JENNRY MEJIA: THE METS DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH?


Jennry Mejia, arguably the Mets most highly touted prospect, will look to translate his all-star potential into wins for the Mets in 2011. Mejia appeared in 33 games in the 2010 regular season posting a 4.62 ERA while failing to record a win in six decisions. The Mets brass elected to send Mejia back to their Triple-A affiliate the Buffalo Bison mid-way through the year in order to develop him into a starting pitcher.

With the competition for spots in the starting rotation wide open, Mejia has as good as chance as any to toe the rubber for the Amazins’ this season. Awaiting the return of ace Johan Santana who will miss the start of the 2011 campaign rehabbing his surgically repaired left shoulder; New York is in dire need of a diamond in the rough to shore up their pitching carousel. Dillion Gee, Chris Capuano, Oliver Perez and Pat Misch are among those vying with Mejia for the fifth and final spot in the Mets rotation.

Mejia has featured an explosive fastball and devastating change up, but questions are mounting whether his slight frame (standing at six feet tall and coming in at only 162 pounds) can support his power pitching style. This spring training Mejia has been working on a tumbling curveball while fine-tuning his off speed pitches to compliment his sizzling 97 mph heater. In Port St. Lucie, Mejia will have the opportunity to showcase his talents and his progression as he aims to becoming the youngest member of the Mets starting pitching staff.

With the National League East holding claim to its fair share of stellar pitchers, the Metropolitans will need to stockpile arms at the major and minor league ranks if they hope to compete in a robust division. Mejia may very well be a future staff ace and heir apparent to Johan Santana with the Mets hoping that Mejia will be an impactful pitcher for them in 2011 and beyond.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

While You Were Sleeping




While most Nets fans were tucked away in bed; discontent and dreaming of a gloomy future for their Nets, general manager Billy King was on the phone securing the franchise’s cornerstone player. Less than a day after watching Carmelo Anthony land in Manhattan, the Nets closed the book on the Melo-drama. New Jersey wasted little time completing a trade for superstar floor general Deron Williams. Nets fans recall the fateful day when a superstar point guard fell out of favor in Phoenix and into their lap in the Garden State. That man was Jason Kidd and the comparisons between Williams and Kidd are aplenty. Much like Kidd’s rapport with Scott Skiles, Williams and Jerry Sloan’s relationship in Utah deteriorated this season in what ultimately culminated in Sloan’s resignation after 23 years in the NBA.

Much like Kidd, Deron Williams is now being deemed the franchise savior. Williams brings leadership, pizzazz and unselfish play to a Nets squad desperately seeking a proven winner. Deron was not reticent in his intentions to make a playoff push with the Nets a whopping 9.5 games out of the eighth and final playoff spot. If anyone is accustomed to Cinderella stories it’s the Nets faithful; who witnessed one player transform their franchise from the laughingstock of the league into back to back Eastern Conference Champions.

If history has taught us something, it’s that anything is achievable if the desire meets the determination. With an owner determined to build an NBA Champion and a point guard embracing a leadership role, New Jersey has certainly taken a big leap forward. Although a far cry from a championship contender, with the NBA’s premier point man, the Nets have the opportunity to recruit additional top flight talent to fill out their roster. With 25 games remaining, the Nets are preparing for the homestretch and will need their newly acquire all-star to conjure up some late season magic if they hope to make a bid for postseason play.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

The Man is in Manhattan!




Knicks fans can rejoice as Carmelo Anthony is now the man in Manhattan. Alongside all-star power forward Amare Stoudemire, Anthony is bringing his talents to the Big Apple. New York parted ways with point guard Raymond Felton, Danilo Galinari, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mosgov, a 2014 first round pick along with future picks and cash considerations. In addition to Mr. Anthony the Knicks receive point guard Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Ronaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter from Denver. The Knicks also swung a trade with Minnesota swapping Anthony Randolph, Eddy Curry and three million in cash in exchange for shooting guard Corey Brewer.

