Christmas is Okay For Sports, But Somehow Not Christmas Eve
December 25, 2017

Concluding the seventh year now of writing this silly column, this is the first time that the holiday has fallen on a Monday. Of course, with the exception of a leap year here and there to screw things up, Christmas on a Monday should happen every seven years, so we're due. Because of the holiday, we'll keep this short...(continued)

Dodgers Mega Deal is Mega Nothing
December 18, 2017

Baseball's winter meetings are over. Giancarlo Stanton officially became a Yankee. Marcel Ozuna went to the Cardinals. Even the Angels traded for Ian Kinsler while they were in Florida for the conference, and then signed free agent Zack Cozart when they got home. The Los Angeles Dodgers didn't do squat...(continued)

Angels Land Otani; Dodgers Blow It With Stanton
December 11, 2017

If the reports are to be believed, Giancarlo Stanton wanted to be a Dodger. In this case, why wouldn't you believe the reports? Stanton is a SoCal kid, rooted for the Dodgers growing up, and could literally choose his own destination in a trade from the Miami Marlins. Instead, and alas, the slugger is now a New York Yankee...(continued)

Who's In? Why, Alabama Is In. In Yet Again
December 4, 2017

They didn't win a conference championship. They didn't even get into the SEC championship game, but even though they weren't considered top two in their own conference, a 13-member committee decided they were one of the top four college football teams in the country. After further review, and despite all of the Crimson Tide hype, the committee is probably right...(continued)

Thoughts Are All Over the Place This Thanksgiving
November 27, 2017

There's no question that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I've never been big on large crowds, but when it's 20 or so of your favorite people in the whole world, it's great, and it's fun. For a variety of reasons, though, both good and bad, this year was different. Still my favorite holiday, but this year with a different venue, and a different perspective...(continued)

Bruins Battle 'SC Tough, Then Fire Coach
November 20, 2017

It's a reminder of what coaching major college football is like. You can be a big name, have some success, and maybe even have a down year when your team has a lot of injuries, but if you repeatedly lose to your big rival, you're done. Toast. Finished like the last bite of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving...(continued)

What Now Dodger Fans? Rams? Bruins? Kings?
November 13, 2017

Let's say you are one of those people who followed every move the Los Angeles Dodgers made during this season. You turned on the television, the radio, or your phone to watch or listen, knowing (except for that dismal month or so there) that they were going to win, but the only question was how. Was Cody Bellinger going to homer? Maybe Justin Turner will get three hits. Yasiel Puig might go deep. They kept you busy for six months, and ended up one win away from a world championship. So what are you supposed to do now?...(continued)

At Least They Got There
November 6, 2017

It may not sound quite as good, but the Los Angeles Dodgers are your 2017 National League Champions. A banner will be raised at Dodger Stadium next April, and there might even be some sort of ring ceremony. The Dodgers didn't win the whole thing, but they got to the final round. For a team that hasn't done that in almost three full decades, that's pretty cool...(continued)

Mismanaged Dodgers Limp Home Down 3-2
October 30, 2017

Wasn't that a crazy game Sunday night? The Houston Astros took a three-games-to-two lead in the World Series by beating the Dodgers 13-12 in ten innings in Game Five—a rematch of game one that was a pitcher's duel. If you think that was the craziest game in World Series history, the second craziest was probably Game Two. That one was 7-6 in 11 innings, and the Dodgers lost that one, too. Blame the manager? You could...(continued)

It'll Be the Astros, But That's Just Fine
October 23, 2017

You can picture it without a TV. Television executives with visions of ratings points dancing in their heads. Dollar signs for eyeballs. A marketing bonanza. The top two television markets with everyone in America's two biggest cities watching. But it's not going to happen. The Dodgers and Yankees are not meeting in the World Series. It will be the Dodgers and Astros instead...(continued)

Dodgers-Yankees World Series? Let's Make It Personal
October 16, 2017

Okay, you saw the headline and I know what you're thinking. The Los Angeles Dodgers are still two wins away from baseball's championship, and the Yankees are down 2-1 to Houston. Why would you bring this up now? You're not that overconfident are you? Actually, I'm just thinking out loud, or in this case, just wondering in writing...(continued)

