Oh those Amazin’ Mets. After sweeping the upstart Chicago Cubs, the Mets frittered away countless opportunities against K.C. The blog title would have been Vin Scully’s call of the play.
Who would have thought Murphy’s Law and karma would have been the undoing of this team? Thirty years after the Mets benefited from Bill Buckner’s gaffe en route to the championship, Daniel Murphy did his best Buckner impression in Game 4. The sad part is that Murphy had a historical postseason with seven home runs in nine games leading up to the World Series but that is the image people will remember. Murphy is now a free agent and was the same guy in April, 2014 who made news by missing the Mets first two games to be present for the birth of his first child.
And a final shoutout to Mets outfielder Yoenis Cespedes who had a ridiculously foolish base running gaffe in the ninth inning of Game 4 that ended the game. And for the record, Cespedes will not get the six-year deal he is angling for and hitting .225 in the playoffs won’t help your cause. There is a reason you are on your third team in the last year.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” After losing a heartbreaking Game 7 in 2014 to the San Francisco Giants, the Royals bounced back to win their second World Series in four tries. This is not a team built on superstars, quite the contrary. They are 15th in major league payroll and Alex Gordon is the only player making over 10 million.
This was not an elite starting pitching staff. Johnny Cueto was acquired mid-season to be the ace and was a disappointment with a 5.40 postseason ERA and a 4.76 regular season ERA with a 4-7 record to match. Journeyman pitchers like Chris Young and Edinson Volquez have put together two straight good seasons while youngsters Danny Duffy and Yordano Ventura are still finding their way.
But it was the Royals bullpen that led the way. Wade Davis, Kelvin Herrera and Ryan Madson were a lethal combo in the regular season while Davis and Herrera pitched 24.3 innings in the postseason only allowing one run.Even better news for K.C. Alex Gordon and Alex Rios come off the books saving almost 25 million and all their other core players are signed past next season.
In case you are thinking about next year and courtesy of Bovada Sports Book, the Cubs are 11-1 favorites to win it all next year followed by the Royals, LA Dodgers, Mets, SL Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals who are all 12-1.
Don Mattingly is going from the salary penthouse to the outhouse now that he has been named Manager of the Marlins.
Best quote of the week belongs to the immortal Shaquille O’Neal. Never one to shy away from talking about his old team he said “The Lakers aren’t going to be any good. They’re the fourth best team in CA and they’re the second best team in their own building. They’re lucky the WNBA Sparks aren’t playing because they’d be the fifth best team in CA.”
Meanwhile, first overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns has 42 points, 26 rebounds and 4 blocks through the first two games leading the T-Wolves to two wins while Jahlil Okafor has 36 points and 13 rebounds for the Sixers in that same span. The Lakers will regret the decision to take Okafor over D’Angelo Russell.
The Houston Rockets are 0-3 and Kevin McHale’s job has got to be in jeopardy. McHale saved himself last season when he got the Rockets to the Western Conference Finals, but time is running out on the Minnesota product. I have never been impressed with his coaching even though he is my favorite all-time Celtic.
A Miami Heat – Cleveland Cavaliers Eastern Conference Finals is very realistic this year.
Prior to the start of the season, Derrick Rose mentioned he is looking to his free agent year in 2017. I would say playing in a grand total of 100 games the previous three seasons is essentially free agency.
The current state of the Boston Celtics is not pretty. They are a team in disarray at the current moment and are essentially an anti-fantasy team. They go twelve deep and even don’t dress some guys that arguably should get some minutes, but no one and I repeat nobody can consistently score. Coach Brad Stevens who has been excellent in his tenure, hasn’t handled this well thus far and has too many mediocre players to get minutes for. General Manager Danny Ainge needs to reshuffle some parts and find a way to get some scoring.
Did LaMarcus Aldridge eat his contract?
