Friday, June 30, 2023

Mets Complete June Swoon With Giant Letdown

Patrick Bailey shaking Joc Pederson's hand, with Wilmer Flores nearby, after his three-run home run in the eighth inning. Photo by Jason Schott.


The Mets ended June with a heartbreaking loss to the San Francisco Giants, 5-4, as Patrick Bailey hit a game-winning three-run home run in the eighth to complete the comeback win.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

36-45: Where Mets Stand After Dropping Series To Brewers

Victor Caratini touching the plate on his sixth-inning home run, as Max Scherzer approaches the mind. Photo by Jason Schott.


THAT IS THE METS' RECORD at the halfway point of the season after a 3-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday night at Citi Field. They are nine games out of the final Wild Card spot, and 17 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East behind the Atlanta Braves.

Domingo German Throws Perfect Game, Joins Elite Yankees Club

Domingo German celebrating with his teammates after achieving the feat. @Yankees.

Domingo German joined one of the most elite clubs in Yankees and baseball history on Wednesday night when he threw a perfect game against the Oakland Athletics.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Cohen Has Confidence In Mets, Says "It's on the players" To "get their act together"

Citi Field, the home of the Mets. Photo by Jason Schott.

Mets Owner Steve Cohen gave a vote of confidence to the players, Manager Buck Showalter, and General Manager Billy Eppler in a wide-ranging press conference on Wednesday afternoon, which he gave 24 hours of anticipation to when he called it the day before.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Peterson Returns In Style, Mets' Offense Erupts To Beat Brewers

David Peterson throwing one by Willy Adames in the first inning on Wednesday night. Photo by Jason Schott.

David Peterson threw six shutout innings in his best outing of the season as the Mets rolled to a  7-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Absence of Proof Mocktail Experience This Weekend

The Absence of Proof Mocktail Experience will be held at Mets games this Thursday, June 29, through Sunday, July 2, in the Piazza Club on the Excelsior level.

Brewers Can't Get One Off Verlander, But Still Vanquish Mets


Mets pitcher Justin Verlander firing one in to Milwaukee's Christian Yelich in the second inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

Justin Verlander battled his way through five innings, but as soon as he exited, the Milwaukee Brewers got a two-run home run from Joey Wiemer, which was enough to give them a 2-1 win over the Mets at Citi Field on Monday night.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Books: "My Hijacking" By Martha Hodes


My Hijacking: A Personal History of Forgetting and Remembering

By Martha Hodes

Harper Collins Publishers/Harper Books; hardcover, 384 pages; $32.00

Martha Hodes is a professor of history at New York University, and she is the author of the award-winning books Mourning Lincoln; The Sea Captain's Wife: A True Story of Love, Race, and War in the Nineteenth Century; and White Women, Black Men: Illicit Sex is the Nineteenth-Century South. She has presented her scholarship around the world and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, the Charles Warren Center at Harvard University, the Whiting Foundation, and the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library.

In her new book, My Hijacking, Hodes writes a personal history, as he goes back fifty years to tell the story of being a passenger on a hijacked airliner in 1970. It is a personal look at the fallibilities of memory and the lingering impact of trauma.

Hodes, who was 12 years old at the time, and her 13-year-old sister, Catherine, were flying unaccompanied back to New York City from Israel on September 6, 1970, when their plane was hijacked by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. They forced the place to be landed in the Jordanian desert, and the passengers, including Martha and her sister were hostages for six days and nights.

One of the ways Hodes coped with this harrowing incident was to suppress her fear and anxiety, as she was too young to understand the sheer gravity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

That has left her memories of being a hostage hazy and scattered, and has led her to ask herself, was it the passage of time, or that her family couldn't endure the full story, or has trauma made her repress such an intense life-or-death experience? 

As a professional historian, Hodes wanted to find out, and she began to re-create what happened to her, and what it was like for those at home desperately waiting for her to return. She drew on deep archival research childhood memories, and conversations, with relatives, friends, and fellow hostages to accomplish it.

The hostages were thrown together in a stifling jetliner, and they experienced many things over those six days, as they forged friendships, provoked conflicts, and created distractions. 

Hodes, along with her sister, also learned about the lives and causes of their captors, some of them kind, some frightening, as they pondered a deadly divide that continues today. This led her to come to a deeper, full understanding of both what happened in the Jordan desert in 1970 and her own fractured family and childhood sorrows.

In this excerpt, Hodes writes about the hijacking and what brought memories of it back to the forefront: "We were flying from Tel Aviv to New York on a September day in 1970. I had turned twelve in June, Cathering would turn fourteen in December. We were flying alone because our mother lived in Israel and our father lived in America.

We boarded at six o'clock in the morning, but instead of landing in New York that evening, we ended up as hostages in the Jordan desert. Our plane was one among several hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, in the most spectacular episode of air piracy the world had yet seen. My sister and I were among those held inside the plane for six nights and six days. After we came home, there was no debriefing by the authorities. No teacher sent us to a school guidance counselor, and no one took us to a therapist. Our parents never told us what it was like for them. My best friend wanted to know everything, but I didn't want to talk about it.

I kept on flying, shrugging off my unease. My sister and I went back to Israel the next summer. In high school, I flew to Poland on a choral tour. In college, I flew to London to begin a five-month solo backpacking trip. I flew to Paris and Rome during graduate school to visit friends, and to Madrid to join my mother on tour with a dance company. When I got a job in California, I flew back and forth to New York several times a year. When I got a job back in New York, I flew often to Los Angeles to visit my in-laws. Researching books and delivering lectures, I flew around the United States, to the Caribbean, Great Britain, Europe, Australia.

