Posted on: April 11, 2011 6:10 pm
*This is all coming from a Rangers fan*
Why The Rangers Will Win: There is 2 reason why the Rangers will win. First off, its the King, Henrik Lundqvist. He has been a top goalie all year and even career long. He has also had postseason and Olympic success. He works well under pressure and can shutout any opponent (he has 2 SO against the Capitals already). The other reason is the teams ability to overcome adversity and play as a team. This team is a very physical team and there "big guy" Brandon Prust will go up against anyone if it helps spark the team. The Rangers penalty killing isn't only good but they also have the ability to score the short-handed goal.
Why The Capitals Will Win: This team can lit up the scoreboard on any given night and with Mike Green coming back, it just makes them more lethal. He doesn't help the team too much defensively, but offensively, he really adds another aspect.
Why The Rangers Will Lose: They just won't score enough and there young defensive corps will falter. The King will also struggle due to fatigue after playing 26 straight games.
Why The Capitals Will Lose: The pressure. This team was the best team in the East again. last year they succumbed and lost to the Canadiens after leading 3 games to 1. Another reason is that Ovi will continue to struggle to score vs. the Rangers as he has no goals in the 4 games that have happened in the regular season.
My Prediction: I think the regular season told a lot. I'll give this to the Rangers in 4 games. (Before you all attack me read the note on the top of this post). I think they have enough to win and the fact the Capitals haven't shown any good success against the Rangers this year. Also on a side note, the Rangers were up 3 games to 1 in 2009 but that was a long time ago. Neither team is the same.
Posted on: March 27, 2011 10:23 pm
Edited on: March 30, 2011 7:04 pm
As a huge Yankees fan for my entire life, I follow this team very closing and I'm not afraid to say I did not like a move (such as the signing of Alex Rodriguez after he opted out). This is MY outlook on the team this year.
Catcher: This is a very tricky position. After having Jorge Posada here for a long time, we now have Russell Martin and Jesus Montero (or maybe Molina from what I've heard). Martin can be a good catcher when healthy an is an obvious upgrade defensively. Montero I feel would be better as a DH or stay in the minors. Fransico Cervilli, who will be back in May will add stability to the back-up catcher role, as he has done a nice job in the past.
First Base: Mark Teixera will have a bounce back year average wise, which should slightly increase his RBI and Runs total too. He is also very durable so the Yankees are fine here.
Second Base: Robinson Cano. Nothing else to say. He is great defensively and he has become an huge offensive player. He could be a serious runner for the MVP this year.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter. The face of the franchise should have a bounce back year as he gets 3000+ hits. His defense will decline but he is still an important piece for this team.
Third Base: A-Rod. he will have another typical year with all the hoopla, but I expect a slight increase in HRs and RBIs according to his trends.
Outfield: This is a good group of OFs. They have Nick Swisher who has a good arm and a nice power bat. he will lose in average but he should still hit a respectable number. Brett Gardner is the Yankees speed guy and since he may hit leadoff more often, he has a chance to get over 60 steals. If he stays healthy, he may also hit around .300. Defensively, he fine. Now the question mark I have is Curtis Granderson. I do not think he is a good fit but that just me.
Reserves: This is a good bench, better in years past. The Yankees also have enough guys in the minor to bring up if they are not fine with the guys they have right now.
Starting Pitching: I beleive they made a mistake keeping the soft tossing Freddy Garcia in the rotation since teams like the Red Sox and Rangers will whack him around. I thought Bartolo Colon even with injuries and inning limit should have been the guy. Ivan Nova should surprise a lot of guys and so should A.J. Brunett. He had a good first half last year, before blowing up completely. C.C. sabathia is still the ace and Phil Hughes may struggle if he can't find some velocity. The Yankees have a lot of young guys in the minors that can pitch and I expect one or two of them to come up this season to get their licks in the majors.
