lost a shoe in Tuesday night’s game, so Nuggets guard Will Barton picked it up and threw it off the court — earning himself a technical foul for delay of game. Apparently that’s one traveling violation that NBA refs will call."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Broncos’ are struggling on offense. Omaha has gone back to mostly being a city in Nebraska."  -- Dan Wetzel,
"Drew Brees tonight became the 4th QB in NFL history to throw for 60,000 yards. What might be as astounding, he did it without throwing against the Saints’ defense."  -- Janice Hough
"Baseball pariah Pete Rose, banned for gambling, lost his longshot bid for reinstatement. I wonder how much money Pete lost on that one."  -- Tim Hunter
"The Golden State Warriors of the NBA finally lost a game this week. The Harlem Globetrotters sent them a sympathy card."  -- Tony Chong
"A Minnesota mom sank a half-court shot at Bethany Academy in Bloomington. She got $4,000 off her daughter’s tuition and a contract offer from the Philadelphia 76ers."  -- RJ Currie
"The 3-10 Cleveland Browns have clinched a losing season yet again, for the eighth season in a row. In other words, they’re the NFL equivalent of Aunt Myrtle’s perpetually re-gifted fruitcake."  -- Dwight Perry
"The only way the NY Giants are making the playoffs is if the NFL taps Steve Harvey to announce the post-season matchups."  -- Marc Ragovin
 "New Mexico is playing in the New Mexico Bowl. “We got a bowl bid? Wow! Where are we going?” “Down the street.”  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, December 13, 2015


...but the fun continues.
**The Cubs keep piling it on. They have signed the best free-agent position player available - Jason Hayward - for $184 million over eight years. That's $23 million a year and normally you'd say wow, but now it's run-of-the-mill. It's seems that Theo Epstein has brought the Red Sox tradition of  "If you can't win it, buy it" to the windy city. Right now, you'd have to say the Cubbies are the favorites - as long as no one gets hurt.

**When I was a kid, back in the 50s and 60s, professional basketball was the best basketball on the planet and it conformed to the rules. I used to listen to the Syracuse Nationals on the radio and rooted for players like Larry Costello, George Yardley (the NBA's first bald-headed player), Dick Barnett and, of course, Dolph Schayes. Dolph passed away this week at age 87. Most sports fans have heard of Danny, his son, but in his day, Rudolph Schayes was the man. At 6 ft. 8 in, 200 lbs, he was a power forward and I mean power. He averaged 18.4 points/game and 12 rebounds in his 15-year career. He could drive to the basket and was so hard to stop that he actually scored over 2000 more free throws than goals. But his real forte was the two-handed set shot usually from a very long distance. It's been over 50 years, but I can still hear the radio announcer calling that shot.
"Rudy, a bomb from 30 feet!"      (pause)        "Swish!"

**ESPN the Magazine had an article this week that indicated that the Heisman Trophy winner can be directly connected to a part of the country that he played in. The number one area was the southeast. There were many fine candidates this year including Chris McCaffrey from Sanford and Clemson QB Deshaun Watson. The winner was Derrick Henry from - you guessed it - Alabama. 

** Brian Cashman says he's not done dealing. Don't you think it's time he got started? He's trading away pitchers like he's overloaded with them. Gone is Adam Warren and Justin Wilson and he's dangling Andrew Miller for all to see. In return, all he's gotten is two minor league pitchers. They are supposed to be premium prospects  but totally unproven. There better be some good presents under the Yankee Christmas tree in the next couple of weeks or Cashman may have to start wearing disguises. Maybe San Diego Padre's uniform would work.

**How bad are the Philadelphia 76ers?  Mike Lupica said it best on the Sports Reporters this morning.
"After 24 games into the season, the 76ers have exactly one more win than the people on this set." 

