One More Chance For Brett and Jets

So it comes down to this, Brett Favre vs Chad Pennington in the final week of the season for a shot at going to the playoffs. Everything is on the line today at Giants Stadium. Eric Mangini's tenure as Jets head coach, Favre's career, the Jets credibility, and Pennington's status. A lot to play for today, it'll be interesting who comes out on top.

Favre has met expectations, he turned the franchise around from 4-12 last season to 9-6 so far this season. How many would've thought he would've gone this far? Not many. The problem is that the Jets started out 8-3 and beat both New England and Tennesse on the road and people were already thinking Super Bowl. Are you serious? I mean really, it's a nice thought but everyone knows you have to play out the season and make it to the playoffs first before you even think that kind of stuff. This is why people get on Jets fans because they jump the gun when they really jump the shark. If you don't know the expression "jumping the shark", google it, then you'll get it.

Pennington comes back to the place where he called home for most of the career. He led the Jets to the playoffs 3 times and plans on doing the same for the Miami Dolphins. How ironic is it that he faces the man he was replaced by and can end his "storybook" season? I hope he does. All this nonsense about this comeback and how the Jets were going to be so much better. All baloney. Don't get me wrong, I'm a casual football fan, so it's not like I have a hate for the Jets, I just don't like for people to brag about their teams when they haven't proved anything. Win today, then talk, then win, then talk, then let's see how the season ends for Brett and the Jets.

I'm going with Chad and the Fins today. Mangini and Favre are as good as done. Who cares if Favre comes back next season, you won't make a difference. If you're not sure of that just see Roger Clemens.
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According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com the Mets are in a good position to sign free agents Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez. That's because the Cardinals, Brewers, Dodgers and Braves are no longer in the mix for both starters.

The Mets reportedly want to have this situation resolved by the new year. If the Mets can somehow find a way to add both men then they will certainly find themselves as the team to beat in the NL East, if not the entire league.

With the market dropping for both men, the Mets can sign both at a price more to their liking instead of overpaying. The Mets found themselves in a similar situation earlier this offseason when they signed Franciso Rodriguez at a reasonable price. It might be a hard task to achieve given that both are represented by super agent Scott Boras. He's known to hold out as long as possible so his clients can get top dollar. So far that hasn't worked with Boras' other client Manny Ramirez.

"With [David] Wright and [Jose] Reyes on that side of the infield, Lowe is a good fit," a Mets team executive said.

The Red Sox are still in the running for Lowe but have not made any substantial progress. The Sox should lock up Lowe so it gives them to a rotation to match the Yanks' suddenly dominant staff.

With the new year approaching the Mets want their rotation set, I don't blame them. After all, they need to compete with the defending champs, the Phillies. It's the Mets chance to regain control of division, can they seize the opportunity? They need to.
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Our NBA Teams Need Help ASAP!


Does anyone notice these days that the Knicks and the Nets are two really bad teams? The Knicks made their franchise changing trades a few weeks and haven't been good since. The Nets have gone on a roller coaster all season and find themselves hovering the .500 mark again. The two NY area NBA have taken a backseat to everything and I have to say that's disappointing.

Once upon a time, the Knicks use to be the talk of the town. They use to have people talking and watching. Now, they just have people laughing. Now granted the laughter isn't nearly as bad as it has been in recent years but the point is, the Knicks still stink up the joint far too often. They are currently going through a season worst five-game losing streak, the latest coming at the hands of the lowly Minnesota Timberwolves, a team who went into the Garden Friday night losers of 13 straight. A team with so much promise can't find any consistency. The lack of defensive ability has really hurt them this season as there have been countless times where they have had a lead only to blow it. Coach Mike D'Antoni knew he had quite a mess when he took over as coach but at some point he needs to at least try and preach some defense, please in time for the new year.

The Nets are a different story. They have a consistency of being average. The problem with that is that they have shown times of brillance but end up losing games they should win. They lose to bad teams and blow leads just like the Knicks but unlike them, they have two superstars in Vince Carter and Devin Harris. Harris is putting together one of his best seasons but for what? A .500 team? The Nets traded their main stars in the last year, Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson so they can sign Lebron James in 2010 but the Knicks did the same thing so someone is losing for no reason right now. I gotta say I think if Lebron does come to the New York area, it'll be with the Knicks, the money in endorsements alone will outweigh whatever the Nets can offer him. The Nets should add another scorer and a couple of quality guys off the bench to help their team win. It wasn't too long ago where they were the best team in the Eastern Conference.

The local NBA teams need help in a bad way. They need it soon because once football is over, what in the world is gonna get us through the winter to baseball season? I shutter to think, maybe I'll be better taking up a new hobby. In that case, I better psych myself up for the World Baseball Classic in March!
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Formula For Success Is In The Bronx

There's another month and a half until spring training but like many baseball fans, we like to worry about next season now. With the Yankees making their big splashes this offseason, the typical fan wants to see the new product on the field already. I'm getting impatient.

So the Yankees haven't offically introduced Mark Teixeira as a Yankee yet but it doesn't matter to me, he's a Yankee right now. I have to say I haven't been this giddy over a Yankee team since we added Alex Rodriguez in 2004 and that was for good reason. We were three outs away from the World Series that season and we all know what happen at the end. So now we got another top player, a guy about to reach his prime in Tex. I can't wait for him to bat before A-Rod. These two guys can hit 40 homers apiece and drive in about 120 runs. The possibilities are endless with these two guys in the lineup.

What about the starting rotation? I see it as follows:


  1. CC Sabathia

  2. AJ Burnett

  3. Chein-Ming Wang

  4. Joba Chamberlain

  5. Andy Pettitte/Phil Hughes/ Ben Sheets
Granted that neither Pettitte nor Sheets are signed by the Yankees, they look as the options for the 5th starter by Yankee management. Pettitte is still deciding on the one-year $10 million offer he has on the table, while Sheets is probably waiting for Andy to make a decision so he himself can make a decision on where to go. I like Pettitte to round out the rotation because then, that would give the Yanks one of the best rotations in baseball. Or how bout move Joba back to the set-up role and having Andy as your 4th starter and make Hughes your 5th? Either way, I believe the Yankees are in a winning situation. Spring training can't get here fast enough.
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The Rich Get Richer Part 2: Teixeira's Wearing Pinstripes

They did it again! The Yankees have once again gotten the premeir player on the free agent market, this time it's Mark Teixeira coming to the Bronx. Oh happy days are here again!

The Yankees have now signed 3 of the 4 top free agents on the market this offseason, CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, and now Teixeira. Manny Ramirez is the other top free agent left and his still has a shot at playing in pinstripes. This has been an unbelievable winter for the Yankees and their fans. GM Brian Cashman has put together a solid team from top to bottom, one that complements one another quite nicely. The agreement that the Yankees reached with Mark is for eight years and $180 million. That makes $423.5 million dollars that has been invested in 3 players this winter but how could you argue with the moves? The Yankees desperatly needed pitching, the Yankees went and got it, they needed another bat to replace the departing Jason Giambi and Bobby Abreu, so they got Teixeira. It's not like the Yankees spent for the hell of it, they spent wisely and they spent on needs, like I alluded to earlier this offseason. They now have the perfect guy to complement Alex Rodriguez in the lineup and makes the defense a whole lot better. He's a 28 year old switch-hitting first baseman about to reach the prime of his career, good move by the Yanks and thank goodness we didn't get Manny.

With the addition of Teixeira, this unquestionably puts the Yankees as the team to beat in the American League. The Boston Red Sox were on the verge of signing Teixeira until they withdrew their seven-year $170 million offer last Friday. The other possible suitors for Mark were the Washington Nationals, Baltimore Orioles and Los Angeles (Anahiem) Angels but they all didn't meet Teixeira's wants. The latter of the group, the Angles withdrew their offer on Monday to Mark and Tuesday afternoon he became a Yankee. It's really Christmas in the Bronx. I can't believe it, I feel like a little kid in the candy store with full access to everything. This is exciting and I can't wait for the season to begin. Don't tell me the Yankees buy their championships, because they gave the players what they asked for and simply had the money to do it. If other teams had it, they'd do it too.

