Saturday, May 18, 2013
The Chances that the Knicks can beat the Pacers
By Daniel Basuk
The Knicks are down 3-1 against the Pacers, and they’ve lost their last two games. Carmelo Anthony has shot just 38% in his last two games. The Knicks’ defense hasn’t been the issue. They’ve given up 82, and 93 points in their last two games. Their issue is their offense. They’ve scored a measly 71, and 82 points in their last two games. Carmelo isn’t shooting well at all, as is J.R. Smith who’s shot just 33% from the field in his last two games. Mike Woodson needs to work on the Knicks’ offense. They’re shooting awfully as a team, shooting a mere 35.4% from the field. The Knicks have shot 28% from the three-point line. Their offense simply needs to step up. Their players aren’t making their shots, their three-pointers, which has been their strong suit in the regular season, has been weak.
The issue with the Knicks is that they’re making the big stops, but they’re not making the big shots. They aren’t capitalizing on what they should be capitalizing on. They have a home game for game 5, so if they can gain some momentum from that, shoot at a higher percentage from the field, and keep up the strong defense, they’ll have a much better chance of winning their game. Even if they win the next game, they’ll still have to win 2 more games. It won’t be easy, but with solid defense and a momentum swing in game 5, the Knicks will be able to swing the momentum to their side and complete a comeback against the Pacers.
David Moyes to Man United Continues to Show the Abuse of Small Teams
By Sammy Cuautle
Soccer fans all over the world have either been mourning or celebrating the past week or two in light of the news of Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement from soccer. After an illustrious 27 year tenure as manager of Manchester United, winning 13 English Premier League titles, 5 FA Cups, 4 League Cups, 10 FA Community Shields, 2 Champions Leagues, 1 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, 1 UEFA Super Cup, 1 Intercontinental Cup, 1 FIFA Club World Cup as well as tens of other individual awards, including the Order of the British Empire. He was a polarizing figure in the world of soccer, with many loving but many hating him. David Moyes, the manager of Everton, another EPL club, was announced as Ferguson’s replacement and Moyes’ departure was confirmed by the official Everton website.
Moyes being chosen as manager was another controversial decision. Many believe that his lack of Champions League, or any European competition, experience makes him unfit to lead a team like Manchester United, but I don’t agree with that opinion. In fact, I believe Moyes will be an excellent manager if they give him the necessary amount of time. Something like what happened to Brendan Rogers in Liverpool will be the result of Moyes in Man United. He might have a rough time adjusting, but eventually his tactics will lead United to just as many titles and awards as ever.
But there is a serious issue being overlooked during all of this. Moyes’ former team, Everton, was never a team to spend much, if any at all, money during the transfer windows. The team gets by using they youth or making shrewd, cheap signings. This policy has been successful for Everton, as they have only finished outside the top 10 once since 2005. They have mostly had to sell their players, such as Wayne Rooney being sold to ironically, Manchester United. It looks to be the case again this summer, as Baines and Felliani are linked to dozens of top European teams such as Real Madrid and Man United. In fact, Moyes has said that his main targets are Baines and Felliani. I think this is another example of a big team pushing a small team around only because they have more money than them. Everton was a very exciting team this season, and I think it’s a shame that they lost their manager and could potentially lose their top players. But that’s the reality of modern soccer, a very sad reality.
Can Tyrann Mathieu Get his Life Together?
By Philip Callimanis
Tyrann Mathieu went from Heisman candidate to being kicked off the team. Mathieu has had too much trouble with marijuana during his time at LSU. Mathieu reportedly failed over 10 drug tests at LSU. Once Mathieu was dismissed from LSU, he was taken in by Arizona Cardinals cornerback, and former LSU teammate of Mathieu, Patrick Peterson and his parents. From then on, it seemed as if Mathieeu was making a concerted effort to get his life on the right track and ready for the next stage in his life: the NFL. Mathieu worked tirelessly to get on the straight and narrow. After seeing his draft stock fall, Mathieu, devoted his time to just football, leaving behind the bad influences from earlier in his life. Mathieu has now seen himself drafted in the 3rd round (69th overall) by the Arizona Cardinals, even though many teams had him as a second round talent based on his on-field ability. AZ is the perfect situation because it teams him up with his mentor Patrick Peterson who vouched for Mathieu in the Front Office.
My Opinion on the 2013 NBA Award Winners
By Andrew Hahn
Here is my second half of what I think of the award winners of the 2012-2013 season. This will include Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Most Valuable Player.
- Rookie of the Year: This award went point guard of the Portland Trailblazers, Damian Lillard. I believe that he totally deserved this year because he was the leading scorer and assists of the team. Number 1 overall pick of the 2012 draft, Anthony Davis was plagued by injuries, and he didn’t play well for the Hornets. Lillard showed great poise as a player on and off the court as a young rookie. He played very well with Lamarcus Aldridge and Nicholas Batum.
