Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yankees open up 2011 campaign with crsip victory over Tigers

YANKEES 5
TIGERS 3

It was just another day at Yankee Stadium.

CC Sabathia pitches well, the offense does just enough and Raefael Soriono and Mariano Rivera shut the door. A formula that the Yankees hope works for them just about every day for the next seven months. If it does, maybe the Yankees will go 162-0.

Ok, just kidding, that won't happen, but the Bombers looked really crisp in their season opener at the new Yankee Stadium, beating up on the toothless Detroit Tigers 5-3.

Trailing 1-0 in the third, Mark Teixiera cracked a three run blast to the upper deck in right to give the Yankees the lead. For Teixiera the homer was very important. In years past, the first baseman has been known to get off to sluggish starts in the month of April.

Granted this game was played in March, but the start to 2011 should serve Teixiera fine, and give him a boost of confidence moving forward.

Sabathia was just ok. He didn't have his overpowering stuff, but neither did Justin Verlander, as both pitchers worked their way through six innings.

The Tigers came back to tie the game, on an RBI hit by Brandon Inge in the fourth, and a RBI sac fly by Miguel Cabrera in the fifth.

Once Verlander left, the Yankees teed off on the Detroit bullpen.

Former Tiger Curtis Granderson lifted a 2-0 pitch from former Yankee Phil Coke into the right field bleachers to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead.

After adding insurance runs in the seventh inning, Rafael Soriano shut down the Tigers in the eighth before giving way to the great Mariano Rivera who took it home for save number one.

So even though it was a bitterly cold day in the Boogie Down, it was a great start to the season for the Bronx Bombers.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A preview of the 2011 New York Yankees

In the previous post we looked at the Yankees rotation. There are a lot of question marks surrounding their rotation, but if the Yankees have one thing going for them it is their offense.

Even if the Bombers pitchers get bombed on a consistent basis, you would have to think that the Yankee offense will find ways to pull them out of the fire.

The lineup has very little change over from the last two seasons.
Derek Jeter -SS
Curtis Granderson-CF

Robinson Cano -2B
Alex Rodriguez -3B

Mark Teixiera -1B
Nick Swisher - RF
Jorge Posado - DH

Russell Martin - C
Brett Gardner - LF
The Yankees known what they will get from Jeter, Tiexiera and A-Rod. Tiexiera has spent the spring working extremly hard on his swing, trying to make sure that he gets off to a faster start this April, compared to previous seasons. Even if he does get off to a slow start, Tiexeria is good for 35 homers and 110 RBI.

Word out of camp this year is that Rodriguez is in the best shape of his career. He hit six homers and drove in 16 this spring, which means he could be on pace for another 40 plus homer season.

Then there is Robinson Cano. Once considered a lazy player, Cano has turned into a MVP candidate. He has recorded 200 plus hit seasons in 2009 and 2010 respectively, and was in the middle of the MVP race last year with 41 doubles, 29 homers and 109 RBI, with a .319 batting average.

Cano will move up to the number three spot, with Tiexeria moving down to five. Not a big deal, but it means that Cano will get more RBI opportunities and at bats.

Of course there are question marks. Jorge Posada is in the final year of his contract, and the Yankees are clearly done with him. Posada will be the DH this year, after the Bombers brought in former Dodger Russell Martin to be the starting catcher. Francisco Cervelli will be the back up catcher.

Martin really disappointed in LA. A guy who once showed great promise a few years ago, has watched his numbers dive the last three seasons. Last year, Martin hit only five homers and drove in 26 in 97 games with the Dodgers. He has become a light hitter, and if he fails behind the plate, Yankee fans will clamor for Posada to be the catcher again. Will Yankee management budge when that happens?

As for the Yankees bullpen, it looks rock solid. With Mariano Rivera, the unquestioned greatest closer in the game, the Yankees still have the perfect weapon to close out games.

