Tuesday, December 29, 2009
The deal is pending a physical.
Last season Bay hit .267 for the Red Sox with 36 home run and 119 RBI. He will be the Mets left fielder, and will likely bat fifth in the Mets order behind David Wright and Carlos Beltran.
The Mets desperately needed a big bat in the outfield, and they finally got their man in Bay. The Mets initially offered a five year deal to Bay, and it appears that he has finally accepted.
Rex Ryan always finds a way to stick his foot into his own mouth.
A day after the Jets were awarded a 29-15 victory by the Indianapolis Colts, the Jets coach tried to sell to the media that the Jets earned the victory.
"We won the game," Ryan said. "We ended up doing what we had to do, whoever was in the Colts' jerseys. I think that there's very little credit that our football team's given, and that's unfortunate."
Ryan feels that his team was not awarded the game, that they worked very hard to beat a team that basically gave up on the game. Ryan, like a lot of Jet fans, are giving crediblity to the idea that because the Jets were close, the team would have still found a way to win the game, even if Peyton Manning had played all 60 minutes.
Ryan went on to say that the Jets victories over Tampa Bay and Carolina were equally impressive because both the Bucs and Panthers have played better lately. However, Ryan fails to realize that the Panthers benched Jake Delhomme, who threw four interceptions against the Jets, and have been winning with Matt Moore at quarterback.
Ryan's excuses are idiotic. He and any Jet fan is crazy to believe that the Jets would have still won the game with Peyton Manning in the contest. Manning shredded the Jets D early in the third quarter, leading the Colts back from a 10-9 deficit to take a 15-10 lead before being removed. Manning would have ripped the Jets apart if he had stayed in.
As for the Jets offense, they could only muster three points against the Colts first string defense; they didn't roll up 200 yards on the ground until the Colts raised a white flag in the third quarter.
The game was an embarrassment to the NFL and the Colts. The Jets received a gift, they should be 7-8, and have no business justifying a game that they did not earn in victory.
The Mets officially signed former Angles starter Kelvim Escobar to a one year deal, and, according to the Daily News, want the star crossed picther to become the Mets new set-up man.
Escobar has pitched in only one game in two years, because of arm trouble, which he fits right in with the Mets, who spent more time at the ER than on the diamond in 2009.
In 2007, Escobar was great for the Anaheim Angels winning 18 games. He was teammates with Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez during their years' at Anaheim, and now it appears that they will be the eighth and ninth inning for the Mets come 2010.
Escobar is 85-74 with a 4.09 ERA in 202 games as a starter and 16-17 with 59 saves and a 4.44 ERA in 209 games as a reliever.
As many have heard by now, the Indianapolis Colts are getting lambasted by the public for lying down against the New York Jets, by taking their starters out of game they were winning 15-10. The Jets took full advantage of the B-Colts, smacking around the both the teams' second string defense and offense to steal the victory. The win, or lack there of, by the Jets puts Gang Green in prime position to get into the playoffs.
Here is my take on the fiasco. Should the Jets be proud that they are going to the postseason?
Sure, a win is a win, and if you root, or work, or play for the New York Jets, you take every win you can get.
But when the greatest quarterback in the game is removed because Colts head coach Jim Caldwell is willing to treat the remaining games as preseason, you can't feel good about it.
Head Coach Rex Ryan and the Jets didn't pump their chests after the game. They were extremely happy to win and even happier that they had somehow, perhaps by way of osmosis, stumbled into the playoff picture as a possible five seed.
This means that if the Jets beat the Cincinnati Bengals next weekend, the Jets, with all of their warts, will be in the playoffs.
The Jets were down 15-10, and the Colts were legitimately trying to win this game, when Peyton Manning was making completions to Austin Collie and Dallas Clark, when Joseph Addai split the tackles like Moses split the Red Sea for a touchdown to make it 7-0, Colts.
Then, Colts head coach Jim Caldwell decided that he didn't care about a 15-0 record, deciding to take the biggest gamble of his young career by removing starters from the game.
With the Colts likely to rest its starters again in the regular season finale at Buffalo, and with a bye in the first round of the playoffs, the Colts will go almost a month without playing a serious game.
In came backup quarterback Curtis Painter and the rest of the Colts' second string playmakers.
