I know this is a couple of days old but I didn't get a chance to get to this. This article comes from Ed Price of Fanhouse. I just don't get how someone can even think of saying the Red Sox had no rival in this past decade. It is fine if you want to try and make the argument that they are the team of the decade but the Yankees obviously have to be in the discussion.
The New York Yankees only missed the playoffs once which was in 2008 and they won 4 pennants and 8 division titles to go along with their 2 bookend World Titles. The Boston Red Sox won 2 titles also, no other team won more then one. The Red Sox also missed the playoffs 4 times in the decade, they won 2 pennants and 1 division title. Please take a look at this article and let him know what you think.
No Rival to Red Sox in 2000s -- MLB FanHouse
The New York Mets signing of Jason Bay has reignited the Hot Stove and it does affect the Yankees as well. The New York Mets needed to get the ball rolling and did a good job here, Yankees fans will be happy that although no one expected him to go back to Boston now it is official. The reason this really affects the Yankees is this it takes another name off of the leftfield list and Johnny Damon has less and less suitors. I am starting to believe more and more he may end up coming back to the Yankees on a 2 yr deal for around the 14 million the Yankees originally offered him. The San Francisco Giants were have said to have interest but with them signing Mark DeRosa for 2 yrs and 12 million they are out of the running, the Mets are of course out now and the St Louis Cardinals if they resign Matt Holliday which seems more likely also with the Red Sox and Yankees not involved and I wouldn't expect them to get involved. I just don't see where else Johnny Damon could wind up, maybe Tampa Bay but he is not going to get more then a 2 yr deal and he isn't going to get anymore then he will get with the Yankees.
I also know the Yankees were very interested in Mark DeRosa and the rest of the leftfield market is pretty unappealing to them so where does that leave them?? The Yankees being the Yankees could always jump in on the Matt Holliday sweepstakes but I just don't see that happening with them being steadfast in staying under their budget from last season. I am also sure they won't wind up with Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffman as the left field platoon so this leads me to believe that they could work something out with Johnny Damon.
The New York Mets needing to make a splash, have agreed to a contract with Jason Bay. This was first reported by Mike Francessa of WFAN and is now being picked up by everyone else. The deal is a 4 year deal worth 66 million with a easily attainable option for the 5th year according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. The deal is pending a physical and as long as everything checks out ok with the physical will be announced on Monday or Tuesday of next week. I think this is a good move and will definitely help the Mets as he is a good player but he isn't a superstar like Matt Holliday and also the Mets need pitching. The Mets and their fans have to be happy with this move as they are showing a sign of life at least. The Mets and free agent catcher Bengie Molina appear far apart still but I suspect that they will sign him eventually. The question now for the Mets is where do they turn for pitching help. Carlos Zambrano is available as the Yankees talked to the Cubs before obtaining Javier Vazquez and I wonder if they could make a deal happen there. I know Zambrano has makeup issues and has been injured the last couple of years but he would serve as a good number 2 pitcher for this team and allow Mike Pelfrey to become the 3rd starter and slide Oliver Perez down to 4th where he belongs.
I would guess just by being healthy the Mets will be 5-10 games better next year but they do need another pitcher and that isn't R.A. Dickey or Kelvim Escobar who they have signed already.
The New York Jets came into Indianapolis yesterday needing to win their final 2 games but also needing a lot of help. They had everything break right for them in the other games and then the Colts lied down for them in the second half setting up a controversial victory. Peyton Manning was visibly upset on the sidelines but said all the right things after the game. The New York Jets will be thankful for the gift they have and now all they have to do is beat the Cincinatti Bengals at home on Sunday. The Bengals won't be playing for anything and if the Jets beat them they will travel to Cincy the following week to play a playoff game so I am sure the Bengals wont bother showing up for this meaningless game to them. I think the Jets will win pretty easily and see them again the following week in Cincinatti. The Jets will take it because in this league their is no backing in, they deserve credit for fighting hard and not giving up all the way to the end and they should be rewarded for it. Mark Sanchez didn't have to do much as the Jets pounded the ball and played good defense which are the staples of the team. The Jets need to keep doing this if they are going to go anywhere the rest of the season.
The New York Giants played their final home game ever at Giants Stadium. They unbelievably didn't bother showing up to the swan song of the stadium. The Giants looked great on their opening drive and then had a touchdown called back because of holding, a couple of plays later Eli Manning converted a third down pass that was good enough for a first down but Mario Manningham fumbled it away. The Carolina Panthers stormed right down the field and kicked a field goal but all the life seemed to come out of the Giants as they couldn't do much else offensively their next couple of possessions and in the meantime their defense couldn't make one stop as Carolina scored everytime they had the ball and before you knew it, it was 24-0. This was a embarrassing performance and the fans let the home team hear it. Tom Coughlin had to be utterly disgusted and I am sure he let his team know after the game. The Giants were officially eliminated late last night when Dallas won their game in Washington 17-0. I am sure this will earn first year defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan a trip to the unemployment line.
I wouldn't be suprised either if there were some other changes like the offensive coordinator and maybe Osi Uminyora won't be back like he indicated after the game. I wonder also if the Giants will try and trade Brandon Jacobs. I know one thing for sure they need some good linebackers and they need a new defensive coordinator to clean up this mess. I am going to say in a early guess that Dick Jauron the former Bills coach who was fired a couple of weeks ago will be the Giants new defensive coordinator next season.
It looks like Mark DeRosa will be heading to San Francisco on a 2 yr deal for 12 million. Matt Capps has signed with the Washington Nationals who continue to try and get better while the Mets just sit around and wait. The Mets supposedly are going after Joel Piniero now and waiting for Jason Bay who they believe has no other serious suitors. If I was the Mets it would scare me then that it is taking so long because apparantly he doesn't want to come to their team.
The DeRosa signing means he won't be a Yankee and takes a name off of their list for leftfield. I still think the Yankees will get a leftfielder but it doesn't look like it will be a big name. They could still sign Marlon Byrd or get someone like Jermaine Dye who I don't think they will go for. They could sign Reed Johnson or Xavier Nady or Johnny Gomes. I think they will go with one of those lesser guys and be content, they could always make a trade at the deadline if they needed too.
The New York Giants will play almost certainly there last game ever at Giants Stadium tomorr0w afternoon. The Carolina Panthers who are playing out the string will be the opponent and they will be without their starting running back and another back also. They have put their starting quarterback on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. I am sure the Giants are going to have a lot of emotion with the final game and also knowing they have to win their final two games to even have a chance of making the playoffs. If they do make the playoffs they won't get a home game unless something crazy happens. I would expect the Giants to bring a lot of pressure like they did last week against Washington and I don't really understand why they haven't done it all year, but it remains to be seen if it was a one week turnaround or if the Giants have really gotten over the hump and will continue to play the way they did in Washington. I am going to say the Giants will win 28-17.
The New York Jets also still have a chance but they have to win their final 2 games and have lots of help. They will be taking on the undefeated Indianapolis Colts in Indy. The question has been if the Colts will play or rest people and nobody knows as they haven't given any indication. I think they will play and want the undefeated season. I think the Jets are in trouble in this game with the Colts winning 24-14. I just can't see them going into Indy and beating them unless they were playing all of their backups.
The New York Giants won in convincing fashion on Monday Night. They traveled to Washington knowing that they would probably need to win their last 3 games and they played that way. They won the game 45-12, the defense finally showed up playing inspired and constantly pressuring the quarterback even knocking him out of the game in the second quarter for a little while. The Giants had 5 sacks and 3 interceptions. Eli Manning played a almost perfect game and Ahmad Bradshaw ran the ball really well. Brandon Jacobs continued to look better although he isn't the same he was the last couple of years. Rookie Hakeem Nicks played very well in the first half before getting injured and the offensive line who had 2 starters out protected Eli Manning really well.
The Giants will be at home for most likely their last home game ever at Giants Stadium against the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers will be without their quarterback and will be going with their backup. The Panthers played a great game on Sunday knocking the Vikings out in all aspects of the game. The Giants need the Cowboys or Packers to lose a game and they have to win their last 2 to get in. The Giants are hoping that victory on Monday night will springboard them for the last 2 weeks and hopefully into the playoffs and maybe they can make a run.
Here are some of the stats released by the Yankees on their winter league participants.
INF Reegie Corona is hitting 324 with 17 doubles, 2 homeruns and 17 rbi in 43 games in the Venezualan winter league. He ranks first in the league in doubles and leads all Yankees winter league hitters wiht 27 walks. He could find himself trying to win the utility infielder role out of spring training.
RHP Josh Schmidt in the Venezualan winter league is 2-5 with a 3.65 era(28er,69IP) in 15 games(12 starts). He ranks first in the league with 63 strikeouts is tied for second in innings pitched and ranks fourth in WHIP(1.22). He is the only VWL pitcher to have recorded a complete game thius season with his 7 inning, 10 strikeout shutout on 11/24(1H,3BB).
INF Juan Miranda finished the regular season batting 409 with 5 doubles, 2 homeruns and 11 rbi in 13 games in the Dominican Winter League.
OF Jamie Hoffman batted 235 with 5 doubles and 5 rbi in 21 games with the Dominican winter league. He hit safely in 10 of his last 14 games.
INF Brandon Laird was named the 2009 Arizona Fall League Top Prospects team. He hit 333 with 15 extra base hits(9doubles, 6 homeruns) and 24 rbi in 22 games with the Surpise Rafters. He finished tied for second in the league in homeruns, tied for third in both doubles and extra-base hits and ranked fifth in RBI.
OF Colin Curtis also with Suprise batted 397 with 5 homeruns and 18 rbi. He finished the season as the league leader in slugging percentage(731) and ranked second in both on-base percentage(472) and batting average. He hit safely in 17 of his 20 games played.
The New York Yankees officially signed Nick Johnson yesterday. Brian Cashman and Nick held a conference call with reporters. Here is some of the quotes from that call.
Brian Cashman on the decision to bring back Nick: " There is no doubt that on-base percentage played a big role in the Yankees thinking that Johnson could be a replacement for Hideki Matsui at DH and for Johnny Damon in the two hole. But the big question is, can he stay healthy? It seems like DL has been just as prevalent in Johnson's career as OBP."
