Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sabathia Blows Lead for Yankees in Baltimore
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 28th, 2013

New York Yankees vs Baltimore Orioles

Final Score: Yankees 3 Orioles 4

The New York Yankees were unable to start their series against the division rival Baltimore Orioles on a good note losing 4-3. The loss moves the Yankees to (42-37) on the season, and are now 5.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East.

The offense for the Yankees got to T.J McFarland early to chase him out of the game after just going 2.2 innings. McFarland gave up three runs on seven hits, and one walk before his early exit. Robinson Cano got the Yankees on the board in the first inning with an RBI base hit that scored Brett Gardner, who was on base after a lead off double. The Yankees would knock McFarland out of the game before finishing the third inning, as Vernon Wells had a RBI base hit which scored Jayson Nix, and then Chris Stewart had a RBI base hit that scored Robinson Cano. The third inning however would be the last time the Yankees scored on Friday night.

Friday, June 28, 2013

2013 NBA Draft Grades

Michael Simmons/New York Daily News
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

The NBA Draft Thursday was as wild as people were expecting as there were trades were flying all night. Some teams did better than others tonight in a draft that was tough to navigate with no consensus number one pick, leading to surprises right from the first pick through the 60th.  This is also the last draft that David Stern will be conducting as commissioner, as he is stepping down February 1st, 2014. Here are the grades for each team with the players that they ended up with at the end of the night.

2013 NBA Draft: Best of the Rest

Jerome Carpenter/Capitol Broadcasting Company
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

With the NBA Draft complete there are some surprising names still available for teams to pick up as undrafted free agents. Some are players coming from smaller colleges, while others were once hotshot prospects that have since fallen out of favor with NBA teams. It will be tough to stick in the NBA as an undrafted free agent, much like a second round pick, but they do have an advantage that second round picks don’t; they will be able to choose which team they want to try out and play for. Here is the best of the rest remaining players that were not drafted.

Breaking Down the Nets/Celtics Trade

By Ryan McDonald(@RonnieMac90)

After the first round of the NBA Draft, the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics have agreed in principle to a trade that sends Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to Brooklyn according to Yahoo Sports.

What the Nets Give Up
Gerald Wallace
Tornike Shengelia
Kris Humphries
Reggie Evans
Keith Bogans
Kris Joeseph
2014 1st Round Pick
2016 1st Round Pick
2018 1st Round Pick

What the Nets Get
Kevin Garnett
Paul Pierce

Jason Terry

A major deal that required Kevin Garnett to waive his no trade clause, which he did late Thursday night. This is has put the Celtics in full rebuilding mode, and expect them to trade Rajon Rondo later in the year as well.

For the Nets though, giving up 3 1st round picks for three aging players? Pierce and Terry are both 35 and Garnett is 37 years old. However, all picks are expected to be non-lottery, which means they’re not as valuable as they would appear. So it’s not as bad as a negative as some are making it out to be.

Then we have the actual players that we gave up and their replacements. Is Kevin Garnett, even at his age, an upgrade over Reggie Evans, who started at power forward for most of the year for the Nets? Absolutely, a huge upgrade. Garnett is a better passer, a better defender, and of course, a better offensive player. Garnett has a great jump shot which will space the floor and allow Lopez to be much more effective than when he was paired with Evans. Garnett also brings the intangibles, he’s a natural born leader and has always been. He plays with maximum effort all the time, which not saying Evans didn’t, but some of this roster needs to start doing more often.

Next up is Paul Pierce replacing Gerald Wallace. Again, Pierce is a much better shooter than Wallace, so he’ll space the floor much better. However, Wallace is the better defender. The Nets will miss Wallace on defense and rebounding, but in scoring and passing, Pierce is superior. It’ll be interesting to see however who the Nets put on the oppositions best perimeter player, which was normally Wallace. Pierce at this point is a bit of a liability on defense, as is Joe Johnson, but hopefully Garnett will help protect the rim and Lopez will continue to develop his shot blocking to make up for Johnson and Pierce’s poor defense.