The Jets took full advantage of the fact that Manning was out of the game, smacked around Painter and stole the game like a bully taking candy from a defenseless baby.
What the Colts did on Sunday was embarrassing.
It made a farce out of the cliche made famous by ex-Jets coach Herman Edwards, "You play to win the game."
The Colts should have played this game as if it were an important regular season game for them, which in so many respects, it was. The Colts need to keep their momentum going if they intend to go on a Super Bowl run.
Manning knew that, which is why he appeared to be deeply annoyed on the sideline after Caldwell and offensive coordinator Tom Moore took him out of the game.
As for the Jets, we are left with more questions rather than answers.
As I listen to the radio this morning, Jet fans call up WFAN asserting the Jets "deserved" to win this game.
Jet fans had better simmer down.
Sure, it is exciting that the Jets defeated the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts, but there is only one problem: The Jets didn't beat the 14-0 Colts, they beat the Single-A Colts.
Moreover, there is no such thing as "deserving to win" a game. The only thing the Jets deserve is to sit at home and watch the playoffs considering what a joke this team has been all season long.
This is a team that has toyed with its fan base from the start of the season. They got off to a 3-0 start, backing up the tough talk from its Ryan and players like Bart Scott and Kerry Rhodes.
Then the bottom fell out. Mark Sanchez started to look like the rawest of rookies, highlighted by a five interception performance in a 16-13 loss to the Bills.
The Jets defense couldn't defend (e.g. Miami's ferocious comeback on Monday night in early October).
Then, on Nov. 1, the special teams forgot how to tackle, especially the likes of Ted Ginn Jr.'s two kick-off returns for the Dolphins in the second meeting with the Gang Green.
Then there was Sanchez's game opening interception against Jacksonville, which was later followed by the defense blowing a 22-21 lead to the Jags late in the fourth quarter.
This is the same Jets team that botched three field goals against the Falcons in week 15, only to watch Matt Ryan lead the Dirty Birds to the winning score.
And the Jets "deserve" to go to the playoffs?
I'm surprised that Rex Ryan didn't experience a Jim Mora moment last night. "Playoffs? Playoffs?"
The Jets have been a mess in every sense of the word. Five gut wrenching losses, four of which were to key AFC opponents, should have meant nothing but doom.
Instead, the Ravens, Broncos, Dolphins, and Jaguars all decided to give the Jets a huge Christmas gift by losing their respective games.
Don't blame the Jets for being in this position; they were essentially put in it. However, once the playoffs commence, the Jets will be a quick and easy out.
They are arguably the worst playoff team in the tournament this year.
In some ways the victory over Indianapolis, and, if Cincinnati rests its starters next week, a victory over the Bengals could create a false sense of security in this team.
A 9-7 finish and a playoff appearance will cause owner Woody Johnson and head coach Rex Ryan to back offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, whose play calling and work with rookie Mark Sanchez is so suspect that it makes one wonder if the kid is learning anything.
Remember these statistics: the Jets are No. 21 in the NFL in total offense, and No. 30 in the league in passing.
It will also allow Johnson to keep GM Mike Tannenbaum, who, with the exception of Darrell Revis and Nick Mangold, hasn't drafted many impact players to go along with the plethora of experienced veterans: Kellen Clemens, Danny Woodhead, and Vernon Gholston.
It will make the Jets brass believe that Sanchez is farther along in his progress than he really is. The kid threw for only 106 yards on Sunday and didn't leave the impression that he is close to turning the corner in his development.
Keep in mind this was against a second string Colts defense. He still runs around the field with "happy feet," looks uncomfortable in the pocket, and makes stupid decisions.
In addition, it will give the Jets a reason to re-sign Braylon Edwards, who has dropped many key passes, like the two-point conversion against Jacksonville, and a potential 85-yard touchdown pass against Buffalo.
It will give the Jets a reason to boast about their number one ranked defense, which although good, is not a dominant defense. There really hasn't been a dominant D in the NFL this year.
A dominant defense puts a lot of pressure up front on the opposing quarterback, and they close games out. The Jets D has coughed up three games in the fourth quarter and they are in the middle of the pack with 29 quarterback sacks.
Not exactly dominating.
Finally, it will give more reason for the Jets front office to push personal seat licensing down season ticket holders throats to see a football franchise that has been more of an embarrassment than a world beater over the past 41 years.
