Saturday, June 2, 2012

Santana No-Hitter One of Those Good Moments For a Mets Fan

By Rich Mancuso

There I was, night off from the ballpark, listening and watching my favorite alternative rock band “Weezer” in Atlantic City New Jersey in the Bogata Hotel showroom. It was planned, the birthday gift from three weeks ago. What wasn’t in the plan was Johan Santana throwing a no-hitter at Citi Field on the first day of June.

A Friday evening at Citi Field where, I would usually be situated, upstairs in my
perch in the comfortable press box, but the first no-no in New York Mets history,
50-years of futility and I was not there to see it.

Yes, frustration. And moments after Mets SNY Television voice Gary Cohen said after being questioned, ‘did he ever think it would happen, his response, ‘No, but now it has’ Weezer would finish their last number.

That number, “Say it Ain’t So.”

But it is true. After 8,020 games, Mets radio voice Howie Rose, and fans of the
second baseball team in New York, can now say, the New York Mets have made
baseball history. They are no longer one of two teams to not have a pitcher throw
the illustrious no-hitter.

It is so, and the San Diego Padres have that lone distinction.

Mike Baxter, the kid from Queens, crashed into the center field wall on the
warning track to keep the suspense going. The Carlos Beltran ball that hit the
chalk beyond third base appeared to be an extra base hit. The umpire, according
to replays may have got it wrong.

To Mets’ fans, and to Santana, the call went their way. The no-hitter is in the
record books and well deserved for a pitcher who many said was finished.

It was back in late March. Santana was not supposed to come north with the
team at the end of spring training. The comeback from shoulder surgery, which
shut Santana down all last year, was slow and cautious. However, it was soon,
according to Santana, working according to the plan.

That plan, which was heard since his opening day start in early April, was continue to make adjustments as this Mets team had trouble scoring runs, but staying competitive. Then the last three starts you sensed the plan was ahead of

Santana was throwing more pitches, going deeper into games. The changeup was
effective, so was the slider. The fastball was getting close to his velocity, clocked
close to 90, or more.

The manager, Terry Collins was more concerned about the pitch count. Last
Saturday, at Citi field, Santana threw 94 pitches, the complete game shutout over
the San Diego Padres. Collins let him continue, as he did Friday night with a career
high 134 pitches, concerned about the shoulder.

After that sixth inning, Collins asked Santana, “How do you feel?” The ace,
who said afterwards, he came to New York “to win a championship for the
organization and fans,” told his manager, ‘I feel good, let me continue.’

It was a momentous occasion for a franchise that has been troubled with financial
issues .And nothing has seemed to go right since that last game of 2006, when
Beltran struck out with runners on base, at Shea Stadium, in game seven of the
National League Championship Series.

That was against the same St. Louis Cardinals who go in the record book as
victims of the Santana no-hitter.

It was the first and real significant moment at Citi Field for Mets baseball. Santana
erased the close calls of Tom Seaver, the last Mets pitcher to take a no-hitter into
the ninth inning. The first one, of three close calls, a perfect game broke up by
Jimmy Qualls of the Chicago Cubs in 1969.

It will be remembered what Johan Santana did Friday night. The umpire, Adrian
Johnson, at third base, may have missed that Beltran call in the sixth inning. But
that does not matter now. Johan Santana may have put the New York Mets back
on the map with that outing on the mound at Citi Field.

Just hope “Weezer” does not get in the way again for another possible and maybe
another no-hitter in New York Mets baseball history, or perhaps another first, a
perfect game as they go into game number 8,021.

E-mail Rich Mancuso:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

12 Questions with Brodie Lee

Pro Wrestling Illustrated recently conducted an interview with indy star (and potential future WWE star) Brodie Lee. Their set up was somewhat awkward. Here is the synopsis for their out of the box questions.

"You're at the airport. You see your favorite wrestler relaxing in one of the terminals. You rush up to him/her as questions fill your excited mind. There are certain things you just have to know about this person. Well, these are the 12 questions you'd never think to ask:"

1 - What man-scaping advice would you like to give our readers?

What the hell is man-scaping? is kicking people in the face considered man-scaping? I only shower on Tuesdays to get the stank of Bessy off me.

2 - You may have the most effective boot to the face in the business. How did you develop your kicking power?

Helping my friend Grizzly Redwood topple timber in the forest.

3 - What band have you seen in concert the most times?

Hank Williams III

4 - Be honest now: Was your move from traditional wrestling singlet to jeans and T-shirts brought about entirely by a desire to reduce your dry-cleaning costs?

Who uses dry-cleaning? Most wrestlers don't even wash their gear...just ask Cloudy. Also, beer and pizza stains look better on a wife beater.

5 - Brodie Lee is asked to prepare a dish for a swanky dinner party. What does he prepare?

A bag of premium wood-smoked beef jerky from the truck stop, a six-pack of Genny Cream Ale, and a jug of Jesco's finest moonshine.

6 - What famous finishing move do you wish you invented?

I already invented The Big Boot...what else do you want from me?

7 - Excluding Bruiser Brody, which is your favorite fellow Brodie: Brodie, the wiseacre from Mallrats, Sheriff Brody from Jaws, or reality TV personality Brody Jenner?

The Little Rig" - Brodie Richard Lee Jr., my son. Also, how dare you put Brody Jenner's name among other great Brodies? I want to boot him and his family's faces off, and now yours!

8 - You've been called "The Big Rig" and you've traveled all the highways and byways. What diner, drive-in, or dive have you discovered that stands above the rest?

Cheeseburger Cheeseburger in Rochester, New York.

9 - What would be the title of your autobiography?

Lincoln, Lot Lizards, & Liquor: All The Gravel In My Travel On The Road Back Home To Nebraska.

10 - What has been the single most surreal moment of your career so far?

Drinking beers with Kevin Nash till 7am, then booting him in the face hours later.

11 - When was the last time you felt intimidated?

When my wife dips into the moonshine and wants to make another baby...a.k.a. Tuesday nights.

12 - Complete the following sentence: One thing about Brodie lee that very few people know is...

Apparently, it's not well known that I hate to be asked stupid questions.

Are You Pleased With The Ring of Honor Shift From HDNet To Sinclair?

*From PWI*

When it was announced that Sinclair Broadcasting had purchased Ring of Honor in 2011, reaction was varied. Some of the fans expected major changes with the television network investing in the company to help improve production values and promotion. Others were cautiously optimistic, hoping that Sinclair wouldn't meddle with the promotion or make drastic creative changes.

Almost a year into the Sinclair agreement, wrestling fans are split as to whether the move from HDNet to Sinclair has been beneficial to the company. Some say they are grateful for the opportunity to see ROH programming for the first time, while others do not have access to Sinclair. The Sinclair format dedicates more time to fewer competitors, allowing more time for storylines to build and for matches to be more meaningful. The company still has sub-par lighting, erratic camera work and uneven audio, which at times gives the show a slightly low-rent feel.

What is your opinion? Post your comments and opinions.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mets Bullpen Blows, Carrasco Assigned

New York – Tuesday evening New York Mets right hander D.J. Carrasco was involved in a controversial pitch that was thrown to Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers. In the eighth inning at Citi Field Wednesday night a home run ball sent him packing and designated for assignment.

The Mets lost the opening of a brief two-game series to the Cincinnati Reds, 6-3, and the second home run of the night from Todd Frazier, part of a four-run inning, did not help matters.

Carrasco, signed to a two-year deal by general manager Sandy Alderson has not lived up to expectations since coming to New York. He began the season on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right ankle and since May 6th has compiled an earned run average of 7.71.

He entered the game with two runners on and two outs and the Mets were trailing by a run in the eighth. Jon Rauch came of the pen and gave u three straight hits to put the Reds ahead. The three-run homer by Frazier was the difference and Carrasco will either be optioned down or, because of his contract he can decline and free to sign with another team.

“Nobody wants that bump in the road,” he said after giving up his second home run in two nights. “I feel horrible about it. I want to justify the contract he gave me,” said Carrasco referring to the opportunity of being signed again by Alderson.

The Mets bullpen, one that had been a part of their success the first five weeks of the season blew its ninth save giving away a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning. The team entered the game tied for third in the majors in blown saves.

Before the runs given up by Carrasco, Jon Rauch could not preserve a lead for Johan Santana. Rauch (3-2) blew his third save of the season allowing three runs.

Santana had his fifth consecutive quality start, 6.2 innings of two-run ball. He gave up the first home run to Frazier in the seventh and threw 107 pitches.

“Once I do my job it’s out of my control,” he said about the bullpen failing to get him a win. “I just hope and watch and hope they get it done. “ Santana did say he was content with his outing, but once again failed to get him a win.
“If we can add some runs it will take some heat off the bullpen,” added Mets manager Terry Collins.

