Two weeks ago I wondered whether Mets CEO Steve Cohen would regret announcing he had signed Carlos Correa the day after the San Francisco Giants withdrew their offer to him just hours before their scheduled introductory press conference. The Giants’ medical team had serious qualms about Correa’s long-term durability based on the x-rays of his ankles.
Stories started to leak about how the Mets’ medical staff was having the same concerns their Bay Area counterparts had. Both the Giants and the Mets were offering Correa contracts in excess of ten years, so even the slightest red flag involving health, would understandably nullify such a deal. The overall buzz was the Mets and Correa would inevitably reach a deal on a pact having a shorter period of time.
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins, for whom Correa played for in 2022, announced they had signed him to a six-year contract reportedly worth $200 million. The Mets reportedly were unwilling to go past $160 million for six years. Apparently, it was Correa who insisted on returning to Minneapolis, and not his agent, Scott Boras, who prides himself on a great relationship with the richest owner in baseball, Steve Cohen. Boras wisely kept a low profile over the three weeks of the Correa-Mets melodrama.
While Carlos Correa is a terrific talent, I did not understand the Mets’ fascination with him considering they had Francisco Lindor at shortstop for the foreseeable future. The thinking was the Mets would move him to third base. Historically, the Mets have not had much success when they have tried to move players out of their natural positions to plug holes.
The Mets have a solid third base prospect in Brett Baty who reminds many of David Wright. Importing players, as opposed to developing major league talent internally, is not a way to achieve sustained success. It is understandable Mets fans feel deprived after having endured the penurious Wilpons as their team’s owners for years, but they need to appreciate how the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros conduct their business. Even the New York Yankees, who are clearly not shy about signing free agents, will not block the path to the majors of their top minor league prospects.
The Mets made a wise under-the-radar move when they signed free agent outfielder Tim Locastro to a minor league contract. Locastro had cups of coffee with the Yankees over the last two years. I was impressed with his speed, defense, and occasional pop. Unfortunately, injuries prevented him from staying on the Yankees’ roster.
Locastro may have chosen to sign with the Mets because their top farm team is located in Syracuse. He grew up near there and his family still resides in central New York. He won’t have to worry about accommodations if he is sent down.
The YES Network will not be bringing back former Mets and Yankees outfielder Cameron Maybin to the Yankees television booth next year. Maybin will still be part of the MLB Network’s talent roster. There are rumors YES may try to add Maybin to their studio team.
One of baseball’s best journalists, Jim Salisbury, announced last week he was leaving as the Phillies beat reporter for their cable outlet, NBC Sports Philadelphia. He covered the Yankees for the New York Post in the early 1990s before moving down the NJ Turnpike to cover the Phillies for the Philadelphia Inquirer in 1997.
Jim Salisbury has never been afraid to ask tough questions to athletes, managers, and team executives. That is in sharp contrast to too many current sports reporters who fear losing access and therefore putting their own jobs at risk. He has also proven you can be a no-nonsense reporter and still be a great guy. I will miss seeing you, Jim, in the Citizens Bank Park and Citi Field press boxes.
The College Football Playoff championship game between the Georgia Bulldogs and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs was one of the most lopsided games in NCAA history as Georgia beat TCU by a score of 65-7. Forget the Georgia Bulldogs. TCU looked like they couldn’t have beaten the Yale Bulldogs.
The game was so lopsided at halftime that Pat McAfee, who was hosting the alternative “Manningcast” on ESPN2, joked with his announcer colleagues at SoFi Stadium they should stick around for the second half. McAfee did not claim TCU would make a game of it, but rather, there was nothing to do in Los Angeles on a wet, January Monday night!
Nike has replaced New Balance as the title sponsor for the Armory Track & Field Center in Washington Heights. Nike got its start in Portland, Oregon over 50 years ago by making running shoes for track stars such as the late Steve Prefontaine. These days, of course, track & field shoes and apparel is a minuscule part of Nike’s inventory. It will be interesting to see whether Nike will put its sizable marketing muscle into trying regain public and media interest in track’s marquee event, the Millrose Games, which takes place next month in upper Manhattan.
If you want to get a sneak preview at what will be on display at the New York International Auto Show which will take place at Javits Center in April, the Philly Auto Show will be taking place from January 28th through February 5th at the Pennsylvania Convention Center located in the heart of Center City. All of the many bus companies which have NYC-Philadelphia routes have their terminals near the Convention Center.
Like most auto shows, there will be product from Ford, Chrysler, Chevrolet, Honda, and Toyota, as well as from such “aspirational” brands as Maserati, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce.
Comcast’s streaming service, Peacock, has launched an intriguing miniseries called “Paul T. Goldman.” Paul T. Goldman is the pseudonym of real life nebbish Paul Finkelman who wrote a book in 2009 called “Duplicity,” about his failed relationships with women. The book claims his second wife was involved in organized crime.
Director Jason Woliner, who directed the last Sasha Baron Cohen “Borat” film, uses a similar “mocumentary” theme with “Paul T. Goldman,” except he has Finkelman mixing with real actors as Dee Wallace, Paul Grillo, and Dennis Haysbert, as they dramatize “Duplicity” for a fictional film, with Finkelman as the unusual leading man.