Saturday, May 30, 2009
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him pay $2500 for a drink. Yanks and Mets fans are STILL not buying the over-priced seats in the two new stadiums. The Yanks are averaging 44,600 fans per game, the Mets, 38,800. Last year, it was 53,000 and 49,900. Both teams are leading their respective divisions, too.
***MATSUI CAN'T RUN***
Hell, he looks like he has trouble walking. I suspect the Yanks are waiting for Nady to come off the DL before Matsui goes on. He's still hitting the ball a long way for guy without legs.
*** THAT WASN'T THE RIGHT TIME***
I still advocate 'making the other team make a play,' but use your head. Tonight, A-Rod tried to go to third on a hit and got thrown out. Dumb play. There was no reason to try it: the Yanks already had a big lead, if he makes out before the runner crosses home plate, the run doesn't count. Just not the right time. Usually, A-Rod is a smart baserunner. Not this time.
***MICHAEL KAY, ON TOP OF HIS JOB***
We can usually count on Michael to give us some off-beat insight into the game, some crazy anomaly, an obscure statistic or two. But even Picasner wasn't ready for "The Life And Times Of The Ohio Midges." I suppose if it can cost your team a playoff game, it's worth researching.
***...AND IT WASN'T EVEN MICHAEL***
This, from John Flaherty: "That's the best place to get hit." C'mon, Flash, that's a 90 MPH fastball. The best place to get hit with a 90 MPH fastball, is on the arm of the guy in front of you.
***FOR THE LAST TIME***
Can't we get CC into a uniform that fits? Maybe that's how he keeps people from knowing if he's gained weight. Even with that outfit, you can tell he hasn't missed too many BBQ chicken dinners.
Friday, May 29, 2009
I won't tell you the name but it ain't good.
Rookie umpire Todd Tichenor had the 'grand slam' of ejections last night. He threw out the Twins catcher and the Twins manager on the same play. Being fair-minded, he promptly tossed the Red Sox catcher and manager in the bottom of the same inning. He made a call on a tag play at home, and though it was close, it appeared he made a mistake. When the catcher objected, he immediately threw him out. Ron Gardenhire, the Twins manager, had gone out to argue the play, but too late. By the time he arrived, the catcher was gone and when Tichenor saw Gardenhire, he was gone, too.
In the bottom of the inning, Varitek was booted for arguing a the call of a pitch. Franconia hurried out but he didn't have to rush: Tichenor had a thumb ready for him, too.
If that wasn't bad enough, crew chief Jerry Layne approved of Tichenor's handling of the affair. "He handled it the way I like to see a person handle it. He didn't let the game get out of control..." Bulls***. The game was never out of control, just Tichenor. He threw out anybody who came within 20 feet of him. Todd, go back to the Pacific Coast league...and take Jerry Layne with you.
I continue to be amazed at how sef-important these guys act and are allowed to get away with it.
***ONE AT A TIME***
Closer situation: I might buy it on an individual basis (who is pitching against us, how are we hitting, etc.)
Vods most lucid observation: Sorry, didn't see one.
Of course other people have said "Make the other team make the play", Powers was just the first time I heard it.
Hughes vs Wang: not our choice, but you KNOW that Wang will be starting soon.
Hate Manny?: Absolutely! I hate quitters. David Ortiz has done a lot of damage to the Yanks, but I've always had respect for him. Let them vote Manny in; they'll get what they deserve. Here's any interesting thought: What if Manny comes in fourth. Managers often pick the runner-up to be on the team. What will Manuel do?
As to Sheffield, granted, A-Rod is no saint, but I've never heard him described as a clubhouse cancer. Nor has he been traded for little or no return just to get rid of him. You're comparing apples to oranges.
Picasner is often asked: "Does Vod say outrageous things just to start a fight?" Yes, he likes to play Devil's Advocate. It's his most endearing trait. Makes me look like a sweet guy (very hard to do).
Picasner is a Yankee fan and not afraid to admit it. Vod does not like to align himself with idiocy (a good thing), but that's impossible to do it you root for any baseball team.
I'm also asked, "How can you deal with the things he says about you?" #5 applies here, too. He has always been my friend.
How come you didn't make a comment about my "one-sided disgust" at umpires?
After commenting on Picasner’s view of most things baseball and all things pinstriped, I’m frequently asked, "Vod, how is it that you continue to hang with someone you find so obviously confused, biased, and annoying?" Yes, he is all of those things when discussing Yankeedom, but do not be mistaken, I have seen behind the pinstriped shroud that our Peerless Picasner wraps himself in and found the 7 levels of universal knowledge that is Chad Picasner!
