Sportsbeat – 06-09-11

The fact that the Mets never had a  no-hitter in their 50-year history until Johan Santana ended the hex achieved the mythical status that’s ascribed to the Cubs failure to win a World Series. Last week’s USA Today Sports Weekly had on its cover a photo of Johan Santana about to embrace his catcher, Josh Thole, after striking out David Freese. David Letterman paid tribute to Santana with a Top Ten list for his June 4 “Late Show” on CBS.

Santana showed his keen wit at his post-game press conference. When asked whether he had ever thrown a no-hitter any other time in his life, Johan quickly replied “Never. Not even in a video game!”

Now I believe in capitalism as much as the next guy but there is something tacky about the Mets selling replicas of tickets for that fateful June 1 game with the Cardinals for $50. There is even something more pathetic about people buying them.

On a more positive note for the Mets, they are to be congratulated for all the work that the did on behalf of City Harvest. The day before Santana’s no-hitter, Mike Baxter, Daniel Murphy, and Jonathan Niese were on hand at Woodside’s PS 12 to congratulate the students who collected over a ton of food for City Harvest’s Feed the Kids campaign.

New rules: Now that liberal satirist Bill Maher has purchased a limited partner’s stake in the Mets, conservative pundit, East Meadow native, and fellow Mets fan, Bill O’Reilly must do the same.

Mets outfielder and pinch-hitter deluxe Scott Hairston has not gotten the due he deserves.

Terrific New York Post columnist Kernan has written the first biography on Yankees manager Joe Girardi titled Girardi: Passion In Pinstripes (Triumph). In addition to talking with Girardi himself, Kernan speaks with a lot of folks who have worked with him or coached him including at the Little League and high school levels.

If you are looking for any scandals, this is the wrong book. It’s not that Kevin is trying to whitewash things; it’s simply that Girardi is extremely likable. My only criticism is that I wish that he devoted more space on Girardi’s 2006 managerial experience with the Florida Marlins where he clashed with owner Jeffrey Loria. Although he was named NL Manager of the Year, Loria fired him because he was upset that Girardi scolded him for verbally abusing umpire Larry Vanover when a call went against the Marlins.

One of the best baseball books that I have read in a long time is Tim Wendel’s Summer of ‘68 (Da Capo). 1968 has long been referred to as “The Year of the Pitcher,” as 1-0 and 2-1 games played in under two hours seemed to be the norm rather than the exception. Wendel nicely weaves in the Mexico City Olympics, the terrific seven-game World Series played between the Cardinals and the Tigers, and the political upheavals going on in America in a seamless way that never seems forced.

Major League Baseball held a media kickoff event for the 2012 All-Star Game last week at the MLB Fan Cave located on the site of the Tower Records store in the East Village. The Yankees’ Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano, Rays outfielder Matt Joyce and Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp were present and they all articulated that players take the fans’ voting rather seriously.

Tim Brosnan, the MLB Executive Vice President of Business Affairs announced a new “I Play for the American League/I Play for the National League” ad campaign where fans and players alike announce their allegiance to the league of their choice. Brosnan admitted that free agency and interleague play may have blurred the strong NL/AL fan divisions that existed when a lot of us were growing up.

While I never quite grasped why winning the All-Star Game should determine World Series home field advantage, I do like the fact that unlike the all-star games in other sports every team has to have at least one representative. There is a reason why the Midsummer Classic generates the highest ratings of any summer TV program.

For the second straight year the best American and Russian freestyle wrestlers met in a “Grapple in the Apple” exhibition held in Times Square last week. Many of the participants will meet up again in London at the 2012 Olympics.

One American star grappler, J.D. Bergman of Ohio State, has the looks and poise to be a star in the WWE. “I would love to be an actor and I greatly admire guys like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin who are fine screen actors,” said Bergman.

A number of former WWE stars such as Kurt Angle, Ken Patera, and Brock Lesnar were well-known collegiate wrestlers and there is little doubt that amateur wrestling has been a good feeder system for World Wrestling Entertainment over the years. Surprisingly though the WWE has not contributed financially to USA Wrestling according to Rich Bender, the executive director of USA Wrestling. “We would sure welcome their backing and we’d love to have Vince McMahon with us in London,” Bender told me at a press confab held at Gallagher’s Steakhouse in NYC which is celebrating its 85th anniversary, making it America’s oldest sports-theme restaurant.

