Thursday, April 30, 2009
***METS HELPING WITH OLIVER PEREZ***
In order to help straighten him out, the Mets had Perez pitch live batting practice yesterday. Um, I thought that's what it looked like during his last start.
***JOEL ZUMAYA HATES THE YANKS***
When asked why, the Tigers pitcher replied, "It's the little things." Like maybe the homers they hit off you? We'll see you in New York and you can hate us some more.
***SPEAKING OF HOMERS...***
Nick Swisher became the 10th Yankee to homer from both sides of the plate in one game. That's surprising, so I had to look it up.
Tom Tresh (3)
Roy White (5)
Roy Smalley, Ruben Sierra, Tony Clark and Melky Cabrera (1 each)
and now Swisher.
At least I didn't have to put Horace Clark on the list.
***THAT'S WHY THEY PAY THEM***
Toronto's doing great, Tampa's doing lousy. Sports writers aren't content with that; they have to tell you why. And thanks to the nerds with calculators out there, we can give you a stat to prove anything, including why Horace Clark belongs on the switch hitter list. From the Defensive Efficiency Rating (DER) and the Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) to the Another Stupid Statistic Which I Personally Endorse (ASSW***), they don't even need to watch the game to tell why they're winning or losing. And all the time, I thought this was supposed to be entertainment, not a math class.
***ONE FROM GREG COTE OF THE MIAMI HERALD***
Kenya Salina Kosgei won the Boston Marathon. "She edged the defending champion, a woman named Dire Tune. Seriously, Dire Tune. Who came in third? Funeral Dirge?"
***100 FOR GIRARDI***
Joe Girardi won his 100th game as Yankee manager last night, which seemed to be a big deal for Kim Jones, who interviewed him on the field afterwards. Kim has actually gotten better as an interviewer lately but that pink coat has got to go.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
***IT'S TRUE, IT'S REALLY TRUE***
The Yanks have ignored Scott Ostler's suggestions, and have lowered some prices. Don't bother to check your eyesight, I really said lowered. 48 Legend seats have been cut from $2500 to $1250, and 68 Premium seats, from $1000 to $650. That ought to pack the place. --Yeah, right.
116 seat reductions...only 52,200 to go!
***WASHINGTON BETTER START SAVING THEIR PENNIES***
Stephen Strasburg, that phenom from California that I've written about, will be going thru the draft soon, and the Nationals are geared up to get him. One major obstacle though...his agent is none other than $cott "I want more money" Bora$. Double whatever you thought it was going to cost (remember Dice-K's $52 million?) because the Avenging Angel rides again.
***LAUGH IF YOU WANT, BUT THE OLD MAN KNEW HIS STUFF***
Casey Stengel's rule: with a runner on 3rd, a left-handed pitcher WILL pitch from the stretch.
***NOW WE CAN LAUGH***
Len Berman: Two guys were fighting in a park in Green Bay. One was arrested for hitting the other guy with a golf club. Officer: "How many times did you hit him?" Perp: "5...but put down a 4."
Reggie Hayes of the Fort Worth News: Isiah Thomas will coach the first season at Florida International for free. Finally, an example of a college sports program getting it's money's worth.
Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times (I love this guy): Toronto Maple Leafs GM was quoted as saying, "We require, as a team, proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence." Sounds like somebody went to a hockey game--and an English Grammar class broke out.
NEWS FLASH: George Steinbrenner has ordered the Yankees back on steroids. (David Letterman).
Maybe it's just me, but doesn't it seem like the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees are better than the parent team? 6 starters hitting over .300, 5 of them, over .340. 16 games into the season and they already have a 4 game lead. I'll bet manager Dave Miley hopes the Yanks don't contaminate his team with any of them "major leaguers."
Sunday, April 26, 2009
***SO THEY'VE LOST TWO IN A ROW IN BOSTON***
We've seen this before and it's early in the season, so let's not panic. We can get P. O.'ed, though. Isn't there someone who can get an out? It looks like everyone has contracted 'Igawa' disease, where Bosox hitters actually have to call time and wipe away the drool before they clobber the next pitch. Maybe Andy can salvage one game for us tonight.
***JOBA TO THE PEN***
Sounds like an Ogden Nash poem, doesn't it? Joba has been okay, but JUST okay. He was so dominate as a set-up man, this talk will not go away until he throws a ho-hitter or at least a shut-out.
