Tag:NFL
Posted on: December 17, 2011 9:39 am
 

Trapped!

A quality that championship teams have is maturity, maturity not measured in years but in wisdom.  The Giants lack of maturity has caused them to fail in two trap games this season and they face another against the Redskins.  Some would call the first Redskin game a trap game but it doesn’t meet my definition of a trap game. I view a trap game as a game that is not given full attention because of their record, your team’s recent accomplishments and the perceived importance of an upcoming game and finally what happened to both teams in subsequent weeks.  The Washingtong ame was the first of the season and the Giants were not viewed as a serious team due to preseason injuries and players lost to free agency.  Plus they had two games each with “America’s Team” and the “Dream Team” in addition to games against the 49ers, Patriots, Saints, Packers, and Jets.  Third in the division and a record of 8-8 was an often repeated forecast.  Game one of the season was not a trap game.

Week 5; the 3-1 Giants are hosting the 1-3 Seahawks who have a certain quirk, they don’t travel to the East coast and win.  Their frequent flier mile futility could be measured by a zero for nine record.  Perhaps the Giants were looking past the powder puffs to the Patriot game, but they fell into the trap.  The Giants recovered to win their next three including the Patriots game whileSeattlelost their next three.

Week 11; The Giants coming off a victory over the Patriots and a West coast game in which they dominated the 49ers and had a chance to tie in the final minute may have been looking past the Eagles and at the upcoming Saints, Packers, and Cowboys games. The Giants were sitting atop the Eastern Division with a 6-3 record and facing a team that they had already beaten on the road. The Eagles would be bringing their 3-6 record to MetLife Stadium.  Trapped.  The Giants followed with their worst loss of the year against the Saints before recovering.  They followed the Saints loss with a loss to the Packers which culminated with Aaron Rodgers moving the Packers 69 yards in less than one minute and winning on a last second FG.  Last week the Giants leap frogged the Cowboys to take over the top of the Eastern Division.  The Eagles lost two before beating the 4-9 Dolphins who then fired their coach.

Week 15; the table is set and it is a familiar setting.  The Redskins bring their 4-9 record to MetLife and the Giants are in a survival mode.  The Giants just won their first “back against the wall” game and the Redskins have one win in their last nine games.  Following the Redskins are games against the rival Jets which will be a survival game for both teams and the Cowboys on New Years Day, a game that will very likely send one team to the Division Championship and the other home.  This game has Trapped written all over it.

Last week Giants pride beat the Cowboys; this week yogi says that a new found Giants maturity avoids the trap.  Giants 31-16.

 

 

Posted on: October 19, 2011 9:26 am
Edited on: October 19, 2011 12:03 pm
 

Survivor's Guide

The World Series begins tonight in St Louis where the weather will be 47 degrees at game time with winds at 16 out of the NW.  There is also a 40% chance of rain.  You would have to go all the way back to 1984 to find the last World Series game played outdoors in the sun.  They were games 4 & 5 (Sat. & Sun.) at Tigers Stadium. 
I have prepared a check list for those of you who may have tickets and plan on going to the game.


2 World Series tickets, check.  Bernard will love going to his first game.

Heavy Down Parka, check.

Ski mask, check.

Ski Gloves, check.

Hand Warmers, check

Mets  Blue snuggie in a snuggie., check. 

Brandy Cask for St.Bernard, check

 

The game will be televised by FOX.    Yogi’s advice, scalp the tickets. 

 

 

This check list and advice is not brought to you by the Commissioners office.  If you look carefully you will be able to spot Allan Huber Selig in the heated owners box. 

Posted on: October 1, 2011 11:17 am
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:42 pm
 

Osi, Shut Up and Play

Football isn't my prime passion, but I am a long time Giants fan and have followed them from Yankees Stadium and Charlie Conerly, Rosey Grier and Sam Huff until today.  This posting is apart from baseball which  goes back further than the football Giants and is my first love (God, Country and Family aside).   

I am tired of Osi Umenyiora and his whining.  In 2005 he signed a 5 year 41 M extention which runs through the 2012 season.  He signed this contract midway through the 4 year deal that paid him 2.5 M.  The 15 M guaranteed was the highest amount ever offered to a player with only three years of service time.  Through the first three years Umenyiora was paid 21 M of the front loaded contract despite missing the entire 2008 season.  This year Umenyiora is earning 3.1 M and may take the field for the first time this season, but not without adding his own brand of distraction.  Osi Umenyiora is “constantly disrespected” as the Giants prepare to play the Cardinals

The Giants and Tom Coughlin have a history with dysfunctional players, remember this was where Plaxico Burress disrespected the Giants structure before shooting himself.  Next year, the last in Umenyiora’s current contract will pay him 4.0 M.  That will offer no comfort to his feelings of bitterness.  I hope he has a great season and I hope the Giants trade him ASAP after the last game and dump this whining player on someone else.  BTW, Osi Umenyiora could have been one the Giants all time greats, if he didn’t have a persecution complex.

