ESPN misses big story at end of Rangers-Hurricanes series

At this point we should be grateful for what ESPN is not. It’s not, for example and thank goodness, the Do It Yourself Invasive Surgery Channel or the Home Gas Leak Mending Network.

If ESPN didn’t know before the seven-game Rangers-Hurricanes Stanley Cup playoff series, it had to know after Game 3. And it had to remember it as its top priority come the series-concluding handshake line.

Throughout Games 3, 4 and 6, all at the Garden, ex-Ranger defenseman Tony DeAngelo was booed, en masse, every time he played the puck. DeAngelo last year became a persona non grata here, culminating with a postgame fight he had with backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev.

DeAngelo, a talented puck-mover from New Jersey, was then essentially fired. He next signed with the ‘Canes.

Again, if ESPN entered this series not knowing this, it couldn’t have claimed ignorance after Game 3. “Follow DeAngelo to Georgiev during the handshake!” then should have been circled in thick red ink and distributed to the entire crew.

Monday, after the Rangers won Game 7, ESPN in fact followed DeAngelo as he traveled that handshake line … until he just about reached Georgiev.

Tony DeAngelo and Henrik Lundqvist
Tony DeAngelo and Henrik Lundqvist
Getty Images; PA

At that moment, ESPN jumped off the shot! It then returned to DeAngelo after he’d passed Georgiev!

We’ve recently heard that inflation is so bad that a picture is now only worth 200 words, but there are no words to describe this latest ESPN blunder.

Kapler’s anthem protest woefully misguided

Feckless virtue-signaling has become the new national waste time.

Giants’ manager Gabe Kapler will no longer show himself in or near the dugout during the national anthem to protest mass shootings. That’s certainly his right, and if his body isn’t in the right place, perhaps his head is.

But what’s it worth? How does that solve or even minimally treat the issue? Which murders count and which don’t?

Recently, several municipalities and states determined that they will no longer use the word “chief,” as in Chief of Police and Chief Executive Officer, as “chief” is disrespectful to native Americans. That chief comes from the French word “chef,” for leader, doesn’t matter.

I supported losing “Redskins” as an NFL team nickname as it directly appropriated a race. However, sentiment to eliminate Braves, Warriors and Chiefs is foolish as they refer to the nobility, spirit and courage of American Indians.

Eliminating chief in titles is absurd. When folks say “chief financial officer” they don’t see Geronimo in a feathered headdress, they see a guy in a suit.

And capitalizing “black” as in the black race, has changed what?

But if Kapler wants to link or exploit the national anthem to protest mass murder he’s woefully misguided.

Why are conspicuous truths regularly avoided during Yanks’ YES telecasts?

Tuesday, first inning, Gleyber Torres hit one deep to left-center then broke into his home run trot rounding first. Only then did he realize that he had smacked high off the wall. He was called out at third after over-sliding the bag when he reasonably should have pulled up at third, standing.

It took several replays and more than half an inning before Michael Kay cut to the core of the matter — Torres had to turn it on late then slide past third because he’d slowed to a jog.

Yet Carlos Beltran, who doesn’t stop speaking the obvious, chose to take this play off, while David Cone excused Torres with his usual “he thought” it was out.

Gleyber Torres, who didn't sprint out of the box, gets thrown out after trying to stretch a double into a triple during a recent game against the Angels.
Gleyber Torres, who didn’t sprint out of the box, gets thrown out after trying to stretch a double into a triple during a recent game against the Angels.
NY Post: Charles Wenzelberg

Regardless, returning to the dugout Torres, smiling, received high fives after needlessly making an out at third playing diminished standards, Aaron Boone Baseball.

Rob Manfred and MLB continue to push conceited, counterproductive, opponent-inflaming baseball as a way to kids’ hearts, the pandering fools.

Is no one at MLB aware that sports are suffering from a nationwide shortage of youth and rec league umpires and game officials who have chosen to bolt rather than indulge the escalation of uncivilized, abusive conduct among players, adult coaches and spectators, especially the parents of kids?

This week Yankees minor league prospect Anthony Seigler made news when he performed a bat-flip after hitting a home run. Except it wasn’t a home run and Seigler was thrown out at second to end the game.

Hey, a walk-off bat-flip for the other team!

At the time, Seigler’s Hudson Valley team was losing, 6-2!

Yet MLB Network continues to roll “Best Bat Flips” reels and, as reader Ron Perri noted for us, this week included a piece that began, “Nothing in baseball is more exciting than a perfectly timed bat-flip.”

Well, beanballs and occasional brawls ignited by acts of excessive self-aggrandizement can be exciting, too.

MLB Network and its website are stuffed with all-about-me baseball, from “Memorial Day Weekend’s Best Bat Flips” to a video instructional, “Learn To Bat-Flip.”

Yep, just keep desensitizing kids, turn them into remorselessly selfish creeps and we’ll continue to call it sports.

Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior scored in the second half to give Real Madrid a 1-0 win over Liverpool in the Champions League final, Saturday, seen on CBS.

In the first half, analyst Rob Green said that Vinicius was so raw and confused when he arrived from Brazil that teammates cracked, “Keep the ball away from him, I think he plays for the other side.”

Francesa burned by Blueshirts

On his betting everything podcast, Monday, Mike “My Picks Have Value” Francesa buried another local favorite, claiming the Rangers would lose Game 7 to Carolina because the ‘Canes “are a very well-coached team.”

Our man who runs @backaftathis to expose “Let’s Be Honest” Mike as a self-anointed expert who is rarely correct and seldom honest, wrote that at the time Francesa was heard touting the ‘Canes because of their coach, he’d have bet Francesa 10 grand he didn’t know the name of their coach (Rod Brind’Amour).

mike francesa
mike francesa
Getty Images for Radio Hall of Fame

Not to burden Yankees fans with bad memories, but Gary Sanchez’s many deficiencies were brought to mind, over the weekend, by the efficiency of new Yankee catcher Jose Trevino.

Trevino, on pitches outside and in the dirt to right-handed batters, stopped the ball by backhanding it with his mitt wide open.

Sanchez didn’t try to stop the ball, he tried to catch it, backhanded, looking to snag such pitches with a closed glove like a first baseman. That’s why pitches often had to be chased toward the backstop.

Spare notes in search of sanctuary:

Seven of the 10 Tigers who beat, Sunday, were hitting below .200. Analytics, baby!

John Smoltz
John Smoltz
Getty Images

Carlos Beltran this week suggested that checked swing calls should be subjected to replay reviews.

ESPN2, during Sunday’s Phils-Mets, posted a graphic of Chris Bassitt’s last seven pitches to Kyle Schwarber. Even if you wanted to read it, you couldn’t. It appeared for exactly two seconds before it disappeared beneath a replay.

Reader Richard Kelly on Fox’s lead baseball analyst, John Smoltz, another whose inability to hush up for even a moment has gone untreated: “He’s like the damned fan my wife must have on to go to sleep.”

Love those split screens during Stanley Cup play on ESPN that encourage viewers to watch the Stanley Cup on ESPN.

That Johnny Depp-Amber Heard trial lasted longer than their marriage.

Matt Carpenter, W.B. Mason logo
Jason Szenes; Wikipedia

Lookalikes: Reader Mike Rowan submits new Yankee Matt Carpenter and Yankee Stadium right-field sentry WB Mason.


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