" It is clear to dream about what he does and what he can provide if he stays healthy," Cashman said. " Certainly at the same time, I recognize and can't ignore the risk that comes with his trying to stay on the field and stay healthy."
" This was a decision I was willing to make, recognizing that there's risk that comes with it because of his health history. Is there a rsk in signing him? Sure there is."
Nick Johnson on coming back to the Yankees: " I started my career here, and I am just really happy to be back and put those stripes back on and to be with a great organization," Johnson said. " It is all about winning. That's something that I want to get back to doing."
Here is the official press release from the Yankees:
The New York Yankees signed today 1B/DH Nick Johnson. Nick 31 was third in the majors last season with a 426 obp combined between Washington and Florida. He trailed only AL MVP Joe Mauer(444) and NL MVP Albert Pujols(443). He placed 6th in the NL with 99 walks while batting a career high 291 with 24 doubles, 2 triples, 8 homeruns and 62 rbi's. The Sacremento native began 2009 with the Nationals batting 295(104 for 353) with 6 homeruns, 44 rbi's and a 408 obp in 98 games before being traded with cash on July 31st to the Marlins in exchange for left handed pitcher Aaron Thompson. In 35 games for Florida he hit 279 with 2 homeruns, 18 rbi's, 36 walks and a 477 obp.
Johnsons 402 career on base percentage since 2001 his rookie season is 8th among players with at least 3,000 plate appearances over the span. He had his best overall season in 2006 with Washington, batting 290 and having career bests in games played(147), plate appearances(628),at-bats, hits, doubles(46), homeruns(23), rbi(77), stolen bases(10) and walks(110). His 428 on-base percentage was a career best and the second highest single-season mark in Washington franchise history behind Tim Raines 429 in 1987. Despite the numerous career highs, Johnson season was cut short on Sept 23, 2006 by a fractured right femur which forced him to miss the entire 2009 season.
Johnson wwho is a lefthanded batter, is a 292 career hitter with 16 homeruns and a 424 on-base percentage against left-handed pitching and a 266 career hitter wiht 73 homeruns and a 394 on-base percentage against righ tnaded pitching. he owns a 992 career fielding percentage, having committed just 48 errors in 5,719 career chances.
He began his professional career in the Yankees organization. after being selected by the club in the 3rd round of the 1996 First-year player draft. In 3 major league seasons with the Yankees from 2001-03, he batted 256 with 36 doubles, 31 homeruns, 113 rbi, 125 walks and a 376 on-base percentage. He posted a team leading 422 on-base percentage in his final year with the club before being traded on December 4, 2003 with outfielder Juan Rivera and lefthanded pitcher Randy Choate to the Montreal Expos in exchange for right-handed pitcher Javier Vazquez.
In 8 major league seasons with the Yankees, Montreal/Washington(2004-06, 08-09) and Florida(2009) he owns a 273 career batting avg with 165 doubles, 5 triples, 89 homeruns, 379 rbi, 27 stolen bases and 487 walks. The Yankees 40 man roster now stands at 38 players.
There are several things that come out of this trade, first of all the Yankees have a very solid rotation. The 5th starter will be a competition between Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain, Sergio Mitre, Chad Gaudin and Alfredo Aceves. It is assumed that Phil Hughes will get the job and Joba will head back to the bullpen but that isn't set in stone, everything has to be earned in the Yankees world and according to Brian Cashman the GM. Joel Sherman of the NY Post was reporting that Mitre and Gaudin could be trade bait now probably in spring training.
The Yankees reiterated once again today that Granderson is the CF and the only way he won't be is if Brett Gardner is the best centerfielder in spring training which I don't see happening. I do think they will get a leftfielder but I have no idea who, I could see Damon coming back now.
Brian Cashman said today he will not get anyone big for leftfield but we have heard this before so who knows, I don't see them getting Bay or Holliday but I could see Damon coming back or maybe Mark DeRosa.
Here are some quotes from Javier Vasquez: " I am glad to be back, I am excited to be part of the team again. Everyone that knows me knows that I didn't want to leave the first time, I am just happy to be back." He also talked about his 2004 season with the Yankees and had this to say. " My arm didn't feel as good in the second half as it did in the first half. It really was the first time in my career and only time that I felt that my arm wasn't where it should of been. I started getting treatment later then I should have. I went out there every 5 days, I hated not being out there. It may have been my mistake, I didn't say anything."
Javier Vasquez is the first player the Yankees have traded for twice since Jeff Nelson.
Here are some quotes from Yankees GM Brian Cashman. " He is a tremendous pitcher who has a long career of success and durability, and really the second half of 04 which was poor can't erase the long success he has had as a major league pitcher." Cashman was talking about his 04 season.
On Hughes and Joba he said whoever doesn't win the 5th spot in the rotation could go to the bullpen or AAA, I just don't see either of them going back to AAA.
On the payroll, " I do have a number and we will be at that number and it will be less then last year. I will continue to look at any remaining piece for the outfield but it won't be a big piece."
The New York Yankees have aquired Javier Vasquez and Boone Logan from the Atlanta Braves for Melky Cabrera, Mike Dunn and Arodys Viscaino. Mike Dunn was a left handed reliever from the minors who had a cup of coffee in Sept with the Yankees and Arodys Viscaino was a lower level starting pitcher. Javier Vasquez was with the Yankees in 2004 and most people will not forget him giving up the grand slam to Johnny Damon in game 7 of the ALCS but he is now a #4 starter not 1 or 2. He is actually I think a better pitcher then people give him credit for. He has pitched 200+ innings every year since leaving the Yankees and has won a pretty good amount of games, last year being his best season at 15-10 with a sub 3 era. Logan is a left handed reliever who has bad overall numbers but if you look at his numbers against lefties they are pretty good and he will be a lefthanded specialist with Marte as the other leftie who can face more guys. I will get into this trade more later but with Melky gone the Yankees currently don't have a leftfielder so who will they get Holliday, Bay, Damon, DeRosa, Dye?? I think DeRosa makes the most sense fitting into the budget of under 200 million but the Yankees being the Yankees I wouldn't put anything past them.
Jason Marquis is about to sign with the Washington Nationals. It is interesting that they have added a veteran starter and a veteran catcher. They also will almost certainly have Stephen Strasburg on the roster at some point this season. I think the Mets better be careful, everyone in the division seems to be getting better other then them. The deal is for 2 yrs and 15 million.
Jesus Montero the Yankees #1 prospect will be starting the season in AAA-Scranton according to minor league coordinator Mark Newman. I would love to go see him play in Scranton this year, I have not seen him in person yet.
It is being tweeted by all the major writers, Buster Olney, Ken Davidoff, Jon Heyman that the Yankees are close to a trade for a starting pitcher tonight. Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is trying to find out who it is but it supposedly is not a salary dump. If anyone is up late tonight we may know or tomorrow morning maybe we will find out.
The New York Jets took on the Atlanta Falcons at Giants stadium yesterday and to say it was ugly is a understatement. The Falcons just aren't that good of a team and were officially eliminated from the postseason on Saturday night when the Cowboys won. The Jets defense was good as it has been for most of the season. The Problem for the Jets is other then the nice 60+ yard bomb that Braylon Edwards caught for a touchdown they couldn't do much offensively. Mark Sanchez looked like a rookie once again with 3 interceptions and the kicking game failed 3 times in 3 different ways. They missed one field goal, had one muffed snap and had another blocked. How is it possible for all of those mistakes in one game especially a pretty much must win game. I know the Jets still technically have a chance but does anyone think they are going to win in Indianapolis who I really think is going to try and go undefeated or at home against Cincinatti. I think the Jets need too many things to go right and they have to win both of their games. I think for the most part Rex Ryan has done a good job and the quarterback has shown flashes of brilliance but they are both rookies in their jobs and you have to go through growing pains. I know as Jets fans they have been through nothing but misery other then that one glorious day with Joe Namath but at least they are building and look pretty good for the future.
The Giants are also in must win mode themselves as they are down in the nations capital to take on the Washington Redskins in a monday nighter. The Giants need to win tonight and their last 2 games against Carolina at home and at Minnesota and have Dallas or Green Bay lose one game to make the playoffs. I guess they still have a chance but it is hard to believe their defense is going to turn it around. The offense is playing great and I think they will continue to play well tonight against the Redskins. I think Brandon Jacobs may have his best game and I think there will be big plays to be made with the receivers. I think the Giants will probably win this game but it won't be easy, I am looking at Giants 28 Redskins 24. I probably won't have a recap tonight but I will have one tomorrow and hopefully it is a happy one. I hope the Giants will take more chances with the blitzing and get to Jason Campbell who has played well but can be rattled.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe had a interesting note on his blog today. It said that about 15 teams have inquired about Chien-Ming Wang, he is scheduled to see Dr. Andrews on Jan 4th to get a update on his timeframe. His agent keeps saying he will be ready by May but who knows. The interesting thing about the note was that it said the Yankees were maybe going to match what anyone offers him, hoping to keep him around so just maybe he will come back after all. If the Yankees could bring him back and he ends up being healthy and productive somewhere close to what he used to be well then the Yankees have found their 4th starter and can have Hughes or Joba as the 5th and the other in the bullpen which most likely would be Joba. I actually think the Yankees might be better off doing this then signing a pitcher, they also have Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre as guys they could use.
I also noticed that opening day which now has been switched to opening night on ESPN 2 is also Easter. The Yankees will be up in Fenway Park. The schedule also has them playing Tuesday and Wednesday, moving the days up. On a day like this with all the snow lets remember there are only 60 days until pitchers and catchers.
This link came via the Lohud Yankees Blog and Sam Borden. It is a story about Joba Chamberlain being at a Native American Reservation where he grew up and talking to the schoolkids and also giving them some yankees paraphernalia and autographs. It is good to see that he learned from his mistakes of a year ago when he had the DUI. I met Joba Chamberlain when he was with the Trenton Thunder not too long before he came to the majors and he was a really cool guy. He signed for everyone that day also and really interacted with all of us. I still feel he can be a very good starting pitcher but I can also seem him back in the pen this year. If the Yankees don't sign another pitcher I wouldn't mind him and Hughes in the back of the rotation though. It is funny though that this year Phil Hughes will have the rule and Joba will be turned loose. I hope you guys enjoy this article, dont forget to click on the link.
