Saturday, November 28, 2009

On the Brink of Futility

I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, well maybe the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots and maybe even the New York Mets.  The New Jersey Nets lost again last night in Sacramento, and are now 0-16 and one loss away from tying the worst winless streak to start the season.  The Clippers back in the 1999 lockout shortened season and the expansion Miami Heat of 1988-1989 season both started 0-17. 

There is talent on this squad, problem is some of it has been hurt for much of this streak to start the season.  They have one of the best young centers in the game in Brook Lopez.  They have an All Star point guard in Devin Harris who has missed 10 games this season.  Courtney Lee who they got from the Orlando Magic in the Vince Carter trade has missed a total of 7 games but when he has played it appears he's still sulking over the trade from Orlando to New Jersey. Yi has only played in four games all year.  Youngsters Chris Douglas-Roberts and Terrance Williams flash some bright spots to the future.  Veteran point guard Rafer Alston has given the team a nice veteran presence to help run things on the floor in the absence of Harris earlier in the seaosn.  With all that being said, it's led to nothing.  No wins.  They also have a date Sunday night with the Lakers at the Staples Center which almost assures them of tying the mark at 0-17 and joining the Clippers and Heat in a category they don't want to be join them in.

This all brings me back to some memories from my own team.  The 2003-2004 Orlando Magic.  Coming off three straight playoff appearances, but unfortunately three straight first round exits, they shook things up a little in the offseason.  The Darrell Armstrong era was over, in came Tyronn Lue with his prior claim for fame being doing a good job guarding Allen Iverson in the 2001 NBA Finals.  Juwan Howard was coming in to man Power Forward, a veteran talent but a man who has had a history of playing on bad teams.  Hold overs from the Mike Miller trade the season before, Drew Gooden and Gordon Giricek were over from the Memphis Grizzlies.  The team had a different look, and subsequently there was hope that the Magic could finally end the "Curse of Shaq" and break out of the first round of the playoffs.  Wrong.  They actually won their first game of the year on opening night on October 29th, 2003; in Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.  It was an 85-83 win in Overtime.  You always feel good when your team starts 1-0.  That was about the only good feel you had with that team all year.  They lost their next 19 games before finally winning again on December 8th 2003; at home against the Phoenix Suns, confetti dropped after the buzzer sounded.  Head Coach Doc Rivers was gone by this point, fired 10 games into the 19 game losing streak.

I'm rooting for the Nets, I tune in late in the games to see if they maybe can stop the streak, it hasn't happened yet.  I'm actually shocked Lawrence Frank still has a job.  I'm not saying he's the issue, he's even done a good job with the Nets since taking over for Byron Scott back in the '03-04 season.  Still, you figured he would have taken the fall by now.  I know how it feels New Jersey, hopefully Brooklyn isn't too far away and it can pump a little life into what right now is a lifeless franchise.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Red Sox going hard for Halladay

The Red Sox want Halladay before the start of the winter meetings, that's what is being reported by Mark Feinsand and Bill Madden of the New York Daily News.  New Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos, is willing to deal Halladay within the division for the right price.  Any package the Red Sox put together will have to include promising young starter Clay Buchholz.

A move like this would certainly change the balance of power in the AL East.  When you can trot out there Josh Beckett, Roy Halladay and Jon Lester as your top 3 starters, you are going to put yourself in position to be one of the best teams in baseball.  It will be interesting to see how the Yankees get involved now.  We remember last year that the Red Sox were the front runners for Teixeira until Brian Cashman and the Yankees came in and made a late push and signed him to an 8 year 180 million dollar deal.  Thanks also in part to Teixeira coming out of a meeting less than feeling good about this future owner/boss John Henry.  The Yankees have the players to make a move for Halladay.  They can offer up Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes.  They also have promosing catching prospects in Jesus Montero and Austin Romine; and Center field prospect Austin Jackson.  The other option is they can keep their prospects and make a counter move by courting free agent starting pitcher John Lackey.

It should be interesting to see how this plays out.  It could end up being like last years trade deadline and nothing happens at all and we will re-visit all this Halladay trade talk starting in June of 2010 as we approach the July 31st trade deadline next season. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Miguel Cabrera adeed to the list of Tigers on the block

So far they haven't taken any action, but it's been rumored that the Tigers are ready to start unloading contracts.  Names that have already put out there are Curtis Granderson, Edwin Jackson and Magglio Ordonez.  Now it's being said that they might even try to deal slugger Miguel Cabrera.  Cabrera broke out on the scene for the Marlins as a 20 year old in 2003.  He hit .265 with 4 HRs and 12 Runs batted in during the 2003 postseason which saw the Marlins win their 2nd World Series as they defeated the New York Yankees in 6 games.  Since that time he has driven in 100 plus runs each year and hit at least 30 HRs in 5 of those 6 seasons, the only year he didn't was 2006 when he hit 26 bombs. 

