Sports Beat “Matt’s Big Moment”

At a press conference held at Citi Field the day before the All-Star Game that was hosted by MLB Network personality, Levittown native, and longtime Good Times reader Brian Kenny, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that Mets manager Terry Collins promised him that Matt Harvey would miss his scheduled start against the Pittsburgh Pirates so that he would be fresh as a daisy to start the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Collins admitted as much about an hour later at a separate media availability session by saying that hosting the 84th All-Star Game was huge for Mets organization. He also more or less confessed that he overplayed the concerns about Harvey’s blister on his pitching hand.

You couldn’t blame the Mets for wanting to show off their matinee idol stud ace who has quickly become the man about town as he has been profiled by USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, as well as hosting a humorous man-in-the street segment for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

After a rocky start in the All-Star Game that began with him giving up a lead-off double to Angels phenomenon Mike Trout and plunking Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano with a 97 mph fastball, Harvey settled down to strike out three of the next six batters he faced including the greatest hitter in the game today, Miguel Cabrera.

I asked Harvey, who is the personification of equanimity, if he had any jitters at the start of the game that would account for his rough start. “I had some in the bullpen warming up but I felt like I was home once the game started,” he replied.

The All-Star Game itself was a bore as the American League prevailed over the National, 3-0. Sportswriters made more noise than the National League offense did as many were griping about how Aramark, the Mets’ food vendor, demanded that they keep their plates and cups no matter how dirty they were for the mediocre buffet they were serving or else they would have to pay full price for new ones. The fact that this appeared to be an unsanitary practice meant little to the Aramark manager with whom I spoke. Fans who have been overpaying for years for crummy food at sports venue concessions can take solace that the sports media felt your pain.

On a more pleasant food note, Subway Restaurants used the All-Star Game to promote their various low-fat sandwiches by bringing in their most recognizable spokesman, Jared Fogle, as well as former Mets manager and Yankees great Willie Randolph for appearances at the All-Star Fan Fest at the Javits Center, a Manhattan Subway franchise where free tote bags and sandwiches were dispensed, and a ride on the #7 train to City Field for the All-Star Game.

Jared, who was mobbed by New Yorkers as if he were a rock star, claimed that his days of running the NYC Marathon as a Subway celebrity are behind him.

Willie Randolph lit up when I mentioned to  him that Subway did not use Terry Collins or his Yankees managerial counterpart, Joe Girardi, for commercial spots the way that he and Joe Torre were used for its local ad campaigns back when George W. Bush was in the White House. “I am glad that you noticed that. I guess that Subway realizes that mediocrity doesn’t help sell their product!” he said with a smile. He added that he is hopeful that he’ll receive either a managerial or front office offer from a major league team during the off-season.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who grew up in Washington Heights, received the loudest ovation for a non-Mets or Yankees player at the All-Star Game. Alvarez admitted that he did not know why Hispanic players such as potential repeat Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera do not receive even a fraction of the commercial endorsement offers that Derek Jeter or LeBron James get. Alvarez, a personable alumnus of Vanderbilt University, as well as being one of baseball’s brightest young stars, would seem to be an ideal pitchman.

You have to wonder whether Nets general manager Billy King has made a Faustian bargain by trading away Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and three number one draft picks for the aging triumvirate of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. King is betting a boatload of chips on the Nets winning a title within the next two years.

Nobody would have bet the Knicks would get this guy when the off-season started. And they better hope that the man that they passed over in the draft 14 years ago, Queensbridge native Ron Artest, who these days goes by the moniker Metta World Peace, has something left in the tank now that they have signed him after the Lakers bid him adieu. Metta joins the Knicks just as they are learning that JR Smith may miss the early part of the 2013-14 season recovering from knee surgery.

On the topic of surgery, Dr. Mark McLaughlin a neurosurgeon in New Jersey’s CentraState Health Care System, is teaching surgical techniques to Army’s football coaching staff . Army’s football brain trust believes that being able to handle a scalpel on cadavers will lead to decision-making clarity during the tense moments of a football game. There have been hundreds of books written on how success on the football field can be correlated with running a profitable business but I have never heard of surgery as a metaphor for football.

The first sign that the NFL season is upon was when Sirius XM sponsored their annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft at the Hard Rock Café on July 17. While it’s nominally about getting the best fantasy team possible in actuality it’s a Friars Club-like roast with Adam Schein acting in the Jeffrey Ross emcee role. Among the celebrities taking part this year were actors Jim Belushi and Robert Wuhl, WWE star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Drew-Jones, and onetime Playboy Playmate Pilar Lastra.

If you have ever wanted to climb the steps of every part of Yankee Stadium and sprint all over its field while helping a good cause, the annual Runyon 5K run will take place on August 18. The funds raised from the event will go towards cancer research. For more info log onto www.damonrunyon.org/yankeestadium.

Posted under Food Vendor, Fresh As A Daisy, Humorous Man, Lloyd Carroll, Matinee Idol, Miguel Cabrera, Network Personality, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Second Baseman, Street Segment, Top Story, Usa Today Sports

Sports Beat “Matt’s Big Moment”

At a press conference held at Citi Field the day before the All-Star Game that was hosted by MLB Network personality, Levittown native, and longtime Good Times reader Brian Kenny, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that Mets manager Terry Collins promised him that Matt Harvey would miss his scheduled start against the Pittsburgh Pirates so that he would be fresh as a daisy to start the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Collins admitted as much about an hour later at a separate media availability session by saying that hosting the 84th All-Star Game was huge for Mets organization. He also more or less confessed that he overplayed the concerns about Harvey’s blister on his pitching hand.