Then came 9/11. Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was the first day of school at New York University, where I was starting my eighth year as a professor. I loved teaching nineteenth-century US history, opening up past worlds for my students and introducing them to the art and craft of historical research: formulating the best questions, considering multiple experiences and points of view, scrutinizing the evidence both critically and with empathy. I wondered that morning whether the students in my 9:30 class would care about our studies, whether the group would be lively or dull. Just before I left my apartment, an enormous boom shook the building. Startled, I nonetheless dismissed the sound as the backfiring of an outsize truck. On the street, I joined a knot of people facing south, heads upturned. Smoke flowed from the upper floors of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, and within moments an orange ball of fire burst from the South Tower. Someone said, 'Now we know it wasn't an accident.'

Uncomprehending, I proceeded to class. Everyone on my attendance roster showed up and sat in the chairs I'd arranged in a semicircle. As if in a trance, I began to go over the syllabus. My seminar that semester was called Travel and Travelers in American History, and I told the students that we would study the experiences and observations of travelers both within and beyond the United States. The students followed along, obedient in their own states of stupor, until an hour later someone opened the door of our windowless classroom to say that both towers had fallen. Class dismissed, we climbed out of the West Fourth Street basement and emerged into a world transformed.

A month later, I was on my way to the University of Michigan to give a lecture. I alerted my host that I reserved the right to turn around on the jetway if I couldn't bring myself to board the plane, a warning she accepted without question. There was no need to reveal anything more, since in October 2001 people all over the world were afraid to fly. Soon after takeoff, passengers peered out the windows at the gaping hole in the ground. Some cried quietly, others prayed visibly. For the first time in thirty years, other people were acting the way I always felt on airplanes. That's when memories of the hijacking began to intrude.

Still more years passed, in which I wrote books and articles about other people's lives, often in one way or another about grief and loss. then, nearly forty-five years after our return from the desert, I broached the subject with my sister. Close as we had been as children, Catherine and I often struggled as grown-ups to maintain the intimacy that helped us survive back then. Did the hijacking have anything to do with that? Catherine hadn't thought about it 'for years and years,' she told me, 'almost as if it was insignificant or didn't happen,' but after 9/11 she too had found herself thinking and talking about it more than in all the years before. Sometimes when she did, she would shake or have trouble breathing.

That's when I realized how little I remembered. Right away, I wrote down everything I could conjure. My memories were murky, and there wasn't much. My hastily recorded impressions felt haphazard and jumbled, confusing and chaotic.

When I thought about what happened in the air, fragmented images come to mind. Sitting by the window, Catherine in the middle seat. Two people running up the aisle, shouting. The old lady in our row crying out, 'My pills! My pills!' Catherine helping her find the bottle in her purse. Watching out the window as the plane reversed course. A stewardess moving Catherine and me to first class, where we fell asleep in the big seats. An announcement coming over the loudspeaker about our new captain, about putting our hands behind our heads, and about landing in a friendly country. The copilot coming out of the cockpit with his hands up and a gun at his neck.

When I thought about landing in the desert, I saw hazy pictures and heard faint voices. Someone apologizing to us. A Palestinian doctor walking down the aisle, a nice, smiling man. The copilot telling us that our captors promised 'no bodily harm.' Watching our captors carrying dynamite onto the plane.

Of the first day in the desert, I could call up only a single disconnected picture. At daylight, some passengers leaving. A woman wearing a sari walking up the aisle, carrying her suitcase."

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Boone Reflects On Yankees Being First To Play In London & Field of Dreams Games

Yankee Stadium. Photo by Jason Schott.

The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs will be playing in London this weekend, the first time Major League Baseball has played games across the pond since the Yankees took on the Boston Red Sox in 2019.

Friday, June 23, 2023

First-Place Texas Takes Opener Of Weekend Series From Yankees

Dale Dunning throwing a strike past Giancarlo Stanton in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees lost a heartbreaker to the Texas Rangers, 4-2, in 10 innings, on Friday night at Yankee Stadium to open their three-game weekend series. The Yankees, who began the homestand by taking two of three from Seattle, fell to 41-35.

Books: James Bond Edition

JAMES BOND, Special Agent 007, is one of the most recognizable characters in both literature, as the subject of twelve novels, and as the face of one of the most successful movie franchises in history. 

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Books: "Churchill's Shadow" By Geoffrey Wheatcroft


Churchill's Shadow: The Life and Afterlife of Winston Churchill

By Geoffrey Wheatcroft

Norton; paperback, 656 pages; $22.00

Geoffrey Wheatcroft is an English journalist who was the former literary editor of the Spectator, and he writes frequently for the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and the New Republic. He is also the author of several books, including The Randlords, which was a History Book Club Choice, and The Controversy of Zion, a winner of a Jewish National Book Award.

Books: "Woke Up This Morning” By Michael Imperioli & Steve Schirripa


Woke Up This Morning: The Definitive Oral History of The Sopranos

By Michael Imperioli & Steve Schirripa, with Philip Lerman

William Morrow Paperbacks; paperback, 528 pages; $22.99

Michael Imperioli and Steve Schirripa will always be known for the characters they played on the Sopranos, Christopher Moltisanti and Bobby Bacala, which ran from 1999 to 2005. Presently, Imperioli can be seen on the Emmy-winning series The White Lotus, and he also is the author of the acclaimed novel The Perfume Burned His Eyes and the short story "YASIRI." Schirripa has played Detective Anthony Abetemarco on the revered CBS hit series Blue Bloods, and he is the New York Times bestselling author of several books, including A Goomba's Guide to Life and the young adult novel Nicky Deuce: Welcome to the Family. For the record, Imperioli also appeared on Blue Bloods in 2016 in a three-episode arc as Robert Lewis.

