Monday, February 28, 2022

Jeet beats

 Screw the tankathon Marlins. Life is too short. Time to sail away!

Gee, I wonder who will bat leadoff for this Yankee ballclub?

What about Luke Voit? Think he could bat first? Jeepers, criminey, I dunno! I don't think it'd be Luke. But it could be! Then again, it probably wouldn't be. Yowzer! This is some great winter fan blogger baseball talk, eh! We got a hot one going. Maybe an actual Yankee will see this and say, "Lookit this, fuck me!" ! Wait... ya know what? More I think about it, the more I donno about Luke batting first! It's a big maybe.  Oooh, oooh, jumpin' Jehozivat! I just thought a something: What about DJ...? 

Yeah, they expect us to bleat, to carry their water, their buckets of piss.

Today, the owners and the union will meet. From the sound of things, Ukraine has a better chance of settling with President Beady Eyes. 

It looks as though Opening Day will be postponed. The 2022 season will shrink, the playoffs will expand, and jerseys will become commercial billboards. Maybe they can make up for the lost revenues by adding more in-game radio ads for John and Suzyn!  

The 2022 Yankees can probably finish .500 and qualify for the playoffs. That really makes the regular season important, eh? 

So... Luke Voit! Ya think he could have a big year? He sure could! Then again, he might not. But he could. Jeepers criminey! This is exciting...

Sunday, February 27, 2022

For all those considering taking the season off...

In the previous comments Platoni mentioned that he might skip the season. This was OK with him but he lamented that he would miss our comments. 

In support of his brave stance and not wanting him to miss out, I invite him to bookmark this post and go there periodically. 

I'm sure there are more but this will get us started...

WTF Sanchez!

WTF Boone!

How could they sign Gardner again!!!!!

WTF Hal?

WTF Brain!!!

How the hell did (Fill in the blank. FITB) get hurt running out a single?

Why the hell doesn't (FITB) run out singles? Lazy!!!

Hal sucks. 

Brain sucks. 

El Chapo really needs to be demoted. 

Why didn't we sign (FITB)? Hal is cheap!

Why didn't we trade for (FITB)? Brain is a moron. 

Gardy needs to retire. 

$200,000,000 for what???

How is this guy still our Second Baseman?

For the love of G-d BUNT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh look Hicks got hurt.


One day Judge is going to get that call. 

Oh look Severino got hurt. 

Oh look Tallion got hurt.

Bring up the Martian! 

Why did we trade the Martian for a middle reliever? 


Well, that sucked but there's always the play in to the play in in to the play in. It's a crap shoot after all. 


Well that sucked. Can't believe we were eliminated by the Orioles. 

We have reached the summit of their brinksmanship. If baseball can't get it done today, the season begins to collapse

Nobody knows how this horrible Ukrainian war will end. 

You can't predict baseball, Suzyn. 

But here's a cold thought from the drifts of upstate NY: Right up until the moment he invaded, Vladimir Putin looked like a master of strategy. The nations of the West were lining up to negotiate his demands. He had leverage. He had the world's ear. 

Then he pushed the button and - as the historian Michael Gerard Tyson would say - he and his plans got punched in the mouth. 

Back in the school yard, they told us: "It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt." I have a feeling that Putin just managed to inscribe his name and butt-ugly face onto history's shit list. He's going to end up in a bunker, facing the destiny of history's other great assholes... aw, but whaddo I know? The driveway needs shoveling. 

Which brings me back to the once-proud reason for this blog: The ever-dimming memory of the New York Yankees, champions of 2009! Today, the impasse that has locked down Major League Baseball since December 2 will either end, or games in the 2022 season will start disappearing. And it will be because a few men thought themselves to be strategic geniuses.

Don't get me wrong: Rob Manfred is not Putin, and baseball's "crisis" pales in comparison to a madman's war. But it's the same damn bullshit.  

You can't predict baseball... but hubris? Oh, Suzyn, that's another story. Hubris always gets them in the end, am I wrong?

Somehow, MLB made too much money for its own good. Both the owners and players have socked away enough cash to stretch this out for months - they both can certainly outlast us fans. Apparently, they believe everything will return to normal after this fourth-grade staring contest ends. 

It's a fine game - Chicken, our new national pastime. 

If nothing happens today, if we don't see a special report announcing that MLB has settled its dispute, and camps are opening - well - MLB is about to get punched in the face. 

It's all fun and games, Suzyn, until someone gets hurt. Sad to think, but look around this crazy world, and when you clear away this drifting snow, you find yourself back in the schoolyard.

Saturday, February 26, 2022

A brutal war ravages the signs of hope that baseball was supposed to deliver

Last night, I watched a young Ukrainian father tell Rachel Maddow how his family - holed-up in a basement with food running out - hoped to flee Kyiv, though they have no gas for the car. When the interview was done, she was almost crying. 

