(David Pokress/Sportsday Wire)
If you are looking for signs that 2015 may be a different kind of Mets season, look no further than this past weekend in Denver where the Mets swept a three-game series against the Rockies. Granted, the Rockies are one of the worst teams in the majors, but they have had plenty of bad teams over the years who have routinely kicked sand in the Mets’ collective faces at Coors Field.
The best part of the weekend from the Mets’ perspective is that they were able to rest Matt Harvey and were able to get a superbly pitched game on Sunday from unheralded Logan Verrett.
If the Yankees don’t win the American League East title then they will have to look back to this past weekend where they dropped 3 out of 4 to the lowly Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium. 21 year-old Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor singlehandedly did in the Bronx Bombers with his timely hitting throughout the series.
The annual World Wrestling Entertainment late August extravaganza, SummerSlam, took place Sunday at the Barclays Center. The WWE is renowned for their community service and nearly all of their talent was quite visible in various parts of our area in the days leading up to the event. On Wednesday, WWE talent visited St. Mary’s Hospital for Children.
Two days later, the WWE brought arguably their best known grappler, John Cena, to Dave & Buster’s at Times Square for a Make-A-Wish benefit in which the WWE donated $1 million to the organization which very hard to make the dreams of seriously ill children come true.
One of those kids was Maspeth’s Rocco Lanzer, an eight-year old who is not letting leukemia get him down in the slightest. He told me that he’s a big fan of John Cena, who has long been a paragon of virtue in the ring. Rocco is also a Mets fan and he has no doubts that they will win the NL East title.
The WWE teamed up with the Yankees at Yankee Stadium last Thursday who by coincidence were holding their annual H.O.P.E. Week (Helping Others Persevere &Excel). HOPE Week is the brainchild of Yankees media relations director Jason Zillo and it is the gold standard in sports community relations. Yankees personnel go out and surprise a number of selfless individuals who help others less fortunate without any fanfare.
Flushing natives Scott Engel and Adam Ronis have become well-known media celebrities in the world of fantasy sports thanks to their weekday morning show on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Network as well as their own FNTSY television show that can be seen on Cablevision as well as streaming services such as Amazon Prime and Roku. They will be holding an NFL seminar at Monmouth Park on Saturday for anyone who considers themselves a serious player in fantasy sports leagues.
Speaking of fantasy sports, it’s amazing how in just a few years a niche time-filler for sports geeks has become a multi-billion dollar business. At the annual Fantasy Sports Trade Association summer conference that was held in New York last June, organizers claimed that over 57 million people have taken part in some kind of fantasy sports league.
For those who aren’t familiar with the fantasy sports concept, it’s where you choose players from different professional teams in a given sport to make up your own “fantasy” team. The participant whose players compile the best statistics is the winner. And yes, the cash prizes can be very serious coin.
Professional sports leagues, who hate the thought of gambling, have no qualms signing big ticket deals with Yahoo, Fan Duel and Draft Kings.
The digital world has also become enthralled with fantasy sports. There are mobile apps and websites dedicated to such topics as how different players perform in various kinds of weather to coming up with indicators as to which players are most likely to miss games because of injury.
The PGA Tour’s FedEx Playoffs get underway this Thursday at the Plainfield Country Club in Edison, NJ. This is as close as the best golfers in the world will get to New York City this year.
It will be strange not having Tiger Woods as part of the field which is limited to the Top 125 golfers on the tour. Woods played better than he has recently at last weekend’s Wyndham Championship in historic Greensboro, North Carolina.
Next year’s Barclays will take place at Long Island’s Bethpage Black Course.
Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis has gotten more space on magazine covers than any other NFL player this preseason with the possible exception of a certain New England Patriots quarterback. Revis graced the front of both Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine in August.
The unofficial start of the US Open, Arthur Ashe Kids Day, which will take place this Saturday, is not only a fun way for kids to get some tennis tips from the pros and get to meet the best players in the sport, but it has become a launching pad for pop music stars. Carly Rae Jepsen, Brittney Spears, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, and the Jonas Brothers have been just some of the headliners at past Ashe Kids Days. Among the teen acts that will be appearing this year are Jena Rose Raphael, Carson Luedders, Alessia Cara, a boy band named Forever In Your Mind, and a girl group, Sweet Suspense.
S.L. Price did a great job profiling Yankees general manager Brian Cashman in last week’s Sports Illustrated. He got Cashman to recall the tense 2010 negotiations with Derek Jeter in which he told Jeter that the Yankees were paying for performance and not popularity. In a moment of pique, he told Jeter that he thought Troy Tulowitzki, then of the Colorado Rockies, was a superior shortstop.
Ronzoni, the pasta manufacturer that got its start in Queens and made the borough its home for years, is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year. Next year, Nathan’s will be marking its 100th anniversary.