Archive for March 2008

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Hankenstein Weighs in on A-Rod, Canseco

Yankees Rumors & News

In his spirited defense of A-Rod on Wednesday, [Hank] Steinbrenner told The Record that “if [Sandy] Koufax, [Mickey] Mantle, [Babe] Ruth, [Willie] Mays or [Hank] Aaron were playing today, they all would be suspected of doing something — and of course, they didn’t do it. There was no such thing in their day.

“This is the age of paranoia.”…”Consider the source, that’s No. 1,” Steinbrenner said of [Jose] Canseco. “He wouldn’t have been able to hit the ball out of the infield without steroids.

“And No. 2, if Mantle or Ruth were playing today, with the 550-foot home runs they hit, everybody’d be saying they were on something. They didn’t even lift weights in those days. They played on alcohol and hot dogs.

“There are certain naturals. There are guys who can just do it, and Alex is one of those guys,” Steinbrenner said. “He’s just friggin’ great.”

Source: The Bergen Record

Yankees Rumors & News

On his blog for the New York Times, Yankees beat reporter Tyler Kepner makes a bold prediction that figures to rub a lot of fans the wrong way. While Kepner predicts a “resurgence in ’09 and ’10” for the Bombers, he views the Red Sox as the favorites to win the AL East, and predicts that the Angels will grab the Wild Card. Kepner picks the Mariners to win the AL West, and the Indians to win the AL Central, leaving both the Yankees and the Tigers on the outside looking in.

As much as I delight in this sort of prediction as a Mets fan, I would be remiss if I didn’t call into question Kepner’s sanity. The idea that neither New York or Detroit will appear in the American League postseason is just bonkers. I could see one of those juggernauts falling short, but certainly not both, and if any team is blocking the way it clearly isn’t the Angels. In fact, if the Wild …

Taking a peek at Kiper’s positional rankings

Giants Rumors & News

I won’t often rely on the work of ESPN’s Mel Kiper, but he is still the dean of draft experts.

Kiper yesterday updated his list of the Top 5 players eligible for the draft at each position.

Here is his board at the positions of the most interest to the Giants.

Offensive Tackles
1. Jake Long, Michigan
2. Ryan Clady, Boise State*
3. Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
4. Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh
5. Sam Baker, USC

Inside Linebackers
1. Jerod Mayo, Tennessee*
2. Curtis Lofton, Oklahoma*
3. Dan Connor, Penn State
4. Jonathan Goff, Vanderbilt
5. Philip Wheeler, Georgia Tech

Outside Linebackers
1. Keith Rivers, USC
2. Bruce Davis, UCLA
3. Cliff Avril, Purdue
4. Geno Hayes, Florida State*
5. Erin Henderson, Maryland*

1. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Tennessee State
2. Leodis McKelvin, Troy
3. Aqib Talib, Kansas*
4. Mike Jenkins, South Florida
5. Justin King, Penn St.*

1. Kenny Phillips, Miami*
2. DaJuan Morgan, NC State*
3. Reggie Smith, Oklahoma*
4. Marcus Griffin, Texas
5. Josh Barrett, Arizona State
* denotes underclassman

For a little more on the draft, check out Todd McShay’s breakdown of what he sees as six tiers of talent among likely first- and second-round draft choices.

You would have to …

Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

Jets Must Pass On McFadden

Jets Rumors & News

Arkansas running back Darren McFadden is considered by many, the alpha-male amongst this year’s crop of prospects in April’s upcoming draft. McFadden’s dominance at the collegiate level, along with his awe-inspiring performance at last month’s scouting combine, have left scouts and executive with visions of Adrian Peterson, last season’s NFL Rookie of the Year. Nonetheless, personnel needs of the top five teams selecting, could drop the former Razorback down few slots to the Jets at number six. If such scenario is played out, the fate of head coach Eric Mangini and GM Mike Tannenbaum could be determined. 

