Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween night oooooh-scarrrry video: Journey with John to the Mouth of Satan

From golden, olden times...


Philosophy 101; Bob Dylan

Sometimes, sipping Crown Royal brings you back.

For me, it is baseball, booze and Dylan. Hence;  "A baseball team ( read; the Yankees ) not busy being born is busy dying."

Cashman is not a Dylan fan.  There will be no re-birth for the Yankees, and no re-building.  It will be the continuing game of lego where discarded blocks will be fit into other discarded blocks to build a mis-shapen blob.

While real teams are concerned with re-signing or trading the likes of Alex Gordon, Eric Hosmer ,  and Mike Moustakas; or wondering how to re-structure the contracts of Sandoval, Bumgarner or even the super rookie Panik, Brian Cashman anguishes over what to do with Chase Headley, Stephen Drew, Chris Young, Cris Capuano, Rich Hill and Brandon McCarthy.

Are you kidding me?

Are we actually on the same planet?

 I'm surprised Cashman was unsuccessful talking Kevin Youkilis out of retirement.  Youk would be younger than half our "core" players.  I guess it was the 5th year that Kevin insisted upon, and Brian finally said no.

We would be better off  taking the best prospects ( gag ) from anywhere in our minor league system and letting them play.  Failing to make the play-offs smells the same whether we gamble on untested young players, or on fully tested old players.

The difference is heart, hustle and the possibility that a Panik or two will emerge.

We all know this won't happen.  Cashman might as well be blasting a shotgun into the Yankee's future.

Seriously, doesn't the world see that this team is," busy dying?"

Any Early Hot Stove Talk About The Stadium's Food Action Stations?

Will they be back in 2015?

Offseason Job Mystery Solved?

Could "Susan" the Innkeeper at the John Sterling Harbor House really be Suzyn?

No snark, no sarc: Ten actually true, totally sincere, positive thoughts about Brian Cashman

OK, I know what you're thinking: Duque, WTF? Have you gone Amanda Bynes? Everybody knows Cashman should have been fired before the season's last pop-up landed. 

Listen: Brian Cashman will outlive us all as Yankee GM. And you know what? It could be worse.

Ten reasons - I'm not kidding! to be positive about Cashman.

1. He has never traded a Jay Buhner. The pain of the 1980s still lingers due to all the Yankee prospects who excelled in other cities. Think: Drabek, McGee, McGriff, Buhner, Rios, Gura, Tewksbury... (Gahhhhhh, no more, kill me, please!) Stick Michael's greatest gift was to simply turn off the talent fire hose. Cashman, for all his dealings, has yet to pull an absolute boner. (Yes, Mike Lowell stank, but he received several young pitchers. It wasn't trading youth for age. And yes, Ian Kennedy and Austin Jackson went out the door, but Curtis Granderson became the CF of a world champion team.) I hated seeing us trade Peter O'Brien and Rafael De Paula this summer - but they were not the house jewels. He has yet to make that one terrible deal that seals his legacy.

2. He is relentless on the waiver wire. Jeez Louise, the guy must never sleep. With three weeks left, he snags Chris Young. With days left, he grabs Eury Perez. Maybe, he churns too much. But nobody can accuse him of calling in sick.

3. He gets along with the NY media. Never underestimate this.

4, He's still young for the job. He's 47. He's got at least 15 years of cogency left, and if he can learn from past mistakes, they could be his best seasons. The Stick was in his 60s when he turned around the Yankees with fellow graybeard Bob Watson. If Cashman can grow, his best successes could be ahead of him.

5. He plays well with Hal. Don't know the dynamics here. If the Yankees were my team, I'd hire a Tony LaRussa type - someone with a track record - and give him complete control of baseball operations. The reality is this: Hal will never do that. No LaRussa or Whitey Herzog will ever take a job that requires them to be a Steinbrenner's kewpie doll. Cashman can handle the meddlesome ownership. Again, don't underestimate that.

6. He gets along with the other GMs. He's hired a few of them. He's probably an officer in their secret Loyal Order of Raccoons. A few must owe him favors. No, they won't give us Bryce Harper. But you never know...

