Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fehr strikes out

I was bemused by some of the tributes I read about retiring baseball players' union chief Donald Fehr.

Yes, salaries reached astronomical heights during his tenure, but I thought he failed his clientele miserably on the most important issue - their health. Had he and his cohort in crime - Commissioner Bud Lite Selig - addressed the steroids mess earlier, perhaps we wouldn't have witnessed the tragic, premature death of former National League slugger Ken Caminiti. And who knows how many other tragic, premature baseball deaths we'll be commenting on in the coming years?

Also, the integrity of all those baseball records established and all those baseball awards won wouldn't be in question.

To me, Fehr and Selig were equally complicit in creating the storm cloud that continues to envelope the game.

So, I say, good-bye and good riddance.

Which will be my response when Selig finally leaves office.


The LPGA can't afford to lose its Rochester tour stop, so I'm thinking something gets worked out this week. The players love the support they receive from this community and there are few sponsors on tour as loyal and generous as Wegmans. I think if LPGA Commish Carol Bivens screws this up, the players will take action and she'll be looking for a new job.


Michele Wie still doesn't get it. Stop talking about playing on the men's tour and concentrate on finally winning an LPGA event.


Nancy Lopez remains one of the best ambassadors any sport has ever had.


For my Facebook friends out there, please join the group, "Put Lou Saban on the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame.'' The second winningest coach in Bills history and the only coach to win a league championship (two American Football League titles) deserves to be immortalized with the rest of the franchise's legends.


As mentioned several weeks ago in this cyberspace, former SU point guard Jonny Flynn could go as high as fourth in tomorrow's night's NBA draft. Flynn is one of about a dozen players who has been invited by the league to attend the festivities in Madison Square Garden.


My good friends Michael and Hinda Miller are diehard Mets fans who courageously boarded a bus filled with Yankee fans recently to attend a Subway Series game at the new Yankee Stadium. I thought you would get a kick out of Michael's blog about the experience:

"There were 37 of us who went. Hinda and I constituted 2 of the 6 Mets fans on the bus. The rest were fanatic Yankee fans all decked out in Yankee hats and jackets.''

"To say we were intimidated is an understatement."

"Arrived at our hotel at 2:15 PM. The trip only provided for tickets to the Saturday game, so we went out to have dinner with old friends who live in NYC and who are also (thank God) Mets fans. They have had season tickets shared with 2 other couples for years, but, regrettably, even though the cost would be split between the 3 couples, they simply could not afford the new prices for season tickets at Citifield."

"In any event, we had a marvelous dinner at a small Italian restaurant in Manhatten and then retired to our hotel room to watch the game on TV. Last of the ninth, score 8-7 Mets, 2 out 2 on, K-Rod on the mound for the Mets, A-Rod (sometimes referred to as A-Fraud) at bat. He hits a routine infield pop. Game over, K-Rod doing his victory dance on the mound, A-Rod throwing his bat in disgust, Mets fans everywhere rejoicing, except Castilio muffs the catch. The Yankee players on base, off and running at the crack of the bat, both score, game over, final score Yanks 9 Mets 8.

"Oh, the joys of being a Mets fan. One good thing, the television set in our room was made of sturdy stuff, and survived the barrage of shoes we threw at it.''

"Next day, off to the stadium. and as our bus got us there early we had plenty of time to view the stadium. Hinda, as you know, has 2 artificial knees. The elevators stop at the third deck and you take a ramp to the fourth deck where our seats were located. It is a long ramp and Hinda just was not up to it."

"We went to the box office, told them of our plight and said we would pay the difference for an upgrade to handicapped seating. First, the gentleman at the box office told us we could not upgrade since our tickets were purchased as group tickets. Finally, seeing our distress, he broke down and said he would upgrade to handicapped seating at a cost of only $175 per ticket. We were in disbelief and shock as we walked away."

"Hiding her emotions is not one of my wife’s strong points. Just then a person holding one of those, “Welcome to Yankee Stadium. Can we help you”? signs, saw us and came over. He asked if everything was all right and when Hinda told him what had happened, he said, “wait right here, I’ll be back. 15 minutes later he returned with 2 handicapped seating tickets compliments of the NY Yankees. Points for your side. He then proceeded to take us on a guided tour of the stadium including the museum and personally escorted us to our seats."

"The stadium looked like it was built in Disneyland. All the electronic gadgetry, including the state of the art Jumbotron gave it the feel of an amusement park rather than a baseball stadium. I also missed the voice of the old stadium announcer with his deep voice saying “now batting for the Yankees, Number 52 Bernie Williams, Number 52."

"As an aside, Bernie Williams is an outstanding jazz guitarist and on his most recent CD he is given that same introduction by that announcer, preparatory to Bernie’s instrumental rendition of “Take me out to the ballgame”. His final song on the album is a fabulous rendition of “Glory Days” with Bruce Springsteen doing the vocal. Ah, but I digress.

"The weather in the Big Apple was more than miserable. The disadvantage of handicapped seating is that it is located where there is no protection against the elements. After 4 innings of cheering ourselves hoarse as the Mets piled up a lead, and being chilled and soaked through and through, we decided that our dedication to our beloved Mets was outweighed by our chances of getting pneumonia. Therefore, we adjourned to the Hard Rock Café located inside the stadium, sat next to a lovely young couple, watched the game on one of their many high definition TV’s, and proceeded to substantially reduce the Café’s supply of Nachos and beer, while having the joy of seeing us demolish the pinstripes, 6 – 2."

"This continues our streak of having never seen the Mets lose when we have been at a game in person. Omar Minaya, please take note."

"Sunday, we headed home, tired but happy, until our tour guide, also a fanatic Yankee fan, announced that in the Sunday afternoon game the Mets had failed to score while the Yankees did so 15 times. The announcement was met with uproarious cheering by the Yankee fans and particularly ungracious comments to the 6 Mets fans on the bus. Arrived back in Rochester at 9:15 PM, thus ending our Yankee stadium adventures."


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