Knowing the Score

Bob Connolly can sure take a joke.  In last week’s Pipe Dreams, Connolly printed a humorous tale about how a young boy in foster care chose the Yankees over his parents, because as he put it, “The Yankees don’t beat anyone.”  Well, Bob, I have to admit; the Mets don’t beat anyone either…other than the thorough beatings we delivered to the Yankees.

Seriously, the Mets are just a real joke this year.  They come in with a lot of high hopes, but I knew that Johan Santana was not going to perform to the expectations of the fans.  New York is a very different City.  Just ask Kenny Rogers, who was horrible in stints with the Mets and Yankees, but seemed to be the greatest pitcher in baseball for the Texas Rangers, Oakland A’s and Detroit Tigers.  Santana is just not enough. 

Look at Pedro Martinez.  He and Moises Alou seem to be in competition to see who can get injured the most.  Every time Alou takes a step, I say a prayer.  They weren’t answered.  He’s on the shelf with an injured calf.  And I half expect Martinez to pitch only a handful of games this season.  He says he’s not considering retirement.  I wish he would. 

And now Willie Randolph is under fire.  I do not think he should have apologized for his comments, where he questioned if race had anything to do with the criticisms made against him.  Randolph has a right to defend himself and he has a right to speculate.  But, just for the record, the reason why no one criticized Joe Torre for his laid-back managing style was because he was winning World Series.  His style was proven to have worked.  All Randolph will be remembered for, right now, is the self-destruction of the Mets last season.  Randolph’s style is clearly not working, hence the criticism. 

So, it seems that there is a new controversy in Major League Baseball.  It has everything to do with home runs and nothing to do with steroids.

If Alex Rodriguez ends his career one home run shy of Barry Bonds’ tainted record, he should also have an asterisk next to his name. A-Rod had an obvious home run changed into a double, when umpires believed that the ball hit the wall and not the yellow steps above it.

On three separate occasions, umpires blew home run calls; two of which occurred at Yankee Stadium. Maybe, like the NBA refs, the umpires had money on the spread.  Who knows? 

But I find it funny how three such similar occurrences can happen in one week. 

The only one that truly suffers here is A-Rod, whose potential record will have to wait for one additional at bat. 

Also, maybe future stadiums should not have structures so close to the wall, because apparently, the stereotypical joke about umpires needing glasses is true. 

I was watching American Idol the other night and it made me sick to watch them compare the final showdown (I picked David Cook.  I was right.  My colleague, Jeni Asaba, was wrong.  I’m just saying.) to a boxing match.  What made it worse was watching boxing mainstays Bruce Buffer and Jim Lampley sell their souls for a paycheck in a parody of themselves. 

I found it insulting for a reality karaoke competition to compare itself to a sport like boxing, even as a parody.  You don’t see boxers make a mockery of themselves by competing each week in challenges where contestants are eliminated as they vie for a shot at…oh, wait…never mind. 

What’s next – street ball players competing for a contract offer to play with the New York Knicks? 

That actually sounds like a great idea.  The Knicks could sure use the help.  Their sixth place standing in the NBA Draft did nothing for their immediate future. 

Salary caps really hurt the game of basketball.  Knick fans truly have to wait until the 2010 season to see any improvement in the team.

 It may be two years, but for fans that miss the 1994 era, two years feels like a lifetime. 

Hey…did you know that they are still playing hockey?  Does anyone even care? 

Talk about a sport that loses steam when a New York team is eliminated.  Someone needs to examine the way the NBA, and to some extent, the MLB and NFL, markets their players to get people excited about the game all year long, because I never hear anyone talk about their NHL fantasy team. 

Well, that will do it for another week of sports.  I hope everyone is gearing up for the summer ahead.  Be safe out there.  I’ll see you at the games. 

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