Friday, September 30, 2011


The first game of the American League Play-offs start today. The Yankees are facing the Tigers and the first game gives us Sabathia and Verlander. This could be a classic game with two of the best pitchers in the game going against each other.

Ivan Nova will start game 2. Girardi has no other choice even if his stupid binders tell him otherwise. Nova deserves to be the number 2 in the rotation because without him, the Yankees would not be here. After game 2, we have a problem. I have a solution to this problem. Pray for rain.

With the Yankees starting pitchers, Girardi needs to be creative and I think his first move, even before the first ball is thrown, is going to be a costly one. I say start Nova in game 1 and C.C. in game 2.

The Tigers are starting Verlander in game 1. The guy has been unhittable. He's been a machine and he shuts down softball teams. If you start Nova, I feel Nova can keep the Tigers under three runs and hopefully Verlander makes one mistake to the softball team. The Yankees have a chance of winning. If you pitch C.C., the same scenario plays out except if the Yankees lose 3-2, you basically have wasted a pitcher.  C.C. and Verlander faced off earlier in the year and they both pitched 6 innings and they both left with the game tied at 3. C.C. gave up 6 hits and Verlander gave up 3, one of them being a 3 run homer. The Yankees eventually won.  I say that Nova can do what C.C. did on that day and you still have your ace for game 2.

The reason this scenario has been played out in my mind is because of the game 3 starter Freddy Garcia. If you lose the first two, you now have all your eggs in the Garcia basket. I know that if you win the first two and Garcia tanks in the third game, you have C.C. in game 4. With this pitching staff you have to look at worse case scenarios and prepare. (2004 Game 7 Yankees/Red Sox, need I say more)

Here are my predictions

American League
Tigers sweep and I say I told you so to Girardi.
Rangers in 4

National League
Phils sweep
Diamondbacks in 5 and this is my pick for most entertaining series for this round.

Friday, September 16, 2011


I am amazed with some parents during youth sports functions, whether it is Pop Warner or High School and yesterday I saw firsthand how one parent could make a spectacle of himself and cause a coach to have to defend himself.

Yesterday, Wilson High School (Long Beach, California) was visiting Artesia High School in a junior varsity football game. Junior varsity football does not attract many fans and because of the 3:15 start time not many parents can make it. The other thing about JV Football is that it is very much an instructional and developmental level of football. This is where the coaches take the young boys and try to develop their skills so they can move up to the next level (Varsity) and compete. The coaches need to instill winning habits and winning the football game is important but the educational part of the game is of the utmost.

My nephew plays for Wilson High School and I like to go watch him and see how he is developing as  a football player. (He is 15) One of the defensive coaches for Wilson High School is Alfred Rowe. He played two years at USC, brother Kenny Rowe is playing for the San Francisco 49ers and his younger brother, Matthew Rowe, is an outstanding football player for Poly High School (Long Beach, Ca). What is more important is that Alfred Rowe's dad, is a good friend of mine. We went to college together and we were roommates and not to mention he was an outstanding fullback for Long Beach State back in the early 80s. Needless to say, Alfred Rowe's football background is extensive. I would have to say he knows what he is talking about.

The game is about to start and one of the parents arrives and takes a seat on the top row of the bleachers. Within minutes of him taking his seat, this parent turns into Mr. Megaphone. He becomes PA announcer, color commentator, play-by-play announcer and his son is the greatest one on the team. If you don't believe me, just ask him. The parent was even telling the coaches this. It was annoying.

I did not know at the time who is son was but as the game progressed, I learned. His son was one of the wideouts. The parent (we will call him Mr. Megaphone) kept screaming to throw him the ball. What Mr. Megaphone did not see was that Wilson's quarterback was not getting much time. The coaches switched to a ground attack in order to get the passing game going. Not good enough for Mr. Megaphone. He turned his commenting now to the coaching staff. When he saw that this wasn't getting anywhere, he turned his commenting to the refs, who were doing a fine job. One ref was a middle aged man with a knee brace and Mr. Megaphone decided to make comments about the refs injured knee. You might be asking, do you think they could hear him? Yes, there weren't many people in the stands and this guy was loud, the coaches heard and the refs heard. His comments were completely uncalled for.