You couldn’t blame the Mets for wanting to show off their matinee idol stud ace who has quickly become the man about town as he has been profiled by USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, as well as hosting a humorous man-in-the street segment for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

After a rocky start in the All-Star Game that began with him giving up a lead-off double to Angels phenomenon Mike Trout and plunking Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano with a 97 mph fastball, Harvey settled down to strike out three of the next six batters he faced including the greatest hitter in the game today, Miguel Cabrera.

I asked Harvey, who is the personification of equanimity, if he had any jitters at the start of the game that would account for his rough start. “I had some in the bullpen warming up but I felt like I was home once the game started,” he replied.

The All-Star Game itself was a bore as the American League prevailed over the National, 3-0. Sportswriters made more noise than the National League offense did as many were griping about how Aramark, the Mets’ food vendor, demanded that they keep their plates and cups no matter how dirty they were for the mediocre buffet they were serving or else they would have to pay full price for new ones. The fact that this appeared to be an unsanitary practice meant little to the Aramark manager with whom I spoke. Fans who have been overpaying for years for crummy food at sports venue concessions can take solace that the sports media felt your pain.

On a more pleasant food note, Subway Restaurants used the All-Star Game to promote their various low-fat sandwiches by bringing in their most recognizable spokesman, Jared Fogle, as well as former Mets manager and Yankees great Willie Randolph for appearances at the All-Star Fan Fest at the Javits Center, a Manhattan Subway franchise where free tote bags and sandwiches were dispensed, and a ride on the #7 train to City Field for the All-Star Game.

Jared, who was mobbed by New Yorkers as if he were a rock star, claimed that his days of running the NYC Marathon as a Subway celebrity are behind him.

Willie Randolph lit up when I mentioned to  him that Subway did not use Terry Collins or his Yankees managerial counterpart, Joe Girardi, for commercial spots the way that he and Joe Torre were used for its local ad campaigns back when George W. Bush was in the White House. “I am glad that you noticed that. I guess that Subway realizes that mediocrity doesn’t help sell their product!” he said with a smile. He added that he is hopeful that he’ll receive either a managerial or front office offer from a major league team during the off-season.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who grew up in Washington Heights, received the loudest ovation for a non-Mets or Yankees player at the All-Star Game. Alvarez admitted that he did not know why Hispanic players such as potential repeat Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera do not receive even a fraction of the commercial endorsement offers that Derek Jeter or LeBron James get. Alvarez, a personable alumnus of Vanderbilt University, as well as being one of baseball’s brightest young stars, would seem to be an ideal pitchman.

You have to wonder whether Nets general manager Billy King has made a Faustian bargain by trading away Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and three number one draft picks for the aging triumvirate of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. King is betting a boatload of chips on the Nets winning a title within the next two years.

Nobody would have bet the Knicks would get this guy when the off-season started. And they better hope that the man that they passed over in the draft 14 years ago, Queensbridge native Ron Artest, who these days goes by the moniker Metta World Peace, has something left in the tank now that they have signed him after the Lakers bid him adieu. Metta joins the Knicks just as they are learning that JR Smith may miss the early part of the 2013-14 season recovering from knee surgery.

On the topic of surgery, Dr. Mark McLaughlin a neurosurgeon in New Jersey’s CentraState Health Care System, is teaching surgical techniques to Army’s football coaching staff . Army’s football brain trust believes that being able to handle a scalpel on cadavers will lead to decision-making clarity during the tense moments of a football game. There have been hundreds of books written on how success on the football field can be correlated with running a profitable business but I have never heard of surgery as a metaphor for football.

The first sign that the NFL season is upon was when Sirius XM sponsored their annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft at the Hard Rock Café on July 17. While it’s nominally about getting the best fantasy team possible in actuality it’s a Friars Club-like roast with Adam Schein acting in the Jeffrey Ross emcee role. Among the celebrities taking part this year were actors Jim Belushi and Robert Wuhl, WWE star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Drew-Jones, and onetime Playboy Playmate Pilar Lastra.

If you have ever wanted to climb the steps of every part of Yankee Stadium and sprint all over its field while helping a good cause, the annual Runyon 5K run will take place on August 18. The funds raised from the event will go towards cancer research. For more info log onto www.damonrunyon.org/yankeestadium.

Posted under Food Vendor, Fresh As A Daisy, Humorous Man, Lloyd Carroll, Miguel Cabrera, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Second Baseman, Street Segment, Top Story, Usa Today Sports

Sports Beat “Matt’s Big Moment”

At a press conference held at Citi Field the day before the All-Star Game that was hosted by MLB Network personality, Levittown native, and longtime Good Times reader Brian Kenny, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that Mets manager Terry Collins promised him that Matt Harvey would miss his scheduled start against the Pittsburgh Pirates so that he would be fresh as a daisy to start the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Collins admitted as much about an hour later at a separate media availability session by saying that hosting the 84th All-Star Game was huge for Mets organization. He also more or less confessed that he overplayed the concerns about Harvey’s blister on his pitching hand.

You couldn’t blame the Mets for wanting to show off their matinee idol stud ace who has quickly become the man about town as he has been profiled by USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, as well as hosting a humorous man-in-the street segment for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

After a rocky start in the All-Star Game that began with him giving up a lead-off double to Angels phenomenon Mike Trout and plunking Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano with a 97 mph fastball, Harvey settled down to strike out three of the next six batters he faced including the greatest hitter in the game today, Miguel Cabrera.