- Coach of the Year: George Karl took this award, being his first ever title. He led the Denver Nuggets to a franchise high 57 wins with players like Andre Iguodala, Danillo Gallinari, and even foolish player, Javale Mcgee. They were 38-3 at home, which was the best home record of the NBA. Too bad they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs this year by the Golden State Warriors
- Most Valuable Player: This year’s MVP was surprisingly Lebron James…not. LBJ was the obvious MVP of the league after the All Star break when the Heat won 27 in a row. This is his 4th MVP award in 5 years. He joins legends like Bill Russell and Magic Johnson with 4 awards.
How far Can the Columbia Prep Lions Go in the State Playoffs
By Robert Coles
Its that time of year at Columbia Prep, yes, I am talking about playoff baseball. Last year, the Varsity baseball team fell to poly prep 10-0 after upsetting collegiate in the first round. This year is a different story. The team feels as if there is some sort of magic in the air. We play BWL thursday at Randalls Ssland in the first round of the tournament. If we are to advance we would go on to play the number 1 seed in the tournament Berkeley Carrol at MCU park which is the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones. We lost earlier this year to them 20-10. But awful fielding and leaving runners on base led to our demise. Even though BC is an overall 18-0 and league champions. Myself and the team feel as though they are very beatable as long as their ace, Ian Miller, is not pitching. Miller, however, will not be starting against us. Anything is possible with good team chemistry and a belief that we can pull off what would be one of the biggest victories in Columbia prep sports history. Going in to the Poly Prep game last year we were too content with beating collegiate and advancing. This year we will not be content with just moving on one round. We want to pull off the upset, and we truly believe that we can make a Florida Gulf Coast type of run to the finals.
How Deep Can the Rangers Go in the Playoffs?
By Robbie Heilberg
The Rangers just barely made it out of the first round this year. Playing against the Washington Capitals for the second straight year in the postseason, the Rangers looked depleted and ready to head home for the summer after falling behind in the series 3-2. However, it was the goalie, Henrik Lundqvist, the reigning Vezina winner who refused to head home early. With their backs against the wall, Lundqvist put together to straight shutouts to propel the Rangers past the Capitals in seven games to send them to the second round where they will face a tough Boston Bruins team. In Game 6, Lundqvist received little offense in the form of just one goal, but managed to stop all twenty-seven shots that he faced to give the Rangers a narrow 1-0 lead and send the series back to Washington for a winner takes all matchup. In that game, the Rangers exploded offensively, beating Capitals goalie Braden Holtby five times as Lundqvist helped himself to his second straight shutout, this time stopping thirty-five shorts for a 5-0 victory.
The Rangers against all odds were able to make a comeback against the third seeded Capitals, but will now face a very daunting task in taking on the Boston Bruins, and their talent stacked roster. The series will begin on May 16th in Boston at TD Garden, but the question now is if the Rangers can actually make a considerable run in the playoffs for the second straight year. The Rangers defense has been very efficient thus far, led by a strong group of guys such as Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonough. However, there offense has been awful thus far. The Rangers showed very little structure in their offense in the first round, and for much of the regular season, as they often failed to set up good opportunities and squandered many opportunities on the fast break. The one place where they were especially weak was their Power Play, as they went a horrendous 2-28 on extra man opportunities. The Rangers just couldn’t get anything going on the extra man power play’s, and that came back to hurt them, often in two games they lost in overtime. If the Rangers hope to make a run at the Bruins, they need to step it up on the power play, take better shots, and the keep the puck out of the other zone so that the pressure is not completely on Henrik Lundqvist, who has been as usual, terrific. While the Rangers might have a good chance of beating the Bruins in the second round, they just don’t possess the stamina and the strength to make it past a powerhouse Pittsburgh team in a potential third round matchup. The Rangers last year took seven games in each of the first two rounds to get through Ottawa and Washington, and the lack of rest they received as a result hurt them in the third round against the Devils. If the Rangers have legitimate Stanly Cup hopes, they will need to make quick work of a Bruins team that will not be easy to beat.
Why the Vikings Could Win the NFC North
By Eric Smith
The last team to have 3 first round picks, the St. Louis Rams in 2001, went to the Super Bowl. I don’t think the Vikings are capable of that, but I do like their chances of winning the division. Hopefully, the Vikings have the same amount of luck that the Rams had in 2002.
Of course Peterson had a near record breaking season last year, and the additions of the OL and WRs in the last two years have built a great supporting cast around Ponder. Now he just has to produce. His completion percentage was over 60% this season, which was an improvement, but he showed even more promise in the beginning of the season with the first half having a completion percentage of 65%. He just needs to continue to improve. He is a QB that is dependent upon the cast around him since he can’t really throw the football pass 20 yards, so he needs a supporting cast that make plays with their feet. The additions of Patterson, Greg Jennings, and Jarius Wright over the past two seasons should allow Ponder’s limitations to not be displayed on center stage.
