By Eddie Mayrose
New York Jets All Talk: Again
Tony Dungy, former Head Coach of the Indianapolis Colts and one of the NFL’s true gentlemen, took Rex Ryan to task over the summer for the salty language that was so prominent on HBO’s Hard Knocks, an all-access view of the Jets training camp. Certainly hope Dungy wasn’t anywhere near the new Meadowlands Stadium on Monday, then,to hear the profanity in the stands as Big Rexy’s boys carried on the long-standing Jets tradition of crushing the high hopes of their naive fans with a 10-6 stinker against the Ravens.
There’s an old adage that says, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can back it up.” And, what we found out Monday is that Gang Green has the biggest collection of braggarts in the sports world. Ryan has stated on numerous occasions that anything short of a trip to the Super Bowl will render this season a failure. This despite an offensive unit led by Mark Sanchez, who finished2009 as the lowest rated starting quarterback in the league and one that dismssed Thomas Jones and Alan Faneca, two of its more prominent leaders. Think that, maybe, the Jetsies were missing those two just a little bit as they failed to convert a third down until the final minute vs. Baltimore?
Worse, the whole, “Rex lets us talk”, mentality seems to have taken a huge toll on the team’s professionalism. From eating cheeseburgers on the field during a preseason workout to the litany of penalties that haunted them throughout the opener, the Jets have quickly become an undisciplined mess with a roster full of loudmouths for whom it is impossible to root.
Cheap Seater Paul Pandolfi took me to task a few weeks ago for my pessimistic outlook on the Jets season. “I don’t want to hear anymore of your 6-10 nonsense”, cried the long suffering Jet fan. My apologies, Paul. If the offensive scheme they unveiled on Monday doesn’t improve, I’ll have to revise my prediction to 5-11.
New York Yankess May Have Difficult Winter
We’ve gotten a glimpse over the last few weeks into what could be a very uncomfortable offseason for the New York Yankees as they begin contract negotiations with Derek Jeter. Plodding through a very difficult season, Jeter will be seeking a new deal for 2011 and beyond; one that could hamstring the Bombers for the length of the pact.
While the Yankee shortstop has certainly enjoyed a Hall of Fame career, the fact remains at 36 years of age, his skills are on the decline, with his batting average starting to mirror the limited range that has plagued him for a lot longer than adoring fans would like to admit. Unfortunately for Yankee brass, they’ll have to choose whether their decision is based on business or sentiment.
From a pure baseball standpoint, the idea of giving a long-term, big-money deal to an aging shortstop that is clearly on the decline is ridiculous anywhere but Flushing. Whatever money it’ll take to sign Jeter ($15 mil plus?) would be better spent on the starting pitching the Yankees so desperately need. It’s even sillier when you realize that there will be no market for Jeter outside of New York at his asking price. Thus, the Bombers would have to pay through the nose even though they have no competition.
Sentimentally, however, the thought of the shortstop in another uniform is heresy to Yankee fans everywhere. He’s been the face of the franchise for the last fifteen, successful seasons and the Golden Boy of the fans. I’d hate to be Brian Cashman at the press conference announcing the Yankees’ decision to go with someone else.
So, Yankee fans, ask yourselves this. Do you love Derek Jeter so much that you’d be willing to take a bullet in order to watch him retire in pinstripes? Or do you cut ties and start fresh?