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The perfect gift for a Yankees or Giants fan

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The Christmas posts are usually reserved for my other site, CreativeJamie.com. These ornaments, however, seemed more appropriate for this space. I just don’t know what to make of these. I’m sure there is a cross-section of people in the world who like high heeled shoes as much as they like the New York Yankees and the New York Giants, but whoever thought they’d get their ornaments? And yet, they did.
They did.

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Catch up!

Sorry I haven’t been around for a while. Let’s get caught up, list style!

New York Giants have falling off a cliff

And it’s painful to watch! I recommend raking leaves instead and catching up on other chores. Sure, that’s no fun, but neither is watching the Giants.

The Mega Trade

That 12 player trade between the Marlins and Blue Jays certainly makes the Blue Jays better, but I’m not sure it makes them significantly better. Meanwhile, someone in Miami should go to jail after getting all of that government money for the new stadium and then turning the team into a laughing stock. And now, they’re trying to trade Ricky Nolasco and Logan Morrison, too.

Triple A Name Change

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (who were the Empire State Yankees during their homeless season this past year) have officially changed their name to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders for some reason. This brings up two important facts:

1. they are actually going to print that on stuff

2. RailRiders is one word

No Yankees received a vote for the Cy Young Award

Nope, not one vote. I didn’t expect anyone to win, but jeez. The Rays’ David Price and the Mets R.A. Dickey won the awards.

No Torri Hunter for you!

The Tigers got Hunter on a 2 year deal – I read that the Yankees just wouldn’t go two years, so that’s probably why they lost out on him. This probably makes the return of Ichio more likely.

Ibanez might be back

The Yankees and Rual Ibanez are talking about bringing his clutch bat back for another season… this is probably a good idea.

Robinson Cano, American

Robinson Cano is officially a US Citizen now, “dontcha know.” This isn’t nearly as impressive as when he learned English, but still pretty neat.

Martin might be back

The Yankees and Russell Martin are talking about him coming back, and given the lack of quality free agents catchers and not exactly ready for prime time minor leaguers in the Yankees system, this is a good thing. The Yankees are also kicking the tires on free agent Mike Napoli, who falls into that aforementioned “lack of quality free agents catchers” category.

Mariano Rivera is coming back!

Mo says he will pitch next year! Hooray! Then why would the…

Yankees want to give Rafael Soriano a 2 year deal

I guess they want Mariano Rivera insurance, but this seems like it interferes with the Yankees $189 million dollar 2014 payroll plan…

Michael Pineda is throwing off flat ground

Maybe he’ll actually pitch next year!

Hiroki Kuroda, Nick Swisher, and Rafael Soriano all declined their qualifying offers

This doesn’t mean the Yankees can’t resign any of these plays (see Soriano note above), but it does mean they want more money than the qualifying offer. I read somewhere that Kuroda is deciding between returning to the MLB and pitching the Japanese league… let’s hope he picks the Yankees. Swisher, on the other hand, is as good as gone. Between the contract he’ll command and his 4 year playoff drought in the Bronx, the Yankees don’t seem interested.

Can and Derek Jeter won Silver Slugger awards

Hooray!

Waiver pickups

The Yankees claimed three dudes off waivers: catcher Eli Whiteside, right-hander David Herndon, and left-hander Josh Spence. Whatever.

No more Scrappy =(

Ramiro Pena is a minor league free agent… I hope the Yankees resign him for depth because I irrationally love him, but somebody else will probably scoop him up first

GM meetings

Nothing I care about happened at the GM meetings – Brian Cashman was just chillin.

Tino hired to coach no one

Tino Martinez is now the Miami Marlins hitting coach. Too bad they don’t have any hitters left…

Up Next

The next Bomber Banter post will be a review of the new Ichiro coffee table book – a must for your Christmas list!

Giants beat Redskins – everyone is shocked that Washington's team is still called the Redskins

Sunday’s contest against the Giants and the Redskins (Seriously, guys – you’re still the Redskins? Why not be the "Cottin’ Pickin’ Good Fer Nuttin’ —" well, you see where I’m going with this. And if you don’t get it, let me speak plainly: your team nickname is racist. Very Racist.) was sloppy, but given how few games the NFL plays, every win is important, and all that matters is you win. The Giants didn’t look especially good doing it, but they got it done.

