I don’t want to get caught up in the hype of whether the 2011 World Series was the most exciting ever because you can make that argument for just about every seven-game Fall Classic. What the Cardinals did in Game 6 however, twice coming back two runs down going into what looked like the last frame for them, and twice down to their final strike, will always be remembered as the embodiment of clutch.
I have to feel though for Texas Rangers general manager and Fresh Meadows native Jon Daniels. Being a Queens guy, Jon grew up a Mets fan. When I spoke to him in Arlington five years ago, he admitted that his dream would be for the Rangers and Mets to meet in the World Series. At things currently stand with our Flushing heroes Jon may well be on the verge of collecting social security before that even becomes a remote possibility.
Daniels may have thought that he inherited the 2011 Mets bullpen in the World Series given the number of walks that were issued. Neftali Perez did a great impression of Bobby Parnell in the ninth inning of Game 6 as he fell behind every hitter and he could never get the third strike even when he did get two strikes on a hitter.
Cardinals third baseman David Freese, little known until this month, got more clutch hits in the World Series than Mets third baseman David Wright has gotten in his entire seven-year career.
While the Cardinals are the World Series champions, the biggest winner was Fox Television who got a very profitable seven-game series. Even more important for Fox, the World Series, along with its NFL telecasts, are terrific promotional vehicles for its primetime entertainment series. CBS has been the big winner this fall as it has 20 of the 30 most popular programs according the Nielsen folks. Like Fox, CBS smartly uses its NFL telecasts along with its Saturday college football games, to highlight their evening shows.
Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were their usual terrific selves calling the World Series. Daily News sports media columnist Bob Raissman has frequently written about Buck’s vocal problems after he incurred a bronchial infection last winter but he sounded like his old self during the World Series.
I wonder if the Boston Red Sox starting pitching staff will get asked to do a commercial by either Popeye’s or KFC after Jon Lester, John Lackey and Josh Beckett admitted that they enjoyed chomping on fried chicken in the clubhouse while their team was playing last season.
John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman will be calling Yankees games on WCBS 880 again next season as the station and the Yankees agreed on a one-year contract. While the tandem has been a frequent target of New York Post sports media columnist Phil Mushnick’s barbs over the years, and admittedly some of the criticism is justified, I enjoy listening to them. Both Sterling and Waldman try to inject some pop culture into their broadcasts and appeal to listeners who see baseball as entertainment and not a religious experience. Yes, I took Suzyn to task when she gushed over the news of Roger Clemens’ Yankees comeback a few years ago but I am sure that even she would admit that was not one her better moments in broadcasting. For all of their perceived flaws, Yankees games would not be as much fun to listen to if they weren’t calling the action.
Speaking before of CBS, three weeks ago 60 Minutes presented an insightful and humorous profile of legendary NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus. Correspondent Scott Pelley took his life in his hands driving with him through the streets of Miami as Rosenhaus texted and spoke on two different cell phones while behind the wheel. Pelley neglected however to ask Rosenhaus, a Duke Law School grad (President Nixon’s alma mater), why he never passed the bar exam.
One reason that the Giants have played better than most expected at the beginning of the season is the fine play of tight end Jake Ballard who has made nearly everyone forget that Kevin Boss left for the Oakland Raiders as a free agent.
Jets tight end Dustin Keller told me after his team’s come from behind victory over the Chargers that the team’s upcoming game with the Bills in Buffalo would be a good indicator of what to expect from Gang Green this season. The Jets have won all four of their home games but have dropped all three of their road contests.
It will be a somber Indy 500 next May as for the first time that I can remember there will be no defending champion as Dan Wheldon was tragically killed a couple of weeks ago during an IRL event at Las Vegas Speedway. Dan always had a good wit and we had a great conversation last May at a West Village fish and chips restaurant at a press event set up by the Indy Racing League’s public relations team following his Indy 500 triumph. The consensus is that Las Vegas Speedway is fine for NASCAR but its arching ovals and short size made it dangerous for Indy cars. Wheldon’s UK countryman, Dario Franchitti, was very vocal about his concerns regarding the safety of the Vegas track prior to the race.
Now that the Aqueduct casino has finally opened, it will be interesting to see whether some of the patrons will watch the thoroughbreds run now that the New York Racing Association is starting its late fall/winter racing season there. The Empire Casino at Yonkers has brought in plenty of customers and it has helped revive interest in the harness racing at Yonkers Raceway.
The BroCon seminar sponsored by Guyrilla Marketing held at the New York Athletic Club last Friday brought in a number of media types and sports product executives. Dave Dixon, the chief marketing officer at Warrior Sports, a company that manufactures both hockey and lacrosse equipment, spoke about the growth of lacrosse, which is America’s oldest sport, over the last 25 years but was at a loss explaining why the sport has not really taken off at the professional level.
Gillette and Men’s Health Magazine teamed up to present the Urbanathlon at Citi Field last Saturday. The Urbanathlon is a hybridization of a road race and an obstacle course (think of that cheesy NBC show co-hosted by Hulk Hogan, “Gladiators”). Gillette was promoting its new Odor Shield Anti-Perspirant and Deodorant and figured that the event would be a good way to show how it fights sweat. The only problem was that it was unseasonably cold that day and snow was falling so sweat was not what was not the problem for participants, staying warm was. Perhaps Gillette should come up with a heat stick.
While on the topic of snow, Aquastop, a company that has long made boots for women has just launched its first-ever men’s shoe. Most men’s winter shoes feel like bricks on one’s feet but Aquastop’s “ducky” shoe is thankfully lightweight and repels the snow.
Under Armour has been running ads in the subway having former UConn Huskies star Kemba Walker wearing its new Storm hoodie in a driving rainstorm. The company claims that Storm is made from water-resilient cotton. First of all, you have to be an idiot to wear a hoodie in such weather. Secondly, if Storm is water-resilient, does that mean that you’ll have trouble getting stains and dirt out of it when you throw it in the wash?
If you are looking for water that is truly beneficial for your health, try Omega Water which has, as its name indicates, Omega-3 in it which helps fight the accumulation of both bad cholesterol and triglycerides.
We know that the Red Cross is the leader in certifying lifeguards but who certifies the competency of yoga instructors? A company called Yoga Fit, founded by Los Angeles native Beth Shaw, has become the leader in everything yoga from teaching the ancient exercise to producing apparel to certifying yoga teachers. Nicole Glor, who has produced numerous popular workout videos (www.nikkifitness.com ) in which she stars is one of the yoga practitioners who have been approved by Yoga Fit.