Bullpen: The 8th/9th inning guys are not a problem. I did not like the spending on of Rafael Soriano but he is good insurance. Mariano Rivera is still the BEST CLOSER EVER, so he will maintain his part. Robertson and Chamberlain will be good 6th/7th inning guys and can eat up a couple innings if guys are taxed. I don't like Loogan or Marte as a lefty specialist but it is a good thing Robertson has great numbers vs lefties.
Prediction: They will finish 1st in the AL EAST. When it comes playoff time, they will go as far as their top 3 SPs take them. Now that I can't predict just yet.
Posted on: April 9, 2010 12:38 pm
Drowsy fans of the 28 other big league teams no longer have to feel alone.Someone in power also thinks these interminable Red Sox and Yankees games are taking too darned long. After sitting behind home plate for three hours and 46 minutes on Sunday night, the patience of umpire Cowboy Joe West finally boiled over in Thursday morning's editions of the Bergen Record. The veteran of 32 years labeled the turtle pace maintained by both clubs as "a disgrace to baseball" and said the players refuse to cooperate with the umpires when it comes to time-saving measures like staying in the batter's box and limiting trips to the mound.
From the Bergen Record:
"They're the two clubs that don't try to pick up the pace," said West, chief of the umpiring crew that worked the three-game series in Boston. He was the home plate umpire Sunday. "They're two of the best teams in baseball. Why are they playing the slowest?
"It's pathetic and embarrassing. They take too long to play."
He says the umpires are committed to shortening the time of all games and that intention has come through during this Red Sox-Yankees series as several batters were denied requests for a time out. Did it work? Well, Wednesday's 10-inning affair clocked in at 3 hours, 21 minutes. Still not a neat and tidy affair, but much closer to a big league average that hovers around 2 hours and 50 minutes these days.
I'm willing to bet that the league office isn't happy over West publicly airing such strong comments. Red Sox and Yankees games are always going to take a little longer because both camps are big advocates of their batters taking pitches and working their way into deep counts. Their lineups are also loaded with sluggers and, hey, all those hits take time.
If Joe West has a problem working a little more than 4 hours to umpire the best rivalry in all of sports, then maybe he should get an 8hr job like everyone else and then we'll see how much he complains.
Posted on: February 10, 2010 2:52 pm
Edited on: February 15, 2010 1:05 pm
Has it ever occurred to you when watching a football game that the refs call roughing the passer for no reason? or they miss a call on the QB? Has it ever occurred to you when watching a hockey game, why there was no penalty on that hook/trip? or why there was a penalty? Has it ever occurred to you why there was no call on that strike 3 or why that runner was safe during a baseball game? Has it ever occurred to you while watching a basketball game why there was no travel call or why there was a foul? These days there are certain athletes which are considered the best by reputation and refs/umps tend to give them a edge in the calls. I call these players "The Pretty Boys".
MLB: I know many guys would disagree including every Cardinals fan out there but its got to be Albert Pujols. I could have easily gone with 2 Yankees in Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez or even Joe Mauer but he is MY choice. This guy has the potential to be the greatest first basemen by the time he retires and deservingly so. He excels both offensively and defensively. Umpires during games almost become fans of him whe it comes to those borderline pitchers are those close plays at first. For the majority of the time, the call goes his way. He doesn't strike out often as he has a "fear factor" but when he does it is hardly because he struck out looking.
NBA: This title will also go to the King of the NBA in Lebron James. Again almost everyone will disagree including every Cavaliers fan out there but he does get his way. He has gotten away with more travels than I can recall. He drives to the hope with such strength and beauty than any contact made in there is almost called a foul which results in a 3-point play. He did one technical this year but that can from ranting about not getting a call. He normally gets his way and since I am a Knicks fan (sadly right now), I hope he comes to the Big Apple.
NHL: I don't know if he is the king of the NHL but its Sidney Crosby. I will have the entire Penguins team on my trail now since I am a Rangers fan and I am picking on their best player. He will get away with penalties and he will force non-penalties. Its almost as if the refs try to protect him too much. I could have gone with Alex Ovechkin but Ovi fights his battles and he is a much more physical player than Crosby. I rarely see Crosby checking a player hard into the boards or dropping the gloves.
