Sunday, March 8, 2009
Key Subtractions: Brett Favre, Laveranues Coles, Mike Nugent
Key Retentions: Tony Richardson
Rex Ryan is making his impact already on the defense side of the ball. Bringing in two former Ravens, Bart Scott and Jim Leonhard, Ryan is sending a message to the team and to the league that the Jets defense has designs on being as good and as physical as the Ravens.
The good news is that Ryan may have the personnel to do it. Yes, Ed Reed and Ray Lewis are not here, but the Jets defense is loaded with talent.
Revis and Rhodes have alsways been studs and now they have replaced two marginal performers with potential All-Pros in Leonhard and Sheppard. On paper this secondary is as good as any in football. That should take pressure off the front seven, but I'm not sure they need pressure taken off them.
On the inside Bart Scott partners up with David Harris. These two big, physical linebackers should be able to control the middle of the field, opening up the pass rush for Calvin Pace, Vernon Gholston, and Bryan Thomas. The key to the defense is Kris Jenkins. If he can stay healthy and stay fresh for the whole season, expect big things from this Jets team. The Jets would be wise to sign or draft someone to take some snaps off his hands because he clearly wore down as the season went on.
The problem for the Jets is on the offensive side of the ball. Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff? I'm not exactly confident. Add to the mix that these QBs have lost a reliable target in Coles and you have to wonder how the Jets are going to score points.
Looking forward, I still think the Jets need a veteran QB to help in case these youngsters implode. Second, the Jets need a reciever. The draft is deep in WR, but it's hard to rely on rookies.
Key Subtractions: Derrick Ward
Key Retentions: Brandon Jacobs, David Carr
The Giants have made an obvious effort to add to the front 7 on defense. Last season the Giants lost Michael Strahan and immediately thereafter Osi Umenyiora was lost for the season due to injury. Players like Justin Tuck stepped up, but fatigued by the end of the year. In order to have a dominant defense, you have to have depth and the Giants have added that.
We knew the Giants couldn't keep both Jacobs and Ward so they stuck with their number 1 back this off-season. Bradshaw has a much better chance of replacing Ward than he does Jacobs. The Giants should be wary of giving Jacobs a long-term contract because running backs don't fare well when they get to be his age.
Overall, I like what the Giants did. You can never have too many athletes on defense. I'm not sure how Canty will fit in, considering the Giants already have Tuck, Osi, and Kiwanuka. That being said, expect the Giants defense to give opposing team a lot of different looks. The Giants won the Super Bowl due to the strength of their front 7, so they are rightfully reinforcing it.
The Giants still need to figure out their WR situation. It's a deep WR-Draft, but rookie WR often struggle. We'll see where the go from here, but I suspect Plaxico will be back.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
My favorite quotes are "I shoot to win because I shoot to win. And that's it." and "I want to create jobs for everyone on this Earth."
I recognize this is a long clip. But please at least watch the last minute. Bruce Beck is a joke.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
What a disaster the Marbury era was. More than anything it is such a disappointment. A native New Yorker with all the skills to be great, I always wanted Marbury to one day be a Knick. Now I'm so glad he's gone I can't express it in words.
At least he made this contribution:
Monday, February 23, 2009
The reason the Knicks lost? They can't win on the road. Currently 7-20 on the road, things will have to change if they are going to make a playoff push.
The good news is they have 5 of their next 6 games at home against mostly beatable opponents. If the Knicks can go 5-1 or 4-2 it will show a lot about their potential to make the playoffs. Anything less and things will be tough.
Right now they are only 3.5 games behind the Bucks who do not have Michael Redd. In expect the Bucks to fade down the stretch and don't look now but the Pistons are in free fall mode. I bet they won't make the playoffs. That means all the Knicks have to do is catch the Bulls or the Nets and not let anyone skip them. It starts in the next game versus the Pacers.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Either way the Knicks are on the way to being saved. Obviously getting Lebron would be unbelievable, but even if they can only secure Chis Bosh or Amare Stoudemire plus a perimeter player, they are going to have a chance to be very good in the near future. In the meanwhile, we have a team we can root for to make the playoffs. It's nice to have some basketball to care about. In time, the Garden will return to form and stop cheering for opposing players. The Isiah Era hasn't fully be washed away but it's fading fast.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
1. Trade Jerome James, Tim Thomas, and Anthony Roberson to the Chicago Bulls for Larry Hughes.
The contracts cancel out here because James and Thomas come off the books after next season and so does Hughes' contract. In the meanwhile, the Knicks get a shooting guard that can step in and help them immediately. When disciplined, Hughes can score on defend. He'll help prevent opposing shooting guard from scoring 61 points at MSG. I'm not a huge Hughes fan, but he should help a lot as the Knicks try and make a playoff push. It goes without saying, good riddance to James and Thomas.
2. Trade Malik Rose to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Chris Wilcox.
Someone explain to me why the Thunder would do this. First, the send back Tyson Chandler because he has been injured. Getting Chandler for Wilcox and Joe Smith was a steal in my opinion, so they must believe he is seriously injured. Then they turn around and trade for Malik Rose? The contracts for Rose and Wilcox come off ater this year, but Wilcox still has upside, while Rose is finished. This should add some additional muscle and athleticism to the Knicks front court.
I think both Hughes and Wilcox will do well under D'Antoni. I didn't think the Knicks were a playoff team before, but now I think they have a very good chance.
Walsh continues to prove he's a pretty shrewd GM. I think the Knicks are finally in good hands.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
The Knicks would love to unload one of their longer dated contracts, namely Eddy Curry and Jared Jeffries. There is probably no interest in Curry and who could possibly want Jeffries?