***MAYO CLINIC TO OPEN A BRANCH IN THE BRONX***
And hurry up about it. Let's see: A-Rod, Wang, Bruney, Ransom... Wait till the "old" guys start falling. Wang has what is called "weak hips." Is he an athlete or an out-of-shape stripper?
***ANOTHER WAY TO GET YOUR MONEY***
The Yanks are right up front about it: "Here it is, $2650. Shut up and watch the game." The Mets plan is a little more devious. One writer decided to buy a 'cheap' ticket to a Mets game. Direct from the Mets to eliminate those pesky middle-man charges. One ticket, $24, right? Hold on there, Sparky. There is a $6 'Service fee' for each ticket. Oh, so it's $30? Almost. We also have a one-time service fee of $5 for every transaction. Wait a minute, that means it's really $35! Ha, ha, not quite. Don't forget the shipping charges, that's $2.50. No way. Just e-mail them to me. Sorry, still $2.50. Bottom line: a $24 ticket costs $37.50. Unfortunately, this whole paragraph is 100% true!
I pray that the Steinbrenners don't hear about this.
***SPEAKING OF THE 'FINANCIALLY-STRAPPED YANKS***
Scott Ostler of the San Fran Chronicle has some suggestions to eliminate those embarrassing empty seats in the stadium:
1. Tarp off those sections like they were never meant to have fans.
2. Only sell to really fat people
3. Provide free disguises and have the fans change disguises and seats every inning.
4. No more dugouts. Players have to sit in the stands. (they're probably the only ones that can afford it)
5. Computer generated images (CGI)
Should work, Scott.
Friday, April 24, 2009
There are reports that the Mets are willing to trade their front-line pitchers (Johann Santana not included) and are ready to fire their pitching coach. Yeah, 15 games into the season, with each pitcher getting 3 starts, and the Mets are hitting the panic button. Hitting it? They're jumping on it with both feet. 15 games isn't even enough time for the fans to learn the pitchers names.
***YEAH, BUT ARE THEY WORTH IT?***
Forbes Magazine has placed the Yanks value at $1.5 BILLION. I wonder if that includes lost ticket sales?
***OH YEAH, THAT***
Old eagle-eye Bud Selig has 'noticed' the empty seats in Yankee Stadium and Shea...er, Citi Field this past week. He said it's 'not MLB's problem and the Mets & Yanks are having meetings to discuss it.' However, the Yanks say they are NOT discussing it and the Mets say they have NO PLANS to change ticket prices. Looks like you're talking into the wrong end of the microphone again, Bud. Maybe THAT'S MLB's problem.
***MILTON BRADLEY REALLY IS A BOARD GAME***
Where to begin? First, he has a groin injury which prevents him from running hard to 1st base, but that's okay, because he never did that anyway. Next, he has accused the Chicago papers of "...trying to make him snap." Nobody is working up a sweat to do that. You can make him 'snap' just by misspelling his name. He has been suspended for two games for 'contact with an Umpire,' and rather than serve it while he's hurt and out of the lineup, he has chosen to appeal it! Bradley told Manager Piniella that he was doing that "...on principle." What principle? That sane people wouldn't do that? Lastly, Bradley is very upset with something sportswriter Gordon W. wrote in a story in the Chicago Sun-Times. What was it? Don't ask Bradley, he hasn't read it, yet! I guess we can start saying that's just "Bradley being Bradley."
***PEDRO IN THE NEWS***
Martinez' agent says interest in Pedro is "intensifying," and the Angels, Nats and Rangers are looking at him. When asked the Rangers said they have a "mild" interest, the Nationals have "some" interest, and the Angels say they haven't talked to his agent in two weeks. Wow, the pressure is sure building.
***FIDRYCH STORIES STILL SURFACING***
Gene Tenace tells about facing The Bird during the 1976 season. "He's out there talking to the ball, telling it what to do. So I stepped out and spoke to my bat - 'Don't pay attention to what he's telling the ball.' "
Monday, April 20, 2009
It seems Doc attended the Mets opening game and wandered into The Ebbets, The Mets stadium club, talked to a few fans and signed some autographs. Someone asked him to take a Sharpie and sign a blank wall next to the bar, which he did. Fans then began having their picture taken next to it with Doc. Terrific! Except the Mets are calling it graffiti and plan to erase it. What Dumbos. Have some of the other great Mets (there are some, you know) sign it too. The Yanks have Monument Park, the Mets have...well, nothing. This could be a very good thing and the Mets are falling all over themselves dismissing it.
