The Week That Was: Mets Press Box Commerce

        The New York Post reported last week that the Mets have signed a deal with Yahoo Sports in which Yahoo will pay the Mets to credential three of their writers to provide alleged behind-the-scenes access for a new subscription digital platform.

        I’m a capitalist so I’d have no problem with Mets having a premium website that would provide content for their most passionate customers. They started their own cable network, SNY, so this wouldn’t take much effort on their part.

       There is something unseemly however about a supposedly reputable news provider like Yahoo prostituting themselves as well as the notion that media credentials can be salable commodities for sports teams..

     The take-no-prisoners sports website, Deadspin, already projected that Yahoo will be publishing puff pieces as “Amed Rosario Wants To Take The Mets To The Next Level.” I’m waiting for “Jason Vargas Feels That He Can Win 20 Games.”

      Even if Yahoo insists that their sportswriters live up to standards that would make Edward R. Murrow proud that won’t mask the fact that it is compensating the organization on which it will be reporting and that taints the entire press box. It would be understandable if Mets fans would start wondering if they are getting, to use a favorite term of a well-known Jamaica Estates native son, fake news.

      Baby boomer Mets fans will enjoy reading longtime Mets author Matthew Silverman’s latest book, “Shea Stadium Remembered” (Lyons Press). Silverman recollects the days when the Mayor’s Trophy exhibition game with the Yankees was the biggest game on the Mets’ schedule every year since the team was so awful. It’s fun to see such long-forgotten names as Hank Webb, Jerry Cram, and Harry Parker in print again.

     Silverman also recalls when the New York Jets were  Shea Stadium’s other main tenant as well as when the New York Yankees and New York Giants used Shea as a temporary home when Yankee Stadium was being renovated in 1974 and 1975 as well as the many concerts that took place there.

     Surprisingly there haven’t been a lot of books published about the golden anniversary of arguably the greatest single-game upset in sports history, the New York Jets’ 16-7 victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

      Former Flushing resident Bob Lederer has written “Beyond Broadway Joe” (Dey Street),” in which he looks at what became of every member of that Jets team without regurgitating shopworn stories about team QB Joe Namath. Lederer clearly has done his research as he has written about Don Maynard, Emerson Boozer, Jim Turner, and so many others.

     The Brooklyn Nets honored Forest Hills High School alum Ian Eagle on his 25th anniversary of broadcasting their games. It’s to Eagle’s immense credit that he’s been able to provide viewers with great play-by-play and engaging banter even when the Nets have been abysmal.

    One of the more interesting storylines for Mets fans to follow during spring training is the battle at first base between prized prospect Pete Alonso and onetime first baseman of the future, Dominic Smith, who lost a lot of luster after struggling in 2017. Smith seems to have lost all of his baby fat so it’s clear that he is taking this competition very seriously.

     Are sports venues becoming the new launching pads for food products? Last Thursday Australia’s Four ‘N Twenty Pies debuted its Traveller, an oblong Aussie meat pastry at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center before the Miami Heat Philadelphia 76ers game..The Traveller is the “down under” answer to the hot dog at their sporting events.

   Four ‘N Twenty chief marketing office Anand Surujpal told me that Philadelphia was chosen for its American launch because Australian natives Ben Simmons and Jordan Mailata (who serves as the company’s American brand ambassador) play for the Philadelphia 76ers and Philadelphia Eagles respectively. Also making Philadelphia an appealing choice is that it’s a major city located only 100 miles away from New York.

    Aramark, the Philadelphia-based behemoth food concessionaire at many stadiums and arenas around the USA, services both the Wells Fargo Center and Citi Field. Don’t be surprised if Four ‘N Twenty has a stand at Citi Field in 2020.

     Crayola is expanding from its crayon and art supplies core business by entering the stationery world with its Take Note! line of pens. Not unexpectedly, Crayola offers a far bigger color selection of writing instruments than Bic and Papermate do.

     There were two adult gag items that caught my eye at the just completed Toy Fair,

      Wood Expressions’ Trump Cards is a party game where you have to guess whether the quote that you are given was actually made by Donald Trump at some point in his life or if it’s a fake quote. The actual quotes are more outrageous than the ones that were made up by the game’s creators.

    Wowwee’s Buttheads are figures whose faces look like, well, butt cheeks. When you pull their fingers, flatulent noises occur. If there is one thing that bonds men of all ages it’s a love for sophomoric fart humor.

     Incidentally, Wowwee did have to compensate both Viacom and Mike Judge, the creator of the legendary ‘90s MTV cartoon, “Beavis and Butt-head” for the right to use the name.  

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