Jose Reyes’ much ballyhooed return to Citi Field as the Miami Marlins’ new shortstop was a dud all the way around. Reyes went a paltry 1 for 12 with no stolen bases as the Mets swept his new team in three straight.
What was really surprising about Jose’s first visit to Citi Field since leaving the Amazin’s was that it was far more a media event than a fan attraction. An announced crowd of barely more than 20,000 came out for his first game back on a fairly pleasant April evening.
Bud Harrelson was the shortstop on the 1969 Miracle Mets squad that won the World Series. Bud has just written a new book, “Turning Two” (Thomas Dunne Books) in which he rehashes the glory days but also poignantly writes about how the Mets hit rock bottom in the late 1970s, following the franchise-destroying trade of Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds. Harrelson will be signing copies of his book this Saturday at Citi Field when the Mets take on the Diamondbacks.
Bud was present at last Sunday’s Jewish Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Commack for Mets longtime radio voice (as well as Cardozo High and Queens College alum) Howie Rose, and the late Arthur Richman, who worked in public relations for both the Mets and Yankees during his 60-year career in Major League Baseball.
Since Howie obviously couldn’t be in two places at the same time, former Mets general manager Jim Duquette, now a baseball analyst for Sirius XM, pinch hit for him in the radio booth as the Mets visited the Colorado Rockies. Duquette, as affable and knowledgeable a man you will ever meet in baseball, made numerous cogent observations and meshed well with play-by-play man Josh Lewin. It would be nice if WFAN and SNY can find more ways to work Jim into Mets broadcasts.
One thing the Yankees have that the Mets don’t is their own line of colognes and perfumes. You’ve probably seen the ads for NY Yankees Fragrances. Last Thursday, the Cloudbreak Group, the manufacturer of NY Yankees Fragrances, announced that Yankees star Curtis Granderson will be a “brand ambassador.”
I asked Granderson if he worried that he might get into a clubhouse spray war with Derek Jeter who has his own line of colognes. “It’s funny; Derek has never given us a bottle!” he said with a wide smile. I followed up by asking him if he was prepared for the inevitable razzing he’ll get from teammates for being a fragrance spokesman. “Nah, we’ve all got stuff on each other,” he laughed.
Cloudbreak CEO Tom Butkiewicz says there are no plans for a Mets perfume. So much for Eau du Flushing Bay!
Last Friday, Nike celebrated its recent contact to become the official apparel supplier to the NFL by taking over a block in Times Square and laying down an artificial turf field for a flag football game involving some actors, hip-hop recording artists, as well as members of both the NYPD and the NYPD.
One team was coached by Jets QB Mark Sanchez and the other by Giants defensive end Justin Tuck. Tuck’s team won 20-0 and he was presented with the first-ever Nike Broadway Bowl Trophy. I asked Justin how that compared with the Lombardi Trophy that he and the Giants were presented as a result of winning the Super Bowl.
“This holds a different place in my heart,” he deadpanned.
Earlier that day, tennis star Serena Williams was in the Times Square Walgreen’s promoting Sleep Sheets, a box of dissolvable strips that makes you drowsy before hitting the sack. I asked Serena if it becomes more difficult to return to Flushing Meadows for the US Open with the passage of time.
“Oh no. I am excited to be returning. My motivation is to win one more match than I won last year there,” she said.
Williams lost to Australian Samantha Stosur at the 2011 US Open Women’s finals.