Archive for New York

When New York Teams Get Desperate

New York City is known as the city that never sleeps – and full of extremely harsh critics. So if you play for a professional team in the Big Apple, expect no pity from fans and the media alike. With the mentality of aiming to live up to the the expectations of others, New York teams have took drastic measures to bulk up their teams by adding players that either makes the group better – or worse. Let’s take a little closer look at some of the failed deals these past 5 years.

NY Yankees. The team recently traded for OF Vernon Wells, who’s an All-Star, about 5+ years ago. The team’s age average falls in the mid-30s and soon enough, these players will retire. A bad and desperate move on the Yankees part. Think A-Rod, the highest paid player who is currently on contract with the team, le sigh. But with the most money, they are constantly known as the evil empire.

NY Mets. This National League team hasn’t done amazing this past decade. They last made the World Series in 2000 when the Yankees beat them and haven’t made much impact since then. They’ve had Johan Santana, Pedro Martinez, Jose Reyes, etc – which played on an All-Star level, but not big enough to help the team garner another championship title.

NY Jets. Two words. Tim Tebow. Many people already knew this was a bad idea especially when they had Mark Sanchez and Tebow compete for the starting spot, and of course, Sanchez would take it for seniority reasons. Tebow played a few minutes, something he was not used to, causing a non-cohesive chemistry between teammates, coaches, and management. And they didn’t make the playoffs. It’s surprising to see that Rex Ryan is still the team’s head coach.

NY Knicks. This team has gone through a wild roller coaster for the past decade, and they are slowly regaining natural, competitive form. But remember when players such as Steve Francis, Tracy McGrady, Mike Bibby, Zach Randolph, etc. played for the Knicks at one point during those ten years? Sad to say, but their big bucks went to waste as the players did not perform up to superstar expectations. Let’s hope this does not happen again though.

NJ/Brooklyn Nets. They once the “team to beat,” but suddenly has lost that. With Deron Williams and Joe Johnson on the roster, many people thought they’d maintain that winning status. But rumors have circulate that D-Will’s constant bad behavior has caused strain with the coaches. Will they succumb to a curse?

Despite some flaws and little bumps along the way, these teams have had a fair share of successes. Every move made can be unpredictable and the result can differ with each team. It all takes a good bet and strategy for deals to play out the right way.

 

Fall of A Dynasty? NY Yankees Look Weak

The New York Yankees, the team with the most championships in sports history, have appeared to fallen off the favorable radar for this MLB season. Despite carrying a lineup boosted by all-star power, multiple factors have contributed to their demise prior to the regular season. Here are factors that shape their current state.

Injuries. The Yankees have been plagued by numerous injuries since early in the first-round playoffs last year. Disgruntled third baseman Alex Rodriguez and top-notch outfielder Curtis Granderson will be out early this season due to surgeries. Meanwhile, the face of the Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will be returning from an injured ankle. Other key players such as closer Mariano Rivera and Brett Gardner will also be coming back after rehabilitating injuries most of last season.

Age. They say that age is nothing, but a number. However when it comes to maintaining the physical stamina and strength, the Yankees fail in this aspect. A majority of the players are over the ages of 30, leaving the fountain of youth scarce and not an ample of proteges for the next few years. Previous statistics demonstrate that the team tends to fall apart when most of the players fall in over 35 years of category. 

Chemistry. The dynamic in the clubhouse has certainly changed as Yankee fan favorites such as Nick Swisher, Eric Chavez, Raul Ibanez, and Russell Martin have changed zip codes after the 2012 season, leaving the Yankees to pursue other new faces, who still continue to adjust to the team’s playing style.

Quiet off-season. This team is known for making bold moves by pursuing big name players to join them but oddly, this year proved to be a quiet one. They could have easily signed free agent stars such as Josh Hamilton but the Yankees opted out and stuck with most of their players on the current roster. Time will tell if this will benefit or harm them in the process…

While the NY Yankees are known for their boisterous lineup, this season might bring another vibe, unfamiliar to the team as well as to their fans. Changes need to be made to maintain their image, or else they might possibly face the fall of their dynasty…

ny yankees status Fall of A Dynasty? NY Yankees Look Weak

 

Experiencing R.A. Dickey and his Magical Knuckleball

Baseball

New York

R.A. Dickey

New York Mets

 

dickey mound Experiencing R.A. Dickey and his Magical Knuckleball

R.A. Dickey during last nights' game at Citi Field. From Barton Silverman of the New York Times

Last night, as I sauntered out to the Field Level seats along the left field line in the middle of the sixth inning, I, along with the 29,014 others at Citi Field, realized that something special was once again taking place. R.A. Dickey was through six commanding innings and had surrendered only one hit, a line drive single to Orioles’ third baseman Wilson Betemit in the fifth, and one walk to Orioles’ pitcher Jake Arrieta in the third. He would go on to strikeout a career-high 13 batters on the way to his second straight one-hitter, becoming only the 11th pitcher in history to throw back-to-back one-hitters and the first since the Orioles’ Dave Stieb did in 1988. The first one-hitter came last Wednesday against the Rays and was largely overshadowed by Matt Cain’s incredible perfect game in which he matched a perfect game record by striking out 14 Astros. This time, Dickey’s feat stood alone and was truly an achievement to behold. Perhaps part of the night was aided by the fact that my buddies and I paid only $6 for upper deck seats and managed to sneak down to premium level sections, but the achievement of Dickey would have made this game worth ten times as much.