Books: "Alexandra Petri's US HIstory: Important American Documents (I Made Up)"

Alexandra Petri's US History: Important American Documents (I Made Up)

By Alexandra Petri

Norton; hardcover; $27.95

Alexandra Petri is a humorist and columnist for the Washington Post, and the author of Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why, which was a Thurber Prize finalist, and A Field Guide to Awkward Silence. Her satire has appeared in McSweeney's and the New Yorker's Daily Shouts and Murmurs.

Yankees Honor Fifth-Annual Yankees-Stonewall Scholarship Recipients

Yankees Senior V.P. and General Manager Brian Cashman (left) with recipients of the Yankees-Stonewall Scholarships and NYC Department of Education officials on Wednesday night. Provided by New York Yankees.

On Wednesday night, the Yankees celebrated New York's Legacy of Pride, and in a pregame ceremony before their 4-2 win over Seattle, they recognized the recipients of the fifth-annual Yankees-Stonewall Scholarship Initiative. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Books: "Koresh" By Stephan Talty; A New Look At The Siege At Waco

Koresh: The True Story of David Koresh and the Tragedy at Waco

By Stephan Talty

Mariner Books; hardcover, 464 pages; $30.00

Stephan Talty is the New York Times bestselling author of The Black Hand, The Good Assassin, Agent Garbo, and A Captain's Duty. His books have been made into two films, the Oscar-winning Captain Phillips, which starred Tom Hanks, and Only the Brave.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Cole Cruises To Another Win, As Yankees Lineup Gets Boost From Bader’s Return

Gerrit Cole firing one in against Jerred Kelenic in the second inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees got another superb outing from their ace, Gerrit Cole on Tuesday night, as he pitched into the eighth inning of their 3-1 win over the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Books: Chris Paul's Tribute To His Papa, "Sixty-One"

Sixty-One: Life Lessons from Papa, On and Off the Court

By Chris Paul with Michael Wilbon

St. Martin's Press; hardcover, 256 pages; $29.99; available Tuesday, June 20th

Chris Paul is one of the most recognizable stars in the NBA, as he is a 10-time All-Star and led the Phoenix Suns to the NBA Finals in 2021. The Winston, Salem, North Carolina, native is also a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. He has served as the President of the National Basketball Players Association since 2013, and off the court, he is a father, husband, entrepreneur, activist, and philanthropist.

Michael Wilbon is one of the most recognizable personalities covering the NBA, as well as the co-host of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption and the co-author of two books with Charles Barkley that became New York Times bestsellers.

Sixty-One is Paul's powerful memoir about fatherhood, community, faith, and work ethic, as well a tribute to his grandfather, Nathaniel "Papa" Jones, who was a pillar of the Winston-Salem community, where he owned and operated the first black-owned service station in North Carolina and helped mold Paul into the man and father he is today. 

Paul was raised by his mother and father in a loving and strong home environment, and the Dreamland Baptist Church played a role in his foundation of faith and family. He reflects on the lessons he learned from coaches such as the late Skip Prosser, his college coach, as well as other professional superstars. Coach Prosser emphasized the value of academics while Paul played at Wake Forest University, and he saw that Paul was more than just a basketball player, that he was a person who loved his community.

Most important to Paul is the significance of family, how his success as a husband and father is a result of family lessons he experienced as a young man, what it means to be a positive light within your community and beyond, and how vital and rewarding it can be to set a proper example for future generations.

Paul was a standout basketball player from a young age, and he signed his letter of intent to play college basketball for Wake Forest. The next day, he received a crushing phone call that informed him that his grandfather was robbed and assaulted and ultimately died from a resulting heart attack on the scene.

Papa was 61 years old, and after his funeral, Paul coped as best he knew at such a young age, by playing basketball for his high school team in their season opener. He was on fire to start, and when he racked up 59 points, he took one more shot and made it. He was fouled and had one free throw coming up. With his team well ahead, Paul's foul shot was an airball, which he did on purpose, before exiting the game. 

Paul accomplished what he set out to do as a tribute to his grandfather, and that was to score 61 points, one for each year of the life he lived.

In this excerpt, Paul writes about what he remembers most about his grandfather: 



Now, listen, I can guarantee you one thing: my Papa had the dirtiest hands you'd ever seen in your life.

The tips of his fingernails all the way down to the ends of his palms were stained with never-ending grease. The discoloration was earned from the years of burying his hands in the grease, oil, and filth that made up a life lived in an auto shop. Most mechanics would wear gloves, but not my granddad. With his bare hands, he would lift whole engines by himself like a gladiator and place them into the cars he fixed, cars that other garages might have written off. My real-life superhero. Papa didn't write off any cars - he could fix anything that was towed, tugged, or pushed into the shop. Those same stained hands were legendary and had as much if not more of an impact on our family and community than anything I can do on a basketball court. Those dirty hands seemed to bother CJ and me a lot more than they bothered Papa. Day in and day out, he'd soak them in a gallon-size bucket of paste-textured yellow soap and scrub them religiously, all the while knowing good and well that that soap wasn't doing a damn thing.

