I'm glad that there will be a full season of MLB ahead of us although as an Oriole fan I'm not looking forward to another season of losing.
I just hope that the possible salary arbitration hearings of Trey Mancini and John Means (not Cedric Mullins as I mispoke in earlier edition) don't lead to bitter feelings and the departure from Baltimore of two of our more likable players.
Talented but inconsistent reliever Tanner Scott also is up for arbitration and if they trade him, i wouldn't mind. The Mets don't have a left-handed reliever as of the morning of March 15. I'd be glad to trade him for let's see - Jeff McNeil. LOL
**Mancini is a survivor of colon cancer who plays with super intensity. Probably beats up on himself more than he should, but he truly cares which is more than I can say for a lot of
players and certainly owners.
**Mullins is not eligible for arbitration until after 2022. He had a breakout offensive year in 2021 and has always been a top-notch center fielder. We also recently learned that before last season he had surgery to alleviate the worst symptoms of the intestinal disorder known as Crohn's disease.
**Southpaw John Means, the only somewhat proven starter on the Birds staff, is eligible for arbitration. Hard to see how they could let him go but in an age where starters rarely go more than five innings, some genius in the front office might pitch an idea that we don't need starters at all.
Makers of the T-shirt JOHN MEANS WELL would be disappointed. So would I and my ideal T-shirt MEANS FINDS WAYS. He did throw a no-hitter last May though the rest of his season was marred by injury and mediocrity.
In the new Basic Agreement, the Rule 5 draft of bargain basement players discarded by other teams - the specialty of the house with the current Oriole front office crew - has been canceled for at least 2022. So maybe the Orioles won't be tempted to trade these good contributors and good citizens.
I've heard only good things about our rookie switch-hitting catcher Adley Rutschman so I certainly wish him well. But we still have no reliable infield defense (or offense) up the middle, a giant hole at third base, and no reliable starting pitching.
Just heard the news that Cincinnati traded two of its best offensive players, outfielder Jesse Winker and third baseman Eugenio Suarez, to Seattle for mediocre major leaguers and
the ever-popular "prospects".
Very sad to see that before the pitch is thrown in the delayed but full 2022 season, Baltimore, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh have no chnce of competing. Oakland is starting a fire sale by trading Matt Olson to Atlanta for "prospects", although the players Billy Beane got seem to have more upside than those the Reds received.
I've always said that every season produces a surprise team and it may happen in 2022 with the rebuilding Royals and Tigers and perhaps the Mariners. But it is not a good situation for MLB when there is a permanent underclass. The addition of 12 teams to the playoffs will likely mean very little to baseball's have-nots.
I remind folks again - there is plenty of affordable minor league, high school, and college baseball to see in the coming months. In the NYC metro area, Columbia, Rutgers, St. John's, and Seton Hall always have competitive programs.
The new Staten Island Ferry Hawks open their home schedule on Tu May 3, and the Yankees' Double A farm club Somerset Patriots and the Mets' High-Single A Brooklyn Cyclones farm club both open on Tu Apr 12 for a slate of six games through Easter Sunday Apr 17.
Turning to basketball and the upcoming "March Madness", Columbia's women basketball will start its first-ever post-season play with a home matchup in the WNIT (Women's NIT) against Holy Cross at 7p on Wed Mar 16.
The Lions routed Yale last weekend in the semi-final of the Ivy League tournament, but after battling Princeton to a tie in the first quarter of the final, they fell behind by 12 at the half. They briefly cut the lead to 8 points with about 7 minutes to go, but a Princeton timeout stopped the surge.
Wisconsin's Cinderella men's team is in danger of turning into a pumpkin. They have lost two in a row for the first time all season. They enter the first round of March Madness on Fri March 18 at 950p EDT on TBS against Colgate in Milwaukee.
It's virtually a home game for Wisconsin, but if newly named Big Ten Player of the Year Johnny Davis has another mediocre game as he did in the Big Ten tournament against Michigan State, this dream season will end abruptly.
Davis is dealing with a chronic ankle injury that may be affecting his play. It says here that the biggest factor is the pressure of being voted Big Ten Player of the Year and an expected NBA lottery pick is getting to him mentally.
The Badgers were picked for 10th in pre-season polls. They don't have a deep roster so everyone in addition to Davis must step up.
The Film Forum on Houston Street in lower Manhattan is one of my favorite movie theaters.
Now open again for customers (fully-masked!), I saw yesterday the documentary about the late radio personality Steve Post.
"Playing In The FM Band" is a definite must-see. The film, produced and directed by former WBAI station manager Rosemarie Reed, will go down as a memorable and indispensable tribute to one of the founders of free form radio in the 1960s.
I came to WBAI to host and produce a sports show in November 1982 just after Post left to become a morning host and classical music jockey at the more sedate WNYC.
We learn in the film that Post dealt with colon cancer from the age of 38, the same age his mother got the disease. He survived more than 30 years but his mother left this vale of tears when he was only 10.
This calamity - and his father's unusual cooking habits that I'll only tease you with - undoubtedly contributed to Post's acerbic cynicism. The strength of the movie is its focus on his achievement as a pioneer in radio in NYC in the tumultuous age of the 1960s and beyond.
I was really impressed with the pacing of the film, which is the challenge in films that rely
on talking heads. I only wish that the credits at the end of the film moved more slowly - they rarely do, one of my pet peeves.
Andy Lanset, director of WNYC archives, has dug up remarkable material, especially Bayard Rustin, the underappreciated civil rights leader, singing movement songs in a haunting high tenor voice.
Kudos to the original music of David Amram that augment some great irreverent songs from the 1960s and beyond. And the artists whose animations keep the story flowing with humor.
What else can I say about the film except see it while it lasts at Film Forum through at least
Thursday March 24. Any film that makes Post's first mentor at station, Larry Josephson, come across as avuncular and benign is a true work of art.
That's all for now. Here's to the extra hour of sunlight that Daylight Saving Time has brought us, and let it brighten our spirits as spring happily looms on the horizon. May it shine on the beleaguered people of Ukraine facing the awful scourge of Putin's unprovoked invasion.
Always remember: Take it easy but take it!