Written By: Matt Vereb

The 2010 MLB Fantasy baseball season is quickly approaching. Avid fantasy fans are quickly preparing their rankings and weighing their options for draft day. The majority of publications have Cardinals First Baseman, Albert Pujols and Florida Marlins Shortshop, Hanley Ramirez interchangable as the top 2 draft picks. So where do Yankee sluggers Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira fit in on draft day?

Alex Rodriguez missed the first 29 games of the 2009 season. A-Rod also dealt with steroid admission which caused some distractions during Spring Training. Given the circumstances and games played(124), A-Rod had a productive year of 30 Home Runs, 100 RBIs, and .286 Batting Average. This marked the 12th time in his career that A-Rod has achieved 30 HRs and 100 RBIs. Given the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium and the offensive additions of Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez should far surpass his 2009 numbers. A-Rod’s hip is 100% so Yankee fans and fantasy owners can breathe a sigh of relief.

Projection: 115 R, 40 HRs, 123 RBIs, 17 SBs, .310 Batting Avg.

Draft Selection: 3rd overall; I’d draft Alex Rodriguez over Ryan Braun and Chase Utley, solely based on the fact that A-Rod will outproduce these players. One could make a strong case for Utley given his lineup protection and position scarcity, but Alex should outpace him in all categories.

Mark Teixeira had a slow start when he first joined the Yankees. Teixeira hit .194 during April before Rodriguez returned. After A-Rod returned, Teixeira caught fire and ended up leading the AL in Home Runs(39) and RBIs(125). The switch-hitting Teixeira plays in cozy Yankee stadium(24 of 39 HRs came at home). With Rodriguez offering the best protection in the game for a full season, Mark should see great pitches to hit and at least match his 2009 numbers.

Projection: 105 R, 38 HRs, 125 RBI, 1 SB, .295 Batting Avg

Draft Selection: Late 1st Round; Teixeira will be drafted after Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder at First Base. But Teixeira production and support in the Yankee lineup is the best in the game. I would draft Teix over David Wright of the Mets, Evan Longoria of the Rays, and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers.

Written By: Matt Vereb

The 2010 Hall of Fame class will be annoucned on April 5th. However, the speculation for this year’s class is at an all-time high. All-time greats, Karl Malone and Scottie Pippen are among those selected as finalists for the Hall of Fame. The 1992 Dream Team is also up for induction as a team. The 1992 Dream Team is considered by many to be the great basketball team ever ensembled. Members included Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Pippen, and Malone. During the 1992 Olympics, the Dream Team had an average margin of victory of 43.8 points per game. Pippen, a six-time NBA champion and seven-time all-star, was Jordan’s sidekick on all Chicago Bulls champinship squads. Karl Malone, a two-time MVP, never won an NBA championship, but is the 2nd leading scorer all-time with 36,928 points.

Other HOF finalists include Chris Mullin, Don Nelson, and WNBA great, Cynthia Cooper.

Who had a better career? Pippen or Malone?

Written By: Kenny Mauss

Mike Jacobs came into the Major Leagues with the Mets as a rookie in 2005. In 30 games with the big club at the end of the 2005 season, Jacobs hit 11 home runs and 23 runs batted in 100 at bats. Following the season, he was traded to Florida in the deal that brought Carlos Delgado to Queens. In the years since Jacobs left New York, he played 3 seasons with the Marlins, his best season being 2008 where batted .247, hitting 32 HRs along with 27 doubles and 93 RBIs. Following a poor season in the baseball purgatory of Kansas City, he was placed on waivers.

Jacobs was signed to a 1 year minor league contract and would earn $900,000 if he makes the 40 man roster. The deal could be worth $2.05 million if he is able to reach certain incentives. Jacobs will provide some competition for Murphy at 1st, as it appears the days of Carlos Delgado playing for the Mets are all but over. Look for Jacobs to have spot duty at 1st this season, while providing power off the bench.

Written By: Kenny Mauss

The East and West All Star reserves were announced January 28th, and to much dismay David Lee’s name was not called. That changed today, when David Lee was named to the East squad after Allen Iverson pulled out of the game citing family reasons (his daughter is sick). Iverson’s play on the court however has not been All Star worthy, while David Lee’s play most definitely has been.

David Lee will make his 1st career all star appearance in his best statistical season of his young career. He is averaging 20.0 ppg, 11.4 rpg, and 3.5 apg. The 3.5 assists per game leads the NBA among all centers. Lee’s ability to help his teammates when defenders collapse on him has allowed players like Gallinari and Al Harrington to have open shots on the outside.

This is a much deserved reward for Lee and I’m happy to see a Knick making the trip to Dallas, Texas. This is the first Knick to play for the Eastern squad in the All Star game since 2001, when Latrell Sprewell represented the Knicks as the East defeated the West 111-110 in Washington D.C. Congratulations David Lee, it was well deserved, and long overdue.

Written By: Matt Vereb

In a bit of tabloid/irrelevant entry, Alex Rodriguez was spoted at a Miami party with actress, Cameron Diaz. The tipsy Diaz was apparently “grinding” with Rodriguez in a Miami club. Rodriguez has been linked to various women throughout his tenure with the Yankees. Rodriguez has dated Madonna, Kate Hudson, and married to ex-wife Cynthia Rodriguez at one time. Many will remember Hudson sitting with A-Rod’s friend and rap superstar, Jay-Z during the playoffs. Many even credited Hudson with helping Alex overcome his postseason woes. Regardless of who he dates, Alex Rodriguez will always be in the tabloids. Let’s just hope Ms. Diaz helps A-Rod have a fast start this season.

