Archive for March 13th, 2007

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Soler Eclipsed

Mets Rumors & News

And then there were eight. Or six, if you consider John Maine and Oliver Perez locks to make the rotation. Or three, if you consider Aaron Sele, Jorge Sosa, and Philip Humber already out of the running.

In any event, the Mets are parting ways with right-handed Cuban pitcher Alay Soler, releasing him this morning. The 27-year-old was the the ace of the Cuban national team in 2003, and certainly showed some potential last season when he pitched a two-hit shutout against the Arizona Diamondbacks on June 10th. However, he finished the 2006 season in the minors after posting a 2-3 record and a 6.00 ERA in his eight major league starts. Soler’s ERA this spring rose to 8.22 after he allowed two more runs in a 9-6 loss to the Nationals on Monday.

Meanwhile, left hander Jason Vargas looks for another strong outing this afternoon in order to keep himself in the running for that 5th spot in the Mets rotation. Vargas …

It’s Baaaaack

Devils Rumors & NewsIslanders Rumors & News

Jacques Lemaire, Godfather of the NZTWell really it never left. But according to the New York Times, the infamous Neutral Zone Trap has once again reared its ugly head in the “New NHL.” Reporter Matt Higgins’s case study concerns the Buffalo Sabres’ recent three-game losing streak in which they averaged just 1.67 goals per game – down from their league-high 3.86 season average. During the streak, Colorado, Minnesota, and the Devils all successfully employed some form of the trap – a defensive scheme in which a team attempts to clog the neutral zone and shut down a team’s attack before they even reach the opponent’s blue line.

In reality, the new rules in the post-lockout NHL never eliminated the trap, they simply made life more difficult for the defenders in the neutral zone, while granting more freedom to the offensive players. In fact, in the current NHL, nearly every team traps to some extent, or at the very least employs some sort of checking scheme in …

Lee Seeks 2nd Opinion

Knicks Rumors & News

Via Mike Dougherty’s blog, Knicks Knacks:

David Lee was excused from practice this morning so he could get a second opinion on his sore right leg this morning….We don’t have any more news. Lee has missed seven games with the alleged high ankle sprain. He is doing the prudent thing since the injury hasn’t shown any real improvement in the last week.

Stay tuned.

Yankees Rumors & News


Right on schedule, Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima walked toward home plate at 6:45 p.m. Monday.

Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui ran out of his dugout a few seconds later for the arranged photo opportunity.

With more than 30 cameras — still and video — standing in an arc behind home plate, the Japanese players posed with the mound behind them, shook hands and repeatedly bowed to each other as photographers kept shooting.

Start v. Sox Looms Large for Pavano

Yankees Rumors & News

The saga of Yankees free loader Carl Pavano took another twist on Friday when Calamity Carl missed his scheduled start for undisclosed personal reasons. As it turns out, his girlfriend, Gia Allemand, had been hospitalized with a “serious medical condition,” and Pavano was told by the team to take time off to be by her side.

Now back with the team, Pavano is set to take the mound tonight in the first Yankees-Red Sox contest of 2007. While the Yankees are not expected to travel with their full squad to Fort Myers, Pavano should face Boston’s full array of every day players, minus catcher Jason Varitek. It’s only spring training, but Pavano’s performance tonight could have large ramifications going forward. As the Post’s George King states, “a strong outing tonight, even though it’s a spring training game, would go a long way toward rebuilding Pavano’s confidence in himself and the Yankees’ confidence in him.”

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