Friday, November 30, 2012

Wright Puts Pen to Paper, Agrees to Stay with Mets

The New York Mets will keep the face of the franchise around through the rest of this decade.

David Wright and the Mets agreed to a seven-years $122 million extension, Friday morning that will keep the third baseman in Flushing through the year 2020.

The deal will also include Wright's $16 million option for 2013, bringing the total of the deal to $138 million.

This was a deal that the Mets had to get done. With all of the bad PR that had enveloped the franchise thanks to the actions of Fred and Jeff Wilpon, losing David Wright one-year after allowing Jose Reyes to walk away without a substantial contract offer would have led to a total mutiny at Citi Field.

Wright, who has been encouraged through out his career to take more of a leadership role with this franchise, will now have to become the leader of the Mets whether he likes it or not.  He is the lone star on a team of fringe major league players, if the roster remains virtually unchanged from 2012.

How Wright performs is going to play a big roll in how successful the Mets will be, especially over the next two years of the contract.

Now the pressure goes squarely on the shoulders of the Wilpon's and GM Sandy Alderson to back up this landmark occasion with the signing of quality free agents who can make the Mets a competitive team again the NL East.

For as good a player Wright is, he is more successful when surrounded by solid hitters in the line-up. That is why he was so good in the 2000's when he had guys like Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran protecting him in the line-up. Over the past three seasons, he's been surrounded by Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter, and a plethora of other never-will-be's, putting extra pressure on him to get the job done.

So this is a moment for the Mets to celebrate -- but the job is still not finished, and the damage by the Wilpon's past moves sill needs to be totally repaired.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Yankees & Mariano Rivera Agree to New Deal

Yankee fans, its time to cue up "Enter Sandman."

Mariano Rivera is on his way back.

When Mariano Rivera fell to the warning track of Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium clutching his leg, everyone associated with the Bronx Bombers held their collective breaths. Rivera was lost for the season.

While Rafael Soriano did a terrific job in Rivera's stead, there is only on Mariano. And Yankee fans will get an opportunity to see him return to the mound, possibly, one more time.

The Yankees and Rivera agreed to a one-year $10 million deal. The deal, financially is a little excessive for a 43-year old pitcher coming off a season ending injury, but Rivera's resume speaks for itself.

He is the greatest closer in baseball. Whether he can return to his old form at 43 remains to be seen, but lets remember that Rivera has found ways to defy Father Time in the past.

Mets offer David Wright mega deal, should he take it?

Give kudos to the New York Mets.

For the first time in several years they are going to make an effort to try to keep one of their more productive stars on the ball club.

After years of embarrassment and total buffoonery by ownership, the Mets are rumored to by offering third baseman David Wright a lucrative eight-year $137 million contract to remain with the Mets for the rest of his baseball playing career.

The contract would make Wright the highest paid player in Mets history if he indeeds signs it.

The question though, should Wright sign the contract?

If David Wright puts pen to paper then Sandy Alderson must have done a yeoman's job of convincing Wright that the Mets are willing and able to make moves to become a contending team rather than the inept-average bunch of losers the club has become the past five years.

He will have to be assured that the Mets are going to surround him with legitimate major league players who can make plays. That means building a winner the way Omar Minaya tried to do in 2004-2006 when he added big ticket free agents like Pedro Martinez and Carlos Beltran to fill out the roster. While those moves put the Mets into salary cap hell at the end of the decade; if the Mets spend wisely this time around, they can avoid the avalanche that ate up Minaya in 2009.

While the Mets have some guys who might be nice bench players or a starter here and there who can slip into the four or five slot in a loaded pitching rotation -- it is not enough talent to make the Mets competitive in the near future.

Wright is the lone star on a band of misfits.

I find it dubious if Wright, who turns 30 next season, wants to play one more year let alone eight more years surrounded by fringe major league players. He is going to need to have legit/productive players around him for the Mets to be a true success. He is going to need real talent around him if he wants to truly be the "Chipper Jones" of the Mets and remain with the franchise his whole career.

That also means Wright has to have a promise from Fred and Jeff Wilpon that they indeed have the money to spend on this team. Sterling-Mets Equities lost millions of dollars in the Bernie Madoff scandal that rocked the team for three-years. While the Wilpon's avoided the ultimate indignity of fines and penalties in the courtroom, they have not won any battles in the courtroom of public perception.

The Mets financial problems not only resulted in losses over Madoff, but it hurt the product on the field, as they refused to infuse any money on the franchise -- citing that they were waiting for bad contract to come off. As a result, the team underachieved, they lost their other top talent Jose Reyes to free agency, and watched the gate hemorrhage money.

Therefore, I'll believe it when I see it. If Wright and his agent are smart, they won't sign a deal this off-season, allowing Wright to test the free agent waters in 2013-2014 when he could find out what his value is on the open market, and find a team that is ready to win immediately.

While loyalty is honorable, all baseball fans know loyalty only goes so far in this business. If there was such a thing as loyalty Albert Puljos would not have left the St. Louis Cardinals, a team he won two World Series' with, for a new deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Eventually, Wright is going to want to win a world championship. Right now the Mets are not even close to sniffing they wild card. With the way free agency looks this year and next, and considering the talent that is currently on the Mets roster, New York (barring a substantial change of fortune) may not eve sniff serious October baseball for at least two more years.

Only then will Wright's loyalty be tested. If the Mets are still struggling and Wright is approaching 33 years-old, he is going to want to be sent to a winner. That is just the way the business works.

So in order to make sure that Wright remain happy for the near and long term, the Wilpons have to open up their purse-strings, get past the Madoff mess, and begin to spend on this baseball team once again.

The Mets need David Wright. He is the face of the franchise; the true leader of the new generation of Metropolitans that the star-crossed franchise hopes can get back to the promise land. The Mets have to get this deal done.

Then, almost immediately, the only way to make the David Wright extension a true success for not only Wright, the Mets and their heart-broken fan base, is for the Mets to back up the move with an eye toward October.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Yankees Close to Andy Pettitte Return in 2013

Apparently the Yankees just can't get enough of old age, or Old Timer's Day for that matter.