At the same time the Knicks have two very marketable commodities in David Lee and Nate Robinson. Both are playing great basketball right now and could really help a playoff team. Why would the Knicks trade these players? Both a restricted free agents after this year. Someone will offer them contracts past 2010 and the Knicks may lose them for nothing. At this point Donnie Walsh needs to evaluate if the Knicks can get more now or via a sign and trade this summer. To me the sign and trade is a big risk.
No one will trade for Stephon Marbury unless they are looking to unload a contract, but this scenario is pretty irrelevant because the Knicks won't take a big contract back.
If the Knicks do anything they will have to move either Lee or Robinson. In order to make it worth it to them, look for Walsh to try and force either Curry or Jeffries on whichever team wants Lee or Robinson. It sounds like nothing is going to happen, but I wouldn't count anything out. Before people scream about trading Lee and Robinson, remember the D'Antoni effect. Everyone puts up bigger numbers under D'Antoni and thus have inflated value. If the Knicks can get back a 1st round pick plus some cap relief, they will make a move.
The Nets appear to be actively shopping Vince Carter. One rumor had them dealing Vince for Tracy McGrady but that's likely dead due to McGrady's injury (plus why would you want McGrady). Portland is also a possible destination for Vinsanity, but I personally don't think they need him. There's to much potential for corruption there. The Cavs claim to be out of it, but if they can convince NJ to trade him for Wally-World's expiring contract how could they pass up on that? Carter would be a nice complement to Lebron and take a lot of the scoring pressure off. A backcourt of Mo Williams, Vince Carter, and Lebron James would present a lot of match-up problems for the Cavs rivals.
My guess is the Nets sit tight and try to make a playoff run. Unless blown away, the Nets will sit back.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The guy is a disgraceful person. It's sickening what he's done and at some point that has to count for something.
I know he's gone to jail and we are supposed to forgive him. But before you do, re-read the stories about what he did and see if you can. I certainly can't and I won't forgive the Jets either.
For Knicks fans, it's nice to have something to cheer for. Check out some of the dunks below.
It's sad to see such a great career fizzle out, but the Jets are better off. The cap relief was a must and now they can move forward. Look for them to sign a veteran such as Jeff Garcia or Byron Leftwich to pair with Kellen Clemens this season. Sounds Rex will have to bring it on defense to me.
Friday, February 13, 2009
"While Alex deserves credit for publicly confronting the issue, there is no valid excuse for using such substances, and those who use them have shamed the game."How Selig can say this with a straight face? He's done nothing while this whole travesty occurred. He let Barry Bonds who was obviously juicing break the sports most hallowed record. Is Selig pretending like he didn't know about this? Bud Selig shamed the game by letting the Players Union and greed destroy the history of the sport. I can't say for sure that he knew players were juicing, but he certainly should've been able to figure it out considering how many players have now been caught.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
This has become a familiar tune:
1. Everyone was doing it and you needed to do it to keep up
2. I did it to help my team
3. I'm sorry to the fans
This is all old hat by now. But what I took from this interview that really struck me is what A-Rod didn't say. He almost said it. He almost said that baseball knew this was going on. That Selig, the owners, the players, the teams all knew it was going on. That's the even bigger story here. Selig's head has to roll. He can't take on the players or the players union because he was an accomplice. We need a new commissioner who can try to turn the page.
Here's the bulk of his interview. Wait for the long pause towards the beginning where you can see he wants to blame baseball. He wants to blame baseball for letting this happen. I think he wanted to say that he knows he is the most talented player in baseball. He was scared that players worse than him would be better than him if they took steroids and he didn't. Alex can't live with not being recognized as being the best so he did it. That's what he wants to say.
I believe Alex is a great player with or without steroids. I don't group him with Bonds who's career might have been over several years earlier if he didn't use steroids and he continued to use steroids even after everyone knew. But the fact remains, a cheat is a cheat is a cheat. I can't ever look at him the same.
This is pretty comical....
Sunday, February 8, 2009
This really sucks for a lot of reasons. Most notably because the best player in the sport is a fraud. Part of the reason we could ignore Bonds breaking the home run record is because we knew A-Rod would break it. But now what's the difference?
The great thing about baseball is history. Who hasn't heard stories about Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, etc. Forty years from now who are we going to tell stories about? Even those not explicitly implicated we'll always have to doubt how great they truly were. And those who we know didn't use steroids will not have the MVPs, batting titles, home runs titles, etc. that they deserve and signify greatness. The biggest crime of all this is the destruction of baseball history. The Black Sox, Pete Rose, whatever else you can think of pale in comparison to the magnitude of this cheating. It will no doubt destroy the game for many fans and lead everyone to question the integrity of our so called heroes. I love baseball too much to turn my back on the sport, but they certainly do make you want to abandon it.
Isn't it time we impeach Bud Selig? The guy is a complete joke. I understand no one is jumping at the job, but anyone would be better. His incompetence is only rivaled by his negligence. He's destroying our nation's pastime with each day he is in office. The Players Union ought to be ashamed of themselves as well. They knew this was going on and did nothing. What a disgrace. Lucky for them we expect so little from them this is hardly a surprise.
As for the Yankees, what can you do? Recognizing that everyone uses steroids, you can't punish the guy. Just tell him not to do it again. Unfortunately for us fans, the last 15 years of baseball are basically meaningless. Everyone we thought was great we should erase from our memory. We'll have to wait until the next generation of players to rebuild the sport.
