Local, pro sports mailbag for ‘The Maven’
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
QUESTION: What’s the best time of year to go hiking or biking in the Catskills?
ANSWER: Right now. The leaves are turning so there’s the beauty part. The air is crisp which adds a spring to your step or an extra push to the pedal. And most of the Summer crowd has returned to the city. Ergo: Go to it!
QUESTION: What — or who — proved to be the Mets most flawed player in the clutch?
ANSWER: Despite leading the league in saves, closer Jeurys Famila suffered documented ninth inning struggles. Thus, the Mets allegedly biggest strength became their fatal flaw.
QUESTION: Since Major League Baseball is flourishing without the Mets and Yankees I figured I’d check on our local diamonds. So, I asked the Town of Olive’s favorite columnist, Carol La Monda, how Little League has fared this year.
ANSWER: Carol responds: “Little League is alive and well in Olive. Boys and girls competed on four levels — with T-ball, Minor and Major Little League. Plus, Babe Ruth teams had a full season of competition with Phoenicia and Woodstock players.”
QUESTION: Why, if Italian Olympic promoters are promoting Rome as the site of the 2024 Summer Games there
happens to be a prominent Italian politician opposed -- and for good reason?
ANSWER: Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi believes that money spent for building major sports complexes — as would be necessary of the Games were played in her cry — would be better spent on city services. (How about that for a novel idea!)
QUESTION: How can a college such as Louisiana State University afford to fire a coach such as Les Miles if his buyout fee was somewhere around $9.6 million?
ANSWER: LSU President F. King Alexander explained: “We have to do what’s best for LSU.” Translated: Louisiana State wanted a championship contender and Miles did not appear to be the chap who would deliver.
QUESTION: Which classic Marx Brothers comedy does the LSU remind you of and the hint is, the one about colleges?
ANSWER: As my buddy Evan Weiner — he writes the excellent column “The Politics of Sports Business — tells me, it was the flick Horsefeathers. “The Groucho Marx character,” Weiner remembers, “was Professor Wagstaff of Huxley College. He addressed the university trustees and delivered this line: ‘And I say to you gentlemen that this college is a failure. The trouble is we’re neglecting football for education!’”
QUESTION: What is the least likely place you’ll find a bike shop?
ANSWER: Personally, the last place I expected to find a bicycle store was in Israel’s North Golan Heights, My younger son, Simon, lives and bikes there with his family. The bike shop is on a kibbutz (small community) and is run by a likeable, transplanted South African named Lance Margolis
Finding Lance’s bike shop is not easy because Margolis doesn’t even have a sign over his establishment and it’s buried inside what amounts to a ship’s container. No matter has turned this steel crate into a Cycle Haven and I speak firsthand. It’s the only bike shop I ever visited where I could get a free cup of coffee and an hour’s worth of good chatter. My ten-year-old grandson, Ariel, will second the motion.
QUESTION: Is Terry Collins the best possible manager for the Mets? And, if not, will he be fired?
ANSWER: Since I have been accused by reader Jonathan Liss of being anti-Collins, I turn to the more objective Mets blogger Justin Birnbaum for the answer.
“Collins will be safe because he pushed the right buttons down the stretch,” asserts Birnbaum. “But he was wildly inconsistent all season and is not the leader necessary to take this team all the way.” Justin’s blog/newsletter is called BaseKnock MLB and can be found at www. baseknockmlb.com. Trust me, Birnbaum has a winner here whether you’re a Mets or Yankees fan.
QUESTION: In that case should a Mets fan despair about 2017?
ANSWER: At full strength — and despite Collins — the club can be a force.
QUESTION: What else that was hilariously true about collegiate football that’s true today did Groucho Marx say in the 1932 movie Horsefeathers?
ANSWER: This is what Groucho concluded while lecturing the Wagstaff College trustees: “Where would we be without football? Have we got a stadium? Yes! Have we got a college? Yes! Well, we can’t support both. Tomorrow we start tearing down the college!!”
Lance Margolis at his far-out Israeli bike shop with customer, Stan’s grandson, Ariel, with him.