Baseball, it's time for football season

Originally Published: August 22, 2010
By Jerry Greene | Special to Page 2

Baseball fans know that their summer is almost over. This is their hardest time of the year because football is back and climbing atop the throne. This is especially true in the big cities that have baseball and NFL teams to support.

Take the Boston Red Sox and the New York Mets -- please.

The Red Sox can't catch the Damn Yankees or even the Darn Rays, while the Patriots are looking strong and Bill Belichick has his best hoodie dry-cleaned and ready to go. And the Mets can't catch anybody, while the Jets are in a profane good mood (although the football Giants are never in a good mood).

In Boston, denial is the prevalent mood among the Sox. "For what we've been going through this year, we're not doing that bad," slugger David Ortiz said.

Curiously, that was the same thing Gen. George Custer said in his final news conference before his engagement at Little Bighorn.

Meanwhile, Mets manager Jerry Manuel said of his offense: "It's pathetic." Which was what Sitting Bull said of Custer's attack.

So, if you live in Boston and New York (along with the rest of these wonderful United States): Are you ready for some football?

A few more thoughts before we get to today's main courses of the Brunch:

• Still clinging to baseball for a moment longer, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he was "embarrassed" by his profane language picked up by field microphones during his argument with an umpire. But Jets coach Rex Ryan said it sounded OK to him.

• Attention, Steve Spurrier: The Whitney Hotel is on Line 3. Apparently somebody ordered 100 pizzas by room service and put it on your tab.

• Do you think Shaq was flattered to have Kendrick Perkins call him "a great pickup"? Really?

• Tweet of the Week from ESPN The Magazine's own Ryan McGee: "MLB says Reds can honor Pete Rose on 25th anniv of hit #4192. But it's delayed one day because Rose has a casino appearance. Seriously."

• Dorothy Davidson, that mayoral candidate in Bessemer, Ala., admits she was not "endorsed" by Alabama Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban despite her campaign using a photo that appeared to show them together. However, she's got the vote of all they guys down at the photo shop.

• MTV2 will present 20 half-hour highlight shows of the Lingerie Football League, which begs the question: How many costume malfunctions can you show in 30 minutes?

• Jimmy Kimmel says: "Brett Favre could turn out to be the only player in NFL history to have his jersey retired before he does."

• Back in baseball, Pittsburgh Pirates president Frank Coonelly says there will be a "meaningful" increase next season despite having MLB's lowest payroll of $39 million. Translation: They will offer the minimum wage to anybody.

Now, the main courses in the Brunch:

• Let's start with an update on the Pirates, the one National League team that can make the Mets look good on the road. Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that the Pirates already have their 83rd loss and wonders whether MLB's first 100-loss season since 2001 is a lock.

• Sticking with baseball (before we start ignoring it completely): If you read between the lines in the Los Angeles Times, you get the feeling that former player and current agent Dave Stewart, who handles unhappy Dodger Matt Kemp, really doesn't like Times writer T.J. Simers. We became sure of it near the end of Simers' column, in which Stewart called him "garbage."

• Come on, where's the football? Right here. Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post was there when the Steelers waited until they were out of Pittsburgh before starting soon-to-be-suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger against the Giants. And you can tell that Big Ben does not want to go away.

• How about some NASCAR -- and toy cars? Dave Caldwell explains in The New York Times just how important the collectible-car cottage industry is to auto racing. And, yes, it would really, really help if Dale Earnhardt Jr. won once in a while.

• We turn to one of our favorite notes columnists, Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, to serve as our closer. Cote is contractually obligated to begin with LeBron James but roves around the sports scene after that, including this comment about Roger Clemens: "The national group, People Who Still Believe Clemens, has scheduled a rally meeting tonight at the Waffle House. Corner booth." Ouch.

Jerry Greene is a retired sports columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. He can be reached at

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