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Queens Chronicle

Padres expose Mets’ flaws

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Posted: Thursday, August 9, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 10:50 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

The Mets’ 2012 postseason dreams pretty much perished when they dropped 12 out of 13 games in a malaise that began just before the All-Star break and continued until they left for a western road trip two weeks ago.

Ironically, the traditional late July-early August Arizona-California swing, which has generally done in the Mets in recent years, actually seemed quite hospitable to our Flushing heroes on this go-round. They split four with the Diamondbacks and then took three out of four from the Giants. Both teams have legitimate postseason aspirations.

You couldn’t blame the Mets if they felt good about themselves when they took on the lowly San Diego Padres to finish off their trip. Naturally, they lost two out of three to the NL West cellar dwellers.

I was visiting San Diego, a great place to go during a sweltering New York summer, and I caught last Friday’s game, which truly summed up the Mets’ season. The Amazin’s got terrific starting pitching from RA Dickey but let him down with shoddy fielding and a frustrating inability to move men around the bases. Anytime a team can muster just one measly run despite accumulating nine hits, it’s clearly in deep trouble.

Adding insult to injury was that Padres reliever Huston Street recorded the last four Mets outs to earn the save. It has been widely reported that the Padres offered Street to the Mets in June when it became clear their bullpen was an Achilles heel, but Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson passed because he didn’t want to increase payroll. Signing a relief pitcher is always a crapshoot, but Street remains one of the best. This was a case of being penny-wise and pound-foolish.

Petco Park, with its lush park behind the outfield, wide seats close to the action and fine dining choices including Hodad’s, home of San Diego’s best burger, is a joy to visit even if you’re not a big baseball fan. For one, everyone gets “Blueprint,” a free booklet with articles about the Padres and their opponents, and photos of the home players. The format is admittedly borrowed from Playbill, which has long done the same for New York theatergoers. It’s a shame neither the Mets nor the Yankees, who play just a few miles from Broadway, don’t offer a similar product.

Dick Enberg, who has won more Sports Emmy Awards than any other broadcaster and has been the Padres TV voice for the last few years, told me that he will not be in Flushing calling the 2012 US Open for CBS. “It has just gotten too touchy to live out of a suitcase and be away from my family for two weeks,” he explained.

You had to feel good for Andy Murray, who has long been a bridesmaid when it comes to winning a Grand Slam tennis tournament, for beating both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic to win the men’s tennis Olympic gold medal. Winning in his native Great Britain at London’s Wimbledon Stadium had to have made it even sweeter. It will be interesting to see whether he will be able to build on that success at Flushing Meadows later this month.

I got a kick out of Serena Williams’ dance at Wimbledon after winning the Olympic gold medal in women’s tennis, and I can’t understand why some folks were getting uptight. I am hoping that she will provide more choreography at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in a few weeks.

The Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau tried to promote the city with a public event at Union Square Park last week as part of its “It’s So Miami” campaign, a tag line that is awfully similar to Fox Television’s “That’s So Fox” phrase, which the network uses every May for its Upfront presentation to advertisers and the media.

Rather than profile the city’s restaurants, hotels, spas, the NBA champion Heat or even the new ballpark home of the Miami Marlins, the Miami CVB simply and lazily offered a stage resembling a hotel pool area as attractive young male and female models dressed in white — looking like the faceless actors on those interchangeable teen CW Network shows — swatted a beach ball around as an amused public watched.

Playing the predictable “fun in the sun” image is hackneyed and frankly bad business for Miami. These days you can get great deals in the Caribbean and Mexico even in winter. Queens’ own airline, JetBlue, is beginning flight service to exotic Cartagena, Colombia beginning November 2 with fares starting at $149 each way. In short, with South Beach pretty much played out, Miami is going to have to offer more compelling reasons for Queens residents to spend their precious vacation time there.

I had to chuckle when I read that adult film legend Jenna Jameson said that she would be voting for Mitt Romney in November because she’s rich and a Republican president would be better for those who are well off. No word yet as to whether Fox News czar Roger Ailes has offered her a contract to either be a commentator or host a show on the “fair and balanced” network.

Welcome to the discussion.