David Cone’s fallacious ump trashing part of the lunacy on sports airwaves

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What good is a notebook unless its contents are shared with readers? Otherwise it would be a diary. Besides, I don’t work small rooms. So here goes:

David Cone is better than that. More importantly, so are YES viewers.

Monday, the Orioles made it 3-1 over the Yankees when a run scored on a balk by reliever Darren O’Day.

Cone became furious, not with O’Day, but with second base ump Junior Valentine, who did his job by detecting then calling the infraction. Cone twice belittled Valentine as “Barney Fife,” the bumbling country deputy sheriff played by Don Knotts in the old “Andy Griffith Show.” His attack on Valentine bordered on cruel.

Yet, as replays rolled, Cone, and later Aaron Boone, acknowledged O’Day did, in fact, committed a by-the-book balk. Thus what was Valentine to do? Ignore the rule on behalf of the Yankees? Would Cone have been that agitated had it been an O’s pitcher who balked?

Cone should be as eager to trash players who don’t run to first as he was to trash this ump for a job well done.

Tuesday on SNY during Red Sox-Mets, Pete Alonso’s first at-bat began with Keith Hernandez declaring Alonso’s indiscriminate swing days about over; he was now fully focused and devoted to pitches in the strike zone.

Alonso finished the game 0-for-4, all strikeouts, often chasing bad pitches. The next game he made it five straight, swinging at a pitch well outside the zone.

John Smoltz knows pitching, but he must be watching games we don’t see.

Saturday during Nationals-Mets on FS1, Smoltz reasoned that the cure to MLB’s home run-or-strikeout crisis is to lower the strike zone, as batters can’t catch up to high fastballs.

But why not cease swinging at fastballs above the strike zone, especially with swings designed to hit the ball into the next county?

Based on what I see — and every game — batters are trying to uppercut fastballs into the bleachers. Add that to the countless times we see batters whiffing on pitches thrown low and far away.

The strike zone is not the problem, it’s the abandonment of disciplined, logical batting, especially with two strikes. Why further mess with The Game to capitulate to the absence of basic batting skills? Why further diminish The Game with capitulation and compromise rather than combat and cure its diseases?

Why choose Neville Chamberlain over Winston Churchill?

Sunday, Cleveland’s Franmil Reyes stood near the batter’s box watching his deep fly to right. Only after he saw that Aaron Judge missed catching the ball by inches as it hit the platform before the first row of seats, did Reyes abandon his statue stare for his home run jog.

During a replay showing Reyes’ all-about-me approach that might’ve turned a double or triple into a single, YES’ Michael Kay and Paul O’Neill said nothing, as if surrendering to the senseless.

Ed Randall’s “Talking Basebll” has switched from WFAN to WABC radio, where it’s heard Sundays, 1-2 p.m.

His first WABC guest was Cardinal Timothy Dolan, a lifelong baseball fan who grew up in St. Louis. “The only Cardinal I aspired to become,” he has said, “was Stan Musial.”

Thanks for nothing: Saturday, after John Sterling finished a woeful spiel about the Yankees’ failures to hit, he declared that it’s too early in the season for him to give batting averages.

That’s right, he’ll determine for listeners what they know and when they should know it. He hasn’t lost a step in his career-long condescending style.

Saturday’s Kentucky Derby? Pray for the 20, mostly high-strung, inexperienced 3-year-olds and their riders as they break from the gate and run for the rail.

But when horse owners are willing to pony up for entry and stable fees just to say, “I had a horse in the Derby” — and that dough is gladly accepted — money conquers horse sense.

Monday on YES, Kay and Cone spoke for many in their surprise that the Royals, a team 22nd in team payroll, were in first place at 14-7.

But Kansas City has benefitted from two kinds of help, that from within and from out. That afternoon they beat the Tigers, 3-2, in large part because Detroit star Miguel Cabrera, to be paid $292 million over 10 years and hitting .129, didn’t bother to run home from third. Then, as he was tagged out, he didn’t bother to slide under the tag.

As for the Royals helping themselves, they strike out just under eight times per game, once an awful average but now better than most. It’s thus far a team low on home run hitters but long on those who bat the ball in play. Radical, I know.

Live sports telecasts now often include announcers who can’t be heard as a matter of neglected quality control. The simple process of checking then adjusting microphone levels often seems ignored.

Thus Tuesday’s Islanders-Capitals on NBCSN left analyst A.J. Mleczko, U.S. women’s hockey team star, mostly heard as indecipherable background noise.

The epidemic continues. Sunday, the Dodgers were up on the Padres, 6-1, after six. Dustin May looked strong, allowing two hits, only one walk and striking out 10.

But to the delight of the Padres, Dave Roberts pulled him. Three of the next four Dodgers relievers were bombed. In 11, the Dodgers lost, 7-6.

Wednesday, as the Red Sox beat the Mets in a game that totaled six hits and 30 strikeouts, Gary Cohen groaned for many of us with the lament, “Baseball, 2021.”

Our readers write, too: Greg Lewis notes that Dave Kingman, expendable and mocked as a home run or whiff batter, “today would be a huge star.”

Given that games now regularly include 80 or more 3-point tries — 88 in Tuesday’s Nets-Raptors — Tim Mattice concludes that NBA stands for “Not Basketball Anymore.”

Jimmy Heimbuch was watching ESPN’s Sunday night game when a crawl stated that the one-hit the Braves totaled in a doubleheader vs. Arizona is an MLB record, as Madison Bumgarner’s seven-inning no-hitter didn’t qualify as one. He ended with this question: “What the hell is going on?”

Peter Wagner suggests that MLB forsake all pretense to “start every inning with a man on second.”

And Bill Hoyt sent us a “report” in the Babylon Bee headlined, “Entire U.S. Water Polo Team Drowns Kneeling for the National Anthem.”

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