Thursday, May 31, 2007

LeBron Shows Why he is the King [David Stefanini]

What an amazing basketball game! LeBron James just put in one of the greatest performances in NBA playoff history. Just get these stats:

He scored the last 25 points over the last 3 quarters (4th, and 2 OTs), 29 of the last 30, including the final 11 field goals for his team.

Watching this game, I saw LeBron grow up into a winner. He decided he was not going to lose the game. J. Mark English and myself were watching this game, debating whether LeBron was more like Mike or Magic. Then it occurred to both of us; it is now time to say LeBron James is LeBron James. We have to throw out the notion that he is going to be one of those two players. LeBron is going to go down not as the second Magic or the second Jordan, but he is going to be the first LeBron.

Time after time, he would come down the court and run the ball right down the Piston's throat. Then, late in the game he would hit big time shots, layups, dunks, and free throws. It was one of the greatest performances I have ever witnessed. I now understand the Nike 'witness' commerical; we are witnesses.

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A-Rod Cheats to Win -- Again [Addison Quale]

Man, A-Rod seems to be winning over friends left and right these days. First, he's caught in a compromising situation with a certain "buxom blond" at a Toronto stripclub--and not at home with his wife and kid. Now, he's playing bush-league baseball resorting to dirty tricks in order to somehow get the hapless Yanks a win. Wednesday's game between the Yanks and Jays was pretty close until the last inning. A critical play took place when a popup to the infield was dropped by third baseman Howie Clark. Clark didn't just drop the ball because he misplayed it though. He backed away at the last second because he thought someone else called for it. It turns out though that it was A-Rod who called for it as he ran behind Clark towards third base. A-Rod, in his usual honesty, claims he simply yelled "Hah!" and not "Mine"--not exactly classy either. We'll let you decide--here's the video footage. And here's his very endearing post-game interview where he's peppered repeatedly about why he did this. He also claimed btw that he was past third base when the ball fell--also not true.

Lest we forget, A-Rod has resorted to incredibly classless and dirty tactics before though hasn't he? I mean, could we ever forget the cowardly slap to Bronson Arroyo's glovehand as he was being tagged running out a grounder in the 2004 ALCS? Of course not. It's funny. It's like as hard as we try to like A-Rod and as great of a player as he is--at least in April--he's really just not very likeable. Why would you even want to root for this guy? This is the guy we're supposed to be rooting against--the classless, cowardly, arrogant, dirty, overpaid, ego-driven punk. As Sox fans, we tend to dislike Jeter the most--but that's mostly sour grapes. Jeter at least has class. Poor Yankees fans must be getting pretty tired of this. Maybe they'll get a break though if A-Rod's season continues to go down the tubes and he skips town at the end of the year.

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Nobody Likes A Cheater [Michael Vinciguerra]

The title of this article has been used by those who have played any type of competitive game, but who would have imagined this phrase would someday be applied to a major league sport, specifically baseball. The use of steroids by major league baseball players is the cause of this cheating. Steroids in baseball has always been an issue, but has not taken center stage until the release of Jose Canseco’s, 'Juiced', in which he specifically points out baseball superstars, such as Mark McGwire, Ivan Rodriguez, Juan Gonzalez, and Rafael Palmeiro, who potentially may have used steroids. Canseco himself also admitted to using steroids during his career and pointed towards the company BALCO as the source of the production of these steroids. The steroid controversy has reached the Senate where the ongoing argument is how the league should regulate the use of performance enhancement drugs as a result of baseball commissioner Bud Selig failing to do so properly. My question, however, is what is the harm of baseball players using steroids and the effects of steroids on the game of baseball and its fans.

Steroids are illegal in the United States. There is NO way it would be all right for athletes to take steroids and not make them legal for everyone else. If steroids were made legal in major league baseball, then children who look up to this sport and the players would view this as an advertisement stating there is no harm in taking this drug. Meanwhile, steroids harms the body in terms of heart and liver damage, strokes, elevated cholesterol, and other life threatening problems I doubt Major League Baseball would want to be held responsible for. The last thing baseball needs is parents threatening to file lawsuits against them because children interpreted their claim as being all right to take steroids.

Baseball players use steroids as a muscle enhancement drug. By improving themselves artificially, players provide a better show for the crowds, increase their paycheck, and earn more revenue for their ball club. If you’re sitting in AAA and you have a wife and three kids, and the guy in front of you is hitting 25 home runs and playing second base, you’re looking up and saying to yourself , “how am I going to support my family? When am I going to get the big contract?” My response is if one needs to resort to steroids because they don’t have the power on their own to produce a home run quality swing, then they should not even be in AAA to begin with. There are numerous players, including pitchers, who are able to hit home runs without using this illegal performance-enhancing drug. Baseball players need to understand power alone does not foster a home run swing. Rather, the more important ingredients are skill, accuracy, and timing. Athletes should not have to put their lives at risk because they are at a disadvantage nor should they feel forced to harm their body to keep up with the sluggers ahead of them.

As mentioned earlier, baseball players take steroids to provide better shows for their fans. The cliche “ignorance is bliss” applies here because when a fan likes his favorite baseball player, he likes that player for who he is and what he has accomplished. However, if that athlete becomes exposed to the fact he used steroids, the cliche “ignorance is bliss” switches to “say it ain’t so.” Fans of that player no longer admire his work because they realize he is a fake. Rafael Palmeiro is a good example. Fans of the Baltimore Orioles loved Palmeiro until his recent exposure of using steroids. He even lied to the Senate about his use. Now fans of the Orioles do not wish to associate the bird with that player. In addition, as a result of steroids being used by players, stats and records are being blown away and history is being rewritten unjustly. Our national pastime is being tainted by drug abuse. When legends like Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth set and broke records, they did not have the luxury of steroids. Players breaking records today are doing it unfairly, and steroids is the cause of that.

Therefore, steroids should be banned from baseball and drastic actions should be taken to keep steroids from being used further. Steroids is polluting baseball because newer players are feeling required to resort to steroids and harm their body in order to compete. This pollutes the sport further. The MLB should test everyone, instead of random players like they do now, simultaneously at a specific date. The fact some players get away with using steroids and others do not is unfair. Players who still wish to pursue steroids even after they realize the possible consequences of their actions should do so at their own risk because steroids raise the probability of that player becoming injured, especially if taken in large doses over time. In other words, if players do not wish to stop taking them because of legal consequences, then they should stop taking steroids because they will be screwed health-wise in the long run.

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Who Would You Rather Face In The Championship? [Michael Vinciguerra]

While props deserve to be given to the Jazz and their future talent, the Spurs unquestionably dominated the Jazz in every aspect. Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer showed up to play, while the rest of the Jazz did not. Now, the Spurs will either face the Cavs or Pistons in the NBA Championship and the question is which team would the Spurs rather face?

