Sports Beat “Self-absorbed Matt”

In yet another dreary Mets season Matt Harvey gave Mets fans a number of thrills this season such as pitching two scoreless innings as the starting pitcher in the 2013 All-Star Game played at Citi Field this past July. You would have to go back nearly 30 years to Dwight Gooden’s heyday to find a Mets pitcher who could dominate opposing hitters at will.

He was such a big story that Jimmy Fallon used him for a hilarious “man in the street” bit to see how many New Yorkers could recognize him. ESPN Magazine put him on the cover in the buff for its July “body issue” while Men’s Journal ran a feature on him that made it clear that he was thoroughly enjoying the trappings of being a handsome, young New York celebrity.

Last month Mets fans’ collective spirits took a dive when it was diagnosed that Harvey’s pitching elbow suffered a tear and that it was probable that he would miss the 2014 season. It would be a certainty if he elected to have surgery something that he understandably is hoping to avoid although it seems inevitable that he will need a procedure.

Given that Harvey has been a hero to beleaguered Mets fans, combined with the fact that his future is clearly in jeopardy, many of the media who cover the team have been reticent to report that he has been rather unapproachable in the clubhouse for a good chunk of the season and that you were lucky to get a one-word response to questions if he did deign to talk to you.

Harvey’s arrogance would certainly have gone unreported by me had he not made a jerk out of himself last Wednesday when he agreed to be a guest on Dan Patrick’s NBC Sports Network Show. Instead of answering Patrick’s questions about his pitching arm issues, Harvey insisted on shilling, rather inarticulately I might add, for the cellular telephone chip manufacturer, Qualcomm. Dan understandably skewered him after the interview was over.

In contrast, McDonald’s did things right last Tuesday when it brought in Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz for a press event at their Times Square restaurant to promote their new Mighty Wings snack. Cruz is a commercial endorser for McDonald’s but he gamely took questions about the Giants’ 0-2 start from the attending press.

The personable Cruz is one of the few Hispanic sports to land a bevy of national endorsement deals. He has done TV and magazine ads for Time Warner Cable, Gillette, and Advil as well as raking in big bucks from Nike for wearing their apparel. Even the great Mariano Rivera never landed the lucrative corporate contracts that Victor Cruz has.

New York City’s official tourism bureau, NYC and Company, owes  MLB scheduling committee and the good folks from the Bay Area a lot of thanks. Thousands of visitors from Northern California came to New York this past week for the sole purpose of seeing the Giants play the Mets at Citi Field (the Mets’ accounting department was delighted since the place would have been a ghost town otherwise) and the Yankees in the Bronx.

The Queens Economic Development Council, which had a booth at the US Open, to inform visitors of what Queens has to offer, should do the same in front of Citi Field. Queens has terrific restaurants that are just as good, if not better, and far less expensive than those in Manhattan. Yet the vast majority of out-of-town visitors attending a sporting event don’t know that. If nothing else, the QEDC should be visible when the Phillies come into play the Mets next year because a lot of fans drive in from Philadelphia and its suburbs to see their team at Citi Field. They have already paid the high parking charges so they might as well get their money’s worth by walking over the Roosevelt Avenue Bridge to Flushing and try one of its many fine dining establishments.

It wasn’t that long ago that the San Francisco Giants drew even fewer fans than the Mets do for a game. A great deal of the credit for the turnaround has to go to the team’s CEO, Lawrence Baer, who was instrumental in getting AT& T Park built in San Francisco and then putting together a team that won two World Series in the last three years. Baer is the rare baseball executive who enjoys schmoozing with the media and with fans. Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon could learn a lot by observing him. Perhaps Jeff’s dad, Mets owner Fred Wilpon, could make a call to Baer to arrange for Jeff to have an internship with him.

I asked Baer about the team that plays across San Francisco Bay from his, the Oakland Athletics, and their quest to get a new stadium. Baer and the Giants are not happy that the A’s want to move south to San Jose where the Giants have a minor league team there and they consider it to be their territory. The city of San Jose is suing Major League Baseball for their attempts to prevent the A’s from moving there.