The Jets are not a playoff team this year.
Hell, they are not even that good. They got lucky.
Consider this: if the Colts actually had demonstrated some regard for the gamesmanship of the sport, the Jets would be 7-8 right now, staring at a long offseason full of reshuffling.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
This is not how the Mara family envisioned the Giants would close out Giants Stadium forever on December 27, 2009.
The Giants were completely embarrassed by the Carolina Panthers, as the Cats exposed the Giants for the frauds they are this year. The Panthers rolled up 416 yards on the Giants Swiss cheese defense, 206 coming from Jonathan Stewart, who started in place of the injured DeAngelo Williams.
The tome was set by Stewart in the second quarter, when he broke through right tackle and dashed into the endzone for a 29-yard touchdown giving Carolina a 10-0 lead.
Offensively the Giants never had an answer for the Panthers, four times the Giants went three and out, and twice they fumbled the ball away in the first half.
Meanwhile, Matt Moore, (WHO?) Matt Moore ripped up the giants secondary. Half way through the second Moore hit a streaking Musin Muhammad for a 22 yard touchdown extending the Panthers lead to 17-0.
Once the third quarter started, the Panthers kept the pressure on. Moore hit Steve Smith for a 27 yard touchdown in a two minute drive to open the quarter to give the Panthers an insurmountable 31-0 lead. Box score.
The loss was the second worst defeat for the Giants in Giants Stadium history. The previous being a 35-0 spanking at the hand of the Dallas Cowboys on Sept. 4, 1995.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
You better watch out!
You better pout!
You better cry, and I'm telling you why!
Santa Minaya, and the Wilpon Elf's are coming to ruin your Christmas.
In case you have been preoccupied with holiday shopping, family gatherings, caroling, and way too much egg nog, the Mets have found a way to make the retail economy look like the good ole surplus days of the 1990's.
The Mets have done absolutely nothing this off-season, and I am counting the signings of R.A. Dickey and Henri Blanco.
Once the disaster that was the 2009 season came to an end on Oct. 4, the Wilpons promised their fans that the Mets would do everything in their power to improve the club on the field. They even went on Mike Francesa's radio show on WFAN to proclaim that the Bernie Madoff fiasco that reportedly cost the team roughly $400 million would not curb their spending on potential big ticket free agents.
Then the Mets went to Indianapolis with rumors swirling faster then a tornado that the team was very interested in signing John Lackey, was curious about the prospects, although very slim, of acquiring Roy Halladay, and was on target to sign both Bengie Molina and Jason Bay to long term contracts.
Instead, nothing happened.
The Mets watched Lackey, instead, sign a deal with the Boston Red Sox and watched as divisional rival and reigning NL Champions Philadelphia Phillies scooped up Halladay in a trade that didn't require top major or minor league talent.
They have stood and watched other free agent pitchers; i.e., Randy Wolf sign with the Brewers, Jason Marquis sign with the Nationals, and, yes, even Brad Penny sign with the St.Louis Cardinals.
Meanwhile, the Mets don't appear close to signing outfielder Jason Bay. Many expect Bay to eventually sign with the Mets, but the Mets have been here before while blowing their chances at signing their guy; and, with Molina, the Mets refuse to offer him a third year on the contract.
The Mets' lack of activity has many questioning the legitimacy of the Mets franchise.
Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio delivered a monologue dedicated to blasting the Mets as a peanut franchise that plays the Clippers to the Yankees' Lakers, questioning the front office's belief that the Mets are an upper tier franchise in Major League Baseball when in fact it is not.
New York radio hosts, Joe Beningo, Evan Roberts, Mike Francesca, among others, are perplexed by Omar Minaya's refusal to get anything done this off-season while trying to sell season ticket packages for a year-old stadium at Citi Field and compete with the best team in baseball, the Yankees, for every available dollar and back page.
A lot of the hysteria stems from the flurry of moves the Yankees and Phillies have made. The Yankees added Curtis Granderson, Javier Vazquez, resigned Andy Pettitte, and for all we know could swoop in and scoop up Bay before he ever signs with the Mets. The Yankees are 50 days removed from winning a World Series, and they are shopping like a team yearning to win another title.
What have the Mets won? Nothing. For 24 years.