At one point, Mr. Megaphone's son got a ball thrown to him and he dropped it. He was pulled from the game (don't know if they were going with a different package or did they pull him because of the drop, can't answer that). When he was pulled, he threw his hands up in the air and walked off and gave a wave to the coach. He walked past the coach and sat down on the bench. He leaned back and draped his arms over the backrest. This is an act of defiance and one coach came over and spoke to him. He reluctantly got up. I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Alfred is coaching the defensive side and I like his style of coaching. Alfred doesn't take hooey from anyone on the sidelines. Alfred uses some colorful language in describing his unhappiness. That is just football. At one point one of his defensive players screwed up and Alfred became Donald Trump, he was firing people. He screamed, "Hey you, what in the world was that, you're fired." Now I guess in this politically correct world this just doesn't cut it. You can't learn to play football riding in a golf cart and eating twinkies. It is a tough and demanding game. It is a paramilitary organization and orders have to be followed.

Wilson won 33-7 and one of the coaches came up to the stands and said, "Parents, if you want to come down and talk to the kids, let's do it quick, we have to get on the bus." The coaches are in charge of the kids in all school functions and as long as they are not doing anything to jeopardize the safety of the kids, you have to let them be in charge.

I went out to talk to my nephew and Alfred was telling the kids, let's go, we have to get on the bus. You can keep talking to your parents but keep walking. Not a very demanding request. My nephew is the king of dawdlers and Alfred had to tell him, let's go, move it, we need to get on the bus. So we started to walk a little faster.  Mr. Megaphone did not like this because his son was being told to do something. Mr. Megaphone started to scream at Alfred, "You can't talk that way to my son." and Alfred said, "Yes I can, I am his coach." Mr. Megaphone was now getting more belligerent. He was saying things to Alfred that were not necessary and because of what? Oh yea, Alfred was trying to do his job and get the kids on the bus.


Alfred took his backpack off and turned and faced Mr. Megaphone. A hockey skirmish ensued, everyone trying to hold back Alfred and Mr. Megaphone. My nephew tried to get in the middle and I screamed at him, "Get on the bus!!! What in God's green earth are you going to do? Get!!!" Lot's of words were exchanged but no punches were even close to being thrown but Mr. Megaphone would not let up!!!

Both parties were separated and after 10 minutes the field was cleared. On the way to my football practice, I just shook my head. We wonder why our educational system is so broke. We give teachers the responsibility to teach our children. We pay these teacher a pittance and then when they are just trying to do their job, they have to listen to the bullshit from Mr. Megaphone. No parent has the right to tell a football coach, I'll kick you ass for telling a kid to step it up and get on the bus.

I spoke to Alfred's dad this morning and he said that Alfred is not allowed to be on Wilson High School until their investigation is done. What investigation needs to be done? A parent was a donkey from the time he walked into the stands, threatened an employee of the school and the school is investigating the coach. WOW!!!

I told Alfred's dad that I will help in anyway that I can to show that Mr. Megaphone was completely wrong and out of line.  I will use the Eric Stratton defense.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A YEAR FOR 3000 AND 600

In what was the year of 3000 for Jeter has also been the year of 600 for Rivera.

What is really amazing about the 600 is that he is only the second player to do this. Within days Rivera will break Trevor Hoffman's record of 601. This record is amazing for a pitcher who did this with basically 1 pitch.

Hats off to you Mo, there will never be anyone like you.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


It has been ten years since we all woke up to a changed nation. A lot has happened in those ten years but the thing that has not changed is the memory of the people who were the victims of those attacks. Let us take the time to remember the people that were at work that morning, traveling that morning and the emergency services personnel who answered the call.

We will never forget the victims nor will we ever forget what happened on that September morning.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


I was looking through some of the saved programs on our DVR and I came across a special from December. It was on the MLB Network and it was the replay of the seventh game of the 1960 World Series. This show was hosted by Bob Costas and he had a panel that included Bill Virdon, Dick Grout and Bobby Richardson. This was an unearthed copy that was shown at Bynum Auditorium last November in front of fans and players.

This game has not been seen in it's entirety in 50 years. This game came about because Bing Crosby was a part owner of the Pirates and he was to nervous to watch Game 7 in person. Bing went to Paris and he had someone film the game for him. When he got home, he watched it and then the kinescope was placed on a shelf until an archivist for the Crosby Estate found it.

Watching the game in it's entirety was amazing. Getting to see a World Series game being played by Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente,Roger Maris and Yogi Berra, just to name a few, would of been a treat for any baseball fan. It was great to see the reactions of the players 50 years later. Bob Costas asked Dick Grout about what was on his mind after watching the top of the sixth and he shook his head and said,"I should of knocked down Mantle's grounder." Mantle got a hit right before Berra hit a three run homer to put the Yankees up 5-4. During that same discussion segment, they spoke with Vera Clemente about her late husband Roberto. Costs stated that every time Clemente is seen on screen, whether he is warming up, stepping into the box, walking to the plate or catching a routine fly, there is a reaction from the audience. He went on to tell Mrs. Clemente, "Your husband is not just respected but he is revered".