***YANKEE STADIUM HOMERS***
I've read some articles that say some very minor design changes in the new stadium seating is possibly creating some very major disturbances on the field. They better figure this out. What happened to Cleveland on Sunday will soon happen to the Yanks.
***WANG IS SCREWED UP***
It seems that whenever a pitcher injures a foot, his mechanics get screwed up, too. Some find their way back, some don't. Wang's fastball is not fast and his sinker ball doesn't sink. Other than that... Picasner thinks his stride is too long, which keeps his legs and body from helping with the velocity and he also lowers his arm angle which keeps him from getting on top of the pitches so they end up straight. Well, we'll see; my guess is as good as anyone on the Yankee staff.
***Remember Pedro Martinez?***
We may remember him, but 30 major league teams don't seem to. According to his agent, Pedro is, "...waiting for the perfect opportunity." Pedro, the 'perfect opportunity' is the next offer you get. He is waiting for one year at $5 million with no incentive clauses. ....Right....
***BECKETT IS BEING PUNISHED***
His suspension for throwing at Bobby Abreu has been reduced to 5 games and he will NOT miss a start. Why suspend him at all if it has absolutely no effect on him? Sometimes I have to read these articles twice because I simply can't believe what they say.
Posting will be sporadic for the next week while Picasner learns how to count people for the Census Bureau. 1,2,3,4,... I think I got it.
Friday, April 17, 2009
It's going to be a long year. That's a safe prediction when facing another 152 games. But this could get ugly. But if, as they say, pitching and defensive win championships, the NY Steinbrenners have miles to go before contending.
This team has, without question, the worst outfield in their division: Swisher (utility OF, 1st baseman, and now, set-up man), Damon (no arm and recently, a flare-up of Areuitis wall fear), Gardner (no arm), and Melky (no bat). And Matsui adds nothing to the defense if he is ever able or allowed to play in the field again.
A-Roid, or SpongeBob Square Pants, will provide a huge offensive lift over Cody Ransom. Still, the pumped up one is, at best, an average fielding 3rd baseman albeit with a huge gun. Jeter, we know, is past his prime defensively and Cano continues to be a mystery at 2nd, alternating between the ridiculous and the sublime. Teixeira should be solid at first. Hurray!
Posada looks fine now. August is still over 3 months away.
Long story short, this team's starting pitching, defense, and relief remind me of a Clint Eastwood movie. You know, "The Good, the bad, and the Ugly".
See Picasner's post below.
It looks like he's trying to be too fine and not challenging anyone. I wonder if he's overthinking or he just doesn't trust his stuff. Don't think, just throw.
***DON'T HURT ME***
The Cubs Milton Bradley, no stranger to controversy, was ejected for arguing a called third strike. Nothing new there, but he also faces a suspension for "contact" with an umpire. Umpire Larry Vandover says he sent a report indicating contact during the argument. Replays showed that the bill of Bradley's cap MAY have touched Vandover's bill. Wow! No word the length of recovery time for Vandover's hat.
***ANOTHER 'HIP' JOB***
Now Alex Gordon, Kansas City's 25-year-old infielder, need hip surgery. That's three: Mike Lowell, A-Rod and now Gordon. There weren't this many hip surgeries in my Dad's nursing home in two years. What's happening?
***THIS ISN'T GOOD***
There are two hitters in the Yankees lineup who are struggling. Normally, you could work around this, but when it's the 3rd and 4th place hitters, it's kind of a bigger problem. Teixeira always starts slow, but Matsui looks like he's on the downside of an average career. He also looks like he's afraid to swing; he's taking a lot of 'hittable' pitches. Girardi has separated Tex and Matsui, using Swisher in the cleanupup spot. Good thinking.
Part of this problem overflows into the loss of Nady. If Matsui can't play in the field and also can't hit, the Yanks are going to have to replace Nady from outside the organization. Lot of names are being bandied about, but nothing serious yet.
***MANNY ACTE ON THE HOT SEAT***
The Washington Nationals manager is said to to be one short losing streak from being fired. Does he deserve it? Is he a good manager? One scout says, "Who knows? Look what he's got to work with." True enough: one of the Nats 'future stars', Lastings Miledge, just got sent down to the minors. Kinda gives you an idea as to the talent there. Good luck, Manny.