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
More importantly, I sat in by far the best seats of my life, 2 rows behind the announcers. I shook hands with Walt "Clyde" Frazier, who seems like a very good guy. He shook everyone's hand, signed autographs, whatever people wanted.
Can Lebron top 61 tonight? I wouldn't bet against him, but unfortunately I won't be there to see it.
Here are some other pictures from the night:
The man of the hour....
Jay-Z amongst the blur...
Bobby Bacala and Clyde...
I have some more of better quality that I haven't gotten a chance to upload, so more to come.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) vs. Arizona Cardinals
Super Bowl XLIII is only half what the experts expected. Everyone knew Pittsburgh would maintain their status as a perennial contender, but Arizona is new to this stage.
What are some of the storylines?
Mike Tomlin vs. Ken Whisenhunt: These two hard nosed coaches are looking to build their own legacy. Tomlin is a promising young coach who has shown that no stage is too big for him. From the looks of things the Steelers have found a coach for the next decade. You have to hand it to the Rooney family, they run a great organization. Whisenhunt was passed up for the Steelers head coaching job, but apparently it was a win-win decision for the Steelers. Whisenhunt may have a bit of a chip on his shoulder and comes into this game with something to prove. Whisenhunt will have to provide an X's and O's advantage if the Cardinals are to win this game. The Steelers defense is too good and Tomlin preaches execution too well for the Cardinals to simply outplay them. Whisenhunt has to have a strategic advantage or they won't win, and unfortunately for him I think the Steelers will be prepared for the "throw it to Larry Fitzgerald" gameplan.
Which QB wins 2 Super Bowls? Some say that Kurt Warner has already solidified himself as a Hall of Famer, but I don't see it yet. He's had a very up and down career. At his peak he's been dominant, but not for long enough. However, 2 Super Bowl wins with two different teams is pretty impressive. Super Bowl wins with the Rams and Cardinals? That's unbelievable. For Ben Roethlisberger he has a chance to build a reputation as one of the greatest winners of all time. He'll be turning 27 this March and may have 2 Super Bowl victories under his belt. That gives him a great chance to win 4 or 5 which would make him the winningest QB of all time.
Larry Fitzgerald & Anquon Boldin: There's a lot of pressure on this guy to deliver. He's on everyone's radar now as the new Randy Moss with a good attitude. Now he plays the league's best defense on the grandest stage. A big performance could immortalize him, a bad one and people will be wondering what happened. Anquon Boldin is making his reputation as the new Terrell Owens. He's doing himself a disservice because he plays hard for his team. Let's see how he responds because the Cardinals need him to take attention away from Fitzgerald.
These three storylines will probably decide this game. The Cardinals have had some success running the ball the last 3 games against NFC opponents. This has given their offense the necessary balance to make it this far. I can almost guarentee that they will not have success this week. The Steelers run defense is elite and will only require 7 men to shut down the run. Thus, either Warner, Boldin, and Fitzgerald need to make magic or Whisenhunt needs to out-strategize the Steelers defense. I have to think the Steelers will do everything they can to take away the former, so it's up to Whisenhunt. Luckily for the Cardinals, he knows the Steelers as well as anyone. Unluckily for the Cardinals, the Steelers know him.
It's easy to pick against Arizona, but scary at the same time. They've proven us wrong many times and beat Philly and Carolina, both of which were supposed to be physical tehe'll make up teams with good defenses. The difference here is that Roethlisberger won't give this game away. I don't see him having a huge game, but he won't play nearly as badly as he did in his last Super Bowl appearence. With the Steelers taking care of the ball, expect them to wear down the Cardinals and eventually pull away.
Steelers 30, Cardinals 13
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Super Bowl preview tomorrow.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
No matter what though, it's clear that he has made negative comments about his players and the Yankees. Why tarnish those years? The answer is money.
If these comments are true Torre really should be ashamed. He showed himself to be above it all during his time with the Yankees and is an all-time favorite of Yankee fans for his success, but also his class. I for one am pretty disappointed.
Monday, January 26, 2009
You have to love the Yankees rotation of:
I'm still in favor of putting Hughes in the rotation and Joba in the pen. The rotation will still be excellent and they would have the best bullpen in the majors. The plus side of keeping Hughes in AAA is that if Pettitte or Burnett get hurt, they have a possible replacement.
More importantly, I'm glad Andy is back with the Yankees where he belongs.
Friday, January 23, 2009
I stumbled across this and thought it was pretty funny. A lot of NY coaches made the cut, but Herm gets a lot of time at the beginning. Does anyone know what he's talking about when he brings up the reporter's wife's dessert?
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I saw a rumor that the Jets were going to pursue Ray Lewis now that they have hired Rex Ryan. This certainly will not happen.
The Jets need the following this off-season:
Quarterback: If Brett comes back they have no choice, he's their starter. If not there aren't many great options out there. Jeff Garcia is probably the best available.
Reciever: They need a big play reciever. Coles and Cotchery are good, but they are both possession type players. Boldin is available, but it's not worth spending that much on a reciever. I like trying to draft Jeremy Maclin, but I think he'll be gone. TJ Housmanzadeh, Antonio Bryant, and Lance Moore are probably the three best free agents. None are great choices because TJ may be franchised and will cost a lot of money, Bryant is a nightmare in the locker room, and Moore is a restricted free agent so it will cost the Jets draft picks.
Cornerback: Most people believe they need one. I don't believe so because I think Lowery can do the job.
Luckily for the Jets they don't have many holes. But QB is a big one.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Apparently it didn't sit with with Danilo. I think it's pretty funny.
