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Pipe Dreams: The Director’s Cut

Maybe it's just me, but...

RANDOLPH

“Bklyn. Willie” was axed 2 ½ months into a 33-35 disappointing season. BUT the Wilpons should take a good look at “Omar The Met Maker.” A MLB manager can only do a good job when he is given the right tools by the GM. As a manager, Willie was 302-253, .544 with those tools- that’s an average of 89 wins a year for the 3.4 years he was there. As of mid-June the Mets were 33-35, .485 and to get to my mythical Met goal of 90 wins they MUST play .606 from here on out.

For the record the Yankees are 37-33, .529 and need to play .652 or Willie may be back in pinstripes.

Conlin from Philly quoted Oscar Wilde in thinking about Minaya: “The coward does it with a kiss, the brave man with a sword. It was way after midnight in the East (all the newspapers were put to bed) when “Bklyn. Willie” pitching coach Rick Peterson, and 1st base coach Tom Nieto had the prefix “ex” added to their titles. The best explanation that Mets owner Fred Wilpon could come up with about how this was handled was: “Well, it’s Omar Minaya’s decision. He’s the GM”- FOR NOW, ANYWAY.

There’s been a lot of ink saying that Randolph was too easy on his team, treating them all like adults when a lot of them were only youngsters. Well, THAT WAS A JOB FOR THE VETERANS (like Delgado and Alou) who didn’t step up and tell those youngsters how to act. The alumni Mets should also have been a presence. Keith Hernandez has a lot to say on TV, why not to those players? 

THE SPORTS CURMUDGEON AND NADER

Jack Finarelli, The Sports Curmudgeon, sent me a note about the item about Ralph Nader and his group in this column. He said, “If there was a contest to determine the Most Annoying Life-Form on the planet, David Stern and Ralph Nader both would be in the top ten finalists. If those two went at it in a debate, I think the audience would pelt both of the with veggies before it was over. But maybe that’s just me ;-)”

NBA FINALS

Bob Molinaro said that nostalgia was the advance man for this year’s NBA finals. Before the series started older basketball fans were hoping to see another “Bird and Magic Show.” Even though Nicholson WAS there in LA along with other Hollywood types wanting “to be seen” and in Boston we heard never ending Auerbach stories- I DON’T CARE! Maybe that’s too parochial (small P), but SO WHAT!  We weren’t in it. Unless the league can come up with a way for Kobe to go one-on-one with himself (and the refs) there wasn’t that much drama.

BAVETTA AND THE FINALS

NBA Commissioner “King David” Stern confirmed that the FBI was asking questions about ref Dick Bavetta and his work in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals in Utah. He made two crucial shot-clock rulings that proved to be wrong and provided a five point swing in Chicago’s favor. The Bulls won that game 87-86 to capture their sixth title. I ask- so why was 68-year old Bavetta working game 1 this year? 

LAKER GAME 4 COLLAPSE

Did the Lakers think that the refs were just going to hand them game 4, won by the Celts 97-91, of the NBA Finals? Why else was there that much standing around waiting for Kobe (who shot 6-19) TO BAIL THEM OUT.

I noticed a swing of momentum in the 3rd quarter when Kevin Garnett  came down the court and scored two quick hoops (one on a classic Sam Jones bank shot) reducing the then Lakers 21 point lead to 17.

That “T” received by Celtic Coach Doc Rivers for loudly and animatedly protesting the Lakers mugging of Paul Pierce was a masterful bit of work on the refs.

You know—I thought that I smelled a bit of cigar smoke in my living room when House hit that final basket. I know Kobe didn’t because he left the Lakers bench before the game was over- hey, maybe he did.

MORE FINALS (REDUNDACY)

If the Lakers had beaten the Celtics in five, finishing them off in LA amid a lot of LAdamonium, it would have been a ho-hum victory because the Lakers were supposed to win. But if, a big IF here, the Lakers won in seven IN BOSTON, it would have been a victory that cemented Kobe’s reputation among the legends of the NBA. However, now that they lost 131-92, it was good news for Hillary Clinton and the NY Mets. They won’t be the authors of the biggest collapses in recent years.

KOBE

Kobe still hasn’t won a title without Shaq. He can’t win it by himself. He needs a good big man AND a good point. Hey, wait a minute! I know where they can get an experienced point for a reasonable price.

The Celtics came off a woeful 24-58 season to take it all. So, IT CAN BE DONE. We just have to hope Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni can do something that Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers did.

YES OR NO

The same people who are clamoring for instant replays to be used in MLB games are yelling that they don’t want the DH in the National League for the same reasons used by those against instant replay. Game tradition is their BIG reason.

UH-OH

You have to raise your eyebrows with the signing of Sidney Ponson to a minor league contract, by the Yankees. Even Texas Rangers malcontent Milton Bradley said,” Wow, that dude’s got issues.”

A look at Ponson shows that he’s 31-years old, has a career w/l 86-102, 4.90 ERA, WHIP 1.47. 

TRAINING TABLE

Dwight Perry said that Mizuki Noguchi of Japan, the defending women’s Olympic Marathon Champion, will be back to defend her title with a new secret weapon- running shoes made from ground-up rice husks.

“Or, as they are better known around the training table: Rice-A-Runni.”

Again, maybe it’s just me—but…. 

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