Saturday, July 14, 2012

Linsanity Coming to an End? Knicks Sign and Trade for Raymond Felton

Linsanity Over in New York? Knicks Acquire Raymond Felton
In what is being considered a very surprising move, the New York Knicks have acquired point guard Raymond Felton from the Portland Trail Blazers as part of a sign and trade.

As part of the deal, Felton and the Knicks agreed to a three year contract worth $10 million. 

To finish the sign and trade, the Knicks also received big man Kurt Thomas.  In exchange, the Knicks will send Dan Gadzuric, Jared Jeffries and a 2016 second round pick. Rumors are swirling there may also be rights to a European player exchanged.

This is a big surprise to some because it was widely considered that the Knicks would be matching the offer that restricted free agent point guard Jeremy Lin received from the Houston Rockets.  Lin and the Rockets agreed to a three year $25.1 million contract that would have ballooned to almost $15 million in the third year.
Even with such an increase, it was thought that the Knicks would match any deal for Lin, who had become an overnight sensation this past basketball season.  Lin played a big part in the Knicks making the post-season, so it was considered that nothing would keep him from coming back. But, with the acquisition of Felton, matching Lin’s offer sheet is no longer a guarantee.

Matching Lin’s agreement with the Rockets would have put the Knicks into a catastrophic hole of luxury tax in the coming seasons.  This has never been a problem for the Knicks, as owner James Dolan has been willing to pay any amount of money to put the players on the court that he wants.  But with this hesitation, it would seem that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement may actually be working.

The new CBA was put in place to make teams think twice about handing out big contracts by increasing the luxury tax penalties for teams that went over the salary cap.  For once, the Knicks and their management are being cap conscious, hence why the decision to add Felton instead of matching Lin.  Felton will not cost them as much in luxury taxes and will give the Knicks more cap flexibility in the coming years.  If they matched and retained Lin, they would be stuck with very little money and virtually the same team for the next three seasons.

It has not been said yet what the Knicks will do with Lin’s offer sheet, but it is getting harder and harder to believe that they will match.  If the Knicks do match for Lin, you can except to see basically the same Knicks squad for the next three seasons with very little changes in terms of the roster.  You can also expect to see a lot of two point guard sets if Lin is retained, as the Knicks will have to find playing time for Jason Kidd, Felton, Lin and newly acquired Pablo Prigioni. 

Mets Lose Back and Forth Game as Bullpen Falters Again

Saturday, July 14, 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 7 Atlanta Braves: 8
Bullpen Loses Back and Forth Game For Mets

The Mets lost their second game after the All-Star break and third overall in heartbreaking fashion to the Atlanta Braves 8-7 Saturday afternoon.  The Mets were resilient, falling behind early but mounting a comeback.  The comeback went for naught though, as the bullpen again fell apart and was unable to hold the lead.

The bullpen was put in such a situation because of an off-day from starting pitcher R.A. Dickey.  Dickey finished the game giving up eight hits and two walks that resulted in five earned runs.  He struck out four Braves as well. The wheels fell off for Dickey because of a reversed call in the 5th inning.

Left Fielder Jordany Valdespin made a play initially ruled as a catch in the 5th inning.  The play resulted as a double play at first, but after huddling together the umpires decided that the ball had actually been trapped by Valdespin.  The umpires placed Martin Prado on second base, not wanting to penalize him for correctly seeing the ball drop and Jason Heyward was awarded first.

Mets manager Terry Collins was ejected after arguing the play.  Dickey would retire the next batter Chipper Jones, enabling the runners to each move up a base.  Dickey was not as fortunate with the next batter, as Freddie Freeman knocked in a two-run double to give the Braves a 5-3 lead.

Dickey was bailed out by the Mets offense, as they actually got him in position to win before the bullpen imploded again at the end.

Josh Edgin was impressive in his second major league appearance, striking out the side around one walk.  Edgin has struck out five of the six lefty batters he has faced, looking to earn a permanent spot in the Mets bullpen.

Bobby Parnell was brought on to make a five-out save and was unable to do so.  Parnell came in with two runners on and let them score while giving up another earned run of his own.  Parnell allowed back-to-back-to-back RBI singles to Michael Bourn, Martin Prado and Jason Heyward to give the Braves an 8-7 lead in the bottom of the 8th inning. 

