Sports Blog Archives for 2018-10

New York (Sports) State of Mind

Happy Halloween everyone! It's a great day to be spooky and scary. Today is a day that everyone gets to laugh, dress up and get some sweet treats. Halloween allows people to throw on a mask anything they want. In the sports world, there is no masking to be had. This can be seen even more when it comes to the current landscape of New York sports. 


There has been an unwritten rule that New York sports team absolutely DO NOT "rebuild". It's not allowed in the media to have a New York team rebuild. Yet, here we are, with every team going through some sort of upheave. It has been spoken about at length that the New York Giants are in a rebuild mode. The New York Rangers/Islanders are looking to build for the future. The Knicks/Nets are (seemingly) always 'one summer away' from competing. The Mets are going to need to transition with their new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.

With the Yankees coming short of their championship goal, many are saying the Jets are the best team in New York. Obviously, with recency bias in effect, the Jets truly are the best team currently in the area. The Jets are still roughly a year (or two) away from truly being a threat. This essentially speaks volumes about the state {pun intended} of New York sports. While the rival city of Boston just got done celebrating their 11th championship since 2001, New York has seen three in that same span. 


Granted Boston sports is an unprecedented expectation to live up to. It still goes to show that success across the four major sports can be obtained. The question is, why aren't these teams able to succeed? Why can't one team hoist a championship torphy? Short answer there have been many moves that have costed sustainable success.


The idea of not being able to rebuild has costed almost every sports team in New York. Now it's coming back to haunt them. It's a spooky time to be a New York sports fan and the scary, dreary times won't be ending any time soon.



Kyle Lauletta Arrested

New York Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta was arrested on Tuesday for a traffic violation.  Many fans were hoping to see Lauletta (a 2018 third round selection) at the very least dress in two weeks when the team plays the 49ers in San Francisco. 


It just seems to continue to get worse for the franchise this season. Apparently the team is unable to conduct a quality drive on or off the field.  


Boston Finally Gets a Championship


The Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games. Congratulations are in order for the city of Boston. In what has been an EXTREMELY difficult time in Boston sports the long title-less drought is over. It has been a full 18 months since the city could celebrate being king of the sports world. It's hard to imagine what it would be like to go through such a trying time as a sports fan, but that makes this championship that much sweeter I'm certain.


Obviously, there was heavy sarcasm to open this. The way the Red Sox steamrolled through the playoffs is nothing short of impressive. An absolute machine that made the best teams in baseball look inferior. The Red Sox lost three games in the entire playoff run, which is remarkable. Steve Pearce won the MVP, that is how deep the team is. Timely hitting, putting pressure on the opposing teams and of course great pitching paved the way. All season long the Red Sox just outplayed teams. They had the best record in the regular season and were the best team since April. 


There is plenty more in depth analysis coming. Nonetheless, the city of Boston ends it's 18 month titless drought. One can only imagine the type of hardships a fanbase can have going 18 months without a championship. 18 months is close to an eternity in my book. Congratulations to the Red Sox and the city of Boston, cue those Duckboats.






MLB: Dream Matchup; Nightmare Rating

The 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers is two games old. Major League Baseball finally has gotten a dream match up. Two major markets, two storied franchises, two coasts playing for a championship. On paper, this World Series should be the most exciting one in recent memory. However it just isn't , viewership is down from last year's World Series


In what can be nothing short of a head scratching stat there seems to be something that is lacking. Two of the biggest markets, with the biggest payrolls, with the biggest names in the game and viewership is down. Is it because of the games? The games have had many moments where the atmosphere was tense. There have been stellar plays, big home runs, and even though game one was an 8-4 Red Sox win, it was a close game. So what could it possibly be? 


Personally, this matchup just doesn't have the flair that the Houston Astros vs Milwaukee Brewers would have had. Both of those teams are young and new. Houston could have started "dynasty" conversation had they made it. Milwaukee could bring the (almost certain) MVP to the World Series. Instead it's two old teams. LA has been a disappointment for at least a decade now, with a high payroll and nothing to show for it. The Red Sox are a good mix of youth and veterans, however they're lacking a personality. In 2004 they had an entire team of characters. In 2013 they had beards, but this year? What's the draw? It might be wrong to say but even with the best record in baseball and a 2-0 lead in the World Series going into Friday, they are (dare I say) boring. 


This is the exact World Series that media has wanted for years. Some would have called it a 'once in a lifetime' series. Instead it's currently a lackluster one at best. A dream matchup but a nightmare scenario for Major League Baseball.


