SANDS POINT, NY – Sunday night was sheer bedlam at The FSA Compound. The day started with hellacious winds that overwhelmed even the vaunted preparation of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). The normally stalwart utility – that rose to fame during SuperStorm Sandy three plus years back – saw over 25,000 “customers” on Long Island lose power for several hours. With my kids and friends coming for festivities that evening, it was critical that LIPA come through and restore our faith in government mandated monopolies.
By “festivities,” I refer of course to the night’s docket that included not just Opening Night for your New York Mets vs. their tormentors from Kansas City, but also Wrestlemania, referred to by Mike Francessa as the Soopah-Bowl of wresslin, particularly appealing to the “under 15” group in the house. We’ve got special MTM WWE correspondent Jackson Sternberg and his unique take on Wrestlemania coming this week… once Jackson scrapes up the bus fare to get home from Dallas.
Thankfully, our heroes from LIPA came through and power – if not order – was restored to Chez FSA in time. The Mets however, showed little power against the champion Royals. Perhaps it was the venue? Maybe it was the suddenly 70-yearold David Wright sucking the life out of every rally with his presence in the 2 hole? David looked bad.
The Mets had never opened a season in Kansas City after all. Opening Day, like my all time favorite back in 1985, is meant to be played under the sun during the day against a traditional rival. Like it was in ’85, when the newly-acquired Gary Carter hit a walk-0ff dinger against Neil Allen and the Cardinals. That’s Opening Day dammit! Not some made-for-TV-interleague-crap show that starts at 9:00 on a Sunday night!
And speaking of the made for TV nonsense, how about those ESPN voices, huh? John Kruk, fairly benign as the lead color analyst the past few seasons was replaced by Boston favorite Aaron F’n Boone. And Curt Schilling, stumping for Donald Trump and a wall to separate Brookline from the Wasp-ier Boston suburbs, is gone too.
In Schilling’s spot, ESPN has given us Jessica Mendoza. Ms. Mendoza brings every bit of her prior baseball life to her new gig as an analyst for Major League BASEBALL. She brings it in a thimble. Mendoza is a former standout collegiate SOFTBALL player which means she brings no actual BASEBALL insights or experience to her role. Mendoza insists on squeezing her softball anecdotes into baseball dialogue. It’s awkward and occasionally creepy.
As detestable and downright “un-listenable” as Suzyn Waldman is, she has never tried to weave her experiences as a floor manager at The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory into Yankee broadcasts. Gary Cohen never speaks of his time as the Brisket guy at Shea while calling Met games. Mendoza was unleashed on a viewing nation to avenge the disrespect shown to her Grandfather Mario, himself a ballplayer though not a particularly good hitter.
Speaking of detestable, Jim Nantz had the play by play call of last night’s NCAA Mens Basketball Championship game. This was off set somewhat by the presence of Bill “ONIONS” Raftery-a great basketball guy. Villanova and hedge fund manager Jay Wright found a way to beat the UNC Tar Heels when Kris Jenkins buried a buzzer beater from behind the arc. ‘Nova is the 2016 National Champion. How do your brackets look this morning?
The Artist Formerly Known as Angry Ward, tomorrow.