The Pistons, who are currently struggling against the Cavs, clearly do not have the same team chemistry of previous years. With the loss of Ben Wallace and a lack of leadership from Chauncy Billups and Rasheed Wallace, the Pistons appear lost and confused on the court and it would seem likely that the Spurs would be able to take control. Now the Cavs, however, are a different story. Watching Lebron James play basketball, especially in games three and four against the Pistons, is like discovering the meaning of life. He's that good and there is simply no way to defend him. He can cross over and drive the lane against three defenders or take a fade away jumper and make it while falling on his behind. Now place Lebron James in the NBA Finals and give him the chance to win a championship. If Lebron has been described as becoming the next Michael Jordan, then he must win many championships....and that starts now. Now, if only he had better players to work around him.......

Anyway, the bottom line is if the Spurs face the Pistons, the Spurs will win. However, if the Spurs face the Cavs, its Lebron's time to shine. If I was Tim Duncan and the Cavs beat the Pistons, I'd be seeking some prozac.

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Photos: Spurs Advance to Finals [David Stefanini]

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Some Plain English [J. Mark English]

  • I enjoyed very much hearing Mike Francesa of WFAN say today about the New York Mets, "what ever IT is, the Mets have IT." Amen brother... And thats coming for a Yankee fan.
  • Its Wednesday, May 30, 2007, and I am saying it here and now. You can stick a fork into the carcass of the New York Yankees. They are done. Its over. If I were them I'd fire Brian Cashman and Joe Torre. Bring in Gene Michael to replace Cashman have him trade whoever he can with any eye towards the future. Let Larry Bowa replace Torre on a temporary basis. Let him kick some fire into the old timers. Otherwise, this team has its best days behind them.
  • Very sad to hear about the Patriot's Marquise Hill dying a few yesterday by drowning. He died in New Orleans on Lake Pontchartrain, while he was jet skiing. The puzzling thing is he wasn't wearing a life vest. Correction - they are called PFD's - Personal Floatation Devices. Anyway, why the hell weren't you? How stupid can some people be? I mean sometimes people give fate an added reason to take them out. Remember the great running back, Joe Delaney, who also died in a drowning incident in New Orleans? He was trying to rescue someone in the water...and he didn't know how to swim! I mean use your head will ya?
  • NCAA will allow the three players who were suspended by Duke for being accused of rape, to have an extra year of eligibility. I'm sure thats what those guys want to do now. Lets go play lacrosse and be the focus of attention while we just try to live normal lives. Way to go NCAA. Next time why not do the right thing from the start, and not sit on the fence till its too late.
  • Get a load of this from the New York Times: Bill Hambrecht is a rich old Wall Street guy who has made his money tilting at windmills and disrupting the starting up a professional football league. So far, he and his partner, Tim Armstrong, a senior executive at Google, have pledged $2 million each. They’ve hired a C.E.O. and a C.O.O., both of whom cut their teeth at the National Basketball Association. They’ve got a name: the United Football League. And they’ve lined up a wealthy, well-known businessman as their first owner: Mark Cuban, the billionaire who owns the N.B.A.’s Dallas Mavericks. Like Hambrecht, Cuban loves nothing more than confronting the status quo.
    • Why does this sound strangely familiar? Oh, because its been done before? Remember the USFL? The same idea. In the mid 1980's a bunch of rich guys came together to form their own football league. They offered millions to players to play for their league, and it worked at first. But when they're TV ratings were being hurt, and they tried to compete directly with the NFL during the fall season, they sued the NFL for anti-trust violations. They won in court, but the suit cost them so much money that the league only received one dollar in damages, and went bankrupt.
    • Hmmm, but my memory recalls that there were other leagues that failed as well. Oh yea, that whole XFL experiment. More people watched table tennis then the XFL. That didn't work either.
    • So what have we learned? This new UFL will fail. Don't bother trying.
  • I don't care about Michael Vick. If he's guilty fine, but lets not cover this guy to death.
  • I don't care about Barry Bonds. If he breaks the record, then get over it. Other people will break it sooner then later. So he'll only retain the lead for a short period of time. And he's not the only guy who has used steroids. Lets pick out everyone who has and ostracize them just as much.
  • I don't care about A-Rod. The New York Post should be ashamed for splashing their covers with those pictures of him and that girl. Who really knows what the deal is there? What if she really is just a friend? They could wind up hurting his marriage? Let the players live their lives, and lets just talk about the game they play on the field.
Plain English enough? I'm outta here...

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Kobe Wants Out, or Does He? [David Stefanini]

What a fascinating article I just read on Here is a little bit of that article:

"First, Bryant said on 1050 ESPN Radio in New York: "I would like to be traded, yeah. Tough as it is to come to that conclusion there's no other alternative, you know?"

Bryant, interviewed by Stephen A. Smith, was asked if there was anything the Lakers could do to change his mind.

"No," Bryant said. "I just want them to do the right thing."

Later in the article I saw this:
"Earlier in the day, Bryant said Buss masterminded the trade of Shaquille O'Neal -- and Shaq later confirmed Kobe's account."

Oh boy! Kobe Bryant didn't break up the Lakers, it was all Buss. How about that for some shock value? Now Kobe Bryant wants out of LA because they have no plans of contending for a championship.

The way I see it, the Lakers have two options. Get Kevin Garnett or kiss the best player in the league good bye.

Kobe, if you somehow read this; PLEASE COME TO NY!!!!

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Yankees Hopes are Dying Out [Michael Vinciguerra]

I would like to welcome back Michael Vinciguerra as a writer for this blog. He had to take some time off to deal with college, but he is back and ready to speak his mind.

Normally, scoring 8 runs in a baseball game should be sufficient enough to earn a win. However, when a team has a tendency to give up 10 runs, as is the case with the Yankees, winning is out of the question. Scoring runs with their all-star lineup of speed and power has not been the problem. The problem lies in their pitching and the number of minor league starters they brought up to pitch. The Yankees have started more inexperienced AAA pitchers this season than any other team in the history of baseball and failed miserably doing this. In addition, even their experienced veteran pitchers can not be relied on for a win and even if they have a lead going into the later innings, the pitchers in the Yankee’s bullpen (yes, even Mariano Rivera) can not be relied on to save the game. Now, the Yankees have brought back Roger Clemens from the shadows and payed him a ridiculous amount of money (slightly over $1 million per game) to pitch. This raises two issues for me. First, do the Yankees really believe investing a load of money into one player, who can only pitch once every 5 days anyway, is really going to help them recover from their 14.5 game deficit from Boston? They should have divided up the amount they were willing to spend on Clemens for a crop of young pitching prospects or trade for a couple of decent pitchers. Second, after the Yankees invested all this money in one player, it isn’t even guaranteed Clemens will win half his games. Clearly, this was a poor move by the Yankees.