A big part of what makes Dickey so special, in my and many others’ opinions, is the remarkable adversity he has overcome, not only in terms of finding success in the big leagues, but overcoming serious obstacles in his childhood. A now well-publicized victim of repeated sexual abuse as a child, Dickey suffered for years from a variety of anxieties and distresses caused by the childhood trauma. Here is a link to the E:60 report on Dickey’s story from this past May: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=7879339. A big step, indeed one that is exemplary of his progression, was the publishing of his memoir earlier this year, titled Wherever I Wind Up: My Quest for Truth, Authenticity, and the Perfect Knuckleball (http://www.amazon.com/Wherever-Wind-Up-Authenticity-Knuckleball/dp/0399158154). The title brings up the knuckleball, which is the other most intriguing part about this story.

Currently the only pitcher in baseball to use the knuckleball as his primary pitch, Dickey has remade himself and found success at an older age by establishing himself around this pitch. Tim Wakefield, Phil Niekro, Hoyt Wilhelm are a few of the other most famous knuckleballers and Dickey seems to quickly be joining their ranks. The likely starting pitcher for the NL in the approaching 2012 MLB All Star Game, Dickey is now 11-1 with a flat 2.00 ERA and an insane 103 strikeouts. A great story, Dickey is an inspiring story whom everyone can root for. Seeing him at his best was a special experience, whether it cost $6 or $600 to be there.

mets game 1024x764 Experiencing R.A. Dickey and his Magical Knuckleball

The view from our "$6" seats was just too good not to snap a picture of...

Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2′s and New York’s Puerto Rican Day parade

New York

Cruz

Nike

Jordan

Puerto Rico
cruz at the parade Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2s and New Yorks Puerto Rican Day parade

Victor Cruz at the Puerto Rican Day Parade with Yeezy 2's

New York Giants star wide receiver Victor Cruz continued establishing himself as a premier New York sports celebrity this past weekend as he appeared in Sunday’s Puerto Rican Day Parade, marching down Fifth Avenue in New York. ( http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/giants-super-bowl-star-victor-cruz-heats-puerto-rican-day-parade-article-1.1093185) Of Puerto Rican heritage himself, Cruz joyously showed off his famous salsa moves throughout the afternoon, all while rocking perhaps the year’s most anticipated shoes, the Nike Air Yeezy 2’s. Extremely limited in quantity (only about 4,000 pairs have been released), the Yeezys have long been making headlines, most recently for the ludicrous ebay deal they sparked in which someone reportedly paid over $90,000 for a pair (article below) http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-06-07/nike-air-yeezy-2-auction-on-ebay-closes-for-90-300

yeezy 2 pink black 300x235 Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2s and New Yorks Puerto Rican Day parade

Air Yeezy 2's

Cruz first grabbed headlines last fall when he broke onto the scene as the bright spot on a New York Giants’ team riddled with early season woes. Teaming up alongside such established talents as receivers Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham, Cruz emerged as Eli Manning’s favorite and most productive target in a season that culminated in the Giants’ second Super Bowl victory in five years.

As a rookie, Cruz set the Giants’ single season record for receiving yards (with 1,536 on 82 receptions) to go along with 9 touchdowns. One of those nine was an NFL-record-tying, 99-yard, touchdown reception against the Jets in Week 16. Cruz’s breakout game came against the Philadelphia Eagles in which he had 3 receptions for 110 yards and 2 touchdowns. It was also during this game in which he unveiled his trademark salsa dance touchdown celebration (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8j1jkYAmIs4) that, along with his consistently impressive production, made him an instant sensation across the league.

The Nike Air Yeezys first made headlines in 2009 with the release of the original Air Yeezy. A collaboration between Nike and rapper Kanye West, the much-hyped shoe retailed for $215 but pairs now rarely go for less than $1000 because of their exclusivity. The Air Yeezy 2’s, which dropped back on June 9th came as the latest release in a year already full of chaotic Nike releases.

concord 115 300x214 Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2s and New Yorks Puerto Rican Day parade

Air Jordan 11 "Concord" Retro

Around Christmas time, the release of the Air Jordan Concord 11 Retro’s sparked widespread pandemonium, including violent riots at malls across the country as shoppers clamored for the latest re-release of the iconic basketball shoe (http://hypebeast.com/2011/12/air-jordan-11-concord-release-causes-riots-nationwide/). The Concord Retros now go for around $500. Later, in May, the Nike Air Foamposite One “Galaxy” editions sparked similar riots when they came out and the highly exclusive shoes today sell for over $1500. (http://abcnews.go.com/US/nike-foamposite-galaxy-shoes-riot-ebay-bidding-war/story?id=15784216#.T9jVaStYuFc).

foams1 300x214 Victor Cruz, Air Yeezy 2s and New Yorks Puerto Rican Day parade

Air Foamposite One "Galaxy"