Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lighter fare

On the notepad:

- I've been touting Fox TV's new sitcom "Ben and Kate", promising to explain at a later date. (I have suggested it's a family thing.) Two new reasons to make it must-see viewing (8:30 p.m. Tuesday starting Sept. 25): I've seen the pilot and it's truly funny, with likable, quirky characters; and Entertainment Weekly this week is calling it one of the fall season's "five best new shows."

- ESPN's Skip Bayless, a former sports columnist of note in Dallas, recently wondered on air if Derek Jeter was using a banned substance, given the Yankee captain's amazing season at age 38. "I am not saying he uses a thing," Bayless said. "I have no idea. But within the confines of his sport, it is fair for all of us, in fact you are remiss, if you don't at least think about this." Bayless took a lot of heat for his remarks, as he as for others. After all, ESPN pays him to be provocative. But I'm hard-pressed to believe that I'm the only other person in the country who's been wondering the same thing. Jeter's probably perfectly clean. But in steroid era of Major League Baseball and its aftermath, even good guys can unfairly become suspects, particularly when they're accomplishing remarkable things at an age when performances historically go downhill.

- Speaking of the Yankees, about a month ago, when they still had a sizable lead in the American League East, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine suggested they might not even make the playoffs. At the time, it was shrugged off as Bobby being Bobby. Doesn't seem so far-fetched anymore, does it?

- WFAN's Mike Francesa insists he didn't briefly fall asleep during an on-air interview the other day. Videos suggest otherwise, but OK, we'll take him at his word. That said, many listeners, me included, have long felt like nodding off when Francesa asks one of his exceedingly long questions, offers one of his repetitive opinions, or seemingly starts every other sentence with the words, "I mean ..."

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