***THE WORD ON THE BIRD***
Greg Nettles tells this Mark Fidrych story: "I tried to distract him by spreading birdseed all over the mound. It didn't work. He ate the birdseed, talked to the ball and shut us out."
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
It used to be that not even the announcers would dare to use the word "no-hitter" while one was in progress. I can understand not mentioning it in the dugout, not because of any jinx, but to keep the pitcher throwing his normal game and not getting too careful. As far as the announcers go, who cares? BUT...do we have to start hearing about in the fifth inning? I was almost hoping someone would get a hit, just because I was tired of the countdown ("He still has 12 outs to go, Michael.")
I've commented in the past that these broadcasters talk without thinking, now they're not even listening to each other. Burnett throws a pitch the batter swings and misses and Cone says, "Just a beautiful off-speed curve." During the replay, Cone says, "You can see the batter was way ahead if it." All true, and if you watch baseball enough, you begin to recognize that a curve generally has a big, long, slow break, whereas a slider is basically a fast curve: small, sharp, sudden break. Flaherty, who should know better, immediately says, "...or a slider." Go back to sleep, Flash.
***BECKETT IS STUNNED?***
Why? The guy was a total jerk. He had enough time to throw the ball anywhere he wanted, he CHOSE to throw it at Abreu. Then he had the nerve to advance toward the plate mouthing off. Where's Don Zimmer when you need him? Word is the Angels were mostly upset that Joe West just picked on the Angels, telling them to get off the field and throwing 2 Angels out, but leaving Beckett in. The real culprit here, and a few columnists agree, is Joe West. He totally mishandled the situation.
***THANK THE LORD FOR THE WBC***
Just as Terry Francona feared, Diasuke Matsuzaka now has a "Tired Arm." Diasuke has even admitted that he got it in the tournament. Picasner is no fan of Boston, but this is definitely not right.
***OUTFIELDERS ARE IN TROUBLE***
The Yanks Brett Gardner, who last year was just slapping at the ball, hit one over the head of Carl Crawford and then hit one over BJ Upton, two of baseball's fastest players. Let's see how they line up today.
***THE YANKS OUTFIELD LOG-JAM UPDATE***
There may be some relief in sight. Rumors are getting stronger that Cabrera may be headed to the White Sox for the right offer, and Xavier Nady may be on the way to the DL with a sore elbow. Of course, that may put Matsui in the field soon. Hope his knees are okay.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Mark Fidrych died at age 54. Being a pitcher seems to be the most dangerous position in sports. We lose so many young pitchers to arm injuries, sometimes, as in Fidrych's case, after one great year. I don't know how good he might have become, but he was a character worth watching. Nowadays, most teams have sports psychologist that travel with them. Imagine what they would have thought about a guy who got done on his knees to "pat" the dirt in place on the mound. He not only talked to the ball, I think he got answers. That fire went out too quickly.
***SHEFIELD TO PLAY THE OUTFIELD?***
I read where one of the ball boys had to lead him out to right field. The Mets are no smarter: they've had Shef working out in right field and now they say he'll start tomorrow...in LEFT field.
You ought to be happy, Manny Ramirez, you won't be baseball's worst left fielder on Wednesday.
***YANKS BOLSTER BULLPEN***
The Yanks have added a good left-hander to the 'pen: a young phenom named Nick Swisher, who'll be available on days when he's not playing in the field or taking tickets.
***WHITE SOX CENTERFIELDER IS OUT FOR 6 WEEKS AT LEAST***
This may revive the trade talks for Melky Cabrera. Ozzie Guillen doesn't like the idea of trading with the Yanks after losing Swisher to them, so I doubt anything will come of it.
If the Yanks keep getting pasted, I may have to find a new nom-de-plume.
Monday, April 13, 2009
2nd Base Horace Clark
SS Rueben Amaro
3rd Base Mike Ferraro
Ah, the 1968 New York Yankees, winners of 83 games. Now there was an infield. They made very few errors, mostly because they didn't reach many ground balls. In fact, they didn't drag the infield in the 5th inning, they just sent two guys out with rakes. And they never missed pop-ups 'cause the Yankee pitchers were giving up too many line drives.
Tomorrow's infield practice will consist of Girardi introducing the infielders to one another. Pay attention, guys, this will be on the final!
