Tuesday, September 29, 2015

WHO'S AT FAULT HERE?

"You have to go to other people's funerals otherwise they won't come to yours."  -- Yogi Berra 
 
I'm sure we've all listened to or read about the Papelbon-Harper confrontation and everybody is weighing in on it. The arguments for each are compelling but not foolproof.

Bryce Harper has always been lax in running out easy ground balls or lazy fly balls. That's just in his nature (wink-wink). So if he's always been doing it it's okay, right? Sorry, it's not. How about this one: why risk running hard on a sure out and risk pulling a hamstring or turning an ankle. If someone were to use this argument with me, I would ask him to please step outside while the grown-ups were talking. If you don't want to take a chance on getting hurt, don't play the game. You're being paid millions of dollars (that's millions, sir) to play a game. Play as hard as you can.

Jonathon Papelbon is certainly no saint in all this. This is a guy who hit batters for no discernible reason, made an obscene gesture to fans who were riding him and has noticeably quit on the mound when things didn't go his way. So who was he to be telling anyone to "play the game right?" Well, the message was right even if the messenger isn't.

The real culprit here is the National's manager, Matt Williams. He has never been able to get through to Harper that his actions are not displaying the attitude you need to play the game honestly: to try as hard as you can in all situations and to respect the game and all the players who do give a full effort. Harper should have been fined or benched EVERY time he gave up on a play. If that was Williams attitude, I'm sure some of the veteran players on the team would have stepped up before. I'm sure if Dan Uggla or Ryan Zimmerman had confronted Harper, the press would not have taken Harper's side in this. And choking wouldn't have been necessary.

Brad Dickson's Bottom Ten:
 4. New Mexico State (0-3): The Aggies use the bye week to practice their turnovers.
 7. Idaho (1-3): It’s never a good sign when your pep squad takes the field waving white surrender flags.
9. SMU (1-3): The Mustangs lost to James Madison 48-45. You think that’s bad, the team would be one-point underdogs to Dolly Madison.

I think everyone, including the Yankees, know they are not going to overtake the blue Jays for the AL East title. Again, the Yanks fail to hit and they lost. They need home runs and with Teixeira out for the season, McCann on the bench and A-Rod showing his age, where will the power come from?  This could be a very short post season for NY if the power hitters don't show up.

The real race is between Houston the Angels Texas and even Minnesota for the last two spots. Houston finishes the season against Arizona, while the Angels fate appears to be in their own hands with the last four games of the season being against Texas. That should be some series.

***THEY SAID IT***
"Who knew that Papelbon-Harper would turn out to be far more riveting than Mayweather-Pacquiao?"  -- Janice Hough
"The Arizona Diamondbacks named a corn dog after Randy Johnson. The way baseball concession fare goes, the corn dog is 6 feet, 10 inches long."  -- Brad Dickson
" The Atlanta Hawks launched an Ashley Madison promotion to sell ticket packages. Presumably for games broadcast in high definition but low fidelity."  -- RJ Currie
"The Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus agreed to phase out the elephants in their shows next year. “If it were only that easy,” said the Red Sox, referring to Pablo Sandoval."  -- Dwight Perry
"Just returned from Yankee Stadium where I paid $22 for two Bud Lights and ‘commemorative cups.’ I know why they’re commemorative, because I’ll never forget that I paid $22 for two Bud Lights."  -- Yankee fan Frank Vignuli
"Gotta love those stats. A’s reliever Drew Pomeranz allowed three hits and two earned runs in two-thirds of an inning Saturday. It was his 12th hold."  -- Phil Mushnick
" Bad news for the New Orleans Saints – Drew Brees will miss Sunday’s game. Good news for the Chicago Bears -  so will Jay Cutler."  -- Janice Hough
"During the pregame show before the Rams-Steelers game, fireworks caught the turf on fire. That almost sounds entertaining. I mean, if I had to choose between another Bruno Mars Super Bowl halftime show or a burning field, I'm voting for B."  -- Brad Dickson
" An extra point try in a Texas high-school football game caromed off a referee’s head and through the uprights. Who was the ref, Jose Canseco?"  -- RJ Currie

