Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Here we go again

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in again.  The season looked over several times this year, but this past Sunday the Jets caught break after break after break, now the question is when does it turn around and bite all Jet fans in the rear end.  Miami needed to lose, we got that as the Texans beat them 27-20.  The Jaguars needed to lose, our nemesis, the Patriots, took care of that.  The Steelers beat the Ravens, thus meaning that at kickoff  at 4:15 against the 14-0 Colts in Indianapolis, we controlled our own destiny. 

On to the game against the Colts.  The Colts were leading 15-10 and right around the 6 minute mark in the 3rd quarter after the Jets punted, Manning did not put on his helmet, instead rookie quarterback Curtis Painter, from Purdue, trotted on the field along with many other Colt backups who came in the game.  Colt fans are outraged, Jet fans felt elated.  I don't care how the Jets won it, the bottom line is they outscored the Colts 19-0 after Manning left the game and went on to a 29-15 victory over the previously unbeaten Colts. 

So what happens now?  We have a date on Sunday night in prime-time on NBC against the Bengals.  A team that probably won't have anything to gain, other then maybe a chance to move from the 4 seed to the 3 seed.  However, if the Patriots beat the Texans on Sunday afternoon the Bengals will be locked in to the 4 seed.  It is likely that the Bengals will not play their starters, if they do I expect a quarter or two at most.  Another reason the Bengals might not go all out is due to the fact that if the Jets do win, we will have a rematch between the Jets and Bengals on Wild Card weekend in Cincinnati.  This is a similar scenario for the Jets.  Back in the 2001 season they needed a victory in Oakland to clinch a wild card spot, they beat the Raiders in Oakland on a game winning field goal by John Hall which setup a re-match the following week in the first round of the playoffs against the same Raiders.  The outcome the following weekend wasn't as pretty as the Raiders beat the Jets 38-24.

As a Jet fan, I'm waiting for the heartbreak, the heartbreak wouldn't be a playoff loss.  The heartbreak would be losing to a Bengals team and all of their backups, and trust me, I can see it happening.  So how will this play out?  I do know this, this franchise once again has me all pumped up for a big game, and I wouldn't be shocked if that hope came crumbling down next Sunday night. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Bronx Reunion

It started with bringing back Nick Johnson, who oddly enough was traded for Javier Vazquez along with Juan Rivera and Randy Choate, after the 2003 season.  After just one year in the Bronx and a great first half which earned him an All Star spot, Vazquez was dealt after a poor 2nd half performance in 2004.  Now part of the reason he was dealt was to acquire future Hall of fame pitcher, Randy Johnson.   The 2004 Yankees lacked a true ace and that was a huge part as to why they were so quick to deal Vazquez after just one season. 

The deal will send Yankee outfielder Melky Cabrera along with left handed pitcher Mike Dunn to the Atlanta Braves.  The Yankees also aquire left hander Boone Logan in the deal.  Vazquez easily had his best season of his career last year in Atlanta.  He went 15-10 with a 2.87 ERA and struck out 238 batters in 219 innings.  Of his four seasons spent in the tougher American League (2004: Yankees, 2006-2008: White Sox) his best season came with the White Sox in 2007.  He went 15-8 with a 3.74 ERA and struck out 213 batters in 216 innings. Vazquez is in the final year of a three year contract.  He will be paid 11.5 million dollars this season. 

The deal now brings speculation that there will be another move for the Yankees, this time for a left fielder.  With the Johnny Damon contract talks at a stall, Melky Cabrera was slated to start in left.  On the current roster Brett Gardner appears to be the option in left, but look for the Yankees to add a more proven player.  They could re-visit talks with Damon, but they appear to be far apart when it comes to years and money.  Jason Bay and Matt Holliday appear to be way out of the price range for the Bombers.  One person to keep their eye on would be Mark DeRosa.  He can play all infield positions and both corner outfield spots.  Last year between St. Louis and Cleveland he hit .250 with 23 HRs and 78 runs knocked in.  He is a local kid as well, he grew up in New Jersey and went  to Bergen Catholic High School. 

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Shame on me, Jets.

Why did I waste my time?  Why did I get so excited after a few wins against the Bills, Panthers and Bucs?  Did I really think this team was going to make the playoffs?  Hey, we even got some of the help we needed today as the Titans beat the Dolphins in overtime in Nashville.  Oh well, it's all for not now and I sit here feeling like a lover of mine has cheated on me and left me all alone.  It was a game the Jets controlled for what felt like 59 minutes of the game.  Problem was they couldn't muster up any points beyond the touchdown pass from Sanchez to Edwards.  A botched field goal attempt on a bad snap.  A missed field goal by Feely.  A blocked field goal.  A personal foul penalty on Thomas Jones that moved the Jets out of field goal range after a first down.  The bottom line, the same old thing from this franchise that has been torturing me for a good 25 plus years it seems like.