7. He takes the beatings. Good grief, the man has been ridiculed, condemned, mocked, photoshopped, memed, pied, ice-bucket-challenged - you name it - but he's still standing. He might be one of those immortals from the Scottish highlands, which means he could show up at my doorstep and chop me into Cornflakes with his sword.

8. If he fails, we will get a shot at him in the next life. Down in Hell, he'll be called before a Yankee fan tribunal. Alphonso will personally prosecute him.Things will get hot.

9. Hm-mm. I'm tapped. Is there a reason why lists have to be ten?

10. Yep, I'm shutting this down. Alphonso is going to kill me for this.

MLB tries to kill Madison Bumgarner

The Gray Lady's great Richard Sandomir details the first McCarverless series:

Somehow, a sweaty, winded, nervous Chevy regional zone manager executive named Rikk Wilde found his way into the Giants’ clubhouse to present the series M.V.P. award to Bumgarner. In what seemed like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch, Wilde praised the vehicle awarded to the pitcher: the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado, the subject of a recent recall because of airbag problems.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Who's dressing as what for Halloween?

Renee Zellweger is going as... Renee Zellweger!

Breaking News: Cashman Inks Bumgarner to Yankee's Futures Contract

Brain Cashman is back to his old tricks.

He has signed this year's World Series phenom to a future Yankee contract ( like buying heating oil futures contracts ), making him a rotation regular beginning in 2030.

Cashman inked the deal late last night, details of which remain undisclosed.  Rumors however, say that Madison will be a Yankee for 7 years at $30 million per year.

The best news is that he will only be 39 when he dons the pinstripes.  Relatively young for the Yankee team.

In the meantime, anyone want to do a position by position comparison of the current Yankee roster to either the Royals or the Giants?

Anyone think the current Yankees can take a game from either of these teams?

Anyone think we are even in the same league?

 Play the same game?

It is like the Yankees are still using a horse and buggy to get across country, where everyone else is on jet planes.

Thanks, Brian,  for your draft picks, your trades, your contract negotiations, your player development team, and your foresight.

You have made us what we are.

Believe it or not: The Yankees are still the most successful post-season team of the New Millenium

Note: I wouldn't argue this too boisterously, because there's a point where one must balance loyalty to the Yankees with personal self-esteem.

But the fact is, since the calendar turned over on Y2K, the Yankees have won more post-season games than any other MLB franchise. You can look it up.

MLB Post-Season Victories Since 1999.

Yankees 63
Cardinals 58
Redsocks 46
Giants 35
Nobody else close.

Keep in mind that a World Championship means at least 11 post-season wins. (Twelve, if it includes the one-day Wild Card.) If the Yankees go two or three years without a post-season, they will likely be overtaken.

Also, if you wish to measure the New Millennium by World Series rings - which is quite valid - New York is already behind Boston and San Francisco. History might view them - not the Yankees - as the dynastic teams of the new century.

What's most worrisome for Yankee fans is MLB's New World Order, where the rules have been rewritten to destroy the financial advantage of large market teams.

I believe then when markets are equalized - much like in the NFL - the bigger cities actually face a disadvantage. Teams fall under ridiculous media scrutiny, which smaller, more nimble franchises don't have to deal with. (Keep in mind, the NFL hasn't even been able to field a team in LA. I think Los Angeles simply has too many distractions for the blood sport of football.)

Year after year, the Cardinals and Giants seem to fly under the national media radar until late September. They are brilliantly run organizations and deserve nothing but praise for their success. But they don't have to do it in a 24/7, NY-LA headline-scandal cauldron. They don't have 20 beat writers constantly churning controversy, coupled with the need to be ruling tabloid back pages.

In the next few years, to re-right their listing ship, the Yankees must change their ways. What's distressing here is that Brian Cashman certainly knows this - he's no idiot - so how did he allow the farm system to become so barren? It's not the old days under King George, where the Yankees have been trading away their best prospects. For all the complaints against Cashman, he hasn't done a Jay Buhner boner. Still, the team cannot seem to develop impact players.

