BRONX, NY – As much as I’ve been complaining about sports lately – even more than I usually do – the beginning of baseball season always brings some fun feats, plays and results. So, even though March Madness saw mostly favorites advance until this past weekend, we still got to see last year’s NL MVP Christian Yelich jack home runs in his first four games, Matt Harvey return to the mound for the Angels and pitch kinda OK, and the Yankees somehow secretly hire the old Mets strength and conditioning team. Now none of this will last all season long of course, but let’s stick with the Yankees for a second.
There’s something that’s been bothering me lately about the crappy new stadium the Yankees built to replace their old Bronx cathedral. As we all know, the new-ish park is an absolute bandbox, where home runs fly out right and left. And maybe turning the likes of Didi Gregorious into Graig Nettles turns you on; I’m not here to judge. But, speaking of “judge,” the Bombers have built a roster with some absolute monsters like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Luke Voit, who can all hit the ball a country mile. So my question is this: Why don’t the Yankees move the fences back so their guys can continue to hit monster dongs, and light-hitting second basemen can stop looking like Fred McGriff and go back to looking more like Freddie Patek? To me it seems like a prudent move. Why pay these mashers millions, when anyone can go yard in your yard?
Remember this stupid, flailing, Todd Frazier home run? It was maybe the most New Yankee Stadium-est home run ever.
Speaking of Todd Frazier and, more importantly, stupid, let’s not leave the Mets out of the conversation. They practically invented the concept! As usual, the Mets have looked good in the early going, so we’ll be patient and wait for the wheels to fall off to talk about the major organizational foibles. Instead, let’s focus on an early Mets giveaway day. This Saturday, the Mets will help promote WWE’s WrestleMania by giving away a Todd Frazier WWE Bobblehead. While we’re on three-letter abbreviations, WTF??? Can someone please point out to me all of the Mets fans that give a rats a$$ about Todd Frazier? Most fans I know are happy that he’s not in the lineup these days and would just as soon see his return from an oblique injury remain on the oh… bleak side. The Mets boast an above-average starting pitching staff, some fun young position players, and a stud closer… and they go with a Todd Frazier bobblehead. Give me the (bobble) head of whatever genius in the promotions department thought of this.
On a much more somber note, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association needs to shut down California’s Santa Anita Racetrack right NOW! I wrote about this weeks ago, but horses have been dying at an alarming rate at Santa Anita since their meet started in December. After closing down temporarily and instituting some cosmetic changes that weren’t related to the horrific condition of the racing surface, the track continued to operate. On Sunday, they had the 23rd horse fatality in three months. It’s heartbreaking and needs to stop now. In sports, as in much of life, it seems greed trumps all. And, yes, I used the word “trump” on purpose. Someone at the NTRA needs to lose their job over this. As it stands, we could be looking at the beginning of the end of horse racing as we know it. I know many people would applaud this idea and, increasingly, I can’t say that I blame them.
OK, I’m done for today. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who is now in the Thursday slot.