The Yankees are reportedly close to inking lefty Andy Pettitte to a brand new 1-year contract worth $11 million, according to ESPN.

The amount of money the Yankees are willing to throw at a 40-year-old pitcher who missed most of the season on the disabled list speaks volumes about how little the Yankees care about money or even payroll for that matter.

Pettitte is a known quantity; one of the best pitchers in the history of the postseason, but that alone should not warrant an $11 million contract.

Last season, Pettitte came out of retirement to pitch for the Yankees, and did fairly well posting a 5-4 record with a 2.87 ERA in 12 starts. Not bad for someone who took a year off in 2011.

Pettitte will rejoin an already shaky Yankees rotation that has only two stalwarts in CC Sabathia and newly re-signed Hiroki Kuroda. While having Pettitte's name on paper looks nice, it also speaks volumes about the Yankees desperation to have starting pitching. Without Pettitte, New York is starring into the abyss with the likes of erratic Phil Hughes; 2012's biggest disappointment in Ivan Nova, and Michael Pineada whom never pitched for the Yankees last year because of injury, after he was acquired by Seattle.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Nets Outlast Knicks In 1st Meeting in Brooklyn


The Knicks had their shot. With :04 seconds remaining the Knicks had a golden opportunity to pull out a victory from the rejuvenated and revamped Brooklyn Nets.

The Knicks had made a spirited comeback, trailing by as many as five points after Brook Lopez nailed a two-point jumper to send the Barclays Center into a frenzy; the Knicks rebounded and looked poised to reclaim New York as their own.

A huge three-pointer by Carmelo Anthony cut the Nets lead to two, before hitting a free-throw shot to cut the Nets lead to 81-80 with 2:45 to play. The Knicks had the momentum; a shooting foul on Lopez and bad passes by Joe Johnson and Deron Williams quieted the Nets offense. The Knicks made their shots count: a jumper by Raymond Felton put New York on top 82-81. Tyson Chandler's dunk added two more for good measure.

However that is where the good feeling ended for the Knicks as Brooklyn rallied back to tie the game on a layup and foul shot by Lopez when the fourth quarter neared its conclusion.

The mistakes the Knicks made in the fourth quarter, like a missed 25-foot jumper by Felton, a missed 25-foot jumper by Steve Novak, and five missed shots by Anthony proved to be the Knicks ultimate undoing, as New York struggled against the Nets physical style in the paint.

Yet, here the Knicks were with :04 seconds to go, and Anthony had a chance to be the hero, after looking like a goat in the fourth quarter. He took the pass from Felton, and even though he had Novak open in the corner to his left, Anthony decided to take the shot and it wasn't even close, sending the game into overtime.

In overtime, the Nets did a fantastic job of responding to the moment. They pounded the Knicks 12-5 in the extra period; New York missed six shots, while Brooklyn seemed to nail every single one of theirs.

Veteran Jerry Stackhouse, who brings a strong presence to the Nets bench, nailed a three-pointer in the corner to give the Nets an 89-86 lead. The Stackhouse three-pointer drove the nail in the coffin. The Nets proceeded to nail five free-throw shots to ice the contest as Brooklyn won the first game of the Battle of the Boroughs.

For any Knicks' fan or player who didn't take the Nets seriously, please take note: this Nets team is a physical lot that presents a load of match-up problems for the Knicks. Once the Knicks get healthy, this match-up is only going to get better. It helps that the Atlantic Division is at stake too. 

No More J-E-T-S! Fireman Ed "Resigns" as Leader of Jets fans

Add Fireman Ed to the long list of fed up Jets fans.

The long time "mascot" of the Jets, who made a second career for himself leading the famous "J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!" chant during Jets home games, will no longer patrol the lower bowl of MetLife Stadium to lead the Jets fans in their ritual chant.

Ed Anzalone, (his real name), wrote an editorial that was published for Metro New York, in which he stated that he had had enough of the back-biting from fellow Jets fans at the ball park. Anzalone, who, for whatever reason decided to go to games wearing a Mark Sanchez jersey, left Thursday nights debacle against the Patriots because of "confrontations" with other Jets fans.

"This is an indication of how society has lost and is continuing to lose respect for one another. The stadium has become divided because of the quarterback controversy as well. The fact that I chose to wear a Mark Sanchez jersey this year and that fans think I am on the payroll — which is an outright lie — have made these confrontations more frequent. Whether it’s in the stands, the bathroom or the parking lot, these confrontations are happening on a consistent basis."

Maybe Anzalone should not have worn a Sanchez jersey? That would have helped.

Fireman Ed added in the column that he left the last two Jets home games early because of the "confrontations" and not because of the horrific play of this Jets franchise. While he won't be Fireman Ed anymore, Anzalone said he will continue to attend Jets games, but not in his normal spot.

Either way the fact that the Anzalone left at halftime with New England up 35-3 says a lot more about how bad this Jets team is than anything else. The Jets, in losing their number one Superfan, represents a huge slap in the face at Woody Johnson, who prided himself on making sure Anzalone was on the jumbotron for every Jets home game. With all of the bad coaches, quarterbacks, and teams that have come through the Jets over the last 44 years since Super Bowl III, it took THIS group and THIS season for the Jets to lose their top fan. Trust me; more are to follow -- and they won't be using "confrontations" as an excuse.

Alive & Well! Giants Demolish Packers to Snap Skid


Throw out all of the scenarios that have the Giants crumbling in the NFC East, only to watch either the Dallas Cowboys or Washington Redskins catch them for the division title.

The Giants took a major step toward their second consecutive NFC East title on Sunday when they blew out the Green Bay Packers 38-10 at MetLife Stadium.

The Giants entered Sunday's game with lingering questions about their offensive line, their defensive front seven, and the quarterback; but, Big Blue answered each question in bold caps and exclamation points. THE GIANTS ARE ALIVE AND WELL!!