Monday, January 19, 2009
1. Apparently the finalists for the position were Rex Ryan and Brian Schottenheimer. Brian Schottenheimer? Are you serious? Marty must have a large stake in Johnson and Johnson that Woody is worried about him selling. Didn't the Jets fire Mangini because he only managed 3 point against the Seahawks? Didn't the Jets fire Mangini because the team, including the offense, collapsed during the stretch? Didn't the Jets fire Mangini because he couldn't control Favre? AND YET Brian Schottenheimer almost gets the head coaching job? Are you SERIOUS?
2. Rex Ryan has zero head coaching experience. I'm not sure he's ever been the head coach of a high school team. He has two sons, I have to assume he's coached them, but it's unclear if he was head coach in any of those situations.
3. Rex Ryan was almost let go with Brian Billick last year. He interviewed for jobs with the Dolphins and Falcons and got neither.
4. Sure the Ravens defense is great. But do you think its because of Rex Ryan? He has two coaches on the field at the most important positions in Ray Lewis and Ed Reed. Now, the Jets have pretty good players in David Harris and Kerry Rhodes at those positions, but I'm not going to embarrass David and Kerry by comparing them.
5. How good has former Ravens DC Marvin Lewis been with the Bengals. Not very.
Now, I'm sure Rex Ryan can coach. He may even be good for all I know. But there are a lot of question marks that make it a bad decision to fire Mangini. Does anyone believe Ryan has a greater chance of being successful? I don't see what would lead anyone to believe that. Also, had they kept Mangini for one more year and it still didn't work out, they'd have access to the free agent coaching class of 2010, which includes Mike Shanahan, Bill Cowher, and Mike Holmgren. Instead, they replace their coach with yet another question mark.
Brian Schottenheimer? REALLY?
The Arizona Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl for the first time in their franchise history, but they certainly didn't make it easy. At halftime, the Cardinals were up 24-6 and things looked very good for them to coast into the big game. However, the Eagles battled back and actually took a 25-24 lead in the 4th quarter. At this point, I was certainly thinking, "same old Cardinals."
Then Kurt Warner, with a lot of help from Tim Hightower, orchestrated a drive to put them up 32-25 and Donovan McNabb could not match. The Eagles 1-4 record in NFC Championship games speaks for itself, but consider they were favored in most of them and it will make Philly fans sick. I'm still not sold on this Cardinals team, but they continue to prove me wrong.
As for Pittsburgh, they did exactly what I thought they would. The miracle run for Joe Flacco ended aburptly as the Ravens offense could get nothing going. The Steeler defense made a statement loud and clear: We're the best defense in the NFL and it's not even close.
Big winner this weekend? Bill Cowher. Two of his assistants will be facing off in the Super Bowl. I'm sure we'll hear a lot about this story next week. More to come on the Super Bowl...
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at Arizona Cardinals
This might easily be the least predictable NFC Championship match-up in the history of the NFL. So it's fitting the #6 seed in the conference is favored. The Eagles have been on a roll capped by their dismantling of the defending champs last week. Also, the Eagles beat the Cardinals 48-20 on Thanksgiving Evening. At the same time, the Cardinals have completely turned their season around and dominated the Panthers. I want to take the Cardinals because their running game has picked it up and their defense has played well. But remember, Jake Delhomme gift-wrapped that game for the Cardinals. The Cardinals' fans will be loud and the team will be ready to play but I don't see the Eagles getting phased. I'm confident that the Eagles won't give the game away and they won't let the Cardinals run the ball. So, can Warner, Fitzgerald, and Boldin make enough plays to steal this one? My view is that they can't.
Eagles 27 - Cardinals 20
Baltimore Ravens (-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers
This is going to be a brawl. Once again two physical teams are squaring off in a grudge match. Expect the Ravens to be up to their usual antics. They are going to fly to the ball and their defense will make plays. However, the Titans were able to move the ball against them last week and turnovers saved the Ravens from giving up points. If the Steelers take care of the ball, they will win this game. The Ravens need 10 points minimum to be set up by the defense to have a chance. I don't see it happening. With Willie Parker back in the fold and the momentum of a 35 point performance, I confident the Steelers will pull this one out.
Steelers 22 - Ravens 10
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Mets have obviously had a change of heart from how they used to do business. They gave Glavine and Pedro multi-year deals when no one else would due to their age. If they had offered Lowe a fourth year earlier they might have gotten him. They are going through the same thing with Oliver Perez right now.
The reality is, the Mets could contend with the team they have right now. A starting pitcher or two and a bat for the middle of the order can put them over the top. Considering they are moving into a new stadium and the Yankees have been on an epic spending spree, I'm surprised they didn't pony up for Lowe.
On a side note, why isn't anyone signing Ben Sheets? I know he has a history of injuries and is now 30, but AJ Burnett has had injuries and isn't getting younger either. For my money, I'd rather have Sheets. His cost must be dropping so I think the Mets and Yankees (although especially the Mets) should go after this guy. If he can stay healthy, he's a number 1 starter.
The Rangers were able to come back a defeat the Isle's 2-1 behind 33 saves by Goalie Henrik Lundqvist. After a hot start the Rangers have been playing mediocre. If they are going to turn it around and hold on to their division lead, they are going to need this level of play from their goalie.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
"I know for a fact Eddy’s not gay."I never though I'd see this story. Another Isiah addition finding himself in trouble. I hope this doesn't damage his trade value, but how could it not?
Monday, January 12, 2009
So I'm going to make a case as to why NY fans should support each team.
Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers are a classic team and for some fans it is strange to see a team like the Cardinals win the Super Bowl. For traditionalists, the Steelers are the pick. Also, head coach Mike Tomlin is pretty likeable. At age 36 he can win his first Super Bowl in what looks like it will be a pretty successful career. Finally, James Harrison is one of the best stories in the NFL. Harrison is the first Defense Player of the Year to have gone undrafted. Harrison was not only undrafted, but he was cut four times earlier in his career. It's easy to root for someone with that much determination, so the Steelers could be your team.
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens are the villains of the NFL Playoffs. Am I the only one who feels like the Ravens are like a bad guy from the WWF? So if you like that sort of thing, then you'll be rooting for the Ravens. Also, who is more exciting to watch then Ed Reed? The answer is no one. If you don't believe me, watch his record setting pick six.
Arizona Cardinals: Everyone loves an underdog. No one thought the Cardinals would get this far and now they are one home win away from the Super Bowl. They are fun to watch. They have a wide open offense and Warner fits their system perfectly. They have Larry Fitzgerald and he does things like this.
Philadelphia Eagles: If you are a New York fan there is no way you can root for the Eagles. For Giants fans this is obvious. But even for Jets fans they should not be your team. They've already won the World Series and they are a rival city to NY. Pick one of the other three.
I believe the hall should be only for the truly elite players and Rickey clearly makes the list, which is why I was glad to see he was a first ballot inductee.
Clearly, Rickey is the best lead off hitter of all time. He holds the career record for must runs scored (2295) and most stolen bases (1406). To give you an idea of the type of seasons he used to put up, in 1990 he won the AL MVP with the following stats: .325 Avg, .439 OBP, 119 R, 28 HR, 61 RBI, 65 SB.
Rickey played for many teams over 25 seasons including the Yankees and Mets. He played 4 full seasons for the Yankees from 1985 to 1988 and scored an average of 118 runs a year, making the all-star team in all 4 seasons.
Later in his career Rickey played for the Mets and helped them make a playoff run in 1999. He'll most be remembered for his time with the Oakland A's and will certainly be inducted wearing an A's hat.
Congrats to an all-time great.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
It will take some time to get perspective on the season, but a few things are apparent for the Giants going forward.
1. They need a play maker at receiver. I'm not saying it should be Plaxico Burress, but they have to replace his production on the field.
2. Justin Tuck had a good game despite being banged up, but having Osi Umenyiora back should make a big difference. Tuck was being doubled a lot and with Osi back in the fold that can't happen.
3. The Giants have a tough decision on Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward. Both had good years, but Jacobs was the primary guy. However, giving running backs big contracts almost never works out and considering his history of injuries and running style, the Giants are in a tough spot.
More to come, but today was certainly a tough day for Giants fans.
The real Cinderella story is the Arizona Cardinals. I thought for sure that the Panthers would handle them, but the Cardinals dominated Carolina on their home turf. This game was over by halftime. The final was 33-13, and it was 27-7 at halftime. I find myself liking the Cardinals because they are so fun to watch. Their style of offense makes for an entertaining game. We'll see how far they can take it, but to me they are the underdog team of 2009 and the Super Bowl is now in reach.
As for the Giants game the weather report is for it to be very cold, but no precipitation. That's a good thing because at a Giants-Eagles game you know snowballs would be a problem. Then again that would be fun to watch.
As said in an earlier post, I like the Giants 21-16. I think it will be close, but I could see the Giants running away with this one as well. The Eagles have looked good the last two weeks, but remember the Cowboys played awful and the Vikings don't have a quarterback. Also, the Eagles lost 10-3 to the Redskins in a must win for Philly the week before, so they aren't that good.
Enjoy the games.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Chris Snee - Offensive Guard, 1st Team
Justin Tuck - Defensive End, 1st Team
Madison Hedgecock - Fullback, 2nd Team
David Diehl - Offensive Tackle, 2nd Team
Shaun O'Hara - Center, 2nd Team
John Carney - Kicker, 2nd Team
Leon Washington - Kick Returner, 1st Team
Alan Faneca - Offensive Guard, 2nd Team
Kris Jenkins - Defensive Tackle, 2nd Team
It's sad to see Giambi go, but it had to happen. He's not getting any younger and he didn't produce the way the Yankees had hoped when they signed him. In seven seasons with the Yankees, Giambi's average season was .260 AVG, 30 HR, and 86 RBI which is a far cry from the .342 AVG, 38 HR, 120 RBI he hit the year before the Yankees signed him. Add to that no World Series titles and the steroids scandal and it was pretty disappointing. But overall the guy gave the Yankees decent production and plenty of funny stories including his lucky golden thong and this year's moustahce.
I think most Yankee fans certainly wish him well in Oakland. But not too well, because adding Giambi and Matt Holliday to Oakland's roster could make them dangerous. I wouldn't sleep on the A's, especially with K-Rod and Teixeira leaving LA.
While most fans will miss Giambi, they certainly won't miss Carl Pavano. This guy is a complete bum and what's worse is now he's whining about it.
"When you're down, you expect your organization to pick you up, not kick you when you're down. I've had to pick myself up quite a few times the last four years."Carl, how exactly did you pick yourself up? You barely even pitched until right before you contract was up. I don't know how hurt the guy was or if he could've pitched. But it's quotes like this that make you think the guy had no heart. Carl do you really not get it? You got paid $40+ million to do absolutely nothing. The team desperately needed you at times and you couldn't even get on the field. How do you expect to be treated?
