Dreams Blog

May 31, 2013

How-evah
Stephen A. Smith (ESPNNY.com) analyzed some Knicks problems. “The Knicks are old, and not just because Prigioni (35 years old), Jason Kidd (39), Marcus Camby (38) or Kenyon Martin (35) are old. It’s also because most of them are under contract, with the Knicks being committed to $78.6 million next season, not to mention neither Kidd nor Amar’e Stoudemire (30) — whose knees are so questionable he might as well be 50 years old — has expressed any interest in retiring.” GM Glen Grunfeld feels that these players should be kept together. But based on their contracts, they’re not going anywhere. Smith added, “Another young, more creative point guard would help, as well. So would more playing time for the restricted free agent-to-be in Copeland, assuming he sticks around. More than anything, what the Knicks need is an attitude readjustment. Something that tells New Yorkers they have no reason to be spoiled because the Knicks haven’t given them a reason yet.”
Walton’s Mountain
In a phone discussion with Mike Wise (DC Post), Bill Walton gave his opinion of this year’s NBA playoff: “Basketball, like everything else, is completely cyclical. This is the first incarnation of a new style in the post-Shaq era. You have three legitimate post players that control the paint, and another freak of nature in LeBron who can play with his back to the basket as well as any of them.” I don’t count Zach Randolph. His game is more pushing and shoving. He’s extremely talented, but he’s a bully in a game that now allows bullies.” But he kept going on about Hibbert, Gasol and old man Duncan. “They’re all selfless teammates whose goal is to win the game,” Walton said. “These guys are not about self-promotion, whose egos are out of control. Their games are based on skill, timing and position. And even though they are winners of the genetic lottery, they’re not successful and good because they are jumping over people nor pushing them out of the way. They’re really good passers, they have terrific touch and all their games are hardly about dunking. It’s refreshing, invigorating and it’s really fun.”
No Surprise
Let me get this straight- NY Jets RB Mike Goodson was so intoxicated that he had to be hospitalized. Police found a quantity of grass, a loaded hand gun, and hollow point bullets (which had been banned by international courts). The press release claimed these items were found, in an auto in which Goodson was a passenger, during a traffic stop. Traffic stop- my eye. Goodson’s car was found stopped in the middle of route 80. Goodson pled not guilty in his arraignment.
Swim Meets
The Sports Curmudgeon forwarded this from Greg Cote (Miami Herald) dealing with swimming competitions, “A USA Grand Prix diving meet happened in Fort Lauderdale. Olympic divers, don’t take it personally, but you have our attention for two weeks once every four years, and barely then. Don’t push it.” And… “The International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale is threatening to relocate unless the city upgrades its facilities. Lauderdale residents who regularly visit the Hall are upset. Both of them.”
Pretense
The Sports Curmudgeon and Sally Jenkins (DC Post) commented about the US Golf Association and its ruling to ban belly-anchored putters.
The SC asked, “Why is an anchored putter something that jeopardizes the history and traditions of golf but carbon-composite shafts and driver heads twice the size of a Big Mac do not?”
Sally Jenkins went to that “Ultimate arbiter of silliness in golf, P.G.Wodehouse” for thoughts about disrupting someone’s concentration, “The least thing upset him on the links. He missed short putts because of the uproar of butterflies in the adjoining meadows.” Then comes the Sergio Garcia-Tiger Woods flap,
“Garcia claimed Woods disrupted his play, and Woods disputed him and called Garica a chronic complainer. That left Garcia in a state best described by perhaps Wodehouse’s greatest line. “I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.”
Then Garcia departed from half-suppressed unpleasantries to unrestrained ones, calling Woods a chronic liar — “I know what he’s like. You guys are finding out,” he said — and snidely remarked he would invite Woods for dinner and serve “fried chicken.” Now that sounded like nothing out of Wodehouse. To the contrary, it sounded just exactly like a racial slur.”
Old Guys
I didn’t get the name of the golf group correct. The right name is “The US Golf Asso. and the Royal and Ancient.” That second part sounds like the Muppets’ two old guys- the pipe smokers. They ruled on the use of the under-the-chin putters, “Protect and preserve the game and its challenges” and to maintain and uphold the spirit and integrity of golf, it is essential to ensure the “free swing of the entire club.” Norman Chad (DC Post) quetiond those writers: “ “●Do the rules prevent a player from getting hypnotized before every putt? ●Do the rules prevent a player from stroking the ball while holding the putter between his teeth and swinging the club by shaking his noggin? ● Do the rules prevent a player from getting down on his knees and putting? ● Do the rules prevent a player from standing on his head and addressing the ball?”
● And if a player did Michael Jackson’s moonwalk and shouted out, “Swing low, sweet chariot!” before hitting a tee shot, would that be disallowed? Medical Report Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) quoted Ian Hamilton of the Regina (Sask) Leader-Post as writing, “Beleaguered Cowboys QB undergoing surgery to remove a cyst from his back: ‘doctors report that the thing was shaped like a large monkey.’” College Rivalries Exist In The Ivory Towers Also OSU’s President E. Gordon Gee went off on Notre Dame, showing rivalries don’t always exist on the playing field. He talked, at an OSU Athletics Council meeting, about critics who pointed out that the Big Ten has 14 teams, “You can tell the SEC when they learn to read and write, then they can figure out what we’re doing.”