You remember that scene from The Original Kings of Comedy? The one where Cedric the Entertainer is doing the impression of the old guy from the neighborhood who's always talking with a cigarette hanging out the corner of his mouth? Well, that's my Papa, that is him through and through.

Even if you're too young to remember or don't know that reference, if you're from the South, you definitely know this guy. Every neighborhood had this guy. You could find him out on the block, at your local auto repair shop, or maybe in front of the Pep Boys. You pull up in a car that has a janky engine, and he comes strolling out, wiping his hands with that greasy red rag.

'Can you fix it, sir?' you nervously ask, noticing those filthy engine-fixing hands, thinking how this guy must spend his time resurrecting cars all day. 'Can you?'

'Can I fix it? Boy, I been here thirty years. Been here longer than you been alive. Of course I can fix it. Come on, now I know a carburetor problem when I see it. Bring it 'round here.'

Except it doesn't sound like it at all, because somehow he's speaking in complete sentences while smoking a Winston cigarette at the same time. It sounds something like, 'Canahfixit?' Beenherethirtyoddyearnow. Courseicanfixit. Cmonnah knowadang carburetorproblemwhen ahseeitnow. Brangitinnagrage.'

Cigarette flipping every which way as he's talking, breaking the laws of physics, smoke flying all around his head, ashes falling onto the ground. That was my grandfather. That was Papa to a tee, and I loved every bit of it.

My grandfather, Nathanial Frederick Jones, Papa, or Chilly, as he was called, was always unapologetically himself, and we loved him for that. Why Chilly? Well, he was the sixth and exact middle child of eleven and his mom always used to call him 'Sugar.' One of his brothers, Odell, couldn't pronounce 'Sugar' so he called Papa 'Shilly.' Later when he married my grandma Rachel, she had a hard time pronouncing 'Shilly' so it turned into 'Chilly' and that one stuck.

Papa was born and raised in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and was always proud to let you know. At six feet two inches, he wasn't a giant; however, he had a spirit fit for a man that stands taller than ten feet. It showed every time he would walk into a room, giving contagious energy with his magnetic smile, his funny stories - he just had such presence. Everyone knew or wanted to know Papa, and so many people relied on him.

I recall countless occasions where family, friends, or community members rolled up on him like, 'Mr. Jones, I need some help.' and it didn't matter if it involved money for an electric bill, to buy some clothes, to get some food, or whatever they needed to get by - Papa was there. He'd dig those generous hands deep into his pockets, pull out a wad of cash, gladly peeling the person's problem away, bill by bill. Papa didn't ask to be paid back or ask you to listen to a lecture before helping, and he wanted nothing in return. He thought it was a blessing to be a blessing."

Books: "The Big Break" By Ben Terris

The Big Break: The Gamblers, Party Animals and True Believers Trying to Win in Washington While America Loses Its Mind

By Ben Terris

Twelve; hardcover, 352 pages; $30.00

Ben Terris is a writer in the renowned Style section The Washington Post, with a focus on national politics. In his new book, The Big Break, he investigates how Washington works in a post-President Donald Trump American government, as he uncovers the odd and eccentric personalities grappling for their own bit of power in Washington.

Sunday, June 18, 2023

Mets Comeback Against Cardinals Falls Short

Pete Alonso twisted in front of the plate after he struck out in the seventh inning. Photo by Jason Schott.


The Mets lost a heartbreaker, 8-7, to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday afternoon at Citi Field, as Nolan Arenado had two home runs, including the game-winner in the ninth. 

After their crispest win of the season on Friday night, the Mets lost, 5-3, on Saturday, and this one-run game today, in which they battled back from an early deficit to tie it before losing it late.

The Mets are now 33-38, and they missed out on a golden opportunity against possibly the most-disappointing team in baseball, the Cardinals, who entered this weekend with a record of 27-42. 

Now, the Mets hit the road for a crucial six-game road trip against the two teams who were in the World Series last season - three in Houston against the champion Astros (39-32) from Monday-Wednesday, and then three next weekend in Philadelphia, as they take on a National League pennant winner that's now 38-34, and has won 13 of 16 since they were swept by the Mets on June 1. (for comparison, the Mets since then are 3-11)

The Mets got one bit of good news before the game, as they activated first baseman Pete Alonso off the injured list. Alonso was recuperating from a wrist injury after he was hit by a pitch in Atlanta on June 7. It was not a happy homecoming, as he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, and committed an error in the seventh inning.

The start of this game was not much of a surprise based on the pitching matchup, as the Mets' Carlos Carrasco entered with a record of 2-3 with a 5.71 earned run average (ERA), while St. Louis' Matthew Liberatore was 1-2 with a 5.14 ERA coming into it.

In the top of the first, Brendan Donovan opened with a double, and then with one out, Arenado launched one way back into the stands in left field for a two-run home run.

Nolan Arenado pointing to the sky after his home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets got one back in the bottom of the first when Francisco Lindor also hit one deep into the left field seats for his 13th homer of the season.

Then, in the second, the Mets' defense betrayed Carrasco, as Eduardo Escobar, in what is now a rare outing at third base, made a wild throw on a routine grounder from Andrew Knizner, allowing him to reach with one out.

That opened the floodgates, as Tommy Edman singled, and then Donovan got an RBI single, followed by a two-run double from Paul Goldschmidt that brought them in, with Donovan running through home plate like he was completing a race. 

Brendan Donovan running through home plate to score in the second inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

That made it 5-1 Cardinals, but Carrasco managed to strike out Arenado and Nolan Gorman to get out of the inning.