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The story goes that on Thursday the Yankees said to Johnny Damon we will go to 2 yrs and roughly 20 million and agent Scott Boras said no 2 yrs 26 million. The Yankees said time is running out this is your last chance and they didn't take it so the Yankees went and signed Nick Johnson and then a couple of hours later Scott Boras called back the Yankees and said he will take 2 yrs 22 million and the Yankees said sorry we can't take the Nick Johnson deal back now it is too late. This is coming from Ken Davidoff of Newsday. I am suprised Johnny Damon did this because if he really wanted to come back so bad why didn't he just say 2 yrs 22 million to start with and they could of worked it out. I think the Yankees are better off with Johnson and Granderson as they will be younger and more athletic and they save some money also. I think the Yankees as presently constructed have a very good defense to go along with their pitching. They really only need to sign one more starter and they should be ready to go. Nick Johnson brings a high OBP to the show and will fit really well in the Yankees patient lineup. He was averaging about 4.1 pitches per plate appearance last year and has always been a high OBP guy. His career on base is over 400. He should fit into the #2 spot well, the only knock is that he is slow but that is ok if he is getting on base for the guys behind him to have a chance to knock him in. I think the Yankees will end up signing Ben Sheets on a cheap incentive laden deal but that may take a while, I think Phil Hughes will be the 5th starter and Joba will end up back in the pen.
A interesting trade from baseball today was the Seattle Mariners obtaining Milton Bradley from the Chicago Cubs for Curtis Silva. It really was two bad deals exchanging hands. I think Seattle got the better deal because Bradley is a good player if he can behave himself. Seattle is really going for it with all the moves they have made.
I am also starting to wonder if Jason Bay really wants to come to the Mets. It doesn't look like anyone else wants him but he is waiting for a better deal. If he really wanted to come to the Mets why didn't he just except the deal already. It has been a week and why don't the Mets just up the offer and get if over with?
Curtis Granderson was officially introduced as a Yankee today in a 11AM press conference. The first thing I noticed about him is wow he is well spoken and very smart. He really does seem like a great guy like everyone says and will fit in the clubhouse well. He is going to wear #14 which is half of 28 but the reason he picked it is because it was his high school number. Joe Girardi will wear #28 but said he would check with Granderson to make sure it is ok, Granderson was asked about it and said he is fine with the number he has. A-rod and CC Sabathia were also in attendance with Brian Cashman the Yankees GM and owner Hal Steinbrenner. I find it amazing how Cashman says a lot without saying anything. Hal Steinbrenner did say that although the Yankees do have a budget and are trying to stick to it that that could change if they felt they needed to make and extra move or a move that would put them over, I wonder if they are in on Matt Holliday and no one knows just like with Big Tex last year.
A-rod said at the press conference that he went to see his doctor in Colorado on Sunday and Monday and that he doesn't need any further surgery. He is going to step up his offseason conditioning program and will be working out with Granderson and Tex with Kevin Long starting on Jan 4th in Miami.
Nick Johnson appears to have signed a deal, George King of the NY Post was the first one to report this and it will be for 1 yr 5.5 million when it is official. He will serve as the primary DH but can also play first base. I think this pretty much means Johnny Damon is done as a Yankee.
I wonder if the Yankees will just go after pitching now and put Melky in left? I would doubt it but they could live with that.
The New York Mets have had a terrible offseason following up on a terrible regular season. The Mets fans were angry and remain angry. The Mets really needed to go out there and get a #2 pitcher and they failed with John Lackey going to the Red Sox and Roy Halladay going to the Phillies. I don't think the Mets every had a realistic shot to get Halladay but what makes the fans more upset is that he went to the hated Phillies. I do think they should of been aggressive early with Lackey but they were left in the cold, misreading the market. Mets GM Omar Minaya who is clearly on the hot seat now said he was going to get back to Lackey this week but he ended up signing with the Red Sox. Omar Minaya clearly thought he wouldn't sign before Jan or Feb and was wrong. The Mets are going to take a huge hit at the box office, the only way out of it is to have a good first half and then maybe will start coming in the second half but there are a lot of ifs starting with the health of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, David Wright getting back to form and most of all who can you count on in the rotation other then Johan Santana. The Mets still have time this offseason to make moves and they will probably end up with Jason Bay and maybe a pitcher like Jon Garland or Doug Davis but that isn't enough. i guess the only thing Mets fans can do is sit back and wait and hope. I don't know what is possible but maybe the Mets can make a trade for someone like a Bronson Arroyo or Carlos Zambrano, the only thing I know is they are stuck in a bad spot with the Phillies being clearly better still and the Braves maybe even surpassing the Mets.
The Mets have a beautiful new ballpark and it is a shame they can't pack it in wiht a good product on the field or at least an attempt at putting a good product on the field. The Mets are going to sign a japanese reliver instead and maybe Bay and Molina, although you wonder what is taking them so long to sign?? I wonder if they really don't want to go to the Mets and are hoping a better deal comes along. If the Mets strike out completely it will go from bad to worse but I don't think that will be the case.
The Baseball America Top 10 prospect list came out today for the Yankees. The top 10 are as follows.
1. Jesus Montero(C)
2. Austin Romine(C)
3. Arodys Viscaino(P)
5. Zach McAllister(P)
6. Manny Banuelos(P)
7. Gary Sanchez(C)
8. J.R. Murphy(C)
9. Jeremy Bleich(P)
10. Andrew Brackman(P)
The interesting thing about this list is that the Yankees have 4 catchers in the top 10 so you can see they are in good shape there. Jesus Montero doesn't project as a catcher to most people though and the most logical thing would be to move him to first base but Tex is there for a long time and they don't want a young guy like that to be the DH but if he is that good offensively and they don't trade him why not let him DH. The Yankees are pretty strong in the pitching department also with Hughes and Joba in the big leagues now, they hope Andrew Brackman will have a strong year as he really struggled last year, I can see him moving to the pen eventually. I think Jeremy Bleich is the closet to the majors and could become a solid #3 or 4 starter in the future. Slade Heatchott was drafted last year and the Yankees really have high hopes for him. Austin Romine really projects as the catcher of the future, his bat is a little below Montero but he has a good bat also and he is better defensively. I think even with trading some guys away the Yankees farm system is still in good shape.
Comissioner Bud Selig announced this afternoon that he will have a new comittee starting this season. The committee will review on field baseball issues. There are 14 people on the committee and they are:
Joe Torre-Los Angeles Dodgers manager
Tony Larussa-St. Louis Cardinals manager
Mike Scioscia-Los Angeles Angels manger
Jim Leyland- Detroit Tigers manager
John Schuerholz- Atlanta Braves president
Andy Mcphail-Baltimore Orioles president
Terry Ryan-former Twins general manager
Mark Schapiro-Cleveland Indians general manager
Chuck Armstrong-Seattle Mariners COO
Paul Beeston-Toronto Blue Jays CEO
Bill Dewitt- St. Louis Cardinals owner
Dave Montgomery- Philadelphia Phillies owner
Frank Robinson-Hall Of Famer and former player
Bud Selig thought that this group could have an impact rather quickly like within a year. I hope this works and it looks like a good thing but we will see what happens. The umpiring was terrible this past season and especially postseason although Bud Selig the comissioner said he has been thinking of this for some time and it isn't because of the poor postseason the umpires had. It is an interesting group consisting of many different backgrounds which is good.
Yesterday was a crazy day in baseball with a flurry of moves happening. The Yankees lost their World Series MVP to the Anaheim Angels. Where do the Yankees go from here, well they are the World Series Champs so they presumably have the least amount of work to do. They do have Johnny Damon as a free agent and would like for him to come back on a 2 yr 19 million dollar deal but his agent it seems is pushing for 3 yrs and 39 million so they are roughly 20 million apart. I honestly think at this point that he does come back to the Yankees for their price because I don't think anyone is going to give him 3 yrs and not for that much money, maybe they settle on 2 yrs and 24 million. I think if Damon comes back the Yankees don't need to go out and get a DH as he and Posada can share the duties along with A-rod/Jeter/Tex a little bit of the time. The Yankees would like to get another pitcher and I think they will, maybe Ben Sheets or Joel Pineiro or someone like that. I think ultimatley they would like to do that and have Phil Hughes be the 5th starter with Joba going back to being the main setup guy. If the Yankees bullpen is Mo, Joba, Marte and Robertson that is very solid with Aceves, Mitre or Gaudin as long man possibilities.
The Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman threw a bullpen today for all the teams that wanted to see him. There were representatives from just about every team. I am not sure if he will be ready this year, I doubt it but he may be worth signing and giving some minor league experience before bringing him to the majors and maybe he will be a impact pitcher. He throws very very hard and anyone coming out of Cuba has dealt with pressure. I think the Yankees may be in on him but it depends on the price. The Red Sox and Mets are also considering him.
Today started out as a routine Monday and then this afternoon the Hot Stove really started burning up. Monday's are usually a big football day with all of the analysis of the Sunday games and looking ahead to the Monday night game but baseball took center stage on this Monday. The Boston Red Sox were especially busy signing pitcher John Lackey to a 5 yr 85 million dollar deal and now pending a physical signing Mike Cameron for 2 yrs and 15.5 million. Hideki Matsui became the first World Series MVP to leave since John Wetteland in 1996. Matsui signed a 1 yr 6 million dollar deal with the Anaheim Angels. The biggest news of the day was that Roy Halladay was traded from the Blue Jays to the Phillies and the Phillies traded Cliff Lee to the Seattle Mariners and the Blue Jays are getting back prospects which we don't know yet because Halladay is still working out the extension and the deal won't be official to maybe tomorrow. I think the Seattle Mariners have had a good offseason and may have surpassed the Angels by getting Chone Figgons and now Cliff Lee.
