Monday, October 31, 2011


With a few hours left before C.C. could of declared himself a free agent, the Yankees reached into their bag of goodies and gave C.C. a lot of candy. They gave him a one year extension worth $25 miilion for 2016 and a vesting option for 2017 worth another $25 million. Can you say trick or treat?

If you thought that the Yankees pitching staff was awful last year, imagine if they didn't have C.C. signed for next year. His departure would have been a gaping hole in the Yankees pitching staff.

He has been one of the better acquisitions for the Yankees over the last decade. He has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 ERA since 2009. Now the Yankees need to find someone to pitch in the number 2 slot. There are two pitchers on the free agent market, Wilson of the Rangers and Oswalt, who was recently released by the Phillies. Wilson will command big bucks while Oswalt is damaged goods and they both are over 30. My theory with free agents is, you are paying them for what they have done not for what they are going to do. A high priced free agent pitcher usually falls on his face after he gets the big bucks. Can you say Kevin Brown, Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, Javier Vasquez and who can ever forget Ed "Please Don't Slash My Tires in the Parking Lot" Whitson.

Pitching is always the foundation of a good ballclub and the Yankees need to address that this off-season. They have addressed the Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano issue, so now the major issue can be tackled.


After an 0-5 start, the BC Lions get a first round bye in this year's play-offs. With yesterday's win over the Edmonton Eskimos, they are tied with Edmonton for first place with a 10-7 record and they have a 3-1 season series record against Edmonton. So, if theses two teams are tied after the season ends next week, the Lions have the tie breaking edge.

Saturday night, Travis Lulay threw for three touchdown passes and the Lions defense harassed Edmonton's quarterback, Ricky Ray, all night. Khalif Mitchell had two of the Lions sacks on Ray. The Lions run defense allowed a whopping 17 yards to Jerome Messam, Edmonton's star running back.

The Lions seem to be clicking on all cylinders right now despite last week's hiccup against the Hamilton Tiger Cats. The Lions need to keep this roll going to end the season with a win and a first round bye for the play-offs.

Next week, the Lions play the Montreal Alouettes while Edmonton takes on the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


You would think that yesterday was January 29th and not October 29th. With an early snowstorm hitting the northeast, many of the college and high school games were played in icy and slushy conditions. These conditions sometimes bring out the worst in teams but in the case of Lincoln High School, this intense snowstorm did not stop their express to the City Championship.

Lincoln was bringing their 7-0 record to Canarsie High School. Canarsie was in second place in their division with a 6-1 record. This was a big game for Lincoln considering that all the critics were saying that this Canarsie team was only the second "real" team that Lincoln has played this year. This "real" team was destroyed 54-0 by the Lincoln squad.

Lincoln is now the only undefeated team in the city at 8-0. They are on track to go back to the scene of their last loss, last year's City Championship. Next week, Lincoln takes on the team that beat them out for that championship, Fort Hamilton, in their final game of the season.

Last week Jessel Jones put on a show for Lincoln but this week the spotlight focused on Kareem Folkes. He scored on touchdown runs of 31, 30, 23, 17 and 70 yards. This is difficult to do on any given day but for him to do that in the conditions he was playing in, was simply amazing. If you have never played in a snowstorm with wet and icy conditions, I will describe it as like playing in an ice skating rink with no visibility and your whole body feels like it has been shot up with Novocaine.

Another remarkable statistic from yesterday's game is that Lincoln did not have one turnover while Canarsie had five. It was a nearly perfect effort for Lincoln in imperfect conditions.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Lincoln High School's win last week gave the Railsplitters a 7-0 record. They are the first PSAL team to reach 7 wins. Before the win last week many were describing Lincoln's schedule as a cream puff schedule. Sheepshead Bay was going to be the first team of substance for Lincoln.

Sheepshead Bay came into Coney Island and were beaten by a better Lincoln squad 36-14. If you were to ask Sheepshead Bay what happened they will tell you that they still think Sheepshead Bay is the better team. Coach Fred Snyder of Sheepshead stated after the game, "We weren't beaten by a better team." Lincoln's coach, Shawn O'Connor replied, "Maybe if he wasn't beaten by a better team, maybe he was out coached.".

