Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mark Sanchez & Jets Show Poise In Win Over Giants

JETS 27, GIANTS 25

Oh, what a night!

Sure it was preseason, but don't tell that to the New York Jets, who put on one heck of a show in their annual end of summer clash with the New York Giants.

Coming into the game, the Jets needed to give Mark Sanchez some much needed reps, and in return, receive some positive results after last week's debacle in Baltimore; positive results are exactly what they got and more.

Unlike last week when Sanchez looked lost in the world of Ray Lewis and the blitz-happy Baltimore Ravens defense, Sanchez withstood the blitz tonight from the Giants and delivered a veteran-like performance, going 13-for-20 for 149 yards and a touchdown.

In the second quarter, with the Giants on top 13-7, the Jets had the ball at their own 38 yard line facing a second and 10. Sanchez rolled to his left, avoided the pass rush and drilled the football to a wide open Chansi Stuckey for a 29-yard gain to the Giants 31 yard line.

Two plays, later, Sanchez rolled right into the blitz; with Osi Umineyoria and Fred Robbins bearing down on Sanchez, the rookie heaved the ball down the sideline to Stuckey, who made the catch, re-established himself inbounds, and dashed into the end zone to give the Jets a 14-13 lead.

Most of time it is ill advised for a quarterback to heave the ball up under such pressure, but the play displayed two things: 1) Sanchez has enough poise to make a quick read and decision on a broken play, and 2) his accuracy is really good. It takes a very strong arm to get rid of a football accurately under such duress, and Sanchez passed the test with flying colors.

From there Sanchez seemed to be in a groove. Standing in the pocket, Sanchez delivered a couple of strikes; one, a nine-yard pass to Jerricho Cotchery to move the chains.

Later, Sanchez delievered a laser to Cotchery in the end zone that hit the receiver in the numbers while he was double covered. Cotchery dropped the touchdown, but the message that Sanchez and Jets wanted to send was load and clear.

Defensively, the Jets got stronger as the night wore on.

Even though they never sacked quarterback Eli Manning, they put so much pressure on his receivers in tight bump-and-run coverage that it probably contributed to the series of drops and overthrows for the Giants offense all night.

The Jets new 46 Defense was so fast to the football on many different occasions that it was hard for any Giants offensive player to make adjustments in space, as they were tackled as soon as the football got to him.

As for the Giants, they continued to struggle offensively. Eli Manning continues to have timing issues with his receivers; it doesn't help build chemistry either when just about everyone in a blue jersey is dropping the football.

Late in the first quarter, Steve Smith was wide open down the middle of the field, Manning hit him in stride. It would have been an easy 85-yard touchdown pass, but Smith dropped the football once it landed in his hands.

Next, Manning's pass was tipped and bobbled by Dominik Hixon, instead landing in the hands of Jets linebacker David Harris to set up the Jets first scoring drive of the evening.

Overall Manning was 9-for-21 for 92 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The stats lie because a lot of Manning's incompletions were not his fault.

Defensively, the Giants got some pressure on Sanchez, but without Chris Canty, Antonio Pierce, Michael Boley, and Jay Alford, the Giants pass rush seemed to miss something.

Also, it appeared that the Jets took full advantage of the absence of corner back Aaron Ross, as Jet receivers were open all night long to make one big play after another.

The only positive the Giants could take out of the night was the play of David Carr and Hakeem Nicks. Even though it was against the Jets second string defense, the pair almost brought the Giants back from a 20-13 deficit to win the game.

Carr's 22 yard pass to Nicks in the corner of the end zone brought Big Blue to within 20-19. Later, Carr connected with Nicks, again, on a 71-yard touchdown down the sideline to cut the Jets lead to 27-25. The Giants failed to convert on two different two-point conversion plays costing them the ball game.

WHAT THE JETS CAN TAKE FROM THIS WIN: Their offense may be better than advertised. With Sanchez's ability to scramble, combined with the speed of the Jets receivers, the Jets could create many matchup problems for opposing defenses.