Dear noble, wealthy, patrician lords of baseball, 

If you'll indulge me a moment... You seem to think fan loyalty is unbreakable, and that our lives are forever indebted to you, who you grew up to inherit the pillars of a game that our fathers raised us on. Well, here's a thought, straight from a former outpost on the Black Sea:

Go fuck yourselves. 

Over the last few months, the world could have used the hopes that once bubbled up from spring training camps everywhere, but somewhere along the way, you weren't making enough money, or feeling enough power, so you locked it up and shut it down.  

This is the weekend when baseball either solves its labor impasse or starts canceling regular season games. 

Well, I just want to say that, if you go ahead and blow the deadline, this sad, wild world will go on without you - as it will someday without Vladimir Putin. 

In the meantime, I suggest you enjoy your moments of fantasy empowerment, when you can pretend to be an important person. Because here's a secret, now being exposed nightly around the world from bunkers and basements where families are taking cover: 

You really don't matter much at all. 

Cancel the regular season, my friends, and you'll be surprised how little you are missed, and how quickly you are forgotten. 

Friday, February 25, 2022

If the baseball season is delayed, America must impose brutal economic sanctions upon the MLB oligarchs

The lords of baseball had all of last year to negotiate a labor agreement. They did nothing. 

Since Dec. 2, when the lockout began, they've had plenty of opportunities to initiate talks. They sat on their hands.

Now, they either do a deal this weekend, or the regular season will be delayed. 

It's time they suffer the consequences for their actions. 

If opening day is canceled, I propose:

1. Freeze the bank accounts of all owners and players with contracts of more than $100 million. When they put their card in an automatic teller, it should shred it and tell them to call a bogus number, which nobody ever answers.

2. Remove them from the international SWIFT banking system, denying them the chance to - actually, I'm not sure - but it sounds like it will really mess with their heads, and - yeah- I'm for it.

3. Deny them access to technology and computers, so they can't even log onto the internet. One exception: Allow them the daily Wordle. This will frustrate them even more.

4. Confiscate their real estate, artwork, jewelry, yachts, fancy cars, swimming pools, gift cards, illegal drugs, child sex trafficking networks, porn collections and whatnot. They can keep their clothes, until they are replaced by orange jump suits. 

5. We should go to their mansions in massive mobs, set up makeshift gallows and chant that they be hung in public. This is all for show, of course. Everybody knows we're just kidding, and it's all just fine hilarity, like when we phone in the death threats.

6. Don't forget the girlfriends! This is a classic blunder of past dictator sanction packages. Putin has a former gymnast. Not sure what Hal Steinbrenner has going on the side, but he/she/they probably have at least a Porsche that we'd want to light on fire.  

Get it done by Monday, MLB, or we're coming with the charger cables.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

Never Mind the Lockout, Here's Yankees Trivia! (Though is it ever really trivial if it's about the YANKEES???)


All right, kittens and caboodles, can you name the 14—count 'em, 14!—Yankees managers who have been fired, despite NEVER HAVING A FULL LOSING SEASON???

Well, if you can't, you're about to find out! Spoiler alert: answers—and snarky commentary—below!

1) Hal Chase—76-76 in 1911, and 10-4 finishing out 1910. Hard to really blame the Yankees/Highlanders on this one. "Prince Hal" was maybe the greatest fielding first baseman ever—but an inveterate conniver and gambler, a man deeply involved in nearly every major gambling scandal until he was finally run out of the game in the 1920s. 

The bigger question, really, is how the hell he ever got to be manager in the first place. I guess it helped that at the time the team was owned by the leading gambler in the United States and the most crooked police commissioner ever to grace our fair city.

Shades of the future!

2) "Sailor Bob" Shawkey—Formerly a leading Yankees pitcher. Took over in 1930 after Miller Huggins' sudden death the year before. Team scored 1,062 runs—but finished third. No pitching—but Sailor Bob walked the plank.

3) "Marse Joe" McCarthy—Officially, Marse Joe resigned. But really he was driven off the team after a wild drinking bout, by the Yankees' insane—and drunken!—co-owner, Larry MacPhail, who had lots of other great ideas, such as wanting to trade Joe, Joe DiMaggio for Mickey Vernon.

McCarthy, who Bill James considers the greatest manager in baseball history, period, had 15 straight winning seasons and one partial season with the Yanks, averaged almost 96 wins a full season. 

For that matter, he never had a losing season ANYWHERE, running up five winning campaigns with the Cubbies, and three with the Red Sox, when he decided to come out of retirement. 

A brilliant baseball man, he won 8 pennants and 7 World Series for the Yanks, and probably would have had more if not for WW II (The Big One!). But he was a little too tightly wrapped, and would go off to "ride the White Horse" (whiskey) when things got to him.