The combination of Stoudemire and Anthony forge a superb frontcourt duo, with each player able to shoulder the scoring load any given night. An unheralded piece of the trade is Chauncey Billups a consummate professional and proven winner, earning a title with the Pistons in 2004 along with seven conference finals appearances. Billups brings toughness, composure and clutch play; attributes which are flying under the radar as Carmelo Anthony’s arrival captures New Yorker’s attention.

The Knicks paid a heavy price for Anthony and Billups, gutting their starting roster, shrinking cap space while forgoing future draft picks. The concern remains whether New York will have the financial means to fill out their roster with an additional star ala Deron Williams or Chris Paul along with some complimentary players. That remains to be seen, but New York can hold claim to arguably the most powerful one-two punch league wide. "The City That Never Sleeps" is giddy with anticipation as Carmelo Anthony makes his Knicks debut Wednesday night at 7PM when the Knicks play host to the Milwaukee Bucks at the World’s Most Famous Arena.


Looking for Tickets for Carmelo's Debut with the Knicks on Wednesday?
The Best Ticket Prices anywhere on the web:
http://seatgeek.com/new-york-knicks-tickets/
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

EMPTY NETS




Disappointment pervades the Nets fan base as Carmelo Anthony was packaged in an overnight delivery and onto the doorstep of Madison Square Garden. The New York Knicks, clearly the preferred destination of Mr. Anthony, have pulled the trigger on the deal effectively ending an agonizingly lengthy Melo-Drama. Meanwhile, across the Hudson in Newark, the Nets front office is chock-full of consternation as they were actively pursuing Carmelo Anthony since NBA training camp commenced in August. Neither an impending move to his native city Brooklyn, nor the deep pockets of Russian Owner Mikhail Prokhorov allured Anthony into signing an extension to become the face of the Nets franchise.

New Jersey is accustomed to being snubbed by all-star talent. During the offseason, none of the top flight 2010 free agent class elected to sign with the Nets. The team was fresh off a twelve win season along with a two year interim move to Newark which scared off the likes of Lebron James, Dwayne Wade, Amare’ Stoudemire, and Carlos Boozer among others. New Jersey has hardly beguiled NBA superstars as they have been labeled “the NBA’s ugly stepsister” and recommended tactfully to contract by none other than the “thoughtful” Lebron James.

The Nets will move forward with their current roster while continuing to explore trades involving point guard Devin Harris, power forward Derrick Favors, and/or unloading power forward Troy Murphy. Although Mikhail Prokhorov’s tenure with the Nets has been met with discontent, the Russian oligarch is unwavering in his intention to make Nets basketball relevant once again. New Jersey will need to climb out of the shadow of the reveled New York Knicks, who have pieced together two vital pieces to what could ultimately evolve into a championship contender. The Nets are still searching for a superstar to embrace the role as the cornerstone of their franchise, and will need that centerpiece soon if they ever hope to challenge the Knicks for supremacy in the Metro area.

Looking for Tickets for an upcoming Nets Home Game?
The Best Ticket Prices anywhere on the web:
http://seatgeek.com/new-jersey-nets-tickets/
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Thursday February 17th, 1:30PM- Jets NFL Draft Podcast





Rick Laughland and Daniel Feuerstein take a look at the Jets free agency situation and discuss possible draft selections for the upcoming 2011 NFL Draft.


http://www.blogtalkradio.com/search/rick-laughland/
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Nets Weekend Split




Valentine’s weekend was off to a stellar start for New Jersey as they clawed the Bobcats 94-89, earning only their fourth road win of the season. Brook Lopez, New Jersey’s man in the middle, dominated the paint pouring in 31 points while securing 11 rebounds. The Nets snapped an 12 game road losing streak despite shooting a woeful 2 of 14 from three point range.

New Jersey’s key to success was their season low of five turnovers as they overcame a substandard shooting night by playing mistake free ball. Avery Johnson’s Nets were searching for an answer to their road troubles and they changed their routine holding a practice on Thursday before Friday night’s game. In the NBA, young teams struggle to hit their stride in road games especially rotational players who feed off the energy of their home crowd, while easily becoming rattled by raucous road fans.

