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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Have to get at least one blog in for May

A quick glance at the calendar today showed me that May is rapidly slipping away, that Memorial Day weekend has come and gone and I've been negligent of my blogging duties.

In fact, the last blog was about the NCAA basketball tournament. That's March Madness. It's almost June. Why bother even having a blog if I'm going to be that lackadaisical?

So tonight, with some free time on my hands for the first time in _ I don't know, say two months _ I decided to write at least one blog for the month of May in 2014.

First, let's talk about my favorite topic, the New York Mets. Can anyone comprehend the interview that General Stooge, oops, General Manager Sandy Alderson did with Michael Kay and Don LaGreca on Kay's ESPN Radio show the other day?

Alderson actually had the audacity to say that since fans aren't going to CitiField in droves this season to watch this ho-hum bunch of misfits, then the team has no need to invest money in getting better players.

"The lack of support we're getting from the fans proves to us that there's no need to add payroll," Alderson said. "If the fans come out and support us, then maybe we'll be able to add payroll."

What an absolute crock of bullspit that is! We're supposed to believe that the reason why the Mets have a less than competitive everyday lineup is because the fans aren't coming out? That absolutely took the cake. We stink, so let's blame the loyal fans who do come out and pay ridiculously high prices to watch an inferior product.

Sure, it's not our fault, as owners, as administrators. No, it's the fans. Hey, the fans are booing classic underachievers like Chris Young (who ironically just hit a two-run homer as I write this) and Lucas Duda, and the now fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens said that part of the reason why they didn't perform this year was the lack of support. Sure, blame the fans.

Then Alderson's absolute gem. See, I think it works like this. If the Mets spent money on getting good players and not parade this sack of noise out there, then chances are more people would spend money to see them play.

See, I was one of those avid fans, owning at least a portion of a season ticket plan for more than 20 years. And when the Coupon boys, the cheapskates named Freddie Coupon and his cheaper son Jeffy Coupon decided NOT to re-sign the 28-year-old franchise shortstop Jose Reyes, then that's when I decided NOT to re-up my tickets.

Why should I spend thousands of my hard-earned dollars schlepping to Citifield to watch an inferior product? There was no way possible. The Mets weren't offering any ticket deals for the avid fan base because they were fielding an awful team. In fact, ticket prices went up.

So Alderson wants fans to come out, spend at least $75 a ticket to watch a God-awful team and if that happens, then the cheapskate owners will spend that money and get players. I have never heard of such a ridiculous premise in my life.

It's been a whirlwind of stupidity for the Mets organization this year. They have really botched everything and anything, like that silly missive e-mail that asked fans to "be true New Yorkers" and support the team like they did in the winning years of 1969 and 1986, putting players' names to the letter, like Cleon Jones and Ron Darling, when both said they never even read the thing before it went out.

If that plea for support was some sort of a public relations ploy, it was borderline retarded, especially if two of the heroes of the past they put on the e-mail didn't even know about the damn thing.

Well, now we have Sandy Stooge, who has basically been nothing but a puppet for the Coupon Boys, making such a ridiculous comment. He's Dartmouth educated. At least that's what his resume says.

Enough is enough with these clods. I still can't comprehend how they put a Cirque de Soleil tent in the parking lot while Opening Day is taking place, taking away hundreds of prime parking spots for their baseball fans. After all, aren't they into the baseball business?

I want the Mets to succeed. I really do. I'm a diehard fan and love the Mets with all my heart. But the management makes it hard to watch the team. Just now, they took Zach Wheeler out of the game in the seventh inning after he gave up one run via a homer. He was breezing along, 10 strikeouts, four hits, and Terry Collins (who I have now lost total faith in) goes out and takes him out. UGH! It's so frustrating and won't get any better anytime soon, afraid to say.

There is joy in one part of my sports-driven life these days and that's the excitement being generated by the New York Rangers.

I've been a Ranger fan since I was a little boy. Yes, I was once little.

I go back to the days of Ratelle and Gilbert and Hadfield and Giacomin. My favorite player was a non-descript defenseman named Gilles Marrotte, who had the nickname of "Captain Crunch," which was of course my favorite cereal, so Marrotte was my man. I even wrote Marrotte and No. 4 on my first-ever street hockey stick.

So I'm not a bandwagon Ranger fan. I've been true Blue---Broadway Blue--ever since.

I was at the parade 20 years ago, soaking that all in. And I've enjoyed this playoff run to the fullest, watching every minute of every game.

So as a Met fan and a Ram fan, it's about time I had something positive to root for. It's been a lot of fun watching this playoff run. There's nothing like playoff hockey for excitement. There's nothing like it when your favorite team is involved and on the doorstep of playing for the Stanley Cup.

Despite the demise of the Newark Bears this year, I did have the opportunity to announce my fair share of games at Bears & Eagles Riverfront Stadium this spring, doing Rutgers-Newark and NJIT games, as well as a handful of high school games.

Well, I completed my tour of duty Wednesday afternoon with a high school game between Newark Arts High and Newark Tech. Let's just say I earned my pay as the P.A.

The final score was Arts 8, Newark Tech 7 in a game that took three hours and 22 minutes to play. Yes, only seven innings.

Even more incredibly, Arts won the game despite having made 11 errors in the field. That's right. Eleven errors. The scoreboard couldn't even handle that total. I never saw one team make that many errors on any level there in the hundreds of games I either scored or announced over the last 15 years there. And they won the game.

It marked the last baseball game to be played at the once-majestic ballpark for the summer. With no more Bears, the place will remain dark throughout June, July and August. There's a sense of sadness with that, knowing that there will be nothing going on there. NJIT has assumed the responsibilities of running the building for now. There are rumors that a prospective buyer for the place may be happening, but that's speculation. No one knows if bringing another pro baseball team in would be part of the sale.

So that was it Wednesday, the final baseball game at a beautiful baseball park. What happens in the future remains to be seen.


Some little tidbits of interest:

I can't comprehend that the former CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer has bid $2 billion for Donald Sterling's Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, that's billion with a B. For the Paper Clips? A team that has won all of three playoff series since Bill Walton played for them? They don't own their own building or have their own TV network and they can get $2 BILLION?

If that's the case, what in the world are the Yankees worth? The Dallas Cowboys? Holy BeJesus! Maybe Sterling should have been an open racist sooner...

There was a play late in the Heat-Pacers playoff game last night, where the referees didn't know if the ball was off Shane Battier or off Paul George or off both or whomever. So they went to the replay to review it. And ESPN showed the replay about 96 times. Over and over. More than they showed Buckwheat being shot on Saturday Night Live and more times than I've seen The Wizard of Oz.

It took 20 minutes of real time to get to the final 16 seconds of the game. The referees had to watch it at least 35 times and did nothing. The call remained the same. I understand they want to get it right, but watch the replay once, make a determination and get on with the game. It was annoying...

I think right now that California Chrome will win the Triple Crown by winning the Belmont next Saturday. There hasn't been a late entry that has blown me away just yet. But there is still a week to debate it. Everyone involved in horse racing wants the Chrome to win. It's a great story. But is he truly a great horse, in the mold of other Triple Crown winners like Affirmed and Seattle Slew? Let's not even go near Secretariat comparisons, like one CBS Sports announcer did this week. That's just insane.

So we're hoping for the Chrome to shine on Long Island next Saturday afternoon. We'll hold off making a prediction for now.

You can read more of my work at, (thanks to the Observer and Kevin Canessa for putting a link to this blog on the website last week) and