He will have a better supporting cast this year, with former Rays closer Rafael Soriano joining him. Soriano had a 1.73 ERA with 45 saves last year for the Rays; he could close some games for the Yankees this year, and may even by Rivera's heir apparent, but right now having those two together in the same bullpen really shortens the game for the Bronx Bombers.

Along with Soriano and Rivera will be former Met Pedro Feliciano, a lefty specialist who is very effective at getting both right and left handed batters out, as well as a slimmer Joba Chamberlain.

So how will the Yankees do in 2011?

A lot has been made about the off-season moves of the Red Sox, who added Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. Many have predicted that the Red Sox will compete in the World Series later this year.

But we will have to wait and see. Gonzalez has to adjust to American League pitching, and BoSox pitching has about as many question marks as the Yankees.

As usual the race for the division title and wild card will run through New York and Boston. Doesn't matter who win the East, because both team will be in the playoffs.
Prediction: Yankees 92-70 2nd place AL East.

Yankees set to return to glory in 2011: A look at starting rotation

After failing to sign Cliff Lee during the winter, the Yankee off-season was fairly quiet. The only noise coming out of Yankee Stadium was the bizzare controversy, stirred up by management over Derek Jeter's contract.

It is no secret that Hal Steinbrenner is no fan of Jeter, he made it be known, by questioning whether the short stop should get a new multi-million dollar deal from the Bronx Bombers, but even questioned his place on the team. It was bizzare, but at the end of the day, Jeter is still a Yankee, and even though he is getting old is still one of the scariest batters in the game.

So begins another Yankees season. The Yankees didn't do a lot to improve the team, at least drastically. They did add Rafael Soriano, the former closer of the Tampa Bay Rays, as a set up man to Mariano Rivera, but that was really it.

The Yankees enter 2011 with a numerous questions regarding their starting rotation, especially with Andy Pettitte retiring to his home in Houston this winter.

First here is what the rotation looks like:
CC Sabathia
A.J. Burnett
Phil Hughes

Ian Nova
Freddy Garcia & Bartolo Colon.


Years ago having both Garcia and Colon in a rotation would make any team formidable, but both pitchers are have watched their skills decline rapidly, and in the case of Colon, watched his waste line get bigger and bigger.

In spring training both Garcia and Colon pitched fairly well. Garcia was 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA with four walks and 15 strikeouts. Colon, however, was better. 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA, one walk and 17 punch outs!

That being can we really expect either or both to solidify the bottom of the rotation for the next six months? Probably not, it's not their track record.

Then there is Ian Nova. Nova came on last year, and was a bit of a spark. Even though he was 1-2 with a 4.50 era and 17 walks. He showed great potential, his fastball is in the mid 90's and at age 24 is just starting to hone his craft. The Yankees, who are never patient with young pitching, will have to use the Phil Hughes experiment as an example and give Nova a chance to keep the fourth starters job.

Finally there is the big gorrilla in the room: A.J. Burnett. Burnett was a disaster in 2010 posting a 10-15 record with a 5.26 ERA. He was just awful. One day Burnett could be lights out, and the next he could get lit up for seven runs in a third of an inning.

For a guy making $87 million, Burnett has not lived up to the contract. Even though he is a defacto number two behind Sabathia because of experience, don't be fooled. Burnett has as much to prove to the Yankees as Colon, Garcia or Nova do. He is on a string.

This is not to say the Yankees will move him. He costs too much, but Burnett has to step up big time in 2011 and reclaim some of that 2009 magic that he once had. Throwing pies in the face of his teammates is great, but Burnett needs to do much more.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mets OF Jason Bay to hit disabled list

Just days before the start of the 2011 regular season, Mets left fielder Jason Bay is already heading back to the disabled list.

Bay who suffered a terrible concussion last summer that caused him to miss the rest of the second half of 2010, will begin the year on the 15-day DL with rib cage discomfort.