Aside from pitching woes, the Yankees have been plagued by off the field issues, such as Giambi’s praise of busting MLB players for using steroids as a cover up to save himself and the exposure of Alex Rodriguez with a blond girl in a strip club. As usual, I always believe in the final month of the season the Yankees can overcome any deficit simply because they are the Yankees, but with Boston as productive as they are and unreliable pitching that shows no signs of recuperating, the Yankees have dug themselves to deep in a hole to surface this season.

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Time to Support Vick [David Stefanini]

There is no question, I am going to be very biased in this post and some people may be offended. However, I can no longer sit by and listen to many people go on bashing Michael Vick. I will not try to defend him using the idiotic concepts, Clinton Portis tried to do, rather I will bring into question our right to judge someone before he has even been accused of the crime.

Lets look over the details of the dog-fighting incident:

Michael Vick's friend was found in a home owned by Vick. There is evidence that dog fighting takes place in the home.

Vick says he is never at the house and does not condone dog fighting.

A source from ESPN says Michael Vick is a "heavyweight" in the world of dog fighting.

Seeing all the evidence I also want to mention, in the United States of America, you are innocent until proven guilty. Just ask O.J. Simpson (okay the glove didn't fit it wasn't him, cough cough). Just because someone who is to scared to show his face says Vick is involved does not mean he is. Also this source says the fighting happened in 2000. If that is true, the NFL has no right to punish Michael Vick, for he was not employed by the NFL at that time. Now the law has every right to find out what really has happened, but right now there is so little evidence it is impossible to say Vick is guilty of anything, other than surrounding himself with morons.

All I am saying is before we jump the gun and crucify Vick, let us wait to see if charges are even going to be brought up against him. It seems the media has already found him guilty, before they have all the facts. Remember when they did that in the Duke Lacrosse story? Let us not do the same thing for Michael Vick. Let all the facts come forth first before we judge and find someone guilty.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Detroit in Deep Trouble [David Stefanini]

If I was rooting for the Detroit Pistons, which I would never do, I would be extremely worried about the Eastern Conference Finals. They are going home with the series tied at 2 games a piece. They are extremely lucky to be in this series at this point. The Cleveland Cavaliers should have at least a 3-1 lead in this series.

LeBron James was dominant in the 4th quarter. He put his team on his back and carried them to victory. Now he has to go into Detroit and put the pressure on the refs to blow the whistle, like he did in Game 2. The scrutiny the refs had to undergo for the no-call will inevitably force them to blow the whistle next time. If James can realize this and do nothing but attack, attack, attack, for Game 5; the LeBron James was simply amazing in the 4th quarter tonight. He put his team on his back and carried them to victory. He now has to go into Detroit and do it again. He has to realize in the 4thCavs have a great shot at stealing a game.

Regardless of what happens the rest of the series, this has been an amazing series. I want to take time to give credit to the NBA Playoffs. Haven't they been amazing this year? We had the great games played in Baron's house. And who could forget the excellent series the Jazz and Rockets played or the Cavs, Nets series? Then we had Deron vs Baron, in what was an epic showdown of two great point guards. Now we get the pleasure of watching Cavs take on the Pistons in what is shaping up to be a classic seven game series. Michael Jordan had to overcome the obstacle that was the Pistons. It has been a great year to watch playoff basketball and it should only get better.

The only thing that can kill these playoffs is if we have to be tortured with the Pistons going against the Spurs in the Finals. I will now go to bed and pray that I get to watch LeBron in the Finals instead of the defensive orientated Pistons.

P.S... Can I recast my vote for Rookie of the Year? Daniel Gibson all the way!

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Carlos Delgado is Back [David Stefanini]

Well it looks as if the most dangerous team in the NL just got more dangerous. Carlos Delgado is back and swinging the bat like the Delgado of old. For the beginning part of the season it looked as if Delgado may never snap out of his early season funk, well thankfully he did. He may be on the down side of his career, but tonight he made it look easy.

Delgado hit two home-runs including a 12th inning walk off homer of Armando Benitez. Going into the game he was batting .239, but he has been on a recent power surge. There was a time that David Wright and Delgado had a combined 2 home runs. Now they have 16 between the two of them. Now that Delgado found his power swing, I wouldn't expect him to lose it any time soon.

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Mets Dominate Standings, and Voting [David Stefanini]

The Senior Circuit ballot, which hold the first votes for the All-Stars, have returned back and the results are one-sided.

Of the 8 positions on the NL All-Star team, if the game was held right now, half of the team would be New York Mets. Don't forget, those are just the starters. Those players would be:

CF - Carlos Beltran (leading vote getter for the NL)

SS - Jose Reyes

3B - David Wright

C - Paul Lo Duca

This year can be something very special for the New York Mets. As Mark English has pointed out earlier, we can not forget that Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez is going to be the ace of the team in the second half of the season. Reports so far have been all very positive about Pedro. Many scouts are saying he is looking like the Pedro of old and is healthier than he has been in the recent past.

They are a team full of All-Stars, but unlike the Yankees, they have a cohesiveness about them. They seem to be having fun in the dugout, smiling, and laughing all the time. It's very early in the season, but I have a very good feeling about seeing them playing in October.

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Who Let the Vick Out? [Jenn McClaren]

As I read the article by Kelly Naqi on early this morning, I was just sickened to the core. If you haven't heard, a "dog fighting ring" in rural VA has been found to have close associations with Atlanta Falcons QB Michael Vick. Vick, an all-star on the football field, is known for his outstanding numbers for rushing yards for a quarterback, even gaining 1039 rushing yards in 2006. His speed could arguably make him the fastest quarterback in the NFL, especially with now six seasons under his belt. But is speed what will save Vick from this disgrace?

As a confidential source told reporter Naqi last week, Vick is one of the "heavyweights of the dog fighting world". Betting as much as $30,000-$40,000 on his own dogs in the pit, Vick is very well known.

I live in an area of NYC that has an occasional dog fight and somewhere underground there are dog-fight-pits. I see the people that raise these poor animals, and the way in which they are raised. It is disgusting to see the expressions on the dogs face when they are young and beginning their "training", and horrifying to see them when they are "fight ready".
To ease your minds and mine I have called animal control for the dogs that I have seen and will continue to do so.

Michael Vick should be ashamed of himself for condoning such behavior on property that he owns. And if in fact it is found true that Michael Vick has or had participated in such activities, I propose that his punishment, in addition to a lifetime ban from the NFL, should be to leave him alone in a room filled with these poor animals for a 24 period and rub him with a nice juicy T-Bone.

But that's just my opinion.

