Sports Newjerseynewsroom.com News for New Jersey http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/sports/ Sun, 19 Apr 2015 03:09:51 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb 300 Words Or Less: Mets That Wore 42: From Famous To Infamous http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/300-words-or-less-mets-that-wore-42-from-famous-to-infamous New_Headshot_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOEY WAHLER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

What does memorable ex-Met reliever Roger McDowell share with infamous former Met pitcher Hank Webb?

They’re among nine Mets that wore No. 42. Again on April 15, each major leaguer donned 42, honoring Jackie Robinson’s 1947 Brooklyn Dodger debut.

The first Met sporting 42 was Larry Elliot, an outfielder who totaled just 14 homers with the club in 1964 and 1966. In July of ’64, Elliot uncharacteristically homered in four straight games, and in five of six games.

Ron Taylor led the Mets in saves four straight years, including 13 for the 1969 world champions.

Chuck Taylor, no relation to Ron, was a Met reliever in 1972. As an Expo the following year, he fanned Met Willie Mays in Montreal in the Hall of Famer’s final regular season at-bat ever.

Webb’s errant pickoff throw in 1974 allowed Bake McBride to score from first in the 25th inning for a 4-3 Cardinals win at Shea Stadium.

Ron Hodges was a Mets backup catcher for ten years. In 1973, Dave Augustine’s apparent Pirate homerun bounced off the top of Shea’s left field wall, right to Cleon Jones. His relay to Hodges via Wayne Garrett nailed Richie Zisk at home during a 4-3 Met win in 13 innings.

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Professional Sat, 18 Apr 2015 13:03:30 +0000
On The Pitch or In The MSG Pressbox, Tolleson Makes The Call http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/on-the-pitch-or-in-the-msg-pressbox-tolleson-makes-the-call 165436852_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOE FAVORITO
SPECIAL TO NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Veteran announcer Joe Tolleson has called a host of sports events in his career, from the Olympics to the NHL. However what he may be known best for is his work in soccer, which will be amplified this spring and summer as he takes the reins as the first TV voice (along with partner Ian Joy) of New York City Football Club on the YES Network. Before moving to NYCFC, the University of Maryland grad has called games for the Red Bulls and the New York Power,  as well as ESPN International work with the UEFA Champions League, CONCACAF Champions League, Serie A, La Liga, Eredivisie, and the FA Cup. He is also very familiar to fans of the playoff bound New York Rangers, serving as their public address announcer since 2002.

As the inaugural MLS season takes shape for NYCFC, we caught up with Tolleson to talk soccer The Broadway Blues, and time in the booth at Yankee Stadium.

NYCFC presents a great opportunity for MLS to capture a fan base that has been elusive for the league in terms of the casual New York sports fan who would not venture to Harrison. Are you making any effort more than usual to educate fans new to viewing to the nuances of the game?

There is a delicate balance of educating newcomers and insulting the fans who have been following the game for years.  Hopefully, Ian Joy and I can present the game in a way that diehards appreciate, but also allows the new fan to learn about the rules and tactics.  In the long run, the quality of play is what will keep fans around and with players like David Villa that part should take care of itself.

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Professional Thu, 16 Apr 2015 03:09:52 +0000
Kentucky Derby’s “Super Six” Have a World of Talent http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/kentucky-derbys-super-six-have-a-world-of-talent tomv_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY TOM VALLEDOLMO
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

I’ve been covering thoroughbred racing in general, and the Triple Crown, in particular, as a sportswriter/editor and blogger for close to 45 years, and during that time I’ve seen many talented 3-year-old horses come and go.

Many are overhyped and become exposed when they hit the big stages in Louisville, Baltimore and New York. Many are judged by the quality of the horses against which they compete. Some crops are better than others. Some are embarrassingly devoid of talent.

But, I can truly say, this year’s collection of 3-year-olds may be the best I’ve ever seen. It’s a group that seems to have everything … superstar horses handled by superstar trainers; a gritty, consistent runner who rolls into Kentucky off a track record performance and even a dash of foreign intrigue.