The Mets report that Bay will be examined closely over the next 48 hours, whereupon the Mets will make a decision by Thursday whether to DL him.

The Mets already have a problem in the outfield with a lot of uncertainty over the health of Carlos Beltran who is moving to right field this season. Beltran missed most of spring training with knee tendonitis.

Who will start in left? Lucas Duda or Scott Hairston will likely seem time in left over the next week or two. The Mets could retrograde the injury to include this week, so Bay can return by April 8, when the Mets return home to play the Washington Nationals.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rex Ryan now thinks he's Babe Ruth


Oh happy day, here we go again!


With the NFL under total lockdown with the players taking on the owners in a antitrust lawsuit that could cancel the 2011 NFL season, it has not stopped Jets coach Rex Ryan from mouthing off.


It has been widely reported that Ryan predicted that the Jets would win Super Bowl XLVI, next February, after Gang Green got the axe in the AFC title game for the second straight season.


Yet, even with the stench of defeat still in the air, Ryan still believes he can talk the talk, this time comparing himself to Babe Ruth.


"They talk about walk softly and carry a big stick. I love that. I agree with that 100%," Ryan said, standing outside the hotel at the NFL league meetings. "But I guess I feel more like Babe Ruth. I'm going to walk softly, I'm going to carry that big stick and then I'm going to point and then I'm going to hit it over the fence," Ryan said.


"Now granted, I can't hit anywhere close to Babe Ruth and I'm not as good a coach as Babe Ruth was a player. But I still feel the same way. I still feel like, why wouldn't I say it? It's easier for me to say it because I have people with me. Babe Ruth had to walk up there by himself. But if everything was up to me and that we were going to win (if) I'd hit one out, I believe myself I'm going to hit it out. More importantly, I believe in everybody - our players, our coaches, the fan base we have established here, everybody in the organization," Ryan concluded. (Daily News).


Don't blame Ryan for any lack of confidence in his football team. They did accomplish something no other Jets team has ever done, by going to back-to-back AFC title games, but it is very hard to get back a third time around.


Ryan better be right. A lot of teams have been to multiple championship games, and have failed to get it done. The Buffalo Bills of the 1990s went to four straight Super Bowls losing all four. The Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2004 went to five NFL title games, losing four of them. The only one they won in 2004, the Eagles lost the Super Bowl to New England.


Ryan should quiet down, because there is still no guarantee that there will even be a season next fall -- when his player return to camp, if they do this year at all, then he can pound his chest all he wants.


NFL Films President Steve Sabol has brain tumor

The President of the beloved NFL Films industry is in the hospital, undergoing radiation and chemotherapy after a brain tumor was discovered in the filmmakers brain.

Sabol, who is the son of Ed Sabol, a World War II vet, who's passion for football and film, created NFL Films, became the voice of the industry since the late 1970's.

Steve was always seen introducing highlight films for Super Bowls, season recaps, and many fun things like NFL blooper videos at the beginning of each film. With his father, Steve Sabol brought new life and understanding about the game of football and the passion its players put into the sport.

A sample video that looks into the production of NFL Films is here.

Ed Sabol is to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in August, let's all pray that Steve will be there to watch his father's enshrinement.

Oliver Perez is outta here!

Say good bye to Oliver Perez!

News broke early this morning that the Mets have released the pathetic left handed starter, and will eat the rest of his $12 million owed him this season.

After a sparkling turn in the postseason in 2006, Perez was awarded a huge multi-year contract by Omar Minaya. Even with that contract, Perez never captured the confidence of Mets fans and the Mets coaches with his erratic style, and propensity to walk just about anybody during a single inning.

Last season, Perez hit rock bottom, and when asked to accept a minor league assignment he refused, beginning the end of his run with the Mets.

Thus ends the worst experiment of pitching in recent memory for the Mets. They thought they had something special in '06 with Perez and John Maine. Injuries and a bad attitude doomed Maine's stay with the Mets, who cut him last season. Perez took longer to unload because of the money.

