Don’t delude yourself; check the facts: These Yankees are the real McCoy

Much as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so apparently is the value of finishing baseball’s interminably arduous regular season with the most wins, thereby ending atop your division in what was -- once upon a time -- loftily proclaimed the bloody pennant race. Nowadays it’s lightly regarded as an amusing trifle and perhaps a bit of a bore.

For it is all about October. Only October counts. All the rest, stretching over six months of relentless give and take, is so much “pre-season.”  Read more

Much to ponder: The Kessell deal, NFL triage, and Ichiro

Several things to thrash over while waiting for Boss Belichick to admit he may have over-reached when he opted for a radical, instant, make-over of his veteran Patriot team when a more subtle transition might have been both more efficient and politic.

Not that we’ll hold our breath, mind you. But was cashiering Richard Seymour after chasing away a core cadre of old pros over the off-season really necessary? Or did the mighty Boss, in a burst of beguiling hubris, simply out-smart himself. It happens.    Read more

It’s time to pick the winners of baseball’s merit badges

Forever and a day, which seems to have been as long as baseball has handed out its annual merit badges, the voting has been done at the end of the regular season with all votes being cast before the post-season begins. The suspicion holds that otherwise the stars of the World Series would end up as the MVP and Cy Young honorees nine years out of ten.  Read more

Baseball parevails. Herewith an appraisal of playoff teams

And so we reach Labor Day, comrades, whereupon the rallying cry of the stretch run on to the post- season is sounded. You may dimly recall when this season was being heralded as wildly promising and shaping up, as late as the All-Star break, as a scorcher to the very wire in at least four of the six divisions.

Instead we have a ho-hum September with all six pennant races almost certainly decided and even the wild-card contrivances virtually resolved. This season was over in August. It’s such a fascinating game, this baseball, possessed of utterly no logic.  Read more

Little-noted federal court ruling on West Coast is a baseball bombshell - for starters

Maybe in the end, when everything about this blistering baseball season has been said and done, the most noteworthy utterance – be it with a bat, ball, or pen – will have come from a committee of legal graybeards in a California courtroom. The 11 characters in question form the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and they have just dropped a bombshell, even if the game’s ever-loving fans hardly noticed.

That’s too bad because it’s all actually more exciting than any old unassisted triple play.  Read more

About Billy Sullivan, Brett Favre, Usain Bolt, Jim Rice and Ted and Yaz

Here are five thoughts looking for a place to land.

So, Billy Sullivan and Jim Nance have been selected for the Patriots’ own cozy Hall of Fame. Leading only to the question, how in the name of common sense could it have taken so long? They’ve had the thing the better part of 20 years now. Sullivan should have been one of the first anointed, with Nance following not too far behind.  Read more

Yaz earned the right to live life his way – more power to him!

The sporting mob is mercurial. Its many moods range from the stark to the inalienable. There is little room for appeasement. “What have you done for us lately,” is the governing mindset. Given half of a flimsy excuse they’ll turn on anyone.

In Philadelphia, they have booed Santa Claus. In Boston, they have taken in vain the name of “Yaz.” The offenses are roughly comparable. Sic transit gloria mundi, and ad nauseam, old Sport.  Read more

Dog Days Diary: Stray bits and idle musings

Here are some stray bits and idle musings to consider while we slog our way through the Dog Days of August en route to a much ballyhooed titanic finish to the baseball season.  Read more

In aftermath of Ortiz ‘outing,’ a whiff of more scandal and who knows where it leads? 

On the one hand, we have fresh evidence that there is no restraining the sleazy lawyers out there who roam the dark edges of the Republic and have the ethics of a goat and the conscience of a lamp post.

On the other, the fundamental axiom that it’s impossible to under- estimate the judgment of baseball players or their aversion to common sense has never been sounder.  Read more

Hall voters facing a hellish task: Sorting out the 'Famers' of the PED era

Arguably the sweetest day of the baseball season if not the most mellow on the entire sporting calendar is the lyric moment every last weekend in July up in bucolic Cooperstown when glasses are raised on high in tribute to the game’s latest class of “immortals.”

The moment is precious. Expectations are keen. But much to their credit, this year’s batch, led by that improbably jolly pair of Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice, rose to it nicely.  Read more