CP-

Sunday, September 27, 2015

STILL HANGIN' ON

"Better cut that pizza into four slices. I don't think I can eat six"  -- Yogi Berra   

The Yanks won yesterday without really hitting. Headley hit a long double into left center to drive in one run, and A-Rod hit a hard grounder which Mike Olt (Is his last name missing a letter?) failed to catch at third for the second run. That's it except for five other harmless singles.  That's the Yankee's current offense. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if they hit, they win, because the pitching has been pretty good.
How did John Danks allow A-Rod to steal second yesterday? A-Rod is not the slowest man on the team, that title probably belongs to McCann now that Teixeira is running on one leg (It's hard to tell, isn't it?). I think four steals is a bigger deal for him than the 32 homers he's hit.
The word is that Girardi will be playing a lot of his rookies the next few games, first, to see what they've got, but also to rest some of the regulars. Now if they would only put a block on his telephone line to the bullpen, the Yanks ought to be in decent shape for the playoffs.

I see my favorite whipping boy Joe West is at if again. He had a big stare down with Madison Baumgartner the other day. The only purpose had to be Joe showing everybody that HE is the most important person on the field. This kind of childish behavior will continue until MLB steps in and starts suspending him or fining him or both.

The AL Wild card race is a doozy with the Angels, Astros and the Twins all in the mix. I have to think that the Angels have the best shot because of the experienced players they have.

Headline on ESPN the other day: Red Sox to Evaluate Sandoval. I can only assume they'll start with his weight which is a perennial problem with the Big Panda. The Red Sox offseason pickups, Sandoval, Ramirez and Porcello haven't worked out the way the Sox hoped.

In the NL, it's been a long time since we've had a New York-Los Angeles post-season series. Both teams have great pitching, but right now, the Mets are hitting better than the Dodgers.

It's possible that we could have two Los Angeles teams and two New York teams in the playoffs, and network executives are salivating. When the Dodgers play, I hope, I pray, that the networks use Vin Scully in the broadcast booth. Knowing the lack of baseball acumen of those bigwigs, this may be a long shot.

There are always surprises in the season, but the biggest has to be the demise of the Washington Nationals. They had great pitching, great hitters and great potential, but it turns out all they ended out with is great disappointment.

Joe Juranitch, the Viking who rides the motorcycle in a viking costume at the games won't be returning after demanding a raise from his current salary of $1500/game to - get this - $20,000. Who does he think he is? A player? An owner? Joe West?

***THEY SAID IT***
"A 105-year-old man from Japan has set an age group record in the 100-meter dash — 42 seconds. If it turns out PEDs were involved, I officially give up.Just the fact he got out of the starting blocks is impressive."  -- Brad Dickson
"Army has a wideout named Edgar Allan Poe. I wonder if he will get drafted by the Baltimore Ravens."  -- Jack Finarelli
"TCU defensive end Mike Tuaua and backup wide receiver Andre Petties-Wilson were arrested in Fort Worth on suspicion of accosting a fellow student and stealing his case of Keystone Light. They face charges of robbery, bodily injury and questionable taste in beer."  -- Dwight Perry
"I am a bit concerned about some areas of the Nebraska team. For example, I’m pretty sure Abe Vigoda could get open on the Husker pass defense."  -- Brad Dickson
"Lucien Favre, coach of Germany’s winless Borussia Moenchengladbach soccer team, resigned just five games into the Bundesliga season. In other words, faster than you can say “Borussia Moenchengladbach.”  -- Dwight Perry
"Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch filmed an entire Pepsi ad without speaking. Out of habit, Roger Goodell fined him.”  -- Janice Hough
" MMA fighter Monique Bastos held a would-be robber in a triangle headlock awaiting police for 15 minutes. Or about 14 minutes longer than a Ronda Rousey match."  -- RJ Currie
"A woman gave birth at San Diego’s Petco Park during last Thursday’s Giants-Padres game. No word on whether the pitching coaches helped her with her delivery."  -- Dwight Perry
" New Milwaukee Brewers backup catcher Nevin Ashley has a wife named Ashley who took his name. That’s true love when a woman agrees to being Ashley Ashley."  -- Brad Dickson
"Broadcaster Mike Tirico reported that Jets coach Todd Bowles, who played DB for Washington, represents “the first time the Jets have had a former NFL player as their head coach.” In the world that existed B.E. — before ESPN — Jets head coaches Walt Michaels, Joe Walton, Rich Kotite and Bruce Coslet combined to play in more than 400 NFL games."  -- Phil Mushnick.
 