1. He knows how to count. This is important for census work.
2. He knows how to drive. Most of the time. (If you’re his passenger, use your seatbelt. Prayer is recommended.)
3. He knows how to be a friend. All of the time.
4. – 5. He knows the Pux. And Remo. (Counts as two)
6. He knows a town in the California desert where, if you ask the location of a mailbox, some reply, “Outgoing?”.
7. He knows how to have beautiful grand children. Fortunately, all of his children take after their Mom. Thanks, Anne!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
So much confusion, thanks to our beloved if often confused Picasner, and so little time.
Let’s start with this little nugget,
***I NEED AN EXPLANATION, PLEASE***
Why do you bring in your closer with the score tied? It's not a save situation.
The generally accepted management principle is that you bring in your closer in the top of the 9th when you are at home and the score is tied exactly for the reason contained in Picasner’s statement, “It’s not a save situation”. If you are home and tied after 8, the home team can never have a save situation. So, bring in your closer, presumably your best shot at a scoreless half inning (unless you're Mariano pitching against Boston), to give yourself a shot at winning with a single run in the 9th.
Picasner’s most lucid observation: May 18 – “Calm down, Picasner.”
Notable Quotable? Dave Powers, affectionately known as “Mentor” may have said "Make the other team make the play." Along with 11,458 other coaches, managers, players, sports writers and other ne’er do wells, but manufacturing a homey quote to explain consistently cheesy base running is tiresome, even though we know Our Beloved Leader to be an unabashed Yankee apologist. Gardner’s move was Gardner dreaming. Damon was 0-2 getting gunned downed at home by the Phillies. And the list goes on.
What to do with Hughes? Wrong question. Ask, instead, “What to do with Wang”.
Picasner almost gets it right commenting on Steve Phillips, “This guy could screw up a Little League team.” Fact is, he did screw up a Little league team, aka The Mets.
Picasner continues his I hate Manny campaign. Manny carried the Dodgers to the NLCS in 2008 and was hitting a paltry .348 with 6 HRs in 27 games this year. Nice way to waste your money, unlike the great value the Yankees got from enormous contracts given to Carl Pavano, Randy Johnson, ad nauseum. Current Yankee Best Buys include Nick Swisher a steal at $5.4 for a .243 lifetime hitter (currently underachieving at .223) or $3.75 million for Damaso Marte and his 15.19 ERA. Dearest P, even if Swisher “comes around”, you’ve got bupkus.
Irritating Personality? Gary Sheffield is in the Warped Personality Minors compared to the pinstripper’s wife cheating, Madonna-boinking, attention seeking, vainglorious, juice head – The Look at Me, Look at Me, A-Roid.
Midsummer special: Watch our Fearless Prognosticator’s head explode if Manny is voted (currently 4th in outfield votes) onto the All Star team. Once again we may learn to never underestimate the stupidity of the American electorate.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Last week, Milton Bradley, (a board game in his own right) was ejected for arguing too vehemently over a called strike three. Since Milton suffers from Umpire Paranoia, this was to be expected. Now Ted Lilly has been tossed for the same reason. Today, Carlos Zambrano bit the dust over a called play at home. At least this ejection was reasonable, since Zambrano clearly bumped the umpire while arguing. But in the manner of Sweet Lou, Carlos then threw the ball into left field, slammed his glove into fence and knocked over a drink cooler on his way out. It's called "getting your money's worth."
The bad one was Lilly's ouster. He was arguing plate umpire Bob Davidson's, calls of balls and strikes from the dugout. According to Davidson, when Lilly said "he was embarrassing himself out there," that's when he gave him the heave-ho. Wow! What a terrible thing to say. If Davidson wasn't embarrassing himself before, this would certainly qualify. Next thing you know, the umps will be tossing players for wearing the wrong after-shave. Lilly then hopped the dugout fence and went after Davidson, but was restrained. Piniella said they had the gates guarded, but "our barrier defense was lacking."
Chicago is a fun place.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The San Francisco Giants are interested in the Marlins Dan Uggla. I don't know how good a player he is, but is there a better candidate for a name change in the league? I don't believe there are too many endorsement possibilities in your future, Dan.
***GOOD PITCHING BEATS GOOD HITTING...SOMETIMES***
7 teams scored 10 or more runs yesterday, led by the White Sox' 17, Dodgers 16 and the Tigers 13. Tampa Bay scored 10 and lost when Cleveland came up with 7 runs in the bottom of the 9th.
***BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL***
It belongs to the Dodgers, 31-15. Sure do miss Manny, don't they? There's $45 million well spent. Don't count on too many MVP votes, Manny.
***HE'S SMART AGAIN***
Apparently, there is a direct relationship between a manager's IQ and his team's won-loss record. Jim Leyland of the Tigers, is smart again after being "dumb" for two years. The "dumb" title probably belongs to the reporter who asked Leyland, "How do you feel about your team, now that your leading the Central Division?" What's he supposed to say? "We are? With these clowns? Can't be."
***THE RAYS PHENOM IS BACK***
David Price, last years World Series star is back up with the Tampa Bay Rays again. Yesterday, he threw 100 pitches, struck out 6, walked 5 and gave up two runs...all in 3 innings. He left with a 10-2 lead but couldn't get a win because he didn't last 5 innings. No matter; the Rays bullpen managed to blow the lead and the game anyway.
***SHEFFIELD HELPING THE METS***
Gary Sheffield is batting clean-up and is really a force in the Mets line up. Don't worry, sports fans, his 'sparkling' personality will take over soon and he'll be irritating people again.
***HAS ABREU LOST A STEP?***
Probably not. He's hitting .303 with 15 stolen bases. No homeruns, though, and he probably can't even tell you the color of the right field wall in Anaheim, because he hasn't gotten close enough yet.
Monday, May 25, 2009
Let's keep this in perspective. Baseball is a game where hitters fail 7 times out of 10 and are considered good hitters. If a team wins 5 1/2 games out of ten, that's 90 wins and a potential playoff team. The Phillies are a good team and all three games could have gone either way. Nobody dominated and the next time (if ever) they meet, the Yanks could very well take 2 out of 3. I have to say, the Yanks are a very entertaining team. Even the subs are producing. There are only two guys who are not: Swisher and Matsui. Matsui has a reputation for producing runs. We're going to need that just to protect A-Rod. Hopefully, they will both come around.
***AREN'T WE PROUD OF OURSELVES***
Phil Sheridan, of the Philadelphia Enquirer (I've never heard of him either), wrote an article in the paper on Sunday, disparaging the Yanks and their win on Saturday. First, he "hinted" that A-Rods homer was the result of steroids and in fact, the whole team was tainted. Of course, Phil, it can't be that you just got beat, there HAD to be something illegal going on. Then he claimed that it was such a big deal that the Yanks beat the 'mighty' Phils, that they had this massive celebration that, in your words, rivaled a playoff win. Right! The Yanks beat Philadelphia, so our season is complete. Amazing how one World Series win can go to your head.
Uh Phil, how come you didn't mention that Brad "MR. Perfect" Lidge blew TWO saves this weekend? Oh yeah, it's those damn steroids again. Go back to Philly, where knowledgeable fans won't have to deal with your incompetence.
***IS ANYONE LOOKING AT THE BOX SCORES?***
In 13 consecutive starts in 1998, Randy Johnson pitched into at least the seventh inning, including 6 complete games and 2 shutouts. 10 times, he had 10 or more strikeouts and threw at least 100 pitches in all of them. He was then traded to the Houston Astros. What did he get for his efforts? A Seattle Mariner General Manager who basically accused him of "tanking." Tanking? Is he kidding? I'll take that effort every time. Well Mr Pelekoudas (Seattle GM), if you want to see real professional tanking, I refer you to the ever-popular Manny-being-Manny of 2008 with the Red Sox. Where did you get your GM training? The Steve Phillips School of PYA (Protect Your A**)?
***SPEAKING OF WHICH***
I can't believe that ESPN has hired Phillips to be their #1 baseball analyst. What were they thinking. This guy could screw up a Little League team.
***THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BODY-BUILDING EVENT IN BELGIUM***
Hoping for a better competition than last year, when 17 of the 29 entrants were disqualified for using illegal drugs, the organizers welcomed this year's 20 competitors. ...Then the doping officials showed up...and all 20 entrants scattered to the four winds. Needless to say, the competition was cancelled. As one official said, "This didn't do their reputation any good."
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
#1 "CHIEN-MING WANG MAY OR MAY NOT BE READY THIS WEEK" (Tom Puma, NY Post)
What? You know he's right.
