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"

Monday, November 13, 2006

Take that you Arrongant SOB

Oh Happy Day! Coming into this season, little was expected of the Jets. Chad was coming off his second shoulder suregery, Curtis was not playing, 2 rookies were anchoring the Offensive Line, John Abraham had been traded, and the coach was a novice. Little notice was paid as they started to win games, since they defeated teams with losing records. The kept it close against the Colts, nearly came back against the Patriots, then got shelled by the Jaguars, then were robbed against the Browns. Yesterday, coming off the bye week, all anyone was talking about was how the Patriots had not lost 2 in a row in 57 games, and Tom Brady was going to come out firing. And of course, the greatest coach who ever lived, Bill Belichicken, was going to take "the other guy" to the woodshed.

So what happened? Instead of being Belichickens bitch, Mangini decided "Screw the other guy" and let loose the defense. Blitzes everywhere. Brady running for cover all game long. They even sorta stopped the run. The Pats did little on third down, though they did well on 4th. Brady threw a pick, and had a second called back on a BS roughing the passer call. The defense took Belichickens little verbal shots at Mangini ("aka "The other guy") a little personally, and made the Patriots pay.

On the offensive side of the ball, Chad wasn't perfect (that INT was brutal), but he did enough to win. Kevin (call me KB) Barlow showed up for the first time, with 75 hard fought yards. Jerricho Cotchery made a fantastic TD grab for the Jets final score. The Offensive Line kept Chad in one piece, allowing only 1 sack all day.

Special teams were huge, as the Jets did not allow any big returns, and Justin Miller (who I killed last year for being fumble prone) continued his surge, with a long return of 62 yards. All in all, a nice win for the Jets. To quote the Patriots Richard Seymour, the Patriots were "Outplayed AND outcoached."

The look on Mangini's face when he came into the press room after the game was priceless. Here was a guy who had gotten disrespected by Belichicken all season long, and Eric won. His guys played their hearts out for him. Belichicken seemed to channel Herm Edwards on the Jets last drive, using all 3 time outs prior to the 2 minute warning. You think maybe he wished he had one of those back.

I just don't get Belichicken here. He raves about Saban, Weiss and other former coaches, but he pisses on Mangini? What, Eric didn't listen to him, so now he isn't going to talk to him or give him any respect. Belichicken comes up small here. I know, they are opponents, but if he can say nice things about other former protoge's he should be able to say womething nice here.

Next up for the Jets, the Bears, who demolished the (not so)Giants last night. Wow, a 108 yard return of a missed field goal? With a bunch of Giants running off the field at the time? Methinks Tommy Taskmaster is going to be a might pissed about that one. Eli had 121 yards passing and 2 INT's. Think about that, 121 yards, when half of the Bears defensive backs were out or hurt. This against the same corners who Plaxico Burress said could be beaten. Memo to Plax, shut up, OK? The Giants on the other hand gave up 246 passing yards to Rex Grossman, who had been awful in 2 of his last 3 starts, with numerous turnovers.

I know the Bears are the Beasts of the NFC, but I kinda like the Jets chances. If they can confuse the Great Tom Brady, they should be able to do the same to Grossman.

In Mets news, 'Stache is back! One year deal for $3 milion. This is a nice $2 million raise over last season. It still does not guarantee that he will be the starter, but it does guarantee that the best pron stache in baseball stays in NY for another year.

Now about that pitching staff Omar...

Friday, November 10, 2006

Mosh Pit of News

A lot of sports news going on the past few days, not too much present day Met related, but interesting nonetheless.

First, Dco Gooden was released from Jail yesterday. Here's hoping that Doc can stay clean this time. So much talent wasted. I wish young kids would look at him and see what not to do.

Rutgers pulled it out last night against Louisville. It looked bad early for the Scarlet Knights, but then the defense held, forcing the Cardinals into 6 straight punts at one point, and came back to win on a last 13 seconds field goal. Nice win for them. They will not get a shot at the title, but it is nice to have a local college football team to root for.

