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 »

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. Continue reading »

Does The Boss Belong in the Hall?

by Eddie Mayrose

As talk of George Steinbrenner’s possible induction into the Hall of Fame swirled around Old Timer’s day at  Yankee Stadium, I was asked by Cheap Seater Jim Case if the late Steinbrenner had been good for baseball.  A difficult question to answer, no matter how you felt about The Boss during his reign in the Bronx.  While most Yankeee fans  are sure to point to the many championships won since Steinbrenner bought the franchise in 1973, his detractors make note of the mockery he made of the pinstripes with his endless firings of managers and pitching coaches as well as two suspensions that resulted from a felony conviction and an extortion attempt.  However, almost all will use the phrase, “George just wants to win.”

The thing I always found interesting about the “just wants to win” theory is that the Yankees never, EVER, won a title when the impetuous Boss had the final say about the roster.  His first championships were won under the watchful eye of GM Gabe Paul, who threatened to quit whenever Steinbrenner insisted on a ridiculous player move. When Paul had had enough, he resigned, leaving the reins in George’s hands and the fans with a drought that would last eighteen years. 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 Moonlight Graham

No position has undergone more change over the last decade than the Middle Infield. Long a collection of slap hitting, base stealers and the occasional power guy, it saw drastic change with the emergence of big guns like Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, Jeff Kent and Barry Larkin.  Even marginal, late round options like Jose Valentin were good for better than 20 HR.

However, retirement, injury and position change have all been factors in depleting the ranks of the Middle Infielders that’ll give you a boost in the power department.  While some do remain, (Hanley Ramirez and Chase Utley will cost you a first rounder), for the most part, many Fantasy Baseball owners will settle for the mid-round options that produce low, double-digit HR’s, a solid BA and a decent number of SB.  The trick is, to find that one player who could break the mold and give you a top tier performance for a second tier price.

Fantasy Stars

-  Unless you’ve got one of the first two picks, you can forget Hanley Ramirez.  After that, Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Reyes top the Shortstop list but neither is a sure thing. Tulo comes off a terrific season but Fantasy Baseball owners still bear the burn marks from his disastrous ’08 season.  New York Mets’ star, Reyes, is not only coming off of a campaign lost to injury but was just cleared to play after a thyroid condition sidelined him for most of camp.  Don’t reach for either.  On the other side of the bag, Utley and Ian KInsler are the cream of the crop but Cincinnati Reds’ second sacker, Brandon Phillips, may be the best value.  He’s a guaranteed 20-20 from a position where that’s rare and he bats cleanup.  Going with that theory, we’d also have to add Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, as he’s been moved to the five hole of that very potent lineup. Continue reading »

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