The Nets would mosey on back to the Garden State for the first of a three game home stand facing their cross-town rivals the New York Knicks. Amare’ Stoudemire would miss the game with an sprained big toe, but New York scorched the Nets from the outside making good on 16 of 34 three point attempts en route to a 105-95 victory. The game was closely contested until the final four minutes when the Knicks opened the flood gates and extended to a double digit lead converting on key offensive possessions down the stretch.

Devin Harris hit for a game high 22 points, but New Jersey’s defense failed to close on open shooters as the Knicks offense ignited despite missing their superstar power forward in Stoudemire. The Nets have dropped both meetings against the Knicks this season as the balance of power in the Metro area has shifted to New York, a team appeared playoff bound, while the Nets destined for yet another lottery finish.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

2011 D-Line Free Agency- Help Wanted!




With 18 upcoming free agents, New York Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan will have some big decisions to make this offseason. Thankfully, we at Fans' Favorite will not have to make any of these personnel decisions, but we offer up a handful of viable free agent targets for Gang Green’s sore spot, their defensive line.

Defensive End Haloti Ngata, Baltimore Ravens

The Skinny:


Ngata can provide a spark to a defensive line that failed to unleash a consistent pass rush for the majority of the season. A fifth year defensive end out of Oregon, Ngata stands six foot four coming in at a beastly 350 pounds. #92 will help fortify a top flight run defense that broke down week 16 against the Bears and in the AFC title game against Pittsburgh.

The Fit:

Haloti Ngata played in the 3-4 defensive formation in Baltimore and would thrive in a Jets system that is eerily similar. Ngata tallied 5.5 sacks last season with Baltimore and is deceptively agile despite his bulky physique. With 34 year old Shaun Ellis entering free agency, Ngata would serve as the ideal replacement infusing youth and power into a patchy defensive line.

Defensive End Cullen Jenkins, Green Bay Packers

The Skinny:


Not only is Cullen Jenkins a Super Bowl champion, but he is the younger brother of Jets defensive tackle Kris Jenkins. In his seventh year out of Central Michigan, Cullen Jenkins had a strong campaign with the eventual champion Packers amassing seven sacks on the season. Jenkins did turn 30 in January, but certainly has a few more productive years ahead of him.

The Fit:

The Jenkins brothers would forge a dominating force for New York with Kris blasting through the interior and Cullen rushing around the edges. Cullen Jenkins brings championship pedigree to a Jets squad that is desperately trying to get over the hump and make their first Super Bowl appearance in 43 years.

Defensive End Ray Edwards, Minnesota Vikings

The Skinny:


Edwards would infuse speed and athleticism to a defensive line that is lacking in both departments. In his fifth year out of Purdue, Edwards had a productive 2010 season amassing 10 sacks including 1.5 sacks of quarterback Mark Sanchez in week five. Ray Edwards is clearly on the rise increasing his sack total the last three seasons and at 26 years old, could energize a geriatric Jets defensive line.

The Fit:

Edwards fills a tremendous void in the Jets line, but will need to adjust from Minnesota’s 4-3 base defense to Rex Ryan’s intricate 3-4. New York may have to work Edwards into the rotation so he can become acclimated to a new defensive system. Once Edwards grasps his role and assignments, the sky is the limit for this up and coming pass rusher.

Mathias Kiwanuka, defensive end, New York Giants

The Skinny:


Mathias Kiwanuka has been the odd man out with the New York Giants. Plagued by injuries, the 27 year collected four sacks in merely three games in 2010. Big Blue elected to draft Jason Pierre-Paul with the 15th pick in the 2010 draft; the Giants basically showed Kiwanuka the door entering 2011 free agency. Kiwanuka’s slew of injuries is a concern, but his upside is tremendous.