The star of the game was quarterback Jessel Jones. He had four touchdowns, two throwing and two running. His first touchdown was a 74 yard run on Lincoln's first possession and then he broke one for 63 yards at the end of the first half with the game tied 14-14. He showed his touch when he connected on a 14 yard touchdown pass and then on a 55 yard touchdown pass. A case can be made that he is the best signal caller in the city.

Saturday night Lincoln High travels to the Canarsie section of Brooklyn to take on Canarsie High. Canarsie has a 6-1 record and with a win here, they can take a piece of first place with Lincoln in the PSAL Division One Championship Division. That task will not be easy. Lincoln's stubborn defense has only given up 38 points this year, while it's offense has put up a total of 308 points on the year. That is an average of 44 points a game. These numbers are best in the conference. Canarsie is the second leading defensive team in the conference and this game might be a defensive struggle. Canarsie is going to have to hope that it becomes a defensive battle since they do not put many points on the board. They have been averaging 22 points a game.


There are a number of things that go together, peanut butter and jelly, Abbott and Costello, Lewis and Martin but I am not sure if Lou Reed and Metallica go together. The above video shows Metallica acting as a great back-up band for one of Lou Reed's songs but.....

Lou Reed, co-founder of the Velvet Underground and Metallica, the band that has defined the 1980s thrash metal scene has combined forces on an album. These two rock icons have made their places into music history in each of their respective genres. Growing up in NYC, Lou Reed was one of my favorite artisits. Over a decade later a band by the name of Metallica came along and totally revolutionized what we called back in the day, Heavy Metal. But still, I don't know why I can't see them doing an album together.

Back in October 2009, they both took the stage at Madison Square Garden for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert. Lou Reed liked the results of their jam session and he proposed making an album with Metallica. Lou Reed has described Metallica as the hugh volume backing band that he has always heard in his head.

Reviews have said that this album named Lulu, that comes out on Tuesday, is a very gruesome album. Metallica comes up with signature riffs, speed metal gallops and the powerhouse drums that every Metallica album brings. This is all beneath the recitation of Lou Reed.

We'll see come Tuesday what the Monsters of Rock and  Mr. Reed have up their sleeves.


College basketball is almost upon us. The Long Beach 49ers open their 2011-2012 season against the Idaho Vandals on November 12.

Long Beach State has been picked to win the Big West Conference by the league's media and they have also received two points in the ESPN/USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll. They have also placed three of their players on the Preseason Big West All-Conference Team. Long Beach is returning 4 starters from last year's 14-2 Big West team.

Caspar Ware is the only player in Big West history to be named player of the year and defensive player of the year last season. How about that for an all around ball player. Ware needs 42 steals and 77 assists to become Long Beach State's career leader in those two categories. If that isn't enough, he has been named to the John Wooden Award's Preseason Top 50.

Caspar Ware is not the only one on the team.  Larry Anderson is a two time first team All-Big West selection. He also ranks among the league's active career  leaders in 8 of 9 statistical categories.

And not to make things easy, the 49ers have a few non-conference games against formidable opponents. If they are able to beat a few of these opponents, I can see them cracking the nation's Top 25. They are taking on No.1 North Carolina, No. 8 Louisville, No. 11 Pittsburgh, No. 13 Kansas and No. 15 Xavier in the first round of the Diamond Head Classic.  What makes matters worse is the fact that everyone of these games are on the road. I guess North Carolina doesn't want to play in the Pyramid.

This is going to be an exciting year for Long Beach State Basketball. Can you say March Madness?

Friday, October 28, 2011


Last night's sixth game of the World Series will now be remembered with Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, Game 4 of the 2001 World Series and Game 7 of the 1960 World Series.

Last night Mark Lowe played Pat Darcy while David Freese played Carlton Fisk. Last night's game was not the most well played game of baseball but what happened in the course of the game was completely outstanding.