From the onset the Giants quickly put away any doubts that this offense can get it done as Eli Manning looked crisp for the first time since mid-October. He led Big Blue on a snappy six-play, 74-yard touchdown, highlighted by a 59-yard screen pass to Ahmad Bradshaw that almost went to the house.

After Green Bay tied the game on a 61-yard bomb from Aaron Rodgers to Jordy Nelson, the Giants took complete control on both sides of the football.

The Giants pounded the Packers soft defensive front with powerful runs by Bradshaw, and a 13-yard scamper by Manning to spot the ball at the Packers 21. Three plays later, Manning found Ruben Randal in the end zone for a 16-yard score to give the Giants a 14-7 lead.

Defensively the Giants were all over Rodgers. Chris Canty sacked the former MVP on a huge third and three at the Giants 35 to force a long distance field goal, which Mason Crosby missed. Later in the first quarter, Rodgers was picked off by Corey Webster to set up a Giants field goal to make it 17-7.

Rodgers never had time to set and throw at any point. The Giants defense harassed him from pillar to post, sacking him five times and hitting him seven times on the night. Mathais Kiwanuka, who had only one sack all season prior to Sunday night had two sacks of Rodgers including three quarterback hits and six tackles. Even Chase Blackburn, who missed time in the middle of the season with an injury, had six tackles and a sack against the Cheese-heads.

However the biggest effort came from the Giants secondary, which did a wonderful job covering the Packers wide receivers. After his 61-yard touchdown catch, Jordy Nelson was held to one catch for 10 yard for the rest of the night. The Packers were hurting from the absence of Greg Jennings, out with a groin injury, but Green Bay still had James Jones and Randall Cobb to help out, but both were shut down by Big Blue. The fact that Kenny Phillips made his return to a secondary that had been ravaged by injury proved to be a big plus on Sunday.

While the Giants defense manhandled the Packers offense, Eli and company kept pouring it on. In the second quarter, Manning led an eight-play 61-yard drive that culminated in a 9-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz, his first touchdown in a month, as Big Blue extended the lead to 24-7.

Later in the quarter after Rodgers was strip-sacked by Osi Umenyoria, the Giants pounded the ball into the end zone one more time as Ahmad Bradshaw dashed 13-yards to paydirt.

Clearly the Giants are back on track. Manning broke out of his month long slump to throw three touchdowns, making him the Giants' all-time leader in touchdown passes. Manning complained of a dead arm before the Giants bye-week, and perhaps Manning was onto something.

Manning and the Giants running game were both helped by the return of Sean Locklear to the line-up, who played at right tackle for a majority of the snaps. With the younger Locklear protecting the right side of the line instead of David Diehl, it opened up running lanes for Bradshaw and Andre Brown, and gave Manning more time to make percise decisions.

With the victory the Giants are back on track toward a division title. With the Redskins and Cowboys both tied at 5-6, all the Giants have to do is beat Washington on Monday night next week, and, barring a total collapse, the division is theirs for the taking. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Jets Served Up as Turkeys on Thanksgiving


This Thanksgiving Day the New York Jets were in a very giving mood as the Gang Green Turkeys watched the New England Patriots take advantage of costly Jets' turnovers en route to a 49-19 smack down on Thanksgiving night.

The Jets were once again listless, careless and totally dreadful; New England ran up 21 points in a matter of 52 seconds in the second quarter building an insurmountable 35-0 lead; in fact, all 35 first-half points for New England came in that second quarter.

Typical of recent Jets performances, quarterback Mark Sanchez was at the forefront of the debacle. In a still scoreless game, Sanchez threw a costly interception with New York driving deep into New England territory. As a result, the Patriots took advantage of the Sanchez miscue and turned it into points when Tom Brady led New England on a 15 play, 66-yard drive culminating in a Wes Welker 3-yard score, giving New England a 7-0 lead.

Then, in a New York minute, the Jets went from typically inept to complete joke-dom. With the Jets facing a fourth and one at the Patriots 31 yard-line, New York decided to pound the rock up the middle; however, Shonn Greene forgot to hold onto the football.

Once Greene hit the hole and tried to extend the ball over the first down marker, the ball was swatted out of his hands into mid-air, rolled around the turf and into the clutches of Patriots safety Steve Gregory. The play was a poor display of simple fundamental football on Greene's part. Instead of trying to reach over a pile of people with the football exposed, Greene should have tucked it under his arms and dive for the first down. But fundamentals and New York Jets don't seem to mix.

It didn't take long for New England to respond. Brady hit a wide open Shane Vereen down the sideline at the Patriots 40, and the back-up tailback took it to the house, streaking down the sideline for an 83-yard touchdown to give the Patriots a 14-0 lead.

Finally, Sanchez stooped to a new low of ... well ... Sancheziness! The befuddled signal-caller decided to do his best Tebow impression, but, instead, crashed into the backside of guard Brandon Moore, slipped beneath him while flipping the ball skyward and into the hands of Gregory, who chugged into the endzone for another Patriots touchdown!

Watch it here! 

The fumble furnished the perfect blooper reel for what has become Sanchez's career with the Jets. The quarterback has now gone four years as the starter of this franchise and has become one of the worst quarterback's in football. Sanchez defenders keep pointing to lack of talent around Sanchez and blame the coaching staff for not doing a good enough job with him, but here is the cold hard fact: Sanchez stinks. This is the same quarterback who struggled to play well the past four years, and it has not gotten any better. It doesn't matter what talent the Jets have put around this guy; the results have always been the same: mediocritude of the first order.

The Jets are better off without Sanchez, yet Rex Ryan continues to sing the same ole' tune that goes: Sanchez is my starting quarterback. Apparently, Tim Tebow was not available last night because of an apparent rib injury. If that is the case, the Jets should have activated Greg McElroy whom everyone but the Jets thinks can do a better job with this team.

If Sanchez had gotten injured, and Tebow couldn't play, who would have stepped in to play quarterback, especially if McElory was deactivated? Nick Folk? 

