Monday, May 15, 2017

Sports this 'n' that

It should surprise absolutely no one that the tabloid press in New York is already beating the drums, calling for wholesale changes with the Mets, after the injury-cursed orange & blue crew were swept by NL Central insurgent Milwaukee over the weekend. Closer Jeurys Familia is the latest to fall victim to the injury bug, as team doctors discovered a blood clot in his shoulder. Thus, Addison Reed moved back into the closer's role, or so we thought, but Reed was called on in the 8th inning Sunday, and served up a game winning home run to unheralded Manny Pina.

Let's face facts. Due to Familia's suspension the first two weeks of the season, manager Terry Collins had to use more of his bullpen than he would've liked, and now Reed, Fernando Salas, and others have been overworked just a month into the season. The Mets need bullpen help, not tabloid jockeys calling for heads to roll. The road trip continues tonight in Phoenix against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Let's give Tom Brady some credit for humility.

In a recent interview with's Ian O'Connor, the 5-time Super Bowl champ claimed that he's not the greatest quarterback of all time, but rather a product of coach Bill Belichick's system. I've said all along that Brady wasn't the greatest---that title belongs to Joe Montana, in my opinion---but Brady can try to convince the provincial sheep in New England who think he's the greatest thing to come along since sliced bread, John F. Kennedy, and John Havlicek, not exactly in that order.

Unfortunately, the media hordes who think Brady is the greatest of all time also convinced the folks at EA Sports, makers of the Madden NFL video games, to put Brady on the cover of Madden '18. Supposedly, there's an curse associated with the status of being the cover model for the game, involving either injury, legal issues, or loss of playing time/status with the team. Chalk all that up to some eerie coincidences, and leave it at that. EA, sad to say, is making variant editions playing up the false hype of Brady as the greatest. Those won't sell so well outside of New England, trust me.
For all intents and purposes, the high school spring sports regular season is over, save for a few games on tap today and tomorrow.

For Troy High, the regular season is over in baseball & softball sooner than expected. Today's Senior Day varsity baseball game vs. LaSalle was cancelled earlier today due to rain and wet grounds, and won't be made up, meaning Troy closes the regular season with a 10-9 ledger after dropping the Suburban Council finale to CBA on Friday, 7-2. Still, it's a marked improvement from last season. The softball team's non-league finale at South Glens Falls was also cancelled, as the Bulldogs had to make up a Foothills Council game on Friday that had been postponed a week earlier. Again, the game won't be made up, so the ladies finish 14-5 for the regular season.

As noted previously, sectional seedings will be announced later this week, perhaps as early as tomorrow or Tuesday.

The Troy lacrosse team, also enjoying a better season than last year, closes the regular season at CBA tomorrow. Admittedly, 6-9 is a lot better than where the laxmen were at this time last year.
Let's give some props to the University at Albany's lacrosse & softball teams, which all won regular season titles in the America East conference. The men's lacrosse team, as I'm sure you know by now, upset defending NCAA champ North Carolina Saturday night, and will play Maryland on Saturday, seeking to avenge a home loss to the Terrapins during the regular season.

The women's lacrosse team earned an at-large bid for the NCAA's, while the softball team won the school's 100th conference title since UAlbany moved to Division 1 several years ago. That combines championships in both the America East and the Northeastern Conference.
The only reason Derek Jeter's retirement ceremony got more attention than the rest of the "Core Four" that won 5 World Series titles between 1996-2009 was because ESPN had already scheduled a Sunday Night Baseball broadcast of last night's game vs. Houston, and was only too happy to carry the ceremony, which otherwise would've been on the YES network, and not have the national reach of ESPN. The Yankees, after all, still command big ratings based on reputation alone.

Unfortunately, the Astros spoiled the party, gaining a split of a day-night double dip by hanging on for a 10-7 win in a game that slogged through nearly four hours, due largely to the visitors roughing up starter Masahiro Tanaka in the first inning. The doubleheader resulted from the Yanks doing a Chicken Little and cancelling Saturday's game in advance of the rain, thinking it'd be worse than it was. More fools they, although the Yanks did win the day game......

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