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Queens Chronicle

The Wright choice

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Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2013 10:30 am

Last year Mets general manager Sandy Alderson quipped, “A city of 800,000 people outvoted that of 8,000,000,” after the Giants’ Pablo Sandoval beat out David Wright to be the National League’s starting third baseman in the 2012 All-Star Game.

The stakes were certainly higher for the Mets, Wright, and yes, even Major League Baseball this year, since the 2013 All-Star Game will be played at Citi Field on Tuesday. David has been MLB’s All-Star Game ambassador ever since it was announced that baseball’s midsummer classic would be played in Flushing this year. It would have been embarrassing for all parties if Wright had not been voted the NL’s starting third baseman this time.

Wright’s failure to win the popular vote last year certainly led to a more organized “get out the vote” drive that would have made the late mayor of Chicago, Richard J. Daley, proud.

A member of the Mets marketing department contacted an older woman-younger man social hookup site, CougarLife.com, to assist in the team’s efforts to get David selected since he has long been a favorite of this demographic. Sure, the Mets took some ridicule for this offbeat approach (though not from me) but the end result is that it made more people aware of the All-Star Game voting process, helping Wright.

Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, co-hosts of WFAN and MSG Network’s very popular morning drive program, “Boomer & Carton,” spent a number of shows imploring listeners to vote early and often for David and even hired some attractive models to punch ballots for him in the station’s SoHo studios.

The Yankees are in the midst of their annual high profile community outreach, Helping Others Persevere & Excel. Started five years ago by the team’s media relations director Jason Zillo, HOPE Week recognizes individuals who give a lot of their time and energy to those less fortunate without seeking any glory in return.

This past Monday the Yankees recognized the achievements of former Benjamin Cardozo High School physical education teacher Joe Featherston, whose work with the Special Olympics in 1996 led him to want to help other children with disabilities in his community of Rockaway Park. Featherston started a weekly recreation program at the St. Camillus-St.Virgilius Parish. Superstorm Sandy severely damaged the parish’s gymnasium but the neighboring St. Rose of Lima School graciously offered its facilities in the meantime. The St. Camillus gym is expected to reopen in September.

Mets catching legend Mike Piazza will take his first ever at-bat at Citi Field this Sunday afternoon in the Taco Bell Celebrity All-Star Softball Game.

“Mets Insider,” a Sunday night program that airs on SNY, has surprisingly high production values and solid content.

Last week the show profiled Mets Vice President Jay Horwitz, broadcaster and Flushing native Gary Cohen, team photographer Marc Levine and WFAN air personality Ed Coleman, all of whom have been working in Flushing for quite awhile.

This past Sunday the Mets’ NY-Penn League affiliate, the Brooklyn Cyclones, was the show’s subject. The main topic was how Superstorm Sandy nearly destroyed MCU Park and uprooted the lives of nearly everyone who works for the Cyclones. It turned out to be the best documentary on Sandy that I have seen so far. SNY executives should enter it for next year’s Emmy Awards.

ESPN will be airing a terrific documentary, “Let Them Wear Towels,” about the battles that female reporters had to wage 40 years ago to get access to both the press box and the locker room, this coming Tuesday night at 8 p.m. Among the pioneering sports reporters interviewed are Robin Herman, Jane Gross, Betty Cuniberti, Lawrie Mifflin, Melissa Ludtke, Claire Smith, Michele Himmelberg, and Sheryl Flatow.

It’s a shame that a sportswriter I long admired, the late Maury Allen, is painted as a chauvinist because he opposed women having a spot in the press box in a snippet from a TV interview when it first became a controversial topic in the early 1970s. Allen was not a curmudgeonly reactionary and was just reflecting the prevailing sentiment of his peers at the time. He quickly changed with the times.

It is a sign of how far that we’ve progressed as a society that the Mets beat writer for the Daily News is Kristie Ackert, and the fact that the paper has a female reporter for this high-profile gig hasn’t even merited a yawn from anyone.

“Let Them Wear Towels” will air opposite the All-Star Game on Fox so the odds are that it won’t get a lot of viewers. ESPN should schedule a second prime time airing.

Food was front and center around here last week. The Mets held a Culinary All-Stars event at Citi Field’s Caesars Club for the media to remind everyone of the terrific dining options that await fans coming to both a regular Mets game and the All-Star Game, ranging from Blue Smoke to Shake Shack, to the Myriad Restaurant Group, which runs Nobu and the Tribeca Grill and serves meals in the Acela Club. Aramark executive chef Robert Flowers promises that he will serve meatballs using a 300 year-old secret family recipe for the All-Star Game.

The Fancy Food Show made its return to the Javits Center after a three-year sojourn to Washington, DC. The term “fancy food” is a bit of a misnomer because I did not see any caviar, kobe beef or lobster being sampled.

There were, however, plenty of refreshing beverages such as Natalie’s Orchid Island Juices, Foco Coconut Water, Stonyfield Organic Smoothies, Metromint’s zero-calorie mint water, OKF’s Aloe King aloe vera drink and Toni’s various oatmeal drinks — which hit the spot on a very hot and humid day. As far as snacks went, I thoroughly enjoyed Dallas-based GNS Foods’ peanut logs and peppermint diving mousse, Go Go Squeez’s apple sauces, and Oregon Seafoods’ wild albacore tuna.

Welcome to the discussion.