Mr. Robert Griffen III sure can play. I know that’s not news, but jeez, that dude has some moves, some legs and a serious arm. I do think he’s a catastrophic knee injury waiting to happen (based on the way he pivots and scrambles), but wow. He’s an amazing player, and yesterday, it often looked like he had to deal with the ineptitude that Eli Manning usually has to do deal with – although this weekend, Manning contributed a bit of that bad play himself. Anyway, much props to RG3 (as the kids say… right? kids still say that?), but in the end, Eli decided that he preferred to win the game rather than loose it and KABOOM – touchdown! Just like that. Victor Cruz and Eli Manning make it look so easy, don’t they? And that’s how it goes – if you let Eli Manning have the ball with time left late in the game and it’s a one score game, you are screwed. Very, very screwed.

It’s good to be a Giants fan.

Yankees offensive slumber continues, NY Giants rock 49ers

Both games started at 4 PM – that’s just genius. I’m sure you know how things went down by now (even though watching all of both games was impossible) – The NY Giants obliterated the 49ers and the Yankees offensive slump continued as the Tigers went up two games to none in the ALCS.

I was surprised that the Giants were able to run all over the 49ers and had two interceptions, but I guess that’s the reality of the situation – I just didn’t think the 49ers were the sort of team that made those kind of mistakes.

Oh the Yankees and their awful, awful offense – what can you say? Here’s some facts that will make you ill: Robinson Cano is hitless since the first inning of Game Two of the ALDS (his last 26 at-bats) and is 2 for 32, and if that doesn’t sound bad enough, please consider:

- it’s the longest hitless streak in Yankees post season history
- 2 for 32 works out to a .063 batting average; small sample size, I know, but still, that’s the number

I know I’m bashing Cano a lot, but I think he deserves it. Well, at least more than A-Rod does. I know A-Rod stinks (3-23 in 2012 post season), but I don’t expect much from him – Cano is in the prime of his career. On the other hand, the umpires took away one hit from Cano and an out he made at second via the tag, so Cano is just having a lot of bad luck in general besides my bashing.

Hiroki Kuroda was brilliant yesterday – let’s not forget about that. Win or loose, I’ll always remember his excellent start in this series. The Yankees need to make bringing him back for 2013 a top priority as this guy was clearly built for the big stage.

Where’s the crowd?
Yankee Stadium looked a little empty – for a playoff game, that is. Just keep jacking up those parking and ticket prices, guys. Oh, and the $12 George Washington Bridge toll is also great for business!

Well, let’s hope Phil Hugues has some magic in him and Joe Girardi continues to yell at the hitters for not making in game adjustments.

MLB PLayoffs: Yankees Win | Monday Morning Quarterback: Giants Lose

I hate Sunday Night Football. It starts and ends too late here on the east coast and it gets "I hate myself for loving you" stuck in my head, which is inexcusable.

And, unfortunately, the New York Giants could not get it done against the Philadelphia Eagles. This is awful for several reasons:

  1. I hate Michael Vick
  2. I hate Sunday Night Football
  3. Seriously, you shorted that kick on the second try?

Every loss in an NFL season is a big loss, but that was a game I felt the Giants should have found a way to win. I’m too tired to agonize over the minutia of the loss (because Sunday Night Football ends too late), but, grr…

I guess I can’t complain too much as the Yankees came back against a 5-1 deficit in the middle innings against the Blue Jays to win the game 9-6, despite Phil Hughes terrible mustache. Just when I thought the Yankees were going to lay down for good, they got up and started doing everything right. It was, as Darth Vader would say, an ‘impressive’ victory. "Most impressive."

Yawn. Let’s stop this Giants night game shit already. It’s barely October and I’m already exhausted.

NY Yankees win, NY Giants lose – the opposite of what I expected

I’m glad I don’t bet, because last night would have cleaned me out.

The Dallas Cowboys really impressed me with their play last night – Tony Romo kept his boneheaded mistakes to a minimum, which I didn’t think was possible. Meanwhile, the Giants were dropping the ball all over the field (Victor Cruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuz) and not exactly blowing me away with their second half defense. Oh well – every lose is a big lose in the NFL, but the Giants still have time to right the ship.

