Friday, December 29, 2006

What, me Worry? The Barry Zito Edition

So Barry Zito decided to stay on the West Coast, for much greener and longer pastures than the Mets were willing to provide. Of course, doom and gloom permeates Metsfandom today, as the only true "ace" on the free agent market is gone. Lots of fans are screaming that the Mets should have spent whatever it took to get Barry, especially since the team has the "audacity" to raise ticket prices. Well, while I am not happy that Barry is not coming to Shea, I am not going to sit here and beat the piss out of Omar. That I will leave to others.

The bottom line is this, Scott Boras wanted to set the market. He wanted Barry to sign for 7 years. The Mets were not willing to go that long. They were willing to go to $18 m a year, but for no more than 5 years. It is quite possible that had this gone on longer, his price may have fallen to that area, but a few things happened to change the market.

First, the ridiculous contracts signed by Ted Lilly, Gil Meche, Jeff Suppan and others. You know, for all the shit the Mets took a couple of years ago signing Kris Benson to his deal, where are the howls of outrage this time around. None of the above are guys who are worth the dollars they signed for. Teams are reaching, and there was a dearth of good talent available in the FA market this offseason. Seeing those guys sign for that amount, and even the 4 or 5 years in some cases, helped Boras make his case. You can also throw Jason Schmidt in here, as his production the last couple of years has faltered, yet at 32, he signed a 4 year deal. This had the added benefit for Boras of taking Schmidt out of SF, opening a spot for Zito.

Second, the backlash in SF over the lack of big moves this offseason. Sure they resigned Bonds, but they lost Schmidt, lost out on Soriano (talk about an overvalued contract, shit). They lost Moises Alou (a good signing by the Mets, thanks Omar). They needed to make a splash, and Zito offered the chance to take a local guy and bring him aboard.

Third, the Yankees. Now, it is probable that they were never going to get involved. But the mere thought that the Boss might be willing to enter the fray caused teams that might have been waiting to see if the market came down to enter the bidding now. Is it a coincidence that this deal came down mere days after word leaked that the Yankees were shopping the Big Eunich? I may be wrong, but probably. By simply being in the mix, however quietly, Boras had another mystery team to use as leverage.

So Omar refused to go over 5 years. Yes, Zito is only 28, and yes, he has proven durable. However, as you have no doubt read today, Kevin Brown and Mike Hampton were young and durable when they signed with the Dodgers and Rockies, yet they soon ran into health issues. Brown was never the same, and Hampton has been oft injured, and is due to try to comeback this season. The track record for pitchers who sign 5 year + deals is littered with injuries. The same people who complain now that ticket prices are high, would have been screaming louder if Zito had signed here and gotten hurt in 3 years, leading the Mets to have to spend more big money to replace him, and having to raise prices more.

So what's next? Should I worry about a staff that looks like this:


Maybe. But here's the thing, Glavine has his goal of 300 to go for. Duque, providing he gets his rest, is good for 12-15 wins. Maine improved last year, and is probably good for 12 wins. Perez, having a full spring learning from The Jacket, could return to close to his excellent 2004 season. And if the #5 spot does as well as last year, if even a little better, this team is still in a good place. Let's not forget Pedro coming back in July, rested and ready for the stretch, and the playoffs. Last season, many were worried about the roatation after Pedro and Glavine, and it worked out OK did it not? Yes, the pen lost Oliver and Bradford, but Filthy Sanchez will be ready for the spring, Heilman is still there, Mota will be back after 50 games (more like 60, as he will need some minor league innings to get into game shape). Padilla is healthy, and looked sharp in 2005. We also have Soler, Adkins, Burgos and Vargas to take spots, not to mention some of the younger arms in Kevin Mulvey, Joe Smith (who some think can make the leap this year, replacing Bradford).

Finally, we have Omar. We have payroll room. Would I like to see a trade for a pitcher, like a Penny (who would be #2 in the rotation, not #1, allowing him to slot better against other teams)or Beckett (think he would benefit from the NL swap? Think Boston needs a closer {read Heilman}?) before the spring, sure. Then again, Omar may wait to see how things pan out in the spring, and in the early part of the season. With the payroll room, he can make a deal for someone to solidify things if needed. This team is still going to rake, Alou is more than an adequate replacement for Uncle Cliffy. Green will exceed Nady at the plate (though Green may be worse in the field, as hard as THAT is to believe). 'Stache, if he hits 260, is a fine late spot bat. Delgado and PLD will be healthy. So long as the pitching does OK, they will win their share of game on the power of the bats. Then, Omar can swing a trade and fill in the rotation if needed.

Have a safe and Happy New Year. I'll be back Tuesday.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Weekly Observations 12/28/06

A Day late, but not short on laughs (I hope)

1. Sad news, on Christmas Day, James Brown died. His last words were "I'm gonna step back, kiss myself, goodbye aaayyyeee".

2. Brown's wife (his 4th) was prevented from looting, I mean, entering his home shortly after his death.

3. Tony Kornheiser spent prety much the entire game Monday night bashing the arm strength of Chad Pennington. Funny, I thought analysts were supposed to tell us something we DIDN"T know.

4. The Yankees, in an effort to cut payroll, are trying to trade the Big Eunich. The Padres, Diamondbacks and a team to be brought up out of nowhere by Scott Boras are in the mix to obtain him.

5. Boras is not Johnson's agent, but c'mon, how can I not write a gratuitous slam at Boras?

6. The Islanders, in what has become a happy ritual this season, beat the Rangers this week, for their third win in 3 games versus the Blueshirts this year. I have no joke here, just happy to write the the Isles are treating the Rangers like rented mules again.

7. To hear the Jets talk this week, you would think Ken Stabler was the Raiders QB. Thankfully, it is Aaron Brooks.

8. Leon Washington had to run a lot of laps in pre-season, due to dropped passes and fumbles. The practice has paid off, as he ran circles around the Dolphins on Monday night.

9. Let's keep good thoughts about Bobby Murcer, who is undergoing surgery today to remove a brain tumor.

10. Is it too soon to make Gerald Ford Jokes?

11. Jason Taylor of the Dolphins is upset that Shawne Merriman, who was suspended for 4 games for steriods, is a candidate for player of the year on Defense. Wait, isn't Taylor the guy who played with Ricky Williams? And how many Dolphins have been suspended for drugs the past few years?

12. Speaking of troubled teams, the Bengals have had 12 players arrested for various infractions. Commission Goodall has spoken to the team about the issues. Players say locker room character is more important than off the field behavior. That is, until it costs the team games. What's that, it already has?

13. Knicks beatwriters are writing lovely pieces about how well they are playing. Um, guys, I thought your job was to bash Isiah? Perhpas Dolan has perfected the Jedi Mind Trick?

14. Rumor has it Zito may sign with the San Fran Giants. Wow. Talk about living in obscurity.

15. This jsut in, another team has entered the Zito sweepstakes, the New York Giants, the feeling is that he has to be better than Eli.

16. Someone tell me when Tom Coughlin is going to discipline a player for stupid fucking penalties that cost his team games, instead of blaming everything on Eli?

17. Jeromemymine had another drop the other day. There were two personal foul calls against Bob Whitfield, including his second of the year for head butting an opponent. But Coughlin is a great coach, who has not lost his team.

18. Chad Pennington played Monday night while battling the flu. He apparently threw up at one point. Tony Kornheiser claimed that Chad couldn't even get good distance on his spew.

19. The Texas Rangers have given Barry Zito until this weekend to accept their contract offer. Satan, um, Scott Boras, has already said no, citing 15 other unnamed teams that are prepared to offer more money.

20. Until now, Boras has owned Rangers Owner Tom Hicks, having Hicks sign Chan Ho Park and A-Rod to two of the largest bust contracts in history. Apparently, Hicks is sick of getting slammed by Boras, and told him to fuck someone else over.

21. Funny, after the first Jets Dolphins game, the Fins were stating they were the better team. After the last game, silence. I have the response for the Jets, Dear Dolphins, Go perform a physically impossible act of self-impregnation. Love, the Jets.

22. I'm still trying to figure out the point of interviewing Venus and Serena Williams at the Jets game the other night. Did ESPN really think we cared out their responses to the questions about how to deal with adversity on the courts and how it could translate on the football field? Cause you know, chasing a little tennis ball is a lot like getting slammed by a 250 lb linebacker. Then again, Serena knows all about the latter.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year everyone. I'll be back next week.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

So THAT"S Why They Drafted a Kicker in the 2nd Round

So the Jets had a big game in Miami, in the Orange Bowl, in the rain. Ed of course has visions of AJ Duhe dancing in his head, and he is not happy. Then, I get the added benefit (sarcasm) of the ESPN crew, which make the Fox Baseball tandem of Buck and McArver sound good. Someone please tell me what the fuck Venus and Serena Williams are doing on my TV screen talking to Suzy Kobler during a Jets game? Then I get to hear Don Shula rip on Alabama for firing his son and for daring to want to hire Saban as the new coach. Yeah, that would be a good pick, if Alabama wants to suck for the first 5 games, then play well once the season is all but over. I had not watched any Monday Night Football this season, and I am happy that I only had to be subjected to 1 game.

The comment highlight(?) of the night was after the botched snap on the field goal try as Theissman wonders why coaches do not listen to him and use back up QB's as holders on field goal tries, since they are used to handling snaps. Hey Joe, back-ups don't handle many snaps since they don't play enough. Oh, and by the way, the Jets holder is the punter, Graham, who handles a few snaps of his own each game as the punter for pete's sake. Personally, the wet ball probably had more to do with it. As for Tony Kornheiser, please, no more. If I want to here a "common man" make jokes, I can do that myself, and just as poorly. Dennis Miller was at least funny. And the endless banter about Harrington trying to change the culture in Detriot made me ill. He sucked there, and he sucks in Miami. Loved the hit job that either Young or Theissman put on Culpepper by the way, talking about missing meetings and what not. God, it was painful to listen to.

The game started poorly for the Jets, as Chad was tossing Hanging Chad's all over the place, leading to Coles getting his bell rung, and Washington almost getting killed. The defense was playing well, keeping Harrington in check. Of course, at halftime, Cleo Lemon comes in, and Jets fans are thinking, oh shit, the backup QB. After the Jets went up 3-0 on a Nugent Field Goal, Lemon lead the Mammals to a TD, and a 7-3 lead.

Chad rebounded, leading the Jets on a 80 yard 11 play drive, the capper a nice 32 yards pass to Cotchery, and the Jets led 10-7. A bad play on an ensuing Jets punt gave the Dolphins the ball on the Jet 35, but the defense held, and all Miami could do was tie. So now, the big question, what could Chad do, and would it be up to Nugent to win the game for the Jets?