"A new video shows FSU QB Sean Maguire throwing a football over the stadium wall from the parking lot. Well, the 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick could potentially do that too, the only question would be if he might completely miss the stadium."  -- Janice Hough"
"Cleveland Browns coach Mike Pettine said “repercussions would be harsh” if Johnny Manziel acts out again. Very harsh. The Browns are planning to remove the snow tires from Manziel’s party bus."  -- Brad Dickson
"Monday, Dec. 7 was the darkest day in Seattle in nine years, according to the Cliff Mass Weather Blog. What, you mean it wasn’t Feb. 1 — the day the Seahawks threw away the Super Bowl?"  -- Dwight Perry
"Concerning the mental acumen of persons who use his mythical football predictions for gambling purposes: You probably think khakis are what you need to start a car in Boston."  -- Jack Finarelli
"In the wake of Kobe Bryant’s retirement, don’t look for a symbolic passing of the torch, possibly to Steph Curry—Kobe was never good at passing anything."  -- Bill Littlejohn
"Although it was close early, and Tony Parker took the entire night off, the San Antonio Spurs ended up beating the Los Angeles Lakers 109-87 on ESPN tonight. A great game for those who enjoy watching a cat playing with mice."  -- Janice Hough
"What’s the difference between Dez Bryant and Kobe Bryant? One receives passes but doesn’t pass, the other plays for the Dallas Cowboys."  -- RJ Currie
"Larry The Cable Guy criticized Husker coaches on Twitter. I think he’s upset that with all the close losses, the 2015 Huskers’ team motto was “Almost Git R Done.”  -- Brad Dickson
"The 1-23 76ers host the 24-1 Warriors on Saturday, Jan. 30. No truth to the rumor that they’re billing it as S&M Night."  -- Dwight Perry



Thursday, December 10, 2015


The Silly Season
Trades galore - money flowing like water - sports writers suffering from Carpel Tunnel Syndrome trying to write about all the moves. Sometimes, General Managers want to move players so bad, they don't even care about what they're getting back.

**Red Sox traded INF-OF Garin Cecchini to Milwaukee for cash considerations.  Gee, not even a specific amount?
**The Rockies traded RHP Luis Perdomo to San Diego for a player to be named or cash considerations.  Yeah, anybody that's handy or look, just send me a few bucks instead.
**San Diego acquired OF Jabari Blash from Oakland to complete an earlier trade.  C'mon, we must have been involved in a trade sometime.
**The Cubs traded Starlin Castro to the Yanks for Adam Warren and a player to be named later, presumed to be Brendan Ryan. How's that supposed to make Ryan feel? He's such a secondary part, they don't even name him in the trade.
**Cincinnati designated LHP Jayson Aquino for assignment.  Yeah, we're getting rid of him, we just haven't decided how.
**Milwaukee announced the names of four coaches for next year.  Nobody will trade with us so we'll just hire coaches.

The Orioles, who made an offer of $150 million over seven years for Chris Davis, have pulled back the offer. I guess the check didn't clear. 

This weekend, ESPN will publish an article naming winners and losers among the teams. I wonder is Scott Boras is eligible?

College Football Bowl Games 
There are actually 43 bowl games this year and 84 teams. And EVERY ONE is on national TV, as many as six in one day. There are five other days when there are four or more on.There are so many, they're running out of names. They're running out of teams, too. It used to be, if your record was 10-3, you had a chance to be in a bowl. Now, at 5-7, you're in. The Liberty Bowl features two teams with 11 losses between them. The Independence Bowl teams have 12 losses.
If the local team can't get an invitation, no problem. Start your own bowl. The Military Bowl in Annapolis has Navy in it. Big surprise there. The Texas Bowl has Texas Tech, the Miami Beach Bowl (in Miami, of course) has South Florida. The New Mexico Bowl has New Mexico. You get the idea, right?
Naturally, you'd expect that money would play a big part in the bowl lineup. There's the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville. You would have to assume that some accountants were behind this one.
There's the Belk Bowl. What's a Belk? Anyone know? Yeah, me neither. Since no one knows, maybe the teams are the Hoyas vs. the Nittany Lions. We don't know what they are, either.
There is the Russell Athletic Bowl. That's got to be tough to get sponsors for that one. "C'mon. Don't you want to be an athletic supporter?"

"A man in Lincoln, Neb., has started a magazine about prison convicts. We already have that, it’s called Sports Illustrated"  -- Brad Dickson
"One of Google’s computer-driven cars was pulled over in California for going too slow. To mark the occasion, they christened it Danica Patrick."  -- RJ Currie
"Douglas Tompkins, 72, who founded North Face clothing, died of hypothermia after his kayak capsized in southern Chile."  -- Janice Hough  [This is a true story - CP]
" Jahlil Okafor of the 76’ers reportedly tried to use a fake ID at a Philadelphia bar in October. The bartender became suspicious when the name on it read ‘Johnny Manziel’"  -- Bill Littlejohn
"A 19-year-old named Bud Weisser was arrested for trespassing at the Budweiser brewery in St. Louis. Coincidence? Every Jack Daniels in town is suddenly under police surveillance in Lynchburg, Tenn."  -- Dwight Perry
"The Steelers' Antonio Brown performed something that's being called a "crotch leap" into the goal post after scoring a touchdown. For some reason I doubt lots of players will be emulating this."  -- Brad Dickson
"Russian hockey player Sergei Gusev just finished a six-month ban for doping. You may recall Gusev: last winter playing river hockey he got a breakaway and wasn’t seen for three days."  -- RJ Currie
"The Phillies have traded their closer, Ken Giles, to the Astros. Well, at least this means Giles might actually start having some games to close."  -- Janice Hough
"It is reported that Manny Ramirez has three sons also named Manny. A reporter called the Ramirez house for comment, but after speaking to three Mannys he still hasn’t gotten hold of the right one."  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, December 06, 2015


It seems other sports felt left out, so they're getting involved, too.