The defense this past season was much better than expected. They did not have one proven starter in the secondary at the start of the season. Yet, Josh Robinson, their 3rd round pick came out to be a solid starter, and AJ Jefferson went from the practice squad to a service CB. Then, drafting Harrison Smith at the safety spot gave them a Pro Bowl capable safety. In the draft though, they drafted a true cover corner in Xavier Rhodes who could be that player in the secondary that could help them against Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall in their division. They always had the front 7 under control with Jared Allen, Kevin Williams, and Chad Greenway, but the MLB was an issue for 2 years, which is why I wanted them to draft Luke Kuechly, the defensive rookie of year, last season. Yet, I think they found their MLB in the 7th round with Michael Mauti. He has 1st or 2nd round talent, but three ACL injuries put him back into the 7th round. Since the Vikings have success with these types of injuries considering their success with Peterson and Greenway, they could have made the best pick in the draft. I believe in the Vikings this season since they finally have a great group around Ponder and the defense is the best it has ever been.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Week 1 @ Rams W 24-17
The Cardinals will come in and with loads of energy after the many changes they made this offseason. The Rams are overrated and there offense will continue to be weak with Bradford under center.
Week 2 vs. Lions W 28-21
The Cardinals beat the Lions last season and have since done much more to improve themselves than the Lions.
Week 3 @ Saints L
The Saints will prevail purely because of home field advantage.
Week 4 @ Buccaneers L
The Bucs are a very real rounded team without a glaring weakness, They definietley improved the D with the addition of Revis.
Week 5 vs. Panthers W
The Panthers D is not good enough to stop Pamer from throwing the home run ball.
Week 6 @ 49ers L
Playing the 49ers in San Fran is tough since they are one of the best teams in the league. The Read Option will prove to be too difficult for the Cards.
Week 7 vs. Seahawks W
They beat the Seahwks at home last yr amd they can do it again this year. Russell Wilson is ovverated and will have a sophomore slump.
Week 8 vs. Falcons L
The additions to the Falcons secondary will prove to be too difficult for AZ. Mat Ryan did throw 4 picks last time he faced the Cardinals.
Week 9 Bye
Week 10 vs. Texans W
Week 11 @ Jaguars W
Week 12 vs. Colts W
Week 13 @ Eagles W
Week 14 vs. Rams W
Week 15 @ Titans W
Week 16 @ Seahawks L
Week 17 vs. 49ers W
The Seattle Seahawks: The NFL’S Next Great Franchise?
By Daniel Basuk
The Seattle Seahawks are one on the youngest teams in the league. That didn’t stop them from making the seconds round of the playoffs. As a rookie quarterback, Russell Wilson who completed 64% of his passes, while throwing for over 3,000 yards, 26 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. In 2013, he’ll be making just over 525,000 dollars. Considering it was jus his rookie year, his potential is through the roofs. Then, there is free safety, Earl Thomas. Thomas, who’s been an All-Pro in his last two seasons, is looking to make 3.5 million dollars. Thomas’s speed and his ability to cover the field makes him a strong asset to the Seahawks’ defense. It gives cornerbacks, Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner the ability to play man coverage while Thomas can help out to whoever needs it. Then, there’s Kam Chancellor, the strong safety, who is going to make a little 2.8 million. Chancellor is hard hitting safety that complements Earl Thomas’s playing style very well. Chancellor can hit the players hard, break up passes and sometimes, even force a fumble. Then, there are the cornerbacks. Richard Sherman, who is being considered by some, to be the best cover cornerback in the NFL, is going to make just 555,000 dollars in 2013. Brandon Browner, the second cornerback, will make 555,000 dollars this year. Browner isn’t near the level of Sherman, but for a second cornerback, he is very solid.
The issue with all of this though, is that they won’t be able to sign all of these guys when their contracts end. Richard Sherman will be a free agent after the 2014 season, and he’ll be making a lot more than 500,000 dollars a year. Russell Wilson will be a free agent after the 2015 season, and barring that he collapses in the next couple of seasons, he’ll be looking at a very nice contract as well. Earl Thomas will be a free agent after 2014, and he’ll be one of the hottest free agents considering his position. Browner will be a free agent after 2013.
The issue with the Seahawks is, while they’re young, the salaries they’ll have to pay some of these players will be very high. They won’t have the money to sign all of these guys and they’ll have to let go of at least Browner. They have the talent, but do the Seahawks have the money?
Columbia Prep Lions Varsity Baseball
By Shawn Bassett
8-0. We went undefeated in our league this year. We mercied 5 out of 6 of those games, and even went 24-0 against Calhoun. Out of League, we have beaten Riverdale (an ivy League team) 3-2, mercied Martin Luther and Evangel Christian. We lost a close game to L.I.L and lost 20-10 to possible state tournament 1 seed, Berkeley Carroll. In a PSAL tournament we also went 1-2.
