Saturday, June 15, 2013

Yankees Lose Fourth Straight Game on West Coast
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 14th, 2013

New York Yankees vs Los Angeles Angels Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 2 Angels 5

The New York Yankees West Coast trip started out nicely in Seattle, but since then has been a disaster after getting swept by the Oakland Athletics, the Yankees lost the series opener to the Los Angeles Angels 5-2. The loss moves the Yankees to (37-30), which is still three games back of the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East, as the Baltimore Orioles have been gaining ground in the division.

Starter Andy Pettitte, coming off a great start in Seattle couldn’t carry that over to Los Angeles, as he suffered his fourth loss of the season. The Angels wasted little time getting a run off Pettitte, as Howie Kendrick doubled home Josh Hamilton for the first run of the game in the first inning. In the fourth inning Chris Iannetta would hit a sac-fly to score Mark Trumbo to tie the game at that point at two. Iannetta would knock in another run in the seventh inning to give the Angels a 3-2 lead with a RBI single scoring Trumbo. The final run off Pettitte wasn’t entirely his fault, as Reid Brignac and David Adams let a fly ball drop in between them hit by Peter Bourjos, who later scored from a Trumbo single. Overall Pettitte went seven innings allowing four runs on 11 hits, and one walk.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Yankees Get Swept in Oakland For Second Straight Year
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 13th, 2013

New York Yankees vs Oakland Athletics Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 2 Athletics 3

The New York Yankees for the second straight year have been swept in Oakland after a 3-2, 18 inning loss on Thursday afternoon/night. The loss puts the Yankees at (37-29) now on the season, but they are now in third place in the AL East, as the Orioles jumped them for second place.

On offense the Yankees got off to a quick start against Jarrod Parker, as Robinson Cano hit a two-run homerun in the first inning scoring Brett Gardner. For Cano it was 16th homerun of the season, and now also has 42 RBIs. Parker however settled down very nicely after the homerun, as he finished going eight innings only allowing the two first inning runs on five hits, and two walks.

Salsa Staying in New York with Giants as Cruz Signs Free Agent Tender

Patrick McDermott/Getty Images
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

The New York Giants got some good news Friday afternoon as they learned that Victor Cruz was going to report to the team facility and sign his one-year restricted free agent tender. Cruz was tagged with a first-round restricted free agent tender and the deal is worth $2.879 million. The news was first reported by ESPN’s Josina Anderson via her twitter account.  Anderson talked to Cruz earlier Friday and said that he told her, “I’m going to sign my tender today and will continue talks for a long-term deal before camp starts.”

A factor in Cruz’s decision making was that the Giants could drop his tender to $630,000 if he had not signed the $2.879 million tender Monday, even though there was no indication that was a path the Giants were going to go down. This is only the first hurdle that needed to be jumped as the two sides will continue to try and hash out a long term deal. They are coming closer to terms but Cruz is still standing firm that he will not accept anything less than $9 million annually.

Giants Minicamp Recap

AP Photo/Evan Pinkus

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

The New York Giants wrapped up their mandatory mini-camp Thursday afternoon at the Timex Performance Center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Here are 10 things that can be taken away from the mini-camp as it is the last time the Giants will be together until training camp opens at the end of July.

      1.)    Hakeem Nicks and Tom Coughlin look to be on the same page.  There was much made of Nicks missing the voluntary OTA’s and he would not discuss the matter at mini-camp this week.  The good news though is that he was in camp and looks healthy.  Nicks struggled through injuries last season as he broke his foot in OTA’s last year and was never able to fully recover for the season.  Coughlin has to happy that at least one of his two star receivers was at camp and ready to go.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Brooklyn Nets hire Jason Kidd as Head Coach

By Ryan McDonald (@RonnieMac90)
The Brooklyn Nets have reached an agreement with Jason Kidd to take over as head coach. Kidd has all the things you look for in a head coach with the exception of coaching experience. Leadership, high basketball IQ, and an ability to teach were all displayed throughout Kidd’s illustrious NBA career as a Hall of Fame point guard. However, the Nets may have hired Kidd for the wrong reasons.