Despite displaying their opulence this off-season, Gang Green enters the draft with many questions still unanswered; and while McFadden indeed is a once in a life-time talent, the Jets might be best served not selecting him at number six.

To draft a running back within the first ten selections is a tremendous risk; as the Jets should be well aware of. For every Peterson there is a Blair Thomas or a Ki-Jana Carter to account for. Jets fans should be intimately acquainted with said risks, as …

Canseco: A-Rod Tried to F*** My Wife

Yankees Rumors & News

In July reports surfaced that Jose Canseco was planning to dish some dirt on Alex Rodriguez in Vindicated, his upcoming sequel to his bestselling book Juiced. In December, Canseco dropped further hints about the revelations, indicating that the Mitchell report was “incomplete” without the inclusion of A-Rod.

Well now the cat is out of the bag, as its been revealed that in the book, which is due out Tuesday, Canseco claims to have introduced Rodriguez to “a known supplier of steroids,” and additionally alleges that A-Rod made advances toward his wife Jessica.

“Let’s get clear on one thing,” writes Canseco. “I hate your f***ing guts.”

Given what we already know about Alex’s affinity for infidelity and “the she-male, muscular type,” that A-Rod’s interest was piqued by Jessica Canseco is not implausible. Canseco’s allegations concerning steroid use are significantly more flimsy.

Does any of this matter? I don’t know. Over on Bugs & Cranks, Ed Valentine asks, can we stick a fork in Jose Canseco …

Giants Rumors & News

In a diary entry Tuesday, ‘SBaker’ points out that Yahoo! Sports did not show your defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants much respect in its first set of 2008 pre-season rankings.

Yahoo’s Charles Robinson (who is he, anyway?) has the Giants ranked seventh — with Indianapolis, New England, Dallas, San Diego, Jacksonsville and Cleveland (you freakin’ have to be kidding me) ranked above New York.

Umm, Mr. Robinson, can I please get some of whatever you have been smoking? Are you serious, with Dallas, San Diego, Jacksonville and Cleveland (Cleveland, for chrissakes!) ahead of the Super Bowl champs?

Here is what this yahoo said about the Giants.

Giants fans seem to think last season’s Super Bowl win translates into automatic success in 2008. But the division is still brutal, and some players tend to slack off the year after getting a ring. Don’t be surprised if turmoil returns again with a slow start.

Ahh, Mr. Robinson, what Giants fans have you been talking to? And Turmoil Tiki is not coming back, so forget …

SNY to Get Interactive

Mets Rumors & News

From today’s Daily News

The camera was on Keith Hernandez biting on a sandwich and drinking from a large cup of soda. He better get used to it.

Tuesday, SportsNet New York opened a whole new can of worms with some interactive TV, as the Mets voices took phone calls during the Mets-Braves exhibition game. It was a talk-radio show during a baseball TV broadcast, something SNY said it will continue during the regular season.

Why call in to some talk-radio gasbags when you can chat with the announcers during the game?

That’s what Alex from Queens and Kyle from Brooklyn did during yesterday’s game. Questions ranged from who the Mets’ fifth starter will be to whether Mike Piazza or Barry Bonds could end up at Shea.

Three announcers – Hernandez, Ralph Kiner and Kevin Burkhardt – didn’t look thrilled by all of this. They better …

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008
Mets Rumors & NewsYankees Rumors & News

I find it difficult to take Alex Rodriguez seriously when he gets all weepy about returning to the Yankees. Despite what he’d have you believe, it’s not exactly as if he took a discount from the Bombers when he signed a record 10-year deal that will see him earn over $300 million when all is said and done.

Nevertheless, A-Rod is talking about his contract once again, telling the Daily News that he feared former-agent Scott Boras was leading him him down the same path that saw Rodriguez shun an offer from the Mets in 2000 in favor of the $252 million deal he signed with the Texas Rangers. Said A-Rod:

“I went for the contract when my true desire was to go play for the Mets…So to make the right decision [this time around] just feels really good versus being taken down a road where I’m like, ‘Oh, my God, where am I? Oh, $400 million to play in some place I hate? Great, I’ll blow my f*cking …

Nolan on His Way Out?

