Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Weekly Observations 1/31/07

1. The Jacket could have fixed Barbaro in 10 minutes.

2. In Spain, the government has mandated that all display mannequins in stores be at least a size 6, in order to help reduce peer pressure on young girls to be ultra skinny. They will also research 8,500 women to find the typical body type. Man, I bet Wilt Chamberlain is thinking he died too early. He could have got that done in a month.

3. Barry Bonds gave the SF Giants the option to void his new $15.8 m contract if he is indicted during the season. Bud (notsoWiser) Selig was immediately on the phone to the Justice Department.

4. The football Giants hired Chris Palmer as QB coach, in the hopes that he could help Eli Manning develop. Yep, that's a good pick, look at how well he did with Tim Couch and David Carr.

5. Kobe Bryant was suspended for one game after hitting Manu Ginobili in the face with an elbow in a game on Sunday. When asked to comment, Kobe said, hey, it could have been worse, I could have jizzbombed him.

6. More on Kobe. He was upset that the suspension caused him to miss the game against the Knicks, and that the league did not give him an appeal. He felt, as did coach Phil Jackson that he was not treated fairly. Tell me Kobe, how does it feel to be bent over and reamed?

7. Tank Johnson was allowed by a judge in Chicago to travel to Miami for the Super Bowl. One condition of the allowance was that Tank leave all his guns at home. Tank figures he can get one easy enough while he is there.

8. Mike Mussina said the Carl Pavano can get back on his teammates good side by being there and throwing every fifth day. What he did not mention is that Pavano needs to do it with another team, so the Yanks can whoop up on his lame ass.

9. Barbaro, still dead.

10. Donald Trump, that paragon of virtue, appeared on WWE Monday Night Raw this week. Nothing like good old fashioned values like homophobia and racism to make Donald feel at home.

11. More Donald. Tara Conner and Trump were negotiating with Playboy for Tara to do a spread for $1 million. She passed in the end, feeling it wasn't right. Now I get why Miss Nevada was booted for posing for racy photos with other girls, Donald wasn't able to sell them!

12. The Islanders faced the Red Wings last night, and goalie Dominek Hasek, who 10 years ago asked that Ted Nolan not be retained as Sabres coach. Rumor has it that Ted was "friendly" with Hasek's wife. Wonder if any Isles pulled a Reggie Dunlap last night.

13. Wait, you mean the Super Bowl is this week? And there are two black coaches? I never knew.

14. Hillary Clinton was asked over the weekend while in Iowa what in her past will help her deal with Bad Evil Men if she were to become President. Obviously, the questioner has been living in a cave for the last 20 years.

15. Bill Parcells is rumored to be joining the Jets as a consultant. However the sticking point is that he does not want to participate in mini camp or two a days.

16. American Idol has approached Courtney Love about appearing as a guest judge. They feel that by having her around, it will make Paula Abdul look less drug addled.

17. The "Fuck 'Da Eagles" girl is in Maxim this month. Pics are already on line. Alas, due to the amount of airbrushing required, Maxim will not be able to publish for 3 months while they await a new supply of retouch.

18. Speaking of bimbos, Lindsay Lohan has a new fellow rehab patient at her facility, Mike Tyson. A match made in heaven.

19. I'm waiting for Wally Matthews to write a story about how the Mets are mistreating Omar Minaya by not renegotiating his contract.

20. Victor Zambrano has signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays. He is quoted as saying he wanted to pitch alongside John Thomson so he would seem good in comparison. Plus, they threw in a "Bobble-Arm" night to sweeten the pot.

21. Time for the SAT portion of the observations. Victor Zambrano is to Carlos Zambrano as Brett Lindros is to Eric Lindros.

22. Stan "The Maven" Fischler a few weeks ago said the Islanders were a good team and would make the playoffs. Then he said they were done. Now he says they will make it again. Stan is flip flopping like John Kerry.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Barbaro Dead and other News

Finally, after 8 months of constant updates on his health, untold thousands of dollars spent, and the creation of a message board dedicated to a horse who could not read, Barbaro was put down yesterday.

Now, I get the point that there are a lot of people out there who enjoy horse racing. Why, I have no idea. But that is their choice. My choice is to not watch a horse being poked and prodded to run around a track for a couple of minutes. My choice is to not watch an animal being beaten with a whip in order to win some race. And my choice is to not get upset over the injury or death of a horse. Now, I'm not totally heartless, I was very sad when my dog died as a teenager. When the time comes and my cats pass away, I will be sad. But the difference is that they were mine, and part of my life day in and day out. They were not some animal that someone else owned and that I only got to see on TV.

It bothers me the amount of media ink and TV time that was spent following this horse. The New York Times would run half page stories, while real sports, like hockey, get AP blurbs when the local teams play on the road, due to cost cutting. Tell me, what sport is enjoyed by more NY area residents, horse racing, or hockey?

"Death of a Champion" blared the full back pages Post and News this morning. The Times had half of page 1 of the sports section dedicated to Barbaro. The Times had a sub headline "Horse's Desperate Struggle Touched the Nation". This really galls me. Yes, there was a small percentage of the population that was interested (some fanatically so) with the recovery of this horse. But to say it touched the nation is a bit much. You know what touches me? The fact that we have members of the Army, Marines and the Navy being injured and killed in Afghanistan and Iraq. The fact that every day, little kids are being hurt or killed by people, and that our court system does little to stop these predators from being back on the streets. The fact that we have too many people in this country who do not have access to good health care. Those things touch me, not the fact that a horse was injured running a race, and had to be put down 8 months later.

I have news for all of you people who were hanging on every word, the reason Barbaro was being kept alive was money, pure and simple. You see, in order for a colt to be registered, it has to be created through natural acts, not with a turkey baster. So the owners needed to get this horse healthy so they could profit from his offspring. Yes, I am sure that the owners cared deeply for Barbaro, he was a part of their day to day life, but if he had not been such a winner in the Kentucky Derby, he would probably have been euthanized at Pimlico, not after months of surgery and treatment, and untold stories in the print and over air media about his struggle for life.

End Barbaro Rant

Otherwise, not much going on with my teams. The Jets are quiet, resting their bodies and minds. The Mets get ready for Spring Training, and add on Aaron Sele, this year's version of Jose Lima. Maybe they wanted another Aaron around to keep Heilman company.

As for the Islanders, they won their last game before the All Star Break (quick, if you air and All Star Game on a network that no one gets, did it really happen?). Then, after a week of rest, they come back to Rick DiPietro giving up 3 goals on 5 shots in the first 5 minutes of their first game back. That Rick, he sure knows how to keep his head in the game. How the hell do you not come ready to play after a week off? Thankfully, the team sacked up, and earned a point against the Thrashers that night. They followed that with a come from behind win against another first place team, the Buffalo Sabres, winning 5-3, as a rested DiPietro played well, and Aaron Asham scored a couple of goals. The second, third and fourth lines are starting to score a bit, but Yashin and Blake are still quiet. They need the balance. They have a shot at the playoffs, though it will be a touch road. Frankly, I want Snow to trade Jason Blake at the deadline, and get some youth. He is going to want a lot of money next year, and at 34, with big money already tied up with Yashin and DiPietro, too much of the cap will be concentrated among those three. Also, if there are any takers, trade Satan. Let's bring some of the young guys up and give them a shot. Then, use the open cap space to make a run at some free agents. Finally, buy out Yashin at the end of the year. He had a great start, and I know he is still struggling with his knee injury, but if he can't turn it around, blow it up and start over.

I'll be back tomorrow with the observations.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mets News and Notes

Some good news for former Mets, present Mets, and some news that is good or bad depending on your point of view.

On the former Mets front, Uncle Cliffy has signed with the Chicago Cubs. He will earn $3 million in 2007, with a mutual option for 2008 that vests with 100 starts or 425 plate appearances. I'm happy for Cliff. He gave it his all in NY, played hard every damn day. He played through pain that few of us can only imagine, both mental (loss of his sister, potential kidney issues for himself) and physical (Achilles and other ailments). I can't wait for Cliff to come to town on May 14 - 17 for a 4 game set. I hope he will receive the same treatment Mike Piazza received when he came back as a Padre. Maybe David Wright can carry his bags into the clubhouse for old time's sake.

