Saturday, April 23, 2016


Oh, occasionally someone hits a homer, but the Yankee offense isn't scaring anyone except the Yankee front office. In the last few games, the Yanks runs have been driven in with bloop hits and swinging bunts. Last night, it looked like more of the same. So much so, Jacob Ellsbury figured the only way he was going to score from third was to steal home on his own. Girardi didn't know nor did Brett Gardner, who was at bat (I almost called him "the hitter." What was I thinking?) If Gardy had swung...?

I've seen most of the great bullpens in the last 50 years (Did I really just write that?), from the single closer having a great year (Elroy Face with the '59 Pirates, to Luis Arroyo with the '61 Yanks, to Trevor Hoffman with the Padres. The Cincinnati Reds had the "Nasty Boys" in 1990, and the Royals have had a very effective bullpen the last couple of years. However, I've never seen anything as dominating as Bettances and Miller. Last night, they threw a combined 23 pitches, 19 for strikes and struck out 5 of the 6 batters they faced. And the Yanks supposed closer, Aroldis Chapman - he of the 100-mph fastball - isn't even available yet. American League hitters are not looking forward to that day.

Chris Colabello of the Toronto Blue Jays was suspended 80 games for failing a test for performance-enhancing drugs. He's hitting .069 so far. Two thoughts here. 1) His drug of choice isn't enhancing anything. 2) Why did they even bother to test him?

ESPN has finally canned Curt Schilling for inappropriate remarks on twitter. What took them so long? He's been making inappropriate remarks on Sunday night baseball for over a year.

The Yankees are advertising an Alex Rodriquez bat day on May 14th. Bat Day is when they give away baseball bats, this time, A-Rod's bats. The choice seems appropriate since A-Rod doesn't seem to be using them. He's currently hitting .143.

The White Sox pulled off the strangest triple play I've ever heard of last night against the Texas Rangers. 9-3-2-6-2-5 if you're keeping score. 5 assists and 3 putouts. Sounds like a beer game.

Who's the hottest team in baseball? The Chicago cubs are off to a great start at 13-4. They lead the majors in runs scored, averaging over 6 runs a game and have allowed the fewest - 38 in 17 games. The White Sox are 11-6 and trail the Royals by 1/2 game.  Can't wait for that inter-league series.

" Regarding the Curt Schilling ESPN firing, sounds like the former Red Sox star pitcher has a lot in common with Pablo Sandoval – both would have longer careers if they could only keep their mouths shut."  -- Janice Hough
"Air from Kobe Bryant’s last game was for sale on eBay. Anyone who has no money saved for retirement and buys this is officially a moron."  -- Brad Dickson
"Johnny Manziel is being sued for trashing a $4.5M house that he rented in Los Angeles. The house was actually worth $9M before Johnny moved in for 2 nights."  -- TC Chong
"A Brooklyn man set a Guinness record by watching television for 94 hours straight. No truth to the rumor that 68 hours of it consisted of instant-replay delays."  -- Dwight Perry
"After Kobe Bryant’s last game, it was no surprise TSN SportsCentre featured Kobe’s top 10 all-time greatest plays. What was surprising is one of them was a pass."  -- RJ Currie
"Baylor tight end LaQuan McGowan, who weighs 405 pounds, could be the heaviest player ever chosen in the NFL draft. At the NFL combine, McGowan wasn’t allowed to do a vertical leap after seismologists warned against it."  -- Brad Dickson


Sunday, April 17, 2016


 **Not New
The Yankees are losing because they can't hit. Ellsbury's hitting .209, Teixeira's hitting .200, Headley is down to .154. The most disturbing number belongs to A-Rod, who, with one more fruitless at bat, will be hitting .096! Aaron Hicks is lower but he's only had 12 at bats.

Pablo Sandoval's former trainer says the Panda has an over-eating disorder. He's had this problem for years and should have been no surprise to the Red Sox. You'd think that breaking your belt when swinging at a pitch, as Pablo did, would make an impression on him, but apparently not.  

