NY Sports Day
Lloyd Carroll

The Week That Was: Oh No, Yo

Neil Miller

  You can’t blame Mets fans for wanting to put their fists through the wall after learning that Yoenis Cespedes would miss the rest of the 2018 season and certainly most of 2019 as well to undergo a pair of surgical procedures to correct bone spurs and calcified Achilles tendons on both feet.

    What has to be frustrating for Mets executives is that Cespedes was coming off a lengthy stint on the disabled list for an ailing hip. Immediately following his first game back, a rare Mets win at Yankee Stadium, he announced to the media without consulting Mets management that he would need surgery on his feet and would miss a lot of time.

   Cespedes admitted that his feet had long bothered him and the pain had gotten worse with age. So then why didn’t he report this to the Mets’ physicians during his prior stint on the DL?

    It’s no secret that Yoenis Cespedes has long marched to his own drummer and that the Mets have let him do just that. There was apparently no oversight of his off-season conditioning program in 2017 when he went into an intense and unsupervised weight training program. When the Mets were in Miami last month to play the Marlins, manager Mickey Callaway expected Cespedes to take the two-hour ride south on I-95 from Port St. Lucie where he was rehabbing to meet with him and the team. He proved to be a no-show.

     John Ricco, one of the triumvirate (along with JP Ricciardi and Omar Minaya) who have assumed the general manager’s role after Sandy Alderson was forced to take a medical leave of absence after a recurrence of cancer, defended the Mets’ seemingly paltry return for longtime closer Jeurys Familia who was dealt to the Oakland Athletics.

    “We knew what we wanted our return to be especially if a team was willing to pick up salary. Sometimes if you wait for a better offer the team that offered the best deal may start losing a few games and quickly decide that they are no longer in a playoff race. There is risk when you wait,” he stated in a Citi Field press conference a week before the July 31 trade deadline.

    On Friday  Ricco and company traded infielder Asdrubal Cabrera to the Phillies for minor league pitcher Franklyn Kilome.

    At least this year the Mets are making deals for the trade deadline. Last year they basically got names out of a phone book in post-July 31 deals for Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker.

     Mets rookie pitcher Corey Oswalt was thrilled to get his first major league win last week and making it extra special was that it came over the Padres. Oswalt grew up in the North Park section of San Diego and could walk to Petco Park to see the Padres play.

     Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo was named the team recipient of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association’s Heart & Hustle Awards. Yankees catcher Austin Romine was the award winner for his team.

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman was able to improve his team for the stretch run without giving up very much in return. He sent three prospects to the Orioles, with the best known being pitcher Dillon Tate, for top reliever Zach Britton. Cashman followed that up by shoring up the starting pitching staff by acquiring JA Happ from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for spare parts Brandon Drury and Billy McKinney who were just taking up roster space.

    Congratulations to longtime baseball announcer and Astoria native Bob Costas who was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Bob has cut down his workload in recent years but he still does MLB Network broadcasts as well as occasional work for NBC Sports.

    This Saturday evening the Nassau Coliseum will be hosting a pretty good boxing card. Former middleweight champ Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin will be taking on up-and-comer J’Leon Love while a pair of former welterweight champions, Andre Berto and Devon Alexander, square off in the headline bout. It will also be one of the few boxing matches that will be shown on broadcast television as Fox will be televising the event

     Former ESPN CEO John Skipper, who now has that role with the Perform Group, is launching a monthly subscription boxing streaming service called DAZN (informally called “Da Zone”) that will showcase both boxing and mixed martial arts cards. Heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua is scheduled to fight on its September debut broadcast.

    The Daily News let go of a lot of very good people last week and I want to take this occasion to thank two of its longtime terrific sports columnists, Frank Isola and Peter Botte, who have always been supportive of my work and have always been there for me.

   Frank contacted the NBA communications department wen I was having a problem with a certain NBA team public relations director who was trying to bully me because he did not consider my outlets to be big league enough for his liking, When I was having a similar problem with an NHL team PR majordomo, Peter, who is very knowledgeable on the National Hockey League, assured me that I had done nothing wrong and that it was indicative of the bizarre corporate culture of this particular organization.  

    Coca-Cola has been the exclusive soft drink of Madison Square Garden for the past 100 years. In a case of nothing lasting forever, Pepsi will be replacing Coke at the “world’s most famous arena” come September.

    It has been 43 years since “Jaws” was scaring folks at movie theaters but sharks have never left the consciousness of the entertainment biz, particularly the cable television industry. Discovery is wrapping up its 30th annual Shark Week this weekend. The Smithsonian Channel launched its own series, “Shark Squad,” last month. As if you need more programming on the great white and its relatives, Nat Geo will have Shark Fest next summer.

   It’s rare that you see truth in advertising anywhere so it grabbed my attention when Harmless Coconut Water launched a humorous print and billboard ad campaign stating that it’s expensive and that its coconuts are not perfect. Harmless can have some fun here because its taste is vastly superior to its far larger competitors as Zico, Vita Coco, and O.N.E.


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