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Don't Forget about Pedro... [J. Mark English]

As y'all Yankee fans get set for the Rocket to come to the rescue, lets not forget about my New York Metropolitans. Word on the street is that the team's ace, Pedro Martinez, is ahead of schedule and could just be weeks away from his first start. Will ESPN give his minor league starts the same coverage Clemens is getting? If they have any sense of fairness they will.

Imagine though, the Mets, a .650 ball club will be getting a HOF pitcher back into their rotation who for the past eight years has been just as good as Roger Clemens. If Clemens is expected to be a savior, then imagine what Martinez can do for a team that is already playing like one of the best teams in baseball.

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Clemens Needs to Start Against the Red Sox [Addison Quale]

Well, here we are. The Yankees are drifting closer and closer to kissing this season goodbye. They've lost four in a row and now sit with a 21-28 record a mere 13.5 games behind Boston. Who can remember the last time the Yanks were this far below .500 this late in the season? My guess is you may have to go back to 1991 or something when the Bronx Bombers consisted of Steve Sax, Luis Polonia and Steve Balboni. But wait! Here comes Roger Clemens! At least that was the plan right? And what a way to enter the 2007 season as the Yankees hero--he could swoop in and defeat their mortal foes the Red Sox at Fenway Park! But alas, it seems the Rocket may forgo pitching this weekend against the Sox. He's still not quite ready--after three months of spring training. Or something. Look, the Yanks can always come back. But if they don't and the season is a giant bust, the icing on the cake--or rather, salt in the wound--is going to be perhaps watching Roger Clemens bumble through the season afraid to confront Boston head on. And of course he'll be doing it with 18 Million in his pocket. Oh, baseball! There's never a dull moment!

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Ryan Freel's Spectacular Catch--Not Quite Spectacular [Addison Quale]

On Monday night Ryan Freel playing CF for the Reds collided with fellow outfielder Norris Hopper in pursuit of a fly ball into the gap. Replays show that Freel made the catch--that was until he was knocked unconscious in the process of catching it by Hopper's errant elbow. Umps ruled the play an out as when they arrived to see the unconscious Freel lying on the ground, the ball was found in his glove. But look closely at the video and you'll see that he had some help from his little friend. Hopper clearly, arriving on the scene first to see if Freel is ok, makes sure he puts the ball back in his glove too!

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Ryan Freel of the Reds in Serious Collision [J. Mark English]

My oh my. I hope he's okay, but I just heard about this from a Fox News website:

Outfielder Ryan Freel was transported from Great American Ballpark by ambulance this afternoon. He was strapped on a backboard with his head in a neck brace.

Norris Hopper and Freel crossed paths as they were chasing a fly ball. They collided after Freel caught the ball.

Freel fell to the warning track and rolled against the wall.

Freel remained motionless for several minutes after hitting the ground. Manager Jerry Narron and several other coaches ran to his side. An ambulance drove onto the field to pick up Freel.

The Reds are playing the Pirates.

Ken Griffey, Jr replaced Freel and play has continued.

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The True American Spirit [David Stefanini]

To follow up on the great video Mark English shared with us, here is a variety of different photos which demonstrate the deep connection between baseball and our beloved country:

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Happy Memorial Day! [J. Mark English]

Below is a wonderful montage, capturing fantastic images of what makes our country the greatest bastion of freedom on the planet. The music is the late great Ray Charles singing his special rendition of "America the Beautiful." Please reflect in some way today about the sacrifice that the men and women of our Armed Forces make to give us the freedoms we have here at home.

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Photos: Indy 500 - Drivin in the Rain [J. Mark English]

Dario Franchitti Wins the Indy 500 [David Stefanini]

Dario Franchitti won the 91st Indy 500. The race was called short due to rain.
Danica Patrick had a good race car, but did not have enough time to try to make a move to the front. She did place in the Top 10.
After sitting through 150 laps of the race, I was very pleased with what I was witnessing. It was a good race, with a lot of lead changes. But the last 25 minutes of the race was nothing other than yellow flag laps. Every time an accident happened, the yellow flag was brought out. They ran a few laps under yellow, then would restart. Within thirty seconds of the restart another yellow would be brought out.
The race got very boring at the end. Congratulations to Dario Franchitti for winning the 91st running of the Indy 500.

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Video: Tribute to Brian Leetch [J. Mark English]

He finally retired, and ended what was a glorious career as a New York Ranger:

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Houston We Have a Problem [Aaron DeRosa]

A lot of hype for Roger Clemens can only mean one thing: disappointment for Yankee fans. I’m sorry, but I’m just not stoked to see Clemens back. There are too many problems in this equation to make him worth the money (or the shattered dreams). I’m putting Clemens final numbers in 2007 at 17 starts, 100 innings, 8 wins, 3.9 ERA, 1.3 WHIP, and 70 K. Obviously, this is a far cry from his stellar performance in Houston over the past few years. Why, you might ask?

For starters, Roger was never much of an ace for the Yankees. In five full seasons, his ERA wasn’t really something to shake a stick at. Even in his best year, 2001, his ERA was at 3.51.

1999 NYY 30 187.2 14 10 4.60
2000 NYY 32 204.1 13 8 3.70
2001 NYY 33 220.1 20 3 3.51
2002 NYY 29 180.0 13 6 4.35
2003 NYY 33 211.2 17 9 3.91

While he was certainly a force the past few years for Houston, I’m not sure that we can reasonably expect him to switch back to the AL in an environment that he never excelled in and expect him to produce the type of numbers that his hype is suggesting.

While we like to think Roger is immortal, he IS 44. And while he’s not the oldest player in the league (see: Mr. Julio “forgot to take your medication this morning” Franco”) he’s not far off and we can’t discount the fact that eventually he must decline. Over the past 10 years, the number of pitches he’s thrown per game has declined, as one would expect. Even last year when he pitched a half-season, he was still throwing less than the previous season. So time is taking its toll slowly but surely.

As for the low wins column, while Clemens put up about 6 innings per start with Houston who sported Dan Wheeler and Brad Lidge (who, while wild, only blew a handful of saves last year), that won’t be enough for the Yankees whose bullpen has been torn asunder. I think we’ll be more likely to see Clemens put up 5 innings of 2 run ball with 3-4 Ks than anything else, and that’s not going to be enough to make any impact on the wins column.

All this being said, is his return a positive for the Yankees? Absolutely. If for no other reason than that it will be nice to see a familiar face, a clubhouse presence, etc. Oh wait, Roger generally flies home to Texas on his off days. Regardless, he will be inspirational for the Yankees, of this I have no doubt. But I think we need to temper our expectations in terms of the type of start we’ll see out of him.

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Proper English Anyone? [J. Mark English]

Ahh, to be a New York Yankee fan these days. Here are some pros and cons of being a fan of the pins and stripes:

Pro - Roger Clemens is only one more minor league start away from joining the starting rotation. That means ESPN the Ocho gets to cover yet another minor league team when he pitches...

