Yankees Rumors & News


Friday, March 12th, 2010
Giants Rumors & NewsJets Rumors & News

Baseball season is right around the corner (hey, three weeks is like four days when you’re my age, so twentysomething days is “right around the corner” to me), and after all the snow this winter, I’m ready. But here comes one of those “the old days were better” ramblings – they don’t call me Old Man Freier in my neighborhood for nothing (actually they pretty much just ignore me because I start every sentence with “Back in my day”). I was recently watching part of game five of the 1976 Yankees-Royals LCS that YES always seems to show and an episode of The Bronx Is Burning on MSG (the one about the 1977 LCS, which intersperses real highlights from the series), and it’s safe to say that baseball has changed since then. It may not have been better, but it was different. It’s lost a lot of its toughness and boys-will-be-boys attitude. In the 1976 game, the first pitch thrown by Grant Jackson right after George Brett …

Friday, March 5th, 2010
Devils Rumors & NewsIslanders Rumors & News

The Knicks recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of their first championship, which got me to thinking – and yes, this is what I think about while cracking open my ninth beer of the night: New York-area teams have a seven-decade championship streak on the line this year. For the last seven decades (and eight out of nine) a New York team has played in a championship game when the year ends in a zero. Sometimes they lost, sometimes they won, but they reached the final game or series. Coincidence? Yeah, but so what? Let’s look back anyway.

The year 2000 was a bonanza. The Yankees and Mets squared off in the World Series, the Devils won the Stanley Cup and the Giants made it to the Super Bowl but lost to Baltimore (the game was played in 2001 but it was the 2000 season). In 1990, the Giants beat Buffalo in the Super Bowl (wide right!). The Islanders won the first of four consecutive Stanley Cups in 1980. …

Friday, February 26th, 2010
Devils Rumors & NewsKnicks Rumors & News

Ok, so I’m at Penn Station in the men’s room the other day (and no, I wasn’t “loitering” or “hanging out” or “experimenting” – I was just “freshening up” before my train ride home), and this guy is holding a fancy Victoria’s Secret gift bag with a wrapped present sticking out of it, when he drops it on the floor as he’s zipping up. Now, of course, the floor in there is, shall we say, wet. In fact, it’s sort of like a pond. A pond filled with scum. And other things that you don’t even want to be stepping in, let alone dropping a fancy present in. The guy picks up his bag, gives it a wipe or two with his hand, splashing the run-off on himself now, and then goes on his merry way. Oh, that poor, poor girlfriend or wife. Little does she know the journey that her thoughtful gift has traveled. The only way she could find out, is if that schlemiel boyfriend of hers came home and announced, “Happy birthday, …

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The Not-Quite-Legendary in New York Sports History: Mickey Rivers

Yankees Rumors & News

We all know about the great athletes in New York sports history – Babe Ruth, Tom Seaver, Lawrence Taylor, Joe Namath, Mark Messier, Walt Frazier – and even the busts – Ed Whitson, Mo Vaughn, Roberto Alomar, Stephon Marbury, Scott Gomez. But what about the slightly-to-highly-above-average athlete? The kind-of-great but not all-timer? They may not have been Hall-of-Famers, but they were All-Stars, fan favorites, cogs on a championship team or maybe even just pretty darn good. They’re the little brother that didn’t hog all the attention. But they’re certainly worth talking about and remembering. So when do they get their due? Well, now they will. Here is a series of the not-quite-legendary in New York sports history.

When Mickey Rivers walked up to home plate, he hobbled to the batter’s box looking like an old man shuffling out to the mailbox to retrieve his monthly AARP Magazine. The flakey center fielder came to the Bronx in a trade with the Angels (along with pitcher Ed Figueroa) in exchange for outfielder Bobby Bonds before the 1976 season. He …

Friday, February 19th, 2010
Devils Rumors & NewsIslanders Rumors & News

The first-ever slam dunk competition was held this week during halftime of the ABA All-Star game at McNichols Arena in Denver. Julius Erving of the New York Nets wowed everybody with his running dunk from the foul line. Dr. J bested Denver’s David Thompson, Artis Gilmore of the Kentucky Colonels, and San Antonio’s George Gervin and Larry Kenon. As for the game itself (after some pregame entertainment by top-of-the-chart recording artists Glen Campbell and Charlie Rich), the league eschewed its former format of East vs. West, instead having the first place team at the break taking on a group of ABA All-Stars. The Denver Nuggets, coached by Larry Brown, scored 52 points in the fourth quarter to overtake the All-Star squad by a final score of 144-138. Thompson was named the game’s MVP, scoring 29 points, and Dr. J led the All-Stars with 23 points. In the NBA All-Star game, Dave Bing was named MVP (16 points, four assists) after leading the East to a 123-109 victory …

Friday, January 29th, 2010
Jets Rumors & NewsKnicks Rumors & News

The dream is over. This year’s version of the J-E-T-S Jets, Jets, Jets certainly doesn’t look like “the same old Jets,” though. They’re more like the 1973 Ya Gotta Believe Mets, arriving out of nowhere to come oh-so-close to a championship. They’re a team we’ll look back on with positive feelings and one worth celebrating. They went further than anyone imagined, and have a future that certainly looks bright, with a successful coach and franchise quarterback in place (though Mark Sanchez now needs surgery on one knee and will be rehabbing the other – maybe he really is the reincarnation of Joe Namath). The whole weekend was pretty much a nightmare for New York sports, though: the Rangers were embarrassed by Montreal on Saturday night, 6-0, the Knicks were humiliated by Dallas, 128-78, the Nets lost to Utah, 116-83, the Islanders lost to New Jersey (ok, one local team won, but one of them had to) and, of course, the Jets were knocked out of playoffs.

