The local coaches were in the spotlight this week. Tom Renney was sent packing, with his opposite, John Tortarella, coming in to replace him. Joe Girardi is already on the hot seat before the season even starts. He took a page out of Tom Coughlin’s book by taking the Yankees to a pool hall to distract them from what a poor job he did last year. And Jerry Manuel is running his first spring training with the Mets, and is doing it his way, which means unconventionally and wackily. This week’s prize for the Hot Stove Player of the Week: A copy of Tom Renney’s upcoming book How I Made Petr Prucha a Healthy Scratch All Season Because of a $10 Bet With Perry Pearn.
Devin Harris: The Nets point guard made the shot of the year, when he threw in a buzzer beater at half court to beat Philadelphia on Monday (and wasn’t he fouled on his first attempt anyway?). He also had 39 points and eight assists in that …
Here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz.
1. Rod Gilbert was the first Ranger to have his number retired, on October 14, 1979.
2. John Davidson wore 00 in 1978.
3. Tom Laidlaw (1981-87) was the last player to wear #2 before Brian Leetch.
4. Glen Sather wore #6 when he played for the Rangers from 1971-73.
5. The last Ranger to wear #9 was Pavel Bure in 2002-03.
6. The highest number a Ranger has worn besides #99 is Petr Nedved’s #93.
7. Brandon Dubinsky wore #54 before switching to #17.
8. Ken Hodge wore #88 in 1977-78.
9. Ron Duguay wore #10 (1978-83) and #44 (1987-88) for the Rangers.
10. Besides #77, Phil Esposito briefly wore #12 when he first came to the Rangers.
Laveranues Coles has been the Grumpy Smurf on offense for awhile now. He wasn’t happy with Mangini’s training camps, he hates having to catch balls that are thrown too hard, and he missed his good buddy Chad Pennington. I think his sensitive hands miss Chad’s lobbed passes more than anything but hey that’s just me. After meeting with Rex Ryan this week, they’ve agreed to part ways amicably. Coles has been released and the Jets no longer owe him the 7 million bucks he was guaranteed (if I understand it correctly we’re now going to take a 1 million dollar hit). Halleluja.
This off season is off the hook. The list of recent non-Jets reads as such: Brett Favre, Mike Nugent, Chris Baker, Brandon Moore, David Barrett, Eric Barton (probably anyway), David Bowens, and now Grumpy Smurf. We’re clearing cap space faster than Bill Belichik can grab our unwanted players. You gotta know Chris Baker’s been targeted by the Pats …
In honor of Harry Howell’s and Andy Bathgate’s numbers being retired, here’s a quiz devoted to Rangers numerology. The answers will be posted tomorrow.
1. Who was the first Ranger to have his number retired?
2. Who is the only Ranger to have worn 00?
3. Who was the last player to wear #2 before Brian Leetch?
4. What number did Glen Sather wear when he played for the Rangers?
5. Who is the last Ranger to wear #9?
6. Besides Wayne Gretzky’s #99, what is the highest number a Ranger has ever worn?
7. What number did Brandon Dubinsky wear before he changed to #17?
8. Besides Eric Lindros, who else wore #88?
9. What two numbers did Ron Duguay wear for the Rangers?
10. What other number did Phil Esposito wear with the Rangers besides #77?
The Tom Renney era is over. The Rangers coach was given the ax today (along with assistant Perry Pearn). Out of all the people responsible for the disaster that the 2008-09 Blueshirts have become, Renney is probably the least culpable. I’d put James Dolan (does even know he owns the team?), Glen Sather and the players all ahead of the now-former coach on the who’s-to-blame list.
Renney brought respectability back to the Rangers after they missed the playoffs for seven straight seasons. In his three full seasons as coach, Renney guided the team to the postseason all three years. Sather blundered his way through free agency the last few years, with the regrettable signings of Scott Gomez, Chris Drury and Wade Redden, not to mention smaller mistakes like Patrick Rissmiller (remember him?). The team president is the one who saddled Renney with the poorly constructed squad that doesn’t have enough players that can score or enough defensive-style players to play a defensive-style game.
Renney surely has made mistakes, and is …
Teams with four games: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Utah
Beno Udrih(Kings)- Udrih has scored 18 points in three straight games while averaging 5.6 assists and a steal per game in that span. He is shooting 47% from the field and and 84% from the foul line this season. The former first round pick is playing a season high 33 minutes this month.
Kyle Waver (Thunder)- Weaver has started 10 straight games and scored a season high 19 points against the Warriors last Saturday. Over his past three games he is averaging four rebounds, three assists and a three. He has played at least 30 minutes in seven of his past nine games.