Ike Davis had another strong day at the plate, going 2 for 4 with a double and his 13th homerun of the season.  Jordany Valdespin continued his great play since being called back up, going 2 for 5 with an RBI.  Ruben Tejada also had a strong day, going 2 for 5 with two RBI’s.

David Wright struggled from the plate, seeming to not be able to pick up on the ball coming out of the Braves pitchers hands.  Wright suffered the golden sombrero, going 0 for 5 with four strikeouts on the afternoon.

The Mets will look to avoid the sweep Sunday afternoon against the Braves as Johan Santana (6-5, 3.24 ERA) will take the mound against Ben Sheets, who will be making his first start of the season and first appearance in the majors in two seasons for the Braves.  

Yankees Post Game Recap 7/14

Yankees vs. Angels Post Game Recap 7/14

The Yankees were able to pull off another win against the Angels, winning 5-3 on Saturday afternoon and will be thinking sweep heading into Sunday.

Freddy Garcia was able to pick up his 4th win of the season as he pitched okay on Saturday.  He kept the Yankees close, allowing five hits, five walks and three earned runs while striking out four in his five innings of work.

The bullpen was great for the Yankees, as Cody Eppley pitched two scoreless inning, allowing one hit. David Robertson was able to pick up two strikeouts while only allowing a hit in the 8th inning. Rafael Soriano got his 22nd save of the season while striking out two in the 9th.

Robinson Cano wasted no time getting his hitting streak to 17 games with a 2 run homerun in the 1st inning for his 21st long ball of the season. He picked up another RBI with a base hit in the 6th inning.

Curtis Granderson went 1 for 4, while hitting his 24th homerun of the season. It was a two run shot in the 3rd inning scoring Chris Stewart.

Alex Rodriguez, who received a decent amount of boos Friday night, was able to bounce back with a nice 2 for 4 game.  He hit a double, scoring a run and stealing his 10th base of the season.

The series finale on Sunday should be a good one, with two  pitchers having great seasons going at it as Ivan Nova (10-3, 3.92) will face Angels All-Star Jered Weaver (10-1, 1.96).

Mets Disappoint in Opener of Important Stretch

Friday, July 13th 2012
Final Score: New York Mets: 5 Atlanta Braves: 7

Mets Disappoint in Opener of Important Stretch

The Mets started a stretch of games that could determine the outcome of their season on a loss, falling to the Atlanta Braves 7-5.  This series against the Braves starts a stretch of four series in which the Mets will play teams directly connected to their own playoff hopes, heading to Washington following this trip to Atlanta and finishing it up in Queens against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Nationals again.

“The next month will determine a lot,” said Mets manager Terry Collins.  “We’ve got Washington three times, I think.  We’ve got the Braves twice. We’ve got the Dodgers.  We go on the West Coast swing.  You know what that can mean.  You’re talking about Arizona, who is playing better.  The Giants, who are fighting.  You’ve got to go play San Diego in their place.  Even though they’re not playing the way they want to, certainly, they can always be tough out there, and that’s at the end of an 11-day road trip.  That’s a tough trip.  We’re going to know how we’re standing when we get to August 1st, if we’re still in the dogfight.”

Collins will have plenty of tough decisions to make leading up to and during that time, and the first one was made tonight.  Collins was persistent in saying that he would not hesitate using lefty call-up Josh Edgin in a pressure situation and he kept his word.

Edgin came in after Miguel Batista, who walked four batters in 1.1 innings of work, made a mess of things with the bases loaded and retired the Braves to keep the Mets deficit at 5-4.  He came back for the next inning and was successful at the start, but could not finish the inning.

After retiring the first two batters of the inning, Edgin served up a homerun to Chipper Jones, which was followed by a Freddie Freeman double.  Collins had seen enough and pulled Edgin. 

Edgin was charged with two runs after Ramon Ramirez came in and surrendered a single which knocked in Freeman.

Another tough decision Collins will have to make is with the starting rotation because of Dillon Gee’s injury.  The decision was not made any easier after Chris Young’s performance tonight.

