Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to all. Enjoy the festivities.

I've been seeing top 10 of 2008 lists, so why not a top 10 NY sports stories of 2008.

1. Giants win the Super Bowl

The Giants historic victory over the undefeated Patriots team is probably the best story in all of sports in 2008. The Giants unlikely Super Bowl run culminated in quite possibly the greatest Super Bowl upset of all time. Whether you are a Jets or a Giants fan you had to love this.

2. Last game at Yankee Stadium and Shea Stadium

NY Baseball will be played in two new venues starting in 2009. Yankee Stadium got the most attention given the All-Star Game and its place in both baseball and overall sports history.

3. No October baseball in New York

NY baseball fans had an unfamiliar feeling in October with neither team in the playoffs for the first time since the strike shortened season in 1994.

4. Jets get Brett

The Jets made a bold move and brought in Brett Favre after his several month long retirement saga with Green Bay. The move appeared to be paying dividends until a late season collapse that cost Mangini his job.

5. Knicks fire Isiah Thomas, hire Donnie Walsh and Mark D'Antoni

The long overdue changing of the guard at the Garden has given Knicks fans hope. After absolute futility on the floor, the Larry Brown saga, the Anucha Brown Sanders saga, and several horrble signings/trades, Thomas was finally cut loose.

6. Yankees Spending Spree

The Yankees don't react well to not making the playoffs. Hank and Hal have gone on an epic spending spree bringing in top free agents CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and Mark Teixeira.

7. Nets trade Jason Kidd

An end of an era for the Nets. They dealt the face of the franchise for a package headlined by Devin Harris.

8. Plaxico Burress shoots himself in club

After several suspensions for missing meetings and being late to practice. Plaxico upped it a level by accidentally shooting himself in a club. Looks like the end of the Plaxico-Giants marriage.

9. Mets get Santana; Yankess go with Hughes and Kennedy

The Yankees flirted with getting Johan Santana but decided to stick with a youth movement. Hughes and Kennedy were terrible and you can see this offseason the Yankees are back to their old ways. The Mets took the opportunity to add Santana, who had a solid year, but not good enough to get into the playoffs.

10. Rangers blow 3-0 Game 1 lead against Penguins

The Rangers seemed poised to make a run in the playoffs after easily disposing of the Devils and jumping out to a 3-0 lead in game 1 of their series against the Penguins. They wound up blowing the lead and losing game 1 5-4. The Penguins never looked back and finished off the Rangers in 5 games.

No Bill Cowher

Well its official. As suspected, Bill Cowher is not coming to the Jets. Don't get all excited about Shanahan because that won't happen either.

I'm getting more and more concerned that the Jets had no plan when they fired Mangini. In my eyes you fire a coach for 2 reasons:

1. you have a much better coach that you know you will get
2. the coach has no chance of turning the team around because either they are not a good coach or they have lost the team

All the ESPN fodder is garbage. Yeah, he should've never lost to Seattle and you can make the case that he deserves to be fired. But it's not about whether or not he deserves it, it's about whether or not the Jets are better off without him. My guess is they won't be.

As for why the Jets fired Mangini, it's clear the Jets did not have a much better coach they knew they could get. So the question is did Mangini have a chance to turn the Jets around? I think he most certainly did. He's got the ability and he was just getting to know these players. Remember Bill Belichick got fired from his first coaching job with the Browns. How do you think they feel about that?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mike Shanahan Fired

Mike Shanahan just got fired after 14 years with the Broncos. Let the speculation on Shanahan's landing place begin.

Giants Injuries

Sam Madison was just put on injured reserve and is going to miss the playoffs. This isn't a big deal for the Giants as his role has been diminishing, but it does hurt their depth. Crafty corners like Madison can always come in handy.

More importantly, the Giants have the bye week to get Brandon Jacobs, Justin Tuck, and Aaron Ross healthy.

Tuck played some against the Vikings and should be close to 100% by next week. Jacobs and Ross should be fine and I think Jacobs could've played if the game meant something to the Giants.

Jets Coach and Quarterback News

There are conflicting reports out there. Some say that Cowher is telling teams he's going to wait til next year and others say that Cowher is going to listen to what the Jets have to say. My guess is deep down he doesn't want to coach next year, but for the right price he could coach the Jets. Still a long shot in my eyes, but at least they are going to talk.

As for the quarterback position, reports are coming out that Favre was hurt.

Unless his eyesight was impaired it doesn't justify him throwing interceptions directly to the other team.

How do you think Mangini feels about naming his son after Brett Favre? Zach Brett Mangini is probably going to get a name change.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Andruw Jones to the Mets?

There are reports that the Mets are talking to the Dodgers about trading for Andruw Jones. I;m sure the Dodgers would pay a large part of his salary but this seems like a dumb move to me. The last two years he's hit .222 and .158 respectively and has shown diminishing power. I'm sure they could get him on the cheap but there have to be better options for the Mets right now.

UPDATE: Looks like the Mets are back off. Smart move if you ask me

Mangini Fired

Woody Johnson tipped us off to this one. I had very high hopes when the Jets hired Mangini that he was going to be a career coach for the Jets. I feared that he was too young and needed more experience. Experience that he would get with the Jets and then go on to be a terrific coach.

I don't like this move because I don't think it was very well thought out. Who are the Jets going to get? Is Cowher coming? It doesn't seem like it, but money could make anything happen I guess.

