Yogi Berra, Survivor: Second Chance , Yom Kippur & More- The Daily Spotlight for 9/23/2015

Hello everyone, it’s been far too long since I’ve given you guys one of these less formal blogs and so I figured I would update today.  My plan is to update these blogs a bit more frequent as the days go by. The idea behind these blogs is so that I can give you all my quick opinions on all of the happenings in my life as well as some of the headlines in the world of sports, entertainment and everything in between.  I welcome all feedback as always either in the comment section of this post, via email at thedailyspotlight2@gmail.com and on twitter @TommyOnTheSpot.  Without any further ado let’s get right into it.

  • I want to take a minute to wish everyone observing the Yom Kippur holiday a safe fast.  I am celebrating myself but wouldn’t call myself overly religious.  I actually consider myself half Jewish and half Catholic as my mother is Jewish and my father the latter so I was raised this way.  My views on religion are basically that one should be able to practice their religion as they choose.  I don’t agree with celebrating or practicing something the right or wrong way, it should be a personal choice.  I feel that if your comfortable with the way you celebrate or observe than kudos to you.  Personally I am at work today and observe the holiday of Yom Kippur by both fasting and not driving for the day.  This meant that in the wee hours of the morning I walked four miles to work this morning and will walk those same four miles later today to the Yizkor service later today.
  • I’d also like to take a minute to acknowledge the passing of one of the best baseball players in the history of the sport, Yogi Berra, who passed away through the night at the age of 90 years old.  Many of you know that I grew up a Yankee fan and growing up,  I always heard stories about Gehrig, DiMaggio, Ruth, Mantle and Berra.  It truly is the end of an era as Yogi was the last living member of that era that was still pretty active even until very recently.  I used to go to Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium every year, and while that franchise has iconic players from every era, there was a different feel whenever Berra was introduced. The legacy of Yogi Berra will be remembered forever through his many catch phrases and his incomparable accomplishments on the field.  He will truly be missed and my thoughts and prayers are with his family during this time.
  • Tonight Survivor: Second Chance premieres on CBS with a 90 minute special at 8PM EST.  I’m really looking forward to the season as it feels like just yesterday we were looking at the different contestants that we wanted to see on the show and tonight the 31st season of Survivor finally kicks off.  My plan is to be here with coverage of each and every episode of Survivor:Second Chance at some point during the week following each episode.  In general this is one of my favorite television nights of the year because CBS debuts the first episode of Survivor, the same night they air the 90 minute live Big Brother season finale.
  • A quick note on the Big Brother 17 season finale, to me the end of Big Brother signals the official end of the summer.  Times flies by right after this, we will blend right into Halloween, then Thanksgiving and before long after that, Christmas.  As for the finale, as much as I wasn’t a fan of Vanessa, I expect that if she wins the final HOH, she will win the season going away.  She has played the best game of the season and has played a role in every single person going home.  There is a small chance that all of the blood Vanessa got on her hands, will rub people the wrong way but honestly, if I’m Steve or Liz and I win HOH, I’m sending Vanessa home.  It’s good to see Big Brother getting an extra 30 minutes for the reunion.  There may not be a show that, if you follow along, takes over your life quite like Big Brother based on it being live and on going with the internet feeds, the twitter feeds, the three broadcasts a week, and the lack of TV competition during the summer. It’s sad to see it go.
  • The Washington Nationals very slim playoff chances continue to take a hit as despite the Mets losing a game they had no business losing last night, the Nationals lost as well.  To make matters worse, Jordan Zimmermann has a stiff neck and has refused to move up his pitching day to Thursday to face the tough Orioles.  That means the Nationals will have Tanner Roark on the mound tonight and the Mets magic number to clinch the division may in fact be down to 4 tonight.  I’ll be rooting hard for my Nats until that magic number is 0 but that may be before long.  Tonight we’re all Braves fans.
  • Lastly, there is a brand new episode of WWE NXT on the WWE Network tonight.  If you haven’t been watching NXt recently you have really been missing out.  I’m not sure if I could remember the last time I enjoyed a tournament as much as I have with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team tournament.  The teams have been so unique and just a lot of fun to watch each week.  I caught up on last week’s episode and thought Johnny Gargano and Tamasso Ciampa looked great again and would love to see them get deals.  NXT continues to differentiate itself by putting a real focus on some aspects of wrestling we don’t see as much of in WWE, it was first the women and now tag teams.  I also think they’ve done a good job promoting that tournament matches would be taking place on the live shows as it gives fans an added incentive to go check those out.  I was hoping that the semi finals of the tournament would be added to the MSG special on the network but putting the semis and the finals on the Takeover special builds up that show as well.  I for one can’t wait to see Gable and Jordan vs. Dawson and Wilder tonight.