Now to the bad news, as great of a hitter as he is, there is going to be some baggage coming along with him.  The biggest bag of all is his contract.  He is signed to an 8 year 152.3 Million dollar contract that runs through 2015.  The 6 years left on his contract break down to 20 million due in 2010 and 2011, 21 million due in 2012 and 2013, and 22 million due in 2014 and 2015.  That will be a lot for any team to take on.   He's also best suited as a DH, as he's never been a great fielder and has bounced around from the outfield to third base and last year playing 153 games at first base.  He's also known for his off the field issues and word is he loves to party and drink a bit too much.  On the last weekend of the regular season Cabrera had come home at 6:00am, after a night of drinking at the nearby Townsend Hotel in Detroit, and got in an argument with his wife.  Police responded to a call at their home due to this argument and Cabrera was taken in for questioning.  It was found that his blood alcohol level was at .26, three times the legal limit.  This was just 11 hours before the team was set to play the White Sox, a game which Cabrera went 0 for 4, leaving six runners on base.

Buster Olney of ESPN is currently reporting that possible suitors could be the Red Sox, Angels, Mets, White Sox, Giants, Mariners, and Braves.  When all is said and done I find it hard to believe that any of those teams want to take on the financial responsibility and everything else that comes along with Cabrera.  Bottom line though, the man can hit.  He would be an instant difference maker in anyone's lineup. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Cuban Sensation: Aroldis Chapman

Aroldis Chapman is a 21 year old pitcher from Cuba who successfully defected from Cuba while in the Netherlands this past July while pitching for the Cuban National team.  Word from scouts is that his fastball has been clocked as high as 102 MPH during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.  Not sure how accurate that figure is, but he can bring the heat to say the least.  So now he stands to get a pretty decent contract despite the fact he has no big league experience.  Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News thinks that the Yankees will have the inside track to land Chapman.  The one advantage is the Yankees can eat up their mistakes and are one of a few teams who can afford to give Champman a 4 year 20 million dollar contract, which is what it appears he is shooting for.

The Yankees are no strangers to pitchers defecting from Cuba.  They landed Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez back in 1998 and he made his debut with the club in June of that year.  El Duque became one of baseballs best big game pitchers, winning his first 8 postseason starts.  He may have also saved the 1998 season for the New York Yankees in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Cleveland Indians.  El Duque delivered 7 shutout innings to help the Yankees tie the series and eventually go on to win the World Series and go down as one of the best teams in baseball history, boasting 125 wins including the postseason.

Christmas Eve of 2002 brought another hot Cuban commodity to the Yankees.  Jose Contreras defected and the Yankees and Red Sox fought it out over his services.  Theo Epstein wanted him so badly that he purchased every room at the hotel where Contreras was staying at in Nicaragua, to try and keep the Yankee brass as far away from him as possible.  The move failed and the Yankees still ended up landing Contreras.  Epstein was said to be so irate that he hurled a chair through his window in his hotel room. Though Contreras didn't succeed in New York, he did help the Chicago White Sox win the World Series in 2005, their 1st since 1917. 

Expect the Yankees and Red Sox to be the two teams most involved in the Chapman sweepstakes.  Keep the chairs away from Theo if the Yankees beat him to the punch again. 

By Vinnie Ferrarini

Thursday, November 19, 2009

New York Yankees News and Notes

I've heard a couple of different rumors today surrounding Nick Swisher and the possibility that the Yankees have put his name out there as a possible player available through trade.  I can't see why the Yankees would do this, I wouldn't mind Swisher getting a lesser role as maybe a part time DH/RF, but I think he's a good fit and a well liked player in the clubhouse.

Free agents can officially start signing with teams at Midnight.  Matt Holliday apparently has the Yankees on the top of his wish list and would love to play in New York.  I'm still hearing Roy Halladay's name tied to the Yankees as well as the Red Sox and Phillies.  The Yankees are apparently very high on John Lackey.  According to Jon Heyman of SI and MLB Network, the Yankees first priority will be to add another pitcher.  They got through the postseason using only 3 starters but it appears a priority will be to add another arm and some other guys available outside of Lackey and Halladay could be Derek Lowe if the Braves decide to put him on the trade market as well as free agent projects Ben Sheets and Erik Bedard, two pitchers coming off of surgery.  

By Vinnie Ferrarini

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Trials and Tribulations of being a Sports Fan

My fiance thinks I'm ridiculous, and probably rightfully so. When it comes to sports I wear my emotions on my sleeves and take things way too seriously, I'll be the first to admit that. When you are a sports fan, be prepared for one thing, much more failure than success. I guess you can equate it to being a Major League hitter, even a great one. You will fail much more than you succeed.

I was at a bar once maybe about 2 or 3 years back and was having a discussion about how many championships I've seen my teams win. It didn't take long to come up with the answer, at the time the number was at four, and it was all because of the Yankees. My other two teams the Magic and Jets have just one championship combined and that was the Jets in Super Bowl III in 1969 and I did not get to witness that. The Magic have been close twice, with two Finals appearances, one back in 1995 when they were swept by the Rockets which included the Nick Anderson game, in Game 1 where he missed 4 consecutive free throws to ice the game thus blowing that game and maybe the series with 4 failed strokes from the free throw line. That was easily one of the toughest defeats I've witnessed in my history of sports watching. The second was last year when they lost to the Lakers in 5 games. The closest the Jets came was a 10-0 lead early in the 3rd quarter in Denver against the Broncos back in January of 1999 in the AFC Championship game. They started turning the ball over like crazy, Elway and Terrell Davis did their thing and the Jets lost that game 23-10, thus ripping my heart out and leaving me wondering when I would see them reach the pinnacle. Well, I'm still waiting ten years later and obviously I'll still be waiting after this year.

