Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Giants lose Terrell Thomas to ACL injury, again

Last season when the Giants opened up the pre-season, corner back Terrell Thomas pulled up lame while defending a pass in the end zone. Thomas had torn his ACL and was lost for the year. Thomas' injury was the first of five season ending injuries in the Giants secondary during the first half of the season.

Who knew at the time, that the Giants would survive without him and win the Super Bowl.

It was believed that Thomas would be healthy in 2012, and it would only boost a solid Giants defense. Well, as fate would have it, Thomas is now out - again; and yes, likely for the season after re-injuring his ACL during training camp.

The Giants, who opened up camp a couple days ago, had to send Thomas to the Hospital for Spercial Surgery to undergo an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.

"He walked up to me after practice (on Sunday) and thought he felt good," Coughlin said earlier in the day. "He didn't really seem to have any issues and then this morning when he came back in, it was swollen."

Losing Thomas will not be as shattering for this Giants team as it was last season. Last year, the wrath of injuries in the secondary was an increasing concern for the World Champions. This year they are healthy, for the most part.

If Thomas is out, Prince Amukamara, Michael Coe, Justin Tryon, Jayron Hosley and Bruce Johnson are among the candidates to replace him as a starter. Amukamara will likely be the favorite, since he was a top draft pick for Big Blue before last season. This will put added pressure on Corey Webster, who is the Giants best, and most consistent corner.

The Giants signed Thomas to a four year deal, and that is turning into a nightmare deal, as Thomas continues to nurse injury after injury.

It should be very interesting to see how some of these young corners improve as camp moves along.

Giants pre-season preview coming up tomorrow.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Revis sits out practice with hamstring injury

Here we go with more drama at Jets camp. First it was Tim Tebow getting heckled by Jets fans, now Darrelle Revis had to sit out practice with "tightness" in his hamstring.

Revis insists that it has nothing to do with the fact that he is unhappy with his contract.

"I knew you were going to ask that question," he told a reporter, shaking his head. "Come on, it has nothing to do with it. If I didn't want to be here, I would've held out."

Right Darrelle, right.  Revis knows that if he held out of camp he would have been fined $30,000 a day by the Jets for each day he missed camp; therefore this injury can be interpeted in two ways. One, Revis is pulling an Osi Umenyiora and holding himself out of practice with phantom injuries until he gets the contract he wants. He can't get fined, because he is in camp. He was very close to holding out for the second time in three seasons, because he feels slighted by the remaining $13 million over the final two years of his contract. He wants more money, people.

That being said, reports are that Revis tried to get back into practice, but was held out by team doctors because of the injury -- so this is a legit injury. The Jets have downplayed the injury, saying it is not serious.

We shall see. Revis has battled hamstring injuries in the past. Two years ago, after his holdout, he came up lame in a game against the Patriots and had to miss time. Either way, the Jets can ill afford to lose Revis, and vice versa.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Nets and Kicks to Open Season Against One Another

After a very eventful NBA season in 2011-2012, the schedule is out for next season, and already both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are set for some huge match-ups throughout the season.

It will all begin November 1, when the Knicks will pay a visit to Brooklyn to face the Nets in their new digs, the Barclays Center.

The Knicks, who have been creating headlines this off-season for seemingly all the wrong reasons with the bitter Jeremy Lin departure. New York will face Lin and the Rockets on November 23 in Houston, and will host the Rockets, December 23 at the Garden.

New York will open their home schedule November 2 against the World Champion Miami Heat.

As for the Nets, and their new and improved back court of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, they will open the season with three straight at Barclays against the aforementioned Knicks, the Toronto Raptors and the Minnesota T-Wolves.

The Nets will even get into some prime time action, as they will host the Boston Celtics on Christmas Day at 12 noon.

The Knicks also play the on Christmas against the LA Lakers.

Knicks Schedule 

Nets Schedule

Open Mike 07-25-12, Alex Rodriguez injury & NFL Training Camp Preview

In hour one of the Open Mike program from July 25, host Michael Cohen is joined by a very large cast of characters: Triple Coverage's Mike Sanfilippo and Horse Power Hour's Eric Brennan, as the trio discuss the state of baseball in N.Y. DId the Yankees make the right move trading for Ichiro? Will A-Rod return by October the same player? And, how about those Mets?

Listen on Posterous

In hour two of the Open Mike program, host's Michael Cohen, Mike Sanfilippo and Eric Brennan break down the keys to traning camp for each of their favorite NFL team: the Jets (Mr. Cohen), the Giants (Mr. Sanfilippo) and the Redskins (Mr. Brennan). The trio is then joined by Sirius XM radio host Zig Fracassi to talk about the biggest headlines as training camp begins! Football is back!!

Listen on Posterous

Monday, July 23, 2012

Yankees Acquire Seattle Superstar Ichiro Suzuki

The Yankees are back at their old tricks, acquiring aging superstars in hopes a making another run at the World Series title.

The latest, future Hall of Famer to join the "One Percent-ers" of Major League Baseball is Ichiro Suzuki.