If it's meddling by the ownership - and let's face it, we all suspect this - should we rightfully have hope that this organization can quickly reverse course? We might be facing a dark period, similar to the one under Old George in the late 1980s-early 1990s.

In the next several weeks, we will know whether the Yankees are doubling down on their old ways - that is, running out and signing yesterday's stars to long, agonizing contracts - or keeping slots open for young guys, most notably Rob Refsnyder, to play their way into pinstripes. Stay tuned.

Goodnight, season

In the big Bronx room,
There was a young owner,
And a feeling of gloom
And a general manager...
With a new three-year boner.

Goodnight, season.
Goodnight, reason.
Goodnight, year.
Goodnight happy fans, drinking beer.
Goodnight, Tex,
Goodnight, Jete.
Goodnight, graying free-agent meat.

Goodnight, Suzyn.
Goodnight, losin.'
Goodnight Chase,
Goodnight, third base,
Goodnight, staff without an ace.
Goodnight, YES.
Goodnight, stress.
Goodnight, A-Rod contract mess.

Goodnight, Jacoby.
Goodnight, Brett.
Goodnight, lineup to forget.
Goodnight, McCanns,
Goodnight, Beltrans,
Goodnight, tired Yankee fans.
Goodnight, New York also-rans.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Rolling Stones channel Alphonso

A friend notes that Mick and "the boys" 
must be fans of the darkest Yankee fan on the planet.

New York City has a new Jeter, and his name is Taylor Swift

We now know who must throw out the first ball in Yankee Stadium next opening day. Last month, some fools would have suggested it be Derek Jeter. Pttuui. Not anymore.

It's gotta be Ms. New York, none other than Taylor Swift.

Same with the next enshrinement in Monument Park. I'm not saying the Evils should drop Bernie Williams from their plans. They merely must add space for the Swift plaque... or maybe a statue of Taylor, walking the streets she so loves in one of her dazzling mini-dresses.

Yesterday, presumably around the time that Jose Canseco was accidentally shooting himself, Taylor Swift was surfacing as New York City's new global ambassador. 

Apparently, Artie Lang has lost a step.

I can see the reasoning. The NYC brain trust realized that Taylor Swift - with a new album and a cruise ship full of micro-minis - has a huge following, and the suits said, "We can get a piece!" They missed out on Katy Perry and Miley Cyrus. They botched Lady Gaga. But here comes Taylor Swift - like the free agent pitcher whose spent her last five seasons in Kansas City. This is bigger than bringing A-Rod to New York. By signing her, New York doesn't even need to surrender a top pick in next year's celebrity draft.

If Brian Cashman can find one more light-hitting speedster to match Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner, the Bronx Bombers can become the City Swifts - sort of like "Steinbrenner's Striders," back in the Omar Moreno dead ball era.

Yep, this is perfect. Whenever you think of NYC, you picture the icons: Bagels, skyscrapers, dog turds, Taylor Swift! 

From now on, after every win, the Yankees need to ditch Sinatra's "New York, New York." They should play, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." Her new album is titled "1989." Quick! Can we retire another number?

Karmac serendipity or old-school stupidity? Jose Canseco accidentally shoots self while cleaning gun

Well, this we now know:

There is a God.

He is good. He is great. He is a hoot.

God is a fan of David Lynch movies and the Aqua Teen Hunger Force. He's the one who made the soundtrack to "Dark Side of the Moon" fit "Wizard of Oz." He smokes a lot of weed. But why not? He created weed.

God loves us. Of this, I have no doubt. We entertaineth him. And today, let us celebrateth another Revelation.

The former major league slugger Jose Canseco accidentally shot himself in the hand at his house in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon. Canseco told the police he was cleaning his gun in the kitchen when it fired, shooting a finger on his left hand.

