Thursday, April 30, 2009
He faced 30 pitches in eight plate appearances as a designated hitter, and hit one home runs, struck out twice and walked twice.
"I'm in a good place. I think more importantly physically I feel like I'm getting better everyday," Rodriguez said. "We've had a great week here. We've worked extremely hard, and I'm just very anxious to do what God put me on this Earth to do, to play baseball."
Rodriguez is scheduled to DH again tomorrow in Bradenton, Fla.. He has yet to play the field, and will continue to work on sliding into bases.
ESPN reported Rodriguez looked "rusty" and uncomfortable, and is at least a week away from returning to the Yankees lineup.
Usually, I'd want A-Rod back in the lineup tomorrow, but he can't be rushed. A guy as mentally fragile as Alex cannot be hurried. But it's good to see that he's making his way back.
By the way, I hate to bring this up, but do you think the release of Selena Roberts' book was meant to coincide with Rodriguez's return?
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Anyway, Gallo says that the doctor told him that he is about 3 weeks away from getting back into physical activity. Right now, he is only able to eat, sleep and walk. He also stated that he and his father, Vittoro, have been taking long walks through White Plains.
Danilo has been looking forward to the Spring time. Looks like he got his wish after these past few days in New York.
--While we're on the Knicks, I'd like to officially begin the campaign for Ben Gordon. I'm not waiting 2 years for a good player.
Nets president Rod Thorn announced Wednesday morning that Lawrence Frank will remain as Nets coach for the coming season.
"We are very happy to have him," Thorn said on a conference call with reporters. "And as far as we're concerned, we're very lucky to have him."
The Nets flirted with playoff contention despite having a predominantly young roster that was limited by injuries and lack of depth. The team faded down the stretch, though, finishing 34-48, and Thorn declined to announce whether Frank would stay with the team until he had time for further evaluation.
So, for two weeks following the season-ending loss to the New York Knicks, Thorn did just that, ruminating over his options. Finally, Wednesday he said he felt Frank was the best choice to lead the team forward.
I don't know about this move. On one hand, this would be the best time to let Frank go. The Nets were not well motivated in the late season, even though they were in playoff contention. The team is in transition. Devin Harris is young and a top 10 point guard in the league. Brook Lopez could be great. Chris Douglas-Roberts should take the next step into a larger role, which is extremely reachable. Same for Ryan Anderson.
The young core is great. But with Vince Carter seemingly on his way out, along with several detriments the team needs somewhat of an overhaul. Bobby Simmons, Sean Williams and Josh Boone all have to go. The free agent pool and/or draft pool need to be explored for a big man to play next to Lopez and a small forward.
On the other hand, Rod Thorn makes a good point when he said:
"He's a good coach. He's done a good job here. This past year we weren't expected to do very well but we did better than many expected us to. Our young players got better. I believe we're on the right road."
Im interested to see what New Jersey does this offseason.
The Star-Ledger did an interview with Frank after the announcement was made.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
One cadidate on the offensive side is Robinson Cano. He has not only improved from his dreadful 2008, but also leads the Yanks in just about every offensive category. Also in the mix is Brett Gardner for being one of the most dynamic players in the league.
But the most noticable player is Nick Swisher, the loud, fun-loving utility player.
Swisher got off to a blazing start for the Yankees. Throughout the first 3 series, Swisher was 12 of 28 from the plate -- good enough for a .428 batting average -- with 4 homeruns and 11 RBIs. He was getting on base 50% of the time and was slugging 1.071 during that stretch.
Not to mention, he entered a 15-5 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays in relief. On the mound, the former high school pitcher threw an inning of scoreless ball; striking out Gabe Kapler in the process. His jolly attitude during the blowout garnered a great deal of criticism from analysts, but gained just as much support.
Swisher quickly became not only the Yankees' most popular newcomer, but also their best player.
Things changed when the Cleveland series rolled around. Since April 16, Swisher has fallen off the map; hitting a dismal .179 with no homers and 3 RBIs. Regardless of his recent shortcomings, Swisher remains a mainstay in the Yankees lineup.
Meanwhile, Melky Cabrera has been on a tear. Throughout Swisher's downturn, Cabrera has hit .285 with 4 homeruns and 6 RBIs.
It's time to start Melky Cabrera and give Nick Swisher a reduced role. Ideally, Swisher would split designated hitting duties with Hideki Matsui, who has been relatively inconsistent and unhealthy this year.
The outfield should be realigned to situate Cabrera in right field, keeping Brett Gardner in center and Johnny Damon in left.
New York needs to keep their heads above water while Alex Rodriguez is out of the lineup, in addition to their slew of other issues. What's wrong with getting the hot bat a few more opportunitites?
--How about my boy Omir Santos with the grand slam yesterday? Hey Mets fans, still don't want this 27-year old stud to start over your injury prone, 33-year old offensive liabilities?
Monday, April 27, 2009
Washington Capitals forward Donald Brashear was suspended for a total of six games by the National Hockey League for two separate incidents in Game 6 against the New York Rangers.
Brashear had a hearing on Monday to discuss his exchange with New York's Colton Orr in the warm-up prior to the game and his late hit on Rangers forward Blair Betts in the first period.
Brashear got one game for the incident with Orr and five additional games for his hit on Betts.
The Rangers announced on Monday that Betts suffered a broken orbital bone as a result of the hit and is out indefinitely.
"Brashear delivered a shoulder hit to an unsuspecting player," said Senior Executive Vice President of Hockey Operations Colin Campbell in a release. "It is also my opinion that the hit was delivered late and targeted the head of his opponent, causing significant injury."
Brashear will start serving his suspension in Game 7 and it will extend through Washington's next five playoff games, or the 2009/10 regular season depending on how long the Capitals are in the playoffs.
Wow! Bettman laying the hammer down!
Maybe he did this after he read that heartfelt letter from the Rangers.
Unfortunately, the NHL didn't suspend Ovechkin. So this means nothing for the Rangers.
After surviving a 95-93 win on Saturday afternoon the Hornets finally decided to show up to a playoff game and in return closed the deficit to 2-1 in their first round series against the Denver Nuggets.
After Day 2, however, I find myself scratching my head a little bit. After quarterback, wide receiver was clearly next in line to be patched up. Not only did Gang Green fail to do it adequately, they failed to do it at all. I don’t understand the logic behind drafting a running back in the second round when a 6’6 kid is still on the board. I know Shonn Green was a back who many had a second round grade on, but it still doesn’t make all that much sense. I’m all for drafting best on board as long as the major positions of need are filled, or at least in a position to be filled. Again, this was not the case.
The failure to draft a receiver leads me to believe that their may be a little more life to this Plaxico Burress story then the team is letting on. At this point in time, the Jets aren’t confirming they are in pursuit of the former Giant. They have only acknowledged that they have made inquiries. Here’s Mike Tannenbaum’s statement:
"Consistent with our normal approach of performing our due diligence, we contacted Drew Rosenhaus several days ago prior to the draft to inquire about Plaxico’s pending legal situation. However, we have had no discussions with Drew about Plaxico since that time."