Baer could not comment on this pending litigation but he did not disagree with my assessment that the A’s would be better off building a new ballpark on Oakland’s sizable waterfront that is well-served by mass transit. The A’s would be rolling the dice moving 50 miles from their current home in the hopes of tapping into the Silicon Valley corporate world.

The Mets’ cable outlet, SNY, made a big deal in advance of Jerry Seinfeld’s guest analyst gig last Tuesday night that lasted a paltry four innings. Except for one joke about surgeon to star athletes Dr. James Andrews who gets a lot of press attention even when he just offers an opinion, Jerry did not bring much to the table. Seinfeld, a  Queens College alum, did not meet with the media and his bodyguards got him out of Citi Field as quickly as possible by interacting with as few people as possible.

Under Armour, the Baltimore-based sports apparel company, continues to chip away at Nike’s dominance in the marketplace. St. John’s University announced this week that Under

Armour will be the official supplier of uniforms for its sports teams for the next six years.

With both leisure time and disposable income becoming increasingly more difficult for Americans, destination and resorts are competing harder for attention. California’s San Luis Obispo County took out a booth at the GBK Lounge in Manhattan’s Empire Hotel during Fashion Week while the Puerto Rico Tourism Company did the same at the US Open. Last Monday, the Blue Lagoon Resort in Iceland, the European country located closest to the USA, held a reception for travel agents and the press in midtown Manhattan.

The weather is still warm and sunny but we all know that the cold weather isn’t far behind. Ski Vermont, the private consortium that markets that state’s many ski resorts, was in town Thursday week to promote the fact that nearly all of the resorts there will be offering bargain lodging and ski lessons in January to beginners. Many ski lodges, including Killington and Stowe Mountain will be making their own snow as early as November. Sugarbush is offering an unlimited ski pass without any blackout dates to those under 30 for $299. The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe (yes, the same von Trapp family of “Sound of Music” fame) still offers the best in cross-country skiing and they are opening an Austrian lager brewery. They hope to ship can and bottles to retailers all over the world by next year.

Consumer Reports is great when it comes to comparing high ticket items such as cars, computers, and refrigerators, and on occasion they touch smaller priced items. If you want to find out the best-rated in everyday items such as snacks, paper goods, soaps, oral care products, and cleaning supplies, log onto www.productoftheyearusa.com . A research company, TNS, surveys a scientific sampling of 50,000 consumers to get the results.

Posted under Cellular Telephone, Chip Manufacturer, Dwight Gooden, Heyday, Lloyd Carroll, Man In The Street, Mets Fans, New York Mets, Qualcomm, Scoreless Innings, Shilling, Starting Pitcher, Top Story, Trappings, Word Response

Who Is Matt Harvey: What Makes the New York Mets Pitcher an MLB All-Star? (Yahoo! Contributor Network)

COMMENTARY | During the 2013 MLB All-Star break, New York Mets ace Matt Harvey teamed up with comedian Jimmy Fallon for a skit where the All-Star pitcher interviewed local New Yorkers about a familiar subject: himself.

Posted under Mlb

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, 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, 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, Lloyd Carroll, Matinee Idol, 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, 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

Matt Harvey interviews New Yorkers who don’t recognize him in hilarious Jimmy Fallon bit (Big League Stew)

NEW YORK — The stands at Citi Field were awash with Matt Harvey No. 33 jerseys on Monday night, and why not? The New York Mets righthander has taken Queens by storm in his first full season and will start Tuesday night’s All-Star game for the National League. He’s even made a bunch of fans outside of the baseball world after making a much-publicized nude appearance in ESPN:The Magazine’s recent “body” issue.
But while Harvey may on his way to becoming a household name in the New York area, it would appear that New Yorkers are focused more on the back of his jersey — and, uh, what’s underneath — than committing his face to memory.
Check out the hilarity ensues as Late Night host Jimmy Fallon sends Harvey out into the streets of New York to interview fans who don’t recognize him …

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Posted under Mlb

Video: Matt Harvey asks New Yorkers what they think of Matt Harvey (NBC Sports)

Mets right-hander Matt Harvey will start the All-Star Game tomorrow for the National League, but he may have a future in comedy. In a skit for NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon,” Harvey took to the streets in New York to ask people what they thought about this Matt Harvey character. It was pretty brilliant.…

Posted under Mlb