BRONX, NY – I’m back, baby! What, you didn’t think I was gonna miss the beginning of baseball season in cold, rainy New York, did you? Perish the thought. I could waste this valuable space (*insert your guffaw here*) talking about March Madness or how Amy Poehler should definitely play Baylor basketball coach Kim Mulkey on SNL, but I won’t. Baseball starts tomorrow, and all 30 teams are playing! Let’s do our best not to talk about most of them. Here’s what’s cooking.
Cohen Nowhere? I sincerely hope that new Mets owner Steve Cohen has enough sense to NOT let Francisco Lindor’s contract negotiations play out in the press and, even worse, over social media. I assumed Mr. Cohen learned his Twitter lesson after he took a public beating over GameStop stock and his hedge fund. But there he was Tuesday, talking about the Lindor situation. Steve, we love that you made the Wilpons vanish. Now, can you do the same with your Twitter account? Thanks!
Yanks and Jays Opening Day. ESPN is kicking off its 2021 baseball coverage with hated AL East rivals the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays squaring off at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. These two teams have despised each other ever since Toronto poached Garth Iorg and Otto Velez from the Bombers in the 1976 expansion draft. I’d say the Jays have no shot in this one, except that I have it on good authority that there are some Johnson & Johnson vaccines laying around that Bronx needle joint. If they manage to squeeze this game in, between the raindrops, I’m predicting at least 5 home runs and plenty of groan-worthy calls from Yankee radio mope John Sterling: “It’s another pandemic punch out for Cole! Make America Gerrit Again!”
Mr. de Grom Goes to Washington. In the evening, we’ve got a must-see pitching matchup in ESPN’s third game on the slate. The Mets and Jacob deGrom take on the Nats and Max Scherzer. If you give a crap about baseball at all, you want to see these two guys pitch against each other. It ain’t Seaver/Carlton, but it’s just about as good as we’ve got.
Goals. My good friend Susan H. suggested to me recently that we all need to start setting some fun goals as the temperatures and vaccination rates start to rise. One of ours is to grab lunch at the Central Park Boathouse this April. I’ve had drinks there, but never a meal. I’m getting my first shot later today, so I should be good to go for that lunch soon enough. Anyway, one of my other modest goals is to catch at least one baseball game, preferably one paid for and completely concessions-subsidized by Short Matt. I’m not exactly reaching for the stars here.
Astros at A’s. The last televised game of the night pits the Houston Astros against JG Clancy’s lousy Athletics. There’s sure to be lots of garbage can banging in Oakland, but only because the seagulls in that mostly-empty garbage-strewn morgue are both gigantic and ravenous. Other than that, I expect the A’s to lose and then lose some more and then win like hell in the second half of the season and then lose to the Yankees in the playoffs.
All right, I’ve blathered on long enough. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who I’m sure will be very Yankee frank.