Top overall pick Connor McDavid is dominating from the get-go. In his first 12 games for Edmonton, he has five goals and seven assists. In his rookie season, Sidney Crosby (1 goal in 11 games this season) had two goals and thirteen assists in the same span. In their rookie seasons, Wayne Gretzky had 137 points and Mario Lemieux had 100. Incidentally, in the 85-86 season, Gretzky recorded a career high 215 points. Seriously!
Second pick Jack Eichel has four goals through 12 games.
Montreal continues to dominate but have lost Vezina favorite Carey Price temporarily to an injury.
But the biggest surprise thus far has to be the Anaheim Ducks, who were one game away from the Stanley Cup last season. Before getting their second win the other night against Nashville, Anaheim was 1-7-2 and had scored ten goals while being shut out five times.
Reportedly, Miami Dolphins management reached out to the Wizard of Oz after getting annihilated by Buffalo. But unfortunately, no hearts were available. The Wizard said, if you go kill Joe Philbin, the horrible coach of the South, I can then talk about giving your team a heart.
The hot pre-season Superbowl pick Baltimore Ravens are getting worse by the second. The Ravens have given up a staggering six passing touchdowns and 734 yards through the air the last two games to the Raiders and Bengals. Don’t get me wrong, the Bengals made every effort in typical Cincy fashion to give that game away in the fourth quarter, but the Ravens’ secondary is so inept that they let Cincy leave with a win and now trail the Bengals by three games in the standings, three games into the season. But fear not Baltimore, you are among good company with the Saints and Bears as the only other winless teams in the NFL.
The good news for Baltimore is that in four days they travel to Pittsburgh to take on the Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers. The Roethlisberger injury sent shockwaves through the NFL, but Michael Vick won’t let the Steelers dog it in his absence. With Le’Veon Bell back and Martavius Bryant returning from suspension after next week, the Steelers should be okay as long as Roethlisberger is only out the anticipated 4-6 weeks.
How about the 3-0 Atlanta Falcons? After the Falcons made Cowboys back Joseph Randle look like Emmitt Smith in the first half (two backs by the way that are/were highly reliant on their respective offensive lines to be successful) as opposed to natural skill), they battened down the hatches in the second half and rattled off 25 straight points to close out the game.
The Jets looked really tough after thumping Indy on Monday Night Football and winning two straight to start the season but today they went against a defense not named Cleveland or Indy. Ryan Fitzpatrick also came back down to earth throwing three picks. The real story though was that the Philadelphia Eagles came off an embarrassing effort and were being mocked nationally but responded with a critical road victory and are now within one game of the first place Romo-less Cowboys.
Watch out for Arizona. They destroyed San Francisco today and look dominant on both sides of the ball. Larry Fitzgerald has returned to vintage form and Carson Palmer looks better than ever. At one point in that game today, Colin Kapernick had five completions and four picks (two pick-6’s by the way). Maybe San Francisco shouldn’t have kept Alex Smith or Colin Kapernick.
If there was any doubt the Patriots are out for blood after last week, it was once again confirmed today after the Pats were aggressively trying to score through the air with a 44-10 lead midway through the fourth quarter against the innocent Jacksonville Jaguars.
Cam Newton is quietly been awesome to start the year and this is all the more impressive after he lost his number one weapon Kelvin Benjamin for the year in the pre-season.
I am sure Johnny Manziel could have lost just as easily to Oakland.
Not that NBA training camps are underway, time for some recycled boring storylines.
Carmelo Anthony feels like himself again. Does this mean no one will get a pass again this year from Anthony? He once again will fail to be a leader? What does feel like himself again actually mean?
Does anybody actually care if the Lakers monitor Kobe Bryant’s minutes? He’s not the story anymore, the development of back-to-back lottery picks Julius Randle and D’Angelo Russell is though.
John Wall claims he will recruit Kevin Durant once he becomes a free agent, but he couldn’t even convince Paul Pierce to stay after the Wizards showed remarkable improvement.
