The Week That Was: The Mets Move On The Radio

The Mets announced last week that they’ll be shifting their AM radio home from WOR 710 to WCBS 880. The Mets have been with WOR since 2014.and prior to that their flagship radio home was WFAN where they had been since the station’s inception in 1987. 

      It will be interesting to see whether Entercom, the owner of both WFAN and WCBS, will retain Wayne Randazzo for Mets pre and postgame shows or if they will ask Ed Coleman, who deftly handled that chore for years on the FAN, to resume that role.  

     Even though both WOR and WCBS are 50,000 watt radio stations I have found that WCBS’s signal travels better and farther at night which means that it will be easier to listen to Mets games at night along throughout New England, the South and the Midwest.   

      Pete McCarthy, the knowledgeable and genial host of WOR’s “Sports Zone” weekday nights is an early casualty of the Mets’ radio change. McCarthy said on social media that WOR is cancelling his show now that it no longer has the rights to Mets broadcasts. Pete is a rarity in the New York market as he engages with listeners in an easygoing conversation as opposed to bombast with a know-it-all. WOR management made this decision in a fit of pique and they would be wise to reconsider their decision. 

     The Yankees have long taken criticism for failing to hold Gay Pride nights but that is changing in a big way in 2019. Last Friday night the Yankees held a press conference with team president Randy Levine, vice president and general manager Brian Cashman, and New York City Department of Education chancellor Richard Carranza to announce that the Yankees would be granting $50,000 in college scholarships to NYC LGBTQ high school students in the public school system. The selection criteria will be both academic excellence and community service. 

     The scholarships are being granted in honor the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn uprising when the NYPD launched a raid on the famed West Village bar not because of the suspicion of traditional crimes being committed but merely because the patrons were homosexuals who were open about their orientation. “It’s amazing to look back at some of the laws that were on the books at the time,”Cashman told me following the press conference.  

     The Jets’ opening night 48-17 victory over the Detroit Lions now seems like a cruel fluke to  fans of Gang Green. As per tradition, the Jets reverted to form in losses to both the Miami Dolphins and the Cleveland Browns. 

     The loss to the Browns stung not so much because they didn’t win a game last year but rather because the Jets incurred countless self-inflicted penalties and appeared to coast after getting off a 14-0 lead.  Sunday’s Jacksonville game will tell us a lot about this team. 

     At a preseason meeting with the media, Knicks general manager Scott Perry and team president Steve Mills said that while they admired the talents of disgruntled Minnesota Timberwolves star Jimmy Butler they won’t give up valuable draft choices for him. That is a radical and welcomed change from past personnel practices. 

     The National Basketball Association released a report last Wednesday that charged that the Dallas Mavericks under former team president Terdema Ussery created a hostile work environment for the team’s female employees. Well-known team owner Mark Cuban was not blamed in the report except for not providing stringent oversight over his chauvinistic subordinates. In light of the report he made a $10 million contribution to various women’s organizations. 

     The NBA is renown for being culturally sensitive yet this report was released on Yom Kippur, the holiest and most solemn day in Judaism. Both NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Mark Cuban are Jewish and both were forced to comment that day. There is no reason why the investigation report could not have been released either the day before of the day after the Day of Atonement. 

      While some may believe that Mark Cuban deliberately turned a blind eye to Ussery’s actions I have to defend him. The Mavericks are just one of the many businesses that Cuban is involved with. He is actually best known to most Americans for being one of the panelists (Hollis native and Bayside High School alum Daymond John is another) on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” which coincidentally was one of the shows that was honored at last week’s Tribeca TV Festival. It should be noted that the Mavericks are one of the few teams to have a female public relations director, Sarah Melton. 

      Television network sports executives had to have been celebrating Tiger Woods’ Tour Championship last Sunday more than Tiger himself did. With all due respect to Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, and Rickie Fowler, when it comes to ratings and selling tickets there is Tiger Woods and then there is everyone else. His win on Sunday in Atlanta was his first on the PGA Tour in five years. 

     If you are old enough to remember the pro football spring football confederation known as the United States Football League (it lasted from 1983 through 1985) then be sure to pick up a copy of Jeff Pearlman’s latest book, “Football For A Buck” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).  

    Pearlman highlights the stars of the USFL who went onto have success in the NFL as Jim Kelly, Steve Young, and Herschel Walker but he also takes pains to pay tribute to terrific and forgotten USFL stars as Chuck Fusina and Kelvin Bryant. He takes particular gusto in profiling colorful characters as defensive end Greg Fields, who would routinely physically assault team coaches whenever he was cut, and linebacker John Corker who prided himself on being the closest thing that the USFL had to being an adult film star. 

     The author also devotes considerable pages to an egomaniacal New Jersey Generals owner who forced the USFL to switch from playing in the spring to competing with the NFL in the fall and in doing so destroyed the league. According to Pearlman, this owner’s objective was to leave the USFL and have his team be welcomed in the NFL. The owner’s name was Jamaica Estates native Donald Trump. 

      The late TBS NBA personality, Craig Sager, who is remembered for his garish sports jackets, genial interviewing style, and most importantly, his bravery tackling cancer, will be honored with induction at next month’s Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame ceremonies. 

     Rafael Nadal aspires to be the Jack Nicklaus of tennis. The Golden Bear, in addition to being one of the greatest golfers in history, also helped design golf courses at resorts all over the world. 

Nadal will be opening a tennis academy with countless courts at the Grand Palladium Resort in Casa Mujeres, Mexico which is located just north of Cancun. The resort will open in November 2019. 

     KISS guitarist and Flushing native Paul Stanley has just launched line of suede Puma sneakers. Those KISS guys are experts at moving all kinds of merchandise. 

     If you have ever gotten frustrated trying to solve the Rubik’s cube you can take solace in that you are not alone. Prof. Erno Rubik who introduced the colorful tic-tac-toe cube to Americans in 1980 has come clean and has issued instructions on how to solve it.  

    A Rubik’s company spokesman admitted that the advent of social media forced the company to reveal its secret via its official website, Trust me, it’s still very difficult to solve. The one tip that I can pass along is never twist the middle of the cube by tiself. 

     Information on more adult games like Rubik’s Cube as well as the kind of shows and movies that fans of next week’s New York Comic Con live for, can be found on a new website,  

      Congratulations to Benihana’s Chef Andrey who set a Guinness Book world record by cooking fried rice for 42 straight hours. The stunt was to honor the first ever National Fried Rice Day last Thursday. All of the fried  rice was donated to City Harvest to help feed the homeless and other needy individuals.  

     The beginning of the fall is always the best time for produce. Seal of the Seasons sources frozen strawberries, blueberries, and cherries from New York and New Jersey farmers and its packages can be emptied right into a blender for smoothies.  

     Likewise northern California fruit beverage producer, S. Martinelli & Company, is celebrating its 150th birthday this year, The fall is the ideal time to try their juices and ciders. My favorite refresher is their Sparkling Apple Mango Cider. 


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