Prior to the Rutgers game, His Pompousness and the Hyena were on location. All the hyena kept saying was that it was OK for Rutgers to lose, so long as it was not a blowout. During an interview with the AD for Rutgers, they spoke about how the school had to cut 6 sports. Hyena of course asked why tennis was cut, saying it could not cost that much to run the team. The AD responded that Title IX requires a near 50/50 split in mens and womens programs, so they had to cut a few teams. More mens teams were cut. Also, he noted that the school had 30 teams, with a $30 million budget, whereas a couple of other schools that had 30 teams, had budgets 2 to 3 times the size. Hyena of course missed all the Title IX stuff, and focused on the cost of tenis again. This guy really needs to learn a bit more.

Later, they had Chris Carlin, who used to work with them and now does Rutgers games on radio on. His Pompousness kept egging Carlin on, saying he should let the two of them have it for bashing Rutgers for all those years. Carlin to his credit did not, and told them the he knew if he did, and Ritgers lost, they would belittle him for it. Good for him standing his ground and letting those two fools know why.

Jose Reyes hit a game winning Home Run the other night, allowing the MLB team to sweep the 5 game series in Japan. Jose did not have a great series, but the GW HR brought out chants of Jose Jose Jose in the stadium. Wow, even in Japan they like this guy. No truth to the rumor that Braden Looper led the chant.

Gary Sheffield is still mouthing off, claiming that "middlemen" are keeping him from speaking to the Boss, while also saying that if The Boss was healthy, he would not be getting traded. He also bashed Bobby Abreu as not as good a ballplayer as Sheff. Well, that last part might be true. Sheff at least (usually) tries to catch balls at the wall, unlike Abreu.

The baseball world awaits the winner of the D-Mat sweepstakes. I wonder if the Boss was too sick to make sure that the Yanks bid? The winning bid get the luck of negotiating a contract with Scott Boras. Have fun guys.

J.D. Drew opted out of the last 3 years of his contract with the Didgers, foregoing $11 m per year. Let me get this straight, a guy who has never been healthy for a full season wants more than $11 m? Who is this guys agent? Oh, Scott Boras, that explains it. Stay away from this one Omar, mmkay?

The Isles won last night, 3-1, one day after goalie Rick DiPietro mixed it up with Isles tough guy Aaron Asham in practice. Newsday said Rick showed a little Billy Smith. Heck, at this point, I'd settle for a little Tommy Salo.

I leave you with this non sports related note from England:

A 22-year-old man suffered internal injuries after lighting a small firecracker he had inserted into his buttocks, paramedics said Thursday. He suffered burns and other unspecified internal injuries. Several of his friends recorded the event on their cell phone cameras.

With friends like those, who needs enemas.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

More Observations

1. Big news, Britney Spears has filed for divorce from her husband, citing irreconcilable differences. The difference was in their feelings towards each other. It seems K-Fed thought he was a good rapper, while Britney felt he was a no-talent hack.

2. In politics, the Democrats won control of the House. You could tell this was the case by the audible "Hoo Yah" from Howard Dean.

3. The Senate is still up for grabs. It looks like this will end up in the courts. In other words, expect the Republicans to stay in control.

4. Today is the deadline to bid on D-Mat. In other words, today is the day the Yanks get to negotiate with him.

5. The Red Sox have declined the option on closer Keith Foulke, who was key to their winning the WS in 2004. Way to keep that winning team together there Theo. How long till you lose Big Papi?

6. More on K-Fed. Seems he had to beg to not have a concert at Webster Hall cancelled due to lackluster ticket sales. Then, he waited 3 hours to go on stage, hoping more than 200 people out of 1,500 would show up. Mercifully, he "rapped" for only 1/2 hour. Of course, by that time, the audience was so drunk they didn't even have the ability to boo him off the stage.

7. The Knicks have gotten off to a 1-3 start. Like last season, the coach is benching starters, and using weird substitutions. Perhaps Larry Brown has used the old Jedi Mind trick on Zeke?

8 Hey Falcons fans, how's John Abraham doing for you? What's that, he's injured? Wow, that never happened in NY.

9. The Raiders were shut out on Monday. The joke is the Raiders themselves.

10. Jets Patriots this weekend is the second meeting of Bill Belichicken and Eric Boygini. If the Jets should somehow win, Belichicken will give Boygini the silent treatment. Oh, wait, he's already doing that.