NOTES: Ike Davis snapped a 0-for-16 skid dating to his last at bat on May 11th… Mets were 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position and 3-for-20 in their last three games…

Catcher Josh Thole on the 7-day concussion disabled list was cleared to begin non baseball exercises meaning he is close to returning to the lineup… Shortstop Ruben Tejada out with a strain of the right quad is working his way back at the Mets training complex down in Port St. Lucie Florida…

The 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star game has officially been awarded to the Mets and will be played at Citi Field on July 13th. The announcement was made earlier in the day at City Hall in Manhattan with Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Mets Chief Executive Officer Fred Wilpon. It is the second game hosted by the Mets with the first one played at Shea Stadium in 1964.

The series with The Reds concludes Thursday afternoon. R.A. Dickey (5-1) gets the start for New York. The Reds will stay in New York and play a three-game inter league series with the Yankees beginning Friday evening in the Bronx…
Pitcher Aroldis Chapman of the Reds has the longest active scoreless streak in the majors extending to 19.1 innings with a perfect eighth inning.

E-Mail Rich Mancuso: Ring

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pitch & Game Get Away In Mets Loss To Brews

New York – Terry Collins said the game of baseball has unwritten rules when it comes to a retaliation pitch. Tuesday night, at Citi Field, the New York Mets manager said he would not risk David Wright from getting hurt because of a pitch that may have been intended for his leading hitter.

He lifted Wright in the seventh inning with the Mets trailing 8-0, which was the final score. Collins was protecting his player saying there could be a retaliation pitch coming from the Milwaukee Brewers side. The situation stemmed from a ball thrown by D.J Carrasco in the top of the inning that hit Ryan Braun. Plate umpire Gary Darling immediately ejected Carrasco.

Ricky Weeks homered to left off Carrasco before Braun came to bat that gave the Brewers a comfortable 8-0 lead. Wright was seen in the Mets dugout pleading his case with Collins.

“In my opinion he wasn’t getting hurt,” said Collins about not letting Wright come to bat. The Mets third baseman was 2-for-2 and batting .408, more importantly off to one of the best starts of his career.

But Wright, the unofficial captain of a young Mets team, that came into the game five games over .500 was making his plea to the manager. “He said, ‘if anyone is going to get hit its going to be me.’” said Collins.

Collins inserted rookie Jordany Valdespin to bat. In the same inning he also lifted Daniel Murphy, second to Wright in hits, for Justin Turner. It may have been a protective situation for Collins, but it did make for interesting baseball theatre in Flushing.

“I’m not accusing them of anything,” said Collins about his moves to protect Wright and maybe Murphy.” I just know of what might have taken place.” He said Wright was not mad which appeared to be the situation when a camera shot from the dugout showed what looked like a contentious situation with the player and manager.

“Wright said, ‘if someone is going to get hit let it be me. I said, ‘you are not hitting,’” commented Collins about the discussion that ultimately became an issue of a rare game that New York has not been in this season. They were shutout for the second time.

Zack Greinke (4-1) extended his scoreless streak to 15 consecutive innings and threw five-hit ball for seven innings. He was helped by three Brewers home runs, two from Travis Ishikawa and a career high five runs batted in.

But it was all about that supposed retaliation pitch and why Wright was not allowed to hit.

“If they are going to retaliate they are going to hit David Wright,” said Collins. “I understand the perception. David Wright is not in a position to get hurt He’s a pro, why I love him. He’s not getting hit on my watch.

When asked about the ensuing discussion in the dugout with Collins, said Wright, “Terry is the manager he has to make the move that he believes is best for the team. I respect that. “

He added, “You get caught up in the moment. Terry and I have no issue in this. He told me before the inning, I was coming out of the game anyway. But in that situation, my thinking of the time, Ryan gets hit, I go up there I’m going to get hit.”

Meaning Wright was willing to take one for the team, but Collins would not take the risk. “There is a zero issue…there really is,” said Wright.

Carrasco said the pitch was a sinker that went in. “I was there to throw a few innings out of the bullpen,” said Carrasco in his defense of the pitch. He told Darling he wasn’t trying to throw at Braun in a seven-run game.
It was a rare two-game series before the Reds come to town for a two-game series Wednesday evening (The Reds will have a night off in New York and on Friday begin a three-game series with the Yankees in the Bronx).

So there will be no room for further theatre unless the Brewers make an issue when the Mets visit Milwaukee in mid September.

Email Rich Mancuso: Ring

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yanks Home Run Ball Beats Tampa With No Mo

Home cooking is what the New York Yankees needed, even if it is five weeks into the season and a new closer is in the Bronx. Behind three home runs, two from Raul Ibanez and one off the bat of Curtis Grandeson, New York defeated Tampa Bay 5-3 in the first of a three-game series Tuesday night in the Bronx.

Ivan Nova (4-1) got the win in his fifth start of the season. He was coming off a loss to Baltimore last week that snapped a 15-game winning streak that dated back to last June. Nova pitched seven innings, gave up six hits and two runs.

In the sixth inning Nova gave up a solo home run to Jose Molina, and in the seventh inning Luke Scott rounded the bases accounting for the two runs that narrowed the Yankees lead to 3-2.

Mark Teixeira had an RBI double in the eighth inning that paved the way for Yankees manager Joe Girardi to use his new closer, David Robertson, with Mariano Rivera no longer available to close games.

Rivera, baseball’s all-time saves leader is done for the season, awaiting surgery for a torn ACL of the right knee which was injured shagging fly balls in the outfield at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City last week.

“Not to write Mo’s name on the top, because I do it in a certain order, was strange to me,” said Girardi after the Yankees win. “So that was kind of like OK, he’s not coming out of the bullpen.

It was not the tune of “Sandman” that was played when Robertson trotted out of the pen to the mound. What was left of the 37,066 in attendance on a soggy night in the Bronx heard a new tune, “Sweet Home Alabama” for the entrance of Robertson.

Robertson, now the apparent closer came on in the ninth for his first save of the season, after Rafael Soriano worked the eighth and gave up a run enabling New York to snap a seven-game losing streak to the Rays. Tampa Bay swept three games from the Yankees last month down in Tampa to open the season.

Robertson would load the bases and struck out Carlos Pena to earn his fourth career save. It was a struggle, but like Rivera got the job done.

“Tonight, I was thinking,” said Robertson. It was life now after Mariano Rivera. “Geez better not blow your first one,” he said, “Better not blow your first opportunity or Mo might come in here and smack me around.”

James Shields (5-1) got his first loss of the season allowing three runs, four hits in six innings. He gave up six runs to the Yankees on opening day when Rivera blew the save. Pena, who has hit 23 home runs against the Yankees, over the last eight years, seven more than any other player in baseball went 0-for-4 and was a victim of three strikeouts from Nova.

For now though, it is Robertson and “Alabama” In the Bronx and not “Sandman” and Mariano Rivera.

This post is provided in part by Hudson County Exterminator & Promotional Items Corporate Gifts

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

"He's Up In Canada" - WFAN Fans Remember Rich Mancuso and Jody McDonald on the Graveyard Shift

posted 09-03-2009 02:04 PM

Does anyone remember the wrestling segment on WFAN in New York. It was on really late, I think 3 to 5 am on Saturday night.

Jody MacDonald and Rich Mancuso were the hosts, but Mancuso was the expert.

Who was he?

He never seemed to be right about much. Was he guessing at what would happen?

Also, if he didnt know where someone was he always said they were "up in Canada".

I really enjoyed the show regardless of these problems.


posted 09-03-2009 03:45 PM

I don't remember that, I don't listen to WFAN at that early an hour, but I know that Evan Roberts talks wrestling sometimes.


JJ Bklyn42
posted 09-03-2009 04:12 PM

LOL. When I saw the thread title, my first impulse was to post "I think he's in Canada".

This goes back more than 20 years in FAN's beginnings, when Jody was doing weekend overnights.

I believe Rich was just a friend of Jody, who had a few contacts in the business, and filled an hour or so on Sunday morning talking about what was going on (or what he thought might be going on) in the wrestling biz (after Jody had spent an hour droning out the baseball boxscores for fantasy players). But sometimes they would get a phone interview with someone like Meltzer and get some real info.

I read somewhere (and I have no idea of its veracity) that Rich still writes the weekly "Slammer" column in the NY Daily News. For all we know, he lurks here for story ideas.


posted 09-03-2009 06:42 PM

So you think that Rich Mancuso is The Slammer?

Interesting. Your description of it is right on. I bet youre right..just a wrestling fan that knew Jody and had some connections.


posted 09-03-2009 07:10 PM

I wonder how much Mancuso gets paid if he is in fact "The Slammer"?
Anyone on this board could do a better job then he does in that column.

