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New York Yankees: You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Can Win

“No” is not a familiar word heard in the New York Yankees front office.

General manager Brian Cashman has the resources to woo players to come play in the Bronx, so what happened this offseason?

It has to be expected that the Yankees sans Mr. George Steinbrenner lost a little bit of their appeal.

Not many owners possess the passion and fire that the Boss displayed. Even the negative stories about how he was a tyrant with unreal expectations were equalized by his never-ending willingness to help.

So, what the heck happened to the Yankees missing out on Cliff Lee and not signing any top free agent? Why is Andy Pettitte so hesitant to commit?

In my opinion, the unmistakable absence of Mr. Steinbrenner is what is crippling the Yankees.

Imagine yourself as a player who the Yankees wanted in pinstripes while Mr. Steinbrenner was the principal owner. Hence, Mr. Steinbrenner thought that the Yankees needed to acquire you to win. Figuring out how to get a player was never the problem; it was just a matter of when, because the Boss would go to any extreme. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: You Can’t Always Get What You Want, But You Can Win’ »

NFL Playoffs: Who Dat Seahawks? Seattle Dethrones New Orleans Saints

The first game of the NFL playoffs was a classic David vs. Goliath.

The 7-9 Seattle Seahawks were playing host to the reigning champion New Orleans Saints.

The spread on the game favored the Saints to win by 10 or 10.5 points. That was no shocker, though 10 points is a large margin.

One fact was that New Orleans was the clearly the better team, as it was their game to lose—and suffer defeat they did.

From beginning to end, the Saints missed opportunities to score points and were inefficient in tackling assignments.

Even when the Saints scored easily to start the game, the Seahawks fought right back.

Seattle never stopped putting up points the whole game, so when the Saints finally got it together it was too late to catch up to the Seahawks’ 34 points.

So, is this upset based on the underdog having more heart? Or do you consider the inconsistency displayed this NFL season becoming the norm? Continue reading ‘NFL Playoffs: Who Dat Seahawks? Seattle Dethrones New Orleans Saints’ »

New York Yankees: Why Cameron Diaz Is Not Good for A-Rod or the Team

If you want to date New York Yankees star third baseman Alex Rodriguez, your resume better read: blond, Hollywood actress, small chest and athletic build.

When A-Rod started to date Kate Hudson, the rumors were hard to believe Goldie’s daughter would fancy such an insecure womanizer.

When Hudson showed up at the ballpark in A-Rod’s seats, it confirmed every Yankee fans worst nightmare. Hudson could become an off-the-field distraction for the Yankees best player and that would be seen as unacceptable.

Closing down the greatest baseball park in 2008, along with missing the playoffs was enough embarrassment in the Bronx already. Yankee fans, along with the NY media, didn’t hide their concern regarding the relationship.

That sentiment came and went pretty fast, as A-Rod became different and he started to mesh in as part of the team. Smiling and relaxed, A-Rod did his job without the stress and it was contagious in the clubhouse.

Hudson became a fixture at Yankee Stadium. She came early, stayed through the ninth inning and cheered like a baseball fan. The other Yankee wives loved her as she was photographed with CC, AJ, Damon and Jorge’s wives having a blast.

Obviously she was smitten with A-Rod, but baseball is not an easy game to sit through, day after day after day, if you don’t love the game.

Regardless, A-Rod was at his best and the Yankees won the 2009 World Series. Hudson was beloved in NYC; she did what no one else could by loosening A-Rod up. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Why Cameron Diaz Is Not Good for A-Rod or the Team’ »

New York Yankees: GM Cashman Picks Up Schlitter, But Needs To Go Get Pettitte

Andy Pettitte.

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman claimed 25-year-old Brian Schlitter, a relief pitcher, off waivers this week from the Chicago Cubs.

Schlitter made seven appearances out of the bullpen in 2010 for the Cubs. Over his eight innings of work, Schlitter posted a terrible 12.37 ERA, giving up 18 hits, 11 earned runs, allowed two home runs and walked five of the 48 batters he faced.

Schlitter also hit one batter, the Brewers’ Carlos Gomez, in the head in the eighth inning of the 18-1 Cubs loss. Gomez went on the DL and Schlitter was sent back down to Triple-A.

The Cubs lost all seven games that the 6’5″, 240-pound Schlitter appeared in, which is not a comforting stat to read.

Schlitter throws right and survives on a mid-90s fastball that he adds a slight sink too. His mediocre slider and changeup are not effective on the major league level, but some minor altering regarding Schlitter’s execution could fix both.

Schlitter has done well in the minors, where he has a 3.32 ERA in 154 relief appearances; but it is still the big show that counts.

Look, the Yankee bullpen does need more arms, but adding another chancy player when Rafael Soriano is still a free agent just seems desperate.