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Dreams Blog

May 24, 2013

Short Or Tall
It seems to me that the decision for Knicks’ coach Mike Woodson weather to use a big or little lineup is dependent upon which team “gets off” first. If NY begins the game aggressively and scores several fast baskets, you can look for the Pacers to match-up their lineup with regards to size.
Knicks Post Script
My take on the Knicks’ playoff ouster is the team primarily had no answer for the presence of Roy Hibbert. Hibbert controlled the paint and stopped NY’s drives. That allowed the Pacers’ “D” to play tighter knowing that Hibbert had their back.                             Camby and Kidd were no-shows and played their age. Stoudemire was rarely used and Felton couldn’t sink a shot.                           Forget Smith- he didn’t remember he was in the playoffs.
The team DID get to the second round. Shumpert’s play WAS huge. He returned to play in January after suffering the same injury as Rose on the same day. Woodson was too much of a players coach and has to distance himself from them to succeed. Is that enough? I was hoping for more.   
From the “I Don’t Believe It File
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) wondered why, “Memphis’ Marc Gasol was named NBA Defensive Player of the Year and, one week later, made the league’s all-defensive second team. Can someone smarter than me please explain?”
Molinaro Marinara
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoadd.com) wrote, “There are already too many arcane baseball statistics, but perhaps none as silly as the nugget from ESPN that a home run hit by the Orioles’ Adam Jones on Sunday had a flight time of 3.09 seconds – the quickest of any in MLB this year.                                                                                     The he-said/she-said back and forth from players and marshals over the Tiger Woods-Sergio Garcia tiff makes golf look wimpy. At any rate, I don’t know why anyone would doubt Woods’ word. When has he ever lied to anybody?                                                     Have you ever wondered why the major tournaments rely on volunteers to be marshals? All the money golf rakes in and the powers that be can’t arrange to have professionals?”                      “An issue to consider;” when talking about replays in sports, “Is that baseball isn’t as suited as other sports to overturning calls because a reversed decision can’t always take into consideration what might have happened elsewhere on the base paths had the right call been made initially.                                                                                                                One thing, though, is certain: If baseball falls more deeply in love with replay, things will become much too complicated.                                                                                           And, even worse, soullessly tedious.”
“Faustian Bargain”
Bob Molinaro also wrote, “While the NFL and individual teams will always have financial incentive for glossing over the carnage, the players know what’s expected of them – not only by their coaches, but teammates.                                                                   As a fraternity, football players have all struck a Faustian bargain. Their sport makes them stars and provides college scholarships. The NFL affords a good income. Economics aside, they are drawn to the excitement of the competition while being emotionally sustained by locker room camaraderie.                                                                   For them, the immediate rewards far outweigh concern for future disabilities, so they play hurt because if you don’t play hurt in the NFL, you aren’t playing.                                                                 It’s no great revelation, either, that current players aren’t learning anything from their hobbled and addled predecessors.                                                                                                  What can anybody do for people who won’t help themselves? Or, because of their chosen profession, can’t help themselves? The former players brought it on, you could say, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t deserving of sympathy.                                                                     The story, of course, repeats itself. Football players are running through the slaughterhouse for the amusement of all of us fans, who probably should – but don’t – feel a little guilty about our role in the bargain they make.”
Class Action
The Sports Curmudgeon forwarded this item from Greg Cote (Miami Herald), “Vijay Singh is suing the PGA Tour for investigating him for using deer antler spray. Case got stranger. A class-action of deer are now suing Singh for being linked to a golfer who never wins anymore.”
What Did You Say?
I was watching John Huh play in the TPC Golf Tournament and could only hear, in my mind, Lou Costello ask Bud Abbott- “Who’s next off the tee?” Abbott answered, “Huh.” You know the rest.
And Now For Something Different
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about Jeremy Affedt saying,
level that both sides agreed to in previous negotiations. “Diogenes might have found his completely honest man if he had lived long enough to be around today and to shine his lantern into the eyes of Jeremy Affeldt. Let me explain.
Yahoo!Sports reports that Affeldt (relief pitcher, San Francisco Giants) found that he was getting paid $500K more than he was supposed to be paid. The basis for the extra pay was a clerical error by the Giants’ front office staff. After discussions with both the MLBPA and the Giants, Affeldt learned that the contract was ironclad; it was the Giants’ error and they signed it; he was entitled to $500K more than what he and his agent had agreed to sign on for. Sit down for the next chapter…
Affeldt told the Giants he wanted to re-do the contract and to put it back to the salary. “Diogenes might have found his completely honest man if he had lived long enough to be around today and to shine his lantern into the eyes of Jeremy Affeldt. Let me explain.Yahoo!Sports reports that Affeldt (relief pitcher, San Francisco Giants) found that he was getting paid $500K more than he was supposed to be paid. The basis for the extra pay was a clerical error by the Giants’ front office staff. After discussions with both the MLBPA and the Giants, Affeldt learned that the contract was ironclad; it was the Giants’ error and they signed it; he was entitled to $500K more than what he and his agent had agreed to sign on for. Sit down for the next chapter…           Affeldt told the Giants he wanted to re-do the contract and to put it back to the salary level that both sides agreed to in previous negotiations.” That was nice to hear-it shows there are some still good guys out there.