4) Bucky Harris—In his two seasons with the Yanks, 1947-48, Bucky won one World Series and almost

took another pennant, finishing just behind the BoSox and The Tribe, due to a rash of injuries. Hell, Bucky—real name, Stanley Raymond Harris—had even won a World Series with Washington, in 1924, as a 27-year-old second baseman-manager known as "The Boy Wonder."

As you can see, he was no boy by the time he came to the Yankees, but he was a pretty capable manager.

5) Casey Stengel—In my opinion, the best manager ever. Won a record 10 pennants, and came within one bad-hop grounder, one patch of dubious shoeshine, and one Sandy Amoros of winning 10 World Series.

Got the boot because the Yanks desperately did not want Ralph Houk to get away. I love The Major, but oh you huckleberries!

6) Yogi Berra—Got fired not once but twice after a winning campaign, 20 years apart! In 1964, when he came within one game and a sudden onslaught of Bobby Richardson errors from winning a World Series, and after compiling an 87-75 mark with a pitching-challenged, 1984 team. A 6-10 start in 1985, and that was it.

7) Bill Virdon—Bet you forgot about this guy, huh? Well, probably his wife and kids did at times, too.

Actually started in the Yankees system as an outfielder, before being dealt away. Took over in 1974, and had to deal with the Yanks' Shea Diaspora. Bobby Murcer's home run total dropped to 10. 

Nonetheless, he nearly snatched a division crown away from Earl Weaver. Very low-key, quiet guy...not quite the fit for a George Steinbrenner. Started 53-51 in the injury-ridden 1975 season, and was gone.

8) Billy Martin—Managed to do a lot of self-firing. Actually completed 6 of 8 campaigns he was hired for in the Bronx, and in 16 years his only full-season, losing record was in Oakland, in 1982. 

But entire pitching staffs had a way of falling off the map—and onto the DL—after a season with Billy. Used by numerous owners, none of whom suggested he get the help he badly needed.

9) Bob Lemon—Well, sort of. Never actually managed a full season with the Yankees. But in fractions of four years, went 99-73 and won a World Series. 

10) Dick Hower—Probably the most shameful of all the Steinbrenner firings (And if you'll note, of the 14 winning Yankees managers canned here, 7 1/2 came under The Mad King.). Did nothing but win 103 games and a division with a patchwork collection of a team.

Got fired because of a bad decision by his third-base coach, and Goose Gossage's ongoing belief that he

could throw a fastball past George Brett. Really, the best field manager of the Yankees I ever saw. Went on to get a ring with KC before his premature death.

11) Gene Michael—Again, never a full season, but went 92-76 in 1981-82, and was fired twice—once after his team had already clinched a postseason spot. Not sure that's ever happened to anyone else. Stick belongs in the Hall for his all-around executive genius.

12) "Sweet Lou" Piniella—Won 90 and 89 games for more, 1980s, pitching-challenged teams, then got the axe. Ridiculous. A very capable manager.

13) Joe Torre—You know the score. Almost 98 wins a season in 12 Yankee years. Twelve playoff appearances, six pennants, four World Series wins, 10 division titles. Saved the franchise from chaos. Made to fly down to Florida for his firing.

14) Joe Girardi—Yeah, he seemed to be coming unhinged, too. But in 10 years, averaged 91 wins a season, and chalked up 3 division titles and 6 playoff spots. 

And let's get serious: In retrospect, who would you have rather seen go after 2017? Joe Girardi, or Gary Sanchez?

Anyway, there you have it: 14 scapegoats, driven off the team despite doing nothing but winning.  Oh, the arrogance of money! (Particularly inherited money.)  



What the free publicity media needs to say until this baseball lockout ends


No more back pages.

No more speculation pieces about who's on first.

No more hype of prospects.

No more free advertising. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Yankees solution to lockout criticism: Retire another number

This is getting sad. 

I know, I know... what's wrong with honoring a great and beloved Yankee? And Paul O'Neill - the enemy of water coolers everywhere - belongs in both categories. But retiring his jersey number "21" exchanges a feel good moment for permanent lodging in the memory hole.

O'Neill is now the 23rd Yankee to be so honored - and the seventh since they the franchise became perpetual AL also-rans.

Considering the recent honorees, the Yankees are mired in a number-retiring rut. With nothing to celebrate since 2009, they must hearken back to a glory era that looks increasingly resembles snapshots of the galaxy from the James Webb space telescope. 

We have run out of single digit numbers to assign young, ascending stars - (not that the Yankees have any.) Soon, we will run out of teens. (Brett Gardner's "11?" Joey Gallo "13?" Tyler Wade "14?") What's next, retiring letters?