But that was not all! After New England scored on the Sanchez fumble, the Patriots found themselves back in the end zone when Jets kick return man, Joe McKnight, fumbled the kick-off; Julian Edelman scooped it up and dashed in for the score to make it 28-0.

Finally, Brady put the night to rest with a 56-yard strike to Edelman, giving New England a 35-0 lead.

By that point, Jets fans started heading for the exits, and it wasn't even halftime.

The Jets problems go beyond the quarterback, of course. There are team-wide issues that date back to the beginning of the Ryan/Tannenbaum regime. There are too many people to pin blame on for this game; the truth is this Jets team smells. It is a shock that this team has won four games this year, because if one compares this team to the other dregs of the NFL: Kansas City, Jacksonville, Cleveland, to name but a few, the Jets are probably worse.

If the Jets continue to spiral out of control, I will reiterate here my point from a previous article: not only will Mike Tannebaum be out of a job, but Rex Ryan will be gone as well. It's time for Woody Johnson to step up and re-tool this franchise from top to bottom. He needs to clean out his football personnel and import REAL football people into the building who know the game and know talent. This administration has been a total failure, and it is time, time for them to go!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Open Mike 11-21-12 Thanksgiving Edition

In the first hour of the Open Mike Program from November 21, host Michael Cohen welcomes Karen Vankat of the Warning Track to talk about the New York Giants as the team tries to rebound after their bye week. Can Big Blue do enough down the stretch to hold off the Dallas Cowboys?
Open Mike 11-21-12 pt1

In this second hour of the Thanksgiving edition of Open Mike, host Michael Cohen welcomes in CEO Bill Zeltman to talk about MTR Radio Hurricane Sandy Benefit, which will take place this Saturday from 1-5 p.m. at Sandi Pointe Coastal Bistro at Somers Point, N.J. Bill also dishes a little Thanksgiving football about his prized Cowboys! Michael then takes a look at the Jets-Patriots match-up. Can New York avoid becoming turkeys for the New York media for another week?
Open Mike 11-21-12 pt2 1

Monday, November 19, 2012

Jets Wake Up to Silence Hapless Rams


Well, at least the Jets can always say they beat the horrific St. Louis Rams when this 2012 season is over.

In a game that was not exactly a match-up between two juggernaut football teams, the Jets found a way to outlast the St. Louis Rams 27-13 on Sunday.  While the effort by Gang Green wasn't sparkling and will do very little to quell the sense that this is a team spiraling out of control, the win does soften the sharp attacks on this team after a full week of turmoil.

It wasn't pretty, and to be frank the game could have gotten out of hand very early, as the Jets offense slogged through the opening two quarters.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez was sacked three times early on, and was even stripped of the football, as the Jets offense stalled on its first four possessions. Trailing 7-3, the Jets had a great opportunity to take the lead after Sam Bradford was picked off by Eric Smith at the Rams 17-yard line. However, the Jets couldn't punch it in, as Sanchez was sacked by Chris Long, and threw a completion well short of the first down marker to force fourth down. New York had to settle for a field goal, but it was blocked by St. Louis, keeping the Rams in front 7-3.

However, the momentum of this game changed on incredible play by defensive end Muhamad Wilkerson. Wilkerson, who has slowly come on as a reliable defensive tackle for this Jets team, sacked Bradford so hard that he jarred the ball loose; linebacker Bart Scott scooped up the loose change and chugged 38-yards to the Rams 28.

Two plays later Sanchez finally connected when he found a wide open Chaz Schillens in the end zone for the touchdown to give New York a 10-7 lead.

From that point on the Jets offense was very efficent. Sanchez didn't make anymore mistakes for the rest of the day completing 15 of 20 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown. He wasn't spectacular, but the Jets didn't need him to be. He controlled the game with a short-efficient passing game, and the Jets offensive line was very good in its protection.

On the other side of the ball, the Jets defense shut down the Rams. After allowing St. Louis to drive 86 yards for a score on their opening possession, the Jets defense clamped down, yielding 195 yards for the rest of the game.

The Jets took full advantage of a befuddled Sam Bradford, who was horrible as he under-threw and over-threw his receivers for the remainder of the game. The Jets even took advantage of their former offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer, who managed too aggressively, when pounding the ball would have sufficed. There were a number of occasions that St. Louis faced a third and one or third and two, and instead of pounding the ball with Steven Jackson, who was moving the ball well, the Rams elected to pass the ball and were unable to move the chains. 

Before anyone knew it the Jets build a astronomical 27-7 lead thanks to two Bilal Powell touchdowns, as New York earned its fourth win of the year.

However this is nothing to get excited about. The Jets offense still looked like a unit walking on egg shells, and if it weren't for the fact that the Jets were playing a horrible Rams team, this game could have gotten very interesting.

Next up for Team Turmoil is the New England Patriots on Thanksgiving night. The Patriots destroyed the Colts 59-24, Sunday, but will be without Rob Gronkowski who broke his forearm on Sunday. That being said, the Pats still have enough weapons to give the Jets nightmares.

With the addition of Aqib Talib in the secondary, the Patriots finally have a legit cornerback that will make Mark Sanchez very wary.

So while it is nice to see the Jets actually win a game, don't get too used it, the sharks will be swimming in the waters for Sanchez, Ryan and company very soon.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Woody Johnson at Fault for Jets Tailspin

Over his 12 years as owner of the New York Jets, it has become apparent there are two Woody Johnsons. There was the Woody Johnson who was a hands-off owner who hid in the background from 2000-2006 when he let the likes of Al Groh, Herman Edwards and Eric Mangini do their jobs.

Yet, once the 2007 season came and went in a horrific 4-12 disaster, the other Woody Johnson was revealed. This is the Woody Johnson who thinks and acts like Jerry Jones. From Brett Favre to Rex Ryan, and now to Tim Tebow, Johnson has done everything in his power the past five years to keep the Jets in the subconsciousness of football fans everywhere, for better or worse.

He transformed from quiet owner who let the football people do their jobs to Mr. Hands-On. The result has been a debacle of the first magnitude.