Liberatore retired the first two Mets hitters to open the second, and then he hit Jeff McNeil with a pitch. Escobar then launched one to the warning track in center field, and Edman got leather on it, but couldn't corral it.

Escobar raced to third base on what was ruled a triple, and McNeil scored. Mark Canha, who was hitting ninth in this one, drew a walk.

Then, Brandon Nimmo laced one into the left field corner to bring in Escobar and Canha and cut the Cards' lead to 5-4, but he was thrown out at third base trying to stretch it into a triple. It was a perfect relay from left fielder Jordan Walker to shortstop Paul DeJong, the cutoff man, who fired it to Arenado with plenty of time.

Brandon Nimmo being thrown out at third base in the second inning, as Nolan Arenado received the throw and applied the tag. Two photos by Jason Schott.

St. Louis got one of those runs back in the third, as DeJong blasted one of the facade of the second deck in left field to make it 6-4.

Carrasco came out for the fourth inning, and he walked the first batter, Edman (9th in the Cards' lineup), and that was all for him. Mets Manager Buck Showalter got quite a cheer as he went to pull him, and conversely, Carrasco was showered with boos as he went to the dugout.

John Curtiss came out of the bullpen, and he allowed a single to Donovan before he got Goldschmidt to fly out to right field, followed by Arenado hitting into a double play.

Liberatore appeared to settle into this one, as he retired the Mets in order in the third, and got the first two outs in the fourth.

Then, McNeil was hit by a pitch for the second time, and once again that ignited the Mets. Escobar drew a walk, and then Canha got an RBI single to pull them within, 6-5. It was not a complete repeat of the second inning rally, as Nimmo struck out to end the frame.

The Cardinals got the run back against Curtiss in the fifth, as Jordan Walker hit one the other way to left field for a solo homer that made it 7-5. The way Walker swung on what would be his fifth homer of the season made it all the more impressive, as the torque of his body went toward the left side of the field, while he took a pitch on the outside corner to right field.

Chris Stratton entered for St. Louis in the fifth, and he allowed a one-out walk to Lindor. Alonso then struck out, but Lindor took second base on what would be strike three.

Next up was designated hitter Tommy Pham, who blasted one into the bullpen in right field for a two-run homer, and the Mets finally tied it up at 7. It was his seventh home run, to go along with 27 RBI on the season.

Tommy Pham celebrating with Brandon Nimmo after he crossed the plate on his home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

Amazingly, it stayed that way for the next few innings, as the bullpens settled things down. For the Mets, Curtiss threw 2 2/3 innings before Dominic Leone got the final out of the sixth inning, Brooks Raley worked around a walk and an Alonso error to pitch a scoreless seventh, and then David Robertson pitched a perfect eighth inning.

Instead of keeping Robertson in for the ninth after he threw all of eight pitches, then turned to Adam Ottavino (who at this point is no doubt their set-up man for the ninth.

Goldschmidt led off by flying out to right field for the first out, and Arenado, who was hitless in three at-bats since the first-inning homer, was up next. 

Incredibly, he tore into one to left field, and though it didn't go as deep, was basically the same spot as the first one. This gave him 15 homers and 48 RBI on the season.

Jordan Hicks came on to close it out, and he got Daniel Vogelbach, who pinch-hit for Canha, out on a fly ball to center field, and then after Nimmo singled, finished off the Mets by getting Starling Marte to bounce to second base for a double play. That gave Hicks the save, his second of the year.

Drew VerHagen, who pitched 1 2/3 innings in which he retired all five Mets he faced, would earn the win, which have him a record of 4-0 on the season.

Father's Day was commemorated on the scoreboard. Photo by Jason Schott.

Books: "Identity" By Nora Roberts


By Nora Roberts

St. Martin's Press; hardcover, $30.00; eBook, $14.99

Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 240 novels, including Legacy, Nightwork, The Dragon Heart Legacy Trilogy, The Chronicles of the One trilogy, and the #1 bestselling In Death series written under the pseudonym J.D. Robb.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Books: Agatha Christie's "Midsummer Mysteries"


Midsummer Mysteries

By Agatha Christie

William Morrow; paperback, $18.99; Ebook, $11.99; Digital Audio, $21.99 

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all-time, with only the Bible and Shakespeare the only things to outdo her voluminous work. She died in 1976 after a career that spanned six decades, and her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and more than a billion in 100 foreign languages.

Friday, June 16, 2023

Megill, Marte & McNeil Lead Mets To Win Over Cards To Open Weekend Series

Tylor Megill firing one in to Nolan Gorman in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.


The Mets got a great start from Tylor Megill; and Starling Marte and Jeff McNeil ignited two rallies to give them a comfortable 6-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night at Citi Field.

Thursday, June 15, 2023

St. John's Adds Simeon Wilcher, Top-30 In Class of 2023



St. John's officially added combo guard Simeon Wilcher on Thursday, and as a top-30 prospect in the Class of 2023, he is the highest rated incoming freshman the program has recruited in the past decade.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Mets Walk It Off To Earn Split Of Subway Series On Night That Began With A “Marquee Matchup”

Justin Verlander pitching to Anthony Rizzo in the second inning. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Mets earned a split of the two-game Subway Series at Citi Field on Wednesday night, as they came back from 3-1 down to beat the Yankees, 4-3, in 10 innings.

Yankees Bullpen Trio "Comfortable in any scenario and want the ball,” Boone Says

Clay Holmes firing one in against Boston's Justin Turner on Saturday night. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees’ bullpen has been a strength for as long as anyone can remember, from Goose Gossage and Sparky Lyle in the 1970s to the greatest close ever, Mariano Rivera, for nearly 20 years starting in 1995, to David Robertson, Dellin Betances, and Aroldis Chapman in recent years.