The defense was stout all day, but on the final drive they gave up a touchdown on 4th and goal, needing a stop to seal the win.  Now they certainly are not to blame, they were great all day and the offense failed to deliver a knockout punch and they certainly had plenty of opportunities to put this game away.  Six of the seven Jet losses this year have been in heartbreaking fashion, boy they love toying with their die-hard fans this year.  I'm truly not sure how much of this I can take.  Trying to figure out what I can do to take my mind off the disaster that was the Jet game today.  Maybe I can find some re-runs of Jersey Shore on MTV to help ease the pain.  I told a friend of mine a little while ago that I was done, I've had enough and I can't handle anymore of this from this franchise.  I can't count the times I've said that in the past.  It's the same old song and dance from me.  Like my friend Rob just said, less than 2 months until pitchers and catchers report.  Until the next heartbreak, see you later Jets. 

Friday, December 18, 2009

Nick Johnson back in Pinstripes

You can come home again, just ask Nick Johnson.  He was drafted by the New York Yankees in the 3rd round of the 1996 amateur draft.  In 2002 and 2003 he shared 1B and DH duties with Jason Giambi.  He was dealt after the 2003 season to the Montreal Expos along with Juan Rivera and Randy Choate for Javier Vazquez. 

What Nick Johnson will bring to the table is a career OBP of .402.  If this does indeed spell the end of Johnny Damon in New York, he would be a good replacement in the two spot of the Yankee lineup.  He lacks the speed of Damon but he doesn't strike out a whole lot, he's going to put the ball in play and he has a great eye.  He'll definitely be a better fit in the two spot than Granderson would be. 

Your main concern for Nick Johnson will be injuries.  He broke his hand with the Yankees in 2003. He broke his cheek bone in 2004 when he got hit in the face with a baseball. In 2006 he had a collision that led to him breaking his femur.  If he can remain healthy the 1 year deal at 5.75 million dollars that the Yankees gave him would be a bargain.  Welcome home Nick Johnson, glad to see you back in the Bronx. 

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blockbuster Deal

Reports are swirling that Roy Halladay and his agent are held up in a Philadelphia Hotel and a deal to send him from the Blue Jays to the Phillies appears imminent.  A twist to this deal according to Jon Heyman of and MLB Network is that it is a three team deal involving the Mariners as well and that Cliff Lee will be heading from Philadelphia to Seattle. 

Roy Halladay is regarded as one of the best pitchers in all of baseball but Cliff Lee has been doing his best to at least try to join that discussion.  Lee was 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in the postseason with the Phillies last season after coming over from a trade with the Cleveland Indians last July.  This potential deal may benefit the Mariners the most who can now boast a top of the rotation which will have AL Cy Young runner up Felix Hernandez and October Ace of the Phillies, Cliff Lee.  The Phillies did get one of baseballs best pitchers, but their rotation behind Halladay will be a huge question mark. 

In other baseball news, it appears the Red Sox are on the verge of locking up John Lackey to a 5 year 85 million dollar contract.  This deal will give the Red Sox a very formidable top of the rotation which will include Beckett, Lester and Lackey. 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Yanks begin talks with Damon

The Yankees have nailed down their Center Fielder in Curtis Granderson.  They have re-signed veteran lefty Andy Pettitte to a one year 11.75 million dollar contract.  Now they have begun negotiations with free agent Left Fielder Johnny Damon.  It is widely speculated they would like to bring Damon back for less than the 13 million dollars he made last year and they would also prefer it to be a 1 or 2 year deal at the most.  Bobby Abreu re-signed with the Angels for a two year deal worth 18 million dollars, a contract of that nature does seem more than fair for Damon.  The Yankees now have the luxury of controlling the negotiations since the trade for Granderson.

It is also widely speculated that if the Yankees can't come to terms with Damon, they will target free agents Mark DeRosa and Mike Cameron.  Johnny has stated how much he would like to remain a Yankee, if this is true he will have to be willing to give a discount to stay or at least take less years than he might get elsewhere. 

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Deal close to bringing Curtis Granderson to Yankees

Ken Rosenthal is currently reporting the three way talks between the D-Backs, Tigers and Yankees are back on and word is that it is now being left up to the Yankees to sign off on the deal.  Earlier reports had Ian Kennedy and Edwin Jackson in Arizona.  Curtis Granderson was coming to the Yankees and Austin Jackson, Michael Dunn and Phil Coke were headed to Detroit. 

