Lo­cal, pro sports mail­bag for ‘The Maven’

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - MSG Net­work Hockey An­a­lyst Stan Fischler Au­thor-colum­nist­com­men­ta­tor Stan “The Maven” Fischler re­sides in Boiceville and New York City. His col­umn ap­pears each week in the Sun­day Free­man.


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.

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