Archive for November 2007


Friday, November 30th, 2007
Yankees Rumors & News

So, the New York Yankees have reportedly decided to include prized right-hander Phil Hughes in a deal for Johan Santana.

From the New York Daily News:

After two days of internal discussions among front-office executives, the Yankees swallowed hard Friday and decided to offer Phil Hughes to the Twins as part of the trade package they hope will land them Johan Santana.

“We’re going for it,” was the way one club source put it.

Based on their talks with Twins GM Bill Smith, the Yankees knew they couldn’t make a deal for Santana without including Hughes, their 21-year-old righthander widely regarded as a potential staff ace.

Both the Yankees and Red Sox had been resisting offering their top prospects for Santana. For Boston, that means pitcher Clay Buchholz and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury. For the Yankees, that means Hughes and Joba Chamberlain.

It’s no surprise to me if it is indeed the Yankees who crack and give Twins GM Bill Smith what he wants. The Red Sox already have Josh …

Mets Rumors & News

According to WFAN, the Mets have traded Lastings Milledge to the Washington Nationals for catcher Brian Schneider and outfielder Ryan Church.

The news comes as a shock to a lot of Mets fans, who had widely hoped that Milledge would be included in a package for a top-flight starter such as Oakland’s Dan Haren or Baltimore’s Eric Bedard. At the very least fans assumed Milledge could be included in a package to bring back innings-eating workhorse Joe Blanton.

As it turns out, those hopes were delusional. The Mets reportedly shopped Milledge around extensively and found zero interest in the player around the league. Given everything that’s happened to Lastings during his first few seasons in the majors, it’s not altogether surprising that his stock has fallen, but it is somewhat amazing just how far and how quickly it fell.

The Mets, who evidently never had any intention of going into spring training with Johnny Estrada on the roster, have plugged their hole at catcher and added some …

Knicks Rumors & News

As wretched as it was to watch this game as a fan last night, I feel even worse for the beat writers who had to sit through it without the benefit of DVR and a Rangers-Islanders game up the dial, and then had to write about it. Luckily for me, I can just highlight the “best of” this morning’s headlines.

Via ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan:

It was scarcely more than a week ago that I cautioned never to declare anything a new low for the New York Knicks, because one can always be certain that no matter how bad things may look at the moment, there’s always the distinct possibility no, make that the distinct certainty — that something even more horrific is in store.

But dare we say the same thing again after watching the Knicks embarrass themselves anew Thursday night in a 104-59 loss to the Boston Celtics?…Things couldn’t get worse than that, could they? The answer, of course, is yes, they could. And how could they possibly outdo the …

Giants must focus on Hester Sunday

Giants Rumors & News

There are really two keys to the Giants game with Chicago on Sunday. Convince Eli Manning to throw the ball to the guys in white instead of black, and find a way to contain return man extraordinaire Devin Hester.

Let’s focus on Hester for now. The Giants have been doing quite a bit of that themselves this week.

Hester is most likely the most dangerous return man the game has ever seen. Twelve touchdowns in just 27 professional games is proof of that. Having to face him is enough to give a special teams coach nightmares, and the Giants Tom Quinn isn’t any different.

In a Q&A with Inside Football, Quinn as much as admitted that planning for Hester is costing him sleep. Here’s a snippet:

Q: How are you sleeping these days?

A: Wonderful. You don’t sleep much.

Q: Dreaming of Hester?

A: Yes.

Q: What is your take on how you stop him?

A: You have to be responsible where you place the ball. You have to be very disciplined. You …

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

One-Month Anniversary on the Bench for Chad

Jets Rumors & News

Sunday’s game against the win-less Dolphins marks the one-month anniversary of Chad Pennington’s official benching.

Was it really that long ago?

It seems like just yesterday he was taking snaps and floating pinpoint passes to open receivers. It seems like not long ago he was the revitalized Chad Pennington who took this team to a 10-6 record last year and an unpredictable playoff appearance.

It was a month ago when we last saw #10 run out of the tunnel as the starting QB for the New York Jets. Today, he spends his weeks preparing as the backup. A role he is very unfamiliar with and of course, not comfortable with.

The reality is, Kellen Clemens hasn’t exactly lit the NFL on fire. And other than the win against the Steelers, which gives him the same number of wins as Pennington this season, the QB change hasn’t really made a big difference.

Sure, you see signs of a more mobile and younger player. You see glimpses of hope when the ball is rifled to a receiver. But his late-game interception last …

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007
Mets Rumors & NewsYankees Rumors & News

Hold those pinstripes. Despite what the AP might have you believe, the Yankees aren’t the only team engaged in discussions regarding Twins ace Johan Santana. According to ESPN Radio’s Andrew Marchand, the Mets, somewhat more quietly, have made their own overtures to Minnesota GM Bill Smith. Citing a major league executive with knowledge of the discussions, Marchand reports that the Mets should not be counted out, despite that teams such as the Yankees and Red Sox would be able to put together a more enticing package of prospects.

There are two factors working in the Mets’ favor here. First off, Omar and the Mets are desperate. After a late season collapse and a quiet beginning to the offseason, the GM seems determined to add a big starter to the top of the team’s rotation – at any cost. The Yankees and Sox, meanwhile, are significantly less enthused about gutting their suddenly rich farm systems. Via MetsBlog.com:

…during a recent appearance on ESPN …

Not So Healthy Rangers Lose Avery

Rangers Rumors & News

Just when it seems like the Rangers were healthy again they find out that Sean Avery is going to require surgery for his wrist according to Steve Zipay’s Newsday Blog.

