Search Results : a.J. Burnett

by Eddie Mayrose

It’s here.  That weekend on the sports calendar better than all the others.  The Final Four, Masters week and, of course, the opening of the baseball season.  No matter what the weather, (and the Yankees are slated to open today in less than stellar conditions), it’s always a little warmer when there are baseball highlights to watch and box scores to follow. The optimism that marks the beginning of each season may fade quickly here in New York, however, as both of our local nines are facing problems that could hinder any run to the top.

While the Yankees are clearly in better position than the Mets to contend within their division, they have somehow managed to compile a $200 million dollar roster that is woefully short on pitching.  C.C. Sabathia and Phil Hughes, All Stars both, will anchor the top of the rotation as will Rafael Soriano and the ageless Mariano Rivera in the bullpen.  The matter of who starts on the other three days and who bridges the gap to the ace relievers is one that will plague GM Brian Cashman through at least July, and possibly all year.
It has been a tried and true Yankee policy to acquire whatever they need for the stretch run at the trading deadline.  A daunting task in 2011, however, as one mid-season pickup may not be enough.  Unless A.J. Burnett has a miraculous turnaround, the Bombers will probably need two pitchers to carry them through September. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

Despite the largest payroll in the game, the Yankees will begin the 2011 season with A.J. Burnett following C.C. Sabathia in the starting rotation. Burnett, a huge disappointment over the two seasons since he signed a five-year $80 million contract, is a far cry from Cliff Lee, now the Phillies second starter after the Yankees failed to land him in the off-season.  However, with the Bombers as strapped for pitching as they are, Burnett becomes their only option.
In previous seasons, standard operating procedure for Yanks’ GM Brian Cashman would be to fill his team’s needs at the trading deadline with a star from a team looking to rebuild and dump salary.  That may be next to impossible this season, though, as one player won’t get it done.  If Burnett continues his slide, Cashman will likely need to fill three spots in the rotation if the Yankees are to make a run at a playoff bid.
The Yankees’ predicament stems from the fact that they put all of their eggs in Lee’s basket during the free agent season , leaving themselves seemingly without a backup plan when he headed south on the Jersey Turnpike.  Left only with the option of inviting the likes of Bartolo Colon and Mark Pryor to camp, the Yanks now head into 2011 with questions that their wallets may, finally, be unable to answer. Continue reading »

Without Fanfare, New York Giants Lead Division
by Eddie Mayrose

Somewhere around the time that Rex Ryan and his New York Jets started their miraculous run through last year’s playoffs, the Giants became a forgotten team. As Gang Green began to dominate the back pages of the local tabloids; for reasons both good and bad, Big Blue quietly went about the business of repairing a defense that disappeared during last December’s collapse. There were no sexy trades, no television shows and, certainly, no Super Bowl predictions. There was simply a change at defensive coordinator and a commitment to the work necessary to regain the top spot in the NFC East.  Funny how effective that formula’s been.

Since Big Rexy showed up in town and started shooting his mouth off, the Giants have almost become the forgotten team in New York and that’s just the way they like it. Free to go about their business with a minimum of distractions and media scrutiny, they’ve seen their defense return to a dominating level while Eli Manning continues to shine.  The Giants seem very content to leave the bluster to the boys in green.  Just as well, as they can better use the time to polish those Lombardi trophies Rex keeps promising. Continue reading »

Dolan Continues To Destroy Knicks’ Tradition

by Eddie Mayrose

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…

Remember when we thought that failing to sign LeBron James was the worst that could happen to the Knicks this summer?  Now come whispers from Madison Square Garden that owner James Dolan has taken under consideration the rehiring of Isiah Thomas, perhaps the most incompetent employee the Knicks have ever seen.  Fans can only hope the rumor is a test balloon being floated by Little Jimmy to gauge public reaction.  Prayers might be more appropriate.

Thomas’ bumbling as President and coach was epic.  So much so, that, burying the Knicks in a salary cap mess that required the sacrifice of two full seasons to undo was not even close to his greatest failure.  Nor was the trading away of  so many draft picks that the roster was barren of any players that might have James consider coming to the Big Apple.  Rather, it was his sexual harassment of team exec Anucha Brown Sanders that resulted in a settlement of $11 million and a blight on one of the league’s most storied franchises that is Isiah’s legacy.

So, if Dolan is actually mulling Thomas’ rehiring, if he continues to act like the little rich boy born on third yet thought he hit a triple, if he refuses to acknowledge that New Yorkers paying the league’s highest ticket prices deserve more than one playoff appearance per decade, why should any player, fan or league executive take him seriously? Continue reading »

After the Break, Some Fly, Others Flop

by Moonlight Graham

Moonlight regular, Joe Mreczko, posed a question about pitchers that might be able to help his Fantasy Baseball team over the second half of the season.  It’s actually a two-sided question, as any Fantasy Baseball owner should be just as worried about the hurlers to avoid as the ones to target.  So, in order to help Joe work his way past all of the Phillie cheese steaks in his league, here’s a special, Moonlight, second half preview from sixty feet six inches.

Grab Bag

Any list of post All Star Break Studs has to begin with Johan Santana as the Mets’ ace is 64-19 over his career in the second half.  Don’t be fooled by his mundane 8-5 record, either. He’s suffered eight no decisions in which he’s allowed just nine runs.  Use his struggles to your advantage by grabbing him from J-Roller frustrated to this point.

Detroit’s Max Scherzer must have been given a magic elixir upon being sent to the minors a little more than a month ago as he suddenly discovered the velocity that had been missing through the early part of the season.  Since his return, Scherzer is 4-3 while averaging 7 K per start.  His numbers still appear unimpressive because of the slow start so, he may come cheap.

Javier Vasquez has spent half a season seeking the approval of ignorant Yankee fans convinced he didn’t belong in the rotation.  He’s the #2 starter now, (as predicted here in February), but may still be undervalued.  Go out and grab him. Continue reading »

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