Browsing Posts published in February, 2010

Written By: Mike Ulatoski

#1 SEED United States (5-0-0-0, 22 goals for, 6 goals against) vs. #6 SEED Canada (4-0-1-1, 32 goals for, 14 goals against), 3:15 ET, NBC

What to Watch For:
Most of the NHL’s best players going at it with reckless abandon for 60 minutes, with the home side defending the honor of “their sport” and the visiting neighbor continuing its quest for hockey respect.

If you tune in late, you’ll probably miss a few thunderous bodychecks. If you blink you might miss a perfect breakout pass that leads to a breakaway. If you look away, you might miss a perfect, top shelf wrist shot. Don’t count on anything other than minute after minute of rivalry-fueled hockey. Nobody puts more on the line than NHL players, and we’ll be able to see that today.

Team Reports

Canada – This has hardly been the march to gold that many expected before the tournament began. Canada stunningly was extended to a shootout against Switzerland, which Sidney Crosby and Brodeur pulled out, and lost to Team USA in group play. And after obliterating overmatched Germany in the quarterfinals and blasting Russia, Canada survived a major scare when Slovakia came within a desperate Luongo save with 8 seconds left of erasing a 3-0 deficit in Friday’s semifinal. Through six games, the Canadians have played stretches of awe-inspiring hockey that prompted Slovak star Marian Hossa to compare them with the legendary Soviet teams of the ’70s and ’80s. But, Canada also has had some inexplicable hiccups. These have prompted head coach Mike Babcock to shake up his lineup, almost every game, and change starting goaltenders.

United States – Center Ryan Kesler said last August that Team USA would beat Canada in the Olympics, and that they would win a medal. Patrick Kane said, “We’re not coming here just to win bronze or silver.” Nobody outside of the American’s locker room believed any of this was possible.

The Americans have been more consistent and focused than any team in the tournament, and they have never trailed in any game so far. They hammered the opponent (Norway) they were supposed to crush. They patiently outlasted a dangerous Switzerland team, twice, and did what was necessary to upset Canada. Then, amazingly, Team USA destroyed Finland with a six-goal first period in the semifinals.

Ryan Miller has been spectacular in net, the no-doubt MVP of the tournament, and will need to be one more time. The best goaltender in the NHL this season, the Buffalo Sabres’ netminder leads these Games in both goals against average (1.04) and save percentage (.954). And he hasn’t allowed a goal in his last 111:38 of play – since Sidney Crosby beat him late in the third period of their pool play finale.

When Patrick Kane erupted for two goals against Finland, it meant that every American was doing the job for which Burke had selected him.

Still, even if it is the No. 1 seed as a result of pool play and gets to wear its blue sweaters, Team USA remains the underdog going into this game. There’s still the question of whether this group of young, brash Americans have enough jam to win on the biggest stage most of them have ever played on, in front of the most intense atmosphere most of them have never quite experienced.

Total NHL Players – All 46 are on NHL rosters. This is an NHL All-Star Game, played at the intensity level of a seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals.

Puck Drop
It’s not 1980 in Lake Placid. The U.S. is not facing Russia, the greatest team to ever play hockey, in the midst of the Cold War. It’s 2010.  It’s Vancouver, and Team USA is facing Canadians on home ice. Again. And while nothing will ever compare to the Miracle, a U.S. win today would be miraculous.

Miracles can happen.

USA 4, Canada 3

Shot Calling – goal for Zach Parise

Written By: Matt Vereb

Our good friend, Ken Rosenthal is up to no good once again. I tend to dislike anything Rosenthal related due to the Fox Sports reporter’s anti-Yankee sentiment. Rosenthal went on record last year saying that the Yankees would once again, miss the playoffs. Great prediction, Ken. With no other relevant baseball stories, let dive into Rosenthal’s latest column, MLB Realignment. We covered team-expansion in New York yesterday. A third team in New York makes a little more sense than Rosenthal’s realignment suggestion.

