Sportsbeat – 6/25/11

Springfield Gardens High School and Hofstra University alum Charles Jenkins was selected by the Golden State Warriors (whose new head coach is former Knicks point guard and former Cambria Heights resident Mark Jackson) in the second round of the NBA Draft two weeks ago. There was speculation that the skilled outside shooter and playmaker would go in the far more prestigious first round just as Half Hollow Hills West forward Tobias Harris did when he was chosen by the Charlotte Bobcats.

There is bad news for those who like to watch pro hoops during the summer. In anticipation of a lockout, the NBA canceled their Las Vegas summer league. Check out the Puerto Rico Basketball League if you want to see excellent players who were not drafted but still aspire to play in the NBA if and when the 2011-12 season begins. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company claims that many hotels on the island are offering a “buy three nights, get one free” program.

Once again, apologies to Bill Maher. New rules: Baseball teams cannot come up with dates for when they expect injured players to return, especially the Mets. There is no way that anyone could have known how long Ike Davis’s deep ankle bruise would need to heal. Of course, you have to question the medical decision to place his foot in a protective boot which apparently only protected his foot from getting proper blood circulation. Now there is talk that Davis will need surgery.

Mets pitcher Dillon Gee apparently doesn’t believe in biblical story of Samson but does cling to the baseball superstition made famous in the 1988 flick, “Bull Durham,” of never messing with a winning streak. Gee had wanted to cut his thinning hair but was warned by teammates not to do so until he lost his first game of the season. After the A’s accomplished that feat, Dillon immediately had his wife give him a buzz cut.

Sportswriter Howard Megdal generated some good-natured buzz on the Internet when he launched a quixotic campaign to try to have Mets ownership to make him the team’s general manager. Taking the Field: A Fan’s Quest to Run the Team He Loves (Bloomsbury) is Megdal’s tome on what has gone wrong with the Mets’ decision-making over the team’s nearly half-century history.

For those who are sick of seeing the name of Bernie Madoff, Megdal does not mention him at all. He terms the 2004 trade of Scott Kazmir to the Rays for Victor Zambrano an even worse trade than the 1971 deal that sent Nolan Ryan to the Angels in exchange for Jim Fregosi because everyone knew that it was stupid the moment it was made, which was not the case with the Ryan deal. It is a cathartic read for Mets fans.

Yankees radio voice John Sterling and former Yankee and now Rockies outfielder Jason Giambi embraced before the Friday night game. I asked John if he would use his “Giambino” sobriquet for Jason if he hit a home run against the Yankees. Sterling said that he would and sure enough in his first at-bat against the Yankees he drilled one into the right field bleachers off AJ Burnett. “The Giambino has done it again!” exclaimed Sterling who obviously kept his word.

If you have ever wanted to get exercise by running through all parts of Yankee Stadium, the annual Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation will have a 5K fund-raising event there on August 7. Former Yankees great Roy White is the spokesman for the event and will be there at the starting line. For more information log onto

Roy White is one of many well-known athletes who have always kept busy after their playing days are over. One of Roy’s teammates, Stan Bahnsen, who was a very good pitcher for the Bronx Bombers in the late 1960s, works for MSC Cruise Lines in Fort Lauderdale where he organizes winter cruises where the public can shmooze with heroes from yesteryear. Shaquille O’Neal, who just ended a 20-year NBA career, and actually sold a respectable number of rap albums years ago, is now a spokesman for iGo audio equipment. The great Steelers running back and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Franco Harris, has just started a company called SilverSport that makes gym equipment and towels that are resistant to harmful bacteria. Former major league outfielder Billy Sample wrote a screenplay titled “Reunion 108″ that just won an award from the Hoboken Film Festival for a script most deserving of being made into a movie. “Reunion 108″ deals with a rather raunchy minor league Old-Timers Day event.

I don’t believe that athletes have to be role models but there is no argument that they can have positive impacts on people. A number of the top picks at the NBA Draft gave a hoops clinic at John Jay College to players from Special Olympics as part of the NBA Cares program. The next day, former Mets closer John Franco, who is a St. John’s University grad and whose son, JJ, plays for the Brown University baseball team, spoke to students at Citi Field about the value of education as part of its Citi Kids program.

Try to catch USA Network’s latest series, Necessary Roughness, that stars Callie Thorne as a Long Island psychologist named Dr. Dani Santino. Her chief patient is an egomaniacal wide receiver, Terence King (Mehcad Brooks) who is clearly patterned after Terrell Owens. The dialog is crisp and the acting is superb.

A couple of cities are hoping that boating can bring in tourists. San Francisco will be hosting the America’s Cup Race in 2013. Sunny Isles, the independent city located at the northern tip of Miami Beach, has been hosting professional powerboat races, a sport that has slowly been growing in popularity, over Father’s Day weekend the last four years.

At the just concluded Consumer Electronics Association Line Shows, ESPN and Sony shared a booth promoting the wonders of ESPN’s 3-D network. I have to admit that it’s worth putting on the dorky glasses to watch the cheerleaders in action. Two similar sounding companies, iLuv and iSport, showcased sweat-proof earbuds that can be worn when exercising.

Also in conjunction with Consumer Electronics Week in New York, Samsung unveiled its 4-door LCD Refrigerator IPad-like device in your fridge will eliminate the need to clutter up the doors with calendars and messages held up by magnets. One benefit of having a small personal computer in your refrigerator door is that you’ll be able to get recipes based on the actual foods inside of it thanks to an app from the foodie website, Epicurious.

With summer finally upon us, here are some good products to have on hand. Auro-Dri is a drop that helps clear out annoying ear clogs that frequently occur after swimming. Energizer’s LED Safety Flasher is a great device to have on your bicycle when riding at night. Finally, you should always use a sunscreen such as MelanSol that contains more natural ingredients than Coppertone.

PRE Probiotic Enhancers are good and healthy cold beverages to have during the summer. PRE claims that its acai and pomegranate drinks help the digestion process and the body’s immune system.

On the other hand, if you need a cold guilty pleasure, Jones Soda uses natural cane sugar and fruit instead of high fructose syrups.

When the weather turns warm, the Rockefeller Center skating rink turns into the Rink Bar. It’s a fun place to sip a cocktail and enjoyed great summer foods as Maine lobster salad and pulled pork sandwiches.

I rarely agree with his politics but I have to admit that it is good to have Keith Olbermann back on television. Olbermann resurfaced at Current Television with his “Countdown” show after a falling out with MSNBC executives in January. I guess that we’ll be seeing less of Keith in the Citi Field and Yankee Stadium pressbox.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was a bit indignant when I asked him why his league was so slow in eliminating all blows to the head after he was trumpeting how Rule 48 would assess penalties for any such hits. “In 1997 we were the first professional sports league to study concussions,” he told me. Well that’s fine, Gary, but why did it take 14 years to make it clear that hits above a player’s neck will no longer be tolerated?

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