Carroll's Theory: Overlooked Brook • Latino Sports

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Carroll’s Theory: Overlooked Brook

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NEW YORK – It’s hard not to feel a little sorry for Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez. Yes, he earns millions of dollars and gets to live a lifestyle that anyone who ever played a pickup game of basketball in a schoolyard could only dream about. He can also be proud of the fact that he is one of the best big men in the National Basketball Association.

Now for the downside.

With Nets point guard Jarrett Jack is lost for the rest of the season with a knee injury, Lopez is the only player on the Nets roster who could probably start for most of the other NBA teams. He is basically wasting his talents for a team that will be extremely hard-pressed to win 25 games.

A number of Nets beat writers wrote how unfair it was that Lopez, in spite of what seems to be a career year for him, was not named to be a member of the East team at last Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Toronto. The reality is, to paraphrase a line made famous by Alec Baldwin’s character in the classic 1992 film, “Glengarry Glen Ross,” that coffee is for closers and All-Game roster spots are for players on teams with playoff aspirations.

A number of current and former Mets and Yankees showed up as per tradition for the annual Thurman Munson Dinner that has raised in excess of $14 million for organizations that assist individuals with cognitive disabilities.

Mets closer Jeurys Familia was one of the honorees. He told the press that he was obviously disappointed about how things turned out in the 2015 World Series. I asked Familia if he was concerned that there might be a team letdown playing games in April after having played so deeply into the post-season. Familia vigorously shook his head no and said that there was no chance of that happening.

Yankees catcher Brian McCann also got an award at the Munson event. The Yankees certainly have a stacked bullpen with Aroldis Chapman joining Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances and I joked with McCann about how relief pitchers are often like divas and frequently get very upset when their roles are altered.

I mentioned to him about how the Washington Nationals imploded after they obtained Jonathan Papelbon at the July 31st trade deadline to replace their already effective closer, Drew Storen. “The Yankees corporate culture is different. When players come into our clubhouse they know that the only thing that matters is winning and that individual ego issues won’t be tolerated,” he replied.

Retired Yankees pitcher Jim Abbott, who grew up in Flint, Michigan was also a speaker. He was understandably upset about how his hometown’s water supply was allowed to deteriorate over the years and how state politicians stood idly by. “When the American automobile industry declined starting in the ‘70s, so did Flint.,” stated Abbott glumly.

It’s always been three strikes and you’re out in baseball. The same can be said for players who test positive three times for banned chemical substances under Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement.

Knowing that those were the rules you have to wonder what was going through the mind of talented Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia who it was revealed last Friday tested positive for the third time for having Boldenone in his system.

I can understand unwittingly taking a substance once and at worst twice, but even giving Mejia the benefit of the doubt that he wasn’t trying to cheat through steroid use, I would have hired a chemist to test anything that I might ingest, including food, if I were in his position. He is now forbidden from playing in the majors permanently. It’s tragic.

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About Lloyd Carroll

Lloyd Carroll is the Senior Columnist for the Queens Chronicle, an award-winning weekly newspaper that has served the communities of Queens since 1978. This article as well as many future articles will also appear at Queens Chronicle. In addition, Lloyd also writes for our friends over at NYSportsDay.com. In today’s world of online publications, we at Latino Sports understand and value the importance of collaborating with other online publications in order to showcase and create awareness of each other’s work and dedication to our respectable communities.

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