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According to Carp

Rick Carpiniello's world of sports

Crystal clear

March
14

Just one more thing on this Billy Crystal thing and why the commissioner (lol) should put an end to such things immediately. Then I’ll let it rest.

There was an ad in some of the papers today for Crystal performing at a casino. Gee, what a surprise. Sort of like Alicia Keys and Jordin Sparks performing at the Super Bowl then going out on tour together. Performers do this all the time. They make the rounds to promote their own interests. I’m not saying that Crystal dreamed up the whole one-at-bat (whiff) idea to plug his upcoming shows, but I don’t doubt that he did.

That’s why the commish (lol) has to do something about this, or else we’re going to end up with all sorts of cross promotions. What next? Chris Berman playing left field for the Mets? The winner of American Idol or some other network TV show pinch-hitting for A-Rod? P. Diddy taking a big-league hack? We’ve already established that MLB will sell out for dollars, and that’s why the Yankees are wearing those stupid striped hats and those blue jerseys in the spring, and why, really, Yankee Stadium faces a wrecking ball in 2009. Do we also need to pimp out the game to promote someone else’s interests?

Maybe Gov. Spitzer will look into this. You know, with all the free time he’s got.

Posted by Carp on Friday, March 14th, 2008 at 11:20 am
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Pride and Pinstripes

March
13

Joe D and the Iron Horse must be spinning in their graves.

The Yankees had some nice week of Yankee Pride. They signed Billy Crystal so he could massage his ego. They complained about a completely legit, legal and accepted play in baseball — the home plate collision. Then Shelley Duncan went out and acted like a punk, starting what many called a “brawl” although it really wasn’t even a tiny fight.

First on Crystal. I have always liked his comedy and his story-telling, but I hope he gets a fastball in the backside. The Yankees claimed they signed him for one exhibition game to thank him for all he’s done for them. All he’s done for them? Isn’t it the other way around? Haven’t the Yankees allowed him to claim title as the greatest Yankees fan and the greatest Mickey Mantle fan, even though he very likely is neither. Indeed, he surely sees far fewer games than many, many Yankees fans see … and most of them have to actually pay for their tickets and not sit on the railing and not get into the dugout before games. In other words, Crystal has gotten nothing but everything a fan could want from the Yankees only because he’s a celebrity. People argue that those who don’t think Crystal should be playing in an exhibition game (at age 60 no less) are just jealous. Well, duh. Shouldn’t you be jealous? What do you think the Yankees would say to you if you told them you’re a season-ticket holder and the biggest Yankees fan of all time and all you want was to sit in the first row during the play0ffs and to play in one exhibition game? Right. They’d have security eject you.

Now onto this whole Tampa Bay thing. Joe Girardi is a hypocrite if he truly thinks the home plate collision doesn’t belong in a baseball game? It’s a game. The kid coming to the plate is trying to make his spot in the majors. The plate is blocked. He does what every player is taught to do in that situation: He bowls over the catcher.

That is a far more acceptable play, and there is far less intent to injure, than going into second, out by a mile, with spikes intentionally high? Shelley Duncan should be suspended for that move. He injured — a minor cut, fortunately — an innocent player, a little guy at that, who was totally uninvolved in the previous incident. He acted, again, like a cowardly punk.

And you know what’s going to happen now? At some point, some Yankee who is important, more important than Duncan, is going to get hit by a Tampa Bay pitch. Because Girardi cried and Duncan acted like a punk.

Posted by Carp on Thursday, March 13th, 2008 at 12:23 pm
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J-D Jinx

March
12

No, we’re not talking James Dolan.

Jamesville-DeWitt, which looks to end Peekskill’s undefeated 25-0 season,  Peekskill’s run of three straight state Class A championships, and Mookie Jones’ much-decorated career, has wrecked seasons for local teams in the past. Two instances immediately come to mind.

In 2004, Jamesville-DeWitt knocked Fox Lane out of the state Class A semifinals in Glens Falls, ending the career of Taj Finger and coach George Masters, then ran the table to win the state championship and the Federation Tournament of Champions, too. (Incidentally, Fox Lane was the only Section 1 boys champ which did not win a state title that year: Mount Vernon (AA), Kennedy (B), Blind Brook (C) and Hamilton (D) all were crowned state champs).

Last spring, Jamesville-DeWitt did it in another sport. Just two days after John Jay-Cross River shocked Huntington — the No. 1 lacrosse team in the nation and one on a 63-game winning streak — in overtime, the Indians had to play J-D for the state championship outside of Syracuse. DeWitt beat John Jay 13-10 for the title, ending the fabulous high school athetic career of, among others, Ryder Bohlander.

J-D plays Peekskill Saturday morning, 10:45, at Glens Falls Civic Center.

