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New York: David Letterman Top Ten Giants Excuses

Worth the watch…. David Letterman’s “Top Ten New York Giants Excuses” , which aired on December 20, 2010.

NFL: Does Commissioner Roger Goodell’s Conduct Merit An Investigation?

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NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talks about his tough “conduct policy” requiring all players to behave accordingly both on and off the field.

Goodell has made his stance very clear:

“We hold ourselves to higher standards of responsible conduct because of what it means to be part of the National Football League.”

When Goodell was less than two weeks into the “investigating” stage of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s behavior, he had a lot to say.

When asked by ESPN’s Dan Patrick on his radio show whether or not Roethlisberger had violated the NFL’s Conduct Policy, Goodell’s answer was the following:

“Yes, there has been a violation of that. The issue here is with respect to a pattern of behavior and bad judgments,” Goodell said. “You do not have to be convicted or even charged of a crime to be able to demonstrate that you’ve violated a personal conduct policy, and reflect poorly not only on themselves, but all of their teammates, every NFL player in the league and everyone associated with the NFL. And that is what my concern is, and I have expressed that directly to Ben, obviously, and I will be making a decision as soon as I possibly can.”

Roethlisberger’s behavior did not get a grace period, as the incident happened in March 9, 2010. So, even with no formal police charges, Goodell initially suspended Roethlisberger for the first six games of the season, with an official announcement made on April 21, 2010.

In a letter to Roethlisberger, Goodell wrote this: Continue reading ‘NFL: Does Commissioner Roger Goodell’s Conduct Merit An Investigation?’ »

Giants vs. Eagles: New York Gets Vick-Timized Again by Philadelphia

With just eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, New York Giants fans were having a grand old time at the Meadowlands yesterday.

The Giants defense had been relentless against their division rival Philadelphia Eagles and Eli Manning had yet to let things get of hand.

Holding up the Eagles dynamic duo of Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson is no easy task, but the score remained 31-10 and Big Blue looked to prevail.

Well, the Giants learned the hard way that it’s not over till the game clock reads zero, being ahead three touchdowns or not.

It’s a timeless sports rule that both athletes and fans struggle to control. Blame it on just pure anticipation or being overly confidant, experiencing a catastrophic collapse stings.

The Giants did just that today, right in their own house, surrounded by 60,000 of their biggest allies.

Call it heartbreak, disgust, pathetic all wrapped into a ball of disappointment.

The Eagles kept believing nothing was over, a motto that has now beaten the G-men six times in a row.

You can only hope that “hitting rock bottom” is exactly what happened this past Sunday afternoon. Continue reading ‘Giants vs. Eagles: New York Gets Vick-Timized Again by Philadelphia’ »

MLB Hot Stove: Same City Different Uniform As Yankees Sign Mets Reliever

Reliever Pedro Feliciano is staying put in New York, but he will be sporting a different uniform.

The life-long Met is leaving Queens to bring his talents to the Yankees.

Feliciano is a 34-year-old lefty who inked an $8 million, two-year contract with an option for a third, to come over to the Bronx. Fans get the reassurance that GM Brian Cashman is doing his job, as this is a huge boost to counterpart Boone Logan in the bullpen.

Other than having a rubber arm (meaning it never tires), Feliciano satisfies a big hole in the Yankee bullpen against lefty hitters, an area the Red Sox loaded up on this offseason.

Over his eight years in the majors, Feliciano has a career ERA of 3.31. He set the Mets franchise record and led the NL for most relief appearances in a season, with 86 games in 2008, 88 games in 2009 and 92 games in 2010.

Last season, Feliciano pitched for 62.2 innings, allowing just one home run and striking out 56 of the 280 batters he faced. He kept lefties hitting just .211, which will make him a difference-maker in the seventh and eighth innings.

Nicknamed “Everyday Pedro,” as in 2010 he pitched back-to-back days 43 times without rest.

Feliciano was described by Mets Today writer Joe Janish as, “a valuable asset to a championship club in need of one final bullpen piece.”