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Professional Mon, 13 Apr 2015 02:09:46 +0000
300 Words Or Less: Puff Basketball’s Mysterious Disappearance http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/300-words-or-less-puff-basketballs-mysterious-disappearance New_Headshot_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOEY WAHLER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

What ever happened to Puff Basketball?

A friend recently tweeted, suggesting the 1992 Olympic Dream Team practices were the greatest games never seen publicly. Ah, but no one ever saw yours truly in action as a kid in Brooklyn, living on Puff Basketball.

Puff Basketball was all miniature. A plastic rim, faux nylon net, the back of the box doubling as the backboard, cut out using a dotted line.

Heaven was the Puff Basketball itself. Small, foam, orange, simulated seams, fitting snugly in my boyish hands. Its distinctive out-of-the-box scent remains memorable, new car smell meets freshly laid carpet.

Our living room became my kid-sized half court. Using the attached suction cups, I’d fasten the hoop over our front door. The “foul line” was in line with the grandfather’s clock. The “three-point line” was my mother’s crystal chandelier.

These “games” were one-on-none, just me versus an imaginary opponent. Trust me, the city’s legendary ballers at Rucker Park and West 4th wanted no part of my home court advantage.

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Professional Mon, 13 Apr 2015 01:50:44 +0000
300 Words Or Less: Met Openers Don’t Get Any Sweeter http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/300-words-or-less-met-openers-dont-get-any-sweeter New_Headshot_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOEY WAHLER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

How ironic that Type 1 Diabetes sufferer Buddy Carlyle registered the save in that season opening, 3-1 Mets win at Washington, because as Jackie Gleason famously used to say, “How sweet it is!”

In February, if The Honeymooner’s Alice had told Gleason’s Ralph Kramden character that 41-year-old winner Bartolo Colon and 37-year-old Carlyle would star on Monday, Ralph would have said, “Alice, you’ve been at that rum candy again!”

Opening Day started quite the opposite, the Mets trailing 1-0 after five innings against a Nationals team that won 15 of 19 from them last year. On TV, Ron Darling said Washington starter Max Scherzer looked like a dominant Little League pitcher, mowing down smaller kids.

Early on, announcers Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez both disagreed with manager Terry Collins’ surprisingly unorthodox batting order, with Cohen wondering why Juan Lagares was hitting sixth after a solid spring leading off.

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Professional Tue, 07 Apr 2015 21:33:24 +0000
300 Words Or Less: Met Openers Don’t Get Any Sweeter http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/300-words-or-less-met-openers-dont-get-any-sweeter New_Headshot_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOEY WAHLER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

How ironic that Type 1 Diabetes sufferer Buddy Carlyle registered the save in that season opening, 3-1 Mets win at Washington, because as Jackie Gleason famously used to say, “How sweet it is!”

In February, if The Honeymooner’s Alice had told Gleason’s Ralph Kramden character that 41-year-old winner Bartolo Colon and 37-year-old Carlyle would star on Monday, Ralph would have said, “Alice, you’ve been at that rum candy again!”

Opening Day started quite the opposite, the Mets trailing 1-0 after five innings against a Nationals team that won 15 of 19 from them last year. On TV, Ron Darling said Washington starter Max Scherzer looked like a dominant Little League pitcher, mowing down smaller kids.

Early on, announcers Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez both disagreed with manager Terry Collins’ surprisingly unorthodox batting order, with Cohen wondering why Juan Lagares was hitting sixth after a solid spring leading off.

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Professional Tue, 07 Apr 2015 21:33:24 +0000
300 Words Or Less: Mullin And St. John’s Perfect Together http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/300-words-or-less-mullin-and-st-johns-perfect-together New_Headshot_optBY JOEY WAHLER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Some of those tunes still stick in my head.

As a kid, my mom often played record albums from one of her favorites, Barbra Streisand, including the song, Sam You’ve Made The Pants Too Long.

“You made the coat and vest fit the best, you made the lining nice and strong, but Sam, you made the pants too long.”

