Tuesday, December 18, 2012

For a New York sports fan, 'tis the season to be queasy......

I think I speak for a lot of Mets fans when I say that they goofed big time----again----by unloading Cy Young Award winner R. A. Dickey in a trade that was completed on Monday. Dickey returns to the American League, where he previously had pitched for Texas, Seattle, & Minnesota (as documented in the movie, "Knuckleball!") before coming to New York in 2010. Next season, Dickey, along with catchers Josh Thole & Mike Nickeas, will reunite with shortstop Jose Reyes in Toronto, where the 2011 NL batting champ was traded just a few short weeks ago from Miami. Catcher John Buck, who was part of the Miami-to-Toronto trade, now gets flipped back to the NL East without playing an inning in Toronto.

I get that the Mets are trying to rebuild their farm system for the future, and one article I read noted parallels between what GM Sandy Alderson is doing now, compared to the work of Frank Cashen 30 years ago, when he inherited an even worse Mets team. However, the departure of the veteran Dickey leaves the Mets with just three front line starters for 2013: Johan Santana, Dillon Gee, & Jonathan Niese, and of those three, only Niese finished the season. Another pitcher, Mike Pelfrey, recovering from Tommy John surgery that ended his season in May, signed with Minnesota on Monday.

The Mets have holes everywhere. They locked up third baseman David Wright with a huge extension, but couldn't spare the extra cheddar to give Dickey what he wanted, and he inked his extension on Monday, sealing the deal with the Blue Jays. They let Jason Bay go, and could lose another outfielder, Scott Hairston, if they're not careful. As noted before, Lucas Duda is recovering from an off-season injury sustained last month. Andres Torres returned to San Francisco as a free agent, so the trade last year ends up as a bust for the Un-Amazin's. Par for the course.

Turning to the NFL, the Jets were eliminated after losing to Tennessee on Monday, 14-10, in another snoozer, although this was more competitive than their Thanksgiving night slaughter at the hands of the hated Patriots. It's looking more and more like owner Woody Johnson will need more than just Band-Aids to fix this team, and Mark Sanchez & Rex Ryan may be on the fast track out of town when the season ends in 2 weeks. The Giants could soon join them, after getting blanked by Atlanta, 34-0, on Sunday. One more loss, be it to either Baltimore or Philadelphia, and they won't get to defend their Super Bowl championship. Nothing new there, but the fact that they can flatline like this after blowing out New Orleans the week before is just maddening, not only to coach Tom Coughlin, but to the fanbase as well.

Since the NHL isn't in session, thanks to a lockout and the glacial pace of negotiations (the Fehr brothers haven't exactly been geniuses when it comes to labor issues, just ask anyone about their work with baseball's players union), the NBA is suddenly more attractive, and in New York, there's a renewed energy, thanks to the hot starts of both the Brooklyn Nets and the NY Knicks, the latter in first place in their division despite losing to Houston on Monday, as the Rockets completed a season sweep. The Knicks have comfort in the fact that they've humbled LeBunco James and the Miami Heat twice this season, which means an el receipto will be headed their way later in the year.......

Oh, and as for the Yankees? Well, they're saying all the right things, acknowledging that Toronto has suddenly become a threat in the AL East. Boston faded, and Tampa Bay is barely above water. No one knows if Baltimore was a 1 year tease or are all in for the long haul. The Yanks lost Andruw Jones, who is headed for Japan next season, and could lose another outfielder, Nick Swisher, while retaining perennial hit machine Ichiro Suzuki. They signed Kevin Youkilis, the latest of the Boston "Idiots" to swap Beantown red for Yankee blue, as a stopgap until Alex Rodriguez recovers from his latest injury.

Any more stupid moves will have the most hardcore fan reaching for the Tums. Stay tuned.

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