With Perez and Luis Castillo both gone, the Wilpons had to eat $18.2 million. You wonder if they even have the money considering the financial trouble the Mets are in with a $1 billion lawsuit set against them.

Anyway, Met fan rejoice! You are rid of the two most hated players since Bobby Bonilla, Carlos Baerga, Mo Vaughn, and Roberto Alomar.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Mets banish Luis Castillo, Oliver Perez next?

Well Mets fans, Merry Christmas.

I know, I know, Christmas was three months ago, but, this St. Patrick's Day weekend felt more like X-Mas for Met fans, as news came late Friday that second baseman Luis Castillo would be released from his contract.

The Mets, who are pretty strapped for cash, with a $1 billion lawsuit coming their way in the Bernie Madoff fiasco, will have to eat the $6 million left on Castillo's contract.

Castillo has had a rocky stay with the Mets. The second baseman who was one a leadoff star for the Florida Marlins was ridiculed by Met fans for his lack of hustle on ground balls, and his poor hitting behind short stop Jose Reyes.

Even though Castillo was a good defensive second baseman, his dropped pop up against the New York Yankees, two years ago, costing the Mets a baseball game became the symbol for Castillo's career in New York.

This spring Castillo has been outplayed by Daniel Murphy and Luis Hernandez. The Mets front office still has high hopes that Brad Emaus, who has not impressed this spring could make the team and become the Mets future starting second baseman.

Meanwhile, Oliver Perez may not be far behind Castillo.

Perez served up two solo home runs to career minor leaguers in the Mets 7-4 victory over the Washington Nationals. The Mets gave Perez every opportunity to make this team. They gave him two starts, where he underwhelmed, and then tried to see if he could be the answer as a long reliever, and he bombed there too.

Perez's preseason numbers read as this 2-1 with a 8.38 ERA in seven games. He pitched 9.2 innings giving up 13 hits and nine runs, nine earned runs, two homers, eight walks and six strikeouts.

Terry Collins was cheered by Mets fans as he came out to get Perez, yesterday. As the struggling lefty walked off the field, he was booed vehemently. It was like the entire borrow of Queens swarmed down to Florida just to wish Perez well.

The Mets rotation is set, with Mike Pelfrey, R.A. Dickey, Chris Young, Jon Niese, and Chris Capuano all set to go for opening day. So any chance of Perez making this team had to be as a reliever. He blew that and now it's time to bid him adieu.

Perez is owed $12 million, so cutting him might be hard to accept because of the steep price tag. The Mets could option him to Triple-A and leave him there all season, hope he pitches well down there, and try to trade him. Either way, Oliver Perez will not be coming up north on April 1.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Red hot New Jersey Nets cool off Celtics, in playoff hunt

NETS 88
CELTICS 79

The New Jersey Nets are for real.

Before the Deron Williams trade with the Utah Jazz, the Nets were one of the worst teams in the NBA. Mired in last place, with little hope. They lost out on the Carmelo Anthony deal, had egg on their face from the LeBron James disaster over the summer. The needed a change.

Once they got Williams, the team lost three straight games to fall to 17-43 on the season. Now, the Nets are talking playoffs.

The Nets hung tough with the best team in the NBA, the Boston Celtics all night long. After watching an early 14-9 lead morph into a 23-14 deficit after the first quarter, the Nets didn't give up, battling back to tie the game at 29, and then hung around the rest of the night.

Then late in the third quarter, Anthony Marrow and Sundiata Gaines put New Jersey up on top with back-to-back three pointers to give the Nets a 67-61 lead.

The Nets stars of Brook Lopez, 20 points, and Chris Humphries, 16 points, 15 rebounds, and Williams, 16 points including the clinching three pointer, led the way for New Jersey in a thrilling 88-79 victory.