That’s not what I would qualify as a denial. In fact, it sounds like something they said about a guy named Brett in late July last year. We all know how that turned out. And its not like the Jets are against categorical denials either. When asked about interest in both Michael Vick and Terrell Owens, the team couldn’t say “no” fast enough.
I find it hard to believe that this story is anywhere near over.
My hypocritical self doesn’t hate the idea either. Plaxico is in that number one receiver category. Something the Jets need. Something the Jets mysteriously failed to go after in the draft. The guy is a giant moron (no pun intended, I promise), but I don’t worry about character issues with him. As many a Giant fan pointed out when I would make cracks at Plax, the guy was a model teammate until last season. Also, remember the patented “Jordan Lauterbach mal-content theory”. Mal-contents don’t show their true colors until year three. I find it hard to believe that any contract would include more than two guaranteed years. I also don’t worry about him “polluting the rich young mind of Marc Sanchez.” He never gripped about Eli Manning. He’s not T.O. Plus, what would Plax have to gripe about? David Clowney getting too many looks? I don’t think so. Needless to say, any contract that Plax gets would have to have a bunch of behavior clauses in them. And I think that would go for any interested team. For goodness sakes, the guy shot himself!
I have a feeling that the Jets called Drew Rosenhaus and said, “Call us when the legal issues are cleared up.” That’s smart too. Plax is the best option out their right now. Marvin Harrison is done. His skills have diminished to a point that he’s nothing more then a third option. The Jets don’t need that. The Jets need a go-to receiver that defenses are afraid of. They didn’t get one yesterday.
And I don’t think they just forgot that they need a receiver. Something is fishy about that.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
The Jets, in need of a receiver, are said to be looking at the 31-year old Burress, but will only sign him until his legal matters are squared away. With his trial set to come up this summer, missing out on jail time is nowhere near a guarantee. Waiting for him is fine, but Jets fans, you cannot anticipate this man to be in green and white just yet.
Yes, New York desperately needs a big receiving threat. Yes, Burress is accustomed to playing in New York and has won a Super Bowl here. Yes, he will probably come cheap due to his compromised position. But the Jets can't just sign him, only to lose the money when Burress is thrown in prison. The fact is, there is a great chance that he gets put away, especially after Mayor Bloomburg strongly and promptly spoke out about the matter.
If Burress is let off with no jail time, then the organization must think about the type of people it surrounds its franchise quarterback with. Burress is a great player, but has repeatedly proven that he is not a great person. The gun charge being Exhibit A. His yelling at police, tardiness to meetings, and overall deviance follow closely behind. Having Mark Sanchez closely socialize with a player that has a tendency to speak out and demand the ball could retard his growth as an NFL quarterback.
While the move is very appealing, New York is better suited going after guys who won't be in jail within the next year. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Williams come to mind as viable alternatives. Ironically, both Harrison and Williams have had recent brush ups with the law, however, neither will be going to the slammer.
--I have a theory. Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum is not the draft guru for the organization. Notice that after Mangini left, the Jets went with two big jumps up the board -- both debatable moves -- instead of drafting late for depth like years past.
Meanwhile, in Cleveland, Mangini and his cronies continually traded down and gathered more and more picks. He even duped the Jets when he gave them the 5th overall pick. He got a 1st and 2nd round pick for that. Not to mention two good depth guys and a potential franchise quarterback. Even after that, Mangini continued to compile picks.
I think 'Man-Genius' may have been an extremely appropriate title.
--Congrats to the Giants for selecting Ramses Barden. Now the G-Men have an overflow of wide receivers after the selection of Barden in the 3rd round and Hakeem Nicks in the 1st. Ideally, they could float one over to the Jets for cheap. Realistically, the Giants go through with trading Domenik Hixon to the Dolphins. Expect a draft pick back.
--The Giants did a great job once again. I like Nicks and I obviously love Barden. LB Clint Sintim and OT William Beatty offer depth now and starters in the coming years. TE Travis Beckum is a nice pick to backup Kevin Boss. And Andre Brown is Derrick Ward-like.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen just reported on the ever so long draft coverage that the Jets have been in contact with free agent Plaxico Burress for quite some time and if everything checks out legally with him, there is a good chance you might be seeing #17 in green.
Of course, that is a big "if" but still that could be a possibility as to why the Jets failed to address their gapping need at wide reciever during these last two days.
Plax is obviously a better choice than the free agents available (as Max mentioned below) and would be far less expensive than trading away draft picks in next year's draft for someone like Anquan Boldin.
However, how could he coincide with Mark Sanchez, a rookie quarterback who you have already made obvious, you want to be the face of your franchise for the next decade? Can Rex Ryan handle Plax's attitude? How would the veterans in the locker room accept him?
We will see where this one goes...
However, Jerry Reese stuck to his guns and did not trade for Edwards, and instead got lucky when North Carolina wideout Hakeem Nicks fell to them at 29 (I personally feel Reese should send Baltimore a nice care package for disregarding their wideout need- and supposed love of Nicks- to take Ole Miss tackle Michael Oher).
While I was rooting for the Gmen to take Rutgers wideout Kenny Britt, I do feel that Nicks will be a heck of a football player. The one red flag coming in was when he gained 14 pounds between the combine and his pro day. It seems to have been because of a hamstring he injured during the combine, which caused him to not be able to work out between the two dates. If that is indeed the case, and everyone says it is, then really the only flag I had on Nicks is gone.
After taking Nicks, the Giants then went out and took good football players in LB Clint Sintim from Virginia ( a guy whos a great pass rusher and should eventually be the strong side starter at LB) and UConn tackle William Beatty ( who provides great depth and the potential to start at left tackle if he matures as expected).
In the third round, the Giants traded up to take Cal Poly wideout Ramses Barden, a WCWP all-star. At 6'6", Barden supplies a big target for Eli Manning, and adds to the weapons for him on offense now.
At pick #100, the Giants selected Travis Beckum, a tight end hybrid from Wisconsin who is an athletic freak. Beckum isnt that great of a blocker, but is an impressive target and insanely athletic- again the Giants are stacking weapons for Eli Manning. Jerry Reese said on the NFL Network that they see Beckum has a bit of an H-Back, which would create big matchup problems for opposing teams having to deal with him coming out of the backfield. I really like the pick.
In the fourth, the Giants took NC State running back Andre Brown. Brown is a guy who many thought could be a 2nd round pick, and the Giants have to be happy he fell to them in round 4. Well built at 5'10 over 200 pounds, Brown is deceptively quick and can catch out of the backfield. Kinda sounds like Derrick Ward, and we know how good he and Brandon Jacobs were last year. I think the Giants now have four really good backs in Jacobs, Brown, Ahmad Bradshaw and Danny Ware.
In the end, I feel like the Giants added two player in Barden and Nicks at a position of need to add to the group of Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Sinorice Moss (expect Nicks, Hixon and Smith to be the top 3, with Manningham and Barden following on the depth chart.) Add into it the fact that the Giants added depth at RB, LB and offensive tackle, I feel like Jerry Reese again had himself a fantastic draft.