I asked Harvey, who is the personification of equanimity, if he had any jitters at the start of the game that would account for his rough start. “I had some in the bullpen warming up but I felt like I was home once the game started,” he replied.

The All-Star Game itself was a bore as the American League prevailed over the National, 3-0. Sportswriters made more noise than the National League offense did as many were griping about how Aramark, the Mets’ food vendor, demanded that they keep their plates and cups no matter how dirty they were for the mediocre buffet they were serving or else they would have to pay full price for new ones. The fact that this appeared to be an unsanitary practice meant little to the Aramark manager with whom I spoke. Fans who have been overpaying for years for crummy food at sports venue concessions can take solace that the sports media felt your pain.

On a more pleasant food note, Subway Restaurants used the All-Star Game to promote their various low-fat sandwiches by bringing in their most recognizable spokesman, Jared Fogle, as well as former Mets manager and Yankees great Willie Randolph for appearances at the All-Star Fan Fest at the Javits Center, a Manhattan Subway franchise where free tote bags and sandwiches were dispensed, and a ride on the #7 train to City Field for the All-Star Game.

Jared, who was mobbed by New Yorkers as if he were a rock star, claimed that his days of running the NYC Marathon as a Subway celebrity are behind him.

Willie Randolph lit up when I mentioned to  him that Subway did not use Terry Collins or his Yankees managerial counterpart, Joe Girardi, for commercial spots the way that he and Joe Torre were used for its local ad campaigns back when George W. Bush was in the White House. “I am glad that you noticed that. I guess that Subway realizes that mediocrity doesn’t help sell their product!” he said with a smile. He added that he is hopeful that he’ll receive either a managerial or front office offer from a major league team during the off-season.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who grew up in Washington Heights, received the loudest ovation for a non-Mets or Yankees player at the All-Star Game. Alvarez admitted that he did not know why Hispanic players such as potential repeat Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera do not receive even a fraction of the commercial endorsement offers that Derek Jeter or LeBron James get. Alvarez, a personable alumnus of Vanderbilt University, as well as being one of baseball’s brightest young stars, would seem to be an ideal pitchman.

You have to wonder whether Nets general manager Billy King has made a Faustian bargain by trading away Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and three number one draft picks for the aging triumvirate of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. King is betting a boatload of chips on the Nets winning a title within the next two years.

Nobody would have bet the Knicks would get this guy when the off-season started. And they better hope that the man that they passed over in the draft 14 years ago, Queensbridge native Ron Artest, who these days goes by the moniker Metta World Peace, has something left in the tank now that they have signed him after the Lakers bid him adieu. Metta joins the Knicks just as they are learning that JR Smith may miss the early part of the 2013-14 season recovering from knee surgery.

On the topic of surgery, Dr. Mark McLaughlin a neurosurgeon in New Jersey’s CentraState Health Care System, is teaching surgical techniques to Army’s football coaching staff . Army’s football brain trust believes that being able to handle a scalpel on cadavers will lead to decision-making clarity during the tense moments of a football game. There have been hundreds of books written on how success on the football field can be correlated with running a profitable business but I have never heard of surgery as a metaphor for football.

The first sign that the NFL season is upon was when Sirius XM sponsored their annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft at the Hard Rock Café on July 17. While it’s nominally about getting the best fantasy team possible in actuality it’s a Friars Club-like roast with Adam Schein acting in the Jeffrey Ross emcee role. Among the celebrities taking part this year were actors Jim Belushi and Robert Wuhl, WWE star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Drew-Jones, and onetime Playboy Playmate Pilar Lastra.

If you have ever wanted to climb the steps of every part of Yankee Stadium and sprint all over its field while helping a good cause, the annual Runyon 5K run will take place on August 18. The funds raised from the event will go towards cancer research. For more info log onto www.damonrunyon.org/yankeestadium.

Posted under Food Vendor, Lloyd Carroll, Miguel Cabrera, Network Personality, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Second Baseman, Street Segment, Top Story

Sports Beat “Matt’s Big Moment”

At a press conference held at Citi Field the day before the All-Star Game that was hosted by MLB Network personality, Levittown native, and longtime Good Times reader Brian Kenny, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that Mets manager Terry Collins promised him that Matt Harvey would miss his scheduled start against the Pittsburgh Pirates so that he would be fresh as a daisy to start the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Collins admitted as much about an hour later at a separate media availability session by saying that hosting the 84th All-Star Game was huge for Mets organization. He also more or less confessed that he overplayed the concerns about Harvey’s blister on his pitching hand.

You couldn’t blame the Mets for wanting to show off their matinee idol stud ace who has quickly become the man about town as he has been profiled by USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, as well as hosting a humorous man-in-the street segment for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

After a rocky start in the All-Star Game that began with him giving up a lead-off double to Angels phenomenon Mike Trout and plunking Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano with a 97 mph fastball, Harvey settled down to strike out three of the next six batters he faced including the greatest hitter in the game today, Miguel Cabrera.

I asked Harvey, who is the personification of equanimity, if he had any jitters at the start of the game that would account for his rough start. “I had some in the bullpen warming up but I felt like I was home once the game started,” he replied.