Jonathan Papelbon and Bryce Harper got in a fight after yet another Washington Nationals implosion. Papelbon’s act continues to wear thin wherever he plays while the definition of leadership continues to elude Harper.
The Nationals are arguably the biggest disappointment in the majors especially with that pitching staff.
As much as the wildcard play-in game has been mocked, the Cubs-Pirates game should be a classic and it is truly a shame that one of those teams will be out of the playoffs after one game. Kudos to Theo Epstein for building a nucleus that could deliver for the Cubs for years to come.
Minnesota, Anaheim and Houston are all within one game of each other for the right to travel to New York for a one-game playoff.
Still a lot of hope for the Red Sox. If the Twins, Angels and Houston lose all of their remaining games and the Sox go undefeated the rest of the way, the Sox will be eligible for a tiebreaker play-in game.
I take offense at the Baltimore Orioles getting shut out three games in a row.
Kudos to MLB for once again successfully proving that the all-star ballot selection process is about as antiquated and inefficient as the electoral college system. Looking forward to seeing George Brett man third base, Bret Saberhagen start and Dan Quisenberry close out the all-star game. Maybe Whitey Herzog and the late Dick Howser can co-manage the A.L. stars.
If there was ever going to be a pinnacle moment that defined how spending money doesn’t equate to having a winning team, it is right now in the American League. The division leaders are Tampa Bay, Kansas City and Houston. And by the way Minnesota is fourth.
In the National League it is a completely different story however as the Nationals led by 210 million and recent no-hitter fame Max Scherzer lead the East, the Cardinals lead the Central (of course the Astros should get some obvious playoff shares there) and the L.A. Dodgers (Yankees West) lead the N.L. West.
Hard to imagine that Pete Rose threw a game or tried to have one of his teams intentionally lose. It doesn’t fit his personality. What does fit his personality is lying. With that said, time to put him in the Hall of Fame. The all-time hits leader did it without the assistance of performance enhancing drugs and he is one of the best of all time.
The great start by the New York Mets has come to a crashing halt as they have dropped five straight while the Nationals have won three straight and keep getting better.
And what is going on with the Seattle Mariners. They are only a game ahead of the worst record in the American League even with Nelson Cruz playing well. One reason is because Robinson Cano is struggling mightily and probably never should have left New York. Sometimes you need pressure to play.
If Cole Hamels goes to Texas, it will be interesting to see the final package and if the Red Sox truly missed the opportunity.
The NBA Draft is this week and Danny Ainge gets a chance to utilize the assets he has compiled for the Boston Celtics and to see if he can improve draft position or acquire a player or two that can change the fortunes of this franchise. Drafting 16 and 28 won’t get it done.
Lots of rumors regarding DeMarcus Cousins being traded most recently to the Los Angeles Lakers. Cousins is a moody malcontent who has the same general demeanor as one Rajon Rondo. Although Cousins is much more talented, buyer beware especially with a young team.
The Lakers incidentally are also in pursuit of Dwyane Wade if he opts out also. Wade is entering his 13th season, but showed last year he hasn’t slowed down as he was still averaging 21 PPG.
New York Knicks President Phil Jackson came out and criticized NBA offenses and claims LeBron travels every time he touches the ball. I think Phil has enough on his plate that he should keep his eye on the ball. Too bad Phil can’t ride the coattails of any Knicks players.
In a shocking move, the WNBA and New York Liberty have suspended isiah Thomas’ application to be an owner until further notice.
If Tom Brady gets his suspension reduced to one or zero games, I still contend that will be in part due to Kraft backing down from pursuing legal action against the league. I say that Brady still gets two or three games.
Funny how the St. Louis Cardinals (arguably the one of the classiest organizations in sports) hacking the Houston Astros database (a federal crime) gets fractional media attention relative to Deflategate. I guess if Bill Belichick and Tom Brady aren’t involved in the alleged crime, than the severity of the crime doesn’t matter.