Former A’s GM Heads East

by Eddie Mayrose

The New York Mets made one very big statement this week in their hire of Sandy Alderson as GM. As a baseball lifer, there’s no way Alderson will stand for the meddling of Fred and Jeff Wilpon, neither of whom has ever heard an opinion he didn’t respect. With Alderson on board, there’s no doubt who’ll be calling the shots.

His first move was stellar, appointing J.P. Ricciardi as his assistant.  Formerly the Toronto Blue Jays‘ GM, Ricciardi’s skills as a talent evaluator are among the most respected in the game; skills the Metsies desperately need as they try to rebuild a farm system bereft of top prospects.

Alderson’s next move might be a little dicey, however, as the fan base clamors for the hiring of Wally Backman; a move destined to keep the Mets behind the eight ball.  Backman has no Major League experience, his volatility will quickly wear thin in a big legue clubhouse and, most importantly, he’s given no evidence that he’s tamed the wild lifestyle that got him fired in Arizona after just a few days.  When asked about Backman’s antics in the NY-Penn League, an exec from a rival team shrugged his shoulders and said, “Don’t get me started on the (crap) that guy pulled.” Continue reading »

Swallows Return to New York Sports

By Eddie Mayrose

Each year, around the feast of St. Joseph (March 19th) the famous cliff swallows of San Juan Capistrano return from their winter vacation spot 6,000 miles south in Goya, Corrientes, Argentina. While it is truly one of nature’s wonders, it isn’t as unique as many might think. Here in New York, we annually celebrate the return of our own type of swallows; loony birds with no capacity to remember past failures who are destined to perpetuate their own suffering.

New York Jet Fans Return to Capistrano

My heart goes out to Cheap Seater Lou Ricciardi. He’s been mentioned before in this space as a long suffering Jet fan that can’t stop himself from being sucked into the hype. Perhaps in an attempt to conceal his gullibility, Lou sent me a blurb that he found on a Jets blog, rather than put his own name to the same, misguided optimism. Anyway, some poor slob submitted a long post about the death of the “Same Old Jets” and mocking Gang Green’s naysayers. As if his heart won’t be broken once again. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

St. John’s Basketball Hires (Settles For?) Steve Lavin

Don’t know if there’s a better indication of how far the St. John’s basketball program has fallen than the difficulty the powers that be had in signing a new head coach.  ESPN analyst and former UCLA head man, Steve Lavin, accepted the job after the Johnnies were rebuffed by Florida’s Billy Donovan and Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech.  In addition, Fran McCaffrey, who led Siena to the top of the MAAC during his tenure, and Boston College head man Al Skinner were brought in for interviews and may or may not have been offered the job.  That Lavin is, at best, the Red Storm’s third choice, and might actually be the fifth, speaks volumes to the current irrelevance of what was once a national power.  While Lavin has his work cut out for him, he does have a significant resource of talent in his own backyard.  Armed with four returning senior starters and eight scholarships, he may actually be able to effect a significant turnaround in very short order if he can tap into the prep talent in New York City; something at which his two predecessors failed miserably.  It’s been too long since the Johnnies were at the top of the Big East and a viable threat in the NCAA tournament.  Lavin has an opportunity to be a hero to all of the Johnnie faithful longing to, once again, be a part of March Madness.  Here’s hoping he delivers. Continue reading »

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