I would like to list my three favorite World Series games that I have watched.

1- Game 6 of the 1975 World Series. Even though I am a Yankee fan, you have to give credit where credit is due and that game was phenomenal for a 13 year old. Just like last night, the Red Sox tied the series up at 3 games a piece. Game 6 of the 1975 World Series was also postponed the day before because of rain. Check out the below video.

2- Game 4 of the 2001 World Series - The Yankees had two outs in the bottom of the ninth and they were trailing 3-1. Tino Martinez hits a two run homer to tie the game. An inning later Derek Jeter hits a walk off homer at 12:04 AM on November 1 and become Mr. November.

3- Game 6 of the 2011 World Series. Congratulations to the Cardinals and good luck tonight to both teams because there still is one more game to play.

Monday, October 24, 2011


The BC Lions coughed up a major hair ball on Saturday with a 42-10 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. This loss ended their eight game win streak and dropped them into second place with two games remaining. This weekend they will play the first place Edmonton Eskimos. A win over the Eskimos will have the Lions winning the season series. Then on November 5, they will need to beat the Montreal Alouettes in order to secure a bye in the West Division final on November 20.  We definitely have a race for 1st place.

I know the Rangers have not seen Madison Square Garden a lot this season but they continue to have a problem with scoring on the power play. This year the total of power play goals is a whopping zero. Lundqvist has been the magician that he always is. He needs more support or they are going to wear him out. Sad statistic: the leading scorer for the Rangers is Brad Richards with 4 points. They need to screw their heads on a play hockey.


Yesterday was the first time in my life I watched a NASCAR race. I was talking with Magellen a few weeks back and he was explaining to me the excitement of NASCAR.  Since I am open to trying new things, I told Magellen, pick a race, come over and we'll watch. Magellen picked yesterday's Talledega Race, he came over, we ordered Al's New York Deli Pizza (the closest you are going to come to Brooklyn pizza in Costa Mesa) and we watched. I was explained the nuances of this particular race and I watched with an open mind. I said I have to pick a driver and a car so I can root for someone and I decided on the GoArmy car with Ryan Newman driving. I was told that the beginning and the end of the race is the most exciting so we would change the channel every so often to the Jets game. Needless to say, the race was interesting and Newman did a number on his car at one point. Am I a NASCAR fan? I don't know.

Yesterday the Jets came out on top 27-21 but it sure didn't start out that way. Going into halftime, the Jets were down by 11 points.

Going into the second half the Jets' defense came to play. The Chargers were held to 117 yards and they scored no points. Rivers was intercepted twice and they only converted once in seven tries on 3rd down. Darrelle Revis came up big, again, when he picked off Rivers in the fourth quarter. The Chargers were on the 25 yard line of the Jets and it was third and five. Revis picked off the pass and ran it back 64 yards.

On offense the Jets did something this week that has not been seen all season. They actually had a running game. They ran for 162 yards and Shon Greene had 112 of them.

Plaxico Burress caught four passes on Sunday with three being for touchdowns. All three of the touchdown passes were in the red zone. This was huge for the Jets and for Burress. Coming into Sunday he only had 14 receptions for the season.

All in all this was a good win for the Jets going into the bye week. There are still some areas that need to be addressed. Sanchez has to stop throwing into crowds. He threw into double coverage and was picked off by the Chargers and that led to a Charger touchdown. The Jets committed eight penalties and that included a holding penalty on Mangold which nullufied a beautiful touchdown catch by Santonio Holmes. They are not there yet but at least they are moving in the right direction.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


The Jets have not looked like the Super Bowl contenders that everyone had made them out to be. They have had glaring weaknesses that at one time was their strength. Their offensive line has been weak which in turn makes a weak running game weaker and the side of the ball that was winning games for the Jets last year, their defense, has looked awful at times.