Ichiro who had built a long and steady career as the lead-off man for the Seattle Mariners over the last decade-plus will now patrol right field for the Yankees for the remainder of this season.

This is the second time this season, the Yankees have made a deal with the Mariners. In Spring Training they traded away Jesus Montero for pitcher Michael Pineda. It was later discovered that Pineda needed season ending shoulder surgery.

While the Yankees had some questions about their outfield with the loss of Bert Gardner, who has been out since April, they did have guys producing out there. Andruw Jones, Raul Ibanez, DeWayne Wise and Eric Chavez were all getting the job done.

However, once Nick Swisher landed on the 15-day DL, suddenly the Yankees who lost four straight to the Oakland A's over the weekend needed a bat.

Unlike typical Yankee deadline deals, Ichrio is not a power threat. His ability to get on base and produce runs is something the Yankees, who are speed deprived could definitely use. However at 38-years-old, Ichiro isn't the same guy who used to bat around .350 every year for Seattle.

His average has dipped each of the last three season, and in 2011, his average dropped below .300 for the first time in his MLB career, .282. He is batting .261 this year, and has walked only 17 times this season. 

The Yankees could insert Ichrio into the lead-off hole, and move Derek Jeter back to his more familiar number two slot, a slot he dominated during the Yankees World Series run in the 1990's.

However, with Ichiro's struggles at the plate, the Yankees could move him down in the order like 8th or 9th, and use him as a guy who can turn the line-up over.

This is a big gamble for the Yankees, who have way too many guys in the outfield over the age of 35. This trade has boom or bust written all over it. It seems like the Yankees were more taken by Ichriro's name rather than what he has been doing on the field over the past two seasons. This could be a big mistake.

Rangers Acquire Rick Nash from Columbus

Remember the New York Rangers? Yes, the team that held the best record in the Eastern Conference during the NHL season?

Well, after a fairly quiet off-season, the Rangers made a blockbuster trade, acquiring Rick Nash from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for three players. The Rangers and Jackets were in previous talks for one of the game's top scorers during the regular season, but the trade fell though.

This time the two teams were able to get it done.

Nash, 28, is in the prime of his career. He has average 30 or more goals in seven of his nine NHL seasons. He will bring needed offense to a team that couldn't muster a clutch goal during the postseason, something that killed them in the Eastern Conference Finals against the New Jersey Devils.

That being said, Nash carries with him a six-year contract that will count $7.8 million against the Rangers cap. Yet, it is worth it for one of the game's top scorers.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mets' Santana Lands on Disabled List

The Mets ineptitude took a new turn for the worst as word got around Saturday morning that Mets starter Johan Santana will land on the DL with a sprained right ankle.

Santana got lit up against the Dodgers on Friday night, giving up six runs in three innings, and has not looked good at all since his no-hitter against the Cardinals on June 1.

Santana, who battled a shoulder injury that cost him all of the 2011 season, has not been the same guy the Mets thought they signed back in 2008.

He has been spotty at best this season, struggling to get through innings, and he is not blowing people away with his fastball anymore. Even in his no-hitter, Santana was not dominant since he walked five batters.

According to the Mets, Santana injured his ankle on July 6 against the Chicago Cubs, and, as a result, has given up 19 runs in his last three starts. He has also compiled a 6.54 ERA since the no-no.

The Mets are watching their season come apart. Since New York's dramatic 6-5 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on July 5, the Mets are 2-8, and 1-6 since the All-Star Break.  They have fallen back to a game over .500 coming into Saturday's game and are in danger falling to .500 if they should fall to the Dodgers, again.

If the Mets should lose Santana for an extended period of time, their season could be over faster than one can blink. After this Dodgers series, the Mets play the Nationals at home before hitting the road for visits to Arizona, San Diego and San Francisco.

The Mets are running out of pitchers. Dillon Gee will miss the rest of the season with a blood clot in his shoulder; R.A. Dickey is not the same pitcher he once was in June, and Miguel Batista is terrible. Only Jon Niese has been the Mets most reliable starter of late.

Too bad; it was such a promising start, but the Mets remind us why they are the Mets.

Darrelle Revis Will Not Hold Out After All

The New York Jets won't have to worry about a Darrelle Revis holdout for the second time in three seasons.

The All Pro corner back will report on time to Jets training camp in Cortland, N.Y. on July 26.

For months there was speculation that Revis would hold out, because in the final two-years of his four-year contract, the corner would only make $13.5 million, including $7.5 million this season.

If Revis held out the Jets would have fined Revis $30,000 per day.

With Revis in camp, the Jets will have one less distraction, for a team full of distractions, to worry about this summer. Two summers ago, while the Jets were on HBO's Hard Knocks, Revis' holdout was a centerpiece of the show. At one point coach Rex Ryan tried to poke fun of the hold out by walking around the dormitory looking for Revis.

He won't have to look far for number 24 this time. He will be there.