Chad got the ball with 2:13 left, and threw a nice little screen pass to Leon Washington. Leon wound up going 64 yards, making guys miss all over the field, giving the Jets the ball on the Miami 16. Nothing more from there, leaving the Jets fate on the leg of one Mr. Nugent, the same Nugent who kicked poorly earlier in the year, leaving his future up in the air. Funny thing, but since then, he has kicked great. When he was drafted on the heels of Doug Brien, many thought it was foolhardy to draft a kicker in the 2nd round, but seeing how the Patriots have done with a good kicker winning Super Bowls for them, the Jets braintrust at the time felt it was the right move. And Nugent did them proud, and we fans as well, drilling a 30 yarder with 10 seconds left. Jets Win!

So it all comes down to New Years Eve. Jets win, and they are in. The Raiders stand in the way. Now, I know, and you know that the Raiders suck, but, you have to think they are going to try to make a game of it, they are not going to want to be embarrassed on the last day of the season. Then again, they do want the #1 pick, so you never know.

Mangini needs to pull another boxing tape out of mothballs, find another fighter to speechify (Smokin' Joe Frazier did the honors this weekend). Wrap Chad in bubble wrap this week, same with Coles. Who would've thunk that the Jets would be on the cusp of the playoffs this year. Yeah, it comes against a soft schedule, but they have no dominant running back, a QB with a twice repaired shoulder, two rookies manning the offensive line, and a 3-4 defense that hurts their best linebacker's ability to make big plays. This team has a lot to be proud of. And when they win next week, they could get Peyton in the first round. And we all know what they did to Peyton the last time they faced him in the playoffs, and we all know how well Chad plays in a dome.

Why not the Jets, indeed.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Weekly Observations 12/20/06

Lot's of goodies for this weeks edition.

1. Peter King at CNNSI asks if John Abraham is made of paper mache. In return, I have to ask this question of Peter, have you missed his entire career and only paid attention to this year?

2. A member of the Texas legislature is pushing for a bill that would legalize hunting for the blind. This would allow Dick Cheney to continue to visit.

3. Carmelo Anthony, during the brawl against the Knicks on Saturday, threw a punch at Mardy Collins, then ran like hell. Apparently, snitching isn't OK, but running away screaming like a girl is acceptable in the old neighborhood.

4. Isiah Thomas got off without a suspension, despite taped evidence showing him warning 'Melo to not go to the paint. None of the players would say he ordered the code red. Apparently, they all had gotten copies of 'Melo's "No Snitching" DVD.

5. Terrell Owens spit on DAngelo Hall the other night. After the game, he admitted to it on tape, then claimed to not remember. Wow, I haven't seen backtracking that bad since 'Melo.

6. Maddona has banned pheasant hunting on her estate in England. Apparently, she heard Cheney wanted to stop by for a visit.

7. A NJ Catholic School closed its doors early for Christmas Break (wait, am I allowed to call it Christmas break?) after several members of the wrestling team came down with Herpes Simplex 1. Now, for those who do not know the difference, Herpes Simplex 2 is only passed along through sexual contact. Simplex 1 is only passed around by rolling around half naked with someone else who has it. I'm sorry, what the hell is the difference between them again?

8. Over 300 people became ill after eating at an Olive Garden restaurant in Indianapolis last week. A Department of Health Spokesperson said "We are trying to isolate the cause of the illness". I've got it, how about the fact that you ate at Olive Garden?

9. Chad Pennington, Laveranues Coles, Chad Pennington, Ben Graham and Eric Mangini taped an episode of Elmo's World last week. For the first time, Chad wasn't the only one with a rag arm in the room.

10. Darryl Strawberry has weighed in on the Jeter-ARod situation. Straw thinks that Jeter needs to welcome ARod into the Yankee family. Make him feel like part of the team. Hey, Keith and the guys did it with Straw, and look how well that worked out for him.

11. Back to the Texas hunting license for the blind. The added benefit is that it would allow David Carr to keep his job.

12. Allen Iverson was finally traded yesterday, to the Nuggets. Yeah, I see this ending well, two ball hogs in the same lineup. That'll work out great.

13. Sad news from Sesame Street. Apparently, after the taping of the segment, Eric Mangini needed a snack, and roasted Big Bird.

14. Our long national nightmare is over. After a week of speculation that she would lose her crown, Miss USA Tara Connor, is being allowed to keep her crown by pageant owner Donald Trump. Of course, former Apprentice "stars" are using this as a chance to extend their 15 minutes of fame by claiming they should have gotten second chances. Um, right now, you are. A second chance to remind America that you are all fucking idiots.

15. Honestly, I did not even know there was a Miss USA, or a Miss Teen USA. Donald bought all the pageants, I guess so he has bullpen depth for when it comes time to trade in Melinia, who is Wife #3.

16. So, last night we had a rematch at MSG between the Islanders and the Rangers. Last time, the Isles jumped out to an early 4-0 lead after 1 period, causing Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist to pull himself from the game. Last night, the prospect of facing the Isles again caused him to pull himself before the game even started. The Isles won 4-3.

17. President Bush has finally admitted that the US is not winning the war in Iraq, something most of the country has known for sometime. Dick Cheney is furious that someone showed Bush how to turn on the news on a station other than Fox.

End Observations

Omar and the Gang (Celebrate good times, c'mon, let's celebrate. Ugh, now that song is in my head) are still in California, meeting with Boras and Zito. Some rumors say that a deal could be announced this week. Others say it will take until next week. I just want this to be over already, one way or the other. I want Zito, as I've stated before, but I just want this done.

I'll be taking the next few days off, preparing the house for Santa's visit. Be back on Tuesday.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Sing Along

As threatened, today I will list my favorite holiday songs, as well as a few that are not amongst the preferred list of highlights. Let's start with the bad, shall we? Since everyone agrees that Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time" is the epitome of bad, I shall leave it off the list.

3. The Lord's Prayer - Barbra Streisand (Superstar Christmas Album)
Bab's sings the Lord's Prayer. I mean, do I really need to say more?

2. Happy Christmas - John Lennon
Yes, It's John Lennon, and the message of the song is peace, but it is without a doubt, the second most pretentious load of crap I've heard connected to the Holidays, topped only by ---

1. Do They Know It's Christmas? - Band Aid
Possibly the biggest load of self absorbed schlock recorded. Again, I know the message is nice. But here's the thing, if these people took just a portion of their earnings, they could make a difference. Instead, they ask poor schmucks like us to dole out $ to buy this dreck, then, after taking their cut, they send a little over. The answer to the question - probably not, they're more concerned about finding some fucking food.

Now, onto the good, both actually good, and funny feel good

10. The Hanukkah Song - Adam Sandler.
It's not classic great music, but this song has to bring a smile to anyone's face. Sandler's list is quite humorous, and while he makes some changes every couple of years, the fact that "OJ Simpson, still not a Jew" remains, warms my heart.

9. Soulful Christmas - James Brown (Hi-Fi Holidays, from Old Navy)
The Godfather of soul goes from singing about Christmas to thanking his fans for buying his albums and coming to his shows. Just funny as all hell.

8. Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer - Elmo and Patsy
Not played that much any longer, but still the best parody song.

7. Santa Claus and his Old Lady - Cheech and Chong
Another that is not played often, but good comedy, as Cheech tries to tell Chong about Santa Claus, trying to name all of the reindeer. Good stuff, and you do not need to be baked to enjoy. Though the boys obviously were.

6. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - Dean Martin (Christmas with the Rat Pack)
Dean starts the song off right, but quickly starts calling Rudolph "Rudy" and throws in a little German. I can picture the scene when he was done:
Producer - uh, Dean, what was with "Rudy"
Dean - C'mon, I'm trying to make it hip. Give me another drink
Producer - and what about the German, I mean, people may not like this
Dean - I'm Dean Fucking Martin, I can do what I want. Now, where's my eggnog.

5. Jingle Bells - Sammy Davis Jr. (Christmas with the Rat Pack)
Sammy nails this one. Fine job, jazzes it up nicely.

4. Twelve Days of Christmas - Bob & Doug McKenzie
Four pounds of backbacon, three french toast, two turtlenecks, and a Beer in a tree.

3. Baby It's Cold Outside - Dean Martin (Christmas with the Rat Pack)
Dean seducing a woman during a snowstorm. Nice message.

2. Getting 'In the Mood (For Christmas)- The Brian Setzer Orchestra (Dig that Crazy Christmas)
It was hard to only pick one song from this CD (I know, that didn't stop me with the Rat Pack, but I only wanted to list 10). Setzer does the swing thing with Christmas classics, and comes up with some others. This song gets the blood pumping, you can picture him having a blast performing it.

1. The Chipmunks Song (Christmas Don't Be Late) - Alvin and the Chipmunks
This song was first released in 1958. That's nearly 50 years ago. It holds up quite well. Hearing a single note is liable to get anyone swaying like the little rodents and singing along. C'mon, you know you all do it. It's not just me right? Right? Shit.

So, that's my list. I did not check it twice. Let me know what you think, and if I missed any of your favorites.

Omar and the gang are going to California tonight. Let's keep our fingers crossed. Reports have it that Zito is going to wait until January to make a decision. We shall see.

Oh, and thank Peyton Manning for beating the Bengals last night. Now, I have to root for Belichecken to beat the Jags, and Denver to beat Cincinnati. Please Santa, Please?

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Weekend of Spankings

No, not that kind of spanking, get your mind out of the gutter wil ya?

No, all the "New York" teams in hockey, basketball and football were involved in spankings this past weekend. Let's review the carnage, dished out and received, shall we?

1. Friday night, the Islanders were strafed by Sidney Crosby and the Penguins (Eric Mangini's favorite team?), losing 7-4. Rick DiPietro gave up 5 goals in 2 periods, and was replaced at the start of the third period by Mike Dunham. The Isles tried to make it interesting in the third, scoring 2, but to no avail. How would they rebound on Saturday?

2. Saturday night, at the Coliseum, Alexei Yashin made his longed for return to the ice (wow, still trying to wrap my mind around the fact the Isles need Yashin). Rick DiPietro was in the net, and the boys rebounded big against the first place Atlanta Thrasher, winning 6-0. Yashin had a goal, so did Satan. Shawn Bates remembered where the back of the net was as well. Prior to the game, the Isles traded Alexei Zhitnick to the Flyers for a young defenseman, freeing up $3 million in cap room.

3. At the same time, the Rangers were getting pounded by the Leafs, to the tune of 9-2. This of course, made Ed happy, as nothing is more pleasing than seeing "King Henrik" get the Patrick Roy treatment from his coach. Henrik gave up 8 goals on 24 shots.

4. Last night, the Rangers were strafed by the Devils, 6-1. Another beating. This did not make Ed as happy, since the Rangers will be pissed of coming into Tuesday's game against the Isles at MSG.