A deceptive offense is very hard to scheme for, and if an opposing defense has trouble discerning when Sanchez is going to get rid of the football, it will likely leave a man wide open for Sanchez to connect with, like it did tonight with Stuckey. Speed kills, especially in the NFL.

That being said, the Jets have to remember that they faced a beat up Giants defense. In a couple of weeks the bullets will be flying for real at Sanchez, so how he adjusts to the speed of a regular season game, and how he readjusts to the adjustments different teams will make in defending him and the Jets offense will go a long way in telling the tale about this rookie quarterback.

The big conundrum for the Jets: penalties. They committed 12 penalties in this game, 10 of which came in the first half.

The Jets had a lot of stupid penalties that killed them tonight. For example, deep in their own territory on a third and five, Sanchez dumped the ball off to Leon Washington, who dashed for the first down, but guard Brandon Moore was called for a 10-yard holding penalty, killing the drive.

Also, Lito Shepard was called for three pass interference calls, one of which cost the Jets 31 yards to help the Giants set up a cheap shot field goal to take a 10-7 lead in the first quarter. If the Jets don't discipline themselves, they are going to penalize themselves into a loss at some point this year.

WHAT THE GIANTS CAN TAKE FROM THE LOSS: They need more work. A lot more work, especially in the passing game.

With the Redskins and Cowboys waiting to play the Giants in the near future, the Giants have got to get their receiver situation figured out. Unfortunately the Giants have run out of preseason games to fix this problem, since the starters won't play the fourth preseason game against their Super Bowl XLII rival, the New England Patriots.

If Eli Manning cannot get on the same page with Hixon, Nicks and Smith, this Giants team is going to be in big trouble. Hakeem Nicks displayed his astute ability to become a game-breaking receiver with his two touchdowns late in the game, but, that was when Manning was out of the game. Continuity between Manning and Nicks will be key to this 2009 campaign.

Defensively, the Giants need everyone to get healthy in a hurry, especially at linebacker. The Giants can rush the passer better than any team in the league, but they need their backers and corners healthy and ready to go in order to cause turnovers, and break up any desperate passes from opposing quarterbacks.

With three preseason games now in the books, it is time to get ready for the regular season. Bring it on!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

N.Y. Mets For Sale? Wilpon's Deny It

Author Erin Arvediund writes in her tell-all book about the Bernie Madoff scandal that the New York Mets lost $700 million in the scandal; she concludes that the debt may be so steep that Fred and Jeff Wilpon may be forced to sell the franchise in the next year.

The Mets, as usual, denied the claim, belittling Ms. Avediund's knowledge of the situation: "The author of the book has no knowledge or facts related to the Mets business operations and finances."

Luckily for Ms. Arvediund, Omar Minaya didn't chastise her for lobbying for a job with the Mets organization as he did last month with N.Y. Daily News reporter Adam Rubin, since that seems to be the prefered way the Mets front office defends itself. Read Story.

If the Mets should sell, it might be a boon for the franchise. The Wilpons have sunk the Mets into irrelevancy by keeping Minaya and manager Jerry Manuel for the 2010 season. They have also placed Mets history into the shadows by building a stadium dedicated to the history of the Brookyln Dodgers, with very little Mets history on site.

Selling the team will likely lead to Met fans dancing in the streets if Ms. Arvediund's claim are true.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mark Sanchez Named Jets Opening Day Starter

The ineviateble is now a reality.

Mark Sanchez has been named the New York Jets starting quarterback by coach Rex Ryan this afternoon, putting an end to the so-called quarterback competition that took place this summer.

Sanchez did battle with Kellen Clemens for the starting job this summer, and if you look at the Jets two pre-season games, it is clear that there is no right decision here. Sanchez was awful for the Jets on Monday Night in Baltimore throwing a pick for a touchdown, and almost throwing another pick six to Ray Lewis.