Now the Jets can go back to worrying about which of their two quarterback's will .... umm ... not screw up ... errr ... I mean establish himself as the Jets true starter.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rex Ryan's Astonishing Weight Loss As Jets Ready for Crazy Summer

While the Jets had plenty of distractions on and off the field this off-season, most of which were for all the wrong reasons, their coach, Rex Ryan, probably had the best off-season of all.

The once chubby and jolly coach has lost most of his girth, in fact, he lost 106 pounds according to story on ESPN

Ryan weighed 348 pounds during his first season as Jets coach in 2009. After having lapband surgery, he lost some weight before the 2010 season, but seemed to gain in back last year. Well have no fear, a heavy diet plan later, and Ryan lost the bulk and weighs a reasonable 242 lbs.

This is great news from a Ryan standpoint, he will certainly be a lot healthier than he's been in the past.

Now as for his football team, well, let's say "interesting" continues to cloud Jet land.

Wide receiver Santonio Holmes continues to pop off. First he gave a back-handed compliment to quarterback Mark Sanchez, saying that his "confidence" in Sanchez isn't any "less than it was in the past," adding that he thinks he's the guy. But when you consider that Holmes has little to no respect for Sanchez anyway, for him to say any "less confidence than in the past" can be deceiving.

Holmes also popped off on the media, blaming them for creating the Jets locker room drama last year.

"If you guys want to be -- and this is for the New York media -- if you guys want to be a part of our team and want to feel so important, be there to support us, not to try to break us down,” Holmes said. “Because (there’s) not one day that we all step in that locker room and we try to break each other down, that we talk bad about the way that person played, because it affects the team the way one person plays if they don’t play to perfection.

“So, if the New York media wants to be a part of our team and wants to continue writing about us, write positive things."

Ummm, ok? Who was that who wouldn't answer a single question about why he pulled himself out of the final game of the regular season? Oh, wait, that was Holmes. And who was that who started screaming in the huddle because he wasn't getting the football? That was Holmes too. And who can forget former Jet Derek Mason saying that the Jets clubhouse was toxic, and who can forget the Jets receiving corps throwing former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer and Sanchez under the bus?

No, Mr. Holmes the media doesn't write negative things to spite the Jets. The Jets write the negative stories themselves ... with their actions.

Let the summer of love begin for Gang Green. Can't Wait (Oops, I stole that from Bart Scott). 

Yankees Lose Gardner for the Season

While the Yankees have been red hot of late on the diamond, the injury bug continues to be a problem for the Bombers.

Word got around late Thursday that New York will be without Brett Gardner for the remainder of the season, because of inflamed tissue in his right elbow. Gardner is to go under the knife and have surgery on it in the coming days.

Gardner has been missed. He is solid defensive outfielder, and his ability to get on base and steal bases is something that the Yankees will definitely miss come October.

That being said, the Yankees have had plenty of success this year without Gardner, who has been out of the lineup since April 17.

New York has watched the resurgence of Lance Nix, Andruw Jones and Eric Chavez make up for the loss of Gardner. That group has helped an already stacked Yankee lineup remain in the top five in baseball in most offensive categories.

So while the Gardner news is unfortunate, the Yankees have done more than enough to survive.

Mets end skid, as Wright belts two homers


With their season on the brink of falling apart, the Mets got huge performances from their two most reliable players in this 2012 season, on Thursday afternoon in Washington.

The Mets needed David Wright to have a big day offensively, and they desperatly needed R.A. Dickey to channel his early season success in order to end a season high six-game losing streak that has brought the Mets back to only a game over .500 (46-45).

It didn't take long for the Mets to turn their fortunes, at least for one day. In the top of the first, David Wright cracked a 422 foot - 2-run home run to left center field to give New York a quick 2-0 lead.

After Ryan Zimmerman answered the Wright homer with a blast of his own to cut the Mets lead to 2-1, New York put up seven runs over the next three innings to blow out Washington.

First, Ike Davis hit a solo shot in the second to make it 3-1, Mets. Then in the third inning, New York played small ball, as Scott Hairston and Davis drove in runs to make it 5-1. Finally, in the fourth inning, Wright smacked a three-run homer to put New York up big 9-1.

For Wright, his MVP-type season continued, and when his team needed him the most, he was there to pick them up. Wright went 2-for-4 with five RBI, and two homers, increasing his season totals to 14 home runs and 65 RBI. If the Mets are going to get themselves back into contention, Wright will have to carry the team.

As for Dickey he was solid. He went seven and a third innings, scattering 10 hits and giving up four runs (three earned). While Dickey wasn't his dominant self, he kept a pesky Washington offense in check as he earned his 13th win of the season.

The Mets head home for a crucial series against the Dodgers this Friday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Lin Wanted to Stay in New York, Dolan Felt "Betrayed"

Contrary to past reports that Jeremy Lin went back to the Rockets to make them aware that the Knicks were going to match their initial offer sheet, in order to jack up his asking price, the former Knicks point guard has come out stating that he wanted to return to New York.