Jason Terry will most likely assume the role as Deron Williams’ back up and replace CJ Watson who will be lost to free agency. Again, the Nets lose perimeter defense, as Terry has difficulties on defense. But Terry is known for his big shot making, and can shoot off the dribble extremely well still.

The starting line up will be projected to be Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Brook Lopez. With Terry, MarShon Brooks, Mirza Teletovic, and Mason Plumlee off the bench.

With the addition of such aging players, it’s clear that the Nets have Championship or bust for the 2013-2014 NBA season. This means even MORE expectations for rookie head coach Jason Kidd. Already under what was called unrealistic expectations, Kidd will be expected to deliver a Championship this upcoming season. This could end with a short run of Kidd as the Nets’ head coach say the Nets lose in the 2nd round of the playoffs which could easily happen.

If they don’t win a championship this upcoming season, the future is bleak. Terry, Garnett, Pierce, will all be another year older, and their play has already significantly downgraded. As well as Joe Johnson, who seems to have hit and past his prime already. Pierce’s contract expires after the 2013/2014 season, but Garnett’s and Terry’s do not expire till after the 2015/2016 season. Even with Pierce’s expiring contract, the Nets’ payroll will be roughly $84,000,000. Meaning they won’t be able to do anything in terms of free agency. After the 2015/2016, again, the Nets’ payroll will still be $62,000,000, tied up in Lopez, Johnson, and Williams. This means that after this crucial 2013/2014 season, the Nets will not be bad enough to get the few 1st round picks they have left to be lottery picks, but they won’t be good enough to contend for a championship.

Even so, I still think this was a good trade for the Nets. The Nets as constructed with Gerald Wallace, would not contend for a Championship anyway, and they still wouldn’t be bad enough to get into the lottery. The Nets are trading away the next 3 years of being a 4-8 seed in the East, for a shot at being a 1-3 seed and a shot at the NBA Finals.

The trade makes them a better team for this year, and that’s all we can really ask for. They aren’t the favorites to win it all, but they’ve certainly gotten better, and anything can happen.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nets Draft Mason Plumlee

By Ryan McDonald(@RonnieMac90)

With the 22nd overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft the Brooklyn Nets selected Mason Plumlee. Plumlee is a 6’-11” 23 year old from Duke University.

Plumlee brings great energy to a team that seemed to lack it against the Bulls in the playoffs. Along with his athleticism, Plumlee can finish explosively at the rim. Plumlee will also be a good rebounder for the Nets.

Unfortunately, Plumlee doesn’t have much of a post game and his mid-range jumper can only be called decent. He won’t space the floor if paired with Lopez like say Blatche did for the Nets this past season.

How He Fits-
Plumlee will most likely fill in for Andray Blatche who is a free agent as the back up center to Lopez. But don’t look for Lopez and Plumlee to be on the court together like Blatche and Lopez were seen doing, mostly in the playoffs. Plumlee doesn’t space the floor as well as Blatche, and doesn’t have much of an offensive game.

Overall, it’s a decent pick for the Nets given the spot they were in. With their starting five intact for the most part, rotational players is what they needed to draft and Plumlee can give the Nets 8-14 minutes a game.

Derek Holland Tosses Gem Against Yankees
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 27th, 2013

Texas Rangers vs New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Rangers 2 Yankees 0

The New York Yankees finished up their series with the Texas Rangers in very disappointing fashion, as they were shutout by the Rangers in the rubber game of the series. The loss moves the Yankees to (42-36) on the season, and are now in third place in the AL East four games behind the Boston Red Sox.

Phil Hughes was figured to be pitching for his spot in the rotation in this game, and actually came thru with a really solid start, but with zero run support he picked up his seventh loss of the season. Hughes went eight innings allowing just two runs on five hits, one walk, and he struck out five batters. The Rangers first run off Hughes came in the third inning, as Ian Kinsler hit a sac-fly to Left Field which scored Jurickson Profar. Profar would also score the second run of the game in the fifth inning, as he hit a solo-home run, for his third of the year off Hughes.