No More Snack Time

There isn't much to  say when it comes to this trade. A mere 20+ hours ago the team began their team cleanse. Much like drinking detox tea, there is plenty of upside, it seems to be the new fad in New York sports,  there are plenty of side effects to it as well and some of it makes no sense to me. The long and the short of it is that, yes it is absolutely time for the Giants to trade personnel for assests.


However that doesn't mean handing players away does it? You would be hard pressed to argue that Harrison was worthy of one fifth round pick. At worst he should have yielded a third round pick. Especially when a player like Eli Apple got a higher round pick yesterday; and the Oakland Raiders were able to trade Amari Cooper for a first round pick. Harrison was a true Giant and he was an all-pro player since signing with the team in 2016. There almost certainly will be more moves to come before Sunday's game against Washington.  Nonetheless, the rebuild is on and Giants fans are starting to feel like Tobias Funke on a 'big audition'.




Giants Trade Eli Apple

The New York Giants took look in the mirror and decided that it was time to make a change.

The team traded away former first round pick Eli Apple to the New Orleans Saints. While many fans were hoping to be getting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater in return, the team got two draft picks. Apple currently is on his rookie contract so he is relatively cheap for the Saints. Drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft, Apple really never became the corner that the Giants were actually hoping that he would get to. 

Let's not forget that merely last year defensive captain Landon Collins called Apple a "cancer". There's a question that can be asked into when it comes to a move like this;  'what's next?' It's clear that the Giants need to hit the refresh button and they have some quality assets to unload. Could Janoris Jenkins  be next? What about Olivier Vernon? There are moves to be made before the deadline next week. The key is realizing that it's the time to do it.


Giants Fall to 1-6

The New York Giants fall to 1-6 on the 2018 after their 23-20 loss to the Atlanta Falcons. For all intents and purposes the struggling Giants played extremely well against a team that is looking to get into the playoffs. However that simply isn't enough. 


Manning threw for 399 yards against Atlanta. Odell Beckham had eight catches for 143 yards. Sterling Sheppard had five catches for 167 yards. The Giants defense held the Julio Jones to 104 yards and Matt Ryan to only touchdown pass. Can't stress enough that for a team that has won four of their last 24 games, they palyed well.

However that just doesn't cut it. Nate Solder, who was signed to protect Eli Manning for $15 million per year, simply has been a disaster this year. Monday night was no different, Manning was sacked four times in the game and was under pressure an unfathomable amount of times. Yet, when Manning did have time, he ended up looking to play 'hot potato' with the football and get rid of it as quickly as possible.

To start the second half the Giants went for it on fourth and goal at the one and were stopped. Had they kicked a field goal, there's the tie right there (hindsight is 20/20). 


The struggling rookie head coach has missed on his gambles, the team has missed on opportunities and it will not get easier. The 1-6 Giants will take on their rivals from Washington, who are leading the NFC East, on Sunday. Plenty of good to take away, similarly to the loss against Carolina. Plenty to improve upon as well going forward.


Rest In Peace Charles B. Wang

The Long Island community said goodbye to Chrales B. Wang on Sunday. Wang, was a founder of the software company Computer Associates  and a former owner of the New York Islanders. The hockey community was crushed to learn of his passing on Sunday.



However, there was more to Wang than just his time in owning the Islanders. To simply put it Wang, loved Long Island. He helped bring two professional teams (Islanders and Dragons) to the Nassau Coliseum. Wang donated $52 million to Stony Brook University to fund the Charles Wang building. Wang did so many things for Long Island and he is someone that helped enhance many aspects of Long Island. Rest in Peace Charles B. Wang.


Here are some thoughts from WEHM Morning Show Host and former New York Islanders employee, Anthony... 



Are the Boston Red Sox Cheaters?

Durning game two of the American League Championship Series, it appears that a Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes was shining on the big stage.



No literally, you can see on his forearm a glistening substance. If you are a Yankees fan or a baseball fan this might look familiar. Now I'm not saying that it was pine tar, I'm not saying that it was anything more than sweat. I am saying that it would be a real shame if this ended up coming back to hurt the Red Sox. 


There are many unwritten rules in the game of baseball. Using substances to get a better grip as a pitcher genuienly doesn't bother me. A cold baseball in early April or October is virtually impossible to fully grip and control. It is however going against the rules. It will probably have a blind eye turned to it, unless it happens again.