"Honestly, I preferred New York," Lin told Sports Illustrated. "But my main goal in free agency was to go to a team that had plans for me and wanted me. I wanted to have fun playing basketball. ... Now I'm definitely relieved." ESPN.

Lin also told SI that he thought that New York would still match his contract, until the club traded for Raymound Felton.

Yahoo Sports and the New York Daily News has since reported that Knicks owner James Dolan is the main reason Linsanity is over at the Garden.

  " The decision was both financial and emotional since Garden chairman James Dolan was upset over Lin restructuring his deal with Houston last week to include a third year salary of $14.9 million. Dolan, according to sources, felt he was deceived by the 23-year-old Lin.

"Of course, team officials privately felt that Lin's actions over the past few weeks were anything but grateful. They were upset that he hired a publicist without their consent and were livid that the second-year point guard out of Harvard went back to the Rockets for more money. [...]" Yahoo Sports.

Lin also told Sports Illustrated that he received confidence from both coach Mike Woodson and Dolan that he would be back.

 "I have plans for you in the future," Lin remembers Dolan saying, according to SI. "This is a long-term investment. Don't rush back."

Now those words from Dolan have taken a complete 180, as the bumbling owner told Lin to take a hike because he felt "betrayed."

If the initial story is true that Lin tried to jack up the price, then, it's his loss. He could have been a superstar on the biggest market, and for the color of money, he decided that the biggest offer was best for him.

 If not, and it is true that Lin rather wanted to be in New York, than his agent did a horrible job in sending his client to a town and a team where nothing is going to happen for him.

That being said, if Dolan did indeed feel betrayed by Lin, and refused to sign him because he even considered signing an offer sheet, than Dolan should be ashamed of himself. Lin was the best thing to happen to the Knicks in well over a decade. He resurrected the franchise, and because Lin negotiated with Houston, which was in his right, Dolan felt a need to let him walk.

If Dolan's decision was based solely on the fact that New York could not afford to pay Lin, a guy who played in only 26 games, $25 million in guaranteed money because it would blow up their salary cap in 2014-2015, that is one thing. But, with Dolan making it personal all he did was shoot himself in the foot, especially if Lin lives up to the Houston contract. 

There are no winners here. Lin dropped the ball by running back to Houston to restructure his deal; Lin's agent dropped the ball on making his price tag ridiculously high, and Dolan dropped the ball by taking simple basketball business too personal.

 The pressure is now on the remaining players on the Knicks to get the job done. There was speculation that Carmelo Anthony wanted Lin out of the way, since he never played well with him in Mike Woodson's system. Anthony even ripped Lin, calling his contract with Houston ridiculous. J.R. Smith added that their would be problems in the clubhouse if Lin returned to New York with that contract.

So if the remaining Knicks players are so high on their own talents, and believe that they can win without Lin, now it's their chance to prove it. Last time anyone checked, the Knicks were nothing before Lin, and were nothing after Lin exited stage left with a season-ending injury.

Open Mike 07-18-12, Death of Linsanity

In hour one of the "Open Mike" program from July 18, host Michael Cohen dissects the Jeremy Lin situation. Who was right? Who was wrong? Who dropped the ball? Michael then takes the Mets bullpen to the woodshed, with a little help from Warning Track host Karen Vankat.

Listen on Posterous.

In hour two of the "Open Mike" program, Michael and Karen Vankat talk about the of the Yankees status in the American League. Then, Michael welcomes in the voice of Newark Bears baseball, and fellow MTR host, Bret Leutthner to talk about the Brick City Bears after their series against the Rockland Boulders. More Linsanity is discussed, as well as a look at the pending Tebow vs. Sanchez battle.

Listen on Posterous

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Knicks Will Indeed Let Lin Walk

As it was reported over the weekend, the New York Knicks are set to lose Jeremy Lin to the Houston Rockets.

The Knicks made it official on Tuesday, when they decided not to match the back-loaded offer sheet that Lin signed last week with the Rockets. That contract would guarantee that Lin would make $25 million over the life of the contract, including $15 million in the final year of the deal.

There have been numerous stories over the past few days, each with a different twist as to why the Knicks let Lin go. J.R. Smith and Carmelo Anthony ripped into Lin, calling the contract "ridiculous", even adding that if Lin were to return his teammates would be "jealous" of him. Those comments created a firestorm that Lin was ousted because of a rift with his teammates.

Then there were the stories that the Knicks couldn't afford Lin because of the heavy luxury tax penalty they would have to pay come 2014-2015.

And how about the stories that Lin is selfish, because he went back to Houston asking for more money after word got around that the Knicks would match the Rockets initial offer-sheet.

No matter, you can't kill the Knicks for making this move. They save themselves from salary cap hell by giving a still unproven point guard big time money, when he only played in 25 games last season. While Lin is a talented player, who knows whether his explosion onto the NBA stage in February was more than a shooting star. He didn't play all that well when teams adjusted to him.

That being said it is a shame. If it is true that Lin went back to Houston in order renegotiate the price tag, he is making a big mistake. Instead of competing on the grandest stage with a competitive team, Lin has opted, like most athletes to take the most money, even if means playing for a loser.

