Tag Archives: Jason Bay

The Muppets take a stand. A night at Citi Field. And remembering the great George Jefferson.

Even though I’m a Yankees fan, I’ve been to more Mets games than Yankees games this year.
It’s partially because of the company I’ve been with, but partially because I (gasp) really enjoy Citi Field, home of the now-sliding Mets (Tuesday they lost their 10th game out of the last 11).
I went to the slightly smaller of New York City’s major-league stadiums again on Tuesday, and had a great time despite the home team playing badly again.
Couple thoughts on life at Citi Field:
— The food court is the best I’ve seen at a major league stadium. Excellent variety, the lines aren’t as long because there are so many options, and Carvel soft-serve is never a bad choice. My only quibble: Some of the Nathan’s hot dog stands don’t sell the equally-famous french fries. Folks, it ain’t the same experience if you only have the hot dog.
— Very different feeling from Mets fans at Citi, as opposed to Yankees fans at Yankee Stadium. In the Bronx, when a Yankee screws up, the fans boo, yell things at him, and groan loudly. Yankees fans expect perfection or close to it.
Mets fans? Well, when Jason Bay, the most overpaid/underperforming player in the majors, struck out, Mets fans just sort of groaned. When catcher Mike Nickeas allowed a run to score by misplaying a throw home, Mets fans just sort of grumbled.

I guess when you’ve seen so many screwups for so long, you lose the energy to hate your own players.

— One thing I’ve never understood at a baseball game: Why the hell are people still doing The Wave? Seriously, it was stupid in 1986, it’s stupid now.
— Finally, it is fun watching R.A Dickey, a knuckleballer, pitch. We sat behind home plate, pretty high up, but even from our seats you could see the ball dancing and swerving and totally befuddling the hitters.

**One day after Sally Ride died, another 1980s legend died Tuesday. Sherman Helmsley, who of course played one of my favorite-ever TV characters, passed away.
George Jefferson was loud, obnoxious, and bigoted against white people. But he was damn, damn funny on “The Jeffersons,” a show that still endures in memory.

Quick story: this spring when I was student-teaching at a junior high, one of the essays we studied on an overhead was called “Movin’ on Up.” When I read the title aloud, I half-silently said to myself “to the East side…” And much to my amazement, two kids in the back continued, “to a deluxe apartment in the sky.”

I was so proud, I could’ve given them A’s right there.
Rest in peace, Sherman. And thanks for the million laughs.

**Finally, I’m always looking for reasons to write about “The Muppets,” and I found one the other day. You’ve probably heard about restaurant chain Chick-fil-A and its president’s recent declaration against gay marriage.
Well, Kermit and friends are just the latest group to publicly disavow the disgusting company.  Jim Henson Co. announced this week that it will cease working with Chik-fil-A, after previously agreeing to help design a line of kids’ toys for them.

Good job, Kermit.

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The most depressing team in sports, and Lochte sets another record

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So I’m home in New York this week on vacation, and while  I was at a Brooklyn Cyclones game minor league baseball game Thursday night (great time, by the way) I got to thinking about the most depressing team in sports.

I’m talking about the team that, year after year, absolutely pulverizes its fans hopes and dreams, the team that you constantly ask yourself why you bother rooting for. The team that doesn’t even seem to care about you at all, and cares about getting better even less.

For a long time, there were a lot of contenders. You had the Tampa Bay Bucs, who were horrendous for 20 years, but then they got better. You had the L.A. Clippers, who were run by the stupidest executives in sports, but managed to make the playoffs a few times at least.

You had the Arizona Cardinals, who draped themselves in fuility but managed to get to the Super Bowl last season, pleasing its sun-baked fans in Phoenix.

But I think it’s fair to say now, without equivocation, that there’s only one true deserving choice as, by far, the most depressing team in pro sports:

Ladies and gentlemen, step right up and meet your Pittsburgh Pirates! Seriously, meet them. Because I’m pretty damn sure you couldn’t pick them out of a lineup.

I’m not a Pirates fan, and never really followed them that closely. But I have to believe that to be a Pirates die-hard, circa 2009, has to be a soul-crushing experience. Your team is currently undergoing its 17th consecutive losing season. Seventeen! That, my friends, would be a record for consecutive crappiness in any major team sport.

The Pirates built a beautiful new ballpark in 2001, but decided to buck the trend started by the Orioles and Indians, and continue to stink right on from the old park to the new one.

If you’re a Pirates fan, there’s no sense getting attached to any good players on your team, because by the team they’re decent, they’ll be traded before they can make any real money. Nate McLouth, Jack Wilson and Freddy Sanchez are this year’s examples, but look into the past and you can find plenty of ex-Pirates stars (Jason Bay, Jason Kendall) who were dealt as they were in their prime.

Their drafting and scouting would have to improve to be called putrid. Do you realize this franchise has had a Top 12 pick in the MLB draft for the past 10 years, and has NO solid major league players in that mix to show for it? Let me know when you see Andrew McCutcheon, Paul Maholm, or Bryan Bullington tearing it up in the majors.

They can’t attract any quality free agents because, really, who the hell would want to play there? And they’ve got a cheapskate owner who is making a profit but won’t invest in the team.

Add it up, and I have to think rooting for Pittsbugh is like hoping Commack High School could beat the Yankees. Maybe Barry Bonds cursed them when he left as a free agent. Maybe the success of the Steelers (2 Super Bowls this decade) and Penguins (three Stanley Cups in the last 18 years) has forced the sports gods to at least give Pittsburgh one terrible team.

Whatever it is, I can’t imagine how sad it is to be a Pirates fan. My heart goes out to you poor souls. And the next time I bitch about my pathetic New York Jets, I’ll try to remember: It could be worse.

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**On a much more uplifting note, my man Ryan Lochte had a fantastic performance and set a new world record Thursday in the 200 intermediate medley, swimming it in 1:54.10. Lochte, the pride of Port Orange, Fla., didn’t get to beat Michael Phelps in the race at the FINA World Championships in Rome, but he did avoid the upset plague this week: both Phelps and Aaron Peirsol, who NEVER lose, got beat in their races Tuesday and Wednesday. (Totally off the subject, everytime I write “FINA” I think of the world soccer organization FIFA, and I start giggling when I remember that their chief has the single worst name I’ve ever heard: Sepp Blatter. Seriously, that’s worse than Stubby Clapp.)

Lochte broke out his diamond-encrusted grill for the post-race press conference; he wore a similar one a few years ago at the Worlds. Guy’s just different, but he loves to have fun.

Anyway, Lochte’s got two events Friday, including the 200 meter backstroke, which might see he or Peirsol break another world record.

With Lochte, I’m thinking if he sets another world mark, he’ll break out the M.C. Hammer pants and a Carrot Top wig.