Hall of Fame Vote
Steroids in the baseball hall of fame was one of the first topics discussed in this blog. Some people believed that this era of baseball had to be represented, whether good or bad, and others felt that players such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa had no place being recognized among baseballs elite.
The official results were in this week and the Baseball Writers Association spoke. No one was elected to represent the 2013 class in the hall. For a player to be elected to the hall of fame he must receive 75 percent of the vote. Each writer is allowed to vote for 10 players to get into the hall on a given year. Players who receive over 50 percent in their first year on the ballot usually find their way into the hall a few years down the road. Here are some of the vote totals for players who were strong associated with 0the steroid era of baseball.
- Rodger Clemens -- 214 (37.6%)
- Barry Bonds -- 206 (36.2%)
- Mark McGwire -- 128 (23.5%)
- Sammy Sosa -- 71 (12.5%)
- Rafael Palmeiro -- 64 (11.0%)
This was a powerful statement by the writers. Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro have been on the ballot for years and are not gaining enough popularity to reach the 75 percent mark. For Clemens, Bonds and Sosa, it is their first year on the ballot and they were all denied.
The hidden story is of Mike Piazza. Piazza is widely regarded as the best hitting catcher of all time and he was snubbed. Piazza received only 58 percent of the vote and he has no real connection to steroids other than some reporters seeing acne on his back. Craig Biggio, a member of baseball’s 3000 hit club was also snubbed with only 68 percent of the vote but he is quite likely to make it into the hall in the next few years
Team By Team
New York Giants
Last Result: 42-7 Win vs. Philadelphia
- The Giants only came up with 20 sacks as a team in their 16 games this season, the lowest in the NFL. After starting the season 6-2 the Giants lost five of their final eight games to miss the playoffs.
- Jason Pierre-Paul came up with only 6.5 sacks this season after having 16.5 in 2011.
- Hakeem Nicks is only 24 years old and after four full seasons with the Giants he has yet to play all 16 games in a season. His 692 receiving yards this season were the least he has had in a season in his career.
- Eli Manning threw for 4.933 yards last season and only 3,948 this season, a difference of nearly 1,000 yards. This was the first season since 2008 that Eli failed to reach the 4,000-yard mark.
The Giants didn’t play well this season. It’s as simple as that. They have an extremely talented offense. That outstanding defensive line is getting a bit long in the tooth and their one young stud Jason Pierre-Paul took a significant step back.
Injuries aside, the Giants simply weren’t motivated to play their best week in and week out. Most of the Giants have Super Bowl rings and a large portion of them have two. It is always tough to play as defending champions but it is usually because other teams bring their best and want to knock you off. This year it was a case of the Giants not bringing their best.
New York Jets
Last Result: 28-9 Loss at Buffalo
- The Jets just went through an embarrassing season and most of their fans should be glad it’s over.
- Mark Sanchez has thrown 18 picks in each of the last two seasons. In 2011 Sanchez had 26 touchdown passes and in 2012 he had half that, 13 touchdown passes.
- Even without Darrelle Revis for the vast majority of the season, the Jets finished second in pass defense in the entire NFL.
Are you ready to raise an eyebrow? Check out Eli Manning’s stats over his first four years when compared to those of Mark Sanchez.QB Attempts Completions % Yards TD INT Rating Eli Manning 1,805 987 54.7 11,385 77 64 73.4 Mark Sanchez 1,832 1,011 55.2 11,887 68 68 72.0
A better touchdown to interception ratio from Eli early in his career is the difference maker. That may represent a level of efficiency that Sanchez will never reach but it is not as if Sanchez is completely inept when compared to the start of Eli’s career. It’s also interesting to note that Eli dealt with speculation of a lack of confidence due to body language before the Giants 2009 Super Bowl. Sanchez is dealing with the same chatter now.
New York Knicks
Last Result: Loss 81-76 at Indiana
Next 3 Games:
- Friday, Jan. 11 at 8:00 PM vs. Chicago
- Sunday, Jan. 13 at 12:00 PM vs. New Orleans
- Thursday, Jan 17 at 3:00 PM at Detroit
The New York Knicks are .500 at 5-5 since December 19. They were 18-6 up to that point.
Carmelo Anthony was suspended for one game after approaching the Celtics locker room and team bus following the Knicks loss to the Celtics on Monday night.
