Week 17 picks
Happy New Year!
I’m late with blogging my “This Week in Football” picks this week. Unlike the Giants, at least they’re showing up at some point.
The choices: Vikings over Giants, Eagles over Cowboys, Jets over Bengals. We actually make the picks on Tuesday, so I’m not cheating. (At 31-0, the Vikings halftime lead would appear safe.)
What does Harry Carson think now? The Giants look like the least disciplined — and perhaps simply the worst — team in the league. They are playing like a team that wants to get its coach fired. Or, in this case, its defensive coordinator.
More Tuesday on “TWIF.” Hope to see you then.
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!
Can’t believe it’s Christmas Eve. I swear, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas shrunk this year. Wishing all of you the Happiest Holidays!
And wishing me some upward movement in our season-long picks on “This Week in Football!” The Giants saved me from an 0-fer last week, so I’ll pick them again. Two things: Someone (with help) has to block Julius Peppers and someone (with help) has to keep Steve Smith — the Carolina Panther — from having a monster day.
The Colts will beat the Jets because there is no way Peyton is going to stand and watch an undefeated season go up in flames during the final regular season game in Indy. No way.
And the Patriots will win against the Jags because the game is in New England and because these are the games the Pats always win.
That’s it for now. I’m planning to blog Sunday from the final Giants game at Giants Stadium. See you then!
Lions, Yankees and Giants
This is a resolution I will have no trouble abiding by: I will never, ever pick the Lions again. Ever.
So, it’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Giants Stadium, which makes perfect sense on Nov. 22. Better weather than Yankees had on Oct. 22. Figures.
The Giants are plodding along and Tynes somehow just missed a 31-yard field goal. Tynes won’t be back next season. If the Giants had an alternative, he wouldn’t finish this season.
Bronx cheer for Tynes, after he converted the PAT after the Manning-to-Boss TD. Fun times.
Phil Hughes: The kid has changed my life. Stay with me. He recommended “The Office” a million times before I finally gave the show a chance. Over the past few weeks, I’ve watched dozens of episodes. Hysterical. Thanks, Phil.
Antonio Pierce: Unless he comes back from the bulging disc in his neck this season, he almost certainly has played his last game as a Giant.
The Lions: They’ve rallied and trail 27-24 in the third quarter. Yes! Should have taped the Mangini interview with CBS’ James Brown in pregame. Forgot. Considering the number of episodes of “The Office” on the DVR, might not have had room anyway.
The Yankees: Whenever anyone asks me if the Yankees will sign a free agent, my response is: “Yes, if they want to.” I mean, is there any other appropriate answer?
The Lions again: They’re winning. There’s hope in the Motor City!
Week 10 NFL Picks
It’s Saturday and I haven’t submitted my picks for “This Week in Football.” Producer Jared Boshnack doesn’t like that.
My picks have stunk most of the season, but here goes:
I’ll go with the Jets over the Jags, for no particular reason.
And for my other pick, the rationale is this: I got burned last week picking the Giants over the Chargers and the Eagles over the Cowboys. So, I’ll take the Chargers over the Eagles on Sunday.
Meanwhile, it seems like a very good Sunday for the Giants not to have a game, wouldn’t you say?
Perfect end to a memorable season
Well, it’s been extraordinary, the length of the season matched by its success, excitement and abundance of compelling story lines.
Today’s parade provided perfect punctuation to a memorable year — and that’s coming from someone who generally loathes parades. This one was fun.
Where did the Yankees season turn? There are several reasonable answers, but one ultimately stands out: When Alex Rodriguez returned.
With one swing of the bat he instilled confidence. And regained confidence. You could argue, and I have, that this was his most valuable season as a Yankee. Really.
The MVP always comes down almost solely to numbers, which I find silly. There is an intangible nature to the word “valuable.” Voters never seem to take that into consideration.
(If the award were Most Outstanding Player, I would understand all the obsessive numbers crunching. It’s not.)
And, to be clear, I’m not suggesting Alex should be the league MVP; Joe Mauer’s season was remarkable and the award should be his. Just suggesting that Alex has never been more valuable to the Yankees.
And who could have imagined that seven or eight months ago?
“This Week in Football”: I have been delinquent in making my picks for the week. Giants over Chargers. Why do I continue to pick the G-Men? Because their defense is getting healthier and because they have to win this game. Have to. And the Eagles over the Cowboys. The birds looked like a team ready to take off last week against the Giants. DeSean Jackson in particular.
I’ve been called for jury duty on Tuesday. If I don’t have to go, I’ll see you on “This Week in Football” next week.
I’ll pop up on WFAN in the meantime. And will continue to blog. As always, thanks for reading.
Getting the champagne out
One out of every three people asks if I have washed the champagne out of my hair. The answer, mercifully, is yes. There are a lot of things to like about champagne; its smell after drying isn’t one of them.
“This Week in Football” picks for this week: Saints over Giants, Jets over Bills, Vikings over Ravens. I’m no longer in sole possession of last place, I think, which is a good thing.
This is a (very) short post. It’s turned into a busy week. See you Friday for ALCS Game 1!