As for now, welcome to New York Mark!

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Manny Not A Good Fit For Yanks

According to the NY Daily News, Manny Ramirez is seeking at least a three-year deal from the Yankees. This is something I don't think will happen but I also didn't think Alex Rodriguez was going to come back to the Yankees last winter.

Ramirez is looking for a four-year $100 million deal, but realistically who is going to give him that deal. The way he dogged himself out of Boston, most teams don't want to take the chance on Ramirez doing that to them. So Manny shot himself in the foot with that move. Good advice from Scott Boras, his agent. Boras probably planned that out thinking Manny would cash in this offseason. I think Manny will eventually find a home before the season starts but he's going to have to "settle" for a two-year $50 million deal.

Listen I would love to see Manny bat in front of A-Rod, that would be even scarier than the days of Manny and David Ortiz but the way Manny conducted himself in his final weeks in Boston is the reason you don't want this guy on the team. The Yankees are rounding out a nice little team for next season and Manny would just complicate things. Besides Mark Teixiera, another Boras client makes more sense for the Yankees for roughly the same amount of money. If the Yanks do sign Ramirez then I hope we get the guy who played hard and hustled in L.A. but what happens when Joe Girardi tells Manny to shave and cut his hair? Yea I don't see that going over well and thus we have our first Manny drama. But I have been wrong in the past so we'll have to just wait and see what happens.
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Yankees Show Off Their Christmas Gifts

The Yankees offically introduced CC Sabathia and AJ Burnett on Thursday at the old Yankee Stadium. It was really surreal to see those two men standing next to eachother wearing pinstripes. They were the top of the free agent market and the Yankees were able to get them to commit to the Bronx. It was a good day in Yankeeland.

Brian Cashman deserves a lot of credit for the work he's done. A few notes about the process that Cashman used in getting Sabathia are quite interesting. These notes I found while reading Peter Abraham's Yankees Blog . If you've never visited the site you should, it'll fulfill your every Yankee need and desire.

Cashman had a plan in mind and knew exactly what he was doing all along. In acquiring Santana the Yankees would've had to surrender Phil Hughes and throw an insane amount of money at Johan. Remember when Cashman was hesitant to make the move, everyone thought he was crazy. With Sabathia, he only had to throw the insane amount of money. Turned out to be the right move, as the Yankees kept their most prized pitcher. Here are some other notes in the CC Sabathia Recruiting Process:

  • The Damons spent their first two years with the Yanks living in Manhattan, but then moved to the New Jersey suburbs, and Michelle Damon sold Amber Sabathia on the suburban life. “She said you’re going to love it,” Amber said. “The schools are good, the pediatricians are good, the supermarkets are good – it’s like a nice little place to live.”
  • At the final meeting Cashman and Sabathia had at Sabathia’s California home, Cashman laid out exactly how long Sabathia had been on the Yankees’ radar. He told Sabathia and his agents how the Yankees had been targeting him for over a year and explained the entire process behind their decision, in hopes it would show how committed the Yankees were to Sabathia. “Ten minutes after he left, I called him to tell him I’m in,” Sabathia said. “That really meant a lot to me.”
In recruiting Burnett, Johnny Damon also played a part in the process by calling the big righty. Derek Jeter also called AJ. I think once Sabathia agreed to come to the Bronx that it would get another big free agent pitcher to come here too. The group of Burnett, Derek Lowe, and Ben Sheets you knew one of them was going to follow CC to the Bronx. There was even a point where some thought, myself included that the Yankees could very well sign all of them (that is still a possibility albeit an unlikely one). The Yankees in my opinion got the two best options and that's quite alright with me.

However you want to look at it, the Yankees did what they set ouot to do this winter, get starting pitching. Whether these guys work out in the end or not, Cashman did his job and filled the biggest needs of the team. If he doesn't get CC or AJ then everyone is calling for his head just like last winter. Good work Brian, I commend the work you've done this offseason. I've said it many times, he's the best GM in the game and that's not because he has an open checkbook to work with, it's because he lays out a plan before it's a thought in most people's minds. He's the right man for the job and he got the right men to fix the Yankees. Now all we need is for Andy Pettitte to re-sign and we're ready to go.
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Yankees Set To Introduce New Arms

A.J. Burnett took his physical yesterday, and CC Sabathia's physical was scheduled for today.

As a result, the Yankees have scheduled a 1 p.m. news conference on Thursday. There is a chance both could be introduced at the same time, but that has not yet been confirmed. The Thursday press conference will take place in the old Yankee Stadium. It will a happy day in the Bronx when Sabathia and/if Burnett get introduced. There could be more press conferences this winter if the Yankees do decide to sign either Manny Ramirez or Mark Teixiera . Manny seems more of the logical signing in terms of finances and years they would get him for (2) but we'll see how that story develops. For now, CC your time in the Bronx is here.
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New Look Mets Will Mean Business In '09

The Mets did quite a job this week in fixing their main problem, the bullpen. That problem cost them a playoff spot down the stretch in 2007 and 2008. In a matter of hours the Mets were able to land 2 top notch closers to assure themselves that there will be no encore performance of the recent collapses.

In signing Francisco Rodriguez the Mets got one of the game's best closers. Last season as everyone knows he saved a single-season record 62 games. I believe he will do just fine in New York and he will be able to handle the pressure. He's young, he's energetic, he's talented, he's the right man for the job. A day after getting K-Rod, the Mets went out and got closer JJ Putz from the Seattle Mariners in a 3 team trade. This move put the Mets over the hump and gave them the advantage over the Phillies in the quest for NL East crown. Putz is a closer and it's yet to be seen if he will adapt well to being K-Rod's set-up man but you have to like their chances. Mets GM Omar Minaya brought his A game to the Winter Meetings. He got rid of sour faced Aaron Heilman and didn't give up much to gain Putz. He also didn't break the bank in getting the best closer in baseball not named Mariano Rivera. He turned the Mets from jokes to contenders in the matter of hours. Now, let's see how long it takes for Met fans to call for Minaya's head during the season. Let's be serious here, it'll happen at some point.

The Mets have the best starter in baseball in Johan Santana and they have K-Rod but that doesn't even put them as the main attraction in the city. The Yankees have a big lefty of their own, CC Sabathia and they have the best closer of all time in Rivera. The back page of the newspapers will be a fight for supremcy.

All in all I gotta the Mets credit where it's due. The Mets appear to be the front runners for the NL Pennant but of course it's only December and the games have to played on the field, not on paper. I'll tell you one thing, I can't win for the Subway Series between the Mets and Yankees. That first Santana-Sabathia match up is going to be great.
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The Rich Get Richer: Burnett Going To The Bronx

They keep on coming. The Yankees have their second big name free agent this week. It's being reported that AJ Burnett has agreed to a 5 year $82 million contract. He joins CC Sabathia who agreed to a record setting 7 year $161 million contract earlier this week.

The Yankees have made it very clear that they want starting pitching and will do what it takes to get it. It's easy to say the Yanks are being irresponsible with their money and throwing their weight around but honestly, if they have the money to spend, why not do it? I have $1,000 to spend as my budget for christmas shopping, am I going to spend $150 or am I going to try and spend close to, if not all of that $1,000 I'm allowed to? Exactly, if the money's there, spend it. Plus what most people don't realize that if the Yanks' recent slurge brings home a world championship, then that will bring in money that will cover the expenses. So please stop drinking the hatorade.
Brian Cashman is the best GM in the business. It's easy to say "well if other GMs had his resources then they would make it look easy too." Well I got news for you, the other GM's have money to spend but A LOT but they tend to throw the extra cash they get in their back pocket. Oh, no one says anything about that. Please stop hating on the Yankees, you just make yourself look ridiclious. The Yankees make the money to spend and that's the bottom line. If you don't like it, then find something else to do.

