Three Players The Mets Need

Posted: March 6, 2014 in MLB
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Another year, another expected disappointment for New York Mets fans. With no Matt Harvey, a shaky bullpen, and holes at multiple positions, the Mets should be set for another 74-win season.

Despite this, all hope is not lost for the future. The 2015 season is supposedly going to be the bright side for New York. If the payroll  is going up next year, here are three players that can help launch the Mets back into the playoffs in 2015.

Sergio Romo- Now everyone knows the Mets have had the best luck with signing closers. Billy Wagner was a bust and lets not even mention K-Rod. However, for the right price, Romo is definitely worth the risk. Coming off a 38 save season, Romo would be an incredible upgrade to this Mets bullpen. For a 4 year/ $40 million contract, Romo could be the answer to New Yorks bullpen troubles.

Jed Lowrie- A class act player, Lowrie would be the perfect player to put next to David Wright in the infield. Coming off a career year and going into a contract year, Lowrie will likely command plenty of money in the offseason. As a contact hitter, with some pop, and a fantastic glove, Lowrie is worth every penny.

Carlos Gonzalez- This is difference maker. Despite a back loaded contract, Gonzalez will only be in his early 30s when his contract is over. Not to mention he is well worth the money. A five tool player, Car-Go hit .302 with 26 homeruns, 70 runs batted in, and 21 stolen bases. With a lineup of Gonzalez, Wright, and Granderson, the Mets may be ready to return to dominance.

What do you guys think? Will the Mets acquire any of these players? Is there someone you want the Mets to sign? Let us know in the comments!

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The NHL trade deadline may be tomorrow, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from executing trades today.

Today, it seemed like goalies were the focus of the moves, with Viktor Fasth going to Edmonton, Ilya Bryzgalov to Minnesota (and not Martin Brodeur), and now the biggest trade of the day, the Florida Panthers sending Jacob Markstrom to Vancouver, in exchange for Roberto Luongo.

The trade was Luongo and Steven Anthony to Florida, in exchange for Jacob Markstrom and Shawn Matthias.

It seemed that Luongo’s days in Vancouver were numbered, after Eddie Lack was given the nod to play the Heritage Classic on Sunday. This means the survivor of the Canucks long standing goalie battle is Eddie Lack, after Luongo’s trade today, and Cory Schneider’s trade to New Jersey on draft day last summer. Go figure.

This trade was obvious for the Canucks, with their season gradually falling apart from injury and controversy, and with Luongo’s albatross contract. The trade wasn’t obvious at all from the perspective of the Panthers.

The Panthers now pick up most of the contract, with the Canucks eating 15% of the money, and have a cap hit of just over $4.5M from now until the 2021-22 season. The Panthers also have a starting goalie in Tim Thomas, and had a bona-fide prospect in Markstrom, until the trade. It seemed to me, that the Panthers were set in goal for a while, despite Markstrom’s recent struggles. Now, they have a heavy contractual burden of a 35-year-old netminder, whose best years are arguably behind him.

The Canucks now have Markstrom to play behind Eddie Lack, who has been good this year. But with that trade happening, and another potentially around the corner involving Ryan Kesler, it seems clear that the Canucks are blowing up, and starting over. They have been fading out of contention since their Cup Finals run in 2011, and gradually weakening as the days went on. Now, it seems like they are poised to bottom out, and start rebuilding.

I have a feeling that neither team is a real winner here. The Canucks finally unloaded the contract, but seem to have jumped the cliff into rebuilding. The Panthers picked up said contract, and got significantly older in net. The real winners may actually be Roberto Luongo and Eddie Lack, both of which have starting jobs. Luongo can now breathe a sigh of relief from the pressure in Vancouver, and soak in the sun of care-free Miami. Lack now has a starting job in the NHL.

Tune in tomorrow for more trade deadline coverage.

Video  —  Posted: March 4, 2014 in Uncategorized
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The trade deadline is approaching fast, and the first big trade was made Friday, between the St. Louis Blues and Buffalo Sabres.

The deal is a blockbuster. Blues get Ryan Miller and Steve Ott, Sabres get Jaroslav Halak, Chris Stewart, William Carrier, a 2015 first round pick and a 2016 first/third round pick (depending on if Miller stays with St. Louis).

The question we are asking, is who wins this deal?

Let’s take a look at what each side gets:

St. Louis Blues: The main portion of this deal is Ryan Miller, who is one of the top goaltenders in the league. The Blues had decent goaltending, perhaps boosted by a stellar blue line of Jay Bouwmeester, Kevin Shattenkirk, Alex Pietrangelo and crew. But now, they have a top-line if not elite netminder in Miller. One of the hardest teams to score on just got a lot stingier. Also, Steve Ott is a very serviceable grind-it-out forward, with great leadership capabilities and some playoff experience. The Blues got exactly what they needed to become instant Stanley Cup contenders, if they haven’t been already.