#2 "JOBA CHAMBERLAIN HAS 0% CHANCE OF MAKING THE HALL OF FAME"
(Bob Matthews, Rochester D & C)
Guess there's no point in finishing your career, Joba, even though you're only 24. So if he ends up with 320 wins or 500 saves, he's never going to get Bob Matthews vote.
#3 "JOHN SMOLTZ GOT MARRIED & TOM GLAVINE HAD A BABY" (Buster Olney, ESPN)
My question: why are these two items in the same headline? One can only hope they're not related.
#4 "KEITH FOULKE IS PITCHING IN THE ATLANTIC LEAGUE AND SOMETHING DOESN'T SIT WELL WITH HIM" (Stan Grossfeld, Boston Globe)
Yeah, he's pitching in the Atlantic league. Didn't that jump right out at you, Stan? (He's also wearing a Yankee unform. Maybe that's it)
#5 "RON GARDENHIRE MET WITH HIS PLAYERS"
Ron, this Joe Mauer, this is Justin Morneau, etc. Question is, do the players know Ron?
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
instead of 8:30. Lo & behold, they did even better! The games will start at 7:57. Wow!
That means that kids will now get to watch the 7th inning instead of just the 6th. This is like telling a man dying of thirst, "We won't give you any water, but we're going to raise the humidity a little." What, no thank you? I thought of suggesting an "Encore Game," like YES Network does, to be aired at around 4:00 PM the next day, but then I remembered that Fox usually replays any significant plays during the next game and any really outstanding play, 3 or 4 times during the pre-game show anyway. Have to fill up that hour somehow. You can only give the lineup so many times.
Maybe Fox will make up for it by insisting on an extra minute or 2 between half-innings.
Monday, May 18, 2009
They sure are exciting, but remember: this only comes to pass when you're the home team. On the road, you have to take the lead into the ninth. I think the best thing is that it's not just one guy. The "Toss-The Helmet-Into -The-Air" seems nice enough until it comes down on somebodies head. Toss it away, not straight up into the air over home plate. The guys in pinstripes are teammates, guys.
***WHAT TO DO WITH HUGHES***
Wang is coming back and there is talk of using Hughes as a set-up man in the bullpen. We've seen him crank it up to 95-96, so this might work. Just like Joba in his bullpen stints, there would be no reason to pace himself. Just let it all hang out. I'd like to see them try this.
Two things here: Coach Dave Powers used to say, "Make the other team make the play." Mauer just nailed Gardner, so he had no leeway. If he hesitates one more second, Gardner is safe, and he gets to wear the 'Championship Belt' (This is kind of a cute idea). Picasner thinks is was the right thing to do: it took a perfect play to get him.
2nd point: Mauer was NOT, repeat, NOT, faking the throw to first. He stopped because he saw he had no chance. If he was faking, he would have faked and immediately turned and headed for home. You could see he was reacting to Gardner. Of course, now Mauer is claiming it was a fake. Liar, liar, pants on...(calm down, Picasner).
***I NEED AN EXPLANATION, PLEASE***
Why do you bring in your closer with the score tied? It's not a save situation. If your team doesn't score, you've wasted your closer for no reason. If one of your pitchers gets into trouble, I can see bringing him in, but not before. Any answers? ...Guesses? ...Lies?
Do I really have to listen to Joe "I'm always right" Morgan tonight? NO! NO! NO! Maybe someone will foul a ball back into the booth and put us both out of our misery.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
I know, I know. Another promise broken, but I do owe several apologies after going medieval on Mike’s email. First of all, Mike is an honorable name and most Mikes are decent spellers, competent grammarians and honorable people albeit Mikes have perhaps more than their fair share of raving lunatics, perverts, former hooligans, and blowhards, e.g. Michael Kay, Michael Jackson, Mike Tyson, Email Mike.
Apologies to Dick Cheney. While he is truly an evil dude he is not blatantly stupid. Apologies to Hugo Chavez. Although he prefers an authoritarian, dictatorial style of organization, he is known throughout Venezuela to have no more confidence in baseball umpires than I do. And sincere apologies to drag queens everywhere. They are recognized world-wide for their tolerance and ability to enjoy a good brouhaha.
I love you all.
And perhaps a couch could be installed in the booth so Paul can stretch out while sharing his Ruthian dreams.
Was there a baseball game last night?