The Nets as of these past few years have been known to go for the headlines. They make splashes in the papers and not on the court, shown by the entirety of the Dwight Howard saga where he was rumored to go to Brooklyn for almost a year and a half. Coupled by the Joe Johnson trade which didn’t really make them better, with Johnson having one of the worst contracts in the NBA in which he just doesn’t produce at that level. Could they have hired Kidd simply as a big name and another headline?

Another speculated reason is to keep their star player, Deron Williams, happy. Kidd and Williams have a great relationship, friends even. Williams has the reputation of a coach killer as he forced Jerry Sloan out of Utah and has gotten most of the blame for Avery Johnson’s mid-season firing. Unfortunately, this relationship will have to change somewhat now that Kidd is William’s coach. It will have to adapt to a coach to player relationship for the team’s success.

Also in play is Brooklyn Nets’ owner Mikhail Prokhorov’s unrealistic expectations for the team’s success. Prokhorov has stated several times that he had a five year plan for the Nets to win a Championship. It is currently the fourth year in that plan meaning the Nets will have to win a title in the next 2 seasons. The roster as currently constructed will have a hard time accomplishing that task and have little cap room for change. They’ll most likely lose Andray Blatche who was arguably their best bench player. So the roster will probably be worse than it was this season. Along with these expectations are Prokhorov’s trigger finger. The Nets are coming off the 4th seed in the East and in the lockout shortened season went 22-44, a drastic turnaround. That wasn’t able to save coach P.J. Carlesimo, who was fired after the Nets 1st round exit. If a 1st round exit is likely to get you fired, Kidd’s first year as head coach may be his last with the Nets.

This brings us to the risk involved for Jason Kidd. The high expectations could cause Kidd to be fired early out of his 3 year contract. It would have been wiser for Kidd to take a less-risky job instead as his first coaching experience. With a short leash, Kidd won’t have much time to experiment. It takes coaches with years of head coaching experience time to adjust to a new roster. That is exactly what Kidd is doing without the years of experience. An early firing could earn him a tougher time landing another gig.

The Nets hopefully hired Kidd because they think he is a top five coach to elevate this Nets team to championship level. Given time, Kidd can make his mark on this team and this roster and mold it to his will which Kidd has always had the will to win. Hopefully the Nets will give him time because patience in this situation is key.

Yankees Woes in Oakland Continue
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 12th, 2013

New York Yankees vs Oakland Athletics Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 2 Athletics 5

The New York Yankees have now lost six straight games in Oakland to the Athletics with their 5-2 loss on Wednesday night. The loss moves the Yankees to (37-28) on the season, and are now three games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

The inconsistency of Phil Hughes has been a story all season, and after a great start in Seattle, Hughes was bad in Oakland picking up his fifth loss of the year. Oakland got to Hughes quick, as Brandon Moss took Hughes deep for his 10th homerun of the season, which scored Josh Reddick. The Athletics would get one more in the fifth inning off Hughes before Joe Girardi pulled him, as John Jaso made it a 3-0 game with a RBI double. Hughes went just 4.1 innings allowing three runs on four hits, and five walks. Girardi was forced to pull Hughes early, as he was ineffective, and threw 95 pitches in just 4.1 innings.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sabathia Gets Rocked in Yankees Loss
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 11th, 2013

New York Yankees vs. Oakland Athletics Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 4 Athletics 6

Looking for revenge from a rough series last year in Oakland, when the New York Yankees were swept in a four-game series didn’t go to well on Tuesday night for the Yankees or their ace C.C. Sabathia. The 6-4 loss moves the Yankees to (37-27) on the season, and they stay two games back of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