Posted by Carp on Wednesday, March 12th, 2008 at 10:48 am
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State Final Four matchups

March
9

Here are the matchups for all of the state public high schools finals fours next weekend, with one exception: The girls Class A regional way upstate (Indian River vs. Franklin Academy) was postponed until tomorrow by bad weather.

State semifinals
At Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls

Friday, March 14
Boys Class D:
Sackets Harbor (Section 3) vs. Northstar Christian (Section 6), 10 a.m.
Boys Class D:
Greenport (Section 11)  vs. Chateaugay (Section 10), 11:45 a.m.
Boys Class C:
West Canada Valley (Section 3) vs. Maple Grove (Section 6), 1:30 p.m.
Boys Class C:
Friends Academy (Section 8) vs. Mechanicville (Section 2), 5 p.m.
Boys Class B: Chenango Valley (Section 4) vs. Olean (Section 6), 6:45 p.m.
Boys Class B:
Malverne (Section 8) vs. Ogdensburg (Section 10), 8:30 p.m.

At Hudson Valley Community College, Troy

Friday, March 14
Girls Class B:
Briarcliff  vs. Seton Catholic Central (Section 4), 10 a.m.
Girls Class B: Hoosic Valley (Section 2) vs. Nazareth Academy (Section 5), 11:45 a.m.
Girls Class A: Cornwall (Section 9) vs. Honeoye Falls-Lima (Section 5), 1:30 p.m.
Girls Class A: Indian River (Section 3)/Franklin Academy (Section 10) winner vs. Floral Park (Section 8), 3:15 p.m.
Girls Class AA: Kingston (Section 9) vs. Rush-Henrietta (Section 5), 6:15 p.m.
Girls Class AA: Corcoran (Section 3) vs. North Babylon (Section 11), 8 p.m.

At Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls

Saturday, March 15
Boys Class A:
East Hampton (Section 11) vs. Buffalo-East (Section 6), 9 a.m.
Boys Class A: Peekskill vs. Jamesville-DeWitt (Section 3),10:45 a.m.
Boys Class AA: Baldwin (Section 8) vs. Niagara Falls (Section 6), 12:30 p.m.
Boys Class AA: Mount Vernon vs. Bishop Maginn (Section 2), 2:15 p.m.

At Hudson Valley Community College, Troy

Saturday, March 15
Girls Class D:
Coleman Catholic (Section 9) vs. Sackets Harbor (Section 3), 9 a.m.
Girls Class D:
Hammond (Section 10) vs. Ripley (Section 6), 10:45 a.m.
Girls Class C:
Haldane vs. Cooperstown (Section 3), 12:30 p.m.
Girls Class C: Madrid-Waddington (Section 10)  vs. Avon (Section 5), 2:15 p.m. 

 State championship games
At Glens Falls Civic Center

Saturday, March 15
Boys Class D:
5:30 p.m.
Boys Class C: 7:15 p.m.
Boys Class B: 9 p.m.

At Hudson Valley Community College, Troy

Saturday, March 15
Class B:
4 p.m.
Class A: 7 p.m.
Class AA: 8:45 p.m. 

State championship games
At Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls

Sunday, March 16
Boys Class A:
1 p.m.
Boys Class AA: 2:45 p.m.

At Hudson Valley Community College, Troy

Sunday, March 16
Girls Class D:
noon.
Girls Class C:
1:45 p.m. 

Posted by Carp on Sunday, March 9th, 2008 at 10:04 pm
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Correction

March
9

Sorry. I had Bob Cimmino with three state titles, going for four, which would tie Amityville coach Jack Agostino for second most in history, behind Lou Panzanaro. But Cimmino actually got his fourth last year, so he can pass Agostino with his fifth this year.

Also, I had Mount Vernon with seven state championships, looking to tie Brigehampton for most ever. Mount Vernon actually tied Bridgehampton with its eighth last year and can set the state record with nine this year.

I was looking at last year’s book, which obviously didn’t have Mount Vernon’s 2007 state championship in it.

My apologies.

Posted by Carp on Sunday, March 9th, 2008 at 2:05 pm
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It is Maginn, not Henninger

March
9

In case you checked out the NYSPHSAA web site for the brackets, the boys AA bracket has Henninger as Mount Vernon’s semifinal opponent, when in fact — according to the story in the Albany Times Union, which should know — Bishop Maginn beat Henninger to set up the rematch of last year’s championship game. That game is listed as a 2:15 start Saturday in Glens Falls.

Posted by Carp on Sunday, March 9th, 2008 at 12:58 pm
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Boy oh boys

March
8

So we end up with only two teams going to Glens Falls for the boys final fours, but boy, oh, boy are they good ones.

And, man, are we in for some great semifinals on Saturday!!!

In case you missed it, Bishop Maginn won its regional final today, setting up a rematch of last year’s state AA championship game next Saturday at 2:45. Mount Vernon won that title 68-65 in a great game.

