The disturbing pattern around James Dolan’s pettiness

The disturbing pattern around James Dolan’s pettiness

The earth can be both round and flat. Consider the greatest of American eats, and the second most popular final meal choice among death row inmates, pizza. Pizza pies are round and flat.

Oh, the most popular request by those about to be executed is, “What are you out of?”

How much would you pay for an eight-slice plain pizza you know to be reliably good? Something on either near side of 20 bucks, right?

But at Mets spring training games, once reliant on the patronage of fixed-income seniors retired to Florida, the Mets are selling eight-slice plain pizzas for $58, $7.25 a slice.

And thanks to reader Bob Grimes, who sent a photo of a concession stand menu, fans can wash down their $58 pizza with a bottled water for $4.25 or a $5 soda. These are prices at exhibition games, games that don’t count, many players unknown to most.

But price-gouging is a hallmark of both the Bud Selig regime and now his successor, Rob Manfred. Treat your most devoted customers like dirt, daring them to ever return. The Yankees call such suckers “guests.”

Such mindless inhospitality, naturally, brings us to James Dolan, now embroiled with Spike Lee in an epic struggle between two excessively self-entitled megalomaniacs.

It seems Lee, always starved for attention, was less than honest when he claimed Dolan left Lee’s special Garden entrance gripes untreated. The Garden was quick to release a photo of Lee and Dolan shaking hands later that night, followed by Lee’s suspect, no specifics suggestion that the photo was conspiratorial, “a setup.”

Whatever, the media are unlikely to side with Dolan as they’re likely aware that Lee treat slights with charges of — run for your life! — racism. And it remains indisputable that Dolan can always make much worse out of very bad.

The recent revelation that the Voice of the Knicks and the Garden for nearly 40 years, Marv Albert, is not invited to the Garden’s 50th anniversary celebration of 1969-70 NBA championship provides more proof that Dolan is a petty, miserable, ungracious, undignified man.

In 2004, Dolan had no trouble allowing Albert to split, cementing rumors Dolan was paying him too much to be honest about another crummy — 39-43 — team.

If Dolan had thought this anniversary event through to exclude himself, he’d have sent Albert a limo, a gilded chariot in which to attend, perhaps even emcee.

Instead, Dolan has provided the opportunity to be on the target end of more fans’ vitriol over a team still stuck after a rebuilding quarter-century. Now, in addition to “Sell the team!” Knicks’ fans can add, “We want Marv!”

Dolan has already established a precedent for such smallness. When the Garden celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Rangers’ 1994 Stanley Cup, Dolan made sure Bob Gutkowski, president of the Garden in ’94, was excluded.

And in a 2017 posthumous MSG video salute to Albert’s 20-season Knicks partner John Andariese, nicknamed “Johnny Hoops” by Albert, Albert was carefully removed from view. But as MSG Network had become — and remains — a transparently insulting, Dolan-frightened propaganda mill, we were supposed to be too stupid to notice.

But that’s Dolan’s style and substance. He doesn’t care what his customers would enjoy. In this case, he doesn’t want to hear cheers for Marv Albert, as they’d be associated with his reign of incompetence.

Big building. Big job. Small man. Small wonder.

Probability A-Rod is credible cheating source? Zero

I admire ESPN for its daily ability to go that extra mile to prove to audiences that it hasn’t a clue.

Saturday, a few days into spring training games, the Mets were playing the Astros when ESPN posted this scientific gem: “Houston has a 54.7 percent win probability.”

This stat had a 0 percent probability of holding any relevancy, let alone enlightenment. How was it determined? Ouija board? Rasputin?

Alex Rodriguez
Alex RodriguezReuters

Soon, following an offseason fraught with still unraveling scandal, the MLB season will begin on ESPN. And in the lead analyst’s position will sit Alex Rodriguez, a leading villain within MLB’s previous massive scandal.

And ESPN, as per its morally bankrupt hiring of Rodriguez, will rely on this drug-cheat and unrepentant liar to pass judgment — or at least offer unfettered opinions — to national audiences on the Astros’ sign-stealing that aided and abetted their 2017 World Series championship.

This week, Rodriguez claimed the Astros have not demonstrated enough “remorse” for placing The Game in disrepute — again. Yep, those Astros who participated should come clean.

You can’t shame the shameless. ESPN and Rodriguez have that in common.

Well, how do you think readers would react to Tony Romo’s $17 million per, 10-year deal to stay with CBS?

Reader Jimmy Mitchell: “I would rather CBS pay producers and directors $17 million to keep the cameras on the damn game!”

Reader Gene Barry: “At $17 million per, imagine: ‘I have to get home to watch the Bears-Packers. Tony Romo is announcing it!’ ”

Nike is working hard to get cheap labor

The Washington Post this week reported that the Chinese government is forcing Uyghurs — a Turkish-speaking Muslim minority, impoverished, systemically oppressed and ghettoized — to work in Nike factories. Perhaps they’ll be assigned to the Colin Kaepernick Plant.

I butchered an item here Sunday. The Big Ten has just six Central Time teams, not 11. Those who alerted me to the error will receive two free tickets to the annual Diet Ginger Ale Festival in Lambertville, N.J. Just mail me your used ticket stub and I’ll send you a check.

The Yankees are lucky. In Gerrit Cole they landed the only Astro who didn’t know what was going on.

Saturday on CBS: Kansas, up four at Kansas State, was inbounding with 6 seconds left when a kid called a timeout. Six seconds left, team with the ball up four, and we’re off to commercials!

Many NBA games now start “garbage time” with the opening tip. The Rockets lost by two to the Knicks on Monday. Houston attempted 94 field goals, 56 of them — 60 percent — 3-pointers.

The second period of Tuesday’s Blues-Rangers game was played in just 25 minutes, as the period included a 10:55 stretch without a whistle. Heck, with replay, it now takes 25 minutes to play the last four minutes of an NCAA basketball game.

There’s a story about Ben Hogan as both demanding and exacting. When his caddie said, “It’s 172 or 173” yards to the hole, Hogan glared at him and snarled, “Make up your mind.”

Ch. 4 anchor Stacey Bell reported Monday that an “investigation is active and ongoing.” So which is it?

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