Sabathia looked great in his previous two starts, but Tuesday he was awful from the start of the game. The first batter Sabathia faced, Coco Crisp took him deep to start the game, and give the Athletics an early 1-0 lead. Derek Norris got the Athletics second run of the game with a RBI double in the second inning that scored Josh Reddick. The fourth inning was were things got really ugly for the Yankees, as Derek Norris once again got the best of Sabathia, this time it did more damage however. Norris hit just his third homerun of the season, and it scored Nate Freiman and Chris Young, while giving the Athletics a five-run lead. The Athletics would get one more run off Sabathia in the sixth inning, as a wild pitch allowed Josh Donaldson to score. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ahmad Bradshaw Bids Farewell to the Big Apple

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

Ahmad Bradshaw’s New York Giants tenure officially ended today as he agreed to a one-year deal with the Indianapolis Colts ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported. Bradshaw will receive a $250,000 signing bonus, $650,000 in per-game roster bonus and $1.1 million in base salary according to Pro Football Talk's source. The former Giants running back had an official meeting with the team this past Thursday and had been working out a contract ever since.

Bradshaw was one of a number of Giants veterans who were released this season because of salary-cap issues that needed fixing and to infuse some youth in the Giants roster.
The 27-year old Bradshaw will at worst will provide depth in the Colts backfield if not a starting running back. The main competition for Bradshaw will be former first-round pick and injury-riddled incumbent starter Donald Brown, second-year player Vick Ballard who impressed as a rookie and third-year player Delone Carter, who has struggled with injuries and fumbles.

Yankees Win Series in Seattle
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 9th, 2013

New York Yankees vs Seattle Mariners Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 2 Mariners 1

The New York Yankees were able to start of their West Coast trip very nicely, by winning three out of four games against the Seattle Mariners with a 2-1 win on Sunday afternoon. The win keeps the Yankees in second place in the AL East, two games behind the Boston Red Sox.

David Phelps went toe to toe with one of the best pitchers in all of baseball in Felix Hernandez, and kept up with King Felix on Sunday. Phelps went six innings allowing only one run on three hits, and three walks. The Mariners one run against Phelps came in the second inning on a infield singe by Brendan Ryan, which scored Kelly Shoppach. Phelps also was able to strike out six batters, and this was his second straight great start after the disaster against the Mets.

Hernandez like Phelps also didn’t factor in the decision in this game, but he did pitch great for Seattle. King Felix went seven innings allowing just one run on five hits, two walks, and had seven strikeouts. The Yankees one run of Hernandez came in the second inning, as Brett Gardner knocked in Jayson Nix with a RBI single. Gardner had a great series in Seattle, as he went nine for 17 with four doubles.

David Robertson got the win for the Yankees, which was his fourth win of the year, but he had to escape some trouble in eighth. A lead off double by Alex Liddi and then a sac-bunt set the Mariners up with a runner on third with one out, but Robertson struckout Jason Bay and Nick Franklin to keep the game tied at one.

The Yankees would get the winning run across the plate in the top of the ninth inning, as Ichiro Suzuki walked to lead off the inning, and then was advanced to second by a bunt from Nix. With two outs Chris Stewart came up with a huge clutch base-hit to score Ichiro, and give the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

The ninth inning was a difficult one for Mariano Rivera, but he was able to get out of jams to earn his 23rd save of the inning. Kyle Seager lead off the inning with a base-hit, but didn’t last long on the bases, as Rivera got Kendrys Morales to ground into a double play. The Mariners would try to rally with two outs however, as Raul Ibanez walked, and Endy Chavez singled. Despite having two runners on Rivera settled down and got Michael Saunders to fly out to Left Field to end the game.

Next up for the Yankees will be a three-game series starting on Tuesday in Oakland against the Athletics, as C.C. Sabathia (6-4, 3.74) will be facing former Yankee Bartolo Colon (7-2, 3.14).

Monday, June 10, 2013

Is Jason Kidd the Right Hire?