Errors Cost Yankees in Loss to Rangers
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 26th, 2013

Texas Rangers vs New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Rangers 8 Yankees 5

The New York Yankee were unable to keep up their momentum from a big walk-off win on Tuesday, as the Texas Rangers got revenge against the Yankees with a 8-5 win on Wednesday night. The loss moves the Yankees to (42-35) on the season, which is 3.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

Justin Grimm got the start for the Rangers, and even though he had a mediocre start, the run support was enough to give him his seventh win of the season. Grimm went just five innings allowing three runs on six hits. Lyle Overbay got the first run of the game off Grimm in the second inning, as he hit his ninth home run of the season, which was a welcomed site with the news that Mark Teixeira is out for the season. After allowing and infield single to Brett Gardner and then a double by Ichiro Suzuki, Grimm was pulled for Robbie Ross, who allowed both those runners to score on a singles by Robinson Cano and Travis Hafner.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Mark Teixeira Out for the Season
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 26th, 2013

The New York Yankees suffered another big injury loss on Thursday afternoon, as a MRI revealed a torn tendon sheath in his right wrist, which will require surgery and end Mark Teixeira's season. Teixeira originally hurt the wrist on March 5th preparing for the World Baseball Classic, and it cost him to miss the first 53 games of the season. He did however get on the field for the Yankees for a short period of time, but in 15 games he hit just .151. Teixeira did have three home runs and 12 RBIs before being shut down again to get a cortisone shot to see if the wrist would feel better, which it did not.

2013 NBA Draft Sure Things

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

The NBA Draft is being held Thursday night and there is still tons of speculation flying as to where players will land. There are rumors about which teams want which players and some teams trying to trade up in the order. There aren’t any superstars according to scouts in this draft but the depth is deep as rotation players can be found throughout the top 35 picks. After focusing on some sleepers and players that could be busts, here is a look at some players that look like sure things in a draft void of them.

Yankees Get Walk-Off Victory Against Rangers
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 25th, 2013

Texas Rangers vs New York Yankees

Final Score: Rangers 3 Yankees 4

The New York Yankees were able to get a walk-off victory against the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night thanks to Ichiro Suzuki. The 4-3 Yankees win moves them to (42-34) on the season, and are back in second place in the AL East 2.5 games behind the Boston Red Sox.

Hiroki Kuroda was pretty solid against a talented Rangers lineup, but despite pitching well didn’t earn himself a decision. The Rangers struck first in this game in the third inning, as Leonys Martin hit a solo-home run in the third inning, which was his first of the season. In the fourth inning the Rangers would get one more run, on a Mitch Moreland RBI ground out with the bases loaded that scored Adrian Beltre. Martin would get the best of Kuroda again in the fifth inning with another solo-home run, which was the final run Kuroda would give up. Kuroda finished going 6.2 innings allowing three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits, one walk, and struck out six batters.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NBA Taking Its Show on the Road Next Season

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725

The NBA has been attempting to build their product around the world by playing some exhibition games around the globe in recent seasons. This past season the New York Knicks and Detroit Pistons played in London in front of a sold-out frenzy crowd. The NBA has a lot of events in China as well with the help of Yao Ming to help gain exposure there as well.

The NBA will continue having teams play abroad and will be adding another location for the 2013-2014. The Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets will play a regular-season game at the O2 Arena in London January 16th as part of the NBA Global Games London 2014.

2013 NBA Draft Sleepers

By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

The NBA Draft is set to take place June 27th and is quickly approaching as it is right around the corner. Here are some players that may not be lottery picks but have been turning some heads in NBA circles at tryouts and workouts. These are players that with some luck could find themselves sneaking into the second round to be picked or even moving up to the end of the first round. It is all about finding value and diamonds in the rough as the draft moves on and these players fit that bill.