Clemens on the other hand was equally bad, throwing an interception for a touchdown on his first pass of the night, and really never grabbed the bull by the horns to take this job, something that is quite disturbing to see from a guy who has 4 years of NFL experience under his belt.

Even though Ryan tried to tell the Jets beat reporters that this was entirely his decision, it is clear that Sanchez was going to be the starter, unless Clemens suddenly morphed into Tom Brady and lit it up in training camp and pre-season. Plus, Sanchez is being paid $50 million, which is more money than Clemens in making, so it should come as no surprise that ownership had a say in who the starting quarterback will be.

If anything, Sanchez will gain the nessecary experience that he needs to become a decent NFL quarterback. Therefore, expect to see Sanchez throw a ton of interceptions, get sacked a million times, and look totally lost from day one. Jet fans will want to kick and scream for a change at quarterback, but it more than likely won't happen. The only way a rookie is going to learn the ropes of the NFL is if he gets his lights knocked out a few times.

Get ready for a LOOOOOOOOONG season Jets fans.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Santana To Miss The Rest Of The Season

Johan Santana's 2009 season is over.

WFAN and SNY insider Jon Heyman reports that the Mets ace left hander will miss the rest of the season, as he will have autroscopic surgery performed on his left elbow to remove bone fragments in the arm.

It was feared that Santana would need Tommy John's Surgery, which would have required total reconstruction of his elbow and the likelihood that Santana would not pitch again until 2011.

Now Santana can clean up his arm, get a longer off-season and be ready to go come Februrary 2010.

Santana joins 12 other Mets who are missing significant time this year due to injury, and he joins Alex Cora, Jon Niese, Jose Reyes and Carlos Delgado as players who will miss the rest of the 2009 season. READ JON HEYMAN!

Sanchez & Clemens Uneven In Jets Loss To Ravens

RAVENS 24
JETS 23

This much is clear about the Jets quarterback competition: The Jets still don't have an answer who will be the starter on opening day in Houston. That's bad news for any team.

It is rare for the second pre-season game to have any meaning at all, but this one had a lot of meaning for the Rex Ryan, who was hoping to have a better gauge in the Mark Sanchez vs. Kellen Clemens battle; all he got was garbage from his two QB's.

Sanchez was pretty awful in his first real test against a superior defense. On the second play of the game, Sanchez was driven into the ground by Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, and, in shear panic, Sanchez threw the ball into the hands of Haloti Ngata who rumbled untouched into the end zone for a touchdown.

Sanchez had the look of the proverbial deer in the headlights as the Ravens threw everything, including the kitchen sink, at the USC product. In fact, Sanchez was even smacked in the head on a fumble that he caused, leading Ryan to pull him from the game for fear of a concussion. The only good thing Sanchez did well was complete a nice 19 yard touchdown pass to Leon Washington to cut the Ravens lead to 14-7.

As for Clemens, he wasn't any better.

With the Jets trailing 14-7, and, with the ball on their own 15 yard line, the Jets decided to call a pass play, which made little sense because of the bad field position. Clemens was corralled and was about to be taken down for a sack until he threw up the ball in desperation into the hands of Jameel McClain. Unfortunately, for Gang Green McClain is a corner back for the Ravens. McClain dashed into the end zone for the touchdown to give Baltimore a 21-7 lead. The only positive for Clemens was a beautiful arching 28 yard touchdown to David Clowney to get the Jets to within seven, 21-14; that was the only positive moment for Clemens on the night, whose passes seem to lack zip.

The only Jets quarterback who actually played well was Eric Ainge. Even though he was facing third string defenders, Ainge orchestrated a nice 17 play 74 yard drive that ate up the rest of the fourth quarter, that culminated with an Ainge touchdown scramble to get the Jets to within 24-23. Ainge tried to connect Bobby Christopher for the two point conversion that would have given the Jets a 25-24 win, but the pass was deflected to preserve the Ravens victory. Box Score.