If the Mets can bring in REO Speedwagon to perform after a game at Citi Field (the show is this Friday following the Reds-Mets game) then there is no reason why the New York Racing Association can’t get do the same at Belmont Park. Having name rock acts from yesteryear play at Belmont’s beautiful backyard can only help create new customers. Belmont will need all the help it can get after I’ll Have Another was forced to withdraw from the Belmont Stakes because of tendinitis the day before the race meaning that it will be 35 years without a Triple Crown winner. The Mets’ 50-year no-hitterless streak could be surpassed.

LA Kings defenseman Rob Scuderi grew up in Bethpage rooting for the Islanders. At the Stanley Cup Final media day held at the Pru Center in Newark, Scuderi said that his parents still buy tickets to see the Isles play. He hopes that his childhood team can turn things around but concedes that it’s unlikely owner Charles Wang will increase payroll until he gets a new arena.

The Islanders have their annual NHL Draft party this Friday night at the Nassau Coliseum.

Nutrilite, one of the most trusted companies in the vitamins/health supplement fields brought in a trio of top female athletes who will be competing in London in August, swimmer Jessica Long, pole vaulter Jenn Suhr, and sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross, for a media luncheon at the terrific Manhattan Belgian restaurant, Rouge Tomate. The purpose of the confab was to promote Nutrilite’s newest health supplements that provide the nutrients and vitamins that we should be getting from fruits and vegetables but don’t because most of us don’t have the time to consume the daily portions of them that we should. Log onto to for mor info.

TreeTop has just introduced a line of reduced sugar juices that contain all of the juice but cut out 25% of the sugar of its regular varieties. For those who like farm-fresh apple juices and ciders, Red Jacket Orchards out of Geneva, NY is still the king. Welch’s Grape Juice is the long-reigning champ in that category and it’s a terrific source of anti-oxidants and an ally in getting your cholesterol down.

Hydration is always important but particularly in the summer. In the last column I mentioned how the leading coconut water brands: Vita Coco, O.N.E., and ZICO are great sources of potassium. Another good source is So Delicious Dairy Free containers of almond and coconut milk.

If you want water with some taste, Melvita Rose Extraordinary Water purports to have anti-aging benefits.

Speaking before of dairy-free products, Bold Organics Pizza is also gluten-free and for a frozen pizza that is sold primarily in natural food grocery stores, it is quite tasty. Hopefully, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and Fairway will be selling it.

Other healthy snacks certainly worth trying are MV’s Best Virginia Cocktail Unsalted Peanuts that have no cholesterol and are rich in fiber as well as Crunchies, which are packaged bite-sized dried fruit and vegetable chips. They are far better for you than potato chips. Another fruit option is to join Harry & David’s Fruit of the Month Club where the Oregon retailer will send you a different delicacy every 30 days.

Ching He-Huang is the host of the Cooking Channel’s popular “Easy Chinese” show. She says that contrary to popular belief it is possible to enjoy satisfying light Chinese dishes in the summer such as grilled chicken salad with fine noodles served cold. Incidentally, Ching who grew up in Taiwan and now lives in London feels that Flushing has the best Chinese restaurants of any city that she has visited. Fans of the visiting teams playing at Citi Field should cross the Roosevelt Avenue Bridge either before or after a Mets game. I’ll assume that Mets fans know how good Flushing restaurants are.

Summer is nearly everyone’s favorite season but it’s also the time when heat rashes occur. Neat Feat’s 3B Action Cream is an over-the-counter remedy that gets the job done quickly.

I know that it’s impossible to talk about a toilet without chuckling. Of course “the throne” is the seat that all of us probably more than any other. Big John Toilet Seats have more seating area and can handle bigger weights than its competitors. Anyone who is ever had to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond to buy a toilet seat that has become permanently unhinged knows what a pain in the ass (full pun intended!) it is to install. This is a particularly useful gift for an elderly relative or friend. Check out

If you want to be stylish on the golf course without spending a king’s ransom, Sub 70 ( has a variety of hip shirts, pants, belts, and pullovers that all sell for less than $100.

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