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After Five Months of Fat-Joke Headlines, Mets Have Finally Had Enough

It started on the NYC tabloids front from the moment pitcher Bartolo Colon signed with the Mets. As NBC Sports Hardball Talk writer Craig Calcaterra noted, the Post went with “Get a Load of This” [groan] while the News opted for “Fat Citi” [double groan].

NYPost_Colon_0425

Cut to five months later; in the Mets clubhouse last night, following another week of tabloid barbs (above is Friday’s Post sports page) and last night’s thrilling 4-3 walk-off win against the Marlins, the team decided to do something about it. From a report in the Daily News by Justin Tasch and Kristie Ackert:

Instead of a jubilant clubhouse with loud music and happy players after Friday’s walk-off win, the doors opened to silence, empty, spinning chairs and no Mets.

Apparently angry about an article in the New York Post on Friday about Colon under the headline “LARDBALL,” the players would not talk to the media until Post writer Mike Puma left the clubhouse. Puma was asked to leave and did so without incident. Within a minute, several Mets appeared in the clubhouse. The team would not comment on the incident.

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Yellow Cab Riders Can Hail Exclusive Ranger Recaps

As part of a larger broadcast power play, MSG Network is producing exclusive NHL playoffs content highlighting the New York Rangers’ quest for the Stanley Cup.

MSG Network Rangers and Knicks postgame shows

Game One against the Philadelphia Flyers airs Thursday at 7 p.m. And in approximately 7,500 Manhattan yellow cabs, there will also be this:

Each 45 to 60-second segment, which will be updated after every game, will feature MSG broadcasters Al Trautwig, Bill Pidto and former Ranger Ron Duguay as they recap the most recent action and look forward to the next game. Once patrons reach their destination, they can tune to MSG for extended post-game coverage following every Rangers playoff game this post-season.

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Reporter Revisits Sports Illustrated John Rocker Profile

Great long read on Bleacher Report from Jeff Pearlman, author of an infamous December 1999 Sports Illustrated feature on then-Atlanta Braves reliever John Rocker. Pearlman’s original SI piece was spiked, but when his editor assigned him to revisit Rocker after the end of that year’s MLB season, the floodgates opened in the form of a mountain of controversial quotes.

SIJohnRockerDec1999

Despite subsequent accusations and denials by Rocker, Pearlman restates for the record that nothing was taken out of context or “pieced together.” He also runs down three “funny” things about article, starting with this fascinating bit of issue obfuscation:

The piece ran in the final Sports Illustrated issue of the 20th century — which included, arguably, the biggest undertaking in the magazine’s history. Bill Colson, the managing editor, wanted to compile a list of the top 50 athletes of the century for every state, coupled with 50 different covers. The daunting (and truly awful) task of finding and ranking the athletes fell upon three of us—myself, Steve Cannella and Mark Bechtel.

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Two Gretzky’s, One Jeter

MLBlogLogoAs if being the son of Wayne Gretzky wasn’t enough of a media burden, Trevor Gretzky also had to deal with some “unecessary attention” while attending high school in Los Angeles alongside the sons of Joe Montana and actor Will Smith.

That’s just one of the interesting answers the Cubs baseball prospect gives MLBlog editor Danny Wild. Gretzky says Derek Jeter was a big inspiration growing up; dad, while with the New York Rangers, took him to Yankees games. The Great One’s Son also confirms the logic of his jersey numbers progression:

MiLB.com: You’ve worn No. 9, 19 and 29 so far. I’m guessing the nine is a nod to dad, but let’s say you reach the Majors, what number are you going with on the back of your Cubs jersey?

Gretzky: It’s always been a dream to wear No. 99. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to wear it one day. That’s irrelevant right now – I’ve got to focus on getting my career where I want it to be.

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ESPN Source: Knicks-Phil Jackson Deal is ‘Pretty Much Done’

HuffPostLivePhilJacksonA few weeks ago, we shared a plaintive, open letter to the New York Knicks from a lifelong fan currently living in London. When Nick Geltner posted that letter, he could not possibly have imagined a better answer to his prayers.

