Although there was no official press release from the Mets, word filtered out last week the team’s acting general manager, Zack Scott, had been terminated.
Scott had been on administrative leave since Sept. 1 after he was arrested in White Plains on a DWI charge. He was found sleeping in his car by police and subsequently failed a Breathalyzer test. He had attended a soiree the night before at the home of Mets owner Steve Cohen. Whether Cohen was aware of Scott’s impaired state may come out at Scott’s trial next month.
While it seemed like a forgone conclusion Scott’s days with the Mets were numbered the moment he was arrested, his job tenure wasn’t helped by the Atlanta Braves winning the World Series last week. At the July 31 trade deadline, the Braves were trailing the Mets in the standings and had lost the services of their best hitter, Ronald Acuna, and a top pitcher, Mike Soroka, to season-ending injuries, as well as power hitter Marcell Ozuna to legal issues.
Despite the seemingly slim postseason odds for his team, Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos decided to beef up his roster by acquiring outfielders Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall at very minimal cost. All were major contributors as the Braves won it all.
In contrast, the Mets did little outside of acquiring infielder Javier Baez, and that came at the price of sending recent first-round draft pick Pete Crow-Armstrong to the Chicago Cubs. That was a heftier price tag than what Anthopoulos paid for the four players he got. Baez played well but the Mets still sank like a stone. The team was never able to overcome the loss of ace pitcher Jacob deGrom because of elbow issues. Scott was not able to find a credible starter who could stop the bleeding.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers should have heeded the old political adage, “it’s not the crime that does you in. It’s the cover-up.” Rodgers was asked by a reporter in training camp if he had been vaccinated. “I’ve been immunized,” he quickly replied.
Rodgers tested positive for Covid-19, but it wasn’t a breakthrough case as he was never vaccinated. By pretending he was, however, Rodgers violated NFL protocols for players who have opted not to be vaccinated by not wearing a mask when he wasn’t on the playing field and that included at press conferences. Rodgers needlessly put people at risk through his big lie.
The Packers were clearly aware of his deception and yet aided and abetted him. They should be fined millions by the NFL. Rodgers should be suspended for the rest of the season.
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He doesn’t have a future with the New York Jets, but journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson saved Gang Green from abject humiliation last Thursday night. Early in the third quarter the Jets were trailing the Indianapolis Colts 42-10. Johnson’s scrambling and can-do attitude led the Jets to three touchdowns. It wasn’t enough to win the game obviously, but it made the final score, 45-30, at least sound more respectable.
Michael Strahan made a salient point last Monday night during the Giants-Chiefs game on the ESPN2 “Manningcast.” “Why does Daniel Jones always throw five-yard passes when they need seven yards for a first down?” he forthrightly asked. Eli Manning could only remain stone-faced when his old teammate criticized his quarterback successor.
WPIX Channel 11 has parted ways with its longtime and excellent sports anchor Andy Adler. Andy (short for Andrea) had worked previously at WNYW Channel 5 before heading back to her native Southern California to do entertainment reporting. Hopefully, New Yorkers will get to see her back on their air soon.
Astoria native Bob Costas made a surprising revelation on last week’s “Marchand and Ourand Sports Media” podcast. He told the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand and the Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand that when David Letterman left NBC for CBS in 1992 after the Peacock Network decided to replace Johnny Carson with Jay Leno, he wanted to take Costas with him.
“CBS was willing to give me the hour following Letterman with my own interview show. To sweeten the pot, they were willing to make me a correspondent for ‘60 Minutes.’ I decided to stay with NBC because at the time they had a treasure trove of sports for me to cover.”
A further sign New York City is coming back from the pandemic was the return of the New York City Marathon, which was canceled last year and would have marked its 50th anniversary. The NYC Marathon has quietly been a boon to our city’s tourism economy over the past half-century because runners from across the globe book hotel rooms and spend money at our restaurants and attractions. As expected, the economic impact of the 2021 race was down from pre-pandemic levels.
One thing that did not change this year was the dominance of Kenyan runners as Albert Korir and Peres Jopchirchir won the men’s and women’s races, respectively. It also was a good year for the USA as Elkanah Kiber and Molly Seidel each finished fourth in the men’s and women’s divisions.
Skyhorse Publishing has a new coffee table book celebrating this iconic road race titled “The New York City Marathon: 50 Years Running” edited by Richard O’Brien. There are articles from The New York Times and Sports Illustrated about the marathon over the years that pay tribute to such legendary runners as Greta Weitz, Bill Rodgers, Alberto Salazar and Meb Keflezighi. There are photos of the celebrities who have run the 26 miles through the five boroughs, such as Karlie Kloss, Ryan Reynolds, Sean Combs, Amy Robach and so many others. And yes, the only other time the NYC Marathon was canceled, in 2012 because of Superstorm Sandy, is also discussed, with race executives candidly admitting they foolishly dithered.
In the second inning of the Game 6 finale of the World Series, Braves pitcher Max Fried got Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman to fly out to Joc Pederson. While it was a routine play, it was significant because all three players are Jewish. That made this the most pride-filled World Series moment for Jewish baseball fans since Sandy Koufax opted to miss Game 1 of the 1965 Los Angeles Dodgers-Minnesota Twins World Series so he could observe Yom Kippur.
Kenan Thompson is the longest-tenured cast member in the history of “Saturday Night Live.” He is from Atlanta, so it wasn’t surprising he wore a Braves cap during the on-stage goodbyes sign-off.
Life and style
Impressionist James Austin Johnson is one of this season’s new SNL cast members and he was given a tough assignment for the show’s cold open; namely to be former President Trump. Johnson perfectly nailed the look, mannerisms, and voice of the Jamaica Estates native. SNL czar Lorne Michaels had to have been tremendously relieved given Alec Baldwin’s recent tribulations.