The Yankees did not want to give up that much in the deal.  Talk is now the revised deal will not include Phil Coke and Michael Dunn.  Still waiting to hear further detail on this.  An impending deal is 50/50 says Jon Heyman.

Joel Sherman is now saying the deal is close to the goal line.  Dunn being removed from the deal was key for the Yankees.  Currently it is being reported that medical records are being exchanged.

Update:  Per Jon Heyman this is a done deal; pending medicals work out.

Pending all the medical records check out, here is the deal.

Yankees Get:
Curtis Granderson

Tigers Get:
Austin Jackson
Phil Coke
Max Scherzer (from D-Backs)

D-Backs Get:
Edwin Jackson (from Tigers)
Ian Kennedy

Monday, December 7, 2009


Okay, I'll be the first to say that I am totally opposed to the non-playoff system that we have in what was once known and still to me known as Division I-A College Football.  I've gotten into many debates about the current system with my good friend and fellow blogger, Charlie Ballard.  I was the biggest Nebraska Cornhusker fan outside of Lincoln, Nebraska this past Saturday night.  I wanted BCS Chaos, that was my goal.  If only that kick sailed a little more to the left.  If only the pass by Colt McCoy  hung up in the air a second longer.  Oh well, none of that happened and Texas pulled out the victory over Nebraska 13-12.  The offenses were anemic, but it was a fun game to watch in my eyes.  I was hanging on every play those last few minutes.  The BCS or as I liked to call it the BCMess, has a championship setup of Alabama and Texas, with the current rules I guess you can say they got that much right.  It would be great to see a team like TCU, Boise State and maybe even Cincinnati get a shot, but it is what it is. 

Today, the day after the announcement of the BCS Bowl games, my biggest problem is where Boise State and TCU find themselves, against each other.  A rematch of last years Poinsettia Bowl which saw TCU defeat Boise State 17-16.  To me you create much more interest pitting these Non-BCS Conference schools against BCS/Major Conference schools.  I think it's an absolute disgrace that they find themselves against each other and we've taken what could have been an exciting matchup like TCU against Florida and killed it.  The biggest intrigue of the smaller conference schools getting to these games is seeing them up against the big boys.  The BCS Busters are a lifetime 3-1 in BCS Bowl games.  Boise State and Utah twice have gone into these BCS Bowl games and beaten the big boys.  Now they simply get to beat on each other, and frankly it won't be as fun and intriguing to watch. 

One more gripe I have, looking at the final BCS Standings, Cincinnati actually leap frogged the Horned Frogs of TCU for the #3 spot in the BCS polls.  That is meaningless now but what if that pass by McCoy hung up there a second longer?  We would have had a Cincinnati/Alabama BCS Title game?  Wow, TCU would have been screaming bloody murder, and rightfully so, as they were 3 in both the Harris and Coaches' Poll one spot ahead of Cincinnati.  Oh how I just wish that pass by McCoy hung up a little longer and let the clock expire on Texas.  Then maybe we could have taken the first step to the clock expiring on the BC-mesS.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stan Van is the Man.

Last year he guided an Orlando Magic team to the NBA Finals one year early, in the minds of many.  This year he has guided the Orlando Magic to a 14-4 start despite injuries and a suspension to one of his best players in Rashard Lewis. The Magic are first in the East and looking to repeat as Eastern Conference Champions.  Stan Van Gundy was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for games played in October and November.

It hasn't been easy for the coach so far this year.  The Magic missed Vince Carter for a handful of games with a sprained ankle.  Rashard Lewis was suspended for 10 games due to the fact that he tested positive for a banned substance last year during the playoffs.  Jameer Nelson has been out since November 16th with a knee injury and may not be back for 2-3 more weeks.   Ryan Anderson and Mickael Pietrus have both missed time as well.  Still, as inconsistent as the Magic's roster and play has been, they have the best record in the Eastern Conference at 14-4 and let's give credit to Van Gundy.  Earlier in the year he questioned Dwight Howard as to why the teams energy and body language was looking down.  Dwight gave an honest answer, he said the negative feedback they were constantly getting from him was a factor.  Stan promised to adjust some, but needless to say, he's done a great job through the first 18 games of the season.  Congrats to the Ron Jeremy look a like, and one of the most underrated and under appreciated coach's in the game.  Stan Van Gundy.

A.J. wants Halladay

A.J. Burnett thinks it's time for his friend and former mentor to get a fresh start, as reported by Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News. "He's paid his dues there, been the face of the organization, done everything they've asked him to do and more. At this point in his career, I think he just wants to win.  I don't think he would let anything distract him. He's not really the type of person that gets intimidated easily. It doesn't matter where he pitches; he's going to be the same. None of the stuff that goes on here would faze him at all." Burnett said of Halladay.