For the third time in Citi Field’s six-year history, the Mets have altered their ballpark’s dimensions. This time a good chunk of the right field wall was brought in an average of 10 feet.While moving in the fences would seem counterproductiv…
If there’s ever a time for a team to struggle, it’s early in the season, regardless of sport. You have the entire year to analyze your roster, assess where your problems lie and make the appropriate changes. Simple enough.
For the sake of every St. John’s fan, let’s hope the Red Storm are, for the most part, over their early season growing pains as they begin to navigate a tough stretch of games this coming week.
Those masters of frugality, the New York Mets, surprised the baseball world by becoming the first Major League Baseball team to sign a name free agent as they inked veteran outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a two-year, $21 million contract last week.
Normally this kind of signing spells trouble. Cuddyer will be 36 years old when the 2015 season begins and he missed most of 2014 because of a combination of shoulder and hamstring injuries. He is also a defensive liability.
The 2014-15 NBA season is only two weeks old, so it’s obviously impossible to forecast any long-term trends but our local NBA teams appear to be serious works-in- progress.
My gut feeling is that the Knicks and Nets will be battling each other for the eighth and final playoff spot in the NBA Eastern Division. Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if both teams wind up on the outside looking in on the postseason come mid-April.
The NYC Marathon has always had a paradoxical quality. It’s the world’s largest and most prestigious road race (yes, I know that some folks in Boston and Chicago will disagree with the latter) and yet there is little hoopla in the mainstream sports community in the days leading up to it. You rarely hear anything about it on WFAN or ESPN New York and even the coverage in the local dailies is scant at best.
One reason is that Americans rarely win either the men’s or women’s race. Meb Keflezighi, who was born in Eritrea but emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 12 with his family, won the race in 2009. You would have to go back 27 years before that for your last American winner, Alberto Salazar.
Keeping up a tradition that dates back to when they hired Casey Stengel as their first manager roughly 53 years ago, the Mets have once again picked up another Yankees discard, signing Kevin Long to be their next hitting coach after he was dismissed by the Bombers from that very same position two weeks ago.
This doesn’t mean the Mets are making a mistake. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, who made the decision to part ways with Long, basically admitted that he is a fine hitting coach but someone has to be a sacrificial lamb for the Yankees’ missing the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Jets general manager John Idzik must have felt the pressure of having a 1-6 team combined with the fact that he was doing business on the cheap by keeping the player personnel payroll a whopping $20 million below the NFL salary cap. Idzik used some of that payroll reserve to acquire talented wide receiver Percy Harvin from his old employer, the Seattle Seahawks, for what appears to be a bargain price: namely the mysterious conditional draft pick.
The defending Super Bowl champions have a surplus of talent, particularly at the wide receiver position. It would be nice to think that they were being altruistic by helping out Idzik and giving Harvin a chance to get more work instead of languishing on the Seahawks bench. The reality is that Harvin will never win an award from the NFL for congeniality as he has been known to get into altercations with teammates. In addition, he is injury-prone. However, Idzik obviously concurs with that old childhood axiom that beggars can’t be choosers.
You have to give Jets quarterback Geno Smith credit for maintaining an upbeat attitude at his press conference following the team’s 31-17 loss to the Denver Broncos last Sunday, which marked their fifth straight defeat. “Every day that I get up healthy and get a chance to play is a blessing!” Smith said. He added that the travails of the previous week, when the media understandably made a big deal out of him missing a team meeting in San Diego, which became further magnified when the Jets were humiliated 31-0 by the Chargers, did not affect his mood.
Smith’s body language told a different story as he winced when I asked him about being a punchline on “Saturday Night Live.” Colin Jost, a co-anchor on the Weekend Update segment, stated “On Friday embattled Jets QB Geno Smith celebrated his 24th birthday. Sadly, when Smith blew out the candles his birthday wish was intercepted and run back for a touchdown!” It’s safe to say that’s not how Geno wants to become a pop culture icon.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell must feel like a quarterback who is about to be sacked ever since the 2014 season began. It seems as if everyone is calling on him to resign because of the unfortunate domestic violence incidents involving Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, C.J. Spillman, Greg Hardy and others.
ESPN talking head Bill Simmons went as far as labeling Goodell a liar and dared his bosses to suspend him. They complied by taking him off the air for three weeks.