Sports Beat – Defending Bobby V

Former Mets manager Bobby Valentine stirred things up when he complained that the Yankees did not reach out to their community in the days following September 11, 2001. There is little argument that Yankees players and ownership did reach out to responders and to those whose lives were uprooted at the time.

Bobby was probably still steaming about a 2004 HBO Sports documentary, “Nine Innings From Ground Zero,” which spent the lion’s share of the time concentrating on the Yankees playoffs and seven-game nail-biting World Series loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fall of 2001 and how that helped cheer up New Yorkers needing a diversion. The Mets barely rated a three-minute mention in it from what I remember even though Valentine and his players spent a lot of time preparing boxes of food and supplies. Shea Stadium was used as an emergency center for first responders because of its sizable parking lot which Yankee Stadium lacked.

I spoke with Mets outfielder Mike Baxter about his memories of that cataclysmic day on the twelfth anniversary of 9/11. “ I was in an Advanced Placement Psychology class at Archbishop Molloy High School when the planes hit the World Trade Center. No one could believe what was happening,” the Whitestone native recalled.

Just in case anyone was starting to forget about terrorism in 2013, the Boston Marathon bombing was a jolting reminder. The evil allegedly done by the Tsarnaev brothers did not escape the attention of the National Football League. Fans are now prohibited from bringing most bags into stadiums as the NFL will only allow transparent bags for your necessities.

This is a case of overreaching in my opinion. Why can’t security personnel check all bags as they have done in the past? Evildoers will always find ways to commit nefarious acts even with see-through totes.

New Jersey Devils press box announcer Richard Nashmy was ahead of the curve and created a line of durable, thick-polymer clear vinyl tote bags in various sizes a few years ago. If you are planning on going to a Jets or Giants game this year you should check out his company’s website, www.carryitclearly.com.

It’s another meaningless September for the Mets. The fact that they never really had any post-season aspirations this year is the least of their problems. Even if Matt Harvey, David Wright and Ike Davis had stayed healthy the entire season the best that Mets fans could probably hope for would have been third place in the NL East. Nonetheless the weakling lineup that the Mets put together for their four-game series against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field during their last homestand was arguably the most impotent in their history. The Nats did not break a sweat in sweeping the Mets but that wasn’t what was humiliating. During the four games they hit a total of 13 homers while the mighty Mets hit a grand total of 0.

It is no wonder that CBS Radio executives have had their fill of the Mets and were delighted to announce that the Yankees would be replacing them next year on WFAN. The Yankees have always been the more popular team in New York and the Mets’ ineptitude since 2006 has only widened the gap.

Some are wondering about whether CBS is making the right decision since the Mets appear to have more exciting young talent than an aging Yankees team does. My answer to that is to ponder the following. If someone offered you $10,000 to invest in a long-term stock fund, would you choose one that was run by Hal Steinbrenner, Lonn Trost, Randy Levine and Brian Cashman or one that was headed by Jeff Wilpon and Sandy Alderson?

The Jets are probably not going to make the playoffs this year but rookie QB Geno Smith has given Gang Green fans a flicker of hope. Yes, he throws occasional interceptions, misses open receivers, and stays in the pocket holding the football a bit long at times, but he is exciting to watch. He led the Jets to that fluke Opening Day win against Tampa Bay when Bucs defensive end Lavonte David stupidly hit him out of bounds with scant seconds left on the clocks and the Jets were out of timeouts. That late hit penalty set up Nick Folk’s 48-yard game winner.

Although the Jets lost as usual to the New England Patriots a few days later, the score was close (13-10) and Smith was every bit the equal of his counterpart, Tom Brady, that night.

While Jets fans are probably thrilled with Geno, it still would have been better if Mark Sanchez were healthy. When head coach Rex Ryan writes his memoirs he will have to reveal why he put Sanchez into the fourth quarter of a meaningless preseason game with the Giants when the Jets had their third stringers in there. It is not surprising that Sanchez got hurt in that situation and will probably miss the entire 2013 season.

The recently concluded Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week always brings out some sports celebrities. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist and Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire are regulars. Two weeks ago OKC Thunder All-Star guard Russell Westbrook made the fashion scene as he was undoubtedly trying to elevate his profile for commercial endorsements.

My favorite moment from Fashion Week was being greeted by a pair of Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders at the GBK Lounge at the Empire Hotel. The girls were modeling their new skimpy uniforms that were designed by Vera Wang.

Fox Sports 1 has done a nice of getting out of the ratings gate strong. The wannabe chief competitor to ESPN raided Bristol for a pair of its popular female personalities, Erin Andrews and Charissa Thompson. Both ladies are fine sports anchors but there is no doubt that Fox executives are hoping that the “babe factor” will deliver male viewers. Will Sage Steele be jumping ship next?