The New York Mets and their fans have had a very bad day. The Mets biggest need was pitching and now they don't have anywhere to turn as their are no other big pitchers left. They may land Jason Bay now that everyone else is out on that but that isn't going to solve the problem of having Johan Santana and then a bunch of questions. Roy Halladay going to the hated Phillies is just a stab in the heart but the truth is they aren't that much better since they did trade Cliff Lee away. The Yankees side of things isn't really all that bad, they don't have to face Halladay anymore who owned them and John Lackey doesn't have very good numbers against the Yankees and he has really bad career numbers in Fenway. John Lackey is also a injury risk as he has been injury prone over the last couple of years. I don't think it was terrible for the Red Sox because you can never have enough pitching and he is a gritty guy who usually pitches well in big games. I do find their offense curious though with Bay gone and being replaced by Cameron and maybe Hermidia in a platoon. It doesn't look like the Lowell trade will go through now since he has a thumb injury and may need surgery. I wonder if the Red Sox may try and trade for Adrian Gonzalez and move Youkilis to third base?? If they did this I think they would be pretty even with the Yankees but right now as a Yankee fan I don't think you have to be that worried because I don't think their offense is so great. I wonder what tomorrow will bring with the Hot Stove after this busy day.
The non tender deadline for baseball was Saturday at midnight. If you don't know what that is it is players that were eligible for arbitration but the team decided to not offer them a contract making them free agents. The notable names that came out of this were Jack Cust, Matt Capps, Garrett Atkins, Clay Condrey, John Buck. There are some others too but these are probably the most well known players. I believe John Buck signed with the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees would be interested in anyone, I would say no or more likely the Mets. The Yankees need a leftfielder but if they don't resign Johnny Damon they will most likely play Melky Cabrera in left and Granderson in center and probably bring Hideki Matsui back as the DH. I think the Yankees are pretty well set with even their bench, they have Francisco Cervelli as the backup catcher, Ramiro Pena or someone else from their minor league system as the utility infielder, Jamie Hoffman and Brett Gardner as the extra outfielders. It is interesting though with the economy the way it is that some bigger names weren't offered contracts and became free agents. I forgot the most notable from the Yankees Chien-Ming Wang who won 19 games in back to back seasons in 06 and 07.
I wasn't suprised the Yankees didn't offer him a contract but am a little suprised that he refused a split contract. The Yankees apparently wanted to give him a minor league contract that could switch to major league if he made the team, considering he had major injuries the last 2 seasons I think it was nice of the Yankees to even consider that but Wang is still upset with the Yankees for taking him to arbitration over 600,000 in 2006.
The New York Jets won a game they should of won and did it easily beating Tampa Bay 26-3. The New York Giants on the other hand lost 45-38 to the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants game was really wild as it went back and forth but the bottom line is the Giants defense is terrible and can't stop anyone. I am sure at the end of the season Bill Sheridan the defensive coordinator is going to get fired. There is too much talent on the defensive side of the ball to be this bad. The Giants offense was very good racking up more then 500 yards of total offense. Eli Manning had maybe his best game of the year as he was really sharp. Brandon Jacobs ran the ball a lot better and Ahmad Bradshaw had some nice plays. The real difference in the game though was the Eagles returning a punt for a touchdown and returning a Giants fumble for a touchdown. The Giants aren't out of the playoffs because they could still finish ahead of the Cowboys and get the wildcard but really where are they going even if they do make it.
The Jets played a great game and kept their very slim playoff hopes alive. The Jets have to win all of their games and get help to make it. It isn't likely for them to win all of their games. It would be nice for the Jets to at least finish strong and have something to build off of for next year. I am not sure if Mark Sanchez will play next week, he probably will but not so sure if they should be pushing him to get back with a knee injury.
The New York Giants will play another huge game this week, I don't think this one is do or die but they really would like to win this one. I can't believe this but the Giants will be in first place in the NFC East if they win this game and Dallas loses. They would have the tiebreakers even though they would all have the same record. Dallas is at home but they are playing a very good Chargers team. I think the Giants are going to bring the same passion and intensity they brought last week and it is going to be a old school smashmouth type of game. The game is Sunday night football and it will be very very cold in the meadowlands. The Giants are going to need to get Jacobs going and play ball control and hopefully their defense will get some pressure on Mcnabb and be able to do a pretty good job at shutting them down. I think the Giants are going to win this game in a squeaker. Giants 24- Eagles 21.
The New York Jets will travel to Tampa Bay to play the hapless Bucs who are 1-11. This is one of those games where you could say same old Jets but I don't think they will lose this one. Their quarterback is injured and Kellen Clemons will get the start but I think the Jets will mainly run the ball and their defense will have no problems shutting down Tampa. I see the Jets winning this one 20-7.
I am going to go with Chicago beating Green Bay in Chicago for my third and final pick of the week. Green Bay is a good team and they are battling for a playoff spot but this is a old rivalry game and it is in Chicago. I think the Bears will win 17-14.
The Winter meetings have ended but the Hot Stove is still burning brightly. The Chicago White Sox signed former Seattle Mariner closer and most recently Met J.J. Putz. The deal is for one year and 3 million. He will be a setup man but give the White Sox another option to close other then Bobby Jenks.
The Boston Red Sox are really coming hard after Adrian Beltre even though the Mike Lowell trade to Texas is not yet finalized.
There is a report on ESPN.com today that the Blue Jays are seeking either Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes and Jesus Montero as well as others from the Yankees for Roy Halladay. That price is too steep for the Yankees at this time and I can't blame them. If the Red Sox don't get him which looks like they won't and they don't end up with him they can still sign another pitcher as the 4th starter and be in good shape.
The Cardinals have made a formal offer to Matt Holliday today but terms of the deal are not known. The Cardinals GM said he expects a response from agent Scott Boras within the next 48 hours. If he resigns with St. Louis the market for Jason Bay will really heat up as he will be the only significant position player left on the market.
There were no major free agent signings over the last few days from the Winter Meetings. The Yankees were the big movers, as they traded Brian Bruney to Washington for their Rule 5 pick which ended up being Jaime Hoffman and outfielder from the Dodgers and then of course the big 3 team trade. The Yankees now have Curtis Granderson as their center fielder but I think they may still bring back Johnny Damon and if that is the case Melky or Brett Gardner would become expendable. I dont see Matsui coming back as they really don't have a place for him but there doesn't seem to be a big market for him so maybe he will come back on a cheap 1 year deal.
The Mets tonight were offering Jason Bay a contract for 4 years and 65 million. I know they could use him as they have a hole in left field but wouldn't they be better off getting a #2 starter to put behind Johan Santana?? They were also offering Bengie Molina a contract and I think that is fine as they could use a good catcher.
The Tampa Bay Rays added Rafael Soriano from the Atlanta Braves. This is a very good move for them as their bullpen was a real problem last season and he will definitely help.
There was a report that the Yankees were negotiating with Johnny Damon today but the Yankees shot that report down.
It also looks like right now the Angels and Phillies are the front runners for Roy Halladay and the Yankees are backing off and going to look to solidify the back end of their rotation.
The New York Yankees completed their trade with the Washington Nationals this morning by obtaining their Rule 5 pick that the Yankees had them choose. The pick was from the Dodgers Jamie Hoffman a outfielder. He has some pop and is a good defender, what the Yankees really liked about him is that he hits lefthanders well and he will have a chance to stick as a bench player out of spring training. I find this kind of curious because he seems like a Shelly Duncan type and why didn't the Yankees just keep Shelly. I think Shelly never got a fair shot after him coming up in 2007 and becoming a fan favorite and belting all of those homeruns. We will see how this works out.
I have one other thought which is thinking outside of the box. I have no knowledge of this at all but could the Yankees include Brett Gardner or Melky Cabrera in a trade with the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay and have him as the extra outfielder. If Johnny Damon does come back I can see him more of a DH now, I guess we will wait and see what happens.
Here is some of what Andy Pettitte had to say today courtesy of Chad Jennings of the Journal News and Lohud Yankees blog. It was Thanksgiving weekend that Pettitte informed the Yankees he was going to play this season. Andy said "It's great, it really is." " I wanted to get home, get this decision made and get it behind me. I didn't want to hold up the Yankees in any way." Andy said retirement definitely crossed his mind, " There is no doubt it did, for me I couldn't have written it up any better. I just couldn't have wrote up a script any better then last year ended. I was like what else is there to do? Why do you want to continue to play? But then you start talking to guys and your like I want to make sure I am done. I want to make sure I fully exhaust myself and I don't regret not playing. I want to come back and help this organization win another one, basically. That is what you play for."
Andy also said he usually starts throwing right after the new year but may push that back a couple of weeks. He said he will talk to pitching coach Dave Eiland and come up with a offseason plan. He also said he is happy with what they team has now for pitching but would welcome another arm.
The New York Yankees were busy again today as they resigned Andy Pettitte to a 1 year 11.75 million dollar deal. They now have the top 3 pitchers in their rotation set and with Granderson in CF they have done what they wanted to get done to set up the rest of the winter. The Yankees will most likely now offer Damon a 1 year 10 million dollar deal at most and maybe give him an option. It looks like Damon could come back and play DH a lot. I know a lot of people say why bring Damon back at all now with Granderson but remember Granderson is bad against lefties and Damon is a clutch player, they can make it all work with Damon and Posada splitting most of the DH duties and then playing Damon in the OF at times with Granderson on the bench and Melky in CF. I think it isn't the worst thing but they don't have to offer too much to Damon and if he leaves they will be fine also with Melky and Granderson in the outfield and Brett Gardner as the 4th OF and they will still split up the DH duties between A-rod, Posada, Tex, Jeter if Matsui doesn't come back which I don't think he will. I believe someone will offer him more then a 1 year deal that the yankees will and they will give him more money and maybe even let him play the outfield some. I know the Angels have shown some interest.
The Milwaukee Brewers officially signed Randy Wolf to a 3 year anywhere between 27 and 30 million. This deal isn't official but is being reported first by Yahoo sports via Twitter and now by others.
It looks like the Angels have made a very good aggressive offer to the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay. They have offered Joe Saunders, Erik Aybar and a top prospect the question now is would he go to the west coast??