So now that Sabathia and Burnett are on their way to the Bronx, who's next? Did Andy Pettitte's meeting with Cashman in Houston the other day go well or have we seen the last of Andy in pinstripes. If that's the case then Ben Sheets come on down! You're the next free agent heading to the Bronx.
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I Told You So


Earlier this year BEFORE there was any real mention of CC Sabathia going to the Yankees, I hinted at it after a Yankees-Indians spring training game. Turns out I knew what I was talking about. It was something that no one gave much thought to. If you don't believe me, then just look HERE.
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End Of The Road For Pettitte?

If I were a betting man, I'd say Andy Pettitte is coming back to the Yankees. It makes sense for both sides and tonight could be the time we could get an answer on what happens with the lefty.

Brian Cashman left the winter meetings early so he could fly to Houston to meet with Andy and discuss a contract for 2009. Knowing Cashman, he probably has an idea already set in his mind and will tell Andy to take it or leave it. As things look now, it's almost certain that the Yanks will bring in another top free agent pitcher to go along with CC Sabathia. Pettitte could very well fit into the Yankees plans as the no. 5 starter. Let's hope this meeting between Andy and Brian work out for the better.

As I've stated before, I really want Andy to come back and pitch for the Yankees. I hated to see him leave a few years ago and go pitch for the Houston Astros. I couldn't stomach it and I was very happy when he came back 2 winters ago. Last year he had us in limbo but ultimately re-signed. Now he's holding out because he doesn't want to take a pay cut? Come on Andy, after a really bad second half and a winter of steroid scandals and things alng those lines, I think you need to accept whatever the Yanks offer. It will probably be in the $10 million range so how could you accept that?

The Yankees are very serious about putting together a solid top of the line rotation for 2009 and are moving aggressively on making sure that happens. Pettitte is the next stop on the Yankee express and if he doesn't decide soon that train will leave the station and the Yankees will move on and someone else will gladly take his spot. If the Yankees get who they want this winter then this will be the best rotation in years. Pettitte needs to be apart of that and I think at 36, he still has alot left to help this team win a world championship. Andy isn't a man of greed so I can't really see money being the issue here. The Yankees want him back, the fans do, his teammates do and Andy himself wants to come back so what's the hold up? Make the right choice Andy, and come back to the Bronx, it's where you belong.
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Sabathia On His Way To The Bronx


CC Sabathia is now a Yankee. According to the NY Post, Sabathia met with Yankees GM Brian Cashman last night and told him he would accept the 6 year $140 million offer. Sabathia will become the highest paid pitcher in MLB history. At 28, he now becomes he ace of the Yanks, one they so deseperatly needed. I'll have more later today when more details are released. This is a great day if you're a Yankee fan.

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Giants Lose?! Wow, That Never Happens

For the first Sunday this season the Giants looked flat, tired and got outplayed. The Giants were beat at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14. Could this be the result of Plaxico Burress and all the distraction surrounding last week's incident?

To most people the answer would probably be yes. I will have to say that the Burress situation did affect the Giants this week, even if it was indirectly. The focus all week was on Plax and Anotonio Pierce and about what the Giants were going to do as a result of the shooting. Question after question, report after report, rumor after rumor. I honestly don't remember hearing anything about the Eagles this week. Everything I saw was about Plaxico so I can only imagine how things were around the Giants all week. This whole situation was embedded in all of our minds and was the focus in the Meadowlands.

"I thought we had a good week of practice despite what everyone is going to say," Pierce said after the game. "It was just a bad game."

The Giants didn't score until a last second field goal block at the end of the first half. Justin Tuck blocked a Philly FG attempt and it was recovered by Kevin Dockery and he went all the way for the Touchdown. In a matter of seconds the G-men went from lifeless to right back in the thick of things down 10-7 at the half.

"That was what I was looking for. ... We had a chance. We didn't do anything with it," Coach Tom Coughlin said.

Was it a Philly upset on Sunday or was it that the Giants were due for a loss. I think it's a little bit of both. When Brian Westbrook and Donovan McNabb are playing well, they are hard to stop. McNabb finished 19-of-30 for 191 yards. Westbrook gained 131 yards on a season-high 33 carries and caught 6 passes for 72 yards all while recording 1 rushing and receiving TD.

“I just think we kind of beat them,” said Eagles tight end L.J. Smith, who had six catches for 44 yards. “It’s tough to say. That’s one of those: ‘How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll?’ Who knows if the distractions hurt them and helped us? I don’t know.”

The win for Philly gives them life in their pursuit of making the playoffs. The Giants even with the loss clinched the NFC East.

The Giants will face the Cowboys in Dallas next Sunday night in what appears to be a sure classic in the making. The Cowboys are coming off a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday in which they dominated most of the game but lost in the final minutes of the 4th quarter. The Giants 7 game winning streak was snapped and hope that this game was just a bump in the road and the Burress situation is behind them so they can move forward and concentrate on a Dallas team looking for revenge because they didn't put up much of a fight earlier in the season when the teams met in Giants Stadium.

Time for the Giants to put this game behind them and focus on the task at hand, getting by the Cowboys and getting things ready for the postseason. Let's hope Coughlin and his crew are free of distraction the rest of the way.
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A-Rod Will Be Dominican For '09 WBC

Alex Rodriguez is making headlines again, this time it's actually about baseball. Rodriguez says he will play for the Dominican team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. A-Rod played for Team USA in 2006 after months of indecision on what country to represent.

“I am 100 percent sure that I will play for the Dominican Republic team,” he said. “This time, there will be no doubts and it is a dream of my mom’s that I intend to fulfill.”

Sure. Is it me or does anyone see A-Rod changing his mind at least once about this? I mean it doesn't make much of a difference to me what team he plays for but Alex is one that likes the spotlight and likes to make headlines anyway he can. From a Yankee fan's point of view, this is why he gets so much heat from us the fans. It's like he worries about everything else except the things he should be. Not to say he doesn't have a ggreat work ethic but his mind and attention always seems to wander off. I hope A-Rod sticks to his word on this one, I don't need another A-Rod dilemma.

As for the tournament itself, I like the concept of the WBC because it gives me some competitive games in March as opposed to boring spring training games. Not that the winner of the tournament says much in terms of being a great prestigious award, but hey it just gives a country bragging rights for a couple years. I root for Team USA and the Puerto Rican team since I am of Puerto Rican hertitage.

With A-Rod playing for the Dominican team it opens up a spot for Team USA at 3rd base. David Wright and Evan Longoria seem the likely candidates to fill the position for March. I'm gonna have to say Wright will probably get the starting nod.

Let's hope A-Rod doesn't get hurt in the WBC as the Yanks will need him to rebound from his "down" year in 2007, they're going to need the A-Rod of 2007 and most of those 54 HRs. It's the beginning of December and baseball is in the headlines again, I love it. Thanks in part to A-Rod...thanks! I was getting sick of hearing about Plaxico Burress, college football and college basketball.
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10 Things NY Sports Fan Should Be Thankful For

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all, I hope everyone had a good holiday and is enjoying their weekend. There's a lot of things we can be thankful for this year, especially in a time of finanical crisis. As New York sports fans we can be thankful for many things but I'll give you just a few things we can be thankful for this year. In no particular here they are:

Top Ten Things New York Sports Fans Can Be Thankful For:

10: Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy and Kei Igawa combined to lose only 9 games. It could've been A LOT worse, given that Kennedy and Igawa don't belong on a major league mound.

9: Anyone notice the New York Red Bull made it to the MLS Cup? They didn't win it all but at least they represented New York in a championship.

8:Johan Santana didn't blow out his arm this year. If the Mets had made the playoffs they probably would've had them out there on 3 days rest throwing 120 pitches aan outing to make up for a disasterious bullpen. At least you know he'll have some life in his arm for the nexy few years.