Of course, the bigger good news is Willie Randolph signing a contract extension for 4 years, $8 million. The deal replaces his current one, so instead of $700 k this year, he will make nearly $1.4 m. Good for Willie, and good for the Mets to take care of this before Spring Training. Of course, some people were being jerks, saying the Mets were blaming Willie for the loss to the Cardinals. Then again, those people are known for their ripping of the Mets whenever they get the chance. I'm sure he is dislocating his shoulder patting himself on the back this morning now that the deal is done. News flash dummy, it was always getting done. Willie and Omar were classy enough to not make a big deal about it in the media. It was only people like you who were making a big deal about it.

Anyway, I'm happy Willie will be here until 2010. He has done a great job with this team. Yes, some in game decisions are odd, but you know what, all managers make decisions that make you scratch your head. LaRussa with Rolen, Torre with A-Rod, the list goes on. The bottom line is this, the team is winning, and is in a better place than they were under the veteran "leadership" of one Art Howe. Willie brought Wright along slowly, despite the roars from fans and the press to move him up in the lineup in 2005. He has a way of getting John Maine to nut up when in a tough spot. He uses his reserves to keep them in it, and keep the starters fresh (though he does need to rest Wright a tad more in 2007 methinks.) Willie is a winner, he's been on the big stage, and can talk to these young guys, and the vets as well about it. So, thanks Omar, Fred, Jeff and Willie for keeping the band together. Now, if we can only get Omar a raise...

The "is that true Johnny, 'cause if it is, I'm not quite sure how to feel" moment from yesterday was news that the Mets were watching Victor (the other) Zambrano throw in Venezuela. VZ is of course coming back from elbow surgery. With the Mets having a lot of projects in camp, it may seem odd that they would bring in a guy who has shown flashes of brilliance (brief though they may be), but is more remembered for who he is not. However, this could be a good signing, assuming it is cheap, and Vic accepts a minor league assignment until his arm is up to speed. As I noted, he has shown flashes. He had control issues, but had a good arsenal, and when on, was un-hittable for stretches. You wonder how he would do if The Jacket got to work with a healthy VZ. So, assuming the deal is cheap, I'm all in favor of signing Victor. Word is that he may work out of the pen to get his arm strength back, and so as to not push it too fast. That makes sense to me, and another hard thrower out of the pen could only help. Plus, it could free up some other guys as trade bait.

Pitchers and catchers can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Weekly Observations 1/24/07

I'll get to the "normal" observations shortly, but first, a few words about Jimmy Rollins of the Phillies.

During the Phillies "Winter Caravan" Rollins was asked about his team's chances this coming season. His response was:

"I think we're the team to beat in the NL East -- finally," Rollins said during the Phillies' Winter Tour on Tuesday at Citizens Bank Park. "But that's all on paper. You have to go out and do it on the field."

Oh, it is so on. Jimmy, did you foget that the Phillies finished 12 games behind the Mets? Are you really counting on Freddy Garcia, who gave up 32 HR's last year for the White Sox, is going to give up fewer playing in that bandbox the Phillies call home? Are you expecting Tom Gordon to do better than last season? Oh, he was good for a while, and actually saved his first ten games. He didn't blow a save, until of course, the first time he faced the Mets.

The Phillies have a lot of talent. Ryan Howard is a monster. Utley and Rollins are real good. But the outfield leaves a tad to be desired, and there are questions on their starting staff and bullpen.

Now, I'm all for bravado, and feeling your team is good, but you do not disrespect the prior season division winner like that. What was a fun little rivalry last season has just turned nasty. I'm hoping Willie has 25 copies of this made, and plastered in each guy's locker for the spring, and then used as wallpaper in the Shea Clubhouse. Oh, and Jimmy, the first series against the Mets is April 9, the Mets home Opener. As if the crowd and team won't be fired up enough...

Now, onto our regularly scheduled programming:

1. In Argentina, a teenager who was a big fan of a local soccer team, asked a tattoo artist to tattoo the logo of said team on his back. Once the deed was done, he went home to show his parents. They were concerned that he had switched teams, as the artist had tattooed a penis on his back. It seems he was a fan of the teens' favorite team heated rival. And we thought the Yanks/Red Sox rivalry was bad.

2. When Rollins was asked about the Mets, he claimed that he thought they had been moved to the NL Central.

3. K-Fed wants Britney to go into rehab. You know things are bad for you when even K-Fed thinks you are fucked up.

4. Doonesbury author Gary Trudeau has been poking fun at Donald Trupm this week. Strangely, Donald is not attacking Trudeau and threatening to sue him. I guess Donald can't think of anything witty to say like "fat pig" or "I'll have someone steal your girlfriend".

5. Carlos Delgado may miss the first few games of the upcoming season, as his wife is due to give birth to their child. Carlos, if she really loved you, she would induce early, like the wife of that Bears fan.

6. Jared the Subway guy was seen at a basketball game with a rather well endowed blonde. I hope he isn't asking commerical partner Mike Strahan for pre-nup advice.

7. The Yanks have asked Robinson Cano to change uniform numbers, opening up #22 for Roger Clemens. Little known fact, they also asked Gary Sheffield to leave behind his extra needles and roids, for the exact same reason.

8. In case you were wondering, Bill Belichick, still a douche.

9. Bill Parcells retired this week, for the 5th time. Try try again I always say.

10. Bernie Williams is hoping the resign with the Yankees. The Yankees have no interest, since they already have a noodle armed center fielder.

11. Michael Vick has been cleared of charges that he tried to board a plane using a hollowed out water bottle to store pot. Apparently, there was no pot to be found, because Mike had already smoked all of it.

12. Tank Williams will be allowed to travel to Miami for the Super Bowl, after a stern warning from the judge to be on his best behavior. Tank responded, "Don't worry your honor, I'm gonna give this game both barrells."

13. Yeah, thats a good idea, let Tank roam the streets of Miami for two weeks. Nothing can possibly go wrong there.

14. This just in, baseball has mandated Jimmy Rollins take weekly drug tests. When asked why, MLB spokeperson stated "Did you read that story? If he thinks the Phillies are the team to beat, he must be on something."

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Slurping and Bashing in the NFL

So, Bill (Tuna) Parcells has retired. Again. And says this time it is for good. Again. As a result, we have a slurpfest. With the coverage and genuflecting that went on yesterday, you would think the man died. I feel bad for Sean Payton, Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy, having to answer questions about what football will be like having "lost" Parcells. I don't feel bad for Belichick, since for one, I don't know if he answered the questions (I thankfully missed that on ESPNNEWS), and secondly, because he is a dick, and I wish painful questions and other hazards upon him.

In two weeks, we will have Dungy and Smith, one, a long time NFL coach, the other, a newcomer of sorts to the head coaching ranks, meeting in the Super Bowl. The game has many angles that will be probed (ad naseum of course) over the next two weeks. But yesterday, because Parcells decided he had enough of T.O., and perhaps realizing the Tony Romo just ain't that good, these guys had to answer questions about the impact Parcells had on the game. Look fellas, Bill did great things for the Giants, helped build the Patriots, laid some decent groundwork with the Jets, but fucked all 3 over. Then he went to Dallas, where, quite frankly, he did NOTHING. Went 34-32. Lost the two playoff games the team went to. Flopped at the end of the season like a old man missing his viagra. The man is done. Yes, he is a Hall of Famer coach, but not based on his last 4 seasons. He will settle into a nice job with a network for a couple of years, then hear the calling of his mistress (which is not married, unlike Belichick's mistress), and roam the sidelines again.

But enough about Parcells. I also want to talk about some bashing that has been going on since Sunday in regards to Reggie Bush. Now, I agree, what Reggie did was wrong. But folks, enough is enough. We had everyone who writes a column beating on the poor guys yesterday. Then today, in a column about Marvin Harrison, Harvey Araton got his two cents in in the NYTimes. Yes, Marvin Harrison is a good ballplayer, and no, he doesn't showboat. But why bring Reggie into the mix. For pete's sake, he is a kid, who made a mistake. Jeez, take a look at the Giants. After every first down, you have Jeromemymine Shockey giving the first down signal, even when the Giants are losing. You have Michael Strahan and his buddies shooting jump shots after a sack. Go out west and see Shawn Merriman doing a roid rage dance after a sack. It permeates the league. Now this kid is going to have a rep based on one play. People are calling him a hot shot, one week after he pulled himself off the turf after an unbelievably hard hit. Let's not kill the guy OK?