- Mike T
Needing a receiver, the Jets took Iowa Running Back Shonn Greene.
I'm not saying that they didn't need a halfback, but it wasn't as big a need as receiver. That tells me that the organization believes Thomas Jones will not be here for much longer. But running back could have waited until next season.
So New York has no receiver and no more picks, other than their 6th round selection.
An aside: Why would the Jets give up their late round draft picks when drafting late has been their strength?
2006: 4th Round - Leon Washington, Brad Smith -- 6th round: Drew Coleman
2007: 7th Round - Chansi Stuckey
2008: 4th Round - Dwight Lowery
Despite the failure to draft a young receiver, the Jets could still get someone to fill in.
1st is Marvin Harrison. Hopefully, he doesn't ask for a boatload of money due to his age, but Harrison is still an exceptional wide out.
2nd is Reggie Williams. at 6'4", 215, he has the size the Jets need. I know he was just arrested for cocaine possession, but I think Rex Ryan can put up with him.
The rest of the remaining free agents are guys that I would never want, like Jerry Porter, Marty Booker and Drew Bennett.
Sure, King only got five of the first 10 right, but I give extra credit to those who think outside the box.
For the record, he also had the Jets taking Connor Barwin and the Giants trading there pick for Braylon Edwards
I have an issue with this move, and, surprisingly, it's not regarding Ratliff.
I know that Brett Ratliff is a great quarterback and has the tools to be a star in the league. He knows Brian Schottenheimer's offense and the Jets players. Regardless of his superiority, I'm happy that Ratliff is gone.
If he had stayed in New York after Sanchez was brought in, Ratliff would have NO chance at becoming a long-time starter, unless he plays like Tom Brady circa 2007. Even then it would be a toss up. The organization wouldn't want their star 5th overall pick riding the bench behind an undrafted free agent.
Let's face it. As adequate as he is, Brett Ratliff would have been at a huge disadvantage in New York.
Cleveland is a better fit for him. Eric Mangini clearly brought Ratliff to the Browns to compete for the starting job. We all know how much Mangini likes his guys left over from his Jets regime. Hell, he brought over almost 10 guys.
And with a love for his guys comes a hatred for someone else's players. Examples: Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson. While Anderson seems to have been exposed for the mediocre player he is, Quinn is young, capable and is getting paid a lot of money -- not to mention, his good looks. Despite all of that, Mangini is set to move the quarterbacks; evidenced by the trade rumors involving them.
If that's not enough information to prove that Mangini wants to change Cleveland's look, he is dead set on shipping off arguably his best player and a top 10 wide receiver in Braylon Edwards.
Mangini knows what he has is Ratliff and will mold him into the star that the Jets should have.
But I suppose this trade ruins my future 9-part series of columns entitled 'The Best Brett: Ratliff vs. Gardner'.
Now what I am a bit ticked off about is that the Jets gave up their second round pick in order to swing Sanchez. I wanted New York to draft a wide receiver. Receiver was most definately their biggest need coming into the draft, and at the end of Day 1, it remains the biggest need.
With a new franchise quarterback, you would think the Jets would set him up with some good targets. Jerricho Cotchery and Dustin Keller are the two best options receiving-wise. Then it goes into question marks like David Clowney, Brad Smith and Chansi Stuckey
New York could have addressed that necessity with that 2nd round pick. There were no receivers taken after pick number 50, when the Browns took Mohamed Massaquoi. At #52, the Jets could have locked up their offense for the next several years by taking Ramses Barden.
Barden is still on the board going into Day 2, but if not for his playing at a small school, he would be off the board in the 2nd round. New York picks towards the middle of round 3 at #12 (76th overall) and Barden is not guaranteed to be there.
New York absolutely needs to trade up and grab this guy. I'm not settling for Louis Murphy, who has character issues and is coming off a knee injury.
I'm not upset. But if the Jets fail to get the biggest steal in the draft, I will be.
--How about my man Patrick White going to Miami! I know the Dolphins are a division rival, but I can't wait to see White play in that Wildcat offense. If you recall, I once suggested that the Jets draft White and run the Wildcat or Arkansas Razorback offense with Brett Ratliff and/or Brad Smith.
Either way, I want to see Pat White under center. Don't let them tell you what position to play. You tell them.
To me, the reasoning is simple. We can be fancy and talk about the wide receiver position. We can be picky and talk about defensive live depth. But when you come right down to it, the Jets biggest position of need was Quarterback. As promising as Brett Ratliff may have been in the pre-season last year, he showed no signs in the regular season of being the Tom Brady-like steel that people made him out to be. This is a kid that couldn’t beat out Kellen Clemens on the depth chart. It may not seam like a big deal, but I think not being able to beat out a guy (Clemens) who isn’t a great “practice field player” throws up a couple red flags.
As for Clemens, he clearly wasn’t the guy. I know he played behind one of the worst offensive lines in the history of football, he still didn’t even show signs of being what the Jets thought he could be. His shining moment in a Jet uniform will always be the comeback in Baltimore in week two of the 2007 season that fell just short. But it wasn’t that season that sealed the fact that he would never get another chance at being the franchise quarterback. It was last years’ training camp. The quarterback job was his to loose in training camp last year. He did just that. And in embarrassing fashion too. The job was Pennington’s two weeks into camp. When he couldn’t beat out Chad Pennington, the Jets panicked and traded for Brett Favre. Mark my words, if Clemens is still in the competition on August 6th, Favre isn’t talked about seriously and the trade never happens.
After Favre retired in January, I never bought that the Jets would let Kellen Clemens win the starting job for more than one season. Why would they trust him? How could the Jets just forget last years training camp? For the Jets to go anywhere other than quarterback in the first round, the early off season competition between Ratliff and Clemens had to be both close and impressive. I don’t think it was either….and if it was close; it was close for the wrong reasons.
In Sanchez, the Jets see everything Clemens or Ratliff weren’t. He’s someone to build an organization around. He understands offense and is used to a pro style system. He’s a guy that can be THE FACE for a long time. Ratliff or Clemens don’t have the talent to be THE FACE, and the Jets knew it. Gang Green isn’t interested in being a one year juggernaut anymore. They are building for a long, sustained run of success. That starts with a head coach and continues with a quarterback. Those two pieces are now in place. The centerpiece of this organization is finally set.
For those of you who remember my piece after the Jets traded for Brett Favre, this all may sound similar. Yes and no. While I do get pumped about quarterbacks (its my favorite position in all of sports), the feeling after getting Favre was one of disbelief and overwhelming glee. As pumped as I was, I knew that Favre would provide short term results and only short term results. With Sanchez, it’s more of a feeling of unrelenting hope. Here’s a guy who many teams had as the highest rated quarterback on their draft board. He impressed to no end during his pro day and his stock only rose with each workout. Mel Kiper said that he is the most “bust-proof” of any quarterback on the board. While Favre was in New York for an absolute maximum of two years, Sanchez could be here for 20. I fell in love with this kid when I saw him interviewed on SNY’s “Jets Nation” last week. The enthusiasm he had for the Jets was one that got me excited. He seems to have already bought into Rex Ryan and he hasn’t even practiced yet. I could tell he genuinely wanted to be a Jet. I always questioned that with Favre.