The Red Sox have talked about Milton Bradley, which is interesting he is so talented but a disaster waiting to happen, he would destroy that clubhouse. I think they will end up with Bay or Holliday but it is looking more and more like Bay may go to Anaheim or Seattle.
The Yankees are prepared to offer Damon and Matsui 1 year deals and I think they will say whoever accepts first comes back. I don't have anything official on this but I am taking a good guess on that.
The Baltimore Orioles made a nice move this evening aquiring starting pitcher Kevin Millwood from the Texas Rangers for Chris Ray and some cash.
The Texas Rangers are prepared to sign Rich Harden to a 1 year deal for 7.5 million with a 11.5 million dollar option for 2011.
I like Austin Jackson but at this point he is a minor league prospect only, he hasn't proved anything yet. I know he can be good but we won't know that for at least a couple of more years. He is fast and a good outfielder, he seems to be a good hitter but has no power at all at this point. Curtis Granderson is young, a good outfielder, fast and has lots of power. The Yankees can slide him into the 2 hole if Damon leaves and put him or Melky Cabrera in left field. The Yankees got better defensively and also got younger which is a good thing. I also can see them maybe going for Doc Halladay but can they do that without giving up Hughes or Joba?? I am not sure if they can I see Hughes as the 5th starter with Pettitte and Halladay in the rotation and Joba back to the pen. It looks like they are angling for Joba back to the pen with Coke and Bruney gone in the last 2 days. I know Granderson doesn't hit lefties well or at least didn't last year but how often do you face a lefty?? It isn't very often and also he is a pull hitter and will love the short porch in Yankee Stadium. Phil Coke and Ian Kennedy are not a big deal, they have Marte and also have Mike Dunn still as a lefty reliever. They have other starters they like better then Kennedy in Andrew Brackman, Zach McAllister, Ivan Nova etc. They also have Gaudin, Mitre and Aceves still. I like this trade and think the Yankees made themselves better, I also like the fact that the evil empire is back. The Yankees are back on top and plan on staying there and everyone is back to complaining about them.
I didn't get a chance to get to the Terry Francona press conference notes from yesterday. Here they are coming from Lohud Yankees Blog and Journal News writer Chad Jennings who is at the Winter Meetings. Francona the manager of the Red Sox was asked about the Yankees and said this: " They have a couple of things that make life difficult for us. They have a lot of money and they have smart people deciding what they are doing." I say yes but don't the Red Sox also??
Francona has talked to Jason Bay this winter but just casually and hasn't asked him about his plans.
Francona was asked about interest in Hideki Matsui and he said where would we put him?
Daisuke Matsuzaka will prepare as he always does for a role in the rotation with Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield and Clay Bucholz. "We like our starters," Francona said. " At the same time, we have to be realistic enough to know you need more than five." They have Michael Bowden and Junichi Tazawa in reserve.
Jon Heyman is tweeting that he is hearing the Red Sox won't give up Clay Bucholz or Casey Kelly for Doc Halladay, hello Yankees and could the demands really plummett??
This is why I love baseball, it is neverending and always interesting. A NFL game can only be analyzed for so many days but there is always something to talk about with baseball even in the offseason.
There is a lot of buzz coming out of the Winter Meetings and the Yankees are involved. Last night there was a rumor about a three was trade involving the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Tigers. The proposed trade had the Yankees getting Granderson, Mike Dunn, Phil Coke, Austin Jackson and Ian Kennedy leaving the Yankees and Max Sherzer leaving the Diamondbacks. The deal had appeared to be dead late last night but has picked up steam again this morning and now a couple of sources have indicated it is getting close. The new deal that is being tossed around has the Yankees giving up Austin Jackson to Detroit getting Granderson and giving up Ian Kennedy and Phil Coke and maybe a lesser prospect then Mike Dunn to Arizona. The Tigers would still get Max Sherzer from Arizona. I don't know this for sure but seems to me that the Yankees may get Granderson to play CF, keep Damon to play LF and now that makes Melky or Gardner expendable and I can see one of them being put into a Doc Halladay deal. It also looks to me that they are clearing out space in the bullpen starting with trading Brian Bruney to put Hughes or most likely Joba in the pen if they don't get traded. I wish the Yankees would have Edwin Jackson put into this deal and then I would really like it and they wouldn't need to get Doc Halladay, i can see the Yankees getting a 4th starter and having Phil Hughes as the 5th and Joba as the main setup man for MO with David Robertson, they also really like Mark Melancon to step up this year and be a main bullpen piece.
The Angels appear interested in Hideki Matsui as well as Jason Bay. The main teams for Jason Bay are the Angels, Red Sox and Mariners.
The St. Louis Cardinals have signed Brad Penny.
The Washington Nationals have signed C Pudge Rodriguez for 2 years and 6 million.
It looks like the Brewers will sign Randy Wolf but nothing is official yet.
UPDATE: 4:25PM- The Yankees have traded OF prospect Austin Jackson and lefty relief pitcher Phil Coke to the Detroit Tigers for CF Curtis Granderson. The Yankees will send right handed pitcher Ian Kennedy to Arizona and Edwin Jackson will go from Detroit to Arizona. Arizona will send pitchers Max Sherzer and Daniel Schlereth.The Chicago White Sox finalized a deal for 3B Mark Teahen for 3 years and 14 million.
There has been no real action but a lot of talking and rumors are running rampant. The New York Yankees though did make some noise, they have traded right handed relief pitcher Brian Bruney to the Washington Nationals for a player to be named later. He was a pretty good relief pitcher for the team but in the playoffs he lost his setup role and they have more guys just like him in the organization so I don't think this is that big of a deal. He was due for arbitration so maybe the Yankees save a few bucks here.
The New York Mets have stepped up their efforts to aquire catcher Bengie Molina. The Mets are also said to be interested in Adam Kennedy for second base if they can get someone to take Luis Castillo off of their hands.
Mark Feinsand of the Daily News is reporting that he believes the player to be named later in the Bruney trade will be the Nationals first Rule 5 pick.
There was a lot of stuff coming out with the media meeting with Red Sox manager Terry Francona earlier and the media will be meeting with Yankees GM Brian Cashman shortly. I will be back later with the news and notes from those sessions.
The annual Baseball Winter Meetings will start tomorrow and run through Thursday. I thought I should do a little preview especially focusing on the Mets and Yankees and what their needs are and what they may do. I am going to start with the New York Mets since they have more holes to fill.
The New York Mets are looking for:
The Mets have been stockpiling catchers with the signings of Henry Blanco and Chris Coste to go with Omir Santos but they are still looking to sign Bengie Molina who would become their starting catcher. I personally think finding a #2 starter to put behind Johan Santana should be their main priority and really they should get in on the Roy Halladay sweepstakes and see if they can make that work. If they were able to get Roy Halladay to put with Johan Santana right there they would have something and it would energize their fan base. If they can't get Halladay I think they should look at John Lackey which I am sure they are going to check in on.
I do think the Mets need to find a leftfielder, I saw last week where they were requesting medical records on Hideki Matsui but I just don't see that being a fit with him not playing the outfield in a year and a half. I think Marlon Byrd would be good but if the Mets want to really do something big they should sign Matt Holliday. I don't think they are going to be in on Holliday but we will see.
The Mets are claiming they are going to take a look at bringing back Carlos Delgado for a year if he is healthy but I am not so sure about that, i can see them platooning someone like a Mark DeRosa with Daniel Murphy. The Mets feel that top prospect Ike Davis who is the son of Ron Davis who played with the Yankees is going to be ready next year. They don't want to sign someone big for first base since he will be taking over their as early as next season.
I really don't know what to expect from the Mets as we still don't know what they are willing or able to spend. I think we may get a good idea of what is possible for them this week.
The New York Yankees are coming off a World Championship but they do have a couple of needs. Their main priority is going to be resigning their #3 starter Andy Pettitte which I think may get done this week. They are sure to check in with the Blue Jays about Roy Halladay but I think they are skeptical of trading prospects and giving him big money for an extension. I wouldn't rule out the Yankees for anything though so it will be interesting to see if they are serious or just trying to stop the Red Sox from getting him. I could see the Yankees signing a Joel Piniero for the 4th spot in their rotation and then using Phil Hughes as a 5th and having Joba go back to the bullpen.
The Yankees right now need a leftfielder and I think they will try to resign Johnny Damon but they will not go more then 2 years with him. If he thinks he can get more then 2 years he will leave but I am not so sure anyone is going to give it to him. I can see him resigning for 2 years and between 16-18 million. If the Yankees don't resign him then I can see them jumping in for Jason Bay or Matt Holliday but I don't think that will happen.
They may try to resign World Series MVP Hideki Matsui to a 1 year deal where he will get less then he was making this past season but I don't think he will come back. I think the Yankees will really like to use a revolving door with the DH position. They could use Posada, Damon, A-rod, Jeter, Tex as DH's giving them rest in the field. I think Francisco Cervelli will be the backup and catch from 50-60 games leaving Jorge Posada to catch no more then 110 games.
This free agent class is considered weak and the big names are John Lackey, Jason Bay and Matt Holliday. I am not so sure anything major will get done this week but teams will put things in motion and I am sure you will get a flurry of activity with the middle tier guys. It should be a fun week of rumors and stories and hopefully some activity to talk about.
The New York Giants rose to the occasion and defeated the Dallas Cowboys this afternoon in a game they had to win. The final score was 31-24, the Giants defense was much better today and played with a passion and intensity we haven't seen since early in the season. There were some changes on the defense at least with the starters and it seemed to have worked. Dallas running game got nothing going after torching the Giants defense in their first meeting earlier in the season. The Giants offense looked much better especially running the ball, they just seemed to have an extra jump in their steps and this is how they should be playing every week.
Eli Manning wasn't great but also his receivers did drop a few passes, when the weather gets cold usually the passing game isn't as good but the offense did a good job. Hakeem Nicks had a touchdown catch and Brandon Jacobs had a huge touchdown run after getting a short pass in the 4th quarter. The Giants will remain at home and play another divisional foe next week in the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants are now 7-5 and one game behind the Eagles and Cowboys who are both 8-4, if the Giants defeat the Eagles next week and the Cowboys lose things will really get interesting in the NFC East with all three teams having the same record. I think the Giants defense learned a lot from this game and they should be able to keep up this intensity for the rest of the season and hopefully the postseason.