The Fit:

Kiwanuka is a pure pass rusher, a guy that wreaks havoc on opposing quarterbacks. #94 can command a double team, paving the way for Rex Ryan’s blitz package to intensify in pressure. Mathias Kiwanuka has the rare combination of speed and power, and if he can stay healthy could be a productive game changer for New York.

Richard Seymour, defensive end, Oakland Raiders

The Skinny:


Most Jets fans recall Seymour as a centerpiece to a Patriots defense that brought them three titles in four years. Seven years removed from a title, Seymour is hungry for another ring, after enduring the last two seasons with a Raiders squad that failed to make the postseason. Seymour is a consummate professional and would provide veteran leadership to a team that may lose their longest tenured player, Shaun Ellis to free agency.

The Fit:

Seymour is arguably one of the most well-rounded defensive linemen league-wide. With ten years experience out of the University of Georgia, Seymour is the ultimate team player deflecting personal glory in favor of team accomplishments. #92 would bring the intangibles and a strong locker room presence which could instrumental in the Jets securing that all-elusive Super Bowl berth.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Nets Buzz by Hornets in OT





New Jersey notched a season high 12 three pointers, led by sharp shooter Sasha Vujacic who splashed in five from the great beyond. The man they call “The Machine” was automatic from the perimeter dropping a season high 25 points on 9 of 14 shooting. The Hornets were not too shabby from deep themselves shooting 9 of 17 as a team, with third year shooting guard Marco Bellini matching Vujacic with five long balls on seven tries.

Superstar Chris Paul dished out 11 helpers, but couldn’t find his shooting stroke connecting on only 4 of his 15 shot attempts. The Nets and Hornets traded blow for blow with New Orleans holding a 74-72 advantage through three periods of play. The fourth quarter and overtime session was littered with missed opportunities for both teams. David West had a golden chance to win the game in regulation but his 20 foot jumper over Devin Harris caught the front iron as the buzzer sounded.

Brook Lopez enjoyed working overtime drawing a foul and knocking down a pair of free throws giving New Jersey the lead at 103-101. With 24 seconds remaining in the bonus quarter, Chris Paul weaved around Nets guard Jordan Farmar, but lost the handle with the ball squirting out of bounds and New Jersey gaining possession. Inexplicably, Devin Harris was called for a five second violation, without so much as calling the Nets final timeout breathing second life into the Hornets.

New Orleans would fail to capitalize on Harris’ blunder. Hornets guard Willie Greene misfired on a 17 foot jumper with Kris Humphries gathering the rebound and marching to the line with a chance to ice the game. Unfortunately for New Jersey, Humphries clanked both free throws providing New Orleans yet another opportunity to tie or win the game. Chris Paul served up a buzzer beating three pointer that spun like a toilet bowl in and out, signifying Paul’s dreadful shooting night. The Nets ended a three game skid as they escape with an exhilarating 103-101 overtime win.

Looking for Tickets for an upcoming Nets Home Game?
The Best Ticket Prices anywhere on the web:
http://seatgeek.com/new-jersey-nets-tickets/
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Sights from Devils thrilling OT win over the Hurricanes

Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

That's Amare'



The Knicks split a home and home series with the 76ers dropping Friday’s matchup 100-98, and evening the score Sunday night at MSG 117-103. In the city of brotherly love, New York was outscored 15 to zilch in a four minute span late in the fourth quarter watching a double digit lead evaporate to nothing.

Elton Brand put on a virtuoso performance recording a season high 33 points while snatching 16 boards. Amare Stoudemire took Friday’s loss personally as he was outplayed by Brand, vowing to change the outlook on Super Sunday. Amare erupted for 41 points on a sizzling 17 of 21 shooting, tallying his 17th career 40 point game. The Knicks rebounded from Friday’s disappointing loss and charged by a revved up Garden crowd put the Sixers away for good in the final period.

New York’s offense has been scintillating of late, taking high percentage shots, and playing up tempo ball. The Knicks welcome in a pair of lala land squads, the Clippers Wednesday night and the defending champion Lakers on Friday night. New York will need every bit of Stoudemire’s firepower to keep the good times rolling.