And Jamesville-DeWitt bombed Bishop Gibbons today in its A regional final to clinch a date with Peekskill Saturday morning at 10:45. The two teams met at the Slam Dunk at County Center and Peekskill won 63-60 on the way to the tournament championship and a (so far) undefeated season. That JD won by 40 today (74-34) makes you think that it is at least on a par with Peekskill, which is just running over opponents now.

If you like to extrapolate, Peekskill beat Albany Academy (on the road) by four late in the season. Gibbons beat Albany Academy by 19 this week. And Jamesville-DeWitt hammered Gibbons.

So if you’re going to Glens Falls, don’t stay out late Friday. And if you’re staying home, get on the computer early for Kevin Devaney’s blog updates (and mine, I guess).

Also don’t forget to change the clocks tonight. Everybody else loses an hour of sleep. I gain one. How? I just sleep two hours later.

Posted by Carp on Saturday, March 8th, 2008 at 10:03 pm
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North Salem in the house

March
8

This is some scene here at SUNY New Paltz. More than an hour before the game, the North Salem fans had a tent set up in the parking lot and were tailgating in the pouring rain, loud music and all.

Then, still an hour before gametime, the bleachers were already almost filled up with the blue-and-yellow colors one one side while nine Malverne fans sat and stared across the court.

Out in the lot, when a North Salem school bus, presumably full of fans, pulled in an ovation went up from the tailgaters. And when certain NS people walked into the gym, more ovations. And at one point, the North Salem players, who were stretching about 50 minutes prior to gametime, began cheering the arrival of more fans. This is great.

When North Salem entered the gym for warmups half an hour before game, another loud ovation, and the players walked single file past the stands, slapping hands with all those in the front row on the way.

Pregame introductions it sounded like Madison Square Garden in here.

I have no idea of North Salem can or will beat Malverne, but this whole experience, starting at the County Center last week, has been amazing, and I cannot imagine what it would be like at Glens Falls Civic Center if the Tigers reach the Final Four.

I do know that there’s a hotel shortage up in that area for some reason next week, and North Salem being there can’t possibly help that.

Posted by Carp on Saturday, March 8th, 2008 at 12:23 pm
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Peekskill is not believable

March
7

The three-time defending state champion Red Devils are going to Glens Falls for a fourth straight time, searching for the history as we discussed below.

And they are doing it in jaw-dropping fashion. They have won their last two games — championship games — by a combined 110 points. Be afraid, you other Final Four teams. Be very afraid. I mean, Daquann Brickhouse is just flying, Ralph Watts, Elliot Watson and Darien Thomas are playing great, and now Peekskill has a deep bench.

Jamesville-DeWitt, which Peekskill beat by three in the Slam Dunk at County Center in December, plays Bishop Gibbons — which bombed an Albany Academy team which Peekskill beat by four in Albany in January — today in the other regional final. The winner of that game gets Peekskill next, and you have to figure this will be the Red Devils biggest challenge this year.

As for Mookie Jones, I asked him tonight: which is more accurate, that you’ve been thinking about this fourth state title all along, or that you’re not thinking of it at all?

“I’m not even thinking about that,” Jones said. “You can’t think about it because you’ll jinx yourself. It’s like when I was a young boy and I’d ask for something for Christmas, and you say, ‘I know it’s coming, I know it’s coming’ and then it doesn’t come and you’re sad. And when I didn’t think about it, it did come to me. So if I don’t think about it, take care of business and stay humble, it’s going to come to me.”

Hard to imagine it won’t, not after seeing this stretch of games by the Red Devils.

It could be a fantastic week upstate, with Mount Vernon, North Salem and Tuckahoe all one win today from going to the final four, too. And on the girls side, Haldane and Briarcliff are already going. Plus we have a whole slew of area private and parochial teams still in the hunt for Federation Tournament of Champions berths.

Posted by Carp on Friday, March 7th, 2008 at 11:03 pm
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Let’s not forget the Knights

March
7

With all the history discussion about Peekskill (see post below) we shouldn’t forget that Mount Vernon is shooting for a spot in the books, too.

Bob Cimmino can become the third coach with four state titles, joining Lou Panzanaro (five and counting) and Amityville’s Jack Agostino (four).

And Mount Vernon, if it wins it all, will tie small-school Bridgehampton with its eighth state championship overall. Peekskill is next with five.

Posted by Carp on Friday, March 7th, 2008 at 1:05 pm
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About this blog
Rick Carpiniello is a sports columnist for The Journal News and LoHud.com. His blog will encompass the world of sports, from Pee Wees to the Super Bowl in a style that can be serious, sarcastic or even silly, and on which encourages feedback from its readers on any and all sports-related topics.
About the author
Rick CarpinielloRick Carpiniello For more than 20 years he covered the New York Rangers and the National Hockey League. Carpiniello has been writing columns on everything from local sports to the big leagues since 2002. READ MORE

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