What should Jet fans take from the game? Mark Sanchez is not ready for prime time. He looked over matched and befuddled throughout the night, making it quite clear that he will need more seasoning before he can become a legitimate NFL quarterback.

The Jets may be best advised to give Clemens the starting job on opening day, since he knows the offense the best, giving the Jets the best shot to get off to a respectable start this year. However, there is nothing wrong with giving a rookie the start from the get-go. Fans will just have to accept that 2009 will be a season sacrificed for better days ahead.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Johan Santana To Skip Next Start With Injury

Johan Santana is the latest member of the Mets to join the injury list.

After another embarassing loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, Mets manager Jerry Manuel announced to the media that Santana will miss his next start due to pain in his left elbow.

Santana has not thrown between starts since the All Star break, signaling that something has been wrong with the Mets ace. Santana has not been terrible since the break, going 3-2 in that time span, but he had only one dominating start, 7-0 win over the Rockies on July 30.

It is unknown whether Santana will start on Wednesday in Florida.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Injuries Starting To Add Up For Giants

BEARS 17
GIANTS 3
Keep telling yourselves, Giants fans, that it is only pre-season.
Even though it was only the second pre-season game of the year, and there are still three weeks left until the start of the regular season, the Giants have issues.
Big Blue entered tonight's game against the Chicago Bears with nine players on the DL. Cornerbacks Kenny Phillips and Aaron Ross, defensive linemen Rocky Bernard and Chirs Canty, linebacker and leader Antonio Pierce and Michael Boley all were inactive on the Giants starting defense, while offensive linemen Chris Snee and Rich Seubert were also out with injuiries.
With a defense already wounded, Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears took full advantage, scoring on each of their three possessions in the first quarter to shock the Giants 17-3 Saturday night.
The Bears went right through the Giants defense like a knife through butter as Cutler slung the football all over the field. He was 8 of 13 for 121 yards and a touchdown in a quarter and a half of action, making it quite clear that the Giants have a depth problem at linebacker and the secondary.
The Giants were unable to make key tackles in space and even had a hard time covering some of the worst receivers in football. In short, the Giants made a retooling offense in Chicago look like the 2007 Patriots.
To add insult to injury the Giants lost defensive end Jay Alford, who registered a key sack of Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLII, to a knee injury in the third quarter.
If the Giants can't get healthy on defense in a hurry, then they are in big trouble. They need Pierce and Boley to get back on the field fast, since they lack quality support at linebacker, and it would be an even bigger plus if Phillips and Ross return to solidify the secondary.
When healthy, the Giants have a top five defense. Right now, the Giants can't worry about wins and losses in their final two pre-season games; they have to make health their number one prioity before the Washington Redskins come to town on September 13. Box Score.

Mets Do the Right Thing: Honor 1969 Mets

Even though it was like pulling teeth, Mets owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon finally did the right thing. Instead of pretending that the history of the New York Mets didn't exist for the better part of the 2009 season, merely visit Citi Field to find out, the owners finally honored the 1969 World Champion Mets at Citi Field Saturday night.

It has been 40 years since the Miracle Mets shocked the world by beating the Baltimore Orioles in five games of that year's October Classic.

The Mets faithful warmly welcomed back Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, Dave Kingman, Yogi Berra, Jerry Grote, Duffy Dyer, Ron Swoboda, and, yes, Nolan Ryan; these players were the highlights admist 21 former Met players and coaches invited to attend the event.

The Wilpons seem to understand that Met fans want to see more of Mets history at Citi Field, and not the Brookyln Dodgers, i.e. the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at the front of the building. The Mets recently put the team's championship banners back in the outfield for all to see, after it had been hidden behind the stadium at the start of the season, and even painted the words "Mets 1969" outside of each dugout.

Maybe, in a lost season, the Met fans have finally been heard. Let's hope so.

Yankee Pitching Gets Tatooed Again

RED SOX 14
YANKEES 1

This time the Yankees couldn't score 20 runs to make up the difference.