The All-Star Game itself was a bore as the American League prevailed over the National, 3-0. Sportswriters made more noise than the National League offense did as many were griping about how Aramark, the Mets’ food vendor, demanded that they keep their plates and cups no matter how dirty they were for the mediocre buffet they were serving or else they would have to pay full price for new ones. The fact that this appeared to be an unsanitary practice meant little to the Aramark manager with whom I spoke. Fans who have been overpaying for years for crummy food at sports venue concessions can take solace that the sports media felt your pain.

On a more pleasant food note, Subway Restaurants used the All-Star Game to promote their various low-fat sandwiches by bringing in their most recognizable spokesman, Jared Fogle, as well as former Mets manager and Yankees great Willie Randolph for appearances at the All-Star Fan Fest at the Javits Center, a Manhattan Subway franchise where free tote bags and sandwiches were dispensed, and a ride on the #7 train to City Field for the All-Star Game.

Jared, who was mobbed by New Yorkers as if he were a rock star, claimed that his days of running the NYC Marathon as a Subway celebrity are behind him.

Willie Randolph lit up when I mentioned to  him that Subway did not use Terry Collins or his Yankees managerial counterpart, Joe Girardi, for commercial spots the way that he and Joe Torre were used for its local ad campaigns back when George W. Bush was in the White House. “I am glad that you noticed that. I guess that Subway realizes that mediocrity doesn’t help sell their product!” he said with a smile. He added that he is hopeful that he’ll receive either a managerial or front office offer from a major league team during the off-season.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who grew up in Washington Heights, received the loudest ovation for a non-Mets or Yankees player at the All-Star Game. Alvarez admitted that he did not know why Hispanic players such as potential repeat Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera do not receive even a fraction of the commercial endorsement offers that Derek Jeter or LeBron James get. Alvarez, a personable alumnus of Vanderbilt University, as well as being one of baseball’s brightest young stars, would seem to be an ideal pitchman.

You have to wonder whether Nets general manager Billy King has made a Faustian bargain by trading away Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and three number one draft picks for the aging triumvirate of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. King is betting a boatload of chips on the Nets winning a title within the next two years.

Nobody would have bet the Knicks would get this guy when the off-season started. And they better hope that the man that they passed over in the draft 14 years ago, Queensbridge native Ron Artest, who these days goes by the moniker Metta World Peace, has something left in the tank now that they have signed him after the Lakers bid him adieu. Metta joins the Knicks just as they are learning that JR Smith may miss the early part of the 2013-14 season recovering from knee surgery.

On the topic of surgery, Dr. Mark McLaughlin a neurosurgeon in New Jersey’s CentraState Health Care System, is teaching surgical techniques to Army’s football coaching staff . Army’s football brain trust believes that being able to handle a scalpel on cadavers will lead to decision-making clarity during the tense moments of a football game. There have been hundreds of books written on how success on the football field can be correlated with running a profitable business but I have never heard of surgery as a metaphor for football.

The first sign that the NFL season is upon was when Sirius XM sponsored their annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft at the Hard Rock Café on July 17. While it’s nominally about getting the best fantasy team possible in actuality it’s a Friars Club-like roast with Adam Schein acting in the Jeffrey Ross emcee role. Among the celebrities taking part this year were actors Jim Belushi and Robert Wuhl, WWE star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Drew-Jones, and onetime Playboy Playmate Pilar Lastra.

If you have ever wanted to climb the steps of every part of Yankee Stadium and sprint all over its field while helping a good cause, the annual Runyon 5K run will take place on August 18. The funds raised from the event will go towards cancer research. For more info log onto www.damonrunyon.org/yankeestadium.

Posted under Food Vendor, Fresh As A Daisy, Humorous Man, Lloyd Carroll, Matinee Idol, Miguel Cabrera, Network Personality, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Second Baseman, Top Story, Usa Today Sports

Sports Beat “Matt’s Big Moment”

At a press conference held at Citi Field the day before the All-Star Game that was hosted by MLB Network personality, Levittown native, and longtime Good Times reader Brian Kenny, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that Mets manager Terry Collins promised him that Matt Harvey would miss his scheduled start against the Pittsburgh Pirates so that he would be fresh as a daisy to start the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Collins admitted as much about an hour later at a separate media availability session by saying that hosting the 84th All-Star Game was huge for Mets organization. He also more or less confessed that he overplayed the concerns about Harvey’s blister on his pitching hand.

You couldn’t blame the Mets for wanting to show off their matinee idol stud ace who has quickly become the man about town as he has been profiled by USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, as well as hosting a humorous man-in-the street segment for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

After a rocky start in the All-Star Game that began with him giving up a lead-off double to Angels phenomenon Mike Trout and plunking Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano with a 97 mph fastball, Harvey settled down to strike out three of the next six batters he faced including the greatest hitter in the game today, Miguel Cabrera.

I asked Harvey, who is the personification of equanimity, if he had any jitters at the start of the game that would account for his rough start. “I had some in the bullpen warming up but I felt like I was home once the game started,” he replied.

The All-Star Game itself was a bore as the American League prevailed over the National, 3-0. Sportswriters made more noise than the National League offense did as many were griping about how Aramark, the Mets’ food vendor, demanded that they keep their plates and cups no matter how dirty they were for the mediocre buffet they were serving or else they would have to pay full price for new ones. The fact that this appeared to be an unsanitary practice meant little to the Aramark manager with whom I spoke. Fans who have been overpaying for years for crummy food at sports venue concessions can take solace that the sports media felt your pain.

