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Mayor de Blasio Covers Randy Newman

The LA Kings’ Stanley Cup victory over the New York Rangers sparked a double-mayor-whammy on Monday.

As The Drudge Report and many others noted, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti dropped the F-bomb at the STAPLES Center portion of yesterday’s parade rally. A few hours later, with Garcetti watching from the Jimmy Kimmel Live couch (alongside Kings players Justin Williams and Alec Martinez), New York mayor Bill de Blasio beamed in from the losing coast to deliver a warbly version of “I Love LA.” All part of a friendly bet with Garcetti.

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Governor Jerry Brown Wagers the Food Equivalent of a Hockey Puck

StanleyCupFinalLogoThe media are wasting no time calling a game misconduct on California Governor Jerry Brown for promising to shower his Empire State counterpart with rice cakes (and a book) should the Rangers win the Stanley Cup. Maybe it’s just Brown’s crafty way to de-incentivize the LA Kings’ 2014 opponents.

Jimmy Traina, who compiles the daily MSN/Fox Sports’ Big Buzz feature, headlines the Brown-Andrew Cuomo Stanley Cup wager as the “worst sports bet ever.” He links to a WSJ “Metropolis” item that, though not quite as emphatic, basically agrees that Brown’s response to Cuomo’s much richer half is egregious:

It wasn’t immediately clear why Cuomo agreed to such a lopsided wager, but perhaps he was convinced of the Rangers’ likely victory by that team’s super-fan, state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who not only regularly brings along fellow lawmakers to Rangers games but has been known to interject stories about his fondness for the team into question-and-answer sessions with reporters concerning legislative business.

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Incoming Mets PR Director Hashtags It #dreamscometrue

For 25 years, through 2013, Harold Kaufman worked as communications head for the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets, slash, Pelicans. Starting June 23, he will transition from The Big Easy to a more prominent spotlight in the Big Apple.

HaroldKaufmanMetsTweet

Fom today’s press release:

Kaufman will work closely with the Mets media relations group – headed by vice president Jay Horwitz – and the Mets marketing & communications department. Kaufman will report directly to David Newman, senior vice president, marketing & communications.

Kaufman, a native of Dallas, started his sports PR career in 1986 as an intern for the Texas Rangers and then with the media department of the Dallas Mavericks. Th Southern Methodist University grad will be relocating to the NYC area with his wife Lisa; son Alex will start attending the University of Texas this fall, while their other son Stanley graduated just last week from LSU.

[Photo courtesy:

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].

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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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