The Jets had a whole new defense, a new quarteback and a new offensive line. It takes time to learn about a team. I don't think 1 year was enough. Look at the Giants with Coughlin. Patience can pay off. Now the Jets start over.

Poor Lions

I usually stick to NY sports, but you have to feel bad for Lions fans.

This has to go down as the worst play of the year. The Lions lost this game 12-10.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The King of Queens?

Mangini is looking more and more like Kevin James with every loss. The only difference is he doesn't have Jerry Stiller to make this funny.

Maybe we should've listened to Broadway Joe. I think he's trying to say Chad is a good quarterback, but Suzy Kolber is too hard for any man to resist...

The results are in....

The Giants continued to perform. Even in defeat they showed will to win and depth in a game that meant nothing to them. The week off should do them well considering Jacobs and Tuck are slightly banged up. Their first opponent will be the Falcons, Cardinals, or Eagles. You have to believe the Giants would be able to handle all of these teams, but the Eagles would scare me the most.

As predicted it didn't matter for the Jets. The Pats won in a monsoon and the Ravens won easily. That being said, it would've been nice to see the Jets win. It would also be nice to see Brett not throw pick-6's. The silver lining is that they knocked the Pats out of the playoffs. I never thought it would happen like this.

Knicks Struggling

It should come as no surprise that the Knicks are struggling. Going into the year we all knew the Knicks would be more exciting to watch, but far from a playoff team. The cap-clearing trades crushed any hope of a successful 2008-2009, but it had to be done. The Knicks competing for a playoff spot would be nice, but taking a run at the free agent class in 2010 will be nicer.

D'Antoni seems frustrated, but Knicks fans are used to this. I've seen enough terrible basketball as a result of quick-fix rebuilding to be patient for 2 more years.

Keep the faith...

What keeps the Yankees up at night?

CC: Can you believe we got all this money?
AJ: Why do you think I tried so hard against them last year?
CC: You want to get something to eat after this?
AJ: Nah, my elbow hurts

Derek Lowe to the Mets?

GM Omar Minaya has told everyone that nothing is imminent, but this signing would make a lot of sense. After adding both K-Rod and Putz the pen looks pretty solid. The rotation is pretty questionable, especially with Perez still testing the free agent waters. Lowe isn't an ace, but he's a solid 3. With the Yankees out of the way and the Red Sox not biting, the Mets have to be the front runner at this point.

Another thing to look out for is the Mets joining the Manny Ramirez race. We know Minaya loves him and they could use a left fielder. I'm not convinced in Delgado putting up big numbers in 2009. Bringing Manny back to NY is a huge risk because there will be a ton of distractions. But the guy can hit and they might be able to get him on the cheap. I think it just comes down to Minaya convincing ownership. Stay tuned.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

New York Football this weekend

It's the last week of the season and the Jets and Giants are headed in opposite directions.

Can the Jets right the ship? I think so, but unfortunately they are going to need help. The Jets need to win and have either the Patriots or Ravens lose for them to make the playoffs. A Jets win and Pats loss and the Jets win the division. A Jets win and a Ravens loss and the Jets are the six seed.

First, can the Jets win? I certainly think so. The Dolphins have been playing well but they aren't that good. The Chiefs almost beat them last week. Sure, Chad Pennington is going to be motivated but we've all seen enough of him to know his limitations. I really think the Jets will pull this one out.

The bigger problem is that the Pats are at the Bills and the Ravens are at home against the Jags. I find it hard to believe the Pats are going to lose this game. They have too much experience and they are too well coached. The Ravens at home against a Jaguars team that has nothing to play for? The Ravens defense alone is probably good enough to win this one by themselves. Crazy things happen in the NFL, but I see both the Pats and the Ravens winning these games.

As for the Giants? Sit your stars. Momentum is great, but if David Carr has to start in the playoffs it won't matter.

Yankees Spending Spree

The biggest story in New York sports has to be the Yankees right now. After spending almost 500 million dollars on free agents the team is starting to take shape.

Here's my quick breakdown of the signings:

CC Sabathia - it's a lot of money and you know he didn't really want to come to New York. That being said the Yanks had to do it. If you are going to spend money, spend it on elite players and Sabathia has proven himself to be just that. Especially after they passed on Santana last year they had to do this. They haven't had a bona fide ace in 5 or 6 years and they haven't won a world series either.

AJ Burnett - I hope the Yankees watched some games other than just the ones he pitched against the Yankees. Burnett was dominant against the Yankees, 3-1 with a 1.64 ERA, but not outstanding against everyone else. For the year he was 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA. Don't get me wrong, I'd take that especially in lieu some of the Yankees starters last year. But considering last year was only his third season throwing over 175 innings and that he got hurt after the previous two, I'm pretty worried about this guy's arm.

Mark Teixeira - believe it or not the Yanks needed another bat. The offense in 2007 was dominant, last year it was average. For as bad as the starting pitching was, the offense didn't bail them out. Again, it's a lot of money for Teixeira, but he's only 28, fills a void at first base, and can take the Yanks offense back to where it was in 2007.

Overall, it's hard to argue with what they are doing. They went out and got the top players to fill their needs. If Burnett stays healthy they have to be the favorites right now.

Looking forward, despite reports that Pettitte isn't coming back I don't buy it. I think they'll wind up resigning him. Also, its looking more and more that Matsui or Swisher is on the way out. My guess is Matsui because Swisher is more versatile and Matsui's injuries are a concern.