Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Sports this 'n' that

Let's remember that the Tri-City Valleycats aren't Troy's only summer sports team.

Troy's semi-pro football team, the Fighting Irish, had their season opener on June 17, thrashing Lockport, 41-24, at Lansingburgh High. Problem is, due to the usual press issues (lack of manpower, etc.), the game was never reported to the hometown paper. Coverage of the Fighting Irish has been spotty right from the go. It's not the same as it was back in the 70's, when the Captial Region had at one point two semi-pro teams. Albany's Metro Mallers are still around,  but the Irish, if ya will, have risen from the ashes of the short lived Troy Uncle Sams, and have exceeded the latter's successes.

Up next for the Irish will be a road test vs. Broome County in Binghamton on Saturday before coming home July 1 to host Auburn.
The Valleycats open the home portion of their season tonight vs. Lowell, but the opener last night at Connecticut was even worse than their exhibition loss to the Albany Dutchmen last week. The Tigers shut down the 'Cats, 9-0. I've noted in the past that the teams in the New York-Penn League that gell the fastest are often there at the end, and this may be one of those years where the Valleycats will struggle. Everything runs in cycles in the minors, especially in a short-season league such as the NYPL.
Could the Yankees have peaked too soon?

The Bombers have lost 7 in a row, something that hasn't happened a similar stretch from October 2011-April 2012, and they hadn't lost 7 straight in the midst of the season in 10 years before losing, 8-3, to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday. Of course, it was also the Angels that started the Yankees on their current skid, winning the last two in Anaheim last week. The losing streak has knocked the Yankees out of first place in the AL East, overtaken by Boston.

On a happier note, rookie outfielder Aaron Judge, who leads the majors in homers with 24, has been invited to participate in this year's Home Run Derby, set for July 10 in Miami, where defending champion Giancarlo Stanton could seek to repeat. Judge hasn't yet accepted the invitation, but don't be surprised if he's pushed toward doing so, not just by the team, but also by ESPN, which will carry the event. Ratings, you know.
After an 8-game winning streak ended with a loss to Adirondack on Sunday, the Albany Dutchmen got back on the winning track Tuesday, shutting out Glens Falls, 8-0. The Dutchmen are playing their home games this season at Siena College in Loudonville, moving away from the Bellizzi Sports Complex in Colonie. Bleecker Stadium is the home of the Albany Twilight League, but now might be a good time to find a more fan-accessible venue for both the Twilighters and the Dutchmen. Just sayin'.
As Aaron Judge is tearing up the AL, the Dodgers have his NL counterpart in Cody Bellinger, who leads the NL with 22 homers, three of them the last two nights against the Mets at Dodger Stadium. Seems the Amazin's left most of their bats in New York, as the Dodgers have outscored the Mets, 22-6, the last two nights. Corey Seager burned the Mets for 3 dingers in a 12-0 win last night. What is more galling is how many times in the last month that the Mets have given up 10+ runs.

Much as I hate to say it, but I think the clock is finally ticking on Terry Collins' tenure in New York.
Spectrum Cable sounded the warning a few weeks back, and now it's a reality. The cable company has discontinued its local sports channel, and it was reported a while back that their Friday night High School Football Game of the Week, which returns September 1, would shift over to Spectrum News (cable channel 9). I'll hazard a guess, but too many folks were complaining that they were getting minor league and college games from the Western part of the state (i.e. Syracuse), and not enough coverage of local teams. The upside there is that we'd get to see Triple A teams like Syracuse (Nationals), Buffalo (Blue Jays), and Rochester (Twins), but Charter-owned Spectrum, and Time-Warner before it, barely raised ripples with the Valleycats.

Figure, too, that Siena and UAlbany games will also shift to channel 9 this season, but if Charter is doing this to save money, now we know why Ivan Shreve, Jr. over at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear refers to them as "Charred Her". Just sayin'.

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