I've never been a fan of pitcher-hitter matchups. Tony LaRusso does this a lot, in fact, he's the first one I ever remember doing it. I think that when you change pitchers two or more times within an inning, all you do is increase the chance that you'll eventually get to a pitcher that doesn't have it. This is exactly what happened to Girardi yesterday. If a reliever can't pitch effectively to hitters from both sides of the plate, you ought to consider not using him in crucial situations.
I don't even want to get in to the "Joba Chamberlain as a bridge" situation, even though Sunday was a prime example of that need. Joba pitches well as a starter, but he's lights-out in the 'pen.
***KNOWING THE RULES HELPS***
The Dodgers had men on 2nd & 3rd with one out, when the next batter lined one back to the pitcher. He threw to the shortstop to catch the runner off second. Instead of touching the bag, he ran at the runner and tagged him out. Mistake #1. Then the Padres ran off the field. Mistake #2. Why? As Joe Torre pointed out, the runner from third scored BEFORE the runner at 2nd was tagged. When the Padres ran off the field, they forfeited their right to appeal the the runner at third not going back to the bag, therefore: the run counts.
Sometimes, however, the umps only...
***FOLLOW SOME OF THE RULES***
Can someone, anyone, explain this to me: The pitcher goes into his stretch, stops, and then throws to first instead of home, catching the runner who thought he would throw the ball home. PICKOFF, you're out. However, the rules specifically state that the pitcher can do NOTHING to deceive the runner. How can you pick him off unless you fool him into thinking that the pitcher was throwing home? I just don't get it.
***JOE WEST IS STILL NOT MY FAVORITE***
Let's see, The pitcher is in the stretch, just starts to pitch, and West gives the batter time. The rule here is that time should NOT be called when the pitcher is into his motion or in the stretch position. In this case, the pitcher, Josh Beckett, went ahead and threw anyway, just missing Bobby Abreu's head. Abreu spread his arms, Beckett gave him lip, both benches emptied and a bunch of Angels get ejected (...but not Beckett or Abreu). Adds up to one mistake and unfair treatment by Joe "More Pasta, Please" West. Eliminate the mistake and no brawl and no ejections.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
***SOMEBODY IS LISTENING***
Last Thursday, Picasner ranted about the timing of World Series games. Yesterday, ESPN ran a poll, asking if the WS should have any day games. Only 56% of the over 30,000 voters thought there should be. Either people weren't thinking or corporate sponsors flooded the polls. Very disappointing.
***MORE MONEY THAN BALLGAMES***
The big topic on the Sports Reporters this morning, was the cost of tickets at the New York City ball parks. I guess it's the right thing to do, since, as Mitch Albom says, "The economy is a factor everywhere except the Big Apple." Earlier on Sportscenter, one fan says that it was one thing to pay $75 a seat for his 4 season tickets, but at $250/seat, no way. Even with a great economy, what 'regular' fan would spend over $80,000 to watch baseball? In 1955, Mickey Mantle was paid only $75,000 and he had to PLAY all 154 games. Picasner might be willing to pay $75 to go to a single game during the year, as a special occasion, but now...? And as for Vod Kanockers? Well, we lost him when ticket prices reached double figures.
***I THINK NICK SWISHER IS GOING TO BE FUN***
It appears the he is a hell of a ball player, but he's also a bit of a nut. Friday, when he started in place of Nady, they showed him on the bench, wrapping up Xavier in a half a dozen towels, so he'd be "comfortable" watching the game. After the two games Swisher had, maybe Nady should get used to the bench.
***ARE THE GAMES BORING THEM?***
Michael Kay should write down his questions before he says them out loud. "David (Cone), was it more fun in the Major Leagues or the Minor Leagues?" Why the minors, of course, Michael. You haven't lived until you've ridden for 6 hours in a 40-year-old bus over mountain roads at 4:00 AM. Then, he and Cone spent a half an inning discussing first names and a half an inning discussing last names. much to the consternation of John Flaherty.
I especially liked the discussion of meals:
John 'Wild-Man' Flaherty: "Yeah, I had a salad, a grilled chicken breast, a couple of veggies and a couple glasses of water."
David Cone: "I found myself in a Waffle House at 5:00 AM."