The Nets are now winners of five in a row, and find themselves only 5 1/2 games behind Indiana for the final playoff spot in the NBA playoffs. Indiana, beat the Knicks the other night, but has not distinguished themselves of late, having lost eight of their last ten to fall to 28-38.

In fact of the teams battling for that eighth seed, Milwaukee, Detroit, Indiana, Charlotte, and New Jersey, the Nets are the hottest team of the group.

The Nets have the best player of the group, in Williams, who is one of the games best, young point guards in the game. With 17 games remaining, there is still enough time for New Jersey to make up only 5 1/2 games, but they will have to stay hot for the next three weeks.

Mets' manager Terry Collins picks his second baseman


In an exclusive report from the New York Post, Mets manager Terry Collins has selected his second baseman, and it isn't who you think.

Luis Hernandez has been selected to be the Mets starter at second. The light hitting second baseman has beaten out incumbent Luis Castillo and Daniel Murphy for the starting job, according to the report.

Hernandez played only 17 games for the Mets last year, and hit two homers with six RBI.

The report says that Collins was not impressed with Murphy's defense, even though he wants him on the team as a bench player. Castillo is tricky. He is being paid $6 million this season, and the Mets would have to release him and eat the money if he doesn't make the team.

Castillo has been bane of the Mets fans existence. His lack of hustle, and of course the infamous dropped pop up in Yankee Stadium two years ago, made Castillo into the second most hated man on the Mets, next to Oliver Perez.

There is a big snag though in Collins plans. Brad Emaus is a favorite of the front office, having been picked up by assistant GM J.P. Ricciardi in the Rule 5 draft. Emaus has not distinguished himself this spring, but the front office may want to see him on the team, instead of losing him back to the Blue Jays. According to Rule 5 Draft rules, a player drafted in the Rule 5 must remain on a 25 man roster, or risk being sent back to his original team.

Ricciardi is the former GM of the Blue Jays, and probably doesn't want to see his prospect leave. This could be a big problem, as once again the front office steps in the way of what could be best for the team.

If Collins is forced to take Emaus, he will have to choose between Murphy and Hernandez, the two guys he wants on the team.

It's a sticky situation. The Mets have three GM's in Sandy Alderson, Ricciardi and Paul DePodesta in their front office. Eventually the three would collide with the teams interests, and this is just an example.

This is not to say Hernandez is an All Star in waiting, the Mets are probably better off keeping Castillo if everything was even. But, the fact that the manager could have trouble getting the guys he wants on the team is a bad sign.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

NFL lockout is now official

As planned, the NFL has locked out the players from any football activities for the forseeable future.

After the players decertified the union so they could sue the league in antitrust litigation, the NFL had the right to put the league under total lockout.

What it means? There will be no NFL mini-camps in May, and no free agency will be allowed to take place this spring and summer. There will will be no training camp, and no regular season games until the new CBA is agreed upon by both sides.

The only NFL activity that will occur, as far as pure football is concerned, will be the release of NFL schedules and the NFL draft in April. Other than that, everything will be on hold.

Good-bye to the National Football League ... for now.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees & 10 NFL players file suit versus NFL

After agreeing to decertify their union in order to make a last ditch effort to save the game they love to play, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees and ten other NFL players together filed suit against the National Football League in the U.S. District Court under antitrust laws, as they seek a class action litigation.

The lawsuit alleges that the NFL has "conspired to deny the players' ability to market their services through a patently unlawful group boycott and price-fixing arrangement or, in the alternative, a unilaterally imposed set of anti-competitive restrictions on player movement, free agency, and competitive market freedom."

They cite as constraints what they called "the league's history of antitrust violations, including a potential lockout, the draft and the franchise and transition player designations." Teams use those designations to keep key free agents off the open market, but the players also are well compensated when they sign new contracts (NFL.com).