For the second straight game, Yankee pitching got tattooed by the Boston Red Sox offense. The Sox pounded out seven runs in the initial two innings of the game off starter A.J. Burnett, by far his worst performace of the 2009 season.

With two on and two out in the bottom of the first, David Ortiz doubled to left to drive home Dustin Pedroia and Victor Martinez to make it 2-0 Boston. Jayson Bay followed that with single to shallow center to drive in Ortiz, making it 3-0.

In the second inning, Alex Gonzalez got things started with a solo homer over the Green Monster, 4-0. Later, Burnett walked Pedroia and Martinez to set up Kevin Youklis for the biggest play of the game. Youklis blasted a three run shot over the monster to give Boston a 7-0 lead. Youklis would homer again in the sixth inning, a two run blast, to give Boston a 12-0. Box Score.

The Yankees need to be concerned about their pitching. After playing on cruise control for the past two months, the Yankees finally have a kink in the armor. In back-to-back nights both Andy Pettitte and Burnett were lit up by the Boston Red Sox. This does not bode well for a team that has World Series aspirations. Stay tuned.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Plaxico Burress Pleads Guilty, Will Serve 2 Years In Prison

After a very long and frustrating trial period that included battles between Plaxico Burress' attonrey Benjamin Brafman and an old school N.Y. District Attorney, who had it out for both Burress and teammate Antonio Pierce, Burress finally accepted a plea bargin that will put him behind bars for two years.

If he had not pleaded guilty, the former Giants receiver would have faced 3 1/2 years in prison if he was found guilty of possessing an illegal firearm in a New York City nightclub last November.

Burress will be sentenced to prison on September 22, ultimately putting an end to any speculation that Burress would find a way to avoid sentencing this fall that would have allowed him to play with a football team this year.

Instead Burress may not see the field of play again until 2011 at the earliest. The Super Bowl XLII hero will be pushing 35 years old when he comes out of jail, and it is fair to speculate that he professional football career might be over. Spending that much time away from the game for a player who is no longer in his prime might spell the end for a very good athlete.

Still, a guy like Michael Vick may be an example. Even though Vick signed with the Eagles a week ago, it is unknown if Vick is in playing shape after spending two years in jail for brutally murdering dogs and running a dog fighting ring. If Vick isn't in playing shape, his career might as well be over, and he is a few years younger than Burress.

Yahoo Sports story.

May this be a lesson to professional athletes all over that no matter how much money and celebrity they have, it means nothing when the law is broken. Burress is paying for being a fool.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Rex Ryan Verbally Attacks Patriots Coach Bill Belichick


In what has to be Rex Ryan's dumbest move since being named head coach of the New York Jets, the boisterous head coach reiterated that he is not afraid of Patriots coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots.
“You don’t line up and beat a Bill Belichick-coached team by tiptoeing in there. We’re going to be ourselves and I’m going to be myself,” he said. “How much more motivation are they going to get by putting a quote from me on the wall, saying I believe in my football team and I’m not going to be intimidated by a coach or anyone else?

“If that’s where you’re going to draw motivation from, hell, we’ll probably kick your (butt).” YAHOO SPORTS. These are some pretty strong statements coming from a man who has yet to coach a game for the Jets. Last time anyone checked, Belichick has three Super Bowl rings to his credit as a head coach, and he has Tom Brady as his quarterback. What does Ryan have?

The last thing in the world Ryan should be doing is providing his opponents bulletin board material that will be used against him and the Jets in the upcoming season. There is such a thing in sports as good sportsmanship. Clearly, Ryan doesn't have that. This is not to excuse Belichick who is the epitome of classless behavior after losses, but the fact that Ryan has no appreciation for what his opponents have accomplished says little about him as a person right now.

He will have to eat his words if he is not careful, maybe then we will see some humility from Ryan.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Brett Favre Returns Again...Will Play For Vikings

Just when football fans thought Brett Favre meant it when he said two weeks ago that he would stay retired, Favre, as in the past year, pulled the rug out from underneath the public's not unjustified assumptions.