This week was our league’s tournament. We beat Loyola for the third time this season 6-0. CHARLIE LYNN THREW A NO-HITTER. I hope Charlie Lynn is reading this, because he was unstoppable. Not one ball even came to me in Center. 11 Strikeouts for the man. It is a great way to get going unto the finals against Trevor. We expect our 3rd win of the year, and back-to-back league championships. Afterwards we have the State tournament. It is going to be an exciting few weeks.
This is my last Sports Debate article ever. It is a sad day. I would like to thank my readers (Chuck Lynn mostly), for a great year. It has been a pleasure to have such a great Coach as none other than Mr. Weissman. My fellow seniors, Max Kalikow and Aaron Rhode are also ending their run. Thanks for a great year!
My Opinion on the 2013 NBA Award Winners
By Andrew Hahn
Before the NBA playoffs, the league awarded several players for their outstanding play in the 2012-2013 season. These awards include Defensive Player of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year, Most Improved Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Most Valuable Player. In this article, I will give my honest opinion if these players deserved the awards.
- Defensive Player of the Year: This year’s DOP was awarded to Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzles. He told the media that he was happy to achieve this award. I do not think that he should not have won this award. Lebron James, who finished second place in voting, told the media that he was very upset that he didn’t win it. Other players that I think should win the award include shot blockers Serge Ibaka and Larry Sanders and great perimeter defenders like Iman Shumpert, Luol Deng, and Paul Geroge.
- Sisxth Man of the Year: This award is giving to a player that helps his team when he comes off the bench and plays starter’s minutes. JR Smith won this award and he deserved it. He lead in the NBA in points scored off the bench with 18.1 ppg. Towards the end of the season, JR scored more when he kept on driving to the basket, instead of settling for jump shots
- Most Improved Player of the Year: Instead of Paul George winning the DOP, he got the Most Improved Player of the Year. He told the media that he promised coah Frank Vogel that he will improve in the offseason after the Pacers lost in the semi-finals of the 2012 playoffs. He work tediously with assistant coach, Brian Shaw, and he came back to the game in the next season as an All-Star and a frachise player. He totally deserved it.
This article will be continued next time…
Eagles QB Battle
By Max Kalikow
The Philadelphia Eagles will have the most interesting battle in preseason. The QB battle appears to be wide open and there are three main candidates to take the job. I will give a review of each player and guess who will be starter and say who I think SHOULD be starter.
Michael Vick- Michael Vick is the person most people will want as starter. A couple of years ago he dominated the league but last year was rough. He threw a lot of interceptions and was extremely turnover prone. Additionally he got hurt which is nothing new. However, he has buffed up over the offseason and beat LeSean McCoy in a footrace. As everyone knows the Eagles hired Chip Kelly who traditionally has a quarterback with speed. This gives Vick and edge.
Nick Foles- Nick Foles was the 3rd round draft pick of the Eagles last year. He has a big arm but is not very mobile. Last year he took over to Vick and only won one game but put up stats. Also he is not fast which could be a negative in a Chip Kelly offense. The thing is though, Chip Kelly doesn’t need a fast QB to work, just look at his work at New Hampshire.
Matt Barkley- Barkley fell to the Eagles in the draft and maybe he can be quite good. He has a good arm and is very smart. His arm is a concern though. Most think that he will be a backup his first year though. This may be good for a player like him.
Who I think will be QB- Michael Vick- Too much potential here
Who I want to be QB- Nick Foles- This kid is good and letting him develop would be great.
Top Soccer Games This Weekend
By Sammy Cuautle
Chelsea vs Spurs
With first and second place already locked in, there is fierce competition to win 3rd, 4th and 5th place in the EPL table. Chelsea, Spurs and Arsenal are currently fighting for those spots and this game makes it more interesting. Arsenal has played 36 games, while Chelsea and Spurs have only played 35, meaning a victory for one of those teams could cause them to leapfrog over Arsenal. This game will be played Wednesday, and Arsenal will not play until Tuesday. Spurs beating Chelsea would make Spurs 4th, Chelsea would remain 3rd and Arsenal would be 5th. This game is even more interesting because Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs are all London teams, and the Arsenal-Spurs North London rivalry has resulted in incredible games.
Result: Chelsea 2-3 Spurs
Man City vs Reading
Although Reading is 19th in the table and Man City has 2nd locked up, this game is interesting because of the way their last matchup ended up. The EPL has a reputation for being the league in which the small teams play hard against the larger teams. The last time Reading and City played, it ended 1-0, courtesy of a very late (90th minute) goal by Barry. They have already met once and with nothing on the line, Reading should provide some quality minutes.