Take, for example, Jorge Posada's disappeared "20." No disrespect to Georgie but let's face it: There is a huge gulf between him and the Eternals - Ruth, Gehrig, Mantle, Berra, Ford, Jeter, Mariano... Instead of retiring "20," wouldn't the Yankees better honor Jorge by saving his number for special players, maybe Anthony Volpe in 2023, or maybe keeping it for young catchers? (Yeah, it might have gone to Gary Sanchez, "24," but that's another matter.) The point is, retiring Posada's number means we never think about him, except for times like this, when we wonder why his jersey disappeared. 

Remember how Mark Teixeira felt honored when the Yankees brought up Gleyber Torres and gave him "25?" (Those were the days, eh?) And how Clint Frazier was cursed by the ridiculous "77" long before he seeing double? Numbers matter. 

Same with Andy Pettitte: Loved the guy, but retiring "46?" Nah. I believe they did it as a means to sell tickets on an otherwise dead weekend. And Bernie Williams' "51" and even Ron Guidry, "49..." Does retiring a number really help us remember the player?

One last number on my shit list: Joe Torre's "6." Yeah, a great manager, great man, et al. But Torre was an even greater player in his day, and he wore "9," not "6." That number "6" should still be in play, and every time a kid catches our eye, we should remember Torre and dream of another great Yankee. 

Instead, we watch the team scavenge their past to make up for the sorry, wild card- contenders that they have become. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Yesterday, fans showed up at a ballpark with a sign saying, "We want baseball." It should say, "We want respect."

And if this lockout affects Opening Day, our signs should  say, "We want revenge."

I don't know how we  do this - punish a sport so awash in money that its leadership no longer cares about its product. 

But this work stoppage - this outrageous betrayal of an American custom - cannot end until the fans are heard from. 

Today, are we supposed to cheer reports that - three months into the lockout - the two sides are finally tweaking their offers? That they basically offered no negotiation strategy beyond brinksmanship? 

That they would simply wait until Opening Day is on the verge of ruination, and then make minor concessions?

If this were a game, they would have sat out the first nine innings, then waited until the bases were loaded with two outs in the 10th - and only then would they try.

They had three months to negotiate. They did nothing, because they figured they could get away with it.   

Monday, February 21, 2022

We are witnessing class warfare between billionaires and millionaires

Today, across Florida and Arizona - places of fire ants, sinkholes and nut jobs - where towns drain their coffers to build ballparks for wealthy team owners, nothing is happening. 

This should be the time when we decry the wisdom of trading for a LF who hits .200, or the lack of a shortstop, catcher and centerfielder. This should be a week of hope, when some phenom strikes out our best slugger, or a rookie homers off the ace. 

This is supposed to signify the end of winter and the start of something new. 

Instead, we are watching MLB's War on Fans. 

I blame the owners, mostly - billionaires, wealthy beyond our imaginations, who will never in their lives take a fastball to the elbow. In a truly free market - the kind they claim to favor - they would face unregulated bidding on players. To limit their own spending, they have installed a subversive system of luxury taxes.

If they love taxes so much, why don't these kings of capitalism eliminate the tax breaks they receive from host cities across the country?

It's time for Congress to revoke baseball's antitrust exemption, which has been on the books since the 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruled - laughingly, by today's standards - that baseball games were local events, rather than a form of interstate commerce. That exemption - which the NFL, NBA and NHL all lack - allows baseball to escape lawsuits from players, cities and fans. 

This needs to become a political issue in America. 

And fans need to be heard.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Remember this moment, for there will come a time when they must pay for what they have done

Right now, we should be welcoming the boys of summer. 

Instead, they have stolen the first signs of spring. 

They have taken a piece of our lives.

There will come a time when they expect us to forget what they have done. 

They will open their doors and expect us to pretend all is forgiven, and nothing happened.

If we do that, they will have learned nothing.

Remember this moment.

Saturday, February 19, 2022

"Homer at the Bat" at 30.

 The Simpsons' classic, revisited. 

I Won't Go To A Ballgame



(Take Me Out To The Ballgame)

I won’t go to the ballgame.

There is Covid in crowds.

Won’t pay fifteen dollars for Cracker Jacks.

I don’t care if they ever come back.

'Cause it’s root root root for my wagers.

Three outcome baseball is lame.

Don’t care… one, two, three strikes, “Locked out!”

They’ve destroyed the game. 

Delayed season, ads on jerseys, expanded playoffs structure: Baseball is doing all it can to self-immolate

They're saying the new "Drop dead, asswad" deadline for the 2022 season is Feb. 28. 

If a deal is reached by then, the March 31 opening day can theoretically remain intact, though starting pitchers will be a dim memory from the past.

Whatever happens, we should expect a brand new product: 

1. Patches, I'm dependin' on ya son... 

At long last, our prayers will be answered. Teams will be allowed to put ads on jerseys. 