On a more pleasant food note, Subway Restaurants used the All-Star Game to promote their various low-fat sandwiches by bringing in their most recognizable spokesman, Jared Fogle, as well as former Mets manager and Yankees great Willie Randolph for appearances at the All-Star Fan Fest at the Javits Center, a Manhattan Subway franchise where free tote bags and sandwiches were dispensed, and a ride on the #7 train to City Field for the All-Star Game.

Jared, who was mobbed by New Yorkers as if he were a rock star, claimed that his days of running the NYC Marathon as a Subway celebrity are behind him.

Willie Randolph lit up when I mentioned to  him that Subway did not use Terry Collins or his Yankees managerial counterpart, Joe Girardi, for commercial spots the way that he and Joe Torre were used for its local ad campaigns back when George W. Bush was in the White House. “I am glad that you noticed that. I guess that Subway realizes that mediocrity doesn’t help sell their product!” he said with a smile. He added that he is hopeful that he’ll receive either a managerial or front office offer from a major league team during the off-season.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who grew up in Washington Heights, received the loudest ovation for a non-Mets or Yankees player at the All-Star Game. Alvarez admitted that he did not know why Hispanic players such as potential repeat Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera do not receive even a fraction of the commercial endorsement offers that Derek Jeter or LeBron James get. Alvarez, a personable alumnus of Vanderbilt University, as well as being one of baseball’s brightest young stars, would seem to be an ideal pitchman.

You have to wonder whether Nets general manager Billy King has made a Faustian bargain by trading away Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and three number one draft picks for the aging triumvirate of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. King is betting a boatload of chips on the Nets winning a title within the next two years.

Nobody would have bet the Knicks would get this guy when the off-season started. And they better hope that the man that they passed over in the draft 14 years ago, Queensbridge native Ron Artest, who these days goes by the moniker Metta World Peace, has something left in the tank now that they have signed him after the Lakers bid him adieu. Metta joins the Knicks just as they are learning that JR Smith may miss the early part of the 2013-14 season recovering from knee surgery.

On the topic of surgery, Dr. Mark McLaughlin a neurosurgeon in New Jersey’s CentraState Health Care System, is teaching surgical techniques to Army’s football coaching staff . Army’s football brain trust believes that being able to handle a scalpel on cadavers will lead to decision-making clarity during the tense moments of a football game. There have been hundreds of books written on how success on the football field can be correlated with running a profitable business but I have never heard of surgery as a metaphor for football.

The first sign that the NFL season is upon was when Sirius XM sponsored their annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft at the Hard Rock Café on July 17. While it’s nominally about getting the best fantasy team possible in actuality it’s a Friars Club-like roast with Adam Schein acting in the Jeffrey Ross emcee role. Among the celebrities taking part this year were actors Jim Belushi and Robert Wuhl, WWE star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Drew-Jones, and onetime Playboy Playmate Pilar Lastra.

If you have ever wanted to climb the steps of every part of Yankee Stadium and sprint all over its field while helping a good cause, the annual Runyon 5K run will take place on August 18. The funds raised from the event will go towards cancer research. For more info log onto www.damonrunyon.org/yankeestadium.

Posted under Food Vendor, Fresh As A Daisy, Humorous Man, Lloyd Carroll, Matinee Idol, Miguel Cabrera, Network Personality, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Second Baseman, Street Segment, Top Story, Usa Today Sports

Sports Beat “Matt’s Big Moment”

At a press conference held at Citi Field the day before the All-Star Game that was hosted by MLB Network personality, Levittown native, and longtime Good Times reader Brian Kenny, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy admitted that Mets manager Terry Collins promised him that Matt Harvey would miss his scheduled start against the Pittsburgh Pirates so that he would be fresh as a daisy to start the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Collins admitted as much about an hour later at a separate media availability session by saying that hosting the 84th All-Star Game was huge for Mets organization. He also more or less confessed that he overplayed the concerns about Harvey’s blister on his pitching hand.

You couldn’t blame the Mets for wanting to show off their matinee idol stud ace who has quickly become the man about town as he has been profiled by USA Today, Sports Illustrated, Men’s Journal, as well as hosting a humorous man-in-the street segment for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.”

After a rocky start in the All-Star Game that began with him giving up a lead-off double to Angels phenomenon Mike Trout and plunking Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano with a 97 mph fastball, Harvey settled down to strike out three of the next six batters he faced including the greatest hitter in the game today, Miguel Cabrera.

I asked Harvey, who is the personification of equanimity, if he had any jitters at the start of the game that would account for his rough start. “I had some in the bullpen warming up but I felt like I was home once the game started,” he replied.

The All-Star Game itself was a bore as the American League prevailed over the National, 3-0. Sportswriters made more noise than the National League offense did as many were griping about how Aramark, the Mets’ food vendor, demanded that they keep their plates and cups no matter how dirty they were for the mediocre buffet they were serving or else they would have to pay full price for new ones. The fact that this appeared to be an unsanitary practice meant little to the Aramark manager with whom I spoke. Fans who have been overpaying for years for crummy food at sports venue concessions can take solace that the sports media felt your pain.

On a more pleasant food note, Subway Restaurants used the All-Star Game to promote their various low-fat sandwiches by bringing in their most recognizable spokesman, Jared Fogle, as well as former Mets manager and Yankees great Willie Randolph for appearances at the All-Star Fan Fest at the Javits Center, a Manhattan Subway franchise where free tote bags and sandwiches were dispensed, and a ride on the #7 train to City Field for the All-Star Game.