I can't find where I read the claim that Mancuso is the DN's "Slammer" (I may have heard it somewhere), but fwiw, Google tells me that his own byline has appeared in that paper a few times.


Pier 6er from NY
posted 09-03-2009 07:43 PM

Rich Mancuso is "The Slammer" in the NY Daily News (as Paul Heyman even said so on The John Arezzi Radio Show on another New York radio station). I enjoyed listening to Rich and Jody McDonald on WFAN, as this was the first time that I had access to "inside information" on pro wrestling. That show always had a call-in guest, as they would rotate each weekend between Dave Meltzer, Steve Beverly, and Wade Keller (as each of the three saw their newsletter readerships grow largely from appearing on WFAN).

While Mancuso did have some inside knowledge, he was hardly an expert (as I distinctly remember him mispronouncing Chris Benoit's name...pronouncing it like former NBA underachiever Benoit Benjamin).


posted 09-03-2009 08:03 PM

I remember that Mancuso denied being the Slammer, he insinuated that it was Black Jack Brown, which would make some sense. I recall Steve Beverly and Wade Keller being on the show but not Dave Meltzer.

Jody McDonald is the son of former Mets General Manager Joe McDonald , he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. At least three times, audience members wrote or called in and asked what happened to Tarzan Tyler and Joy Mac asked if he was related to the Red Booster- Terry Tyler(sic), he was reminded by Mancuso that The Red Rooster's name was Terry Taylor, not Tyler. He also was a big fan of The Rockers and Tito Santana, which makes him suspect in my book.

I was surprised by how many kids were up at 2 in the morning on a Sunday. A couple of them were British. I also recall a couple of teenagers calling themselves Bag O' Cheese who wrote and called in with inane questions.

I recall Beverly and Keller being on the show, not Dave Meltzer.

I recall him pronouncing Benoit last came correctly, the French way Ben-wa and taking flack from some idiot who wrote in and said it's not pronounced Ben-wa Benjamin or Joan-Ben-wa (a runner). Mancuso was somewhat flustered.


Pier 6er from NY
posted 09-03-2009 08:28 PM

Jody McDonald is the son of former Mets General Manager Joe McDonald , he wasn't the sharpest knife in the drawer. At least three times, audience members wrote or called in and asked what happened to Tarzan Tyler and Joy Mac asked if he was related to the Red Booster- Terry Tyler(sic), he was reminded by Mancuso that The Red Rooster's name was Terry Taylor, not Tyler. He also was a big fan of The Rockers and Tito Santana, which makes him suspect in my book.

I was surprised by how many kids were up at 2 in the morning on a Sunday. A couple of them were British. I also recall a couple of teenagers calling themselves Bag O' Cheese who wrote and called in with inane questions.
With all due respect, perhaps you were not a regular listener if you do not recall hearing Dave Meltzer on that show? Meltzer, Beverly and Keller were on practically a 3-week rotation as call-in guests. Each would always be on the opening segments with breaking news stories, and in return they would advertise their respective newsletters (offering a sample issue or two at an introductory price for WFAN listeners). Dave Meltzer has often stated that appearing on WFAN enabled his readership to grow substantially (as this was obviously pre-internet era).

I always enjoyed listening to Jody Mac, as he sounds a lot like Jay Leno. I remember him being the son of ex-Mets and St. Louis Cardinals GM Joe McDonald, and I also remember him being a big fan of Tito Santana and The Rockers (so he obviously appreciated good in-ring wrestling ability). I never would have remembered "Bag o'Cheese", but I do remember a fan named "Martinez" who called the show every week. It was a great wrestling radio show back in the day, as they would close the show by mentioning upcoming local wrestling events in the NYC tri-state area.


Chuckerd58 from L.I.
posted 09-03-2009 11:01 PM

I listened religiously..and i have no idea why. They really never gave us any info that was accurate or really shocking.

Yet I never missed it.
I also tried to listen regularly (when I wasn't spending quality time with my then girlfriend at 3:00 AM). Not all their information was inaccurate, as that show was where I first heard that WWF was planning on having WWF World Champion Hulk Hogan wrestle Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior as the upcoming main event at WrestleMania VI.


Pier 6er from NY
posted 09-03-2009 11:46 PM

Anyone on here remember Arezzi's radio show on Sunday mornings? It was on a small Long Island station,but it was pretty good. Don Liable was usually on every week,I enjoyed it.
I also enjoyed Arezzi's radio show, even though it was on a very weak Long Island station. Arezzi often put together bus trips to Philadelphia to see WCW's monthly cards at the Civic Center, as well as Joel Goodhart's Tri-State wrestling events.


JJ Bklyn42
posted 09-03-2009 11:57 PM

Was the Long Island wrestling radio show on at a better time? The time of the WFAN one was brutal. Way too late.


posted 09-04-2009 02:32 AM

i worte in letters every week the last few years the show was on the air. in my early teens that was the highlight of my life. i think Mancuso used to just read the news he got from the Observer and the weeks he had no news was when he did not get it in the mail yet. Meltzer was on plenty of times and that was where i first heard of the Observer. I doubt Mancuso is the slammer and i also always assumed (from Mancuso giving hints) that it was Blackjack Brown. i used to bust Jody's balls and call up to 8 years after the show was off the air during his "Jody Mac do me a favor" segment and ask him to bring back the wrestling hour. last time i looked up Mancuso he was working for some paper in florida i think. i still have some old tapes of it that i have been meaning to listen to. the indy guy who yelled at the fan i believe was Sean Waltman. greatest show ever was when Terry Funk yelled at the caller and told them he knew they were Dusty Rhodes and to go back to bed with Saphire. when i met Funk 15 years later (to the exact same day actually) i told him about the call (he did not remember) and he laughed his ass off.


Tony Meyers
posted 09-04-2009 05:17 AM

I would call in that show every single week and most of the time made the air. I was only 16 and it was an awesome place to find out where all the local independents were. "Jason from Jersey you are on The Fan." They did a real good job but it was too obvious he was reading word for word from The Observer half the time...


posted 09-04-2009 03:18 PM

I remember wrestler Jason Knight calling a couple of times and getting disconnected and hung up on.

I also remember when The Pearl of Orient(Ranger Ross) appeared on the Saturday Night Show, and a caller arguing with Mancuso that it was really The Great Muta because he did the same moves.


Andy from NY
posted 09-04-2009 09:25 PM

I remember Mancuso calling in from a payphone and they would say he was on doing something important out of town. He probably just ran out of subway tokens or something.

Ahhhh - The good ol' days!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Dickey's Knuckelball Baffles D-Backs; Tejada Headed To DL?

New York – One day the New York Mets will erase the stigma of being one of four teams that has never had a no-hitter pitched. In their 50th year of existence they have come close and Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, with the knuckle ball working again to perfection, R.A. Dickey gave that hope again.

It wasn’t a no-hitter, but Dickey could eventually be the pitcher that goes in the record books. Sunday afternoon, in a rapid game, he allowed four hits in eight plus innings, struck out four, and walked four as the Mets defeated Arizona 3-1 taking two of three games from the Diamondbacks.

He was disappointed Three outs from getting the third shutout of his career he walked leadoff hitter Gerardo Parra. Justin Upton would deliver an RBI double to left. Dickey was removed and two Mets relievers preserved the win.

“It leaves a sour taste in my mouth,” said the 37-year old right hander who left to a standing ovation from what was left of the 29,107 fans. “I have an expectation of myself in that situation,” he said, “and that is not it.”
There was not to be a no-hitter this day. However, Mets manager Terry Collins believes it will eventually come, and Dickey could be the one to do it.

“I actually thought this could be the day,” said Collins as the Mets still have not seen a pitcher have the no-no in 7,996 games.

Daniel Murphy helped Dickey with some early run support. A two-run single in the first inning was good enough. Dickey was that good and did not allow a leadoff batter to reach base until Cody Ransom had a ground single to left in the eighth inning.

“They out executed us,” commented Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson. The defending National league west champions head home losers in four of their last five games and still perplexed about the Dickey knuckleball. The buzz in a quiet Diamondbacks clubhouse was about the Dickey knuckler.

And as New York heads to Philadelphia and Miami for six games, this after their brief three-game series at home with Arizona, they are a 10-6 team at Citi Field and two- games over .500 at 15-13. However, they face the loss of shortstop Ruben Tejada for an undisclosed amount of time.

Tejada strained a quad in the fourth inning and injured his face. The toe of his shoe got stuck in the turf as he ran out a bunt single. It was a precarious moment and he left the game and replaced by Justin Turner in the lineup. Tejada was not available for comment as he was undergoing an MRI.

He was expected to join the Mets Monday night in Philadelphia for the start of a three-game series.