College football
Iowa (Annie-O's favorite team) lost it's bid to the 'Final Four' and it's undefeated season in a loss to Michigan State. Stanford won big so Janice Hough should be very happy.
So now it's up to the selection committee to irritate at least three teams by not including them in the playoffs. The other Bowl game participants should be announced in a few days , too. That's when I go to work.
The It's-Just-Wrong Dept
Color man description: "He's got to go vertical there."  Translation: He should have passed.

College Basketball
Syracuse lost big. Sure, the scoreboard said 79-72, but the Orange were out of it after 4 minutes. Every game, their outside shooting gets worse and worse. I think they called two timeouts to see if the balls were over-inflated. Unfortunately, they weren't.
Michigan State beat up on little Binghamton College, a small school in the southern tier of New York State. The final score was 76-33. I think MSU played two coaches and a fan for the final 10 minutes.
Louisville 111, Grand Canyon 63. Grand Canyon's defense was so bad, Louisville scored 6 points before the opening tip. The final score was this close only because three Cardinals changed uniforms to play for the Antelopes in the 2nd half. Is Louisville's home court really called KFC YUM! Center? Come on. Are the two locker rooms called 'Wings' and 'Thighs?'
It's-Just-Wrong Dept. 
"He sang the nylon song."  Trans: He scored.

The 'One Dumb Owner' ranks are swelling. The SF Giants have signed Jeff Samardzija for 5 years at $90 million per year. Jeff's not completely pleased since he didn't reach the $100 million mark.The San Fran newspapers can't be too happy either. No matter how they spell Jeff's last name, it will still look misspelled.
We have a winner. If you thought David Price's $31 million per year was outrageous, check this out. Zack Greinke (32 yrs old) will be paid $34.3 million for 6 years. Since he averages 32 starts a year, it means he will make more than one million dollars every time he starts a game. That's about $11,000 per pitch.
Okay, who's next?

Buster Olney has finished his ranking of the top ten players at each position (all MBL), based on input from players and evaluators.  Catcher evaluations include all aspects of catching (including preparation) and hitting. The Yanks Brian McCann was ranked #9. Interestingly enough, Toronto's Russell Martin (former Yank) was #3 and Francisco Cervelli (again, a former Yank) was #4. Maybe 'interesting' isn't the right word.

Pro Football
It's Sunday and pro football day around the country where we watch some 1200 athletes try to avoid a concussion. Which reminds me of one suggestion I read a while ago about how to avoid serious injuries on the field: Make it illegal to wear helmets. Obviously, it will never happen, but think about it.

I don't often say this [although Annie-O says I should], but I was wrong about Dickson's "Bottom Ten" being over with. A computer glitch prevented me from seeing it.
1. UCF (0-12): Any player who signs a letter of intent with UCF must undergo concussion protocol.
3. Eastern Michigan (1-11): Midway through this season the Eastern Michigan Eagle mascot flew south for the winter.
5. North Texas (1-11): I’m trying to confirm the North Texas quarterback missed the last game after phoning in and claiming he had a dentist appointment.
The Syracuse football team earned Honorable Mention this week.
Next week: The final standings

"Wednesday night, an 8-year-old boy heading to a CenturyLink Center restroom at halftime was invited to join the Creighton basketball huddle. Heck, with the typical lines for CenturyLink Center restrooms, he had time to play the second half."  -- Brad Dickson
"To honor Steve Nash’s induction into the Phoenix Suns’ Ring of Honor, Suns players wore socks with Steve Nash’s face on them. Can’t wait to see what the Red Sox come up with for Curt Schilling Induction Day"  -- Dwight Perry
"NFL’s cunning plan of removing one Brady target per week until he has no one left to throw to finally pays off"  -- Fark,com
"Kobe Bryant has announced that he will retire after this season. I wonder how much collectors will pay for his last “air ball”  -- TC Chong
"Zack Greinke signed a 6 year, $206 million deal with the…. Arizona Diamondbacks? Well, maybe Greinke figured he would do better without all that post-season pressure."  -- Janice Hough
"Timofey Mozgov, the Cavaliers’ Russian center, shot 0 for 3 in his only scoreless outing of the season against the Wizards last Tuesday.In other words, nothing but nyet."  -- Dwight Perry
" Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel was demoted to third string after a “party video” of him surfaced on YouTube. My reaction: good thing there was no YouTube when Paul Hornung, Joe Namath and Jim McMahon played."  -- Brad Dickson
"Outfielder Nori Aoki says he signed with the Mariners to win a World Series. That’s like going to the moon for water."  -- Chris Hill via facebook
"BBC News reports Bertie has fought off all challengers to earn the title of world’s fastest tortoise. Anyone else just think of the NFC East?" -- RJ Currie


