Browsing Posts published in September, 2011

Hard hits. Battered bodies. No love loss.

Expect all of this and more as the Jets head to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. The 2-1 Ravens are coming off a 37-7 thumping of the St. Louis Rams while the 2-1 Jets were gashed by the Oakland Raider rushing attack. Last season, the Ravens beat the Jets 10-9 in a very, very sloppy game where the Jets drew 14 penalties. The Ravens held the Jets to 174 total yards, allowing Mark Sanchez to throw for just 74 yards. Anquan Boldin gave Antonio Cromartie fits, torching him for 110 yards. Here are three keys to the game and reasons why the Jets will fall to 2-2 this Sunday.

Ray Is Coming For You, Rex--AP Photo

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Greed.

Greed fuels the mind, body, and spirit of most professional athletes, owners, and front office personel. This summer, NFL fans watched the owners and Players’ Assocation battle over $9 billion. $9 billion. Profits. $9 billion. During 2008, Alex Rodriguez opted out of his 10-year, $252 million contract to sign an even more obscene, $275 million contract. Jayson Werth accepted a seven-year, $127 million contract from the Washington Nationals for strictly monetary reasons. The team aspect was secondary for Mr. Werth and he’s only one of many examples in sports.

When Jose Reyes took himself out yesterday’s game, he did it for greedy, selfish reasons. He didn’t have the confidence in himself to finish off the game. He wanted to take the easy road. He wanted to take a batting title and likely Top 10 MVP finish to the free agent negoitating table this off-season. This isn’t the type of player the Mets need.

Ultimately, he doesn’t respect the Mets. He didn’t care about the ten Met fans that took off from work to watch him. He didn’t care about his manager or team mates. He cared about Jose and Jose only. Why would the Mets want him back? This type of player, who is uninterested in winning, has plagued the Mets for the last six years. Change is coming to Flushing and that starts with a new shorstop in 2012. Hopefully, it’s a team-first player who is committed to winning.

Today at my lunch hour at work, the New York sports media send off a Twitter-frenzy. You would have thought it was a life-changing event, such as the Mets clinching a playoff spot, the Yankees losing their 110th game, or Rex Ryan being caught out on a lunch date with Matt Vereb. But no, it was the actions taken by Jose Reyes and the Mets’ manager, Terry Collins. Odds are that you have heard this by now, but Jose Reyes bunted for a single, which effectively pushed his batting average high enough to edge out Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and practically clinch the NL batting title. Within the hours that came, Twitter, the blogosphere, and sports talk radio exploded, reprimanding Reyes, Collins, and the Mets in general. As all of this happened, from a non-Mets’ fan point of view, I could only wonder one thing: why??

Smiling All the Way to the Bank - AP

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In the season finale, Miguel Batista and Mike Baxter were the ones who led the Mets to a win.  Batista started and completed the shutout, and Baxter crushed a 2-run homer to give the Mets a final record of 77-85.

The main story of the game, however, was Jose Reyes.  In what was possibly his final game as a Met, he led off with a bunt single, which pushed his NL-leading average to .337.  In a move that drew the ire of the Citi Field crowd, Terry Collins pulled him right after.  The fans had every right to be upset there — it’s understandable that they wanted to protect Reyes’ lead for the batting title, but the fans deserved more than that.  The guy has been an integral part of the team since being called up in 2003, and just submitted his finest season yet.  That kind of tenure needed a fitting salute — the fans should have had the chance to go crazy for him the whole game, and then probably end it with one last standing ovation.  But it was his call — Reyes asked to be pulled, so the batting title’s more important to him.

Congrats to Pete Flynn, retiring after 50 years as a groundskeeper (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

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This is the classic example of a trap game.

Coming off an emotionally-charged victory over the Eagles, the Giants will fly to Arizona to take on the Cardinals. The 1-2 Cardinals are coming off a road loss at Seattle, but have lost their two games by a total of four points. The Cardinals were without running back, Chris Wells last week and clearly suffered running the ball (90 total yards). With a daunting slate of games coming up for Big Blue, this game is a must-win if the Giants want to be a playoff team this year. Expect a lot of pressure on one of Michael Vick’s buddies (Kevin Kolb) this week. Here are three reasons why Big Blue gets it done in the desert.

Expect A Lot of Pressure on ARZ QB, Kevin Kolb--AP Photo

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The New York Mets were defeated by the Cincinnati Reds 5-4 in a 13 inning marathon Tuesday night. Chris Capuano pitched six innings allowing three runs on five hits and a walk while striking out nine. The bullpen couldn’t secure a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning. The Mets offense had chances in the ninth and thirteenth innings to walk-off, but couldn’t push the envelope. In the end, the deciding run scored on a squeeze play in the top of the thirteenth. With one game remaining in the 2011 season, the Mets fall to 76-85. 

Reyes jogged around the bases twice on Tuesday night.

Associated Press

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‘Just another team in the AFC.’

After Sunday afternoon’s shlacking to the Oakland Raiders, the Jets proved that they are just another team in the AFC. Led by Darren McFadden, the Raider ground attack chewed the Jets up for 234 yards. 234. The ‘feared’ Jets run D. 234.

Mr. McFadden had 181 of those yards, including an impressive 70-yard touchdown run. With the loss, the Jets fall to 2-1 on the season and have yet to post legit win. Maybe Rex will stop talking and start focusing on coaching his ‘great’ defense. This loss was no surprise.

Eric Smith Can't Hold Run DMC--AP Photo

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The New York Mets were defeated by the Cincinnati Reds 6-5 on Monday night. Chris Schwinden pitched five innings allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk while striking out five. The Mets offense rallied for three runs in the third inning to take a 3-2 lead. With a 4-3 lead heading into the seventh inning, Tim Byrdak and Josh Stinson gave up three runs to put them down by two. The Mets fell short a run as their record goes to 76-84 on the season.

When Reyes' uniform is dirty, you know he had a huge game.

Getty Images

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The Giants did everything and more in their 29-16 win against the Philadelphia Eagles yesterday. From the start of the game, defensive coordinator Perry Fewell made it his mission to have his defense hit Michael Vick. And boy, did the Giants hit Vick. They hit him over. And over. And over. And over until he broke his hand. Vick blamed the refs for his injury when in reality, his offensive line sucks. Eli threw four touchdown passes today, two to Paterson’s own, Victor Cruz. With the win, the Giants improve to 2-1 on the season…

The Giants Smashed Vick

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The Phils wrapped this game up early — after 4 innings, it was 9-0.  Hunter Pence drove in 3 of those runs, including a 2-run homer in the first that got the ball rolling.  For the 13th time this season, Mike Pelfrey took the loss.  He was only able to stick around for the first 3 innings, allowing 5 runs.  Fittingly (assuming this is his last appearance of the season, and let’s hope it is), D.J. Carrasco got shelled as well — the final 4 Philly runs came in his 1 inning of work.  He likely won’t be around next year; Pelfrey probably will.  Roy Halladay himself had a typical game, tossing 6 shutout innings for the win.  

Denied. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams)

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