The real reason for Lin's departure will be debated for a long time to come, but if one thing is for sure it was fun while it lasted.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

No More Linsanity, Knicks Set to Lose Lin to Rockets

The Jeremy Lin era is over in New York.

The short-lived hysteria that brought Linsanity to the Garden and brought life back to the Knicks franchise, is now a distant memory chock-full of sold Lin jerseys and tee-shirts that are so out-of-date now it makes an old Rolling Stones album look brand spanking new.

On Friday, Lin signed his name to a poison pill contract with the Houston Rockets which will guarantee the point guard $25 million over three years, including $15 million in year three of the contract.

That is a complete reversal from the original contract offer that the Rockets had initially signed Lin that would have guaranteed $19 million over the life of the contract, something the Knicks were prepared to match, according to New York Posts' Marc Berman.

But if the Knicks had decided to match the latest Lin offer sheet, they would essentially blow up their salary cap for a player who played in only 26 games last season; moreover, the new offer sheet would have put the Knicks $17 million over the 2014-2015 salary cap, the final year of Lin's contract, with a total $75 million dedicated to four players: Lin, Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler in that same season.

In response, the Knicks agreed to a sign-and-trade with the Portland Trail Blazers for Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas in exchange for Jerod Jeffries and Dan Gadzuric; Felton and Thomas are both former Knicks. Felton averaged 17.1 points for the Knicks during the 2010-2011 season before he was traded to Denver for Carmelo Anthony. While Felton succeeded in Mike D'Antoni's offense, it should be interesting to see how he does in Mike Woodson's offensive scheme.

For Knick fans, they are sure to be torn over this latest move. It makes sense for the Knicks to let Lin walk. Even though he became an international sensation literally over night, he is still underdeveloped as a point guard, and 26 games is not enough of a history to determine how good he can really be. Keep in mind: Lin played progressively worse as teams began to figure him out.

Yet, the star factor and the fanfare that the Knicks enjoyed with Lin around, is sure to be missed. He lit a fire under a team that was dead in the water; he brought energy to the Garden that had not been seen in well over a decade, and his jersey became the hottest item on the market. The Knicks could have easily made up the money they needed to satisfy the luxury tax in tee shirts, jersey and ticket sales, as well as an increase in concessions, as if that weren't going to happen anyway.

Lin was marketable not only in New York, but internationally. People in Taiwan were glued to their TV sets to watch the Knicks play basketball; however, that won't be the case now for New York with Lin in Houston.

It's ironic that Lin should go to the Rockets, after all, Houston had cut Lin before the 2011-2012 regular season began, and showed no signs of believing in him at that time. They are lucky that Lin was willing to return to the franchise. 

Does losing Lin mean the Knicks are less of a team? On paper, yes. Lin is a much better player than Felton, experience aside. The Knicks will have to hope that Felton is the same player he was before he was traded away to Denver, and the team has to hope that a 39-year-old Jason Kidd still has something left in the tank. It was assumed that Kidd would mentor Lin, that will not happen now.

That said, the Knicks still have pieces to compete. This was supposed to be Melo and Amar'e's team to begin with. Now, it will definitely be their team in 2012-2013.

Lin, we hardly knew ye.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Open Mike 7-11-12, NBA free agency & MLB at Break

In the first hour of the Open Mike show recorded on July 11, host Michael Cohen discusses Mike Ness' no hitter for the Newark Bears, NBA free agency as the Nets and Knicks wheel and deal, and Major League Baseball at the All Star Break. Michael welcomes in Sean Bretherick of Triple Coverage to talk Mets baseball.

Listen on Posterous!

In the second hour of the Open Mike show on July 11, 2012, host Michael Cohen brings in Karen Vankat of the Warning Track to discuss the All Star game, the Yankees second half, and the Mets pitching situation. Open Mike will be LIVE & LIVING COLOR on July 18 at 7 p.m. only on MTRradio.com.

Listen on Posterous!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Bayonne's Gallardo Defines Excellence

As seen on www.nynjsports.com.

When Kofi Yamoah’s shot-put attempt landed 58’and 5.75” away from his post, Bayonne’s Travis Gallardo knew he had to pick it up. Gallardo, who starred as a multi-sport athlete at Bayonne High School in football, track and field, and power-lifting, was up against the wall. In order to finish strong in the 2012 NJSIAA Meet of Champions, he had to dig deep and find a little extra something to get to a top three finish.

“I had to do better,” Gallardo said later. “Koffe hit a 58 and Mark Ramsey hit a 57. I had to step up my game.”

On his first two attempts Gallardo fouled, putting the young man in a huge hole. He knew that it would take an extra special throw to match Chris Staton of Franklin who placed first with a 64-foot shot-put, but with Yamoah and Ramsey’s efforts, the pressure was really on.

“He had one more throw left, so I just let him do his thing. It was up to him at this point,” said Gallardo’s coach Kevin DiGiorgio, who holds the record for shot-put himself when he was a Bayonne student.