The New York Giants will play the Dallas Cowboys at home tomorrow afternoon at 4. This is the Giants season, the way they have played especially their defense any Giants fan can't be too confident. There may be some changes according to published reports Osi Umenyora and Fred Robbins may be benched in favor of Chris Canty and Mathias Kiwanuka. We already know that middle linebacker Chase Blackburn is being replaced by Jonathan Goff. The one piece of good news on the injury front the Giants received is that it looks like running back Ahmad Bradshaw will be able to play of course who knows how effective he will be. I think the Giants are going to come out with a lot of passion and this will be a very good game but I don't see the Giants defense being able to stop the Cowboys. I think the Cowboys are going to win this game 31-28.
I am going to pick Atlanta to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles at home. I just don't think the NFC East is that good this season and I think the Falcons need a big win as they have been slumping lately and have had some injuries. I think they will win this game by the score of 21-17.
It looks like the Seattle Mariners will be getting speedy leadoff man Chone Figgons. The preliminary figure is for 4 years and 36 million. This is a good move for them getting a player like this and also taking him away from their divisional rival.
The New York Mets have stockpiled catchers signing Chris Coste and Henry Blanco and still looking to sign Bengie Molina, why they are doing all of this doesn't really make much sense but it is the Mets. I don't want to jump to conclusions because maybe they will still get a John Lackey or Matt Holliday or someone like that.
The Boston Red Sox today did aquire Marco Scuttaro who said he signed with them because they have the team with the best chance of winning a title for him.
The big news today was coming from Jon Heyman of SI.com who tweeted that the Yankees are going to make an offer for Roy Halladay, he does believe the Red Sox have the best chance of getting him though. The Jays want some combination of Jesus Montero, Austin Jackson, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain from the Yankees.
It does look like it will be a battle between the two ancient rivals for Doc Halladay and the Jays do seems intent on unloading him now when they can get something rather then waiting and have his value decrease or lose him to free agency and get nothing.
The baseball Winter Meetings are scheduled to being on Monday from Indianapolis but the hot stove has started heating up. Roy Halladay of course is a big topic as everyone awaits to see if he will be traded and to whom with the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at the top of the list. The Seattle Mariners are on the verge of signing Chone Figgons according to multiple sources. It looks like he will sign for 4 years and around 32 million or so. This would be a great move for seattle and deal a huge blog to their divisional foes the Anaheim Angels. The Brewers signed veteran catcher Gregg Zaun today and yesterday Placido Polanco signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. There is talk that the Mets are trying to unload Luis Castillo but that still remains to be seen. It will get really interesting next week as all 30 clubs will be together in one place looking to shape their rosters for the spring. The Boston Red Sox signed SS Marco Scutaro today also as they look to play catch up with the Yankees who went on their big splurge last offseason signing CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Mark Teixeira. Boston apparantly will be pushing hard for Roy Halladay according to some although others believe they will stay away from him and go after John Lackey who is the biggest name pitching free agent. It sure looks like it will be a fun week so stay tuned.
The New York Jets defeated the Buffalo Bills by the score of 19-13. The Jets defense was good once again and the running game did most of the work. The last 2 wins came by running and good defense with Mark Sanchez not having to do much. Darel Revis once again shut down a top flight receiver with this week being TO. The New York Jets pretty much have to win out to make the playoffs but right now they are in the picture at 6-6 and can only worry about one game at a time. The Jets play Tampa which is a winnable game and then they will play Atlanta, Indianapolis and Cincinatti the last 3 games so it will get more difficult but maybe by then the Jets will have some swagger back and build on that. The least they want to do is at least finish strong and feel good going into next season. The only blemish on the game was Mark Sanchez spraining his knee, he may be able to play on Sunday though so we will wait and see on that.
There isn't any news coming out of Yankee Land. The Yankees will be holding organizational meetings tomorrow and Friday. GM Brian Cashman, Manager Joe Girardi, Owners Hank and Hal Steinbrenner, President Randy Levine and others. They will be discussing possibly trading for Roy Halladay which I am hearing they are leaning towards maybe trading for him for one year without an extension then letting him go and getting the draft picks. They will also discuss how much they want and want to offer Damon, Matsui and Pettitte. I am thinking Pettitte comes back. Joe Girardi certainly thinks he will be back. I don't think Matsui will be back and I do think Damon is iffy but I think he will end up coming back on a 2 year deal. I think ultimately the Yankees will shy away from Roy Halladay and have Joba and Hughes in the rotation with David Robertson and Damaso Marte as main set up guys with Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves as other guys in the pen. They also still have guys like Mark Melancon and Mike Dunn, Albaladejo etc. Ian Kennedy, Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin will also be backups for long men or starters.
Brian Cashman did a breakfast with Mike Francesa and WFAN listeners yesterday. You can find a writeup about it on http://www.riveraveblues.com. Brian Cashman really told a lot, some of the highlights were him calling Joe Torre's book garbage, him saying that some of his coaches were lying to him. Cashman had told some of the coaches it sounds like maybe Larry Bowa to go talk to Jeter about his defense and they kept telling Cash, we did it. Brian Cashman didn't see any difference so finally he went to him in the offseason and Jeter said no one had told him anything. Brian Cashman also said he is back to trying to get the payroll somewhat like it used to be where he doesn't go crazy spending and does things wisely.
The New Jersey Nets set the NBA record tonight for most losses to start a season. They are now 0-18. The GM Kiki Vandeweghe will take over coaching duties starting tomorrow. I know they weren't supposed to be good this year but this is really embarrassing. The New York Knicks aren't much better and the local football teams are pretty much done. When does spring training start??
Since I mentioned the Giants if it couldn't get any worse for them well it did. It looks like Brandon Jacobs will be the only healthy running back Sunday against the Cowboys. Danny Ware and Ahmad Bradshaw are both hurt and it doesn't look like either will play. I think if the Giants lose this game they should just shut down QB Eli Manning also as he has been dealing with a foot issue for most of the season and it could lead to a stress fracture.
The oldest living Yankee died early this morning in Ohio. Tommy Henrich who was nicknamed Old Reliable played only for the Yankees from 1937-1950. He served in WWII and missed 3 years due to his service. He was 96 years old, Tommy was a great teammate and a good ballplayer. The New York Yankees released a statement which can be read on www.yankees.com. Chad Jennings of the Journal News and the lohud Yankees Blog wrote a nice piece on him also at http://yankees.lhblogs.com.
The New York Yankees offered arbitration to no one again this year. If they offered arbitration and that player signed elsewhere they would be awarded a draft pick as compensation but then they would also risk having that player sign and go to arbitration. This really wasn't a suprise as they will still try and retain Damon and Pettitte. I am almost certain Hideki Matsui will be gone.
Joe Girardi was out at Jets camp today teaching Mark Sanchez how to slide. The Jets were worried about him not knowing how to do that well and contacted the Yankees to see if they could help. Today was the day that Joe Girardi was available to come out to Florham Park and help the Jets out.
I read today that A.J. Burnett was pushing for Doc Halladay, that is no suprise but I don't think the Yankees will end up getting him. The Yankees would have to give up a lot in prospects and money to sign him to an extension and that is too much.
John Henry the Red Sox owner had a interesting take on the revenue sharing system today. He did basically bash the Yankees but at the same time he kind of defended them. The website www.waswatching.com has all the information on that.
Dustin Pedroia stated today that he would move to shortstop to help the Red Sox with that problem. I don't think that is going to happen though and they will end up signing Marco Scutaro away from the Blue Jays.
Did the New York Mets really sign Alex Cora for 2 million?? They also signed Chris Coste and are thinking of adding Henry Blanco also. I know the bench was criticized last year but is Omar Minaya going to be short sighted again and not worry about LF, SP, 1B?? I really hope not because after last season the Mets have to do something to excite their fan base.
The New York Yankees will open their Spring Training schedule March 3rd at home against the Pittsburgh Pirates. This was announced this afternoon by the Yankees. They will play 33 spring training games with 16 at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The Yankees will complete the grapefruit league schedule on April 3rd against their minor league stars. Ticket prices for all of these home games will remain the same for the 2nd consecutive season. The Yankees will play the Phillies 5 times and face every one of their AL East foes except for the Boston Red Sox who they open and close the season with. They have 6 night games, pitchers and catchers will report on Feb 17th and the first workout will be Feb 18th. The first full squad workout will be Feb 24th.
The Yankees also today recieved a record postseason share. They divided it up by awarding 46 full shares, 12 1/4 partial shares and 2 cash awards. The total amount they had to divide up was 365,052.73.
The Baseball Writers Of American announced the nominees for induction into the Baseball Hall Of Fame for 2010. The nominees are as follows:
There are 15 first timers on this list, the closest to getting in are Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven. In order to be eligible you have to be retired for 5 years and in order to stay on the ballot you need 5 percent of the vote and then you can stay on for up to 15 years. Results will be announced on Wed Jan 6, 2010. I am a tough grader and on this list I really don't see many Hall Of Famers, my favorite player of all time is Don Mattingly and I wish he could get in but he just doesn't have the numbers for long enough unfortunately. I can see Dawson and Blyleven and Jack Morris should probably get in. There are a lot of players on here that I say wow good solid players but that is different from Hall Of Famer. I think Hall of Fame as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Yogi Berra, A-rod, Honus Wagner, Roberto Clemente guys like that. I think it has been watered down and should be the best of the best. Rickey Henderson got in last year and that was a no brainer to me.
Roy Halladay apparently on Friday said he would waive his no trade clause to go to the Yankees not suprisingly. This to me is not big news but intersting anyway.
Alex Gonzalez signed with Toronto leaving the Red Sox scrambling again for a shortstop. They will probably end up signing Marco Scutaro away from the Jays. He had a career year last year with them.
The New Jersey Nets tied the record by going 0-17, they can break the record with a loss Wed at home against the Dallas Mavericks.