Jared, who was mobbed by New Yorkers as if he were a rock star, claimed that his days of running the NYC Marathon as a Subway celebrity are behind him.

Willie Randolph lit up when I mentioned to  him that Subway did not use Terry Collins or his Yankees managerial counterpart, Joe Girardi, for commercial spots the way that he and Joe Torre were used for its local ad campaigns back when George W. Bush was in the White House. “I am glad that you noticed that. I guess that Subway realizes that mediocrity doesn’t help sell their product!” he said with a smile. He added that he is hopeful that he’ll receive either a managerial or front office offer from a major league team during the off-season.

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who grew up in Washington Heights, received the loudest ovation for a non-Mets or Yankees player at the All-Star Game. Alvarez admitted that he did not know why Hispanic players such as potential repeat Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera do not receive even a fraction of the commercial endorsement offers that Derek Jeter or LeBron James get. Alvarez, a personable alumnus of Vanderbilt University, as well as being one of baseball’s brightest young stars, would seem to be an ideal pitchman.

You have to wonder whether Nets general manager Billy King has made a Faustian bargain by trading away Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, and three number one draft picks for the aging triumvirate of Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Jason Terry. King is betting a boatload of chips on the Nets winning a title within the next two years.

Nobody would have bet the Knicks would get this guy when the off-season started. And they better hope that the man that they passed over in the draft 14 years ago, Queensbridge native Ron Artest, who these days goes by the moniker Metta World Peace, has something left in the tank now that they have signed him after the Lakers bid him adieu. Metta joins the Knicks just as they are learning that JR Smith may miss the early part of the 2013-14 season recovering from knee surgery.

On the topic of surgery, Dr. Mark McLaughlin a neurosurgeon in New Jersey’s CentraState Health Care System, is teaching surgical techniques to Army’s football coaching staff . Army’s football brain trust believes that being able to handle a scalpel on cadavers will lead to decision-making clarity during the tense moments of a football game. There have been hundreds of books written on how success on the football field can be correlated with running a profitable business but I have never heard of surgery as a metaphor for football.

The first sign that the NFL season is upon was when Sirius XM sponsored their annual Celebrity Fantasy Football Draft at the Hard Rock Café on July 17. While it’s nominally about getting the best fantasy team possible in actuality it’s a Friars Club-like roast with Adam Schein acting in the Jeffrey Ross emcee role. Among the celebrities taking part this year were actors Jim Belushi and Robert Wuhl, WWE star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, NASCAR driver Austin Dillon, Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Drew-Jones, and onetime Playboy Playmate Pilar Lastra.

If you have ever wanted to climb the steps of every part of Yankee Stadium and sprint all over its field while helping a good cause, the annual Runyon 5K run will take place on August 18. The funds raised from the event will go towards cancer research. For more info log onto www.damonrunyon.org/yankeestadium.

Posted under Food Vendor, Fresh As A Daisy, Lloyd Carroll, Matinee Idol, Miguel Cabrera, New York Mets, Pittsburgh Pirates, Second Baseman, Street Segment, Top Story, Usa Today Sports

Vasquez Gets Milestone strikeout as Pelfrey and Mets lose to Marlins

There has been this up and down theory of the New York Mets this season as they continue to count down the end of another season. Their pitching staff depends on starter Mike Pelfrey, who was designated ace of the staff in April as Johan Santana continued to recover from left shoulder surgery.  Pelfrey has showed some spark as the ace but deep into the game, even with the good sinker, he gives up the runs with a high pitch count.

That was the case again Tuesday night at Citi Field. The Florida Marlins had a five-run seventh inning, Pelfrey lost his eighth straight decision to the Fish, Javier Vasquez got a milestone strikeout and win, and New York snapped a four-game winning streak with a 6-0 loss. In between there was a miscue on the field by rookie second baseman Justin turner and the Mets will look to rebound Wednesday evening in the third game of a four-day, five-game series.

“They definitely have my number, that’s for sure,” commented Pelfrey who is 0-8 in 16 starts against the Marlins since pitching a major league debut win against them in July of 2006.  Pelfrey was coming off a career high 125 pitches last Wednesday in Philadelphia and threw scoreless ball for six innings. But in the seventh inning a defensive mistake started the implosion. Vasquez came to bat and a bunt play became a single because the Mets left first base uncovered.

Turner made indication for a pickoff try but Pelfrey went to the plate. Turner would be the culprit that opened the inning for Florida. “I should have stepped off or threw to second,” explained Pelfrey (7-11) as the Mets were shutout for the seventh time this season and second time at home. “The worst thing in that situation is go home. He showed me the open glove, that’s on me.”

“It was a weird play,” said Turner, “and we got caught.”  David Wright, 2-for-3, was in the play. “A couple of different people saw a couple of different things, and that’s why it didn’t work,” he said about the play. Earlier in the day, Wright was a recipient of the first Roberto Clemente Sportsman of the Year Award at a latino Sports awards luncheon at Citi Field. “He (Pelfrey) deserved the win. He challenges hitters. That’s why his pitch count is up.”

Pelfrey got out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth but it was a struggle getting Gaby Sanchez to pop up to Justin turner at second. “Mike pitched very well,” said Mets manager Terry Collins. “It’s a perfect example of what is going on the last four games where Mets starters previously allowed four earned runs in 28.0 innings, a 1.29 ERA.