OK, I know what you're thinking. A more perfect metaphor for the folly of humankind would be to have Canseco shoot himself in the foot, or - better yet - blow off his mighty Johnson. Nah. That stuff has been done to death. David Lynch would have him shoot off a finger and replace it with something ultra-cool, like a laser pointer. After that, Canseco needs to befriend a singing dwarf.

I don't mean to snicker over Canseco's injury. One of the craziest legacies of baseball's 10-Year War on Steroids is that Jose Canseco may someday be viewed as a prophet, rather than court jester. Canseco goes down as one of the few players who was probably telling the truth about dugout drugs, even though his testimony came out in such orgasmic gushes of ego that nobody else could stomach it. Canseco called out Alex Rodriguez and Roger Clemens long before it became fashionable, and long ago, the Gammonites shouted down any calls for his enshrinement in Cooperstown. The guy led Oakland to several great seasons, and the way he's been deleted from public memory, you'd think Joseph Stalin was the commissioner of baseball. 

But not today! Nope. Today, Canseco gets another 15 minutes of fame. (Hey, did you know that during your 15 minutes of fame, you can save big on car insurance?) It costs only a finger, not an arm and a leg. 

In the end, when we're eating creamed corn in that final diaper, the guy in the next bed will mention Jose Canseco, and we'll laugh until the nurses have to increase our medication. I'll remember Jose for dating Madonna, for pitting his wife against Clemens' wife in a backyard barbecue tit contest, and now this: Shooting himself in the hand. (Actually: I will also remember him pinch hitting as a Yankee in the World Series, and taking three strikes - right down the middle - never lifting the bat from his shoulder and just marching back to the dugout without a care in the world. Ahhh, Jose...)

Oh yeah. There is a God, folks. And no matter how bad things are going down here, make no mistake: He's having a ball.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

By this time tomorrow, Alex Rodriguez could be back in the fold, and it's time for the Yankees to have him turn his head and cough

Moments after this great, well-played, and un-watched 2014 World Series ends - possibly tonight around 11:35 E.S.T. - that notorious juicer and international slumlord, Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez, will be officially un-banned from the "game" of baseball. Once again, Al will be able to set foot in MLB ballparks and wear the Yankee cap that - in a universe with less self-righteous Gammonites - would adorn his bronze plaque in Cooperstown.

As soon as the 2014 season ends, the hair-challenged lords of the game will declare an official "cessation of hostilities" in their war on A-Rod, who served as baseball's former ISIS/Ebola, the all-purpose symbol of steroids and performance enhancing drugs. At the stroke of midnight, Bud Selig might stand before a sign that says "Mission Accomplished," as the long drought for Alex Rodriguez finally ends.

But his long days are just beginning.

Here's a suggestion. As soon as 2014 is in the books, before the champagne has dried on the winning owner's tush, Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi should summon A-Rod to George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa and watch their returning $25 million meat-wagon run the bases.

It's time to know what we've got.

Last winter, uncertainties hamstrung Cashman's team-building strategies. Through mid-December, the Yankees still didn't know:

a) If A-Rod's suspension would be upheld,
b) If Jeter and Teixeira could return,
c) If Masahiro Tanaka was really coming to America,
d) If Hiroki Kuroda would come back.

That's a lot of gray area. As a result, Jhonny Peralta - in retrospect, probably the best 3B free agent the Yankees could have signed - was gone, before Cashman knew the Yankees had a hole in their infield. To be fair, Cashman never had a chance.

This year, the Yankees face many uncertainties. (I won't start listing them, because it will be Thanksgiving before I'm done.) But here's one Cashman can wipe off the board: What's A-Rod's physical, mental and psychic shape, returning from Pariah-hood?

Supposedly, they've talked with guys who worked out with A-Rod. It's time to see for themselves. It's time for a soul-to-soul sit-down, for a night of drinking cheap wine, of smoking the good ganja and listening to Pink Floyd albums, maybe pass-out on the couch with dead soldiers and unjacketed Coltrane albums strewn across the floor. It's time to yell at the moon and throw tomatoes at passing cars. Next morning, we're talking about stool samples, a turn-your-head-and-cough session with the Yankee surgeon general, and then some hitting and fielding - a full day of it.

