SPORTS AND THE CITY
I first recognized it on Dec. 14, 2009, though I didn’t know its name then.
The news broke that Hideki Matsui—the George Harrison of the Yankees, the quiet, stoic performer, and the 2009 World Series MVP—wouldn’t play for New York the following season. The Yankees told Mr. Matsui’s agent that he wasn’t a priority, so Matsui took a one-year, $6.5 M. contract with the Anaheim Angels.
The same team who gave Carl “Ass Injury” Pavano a $40 M. contract (for which he earned $17,646 per pitch, having thrown in only 26 Yankees games) not four years before let Matsui go, just one month after he was named the MVP of the World Series he’d helped the team win. Even now, when I speak with fellow Yankees fans about this travesty, they just shake their heads and shrug, as if to say: Yeah, we know. What’re you gonna do?*
It was a classic, symptomatic moment of Steinbrenner syndrome, a disease characterized by short attention span, poor memory and fits of ecstasy followed by angry outbursts. It affects nine out of 10 New York sports fans (and 10 out of 10 New York sports editors). Its only treatment is frequent, intense doses of winning.
Jeremy Lin’s rocketing stardom is a game-changer, in more than a few ways. For one thing, the Knicks are winning and the Garden’s regularly packed, nowadays. For another, besides breaking records as the first Harvard grad since the 50s to play in the NBA, and only the fourth Asian-American to play in the league, he might be one of the few NBA players who can claim to have made a significant impact on financial markets.
The New York Media Softball League continues to heat up as landlocked editorial staffers channel their sublimated rage into line drives. Two-time champions the Wall Street Journal Capitalists faced off against the Newsweek/Daily Beast team during Week 2 of the league’s exhibition play. In 2010, the only team to slay the mighty Beast was Newsweek. After a tumultuous year in which the properties merged and the editorial reins were handed to Tina Brown, the combined entity can be sure of at least one outcome: a better, tougher softball team.
For years, motion capture technology has helped video games and movies create better similuations of professional sports. Now the process is being inverted, as real pro athletes turn to computer generated avatars to help them perfect their form and avoid injury.
The New York Times highlights this trend, beginning with a quote from Read More
NY startup Fungo has scored a major partnership with Little League International to make the official iPhone and iPad apps for the league’s 75,000 teams.
Fungo is liscensing two apps, one of which helps teams to keep score and tabulate player stats. A second app lets user stream a live play by play Read More
Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise has been suspsended from the paper for a month after using Twitter for a practical joke and, more to the point, abusing his privilege as beat reporter.
Mr. Wise tweeted a fabricated news item about Ben Roethlisberger’s supsension yesterday — “Roethlisberger will get five games, I’m told” Read More
In 2009, despite their best efforts at dysfunction, the Knicks were not the worst sports team in New York. Nor were the brittle Giants or the injury-plagued Mets. Not even the Islanders, dead last in the NHL, were as bad as the New York Red Bulls, Major League Soccer’s punching bag of 2009. Last season, Read More
By Bruce Ratner’s telling, his deal to sell the Nets to Mikhail Prokhorov began in earnest this summer over dinner at the Russian billionaire’s home.
Mr. Ratner, on a tour Wednesday of his Frank Gehry-designed Beekman apartment tower under construction in Lower Manhattan, shared a few details about the recently announced deal, which is key Read More
Mike Pelfrey’s 2009 season did not start well. Yesterday, in the first inning of his first start of the season, the 25-year-old pitcher faced nine Reds hitters and gave up four runs, thanks to two walks, two extra-base hits and an untimely error charged to shortstop Jose Reyes. Struggling with his command, Pelfrey danced around Read More
How did high-flying Syracuse (No. 22 in ESPN/USA Today poll), a team that began the year 16-1 on the strength of one of the most efficient offenses in the nation, become Syracuse, 1-5 in its last six games and edging toward NCAA tournament bubble status?
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, whose Huskies handed the Orange their Read More