1. The Jets. Ah, this made Ed very happy. Ed likes it when the game plan calls for lots of balls for Coles. Ed likes it when Chad can bounce back from an early fumble to march the team down the field for a tying touchdown. Ed likes it when Mangini says "I got your vaunted run defense right here!" and has Cedric Houston run it in from 6 yards out for that TD. Ed likes it when Mike Nugent kicks a 52 yard field goal. Ed does not like seeing Coles hurt on a hit to the back. Ed likes that if not for a garbage time TD for the Vikes, the Jets gave a beating to the Vikings. Ed is going to stop talking in the third person now. He spent too much time listening to Coles in the post game interview room.

2. The (notso) Giants, penned as resurrected after last weekend's victory, returned to earth, getting spanked in the 4th quarter yesterday, to l0se to the Jeff Garcia led Eagles. Jeromymemine was tlaking after the game about how they just need to win the next couple. The coach of course blamed Eli for the late INT returned for a TD. Perhaps he should tell his O-Line to block better. So now toady, we will read about how the (notso) Giants are done.

Now, I normally do not talk about hoops, as I am not much of a fan, but this weekend deserves some coverage.

1. What can I say about the Knicks, except they are the biggest suck that ever sucked. Friday night, they get the snot kicked out of them by the Pacers, 112-96, and Mardy Collins gave a preview of what would happen on Saturday with a late game flagrant foul.

Saturday, December 16, is a date that should go down in infamy. It should also mark the end of the reign of terrible that is Isiah in charge of the Knicks. Down by 23 to the Nuggets, Zeke could be seen telling Carmelo Anthony to stay out of the paint. A couple of minutes later, Collins gave a clothesline worthy of the WWE to JR Smith. Then, Napoleon got involved, as Nate the Grate got in Smith's face, and challenged him to t fight. Smith obligned, and they went tumbling into the stands. This being a Knicks game, the seats were not very full, and thankfully no fans tried to get in any cheap shots (this is NY, not Detroit after all). After this was broken up, 'Melo sucker punched Collins, sending him down. So I guess 'Melo has a message for those who snitch, and for those who clothesline.

What David Stern has to do now is quite simple, all involved need to be suspended. Big time. Not one game, I'm talking multiples. Not just the players, but the coaches as well. Karl had not business keeping his starters in the game with a minute + left. Give him a game just for being an ass. Thomas on the other hand should be banned for a minumum of 10 games. He TOLD 'Melo something was coming. He sent Collins out there. And after the game, he was unapologetic. This is hoops, not hickey you idiot. Hockey, you send a goon out to go after another goon to send a message, and it is an accepted part of the game. In hoops, you take your beating, and you try to administer one the next time you face the beater. Of course, this being the Knicks, who knows when that will be. The point is that this is unacceptable. Zeke is one of the original "Bad Boys", and still thinks like he is a player, when in reality he is nothing more than a punk. Dolan should can his ass for the ridicule he has brought upon the team in the past couple of years, and for this disgace on Saturday. You don't like getting the snot kicked out of you, try manning up early in the game, not with 1 minute left. As for Nate the Grate, suspend his ass for 15 games. He escalated it. Plays the tough guy, coins his own nickname, has a little blog of his own on MSNBC (he guys, you think maybe you should cancel that now?). The guy has energy, but he is a detriment to the team.

So, we closed a weekend of spankings for the NY teams. Some I loved, some, not so much. Entertaining most were.

Coming tomorrow, unless the Mets sign Zito, is my list of favorite Holiday songs.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Weekend Preview

Well, the Mets are kind of dormant, though Newsday says they are ready to sit down and talk dollars and years with Zito. Omar of course also needs to look for some bullpen help, to replace losses (Bradford, Oliver) and the suspended (Mota). It will be interesting to see who he picks up off the non-tendered FA list, as he has had some success there the past couple of years.

Anyhow, moving on, we have a big game for the Jets on Sunday, as they face the Vikings. Now, a lot has been made of the Vikings run defense, but despite that, they are 2-5 in their last 7 games. Now, the Jets of course do not have a great running game, so the fact they are facing a great run defense is going to expose that glaring weakness even more. As a result, this game will hang on Chad. He is going to have to shake off last weeks poor game, and history shows us that he typically follows up bad games with good ones. The fear though is that if he is unable to get the ball to the receivers, it will be a long day. And if he starts throwing it to guys in purple, forget it.

I will be somewhat disappointed if they fail to make the playoffs. There are at least 4 games that could have gone the other way, the Colts, the first Patriots game, and the Brown game of course, and the Bills game, which they just flat out failed to show up for. Say they win 2 of those, they are basically in the mix, and actually would be in good shape to win the division. Then again, after last season, the strides this year, considering they are learning new systems on both sides of the ball are fantastic. Of course, last season was torpedoed once they lost Chad and Fiedler in the same game. Perhaps if Fieldler had been healthy, they could have gone 8-8.

My other team, the Islanders, have back to back games this weekend, in Pittsburgh tonight, and home against Atlanta tomorrow. This is followed by a couple of days rest before a second visit to MSG to take on the Rangers. We could see the return of Alexei Yashin at some point in the next 3 games. For my money, I would play him tonight, then again on Tuesday, giving him a couple of days to rest before the rivalry game. Then again, Nolan may play it safe and hold him out till Tuesday. I'd rather him face a game situation before then, but I'm just a blogger, and Nolan is a great coach. The Isles have faired OK since Yash went down, but they desperately need him back, and healthy.

One more point on the Islanders. ESPN is running a vote to have fans pick the best 3 forward lines of all time, from among 50 top forwards in NHL history. Lots of great players on the list, but for some reason, only Mike Bossy is listed. Bryan Trottier, one of the best 2 way centers of all time, winner of 5 Stanley Cups is left off. In his place, we have players such as Sidney Crosby (who is going to belong on this list in a few years, but does not right now), and Eric Lindros, who gets a concussion if he puts his head down on a pillow too hard, and has won NOTHING in his career. Bossy of course was one of the greatest shooters of all time, and he was forced to retire early because of his bad back. Had he stayed healthy, and maintained his pace, he would have broken the goals scored record before Gretzky. His place is of course well deserved. But leaving off Trottier is a sin of ommission, and further cements the fact that ESPN hockey coverage is for the birds. Putting Crosby on the list was done solely to market him and the league, not to give fans the chance to pick the best players.

That's all for now.

Have a Happy Hanukkah!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Weekly Observations 12/13/06

Sorry I'm a little late, still getting over the shock that the Mets did not tender Victor Zambrano.

1. Gil Meche signed a 5 year $55 million contract with the Royals. This begs the question, if you suck, but nobody sees you, will anyone know that you suck?

2. Isiah Thomas said last week that Knicks fans cannot understand the game the same way he does. Well, he's right of course, Knicks fans know when they see an awful team. The same cannot be said of Zeke.

3. More Zeke, owner Jim Dolan gave him a vote of confidence yesterday, stating that Isiah would be the coach for the rest of the season. This is good news for Knicks fans, as they do not have to worry about conflicts between games and other plans, they can continue to skip the games.

4. Vince Young led the Titans to a win over the Houston Texans the other day, sticking a dagger in the heart of the team that could have drafted him #1 overall. Texans ownership said "well, even Duante Culpepper, in a wheelchair, could have scored on that play. I mean, jeez, do you realize how much we suck?"

5. Nicole Ritchie was booked on a DUI charge the other night. And they say 1 drink never makes you drunk. Well, it won't so long as you weigh more than 55 pounds.

6. The Texas Rangers signed former Dodgers closer Eric Gange to a 1 year $6 million contract. Wow. Does Hicks realize Gagne has pitched in 20 games over the past two seasons? And did he not learn from the last time he signed a pitcher away form the Dodgers (Chan Ho Park)?

7. Rumors are rampant that Britneyt Spears and Paris Hilton are "friends with benefits". My question is, who exactly benefits?

8. Evel Knielvel is suing Kanye West, claiming Kanye's video for Reach the Cky used his likeness without his permission. Of course, I had to ask myself, who remembers Evel Knievel?

9. Allen Iverson has requested a trade from the 76'ers. Isiah Thomas is rumored to be interested, since we all know that the one thing the Knicks lack is an undersized point guard who is not a passer.

10. A recent study showed that bicycle riding, long known to affect male genetalia in a negative way, can actually have the same impact on women. They also found that the use of the new male seat with the hole in the middle would not be of benefit to women. Well, duh, why would a hole help with......

11. They even came up with a catchy name for the female condition, Huffy Muff.

12. Officials in the UK want to use forced contraception on grey squirrels, which are not indeigenous to the UK, because they are overtaking the local red squirrel. In related news, officials in the US hope to do the same to Hilton, Ritchie, Spears and Lohan. (Wow, that sounds like a bad lawfirm).

13. I was gonna make a joke about time running out for the owner of the Chiefs and the fact that his head coach is Herm Edwards, but even I have limits.

14. I hadn't been as shocked when reading the Mets did not tender Victor Z since I read the Yanks wanted to resign Andy Pettitte.

15. Speaking of Pettitte, he has a WHIP last year of 1.44, in that bastion of offense that is the NL Central. Wow. I'm thinking of starting a pool to see if he breaks 1.7 this year. And I mean on the low side. Enjoy facing the Sox and Jays 19 times each Andy. Hopefully his whiplash coverage is all paid up.

16. I keep seeing these commercials for "Rocky Balboa". I have to ask, the last movie had Rocky suffering the effects of too many blows to the head. I wonder if this is the case in real life, why else would Sly think anyone would want to see this movie?

17. Let's get this straight. Scott Boras is annoyed over the pace of negotiations with the Red Sox for D-Mat, yet he still had the time to get JD Drew signed in Boston, Gagne in Texas, have dinner with Brian Cashman, and have Barry Zito meet with Tom Hicks?

18. It looks like the long nightmare is over (no, I'm not talking about Zambrano again), D-Mat appears to have come to an agreement with the Sox. Such a relief. I wonder if Steinbrenner has his little voodoo doll yet.

Monday, December 11, 2006

&$%&^(#$&*#%( JETS

Now, I tried, I really did. I acted like a player would, telling myself that Mangini would appear at my doorstep and fine me if I even so much as thought about the playoffs. I told myself there is no such thing as a sure thing in the NFL. I also told myself however, that this was a new regime, and that this Jets team would not have anymore stinkers. Heck, Herm is gone, so that is half the battle I told myself.

Well, myself and pretty much every Jets fan bought into the hype. The media led the way, looking for nuggets. Feel good stories abounded, using the Jets as the example of a good NY football team (as opposed to the (notso)Giants). I had a bad feeling going into yesterday's game, since it was Buffalo, who always, no matter what, gives a good fight. Even earlier this year, the Jets were somewhat lucky to get out of Orchard Park with a win. Of course, our worst fears were realized, and it hurts them, a lot. First, Herm did his usually stellar coaching job, moving KC to basically an afterthought in the playoff race. Then, Miami (who had the sideshow of Saban possibly leaving for the Miami college job), pastes the Patriots, putting 1st place within 1 game should the Jets win. All for naught, as they proceeded to shit the bed.

