By Eddie Mayrose
New York Mets GM Omar Minaya Feeling The Heat
In the middle of a week that saw John Lackey sign with the Red Sox and Roy Halladay traded to the Phillies, Omar Minaya has taken his share of pounding in the media for failing to do anything to improve the Metropolitan Baseball club. Made me think I missed an announcement that had Major League Baseball awarding a championship in December without playing a regular season schedule. Minaya offered little more than a request for patience; explaining that the Mets do have a plan and they’re content to let it run its course.
One thing in the GM’s favor is that three superstars; Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and Johan Santana will be returning to the roster. The presence of Reyes and Beltran in the lineup should serve to boost David Wright’s stats back to their normal range. While the Amazins’ desperately need starting pitching and failed to bring either Halladay or Lackey into the fold, Minaya does hve a little credit in the bank when it comes to preaching patience. He outlasted all contenders in free agent negotiations with Beltran and Pedro Martinez and gave up next to nothing to acquire Santana after waiting out the Red Sox and Yankees.
Fans and media alike are calling for any kind of deal as if the Mets are obligated to provide some show of good faith. They’ve already offered Jason Bay a four year deal but won’t go for five. Good for them. Putting fanatacism aside, does anyone really think Jason Bay will be worth $16 million in five years? If Minaya can ship Luis Castillo out of CitiField for Orlando Hudson, sign Bay and bring in one or two mid level starters (Ben Sheets, Justin Duchscherrer), he’ll be heading into 2010 with a very similar roster to the one that was picked by many to win the NL East in 2009.
Listen To Your Father, Kid. New York Jets December Preview
Have to admit I received the following preview of the Jets’ stretch run from Cheap Seater Keith Whelan with more than a little satisfaction. My attempt to educate fans of Gang Green to the presence of outside forces dedicated to their demise has started to hit home. Whelan, a long time season ticket holder, offered this opinion on how his favorite team would finish the season.
“It’s just too easy to expect the Jets to break our hearts again. We all know they will. But, now, I’ve taken your advice to go beyond the pessimistic view and look for the twisted one that will not only hurt but pour salt in the wound.” “The way I see it, we’ll easily beat Atlanta this week while Miami, Baltimore and Jacksonville lose. That puts us a game up and in control of our own fate; a very bad sign.” “We’ll head to Indy next week and shock everyone by knocking off the unbeaten Colts as they rest players.” “Then, facing a ‘win and we’re in’ game at home, we’ll be crushed by Cincinnati. They’ve hurt me too many times for me to see this thing turning out any other way.”
Nice job, Keith. The only thing I might add is a few Patriots’ losses that will have that Cincinnati defeat cost them the division as well. So, if you’re torn between holiday commitments and watching the Jets, it’s been our pleasure to free you up for some parties and shopping.
Russian Billionaire Takes Control of New Jersey Nets
Nets’ owner Bruce Ratner announced that an agreement has been reached with Mikhail Prokhorov regarding his stake in the Nets franchise and the proposed arena in Brooklyn. The final hurdle is approval by the remaining NBA owners who have already indicated they’d sign off on the deal. No decision has been reached on Prokhorov’s request that the Nets be allowed to play with seven men on the court and shoot at a nine foot basket.
Hey, Giants Football Fans, Come In Off The Ledge
While Sunday night’s loss to Philadelphia probably cost Big Blue any chance of winning the NFC East, the Giants still find themselves in the driver’s seat for a Wild Card berth. Yes, I know the defense was terrible; allowing back breaking plays at the end of the firat half and then, again, after the Jints had finally taken the lead. Yet, regardless of how the D performed, the Giants still win that game if not for the two TD returns allowed on a fumble recovery and a punt. Hang tough, Giants’ fans. A 9-7 record is easily attainable and more than likely secures the postseason for your football team. Refresh my memory. How’d the Giants do the last time they were a 9-7 Wild Card team?
Tiger Woods Named AP Athlete of the Decade
For the first time in three weeks, Tiger Woods got a little good news when he was named AP Athlete of the Decade. Obvious jokes aside, Woods’ selection was as easy as you’ll see with an award so open to different interpretations. Interesting to guess where Tiger would have finished had the vote been taken after Thanksgiving, though. After all, Barry Bonds, four time MVP, batting champ and all time Home Run leader didn’t garner a single vote. Wonder why?
Dallas Cowboys Football Stadium Debuts 3D Screen
So I’m watching Chargers-Cowboys in Jerry Jones’ brand new palace last Sunday. CBS fulfilled what seems like a contractual obligation by extolling the virtues of the new stadium ad nauseum. There were views of the promenade, the enormous standing room area, six or seven thousand shots of Jones in his luxury box and, of course, many references to the enormous video screen that hangs over the field. Now, I find that a video screen in a stadium is quite useful for replays; after all, it’s the one concession you make to television when you attend a game in person. However, I’ve never seen the logic of broadcasting the game as it’s being played. Why would anyone pay good money for a ticket to, essentially, enjoy less comfort for an activity that could have been enjoyed at home for free?
Be that as it may, the ‘Pokes went over the top with an “Emperor’s New Clothes” feature that really gave me a laugh. At one point in the game, we were shown an image of a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader wearing a pair of 3D glasses. Apparently, Jones and the Cowboys were quite impressed with themselves for showing a three dimensional view of the game on the giant screen. Fans seemed very excited about it, too. Wonder if any of them realized that, along with the fans assembled in every other NFL stadium, they were already enjoying a 3D version of the game by simply looking down at the field. Somewhere, P.T. Barnum must have been smiling.
Congratulations to Virginia Mayrose, Staten Island High School Volleyball Coach of the Year. Recognized for leading St. Joseph Hill Academy to its first title since she founded the program, Mayrose completely revamped her team’s style of play; raising the competitive bar in her own league while bolstering the reputation of Staten Island volleyball among the more established schools in New York City. She’s really cute, too. Well done, Gin.