Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Yankees, Red Sox, Stephen A., Raiders, Modell, and an Arsenal Farewell

We won 7 of 8 after the All-Star Break. Now, we've lost 3 straight.

We need runs. Lots and lots of runs.

We didn't get them last night. The only runs we scored were on a pair of solo home runs by Brett Gardner (giving him a surprising 12 on the season). Gardner and Derek Jeter (who passed Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time hits list, giving him more than all living humans except Hank Aaron and Pete Rose) each got 3 hits; the rest of the Yankees, 5.

David Phelps (5-5) didn't help, giving up 4 runs in 6 innings. But it wouldn't have mattered if the entire staff gave up only 3 over the full 9: We still only scored 2 off Yu Darvish (10-6). Neftali Feliz had the save for the Rangers (his 2nd).

Rangers 4, Yankees 2.

We need a win tonight.


It could have been worse. Somebody forgot to tell the Red Sox that you gotta come out of the clubhouse to play the ballgame. Those pesky Toronto Blue Jays pounded them at Fenway last night, 14-1.

And, with the Red Sox playing as lousy this season as they did in 2012, as if the 2013 World Series title never happened (and, without David Ortiz's steroids, it wouldn't have), Fenway was only half-full.

What happened to "the best sports city in America"? What happened to "Boston Strong"? What happened to "our fucking city"?

I guess they only support a winner.


Stephen A. Smith was suspended by ESPN for his ill-suited remarks about domestic violence in the way of the Ray Rice suspension.

For one week. Or half as long as Rutgers Ray, who I used to admire, got for hitting his now-wife.

If this doesn't make sense, it's not because it wasn't enough for Stephen A., one of the best sportswriters of the last 20 years, but whose mouth has gotten him in trouble before. And it's not because it was too long for him. It's because it wasn't enough for Rice.

If a woman hits you, you can defend yourself without hitting her. There's no excuse for anything other than self-defense, like if she's coming at you with a gun or a knife.


There's a rumor going around that Mark Davis, son of Al Davis and now owner of the Oakland Raiders, wants to move the team to San Antonio, because of the lease and the comparative lack of luxury boxes at the Oakland Coliseum.

He does know the Alamodome isn't a better option, right? Maybe he should ask the ownership of the Houston Texans how hard it is to put a dent into the Dallas Cowboys' stranglehold on football fandom in Texas.

The San Antonio Raiders? At least they wouldn't have to change uniform colors to match another team in town, since the Spurs also wear silver and black. Although, when the Raiders first left Oakland, for Los Angeles, eventually the Kings switched from Laker purple and gold to Raider silver and black.

But why not just go back to Los Angeles? They still have a hold of the area anyway. Plus, it would screw over the San Diego Chargers, which is something Daddy Al loved to do.


Speaking of rotten owners who moved NFL teams, Art Modell couldn't be buried anywhere near Cleveland after he moved the original Browns to Baltimore. He's buried in suburban Baltimore County.

And a man identified only as a Browns fan has been arrested for, literally, pissing on Modell's grave. He did it, and posted a video of it on YouTube. (No, I won't link to it.)

If charges are filed (and it looks like they will be), the fan could face 2 years in jail, and a $500 fine.

Look, I understand the sentiment. But there are some things that you just don't do. He crossed the line, and I have no sympathy for him if he goes to prison for this.


Alex Forbes has died. You may never have heard of him, but he was a legend for one of my favorite sports teams.

Alexander Rooney Forbes was born on January 21, 1925 in Dundee, Scotland. A right half in soccer -- today, he would be a right back -- he worked in a Dundee dockyard during World War II, and played for Dundee North End. Yorkshire club Sheffield United brought him to England in 1944, and fellow Scot Archie Macaulay recommended him to his own club, North London's Arsenal, in 1948.

That allowed Alex to reach Arsenal in time to be a part of their 1948 Football League title, and he played enough matches to get a League winner's medal. He did, however, start as the Number 4 on their 1950 FA Cup winners, defeating Liverpool. He also played in the 1952 FA Cup Final, but Arsenal lost to Newcastle United. In 1953, he helped Arsenal win another League title.
Alex Forbes, wearing the lid of the FA Cup after the 1950 Final

In 1956, he suffered a knee injury, and Arsenal let him go after the season. After a season with East London's Leyton Orient and another with West London's Fulham, he retired in 1958. He represented Scotland in both soccer and ice hockey. He later moved to South Africa, taught at Yeshiva College in Johannesburg (not to be confused with Yeshiva University in New York), and won snooker tournaments there.