Young had his shortest outing of the season, surrendering five earned runs in three innings.  It was a rough night for Young, who surrendered three walks and six hits in his short outing only striking out two Braves. 

The poor performance could have been because of a lack of readiness, as Young was the third person in line for this start. Johan Santana was originally named but his ankle would not allow him to go.  Next in line Gee was diagnosed with a blood clot in his arm, rendering him unavailable to make the start.

Some positives for the Mets was that Andres Torres was able to return.  It was his first action since July 4th because of discomfort in his back.

Ruben Tejada, David Wright and Scott Hairston were all able to get two hits for the Mets, who were just unable to keep the Braves in check when needed.

Next up for the Mets and Braves is an afternoon game Saturday on Fox Saturday Baseball game of the week at 4:05 P.M. ET.  R.A. Dickey (12-1, 2.40 ERA) will make his first start of the second half, being opposed by Braves starter Tommy Hanson (10-5, 3.71 ERA).

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yankees Start Second Half with Dramatic Win

The New York Yankees were able to pull off the come from behind win to start the second half of the season with a dramatic win against the Angels winning 6-5.

Hiroki Kuroda looked like he was on his way to a great start until the seventh inning when Mark Trumbo hit a three-run home run deep into left center field. Kuroda went 7 1/3 innings allowed eight hits one walk and five earned runs while striking out six.

Rafael Soriano continued his great pitching as the All-Star snub was able to pick up his 21st save of the season only allowing one hit in the ninth.

Yankees offense was lead by Mark Teixeira who had a monster game and carried the Yanks going 2 for 5 with two home runs his 16th and 17th of the season and knocked in 5 runs.

Derek Jeter was able to go 2 for 4 with two runs scored on the night and passed Carl Yastrzemski for 16th on the all time runs scored list

Robinson Cano was able to keep his hitting streak alive at 16 games now to start the second half of the season going 1 for 4.

Nick Swisher had a nice night at the plate going 1 for 2 with two walks but that was over shadowed by his great leaping catch to rob Mark Trumbo of his second home run of the game in the eighth inning.

Russell Martin who has been struggling all season long had a huge clutch hit in the bottom of the eighth inning hitting a base hit to right scoring Dewayne Wise and giving the Yankees the lead.

Yankees will be facing the Angels again on Saturday afternoon as Freddy Garcia (3-2, 5.23) will be facing Jerome Williams (6-5, 4.46).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Yankees Ace Set to Return

Yankees will be getting their ace C.C Sabathia back from his groin injury next week and is expected to start Tuesday July 17th against the Toronto Blue Jays.

Sabathia has missed his last two starts heading into the All-Star break after feeling discomfort in the final game of the series with the Mets.

Sabathia is no question the best pitcher on the Yankees staff and one of the best in all of the Majors as he made the All-Star team and is 9-3 with 3.45 ERA and 105 strikeouts this season. The Yankees will need a healthy Sabathia for the second half of the season with Andy Pettitte out until September.

Giants Top 10 Moments of 2011-2012 Season

It's been five months since the Giants were in a sea of red, white, and confetti, celebrating their latest run through the NFL's elite to another Lombardi Trophy. Eli Manning collected his second Super Bowl MVP, and the Giants took down Tom Brady and the Patriots for the second time in four years.

Now it's time to re-live the Top 10 moments of a Giants season that was filled with people writing them off during their game in Dallas, and an improbable run into and through the playoffs, and ending with a Super Bowl Victory.

10. Manning, Nicks lead fourth-quarter comeback against Cardinals (Week 4)

The Arizona Cardinals looked to be in full control of the game after Beenie Wells rushed for his third touchdown of the game and gave the Cardinals a 27-17 lead. With under four minutes in the game, Manning hit Hakeem Nicks  for 26 yards, and set up a TD pass to Jake Ballard.

Less than two minutes later, the Giants were driving again. Manning hit Victor Cruz for a first down in Cardinal territory, and Cruz willingly went down and then let go of the ball. The Cardinals challenged but the play stood as Cruz willfully gave himself up. With under three minutes, Manning connected with Nicks again for the go ahead score. The Giants went on to win 31-27 and improve to 3-1, and was the first of many late fourth quarter comebacks by Manning and the Giants.