So, although my Jet cynicism was working hard on the ride home last night, I can’t think of a better direction the Jets could have gone yesterday afternoon. Some would say Michael Crabtree, but I tend to think that a winning quarterback is harder to find than a winning wide receiver. Its also a ton more valuable. I’m a firm believer that you win Super Bowls with defense and good quarterback play, not outstanding wide outs. In Sanchez, the Jets may have finally found their quarterback.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
The first pick of the NFL draft is no longer a mystery.
The Lions have agreed to contract terms with Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford, FOXSports.com has learned.
It is a six-year, $78 million deal, with $41.7 million guaranteed.
The two sides have been working on a deal diligently for the past 72 hours.
Cool... who's number 2?
Truly a great selection by Detroit. They're at rock bottom. They need to rebuild, starting from the QB. Simple as that.
No whammies. No whammies. No whammies....
We'll dissect this pick and the rest of the draft on our draft preview show tomorrow at 2pm EST on WCWP Sports.
--Tomorrow is a jampacked day on WCWP Sports. At 11:50, we'll have the pregame for Pioneers Lacrosse. Faceoff is at 12 noon EST.
Then immediately after the game, it'll be Jordan Lauterbach, Anthony DeFranco and I with the NFL Draft Preview Show until 4pm.
Then after the draft, Anthony along with Jason Commack will have the wrap up at 11pm.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
NFL Network's Steve Wyche reports that there is "chatter" the Jets would try to swing a trade for Jason Campbell on draft day if the Redskins move up to draft Matthew Stafford.
This is pretty much setting the stage for a potential three-team swap. The Skins are already short on picks and would likely have to dip into their 2010 draft class to move up the board.
And the plot thickens...
Washington has the #13 pick, and would have to move up to #1 (Detroit) to lock up Stafford. If Detroit doesn't take him, the Rams may do so. According to a report by NBC Sports, St. Louis is contemplating taking Mark Sanchez at #2. If they do indeed want a QB, they would take Stafford over Sanchez. However, I don't know why the Lions wouldn't want Stafford.
If this rumor is true, two things become incredibly certain. First, the Jets are not satisfied with their quarterback situation despite Rex Ryan's unbridled support for Kellen Clemens and Brett Ratliff. And second, the Redskins want no part of Jason Campbell, especially after they tried to move him while in pursuit of Jay Cutler.
So the deal would seem to please all parties.
RETRACTION: Professional Dream Crusher and Goatee Connoisseur Anthony DeFranco just told me (an all of Long Island) that the report of the Lions having a deal in place with Matthew Stafford is false.
--WCWP Sports will be all over the NFL Draft this Saturday. At 2pm EST, Jordan Lauterbach, Anthony DeFranco (of semi-deceased 3rd String Safety) and I will preview the draft. Then after the draft, DeFranco will be back on the air at 11pm EST.
It's all on WCWPSports.com this Saturday.
--By the way, serious question: What's more surprising? The Rangers up 3-1 on the Washington Capitals? Or that it took 3 periods into game 4 for Alex Ovechkin to score a goal?
Holla at me.
Wide Receiver - 5 Votes
Quarterback - 3 Votes
Running Back - 0 Votes
Defensive Back - 0 Votes
I agree with the majority. If the Jets stay at #17 -- which, according to various reports, is unlikely -- Darius Heyward-Bay would be the guy to take.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Just spoke to my buddy Gil Brandt, the NFL draft whiz and former vice president of player personnel with the Cowboys, and he told me that the No. 17 slot is too high for the Jets to select a tight end, namely Brandon Pettigrew.
So here's one scenario that I think may play out when the Jets are on the clock this Saturday:
I can see the Jets, who have six picks, trading down a few spots to pick up an extra pick and then nabbing Pettigrew later in the first round. That way, they save money (the higher the pick the more you pay) and get the additional pick.
I agree with trading down, but not with the cause. The pick would be better used on a receiver or even quarterback. Darius Heyward-Bey would be a great pick-up at 17.
The article also says "A blocking tight end is the Jets' most glaring need".
Really...? When Chansi Stuckey is slated to be a starting receiver, I think that would be more of an issue than not having a tight end that can block.
A trade down is optimal at this point. New York can slide down into the low to mid 20's and still nab someone like Kenny Britt or Hakeem Nicks.
The only way the Jets would take a tight end over a receiver is if they have a deal in place to trade for Braylon Edwards, Anquan Boldin or Chad Ocho Cinco. And none of those deals are happening without New York's 1st round pick involved.
- Now for a team that is as awful as the Washington Nationals, their P.R. Department is about to get even worse. For a team that is only 2 and 10 on the season, there is probably not alot to be that excited about in the "Nation's Capitol" around this time of the year if you take out all of the financial problems that this country is currently going through under this new administration. Now in the Offseason, Washington signed "Country-Strong" Outfielder, Adam Dunn away from the Arizona Diamondbacks to put some power into a lineup that is surrounded by young talent like 3rd Basemen, Ryan Zimmerman who hit .283 along with 14 homer's and 51 RBI's in an injury plagued season where he played in only 106 games of a 162 game schedule. Not to mention there is also Lastings Milledge who was the once highly touted New York Mets prospect back in 2006 and 2007. This season though, he's gotten off to a bit of a rough start where in only 7 games, he's hit a combined .167 with just 4 hits in 24 at bats and only 1 rbi along with 1 walk while he's struck out 10 times in those 24 at-bat's. A General Manager in Jim Bowden that resigned in the offseason and a Bullpen simply in shambles just 12 games into the year. Then there is Elijah Dukes. A man that has went through plenty of his own troubles off the field when he was hit with a restraining order for physically hitting and contacting his estranged wife when he was with the Tampa Bay Devile Rays back a few years ago. Dealt last season to Washington, Elijah has seemed to find his "Happy-Place" and has been able to be one of the lone bright spots on the squad as he is hitting for an average of .342 with 2 homeruns and 8 RBI's on the season so far. Trying to get his life back in order and be a member of this Nationals team, Elijah has been able to connect with the local communities around him and make a difference as he recently spoke at a local little league function to aspiring little major leaguers. So what's wrong with that you ask? He was fined 500 bucks and benched for showing up just 5 minutes late for a home game over the weekend against the Florida Marlins. The money isn't the principle issue of this problem and laying down team rules is perfectly fine for what Manager, Many Acta, is trying to do to set up Team uniformity but what I have a problem with is the fact that he was late 5 minutes for doing something good for the community and the team's name sake of a terrible franchise. Is Washington going to be successful and win the NL East this year? Most likely not. It's the issue that he was fined for being 5 minutes late for something that benefitted the franchise. Many Acta probably won't be able to see the end of the season as National's Manager and this would be one of the reasons why. Show some compassion Head Coach.