So all this was leading me to think while sitting in front of a bucket of Budweisers at the bar that day and watching the Giants and Bills play, a game the Giants won to start their run as they were getting ready to go on their eventual Super Bowl drive. What is the percentage of times my teams have actually won it all? How far back should I go to calculate this? I won't start in 1980, that's the year I was born. I go back to my first real memories of sports. I remember being a kid watching the Bears and Pats in the Super Bowl back in the 1985 season. I remember the Mets/Red Sox World Series back in 1986. I remember trying to watch as many Yankee games as I could back around that time and I remember sitting in front of the TV in my Jets uniform and helmet every Sunday.

So it's 1986, that's the year I will start. Now that is only for the Yankees and Jets as the Magic franchise was just in the early founding days, thanks to Pat Williams down in Central Florida, getting the ball rolling on that. So that's 24 seasons I've watched each the Jets and the Yankees, giving me a grand total of 48, and I'll count this season for the Jets already being a failure, they obviously aren't going anywhere. The Magic started play in 1989 but I didn't become a fan till they drafted Shaq in 1992, prior to that I had no team that I followed in the NBA. So that's 17 seasons of Magic basketball that I've been watching, zero championships. Oh boy.

So let's do the math. 48 seasons of Jets and Yankees and 17 seasons of the Magic, that's a grand total of 65 sports seasons that I've invested a lot of time, energy, emotion and passion into. I'm going to break down the percentages in three ways; playoff berths, conference/league championships and World Championships. The New York Yankees obviously lead the way with 14 playoff births, 7 League Championships and 5 World Championships. The Orlando Magic have had 11 Playoff births, 2 Conference Championships and 0 World Championships. Then there are the Jets, oh man, don't get me started on the Jets. They always will find a way to break my heart. 7 Playoff births, 0 Conference Championships and 0 World Championships.

So going back now, combined, that is 65 seasons, 32 playoff births. So 49.2 percent of the time I do at least witness my teams making the playoffs, the Yanks boost that but let's not forget from 1986-1994 I didn't witness the Yankees make the playoffs at all, so it wasn't always like it is now. There have been 9 Pennants/Conference Championships in 65 seasons, that would put it at 13.8 percent of the time I've witnessed that. Now comes the bottom line, what it's all about. Being able to see your team celebrate to Queen "We are the Champions". It's been a grand total of 5 times in 65 seasons, that's 7.6 percent of the time.

It's really interesting to go back and think about things like this, do it with your teams and see where you stand. I have one thing to say in closing, thank god for the New York Yankees.

By Vinnie Ferrarini

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Jameer Nelson out 4-6 Weeks

In what is shocking injury news out of nowhere, or maybe considering who we are talking about it shouldn't be. Jameer Nelson had to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. I didn't watch the postgame last night, so I didn't hear anything about a possible injury, and he did indeed finish out the game last night. Apparently the injury happened in the 4th quarter.

Nelson missed almost half the regular season last year and the entire Eastern Conference Playoffs with a torn labrum in his right shoulder. They did trade for Rafer Alson last year to help them down the stretch run and into the playoffs. However, Alston was traded in the offseason along with Tony Battie and Courtney Lee to the New Jersey Nets for Vince Carter and Ryan Anderson. The Magic did sign veteran point guard Jason Williams this summer to help solidify more depth at the PG spot and they also have veteran Anthony Johnson who was the backup point guard last year behind Nelson and later Alston.

Injuries are nothing new for Nelson. He had the torn labrum in his shoulder last year and has been sidelined at times for various nagging injuries throughout his career. Durability has always been an issue and the Magic were counting a lot on their franchise point guard to stay on the floor this year.

Hey New Jersey, you haven't won a game yet and are going nowhere, how about letting us get Rafer back, please?

Zack Greinke Wins the AL Cy Young

Zack Greinke completed his long journey back by winning the 2009 AL Cy Young award. Back in February of 2006, Greinke left the Royals Spring Training camp for personal reasons. It turned out he was suffering from social anxiety disorder and depression. There was never a question about his stuff, just a matter of putting it all together and getting his personal life back in order. In 2009 he did just that, pitching to a 16-8 record and pitching to a Major League low 2.16 ERA.

Felix Hernandez was thought to be his stiffest competition for the award. Hernandez had a record of 19-5 pitching to a 2.49 ERA. He ended up finishing 2nd in the voting to Greinke.