Looking for Tickets for Wednesday or Friday's Knicks Game?
The Best Ticket Prices anywhere on the web:
http://seatgeek.com/new-york-knicks-tickets/
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

The Nets Noon Swoon




Super Sunday was not so super for New Jersey as they dropped their third straight contest 105-86 to Indiana. The Nets, losers of five of their last six games, endured all five losses by double digits. The Nets seem to lack offensive firepower failing to reach the century mark scoring since a 103-101 win over the woeful Cavaliers January 24th.

The Nets were early risers with a noon tip off apparently making way for some inconsequential football game broadcasting from Dallas, Texas on Sunday evening. In any case, New Jersey checked out of this game early, trailing 33-24 at the end of the first quarter, showing no feistiness or fight with the Pacers winning the game going away.

Indiana’s interim coach, Frank Vogel relished the opportunity to improve his head coaching mark to 4-0. Behind a pair of New Jersey natives in coach Frank Vogel and shooting guard Dahntay Jones, the Pacers disposed of the Garden State’s team with a wire to wire win. Jones led all scorers 18 with forward Mike Dunleavy chipping in 17 points on five of six from downtown.

The Nets have been outscored in the paint by an average of 12 points over their last two games against Detroit and Indiana. New Jersey will need force the action in the lane if they hope to find a spark offensively. The Nets have two days off to lick their wounds before facing New Orleans Wednesday Night at the Prudential Center, a Hornets team slotted in at the fifth seed in the West.

Prediction: Hornets 97- Nets 85

Player of the Game: Chris Paul 17 points, 13 assists and 3 steals.

Interested in attending Wednesday night's game or a future Nets home game?
Find the best ticket prices at:

Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Notable 2011 NFL Free Agents

Below are Free Agents listed by position, their previous team and free agent status
Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA)


WR Steve Breaston Arizona Cardinals UFA
OG Alan Faneca Arizona Cardinals UFA

LB Mike Peterson Atlanta Falcons UFA

DL Haloti Ngata Baltimore Ravens UFA
CB Chris Carr Baltimore Ravens UFA

DL Marcus Stroud Buffalo Bills UFA

RB DeAngelo Williams Carolina Panthers UFA

TE Desmond Clark Chicago Bears UFA

WR Terrell Owens Cincinnati Bengals UFA
RB Cedric Benson Cincinnati Bengals UFA

DL Shaun Rogers Cleveland Browns UFA

DL Marcus Spears Dallas Cowboys UFA

RB Laurence Maroney Denver Broncos UFA
CB Champ Bailey Denver Broncos UFA

DL Howard Green Green Bay Packers UFA
DL Cullen Jenkins Green Bay Packers UFA

TE Owen Daniels Houston Texans UFA
RB Derrick Ward Houston Texans UFA

RB Joseph Addai Indianapolis Colts UFA
PK Adam Vinatieri Indianapolis Colts UFA

TE Mercedes Lewis Jacksonville Jaguars UFA
WR Mike Sims-Walker Jacksonville Jaguars UFA

RB Ronnie Brown Miami Dolphins UFA
RB Ricky Williams Miami Dolphins UFA

WR Sidney Rice Minnesota Vikings UFA
DL Ray Edwards Minnesota Vikings UFA
DL Pat Williams Minnesota Vikings UFA

OT Matt Light New England Patriots UFA
OT Logan Mankins New England Patriots UFA

RB Pierre Thomas New Orleans Saints UFA

RB Ahmad Bradshaw New York Giants UFA
TE Kevin Boss New York Giants UFA
DL Mathias Kiwanuka New York Giants UFA

WR Braylon Edwards New York Jets UFA
WR Santonio Holmes New York Jets UFA
DL Shaun Ellis New York Jets UFA
CB Antonio Cromartie New York Jets UFA