Favre changed his mind, again, and will suit up in purple and gold this season, as he seeks revenge on the Green Bay Packers as the starting quarterback for the Minnesota Vikings.

There were rumblings on Monday that Favre would consider changing his mind again, and play but the sources were unnamed.

Then, at high noon this afternoon, it was announced that Favre had signed with Minnesota. ESPN story.

Favre is expected to partake in team workouts immediately. According to WFAN radio in New York, Favre could be ready to start for Minnesota on Friday when the team plays host to the Kansas City Chiefs in pre-season action.

The Vikings will face Favre's former team, the Packers, on October 5 on Monday Night Football in Minnesota. The two teams will meet again later on November 1, the will be on FOX. Vikings Schedule.

Another interesting matchup will come week one, when Favre goes to Cleveland to face his former coach Eric Mangini, the man whom, many feel, Favre got fired, after the Jets collapsed last season.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mark Sanchez To Start Vs. Ravens

Mark Sanchez's impressive outing on Friday night has earned the rookie quarterback his first NFL start, albeit a pre-season game, when the Jets play again in eight days against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore.

Sanchez out played bumbling Kellen Clemens in the Jets 23-20 loss to the Rams the other night. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN, so this is a chance for Sanchez to prove that the Jets didn't gamble too much when the traded up to get him at number five in the draft this April.

David Wright Out Of Hospital

David Wright has left the Hostpital for Special Surgery after suffering a concussion from a beaning by San Francisco Giants pithcer Matt Cain in Saturday's 5-4 Giants victory. Early in the game, with Wright at bat, Cain's 94 mph fastball got away from him, and smacked Wright right in the head knocking him to the ground.

Wright was face first on the ground for several minutes, before the Mets medical staff peeled him off of the field.

It is not known as to when Wright will play again for the Mets, but it just adds to what has been a frustrating year for the Mets, where all of the Mets opening day players are on the DL for one severe injury after another.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sanchez Impressive In Dull Jets Pre Season Opener

RAMS 23
JETS 20

It was hard to discern anything substantial from tonight's preseason opener for the New York Jets. The handful of Jet fans that showed up for the game got a brief glimpse at the quarterback battle between Kellen Clemens and Mark Sanchez, and Sanchez was clearly the more impressive of the two.

Even though he played only one series, Sanchez led the Jets starting offense to their only touchdown in the first half of the exhibition game. On his first play, Sanchez connected with David Clowney down the sideline for a 48 yard completion that moved the Jets from their own five yard line to the Rams 45; the pass elicited shock and awe from the Jets faithful. Sanchez finished the drive 3 for 4 for 88 yards; however, the biggest connection in the game was thrown by Eric Ainge to David Clowney for a 50 yard touchdown, giving the Jets a brief 20 to 16 lead.

As for Clemens, he was awful in two series. He was hurried, sacked, and even stripped of the football in the first quarter. Clemens' uneven night might spell the end of his attempt to become the Jets starting quarterback after two frustrating years for the Oregon product.

The Jets lost this game 23-20 to St. Louis thanks to a Kieth Null touchdown pass to Shaun Walker, as Steve Spagnoluo beat Rex Ryan in a match up of former highly touted defensive coordinators in their first game as head coaches. Box Score.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sanchez Has The Early Lead To Be Jets Starting QB

Thus far this summer, rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez appears to have the upper hand on four year veteran Kellen Clemens. Sanchez has dazzled with his poise and arm this summer. In 11 on 11 drills on Saturday, Sanchez hit Jerricho Cotchery on a 40 yard pass for a touchdown.

According to several reports, Sanchez went 10 for 19 with two touchdowns and one interception. Meanwhile, Clemens struggled; he went 4 for 12 with another interception; Clemens now has seven picks in 11 on 11 drills compared to Sanchez's three.