It was bad enough when Willis McGahee ran for 57 yards (of course, he ran fast, since he was looking for the nearest bucket to do his McNabb impression into). But to allow JP Losman to throw a 77 yard bomb? That is unconscionable. Losman is a piece of crap QB, who should have been killed all day. They allowed the Bills to run all over them, again, and pass all over them, again.

Chad did not help matters. Two fumbles, picks, poor reads. He reverted back to where he was a couple of weeks ago. Some of the blame has to go to Brian Schottenheimer, who did nothing to change the game plan when it was clear the Bills were just dropping back, very little blitzing. And the 2 headed RB monster was little help. How about we run with the hot legs for a while guys?

Of course, the media this AM is loving it. Mangini goes from genius to idiot, as the "fact" that the rotations on defense hurt them on the McGahee run and the Losman pass. Ah, the fickle NY media, it's almost as bad as the fans.

So the Jets now face the task of winning their last 3 and hoping for some help, as the other teams they are fighting with for the WC spot won yesterday. Denver has an easy schedule. As for the Jets, not so much, given yesterday. However, I do think that Mangini is going to have this team ready to bounce back against the Vikings. Then, a little Christmas present in Miami. Then, lets see what happens against the Raiders, who will hopefully be looking to lock up the #1 draft spot.

Are the hopes for a playoff berth done, close. But there is always a chance. Any Given Sunday, as we saw yesterday.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Odds & Ends

Not a whole heck of a lot going on. Yeah, Omar is apparently talking to the A's about a couple of guys, but that is normal business at the Winter Meetings. Of the guys being named, I would prefer Haren, but if the cost is beyond Heilman and Milledge, no thanks, spend the money on Zito.

Another team the Mets had been linked to, the White Sox, traded Freddy Garcia to the Philets. This probably removes any chance of the Mets obtaining Vasquez (good IMHO) or Beurhle (not so good IMHO, I like him). The Philets traded Gavin Floyd and another youngster. They add Garcia to Hamels and Leiber. Not bad. But they still have only Ryan Howard, and still have Flash in the pan Gordon as closer. I'm not worried.

Congrats to Mike Piazza, who signed with the A's as DH, 1 year, $8.5 million. This is great for Mike, no more catching, and he can play every day. I expect a big year from Mike.

And good news for Jon Lester, who was declared cancer free.

I'm not upset over Bannister being traded. The guy was wild, and nibbled, a younger Trachsel (though he never pulled himself out of a game). In return, Omar gets reliever Ambiorix Burgos, a 22 year old who throws hard, with a K per inning average in his ML career. A tad wild, but good stuff. Bannister is replaceable, with Pelfrey, Mulvey, Humber, Perez, Maine and others on board.

The meetings end today, but the fun will continue. Zito is apparently visiting NY next week. Maybe a Hanukah present? What do you say Omar?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Weekly Observations 12/06/06

1. So George Clooney's pig, which he has had for 18 years, died recently. Christmas Ham at George's house for everyone!

2. Hey Herm Edwards, still think going to KC was a smart move? Hey, Chiefs fans, still think Herm is a good coach?

3. In Fiji, a coup has taken place, with the military replacing the president and prime minister. Outrage is coming from all corners, and the UN has decided to get involved and restore peace. They will be sending Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka to restore order.

4. So rumor has it the Devil Rays are looking into playing several regular season games in Orlando. They figure that if they can get the game added to the Disney Park Hopper Ticket, they might just get 10,000 fans, breaking all attendance records.

5. NYC has banned Trans Fat in all restaurants. I'm glad NYC has their priorities in order. Fist, banning trans fats. Next, the scourge that is marshmallow peeps. Let's not worry about the little things, like getting the trains to run on time, and reducing crime.

6. The (notso) Giants adopted the Twisted Sister "hit" "We're Not Gonna Take It" as their anthem last week, after reports in the media of strife in the locker room. Michael Strahan was overruled, his vote was for "Smack My Bitch Up" by Prodigy.

7. The Red Sox are close to signing J.D. Drew to a 5 year, $70 million contract. Drew would presumably replace Manny Ramirez in the lineup, because, you know, Drew has a history of playing hard every game and not missing any time.

8. Barry Bonds' agent is miffed at the San Francisco Giants for signing other players before taking care of Bonds. The Giants responded "Who else is going to offer him his own recliner, equipped with needle disposal and an on call nurse to administer his "B-12" shots.

9. MSNBC erroneously reported yesterday that the Mets had offered a contract to Barry Zito. What, NBC reporting made up news? When did Dan Rather sign up with them?

10. Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist pulled himself out of the Rangers game vs the Isles the other night, after surrendering 4 goals in the first period. Many wondered why he would do this. I found the answer. On the back of his hockey card, he names Steve Trachsel as his favorite player.

11. Britney Spears continues to made headlines for not wearing panties. This helped make her the top searched star on Yahoo. As opposed to be a star topped by the yahoo she married.

12. Speaking of K-Fed, his album has not even reached paper status.

13. Greg Maddux is close to signing with the Padres, $10 million for one year. As part of his contract, Maddux has the option to leave after 6 starts.

14. Paris Hilton is claiming that she wants to have kids. Just what America needs, more Hilton's.

15. A woman with a flatulence problem forced a Continental Airlines jet to make an emergency landing, because to hide the aroma, she kept lighting matches. Let me get this straight, so as to not upset the fellow passengers, she decided it was better to LIGHT MATCHES on a plane?

16. A recent headline touted the discovery of a photo of a black hole guzzling a star. Many web surfers were upset when they found the story was not related to the newest Paris Hilton sex tape.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Why the simple title today? No attempt at a lame joke, nothing deep. Just one single word. Well, it's quite simple, what else is there at this point?

A story on MSNBC this morning says that Omar has made an offer to Boras for Zito. Reportedly 6 years, $105 million. IMHO, if Barry does not accept this, he is a schmuck. Yeah, he might be able to get more out of Tom Hicks in Texas, who Boras has made into his bitch (A-Rod, Chan Ho Park). But then he would have to play in Texas, which has little to no shot of winning.

*UPDATE - MSNBC has revised the headline, and is no longer stating the Mets have made an offer. So, silly me for believing the media I guess.

Now, many Mets fans are in favor of Zito to the Mets, and still others are against it. I am abviously in the former camp, as I feel Zito in NY equals 20 wins. Look at what other pitchers who have moved from the AL to the NL have done. Clemens. Pettitte. And they were on light hitting teams. Chris Carpenter is another.

Yeah, Zito's number have increased, but the bottom line is he is a guy who wants the ball every 5th days (note to Steve Trachsel, teams like this in a starter). He goes 200 innings each year. He won 16 games last year. He has done this in Oakland, which sees guys move pretty much every year. Oh, and for those who say Oakland is a pitchers park, given its generous foul territory, his splits look like this:

Home - 109 innings, 4.71 ERA, 6 W 7 L, 275 BAA

Away - 112 innings, 2.97 ERA, 10 W 3 L, 240 BAA

Major difference. Now, we all know Shea is a pitchers park, and Citi Field is designed to be the same.

One thing the rotation has lacked for years is an innings eater. Pedro, not so much. Glavine, yeah, but he has his times where he goes into funks. El Duque, um, not really. As it stands now, the Mets rotation for 2007 looks like this


Zito at the top of that rotation will make it one of the top rotations in the NL. Without him, not so much. Yeah, Pedro might be back in July, but what can we expect from him? Same goes for Mark Mulder, who some fans want. He is out until around the same time.

So Omar, you have fired a nice opening salvo. I for one do not see this as overpaying. Yeah, $17.5 million a year is a lot, but the guy is under 30, and (knock wood) is not injury prone. The team has $20 m a year coming from Citigroup, as well as revenue from the new park and SNY.

Get it done Omar. I want Zito under my Christmas Tree. I'll take an early gift.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Enthusiasm, Enthusiasm...

So, another weekend, and another couple of wins for my Isles and a big win for my Jets. Plus, the Mets resigned Glavine on Friday, so all members of the BOG had nice weekends.

First, Glavine. Now, I know he is no longer a #1 starter. At best, he is a #3. I'd put him up against pretty much any #3 in the NL at this point and feel comfortable. He is wily, he is smart, and he is good. Now, he annoyed many Met fans with the Atlanta flirtation, but the guy has to think about his family first, I do not begrudge him that. And, being a man of his word, he re-upped before the winter meetings, meaning Omar can concentrate on Zito, and/or working a trade for another starter.

As for my Jets, when was the last time we fans have been able to thouroughly enjoy the Jets opening up a big old can of whoop-ass on the opposition? The Colts playoff game a few years ago? The first half was as complete as possible. Five possessions, 5 scores. Get a field goal on the first drive, then force a fumble on the Packers first drive, and get a TD from it, then add on 3 more scores. Chad had 241 yards passing in the first half alone. Cedric Houston had 2 TD's and 105 yards rushing. Cotchery had 99 yards receiving and a TD. Just dominating on both sides of the ball.

The second half was a tad of a downer for a while, as Green Bay put up 10 points, cutting the lead to 31-10, then recovered and on-side kick. Now, last year, and pretty much every year before that, Jets fans would have gotten worried that the wheels were about to fall off. Not this year. The defense is playing so well since the week off. And they stepped up here, forcing a 3 and out. Bryan Thomas has been a beast this year, with another 1.5 sacks yesterday, and a forced fumble. Kerry Rhodes had another INT (and is planning on gold plating the ball since it was against Favre, not that that is rare these days). Dyson had an INT as well. Chad was not as good in the second half, then again, they ran more in order to burn the clock. Possibly the only downer was Ellis getting cut-blocked, and missing a couple of series. Apparently, he went all Piazza v Mota after the game, looking for the offending party. Nothing came of it however.

Mangini has something special going on here. The players are playing hard for him. Chad is recovered. The wide receivers are on fire. And if he stickws with 2 backs, it has to be Houston and Washington, they pair up very well together. Sorry Barlow.

Now we get to your FIRST PLACE NEW YORK ISLANDERS! After losing 2 straight in the wake of Yashin's injury (scoring 2 goals in each game), they turned in a great weekend. First, a 5-3 beating of the Penguins, behind two goals each from Victor Kolzlov and Mike Sillinger, as well as one from Satan. DiPietro made 34 saves. Andy Hilbert had 2 assists, tripling his points for the year. The only troubling aspect of the game was the number of penalties they took, 12 in total. Not a good move against Crosby Malkin and Staal. But they won.

Last night (late afternoon really) though was a thing of beauty. After the first period, Isles 4, Rangers 0. Satan, Simon and Asham had a goal each. But the star was Victor Kozlov, who put in 4. Kozlov had been looking like Oleg Kvasha redux until this past week. The Yashin injury seems to have lit a fire under his butt. DiPietro, despite allowing 4 goals, made 39 saves. Brendan Shannahan had 3 for the Rangers, and made it 5-4 in the third, but Kozlov put in the final 2 to finish the Rangers off. So this morning, the Isles are in first.