In short, the NFL has kept the players from seeing their account books with regard to players' salaries. The NFL is a $9 billion business, and the players want to have a raise in their overall salaries, as well as improved health care costs and benefits, plus players want more flexiblity in free agency. Under the old CBA, teams had the right to franchise players who were free agents on their teams thereby forcing them to sign a one year contract for less money than they would make on the open market.

Yet, the owners so far seem unwilling to listen.

By midnight tonight, the NFL could lock the players out, meaning that there will be no football activity until the CBA is finalized.

This is a horrible black eye for the NFL, a league that has prospered during one of the worst economic climates in United States history. Without the NFL, American business is destined to suffer for it, lay-offs will likely go up and millions of dollars will be lost.

When a regular company has a labor problem it really doesn't affect everyone around it; however, the NFL is like a black hole. From advertisers, to public relations, communications, media outlets like radio, television and print, concessions, and stadium operations, if the NFL locks out, these businesses will suffer greatly.

It's only a matter of time before this case goes to the Supreme Court.

NFL Players Association Decertifies

A week ago there was optimism in the air that a new CBA would be hammered out over the ensuing seven days between the NFL and the players association. The optimism caused both sides to agree to an extension of the CBA until 11:59 Friday March 11.

However, negotiations have gotten nasty over the past week. The players refuse to agree to an 18 game schedule, and the owners are refusing to open up their account books to show players how much they have and aren't budging on increasing player salaries.

Players Association President DeMaurice Smith told his players that they will decertify the union, which means that the players will no longer be obligated as one union. They then can sue the NFL on an individual basis under antitrust law, citing that they are being unfairly treated over their salaries.

Apparently it is the only way to avoid the lockout. Without decertification the union would be unable to sue until September. The lockout is now looming.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Santonio Holmes wants to stay a Jet

Santonio Holmes plans to re-sign with the New York Jets once the CBA is straightened out by the NFL.

On his Facebook page, Holmes left a viral video in which he states in the first 30 seconds that he will resign with Gang Green. WATCH!

If the Jets can re-sign Holmes they will bring back on of the games best playmakers, who won four games all by himself. The Jets need Holmes back. With both he and Braylon Edwards as pending free agents, the Jets could be without a number 1 wide receiver if they should lose both.

If Holmes wants in, and the Jets of course want him, it will help the team focus in on retaining Edwards, or bringing in another wide out.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tiki Barber announces that he will return to NFL

Former Giant running back Tiki Barber is returning to the NFL as a player. Read more on Examiner.com.

Barber announced Tuesday afternoon that he had signed reinstatement papers with the NFL and plans to return to the gridiron after four years absence. Barber hasn't rushed for a yard since 2006.

In case you are wondering the Giants still own Barber's contractual rights.

This is a stunning move. Barber will turn 36 next month, and he hasn't rushed in over four years. He left the Giants on very bad terms, ripping coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning, and once retired continued his criticism of Big Blue, even when the team won Super Bowl XLII.

As a result Barber became vilified by Giant fans everywhere. Whenever the running back returned to Giants Stadium he was rightfully booed by 78,000 fans. Even though the Giants own his rights, it is hard to believe that Big Blue will welcome him back. Chances are they will release him from his contract, and let him become a free agent.

Barber has gone through a lot of trouble the past few years. In addition to the trouble with the Giants, he had marriage problems, and his stint with NBC was a complete flop. Now he is trying to get back in.

It won't be easy for him. Taking four years off and returning to a brutal, physically demanding sport like football will not work for him. Maybe Barber is best suited heading to Tampa Bay to be with his brother Ronde; that's the only place that seems like a fit for him, even though the Bucs have the terrific LaGarrett Blunt as their starting running back. He will latch on with someone for training camp, but it is doubious that it will last very long.

Unlike LaDainian Tomlinson, who saw his productivity and play time diminish in San Diego in 2008 and 2009, at least he stuck it out and never retired, and in 2010 reaped the benefits in New York with the Jets. The same can't be said for Barber.

