It sure didn’t take long for the plans of Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez to buy the Mets to fall apart. Less then three weeks after the buzz started about their interest in running Queens’ Major League Baseball franchise, the New York Post last Thursday reported they were ending their bid.
According to the report, they were facing a pair of obstacles and neither was a shock.
The first was that their chosen big-pocketed white knight, billionaire healthcare financier Wayne Rothbaum, was concerned both about the acquisition price and how much of the decision-making he would have; he didn’t want to clash with his junior partners. You can’t blame Rothbaum for wanting to avoid these pitfalls if he was going to spend well over a billion dollars.
Another major stumbling block, as I predicted in my April 30 column, was the understandable reluctance of the Wilpons to part with their majority stake in SNY, the Mets’ very profitable cable home. A-Rod, who is a very successful businessman, as well as being one of the most recognizable ballplayers of all-time, may have been more interested in the TV network than he was in running the Mets.
A good rule of thumb before anyone gets excited over yet another buyer is to wait for the Wilpons to acknowledge an offer that includes SNY; otherwise it’s just a waste of time.
Former Mets pitcher Collin McHugh is one of my favorite players. He grew up in Atlanta and was a big Braves fan. When he came up to the Mets in 2012, I asked him if it was difficult to set aside childhood allegiances to a team. “You’d be surprised how fast loyalties can change in this game!” he quipped.
McHugh is now pitching for the Red Sox and became the first player to wonder aloud whether players should have the right to sit out the season without losing any standing for future seasons.
He cited the obvious health issues that would be facing players and their families. McHugh was also concerned about coaches, umpires and clubhouse personnel in the high-risk age groups.
Actor and Forest Hills native Hank Azaria concluded his four-year run as the star of “Brockmire” on cable’s IFC Network last week.
Azaria, like many baby boomers who grew up in Queens, watched Mets games religiously on Channel 9. He based his Jim Brockmire sportscaster on the late Mets TV voice, Lindsey Nelson, with his lilting Southern accent and loud sports jackets. The original premise was that Brockmire was a self-absorbed jerk who could never filter a thought. Azaria realized that could work for a season or two but smartly made him more well-rounded as time passed.
See the extended version of Sports Beat every week at qchron.com.
Baby boomers who grew up in the age of three broadcast networks will remember when both ABC and NBC devoted a different night of the week to show movies that had played in movie theaters at least three years earlier.
As premium cable networks such as HBO and Showtime caught on with consumers, broadcast networks tended to drop their movie nights because those premium movie networks were able to telecast these films often less than a year after they were playing in the multiplexes.
The COVID-19 crisis, which is obviously limiting the production of new televison shows, combined with corporate mergers, may be instrumental in reviving the movie of the week concept on broadcast networks.
CBS recently launched “The CBS Sunday Night Movie,” which utilizes the film library of Paramount Pictures since both companies are under the Viacom corporate umbrella.
NBC is scheduled to launch its Peacock streaming service in July, which will include Universal Pictures titles in its portfolio since both are Comcast subsidiaries. However, if there is a dearth of new programming come this fall NBC may be forced to devote some prime time to movies.
The same can be said for ABC, owned by Disney, which prefers to make its film catalog available only on its Disney Plus streaming service.
Kudos to everyone involved with the CBS Los Angeles-based legal drama “All Rise,” as they were able to create a new episode last week by having the cast work individually and interacting through Zoom, Skype and another connective technology.
Speaking before of streaming services, Netflix recently debuted a documentary on the longest-tenured cast member of “Saturday Night Live,” Darrell Hammond.
While “Cracked Up” does illustrate Hammond’s versatility thanks to his spot-on impressions of so many famous people, especially Bill Clinton, the documentary is a downer, albeit a compelling one, as it concentrates on his battles with depression and failed relationships, which can be traced to his abusive parents.
The death of Richard “Little Richard” Penniman over the weekend saddened anyone who loves rock music. Nobody could thump a piano as well as jump on top of one the way Little Richard did. It’s amazing how suggestive rock classics such as “Lucille,” “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly” still sound fresh and exciting. It’s hard to believe how those records were able to get radio airplay back in the very conservative late 1950s.
The Rock & Roll Hall Fame’s website (rockhall.com) has posted a lot of information about Little Richard for those who want to learn more about the life and accomplishments of this rock ’n’ roll pioneer.
President Trump may be reluctant to invoke the Defense Production Act when it comes to making personal protective equipment, better known these days as simply PPE. Two companies that are usually involved in far different kinds of manufacturing have stepped forward, however.
Spin Master, which makes a wide array of toys and games, has been making face shields while Long Island-based Bedgear is now producing facial coverings as well as sheets, blankets and pillowcases.
COVID-19 has ravaged the hospitality industry and claimed yet another victim last week when San Diego-based Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp. announced that it was closing its popular Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes salad and vegetable buffet restaurants around the country.
This story did not get a lot of play here in the New York metropolitan area because the closest restaurant in the chain was located in North Carolina. However, it was a destination for a lot of us when we were visiting Florida, Arizona or California.
I emailed John Haywood, Garden Fresh’s CEO, to inquire whether he had considered switching the business model from a pure buffet to a family-style restaurant with table service. Haywood told me it was a consideration but it would double the operational costs.
The loss of affordable healthy dining is a tragedy. Hopefully some entrepreneur will try to find a way to make it work in the near future.