If  RJ has the guts to publish this, the least I can do is repeat it:
"
Yesterday my wife tried a new spot remover. Today we can’t find our dog."  -- RJ Currie

CP-
 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

FULL PANIC MODE

I don't see how you can win a World Series when you only have two guys in the bullpen. Yes, yes, I know there are 13 bodies out there but Girardi only trusts two of them - Betances and Miller. He doesn't trust his starters either, except for Masahiro Tanaka.
Yesterday, with a 5-0 lead in the sixth inning, he  pulled an extremely effective Michael Pineda after Pineda gave up two straight hits. Why? Well, according to Girardi, He didn't like the way Pineda looked facing Daniel Murphy. Up to that point, Murphy had hit a harmless grounder to third and a weak grounder to second (actually Gregorious in a shift position) but Didi failed to make a good throw. The hometown scorer called it a hit, but it really wasn't. So here comes Caleb Cotham, a rookie. One of the major problems with bringing in relievers, you never know if they're on their game or not. Cotham wasn't perfect . He walked the first man he faced and Pineda did not look pleased in the dugout.Meantime, I'm discussing Girardi's parentage from my chair.
Then Girardi felt the need to bring Betances in with that same 5-run lead to pitch the eighth. In the ninth, it was Pazos for one hitter, that he retired, then came Martin, who got the next batter and then gave up piddly little infield hits. Girardi all but vaulted the dugout fence and ran out to the mound to get Miller in there to get the last out. He couldn't wait for one more hitter? Sure, the game was important, but the ones in October will be more so and the Yankee bullpen will be exhausted. Even the Fox announcers thought it was a terrible move and they aren't the sharpest pencils in the box.
Girardi is managing like all he cares about is his job. He's overworking everyone out there. If the bullpen blows leads in the playoffs, Girardi shouldn't have a job next year - unless he's willing to work the beer concession. I'll need the beer now.

Assuming the Yankees have one Wild Card spot sewed up, there is a hell of a fight going on for the second spot.  The Astros, Angels and the Twins are all within two and a half games. The Astros have three games left against the Angels, while the Twins have six games left against the dangerous Indians. Should be fun.

The Sports Reporters, Israel Gutierrez, Bob Ryan and Mike Lupica, think the Dodgers may have a tough time in the playoffs. In spite of the fact that they have the highest payroll in baseball (approx. $300 million), there are four teams in the NL that may be stronger. Three Central Division teams all have better records, and the way the Mets are hitting, they pose a real threat. LA has two great pitchers, Greinke and Kershaw, but their offense has disappeared. As Bob Ryan says, "You have to wonder where all that money went." But, they still have to play the game. As Charley Brown said to Lucy, "Tell your statistics to shut up!"

This time of the year, things get a little testy when the contenders play each other. You hit my guy, I'll hit two of yours. The Cardinals are noted for doing this, but now the Cubs have Joe Madden who wouldn't back down from Ghengis Kahn and his horde. He's vowed to go all out against St. Louis, stealing bases even with a big lead,  bunting against shifts and going after any pitcher who hits his batters. He's even growing a beard to make himself look more fierce. Unfortunately, because it's white, he just looks old and homeless. 

Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul has admitted that he also injured his middle finger during that firecracker accident. This assures that he'll never play in Philadelphia.  

