Airwaves: Yankees aren’t gaga over singer’s stunt 

Sprinting around the airwaves:

- Is Lady Gaga a moron or what? After forcing herself into the New York Yankees locker room last week after a Mets-Yankees game, she hung around and visited with A-Rod and the gang. Who would ever let this trash bag into a Yankees locker room? Oh my, as Dick Enberg would say, what were the people who control the locker room doors thinking? Obviously, they were not thinking.

The Yankees, who are the greatest sports franchise in the history of sports, do not need something like her being attached to their greatness, presently and historically.

Perhaps devout Mets fan Jerry Seinfeld said it best: “This woman is a jerk.”

Apparently, she somehow ended up in Seinfeld’s empty luxury suite during a recent Mets game without his permission. I love Jerry, as his friends call him. Of course his program, “Seinfeld,” might be the greatest sitcom of all time.

I still laugh out loud when I see a rerun on one of the many cable outlets it is aired on. I really enjoy the parts where George Costanza is working for the Yankees and kissing up to George Steinbrenner. For those of you who are not a “Seinfeld” expert like I am, you should know that “Seinfeld” co-creator Larry David is the person who played Mr. Steinbrenner.

I guess one should realize that when you play a sport in the Big Apple or LA-LA Land, celebrities and sports are attached at the hip. But give me Jack sitting in the front row at a Los Angeles Lakers game any day over Lady Gag!

- The World Cup is generating some unreal interest. I ripped soccer last week and heard about it from numerous readers who told me that I knew nothing about anything. That might be true, but this is an opinion column. I am just not a fan of the game, that is all. I realize that soccer is popular and the true fans come out of the closet when the World Cup is going on.

- Tommy Smyth, the soccer analyst, is sure getting a ton of face and voice time during the World Cup. He does a great job for ESPN and ESPN Radio of breaking down the game and explaining it to the common fan. He comes across well because he looks like a regular guy and does not take himself too seriously.

It always amazes me in the electronic media how in these “other” sports, how one guy rises as the expert. We all know of numerous football, basketball and baseball analysts. There are so many it is very hard to keep track of them. However, we all know Barry Melrose because he is the first hockey guy to come to mind. Smyth is that guy for me with soccer.

 

ESPN steps up its coverage of NBA draft

 

Great job this past Thursday by the ESPN studio crew on the NBA draft. Coming live from Madison Square Garden, they were informative and very knowledgeable. ESPN is making an attempt at creating as much interest with the NBA draft as it does with the NFL draft.

Stuart Scott was the host and was solid. I have never been a fan of his because he takes himself way too serious. But, that being said, he did a B-plus job on Thursday. Jon Barry, son of Rick, improves every time I catch him on the tube. Without overusing the word, he is a “believable” analyst. Not too fancy and easy to understand, he always gives clear and solid answers to questions thrown his way.

Jeff Van Gundy is as good in the studio as he is in the booth. You can tell he really does his homework because his answers always have depth, and the listener can really tell that thought had been given to it.

It appears Van Gundy will return to the booth next year for ESPN-ABC. Either he was not offered an NBA coaching job or had his agent go behind the scenes and tell teams he was not interested. Good for TV, but an NBA team in need of a coach sure missed out not hiring or considering hiring this talented coach.

College basketball analyst Jay Bilas was the fourth member of the crew. He provided insight on the college players and how he saw them fitting in the NBA. Bilas always does an excellent job. He is certainly not shy about giving his opinions. This ex-Duke star is clearly at the top of the broadcast game.

This was a nice attempt by ESPN to expand its NBA coverage. However, it will never come close to the popularity of the NFL draft shows.

 

Who said it

 

Larry Riley

“I would say probably so, yeah,” the Warriors general manager mumbled when asked if coach Don Nelson had less input into the organization as of late. The 70-year-old Nelson is still the coach, but all indications are that things could change. Nellie is Nellie and he is good for Bay Area basketball.

 

Dusty Baker

“They are the ones who should be the stars. I never wanted to be a star manager,” the ex-Giants skipper and present Cincinnati Reds manager declared. The likable Baker was responding to a question about his coaching demeanor and style. I am a huge fan of Baker. I am happy for him that things are going well in Cincy.

 

One to watch

 

Rivalry renewed It’s not often the New York Yankees come to Dodger Stadium, but tonight is one of those rare occasions. Alex Rodriguez and the Bronx Brombers close out a three-game series against former Yankee skipper Joe Torre’s Dodgers. The two former N.Y. rivals are both in the thick of their respective division races. ESPN will carry the game at 5 p.m.

 

Sports by numbers

 

Viewers that tuned in to ABC for Game 7 of the NBA finals

28,203,000
 
Average per game viewers for the seven-game series

18,144,000

Increase in ratings from this year compared to last year

26%

 

On target

 

Major League Baseball is doing a super job with interleague play.  The TV networks, local and national, are really helping MLB sell its product. I love interleague play. It is exciting. It is interesting. It pits teams that never play each other. I have always thought it was a cool idea, and television is making it better and better.

 

Artie Gigantino spent 25 years as a coach at the major-college and NFL levels, was lead college football analyst for Fox Sports Net for seven years, was with CBS for one year and was an executive with the Raiders for three years. E-mail him at agigantino@sfexaminer.com.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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