Once Roy Halladay got traded to Philadelphia, a lot of Mets fans were ready to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, burn their season tickets and throw all of that Mets memorabilia into the trash. Truth is, the Mets never had the prospects to get Halladay, but the frustration of the Met fan is understandable.
To quote Vince Lombardi, "What the hell is going on out here?"
The Mets' inactivity this off-season mirrors the trend from last December. Last year the Mets were able to get Francisco Rodriguez and J.J. Putz but balked at the opportunity to acquire Orlando Hudson, Jason Marquis, Randy Wolf, Derek Lowe, and Manny Ramirez. In fact, if one recalls, the Mets low-balled Lowe on a three year contract when the pitcher wanted four.
The Mets lost Lowe to Atlanta and had to fool themselves into relying and overpaying Oliver Perez, and trusting unreliable commodities in John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, and Nelson Figueroa to get the job done behind ace Johan Santana. Injuries and inconsistencies soon followed, and the Mets were left with a decaying franchise in need of a huge boost.
Now the Mets are at it again, failing to acquire the pieces they need to be a solid team.
Should Omar Minaya take the fall if he ends up dropping the ball on the Molina signing and watches Bay sign with the Yankees and Matt Holliday with the Cardinals? The fans most certainly think so, but keep in mind Jeff Wilpon gave Minaya a four year extension this past year, so who's to say that Minaya will be canned?
Perhaps the Mets brass is thinking about 2011 and not 2010. Next year, the likes of Albert Pujols, Lance Berkman, Carlos Pena, Cliff Lee, and Josh Beckett will become available. Maybe they are thinking of conserving enough money to make a run at two of these guys.
If that's the case, then the Mets will be following a similar risky strategy that the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets are following: tank the season now and reap the benefits later by signing LeBron James and/or Dwayne Wade.
Here is the problem with such a strategy: if the team stinks, why in God's name would a top free agent want to come play there? Because it is New York?
The main reason players come to New York is to play for the Yankees, a team that is steeped in success and whose history of victories deflects the venom of the New York media and its fans.
When players come to the Mets, they are risking the chance of being tarred and feathered as bums.
Just ask Roberto Alomar.
Before coming to the Mets in 2002, Alomar was the best second baseman in the game; once his struggles became bigger than the team's struggles, Alomar was ripped apart by the fans and media as a total bust.
Can you see Albert Pujols leaving St. Louis to sign with a Mets team that on paper right now may win 65 games if the stars align themselves correctly? I don't think so.
This year the Mets are staring at the prospects of having to rely on the erratic Perez, the always injured Maine, the always flustered Pelfrey, as well as the possibility that Daniel Murphy will be the every day first baseman, especially if Carlos Delgado fails to show anything in winter ball, if he ever plays in that league. Nice work, Omar, for putting all your eggs in one basket.
The problem with the Mets is their arrogance. They believe that the market will come back to them, and in the meantime they get hit in the face with pies when all of the so- called "key" free agents that the Mets have an apparent "interest" in sign with other teams.
In order to be a contender you have to make like a contender during the off-season. That is what the Mets used to care about in 2005 and 2006 when they brought in Pedro Martinez, Carlos Beltran and Delgado, and worked their way to an appearance in the NLCS.
Then again, maybe the Mets made like bandits in off-seasons past just so they could fool you and me into buying season tickets.
Maybe the Mets will finally learn this year as they watch the empty seats decay in the hot summer sun what the fans truly want — a winner.
Believe in second chances?
Well the Yankees most certainly do.
The Yankees traded outfielder Melky Cabrera on Tuesday to the Atlanta Braves for right hander Javier Vazquez in a suprising move for the World Champions.
In case you need to be reminded, Vazquez spent one mediocre season with the Bronx Bombers in 2004, when he went 14-10 with a 4. 91 ERA. He was best remembered for giving up a grand slam to Johnny Damon, then of the Red Sox, in game seven of the 2004 ALCS.
Still, Vazquez is highly regarded to this day. Last season he went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA with 238 strike outs with the Atlanta Braves. The Yankees believe that Vazquez has turned the corner and can be a servicable number three starter.
As for Cabrera he was an average outfield at best. He never really fit in any outfield positon, although he had a propensity to play a decent center field. Cabrera had his moments, like a game winning homer against the Twins early in the regular season. He hit .274 with 13 homers and 68 RBI.
