Sports: Tellin' It Like It Is -- August 4, 2006
Sports: Tellin’ It Like It is
August 4, 2006
After spending a week in Las Vegas, I had a lot of time to think about the current state of New York sports, certain events and certain perceptions that make this town one of the most interesting sports towns in America. This week, I present to you a variety of thoughts and opinions from the deranged mind of the New York sports madman.
Read All About It
Sunday, July 30th was a New York sports reporter’s dream. Two major stories were vying for back page glory. First, for the first time in 17 years, the New York Mets overcame offensive, defensive and psychological domination, by sweeping their National League East archrivals, the Atlanta Braves, on the road. And, in the Bronx, the ink was drying on a trade that brought heavy-hitting outfielder Bobby Abreu to New York from the Philadelphia Phillies. Now, to the untrained eye, the Abreu trade would be the big story. In a heated battle with the hated Boston Red Sox, the Yankees make a blockbuster trade that will undoubtedly add to their offensive powerhouse. But, Abreu doesn’t have the same track record coming in, as those before him. He is a two-time All-Star, but was having a bit of an off year in Philadelphia, hitting .277 with eight homers and 65 runs batted in during 99 games. However, his .427 on-base percentage this season ranked third in the National League and will fit perfectly into the Yankee lineup.
As New York media tend to sway toward the Yankees, they, once again, missed the mark on the bigger story, in my opinion. Right now, the Mets have surpassed everyone’s expectations in their quest for a pennant. Their sweep of the Braves was a huge statement toward that goal. But, in the end, there’s a need to sell papers, and since New York is still considered “Yankee-town”, the Mets have yet to come out from under the shadow. Give them time.
As a fan of the New York Mets, even when they are doing well, you always are waiting, with your heart in your throat, for the other shoe to drop. Or in this case, the taxi cab to crash. You had to know that the Mets were going to suffer some form of setback in the midst of their good fortune. Duaner Sanchez was a solid middle reliever with a lot of promise. His sudden season-ending injury forced the Mets to make a hasty trade, in my opinion. Xavier Nady was a solid outfielder, and though he was tradable, the Mets could have definitely leveraged him in a better deal. And, this is no discredit to Roberto Hernandez. He comes from Pittsburgh with a solid track record and will fit in fine in middle relief. It’s just unfortunate this trade was so “knee-jerk”. But, every cloud has a silver lining, and let’s just thank Omar Minaya for not repeating the Scott Kazmir debacle, by giving away key Met prospects, such as Lastings Milledge, for a quick fix.
Paint By Numbers
As far as baseball movies go, some people swear by “Field of Dreams”. Some fancy “Bull Durham.” Me? One of the best baseball movies aired on HBO about two years ago. Named “61*”, this movie profiled the epic home run race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle in 1961. The movie also centered around the argument that although Maris broke Babe Ruth’s record of 60 homeruns in a single season, the length of a baseball season had been changed, and Maris’ 61st homerun came a couple of games past what Ruth had to complete the feat. Hence the asterisk.
In sports, we deal a lot with numbers. Homeruns, RBI’s, on-base percentage, etc. In New York, if you ask any Yankee fan, their favorite number is 26. That’s the number of championships the Yankees claim to their “legacy”. But, my question is, if you look closely, how is the number of championships the Yankees won, different than the Maris homerun issue in 1961. Look at it this way, many of the Yankees championships came during the 50’s and 60’s when baseball was grossly different, especially in the number of teams in the league. I mean, don’t get me wrong, 26 championships is a good number, but, I wouldn’t hang my hat on it. If I win 26 races, it’s much more impressive to win the races with 32 people vs. the race with 10. All that being said, I think a virtual asterisk needs to be added to the number “26” when discussing Yankee championships. Or, at least, people need to start putting it in some context.
Until next week, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Sports: Tellin' It Like It Is -- August 4, 2006
Don you sure do know how to make sports a saucy topic!
Posted Aug 5, 2006 8:43AM by Moehick
i agree with your points on the mets/yanks fighting for the back page
Posted Aug 5, 2006 8:47AM by bklyngirl
I love your article..the headlines are priceless very well thought out.. Thats my story and I am sticking to it too!
Posted Aug 7, 2006 9:14AM by unknown1
26 Rings as compared to 2, I think someone is a wee bit jealous. Three words for you.
2000 WORLD SERIES
Posted Aug 7, 2006 9:24AM by JeterFan
Posted Aug 7, 2006 9:24AM by Shorty
NO comment :rolling eyes here:
Posted Aug 7, 2006 10:16AM by FeliciaDP
Well written article, but I don't agree with a lot of things especially the 26 world championships. I'm sorry but, you can't take away championships or even question them. It's awarded to the team that wins the world series and to me it doesn't matter how many teams you play to do that.
But like I said it still was a well written article. Good job!
Posted Aug 7, 2006 6:04PM by Kierasmom
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