Con - Jason Giambi's case will now go before Mr. Bud Selig himself. Why does this feel more and more like something out of the USSR? Giambi upsets the regime and now must face the high commend before being sentence to life in Siberia. Give me a bleeping break. They come out with the results that he tested positive for amphetamines five days after he says what he says about steroids. The tests were over a year old. Think that is a coincidence? Still, the Giambi situation cannot be good for the Yankees clubhouse. Thats why this is a con. Despite MLB pulling a con job over all of us.

Pro - Carl Pavano will have season ending surgery on his elbow, otherwise known as Tommy John surgery. Pavano will never pitch again for the Yanks. I'm sure that fans will be happy to see him go.

Con - Yet another starter goes down the drain for the Yankees. Kevin Brown, Jeff Weaver, Carl Pavano... The hit parade continues...

Pro - They finally beat the Red Sox in a three game series!

Con - They are still 9 1/2 games behind the Red Sox.

Please feel free to add your own in the comment section.

Lets move on to other points of interest shall we?

The New York Mets began construction on a brand new baseball facility in the Dominican Republic. This is the beginning of Omar Minaya's ascendancy to title of dictator among all Latino countries. He is seriously invading the whole region... Pretty soon he'll have armies of Mr. Met to help him topple the fragile governments down there.

Remember back when a fellow by the name of Don Imus hosted a radio show? He had Rob Bartlett, a comedian, do impressions of Omar, here is one of them:

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Daughter of a Giant wins American Idol [J. Mark English]

Obviously I'd rather see the New York Giants win a Super Bowl, but I was pleased with Jordin Sparks winning American Idol. She is the daughter (as I have mentioned numerous times before) of former NY Giants cornerback, Phillippi Sparks. You'll see him in the video below.


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Get Ready for the Cup [David Stefanini]

Scott Burnside of breaks down the Stanley Cup Finals for us:

"The 2007 Stanley Cup finals pairs a juggernaut with few discernible flaws with a could-be juggernaut with a penchant for self-destruction. In other words, the clash between the Ottawa Senators and the Anaheim Ducks has all the makings of a classic. That is, unless the Ducks lose their collective minds, which they have shown the ability to do, and the Senators have their way with them.

At the start of the regular season, there were many who believed Anaheim was capable of arriving at just this point -- the Stanley Cup finals. Not so many thought the Senators would get here. But how the teams arrived here has dramatically changed the perception of both heading into the finals.

The Senators have been virtually flawless in dispatching the Pittsburgh Penguins, New Jersey Devils and the Presidents' Trophy-winning Buffalo Sabres -- all in five games. They have never trailed in a series and are 7-3 in one-goal games. They lead the NHL playoffs with 3.20 goals per game and are third in goals-against, allowing just 2.07 per game."
It's hard to go against the Senators in this one. They have played perfect hockey, and I don't seem them slowing down in the near future. Senators in 5.

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Perez and Pettitte Look Untouchable [David Stefanini]

The New York Mets prayers have been answered; Oliver Perez is back to his old ways of winning in dominant fashion. Not only that, it seems whenever he pitches in a "big game situation" he puts forth an unbelievable performance. It is time to hop on the Perez bandwagon and ride it the rest of the season. I told Mark English, and a few of my other friends, at the beginning of this season to watch out for Oliver Perez. I had a feeling he was going to show up and be dominant; it looks like I was correct.

The New York Yankees should be counting their blessings by the way Andy Pettitte has pitched this season. At the beginning of the year, I thought they overpaid for a pitcher who had his better days long behind him; I could not have been more wrong. Pettitte has been nothing short of amazing this season, and would be the clear Cy Young winner at this point, if the bullpen didn't blow a lead every time he pitched.

With that being said, I want to put this question out there to the readers and writers of this blog:

Who would you rather have pitching for your team in a big game this season, Oliver Perez or Andy Pettitte?

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Boston Slams Yanks [David Stefanini]

It looks as if Mark English was right, after two wins in a row this town was going crazy over the Yankees. However, following a first inning 3 run home run by Manny Ramirez, reality sat in.

Here is an article from

"With one early swing, Manny Ramirez stopped the New York Yankees from gaining any momentum Tuesday night.

Ramirez hit a three-run homer in the first inning and the Boston Red Sox jumped on Mike Mussina right away, knocking back the Yankees again with a 7-3 victory.

Mike Lowell also connected and Julian Tavarez won on his 34th birthday, helping the AL East leaders beat their top rivals for the sixth time in eight tries this season.

"Once I saw Manny hit the three-run homer, I knew it was going to be a good night," Tavarez said."


Manny was just being Manny. Luckily for my fantasy team, it looks as if Manny has turned around his early season struggles. He was batting under .200 for most of April and didn't have his timing right. Now he does, and when he stays this hot for the rest of the season, I wish the Yanks luck with catching up.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007


SO, now that the NBA draft lottery winners have been decided, who will play where? Will the #1 pick be Greg Oden (pictured) or Kevin Durant?

I say "winners" because I live in the Pacific Northwest, and against big odds, the Portland Trailblazers won the right to choose first in this year's NBA draft, and the Seattle Supersonics will pick second! I have been a serious Blazers fan for over 30 years, but I have also followed the Sonics for the past 20 years or so. This is sweet!

The Portland Oregonian has an unscientific poll going, and so far the fans want the franchise to choose Oden by about a 3-1 margin. I agree, in that a bonafide NBA "big man" only seems to come along once or twice every ten years. Portland's GM Kevin Pritchard wants to meet with both players prior to the draft; it was this interview process which led the team to choose Brandon Roy first last year. During the years when Bob Whitsitt was the Blazers' GM, the team suffered greatly in the character department. Now that things are on the way up, Portland wants to be certain they pick a player on whom they feel they can depend.

Another interesting question which has been raised, more seriously now than previously, is: where will Zach Randolph play next year? The general sentiment on the Oregonian's "Blazers Forum" is that Randolph is now expendable. Many fans seem to think Portland could trade Randolph for another first round pick this year... It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. I'm sure Pritchard and the Blazers' front office are on cloud nine right now, and that they will savor the moment for quite a while. They are lucky to have won the rights to #1, but I don't believe Blazer fans are undeserving after the years of mediocrity, arrests and behavior problems we have endured.

June 28th, here we come!