HAPPY EASTER TO ALL.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
It's always about the money, and Fox, in their greediness, can't find enough ways to milk those pennies from baseball's loyal fans (notice I did not mention the "loyal" owners). Extended times between innings, TV timeouts, even delaying the next pitch so they can get in the requisite 5 replays of the previous home run. When did they start interviewing the managers from the dugout in the middle of the game? Obvious questions followed by obvious answers. "Your pitcher had kind of a rough inning there, didn't he Skipper?" What do they expect him to say? "Are you kidding? He sucked. I didn't just pull him, I sent his sorry ass to Double A!" In two years, they'll probably have a field reporter stationed right behind the mound. "Yeah, he's in big trouble right now, Tim. Just a minute, I'll ask him what he's going to throw next."
I'll say it one more time: Weekend games in the afternoon, weekday games START (first pitch) at 7:00 PM. AND NO EXTRA DAYS OFF WITHIN A SERIES! Is anyone even listening?
***JUST SO YOU KNOW THAT IT'S NOT JUST PICASNER***
This description from a list of baseball's WORST announcers:
3. Joe Morgan:" Stubbornly refuses to admit that there's anything to the game of baseball more important than "heart." Laughs off statistics as irrelevant. Still carries grudges from his playing days. Like Bill Walton and other ex-jocks, views every player in comparison to his era -- and strangely enough, nobody ever comes close. Inspired one of the great sports blogs of this decade, but has unfortunately outlasted it." (The blog is firejoemorgan.com)
If he's number 3, you have to wonder who could possibly be numbers 1 & 2 (Tom Carvel and Helen Keller, come to mind). Actually, #1 is Billy Packer and that's hard to argue with. He used to team with Al McGuire, who is STILL a better announcer and he passed away 8 years ago.
It's still early in the season, so Picasner will try to watch another game at 1:00 today, hopefully with better results.
One, I am not moving to Jeterville, VA.
Two, it is not reasonable to support a Steinboober franchise. The Boobers ceased being the Yankees when they were acquired by Daddy Booberbucks and his minions. The Boober organization spends billions on ballplayers while shucking tax dollars from the 95% of New Yorkers who control about 2% of the wealth. It is cheering for laundry. There are two guys who have worn the laundry longer than others, a defensively mediocre shortstop, be honest, and a somewhat better than average catcher. That’s not just big of a deal.
Three, I will tune into the Boober network... I enjoy listening to Michael Kaye and Ken Singleton talk baseball. Paul O’Neil and Al Leiter interestingly range between serious, ironic, and dryly funny. It’s good stuff with or without the picture. This bunch could do anybody’s game and I’d listen.
Four. I don’t care whether the Boobers win or lose but I do not enjoy any Red Sox win, over anyone. That could change now that Schilling is gone. Beckett would have to shave, Varitek retire, and probably a bunch of other stuff. I do miss Manny. What a great entertainer. And Sparky Lyle in any city’s laundry.
Five. How can you respect any organization that hired Randy Johnson and turned him loose on the streets of New York all by himself? What were they thinking?
Six… I have no idea.
Seven. It is so easy to jab Boober fans. When you poke at their current heroes, Boober fans mistakenly think you’re ripping on the Yankees and get fanatically defensive, heads often times exploding. Great visuals but too easy fun. However, we have established that the Yankees and Boobers are mutually exclusive entities, ergo, a waste of ire and fury. Yankee fans know this and deal.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
What, is the season over with? Is Cashman shopping Sabathia? Has Hank Steinbrenner called CC in for counseling? It's just one game; can we all relax? Besides, CC & Teixeira both have long histories of bad Aprils. Of course, all the 'over-analysts' had to over-analyze, but lets consider the sources:
Bob Matthews (Picasner's favorite whipping-boy) thinks CC is too heavy and says that it will be worse in a couple of years when he'll be even heavier. I don't know how he knows that. He also says he doesn't know of any pitcher who can be successful when they are that "husky." I seem to recall Early Wynn winning 20 games 5 times over the span of 9 years, and he was over 200 lbs and 7 inches shorter than CC.
The other "expert" is Joe Morgan who is noted for such statements as, "If they were going to build the new Yankee Stadium with the same dimensions, why didn't they just stay in the old one?" We were hoping you'd stay in the old one, Joe. This from "Fan Graphs" by RJ Anderson:
" Despite what Joe Morgan stated, Sabathia’s velocity was fine. Sabathia’s average fastball touched just over 93 miles per hour, and topped out at 95. Over the last three seasons, Sabathia’s average fastball velocities are 93.7, 92.9, and 93.7. Either Morgan was unaware and fabricating excuses for the Yankees’ new ace, or he simply has no idea how hard Sabathia normally throws."