***THEY SAID IT***
"Last week, Oklahoma’s Hatari Byrd gave the finger to the Tennessee crowd. It was a headline writer’s dream to put down on paper: “Byrd Flips Bird."  -- Brad Dickson
"Las Vegas bookmakers told ESPN that Americans will bet $95 billion on NFL games this year.
“Give you 2-to-1 they won’t,” said Pete Rose."  -- Dwight Perry
"Reuters reports U.S. scientists have designed an “invisibility cloak” and have had success making things disappear. Who have they been testing it on, the Nationals?"  -- RJ Currie

"Headline you didn’t expect to see- “Ohio State holds off Northern Illinois, 20-13.” Sounds like the Buckeyes’ players took this game about as seriously as they take their classes."  -- Janice Hough
"A skydiver uploaded a video of himself yesterday jumping out of a plane and solving a Rubik’s cube during free fall. And to prove that he actually solved it, the funeral was open casket."  -- Seth Meyers
"In a Pennsylvania high school football game, it was Meadville 107, DuBois 90. Students were getting Advanced Placement Mathematics credit for adding up the score."  -- Brad Dickson
"It’s possible for one player to cover Pats TE Rob Gronkowski but  he’d have to look like King Kong."  -- Bills coach Rex Ryan
"NFL week 2 injury report for the New York Giants: QB Eli Manning, brain cramp - possible."  -- TC Chong
" Marshawn Lynch filmed an entire Pepsi ad without speaking. Out of habit Roger Goodell fined him."  -- Janice Hough
"In honor of the DeflateGate Patriots playing in Buffalo on Sunday, the Bills’ merchandise shop at Ralph Wilson Stadium has a special kiosk of air pumps for sale. So what’ll they do the next time the Giants come to town — put up a fireworks stand?"  -- Dwight Perry
"South Park” featured a Deflategate dream sequence with an animated Bill Belichick. This is the first time “Belichick” and “animated” have appeared in the same sentence."  -- Brad Dickson
" Satellite-based imaging shows the retreating Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland moves at a speed of 12 feet per hour. Or slightly faster than David Ortiz."  -- RJ Currie

CP-


Monday, September 14, 2015

RIGHT QUESTION - EASY ANSWERS

At the beginning of the season, the Yanks' biggest question mark was the health of their starters. Good question, but even the experts couldn't predict how right they were. Here's a list of the starters who went on the DL this season:
Masahiro Tanaka - 27 yrs old

Nate Eovaldi  - 25
Michael Pineda  - 26
Chase Whitley  - 26
Ivan Nova  - 28
CC Sabathia  - 35
Bryan Mitchell   - 24
Chris Capuano  - 37
 That's all the starters except Adam Warren (now in the bullpen) and rookie Luis Severino.
Plus relievers Diego Moreno, Chris Martin, Sergio Santos and Andrew Miller. That's twelve total pitchers in one season.  Apparently, the Yankee pitching staff is the most dangerous place in baseball. And there's still 3 weeks to go.
When you look at the list, age doesn't seem to be the issue. Sabathia and Capuano are the only ones over 30. Why is this happening? They all seemed to be babied and that hasn't helped. So either the Yanks have the best diagnostic medical staff in baseball or their strength and conditioning people aren't very good. Maybe it's the pitching coach, Larry Rothschild. When the broadcasting crew mentions his name, it's usually followed by the statement, "...one of the most respected pitching coaches in baseball." They never say "...most knowledgeable." Why is that?

This years UPS Traveling Award goes to Chris Capuano who has been brought up and sent down to Scranton 5 times this year, Apparently he just leaves a full set of clothes in the New York and Scranton clubhouses, so moving is a lot easier. It's a good thing they don't make him drive back and forth. A couple of times, he would have had to make a U-turn on the George Washington bridge.

Terrible series with Toronto. Yankee pitchers gave up 30 runs, 44 hits and 10 home runs in the 4-game series. Not only were Yankee fans unhappy, the NY pitchers weren't too thrilled either. When Girardi came out to change pitchers, a couple of them met him at the foul line. "I left the ball on the mound, Joe." By Saturday night, the Yankee pennant on the top of the stadium was a white flag.

