Monday, September 29th, 2008

Jets march into the bye week

Jets Rumors & News

Maybe Brett Favre just needed to get out of the green and white uniform.

No one could have predicted how Sunday’s wet contest between the Jets — donned in their old-school N.Y. Titans uniforms — and Cardinals panned out. Favre and the J-E-T-S were coming off a sloppy loss to the Chargers, a game in which the quarterback and receivers not only seemed to be on the wrong page, but entirely different books. Add the fact that Favre was held out of practice for much of the week thanks to a bum ankle, and it seemed the Jets were attempting to climb a mudslide.

Arizona, led by a rejuvenated Kurt Warner and his mighty receiving duo of Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin, seemed poised for the road win. New York appeared to be limping into its bye week, just hoping to claw out a win and move back to .500.

Oh what a difference a Sunday can make… or a quarter. After a sloppy, scoreless opening frame, the Jets scored 34 …

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

You can’t blame Strahan for staying retired

Giants Rumors & News

At least Michael Strahan didn’t drag this thing out, making Giants fans sit on pins and needles.

In the aftermath of the season-ending injury to Pro Bowler Osi Umenyiora, many believed Strahan, the recently retired 36-year-old defensive end, would make his return and once again strap on the pads for Big Blue. Strahan seriously considered the deal for a good 24-hour period, before ultimately deciding he had nothing left to give to the franchise for which he played 15 seasons.

“I have gone back and forth on this because as a player you’ll always want to play,” Strahan told foxsports.com. “You’ll never lose that urge to be out there. But I could only do this if I could commit 100 percent, physically, mentally, emotionally and I can’t do that. I’ve tried to convince myself and my body to give it one more year, but in the end I just don’t think I could turn it on like I need to again.”

Strahan’s decision shouldn’t come as surprise. The guy helped lead …

Tuesday, August 26th, 2008

With Maine back on DL, Niese may get the call

Mets Rumors & News

Can Jon Niese join the Mets’ rotation and become what Daniel Murphy has been for the team’s outfield?

It appears the 21-year-old lefty will have that chance, as Niese will reportedly make his big-league debut on Sept. 2 against the Brewers. With John Maine returning to the DL to rest his sore pitching shoulder — a repreive that is expected to last for at least three weeks — the Mets will again look to their farm system for help as they try to hold off the Fightin’ Phils.

If recent history is any indication, with the emergence of Murphy (batting .339 with 12 RBIs in 22 games), Niese may thrive in the face of his new challenge. The pitcher is 5-1 with a 3.65 ERA in six starts with Triple-A New Orleans.

With a low-90s fastball and a major-league curve and splitter, the 6-foot-3 southpaw may be able to mix up hitters in the short-term, as they adjust to seeing a new pitcher for the first time. Of course, you never …

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Without Umenyiora, Giants can’t repeat

Giants Rumors & News

The fat bellies and big heads of defending champions. The loss of Michael Strahan to retirement. The likelihood of David Tyree catching another pass with his helmet.

The New York Giants were going to have a hard enough time defending their Super Bowl crown as it was. Now Big Blue has lost arguably its best player to a knee injury. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora is gone for the season, and with it, so are the hopes of the Giants repeating.

To win a Super Bowl, a team must be dominant in at least one regard. For the Giants, the pass rush was their only dominant unit last year — and Umenyiora was at the center of it. The 26-year-old had a team-best 13 sacks on a squad that led the league with 53. Take those away, along with Strahan (nine sacks last season), and the sack attack starts to look very average. The Giants also lost Kawika Mitchell (4.5 sacks in 2007) to free agency.

Justin Tuck (10 sacks in …

Monday, August 18th, 2008

No Clowney-ing around: Jets WR out for weeks

Jets Rumors & News

When Brett Favre is not in the picture, one of the more interesting things to watch during the NFL preseason are the feel-good stories of players who seemingly come out of nowhere to make the team.

One such player this preseason has been Jets wide receiver David Clowney, a 2007 fifth-round pick for Green Bay who was quickly cut by the team and ended up on New York’s practice squad for the majority of his rookie campaign. But the Virginia Tech alum and Long Island native looked as if he might be the speedy deep threat Favre and the Jets’ offense needed in 2008 after amassing eight catches for 222 yards and two touchdowns to lead the team through the first two preseason games.

Unfortunately, during that second game against the Redskins, Clowney suffered a collarbone injury and is now expected to miss several weeks, according to Dave Hutchinson of The Newark Star-Ledger. You just hope his recovery is as speedy as his 40 time — 4.37 seconds — and …

Mets Rumors & News

As the Mets’ six-game winning streak came to a halt on Monday, thanks to an all too familiar blowup by the bullpen, Mets fans were reminded just how much they miss Billy Wagner. But with Billy facing yet another setback in his rehab, it remains unknown just how long New York will be without the closer they love to hate.

In the meantime, there’s a pennant race going on, and the Mets’ recent surge isn’t going to cover up the fact that the bullpen needs help — and more than just Luis Ayala. And at this time of year, the franchise will likely have to search internally for solutions.