Are things that dull in Columbus, Ohio, or are the Cavaliers and the Indians that bad? The Ohio State Buckeyes had their spring practice game (The OSU offense against the OSU defense) and they not only sold over 100,000 tickets, there was a lot of ticket scalping going on outside the stadium. Since the defense never gets the ball, I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying the OSU offense won the game.

**This is New. 
 I saw a headline earlier this week that said that David Ortiz had stolen a base. My first thought was, 'He's an honorable guy. He'll return it.' Then I discovered that he actually ran to second when no one was watching. Maybe they should give him a replica base for the achievement. Based on his average speed when circling the bases on a homer, it probably took him 8.5 seconds to make the trip. If he had seen Big Papi running, I'll bet the catcher could have beat him to the bag. 

**Other Things. 
Now that Kobe Bryant has retired, the discussion has started: is Kobe one of the top ten players in NBA history. Please! He's not even in the top Five all-time players on the Lakers. I give you Jerry West, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor and Magic Johnson. That's a hell of a starting five. 

Ever wonder why ball players get out of military service? Doesn't happen often, but here's a story about a player who did serve. Back during WWI, "Sailor" Bob Shawkey, a pitcher for the NY Yankees, brought  some papers home for his wife to sign to get him an exemption as the sole provider for his family. His wife, a woman with the nickname of "Tiger Lady," was a real party animal and found her social life stymied somewhat by her marriage to Shawkey. So she refused to sign the papers and threw Bob out of the house with just his clothers and two hunting dogs. "Sailor" Bob ended up serving on a battleship in the North Sea fighting German U-Boats. Back in baseball after the war, he won 20 games four years in a row followed by an 18-win season. In the meantime, rumor has it that "Tiger Lady" 'faced' more major leaguer players than Bob did.  

"An umpire mistakenly called Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo out after two strikes. This may be a worse harbinger for the Cubs than that dead goat."  -- Brad Dickson
"The  Braves have won! Finally. The last time Atlanta  had a couple weeks that went this badly, General Sherman was involved."  -- Janice Hough
"The 420 Games — “The Olympics for Stoners” — took place March 26 on the Santa Monica (Calif.) Pier, but not without controversy. Apparently three contestants were stripped of gold medals when they passed a drug test."  -- Dwight Perry
"Fans purchased a record $1.2 million in Kobe Bryant merchandise during his final NBA game, which at Staples Center prices works out to three shirts and a hat."  -- Jim Barach
"NY has banned smokeless tobacco at sporting events. You can easily smuggle in guns and knives into the stadiums because Security is focused on “Dip”, Skoal and Copenhagen."  -- Tony Chong
"Now, I don’t want to say Utah rigged the game for Kobe to score 60 points, but Custer played better defense against Sitting Bull."  -- Alex Kaseberg
"The Red Sox have benched corpulent third baseman Pablo Sandoval. On the bright side, he’s got a great shot at becoming the first non-starter in history to lead the league in plate appearances."  -- Dwight Perry
" Jordan Spieth’s 12th-hole tee shot into the creek on Masters Sunday triggered an epic collapse. The most fatal drive involving a 9-iron and water since Tiger Woods hit a fire hydrant."  -- RJ Currie
"Kobe scored 60 points in his last game in front of a celebrity filled crowd. In fact, I think Jack Nicholson was guarding him."  --  Mike Lupica
"YES’ Yankees telecasts have included ads advising Comcast subscribers to seek Fios or DirecTV as alternatives, since they no longer carry Yankee games. One problem: Unless they’re watching miles away in another county, Comcast subs can’t see or hear those ads. It’s like trying to count the absent by asking them to raise their hands."  -- Phil Mushnick
"In his final game, Kobe Bryant scored 60 points on a career-high 50 shots. Most impressive was his first shot, taken through the moon roof in his car while pulling into the Staples Center parking lot."  -- Brad Dickson



