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Monday, July 6, 2015

The absurdity in sports

Remember Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be The Hardest Word?"

In that song, Sir Elton warbles "and it's getting more and more absurd," with a definite fine English accent on absurd, making it sound like he's saying OB-ZURD.

Anyway, there were two instances of OB-ZURD-ITY over the last 48 hours that have really caused the big man's blood pressure to rise and boil.

First moment of absurdity came when the New York Giants' talented defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul brought a van load of fireworks from Virginia to Florida to celebrate the Fourth of July. When we say van load, we mean van load, like UHaul load, of fireworks. There were pictures of the loaded van on Twitter. In the van with Pierre-Paul was his wife and six-month-old son. Yes, a baby with all those fireworks. Absurd.

Anyway, Pierre-Paul did absurd thing No. 2. He apparently lit some of the fireworks with his own hand and was severely maimed by the explosives. No one knows the extent of his injuries. At first, it was thought that JPP lost digits as a cause of the accident, but apparently he has suffered severe flesh burns that will require several skin graft operations. Absurd.

Now, what's the first question that comes to mind? Right, we all know it. What in the hell was he thinking?

What does he need that much fireworks? Why is he handling them? Why is he handling them with his baby there? How can he do such a thing when he has yet to sign his contract for the 2015 season, one that was scheduled for him to make $14.8 million? He was offered a franchise tag tender for the season and has yet to sign it, because he's looking for a longer deal with more guaranteed money.

Well, he can kiss that all goodbye now. I hope the M-80 explosion was worth it, because the Giants withdrew the $60 million offer with about $25 million of it guaranteed off the table today. JPP's agent said that he wasn't going to sign that contract anyway. Oh, yeah, well, it's hard to sign a contract offer that isn't there. It's also hard to sign a contract with your hand all bandaged up and mangled.

JPP's net worth right now is estimated at $4.9 million, according to the website, So he stood to more than triple his net worth this season with the franchise tag. Not to mention the $60 million offer that was on the table. That's all gone now, because the $14.8 million franchise tag is not guaranteed and the Giants can release JPP and not owe him a dime.

Will they do so? No, he's too valuable of a player. He had 12 sacks last season in a comeback year after back surgery. So the Giants want him back. And the doctors told a few news agencies in Florida that the injuries were not career threatening and he should recover.

But if you're the Giants, do you offer him a huge contract now? I mean, this is perhaps the stupidest thing I've ever heard in 34 years of being a sportswriter. We all thought Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg of a nightclub with an illegal gun was stupid. Burress was a MENSA member compared to this ridiculous act. Absurd.

The next bit of absurdity comes courtesy of my favorite baseball team, the New York Mets, who continue to just boggle the mind with the way they make moves _ and subsequently don't make moves.

Today, the team announced that it was recalling Kirk Niewenhuis back to the club from Class AAA Las Vegas.

This is the same Niewenhuis who has been released by two organizations this year _ one of which happens to be the Mets.

In 38 at-bats with the Mets, he hit a robust .079 with three hits. He struck out 17 times and had two RBI. The Mets then cut him loose (actually sold him) to the Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles or whatever they're called.

In 24 at-bats with the Angels, Niewenhuis hit .136 (hey, an improvement) with three hits and one RBI, earning his release, where he ended up with the Mets' Class AAA franchise and now back with the Mets today.

So he's had six hits in 60 at-bats this season with two teams. That's a batting average of .100. That's not even sniffing the Mendoza line. He's hitting .100. I don't ever recall a position player with a lower batting average.

Plain and simple, as much as the female fans might not want to admit because he is actually eye candy, he cannot play. He can't hit to save his beans. But he's collecting a major league salary again today, courtesy of the punchless Mets. He fits right in, because most of the rest of the Mets can't hit either, especially the combo of Lucas Duda and Michael Cuddyer, who right now look like Marshall, Will and Holly on the Land of the Lost.


Bringing back Niewenhius (or however he spells his name) proves one thing. That the Wilpons and GM/Stooge Sandy Alderson do not care about the fans. Nope, Freddie Coupon and Coupon, Jr. only care about getting through the season with as little payroll as possible and hopefully they can make money with the team. They already make a boatload with the SNY broadcasts, but that's never filtered to the team, like the Steinbrenners take the YES money and put it towards the Yankees.

Nope, the Coupons think we're all stupid idiots. The logical move would be to bring top prospect Michael Conforto up from Binghamton and see if he could handle major league pitching, like he's done on every single level of baseball he's ever played in. Everyone knows that the kid can simply hit. He's a no-miss prospect.

But he remains in the minors for one reason. Because the Coupons don't want his free agency clock to start ticking. Much like they did with Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler and Steven Katz, they want to hold Conforto out of major league action to control his free agency status for years to come.

The hell with winning now. We want to keep our players for as long as we can on the cheap. Because that's what the Coupons are. They are cheap. They are misers. They count their money in a dark room together and giggle like school girls. The hell with winning and putting a team on the field that the fans can root for. Nope, let's keep them in the minors for as long as possible.

Everyone is calling for a trade. But in reality, what's out there that the Mets can trade for? And they're not trading any of their incredible pitchers. They have the best young pitching staff in baseball. None of them are going anywhere.

Unless someone wants to take that malcontent Jonathon Niese off our hands for useful player, there will not be a trade this year. So the Mets will continue to parade this band of outmakers like Mayberry, Ceciliani, Tejada, Monell and my mother up to the plate and hope and pray they can squeak out a 2-1 win, thanks to the pitching. It doesn't work.

In fact, it's all just absurd. That's the best way to describe it. JPP and the Mets. Perfectly absurd.

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