Since the CBA expires in 2011, Rosenthal outlines three different alignment suggestions. I will tackle one suggestion today.

AL East AL Central AL West NL East NL Central NL West
Yankees           Red Sox          Angels        Braves         Cubs              Dodgers
Tigers               White Sox       Rangers     Phillies        Cardinals        Giants
Rays                Twins              Mariners     Mets            Brewers         Diamondbacks
Orioles             Indians            Athletics     Marlins        Reds               Rockies
Blue Jays         Royals             Astros        Nationals     Pirates           Padres

The most staggering changes?

The Red Sox and Yankees are no longer in the same division. Both teams are left with no true division rival. The only National League change involves moving the Astros to the AL West. Rosenthal proposes that this would set up a Texas-sized rivalry between the Astros and the Rangers, but no rivalry is as storied or marketable as Yankees/Red Sox. Moving the Red Sox does not make sense geographically, nor does it make sense financially. Fox Sports benefits greatly from Yankee/Red Sox matchups airing on Saturdays(Four match ups in 2010). Fans will no longer get to watch 19 Sox/Yanks matchups and would have to settle for 7-8 per season. Moving the Red Sox to the Central division improves the chance of the teams meeting in the first round of the playoffs. Compared to the AL Divisional Round, AL Championship Series match ups are much more profitable for Fox.

How it benefits baseball?

The AL Central will add a true financial powerhouse in the Red Sox. Currently, AL Central is the only division in baseball that does not have an economic super power. The Tigers would ultimately be sacrificed to the Yankees in order to create a financial balance throughout baseball. As a Yankee fan, I don’t want to see Justin Verlander 5-6 times per season. I’m content facing him 1-2 times in the current structure. One could also argue that less Yankees/Red Sox matchups would each game more important,  but I enjoy beating the Red Sox as many times as possible during the season.

Overall, realignment is an interesting concept, but not at the expense of the game’s best rivalry. Sports are 100% influenced by the movement of the dollar, but moving the Red Sox out of the East would lose some fan interest and hurt the game.

What are your realignment proposals? Or should baseball leave it alone?

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Written by: Kenny Mauss

The Jim Boeheim led Syracuse Orangemen are welcoming the Wildcats of Villanova to the Carrier Dome this evening in front of an expected record crowd. Syracuse comes in at 13-2 in the Big East (26-2 overall) and Villanova enters tonight at 12-3 (23-4 overall). It’s a matchup between the top 2 teams in the Big East and two of the top teams in the country.

Villanova has beaten Syracuse two consecutive times in New York but with a win today, Syracuse can clinch its first regular season conference championship since 2002-2003. Not coincidentally, that was the year the Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara led Orangemen won the national championship.

Syracuse comes in ranked #4, and Villanova #7, but ‘Nova has struggled of late. Villanova started the season with lofty expectations, coming off of a Final Four Appearance that left them one game from a national championship. For the most part, they have met all expectations, ranked in the top 10, and fighting for a regular season Big East championship. The surprise has been what Syracuse has been able to accomplish thus far this season. They began the season losing to a Division II exhibition game vs. Le Moyne and entered the season unranked.

Today’s game will most likely determine the #1 seed in the Big East Tournament, the Big East Regular Season Championship, and quite possibly a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament in a few weeks. This game will be about as big as the expected crowd tonight at the Carrier Dome.

Prediction: Syracuse 82- Villanova 76

Written By: Matt Vereb

Earlier today, the Yankees and Pitcher, Chan Ho Park, agreed on a contract reportedly worth $1.2 million for 1 year.

So what does this mean for the rest of the Yankee bullpen?

Mike Axisa of River Ave Blues(A Great Yankee Blog, btw) covered this topic in detail earlier. Here.

Here’s just a brief summary of points from the article with some commentary.

-Bullpens typically consist of eight arms during the Regular Season.