It's a publicity statement by Barber, who is desperate to turn his life around. This is the wrong move.

Friday, March 4, 2011

NFL and players union extend CBA negotiations to March 11

The NFL and NFLPA has agreed to extend talks on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for another week. The deadline will be scheduled for next Friday night.

Both sides will return to the negotiating table first thing Monday morning and will spend all of next week working on a new deal.

George Cohen, who has been mediating the talks between the owners and players was pleased with the open discussion between both sides, but would not go into details on what was talked about. He also placed a gag order on both sides to keep them quiet until an agreement in reached.

Teams have been instructed to operate as if the old CBA has expired, which means that teams cannot sign free agents, re-sign their own players or make cuts until the deal is complete.

The players union threatened to decertify if negotiations failed on an extension of talks. Decertification could still happen if the new deadline comes and passes without a deal.

Currently everyone in the league is very optimistic. "If we can make the kind of progress that you needed to make to have a further extension, that's where we'd be looking," League negotiator Jeffery Pash said. "Hopefully, we can make some progress and keep this thing going. That's obviously in everybody's interest. It's been our goal all along and we're going to just keep at it."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

NFL and NFLPA agree to extend negotiations

The NFL will not lockout at 12 midnight Thursday after all, but that does not mean the 2011 season is safe by any means.

The NFL and NFLPA has agreed to extend negotations on a new CBA to 11:59 Friday night, so, that if the two sides still can't come up with a deal over the next 24 hours, then a lockout is still possible.

The players were set to sign decertification papers which would have liquidated the player's union, thus pressuring the NFL owners to cancel any plans of a lockout because the players would have gained the ability to sue the NFL on an individual player basis according to anti-trust law. Instead, with this short extension, the players will not decertify and remain united for 24 hours anyway.

The extension of 24 hours is actually a good sign. It shows that the sides must be making enough progress that both can feel all they need is 24 hours to hammer out a new deal and avoid a work stoppage.

If the lockout does indeed happen, it will cripple America's most popular sport, not to mention destroy American businesses from bars to beer companies, to car compaines, advertisers, television and radio companies, the NFL teams themselves, public relations, and newspapers. People will suffer greatly, and I don't mean the inability to just sit on a couch to watch the game.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Jets tender Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie

The New York Jets are doing what they can to keep their most important free agent pieces in play.

On Tuesday, Gang Green put first and third round tenders on receiver Santonio Holmes and corner back Antonio Cromartie, so that if another team wants to swoop in and sign either player, it would have to give up a first and third round pick to the Jets before signing that player, which almost guarantees, under the old CBA, that Holmes and Cromartie will stay at least one year with the Jets.

It is kind of like a franchise tag, but, if the new CBA disallows the practice of franchise tags and tenders, then the Jets could be in danger of losing both players. It's a dangerous game of cat and mouse in a blind hallway, but it's the best the Jets can do until a new CBA is worked out.

If the league goes into lockout this week then no free agency can occur. Franchise tags are the best a team can do at this point.

The Jets also put a high second round tender on Brad Smith. The valuable special teams ace who has the ability to go the distance at a moments notice, is very important to the Jets future. A second round pick might be too much for another team to give up, so perhaps the Jets will keep Smith.

For some reason, the Jets also tendered Kellen Clemens (3rd round) and Nick Folk (6th round), which makes absolutely no sense since Clemens has been a bust as a quarterback, and Folk is the worst kicker in the NFL.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jets bring back LaDainian Tomlinson

Among a series of cuts by the New York Jets, the football team decided to keep veteran running back LaDainian Tomlinson for another season.

Tomlinson ran for 914 yards last season, his best year since 2008 when he ran for 1110 yards in San Diego. Tomlinson showed a burst of youthful energy early in the 2010 season, taking a firm hold of the starting job, but by season's end, Tomlinson's role became reduced as he began to show signs of wear and tear.

