Mets owner Steven Cohen has scored points with fans for being active on Twitter. Anticipating the blowback he’d get from the Flushing faithful for not trading prospects to acquire American League Cy Young Award-winning pitcher Blake Snell from the Rays the way the Padres did, Cohen tweeted “News flash: The Mets farm system needs to be replenished.”
Cohen was rightfully taking a shot at the general manager he fired when he bought the team, Brodie Van Wagenen, who was fond of trading top prospects for meager returns.
Keep the candor coming, Steve.
“Jets Postgame Live” on SNY has been needed therapy for frustrated Jets fans thanks to the candid comments of panelists and former Jets players Bart Scott and Chad Cascadden, along with anchor Jonas Schwartz, who has nicely steered this ship for five years. As if Jets aficionados haven’t had enough bad news in recent years, SNY has opted not to renew Schwartz’s contract. That’s a shame because Schwartz has been with SNY since 2008. To his credit he has never insulted the intelligence of his viewers by sugarcoating a team’s poor performance or such engaging in meaningless airtime-killing devices as engaging in insipid debates on topics like “Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James,” which have become de rigueur on too many SNY programs.
Another familiar face missing from the New York area sports television scene is longtime Brooklyn Nets analyst Jim Spanarkel. The YES Network has decided to part ways with him and has replaced him with former New York Daily News NBA columnist Frank Isola. I hope YES executives will allow Isola to freely use his quick wit the way Nets play-by-play man and Forest Hills High School alum Ian Eagle does.
After years of dormancy, HBO Sports is back in the documentary game. In November it aired “Wild Card: Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth” about WFAN drivetime air personality Craig Carton. Just before Christmas HBO debuted “Under the Grapefruit Tree,” the life story of recently retired Yankees pitcher and future Hall of Famer Carsten Charles “CC” Sabathia.
Unlike past HBO Sports docs that actor Liev Schreiber narrated, Sabathia himself serves as our guide through his life. What is most surprising about “Under the Grapefruit Tree” is how Sabathia was able to hide a severe drinking problem from Yankees players, executives and the usually crackerjack New York sports media for years. The fact Sabathia was always affable and approachable added to the shock when the public discovered he had to go into rehab in order to save his life. We also learn how a cardiac issue detected in late 2018 nearly cost him his life.
See the extended version of Sports Beat every week at qchron.com.
Life and style
The Christmas-New Year’s week is always a slow time for television, even for cable news networks. Many of them present documentaries as a way of giving talent and behind-the camera personnel time off.
CNN has long been running various documentaries on weekends and off-hours highlighting the entertainment and politics of the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, and it used this past Christmas week to rerun nearly all of them. Tom Hanks’ Play-Tone production company has put together this series, which brings back a lot of memories for those of us who remember those years — and it’s a fun learning experience for those who were born afterward.