Greinke ended up running away with the award receiving 25 first place votes. Hernandez received 2 first place votes and Justin Verlander received 1.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bud Adams says Titans number 1

If you want a good laugh watch the video above. 86 year old Titans owner Bud Adams was caught on tape in his suite throwing up the middle finger several times apparently towards rival owner of the Bills Ralph Wilson, after the Titans 41-17 win over the Buffalo Bills. Both owners go WAY back, owning their respective teams going back to the AFL days. On Sunday both teams were wearing their AFL throwbacks but the attention after the game was at the middle finger "throw-ups" by Adams. After the game Adams said the following "I obviously have a great deal of respect for Ralph Wilson and the history we have shared. I also understand there will probably be league discipline for my actions and I will accept those."

I'm sorry, but I can't help but crack up when seeing a tape of an 86 year old man reacting this way after his team wins, absolutely hilarious! Is it the right thing to do? Probably not. However, it's damn funny. Have fun Bud, enjoy the win!

Red Sox, Yankees and Angels for Holliday

Truth be told I'm not the biggest Matt Holliday fan. He has spent his career in the NL playing in the hitter haven known as Coors Field for the Rockies. He than came to the American League and spent a little over half a season with the Oakland A's. In 93 games he only hit 11 HRs and it started to look like he was going to struggle to even get to 20 HRs and 100 RBI, all of a sudden on came his deal to the Cardinals. He spent 63 games with St. Louis where he hit 13 HRs and drove in 55 Runs and hit a robust .353, 67 points higher than he hit in Oakland. So when you look at his overall numbers from 2009, they look good. I for whatever reason still remember that guy struggling in Oakland; especially the first couple of months of the season. I was doing the I told you so, and spouting off at the mouth about how much Colorado and a weaker NL made Holliday better than he actually was.

So now into the offseason rumors have it he wants Mark Teixeira money, which is not going to happen. However, it does look like he will be one of the most coveted bats out on the market and the race has apparently come down to three teams according to John Paul Morosi of Fox Sports. It's going to come down to the Angels, Red Sox and Yankees. I'm not so sure how much interest the Yankees do have, but it would be pretty interesting seeing him in that lineup and then if you also bring back either Matsui or Damon to go along with him, that lineup gets even more impressive. I really think it's just one of those deals where the Yankees are said to have interest because hey, they are the Yankees. Plus they'd love to simply drive up the price on Holliday for the Red Sox.

I personally still see him ending up back in the NL, but I'm torn on how good of a fit it would be in New York with the Yankees, but on paper especially if you also bring back Damon or Matsui, that lineup would be looking pretty fat if it wasn't already robust enough.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Same Old Jets.....

Another miserable ending to a game for New York Jet fans. Seemingly setup to win, a Braylon Edwards catch on the two point conversion and the Jets have a 3 point lead with around 3 minutes to go, but Edwards drops an easy catch which would have secured a 3 point lead and put a little less pressure on the Jets D. Still, the defense came up short, again. They had a chance to stop the Jaguars and secure 22-21 victory, but they couldn't stop the Jaguars when it counted.

The whole first half they let Jones-Drew run at will all over them, not even able to force the Jags to punt once in the first half. The second half was another story as the Jags couldn't muster anything at all, not even a first down, till that final drive.

Poor clock management by the Jets, finding themselves with only one timeout on that final drive by Jacksonville thus not giving themselves a chance to stop the clock and try and get the ball back. Why Sanchez is calling a timeout with 1st and Goal inside the 1 yard line, I'm not sure. It was smart clock management by Del Rio, Jones-Drew and the Jags, as they hold for a final game winning field goal which was the equivalent of an Extra Point to win the game as time expired and thus ending any slim hopes the Jets had at making the playoffs.

Another year, another way to break the hearts of Jet fans everywhere. Same old thing every year. Same old sorry @** Jets.

Trade talks continue to swirl around the Detroit Tigers who are interested in cutting payroll during these tough economic times which have hit the city of Detroit as hard as any other city. We've already heard Curtis Granderson's name on the block and the Cubs, Angels and Yankees are thought to have interest in the Tigers Center Fielder. Now on the block could be Magglio Ordonez and according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post the Yankees could look at both of these players if they choose not to bring back Matsui and Damon. Sherman points out that if they brought in these two it would be cheaper than the 2009 contracts of both Damon and Matsui. My thoughts here though are that if we keep Damon and Matsui this year it probably would be for less than we paid last year for both of them. Ordonez's contract is a bit pricey if he meets certain incentives on his contract. He's due 18 Million for 2010 and if he meets the following incentives: 135 starts or 540 PAs in 2010, or
270 starts or 1,080 PAs in 2009-10 combined; he will be due 15 million for 2011. A lot of money to take on for someone who had a subpar 2009.

I would be all for Granderson, but I'd take a pass on Ordonez.

By Vinnie Ferrarini

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sunday is a Must

Let's go Coach, you talked a big talk when you came in to take over this franchise. You screamed a lot of bravado and talked about how this wasn't going to be the same old Jets. You lit up the City with a quick start winning your first three games all against what was thought to be more than solid opponents, that's before everyone knew just how bad the Titans season would end up going. Since that time the Jets are 1-4 and their Quarterback has shown a ton of growing pains. Countless bad throws, not taking care of the football. We've seen some flashes from the kid, but we've also seen what you fully need to expect when you have a rookie at Quarterback, mistakes.

