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Queens Chronicle

To live and die in LA

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2019 10:30 am

by Lloyd Carroll

Chronicle Contributor

The British pop band Wang Chung recorded the catchy theme to the 1985 film, “To Live and Die in LA.” The song’s lyrics reflect the fact that while the City of Angels attracts many starry-eyed types their dreams are frequently snuffed out rather quickly by cold reality.

I was thinking of the song in light of the Mets’ frustrating trip to Dodger Stadium in which they lost three out of four games to the home team. The Dodgers are a talented team with a matching big payroll so losing to them is ordinarily not a disgrace.

What was bothersome, however, was that the Mets had split the first two games and had a three-run lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning in the pivotal third game. Mets closer Edwin Diaz, who is normally a sure thing in these game-ending situations, imploded as he gave up four runs to transform a badly needed win into a gut-wrenching loss.

A similar Mets debacle in LA in recent history took place a decade earlier. In 2009, outfielder Ryan Church missed touching third base trying to score on a hit and was properly called out, which nullified a run. That bonehead faux pas cost the Mets as they went on to lose the game in extra innings. It also became a key reference point for that disappointing season.

It’s to be seen whether last Wednesday’s tough loss will have the same carryover effect but the short-run aftermath had to have been troubling for Mets fans. The offense took the following night off as they wasted a fine pitching performance by their much maligned starter, Jason Vargas, losing 2-0.

Our Flushing heroes then moved on to Phoenix, where they won the first game of their three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. But the next night history quickly repeated itself as relievers Jeurys Familia and Robert Gsellman gave up four runs in the eighth inning to turn what appeared to be a 5-1 win for starter Jacob deGrom into what would become a painful 6-5 11-inning loss. The mediocre D’backs won the rubber game of the series, 7-1, which wasn’t a surprise since “Never on Sunday” has become a de facto Mets theme song.

NBC Sports exported Queens to Paris’ Roland Garros Stadium as its French Open broadcast team consisted primarily of borough natives. Play-by-play voice Mike Tirico grew up in Whitestone while John McEnroe and Mary Carillo are from Douglaston.

The best volleyball stars in the world will be coming to our town for the 2019 AVP New York City Open which runs June 7 to 9 and will take place at Gansevoort Peninsula in Hudson River Park. There is no admission charge.

See the extended version of Sports Beat every week at qchron.com.

In my column last week on the 2019 Sports Emmys I neglected to mention that Mike “Doc” Emrick, NBC’s lead hockey voice, won his seventh career Emmy and an incredible sixth straight for outstanding play-by-play.

The Sports Emmy governing body, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, should consider giving two Emmys in the play-by-play category. The first would be for those broadcasters who specialize in one sport such as Doc Emrick (hockey), Bob Costas (baseball) and Mike Breen (basketball) and another would be for those who are more versatile and broadcast multiple sports such as Jim Nantz, Joe Buck, Kevin Burkhardt and Forest Hills High School alum Ian Eagle.

The passing of Bill Buckner last week understandably made many Mets fans harken back to the 1986 World Series when Mookie Wilson’s ground ball went inexplicably through Buckner’s legs in Game 6 to give the Mets a miraculous win that propelled them to their second, and last, World Series championship. The reaction from many was that their fan base has been paying ever since for that divine intervention.

There seemed to be a similar reaction from many Mets fans when they learned that outfielder Yoenis Cespedes had mysteriously broken an ankle at his Port St. Lucie home. Cespedes was the key reason why the Mets made it to the 2015 World Series but he has rarely been on the field since signing a four-year deal with the Mets in early 2016.

Life and style

Fitness was a major theme at this year’s International Franchise Expo held at the Javits Center. Undefeated boxer Floyd Mayweather is hoping to emulate the late Jack LaLanne as he is trying to franchise his eponymous boxing and fitness gyms. Another boxing gym, 9 Round, also had a booth.

Cold therapy has become the rage as a way of shedding pounds and it was inevitable that it would expand into other areas. Chilly Rx (chillcryo.net) was exhibiting its equipment at the IFE which included a vacuum-like device that shoots powerful cold air from its suction nozzle. The company purports that cryotherapy helps shrink wrinkles and reduces inflammation and joint pain.

Taking place next door to the International Franchise Expo was the annual cannabis industry show, CWCBExpo. Forget the old Cheech & Chong, Grateful Dead and Bob Marley images of cannabis as it’s now a multibillion-dollar industry. Exhibitors there included legal and CPA firms, hemp-based beauty and food products and companies serving the medical marijuana industry.

We’ve all heard the expression “Less is more.” Arnold Breads is literally adopting that term as it has just introduced a “Simply Small” line of breads, which are completely free of preservatives, and have only 10 slices in a package, so they have to be eaten fairly quickly to avoid spoilage issues. Arnold is wisely targeting those who live alone and obviously don’t need large loaves of bread sitting around getting stale. Simply Small is currently available only in white and honey oat but may expand into rye and pumpernickel in the near future.

The arrival of warmer weather means an increase the need for hydration. If you are wisely trying to eschew soft drinks and want something with a little more pizzazz than water, Koe Organic Kambucha and Sweet Leaf Iced Teas offer great taste with relatively few calories.

Plant-based foods have become increasingly popular and have rapidly increased in popularity and now it appears that plants could be used as well for jet fuel. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, which is celebrating its centennial, sent out a press release touting its investment in sustainable plant-based biofuel as a way of reducing its dependence on traditional fossil fuels. The environment should benefit as well since this should decrease air pollution.

I was listening to Rewound Radio (rewoundradio.com) over Memorial Day weekend when it did its annual tribute to radio station WABC as it ran audio from the days when it was a Top 40 AM powerhouse. It was terrific hearing such voices from my adolescence as Dan Ingram, Chuck Leonard, “Cousin” Bruce Morrow, Harry Harrison, Charlie Greer and so many others.

The demise of WABC’s FM sibling, WPLJ, last Friday (the station was sold to a Christian nonprofit), made me realize how it’s now impossible to hear any popular music from the 1960s 1970s, and even the early 1980s on terrestrial radio (the traditional AM/FM band) in most American cities.

Today’s WABC 770 AM is a conservative talk station but, aside from Mark Levin, without big-name hosts such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Its ratings have plummeted in recent years. Perhaps it’s time for the station to come full circle and re-embrace the music of its golden era. The advent of voice-assisted devices such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, which provides crystal clear sound, can only help generate listeners for when pop music was at its apex in my opinion.

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