Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sports this 'n' that

The way the MLB Home Run Derby was being marketed for last night, you'd think defending champion Giancarlo Stanton of the host Miami Marlins would reach the finals and face Yankees rookie phenom Aaron Judge.

A funny thing happened. The Marlins & Yankees were the only teams to have 2 players in the tournament, making up 1/2 of the 1st round matchups. Judge dismissed Justin Bour. Stanton, on the other hand, was unable to repeat, as he couldn't get past Judge's teammate, last year's phenom, Gary Sanchez.

They were dancing in the Bronx, and drowning in tequilas along South Beach.

Sanchez, however, ran out of gas in the semi-finals, losing to Minnesota's Miguel Sano. Judge, meanwhile, dispatched fellow rookie Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers' slugger, whose father, Clay, was a relief pitcher with the Yankees many moons ago. Bellinger had advanced by beating Colorado's Charlie Blackmon. Judge, then, completed the gauntlet by beating Sano to become the first Yankee since Robinson Cano to win the Derby.
The Mets are floundering in 4th place in the NL East after losing 2 of 3 to St. Louis over the weekend. Worse, a report has come out quoting pitching coach Dan Warthen as saying that pitcher Matt Harvey's injured shoulder has "atrophied", which Warthen chalks up to the Thorasic Outlet surgery Harvey underwent last year.

What this suggests to me is that the so-called "Dark Knight"'s days as a starter are over, if not also his career. The more pessimistic Mets loyalists will remember how the much-hyped "Generation K" of the 90's (Paul Wilson, Bill Pulsipher, Jason Isringhausen) fizzled quickly, due also to injuries. A separate article suggests that Noah Syndergaard could hasten his return by working out of the bullpen, the better, I suppose, to aid the overtaxed relief corps. Becoming a reliever saved Isringhausen's career, and led to a brief reunion with the Mets 6 years ago.

For now, the Yankees own New York again.
We know New Jersey Governor Chris "Chins" Christie is a Mets & Dallas Cowboys fan. We also know he's not the most popular guy in New York or New Jersey these days.

So what happens when he sits in for his buddy, WFAN afternoon yakker Mike Francesa? He alienates listeners, almost as badly as Francesa does. It could be worse. He could've had a seat in President Trump's Cabinet.
The late Johnnie Mae Young was never a women's champion, that I know of, but because she revived her career as a recurring player on WWE programming during the Attitude Era, she's being honored with a women's tournament named for her. The Mae Young Classic will begin unspooling soon, which should resuscitate the women's division in NXT, which is lacking depth after losing the likes of Alexa Bliss, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Carmella, Nia Jax, Bayley, & Sasha Banks in the last 2 years. Folks are waiting for current NXT women's champ Asuka to get promoted to the main roster, but that may not happen until near the end of the year at the earliest.

Long as we're talkin' NXT, Saratoga Springs resident and former Ring of Honor TV & tag champion Bobby Fish made his debut with the developmental brand last month in a losing effort vs. Aleister Black. Fish is scheduled to be in town Saturday as part of the Northeast Wrestling show at Joe Bruno Stadium, but the next time we see him in a local venue after that may be under the NXT flag in Albany.
I hate to keep harping on it, but the only way to keep up with the Northeastern Football Alliance, which has a few teams here in New York, including the Troy Fighting Irish, is to go online to the NFA's website. Local press can't be bothered to cover the Irish, even when the primary summer attraction, the Tri-City Valleycats, are out of town. The Irish are in the midst of a 3 game homestand that continues Saturday vs. Watertown, whose Red & Black dates back to the Empire Football League back in the 70's, when they were rivals of the Metro Mallers. Day of game ticket prices are the same as the 'Cats (lowest price is $7), and although Lansingburgh High is off the bus line, getting there isn't a problem. Now, if only the press could actually show up for a game.......

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