7: Mike Mussina found the fountain of youth. If it weren't for Moose, the fianl season at Yankee Stadium could've been horrible. His 20-win season gave the Yanks some respectibility this year or else they would've been done in August.

6: The Nets still have some star power. With Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson as the main attraction the past several years the Nets were competitive, but now the star-studded duo of Vince Carter and Devin Harris should do just fine bringing the Nets to the top of the Atlantic Division.....right?

5: Alex Rodriguez's fling with Madonna keeps the Yankees in the mainstream. Bad publicity is always good publicity.

4: Isiah Thomas was shown the door at Madison Square Garden.

3: Brett Favre stumbled his way onto Broadway. Did anyone mention the Jets as a player in the Favre sweepstakes this summer? I don't think they were ever mentioned but somehow Gang Green got the big star they oh so desperately needed and now are one of the NFL's top teams.

2: Stephon Marbury is not far behind Thomas walking out the door. Thank God Cablevision owner James Dolan found some guys with some type of intelligence in Donnie Walsh and Mike D'Antoni to run the Knicks. In one Friday afternoon Walsh got rid of some bad contracts and set the Knicks up to make a run at the best player on the planet, Lebron James in June 2010.

1: The Giants have played so well this year going back to last year's playoffs to make this city forget how much the Yankees stunk up the town in 2008. Much of the focus has been on Eli Manning and company instead of General Girardi and his wounded crew.

I'm sure there are more things to be thankful for this year but those are some of things that come to mind. Did I miss anything? Maybe, probably. Personally I just want to see the NFL go to the playoffs already and see if the Knicks are going to make progress over the course of the season. Oh, how could I forget CC Sabathia and the Yanks? I wanna see where the hefty lefty goes and for how much. Will the Steinbrenners and Brian Cashman open the checkbook for CC? We'll see. For now I'llbe thankful Joba Chamberlain didn't kill himself when he was arrested for his DUI. Anyways, back to the holiday weekend, until next time.
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Favre, Jets End Titans Undefeated Season


It's starting to get interesting for the other team that plays at Giants Stadium. The Jets have won 5 in a row and are one of the top teams in the AFC. This deserves some space on the blog as they have earned their way on. Brett Favre has led a team that was 4-12 last year to 8-3 so far this season. The last 2 wins coming at the expense of AFC powerhouses, the New England Patriots and the Tennesse Titans.

The Titans came into yesterday's game against the Jets undefeated, they left with their first loss of the season. They beat them in convincing fashion 34-13. Favre threw for 2 touchdowns, Leon Washington ran for 2 and thus the Jets are making waves around the league.

“I’m not going to sit here and say we’ve established ourselves as the best team in football,” Favre said. “All it says is I think we beat the best team in football today, definitely if you go by record and the way that they’ve played. They have been the best team in football.”

The Titans didn't look anywhere near being the NFL's best team yesterday. The Titans went three-and-out on three of their first five drives and had only 55 yards offense until a final drive just before halftime. Favre and the Jets wore out the Titans defense by holding the ball on offense for 40 minutes. Brett threw 25-32, 224 yds 2 TDs, 1 INT. His Tennesse counterpart Kerry Collins threw 21-39, 243 yds 1 TD. The loss for the Titans snapped a 13 game regular season winning streak, dating back to last season. As for New York it was their 5th straight win, the last they did that was October 2004. They have also won 7 of their last 8 games.

“Now people are going to start looking at us and say, ‘They are a team you have to reckon with,”’ Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas said.

Favre has given the Jets a boost of confidence with his presence. The ability to win is there. The Jets are now just 2 games behind the Titans for the AFC's best record, that would secure home field advantage for them in the playoffs. The ability to win big games is also there for the Jets who if faced with a playoff matchup with the Pats or Titans can look them eye to eye and know they can stand toe to toe with them. The confidence is building week after week. All this talk about a New York-New York Super Bowl might be premature at this point but with the way both teams are playing, you have at least acknowledge it as being a reasonable thought.

Now here's a little stat for the record books, with the win, Favre broke a tie with Dan Marino for victories in the most NFL stadiums by winning in his 32nd at LP Field.

For now Brett and the Jets will have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, a top spot in the AFC.
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The last time Eli Manning and the Giants were in Glendale, Arizona they won Super Bowl XXII. Manning had won the MVP award for his performance in that game, a game that established him as an elite NFL QB. Yesterday, the Giants returned to the scene of their Super Bowl win. They left with the same result, a win. They beat the Arizona Cardinals 37-29, snapping Arizona's 7 game home winning streak.

“It’s just a totally different feel, it’s just a different time,” Manning said. “You never really compared it to the last time we were here. We knew we’d have a tough contest with Arizona.”

Manning threw for 3 touchdowns and went 26-33, 240 yds passing. The Giants were without RB Brandon Jacobs who was out with a knee injury and they also lost WR Plaxico Burress in the 1st quarter beacuse he injured his hamstring. This was no problem for Eli who led the offense to 37 points, thus marking the 4th week in a row they have scored at least 30 points. Domenik Hixon had kickoff returns of 83 and 68 yards and caught 6 passes for 57. Manning connected with a 10 yard pass to Kevin Boss in the 4th quarter. Kicker John Carney also connected on 3 field goals.

The Cardinals, led by QB Kurt Warner did their best to stay with the Giants. Warner was 32-for-52 and passed for 351 yards, the 5th straight game in which he passed for at least 300. He was intercepted once and fumbled once, both leading to Giants touchdowns.

“They’re a good defense and we matched up with them very well and went toe to toe with them for 60 minutes,” Warner said. “Of course, you never want to go away a loser and that part is disappointing. I think you leave from this game and move ahead. If we eliminate some of the mistakes we can play with anybody in the league.”

The Giants improved to 10-1 on the season. They are defending their championship with pride and passion. They have stepped up to every challenge that has come their way this season. Yesterday was another win on the road for New York. One would think that the Giants at some point would lose some steam but they have continued to roll. They are the best team in the NFL without question. The schedule gets a little tougher next week as the Giants travel down to Washington to play the Redskins, a team they took care of at the Medowlands in Week 1. The 'Skins have played well and are 7-4 on the year and should provide the G-men another challenge. I guess when you're the defending champs nothing comes easy the second time around. Let's see how far the Giants go with this hot streak.
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Moose Goes Out In Style


This week Mike Mussina called it a career. He was able to go out on his terms. He admitted that he knew this was going to be his last season as he made the decision back before spring training. So now Mussina is offically done after recording the 1st 20 win season of his career, good for him.

"I knew that was going to be my last year since the first day of spring training," Mussina said via conference call. "I just didn't want it to be part of the season. I just wanted baseball to be the season, and (to) go enjoy the game."

Mike has always been a classy guy. A quiet yet firm man. He was never about flash and was always about business, as in taking care of it on the field. Now he walks away following one of the best seasons in his career. Mussina as everyone knows started 2008 with a 1-3 record and an era north of 5.00 and looked washed up. A couple of meetings with Manny Ramirez in April made Moose look like an old 39-year old but he turned things around quick. If it weren't for Mussina this year the Yankees would've been done a lot sooner than they were. He was with no question the Yanks MVP this season. So now the Yankees lose more than just a starting pitcher, they lose a leader and a positive influence in the clubhouse.

"I always said that when I got to this point I wanted to go out on my own terms," Mussina said. "I didn't want to go out with somebody telling me it was time to go. I didn't want to be trying to find a job where I couldn't find a job."

I will remember Game 3 of the 2001 ALDS against the Oakland A's as Mussina best game as a Yankee. With the Yankees down 2 games to none in the series Moose was given the ball and had to win or else the Yanks were going home. This was also the game where Derek Jeter made the infamous "Flip". In that game Mussina pitched 7 shutout innings that night and the Yankees won 1-0. They eventually ended up winning the series and advanced to the ALCS then the World Series. Another memorable game for Mosse was against during Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS, Mussina authored one of the greatest clutch pitching performances of all time. The Yankees were trailing Boston 4–0 Mussina made the first relief appearance of his career. With runners on at the corners and no one out Mussina got out of the jam and kept Boston as bay with 2 more scoreless innnings. The Yankees as everyone knows came back and won the game on Aaron Boone's 11th inning homerun.

