Sports suffers through another week of bad play and low standards

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By Susan Comstock

Not too long ago, I was summoned to a municipal building for jury duty. At the entrance was a double door with a sign pasted on the one on the left. It read, “All persons must enter through the other door.” An arrow pointed to the right-side door.

“All persons …” Hmmm.

I then imagined a cat and a dog reading that sign. The dog says to the cat, “I don’t think this applies to us.”

Yep, the sign was designed only for people to read.

The last week or so reminded me of that sign. They were loaded with the preposterously senseless.

During the Jets-Browns Hall of Fame exhibition game last week on NBC, a WNBC-Ch. 4 promo appeared for the Giants-Lions game this Friday, the first preseason contest for both teams.

The narrator, apparently working off a script written and approved by morons or those who consider viewers to be morons, declared,“Brace yourself for an epic showdown!” Seriously.

This past Saturday, Giancarlo Stanton surpassed even his minimal standard, slowing from his usual jog to a walk in order to be tagged out at home.

A jogging Giancarlo Stanton is easily thrown out at the plate while jogging during a recent Yankees' game against the Astros.
A jogging Giancarlo Stanton is easily thrown out at the plate while jogging during a recent Yankees’ game against the Astros.
Robert Sabo for NY Post

When Stanton was signed by the Yankees for a then-record $218 million, he’d already established himself as a conspicuous laggard with the Marlins. If I knew, why didn’t the Yankees? Or didn’t they care?

With Miami in 2016, he wrecked his groin and helped end the club’s postseason chances when he jogged to first then, realizing his fly to right had been dropped, tried to make second with an awkward, stumbling slide.

But why learn from that? He remains a one-trick, home run-or-nothing $218 million pony. And he’s so fragile — that’s the alibi that comes attached to Stanton’s disinclination to play fundamentally winning baseball — that the next day manager Aaron Boone started him in right field! Not such a great look.

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Boone, the pandering minimalist who only gets tough with umpires, even conceded that Stanton’s capitulation between third and home “Wasn’t a great look,” bringing to mind former Mets executive Sandy Alderson’s take on Yoenis Cespedes playing golf while on the disabled list as creating “a bad optic.”

Yankees Giancarlo Stanton is staged out last home to end the third inning at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, Saturday, August 05, 2023.
Yankees Giancarlo Stanton is tagged out last home to end the third inning at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023.

By the way, Boone’s tantrum in the face of home plate ump Laz Diaz, Monday against the White Sox, wasn’t supported by what I witnessed, watching every pitch, both live and on DVR. An examination showed the Yankees to be beneficiaries of at least as many close calls as Chicago. In fact, the White Sox walked eight Yankees while they walked only two Chicago batters.

The Yankees telecast on YES last Saturday was, from the fifth inning until the end, the best of the season. But for only the wrong reason.

“Technical difficulties” erased the all-game presence of that wildly inaccurate and distracting computerized strike zone pitch box, providing viewers a rare clear view of live baseball. Imagine that. Never have more of this column’s readers and responders rejoiced over the failure of advanced technology.

Aaron Boone's ejection-worthy rant toward umpire Laz Diaz during the Yankees-White Sox series was unwarranted, according to The Post's Phil Mushnick.
Aaron Boone’s ejection-worthy rant toward umpire Laz Diaz during the Yankees-White Sox series was unwarranted, according to The Post’s Phil Mushnick.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Wednesday in Las Vegas, two NFL events occurred.

Henry Ruggs III, a Raiders receiver out of the University of Alabama and the 12th overall pick in the 2020 draft, was sentenced to three-to-10 years for the vehicular homicide of 23-year-old Tina Tintor, she and her dog killed in the early morning when Ruggs slammed his Corvette into her car in November 2021 while he drove drunk at an estimated 156 mph.

Also, Wednesday in Vegas, the Raiders introduced “Woodson Bourbon Whiskey” (named after ex-Oakland Raiders star Charles Woodson) as the “Official Bourbon of the Las Vegas Raiders.”

I’m not twisted enough to make this stuff up.

This week also included a revisionist, wishfully blind media defense of the U.S. women’s World Cup team, which, during the last two Cups, has proven to be a coterie of obnoxious, classless, foul-mouthed, opponent-mocking, self-entitled, showboaters and bullies with a conspicuous disdain for their country.

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Yet, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Thus, in editorials, one carried on the front page of the Star-Ledger, New Jersey’s largest newspaper, and even in an editorial cartoon, those who grew disgusted by this team — and that’s just about everyone with a sense of right from wrong — were painted as likely right-wing homophobes and Trumpers, as if not supporting a collection of ungrateful brats qualifies you as a radical, right-wing bigot unable to make value judgments based on applied civility and a good sense of good sportsmanship.

As reader Patrick Passaretti, political affiliation unknown, put it, “How can America like the team when they don’t like America?”

But believe what you will.

In explaining why the NFL has sold team logos to appear within casino slot machines, Joe Ruggiero, VP of NFL consumer products said, “The unveiling of the first NFL-themed slot machines represents an opportunity to bring the League closer to our fans in a new area.”

Yep, as Roger “PSLs Are Good Investments” Goodell said, “It’s all about our fans.” Will NFL players be suspended for playing NFL slot machines?

But let’s cut this short. Time we began to brace ourselves for that NFL epic showdown on Ch. 4.

Hypocrisy at ESPN knows no bounds

A bunch of readers have asked why ESPN hasn’t condemned Giants DT A’Shawn Robinson as a racist for referring to some opponents as “gorillas.” Reader Joseph Napoleone: “Oh, wait. After I thought more about it I’m positive he meant ‘guerillas.’ My apologies, A’Shawn.”

Giants defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson
Giants defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson.

Reader Don Reed notes that first it was players, and now entire universities have entered transfer portals.

The commercially sponsored “Keys to the Game” for the Yankees on Saturday against the Astros were 1) “Zeros” — prevent the Astros from scoring. 2) “Ways To Score” — find ways to score. 3) “Bullpen” — must be effective. Well, alrighty then.

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I’ll never understand how, since 1989, John Sterling has preached, “You never know in baseball” yet continues to say, “A hit here scores the runner from second.” How does he know what he never knows?

Comeback Player of the Year? How about Gary Sanchez? With the Padres, as of yesterday, he was batting a robust .220 with only 25 percent strikeouts, 45 in 177 at bats.

Nike keeps showing true colors with black uniforms

Imagine purchasing tickets to the Yankees-White Sox game Tuesday only to watch six pitchers record 54 outs on 30 strikeouts.

But customers did get to witness Chicago’s black Nike uniforms that were first unveiled in 2021, those with “Southside” rather than White Sox across the front.

Dylan Cease and his White Sox teammates' Southside uniforms are an example of a professional team pandering to gang culture, The Post's Phil Mushnick writes.
Dylan Cease and his White Sox teammates’ Southside uniforms are an example of a professional team pandering to gang culture, The Post’s Phil Mushnick writes.
USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Yep, gang wear sales on Chicago’s crime-infested South Side have been sagging, perhaps because of a drop in customers due to gang-on-gang murders.

Incidentally, the University of Florida football team, for years a steady producer of young criminals, has added a Jordan/Nike black uniform. What kept them?

But it’s all just a coincidence.

FS1’s Colin Cowherd remains a bad joke among sports TV’s bad jokes. Tuesday he and his minions prepared a large graphic listing QBs who can’t win this season’s Super Bowl — as if QBs win games all by themselves.

Cowherd did get one QB incontrovertibly correct: Dwayne Haskins. He was killed last year when hit by a truck.

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