And yet, there's still a pulse. 3 1/2 games out, but there are 20 games left, three of them with the Blue Jays. Stranger things have happened. Well, maybe not this strange.


Grass-fed beef, American cheese, bacon, kielbasa, crab dip, onion rings, a pretzel and buffalo chicken wings.It's called "The Tailgater Burger" being sold at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Cost: $18

Brad Dickson's Bottom 10
 4. Idaho (0-2): The Vandals make an early-season statement in the 59-9 drubbing by USC. And that statement is: “We stink.”
 7. UTSA (0-2): The Roadrunners fell 30-3 to Kansas State. The loss was only partially attributable to Texas San Antonio being distracted by the potential of the Wildcat marching band forming something really dirty.

***THEY SAID IT***
"Seven major league pitchers named “Jim” have thrown no-hitters since 1960. You know the problem with baseball? Just not enough stats."  -- Brad Dickson
"CoCo Vandeweghe pounding her racquet to smithereens at the U.S. Open has gone viral. She lost the match, but she’s a smash hit"  -- RJ Currie
"Some advice that shoot-from-the-lip Curt Schilling might be wise to heed: Stick a bloody sock in it."  -- Dwight Perry
"Steelers coach Mike Tomlin complained that his communication headset picked up the Patriots’ radio broadcast instead of his coaches in the press box. Apparently he didn’t hear them mention that somebody should cover Rob Gronkowski."  -- Todd Dewey
" Bryce Harper ripped Nationals fans for leaving games early. He better hope he never gets traded to the Dodgers."  -- Bill Littlejohn
"Against Ohio State, Hawaii wore throwback Rainbow uniforms. Hawaii could have worn uniforms with jet packs and would’ve still lost to the Buckeyes."  -- Brad Dickson
"US Weekly reports Gisele Bundchen has consulted a divorce lawyer and might be leaving Tom Brady. Losing Gisele Bundchen? Now that’s deflating!"  -- RJ Currie
"There were chants of USA! USA! USA! during game one of the Yankee-Blue Jays doubleheader at Yankee Stadium. Maybe Toronto’s sweep was karma’s way of saying “Stay classy, New York.”  -- Janice Hough
"The “Aggie Dog,” a 4-foot, 12-pound frank being sold at Kyle Field concessions stands this season. It’s the biggest hot dog at Texas A&M since Johnny Manziel."  -- Ian Hamilton
"RG3 expected to be healthy enough to get hurt Week 1."  -- Headline at Sportspickle.com
"A new study claims a midday nap can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack. Coincidence? The Browns versus the Jets was given a 1:00 start."  -- RJ Currie
"In the first quarter of the Pittsburgh Steelers-New England Patriots game, Steelers coaches headsets did not work. I'm trying to confirm all they heard was Bill Belichick's voice going: "You're getting sleepy. Very sleepy."  -- Brad Dickson
"The Patriots have an alibi. At the time the headsets began acting up, they were busy letting the air out of the Pittsburgh team bus tires."  -- Brad Dickson

CP-

Sunday, September 06, 2015

WHO'S IN CHARGE HERE?

I'm confused. If you go to the ballpark, you will hear vendors call out, "You can't tell the ballplayers without a scorecard. Here are some cases where a scorecard would really help - except I can't find one, even on e-bay.

Roger Goodell says he is the Commissioner of the NFL (The No Fun League). Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Goodell thinks he has the right to apply whatever discipline he wants to any situation against either a player, coach, team or owner for any violation regardless of the crime. That's a pretty big sword to hand to any one person. The courts have now decided that that's not true. Goodell still thinks he is king of the hill, the players see a crack in the armor and the owners just want to know how much will this cost. So I ask again, "Who's In Charge Here?"

