The Week That Was: This Proves Jake Was Great

        Mets fans finally had a reason to celebrate something about the disastrous 2018 season when Jacob deGrom was named the recipient of the National League Cy Young Award last week.

      There was understandable concern that deGrom’s pedestrian 10-9 won-loss record would disqualify him in spite of his incredible 1.70 earned run average. Although it sounds counterintuitive, the paltry amount of wins, which was all the fault of the Mets’ puny offense when he was on the mound, may have actually helped his cause with the voters of the Baseball Writers Association of America because it created so much publicity, and yes, sympathy.

      WFAN nighttime air personality Steve Somers had fun interviewing San Diego Union-Tribune baseball scribe John Maffei who was the only writer not to give deGrom a first place vote. “How can you look yourself in the mirror?” Somers asked. “Well, I may not be Brad Pitt but I can do it,” he replied as he explained his vote for the Washington Nationals’ Max Scherzer.

      Scherzer, who had won the Cy Young Award three previous times, including the past two

seasons, had his usual spectacular season. He is a lock to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot when the time comes although he doesn’t get the attention that he deserves. 

       The Mets accounting department, like that of all New York professional sports teams, must have been euphoric when the news officially broke about Amazon making a second headquarters in Long Island City. It’s a safe assumption that the Jeff Bezos’s company will be very interesting in buying corporate suites at Citi Field, Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, and Barclays Center.

       The new federal tax law not only works against New Yorkers in that the state & local income tax/real estate tax deduction has basically gutted (a $10,000 cap on the combination is bupkis for most taxpayers) but it also hurts professional sports teams in that companies can no longer get a tax writeoff for purchasing tickets to athletic events as an entertainment business deduction. Amazon should help create some demand to help compensate for some of the corporate suite business that may have been lost thanks to the Trump tax law.

       Former Jets QB and current Mets minor league outfielder Tim Tebow will be hosting “Million Dollar Mile” which has been commissioned by CBS. The show, which appears to be an obstacle course challenge similar to “TKO” and “American Ninja,” will be produced by LeBron James’s company, SpringHill Entertainment. It will probably air this summer although an air date has not yet been announced.. This won’t affect Tebow’s current baseball career which may include an appearance at Citi Field next season.

      Based on my experiences I wouldn’t be surprised if the New York Islanders executives were giving high-fives to each other after the White House revoked CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s media credential.

     All sports teams have to deal with injuries but few seem to suffer the devastating loss of their marquee attractions for entire seasons the way the Brooklyn Nets do. Nets fans enjoyed very little Linsanity during Jeremy Lin’s two years with the team because he missed nearly every game recovering from leg surgeries.

     The Nets gave up on Lin as they traded him to the Atlanta Hawks last summer. They were pinning their hopes on third-year forward Caris LeVert who they thought was ready to become an NBA star. LeVert appeared to be rewarding Nets management’s faith in him for the first month of the season.

      Things literally came to a crashing halt for him when he badly dislocated his right foot trying to make a defensive stop against the Minnesota Timberwolves last week. The injury looked quite gruesome after it happened but x-rays indicated that surgery wouldn’t be necessary. Nonetheless it is highly doubtful that LeVert will return to the Nets until next fall.

      LeVert’s teammate, guard Spencer Dinwiddie, has quietly become one of the NBA’s best sixth men and a fan favorite in Brooklyn. Dinwiddie also possesses incredible artistic talent and is becoming known around the NBA for his illustrated sneakers as much as he is for his on-court game.

      DAZN , the digital streaming sports subscription service that got its start in Europe, launched in the US a couple of months ago as a portal for boxing and mixed martial arts. They have added a nightly Major League Baseball live whip around highlights show (think of it as MLB’s answer to the NFL Network’s Red Zone channel) to their portfolio based on a three-year deal the company signed with MLB last week. DAZN’s CEO is former ESPN boss Jon Skipper. 

     Gritty, the orange fuzzy character created by Philadelphia Flyers marketing department, and who has gotten a ton of attention, is my choice for sports mascot of the year.

     New York Jets owner Chris Johnson was correct in not relieving head coach Todd Bowles of his duties in spite of the team falling to 3-7 after a humiliating 41-10 loss to the Buffalo Bills at Met Life Stadium two weeks ago. Unless Johnson can exhume Vince Lombardi from the grave he might as well wait until the day following the end of the 2018 season, best known as “Black Monday,” to do the inevitable.

    Jets cornerback Morris Claiborne fanned the flames further for Bowles’ dismissal when he told reporters that the losing atmosphere which was prevalent in the locker room in 2017 is still there.               

    The kosher food industry is a billion dollar business and its appeal goes beyond the Jewish community as was evidenced by last week’s Kosherfest held at the Meadowlands Expo in Secaucus.

     Yes, such expected brands as Manischewitz, Streit’s, Honey Smoked Fish Company, and Kayco (the makers of Kedem wines and juices) had big booths there but so did popular Greek cuisine purveyor Kontos, Italian foods producer Tuscanini, and a pair of a Chinese food specialists, Asian Star and Ta’am of China. The further growth of kosher food in unexpected places was reflected in the products displayed by a Los Angeles-area food producer, California Delight, which makes kosher hot sriracha and chili beans among many other items. Another surprise was the presence of the gourmet bottled soft drink, Boylan Soda. A company rep told me that they had just gotten their kosher certification three weeks earlier.

     Classic television fans should circle Friday, December 14th on their calendars because CBS will be airing two colorized episodes each of the beloved comedies “I Love Lucy” and “The Dick Van Dyke Show.”

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