It has been a long time since a basketball game truly generated electricity in Madison Square Garden. Obviously the Knicks’ futility has played a large role in taking a lot of the energy out of the “world’s most famous arena.”
This past Sunday the frequently moribund MSG regained its old mojo as the St. John’s Red Storm took on the Duke Blue Devils. Although SJU was the nominal home team at the sold-out Garden, it seemed as if the team from Durham, NC had an equal, if not greater, amount of supporters. The Duke faithful were charged up by the fact that longtime head coach Mike “Coach K” Krzyzewski was seeking his 1,000th career win as a college coach.
The Mets have taken a lot of heat for their penny-pinching ways, and if you’ve been a reader of this column you know I was a frequent critic of their ways of doing business way before most had ever heard of Bernie Madoff. Nonetheless, I take pride in being tough but fair.
A story broke last week that a number of Mets players were paying out of their own pockets to take part in organized workouts at the team’s Port St. Lucie, Fla. spring training facilities. Needless to say, the blogosphere quickly fired up with snarky comments about the Mets’ cheapness. A few columnists from the dailies even got in on the fun.
(NAPSI)—There’s good news for parents looking for a positive way to keep their kids entertained when there is no school. There is an affordable way to keep kids connected to the Internet.
Re “Hwy. agencies may review ramp plans,” Jan. 8, multiple editions:
There are four major arteries that service the Willets Point and downtown Flushing areas. They are the Grand Central Parkway, Van Wyck Expressway, Northern Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue, and they have been described as among the most vehicular-congested in New York City.
It does not require a degree in roadway engineering, just a simple drive along those arteries, to note it would be impossible to enlarge those roadways, in any significant manner. They are what they are and will remain so. It does not require deep thought to understand the development of the original Willets Point plan, now enlarged to include the so-called Willets West that would include a 1.4 million-square-foot mega shopping mall, will generate an enormous increase in vehicular traffic in the area that already services airports, and professional baseball and tennis stadiums.
While so-called ramps to and from the Van Wyck Expressway would enable vehicles to have access to and from the area, ramps will not and cannot solve the basic problem, to wit: the Van Wyck Expressway as well as the other arteries described above, are unable to handle a significant increase in traffic. Of what value can there be to a ramp that leads to an impossible congested roadway? In short, ramps would be akin to the infamous bridge to nowhere.
The above was made known to the New York City Council, whose members for many years have viewed their true constituency as the large real estate interests and not the little people in this city or small businesses, and predictably ignored the above and, almost unanimously, approved through the back door the Willets West mega mall plan.
It appears the state Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration will now take a second look at the proposed Van Wyck Expressway ramp plan as indeed they should. The people of this city expect a second-look decision to be based upon the merits, not politics and meddling from large real estate interests and a full discussion about how ramps will solve the Van Wyck Expressway’s inability] to handle a significant increase in traffic.
Finally, our current Mayor Bill de Blasio who ran on a claim to pay attention to the needs of the little people, and small businesses should step forward, review the entire plan with its enormous traffic consequences and take a position on the issue. He should also keep in mind the key to the city’s treasury was given to the billionaire real estate developers of Willets Point and Willets West, involving an amount so great it would cause the infamous Boss Tweed to tip his hat in admiration — and the fact the promised Willets Point affordable housing will not take place until 2025, if at all.
Mets fans were understandably disappointed that Mike Piazza fell just a tad short in the Hall of Fame voting conducted by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Piazza was listed on roughly 70 percent of the BBWAA ballots, and 75 is the magic percentage for election into the Cooperstown baseball museum.
There is no argument that Piazza is the greatest hitting catcher of all time, and that’s no small feat when you think of names such as Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey, Carlton Fisk and Johnny Bench, who all have plaques in the Hall of Fame. What is often overlooked is that Mike was a fine defensive catcher as well. While he was average at best at throwing out baserunners who were trying to steal, he was superb at preventing wild pitches, snagging countless balls in the dirt. Pitchers also credited him for calling the right pitches at the right times.
For many fans, the Major League Baseball offseason is four months of boredom and agonizing over whether that superstar free agent will sign with your favorite team.
If you’re a fan of the New York Mets, that describes just about every offseason, especially this one.
Howard Beach residents Peter McNally, right, and his son, Michael, enjoyed last year’s Queens Baseball Convention so much that they came back for 2015’s event.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Met Man! The baseball superhero goes by the name Anthony Sigalas in civilian life.
Woodside native Steve Santangelo poses with his white and orange customized Queens jerseys, held up by him and a baseball convention staffer.
New York Mets fan favorite and World Series champion Mookie Wilson shakes the hand of Fairfield, Conn. youngster Ethan Larkin at last Saturday’s 2015 Queens Baseball Convention at McFadden’s bar within Citi Field.
Photos taken at the second annual Queens Baseball Convention at McFadden’s bar within Citi Field. — Christopher Barca
Former New York Mets superstar Mike Piazza may eventually get that phone call telling him he’s been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He just didn’t get it this year.
To many Queens elected officials, Mario Cuomo was more than a governor — he was a political inspiration.
“A native of Queens, Governor Cuomo was an inspiration to me and to many borough residents who entered public service in the hope of following his example and building on his legacy of achievement,” Borough President Melinda Katz said in a statement.