***BASEBALL DOES HAVE IT'S RULES***
Some of them make no sense, I agree, but since we are not umpires, we cannot pick and choose the ones we want to enforce. I have already discussed the "...cannot deceive the runner," idiocy, but this one is just as dumb. When running to first base, the runner MUST run within the two lines marked out. These lines are in foul territory and nowhere is it explained how the runner can touch 1st if he stays in foul territory. Technically, Gomez was out halfway up the line; both times. "Mike" does have a good suggestion: hit the runner with the throw. Both times (maybe the 2nd time, in the helmet). He'll learn.
Oh, and Mr. Gardenhire: shut up and stay in the dugout doing what you do best: amuse yourself by bouncing a baseball as you walk up and down the dugout. Don't be yelling at our players, yours are the ones that need training.
***SPEAKING OF CHOOSING RULES...***
Ah Wally, what a wonderful job last night. Those two white lines next to the plate are batter's box lines, not extensions of the strike zone. As for Mr. Damon, do we have to reiterate the "quick thumb" propensity umpires mistakenly have? If the player bumps you or curses you or won't leave after a warning, run him. Otherwise, sit there and take it. Why is it a mortal sin to show you how badly you missed the call? They should put Wally Bell on the same crew as Picasner's other favorite, Joe West. Might as well Batch the Boobs.
***MICHAEL KAY IS RIGHT?***
At least about Matsui. Sometimes he looks like he'll never get another hit; sometimes he looks like he'll never make another out. Good going, Michael.
By the way, Michael, how tough is it to broadcast a game with the comedy team of Paul and the Cone-head? I hope we've heard the last of "...bust a goon."
Since absolutely no one asked, I thought it best to declassify the “Mike” email. Here it is, albeit slightly annotated.
1st base is on the fair side of first (see why I was immediately impressed with these stunning insights?). Texiria needs to shut his (Expletive deleted. Mike, please, we are a family blog and have strong readership in the 5 to 6 year old demographic – of course that’s measured in mental not chronological years) mouth on a play like that. If you got a problem with the runner hit him in the back and let the ump make the call (Mike, did you miss “ …the overly protected, inbred, bozos...” reference?) But if you make a throw that puts the first baseman prone to a runner touching first base (Mike, we all like runners touching first base. We only are concerned when a runner repeatedly does not stay in the runners lane going to 1st) that’s(sp) not the runners problem (Well, clearly, it can be, and last night it was). Theres(sp) a reason the umpires didn't throw Gomez out of the game (again, Mike, did you miss “ …the overly protected, inbred, bozos...” reference?) despite him sticking around to converse with Texiria (I know, Mike. It’s impossible to spell) for what would otherwise be way to long (It was a bit long only because representatives from both benches seemed to be unsatisfied with just how the overprotected, inbred bozos were handling the situation – the second time around. But that, I am sure, was Teixeirs’s fault as well).
But hey encourage a pitch into his ribs if that’s(sp) what gets you all excited (It’s all this talk about getting to first base that’s getting me excited). Maybe Texiria (see previous comment) will get one in the head, that would be to bad. (I am happy that Mike is less excitable than Vod and clearly concerned about Teixeira’s well being).
Friday, May 15, 2009
Vod likes "good & bad," so...
I didn't think Gardner had that kind of arm, of course, the Blue Jay runner looked like he was slogging thru some mud. Gardner was also hit by a pitch. All you former Oswego High Schoolers will remember "Hotter" Schaefer's old trick: wear an oversized, blousey jersey and let it hang out over the plate. Hotter would get "hit by a pitch" that could have been called a strike.
JETER DRIVES IN TYING RUN. Nice headline, but he got fisted and hit it into no-mans land. Rolen and Scutero looked good on Teixeira's hump-backed liner. I like it when Sabathia pitches, but he's no fashion plate out there. "Hey CC. Barnum and Bailey called. They want their tent back." A-Rod missed two pitches in his last at-bat that he should have hit out of Rogers Centre. He's not ready yet. Two out of three from two division rivals. That's good. Matsui doesn't swing like a home run hitter, but he still hits them. I'll take it.
***THAT DIDN'T LOOK GOOD***
A few days ago, the Yanks caught a guy off first in a rundown. They did not handle it well. When my three kids were all pre-teenagers, they could run somebody down a lot better than that.
***LINE HEARD ON ESPN***
"Big Papi left 9 men on base. He's stranded more men than Paris Hilton."
Congrats to Vod's youngest, Christian, who becomes a doctor this weekend. Christian, do us all a favor: keep Vod medicated.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Saturday, May 09, 2009
Leave it to A-Rod: he proved last night that he can still make headlines ON the field, too. After the final out, CC gave it the "Joba" treatment: screaming and shaking his fist. Don't do that in Boston, CC, you know how sensitive those Red Sox are.