Islanders Rumors & News

4-12. No, that’s not a date; that’s the Islanders’ record in their last 16 games. After compiling enough wins to find themselves in 7th place before the All Star Break, the Islanders are currently in a downward spiral destined for a lottery pick (maybe not such a bad thing with Steven Stamkos in this years draft). Currently sitting in 13th place in the Eastern Conference and 26th out of the entire NHL, the Islanders have been looking more and more like a group just waiting for the season to end. But it seems as if only one person is taking the blame: coach Ted Nolan.

Nolan was unjustly exiled from the NHL for close to a decade for supposedly having “extracurricular activities” with a former player’s wife. But when the Islanders came knocking on his door 2 years ago, he was eager to get back behind the bench. Since that day, Nolan has held his own and shown why he was awarded the Jack Adams Trophy his 2nd year with the Sabres. Nolan is …

Hey Omar, What’s Not To Like About Reed?

Mets Rumors & News

With Moises Alou starting the season on the disabled list and the lack of depth in the Mets outfield, the news that the Blue Jays had designated Reed Johnson for assignment seemed like a blessing. Johnson, a speedy outfielder with an above average arm, would be a perfect fit for the thin Mets outfield.

Apparently not…

While teams like the Cubs and Rangers are taking a serious look at Johnson, the Mets are said to only have “mild interest,” and plan to look internally to address their depth in the outfield.

This might be a smokescreen on Omar Minaya’s part. With Alou on the DL, Endy Chavez moves into the starter’s role, and Marlon Anderson will become the 4th outfielder. While this isn’t a terrible set-up temporarily, this probably won’t be the last time Alou visits the DL. Should the injury bug bite the outfield like it did last season, and outfield of Chavez, Anderson, and Angel Pagan isn’t going to win you any games; I don’t care how good your pitching is.

Acquiring a …

At Last! Donnie Walsh Will Save the Knicks!

Knicks Rumors & News

It seems almost impossible to believe. In fact, I’m numb. According to a report, Isiah Thomas’ reign of incompetence is at its end.

A source tells ESPN that Indiana Pacers chief executive Donnie Walsh will join the Knicks at the end of the season, and is expected to sign a three-year, $15 million contract to oversee basketball operations.

What this means for Zeke is unknown at this point. It’s not impossible that Dolan will retain Isiah in some capacity out of misplaced loyalty, however its extremely unlikely that Thomas would remain as coach.

Though the Pacers have fallen on tough times, the team reached the Eastern Conference finals six times under Walsh’s stewardship and won the Central Division four times. They appeared in the NBA Finals in 2000 and held the league’s best record in 2004 until the Palace Brawl started the franchise on its downward spiral.

Walsh is one of the most respected minds in basketball, and his arrival at MSG signals a return to sanity if nothing …

Monday, March 24th, 2008

Walsh Leaving the Pacers | Headed To Garden?

Knicks Rumors & News

Despite reports to the contrary, Indiana Pacers chief executive Donnie Walsh has announced that he will leave the organization following the season. The decision comes following an 8-hour meeting on Friday with Pacers owners Herbert and Melvin Simon.

It was reported last week that Walsh has had discussions with Madison Square Garden owner James Dolan about possibly taking over control of the Knicks at the end of the season.

More, via ESPN:

“As far as what I’m going to do, I’m not sure,” the 67-year-old Walsh said at a news conference. “As a result, I’m not going to comment on it until I have a better idea.”

Reached Monday, Knicks spokesman Jonathan Supranowitz said the Knicks would not comment on Walsh’s departure. Walsh’s agent, Steve Kaufman, said he would not comment on his client’s employment status until after the NBA season.

In New York, Thomas wouldn’t comment on speculation that Walsh could replace him, but praised his former boss with the Pacers.

There are two major obstacles that must be cleared befre the …

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