This actually happened officially today but was gaining steam over the weekend. Charlie Weis has been fired as Head Coach of Notre Dame.
Derek Jeter has been named SI Sportsman of the Year. I think this is better then winning MVP. Derek Jeter leads a charmed life that is for sure, he won the World Series is dating Minka Kelly and now is Sportsman of the Year. He unlike others has stayed out of trouble on and off the field. I think Derek Jeter is truly a guy you can look up to as in this time there really isn't many that kids can look up to and aspire to be like. I am sure we will have quotes from Jeter later on. Derek Jeter is the first Yankee to win the award and 56th winner overall.
He had a spectacular year batting 334 and batting 344 in the postseason and 409 in the World Series living up to his clutch reputation. He also broke Lou Gehrigs team record for most hits during the season and is on his way to becoming the first Yankee to ever record 3000 hits for his career. He also won the Hank Aaron Award and Roberto Clemente award during the postseason. Terry Mcdonell SI's group editor had this to say about Jeter, " Derek Jeter has always presented himself with class, he does numerous good work for the community with his Turn 2 Foundation. The foundation is one of the most effective and efficient foundations of its kind. Derek Jeter is extremely generous not just with him money but his time, which in many cases is more valuable. He also had another signature year on the field."
Derek Jeter is the first baseball player to solely win the award since Cal Ripken in 1995.
The thanksgiving holiday is over and now it is back to work. I didn't get to post reaction to the New York Giants pathetic performance on Thanksgiving. The Giants just didn't do anything right and as far as I am concerned are done for the season. They are 6-5 and of course have a mathematical chance of making the playoffs especially if they win the next couple of game against the Cowboys and Eagles but I just don't see that happening. The Giants didn't do anything offensively in the first half of thursday's game and got behind 16-0 before cutting it to 16-6. I thought at that point ok maybe they will get back into this game but of course when the defense needed a stop they couldn't do it. The Giants defense is just dreadful right now and Bill Sheridan has to take the blame. I don't think the Giants will do anything until after the season but they still have the players on the field and someone has to take the fall for this mess. I think maybe it is time for Bill Sheridan to go up in the booth like he wanted too and see what happens. It can't be any worse then it is now.
As for the offense I don't think the play calling has been great this season but they usually do what they have to do on offense. The running game hasn't been there but Brandon Jacobs should never be running east to west, he is a big smashmouth type guy that should always be going north to south and running people over and getting his yards that way. Eli Manning has been good but he has a foot problem that seems to be getting worse. We found out yesterday that he has a stress reaction that with any wrong move it could become a stress fracture and he will be done for the season. The Giants right now have to take it one game at a time and worry about winning against the Cowboys on Sunday in the meadowlands. If they lose the offseason will have already begun and everyone will start reacting to what they should do.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I am going to do a special Thanksgiving edition of the picks. The New York Giants play on Thanksgiving night so that is a treat. The afternoon games are the Green Bay Packers at the Detroit Lions and the Oakland Raiders at the Dallas Cowboys. The afternoon games really aren't that appealing the Packers should go into Detroit and beat them I am going to say the score will be Green Bay 28 Detroit 14.
Oakland at Dallas on paper is a complete mismatch but Dallas has really struggled offensively the last couple of games. I think they will be pumped up playing on Thanksgiving as they always do and will hand it to Oakland. Dallas 28 Oakland 10.
The night game is the New York Giants at the Denver Broncos at 8:20 PM. The Giants are coming off a much needed win last Sunday against the Falcons but they still have their problems. The Giants are 6-4 and right in the thick of the playoff race but their defense especially in crunch time has been a disaster lately, if they want to do anything this year that has to change. I am one that believes it has to do with the new coach. It seems to me that the Giants sit back too much when they have the lead and are trying to close games out, they need to continue to be aggressive and pressure the QB. The Giants strength should be the pass rush and it hasn't been. I think Eli Manning was in a great groove on Sunday and will continue to be as his foot has healed. I look for the Giants to get their running game going with Brandon Jacobs, Ahmad Bradshaw is out so Danny Ware will get his first significant playing time. I think the receiving corps really has the confidence now. I think the Giants are going to play their best game they have played in quite a while and will win this game. Giants 31 Broncos 24.
Everyone enjoy your thanksgiving and enjoy the football games. I will recap the game at some point tomorrow night or early Friday morning.
Yes I am serious this is my least knowledgeable subject in sports but I have to talk briefly about the New Jersey Nets and New York Knicks. New Jersey has a basketball team? They do but barely as they are 0-14, you can't even be that bad if you tried. I have to give them credit for trying as they are badly outmanned and they aren't that good obviously. They are in complete rebuilding mode and have some good young pieces so it will get better but no wins seriously. They are trying to set the record and be relative by being irrelative. The record is 0-17 and they can do that with 3 more games on the West Coast against the LA Lakers, Portland Trailblazers and the Sacremento Kings. Nets coach Lawrence Frank is on the hot seat as you might expect.
The New York Knicks aren't much better as they are 3-10 but the thing about them is it really doesn't matter until July of 2010. You might ask why is that well it is because that is when the free agency signing period begins. Lebron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh headline the group of many. The Knicks have had their eyes on this for a couple of years as they have gotten under the cap so they could sign at least one marquee player and maybe a couple overall players. The question I have is why would someone like Lebron want to come to the Knicks other then playing in New York but with a salary cap the money isn't much different and in this world now it really doesn't matter so much for a star like him where he plays. It will be interesting to see if CC Sabathia could really recruit him like he says or if ultimately Lebron will end up in Miami with Wade or could he go to Brooklyn with the Nets if they move there as it looks like they now will.
Johnny Damon was at the Empire State Building with his wife and Nascar driver Jimmie Johnson yesterday. He reiterated the same message he has had for several months now and that is he wants to remain a Yankee but he is listening to other offers. " I would love to come back to New York but I also know other teams are calling to have me go and help them win a championship," he said. " I have loved my time here. Hopefully, it is not over, but we just have to wait and see what New York comes to offer. We are listening to anybody out there." Damon stated that he has not heard from the Yankees GM Brian Cashman yet and he and agent Scott Boras are waiting. He said he feels fine physically even though he turned 36 earlier this month. I feel like I can play another 10 years he said. He said he feels great now and has during the season. Johnny Damon has to be realistic here he has been breaking down, he is pretty durable and tough but defensively he is not the same player, he has to rest more and be used as the DH more to keep his legs fresh. If he really wants to stay in New York then he should prove it by taking a pay cut but of course no player can do that. Paul O'neill did it and others in the past have but that doesn't happen anymore. Johnny also said " I know what is here in New York, the New Stadium, the great coaches, the great players. You guys tell Cash to get things going with me. I am up for it."
The Yankees have told everyone they are not even meeting until the end of next week to formulate their plans. The Winter Meetings begin Dec 7th and that is when things should really heat up with the hotstove. This news came from the NY Post but was everywhere on the news and internet since he was in a public place.
There was a article out of the NY Daily News today that the Red Sox are really heating up talks with the Blue Jays for Roy Halladay and speculating about the Yankees jumping in. The article said it would start with Clay Bucholz and Casey Kelley a 20 yr old prospect that Theo Epstein is said to love and that may be a sticking point in negotiations. The Yankees would have to give up Joba or Phil Hughes and Austin Jackson or Jesus Montero. If I was the Yankees I would really have to think about giving up Joba and Austin Jackson. I know this is tough but if the Yankees have a rotation of CC, Halladay, A.J. Andy and Phil Hughes that will be very very tough to beat. They can use Dave Robertson, Damaso Marte, Phil Coke as the setup guys. The other benefit of course is that the Red Sox wouldn't get him. It is very tough because the Yankees as World Champs could just have Joba and Phil Hughes as the 4th and 5th starters and hope they fulfill thier potential and have a great rotation like that anyway. They also save a lot of money by doing this but that isn't a guarantee, it is a guarantee that Roy Halladay will pitch well for another couple of years at least. The article said the Red Sox hope to land him within the next couple of weeks so this could get interesting quickly.
I waited until the official announcement for the coaches for the 2010 season. Howard Johnson will remain the hitting coach, Dan Warthen the pitching coach and Randy Niemann as bullpen coach. Razor Shines also remains but he was moved from 3rd base to 1st base coach. He had a eventful year at third so I am sure Mets fans are thrilled he is away from there. The new coaches are Dave Jauss as bench coach and Chip Hale as third base coach. The Mets also hired former Houston Astros manager Terry Collins as minor-league field coordinator. I know most people are going to say who for the new coaches and I don't know myself so it is a good question. I am sure that they brought guys in with not much background due to the fact that Jerry Manuel is on the hot seat and if a new manager comes in he may want his own coaches. The most interesting move the Mets have made is hiring Wally Backman as manager of the short season Brookly Cyclones. The reason this is interesting is first of all after his 4 day stay as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks a few years ago he has been blackballed from baseball and had to serve in the independant leagues. The second reason is because it is believed that he is in line to succeed Jerry Manuel as manager of the big club. I am sure Mets fans would love to see this as he is a fiery ex Met from the Glory Days of the 1980's. It will be interesting to see if he can keep his nose clean and the Mets stumble how quick of a hook GM Omar Minaya and the Wilpons will have.
The New York Yankees have made it clear they are going to take their time this offseason. The Yankees are the World Champions and don't have to rush into anything. Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi both indicated yesterday at the premiere for the World Series DVD that starting pitching is the priority but unless they give up a lot to get a Roy Halladay which I don't think will happen they will sign a middle of the road type starter. They can also sign Chien-Ming Wang for cheap to a incentive laden deal and see what happens. If they don't sign anyone they can go with Joba and Hughes at the backend and is that really the worst thing with Aceves, Mitre, Gaudin, Kennedy all backing them up. I think it would be fine to get another starter but I don't think they are in such bad shape here. If you can have a guy like Gaudin as your 4th or 5th starter with Hughes or Joba and the other in the pen I think you are in really good shape. The Yankees showed this year that you only need 3 strong starters in the postseason and a good bullpen.