Home plate umpire, Bob Davidson's strike zone changed a lot between the start of the game & the end. He must have a rep for a quick thumb, because few players argued with him. They just looked at him with disgust and walked off.
Good call by 3rd base ump, Tim Tschida. Swisher WAS illegally helped, even though our crack announcing team didn't notice the obvious for a couple of minutes.
***MICHAEL YOUNG IS RIGHT***
He disparages Selena's book on A-Rod, saying he played next to him for three years and never saw anything close to pitch-tipping. He also thought that if you're going to make accusations, step up and use your name. I agree. I never had any use for 'anonymous' comments, and would ignore them. Picasner has signed his name to anything he's ever said or written. Selena, you're not a reporter, you're a gossip columnist.
In 1999, a college baseball player, Marshall McDougall of Florida State, set two NCAA records: 6 consecutive home runs and 16 RBI's in one game, helping beat Maryland 26-2. You'd think 'college students' would have more sense than this, but... With two men on in the ninth inning with the score 23-3 and the guy at the plate having already hit 5 homers, why in the world would you pitch to him?
***DOM DIMAGGIO DIES***
Last of the three DiMaggio brothers that played in the majors. This from the Associated Press, "While he did not have the offensive numbers of his brother Joe, he was generally regarded as a better defensive player with a stronger arm." First time I ever heard that. How come whenever they talk about great centerfielders, the mention Joe, Tris Speaker, Willy Mays, etc., but you never hear Dom DiMaggio? It happens with everybody, I guess: the longer you're retired, the better your reputation.
Friday, May 08, 2009
They can't get anyone out. Even Rivera is serving up gopher balls like a batting practice pitcher. It's one thing to hope your offense can bail you out once in a while, but you can't count on 10 runs a game from a lineup that has a .198 hitter batting third. They get hits, they get men on base, but nobody gets the BIG hit. Even when someone does manage to drive in some runs, the bullpen can't wait to get back in there and give up another dinger. Don't expect A-Rod to be a big savior; if he shows any kind of life, he'll be pitched around. The ace (Did I spell that right?) goes tonight. I can hardly wait.
***MANNY IS SUSPENDED***
It is well known that Picasner is no big fan of Manny, but this seems silly. He's been suspended for 50 games for taking a banned substance. My understanding is that it is NOT a PED, it's a female hormone. I guess MLB doesn't want to see any man-boobs on the field. Well, they're too late: Manny's been a boob for some time. They say it's a drug that is used to mask steroids that people use. Then how did the steroids or this "mask" go undetected for so long? This is all getting tiresome.
***RED SOX UPSET WITH CHAMBERLAIN***
It seems the Sox are livid that Joba has hit some of their players, especially, Youklis. Well, too bad! I seem to recall one Pedro Martinez, who made a living plunking Derek Jeter at least once every time he pitched, and threatening to bean Posada during another little ruckus. That's in between beating up old men. Is the shoe a little tighter now that it's on the other foot? Suck it up, Red Sox.
***I LIKE THIS***
Former college quarterback, Sam Keller, is suing the NCAA and it's video-game partner, EA Sports. Apparently, they use the names and likenesses of college athletes in their video games. Of course, the players are not allowed to receive any compensation for this, nor do they get to decide if they will allow it. The NCAA & EA Sports get all the money. The suit asks for a jury trial, so the NCAA won't be able to hide behind closed doors on this one. I hope there is no settlement and the NCAA is shown to be the bully that they are, and the monetary penalty will force a reorganization and review of their policies.
I recall the time Steve Alford, a guard for Indiana University, was almost suspended by the NCAA. Why? It seems he posed, in uniform, for a calendar put out by a local sorority to raise money for a charitable organization. The NCAA claimed HE DIDN'T ASK FIRST. They wanted to be able to perform an audit to see exactly where the money went. Oh, and let's not forget that the NCAA investigators would have been paid out of the funds that were collected. Why didn't this happen and how did we find all this out? Coach Bobby Knight got involved and started disclosing these little facts and threatened to make it a national controversy. The NCAA backed off. And Bobby put down the chair he was holding.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