Mets pitcher Matt Harvey is coming off TJ surgery and has thrown 165 innings so far this year. His doctor has [decreed - suggested - guessed] that 180 innings should be the limit this year. The Mets General Manager, Sandy Alderson, says there is no such limit and THEY will decide how long he will pitch. Matt Harvey has been silent so far. His agent, Scott Boras (pause, while everyone genuflects), says 180 is THE limit, end of discussion. Manager Terry Collins says Harvey's arm will tell us when to shut him down. Two years ago, the Washington Nationals, with a solid chance to make the playoffs,  shut down their ace pitcher, Stephen Strasburg, after 183 innings. Washington missed the playoffs. If the Mets are going to go deep in the playoffs, they are going to need their ace. So...W I C H?

Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira is out for who knows how long. The only regular firstbaseman left on the roster is rookie Greg Bird. If they want to give him a night off, who replaces him? Well there are a lot of options, none of them very good. Manager Joe Girardi says he would put A-Rod there in a pinch. GM Brian Cashman says no way. A-Rod says nobody has said anything to him. Girardi has repeated his opinion and so has Cashman. Teixeira better heal up soon, because the Yankees obviously don't know W I C H.

By the way, what's up with this "W" logo. Does it belong to Wegman's grocery chain? Walgreens? The Washington Nationals? Right now, when I see this, I don't know if I'm supposed to buy my dinner, see a ball game or fill a prescription? Can someone help? W I C H?

 

***THEY SAID IT***
"BYU players included Toloa’i Ho Ching, Ului Lapuaho, Travis Tuiloma and Moroni Laulu-Pututau. Considering this, who would ever want to be the public address announcer?"  -- Brad Dickson
 --My spell-check program just crashed. - CP
"Waze Navigation signed Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to be the voice of a GPS app. Customers report, however, that they always seem to end up at a bar or a hospital."  -- Bill Littlejohn
"CoCo Vandeweghe totaled her tennis racket — smashing it five times — after falling behind 5-0 in her second-round match at the U.S. Open. In other words, she went CoCo for Koo-Koo Puffs"  -- Dwight Perry
"Northwestern defeated Stanford in The Battle of Teams Whose Players Actually Study."  -- Brad Dickson
"Washington has announced that Cousins and not RGIII will be their starter. Sort of like the Titanic announcing a new captain taking over after hitting the iceberg?"  -- Janice Hough
"After Edwin EncarnaciĆ³n's third homer in one game, Toronto fans threw caps on the field in hockey’s hat-trick tradition. Probably because they didn’t get a chance to throw them at Leafs’ games."  -- RJ Currie
" In May, an Ohio newspaper published the results of an investigation that suggested those parents who saved or were saving money for their kids’ Ohio college educations would rise in revolt if they knew how much of their money was being applied to football and basketball. So if you save to send your kid to college, you will be sending two — yours and someone on the football team."  -- Phil Mushnick
"In the Little League World Series championship game, a team from Japan defeated one from Pennsylvania. I’d still like to commend the Philadelphia Phillies for giving it their all."  -- Brad Dickson
"Patriots QB Tom Brady beat the NFL in court. Brady was pretty psyched, but I thought it was a bit much when he dumped a bucket of Gatorade on the judge’s head."  -- Jimmy Fallon
"Taking a midday nap can help lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of a heart attack, according to findings presented at the European Society of Cardiology Conference. Or, as doctors in Cleveland put it, “Take these two Browns tickets and call me in the morning."  -- Dwight Perry
"A friend gave me a ticket from the Angels-Orioles game of Sept. 6, 1995 (right), 20 years ago today, Cal Ripken’s 2,131st consecutive game to break Lou Gehrig’s record. It was for a seat in a luxury suite. Cost? Eighteen dollars. Today, $18 leaves you $27 short of a space in the Yankee Stadium parking lot."  -- Phil Mushnick  {Wait till you try to get into the Stadium - CP}