Friday, December 04, 2015


Die-hard Yankee fans (like me) feel bad when the dreaded Boston Red Sox pull off a coup like signing a true ace (D. Price) to a contract. We wish that Brian Cashman would go out and sign a couple of big names, too. But he won't, and why? Because the Yanks are beginning to have a farm system with some potentially great players. We saw two of them this year make significant contributions and we were told that there are two more that could make a big splash this year - Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez.

In the Arizona fall league, the Yanks have another power pitcher learning his trade that has superstar potential. His name is Domingo Acevedo. He's 21 years old, 6 foot 7 inches tall and throws 100 MPH. Even his teammates are stunned watching him pitch.

So Brian, don't sign players that require you to give up draft picks. We want to see more of these kids. So thank you Sabathia, Tex, A-Rod and Beltran. We appreciate what you've done in the past but lets see some players approaching their prime instead of those past it.

The effect of David Price's contract  
Does a pitcher who lost 13 games last year with an ERA of 4.96 and a WHIP of 1.30, warrant a $100 million contract? Well that's what Jeff Samardzija is supposedly asking for. In 8 years, he's won a total of 47 games. I like his potential and he is only 30 years old, so 3 years @ $8 million a year would be okay. Beyond that....

Around the horn
If you look at just the score, Syracuse lost a tough game in overtime Wednesday night to Wisconsin. The true story is that Wisconsin exposed some very bad weaknesses of the Orange. They were out rebounded so badly, I don't even want to tell you the numbers. They missed 9 of 20 free throws and they shot horribly. Boeheim was right; when they shoot well, they can beat anybody. When they don't, they currently have no other aspect of the game to fall back on.

Rodgers to Rodgers touchdown wins the game for the Packers last night. The game should have ended when Aaron Rodgers was sacked by Devin Taylor, but...he grabbed Rodger's face mask and the Packers got a free play even though the clock said the game was over. 61 yards later, it was. The longest game winning touchdown in NFL history.

Buster Olney is ranking the top ten players at each position. So far, he's gone thru starters, relievers, first base, 2nd base, 3rd base, SS and left field. Dellin Betances was the #4 reliever and Brett Gardner, the #8 left fielder. Doesn't look too good for New York.

"Understand that Zack Greinke is choosing between competing offers from the SF Giants and LA Dodgers. Now, it’s a big decision. But regarding a bidding war that comes down to money -once you have $200 million, even with California tax rates, can’t you buy anything you ever wanted? And feed your family to boot?"  -- Janice Hough
" Tiger Woods does not know when he will return after his latest back surgery. Eldrick’s back may eventually heal, but that “Nike logo 9 iron” brand will be forever embedded in his backside."  -- Tony Chong
" On the way to Arrowhead Stadium, the Buffalo Bills' team bus broke down. Normally when this happens it's in New England after Tom Brady and Belichick let the air out of the tires."  -- Brad Dickson
"Headline in the Detroit Free Press: B1G awards: Michigan’s Jake Butt named Tight End of the Year."  -- Dwight Perry
" Reuters reports an Indiana Labrador shot its owner in the foot. Not to be outdone, New Orleans claims a team of Pelicans keep shooting themselves in their own feet"  -- RJ Currie
"The next "Star Wars" film takes place so far into the future that the Golden State Warriors have lost a game."  -- Brad Dickson
"A miracle has occurred, the 76ers won a game and are now 1-18. Since they play in the NBA’s Eastern Conference that means Philadelphia should be right in the playoff hunt."  -- Janice Hough
"Russia has handed marathon runner Maria Konovalova a two-year ban for using performance-enhancing drugs. Coincidence? The last time she raced, she lapped the field five times."  -- Dwight Perry
"Too bad that tonight’s NFL game wasn’t a playoff affair, otherwise it would be forever remembered as “The Motown Miracle”.  -- TC Chong
"Scientists analysed over 2000 singers and songs to find the most feel-good song ever sung. Not under consideration: the Carl Lewis rendition of the Star Spangled Banner."  -- RJ Currie