The Sad Truth of Fandom

Sports, to most, it's just a game. A brisk Sunday of watching football, a scorching day in July  watching baseball, a snowy day in February watching hockey or basketball, it's just a game. At least it's supposed to be. The sad reality is that to sports fans; especially the ones loyal to one team, it's not just a game. Personally, sports create memories and molded many relationships. I remember in 2015, a junior in college packing up my  bedding, uneaten boxes of macaroni and cheese, and sport jerseys hanging on my wall, when Kevin Hayes tied the win-or-go home game seven. From that point on I remember how quiet my dorm was. A room of college guys, just sitting in silence until the game winner happened. Recollecting this game is easier than recollecting what I ate for breakfast this morning (PB&J is the answer to this riddle). It's a memory that isn't just sports to me.


Being a sports fan, it's just building a connection with friends/other fans. You build a connection to the players as well. This makes the successful seasons that much better and the 'not good enough' seasons that much more hurtful. As the saying goes, 'all good things comes to an end'.  Nobody understands this currently as much as New York Giants fans. After an abysmal Thursday night game against the Philadelphia Eagles, reality officially hit an entire fanbase.



Eli Manning is not great, he's not good, he isn't even serviceable.  Eli Manning is simply BAD. However this isn't a bash Eli post. Instead it's a sad awaking. This your Marimba chime going off at 6 am on Monday.  There is another player a fan base gets to say goodbye to. Another player that at once was at the peak of his sport, and is now has deteriorated to unwatchable. 


It happened with Derek Jeter. It happened with Eli's older brother Peyton. The only thing that fans can hope for, is that this level of play doesn't go on too long. 

Eli Manning may have never been the best quarterback in the league. Eli Manning may not even have been the best quarterback in his draft class. Eli Manning was, however the best quarterback in New York Giants history.One day fans will look back and appreciate what number ten did, but that won't happen in 2018 that's for sure.



The biggest takeaway is that fans don't just view their team as an escape. Many end up becoming engulfed by passion when it comes to their sports teams. While Eli Manning deserves every ounce of criticism this season, many fans will look back wishing for days past. Sports are not always an escape, in fact I could argue sports are a perfect representation of life. Seeing Eli age isn't just sad because of his legacy, but obviously that means fans aged with him. It's begs the question, when can I be passionate about my team again?


Curtain Closes on New York Yankees

The New York Yankees will start another offseason earlier than expected. After a 4-3 loss last night to their rival Boston Red Sox, the Yankees dropped the American League Division Series (ALDS) three games to one. The Yankees won 100 games for the first time since 2009, and won their second consecutive Wild Card Game. It's difficult to call this season a dissapointment when these are the facts, but the question remains. How much did this team underachieve?


The team is close to being a championship club. However, close just isn't good enough. This team had a glaring weakness since April, and it was the starting rotation. This series against the Red Sox saw the Yankees yield one quality start in four games. To simply put it, that just will not do in the playoffs. Especially when you face a team that won 108 games in the regular season.


Pitching is always the key in the playoffs, yet hitting was the Yankees bread and butter. Being outscored 20-4 at home is not exactly a recipe for success. Living by the homerun and dying by the homerun is an exciting but dangerous offensive strategy. As the Yankees just saw, you need to steal, you need to bunt and hit behind runners. There's still a need to hit a fly ball with a runner on third and less than two outs, and it also helps to hit for the cycle in a playoff game. 


It'll be curious to see what the Yankees do this offseason. While the curtain closes on the 2018 New York Yankees, there is plenty of good to reminisce about. Moral of the story, they were very close to being a championship club, but being close just isn't enough.


The NFL's Slippery Slope

A chilly fall Sunday, used to be the best day of the week. At one point many would gather around a television, bar, parking lot or stadium to watch football all day. When fantasy football became a household activity, football got quite the boost in viewership. Fast forward to present day and it no longer is the same. Today a chill Sunday in October, is just that a chilly Sunday. This has nothing to do with players. This has nothing to do with owners. This has to do with men in stripes that officiate the game. 


It doesn't matter what type of fan you are. Giants fan, Jets fan, Eagles fan, etc. These are the types of calls that make the National Football League difficult to watch. Not only was a play made on the ball, but on top of that the pass was tipped. Thus neutralizing any penalty that could have been called. Giants players took to the media and Twitter to express their displeasures in the call.

It seems as if it's not just every week, but every single game there is a controversial call. From not knowing what a catch is to not knowing how to tackle a quarterback it is becoming increasingly tough to be a NFL fan. When it comes to player saftey that needs to be a priority. However, when players end up getting hurt because they are trying to adhere to an unclear rule, that damages the game. 


The NFL is on a slippery slope. If they don't fix the problems with the refs soon fans may be inclined to walk away from viewership. As Giants player Damon Harrison said on Twitter, "The NFL has some explaining to do."




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