“If they think it’s going to be five, six days we’ll probably have to make some move, “said Collins about his shortstop. Tejada is next to David Wright in the lineup leading in on base percentage and second among leaders in the National
League with two-base hits.

But this game was about Dickey who has become the reliable starter, behind the ace Johan Santana.


By contributing columnist, Diego Mack

The hottest head coach in the NBA has to be OKC Thunder Scott Brooks, as he leads his team to the top of the Western Conference.

Friends say: “Wait until the Western Finals”. I say: “Put your money where your mouth is”.

For one, James Harden looks like Super Six Man, Kevin Durant looks focused, Russell Westbrook looks for shots and well.
I’m looking for a sucker. Trust me. It works. Not for nothing, speaking of work…It looks like Jeremy Lin will be returning from a meniscus tear in his left knee while Derek Rose tore his ACL going out for long term rehabilitation. That’s the two best selling jerseys this year according to NBA statistics.

Speaking of Jersey. I really miss Tony Soprano. That’s me imitating Nets fans as the team moves to Brooklyn. All time great Michael Jordan hasn’t been successful since he took off his Bulls jersey? The first time. His Charlotte Bobcats are stuck in the NBA’s basement and we all know Mike hates to lose. Look for your Airness to dump his liability after the season. Breaking News…Without Phil Jackson in town I commend Pau Gasol, Metta World Peace and icon Kobe Bryant. They have been grinding it out this season. Cheers.

Meanwhile down in South Beach…Lebron James and Dwayne Wade move in unison to their own tune although I’m convinced Chris Bosh just sings backup. Hey, it worked for Paul McCartney & Robert Horry…

And by the way, if Lamar Odom never makes an All Star game appearance again, don’t blame Khloe; blame Kevin Love and Blake Griffin. Who’s this Isaiah Thomas out in Sacramento reminding people of Zeke? I’m kidding. The rookie PG / 2nd rounder has been remarkable. So has the 1st overall pick Kyrie Irving of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Too bad I can’t say the same for ex-Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni who got whacked by Knicks owner James Dolan. Assistant Coach Mike Woodson stepped in his place leading the Knicks to the playoffs. For some strange reason Woodson had a beef with Atlanta Hawks Head Coach Larry Drew - whom Woodson feels undercut him before taking over the Hawks bench? Whatever. It just proves my theory correct: “Coaches don’t fall too far from the tree”.

Big shouts to Josh Smith who really proved he got snuffed for the All Star team. Somebody named Iguodala may be in trouble next year. So is Mark Cuban. Outspoken and brash, the Mavericks owner desires to return to the Championship. News flash. It isn’t happening dude.

He’d rather place ads on players’ jerseys. The NBA says No go at this time. We’ll see. Before I sign out…Look for Anthony Davis of Kentucky to be the number one pick in the 2012 NBA Draft. Don’t be surprised if his college Coach John Calipari follows to a NBA bench. My bad. With four projected 1st round lottery picks it seems he already has one.

**Diego Mack Bio:
Deigo Mack, a regular contributor to, is a NYC based journalist and film director. His documentary debut entitled Spirit of a Champion: "The Quentin Fortune Story" is scheduled for release in 2012. Deigo also co-host a internet radio show Keep It In The Ring, while continually entertaining readers with sharp humor, informative insights and honest opinions in various magazines across the world. His first book "Rent Bills & Excuses" will also be released this year.

Contact Deigo Mack at

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Blast From The Past: Rich Mancuso interviews Miami Dolphins Draft pick, TE John Nalborne from Monmouth University (2009)

At a pre draft luncheon held at Gallaghers steakhouse in NYC, Monmouth University TE John Nalborne talks about the TEST training facility, his hopes for the NFL draft and more with NY sports journalist Rich Mancuso.

As it turns out, John was taken in the 5th round #25, 161st overall by the Miami Dolphins. Congrats John!


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Blast From The Past: Rich Mancuso Interviews IBF Welterweight Champion Joshua Clottey (2009)

NY sports journalist Rich Mancuso interviews IBF Welterweight Champion Joshua Clottey at a press conference held in Madison Square Garden for his upcoming Championship fight against WBO Welterweight Champion Miguel Cotto.


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Blast From The Past: Rich Mancuso Interviews David Haye (2009)

New York sports journalist Rich Mancuso gest the scoop on David "Hayemaker" Haye's strategy to overcome the IBF, IBO and WBO Champion Wladimir "Steel Hammer" Klitschko. The press conference took place inside the wonderful B.B. Kings in Time Square, NY on Thursday, April 23, 2009.

The Challenger has a big obstacle to overcome but you could tell by his interview, he's not worried at all.
The fight took place June 20, 2009 live from Germany and broadcast on HBO.


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Have We Seen The Last of The Great Mariano Rivera?

If we have seen the last of Mariano Rivera, as it appears with a season ending torn ACL, this is a sad way to go out. Because the injury occurred on a warning track at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, and not on a pitching mound, the implications of this season ending injury will linger beyond the legacy of Rivera’s stellar career.

It was not supposed to happen this way for the 42-year old all time leader in saves Rivera, as has been speculated , was going to make a decision regarding his retirement at some point this season, with all indications this would be his last.

However, a freak injury has apparently made the decision a quicker but more difficult way to say goodbye. There are injuries in sports that can be overcome, but a torn ACL, even for the great Mariano Rivera is more difficult to understand.

Rivera said Thursday night, “Going to have to face this first. It all depends on how the rehab is going to happen.” That is the question. Yankees medical personnel, the organization, manager Joe Girardi, fans, the game of baseball, most of all Rivera don’t know.

Going out this way was not supposed to be the plan. Rivera and the month of October were a team. Another save during the post season, and he would go out the way he always did the past 17- years. The cutter made Rivera the best post season pitcher in the game and nobody did it better.

Rivera said he let his team down. Yes, a freak accident like this has an impact on any team, even if it does not happen to the great Mariano Rivera. And we can question what he was doing in the outfield flagging fly balls by the warning track, instead of tossing a ball off a mound in the pen?

That can’t be answered. It was a routine for Rivera to be the teammate and being a part of joining them in the outfield. As the captain Derek Jeter said, “He works hard. And he’s going to work hard at his recovery but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back here this year.”

In all probability, Rivera won’t be back this year. As much as Jeter and the Yankees know the significance, how valuable Rivera is to getting another championship, it is that more difficult for a 42-year old pitcher to recover fully from an injury of this magnitude.

The Yankees were preparing for the departure of Rivera. David Robertson is the heir apparent out of the pen, their closer of the future, except not with the greatness of “Sandman” trotting from the outfield to the mound with the tying or winning run on base in the ninth inning.

The legacy of Mariano Rivera is that closer and getting it done. Five championship rings as a New York Yankee, as a part of their illustrious team history, more valuable, maybe, than Ruth, Maris, Mantle, Berra, DiMaggio, and in the Derek
Jeter era.

Because in this era of the closer, when a starter rarely goes nine innings, having a Mariano Rivera coming out of the pen is rare.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Reyes Return Overshadowed By Injuries And Johan

NEW YORK— José Reyes was supposed to be the storyline at Citi Field Tuesday evening returning to New York for the first time since signing the lucrative off-season deal with the Miami Marlins. However, that was overshadowed by the outstanding pitching of Johan Santana and the Mets placing outfielder Jason Bay and starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey on the disabled list.

Reyes would go hitless in four appearances at the plate. It was due to the sharp pitching of Santana who went 6.2 innings, striking out eleven Marlins. But once again, Santana, in his fourth outing failed to get run support.
He did not figure in the decision as the Mets got a deciding run in the eighth inning and won the first game of a three-game series, 2-1.

Reyes had a pre game meeting with the media in the Marlins dugout. He was excited to be back in New York, met with his old teammates, and the Mets paid tribute to one of their former franchise players with a brief tribute on the video board before the first pitch.

As expected the small crowd that gathered to their seats gave him resounding boos, though there were those who gave him a nice welcome when they stood and cheered his name. When he stepped to the plate, for his first at bat leading off the game the displeasure of Reyes leaving for greener pastures to Miami were heard from the announced crowd of 20,192.

“It was kind of weird for me a little bit but after the third inning everything goes away and you just focus on playing baseball,” he said. Off to a slow start, Reyes would almost get an extra base hit leading off. The pitch from Santana looked like it would go out of the ballpark, but center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis made a leaping catch at the fence.

Reyes said, “It is good to get it out of the way. Tomorrow I’ll have a better idea. But it’s good to see my buddies over there. I played for them for a long time.”

However, Mets fans may never forgive the National league batting champion and homegrown product from leaving. It was a matter of another year and a few million more that that Mets did not offer to keep Reyes in a Mets uniform. He signed the $106 million, six-year contract with the Marlins, a team expected to contend and favored over the Mets in the NL East.

