The point of this weekly post is to pass along detailed information on New York sports while sprinkling in some humor. You will be updated on everything New York sports and I’ll take time to discuss some of the bigger stories nationwide in the sports world. Feel free to comment with any ideas, questions or comments. Your feedback is welcome. Get your exercise, keep smiling and please enjoy.
Question of the Week:
Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Rodger Clemens are all on the Major League Baseball hall of fame ballot for the first time this year. Mark McGwire, Sosa and Bonds are the real faces of the steroid era. McGwire has been on the ballot for some time now and hasn’t gotten into the hall. However, many baseball enthusiasts feel that Bonds and Clemens were much better all-around players than the one dimensional sluggers that Sosa and McGwire were. There is a real possibility that Bonds and Clemens get into the hall in the coming years.
- Would you vote on Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa or Rodgers Clemens to get into the hall of fame? Would it bother you if they got in? (tell us your opinion in the comments section below)
Authors Answer: Honestly, the MLB hall of fame is a type of museum. Museums display history as it was and they are now a part of baseball's history. I would not vote them in but I would be fine with it if they went in. As long as their display in the museum tells the full story of how their career was cloaked in shadows because of the horrible example they set for our young athletes and the choices they made, I’d be ok with it.
Team by Team:
New York Giants (7-4)
Last Result: Win 38-10 vs. Green Bay Packers
Next 3 Games:
- Monday, 12/3 at 8:30 PM at Washington Redskins (5-6)
- Sunday, 12/9 at 4:25 PM vs. New Orleans Saints (5-6)
- Sunday, 12/16 at 1:00 PM at Atlanta Falcons (10-1)
- Andre Brown has scored a touchdown for the Giants in each of the last five games. Andre Brown is out for the season with a broken fibula.
- Washington is ranked 28th in the NFL in yardage allowed at 390 yards per game. On average 301 of those yards come through the passing game.
- The Giants face the Robert Griffin III and Drew Brees in their next two games. After that they play at the 10-1 Falcons and at the 9-2 Ravens.
The Giants are a strange but successful team. All they need to do is get into the playoffs and they can make anything happen. Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes and zero interceptions last week against the Packers. In his three games before that, Eli threw zero touchdowns four interceptions. Eli is the former more than the latter and he is the most important part of that team.
After Eli comes that pass rush. The Giants are capable of getting a handful of sacks and creating turnovers the way they did against the Packers; they just don’t do it consistently. The Giants can win even on days that Eli is off if that pass rush is getting to the quarterback.
David Wilson hasn’t had more than seven carries in a game all year long. In that game, which came against the 49ers in week six, he averaged five yards per carry. The rookie looks very dangerous on kickoff returns and figures to get some extra work in the coming weeks with Andre Brown sidelined. Wilson has the ability to make game-changing plays so Wilson seeing the field more often in his rookie year can only mean good things for his future with the team.
The Giants have a very tough schedule coming up in the final five weeks. They need a win against the Redskins or the Saints in the next two games. They play Philly at MetLife in their final game of the season, which you could chalk up as a win, but if they don’t get a win in one of these next two games 8-8 is a real possibility.
New York Jets (4-7)
Last Result: Loss 49-19 vs. New England Patriots
Next 3 Games:
- Sunday, 12/2 at 1:00 PM vs. Arizona Cardinals (4-7)
- Sunday, 12/9 at 1:00 PM at Jacksonville Jaguars (2-9)
- Monday, 12/17 at 8:30 PM at Tennessee Titans (4-7)
- Mark Sanchez running into his own player and fumbling had my entire family hysterical laughing Thanksgiving evening.
- The Jets do not have a single team with a winning record left on their schedule. Arizona has lost seven in a row.
- Shonne Green only has had more than 20 carries twice this season. In those two games, the Jets defeated their opponents by a combined margin of 83-37. The Jets’ backup running back has three touchdowns in the last two games.
That second quarter on Thanksgiving against the Patriots was good old fashioned family fun. I mean, even family members who don’t care about sports were enjoying that glorious 15 minutes of football. Sanchez called the play where he ran into his own lineman’s derriere “embarrassing” and added that “it sucked.” The Patriots put up 35 points in what probably took about 35 minutes of real time. It wasn’t the snobby Patriot offense pouring it on as they so often do (I can’t stand Belichick or Brady). It was the horrible Jets continuously shooting themselves in the foot. No pity there.
