Sports sinking to new lows: Here is the latest proof

Sports sinking to new lows: Here is the latest proof

Rearward, march!

What a stretch. It came flying at us. Did the Braves’ Marcell Ozuna really slow to mime a “selfie” after hitting a home run? Did the Yankees really strike out 18 times — two-thirds of their 27 outs — against four Rays’ pitchers? Did Aaron Boone really yank Bob Gibson after five?

Not knowing where to start, I’ll take it from the top of the notes pile and let you sort it out.

Sunday on Fox, after Rams tight end Gerald Everett scored against the Giants, he defied NFL code by acting like a team guy. Instead of doing an obligatory, highlights reel me-dance, Everett gave the ball to lineman Austin Corbett, allowing one of his blockers to spike it.

Get off that shot, Mr. Director! That’s not what we sell!

Fox quickly resumed paying homage to the immodest. Thus, despite the fact his team was about to go 0-4, we twice — once in slow-motion — saw Giants linebacker Kyler Fackrell blowing kisses to a mostly empty stadium after chasing a Rams runner out of bounds.

That was more like it!

Wednesday on MLB Network, the network that makes ain’t-we-got-fun shows out of clips of self-smitten bat-flipping, Jim Kaat and Buck Showalter provided a big boys’ approach to The Game.

A sorrowful tale of a great game in mindless, self-inflicted ruin developed. Kaat said the “profile of the modern hitter is strikeout, walk or home run.” Showalter said that teams do spend a few days in spring training trying to put the ball in play against the shift, “but as soon as the season starts, they try to hit over the shift.”

The game between the Braves and Marlins ended, 2-0, Atlanta. As Kaat and Showalter noted, both starters were superb. But despite a DH, both were pulled, Miami’s Pablo Lopez after five innings, the Braves’ Ian Anderson after 5 ²/₃. The two runs scored on home runs, while the teams combined for 21 strikeouts and just seven hits.

On Tuesday, MLB Network flatly reported that the Astros’ George Springer had surpassed Babe Ruth for total “postseason home runs.” Makes sense. Ruth went homer-less in wild-card, divisional championship and league championship games.

So, Ozuna hit a home run then mimed a selfie on his way to first. Days of TV discussion followed, concluding with a landslide consensus that such rank immodesty is good, clean fun, good for The Game.

I didn’t buy any of it. It all sounded like pandering to what TV now confuses and sells as sports, nonsense they thought they should say. Or would they teach the kids in their lives to play that way? If so, say it!

So, the Braves’ Ronald Acuna, a check-me-out showboater of the first order, led off Game 1 versus Miami with a “fun” bat-flipping home run. In his next at-bat, he was hit by a fastball. A brawl brewed, but was averted. The Marlins have now hit Acuna five times — just for fun, of course.

Soon an MLB promo appeared in which every act of latter-day showboating was spliced together to create a flashy come-on, a rapper chanting his loud approval of “A whole new attitude!” Nothing even slightly related to well-played baseball, just the same thing TV and the NFL have done to diminish football as a sport.

Next appeared a commercial for an Irish whiskey. It starred the booze’s investor, the chronically malfeasant cage fighter and person of interest Conor McGregor, once arrested for assaulting an elderly man in a Dublin pub. Drink responsibly!

Soon, another ad starring Snoop Dogg, a vulgar, women-debasing, N-wording rapper and hardcore pornographer with a long rap sheet.

Then came word that a sports gambling site will star Warren Sapp, a man with a filthy mouth and zero credibility. Court documents say he was unable to pay child support (he has fathered six), but a bankruptcy filing listed his assets as including 240 pairs of Nike sneakers and a $1,200 lion-skin rug.

Of the two moving images Fox chose to promo Dodgers-Padres, one was of an excessively self-impressed bat-flip. That’s why we should watch — and love — baseball!

Many reasons given for rotten NBA Finals TV ratings — blindly throwing in with a sweet-sounding con such as Black Lives Matter among them. But any chance of paying attention to Wednesday’s Lakers-Heat on ABC/ESPN was reduced to folks in the Eastern time zone by a 9:12 p.m. tip.

To be stuck in a car listening to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman remains a burden to those who wish to know the score of the Yankees game. And you can’t legally consult a cellphone when driving alone.

In January, after LSU won the national championship, Odell Beckham Jr., who last played for the school in 2013, made a scene and fool of himself outside and inside the Tigers’ locker room, waving cash around, hassling with a security guard and trying to steal the spotlight. This week, Beckham tweeted: “Seem like nobody wanna run the race witcha, but errbody wannabe at the finish line to hold the trophy.”

After Padres’ shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. made a superb diving catch, ESPN reported as fact what it couldn’t possibly know: The “hit probability” was 97 percent. Turns out it was zero percent.

Last Friday, ESPN tried to let us in on whether a receiver’s foot during the Arkansas State-BYU game was in-bounds. But through multiple replays the evidence, if not the answer, was hidden behind ESPN’s “Bottom Line.”

After scoring a touchdown Saturday at Texas, TCU quarterback Max Duggan gave the crowd that obligatory index finger to the lips signal, to hush the home crowd. However, the stadium was mostly empty.

That play was preceded by an excellent tip from Fox lead analyst Joel Klatt, who noted that with the secondary — now known as the “second” and “third level” — spread, it would be a good time for TCU to run a QB keeper. And that’s exactly what happened.

Jon Berti, the Marlins’ fundamentally prepared, hustling outfielder/infielder — the one who this season stole second, third, then home versus the Mets — provides hope to those trending hopeless. Kaat noticed that Berti even knows how to force a throw after a single.

LeBron James has walked out on his team before. He pulled the same thing he did in The Finals against the Heat before the end of a Lakers-Nets game. He’s another who demands respect in exchange for none.

As if there aren’t enough postseason TV commercials, Fox on Tuesday missed the Braves’ Austin Riley leading off the seventh inning, Atlanta down a run, with a single.

As long as the Yankees have embraced CC Sabathia as an adviser, is there no way they can insist that he clean up his language as spoken in public? He thinks the F-word is a preposition.

There’s more in the pile, but I’m on the phone with Keurig. Its pod coffeemaker reads, “Preheating.” It’s not preheating! It’s merely heating!

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