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Yankees Come Back To Take First Game Of Subway Series From Mets


Giancarlo Stanton connecting on his first-inning home run. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees, who got home runs from Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu, took the first game of the Subway Series, 7-6, over the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field, as they stormed back from a 5-1 deficit.

Stanton, who was hitting second in the Yankees lineup in this one, started it off with a bang against Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer. He crushed one to deep left, practically a line drive, for a solo home run to give the Yankees a quick 1-0 lead. It was his sixth of the season.

Just as quickly, Brandon Nimmo, on the second pitch he would see from Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino, blasted one into the Yankees' bullpen for a solo shot of his own, which was also his sixth homer of the year.

That was just the start of a long inning for Severino, as he walked Francisco Alvarez and Francisco Lindor before Brett Baty for a two-out RBI single to give the Mets a 2-1 lead.

The Mets kept it going in the second, as Mark Canha, who was hitting ninth, laced a double and Nimmo was hit by a pitch. With Alvarez up, Severino committed a balk, which moved Canha and Nimmo up to second and third base.

That forced the Yankees to bring their infield in, and Alvarez bounced one to shortstop Anthony Volpe for the second out. 

Francisco Alvarez grounding out to Anthony Volpe. Photo by Jason Schott.

Jeff McNeil was up next, and he cashed in with a two-run single to open up a 4-1 lead for the Mets.

With McNeil at first, Severino committed another balk, which moved him to second, but Lindor could not take advantage as he flew out to left field.

Then, in the bottom of the third, Starling Marte opened it up with a single, followed by a Baty walk. After Tommy Pham struck out, Luis Guillorme hit a possible double play ball to second base, but Gleyber Torres made an error, so the Mets had the bases loaded.

Canha then bounced into a groundout to bring in Marte to make it 5-1. The run was unearned, but Canha was still credited with an RBI.

Meanwhile, Scherzer sailed through the second and third innings, with the one blemish hitting Stanton with a pitch in his elbow in the third.

Anthony Rizzo led off the fourth with a single, and DJ LeMahieu followed with a shot to left, nearly where Stanton hit his back in the lower deck, for a two-run shot and the Yankees were within, 5-3.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled, and then after Billy McKinney struck out, Kyle Higashioka singled. Volpe then doubled home Kiner-Falefa and that made it 5-4 Mets.

The lineup turned over, and Jake Bauers was up with the Mets infield in. He took advantage by dunking one into right field to bring in two runs and just like that, it was 6-5 Yankees.

That chased Scherzer from the game to a chorus of boos from the Mets portion of the crowd, as the ace, once again, failed to deliver in a massive moment. 

Dominic Leone struck out Stanton to end the fifth, which made Scherzer's final line: 3 1/3 innings pitched, 7 hits, 6 runs, 6 earned run, 0 walks, 2 strikeouts.

Mets Manager Buck Showalter said of what he saw different from Scherzer in this one, "Some pitches ahead in the count he doesn't normally make. You know, I think the level of command that he's shown throughout, you know, wasn't there. He got some pitches in places and counts that he normally doesn't get them, and you know, paid a price for it. Couple of flares, but some hard-hit balls, obviously, too, but it was frustrating for him because sometimes you'll see that early with quality pitchers like him, and they kind of find their way, just couldn't quite find his step with his  command, and sometimes the depth of the slider and where it's finishing, just wasn't as good as last time out, obviously."

With a new lease on life, Severino retired the Mets 1-2-3 in the bottom of the fourth.

Luis Severino pitching to Starling Marte in the fifth. Photo by Jason Schott.

That would change in the fifth, as Baty would get a one-out base hit after a ten-pitch at-bat. Tommy Pham then grounded out, moving Baty to second base. 

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone then went out to take to Severino as Guillorme was about to come up. After about a minute of discussion, Boone elected to leave his starter in.

That decision would backfire, as Guillorme got an RBI single to tie the game at 6, and that would end Severino's night.

Rob Marinaccio came on, and he got Canha to fly out to left field to end the frame, and that completed Severino's line: 4 2/3 innings pitched, 7 hits, 6 runs, 5 earned runs, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts.

After Leone retired the Yankees 1-2-3 in the fifth, the Mets turned to left-hander Josh Walker in the sixth. McKinney opened the frame with a single, and then Volpe hit one that Nimmo was a half-step too late for, and he ended up with a double.

Josh Donaldson was then announced as the pinch-hitter for Bauers, and the Mets responded by calling in Jeff Brigham.

Donaldson did his job, as he hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring in McKinney and make it 7-6 Yankees. Stanton then hit one to right as a result of an inside-out swing to end the inning.

Marinaccio stayed on for the sixth, and he got Nimmo to fly out to the warning track in left field and Alvarez to take one to the track in right for the second out. McNeil singled and Lindor walked, and in came Jimmy Cordero for Marte, and he struck him out.

The Mets were set to bring in Drew Smith for the seventh inning, but as he approached the infield, the umpires checked his glove and hands for foreign substances, and he was immediately ejected.

Showalter was asked what explanation he got from the umpires, and he said, "His hands were too sticky, you know. There was a few other things said and everything, I think, but I'm not going there. Obviously, they thought his hands were too sticky."

Smith will face a likely 10-game suspension, just what Scherzer faced when he was ejected for the same violation in April.