Avery did not skate yesterday in practice and instead took the day off to have a CAT scan on the wrist, but it was just supposed to be precautionary.  He skated today without shooting, but after results of the scan came in it was determined he has been playing with a fractured wrist. 
There is no word on exactly how long he’ll be out.  “Hopefully, it’ll only be a week or two,” he told Zipay. “But I don’t live in a reality world.”
This is a big hit to the Rangers as they seem lost without him.  Barely a .500 team last season before his arrival they went 17-6-6 after his February 5 trade.  This season they are 9-4-1 with him and 4-5-1 without him.
Marcel Hossa who was expected to be a healthy scratch due to the return of Ryan Callahan …

Yankees and Twins Discuss Santana

Yankees Rumors & News

As the Red Sox rode their ace starter all the way to a World Series victory the Yankees were at home wondering what happened to their “ace” against Cleveland.

Josh Beckett led the Red Sox through the playoffs going 4-0 while allowing 2 or fewer runs each time out. In contrast Chien-Ming Wang pitched 5.2 innings and allowed 12 runs in two starts.

It may not be fair to apply the ace label on Wang, but in reality he is the front-end of the Yankees rotation. Combine that with the fact that the Yankees are going to rely on three pitchers under the age of 25 to get the bulk of their innings next season and even Hank Steinbrenner admits next season is a transition year.

But we all know that he can’t be serious. For the Yankees it has always been about the World Series and never about rebuilding. Now facing the possibility that things may get even worse if Andy Pettitte decides to retire next season the …

Healthy Rangers take on Islanders

Rangers Rumors & News

The Rangers return to full health this Thursday night as they attempt to beat the Islanders for this first time in four attempts this season.
Last Friday night Martin Straka made his return to the ice after taking a slap shot to his wrist from Zdeno Chara over a month ago.  Thursday Ryan Callahan should return to the lineup and Marek Malik will be eligible to play. 
“It was a pretty hard practice today and I felt pretty good out there,” Callahan told Newsday.  “I think Thursday’s pretty realistic.”
If Callahan does return it appears he will skate with Petr Prucha and Chris Drury, but Malik’s return is not immediately certain.  While he has recovered from bruised ribs and a bad back the Rangers defense has been playing so well lately there is no obvious choice of who to scratch. 
“The way we’re clicking right now, he might have to wait a game or two and see if anything evolves,” Head Coach Tom Renney told Newsday.
When he does eventually get back …

Yankees Rumors & News

The names of those who are on the 2008 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot have been released, which means it is time for me to once again stump for the election of Rich “Goose” Gossage.

With Tim Raines and David Justice, neither of whom belongs in the Hall, being the biggest new names on this year’s ballot, this could finally be the year for Gossage, Jim Rice and Bert Blyleven.

I still can’t figure out why Hall of Fame voters have overlooked Gossage for so long. The “Goose” was the most fearsome, dominant reliever of his generation, and a key part of the terrific New York Yankee teams of the late ’70s and early ’80s.

With the elections of Dennis Eckersley in 2004 and Bruce Sutter in 2006, the bias that had long worked against closers seems to finally be melting away.

I can’t comprehend, though, how Sutter got elected while Gossage is still in the bullpen waiting for the Hall of Fame phone to ring.

Sutter, in a 12-year career, compiled 300 saves and …

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007
Jets Rumors & News

Via Mark Cannizzaro’s column in the NY Post, when asked if he thought the Patriots would go 16-0, Laveranues Coles’ response? “I hope so.” 

My first reaction was, “How dare he?” And that’s still my reaction. For many reasons, but none more important than one of their remaining games is against his own team.

Also from Cannizzaro’s column:

“They have a chance to do something a lot of people have never done,” Coles said. “I wish them the best. They have a great team and they’ve weathered all the criticism. I just have a lot of respect for them as a team. I’ve never been the type of person to hate on anybody.

“I want good people to do good things and it seems like they have an excellent team. Why not want them to do well?

“Looking at their record and numbers, you can’t help but respect them and appreciate what they’ve done.”

Hello Laveranues! They are the arch enemy. The New England Patriots are to the Jets what the Joker is to Batman, Tweety to Sylvester, the …

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Giants pathetic in rout by Vikings

Giants Rumors & News

I will get to the traditional ‘Kudos & Wet Willies’ in a minute. Sunday’s pathetic 41-17 loss to the Minnesota Vikings demands some further reaction first, however.

Bluntly, if you’re a New York Giants fan it is time to begin worrying. Yes, the Giants are still 7-4 and figure to find a way to stagger into the playoffs.

With last year’s second-half collapse still fresh, however, you can’t like what you are seeing. The Giants have lost two of three, and particularly on offense have played four bad football games in a row.

Eli Manning was atrocious Sunday, probably as bad as I have ever seen him play. Of course, he had no help. He had receivers running every which way, except seemingly where they should have. He had an offensive line that, for the first time this season, turned into a sieve.

Defensively, the Giants applied some pressure to Tarvaris Jackson. When Jackson had time, though, he again exposed the Giants secondaries as beatable.

The Giants have five games …

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