NY Sports Day

Sportsbeat – 9/19/11

Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Wash, the stars of the new CBS Tuesday night procedural drama Unforgettable, stopped by Citi Field for a promotional visit during the Mets’ penultimate homestand of 2011. Montgomery’s character, Carrie Wills, has the uncanny ability to remember even the smallest details from the past with absolute clarity. Poppy was unaware that baseball is played in Australia and that her countryman, Graeme Lloyd, pitched in the World Series for the Yankees.

Of course most fans would prefer to remember as little as possible about this season particularly after the Mets went 1-8 against the Braves, Cubs, and the Nationals, who swept them in a four-game series in Flushing. The Mets couldn’t buy a hit with runners in scoring position, but even worse, it appeared that they were going through the motions of merely showing up. Beleaguered manager Terry Collins more or less said that following a 10-1 drubbing at the hands of the Nats to close the disastrous nine-game homestand.

Even when the Mets do something right it seems as if they still get screwed anyway. Their 9/11 ceremony which featured numerous members of the government agencies who worked day and night at Ground Zero, Tuesday’s Children (kids who lost a parent at the Twin Towers), singers Marc Anthony and Pia Toscano, and Mets greats John Franco and Mike Piazza, was moving without being mawkish.

What should have been a wonderful evening showing how New Yorkers will never forget that horrible day a decade ago was marred when Major League Baseball threatened to fine Mets players if they wore the NYPD and FDNY caps that the 2001 team did for the rest of the season following the tragedy. This was clearly not Bud Selig’s finest hour.

Adding insult to injury was New York Magazine’s recent double issue that looked at all things related to 9/11. While New York paid tribute to the Yankees for taking on the Arizona Diamondbacks in a thrilling seven-game World Series that the Bronx Bombers lost on a broken  single by Luis Gonzalez off Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 9th in Game 7, the mag ignored the Mets entirely. How could they overlook all of the yeoman efforts by Bobby Valentine and his guys who were helping out day and night when Shea Stadium became a relief center or Mike Piazza’s dramatic home run to beat the Braves in the first sporting event to be played in New York after the disaster?

I know that the Mets are watching their pennies but it would have been the decent thing to recall pitcher Pat Misch from Buffalo and let him garner some extra pension time for September. Misch has been a loyal solider in the Mets organization and pitched well for the Bisons this year.

It has to be tough for Jorge Posada to watch his future replacements, Austin Romine and Jesus Montero, dress near him in the Yankees clubhouse. Posada has had a terrific 17-year career with the Yanks that will undoubtedly end at the conclusion of this season.

Yankees Magazine is by far the best periodical published by any sports team. Last month its editors came out with what they dubbed “The Women’s Issue.” The Yankees have always been quite progressive in terms of hiring and promoting women. Jean Afterman is currently an assistant GM, and Kim Ng was one before her. Deborah Tymon has been with the Yankees over 25 years and is the team’s senior VP of marketing. There are also excellent essays on the upcoming 40th anniversary of Title IX, the Long Island based Women’s Sports Foundation, and such pioneers as Billie Jean King, Mia Hamm and Pat Summitt.

Amar’e Stoudemire, Dwyane Wade, and Mr. Kim Kardashian himself, Kris Humphries, hit a number of designer shows at Lincoln Center that were part of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Stoudemire was also promoting his new clothing line at Macy’s as part of the frenzied Fashion Night Out on September 8. Tennis newcomer Sloane Stephens, who had a good run on the women’s side of the US Open, was also at Lincoln Center promoting Johnson & Johnson’s line of beauty and skin products.

The most unusual tie-in to MB Fashion Week was “Thrashin’ Weekend” at the tony Stone Rose Lounge, owned by Hewlett native Rande Gerber who is married to model Cindy Crawford. Skateboarders took over the mahogany-paneled restaurant as they showed off various high risk maneuvers on a thirty-foot long ramp.

It is always amazing how many non-clothing companies use Fashion Week for promotional purposes. It is not much of a stretch for beauty, skin, and hair care companies as Avon, Maybelline, TreSemme, and John Frieda, or even a high-end sunglasses manufacturer as Silhouette, to sponsor media lounges, but I have to tip my hat to companies as Bing, the division of Microsoft that is trying to overtake Google as the preeminent search engine, and the spirits maker, Macallan, for attaching themselves to Fashion Week as a form of brand extension.

For those who are suffering symptoms of tennis withdrawal now that the US Open has concluded, here are two book recommendations. Veteran sports photographer Mike Powell has just published a compendium titled A Game to Love (Abrams Books) which contains candid on-court photos of greats ranging from Rod Laver to Rafael Nadal. Sidney Wood’s The Wimbledon Final That Never Was” (New Chapter Press) details how the United States Tennis Association ordered Frank Shields (Brooke Shields’ paternal grandfather) ordered him to rest his knee and return to the US for a Davis Cup match before he was to take on Wood in the Wimbledon men’s finals.

The CW’s new show H8R has an interesting premise. Host Mario Lopez brings celebrities together with regular Joes who can’t stand them. In an episode scheduled to air this month, Barry Bonds gets to meet one of his detractors. This should be as much fun as Comedy Central’s roast of Charlie Sheen. Incidentally, the executive producer of Sheen’s roast was ex-Met Todd Zeile who’s one of his buddies and is embarking on a career in TV production.

The Golf Channel is debuting a competition show, Big Break Ireland, that has the promotional backing of Tourism Ireland. Six male and female golfers will compete over ten weeks on various courses for a shot at big money and a chance to join the PGA or LPGA Tours. Of course Ireland’s natural charms will be prominently featured.

After last August’s vote that put another impediment into replacing the antiquated Nassau Coliseum, Islanders fans finally got some good news when center and former #1 draft choice John Tavares agreed to a six-year extension with the team.

Spa Week for fall will run from October 10-16. This is a great time to pamper yourself with massages and facials at a very discounted rate from big name spas as Red Door, Equinox, Exhale as well as hotels as the Mandarin Oriental and the Trump Soho.

Zico’s chocolate flavored coconut water will remind you of a favorite childhood beverage, Yoo-Hoo. That company’s most famous investor, you may recall, was Yankees legend Yogi Berra.


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