Interesting note on the game last night. After being shelled in the first period, Olympic Gold Winner Henrik Lundquist asked out of the game. Now, odds are Renney would have pulled him anyway, but when your starting goalie begs off, you have to wonder. Especially in a game against your biggest rival. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. But for now, I can chuckle.

Busy week this week. Baseball's Winter Meetings get underway in Orlando. The Jets have the Bills in Orchard Park (please stop McGahee). The Isles have 3 games, all home, Ottawa Tuesday, Montreal Thursday and Florida Saturday. They then have nearly a week off, playing again on Friday Dec 15 against Pittsburgh in Pitt. I'm hoping for some big wins for all 3 teams.

Friday, December 01, 2006


So Jet fans at this point in the season are in a place few could have conceived of, in the running for a playoff spot. You read that right, the 6-5 Jets, who went 4-12 last year, let the head coach go, along with most of his staff and the GM, are in the midst of the playoff race. This on top of the Mets making the playoffs this season is making me quite the happy fan right now. Of course, the optimism must be tempered, as it will be a struggle for them to actually make it.

The remaining games schedule favors the Jets, as they do not play a team that is presently at 500 for the rest of the year. Green Bay is the opponent this week, followed by:
Home vs Buffalo
At Minnesota
At Miami
Home vs Oakland (you mean the Jets don't have to fly to Oakland this year? Who paid off the schedule maker?)

Each of these games has the potential to be a trap game. Buffalo ALWAYS runs well against the Jets (though J.P. Losman is not scaring anyone on the Jets Defense). Minnesota has had a good year defensively, having the 4th ranked NFC defense, allowing a TOTAL of 623 rushing yards. That defense Vs Jets means Chad better be ready to throw 40 passes. Miami is always a tough game, and Harrington has played well of late. Oakland, while little more than a college team at this point, always plays the Jets tough.

Now, some say the Jets need to win 4 of 5, leaving them 10-6. Right now, the Patriots, Ravens, Colts and Chargers are leading their divisions, leaving 2 wild cards. The Bengals are 7-5, Chiefs are 7-4 (though their coach is Herm, so they are bound to blow a game due to clock management at some point) as are the Broncos (though with Jay Cutler the QB, they may be raising the flag). The Jets are tied with Jacksonville, who owns the edge in tie-breakers.

So what does the above mean? Well, basically, for the Jets to have a great shot, they need to win out. One loss could keep them out. Now, a 10-6 season is nothing to sneeze at, coming off last season, and all the changes coming into this year, but, the goal is the playoffs (despite Mangini not allowing the word to be spoken). Anything less than that, given where they are now, would be a letdown. It's been hard this year to not be overly optimistic. The early wins, the hard fought losses to the Pat's and Colts, the big win against the Pat's in the second game, have allowed fans to dream a little. And you gotta think that the players, and Mangini himself, would love nothing better than to make the playoffs and show everyone how wrong they were. How great would it be for Mangini to make the playoffs his first season, after Belichicken told him this was a sure fire loser? And then, to maybe have a chance to play the Pat's in the first round?

So, despite my misgivings, and the past record of dissapointment, I'm fully on the "Playoffs or Bust" side. I want this team to make it. I want the youngsters to know what it feels like to play in January. I want Chad to have the shot. I want Mangini to have a chance. I want the fans to be at full throat in the bars, family rooms, and wherever else. I want to see Coles and Cotchery catching passes in a playoff game. I want Vilma to be all over the field, and have everyone see what he can do. The same for Kerry Rhodes.

What I want for Christmas is a Jets playoff berth. Can I have it Santa? Please?

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Will NY Atheletes Ever Learn?

So Plaxico, tell me, how did it feel when the bus ran you over?

Once again, a New York area athlete has thrown a teammate under the bus. This time, the bus was driven by the (notso)Giants Michael Strahan. After a god-awful loss on Sunday, where there was plenty of blame to go around, from the offense to the defense, Team "Leader" Strahan went on WFAN on Monday and called Plax out. The quote was as follows:

"You're judged by your actions on the field and you can't give up, you can't quit, because you're not quitting on yourself, you're quitting on us."

Now, for some reason, Mike got a tad annoyed that people thought he was calling Plaxico Burress a quitter. Where would anyone get that idea? As reporters from all the major NY Dailies, as well as ESPN started asking questions, Strahan, who had been asked for comment earlier by a female ESPN reporter and declined, decided it was time to answer the questions. Only, the "Leader" decided to make things worse by claiming that he spoke to Burress, who denies that the two have spoken. Who is lying, I don't know, and I don't care. The best was this question, that Strahan posed to Kelly Naqi from ESPN:

"Look me in the eye and ask this question the way you want to ask it. Look a man in the eye before you try to kill him or make something up."

Overreact much Mike? "Try to kill him?" Is that what she was trying to do? Let's see, the defensive leader of the team calls out a teammate on the radio, and when a reporter wants to ask him about it, the reporter is trying to kill him, or make something up? No one made anything up Mike, your words were not taken out of context from a interivew that was for print, you said it ON THE AIR.

Now, the papers today have more fuel, as they claim Strahan was trying to intimidate Naqi. I don't know if that is the case, though given the reports from his divorce, it does seem like Mike is not exactly a great guy when it comes to dealing with females. At the same time, he appears to be the type of guy who would do the same to a male media person as well.

Now, this year has seen a lot of players calling out teammates. We had the Yankees fighting amongst themselves, and the Captain sitting idly by. Then Sheffield called out Joe Torre, saying the Tigers were more pumped up because Torre moved A-Rod to the 8 spot in the lineup. Yep, that worked out well for them. With the Giants, Jeromememe Shockey called out the coaching staff, as did Tiki Barber. Now Strahan calls out Burress.

Here's the thing, in most instances, the players were right. The problem is that you need to do this stuff in PRIVATE, or let the coach do it. Torre tried to shake A-Rod up. It did not work, but it could have. Other star players have been dropped in the lineup before to great effect. After Schockey mouthed off, the (notso)Giants went on a nice 5 game win streak. Barber did not have the impact. Strahan was right, Burress appeared to give up on the play, a week after doing a similar thing. However, it is not right to do the calling out in the press. The closed door meeting on Monday was the forum. Let Coughlin call him out (by the way, I thought he was a disciplinarian?)

The Jets have had there share of bad games, but I don't see anyone calling other players out in public, and they are better for it. When the Mets had issues with Milledge, very little was said by teammates, and what was said was generally supportive. I'm sure the vets spoke to him in private.

So you're asking yourself, Ed, why are you talking about the Giants in the BOG? Well, they do where Blue, albeit a different shade, but mostly because this type of stuff just keeps happening, and the players never learn. Strahan is right, the media tries to play up bad news to sell papers. I've railed about this here many times since I started the BOG. That is what the media does, from the papers to His Pompousass and the Hyena. I know it, and you would think the players would be smart enough to know it. It's one thing for a fan to get pissed off about it, it's another for a player. They need to be smarter, cause if they react, it is only going to get worse.

The lesson here for the players is to watch your mouth, and stop trying to blame the media when you mess up. Strahan messed up. He compounded it by saying he had spoken to Burress, who claims they had not spoken. The (notso) Giants locker room is not a happy place right now. You've got a QB who is regressing into Browning Nagle territory. A running back who is mouthing off, but averaging like 3 yards a carry his last two games. A Wide Out who doesn't appear to play hard every down. If these guys can't get along, kiss the playoffs goodbye.

Weekly Observations Addendum:

1. So last night I go to a book fair at my 1st graders school. While looking for some books to buy, I came across "Home Run Heroes - Big Mac, Sammy and Junior". I'm thinking to myself, wow, are any of the three really seen as "heroes"? Griffey can't stay healthy, and the other two, well...

2. Last night, while watching the news, there was a report that a planned three way meeting between President Bush, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Makiki and King Abdullah II of Jordan was cancelled. The wife opined "What, Bush doesn't like three ways?"

3. Albert Pujols is upset that he lost the MVP race to Ryan Howard, feeling that only members of a playoff team should win the award. Bitter much Albert? Just keep solidifying that reputation as a crybaby. You'll overtake Bonds as the biggest malcontent yet.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Weekly Observations 11/29/06

1. So Chad Braford has left the Mets, signing a 3 year deal with the Orioles. Despite reports that it was the 3rd year on the contract that got the deal done, in reality it was the provision that he gets "firsties" with Anna Benson if Kris cheats.

2. So the President of Iran has written a letter to the American people which will be released at the UN today. Gee, I wonder if Bush could write a letter to the Iranian people and have the media publish it in Iran?

3. The Pope is in Turkey this week on his first visit. Protesters abound, many from environmental groups wondering why the Pope does not used a Hybrid Popemobile.

4. The Yankees have won the bidding to negotiate with Kei Igawa, a lefty pitcher from Japan. They bid $25 million for a #4 starter. Glad to see George has learned from his mistakes and is not overpaying for low quality players.

5. Archie Manning says he likes Giants fans and understands that they are upset with Eli. Wow, nothing like having dad fight your battles for you as a 25 year old starting quarterback.

6. The Post, that beacon of truthfullness, is reporting that Parcells is using words from Jeromememe Schockey to fire up the Cowboys for this Sunday's game. This despite quotes on ESPN from Parcells stating that words do not matter. Hmm, who to believe?

7. Michael Vick was fined $10 k for flipping the bird at Falcons fans after his most recent woeful performance on Sunday. He first tried to claim that it was a mistake, that he was trying to emulate Leon Washington and give the Falcons gesture of appreciation.

8. Ben Wallace, who left the Pistons for the Bulls, was fined the other day for wearing a headband despite team rules against such headwear. No truth that Jim McMahon has made one up for him with "Skiles" written on it.

9. Alfonso Soriano wants to play winter ball, and will ask the Cubs for permission. Yep, their gonna grant the $17 million a year man permission to play. Memo to Sori, think before you act.

10. Some jokes just write themselves. The Anaheim (don't call us Mighty, or Disney might sue) Ducks called up goalie Mike Wall when their two other goalies got injured. Yep, a goalie named "Wall".

11. In Mahopac NY, a man was accused of spray painting 3 goats and scattering porno around the barn they were housed in, as a way to annoy the property owner. He painted the goats genitals Orange. I really, really hope this guy is not a zealous Mets fan.

12. Here's something you don't see everyday, rapper Snoop Dogg was arested in California. The arrest happened as he left a taping of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. What, was he afraid Jay was gonna throw down?

13. Kid Rock and Pam Anderson Lee Rock are getting divorced, after a long 4 months of marriage. Apparently, Kid did not want to make a tape of the two of them having sex and then sell it over th internet.