Dodgers Sweep D-Backs; On To League Championship
October 9, 2017

This just in. The Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round of the post-season looked like the Dodgers of June, July, and August, and swept the Arizona Diamondbacks to advance to play for the National League Championship...(continued)

Dodgers Exhale Into Playoffs With Best Record
October 2, 2017

It's been said that a baseball season can be divided into thirds. No matter what happens, you are going to win a third of your games, and lose a third, and what you do with the other third will determine your season. The Dodgers may have taken that saying a bit to literal, but despite a horrid stretch, won 104 games, and have baseball's best record headed into the post-season...(continued)

Dodgers Finally Clinch; Trump Fans Anthem Flames
September 25, 2017

It looked like it was going to happen before Labor Day, and then they acted like it already had. After a tailspin in the month of September, the Los Angeles Dodgers clinched their fifth consecutive National League West crown Friday night. But shortly before the Dodgers started popping champagne, and spraying beer all over each other in the clubhouse, the President of the United States gave a stupid speech in Alabama, sparking a firestorm both in and out of the world of sports...(continued)

Why Watch a Show About Shows I Don't Watch?
September 18, 2017

They already have different versions of television's Emmy Awards. There's the Daytime Emmys, the Technical Emmys, and the big one, the Primetime Emmys, so maybe they should expand and have the 'Network TV Emmys'. With the exception of Saturday Night Live and This Is Us, all the big winners are shows that are on pay cable, or other outlets like Netflix and Hulu...(continued)

The Worst 92-50 Team in Baseball
September 11, 2017

What the hell happened to the Dodgers? It's a question a lot of people are asking, but don't really have a good answer to. The team that couldn't lose if they tried after the month of April, now seemingly can't pull a win out of a paper bag if their life depended on it. The Dodgers have lost ten in a row, and 15 of their last 16, but still have the best record in Major League Baseball...(continued)

Dodgers Take Mental Vacation; Bruins Stun in Second Half
September 4, 2017

Ahh September. Most of the attention in the sports world turns to football, while pennant races in baseball can go unnoticed, unless things get really close at the end of the month. On Labor Day weekend, the NFL isn't quite ready, so the college ranks get the spotlight. That's probably a good thing for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have collectively decided to disappear for awhile. They've won just once in their last ten games...(continued)

Hill Loses No-Hitter in Extras, Dodgers Lose Series
August 28, 2017

Okay, so it can't all be perfect. But in this incredible season for the Los Angeles Dodgers where it seems like nothing can go wrong, the baseball gods have dealt them a reality check. LA lost two out of three to the Milwaukee Brewers. Worse yet, Wednesday in Pittsburgh, Rich Hill took a perfect game into the ninth, and a no-hitter into the tenth, and lost. How could this happen to a team that is 91-38?...(continued)

'Total Eclipse of the Park' Lights Out in Oregon
August 21, 2017

KEIZER, Oregon—Leave it to minor league baseball to turn a once in a lifetime occurrence into a promotion. Leave it to someone like me to spend time seeing a once a lifetime occurrence at a place like a ball park. The Salem-Keizer Volcanoes hosted an eclipse party today, and even got a game in...(continued)

Leaving a House, Dedicating a Final Resting Place
August 14, 2017

Someone once figured out that maybe grief best be dealt with in stages. When you lose someone, there's shock, immediate sadness, and upheaval. Throw in some disbelief, denial, and just general turmoil, and those who are grieving have their world turned upside down. Within a few months, acceptance starts to set in, and coping, while it will never be easy, becomes less difficult...(continued)

GWL Season Goes On Without Gold Sox, Bears
August 7, 2017

It was a beautiful night at a ball park in Lincoln. If you were there, it might remind you of Marysville in recent years. Or Arcata. Or other places where summer ball flourishes. Over 800 friends and neighbors watching the community team, but also hanging out and enjoying the evening at the same time...(continued)

Dodgers Deal for Darvish; Gray Goes to Gotham
July 31, 2017

They don't call it a trading 'deadline' for nothing. Literally going down to the final minute this afternoon, the Los Angeles Dodgers rolled the proverbial dice, acquiring right handed pitcher Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers, in exchange for three minor leaguers. The Dodgers, with a record of 74-31, by far the best in baseball, felt they had to do something to improve their chances of getting to the World Series for the first time in three decades...(continued)