NFL: Again I will attract plenty of haters since I am a Jets fan and I am attacking the Patriots but I'm saying Tom Brady. Ever since that knee injury, he is being treated like a king back there. Any contact late by a split second is being called as a roughing the passer. Any hit which can be considered slightly low is being called. When he complains about a pass interference call, he gets it. Now there might be people saying its Peyton Manning but it can't be him since he hardly gets hit!
So there you have it. The 4 big "Pretty Boys" in Albert Pujols, Lebron James, Sidney Crosby and Tom Brady. This isn't anything against how they play on the field since these are 4 great players in their sports. This has nothing to do with how they perform off the field, this is just my personal opinion.
Posted on: February 8, 2010 10:38 pm
Edited on: February 8, 2010 10:38 pm
Peyton Manning didn't shake hands with New Orleans Saints players after his Indianapolis Colts lost 31-17 in Super Bowl XLIV. Apparently some think this is a sign of poor sportsmanship from the NFL's greatest player. It's not.
Walking off the field without congratulating Drew Brees may go against our misguided notion of what sportsmanship should be, but it wasn't at all disrespectful or bitter. It shows how much Peyton Manning wanted to win the game. And who can argue about that?
"It's just a job for these guys," is a familiar refrain. The natural response to that is the great ones make their job their passion. Hall of Fames don't tend to include guys who can't care. The desire to win is what sustains greatness. You think Michael Jordan was hugging Isiah Thomas after losses in the 1980s? Or that Larry Bird stayed on the court to congratulate Kareem? Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio weren't going out for drinks after the Yankees beat the Red Sox. The great ones are competitors and competitors can't flip a switch immediately after a devastating loss and act like it didn't matter.
Being a good sportsman is playing fair, respecting the game and giving credit after to an opponent. Manning did all those things Sunday. In his postgame press conference he said of his quick exit:
"I certainly know how it was three years ago when we won. There's not much consolation for the guys who didn't win. There's the stage being set up and the celebration. It's time for the Saints to celebrate. It's their field."
That's probably a tad disingenuous, but no more than it would have been if Peyton had walked over to congratulate Drew Brees.
For the record, Peyton did call Brees later in the night. Said the Saints quarterback: "Peyton's a class guy." If the man who was supposedly snubbed thinks so, that's enough for me.
Posted on: January 16, 2010 1:03 am
While watching the NFL's divisional playoff games this weekend, you may have more time to go to the refrigerator than you think.
According to a Wall Street Journal study of four games from week 16, the average NFL game features just 10 minutes 43 seconds of action. Commercials account for nearly 60 minutes of the three hour affairs. And when the networks are showing the game, the bulk of the time is spent either on replays or shots of players huddling, in pre-snap formations or "milling about."
The beauty of football is in the controlled chaos of those 120 or so snaps. Eleven men on one side trying to advance the ball while 11 men on the other try to stop it. That's the appeal of the game.
Plus, in dramatic contests, the inaction is sometimes as exciting as the action. Football can maintain the drama throughout that 164 minutes of inactivity. Some of the best moments are in the build-up to the 4th and short or as the clock ticks down when a quarterback marches his team down the field. The 10 minutes and 43 seconds are what we watch for, but without the other time there'd be no context with which to enjoy it.
Some other highlights from the piece:
-- No, you're not just imagining things: Networks do show Brett Favre more often. In the Monday Night Football game studies by the WSJ's researchers, ESPN showed 41 percent more replays than other networks. A producer said it was because Favre is a "move the meter guy."
-- FOX shows the fewest replays and most shots of the sidelines.
-- Some producers only care about the cheerleaders if they're from the Dallas Cowboys.
Posted on: November 5, 2009 1:00 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2009 1:00 pm
The throng of media members around the makeshift stage seemed impenetrable, but Harlan Chamberlain motored his way through all of the cameras and notepads anyways. Reaching a blue barrier, he stopped his scooter, strained to look over a crowd of world champion Yankee ballplayers and tried to get a glimpse of his son. When that proved useless, he simply resorted to his considerable vocal chords.