That can also be said of Steve Lavin, whose St. John’s coaching tenure featured his unique fashion statements, i.e. a sweat suit top under a suit with sneakers, but who never seemed the right fit in Jamaica.

With his native California cool, Lavin would blend in perfectly in Jamaica, the island, but not Jamaica, Queens.

No city and culture and program ever meshed better than Chris Mullin and St. John’s. No one knows if his coaching debut at 51 will work, but the infrastructure is there.

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Professional Wed, 01 Apr 2015 15:59:38 +0000
What Does 52-3 Victory Over Pleasantville Say About Buena Baseball Team? http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/what-does-52-3-victory-over-pleasantville-say-about-buena-baseball-team baseball_opt_1_copy_copyBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

New Jersey’s high school baseball mercy rules say that five innings of a game have to be played, even if the score has gotten severely out of hand.

Buena beat Pleasantville in a high school baseball game on Thursday, and a lot of people were wishing that state champion Buena had taken a knee.

Was Buena merciful? A lot of people are still trying to decide. NJ.com reports that Buena defeated Pleasantville by a score of 52-3 in the game. State softball rules allow a game to be ended after three innings if one side is winning by 15 runs. Under the five-inning rule, Buena scored 20 runs in the third inning, and eight runs in the fourth.

Buena Athletics Director Dave Albertson called it a “no-win situation for everybody.” According to mycentraljersey.com, Albertson said Buena "did everything possible" to hold the score down without disrespecting the game or embarrassing Pleasantville, even running one base at a time. He said, "Our kids train all winter and in the summer to play the game the right way.”

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Professional Sat, 04 Apr 2015 15:10:22 +0000
Wrestling Diva: 5 Reasons Our AJ Lee (April Mendez) Retired http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/5-reasons-our-aj-lee-april-mendez-retired wwe_optBY BOB HOLT
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

April Mendez, better known as A.J. Lee, joined World Wrestling Entertainment in 2009.  Mendez, born in Union City, began getting a featured role in WWE in late 2011.

Lee, only 28, announced a sudden retirement this week.

WWE.com posted a short statement, saying: “AJ Lee (April Mendez) has decided to retire from in-ring competition with WWE. We wish AJ the very best.”

Pro Wrestling Torch reported that Lee came back to WWE television a month ago to become involved in a tag team match at WrestleMania. 

Lee’s last WWE match came on the winning side of a six Diva tag match this past Monday night on Raw.

Why did Lee leave? One possibility could be related to her husband, well known to WWE fans as CM Punk. According to Inquisitr, rumors said the couple could be dealing with marital problems because they each unfollowed each other on Twitter for a time, and Punk was leaving cryptic tweets about being unhappy.

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Professional Sat, 04 Apr 2015 16:32:37 +0000
300 Words Or Less: In This Town, Towns Is Knicks’ Best Bet http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/professional/300-words-or-less-in-this-town-towns-is-knicks-best-bet New_Headshot_opt_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copy_copyBY JOEY WAHLER
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

Should the Knicks be fortunate enough to have their choice, two things separate Karl-Anthony Towns from Duke’s Jahlil Okafor: His stroke and his tongue.

Before you perceive that as obscene, keep reading.

The 6’11” freshman has stepped up lately, excusing his one-point clunker in an undressing of West Virginia two games ago. His 25 points in 25 minutes on 9-of-13 shooting in that two-point cuticle biter against Notre Dame saved the Wildcats’ date with unblemished history.

Averaging 10.1 points and 6.6 rebounds overall, in his last 11 games Towns has risen to 14 points and 7.8 boards, discounting that West Virginia anomaly. Solid if unspectacular numbers, but it’s the Piscataway native’s upside that’s spectacular.

Let’s talk about Towns’ stroke. He’s shooting just 2-of-8 from three-point land, rarely venturing outside the paint. Know how many threes Towns made in high school? Try 127 over his last three years.

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Professional Mon, 30 Mar 2015 01:16:06 +0000