Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New York! New York! Baseball Talk!

Had a great time today talking New York baseball with colleague Karen Vankat. In the show we talk about the season thus far for the New York Yankees and New York Mets. Three weeks into the season the Yankees are 11-7 and looking like one of the budding teams in the American League. With a future star like Aaron Judge killing the baseball, there is a lot to like about these Bronx Bombers.

In Queens, things haven't been so rosy for the Mets. The Amazin's are off to a sluggish start this season, and fans are already losing patience. We talk about both teams on this episode of the Open Mike Program.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Time has come for Mets to bench Reyes

The career of Jose Reyes is on the precipice of either reclamation or total collapse.  The former All-Star shortstop who returned to the New York Mets last season as a mea culpa for his past personal demons, is mired an ugly slump to start the 2017 season.

Reyes’ line reads like this: 19 games, 67 at bats, 7 hits, 5 runs score, 2 doubles, no triples, no homers, no RBI, and only 1 stolen base. His batting average a woeful .104, and his on base percentage is equally lacking at .189.

To read the rest click here to visit Mets on Scout

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Mets bats silenced, skid hits seven of eight

NATIONALS 3 / METS 1 

The Mets staggering offense couldn't get off the ground against the Nationals on Saturday at Citi Field, as Washington glided to a 3-1 win to send the Mets to 8-10 and 4.5 games out of first place. Perhaps it was fitting that this Saturday afternoon was played in the rain, because the Mets have had their heads in the clouds for well over a week, and now it's catching up to them.

One can blame the injuries, and there are plenty of them to go around. Here is the list in case you forgot: Lucas Duda - hyperextended left elbow; Wilmer Flores - knee injury; Travis d'Arnaud - wrist; Asdrubal Cabrera - hamstring; Yoenis Cespedes - hamstring; and Jacob deGrom - stiff neck.

But, even with that deGrom toughed out the neck problem to pitch against Gio Gonzalez on Saturday, and Cabrera toughed out his leg injury to play the entire game on Saturday as well. In short there are no excuses -- this team has the depth to overcome this, but they just aren't clicking as a team right now. It's as simple as that.

The Mets were hitless against Gonzalez until a sixth inning single by Juan Lagares, an inning which featured the Mets lone run of the entire day.  When the Mets did have opportunities to do something against Gonzalez, their approach was listless and helpless.

Take that sixth inning today as an example. With Jose Reyes and Lagares on base, Michael Conforto struck out swinging on a changeup low and away. After Cabrera singled to center to score Reyes, both Jay Bruce and Neil Walker swung and missed on strike three to cost the Mets any chance of at least tying this game.

It was pathetic.

Worse of all was the fact that the Mets went quietly into the evening with little fight in the final innings. It took Gonzalez and reliever Blake Treinen only six pitches to get out of the seventh inning against New York. Nats reliever Enny Romero needed only 10 pitches to get through the eighth inning. Romero would return for the ninth and proceeded to strike out Cabrera swinging, and jammed Jay Bruce to a lazy fly to left, before Koda Glover closed the show down against a pinch hitting d'Arnaud.

The Mets managed only two hits and were 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

As for deGrom, he was good, but not good enough. He got himself into too many deep counts, and wound up walking six batters -- the most free passes his has issued in a game in his entire career. The previous high for walks deGrom issued in a game was five against Pittsburgh back in 2014.

Even with the control issues, and likely the stiff neck hindering him a bit, deGrom was able to strike out 10 batters and got a career high 27 swing and misses from the Nats. It wasn't pretty but, deGrom did his job. Unfortunately the Mets didn't help him.

What is most frustrating for New York is that this now marks the seventh loss in the last eight games for the Amazin's, who now dip to two games under .500 at 8-10. They are 4.5 games out of first place, tied with the Phillies who are 7-9 after their win over Atlanta on Saturday. This team is also 4-7 at home, and is hitting a poultry .218 as a team this year.

Yes it is early, it's only April 22, but the Mets are quickly putting themselves in a deep hole that they may struggle to get out of, because the warning signs are so stark. Not to mention all 10 of these losses are against teams in the NL East. If the Mets fancy themselves a contender, they are blowing their best opportunity to get off to a fast start in the division.