The scene when Drew Smith was ejected, as Mets Manager Buck Showalter talks to the umpire (at right). Photo by Jason Schott.

John Curtiss wound up coming in for the Mets, and he retired the Yankees in order. Tommy Kahnle came on for the Yankees in the bottom half, and responded in kind.

Curtiss kept the Yankees off the board in the top of the eighth, and Wandy Peralta came on to pitch the bottom of the frame.

Canha led off with a walk, Nimmo singled, and Alvarez ground into a force out. McNeil was then hit by a pitch to load the bases, and that was all for Peralta.

The Yankees turned to their closer Clay Holmes, and he struck out Lindor on a full count, after he missed two punch-outs on the inside corner, and Marte to end the massive threat.

Michael King came on for the bottom of the ninth, and he retired the Mets in order - Baty grounded out, Pham struck out, and Guillorme lined out to center - to end it. 

Marinaccio wound up with the win, as he improved to 3-3 on the season, and King earned his fourth save of the year, while Walker took the loss for the Mets, his first decision of the season.

The Yankees improved to 39-29, while the Mets fell to 31-36, having now lost nine of their last ten games.

Boone said afterwards of the comeback win and a big night for the Yankees' offense, "It was great, you know, a little big of everyone. Big G getting us going with the big homer, Rizzo getting off the schneid to get the big inning started, DJ really sticking one there.  We some bottom-of-the-order contribution, a big pinch-hit at-bat to grab us the lead again by JD (Donaldson), I mean just little contributions up and down the lineup, so good to see everyone kind of had a hand in it."

Subway Series: First Stop At Citi Field On Tuesday Night


Photo by Jason Schott.

The first installment of this season's Subway Series starts on Tuesday night at Citi Field, as the Yankees and Mets will play two games in Queens, with the first pitch of both at 7:10 p.m. They reconvene for a pair at Yankee Stadium in six weeks, on July 25 and 26.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Books: "Dead Drop," A Handler Thriller By M.P. Woodward


Dead Drop

By M.P. Woodward

Berkley; hardcover; $28.00

M.P. Woodward is a veteran of both United States intelligence ops and the entertainment industry. As a naval intelligence officer with the US Pacific Command, he scripted scenario moves and countermoves for US war game exercises in the Middle East. In multiple deployments to the Persian Gulf and Far East, he worked alongside US Special Forces, CIA, and NSA. Most recently, Woodward led international distribution for Amazon Prime Video and launched Amazon original content in over forty countries.

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Books: "Nine Black Robes" On The Recent Changes To The Supreme Court


Nine Black Robes: Inside the Supreme Court's Drive to the Right and its Historic Consequences

By Joan Biskupic

William Morrow; hardcover; $32.99

Joan Biskupic is CNN's senior Supreme Court analyst. Previously, she served as editor in charge for legal affairs at Reuters and as the Supreme Court correspondent for the Washington Post and USA Today. She holds a law degree from Georgetown University and she is a Pulitzer Price finalist who has authored books on Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia,and Sonia Sotomayor. 

In the new, deeply-researched inside look at the Supreme Court, Nine Black Robes, Biskupic writes about the unprecented rightward turn of the Court in recent years. She demystifies a government institutionn that is the least transparent, but profoundly affects American life more than ever. The Court has been increasingly drawn into the public eye for its recent, controversial rulings, and Biskupic reveals there is an atmosphere of distrust and paranoia. 

Biskupic gives unique insights into the justices, and chronicles how the era of President Donald Trump stoked the ambitions and political inclinations of each justice. She reveals the closed-door maneuverings among the justices as they produced decisions that rolled back reproductive rights, obliterated voting rights, and scaled back environmental protections.

Even though the Court was already split among political and ideological lines before Trump took office, his many provocations and the forceful influence of his three appointees propelled the judiciary into a new era of polarization.

Some of the things Biskupic reveals in great detail is the surprising give-and-take among justices, including how they sometimes they engaged in pacts or switched votes as they worked toward majority decisions; the evolution of Chief Justice Roberts's role, as he seized more control in the early Trump years but then found himself relegated to dissent as the Court went off the rails; the conflicted double-signaling of Brett Kavanaugh; the tensions between Neil Gorsuch and the other justices; and the outside forces that shaped today's Court by planning and calculation, driven by the triumvirate of Don McGahn, who was the White House Counsel under President Trump, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (he was Majority Leader from 2015 to 2021), and Leonard Leo, the Co-Chairman of the Federalist Society.


How did the Trump era define the Court? The Trump presidency and the influence of his three appointees ended constitutional protection for abortion, obliterated voting rights, curtailed government regulatory power, and further blurred the separation of church and state. The Trump era also propelled the judiciary into a new period of polarization. The era stoked the individual justices' ambitions, their political inclinations and defenses, their strengths and flaws. Chief Justice Roberts initially was able to seize more control, based on the ideological composition of the nine, in the early Trump years, but then found himself suddenly in dissent as Amy Coney Barrett joined in late 2020.

Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first appointee, resisted Court protocols and freely derided Roberts's reasoning in opinions. Gorsuch accelerated the anti-regulatory emphasis that echoed the patterns of his mother (Anne Gorsuch Buford) who was an EPA administration in the Reagan era and worked to roll back federal environmental protections. Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's second appointee, has been torn between his allegiance to conservative backers and his desire for acceptance among the legal elites who shunned him after his scandalous 2018 Senate hearings. Thomas and Alito, holdovers from the first and second George Bush presidencies, have been emboldened by the Trump appointees, and their opinions reflect the former president's sense of aggrievement on culture war issues, from abortion rights to vaccine mandates.