CB Nnamdi Asomugha Oakland Raiders UFA
DL Richard Seymour Oakland Raiders UFA

QB Michael Vick Philadelphia Eagles UFA

LB Lamarr Woodley Pittsburgh Steelers UFA
CB Ike Taylor Pittsburgh Steelers UFA

RB Darren Sproles San Diego Chargers UFA
WR Vincent Jackson San Diego Chargers UFA

QB Alex Smith San Francisco 49ers UFA

QB Matt Hassellback Seattle Seahawks UFA
RB Leon Washington Seattle Seahawks UFA

SS Michael Lewis St. Louis Rams UFA

CB Rhonde Barber Tampa Bay Buccaneers UFA
TE Kellen Winslow Tampa Bay Buccaneers UFA

WR Randy Moss Tennessee Titans UFA

WR Santana Moss Washington Redskins UFA
  •  
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Devils terrorize Rangers' Lundqvist




The New Jersey Devils are making up for lost times, shedding their label as one of the worst teams in hockey. The Devils are playing with a tenacity and peskiness that was absent from the opening third of their season. Thursday, the Devils sauntered in to Madison Square Garden looking every bit the part of a playoff team despite their abysmal 18-30-3 record. The Garden State bunch thrived under the bright lights of MSG with Danius Zubrus percolating for the second consecutive game.

Zubrus would tally a goal and assist each propelling New Jersey to eight wins in ten tries. New Jersey Goaltender Martin Brodeur was brilliant once against notching 25 saves, the same could not be said for Rangers patrolman Henrik Lundvquist who surrendered 3 goals on 12 shots. The Devils still trail eighth place Atlanta by 18 points with 31 games remaining, but New Jersey has put their horrific start in the rear view and appear primed for a strong run at a playoff berth.
  •  
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Frozen Nets



With ice storms invading the tri-state area, the Nets were frozen in place as the Sixers breezed past New Jersey 106-92. Philadelphia’s transition game was in full force outscoring the Nets in fast break points 38-5. Head coach Avery Johnson desperately tried to infuse energy and passion into a lethargic Nets squad midway through the third quarter. Johnson stormed onto the court and confronted official Brent Barnarky following a no-call as Devin Harris tangled with Sixers forward Elton Brand.

New Jersey’s lead general had been ejected and while making his exit into the tunnel Johnson emphatically implored his team to play with enthusiasm and focus. From thereon, New Jersey ratcheted up their intensity level closing what once stood as a 21 point margin to a single digit deficit at 75-66 with 36 seconds remaining in the third quarter.

In the final stanza, Philadelphia point guard Lou Williams took matters into his own hands, coming up with clutch baskets time and time again, answering the Nets late surge. Williams would finish with a game high 26 points on 7 of 12 shooting, tallying three assists and improbably two blocks. Nets Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries and Devin Harris all finished with a team high 16 points, with each scoring in spurts and struggling to bring flow and continuity to a stagnant offense.

On Friday, the Nets motor into the Palace of Auburn Hills to face a Pistons team that has dropped its last four contests. The Nets defeated Detroit twice this season, the first occasion opening night 101-98 and their latest meeting on January 21st 89-74. Friday night, the Nets go for the three game sweep of a reeling Pistons squad and look to capture their six win in their last ten games.

Prediction:

Nets 98- Pistons 91

Player of the Game:

Brook Lopez 28 points 6 rebounds.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Devils Rising



Prior to Tuesday night’s game, Devils owner Jeff Vanderbeek dispelled any notion that he aims to sell the franchise. Vanderbeek’s minority partner, Brick City LLC, has different intentions as they have explored selling their stake in the team along with arena naming rights. With the Devils managing partner clearing the air, there was a hockey game underway at the Prudential Center. The Devils faced off with the Ottawa Senators, a team New Jersey will need to leap frog if they hope to capture the eighth and final playoff spot.