11. Belichicken's son was busted for pot possession. No word on whether Bill is making his son run extra laps as punishment.

12. Actor Neil Patrick Harris announced he was gay. This comes after Lance Bass and an actor from Grey's Anatomy announced the same. I knew celebrity deaths came in 3's, but not career suicide.

13. Kirstie Alley appeared on Oprhah in a bikini. Thankfully, the special material prevented a wardrobe malfunction.

14. This just in, Pedro Martinez still may retire at some point in the future.

15. George Steinbrenner fainted at a performance of Caberet in which a relative was performing. Apparently, George was disappointed the show did not last longer than his Crack Broadway Advisors told him it would.

That's all for now.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I hate this time of Year

Why, because there is not much going on. The Hot Stove is barely starting to warm up (though, we did get good Mets news today, as Carlos Delgado is NOT going to exercise his right and demand a trade.) Football is in the middle of the season, and, well, let's just say the Jets aren't that good. Hockey is still early, and as for basketball, well, I don't particularly care for that sport.

Why do I not like basketball? I mean, you would think the Blue & Orange of the Kicks would make for a natural fit right? Is it the fact that the Knicks stink? No. Is it the slow pace of the games in recent years? Nope. Is it because I am not exactly tall and skilled enough to have played the sport? Ding ding ding. We have a winner. Now, I'm not going to pretend that I was a skilled baseball player (I was good with the glove, not so much with the bat, think slappy), and my football consisted mostly of flag football and tackle with friends in high school, as for hockey, well, I don't skate real well, but I played quite a bit of deck hockey, and was kinda good.

You see, my feeling is that you get interested in the sports you not only watched, but the ones you played. We did not watch much basketball, outside of some college hoops, but we watched an awful lot of football, baseball and hockey growing up. I've tried to get into basketball, really, but it holds no interest for me. Perhpas if I had gone to a college with a D-1 program my feeling woudl be different, but Albany was D-3 at the time I was there, and only moved to D-1 a couple of years ago. Besides, how can you root for a team called "The Great Danes"?

So where was I. Oh, yes, why I hate this time of year. Free Agency starts in earnest on Sunday, the first day teams are able to sign players. Of course, with the GM meetings next week, and the arbitration deadline shortly thereafter, the only guys who are going to sign right out of the gate are on the par with Lima Time!. Until then, all we get are stories about what agents are claiming their players are interested in playing for the Mets, the better to juice up their contracts. Or the latest speculation on D-Mat, or stories on Pedro saying he might take a dump today if the feeling moves him. Basically, crap. By the way, all those calling for Mark Mulder to sign with the Mets, he is out as long as Pedro, so he is not an answer for 2007. There was an interesting story in a Detroit paper that stated the Tigers may trade Bonderman for some offense. Not sure if the Mets can pull it off, but it would be nice. But it's stories like these that make for slow news. Though I must congratulate Carlos Beltran on his Gold Glove Award, and Carlos Delgado on his Roberto Clemente Award. Good for both of them.

As for football, the Jets have the Patriots this Sunday, in Foxboro. Yeah, this is gonna be good. The Pats get slammed on Sunday Night, and now they get the Jets. It is games like this that have Curtis Martin thanking his knees for not healing well. It is not going to be pretty. Much like the entire season. I just hope they can get a good running back with their top 10 pick this year.

The Giants get to play the Bears. Half of the Giants D-Line is hurt, but that should not matter, as Rex Grossman appears to be the second coming of Browning Nagle. Tiki is happy Urlacher is out. Oh, and can we stop with the adoration of Brandon Jacobs people? Let's see him get a little consistency before we annoint him as the next Tiki, OK? He did not look that impressive this past week. As for Eli, let's just say he ain't Peyton yet.