-Those eight arms will probably be; Mariano Rivera, Phil Hughes(Loser of 5th starter competition), Damaso Marte, Alfredo Aceves, David Robertson, Chad Gaudin, Sergio Mitre, and Chan Ho Park.

-Given that the way the schedule is set up(below), the Yankees will not need a 5th starter for the first two weeks without compromising their other four starters.

April 4th: Sabathia
April 5th: OFF
April 6th: Burnett
April 7th: Pettitte
April 8th: OFF
April 9th: Vazquez
April 10th: Sabathia
April 11th: Burnett
April 12th: OFF
April 13th: Pettitte (home opener)
April 14th: Vazquez
April 15th: Sabathia
April 16th: Burnett
April 17th: 5th Starter

-Expect that 5th starter to be Joba Chamberlain(Winner of 5th Starter Comp). Chamberlain will probably open the season in Triple A to get some starts in a low-key environment.

-Other notable names in the bullpen equation? Mark Melancon, Boone Logan, Edwar Ramirez, and Jon Albaledejo. All four pitchers will have minor league options. Sergio Mitre does not. I don’t expect the team to risk losing him by carrying five starters for the first two weeks when they really don’t need to.

What will happen when they need a 5th starter? We’ll see. Maybe one pitcher(Mitre) will be traded so the Yankees can keep the rights to Outfielder Jamie Hoffman. Who knows at this point. Injuries happen though.

The Park move was made to add depth to the team. Not to compromise the current pitchers.

Written By: Matt Vereb

In the wee-hours of Monday morning, Chan Ho Park and the Yankees agreed to a 1 year/$1.2 million contract. Park can earn up to $300,000 in incentives. Park went 3-3 for the NL Champion Phillies last year, posting a 4.43 ERA in 45 games. Park fooled Yankee hitters in the Fall Classic by throwing 3 1/3 scoreless innings in 4 appearances. Park is a strikeout pitcher, something that the Yankees covet. He struck out 72 hitters in 80 innings.  Park is expected to pitch out of the bullpen for the Bombers. Park will join Gaudin, Aceves, Mitre, Robertson, Rivera, Hughes**, and Marte.

Definitely an unexpected move given the Yankee depth. Perhaps the Yankees wanted a seasoned-arm to mix in with their young studs? You can never have too many pitchers.

**Pictured Above: Diamondback Outfielder, Justin Upton**

Written By: Matt Vereb

Players I Like For the 2010 Season:

*Disclaimer*: I like these players given their average draft position and relative value to a fantasy team. Players who I feel will exceed expectations and are currently under-valued, make this list. Just because Albert Pujols isn’t on this list, doesn’t mean I don’t like him in fantasy.


Justin Upton, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks: The 22-year-old Upton hit 26 home runs and stole 20 bases in only 138 games last season. He also posted an impressive batting average(.300) and slugging percentage(.532). Upton has a world of talent. If he plays the entire season, consider 30-30 to be his basement. Upton is being selected in the 3rd-4th rounds(25 Average Draft Position(ADP) in fantasy drafts when he has 1st Round potential. Consider that a good value.

Projection: .295 BA, 35 HRs, 105 RBIs, 32 SBs.

Adam Lind, OF, Toronto Blue Jays: Lind broke on to the scene with Toronto to the tune of 35 HRs and 114 RBIs. Lind also hit .305 for the Blue Jays. Many wonder if this is a one-year fluke. I don’t think so. Lind and team mate, Aaron Hill, are the lone bright spots for a struggling Toronto club. Lind is being taken as in the 5th-6th rounds of fantasy drafts(ADP 52). I like him more than similar counterparts, Jayson Werth and Carlos Beltran who are being selected a round earlier.