Dodgers Lose Kershaw Four to Six Weeks
July 24, 2017

In a season where seemingly nothing bad could happen to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with the best record in Major League Baseball got some unsettling news. Their ace pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, likely on his way to another Cy Young Award, will be out for awhile. It's something the team had to deal with last year en route to its fourth straight division title, and now it's happened again. If there's a team that can deal with it, though, it's this one...(continued)

Time Off Can't Break Dodgers' Mojo: Lead Now 10½
July 17, 2017

If you follow sports at all, you know you don't mess with a streak. Some refuse to shave until they lose. Others won't change their underwear. If you had a chicken sandwich before the game three days in a row, and won all three games, you keep eating chicken sandwiches. The worst thing in the world is a change in routine, or an interruption. If you have won 23 out of your last 26, you don't want four days off. The All-Star break hasn't stopped the Dodgers, and we certainly like to think that chicken sandwiches and underwear...(continued)

Dodgers Best in Baseball at the Break
July 10, 2017

They are 26-4 over the last month or so. When they score first, they are 43-7. Since a guy named Cody Bellinger was brought up from the minor leagues, they are 52-18. Now, at the All-Star break, the Los Angeles Dodgers have the best record in Major League Baseball. If you've been a follower of this unbelievable ball club over the last several weeks, that distinction should come as no surprise. However, whether you've been keeping an eye on all of the teams, or just an occasional glance at the standings, you may be a little shocked...(continued)

Meaningless Fun: MLB Readies For All Star Game
July 3, 2017

This time it counts. For absolutely nothing. And that's not a bad thing. In recent years, the winner of Major League Baseball's All-Star Game determined home field advantage in October's World Series, No more. To steal a former slogan of the Marysville Gold Sox, it's not just baseball, it's just fun...(continued)

Dodgers Domination Begins With Bellinger's Blasts
June 26, 2017

It's a comparison that is becoming more appropriate every day. In 2013, the Los Angeles Dodgers brought up a Cuban defector named Yasiel Puig in June. Puig would hit 27 home runs in his first 15 games, and soon after his debut, the Dodgers would go 42-8 in a stretch of 50 games. Now it's 2017. Enter Cody Bellinger. Going into tonight, the Dodgers had won 10 straight and 16 of 17. Oh yeah, Bellinger also leads the National League in home runs...(continued)

Gold Sox, Bears Off To Lackluster Starts
June 19, 2017

The short summer season that is collegiate wood-bat baseball is almost a third of the way through now, and if you've seen the Marysville Gold Sox play this year (I haven't), you've got to be wondering what's going on. The team that has been around for more than a decade and a half had historically won almost three-quarters of its games. This year, so far, it's only a third...(continued)

Winter Sports Finally Over; Pens and Warriors Claim Titles
June 12, 2017

In case you don't have an almanac handy, the summer solstice is coming up next week. There could be understandable confusion about the season because not only is the California state legislature actually considering abolishing Daylight Saving Time, but there were hail producing thunderstorms in the Sacramento Valley over the weekend, snow in the Sierra, and professional sports teams were still playing basketball and hockey. Thank goodness that's all over now...(continued)

Transmission Transition: Gold Sox Settle In New Radio Home
June 5, 2017

I don't want this to sound like sour grapes. I really don't. The Marysville Gold Sox are on a new radio station this year. That station gets to decide who their broadcasters are, and went with their own guys. I get that. It's how it works. I'd be lying, though, if I said it doesn't hurt a little, but I'll get over it...(continued)

Great West League Set For Second Season
May 29, 2017

If there were mulligans in baseball, the Great West League would use theirs early. The collegiate wood bat summer baseball league now has the model that it wanted last year, as it sets to open its second season tomorrow (Tuesday). Six teams, each with a home field, a 60-game season, a four-team playoff format, and a best-of-three championship series in August. There were some serious misconceptions and mistakes in year one, something that is now in the rear view mirror, and they hope out of the public's general consciousness...(continued)

Buy A Car? Hit The Road!
May 22, 2017

Good news? Bought a car. Almost new. Reliable transportation. Good gas mileage. A lot of the modern day bells and whistles. Bad news? Going in debt for the next five years paying for it. Higher insurance rates. Higher registration fees. Probably without the seasonal summer job to help. How to deal with it? Like Otter and the boys from Delta House. Road trip!...(continued)