Potential NBA Draft Busts

Dennis Nett/The Post-Standard
By Kenneth Teape (@teapester725)

With the NBA Draft just days away the speculation is flying as to where players are going to land. This draft is void of any superstars or cornerstone franchise players but there is plenty of depth here as the player that is projected to get drafted 35th is rated as high as someone projected to go 15th. With that, there are still some risky players in the draft. Here are some players to keep an eye on as being potential busts.

Monday, June 24, 2013

MLB Power Rankings: Week 12
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

MLB Power Rankings Week 12

1.) St Louis Cardinals (47-29) – The Cardinals had a tough end to the week being swept at home by the Rangers, but they still have the best record in baseball. Their lead in the NL Central however has been trimmed to just one game.

2.) Pittsburgh Pirates (46-30) – The Pirates are coming on strong, as they split a four- game series on the road against the Reds, and then went out to the West Coast and swept the Angels. Pedro Alvarez is is having a great month of June with nine homeruns, and has 19 now on the season.

3.) Texas Rangers (44-32) – Texas after hitting a rough patch the last few weeks seem to be back on track, as they are now on a five-game winning streak, and are back on top of the AL West. Getting Ian Kinsler back in the lineup was much needed, as he hit .407 in the last seven days.

Yankees Lose to Rays on Old Timers Day
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 23rd, 2013

Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Rays 3 Yankees 1

On the always fun Old Timers Day in the Bronx, the New York Yankees were unable to get the win against the Tampa Bay Rays with so many Yankee greats in attendance. The 3-1 loss moves the Yankees to (41-34), which is still 2.5 games behind the AL leading Boston Red Sox.

Ivan Nova made his return to the Yankees, but despite pitching much better than he had, he picked up the loss which was his second of the year. Nova looked shaky early, as the Rays go on the board quickly in the first with a Ben Zobrist base hit that scored Matt Joyce. Nova would calm down and pitch extremely well until hitting back to back batters in the seventh inning with two outs. Shawn Kelley would come in for Nova, but he walked Evan Longoria to load the bases, and with a lefty in James Loney up Joe Girardi quickly pulled Kelley for Boone Logan. Loney would get the best of Logan however with a two out two run single, which ended up being all the Rays would need for the win.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Week in Review with Kenny and Nick: June 23rd, 2013

The newest edition of the Week in Review with Kenny (@teapester725) and Nick (@ziggy26x) on the Bob Sullivan Show (@BobSullivanShow) is hot off the presses. Everyone's favorite radio tandem, A.K.A. The Best Looking Radio Show are back at it to discuss the happenings in sports this week. They touch on the Aaron Hernandez case and give the newest updates available. After they get into the NBA talking about the season coming to an end and the Miami Heat winning the Larry O'Brien Trophy for the second consecutive season. The NBA talk does not end there as the duo discuss the NBA Draft coming up later this week on Thursday night. Finally they discuss the happenings in baseball this week as one team is on a franchise winning streak and things are looking like polar opposites for some MLB cities. Follow the link below to listen in to the whole show!

Yankees Get Come From Behind Victory Against Rays
By Nick Ziegler (@Ziggy26x)

June 22nd, 2013

Tampa Bay Rays vs New York Yankees Post Game Recap

Final Score: Rays 5 Yankees 7

The New York Yankees were able to win their second straight game against the Tampa Bay Rays, this time in come from behind fashion to ensure at worst a split in the four-game series. The win moves the Yankees to (41-33), which is three games behind the Red Sox for first place.

C.C. Sabathia's woes against the Rays continued on Saturday afternoon, but with a lot of run support, Sabathia was able to notch his eighth victory of the season. Evan Longoria got the Rays on the board in the second inning off of Sabathia, which was Longoria's 17th of the season, and third of the series. The big hit off Sabathia came in the sixth inning, as rookie Wil Meyers hit a Grand Slam off of Sabathia, which made it a 5-3 game, and was Meyers' first home run since being called up. Sabathia finished going seven innings allowing five runs on six hits, and two walks.