Stink of dishonesty spreads far and wide over sports landscape

There is nothing surprising about the ridiculous or dishonest. Both are far more predictable than anything better.

Part 1

Maybe it’s us. Maybe we don’t deserve better. Why else would TV’s voices ignore conspicuous truths to feed us thick slices of bad baloney? Or is TV to be heard, not watched?

For years we watched as Robinson Cano didn’t bother to run to first base. We watched him finish a base short or out at first or second when he should’ve been safe. But what couldn’t be missed was widely ignored, as if we didn’t know or see better.

Yet when Cano would hit a two-run single, YES’ announcers gushed that he is the real deal. The Yankees and their fans were blessed to have him!

Such selective observations now belong to SNY’s Mets crew, which by now must believe we can’t see that Yoenis Cespedes, beyond swinging for home runs, is a $110 million superstar who plays as if he isn’t allowed to get his school clothes dirty.

Last season, Mets SNY announcers — except on one, late-season occasion — ignored, excused or offered weak defenses for why Cespedes doesn’t run to first — a career habit that made him expendable to three teams long before last year’s injury.

This season, starting with his first at-bat, baloney was served. Gary Cohen said Cespedes appears “stronger and faster.” Faster? Cohen has seen him run? Do tell.

In that game, Cespedes twice, with two outs — once with the score 0-0 — hit high flies to deep left-center. Both were caught, but did Cespedes bother to run? Cohen, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez didn’t say. SNY only showed Cespedes handing his batting gear to first base coach Tom Goodwin. The conditioned suspicion was Cespedes did his standard jog-and-watch.

Hernandez’s claim last season that Cespedes is “the smartest base runner on the team” was preposterous. He may be the worst, most negligent baserunner in the majors.

Yoenis CespedesAnthony J. Causi

Darling added that Cespedes “knows when to turn it on,” a polite way to say he waits to see if he should bother.

Cespedes, we’re reminded, has a great arm. He does, but that he often is in no hurry to reach balls hit in the gap, minimizes his chances to put it to best use.

Last year, while on the disabled list with a bad leg — SNY’s trio consistently ignored the fact it was injured sliding into second when, had he started running sooner, he would have reached second, standing — Cespedes played a round of golf, which led to a serving of a jumbo baloney sandwich.

General manager Sandy Alderson admitted it made for “a bad optic” — another way of saying it looked bad — but added he had no trouble with it. It looked bad because it was bad, and no intelligent fan would believe Alderson didn’t mind Cespedes playing golf when he was too disabled to swing a bat … then jog.

Thursday, with Cohen and Darling, Hernandez again hit us with a Cespedes lard-gusher: “I’m telling you, I am so thrilled that he re-signed — and I’m sure the two of you will concur — we’ll get a chance to watch him play for years. He’s just a pleasure to watch.” Yeah, he’s Joe DiMaggio!

Part 2

Through the first three games of the local teams’ season — the Yankees’ first two games at the Rays, and the Mets’ opener — five replay challenges were made on bang-bang plays, four at first, one at home.

In all cases, the YES and SNY commentators plus A.J. Pierzynski, who worked Wednesday’s Yankees game on FOX Sports 1, considered the multiple freeze-frame replays they saw, then reached a conclusion as to whether the call would stand.

And in every case, they were wrong. Not because they were wrong — who knows if they were? — but because replay challenges of such plays, designed to “get it right” are often nothing more or better than soliciting second-guess opinions.

That the use of replay on such close plays — a common but totally unintended use — creates delayed decisions of calls that for 100 years were understood to be plenty good enough, and certainly nothing to create a populist cry for “instant” replay reviews.

Of course, MLB, now speeding the pace of games with automatic intentional walks, never saw this coming.

Part 3

Sergio Garcia lines up a putt during the third round of the Masters.EPA

Do you think that even a member of Augusta National would have enjoyed tuning to the start of CBS/ESPN’s limited live Masters coverage Thursday, only to be hit with 25 minutes of why-the-Masters-is-special come-ons?

Friday’s coverage was 15 minutes in when it dropped dead from Butler Cabin Fever, off to on-camera chit-chat, Scott Van Pelt asking Curtis Strange what he thought of the Masters, thus far and beyond — more encouragement to watch what we already were trying to watch.

For crying out loud, it’s on! Show it!

Part 4

Stats of the Week, Winner — Bartolo Colon, nearly 44 and now with the Braves, on Thursday on SNY at least twice was clocked throwing 94 mph. Fat chance!

Second place — Sunday, Arizona’s Fernando Rodney entered in the ninth against the Giants, score tied. He threw 30 pitches, allowing an earned run on two hits and two walks. Arizona scored twice in the bottom of the ninth. Rodney, ERA of 9.00, got the win. ’Atta boy!

Part 5

Tony RomoGetty Images

Tony Romo, undrafted out of Eastern Illinois, was among the NFL’s great overachievers. Yet, he has been classified a “loser” by simplistic, shallow media, by the Chris Russo measure of achievement: “How many rings does he have?” How many did Ernie Banks have?

Part 6

So Time-Warner/Spectrum cable pitched MLB’s Extra Innings package with free games, shown in HD. A married couple, living in Manhattan — he is a Phillies fan, she is a Giants fan — purchased the package for $164. But none of the games appear in HD. Too bad, they were told, that’s how it is. Should’ve read the itty-bitty fine print.

Part 7

Wednesday on FS1’s Yankees-Rays coverage, Kenny Albert read a promo for yesterday’s Yanks-Orioles. “Coverage begins at 3 p.m.” Coverage of what? The game was scheduled to begin at 4:05. Dishonesty is the only policy!