The Jets will come into the game on Sunday at 4-4 bunched up in the middle of the pack trying to grasp on to Wild Card hopes. They play the Jaguars who have been quite an enigma, and they also come in with an identical 4-4 record. Other teams in the Wild Card mix are the Ravens (4-4), Texans (5-4) and Dolphins (3-5). I'll put the Dolphins in the mix since they beat the Jets twice. The two teams currently holding down the two Wild Card spots the Steelers (6-2) and the Chargers (5-3), both those teams still have hopes of winning their division. The Steelers come into action tied with the Bengals and have a head to head matchup with them in which the winner will try to put their best hold on the division title. The Chargers will try to chase down the 6-2 Broncos, who have lost their last 2 after a 6-0 start.

I'll give the Jets one break, they have lost two of their best players on each side of the ball. Kris Jenkins and Leon Washington have both suffered season ending injuries, no team would have an easy time with things losing two players of that caliber. Still, this is it for the Jets. Put up or shut up this week against the Jaguars. If they have any hopes at all of fighting for a playoff spot, it starts with defeating Jacksonville on Sunday. Come on Coach, have your guys ready and back up all that talk. Just do it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Angels/Tigers talking Curtis Granderson Trade

I was hoping to hear some news about the Yankees being all over a possible Curtis Granderson trade, at the right price of course. Hopefully soon I can still do this, as everything is in the early preliminary phases of course. Today I can tell you that the Curtis Granderson trade rumors are out there, but right now the team in talks with the Tigers are the Angels. Though right now it appears the Angels are talking the most to the Tigers the Yankees and Cubs are said to think extremely highly of Granderson and have interest as well. Granderson is currently due 25.75 million dollars over the next three years, not a bad deal at all.

According to reports from the Boston Herald and Newsday both the Red Sox and Mets have expressed a lot of interest in free agent right hander John Lackey.

Other teams who have been said to have an interest in Lackey are the Mariners, Rangers, Yankees and Brewers.

By Vinnie Ferrarini

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apparently the Giants will enter in the Johnny Damon discussions. It is said the White Sox have a lot of interest but the Giants would love to add his bat to their anemic lineup which can use a ton of help. The Giants have some very good pitching, but their offense can really use some help and Damon could provide just that.

At this point Boras is crazy if he thinks he's going to get four years at 12-13 million per year for Damon, but that is what his demands are. Scott Boras is notorious for starting out with some ridiculous free agent demands when it comes to his players, the Yankees just need to let him walk if he doesn't come off that stance. Johnny would be crazy to walk away from a winning team like the Yankees, if some team is willing to overpay for him let him go get that money and be miserable on some losing team somewhere. If I'm Johnny I'm telling Boras to do whatever it takes to work something out with the Yankees.

The Blue Jays are saying it isn't a must that they trade Halladay, but their feelings are that he would like a trade at this point. As was said yesterday they would also be willing to trade him within the division, a stance that former Blue Jays GM JP Ricciardi wasn't really enamored with last year. Of course this has caused speculation that the Yankees will get involved. Word is the Yankees are interested but what they are really interested in is the fact that both Halladay and Cliff Lee could potentially become free agents after next season but word is the Phillies want to do whatever it takes to get Cliff Lee to sign an extension and keep him in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Cleveland Cavs @ Orland Magic: Game Journal

Cleveland Cavs @ Orlando Magic: Game Journal

7:43: I tell you what, first game journal on this site and we switch from the MLB to the NBA; if you didn't know I'm a die hard Orlando Magic fan. Let me start by this, on the pregame on SUN Sports which is the Magic network, Dwight Howard didn't look happy talking about Shaq. They asked him if he talks to Shaq or is friendly with him at all, the big fella and Superman Part II down in Orlando had the most serious look I've ever seen on his face and just said NO. Ouch, those two don't get along anymore since Shaq called him out on the Superman persona. Obviously Shaq doesn't take kindly to someone running his old town down in Central Florida and Dwight isn't too pleased with the way Shaq has spoke about him in the last year or so. Shaq needs to really get over himself, he left this franchise high and dry 13 years ago, we've moved on now you need to do the same big fella.

7:58: Approaching game time, I'm trying to tell myself it's only a regular season game, only the 9th one in fact. I take this crap way too seriously sometimes. Trying to work on my patience and keeping cool during games, especially regular season ones. Calmly breathing right now as I sip and Ice Cold Beer.....

8:01: Talking to my step daughter who is right beside me realxes me, as does this

8:04: Wow, Vince Carter is going to play tonight, stop the presses. It's amazing. This guy has only found the court in 4 of Orlando's 8 games so far, I can't be too hard on him, he was Mr. Ironman with the Nets but in his short time here that isn't the case.

8:06: Anthony Parker starting in the place of the head case known as Delonte West who was carrying a small militia in a backpack on his Motorcycle shortly before training camp started, Parker has burned us over the years when he was in Toronto.