Result: Man City 0-0 Reading
Atletico Madrid vs Barcelona
A matchup between two of the top three teams in Spain. Atletico Madrid has had a lot of things go their way this season and will hope that continues against the best team in Spain and one of the best in Europe.
Result: Atletico Madrid 1-2 Barcelona
Can the Mets have Two Straight Cy Young Award Winners?
By Robbie Heilberg
Last season, R.A. Dickey became the first Met since Doc Gooden to win the Cy Young Award, becoming the first Mets pitcher to win 20 games in over 20 years. After Dickey was dealt to Toronto during the offseason, and Johan Santana went down with yet another season ending shoulder injury, the Mets were forced to turn their attention towards Jon Niese, and young, inexperienced, and determined Matt Harvey. Harvey, who got his first taste of the big leagues last year when he came up and made 10 starts, was highly expected to be a bright light on a team with almost no expectations. However, nobody expected him to be pitching at the level he has since the beginning of the season. After posting a 2.73 ERA in his 10 start run last year, Harvey, in his first full season in the Major Leagues, has taken the league by storm, earning the April pitcher of the month award and blowing away the opposition with his explosive fastball.
Harvey’s last start against the White Sox was his best thus far, as he flirted with perfection, retiring the first twenty to face him, and going on to throw nine innings while allowing just one hit, no walks, and a career high 12 strikeouts. However, Harvey was denied a victory after the Mets failed to get him a run. Through his first seven starts of the season, Harvey is 4-0 with a 1.28 ERA, 58 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 0.69. He is second in the Major League in wins and ERA, and is first in the National League in strikeouts and WHIP. And Harvey does not seem to be slowing down. He is drastically improving with every start. After relying predominantly on his flaming fastball to get hitters out, Harvey has now developed a highly effective slider, changeup, and curveball that he is starting to use much more in order to keep hitters wondering what is coming.
While it is still early in the season, Harvey has already begun to draw much attention in the world of sports. He has already been compared to some of baseball’s best pitchers, such as Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg, even gaining a “Harvey’s Better” chant from the crowd at Citi Field when he outdueled Strasburg in late April. Harvey has continually strived to be better each and every start. He has sought advice from within and outside of the organization, and has impressed former Mets greats such as John Franco and Doc Gooden. Because of Harvey’s early season success, he has already inserted his name into the Cy Young talk, and will certainly make it hard for the manager of the National League All-Star Team to pass him up to start in his home stadium in July if his dominance continues.
Harvey still lacks the big league experience to be known as the ace of the Mets’ pitching rotation, but many fans will argue that his experience simply does not matter, and that right now, Matt Harvey is the unquestioned ace of the Mets. The way he has pitched has amazed all, but the way that he has carried himself throughout his newfound fame has been even more impressive, as he is starting to take on the role of being the leader of the Mets’ rotation, a position he will inevitably hold some day, if not today. As seen in the photo above, not even a bloody nose could stop Harvey from being dominant in his last start. Harvey’s next start comes against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Citi Field on May 12th at 1:10. While Mets fans are still waiting for their team to finally surprise the baseball world, for the second consecutive year, the fans have something to smile about every fifth day.
Players Who Will Slow Down
By Eric Smith
I’ve always been a fan of Choo especially since from 2008 to 2010, he basically averaged a 300 BA, 20 HRs, 400 OBP, and 20 SBs. Yet, what caused his batting average last to fall to 285 was the fact that he could not hit left handing pitching last year. In that 2008 to 2010 he hit about 250 against left handed pitching, but in 2012 he hit 199. Even though he is currently hitting 331, he is also hitting 199 against left-handed pitching. Even though he has only had 39 Abs vs lefties, he is continuing a troubling trend from last season.
This guy has never been a power hitter. His career high in HRs was 16 HRs, and now all of a sudden he is on pace for about 30 HRs. He has always had BBs and SBs, but the HR numbers will not continue.
I’ve always been a fan of the Twins and Joe Mauer, but I’m worried about his strikeout rate. Once the Twins traded away Denard Span and Ben Revere, they traded away the best players at the top of their order, and so now Mauer doesn’t have anyone in front of him. So he is being asked to be the instigator at the top of the order in the #2 spot. I think he is starting to press to get on base and his strikeout rate is going sky high. This certainly could have an impact on his BA.
Votto is terrific at getting on base with his potentially all time great walk rate. He consistently has a 320 BA, and typically 25+ HRs. Yet, I think the HR rate will go down. Even though he only played 111 games, he did hit 14 HRs, which is an okay HR rate just a little below career averages. Yet, in his last 87 ABs last year, he did not hit a HR. This isn’t a surprise since the 13 of 14 HRs that he did hit last year were the opposite way. Even though he is a great hitter, this is not common for a power hitter and I think it is unsustainable. I would not be surprised if Votto only hits 15 HRs this season over an entire season as oppose to his typical 25 to 30.
