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For my two Bitcoins, this country has gone nuts because those who should be our most cherished citizens — those who are logical — remain vastly underrepresented, if not totally ignored.
Take, for example, ahem, me. I don’t litter, I pay my taxes and I haven’t committed homicide since breakfast.
Yet Wednesday, I spent 35 minutes waiting for a human at a medical clinic to answer my call. And so every 30 seconds, a recorded voice told me that either, “Your call is important to us,” or that the clinic’s expanded services now include “stress management.”
The good news: My call was answered “in the order in which it was made.”
To a similar end, the only thing surprising about Yankees manager Aaron Boone pulling Domingo German on Monday with one out in the ninth after he had allowed just two hits and no runs on 88 pitches, is that people seemed surprised, even outraged after Boone’s move turned a 2-0 Yankees lead into a 3-2 loss.
Had they not witnessed such senselessness every day and night throughout MLB over the last 10 years?
Had they forgotten Game 6 of the 2020 World Series, when Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, leading 1-0 in the game and down three games to two in the series, pulled starter Blake Snell after he had allowed two hits on 73 pitches? The Rays soon lost the game and the Series.
Had they forgotten how Joe Maddon, as manager of the 2016 Cubs tried — but failed — to lose the World Series by playing bullpen darts, as if he wanted to rest his pitchers for next season?
Had they forgotten that Boone had done similarly dozens of times, never once considering that he consistently provided aid and comfort to opponents? Had he never seen the light even after such gifts were bestowed upon him by opposing managers?
And had we never before heard YES broadcasters ignore or excuse such decisions, insulting our intelligence rather than at least suggesting they’re dubious or odd?
For years, the YES crew marveled at how hard Gary Sanchez, wincingly indulged by Boone, could hit a baseball, never even hinting that Sanchez (who was granted his release by the Giants this week after he batted .164 in the minors) was the most fundamentally deficient two-way big league ballplayer — and multimillionaire — most of us have ever witnessed.
But the logical have no standing, no status, no relevance.
The Knicks defied logic, too, this week. They had defeated the Cavaliers with all-in, look-inside, two-way team basketball not seen since the Clyde Frazier Era. Oh, happy day!
But, inexplicably, in the second half of Game 1 versus the Heat on Sunday, they reverted to indiscriminate 3-ball heaving. And they lost by seven at home on 7-for-34 (20.6 percent) shooting — and 1-for-11 in the third quarter — from needlessly desperate Foolish Land.
During the MLB Sunday night game, ESPN sustained its illogical, insulting promotion of sports within in its “Kay-Rod” simulcast.
That ESPN and Fox saw fit to reward lying, suspended, steroid cheat Alex Rodriguez remains a disgrace, yet ESPN reunited him with widely suspected PED teammate Roger Clemens as another insult to the intelligent.
Michael Kay, of course, served as the grinning, forced laughter capitulator — the Sgt. Schultz — in conflicted-interests service to ESPN, ESPN Radio, YES and the Yankees. A sensitive chap, Kay deludes himself into not knowing how the logical see and hear right through him.
To the spoilers now go the spoils. Two players who left in scandalous disrepute were saluted as worthy of our respect and admiration. And the logical know it only advances the backwards.
The logical now must suffer the claim of easy, compliant media who report that by speeding up baseball by a few minutes via pitch clocks, Rob Manfred has cured what ails The Game!
But lousy baseball played slightly faster is not a solution, it’s an obfuscation.
The shift has been banned? Baloney. Now the shortstop or second baseman play almost directly behind second, leaving third base or the space between first and second still unguarded as batters continue to strike out trying to hit home runs against any and all pitchers, often 10 or more — and for no logical reason.
The per-game butcher’s bill this week included 13 Dodgers struck out among their 24 outs in an 8 ¹/₂-inning game, 23 K’s in Reds-Athletics, 24 in Giants-Padres (8 ¹/₂ innings), 27 in Cubs-Marlins (8 ¹/₂ innings), 25 in Mariners-A’s and 19 Mariners struck out in 10 innings against the Blue Jays.
All pitchers are now Nolan Ryan? Bob Feller? All closers are Mariano Rivera? Only if aided by caveman-diminished batting standards.
The larger bases and rules limiting throw-overs make it easier to steal second? So then why aren’t managers more eager to have batters reach first?
And why are the most consistent whiffers still called “designated hitters”?
And ESPN on ABC made an illogical mess of Heat-Knicks Game 1.
Analyst Doris Burke, due to anticipated crowd noise and then a game’s worth of neglect, went mostly unheard as her microphone remained untended.
The game was often sacrificed to crowd shots. In the third quarter, a Heat fast break was lost to another oh-so-tired closeup of attention-hog and 66-year-old front-row mascot Spike Lee.
Finally, the telecast included a panorama of Manhattan that was at least 22 years old as it included the Twin Towers.
On Thursday, Gary Cohen broke the streak. On SNY, after Brandon Nimmo was thrown out trying to steal second with one out in the ninth in Detroit, Cohen erupted:
“What is he doing?! You’re down by two runs in the ninth, why are you trying to steal?!”
Thanks. As heard for 35 minutes the day before, that call was important to us.
Reader Dennis Loniak notes a new ritual pose among NBA 3-point shooters: the shooting arm extended in an exaggerated follow-through, the shooter frozen while tracking the shot’s accuracy. The alternatives? 1) follow the shot or 2) get back on defense. But style beats substance every time.
Quality Control Graphic of the Week was submitted in a screen shot sent by reader John Longfield. TBS, an NHL TV partner, posted the Islanders-Hurricanes score at “halftime.”
You had to be quick to see it, but as he rounded the bases after hitting a home run against the Mets on Wednesday, the Tigers’ Matt Vierling flashed the Little Rascals’ “high sign.”
Occasional Knicks star Julius Randle is another who demands respect in exchange for none. As reader Jeff Hochman asks: as both a professional and representative of the Knicks, “Was it necessary for Randle, on the bench and not in uniform, to dress like a homeless man?”
Amusing scene from another odd week came Sunday during YES’s Yankees-Rangers telecast. Down 9-1, the Yankees’ group meeting on the mound included five, all with their mouths covered to guard against Texas’ lip-readers and undercover espionage agents.
Reader David Distefano notes that the news of Serena Williams’ pregnancy was “confirmed by ESPN’s Jayson Stork.”