It’s the final weekend of July. Baseball season hits the “dog days” of summer and the highly-anticipated trade deadline on Monday at 4 p.m. (edt).
I started the week by writing about what I believe will happen to some of our favorite Mets players at the deadline.
It’s been a busy week. Let’s recap what you might have missed and get you caught up.
I was glad to announce, after several stops and starts, The Price of Winning will be published this fall. Here is a primer about the book, the story and the people and places involved. I will have a sample chapter available for download this weekend.
Gregg Jefferies, remember him? I profiled his rollercoaster career experience in New York. “Everything about me has been blown out of proportion all along,” said Jefferies. “How good my offense was, how bad my defense was, how weird my relationship with my father was. The media went beyond the bounds in how it portrayed me.”
In reflection, both Jefferies and his teammates were wrong. Read more here.
Chris Flexen made his major league debut in San Diego. Not good. Flexen only lasted three innings, allowing four runs and he collected his first major league loss as the Mets dropped a 7-5 decision to the Padres. On the eve of his first start, I wrote about Flexen and how other Mets pitchers fared in their debuts, respectively.
I read Mark Ribowsky’s book Howard Cosell – The Man, The Myth and the Transformation of American Sports.
Howard William Cohen was labeled by peers, sports fans – even some allies – as arrogant, pompous, obnoxious, vain, cruel, verbose and a show-off. Cohen, known better as Howard Cosell, agreed with every one of those infamous personal adjectives. In fact, Cosell embraced the name-calling and coveted the attention, for better or worse. The more emotional viewers would get, the more Cosell felt reassured he was doing his job.
In 1962, Cosell’s employer WABC radio agreed to air the New York Mets pre and post-game shows. Cosell used the opportunity to blast Casey Stengel, claiming the bane of the Mets failure was rooted in “the pitiful example the old man (Stengel) was setting for a new generation of New York baseball fans.” He believed the pressure he put on the franchise led to the team’s turnaround in the late ’60s.
With the Mets opening a series in the great Northwest against the Seattle Mariners, I pondered the health of interleague play? Do I personally care if the Mets play the Mariners, Athletics or Rangers? No. But is interleague play accomplishing what it set out to do: attracting more fans and creating new rivalries? No. In fact, the numbers suggest interleague play is failing.
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Have a great weekend!