- Villanova's Scottie Reynolds (Who hit the game winning shot against Fellow Big East Rival, Pittsburgh in the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament) will enter the NBA Draft. It does seem like alot of these prospects are not hiring an agent to do their bidding such as Tyreke Evans of Memphis, Johnny Flynn of Syracuse, and James Hardin of Arizona State. Good thinking on their parts because the agent will only want to jack up the price of your contract when you go into the NBA when the NBA is in such a bad financial state that they had to bail out 15 teams this year with some money for not going into financial debt. As for Scottie, Reynolds averaged 15.2 points per game last season. He's a 6-foot-2 guard who has scored more than 40 points twice during his career and 1,620 points in three seasons. I think he'd be a perfect fit for New Orleans considering that they could use just about anybody at point guard that can back up Chris Paul because Antonio Daniels just isn't the answer.
- Leon Powe now out for the rest of the post-season with a Torn ACL. That has to hurt the Celtics on the depth chart now dealing without KG even more as they barely beat The Bulls last night off a lucky 3 point shot by Ray Allen last night and beat Chicago 118-115 in OT. Now that means more pressure on Kendrick Perkins, Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen to get the job done in Chicago against a very young and exciting Bulls team led by talented point-gard, Derrick Rose.
- In the NFL, Jags signed Torry Holt to a 3 year deal. Considering how bad their offense was last season with David Garrad at the helm with little offensive line protection and no recievers really to speak of other than Reggie Williams. Maybe Holt can find some spotlight and be the main go-to reciever in Jacksonville like he was with St. Louis.
- "The Giam-Bino" returns tonight to the Bronx after he was signed in the offseason by the Oakland A's. It should be interesting to see The Yankees will respond tonight after getting rained out from opening up against the A's and with Andy going out to pitch tonight, Consistency and him eating up some innings should hopefully be a sight for sore eyes tonight against an A's team that stocked up on vets like Nomar, Orlando Cabrera, and Jason Giambi. Hopefully I won't have to see Phil Coke or Jonathan Allabadejo in the 2nd or 3rd inning. Game starts at 7 and I'll be watching.
Till Next Time,
I'm Nick Malone.
And this won't be the last.
If Manning gets the nod, he'll be the third straight quarterback to be selected as the cover boy. Brett Favre was on the box in 2009 and it was Vince Young in 2008. He would be the 6th quarterback overall.
Larry Fitzgerald would be the second player to be on the covers of Madden and NCAA Football -- both EA Sports productions. He was on the NCAA box for their 2005 edition as a member of the Pittsburgh Panthers. Shaun Alexander was the first to achieve the feat. We was on the cover of NCAA in 2001 and on Madden in 2007.
If Troy Polamalu is chosen, he will be the first defensive player on the cover since Ray Lewis in 2005. Lewis is the only defensive player in history to be on the box.
The obvious choice is Larry Fitzgerald. He has the freak skills, the exposure, the success and the hair.
By the way, I'm sure this would already be on 3rd String Safety if the URL hadn't been captured by the evil people at FitBit.
Don't be surprised to hear that tight end Todd Heap and running back Willis McGahee as well as a draft pick are being offered to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
It makes perfect sense. Heap and McGahee were in coach John Harbaugh's doghouse most of last season, and Harbaugh hasn't been enthused by either player's practice habits. If the Ravens could, they would fast forward the clock to get rid of McGahee after this season. The Cardinals have needs at both running back and tight end, and Heap knows the state of Arizona extremely well.
This seems like a solid and plausible offer. It was also reported that the Ravens thought Arizona's asking price of a 1st and a 3rd round pick was steep. So to give up two above average veterans is a good alternative for Baltimore.
But the subtraction of two key components of Baltimore's offense could be detrimental to Joe Flacco, going into his second season.
As long as Boldin doesn't end up a Jet, I'll be happy.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Robinson, a restricted free agent, is coming off a career year and is expected to field offers from several suitors around the NBA. According to all indications, none of those potential landing spots will end up being the New York Knicks.
On his Twitter account, Robinson wrote “got out of my exit meeting with my coach [Mike D'Antoni] and i hope iam playing 4 the knicks next year if not it was fun and it was real being a knick 1 luv.”
He reiterated those thoughts on the MSG Network Monday night. Al Trautwig interviewed Nate Robinson and Danilo Gallinari during the second intermission of Game 3 of the 1st round playoff matchup between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. Robinson once again used 'hopeful' to describe his situation -- furthering the uncertainty surrounding himself.
While Nate Robinson potentially received some troubling news, Forward Wilson Chandler got the opposite. On his Twitter page, Chandler offered "Just finished my exit meeting with coach and Donnie, it was cool, they had a lot of good things to say, seems like I’ll b around for a while."
The combination of the reports from both players supports an earlier statement from Knicks Head Coach Mike D'Antoni. Back towards the beginning of April, D'Antoni said "The good thing about Wilson Chandler, Gallo and David Lee, they play a lot of positions. We have a lot of flexibility." This came after an embarrassing loss to the Toronto Raptors when D'Antoni said that nobody was safe from being let go in the offseason.
The fact that Mike D'Antoni named Wilson Chandler is encouraging for the second-year player. This statement came before Chandler went on an incredible stretch to end the season. In the final 5 games, he averaged 21.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.4 steals.
Coach D'Antoni also named David Lee, who, like Robinson, is a restricted free agent and will demand big money. It is widely believed that the Knicks must choose between Robinson and Lee in order to keep their plans for the summer of 2010 intact. It appears as if D'Antoni has already made his choice.
Nate Robinson finished the 2008-09 averaging 17.2 points and 4.1 assists per game. He became the Knicks go-to player around the All-Star Break, but fizzled out towards the end of the season.
--Another player that Mike D'Antoni named is Danilo Gallinari. In an interview with Al Trautwig on the MSG Network, Gallo said that his ailing back felt better immediately after surgery. He went under the knife on April 7th and is yet to begin his rehab.
Gallinari played with a hurt back for 28 games last season. He averaged 6.1 points and became New York's best three-point shooter at 45% from beyond the arc.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
On to the Team…
- I have always liked Nelson Figueroa. The guy will never be a regular rotation guy, but he is nice to have to make a spot start here or there. Last season, the Mets seemed to be itching to get him off the major league roster for some reason. He made two bad starts in a row and was cast aside quicker then day-old bagels. Even at the time I found this odd. Why were the Mets so quick to rid themselves of a guy who proved himself a reliable spot starter? Figueroa threw six innings and allowed only three runs on Sunday. That is excellent for a spot start from a guy who’s not even in the rotation. Obviosly the Mets don’t think so. After the game on Sunday, Nelson Figeroa was designated for assignment and the contract of Cassy Fossom was purchased. Fossom has a career era near six (5.47). I would much rather have Figeroa. I don’t understand what the Mets don’t like about this guy.
- Here’s another guy that the Mets don’t seam to like. This one is even more inexplicable than Figueroa. Ryan Church. Once again, Church was out of the lineup today in favor of Gary Sheffield. I understand that the Mets had to make certain promises to Sheffield to get him to come here, but is it worth sitting one of the few guys who is hitting? Church is hitting .378 with six doubles. Benching him for a guy who is hitting .125 and can’t play the field defies logic. If you have to play Gary Sheffield, why not sit Daniel Murphy? This is also a dumb move, but at the very least makes more sense then sitting Church. The best solution is to not play Gary Sheffield, but I know that means breaking promises and I can see why they wouldn’t want to do that with a media darling like Sheff. But don’t let it come at the expense of Church. The Mets have to get over their high-school crush on Daniel Murphy and sit him instead of Ryan Church.