Written By: Kenny Mauss

In a classic Big East battle between two bitter rivals, the Orangemen of Syracuse were able to hold off the Huskies of UConn. Led by Wes Johnson, Syracuse was able to win its 11th straight game and 10th straight inside of Big East conference play.  Rick Jackson led the Orange with 15 points while Jerome Dyson paced the Huskies with 19 points.

Late in the 2nd half, with Syracuse clinging to a small lead, Jim Boeheim was granted a controversial timeout as Scoop Jardine drove down the lane. Boeheim was visibly angry with his star point guard for taking the ball to the basket with little over a minute remaining in the game. He could be seen lecturing the young court general telling him, “That could have cost us the game!” Fortunately for Boeheim’s Orangemen, The Orange were 23-28 from the Free Throw line, and 6-6 in the waning minutes to hold on vs. Connecticut.

This game meant a lot more to the desperate Huskies than to the high flying Orangemen. Wins like this will continue to prove the legitimacy of this 2010 Syracuse team. Upcoming games versus arch-rival Georgetown and the upstart Villanova Wildcats will either propel Syracuse into the Big East Conference tournament and NCAA tournament, or potentially put a damper on their status as national title contenders come March.

Overall, it was a great win for this young team. The wins keep flowing as Syracuse is now 24-1 overall with a 12-1 record in conference play.

Written By: Matt Vereb

Today’s Streak Pick features two bitter rivals from the Atlantic 10 Conference. The A-10 has been one of the more competitive conferences in Division I Basketball this season. Temple and Xavier are NCAA Tournament locks, but Dayton, Charlotte, Richmond, Rhode Island, and Saint Louis are all ‘bubble teams’ that need a strong showing in the A-10 Tournament. Charlotte has already been eliminated after losing in the opening round to Massachusettes.

Matchup: 6:30 PM Dayton Flyers(20-11) vs. #24 Xavier Musketeers (23-7)

These two teams have split their regular season matchups. Xavier was victorious at home 74-71; however, The Flyers blew out the Musketeers, 90-65 at Dayton. Since that loss at Dayton, Xavier has won seven straight games. During this winning streak, Xavier has posted some impressive victories at Florida and at St. Louis.

This game is being played in Atlantic City, New Jersey so all home/road splits can be ignored in this matchup. Xavier must stop Dayton’s three-point barrage. Dayton shot 53% from behind the arc in their win against the Musketeers. Flyers’ sophomore guard, Chris Johnson scored 18 points in that victory.

The key to this game is Xavier sophomore guard, Jordan Crawford. Crawford has averaged 19.7 PPG this season and has shot 40% from behind the arc this season. Crawford is best known for dunking on LeBron James.

Dayton needs this game to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive. However, Xavier is on an impresive winning streak. Xavier is a deeper team and will prove their superiority in the A-10 Tournament.

The Pick: Xavier Musketeers(23-7)

March Record: 8-3

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Photo Credit: mouthpiecesports.com

Written By: Matt Vereb

Syracuse takes on Georgetown in the 3rd round of the Big East Tournament at 12:00PM today at Madison Square Garden. #1 seeded Syracuse Orange will look to rebound after they lost their final Big East regular season game at Louisville, 78-68 on Saturday. The Orange come into this contest focused on winning the Big East Championship and solidifying their claim to an NCAA Tournament #1 seed.

Led by Big East Player of the Year Wes Johnson, Syracuse defeated Georgetown in both of their regular season meetings. Johnson averaged 15 points per game in those victories.

Syracuse will need to contain guard Austin Freeman and center Greg Monroe in order to win. Monroe and Freeman combined for 41 points in the team’s last meeting.(SYR victory, 75-71). Look for Syracuse Senior Forward/Center Arinze Onuaku to do a better job defending Monroe in this game.

Georgetown has been one of the streakiest teams in the Big East this season. During the regular season, they defeated Duke, 89-77, but lost to South Florida three days later at home, 72-64. Georgetown was able to avenge that USF loss yesterday(69-49), but their overall inconsistent play resulted in a 10-8 conference record.

Look for the Orange to grab their first Big East tournament win tomorrow.

Prediction: Syracuse 75 Georgetown 66

Photo Credit: meghangrace.com

Written By: Alex Lowenthal

Future Hall of Fame running back Ladainian Tomlinson is scheduled to meet with the New York Jets on Friday.  Today, he is meeting with the Minnesota Vikings.  If he signs with Minnesota today, he will obviously not be in New York tomorrow.  However, the Jets are interested in him and what he could bring to last season’s NFL leading rushing attack.

After losing veteran Thomas Jones, the Jets could definitely use a guy like LT.  I think that he would be an excellent mentor for the young star Shonn Greene, and also think that he could put up some solid numbers himself behind one of the best offensive lines in the league.  Tomlinson, Greene, and  a healthy Leon Washington would be pretty scary for any defense.

What do you think Jet fans? Would you like to see LT in white and green?

Photo Credit: bolttalk.com

Written by: Alex Lowenthal

Jose Reyes’ agent reported today that the star short stop will miss 2-8 weeks to allow his thyroid levels to normalize.  His tests this week confirmed that he has an overactive thyroid gland.  I don’t think this is really a big deal at all in the long run, but for now it’s rough.  Hyperthryroidism is often controlled with medication, and the more extreme cases are cared for with surgery in which the thyroid is removed.  Sometimes it just goes away on its own.   Mets’ doctors say that medication is not an option for Jose.  Instead he will “rest, refrain from athletic activity and make changes in his diet.”  Doctors think that once his thyroid levels return to normal through this rest/diet routine, there will not be a recurrence.  Omar Minaya says that Jose will probably start the season on the disabled list.