Archive for April 2009

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Rangers Up 2-0 vs. Caps

Rangers Rumors & News

I’m not sure what’s going on here. I’m a little confused. Are these the same New York Rangers I’ve watched all year? Is that really Wade Redden, the poster boy for nightmarish free agent contracts, and Michal Rozsival looking like a top-notch #1 defensive pair, stopping the high-powered Capitals offense? Is that really Markus Naslund playing with passion and purpose (though committing too many penalties)? Is that the whole team clogging the shooting lanes, blocking shots and playing sound defense? Was that the same feeble power play from the regular season scoring twice in the first game? Is that Scott Gomez stepping up and playing like the playoff veteran he is? Is that Alex Ovechkin being shutout in the first two games? I guess my eyes don’t deceive me.

What’s not surprising is the play of Henrik Lundqvist. He’s been the best player in the series so far, and if the Rangers are going to win he’s going to have to keep it up. He’s the Rangers’ big advantage. The …

Friday, April 17th, 2009

Hot Stove Player of the Week: Andy Pettitte

Yankees Rumors & News

The bigs news this week was, of course, the opening of Citi Field along with the new Yankee Stadium. And that means we’ll have a whole slew of firsts: First hit, first run scored, first home run. In Citi Field, things got off to an ominous start for the Mets when Padre Jody Gerut became the first batter, got the first hit and smashed the first home run all at once. The Mets even heard their first boos as the ball sailed over the fence. David Wright hit the first Mets home run. Mike Pelfrey was the first pitcher in Citi Field to fall off the mound. Ryan Church was the first outfielder to drop a fly ball. The first in-game interviewee was Ralph Kiner. The first in-booth guest was Tom Seaver. The first player to score all the way from first base on a passed ball was Jose Reyes. And the first balk, which let in the game-winning run, was committed by Pedro Feliciano. Somehow losing on a balk …

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

The Tale of Two Backs

Jets Rumors & News

It was the best of times, it was the… uhhh, best of times.  Thomas Jones led the AFC in rushing.  Leon Washington finally made the pro bowl and achieved the respect he deserves.  Both are focal points of the Jets’ game plan.  Both are looking for new contracts.

The best times are going to get ugly.  Or at least a tad personal.

My gut feeling is that only one of these guys is going to get a contract extension and it’s not going to be the guy who gets the tough yards or who carries the ball the most.

Thomas Jones had a great season last year.  Running behind what might be the best offensive line, Jones once again looked like the runner who carried the Bears to the Super Bowl a few years back.  He’s under contract for another two years but has expressed displeasure at the fact that he’s only due $900,000 next season and isn’t showing up to mandatory workouts.  His thinking (or his agent’s) seems to …

Hot Stove 1969 Mets Quiz Answers

Mets Rumors & News

Here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz.

1. The Mets won 100 games during the regular season in 1969.

2. They defeated the Braves, three games to none, in the NL playoffs.

3. Tommie Agee led the team in home runs that season, with 26.

4. The Mets acquired first baseman Donn Clendenon from the Expos at the trade deadline in exchange for Steve Renko, Kevin Collins, Bill Carden and Dave Colon.

5. Ron Taylor led the club in saves, with 13 (Tug McGraw was second, with 12).

6. Cleon Jones batted .340, and Art Shamsky hit an even .300.

7. Donn Clendenon was the World Series MVP.

8. Al Weis led the team in batting in the World Series, with a .455 average.

9. Gary Gentry started game three of the World Series and threw 6.2 shutout innings, as the Mets beat Baltimore, 5-0.

10. Elrod Hendricks hit the first of Tommie Agee’s famous catches, in the fourth inning, with runners on first and third and two outs. Paul Blair hit the second one, in …

Tuesday, April 14th, 2009

Hot Stove 1969 Mets Quiz

Mets Rumors & News

This is the 40th anniversary of the Miracle Mets. See how much you know about baseball’s greatest underdog. The answers will be posted tomorrow.

1. How many games did the 1969 Mets win during the regular season?

2. Who did they beat in the NL playoffs?

3. Who led the team in home runs that season?

4. Which Met regular did the team acquire at the trade deadline that season?

5. Which pitcher led the team in saves that year?

6. Two Mets batted .300 or higher that year. Who were they?

7. Who was the World Series MVP?

8. Who led the team in batting during the World Series?

9. Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman each started two games in the World Series. Who started the other game for the Mets?

10. In game three of the Series, when Tommie Agee made his two famous catches, who hit the fly balls?

Monday, April 13th, 2009

The Mets First Week in Review

Mets Rumors & News

The opening week of the season for the Mets has been a mixed bag, and it shows in their 3-3 record. Their pitching: sometimes good, sometimes bad. Their hitting: sometimes good, sometimes bad. Their fielding: sometimes good, sometimes bad.