There were rumors about the Yankees being interested in Jermaine Dye but the Yankees have shot them down. The Yankees did sign someone today, it was a dominican prospect named Eladio Moronta. He was suspended by baseball for a year earlier this year for lying about his age but that ban has been lifted. He is said to have excellent speed and a strong arm. You can read this article about him on baseball america. I like what the Yankees have done to build up their farm system and this is part of it being strong in the international market. It will be interesting to see this season how Austin Jackson, Francisco Cervelli, Ramiro Pena and some others will be used. I think they could have a big impact on the team and show that the Yankees system does have some talent and they don't just go out and buy players.
The New York Yankees represented by pitcher A.J. Burnett and media relations director Jason Zillo were awarded for their work during HOPE Week. The award was given by the St Louis Sports Commission. The award was the National Sportsmanship award. It is a award given to recognize athletes and personalities from across the nation for their integrity, class, selfishness, perseverance, kindness, community service and overall commitment to sportsmanship. If you don't know what Camp Sundown is, it is a program in upstate NY for children that suffer from Xeroderma pigmentosum. The disease is a rare genetic disorder that prevents those who have it from going outside in the sunlight. If they are exposed to sunlight or even UV light at all they will get skin burns and eventually skin and eye cancer. Most people with this disorder don't live past the age of 20. The Yankees sponsered HOPE Week this past season and the highlight of the week is when they sponsered this group to come to a night game and then have a carnival afterwards to 3 or 4 in the morning for these kids on the field. This took place on July 23, 2009 and the Yankees should be rewarded for this venture, it was a great idea and went off well.
The Yankees are loved by many for their great tradition of excellence and hated by many for the same reason. The thing most people don't know or don't care to pay attention to is the fact that the Yankees do many charitable things like this and should be commended for their work. George Steinbrenner has done many things over the years for charity and didn't want the spotlight and that should be commended also. The Yankees truly are a first class organization in many many ways.
Albert Pujols did win the award not suprisingly and he did win it unanimously. He became only the sixth NL player to win this award unanimously. Here is the complete list of how the guys finished and how many votes they got.
1. Albert Pujols-448 points
2. Hanley Ramirez- 233 points
3. Ryan Howard- 217 points
4. Prince Fielder- 203 points
5. Troy Tulowitzki- 172 points
6. Andre Ethier- 113 points
7. Pablo Sandoval- 89 points
8. Chase Utley- 84 points
9. Derrek Lee- 66 points
10. Matt Kemp- 49 points
Albert Pujols who right now is the best player in baseball became only the 10th player in history to win 3 or more MVP's. The others are Barry Bonds who won 7, Yogi Berra-3, Roy Campanella-3, Joe Dimaggio-3, Jimmie Foxx-3, Mickey Mantle-3, Stan Musial-3, Alex Rodriguez-3 and Mike Schmidt-3. This was Pujols third time winning the award.
I don't think there is much to talk about in this one, the only question is will it be unanimous. Albert Pujols is going to win the award but will there be some dude who votes for like David Wright or something to just throw it off. I mean if someone could vote for Miguel Cabrera over Joe Mauer anything can happen. Seriously though Pujols will win again and there is no drama to this one. I will be back later with the official announcement and some other baseball news more specifically related to the Yankees.
In a very predictable outcome Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins won the MVP in unanimous fashion. Mark Teixeira finished second and Derek Jeter finished third. I know a lot of Yankee fans will be up in arms but Mauer clearly deserved this and there was no other way to go. I am glad Tex and Jeter finished second and third because that was the way it should have gone also, I guess you can debate Jeter and Tex, who is more valuable as I have been seeing the Yankee fans do. I say Tex though because of his bat and his glove but that is a touchy subject especially for those who love Derek Jeter. In the end it doesn't matter much at all especially since the Yankees settled for the biggest prize the World Championship.
The New York Giants got back on the winning track finally, ending their 4 game losing streak by defeating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime by the score of 34-31. The Giants defense once again was nowhere to be found at the end of the game as they had a 31-17 lead with 6 minutes left and allowed Atlanta to just march down the field for 2 touchdowns to send the game into overtime. The defense played pretty well in the first half and seemed to run out of gas in the fourth quarter. I am starting to think this may be a problem with Bill Sheridan the defensive coordinator as the Giants basically have the same guys they have had the last couple of years and their defense just can't get a big stop when they need it. I don't know where the pass rush is when it is crunch time but it has disappeared. I think they are being too passive and have to continue to be aggressive and blitz more to close out these games and put the pressure on the other teams.
The good for the Giants was Eli Manning and the receivers who everyone thought would be their weakness. Kevin Boss the tightend played a strong game with 2 touchdown catches. Hakeem Nicks always seems to do something big when he gets the ball and Mario Manningham continues to play well with a big yardage game. The running game didn't get the job done once again and you have to wonder about that as Eli Manning really had to carry the team to victory. I don't thinkt he offense has been the problem at all though. The Giants now at 6-4 are right in the playoff picture and will have a very short week before heading to Denver on Wed and playing Thanksgiving night against a team who has been going the other way lately. I think the Giants have a good chance to exhale now and if they get a win on Thanksgiving they can really start to get it going.
The New York Jets on the other hand are basically at the point now where it is lets learn about Mark Sanchez. The Jets are at 4-6 and unless they have a miracle will be out of the playoffs again. Mark Sanchez needs to develop and get better and that is what the rest of this season will be about for the Jets. The New York Jets learned hard this season that sometimes it is better to keep your mouth shut and let your play do the talking before you start talking big and bad. The Jets defense which looked so good early in the season and is supposed to be their bread and butter was pretty bad yesterday. The Jets just seem to find ways to lose but this one is pretty much all on the young QB who had 4 interceptions and a fumble and you can't overcome that especially against a good team like the Patriots. The bright side for the Jets was Thomas Jones who once again had a good game running the ball. The Jets need to really look at things offensively to help the young QB out and go to work with him because he is the future for them. I was 2-0 this week with the picks so I had a good week and we will have the Thanksgiving picks up on Wednesday.
The American League MVP will be announced today at 2:00PM. I really think this is the easiest one to pick as I just don't see how Joe Mauer doesn't win the award. He is a catcher that put up insane numbers while bringing his team to a AL Central title after defeating the Detroit Tigers in a one game playoff. Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira are candidates but there is no way you can go against Mauer. I think Mark Teixeira will probably finish second and maybe Jeter third as I think Tex was more of a factor then Jeter but that is something that can be debated also. The numbers Tex put up after April though and the defense he played just made him more valuable then any other position player in my mind. We will see what happens at 2 but to me this is the easiest one to pick with no real drama. I will be back later when the award is announced.
The official start to the Hot Stove was at 12:01 yesterday morning when free agents were able to sign with any team they choose. The free agent class for this season appears to be weak and with the economy being the way it is I don't think teams will be rushing to sign anyone and these players may just have to take some deals quick otherwise risk being out there in January without a job much like last year. I am going to start off with the New York Mets since they have many holes to fill and a lot of work to do. The Mets need a leftfielder, starting pitching, a setup man, possibly a first baseman and a catcher. I think the best thing the Mets can do if it is possible is trade for Roy Halladay this would give them a very nice 1-2 punch at the top of the rotation with Santana and Halladay and would energize their fan base. These fans need a reason to come back to Citi Field next season and right now they don't have one, they aren't going to want to hear that they will get their players back healthy next year. Omar Minaya and the Mets need to make a big splash. If they can't get Halladay then they really need to look at signing John Lackey. The Mets also may need to sign a Jason Marquis or Joel Piniero and that is fine but only if they get one of the other pitchers to put behind Johan Santana. They can't go into next season with John Maine, Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey and whoever else behind Johan Santana, that would be a very questionable rotation and they can't have that.
I think for leftfield the Mets need to sign Holliday or Bay. I know people will say that is a lot of money to spend but the Mets have to stop acting like they are a small market team, no they can't compete with the Yankees but no one can. The Mets are the only ones that know if they got hurt by Bernie Madoff but if it is true that they didn't lose money then they have to step up to the plate and spend it. The Mets farm system is a mess and they have to build the big team up first and at least get the fans interested again. I do think the Mets really have to flex their financial might in the international free agent market and also the draft like the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox do. This is what really hurts their farm system when they aren't willing to overslot guys in the draft.
If the Mets can unload Luis Castillo which I don't think they can then they could sign Chone Figgons or Orlando Hudson. I am not sure what they can do for the bullpen but Mike Gonzalez and Rafiel Soriano are out there as good options for the bullpen, maybe they will resign J.J. Putz. First base is intersting, they may resign Carlos Delgado if they think he is healthy or they could explore trades or maybe get a Mark Derosa or someone like that as a stopgap. They feel that Ike Davis their big prospect may be ready in 2011.
The New York Yankees are coming off a World Series Championship and really don't have many holes. They could use a starting pitcher but if they don't they have Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain ready to become the 4th and 5th starters. I think they want to resign Andy Pettitte for one year and I think he wants to come back. If they have CC, A.J. and Andy at top they are in pretty good shape. I think they will explore Roy Halladay but he is going to cost a lot in money and prospects and unless they jump in because it looks like the Red Sox might get him I don't see the Yankees getting him. I could see the Yankees signing a Randy Wolf or Jason Marquis or someone like that as a 4th starter and then having Hughes as the 5th and keeping Joba Chamberlain in the bullpen. I also thik it will be interesting to see what the Yankees do with Chien-Ming Wang. If they do sign him and he comes back healthy then they could have a really strong top 4 but that is very questionable if he can come back and be close to what he used to be.
The Yankees will try and resign Johnny Damon for leftfield and I see them giving him either a one year deal with a option or a 2 year deal. I could see 2 years 20 or 22 million. I think Hideki Matsui will be let go and they will use the DH spot for Posada, A-rod, Jeter, Damon. I can see the Yankees signing Mark Derosa who went to Bergen Catholic and would serve them well as a super utility guy. The only way I see the Yankees in on Bay or Holliday is if Damon doesn't resign.
I am a 31 year old male who is married with a baby girl on the way. I love sports and if you see by my blog under my links I am a huge sports fan. Baseball and the Yankees are my favorite. I am a season ticket holder for the Yankees. I live in wayne,NJ.