Santana went about his business and rebounded from his last start in Atlanta. Last week he gave up six runs in the first inning, eight overall in 4.1 innings. The fastball and changeup were sharp and he had great command. But once again he failed to get a single run of support.

“I put that one out of the way,” he said about the loss to Atlanta. “I still have a long way to go but it is good to have an outing like this. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

He struck out two in each of the first five innings and had his most strikeouts since the 11 against the Braves on August 2, 2010. In nine previous starts against the Marlins, Santana was 6-1 with a 1.47 ERA. He gave up a one-out single in the first, and did not give up another hit until a Giancarlo Stanton two-out single in the seventh. He was removed after throwing 105 pitches.

On facing Reyes for the first time, he said, “I didn’t do anything different. Everything we do here is professional and we went about our business.”

Marlins starter Josh Johnson, also working on six days of rest was just as effective going 6 2-3 innings, charged with one run and three hits.

Lucas Duda hit a tie-breaking single in the eighth that came off the finger of Marlins reliever Edward Mujica that scored the deciding run. Jon Rauch (3-0) picked up the win and Frank Francisco with a hitless ninth got his fourth save.

But the Mets win was also overshadowed by their continued bad streak of injuries. Bay, injured fielding a ball in left, in the second game of a twin bill Monday against the Giants, sustained a broken rib and was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Bay will return, but the Mets will be cautious as he is once again is hindered by an injury coming after missing a significant amount of games last year.

The injury to Pelfrey is more of a concern. The right hander, without a win in three starts, was also placed on the 15-day DL with swelling of his pitching elbow. There were reports circulating at the ballpark, not confirmed, that Pelfrey would be shut down for the season and undergo Tommy John Surgery.

Mets manager Terry Collins would not confirm that report about Pelfrey as the Mets suddenly have a rash of injuries that prompted them to call up youngsters from their AAA affiliate Buffalo and Binghamton AA team.

The Reyes return to New York is over. The Mets have moved on as Ruben Tejada, the heir apparent at shortstop, has assumed the role and handled the job well in the early going.

As Tejada said about Reyes, “He was a good teammate. Nothing is different. We got the win.” But the manager Terry Collins has to do without Pelfrey and Bay and that seems to have not changed for the Mets, the injuries that continue to plague this team.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Double-Dip At Citi Field Was All Giants Before Reyes Arrival

New York –It was the first double doubleheader between the Mets and San Francisco Giants since June 6, 2006 at Shea Stadium when they split a pair of games. The last time the Mets swept the Giants in one day was July 13, 1979, at Shea. Instead it was the Giants taking two from the Mets, 6-1 and 7-2, — last done April 13, 1997.

A double-dip of agony as New York now has lost five of their last six games and after 16-games stand at 8-8. That 7-3 start after a win down in Atlanta a week ago, seems like a distant memory.

“They’re a tough team to pitch against,” said Mets manager Terry Collins about the Giants. “They run all those switch hitters against you. They just outhit us and outpitched us tonight. It was pretty simple.”

Simple but now complicated because Collins may have his first crisis of the season, even though the manager will not admit to it. “We have to attempt and try to execute better,” he said. His team went 2-for7 with runners in scoring position, and in the last four games, 7-for-48.

And when the pitching as it was in the doubleheader fails, driving in runs is essential. Ike Davis continues to struggle at Citi Field failing to reach base five times, once as a pinch hitter in the second game. He stranded the bases twice in both games and is 2-for-34 in the ten games played so far at home.

“You struggle and try to find out what is wrong,” he said. “Every day is a new day, that’s the game of baseball,” explained Davis about his inability to get on base. Collins leaves him in the lineup, explaining that he is one of the better home run hitters he has, and “you can’t let him sit on the bench.”

Collins opted to go with the veteran Miguel Batista in game one in order to give Johan Santana another day of rest. Santana gets the start Tuesday evening when the Mets welcome back an old friend, Jose Reyes and his new team the Miami Marlins.

Batista, as is the attitude with this Mets team, will not give in to the sudden struggle. He said to reporters in between games, “The challenge is to let Terry Know that I can pitch for the next game.” Meaning of course, if Batista was needed in game two, after throwing 77 pitches and giving up six runs in 3.2 innings, he would be available. That comment got some attention and a few laughs from the media, but Collins was not smiling after the uneventful night. Not when two games are lost in a matter of hours.

“Every time I executed my game plan they hit the ball on the ground,” said the 41- year-old right hander who gave up the first of his two home runs in the first inning to Buster Posey. In the third inning, Nate Schierholtz hit a 1-1 pitch that landed up in the Pepsi deck in right field.

For RF Nate Schierholtz, it was a twin bill for that a ballplayer will never forget. He had six hits, a triple and stolen base.

In his fourth start, Giants game one starter Tim Lincecum got his first win of the season. He allowed one run and striking out eight in 5.0 innings. He won his fourth consecutive start against New York with an ERA of 0.67, with 31 strikeouts.

Two additional home runs were hit by San Francisco off game two starter Dillon Gee who gave up a career high 12 hits, allowing seven runs in 6/2-3 innings.

No, there was no room for skipper Collins to smile.

And the Mets have an additional issue – ah, with Jason Bay who bruised his ribs trying to catch what went for a two-run double in the second game. He was lifted and x-rays were negative and will be re –examined Tuesday. He could go on the disabled list joining Ronny Cedeño who is sidelined with an intercostals left strain.

There was some good news. Outfielder Andrés Torres and pitcher D.J. Carrasco started their minor league rehabilitation assignments down in Port St. Lucie Florida, and they are making progress to rejoin the team.

However, it was a night for the Giants. “Anytime you take two games in one day it is great,” said Giants infielder Emmanuel Burriss.

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Sunday, April 22, 2012


New York – Angel Pagán knows something about how the wind can play a factor at Citi Field. He was in the San Francisco Giants dugout watching a play in the ninth inning, the Mets one out away from a win and getting their starter Mike Pelfrey his first victory.

Jon Rauch came out of the bullpen to get that final out. But pinch hitter Brandon Bell hit a shallow ball to center. Shortstop Ruben Tejada saw the ball was trouble swirling in the wind. Rookie center fielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis tried to come to the rescue but the ball dropped for a two-run double and tied the score.

“It can be a tough field to play if you are not used to it,” said Pagán when asked about the dropped ball. Pagan, traded to the Giants for Andés Torres in the off-season could not help giving his opinion. “You can’t be to over aggressive on a play like that out there,” he said.

Pagán would know. He patrolled the outfield for New York in four years as a New York Met. Those years were tenuous at times and there were a share of errors in the outfield. The Giants acquired Pagán from the Mets during the off season to get some speed in their lineup.

In that time, Torres has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf and Nieuwenhuis was granted a chance. Mets manager Terry Collins put his head down and put his hands on top of his cap showing his frustration after the play.

In the inning he lifted closer Frank Francisco for Tim Brydak, and then giving the ball to Rauch who got the win. He defended the rookie and said, “He works as hard as anyone else and in that situation he has to play back.”
Nieuwenhuis, was redeemed when the Mets scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 win, the second walk-off win for New York this young season.

“I was coming from a long way out and it’s my ball all the way and I just overran it,” he said about the play. “I thought it was going to be closer to the infield and it ended up carrying a lot more than I thought.”

Prior to the botched outfield play, and before the Mets would win on a throwing error by Giants catcher Buster Posey that scored Ruben Tejada, Pelfrey went a season high eight innings for a Mets pitcher and outpitched Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong.

“Pelfrey deserved the win,” commented Nieuwenhuis. “He pitched a great game, unbelievable.”

Tejada had a two-run double in the seventh that just got by third base down the left field line. That gave the Mets a 3-1 lead and they added another on an unearned run in the eighth. It was the seventh double for Tejada who entered the game tied for fifth in baseball in that category.

And as ironic as the game of baseball can be, Nieuwenhuis and Tejada were involved in the game ending play that gave the Mets a win in the four- game series that concludes Monday evening. The Giants won the opening game in 10-innings Friday night.

With the bases loaded in the ninth, Nieuwenhuis hit a grounder to first. Belt, inserted in a lineup move by manager Bruce Bochy, threw home for a force. Posey looking for an inning ending double play missed reliever Jeremy Affeldt covering first but the throw ended in right field that enabled Tejada to score from second with the winning run.
“I had faith in my teammates to pick me up,” said Nieuwenhuis afterwards. And for the Mets a win that will be memorable because of that botched play in the outfield.


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Recent Sports Thoughts From Rich

Bartolo Colon continues to amaze me and people around baseball. The 38-year old veteran pitcher, now with the Oakland Athletics, threw 38 consecutive pitches for strikes Wednesday night leading his team to a 6-0 win, over the Angels. And this is the same pitcher who the New York Yankees refused to pay $2 million more for another year?