In his final attempt, Gallardo nailed the shot at 56’4” to qualify for the finals. The former tight end took it from there.  In the finals, Gallardo hit shots of 56’, 58’ and his personal best 58’ and 1.5” to finish in third place in the Meet of Champions.

In order to finish in third place with that mark of 58’ and 1.5”, every motion by Gallardo had to be perfect; and, according to DiGiorgio, it was.

“Kevin was always telling me about repetition. The key to track and field is to keep going at it; you want to be perfect,” Gallardo explained.

It was a proud moment for DiGiorgio watching Gallardo fight back to finish in the top three in the competition. He has watched Gallardo grow since he was a transfer from St. Peter’s Prep as a Freshman. “It was a very special moment,” Gallardo remarked. “This will be our last meet together; I’m happy with the way it turned out. To become third in the State Championship is a heck of an accomplishment.”

DiGiorgio first had met Gallardo during a health class DiGiorgio was teaching four years ago. The two had talked about playing sports for Bayonne High School, and DiGiorgio soon encouraged Gallardo to begin working out in the school’s weight room.

It paid off as Gallardo became one of the strongest kids in the State, playing multiple sports.
His dead-lift is 600 lbs, bench press is 330 lbs, and squat is 500 lbs. Just this past summer, Gallardo set the APA NJ American and World Class record for a dead lift of 550 lbs in the 16-17 year old age group at the 2011 APA Apollon Open Summer Iron Bash in Edison. He also totaled 1300 lbs of lifted weight between the squat, bench and dead lift, catapulting him to first place in his age group.

In addition he was successful on the football field as Bayonne’s tight end during the 2011 season; still, track and field became Gallardo’s forte.

He will attend Thomas Nelson Community College in Virginia in the fall, focusing on track and field, with the ultimate goal of finishing his college career at a prestigious university.

“I’m going to attend Thomas Nelson and get the best grades I can, train and work my tail off,” Gallardo said. “For me track and field will be my focus athletically.”

While Gallardo will be living in Virginia for the next year, he will keep in close contact with friends and family back in New Jersey, including his coach, DiGiorgio. The two plan on training together later this summer and will keep in touch over phone and via social media.

Added DiGiorgio: “Travis is right up there. The kid is top notch; he works hard and puts in 200 % all the time. He was a team leader for the other guys, and I am going to miss him. He was a big part of Track and Field at Bayonne.”

Friday, July 6, 2012

Knicks to match Lin offer sheet

The Knicks will match the Houston Rockets offer sheet to Jeremy Lin after all.

Two days after the Rockets offered Lin a back-loaded four year $30 million contract with $10 million a year coming to him in year's three and four of the contract, the Knicks have decided it is worth trying to keep their young star on the team.

The Knicks will be allowed to sign the offer sheet next week when free agents are allowed to sign on with their new teams.

If the Knicks match, then Lin will likely remain a Knick.

While the Rockets offer might have been tantalizing it is surpising that Lin gave them the light of day considering they once cut Lin because they didn't believe in his abilities, and were to kiss and makeup with the point guard.

Even if the Knicks sign Lin to the back-loaded contract, there will be financial ramifications that could affect the Knicks in the future.  The Knicks would be well over the salary cap, but at least by the time Lin's fourth year kicks in, the deals of Carmelo Anthony, Amar'e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler will be off the books.

If Lin returns to New York he will be joined by the guy many people say he resembles on the court, Jason Kidd. Kidd signed a three-year, $9 million contract with the Knicks on Thursday, to be the team's back-up point guard and mentor to Lin.

Kidd's return to the New York has been speculated for weeks. However the prevailing thought at the time was that he would return to the Nets once Deron Williams agreed to return to that club.

 While Kidd is not the player who led the Nets to back-to-back NBA Finals appearances, he still can be a major contributor, and played a big role in the Mavericks 2011 NBA title.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Zach Parise signs with Wild

Former Devils captain Zach Parise went to Minnesota before the 4th of July holiday to "think things over." As it turns out, Parise went to Minnesota not to think, but to to ink a contract with the Minnesota Wild.

Parise, who scored 31 goals and amassed 69 points for New Jersey during the regular season, will take his talents to his hometown Minnesota in a multi-year deal. The Wild also sign Ryan Suter, who was one of the most coveted free agent prizes in the NHL this off-season.

This is a big blow to the Devils, who were hopeful that Parise would return to New Jersey, but not for a record deal, as the Newark-based hockey team is going through financial difficulty.

The Devils now have to turn to plan B, which could signing free agent Alex Semin.

Open Mike, 4th of July special

On this special 4th of July edition of Open Mike, host Michael Cohen welcomes back Mike Sanfilippo to talk about the huge off-season for the Brooklyn Nets, after the team acquired Joe Johnnson and signed Deron Williams. Is Dwight Howard next? The duo later takes a look at the first half of the MLB season, and make some crazy predictions.

