Friday, December 20, 2013
A Tale of Two Center Fielders
What Yankee manager Joe Girardi says about former Met, and new Yankee, Carlos Beltran, who will wear Number 36, which was the first number he wore when he came to the majors, with the 1998 Kansas City Royals:
I just watched how he handled this press conference, and how professional he was. We’ve all seen the way he plays the game. You can just see there’s a level of comfort in the spotlight. He does not get rattled by any question he is asked, and it’s the same way on the field. I’m excited to have him.
What Beltran says about the Yankees:
As a player – and, first of all, as a fan – I used to look up at this organization because they always did what it takes to put good teams out there and win championships. As a player, you always want to join an organization where you're going to have an opportunity to win a championship.
What Beltran says about the Mets:
I can deal with 0-for-4s and three strikeouts and talking to you guys. I can deal with that. When somebody is trying to hurt you in a personal way, trying to put things out there that are not me, we have trouble. Now it's personal, you know what I'm saying? In that point, when they say all that about myself, of course I was hurt.
Stay classy, Flushing.
What former Yankee, now Met, Curtis Granderson says about joining the Mets:
I'm looking forward to getting out there, and one, playing defense, two, hitting the baseball, seeing where it's going to bounce around, getting a chance to run and seeing some great fans come out there.
So far, so good. Getting his new club's fans on his side. Nothing wrong with that.
But then he says this:
A lot of the people I've met in New York have always said true New Yorkers are Mets fans. So I'm excited to get a chance to see them all out there.
Before you get on his case, Granderson himself is not saying, "True New Yorkers are Met fans." He's saying he's heard a lot of other people say that.
Still, he's not going to have a lot of people forgetting that when... if... he's invited back for an Old-Timers' Day, circa 2022.
So, Met fans, you've got the Grandy Man?
Well, since 1996, we have had...
* Your best-ever offensive player, Darryl Strawberry -- and he won 3 rings with us, only 1 with you. (No, Mike Piazza was not better. Not as an all-around offensive player, anyway.)
* Your second-best-ever pitcher, Dwight Gooden -- and he won 2 rings with us, only 1 with you.
* Your third-best-ever pitcher, David Cone -- and he won 4 rings with us, none with you.
* Another of your top 10 all-time pitchers, Al Leiter -- and while he didn't do much for us, he did help us make the Playoffs, something you've only done once since the Clinton Administration.
* And now, your best-ever center fielder, as voted by you in your 50th Anniversary poll in 2012, Carlos Beltran.
And that doesn't even count having your best pitcher, and best player, period, Tom Seaver, as one of our broadcasters in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Small club in Flushing, you're just a small club in Flushing.
Eighty-six, never again.
Hours until the Devils play again: 1, home to the Anaheim Ducks.
Days until Arsenal play again: 3, on Monday evening, 3:00 in the afternoon our time, home to fellow Londoners Chelsea. Big, big match, especially after losing their last one to yet another serious challenger for the Premier League title, Manchester City, in their last match.
Days until the Devils next play a local rival: 8, a week from tomorrow night, away to the New York Islanders. They next play the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday, January 7, 2014, at 7:30 PM, at home. For the next game against The Scum, see below.
Days until Rutgers plays football again: 8, a week from tomorrow, at 12:15 PM, against Notre Dame, in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Upstream, Red Team! Beat the Tarnished Dome!
Days until the next North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham: 15, on Saturday, January 3, 2014, in the 3rd Round of England's national tournament, the FA Cup. Which is like NCAA basketball's tournament in that, theoretically, any team in the country can qualify for it, but, unlike "March Madness," it runs concurrent with the regular season, all season long. Top-flight teams like Arsenal and (for the moment) Tottenham get a bye until the 3rd Round proper, which always begins on the 1st Saturday in January, unless January 1 is a Saturday, in which case the round beings on the 8th. Anyway, this is in 2 weeks. The next League game is on Saturday, March 15, 2014, at White Hart Lane.
Days until the Devils play the Rangers at Yankee Stadium: 37, on Sunday, January 26, 2014, at 12:30
PM. A little over 5 weeks.
Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 43, on Saturday, February 1, at 5:00 PM (2:00 Pacific Time), vs. the Republic of Korea (a.k.a. South Korea), at the StubHub Center (formerly the Home Depot Center) in Carson, California, home of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Chivas USA. Just 6 weeks. For the moment, this is the only match in 2014 before the World Cup, but, most likely, there will be tuneup matches between the end of the European club season in May and the start of the tournament in June.
Days until Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands: 44, on Sunday, February 2, 2014, kickoff at around 6:25 PM.
Days until the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia: 49, on Friday, February 7, 2014. Exactly 7 weeks. Good for President Obama, and good for America, and good for humanity that he, his wife, and the Bidens won't be going, and that he appointed openly gay sports legends, including Billie Jean King and Brian Boitano (who came out this very day), to be among the U.S. representatives in front of gay-bashing bastard President Vladimir Putin. True, I have no personal stake in that, but bigotry is bigotry, and all bigots can (ironically) kiss my ass.
Days until the Red Bulls play again: 78, on Saturday, March 8, 2014, 7:30 PM, away to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Just 11 weeks.
Days until the Yankees play again: 104, on Tuesday, April 1, 2014, time to be determined, away to the Houston Astros. Under 4 months.
Days until the Yankees' home opener: 110, on Monday, April 7, 2014, at 1:00 PM (well, 1:07 or so), vs. the Baltimore Orioles.
Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 113, on Thursday, April 10, 2014, at 7:00 PM (well, 7:07 or so), at Yankee Stadium II.
Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 115, on Saturday, April 12, 2014, 2:30 PM, vs. D.C. United, at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium in Washington.
Days until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil: 175, on Thursday, June 12, 2014. Under 6 months.
Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: Unknown, as the schedule has yet to be released. Most likely, it will be on the 2nd Friday night in September. If so, that will be September 12, 2014, therefore 267 days. Under 9 months.
Days until Rutgers makes its Big Ten Conference debut: 268 days, on Saturday, September 13, 2014, time to be determined, against old enemy Penn State.
Days until the next East Brunswick vs. Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 343, on Thursday morning, November 27, 2014, 10:00 AM.
Days until the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 991, on Friday, August 5, 2016. Under 3 years.