The Mets starting rotation is about what you’d expect. Johan Santana has only given up one earned run in his two starts. Mike Pelfrey got rocked in his first inning of work, but then threw well enough for the team to win. Oliver Perez was an absolute disaster, which only means he’ll probably toss a shutout in his second start. John Maine was looking for all the world like his start would also be a disaster (especially after Gary Cohen jinxed him by raving about how good he looked after the first two batters he faced only to see a home run soar out of the park before the announcer could finish his sentence), but he settled in and only let up two runs. And Livan Hernandez was surprisingly …

Friday, April 10th, 2009

This Week in Rangers Hockey (Awards Edition)

Rangers Rumors & News

The Rangers made the playoffs. Barely. That’s four years in a row, though. After 81 games, the one thing we’ve learned about them is that they’re inconsistent. With the season on the line, they can play like they did in Boston or like they did vs. Montreal and Philadelphia. It’s anyone’s guess which team shows up for the post-season. The only consistency they’ve had all season is on their special teams play – consistently good on the penalty kill and consistently bad on the power play. With the regular season just about wrapped up, here are some awards for the year:

The Nick Fotiu Award (for overachieving): Ryan Callahan

The Bill Fairburn Award (for knowing his role and doing his job better than anybody else): Blair Betts

The Esa Tikkanen Award (for annoying the crap out of the opposition): Sean Avery

The Marcel Dionne Award (for winding up a hall-of-fame career with the Rangers and having a decent, nothing-special season): Markus Naslund

The Marek Malik Award (for being the worst defenseman on the …

Cross-Promo: Brian Westbrook chats with Hot Stove Philly

Giants Rumors & News

On Thursday, our sister site Hot Stove Philly had an awesome opportunity to chat with the Eagles’ Brian Westbrook, who is promoting an online program presented by Gatorade called REPLAY.  

HSP’s Jonathan Atwood spoke with the star running back on a variety of topics ranging from his offseason rehab to the possibility of Ocho Cinco heading to Philadelphia, and even touched on what he feels Braylon Edwards could bring to Big Blue.

For the entire interview head on over to Hot Stove Philly.  Nice work, Jon!

Hot Stove Player of the Week: Henrik Lundqvist

Rangers Rumors & News

The Knicks and Nets are officially dead so baseball season has arrived just in time. The Mets’ and Yankees’ starting rotations got off to rocky starts, but there are 159 games left. No need to panic, right? Right? On the ice, the Devils and Rangers have both clinched playoff spots. They’re the only two Eastern Conference teams to qualify for the post-season in each of the last four seasons. It looks like they won’t be facing each other in the first round, though, so we won’t have Martin Brodeur/Sean Avery redux. At least not yet. The prize for this week’s Hot Stove Player of the Week is a trip to the playoffs.


Henrik Lundqvist: The Rangers’ goalie only allowed one goal in each of his team’s games this week. He made one mistake in Boston, which was one too many, but led the team to two crucial wins after that. And he stopped 37 shots last night against the Flyers and saved the game with a handful of outstanding …

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Hot Stove Yankees Catchers Quiz Answers

Yankees Rumors & News

Here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz.

1. Yogi Berra (1951, ’54, ’55), Elston Howard (1963) and Thurman Munson (1976) have all won the MVP.

2. Munson is the only Yankee catcher to win the Rookie of the Year award. He won in 1970.

3. Jake Gibbs caught the most games (311) for the Yanks from 1967 to 1969.

4. Jorge Posada is second on the list of most home runs be a Yankee catcher, with 222.

5. Bill Dickey is second on the list of games played by Yankee catchers, with 1,789.

6. Mike Stanley played for the Yanks (1992-’95, ’97) and Red Sox (1996-’97, ’98-’00) two different times with each team.

7. Pat Collins appeared in 92 games for the 1927 Yankees.

8. Jerry Narron was the starting catcher for the Yankees the day after Thurman Munson tragically died.

9. Elrod Hendricks was the catcher the Yanks received from Baltimore in a 10-player trade in 1976. New York also acquired Ken Holtzman, Doyle Alexander, Grant Jackson and Jimmy Freeman in exchange for Rudy May, Tippy Martinez, …

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Hot Stove Yankees Catchers Quiz

Yankees Rumors & News

See how much you know about all the great (and maybe not-so-great) catchers in Yankees history. The answers will be posted tomorrow.

1. How many Yankee catchers have won the MVP?

2. How many Yankee catchers have won the Rookie of the Year award?

3. In the years between when Elston Howard was a regular and Thurman Munson took over (1967-1969), who caught the most games for the Yanks?

4. Yogi Berra has hit the most career home runs of any Yankee catcher. Who is second?

5. Yogi Berra has played in the most games of any Yankee catcher. Who is second?

6. This catcher played for the Yankees and Red Sox two different times for each team.

7. This catcher caught the most games for the 1927 Yankees.

8. Who was the starting catcher for the Yankees the day after Thurman Munson tragically died?

9. This catcher was traded by Baltimore to New York in a 10-player deal in 1976.

10. This catcher was named to the Sporting News All-Star team in 1980.

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Mets Win Opener

Mets Rumors & News

Opening day is always a time of hope, and with it brings the smell of fresh-cut grass, the promise of spring, 30-degree weather, ice and sleet falling from the sky and the threat of snow. Well, that’s opening day in Cincinnati. Everything went according to plan in the Mets first game of the season, beating the Reds, 2-1. They could have scored more runs, but we’ll gloss over that for now.

The best news of the day was the performance of the bullpen. All the newcomers took their turn on the mound, and all were impressive. Sean Green pitched 1.1 innings, J.J. Putz threw an inning and Francisco Rodriguez closed things out with a smooth ninth. No hits and no runs in 3.1 innings. Perfect. How does that sound? Let’s say it again: The Mets bullpen was perfect.

Johan Santana threw 99 pitches and went 5.2 innings for the win. He only gave up three hits, but walked four, while picking up his first victory of the year. And the bullpen …

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