Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sports this 'n' that

The NFL Draft is now history, but the drama has only just begun in New York.

You see, after the Jets drafted quarterback Geno Smith (West Virginia) in Friday's second round, the tabloids were quick to grease the skids for the departure of incumbent QB Mark Sanchez, whose skills have regressed in the last two seasons. The New York Daily News even used a front page headline in Saturday's  edition, suggesting that Sanchez was done. However, there are still less than three months before training camp starts as I write this, and a lot can happen, including a protracted contract holdout by Smith if his agent(s) don't think the Jets are giving him a fair offer.

Meanwhile, the Jets' new GM, John Idzik, who came over from Seattle, hasn't exactly made friends with the fan base, not after dealing away defensive back Darrelle Revis to Tampa Bay a week ago, a move the tabloid media claims was green-lit by owner Woody Johnson. On Monday, the Jets made the long expected move to release QB Tim Tebow after one season, and today's tabloids are crowing about that, too. A Yahoo! blogger suggests that the Jets traded for Tebow a year ago strictly for publicity purposes, then decided to treat him like a spare part instead of giving a fair opportunity to supplant Sanchez.

Let's face it. Tebow just wasn't cut out to be an NFL QB, despite his college successes in Florida. If any team wants him now, they should consider giving him a new position, either as a running back, a tight end, or, for all the irony, a defensive back. Denver found out over the course of two seasons that what worked in college didn't translate in the pros, largely because Tebow's physical limitations (size, lack of arm strength) could easily be exploited, as the NFL's Evil Empire, the New England Patriots, so gleefully demonstrated.

The bloom is suddenly off the rose for the Mets, who have lost 5 in a row after a 15th inning heartbreak vs. Miami on Monday. Shaun Marcum, Saturday's starter, came on in relief, and lost his 2nd decision in 3 days (well, actually, 4, since it was after midnight when the game mercifully ended). Teams have already adjusted their pitching to shut down the Mets' offense, so now, the burden gets heavier as we move toward the merry (?) month of May in Flushing.

Back to football. The Arizona Cardinals spent a 3rd round pick Saturday on troubled former LSU defensive back Tyrann Matthieu, aka "Honey Badger". Matthieu missed the entire 2012 season after being expelled from the team, and was arrested for drug possession six months ago. To believe the Yahoo! sports blog, the Cardinals have to give Matthieu some guaranteed money, perhaps not as much as Matthieu or his agent might think, but they also don't want him flushing that money away on drugs. Matthieu will be tested, perhaps more often than most rookies because of his well-publicized drug history, bringing more scrutiny than really needed, but what can you do?

What I found most amusing during the first week of playoffs in the NBA was the fact that ESPN, one of the league's media partners, thought it was newsworthy to report on a series of tweets issued by Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who missed the team's 1st round loss to San Antonio due to injury. Please. What a waste of time!

At the same time, most media outlets seem to think that the Miami Heat will repeat, but if they do, it will really be because that's what the league wants, as they would rather promote LeBron James as the league's #1 gate attraction. Like, it's a team sport. As long as the NBA continues to defer to advertising nerds and suits on Madison Avenue to promote certain players (i.e. LeBron) above the game itself, it isn't going to be back to where it was before David Stern took office.

A week ago, the Mets designated pitcher Aaron Laffey for assignment, and he eventually returned to Toronto, where he was promptly torched by the Yankees in an emergency start over the weekend. On Monday, Laffey opted for free agency, ending his 2nd go-round with the Blue Jays. Do the Mets take him back? I doubt it very seriously. The black cloud of misfortune hanging over Citi Field just won't go away, as evidenced by the Mets' current losing streak, referenced earlier. Even though the National League East standings are now starting to look the way they were meant to, save for the top 2 spots being reversed, it hardly seems stable.

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