"He did a great job of leading us," Cotchery said. "I think the best thing he did was establish our tempo as an offense. When you establish our tempo like we did today, you put a lot of pressure on the defense. You saw the way we were able to go down off the two-minute drill today." Read more:http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/jets/2009/08/08/2009-08-08_sanchez.html#ixzz0NiZKQ3Ic


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Ortiz Denies Steroid Use

No suprises here: David Ortiz, speaking out for the first time since allegations arose a week ago that he used steroids in 2003, denied any knowledge that he utilized the illegal drug.

Ortiz claimed he talked to the player's union in 2004 and was never told he had tested positive for steroids. Ortiz used the word "confused" several times during the press conference.

So, like his former teammate Manny Ramirez and many other users, Ortiz has denied taking steroids, even though proofs testify otherwise.

Yankees Win Epic Journey Deep Into The Night

YANKEES 2
RED SOX 0
15 INNINGS


This is what baseball is all about: Two great teams battling it out, hour after hour, inning after inning, batter after batter, an exquisite game played out on a chessboard of grass. Typical of this legendary series between the Yankees and Red Sox, this one will go down as one of the classic confrontations of all time.

For 15 innings, the two heavyweight teams duked it out scoreless for the entire night. Certainly, there were opportunites, but neither team could take advantage of scoring chances; for example, in the bottom of the ninth, with Hideki Matsui and Alex Rodriguez on base with two out, and Jorge Posada strolling to the plate, David Bard reeled back and struck out the powerful Posada swinging, ending the threat.

Later, in the bottom of the tenth with Eric Hinske on base and Derek Jeter at bat with two out, Red Sox manager Terry Francona makes a brilliant move. He removes his set up man, Ramon Ramirez, in favor of closer Jonathan Papelbon. Jeter, 3 for 13 against the Red Sox star closer, strikes swinging, making the star short stop look foolish at 3 for 14.

In the top of the 14th, it appeared that Sox were bound to score. Kevin Youkilis singled and J.D. Drew was intentionally walked for Jason Varitek. Varitek. Varitek who is no longer the hitter he used to be, grounded out to second base to end one of the few Red Sox threats.

In the bottom of the 14th, the Yankees, once again, had a chance to score. With Posada and Robinson Cano on base, Hinske laced a line drive to right field. It appeared that the ball would fly over Drew's head, but the right fielder made a terrific grab to prevent the runners from advancing.
Finally, Melky Cabrera, who has been known for game-winning hits for the Bombers this year, was oh-so-close to getting another big hit. He drilled a line drive down the right field line, but the ball trickeld foul. Cabrera struck out, ending the Yankees inning.

Finally, in the 15th inning after Derek Jeter singled, Alex Rodriguez, the unclutch one, blasted a curve ball into the bullpens in left center field to send Yankee Stadium into a frenzy. Rodriguez was later greeted by pitcher A.J. Burnett with a towel full of shaving cream, but he missed Rodriguez's face, instead hitting him in the left ear.

The Yankees are now 4.5 games ahead of the Sox for first place in the AL East. Perhaps destiny is in the Yankees chess game this season.

Mets Lose In Inexplicable Fashion

PADRES 6
METS 2

Who cares how the Mets got a 2-0 lead in this game, and who cares that they held a 2-1 lead going into the ninth inning. This game was all about the bottom of the ninth and Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez.

The Mets $36 million man continued to struggle yet again, blowing his second straight save, and sixth blown save of the season. After K-Rod walked some guy named Kyle Blanks, who has shot blanks all year for San Diego with his .212 batting average, Rodriguez gave up a game tying double to Will Venable, and Blanks scored on a controversial play at the plate. Blanks appeared to be out in video replays, but that doesn't matter in baseball; he was called safe and so safe he is.

Then, K-Rod imploded. He walked Henri Blanco and, for some strange reason, intentionally walked Oscar Salazar to put the Mets in a no-win situation: bases loaded and nobody out. It's just what the doctor ordered.

