The Buck stops at Flushing | Sports rhythm

New York Mets owner Steve Cohen has always said he doesn’t want people to learn for his money, so it wasn’t a shock when he tweeted last Saturday that Buck Showalter would become the 23rd manager. of the history of the Mets. He joins Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra and Dallas Green as those who led the Yankees before moving on to the Mets. Joe Torre did the opposite.

Showalter contestants Joe Espada and Matt Quatraro, coaches of the Houston Astros and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively, are highly regarded but lack experience in MLB management.

Neither man lost anything by participating in the Mets’ high-profile managerial research, as they will surely have opportunities in the very near future. Former Mets infielder Chris Woodward told me he credits his eight-hour interview with the Yankees to replace Joe Girardi in 2017 the key to landing his current job as Texas Rangers skipper. Jon Daniels, the Rangers general manager who grew up in Fresh Meadows, took note and surely discussed him with his Yankees counterpart, Brian Cashman.

While it’s hard to argue with the Showalter selection, I’m curious why the Mets failed to contact Mike Schildt or Walt Weiss. Schildt was fired as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals despite his team winning 17 straight games last season and reaching the playoffs. Weiss, of Rockland County, had a solid 13-year career in the major leagues and a four-year stint as a manager with the Colorado Rockies. He is currently the bench coach of the World Series Atlanta Braves Champions.

Whether Showalter meets his team in mid-February, when training camps are due to open, depends on the resolution of the union-management dispute in baseball. A prominent club officer I spoke with last week expects a resolution by March 1.

This exec, whom I prefer not to name, understands why players want to cut the time it takes to become free agents from six to five years, but thinks they’re stupid for wanting to cut service time to be eligible for arbitration from three to two years. “The owners simply won’t bid for more players and the free agent market will be flooded, eroding the economic power of everyone except the most premium players.”

He believes the union and other team owners should focus on the roughly six teams that refuse to spend any money and are profitable just by taking their prorated share of TV rights and license fees for the goods. He believes that significantly increasing the minimum wage for players would encourage teams to retain veteran players instead of replacing them with cheaper minor leaguers who may not be ready for “the show”.

**THE WEB***

Given the unfortunate resurgence of Covid-19, you can expect Major League Baseball team owners to demand that all players be fully vaccinated and follow booster shots as part of a new convention. collective. The Major League Baseball Players Association is in a tough spot. Former Mets general manager Zack Scott told me last June that the players’ union was all about getting their members vaccinated, but there was considerable hesitation. Scott blamed “bad news” for this reluctance. He was diplomatic. The point is, many baseball players are so right wing politically that they pass Tucker Carlson off as a social justice warrior by comparison.

The Ivy League version of the Heisman Trophy, the Asa Bushnell Cup, was presented last week to Brown University quarterback EJ Perry.

Perry is a senior and hopes to receive an invite to compete in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this spring. If a professional football career is not in the cards, he hopes to pursue a higher education.

EJ grew up in Andover, Massachusetts, which is home to one of the largest regional IRS headquarters in the country. I asked him if he wanted to pursue a career in tax law or accounting. “Walking past this building everyday and seeing the traffic and angry faces made me an easy ‘no’! He said smiling.

Columbia University Lions head coach Al Bagnoli also attended the Bushnell Cup ceremony. Under Bagnoli, the Columbia Lions have gone from a national joke to a winning football program. I asked Bagnoli if players now have the option of making money through promotional appearances. Considering that Columbia is in the country’s largest market, New York, where virtually all of the big companies have a presence, this should give it a head start in recruiting. He told me that Columbia would leverage the economic might of New York City more than it had ever done before. Hopefully these promised efforts will lead to Columbia’s first Ivy League football title since 1968 and their first Ivy Men’s Basketball Championship since 1968.

New York’s big college football game, the Pinstripe Bowl, takes place at Yankee Stadium next Wednesday, Dec. 29, at 2:15 p.m. The University of Maryland Terrapins face the Virginia Tech Hokies.

My thanks to Rickie Ricardo from WFAN for inviting me to his show late Friday night / early Saturday morning last week. Rickie is always listening as he enjoys discussing both sports and pop culture.

Life and style

The NY Produce Show returned to the Javits Center last Wednesday. Avocado growers were plentiful as the fruit, grown primarily in Mexico, contains healthy fats that are good for heart health. Berry growers, such as Driscoll Farms, were also numerous in touting the antioxidant benefits of the tasty berries. Wish Farms, based in central Florida, introduced a pineapple, which is a blend of strawberries that also has a touch of pineapple. The New York State Department of Agriculture promoted New York’s most important fruit, the apple, and reminded attendees of one of my favorite winter drinks, apple cider.

Edge NYC, located in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, contains New York’s newest observation deck. Located 100 stories high, it eclipses the Empire State Building’s observation deck. Because it’s located one block from the Hudson River, you also get a better view of the western sky as well as the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan. It’s also more spacious for walking around than the one in King Kong’s favorite skyscraper. And yes, Edge NYC has an expensive restaurant and cocktail bar, for those who want to create a romantic vibe.

New Years Eve has become a very competitive battleground for television networks. Ryan Seacrest, who inherited the “Dick Clark’s Rockin ‘New Year’s Eve” franchise on ABC, will head his 50th birthday. I remember Three Dog Night was the first musical guest. Carson Daly, also directed by Perennial New Year’s Eve, will direct NBC’s NYE ​​coverage. Joining the Times Square fray this year is Fox, who will prioritize laughs as Ken Jeong and Joel McHale co-host. Fox is also promising a performance by Midtown Manhattan country music star Trace Adkins. CNN will keep the tradition alive by joking Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen from Times Square. CBS, which hasn’t made much of New Years Eve since Guy Lombardo’s death, is heading to Nashville for a country-themed celebration.

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