If the Mets want to save some face, they have to win on Sunday night. They will need their bats to find a way against Max Scherzer -- one of the games best, and hope that Zach Wheeler continues to improve on the hill. If they don't and fall to 5.5 games out before welcoming in the Braves next week, the Mets could be on their way to a dark and gloomy finish to the month of April.

Friday, April 21, 2017

New York Jets and Giants Schedules Finalized

The 2017 NFL Schedules were finalized on Thursday night in a primetime special on ESPN and the NFL Network.

Here is the Jets 2017 Schedule:

9/10 @ Buffalo .... 1:00 CBS
9/17 @ Oakland ... 4:05 CBS
9/24 MIAMI ........ 1:00 CBS
10/1 JACKSONVILLE ... 1:00 CBS
10/8 @ Cleveland .... 1:00 FOX
10/15 NEW ENGLAND ... 1:00 CBS
10/22 @ Miami ......... 1:00 FOX
10/29 ATLANTA ...... 1:00 FOX
11/2 BUFFALO ........ 8:30 NFLN
11/12 @ Tampa Bay ... 1:00 CBS
11/19 Bye Week
11/26 CAROLINA .... 1:00 FOX
12/3 KANSAS CITY ... 1:00 CBS
12/10 @ Denver ....... 4:05 CBS 
12/17 @ New Orleans ... 1:00 CBS
12/24 L.A. CHARGERS ... 1:00 CBS
12/31 @ New England .... 1:00 CBS

I'll react in a moment, but first here is the Giants schedule:

9/10 @ Dallas .... 8:30 NBC
9/18 DETROIT .... 8:30 ESPN
9/24 @ Philadelphia ... 1:00 FOX
10/1 @ Tampa Bay  ... 4:05 FOX
10/8 L.A. CHARGERS ... 1:00 CBS
10/15 @ Denver .... 8:30 NBC
10/22 SEATTLE ... 4:25 CBS
10/29 Bye Week
11/5 L.A. RAMS ... 1:00 FOX
11/12 @ San Francisco ... 4:25 FOX
11/19 KANSAS CITY ... 1:00 CBS
11/23 @ Washington ... 8:30 NBC*(Thanksgiving)
12/3 @ Oakland ......... 4:25 FOX
12/10 DALLAS  .......... 4:25 FOX
12/17 PHILADELPHIA ... 1:00 FOX
12/24 @ Arizona ......... 4:25 FOX
12/31 WASHINGTON ... 1:00 FOX

A couple of notes: 1) For the first time ever perhaps the Jets and Giants will not only play at the same time, but will swap networks on the same weekend (Week 5, October 8). The Giants play host to the Chargers on CBS, and the Jets visit the Browns on FOX. Typically when the Giants are on CBS, the Jets either have a bye week, or are in primetime; but since Gang Green is so toxic, the NFL decided to do a first and swap channels for both teams. 

2) The Jets get four games on Fox for the first time, ever! The Jets usually have two games tops on FOX, both of which are at home against NFC opponents. That tradition continues, with games against Atlanta and Carolina, however, FOX will also broadcast Jets-Dolphins and Jets-Browns. 

3) The Giants get three games on CBS this year. Outside of facing AFC opponents Kansas City and Los Angeles, the Giants will face the Seahawks on CBS on October 22, meaning that the Jets and Giants will not only swap networks once, but will do it twice. That same weekend the Jets visit Miami. That game will be on Fox. 

4) The Giants head to DC on Thanksgiving. It will be Big Blue's first Turkey Day appearance since 2009 when they got destroyed by Denver. For the Skins, this will be their first ever home game on Thanksgiving. They are so used to traveling to Dallas whenever they get a Turkey Day game. This will be fun. 

5) The Giants get Dallas week 1 again... ugh...

6) The Giants close out the season with three divisional games in the final four weeks, all of which will be at home. Talk about an advantage. 