Category: NFL
Posted on: September 25, 2011 9:11 am
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:43 pm
 

A Change for the Worst

In a booth discussion with Gary Cohan and Ron Darling, Sandy Alderson was open and frank about Mets team thoughts going into the 2012 season.  One of these disclosures was that the team was seriously considering a major change to the dimensions of Citifield.

This strikes me as a reactive approach to a problem than can be resolved and create a home field advantage for the team for years to come. 

This week the movie Moneyball opened, Alderson who while not depicted in the movie was a factor in the whole Billy Beane/Athletics story.  Essentially it is about have an edge on the competition, in the Athletics’ case it is information and in the Mets case it could be an 81 game playing field that is not level by any means. 

It has been three years since Citifield and its hitter unfriendly dimensions opened.  In the first year David Wright’s Hrs dropped from the 30 average he had hit in his Mets career to 10.  Year two, we invest 66 M in a left fielder who averaged over 30 Hrs over the 5 previous years before joining the Mets and has hit 18 in the two years since.  In the three years that Wright has played at Citifield he has struck out 392 times in 397 games, his last three years at Shea 346 Ks in 474 games. 

It is pretty clear that home runs at Citifield come with a great cost and no guarantee. 

I look at the elements that do work in a pitchers park.  Of course pitching.  In 2009 we witnessed a mostly mediocre Mets pitching staff finish seventh in ERA in the Majors.  Pitching is a hard to attain commodity, so when a team can elevate less than exceptional pitching into that asset even if only at home they have an edge. 

Power doesn’t work especially well in large ballparks which frees up money for the other elements that do, speed, pitching and defense.  In 2011 the Mets are tied for twenty-eighth in errors.  David Wright represents two areas that do not fit well into the composite of Citifield, he does not play solid defense and strikes out at a higher rate as a result of Citifield.  

Jose Reyes represents speed, he has also altered his game by increasing his OBP and is also the most difficult to strike out in the league.  He is a Citifield type.  Speed is not as costly as power and can be every bit as effective.  The Mets need to make speed top criteria for future additions.   Angel Pagan is arbitration eligible this off season at 3.5 M, he may move to 5 M.  His health has cost him 30 games this year and consequently his runs, SB and RBIs are down.  So is his fielding average, the errors as I see them are primarily throwing errors.  What has not been affected is his range in the outfield and for this speed and his offense speed he is an easy resigning. 

Big power hitters like Fielder and Albert Pujols will cost over 20 M per year for more years than one would want to offer.  Jayson Werth signed for 18 M a yr. and for 7 yrs last year.  These are exactly why the Mets should pursue the elite speed and the elite pitching when it becomes available.  Citifield is fine, just put the right pieces in place and have a home field advantage that few other do.  Besides; pitching, defense, and speed travel well

Posted on: September 12, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:43 pm
 

Absolutely Clueless

No one should have been surprised that the worst Commissioner in the history of baseball made another bad decision yesterday on the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country.  The two cities that bore the brunt of those attacks New York and Washington DC were told by MLB not to wear the caps of the first responders for the Mets or the Navy Seals for the Nationals.  Joe Torre, formerly the Yankees manager in 2001 was the messenger, but there can be no doubt that the author of that edict was Allan Huber Selig. 

What profit would baseball garner by having the nation watch a game with the players wearing the unauthorized caps of the NYPD, the FDNY, the Port Authority of NY ?  None. This on Selig’s watch is unacceptable.

Selig as owner of the Brewers with help of the gang of 6 forced Fay Vincent, the last independent Commissioner, out and assumed the role of acting commissioner himself.  For the next six years Selig wore two hats, baseball owner and commissioner until in 1998 baseball confirmed him as commissioner and he turned the Brewers over to his daughter and son-in-law.  Six years after that the Brewers were sold and Selig’s son-in-law Laurel Prieb was hired as an executive by MLB.  In the 35 years that Selig and family owned the Brewers they made the playoffs twice and in the final twelve years finished under .500 every year.  An argument could be made either way as to whether Selig was as bad a commissioner as he was a baseball executive.  Both sides would be right.

September eleventh resonates with  everyone.  But for some the scars are still visible in the unfinished resurrection of the fallen World Trade Center, in the tears of loved one left behind and in the children.  The NY Mets wore the caps of the first responders in the first game after 9/11/01 against the Braves at Shea Stadium on Sept. 21/ 2001.

