The Divisional round of the NFL playoffs will begin tomorrow. The Arizona Cardinals will be in New Orleans to take on the Saints and then in prime time tomorrow night the Baltimore Ravens will be in Indianapolis to take on the Colts. Sunday will have the New York Jets at San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings. I was 1-3 with my picks last week so I am hoping for better luck this week. Here are my picks:
I am going to go with New Orleans over the Arizona Cardinals. I think this could be another high scoring game, I just don't think Arizona will be able to stop the Saints. If there are turnovers that will definitely be huge in this game. I will go with Saints 35 Cardinals 31
I am going to go with the Colts over the Ravens. I just don't think the Ravens are that good and the Colts will be looking to shutup their critics. The Colts are a great team and I don't think the layoff will hurt them at all. I think they will be able to put up enough points and the Ravens don't have a great offense. I will go with the Colts 24 Ravens 14
I think the New York Jets have a shot against the Chargers and it should be a good game. I think this will definitely come down to turnovers in this one. I think even the Jets will have a hard time stopping this offensive machine. I think they can slow them down but won't be able to shut them down. I think the Chargers will be able to move the ball and beat the Jets. San Diego 28 New York 21.
The Dallas Cowboys are really rolling now and the Vikings come in to the playoffs limping. They only won their last game against the Giants who were just horrible in that last game. The Giants didn't even show up. I think the Vikings will be rusty and the Cowboys are playing as well as anyone right now. The Cowboys defense has been a force to be reckoned with. I am going with Dallas 24 Minnesota 17.
I have maintained pretty much all winter that there really is no market for Johnny Damon. The last few days have brought rumors of Detroit and Atlanta being interested and that was about it. Today it came out that Detroit and Atlanta basically said there is no way they would sign Johnny Damon. I know that people can say lots of things and not mean them but it really looks like right now Johnny Damon has no market. I am sure that could change and some mystery team can come out and sign him but it doesn't look like that would happen at this point. The Yankees may be his best option but he may have screwed himself by not working it out with them in the first place for the 2 years. I think both sides just need to get together and work something out. I think Damon needs the Yankees more then they need him but he was a pretty good #2 hitter and they wouldn't be worse off for resigning him.
The New York Giants search for a new defensive coordinator has ended. They hired former interim coach of the Buffalo Bills Perry Fewell as their new defensive coordinator today. He was the defensive coordinator in Buffalo for the last few years before being named interim head coach for the final seven games of this season. The Bills went 3-4 in the 7 games he was head coach. He worked under Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville as the secondary coach and will bring some fire and passion to the job. His defenses have been know for takeaways which will be good for the Giants since they have been lacking that lately. He also plays a aggressive defense which should suit them well also.
The Giants have a lot of work to do on the defensive side but hopefully this is one step in the right direction. If they can get their defense back to where it should be,they have a good offense. The Giants will need a running back but other then that they are set on the offensive side of the ball.
It was a very quiet day and I was planning on writing a little bit about basketball and hockey. Then tonight rumors started spreading around Twitter that Carlos Beltran was hurt and what do you know now it is being confirmed. I will thank twitter for this as many have confirmed now that Carlos Beltran did have some kind of procedure on his knee today. It looks like he did it on his own without the Mets permission and they are going to hold a conference call or press conference tomorrow. He was not happy with the Mets last season, thinking they handled his injury wrong and he kept playing when he shouldn't have. His knee was not getting any better this offseason and the pain came back so he went to get it taken care of on his own. It looks like it was just a clean out but some are saying it was micro fracture surgery. The Mets just can't get out of their own way, it is like there is a big black cloud over them. He is not going to be able to do any baseball activity for 12 weeks. This is 3 months which brings us to the start of the season meaning he will miss spring training. I wouldn't expect him back anytime before May at the earliest and if the Mets are saying 12 weeks that probably means about 5 or 6 months so this could be really bad. What should the Mets do?? I would love to hear from the Mets fans as to if this is a crippling blow?? Can the Mets handle this? Is this the worst of the core players or the best in terms of having to lose someone?? I want to hear your thoughts on this topic and whatever else Mets you want to discuss.