This week, Johnson had to defend himself against claims that he cares more about selling PSLs rather than winning.

 "This, I really want to clean up,” Johnson said. “You guys have been accusing me — this phony story — about me being more concerned with PSLs or cash or something else. My job 1, 2 and 3 is to win games. That’s why I got into football to begin with. It’s to win games. It’s not to sell PSLs or anything else. My job is to win games. That’s what my passion is. That’s what I want to do. That’s why I’m spending all this time in this organization. It’s not to sell PSLs or to sell hot dogs. It’s to win games. That’s my job. I take it very seriously.”

The simple fact is the Jets have been one of the worst teams in the NFL in attendance. Their games have seen a nearly 2/3rds full stadium. They have failed to fill the seats, and the PSLs have been an abysmal failure in every sense. Earlier this year, MetLife Stadium was filled to the gunells by 49ers fans during San Fran's 34-0 slashing of the Jets earlier this year!

With three home games remaining on the season, the Jets have over 10,000 seats available for each game, according to the Jets schedule on ESPN, so, even though Johnson has done everything in his power to sell fans on sexy big names, it has not worked since fans would rather see a winner every Sunday.

Johnson ruled out the idea that he pressured the Jets front office to acquire Tim Tebow back in March, but this is a guy who, a few weeks ago, said that he expects Tebow to be in a Jets uniform for the next three seasons! This is also the guy who ok'd a five year extension, including $11 million guaranteed for Mark Sanchez, and the same guy who loves his bombastic coach Rex Ryan.

Nevertheless, the record speaks for itself, and the problem goes far beyond the 3-6 record for the Jets this season. Johnson is a guy with a trigger finger. He not only wants to win games on the field, he wants to win headlines. If the Jets continue to go down the proverbial toilet, don't put it past Johnson to make a move that goes beyond removing Mike Tannenbaum as General Manager.

Rex Ryan could be on notice soon.

With the way this franchise is run, no big time coach or GM is going to want to be associated with this team. The persona of the Jets around the NFL is that of a circus clowns. They are what the Cincinnati Bengals were the past decade, and what the Oakland Raiders have been since the mid 1980s -- a complete joke.

“I didn’t sign up for a 3-6 season,” Johnson said. “We haven’t had one of these in a while. I’m not happy about it. Yet, I am optimistic that some of these things can be corrected."
Those changes could be coming on New Year's Eve. Send in the clowns. 

Jets Players Think Tebow is "Terrible"

As if it couldn't get more bizarre for the New York Jets, it just did!

On Wednesday a report came out that several annoymous Jets players lashed out at back-up quarterback Tim Tebow, asserting that they felt the lefty, single caller was a terrible football player and they wouldn't trust him if he took over for struggling quarterback Mark Sanchez.

"Both offensive and defensive players have that they hadn't seen any improvement in Tebow's quarterback skills since he was traded to the Jets in March," according to the Daily News.

Even embattled right guard Matt Slausen, who has been a culprit on the Jets horrific offensive line, took time to rip Tebow and also slap Sanchez at the same time: "It's not even close; all other quarterbacks know it. I have all the confidence in Mark; we don't really have a choice."

In other words, the Jets players recognize they have no choice but to stick with Sanchez even though they know what we all know: he is terrible. Tebow has not distinguished himself enough in practice, and, on a team of misfits, it was only a matter of time before the mild-mannered Tebow became a victim of the back-stabbing.

“It’s not even close,” Slauson said. “All the other quarterbacks know it. I have all the confidence in Mark. We don’t really have a choice.”

Read more:

Coach Rex Ryan tried to extinguish the flames later on, but his explanation was a poor attempt to end the controversy. He called the annyomous players cowards for not putting their names on the comments, but that did little to prove that Ryan has utilized well the back-up at all.

Rex Ryan added that he had made it clear from the beginning that Mark Sanchez was his starter and that Tebow would strictly be used minimally in the wild cat. He even praised Tebow's work ethic and work on special teams, which was laughable since the Jets have barely used Tebow at all this season.

When they have put him on the field, it has been for a play here and a play there, and the result was nothing but unproductive; in fact, inserting Tebow in spurts has done more to disrupt this offense than help it; case in point: look at the New England game a few weeks ago, and the Seattle game last week.

Moreover, Ryan's praise of Tebow's special teams work is embarrassing. Tebow was partly responsible for two blocked punts on the Jets punt unit that resulted in touchdowns for the 49ers and Dolphins in games this season. Why? Because Tebow is not a fullback, and teams took advantage of that and blew past him en route to the punter.

As for the player's hatred of Tebow: their anger should be directed at Sanchez. He is the one who has been steering this Jets ship into the ground the past two seasons, and his 52 % completion percentage is one of the worst in the NFL. In many circles and among statistical comparisons, Sanchez IS the worst quarterback in the league.

So why pick on a guy, Tebow, who has had zero impact on this team? It makes no sense. Those critical players are classless fools who refuse to take accountability for their own poor play, but the back-stabbing in the Jets locker room is nothing new. It was commonplace last year as several players lashed out on Sanchez and ex-offensive co-ordinator Brian Schottenhiemer.

With Ryan's consistent denial to change his quarterback, and pleas that all is well in the locker room, it is clear that he is nearing the end of his tenure in New York.
Both offensive and defensive players admitted that they hadn’t noticed any appreciable improvement in Tebow’s quarterback skills in practice since he was traded to the Jets in March. Tebow has been a poor practice player throughout his career. His current teammates echoed sentiments from Denver Broncos players a year ago about the lefthanded signal caller’s poor practice performance.

Read more:

Both offensive and defensive players admitted that they hadn’t noticed any appreciable improvement in Tebow’s quarterback skills in practice since he was traded to the Jets in March. Tebow has been a poor practice player throughout his career. His current teammates echoed sentiments from Denver Broncos players a year ago about the lefthanded signal caller’s poor practice performance.