By Ryan McDonald (@RonnieMac90)

Jason Kidd has become a candidate for the Brooklyn Nets head coach position. Kidd played with the Nets from 2001 to 2008 and led the Nets to the finals for the first time in franchise history. Kidd now looks to jump into his next career just a week after retiring as a player from the NBA.

Kidd has no coaching experience but he was one of the most intelligent players to ever play the game. When talking with past teammates, they rave about his leadership in the locker room. These qualities combined with the respect a first ballot hall of famer would get from any NBA locker room make Kidd a seemingly great head coach. However, no coaching experience does raise concerns, especially for a team with such high expectations as the Nets.

Another coach who had no prior coaching experience before being hired was Mark Jackson. Jackson was hired by the Warriors in 2011. Like Kidd, Jackson was a former player and has a great sense of the game. However, unlike Kidd, Jackson did not jump into coaching right after his playing days were over. Jackson became an analyst for both YES Network and ESPN for 6 years. This gave Jackson time to adjust and learn as he normally worked with former Knicks and Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy. Jackson has had success thus far in his coaching career, getting the Warriors to the 2nd round of the playoffs this year.

If the Nets do select Kidd as their head coach, it is speculated that he’ll have an experienced staff around him. Target to be an assistant already is Lawrence Frank who was the Nets head coach from 2004-2010 before he was fired. Frank coached Kidd, and has come out in support of Kidd’s decision to pursue coaching. The Nets would be foolish not to insure experience around Kidd to make up for his lack in experience.

Hiring Kidd is not only risky to the Nets, it is risky to Kidd as well. With high expectations for the next few seasons, the Nets are trying to contend for a championship. The Nets at this time do not seem to have a roster to comply with these demands despite expectations. With over $70,000,000 tied up in just four players for the next 3 years, roster moves are limited. The success of the Nets will have to depend on the health of Brook Lopez, the hopeful resurrection of Gerald Wallace, the inconsistent isolation prone Joe Johnson, and their all-star guard Deron Williams. If Kidd were to take over and only get to the 1st round of the playoffs each year, he would most certainly be fired by trigger happy owner Mikhail Prokhorov. Prokhorov has already been through two coaches, Avery Johnson whom was fired mid-season, and P.J. Carlesimo, who led the Nets to the 4th seed in the east an a 1st round exit.

If Kidd is fired due to these seemingly unreasonable expectations, he may not get another head coaching job for quite a while. It may be safer for both parties to go with a more proven coach at this current time. Frontrunner still is Pacers assistant head coach Brian Shaw who has many years of experience as an assistant with Phil Jackson.

Jason Kidd may end up being a fantastic head coach, but at this time, with this Nets organization, the reward doesn’t seem worth the risk.

MLB Power Rankings: Week 10
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

MLB Power Rankings: Week 10

1.) St Louis Cardinals (41-22) – The Cardinals are once again in the top spot in the Power Rankings, as they just keep on winning, and are now 19 games over .500. A series win on the road against the Reds this weekend was huge for St Louis solidify their top spot in the Power Rankings.

2.) Atlanta Braves (39-24) – The Braves have opened up a nice lead already in the NL East despite having three everyday starters batting .200 or less, which makes the fact that the Braves are 15 games over .500 in more impressive.

3.) Boston Red Sox (39-25) – The Red Sox weren’t picked by many people to have as good a season as they are having, but the have the best record in the AL, and have the lead in one of the toughest divisions in baseball, as this Red Sox team is showing that they are legit.

4.) New York Yankees (37-26) – A sweep at home of the Indians and then taking three out of four against the Mariners to start their West Coast trip has to have the injured Yankees feeling good. Long time Yankee Andy Pettitte also reached the 250 win milestone this week.

5.) Texas Rangers (37-25) – A bit of a tough week on the East Coast has slimmed the Rangers lead the in AL West down a bit, as they lost four out of six to the Blue Jays and Red Sox this past week. Yu Darvish is still dealing, and heading back to Texas should get the Rangers on track.