It reminds me of the whole Lastings Milledge/Hi Five thing. People took that as showing up, and labeled the kid. Now, if he so much as passes gas, people are saying he has a bad attitude. Can we remember that these guys are kids, and need time to learn and grow. Oh, wait, they should know better, right? Well for the past 20+ years they've seen Mark Gastineau, the "Fun Bunch", Ray Lewis, and assorted other "professionals" doing stupid shit. We had the Patriots mocking Merriman, and giving a throat slash gesture. We had T.O. doing all kinds of stupid shit. You have Belichick blowing off the Jets after agreeing to take the HC job, and then snubbing Mangini after two games, one of which his protege had the audacity to win. Then we have Brady, Super Bowl winner 3 times, flipped the coin last year at the SB, fair haired golden child, running off the field without shaking hands, and nobody in the mainstream media has the testicular fortitude to call him out. I bet if Peyton had done that in a loss, people would have beat the shit out of him. But Brady does it, and no big deal. Being exposed to all that of course some young guys are going to think it is OK. To paraphrase Chris Rock "I'm not condoning it, but I understand."

And this isn't just in the NFL. We have basketball players taunting opponents. Some guys in the NHL do so. Baseball players do it, the big stare after hitting a Home Run. Some players and teams go so far as to mock chants that fans use to serenade favorite players (I'm talking to you Braden Looper and your Cardinal teammates. We Mets fans have long memories.). Albert Pujols bashed Ryan Howard for winning the MVP, he also had unkind words about the ability of Tom Glavine, after Glavine made him look like Rey Ordonez at the plate in Game 1 of the NLCS. This is not just Reggie Bush, this is a widespread problem. As "The Boy" stated in yesterday's comments:

I think people will start to focus more on the Patriot's general lack of sportsmanship, which does come from the top down. I've been saying this since long before LT mouthed off and before the Mangini handshake controversies. The Patriot's culture (it's business, not personal) has worked fine for them in dealing with personnel moves. However, I think that their lack of sportsmanship, whether in wins or losses, takes something important away from sports. Sport is about competition, teamwork, and respect for your opponent. That last part is missing under Bill. Fans of other teams and the media are starting to take note and I think Pats fans will be more aware of this now.

He's right. Sports is about competition, teamwork, and respect for your opponent. Now, as an Islander fan, I remember Billy Smith refusing to shake hands after a playoff series. The shake in the NHL is a longtime tradition. Billy had a point, in that they just spent 7 games or so trying to kill each other, why shake, but at the end of the day, you need to show respect. Billy was wrong, he should have grudgingly shaken hands. Brady should have as well. And the players in all sports need to dial it back a notch. I'm not saying guys can't celebrate when the score a TD, or make a big play. Just be smart about it. If your team is getting the shit kicked out of them, and you make a first down, no need to pose. If you score a TD cutting the lead to 21, or putting your team up by that much, act like you have been there. If you hit a HR, take a quick look, then do a fast jog around the bases. Don't stand there like you are staring at Jessica Alba dancing naked in front of you, run the damn bases. You score a game winner, dance a bit, pump your fist, whatever, just keep it smart. Young kids look up to athletes, like it or not, and they learn from them. So if you don't want some rookie pointing at you, don't do it yourself, and if you see a teammate do it, tell them not too. Bring respect back to sport. For each other, and for the fans.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Weekend Review

So, did anything interesting happen over the weekend?

Well, Omar didn't sign anyone, even an old man.

The Jets made no news.

The Knicks lost to the Nets.

St. John's beat Syracuse.

The Isles didn't play.

Damn, nothing interesting yet. Something interesting must have happened. Let's see.....

Oh, so the Bears beat "America's Other Team" 39-14. During the game, Reggie Bush scored a touchdown, but not before taunting the Bears. That of course was the difference maker, because that made the Bears angry, and they decided to win the game after that. At least, that is what the papers would have you believe. Bush got lectured today in the News, Times and Post over not doing things like that. Rookies should never do anything that might be perceived as unprofessional. Only veterans can do that. Veterans like Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Which brings me to the Patriots Colts game. See, at the end of the game, Golden Boy Tom Brady ran off the field without shaking hands with Peyton Manning. Where does this guy get off? What, he's a vet, so he doesn't have to congratulate his opponent? Peyton has done it in the past. Maybe Tom needed to get changed so he could go bang the flavor of the week (still Giselle?) Meanwhile, uberDouche Belicheck also blew off Manning.

EDIT - Apparently, there is photgraphic proof that Peyton and Tom shook hands. I had read an awful lot that Brady ran right off the field after the game, hence my rant. If indeed they did shake, good for Brady. Belichick is still a douche however.

EDIT PART 2 - Apparently, there is no proof that Brady shook hands with Peyton. Apparently, some news outlets have used old photos. Oh, what's the matter guys, afraid to call Brady out for the pissy little bitch that he is?

Just once I would like the media to call that asshole to task. Yeah, they did it in NY with the whole Mangini dead fish handshake. But he blew Peyton off. Then, in the post game press conference, he was his normal asshole self. If we are going to lecture Reggie Bush on how to be professional, then the same should be done for the Golden Boy and Belichicken. Now, as a Jets fan, I'm supposed to hate Peyton, since he went back for his senior year so the Jets could not draft him. You know what, I don't care. Who knows if he would have had the success in NY he has had in Indy. I'm just happy a great player is going to play in the Super Bowl. The icing is that he beat the Patriots to get there. Now Simmons is going to have to retire the "Peyton Manning Face" from the lexicon of sayings. Maybe he can replace it with the Brady face, you know, the one he made the greatest clutch football player evah threw a fucking interception, costing his team a shot at winning the game. Like that will ever happen. I wonder if Simmons will have anything to say about how his Patriots pulled the biggest choke job in AFC Championship history. Up 21-3, and manage to lose it. Couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of guys.

One of my favorite parts of the game? Dan Klecko catching a touchdown pass. Earlier in the week I read where Dungy was asked if they would throw to Dan, and the answer was no. Well, they did, and Dan made his old man proud. Good for Dan. Now hopefully he can win a ring in Indy. Too bad his dad never got his shot.

So congrats to the Bears and the Colts. I'm kinda looking forward to the Super Bowl. It looks to be a good game. The Bears have a great defense, and can run the ball. The Colts have Manning, and can't stop the run. Should be entertaining. And the best part is, Tom Brady won't be there. Neither will Belichick. And that Makes Ed happy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Worry Worry Worry

Things I am worried about today:

1. That the Knicks might actually make the playoffs, leading to Isiah being retained as coach and GM. Now, I'm not a basketball fan, but I love it when NY area teams have success. Well, with the notable exceptions of the Rangers and Yankees. I wish nothing but copious amounts of losses on both their houses. Fuck them.

2. That the Mets have so many project arms coming to Spring Training that "The Jacket" is going to be stretched too thin. How is he going to help Vargas, Perez, Sosa, Maine, Adkins, Burgos, not to mention Humber and Pelfrey?

3. That the Islanders have not yet hit rock bottom, and that they will fall further and further behind. A couple of weeks ago, they were in contention to win the division. Now, not so much as a sniff of the 8th playoff spot.

4. That the Braves will have a good pitching staff this season. Then again, after trading Adam LaRoche, I'm not as worried about their offense.

5. That the Jets will rebel against the Mangini training camp. A couple of guys made comments about the last camp being so tough that they may not want to go through another. It's possible that was just due to assorted aches and pains from the end of the season, and disappointment, but we all saw how the Giants did once players started to run the asylum.

6. That the Islanders will no longer be in NY in a couple of years. A little noted part of the new lease Wang has signed to develop the Coliseum area states that he can move the team if approvals and other items are not in place in a couple of years. This would be devastating to many on Long Island and the surrounding area. A team that was born here in the early 1970's, rose to the top of the NHL in less than 10 years, would be gone. Yes, they could move to Suffolk County (into an arena that does not yet exist), or perhaps to the Barclay's Center (the soon to be built home of the Nets in Brooklyn). But it would not be the same. The Coliseum roars when the team is winning, and there are few better places to be part of a playoff atmosphere. To have it abandoned after all the glory would be sad. The County better get it's act together, or the Islanders will be no more.

7. That David Wright will stretch himself too thin with off the field pursuits, thereby not being able to live up to his full potential. Someone needs to talk to young David and let him know that off the field work is fine, in limited doses.

8. That Willie Randolph will not bend if certain guys are not getting the job done. If Jose Valentin starts off slow, or Paul LoDuca, changes in position (for Valentin) or batting order slot (PLD) may be needed. Will Willie bend?