Read more:
Both offensive and defensive players admitted that they hadn’t noticed any appreciable improvement in Tebow’s quarterback skills in practice since he was traded to the Jets in March. Tebow has been a poor practice player throughout his career. His current teammates echoed sentiments from Denver Broncos players a year ago about the lefthanded signal caller’s poor practice performance.

Read more:
Both offensive and defensive players admitted that they hadn’t noticed any appreciable improvement in Tebow’s quarterback skills in practice since he was traded to the Jets in March. Tebow has been a poor practice player throughout his career. His current teammates echoed sentiments from Denver Broncos players a year ago about the lefthanded signal caller’s poor practice performance.

Read more:
Both offensive and defensive players admitted that they hadn’t noticed any appreciable improvement in Tebow’s quarterback skills in practice since he was traded to the Jets in March. Tebow has been a poor practice player throughout his career. His current teammates echoed sentiments from Denver Broncos players a year ago about the lefthanded signal caller’s poor practice performance.

Read more:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Open Mike 11-14-12 Jets Players Hate Tim Tebow

In hour one of the Open Mike program from November 14, host Michael Cohen takes a look at the fractured New York Jets locker room, as several anonymous Jets think that back-up quarterback Tim Tebow is “terrible.” Has Rex Ryan lost complete control? Michael is joined by Dan Feuerstein and Karen Vankat in the opening hour.

Open Mike 11-14 pt1

In hour two of the Open Mike program from November 14, Michael Cohen brings in the roundtable with Karen VanKat, Mike Sanfilippo and Dan Feuerstein to talk about the Tim Tebow fiasco, as well as the Giants current struggles to stay in first place. Michael then welcomes Zig Fracassi of Sirius XM radio to talk about the NFL landscape heading into week 11.

open mike 11-14 pt2 1

Thursday, November 15, 2012

R.A. Dickey Wins NL Cy Young Award

It has been a long, long road for Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey. 

A guy who struggled to find a home in Major League Baseball, bouncing around as both a spot starter and reliever in the majors and minors, Dickey was this close to finding himself on the way out of baseball. Nobody understood the potential Dickey possessed in that right arm of his, and in turn it took time for him to hone the skills of the knucker.

Since coming to the Mets in 2010, Dickey has found a home, becoming one of baseball's most reliable and consistent starting pitchers. While his win-lose record didn't indicate it in 2010 and 2011, Dickey was quickly becoming the ace of the New York Mets staff. His uncanny ability to not only fool hitters, but blow them away with his hard-knuckler solidified his spot in the Mets rotation.

Now R.A. Dickey has a Cy Young award to show for his efforts. After a fantastic 2012 season, in which Dickey won 20 games for a beligurered Mets team was quiet an accomplishment. It is one thing to win 20 games, it is quite another when it is done on a team that doesn't produce much runs. But that is what Dickey was able to do. Every fifth day, he put the Mets on his back, and gave the team a heck of a chance to win when he was on the mound.

With each good performance, and each win, the Mets confidence in their 38-year-old ace grew with each start. He was the guiding light in an otherwise dismal season. Dickey's performance throughout the year, not only trumpeted the no-hitter by Johan Santana last summer, every start Dickey made became a must see event, including his much-ballyhooed appearance in the All Star Game. 

The reason why Dickey has received so much acclaim and attention is very simple: Dickey is a true professional, a gentlemen, who never forgot where he came from, playing in a game dominated by guys with big time egos and even bigger paychecks.

Now Dickey is alone as the first knuckler to ever win the Cy Young award, and is the third Mets pitcher to win the honor, joining Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden.

Dickey deserved the honor, and now the Mets need to show him how much his efforts mean to this franchise by completing an extension to sign him. He wants to remain a Met, as a way to thank the organization for believing in him when so many others didn't.

"Just being mentioned in the same breath as those guys is an honor. But for me, this is an honor to be shared. It's a great honor, and I am not a self-made man by any stretch of the imagination. There have been countless people who have poured into me in a way that has changed my life -- not only on the field, but off," Dickey said.

Enjoy R.A. you earned every ounce of it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Fatal Attraction: Rex Ryan Sticks with Sanchez after Loss in Seattle


Maybe Pete Carroll was right, Mark Sanchez should have stayed one more year in college.

It certainly looked that way on Sunday, as Carroll's Seahawks pounded Sanchez and the Jets 28-7 on Sunday, as New York's listless offense once again could not take flight, and the Jets maligned quarterback is at the center of the storm.

The Jets managed only 185 yards of offense, and were virtually shut out by the Seahawks. The only Jets touchdown came on a fumble recovery by Muhammad Wilkerson. The Jets have only scored once in their last eight quarters, and it was the second time this season that the offense has been blanked.

Sanchez was again awful. He was inaccurate with his throws, and when the team needed him to make a big play, he stunk. With the Jets poised to take the lead in the second quarter, Sanchez once again threw a red zone interception killing the Jets drive and costing them points.

Then in the third quarter on a crucial third down play with New York trailing 14-7, he fumbled the football to the Seahawks, who later turned that gift into six points.

You can't blame this one on the Jets defense. They held their own, holding Seattle to 14 points through three quarters. They confused and harrassed quarterback Russell Wilson, and kept his big play-makers, Sidney Rice and Golden Tate quiet for most of the day.

This one was squarely on the offense and Sanchez. Clearly time is starting to run out on Sanchez's tenure as the starting quarterback, but Rex Ryan will not budge. He insists that Sanchez is his guy, because he gives the Jets "the best chance to win." 

However, one reporter asked Ryan during his post game press conference, why he has this "Fatal Attraction" to keep Sanchez as his starter, and Ryan defended his belief even more.

Here are the facts: Mark Sanchez has gotten progressively worse as his career has wore on. He has gone from game manager to disaster in a flick of a wrist. He was never going to be a franchise quarterback, that is why the Jets surrounded him with top flight running backs in Thomas Jones and later LaDainian Tomlinson over the years.

However, when the Jets asked Sanchez to be the leader last year, he fell flat on his face. Now its just a joke; Sanchez just doesn't have it. Who knows if he ever will have IT!?! At some point the Jets have to cut their losses and come to grips with the fact that Sanchez is a bust. If they don't do that, then there will be hell to pay at the end of the season.