Thursday, April 14, 2016


It's now about eight games into the season and all the people with spring training pipe dreams have to deal with reality. For the most part, that is. There are always a few surprises out there.
The Baltimore Orioles started the season 7-0 and lost their first game last night to a mediocre Boston Red Sox team. Sure, it's early yet, and teams sometimes don't come out of the gate according to plan. With their weak pitching and their all-or-nothing offense, I can't see the Orioles contending in September. The Sox pitching is also suspect in spite of  the acquisition of David Price, who got hammered the last time out, by the way.
The big news in Boston revolves around Pablo Sandoval, who was just put on the DL because of some kind of shoulder problem. He hasn't been hitting, has forgotten how to play defense and can't run worth a lick. A triple threat. There is even some talk that this shoulder injury may be bogus and putting him on the DL is a way to get him off the roster for a while. That's another $95 million well spent. There's a rumor that the Sox may trade him to San Diego for James Shields  to bolster their pitching. Why in the world would the Padres want Pablo? Is there a glut of pizza and fried chicken that needs to be reduced?

The Yankees, in the meantime, look like potential pennant winners - or weak sisters, depending on which game you watch. The starting pitching hasn't looked overpowering but the bullpen has been outstanding - except for Ivan Nova's performance last night. Ellsbury looks great again, Castro & Gregorious make a fine double play combination and Headley's throws no longer strike fear in the hearts of fans back of first base. A-Rod's a mystery. Sometimes he looks lost and some days he's hitting line drives all over the park. He has hit into some bad luck, though. I get the feeling that the Yanks are getting ready to shop Gardner. They would use Hicks as the everyday left fielder and bring up one of the young kids from Scranton to be the fourth outfielder. We'll see.

The AL West looks weak with only one team over .500 - the Angels. KC is still a strong team in the AL Central. In the NL, Washington is 6-1, while the Mets, who were supposed to contend are 3-5 and are averaging only 2.5 runs per game. The Cubbies are making Chicago a happy place to be at 7-1. San Fran and the Dodgers will continue to beat each other up in the NL West.

It's really too early to assume that things will continue as they are because baseball always surprises.

Other sports:
Tonight is Kobe Bryant's last game as a professional basketball player after a 20-year career. Don't expect him to pass any torch. Kobe never passes anything.
The NFL draft is two weeks away. This has become a huge event and probably has ESPN executives trembling with excitement. This will have more coverage than the presidential race. (sorry Donald)

The Masters golf tournament just ended and I'm sorry to say that I didn't get a chance to sleep in front of any of those broadcasts. I did hear about Jordan Speith's collapse in the last round. Since he was last year's winner, he had to present the green jacket to this year's champion, Danny Willett. That had to be the toughest job Speith ever had to do.

I finally got my PC back for which I thank my personal computer guru, #1 son Matt.

"Sportsnet president Scott Moore said he roots with his heart for the Habs and with his wallet for all Canadian NHL clubs. So he won’t have a team to cheer in the playoffs — not for love nor money."  -- RJ Currie
"Warriors set record for NBA regular season wins. Many casual sports fans thinking “The NBA HAS a regular season?”"  -- Janice Hough
"In the women’s NCAA tournament, UConn defeated Mississippi State 98-38, a 60-point margin. Mississippi State got a moral victory because I’m pretty sure UConn was favored by 61."  -- Brad Dickson
"When asked who’d win a series between the only 70-win teams in NBA history — the 1995-96 Bulls Steve Kerr played for or the 2015-16 Warriors he coaches — he replied like a seasoned politician. “I’ll just say: ‘If the two teams played each other, there’s no question that we could beat us and they could beat them."  -- Steve Kerr  (From Dwight Perry's column)
"A grand jury in Ohio indicted an ex-Browns employee for embezzling $88,000 from the team. Wait’ll they realize Johnny Manziel fleeced them to the tune of $7.7 million."  -- Dwight Perry