Now the talk surrounding Mussina is whether he is deserving of making the Hall-of-Fame. I think he is. His consistency over the years is uncanny and hard to match. I have read the papers and a few websites where this issue has been debated. Many think Moose will get in, if not on the first try, then his second. A good point made in Mike's case is that he pitched in the American League East his whole career, a tough division throughout Moose's career. In the 18 years Mike pitched in the AL East, he pitched to 8 World Series winning teams Blue Jays 1992-93, Yankees ‘96, 1998-2000, Red Sox 2004, ‘07. He also pitched during the steroid era. Mussina is 19th in history in strikeouts. His career record is 270-153 with a ERA. He is also one of 25 players ever to win 270 games. His career winning percentage of .638 is quite impressive in today's game. He and Randy Johnson are the only pitchers since 1900 to own a career record of at least 50 games over .500 with two different teams. He finished 123-72 with a 3.88 ERA as a Yankee. No other American League pitcher had more wins than Moose while he was in pinstripes. He also won 7 gold gloves, 1996-99, 2001, 2003 and 2008. Moose recorded 17 straight seasons of at least 11 wins, now that is impressive because he's the ONLY AL pitcher to ever accomplish that. Amazing.

"I've done as much as I'm capable of doing at the level I want to do it at," Mussina said. "If it creates a good argument than that's all the better."

Brian Cashman was asked if Moose was a Hall-of-Famer in his book, his response:

"There's no question in my mind he's a Hall of Famer"

Jeter had this to say regarding Mussina:

“It was a great pleasure playing against – and even more so with – Mike Mussina since I entered the league in 1995. He was a true professional both on and off the field. Moose’s accomplishments in the game over the last 18 years represent a Hall of Fame player.”

Mussina played 18 seasons, 10 with the Balitmore Orioles and 8 with the Yankees. Mussina didn't get a chance to win a championship here in New York but he lived up to everything he was suppose to be. He was signed with the intentions of solidifying the staff and that's what he did. 2007 was one to forget for Mike but he rebounded by being the ace in 2008 finishing 20-9. I have liked Mussina as a Yankee because of his consistency. In '07 it was hard to see the man struggle the way he did, you knew he was so much better than what you saw. I am very happy for him that he was able to regroup and finish his career on top the way he did. I wish he could've won a championship with the Yanks. Maybe one day he will as a coach. I want to thank Mussina for giving the Yankees everything he had out their on the mound, as a fan I really appreciate when a player gives 100 percent with each performance, A class act is what best describes Mike Mussina, he will be missed in the Bronx.
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QUITE FRANKLY: Change Has Come....Finally For the Knicks


What just happened here? The Knicks made two trades in about 3 hours that just set the franchise up for possibly the biggest move/s in their history. Yesterday the Knicks shipped their top 2 leading scorers out of town so they can clear enough money to make a run at the NBA's biggest name, Lebron James.

In one deal, the Knicks sent Jamal Crawford to the Golden State Warriors for Al Harrington. The other trade, Zach Randolph and Mardy Collins were sent packing to the Los Angeles Clippers for Cuttino Mobley and Tim Thomas.

Knicks President Donnie Walsh is a big fan of Harrington, a man he drafted while with the Indiana Pacers.
"I drafted Al back in 1998, and I think his talents are a great fit for our style of play," Donnie Walsh said. "This trade also gives us more long-term flexibility, while enabling us to remain competitive this season."

What a bold move by Walsh, who put the foundation down on his vision for the Knicks. By the summer of 2010 the Knicks will be under the salary cap and have enough money to go after James. They might even be able to get Lebron and another superstar, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Amare Stoudemire, Steve Nash anyone? The Knicks will take those names and would love to put any of those on the back of their jersey's.

Clearly the direction of the Knicks has changed drastically within the last year. With Isiah Thomas out of the picture the Knicks are doing whatever they can to put a consistent winner on the court. They've benched superstar Stephon Marbury and big time bust Eddy Curry all season, perhaps waiting for another team to make an offer for both or maybe they just simply want to make their lives miserable, who knows. The new head coach Mike D'Antoni wants to win and doesn't deal with drama, hence the benching of Marbury and Curry. His style is up-tempo and aggressive, Marbury and Curry don't fit into his system so why waste everyone's time and have them attempt to fit his mold. They won't do it so let's not bother thinking about it. Marbury and Curry are as good as dead in Knick uniforms.

The plan for the Knicks is in place and ready to go. Now, even after an era in which Madison Square Garden has never seen, the Knicks' days as an NBA laughingstock appear to be coming to an end. The Knicks have played decent this season and gave fans a sense of hope for a competitive season, one that may still happen, but the sign from management indicates change is on the way to MSG and once it hits, the Garden will be rocking again, like the days of the 90's.

"It's always going to be a possibility that one day the face of this franchise is going to change," Mike D'Antoni said early Friday. "(Walsh's) plan is pretty clear... In a couple of years we're going to be under the cap. Everything he will do will lead us to being under the cap in two years. And I'll deal with making sure the team is competitive and we'll try to make the playoffs this year."

Optimism at its best. I like it. Wouldn't it be great if New York had a championship contender in baseball, football and basketball? The Rangers have been inconsistent the last few years so it's hard to call them a championship contender but New York is the sports capital of the world, it's time it's also the Championship Capital of the world. Could we ever see a year where New York could dominate the sports world, much like Boston has done in recent memory? The Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox all have won championships in the last few years and if it wasn't for Eli Manning and David Tyree's "greatest catch ever" Boston would've won the championship in 3 of the 4 major sports in 2007-08 season. Wow. 2010 looks like a good year for New York, I mean we have enough damn teams around here that we should be in contention every single year. Well, here's to Donnie Walsh and his plan to resurrect MSG. Lebron is on his way to NYC!
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Pedoria Wins AL MVP

The AL MVP was announced this week and went to Dustin Pedoria of the Boston Red Sox. Pedoria in his second year captures the league's top award a year after he was named the American League Rookie of the Year.

G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG OPS
157 653 118 213 17 83 .326 .376 .493 .869

Dustin received 16 of 28 first-place votes. The runner-up Justin Morneau recieved seven. Along with leading the league in hits, runs and doubles, Pedroia was successful on 20 of 21 steal attempts.

In a season where David Ortiz wasn't Big Papi and Manny Ramirez decided Boston wasn't for him and didn't play up to his capability, Pedoria was a constant strength in the Red Sox lineup. When Ramirez was traded in July, Pedoria was inserted as the no 4 hitter in the lineup and responded with a couple big performances. He also won a gold glove this year.

Congratulations to him and the season he had.
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Pujols Gets His 2nd MVP

The NL MVP was announced on Monday and the award went to Albert Pujols of the Cardinals. It is Pujols' second MVP award, his first one coming in 2005. The Phillies' Ryan Howard placed second in the voting.

Pujols hit .357 37 HR and 116 RBIs while playing with a sore right elbow. Pujols got 18 of the 32 first-place votes in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. It seemed like many people thought Pujols would get the MVP nod over Howard because Albert played on a team that was in contention until September mainly because of his production. Howard led the majors with 48 HR and 146 RBIs but ultimately lost out on the award. Pujols had a significant advantage over Howard when it came to batting average (.357 to .251) , slugging percentage (.653 to .543) , and on-base percentage (.462 to .339). Howard also got to the plate 50 more times than Pujols with runners in scoring position. So that could've been a factor the writers took into account as well. Pujols earned a $200,000 bonus for winning the award.