What I did notice is how fast the game moved. The pitcher got the ball and threw it. The batter didn't stop every second to adjust something. This game of baseball was not slow and it kept your interest. The announcers also didn't fill up with air with nonsensical drivel about how many base hits Berra gets when it is 75 degrees.

When Hall Smith hit a three run homer in the bottom of the eighth to put the Pirates up 9-7, the fans in the auditorium gave him a standing ovation. Watching the game in it's entirety, you realize there were a lot of ups and downs to this game. This was the same inning that Tony Kubek took a ball in the face at short and put him in the hospital. There also was a slow roller by Clemente with two outs and the Yankee pitcher Coats didn't cover first, which led to the three run homer.

The ninth inning was wild, the Yankees were down by two and with runners on first and second and Mantle gets an RBI single to make it 9-8. With one out, Berra gets up and lines a shot to first that was caught on one hop, right by first base and somehow Mantle got back to first and avoided the double play which would of ended the inning and the game. This avoided double play allowed McDougal to score from third, tying the game. This all sets us up for the bottom of the ninth, 9-9.

Ralph Terry is the pitcher and Johnny Blanchard is the catcher and the first batter is Mazeroski. We all know what he does during that at bat. A walk off homer and the Pirates win the series.

This game had everything except one thing, not one player struck out.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


With major league teams expanding their rosters, the Yankees have called up the possible catcher of their future, Jesus Montero. Montero is a 21st century catcher, he is big, 6'3" and 235 pounds, and he could hit, yesterday he clobbered two homers. But when it comes to actually catching, the jury is still out on him.

Here is the upside for the Yankees and Montero. Right now he fits into their softball hitting line-up and he will be a good addition once the play-offs start. The downside is long term. If he does not improve defensively at catcher, there is nowhere for him to go. He can't make the move to first base because that position is pretty much sewn up for awhile. He is too young, 21, to be considered the everyday DH. The Yankees might need to package him up in a deal for a top flight starter.

Girardi said that he does not want to put Montero behind the plate at this point in the season because he is unfamiliar with the pitchers. For crying out loud Girardi, just say it, he stinks as a defensive catcher. Girardi said that he is going to pick his spots when he will let Montero catch.

Montero has said that he is fine with whatever the Yankees decide to do with him. So, what would Jesus do?

Monday, September 5, 2011


Labor Day brings the end of the summer meet at Saratoga and Wednesday brings the end of the Del Mar meet. They move to Fairplex, for it's 13 day meet and then on September 30, Santa Anita opens for the it's Autumn meet.

Tyler Baze was suspended on Thursday for failing to take a breathalyzer test. Baze, who was suspended from August 19-21 for failing a breathalyzer teat, signed an agreement for random testing. On Thursday, Baze stated that he came into the first aid station to get his blood pressure checked. While he was in the first aid station, an employee was not sure if he was supposed to get a breathalyzer test. Baze said that he left the first aid station and then left the track in order to attend an AA meeting. While enroute to the AA meeting, Baze got into a traffic accident. He said that he went to Scripps Hospital for treatment. The stewards called Baze and told him that he needed to get back to the track because he needed to complete a breathalyzer exam. Baze told him that he was in the hospital and had a doctor confirm this.

On Friday, while meeting with the race stewards, Baze admitted to making up the story of the car accident. Baze stated that he just did not want to take a breathalyzer test. Baze has been officially suspended until a formal hearing is conducted. This means that he can not come on the grounds of any race track. He most likely will miss all of his mounts until the middle of October.

On a brighter note, Del Mar has a Pick-6 carryover today of $273,832.00. Since today is not closing day there will be no guarantee pay-out. If this carries over to Wednesday, there will be a guarantee pay-out. The carry-over could be close to a half a million. Just a thought, but if a few of us throw in some money and go in on a ticket, we have a better chance of hitting.  You can't win unless you play.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Last night I watched HBO's Boxing After Dark and the undercard was a featherweight fight between Gary Russell Jr and Leonilo Miranda.

Russell has had an outstanding amateur career and he turned pro in 2009. He has a record of 17-0 at this point in his career.