I’d love to hear from a Jet fan who can explain to me why Rex Ryan should keep his job going forward. Hear me out. Tim Tebow had two broken ribs on Thanksgiving and Rex mentioned that he wouldn’t play his own son if he was in that situation so he wouldn’t play Tebow. Tebow went on to say after the game that he had to “talk” his way into dressing for the game and that he was experiencing some pain while BREATHING. Not running or getting hit, breathing. So Rex was talked into letting Tebow dress for the game even though he knew all along he wouldn’t play him.
The problem is Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow were the only quarterbacks dressed. If something were to happen to Sanchez, the only option would have been throwing in an already-injured Tebow. It was just a horribly thought out plan by Rex. He is lucky to have escaped that game without the Jets being the laughingstock of the NFL. Um, oh yeah.
I don’t know that Tim Tebow would do any better with the Jets than Mark Sanchez has done but I do know that Sanchez has no quality offensive weapons around him. Tebow is a weapon. If the Jets drop one more game this season they should just hand the remainder over to Tebow. Tell Sanchez you want to keep him healthy, or whatever he will buy. Not only will Tebow give Jets fans a reason to come to the remaining games, he could actually gain some familiarity with the Jets and their offense.
The Jets can realistically win out and end up 9-7. Their schedule is a cake walk and they could conceivably make the playoffs but it is a definite longshot. Basically the Jets playoffs start now. Lose and the shot at a Super Bowl is over. Unfortunately if certain teams play well they may have already dug themselves too deep a hole.
New York Knicks (10-4)
Last Result: Win 102-88 at Milwaukee (7-6)
Next 3 Games:
- Friday, 11/30 at 7:30 PM vs. Washington Wizards (1-12)
- Sunday, 12/2 at 12:00 PM vs. Phoenix Suns (7-9)
- Wednesday, 12/5 at 7:00 PM at Charlotte Bobcats (7-7)
- A year after being one of the worst defensive teams in the league the Knicks are only allowing 95 points per game which has them ranked eighth in the NBA. Their point differential on the season is at +7.4 per game which is ranked fourth in the NBA.
- Iman Shumpert and Amar’e Stoudemire have yet to play a minute. Shumpert is a great young defender and Amar’e is a proven offensive weapon. Shumpert has begun box drills which has him jumping flatfooted from the floor onto a box. When he comes back he will give the Knicks a defensive boost.
- When six time all-star Amar’e Stoudemire returns, he may not be returning as a starter. There are reports that Amar’e would be OK with sixth man role.
The Knicks lost to Brooklyn in overtime on Monday night in what was really a great thing for a New York sports fan to watch. It had a different feel than every Knick game I have ever watched. Carmello Anthony played 50 minutes and as previously mentioned, the Knicks are not at full strength. The Knicks were without Jason Kidd who was dealing with back spasms Monday and wasn’t available. However, that is no excuse. Kidd will be 40 by the time the playoffs begin and the Knicks knew that when they signed the future hall of famer.
New York started the season 8-1 and but has won only two of their last five games. Carmello scored another 29 points against Milwaukee on Wednesday which has him ranked third in scoring this year, just ahead of LeBron James. More important than Melo’s scoring is his defense. No one expects him to become a shut-down defender, after all defense has never been a part of his game, but he has to be better than he has been in the past. Melo needs to hustle back on each possession and keep a hand up in his man’s face at the very least. As a team leader he needs to defend and hustle if he wants his role players to do the same.
The Knicks have the Wizards, Suns and Bobcats in their next three games before traveling to play the Miami Heat on Dec. 6. The NBA has a full 82 game schedule this year so teams will win and they will lose. The best record in NBA history was Michael Jordan’s 72-10 Bulls.
Don’t panic if the Knicks drop some games like they did last week but they need to ensure themselves a decent spot in the playoffs. The Knicks had no chance to win a title last year but they could have made some noise in the playoffs if they didn’t lose some of the games they should have won during the regular season. New York squeaked into the playoffs as the eight seed and had the pleasure of being torn apart by the Heat in the first round.
Unless Amar’e and Shumpert both fit right in with the Knicks and they continue to improve, they are probably not a championship team this year either but they need to take a step in the right direction. That means finishing top four in the East and advancing in the playoffs. But it’s far too early to chat about that.