- Did you ever think you’d see the day when taking Louis Castillo out of the lineup was a bad idea? The much-maligned second baseman leads the team in average. He’s hitting .400! I attribute a lot of this to health. He no longer looks a step away from death. He’s spry. He’s limber. He might not be an automatic out anymore. I still think that Omar Minaya did a poor job not upgrading the second base position, but if you told me that one of the Mets few positions of offensive strength two weeks in would second base, I would have requested your admittance to the homer ward of the Jordan Lauterbach Sports psychiatric hospital.
- Anyone else think we’re in the midst of the Johan Santana “revenge year.”? Last year, the bullpen cost him one of the better years of his career and a unanimous Cy Young award. He would have gotten 22 wins with an average pen. Now, our humble hero is taking it into his own hands. Johan has a 0.46 era. He also leads the team in innings pitched. Make no bones about, the bullpen may be much better, but Johan isn’t taking any chances.
- Stat of the day: The Mets were 2 of 13 with runners in scoring position on Sunday. I don’t mean to sound crochity about this. Two out of three over the Brewers isn’t bad at all. Willie Randolph used to say that teams should focus on winning series. I always agreed with that. But it’s frustrating to see a team become flaccid at the plate when runners reach base. Besides Beltran and Delgado, I’m not sure there’s a clutch player in this lineup anymore.
- This one is for our buddies at 3rdstringsafety.com: I’ve heard through the grapevine that Fitbit is a terrible company. Don’t ever buy their products.
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Gallinari was not in attendance for tonight's finale. Word is, he's been too busy sleeping like a baby. The leg pain caused by the pressed-upon nerve prevented him from getting a good night's sleep for eight months.
Look who's going to be refreshed for 2009-10...
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Frankie Rodriguez (Mets) - 3 votes
Mark Teixeira (Yankees) - 1 vote
CC Sabathia (Yankees) - 1 vote
Gary Sheffield (Mets) - 1 vote
1st of all: only 6 votes?? Come on guys, step it up.
While Rodriguez was the best choice, the player who has made the most impact on their new team has been AJ Burnett, who I left off of the poll. He's 2-0 so far this season. Both of his wins stopped 2-game skids. 15 strikeouts and a 0.90 WHIP with only 2 walks and 4 earned runs for Burnett so far.
Go vote in the new poll: Which route should the Jets take with their 1st round pick in the NFL Draft?
By the way, non-Google members can now comment on our blogs. Leave your thoughts.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Most recently, Burnett did this in dominant fashion, carrying a no-hitter through six innings on the way to a 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays, tonight. Throughout the no-hit bid, Burnett only gave up a walk to Pat Burrell in the 2nd inning.
Not only were his pitches moving, but he was on the same wavelength with Catcher Jose Molina for the entire outing. Give credit to Molina for calling an excellent game.
Burnett lasted through the 8th inning, in which he retired the batters in succession.
Any questions about signing Burnett?
--Burnett was relieved by Brian Bruney, who, once again, proved his worth by striking out the side in the 9th. He faced BJ Upton, Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria -- three of the best young players in baseball.
--The offensive star of the game was Brett Gardner, who went 3-of-5 with 3 runs on the night. He hit a single in the first, a double in the 8th and a ground rule double in the 9th, which would have easily been a triple if not for the high bounce over the wall.
Gardner's vast improvements at the plate along with his speed will prove to be integral to New York's success as it did against the Rays and has been the entire season so far.
Oh, and Nick Swisher hit another bomb.
This was a well executed game throughout, aside from the 7th inning. I thought Burnett should have been pulled after he gave up the 2-0 lead.
--Well, I suppose the Yankees fan base should realize by now that Alex Rodriguez is desperately needed in the lineup. Swisher most likely won't produce like this all year. In the past 24 hours, I've been asked several times whether the Yankees need A-Rod in a mocking manner. On paper, the team doesn't need him. But when Cody Ransom underperforms (remember, he's a career minor leaguer), you know there's a problem.
Also, I think we can say 'So long' to Ransom once A-Rod gets back. Ramiro Peña should replace him.
--Xavier Nady was pulled from the game in the 8th inning after he felt a sharp pain in his elbow while throwing in a ball from right field. He said that he hadn't felt a pain like that since he had Tommy John surgery several years ago. Nady will have an MRI tomorrow.
Austin Jackson anyone? 12-of-25 (.480 avg) with 6 RBIs and both on-base percentage and slugging percentage over .500 in AAA? And he's only 22? Sign me up.
Hopefully Nady gets better so New York can ship him off for Micah Owings so they can have a long reliever/spot starter/pinch hitter/outfielder.
According to an NFL source familiar with the situation, the Giants and Browns have recently re-opened discussions about the big, 26-year-old receiver that had begun last month at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. The talks are more substantial now than they were, and the source said the Browns appear eager to make a deal. The Browns are believed to desire defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka. However, one Giants source who would not confirm anything about possible trade talks, said the Giants have no intention of trading the promising 26-year-old end. It’s not known if the Giants are the unidentified team to offer their first-round pick. However, two days after that report came another report from Yahoo! Sports that said Edwards is expected to become a member of the New York Giants before the NFL draft on April 25-26.
Things certainly seem to be heating up in the Meadowlands as the Giants are looking to replace Plaxico. Keep looking at the blog for any updates that may come...
As the New York Jets consider in-house options to become the first quarterback of the post-Favre era, one of the team’s current quarterbacks reportedly hasn’t been taking advantage of his opportunity for some playing time.
According to the Journal News, second-year signal-caller Erik Ainge, a 2008 fifth-round draft pick from Tennessee, has been skipping out on the voluntary workouts.
What an idiot! If Ainge does not have enough sense to attend workouts for a team with a very open competition, then I don't want him quarterbacking the Jets.
That's just another obstacle down in Brett Ratliff's route to become the starter.
Also, Rich Cimini of the Daily News reports:
The Jets' courtship of Cowboys WR Miles Austin is "dead," according to a person with knowledge of the situation.
So much for that flirtation.
Evidently, the Jets came to their senses, realizing it would've been crazy to part with a second-round pick -- the compensation that would've been required to land Austin, a restricted free agent.
Well, that was quick. At least New York can keep its second-round pick and use it on the improving Ramses Barden. But if they grab Barden in the 2nd, who will they take in the 1st round? Stay tuned for the answer.
Friend of WCWP Erik Boland of Newsday writes that the possibility of a move of Jets camp is still very much alive.
The Jets could be returning to their Long Island roots for training camp, though not necessarily to the place they called home for the past 40 years.
Stony Brook University is getting strong consideration as the location, Jets and league sources said Monday. Such a move would fulfill new coach Rex Ryan's desire for a self-contained and somewhat isolated location.