Well, that’s going to do it for me but a really big night for television tonight (even Empire is back),  I may have to break fast with a cold one on the comfort of my couch tonight! In any event, if you haven’t done so please do check out a really fun piece I did on a Dean Ambrose autograph signing that I attended a few weeks ago right here https://thedailyspotlight.com/2015/09/23/the-spotlight-on-dean-ambrose-at-iplay-America/ and stay tuned for more great stuff right here on thedailyspotlight.com.  Tomorrow, I’ll be back with my pick for the Thursday night Football game between the Giants and the Redskins.  I’ll also be back with another edition of the daily spotlight blog for tomorrow and I have a few more fun things that I’ve been working on.  Until then, have a great day!


The Spotlight On The Last 48 hours for the New York Mets

I’d like to start off by mentioning that I like the New York Mets.  I’ve never been a fan per say of the Mets, being raised a Yankees fan and then adoptiong the Nationals as my new team in 2009, I actually had every reason to dislike them but I’ve just never been able to root against them.  I’ve always rooted for them to do well and fondly remember going to the Mets pepsi picnic area on Wednesdays in exchange for Pepsi can, in 2006 I remember setting up a small television as the register I worked at while working at a local grocery to watch game seven of the NLCS, and in 2008 I interned for the Mets and have kept a strong working relationship with the Mets ever since.  My respect for the team makes a bit more sense when you consider that my favorite football team is the often times pathetic New York Jets and my favorite basketball team is the often disappointing, New York Knicks, so of course I have a soft sport for the underdog Mets.

Now  that I’ve gotten my respect for the organization out of the way, I’m going to put this as bluntly as possible…These last 48 hours for a Mets fan have had to be some of the most frustrating that any fanbase has had to endure in quite some time.  Now it would be silly for me to talk about my thoughts on all of the matters with the Mets over the last 48 hours because like I said I’m not really a Met fan.  Thankfully though, I have really good friends who are Mets fans, like my buddy Bryan.  Bryan isn’t only a friend but he’s also a talented writer for http://metsinaround.com/ .  Despite, again being a Nationals fan, I gladly subscirbe to Bryan’s site and think he does a great job covering the team from a die hard fan’s perspective.  Thus, without any further ado, let me take you through the last 48 hours through a Mets fans eyes, recalling phone conversations and texts I had with Bryan throughout this time period.

7/28/2015 5:00PM- Bryan called me on the way home from work to talk about the Mets recent trade for Tyler Clippard.  He seemed pretty ecstatic and mentioned how the Mets were now set with a bullpen consisting of four closers, Bobby Parnell, Jenrry Mejia, the newly acquired Clippard and the breakout current closer Jeurys Familia, now a part of the team.  I couldn’t help but agree with Bryan…the Mets looked like they were finally going for it, but I had to be the bearer of bad news as I quickly voiced my displeasure with Mejia.  I explained how it really didn’t have to work out so well for the Mets since Mejia, the team’s opening day closer, really let down his teammates by taking PEDS, missing half of the season in the process and is now ineligible for the postseason.  Bryan, often a Mets apologist, as any true die hard fan is, was quick to say that everyone makes mistakes, stating that perhaps he really didn’t know what he was putting into his body.

7/28/2015 6:30PM– I received a text from Bryan that said “MEJIA!!!!!”.  I immeidately sprang up as quick as I could and jumped on twitter assuming that the Mets had done a smart move in shipping Mejia to a team who has no chance this year now that they already got Clippard, instead I saw this…


That’s right Jenrry Mejia had been suspended a second time, for the same exact performance enhancing drugs that he used the first time.  It’s time that the Mets cut Mr Mejia as quick as possible, you just can’t unteach stupid.

7/29/2015 8:00PM  A new day and new possibilities, the Mets fell behind early as 103 year old Bartolo Colon continued to fall apart, but it didn’t matter to Bryan who texted me this….”The Mets just got Carlos Gomez for Zach Wheeler and Wilmer Flores, Juan Lagares wasn’t even included in the deal….I think I just busted in my pants!”. Though I hoped Bryan didn’t really have to ask his wife to get him a new pair of pants, I couldn’t blame him for being excited, not at all.  The Mets have always been known for their frugality and now it appeared that they were finally going all in as they just acquired a legit all star center fielder.  For the next two hours, Bryan and I went back and forth over the possibilities for Gomez in the Mets lineup and how much he would help the team.  Yet, as the game went on something strange happened as Wilmer Flores, remained in the game.  Bryan was quick to point out that with the Mets luck, Flores would end up getting hurt and ruing the deal.  It turned out that over the course of three innings, while revewing game tape, Flores saw the report that he had been traded and proceeded to have quite the difficult time with the news.

