February 25, 2013
Jimmie Johnson wins the Daytona 500: Danica Patrick made a bit of history as the first woman to start at the pole position in a Daytona 500 race. She was passed up quickly, but also later regained the lead to become the first female to lead a lap in the event. But the day belonged to Jimmie Johnson who won the race and his second Daytona 500. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. made a late push, but for the third time in four years, he finished in second place. Winning second place on the biggest stage in NASCAR is quite an achievement and to do it three times in four years is flat out amazing. But it also has to sting to finish as the bridesmaid that many times.
Curtis Granderson breaks arm … on first Spring Training at bat: After sitting out for months, major leaguers probably can’t wait until their first Spring Training at bat. Yankees’ outfielder Curtis Granderson may be having second thoughts about that, though. Granderson was promptly hit by a pitch in his first at bat by the Blue Jays’ J.A. Happ, suffering a broken arm. The star will be out for two to three months and will likely miss the first five weeks of the regular season. Granderson was the team’s biggest offensive star last season, leading the Yankees in home runs (43) and RBI (106), so it will be a significant blow. The loss hurts even more when you consider that New York lost several offensive stars in the offseason including Nick Swisher, Raul Ibanez, and Russell Martin, who combined for 64 home runs last year.
Marquise Goodwin dominates NFL Combine: The NFL Combine started over the weekend and a few wide receivers made their marks. Most notably, Texas’ Marquise Goodwin had a great weekend. He was timed unofficially at 4.25 and officially, he received a 4.27 – narrowly missing the 4.24 Combine record set by running back Chris Johnson. Breaking 4.4 is considered at the elite level and a sub 4.3 is insane. There’s no doubt that Goodwin improved his draft status in a big way and could make himself a top pick.
49ers looking to unload Alex Smith: News broke over the weekend that the San Francisco 49ers were not only hoping to trade backup quarterback Alex Smith, but that they might already be close to a deal with an unspecified team. Trading Smith is really a no-brainer for the team since they’re all in with Colin Kaepernick. And since Kaepernick nearly helped lead the team to a sixth Super Bowl title this past year, it’s hard to argue with that logic. Smith was finally turning into a serviceable quarterback and San Francisco should be able to land a nice deal for him. He’s not an elite player by any means, but he would be an upgrade under center for many franchises. Ideally, the 49ers would be thrilled to have a backup of Smith’s stature. But he’s obviously unhappy after losing his job to Kaepernick last season and keeping him makes little sense when they can bring in another player who can help them.
Jerry Buss dies: Iconic Lakers’ owner Jerry Buss passed away this week at the age of 80. With his ten NBA championships, Buss wasn’t only one of the top owners in the NBA, but all of sports. Think of all he’s seen … Magic Johnson winning a title as a rookie. The 1980s Showtime Lakers with Magic, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, and company. A three-peat with Kobe and Shaq. Buss had really seen it all in the NBA over the past 30+ years and had the experience of a lifetime.
Evgeni Malkin has concussion symptoms: The NHL’s Most Valuable Player for 2011-12, Evgeni Malkin, has showed signs of a concussion after a recent game. The Penguins’ star suffered the injury on Friday against the Florida Panthers. If Malkin misses any length of time, it won’t be anything new for Pittsburgh. The Pens have dealt with missing Sidney Crosby for long stretches after a concussion and the team can’t seem to catch a break. The timing couldn’t have been worse for the Penguins, who lead the Atlantic Division.
Syracuse retires Carmelo Anthony’s jersey: Knicks star Carmelo Anthony had his jersey retired by Syracuse in a game last week. Anthony played only one season for Syracuse, but it was one to remember. He was the best freshman in college basketball that year and led his team to an NCAA championship. Typically, I’d be against retiring the jersey of a player who stayed in college for only a single season. I think that honor should be reserved for the best players of all time in the sport and you simply can’t be in that conversation if you only stick around for one year. But in winning a title, I’m okay with it. Anthony had such a special year that he probably deserves the recognition. Syracuse also waited a decade to do this, so it clearly was something with which they had reservations. But if they’re okay with it, I’m okay with it.
November 17, 2011
AL MVP candidate Curtis Granderson took a few minutes to sit down and talk with us as we gear up for the AL MVP announcement in just a few days.
There were few players this MLB season who were as impressive as the New York Yankees Curtis Granderson. The All-Star Centerfielder was amazing both at the plate and in the field, and helped lead his team to the ALDS.
In his second season with the Yankees, Curtis Granderson had career bests in Runs (136), Home Runs (41), RBI’s (119), and Walks (85), so we thought who better to sit down with before the announcement for the AL MVP? With the announcement coming on Monday, we wanted to see what else was on Granderson’s mind as he awaits to hear the winner.
2. You’ve been on TV yourself as a post-season analyst. What makes you more nervous—being behind the analysts’ desk during a live broadcast, or stepping up to bat with two outs in the ninth and the tying run on second?
The countdown to going live the first time I did broadcasting was one of the most nervous I had ever been. My palms were sweating and I couldn’t slow my speech down.
3. You’re known as one of the nicest, friendliest guys in the league. I’m also considered a nice, friendly guy, but when I’m golfing poorly, I become much less nice and friendly. Is there anything out there that can bring out the “unfriendly” side of Curtis Granderson?
People who complain about things they can change.
4. As an ambassador for MLB, you’ve done some international traveling. What’s the scariest thing you’ve eaten while abroad?
I ate duck brain in china, wasn’t scary but was interesting.