Matt Harvey the Next Jesus?
By Aaron Rohde
After last nights start against the Chicago White Sox Matt Harvey has firmly established himself as one of the best pitchers in the game if not the best. Harvey started the game with a bloody nose and a fat lip. But that couldn’t stop Harvey as he faced 28 batters in 9 innings allowing only one hit (an infield single), and had 12 strikeouts.
After 7 starts this year, Harvey has posted a 4-0 record (received a no decision last night) with a 1.28 ERA and a .689 Whip. Harvey also has a league leading 58 strikeouts. Harvey’s stats are certainly worthy of the CY Young so far and even consideration for MVP, but even more impressive than his stats is the sheer domination of Harvey’s pitchers which would suggest that this Matt Harvey is here to stay.
Every elite pitcher needs an elite fastball, and Harvey has just that with a fastball reaching 98 at the end of the game, Harvey’s fastball is eerily similar to that of Justin Verlander’s who saves his best fastball for the end of the game. To go with his dominating fastball Harvey has three devastating off-speed pitches a slider in the low 90’s to high 80s, and 12-6 curve and a filthy circle change. Harvey’s fastball has always been a great weapon, but no one expected him to develop these three off-speed pitches at any point, nonetheless 15 starts into his career.
Harvey is doing something that no pitcher in the game is capable of doing, Harvey is a threat to throw a Perfect Game every time he goes out to the Hill. Right now not only would Harvey be my pick for Starter in the All star fame, NL CY Young, but also NL MVP, and doing all this at just 24 years of age.
Nets Coaching Situation
By Robert Coles
Now that Phil Jackson, Stand Van Gundy, and Jeff Van Gundy are all prett much out of the question. Its time to weigh the most realistic options for coach of the Brooklyn nets, and also one bold prediction for a coach. Scott Skiles supplies a toughness factor that the nets clearly lacked this year. Tom Thibodeau out-toughed P.J Carlisimo in the first round in the playoffs, but it was also evident that P.J got outcoached. Another option is Brian Shaw. Shaw is someone that I don’t know much about, but I do know that he can bring experience from other coaches because he worked with Phil Jackson. Another option is Larry Brown who mentored Billy King earlier in his NBA career. My personal favorite for this job is Jerry Sloan. Deron Williams has endorsed Sloan for the job and even praised his system earlier in the year. Also, Sloan said that if the nets called he would listen. But is he more interested in the money… or the players? Sloan and Deron Williams had a lot of success together in Utah but a supposed argument between them forced Jerry Sloan to resign. However, I am not a believer in the fact that that actually happened. My extremely bold prediction for coach of the nets next year is Avery Johnson. This will 99.9% not happen after the somewhat uncalled for firing of him after the Nets’ slow 14-14 start. But if the Nets want to shock the world, run out of options, and just want a good coach, this would not be a terrible idea.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
The Jets’ Quarterback Situation
By Daniel Basuk
With the draft pick of Geno Smith at 39th overall, the Jets’ quarterback situation is up in the air. Their quarterback situation involves veteran, David Garrard, Matt Simms, newly drafted Geno Smith, Greg McElroy, and last year’s starter, Mark Sanchez. It was originally six, Earlier in his career, Sanchez made back-to-back AFC championships. Recently though, he’s not performed at all. His best games were in the playoffs, but he hasn’t been in a playoff game since his loss in the AFC championship game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. David Garrard, who with the Jaguars made the playoffs in the 2005 and 2008, can create some competition for the starter. He hasn’t had the best career, but he has had a solid career, and can create some stir in the quarterback competition. McElroy is in his third year and hasn’t shown much to show that he’s starter material. He put together a nice drive in the 2012 season against the Cardinals. He only threw passes, but completed 5 for 29 yards and a touchdown. He also went 14 for 24 with 185 yards and an interception against the Chargers. He won a N=BCS championship at Alabama, so that could be an argument for him to start. He knows how to win which is a valuable trait in the NFL. Last, but not least, there is the drafted, Geno Smith out of West Virginia. He was ranked as the top quarterback in the draft, but EJ Manuel managed to sneak past him and was taken at 16th overall. Smith can create a lot of buzz for the Jets and he could really give potential to the Jets.
Grading The Cardinals Draft
By Philip Callimanis
The Cardinals had troubles last year because of horrendous offensive line play. Not only could the Cardinals not pass protect, but they couldn’t run block. Cooper is one of the best guards since Steve Hutchinson and will help the Cardinals offensive line immediately.
Kevin Minter- A-
Kevin Minter was one of the best inside linebackers in the draft and was projected to be a first round pick. He is a great tackler and a hard hitter despite his average size. Minter will probably start next to Daryl Wahington (who is suspended 4 games for failing a drug test (not steroids)).
