Wednesday, January 03, 2007

All is quiet…

Not much cooking on this Wednesday evening, but I didn’t want the “you’re not updating” choir to get on my back, so I figured I’d post something.

No news on the Bobby Murcer front, except that the family has asked for peace during this time. That worries me.

The Mets have to be hurting by not getting Barry Zito. He would have definitely helped, but I’m just not sure that he’s an east coast kind of guy, dude. Still he would have prospered in the National League, in a pitchers park like Shea Stadium. The Mets are still going to be OK.

On the other side of New York, I have to admit that I’m never a fan of trades. Very few trades really excite me. For instance, I was absolutely thrilled when Roberto Kelly went to Cincinnati in exchange for Paul O’Neill. Kelly was a nice player, but O’Neill became an icon in New York. Love him or hate him, number 21 was a force, and the Yankees haven’t won a World Series since he (and Scott Brosius) left.

The other trade of recent memory that I remember being excited about was the deal that brought Tino Martinez to the Yankees. They had to move on, since Don Mattingly was non-committal about his plans for 1996. Martinez also became a legend in the Bronx. Game one against the Padres in 1998? Game four against the Diamondbacks in 2001?

Notice I got through the mention of O’Neill without making any reference to a ten-pitch at-bat? That, my friend, is progress.

On the other hand, sure, I liked getting A-Rod, but was fearful what Alfonso Soriano would do. How’s that worked out?

Anyway, the reason to talk about trades is the possibility that Randy Johnson could be leaving the Yankees to return to Arizona. Normally this kind of trade makes me nervous, but, while I respect him as a competitor and a first-ballot hall of famer, I’m also willing to show him the door. You would think that I would want to do the same for A-Rod, but deep down, I like the guy. Plus he’s The Son’s favorite player. If he goes somewhere else, he will explode for a .335/60/160 kind of year.

That’s batting average, home runs, and runs batted in for those who didn’t know.

I don’t talk in terms of OPS. Slugging percentage? Sure. On-base percentage? Check.

I’m kind of a purist that way.

I wasn’t missing baseball too much but it’s starting to heat up for me. A little. I still have to pay the invoice for my season tickets for 2007.

It is 2007, right?

Tim Parry’s blog page has changed, by the way. Go visit one of the best blogs here. He, and my friend Sean Kilkelly always get my mouse clicks. A couple of others are the AA Roads blog (I’m a roadgeek, remember?) and Adam Prince’s (roads again).

Also go say hello to my old friend (and broadcasting partner) Tommy Dee by the way. Another Mets fan (I just can’t save these people), but a good, opinionated, smart sports fan.

What is it with the Mets fans in the media? I swear that Sean Mike Francesa, Nick Angotto, Zach Fisher and I are the only Yankees fans. Check out WFAN sometime. Joe Benigno, Evan Roberts (great pairing there, by the way. Please note the sarcasm), Tony Paige, Bernard McGuirk, Lou Ruffino, Steve Sommers and , of course, Mr. Met himself, Bob Huessler. Am I missing anybody? I DARE Mark Chernoff to hire ONE PERSON who will be the Yankees guy. But I guess when you have Mr. Francesa, you have enough.

Not the best of times around the ‘FAN, by the way. I still love it, but it confounds me. The one guy who I like is Mark Malusis, but he gets buried in the overnights. This Evan Roberts fascination is just mind-boggling, but then again, the Benigno fascination is as well. You know it’s bad when you’d rather listen to Steven A. Smithinthehouse (oh, that’s not his full name?).

Lastly, since I’m getting the ‘FAN issues off my chest, what is the deal with Erica Herskowitz? The Rutgers grad seems like a very talented reporter. Now, this is where I differ with most. I don’t watch sports for the babe factor. Ms. Herskowitz is apparently quite attractive, but I don’t care. Why is it that she insists on reporting as if she’s auditioning for a DJ spot on Z-100? She can’t just say the word “five”, for instance. Listen sometime and you’ll catch on.

I know it’s radio, but Mike and the Mad Dog are shown every day on YES. That’s where you can see Erica. Again, she seems talented and nice, but please stop sounding like you want to play the next hit tune from Justin Timberlake. Or Fergie. We haven’t had a Fergie reference lately.

Oh, and to show you that I’m a fair, OK kind of guy, an old colleague of mine, Matt Levine, has created a website where he will stream a game of the week. I’m jealous that he beat me to the punch, but he’s a good guy. He’s on a competing station, but that doesn’t keep me from liking him. Plus he works more consistently than I do. Anyway, good luck, Matt.

As for me, I might want to look into whether or not Matt needs a partner. I don’t know when I will be back on the air again. Guess I can’t say more than that. I hope to be back soon, because I miss it something awful. My friend, coach Bill Brehm, has his Greenwich Cardinals boys hoop team off to a 5-0 start, and I know he wants his team to get the press it deserves. Until this season, virtually every game Bill ever coached was broadcast on WGCH. Times change.

So, have you seen the Saddam footage yet? I scoured the net for it, and watched it – a day or so after it happened. Certainly grisly stuff, and the images of him swaying will stay embedded with me for a while. The grainy picture only adds to it. Say what you want about him, and I felt he should die, but you’ve gotta give him this: he went his way. Completely unrepentant, with a ballsy attitude. He didn’t need no stinking hood.

Still – was it good? Was it rushed?