I’ll admit, I felt awful for the kid, who has been with the Mets since he was just 16 years old, watching him openly weep on the field as Terry Collins left him in the game for only reasons he knows (hindsight being what it is, even if Terry Collins didn’t know about the deal, the Mets were down 7-1 in the game, would it have killed him to pull his distraught shortshop with Ruben Tejada on the bench?).

7/29/2015 10:30PM- ” No deal apparently the Mets weren’t happy with Carlos Gomez’s medical results…only this team!” That text from, a now frustrated, Bryan said it all, after all of that craziness, the deal for Carlos Gomez was apparently off.  It was back to the drawing board for the Mets.  No all star center fielder and now they had a shortstop in Wilmer Flores on the tea who just spent the last two hours crying his eyes out over his team not wanting him.  Onlythe mets indeed.!

7/30/2015 !2:00-3:00PM-  Bryan and I spent portions of the afternoon texting one another about both the Mets and Nationals games going on simultaneously.  It appeared the Mets had their game under control as Jon Niese was cruising.  With 2 outs in the top of the 9th, there was a rain delay and the Mets were now up 7-5 with Jeurys Familia on the mound.

7/30/2015 3:30PM- “Why didn’t you tell me the Mets gave up the lead?”  Bryan texted this to me after seeing that Familia had somehow blown the lead and the Mets were suddenly trailing 8-7.  The answer was because I figured the poor guy needed a break, the Mets had probably caused Bryan enough Angina over the last two days that I didn’t want to add salt to the wounds so I kept the news to myself.  The Mets went on to lose the game, blowing their first 6 run lead at home since 1970!

7/30/2015 5:00PM-  Exactly 48 hours after all of this downward spiral happened for the Mets, a team who had looked to be really turning a corner for their desperate fans, I received one last text from Bryan.  The text read: “Astros just traded for Carlos Gomez, I guess his medical records were good enough for them.” It seems the Mets were back to their frugal ways after all and money was at the root of the Gomez no trade debacle.

So yes that was a 48 hour period that no fan base should ever have to endure. If there is a bit of a silver lining for Mets fans, it’s this: the trade deadline still hasn’t happened. The Mets can still go out and add that much needed bat before 3 pm today. While Gomez is off the board and he would have been great, the Mets can still go for a guy like a Justin Upton or a Jay Bruce. The other bit of good news is that, even though today’s loss was one of the worst losses ever, the Mets are still just three games out of the NL East lead behind my Washington Nationals. Even better news? The Nats are on their way to New York for a three game series at Citi Field this weekend! Thus, after a horrendous 48 hours of being a Mets fan, the next 72 may see the Mets get their big bat they’ve been craving and end up tied for first in the NL East. As the old saying goes, that’s baseball Suzyn!

The Spotlight On A Great Night In Sports 

I’m going to change things up a little bit today. Rather than previewing the biggest stories in sports today. I’m going to take a look back at a crazy Friday night in the world of sports. I’m going to breakdown an hour by hour breakdown of everything that went down on a day that reminds you why it’s so much fun to be a sports fan. 

5:00PM- Jaguar Down- On the way home from work I flipped on WFAN only to hear the unfortunate news the Jacksonville Jaguars number one pick & 3rd overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft, Dante Fowler Jr. tore his ACL & will miss the entire 2015-2016 season. This breaks your heart for the talented defensive end and for a Jaguars organization who just can’t seem to catch a break. 

6:00PM- Noah’s Arc- It was always a matter of if not when the Mets would be calling up Uber prospect Noah Syndergaard. When Mets Pitcher Zach Wheeler when down for the season with Tommy John surgery during spring training, Syndergaards promotion became that much more imminent. Wheelers injury allowed the Mets to put veteran Dillon Gee into the rotation with the idea that if any of the Mets starting went down for any reason they would have an opportunity to bring up either Syndergaard or fellow top prospect Steven Matz. Syndergaard gets the nod and the start Tuesday in Chicago. While Mets fan rejoice I wonder if this makes Dillon Gee the next Wally Pipp. 

8:30 PM- Harper Makes History- I mentioned Harper’s three homer game the other day on here and the very next time out Bryce Harper followed up that performance with a 2 homer effort. The five homeruns in 2 games ties an MLB record for Bryce & makes him the youngest player to accomplish the feat at just 22 years old. Not bad for Major League Baseball’s “most over rated” player. Remember folks, Harper is just 22 years old. 

9:30pm- “Well The Rangers are done”- this is at least the text I got from a buddy of mine with the New York Rangers went down 1-0 in the 3rd period of Game 5 with under 5 minutes left, facing elimination. Then with only 90 seconds left Chris Kreider tied the game, sending my entire block into a frenzy. This led to overtime & before I knew it… the series was shifting back to DC for game 6 tomorrow night. 