It's time for the Yankees to have one leg up on the rest of baseball: They need to know if Alex Rodriguez can deliver. For a day or two, it's time to forget scouting the latest talent from Cuba or Japan. It's time to scout the $25 million enigma.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A seemingly magical but fraudulent Photoshopped picture of Jeter in his last home game, which is making the rounds on the Internet

Believe nothing, and you'll never lose faith.

In 1992, the Yankees chose the wrong Brian

In 1986, then 30-year-old Brian Sabean - a successful former baseball coach at the University of Tampa - joined the Yankees as a front office lug nut. He scouted the likes of Mariano and Jeter, and helped build a team that eventually won four rings. In 1992, he moved to San Francisco to pull strings for the Giants, who had suffered losing records for five of the previous six seasons. Sabean has been there ever since.

In 1986, Brian Cashman - the ink yet to dry on his college diploma - joined the Yankee front office as an intern. He rose up the daisy chain. By 1998, Cashman had ascended to the job of Senior-Vice President and General Manager, replacing Bob Watson. Despite the lofty title, it was not until 2005, when he signed a three-year deal, that Cashman supposedly received supreme power in baseball decisions. Since then, it's been his organization to run.

In today's Gray Lady, Tyler Kepner - (who is not Tyler Clippard) - lays out Sabean's record. Some excerpts...

In an eight-year span in the last decade, the Giants drafted Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler (who was traded to the Mets for Carlos Beltran in 2011) in the first round. Other first-round picks have included catcher Buster Posey and second baseman Joe Panik...

The Giants’ front office, largely intact for almost two decades, built playoff teams in 1997, 2000, 2002 and 2003 without winning a title. The team failed to make the playoffs in Barry Bonds’s last four seasons, through 2007, but reinvented itself as the game evolved...

Every other year lately, the Giants have figured it out. They won championships in 2010 and 2012, acquiring critical pieces along the way. In 2010, Sabean and his staff added Pat Burrell, Javier Lopez and Cody Ross. Two years later, they picked up Marco Scutaro and Hunter Pence.

This season, after Cain’s season-ending elbow injury, the Giants traded for Jake Peavy, who had been 1-9 for Boston. With Scutaro injured, they resisted trading for a second baseman and turned to Panik, whose strike zone discipline in the minors predicted success in the majors.

Kepner doesn't mention Brian Cashman because - well - why would he? But within the heated Hell of the Yankiverse, it's hard not to wonder about the Brian not taken.

Of course, it's hard to judge Brian Cashman's performance with the Yankees, because, at the root of everything, a Steinbrenner is a Steinbrenner - the baseball synonym for "serial meddler." When Kei Igawa comes up for bids, the Boss wants him, and Cashman complies - presumably bent-over and yelping, "Thank you, sir, may I have another!" You never know who botched a trade, and Cashman never tells - which is probably why he's perched on another three year ride.

But if you look at a tale of two cities, it's clear which Brian has won the day.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

When the world ends, the NY Post will be leading the way in ethics... Does this mean we need a big boat?

Ken Davidoff puts A-Rod and Clemens into perspective. (I wonder, though: Do the Post editors read their own columnists?)

They want A-Rod to beg, to grovel, to weep... but only one thing can redeem Alex Rodriguez's soul

In today's Murdoch,  Joel Sherman says the possible public redemption of Alex Rodriguez will require a campaign of Christlike humility and requests for forgiveness. He says baseball may someday allow A-Rod back into its heavenly graces, but first, this shallowest of men must address the fundamental character flaws that turned him such a loathsome, wretched, cowardly Gollum.