Buffalo Sabres: The most obvious fire sale in the league has commenced. We all knew that Ryan Miller was going to go, it just was hinging on the return they could get for him. They got a very good return. Chris Stewart is on the younger side, 26 years old, and has 50 points per season potential. He’s also a bigger, tougher forward who can get to the dirty areas. Jaroslav Halak may not be staying in Buffalo long, because he’s also an expiring contract, but he’s a very solid goalkeeper whether they keep him or not. They also received a prospect and 2 draft picks, and potentially 2 first round picks at that. They are building toward the future, and those picks and players they received in the deal puts together a good return for the Sabres.

Verdict: Both teams accomplished what they wanted in this deal. The Blues got better in areas they desperately needed, and the Sabres got a massive return for a contract they weren’t sure they could retain. Obviously, the Blues win the deal from a now perspective, and the Sabres get a huge boost for their rebuilding process, possibly winning the future portion of the deal. There is no clear cut winner, because both sides really got done what they wanted to.

Collisions at home plate

 

With Spring Training games starting this afternoon in Florida and Arizona, we have a couple of new rules coming in to play that we should be aware of. One being manager’s challenges, similar to that of the NFL coaches’ challenge, and a new rule regarding collisions at home plate between a catcher and baserunner.

The rule is as follows: If a baserunner goes out of his way to cause a collision with the catcher, the batter is called out, regardless of if the catcher maintained possession of the ball. Also, a catcher may only block the plate if he has the ball in his hands.

At first glance, it seemed like the league, led by Joe Torre’s recommendations, was trying to ban collisions at home plate altogether from the game. But looking at this rule from a logical perspective, it makes sense.

Collisions at home plate are part of some of the most exciting plays in baseball. The moment of suspense while the umpire is making his mind up whether the runner is safe or out leaves us in a state of suspense that seems like it lasts forever. But the idea behind this rule is not getting rid of all collisions, but the ones that don’t need to happen. If a runner is going for the plate, and the catcher has the ball and is blocking the plate, the runner has to try and knock the ball out. That’s fine. But if the baserunner is hitting the catcher just to hit the catcher, or the catcher is blocking the plate hoping the ball will get there soon, then we run into unnecessary violence.

We have had nasty collisions in the past, and the one that comes freshest in my mind is that of Buster Posey’s collision that broke his leg and caused him to miss an entire season, and consider leaving the game of baseball. Whether that collision with Marlins’ Scott Cousins would be deemed “egregious” by the standards of this rule is a bit fuzzy or not, this rule change is meant to help promote player safety. By eliminating these unnecessary collisions, players can be safer around the plate.

There always has been an unwritten rule, regarding these collisions, that if you know you’re out, to just give in and let it go. Also, by the catcher, they usually just wait for the ball to come in, because the other baserunners might advance if the ball gets by him. This rule just puts in guidelines of discipline and results of what an umpire might deem inappropriate. It makes sense to me.

People might be looking too much into this new rule, but it’s simply a good move to help player safety. Tip of the cap for that.

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The shots just keep coming.

After losing to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday night, New York Knicks point guard Raymond Felton was arrested and charged with felony gun possession. This is just the latest hit in an overall tumultuous season for the Knicks. At 21-36 this season, New York is likely to miss the playoffs.

With all the clear problems the Knicks have, there seems to be only one solution for the men of MSG. That solution is to blow up the team.

The amount of problems that New York has right now are countless. Firstly, the Knicks need to dump anyone they can. Tyson Chandler, Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr., and whoever else a team will offer a draft pick for should be sent packing. With only one draft pick in the next three years, this is unfortunately necessary. James Dolan has dug such a deep hole for this team to climb out of, it will require a truly horrendous year to get out of.

The next step in this rebuild will be to not spend a penny in this offseason. Luol Deng, Pau Gasol, or Lance Stephenson aren’t enticing enough to bury yourself further in salary cap troubles. Waiting another year will do wonders for this team. The thought of playing in New York will attract free agents automatically. Being patient can end up paying huge rewards for this team.

Lastly, as painful as this sounds, New York may need to let Carmelo Anthony walk. Despite his incredible scoring ability, Melo is not the type of player who can make a team great on his own. Burying money in a contract for Anthony will end up placing the Knicks into the same problem they’ve always been in. Now if Melo is honest by saying hell take significantly less money to stay with the team, that may be another story. However, until that is proven, New York needs to let Melo move on.

At the end of the day, the Knicks need to give up. Between their salary cap troubles, lack of draft picks, and overall lack of talent, New York needs to blow it up. Trade away everyone, let the rest of the contracts play out, and prepare for 2016. 

Gary recaps Sunday nights game against the Lakers and looks ahead at what JAson Collins could or could not bring

Video  —  Posted: February 25, 2014 in N.B.A