About: Chad Matejicka


    Chad Matejicka


    Sports has always been a huge part of my life. Whether it is any of the four major sports of MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL or collegiate sports like baseball, basketball or football, I am in one way or another always connected to sports. And with a site like Hot Stove New York, I am able to share my opinons with the rest of great sports fans around the country especially with the most passionate ones in New York.

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008
Yankees Rumors & News

In an article published in the New York Post last week, Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner issued a statement that Joba Chamberlain will be a starter in 2009.

And while every Yankees’ fan dream is to see this scenario come true, it is not in the best well being of Chamberlain nor the organization.  Chamberlain clearly has #1 starter stuff and has showed how dominant he can be, but is this role what he is best suited for?  

Last year the Yankees terribly experimented with Chamberlain’s promising arm when they converted him from a starter to a reliever mid-season.  This resulted in Chamberlain experiencing arm stiffness and tendinitis.  The team was forced to convert him back to a reliever after he missed crucial late season games.

Now less than a month after the Yankees season has ended in disappointment, Steinbrenner is already stirring up the pot.  Hank, all of us share your wishes, but do not pressure Joe Girardi or Brian …

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008

MLB World Series Preview: Phillies vs Rays

With many baseball fans expecting to see the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Mets, Dodgers and Angels in the World Series, the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays instead meet in tonight’s opening game of the World Series.

Both have taken different paths to get here, however their paths have been well deserved.  The Phillies are bolstered by an outstanding bullpen led by Brad Lidge who is still perfect in save opportunities this season and an offensive trio of Jimmy Rollins, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard.  The Rays on the other hand were backed by an impressive young staff in Scott Kazmir, Andy Sonnanstine, Matt Garza, and James Shields.

Now with the stage becoming even bigger in the World Series, fundamentals will become the single most important aspects in determining this year’s champion.  Starting pitching, bullpen success, defense, and coaching will be the major factors to separate the Phillies and the Rays.

And with a better starting staff especially in games three and four, a coach in Joe Maddon …

Friday, October 10th, 2008

MLB ALCS Series Preview: Red Sox vs Rays

It is only fitting that the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays meet to determine who will represent the American League in this year’s World Series.  And having already created a growing rivalry between the teams with a great pennant chase and via a brawl which occurred earlier this summer, this series will surely be eventful.  

Both teams finished under .500 on the road and dominant at home, thus making home field a very important aspect and advantage for the Rays.  The Rays also have advantages in that they are fearless and have possibly destiny on their side.  On the flip side, the Red Sox have the experience in postseason, a better offense and the decisive difference maker in Josh Beckett all on their side.  Consequently, the overall edge goes to the Red Sox in what should be a very competitive ALCS.  

Pitching Matchups:  (First four games listed)

Daisuke Matsuzaka vs James Shields

Josh Beckett vs Scott Kazmir

Matt Garza vs Jon Lester

Andy Sonnanstine vs Tim Wakefield

Season Series: …

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

MLB NLCS Series Preview: Dodgers vs Phillies

Both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies come into the NLCS playing some of their best baseball of the year.  The Dodgers come off an impressive sweep of the Chicago Cubs while the Phillies were equally impressive in beating CC Sabathia and the Milwaukee Brewers.  

Like every postseason matchup this series will come down to starting pitching and bullpen effectiveness. And on paper, one would have to say that the Phillies have the advantage in both categories. Additionally, the Phillies also have an advantage in another important but often overlooked aspect of home field where the Phillies tend to play better.  

In examining just about any aspect of this series, the Phillies and the Dodgers are as even as it gets. But I am going to give the edge to the Dodgers due to what Manny Ramirez brings to their lineup and the experience of Joe Torre in the post-season.  

Pitching Matchups (First four games listed):

Derek Lowe vs Cole Hamels

Chad Billingsley vs Brett Myers

Jamie Moyer …

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

MLB Divisional Series Preview: White Sox vs Rays

The Tampa Bay Rays have turned into the feel good story of baseball this year by going from last a year ago to first in 2008.  And not only did the Rays manage to win the division, but they also fought off the Boston Red Sox and New Yankees to do so.  

This has resulted in a Rays team who has gained an edge and confidence as they head into unfamiliar territory this postseason.  While many think that the Rays will be a deer in headlights on the big stage, I feel they will be just the opposite and as loose as can be.  

The Rays will feature great pitching, a scrappy offense, a superb defensive unit, and relievers who simply throw heat.  This formula spells trouble for any opposition.  And while both the Chicago White Sox and Rays play a great deal better at home than they do away, I am giving the edge to the energetic Rays in what should be a wild series.  …

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Having dropped two previous playoff series to the Boston Red Sox both in sweeps, the Anaheim Angels hope they can change their luck against the Red Sox in 2008.

With a solid pitching staff, a very good defense, a great bullpen and an underrated offense, the Angels might just have the formula to pull off the feat this time around. 

And with possibly the best postseason pitcher of all time in Josh Beckett not 100%, winning this series for the Red Sox is going to be awfully difficult.

Pitching Matchups (First 3 games listed):

John Lester vs John Lackey

Daisuke Matsuzaka vs Ervin Santana

Joe Saunders vs Josh Beckett

Season Series: Angels won 8 of 9 games.