Wednesday, December 02, 2015


Scott Boras must be in Uber-agent heaven. The Boston Red Sox signed David Price to a seven-year deal worth $217 million. That's $31 million a year. It doesn't matter who Price's agent is, this deal raises the bar for all the other free agent pitchers that are available. There's Wei-Yin Chen, Johnny Cueto, Zack Greinke and Scott Kasmir to name a few. They were all going to get big money anyway but now they'll be asking super big money. It's one thing to pay a position player to a long term deal for big dollars. Even at 40 years old, A-Rod is still productive. Okay, maybe not $27 million productive, but productive. How's that compare to CC Sabathia? Pitchers are much too fragile for these types of contracts. Maybe this will work out for Boston, but it's been proven that you can't buy a pennant. Seven players - Hanley Ramirez, Pedro Sandoval, David Ortiz, Clay Bucholz, Dustin Pedroia, Rick Porcello and Craig Kimbrel - will cost the Sox $98 million alone. And three of them are pitchers.
But let's not forget, the Yankees have the same problem: Five players (Teixeira, Sabathia, Ellsbury, Tanaka and Alex Rodriguez) will make more than $110 million combined next season.

The Red Sox have also signed one of the Yankees more productive players from last year: Chris Young. The Sox already have 6 outfielders on their roster and this just adds to the log jam.

So the Silly Season is off and running and the Winter Meetings don't even start for another five days.
**The Orioles have traded for Mark Trumbo who can hit home runs but needs a daily introduction to his glove. His on-base percentage is extremely low, too. The O's first baseman last year, Chris Davis is a similar player - home runs but not much else. Davis is a free agent who figures to cash in on his 47 homers last year, so Trumbo is a hedge against the loss of Davis.
**The Indians signed a contract with Joba Chamberlain. They have promised him that there will be no midges in the stadium next year. I guess if you wait long enough, items will show up in a contract that you wouldn't believe.
**The San Diego Padres have unveiled new uniforms for 2016. It won't help; they'll still be recognized.
**David Price is now one of FOUR players making $30 million or more a year. Some evaluators think that Zack Greinke may be the fifth. They believe he may get $165 million over 5 years - $33 million a year.

It appears that the "Bottom Ten" item that Brad Dickson publishes every week is gone until next year. Too bad. It was always good for some of the best lines I've read all year.

Phil Mushnick, columnist for the NY Post, hates when football analysts fracture the English language with "colorful" terms for standard plays. This what he terms, " When I nod my head, you hit it."  Here are a few of his favorites (?):
 "lost his eye-discipline"  (Translation: He lost the ball)
 "He has arm-talent."   (He can throw hard)
"willing to run downhill"  (he tries to gain yards)
"not put the ball on the ground"  (Don't fumble)
"has had some off-the-field issues"  (He was arrested)
 "He found a receiver in space"  ( he was open)

I believe there are 80 bowl games this year.  I'm sure there will be some interesting names involved. I will keep you informed.


"According to a study, the Buffalo Bills have the drunkest fans in the NFL. You think there’s a lot of competition for that Super Bowl trophy."  -- Brad Dickson
" LeBron James is saying now that he regrets that he didn’t meet Kobe Bryant in the NBA finals. Well, yeah, who wouldn’t want to have played Kobe’s Lakers lately in the NBA finals."  -- Janice Hough
" Browns coach Mike Pettine suggested a successful NFL QB needs to make sacrifices, which Johnny Manziel doesn’t understand. I’ll say. If Manziel was a kamikaze pilot, he’d already have flown 39 round trips."  -- RJ Currie
"Imagine Johnny Manziel, sitting there, taking classes for three years at Texas A&M. Yeah, neither can I."  -- Phil Mushnick
"Cowboys QB Tony Romo is out for the season after breaking his collarbone for the second time in nine weeks. In other words, he has a snap count of two."  -- Dwight Perry
"Russia suspended one of its own women distance runners for performance enhancing drugs. For the Russians to do this, she must have had PEDs oozing from her ears."  -- Brad Dickson
"So let me get this straight, the NFL rules say SOMEONE has to win the NFC East?  -- Janice Hough
"Buffalo’s team bus broke down en route to Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday, laying claim to the NFL’s first stalled drive of the day. The Bills, simply out of habit, emerged from the bus in punt formation."  -- Dwight Perry
"Ex-Yankee great Derek Jeter retired with 260 major league home runs. Or 261 if you include getting engaged to SI Swimsuit Issue cover girl Hannah Davis."  -- RJ Currie