The Subway Series, which gets underway on Monday at Citi Field and concludes Thursday at Yankee Stadium, is a great way to take stock of our two Major League Baseball franchises. Last June the Mets dropped five out of six games against the Yankeesâ€¦
It’s been 30 years since the New York Islanders won their last Stanley Cup, and frankly, they have been abysmal for most of the years between 1983 and now. During this labor-dispute-shortened National Hockey League season, the Islanders played respectably enough to earn their first playoff berth in seven years as they clinched the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Islanders drew the unenviable assignment of playing Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and the rest of the Pittsburgh Penguins, long an NHL powerhouse, in the first round. To their credit, the Isles showed that they weren’t merely happy to be there, as they battled hard to force the series to six games. Unfortunately for the Isles, they lost two overtime games at the Nassau Coliseum, including Saturday night’s finale.
September 2014 will mark the end of an era as CBS, the network that has broadcast the championship matches of the US Open as far back as anyone can remember, will not renew its contract with the United States Tennis Association when it expires next year, the Queens Chronicle has exclusively learned.
It took about 15 hours for the first fallout from the Nets’ disappointing Game 7 loss to the undermanned Chicago Bulls in the first round of the NBA playoffs to be felt. Nets general manager Billy King announced that interim head coach PJ Carlesimo would not be offered a contract.
Given the way the Nets choked away a 14-point lead with three minutes to go in the fourth quarter, combined with their putrid performance in the decisive Game 7 — trailing by 17 points at the half before making a too little, too late run — it was inevitable that Carlesimo would get his walking papers.
Jets fans, who are notorious for booing any player their team selects at the NFL Draft, broke into thunderous cheers at Radio City Music Hall Friday night upon hearing that Gang Green had chosen Geno Smith. The reason for this euphoria was the belief that beleaguered Mark Sanchez’s days as a Jet were numbered.
I hate to spoil the fans’ fun, but the Jets would be better off having Smith learn the NFL by watching the action and holding a clipboard this year the way that Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and so many other greats did in their first pro season.
It’s unlikely that the Mets will be playing meaningful games this coming September, but starting pitcher Matt Harvey has singlehandedly given the Flushing faithful a commodity they have lacked for a long time — hope.
Harvey was the Mets’ top pick (seventh overall) in the 2010 Major League baseball amateur draft. Of course, given the team’s checkered history with “can’t miss prospects,” it’s understandable to take a wait-and-see attitude. He came up for the proverbial cup of coffee with the Mets in August 2012 and was far more impressive than his three-win, five-loss record showed.
Few words brought Mets fans greater joy than when the Amazin’s late broadcaster Bob Murphy would say “Back with the happy recap!” immediately following a victory. Howie Rose, the team’s longtime play-by-play voice, has his own signature phrase that gladdens the hearts of Mets fans following a win: “Put it in the books!”
Rose has written his first book, appropriately titled “Put It in The Book! A Half Century of Mets Mania” (Triumph Books), an interesting amalgam of autobiography combined with a breezy look back at the history of the Mets.
“We were the first team to ever beat the Celtics, who went 68-14 that year, in a seventh game at the Boston Garden,” former Knicks forward Jerry Lucas recalled last Friday night as the Knicks honored members of their 1972-73 squad, the last New York team to win an NBA championship.
Lucas obviously took a pride in that accomplishment, but he was also sending a message to fans of the current Knicks team that even the Miami Heat, led by Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, a team that recently peeled off 27 straight wins, can be beaten by the never-say-die Knicks in the playoffs.
Granted, no one should have expected onetime Mets ace Johan Santana to be a difference-maker in 2013. The general consensus from baseball prognosticators is that the Mets would finish in fourth place in the National League East with or without him.
In most years, the Mets would be picked to finish in the cellar with the kind of team they have, but the Miami Marlins have earned that dubious distinction from most of the baseball media because their owner, Jeff Loria, decided to gut their roster in order to save a ton of payroll. It should be pointed out that Loria has done this kind of thing before and the Marlins always seem to surprise when they put on the field a lineup of unknowns, so Mets fans can’t rest that easy.