Yankee Fan Or Not, 'Jeter Night' Was Way Cool
May 15, 2017

If someone mentions 'baseball legend' to you, you probably think back to your early childhood. Chances are, you go back further than that, and think about mental pictures your parents or grandparents created when they mentioned guys like Mantle, or Mays, Duke Snider, or even Ruth or Gehrig. You may not want to think about it or realize it now, but the closest you may get to a moment like that, happened last night in the Bronx...(continued)

18-Inning Baseball Games: Too Long or Special Night?
May 8, 2017

To some it was a special night at Wrigley Field. To others, it was a long cold night in Chicago. Perhaps it depends on your level of love for the game, but even the so-called experts disagree. In six hours and five minutes, and in temperatures in the upper 30s by the time the game was over, the Yankees beat the Cubs 5-4 in 18 innings...(continued)

KUBA Pulls Plug on Gold Sox After 15 Years
May 1, 2017

Until last season, Yuba City radio station KUBA (1600 AM) broadcast every single game the Gold Sox summer baseball team played. That included when they were known as the Yuba-Sutter Gold Sox prior to being renamed the Marysville Gold Sox in 2010. It included the professional season of 2002 when the Gold Sox were in the independent Western League, also included the Feather River Mudcats of that same league in the year 2000. Last season, the station dialed back to home games only. This year, they say they are out completely...(continued)

Machado Slides; Bumgarner Crashes; Marte Cheats
April 24, 2017

This was just the third week of the baseball season, and it seems all at once, controversy has descended upon us. Was that a dirty slide into Dustin Pedroia? Was a suspension for a retaliatory pitch really necessary when the batter wasn't even hit? Should Madison Bumgarner lock himself in his hotel room on off days instead of riding his dirt bike? And what the hell was Starling Marte thinking, taking banned substances as he was becoming an emerging star?...(continued)

70 Years After Jackie: Black Players Becoming Rarer
April 17, 2017

Saturday, April 15, marked the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier, and becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball. All the teams across the country wore number 42 in his honor. The first statue of anybody was unveiled at Dodger Stadium, and it was of Jackie. But while MLB is celebrating African Americans in baseball, the truth is, their numbers are way down from a few decades ago. Although they are trying to address it, the question is, Why?...(continued)

Brock Star! Stassi Homers for First Big League Hit
April 10, 2017

He's becoming a hit throughout the baseball world, and now the Yuba City native has a big league hit to call his own. After an 0-for-7 start with 3 walks in his major league career, Brock Stassi now has a batting average. It wasn't a little dribbler up the middle, either. The lefty clobbered one over the right field fence in Philadelphia for a home run...(continued)

Former Gold Sox Stassi, Haley Now Big Leaguers
April 3, 2017

It's a story you hear or read about every year. A kid who grew up playing baseball persevered, kept dreaming, kept playing, and then, somehow, someway, got the call, and ended up in the major leagues. You hear that story every year or two because that's how often it happens, out of the thousands, or tens of thousands that play the game. What you never hear about, is it happening in your town, to a guy you know...(continued)

Picking Baseball Teams is Not Just Fantasy
March 27, 2017

It's part of the sports calendar. As sure as the first Saturday in May is the Kentucky Derby, the first Monday in April is the NCAA Basketball Tournament championship, and you know by listening to Jim Nantz that the following weekend is the Masters, the weekend before baseball starts is Fantasy Draft Weekend...(continued)

Tourney at Sweet 16; Classic at Final Three
March 20, 2017

So how are those brackets looking? Well, if you are like most college basketball tournament aficionados, not that great. You probably figured one top seed would be out by now, but not the overall number one in Villanova. Right? The Big 10 was supposed to be horrible, but still has three teams alive. Even though Butler is a four-seed, you probably had them out, and we know y'all didn't have South Carolina, even if you were born and raised in Myrtle Beach...(continued)

In Honor of Team Israel, the All-Time Jewish Team
March 13, 2017

There has been a disturbance in the baseball force on the other side of the world. With teams like Cuba, South Korea, Japan, and others, Israel won their first four games, and have become the darling of the World Baseball Classic. With a mixture of major leaguers and minor leaguers of Jewish heritage, they have put on a show with pitching, defense, and even a little power. In honor of that club, we present a lineup of the best Jewish major leaguers in history...(continued)