14. Michael Richards is in trouble. Again. This time, he apparently claimed to be jewish, using that as a defense against Anti-Semetic jokes he made a few months ago in another stand up performance. Wow, this guy really knows how to piss people off.

15. The brilliance that exists in Washington continues to amaze. A guy who worked on the Judiciary Committee started dating a female staffer for a Senator. He found out a couple of weeks into the relationship that she was keeping a diary, and was dating 5 different men. Then she stated a blog "Washingtonienne", listing all the X-Rated details, but no names. Now, a smart guy would run away screaming, and forget all about it. I mean, no matter how good she was, when she being passed around like Paris Hilton, you run away and forget, right. Wrong. The guy decides that the "smart" thing to do is to sue the girl in federal court, because there is no chance that his identity would be revealed by doing that. Ladies and Gentlemen, the leaders of our country!

16. Tony Romo is being called the next Tom Brady. In related news, Eli Manning is being called the next Ryan Leaf.

17. K-Fed is being linked to "former" porn star Kendra Jade. It appears the two were acting out some scenes, whilst he was still married to Britney. I wonder if this is the sex tape that everyone was talking about.

18. Michelle Wie finished next to last in he latest mens tournament. I mean, at this rate, Arnold Palmer could beat her.

19. Tony (see no evil) Larussa continues to support Mark McGwire. TLR states that he would vote Mac into the HOF. "I believe in him" is the quote. TLR also belives in the tooth fairy, the George Bush won in 2000, and that he looks smart wearing sunglasses at night.

20. Many teams are trying to obtain Manny Ramirez. No worries Mets fans, Omar is not amojng the suitors. He decided that he has a buy labeled by the media a "me-first guy" already at a cheaper price in Lastings Milledge. And they are both as adept at playing left field.

21. Some guy called up WFAN on Sunday morning and stated that the Mets and Red Sox could help each other with a trade. The teams would swap Manny Ramirez and Carlos Beltran. To his credit, the host immediately realized that the caller was in fact Brian Cashman.

22. If I see one more poster for "Driven", the scent from Derek Jeter, I'm gonna be driven to ripping it down. That's a sure way to be seen as a tough guy, sell a perfume through Avon. Good move there.

23. Note to Omar, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, make sure that NO Met players appear in ads for "Fathead". The GQ story was bad enough.

24. Note to Brian Cashman - ignore item 23. Please allow any and all Yankee players to appear in ads for fathead. They are a wonderful company, and there would be no negative connotation in any Yankee appearing in the ads. Besides, Yankee fans need bigger pictures of Derek to amuse themselves with. So does Jeanne Zelasko.

25. Barry Bonds was the first player Fathead thought of, but his head proved to be too big already.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Worry Much?

So, after going 6-1-1 in their last 8, the Isles are about to embark on a stretch that sees them play several games against divisional opponents. A nice opportunity to get some points at the expense of teams they will be fighting with for a playoff spot. From tonight until the end of December, they will be facing
Penguins - 2 X
Rangers - 3 X
Devils - 1
Flyers - 1
As well a conference games with Ottowa, Montreal, Florida, Atlanta, Columbus and Carolina.
We're talking 4 point swings. The team is playing well, getting excellent goaltending from Rick DiPietro, and fantastic play from Jason BLake and Alexei Yashin. Hope is growing, as are crowds in the Coliseum. Now, the bad news.

This important stretch will be played without Yashin, thanks to a knee injury suffered against the Capitals the other night, from a knee on knee hit from Matt Bradley. Now, I did not see the play in question, but anytime there is a knee on knee, questions are asked. What the hell was Bradley doing leading with his knee? And what is it with Capital players hurting star Islander centers?

So now the team faces a huge stretch without the guy who was leading them. Yashin this year is everything we fans hoped we would see from the time he joined the team in 2001. He was on pace to shatter his Islander highs in goals with 37 and points with 104. The points would be a career high. The hope here is that he does not try to come back too soon, at the first of further damage.

The team itself needs to step it up. The load has been puled by Yashin and Blake thus far. Satan needs to get on fire. Hilbert needs to score. York needs to do something. Hunter needs to score some more. There is talent there, not a great deal, but enough where they should be able to compensate somewhat for the loss of Yashin. Oleg Kvasha, I mean, Victor Kozlov, will take Yashin's place on the first line. The team called up center Eric (boogeyman) Boguniecki to replace Yashin. I would have preferred Robert Nillson, coming off Player of the Week honors for Bridgeport of the AHL, but Nolan likes his vets.

So guys, time to step it up. Don't dwell on the fact Yashin is out. Listen to Nolan, follow the system. Ricky, stay in the crease, as you have done of late, and keep playing well. Come together as a team, even more than you have to date, and you can get through this, and perhaps even prosper.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nice Weekend

Wow, what a nice weekend. The Jets win, the Isles win 3 at home (don't tell anyone, but they are in first place :)). Let's start with the Jets.

Coming off a poor stretch of games, Chad was due for a rebound, and boy, did he bounce back nicely. He went 24 - 31 for 286 yards, 1 TD, no INT and a 9.2 avg. QB rating was over 100. He hooked up with Coles and Cotchery for over 100 yards each receiving. He made a nice audible on one play that led to a 28 yard completion to Chris Baker. Of course, we all got scared when he went down hard on a completion to Coles for a first down, thinking shoulder, but he merely had the wind knocked out of him (and I agree with Chad, that is scary, it happened to me many years ago, I woke up on the floor). He managed the game well, and made no mistakes. The #10 in Green and White was back to normal. The only downside to yesterday was the running game, which was awful, 27 yards on 26 carries. Methinks the running back by committee needs to be put in mothballs, and pick 2 guys to go with. They need to get in a rythym, coming out after a good run is not the way to do that.

The defense played well, again. The run defense was great (granted, this was the Texans), and I could live without giving up 321 yards passing, but then again, they had to throw, as they were down a lot. Seeing 4 sacks was nice, and Bryan Thomas continues to come on (I guess Parcells was right about the guy, no one knew how to use him properly it seems). Kerry Rhodes had another pick. They were all over Carr. All in all, a nice complete game.

So they stand at 6-5, 1 game out of the wild card, no chance for the division, being 2 games back there. The remaining schedule, at the Packers, home vs Bills, At Minnesota, then at Miami and the finale at home agains the Raiders, contains no teams with winning records today. Miami and Buffalo at 1 game under, so they could be at 500 when they play. You no what, I don't care, this team just needs to win. Do not worry about what other teams do. If you win out, and fail to make it, so be it, the fact that this team has turned it around from last year so quickly is great news to Jets fans. Yes, we all want the playoffs, but the team cannot worry about the other contenders. Take Care of Business, and see how it falls out.

As for the Islanders, they are 6-1-1 in their last 8. They won 3 in a row at home this past week. First, Carolina, the defending champions. The Isles held them to 15 shots, allowing only 1 in the first period. One shot. I mean, that is not supposed to happen against the dregs, much less the Hurricanes. Then, Friday afternoon, they faced the Penguins, who are much improved, even without Sidney Crosby in the lineup. Another win, 3-1. Saturday was Bob Bourne Night, as Bobby End to End was inducted into the Isles Hall of Fame. They played great defense, winning 4-1 against the Capitals. The penalty kill has been great, killing 21 of 23 during the stretch. The power play however has not been as good, one for its last 12. That needs to be fixed.

So what is the cause for this run? Is it Ted Nolan? Is it Alexi Yashin? Is it Rick DiPietro? Yes, it's all of them. The team is buying into Nolan's ideas, playing smart team hockey. Yashin is putting points up in bunches, and helping Jason Blake to 14 goals and 10 assists. Yashin has 28 points in 22 games, Blake, 24 in 22 games. They need help though. Satan has to start scoring, as do Hunter, York, and Kozlov. Satan has started to warm up a tad, let's hope he keeps it up. They need some more balance.

But the key has been DiPietro. After starting the season poorly, thanks to an injury and trying to do to much to justify his contract, Rick has settled in. He is 9-6, with a 2.53 GAA and .917 Sav %. The GAA is good for 15th in the league (and only 7 of the goalies ahead have played as many games or more). The Save % is good for 10th. And only 4 of the goalies ahead of him have played as many or more games. Oh, and by the by, he is higher than Ryan Miller in both categories.

Am I saying that the Isles are a lock to make the palyoffs, no, especially since Yashin left Saturday's game after a knee on knee hit. If he is out for any length of time, they are in trouble. However, there is hope on the island, which no one expected. Remember, this team was picked to be last in the conference by pretty much every expert out there (with the possible exception of Eklund). Even I did not expect much, though I did not expect them to be last. If DiPietro can continue his hot play, the defense stays settled, and some more scorers emerge, they could challenge. Remember, the Rangers were in the same spot last year, no expectations, and they did well in the regular season (not so much in the playoffs though).

Miscellaneous NY Sports News
I see Larry Brown is having the same level of success this year. He is benching Marbury, changing the starting lineup, mixing up the reserves. Players are whining, and the Knicks are losing. What's that you say, Larry isn't coaching? It's Isiah? And Zeke promised to be different? So I guess Larry is either possessing Zeke, or maybe, just maybe, Larry was right, and the players Thomas assembled just flat out suck? Yeah, that's what I thought.

I see my old friend Wally Matthews is still bashing the Mets. One day after dropping to his knees in praise of Jeter, he blasted Omar for his off-season so far. Damien Easly is old. Wow Wally, you think so? Tell me, did you read the part where he is a part time player? He bashes El Duque (who was only one of the best pitchers for much of last year). He bashes Alou as older and less reliable than Cliffy, forgetting that in fewer games he put up significantly better numbers, and also forgetting that he can rest with Edny, Johnson and Lastings around. He bitches about Stache, who may wind up as a part timer anyway. And of course he thinks the Mets should have thrown Beltran type money at Soriano, forgetting the fact that he is not nearly as good an all around player as Carlos. He also got in a zing at Zito (though I'm sure if the Yankees sign Barry, he will praise Cashman up and down).

Of course he closed his column with a slam at the new stadium, bitching about the cash from Citibank, and the reduced number of seats. Hey Wally, take a look at the numbers, they averaged fewer than 40K at each game. Is it going to be hard for big games, yeah, but odds are, people will go to the other games in the middle of the week if they get shut out of hot games. I know I will. Cause you see, when they are winning, more people want to go. He also talked about personal seat licenses, which NOBODY has mentioned. Tell me Wally, did you write a similar column complaining about higher prices and licenses at Yankee Stadium? Didn't think so. Find a new agenda you piece of trash.