The Jets are 3-3 right now and last week's win against the Dolphins, showed me something and made me think. This year's Jets have not faired well on the road but they seem to play quite well at home. The defense last week slowly came together as the game wore on. This all has to come together by tomorrow because after tomorrow, the Jets have their bye week and then they come back on the road. They travel to Ralph Wilson Stadium to take on the Bills. Who would have thought that the Bills were going to be a factor to reckon with at this time of the year. After the Bills, the Patriots come into MetLife Field. These are two big division games.

I believe that the Jets are going to come out on top against the Chargers. I believe the Chargers are a soft 4-1 team. They have beaten the Vikings, Chiefs, Dolphins and the Broncos and they have lost to the Patriots. This Chargers team has a wealth of talent but they are a Norv Turner coached team. Turner seems to erode the team year after year. Last year it was the special teams and this year it is the fumbles. The Jets defense has caused 12 fumbles this year and the Chargers have fumbled the ball 9 times this year. That is huge for the Jets defense when they are playing at home.

We are only in the seventh game of the season but tomorrow's game against the Chargers will be a turning point for the rest of the season. It is a must win for the Jets.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


I can not think of anything good to write about the Jets right now, so I am going to turn my attention to north of the border and give credit to someone that is not exactly a household name here in the states.

On October 10, 2011, the quarterback for the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League, passed Damon Allen's record for most yards passed in a professional football career. The record now stands at 72,770 yards. Brett Favre ranks third with 71,838 yards.

The name of this record holder is Anthony Calvillo. He is 39 years old, a graduate of La Puente High (California), a Utah State alumnus and a cancer survivor.

In 1993, Calvillo lead Utah State to a Big West co-championship and a win in the Las Vegas Bowl. This was the first and only bowl game in Utah State's history. The scouts never came knocking on his door because he was too short for a quarterback at 6'1".

After college Calvillo became a teacher and a football coach. He ended up going to a try-out for the CFL in Las Vegas and the league picked him up. Going to the CFL was a learning experience for Calvillo. If you have not seen the CFL there are a number of differences than traditional football. The field is larger and longer, there are 12 players and there are three downs instead of four. The league is pretty much passer-friendly. Calvillo has completed 60 percent of his passes since 2003 and threw for 6,041 yards in 2004. Since he was named the starter for the Alouettes in 2000, the Montreal team has made eight appearances in the Grey Cup and they are the two-time defending champion.

In 2007, Calvillo's wife was diagnosed with lymphoma and he took a leave from football to be with her. She has been cancer free but during last off-season, Calvillo was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He needed two operations and treatment with a radioactive iodine pill. He was healthy for the season opener last June.

Anthony Calvillo, an undrafted quarterback from Utah State, pursued his dream and now he is the all-time leading passer for all of professional football. Congratulations.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Yesterday was a beautiful day at Santa Anita Racetrack. The sun was shining, it was in the 80s and the track was fairly empty, which is not unusual. I was kind of excited because I have been tinkering with statistics in the racing form and I came up with a quick and easy system that I wanted to see if it would work.

Before I go on to the results of yesterday's racing card, there has been a Mush update. Supposedly, Mush got into a fight with one of the other Stooges at Hollywood Park the other day. The fight went from arguing to actual fisticuffs. I was told that it was over money. The Hollywood Park security guards broke it up and Mush got booted from the park. Mush has a hearing in a few days to see if he can get reinstated at Hollywood Park. You have to be a degenerate gambler like Mush to even think of going to some hearing at the racetrack just to see if you could come back in. A person like Mush has to do this because Sandman frequents Hollywood Park and that's who gives Mush betting money. I was also told that Mush lived in Orange County and I am kind of wondering if Mush might be Dwayne from Bixby. I will take a picture of Mush and put him in a photo line-up and see if he can be picked out. I will have to admonish Magellen and the gang before showing the photo array.  More on that later.