RJ, you could have saved time by simply using the red-highlighted portion of that statement.
In short, let's let the season progress before we decide things like 'The Phillies are going to go 0-162' because they lost their first two games.
***CONTRACT? WHAT CONTRACT?***
It has long been a pet peeve of mine that college coaches change jobs like we change socks. First of all, what about all those kids that he went out and recruited and convinced that he was the one coach they should play for, but now it's "Adios and see you later." Of course if the player wants to change schools, he has to sit out a year, but not the coach. And didn't he sign a contract? How do they get out of walking away from that? If the school wants to fire him, they have to continue to pay him. Just once, I'd like to see a "Memphis" say to a "John Calipari", you don't want to coach here? Fine, but you won't coach anywhere else as long as you're under contract to us. Now go sit home for 5 years while we get a coach with some morals.
***THE ANNALS OF MICHAEL KAY***
"It took 7 years to build that? What did they do? Build it brick-by-brick?" That career in construction never really worked out, did it Michael?
Monday, April 06, 2009
***YANKEES ALWAYS THINKING ABOUT THE FANS***
Not only have they provided us with a new stadium to view our beloved Yanks, but they have upgraded the snack menu, too. You can now get Surf & Turf for only $54.75. Or a 28 oz. Porterhouse for the same $54.75. Too heavy a meal? Well, a 10 oz. Burger is only $10.50 (cheese is extra, of course). A mundane little hot dog is $5.00. At least you won't be bothered by a bunch of drunks, cursing and staggering around. At $6 a glass, there won't be too many people who can afford to get bombed. That's the way to cater to your fans, Yankees...well, except for the "partial-view" fans.
Don't count on the Mets to help you, either. A Hot Dog is $5.75 and a beer is $6.50.
***THE ONE BAD THING ABOUT THE PLAYOFF SYSTEM***
Every prediction I've seen, indicates that the record of the AL East 'Big Three' will all have better records than the remaining 11 teams in the AL and one of the Big Three won't make the playoffs. Just doesn't seem right.
***THE JETER ISSUE***
Get used to this, we're probably going to hear it all year. Derek's contract is up after the 2010 season and everyone's wondering what the Yanks will do. What can you pay an ageing shortstop with minimal range, a weakening arm and diminishing power? And what could a new position be? The outfield? Even if you lose two next year (Matsui & Damon contracts are up), you'd still have 4 outfielders fighting for playing time. Is it possible we might see Jeter in Dodger Blue in two years? Excuse me while I help Annie-O up off the floor.
Saturday, April 04, 2009
***ICHIRO HAS AN ULCER***
The tables have turned: now Ichiro can see what it feels like to have one instead of causing them.
***SHEFFIELD IS A MET***
Scouts say his arm is only OK, he no longer has the speed to play the outfield and he has lost a lot of bat-speed. Buster Olney thinks he will "still strike fear in the hearts of opposing managers." How, Buster? Body odor?
***UMPIRES UNDER SCRUTINY***
The QuesTek system, used to check the accuracy of ball/strike calls of ML umpires has been improved. The umpires still don't like it, of course, nor does one blogger, Eugene Freeman. He thinks it is okay to punish or fine umpires for 'misconduct' such as refusing to carry out rules or "intentionally missing calls." He doesn't think anything should be done if they maintain 'their own strike zone' as opposed to the one listed in the rules. He says, " Should writers be punished or disciplined for misspelling or miscalculating a statistic? Everyone makes mistakes and umpires shouldn't be disciplined for poor performance." Better lighten up on the 'happy pills,' Eugene. If an umpire is consistently making poor calls or making mistakes, he should definitely be punished. If he's incompetent, maybe he shouldn't be an umpire. And if he REFUSES to carryout the rules or intentionally misses calls, he should be fired! Immediately!
Oh, and Eugene, if you're a writer and can't spell, seek after new employment.
***THE EXPERTS AT ESPN***
Here are their top ten pre-season Power Rankings:
Obviously, Picasner feels the Yanks are #1 and the Twins don't belong, but the rest of the list seems okay.
***MICHAEL KAY IS IN MID-SEASON FORM ALREADY***
When Matsui tilted his head to help keep his long drive in fair territory last night, Michael said, "Hideki is using body-English...or in his case, body-Japanese." Okay Michael, let's stop this right now.
