Thursday, September 29, 2016


It's been a while, I know, but I'm still kickin'. I spent two weeks out west on vacation and some time to get settled but now I'm ready. Been a few interesting things happening, so let's get started.

** Baseball's division champs have been decided, so congratulations to the winners. Yes, even Boston. The wild card races are still up in the air, so that should make for an interesting last weekend.

** I read an article this week about the favorite for the rookie of the year in the American League. Two writers wrote about the reasons the candidate from the team they follow should win/ The choices are Detroit's Michael Fulmer, a pitcher with an 11-7 record with a 2.95 ERA. Pretty good numbers and certainly worthy of consideration. The other choice is Gary Sanchez of the Yankees, who's hitting .311 with 20 homers and 42 RBIs. Also good numbers. The argument against Sanchez is that he's only played 50 games. A fair argument of course, however, writer Mark Simon, advocating Fulmer, says that Sanchez would be unable to maintain that pace for the remainder of the season (there were about 10 games left at that time), while Fulmer would get one more start and would probably win it, therefore cementing his winning the award. That last argument is ridiculous, that one player will continue his good season while the other one won't. In fact, since Simon wrote that, Fulmer went 3.1 innings against Cleveland, giving up 6 hits and 3 runs while Sanchez has hit a couple more home runs. If Sanchez does well in his final four games, it will be a tough choice for the voters.

** I see Pete Rose has appealed directly to the Baseball Hall of Fame to be considered for inclusion to the Hall. What's interesting here is that the HOF has the final say on who is inducted and not MLB and not the writers. So this is certainly a shot for Pete, but the Hall has always gone along with the BBWA choices for induction. I'll bet money Rose loses this battle, too.

** I can't say I'm crazy about Joe Girardi's penchant for giving cute nicknames to his players. They're not very imaginative and kind of silly. For example, Brett Gardner is called "Gardy," and now Sanchez is called "San-chy." Maybe his players can live with it but I think it's embarrassing.

** Mark Teixeira is going out with a bang. A game-tying homer against Toronto a couple of days ago and now a walk-off grand slam against Boston (Yay!). No season-long retirement tour for Mark, just a true professional trying to do his job. He will be missed.

** Can someone explain what Craig Kimbrel is doing when he looks in to the catcher for a sign? All bent over with both elbows up in the air and his head jutting out.  He reminds me of that pelican move mister Miyagi taught Daniel that won the match at the end of "The Karate Kid."

** From Brad Dickson's Bottom Ten:
 1. Florida International (0-4): On the plus side ... well, I’ll have to get back to you.
 2. Miami (Ohio) (0-4): The RedHawks’ game vs. Cincinnati aired on ESPNN. I’m pretty sure the N is for Nobody’s watching.
 4. New Mexico (1-2): Lobos players are holding hands in the huddle, partly to make sure their teammates don’t try to flee the stadium.

** Speaking of being missed, how will we handle being with out the dulcet tones of Vin Scully? This man is so good at painting pictures with his words, he could make a blind man appreciate the beauty of the sport he loves so much. Baseball HAS to find a way to get him into the booth for the 1st game of the World Series.
Good by, Vin. Thanks for everything.

" Bummer. RIP #ArnoldPalmer, 87. For younger generation who think golf started with Tiger Woods, Arnold was much more than name of a drink."  -- Janice Hough
" Northwestern has a reputation as an academic powerhouse. My favorite play on Saturday night occurred when the team called timeout to correct the referee’s grammar."  -- Brad Dickson
"The IOC finally stripped some 2008 Olympic medalists for PEDs. It took eight years for these test results to come to everyone’s attention. So, is the testing lab on one of the moons of Saturn?”  -- Jack Finarelli
"Sacramento mayor and ex-NBA star, Kevin Johnson, severely beat up a guy for throwing a pie in his face. My wife may say I'm missing the point again, but what kind of pie?"  -- RJ Currie
"Setting the record straight after Florida State football coach Jimbo Fisher said his team’s 63-20 loss to Louisville came down to “inches”. Florida State was outgained by 8,856 inches."  -- Rick Bozich
" A leading fantasy football website crashed. Middle-aged fantasy football players used the downtime to learn the names of all of their children."  -- Brad Dickson
" The Dodgers honored Vin Scully and his 67 years of broadcasting last night. 67 years?! Wow. That almost goes back to Jamie Moyer’s rookie season."  -- Janice Hough
"Sales of Colin Kaepernick No. 7 jerseys have skyrocketed since the 49ers QB started sitting in protest during the national anthem. In an odd twist, suppliers complain they’re getting inundated with standing orders."  -- Dwight Perry
"The phrase “I am going to put you to sleep now” refers to: a) a Tempur-Pedic mattress slogan, b) a Bill Belichick interview."  -- RJ Currie
"Kansas City Chiefs home games feature a chocolate bacon blitz pizza.” When you order one, the concession worker gives you last rites."  -- Brad Dickson
"Graphic of the Week: ESPN’s reliably ridiculous stats department gave us, “Eagles first 2-0 start since 2014.” That long? Seems as if it were just a couple of years ago."  -- Phil Mushnick