 

Dreams Blog

May 17, 2013

Trust
Ron Borges (Boston Herald) wrote that the, “NFL Players Association claimed 78 percent of its members did not trust their team’s medical staff to care for them.” When the league asked to see the report, George Atallah- the NFLPA Asst. Exec. Director- answered by saying, “It’s our survey,” Atallah said. “We’re not obligated to show it to them. We’ve answered every question they had about it. I see their point of view but I don’t agree with it. We can survey our players any time we want and have no obligation to share it. Instead of fixating on that, they should fixate on better care for past, present and future NFL players.
This is only a start and I’m sure there will be more.
Camp Smith
My first thought’s  were that I liked what I saw of Jets Geno Smith. Smith seems to be the “Anti-Tebow.” As humble and unassuming as Tebow was, Geno Smith appears to be the opposite- and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He just has to back up his act with good play.
Smith has been studying tapes of Joe Montana to pick up the basics of the West-Coast offence. If he’s the slightest bit like Montana he’ll do well.
That “pre-draft diva” act might have been created by veteran sportsers who thought Smith should have bowed before them.
Let’s give him some rope to either lasso those sports guys or cancel his future.
In any event how long will it be before we see Smith being referred to as “Super G” or “Who knows- Geno’s.”
A lot of the inksters recently have been singing Geno’s praises. It may be a good thing that he’s learned not to seem so aloof with team activities but I still have concerns about his game-decisions and THOSE can’t be checked until he faces a hostile pass rush.
Molinaro Marinara
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) passed along these assorted sports thoughts, “Getting an edge  It’s being reported that the preferred foreign substance of big-league pitchers is spray-on sunscreen, which when combined with rosin provides a better grip on the ball. Pitchers apply it to their non-throwing forearms for easy access. Getting hitters out while preventing skin cancer – wink, wink – how could anybody object to that? Kid’s stuff  Texas is the latest football power to offer a scholarship to 6-foot-1, 217-pound Louisiana prospect Dylan Moses, who also has offers from LSU, Alabama and Florida. Why is this worth noting? Because Moses, projected as a running back or linebacker, is an eighth-grader. Conundrum. What are we supposed to make of 36-year-old Floyd Mayweather Jr.? He’s a creep who served two months in jail last summer for assaulting the mother of his two children, but as unlikable as he is, his 44-0 record reflects a rare excellence and determination. Trying to separate the jerk from the superb athlete is a continuing challenge.”
Does Houston Want To Win?
In 2013 Alex Rodriguez will earn more than the Houston Astros will earn as a team ($29M-$22M). Norman Chad wondered who will get more bang the buck even if A-Rod doesn’t play.