I am worried that AJ Burnett could be Carl Pavano 2. Here's hoping that doesn't happen.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Baltimore Ravens (+3) at Tennessee Titans
Is there a more exciting defensive player than Ed Reed? He's as big a threat as anyone to score on Saturday. In a battle of two physical, defense teams, the question is which defense will be able to set up their offense for easy points. Earlier in the season when these teams met, the Titans won 13-10. It was Flacco's 4th game and he threw two interceptions. I think he'll do a better job taking care of the ball and the Ravens defense will find a way to put up points. The Ravens are a sexy pick right now, which makes me nervous, but I like them to win this one. Take the Ravens with the points and check out Ed's return skills.
Ravens 23 - Titans 10
Arizona Cardinals (+9.5) at Carolina Panthers
The Cardinals were 3-5 on the road this year, while the Panthers went 8-0 at home. The Panthers barely got into this bye position on a last second field goal by John Kasay, but I think the week off will probably do them well. In games like this you have to pick the more physical team. It's hard to give 9.5 points when the Cardinals can score as well as they do, but the Cardinals proved down the stretch that they are soft, so I expect the Panthers to win this one easily.
Panthers 34 - Cardinals 20
San Diego Chargers (+5.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers
Earlier in the season the Steelers beat the Chargers 11-10, although they should've won by more. A controversial call on a Troy Polamalu fumble return caused the Steelers not to cover and angered many sportsbetters. With LaDainian Tomlinson hurt again this week, the question is can the Chargers put enough points on the board to beat the Steelers. The Steelers offense is dreadful and the Charges have been hot, but I don't think there will be very much scoring. I like the Steelers in a close one, but I think the Chargers will cover. Check out Polamalu's play. There's no way that was a forward pass, but even if it was the refs got the rule wrong. Either way people who bet on the Steelers were robbed.
Steelers 14 - Chargers 13
Philadelphia Eagles (+4) at New York Giants
The Eagles and Giants have played two tight games this year with the Giants winning one 36-31 and the Eagles winning the other 20-14. The difference in these games was the Giants ability to run the ball. In their win the Giants ran for 219 yards headlined by Jacobs gaining 126 yards at about 6 yard per carry. In the Giants only home loss of the season, the Eagles limited the Giants to only 88 yards. The week of rest should do the Giants well as it helps Jacobs get healthy. I think this will be a tight one because the Eagles are playing so well, but the Giants defense and running game should carry them through to the next round. The Giants will be ready to play and if you don't believe me, listen to Justin:
"You know what, I think people make football more complicated than it necessarily needs to be. You got a helmet, a jersey, some cleats, and some pads and you go out and beat the guy in front of you. If you need a speech to go do that, then you shouldn't be here."http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1qsTipf228
Weather may be a factor here, so I don't think they'll be too much scoring.
Giants 21 - Eagles 16
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
There are a lot of great match-ups in this game, but the last two BCS Championship Games have been blowouts. Florida and LSU beat up on Ohio State and placed the SEC on a pedestal as the premiere conference in college football. Will Oklahoma suffer a similar fate?
We've all read about Oklahoma's prolific offense which scored 60+ points in its last 6 games. They haven't played a defense as good as Florida's, but they are going to score points. The key to this game is whether or not Oklahoma will be able to prevent Florida's offense and special teams units from making big plays.
The Sooner front four on defense is very solid, lead by projected top-10 pick DT Gerald McCoy. However, their back seven lacks speed and may be susceptible to big plays. Brandon James' return ability is a huge factor as well.
The last two games were decided by the fact that the SEC defenses boasted a clear speed advantage to the Ohio State offense. Ohio State couldn't score and Florida and LSU blew them out as a result. This year, it's Florida's speed on offense and Tebow's ability to make plays that will likely decide this game, but I don't see Heisman winner Sam Bradford going down without a fight.
Florida 42 - Oklahoma 34
As the Jets scramble to figure out who will be their next coach, the speed at which Mangini was hired should give them pause. As I've said from the start, firing him was an awful decision.
As reported last week, Jeff Jagodzinski was putting his job at risk by interviewing with the Jets this week. BC athletic director Gene DeFilippo gave Jagodzinski an ultimatum that if he interviewed with the Jets he would be fired and the AD followed through.
The Jets have the rare distinction of being responsible for the firing of two head coaches in one offseason.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
D'Antoni has come out a praised Lee for his effort and I think he genuinely likes him as a player. The bad news is that Lee is a restricted free agent this summer and will likely fetch a deal worth $7-10 million a year.
Of course the Knicks will not be able to pay this because they'll need that space in 2010. So, Lee is going to be gone sooner than later. With the trade deadline looming on February 19th, you have already started to hear rumors about Lee being traded. The latest rumor has him in a package going to Portland for some combination of Travis Outlaw, Channing Frye, Jerryd Bayless, and/or Rudy Fernandez. Eddy Curry has been mentioned as part of this deal as well.
Knicks fans understood the Crawford and Randolph trades because of the need to clear cap room. The "understanding" of Knicks fans will be tested with the trade of their favorite player. Donnie Walsh knows this, so expect the Knicks either to get something good for Lee (like Rudy Fernandez) or force the team that gets Lee to take Curry (clearing more room for 2010).
The bottom line is that Lee is a virtual lock to be traded.
"I'd been asking her for weeks and weeks, Where do you want to go? Where do you want me to play?" he related. "And she said, 'I want you to be happy. I just want you to be happy.' And finally, she said, 'I want you to be a Yankee.' So that's when it was done. And once we got the contract figured out, it was a no-brainer.Teixeira, who's childhood favorite player was Don Mattingly, seemed genuinely excited to be part of the Yankee franchise and be the first 1st baseman to play at the new Yankee Stadium. It cost the Yankees a lot of money, but Teixeira can hit for both power and average and is an excellent fielder. The Yankees offense was very disappointing last year, I don't expect that this year.