This was a good call by the writers. Even tho the Cardinals didn't make the playoffs Pujols was the right choice. He hit .398 in August that kept the Cards in the playoff hunt into September, he also had no supporting cast around him, not to mention he dealt with a sore elbow all year. Gotta give the him credit where credit is due. Howard did help the Phillies past the Mets in Septemeber by having his best month at the plate. He set a team record with 32 RBI in the season's final month.

The AL MVP will be announced on Tuesday. That choice was a lot tougher to make because there wasn't one clear cut winner. It'll be interesting to see who wins as both the Red Sox and Twins have a couple men up for the award.
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Lesnar KO's Courture To Win UFC Championship


He was labeled "The Next Big Thing" while he was in the WWE and now, he's just that in the UFC. Last night Brock Lesnar became the new UFC Heavyweight Champion defeating Randy Courture for the tittle.

"It sounds really good," Lesnar said after being introduced as the new heavyweight champion. "I can't believe it.

Couture(16-9), 6-foot-2, 220-pound was at a disadvantage physically against the 6-3, 275-pound Lesnar (3-1). Not to mention the age difference, Lesnar is 31 and Couture 45.
Lesnar gave Courture a right hand that landed behind the ear and Randy went down. Brock wasted no time in capitalizing on the moment and got on top of Courture and delivered numerous hammered fists. The referee stopped the bout at 3:07 in the 2nd round when Randy was unable to defend himself from Lesnar's onslaught.

Good for Brock. I liked him as a wrestler in the WWE and I wanted to see him succeed in the UFC. A lot of the critics didn't think a former wrestler could make the transition to the "real" world of the ring but Lesnar has done just that. It took him 4 fights to reach the top in the UFC but honestly does this surprise anyone? The guy is a beast. He has ungodly strength, raw power, brute force, and can move around pretty well for a guy his size so his early success doesn't shock me. He is going to get better in time and we've seen him progress since his first fight back in Janurary.

"I just believe in hard work and it pays off."

The Next Big Thing has arrived. That means a lot of money for Lesnar and the UFC, it also means that the guys in the UFC better beware of Brock because he's just getting started.
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Knicks Top Thunder 116-106

The Knicks are 3 games over .500, call the President! Call Isiah Thomas, call James Dolan, call anyone you can reach. Alright I went a little overboard but the Knicks are playing well these days and it's been awhile since I been able to say that.

Last night the Knicks beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-106 at MSG.Zach Randolph scored 29 points and had 19 rebounds to help the Knicks to victory last night.

"He's a stat-gatherer," D'Antoni said after Randolph had recorded his seventh straight double-double by halftime. "He's unbelievable. He's got great instincts, great feel, and long arms help."

Jamal Crawford also added 29 points. David Lee scored 18 and Nate Robinson 15. The last time the Knicks were 3 games over .500 was in December of 2004. Like I said, it's been awhile since the Knicks were this "good". I use the term "good" loosely. But it's nice to know the Knicks are tolerable these days and you can actually watch them.

"We're just becoming a better team, period," Robinson said

All this without Stephon Marbury and Eddy Curry who are still riding the bench. The thinking of coach Mike D'Antoni and GM Donnie Walsh is that these two men are the cancer of the team and don't want them anywhere near the court. Sweet. I want to see them go, I don't care how you get rid of them just do it. The big money men have done nothing but create headaches since their arrivals and have worn out their welcome. Good riddance. Get them the hell out of here.

I want to see how the Knicks respond from here. They have the tough Dallas Mavericks in the next couple days, we'll see if they can continue to ride their momentum of good fortune against their old pal Jason Kidd and company. The offense is srating to flow and the defense is getting there. These are exciting times at the Garden, if you're into early season success. But with the Knicks any success is exciting. So take it for what it's worth and enjoy it. I'm sure Curry and Marbury are enjoying it too.
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Yanks Make Offer To Sabthia


The Yankees missed the playoffs this season for the first time since 1993 and they do not want that to happen again....EVER. Yesterday marked the first day of free agency and the Yankees were ready.

The biggest need for the Yankees right now is starting pitching. The biggest free agent out there is CC Sabathia who happens to be a starting pitcher. Well there's a perfect match. It comes as no surprise that the Yankees are going to go after the hefty lefty but how aggressive they really are going to be is the question. On Friday we got out answer. The Yankees made the lefty an offer of 6 years and around $140 million, that's just to start things off. The final number could very well be around $150 million. The Yanks are wasting no time in getting targeting their main man.

The offer was set to discourage other teams from having a shot at signing Sabathia. The Mets, Angels, Dodgers, and Brewers all appear to be in the running but it'll be tough to match or exceed the offer the Yankees gave CC. The Mets gave Johan Santana a 6 year $137 million so it doesn't look likely that the Mets will offer another pitcher a similar deal, even if it would give them one of the best rotations in baseball. The Brewers simply do not have the resources the other teams do financially so they don't appear to be a contender here. The Angels and Dodgers both have to deal with their own free agents who will both likely command big money in the ballpark of $20 million each per season (Mark Teixeira for the Angels and Manny Ramirez for the Dodgers).

The Yanks big spending doesn't stop there. They are going after free agent pitchers AJ Burnett and Derek Lowe. They are going to make them substantial offers as well.

"We’re prepared to make offers to (A.J.) Burnett and (Derek) Lowe. I’m starting to become very optimistic. I think it’s going to be mutually beneficial to us and for these particular players that we’re after for them to join the Yankees” said Hank Steinbrenner.


The Yanks aren't playing games. They want their pitchers and they want them ASAP. I like the aggressiveness here. Get these deals done and get everyone ready for spring training in Feburary. I can't see Sabathia turning down so much money from the Yanks. Whatever happens this winter one thing is for certain, the Yankees will find a way to get an ace and will add starting pitching that will put them with one of the best rotations in the league. CC will get his cake and eat it too. The Yankees will even give him the plate, the fork, and the cake of his choice and watch him eat it. That's how badly the Yankees want to win. That's how much of a panic the Yankees are in after missing the playoffs. They enter 2009 going into the New Yankee Stadium and want a new ace to lead the staff into familiar territory, the World Series. A year after shying away from Santana and the mega deal he wanted, the Yankees are going ALL in for Sabathia, I love it. Show him the money and me a ring! I can't wait.
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A-Rod and Jeter Add More Awards

On Thursday both Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter picked up awards, they received Louisville Slugger's Silver Slugger Award in the American League for their respective positions. It marks the 2nd year in a row in which they have won the award as a pair.

Louisville Slugger's Silver Slugger Award winners were determined by a vote of Major League Baseball coaches and managers who vote for the players they felt were the best offensive producers at each position in both the American and National Leagues in 2008.

A-Rod's 2008 numbers were .302 with 35 home runs and 103 RBIs (That can be seen at the left of the page). 2008 also marked the 11th consecutive year that Alex hit at least 35 HR and drove in 100 RBI. That's quite an impressive feat. It's numbers and facts like that that remind us why Alex is one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball. His October failures in recent years are what we remember most about Alex. Not to mention his off the field dilemmas. Yet he finds a way to be a constant power producer in the lineup every year. Gotta give the man credit, he got skills. This is the 10th time Alex has won the award.

As for the Yankee captain, Jeter hit .300 for the 4th consecutive year, adding 11 HRs and 69 RBI. This is the 3rd straight year that Derek has won the award. He is another consistent bat in the Yankee lineup that Yankee fans and teammates can count on on a night in and night out basis.

Here are the rest of the winners for the Silver Slugger Award.


2008 Silver Sluggers
AMERICAN LEAGUE
C Joe Mauer, MIN
1B Justin Morneau, MIN
2B Dustin Pedroia, BOS
3B Alex Rodriguez, NYY
SS Derek Jeter, NYY

OF Josh Hamilton, TEX
OF Carlos Quentin, CWS
OF Grady Sizemore, CLE
DH Aubrey Huff, BAL


NATIONAL LEAGUE
C Brian McCann, ATL
1B Albert Pujols, STL
2B Chase Utley, PHI
3B David Wright, NYM
SS Hanley Ramirez, FLA
OF Ryan Braun, MIL
OF Matt Holliday, COL
OF Ryan Ludwick, STL
P Carlos Zambrano, CHC


David Wright of the Mets also won the award for his production at 3B this past season.
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Yanks Continue To Make Moves For '09

The Yankees front office, Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner said a few days ago that they were going to be aggressive this offseason and would address all the teams' needs and issues. Over the last 48 hours they have made some moves to help the roster.