The (notso)Giants choked one away yesterday. The other NY #10 played another poor game. Maybe Filip Bondy was not wrong in his recent column, calling the trade of Rivers for Eli bad (sorry Toasty Joe). I know the Giants have a lot of injuries on defense, but Eli threw a couple of more picks yesterday (one thanks to an awful play by Plaxico Burress). I have to give props to Schockey, who I think is overrated, but the guy played after sufffering a compound dislocation of his ring finger. In case you were wondering, it smarts when the bone not only pops out of joint, but THROUGH YOUR SKIN. To then go out and catch 5 balls for 39 yards is impressive. Tiki had 82 yards on 25 carries, for a poor 3.3 yds per carry. Not a good game for the (notso)Giants.

Finally, the Mets should hear from Glavine this week on where he will play next year. No matter the outcome, I'm hoping Omar either signs Zito or trades for a top flight starter (not name Vasquez). We'll see how this plays out by the end of next weeks' winter meetings. I'm hoping for a nice lefty and righty under our Christmas Tree this year. At least we know Anna Benson's breasts won't be at the annual party.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Weekly Observations 11/22/06

Oh, I love it when there is so much fun stuff going on.

1. Now, I'm not a big (or small for that matter) College hoops fan, but is there a better last name for a player that Georgia Tech's Lewis Clinch. I mean, come on, if this guy isn't taking last minute shots, then I shouldn't be writing a blog. OK, forget that last part.

2. Interesting note, 56 years ago today, the Fort Wayne Pistons and the Minneapolis Lakers played the lowest scoring game in pro-hoops history, final score 19-18. Both teams could still beat the Knicks.

3. The hue and cry over the BCS continues. Wake me when I should care.

4. So Derek Jeter lost the MVP to Justin Morneau. Of course, Yankee fans see this as a sign of the apocolypse. I see it as the right move.

5. Mike Vaccaro of the Post used the results to say that in 15 years Jeter is going to have the same result in the HOF vote. Now, I'm admittedly not amongst the legion of Jeter lovers, but there is no chance this guy is not a first ballot HOF'er. Leave it to the Post to make something out of nothing. Like their paper every day.

6. Wallace Matthews opined on Jeter today. I have no idea what he wrote, since I ignore his rantings at this point.

7. I find myself in agreement with Mike Lupica. THIS is a sign of the apocolypse.

8. So Eli Manning shat the bed the other night. Filip Bondy wrote an I-told-you-so column today. Wow, way to go out on a limb there Filip.

9. Tiki Barber apparently complained that the (notso)Giants did not run the ball enough on Monday. Of course, had Tiki been able to get more than 2.7 yards per carry, they might have tried to run it more.

10. Top receiver for the (notso)Giants the other night was Jeremememe Schockey. With 82 yards. Jeremememe of course feels Eli needs to get him the ball more.

11. Funny to hear His Pompousass and the Hyena bash Tiki and all the coverage he has been getting. His Pompousass proceeded to state LaDainian Tomlinson (wow, now I know why they call him LT) is a better player than Barber. Wow, did he come up with that all by himself? What tipped him off, the 22 touchdowns or the 1,037 yards this year?

12. The dogs are nipping at the heels of Chad Pennington. He keeps trying to throw them off, but alas the passes are intercepted.

13. It's funny, all those who are bitching about Jeter not winning ignore the Yankee lineup, but those same people said Beltran should not have won because of the Mets lineup. Hmm.
(for the record, I know Beltran should not have won).

14. Michael Richards, your sheets are ready.

15. Speaking of Richards, Stephen A Smith spent some time talking about the incident the other night on his show yesterday. Yep, breaking sports news on ESPN Radio. Of course, His Pompousass and the Hyena spoke of it. Hyena had not seen the tape, but of course, that never stopped him before.

16. The Mets clubhouse manager is looking to install wee-wee pads around Moises Alou's locker. Just so when Moises prep's for the game, the splash doesn't mix in with the raw sweage flowing through the Shea locker room.

17. So the Mets traded Matt Lidstrom and Henry Owens. Make me care.

18. Rudy Giuiliani is going to run for President on a Pro-Yankee platform. His first order of business will be to pass a law mandating the Derek Jeter win the MVP forever, and the The Boss be added to Mount Rushmore.

19. Silicon breast implants have been approved by the FDA again. This was thanks partly to the all powerful strippers union. Also, the FDA felt that silicon leakage was not as dangerous as saline leakage, since saline could raise blood pressure.

20. A Philadelphia man, upset over his failed penis enlargment surgery, mailed a bomb to the doctor who botched the job. He then called the police to tell them what he had done, so the bomb was intercepted and destroyed short of the final goal. Wow, talk about your metaphor for Philadelphia sports teams.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Monday, November 20, 2006

G-Dammit Chad

Now, I'm not one to beat on Chad Pennington. I have supported him throughout his career. He has paid off in big ways for the Jets several times, and has been good for the most part this year coming off his surgery. But yesterday, we needed the take-charge Chad, the guy who could win games that were there for the taking. Alas, that Chad did not show up.

First, the end-zone interception. This is now #2 this year, after having NEVER thrown a red-zone interception prior to this season. The pass was telegraphed so well Stevie Wonder could have picked it off. Coles was wide open to the left, but Chad never looked in his direction. The link between the two of them seems to have disappeared. The second was no less egregious. Flushed out of the pocket, he tries a little semi-screen to Baker, that wound up like a kite that my 6 year old could have caught. He should have taken the sack at that point, there was no chance he was going to be able to get anything on the ball.

What makes this loss so tough to take is that this was a winnable game. The Bears offense was awful, one big play when Coleman fell on the 8 yard pass. The run defense was not that great, but Grossman showed nothing this game. They had 7 yeards passing in the FIRST HALF. The Jets defense, on the pass at least, was great. The offense got nothing going. Why Barlow was underused after his performance last week is beyond me. I know Mangini likes to switch things up, to try to stay ahead of the other team, but he needs to run with the hot legs a little more frequently. I'm not going to kill him for the on-side kick, it was a gamble, and I liked seeing it. The defense held, limiting the Bears to a touchdown, despite letting them get to within smelling distance of the goal line.

The offense has issues. The running game is inconsistent, great one week, awful the next. Chad is not making the plays he made earlier this year. The draw plays were plentiful yesterday, but too many went for naught (attn Mr. Schottenheimer, maybe change things up a bit). The best running play was Tim Dwights reverse. They need to get more out of the backs. There is talent there, it's been shown many times. It needs to be more consistent. Stop flipping starters each week, pick one guy, and run with him.

Six games left, 5 are winnable. I'm not going to cry too much, as I did not expect much this year, given the turnover of players and coaches, but seeing how well they played last week, and the chance to win yesterday against a top NFC team, has me and I'm sure many fans thinking Playoffs. Let the players talk the word. Let them go for it. It is there for the taking Eric, lead them there.

Other Notes
The Isles took 3 out of 4 points in Florida this weekend, Rick DiPietro played well against Tampa, stopping 36 of 38 shots. Then, Mike Dunham played well in a 4-1 win over the Panthers. Yashin continues his good play, the defense is settling in, and Rick is playing as well as he has played in his short career. I think this team has a legitimate shot at the playoffs this year. Ted Nolan is doing a great job with a young defense, and not a whole lot of talent at the forward position.

The Mets are due to decline Tom Glavine's option. He is to make a decision by Dec 4, the start of the winter meetings, as to where he will finish his career. I hope he stays with the Mets. His veteran leadership is a benefit to the young arms which will fill out 2 or 3 spots in the rotation next year.

The Mets are apparently going to sign Moises Alou to a one year deal to replace Cliff Floyd. The main difference is Alou is a righty bat. Otherwise, they are similar, in that both are injury prone. I guess Milledge is either done, or is going to get a full AAA season in Louisiana. Of course, Buster Olney thinks the Mets should totally reshuffle the lineup, moving Beltran to #2, followed by Alou, and having PLD bat 6. If this does not happen, he thinks Alou will bat 4th. Now, I can kind of see the first part, it makes some sense (although after Beltran's season in the 3 hole last year, you gotta wonder). But having Alou bat 4th? Buster, he is not nearly the power threat Delgado is. There is no reason to bat Alou 4th, as Beltran is a switch hitter, so you do not have lefty/lefty issues. Bat Alou 5th, Wright 6th. There is no fear in doubling up righties. I'll trust Willie on what he comes up with, and I think he is going to leave PLD in #2, Beltran in #3, and have Alou in the 5 hole. Besides, given his injury history, why would you bat him 4th? Then you run the risk of messing up the top 4 spots when he is out. And is Endy comes in late as a defensive replacement (which will happen), do you really want him in the 4 spot? Methinks not. Check out Metradamus for his take on Alou.

At least the Alfonso Soriano talk is done. The Cubs are paying $136 million over 7 years. So much for the Cubs being a small market team. By the way, he will lead off, and might play center field. Good luck with that Lou.

The other news I hope will happen is a possible trade of Manny Ramirez to the Angels. This way, I no longer have to worry about Manny to the Mets. Alou of course limits the possibility, but until Manny is traded, you can never be too sure.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Mets to Sign Zito!

Not really. Brought you in didn't I? Now you know how I felt when I read the Post this AM.

So I purchase my NY Post this morning, and see the back page headline "Execs: Mets likely ot land Zito", along with Amazing (using the Oakland A's logo as the "A") and a sub headline. SO I go inside the paper to read the story by Joel Sherman, and basically, he asked 8 people who they thought would sign Zito, none connected with the Mets, and 5 said the Mets, with 1 each saying the Yanks, Angels and Rangers. Sherman went on to say the Yanks do not view Zito as worth the dollars Boras is asking for, and that the Mets have yet to make an offer.

Now, I understand things are a little slow on the Hot Stove right now, but is Sherman out of his mind? This "story" was nothing more than conjecture. There is no information from the Mets organization, this is simply the opinion of 5 exec's, who are unidentified. The back page headline does a disservice to Mets fans, as does the story itself. Instead of waiting for some real news, the Post decides to mess around a bit. As if their credibility is not bad enough in light of their support for the OJ bullshit going on right now, they run this crap.

The Mets did make one move, signing Damien Easley to a 1 year deal for $850,000. Easley more then likely replaces Chris Woodward, who had a poor season last year playing with a torn labrum. The lesson is, get the surgery. This is two years running now where Mets players had resisted surgery in the hopes of being able to still help the team. The organization needs to manage this a bit better as we move forward. Nice move with Easley, I like it. Not a game changer, but a little more bench depth.

Oh, and the Mets announced their schedule for 2007 finally. They open in St. Louis (I'm hoping they piss all over the Cards celebration). They then go to Atlanta. The Home Opener is April 9 against Philly. They also of course face the Yanks twice. They also play the other 3 AL playoff teams, in Detriot, and at Shea vs. Oakland and Minnesota. Not an easy interleague schedule. The Yanks appear to get Pittsburgh, Arizona at home, and play at Colorado and SF (the schedule is not yet on their site, I pieced this together). But there is no Yankee bias.