What does this mean for the Yankee outfield?
It could mean that the Bombers will pursue Jason Bay, or Matt Holliday more vigorously. Bay has a five year offer from the Mets, but has yet to accept the deal. Bay's hesitation to sign with the Mets could open the door for Yankees to get him. Then again, the Yankees could always settle for Johnny Damon in left. But, the outfielder outpriced himself out of an offer to resign with the Yankees; plus, Damon is not a great outfielder any more.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
How about that high powered Giants offense? Better yet, how about that Giants defense?
On Monday night in Washington D.C. the Giants D finally stepped to the plate and delivered a needed home run. In a year, where the Giants have battled injuries to linebackers, safties and corner backs, as well as increased pressure from outside the orgainization to fire Defensive Coordinator Bill Sheridan, the Giants held the Redskins to just 12 points, the lowest total allowed since the Giants beat the Oakland Raiders 44-7 on October 11!
The Giants harrassed Redskins quarterback Jason Campbell all night, sacking him five times, and picking him off twice. The Giants even managed to knock Campbell out of the game in the second quarter, although he did return after halftime.
As for the Giants offense, they were spectacular. Eli Manning led the way with 268 yards passing and three touchdowns, which included a 23 yard TD to Derek Hagan, and a 25 yard pass to Mario Manningham.
The Giants racked up 387 yards of offense and 23 first downs on the Redskins, to sink Washington to 4-10 on the season.
The Giants improve to 8-6, with their slim playoff hopes still alive. Box score.
It's all over folks!
When people look back at this 2009 season for the New York Jets, they will remember all of the missed opportunities that Gang Green had this year. Whether it be the two games against Miami, or the brutal losses to Buffalo and Jacksonville, this season has been full of disappointment.
In a windy and chilly Giants Stadium, that was so cold, that you could watch your beer turn into a Popsicle, Mark Sanchez and the Jets went belly up against the Falcons.
The game was marred by a series of hideous mistakes for Gang Green. Numerous times, the Jets had a chance to put this game away, and they failed to do so.
Three times the Jets had an opportunity to kick a field goal, and all three times they found a way to screw it up, most notably the botched snap by Kellen Clemens that prevented kicker Jay Feely from kicking a chip-shot 19 yard field goal.
Still the talk after the defeat was Mark Sanchez and the Jets D.
To be fair to the Jets, their defense held Matt Ryan and the Falcons to three points for the entire game, it is not easy to keep a high octaine offense from scoring a touchdown. Did Gang Green blow their coverage on Tony Gonzalez in the end zone? Yes. But the fact remains, that the defense played a hell of game, and should never have been in that position to begin with.
Now, as for Sanchez, he was horrible. The rookie continues to make huge mistakes when protecting the football; he threw three interceptions on the day, and still looks baffled on his reads.
What should the Jets do with him? They have to keep throwing him out there - the only way he will learn is if he plays, especially at this stage in his career. He will be a second year pro next year, and it is clearly his job to lose. The Jets will have to bring in a veteran to pressure Sanchez next spring and summer, but Sanchez will be the guy since so much is invested in him.
This was a terrible lose for the Jets, but like the Dolphin games, the Jaguar game and the Bills game, this lose to Atlanta was revealing as to what the Jets are, and what they need to do to become a better football team.
Monday, December 14, 2009
Matsui whose six RBI in game six of the World Series won him the MVP award agreed to a one year $6.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Matsui, A.K.A. Godzilla, had a terrific 2009 season. He hit .274 with 28 homeruns and 90 RBI in his first year since missing time due to a knee injury the year before.
Matsui didn't play the outfield at all in 2009. When the Yankees played in National League ballparks, he usually came up in pinch hitting situations. However, as a DH, Matsui is lethal.
The Yankees will miss his powerful left handed swing for sure. His bat was a huge reason for the success of Alex Rodriguez and Mark Tiexiera. Matsui's uncanny ability to stroke baseballs to the short porch in right made him a home run threat for every at bat.
Before last July's trade deadline, there was a rumor that the Mets had rejected a trade proposal for Roy Halladay. That rumor turned out to be false, but the Mets missed their chance to get the best pitcher in the game next to Johan Santana.
Instead, Roy Halladay will be a Philadelphia Phillie.