6.) Oakland Athletics (38-27) – Bartolo Colon has been great of late leading the Athletics rotation, which is starting to get hot. Colon now has seven wins this season, and his only given up six runs in his last five starts, which is remarkable.

7.) Cincinnati Reds (37-26) – The Reds bullpen has cost them a lot of games already this season, and their last home-stand was when they may have been at their worst this season allowing 23 runs in those games.

8.) Pittsburgh Pirates (37-26) – Starling Marte has really struggled of late, and sweep to the Braves didn’t help the Pirates gain ground in the NL Central this week. Gerrit Cole is going to making his debut soon, which should help a rotation that has been banged up lately.

9.) Detroit Tigers (35-26) – Justin Verlander has eight wins, but is fourth on the Tigers rotation in ERA at 3.71, which isn’t what people are use to seeing from Verlander. Austin Jackson is making a rehab start on Monday, so expect him to be back in the powerful Tigers lineup very soon.

10.) Baltimore Orioles (35-28) – Starting Pitching has been an issue for the Orioles so far this season, but their good offense led by Chris Davis is still winning games for the Orioles. Wei-Yin Chen is getting healthier and will be a welcomed sight back in the rotation.

11.) Arizona Diamondbacks (35-28) – Patrick Corban is still dealing for the Diamondbacks with nine wins and an ERA under two, but Wade Miley has really struggled lately, as he is now (4-5) with an ERA closing in on five.

12.) Tampa Bay Rays (34-28) – Matt Moore has struggled in his last two starts allowing 15 runs in those two appearances, which has to be a little concerning for the Rays. David Price is due back towards the end of the month, as the Rays look to keeping playing well without their ace.

13.) San Francisco Giants (33-29) – The Giants only had five games this week, but did go (3-2), as they continue to hope that their pitchers will figure things out and get back on track. The offense has still been very good with five starters hitting .285 or higher.

14.) Colorado Rockies (34-30) – A powerful offense for the Rockies has kept the over .500 still this season, and they used their bats to get a nice series win to start the week on the road in Cincinnati. Troy Tulowitzki is having an MVP type season hitting .354 with 16 homeruns and 51 RBIs.

15.) Washington Nationals (31-31) – Washington is trying to tread water with their two young phenoms on the DL in Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. A trip to Colorado to start the week may spark an offense that has been showing signs of coming alive finally.

16.) Philadelphia Phillies (31-33) – For whatever reason the Phillies seem to have a problem beating the Brewers, and after making it over .500 in the middle of the week, three straight losses to Milwaukee put them right back under .500.

17.) Kansas City Royals (28-32) – The Royals pitching is finally getting some help from their lineup, which has resulted in the Royals going on a five-game winning streak. A big series to start the week against the Tigers can really help or hurt the surging Royals.

18.) San Diego Padres (29-34) – The Padres may have had a losing week, but they are getting great play from rookie Jedd Gyorko at Second base, as he is hitting .284 with a team-leading eight homeruns to go along with 25 RBIs.

19.) Cleveland Indians (30-32) – The Indians are free falling right now losing seven straight games, and injuries to Chris Perez and Asdrubal Cabrera wont help them win games. Next week the Indians start with a series against the Rangers, which may make the losing streak even worse.

20.) Minnesota Twins (27-33) – Minnesota doesn’t seem to have a whole lot going for them right now a (2-4) week was capped off with losing both games to the Nationals in their double-header on Sunday.

21.) Los Angeles Dodgers (27-35) – Yasiel Puig's first week in the majors was a memorable one, as the young Outfielder has sparked the Dodgers. Puig is hitting .464 with four homeruns and 10 RBIs in his first seven games.

22.) Toronto Blue Jays (27-35) – Things might be on the up for the Blue Jays, as their pitching was very good this week, as they got good starts from R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle. A nice series win a home against the Rangers is a start in the right direction for Toronto.