Unfortunately, I can think …

Thursday, December 24th, 2009
Devils Rumors & NewsGiants Rumors & News

Christmas is all about comebacks and overcoming adversity against all odds. Ok, it’s really nothing about comebacks and overcoming adversity against all odds but is about love, peace on earth, goodwill toward men, opening presents, then drinking all day long and passing out underneath the tree as an ornament falls and pierces one of your eyeballs, sending you screaming down the street bloody, naked and in horrifying pain. Ah, Christmas. One of the brightest, heartwarming stories of the week, though, is Jonathan Bender’s return to the world of basketball after not playing a game in four years. And on top of it all, he’s been productive. The Knicks, too, are on the comeback trail after starting out at 1-9. Bender’s return after a long absence brings to mind other great comebacks. So, without further ado, here’s a random list of notable returns over the decades (and even centuries).

Gordie Howe retired after the 1971 season, then came back in 1973-’74 to play with his sons, Mark and Marty, lasting …

Friday, December 18th, 2009
Devils Rumors & NewsGiants Rumors & News

On Saturday night I was flipping between another Rangers loss and the Christmas classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Of course you can’t help but wonder, “What if George Bailey’s situation happened to me?” What if I were able to see the consequences of never being born? That thought lasted about a minute and a half, because everybody’s life would surely be better. My wife would have been able to marry a more successful, rich, interesting, well-rounded man instead of someone who has nothing but a monkey shooting a slap shot, a couple of empty beer cans and some old Rusty Staub highlights filling up his head. My daughter would have a normal father, one who doesn’t constantly quiz her on the proper French Canadian–accented way of saying the names Guy Lafleur and Gilbert Perrault. And nobody else’s life would be affected one way or the other.

But on that subject, what if, more importantly, James Dolan had never been born? The Isiah Thomas era would never have happened. …

Friday, December 11th, 2009
Devils Rumors & NewsGiants Rumors & News

Here are some of the highlights, lowlights, scandals, trades and car accidents of the past week in the New York sports world.

Nate-Gate: The surging Knicks have won three games in a row, they’re spreading the ball around on offense and playing solid team defense – yes, defense (somewhere Dave DeBusschere is smiling). They’re moving up in the standings, but Nate-Gate is in full bloom, with chants of “We want Nate” raining down from the Garden faithful while Nate Robinson is tethered to the bench. Whenever he doesn’t play, the Knicks win, so the erratic guard may never see action again. Shooting at the wrong basket, too much goofing around and breezily fraternizing with the enemy have done him in. After realizing that he’s getting paid $4 million to watch NBA games a few times a week and is getting front row seats to boot, he’s not complaining, and is settling into his role as the Knicks’ Little Bit o’ Luck guy. He’s starting to make …

Friday, December 4th, 2009
Jets Rumors & NewsKnicks Rumors & News

Daniel Day-Lewis has a new movie coming out that’s a sequel of sorts to There Will Be Blood. It’s based on my experiences as a parent, and is called There Will Be Yelling. In honor of that soon-to-be-released film, we’ll look back at the New York week in sports with an Oscar-like Best Performance slant. This week we saw a record being broken, a coach getting fired, upsets, disappointments, a baseball manager coaching a football player, hot stove rumors galore, a middle linebacker put on season-ending IR, a Yankee legend dying, two Jet wins, no Giants game, a kaleidoscopic, injured quarterback and Meredith Baxter announcing to the world that she’s a lesbian, which pretty much changes my whole world view. I’m going to have to reevaluate everything that’s happened in my life to date. I don’t even know who I am anymore.

Record-Breaking Performance of the Week: The Nets – It’s official, they’ve broken the record for worst start in NBA history. Who knew clearing …

Friday, November 27th, 2009
Devils Rumors & NewsGiants Rumors & News

Thanksgiving is the best of all holidays. There’s football all day long, eating all day long and drinking all day long (actually that sounds like most Sundays during football season). I think there’s something in there about Pilgrims and Indians, too, but I can’t remember what it is. A Chiefs-Patriots game maybe? Did they have muskets and kill turkeys in the old AFL? Or was it Redskins-Cowboys? The Knicks won a game this week, but it was against the Nets so I’m not sure if that really counts (those teams are a combined 3-27 so far this season), the hockey teams all won some and lost some, the Jets were trounced by the hated Patriots, the Giants went 1-1, and the Mets and Yankees started looking at possible free agents and trades, but they all have something to be thankful for during the holiday season. So here we go:

The Knicks are thankful that the Nets are worse than they are.

The Knicks are also thankful for 1970 and 1973 because that may be it for another 30 years or …

Friday, November 13th, 2009
Devils Rumors & NewsGiants Rumors & News

The Yankees win the World Series and as soon as you can say the words “Johnny Damon wants a four-year contract” the rest of the New York–area teams go down the tubes. They went a combined 5-11 this past week. It must be a hangover. Are all the local teams riding on the Yankees’ coattails and going to all of their parties? It’s also possible that many of the area teams just stink. The Knicks and Nets went a combined 0-7 this week, and are 1-16 for the year, for instance. It was only the always-good Devils that skewed the combined record by going 4-0, and they barely count as a local team.

Here’s a day-by-day look at the past seven days.

Friday: The injury-riddled Nets lost to Philly, which kept them winless for the season, and the Devils beat the Islanders in a continuation of the New Jersey–Long Island War of 1801, in which it was so cold and icey out during the Battle of Massapequa that both sides just gave up …

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