9. That the Patriots will beat the Colts this weekend. This is not just my loathing of Belichick going into play (though that is a part of it) , it is my hatred of Patriots fans, and the slurping over Brady on the networks. Yes, they slurp up Peyton too, but Brady is like Jeter to these guys. They can't get enough. Patriots fans are the Yankee fans of the NFL. They can deny it, but it is true. Plus, more columns from Simmons attesting to the genius that is Belichick and Brady.

10. That if the Saints make the Super Bowl (which I do want to happen btw), that we will be inundated for two weeks about how New Orleans has recovered. It has not recovered. The population is 1/2 what it once was. Large areas of the city are awaiting razing and reconstruction. It is not the same as it was, and it may never be.

11. That Carlos Delgado may not be fully healthy for the start of the season. The man had wrist surgery and tendon surgery. He swings a bat for a living. These do not add up to good times.

12. That Mets fans will not be patient if the team struggles out of the gate. All of us know that it will be hard to repeat last season, yet we want it to happen. There is bound to be some falloff fellow believers, lets give them some time shall we?

13. That is Lastings Milledge plays regularly, and struggles, that Mets fans will continue to turn on him, and blame Omar for not trading him for Barry Zito last year. The kid is 21, lets give him a little time, shall we? He didn't do that bad last year in limited time, considering his age. Let's not expect every young player to immediately burst onto the scene like David Wright, shall we? Heck, Jose Reyes took some time, should he have been traded?

14. That Victor Zambrano signs with Tampa, is fully healthy, and teams with Scott Kazmir to win 30 - 35 games next year. Damn Jim Duquette.

15. That while I am in Florida at the end of February, it is cold and rainy, thereby not allowing me to head to PSL and see the Mets in Spring Training with my 6 year old daughter. She is looking forward to it nearly as much as I am. I've never been to spring training, and am looking forward to it.

16. That some Mets player takes a cab this season. We don't need that.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Weekly Observations 1/17/07

1. Omar Minaya has satisfied his craving for Sosa. Thankfully, not Sammy, but nearly as bad, signing Jorge Sosa, most recently of the Braves. Thanks Omar, I thought we wanted Atlanta to have shitty pitchers.

2. As for Sammy Sosa, a rumored deal to have him play in Japan has apparently fallen through. A spokesman for the team stated that Sammy is a bit too fat to play there. Um, can you explain Cecil Fielder? Or Benny Agbayani?

3. A few years ago, the Islanders added the “Ice Girls”, a group of late teens/early 20 year olds who’s function is to clean the ice during stoppages in play and shoot t-shirts into the stands, all while wearing tight fitting shirts. The NHL took note, and will soon unveil tight fitting uni’s for the players. No words on whether the players will have to take their time bending over when picking up a dropped glove or stick.

4. The Rangers added Ice Girls as well. Apparently, Isiah Thomas was put in charge.

5. Brian Schottenheimer removed his name from consideration for the Dolphins head coaching job. Brian realized that, well, the Dolphins QB’s are just plain awful, and his system could do nothing to mask that.

6. Rumor’s swirl that Brian’s dad Marty may get the Dolphins job if he is fired as coach of the Chargers following their choke Sunday against the Patriots. Wow, and I thought Pete Carroll was going to do wonders for the Jets vs the Dolphins.

7. Ratings for the most recent season of “The Apprentice” are in the toilet. Wait, scratch that, I just got a letter from The Donald’s lawyers threatening to sue for slander.

8. Michael Strahan’s wife was awarded 50% of the marital assets, plus 20% of yearly earnings from their time as husband and wife. Strahan wishes that she had rolled over as easily as Favre did.

9. 24 is back and has retained its bite, as Jack Bauer returned from China and added a new piece to his arsenal, his teeth. Ah, and to think, no one thought he learned anything during filming of “The Lost Boys”.

10. Scientists are working hard to free some dolphins trapped near Long Island. Seems their offensive coordinator is nowhere to be found.

11. Diet pills for dogs may soon be available. I am just so thankful that scientists are working on this troublesome health issue as opposed to say maybe finding a cure for cancer or AIDS or some other less troublesome issue.

12. Meanwhile, over on The View... sorry, about that, my wife took over for a moment. Moving on…

13. The Patriots won Sunday, which of course means many more columns attesting to the awesomeness of Tom Brady, and more “I can’t wait to see the Peyton Manning Face” quotes from Bill Simmons.

14. Over at, Jenn Sterger continues to bring her unique talents (aka, large breasts and photos of them each week) to the masses. Last week, she gave her picks for the NFL playoffs (Chargers, Ravens, Bears and Saints), fielded a marriage proposal (she said no), answered a question about where to party in South Beach, and responded to a guy who asked if he should have a comedian and karaoke at his wedding, along with inviting Mr. Met (advised against the first two, but gave the nod to Mr. Met). If only I could be caught on camera with my chest hanging out, I could be on as well giving answers to those deep questions.

15. Todd Pratt has accepted an invitation to Spring Training from the Yankees. Glad to see the Yankees still bringing in young guys.

16. Prince will be the performer at this year’s Super Bowl. Yep, nothing says clean like a guy who used to have “SLAVE” written on his forehead and sang “Darling Nicky”.

17. Speaking of acts past their prime, Britney Spears has threatened, I mean, promised her fans that she will be back and better than ever. She’s hard at work on a new album or new material, no covers for Brit, in song or on her ass.

18. Lindsay Lohan had her appendix removed. How messed up are you when your appendix wants out?

19. I saw Dreamgirls over the weekend. Pretty good, though every time I saw Eddie Murphy sing, I felt like I was watching the old “James Brown Celebrity Hot Tub” skit from SNL.

20. The NFL Network passed on the opportunity to use Britney Spears (not like that you dirty pigs). Apparently Brit was going to appear in a commercial. However, they feel she is a train wreck, so they are using that paragon of virtue and stability, Paris Hilton.

21. Barry Bonds denied blaming Mark Sweeney for providing him with the greenies that caused him to fail a drug test. Bonds denied ever blaming anyone else for his problems. Attempts to reach former Bonds flaxseed oil provider Greg Anderson were unsuccessful, as he is in jail.

22. David Beckham may be coming to the US sooner than planned, after Real Madrid benched him for signing a new contract before his was up with them. All 5 MLS fans are prepared to meet him at the airport.

23. Ali is lending his name and image to a new line of snack foods, shaped like boxing gloves, ring ropes, speed bags, and the expected top seller, protective cups.

24. Barry Bonds is still trying to hammer out his contract with the Giants. They are hung up on some language, mainly around his entourage. However, the real sticking point is Barry’s insistence on a “Player to be blamed later” clause.

25. A sex survey showed that Republicans prefer women on top, while Democrats prefer doggy style. Odd, I thought neither of them looked while fucking taxpayers.

26. Given the number of project pitchers the Mets have under contract and the demands on Rick Peterson's time they will require, it is quite obvious the Omar has cloned the Jacket.

Friday, January 12, 2007

John Thomson is an Idiot, and Other Ramblings

After yesterday's trip through the "depths" of what remains of my mind, we now return to our regularly scheduled rants. As you can tell by the heading, I'm a mite pissed off today.

So John Thomson had a few things to say about our Mets. Seems Mr. Thomson doesn't like how Paul Lo Duca handles himself behind the plate. He also had some disparaging remarks about Uncle Cliffy. Let's start with the latter, then return to the former.

Uncle Cliffy may not have been the swiftest of foot, or the strongest defensive outfielder, but, he was a guy who would run through a wall to make a play. He was a guy who would play on a torn Achilles to help his team win. Of course winning is not something Mr. John (62-84 4.69 ERA) Thomson is familiar with, particularly after last season's stellar 2-7 mark with the left for dead in April Atlanta Braves. Now, I'll admit that Vernon Wells is a damn fine centerfielder, but the Mets have a pretty good CF as well in Carlos Beltran. As for Cliffy, in 2005 he played quite a fine LF. Oh, and John, Uncle Cliffy ain't gonna be on the Mets this year you stupid bastard.

Now we get to PLD. Is Paul the best defensive catcher out there, no, and most, if not all Mets fans will admit that. He lets balls get by him on throws to the plate, he does not have a great arm, and he tends to get a mite annoyed by stupid ass umpires who can't call a game properly (I'm talking to you Mr. Angel Hernandez). However, it is generally accepted that Paul calls a very good game. When he was traded from LA to Florida, and from Fla to the Mets, teammates were sad to see him go, for his game and his leadership.