8:08: With the additions of Matt Barnes and Jason "White Chocolate" Williams, we might have the best threesome when it comes to tattoos when you team that pair with Jameer Nelson.

8:11: I really dislike Mo Williams.
8:12: Wow, just a terrible call by an NBA official, shocking. Shaq if anything traveled bulling his way down low on Dwight Howard. Ridiculous.

8:13: A Vince Carter sighting in Orlando. Okay, I'll stop.

8:15: Barnes breathes on Lebron the wrong way and he gets called for the foul, And 1 opportunity. I'm not thrilled. 14-9 Cavs early on.

8:20: Bradon Bass was an amazing pickup, when all is said and done at the end of the year it will be one of the best by any team in the off season. When Rashard comes back I'm in big time favor of moving Rashard to his natural 3 and putting Bass at the starting PF spot.

8:23: Still 4 minutes to play in the first and the Magic have given up 25 points, not good.

8:24: 27-22 Cleveland lead with a little over 3 minutes left in the first.......still remaining clam.

8:31: Verajao doing the only thing he knows how to do, running around and flopping like a mad man. Idiot.

8:33: End of the first quarter and the Magic trail the Cavs 35-28. I better see a better defensive effort from this team in the 2nd quarter.

8:38: Second chance points, I can't take it. Clean up on the glass!! Stop!!!

8:40: Wow, the Magic trail by 13 points, we've barely gotten a minute deep in the second quarter and the Cavs have 41 points. No way the Magic recover from this, it's going to be a LONG night.

8:49: Dwight with two misses at the stripe trying to cut the lead to 7.....Thank you Dwight!

8:47: Offensive board by Dwight and he gets the And 1 chance.....Thank you Dwight!!

8:47: And he hits the free throw!! 6 point game but Mo Friggin' Williams hits a 3 to make it a 9 point game. Unbelievable.

8:48: 4 Centers on the floor combined right now, Wow.

8:50: Okay Stan, please put Vince Carter back in this game.

8:51: Vince looking comfortable on the bench there, nice.

8:54: Magic are getting embarrassed at home tonight, 55-40 lead for the Cavs with 4:37 left in the 1st half.

9:00: I love how the refs ignored a blatant push by Lebron James on Pietrus as he was backing him down to the rim, unbelievable. Luckily he misses the short hook and Z gets called for a push underneath and the Magic get the ball back. Game not going well, down 13. Oh boy.

9:04: I'd love to get it under 10 at the half...let's friggin' go!!!

9:05: Hey Vince, stop heaving up ridiculous 3's, STOP!!!!

9:06: Carter cuts it to 8, DEFENSE!!!

9:08: We didn't just throw the ball inbound and let Parker pick it off? Wow. There goes trying to cut this thing under 10 at the half, it's about to be back to 12 after Lebron hits these free throws. Wait he misses the second but they get the offensive rebound are fouled and get two more free throws, ENOUGH!!!

9:10: I've officially lost my cool throwing some sort of toy one of the kids had down here in the living room, not good. Cavs about to go up by 15.

9:12: Of course Lebron throws up 3 and makes it as time is about to expire in the first half. 15 point deficit at the half, the Magic don't stand a chance.

9:13: I want to throw something at the TV hearing and seeing Mo Williams MUG, time to listen to some tunes, F this.

9:19: A little MF Doom can ease me right now, or maybe some more beer. I'm not thrilled with this current game situation and I want to rip Mo Williams heart out of his chest. That's all.

9:22: I hate basketball, I just hate being a fan right now. I'm so friggin' aggravated, I'm doing a great job of not cursing on here. Phew.

9:33: I'm going to start going to excuses, we don't have Rashard Lewis or Ryan Anderson....Yes, I'm blaming some of this on the lack of us having the great Ryan Anderson. Hey, he can shoot his butt off.

9:37: I've officially turned my attention to and talks of Curtis Granderson being available, not sure how true that is though as now I'm hearing that might not be the case.

9:43: I really want to cause physical harm to Mo Williams, Vince Carter thankfully stood the hell up and said something to that idiot!!!

9:49: Yes, now it's the time of the game where I hear that my girlfriend has real problems in her life, I do know this, but that doesn't stop me from getting frustrated over these silly games, and yes, they are silly but that doesn't stop me from caring.

9:50: Vince Carter has spent enough time out of the lineup with his ankle injury, how about punching Mo Williams in the face and sitting out with like a 10 game suspension or something like that. To hell with it!

9:52: I now have a little soft spot for Lebron, he has sneakers he is wearing tonight one sneaker has 27 on it and the other says New York, nice. If I'm not mistaken they also had pinstripes, sorry Lebron, I'm not a Knicks fan though, this doesn't work with me.

9:53: 17 point deficit with 1:26 left in the 3rd........I think I've officially given up.

9:54: Now I would simply love for someone to punch Verajao in the face.

9:55: I'm going to pull a Rex Ryan post game after the Jets lost to the Dolphins: "I'd rather be in this locker room at the end of the day, we have a better record then they do last time I checked." or something similar to that.

10:03: I'm not quite sure why I'm still watching this, down 20 with 10:23 to go, I've muted the volume at least. That's the first step.