Say what you want. Colon does not resemble a Major League Baseball pitcher with the pudgy appearance on the mound. But, as seen last year with the Yankees, Colon throws consistent strikes and still manages to have some velocity on the fastball, also using a nasty changeup in between.

The streak went from the second pitch in the fifth inning until the seventh. Colon is 3-1, showing no signs of quit. Baseball is determining if the accomplishment is a record and should have an answer in the next day or so. Regardless, how many 38-year old men can be as consistent throwing a baseball?

Colon, the Dominican Republic native, always a subject of using anabolic steroids, because of a bad right arm, has always refuted those claims and there has never been a positive test to confirm the allegations. So keep throwing strikes Bartolo. This is quite an accomplishment and for your age, motivation to keep going….

So, two weeks into the baseball season and you have to be impressed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are hitting the ball with authority, getting good pitching and it seems Matt Kemp, who finished second in the National League
MVP award for 2011, is on to a record breaking season. He hit his 7th home run Thursday night and Andre Eithier is also ganging the ball making this Dodgers duo a west coast Murders Row….

New York Knicks clinch a playoff seed. Here is another thought. As a 7th or 8th seed out of the east they would get, as it appears now to be, Chicago or Miami in the first round of the playoffs. Sixth seed is out of the question with four games remaining. If you are the Knicks, do you really want Miami? Even if they draw the Bulls and advance, New York never gets by the Heat even if Carmelo Anthony is playing their best basketball of the season…

Kobe Bryant returns to the Los Angeles Lakers lineup Friday night against the San Antonio Spurs. The bad shin, which kept him off the court for six games, is healthy and Kobe is well rested which is bad for teams in the west. Because a healthy Kobe knows what to do with the ball late in the fourth quarter Lakers will do fine in the post season because Kobe knows this is his team and his time of year…

Impressed with the Phoenix Suns playoff run, another dramatic win over the Clippers Thursday night in Phoenix and it could come down to the Suns-Spurs game in the desert next Thursday night, the final game of this abbreviated season,
to determine if they are playoff bound as a final seed in the west. Problem is, Phoenix can’t find a way to defeat the Spurs….

Happy 100th Birthday t Fenway Park in Boston, the old venue where watching a baseball game still has tradition… Oh, is there any doubt that Brock Lesnar and The Rock will meet at WrestleMania XXVIIII (29), I think, next April at Met Life Stadium in the Meadowlands swamp of New Jersey?...

Any doubt that Andrew Luck will be the first round pick of the Colts in the NFL draft next Thursday night? And any doubts about Floyd Mayweather Jr? There is no doubt that Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao will never meet. Or is there a
possibility they will fight, as this continues to be the only hot and continuing topic for the sport of boxing.

E-Mail Rich Mancuso: Watch and listen to Rich Thursday nights, 5-7pm www.Inthemixxradio,com live. Also log on the fan page: it in the Ring and the group page for discussions.


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Friday, April 20, 2012

Keep It In The Ring Radio for 4/19/12

Watch live video from Inthemixx Radio LLC on

Here is the latest edition of Rich Mancuso's Keep It In The Ring radio show on a new station, a new day, a new time...Everything is new, until Rich ends up somewhere else and we have to start all over again. Talk about commitment issues, huh?


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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Booker's Reality Wrestling Has Lack of Perception

I'm a fan of Booker T's work...but, not so much of his commentary skills. Yeah it's different, but it has to be one of the worst experiments since the WWE tried to put Superstar Billy Graham behind the stick in the 80's. Luckily, I'm not here to talk about that right now.

I've had the pleasure of working with Booker T on numerous occasions, and he is hands down one of the most humble and giving performers in the business. His insight to pro wrestling and his dedication to perfect the craft is what has helped him become one of the most decorated superstars in the history of the business. But what if the creative weight of the wrestling world fell into his hands? Would a spin-a-rooni be enough to get over? What if Booker T were in a position to put on the best wrestling product to engage a wrestling audience?

As some of you might know, Booker T runs his own pro wrestling school in the great state of Texas. With a school, comes student shows. And with student shows, even a veteran wrestler like Booker T soon learns that performing in the ring and promoting what's in the ring are worlds apart.

The video above is part of Booker T's new project with his school students, entitled "Reality of Wrestling". To be fair, I don't know much about this project at this time - but by watching this video, I've already lost interest.

Promoting pro wrestling hinges on the vision of the promoter. Innovation, engagement, uniqueness and most of all, perception are critical elements. Ever seen the film "Boiler Room"? Ben Affleck lectures the young group of salesmen who are still wet behind the ears, and tells them the secret to success is to "act as if". Act as if you are the boss of the company. Act is if you have a million clients. Act as if you own the most expensive car on the street. Act as if you have 12 inch penis. Just, act as if. Perception is critical.

When you put out a piece of material such as this video, what is your perception? Are you still interested? Does it get the blood pumping? or are you looking at it wondering, "WTF?"

Wht would you build up using these two performers? Why would you build up using sloppy video shooters? Why would you build up letting a pre-school kid edit this on his Fisher Price My First Editing System? This is tragic! A reason to tune out. Most of all, it's a disappointment because you know Booker T is capable of better. You start to wonder if he officially approved this video or if one intern put this out there for public consumption.

Looking at the arena, Booker T has done his part in putting together a local show for his students to perform in front of their families and peers. And maybe he doesn't want to become a strong indy organization in the mold of a Ring of Honor. Perhaps he's content doing what he's doing. But at the end of the day, this is still a business. His business is judged by his perception. When looking at this video, you question the business. You ask where the money goes. You ask why he doesn't hire a better production team. You ask if you're interested in learning pro wrestling from this company or is it just a front with Booker's name on it.

Now don't get me wrong - I'm not saying the Booker T school is a scam at all. Booker is all aces in my book. He is one of the few people in this business you can depend on and trust. Booker is a true man of his word. But this video doesn't help the perception. This video is less than amateur. And without interest you have no growth. Without growth... well, you have nothing. Booker T is more than that, and I have a strong interest in anything he is attached to (except TNA programming... even he couldn't sit through that). But from a man who has achieved so much, we expect better because if anybody, you know better. And this is far from where a Booker T production should be. Now can you dig that, sucka?

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hughes Home Run Ball Hurts Yankees in Loss To Angels

Phil Hughes got the start at Yankee Stadium Saturday afternoon and it was not
what the New York Yankees hope they will get from their number three starter
this season. Hughes gave up two early home runs and the Los Angeles Angels
never looked back.

In, 3-1/3 innings, Hughes allowed six runs, six of ten outs by strikeout. The
Yankees dropped the second game of their season opening home stand to the
Angels and snapped a four-game winning streak. His outing was quite a contrast
to the start that Hiroki Kuroda gave the Yankees Friday afternoon in their home

The other concern for New York is the lack of hitting coming from the middle of
their lineup. Robinson Cano recorded his first RBI of the season with a single in
the fifth inning. The Yankees were also stopped with the effective pitching of C.J
Wilson, who along with Albert Pujols signed two of the top free agent deals in rhe
off season.

Wilson recorded his first career win against the Yankees in four starts, allowing
one run in six innings.

“I think he got us to chase some pitches off the plate inside, and that’s what he
does,” said Yankees manager Joe Girardi about Wilson. The manager was more
concerned with Hughes who showed no signs of arm problems in spring training,
something that hindered the right hander.

In his two starts, Hughes is 0-2 with an ERA of 9.00. “T o me his arm strength is
fine to me it’s a matter of making more consistent pitches,” said Girardi.

“Things have not gone the way I wanted to,” said Hughes who was behind hitters
and ran up his pitch count. “I just have to keep a good attitude and hope things
turn around.”

Wilson gave up six hits and when he left after six innings, after throwing 105
pitches, the Angel pen of three other pitchers held the Yankees hitless. The lone
bright spot for the Yankees was Derek Jeter, 2-for-5, collecting his fourth multi-hit
game of the season.

They are 4-4 after eight games. Girardi is not concerned as the Angels try and take
the series Sunday night in the Bronx and Ivan Nova (1-0) making his second start
for the Yankees. The Manager said, “This is a long season. We are not 0-8,” as he
defended claims that his team may be in a panic mode.

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Friday, April 13, 2012

Another Perfect Home Opener for the Yankees

Nick Swisher got a good pitch to hit in the first inning, a double to deep center
that scored Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira. That opened the door for another perfect Opening Day in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium Friday afternoon.

Even more perfect because Jorge Posada returned to the Bronx, one of the “Core
Four” throwing the ceremonial Opening Day pitch to his father.