Why has it taken so long for baseball to become Nascar? I personally hope Viagra buys a few jerseys. Wal-Mart? Oxycontin? CBD oil? Draft Kings? Hooters? My Pillow? The latest Batman movie? (Remember, it was when Bud Selig wanted to put Spider-Man 2 on the bases that old George Steinbrenner blew a gasket. I wonder if Prince Hal would even bat an eye.) 

Hey, maybe Trump will stick the MAGA logo onto some red state caps - you know, polarize every team and every game. Fox News? OAN? Joe Rogan? Hey, it's just money, right? And there are plenty of billionaires who might get a kick out extra exposure. If Vladimir Putin wants to put his smiling face on Aaron Judge's butt, and the price is right, who are we to say no? New funding sources help the sport grow! Hey, how about the "All For A dollar Store!"

2. You get a car, and you get a car, and YOU get a car... 

The playoffs will be expanded. The only question is by how much. 

If the owners get their way, the October playoffs will include 14 teams - nearly half the entirety of baseball. Surely, that will mean sub .500 teams playing in October - the new Cinderella teams! And it will beget a new strategy for winning - flounder for half the season and then sprint at the end. 

The playoffs will last well into November - the world series on Thanksgiving Day? can we dream of it? That could mean the final games need to be played in southern cities - like the Super Bowl. Is there a way to have Pepsi sponsor the Seventh Inning Stretch? It can be the new half-time show. 

But one or two games should still be played in northern cities. At night, of course, for the ratings. And if temperatures drop into the 20s, well, the relievers can warm up inside. Snow games are always the most fun, right? 

Folks, every way you look at this, we are screwed. I'm starting to think the whole shebang should be torn down - just drop the 2022 season, disband the leagues, and start over with a structure of new owners and players. Could we simply latch onto a new team, pretend they're the Yankees, and start all over? 

Friday, February 18, 2022

What I Learned From the Olympics, Part II


—First off, best new word at the Winter Olympics? MONOBOB. That's right, for one-man bobsledding. Monobob. Sounds like Sideshow Bob getting run over in The Simpsons monorail episode.

—Exactly how much curling and biathlon IS there in the Olympics? Seemed to me they were on EVERY DAY. Can't the two sports be combined? Call it "Triathlon"? Competitors will ski, shoot, and then curl. Or, they can go for extra points by trying to shoot the curling stones as they whiz along. Hitting a sweeper instead is a major deduction!

—How 'bout that Eileen Gu, winning all those medals for China? Why, she's about as Chinese as chop suey!

—And hey, while I know there's no crying in baseball, there seems to be nothing but crying in figure skating.

Crying out of joy, as with Ms. Sakamoto (acceptable, even adorable).

Crying out of disappointment because the judges decided, with considerable reason, that your teammate was a little better than you were (not acceptable).

Crying because your sociopathic coach doped you up, then threw you under the bus.

(Not for nothing, but surely there is a spot in the NFL coaching ranks for old Grunhilde there.)

I hold with the growing multitudes who favor banning children from the Olympics, something that has proved a bad idea for a long time. 

But let's be honest. The problem here above all is one particular country. 

A country that cheated so openly and grotesquely when it last got to host an Olympics that it was banned—sort of, but not really. And, whattaya know, was found to be grotesquely cheating again!

A country that has been cheating—openly and grotesquely—since it rejoined the Olympic movement in 1952. A country that, back in Communist days, insisted that its completely subsidized athletes were "amateurs."

A country that, thanks to captured Nazi scientists, introduced PEDs into modern sport. 

Not to say that there aren't plenty of other athletes, coaches, and sports administrators from other countries that have cheated, too, in one way or another. But at least in those countries, means have existed to catch them out—and they often are caught, and punished.  

(Except in Cooperstown. Where a good attitude and a nice smile conquers all!)

I say we need to go further. 

I say ban all Olympics from being held in dictatorships, period. Ban all dictatorships from taking part, period.  

Put the Olympics permanently in Greece, where they started, and, I dunno, some nicely neutral nation such as Switzerland or Japan. 

Enough with the ridiculous expenditures and competitions for new games, which attract so many sleazy grifters to Olympics administration. I would even be for eliminating the medals ceremonies, and flags, and national anthems, that tempt countries to think this is all about them, instead of the incredible athletes involved.

It was awful to see a 15-year-old go through this. It was awful to see a certain individual represent a genocidal dictatorship instead of the country she was born, raised and educated in.  

Enough of the awful. Back to the MONOBOB!

Fifteen minutes. That’s how long the owners and players met yesterday.

 And 15 minutes could have saved them 15 percent or more on car insurance.

The fools. They are actually going to blow this up.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Kill the Squid


"...a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money."

Thus spake Matt Taibbi, describing Goldman Sachs, at the time of the 2008 financial smash-up.