Projection: .298 BA, 37 HRs, 120 RBIs

Joey Votto, 1B, Cincinnati Reds: Many casual baseball fans may be unfamiliar with Reds First Baseman, Joey Votto. Votto hit .325 with 25 HRs and 84 RBIs through 131 games last season. Votto finished 4th in the NL in OBP(.414), 5th in Slugging(.567), 3rd in OPS(.981). These figures alone show promise for the 26 year-old Votto. Votto will begin his 3rd full-time season in 2010. Look for him to have numerous RBI opportunities with Brandon Phillips and Jay Bruce hitting in front of him. Votto currently ranks around the 8th-10th position among First Basemen. For those of you drafting at the end of the first round debating between a middle infielder and 1st basemen, take a moment to consider the depth at First Base and the position scarcity in the middle of the diamond. Votto should be there in the 5th-7th round of the draft. Draft him accordingly and you won’t be disappointed.

Projection: .315 Batting Avg., 31 HRs, 110 RBIs

Jason Heyward OF, Atlanta Braves: One word: Youtube. 447 foot blast. He’s only 20-years-old, is the #1 prospect in baseball and has a Justin Upton-type of hype surrounding him. He should start the season in right field for the Braves. Grab him late(ADP: 225) and enjoy the show.

Projection: .285 BA, 20 HRs, 20 SBs.


Jon Lester, SP, Boston Red Sox: I have to put my Yankee-biased aside to give Lester his fantasy due. The guy is a stud pitcher for the Sox and fantasy teams, but isn’t getting that respect. Lester struck out 225 batters in 203 innings to go along with 15 wins and a 3.41 ERA. Impressive numbers within the AL East. His K/9 ratio topped out at 9.96. Lester is currently the 10th pitcher selected(ADP: 59), however, I’d take him over Justin Verlander, Cliff Lee, and Adam Wainwright.

Projection: 17 Wins, 220 Ks, 3.30 ERA

Brett Anderson, SP, Oakland Athletics: Don’t be fooled by Anderson’s 2009 ERA of 4.06. The 22-year-old Anderson had a great second half last season. In 14 starts after the All-Star break, Anderson posted a 6-4 record, striking out 86 hitters in only 80 innings. After mid-season,Anderson’s ERA dropped from 5.45(June 29) to 4.06(Oct 1). Anderson also benefits from playing in the spacious Oakland Coliseum. Anderson’s ADP of 150 is a no-brainer for a 15th round selection.

Projection: 15 wins, 180 Ks, 3.85 ERA

Mariano Rivera, RP, New York Yankees: Surprised? Owners are drafting Dodgers closer, Jonathan Broxton and Twins closer, Joe Nathan over Mariano. (Jonathan Papelbon as well, sigh) Rivera is 40-years-old and some pundits are calling for a down season. But when has Rivera ever had a bad season? He was 44 for 46 in save opportunities last season. His 1.76 ERA was best among full-time closers and he even had an impressive 9.77 K/9 ratio. He isn’t going to give you big strikeout numbers like Broxton will(13.50 K/9), but Rivera is as solid as they come. Don’t overpay for Broxton’s or Nathan’s gaudy strike out totals. Go with the sure thing with a lower ERA and WHIP.

Projection: 42 Saves, 2.00 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 76 Ks

Jake Peavy, SP, Chicago White Sox: Jake Peavy’s last two seasons have not been ‘Peavy-esque’. Fantasy owners have been spoiled with Peavy’s dominance in the NL. From 2004-2007, Peavy has averaged 15 wins, 190 innings, 210 K’s and a 3.15 ERA. Peavy has suffered from elbow problems in the past, but he has seemed to move beyond those issues. Last season, Peavy was 9-6 for the Padres and White sox, recording 102 innings and 110 strikeouts. More importantly, Peavy was 3-0 in 3 starts for the White Sox in September with 18 K’s over 20 innings. This sample size should tell fantasy owners that Peavy is past his elbow concerns heading into the 2010 season.

I don’t expect Peavy to have his sub-3 ERA that he had in San Diego. US Cellular Field is a hitters park and the AL features tougher lineups. However, I think Peavy should far surpass his 15-20 ADP among pitchers. Paired with Mark Buerhle at the top of the rotation, Peavy does not have to be the horse he was in San Diego. I still expect a big season from Jake.

