Monday, June 29, 2009

Subway Series redux

Here are a couple of thoughts following the conclusion of the latest Subway Series.

Yankee fans shouldn't be too giddy about sweeping the Mets at Citi Field since the Mets really aren't the Mets without Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado in the lineup. Take Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira out of the Yankee lineup; Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay away from the Red Sox; or Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard out of the Phillies lineup and I would assume they'd have problems as well.

The one person I would give some criticism to is Jerry Manuel. We all know the Mets are a shell of the team they should be, but the Mets' manager doesn't need to keep reminding everyone of that fact after every game.

I know he is just answering questions from the media, but how about saying you have confidence in the guys you are running out there right now instead of talking about treading water and hoping the reinforcements come soon.

It seems like his lack of confidence in his team has spread to the players themselves.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tiger-less Open

As we all sit through what seems-to-be this never-ending rain, a thought crossed my mind.

Given the weather conditions, and that Tiger Woods is essentially out of contention at this week's U.S. Open, will anyone -- other than true diehards -- be watching later today, or Monday, or Tuesday, or whenever the weather will let the tournament end?

My guess is no. Tiger Woods is the probably biggest drawing card in any sport and the PGA Tour needs him a heck of a lot more than he needs it.

Whether you like him or not, you watch him.

But not this week.

The Yankees and Mets sound like a better alternative at this point.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Enjoying the ride

One of my favorite parts of my job is watching youngsters celebrate, whether it's winning a big game or a championship.

Three months ago I got a chance to see the Coleman girls basketball team celebrate a state championship. Two days ago I had the opportunity to see the Rhinebeck softball team celebrate winning a state title.

It never gets old.

The Hawks deserve all the praise they've received and will continue to receive over the coming weeks. To win twice on Saturday for the title after having to win twice last Wednesday just to get to the final four is a real accomplishment.

When talking with Rhinebeck coach Steve Boucher after his team advanced to the state final, I remember him saying how he disagreed with a coach he heard at last year's final four saying he wanted his team to be more than just happy to be there.

"How could you not be happy to be here?" Boucher said. And I agree.

You could see the Rhinebeck coaches, players and fans soaking in this experience from the first pitch of the semifinals.

They were happy to be there.

They're also champions.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Here we go again

This should be an interesting weekend for the two Metro-area baseball teams, since neither the Yankees nor the Mets are playing light-out at the moment.

If this past week has taught us anything it's that 1) the Yankees simply CAN'T beat the Red Sox and no matter how tough the Mets play the Phillies, it seems as though the defending World Series champs find a way most days to come out on top.

Now we get the yearly "Subway Series" which starts tonight at the launching pad -- I mean the new Yankee Stadium.

The Mets are near the bottom of the league in terms of hitting home runs, but you can expect that to change in the hitter-friendly confines of the new Stadium. You also have to wonder how the Bronx Bombers will respond after getting embarrassed at Fenway Park this week, where Boston beat New York in every conceivable fashion.

It should make for an interesting weekend.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Strong showing

As a follow-up to a recent post, remember I said how area teams always seem to get overlooked when it comes to the Section 9 playoffs?

Well, in the 10 total divisions of the baseball/softball postseason (AA, A, B, C and D) our local teams were in seven finals, winning five of them.

And two they lost -- Red Hook in A baseball and New Paltz in A softball -- the locals were ultra-competitive. The Raiders lost to Cornwall in 10 innings, while the Huguenots, save for a rough first inning, proved the could stand toe-to-toe with Cornwall.

So now it's on to state regionals for Kingston and Pine Plains in baseball and Roosevelt, Marlboro and Rhinebeck in softball.

All-in-all, not too shabby a showing thus far.

Maybe our local teams should get overlooked more often.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Poor sports

In light of LeBron James' antics following his Cavaliers' recent loss in the NBA's Eastern Conference final and the beanball incident last night at Yankee Stadium, I've been thinking a lot about sportsmanship.

As a local reporter/sports editor the past 20 years who has also done a little bit of coaching as well, I know how important sportsmanship is on a local level. So important that the very few times I've seen someone display poor sportsmanship -- whether it be when I'm reporting at a game or coaching -- it sticks out like a sore thumb.

But then our kids see someone they look up to like LeBron James not shake an opponent's hand, or a Rangers' pitcher intentionally throw at a Yankee hitter -- not once, but twice, and you start to wonder why any of these pro athletes can be called role models.

Maybe the pros need to take their cues from the kids sometimes.

Just a thought.