23.) Chicago White Sox (27-34) – The White Sox are the second worst team in baseball in scoring runs, and that in large part is due to the struggles on Paul Konerko, who is having a bad year in the middle of the lineup. Konerko is hitting just .235 with six homeruns and 23 RBIs.

24.) Los Angeles Angels (27-36) – Huge week is coming up for the Angels with series against the Orioles and Yankees. If the Angels want to make the playoffs they need to start winning games against teams ahead of them in the standings, and really just games against anyone.

25.) Seattle Mariners (27-37) – Seattle's offense continues to struggle and spoil good starts from Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma. Poor pitching from the other three Starters and poor hitting has led to the Mariners being 10 games under .500

26.) Milwaukee Brewers (25-37) – Brewers pitching showed up on the weekend against the Phillies, which resulted in them taking three out of four in their weekend series. Kyle Lohse had one of his best starts of the year on Sunday in earning his second win, something the Brewers need him to keep up.

27.) Chicago Cubs (25-35) – Cubs star Shortstop Starlin Castro is still having a bad season, which is really hurting the Cubs offense right now. Castro is only hitting .243 with three homeruns and 21 RBIs, numbers which are way down for him.

28.) Houston Astros (22-42) – After an impressive week last week by the Astros the Royals gave them a reality check on the weekend holding them to just four runs in three games, which resulted in the Astros being swept.

29.) Miami Marlins (18-44) – Marcell Ozuna is an exciting young player to watch, as he had a huge throw getting Daniel Murphy out at the plate in the 20-inning game against the Mets on Saturday, and he is also hitting very well batting .331 this season.

30.) New York Mets (23-35) – The Mets have lost five straight games to the Marlins now who certainly have their number. Ike Davis struggles have finally gotten him sent down to the minors, but there is now viable option to replace him at First Base.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Week in Review with Kenny and Nick: June 9th, 2013

Hot off the presses, it is the newest edition of the Week in Review with Kenny (@teapester725) and Nick (@ziggy26x) on the Bob Sullivan Show (@BobSullivanShow), a.ka. The Best Looking Radio Show bringing you all the happenings this past week around the sports world.  They start the show off discussing the retirements of Grant Hill and Jason Kidd from the NBA with a little talk of what Kidd has planned for the near future.  After they get into Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last week before breaking down Game 1 of the NBA Finals and what to expect the remainder of the series.  News with the Charlotte Bobcats wanting to trade for Chris Bosh gives the hosts an opportunity to talk some possible off-season moves the NBA could see this season.  Finally they break down what has happened this week in MLB including Nick giving a little preview of his Power Rankings this week and he attempts to use his powers to again knock teams down a notch and to pick up some others.

Follow the link to listen in to the whole show!

Pettitte Gets Milestone Win Number 250
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 8th, 2013

New York Yankees vs Seattle Mariners Post Game Recap

Final Score: Yankees 3 Mariners 1

The New York Yankees were able to bounce back on Saturday afternoon after what had to be an extremely disappointing loss to Jeremy Bonderman on Friday. The offense wasn’t great in this one, but Andy Pettitte gave an exceptional start in his milestone victory. The win moves the Yankees (36-26), and are just 1.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

The offense for the Yankees wasted no time getting Pettitte an early lead, as they were able to get a two-out rally going off Joe Saunders. Mark Teixeira had a double, and then Robinson Cano knocked him in with a base-hit for 40th RBI of the season. The offense would go quiet for a while before Jayson Nix was able to break a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning with a base-hit the scored Ichiro Suzuki. Nix would also add an insurance run for the Yankees in the seventh inning, as after a double by Brett Gardner Joe Saunders was pulled for Danny Farquhar, and Nix promptly knocked in Gardner with a single. Overall it was a pretty good start from Joe Saunders, as he finished going 6.1 innings allowing three runs on seven hits, and two walks, but with no run support he picked up his sixth loss of the year.