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 »

by Eddie Mayrose

College Basketball Winners and Whiners

What’s better than the opening of the NCAA Tournament?  Not only does it signal the beginning of the best event on the sports calendar, it brings to a close the four days of whining we are forced to endure annually from the coaches that feel their teams were unfairly excluded.  Here’s a thought, guys.  Beat someone.

For the second year in a row, Virginia Tech’s Seth Greenberg is telling anyone who’ll listen that his Hokies got the short end of the stick.  He counters the argument that his non-league schedule included a few high schools by pointing out that his squad had a better record than NCAA-bound Wake Forest and even beat the Deacons head to head.  That’s fine.  However, with the Big Dance on the line, they got knocked out of the ACC tournament by Miami; the worst team in the league.  So, spare us all, coach.  You had your shot and blew it.  Don’t expect the Selection Committee to clean up your mess. Continue reading »

By Eddie Mayrose

St. John’s Basketball May Be Out of the Norm

If this is where it ends for St. John’s Head Coach Norm Roberts, if yesterday’s loss to Marquette; his 100th, is the one from which he is not permitted to return, he need only to look in his own backyard as the reason he was unable to return St. John’s to the upper echelon of college basketball.

Charged with cleaning up the scandal ridden mess left by his predecessor, Mike Jarvis, Roberts has been every bit the classy, gentlemanly face Red Storm administrators had hoped when he was hired.  Despite their lack of success, his teams have been the kind of hard working, blue collar squads appreciated by coaches everywhere.  What they lacked, however, was that star player to put them over the top. The player that bails you out on a bad day.  The player that brings your school recognition with a successful NBA career.  The player that draws the media to practice and the fans to Madison Square Garden.  The player that, sadly, toils in High School gyms throughout the Metropolitan area but hasn’t decided to bring his game to Queens.  Having gone his entire tenure without recruiting a player that went on the the NBA, Roberts may have had his fate sealed last month, when just 3,500 showed up at the Garden on the night the Johnnies honored the 1985 Final Four squad led by Chris Mullin; the most recognizable player in their history. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

Sports Heroes are Everywhere; If You Know Where To Look

There were seven minutes left in the CUNY Women’s Basketball quarterfinal when the College of Staten Island suddenly found itself in a battle.  What had looked to be an easy win was now in jeopardy as visiting York had whittled a twenty two point deficit down to ten and taken hold of the momentum of the game.  Then CSI senior guard Mallory Ameneiros, with five of her ten teammates on the bench in street clothes, decided that this was not to be her last college game.  It was a decision she’d made twice before, but this time, it was made on the court; not in a doctor’s office. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose
 

New York Yankees Look to Resign Shortstop
With the Yankees welcoming pitchers and catchers to Tampa this week, the issue of Derek Jeter’s contract situation is sure to dominate the early part of camp. With the longtime Yankee and favorite son entering the last season of his contract, many are wondering how both Jeter and the front office will handle the upcoming negotiations.

While many feel that the Yankees are squarely behind the eight ball in any talks; Jeter being their most popular player since DiMaggio, it’s also true that the shortstop isn’t dealing from a position of complete strength either.

Jeter has been the face of the franchise since his arrival in 1996; a handsome, clutch, superstar athlete with an uncanny sense of his public persona. He plays hard all the time, never puts himself in a compromising position off the field and, oh by the way, has been a central figure on five World Champions. He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer who’s been with one team for his entire career; a rarity in this transient era borne of free agency. The Yankees must consider not only his incredible resume while discussing a contract, but the backlash from fans devastated by the departure of their hero. Continue reading »

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