Projection: 15 Wins, 3.60 ERA, 210 K’s

Who are some of your sleepers this season?

Written By: Adam Poedubicky

Since Tim Tebow was at the helm for the Florida Gators, it’s easy to see how the others in the offense could get overlooked. Everyone knows that it was a dynamic spread offense with some of the greatest athletes in college football today, but ultimately the offense went around Tebow. However, Tebow wasn’t the best passer in college, and his playmakers did most of the work for him. And one of his most effective weapons is a local product ready to make a splash in the NFL: Aaron Hernandez.

Aaron Hernandez hails from Bristol, Connecticut. In terms of sports, Hernandez is the best thing out of Bristol since, well, ESPN. When it comes to NFL players hailing from Connecticut, there’s really only one that rings a bell, and it’s Dwight Freeney. Expect Hernandez to make the jump and hopefully put Connecticut high school football on the map.

Hernandez is a 6’3, 235 pound tight end that can line up on the end as a traditional tight end, split out wide like a Dallas Clark-type receiver, or in the H-Back position like a Chris Cooley. He led the Gators this past season with 68 catches to go along with 850 yards and 5 touchdowns. He was the security blanket that any quarterback looks for in a tight end. Once his average blocking improves, expect him to make an impact similar to Kellen Winslow Jr.

He could go as early as: Probably #21 Overall to the Bengals, who always seem to need a TE. This, however, would require a monster day at the combine.

He could go as late as: The third round seems like the worst-case scenario, but that would be if his 40 were in the 4.8’s.

He will probably go to: New England in the second round. The Patriots are well known for liking prospects out of Florida. They are also in the need of a replacement for Benjamin Watson, and playing in New England is about as close to playing at home as it can get for Hernandez.

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Written By: Mike Ulatoski

#1 SEED, UNITED STATES (4-0-0-0) vs. #4 SEED, FINLAND (3-0-1-0)

What to Watch For:
This game will be played like a Stanley Cup Playoff game, as a trip to the gold-medal game is on the line. Both sides have skill and physicality, and this game will be more about which side can impose its physical will on the other, especially late in the game. “We need to make sure we are outworking them to go along with the talent we have in our lineup,” said David Backes. “I think if we win the work-ethic battle, we like our chances.”

Even if one of these teams wins the work-ethic battle, the game could still be close. This game will be a showcase of two great goaltenders – Team USA’s Ryan Miller, and Finland’s Miikka Kiprusoff.

Last game – United States defeated Switzerland 2-0 and Finland defeated Czech Republic 2-0 in Wednesday’s quarterfinals.

Team Reports

United States – The Americans have yet to lose in this tournament, but they refuse to get too far ahead of themselves and look to the next opponent. They continue to have the mindset of “one game at a time”, and Coach Ron Wilson and GM Brian Burke have done a great job of keeping this team focused on winning the next game. They aren’t focused on anything else happening outside of that ice.  They are focused on the task at hand and they know that they can play with anyone in this tournament. If they hope to get to the gold-medal game, they know that they need to get better in several areas – most notably on the power play and with their play in the neutral zone, something that was lacking against the Swiss on Wednesday.

Despite the fact that the Americans got the game-winner on the power play in Wednesday’s quarterfinal game against the Swiss, they have struggled on the man advantage. In four games, the Americans have earned 16 power-play opportunities and scored four goals (one in each game). On the other hand, Finland has seven goals. How bad was the American power-play against the Swiss? “We were wondering if we could just decline the penalties and pick up the flag like they do in football,” Backes joked.

Against the Canadians, the U.S. dominated the play between the blue lines.  They were physical, maintained puck control, and they dictated the flow of the game in the neutral zone. They were able to infiltrate the Canadian defensive zone, and that led to their success.  In their last game, it was a different story. There were some power plays where the U.S. couldn’t even get the puck across the blue line. There’s no doubt Coach Wilson addressed this concern during practice, but we’ll see how well it translates to success in a game.