Last night, Russell proved to me that he belongs in the fight game. I have not seen a person with such hand speed since Roy Jones Jr. If you watch the above video from an earlier fight, you will see his hand speed.

In the fifth round, Russell threw a right hook to the chin, a left to the body and followed up with four more body shots that were thrown fast and accurate, I had to rewind the DVR just to see how many landed. After reviewing the tape, I learned that each of those shots landed. In the sixth, he came at Miranda with the fastest 10 body shots I have ever seen in a boxing match.

Outside of him having some fast hands, his technique and his overall boxing skills are nearly flawless. Barring injury, barring mismanagement and every other demon that comes into a boxers life, Gary Russell, Jr. will be a  champion in no time soon and will be one of the greatest featherweights.

Saturday, September 3, 2011



Maybe in one of those stupid thick binders that you carry around in order to make managerial decisions, there might be some good information besides the superfluous crap that you look at. These two numbers next to Nova's name should suffice. The two numbers that I am talking about are 15-4.

Make him your number 2 starter, it isn't rocket science.


It has been a long time since an American cracked the top 2 in tennis rankings. Right now the top 4 players are from Europe. Why in the world can't America develop a number one talent in tennis.

I look at a guy like Donald Young and I hope he is the one. He beat the number 14 seed, Stanislas Wawrinka, on Friday in a grueling marathon.

This was a huge win for Young because it silents all the critics that have said he is the next American disappointment. He is 22 years old and he has finally started to come into his own. Over the past seven years Young has been in Newsweek, he has won the Junior Australian Open and he has been ranked the number one junior in the world. He also won the junior Wimbledon title. All this had happened by the age of 16.

Over the years, Young has had battles with the USTA in regards to how to develop and which tournaments to play in. In April the USTA would not grant him a wild card entry into the French Open. Things were souring fast for Young.

In March, Young beat Andy Murray at Indian Wells and in July he beat two top thirty players. One of those wins launched him to his first ATP semifinal in his career.

So with Friday's 4 hour match, Young has moved on to the next round. If he keeps his head straight and his tennis strong, I think we might see an American move up in the rankings.

Friday, September 2, 2011


College football season starts tomorrow and there are a lot of high hopes for a number of different college programs and there are some question marks for a great number of others. I think the fan of college football is sitting and waiting to see where the next scandal will arise.

I will watch and root for the UCLA Bruins. Their cross town rivals, USC, are not bowl eligible because of their NCAA violations. If the Bruins were as great a team as USC was, I will guarantee you, there would be an investigation into Neuhisel. (Not like that hasn't happened before to him) My point is this, college football is a great game with a lot of problems behind the scenes. They have great games and rivalries but it just gets annoying, year after year, finding out that this college or that college has violated some rule.

Which brings me to an interesting Division that I have followed for years and just enjoy watching their games. I really like Ivy League football. You snicker and that is fine but hear me out. Here is a league that has been around forever.  You have the Bears of Brown University,  the Lions of Columbia University,  Big Red of Cornell University,  Big Green of Dartmouth College,  the Crimson of Harvard University,  the Quakers of the University of Pennsylvania,  the Tigers of Princeton and the Bulldogs of Yale. Each of these teams have student athletes, they are there to get an education and then play football. They do not go to bowl games and the majority of the players know that this is their last hurrah at the game of football as they know it. But each and every Saturday, they come out on the field and play football with a passion like no other. They are playing football because they love it. Plus, each and every one of these schools has no easy majors. Just look at the GPAs and the majors for these rosters.

I pull for the Crimson of Harvard because I like to say Harvard with a Boston accent. The truth of the matter is that we were in Cambridge, Mass. on the day that they were playing Brown. The atmosphere was great and it felt like you were attending a Ohio State/Michigan game. So from that time on, I root for the Crimson of Haved.

Haved's first game is next week at Holy Cross and then they come home to play Brown. Next week is also the start of the NFL and there are some questions that Rex needs to answer before September 11.

Rex needs to figure out who he can plug into the O-Line if a starter goes down. His depth at that position was cut short after Robert Turner broke his leg. They have been trying Vladimir Ducasse and he just isn't working. He took  three penalties against the Eagles and that just drives an offensive line coach crazy. The Jets running game so far has been abysmal. If your O-Line is having problems, so does your running game. I always say, your offense goes where your O-Line takes it.

Greg McElroy hurt his thumb during the Eagles game, so Brunell needs to get his calf better. Ryan needs Brunnell to be the back-up to Sanchez.

These things have to be worked out over the next week before opening day against the Cowboys.

Thursday, September 1, 2011