Mike Tannenbaum is already on notice, as has been noted on this site this season. Tannenbaum's choices of talent have crippled this franchise. Yet, if Rex Ryan continues to hitch his wagons to Sanchez and the underachieving talent that is on this squad he could be looking over his shoulder come January 1 as well.

There is no reason for the Jets to continue starting Sanchez at quarterback. The season is lost, and so is this guys psyche. I am not a Tim Tebow fan, nor I am endorsing the move to start him over Sanchez, however as the season gets progressively worse what the hell do the Jets have to lose?

The rest of this season should really be about trying to figure out who wants to be a part of this team in 2013.  If Sanchez, and clearly Tebow, is not the answer at quarterback, the Jets should look elsewhere and that process begins now.

And it won't and should not stop at the quarterback either. The offensive line and running back corps need to be put on notice as well. They too have been the harbinger of bad news for this team as well over the past two seasons.

2012 is a disaster, but that does not mean 2013 has to be a meltdown either. The current administration running the Jets should try everything they can to pave a course to a better tomorrow for this team; whether it's enough to save their jobs is another story entirely.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Eli Manning Front & Center of Giants Debacle in Cincy


It didn't take long for the Giants to find themselves behind in this contest.

In fact the Giants fell so far behind, so fast that the rest of the game became elementary as the Cincinnati Bengals waltzed to a dominating 31-13 victory over the defending Super Bowl champions.

It only took five plays for the Giants to find themselves in big trouble, when Andy Dalton found A.J. Green wide open down the sideline for a 56-yard touchdown, after he blew past Corey Webster en route to the end zone.

After Big Blue went three-and-out on their opening possession, Cincinnati stuck it right down the Giants throats when Adam Jones brought the punt return back 68-yards to the Giants 11 yard line. Smelling blood in the water, the Bengals attacked aggressively, as Dalton attempted two striaght passes before connecting with Andrew Hawkins for the score to bury the Giants 14-0.

With only four minutes elapsed in the first quarter the game was basically over.

The Giants were flat all day. They didn't have an answer for the Bengals blitzing defense, which spent the entire afternoon harassing quarterback Eli Manning. Manning had his worst game of the season, failing to throw a touchdown pass for the second consecutive game, and failing to move this football team anywhere near the endzone.

Manning overshot, and underthrew his wide receivers, who were extremely well covered. Victor Cruz who hauled in three catches for 26 yards, was thrown to only four times on Sunday.

When Manning was pressured, he made some horrid mistakes that buried New York even further.  Manning's first pick was Mark Sanchez-eshc, as he tried to avoid a sack and threw the ball up into the air only to have it picked off by defensive tackle Pat Sims. The turnover set the Bengals up at the Giants 12, allowing Dalton to complete a 10-yard touchdown strike to Jermaine Gresham to make it 14-6.

On the Giants ensuing possession, Manning tried to break from the pocket and heave the ball downfield, but his wobbly pass was intercepted by Nate Clements, setting up another score for Cincinnati, as Dalton hit Mohammad Sanu with his fourth TD pass of the day.

With the loss the Giants now stand at 6-4, still in first place in the NFC East, but there is reason for concern. With the Dallas Cowboys victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, it makes it clear that Big Blue will be fighting off Big D for the division for the rest of the season.

The Giants schedule is not easy. Games against Green Bay, Washington, New Orleans, Atlanta, Baltimore and Philadelphia remain, and it is conceivable that if the Giants struggles continue they could find themselves gasping for their playoff lives come week 17.

If Dallas and New York should, let's say, finish 9-7, Dallas would win the division outright, since they would have a better divisional record than the Giants. The Giants would have to not only win 10 games, they now have to hope that Dallas losses one of their remaining divisional games against Washington and Philly to help the Giants out.

Then again, maybe this is just another November swoon for the Giants, and they will turn it around in December. However with that schedule, the Giants are going have to really earn every win they can get to fend off a complete collapse. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mets' Fan Rejoice, New York Releases Jason Bay

Jason Bay we hardly knew ye.

The New York Mets and outfielder Jason Bay agreed to part ways, as New York terminated his contract and agreed to pay him the remaining $21 million he is owed over the next several years. This will allow the Mets to spend a few bucks on other free agents this winter, however it won't be a significant amount of extra cash.

Basically the Mets had to get rid of Bay, and Bay had to leave New York. It was a imperfect marriage that turned into a colossal albatross for both parties. Bay spent much of his three years as a Met either underachieving at the plate or on the disabled list with various ailments.

In three years, Bay hit less home runs for the Mets, 26, than he did in his one-year in Boston, 36. He never acclimated to New York, and became an automatic out every time he came to the plate. Perhaps someone will take a flyer on Bay, but let's be honest, the guy looked done as a major league player during his forgettable stay as a Metropolitan.

The Mets will be better off without this slug in their clubhouse, and now they can begin to focus on more important issues like convincing David Wright and R.A. Dickey to sign long term contract. No word on whether Wright or Dickey plan to sign contracts; the Mets did extend Wright's club option for 2013.

Who the Mets will be in 2013 and beyond will be determined by what they do this off-season. They have to show their fanbase a move toward action, and a move toward being a competitive team for once. Their outfield is a mess, their middle infield leaves a lot to be desired. They have no catcher, and a horrific bullpen and a rotation full of young guys with too many question marks.

Sure it is great to release a deadweight in Jason Bay, but the issues that plague the Mets run deeper than one player. It is now year three for GM Sandy Alderson; he has to show some progress for the first time in his tenure as the head of this franchise.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Flawed Giants Fall Flat Against Steelers


Don't say I didn't warn you.

A week ago, the Giants barely walked out of Dallas with a 29-24 victory over the hapless Cowboys. The victory raised plenty of red flags about this Giants team, from the poor play of the Giants secondary, to Eli Manning's inconsistency that Giants fans should not get all worked up about a repeat trip to the Super Bowl just yet.