Tyrann Mathieu- A-
High Risk, High Reward. If he keeps clean, Mathieu could end up being a steal in the draft seeing as his performance at LSU was unbelievable. Mathieu is a playmaker both on defense and special teams. In Arizona, Mathieu pairs up with his mentor Patrick Peterson.
Alex Okafor- A
Alex Okafor in the 4th was a steal. At Texas last season, he recorded 12.5 sacks, constantly applying pressure on opposing QB’s. He had late 1st round talent and was
Earl Watford- B+
Watford is a bit of an enigma seeing as he is from a small school like James Madison, but he dominated the completion and looked equally strong at the East-West Shrine Bowl. Watford could end up being a diamond in the rough.
Stepfan Taylor- A-
Stepfan Taylor was the model for consistency at Stanford. He is not a blazing fast RB, but is a good all-around with his vision/patience/pass pro.
Ryan Swope- A-
Swope was a great pick for the 6th. He would have gone higher if not for the concussion issues. Swope ran a 4.34 40 time at the combine. He will play in the slot and stretch the field for Bruce Arians.
Andre Ellington- A
Ellington was also a steal in the 6th. He was projected to be a 2nd-3rd round pick. He is a solid pass protector and has big run ability with his speed and elusiveness.
DC Jefferson- B
Jefferson is a developmental tight end who is already a very good blocker, but needs to improve on his receiving skills.
Overall Grade: A-
Friday, May 03, 2013
The New Look Jets (The Top Picks)
By Shawn Bassett
The draft kicked off the beginning of the new season. Previous to the draft, I had written about the Jets trading Darrelle Revis to the Bucs for the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft. With the addition of new GM John Izdik, and Rex Ryan on the hot seat, they needed to hit it big. So here is a recap of the Jets Draft:
Round 1, 9th Overall: Dee Milliner
Round 1, 13th Overall: Sheldon Richardson
Round 2, 7th pick: Geno “The future” Smith
- Even though the Jets were the second best pass defense last year, they still need help in the secondary. Cromartie and former Jets safety LaRon Landry propelled the team. Kyle Wilson provided what the Jets needed, but not having Revis last season definitely didn’t help. With the Jets losing both of their safeties to free agency, it is a surprise that the jets didn’t’ picks safety at all, but Rex Ryan knows what he is doing.
- When this pick happened I was mad beyond belief. The Jets past on offensive talents to help out their struggling offense, and Ryan picked another defense linemen. The Jets pick was smart and stupid. The Jets are going to improve their 26th ranked run defense, which could help the team. Their D-line should be solid, in years to come.
- I was really disappointed when they didn’t pick Geno in the first round, and I was ecstatic when they got him in the second round. Mark Sanchez has never been that great, and John Izdik and Ryan need a fresh start. Despite the needed fresh start, they are going to do what’s best for the team, whether Geno should watch and learn, or get experience.
The Dark Side of the Mets Hot Start
By Sammy Cuautle
The Mets bullpen is still atrocious
The Mets bullpen is awful. Last season, the bullpen cost R.A. Dickey of a couple wins and even though the Mets brought in some reinforcements over the offseason, they have not improved. Although it is still early into the season, the Mets bullpen ERA is a depressing 5.09. That’s good enough for second worst, ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals who have a 5.89 ERA. The Mets bullpen also has the least amount of saves, with two so far. The bullpen has also allowed 58 runs, 50 of those earned which is good enough for second in the league. Bobby Parnell, Jeurys Familia and Scott Rice are the only relievers with an ERA under 3.00. The Mets will not be contenders if they do not get their rotation together. What’s the point of putting guys like Matt Harvey, Jon Niese and Zach Wheeler soon if the bullpen will blow any lead they manage to put up?
The Mets rotation is still mediocre
Dillon Gee’s ERA is 5.96. Matt Harvey’s is 1.56. Jeremy Hefner’s is 5.14, Jon Niese’s is 3.31 and Shaun Marcum’s ERA is 7.94. The only decent starters are Harvey and Niese, and Harvey’s ERA will be over 3.00 by the end of the season. It is a given that Marcum’s, Gee’s and Hefner’s ERA will not be as bad as they are now, but this is not a good start. Luckily the offense has bailed out the starters, but as it always happens, the Mets offense will go back to being extremely cold by mid-May.
Ike Davis is hitting .159
Ike Davis has gotten off to a terrible start, hitting a whopping .159, with 29 strikeouts in 82 at bats. He has 4 home runs, with 8 RBIs and a double, but is still very disappointing. His BABIP is not much better; at .180 and his batting average with RISP is .174. Davis’ WAR is 0.0. Hopefully this is only a slow start, as his BABIP, FB%, WAR and a bunch of other offensive sabermetric stats are at an all time low. This could also be the start of a terrible trend, Ike Davis could never recover from this and never be contributor to the Mets.