The Yankees do not.

Sure, the Yankees won last night, but just barely – without help form Tampa via a 2 run throwing era, I don’t see the Yankees winning that game. The Yankees were off last Thursday – take a look at the game scores (and awful results against division rivals) since then:

Aug 31 L 1-6
Sept 1 W 4-3
Sept 2 L 3-8
Sept 3 L 3-4
Sept 4 L 2-5
Sept 5 W 6-4

Even when they win, they can barely hold the opposition to 3 runs. As putrid as the offense has been of late, the pitching isn’t any better. All of the starters look tired or flat and the only relievers worth a damn are the big three (Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Boone Logan) – everyone else pretty much sucks. Joba Chamberlain has been better of late, but I don’t know what to expect going forward as he gets further away from his various injuries and rehabs until he’s got some serious innings under his belt.

Well, here we are – the Yankees are starting a four game series tonight that will make or break their season. They’ll need to at least split the four games with the Baltimore Orioles and hope that the team formerly known as the Boston Red Sox isn’t much of a competition in the remaining contests and hope they can keep the Toronto Blue Jays in check.

But mostly, the Yankees need to play better. Since the All Star Break, they’ve been mediocre at best (maybe under .500? too lazy to do the math…) in all categories except the back of their bullpen. Derek Jeter aside… I don’t know. Maybe A-Rod’s return will help. Maybe Teixeira will get back sooner rather than later and contribute meaningfully… maybe the same will go for Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova. But I don’t think the Yankees can count on any of their injured guys to be meaningful contributors – there are too many quesiton marks.

I think it’s down to the guys that are in the clubhouse today – either they can get it done, or they can’t… and I’m starting to lose hope that they can. If they can at least split the contests in Camden Yards… that’ll be something. BUT COME ON! IT’ THE ORIOLES! The Yankees missing out of the playoffs because of the Orioles is a tough pill to swallow.

2 Simple Reasons The New England Patriots Lost The Super Bowl

As The New England Patriots learned when they played the Baltimore Ravens, sometimes you win the game, but other times, your opponent loses the game. I’m not sure if Super Bowl 46 was one of these cases, but Tom Brady made two mistakes that ultimately made it very difficult for the Patriots to win the game. (Which worked out great for me!)

The Safety
There’s been some Intentional Grounding calls we’ve seen over the years that felt a bit like splitting hairs, and then there’s an Intentional Grounding penalty that’s so blatant it is called by seven year old kids throwing yellow napkins at their TVs. What on earth was Brady thinking? I guess he wasn’t – he just panicked, trying to get rid of the ball and avoid the safety, but got one anyway.

The Interception
This wasn’t nearly as bad as the safety, but still, not a great throw. Sure, you look at the match up between the defender and the receiver, but it’s The Super Bowl; you can’t throw the ball like that. Oh well.

Still, even if it wasn’t he best played game, it was fun to watch. Tom Brady still gave a pretty good performance, and as I’m sure Eli Manning can sympathize, you can throw a bunch of good balls, but you can’t catch them for your receivers.

And hey, I was pretty close on my prediction – I had the Giants winning the game 24-17, so not too bad.

2 Simple Reasons The New York Giants Will Win The Super Bowl

As the New York Giants marched into camp, began the season and perhaps as recently as Thanksgiving, I was a naysayer. The Giants let important players like Kevin Boss leave after last season and didn’t replace them. Key players were hurt and others weren’t producing. When I watched them play, I just didn’t see a championship team, and often, I didn’t see a playoff team. Then something happened: players began performing to expectation or better (maybe not Brandon Jacobs, but he’s better than he was), still other players got healthy and Victor Cruz rode in on a white horse and saved the day. Suddenly, Eli Manning had a team around him that was firing on all cylinders at the best possible time.

Now, the Giants find themselves in the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots for the second time in just a few years, and conditions are looking right for Big Blue to repeat against the Pats. Why? As Mr. Spock would say, "Simple logic will suffice."

1. The Giants have a great defense
Defense wins championships in any sport, and the Giants have a great defense. Sure, the Patriots have a great offense, and Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but the Giants D can limit the damage more so than the Pats D can – hence, the Giants will allow fewer points.