Those fears were confirmed on Sunday as the Pittsburgh Steelers manhandled the Giants in the second half of a 24-20 beat-down at MetLife Stadium. In fact, this game was never really that close. The Giants were gift wrapped two touchdowns by horrible calls by the officials.

First, it was the so-called illegal hit on Victor Cruz that wasn't, which led to Andre Brown doing his best Vinny Testaverde impersonation, scoring a touchdown while he was clearly down at the 1-yard line to tie the game at seven.

On the Steelers next possession, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was apparently stripped of the football, and it was brought back for a 70-yard touchdown by Michael Boley. However, after the play was reviewed it was clear that Roethlisberger was making a throwing motion with the football, and never lost control of it until he was trying to chuck it. But, don't tell that to the refs, who decided to confirm the call as a touchdown.

The 14-7 bump, seemed to shake the Steelers, who struggled to move the football through the third quarter, as they managed only a field and three different three-and-out possessions.

But, it wasn't like the Giants were doing anything offensively. New York was once again anemic from the play of the quarterback, Manning, to the seemingly always invisible running game of Ahmad Bradshaw.

From the get go it was going to be a long evening for Big Blue. On their first three possessions of the game the drive either ended in a punt or a Manning interception. He never got comfortable with is targets, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, missing them on several key third down plays, and watching as Pittsburgh beat-up secondary made one great play after another on the football in coverage.

Take away the two touchdowns, the Giants had only 13 first downs in the game with 182 yards of total offense.

Pittsburgh's vaunted front seven stuffed the line all night, holding Ahmad Bradshaw to a messly 48 yards rushing, and put more and more pressure on Manning as the game wore on.

But, the story of the night was the Steelers offense. They ate up huge chunks of yards on a Giants defense that couldn't tackle or cover anyone. Late in the third quarter, the Steelers found their offense, as Roethlisberger hit a wide open Mike Wallace for 15 yards to the Steelers 44 yard line. Two plays later, Big Ben found Wallace again in single coverage, hitting him stride, as Wallace burst past the safeties en route to a 51-yard touchdown to pull the Steelers to within 20-17.

Later in the fourth quarter, Roethlisberger continued to find wide open receivers all over the ball park. he hit Heath Miller for 14 yards to the Giants 33, then found ex-Jet Jerricho Cotchery for 12 more yards to the 17. Finally, the Steelers turned to bruising running back Issac Redman who pounded his way for 17 yards on four carries, culminating on a 1 yard touchdown to give the Steelers the lead.

Redman had a huge afternoon on the ground, rushing for 147-yards on a Giants defense that couldn't tackle the 6'0" 230 lb running back.

Now down 24-20 and needing another Eli Manning miracle, the Giants came up snake eyes, as Manning led the Giants on a three-out-possession after the Steelers touchdown. Pittsburgh got the ball back and kneeled on the football.

Once again the Giants defense played badly down the stretch, and once again Eli Manning and the Giants offense was bad through three quarters of the game. Only this time the Giants had gone to well too many times this year, and it finally bit them where it hurts, as Big Blue suffered its worst lose of the season.

The only solace the Giants can take out of this is the fact that the NFC East is terrible this year, however if Big Blue continues to play Russian Roulette football they are going to continue to come up snake eyes, and one day it will bit them in the playoffs. This game was a warning.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Knicks Explode in Season Opener in Honor of Sandy Victims

It was more than a season opener for the New York Knicks.

It was a chance for New York fans to get up out of their seats and cheer.

For the past week all of New Jersey and New York City was devastated by the power of Hurricane Sandy leaving millions without electricity, thousands displaced and many more looking to rebuild their homes, their businesses, and their lives.

This game wasn't even supposed to be the season opener. That was supposed to be in Brooklyn when the Knicks took on the new look Nets on November 1, but that game was pushed back to November 26 out of respect to those who were still struggling in New York City. To say that it was too soon to play a game while so many people were still struggling is fair. New York already canceled the New York Marathon on Sunday, and there has been rising questions whether the Giants-Steelers game should have been delayed or moved as well.

But New York needed to have this game. They needed a distraction. They needed to show, as this city and community has shown many times in the past, that it will survive no matter what.

The Knicks perofrmance on Friday embodied the spirit of a community ready to move on from one of the most tragic events in history.

With a dominating 104-84 victory over the defending world champion Miami Heat, Friday night, the Knicks gave their fans something to smile about.

The Knicks who open this season with plenty of old familiar faces from their recent present and past blew away the champions from pillar to post. Led by Carmelo Anthony, who needed to have a big performance after a rocky offseason for the Knickenbockers, he contributed 30 points and 10 boards.

Anthony's performance was one of the best he has had in a Knicks uniform. He drained two three pointers in the opening quarter, and contributed a long 18-foot jump shot to give the Knicks an 15-6 lead.

The three-pointers became contagious for New York. J.R. Smith nailed a 25-foot three-pointer to make it 27-12, and Anthony closed the quarter out with back-to-back 26-foot jumpers to make it 33-17. The Knicks never trailed in this contest.

The game marked the return of Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas in Knicks uniforms. Felton, who was reacquired in the off-season after the Knicks failed to match the Houston Rockets offer sheet for Jeremy Lin, had 14 points and nine assists on the night.

Thomas who last played for the Knicks during their glory days in the late 90's/early 00's didn't contribute any points, but did play 16 minutes in relief of Tyson Chandler.

Former Net Jason Kidd made his return to the Big Apple memorable as well with 12 points, and three three-pointers for New York, including back-to-back three's to give New York a 41-24 lead over Miami. Kidd was brought into New York with the hope he would tutor Lin, but once Lin departed Kidd became the Knicks starting point guard. Even at 38, Kidd can still play.

Last season's fan favorite Steve Novak picked up right where he left off last season as he nailed four three-pointers down the stretch as New York pounded the Heat.

While LeBron James (23 points) and Dwayne Wade (15 points) were productive it was not enough to quell the momentum of the Knicks who were playing with an entire city on their backs.