Mario Cuomo, a three-term Democratic New York governor, a Queens native and father of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, died on New Year's Day just hours after his son was sworn into his second term.
The Nets have always played second fiddle to the Knicks, in both good times and bad. So the Knicks’ so-far disastrous 2014-15 season has understandably garnered far more attention than the win-one, lose-one (more or less) season that the Nets have had.
Although they have not endured the same degree of travail that their Manhattan neighbors have, the Nets have had their share of drama. New head coach Lionel Hollins has not been reticent about blasting his team in postgame press conferences when they have played poorly. General manager Billy King has made it clear that he will listen to offers for any of his players, including surly underachieving point guard Deron Williams.
The trade rumor that just won’t seem to die is the potential exchange of Colorado Rockies All-Star shortstop Troy Tulowitzki to the Mets for either Zack Wheeler or Noah Syndergaard, or perhaps even both in an expanded deal.
I can’t understand why the Mets would even contemplate this deal. I have a lot of respect for what Tulowitzki has accomplished in his career, but he is injury prone and has a long-term contract that comes with an obligation north of $100 million. That figure alone should have team CEO Fred Wilpon ending any thoughts about seeing him in a Mets uniform.
When the Chronicle staff first set out to fill the wish lists of 1,500 children in five shelters, they knew it was going to be a tall order.
With the number of homeless children on the rise and one of the newest shelters, The Boulevard Family Residence, having opened nearby in Elmhurst, the Chronicle wanted to ensure as many children as possible could have a happy and spirited Christmas — just like the ones celebrated by those more fortunate around the city.
The recently concluded baseball winter meetings in San Diego produced little news for Mets fans aside from the team signing former Phillies outfielder John Mayberry Jr. to a $1.45 million, one-year contract. Mayberry has power and had been a thorn in the Mets’ side whenever they played Philadelphia. This kind of bargain-basement acquisition is a hallmark of Mets general manager Sandy Alderson’s tenure.
If that was all that transpired, the Mets would have been better off than they were before the winter meetings. Unfortunately, Alderson once again felt compelled to discuss Mets’ fans least favorite topic: namely the Amazin’s need for continued “payroll flexibility.” That term has become a sports euphemism for pinching pennies, which of course is an area in which the Mets have expertise.
The holiday season is certainly a joyous time but it can be stressful when it comes to finding a gift for the special people in your life. Here are some last-minute gift ideas that just might inspire. You may even want to treat yourself!
Columbia University dismissed Lions football head coach Peter Mangurian this past Friday. Ironically, the fact that the Lions are in the midst of a 21-game losing streak had little to do with the dismissal; rather it was reports that Mangurian was verbally abusive to players, and even worse, ignored their concerns about having incurred concussions, that spurred Columbia president Lee Bollinger to act.
Not to belittle the players’ concerns, but not firing this guy just based on his win-loss record reminds me of how the feds could only put Al Capone away for income tax evasion instead of for any of his hardcore gangster activities. But the important thing is that Columbia finally got rid of “the Vince Lombardi of losing.”
It’s the pizza dough that normally gets pounded and tossed around, not the delivery man.
A Ridgewood man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for the assault and robbery of a pizza delivery man in Jackson Heights in 2010.
December is hardly the time of year to oil up the baseball glove, lace up the soccer spikes or toss the old pigskin around in the park.
Tuesday’s chilly rainstorm was enough to keep even the most diehard athlete inside, with the Madden NFL, NBA 2K or MLB 14: The Show video games serving as their sports playing instead.
The National Hockey League gave the New York Rangers good reason to give thanks last holiday weekend, scheduling away-and-home matinee games with the Philadelphia Flyers, who played like turkeys. The two wins were a needed boost for the Blueshirts, who so far this season have not played like the team that went to the Stanley Cup Final six months ago.
The Flyers were so awful at the Wells Fargo Center last Friday that the home crowd started booing early in the first period and never let up. They were a pathetic 0 for 6 on the power play. And the Rangers added insult to injury on the last one. Even with one less player on the ice due to Chad Kreider’s four-minute penalty for high sticking, the Rangers nailed a shorthanded third-period goal as Rick Nash scored on a three-on-one breakaway to put the puck past hapless Flyers goalie Steve Mason. Flyers fans exited in droves at that point. The final was 3-0.
While it might be an overstatement to call “Top Five” a hip-hop homage to Woody Allen’s well-received comedic films of the 1970s, there is little doubt about his influence in Chris Rock’s new film. Allen is known for starring in, writing and directing his movies, and that is what Rock is doing in this, his most personal film to date.
Like most of Woody’s films, this one is shot entirely in New York City (Rock even visits Brooklyn and Queens, the latter being something Woody would never do!) There is a lot of Woodyesque observational humor (however a lot of it is sexual in nature and far more risque than Allen ever delved into). Finally, Rock’s character is a comic named Andre Allen and I have to assume that the choice of that surname is not a coincidence.
Plans are underway for the new and improved Relay for Life of Bayside, an American Cancer Society charity walk.
The event, wherein teams must have at least one member walking at all times, will begin on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 6 p.m. and will end at 8 a.m. the next day.