Prediction: Angels in 5

MLB Divisional Series Preview: Dodgers vs Cubs

MLB could not ask for a better matchup between two of the most storied franchises in baseball history.

The Chicago Cubs come into the postseason with the best balance of starting pitching, offense, defense and bullpen of all playoff teams.  However, they carry the biggest weight on their shoulders in not having won a World Series in 100 years. 

This pressure in addition to facing a very solid Los Angeles Dodgers team, will make advancing to the NLCS that much more difficult.  However, the Cubs simply have too much depth.  Specifically, their starting pitching will allow them to separate themselves from the Dodgers and advance to the NLCS.

Pitching Matchups (First 3 games listed):

Derek Lowe vs Ryan Dempster

Chad Billingsley vs Carlos Zambrano

Rich Harden vs Hiroki Kuroda

Season Series: Cubs won 5 of 7 games

Prediction: Cubs in 4 games

MLB Divisional Series Preview: Brewers vs Phillies

In what should be the most exciting series of all the divisional matchups, the Philadelphia Phillies will take on the Milwaukee Brewers.

Plenty of offense will be showcased in this series with the likes of Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins. However, in the end starting pitching and bullpens win postseason games and the Phillies simply have more of it.

CC Sabathia is a horse who will pitch again on short rest, but without Ben Sheets who has been shut down for the year, the Brewers simply do not have the starting pitching depth that they will sorely need. Additionally, with a shaky bullpen of Salomon Torres and Eric Gagne, the Brewers will not be able to rely upon either of them to record a big out nor to slow down the Phillies powerful offense.

In the end, the Phillies offense, adequate pitching, and great bullpen led by Brad Lidge who coverted 41 of 41 saves will be too much for the …

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
Yankees Rumors & News

Just like when Babe Ruth opened Yankee Stadium 85 years ago with a homerun, the Yankees provided their fans with a lifetime of memories last Sunday in the “House That Ruth Built”.

Living legends, recently retired players and family members of those deceased gave the Yankee faithful and fans of baseball something that they will never forget.

The Yankees were gritty, energetic, and simply determined to do everything in their power to win this game.

The mystique and aura that has led this storied franchise to 26 world championships was in the air.  And from the start of the game, you just knew that the Yankees were going to win. 

The Yankees played with a sense of urgency and focus that has been missing for years.  An edge that has been the signature motto of this organization.  One which they hope helps them christen the new stadium in the only way the Yankees know; with a world championship.

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

2008 NFC West Preview

In 2008, the up and coming Arizona Cardinals will finally get over the hump and make the playoffs.  With that will also come a power transfer from the Seattle Seahawks to the Cardinals in the division for years to come.  

Note:  Teams listed in predicted order of finish

Arizona Cardinals

After finally finishing at .500 for the first time since 1998, there is finally hope in the desert.  Coach Ken Wisenhunt has the Cardinals playing with confidence and swagger.  

Perhaps the biggest move for the Cardinals this season came when Kurt Warner was named the starting QB.  Warner unlike backup Matt Leinart gives the team toughness and experience.  Yes, Warner is older and prone to fumbling, but he gives the team the intangibles that it lacks with Leinart at the helm.  

Having weapons like WR’s Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald along with RB Edgerrin James, this Cardinal offense is capable of putting up 20 to 30 points every week.  

And with a swarming defense that is very underrated, the Cardinals will surely surprise some teams in 2008. …

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

2008 NFC South Preview

Since the NFC South was first put together five years ago, there has never been one team repeat in back to back years as divisional champ.  

And in 2008, it is just as wide open.  

Note:  Teams listed in predicted order of finish

New Orleans Saints

Having acquired and drafted LB Jonathan Vilma, DT Sedrick Ellis, and TE Jeremy Shockey, the Saints have clearly put themselves as the front runners in the NFC South.  

And barring injuries to any of their play makers like QB Drew Brees, RB Reggie Bush, and WR Marques Colston, the Saints should find themselves back in the playoffs in 2008.   

While all this offense will enable them to beat anyone on any given day, the health and effectiveness of RB Deuce McAllister will determine just how far they can go in the playoffs. 

Predicted Record:  11-5

Playoffs:  Yes

Carolina Panthers

With QB Jake Delhomme healthy again and the additions of WR’s D.J. Hackett and Muhsin Muhammad along with rookie draft pick Jonathan Stewart, the Panthers have …

2008 NFC North Preview

With the departure of Brett Favre to the Jets, the NFC North is as wide open as it has been in years. Any team outside of the Lions has a chance to win the division in what should be a wild 2008 season.
Note: Teams listed in predicted order of finish
Minnesota Vikings
Now with the trade acquisition of DE Jared Allen, the Vikings feature the best defensive line in football. Allen along with DT’s Pat Williams and Kevin Williams will give the Vikings an outstanding blend of both the ability to put pressure on the QB and to stop the run.
The only question will be can the Vikings score? With no real true threat at WR and the inexperienced Tarvaris Jackson at QB, the Vikings will suffer many frustrating possessions this year.
The good news is they have a man child in the backfield in Adrian Peterson who has the ability to carry an offense and win games by himself. While this scenario seems all …

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