The Mets decided that it would be the brilliant idea to bring Angel Pagan into the infield from center field to be the desingated fifth infielder, leaving the Mets with just two outfielders. That plan worked out well: Everth Cabrera .. Who? ... proceeded to blast a walk-off grand slam with only the two outfielders on defense, giving the Padres a 6-2 victory. Needless to add, the plan did not work out as planned. Box Score.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Yankees Blast Bo Sox In Game One Of Late Summer Series

YANKEES 13
RED SOX 6

Is there anyone who can stop the Yankees in the American League? Right now it doesn't look like it. The Yankees exorcised their demons tonight in the Bronx, driving out the evil spell of the hated Boston Red Sox 13-6, and ending an eight game losing streak to Boston in this season.

The Yankee bats were hotter than the weather as they belted four homers and put up an eight run fourth inning to all but seal the game.

The offensive barrage began in the third inning when Johnny Damon homered to right off John Smoltz to tie the game at one.

After the Red Sox took a 3-1 lead on a Casey Kotchman two run homer, the Yankees went ballistic in the fourth. Jorge Posada led with a double to right; Robinson Cano then drove in Posada with a single to shallow center field to move the Yankees to within one, 3-2. After a Nick Swisher walk, Melky Cabrera cracked a three run homer to right to give the Yankees a 5-3 lead.

But that was not all; things got even worse for Smoltz. He gave up a single to Damon, a double to Mark Teixeria, and a walk to Alex Rodriguez to load them up. Terry Francona, having seen enough, pulled the veteran from the game for Billy Traber, but the move didn't work out too well.

Hideki Matsui grounded into a fielder's choice to bring home Damon, making it 6-3; then Posada rocketed a three run homer to center field to give the Yankees a 9-3 advantage.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees iced the contest when Matsui doubled to left to drive in Cabrera and A-Rod to make it 11-4 Bombers.

The Yankees now move to 3.5 games ahead of Boston for first place in the AL East. They will play three more with Boston this weekend and could easily put the Sox in the rear view mirror before mid-August. Box Score.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eli Manning Cashes In Big Time

Super Bowl XLII MVP Eli Manning is a rich, rich man tonight.

The Giants have finalized a six year $97.5 million deal with Manning that will pay him $15 million a season.

Manning is also guaranteed to make more than $35 million in the contract; this is by far one of the richest contracts in the NFL. Only Julius Peppers of the Carolina Panthers ($16.7 mil.) and Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals ($16.1 mil.) make more money per season than Manning. Not even Eli's brother Peyton, nor Tom Brady, make as much as Eli will be making into the foreseeable future.

This has been a topic of discussion for the Giants for a few months, and now it is finally a fait accompli. There are those who will question the deal since Manning had a bad second half to the 2008 season that concluded with a 23-11 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the second round of the playoffs.

However, Manning is a Super Bowl MVP. Without his heroics in the 2007/2008 playoffs, the Giants would never have sniffed a Super Bowl championship. Right now, he deserves every penny. Not bad for a guy who was once considered by the Giants fan base, and many experts as well, a losing player who would never get out of his brother's shadow. ESPN REPORT.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Plaxico Burress Indicted By NYC Grand Jury

Plaxico Burress has been indicted by a N.Y.C. Grand Jury this afternoon on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment.

Last November, Burress was at a night club with teammate Antonio Pierce, when the former Giants receiver shot himself in the leg when his gun fell out of his pants. Burress was not licensed for the gun in New York; in fact, his Florida permit for the weapon had expired.

Burress is still facing up to 3 1/2 years in prison if he is charged. However, the trial may not take place until next February or March, meaning Burress could conceivably play for a team this season, if someone wants to take him, of course.

If there is any good news coming out of the story, it is the fact that Pierce was not indicted for his role in the incident; therefore, the linebacker can rejoin his teammates in Albany for training camp without any worries of missing time with the Giants this season.