Flashback Friday in Toronto
It’s Flashback Friday here at Rogers Centre. Does that mean we can call it Skydome? The Blue Jays look dandy in their powder blues. And they wish it were 1993.
Anyway, Mariano was joking around in the clubhouse before the game. That’s the surest sign that his left groin is feeling better. He’ll throw a side session tomorrow and, if all goes well, be available Sunday.
Derek Jeter: With the way the schedule is breaking, it’s almost certain he’ll break Lou Gehrig’s franchise hits record at home. (Which, really, is how it should be.) Jeter isn’t in the lineup tonight; Girardi called it a planned day off. He’s eight hits shy of tying The Iron Horse and has two games left in Toronto. Then it’s 10 games at home. The record-breaker will be an outstanding moment. How will his teammates congratulate him? Will they go on the field? Or stand at the dugout, joining the ovation?
David Cone: “Are you blogging?” he wants to know. “Yes!” I reply. Through his extensive pre-game research, he has some “offensive tidbits” to pass along.
One, the Yankees don’t chase bad pitches. In fact, they’re best in the Majors at identifying balls and strikes. The Yankees swing at just 22.2 percent of pitches outside the strike zone. The Giants swing at the most — 31.6 percent.
Two, the Yankees are selective, stubbornly so. As are the Red Sox. Boston hitters swing at just 42.4 percent of pitches seen, the lowest rate in baseball. The Yankees are just behind at 42.6 percent. And you wonder why their games are so long.
Yogi Berra: At 7 p.m. on Sept. 17, Fritz Peterson will be at the Yogi Berra Museum & Learning Center for a discussion and signing of his new book, “Mickey Mantle is Going to Heaven.” Fritz had an interesting career; he played with Mantle and Munson and was a 20-game winner in 1970.
Jonathan Papelbon: The Red Sox closer was fined $5,000 by MLB for a pacing violation during his outing Tuesday. (His 2009 salary is $6.25 million.) He said he’s been fined at least five times for taking too long at the start of an inning.
“Game pace, pace of game, or something like that,” Papelbon told the Boston Globe and WEEI.com. “I don’t know why they keep coming after me. It’s probably because I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I’m not obeying the rules. You’re allowed (two minutes, 25 seconds), and I’m taking too long.”
Remember when Theo Epstein said his closer “isn’t a Rhodes scholar, obviously?” That was funny.
Jay Alford: The Giants defensive lineman is gone for the season after partially tearing his ACL. That’s a shame. Why? Because he went to Atlanta during the offseason to work his tail off with Osi and was going to be a big contributor this season. And he’s a Nittany Lion.
Giants in the house!
The NY Giants are in the house! Tom Coughlin, soon headed to Iraq with a couple of other NFL coaches to visit our troops, brought his team on a field trip to Yankee Stadium following today’s two mandatory minicamp practices. “Team bonding,” Coughlin said with a smile. His players were smiling because the mandatory minicamp ends tomorrow morning. Which means it’s time for summer vacation!
The players said they hadn’t eaten since 10:30 am. No wonder they practically ran from Monument Park to the Legends Suite where a feast awaited them.
Osi, who looks terrific, said he went through both practices and was tired but felt great. Although some football players, most notably Trent Edwards of the Bills when we were in Toronto, can look good taking BP, Shaun O’Hara said there’s no way he could hit a major-league fastball. And Justin Tuck is a big Giants fan who brought his father to the old Stadium last year and was happy to be at the new Stadium for the second time.
And we met the newest Penn Stater to join the Giants – Maurice Evans of Brooklyn. We always root for Nittany Lions.
Eli just left the booth after talking with Kay and Flaherty during the third inning. Eli said Peyton just happened to be in the area and came to the game. It’s funny watching the Manning brothers talk; Eli still looks like the younger brother but he doesn’t seem like the little brother anymore. If you know what we mean.
Xavier Nady: He’s frustrated as heck to still be on the DL but plans to play the outfield for four innings Friday in an extended spring game. Before BP, Nady was taking ground balls in right from Robby Thomson and throwing to second – where the manager was manning the bag. “Maybe there was a little more intensity (than Tuesday’s workout) with Girardi out there,” Nady said, smiling.
Jose Molina: We’ll air a feature on Sunday’s pregame about the Molina family coping with their loss of its patriarch, Benjamin Molina, on Sunday’s pregame. This might seem self-serving, but it’s worth a look.
Derek Jeter: Knowing Jeter, he’ll be back tomorrow. But if he can’t play, Girardi knows he has to have Jeter back by Friday, giving the inflexibility in other spots on the roster as the Yankees head to interleague play in National League parks.
Pete Abraham: He says we’ll do another chat soon. And he says we’ll spice it up a bit. To which we say: Bring.It.On.
Your turn: We STILL cannot find Tino. But how does this sound? Let’s do an “Innerview” for Batting Practice Today presented by Audi” with YOUR questions. First, we have to decide on the subject. So, in the comment section, let us know who you’d like to “innerview” and what your question would be. The player mentioned most often will be asked to join us to answer YOUR questions. Do you like that idea?