Marte Re-signs -----------



On Wednesday they re-signed lefty Damaso Marte to a 3 year contract with a club option for 2012. The Marte signing was bound to happen as there was no way the Yankees were gong to lelt him walk away from the team considering that lefties out of the bullpen are hard to come by these days.

“We looked at him over a broad range of his work. His stuff is there and finding a left-hander has been difficult,” Cashman said. “I can’t say exactly what his role will be, but he can pitch from the fifth inning through to the eighth.”

The Yanks haven't had a good lefty reliever since Mike Stanton back in the dynasty years. His last productive season was in 2002. I knew this deal was going to get done because the Yankees traded away 3 guys toget him. This was the great trade pulled off by Cashman in which he robbed the Pirates of Marte and Xavier Nady. Both men are now under contract for 2009.
--------------------------------------------------


Yanks Get Nick Swisher ---------


The other move the Yankees made was acquiring switch-hitting first baseman/outfielder Nick Swisher and right-handed pitcher Kanekoa Texeira from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for infielder Wilson Betemit and right-handed pitchers Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez. Swisher addresses the need for a 1B for the time being. When asked who would be the starting first baseman if the season started tomorrow Cashman replied "Nick Swisher". Swisher can also play the outfield which adds to his value. I do have to question his overall value to begin with. He has power and can get on base but his average wasn't great last year and he doesn't look like he'll improve. A positive sign with Nick is over the last 4 seasons he has recorded at least 20 doubles and 20 homers, not bad, not to mention he's also a switch hitter. The addition of Swisher gives the Yanks a lot of flexibilty with just one guy. He can be your righty hitting first baseman or your lefty hitting centerfielder, how cool is that? If Nick can just hit around .270 the Yankees are a winner in this move.

“We’re excited with the addition of Nick Swisher,” said Yankees Manager Joe Girardi. “We feel he has a ton of upside. He’s a patient switch-hitter, adds versatility at a number of defensive positions, including first base and the outfield, and will be a positive presence inside the clubhouse.”

The Yankees were so impressed by how the Tampa Bay Rays won on the basis of being young and athletic. Swisher fits the bill on both. Swisher, 27, batted .219 (109-for-497) with 86 runs, 21 doubles, 24 HR and 69 RBI in 153 games with the White Sox in 2008, leading all American League switch-hitters in home runs and ranking 2nd in RBI.
He made 69 starts in center field, 47 starts at first base, 16 starts in left field and 11 starts in right field. The guy can move around.

I didn't expect this move by the Yanks but I like it. It gives them flexibilty at a few different positions and didn't cost them much. It saves the Yanks money by not throwing the checkbook at Mark Texieria (even tho that's still a possibilty). It appears that Cashman and the front office are clearing looking to get younger and athletic. As I mentioned the Rays made it all the way to the World Series on those two things. Sure there were a lot of other factors that got Tampa Bay to the dance but youth and athleticism got them a long way. Many organizations look to follow in those footsteps and now use Tampa's foundation as a model to go by.

The offseason of change has started and with Friday being the first day of free agency ANYTHING is possible. The Yankees and CC Sabathia watch will be on. Is it a matter of time before he's in pinstripes or will it take more than a blank check to lure him to the Bronx? We'll find out.
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Giants Continue To Roll In Philly


The NFC East was suppose to be the toughest division in the NFL but the Giants have made sure the only tough thing about their division is them. Last week they gave the Cowboys a beating, last night they took care of the Eagles.

It was a little tougher for the Gmen this week as the game went down to the final minutes to decide who was coming out on top. Eli Manning threw 2 touchdown passes (17-31,191 yards) and Brandon Jacobs had 2 TD runs in the 36-31 victory. It was the second week in a row where the Giants offense exploded for 30 plus points. The game was ultimately decided with 1:55 remaining in the 4th quarter. The Eagles had the ball at their own 45 and were facing a 4th and 1. The Eagles elected to give the ball to Brain Westbrook to try and gain the yard they needed for a 1st down but he was stopped by Chase Blackburn and thus sealed the win for New York.

The win puts the Giants at 8-1 on the year and puts Philly at 5-4, 3 games back of New York and tied with Dallas.

It was a back and forth game which saw numerous lead changes. Eagles QB Donovan McNabb threw for 3 TD passes (17-36, 194 yds 1 INT) and that still wasn't enough. Another big moment in the game was in the 3rd quarter when Manning threw a 17 yard pass to Kevin Boss but the play was ruled illegal because it appeared Manning was ahead of the line of scrimmage. The Giants challenged the ruling on the field and replays showed Eli's back foot was still behind the line and thus the ruling on the field was overturned and gave the Giants a 1st down. Two plays later the Giants scored on Jacobs' 3 yard TD run making it 27-24.


“I think the way the rule is written, it was worth taking a shot at it,” said Manning, who urged Coughlin to challenge the call. “If you have one toe on the line of scrimmage, then it’s a legal pass. I thought it was worth the risk.”

The risk payed off for New York. The Eagles weren't too thrilled with the overturn of the call.


“I don’t know what they were looking at,” defensive tackle Mike Patterson said.


This was another big win for the Giants as they further themselves from the rest of the division. The Eagles needed a win to stay afloat wit New York as a win would've seperated the two teams by 1 game in the NFC East. It was a hostile crowd in Philadelphia but the Giants are no strangers to winning on the road and look forward to the challenge.


“It’s great to win here,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “It reinforces everything we believe about team, supporting each other and finding a way to win the game.”

The defending Super Bowl Champs are finding ways to win these tough games and that makes them a scary team going into the second half of the year. If they can keep things up, the playoffs look like they'll no sweat for Eli and the boys. Another meeting with the Eagles, Cowboys, and Redskins still awaits the Gmen so they can get through those games like they did the first time around, I'd say this team is set to make a run at returning to the Super Bowl.
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2008 Gold Glove Winners

I didn't the chance to post the Gold Glove Award winners this week so here they are:

2008 GOLD GLOVE WINNERS
(Position, player, Gold Gloves won and team)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

P--Mike Mussina, 7, New York
C--Joe Mauer, 1, Minnesota
1B--Carlos Pena, 1, Tampa Bay
2B--Dustin Pedroia, 1, Boston
3B--Adrian Beltre, 2, Mariners
SS--Michael Young, 1, Texas
OF--Torii Hunter, 8, Los Angeles
OF--Grady Sizemore, 2, Cleveland
OF--Ichiro Suzuki, 8, Mariners

--------------------------------

NATIONAL LEAGUE


P--Greg Maddux, 18, Los Angeles
C--Yadier Molina, 1, St. Louis
1B--Adrian Gonzalez, 1, San Diego
2B--Brandon Phillips, 1, Cincinnati
3B--David Wright, 2, New York
SS--Jimmy Rollins, 2, Philadelphia
OF--Nate McLouth, 1, Pittsburgh
OF--Carlos Beltran, 3, New York
OF--Shane Victorino, 1, Philadelphia


It's nice to see some new names on the list and not just your usual All-Star at every position. Congratulations to the winners.
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QUITE FRANKLY: Bring Andy Back


What do the Yankees do with Andy Pettitte? Do they re-sign him, do they let him walk? It's a tough call if you're Yankee management but given Andy's track record, why not give him another chance?

Pettitte went 2-7 with an ERA north of 6.00 last season in his last 11 starts and he missed his last start of the season because of elbow soreness. So does he really deserve a chance to rebound from that horrid second half? He does, because he's Andy Pettitte. What does that mean? It means that despite Pettitte being on the downside of his career the Yanks should give hima 1-year deal worth around 10 or 11 million because he was their big game pitcher for so many years. Yes I realize those days were a long time ago but a lefty who can win 12-15 games surely deserves a chance in the rotation, a rotation that are full of question marks.