Check out the press conference below if you missed it. The message from management is pretty clear: they want to win every single year and will do whatever it takes.
At the same time there was some sad news in Yankeeland, Andy Pettitte declined the Yankees' 1-year $10 million offer. I was sad to see this happen considering all Andy has meant to the Yankees, but you can't blame the Yankees because Pettitte didn't pitch that well last year (14-14 W-L, 4.54 ERA, 158 Ks) and faded down the stretch. Considering Pettitte is typically much better in the second half of the season, this was a very bad sign. I think the Yankees will be looking for additional starting pitching and my guess is it will start with Ben Sheets. His injuries are scary, but when healthy he is an elite pitcher. The market is pretty quiet, so I don't think the Yankees will have to overpay.
Monday, January 5, 2009
The victory doesn't mean much for this season because the Knicks are struggling pretty badly and even a win over the Celtics won't change that. However, it is refreshing to see the Knicks finally beat the Big 3 after many lop-sided losses and trash talking.
Wilson Chandler is showing that Isiah didn't do everything wrong (I know, he did close to everything wrong). This guy can play and will be one of the few players on the team in 2010 (his contract isn't very big and goes through the 2010 season). It's especially exciting because he would complement any one of the big free agents in 2010.
Also worth noting is how good Al Harrington has been since being acquired. I really like Jamal Crawford and only liked the trade because it cleared cap space. However, Harrington has been a man on a mission averaging 23 points and 7 rebounds since joining the Knicks.
1. Jagodzinski gets fired and BC pays Jagodzinski for 3 years
2. Jets decide that after firing Mangini they need to make a bigger splash and pass on Jagodzinski
3. Boston College, Jagodzinski, and the Jets wish this never happened
The other possibility is that the Jets management is so enamored with Favre that they have prematurely fired their coach, alienated their best players, and now are trying to hire a coach they think can pursuade Favre to stay.
Note to Woody Johnson: 22 interceptions.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I expect this game to be close, but will give my predictions later in the week.
Speaking of predictions, SubwaySports went 3-1 this week against the spread. Not amazing, but I'll take it.
What's unclear is whether they will designate him with an "exclusive" or "non-exclusive" franchise tag. Exclusive franchise players have to be paid at least that average of the top 5 at his position based on salaries for the coming season or 120% of his salary, whichever is greater. Non-exclusive franchise players have to be paid at least that average of the top 5 at his position based on the previous seasons salaries or 120% of his salary, whichever is greater. Also, non-exclusive franchise players can negotiate with other teams, but the team that tags him has the right to match and if they don't match they get two first round picks.
So for Cassel he would get paid the average of the top 5 quarterback salaries, which comes out to about $14 million in addition to the $15 million that Brady is going to get paid. It will be interesting to see how this changes the Pats ability to pursue free agents. I wouldn't be surprised to see them use the non-exclusive tag figuring if they can get 2 first round picks it would be worth it.
For the Jets, if this happens it take another QB alternative off the market. There aren't many great options at QB who are free agents:
Warner and Collins are probably going back to Arizona and Tennessee, respectively. Other than that, Garcia is the only one I'd have any interest in if I'm the Jets. They also could trade for Derek Anderson, but that's pretty risky too. If they stick with Kellen Clemens, then they'll have to add someone as a back-up just in case.
Then again maybe Favre will come back. You never know with this guy.
Also, #3 Pitt was very impressive with a convincing win at #8 Georgetown 70-54. Pitt who is now 14-0 looks like the real deal this year. Pitt is good every year but rarely do I expect much of them tournament time. However, this year might be different for the following reasons:
1. They have a top tier floor general in Levance Fields, a Brooklyn product out of Xaverian High School.
2. They're also very good inside with DeJuan Blair who had 20 points and 17 rebounds this week.
3. They may have the big east player of the year in Sam Young who can score inside and outside.
If they can find some 3 point shooting, watch out.
My guess is after Ramirez signs you will here about discussions with the Dodgers (reunite with Torre) or the Giants regarding a Matsui trade.
The Yankees have been too quiet after the Teixeira signing. I don't think they're done.
Also, no Matsui post would be complete without a link to the story about his wife. If you don't know this story, you need to read it.
1. This blog is not Sportscenter, which talks about Favre ever 5 minutes
2. It's one of the more annoying stories that gets discussed 24/7
However, not surprisingly, Favre appears to be "leaning" towards retirement. I'll believe it when I see it, but it seems right. For the Jets sake, I really hope so.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Brett Favre: Finally let the sport go. Brett, it's time to retire. Every player probably wonders what could be if they came back for one more year, but now it's time to go. And don't drag it out either. You're still a beloved figure in NFL history, don't change that.
Jose Reyes: Up your on base percentage to .400. The Mets will need to score a lot of runs with their starting pitching and it starts with Reyes.
NY Yankees: Don't let all this money go to waste. Specifically, CC Sabathia's waist.
Stephon Marbury: If you are lucky enough to go to the Celtics, don't do what you have done everywhere else you've been. Also, be nice to Rajon Rondo. His play is improving and no one needs you to corrupt the young man. Luckily the Big 3 should keep him in line.
Phil Hughes: Stay healthy. It's a make or break year for Hughes who needs to prove he is deserving of the Johan Santana non-trade.