Vasquez, (8-11) in the meantime continued to turn around a season that got off to a bad start. He achieved a career milestone in strikeouts with 2,500 in the sixth inning when he struck out Lucas Duda swinging, his sixth in seven innings pitched. The veteran pitcher of six teams, including two stints with the New York Yankees, became the 30th pitcher in Major League history to achieve that mark.  He retired 13 consecutive Mets before Josh Thole got a two-out single in the fifth, evened his career record at 160-160, walked one and gave up three hits.

It was his seventh straight quality start. “I didn’t know I had it,” he said about the strikeout. He claims teammates informed him of the milestone when he reached the dugout. “I played so many years, it’s an honor,” he said holding a 2004 bottle of Italian wine that was presented to him by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria.

Vasquez knew, after being informed that he was one of the few to reach the plateau. “I don’t think I’m going to stick around for 3,000,” he commented. “I’m not going to play that long. This might be it,” he said, offering hints that this may be his final season in a uniform. Though he used both sides of the plate well against the Mets and it was good enough to impress Collins and his team.

“He had a good breaking ball and appears to got his strength back,” said Collins. Vasquez, though, would not admit that he is getting stronger and pitching perhaps the best ball of his career after a dull period in New York. “It’s nice to pitch well and finish on a good note,” he said.

But for Pelfrey, pitching well and working the hitters does not seem to add to wins. He has become the hard luck pitcher, especially against the Marlins. “It definitely gives me an incentive,” he said about the losing streak.

NOTES: Gaby Sanchez went 2-for- 5 and a RBI batting .373 with seven home runs and 26 RBI in his career against the Mets…. The Mets pen allowed two more runs and have given up one run in 29 of their last 36 games…. The finale Thursday night will see Miguel Batista get the start for New York, the veteran and former pitcher of the 2001 World Series champion Arizona Diamondbacks….

It was the Marlins eighth shutout of the season and Mike Stanton hit his 31st homer in the ninth inning, a long shot to the Pepsi Porch in right. On the home run, Collins said, “I think he has the most, raw power I have ever seen. I have never seen a guy generate that kind of power before.”

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under David Wright, Florida Marlins, Game Series, Game Winning Streak, High Pitch, Johan Santana, League Debut, Mike Pelfrey, Miscue, New York Mets, Second Baseman, Seventh Inning, Strikeout, Time At Home, Top Story

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on August 31, 2011

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Subway Series: Round 2, At Citi Field

New York – From those who would rather see a reduction of six games to three between the Yankees and Mets, well think twice. According to Major League baseball this cross-town series continues to be the most popular of the interleague matchups, but a proposed realignment of the leagues for next year could mean more games between the two teams.

So at Citi Field Friday evening, for the first time this season, as the calendar turned to July, there was a full house, 42,020, the largest crowd at the new ballpark in Flushing. Because the Yankees have turned it around since, that mid- May sweep in the Bronx at the hands of the Boston Red Sox. And the underachieving Mets are overachieving without David Wright and Ike Davis.

It was another Yankees win over the Mets, and both Alex Rodriguez and Jose Reyes were involved in a seventh inning play at third base that led to the ejection of Mets manager Terry Collins. Rodriquez, as it appeared, did not make the tag on a sliding Reyes. And before the game, Rodriquez said Reyes “Was the world’s greatest player.”  Yankees general manager Brian Cashman would say that his second baseman, Robinson Cano “is the best player on the field.”

Comments like that always epitomized the six- game series with the Yankees and Mets, though it used to come from the fans. The Yankees have their history and record, and still have to make their point to the Mets fans who await their day as the number one baseball team in New York. Truth is, Reyes and Cano, are two of the premiere stars in the game from the Dominican Republic. Reyes, though, could be the most exciting player in the game because the numbers tell the story, and his two hits Friday night extended his Major League lead in multi-game hits with 43 and leads baseball in hitting with a .352 average…

Mariano Rivera comes out of the Yankees pen in the ninth without the entrance of” Sandman” but the ovation sounded more like an entrance coming out of the pen at Yankee Stadium…. Interesting at bat in the inning as Reyes batted from the right side against Rivera as the second batter in the inning and grounded out to A-Rod …

Rodriguez gets a 400-foot double to straight away center in the eighth inning, would have been a home run in the Bronx or another ballpark that gave the Yankees a 5-1 lead…And after that double, it was all Yankees fans over taking the home crowd faithful ones of the Mets…

And as Mets radio voice Wayne Hagin said, “Strange subway series without Derek Jeter and David Wright,” meaning two prominent faces of this series and New York baseball are out of the lineup due to injuries…   Collins said, “Today we did not get our two-out hits.” That was part of the success on the recent Mets road trip where they scored a team record 46- runs in four games…

In case you are counting before game two of the series, televised on Fox Saturday afternoon, The Yankees lead the Mets 5-2 in games at Citi Field, have a regular season winning advantage 48-35, and are 3-1 in the four games and can clinch the season series with a win Saturday…

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Alex Rodriguez, Baseball Team, Boston Red Sox, Cross Town, David Wright, Field Comments, Game Hits, Game Series, General Manager Brian Cashman, Jose Reyes, Major League Baseball, Mariano Rivera, Mets Fans, Multi Game, New York Mets, Rich Mancuso, Second Baseman, Seventh Inning, Six Games, Subway Series, Top Story

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on July 2, 2011

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Report: Alderson To Be Named Next GM

According to a report on SI.com, the Mets have decided to hire Sandy Alderson as their 12th general manager. An announcement could happen as early as Friday, the day off for the World Series.