Honorable mention: Courtney Lee (Magic)
Luke Walton (Lakers)- Walton tied a season high with 14 points against the Hornets last Friday. Over his past three games he is averaging 5.6 rebounds, five assists and 1.3 threes. He has been in the …
Is there anything new you can say about this team? Let’s recap the season: The first month they shot into first place by working hard, controlling the puck, forechecked aggressively and had great goaltending. In phase two of the season, their total game slipped, but Henrik Lundqvist was there to cover up their mistakes. They were still winning games, but all the warning signs were there. And now they’ve just completely fallen apart. They can’t score, their defensive breakdowns are numerous and they don’t play with any heart or passion. If they fall behind, they give up. And they’re sinking like a stone in the standings. Playoffs? Who are we kidding?
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s give a tip of the hat to Andy Bathgate and Harry Howell. The two Hall of Famers deserve to have their numbers retired (somehow I doubt we’ll be honoring Scott Gomez or Chris Drury like this some day). The Rangers are doing the right thing with all these recent ceremonies honoring the greats of their franchise, but what …
This week we watched Alex Rodriguez come up with another tall tale – I can’t wait to hear what he makes up next week. He’s also one of a long line of Yankees who throw their family members under the bus when concocting their steroids defense. Roger Clemens implicated his wife, Andy Pettitte dragged his father into his story and now A-Roid has his cousin along for the ride. This week’s prize for the Hot Stove Player of the Week: You get to borrow a Yankee family member for a day to take the blame for something bad that you did.
Nate Robinson: The little guy is the first two-time Hot Stove Player of the Week, though he didn’t have much competition this time around. He won the Slam Dunk contest last weekend, beating out Dwight “Superman” Howard, and even dunked over Biff on the Late Show With David Letterman last night. And Robinson led the Knicks to a rare win over an elite team when he poured …
When the New Orleans Hornets C Tyson Chandler failed his physical it was a blessing in disguise for the New York Knicks. Chandler was supposed to be traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder forwards Joe Smith, Chris Wilcox and the rights to DeVon Hardin. With that deal rescinded the Knicks acquired the 26-year-old Wilcox for F Malik Rose and cash. The former Terp brings immediate depth to a small front line and runs the pick-and-roll well. His $6.75 million dollar contract expires at the end of the year. Rose was buried on the Knick bench and his contract also exprires at the end of season.
Wilcox was selected eighth by the Los Angeles Clippers during the 2002 NBA Draft. The Raleigh native came out in his second year and averaged 12 points and seven rebounds as a sophomore. He was a key player in guiding Maryland to their first NCAA national title that season. Even though his averages were not overwhelming NBA scouts were impressed with his athleticism, toughness and intangibles for a big man.
During the 2005-06 season he was traded to …
With the winter season coming to an end and pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training, baseball fans can now begin to smell the green grass of America’s greatest pastime.
And with that said, it is only appropriate to analyze the free agency moves of this past off-season. Moves that may push teams into the playoffs, to a World Series title, or completely back fire overall.
So without further adu, here is my top 20 free agent signings of the past off-season in no particular order:
Milton Bradley, Chicago Cubs – Coming off the best year of his career, the often injured and troubled OF signed with the Chicago Cubs in what was an interesting move to say the least. The always intense Bradley will either be a perfect marriage for the equally excitable Lou Piniella or one who finds himself in the dog house the entire season. The 30-year old OF if healthy will provide the Cubs with a great deal of flexibility as he could play all three OF positions. …
Perhaps the biggest move the Knicks made today was a transaction they didn’t make. With eyes around the league fixed squarely on cap space for the free agent class of 2010, Knicks President Donnie Walsh reportedly passed on an offer from the Sacramento Kings that would have rid the roster of Jared Jeffries and the team’s $6.8 million obligation to him for the 2010/11 season.
The deal would have come at the expense of the NBA’s 2006 and 2009 Slam Dunk Champion, Nate Robinson, himself a restricted free agent at the end of the season. While there is little chance that the team can afford to resign both Nate and fellow restricted free agent David Lee this offseason while preserving their chances of landing one-or-two marquee players in the summer of 2010, trading Nate now for little more than salary cap space would have been a clear signal to the fan base that the team is not serious about making a playoff push this year.
Instead, Walsh …
Here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz.
1. The New York baseball team featured in Bang the Drum Slowly is the New York Mammoths.
2. In an episode of Seinfeld, when informed that his son was dead, the first thing that Frank Costanza said to George Steinbrenner was, “What the hell did you trade Jay Buhner for?!”
3. The 1986 Mets recorded the classic song “Let’s Get Metsmerized.”
4. Babe Ruth played himself in Pride of the Yankees.
5. Michael Ontkean, who played Ned Braden in Slap Shot, played for two New York Rangers farm clubs, after starring for the University of New Hampshire hockey team.
6. Marv Albert once appeared on Everybody Loves Raymond.
7. Besides Seinfeld, Keith Hernandez has appeared in an episode of Law & Order, in 1994.
8. Yo La Tengo took their name from an incident in the 1962 Mets season, when center fielder Richie Ashburn and shortstop Elio Chacon collided after going after a fly ball. Chacon did not speak English so Ashburn learned to say yo la …