He was married to Peggy, and had a son Bobby and a daughter Jan. He died yesterday, at the age of 89, the last surviving member of Arsenal's 1950 FA Cup winners.


Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 3, this Friday night, at 7:00 PM, at Fenway Park.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 4, this Saturday, at 7:00 PM, home to the New England Revolution. So that's New York vs. New England in both MLB and MLS.

Days until the 2014-15 Premier League season begins: 18, on Saturday, August 16, with Arsenal at home to Southeast London club Crystal Palace.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 30, on Thursday, August 28, at 10:00 PM (7:00 local), away to Washington State, at CenturyLink Field, home of the NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks. Just 1 month.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 36, on Wednesday, September 3, a friendly, away to the Czech Republic in Prague. The Czechs have given the U.S. trouble before, including a 3-0 humiliation at the 2006 World Cup. But things are different now. There's also discussions about playing Ireland away later in the year.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 37 on Thursday, September 4, home to Woodbridge. A little over 5 weeks. It's on a Thursday night, rather than a Friday night, because of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Days until Rutgers makes its Big Ten Conference debut: 46, on Saturday, September 13, at 8:00 PM, against old enemy Penn State. Under 7 weeks.

Days until Derek Jeter's last regular-season home game (barring injury): 58, on Thursday, September 25, against the Baltimore Orioles. Under 2 months.

Days until the next North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham: 60, on Saturday, September 27, at the Emirates Stadium.

Days until Derek Jeter's last regular-season game (barring injury): 61, on Sunday, September 28, against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Days until the Devils play again: 72. They open on Thursday, October 9, away to the Philadelphia Flyers. Just 10 weeks. They once again get screwed by Commissioner Gary Bettman and his schedulemakers, this time having to play 4 road games before their home opener, on Saturday, October 18, at 7:00 PM, vs. the San Jose Sharks.

Days until the Devils play another local rival: See the previous answer. The first game against The Scum is Tuesday night, October 21, at the Prudential Center. The first game against the Islanders is Saturday night, November 29, at the Nassau Coliseum. The Devils' last trip to Uniondale, before the Isles move to Brooklyn, is Monday night, December 15.

Days until Game 7 of the 2014 World Series -- the absolute latest you can ever again see Derek Jeter in a competitive game: 92, on Wednesday, October 29. Exactly 3 months, and no more Jeter -- not as an active player, anyway.

Days until the next East Brunswick vs. Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 121, on Thursday morning, November 27, at 10:00 AM. Under 4 months.

Days until New York City FC make their Major League Soccer debut: Unknown, but a new MLS season usually begins on the 2nd Saturday in March, which would be March 14, 2015. That's 228 days. Under 8 months. Whether it will be a home game, and thus at the new Yankee Stadium, is yet to be determined.

Days until Alex Rodriguez is eligible to play for the Yankees again: 246 -- presuming, that is, that 2015's Opening Day is on April 1, and wouldn't it just work out that way, that A-Rod is again allowed to play a regular-season game for the Yankees on April Fool's Day? Anyway, that's a little over 8 months.

Days until the New York Islanders' last game at the Nassau Coliseum: 256, on April 11, 2015, at 7:00 PM, against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Under 9 months.

Days until the Islanders' first home game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn: Unknown, but an NHL regular season usually begins on the 1st Friday in October, which would be October 2, 2015. That's 431 days. That's a little over 14 months. Or, to put it another way, "431 Sleeps Till Brooklyn." Until then, even with their 4 straight long-ago Stanley Cups, they're just a Small Club In Hempstead.

Days until Euro 2016 begins in France: 683, on Friday, June 10. Under 2 years.

Days until the next Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 740, on Friday, August 5, 2016. A little over 2 years.

Days until the next World Cup begins in Russia: 1,413, on Friday June 8, 2018. Under 4 years.

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