Now on to yesterday's festivities:

We take our usual places and I start to handicap Belmont Park using my system. In my first race, my horse goes off at 2-1 and finishes third. That was a good sign that my system was in the money. I did not play this race because I am looking for bombs. I switch my attention to Woodbine (I really like to play the Canadian tracks). I have a play in the second race, a 5-1 shot, and he hits the wire first and pays, $10.00. Not bad. My next play is at Hawthorne and the horse that I like is in a fairly large field and Hawthorne was showing signs of no speed in front. This horse was a sheer speed horse so I played it to place. He ran great but was overtaken in the stretch and he finished second. Perfect.

I turned my attention back to Woodbine and I kept coming up with bombs. Three races in a row, my system had picked a 13-1 horse, a 22-1 shot and an 8-1 shot. Each of these horses touched the wire first. The 22-1 horse paid 46.90 and 21.40 to place. At this point of the day, my buddy was watching and laughing because this does not happen that often. The above picture is of the 22-1 shot, Sarah Lynx. She was ridden by Christophe Soumillon. She won the Grade 1, 1.5 million dollar Pattison Canadian International.

My system worked well yesterday. Of the 14 races played, it hit win or place on 10 of those races.

By going early and playing the east coast tracks, I was basically done before Santa Anita even started. It was one of those days that a horseplayer remembers. Good thing Mush was nowhere near us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Last night we went to see the movie Moneyball. For anyone who is a baseball fan, this is a real good movie that shows the side of baseball that is never seen by the fans.

The Daily News in NYC has always been so great at just telling it like it is. This was on the frontpage of the sports section. I have been saying this since the Yankees traded for him. He is more valuable as trade bait than anything else. Completely overpriced and overrated.

And the backpage for the same day stated what a lot of people are thinking. Posada has had a great career but those glory days are behind him. There is nothing worse than watching a great player look less than average when he takes the field. For the fans and especially for yourself, retire and allow us to remember the Jorge Posada we all came to know.

With hockey season starting, the New York Rangers began the season in Sweden. They have added Brad Richards to the mix and they are hoping that Gaborik is energized by playing alongside Richards. Last year the Rangers seemed to have a problem with putting the puck in the net and they seemed to have problems when they were on the power play. Their defense was always good and there are some question marks right now with Staal out with an injury. The first two games against the Kings and the Ducks, the Rangers looked like their usual anemic selfs.

Tonight the BC Lions take on the Calgary Stampede for first place in the Western Division of the CFL. The Lions defeated the Stampede earlier in the season at Calgary. The Lions are hoping to keep their winning streak alive with a win over their division rivals.

Saturday, October 1, 2011


The Yankees have dealt with this type of weather 22 times this season. One of their games this season started after 11 PM and they played three games in three cities in three days during this stretch. Last night's game was stopped with the score tied 1-1. They will pick up where they left off tonight but with two different pitchers. Nova will be facing Fister and Garcia will be going on Sunday with CC starting on Monday.

Yesterday I was praying for rain after CC and Nova but this scenario might be a blessing in disguise for the Yankees. This is why baseball is such a great game because these types of situations happen and the manager has to adjust. According to the Weather Channel, there is a 60 percent chance of rain today with a 40 percent chance of rain tonight.

Since the Yankees got rained out, I tuned into the BC Lions-Edmonton Eskimos game. This contest was for a share of first place in the Western Division of the CFL. This was the grand re-opening of BC Place with the flip top lid. This is the stadium that is going to host the Grey Cup at the end of November.

What is interesting is that the BC Lions got off to a 1-6 start and after yesterday's win, they are in a three way tie for first place.

The BC Lions quarterback, Travis Lulay, has improved since the beginning of the season. He threw for 288 yards and three touchdowns. Andrew Harris, BC's running back had he best game of his career last night. He had a total of 175v yards from scrimmage, 115 of those coming on five pass receptions and another 60 on rushes. Congratulations go to Geroy Simon, BCs slotback, who has gone over the 1,000 yard mark for receptions for the ninth year in a row.

The Lions have come a long way since the beginning of the season and by beating the Eskimos 33-24. They have placed themselves in the thick of things and they have a real good chance of going to the Grey Cup.