My thought about the video is this: let’s see it. For real! No, I’m not saying that we should have a public execution, but yeah, if there’s a real video, then let’s see it. Why do we sanitize everything? Put it out there and let the people decide. I can understand protecting our kids, and I wouldn’t be letting The Son watch Saddam swing from the vine, but let me decide if I want to see it for myself. Obviously I was intrigued enough that I looked for it, and thanks to Fox (who else?), I saw it.

Was New Lame’s Eve all that you wanted it to be? Mine was…GREAT! Why? Because I watched “Apollo 13” (still one of my favorites) with The Son and The Wife, then a little “South Park – Bigger, Longer, Uncut” (without The Son) before listening to music and heading to bed. I was asleep by 12:15. I told ya – no Seacrest, Carson (Daly, not Johnny), and so on. No friggin’ ball! We enjoyed a beer tasting (the names aren’t important now), little hot dogs, mozzarella sticks, and other goodies.

Ah, the good life.

Don’t judge me because we had a beer tasting. If it were a wine tasting (which we’ve also done), you’d think we were “high class.” So there.

To football, where the Jets and Giants both got their tickets stamped to join the playoff fun. The Steelers, on the other hand, finished with a nice kick to end at 8-8, but one can only lament that one lousy win, against, say, the freaking Raiders would have made a huge difference. So for those who love parity, you get your wish. You will have a new Super Bowl champion in XLI.

By the way, one of my bigger sports pet peeves is the stupid notion of trade marking everything. So will I get sued for using the term “Super Bowl?” It’s so stupid. Listen to the commercials that talk about “The Big Game.” Will that be taboo next? Will we have to start calling it “The Event That Takes Place On The First Sunday In February That Might Or Might Not Double As A Football Game?” Because, after all, it’s a Prince concert, and two teams will play some football eventually.

OK, back to the Steelers. The buzz is that coach Bill Cowher has likely coached his last game. I am resigned to that fact, as a big Cowher fan. Sure, “The Jaw” was no “Emperor Chas” (that would be Chuck Noll) but he was a consistent winner, and got us Stillers fans our dream – the elusive fifth Super Bowl ring. There could have been more, but who’s to complain after last year?

The bad news is that, if Cowher quits, he’ll be back somewhere else. That will be tough.

Relax, Jets fans. I know you all expect “Mangenius” to guide you to that February game, but so long as the Patriots still have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady (my choice over St. Joe Montana, by the way, in a big game), I’ll take the Pats, at home. If it’s a heartbreak, remember this: your team wasn’t supposed to be there is the first place when the season started.

Oh, one more thing: They’re still the Jets. Must I remind you of the AFC Championship Game in Denver, with the 10-0 lead? Jeez, you had Bill Parcells as coach then and you still found a way to lose. I forgot – you had Vinnie.

Then again, who is Tom Brady’s backup in New England? Vinnie Testaverde, that’s who. Maybe the Jets have a better chance than I thought.

Even though he’s the Cowboys coach, I still like Parcells. I know, he left the Giants, Pats, Jets, Bucs, Falcons (am I missing anyone?) high and dry at one point or another, but I think the guy is a great coach. A sad reminder, from Mike Francesa today: if Parcells stays with the Jets, they win a Super Bowl. Ouch.

I also expect the Giants to lose, because the Eagles just seem to have something cooking right now. I’d hate to see Tiki Barber walk away but if he does, he had a heck of a career, and a monster finish in the regular season, with a 234-yard effort against the Redskins.

That said, I hope both the Jets and Giants win. Same for the Cowboys (did I just write that?), since I lost all respect for the Walrus in Seattle (boo hoo! The refs lost the game for me. WAH!!). I’d also like to see Peyton Manning get it straight this year. Here’s one of the really top-notch people in the NFL, and he has to play in a Super Bowl one day.

Otherwise, I don’t really care who wins what. I’ll take it game by game. May the best team win.

In college football, they just finished playing the Charmin Toilet Bowl in Flushing at Shea Stadium. OK, maybe not, but how many bowl games can there be? Did you see the Fiesta Bowl the other night? The hook and lateral play, the big comebacks, the overtime, the two-point conversion, the post-game proposal. Insanity, my friends!!

Nope, I didn’t see it either. I was in bed when it was 28-17, Boise State. Once again, we see proof that these games get over way too late. Whether it’s due to the stupid halftime show (with the equally stupid promotional contest), or the idiotic Fox coverage, or whatever, these games drone on forever. And is that the best broadcast team that Fox has to offer us?

I just popped on the Sugar Bowl (I refuse to say the sponsors names). Fox has Kenny Albert, Terry Bradshaw, and Howie Long calling the game. That’s more like it.

Then Jeanne Zelasko came on the screen as their sideline reporter. Check, please.

I’ve mentioned people doing it his way, and Bill Parcells, and those two things remind me of The General – Bobby Knight. Like Parcells, he can be a nightmare, but I have a lot of respect for him. He could coach The Son anytime. Now I wouldn’t be too happy with anybody – and that is ANYBODY – laying a hand on my son, but anybody who might instill respect and attention is OK by me. Plus, like Parcells, he’s a great coach. One who, after topping Dean Smith’s career wins record the other night, had “My Way” (by the great Mr. Sinatra, natch) played over the PA system in Lubbock.

Hmm. For a guy who had nothing to say, I came up with almost four pages worth (I write in Microsoft Word first).

I’m not complaining, but will it ever snow?

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