7) The Jets are not going to be good this year, we get it. But, look at the Jets schedule in the second half of the year! They won't get a bye until November 19, and when they come out of that bye, they will face Kanas City, Carolina, Denver, New Orleans  LA (formally San Diego), and New England. That is murders row, and if the Jets are destined for a top pick in the 2018 draft, this stretch pretty much guarantees they won't win a single game in the months of November and December. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

NY Jets 2017 Schedule Leaked

While this is not expected to be a overly memorable season for the New York Jets, their 2017 schedule is starting to leak out details by the minute. The Jets will open the season on the road for the first time since 2009, when they take on the Buffalo Bills. The Jets ended last season with a 30-10 win over Buffalo, and now they get to open the season against them. Too bad Rex Ryan is no longer in Buffalo, because the game has zero sizzle.

The Jets will remain on the road in Week 2, when they travel to Oakland, for likely the final time ever, to face the Raiders. 

The Jets close out the season against the Chargers at home in Week 16, and at the Patriots in Week 17. There are also rumors that the Jets will host the Atlanta Falcons in Week 8 on October 29. The Jets also have a Thursday night match-up at home against Buffalo, but the date hasn't been revealed as of 3:25 p.m. ET.

5:25 p.m. ET, it is revealed through the Miami Dolphins leaks, that the Jets will host the Fish in their home opener in Week 3. Also, according to NJ.com, the Jets will host the Patriots in Week 6 at MetLife Stadium.

6:00 p.m. ET it is revealed that the Jets will visit the Saints in Week 15. If the Jets are destined to have a top 3 draft pick in 2018, facing Drew Brees, Phillip Rivers and Tom Brady to end the season might just guarantee it. 

Jets 2017 Schedule 
9/10 @ Buffalo 
9/17 @ Oakland
9/24 MIAMI 
10/1
10/8
10/15 NEW ENGLAND
10/22
10/29 ATLANTA 
11/5
11/12
11/19
11/26
12/3
12/10
12/17 @ New Orleans
12/24 L.A. CHARGERS
12/31 @ New England 

* Thursday night vs. Buffalo TBA 

NFL Schedules Giants vs. Cowboys in Week 1 ... Again

Oh, the NFL really has no imagination does it? As leaks of the NFL schedule are starting to pour out by the minute, the entire New York Giants schedule has been released, and for the fifth time in the last six seasons, the Giants open the season against the Dallas Cowboys. YAWN. For the third straight year, the Giants are on the road in Dallas to start the season. MAJOR YAWN.

What the heck, NFL? How does Giants-Cowboys have more appeal than having the NFC Champion Falcons open their new stadium in primetime on Sunday night? I just don't get it.

The Giants have now opened the season on the road for five straight year, and have not hosted a season opening game since 2012 when they played ... you guessed it ... the Dallas Cowboys.

In fact the Giants haven't hosted a week 1 game at 1 p.m. since 2010 when they played the Carolina Panthers.

At some point, the NFL has to not schedule Cowboys-Giants to open a season. It is driving the fans of both teams nuts.

Anyway here is the rest of the Giants' schedule

9/10 @ Dallas .... 8:30 NBC
9/18 DETROIT .... 8:30 ESPN
9/24 @ Philadelphia 
10/1 @ Tampa Bay 
10/8 L.A. CHARGERS 
10/15 @ Denver .... 8:30 NBC
10/22 SEATTLE 
10/29 Bye Week
11/5 L.A. RAMS 
11/12 @ San Francisco 
11/19 KANSAS CITY
11/23 @ Washington ... 8:30 NBC*(Thanksgiving)
12/3 @ Oakland
12/10 DALLAS 
12/17 PHILADELPHIA
12/24 @ Arizona
12/31 WASHINGTON

Another oddity of the schedule is the fact the Giants face three NFC East opponents all at home in the final month of the season.

As for the Jets, they will open the season on the road for the first time since 2009, when they travel to Buffalo to take on the new look Buffalo Bills. The Jets will have one primetime game this year, also against Buffalo, on a Thursday night later in the season.

2017 NFL schedule leaks are coming ...

The leaks are coming! The leaks are coming!

Ah, yes, finally the NFL schedule is about the come out. While the entire slate of 256 regular season games won't be "officially" revealed until 8 p.m. tonight, the leaks are starting to pour out for the upcoming schedule.