In an explosive trade, the Phillies aquired Halladay, while sending Cliff Lee, who was brilliant in the postseason for Philadelphia to the Seattle Mariners. The Phillies, in turn, would send Phillies outfielder Michael Taylor, Phillies catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud and a Phils pitcher -- either Kyle Drabek or J.A. Happ to Toronto.
Halladay won 17 games last year for Toronto, but more impressivley struck out 208 batters, and holds 49 complete games in his career. Halladay pitched to a 2.79 ERA in the American League, and it is fair to say that he will be even better in the NL, where the lineups are not as volatile.
According to ESPN, Halladay is close to working out a contract extension of three years and only $60 million - cheap, considering the price tag that many expected he would receive. Could the Mets have afforded that? We will never know, but I don't think the Mets had the prospects anyway.
For the past month since the season ended, rumors swirled that Angels right hander John Lackey would sign with the Mets, Yankees, Rangers, or re-sign with the Angels, but instead the Red Sox turned out to be the real player for him.
The Red Sox signed Lackey to a five year, $85 million deal, where he will make roughly $16 million per season.
Lackey returned from elbow inflimation to win 11 games for the Angels, pitching to a 3.83 ERA. Lackey is 102-71 in his career.
He will give the Red Sox a formidable rotation of Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, and Lackey, which will make things very difficult for the World Champion Yankees in the AL East.
Meanwhile, the Mets were left without ever offering, or negotiating with a pitcher, many thought the team should have pursued this off-season.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
This one was ugly!
Not only was the Jets offense unable to take advantage of great field position, Kellen Clemens looked God awful in relief of Mark Sanchez, in the emergency start for the injured quarterback. Clemens lacked good control of his passes, was inaccurate, and it was pretty clear that the Jets coaching staff didn't trust Clemens, as the Jets ran the ball 42 times, and even used Brad Smith multiple times at quarterback on gadget plays.
The only reason why the Jets won this game was their superior defense, which smacked around the even more pathetic Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-12). The Jets didn't surrender a first down to Tampa in the entire first half, sacked rookie quarterback Josh Freeman three times, and picked him off three times.
On the opening play of the game, Freeman was picked off by David Harris to set the Jets up nicely at the Bucs 30. But, the Jets played it conservative, running the ball three times to set up the field goal for Jay Feely, a clear statement that Gang Green didn't want Clemens to throw the ball.
The Jets treated this game as if it was a pre-season game, as they mixed in the likes of Danny Woodhead and Mark Mulligan (yeah, exactly, who are these guys).
The only highlight for the Jets was a 33-yard run by Thomas Jones, in which he split the tackles, charged up the middle, and raced into the endzone for the touchdown to give the Jets a 16-0 lead.
The Jets (7-6) didn't get any help on the scoreboard as both Miami and New England won their games. The Dolphins beat the Jaguars 14-10, extending their already large tie-breaker against the Jets to three games.
The Jets will try to keep their extremely slim playoff hopes alive one more week when the welcome in the Atlanta Falcons. It is not known if Matt Ryan and Michael Turner will play in that game for Atlanta. Both have been rumored to have season ending injuries, but they have not yet been disabled.
The Jets hope that Mark Sanchez will be back next week as well; they better pray, because Kellen Clemens is awful.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
After missing practice both Monday and Tuesday due to the sprained knee that he injured while diving for a first down in last Thursday's 19-13 victory against the Buffalo Bills, Sanchez will sit out Sunday's game at Tampa Bay.
Coach Rex Ryan and the medical staff felt that Sanchez would not be doing himself, nor the team, any favors if he played through the injury.
This means that Kellen Clemens will start against the 1-11 Buccaneers. Clemens has eight starts in his career, all in 2007, when he was put in charge of the team after Eric Mangini grew tired of Chad Pennington and a 1-7 start to that season. Clemens was average at best, he didn't light the scoreboard up, and didn't leave coaches confident that he could lead the team into the future.
That is one reason why Brett Favre was brought in to quarterback the team last season, and one reason why Sanchez was drafted at the start of 2009.
In an off-season where GM Brian Cashman declared that the team would not spend as much as they did last winter, $400 million worth for A.J. Burnett, C.C. Sabathia and Mark Texiera, the Yankees are indeed willing to spend some big bucks nonetheless.
