Sports Beat 7/25/11

For a team that is at best a .500 club, you have to give Terry Collins a world of credit for maintaining his team’s esprit de corps. Before departing on their recent road trip, he had the guys eschew the usual suits and instead wear Hawaiian shirts and shorts for the plane ride from steamy New York to tropical Miami. I don’t think that you’d ever see the Yankees allow that.

David Wright, who has spent a good deal of the season on the disabled list, has suddenly gone from the iconic face of the Mets franchise to the symbol of their past failings. Of course that’s not a fair assessment, but there is little doubt that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson, who being new to the organization has no ties to Wright, will be carefully monitoring his play the remaining two months of 2011 campaign.

David is one of many ballplayers who enjoys cooking in his palatial Manhattan apartment. A new book written by Julie Loria (wife of Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria) titled Diamond Dishes (Lyons Press). Loria has compiled players’ recipes for their favorite meals and desserts. David Wright reveals his secrets for making apple pie; Alex Rodriguez discusses how he grills strip steak; and the Yankees captain Derek Jeter talks about his favorite breakfast, fruit-filled buttermilk pancakes. Derek, buckwheat pancakes are healthier!

Julie’s husband, Jeff, was in town two weeks ago to see his team beat the Mets in the makeup of a previous rainout. While the low budget Marlins have had their problems on the field, the Marlins owner was excited to talk about the team’s new stadium that will open next year on the site of the old Orange Bowl.

Shockingly, Loria did not know whether there will be buses running from touristy Miami Beach to the new, yet unnamed, Marlins stadium. Tourism is by far Miami’s leading industry and job supplier and it is plainly idiotic if the Marlins fail to tap into the large leisure visitor market, many of whom do not rent cars when they stay on Collins Avenue. The Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau should make sure that there is mass transit between the beach and the ballpark.

Good Times editor Bob Smith is not the kind of guy to engage in the nonsensical fantasy trade dialog that you frequently hear on WFAN and WEPN but he makes an interesting proposal. The Mets and Mariners should swap large problemsome contracts. The Mets would send Jason Bay to the M’s while they would get back Chone Figgins.

I haven’t lost faith in Bay, who is a great guy in the clubhouse and has actually proven to be a far better defensive outfielder than advertised. Nevertheless I fear that he will be vilified because he has not lived up to his large contract. I don’t want to see him hounded the way Luis Castillo was. Bay has a full no-trade clause in his contract but considering that he lives in the Seattle area and that he is originally from British Columbia you can be sure that he would waive it. Chone Figgins has been a big disappointment in Seattle after a great career with the Angels. He can play a variety of positions including second base and the corner outfield spots. Perhaps a change of scenery would help both players.

Former Yankees pitcher Stan Bahnsen, who pitched for the team in the late 1960s and is now a director for Fort Lauderdale-based MSC Cruises, fears that history could be repeating itself. He watched Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Elston Howard all age simultaneously and now worries if the same thing is happening with Derek Jeter, A-Rod, and Jorge Posada. “Pitchers are throwing fastballs to A-Rod that they would never have done a couple of years ago. As you get older it’s harder for your hands to swing through the power zone,” he told me. Of course the one major difference between the 1960s and now is that free agency exists so that the Yankees can restock in a way that they couldn’t 40 years ago.

The eloquent Yankees centerfielder, Curtis Granderson, who is thankfully one of their younger players and is a bona fide American League MVP candidate, has signed his first major New York endorsement deal with Akoo Clothing.

Former Met and Yankee Darryl Strawberry has enjoyed his first year as a restaurateur. I ran into Darryl at a Mets game a couple of weeks ago and he told me that his Douglaston restaurant, Strawberry’s Grill, will mark its first anniversary in grand style. With the help of Modell’s, there will be a large block party on Friday, August 13.

Thinking of winter is a good way to get your mind off of the heat. The sports manufacturer Head, best known for its presence in tennis, has been quietly moving into the world of skiing. Its key endorser is Lindsey Vonn and it has just launched line of Motorhead skis. Who knew that Lemmy and the guys like to race down the mountains!

The X Games have left Vermont’s Mount Snow for Aspen but there is good news in the Green Mountain State as the Dew Games will take place at Killington from January 20 through 24. Admission to the Killington Dew Games will be free.

When I was growing up, winter jackets were bulky and as unfashionable as you could imagine. Two companies, NILS and Salence, have created sleek warm outerwear that looks hip for girls and guys respectively. Check out Salence’s ArchXman and TrussXMan jackets.

According to officials from, which measures web traffic and searches, Indian cricket player Sachin Tendulkar has a higher worldwide recognition factor than either Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, LeBron James or Roger Federer. Go figure.

Current TV, which came to the attention of most people when they hired Keith Olbermann after he got the axe from MSNBC, has been running a terrific series called First & Forever about the trials and tribulations of the Long Beach Polytechnical High football team. Polytech has sent more players to the NFL than any other secondary school.

The WWE may have found its first breakout star in a very long time with CM Punk. Punk was a fairly minor figure in the promotion despite his great mike skills. Apparently he approached Vince McMahon with the idea of letting him rage at him and the way his company works making viewers feel that they were getting “inside dirt.” Vince is very attuned with the public psyche and realizes that it’s everyone’s fantasy to rant about the boss and the crappy place where they work and went along with it. Punk’s rant has become a YouTube sensation.

If you miss getting those inexpensive Starbury sneakers at the defunct but still beloved Steve & Barry’s, Kmart hears you. The Chicago-based retailer bought the Protégé line of athletic wear that was started by former Knick Al Harrington.  Like Stephon Marbury who started the Starbury line of apparel, Al believed that there were too many families could not afford Air Jordans and felt that you could sell a high quality basketball shoe for between $20 and $35.

If you have ever been to a ballgame and did not want to leave your briefcase or handbag on the floor, a company called Topcor has created Clipa, a bracelet-looking hook that holds your item behind your seat.

Last year the Gulf Coast took a tremendous beating from the BP oil spill. Pensacola tourism officials came up here last month to make sure that the media knew that Gulf seafood is plentiful and healthy. Pensacola Beach is arguably the most beautiful bathing area in the country with its pristine white sands that line the Gulf of Mexico. It is also, obviously, a great place to fish.

Move over, Guitar Hero and say hello to Rocksmith. This fall Ubisoft is launching Rocksmith, a video game that makes you plug in a real electric guitar into your console and utilizes familiar recordings. You can feel like Keith Richards as the notes from “Satisfaction” come racing at you. Rocksmith is also a tutorial as it can be used to learn chords and notes so that you can become a better musician.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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