Mike Mussina is almost certain to retire, maybe as early as this week so bringing Andy back won't cause an overflow of starting pitchers in the rotation. I believe Andy still has some juice (no pun intended) in that left arm of his and can help the Bombers make a run into October. He can be penciled in as the 4th starter assuming the Yankees accomplish their offseason wish list of obtaining CC Sabathia and another high end starter to go along with current ace Chien-Ming Wang.

Pettitte filed for free agency today thus for the time being ending his tenure with the Yankees. He has stated on more than one occasiont that he would only return to play for the Yankees and not any other team.

"I let them know a few weeks ago I'd like to come back and play," Pettitte said at Joe Torre's annual Safe At Home Foundation dinner, which honored the 1998 World Champion Yankees. "My agent said he would call me if he had heard anything and he hasn't heard anything."


What are the Yankees waiting for? I think this really is a no brainer unless they are mulling what kind of deal they're going to offer the lefty.

"I don't want a multiyear deal. I only want one year," he said. "I would love to hear if they wanted me back or not. I'm not even thinking money. I think I've made it perfectly clear what my intentions are and where I'd like to play baseball. Other than that I'll have to wait and see what they'd like to do."



Looks like Andy is making this very easy for GM Brian Cashman. He wants to play for the Yankees, 1 year, money isn't an issue, so why the wait? I'm sure a deal will get done, I'll be highly surprised if the Yanks turn the other cheek on this. It's better than throwing the likes of Sidney Ponson and company out there. Maybe with the new stadium opening this year they want to go in a different direction, which could be a possiblity but I think the idea of having Andy in pinstripes is too strong to deny. I want to him back and I'm sure many guys on the team and many fans want to see him back, so I hope this ends well for Pettitte and we see him back in the Bronx for 2009.
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Willie Named Bench Coach In Milwaukee

Willie Randolph is back in the dugout as he was hired as a bench coach for the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday. He will be under new manager and personal friend Ken Macha.

"I'm excited, looking forward to this next challenge and getting to work," Randolph said in a conference call. "I love teaching and I'm passionate about being in the game."


Good for Willie. He was let go as manager of the Mets back in June around 3am Eastern time in Anahiem, one game into a west coast trip by Mets management. A move that was highly criticized. I, for one thought this was a disgrace. How Mets ownership let Randolph board a plane and fly across the country, play one game into the trip (a game they won, and then fire him while most people were asleep was disgusting. They handled the situation poorly and have since admitted such.

Since Willie's firing he has shown up on several occasions in Yankee pinstripes. He was apart of the Yankees Old Timer's Day back in August and also apart of the final game celebration of Yankee Stadium. Willie spent 11 seasons as a coach for the Yankees until he was named Mets manager in 2005. Randolph still vows that he wants to manage but for the time being he has no problem being a coach.

"Eventually, I do want to get back to managing," Randolph said. "I didn't really want to wait around. ... I thought it was best to make this move."


Randoplh served as Joe Torre's bench coach in 2004 so this is not unfamilar ground for him. Let's see how the Brewers respond to the new men in charge next season. They might take a step back if they are unable to sign free agents CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets. The Brewers have a nice young team but it'll be tough to overcome a loss of one or both of these men. All I have to say is good luck Willie, you're a good man and I hope when you visit Citi Field in 2009 there's a way you can stick it to the Mets.
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FanPost: Philly Love


I recently received an email by a reader who wanted to share her love of sports and nightlife with us. Her name is Amanda, she's from Philadelphia, she's apart of the Philly Music Video Street Team, she's also a huge of the Phillies. I think it's great when someone is passionated about their teams and their sports. Amanda does an excellent job of showing some Philly pride. Now just as a sidenote, this was written earlier this year. It's based on Philly culture, nightlife and sports. Hope you guys enjoy this special contribution from Amanda.


---------------------------------

Philly Music Video/clubs/sports April/2008



Most clubs have the potential to create a good time. However, few are among the upper echelon of excellence.

Nightlife varies from region to region. The best party cities in the US are traditionally defined as New York, Los Angeles, and most recently Miami.

L.A. and Miami have the benefit of warm weather to enhance their appeal. New York has no scenic advantage, but manages to consistently be the city that sets the precedent for exquisite night life.

So I wonder why in the city of Philadelphia, a city that has so much pride and so much heart (and let’s not forgot cheese steaks, the best late night food ever!) are these clubs so few and far between.

We can’t manage to win a championship, but Philly fans are the most devout ever. It’s not enough for us to love our teams, everyone else even considering coming to South Philly for a game has to embrace and love our teams too. Come on, what other city has a precent in their stadium to hold enthusiastic fans that get a little too crazy?

Even though the Eagles didn’t even make it to the playoffs this year, the love at the Linc was so strong on any given Sunday that you would think we already had super bowl rings. When the 07’ football season ended without avoiding the curse. The momentum for the Sixers and Flyers was already in full swing. We are so sure that one of these teams if not both (*the Sixers and the Flyers both qualified for playoff spots this season*) will be the ones to break the curse, and give Philly its long awaited, much anticipated, and well deserved championship. If they can’t get it together to win big this season, then there is always our beloved Phillies who are certain to bring on a Broad Street parade.

So with moral of this magnitude Philly has no excuse not to be the Golden Global (yeah that’s right even better then Ibiza) standard of nightlife…Unless William Penn cursed night life as well…

The Curse:

Anyone living in Philly that has been even semi- conscience since 1987 is aware of that damn William Penn curse plaguing our city.

And like most of my partying peers we want a championship we can remember. I was 1 when the Sixers defeated the Lakers in our last Philadelphia championship victory. I want to experience the ambiance reminiscent of that magical era, but remixed to reflect all that Philly is, and all that is has become.

So even if we don’t get to see a Philadelphia team break the curse and win a championship game. I still want to pop bottles and party like we took home championship rings!

Death is nothing, but to live defeated is to die every day.
Napoleon Bonaparte
1769-1821

So what, we have some crazy azz curse. A touch of darkness only adds to Philly’s mystique. Philadelphia is not by any means defeated. Hey, even Rocky had to get knocked down before he got back up.

We are all too familiar with increasing violence that has inflicted our city, and seems to have infected some of our youth. The media and even some fellow Philadelphians are calling the city of brotherly love, killadelphia…how’s that for irony?

On a lighter note amongst all that is bad about Philly there is so much more that truly makes the city shine. Cheese steaks, water ice, culture, arts, the Mummers, South St., SOUTH PHILLY!!, olde city, just to mention a few, but the list could go on for days.

It’s the dawn of a new day. We have a new mayor. We have a chance to vote in the democratic primary this year. Philly’s pride, strength, and heart transcends any curse.

So to elevate the curse I present to you, Philadelphia…

The Gift:

Clearly we have what it takes to survive in the city, but do we have what it takes to revive the city?

The atmosphere of a city is captured in the clubs. It is a reflection of the spirit and energy of a city.



Philadelphia has all of the ingrediants for the recipe of superior nite life. Its just a matter of bringing them all together to elevate Philly to the top tier of nite life excellence.

Philadelphia was our nations first capital. Clearly, we have what it takes to start a revolution. So Philadelphia I invite you to partake in the revolution of Philly nite life, and you have VIP access to be a part of Philly’s rise to prominence, to reclaim our number one spot. I believe that the summer of 08’ will redefine Philadelphia nite life, and take Philly to another level. You will be able to go to the best city to party without ever leaving the city.


Veni, vidi, vici
Julius Caesar

------------------------------------


Much love goes out to Amanda and the Philly Music Video Street Team. I want to personally thank them for reading the blog and supporting myself and ChasingRecords. If you have something that is sports related and you would like to submit it please contact us.
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