10:04: You know I was all for bringing Gortat back, think he can be a real solid big man in this league, but did we really pay 30 million dollars over the next 5 years for this guy, seriously? I hope we can find a trade partner!!!!

10:05: Oh wait, it was 5 years for 34 million dollars, that's even better!!!

10:06: Is it truly necessary for that jerk Mo Williams to pump his chest like 3 or 4 times after he hits a jumper in what is a 20 point game? Do you understand why I want to eat his children.....uh...did I say that?

10:10: 92-70 Cavs, 7:30 left....utter embarrassed tonight, that's all you can say. This team didn't show up at all. They should be ashamed of themselves.

10:23: Game Set Match, it isn't really over, but I've had enough. The Magic lost, and looked bad doing so. My beloved Magic, all I want to do is see them win it all, I've been a fan since 1992 and I've seen two trips to the Finals including last year but both times they fell short. This year, I came in with high hopes, they have a really deep team, but tonight they just looked bad. Hopefully when they finally get Rashard Lewis back off his 10 game suspension and get completely healthy things will look different, until then, I don't have much hope.

Roy Halladay News

New Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has stated that there wouldn't be any hesitation to trade Roy Halladay within the division. His first priority is to get the best players in return and if that is from a team within the division he wouldn't let that stop him from making a deal. SI and MLB Network insider Jon Heyman is reporting that the Yankees have inquired about Halladay, and talk like this from the Blue Jays GM will only increase the notion that the Red Sox will indeed be heavily involved in the Halladay sweepstakes.

Updates on Damon and Matsui

Scott Boras the agent of Johnny Damon is telling teams that he is seeking a 3 or 4 year contract. It also sounds like he doesn't want to accept anything less than what he was making under his most recent Yankee contract which is 13 Million per year over the last four prior seasons. How many teams will be willing to do that? I can't imagine too many and most certainly if those are his demands the Yankees will not meet them. The White Sox are said to have a lot of interest in Damon, but I can't see them paying out a 3 or 4 year deal at 13 million a year. As we know last year was a slow year for free agents and money wasn't there outside of the three big contracts the Yankees handed out. I expect a lot of the same, and you could see a lot of players holding out for a deal on into the winter and sign shortly just before Spring Training begins.

Word circulating from Hideki Matsui's agent is that he wants to play another three years. Are the Yankees going to give him a three year contract? No, as most teams probably won't, especially with the concerns about Matsui's knees. However, a series of one year deals could be more likely. It is sounding more and more likely that the Yankees are interested in retaining Matsui, but again; it appears they want to keep it on a one year basis.

By Vinnie Ferrarini

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Quick Notes on the GM Meetings.

-The Yankees are without question planning on checking with the agents of Matt Holliday and Jason Bay, but their current attention will stay with their own free agents which most notably are Johnny Damon, World Series MVP Hideki Matsui and Veteran Left-hander Andy Pettitte.

-The Twins continue to have interest in bringing back Carl Pavano who helped them win the AL Central Division last year, but the Indians are also thought to have a lot of interest in bringing back Pavano who started last year for the Indians. Let's not forgot, Carl Pavano started more games last year for the Indians and Twins then he did in his entire 4 year Yankee career from '05-08.

-No surprise here, the Cubs would LOVE to unload their personal headache by the name of Milton Bradley. Bradley who has pretty much burned bridges everywhere he's been, except for one team; the Texas Rangers. They are said to have some interest in bringing back the troubled outfielder.

-John Smoltz does indeed want to pitch next year, the only question now seems to be where. All signs point to him wanting to stay in the pitcher friendly National League.

-The Red Sox picked up the option for Victor Martinez, so he will be back in Boston for the 2010 season. They also reached a deal with rubber armed veteran knuckle baller Tim Wakefield who will pitch in his 18th season next year; and 16th with Boston. In other Red Sox news the future of Jason Varitek appears to be up in the air. If Varitek does hit the open market as it appears he will there was though the New York Mets would be interested, but currently I'm hearing that is not the case and the Mets may turn their interest to Free Agent Catcher Bengie Molina.

By Vinnie Ferrarini

The 2009 Yankees Cool Cats

The season is over, and now if you want to talk yankees please visit us at the (no plug intended) I started a tradition over there of naming the years "Cool Cats". Just a group of players I grew fond of during the season. I've been doing it for 8 years but the last two years I actually made a little video with some background music to their pictures. I enjoyed doing this and figured I'd share this years club with you, check it out.

By Vinnie Ferrarini

A Pair of Gold Glovers

The American League is announcing the winners today for the 2009 Gold Glove winners. It appears two Yankees are going to be on that list. Derek Jeter who had one of his best defensive years this season. This would mark Jeter's 4th Gold Glove award. His prior gold glove awards came in 04, 05 and 06.

It also appears that Mark Teixeira won his 3rd Gold Glove overall his prior two came in 2005 and 2006 with the Texas Rangers.

Rounding out the rest of the AL Gold Gloves, in the outfield Torii Hunter, Ichiro Suzuki and Adam Jones are the recipients.