Hmm... sucks for Florham Park.
Monday, April 13, 2009
In Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Rays, Wang went all of 1 inning, giving up 8 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. He left the game in the 2nd inning with no outs and loaded bases. Jonathon Albaladejo relieved Wang. He soon thereafter gave up a grand slam to Carlos Peña.
So... a long reliever looks pretty good now, huh? If you recall, I bashed the club's decision to not include Dan Giese in the final roster. Giese was eventually let go and he is now with the Oakland A's.
New York's refusal to carry a spot starter/long reliever like Giese or Phil Hughes is stubborn and insane.
Also, why is Girardi sitting Brett Gardner, his second best offensive player right now (behind Nick Swisher) in favor of Melky Cabrera? That really shouldn't happen when your two best batters overall are out of the lineup.
Melk was a bad choice...
The one reason why I regret not watching the whole game:
Nick Swisher pitching. He struck out Gabe Kapler!!
If New york is pulling out all the stops, why not call up Pat Venditte, the switch-pitcher from the Single-A Charleston Riverdogs. He did have 23 saves last season with Staten Island.
- Ryan Church seams to have returned to pre-concussion 2008 form.- He and Carlos Delgado are the only ones in the Met lineup who are hitting. Church is batting .478 with 2 rbis. Delgado has 8 rbi’s and is pounding the ball at a .391 clip. Everything else being even, one could argue that Church is more important to the lineup then Delgado. The offense was hurt more in the second half when Church went cold/concussed then when Delgado was suffering in the first half. I think this is because Delgado has more protection at the top of the lineup then Church has towards the bottom. Church is the anchor of that bottom half. The more he suffers, the bigger the already massive hole towards the bottom of the lineup becomes. Don’t think the hole is that bad? How many runners did they leave on base this weekend again?
- Give Omar credit, Livan Hernandez may have been a really good pick up- Again, only one start, but Livan looked really good on Saturday night. He went into the seventh, kept his walks down, and only allowed two runs. I’ll certainly take it from the fifth starter in the rotation. He had been on Omar’s “Love List” for quite a while and maybe this is why.
- Let’s hold off on the Darren O’Day criticism for a little bit- I know the kid has looked bad, but let’s remember that he lost his best friend a few days ago. Given the circumstances, I don’t think he’s been awful. A lot of the hits in the final inning on Friday night were lucky bloops. I actually kind of like his stuff. Give the kid a break for a little while. I think he deserves it.
- Follow up to Fridays John Maine column- He looked good on Friday night. He threw 83 pitches, only two of which were bad. Five innings isn’t nearly what you want to see from a starter, but considering what he did this spring I’ll take it. It was a start he can build on, which is what the Mets wanted to see. He’ll face a weak San Diego team this week. Hopefully he’ll go deeper into that start.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Chris Duhon was an unexcused no-show in February when the Knicks' charter flight returned home from Miami the morning after their loss to Dwyane Wade and the Heat.
When Stephon Marbury went AWOL in November of 2007, his disappearance became national news. Duhon's error in judgment, however, barely caused a ripple outside of the Knicks organization.
The official word was that Duhon overslept, which is entirely plausible. But the incident did raise additional concerns about Duhon's lifestyle - which were first broached last summer before Duhon joined the Knicks on a two-year, $12 million contract - and whether his affinity for the nightlife is directly linked to the point guard's rapidly declining play during the second half of the season.
That explains a lot.
Remember last baseball season when Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera were vastly underperforming? Everyone was wondering why and how such promising young talents could just fall off a cliff. Then people started alledging that the decline in play was due to their afterhours partying. Some even cited specific examples.
Those people were right. While partying may not have contributed to 100% of Cano and Cabrera's poor performance, it certainly had a lot to do with it.
Chris Duhon is experiencing the same thing. I know Duhon had an ankle injury in the 2nd half of the season, but the deterioration of his passing and overall awareness was inexplicable until now.
Read the whole article. It's very interesting stuff.
According to the National Football Post's Michael Lombardi, the Browns have offers on the table for both Brady Quinn and Braylon Edwards and will likely move both players.
One team has reportedly made a standing offer of a first-round pick for Quinn, which the Browns will likely accept. They also have a package of at least a first-round pick on the table for Braylon Edwards, and Lombardi expects him to be dealt sometime this offseason. It's clear now that the Browns are in full-blown rebuilding mode after Phil Savage left the roster in shambles.
This development could directly effect both New York teams.
It's been rumored for a long time that the New York Giants have been chasing after Braylon Edwards. An earlier report stated that New York offered Domenik Hixon as part of a deal.
The absence of Plaxico Burress prevented the Giants from reaching Super Bowl 43. The team is desperate to replace him. I'd expect the Giants to end up with Edwards when it's all said and done.
However, another team to watch out for is the Giants' NFC East rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. When DeSean Jackson is the go-to guy and the team still makes it to the NFC Championship game, a player like Edwards can put them over the top. Like the Giants, Philly is after a big-time wide out.
As for Brady Quinn, there is a strong possibility that he may end up with the New York Jets. Their 17th pick is somewhat expected to be used on a quarterback. Why not get a young player who is already established? It doesn't seem like an awful idea. If it happens, I pray that the rest of the players take to Quinn. It would be the second year in a row that the in-house QBs get undermined by an outsider. Although, I do know that Jordan Lauterbach would do a backflip if the deal went through.
Alas, I highly doubt that Eric Mangini wants anything to do with the Jets right now. If Washington is still unhappy with Jason Campbell, look for Quinn to be sent there. Also San Francisco, Detroit and St. Louis all have top 10 selections and question marks at QB.
17. New York Jets - Percy Harvin, WR, Florida
Sorry, Max. It took a lot of thinking for me to put him here, but I think the Jets will be sulking from not getting Sanchez still. They’ll see the speed that they never had with Coles and Cotchery and all of a sudden you have a 5′11 guy who doesn’t have a position on your team. Who knows, maybe they’ll run the Wildcat him and Brad Smith.
Not only does Anthony call me out. He defies and mocks me as well. How dare you!? Maybe you need to read 'The McCareins Files' again.
Hey Anthony, where's the 2nd round mock? And for that matter, the 3rd?
Aside from his piece on the Jets, Anthony's mock draft is a great read. Check it out.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo was originally scheduled to run its pro day earlier this week, but decided to move it back and combine it with San Jose State’s pro day on Friday. Representatives from 20 NFL teams were in attendance, including New York Jets coach Rex Ryan and Carolina Panthers coach John Fox.
Cal Poly’s headliner was WR Ramses Barden. The lanky wideout (6-6 1/4, 227 pounds) ran the 40 in 4.51 and 4.55 seconds and had a 10-foot, 2-inch broad jump and a 7.10 three-cone drill.
My man, Ramses...
At the NFL Combine in February, Barden had a 9'10" broad jump. He improved by 4 inches. And while his 3-Cone time is average at best, one cannot ignore the betterment of his 40-yard dash. At the Combine, Barden ran his 40 in 4.68 seconds; a very underwhelming time, even for a 6'6" tall man.