1. Did a blown call at first base in the 9th inning cost the Yankees a win tonight?
2. Who has been the biggest bust from Texas?
a. Kenney Rogers
b. Mark Teixeira
c. George W. Bush
3. Has John “Flash” Flaherty had his personality botoxed or is he just naturally pendantic and boring?
4. Isn’t David Cone the perfect mate for Flash in the Yankee’s Bipolar Broadcast Crew, aka Manic Depressive?
5. Who has the dumbest nickname?
a. Flash (lol)
b. Coney (in CNY a meat paste filled pig intestine)
c. Singey (choke, gag, isn't our own meat filled announcer ever so clever and cute, choke gag)
Meet me in Cognito
The Heart of the Yankees showed up at the “New House” tonight. (More about the “new name” later). While the pen predictably failed, Joba waiting until the 2nd inning to begin pitching, and with the bats taking eight innings off lounging in the clubhouse, the heart of the organization, the grounds crew, played great. Everyone who saw the mound crew scrape and dry the mound to near perfection in a drizzly rain had to be impressed. Their performance deserved SportsCenter recognition. With the home team behind, runners on 2nd and 3rd, and one out, the crew, when asked, ran on the field with their gear and scraped, dried, and raked a slippery clay mound into pitchable shape in record time. Sadly, the offense did not perform up to grounds crew standards.
I hope that Joba Chamberlain now understands that neither Jason Bay nor the rest of the batting order take any at bats off, even in the first inning, to challenge Ortiz and everybody else with his fast ball, that any lead turned over to bullpen before the 9th is not safe (and even those aren’t real safe when playing Boston), and that changes are necessary.
Josh Beckett played the game with Mark Teixeira showing him a fat curve ball that he took, then, following up that pitch with the same curve, but thrown in the dirt and, amazingly, prompting a futile Teixeira hack - and doing it repeatedly. I live about a mile from I81 and I can see Teixeira’s headlights from here.
Picasner knows what the others in our merry band of scamps are up to, and I, for one, want to hear what he really thinks. Meet me in Cognito.
Monday, May 04, 2009
***WHO ARE THOSE GUYS?***
Toronto Blue Jays have the best record in the AL. One legitimate starter (Roy "Doc" Halliday) and a bunch of underachievers in the lineup. ...except they are now over-achieving. Go for it.
Kansas City, who most forecasters picked to finish last (unless Detroit has a REALLY bad year) is leading the Central. A bunch of no-names (that won't last long) playing very good ball. They're about a year ahead of schedule. They'll fade, of course, but learn their names.
The Mets. We know who these guys are. Are they fading early this year? A warning to Mgr Jerry Manuel: watch out for your next trip to the west coast. Remember what happened to Willie?
***CRAWFORD RUNS WILD***
6 stolen bases. If this happened to the Yanks, Posada would already be on a plane to the Mayo Clinic. How embarrassing. A couple times, he didn't even draw a throw.
***HOW DO YOU SPELL THAT, AGAIN?***
Two Washington Nationals, Adam Dunn & Ryan Zimmerman, appeared on the field recently, with the team name misspelled on their jerseys. As Dan Dal;y of the Washington Times says,
"Love those Natinals. Funny, isn't it that the Nats would run out of "O"s? I mean, they always seem to have plenty of them for the scoreboard.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
NY Times Editorial Published: May 2, 2009
As New York’s two baseball teams unveiled their opulent new stadiums this spring, an overreach was evident to fans watching on television. As the cameras followed the pitches, grand swaths of the most expensive upholstered seats around home plate and the dugouts — up to $2,500 per at Yankee Stadium and $495 at the Mets’ Citi Field — were revealed to be empty.
Where were all of the playful plutocrats for whom they were designed? Could they be out trying whiffle ball for free with the kids?
Those seats became a riveting distraction, especially when, during a national broadcast, one sportscaster intoned on the Yankees’ luxury gap. (No proposal was heard for a federal elite-seat retention bailout.) The vacancies had to be a treat for Gotham loathers everywhere. But also for local fans inside the $1.5 billion stadium straining to watch all of the action from the $14 bleacher seats beyond deep center field.
The Yankees’ money-is-no-object management is rarely embarrassed. But this time it was — up to a point. The team cut the price of a few hundred of its most telegenic teak-trimmed seats in half. That’s still as much as $1,250. The Mets, whose park cost a relatively more populist $875 million, stood pat with their top prices, though they were forced to auction scores of the most expensive seats for opening day to try to fill the gaps.
“Don’t ever think sports is anything but a business,” was the advice of New York’s richest fan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, as he defended the value of the taxpayer-subsidized stadiums. This raises the question of whether the recession mercy extended to the richest fans might be wisely trickled down to the less affluent.