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Portland Wins the Durant/Oden Sweepstakes [David Stefanini]

Here are the first 14 picks of the upcoming NBA Draft:

1. Portland
2. Seattle
3. Atlanta
4. Memphis
5. Boston
6. Milwaukee
7. Minnesota
8. Charlotte
9. New York (To Chicago)
10. Sacramento
11. Indiana (To Atlanta)
12. Philadelphia
13. New Orleans
14. LA Clippers

So Portland is the big winner. This draft has two of the most talented players to ever come out of college. The Trail Blazers get to choose which one of them they want. However the real winner for me is the Seattle Sonics. They already have the purest shooting guard in the league, Ray Allen, an up and coming Power Forward in, Chris Wilcox, and owners who are looking to get out off Seattle. What better selling point is there than "come watch rookie sensation (Fill in the blank) play in his first season." The Sonics don't even have to chose, they can just pick the one who is left over, it is a win-win situation.

The other winner on this night; the Chicago Bulls. Thanks to the great managing of Isiah Thomas, the Chicago Bulls get, UNCONDITIONALLY, the New York Knicks draft pick. They already have a team that is among the top three teams in the Eastern Conference and now they can add a top 10 draft pick to their arsenal. I would watch out for the Chicago Bulls next year. I wonder how Isiah Thomas has not won GM of the year. He has put the Raptors and Bulls in perfect position to dominate the Eastern Conference in the years to come.

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Nice Guys Finish First? [J. Mark English]

On July 1, 1987, WFAN became the first 24 hours sports radio station in the history of the airwaves. The station struggled in the early going. In their original format, Greg Gumbel (now a host on the CBS network) hosted a sports show in the morning. But the ratings were sagging. Moving Don Imus into the morning slot saved WFAN.

His time slot dominated the AM airwaves for the next twenty years until he was fired. Now that WFAN (and their parent company CBS) struggles to find a successor to Imus, ESPN local radio station in New York, has finally surpassed WFAN in the morning ratings.

From the New York Times:

The first time Mike Greenberg, a self-titled sportscasting metrosexual, met his ESPN Radio partner, Mike Golic, he said to himself, “Will you look at this big, fat, disgusting slob.”

Such words don’t often lead to a long-term occupational commitment. Once on the air, he told Golic, “If we stood next to each other, we would be the number 10.” Golic, who boasts of owning two and a half suits, laughed. Later in their first on-air tryout, in November 1999, he recognized that the mocking camaraderie that began with Greenberg’s unprovoked insult might create successful radio.

“We come off as regular guys,” said Golic, a former defensive end for three N.F.L. teams. He was sitting across from the trim, well-groomed Greenberg after their show last Friday at Penn Station in Manhattan, the site of one of their regular forays away from their studio in Bristol, Conn. “The chemistry flat-out works.”

Seven and a half years after Greenberg insulted a man he had never met and took a job he did not particularly want (he preferred, at the time, to remain a “SportsCenter” anchor), their weekday show is carried on 336 affiliates and heard by 3.08 million listeners each week from 6 to 10 a.m.

In New York, on the ESPN Radio affiliate, “Mike and Mike in the Morning” was heard by more men ages 25 to 54 than WFAN in the same time slot in the three months ended April 4. That was before FAN’s morning man, Don Imus, was fired for his remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team.

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Rambling with Marko [J. Mark English]

New York Yankees - If someone were to say at the beginning of the baseball season that the Yankees would have a two game winning streak going into May 22nd, be 9 1/2 back of the Red Sox, come off of a 2-1 series defeat against the Mets, and that the Yankee nation would be feeling hopeful...I'd have thought that were person was crazy. But this is reality, and reality is stranger then fiction. Listening to the morning airwaves today you'd think that the Yanks are ten games above .500 after their last two wins. Overreact much New York?

Jason Giambi
- Instead of crucifying this gentlemen for placidly admitting what we all already know about the rampant steroid use in baseball over the years, we should applaud him for simply telling the truth. Baseball is busy trying to figure out a way to punish yet another whistle blower. There is no way that all of the baseball community was not aware of the massage drug enhancement use since the 1994 strike. I'm sure baseball chose to look the other way. To come out now and condemn someone like Giambi is wrong. Before baseball removes the speck of dust from Giambi's eye, they should remove the plank of wood from its own eye.

American Idol
- I'm pulling for Jordin Sparks to win tonight. After all she is the daughter for former New York Giants cornerback Phillipi Sparks!

Ken Griffey, Jr.
- When will he start to regain the recognition he deserves? He smacked home run number 572 last night, and for all we know he has been steroid free. He should start getting some of the lime light back.

Darryl Strawberry
- The Straw that Stirs the drink. I had the good fortune of meeting him last night at a fundraising event. He is a swell guy in person, and looked a bit heavier, and a lot taller in person. I asked him who he rooted for this past weekend in the Subway series, and like a true politician he answered "New York". I also asked him how his son (whom is about to graduate from the University of Maryland) was doing, and he said that his son is looking forward to be drafted by an NBA team next month.

NBA Draft Lottery
- Its tonight. The New York Knicks have a 1.99 % chance of getting the top pick. But if they do win it, then look for Isiah Thomas to be on suicide watch, and Eddie Curry will be forced to wear a bullet proof vest for the rest of his life. The Chicago Bulls will wind up via the Knicks, with the best big man to come out of the draft (Greg Oden) since Tim Duncan.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Enough With Steve Nash [David Stefanini]

Why is it that I can not watch the Eastern Conference Finals without hearing about how good Steve Nash is? To steal one of Peter's lines in Family Guy and something Mark brought up on this blog earlier this year; Steve Nash 'really grinds my gears'.

Doug Collins was complaining about Chauncey Billups throwing a one-handed bounce pass. He then went on to say, only 2 men in the NBA were ever able to make that pass; Magic Johnson and John Stockton. At this point I am thinking to myself, that is a smart statement, one in which I agree; but then he had to bring in Steve Nash and how Nash can make that pass and how he is the best PG since Stockton.

Can we stop giving this man credit he does not deserve? Please. Sure he has had a great stretch of three years passing and shooting the ball, but that is where the good things end. He has never played defense, he doesn't show good leadership, and in the clutch he panics and losses the ball. Sure he made one or two big shots this season, but how many times has he turned the ball over? How many times has his man ran right around him and scored late in a game. It happens a lot and I am tired of hearing how Nash stacks up with the best PGs in league history. Steve Nash does not belong in the same breathe as those great players. Nash isn't the best PG in the league today, I would gladly take Jason Kidd over Steve Nash any day of the week.

The picture above shows what I think of Steve Nash, nothing more than a horrible defender who gets dunked on frequently.

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Video: Clinton Portis, Just Shut Up! [David Stefanini]

Clinton Portis of the Washington Redskins was talking on WAVY-TV, in Virginia about the accusations facing Michael Vick. Here is what the brilliant running back had to say:

"I don't know if he was fighting dogs or not, but it's his property, it's his dog....If that's what he wants to do, do it. I think people should mind their business."

When the road scholar was told that dog fighting is a felony Portis then said this:

"It can't be too bad of a crime."