Pitchers and Catchers is one of the best pair of words that could be uttered. It is a sign of spring and it means that the great game of baseball is back. I know it means a lot of different things to different people and you can find some of that hereon the offical MLB website. I know I am certainly ready for spring training, the end of winter and the excitement of a new season. The New York Yankees are World Champions and that always brings out all the cries of the rich getting richer and the need for a salary cap. The great thing about baseball though is everyone starts fresh in spring training and has big dreams no matter what the situation is. Here are the report dates for pitchers and catchers.
Baltimore- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
Boston- Feb 20th, full squad on Feb 24th
Chicago White Sox- Feb 21st, full squad on Feb 26th
Cleveland Indians- Feb 23rd, full squad on Feb 26th
Detroit Tigers- Feb 19th, full squad on Feb 23rd
K.C. Royals- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
Los Angeles Angels- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
Minnesota Twins- Feb 22nd, full squad on Feb 27th
New York Yankees- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 24th
Oakland Athletics- Feb 21st, full squad on Feb 26th
Seattle Mariners- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
Tampa Bay Rays- Feb 19th, full squad on Feb 24th
Texas Rangers- Feb 19th, full squad on Feb 24th
Toronto Blue Jays- Feb 22nd, full squad on Feb 26th
Arizona Diamondbacks- Feb 20th, full squad Feb 24th
Atlanta Braves- Feb 20th, full squad on Feb 23rd
Chicago Cubs- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
Cincinatti Reds- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
Colorado Rockies- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 26th
Florida Marlins- Feb 20th, full squad on Feb 24th
Houston Astros- Feb 20th, full squad on Feb 24th
Los Angeles Dodgers- Feb 21st, full squad on Feb 26th
Milwaukee Brewers- Feb 22nd, full squad on Feb 27th
New York Mets- Feb 20th, full squad on Feb 25th
Philadelphia Phillies- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
Pittsburgh Pirates- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
St. Louis Cardinals- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
San Diego Padres- Feb 19th, full squad on Feb 25th
San Francisco Giants- Feb 18th, full squad on Feb 23rd
Washington Nationals- Feb 21st, full squad on Feb 26th
The New York Yankees have announced several minor league signings. They signed relief pitcher Royce Ring who pitched for the New York Mets for a couple of years. They also signed outfielders David Winfree and Reid Gorecki. I only know something about Royce Ring, I will have to go with what I have heard. Chad Jennings of the Journal News and Lohud Yankees Blog has a good grasp of minor leaguers considering he worked for Scranton for 7 years. Here are the stats that he provided and some insight.
David Winfree had his first shot at AAA last year and hit 273 with 14 homeruns and 31 doubles. He did strike out 88 times with only 28 walks. Winfree is only 24 years old, he seems to have Shelly Duncan type power, similar type of player but Duncan has more experience. Baseball America ranked him as the Twins #28 prospect last year and only had one other prospect with better power.
Royce Ring has 94 games of big league experience. He has pitched with the Mets, Padres and Braves. He had a 3.04 era in AAA with the St. Louis Cardinals last season. Lefties hit 208 against him last year and they have hit 229 against him in his career. He seems to be AAA filler but isn't a bad guy to have around. The Yankees now have Damaso Marte who they hope will be the guy they saw in the playoffs and not the guy they saw in the regular season. They also have Boone Logan and Wilkens De La Rosa.
Here is the story on Mark McGwireand his confession. I personally wouldn't vote for him for the Hall Of Fame if I had a vote. I don't think he is one with or without steroids and these guys that did it really annoy me, i know A-rod and Barry Bonds did it also but in my mind they are Hall Of Famers either way and before they did it they still put up amazing numbers. I think it is guys like Sosa and McGwire who may only be Hall Of Fame worthy because of the homeruns that won't make it now because of using steroids. I think there will be some interesting cases that will test this steroid thing out, a great example will be Roger Clemens.
I think the only reason Big Mac admitted to it now is because he realized that once he arrived in spring training all the questions would start and he had to do something as not to be a distraction to the St Louis Cardinals. I wonder if it will all go away or will he still have to deal with a lot during the season, riducule from fans in other ballparks and what about the players he is trying to teach??
