Monday, May 18, 2009

Good to be back

It's good to be back. For a second there, I almost thought we were one of those sites that crashes everytime they get twenty or so visitors. That would be rather pathetic. I was happy to learn that it had nothing to do with our visitors (of which we only had 4) but rather just an act of God striking us down for our moral weakness.

What is this weakness I speak of? Well a few weeks back you may recall someone (Me), suggesting that we expand this blog to cover all the New York Sports. I threw a bone out to my partner in crime here Dave Pucks and said he could even talk about the New York Mets, for the 6 to 7 people in the tri-state area that actually care about the Mets. If you recall, he "balked" at this idea. In fact, after a few of our followers re-iterated their interest, and urged Dave towards this expansion, he "balked" not once, but twice more. So three balks for Dave. There was talk of starting an entirely NEW blog, since we had such high moral standards and did not want to damage the integrity of a "Rangers Only" blog. So you can imagine my shock when I came onto the site one morning and saw a "Mets-Rangers" comparison, I practically fell off my proverbial mound (or in this case, out of my chair, but the point here is to creatively find ways to discuss the embarrassing performance by Pelfrey last night on national television).

I have been told to not be mean to our new Mets friends, or to rip on their site, or this association in anyway. Only time will tell if I actually hold myself back. If I stay in a good mood, and continue to be apathetic towards most things in life outside the Yankees,Rangers,Giants and to a lesser degree the Knicks, perhaps I will let this attack on my internet sensibilities slide. In the mean time though, I have decided to take the "Mets-Rangers" comparison, and give it more of a "championship feel", by removing the 1999 NLDS Winners (yes, they have a banner for that), and replacing them with the 26 time World Champion, New York Yankees. So here's a nice comparison for those of our followers that bleed pinstripes.

Alex Rodriguez is Henrik Lundqvist (winning with no offense)(team's most important player)

The Yankees don't have any clear scoring problem, and even when arod is out, they find ways to dent home plate every now and then, but records don't lie. Coming into this season with Arod from 2004-2008, the Yankees had BY FAR, the best record in baseball with him in the lineup. When he was out, they were slightly under .500. Arod missed the first 28 games this season and the Yankees went 13-15, in the 9 games since his return, 7-2. Like Hank, he gives the entire team confidence around him (at least in the regular season), and makes everyone else better. And like Hank, his playoff history has been mixed and not matched up to his regular season accolades. (His time in seattle, and start with new york were excellent, but since Arod's team performance around him has crashed, so has his. And as many great games as Hank has had in the playoffs, he's had just as many "average" games, with a handful of "no shows". A lot of that has to do with a porous defense, and light offensive support) Both guys still have to prove they can get it done in postseason, both guys carry the pressure of being "The guy" that is going to deliver a title to New York, and both guys need a stronger performance from their postseason teammates if they are ever going to have any hopes of heading down Canyon of Heros.

- Derek Jeter is Chris Drury (captain needing another great playoff run)

Both guys end up putting up respectable numbers. Both guys play hurt and have to be dragged out of the lineup. Both known more for past excellence in big games then their current stature. Both are quiet leaders who even though they wear the "C", don't really stand out in their clubhouses. They lead by example and continue to make important plays when it matters most. And the 2009 MLB season, and 2009-2010 NHL season need to be big bounce back type years for both. (Jeter still hit .300 last year, 2nd best among AL shortstops, but his big game aura has died down slightly along with his power numbers) And the most important thing these two have in common? They are winners. Jeter a 4 time World Series Champion, Drury a stanley cup champion.

- Robinson Cano is Nikolai Zherdev (Incredible physical game, incredibly weak mental game)

(Reading the reyes thing was really hard, "sometimes reyes seems like the best leadoff man in baseball" I'm not sure who wrote that Was that you Dave? Come on, the guy is the third best shortstop in his division!) Like Zherdev, Cano has physical gifts that can match any player in his league. While Zherdev has the ability to be a 40+ goal scorer, Cano has that same ability to not only hit 30 homers, but also be a batting champion. Like Zherdev, there are nights where Cano is clearly the best player on the field, and you find yourself not spending the game appreciating the performance, but rather asking yourself, "Why don't I see this every night?" In both sports, baseball more than hockey, your going to fail more than you succeed, and we can't expect both these players to score, or hit 2 homers every night, but what we can look for is a strong mental approach to the game: working the count, swinging at smart pitches, not taking offside penalties, shooting at goalies weaknesses, finding the open man, knowing where to position themselves on the ice/field etc. and this is something you rarely see from either player. Both are in their respective leagues, on their NY Teams, and have their careers entirely based on their talent, and nothing between their ears. Not all players are able to develop mental games. We can only hope these guys do, because if they ever do, they will quickly develop into league MVP caliber players for both teams.

- Mike Mussina is/was Markus Naslund (old guy, great career,....retired)

This one is a bit of a stretch since the Yanks don't really have a naslund. Their older players still produce at a very high level, that and none of them retired. Mussina gets the nod here because they were both good teammates that didn't ruffle too many feathers, made reasonable contracts for their value, and both retired leaving money at the table. And both had long, very strong careers, never able to capture that elusive ring. The difference here is Naslund leaves as an average all-round forward, with still some offensive skill but not enough to merit a big pay day. Mussina left the game a 20 game winner and a probably hall of famer.

- Steve Valiquette (the tall backup to the Ace)

The Yankees don't carry backups....they carry all-stars.

- Damaso Marte is Wade Redden (too high-priced for what he can do)

This one really is a season to late. Had this come around in 2008 I could have thrown Carl Pavano, Jason Giambi, even Bobby Abreu in there, but this Yankee team has shed a lot of dead weight in the offseason. We still have high priced and probably overpaid (in some cases) guys, but they make the all-star team. Marte, like Redden, came to our team with a reputation as one of the best at his position on past performance, and like Redden, his best days may be behind him. Both make far too much money for their performance so far, but unlike Redden, Marte has a "little" window of possibility for redemption, seeing as his terrible performance has been hampered by injury, where as Redden's is clearly a factor of age/confidence

- Brett Gardner/Melky Cabrera is Ryan Callahan/Brandon Dubinsky (young, up-and-comers, still learning)

Gardner and Callahan make some sense, with a talent edge to Callahan. Both have non stop motors, and may be the fastest skater/runners on their teams. Both are very young, with nice contracts, and still trying to develop their offensive game to go with their hustle. Cabrera and Doobie have more offensive skill then their young counterparts. They also have more size and power potential. But they also seem to lack the drive and hustle that the other two do, and to this point in their careers it has stunted their development.

That's all the Mets and Dave came up with. So that is where I will stop....for now.

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