They face stiff prices of $50 or $150 for the sort of family seats where a fresh generation of fans presumably will grow, if they can afford to. New York has a lesson to learn from Toronto, where the Blue Jays are already offering “Messin’ With Recession” games with tickets as low as $5 and hot dogs for $1.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Sounds phony after the fact, but it was one of those games that you just KNEW the Yanks would come back. Need proof? Well, a 9-4 deficit in the 7th inning, usually sends Picasner to bed muttering obscenities like an out-of-work stevedore. Last night, there I was till the bitter (for the A's) end. With nothing but a rag arm and a huge heart, Pettitte hung in till the 6th when Girardi finally called on the "Gasoline Gang." True to form, they proceeded to hand the game back to the A's with everything but a ribbon. Apparently, the A's weren't aware of a Yankee lineup that has started to perform like their press clippings. With that youngster, Pena, hitting like A-rod without the steroids, it's interesting that the one weak spot in the lineup is their biggest bopper, Teixeira. Flying in the face of baseball logic, Girardi chooses to bat HIS defensive specialist, third. But, a win is a win, thank you, Jorge, among others.
***THE NEWEST PHENOM?***
Melancon does not impress me. This is supposedly the Mariano Rivera succcessor. I don't think so. His pitching form puts a lot of stress on his shoulder, a lot like Ted Lilly used to. When I first saw Lilly, it was my impression that he was headed for shoulder problems, because of his motion. Step-and-throw, all arm, no wrist and no legs. Sure enough, after he was traded, he spent time on the DL. When he came back, he had adjusted his form to get his body into his delivery and now he's fine. Let's see if history repeats itself.
***PICKOFF MOVE... OR BALK MOVE?***
Every time I see a pickoff, I bore the "other" fan in the house, with the same comment. "The rules say 'You cannot deceive the runner,' but isn't the runner deceived EVERY time he's picked off?" Stupid rule, rarely enforced. It was nice to hear the Yankee announncers finally bring that out in the light. Thank you, Michael. Just for that, no snide comments today.
***HAD TO DO SOMETHING BETWEEN GAMES***
Seattle's top draft pick, Aaron Curry, explaining a weight increase from 194 lbs to 254 lbs while at Wake Forest: "Countless hours in the weight room...countless hours in the cafeteria." It seems we forgot about classes, didn't we Aaron?
***HAVING A WONDERFUL TIME. WHERE AM I?***
No truth to the rumor that the new Dale Earnhardt Jr GPS unit CANNOT find the winners circle. ("Recalculating...")
***PRO FOOTBALL'S EASIEST JOB?***
Mitch Albom, of the Detroit Free Press, was asked to rate the Lions draft picks. "How could you go wrong? They need help everywhere, the offensive line, the defensive line, at running back, linebackers, quarterback...everywhere. They could probably use a new caterer in the clubhouse too, but they ran out of draft picks."
***KENTUCKY DERBY TIME***
Because Picasner's favorite racing tout, Windy (The Jud's mate), is under the weather, I'm on my own. I like Fresian Fire, but don't bet the house on it. At least Windy will have a good laugh.
Friday, May 01, 2009
And back with a vengeance.
Flaherty: "There's a mist or light rain invading the stadium."
Michael: "Or a gloaming."
Flaherty: "Gloaming? Is that a Florida term?"
Michael: "Yes. A gloaming."
Actually Michael, a gloaming is a way to describe dusk or twilight. It has nothing to do with precipitation and is probably not an appropriate description for after 10:00 PM. I don't know what it has to do with Florida.
***VLADIMIR GUERRERO HAS A TORN CHEST MUSCLE***
I don't even want to go there.
***WHO'S THE GUY WEARING MELKY'S NUMBER?***
We have seen flashes of this level of play before, but not for this long. I like the new #53.
***IT AIN'T CUTTIN'***
Rivera's cutter doesn't seem to be moving like last year, at least for the first couple of batters. I don't know if it's too cold or he's just loose yet. Maybe he needs to warm up more. Either way, he better get it back before he starts blowing saves left and right.
***DON'T PIN ME DOWN***
When asked about his plans after soccer, Phil Neville replied, "I've never been so certain about anything in my life. I want to be a coach! ...or a manager, I'm not sure which."
***...AND HE'S PROUD OF THIS?***
When asked about the work ethic of soccer player Jamie Mackie, manager Paul Jewel said, "He would chase a piece of paper on a windy day." ("I don't need no stinkin' aerobic equipment.")