I’ll take that; the Yankees will happily take that; and hopefully 2011 will be that year for Feliciano.

As to how Feliciano will handle playing in the Bronx?

Same lights, different borough…my bet is he will be just fine.

New York Yankees: Theory On Plan B Signing Catcher Russell Martin

The New York Yankees have to divert whatever attention is left from all the Cliff Lee drama, but there is no denying the painful disappointment still lingers.

Losing Kerry Wood to the Chicago Cubs was unexpected, but the signing of former Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Russell Martin gave the first ray of hope thus far in this offseason.

Why is signing Russell Martin such a positive? For two reasons:

1.   From veteran Jorge Posada to top prospects Austin Romaine and Jesus Montero, as well as current back-up Francisco Cervelli, Yankees have a plethora of uncertain players to fill the catcher position. In 2009, Posada, with 16 seasons and 39 years of age under his belt, had it all catch up to him. Cervelli was a productive hitter at the start of last season, but like Posada couldn’t hold runners on base, throwing out 14 percent of attempted basestealers. That’s only one percent difference from Posada, who never was known for his throwing arm, but who made up for it with his power bat. Martin brings a big upgrade defensively, throwing out potential basestealers at a 31 percent clip for his career, and 39 percent last season. Adding Martin to the mix gives the Yankees necessary breathing room to bring up the two up-and-comers, Romaine and Montero, at an acceptable pace.

2.   Russell provides General Manager Brian Cashman room to dangle Romaine and Montero as trade bait; with the hopes to fill the spot left open by Lee. It is no secret that the Yankees need to attain another starting pitcher to finalize the rotation. Word is that Andy Pettitte is actually going to return in 2011. Pettitte’s return brings reinforcement because the Yankees can afford to wait for the best trade before the season’s July 31st trading deadline. A retired Pettitte would leave another vacant spot that could be Sergio Mitre’s–God-forbid. No matter what, Martin gives the flexibility and Pettitte allows for patience. This could result in a better option down the road, as there are always teams that want to unload by the All-Star Break. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Theory On Plan B Signing Catcher Russell Martin’ »

MLB Hot Stove: Bringing On “New York Heat” as the Yankees Sign Mark Prior

The New York Yankees have an abundant amount of money to spend after losing out on signing Cliff Lee, who went to the Philadelphia Phillies.

All possible options will be tried, as cash is never short in New York and especially when the team is in need. Nobody puts Baby in the corner; not the Phillies, not Lee and certainly not a lack of free agents.

So, when the news came that the Yankees signed pitcher Mark Prior to a one-year minor league contract, the possibility of what Prior was and could be started to cause butterflies in my stomach.

Back in 2002, when Prior debuted with the Chicago Cubs, the level of excitement could only be compared to that of Washington Nationals phenom Steven Strasburg.

Yes, Prior was that good. At just 22 years old, he was joining team ace Kerry Wood, and in 2003 they made a tandem of the best one-two punch in the majors.

That season Sports Illustrated dubbed them the “Chicago Heat” and it was well deserved. Combined, Wood and Prior posted 522 strikeouts, seven complete games and three shutouts over a total of 422 innings in 2003.

Prior finished with a 2.43 ERA, was named to the All-Star team, finished third in the NL CY Young voting and ninth in the NL MVP. Wood posted a 3.20 ERA, leading the Cubs to 88 wins and a division title.

Cubs manager Dusty Baker was frivolous with his two stars, as fans voiced concerns about the constant high pitch counts. Prior was averaging 113+ pitches during that 2003 regular season, and the number jumped to 126 in September through the postseason.

Baker’s irresponsibility clearly was at fault and he is the reason for all the anal pitch counts across baseball with young prospects. After that 2003 season, neither half of the “Chicago Heat” did anything except be on the DL and Chicago fans were devastated but blamed it on the curse of the Cubs franchise. Continue reading ‘MLB Hot Stove: Bringing On “New York Heat” as the Yankees Sign Mark Prior’ »