Other random thoughts:

1. Make me give two shits about Michigan v Ohio State. Talk about overhype. I predict one team is going to blow the doors off the other, making all this weeks prep look like Super Bowl hype.

2. Note to NBA players regarding the new ball. You used it during the All Star Game last year, and none of you bitched. Now you are going to file a lawsuit about improper work rule changes? Are you out of your freaking minds? The poor babies have to use a new ball. Give me a break.

3. You may not have noticed, but since starting 0-3, the Isles are 8-3-2. Ted Nolan is doing a fantastic job.

4. Tell me how the (notso)Giants can be favored to do any damage with half of their D-Line hurt?

5. Nice story by Filip Bondy in the News today, killing, I mean killing the (notso) Giants for the trade that netted them Manning. Eli is fading, just like he did at the end of last season.

6. In an interview the other day upon joining the Patriots, Vinny Testaverde was asked "What are you doing here?" Vinny's response - "I don't know". I'm sure Belichicken got a warm fuzzy over that.

7. Note to Tom Glavine. Shit or get off the pot. Ask the wife point blank, and get an answer.

8. Note to Gary Sheffield - did you ever think that maybe the Boss doesn't want to talk to you? You know, he really doesn't like it when players are outspoken.

9. A-Rod claims he loves NY and wants to stay. Of course he does. His image would take too much of a hit if he asked for a trade. And we all know how much he loves his image.

10. So I get to the train station the other day and notice advertisements for "Driven" the new cologne from Avon and Derek Jeter. Not just one sign, but two. I'm just glad that I wasn't in the middle of eating a bagel, or else I might have been "Driven" to throw up.

11. More on "Driven" - No truth that Jeanne Zelasko sprays her pillow with it.

12. The NBA union signed an exclusive deal with a supplements supplier who guarantees that their products will not contain banned substances like steriods. Hunter did not consult with the league, claiming that since the league did not consult with the union on the ball, dress code and other issues, there was no need for them to do so here. Ooh, you got them Billy. I'm sure David Stern is quaking in his boots over this. To quote the great Ralph Malph "Nice comeback Pots."

Have a nice weekend all.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Random News

So, the NL Manager of the Year was announced yesterday. Joe Girardi, whose Marlins finished 19 games behind the Mets won. WIllie finished second. Can someone explain to me how a guy with a losing record can win this award? I know tha tthe Marlins were picked to lose like 100 games last year, but for pete's sake, did any of these voters look beyond the wins the Mets put up and see what WIllie had to deal with?

Lets take the bullpen first shall we? Besides Wagner and Heilman, the rest of the pen were question marks. Bradford? Feliciano (who was about to retire)? Oliver? Sanchez? None of these guys were expected to perform as well as they did. Yet, they made up one of the top bullpens in the majors last year. Even after Filthy went down, they performed well, even stepping it up.

Then you have the starting rotation. Pedro won 9 games, and missed a lot of time. Zambrano goes down early. Maine gets called up and hgets hurt. Bannister pitches OK and gets hurt. Glavine goes a month without a win. Steve freaking Trachsel leads the team with 15 wins. The Mets used LIma Time! for a few starts. Yet the team wins 97 games.

What the hell does a Mets manager have to do to win this award? Davey never won it, despite the runaway 86 season. Now Willie gets shafted. I call shenanigans.

In other Mets news, they traded Heath Bell and Royce Ring to the Padres for reliever Jon Adkins and outfielder Ben Johnson. Adkins is OK, and will probably be insurance if some of the pen free agents are not resigned. Johnson is intruiging, as he is 25, has shown flashes in the past (he was the Padres top-rated prospect a couple of years back) and is a right handed bat. The last time the Mets got a right handed bat from the Padres, Xavier Nady acquitted himself well. Hopefully the same result happens here. What this means for Milledge is anyones guess, though I think if they are going to trade him, with Carlos Gomez and Freddy Martinez, they are in pretty good shape in a couple of years. Platooning Endy and Johnson might work.

In Jets news, Eric Mangini is banning the use of the word "playoffs", so as to not get the team thinking too high. Good for him, though he better hope the ACLU does not come after him on freedom of speech grounds.

In Islanders news, they won again last night, 3-0 over the Dallas Stars, behind 35 saves from Rick DiPietro. They killed off a 5-3 powerplay in the first period. Mike York scored a PP goal in the first, Jason Blake scored on a beautiful passing sequence with Alexei Yashin, and Trent Hunter scored in the third. Nice to see York and Hunter get off the snide. Hunter has been playing well in terms of taking the body, but he needs to put the puck in the net as well. That second line needs to get going, or else teams will key on the Yashin line. Then again, as well as Alexei is playing, it may not matter. He made a great defensive zone play on Blakes goal, breaking up a cross ice pass, then lept into the play to recieve a pass from Blake, then returned it on a nice tape to tape pass in front of the Dallas net. Blake had time to go to his forehand, and potted it. For all the past complaints of Yashin not skating hard, he is doing so now, and that play shows it all.

DiPietro played well, not straying too far from the net, and letting his defense do their job. He made several nice saves, including a few post to post jobs. He needs to continue to do a better job of picking his spots to play the puck. He has great reflexes, he just needs to keep in position to use them. And the defense is rounding up nicely. Bruno Gervias, a rookie, has settled in. Brendan Witt is improving. Sean Hill needs to imrpove though. We may see the return of Chris Campoli soon, back from an injury.

As you may have noticed, the blog looks a little different. I moved over to the beta version of blogger, which allowed me to change some colors and so forth. I apologize if anyone is having issues posting comments. Please keep trying, hopefully it will work. Reminder, if you want to use a name instead of anonymous, choose "Other" and type a name.

That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Weekly Observations 11/15/06

1. So the Red Sox bid $51 million for the rights to talk to D-Mat. Wow, and we thought phone sex chats were expensive. He better pay off a lot better than those calls end. Not that I know anything about that or anything. Let's move on, shall we..

2. On the heels of re-signing 'Stache, the Mets resigned El Duque, $6 million for two years. They needed to resign him so that Julio Franco had someone his own age to pal around with.

3. The Yanks are apparently hoping Carl Pavano will be able to pitch 200 innnings this coming season. For them. This from a guy who's last good pitch was the one he gave the Yanks to get them to sign him.

4. The Post editorial page today was filled with Mets fans upset over Citi Field. A few people said they would never step foot in the stadium. Thanks, more room for the rest of us.

5. Bobby Knight popped a player in the chin to get the player to look at him during a game the other night. Bobby did this after yelling "Hey Prince" did not get the hoped for response.

6. On the heels of a loss to the Jets the other night on a mudd field, the Patriots are installing Field Turf in time for their next home game. Wow, I've heard of cutting players after a loss, but a field? Belichicken is one tough coach.

7. Let me get this straight, $51 million to talk to a rookie? To be followed by upwards of $10 million a year over 5 years? What is this, the NFL?

8. Manny Acta has been hired as manager of the Nationals. I wish Manny luck, and hope he is better at managing than he was as third base coach.

9. Tom Glavine is still deciding on whether to pitch for the Braves or the Mets next year. Mike Hampton is trying to convince Glavine that the schools in Atlanta are better.

10. Carlos Beltran will start his off-season workouts shortly. Finally getting the bat off the shoulder eh Carlos?

11. A study has revealed that 1% of web sites are pornographic. That's it? C'mon, we can do better than that!

12. Another study, this one from Canada, claims the reason Santa Claus has a cherry red nose is due to a christmas tree allergy. You gotta love the Canadians, taking the time to find the answer to this age old question that has bothered so many. All this time I thought it was because Santa's day job was posing as Bozo the clown. Apparently, that was the jod of this researcher.

13. T.O published a childrens book this week. It teaches the essentials, how to do crunches in the driveway, how to sign your name with a sharpie, how to say "no comment", and how to piss off all your friends.

14. In other Patriots news, they have signed 43 year old Vinny Testaverde as 3rd string QB. When asked to comment, Tom Brady said it would be nice to have a father figure around to lean on.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What's in a Name?

So the Wilpon's sold the naming rights to the new Mets Stadium to Citigroup. The new place will be named "Citi Field". There will be more bathrooms (finally, says Leon Hess from beyond the grave), fewer seats (by 12,000), a larger team store, more concession stands, and of course more luxury suites. It was also announced that the "rotunda" entry way will contain a statue of Jackie Robinson, the rotunda will be named for him, and the team will contribute towards the building of a museum in Lower Manhattan as well as towards more scholarships.

The last is a bone thrown to the NY Post and the NY Times, who for the first time agreed on something (a sure sign of the apocolypse), that the new stadium should be named after the great Jackie Robinson. If this had happened, given the parties behind the media blitz in favor, I have no doubt the place would have been cursed.

Now, I respect everything Jackie went through, and the example he set. He opened the doors to african american ballplayers, who until then had been relegated to their own league. However, he was not a Met. Now, I know, the Dodgers are the ancestors of the Mets. Well, tell me something, since the team played in the Polo Grounds before Shea opened, wouldn't that make the Giants their ancestors too? Should everything they do be based on the past of the Dodgers and Giants? Do they next have to take into account the numbers those two teams have retired before giving numbers to players? The Mets have a hard enough time competing with the Yankees, much less two more teams.

What really burns me about this is the condescension from the Times. "Some people could not get past the fact that Robinson did not play for the Mets". Well, of course not. That's the point. Why should they be singled out to honor Robinson? Why not the actual Dodgers? Why not the Yankees, who have not even retired Robinson's number unlike every other team in the Major Leagues (yeah, I know, the great Mariano wears the number, they could still hang it up.) The Mets do more than any other team to honor Robinson. Enough is enough. This team needs its own identity, the time to tie it to the past is over.

Frankly, I'm a little more sad that the name "Shea" is gone. I'll long remember going to Shea with my dad as a youngster, seeing the field as we walked out of the tunnel, taking our seats. Filling out the scorecards with names like Flynn, Staub, Kingman, Kranepool, and not caring that they were losing, only caring that dad and I were at the game, and having fun. Later it would be Carter, Hernandez, Gooden and Straw, and now the team was winning, and we were still having fun, my brother, sister and mother joining us from time to time. "Let's go to Shea" was the phrase, and it made me happy.

Now, it will be "Let's go to the Citi", which sounds like we are going to be tourists walking around Times Square. But you know what, I'll get over it, Times have changed, and at least the company who bought the rights is stable, and not likely to go under any time soon, unlike many other companies that bought naming rights. Plus, $20 million buys a nice pitcher or two.

A lot of fans will probably still call the place Shea. It is going to take time to get used to the new name. We still have a couple of years before the change (and this is NY after all, so the 2009 date is probably going to be blown pretty easily, I mean, they're still working on parts of the LIE after 10 years).

In my mind, I don't care what the name is, Shea, Citi Field, Mets Park, so long as I hear this many times over the next 20 or so years:

"Welcome to Citi Field, the Home of the World Champion New York Mets"