• BRANDWEEK reports “The Jerry Springer Show” is sponsoring a car on NASCAR’s Winston West Circuit. The *show* is a 12-week associate sponsor of the No. 85 Monaco Chevy of driver Kevin Richards.
• Mike Piazza tells PLAYBOY that his GF du jour is actress/model Alicia Rickter:
In a recent interview with the mag, Piazza claims he confesses to a priest after each of his sexual encounters. Piazza - no joke - also offers this newsbreaker: “I’m not gay.”
Fans of the New York Mets, take heart: you’re running out of long-held grievances.
Sick of years of front-office bungling? New GM Omar Minaya signed the two best free agents on the market last winter.
Still bitter about that no no-hitters thing? Pedro almost got one the other week, and he’s throwing so well now he’s a good bet to do it this year.
Sick of traipsing out to Queens to go to a substandard facility? A new stadium is on the way.
Best of all, remember the awful, no-good trade of blue chip pitching prospect Scott Kazmir for marginal starter Victor Zambrano last July?
Take heart, Mets fans: The "can’t miss" prospect has been missing, big-time. He’s 2-5 with a 4.70 ERA thus far this year for the D-Rays, and hit a new low Saturday night in Pittsburgh, giving up 9 earned runs in 4 and a third innings and taking the loss.
Even though, somewhat unbelievably, Kazmir has been the Rays’ best pitcher thus far, perhaps he’ll either take years to mature (like Jason Isringhausen), or never mature at all (like Paul Wilson and Bill Pulsipher).
As for the Mets, while they remain in the thick of the crowded AL East, their fans do have one more reason to come to Shea: the Met hot-wife holy trinity of Anna Benson, Alicia Rickter-Piazza, and Jodi Mientkiewicz.