***IS HE SERIOUS?***
Jim Schwartz, new head coach of the Detroit Lions, commented that "...there was too much emphasis on talent in the NFL." Not to worry, Jim, have you looked at your roster?
We sadly bid farewell to my brother-in-law, Paul Waara, a Buffalo native and long-time Yankee fan.
Thursday, April 02, 2009
The average ticket price at Yankee Stadium is a whopping $72.97, an increase of 76%. The next highest average ticket price is Boston's $50.24, which represented a modest 3% raise. Don't try to justify the price by using the new stadium - 'Big Apple' excuse; the Mets average ticket cost is $36.99, an 8% increase.
So a family of four could enjoy a game for $410.88. For that, you get 2 adult tickets and 2 child's tickets (if available), parking, 2 programs, 4 hot dogs, 4 soft drinks, 2 beers (you'll need them), and 2 adult hats (kids, bring your own hats). So save your pennies, boys and girls, if your parents can take you to EVERY home game this year, that will just about pay for ONE at-bat for A-Rod.
On the bright side, you can still get a ticket in the bleachers for $5, but it is partial-view. I don't know if that means you only get to see part of the field or you have to close your eyes during every even-numbered inning.
Hank does offer this explanation: "We understand that a lot of our fans are struggling...that despite their troubles maybe they'll be able to get away for two or three hours and get their minds off things. And we're going to make that experience, you know, tremendous." And it's going to be, you know, expensive!
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
***IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT MONEY***
From Greg Cote of the Miami Herald: "I don't wanna say the Detroit auto industry is hurting, but beginning this year, the NFL's annual Super Bowl MVP will receive a PHOTO of a new Cadillac Escalade."
***YOU CAN'T HIDE BEHIND THE NAME***
Jerry Perisho: "AIG is changing it's name to AIU Holdings, Ltd. for PR purposes. In other news, Alex Rodriguez will now be known as Brooks Robinson."
***DON'T WE GET A REBATE OR SOMETHING?*** New York State is obligated to pay the Buffalo Bills $3 million a year in order to keep the Bills from moving. Last year, they played one "home" game in Toronto, and will do so again this year. Doesn't Toronto owe NYS about $400,000? Seems only fair.
Baseball's answer to Terrell Owens is without a team. Detroit released him because they wanted to "have more flexibility." Sheffield says he's probably the best athlete on the team. He'll be 41 years old in November and hit .188 in spring training. "Best athlete," huh? Doesn't say much for the rest of the Tigers. Maybe by flexibility, they mean guys who can play AND sell hot dogs and take tickets.
The Yanks & the Cubs play two exhibition games at the new stadium Friday & Saturday. Rumor has it that Cashman will throw out the first corporate sponsor. Sadly, Bob Sheppard is still not well enough to do the games. Maybe Sheffield is available.
***MORE DETROIT TIGERS IN THE NEWS***
The Tigers put Dontrelle Willis on the DL for Anxiety problems. One rival GM doesn't think too much of it: "One of my pitchers is anxious about facing Albert Pujols. If I can get a doctor to say it, can I put him on the DL?" By the way, resident genius, Jim Leland, has NOT been given a contract extension. That's the problem with the 'genius' label, Jim, you have to keep proving it.
***QUOTES FROM SOME SCOUTS***
"The White Sox are going to have a problem with the bottom of their rotation." Uh, the Sox have a top?
"The Cubs and the Angels are the best teams in Arizona." Aren't the Cubs & the Angels the ONLY teams in Arizona?
"The Padres are not a good team offensively or defensively." What's left? How are they at the National Anthem?
"The Rangers can flat-out hit. It comes down to pitching for them." I believe Nolan Ryan is available.
***NOW READ THIS NEXT ARTICLE SLOWLY***
Leon Trost has spent the last three years overseeing the construction of the new Yankee Stadium. "Unless you spend your waking hours monitoring everything, you won't get what you want." "We don't even refer to it as the New Yankee Stadium. This is the Yankee Stadium. This more like Yankee Stadium than the building we just left." In a related story, a lot of those "cheap" seats in the Stadium are obstructed views. So Leon, what did you do, take an hour off? Trost is on top of it: he had extra flat screen TVs installed, so the fans won't miss anything. Just like at home, right? Except at home, you don't have to pay $5 to sit in your recliner. And your wife is right there to get you your next beer (well, not my house).