2. The Patriots’ record is against them
Yeah, I know – the Patriots lost only 3 games all year. But the proof is in the numbers; look at who they beat and who they lost to. I’ll give the Patriots their due; they are a good team, but they aren’t great. They didn’t win that game to get to the Super Bowl, the Ravens lost it (bringing to mind the Giants win over the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl way back in the early nineties), and that’s a big difference. During this season, the Patriots didn’t beat a single team with a record better than .500 except the Ravens, and the Ravens blew that game. The Giants are just a better, more well rounded team, pure and simple. Also, it should be pointed out that the Giants have already beaten the Patriots this year. In New England. Sure, it was a close came, but the Giants were in bad shape and on the road… the Patriots should have found a way to win that game, but they couldn’t because they just don’t have what it takes to beat the better teams – not this year. (Oh, and the Giants beat the Pats in preseason, too, but I’ll let that slide. Preseason is BS.)

That’s all there is to it. Of course, it’s football, so anything can happen, but the smart money is on the Giants. Unlike the defense heavy Ravens, the Giants are, again, a well rounded team that simply has more weapons than the Patriots, and I’m looking forward to celebrating a Super Bowl victory Sunday evening.

FINAL SCORE PREDICTION:
New York Giants 24
New England Patriots 17

New York Giants Fans: Dare We Dream Big?

After all of my complaining, the New York Football Giants have peaked at the right time and are on a collision course with the San Francisco 49ers.  Eli Manning is having an MVP type season.  Victor Cruz has emerged from nowhere to become the Giants best receiver while making Mario Manningham, Hakeem Nicks, Jake Ballard and everyone else around him better.  And when it comes to making the players around you better, you need look no further than Ahmad Bradshaw – Brandon Jacobs knows what I’m talking about.  Osi Umenyiora and Justin Tuck continue to take care of business on the defensive end – last week, the Packers never held a lead during the entire game.

If the Giants can keep Manning, Cruz, Bradshaw and Umenyiora healthy, a season that I thought would barely merit a playoff birth could suddenly become a Super Bowl win!  Dream big!

 

Mourning the Giants

"Where was the pass rush? Brees was having a field day."

This was the question one my friends put to me this morning, and the answer probably lies in the current status of Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora, neither of whom are anywhere near 100% healthy. I’m sure few players are at the point in the season, but still, without these two guys playing at a high level, I think it’s pretty clear that the Giants are not able to get it done.

Here we are: the Giants have met the hard part of their schedule and for the most part, they have failed miserably. Although many thought that beating the Patriots was a sign of what was to come, it’s now looking like the last hurray in a season that may now be beyond recovery.

(It’s easy to forget that the Patriots were not looking good that game and the Giants weren’t exactly making plays; I remember the Pats offense looking fairly disorganized, especially in the 1st half, and the Giants couldn’t get out of their own way. Of course, the second half was a different story all together, and the Giants defense was able to hold on.)

So what has happened to the Giants season? Was it a front loaded schedule of easier opponents that made the Giants look better than they are? Is it the injuries? Or maybe just the roster construction over all? Perhaps that loss to the Eagles took some fight out of them.

Now the Giants have to prepare for the Packers on a short weak with a roster weakened by injuries, but even at full strength, the Giants have fundamental flaws, so it’s not like I’m disappointed – i predicted them to be a .500 team, and I still believe that’s where they’ll end up. Sure, they still have to play Dallas twice, and those as well as others are winnable games coming up on the horizon, but I can’t get too excited about their prospects. Even if the Giants do sneak into the playoffs (not that one really sneaks into the playoffs in the NFL but rather falls in ass first), I just dont see the them doing any significant post season damage.

But you never know how things will turn out. My buddy reminded me that the Jets got the last seed with a 9-7 record and went to the AFC championship. There they were, beating teams that won 11 and 12 games… well, they didn’t win the Super Bowl, but they certainly made a statement.

One they haven’t followed up on since.

The Bright Spot
Since Mario Manningham doesn’t seem to have the playbook memorized, it’s been fun to watch the emerging of Victor Cruz, this week coming up with 9 receptions good for 157 yards and 2 Touchdowns. Maybe Cruz is the long term answer at wide receiver that the Giants have been looking for since the fall of Plexico Buress…

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