NEW YORK, NY – As we enter the latter part of September, the temps slowly begin to drop, the sun sets earlier each day, and it pretty much turns into a two sports landscape in this country, with college and pro football getting revved up while baseball winds down towards the postseason. So, for today, let’s stick with stuff that’s going on in those various stadiums.
Bartolo Colon Day. Last Sunday morning I dragged my tired keister out of bed after having watched most of the Colorado/Colorado State game the night before (more on that later), forced myself to go to the gym, and received this text from my brother while yawning through some crunches: “Good morning. I’m planning on taking the 11:16 train this a.m. Supposed to be a beautiful day weatherwise.” It was like an alarm clock I had forgotten to set: We were going out to Flushing, where Bartolo Colon would officially retire from baseball as a New York Met. We got there early to make sure to secure our long-sleeved Bartolo shirt giveaway. It was the first time in a long time I had gotten to a game early enough to watch batting practice, and it was pleasant as the sun was out and organ music (yes, organ music!) filled the air. It reminded me of long lost things I loved about baseball. And when Bartolo came out to a rousing ovation, he too reminded me of those things. He CHOSE to retire as a member of the Mets because he enjoyed his time here and the way the fans loved him. And what wasn’t to love? When some players get older and can’t do it the way they once did, they get bitter and resentful. But Bartolo seemed to enjoy and embrace the game even more in his latter years. He could still pitch, field his position (sometimes awesomely), and his at-bats were the stuff of hilarious legend. He was like a living, breathing, PLAYING mascot for the game itself, mostly because he treated it like a game. I’m glad my brother got me a ticket to watch a good guy ride off into the sunset.
Coach Deion Sanders. I’m sorry, I’m not calling any coach by a nickname, but the rest of you can have at it. Anyway, have we reached Deion Sanders saturation point yet? Every time I turn on a TV, there he is: Nightly News, 60 Minutes, Every Single ESPN show, you name it. I’m not rooting for him and I’m not rooting against him. I’ve never been a fan of Colorado football. Like Tom Osborn’s Nebraska teams back in the day, when Colorado was good they ran scores way up on their patsy opponents. When the program fell into suckiness, I did not shed a tear. Now, they’re (apparently) back. I’d pump the breaks a bit on that after watching them struggle to beat a team they were supposed to wallop last week. If they do keep winning, I DO hope that Sanders’ success opens more HC opportunities for other coaches of color. Jury is still out on that. And Deion tends to be a more “look at what I can do” than a “look at what we can do” kinda guy. Stay tuned… you have no choice, really.
Quick Fixes for the NFL. We’re only 2 weeks into the 2023 NFL season but already there’s some stuff that needs fixin’.
1. Get Patrick Mahomes a decent wide receiver. The guy is the NFL’s biggest star and he’s throwing to the lamest group of receivers (excluding tight end Kelce) since Earnest Gray was the Giants #1 guy. Mahomes checking down to running backs and safety valves all game long is not Must-See TV. I’d rather watch the leaves change color.
2. Gather up all the NFL officials and tell them, in no uncertain terms, to stop routinely marking clear first down gains, 1-2 yards short. I can’t be the only one noticing this. It’s insane how many poor spots I’ve seen so far this year. It’s so prevalent, in my eyes, that it seems someone told the officials to do this. I have no idea why anyone would want this, but knock it off either way.
3. Ship Kirk Cousins on the Jets… in a cargo crate… with a few air holes. This needs no further explanation other than, they belong together.
4. Someone needs to beat the piss out of the Dallas Cowboys. I don’t really care who. Make it happen.
Okay, I’m way over my count. Come back tomorrow for Buddy Diaz, who has the great fortune of posting on the 21st day of September. Hit it, guys!