The larger question is whether there is sincerity here to try a new way or whether this is just one more time he is playing a part scripted by lawyers, crisis managers and public relations handlers.
In many — perhaps most — precincts, he never will be forgiven. There is just too much damage there. Not just the steroid use, but the serial lying and the brew of insincerity and insecurity, greed and ego, duplicity and selfishness that forge a personality impossible to trust and difficult to embrace.
For the record, I would like to - once again - note that Al Rodriguez (his new name) has never been accused of: 
1. Beating a wife or girlfriend.
2. Whipping or abusing as child.
3. Training or encouraging dogs to tear each other apart for entertainment.
4. Orchestrating a 20-year campaign to cover up massive brain injuries to three generations of paid employees.
5. Killing a family while driving drunk.
6. Single or double homicide.
7. Punching out a team's white-haired traveling secretary, shooting people with squirt guns full of bleach,  vaulting into the stands to attack fans, texting snapshots of genetalia, etc.
Let's face it: At the root of everything, Alex Rodriguez is accused of being a dick. 
And in life, we all meet and know our share of dicks. 
Quite often, they are people who have reached a certain status of mukkity-muk, and/or managed to make or inherit a lot of money - (which, of course, makes them an authority on everything.) On the personal, molecular level, most dicks never change. They are just big, stinking, asshole dicks, and that's all there is to it.
If A-Rod starts bowing and scraping, some Gammonites will simply accuse him of being more duplicitous than ever. That is because they are dicks, too.
At a certain level, I believe capitalism manages to gather and quarantine the greatest dicks of human evolution. They coagulate into top corporate offices or elite gated communities, where they fight over issues the rest of us ignore - like what colors of lawn furniture should be banned, or how everybody else should live... you know, that kind of stuff. 
As a fan, I consider myself blessed in that I never have to interact closely with the great athletes of my generation, because they will turn out to be pompous and conniving dicks. The job of dealing with these supreme dicks goes to team officials, sportswriters, groupies and hangers-on. As far as I'm concerned, they earn every penny for their hard work. I do not envy them - not at all.
Thus, what I want from Al Rodriguez next year is .280, 25 HR, 90 RBI and 80 games at third base. If he provides that - or something close to it - he will have redeemed his soul to me. (I also believe that if A-Rod hits, the Gammonites will also no longer blast him as a lying dick, because that's how dicks react to success.) 
But if A-Rod he hits .210 - ouch.

If A-Rod hits .210, it won't matter whether he personally washes the feet of his enemies. No amount of contrition in this world will spare him from a chorus of angry and spiteful Gammonites. (And here on this site, we will be dicks, too.)
Still... until A-Rod starts beating women and/or children, let's keep things in perspective, OK? He needs 200 at bats before we judge his soul.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Will someone please step up to the plate and take the job of Yankee batting coach?

Let's accept the fact that no rational human being would want the job.

You travel for 80 games, get blamed for every Yankee strikeout, and nobody - not even guys hitting .210 in their final incarnations - listens to a word you say. Then - poof! - George King writes that you've just been fired!

And what was your job, anyway? To "talk hitting" around the clock with Yankee players? That's what they loved to say about Kevin Long: "He'll talk hitting around the clock and never get tired." Seriously... how much "hitting" can anybody talk? After five hours, what is there to say?

Watch the ball. Square the shoulders. Drop the elbows. Guard the dish. Hey, don't worry about it, man! You'll get'm next time!

There... see? I'm Yankee hitting coach! You can be, too! The question is, why bother?

Two weeks ago, the Yankees ditched Kevin Long and first base coach Mick Kelleher, who has retired. The reaction of the Yankiverse seemed to go along two lines: 1) "Who cares? and 2) "Good riddance to anyone associated with last season."

Then it sank in. Every manager comes with a group of hangers-on, drinking pals and old roommates, who form his posse. Hal Steinbrenner just fired two of Joe's Entourage buddies - (think "Turtle" and "Johnny Drama.") to send a message: Manage harder.

So now, the Yankees are still searching for their 2015 whipping mule. They lost Chili Davis to the Redsocks, decided Dave Magadan talks too much to reporters, and they've been stiffed by Eric Hinske. Is Sidney Ponson available? Billy Crystal? Didn't Jenny McCarthy get dropped from The View? Can we buy a drone? Or will the team simply replace one old buddy with another?

