Monday, April 30, 2018

Sports this 'n' that

Could the latest incarnation of the Albany Patroons be one and done?

According to Leif Skodnick in Sunday's Albany Times-Union, it certainly could happen. "De facto" owner Herb Ellis has been quoted as saying the Pats might not make it back for a second season in the North American Premier Basketball League, even if they win the league title. They begin the playoffs later this week at home vs. Ohio, but attendance has been just as bad, if not worse, as their last runs a decade ago. Ellis and his partners have yet to realize that the nostalgia of having the team revived, and playing at the ancient Washington Avenue Armory, to boot, isn't drawing the fans in. Minor league basketball is not the draw it was 30 years. Albany is now a college hoops town, thanks to Siena & UAlbany, and if the Patroons are to survive, despite Ellis' poor-mouthing of the sitch, they might follow the Albany All-Stars women's roller derby down the hill to the Capital Center. It's not as cavernous as the Times-Union Center further down the hill, but putting the team in a shiny new box, with better promotion, would help.

Better promotion, you ask? Yep. As noted El Cheapo Press has refused to send reporters to cover games. Game stats aren't shared with the media for unknown reasons. The Times-Union had veteran writer Tim Wilkin covering some home games, but then they stopped using a beat writer. Given the night-to-night selective coverage of sports on Spectrum News, and channels 6, 10, 13, 15, & 23 here in the home district, the Pats, like a lot of high schools, are starving for coverage.

That said, Ellis' biggest mistake was trying to recapture the old magic in the Armory when the public told him a decade ago that it wasn't worth it. Now, he's paying for it. Everyone loses.
Meanwhile, the Albany Empire will limp back to Times-Union Center Saturday night at 0-2 after losing again on Saturday afternoon. The fans'll be there, unlike for the Patroons, but they also have to get used to the fact that the Empire is just another expansion team experiencing growing pains. They'll win. Eventually.
They tried rescheduling the Coaches vs. Cancer double-dip, postponed from Friday, today. Unfortunately, morning rains have forced another postponement, so Columbia, CBA, Mohonasen, & Shenendehowa will have to wait for another open date.

Likewise, Troy High has tried rescheduling road games vs. Burnt Hills (baseball) & Niskayuna (softball), but both of those games have also been postponed yet again.

What is supposed to be the final double-header at Bruno Stadium is this Friday (Cairo-Durham vs. Green Tech, Nisky vs. Bethlehem), but with the warped weather patterns, who knows? Even with temperatures racing up to the 70's & 80's the next two days, there's no guarantee the games will be played on time. All we can say is, stay tuned.
A co-worker of mine at my job questioned how a team can blow out an opponent one night, only to turn around and be blown out in kind the next day.

The simple answer in this case is, after the San Diego Padres blew out the Mets, 12-2, on Saturday, New York returned the favor, with interest, Sunday, collecting a receipt to the tune of 14-2. The NL East leading Mets won 2 of 3 from San Diego, but their lead is down to a game and a half over Atlanta & Philadelphia.

The Boston Red Sox still sit atop the AL East, but their lead is down to 2 games over the Yankees. Boston, like the Mets, has stumbled over the last few days, but the Yankees have won 9 straight headed into a series against the World Champion Houston Astros. If anything, Yanks-Astros won't be boring.
Finally, a moment of silence for little leaguers past & present.

If you're of a certain age, and were involved in some form with Central Little League in the 70's & 80's, you might remember a fellow by the name of Robert Zellweger. Robert was, in the eyes of fans, the de facto commissioner of the league, but in truth he was more like a goodwill ambassador. He had Downs Syndrome, but managed to live a full life despite it. Zellweger passed away on Friday after an illness. Since I wasn't at opening day at Central this year, I'm not sure if the people currently in charge of the league remembered and/or honored him. He now joins the league's PA announcer from the same era (1970's-early 80's), Carmen Muscatello, in little league heaven.

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