John Maine, two starts removed from the disabled list, recently said he’d move to the ‘pen if needed. And while that’s very noble of the young starter, Maine pitching the ninth doesn’t make as much sense as Pedro Martinez.

In 13 starts this season, Pedro is averaging a mere 5 1/3 innings per outing, resulting in more work for an awful bullpen, …

Matsui coming back for Yankees

Yankees Rumors & News

Hideki Matsui is expected back for the Yankees as early as Tuesday, when the Bombers open a series with the Blue Jays. Joe Girardi said he expects Godzilla, whose been on the DL with inflammation in his knee since June 27, to play DH for the rest of the season to decrease the risk of reinjuring the outfielder’s balky knee.

Sunday’s offensive explosion aside, the Yankees could surely use Matsui’s left-handed bat, and (ideally) his clutch hitting. But is Matsui’s return too little too late for New York’s playoff hopes?

Contradictory to what the New York Post’s George A. King III suggests, the Yankees season did not die on August 13. Heading into Monday, New York trailed the Red Sox by five games in the wild-card chase and the Twins/White Sox by 4.5 games. The Yankees aren’t dead, just on life support. That’s exactly why they need all hands on deck for the final six weeks of the season. Even Carl Pavano may be getting in the …

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Rays’ Longoria joins Crawford on DL

Yankees Rumors & News

Youth and inexperience haven’t slowed the Tampa Bay Rays. Could injuries to two of their best players?
All-Star third baseman Evan Longoria was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday, joining fellow All-Star Carl Crawford, who was placed on injured reserve just the day before. …

Friday, August 8th, 2008
Jets Rumors & News

There are many reasons Jets fans should be excited about the Brett Favre trade:

1. They no longer have to watch a QB with a Johnny Damon lollipop for an arm. Sorry, Chad. You played hard and were an accurate passer and all, but even at age-38 Brett can put more mustard on the ball than you could in a game of Madden.
2. The Giants might never precede the Jets on SportsCenter this season.
3. We get to see Brady vs. Favre times two.
4. An offense that was originally built around the running game can now add an entirely new dimension to its attack.
5. Countless moments of Brett feeling awkward and uncomfortable in the big city spotlight. Welcome the Big Apple, country boy. You’ve already handled it better than Randy Johnson.

There are more reasons than that, of course. Like Brett giving fans a sense of hope and delivering a vision of playoff dreams …

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008
Mets Rumors & NewsYankees Rumors & News

Manny a Dodger?! Pudge a Yankee?! Griffey on the White Sox?!

It’s hard to remember a July 31 trade deadline as bizarre as 2008. Historically, one or two big deals get done, while the rest of the rumor mill comes to a halt because teams don’t settle for mediocre deals. The team with the star usually wants too many top prospects in return, and the team with the prospects won’t budge.

Of course, that was hardly the case this year, as teams seemed content to settle for weak returns in an effort to dump salary or bad attitudes.

So without further ado, here’s a rundown of the winners and losers of this year’s wheelin’ and dealin’.

WINNERS

Yankees. What a month for The Bronx Bombers. After hosting the All-Star Game, the Yanks get hot and propel themselves back into the race. Then they add a valuable bat and corner outfielder in Xavier Nady, along with a long-coveted lefty reliever in Damaso Marte. Then they make up for the loss of …

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Yankee pitchers on road to recovery

Yankees Rumors & News

Three Yankee pitchers took small, but significant steps on their way back to good health on Tuesday. Phil Hughes (broken rib) and Carl Pavano (reconstructive elbow surgery) made their first rehab starts since their respective injuries, while Chien-Ming Wang had the cast removed from his right foot.

The 22-year-old Hughes allowed two hits and a walk in three shutout innings for Class A Charleston, while Pavano allowed a hit and a walk in two scoreless innings.

Joe Girardi said that Hughes has the best chance of the three recovering pitchers to make an impact for New York this season, though Wang could make a push to be ready in late September and for the playoffs.

A free agent at the end of the season, Pavano would certainly have motivation to return before the year is over, perhaps riding in on his white horse Roger Clemens-style to help boost the Yanks into the postseason and saving a little face after wasting four years and $40 million. But if I’m the …

Saturday, July 26th, 2008
Yankees Rumors & News

According to ESPN’s Buster Olney and Sports Illustrated’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees could acquire left-handed starter Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners in the next day or two. Olney says New York is willing to take on the $13-$14 million for the rest of this season and next season (I’m shocked) in what will largely amount to a salary dump by the lowly M’s. Seattle may want a top prospect from the Yanks, but ultimately it sounds like New York might not have to give up a whole lot to get Washburn.

Washburn would have to waive his no-trade clause, but it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t do so.

Washburn is 4-9 with a 4.75 ERA this season, but has allowed two earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts. This would be another great pick-up for the Yankees, adding the back-of-the-rotation starter they covet to take the place of the overacheiving Sidney Ponson or disappointing Darrell Rasner. No question the veteran Washburn …

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