In the infield along with Jeter and Teixeira, Placido Polanco gets the nod at 2B and Evan Longoria gets the nod at 3B.

Now that Mike Mussina is retired a new pitcher has taken the crown in the AL and that man is Mark Buehrle. At catcher Joe Mauer took home the award.

Congratulations to both Jeter and Teixeira.

By Vinnie Ferrarini

Time for the Hot Stove to Heat Up

We've heard so much about the core four, but now we are down to the big three. World Series MVP Hideki Matsui shown above displaying a sketched photo of his wife whom he wants to keep out of the public eye and limelight. The MVP of the Fall Classic had one of the greatest games any hitter has ever had in a World Series game. Single, Double, Home Run and 6 RBIs in the Game 6 clincher. Andy Pettitte, whom many Yankee fan during last offseason was hoping would not return in favor of keeping Mike Mussina. All Yankee fans now are indeed pleased that Pettitte did return and not Mussina. Andy pitched in and won all three clinching games in the ALDS, ALCS and World Series, so it's safe to say Yankee fans are glad he stayed and Mussina was the one who went home to his family in Montoursville, PA. Then we have Johnny Damon, who had one of the most classic ABs in the World Series in Game 4 facing Brad Lidge with 2 outs and nobody on in the Top of the 9th. He fought off pitches worked the count back in his favor and reached base on an opposite field single starting the go ahead and winning rally in the 9th. Changed the whole series in that one at bat.

So who stays and who goes? Initially it was sounding as if the Yankees would only keep Matsui or Damon, not both. Now there is a rumor circulating that Cashman would like to keep both but on a one year deal for each. As far as Pettitte goes, I think that's up to him. He'll have to accept a 1 year deal in a likelihood, which I believe he would. I don't see Pettitte pitching for anyone else next year, not even either of the Texas teams which would allow him to pitch at home again as he did from 04-06. It appears for Pettitte it will be either another year in pinstripes or hanging them up for good and staying home with the family.

Other free agents on the Bombers include Jerry Hairston Jr, Eric Hinske, Xavier Nady and A.J. Burnett's caddy, Jose Molina. I feel Hairston and Hinske would be wise to bring back, having a strong bench is a must. The dynasty run from '96-00 always was equipped with a strong bench, I think the moves of bringing in Hairston and Hinske midseason really helped this team tremendously. Nady is more of a question mark coming off Tommy John surgery, but he has stated numerous times he'd love to be back and that he feels he will be ready to start the season. Molina may be somewhat more expendable. The Yankees love what they got out of rookie Francisco Cervelli. Shockingly he came up and hit to a .298 clip, much more than the Yankees could have hoped for. He threw out 43% of base runners trying to steal in his brief stint as Yankees catcher while Posada and Molina were nursing injuries.

It should be an interesting off season for the World Champion New York Yankees, god I love saying that! In the coming days we'll be discussing any rumors and talk about some targets the Yankees might look at from the outside to help re-tool for 2010.

Let the Hot Stove begin.

By Vinnie Ferrarini

Monday, November 9, 2009

Say it ain't Sosa.....

In the bizarre photo of the day, above you see former slugger and alleged steroid user Sammy Sosa. The photo on the left was taken in May 2009 and the photo on the right where he is much "lighter" was taken this weekend in Las Vegas. Now rumors have been circulating that he has vitiligo which is a skin condition that Michael Jackson claimed to have causing his skin to whiten. Other possibilities could be repercussions from steroid use or just bad makeup or maybe bad lighting when the photo was taken. However, spokes people of Sammy's say he's going through some sort of "skin rejuvenation" process and that could cause what you see in this photo.

Wow, first he forgot how to speak English in front of congress back in March 2005 during the steroid abuse hearings. Now this photo appears, strange indeed.

By Vinnie Ferrarini

An October into November to Remember

It took 15 games in 29 days, 11 wins and one dream reached for World Series Title number 27. Nine long years, I know fans of the Cubs, Indians, Pirates and Mets just to name a few, don't want to hear about nine long years. However, this is the Yankees, and by our standards it was a long time.

The heartbreak and heartache of 2001, 2003 and most notably 2004 can be eased quite a bit. The first round exits of 2005, 2006 and 2007 and the first postseason absence since 1993 in the year 2008 is now erased from our recent thoughts. Of course there was no postseason in 1994 but the Yankees team of that year was destined for a postseason birth and had the best record in baseball behind the Montreal Expos, yes the Montreal Expos!

So let the bashing begin. Let the haters break out of the wood work. The title was bought, purchased, whatever they want to say, let 'em say it. Bottom line is this, for the first time in a long time, the money was spent wisely. Every single person on this roster from Alex Rodriguez to CC Sabathia to AJ Burnett down to Jerry Hairston had their hand in this one. It was a total team effort and nobody can deny this team their destiny this year which was on Joe Girardi's back the whole time. Maybe next year they will honor the number 28 when it's on his back, we shall see.

Oh how sweet it is. The team that is loved to be hated so much. Your World Champion, New York Yankees for the 27th time.

By Vinnie Ferrarini