But at his Pro Day, he ran a 4.51! That's better than Kenny Britt, Brian Robiskie and Hakeem Nicks -- all players who are ranked higher than Barden.
Along with his stature, hand size and now above average speed, Ramses Barden will be moving up the draft boards. The fact that Rex Ryan was watching Barden have an excellent workout leads me to believe that that 2nd round pick will be spent on the mammoth from Cal-Poly.
Here's a new highlight package on Ramses Barden. There's no music in the video so bring your own, please.
--Speaking of the 2nd round pick, Pro Football Talk has this information on the Jets pursuit of Dallas Cowboys Wide Receiver Miles Austin:
Austin, a restricted free agent, didn’t sign an offer sheet, but the Jets told him they plan to extend an offer in the coming days. For restricted free agents, all offer sheets must be signed by April 17, so that the player’s current team will have a full seven days to consider whether to match the offer before the draft.
If the Jets sign Austin to an offer sheet and the Cowboys choose not to match, they’ll receive a second-round pick as compensation, since Dallas tendered to Austin a one-year, $1.54 million contract offer.
Austin has upside. He's young, big, quick and has decent hands. But the possibility of getting someone as overbearing as Ramses Barden is almost too good to pass up. Honestly, I wouldn't be mad if the Jets acquired Austin, but I'd much rather have Barden.
I feel this deal has a 50/50 shot of going through. Dallas lost Terrell Owens and the underachieving Roy Williams is now their top receiver. They can't afford to lose a guy like Austin at this point.
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YES!!! That's right. We've reached 400 posts. My prediction: 800 posts by January 1st.
And what great way to celebrate our 400th post than with an update on Knicks Rookie and WCWP Fave Danilo Gallinari.
Gallo recently wrote a blog post following his back surgery on his official website. It was originally written in Italian. Here is a translation:
everything's fine, the best part was the anaesthesia, they put me to sleep in the surgery room and i woke up in the room where i had to be that night (right after having the surgery)
my dad and doctor (A woman...) had lots of fun when i woke up because i was clearly under anaesthetics effect ...i was singing and talking only in english (a huge smile here...) hahaha ...then i may have done a statement of love (love declaration) to the doctor (like i said, a woman...hihi) and to the chairman donnie walsh ..haha only showtime!!
i'm at home right now, i can walk and do everything ...i suffer just only a little bit of pain for the wound (for the surgery..) but nothing more ...
a hug to everyone of you guys, and thanks for being so close to me
This guy is a PLAYER!
In all seriousness, I'm glad he's fine and I anticipate him being a healthy and integral player for the Knicks.
The running back and special teams’ returner is entering the final year of his deal and is believed to be seeking a long-term extension worth at least $4 million per year.
“Things are going,” Washington said. “The main thing that we have and they have is we both want to get something done. The Jets have been expressive of wanting to get something done. The Jets have done the right thing traditionally with Jerricho (Cotchery), Kerry Rhodes, with guys who have played well for this organization and have done the right thing.”
Washington, however, made it clear he will continue working out and attending all voluntary sessions unlike his backfield mate Thomas Jones, who was not present at yesterday’s voluntary workout. Jones, the reigning AFC rushing champ, is believed to want a new contract.
Wait... 4 million...?
As I'm writing this, Leon Washington's contract extension better be printing out at the Jets' facilities.
4 million dollars a year for the most explosive, versatile, elusive dynamic offensive weapon is a bargain to say the least.
Washington's current contract is set to expire after this upcoming season. For 2009, he is scheduled to make only $530,000.
Last season, Washington carried the ball a surprisingly low 76 times. Despite the lack of handoffs, he made the most of the situation, rushing for 448 yards and 6 touchdowns. That's 5.9 yards a carry -- meaning Leon Washington could go from goal line to goal line in about 17 carries. That means he can pick up a first down and change on 2 carries.
He also did a nice job coming out of the backfield, catching 47 passes for 355 yards and 2 scores.
Offensive numbers aside, Leon Washington was, once again, an elite kick returner in 2008. He had 1231 yards and a touchdown on 48 returns last season. That's a 25.6 yard per return average. He also did a nice job fielding punts, averaging 10.5 yards a return.
The only way this situation would be better is if Washington offers to play for the same amount as his original contract. But that fact that he is only asking for about 4 million a year is acceptable. The fact that he is giving the team a bit of a discount tells me that he wants to be in New York, and that's one of the most important things you want from a star player.
Think about it. This guys should be heralded as the next big thing; similar to Michael Turner and Darren Sproles. The difference is he does not have as many opportunities to be noticed.
If I was Mike Tannenbaum, I would have him sign the papers, laugh to myself a little, and then drive him to the bank. It's a no-brainer, if you haven't guessed.
Hopefully this gets done before too long. If the Jets need anymore convincing, they need to read 'The Leon Bible'.
The offense adequately compensated for the less than stellar performance from the bullpen. Daniel Murphy had a great game. He went 3-of-5 from the plate with 1 run scored. Carlos Beltran was 3-of-5 as well. He had 2 RBIs and 2 runs on the night. And Ryan Church had 3 hits and a walk.
The Mets came back on Florida twice. First on Fernando Tatis' sacrifice fly in the 7th inning. The second time New York pulled even was on the big pinch hit single by Jeremy Reed in the 9th inning. No play was more clutch and significant than Reed's hit.
Unfortunately, that was not enough for the Mets, as their glaring weakness in this game was the bullpen. The most notable culprit is Darren O'Day. Last night, O'Day entered the game facing Hanley Ramirez with Emilio Bonifacio on 1st base. The very speedy Bonifacio reached base on what is being scored as an infield hit, but could be viewed as a throwing error by Jose Reyes. Regardless, Bonifacio's presence on base was not Pedro Feliciano's fault.
So O'Day relieved Feliciano in the 9th inning with 1 out and Bonifacio on 1st. He walked Hanley Ramirez; putting Bonifacio in scoring position.
Then O'Day had to deal with Jorge Cantu -- a big hitter off to a hot start. Cantu sends one into right field, scoring the man from second and winning the game for the Marlins.
This is the second day in a row where O'Day has screwed things up. On Thursday, he came into the game against the Reds after Oliver Perez was lit up for 6 runs. He inherited 2 runners -- Jay Bruce and Joey Votto -- with one out in the 5th inning. He plunked the first batter he faced, Edwin Encarnacion, and loaded the bases. Then he allows Paul Janish of all people to blast a 2-run single, making the score 8-4.
This recent pattern reminds me of a former Mets reliever who would always stumble and find himself in a predicament. Someone whose absence makes a team better.
Clearly, I'm speaking of Aaron Heilman. Heilman: the pitcher who would not strike fear into the eyes of the opponent, but rather into the souls of the New York Mets fanbase.
Mets fans, watch out for Darren O'Day to become the next Heilman and the next reason why the Mets fail down the stretch. The combination of Sean Green, JJ Putz and Francisco Rodriguez cannot be utilized on an everyday basis. O'Day will get innings.
I'm not saying O'Day is there yet, but hopefully he can turn it around before he becomes the next scapegoat.