Okay, granted, Taibbi's main baseball prediction—that the Yankees' acquisition of Sabathia, Teixeira, and Burnett would be a gigantic disaster in 2009—was about as wrong-headed as you can get.

But he wasn't wrong about Goldman Sachs. And what he wrote applies just as well to the faceless corporate entity known as MLB.

It's time to kill the squid.

No, not Andrew Velazquez, idiotically handed to the Angels. But the great-big, major-league, killer vampire squid.

For me, the last straw was MLB's brilliant decision to break up the old minor-league system—and cut loose 42 minor-league teams, along with it. 

One of these, of course, was our own, Staten Island Yankees, a.k.a., the Pizza Rats. I say "our own," not just because they were in the Yankees' farm system, but because we the taxpayers of New York City shelled out an estimated $29 million to build the team a splendid little park of its own.

It was the cherry on the top of literally billions in public subsidies that have gone out over the years from NYC to the insanely profitable entities that are your New York Yankees, and that other franchise over in Flushing.  

Yes, we did that: paid billions of dollars to entice major-league teams to stay in the most populous city and television market in the country.

Well, fool me once, etc., etc.  

Even worse than footing us with the bill is what MLB has done to towns like Oneonta, a longtime redoubt of the Yankees system, with one of the loveliest ballparks in creation.

Not to mention what MLB has done in renaming the great old minor leagues in general, ripping any romance or even sense from the whole enterprise.  

Or do you love designations such as, "Low-A Southeast," or the "Florida Complex League"? (I'm not making this up.)

Then there's MLB's brilliant decision to cut the number of amateur drafts down from 40 to 5. 

All aimed toward the owners' never-ending goal of getting their meat on the hoof as cheap as possible by exploiting a lot of Dominican teenagers and shifting the burden of bringing up ballplayers the right way, over to colleges and travel teams. 

All so we can get still more baseball played strictly by the numbers, a computer printout game of anonymous power throwers and juiced up power hitters, all carefully arranged to fit into as neat a TV package as possible, even if it means idiotic new rules such as extra-inning runners on second, or seven-inning doubleheaders.


Say the owners and the players reach an agreement among themselves tomorrow. What's that going to mean for the rest of us, the fans and the taxpayers?

I'll tell you what it'll mean: 

Still higher prices, duller games, and less craft. More public subsidies to filthy rich corporations, more gambling corrupting the whole soul of the game, more PEDs leaving untold thousands of kids with lasting physical and mental impairments. More mind-numbing ads, smeared over the field and—soon—onto players' uniforms. 

More silly, meaningless rounds of playoffs, diluting the beauty of the long season and any true notion of what it means to be a champion.

Mostly at fault are the owners, of course, who have always been and always will be some of the most callous, grasping, thoroughly loathsome individuals ever to mismanage public and private funds.

But the players are no prize either, millionaires still pretending they're just plain workin' folks, right-wingers to a man who run the most militant union in the nation. (Not trying to start a political argument here. Just sayin' you shouldn't talk one way and act the other.)

What will a labor agreement mean for all of us?

More of everything we already hate most about today's game. Not to mention another 20 years of Brian Cashman, and who knows how many decades of one Steinbrenner or another, doing their best not to win, but to cut corners and save cash whenever they can.


I say, let the talks fail. I say it won't be the end of baseball, which will never die. I say it will be the end of MLB, and of louts who take a year to recover from a buttocks strain.  

Something will emerge. Some kind of new game, new leagues, new whatever will come along to fill up OUR stadium in Staten Island, and that gorgeous park in Oneonta, and who knows how many other places, big and small, out over the dark fields of the Republic.

Kill the squid. Free us all.


Agenda of Owners/Players Union meeting today




III. WELCOMING REMARKS BY COMMISSIONER MANFRED (Thanks to Scranton Airport Ramada Inn for hosting, looks like great baseball season ahead, humorous asides about what's happening in Ukraine, and isn't Miss Bixley something? va-va-voom!)


V. OPEN ICE-BREAKING DISCUSSION. (Suggested topics, Super Bowl Half-Time show, crazy Kanye West, what's Pete Davidson's secret? Weather, Miss Bixley.)  




VIII. CLOSING REMARKS FROM COMMISSIONER MANFRED (with or without Talk Chalice: Thanks for attending, looks like great season ahead, how about that Miss Bixley - va-va-voom!)



Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Crypto-Keepers


Time for a brief digression, before the Revolution, regarding Super Bowl ads. 

Frankly, never a subject of enduring interest for me. But I was disgusted to see two more, ostensibly left-leaning celebrities—LeBron James and Larry David—pushing cryptocurrencies. I'd call them hypocrites, but we now seem to be in the Post-Hypocritical Age in America.  

Sure, back in the day, Babe Ruth was known to hawk a few items of, shall we say, dubious social value.  Such as, well, tobacco in pretty much its every incarnation:

And I don't know that the candy ads were all that great for the kiddies, either. Or the cola ads.