On September 11, 2001, 3,051 innocent people died at the hands of Osama bin Laden and his death squad.  403 of them were first responders who died trying to save lives.  184 died in a field in Shanksville, PA., the final resting place of Flight 93, where the final words were “Lets Roll”.  The courage and patriotism on that plane destined to hit the Capital Building can never be surpassed.  I think of that day and I get a knot in my chest, and Selig sees dollar signs.  Not only the worst commissioner, but a soulless commissioner.

Posted on: August 13, 2011 6:52 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:45 pm
 

The NY Mets and Tomorrow

I thought that this might be entertaining.  Some players need no further comment as to their placement, with others I offer my opinion.  All the players that have made the big club this season and their status, as I see it, for 2012.

 

KEEPERS

Johan Santana, Not going anywhere with his contract and unknown status.

Jason Bay, Contract and he hasn’t played up to it.

David Wright Still has a reasonable contract and club control.  He is, even with the offensive fall off an upper echelon third baseman and has age on his side.

Jose Reyes, Extraordinary ability when healthy and one of the top players in the game at those times.  What looked like a 140 million dollar, 7 year deal has likely dialed down into a 5-6 year 90-100 M contract.  The Mets have to do what it takes and that may mean going beyond their comfort zone to ink Reyes.  The NL East is the toughest division in the NL and arguably in baseball.  The two teams in front of us have a balance of excellent pitching and hitting, with the Braves also adding quality young players like Craig Kimbrel and Freddie Freeman.  The Nationals will become that constant threat sooner than later with Stephen Strasburg on the mend and Bryce Harper working his way up, add in others like Ryan Zimmerman, Wilson Ramos, Jordan Zimmermann, rookie 2nd baseman Espinosa and Michael Morse.  As reprehensible as I consider Jeff Loria the Marlins periodically put together unsustainable winners.  With their pitching and a new stadium opening next season, they could be willing to spend some to produce a winner.

Reyes’ ability to drive this team and to draw fans is financially why the Wilpons will sign him.

Daniel Murphy, baseballs Philip Nolan.  There is an account of Murphy being asked by a journalist as to what was his position? Murphy responded “I hit third”.  Murphy is currently hitting .320 and fourth in the NL but will fall short of being listed among league leaders as he doesn’t have enough PAs.  Not long ago I suggested that Murphy be groomed as a catcher.  Jade reminded me of the hits on both knees and common sense filled in the rest of the blanks on what was wishful thinking.  Murphy has been in a learning curve going back to PSL 2009 when he was the new LF’r.  He will be 27 at the start of next season and perhaps revisiting the OF would be a wise move.  As the line up card would look next year Murphy would be on the bench.  The ability to play an adequate OF added to his resume of his more than adequate play at 1st  and 3rd, and his ability to play 2nd<sup> </sup> enhance his opportunities to do what he does best, step in to the batters box.  Murphy is not a free agent until 2015, but I can imagine the number of phone calls that Alderson will get over the next 3 years from all 29 other teams that will include the name Daniel Murphy.

Josh Thole is included as a keeper more of by way of backing into it as opposed to earning it.  Thole has not shown much improvement in his game offensively or defensively.  Essentially he is here because options are poor or expensive and he is young and inexpensive.

Ike Davis, Jonathon Niese, Dillon Gee, Justin Turner, Pedro Beato, Bobby Parnell.

Mike Pelfrey, probably next to Reyes there has been more words written on this board about Pelfrey than the next two players.  Pelfrey is a keeper because he will be a reasonable 5-5.5 M.  There are no better options.  He will give us 200 innings.  Slotted middle- back in the rotation he will possibly find a psychological comfort zone and exceed expectations.

 

ON THE BUBBLE

R.A. Dickey, despite turning 37 I think that the Mets will make an effort to resign Dickey in the off season, but may have to contend with other clubs.  The 5-11 record belies the 3.75 ERA and 1.28 whip.

Angel Pagan, The Pagan of 2010 was a sure handed player that was offensively having his best season, the criticisms regarding his instincts and focus were forgotten and he became a fan favorite.  This year is raising doubts that last year was an indicater that Pagan had taken the step up to full time player.  His errors are next to worse in the league and his offensive game has regressed.  Pagan is 30 and is arbitration eligible, at 3.5 M this year he would likely ask for and get an increase of 4.5 to 5 M.  The Mets have to question if he is still a starting CF or would they be offering arbitration to a 4th OF’r.  The free agent market doesn’t present great options either.

Ronny Paulino will be 31 early next season, he is still arbitration eligible for 2012 and coming off a 1.3 M contract could be a solid candidate for an offer from the Mets.