“The season does not start until after the home opener,” said Swisher after the
Yankees 5-0 shutout over the Los Angeles Angels, their 14th in their last 15th in the
Bronx. It was that type of day again at Yankee Stadium. Warm enough also for
the Yankees to entertain a sold out crowd with home runs from Alex Rodriguez
and Curtis Granderson.

The home run from Rodriquez, second of the season off Angeles starter and loser
Ervin Santana, was the 630th of his career which tied him with Ken Griffey Jr.
on baseball’s all-time list. He was moved from the clean-up spot to third in the
batting order after failing to drive in a run in the first six games and the home run
was his first.

Hiroki Kuroda (1-1) who struggled in his first start down in Tampa Bay last
Saturday, allowing six runs, four earned gave up five hits, struck out six, walked
two and did not allow a runner to reach second until the fifth inning. The former
Dodger had good command with his splitter in eight innings.

When he left the mound he received a standing ovation from the 49,386 Opening
Day fans. “It was the greatest feeling in the world and I would like to repeat
that,” he said. “When you have that type of run support I was able to be more

It was that type of Opening Day in the Bronx. The Yankees have a way of making
this day more special than any other team in baseball. The win made it extra
special with the home runs and good pitching to go with it. But the pitch from
Posada, who retired in January, made it more compelling. After the pitch, Posada
was hugged by his former teammates on the field.

At the team Welcome Home Dinner Thursday night in Manhattan, Posada was the highlight and what teammates described as the incentive to make this home opener extra special.

“It has to be something special for those two,” said Yankees Manager Joe Girardi
about Posada returning to the stadium and his father watching him throw the first
pitch at home plate. “He deserved that and it was great.”

But it was greater moment for Girardi to his starting pitcher rebound in his second
start. And Rodriquez finding the home run swing, a huge shot into the netting in
Monument Park, to straight center off the first pitch from Santana in the third
inning, was an impressive swing. He also singled in the first and later scored on
the Swisher bases clearing double.

“It puts a little sidebar on our season,” said Girardi about the milestone home run
from Rodriguez. And he said about Kuroda, “I don’t think it gets any better, you
get a quality start from your pitcher into the ninth inning.”

And it does not get any better when the Yankees win their home opener of the new season.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mets’ Offense Showing Deficiency; Johan Continues Recovery

New York – Johan Santana was pleased with his second outing of the season at Citi Field Wednesday afternoon. The New York Mets left hander opened the2012 campaign six days ago at home throwing five scoreless innings in a no-decision. Though the Mets would lose 4-0 to the Washington Nationals, Santana was pleased. “I was able to compete and feel good,” said Santana the two-time Cy Yong Award winner who sat out all of last year after surgery to his left elbow. It was a tough first inning of work, 27 pitches, but he had good command except for a slider that got away in the second inning that gave the Nationals a run.

One thing is certain for the Mets. They know Santana has recovered, though they are still being cautious. He threw 93 pitches in five innings. After his 99th pitch to Jason Werth in the sixth, he was lifted.

However the Mets bats have not been very active these past two games against the Nationals. Washington took two of the three games and New York was limited to three hits in the Wednesday afternoon game, attributed to their highly touted 23-year old starter Stephen Strasburg.

He threw over 100 pitches and was able to get out of two-out one out jam in the sixth inning. One of the outs was a pitch that was questionable to Bay which appeared to be a ball on the replay. Terry Collins was tossed in the top of the seventh inning by plate umpire Larry Vanover regarding that strike call to Jason Bay.

Bay, batting fourth, was subjected to constant boos from the Citi Field crowds this week when he came to bat. One of the high salaried players left on a Mets team payroll, that has been reduced, was not productive last season. In the six games Bay was 3-for19, in 19 at bats.

“I have been facing pretty good pitching the past couple of days,” said Bay who did not address the issue about the controversial pitch. “It’s a matter of building on it. I feel I have had some pretty good at bats.”

Ike Davis, who sat down the night before was back in the lineup and a single off Strasburg in the sixth ended a 0-for-18 start. And the Mets may not see David Wright for the next few games as they head to Philadelphia and Atlanta.

Wright is scheduled to see a hand specialist in New York on the off day Thursday to further determine his condition of a small fracture in the fifth finger of his right hand. Wright was wearing a splint Wednesday in the clubhouse and said he hopes to be back in the lineup Friday when the Mets open a three-game series in Philadelphia.

Notes: Collins said about the lack of hitting: “We took some good pitches down the middle the last two innings and you can’t do that.” On the bullpen that issued ten walks, the first since May 9 of 2010 against San Francisco, he said “We didn’t pitch well today. Lucky we did not lose by ten runs.”

The Mets went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and are 9-for-54 in their first six games….Ruben Tejada went 1-for-4 and the last four games is 7-for-15 and was at the top of the league in the category coming into the game….Santana and the pen struck out 10, the fourth consecutive game Mets pitchers have had double strikeouts which was last done June 10-June 13, 2008.


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Keep It In The Ring Radio Returns - New Day, New Time, New Station

A new station, new day and time, and bigger, better and as they day, badder.
That is what Rich Mancuso says about the debut of Keep it in The Ring, this time
this time which debuts on Thursday April 12th from
5:30-7:30pm. The program can be viewed on U-Stream via your laptop or home
computer and most phone apps.

Rich, a veteran sports journalist of 28 years, who also worked in the pro wrestling
industry will once again be joined by his sidekick Jason Feliciano. And like the old
show, you will never know what to expect from the two of them on the set. There
will be a cast of characters, sports talk. Live phone guests and calls, plus the usual and unusual highlight clips.

Keep it in the Ring was tagged when Rich sat by the side of Jodi McDonald on
his overnight weekend program on Sports Radio 66 WFAN in New York City, a
segment on pro wrestling that began in 1988 and ran for four years. At the time,
pro wrestling again was at a peak and Mancuso ended the segment with “Keep it
in the Ring.” It has passed on to mean all sports, covering the issues and athletes
that are a part of what Mancuso calls, “The World of Fun and Games.”

Said Mancuso about the new program, “Things did not work out at the former
station which was not my doing but this is better and bigger. I look forward to
the opportunity once again tying to keep Jason in the Ring.” He also hopes to
have Die Hard Derek Gordon on a regular basis to contribute with a pro wrestling

Mancuso will be joined by a cast of characters behind the scenes. “I will get them
involved as the creativity like a pro wrestling audience is so important.”

Reach Rich and Jason on It in The Ring or on the group page
Keep It in The Ring. Also get on the blog with your thoughts and feedback. Enjoy
and Keep it in The Ring.

This post is sponsored in part by Create A Photography Website and Classic Wrestling Videos

Santana Gets The Loss in Mets Loss to Nats and Strasburg

New York - Johan Santana was pleased with his second outing of the season at
Citi Field Wednesday afternoon. The New York Mets left hander opened the2012
campaign six days ago at home throwing five scoreless innings in a no-decision.
Though the Mets would lose 4-0 to the Washington Nationals, Santana was

“I was able to compete and feel good,” aid Santana the two-time Cy Yong Award
winner who sat out all of last year after surgery to his left elbow. It was a tough
first inning of work, 27 pitches, but he had good command except for a slider that
got away in the second inning that gave the Nationals a run.

One thing is certain for the Mets.. They know Santana has recovered, though they
are still being cautious. He threw 93 pitches in five innings. After his 99 th pitch
to Jason Werth in the sixth, he was lifted relieved by Manny Acosta. Four other
pitchers followed and if the Mets were able to score some runs, perhaps Santana
would have been got his first win of the season.

“I’m very happy at this stage,” said Mets manager Terry Collins about Santana.
He was tossed in the top of the seventh inning by plate umpire Larry Vanover
regarding a strike call to Jason Bay in the previous inning. “And five days from
now you will see him again,” he said.

And that is the plan for Santana, to pitch on schedule now that it appears the 33-
year old is back to health. During the completed opening season home stand, in
which the Mets went 4-2, players in the clubhouse said having their ace back was
an incentive and the pitching staff reiterated that Santana made it competitive to
go that extra mile on the mound.

However the Mets bats have not been very active these past two games against
the Nationals. Washington took two of the three games and New York was limited
to three hits in the Wednesday afternoon game, attributed to their highly touted
23-year old starter Stephen Strasburg.

He threw over 100 pitches and was able to get out of two-out one out jam in
the sixth inning. One of the outs was a pitch that was questionable to Bay which
appeared to be a ball on the replay.

“He never says a word and when he is angered there is an issue,” said Collins
about the pitch to Bay. “I went out there to protect him,” added Collins as to what
caused his first ejection of the season.

Bay, batting fourth, was subjected to constant boos from the Citi Field crowds this
week when he came to bat. One of the high salaried players left on a Mets team
payroll, that has been reduced, was not productive last season. In the six games
Bay was 3-for19, in 19 at bats.

