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Bernie Madoff, Tony La Russa and Cap'n Crunch

Let's kick it Spadafore style this morning.

News: Bernie Madoff, in his first interview since his arrest, tells The New York Times that Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz "knew nothing" about Madoff's Ponzi scheme.

Views: I can think of plenty of topics on which Wilpon and Katz "knew nothing," am I right, people? 

Seriously, though, I doubt the Wilpon camp read Madoff's comments last night and high-fived one another. Something tells me Madoff's words won't carry much weight in the Picard lawsuit, especially when Madoff said that the involved banks probably knew what he really was doing.

I like the way that Joshua Hammerman (full disclosure - he's my cousin) put it here in The New York Jewish Week: "One would think that astute businessmen would be able to sniff out a Ponzi (scheme) a mile away, but evidently when that fraud is returning 10 percent every year, the nose becomes stuffy."

News: As the Albert Pujols deadline approaches today, Tony La Russa accused the Players Association of pressuring Pujols to get a mammoth contract.

Views: La Russa's words would be offensive if they weren't so transparent. Instead, to me, they make a left turn at "offensive" and pull into the driveway of "hilarious."

The legendary skipper always does this kind of stuff when he faces potentially explosive situations. He throws a grenade somewhere else to divert attention from the principal players. 

As for his actual accusation? I think someone like Pujols does feel inherent pressure to raise the bar for everyone, but the culture of the Players Association has changed the last few years. Michael Weiner is not the type of leader who would push a player in that fashion.

You know what upsets Weiner? When a player accepts a "hometown discount" from his team and then doesn't secure no-trade protection. Then, as Weiner likes to say, that player has made himself his club's most marketable asset.

News: Cap'n Crunch insists that, eaten in moderation, it can be part of a nutritional breakfast.

Views: I can just imagine Jim Baumbach eating dinner with his wife last night.

Mrs. Baumbach: How did your day go, dear?

Baumbach: Oh, not bad. I spoke with Cap'n Crunch and Bill Pulsipher.

OK, so Baumbach didn't actually track down the cartoon character Cap'n Crunch. He communicated with a spokesman for Quaker Foods & Snacks.

Of course, with Sabathia clearly determined to leverage the Yankees into an extension beyond 2015, he probably made the right call ditching the sugary cereal altogether. Once Yankees ownership caves, Sabathia can celebrate by inviting the Cap'n, Lucky, Sonny and Count Chocula to his Bergen County mansion for a party.

--Off to Phillies camp this morning. I'll check in later.

 --Here's my column on Joba Chamberlain.

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