We can confirm that the New York Giants will play the Washington Redskins on Thanksgiving Day night. It will be the first time Big Blue will play a Turkey Day game since 2009, when they got smacked around by the Denver Broncos. For the Skins, it will be their second straight appearance on Thanksgiving. Last season, they lost a shutout to the Dallas Cowboys. Of note, however, this will be the first time ever that the Redskins will host a Thanksgiving Day game at home.

Other rumors out there revolve around the Patriots. New England is expected to open up the season against the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday night football, September 7. The Patriots are also expected to the play the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders on November 19 in Mexico City. Many expect that to be a Sunday night game.

The Atlanta Falcons are expected to christen their new Mercedes Benz Stadium in Week 1 on Sunday night. There has been speculation that the opponent will either be the Cowboys, Packers or the Minnesota Vikings. I'll guess that it will be the Cowboys. Why? Jerry Jones influence to play in a new stadium. The Cowboys equal TV ratings. Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot playing against the defending NFC Champs.

UPDATE 10:22 AM

According to Mike Klis on Twitter, the Denver Broncos will open the 2017 season at home against the San...er...Los Angeles Chargers on Monday Night Football. No word if this will be the second game on the MNF double-header, or whether ESPN will do the double-header again this season.




League Network source: Broncos to open 2017 season at home vs LA Chargers on Monday night.

Friday, April 14, 2017

d'Arnaud and Mets stun Marlins in 16-Inning Classic

METS 9 
MARLINS 8

One thing is very apparent in this early season for the New York Mets of 2017: they have tremendous guts. The Mets not only beat the Marlins for their fifth consecutive win that pushes them to 7-3 on the season, but they sent a direct message around the league that they are a team that is going to be reckoned with all season.

While, no one should be surprised by the Mets early season success, it wasn't that long ago people came into the season thinking the Mets were an enigma. Well, maybe they still are an enigma in many respects. Surely the Mets aren't perfect. But a 9-8 win in 16 innings was impressive, and if anything, it should give Mets fans confidence this team can do some big things.

The hero of the night is easy: Travis d'Arnaud. d'Arnaud caught all 16 innings of this ball game in South Beach and had one of the best nights at the plate of his major league career. He was 4-for-6 with 3 runs scored and 4 RBI. He opened the game with a huge bases clearing triple in the second inning that erased a 4-0 deficit.

In the eighth inning, with his team trailing 8-7, d'Arnaud connected on a two-out single to center, and came all the way around to score the tying run on Michael Conforto's RBI double.

For the next eight innings the Mets and Marlins remained tied, and again it was d'Arnaud who came up in the clutch. He took the second pitch he say from reliever Adam Conley and crushed to the left-center field for a solo home run. It was, dare I say, Piazza-esq from the moment, to the swing, to the power. It was gorgeous.

In case you are wondering, d'Arnaud is hitting .333 with two homers, nine RBI and four walks in nine games. If anyone came into the season with more questions, it was d'Arnaud. Many had speculated that the Mets were done with him after a poor season last year with throwing runners out, and his very soft bat the past couple of seasons. There was even speculation in the off-season that the Mets would trade him, or acquire a veteran catcher to take his job.  While the sample size is incredibly small, this tremendous start by the Mets catcher should leave a smile on the face -- because seeing a man succeed when everyone doubted him is the greatest comeback of all.

Speaking of silencing the doubters, how about Hansel Robles? Robles found a way into and out of trouble in the 15th and 16th innings to get the W for the Mets. The was the fourth straight game Robles has pitched. He was clearly on fumes in the 16th, but gutted it out to get through the middle of the order and get the win.

Yo Power: The power of left-fielder Yoenis Cespedes was on display yet again, Thursday. Cespedes belted two more home runs that helped launch the Mets to a 7-4 lead in the middle innings. Cespedes now owns six homers and 10 RBI just 10 days into the season. The man is on pace for a monster 40+ homer campaign if this keeps up.

NEXT: The Mets (7-3) continue their four game series in Miami on Friday night. Thor A.K.A. Noah Syndergaard gets the ball for New York. First pitch is at 7:10.