Now, my Islanders. The happiness that was spreading amongst the 15 or so fans appears to be cooling. After dismantling the Devils (the only team Ricky D seems to own), they laid two clunkers in a row. First, Atlanta, where Rick played awful in a 4-1 loss. He needs to stop roaming so much. Let his defense clear the puck. Last night, Mike Dunham played (as a lot of pundits, OK, only Stan Fischler were saying) and he stunk as well, in a 5-1 loss to the Lightning. Next up, Philly on Thursday, in Philly, followed by stops in Dallas, Tampa, Florida and Toronto. Not an easy stretch. Ted needs to get a second line scoring, or else teams are going to be able to key on Yashin. It is early, so I'm not going to get too upset, but then again, points won now count as much as those won later, so giving them up now hurts.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Before I post my observations from the past few days of sport, I want to welcome "Hall of Famer Joe Morgan" to blogdom. Check out Joe at Blogging Ain't Easy.

Now, the observations:

1. Well, Ben Rothleisberger's honeymoon is over kinda quick eh?

2. You know, I really hope the Colts go undefeated, so those idiots from the 72 Dolphins can find something productive to do with their lives, as opposed to being bitter old men who try to put the "whammy" on teams challenging their record.

3. Eli Manning cannot throw an out pattern for his life. I watched about 40 minutes of the Giant game yesterday, and he had 3 balls he threw to receivers on the sideline that were behind them by 5 yards.

4. Ted Nolan needs to put a tether on Rick DiPietro. The guy needs to stop trying to play the puck.

5. First "Torre to be Fired" now, "Glavine close to 2 year $25 million deal". Safe to say I am not counting on the Daily News for any scoops for quite a while.

6. The San Francisco Giants want better behavior out of Barry Bonds. They apparently want Barry to "share" with teammates a little more.

7. The Yankees picked up Gary Sheffield's option. This is the only "scoop" the News has had right in about 2 months.

8. Oh, like I'm supposed to be shocked that Pedro would retire if his arm does not respond to the surgery?

9. At least the Jets did not lose this weekend.

10. The Chiefs are 5-3. Herm Edwards has them the same place he usually had the Jets, barely breathing.

11. T.O. used the football as a pillow after scoring a 4 yd touchdown yesterday. This was followed by a nightmare later when he dropped a sure 72 yd TD pass. Apparently, he was asleep at the catch.

12. Wally Matthews says Omar should target Alfonso Soriano. Omar of course realizes that the best thing for him to do is the opposite of whatever Wally writes.

13. Sammy Sosa is looking to comeback this season. Omar - please make sure your caller ID is working so you can avoid his calls. Thanks.

14. David Wright has found his HR stroke, in Japan. Hopefully he can use some of his new contract money to pay the import tarriffs to bring it back home.

15. David also noted that he ordered in a pizza the other night. When asked why he had not tried sushi, David responded - "The only sushi place was a cab ride away from my hotel, and I'm not allowed to take cabs under my new contract."

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hot Stove Musings

Well, the hot stove is starting to heat up. Today, the Post mentions Mike Mussina would be interested in signing with the Mets. Wow, there's a shock, a Free Agent stating he would sign with the Mets. You think maybe he said this to get the Yanks to work a little more quickly?

Beyond that, we have D-Mat, (the "American Nickname" given to Daisuke Matsuzaka by agent Scott (money money money) Boras). Bidding started yesterday, and goes until the middle of next week. Then, the high bid is given to the Japanese league. Four days later, they can accept or decline the bid. If accepted, the winning team will be announced, and they have 30 days to negotiate. If that fails, he goes back to Japan. It will be interesting to see who bids and who wins.

Of course, the Mota issue is looming. Odds are, the Mets would have liked him back, thereby allowing them to deal Heilman. Now, they need to find a replacement for Mota. Oh, they could sign him, but he will mis 50 games once under contract, so someone would have to fill that role.

The thing that is concerning me about the media and fellow Mets fans is the trade proposals I am reading and hearing. Seems many deals are including the young pitchers, Pelfrey and Humber, with some mentioning Maine and Perez. Now, I would not be all that upset if Perez were traded, assuming good value comes back. It is the naming of Pelfrey and Humber as trade bait that concerns me.

Some of us seem to have forgotten about deals from the past. Lets put on the wayback glasses and look back to 2004. At that time, GM Jim Duquette traded a highly touted pitcher for another young arm. That trade has not worked out too well. And fans were, and remain quite pissed about it. So someone please explain to me why the Mets should now trade Pelfrey or Humber? Have we forgotten what happens when we trade young pitchers?

