Giants Rumors & News


Friday, May 14th, 2010
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We’ll start off this week with a tribute to catchers. Francisco Cervelli, Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco all had a memorable couple of games last weekend. New York has had many legends behind the plate, such as Bill Dickey, Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, Thurman Munson, Jerry Grote, Gary Carter and Mike Piazza, and we’ve had our fare share of backups who did something special, too – Todd Pratt instantly comes to mind. But those three present-day local backstops are cut more from the cloth of the likes of Butch Wynegar, John Stearns or Jake Gibbs. Barajas’ and Blanco’s back-to-back game-winning home runs made major league history, as it was the first time catching teammates accomplished that feat. In fact, we haven’t seen offensive heroics like that from a catcher since Jake Taylor surprised the Yankees by beating out a bunt single, which allowed Willie Hayes Mays to score all the way from second to win the AL East title back in the late ’80s (little-known fact: Barajas’ …

Friday, April 30th, 2010
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The Yankees went to the White House to mingle with the leader of the free world on Monday, which is one of the perks of winning the World Series. Mainly flying under the radar is the little-known fact that every team that makes the playoffs gets to meet a president (not the president, mind you). The World Series−losing Phillies will shake hands with the president from 24 next week. The AL Championship−losing Angels met with former fictional president Martin Sheen a few days ago. The NL Championship−losing Dodgers are going to visit the grave of Peter Sellers, who portrayed the president in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. And the other four 2009 playoff teams will all be taking a trip to Mount Rushmore. The teams that didn’t qualify for the postseason don’t get a meeting with a president, but instead they are introduced to a VIP of one stripe or another according to their place in the standings. Here’s …

Friday, April 23rd, 2010
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The first round of the NFL draft was held last night, and the local teams’ picks were somewhat surprising, with the Giants selecting defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul and the Jets nabbing cornerback Kyle Wilson. Hopefully neither will be a bust, but Pierre-Paul is the riskier pick. Ryan Leaf is probably considered the all-time draft bust, and Big Blue and Gang Green have come up with a few of their own: Rocky Thompson, Cedric Jones, Ron Dayne, Johnny “Lam” Jones – and is it time to put Vernon Gholston on this list? Here are a few other little-known draft snafus throughout the years; they’re not necessarily busts as much as misguided thinking: One GM drafted his five-year-old son as a birthday present for him; a GM in the 1990s drafted Heather Locklear because he was a huge Melrose Place fan and was hoping she would show up at training camp so he could meet her; an AFC GM back in the mid-’70s chose Anson Williams in the first …

Thursday, April 1st, 2010
Giants 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.

Mark Bavaro was tough. He was probably the toughest player in the NFL during his era. He played through a broken jaw for six weeks (while sipping food through a straw), he played through broken toes, he played through sprained ankles and he would have played headless, legless or armless if the opportunity arose. He was that tough. His …

Friday, March 12th, 2010
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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, February 12th, 2010
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Super Bowl Sunday combines everything that’s great about our country: Drinking, eating 15 pounds of Buffalo wings, gambling and British classic rock. Why, oh why is this day not a national holiday? Here in New York, did we care who won? Well, if you had a wager on the game you did. Or did one of those squares things at work. So even if you don’t have a true rooting interest, it’s still hard to watch the game in a nice, relaxing manner when you’re yelling at the TV for the Colts to get a safety so they could end up with a score that ends in 5. The halftime show is always fun. The Who (or what’s left of them) rocked as only senior citizens can. Let’s give them credit, though, when I’m their age I’ll be lucky if can eat solid food and remember where I live. But the band is getting too rickety to smash their own equipment, so they have roadies do that …

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010
Giants 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.

Giants linebacker Brad Van Pelt was the bridge between the Alex Webster/Norm Snead/Ron Johnson era and the Lawrence Taylor/Phil Simms/Bill Parcells years. He played for five different coaches (Webster, Bill Arnsparger, John McVay, Ray Perkins, Parcells) and in four home stadiums (Yankee Stadium, the Yale Bowl, Shea Stadium, Giants Stadium). And he was a Giant through and through. He …

Friday, February 5th, 2010
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We sports fans are a dramatic bunch when it comes to our teams – everything is life and death – but in real life we shrug sadness and tragedy off like it’s nothing. “My Uncle Maury died? What are ya gonna do? He had a good run. Can you pass the ketchup?” But if the team we root for goes into a slump or, God forbid, gets knocked out of the playoffs, we’re screaming, tears are falling like Niagara Falls and we’re pulling what’s left of our hair out. Think back to the 1994 Stanley Cup and tears of joy start falling. Think of the Wilpons or James Dolan owning your team, and tears of sadness reign down. And if you’re like me and Rip Torn, you’ll get so drunk you’ll mistakenly take a local bank for your house, break in and pass out as I did when the 2007 baseball season ended and the Mets pulled off the collapse hear round the world. I was in such bad shape that I was nearly fired …

Friday, January 8th, 2010
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We’re only one week into 2010 and I’m already dropping the ball on my resolutions. In the past I’ve been more successful, such as the year I resolved to quit smoking cigarettes. I used one of those quit-smoking programs, with the patches and the gum and the whole nine yards. Unfortunately, the side effects included nausea, dizziness, vomiting, disorientation, hallucinations, agitation, hostility, amnesia, blindness, a hacking cough, lung cancer, throat cancer, the sudden loss of one’s extremities, and addiction to cigarettes, chewing tobacco and cigars. Sure, now I can’t see, I’m always falling down, I have no idea who I am, I have a hole in my throat and I’m constantly having hallucinations that Art Howe is standing beside me trying to sell me a time-share, but at least I don’t smoke anymore. This year I decided to stop being so humble, demur and shy and to play up my strengths, which means wearing more tank top shirts to show off my impressive shoulder and back hair and to stop hiding my disgustingly smelly feet, …

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Giants Mail it in Again to End Season

Giants Rumors & News

The 2009 Giants started the season with Super Bowl expectations and ended it with their head coach saying, “I do think we tried. They all came to the stadium wanting to play.” Tom Coughlin seems to have lost his read on his players if he thinks his team tried. They may have come to the stadium wanting to play but once they stepped on the field, it was a different story. The Giants followed up their humiliating embarrassment of last Sunday with 60 minutes of even more humiliating embarrassment this week, if that’s possible. Maybe they wanted to do it twice in a row, and in different states, to get their point across. I’m just not sure what that point is.
Are there any possible reasons for mailing it in like they did the last two games? Were they just making sure Bill Sheridan gets fired? Maybe Kevin Gilbride, too? Did they catch the rerun of There’s Something About Mary the other night, and because Brett …

Monday, December 28th, 2009
Giants Rumors & News

In the last game the Giants will ever play at Giants Stadium, the 2009 Giants decided to honor the team that ushered in the stadium, the 3-11 1976 Giants, by playing just like them. Actually they played worse. Craig Morton, Walker Gillette and John Mendenhall were nowhere in sight, but somehow their ghosts invaded Giants Stadium (and somehow they have ghosts even though they’re not dead yet), as this year’s edition played like a last place team. The final score was 41-9, but the game really wasn’t that close.

This game is probably beyond analysis, but we’ll try anyway. Tackling? Pathetic. Rushing? Pathetic. Defense? Pathetic. Offense? Pathetic. That pretty much covers it. With the season on the line, the Giants just didn’t show up, and now they’re as dead and buried as Jimmy Hoffa. And they closed out Giants Stadium in humiliating fashion, dishonoring all the teams that played before them. It was a sad and pitiful display of football, with the team showing no heart, …

Thursday, December 24th, 2009
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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 …

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