Posted under Archbishop Molloy High School, Arizona Diamondbacks, Bobby Valentine, Hbo Sports, League Fans, Lloyd Carroll, Manager Bobby Valentine, Mets Outfielder, Mike Baxter, Molloy High School, National Football League, New York Mets, Nine Innings, Placement Psychology, Psychology Class, September 11 2001, Shea Stadium, Thick Polymer, Top Story, Transparent Bags, Twelfth Anniversary, Yankee Stadium

Karpin Paints A Perfect Mets Season

Howie Karpin is a fixture at Yankee Stadium and Citi Field. The Bronx native and Riverdale resident is an official scorer for Major League Baseball, and for the past 30 years has covered the World Series and Stanley Cup Finals as well as being an accomplished radio sports reporter.

His passion is baseball, reporting games for radio stations in the tri state area, and now scoring a good amount of Yankees and Mets games as the guy who determines a hit from an error on the field up in the press box where we sit. A fan of the New York Mets contemplate when good fortune will return for their franchise because the team is off to their third worse start since their inception in 1962.

So here is Karpin, during the past year, in between scoring games, doing his research. And plenty of going back in time to select the greatest wins in Mets history and for those who joke about the Mets, they would say, “How many great games have the Mets played?

There could be more than the 162 games that Karpin chronicled in his latest work, “Imagine a Mets Perfect Season – 162-0” published by Triumph Books. Yes, 162 games, the schedule for a team in regular season play. But the Mets going 162-0, especially for a Mets fan is far from reality.

“The nature of the game-the grind of a 162-game season does not lend itself to team perfection as it does in the National Football League or college football,” says Karpin. “There have been undefeated teams in both pro and college football, but not in baseball. Nor is it likely to ever happen. But within the boundaries of this book, it does happen to the Mets.”

Meaning, as Karpin, says, “In nearly 50 years of existence, the New York Mets have provided many memorable regular season moments.” Of course, always remembered was the run to a World Series championship in 1969 and how the Mets became the team in New York City.

The memorable moments, that is a theme about the 162 games that are highlighted by Karpin. Because as every Mets fans knows, there have been more than a share of unmemorable moments, a huge amount at their old ballpark, Shea Stadium, in Flushing Queens.

You don’t have to be a fan of the New York Mets to share in the memories that Karpin recaps. There is the emotional game of the first sporting event in the city since the September 11, 2011 disaster. Titled “Emotions Run Deep in Tribute to Post 9/11 America,” the game at Shea Stadium against the Atlanta Braves, a game where rivalries meant nothing and a start of the healing process in New York.

There is no particular order of significant games with the 162 that Karpin recaps so well. “The history of the Mets was thoroughly researched to put together a mythical, undefeated season,” says current New York Mets third baseman David Wright who provided a perfect foreword to the book.

“In this book, time is no problem,” says Wright. So well put because you can don’t have to go from page-to-page, and the summations of each game are captured with the highlights Mets and baseball fans always remember.

Because the Mets, as much as they have become the secondary baseball team in New York, have a brief and interesting history, though not as long, as the Yankees on the other side of town. The managers and players that have worn the uniform have been interesting personalities from Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver to the Hall of Fame New York outfielder, the great Willie Mays.

“From the very first season of 1962 to the miraculous championship year of 1969, to a second world title in 1986, right up until a new era at Citi Field, the Mets have put together a glorious history in their own right,” says Karpin.

Each game selected is chronicled by month, again in no particular order. The box score of some games and photos of the players that are a part of this 162-0 season provide smiles for Mets fans that have not much to be happy about as of late. And there are of course, some of the less memorable moments.

The book is dedicated to the memory of Bill Shannon, the longtime official scorer of New York baseball and writer who tragically passed away last October. A longtime friend of Karpin who gave him his opportunity to score games in the press box, Shannon was an inspiration in putting this must read together.

Because as everyone knows, in New York the Yankees have been the memorable team, but after going through the pages of these 162 games, it certainly appears the past 49 years have been memorable for the New York Mets.

E-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Bronx Native, Game Season, Going Back In Time, Good Fortune, Great Games, Major League Baseball, Mets Games, National Football League, Nature Of The Game, New York Mets, Official Scorer, Perfect Season, Radio Sports, Rich Mancuso, Stanley Cup Finals, Top Story, Tri State Area, Triumph Books, Undefeated Teams, Yankee Stadium

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on April 18, 2011

Tags: ,