This is one of the dumbest things I've heard from an athlete. Mr. Portis, dog fighting is a felony; for the intelligent impaired, that means it is "too bad of a crime."

One last thing of note. Check out the lovely individual, Chris Samuels, to the left of Clinton Portis laughing as Portis is running his mouth. Hopefully there is a suspension or a fine for this.

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Mets Thrive while Zito Struggles [Aaron DeRosa]

[JME] - Aaron DeRosa is a good friend who follows sports with a great passion. He has offered up a post for the blog. Just a quick note, his reference to Matt is just a friend of ours from home. Also, I readily concede to Aaron's point. He is spot on:

Over the summer, Addison, Mark, and Matt (though silent, still complicit) tried to convince me that spending "whatever was necessary" for Barry Zito, the "best pitcher on the free agent market" at the time, was the smart move for the Mets. Thankfully Omar Minaya agreed with me. Just a quick look at some numbers:

Barry Zito

2007 Salary: $10,000,000

ERA 5.42

WHIP 1.42

BAA .243

K/9 4.97

John Maine

2007 Salary: $370,000

ERA 2.15

WHIP 1.25

BAA .206

K/9 8.05


Oliver Perez

2007 Salary: $2,325,000

ERA 2.90

WHIP 1.09

BAA .209

K/9 8.7

While obviously Maine and Perez have less of a history of success, their skill sets are definitely comparable to Zito's (if you think that Perez was a former Cy Young contender who just needed to get over his psychological problems). And while Zito has a "history of success," he also has a history of colossal disappointment and failure. There are players that are worth spending a lot of money for (see: Carlos Beltran) and there are players that get a lot of money because they are the best on the market (see: Carl Pavano, Barry Zito, etc.).

[JME] - I'll reiterate my opening thoughts...Aaron is absolutely correct. I was wrong over the winter in my argument that the Mets should spend whatever it takes to go after Barry Zito. In the opening game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Joe Morgan said "sometimes the best moves are the moves you don't make." In this case, the best off season move the Mets made was not getting Barry Zito.

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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Sports Weekend Montage [J. Mark English]

Mea Culpa, and My Thoughts [J. Mark English]

I've been absent for sometime from the blog. Many thanks to Chrissy, A.J., Addison, and especially David for keeping the site alive and well. Gotta love the behind scenes pics from Philadelphia that Chrissy provided. Addison kept things in perspective in regards to the A.L. East race. A.J. gave us some good old hockey highlights. David otherwise kept us up to speed of the daily events in the sporting world.
Meanwhile, I've been incredibly busy from both work, as well as being unable to access the Internet due to computer problems. But because of the great additions to this site from the aforementioned people, the blog continues to thrive.
Thank you to all the readers who give us the time of day to see what we have to say. Obviously this site does not claim to be filled with professional sports writers. The writing on this blog is not about to win a Pulitzer Prize any day soon. But instead the blog is compilation of ordinary people with observations about sports from a fans point of view.
Now that I've gotten all that out of the way, I'll weigh in on a few things in the area of New York baseball.
As a Mets fan, its hard not to be giddy about the situation that is developing in Flushing, Queens. The last two wins against the limping Yankees have been most satisfying. What was even more satisfying was their win against the Cubbies last Thursday. Because their previous game ended so early in the morning of that same day, they nearly benched the whole team. When I turned on the game I was expecting to see palm trees in the outfield because the Mets were playing with a spring training lineup. Stars like Beltran, Wright, LoDuca, and Reyes were all sitting out. As logic might dictate, they were losing 5-1 in the bottom of the ninth, and seemed like a team that was just tossing in the towel from the first pitch. But the team refused to go down without a fight. They mounted a comeback, and their stars eventually had the chance to pinch hit. They committed high way robbery against the Cubs, and stole a win against the odds of certain defeat.
The Mets may not be a championship team, but championship teams have moments like this sprinkled through out the season. The New York Mets look like a team on a mission. They have a swagger, and display quiet confidence that echoes with a presence that says "we beat you no matter what."
If this team can carry on forward, in relatively good health, they will be a force to reckon with come October. No one, especially me, expected the backend of their pitching rotation to be as solid as it has been thus far. John Maine is pitching like a Cy Young award winner. Jorge Sosa has been solid. Oliver Perez has had some games where he looks like Doc Gooden from 1985. El Duque has been alright when he pitches. Tom Glavine is still as good at the age of 40 as he was when he was 30. If, and when Pedro Martinez returns, this will be one of the best rotations in all of baseball.
As for the Yankees... The other day, Conan O'Brian did one of his classic SAT style analogies. This was one was hilarious:
Tigers Woods strokes is the best in golf :: as to Roger Clemens may have a stroke on the field.
Roger Clemens may have a stroke before even taking the mound. The Yankees are obviously not out of it yet, and Addison is right, its much too early to write them off. But pretty soon they'll have to pull off a historic comeback to even make the playoffs. You can point towards events like Bucky Dent, or when the Giants surged past the Dodgers in 1951. But we remember those moments because great comebacks in the standings like that are RARE. It is not every year that a team which is ten games back comes back towards the end of the year to win the division.
Furthermore, the Yankees can hardly rely on the wild card as a sure bet. They are nearly ten games out in the wild card race as well. This team is in real danger. Even when Clemens comes back, how much can he help? He'll only pitch once every five games, and he'll only pitch about five to six innings. The bullpen will still have ample time to retard his efforts.
Their offense is terrible right now. Where is the patience at the plate that this team used to convey? Time was when Paul O'Neil, Bernie Williams, and Tino Martinez wore the pinstripes, that the team would take a ton of pitches. They would wear down starting pitching, and let the game come to them. Now they are forcing things, they are trying to will a victory not on patience, but power.
As a result they are undisciplined and streaky. Bobby Abreu is a joke of a player. I wouldn't be surprised if he has more hits via bunting, then regular hitting. He can never get on base when it counts. He is not a catalyst. He is not a team player.
Johnny Damon is over the hill, and may be in the twilight of his career.
Alex Rodriguez is only one man, and he's falling back down to earth from his historic start in April. He carried the team offensively in the early going, but no longer.
Robinson Cano looks like he has lost focus. He has a low batting average, and is still in the bottom part of the order.
This is a sad looking team. If we can't write them off yet, it won't be too long before we're able too. Get your forks out, because sooner rather then later you can stick it into the once mighty Bronx Bombers.

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Video: Street Sense Loses by a Head [David Stefanini]

For the 29th year in a row there will be no Triple Crown winner in horse racing.

This was one of the most exciting races in recent memory. Street Sense had yet another amazing run to the front after trailing much of the race. However this time, there was one horse that had a stronger run, Curlin:

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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Late Night Reflection [David Stefanini]

Today was a very busy day in the world of sports.

