Little League World Series bat flips, Rutgers’ DoorDash bill show sports in disarray

Little League World Series bat flips, Rutgers’ DoorDash bill show sports in disarray

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Reader Bill Maroney figures if it’s confusing to him, it can’t be easier for a kid. The Little League World Series on ABC/ESPN is again coated in mixed messages.

One moment, Maroney writes, Tim Kurkjian and Jessica Mendoza “talk about Little League in fairytale terms and sportsmanship. The next minute, Todd Frazier and his booth mates are wild [with delight] over a [Nicaraguan team] Little Leaguer’s home run stare, bat flip and ‘me’ antics while jogging the bases. Disgusting.”

Ah, but that kid may have been adhering to shallow pandering of Rob Manfred and the MLB Network’s “image” campaign to attract kids to baseball by championing MLB players for acts of excessive unsportsmanlike immodesty. Sure, who doesn’t want to emulate a braggart?

As Gilbert, on “Leave It Beaver” said, “Gee, Beav, if I did that my dad would clobber me!”

Yet that’s why Fernando Tatis Jr., now suspended for his claim that he mistakenly treated a topical case of ringworm (too many Ring Dings?) with an anabolic steroid that entered his bloodstream, was chosen for and paid to front MLB’s video game. Tatis had frequently demonstrated that he enjoyed shoving his talent down opponents’ better senses.

And now the LLWS, to best emphasize MLB’s all-or-nothing diminishment, includes a home run derby.

But what doesn’t leave us dazed and confused?

LLWS
Pearland, Texas’ Kaiden Shelton (18) tosses his bat after hitting a two run home run off of Hollidaysburg, Pa.
AP

At Rutgers, 20 percent funded by N.J. taxpayers, Big Ten fever continues as a financial calamity, badly afflicting everything the prestigious university once reflected — from academic salaries to custodial services. Had to be. Just last year the Athletic Department’s mostly football deficit grew to $73 million.

Interestingly, Rutgers solicits public donations to fund its Food Pantry for regular students who can’t afford to both attend the university and eat.

No matter, RU recently was revealed to have spent $450,000 over 14 months to provide DoorDash food and amenities to its football players, many on full scholarship and aided by Pell Grants — cash grants, not loans.

Further revealed was that while DoorDash expenses ostensibly were designed to serve the football team in and near Rutgers during the pandemic, recipients used DoorDash from their homes, many miles away — including Florida, where Rutgers heavily recruits.

And they were used to deliver eats not just from sub and salad shops, but from steakhouses and seafood restaurants.

Rutgers explained: “Many of our student-athletes come from economically challenged backgrounds and in addition to how difficult it was to meet their nutritional needs with COVID, this was the best way to look out for our student-athletes’ welfare.”

OK, so two questions:

1) What about students who aren’t athletes but are from “economically challenged backgrounds”? Should they panhandle? No DoorDash steak dinners for them?

2) Why does RU recruit “economically challenged” football recruits from all over the country, plus Canada, if RU knows “many” are too poor to eat? How do they travel to and from RU from their homes? No local college would have a Big Ten recruit?

Rutgers
Rutgers coach Greg Schiano
AP

Confusing times. Last week, President Biden announced he’s forgiving college loans, up to $20,000 for some students, thus another burden on taxpayers.

At the risk of being an old grump — I used to be a middle-age grump — the first lesson I learned about financial responsibility came just after I graduated college, when I had to begin paying off my college loan — $51.95 a month for 10 years. Doesn’t sound like much, now, but I was taking home 80 bucks a week as a Post copy boy. Had to pay for the stamps, too.

Never missed a payment. Ten books, all with 12 remittance slips. It was a good, sustaining lesson to learn. I borrowed money then paid it back. Imagine that. And no DoorDash, no bat-flips.

Avalanche of stats buries the games

You’re in Yankee Stadium, trying to watch the game, when the fellow next to you starts to spit out stats:

Batting averages and slugging percentages over the past eight games, the exit velocity grounders to short, players’ “slash lines,” OPS, WAR, batting averages with runners in scoring position, average pitches per at-bat, the pitcher’s percentage of change-ups, curve balls and cutters.

Enough stats, Michael Kay, enough! Put yourself in our position. Let us watch the game. It’s tough enough to find where or if the Yankees are on TV this season, so stop with the stats!


I guess it’s OK with the governor and attorney general of Ohio that its largest state university, Ohio State, continually grants full football scholarships and financial extras to “student-athletes” who, now educated and socialized, wind up before a judge at a criminal arraignment.

Add former Ohio State cornerback Marcus Williamson, 23, to the list.

Marcus Williamson played for Ohio State from 2017-2021.
Marcus Williamson played for Ohio State from 2017-2021.
Getty Images

Last week in Memphis, Williamson, who played four years at OSU, was charged with kidnapping a woman, stealing her phone and wallet, then forcing her to withdraw $500 from an ATM. He was later collared driving the woman’s car. According to Ohio State’s 2021 football website, Williamson graduated with a degree in history. Last week he was held on an $80,000 bond.

Ohio State, ladies and gentleman, where football coach Urban Meyer was fired for covering for an assistant coach and buddy in the habit of battering his wife — not for recruiting then indulging young criminals as he’d done while coaching Florida — then taught a course titled, “Leadership and Character.”

It’s all a con. But woe to the broadcaster who even hints at such things when Ohio State plays on ESPN, Fox and NBC.

‘Longest’ docu is a home run

Check out counter: ESPN’s “30 For 30” podcast “The Longest Game” on the epic 1981 Triple-A, 33-inning game, Rochester at Pawtucket. The game included the Pawtucket Red Sox’s Wade Boggs and Rochester Red Wings’ (Orioles) Cal Ripken Jr. The winning pitcher, weeks later, was Pawtucket’s Bob Ojeda.

The boxscore notes that 1,740 were in attendance when the game began on April 18, and 20 remained when it was suspended in the 32nd inning on April 19. The game was completed on June 23.

Side stories: Boggs, after driving in the tying run in the 21st — “I didn’t know if our players wanted to hug me or slug me;” Pawtucket reliever Luis Aponte arriving home so early in the morning his wife didn’t buy his excuse; and the dugout burning of benches and broken bats to try to get warm.


Drew Brees is like a character out of “Guys and Dolls” or Elmer Gantry from the eponymous Sinclair Lewis novel.

One moment he’s hustling young suckers in his bet-all-game, every-game TV commercials, other times he’s delivering “motivational” Bible stories and prayer on Pray.com.

Perhaps he can combine the two. Brees can offer a daily parlays-and-prop-bets prayer. Pass the poor box and bet the Under!


Interesting, how the PGA now has tons of money to throw at players who don’t abandon the Tour for Saudi mullah moola.


Longtime public relations man/pal Chip Namias asks that I recognize Yankees organist Paul Cartier for the locally historic music he played as Isiah Kiner-Falefa came to bat for the Yankees last weekend: the theme music from Ch. 9’s long-gone Mets postgame “Kiner’s Korner.”


Reader Michael Napoliello: “As soon as you hear Paul O’Neill utter his, ‘I’ll tell you what,’ run for cover; a verbal tsunami is about to hit.”

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