Chad wrote, “Through a complicated formula (adjusted victories per player dollar) that I cannot possibly explain within the context of this column, we are projecting the Yankees for 89 victories this season and the Astros for 57. This translates to A-Rod having a 3.1 AVPPD, while the entire Astros roster will produce a 2.6 AVPPD.
Rodman’s Net
The Sports Curmudgeon talked about a note he received from Dwight Perry, “I sent an e-mail to Dwight Perry making sure that he had seen an item in Time Magazine reporting that 78,000 folks had “signed up” to be considered for a one-way trip to Mars. I suggested to him that I had a long list of folks that I would be happy to see on that trip – with the guarantee that it was indeed a one-way trip. Here is Dwight’s response:                                         “Actually, it’s 77,999. Dennis Rodman’s application is considered a return flight.”
Brady’s Problem
That recent comment from, Pgh. Steeler, Ryan Clark saying that Tom Brady sees “rushing ghosts” might be a signal that Brady might have absorbed too many hits- 59 in the last 2 seasons.
Poor Tom
Dwight Perry (Seattle Times) said Patriots QB Tom Brady won $25k on the Kentucky Derby. “So that makes it three Super Bowl rings, a supermodel wife, a $57mil contract- and now a serendipitous Derby windfall. When is this poor guy going to catch a break.”
Kobe’s Mom
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) said that Kobe Bryant and his mom were feuding in court over her right to sell his stuff. “Not sure who’s less likeable here. Someone who seems to be doing a rotten thing, or Kobe on general principle.”
Disturbing
I was troubled by the report that the government seized hundreds of office, home, and mobile phone records belonging to AP reporters who were communicating with secret sources.
CAN ANYONE SAY FREEDOM OF THE PRESS?
Joba The Un-Joker
I still can’t get over the way that Joba Chamberlain talked to Mariano Rivera in front of the media and some fans. Just to remind you- Rivera was being interviewed, in Kansas City, while in the dugout and Chamberlain was talking with some friends sitting in the stands very loudly. Rivera politely asked him to turn it down a bit and Chamberlain gruffly told him, “Don’t ever shush me again.”
He didn’t act like a Yankee, but sounded as Wallace Matthews said, “Rude. Defiant. Self-absorbed.” 
Chamberlain was like that person standing next to you on the street who talks loudly on their call phone as if you’re interested in hearing their business. WHAT A JERK!
Green’s Scene  
Jerry Greene (Orlando Sentinel) wrote , “Great news for Yankees fans, Alex Rodriguez was hitting off a tee this week at the minor-league camp in Tampa. Even greater news. He only struck out twice. Bazinga.”
Young Love
 The Sports Curmudgeon passed along that Greg Cote (Miami Herald) talked about, “The Masters field included 14-year-old amateur Tianiang Guan, the youngest player ever in golf’s biggest event. My greatest accomplishment at 14 was being adept at faking nausea so I could skip school.”