First the Bombers pulled off a three team trade with the Detroit Tigers and Arizona Diamondbacks, that will bring center fielder Curtis Granderson to the Bronx. Granderson is a better option than free agent Johnny Damon, because of his age, 29, and because of his ability to play excellent defense, and still hit the ball with power. Granderson hit 30 home runs in 2009 in spacious Comerica Park in Detroit.
Plus, the trade give the Yankees flexibility to move the out-of-position Melky Cabrera, who is a dreadful center fielder to either left field, or better yet package him in a trade.
The Yankees sent Ian Kennedy to Arizona in the trade, while packaging both Phil Choke and top outfield prospect Austin Jackson to Detroit. The Tigers in turn sent one of their better pitchers, Edwin Jackson to the Diamondbacks, while recieving Mark Scherzer and Daniel Schlereth in return from Arizona.
Meanwhile, the good news keeps flowing in for the Yankees.
They completed a one-year $11.75 million deal with Andy Pettitte, bringing back the dependable left hander for another season. Pettitte was brilliant in the playoffs, pitching in the clinching game in all three of the Yankees playoff series this fall.
Monday, December 7, 2009
So much for being dead on Thanksgiving.
The Giants are alive and well after beating the Dallas Cowboys 31-24 at Giants Stadium on Sunday, a win that puts the Giants just a game out of first place behind Dallas and Philadelphia. The Giants will gear up for a huge game next Sunday night against the Eagles, that could go a long way in determining who is in first place in the NFC East.
The Giants didn't play great in this game. They were down 10-0, and by night's end yielded 392 yards through the air to Tony Romo, and watched Jason Witten roll up 154 yards and Mile Austion 104 yards receiving.
Sure there were problems, but the Giants had more big plays than Dallas.
First it was Eli Manning's desperate flip to Kevin Boss in the backfield. Manning was about to be sacked on the play, and just dumped the ball off to Boss. Boss streaked down the field for 16 yards and a first down. Three plays later, Manning hit Hakeem Nicks from 21 yards out to cut the Cowboys lead to 10-7.
Then Marion Barber fumbled the ball into the hands of Giants defensive end Osi Umenyoira setting up the Giants nicely inside Dallas territory. Manning hit Steve Smith twice, one for 15 and another for 12 yards to put Big Blue near the goal line. Brandon Jacobs took it in for the one yard touchdown to give the Giants a stunning 14-10 lead.
In the third quarter the Cowboys struck back.
Romo hit Witten for 17 yards to start the drive to move the ball to the Giants 39 yard line. Five plays later, Romo had Witten open again for 15 more to spot the ball at the Giants nine. Two plays later, Romo lobbed the pass to an open Roy William to give Dallas a 17-14 lead.
But, the Giants would answer fast.
Manning hit Brandon Jacobs on a bubble screen. Jacobs avoided a tackler and started to sprint down the sideline. Jacobs avoided two more tacklers near mid field and later at the Cowboys 22. Jacobs was able to keep himself in bounds, as he tip toed down the sideline for a 74 yard touchdown, the longest TD of the year for Big Blue. Box score.
Finally, in the fourth quarter, Domenick Hixon's 79 yard punt return put the game away. 31-17 Giants, as a frenzied 80,000 Giant fans cheered louder then they have cheered all season long.
The Giants (7-5) are right in the middle of the divisional championship chase. Add to the fact that Big Blue is really the only challenger for the last wild card slot behind Green Bay (7-4) and Philadelphia (8-4), if the Giants win their games, they could easily make the playoffs.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Revis has been outstanding all season long. He has shut down every top receiver to face his this year, whether it be Owens, Randy Moss, Steve Smith or Andre Johnson. Revis has done the job and should be a favorite to receive defensive MVP honors come years end.
2) Then there is the other headline. In an attempt the get a first down, Mark Sanchez went head first and dove for the marker in the third quarter. Apparently Sanchez injured his knee on this dive, and was removed from the game, never to return.
This coming just days after Rex Ryan went out of his way to bring in Yankees manager Joe Girardi to teach the quarterback how to slide.
Ryan was the first to rip his young quarterback after the game: “He’s got to understand that it’s in the organization’s best interests to slide, and that was disappointing,” said Ryan, who added it’s uncertain whether Sanchez will be able to play at Tampa Bay on Dec. 13. “I love the kid, but he’s got to grow up and understand that he represents our entire organization” (Yahoo Sports).
