, Newburyport, MA


April 26, 2014

A week of news from baseball to politics

“What’s new?,” I asked Big Freddy as I managed to push my way into my side of the booth without spilling my coffee.

“Where?” Big Freddy asked as he folded his newspaper.

“Wherever,” I said.

“Wherever’s more than a world around, and it’s in the eyes of the beholders that matters,” Freddy said. “If sport’s are your thing, it’s where your heart lies.

“For baseball this week, it was the Yankees pitcher, Michael Pineda being set down for 10 weeks for using pine-tar, in plain sight, to better control the ball.

“That was more than a rule breaker. It was an embarrassment to the players and both managers — even the officials— because nobody blows a whistle if pitchers hide what they’re doing with what you might call performance aids. They’ve been doing it forever despite the rules.

“You could tell that by the way the Sox manager, John Farrell, who was a major league pitcher for eight years, was all but dragging his feet walking to the umpire to make a formal complaint.

“Yankee manager Joe Girardi wasn’t happy either,” I said. “It cost him a very good pitcher for 10 days.”

“He didn’t complain, but he put a cover over one of the cameras, and you can bet he had a talk with Pineda later.”

“That’s it then for what’s new?” I asked.

“You said wherever, and this was newsworthy big time,” Freddy said.

“But if it’s what’s news from away that you’re asking, there’s Putin two-facing it over just how far he might go with occupying more of the Ukraine than he already has.

“Being in there is one thing, but threatening a cutoff of gas that goes to and through the Ukraine to Germany and France is something else.

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