The Mets may be a million games out of first place but they deserve credit for immediately canceling their weekend games with the Braves as soon as Mayor Bloomberg announced last Friday that the city’s mass transit system was shutting down Saturday at noon in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. The team showed concern for its fans, Citi Field employees, and Mets and Braves players. The Mets could rightfully concentrate on being in their homes with their families while the Braves were allowed to escape the path of the storm and fly back to Atlanta.
But the NFL did not distinguish itself as the Giants, the home team in Saturday’s preseason game with the Jets, delayed announcing the postponement of the match until late Friday — well after scores of officials had announced evacuation and other emergency plans.
Sports talk radio all too often comes off as idiotic prattle aimed at third graders in the lunchroom. A rare exception occurred last Friday when Yankees announcer and 1050 ESPN afternoon drive host Michael Kay used his program to pound away at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Giants for their procrastination in light of the impending arrival of what appeared to be the worst hurricane to ever hit our area. On the other hand, Kay’s across-the-dial competition, the WFAN tandem of Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts, who were substituting for Mike Francesa, did not slam Goodell and the Giants the way that Kay did. Either they lacked the gravitas or were afraid of offending Giants executives since WFAN is that team’s flagship radio station.
Hurricane Irene forced the United States Tennis Association to cancel the annual Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, though it did hold the annual media day with the sport’s top stars in advance of the U.S. Open. Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal said they had never been in a hurricane before and expressed both concern and understandable curiosity about what was to come. On the other hand, Maria Sharapova and Mardy Fish, who learned to play tennis in Florida, took a more blase “been there, done that” attitude toward Irene.
One of my favorite features of Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park is the way fans can peer into the visiting team’s bullpen since it is elevated. Following last Wednesday’s 7-4 Mets win over the Phillies, starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey detailed a humorous story about a frustrated Mets fan who vented his feelings prior to the game when he was warming up.
“You’re the main reason why my team stinks. You are probably going to give up a lot of runs today and start licking your fingers like you always do when you are in trouble,” Pelfrey recalled him saying. The pitcher did not acknowledge the heckler but immediately wetted his hand to bait him. Pelfrey’s antagonist laughed and said, “You seem like a nice guy. Why don’t you try being a volleyball player??” to the 6-foot, 7-inch Pelf.
I guess it’s safe to assume that Derek Jeter will not be guesting on the revival of ABC’s “Charlie Angels,” now that he has broken up with Minka Kelly, one of the show’s stars.