Although the postseason may be a pipe dream the Devils have a championship pedigree that cannot be ignored. Goaltender Martin Brodeur has been in rare form earning a save percentage of 0.94 against Ottawa, while his defensemen shielded the net allowing only 16 shots on goal. Danius Zubrus earned first star honors with his third period tie-breaking goal. The Devils lone all-star, Patrick Elias, lit the lamp in the second period securing the game’s third star award.

New Jersey will enjoy Wednesday off before they venture across the Hudson River to tangle with the reveled New York Rangers Thursday at Madison Square Garden. In three head to head matchups this season,the Blue Shirts outscored the Devils a combined 12 -2, with New Jersey dropping all three contests. New Jersey aims to get off the snide against their cross river rivals and skate out of the world’s most famous arena with their eighth win in the last ten games.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Reactions from the Senators Bench


Senators Goalie Pascal Lecalire distraught after a tough 2-1 loss.




Rookie Centerman Colin Greening looking in on the action.
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

The Cashman Can?




After losing out on top free agent target Cliff Lee to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Yankees watched as their arch rivals the Boston Red Sox sign five tool star Carl Crawford along with first base slugger Adrian Gonzalez. The Tampa Bay Rays signed the veteran tandem of center fielder Johnny Damon and right fielder Manny Ramirez, making their own bid for an AL East crown. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman spent more time repelling down buildings dressed as an elf this offseason than acquiring reinforcements via trade and free agency. The men in Pinstripes are perennial contenders but as presently constituted they are simply the second best team in their division with Tampa Bay hot on their heels.

Notable Additions:

Pitcher Mark Prior, Catcher Russell Martin, Pitcher Brian Anderson, Pitcher Buddy Carlyle, Pitcher Pedro Feliciano, Pitcher Rafael Soriano.

Retained:

Shortstop Derek Jeter, Closer Mariano Rivera, Pitcher Sergio Mitre, Pitcher Phil Hughes, Pitcher Boone Logan, Pitcher Joba Chamberlain.

Key Losses:

Pitcher Alfredo Aceves, Pitcher Dustin Mosley,Pitcher Kerry Wood, Outfielder Lance Berkman, First baseman Nick Johnson.

With veteran pitcher Andy Petitte’s return to pinstripes yet to be determined, the starting rotation is very much in flux. If New York aims to capture World Title number 28, they will certainly need to add top tier talent to their starting rotation by the MLB All-Star break.

2011 Season Outlook: 90-72, Second Place AL EAST
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Mets Bargain Bin Shopping




Mets principle owner Fred Wilpon and COO Jeff Wilpon, (or Coupon as they’ve been nicknamed by Mets fans) are seeking a silent partner to purchase between a 20 to 25 percent ownership stake in the team. The Wilpon's reportedly borrowed 700 million dollars against the team, a debt that diminished the New York Mets franchise value. In 2010, the Mets were valued at 850 million, but the 700 million the Wilpon's have accumulated in debt brings the valuation down to 150 million. Thus, a minority share could be had for about 35 million dollars, which is quite a bargain!

The Wilpon’s are adamant that the financial hit they incurred from the Bernie Maddoff scandal will not impact their payroll, but the offseason tells the real story.

As the hot stove talk heats up the Mets have had a modest offseason to say the least.

Notable Additions:

Catcher Ronnie Paulino, Pitcher Chris Young, Center Fielder Scott Hairston, Pitcher Taylor Tankersley, Pitcher Taylor Buckholtz, Pitcher Chris Capuano and Pitcher David Bush

Retained:

Outfielder Angel Pagan, Pitcher Mike Pelfrey, Pitcher R.A. Dickey

Key losses:

Pitcher John Maine, Chris Carter, Pitcher Sean Green, Hisanori Takahashi

Overall, a ho-hum offseason for New York, a team mired in financial distress while undergoing a complete front office overhaul. 2011 looks to be a year of transition, and with so many variables in the clubhouse and front office it’s difficult to peg where this team will finish.

2011 season outlook: 83-79 Third in the NL East
Rick Laughland Rick Laughland Author

Popular Posts

Facebook

Follow by Email

Contact Form

Name

Email *

Message *