Listen on Posterous!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Mets back on track, spank Phillies


After a rough loss on Sunday night to the Dodgers, the Mets bounced back with a stellar performance with the bat and the glove, as New York dominated the slumping Phillies 11-1.

Jon Niese was fantastic. He dominated the Phillies over eight innings, giving up a run on three hits to earn his seventh victory of the year. Niese is 3-0 in his last three starts.

Offensively it was another huge day for David Wright and Daniel Murphy. The duo combined for eight hits and eight RBI in the romp. Murphy, who got off to such a slow start this season has been sizzling since last week. His triple in the first inning set up the table for Wright to drive him in with a ground out to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.

With the score tied at one, Niese helped himself with a two-run single to center to give the Mets a 3-1 advantage. After Ruben Tejada singled, Murphy doubled to to left to score Niese to make it 4-1, New York.

Murphy would add to his huge night in the fourth, with an RBI single to give the Mets a 6-1 lead.

Then in the sixth, Wright blasted a three run homer to dead center to extend the lead to 9-1, all but killing the Phillies hopes. Box score.

The Mets are now 44-37, and remain 3.5 games behind the Nationals who beat the Giants this evening. The Phillies meanwhile, fall to 10 games under .500, 36-46 as their struggles continue.

Deron Williams will remain a Net

With all of the excitement surrounding the wheeling and dealing by the Brooklyn Nets over the past few days, Deron Williams has decided to remain a Net.

At 7 p.m. Williams tweeted the following: "Made a very difficult decision today..." with the Nets logo attached.

Williams will sign a five-year, $100 million deal to remain in New York, after the Nets put together some impressive pieces that include Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace and Reggie Evans. The Nets are still in the market to land Dwight Howard, and that deal is still on the table.

Whether Howard comes to New York or not is not as important as the fact that the Nets look and feel like a serious team for the first time in many years. With Williams and Johnson together, the Nets will be a good team and contender in the Eastern Conference. If however, they are able to land Howard, they suddenly become a real player in the East.

There were rumors that Jason Kidd would follow Williams, and return to the Nets, but the veteran point guard is now deciding between staying in Dallas, or joining the Knicks to be Jeremy Lin's mentor.

Nets add Joe Johnson, could still add Dwight Howard

I guess Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov wasn't kidding that he would spend big bucks on the Nets once they left Jersey.

The Nets who have been busy flirting with Deron Williams, Jason Kidd and Dwight Howard, acquired Atlanta Hawks strong forward Joe Johnson for Jordan Farmar, Anthony Marrow and John Petro on Monday.

Who knew that Atlanta would be willing to take such garbage players back in a mega deal for their superstar player -- can you say heads will roll? 

Johnson is an excellent shooter, who average 18.8 points per game last season. He is due $90 million over the next four years, making it clear that Atlanta is trying to dump salary.

It is believed that the acquisition of Johnson would draw Deron Williams back to the Nets, but sources have said Brooklyn was comfortable with the trade even if Williams decides to sign with the Dallas Mavericks. The Nets are expected to meet with Williams today, if they haven't done so already.

Dallas is reported to be offering a four year, $75 million deal to Williams, while the Nets would be willing to pay $100 million over five years.

The big question is this: with Johnson aboard, and if Williams follows, would the Nets still be in the market to land Howard, especially with the team already blowing up their salary cap for two players.

The answer, believe it or not, yes!

The Nets are in talks with the Magic about a deal that would send MarShon Brooks, Brook Lopez and Kris Humphries to Orlando for the super star center.

If it does happen, you can rest assure that Williams will return to the Nets, and Brooklyn will have a big three that will rival that of the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics. The Nets would suddenly have a front court that would dwarf even the Knicks front court of Jeremy Lin, Amare Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony.

Yes, suddenly Nets-Knicks might have some extra spice to it. 

 Keep in mind, the Nets would not be done adding stars. There were rumors during the weekend that Jason Kidd could return to his old team if Williams resigns with Brooklyn.

This should be a lot of fun -- too bad the Nets couldn't have done this in Jersey.

Brodeur Returns! Goalie resigns with Devils, now wait for Parise

After toying with the idea of testing the free agent waters, Devils goalie Martin Brodeur will indeed finish his career in the Garden State.

Brodeur signed a two-year $9 million contract extension with the Devils that will keep the NHL's best goaltender with his original team.

"I'm really happy," Brodeur told ESPN.com on Monday morning. "Deep down what I always wanted was to re-sign with New Jersey. I'm glad the Devils stepped up when they did. As the process went on I was certainly intrigued by what was out there. But this is really what I wanted."

Reports indicate that Brodeur had multi-year offers on the table from other teams, but once New Jersey came around with the second year it was a no-brainer a deal would be reached.

Last season Brodeur turned back the clock and helped lead the Devils to the Stanley Cup Finals, where New Jersey ultimately lost to the Los Angeles Kings in six games.

With Brodeur under contract the Devils are now waiting to see what veteran Zach Parise decides to do.

There were rumors late Moday that Parise would sign with the Pittsburgh Penguin, but that was quickly exstinguished as a false Twitter rumor. Parise stated late Monday that he has not made a decision and is in no rush to do so.