Brooklyn Nets (10-4)
Last Result: Win 95-83 at Boston
Next 3 Games:
- Friday, 11/30 at 7:00 PM at Orlando Magic (5-9)
- Saturday, 12/1 at 7:30 PM at Miami Heat (10-3)
- Tuesday, 12/4 at 7:30 PM vs. Oklahoma City Thunder (12-4)
- In Brooklyn the Nets have 10 wins in the first month of the season. It took the Nets until Feb. 20 to get to 10 wins last season. (Partially due to lockout)
- Brooklyn beating the Knicks and then traveling to Boston and beating the Celtics could be telling of the Nets ability.
- The Nets can get even better if Joe Johnson can take the next step toward being the superstar many people thought he could be.
The Knicks and Nets are not yet rivals. They are on their way after going to overtime in their first meeting since the Nets became New Yorkers but until we see a late season struggle for playoff positioning, I hesitate to consider them true rivals yet.
Brooklyn went into Boston and came away with the win but the Celtics were without their best player for the entire second half. Rajan Rondo, who had at least 10 assists in 37 straight games, was ejected late in the second quarter. It was Rondo’s own fault but you can bet the next time these teams face, the all-star point guard will be looking to have a huge game.
The Nets’ have put together a very respectable record this year but they have already played Orlando, who is awful this year, twice, Toronto, Sacramento and Portland. They can only play the teams they schedule but this has been a rather lenient start to the season.
I am very excited to see what the Nets will do against Miami and Oklahoma City next week. Brooklyn has back to back games against the two teams who played for the championship last year. They are still coming together as a team so I don’t expect them to win both but the level of effort and the fight they put up will be telling.
Brooke Lopez is a young stud at center. He is averaging 19 points, seven rebounds and just under three blocks per game. Kris Humphries had the best season of his career last year and if he can put together another solid season and Andre Blatche can keep his head on straight, the Nets could be a nightmare to deal with in the paint, on both ends of the floor. Right now, the Nets are the best team in New York.
MLB Offseason Updates:
Major League Baseball has held annual winter meetings for over 100 years. Thousands of the sharpest baseball minds including executives, owners, league officials and companies associated with baseball get together and turn the page from 2012 to 2013. Some teams look to begin a complete overhaul in the coming season and others are looking to add that one piece that can put them over the top. These meetings will take place and Nashville and run from December 3-6.
- The New York Yankees signed the 40 year-old Andy Pettitte to a one year deal that will cost them a cool $12 million. That may seem excessive for a 40 year old who only pitched 75 1/3 innings last year but hey, they’re the Yankees. Pettitte joined the team late last year and missed a chunk of the season due to injury. However, the aging Pettitte’s injury was the result of a line drive off the leg and not wear and tear on his throwing arm. Pettitte also pitched to a 2.87 ERA and a 5-4 record in his 12 regular season starts.
- The Yankees already signed Hiroki Kuroda last week to a one-year $15 million contract for 2013. Kuroda finished with a 3.32 ERA, which is very solid in the AL East and he stayed healthy. Kuroda made 33 starts and pitched 219 2/3 innings in 2012.
- Mariano Rivera turned 43 on December 29 and missed almost all of last season due to a brutal injury that occurred while fielding fly balls during batting practice. The Yanks are hoping to have a deal set with the greatest closer of all time before the winter meetings next week.
- On the Mets’ side of the diamond, David Wright’s contract is the lead story. The Mets already exercised the one-year, $16 million option for 2013 on Wright’s current contract. After 2010 the Mets decided to let Jose Reyes play out the last year of his contract before negotiating a new, long-term deal. I think all Met fans out there know how that turned out.
- Having learned that lesson two years ago the Mets went ahead and made Wright a long term offer. The deal would keep Wright in Queens for an additional eight years and pay him between $135 and $145 million. That would make him the highest paid third baseman (other than A-Rod’s horrific deal) ever.
- Cy Young Winner R.A. Dickey has one-year left on his deal and is expected to return to the Mets for the 2013 campaign but many wonder if Wright’s deal could prevent the Mets from extending Dickey’s time in New York. Wright is the face of the franchise and Dickey is 38 years old. If Dickey decides to test free agency so be it. The important thing is that the Mets have made a more than fair offer to Wright and if he walks it can only be because he wants to move on.