LIMBO

Ruben Tejada is either going to be on the bench or will continue with Buffalo

Lucas Duda also has a chance to make the club in a bench role.

Nick Evans returns to Buffalo as does Mike Nickeas

GONE

Tim Brydek, Jason Isringhausen, DJ Carrasco, Ryota Igarashi, Manny Acosta, Mike O’Connor.  Some may be offered minor league contracts. 

Willie Harris

Scott Hairston                                                                                                                   

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 27, 2011 3:12 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:46 pm
 

Victory

There is a settlement and the NFL is in business again.  Most baseball fans will now devote a growing proportion of attention on their football teams as the start of the NFL season begins and the baseball season draws to close. Every columnist I read Bob Glauber (Newsday), Mike Lupica and Gary Myers (Daily News) were all complimentary on the fairness of the CBA and the part that Jeff Saturday played in the negotiations.  It amounts to 10 more years without having to revisit lockouts, decertification and a work stoppage.   If only the MLB had a Players Association and a Commissioner who did not more resemble the Allied Forces and the Axis Forces facing each other on a battlefield than the NFL joint leadership. 

MLB and the Players association have had eight labor stoppages since 1972 with a significant loss of games (712) in 1981 that resulted in two half seasons.  The 1994 work stoppage was far more costly when baseball shut down and the rest of the season and post season were lost.  The contention was over the subjects of a salary cap and revenue sharing, but the adversarial relationship had been brewing for years.

In an interview with the Biz of Baseball in 2005 former Commissioner Fay Vincent was quoted “The Union basically doesn’t trust the Ownership because collusion was a $280 million theft by Bud Selig and Jerry Reinsdorf of that money from the players. I mean, they rigged the signing of free agents. They got caught. They paid $280 million to the players. And I think that’s polluted labor relations in baseball ever since it happened. I think it’s the reason Fehr has no trust in Selig.”  This referred back to the 1990 settlement of three cases of collusion brought by the MLBPA against the owners 1986-88.

 

At that time, then-commissioner Fay Vincent told the owners:

“The single biggest reality you guys have to face up to is collusion. You stole $280 million from the players, and the players are unified to a man around that issue, because you got caught and many of you are still involved.”

 

A little more than a year later a 18-9 no confidence vote led by the ‘Gang of Six’ which included Allan Huber Selig and Reinsdorf cost the last independent Commissioner his job and Brewers owner Selig became Commissioner.

We have seen what can happen when men of reason and character like Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith sit down to resolve an issue.  This will never happen in MLB as long as the commissioner is a stooge of the owners and lacks the moral fiber to command the trust of the MLBPA.

 

I entitled this entry ‘Victory’ for the NFL CBA.  For baseball fans titles like Defeated, Disillusioned or Disenfranchised might better describe baseball’s relationship with the fan.  The game has been sold to the media and Corporate America.  If you want to watch a game with your son during the school year, plan on writing him a note for missing school the next day.  Unless you are of more than ample means don’t expect to be going to many games.  The owners have sold America’s Pastime and with every dollar squeezed out are bring the game closer to the end of the glory that once was baseball.

Posted on: June 26, 2011 2:18 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Is the Fan Base Forgotten?

2011 marks the fiftieth year of Mets baseball starting with the 1961 expansion draft led to the first pick of Hobie Landrith, which then sparked manager Casey Stengels’ response to the press’s question as to why the team had chosen Landrith first “without a catcher there would be a lot of passed balls”.  I am convinced that if the Mets had selected Elio Chacon first instead of second, Casey would have said ‘without a second baseman there would be a lot of ball hit up the middle into centerfield’.  I was no longer the baseball version of Phillip Nolan; I was now a fan with a team.  Fifty years represents over 8000 games played, probably well over 2000 players who dressed in a Mets locker room, 20 managers, 4 World Series appearances, and 3 home stadiums. 

It also represents sadly only 3 numbers retired, 1 player in the Hall of Fame and only 1 player who spent a full career in a Mets uniform.  We have on the team today a player who could possibly fill all three of these sad statistics upon his retirement perhaps 10 years from now in the person of Jose Reyes.  It will be a while before we will know how this turns out.  What we can do and should do is to honor with a retired number some of those who have worn the uniform.  The Mets do have a Mets Hall of Fame which now numbers 25; it is a respectful measure to some of the contributors to the team from William Shea and Joan Payson at the very beginning to Ralph Kiner who still does an inning or so 20 or so times a season.  That is not the same commitment as a retired number which implies that no person will ever honor this number as much as you have.  It is an honor that MLB awarded to Jackie Robinson, our neighbors in NY have retired 15 numbers representing 16 players, and the Mets list is three including two managers.

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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