I don't think there are too many people suprised but Mark McGwire admitted to using steroids today. He is the new hitting coach for the St. Louis Cardinals and has been mostly in hiding for the past decade until taking this job. I don't know why it took him so long to admit this but he probably felt it was just easier to hide and not have to worry about it. He is now the hitting coach for the team he used to play for and knew that it would keep coming up if he didn't address it. I will add the links to the story later and have some comments up from him and possibly others. I would like to hear what you guys think about this, care/don't care?? Did you think this all along or didn't?? Do you think this will help his case for the Hall of Fame or hurt it?? I would love to hear what you guys think and I will jump in on these topics later.
Wildcard weekend lived up to it's name, it was wild. The Jets/Bengals game which started it all off and last nights Green Bay/Arizona game were the good ones. The Dallas Philly and NE/Balt games were pretty much blowouts. I will start with the Jets/Bengals game since the New York Jets are the home team for me.
The New York Jets played a pretty dominant game, good defense and a solid running game. They also didn't turn the ball over and Mark Sanchez was good, they didn't make him throw it all that often which is a good thing. He really wasn't in any third and longs which is another way from limiting the mistakes that he could possibly make. The Bengals were awful especially there quarterback Carson Palmer who was overthrowing guys left and right. Chad Ochocinco once again was shut down and maybe he needs to learn how to shut his mouth and just play the game. I give the Jets credit for getting down 7-0 but not panicking and once they tied the game up they took control. It looked early on like the Jets could be in trouble but they weathered the storm and then were fine after that. They will now move on to play San Diego in San Diego on Sunday afternoon.
The other AFC game between New England and Baltimore was a shocker. The Patriots were down 21-0 before you even blinked and they just couldn't catch up. I wonder if Tom Brady was really hurt as he played a terrible game, he wasn't helped by the offensive line which just let him get beat up back there. The Patriots are still a good team but are no longer the dominant team and have some work to do to get back there. Baltimore will travel to Indianapolis to take on the Colts on Saturday.
The NFC started off with the Dallas Cowboys once again dominating the Philadelphia Eagles. I guess you could say that Tony Romo and Wade Philips have the monkey off of their back now. They look like they are going to be a tough out the rest of the way. The offense is really rolling along with Romo looking sharp and their defense has been playing great. I really think Brett Favre and the Vikings are going to be in for a really tough battle.
The last game of wildcard weekend turned out to be a really fun and entertaining shootout. The Arizona Cardinals got up big on the Green Bay Packers but to their credit they wouldn't quit and battled all the way back. Arizona had a chance to win it on a chip shot field goal in the closing seconds but missed it and the game went into OT. This was a game where it was back and forth and the teams kept matching each other score for score. There was basically no defense in this game and then when it is all said and done the game ends in OT with a fumble return for a TD by Arizona which will go on and play the Saints in New Orleans.
It has been a pretty quiet Sunday unless your totally into the NFL. If you are then what a game tonight between Green Bay and Arizona, I will get into the NFL tomorrow with my recaps and the upcoming matchups for the divisional round.
The Yankees don't have anything doing although there have been rumors about them being in serious discussions to resign Jerry Hairston Jr. who came to them at the trade deadline last year and could be the right handed caddy to Brett Gardner in LF and could also play all over the infield giving the regulars some rest.
I don't know if anyone really cares, well I am sure all the woman do but it looks like Derek Jeteris getting married to girlfriend Minka Kelly. The story was in the NY Post and then it started making the rounds on the internet.
International free agent Aroldis Chapman has signed with the Cincinatti Reds according to reports. It looks like the deal could be for 5 yrs and 25 million and has a 6th yr option which could push it to 30 million.
Khalil Greene who was a starting SS for the Padres for 5 yrs will try and revive his career with the Texas Rangers and join Vlady Guerrero who just signed a 5 million dollar deal with incentives to be their DH yesterday.
I am a diehard New York Yankees fan,season ticket holder and a sportsnut. I also like the New York Giants and Rangers. I am married with a beautiful babygirl. I am a caremanager for passaic county and graduated from William Paterson University in Wayne,NJ. I have always wanted to be a sportswriter and thought this blog would help me live my dream. I cover the Yankees/Mets Giants and Jets for www.worldnewsvine.com and also will be writing for numberonebaseball.com so check me out there, thanks.