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.
His recollections of growing up in Bayside, attending Cardozo High School — nearly flunking geometry because the 1969 Miracle Mets were distracting him from his studies — and taking the Q 27 bus to Main Street and then walking over the Roosevelt Avenue Bridge to catch a Mets matinee at Shea Stadium, where he paid a $1.30 to sit in the upper deck, make this a lighthearted and relatable read. He even gives a shout-out to a Queens dining landmark, Aunt Bella’s in Douglaston, which, according to Rose, was former Mets manager Art Howe’s favorite Italian restaurant.
Mets catcher John Buck has been a home run hitting machine for the first two weeks of the season. It is hard to believe that he was basically a throw-in from the Toronto Blue Jays in the RA Dickey-Travis d’Arnaud trade.
It would be foolish to expect Buck, who batted a paltry .192 and hit a dozen homers for the Miami Marlins in 2012, to keep up his All-Star-caliber play. But at least he gives the Mets a reason not to rush top prospect Travis d’Arnaud to Flushing before he is ready.
Rangers legend Rod Gilbert was given a lifetime achievement award by the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health last Thursday night at Chelsea Piers for the incredible amount of community service that he has performed. The dual missions of the AAIUH are to prepare inner-city students for careers in medicine and allied health sciences as well as provide information about health issues in nontraditional locales such as beauty salons and barber shops. The evening’s ceremonies were co-handled by HBO Sports analyst and Douglaston native Mary Carillo and NY1 news anchor Cheryl Wills, who was born in Elmhurst Hospital and grew up in Rockaway Beach.
New York Post baseball columnist Ken Davidoff has been hobbling around the Citi Field press box on crutches because of an injury he suffered during a father-son game last month at the City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City. Here’s to a quick recovery, Ken. Please resist the temptation to go to an Islanders or Rangers tryout!
Just as John Buck has pleasantly surprised Mets fans, so has veteran third baseman Kevin Youkilis surprised Yankee fans. Youkilis has been a veritable hitting machine for the Bronx Bombers. There was some concern about whether Yankee fans would warm up to Youkilis since he had played most of his career with the Boston Red Sox. I have a feeling that now there aren’t many who are biting their fingernails wondering when Alex Rodriguez will be playing third base again.
You have to wonder if Yankees general manager Brian Cashman regrets trading Ian Kennedy and holding onto Phil Hughes when he had to make a decision about which young pitching prospect was expendable.
The Philadelphia 76ers won’t be participating in the NBA postseason this year, but Charles Jenkins, who got traded to the Sixers from the playoff-bound Golden State Warriors at the trade deadline, is not complaining. He was in town last week when the 76ers took on the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center. Jenkins, who is an alumnus of Springfield Gardens Highs School as well as Hofstra University, is thrilled that his family has frequently made the 100-mile trip from Queens to South Philadelphia to see him play.
Jenkins also credits current teammate and fellow Queens native Royal Ivey for helping him make the adjustment to the City of Brotherly Love. Royal is completing his ninth year in the NBA and is hoping to get at least one more year in the league so that he can get a maximum pension.
Adam Copeland, better known to wrestling fans as Edge, is now enjoying an acting career as the star of Syfy Network’s “Haven.” He was called upon by the Comcast cable network to pump up its new last-man-standing reality series, “Unbreakable,” to advertisers and the media last Wednesday night at the Syfy Upfront.
Copeland admitted that although he enjoys acting, he wishes he could still be part of World Wrestling Entertainment. “Unfortunately I have stenosis of the neck, and at age 39, I don’t want to be paralyzed the rest of my life,” he said, adding that he does not want to be an announcer for the WWE. “It would hurt too much to be that close to the action and not be able to take part. I couldn’t even watch Wrestlemania 29.”
The media had a field day about whether Tiger Woods should have been disqualified from the Masters for giving himself a favorable ball drop after his approach shot caromed off the flag at the pin and into a nearby pond. I am not passing judgment on him but you can’t blame Masters officials and CBS Sports executives for doing everything they could to keep him playing and keep him as close to the leaderboard as possible since he is synonymous with high ratings.
It can be argued that Tiger has a higher profile than ever now that he is dating attractive 2010 Olympic gold medal-winning skier Lindsey Vonn. These days celebrity gossip magazines such as People, the National Enquirer, STAR, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style, and OK! are running cover stories on the new sports golden couple.
Sports talk radio can frequently be a tedious listen on WFAN and 98.7 FM ESPN New York. If you are looking for some quality alternatives, here are two suggestions.
John “Bird” Crowe has been a fixture on Connecticut’s WICC (600 AM) for over 15 years. He was half of the “Bobby & The Bird” duo, which was the Nutmeg state’s answer to Mike & The Mad Dog. Like that duo, Bobby & John called it a day a few years ago and went their separate broadcast ways. Crowe’s candor is spot-on and he actually enjoys his conversations with his callers. He can be heard on Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. on WICC.
Mark Roseman & AJ Carter host “Sports Talk New York” Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. on Long Island’s WLIE (540 AM). Considering that they broadcast on a small suburban station, they get a lot of big name guests, particularly retired athletes. So if you are like me and frequently wonder what your sports heroes from yesteryear are doing now, this is the show for you.
You have to give 3M a lot of credit for bringing some panache to the mundane world of supplies. In a media preview of its upcoming products, the company showed a miniature football helmet that dispenses Scotch tape and a plastic martini glass that does the same for Post-It notes.
Critter Zone Air Purifiers are small plug-in devices that help rid pet odor, but according to inventor Bill Converse even those who don’t own pets can benefit from them.
“They rid the air of unpleasant cooking odors as well as other smells that are not pleasing to one’s senses,” he told me.
Travelers can find them very useful in hotel rooms that claim to be smoke-free but may have had a recent guest who flouted the rules.