NY Mets: Finish strong. In both individual games and the season as a whole. The Mets lead the majors in blown saves last year and blew a late lead in the division the past two years. Omar Minaya is doing his best to prevent a similar collapse by bringing in K-Rod and JJ Putz, but they'll need some more starting pitching to make it to the post-season.
Plaxico Burress: Get away from football and figure your life out. Use your teammates as resources and friends, not as alibis.
Hank Steinbrenner: Keep giving Red Sox fans a hard time. Whether or not ESPN likes it, it's good for the rivalry.
Eric Mangini: Change new-born son Zachary Brett Mangini's name to Zachary Scott Mangini and hope that's enough to convince Scott Pioli to take the Browns offer and hire you as coach.
NY Rangers: Trade for a scoring forward. The Rangers are off to a great start, but they miss Jagr more than their record indicates. Come playoff time goals will be at a premium and a front line scorer will help.
NY Knicks: Keep clearing cap space, but develop a back up plan for signing Lebron. Lebron will start to be happy in Cleveland if this winning keeps up. The Cavs are 26-5 and a lot closer to winning a championship than the Knicks. Luckily for NY basketball fans, the class of 2010 is pretty deep and Amare Stoudamire and/or Chris Bosh would make good consolation prizes. But nothing compares to King James.
NY Islanders: Don't finish with the worst record in the NHL.
NY Giants: Don't give Brandon Jacobs a mega-contract. Running backs slow down fast, especially when they have the running style of Brandon Jacobs. A big running back who welcomes contact is a dangerous commodity to pay a lot of money. Take a look at Shaun Alexander to see what happens to aging running backs.
Jets Fans: Don't get your hopes up no matter what happens next year. The possibility of a "same old Jets" collapse always looms.
Spike Lee: Offer Lebron a movie role.
Marty Brodeur: Use your injury as a chance to rest for the post-season.
Justin Tuck: Win the Super Bowl MVP you should've won last year.
NJ Nets: Move to Brooklyn already. 2010 is approaching rapidly and Lebron doesn't want to play in the Jersey.
Vernon Gholston: Wake up or you'll be a draft bust by mini-camp.
Derek Jeter: Return to your status as the greatest winner in baseball. Jeter didn't get the opportunity to shine on the October stage last year, but given the chance he's proven he will deliver.
Woody Johnson: Jets fans appreciate the free agent spending spree last off-season. But now is the time to show patience. This team can be good next year without any more panic moves.
Yankee Stadium and Citi Field: October baseball. Sure the free agent signings are a nice way to usher in the new stadiums, but playoff baseball is a much better way to do it. What made the old stadium great were the classic post-season moments, if you guys are going to live up to their legacy, then 2009 is a good time to start.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals
The Cards have been in a free-fall until last week against the Seahawks. They look like a team just happy to have made the playoffs. The Falcons turn around was among the most impressive in the NFL and have been building momentum. They were a last second John Kasay field goal from being the #2 seed with a bye. However, the Cards are 6-2 at home while the Falcons are only 4-4 on the road. Combine that with the Falcons starting a rookie quarterback (although an impressive one) and I'm going with the Cards in a tight one.
Cardinals 27 - Falcons 24
Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings
Adrian Peterson is a little banged up but should be good to go. Even so the Vikings are still way too one dimensional to go up against a Jimmy Johnson defense. The challenge for Philadelphia will be on the offensive side of the ball. If they can get to 20 points they should go home with a win. My guess is that they will.
Eagles 23 - Vikings 14
Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers
Two of the hottest teams in the NFL meet in this rematch of last years division playoff game. Last year the Chargers spoiled the much anticipated AFC championship game between the Colts and Patriots. This year, I expect that Peyton Manning will out duel Phillip Rivers and the Colts will win in a shootout.
Colts 41 - Chargers 38
Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins are the comeback team of the year with the comeback player of the year in Chad Pennington. By beating the Jets in NY they made themselves the #3 seed and knocked out the Patriots. The Ravens still boast a formidable defense and have improved QB play out of rookie Joe Flacco. While I'm nervous about rookies in the playoffs, the Ravens defense is too good. I expect a similar result to the game earlier in the year between the Dolphins and Ravens.
Ravens 30 - Dolphins 13
If this were to play out this way the Giants will get the Eagles next week. If I'm Tom Coughlin I'd rather play either the Cards or the Falcons. I'm not saying the Eagles would beat the Giants, but they've played them tough twice this year already. Enjoy the games.
Reading between the lines, I think what Jones is really saying is that he doesn't think Brett Favre cares and frankly I agree. If you are going to win in the NFL you have to really want it. I want guys on my team that can't sleep at night when they lose. From watching Favre this year I never really got the feeling he cared. He said it himself, he was just having fun playing. For Favre, a sure-fire hall of famer, that may be fine. But for guys like Jones who are trying to build their legacy and win their first championship, that just isn't right.
"We're a team and we win together ... but at the same time, you can't turn the ball over and expect to win," Jones said in an interview Tuesday with New York Hot 97 FM. Favre threw three interceptions in the Jets' season-ending 24-17 loss to Miami that clinched the AFC East for the Dolphins.
"The other day, the three interceptions really hurt us. I mean, that's just reality," Jones told the radio station. "If I were to sit here and say, 'Oh, man, it's OK,' that's not reality. ... I don't like it, I know everybody else on the team doesn't like it.
More evidence to this point in a Newsday artcle today.
"According to a Jets player and he was backed by very supportive comments about Mangini from other Jets very few in the room thought Mangini deserved to be fired, and that the acquisition of Favre and his subsequent "me-first" attitude hurt the Jets more than anything."