First, we take a look at the Mets and Yanks. It was a well played game that was closely contested. Andy Pettitte pitched a great game once again for the Yanks, but once again they could not give him the run support he needed. Oliver Perez didn't need much run support, as he only threw one mistake. The Mets outplayed the Yanks in the game the Yanks desperately needed. With Boston being postponed, the Yanks are now 10 games back. It if the first time under Joe Torre they have ever been this far behind. As for the Mets they just keep on rolling. They're exciting and their pitching staff continues to come up big.

Now lets move on to the world of basketball. The Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs advanced to their respected Conference Championship Rounds tonight. The Spurs man-handled an inferior Suns team, which furthers my point: The Phoenix Suns are very overrated and have been for a long time. When you can not play defense I don't care if you score 150 points a game, you will never win a championship (see the Colts and Peyton Manning).

In the Eastern Conference the Cavs kicked the Nets out of the playoffs. The Nets simply went cold in the first half and had to expend all their energy in the 3rd quarter to make it close. They just ran out of gas in the 4th.

The next round is going to be very interesting. The Cavs and Jazz are going to be heavy underdogs going into the next round, but both teams have the talent to pull off the upsets. The Cavs have the best player left in the playoffs and the Jazz have (should be) All-Stars Carlos Boozer and Deron Williams.

I expect the Spurs to make it past the Jazz in 5 whereas the Pistons will make it past the Cavs in 7.

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Friday, May 18, 2007

Subway Series Preview [David Stefanini]

Inter-league play starts today with the focus on the Subway Series. This seasons version of the Subway Series has the Yankees in unprecedented territory. For the first time that I can remember the Yanks are the underdog against the Mets.

The New York Mets are on top of the National League. Their batting has been awesome leading the National League in batting average, RBI, SB, Hits, and Runs. There pitching has given up the least amount of hits, and are second in overall ERA.

The New York Yankees pitching has been horrible. They are in the bottom five in ERA and strikeouts. However, the Yanks hitting has been good so far; they are second in the AL in Runs, batting average, and RBI.

To try to cool down the bats of these teams will be the starting pitchers for this weekend. They are:

Friday - Andy Pettitte (NYY) vs Oliver Perez (NYM)

Saturday - Darrell Rasner (NYY) vs Tom Glavine (NYM)

Sunday - Tyler Clippard (NYY) vs John Maine (NYM)

Obviously tonight is the only game where the Yanks seem to have the upper hand in pitching. If Oliver Perez has his location, it will be very difficult for the Yanks to grab a win this weekend. The Yanks can certainly use a few wins. They can not afford to fall much farther behind Boston this season. Boston has to much pitching to make up games later this season.

As for the Mets, they will look to just keep on winning and put some distance between themselves and the Braves.

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Nets Looking to Force Game 7 [David Stefanini]

The New Jersey Nets are going to playing at home tonight against the Cleveland Cavaliers looking to extend the series to a deciding Game 7. After losing Game 4 and falling down 3 games to 1 in the series, things looked very bad for the Nets. They had to go into Cleveland and beat LeBron and co. which nobody had done this postseason. But that's exactly what they did. Now they have the momentum in the series and are going to be playing playing on their home court.

The Cavs must be having visions of last years collapse against the Detroit Pistons in their minds. Last season they were up 3-2 playing at home with a chance to eliminate the Pistons. They could not close the deal and eventually lost the series in 7 games. The situation was similar in this years playoffs. They had a chance to close out the series at home but could not do it. Hopefully this trend will continue for the Cavs this season.

The Nets were my pre-season pick to go to the NBA Finals. I will admit it does not look like they are going to be able to get there, but it is not impossible. The Nets should come out very loose and firing; all the pressure is going to be on the Cavs to close this series out. They should be able to beat the Cavs at home and anything can happen in a Game 7. This should be a closely contested game, but I would look for the veteran Nets to find a way to pull off the upset at home.

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Unfair Comparison [David Stefanini]

I was watching Sportscenter today and got infuriated at one of the points being stressed. They were doing a special on Brett Favre and Roger Clemens. The person speaking was saying how Clemens and Farve are very much alike, and pointed out similarities between the two of them. That is disrespectful to Brett Farve.

Farve is the definition of an 'iron man'. Clemens is the definition of an embarrassment to sports. Clemens does not have to travel with the team, he starts the season late, and he is a "part-time player". Farve goes out their every single day and has had the ball in his hand every play the Green Bay Packers have had over the past 10+ seasons. He is loyal to his team and will always be loved by Packer fans. Clemens goes where the money is. If the Red Soxs offered him 28.1 million, then he would go there. He has no concept of loyalty or appreciation of the game in which he plays.

The speaker on Sportscenter who made the comparison between these two athletes should come out and make it clear he is not trying to compare these two. They are both two of the very best at their respected positions, but that is where the similarities stop.

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Thursday, May 17, 2007

New York Mets are Tops in NL [David Stefanini]

The New York Mets really know how to provide entertainment. The Mets were down by 4 runs going into the bottom of the 9th against the Chicago Cubs. Then they just started hitting and didn't stop.

Listen to this written by Marty Noble of

"The Mets' five-run rally in the ninth inning and 6-5 victory it produced were October cool. Elvis cool. No other-side-of-the-pillow cool could compare. The grand ninth-inning comeback was the kind baseball event that has staying power, influence beyond itself. It probably won't matter on Friday night when the Yankees are in the other dugout or next week when the Mets' season returns to Atlanta. But it will be with the Mets into the summer and perhaps beyond, and it may fuel them."

If what Mr. Noble comes true, this is the kind of win that will awaken the bats of the already hot Mets. Going into this season they had questions marks about their pitching, and whether or not the improved Phillies and Braves would be to much to handle. So far this season the Mets have proved they are again the team to beat in the NL. They have an AL lineup, an amazing young pitcher in John Maine, and the return of Pedro drawing closer and closer with each passing day.

They are going to be exciting to watch and hopefully we will be able to see them playing in October.

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Pistons Move on [David Stefanini]

This from

"The Detroit Pistons can breathe a little easier. There won't be a Game 7, after all.

Richard Hamilton scored 23 points and the Pistons beat the Chicago Bulls 95-85 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Thursday night, clinching a series that turned tense after Detroit won the first three games.

No NBA team has lost a best-of-seven series after taking a 3-0 lead, and the Pistons rejectedthe Bulls' shot at history. Now, Detroit can focus on its fifth straight conference final."

Finally. Everyone knew this was going to happen, it just took two extra games. The bigger news is, the Pistons become the fifth team to make it to five consecutive Conference Championships in league history. They are going to be the favorites no matter who they play in the next round. I expect the Pistons to be playing for a championship in a few short weeks.

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