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The View from the Cheap Seats by Eddie Mayrose

March 13, 2008 under Cheap Seats

Now that Spring Training has finally started, it’s a pleasure to, once again, be discussing the actual on-field events of baseball.  I had almost “misremembered” how much fun it is.  Fun, however, is probably not the word Mets GM Omar Minaya is using as he spends each day visiting his starting outfield in the hospital or trainer’s room.  Moises Alou (hernia), Carlos Beltran (knee) and Ryan Church (concussion) all must have Minaya wondering how prudent it was to ship Lastings Milledge to the Nationals.  Maybe Johan Santana can play the outfield on his off days.  Seriously, the Amazins need to place a call to the Angels and inquire about Juan Rivera.  A rising star who sat out last year with a broken leg, he currently resides on L.A.’s bench due to an overcrowded outfield. ….  Across town, while it’s true that the Yankees did well to resign their core of Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada, they have essentially done nothing to improve a team that trailed the Red Sox from wire to wire in ’07.  In fact, the case could be made that they are weaker at some positions, especially defensively.  AL baserunners are licking their chops at the thought of taking extra bases on Johnny Damon or Hideki Matsui as at least one will have to man left field. ARod, Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano can’t be too happy about throwing across the diamond to Jason Giambi who, like Michael Jackson, wears a glove on his left hand for no apparent reason.  With the Blue Jays improving, it will be interesting to see just how much of daddy’s DNA was inherited by Hank Steinbrenner, especially if they finish third.  Those rookie pitchers had better produce. …  The Jets went on a free agent spending spree last week, committing more than 70 million dollars to four free agent linemen.  Seven time Pro Bowler, Alan Faneca, garnered the biggest contract in league history for an offensive lineman, inking a deal for $40 million to fill a hole created when the club refused to give Pete Kendall a $1 million dollar raise last year.  With that kind of sound, economic policy, is it any wonder that season ticket holders face increases every year?  None of this will matter, however, if Gang Green can’t find a quarterback.  Am I the only Chad Pennington fan left standing?  Memo to Eric Mangini:  Chad’s your man. …  The Big East Men’s Basketball Championship opened at the Garden yesterday, with St. John’s on the outside looking in for the third time in the four years that Norm Roberts has been at the helm. Further frustrating fans of the Red Storm is the fact that many of the participating teams are led by New York City players that St. John’s failed to sign or decided not to recruit.  There was a time when all of the Big Apple’s players put other schools on hold as they waited for a call from Lou Carnesecca.  Hasn’t anyone noticed that the Johnnies’ fall from the top of the conference started at the same time that they stopped getting city players?  Now, most of the blame for that lies with Mike Jarvis, who guided the program into its most embarrassing era ever and completely disregarded the hoops hotbed that was merely a subway ride away.  But, Roberts, who should be credited for bringing  high character people into the fold, has made little progress in mending fences with CHSAA and PSAL coaches and players.  With St. John’s watching McDonald’s All Americans Sylvan Landesberg (Virginia) and Kemba Walker (UConn) leave the city this year, season five of the Roberts era might be the last…   Nate Robinson scored 46 points for the Knicks last weekend in an overtime loss to the Blazers.  Amazingly, many Knick fans were heading for the exits while the hometown team was down three in the last minute and still more left as the overtime began.  A sad statement for what was once the signature franchise in the league.  The Blazers, by the way, are one of four teams who have improved themselves after unloading disgruntled “stars” on the Knicks.  The Bulls, Nuggets and Suns have all benefited from the same generosity.  Looks like there might be more to putting a team together than just assembling talent…  Finally, there’s this question for all of the deliriously happy Giants fans as they continue to revel in the glow of their Super Bowl title.  Does Eli Manning still stink?

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