Cashman has made both horrid and genius signings in his career, but as long as it doesn’t cost the Yankees players or a money-ball contract then who really cares? Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: GM Cashman Picks Up Schlitter, But Needs To Go Get Pettitte’ »

2011 NFL Wild Card Weekend: Sorting Out Winners From The Losers, Game By Game

The NFL Playoffs start this weekend with the four Wild Card teams traveling to the homes of the bottom two-division winners.

The top two teams in the AFC and the NFC both get a bye, as they will wait to see who their opponents will be in the Divisional Rounds.

Now let’s separate the winners form the losers, by looking at Wild Card Weekend game by game:

Indianapolis Colts vs. New York Jets*

Even thought the Jets have hailed themselves the team to beat, Colts QB Peyton Manning is dynamic and has had the Jets number in the past.

The Jets defense loves to blitz the opposing QB, but won’t work because Manning gets better under pressure. Fact is the Jets defense was better in 2009 and Manning eat them alive in the second half of AFC Championship Game.

The Jets-D needs to figure out how to get back there and fast because the Colts O-line sits atop the NFL. Leadership is one of Manning’s biggest strengths, but it is quite the opposite for Jets QB Mark Sanchez, who floundered in the second half of the season.

The Colts defense’s weakness is stopping the run, so that should take some of the demands off Sanchez, as the Jets will run the ball a lot. LT and Shonn Greene will have to come up big for Game-green, hopefully resting Week 17 will help the tandem get healthy again.

Look for the Jets to use back-up QB Brad Smith to run the Wild Cat to shake-up the Colts-D, but the veteran defense with lots of playoff experience won’t be fooled that much.

Rex Ryan needs to get his head checked and “making it personal” with Manning is just setting up his team to get killed. Ryan just needs to put a foot in his mouth. 

WINNER: COLTS BEAT JETS 28-10

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Baltimore Ravens*

The Chiefs are legitimate again, as Kansas City has football fever but facing the Ravens will be a huge test. The Chiefs ended the season losing at home to the Raiders, which left too many questions on the table.

The Ravens have only gotten better, and RB Ray Rice has finally found his feet towards in the second half of the season. Rice can pound the average Chiefs defense, but the Ravens offense is very balanced all-around and QB Joe Flacco has proven very solid at the helm.

The Chiefs offense relies heavily on the run game, with duo Jamal Charles and Thomas Jones. Ravens defense stops the run better than anyone, so Chiefs will be forced to throw.

QB Matt Cassel is just not reliable as a deep passer and the Ravens are weak defending deep, middle passes. Cassel will have to relay on his arm against playoff teams, and the Chiefs have not defeated a playoff team all season.

Arrowhead Stadium is known to be one of the nosiest and the fans have definitely done their part in 2010, so expect the place to be shaken on Saturday afternoon but it won’t be enough.

WINNER: RAVENS BEAT CHIEFS 21-6

Philadelphia Eagles vs. Green Bay Packers*

Michael Vick, need I say more? Continue reading ‘2011 NFL Wild Card Weekend: Sorting Out Winners From The Losers, Game By Game’ »

New York Yankees: Waiting Game Continues With Andy Pettitte’s Decision

At the end of 2010 season, New York Yankees ace Andy Pettitte used the word retirement when speaking to Yankees GM Brian Cashman about whether he would return to the team in 2011.

For the last two seasons Pettitte made it pretty clear that his intentions were to return for another season but the final decision would be made with his family.

Pettitte’s sentiments couldn’t come in a worse off-season, as the Yankees need his talents back in the Bronx more then ever. With the team failing to pick-up another starter, the pressure and guilt has unfortunately fallen on Pettitte’s lap.

All there is to go on is unconfirmed hearsay that Pettitte’s decision is leaning towards retirement. That is what fans have to go on and it seems the Yankees don’t know much more.

During the Winter Meetings, Pettitte did call GM Cashman, as his main concern was that the Yankees were not waiting on him. He did not want them to miss any moves or opportunities waiting on his decision. Cashman said that was the first time he became uncertain of Pettitte’s need to play baseball any longer.

Pettitte’s added silence is making all the retirement rumors seem more like the Yankees upcoming reality. Life in the Bronx sans the Southpaw and the core four will be no more.

If Pettitte waited past this week, I would be shocked because he is not pulling a Brett Favre. Rest assured, Pettitte is really torn.

This choice has to be unreservedly unfaltering with no regrets. I will respect Pettitte’s decision no matter what the outcome. He deserves that at the very least.

It was always an honor to cheer for Andy Pettitte, whatever 2011 brings.

As for the Yankees, it has been an off-season of waiting and so far nothing has gone their way. As they say, when it rains it pours.

“There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or out. There’s no such thing as a life in-between.” – Pat Riley