And then, you know, there were the rifle ads...

Why, the Babe even did ads for whiskey and underwear...decades after he was dead!  That's how great he was!

Even clean-cut Lou Gehrig did an ad for Camels. And for his wife's song-writing, which looks equally lethal.

But hey, all that stuff was considered good, clean fun back in the day. Scientists had not yet determined just how deadly the effects of sheet music and home piano sing-alongs could be.

But what neither the Babe nor Columbia Lou did was stand around and make newsreels where they said:

"Hey, Keed, c'mon down and put all your hard-earned wages into Wall Street stocks you know nothing about!

"Don't have a lotta cash? Don't worry! Why d'ya think those smart guys down there invented margin? Just take the $1.86 you saved this week from your 60 hours making steel, head to the Street, and fork it over to the first bucketshop operator you see!

"What could possibly go wrong?  Trust me!"

Guest post: "Something needs to burn."

(From Zachary A, in our comments section. It needs to be seen.)

We should be mad.

The state of New York has not won a championship among the four major professional sports in a decade, its longest drought in 100 years (basically the history of organized pro sports).

1921 - Giants (MLB)
1922 - Giants (MLB)
1923 - Yankees
1927 - Yankees, Giants (NFL)
1928 - Yankees, Rangers
1932 - Yankees
1933 - Giants (MLB), Rangers
1934 - Giants (NFL)
1936 - Yankees
1937 - Yankees
1938 - Yankees, Giants (NFL)
1939 - Yankees
1940 - Rangers
1941 - Yankees
1943 - Yankees
1947 - Yankees
1949 - Yankees
1950 - Yankees
1951 - Yankees, Royals (NBA)
1952 - Yankees
1953 - Yankees
1954 - Giants (MLB)
1955 - Dodgers, Nationals (NBA)
1956 - Yankees, Giants (NFL)
1958 - Yankees
1961 - Yankees
1962 - Yankees
1964 - Bills
1965 - Bills
1968 - Jets
1969 - Mets
1970 - Knicks
1973 - Knicks
1974 - Nets
1976 - Nets
1977 - Yankees
1978 - Yankees
1980 - Islanders
1981 - Islanders
1982 - Islanders
1983 - Islanders
1986 - Mets, Giants (NFL)
1990 - Giants (NFL)
1994 - Rangers
1996 - Yankees
1998 - Yankees
1999 - Yankees
2000 - Yankees
2007 - Giants (NFL)
2009 - Yankees
2011 - Giants (NFL)

Something needs to burn. 

Occupy River Ave.

El Duque has really hit on something. It’s time to take action!  I particularly love the Joey Gallows. I also loved creative rioting, which should be a night school class at Bronx Community College. Creative Rioting 101. Taught by a failed insurrectionist. Maybe the idiot who invented the Glitter Bomb.


I’m all for a full-blown insurrection. But it needs to be done right. At our age it would be all too easy to have insurrectile disfunction.

It is not enough to simply register our disapproval of MLB in general and the NY Yankees in specific, we need demands. Here’s a quick list…

1) The first change we want is change for our twenty when we buy a hot dog and a soda! I’m thinking eight bucks back.

2) Speaking of bucks back… We want Buck back! So, fire Boone and find some stupid clause in Showalter’s old contract that gives the Yankees the right to retain him.

3) Real bats on Bat Day! C’mon how much could it cost to have full size bats. Some insurance company will pay. Make them in China. We’re OK with bats from Chin… Make them in the USA!  Don’t worry, nothing bad will happen when 36,000 fans all holding full sized Louisville Sluggers watch El Chapo walk the first two guys.

And most importantly…

4 No A-Rod! Ever! Not in the Booth. Not in the Stands. Not in the Hall. Not anywhere. Ever! Seriously. Just give us this and we will disperse.

I’m open to other suggestions.


We should look at successful insurgencies from the past to see our way forward because as we all know, he who fails to learn from the past is doomed to repeat it.  Does the name Javy Vazquez ring a bell?

What doomed the Whiskey Rebellion? Hint: Whiskey! So no getting drunk until early evening or at least until late afternoon.

Mao had his little red book. Thomas Payne had his pamphlet, “Common Sense”. Even the Industrial Revolution came with assembly instructions.

We need a manifesto.  Duque?


Brainstorming session: When baseball finally does return, should furious fans stage an insurrection?

As of today, the baseball season is in jeopardy. If the owners and players don't settle soon - like, within days - opening day will be canceled. 

Apparently, they think they can screw-over the national populace, without consequences - and that fans will simply return and pretend nothing happened. 

These people are fools.

Over the last two years, America has received a crash course in civil disobedience and creative rioting. After the owners and players are done wrecking the game, it will be time for the fans to register their disgust. 

