Who Will Follow Their Lead in 2011?

By Moonlight Graham

It was a banner year for rookies in Major League Baseball as more than a few newcomers not only burst onto the scene in a big way, but turned their teams into contenders. The American League Rookie of the Year, Rangers’ RP Neftali Feliz, set a rookie record for saves and firmed up the Texas bullpen to the tune of a World Series appearance.   He wasn’t the AL’s only impact newbie, as Minnesota’s Danny Valencia filled a void at third base for the champions of the AL Central.   In the National League, Travis Wood performed so well for Cincinnati that even Dusty Baker, notorious for his disdain of rookies, couldn’t keep him out of the rotation. Then there was NL Rookie of the Year, Buster Posey, who was not just the most important player in the lineup for the World Champion Giants, but impacted the Rangers’ championship run by making then San Francisco catcher Bengie Molina Aavilable.  Now, That’s a game changer. Continue reading »

D’Antoni’s Shortcomings Exposed

by Eddie Mayrose

Was actually encouraged by the way the New York Knicks started the season.  Not that I had any expectations about a championship or even a playoff appearance, for that matter. Rather, I was just happy that the roster was now populated with players that I could actually root for; a stark contrast to the band of miscreants that wore the uniform over the course of Isiah Thomas’ reign of error.  Gone were Stephon Marbury, Nate Robinson and Jerome James, replaced by hard-working players like Toney Douglas and Ronny Turiaf, not to mention A’mare Stoudamire,the biggest talent to hit the Garden floor in a long time.  However, my optimism was dashed very quickly last week after I sat through Knicks-Warriors. Continue reading »

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

by Moonlight Graham

Once upon a time, before the evolution of the internet, Fantasy Baseball information was hard to come by.  News regarding critical issues such as day-to-day injury situations, rookie callups and even trade rumors were rarely current.  Often, it was necessary to directly call the MLB club in question but, even then, it was as likely as not that you’d reach someone that didn’t already frown on the entire concept of Fantasy Baseball.  Which brings me to the kid in Milwaukee.  I  never got his name so, I couldn’t say if he’s still in baseball but, wherever he is, there’s a former, public relations intern of the Brewers that, probably, still curses ole’ Moonlight at the very mention of Dan Plesac.

Sometime in the early nineties, Plesac, the Brew Crew closer, was nursing a bad elbow while a member of Moonlight’s Master Batters.  After a few absences from the daily box scores and no mention of an injury, I placed my first call to the unsuspecting intern.  Surprisingly, he really didn’t seem all that interested in the fact that a tight Saves race might decide my league.  He was equally unsympathetic when I explained that I couldn’t pick up a replacement unless Plesac was disabled by Milwaukee.

So, I asked, “Hey, what’s up with Plesac?”  “Is he going on the DL?”  “Not to my knowledge”, came the reply and thus started a daily correspondence over the course of the next six days.  Exasperated, he finally admitted to me that Plesac was likely out for awhile but, as rosters were about to expand on September 1st, would not go on the DL.  If he’d have only told me that in the first place, I’d have had another relief pitcher and he; an enjoyable week. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

New York Yankee Granderson an Inspiration

The next time you hear someone espouse the idiotic notion that professional athletes shouldn’t strive to be role models for impressionable youngsters, mention Yankees’ centerfielder, Curtis Granderson. Recognized for his charity work with the 2009 Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award by Major League Baseball, Granderson has a great appreciation of his own good fortune and a generosity of self that extends into the community.  His  foundation, “GrandKids”, was established in 2008 as an educational-based organization. The son of two educators, Granderson’s mission is to enforce educational initiatives to youth and to help bring the sport of baseball back to the nation’s inner cities. The foundation purchases school supplies for needy families and kids, books and supplies for schools which do not get the funding they always need, establishes baseball programs and provides equipment and facilities in some of Michigan ‘s inner cities and seeks to establish a scholarship program for graduating high school seniors.  More importantly, it has also served to inspire community service at the game’s most basic level. Continue reading »

by Eddie Mayrose

Duke Basketball Back on Top

In one of the more compelling NCAA Championship games ever, the Duke Blue Devils retured to the pinnacle of College Basketball with a two point win over Butler; a Cinderella story right out of the movie, Hoosiers. There was no shortage of gripping story lines on either side; Duke’s return to the title game, Coach K’s place among the game’s coaching greats, the David vs. Goliath aspect of Butler’s run, the baby faced coach pitted against the old master and the realization that great basketball is played on every level of the NCAA. Neither team led by more than six points at any point in the contest that wasn’t decided until Butler’s Gordon Heyward barely missed a half-court heave at the buzzer, (what was Krzyzewski thinking on that last foul shot?), putting a cap on one of the best tournaments ever and emphasizing the vast difference between NCAA Basketball and Football. Those that oversee College Hoops get it; while their brethren on the gridiron perpetuate an yearly folly that does more to enrage than satisfy. Continue reading »

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