Dreams Blog

May 10, 2013

Knick-Nacks
Winning game 6 in the 1st round of the NBA Playoffs IN Boston not only won the series for NY, putting an end to some “Beantown” carriers  but also and more importantly allowed the Knicks a short time off before beginning round 2 with the Pacers.
Then came the 102-95 loss in game 1 of round 2 with the Pacers. Ian O’Connor (ESPNNY.com) wrote, “The bigger Pacers just beat them up, just reminded them they’re not playing an old, small, and exhausted team in Boston anymore. The Knicks had better hit back in a hurry, or they can go ahead and cancel all that scheduled third-round fun in the South Florida sun.”
Miami Ink
There’s been a lot of b-ball playoff talk recently saying that the only thing that LeBron James has to do in order to win another title is throw his sneakers onto the court. Greg Cote (Miami Herald) said the Heat players are referring to the Playoffs’ first round as a “bye week.” “So where is the real playoff drama for Miami? The kind that emanates from the court in a series that is taut or teetering. What I’m saying is this Miami team, healthy, cannot be beaten in a seven-game series- no drama, no doubt.”   
Carlisimmo
I think that the real reason P.J. Carlisimmo was let go as the coach of the Nets was that he was unable to prevent Chicago from destroying the Nets’ will to win.
I remember speaking with the late great boxing Champion, Jose Torres. I asked him about his successes and he told me that it wasn’t any punch that he used but was the ability to break his opponent’s spirit that allowed him to do as he wanted.
The next coach of the Nets must have this ability along with communicating game time knowledge.
Next Nets’ Coach
Right now I see, Pacer asst., Brian Shaw as the leading candidate. Shaw won 2 Championship gold rings while an asst. to Phil Jackson and 3 when he played for the Lakers for Jackson. Finding the right coach by King should be easier than find the right player. Coach’s salaries don’t count against salary caps. It’s a buyer’s market where personalities are very important.
Forget about Larry Brown. He’s the basketball answer to Bobby Valentine.
Empties
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) wrote about the state of the Miami Marlins attendance. “The era of the new, state-of-the-art baseball stadium holding fan interest for a few years appears to be over. It certainly isn’t working in Miami, where Marlins attendance, down more than 11,000 per game from this time last season, reflects the team’s pathetic performance more than the public’s curiosity about a new ballpark, even one with all the bells and whistles.”
The Yankees (Yes, the Yankees) were once in this position when they were owned by CBS. I remember one game with 600 in the park. Then the team was purchased by George Steinbrenner who built a successful team- but not overnight. He often said that if you make a mistake, correct it as soon as you can and move on because good teams create filled seats.
MLB Hall Of ?
The Sports Curmudgeon gave his opinion on MLB-HOF inductions, “I need to state what I think the Baseball Hall of Fame ought to be. In the past, I have made it clear that some inducted members of the Hall of Fame should not have been so honored; they belong in my opinion in a “Hall Of Very Good Players” but not the Hall of Fame. I shall not belabor that point here. The reason I bring it up is that I believe that the Baseball Hall of Fame should honor those players who were truly “The Best” of their times in the game. At the same time, the Hall of Fame is not the “Hall of Great Human Beings”; it is a merely place to recognize great baseball players some of whom were only slightly removed from the primordial slime on the evolutionary scale.”
Someone Has To Tie An Anchor To His Leg
The Sports Curmudgeon passed along this item written by Brad Rock (Deseret News-Utah), “Gleaned from the tweets of José Canseco:“Time sure seems to fly. Just ask José Canseco the noted former steroid-abuser and current space cadet.’Canseco tweeted last week: Yes time travel is possible. Will explain later.’   I suspect that Stephen J. Hawking cannot wait for said explanation…”
More NFL QB Stuff
The Sports Curmudgeon wrote that The NY Post said, “That Jets’ draftee, Geno Smith, had turned off coaches and execs during his pre-draft meetings because he appeared to be more interested in his smartphone than in talking with them. Sources said he was texting and tweeting during the meetings. Remember before the draft that a draftnik said that Smith did not take well to coaching and had been “coddled” for his collegiate career.
The Post also quoted an NFL insider who said that Smith “doesn’t know what he doesn’t know” and that “…you can’t tell him anything right now. He’s tuned out because he thinks he’s got it all down.”
Welcome to New York City, Geno Smith. Welcome to the “coddling” atmosphere of the tabloid press there and the warm fuzzy team environment created by Rex Ryan.”
From The Are You Kidding Me File
Greg Cote (Miami Herald) told us that, “Red Wings prospect Riley Sheehan was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving while dressed as Tinky Winky, the purple Teletubbie. Life’s lesson: How not to be dressed when claiming sobriety.”
The Big Score
Jerry Greene (Orlando Sentinel) said, “The Chicago Cubs say they need a bigger scoreboard at Wrigley Field. How big does a series of zeroes need to be?”
The Bile Button
T.J. Simers (LA Times) has his bile button working pretty well saying, “The thing I hate the most about the story that has Kobe Bryant taking legal action to stop his mother from selling his high school memorabilia is its timing.                                                                  Had they both just waited a week, it could have been one of the all-time Happy Mother’s Day yarns.”
 