Knicks medical staff has asked coach Mike Woodson to scale back Amar’e Stoudemire’s playing time. Stoudemire played 28 minutes against the Celtics after returning from a back injury on New Year’s Day.
According to NBA chit-chat Kevin Garnett said “Happy (expletive) Mother’s Day” to Tim Duncan back in 1999 when both big men were 23 years old. Duncan’s mother had passed away 1 day before his 14th birthday. Garnett would have known this as the elite basketball players in America are very aware of each other.
Years later Charlie Villanueva, who suffers from an autoimmune disease that can result in hair loss, claims that Garnett told him that he “looks like a cancer patient.”
On Monday, Carmelo Anthony lost his cool and looked to approach Garnett after the game because of something Garnett said. At the moment, it is believed by many around the NBA that Garnett brought up Carmelo’s wife, Lala Vasquez, and said that she “tastes like Honey Nut Cheerios.” Celtics coach Doc Rivers denies that Garnett would say that but did admit that sometimes lines are crossed out there on the court.
Last Result: Win 109-89 at Philadelphia
Next 3 Games:
- Friday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 PM vs. Phoenix
- Sunday, Jan 13 at 6:00 PM vs. Indiana
- Tuesday, Jan 15 at 7:30 PM vs. Toronto
Brooklyn is 6-1 since firing Avery Johnson and appointing PJ Carlesimo on December 27. The Nets are currently on a 4-game win streak and three of those wins were by at least 17 points.
Over the last four games Deron Williams, who was not playing to his potential under Johnson, is averaging 20 points, four rebounds and eight assists all while posting a 48 percent field goal percentage and a 50 percent from three.
Deron Williams may be playing better and he may have a great career but he took step down in my book after Avery Johnson was fired. Deron played his entire career in Utah before joining the Nets in the 2010-11 season. Jerry Sloan had been the coach in Utah since Williams was 4 years old in 1988.
After coaching Williams for a few seasons, Sloan stepped away. Sloan had just signed a contract extension and was one of the most secure coaches in the league. Deron Williams admitted that he had a disagreement with Sloan the game before the veteran coach stepped down but said “I would never force” Sloan to leave.
The Nets have a very talented team and should absolutely be looking to make some noise in the playoffs. Joe Johnson’s work ethic and heart have been questioned and now Deron Williams is looking like a coach’s enemy. Hopefully Gerald Wallace will step up as a leader and keep those guys in check.
The NHL players and owners came to somewhat of an agreement last weekend and the deal was finalized this week. Reports are that the season, which normally spans 82 games, will be cut down to 48 and the season schedule is expected to be announced on Saturday (Jan. 12).
The Rangers added Rick Nash and are coming off a very nice season in which they reached the Eastern Conference Finals. In a shortened season, each game is more important and therefore more highly contested. Playoff hockey has always been right near the top of my favorite events in sports because of its intensity and this year the regular season will be a bit feistier than normal. Nothing wrong with that.
MLB Offseason Update
New York Yankees
The Yankees will start their season without Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez. Jeter, who injured his ankle in Game 1 of the ALCS, could be back for opening day but there is no guarantee. The hall of fame shortstop is no longer in a walking boot and is doing aquatic training to try and rehab his ankle. Rodriguez on the other hand is expected to miss the bulk of the season. The All-Star break is an optimistic return date and the possibility of him missing the season has been mentioned as a pessimistic return date. Former Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis will be trying to fill Rodriguez’s shoes until he returns.
Hal Steinbrenner acknowledged that the Yankees still have some work to do before the season and hinted that the pinstripes may be looking to add another bat. We are late in the offseason so not a lot of significant bats are just hanging around but the Yankees are known for making deals happen.
New York Mets
The Mets made a huge move this offseason by trading away the reigning NL Cy Young Award winner RA Dickey. Catcher Travis d’Arnaud was the main piece acquired by the Mets in the offseason trade. D’Arnaud is one of the brightest young players in the minor leagues and has been thought of as the best catching prospect available.
Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler both got plenty of experience last season and will be looking to make their mark on the big leagues next year. The Mets were also able to resign David Wright, who is the heart and soul of that team, and Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins seem to be building the Mets into a real threat.
Previous NYSE posts:
- 'How Naïve and How Dumb' Can Someone Be?—DUIs Kill