According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard, the Phil Jackson-New York Knicks president of operations deal is now all but completed, though an official announcement might have to wait until next week. That announcement will surely send Los Angeles Lakers fans off the other coastal edge; purple-and-gold supporters have been hoping (against hope) that Phil would come to the rescue of his fiancée’s tattered team.

From the top of this afternoon’s ESPN item:

Jackson and the Knicks are expected to finalize a deal that will give the legendary coach control of the club’s front office by the end of this week, according to a league source.

“Everything is pretty much done,” the source said. “There are just some little things here and there that need to be worked out, but the Knicks are very confident that this is essentially done.”

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From London, Lifelong Knicks Fan Posts Pained Open Letter

NickGeltnerPic2Although Nick Geltner (pictured) is currently working far away in England as a sports editor-producer, he grew up in New York and remains a die-hard Knicks fan. Watching from across the pond, texting about each miserable game with NYC area friend Jonas, it has become for him – like so many others – unbearable.

Indeed, the 2013-14 NBA season will go down as the one during which the Lakers and Knicks combined for some epic drubbing of the league’s two most valuable franchises. Geltner, in a fantastic open letter, begs the team to get better while sharing fun anecdotal detail from his career as a journalist:

While covering the NBA, I had the chance to interview the greatest player to live, Michael Jordan… The man who ruined my childhood. Yet it was an honor to grow up watching him. What he said in that interview with me? I can’t remember.

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Jets Guard Keeps on Shining After Being Named Team’s Most Media-Friendly Player

WillieColonJets_FeaturedThe latest New York Jet to win the award named after New York Times beat writer Gerald Eskinazi is guard Willie Colon. The 2013 Eskinazi Award, voted by the 20 or so sports journalists who currently cover the NFL team, honors the player deemed to be most “media-friendly.”

The award was announced on Christmas Eve and, as further reminder of why the former Pittsburgh Steeler was this year’s recipient, there is now an interview with the guard on Sirius XM NFL Radio. Colon, whose one-year contract with the Jets ends with this Sunday’s game against the Dolphins, was asked if he’d like to return with the team in 2014, hopefully under current coach Rex Ryan:

“Of course I want to be a Jet,” Colon said. “This is home for me. My family is happy I’m home. I’m happy I’m here. I’d like to finish a Jet but we all know there’s a business side of things. I’m 30-years-old. I still feel like I’ve got a lot left in the tank.”

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Latest Knicks Loss Has Reporter Reaching for His Eagles Greatest Hits CD

The first thing New York Daily News Knicks beat writer Frank Isola did after the team’s disheartening Sunday night loss to the Pelicans was try and process the numbness in his game report.

NYDNIsolaKnicksHeadline

Here’s Isola’s lede:

James Dolan always believed this Knicks team would make history and he was right. These Knicks now hold the franchise record for futility at Madison Square Garden, the newly transformed MSG, that is.

And here’s his third paragraph:

The numbers are downright staggering: nine straight losses overall and a franchise-record seven in a row at the Garden. Who knows, maybe the Knicks will never win again.

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LA Kings Anthem Features Strange View of the Weather

Have you caught “We Are Los Angeles,” the new ditty put forth this NHL playoff season by the LA Kings? It’s from The Goon Squad and features the following lyric: “In any weather, a Kings, a King forever.”

Hmmm. Not sure about you, but every time FishbowlLA has hit STAPLES Center for a game, it’s been pretty much the same weather. Maybe The Goon Squad is singing about when the team is on the road, but then, that doesn’t really jive with a song about why the team is synonymous with LA.

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A Rolling Stones Song List for Lakers Fans

There was zero satisfaction Sunday at STAPLES Center. A day after the Rolling Stones ran through their customary pre-arena-tour small club show at The Echoplex, the black-and-blue purple and gold mercifully kissed a miserable 2012-13 season goodbye.

In honor of this weekend’s intersection of “45 & Stinking” (Lakers) with “50 & Counting” (Stones), we’ve compiled a very special song list. This one’s a little different than the one Mick jumped through Saturday night, but for die-hard Lakers fans, it’s the only one that makes sense:

“Sad Sad Sad”
“The Worst”
“Stop Breaking Down”
“Shattered”
“Out of Tears”
“Rock and a Hard Place”
“Doom and Gloom”
“Dear Doctor”
“Biggest Mistake”
“It’s All Over Now”

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