While the power play is struggling, the U.S. penalty kill has been outstanding, thanks in part to the defensive play of forwards Chris Drury and Ryan Callahan (both of the NY Rangers).  These two have been terrific, playing great zone-defense in their own zone and sacrificing their bodies to block shots.  In their previous game against Switzerland, 3 consecutive shots were blocked on the power play; Drury blocked one and Callahan blocked one.  If Finland gets on the power play today, watch how many U.S. players drop down to the ice to block an oncoming shot. When the U.S. is killing a penalty, pucks rarely get to the net.

One player to keep an eye on is Ryan Kesler. In many ways, Kesler symbolizes the identity of this U.S. team. When the Americans have been at their best in this tournament, they crashed and banged, showed incredible patience and tons of resilience. A little sand, a little swagger … a lot like Kesler.

Finland – Finland plays a very similar style to that of the U.S. This is a group of talented and hardworking forwards, who go after loose pucks and finish their checks, and they succeed when they get the defense involved in offensive zone.  They have been struggling when playing 5-on-5, however. The Finns haven’t scored an even-strength goal in their past two games. They won Wednesday’s quarterfinal against the Czechs with a power-play goal by Niklas Hagman and an empty-net tally. Three days earlier, in the final group game against rival Sweden, the Finns were shut out. So, scoring is a big issue, especially because Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu have yet to manage a goal. But, it doesn’t slow this team down.

“We won’t score four, five goals against top countries, so we have to play defense well,” Finnish coach Jukka Jalonen said. “We have to snuff them out, maybe let them score one goal, maximum two goals; and then we have a chance to win the game.” Finland can play this way because Kiprusoff has been terrific in net. He has two shutouts through four games and leads the tournament in save percentage.

Finland has 18 NHL players on their roster, including Kiprusoff (Calgary Flames), Selanne (Anaheim Ducks), Koivu (Anaheim, formerly Montreal), Mikko Koivu (Minnesota Wild, and Saku’s younger brother), and Olli Jokinen (NY Rangers).

Puck Drop
These two teams have a history in international hockey, as they have met 11 times in the Winter Games. The Americans have won six times, including a win in the 1980 gold-medal game. Finland has won three times, including the most recent 4-3 win in the quarterfinals in 2006, and the other two games have ended in ties.

This will be a bone-crunching game on both sides, with two of the most physical teams in the whole tournament.  “It’s always kind of fun to play (physical games), as well,” said Finland center Mikko Koivu. “That’s the way it should be.”

Look for players on both teams to go hard on every shift, fly after loose pucks, and finish every check.  Combine that physicality with the offensive skills of both teams and the spectacular goaltending, and this has the makings of one of the best games of the tournament. The Americans will need Ryan Kesler – whom Wilson has referred to as “a warrior” and who has been the team’s most consistently “on” player – to be at his best. Kesler plays with the mentality that he has one shift for the rest of his life: fighting for loose pucks, going hard every second, making big-time plays, playing with tireless effort. Those are the kinds of qualities that the Americans will need if they are going to advance in this tournament.

Team USA was my pick to win silver, and they are on the verge of something extraordinary.  This group is young and aggressive, and has so much momentum heading into this game. They are focused entirely on the task at hand, Finland; not “who do we play next”, but “who do we play now”. The U.S. forwards will be aggressive on the forecheck, which will create turnovers in the Finland defensive zone. The U.S. wins the work-ethic battle, highlighted by Kesler, Drury, Bobby Ryan, captain Jamie Langenbrunner and David Backes. Ryan Miller will be terrific once again between the pipes. Finland will keep it close with their aggressiveness, goaltending, and offensive ability.  But I predict a USA victory.

Team USA wins, 4-2.