So Mr. Thomson, you have your right to your opinion, it is a free country, so if you want to spout some nonsense and prove to everyone that you are a complete fucking idiot by bashing an acknowledged good catcher and teammate, and a player who will no longer be patrolling left field in NY this season, feel free. However, please know that we Mets fans wanted no part of your loser ass back in NY. We remember the last time you were here, when you would not come out of your hotel (yep, seems like you are a good teammate there buddy), as well as the stellar 2-6 4.31 number you put up in 9 starts. I'm not quite sure what Omar was thinking offering you a contract, maybe he wanted someone in spring training for intra-squad games would would make the young guys gain confidence by knocking the slop that you offer up all of and out of the park. However, in your brilliance, you decided to sign in Toronto, where Mets fans will have the pleasure of watching you get the shit kicked out of you against the Red Sox and Yankees. I will root for the Yankees to beat the crap out of you should you face them this year, assuming that is the Jays don't come to their senses and cut your ass first. I will of course drink a bottle of vodka while doing so, to dull the pain.

At least PLD had the class to not respond, his agent put it perfectly, let the negatives stay with the negative people. PLD was unavailable for comment, apparently, he had to get his date home before curfew.

Oh, but I'm not done with this yet. Ken Rosenthal reported that some in the Mets hierarchy were annoyed with how PLD handled Mota in Game 2 against STL. If you remember, Mota shook PLD off, until he got Paul to put down the old #1. Scott (Merkin) Spezio proceeded to pound said fastball, leading to a Mets loss. Now, I can get people being pissed about the pitch selection. What I'm pissed about is the airing of dirty laundry. I'm sick and tired of "unnamed sources" bullshit. I want Omar to find out who leaked these thoughts, and fire his or her ass to set an example. This type of shit has to stop. It had gotten better, but I fear the leaks are going to start again, and no good comes of this. It's one thing for a fan to spout about this or that, but a member of the front office, or even a player, should not call out a fellow player anonymously. Show some testicular fortitude and put your name to it. Or better yet, go to the player in private, tell him what you think, and sort it out.

In other Mets news, they held a mini-camp this week. Among those attending were John Maine and David Wright. Pedro stopped by to hitch a ride back to the Dominican with Omar and others. David went along for the ride too. Nice to see David mixing with the prospects, it speaks well for the young man. Pedro said that he feels good, and could probably push things, but is not going to. He will stick to the timeline, and target his return for after the All Star Break. Pedro also said that doctors told him he may regain some velocity, making him able to hit 91+ consistently. Good news for the Mets, bad for the NL, and AL. Pedro will be the key trade line pick up this season. A little gloom was revealed this morning though, as Filthy Sanchez noted that he may not be ready for Opening Day. This could be the reason behind the signing of Scott "The Show" (thanks Dep!) Schoeneweis. More depth for the pen.

Non-Baseball Rants
Earlier this week, the Islanders continued their season long domination of the Rangers, smacking them around 5-3. After the game, Rangers coach Tom Renney lit into his team for their pathetic performance. Of course, they responded well, falling behind 5-0 last night against Ottawa, before scoring 4 goals in the third period. Of course, it was not enough, as they fell 6-4. After the game, Renney stated that he felt the team responded well, and hopes they can build off of this performance. So, expect the Rangers to fall behind 4-0 in their next game before trying to rally.

On the other hand, the Islanders, who had previously been 0-3 in games following wins against the Rangers this season, traveled to Boston. They fell behind 2-0 quickly, then 4-3, but tied the game with less than two minutes left. They went to the shootout, where Satan and Blake scored, Blake's being the game winner. So they finally won a game following a Ranger game. Good. Now just keep going. They dug themselves quite a hole with their 6 game losing streak. Now they need to fill it back in.

Pete Carroll met with the Dolphins. Mike Martz met with them. Tim Lewis met with them. Brian Schottenheimer met with them. Who's next, the coach of William Floyd High School? Jeez, Huzengia is meeting with everyone for this job. I'm waiting to hear that Mike Shula is the new coach. That will make daddy happy. As well as legions of AFC East fans from the teams the Dolphins will face for the next few years.

The Giants signed Tom Coughlin to a 1 year extension, removing his "lame duck" status. Excuse me, how does that get removed? Everyone knows that if he does not get them in a better place next year, there will be a change. Cowher will be free, as will Belichick (doubtful that he may come, but still). Charlie Weis might be free, if ND screws the pooch in a bowl game again (I mean, when, not if). There will be a lot of options at the end of next season.

I had no idea that Scott Boras was David Beckham's agent. How else do you explain a $250 MILLION contract for a soccer player. Sweet Jesus, soccer doesn't even have a TV contract. I don't care if a lot of kids play it, it is not a sport that translates to TV. It's like watching paint dry. Plus, Beckham is no longer the player he once was, based on what I have read. Of course he was once a star, and among the top players in the sport. But he is no longer in that group. Wait, I got it. Steinbrenner must own the Galaxy!

Have a nice weekend everyone.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Tag, and I'm it

We take a break from our normally scheduled Sports discussion to answer some questions which seek to delve into the mind of Ed. As with previous attempts, this one shall come up empty.

This started when Mike was tagged with the questions. He in turn tagged a few people. One of them, DED at The Dedly Blog decided to tag me. I was at first going to ignore it, but decided to play along. Since you are all used to my ravings, little of this should come as a surprise.

1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies: Well, given my choice of reading materials, which tilts towards Tom Clancy, W.E.B. Griffin, and the like, I’m not quite sure anyone would want to read items from my library. I would push “All the Presidents Men”.

2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music: Well, growing up, I was exposed to 60’s rock (The Doors, The Who, The Stones, Zeppellin et al) thanks to my dad. I would say that listening to those bands allowed me for the most part to pass on the dreck that came out in the 1980’s and since, with a few exceptions (and NO, I will not tell you what they are). I can’t quite pick one song. One that scarred me when I was young was “Me & Julio Down by the Schoolyard”, which Dad would threaten to play if me, The Boy and our sister were acting up. It’s funny, I now appreciate the song more.

3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue: So many choices here. Monthy Python and the Holy Grail in the comedy category. The Godfather I & II (to paraphrase the Sports Guy, 3 never happened, you hear me, It.Never.Happened). Tombstone is another, Val Kilmer as Doc is his best work. Then again, it ain’t to hard to top his turn as Batman. Airplane, Slapshot, The Untouchables, Lord of the Rings Trilogy (mind you, I did not read the books as a lad, I only read them when the movies came out. Man, did I miss out.)

4. Name a performer for whom you suspend of all disbelief: Keifer Sutherland on 24. I mean, c'mon, the guy hasn’t peed or crapped in any of the seasons. He gets the snot kicked out of him, he uses an ax to cut off his partner (and daughters boyfriend) hand. He cuts another guys head off with a hacksaw (granted, the guy was already dead), and is never impacted by LA traffic. But the show is gripping.

5. Name a work of art you'd like to live with: What’s this “art” you speak of?

6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life: Hehe, it says penetrated. How about porn and it’s impact on my expectations of women while I was younger? (please note that this is a joke, I think)
Does anything stated by President Bush count? Wait, he doesn’t write his own stuff.
I’m gonna go non-fiction here and say All the Presidents Men. Fantastic book, and it made me cynical at a young age.

7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh: Well, since DED at The Dedly Blog used all of the Grail quotes (you bastard :P), I’m gonna have to go with two from Animal House - “Fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son” and "You fucked up, you trusted us".

Tomorrow we will return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Weekly Observations 1/10/07

1. The Mets announced yesterday that they have resigned Mike (.080 BA) DeFelice. Man, I'm sure glad that he is available in New Orleans to give the young pitchers added confidence when facing him at the plate. Too bad they will be other teams pitchers.

2. A scientist recently announced that he thinks the old Mars Voyager craft may have actually found life on Mars 30 years ago, but accidently killed it. Man, Marvin is going to ramp up his work on the Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.

3. Sean Salisbury was recently suspended at ESPN for taking pics of his *ahem* nether regions and emailing them around the office. I wonder if he asked Golic for a Man Rule ruling before hand.