10:30PM- Every Rose Has Its Thorn- Immediately following the fireworks going on at MSG, I got to watch a few more fireworks go down at the United Center. With just 10 seconds left JR Smith drained a clutch 3 pointer (something I have never said as a Knicks fan) to tie the game for the Cavs & set me up nicely for yet another overtime thriller, right? Not so fast, because 10 seconds later Derrick Rose stepped up to drain and equally clutch 3 pointer to give the Chicago Bulls the win & an impressive 2-1 series lead. Talk about drama! 

1:00AM- It’s All In The Family- Going into a momentum shifting game 3 between the LA Clippers & Houston Rockets, the question was whether all star guard Chris Paul was going to be able to suit up. Well Paul did suit up but during game 3 it was another guard who stole the show & propelled the Clippers to a dominant 124-99 victory. That guard was Austin Rivers who came off the bench to drop 25 in only 23 minutes to pick up the slack for Paul, who only played 23 minutes in his own right. If the Rivers name sounds familiar it’s probably because Austin Rivers is the son of former NBA all star, Doc Rivers, the same Doc Rivers who is currently the head coach for the Clippers. 

We’ll talk about a fun day in sports with big stories across the board from football to baseball to both the NBA & NHL Playoffs. Just another reason why I’m proud to be a sports fan. 

The Spotlight On Today’s Sports- 4/25/2015

After a day off to prepare for my trip to Orlando, Florida flying out of New York… I am back looking at our top three highlights in the world of sports for today, Saturday April 25th, 2015. I’m updating live from Laguardia Airport, here we go! 

1) New York, New York- Last night the New York Mets’ impressive 11 game game winning streak came to an abrupt end when the New York Yankees defeated the Mets 6-1 at Yankee Stadium. Today the Mets look to answer back when their Superstar Pitcher, Matt Harvey takes the mound! It will be interesting to see how to Mets respond to the loss and if they can push the series to a decisive game tomorrow night for bragging rights of New York!

2) One More For The Coliseum- Today the New York Islanders & Washington Capitals will be playing game six live from the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum. This is the final year in which the Isles will be playing at the Coliseum & with the Isles down 3-2 in their best of seven series, this could be their final game ever at Nassau Coliseum. The New York Rangers await the winner of this series. 

3) Sweep City?- On the Basketball side of things today, two teams will be looking to avoid getting swept, both the New Orleans Pelicans & the Milwaukee Bucks. The good news for both teams is that they’re both home, the bad news is that they both may just be delaying the inevitable as no team in NBA history has come back from a 3-0 deficit. 

That’s going to do it for me but I hope everyone enjoys a big sports weekend. Be sure to check out my Spotlight Sports Pick Of The Day as I’m already 3-1!

The Spotlight On Today’s Sports- 4/22/2015

Hello everyone and welcome to the Spotlight on Sports for Wednesday, April the 23rd, 2015. Yesterday, our spotlight ended up living up to the hype, at least two thirds of it, as the Isles & Capitals went into Overtime again and the Rockets & Mavs also lived up to its billing as it seems like the Mavericks are fading fast in that series. Let’s jump into what’s in store for later this evening.

1) Ace’s Wild- It’s the battle of bitter rivals tonight as the San Francisco Giants play host to the LA Dodgers and to make things even better Clayton Kershaw will be opposed by Madison Bumgarner. It’s the reigning Cy Young Award winner vs the Reigning World Series MVP for the first time this season.  While both men are off to less than stellar starts, if you’re a fan of old fashioned pitching duels, this one is sure to fit your fancy.


2) Will “They Let A Spaniard Beat Them Again?”- One of the biggest headlines to come out of any NBA playoff series thus far were that the Portland Trail Blazers had posted anti Spanish signs in their vistors locker room prior to game one of their first round series with the Memphis Grizzlies. Obviously this is in reference to Grizzlies star forward Marc Gasol. If game one was any indication, however, the Trail Blazers should not be concerned with one player’s heritage but rather how one sided game one was. If this revelation about the signs provides any more motivation for the Grizzlies, Id expect a quick series and an ugly Game 2 for Portland.

3) 10 Straight?!?!- Quickly, can anyone tell me the three teams tied for the best record in baseball? Well, one is the defending American League champion Kansas City Royals, second is the high powered Detroit Tigers and the third is the…New York Mets?!?! Yep the New York Mets are sitting pretty atop the National League East with an 11-3 record and have done so after losing Stud pitcher Zack Wheeler for the season, Captain David Wright and Catcher Travis D’Arnaud to injury. How good have the Mets been? Well not only have the Mets won 9 straight games but they’ve all been in division. The Mets will try to keep this feel good start to the season going as they host the Braves tomorrow night and look for their tenth straight win!

That’s going to do it for me today but Id encourage everyone to check out the Spotlight Sports Pick Of The Day if you’re looking to make your sports day a little more interesting. If you don’t agree with my three highlights of the day, feel free to leave your choices in the comments section.