The Devils are still in the mix to bring back the 27-year-old wingman, but they have competition in the Penguins, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, Nashville Predators, and Minnesota Wild. Parise is from Minnesota.

If the Devils lose Parise, it would be a major blow, considering he had 31 goals and 69 points as Devils captain.

With the Devils in financial straits thanks to the ownership fallout with Jeffery Vanderbek, it should be interesting to see how much the Devils can pay their star player. 

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dwight Howard wants to be a Net

Well, it looks like the New Jers...(oops)... I mean Brooklyn Nets may not be a total disaster after all when they finally make the move to Manhattan.

Throughout the course of the past year there has been question about whether Deron Williams would have any intention of remaining a Net, and whether he could bring Dwight Howard with him.

While Williams' future is still up in the air, one thing is certain, Howard wants the Nets.

Maybe it's the shinny black and white unis? Maybe it's the fact that it's Brooklyn and not Newark? Maybe it's just a ploy? or maybe, Howard is plain crazy?

Either way, Howard is dead set on coming to Brooklyn to play for the Nets. 

"There's only one team on my list and if I don't get traded there, I'll play the season out and explore my free agency after that," Howard told Yahoo! Sports on Monday.

This is surprising in a lot of ways, because there is still no guarantee that Deron Williams will even sign with the Nets. Williams is still debating joining the Dallas Mavericks for next season. It is clear that Howard feels that he could sway Williams' decision making if and only IF he is traded to the Nets NOW!

If Williams signs elsewhere before than, you can rest assure that Howard will not want to play as the second fiddle in New York, on a team that features Brook Lopez and Chris Humphries on the team.

Of note, there was a rumor out there that Williams would come back to the Nets, and if he did, former Net Jason Kidd would come with him. Kidd is currently a free agent after a few years with Dallas. Apparently they want to team up, but that doesn't mean it will be in Brooklyn, Kidd could be trying to recruit Williams to big D.

Now back to Howard. Bringing Howard in is a big gamble. He is a notorious cry-baby, and even lashed out at the media after it was made public that he tried to get Magic coach Stan VanGundy fired. If Howard has thin skin for the Orlando media, imagine what it will be in New York. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

David Wright Loses Out on Third Base Start in All Star Game

The rosters for the 2012 All Star game have been announced. The annual passage of the most pointless and over hyped nine innings in the baseball season will commence in all it's glory on July 10th in Kansas City.

Throughout the course of the season, the American League has seen little surprises, with the exception of the disappointing Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers. The Yankees, Angels and Rangers are all in contention for a playoff spot, while, the Orioles, Indians, and White Sox have jumped into the mix.

Meanwhile the NL is extremely weak. With the Phillies, Cardinals, and Dodgers all struggling to stay afloat, the Nationals, Pirates, Reds, and even the Mets have jumped up in the standings this season.

That contrast will be on display in the All Star Game.

Click for AL Roster

Click for NL Roster

For the American League, Derek Jeter will make his 13th All Star apperance, when he starts for the AL. The Yankee legend has had a solid 2012 campaign batting .299 with 7 homers and 29 RBI. Joining him in the AL's starting lineup will be fellow Yankees Robinson Cano, and Curtis Granderson.  Cano probably doesn't deserve the accolade because he has been awful this year with runners in scoring position.

Granderson however has been unbelievable. With 23 homers, a .348 on base percentage and a .508 slugging percentage, Granderson was the sole reason the Yankees stayed around .500 when they got off to a sluggish start this year.

CC Sabathia was selected to the game, but will not participate due to the groin muscle injury he suffered a week ago. 

As for the NL, David Wright was expected to be the starting third baseman for the NL, however he lost out to San Francisco's Pablo Sandoval. While Sandoval has decent numbers, he has not been as good as Wright this year. Wright is a legit MVP candidate, batting .355 with 9 homers and 50 RBI. He has been batting over .350 all season, and has provided the Mets with their only true power bat in the lineup during the first half.

He should be starting at third. Sandoval's election to start at third highlights the anti-New York bias that exists around the country. While Jeter and Cano get votes, because of past success, and the fact that they are the Yankees; any Mets representative seems to get dumped on for no apparent reason.

R.A. Dickey was the only other Met to make the squad. Dickey has garnered national attention this year with a 12-1 record and an ERA of 2.15. He went 43.2 consecutive innings without giving up an earned run this year, and pitched back-to-back one hitters. Dickey is first in the NL in most pitching categories, and deserves to be the NL's starting pitcher.

However, with the anti-New York bias that is out there, and considering former Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, who is managing the National League team, is no fan of the Mets, don't be shocked if Stephen Strausberg gets the nod over Dickey. But, who cares really? I think Met fans would prefer Dickey not pitch in the All Star game and risk injury; his long term value is more important.

Also of note, former Met, Carlos Beltran will get the start in center field for the NL, after a marvelous first half in St. Louis with 20 homers and 61 RBI.