4. More Salisbury. He, along with a host of other ESPN talking heads, are appearing in a commercial for Nutrisystem for Men. John Kruk also appears. Kruk of course fell of the wagon by stealing the free week of food from everyone else and eating it in one sitting.

5. Speaking of fat bastards, Mo Vaughn is in line to by a housing development in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn for $21 million, and to pump another $20 million into it to fix it up. One of the new features will be "Mo's All You Can Shove Down Your Throat Buffet". Man, I'm glad Mo is putting all that hard earned Mets salary to good use.

6. Can someone explain to me how Goose Gossage is not in the Hall of Fame?

7. I guess the Baseball Writers don't want to talk about the past either, eh Mr. McGwire?

8. Tony Gwynn is looking a bit (ok, more than a bit) large these days. If you noticed, they only shot him on film from the shoulders up, since they forgot the wide angle lens.

9. The New York Times recently ran a story on how the new NBA rules mandating high school players attend at least one year of college before turning pro are a good thing. Carmelo Anthony was quoted as stating hsi year in Syracuse taught him a lot, like how to be part of a team, how to handle social settings, and how to run away like a chicken shit after throwing a punch.

10. T.O. fired his publicist. I've gotta ask, who made the announncement?

11. Bill Belichick hugged Eric Mangini after the Patriots defeated the Jets on Sunday. During the hug, Bill asked Eric "wow, are those man breasts real?"

12. On his way to the hug, Belichick angrily shoved a camera man out of the way. Being the planner that he is, Bill had spent time studying film of Randy Johnson and Kenny Rogers to make sure he knew exactly what to do in that situation.

13. Bears defensive tackle Tank Johnson pled not guilty to weapons charges this week. He was arrested after police found numerous fire arms and 500 rounds of ammunition in his house. One of the guns, loaded, was found in his bedroom. Tank needs better friends to help in with getting rid of guns, like Jayson Williams.

14. Oh, I know your waiting for the joke about the smell in NYC on Monday and a tie in to the Jets and (notso)Giants. Sorry, ain't gonna happen.

15. Jets fans rejoice, the Dolphins are talking to Pete Carroll for their head coaching job. Carroll claims he is not interested in leaving. And we all know how we can take college coaches at their word.

16. The Isles beat the Rangers for the 4th time this season last night, and the third at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers tied the game at 3, after which Ranger fans chanted "DP Sucks" in honor of Isles goalie Rick DiPietro. After the Isles scored 2 quick goals off Ranger goalie Henrik Lundqvist, they quickly went back to the old "Potvin Sucks" chant, given that is the best Ranger fans can come up with.

17. Randy Johnson, coming off back surgery, passed his physical, completing the trade that sends him back to the Diamondbacks. J.D. Drew immediately called the Big Eunuch, asking for the doctors phone number.

18. The SF Giants followed up the signing of Barry Zito with the signing of Russ Ortiz. Yep, those Giants are building themselves quite the rotation there.

19. Eric Mangini declined to annoint Chad Pennington his starting QB for next season. Eric said it will be an open competition, with Chad, Kellen Clemens, and a couple of guys who looked good on Sesame Street.

20. Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell continued their war of words this week. Someone please duct tape their mouths shut and put America out of its misery.

21. Jason Kidd filed for divorce, claiming his wife abused him. Can we get a man ruling on a pro hoops playing saying his wife kicks his ass in public?

22. Yeah, I guess Florida didn't deserve to play Ohio State. They deserved some real competition.

23. NASCAR is going to announce.... I'm sorry, for a second there I thought people cared about NASCAR. SOrry about that.

24. Mike Lupica today brought his knowledge of war and the military to the news section of the Daily News, writing a column about the planned increase in troops for Iraq. The column went awry when he tried to blame the mess in Iraq on Isiah Thomas, the Dolan's and Tom Coughlin.

25. Lupica thinks that Eric Mangini is the right guy to lead the military in Iraq, feeling that his demeanor and attention to detail would allow him to root out the insurgents.

26. Karim Garcia has signed with the Phillies. Garcia is known for his hitting, of fans that taunt opposing teams that is. How will he react when the fans in Philly taunt him?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Well, That Sucked

Well, they kept it close for a while, but in the end, the Jets just didn't have the horses to finish it up. I tip my cap to the Patriots. They played a very strong game on both sides of the ball. Belichick called the right plays at the right time. The Jets never did adapt, and in the end, the inability to get the ball in the end zone hurt them. Three times they got to the red zone, and three times they came away with field goals. You are not going to win in the playoffs doing that.

Chad was under pressure frequently today. Lots of hurries, a couple of batted down passes. Too many plays where he did not have time to get the ball to his receivers. A couple of mistakes on his part, the int and the failed "lateral" cost them. In my book the lack of a go to running back, a theme throughout the season, hurt them. Once the Pats were able to stop the run, they were able to key on the pass. Chad made some nice passes, and had good numbers, but without the 77 yarder to Cotchery, the numbers aren't as impressive. Chad did his normal short routes, alas, today that was not enough. I still feel that the lack of a consistently strong running game hurts this team, as it exposes Chad. He is an excellent play-action QB, but when the running game sucks, good teams are not going to bite as much. This is an area of focus for the draft this April. A year's experience for the youngsters on the line will help with protection and the run, but improvement in talent in the backfield is a must.

On the defensive side of the ball, they once again could not stop the run. The lineman were not able to generate penetration to disrupt the run. They also did not pressure Brady consistently. There were times he was pressured, but not nearly enough to stop him. For a team with no-name wideouts, they do a good job moving the ball. And while they use a three-headed monster at running back, the difference from the Jets is that they have a veteran in Dillon who is quite good, as is Faulk. None of the Jets backs are of that caliber. The linebackers did not do much. Blitzes resulted in little disruption, as the Pats were able to pick them up. The secondary blew a couple of chances to pick off Brady, Rhodes once early on a beautifully timed play that just missed, and Miller on a deep ball late that he just missed. Experience will help there. But the line is an area of concern. It may be time to realize Robertson is not fit for the nose in a 3-4.

I was glad to see Belichick hug Mangini at the end of the game. Perhaps he is not as big a prick as I thought. On second thought, fuck him, I still hate him.

So, another Jets season ends in disappointment. However, there is hope. There is good young talent on both sides of the ball, as well as on the sideline. Chad will have another year under his belt from the surgery, so his strength should be better (of course, it ain't gonna be great, but still better than now). Think of ball players with shoulder surgery, it usually takes a year to get back to full strength. Hopefully the same holds here. Hope is a good thing. And next year, they get the chance to show all those who said "Well it was a soft schedule" what they can do against a tough one. Plus, Herm comes to town for a game, so that will be fun.

Thanks to Eric and his staff and the team for a good season. I'm looking forward to next season already.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo...

Be afraid Ed, be afraid

quote from a Pats fan I work with

Your Jets will be facing a different team than 8 weeks ago. A better team than 2 years ago

quote from a neighbor who is a Pats fan

Enjoy Sunday, keep the Tums handy

quote from "The Boy" sometimes commenter and my brother

Payback is a bitch

quote from my Dad, heard many times on many Sunday's growing up

So Sunday is the big game, the one few thought we would see this year. Eric Mangini leads his Jets to Foxborough to face his prick of a mentor Bill Belichick. The Pats, based on their record this year and the fact that they have won Super Bowls a few times lately, are favored by 8.5 points, despite not beating the Jets by that much in the one game they won this year against them. Despite the Jets going 6-2 on the road, including a win at Gillette Stadium. Despite the fact that the Pats lost to the Broncos last year in the playoffs. Despite the fact that they lost their kicker, their key receiver, their "enforcer" in the defensive backfield. Despite the fact that the Jets, though young in key spots, proved throughout the season (with the exception of 2 games) that they can hang with anyone.

The Jets are in a good place. Nobody expected them to get this far. Fans would have been happy with 6-10 in some cases, 8-8 in most. They are playing with house money at this point, so there is very little pressure. Well guess what, these guys want to win this game. I saw one guy in the Post this morning write that they are just happy to be here, and that the Pats would roll 24-12. This is foolish. First, the guys want to prove to the media, fans, and opponents that last year was the fluke, not this year. They have a big chip on their shoulder, from the rookies on up to the veterans. Plus, do not underestimate how much they LOVE playing for Mangini, and how they have taken the snubs of Belichick towards Mangini personally. Oh, Bill can try to be all nice this week, finally uttering Eric's name, and giving him some grudging credit. They still remember the limp wristed handshake, with the eyes averted, after the Jets beat them 8 weeks ago. They want to win this, not only for themselves, but to show that fat bastard up.