The Jets want Shonn Greene to be the number one back. Tomlinson has to serve primarily as the third down back next season. The Jets cannot be fooled into thinking he can contribute on a major scale like they did this year. Greene averaged 4.4 yards a carry in the postseason with 198 yards rushing.

He is a bruising, punishing back who can tire defenses, and the Jets need him to have a bigger role in 2011.

Mets ask for $430 million loan from Chase


The cash strapped New York Mets are looking for some more loans.

The Mets have extended an SOS to JP Morgan Chase bank for a $430 million loan to cover operating costs, just days after it was revealed that the Mets took a $25 million loan from MLB for similar costs back in November.

The Wilpons are 1.66 billion in dept from costs on the Mets franchise, SNY, and Citi Field construction costs. Yet, the embattled ownership group appears ready to add to that debt with a new loan.

"[JPMorgan] believe the Mets still have the capacity to borrow," a source said.

But another source said, "Are you kidding me?" when told about the loan.

"You don't lend into a distressed situation," that source said.

"This is a very risky loan," with the team losing about $50 million a year," said a report from the New York Post.

Perhaps J.P. Morgan thinks the Mets are good for it, especially if they can sell off a minority stake in their Mets business. It's a huge risk, since the Mets have proven that they can't pay off their enormous debts in the past.

The situation has gotten so dire that it is painfully obvious that the Wilpons have to sell this team.


Jets cut ties with four veterans

See ya' Vernon Gholston. The greatest bust in Jets history IS history, as the Jets cut ties with the unproductive linebacker. Gholdston never recorded a sack in his three seasons with the Jets. Rex Ryan promised to change the struggling player in 2009 into a Terrell Suggs-type of player, but Gholston never lived up to expectations.

The Jets also cut ties with Damion Woody. Woody who was a big part of the Jets offensive line the last two seasons, suffered injuries in 2010 that prevented him from playing down the stretch. His health, age and contract status were the reasons for the cut, but don't be shocked if the Jets bring him back later on a cheaper contract.

The Jets also bid adieu to Jason Taylor and Kris Jenkins. Jenkins missed each of the last two seasons with knee injuries, and never became the stout pressence in Rex Ryan's 46 defense. Instead Sione Piouah stepped up big at nose tackle. Jenkins was a funny, and vibrant pressence on the Jets, but the Jets did win games without him.

Taylor is no surprise. He had a decent season with the Jets, his only highlights being a strip sack of Tom Brady in week 2, and a safety against the Steelers in week 15. Other than that Taylor really didn't produce much for Gang Green.

Carlos Beltran decides to play right field

Suddenly Carlos Beltran is Mr. Team Player.

Beltran sacrificed his precious position in center field, giving it to Angel Pagan, who did a solid job in the position in 2010, when Beltran was hurt with a knee injury.

According to a report from the New York Daily News, Beltran consulted his family, friends, as well as his agent Scott Boras, before heading to new manager Terry Collins to tell him that he is willing to play center field.

Collins commended him as a "team player," but you have to wonder what Beltran might be really thinking. Beltran is entering the final year of a bumpy seven year contract with the Mets. With the team heading virtually nowhere in the near and long term future, Beltran is probably thinking about his next contract.

With Boras in his ear, perhaps Beltran's thought is if he has a big year in right field it will increase his stock for a new contract next winter.

Pagan for his part is a decent player. He hit .290 with 11 homers and 69 RBI. He proved to be a spark plug for a Mets team that was dead man walking for all of 2010. Is he is a better center fielder than Beltran is the remaining question. There will be a lot of scrutinity on how these two player at these positions.

Beltran's skills in center field are not what they once were, when he was a gold glover. Now he will play right field where the deepest part of Citi Field stands at 418 feet from home plate, where the wall juts in and out. Can he handle right field?

Is it a worthy team oriented move by Beltran? On the surface yes, but in the end it's all about money.