The ONLY way one of those two should be traded is for a #1 starter. No outfielders, no 2nd baseman, no relievers. Even then, I would not be pleased. You see, there is a bit of age in the rotation, next season and in 2008. We are going to need young guys to step in. Plus, they come cheap, allowing Omar to spend money elsewhere, like on a bat for 2nd or left (or even right, considering Green only has 1 year left). Omar should take care to not trade the young arms in the hope of a quick WS win next year. I would think that Mets fans, while they would enjoy 1 win, would enjoy multiple wins even more. Going to age heavy, and not having young guys able to step in, is a recipe for one and done. There is enough youth on the team where multiple wins are possible, so long as the recipe is followed. Take a look at the Braves, one of the reasons they did so well for so long was the ability to sprinkle in youth. Same goes for the Yankees of the 90's, they had good veterans, and brought in young guys to complement them. The Mets need to follow a similar formula. Build from within, and use trades and key FA signings to fill the gaps. But by all means, be careful what chips you choose to trade.

In a couple of weeks, the FA negotiating period will start. Then the fun begins.

Hey, look who's in first place (albiet a 3 way tie). Who woulda thunk it?

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

This is NOT Good

Guillermo Mota has been suspended 50 games for violating MLB drug policy.

So, a guy who would have allowed for the trading of Aaron Heilman is out.

OK Omar, what's next?

Turnaround on LI?

After opening the season with a 1-3 roadtrip out west, the Isles compelted a 7 game homestand last night. In that stretch, they took at least a point in all but 1 of the games (a 3-0 loss to the Sabres). The team has 12 points, and is 1 game above 500. Nice way to finish October.

So why the sudden change? This team, that all of the experts picked to finish last or near last in the conference is actually holding their own right now, tied for 6th in the conference. What is it that has caused such solid play after an awful opening.

Well, part of it could be tied to the opening trip being on the West Coast, basically playing the home opener for each of those teams. Home teams are usually pumped up by the big crowds at the opener, making it hard for a visitor to do well. Add to that the fact that Rick DiPietro played the first few games with a groin injury before sitting in favor of Mike Dunham, and you have a recipe for a poor start.

Dunham played real well once he stepped in, with the team capping the road trip with SO win versus the Ducks (who should be a Stanley Cup contender this season, so no easy points there.) He then won the home opener, lost in a SO and lost in OT. This allowed the team to get some points, and allowed Rick the time to heal. Since returning, DiPietro is 3-1, the only loss to Buffalo, when the team no-showed in front of him. Rick seems to be keeping within himself. The key for him is to not try to do too much. The defense in front of him is adequate, but they cannot compensate for his excursions out of the crease to play the puck. Stick to the blue space Rick, and you'll be fine.

On the offense, Alexei Yashin has been good. Real good. He leads the team with 13 pts, on 5 goals and 8 assists. He is playing hard, not taking any shifts off. This is the guy we had the first season, who has been missing since. I don't know if Nolan has found the switch, or if Wang told him to shape up of be bought out or what, but he is playing real well. Jason Blake is leading the team with 6 goals, but we cannot rely on him to be the scorer, Satan needs to pick it up, only 1 goal (though he does have 7 assists) as does Kozlov (3 goals, his 1 last night was the fist since the road trip). Mike Sillinger has been great, with 5 goals, picking up where he ended last season. He is turning out to be a nice signing. Good leader, and playing hard. This team has 7 guys who could score at least 20 goals, with three of them having the talent to top 30 at least.

The defense, as noted above, is adequate. Tom Poti has played well, to the surprise of everyone. Sean Hill on the other hand, cannot keep up with faster skaters. Once Chris Campoli is done with rehab in Bridgeport, he should be called up. Brendan Witt has done as advertised, taking a lot of penalties. He needs to be more of a legal physical presence in front of Rick. Zhitnick and Martinek have been steady, and Gervais has done fine for a rookie.

It is early fans, but there is a hint of a turnaround on the Isle. Keep watching. Hey, if they keep this up, maybe we can get some more fans in all those empty seats.