Sunday, September 04, 2016


...till the fat lady sings." Well, she's coming thru loud and clear for the Yankees. Supposedly, a team needs at least 88 wins to make the playoffs this year. For New York to do that, they need to go 19-9 the rest of the year. That's about a .678 pace, which they have shown all year that they are not capable of.
Everyone thought that the Yanks problem would be pitching, but the pitching has been adequate, but the bats are too often silent. So far in this series with Baltimore, a team ahead of them in the wild card race, NY has garnered exactly 6 hits and 0 runs total in two games.
Their hot young catcher, Gary Sanchez, is currently very human at the plate and Aaron Judge, next year's right fielder, looks completely over-matched. First baseman Tyler Austin can't even unseat Mark Teixeira, who is currently hitting .200.
Unlike the Cubs, whose "next year" appears to be this year, the Yanks will have to revamp and reload next spring.

Do they need another excuse?
The Princeton Review has named the Univ. of Wisconsin as the nation's #1 Party School. Yesterday, they  upset #5 LSU, 16-14. Add the fact that tomorrow is a National Holiday and some students won't make classes until Friday, just in time for the weekend. Momma, don't let your babies grow up to be Badgers.

My final word
Since this topic seems to generate more heat than light, I will not discuss this any further.
Some of my friends disagree with my stance on Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand during the National Anthem. They obviously misunderstood my point. I fully agree with his point that Blacks are still being mistreated by America and I support him in this. I do not agree with his method of protest. He says he respects the men and women in the armed services who fight for this country and that's not what he means with his protest. I'm sorry but I reject that completely. You can't protest against a symbol of this country and then claim you don't mean all of it, just some parts of it. You've insulted the whole anthem and country, not just one part . Find a different way to protest, please.

Pujols is one of the greatest
Should he play two more years, he should reach career totals that are nothing short of phenomenal. He will amass about 1800 runs scored, in the top 20 all time, 3000 hits, over 600 home runs, only the 9th player to do it and over 2000 RBIs, along with only Ruth Aaron and A-Rod.  Plus, in his 16 year career there have been no scandals, no steroids and no drama. Just production.  Wish there were more like him.

Girardi continues to amaze me
As stated earlier, the Yanks are teetering on the precipice of a lost season. They are playing what Manager Joe Girardi calls, "...probably the most important games of the year," yet he is starting 4 rookies, the backup shortstop and the backup catcher. They are also using their most enigmatic starting pitcher, Michael Pineda.
Can someone explain this to me?
The Yanks also lost another pitcher for the season on Friday, Chad Green. That makes six pitchers on the DL at this time. Last night they showed pitching coach, Larry Rothschild, sitting on the bench and scratching his head. Maybe he should sit on his head and scratch the other end. He couldn't do any worse.

Those well-respected coaches
Speaking of which, what good are these coaches anyway? Not just the Yankees, all the teams. The current pitchers say they love working with Rothschild, but they're always hurt. Years ago, hitters loved working with hitting coach. Kevin Long. The Yanks released him.  Now he's with the Mets, who love him.
In the 1990's, Leo Mazzone of the Braves was considered to be MLB's best pitching coach. He left them in 2005 and joined the Baltimore Orioles. They dumped him in 2007 and now he's out of baseball.
You know what makes good coaches? Great players. With pitchers the Braves had in the 1990's, I could have been the pitching coach. My only duty would have been to make sure they all got to the ballpark.

It is entertainment, after all
While the Mets don't place a high value on defense, clearly Daniel Murphy was not an asset in the field or running the bases while a Met. After one Murphy misadventure on the basepaths,  David Wright joked that Murphy "sometimes thinks that he's invisible."

"Endwell, N.Y., has won the Little League World Series. So all’s well that — nah, too easy. -- RJ Currie
"Tim Tebow homered in his workout for MLB scouts. It’s been so long since Tebow played baseball, during his home run trot he stiff-armed the first base coach."  -- Brad Dickson
"Defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon, a top recruit from Leesburg, Ga., backed out of his oral commitment to Michigan after the team sent him a letter misspelling both his first and last names — not to mention thanking him for going to a UM team barbecue he didn’t attend. -- Dwight Perry
"The Washington Nationals have acquired pitcher Marc Rzepzyynski from the A’s. Make sure you spell his name right. It’s Marc with a C."  -- Eric Kolenich, Richmond Times-Dispatch
" The Denver Broncos released  Mark Sanchez, who’s expected to sign with the Dallas Cowboys.  Great news for comedy writers who wonder what they will do post-election."  -- Janice Hough
"Before a Houston Astros game, Miss Texas threw a first pitch that was 10 feet short and 30 feet wide. With the year they’re having, a lot of major league umpires would’ve called it a strike."  -- Brad Dickson
"People in the Bay Area were outraged that Red Sox infielder Dustin Pedroia was not standing during the National Anthem at the Oakland A’s game. PeeDee said “But I am standing!"  -- TC Chong
"Disgraced swimmer Ryan Lochte is endorsing a crime-prevention gadget. The device is so advanced, it can even stop crimes that you completely made up."  -- Conan O'Brien
" BBC News reports Tokyo companies are paying for workshops to teach staff how to cry. Not to be outdone, several Toronto firms bought employees Maple Leafs tickets."  -- RJ Currie