Shot Calling – Paul Stastny – 1 goal, 1 assist

Written By: Matt Vereb

New York City is the largest city in America. Roughly, 22 million people live in the New York Metropolitan area. Given the Yankees success, New York baseball fans have been spoiled for the past 15 years. If we rewind to 55-60 years ago, New Yorkers lived in Baseball Heaven. New York had three different baseball teams(Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers). During that time frame, each team featured marquee players. The New York Giants had all-time great, Willie Mays. The Brooklyn Dodgers had Jackie Robinson. The Yankes had Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra. Between 1949-1957, the Yankees had won 7 World Series titles. Baseball was at its peak in New York.

In 1957, both the Dodgers and Giants moved to California, leaving the Yankees as the only team in the city. The Golden Age of Baseball in the city ended in New York. Five years later, Joan Payson found the New York Mets in 1962. However, the mystique of 1950s New York baseball has never been restored.

Point being: Can New York bring back a 3rd team?

Let’s dive into that question. The Collective Bargaining Agreement in MLB expires after the 2011 season. The financial behemoth New York Yankees will be at the forefront of re-negotiating this agreement. The Yankees outpace every other team financially, paying roughly $215 million for players in 2009. At the core of that new agreement will be revenue sharing. Many owners disagree with the current revenue sharing structure and are clamoring or whining(Hello John Henry) for a salary cap.

Could Major League Baseball institute a salary floor?

This would prevent smaller-market teams, like the Florida Marlins or Kansas City Royals, from pocketing luxury tax dollars from the Yankees. The only draw back to this plan would be increased inflation within the game. Teams would pay more for marginal talent and further drive up salary prices. This in turn, will make the rich, richer, player-wise.

Could Major League Baseball institute a salary cap?

The dreaded SC. Baseball did institute a luxury tax to prevent teams(Yankees) form spending an unlimited amount on free agent players. Since the luxury taxes inception seven seasons ago, the Yankees are a perfect 7 for 7 in exceeding the payroll threshold. $174 million of the $190 paid in luxury tax has come from the Yankees. The luxury tax has been good for the game. Teams who not break the threshold will claim a cut of the Yankees check. The Yankees have no problem paying the luxury tax, given their other sources of revenue.

Is it reasonable for a third team to come to New York?

Yes. I mentioned earlier that 22 million people reside in the NY Metropolitan area. Assuming all things being equal, each New York team has 11 million fans following them. In comparison, LA has 8 million fans per team. Chicago has 5 million fans per team. Injecting a 3rd team into New York would split that ratio to roughly 7.33 million people per team, justifible in terms of geographic positioning. Teams who make the playoffs benefit greatly from playoff revenues. The Yankees made $20 million alone in ticket sales. This does not take into account for the large media revenues generated by the largest market in America. Alike the 1950s, a third team will renew borough rivalries. Any team or player stands to benefit greatly from the New York media exposure(Hi, LeBron).

Would the Yankees and Mets allow this move? Who would move?

I doubt the Mets or Yankees would allow this move. Each team has exclusive zoning rights in the city. The Yankees have a lot of pulling power in the CBA agreement. After building two stadium in the past year, public funding for a third stadium may be even tougher to come by. This does not even account for the new Nets arena in Brooklyn. I don’t think New Jersey, Long Island or Connecticut would want to foot the bill either for new a stadium. I doubt this new team would detract fans from either side, but players from the smaller market team would receive huge endorsement opportunities and exposure in New York. Tim Lincecum would become the modern day “Cy Young” in New York.

What team would move?

The Dodgers and Giants will not come back to New York. Population-wise, they rank 2nd and 5th respectively. Both teams do extremely well financially. Could the Royals move to New York? Kansas City only has 1.7 million people, but they don’t have the dollars to compete in New York. Ultimately, there really isn’t a great fit for a team to move.

It’s nice to watch film of Willie Mays’ catch with the New York Giants. Jackie Robinson changed the game forever by breaking the color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Yankee Dynasty of the 1950s was the best ever in baseball. We will always have these memories of borough baseball. It’s just not possible in today’s game.