After three weeks of interviews, it seems like the Mets Office of the Chairman consisting of Mets CEO Fred Wilpon, President Saul Katz, and COO Jeff Wilpon decided on the 62 year-old Alderson, who will bring instant credibility to the club after building the Oakland A’s in the 1990s as general manager, presiding over the San Diego Padres in the mid to late 2000s and having two stints in the Commissioner’s Office, most recently cleaning up the Dominican Republic.

Alderson’s candidacy comes with the blessing of Commissioner Bud Selig, who has had a very close relationship with the Wilpons over the years.

The new GM, though, will have his work cut out for him as he inherits a Mets club that suffered from dysfunction and bad contracts over the Omar Minaya era. Alderson will need to make decisions on center fielder Carlos Beltran, second baseman Luis Castillo, and pitcher Oliver Perez, all of whom have disappointed in 2010 and have expiring contracts next season.

But his first order of business will be the next Met manager. A pioneer of Sabermatrics, Alderson may want to hire a manger in the mold of the Red Sox Terry Francona, who will implement front office policy, rather than manage from the gut. That would seem to eliminate former Met Wally Backman will not be hired, but past reports indicate the Wilpons would prefer a manager with some Met connections.

That remains to be seen as Alderson probably commands full autonomy and the Wilpons stated publicly the new GM will pick the manager for the club.

An Alderson seems to be up to the job. He is a Vietnam veteran, who has a law degree from Harvard. Alderson’s Oakland A’s won the 1989 World Series, while his shoestring San Diego Padres were strong contenders during his years as CEO.

Posted under Carlos Beltran, Center Fielder, Commissioner Bud Selig, Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon, Law Degree, Luis Castillo, Mets Club, New York Mets, Oliver Perez, Omar Minaya, Order Of Business, San Diego Padres, Sandy Alderson, Saul Katz, Second Baseman, Shoestring, Stints, Terry Francona, Top Story, Vietnam Veteran, Wally Backman

This post was written by Joe McDonald on October 27, 2010

Tejada Provides A Much Needed Mets Spark

Ruben Tejada the 20-year old rookie infielder of the New York Mets has been patient realizing his playing time has also been a valuable experience. Back in April he was on the 25 man roster and struggled at the plate.

Patience is a virtue as they say. And for Tejada recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on August 7th, the learning process of being on a big league roster have probably earned him the starting second base job at Citi Field next season.

The roster move back in August came when the Mets released veteran infielder and clubhouse leader Alex Cora. “He helped me a lot, spoke to me about what to expect and how to play the big field,” Tejada said recently about his experience of playing in New York and taking Cora in as a mentor.

Tuesday night at Citi Field in the bottom of the ninth inning, with the Mets trailing the Milwaukee Brewers by two runs, in a game that meant nothing but playing for pride, Tejada got his chance. He hit an inside fastball off   Brewers hard throwing left handed closer John Axford.

The ball went into the left center field gap and Luis Castillo came home with the Mets seventh walk-off win of the season 4-3. Tejada was mobbed at home plate by his teammates after going 3-for-4 The second of his two doubles became the big hit with his two runs batted in.

Mets manager Jerry Manuel has always been an advocate of using Tejada as the every day second baseman which regulated the big contract of Castillo to the bench And when infielder Luis Hernandez broke his foot and ended his season on the prior home stand, the second base job and batting eighth in the lineup was permanent for Tejada.

“It was a matter of him getting some hits to fall for him,” said Manuel about the game wining hit that gave the Mets their first win of the season when trailing after eight innings. “Some things fell in for him tonight, that’s a great confidence boost for him.  He’s trying to establish to himself where he belongs on this level and he did a good job tonight,”

Tejada, who makes his off season home in Veraguas Panama has made it known that the adjustment to the big city has been a patient process, Just like being patient at the plate where he has been struggling to keep his average over .200.

“I feel great and hit the ball hard to the left fielder and won the game,’ he said after what hopefully will be many more of his walk off wins for the Mets. On the situation, he said, “I think I’m looking for my count and hit the ball to center field to tie the game.”

It was more than a game tying hit. It became the game winning hit that gave the Mets a good start to their final seven games of the season at home. “I want to finish up strong, we want to finish strong,” he said.

The three hits tied a career high that were achieved against the Pirates on September 14th. Back on September 5th, Tejada also became the second Met this season that had a five RBI game. “I saw the ball good that day,” he said and the wind was also blowing out that day at Wrigley Field.

“It’s been a great experience for me I’m learning a lot, it’s good,” commented Tejada. He will pack his bags after the final game Sunday and return home to be with his mother and members of his family, and then possibly play winter ball in Venezuela.

Something the Mets hope for is the continued development of their youngsters.  The future at Citi Field revolves around players like Tejada, and draft picks such as Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and pitcher Dillon Gee.

And as Tejada says, “I hope to be a part of that future.” A game wining hit and continued patience certainly have almost assured a welcome mat for Tejada at Citi Field next April as their starting second baseman.

e-mail Rich Mancuso: Ring786@aol.com

Posted under Alex Cora, August 7, Clubhouse, Fastball, Gap, Luis Castillo, Luis Hernandez, Man Roster, Mentor, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Ninth Inning, Patience Is A Virtue, Playing Time, Roster Move, Ruben, Second Baseman, Teammates, Top Story, Tuesday Night, Veteran Infielder

This post was written by Rich Mancuso on September 29, 2010