The Mets showed class last Friday by honoring Chipper Jones with a ceremony held in their press conference room before the start of the Braves’ last visit to Citi Field this year. Jones talked about how much he enjoyed playing at Shea Stadium and how he has no regrets naming his son, Shea, in its honor.
Contrary to popular opinion, he did not relish being known as the Mets’ tormentor. “I think John Rocker enjoyed that role far more than I did!” he quipped.
When asked if he ever thought about playing elsewhere, he said that he was always happy with the Braves and complimented the team on how they never him let him get near free agency by offering him generous long-term contracts. Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon shuffled his feet nervously upon hearing Chipper say that.
As everyone knows, Jones’ counterpart on the Mets, David Wright, has one more year to run on his contract. Even with the Madoff financial mess allegedly behind them, the Mets’ payroll is likely to resemble that of the Milwaukee Brewers next year. They will be under tremendous pressure to re-sign RA Dickey, particularly if he wins the Cy Young Award this year, in addition to Wright.
In his post-game press conference last Sunday, Mets manager Terry Collins promised that he would shake things up following the Braves’ three-game sweep of the Mets. For the 10th straight home game, the Mets failed to score more than three runs. Mets radio voice Josh Lewin, who apparently has had it with Collins’ empty words as much as any fan, wondered aloud to his listeners, “What’s he going to do? Bring in psychics?”
The Jets showed last Sunday that they were not as awful as many of their faithful feared following a winless preseason in which they generated exactly one touchdown.
The extremely good news following their 48-28 win over the Buffalo Bills was that QB Mark Sanchez was extremely sharp and in sync with his receivers and thankfully had time to throw, as the Jets frequently maligned offensive line was magnificent that day.
The bad news was that the defensive backs kept missing easy tackles and allowed the Buffalo Bills three fast and easy touchdowns in the second half, turning a 41-7 blowout into a 41-28 competitive game with more than eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
Victoria Azarenka, the top-ranked female tennis player in the world, showed a terrific sense of humor with the media at a Friday press conference prior to meeting Serena Williams in the women’s final of the US Open. Having only beaten Serena once in ten tries, Azarenka deadpanned that she wouldn’t watch videos of past contests with her because it would be depressing. When asked if she would do anything differently, she quickly replied, “I had better.” She expected that the crowd would be wildly rooting for Williams since she is an American.
She clearly wasn’t intimidated by Serena but lost to her in heartbreaking fashion in a third set tiebreaker.
Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia and Spain’s David Ferrer played what most consider to have been the best tennis match of the 2012 US Open that Ferrer managed to win in five sets with the last requiring a lengthy tie-breaker.
At his post-match press conference I asked Tipsarevic if he ever replayed lost points in the match in his head when he is alone. “No, I watch them on video!” he quickly retorted, “even though it is often painful.”
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week always seems to attract sports personalities and sports-related marketing opportunities. Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook caught a couple of designer shows while I ran into Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban at the GBK Fashion Lounge at the Empire Hotel.
Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire modeled the Knicks new home uniforms that were designed by Hugo Boss. On the football front, Carl Banks, a former Giants linebacker and current radio voice for the team, is the president of G-III Apparel. He unveiled a new line of clothing dubbed “4Her” that is another extension of NFL Women’s Apparel.
Like the Beach Boys, the Rolling Stones are marking their 50th anniversary. ESPN has licensed sixteen Stones’ songs that will be used during “Monday Night Football” as well as on the pre- and post-game shows.
ESPN’s New York radio outlet has deserted the 1050 frequency on the AM dial and can be heard at 98.7 on the FM band. ESPN Deportes has replaced it on 1050. There will be local programming from only 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the rest of the time listeners will hear the national Deportes programming.
My guess is that most Spanish-speaking listeners in the New York area will want to discuss our local professional sports and will not care much about South American soccer. ESPN would be wise to develop a Hispanic Mike Francesa or Michael Kay.
While ESPN Deportes is obviously aimed at Hispanics, it can be enjoyed by those who studied Spanish in school and speak it as a second language. Listening to it is a great way to improve one’s Spanish vocabulary and comprehension.