Baseball Goes Worldwide During Classic
March 6, 2017

Former baseball commissioner Bud Selig may have given us the All-Star game tie, extorted the new owners of the Houston Astros to move to the American League, and tried to put the Angels, Dodger, A's, and Giants in the same division in the late 1990s, but he also gave us the World Baseball Classic. Even though not all American fans have embraced the WBC, maybe they should, and maybe this will be the year...(continued)

And the Oscar REALLY Goes To...?
February 27, 2017

It was the final ten minutes of a lengthy but somewhat entertaining Oscars show. The stars of Bonnie and Clyde, 50 years later, are presenting Best Picture. We're staring at Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, trying to figure out how old they are (he's 79 and she's 76) and if they've had any work done (she looks a lot better than he does), and then it happened. As the inimitable Howard Cosell once quipped, “Who goofed? I've got to know.”...(continued)

Baseball Is Back On Whatever Level You Want It To Be
February 20,2017

While the drought rages on in northern California (Two more inches of rain in Marysville and Grass Valley today alone, but still officially a drought until at least May), it's nice to know that on fields in Arizona and Florida, pitchers and catchers have reported for spring training. Full squad workouts begin this week, and the exhibition games that fill the March calendar are right around the corner...(continued)

Nice Drought We're Having!
February 13, 2017

Governor Brown can't say it. His minions at the state Department of Water Resources can't say it. Grass Valley got seven inches of rain in five days last week. Still, they won't say it. This is the wettest winter in six years. Southern California has gotten rain, too. There's so much water, a spillway is about to fail, 200-thousand people have been told to leave, but it can't be said. It's like Arthur Fonzarelli when he made a mistake. He was wrrrr. He was wrrrrrrrrrr. He was wrong. Say it, people. Four words. You know what I'm talking about...(continued)

All in All, Not a Bad Birthday
February 6, 2017

Having had the weekend to think about it, it really wasn't such a bad birthday. It wasn't a milestone, but there were a lot of people there. I'm not one for big crowds, but these were people that some of whom I hadn't seen in a long time. Cousins, uncles, and aunts. Other relatives and family friends that I knew but didn't recognize because it had been so long. The best part, though, was that the fuss wasn't over me. They were all in one place to share with me, and celebrate with me, the life of my uncle, Marty Small...(continued)

In Memory of Uncle Marty (1929-2017)
January 30, 2017

It's always hard to say goodbye to someone you love. It's especially hard when that someone was not only someone you love, but loved you, his whole family, everyone around him, and life itself. Everyone that knew him, including life itself, loved him back. My uncle, Martin Small, died Friday evening at the age of 87. He passed away peacefully and comfortably, surrounded by family, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Burbank...(continued)

Trump and Company Come Out Swinging on Day One
January 23, 2017

Since it seems you can make a Seinfeld reference for just about anything in life (It's true, you can), I offer this about the Donald Trump presidential campaign. It's like comedian Michael Richards, who played Kramer...(continued)

Chargers Follow Rams to LA; Can You Blame Them?
January 16, 2017

They spent 56 years in San Diego. The weather was always perfect. With the exception of the baseball Padres, they had the sports market virtually cornered. They were a decent team. Fans showed up. But in the end, as Bill Murray said in the movie Meatballs, “It just doesn't matter. It just doesn't matter.”...(continued)

Clemson Beats 'Bama, Meryl Goes Political
January 9, 2017

If you missed the NFL playoffs over the weekend, you didn't miss much. If you missed the College Football Playoff championship game this evening, you missed an extraordinary fourth quarter comeback against a dynasty, and if you missed the Golden Globe Awards, you missed an awkward speech by a Hollywood legend, aimed directly at the incoming President of the United States. And people say you shouldn't watch so much television...(continued)

Ominous Start to 2017 (If You Watched on TV)
January 2, 2017

Even if you have one of the more modest cable television packages, you can still get hundreds of channels these days. Because of this fact, it boggles the mind that if you are watching in the Pacific time zone, only one of those channels shows the New Year's Eve ball drop from New York City live. CNN gives us Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin, the networks tape delay their countdown shows, and the other news networks are showing some sort of prison documentary...(continued)

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