Eagles Draft Grades
By Max Kalikow
Round 1, Pick 4: Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
Lane Johnson is not an extravagant pick but it is certainly a quality one. The Eagles got maybe the most athletic tackle to ever come out of college.
Round 2, Pick 35: Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford
Zach Ertz will be great in the NFL. He has all the tools to be a very successful tight end. The only reason it gets a B+ was because this was not a specific need.
Round 3, Pick 67: Bennie Logan, DL, LSU
A lot of fans were surprised that Bennie Logan was picked but it is actually pretty solid. Logan can play DT and DE. He was also given #18 which in LSU is given to the hardest worker.
Round 4, Pick 98: Matt Barkley, QB, USC
This was a steal. Barkley should have gone in the 2nd round and he didn’t. He is very smart; a leader, NFL ready, and makes great pinpoint throws. Chip Kelly will find a way to make him into something special.
Round 5, Pick 136: Earl Wolff, S, NC State
Eagles needed a safety and they got one here. Wolff is a very hard worker and has talent. He is a pretty low risk pick and can compete for a starting spot.
Round 7, Pick 212: Joe Kruger, DL, Utah
This was a good pick. Joe Kruger is not very fast but he is big and has good college production. Plus being the brother of Paul Kruger isn’t a bad thing either.
Round 7, Pick 218: Jordan Poyer, CB, Oregon State
This was easily my favorite Eagles pick. This guy should have gone in the 2nd or 3rd round. Speed issues sent him down the draft, along with a couple of character problems. However he can be a starter in the NFL and that is great for a 7th round pick.
Round 7, Pick 239: David King, DE, Oklahoma
I would’ve much preferred a Tony Jefferson here. King likely won’t make the team.
Vikings Draft Review
By Eric Smith
This was not just a great draft for the Minnesota Vikings, this was a franchise changing draft. Before the draft, we knew this was a crucial draft since they already had two first round picks, but then, players fell that weren’t supposed to be there. Sharrif Floyd was supposed to be a top 10 pick. Xavier Rhodes and CP should have been gone by the top 20. This happened because even though everyone thought that about 4 or 5 OL would be gone in the first 10 picks, we didn’t realize that teams in the middle of the first round would reach for an OL since they didn’t think they could wait an additional round to get their man. Therefore, this caused some players to fall to where they never should have, and the Vikings benefitted.
1st round (23rd pick) – Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
This was the steal of the first round. In many mock drafts, he was predicted to go as high as 3rd overall to the Oakland Raiders. This is an explosive athlete from the DT position who is great against the run and is still developing his pass rushing ability even though that is still pretty solid. He fell in large part because of the OL run and maybe because he has shorter arms than what you would want from the position. Regardless, this was an amazing pick.
1st round (25th pick) – Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State
This was a position the Vikings desperately needed since they don’t even have a starting CB. Leslie Frazier has stressed that they need a large cover corner to help out against receivers like Calvin Johnson and Brandon Marshall. I personally wanted them to draft Logan Ryan since they need someone who they can plug in right away, and Xavier Rhodes can certainly start right away.
1st round (29th pick) – Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee
I understand that he is a little raw in terms of route running and general knowledge since he played at the JC level for two years. Yet, he is one of the best players in this draft with the ball in his hands. His pure athletic ability alone makes him a first round pick. I think he might even be the best WR in this class due to the height differential between himself and Tavon Austin. He set a record in the SEC for yards averaged on kick off returns, and so he will have an instant impact on special teams, and even though he is raw, they will find ways to use him.
4th round (120th pick) – Gerald Hodges, OLB, Penn State
He isn’t elite in any one area, but he is a great scheme fit. He is a converted safety, so he can play well in coverage, and he is a solid athlete which enables him to help in run support. I think this pick might have been a little bit of a reach, but I think he could start at the OLB position.
5th round (155th pick) – Jeff Locke, P, UCLA
I don’t understand this pick. Spielman said he wanted to create “competition”, but that is a joke. Chris Kluwe is an above average punter, so the only the reason they would take a punter here is because of Kluwe’s comments off the field.
6th round (196th pick) – Jeff Baca, OG, UCLA
He is a great fit for the Vikings. He has quick feet which were shown in some of the cone drills at the combine, and he was a 3 year starter. If he adds muscle, he could be a starter.
7th round (213th pick) – Michael Mauti, ILB, Penn State
This was an amazing pick. I believe he has 1st or 2nd round talent, but tearing his ACL 3 times pushed him back this far. I think the Vikings can put him on the field after their success with Peterson and Greenway. If they can get him onto the field, I feel that he could be the starting MLB they need that might even be a pro bowler, and that is an amazing 7th round pick.
The two final pick, Travis Bond and Everett Dawkins I thought are both solid since they are both physically capable to play in the NFL, they just need to produce on the field.
Final Grade of the Draft: A