CP-
 

Thursday, September 03, 2015

GIRARDI IS IN FULL PANIC MODE

If you're any kind of baseball historian - which basically means that you've watched baseball a long time - you know the best way to blow a season is to completely misuse your pitchers. Yankee manager Joe Girardi is about to do just that.
It's so bad, that the minute Girardi walks out of the dugout, I know something dumb is about to happen. Joe has only TWO relievers in the bullpen, that is, only two that he trusts. Dellin Betances is supposed to be the 8th inning guy, but Joe can't seem to get through the 7th inning without bringing in the big guy. Shreve, Wilson and Warren aren't trusted to get anywhere near critical situations and it's got to be wearing on their confidence. Last night the Yanks were pounding Boston 13-5, when things started to go wrong in the 8th inning.  I asked Annie-O if Andrew Miller was warming up yet. She laughed and said, "No, it's Betances first."  Then we both laughed. When NY's 8-run lead shrunk(?) to 6, Girardi almost ran out to the mound to bring in Betances. He did let someone else start the 9th (a rookie, no less) but with the lead now down to five - that's five, boys and girls - here comes Miller.
The Yanks may make the division race tight, but I think the bullpen will eventually blow up and the Yanks will lose. Girardi is always saying that he likes his bullpen - he just doesn't like them actually in the game.

Speaking of confidence builders, What the heck did Joe do for rookie Rico Noel's self esteem last night?  This fellow, who hasn't been able to hit double or triple A pitching, was brought up to be solely a pinch-runner because of his speed. Last night Girardi puts him in the outfield as a defensive replacement. In the bottom of the inning, Noel comes up to bat with two outs and a man on third in a 12-7 Yankee lead. Nope, out comes a pinch hitter. Poor Noel plays exactly one half inning. Sure had to feel good about his Major League debut.

Can someone please tell David Cone to just shut up? He makes one point and then beats it into the ground, repeating  it in three or four different ways. We get it, Coney. Last night he said Boston's Green Monster has a heartbeat, so for the next two innings, we had to listen to "Thump-thump, thump-thump." Really cute, David, really cute. Al Leiter talks too much too, but it least it's instructive. 
Coney also likes to take both sides of an issue: in one breath he talks about cybernetics being so useful, but in the next, he talks about the "eye-test," which means you can tell a lot by watching how the players go about playing. How about the ear-test David? You've said enough when my ears start to bleed!

Why professional sports is such a great career:
 “No more calls, we have a winner! Arrest of the year: Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson, already on NFL suspension for flunking a drug test, is arrested for allegedly driving 143 mph, resisting arrest, tailgating, driving without lights and running a red light. Cops say they find a fully-loaded semiautomatic handgun in the car, which reeks of weed. Awesome.”  -- Scott Ostler


***THEY SAID IT***
"Potential sports commentator’s nightmare: A May-December relationship between Maria Sharapova and rising Canadian tennis star Denis Shapolalov. -- RJ Currie
"The Minnesota Vikings led the NFL with 18 arrests in the past five years, with the Denver Broncos No. 2. I believe this means crime is caused by cold weather."  -- Brad Dickson
"Been a tough year for the SF Giants with injuries, but at least they didn’t spend $95 million on Pablo Sandoval. Who at .247 for the Boston Red Sox may not be hitting his weight."  -- Janice Hough

"Negeri Sembilan FA, a Malaysian soccer team, released all but six of its players, saying they faked injuries so as not to play but still collect pay.Things apparently came to a header when one claimed his paycheck gave him a paper cut."  -- Dwight Perry.
"The Tennessee football team are the Kardashians of the SEC, They look good, but they haven’t done anything."  -- Pat Dooley, Gainsville (Fla) Sun
"New Clippers forward Josh Smith, who will earn a combined $6.4 million from L.A. and Detroit next season, complained about his pay. In other news, Greece just asked him for a loan."  -- Brad Dickson
"Canada’s Shawn Barber won pole-vaulting gold at the world track and field championships. It’s easy to spot Barber: his pole has red and white stripes."  -- RJ Currie
 "Tim Tebow stopped a fight at the Philadelphia Eagles training camp. He didn’t stop it so much as he raised his arms and the fight parted."  -- Alex Kaseberg
"“Have you heard the radio commercial for a new toilet so strong you can flush a bucket of golf balls down it? How frustrated are you with your golf game when you require something like this?”  -- Brad Dickson

CP-