What of John Roberts's new role? Roberts has long operated strategically with his colleagues. But now he is on the defensive, fighting dissension in his own right wing. His weaker hand was clear as he struggled to change the majority's view in the Dobbs abortion case (to hold off on full reversal of Roe). But it is important to emphasize that Roberts still maintains control over many issues, such as racial remedies and religious rights. That's because his views in these areas already were on the far right. Separate from the cases, Roberts is most concerned of the nine about the Court's reputation. He has been trying, but failing, to craft a formal ethics code that would cover the justices.

What insights can you share about the deal-making that goes on among justices? The justices abhor suggestions that they engage in deals of horse-trading. But I have uncovered several deals and pacts through the years, including Roberts's double-switch in the 2012 Affordable Care Act case and, in 2013, how Sonia Sotomayor's threatened dissenting opinion altered the course of a University of Texas at Austin affordable action dispute. Nine Black Robes further details how Roberts and Anthony Kennedy worked out a deal on two 2017 gay rights disputes in tandem (Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Pavan v. Smith) and then how Roberts switched positions at the Eleventh Hour to vote against the Trump administration's plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. More broadly, the book explores a paradox: that some internal deals were made precisely to avoid a look of politics. Justices turned away cases, delayed cases, or made compromises to avoid 5-4 conservative-liberal, Republican-Democratic splits. To some justices, that breached the integrity of the bench. To others, it was the only way to avoid the partisan abyss.

How did Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death in September 2020 affect the Court? Virtually every major legal issue was affected by Ginsburg's death and the succession of Barrett. This was no mere conservartive-for-a-conservative swap, as happened in 2017 with Gorsuch for Antonin Scalia or 2018 with Kavanaugh for Kennedy, The new power of six conservatives, rather than five, goes beyond a single digit. The super-majority has given the right wing a new confidence, to reconsider and overturn a half-century of rights and regulations.In a more personal glimpse of the inside activities, I reveal the lingering bitterness after exhausted aides to Ginsburg were forced to clear out the chambers, immediately after her memorial service, to make room for Barrett, who was on a Senate fast-track as a successor.

How much of a surprise was the May 2022 leak of Samuel Alito's first draft of the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade? The news was shocking in every way, in the sheer substance of what the justices apparently were about to declare and the matter in which it was disclosed. Never before had such an extensive first-draft opinion been leaked and published at such an early stage of negotiations. The draft was stridently written, an audacious dismissal of a fundamental right to abortion granted nearly a half century earlier. Alito's historical sources reached back to English law that treated a woman who undertook abortion as a "murderess." The Alito majority was also taking an exceedingly limited approach to constitutional history, declaring that until the latter part of the 20th century, there was absolutely no support in American law for a Constitutional right to abortion.

President Biden's appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson, the first Black woman justice, is certainly a notable and historic event. How is her presence likely to change the dynamics of the Court, or not? In terms of sheer votes, she is largely in line with her predecessor liberal Justice Stephen Breyer and will not significantly change bottom-line votes. But she has already made a difference in his questions from the bench and her decision to write a book about her life. The public is fascinated by this groundbreaking justice. Inside the Court, her colleagues are still shifting around her and all nine are getting their new bearings. It's a truism that with each new justice, it's a new Court.

Books: "The Art of Clear Thinking" By U.S. Air Force Combat Pilot Hasard Lee

The Art of Clear Thinking: A Stealth Fighter Pilot's Timeless Rules for Making Tough Decisions

By Hasard Lee

St. Martin's Press; 384 pages; hardcover, $29.99; EBook, $14.99

Hasard Lee is a former Air Force F-35 stealth fighter pilot who graduated from the United States Air Force Academy. After serving as Flight Commander in combat, Hasard became the Chief of F-35 Training Systems for the largest training base in the world, where he led the development of new technology and teaching methods to train future fighter pilots.

Books: "The Old Lion" By Jeff Shaara


The Old Lion: A Novel of Theodore Roosevelt

By Jeff Shaara

St. Martin's Press; hardcover; $30.00

Jeff Shaara is an award-winning New York Times, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of seventeen novels, including Rise to Rebellion and The Rising Tide, and two novels that complete his father's Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, The Killer AngelsGods and Generals and The Last Full Measure.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

German Great Again, Gleyber Ignites Offense As Yanks Beat Red Sox

Domingo German facing Justin Turner in the first inning. Photo by Jason Schott.


The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox, 3-1, in a rare Saturday night game at Yankee Stadium, as Domingo German had another great start, and Gleyber Torres and Willie Calhoun each had solo home runs to power the Bronx Bombers offense.

Books: "Starring Adele Astaire" By Eliza Knight

Starring Adele Astaire

By Eliza Knight

William Morrow; paperback; $18.99

Eliza Knight is an award-winning USA Today and internationally bestselling author. Her love of history began as a young girl when she walked through the halls of Versailles. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and Novelists, Inc., and the creator of the popular blog, History Undressed; a co-host of the History, Books & Wine podcast; and a co-host of the true-crime podcast Crime Feast.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Books: "Hitler's Aristocrats" By Susan Ronald

Hitler's Aristocrats: The Secret Power Players in Britain and America Who Supported the Nazis, 1923-1941

By Susan Ronald

St. Martin's Press; hardcover, 464 pages; $32.50

Susan Ronald is a British-American biographer and historian of more than half a dozen books, including Conde Nast, The Ambassador, A Dangerous Woman, Hitler's Art Thief, and Heretic Queen.