Questions for debate:   

How close can a Tampa to NYC truck blockade get to Yankee Stadium? (Within honking distance, hopefully.)

Where should we erect the gallows? (We'll call it "The Joey Gallo.") 

Should we change River Avenue to Live Fans Matter Plaza? (Or Marvin Miller Street.)

Which of the bars will we occupy? (Answer: All of them.) 

Who wants to paint his face, wear a horns headdress, and go as the IT IS HIGH Shaman? (Alphonso, that's you.)

Smearing feces on walls... yes or no?

I say we leave Monument Park as is. (No need to involve Mickey in this.)  

Someone needs to set up a secret cache of weaponry: Hockey horns, party poppers, puke towels, kegs, pennant flags to burn, etc. 

Who's doing the t-shirts?

This is not over. It's the bottom of the first. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

"All of these things are just like the other..."


...None of these things, really belong."

In the Hall of Fame, or on a medal platform. Do they?

Cheating is cheating...or is it?  

Hey, there's long been a lot of cheating in the Olympics, although you gotta hand it to the Russians, who have always been pioneers there. 

Pretending their athletes were amateurs, likely bribing a certain basketball referee and a whole lotta gymnastics and skating judges.  Introducing steroids—apparently captured along with Nazi scientists, who used to feed them by the bushel to soldiers. 

(Yep—the Wehrmacht was juicing.  That's why they made them give back Poland. What, too soon?)

In any case, I can feel a little sympathy for the 15-year-old Russian skater, who probably had a choice between taking whatever she was given and a nice winter place somewhere near Irkutsk, than I can for these full-out adults who managed to scam their way into Cooperstown.

What I really want to know, though, is what's wrong with the baseball writers of America. 

I mean, those international officials who made the latest lunatic ruling in favor of Ms. Valieva—if she does get a medal, no medal ceremony even for the other people who win, right, makes a lot of sense—are no doubt doing this because they're paid off up the fabled Wazoo.

I mean, why do you become an international sports official, unless it's to clean up on the old payola?

The baseball writers, on the other hand, decided to reward known juicers just because they were nice to them in the clubhouse.

What a bunch of chumps. Though really, in the modern age of sports, aren't we all chumps now?

Now comes the abyss

Well, here we are everybody.

Tomorrow, the camps would normally open.

They won’t, of course.

The tabloids are doing their part: Not one Yankee or Mets cover yet this year. Bravo.

And I will not carry their water either. 

There is still time to end this lockout and start the season on opening day... as it should.

But we are here. That long-awaited crisis is upon us.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Still More Spring Training Stories

Inspired by El Duque’s excellent notes from Spring Training I thought I would take a shot at a few as well...


First Baseman Wendell Turducken Jr. arrived at camp yesterday and immediately announced that he was in the best shape of his life having lost 28 LBS during the off season. Unfortunately for the 278 LB first baseman that means he is still a fat piece of crap.


Speaking of weight issues, CF Wilson “High Ceiling” Williams showed up yesterday a full thirty pounds heavier than his regular playing weight. When asked if he gained the weight to help his moribund power numbers Wilson replied that it was the result of a communications problem. Apparently, he misunderstood the ballclub’s request that he do lengthy Hot Yoga sessions every day in the off season and instead did Frozen Yogurt.


Pitchers and catchers arrived yesterday at the rest stop just up the I-487. The third stall seemed particularly active.


In other pitching news... Wiley Vet, and known alcoholic Wiley McBride is taking several of the rookies under his wing. He promises to teach them the Hi-Ball.


This just in: The entire starting infield of our AA team held up two gas stations and a liquor store earlier today. Seems the big club isn’t paying their meager salaries and they were hungry.


In other “lock out" news:  Despite the recent labor problems, and let’s face it if I dealt with my wife’s labor problems the way MLB does, my kid would have been born just in time to attend Kindergarten, the team is rounding out their coaching staff. 

Among the recent Staff Additions:

Richard Lichen IV - Admiration Coach

The former PGA Golf pro will help players stand there after a solid hit and admire their handiwork. While it won’t help the team win games, and in fact provides the opposite, it will get them on more Sports Center Top Ten Roundups, maybe the cover of MLB 2023, and increase merch sales.

Albert Grindstien - Head of Substantial Pitching

With MLB cracking down on foreign substances applied to the baseball Former MIT Biologist, Grindstien, is being brought in to instruct the pitching staff on other “natural” substances readily available to pitchers that will avoid detection.  You don’t want to know.  If opposing batters are even able to make contact, they will regret it instantly as the spray coming off the ball is enough to make one question one’s career choice if not their place in the universe.


Forget what I just wrote, apparently none of the coaches mentioned above will be in camp as a result of a Staff Infection.

Well that's it from Florida. See ya next time...