What was the name of that New York guy who fell asleep? Mike Francesa? No, despite indisputable, conclusive replay evidence, “Let’s Be Honest” denied it, and he wouldn’t lie.
It was something like Jeff Van Gundy, or … Oh, yeah, Rip Van Winkle; he’s the guy!
So it is Thursday, and Rip awakens to find, in addition to needing a shave, the fourth inning of Yankees-Blue Jays on YES. That is when CC Sabathia fielded a soft bouncer toward third, turned and threw high to first, Chris Carter leaping high off the bag to catch it.
The runner, Justin Smoak, would’ve been out by two feet had the throw been slightly better.
“Good throw gets him,” Michael Kay said, “but it was a little high.”
A pause, then, “They gave him a hit.”
Ol’ Rip rubs his eyes. “That’s an error! Plain and simple, an error!”
That is going to be a problem for Rip. While he was dozing, the impossible — what once would’ve been dismissed and ridiculed as fake news — has become true.
Later that night — much later — the NBA Finals on ABC began, at exactly 9:12.
RVW: “Why would they start such a big game when by the time it ends at least half the nation’s population will be asleep?”
Though Rip is a Hudson River guy, east of the Mississippi the NBA Finals have created a sure-to-diminish ritual: Wake up for work, find out who won last night’s NBA Finals … until you’re conditioned to no longer care.
Wait till Rip finds out what they did to the World Series.
Reader Jack Baroody watched the National Spelling Bee on Thursday. Given that it was on ESPN, he was surprised the winner, 12-year old Ananya Vinay, “didn’t spike the dictionary.”
Obviously, Ananya is young. She still has time to learn how to succeed in competition without grace, modesty and dignity — the way Roger Goodell prefers.
Rip, you wouldn’t believe what the NFL commissioner just officially blessed as “good for the game.” Google it. Google? Yeah, that’s what we now call, “Look it up.”
Sunday’s much-too-late ESPN MLB telecast is Cardinals at Cubs. Cubs fans are now punished regularly with late Sunday night games because of their success and because Chicago’s a large TV market, toddlin’ town.
Rip, you’ll want to watch from your place in the Catskills. It’ll end around midnight, when the Headless Horseman would terrorize Westchester.
We don’t yet know what ESPN has planned for Sunday, but we know it’ll do everything in its exit-velocity power to destroy the game by paying attention to everything else, especially all things ESPN — whose shot-callers believe people watch because of, rather than in spite of, ESPN.
Perhaps there will be three announcers in right field, five in left, and, in order for ESPN to maintain cost-cutting, just two above home plate.
Sunday’s theme? Well, in keeping with this season’s continued sensitive explanations of Latino players by stereotyping them, I’m expecting a show-and-tell on why Latino players, as a matter of shared culture and thought, eschew alpine skiing.
Saturday’s regionalized Orioles-Red Sox on FOX was promoted all week with the promise of a renewed holy war between the teams, video of brawls and all. Ultimate Baseball Fighting. Since you hit the hay, Rip, you wouldn’t believe how kids, teens and young adults are encouraged toward sports.
ESPN last week announced that it has switched a Sunday, June 25 Pirates-Cards game from a 1:15 start to that night. So much for “Kids’ Fredbird Bobblehead Day.” Commissioner Rob Manfred recently said that MLB’s first responsibility is to kids. It was in a statement, so you couldn’t see if he kept a straight face. But MLB’s No. 1 priority, Rip, is to sit up and roll over to fetch TV money.
Finally, Rip, you missed it by a day, but Gary Cohen, on SNY’s Brewers-Mets on Wednesday, said this of Brewers’ starter Junior Guerra:
“He started Opening Day for Milwaukee. He hurt his calf running to first on a bunt, and did not pitch again until Friday, so he missed seven weeks.”
Really? Really. Big league players now go down, and stay there, Rip. A sore muscle is worth a month. And the more they pay pitchers, the less they pitch — you don’t want them to get hurt doing what you pay them to do. And remember, before you fell asleep, there was a pitcher, Tommy John? Well, he now is known as a famous surgeon.
Perhaps it was better when you rested in peace, Rip. Yep, that bad throw is now recorded as a hit, not an error. Time for your nap.
Darling nails call on SNY immediately before d’Arnaud nails a baserunner
Potential Call of the Year: Ron Darling on SNY Wednesday played the longest of long shots — and cashed.
Travis d’Arnaud, we know, seldom throws out those who try to steal second, thus teams drool at the chance. Still, Darling, with Milwaukee’s Jonathan Villar, fast runner, on first, and reliever Fernando Salas pitching, called it:
“Salas knows what he’s doing to hold runners close. He’s pretty quick to the plate. If d’Arnaud is going to throw someone out, this is the pitcher to have on the mound.”
Next pitch, Villar bolted. D’Arnaud nailed him by a yard. Awesome.
Interesting comment from SNY’s Gary Cohen on Wednesday:
“All this speculation about when Yoenis Cespedes comes back. Cespedes knows Texas and Atlanta, the next road trip, are two of the greatest hitters’ parks in the history of baseball. Got a feeling we might see him on that road trip.”
What should we make of such a take? Cespedes is injured but improving and eager to play again? Or that he isn’t so injured that he can’t choose when, where and why to next play?
Boomer, Carton keep their radio listeners in the dark
Instead of Weekday Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton launching into childish, vulgar name-calling of a local columnist who takes shots at them, why not, if they’re so bold, read aloud what was written, to allow their audience to decide. Or might that prove self-defeating?
Perhaps because John Sterling is impossible to take seriously, he is comical. One minute he mocks those who think games run too long, the next minute he mocks pitchers — though never a Yankees pitcher — for taking so much time to pitch.
How could Mr. Met, who has four fingers, give someone the middle finger? Mr. Met reminds me of an Emo Phillips line: “They call me Mr. Baseball, not because I love the game, but because of all the stitches in my head.”