“I have been facing pretty good pitching the past couple of days,” said Bay who
did not address the issue about the controversial pitch. “It’s a matter of building
on it. I feel I have had some pretty good at bats.”

However, Collins is concerned that good pitching from Santana did not come with
runs from his offense. Ike Davis, who sat down the night before was back in the
lineup and a single off Strasburg in the sixth ended a 0-for-18 start. And the Mets
may not see David Wright for the next few games as they head to Philadelphia
and Atlanta.

Wright is scheduled to see a hand specialist in New York on the off day Thursday
to further determine his condition of a small fracture in the fifth finger of his
right hand. Wright was wearing a splint Wednesday in the clubhouse and said he
hopes to be back in the lineup Friday when the Mets open a three-game series in

Notes: Collins said about the lack of hitting: “We took some good pitches down
the middle the last two innings and you can’t do that.” On the bullpen that issued
ten walks, the first since May 9 of 2010 against San Francisco, he said “We didn’t
pitch well today. Lucky we did not lose by ten runs.”

The Mets went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and are 9-for-54 in their
first six games….Ruben Tejada went 1-for-4 and the last four games is 7-for-15
and was at the top of the league in the category coming into the game….Santana
and the pen struck out 10, the fourth consecutive game Mets pitchers have had
double strikeouts which was last done June 10-June 13 , 2008.

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This post is sponsored in part by Bay Club Bayside & Forest Hills Rentals

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


New York – Ross Detwiler had a shaky first inning on the mound for the Washington Nationals Tuesday night at Citi Field. The New York Mets had two runners on with no outs. But in his first start of the season, Detwiler got out of a jam. From there the Mets had to play catch up baseball and at times it resembled so much of what went wrong last season.

After that inning, Detwiler retired his final 13 batters and the Nationals would go on to a 6-2 win handing New York their first loss of the season. The Mets did not resemble a team that won their first four games, their best start since the 2007 season, and were one of four teams with a perfect record to start the season. They were denied their first 5-0 start since 1985.

Detwiler (1-0) would throw five scoreless innings and allowed two hits as the Nationals evened the three game series that concludes Wednesday afternoon.
Mets manager Terry Collins had to revamp the starting lineup. Ike Davis, hitless in four games sat down and Justin

Turner got the start at first base. Davis would pinch hit with two on and two outs in the seventh and struck out.
More importantly, Ronny Cedeño got the start at third for David Wright who sustained a jammed fifth finger of his right hand in the Mets win Monday evening. An X-Ray revealed a small fracture at the middle joint of the finger.

“This is a non-operative surgery,” said a statement released by the team regarding the injury to Wright. Last season he was on the disabled list with a lower back stress fracture that caused him to miss action from mid May to late July. Thursday, in their Opening Day win, outfielder Andrés Torres was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left calf.

The statement went on to say about Wright, “The finger will be splinted and reevaluated tomorrow,” meaning prior to the finale Wednesday a determination will be made about Wright. The statement went on to say, “David can return to baseball activity as tolerated.”

“I couldn’t grip a ball today,” said Wright who went 7-for 12 in the first four games.”It’s always frustrating to miss time. Kinds of breaks up the momentum we had.”

Dillon Gee, who led the Mets in wins last season with 13, got his first start. He allowed four runs, which three were earned in 5 1-3 innings, striking out six and walked one. A booted ball by Daniel Murphy led to an error that helped the Nationals score three runs in the sixth inning.

Gee (0-1) was undefeated in five career starts against Washington. He would also give up a home run to Ian Desmond leading off the game. “Thought he threw the ball good,” said Collins about his starter. “If we make some good plays behind him he leaves with a good outing.”

The Nationals banged out 13 hits off Gee, Bobby Parnell, and Miguel Batista.

The finale Wednesday brings a good pitching matchup. Johan Santana, who threw five scoreless innings in the Opening Day assignment and got a no decision, opposes touted right hander Stephen Strasburg, making his first start for Washington.

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This post is provided in part by Great Neck Rentals & Five Towns Real Estate

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Mets Three Game Opening Season Sweep Over Braves Brings Another Perspective

New York – A prevailing mood in the New York Mets clubhouse is that they can win and have an impact in the National League East. And after completing a three-game sweep Sunday afternoon at Citi Field over the division rival Atlanta Braves, 7-5, there is every reason to put things in another perspective.

Winning ballgames, and more than the experts predicted has put a different perspective on what is expected to be another dismal season in Flushing. This was the first time in a 50 –year history of the club when a Mets team started the season with a three- game sweep over a division rival.

At 3-0, and with the cross- town Yankees off to a 0-3 start, this is something the organization is hoping will regenerate some interest. More so, if the wins can continue in the next three games at home with the Washington Nationals, getting a good start out of the gate is what will convince fans that this may not be dismal as was expected.

“This means everything,” said Manager Terry Collins when asked about the three games against Atlanta that saw his team pitch effectively, use the long ball, and also get the timely hit. “We’ve done a lot of talk in spring training about getting ready to compete. I told those guys in the first meeting ‘you’re professional baseball players and there are expectations in this town and in this clubhouse.’”

Numerous times last season, his first, Collins reiterated about expectation but the message did not carry into wins. A second half finish saw New York finish fourth in the division with 77 wins, and then losing Jose Reyes to free agency, now with the Miami Marlins, made the outlook look more dismal for 2012.

However, Reyes, for the moment has quickly not been a topic at Citi Field. His replacement, 22-year old shortstop Ruben Tejada, had a career day Sunday with a career high four hits with two doubles, driving in two runs.

“We have to keep working hard every day,” commented Tejada. “We play hard and together as a team,” he said.

And that was a prevailing attitude of this Mets team after the season opening series sweep Sunday afternoon. They believe in themselves as a team and despite what the prognosticators say, they have no intention of making this a dismal season.

And if the Mets get good starting pitching, as they did Sunday from Jonathon Niese, Saturday from R.A. Dickey, and in the opener Thursday, five strong innings from Johan Santana, well this could become a special season. But will the pitching stay consistent? Can Mike Pelfrey and Dillon Gee, who start the first two games with the Nationals Monday and Tuesday, be just as good?

“You can’t ask for better than that,” said Collins about the starts that have put the Mets at 3-0 for the first time since 2007 when they won their first four. “We saw that in spring training even though our starters did not go deep. We like our rotation,” he said also referring to Gee and Pelfrey.

Niese, in particular, who signed a long term contract Saturday, struggled often last year. At times there were doubts he could be a quality starting pitcher. The return of Santana has inspired the pitching staff, and according to guys in the clubhouse the entire roster.

“They want to compete and do what he does,” said Collins. “He creates a great atmosphere. It spreads.

Niese flirted with a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Freddie Freeman singled to right field with no outs. He would allow four runs, two earned, seven strikeouts and two walks. He lasted two more batters after the hit by Freeman. Atlanta scored four runs in the seventh. Lucas Duda lost a ball in the sun, and Jason Howard had a two-run double.

“It would have been hard to take me out,” said Niese who had a 93 mile fastball and control that was rare last season. The Mets after 7,911 games still remain one of four teams in baseball that have never had a no-hitter pitched. “We have a staff that likes to compete with each other and that is a good thing,” said Niese.

And this start has also been attributed to a revamped bullpen. Frank Francisco closed his third consecutive game becoming the first player in franchise history to save his first three games. Prior to a Brian McCann home run in the eighth inning it was the first Mets run surrendered by the pen. In three games the pen has allowed one earned run in 10.0 innings.

“We have to pitch,” said Collins. “We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have a long way to go. All we want to do is stay competitive.”

They have come out of the gate with this good start. That is what every Mets fan needed to see, and this team believes it will continue. David Wright is hitting with authority and showing signs of his old self. Daniel Murphy picked up a couple of hits and two RBI, including a two-run double in the three-run Mets sixth.

Now they need Ike Davis to get it going as well as Jason Bay, two silent bats in the first three games. But they feel like everyone else in the Mets clubhouse. It will come.

“I’m just a little off right now, I’m not worried,” said Davis. His feeling is the hits will come and go five for his next ten, and there will be no reason for concern. “It’s only three games,” he says about going hitless in his first eleven times at the plate.

Last season that would have been a concern. But for now, with the three- game sweep coming out of the gate, there is not one player in that Mets clubhouse who will think otherwise. Winning and a different perspective of what they are capable of doing is here to stay,

Jose Thole the rookie catcher said in that clubhouse Sunday, “We have a team that can win and we will continue to do it.” And for the first three games the Mets have certainly proved they can be competitive.

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This post is sponsored in part by Bay Club & Forest Hills Apartments