It was the late but still hovering spiritualist Soupy Sales who advised, “Be true to your teeth and they won’t be false to you.”
Alas (and alack), that wisdom has been widely ignored in sports broadcasting, as the profession is now larded with flagrantly dishonest, overpaid regulars hired by men and women who wouldn’t know legit good-faith talent from a ventriloquist’s unmanned dummy.
Fox Sports 1 sports show host Colin Cowherd, paid $6 million a year by Fox to boast of his prescience when he has instead been bombastically, consistently and demonstrably dead wrong, recently must’ve been determined to be in a viewership slump and thus in need of some help. So FS1 and Fox did what TV and radio now do as a matter of habit, if not obligation: They searched for the worst available sports act, someone the TV and radio execs wouldn’t invite into their homes, but would be happy to drop off at yours.
In 2021, Cowherd’s podcast network added Warriors “star” Draymond Green, the NBA’s 33-year-old juvenile delinquent and threat to even marginalized society. He’s among the NBA’s career leaders in sanctions, censures, fines, fights, ejections and suspensions — someone sports fans can all look up to.
Last week, as we know by now, Green was ejected from Game 3 of his team’s playoff series against the Kings, and later suspended, for stomping on a fallen opponent.
Even Warriors’ management, coach and teammates were moved to borrow from the song in “The Sound of Music,” the one that could replace Maria with, “How do you solve a problem like Draymond?”
One thing for certain is that Adam Silver has not given it his best shot. One day, I suspect, the commissioner will wish he’d shown more firm and conspicuous activism on behalf of right-headed team ownership, customers, fans, coaches and players and less silent, pandering support for the creeps who have undermined the NBA, driving it to the depths of “I can live without this bleep.”
As for Cowherd, the professional phony, as chronicled by reliable and credible Twitter account @BackAftaThis, said prior to hooking up with Green: “Draymond Green has been reduced to an ineffective shooter, an average defender and almost an annoyance to his teammates as much as the other teams.”
Or, as quoted by SFGate.com: “Draymond Green doesn’t fit this team, he’s the bully at the nightclub, he’s the bouncer, he’s the class clown,” Cowherd said. “He will not be here in three years. … His skills are totally replaceable.”
After Green was recruited to join Cowherd’s network, the host said: “His value to the Warriors is indisputable. Every nightclub needs a bouncer. Every finesse club needs a tough guy.”
Outrageous 180? Nah, state of the art.
New, speed-it-up baseball reminds me of disingenuous marketing ploys, an attempt to put a new image to the same old junk, using less content in a smaller bag.
For example, what we now call “affordable housing” is housing for those who can’t afford housing, thus it’s wildly misnamed.
To that end, faster MLB games have been applauded as a cure — but they have not made for better games.
Three or four or six or seven times a day, games — such as the Twins-Red Sox on Tuesday, won by Boston 5-4 in 10 innings — end after both managers tried their hardest to lose.
The Twins blew two leads when three of their six pitchers were pulled for no apparent reason, as they’d all been effective.
In the top of the ninth, the Twins’ one-inning reliever (aren’t they all?) Jhoan Duran made 1, 2, 3, with two strikeouts. Not good enough for manager Rocco Baldelli.
So in the top of the 10th, the Twins scored twice. But then in came another Minnesota reliever, Jovani Moran, who was rewarded with the blown save and the loss when he was clobbered for three runs. Crazy! Another one!
The next day, the Giants and Marlins went through 14 — 14! — pitchers, most of them very effective, until the Marlins found one, Delvin Smeltzer, to allow three runs in the 11th inning for a 5-2 final that ran 3:37.
It makes for totally senseless everything — poker to pizza, big business, small business and none of your business. Yet every MLB manager who subscribes to it — and that’s most — does it over and over.
That’s why “closers,” ostensibly the most valuable pitcher in every bullpen, come and go by the week, month and season. They exist as wishful, mystical cures for healing the healthy.
As a Cub, even during the 2016 World Series, Javy Baez played like a selfish fool, choosing not to hustle at critical moments. What did he care?
As a Met, he had some good moments, and some standard ugly ones — plus his thumbs-down demonstration to fans who had recognized his dogging-it habits.
But then he priced himself out of town, signing with the Tigers for — gulp and gag — $140 million over six years.
Recently, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch pulled Baez from a game in the third inning for Javy being Javy.
First, he trotted what should have been a triple into a double because he thought he’d homered. Then he was doubled off second because he thought there were two out when there was one.
Players such as Baez should be paid by the game. Not into it? No pay. That would cure it, no?
Look Homeward, Angel: I’m with Charles Barkley. The NBA is starting too many playoff games too late to be enjoyed by families, especially kids, on school nights. And he said so on TNT.
But Barkley is in a position to do something about that. He works for one of the two national networks that carry the NBA, networks whose billions of dollars in rights payments allow them to do as they wish to dictate starting times.
So, Charles, don’t just tell us, take it up with TNT and the NBA.
Aaron Boone is another Yankees employee who thinks we’re too dumb to know better.
Despite years of watching Giancarlo Stanton undermine his teams with minimalist play — he even jogged a double into a single during a one-and-done 2021 wild-card loss in Boston — Boone on Thursday praised Stanton — injured again after not running to first — for his high degree of “professionalism.”
If Boone had a team of such “professionals” none would get beyond second base.
First, second and third impressions: P.K. Subban, the once-valued Canadiens then Predators and Devils defenseman who retired with a rep as a dangerously dirty player, has been good as an ESPN/NHL analyst. He makes a lot of sense … if you close your eyes or listen from another room.
While he has intelligent takes, it makes tough to figure why he should be taken seriously when he chooses to appear on the air dressed like a circus clown.
Add SNY’s Mets in-ballpark reporter Steve Gelbs to the list of on-air shills for sucker-targeting sports gambling operations. Who does Gelbs think he is, Roger Goodell? And we’re the Detroit Lions?
Reader Gordon Sakow: “If a student-athlete’s mug shot appears after he’s arrested, is he or she entitled to NIL money?”