You can understand Ryan's anger, especially after emphaising this week that Sanchez slide legs first, but, you can't take the competitor out of the kid. He showed great poise in the pocket, and moxi last night. The fact, that he dove for the first down was unselfish and team first. One should applaud Sanchez for showing guts.
Plus, Jet fans finally understood why Kellen Clemens had no shot in the starting quarterback job this summer. Clemens bobbled a snap, sacked himself (he tripped over his own legs before anyone touched him), and even fumbled the ball near the goal line late in the game, that if it were recovered by Buffalo would have been an easy touchdown for them.
This game was wild from the start. Even though Sanchez showed great accuracy, he missed a wide open Jerricho Cotchery in the end zone that would have given New York a 7-3 lead. Instead the Jets settled for the field goal. Later in the first quarter, Sanchez had a streaking Braylon Edwards down the sideline, Sanchez lofted a perfect bomb right into the Edwards' hands, but the unreliable receiver dropped the ball, costing the Jets a potential 85 yard touchdown.
Finally, in the second quarter, Sanchez hit David Clowney in the end zone for a touchdown, however Clowney stepped out of bounds and never had complete possession of the football costing the Jets another score. Gang Green had to settle for three field goals to cut Buffalo's lead to 10-9.
Later in the second quarter, Edwards made up for his dropped pass, when he caught a bullet from Sanchez at the 11, and stretched his left arm over the goal line for the touchdown to give Gang Green a lead they would never relinquish at 16-10. Box score.
After handing the ball off to Clowney, Sanchez gingerly walked to the sideline, favoring the right knee he injured last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.
Sanchez was placed on top of a table, allowing doctors to stretch out the leg to see if there was any ligament or tendon damage. Sanchez walked off the field, not showing any pain, and into the club locker room where he was to be fitted for a brace for that right knee.
Sanchez already has a brace on his left knee.
Kellen Clemens is playing for the rest of the evening as the Jets quarterback. More later on Sanchez's status of course. At least Gang Green will have 11 days before their next game at Tampa Bay. So Sanchez's health will be a big story of the next couple of weeks.
They are the first team in NBA history to start the season 0-18!
The Nets got blasted by the Dallas Mavericks 117-101 on Wednesday night, ending the reign of assistant coach Tom Barrise as head coach. Barrise went 0-2 in his two games as head man of the Nets, while Lawrence Frank lost the previous 16.
Now it will be up to Kiki Vandeweghe to turn this thing around. This being a man who holds the title of General Manager in the Nets orgainization, and really doesn't do much as the GM, since it is Rod Thorn who picks, drafts, and signs all of the players. In short, Vandeweghe is a figure head, who needed something to do.
He could have easily taken over as soon as Frank was fired, but decided not to become known as the guy who was coaching the first team to 0-18. Now he can coach them to 0-19 and beyond.
This coming from a franchise that fully expects to move to Brooklyn, a project that has been delayed for over five years, and is not even close to getting approved by the city of New York. Add that to the blatant fact that the Nets believe they can be players for the services of LeBron James and/or Dwayne Wade.
One has to wonder why either James or Wade would want to play for this pitiful franchise, easily one of the NBA's worst teams to exist on the face of the earth. Just goes to show you that the Nets just don't get it and never will.
By the way, the Nets are heading toward another record. 23 straight losses. Only the equally woeful Vancouver/Memphis Grizzles accomplished that mark in the late 1990's.
Keep it up Jersey.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Almost a month after celebrating his first World Series title as manager of the New York Yankees, Joe Girardi spent his December 1 afternoon tutoring Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez on how to slide.
As ridiculous as it sounds, the Jets want Sanchez to learn to slide in front of charging defensive players when he is running in space for huge chunks of yards. Many a time this year has Sanchez tried to act like Earl Campbell and lead head first into oncoming tacklers.
His biggest highlight coming in week three against Tennessee occurred when Sanchez tried to bulldoze his way past a linebacker for touchdown. Last week against Carolina, Sanchez led with his body twice and nearly got himself TKO'd with a knee injury.
Girardi had Sanchez slide on a mat during the training session. Girardi later addressed the Jets as a team. Read more.