"Cleveland guard Kyrie Irving called the Cavaliers the “team to beat” in the playoffs. In a related story, the Grassroots Ohio pro-marijuana group is counting on Irving’s support."  -- RJ Currie
"A marijuana dispensary is seeking the naming rights to Denver’s Mile High Stadium. Which is ironic, as most people thought they already did."  -- Jim Barach
"The NCAA reportedly approved a 3-year moratorium on new bowl games. What a disappointment for all those 6-6 teams who just missed last year’s postseason."  -- Janice Hough
"Madame Tussauds unveiled a wax figure of Steph Curry. That night the wax Curry lit up the Philadelphia 76ers for 32 points."  -- Brad Dickson


Thursday, April 07, 2016


I lost my main computer this week and my lap top is more difficult for me to use, so bear with me.

The Yankees win! The Yankees win!
Luckily they scored big time because Pineada's mistakes were big time as evidenced by the 6 runs he gave up. The only one who looked lost at the plate was A-Rod. Is it too early to think he needs a day off? Of course, this is all moot since we're all just playing out the string while the Boston Red Sox run away with the pennant - or so the sports writers tell us.

Speaking of the Red Sox...
It appears that Pablo Sandoval has eaten his way out of the lineup. This was NOT one of the Sox better signings. Reminds me of the Carl Crawford signing - good on paper, not so good on the field. At least Pablo is making about $4 million less.

The slippery slope
Baseball has really gotten themselves in a hole. They are learning that it's impossible to legislate yourself out of problems. Case in point:
A) Instant replay allowed everyone to notice that infielders were not always remaining on the bag at second long enough when trying to turn a double play. Now they have to.
B) Runners were having a field day mowing down the fielders because they now had to stay "in range," so to speak.
C) So they institute a new rule that basically forbids runners from knocking down the infielders. (I know that's not exactly what it says, but that seems to be the effect)
D) The problem is, the rule is black and white, the actual situations aren't. Up in Toronto, Bautista and the Blue Jays lost a chance to win a game because Joey Bats hit an infielder's foot when he was trying to complete a game-ending double play. The only danger here was to Bautista's hand, not the fielder. This was not the intent of the rule, but all the changes forced that to be the result. "If it ain't broke...well, fix it anyway."

Could be better
The Yanks have a commercial out showing their new double play combo - Castro and Gregorius having a spirited conversation. Might be funny but they were very hard to understand. The Seattle Mariners know how to do it right. (Courtesy of Dwight Perry) 2016-featuring-kyle-seager-robinson-cano-edgar-martinez-nelson-cruz-and-felix-he rnandez/

What would you pick?
On "Mike and Mike" this morning, they asked a question, "What major sporting event would you pick if you could only watch one from now on?" Mike picked the Masters Golf Tournament. Annie-O chose the World Series. I would pick the NCAA Basketball Tournament, even though Annie-O's bracket selections are so much better than mine. (No, I don't want to talk about it!)

Gregg Popovich quote of the day
Q:  "Coach, how will you get your guys into the next game?"
GP: "I get them all on the bus and don't let them out till we reach the arena."

"In the finals of the NIT somebody beat someone by a score of ... I’ll have to get back to you."  -- Brad Dickson
"In the first game of the season, Chase Utley has started another controversy with a slide that some thought was dirty at home plate. Well, if he makes a pattern of it, MLB won’t need a Chase Utley rule, as some pitcher will apply the Drysdale rule and put Utley on the DL."  -- Janice Hough
"In women’s Sweet 16 action, it was UConn 98, Mississippi State 38. The last time Mississippi got torched this badly, General Grant was visiting Vicksburg."  -- RJ Currie
"Nebraska’s tallest player, Jake Hammond, is transferring. This puts the Huskers at a disadvantage because he’s the only one who could see over the scorer’s table."  -- Brad Dickson
"A whale-watching boat named the Adventure Hornblower, unable to reverse engines, rammed into a seawall in San Diego. “No comment until we’ve seen the films,” said Hornblower cruise director Rob Gronkowski."  -- Dwight Perry