"Jaaaaaaahba!" he yelled. "Jaaaaaaaaaahba!"
Harlan said his son's name a few more times, then spied A.J. Burnett in the crowd.
"Burnett!" he said. "Can you get my son!"
Burnett could and a few moments later, Joba Chamberlain put down the giant blue Yankee flag he had been waving up on stage. The big Yankees pitcher hopped off the stage, disappeared from the view of the Fox cameras and quickly made a beeline for his father. When they came together, they wrapped each other in a huge rocking bearhug.
It wasn't long before both were crying.
They said the same thing over and over.
"We did it, dad," Joba said.
"We did it," Harlan said.
"We did it," Joba said.
"We did it," Harlan said.
And on and on. They held tight for almost a minute. Their eyes were red when they let go.
You see the Yankees' $200+ million payroll and it's easy to get cynical. Same goes for their $1.5 billion new stadium, the seats that cost more than the average mortgage payment, the steroid controversies involving some of their team members and all the endless hype and hooey about mystique, aura and all the Yankee legends and ghosts.
But then you see this very simple and very real scene of a 24-year-old pitcher sharing the hug of a lifetime with his dad and you remember that those father-son relationships — one of the only things that really matter — are at the very heart of this great game that we love.
The same dynamic was on display everywhere at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night. Way up in the upper deck, a dad tossed his little son into the air whenever Hideki Matsui came through (which was often). A mid-20s hipster sitting next to them made sure to ask one of my co-workers to snap a photo of he and his pops with his grainy cell phone camera. CC Sabathia did his postgame interviews with his little son on his shoulders the whole time.
Their story has been told often since Joba became a pitcher with the Yankees. Harlan was stricken with polio as a child and his health problems have confined him to the trademark scooter that gets him recognized by Yankee fans everywhere. Despite his limitations, he raised both Joba and his sister in Nebraska and provided for them while working in a prison. The sad story of Joba's mother is sadly well-known — she's facing 20 years in jail for a drug charge — but he's always had the love and support from an extraordinary father. They call each other their best friends. It's impossible for them to be any closer.
Posted on: October 19, 2009 1:47 pm
If for some reason you're searching for the terms of the foodstuffs wager the New York and Anaheim mayors have placed on the outcome of the ALCS, here's some bad news for you.
No bet was ever made.
According to the New York Daily News, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg's people reached out to Anaheim mayor Curt Pringle's people last week to see what they'd like to put on the line for the traditional food-related bet between proud and esteemed civic leaders.
New York's proposal, however, was met with a simple "thanks, but no thanks" when Anaheim declined the offer. Pringle's office confirmed that the idea of the wager had been offered from the East, but did not offer any reasons why they wouldn't participate in what seems like a completely innocuous bet.
That, of course, leads us to make up a few theories for the refusal on our own.
1. Pringle was worried that none of Anaheim's cuisine would match up to Momofuku's fried chicken from New York. (Or maybe he also thinks that rich East Coasters acting as if fried chicken was discovered and perfected in Manhattan is the stupidest thing ever.)
2. After the team's name change from "Anaheim" to "Los Angeles," Pringle remains steamed and figures it's up to Antonio Villaraigosa to handle these requests.
3. Pringle ran for re-election on a platform that promised an end to cliché playoff stories.
4. The Republican mayor got a call from Fox head Rupert Murdoch and was told that if he enjoyed his job he wouldn't pull for any outcome involving the Angels in the World Series.
5. Anaheim's FedEx food budget was drained by all of those express shipments to Chicago in 2005 and to Boston in 2004, 2007 and 2008. He's simply tired of paying out.
Still, if you're heartbroken over this news (or are a television crew looking to fill 15 seconds of airtime), no need to worry. Mayor Bloomberg is currently enjoying a case of Honeycrisp apples and a case of beer from the Minneapolis mayor and the heads of Philly and Los Angeles have placed cheesesteaks and Pink's hot dogs on the line for the NLCS.