Next up could be Dante Bichette Sr., one of Joe's oldest and best-est friends. Why not? Dante's son is a Yankee farm hand, just as Kevin Long's son is a Yankee farm hand. Dante can beg hitters to go the opposite way, just as Kevin Long begged hitters to go the opposite way. Dante can get fired, just as Kevin Long got fired.

Nobody wants the job. Come on, world. Send somebody to the plate.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday night eye candy

Obama has become America's Cashman

Whenever anything goes wrong, he gets blamed.

(BTW... Cashman IS to blame.)

Dear Mr. Commissioner, the World Series ratings are tanking, so why not do the right thing...

Hold World Series games in the afternoons, as God intended.

The Gray Lady today reports a grim set of numbers and asks the philosophical question: If a World Series falls in the forest, Kansas City, does anybody hear it?

On Tuesday night, the first game of the 2014 World Series drew just 12.2 million viewers to Fox, making it the lowest-rated Game 1 on record. Game 2 on Wednesday night fared somewhat better, with 12.9 million people tuning in...

[T]his week, more people watched “NCIS: New Orleans” and “The Big Bang Theory,” and — for that matter — “The Walking Dead,” the cable show about zombies. The audience for “Sunday Night Football,” a regular season game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos, was almost twice that of Games 1 or 2. Even last Saturday night’s college football matchup — Florida State University versus Notre Dame — drew more viewers than either World Series game.

Ouch. What gives? The first five minutes of every Bud Selig six-minute interview - (like most Yankee starters, the great Bud Selig never goes seven) - involve the great Bud Selig telling how baseball is greater than ever, thanks to the great Bud Selig! (Of course, the game IS more successful - for its billionaire owners, who now can poor-mouth with impunity, while the Gammonites wail about overpaid players.)

But wait... is something wrong in Bud Selig's great dream land? This is Bud Selig's fantasy series - Micro-Market vs. Nano-Market - and it's getting clobbered in the ratings to - huh? - NCIS: New Orleans? (Until today, I didn't know there is a show called NCIS: New Orleans.)  Thank God the Royals won Game II. A four-game Giants sweep could have plunged baseball down below Antiques Road Show and the Yankee Classic on YES.

Listen: It's time for us to move on about what Bud Selig did to destroy the Yankees. It's time to recognize the work of Hal Steinbrenner and his country club cronyism. Also, it is time for baseball to realize its rightful place in not only the cosmos - but in this nation's heart.

That place is a World Series being played on crisp fall afternoons, under blankets of sunshine, preempting game shows and soap operas. That place is an America where schools once set up rooms for kids to watch the game, where workers listened on the radio, and where World Series pools - remember them? - absorbed every office. Somehow, long ago - even before Bud Selig - baseball sold its soul to Brent Musberger and the harpies of prime time graphics.

It's time to get it back.

The marketers complain that the fan base of Major League Baseball is old and doddering and - what was I saying again? - oh yes, someone mentioned Antiques Road Show!  Well, here's a thought. Maybe - just maybe - that's not such a horrible thing. Could it be that Fox Sports, ESPN and Bud Selig - in their maddened push to capitalize every blade of grass in an American tradition - sold off what was beautiful about the game?

Baseball was never meant to be glitzy graphics, exploding theme songs and sideline nipples. It cannot be saved by third-inning dugout interviews with the pitching coach. (These absolutely dreadful interviews should be accompanied by a scroll that says: TIME TO GO TO THE BATHROOM.) For a generation now, we've watched World Series ratings steadily wither, while the lords of the game wring their hands and try to look for something new to sell.

The trend is not going to reverse itself. Sure, someday the Yankees will play the Dodgers, and ratings will see a temporary bump, because everybody loves or hates NY and LA... but it's not the solution, and it never was.

The World Series belongs in the afternoons, being watched by obsessive fans, even if they're in diapers. Cater to the people who care - the grandparent and the great uncles - and their infatuation will become contagious. Play it at night, and they go to bed in the sixth inning. People yearn for an America where traditions are kept, not sold. And on that criteria, Bud Selig sucked.