Mets President Sandy Alderson addressed the media last Monday morning and basically laid out his philosophy on running a team.
He acknowledged he has always favored offense over defense to the point where it may have cost his teams wins. He said he’d pay more attention to fielding but warned, “If a player can’t hit, he’s not playing.”
He didn’t make any friends amongst the Flushing faithful when he declared he had no regrets about not signing free agent centerfielder George Springer, who inked a six-year, $125 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. “At some point even Steve Cohen runs out of money!” Alderson quipped about the new Mets owner, who is worth more than $14 billion, according to most reports. He became serious as he discussed the importance of having a balance between having player certainty through long-term contacts and financial flexibility as well the freedom to rejuvenate your roster when needed.
In an expected move but still a nice touch, all Mets will wear a “41” patch on their uniforms in honor of the late Tom Seaver.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who had open heart surgery in 2009, reminded us why it’s important not to ignore body signals. When spring training began he started feeling fatigued and short of breath. He had a pacemaker installed and says he’s feeling great.
Basketball has always been a popular cinematic sport and the latest entrant is “Boogie” starring newcomer Taylor Takahashi as Queens high school hoops phenom Alfred “Boogie” Chin. Although Boogie is a talented player he hasn’t received a scholarship offer from a top-tier college. Boogie’s dad tells him the only way to get the attention of recruiters is to beat a team led by the best street hoops player in NYC, known as Monk (the late Bashar “Pop Smoke” Jackson).
The film, written and directed by the creator of the ABC sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat,” Eddie Huang, was shot in six weeks and it shows as the basketball choreography is not up to snuff. The notion Boogie’s life will miraculously change if he outplays Monk in one game also rings hollow. Realizing most people would think he was borrowing heavily from former Knick Jeremy Lin’s life story, Huang has Boogie speak dismissively of him in the film, which comes off as a needless cheap shot. Although the film is supposed to be set in Queens, most exterior shots seem to have been filmed in Lower Manhattan. The acting is fine but “Boogie” squanders a good premise.
See the extended version of Sports Beat every week at qchron.com.
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Irv Cross last week at the age of 81. Cross was a star NFL cornerback but is best known for being part of “NFL Today” on CBS. It also starred Brent Musburger, Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder and Phyllis George.
The show, which debuted in 1975, was a trailblazer in many ways. It was the first live pregame studio show for a nationally televised sport. It also showcased diversity before that term became fashionable as it featured both a woman and an African-American male in high-profile broadcasting positions at a time when that was unheard of in the conservative world of sports.
The Islanders made a wise decision in re-signing center Matthew Barzal to a three-year deal. Barzal has made nearly every Isles fan forget about his predecessor, John Tavares, who left two years ago to return home to Toronto to play for the Maple Leafs.
Last Saturday afternoon at the Nassau Coliseum Barzal outraced Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen to a puck in the Buffalo end of the ice and then used moves and stick-handling to put it past Sabres goaltender Carter Hutton. It was one of the most exciting goals you will see in the National Hockey League this year. Barzal’s choreography on ice would have made New York City Ballet legend and Bayside native Edward Villella proud.
Former Knicks forward and current Nets assistant coach Amar’e Stoudemire played in Israel for a few years. It was there he converted to Judaism and started an eponymous winery. Stoudemire Wines has expanded into Napa Valley and is debuting a pair of wines suitable for family Passover seders or personal enjoyment, Stoudemire Origins 2018 and Stoudemire Clarity Rose 2018.
Life and style
Easter coincides with Passover, and Godiva (godiva.com) has a number of delectable offerings. Fans of its rich chocolates will enjoy the Spring Gift Box or Assorted Gold Chocolate Gift Box.
McDonald’s is increasing its line of chicken sandwich offerings to counter the growing popularity of Popeye’s. Last week it introduced its Crispy Chicken Sandwich, which is a tasty baked chicken cutlet on a toasted bun. The spicy pickles should clear out any congested sinuses! The sandwich itself is available in mild or spicy versions.
The CBS All Access streaming service has been rebranded as Paramount Plus. Subscribers get access to a ton of shows and movies from the CBS/Paramount Pictures/MTV/BET/Comedy Central corporate family and can watch numerous sporting events.
One bit of disappointing news from Paramount Plus was learning the most recent update to Rod Serling’s “Twilight Zone,” which starred Jordan Peele in the narrator role, will not have a third season.
Last Thursday when Paramount Plus debuted I watched the Comedy Central Roast of Donald Trump, which was recorded at the Hammerstein Ballroom 10 years ago this week. The roast master was Seth MacFarlane and the idea of Trump running for president was the running joke of the evening. I had the feeling even the pride of Jamaica Estates, Donald J. Trump, thought it was just a comedic publicity bit in 2011.
I watched “Coming 2 America” last Saturday night on Amazon Prime. The sequel to the classic 1988 Eddie Murphy film “Coming to America” was pleasant although it was nowhere as enjoyable as the original. It would have been a good idea for the filmmakers to have shot exterior scenes in our borough as they did in the original movie instead of trying to pass off Atlanta as a substitute for real Queens neighborhoods. Eddie Murphy’s King Akeem character wearing Mets apparel in an attempt to go incognito in one scene was, however, a nice nod to Queens.