Oh, it will not be easy. On paper, the Pats are the better team. Richard Seymour, Tom Brady, Teddy Bruschi, all have been around and won titles. Belichick is a great coach, of that there is no argument (this does not change the fact that he is a prick. First, he runs away from the Jets like a scared little bitch, then he steals another man's wife). You know what, big fucking deal. The "better" team does not always win. The Mets were the better team than the Cardinals. The Yankees were better than the Tigers. The Tigers were better than the Cardinals. Look how that all turned out.

The team that wins is the team that wants it more. Oh, the Pats want to make up for last season's loss in Denver. They have the home field advantage. They have the Super Bowl pedigree. What do the Jets have? Well, they have a quarterback who has a lot to prove to the naysayers. They have two receivers who play their asses off. They have a 3 headed monster at running back who all bring something different to the table, keeping the opposition off balance. On defense, they have a line that is underrated. They have 4 linebackers who can all get the job done. They have a kick returner and punt returner who can break one any time they get the ball. And they have a coach who learned from Belichick. A guy who at 35 wants to show everyone who thought Woody Johnson was an idiot for hiring him that they are the idiots. Beware the Penguin!

There are the obvious keys to this game. Chad needs to protect the ball. Do not try to do too much, be smart. Nugent needs to be perfect when he gets his shots. No shanks from Ben Graham (and no bungled snaps while we are at it). Keep the penalties to a minimum. On defense, let Rhodes do what he does best, scare the other team by moving around and blitzing. Also, Jonathan Vilma has had a very quiet year. I expect Bob Sutton has some plans for him this week. Might we see some blitzes from Jonathan?

A couple of side notes on stories I read the past couple of days. In a possible sign of the apocalypse, I agree with Wally Matthews, Belichick is a jerk. Now, I do not like Wally, based on his Mets bashing stories this year, but for once, he got it right. And in case you have not guessed, yes, I am still bitter over what Belichicken did in 2000. Payback is indeed a bitch Bill, and she's coming to collect from your fat ass.

Second, there was an AP story yesterday that tried to compare the comeback Chad has accomplished with the "comeback" Brady has had to "endure". Please. Give me a fucking break. Chad had his shoulder operated on, twice, in the past 18 months. Brady lost a fucking football game. Man, I know people have to write something, but for this to be on the AP wire, is absolutely silly. There is no comparison.

Now, I'm not going to predict a score. I have no clue what the final tally will be. I do know that people have counted the Jets out all year long, and have looked silly for having done so. I do think that they will look silly again come 4 PM on Sunday.

For some more Jets info, be sure to visit Brooklyn Jets Fan ,where Mestradamus' alter ego Jetstradamus participates along with Brooklyn Met Fan, and J E T S Blog, Blog Blog!, with a cast of characters that are fun reads.

As The Boy said, Enjoy Sunday and keep the Tums handy (and we Mets fans know all about the Tums).

Lets Go JETS!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

State of the Islanders

What is Ed doing you are asking? The Jets play the Patriots Sunday in the first round of the playoffs, and he is writing about the Islanders? What the hell is wrong with him?

Well, a lot actually, but that's not important right now. Tomorrow I will unveil my Playoff Game Preview. For today, I did not want to leave the BOG empty, and with little going on in Mets land, I decided to take a look at the other boys who wear Blue and Orange.

Coming into this season, very little was expected of the Islanders. There was no serious upgrade in talent, on the ice, or in the Front Office. The only upgrade was the hiring of Ted Nolan as coach. Then again, I would have been an upgrade over Steve (notso)Stirling. To the surprise of media, other teams, and Islander fans, the team has shown improvement from last year. They battle hard every night, very rarely getting blown out of the building. And they have gotten improved contributions from several players. Alas, there is a lot of room for improvement. So, as we close in on the mid-point of the season, let's take a look at the team.

Goalies -
Not much was thought of the signing of Mike Dunham as backup. Many thought he was solely signed due to his close relationship with GM Garth Snow. However, Dunham has played well in limited action (11 games), going 3-4, with a 2.85 GAA and .916 SV%. Good numbers for a backup. Early in the year, while starting goalie Rick DiPietro was injured, Dunham went 2-2 in four games, with one win in a shootout, as well as one loss in OT and 1 in the shootout. Since then, he has appeared in a couple of games where Rick was pulled (either due to injury or poor play), and made 5 starts. A dependable backup, and a good signing.

Rick DiPietro is the franchise goalie, as evidenced by his record 15 year contract, which will have him tending the nets at age 40. Many laughed (opposing teams fans) or were angered (Islander fans, Commissioner Gary Bettman) by the deal, given his performance prior to this season. This year however, after some ealry troubles, Rick has played very well. He has posted 4 shutouts already, after not posting one last season until March. In 30 games, he is 16-13 with a 2.58 GAA and .919 SV%. He ranks 15th in the league in GAA, and 9th in SV%. He is communicating better with the defense, reducing the turnovers when playing the puck that had been a concern early in the season. He has also proven to be a workhorse, starting 11 in a row before the last game Tuesday against the Flyers.

Well, Alexei Zhitnick was traded, taking veteran blueline presence out of the mix, but adding a bunch of cap room this year, and the next 2 years. Sean Hill has overcome early struggles to play a solid D, as has Brendan Witt. Rookie Bruno Gervais won a spot out of training camp (no easy task under Nolan), and has settled in quite nicely. Radek Martinek was playing well, until he suffered a broken foot last week which will sideline him for 4 weeks. After an early injury, Chris Campoli has returned to the mix, and has resumed his strong play from last season. Tom Poti, who I personally wanted no part of after seeing his awful season with the Rangers last season, has played above expectations. There is a good mix of youth and veterans here, but not a lot of depth should more injuries occur. They need to continue their strong play for Rick to continue his success.

Jason Blake has been the story, 23 goals, 17 assists in his walk year. The concern with Blake is that he has always been streaky, so we have to wonder if he just got his streaks for the year out of the way, and will revert to going weeks without a goal. This cannot happen if the team wants to continue to contend.
Alexei Yashin, prior to his knee injury, was playing like the star we hoped we were getting from Ottawa a few years ago. Since his return, he has not been as good, but you have to figure that teams are going to key on him and Blake, since the rest of the forwards are doing jack squat in terms of scoring balance. Hopefully, that is the issue, and not continued knee pain. He is the key to this team, and needs to get back to where he was. He projects to 71 points in 65 games this year, but he should exceed that if he can get hot again.
The rest of the forwards have been disappointing on the scoring side. Trent Hunter, who was in the Rookie of the Year mix a few years back, is still hitting everything that moves, but not so much stationary objects like the back of the net. Mike Sillinger started the year off hot, but has cooled. Andy Hilbert started off cold, was near frozen, then heated up, but has cooled again. And wither Miro Satan? We heard all the stories from Buffalo about coasting, but did not see it last year. This year, he has 10 goals, projected to 21 for the season, after 35 last year.
The second and third lines need to step up, so other teams have something to worry about beyond Yashin and Blake. Otherwise, set you tee times. Again.

Finally, Ted Nolan has come back to the NHL! After a near 10 year absence, Ted has shown he has not lost his touch. Yashin seems rejuvenated. Blake is playing well. DiPietro has stepped it up. The team plays hard, night in, night out for the most part. I do have a concern about let downs after winning against the Rangers, but that will work out in time. Until last week, they had been 6-0 in the latter part of back to back games. That shows great preparation and conditioning.
He needs to work out something for the power play, which is 23rd in the league at 15.6%, and the penalty kill, which is 22nd at 80.4%. Penalties need to be reduced. Scoring from the other lines needs to increase. Whether the help comes from the present team, Bridgeport, or through a trade (see cap room from trades of York and Zhitnik), Ted needs to get some of the other guys scoring. Back to back shutouts, and a near shutout against the hapless Flyers are scary.

The team was thisclose to first place last week, and has touched it a couple of times this year. They still have games in hand, as well as 43 games left to make some progress. A playoff spot is not out of reach, and from there, well, if Rick gets hot, they can make some noise. Hell, they went to the conference finals on the back of Glenn Healy once.

