* Toronto has won five of its last six and has A.J. Burnett and the great Roy Halladay throwing in this series. The Yankees better show up, which is a 50-50 proposition these days.
* Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe had this quote from a scout: “In a few years, Melky (Cabrera) will be playing in some independent league. Or in the Mexican League.” Can’t say I disagree. Melky has gotten worse the last two years and considerably so. Other than throw, what does he do well?
UPDATE, Aug. 21, 12:45 a.m.: Turns out Nick Cafardo did not write this. Baseball Prospectus’ Week In Quotes said that he did but Nick e-mailed to say that he did not get that quote. I have no idea who actually did. My apologies to Nick.
* I’m a proponent of instant replay to decide home runs and boundary calls. But why is MLB rushing to start its system later this month? Take your time and start next season. Some team that got robbed of a home run in May could see one of its rivals win a game in September because of the replay system. That’s not fair.
* Hank Steinbrenner has little credibility. He has been to one series in the Bronx this season. He did not attend the All-Star Game with his father, Bobby Murcer’s memorial service or the recent MLB owner’s meetings. It’s about time that we in the media stop calling him for quotes. His brother and his sister Jenny are far more involved.
* Generation Kill on HBO is no Band of Brothers, but it’s better than anything else out there this summer. Tivo it.
* I covered the 1996 Olympics. They sent me one day to cover a water polo match despite my knowing nothing about the sport. Greece was beaten by the U.S., which apparently was unexpected. The first question to the Greek coach from a reporter from his country was, “Clearly this is a disgrace, when will you resign?”
I always think of that and laugh when I hear somebody say the New York media is tough.
* My other lasting memory of those Games was getting on an elevator at the Olympic Stadium (now Turner Field) and the doors being held for Muhammad Ali. There were five of us on the elevator all just staring at him. I mean it’s Muhammad Ali, the most famous person walking the face of the earth. He finally smiles and says, “Don’t y’all speak at the same time.”
Now that’s knowing who you are.
* Beach volleyball is not an Olympic-caliber sport. Hot tanned chicks in bikinis leaping around while music is playing is a Cinemax movie at 3 a.m., not a sport.
* Here’s how bad the current summer movies are: The only thing worth going to see is The Dark Knight for a second time. And it’s still great.
* So I’m at Mohegan Sun last night playing blackjack. I have two queens and the guy in the last seat hits on his 16 (against the dealer’s 6) and the entire table loses when the dealer draws five cards to 21. The card he took was a king, which would have busted the dealer.
To my way of thinking, if the four other people on the table beat that guy to death, it shouldn’t be a crime. Two of us literally got up and left and the dealer said, “I don’t blame you.”
But this is why Mohegan Sun keeps building hotels and I’m gassing up in Connecticut because it’s a few cents cheaper than New York.
* When they open the new Yankee Stadium, here is what needs to go:
God Bless America every day
The “entertainment” isn’t entertaining any more. It’s predictable. As for God Bless America, I’m as patriotic as anybody, but the Star-Spangled Banner is fine. We’re at a baseball game, not a rally for democracy.
* Why are there preseason polls in college football? Let the teams play for three weeks then have a poll. What’s the rush?
* Mad Dog Russo is supposedly going to get $15.5 million for five years from Sirius radio and have his own channel. Now he should play God Bless America every day.
* Madonna turned 50 the other day. 50! Minka Kelly is 28. It must be tough for Derek Jeter not to burst out laughing every time he talks to A-Rod.
* I finally finished Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It’s about how Abraham Lincoln filled his cabinet with his political rivals because he put their intellect above their disagreements. Imagine if we still had politicians like that?
* You know what? We were all wrong about Joe Maddon in the spring. He really was building a winner. If anybody else gets a first-place vote for manager of the year in the AL there should be an investigation.
* My niece, who is 8, went to her first big-league game the other day. Stop right now and think about your first game. One of the best days in your life, right? Greatest thing ever, seeing that green grass and those crisp white uniforms for the first time.
Back to business tomorrrow. Lots of blogging for the rest of this week.