5. Pizza—Chicago Style or New York Style?
6. As one of the guys in the AL MVP discussions, what do you think of the talk that former teammate Justin Verlander is getting MVP consideration? Should pitchers be considered for MVP awards?
Verlander has had a great season, and if people think he’s the best for his team then yea consider him and other pitchers.
7. Outfielders get a lot of heckling. What’s the best heckle you’ve heard while in the field?
It’s normally the same ol same ol, “you stink” “boo” etc… The difficult thing is most of the time I usually can’t really hear the people, cause they are so far away and the noise muffles.
8. You’re a big WWE fan. If you were a wrestler, what would your name be?
October 10, 2011
Only two years removed from their last World Series title, the Yankees are far from a colossal disappointment. Winning 97 regular season games and losing in the fifth game of the Divisional Series is hardly an embarrassment. Still, anytime they fall short of winning the championship, fans aren’t happy.
‘Rebuilding’ is probably far too strong a term – the Yankees need a tune up, not an overhaul. It’s pretty obvious that this team is still stacked beyond belief. The roster features a host of current or former All-Stars and it’s difficult to find too many holes. That said, there are a few things the Yankees can do to have a better shot at winning another title in 2012.
Add Another Starter
Pitching, pitching, pitching. More times than not, the playoffs are decided with great pitching. Once the postseason arrives, nearly every team has it. The Yankees aren’t without quality pitchers. For starters, there’s the ace of the staff, C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia won 19 games this season and with an ERA of 3.00, was one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. But here’s the thing: After him, the Yankees don’t have a truly dominant guy next in line. Remember the Arizona Diamondbacks with Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling? Or last year’s San Francisco Giants team featuring Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain? Or those Red Sox teams with Pedro Martinez and Curt Schilling (again)? World Series contenders are always better served by having two top of the line starters.
The Yankees do have young pitcher Ivan Nova who had an amazing year, winning 16 games. But with an ERA approaching 4.00 and at only 24, he might not be a true No. 2 starter just yet for a championship caliber team. Free agency pickings are always slim when it comes to finding aces, but if the Yankees could swing a trade for one, it would go a long way to helping their chances in 2012.
Let The Jesus Montero Era Begin … Now
Jesus Montero is largely regarded as the best prospect in the Yankees’ system. In limited action (18 games) this season, he smashed four home runs and hit .328. Montero is ready for the big stage, and, after hitting 39 home runs in the past two seasons in AAA and being named as the #3 overall prospect in the minors in 2011 by Baseball America, it’s clear he needs to play. Whether that means the Yankees start Montero as the everyday catcher and play him as the DH, manager Joe Girardi needs to find a way to get his bat into the lineup next year.
Will he come in and immediately dominate the league? Not likely. But the sooner the team can get him at bats, the sooner he can get used to life in the majors. He has the potential to hit 25-30 home runs eventually and that’s the type of power that could make him an elite catcher in the league.
Add a Power Bat in the Outfield
With Curtis Granderson’s 41 home runs, the Yankees’ outfield isn’t completely devoid of power. But the Yankees could use a few more long balls from the remaining two positions, left field and right field. Brett Gardner is unquestionably one of the best base stealers in the entire sport, but he hit only seven home runs in a full-time position. So while New York obviously needs to find space for his speed on the base paths, his lack of power as a corner outfielder clearly hurts at least a bit. Nick Swisher manned the other corner spot opposite him, and the duo combined for a total of 30 home runs between them. That’s not terrible, but 30 home runs from two corner outfielders is below average for a contending team. The Yankees would be wise to keep both of those players, but if they could add another 30-home run outfielder to the mix, the team would be even stronger since it would allow either Swisher or Gardner to come off the bench.
Will the Yankees rebound and reach the World Series next year? No one knows for sure, but making these moves would improve their chances.
December 9, 2009
Once in a while you see a player come up with a team and you think to yourself, “This guy is untouchable. He might just spend his whole career with one team.” I thought that about Curtis Granderson.
He was just one of those guys who the Tigers faithful immediately took to because of his tremendous work ethic and get this- he was actually a decent human being! GASP!!! Granderson was told he couldn’t play big league centerfield, couldn’t hit for power, couldn’t do this or that.
Well, he might not be the most gifted player ever. It’s well documented that left-handed pitching gives him fits and he probably was never going to be the clutch lead-off hitter everyone was hoping to get, but I wonder if there is a player in Major League Baseball who made more out of what God gave him. You just figured, how could the Tigers get rid of a guy who hustled every time out, could hit 30 HR’s a year, steal 20 bases, had one of the best gloves in the game and was a pillar in the community? No possible way, right? Well, I guess not.
Off goes Granderson to NY so the Tigers can clear some cash off the books. In return, prospects! Hooray! Guys who may or may not end up being worth a bag of bats in the bigs and if they are, won’t Detroit just trade them away for more prospects because they will command a higher salary? Not a good cycle we are starting here!
It’s just disappointing to see one of the most unanimously popular athletes in Detroit in a LONG time and a player who seems to be such a genuinely good person being shipped out. The number of jerseys at Comerica Park with #28 on the back had to greatly outnumber all of the rest combined. Everyone loved what this guy brought to the table. Can you tell I’m disappointed to see him go? These are the guys you need to keep for the long haul. This guy is a class act who will be missed! You have to wonder if his best baseball lies ahead of him. It’ll sting every time I see a Granderson highlight and he’s wearing those famous pinstripes.
March 13, 2009
It just keeps getting better…
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