Dreams Blog

May 3, 2013

  
Draft Notes
After the first night of “The NFL Selection Meeting (the draft)” the reaction of every GM was the same. Even if they chose “Bob Connolly, offensive (and he IS offensive) line man from The Bronx,” the reaction would have been the same. The release might have read- we were extremely fortunate that Bob was still available when it was our time to choose. He was at the top of our choice list and we expect Bob to anchor our line for many years to come.”
Just once I’d like to have heard, “We were sand bagged. I don’t know where we’re going now.”
I always thought Joe Namath was a big guy but he wasn’t next to some of those “aircraft carriers” as Al McGwire used to call them. Are they all 6-7 305lbs.? Weren’t some of those old Oakland Raiders considered freakishly big at 6-6, 280lbs.?
“George Young used to call the first draft night,” Hank Gola (NY Daily News) wrote, “The dance of the elephants.”                      The Giants wanted to get bigger up front and did that.
I feel that the Jets made a good deal getting RB Chris Ivory (6ft, 222lbs.) from the Saints for a 4th round pick. Ivory had rushed for 716yds but slipped down to 4th on the NO depth chart because of injuries.
Meanwhile the pick of Geno Smith could put MORE egg on the faces of Jets Management. Smith is an inconsistent, fumbler who has difficulty playing in the cold (wait until he feels what winter is like at Met Life Stadium). No less than FIVE QB-needy teams passed on Smith before he was chosen by the Jets in the second round. If the Jets hadn’t picked him, he might have fallen down to the 3rd or 4th round. I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.      
The Giants’ draft was a productive activity for the team. The Jets cold have taken a lesson from Giants’ GM Jerry Reese.
The Giants wanted to get younger, bigger, and address some immediate needs while staffing the team with some reinforcements. They also were able to move up in the forth round to choose Ryan Nassib, a Syracuse QB. Together with six undrafted free agents, I would give the Giants draft a B.
QB Mambo
The Jets now have Mark Sanchez, Geno Smith, Tim Tebow, David Garrett, Greg McElroy, and Matt Simms wearing red QB practice Jerseys. The big test, here, will be if ANY of them can throw the ball with accuracy and consistency for more than 40 yards.
TATA Tebow
If you think that the Jets circus left town with Tim Tebow-NOPE. It was only one ring.
Bob Molinaro (HamptonRoads.com) wrote, “After hearing Monday that Tim Tebow was released by the New York Jets, my first impulse was to wonder if Rex Ryan and the front office had cleared the move with ESPN.                                                                 On the face of it, ESPN’s coverage of the end of Tebow Time was ludicrous and borderline phony, though no more so than when the World Wide Leader moved half its production department to Jets camp last summer to herald Tebow’s arrival.                             What made it ridiculous and dishonest is that a panel of NFL deep thinkers was trotted out to discuss the departure of a third-string (or is that fourth-string?) quarterback. Like most third- or fourth-stringers, he just isn’t good enough. It’s no more complicated than that.                                                                                                Tebow is gone, but Jets dysfunction has a lingering effect. Pity Geno Smith. The team’s next great quarterback hope wades into a toxic mix, but at least the team did him a big favor by cutting its third- (or fourth-) string quarterback. Now the rookie is free from answering questions about Tebow- freed of hearing the Tebow crowd in the background.                                                                    But when will the rest of us find liberation from the incessant chatter, speculation and outright fantasy about Tebow?
Smith may be free of the Tebow mess, but he’s going to have to start answering questions about his own talents.                                         As expected, Jets GM John Idzik said that the team’s starting QB job is open and will go to the player who scores the highest with the offensive management group. Sanchez and Smith are at the top of the money list. McElroy is still under his rookie contract (drafted 2011 7th round). Garrard was signed as a free agent this year but was out injured for the last 2 years (back surgery for ruptured disc in 2011; knee surgery in 2012). Matt Simms signed as free agent in 2012. He’s Phil Simms son. None of them are very impressive and is able to knock your socks off. Rich Cimini (ESPNNY.com) quoted Idzik as saying, “That Sanchez’s huge guarantee ($8.25 million base) will have no bearing on whether he’s on the team.”We take finances out of it,” he said. We all know that finances play an important role in personnel decisions, although it bears noting that Idzik came from a team — the Seahawks — that sat Matt Flynn last season despite $9 million in guarantees.” Really? Money doesn’t matter? I don’t believe that for an instant. Idzik has to remember that this is NY, the media capitol of the world.   
Grouping Retreads
The NY Yankees batting coach Kevin Long has been tilling the soil and has been reaping a crop of successful hitters (including Swisher, Granderson, Lyly Overbay, Vernon Wells, and Travis Hafner). Wallace Matthews (ESPNNY.com) wrote that, “Wells, coming off two nightmarish seasons with the Los Angeles Angels after the Jays gave up on him and his seven-year, $126-million contract, is batting .317 with five home runs and eight RBIs in 16 games as a Yankee. He further enraged his old fans with seven hits in the three games, including two home runs, and started a spectacular 7-4-3 double play with a leaping catch of Edwin Encarnacion’s long drive at the left-field fence.
Travis Hafner, a castoff from the Indians, is hitting .319 with five homers and 10 RBIs.”
Long’s students exhibit patience at the plate which enables them to see the pitches that are supposed to be the ones that would produce higher averages if hit.