Stop in tomorrow for my Jets/Patriots preview.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Weekly Observations 1/03/07

1. So someone videotaped the hanging of Saddam Hussein, capturing the whole thing live, including taunts to the former dictator by his executioners. The Iraqi government has promised an investigation into this, as they feel it was in bad form to taunt. The worst part was, after he swang, the masked men gathered around and did the "jump shot" sack celebration dance made popular by the (notso)Giants.

2. A US Study has shown that teens tend to binge drink. Ladies and gentlemen, your tax dollars at work! They needed a study to show this?

3. A guy in Germany traded his step-daughters dog for $53 worth of beer at a bar. That's a lot of beer. The bar owner returned the dog once he found out the facts behind it. Well, that, and he found that the dog wasn't bar-trained. Yep, the dog had a free flowing tap. Much like the guy himslef, after drinking $53 worth of beer.

4. You know, this Saddam thing has me thinking (shaddup). So he was taunted prior to dying. What are they going to do to make it all better, dig him up and hang him again in silence?

5. So Barry Zito decided to sign in San Francisco. Tell me, if a $18 million a year pitcher sucks in San Fran, will anyone care?

6. Revenge Bowl III is Sunday at 1 PM, as the Jets face the Patriots. Belichicken vs the Mangenius. In the event of a tie, the game will be decided by a hot dog eating contest between the two coaches.

7. Note to all NFL analysts - you can stop slurping Tony Romo now.

8. Romo went from "Hot" to "Not" quicker than Britney Spears following her jettisoning of Federline.

9. This just in, Saddam Hussein is still dead.

10. Is anyone else wondering if Betty Ford hit the bottle this past week?

11. Britney Spears apparently fainted on New Years Day, shortly after hosting a party. Her "handlers" claim it was just exhaustion, saying that mothers get tired quickly. Yep, they sure do, when the kids are at home with a nanny while Mommy is doing jello shots off the belly of Paris Hilton while sans panties.

12. Doctors say that Barbaro is healing nicely, and should live a "comfortable" life. C'mon now, what does this horse really have to do besides bang some mares?

13. Nick Saban has been offered the Alabama Crimson Tide head coaching job. This is bad news for the rest of the AFC East, who are hoping to petition the league and school to allow Saban to continue as Dolphins coach for the first 8 games of each season, when he does his best work, at least in the eyes of his opponents.

14. So Michigan got smacked around by USC, ending all thoughts that they should have had a rematch with THE Ohio State University. Of course, they blamed sadness over the death of Gerald Ford for the loss, much like they blamed the death of former coach Bo Schlembecher for the loss to OSU a few weeks ago. I wonder, if they lose their first game next season, will it be because of Saddam?

15. President Bush is calling for bipartisanship with the Democratic controlled Congress. He ran on that platform in 2000, so he figured it was time to actually try to live up to that part of his platform, now that he has to.

16. The Yankees continue to try and trade the Big Eunuch to the Diamondbacks. This would allow them to free up money to sign Roger Clemens midway through the season, once Roger is able to get himself into game shape and be able to pitch 5 innings a start for $20 million. Fiscal restraint in the Bronx - Love It!

17. After shutting out the Rangers last week, the Islanders have proceeded to lose 4 straight, including back to back shutouts. Man, this team is as up and down as Lindsay Lohan's blood alcohol content.

18. Dolls depicting the actresses on Desperate Housewives are going to be on store shelves shortly. I'm wondering if there will be a Terrell Owens doll in the box with the Nicolette Sheridan doll?

19. Bill Parcells said he was never as disappointed as he was after the Cowboys shat the bed the other day in a loss to the Lions. Tell that to Lions fans, who actually lost the chance to pick #1 overall due to the win.

20. Matt Millen has stated that ownership is going to keep him on the job, given the progress the team has made. President Bush gave him a vote of confidence in a phone call - You're doing a great job Milly!

21. Donald Trump and Rosie O'Donnell continued to zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

22. Guns and Roses announced that the long awaited "Chinese Democracy" Album will be delayed. Again. Expected release date is around the same time we see actual democracy in China.

23. Miss Nevada had her crown taken off, as the result of some pictures that surfaced on the web of her taking off other pieces of clothing, as well as simulating oral sex on men and women. Trump said, we can't have her out there as a role model, when we have someone like Tara Conner already filling the role of drunken slut.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Thanks Herm!

Yes, Thanks Herm Edwards, for being a ballsless fuck and leaving the Jets to coach in Kansas City, where you managed to sneak into the playoffs, along with pissing off your running back by showing no imagination on Offense (gee, where have we heard THAT before). But first, I need to take care of some business.

Jets are screwed. In a weird way I'm relieved -- now I don't have to get excited setting myself up for a season-ending loss in a big game.

Ed, the Jets season is over. Enjoy it for the fun of watching football. Even if they win out, which they may well do, they're not qualifying without a lot of things falling into place.I hope I'm wrong & I offer you my marker right NOW that you can mock me without mercy here, at my place, and everywhere else til baseball season begins, if I'm wrong.But I won't be, alas.

The above were comments from Mike over at Mike's Neighborhood. Mike, you are now sentenced, like Bart Simpson, to write on the chalkboard "I will not doubt the Mangenius" 2006 times.

On the strength of a 6-2 final 8 games, including a tough loss to the Bears (a winnable game) and a blowout loss to the Bills (setting people up to be surprised), the J E T S are in the playoffs. The best part is they get to play Belichicken's Patriots in Foxborough (when the hell did it change from Foxboro by the way?) on Sunday. Oh Happy Day.

At the end of last season's 4-12 mail in, which was mostly due to numerous injuries (Chad, Fiedler, Mawae, Martin) and having to use Vinny Testaverde and Brooks Bollinger at QB, Herm decided he wanted to find his fortune in KC, and coach the Chiefs, his old team. I for one was upset, as I liked Herm. He was successful here, save for last season. If not for Doug Brien, they would have played the AFC Championship Game in 2004/05. He finally sacked up and fired Hackett, but did not change the offense enough. He finally fired Ted Cottrell, but the system did not produce results. After last season, Herm could have had a pass, and come back to rebuild. But Herm lacked the testicular fortitude to finish it out here, and left, bringing the Jets a 4th round pick, which Mike Tannenbaum and Eric Mangini turned into Leon Washington. So thanks Herm, so Leon, and thanks for Eric. And thanks for tkaing Bradway with you.

Coming into this season, even with the new coach, and a "healthy" Chad, few, if any Jets fans thought we would be here today. I didn't at first. But then I saw how they played. I saw how they came back from 24-0 against the Patriots in the first meeting. I saw how they hung with the Colts in a loss. I saw how they played the Bears tougher than the cross-hallway rivals. I saw them win the games they were supposed to (except for the Browns, thanks REF!), and one they were not (Patriots Part Deux). I saw Leon Washington juke guys out of their shoes. I saw Chad make the passes he has to make. I even saw him throw long a few times (note to Tony Kornheiser and Joe Thiessman, shut the fuck up). I saw Bryan Thomas finally evolve into a first round pick. I saw Nick Mangold make everyone forget the brittle one (John Abraham, how many games did he play this year?)

Mostly, I saw a team buy into a philosophy and win. No pontificating in front of the media. No quotables like "You play to win the game". Just play. You make a mistake, you sit your ass down. You put the ball on the ground, run some laps. You take a stupid penalty, sit down. I saw an offensive coordinator with a brain, and with the testicular fortitude to do things a little differently. Gone are the days of Paul (no he can't) Hackett. I saw a 35 year old man emerge from the shadow of a chicken shit asshole who won't even acknowledge his existence and make the JETS his team. Guys chafed at the two a days, but they paid off in the end. They towed the company line, and here they sit, about to play the Patriots in the first round. Would I have preferred Happy Feet Peyton and the defenseless Colts, sure, but I'll take this match-up.

Oh, and for those who think this is easy pickings for the Patriots, given that they have been here before, and they have Tom Brady, keep thinking that. Yep, the Patriots should be favored, but I have news for you, it matters not what Brady has done in the past. He does not have the same team. Branch, gone. Vinatieri, gone. Harrison, hurt. You can rest on your laurels at times, but this Jets team is not intimidated. They went to Razor Blade Stadium a few weeks ago and won, going away, forcing Belichicken to fire the field. They harrassed Brady all day. I think they can do it again. I say the Jets win. Then, onto San Diego, where Brian can make his dad look foolish.
Am I getting ahead of myself, sure. But I don't care. I'm gonna enjoy this, like I enjoyed the Mets run this year.