9. Manning beats Patriots in the fourth quarter (Week 9)

 After losing the lead with just under two minutes left in the game, Eli Manning orchestrated one of his many fourth quarter drives. Manning hit tight end Jake Ballard on a third down to keep the Giants alive, and after a pass interference call on New England, Manning hit Ballard in the back of the end zone with 15 seconds left. The win brought the Giants record to 6-2, and also foreshadowed a meeting between the two teams on February 5, 2012.

8. Giants stop Falcons twice on Fourth and One (NFC Wild Card)

Yes the Giants defense made one of the top moments of the season. The Giants were heavily criticized all season, and rightly so, for their poor play during the regular season, but they turned it around in the playoffs. The Atlanta Falcons were driving on the Giants, but the Giants D stuffed Michael Turner on third and one, and then stopped Matt Ryan on fourth and one to get Eli and the offense the ball.

In the third quarter, with the Giants leading 10-2, Matt Ryan connected with Roddy White for 14 yards, setting up another fourth and one for Atlanta. The Giants D stuffed Matt Ryan for the second time in the game, and gave the momentum back to the Giants who went on to win 24-2.

7. JPP, Giants stun Cowboys in Dallas

The Giants were all but finished against the Cowboys. They trailed 34-22 with four minutes to play. Manning hit Jake Ballard for a touchdown and cut the lead to 34-29.

On a third and five, Tony Romo overthrew a wide open Miles Austin, and it forced the Cowboys to punt. Manning was at it again and he led the Giants down to the Cowboys one yard line with just over a minute left. Brandon Jacobs scored two plays later, and the Giants converted on the two-point conversion.

Romo led the Cowboys down the field, and gave the Cowboys a chance to tie the game at 37. Kicker Dan Bailey hit the 47 yard field goal attempt, but the refs blew the play dead for a timeout by Tom Coughlin and the Giants.

Bailey's next attempt would be blocked by Jason Pierre-Paul and would preserve a 37-34 victory for the Giants. The win tied the Giants with the Cowboys atop the division, and keep their playoff hopes alive.

6. Giants win the NFC East, get into playoffs (Week 17)

 It was a do or die game for the Giants and Cowboys. The winner would take the NFC East title and get into the playoffs. The Giants got off to a fast start, with the help a 74 yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz. Ahmad Bradshaw scored twice, one rushing and one receiving, and the Giants held a commanding 21-0 lead.

The Cowboys fought back to cut the lead to 21-14, but the Giants answered scoring the final 10 points and beat the Cowboys 31-14.

The Giants won the NFC East title and were set to face the Atlanta Falcons the next week at MetLife Stadium.

5. Victor Cruz, enough said

The Giants receiving core consisted of Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham, and Domenik Hixon through the first two weeks of the season, but when Hixon went down against the Rams with a torn ACL, the Giants looked to UMass grad Victor Cruz. It did not take long for Cruz to have an impact for the Giants. The next week Cruz caught two touchdown passes from Manning in the Giants 29-16 win over the division favorite Philadelphia Eagles. The next week Cruz made a circus catch in double coverage against the Seattle Seahawks, and flashed his salsa dance for the first time in front of the home crowd.

Cruz finished the season with 82 catches for 1,536 yards, and 9 touchdowns.

4. Jaqcuian Williams strips Kyle Williams (NFC Championship)

The Giants and San Francisco 49ers were tied at 17 in overtime of the NFC Championship game. The Niners punt returner, Ted Ginn, was not available so backup Kyle Williams was the man. Earlier in the game Kyle Williams let a bouncing ball deflect off his leg, and it was recovered by the Giants, and led to a Giants touchdown.

Now in overtime, Kyle Williams caught the ball and tried to run before securing the ball. Rookie Jacquian Williams stuck his hand in and knocked the ball loose before it was secured. Devin Thomas jumped on the loose ball and the Giants were on the San Francisco 24 yard line.

Four plays later Lawrence Tynes kicked a 31 yard field goal and sent the Giants to the Super Bowl, just like he did four years ago.

3. Victor Cruz 99 yard TD catch (Week 16)

The Giants were facing off with the rival New York Jets, who they share the stadium with, and the game had an impact on both teams playoff hopes.

The Giants were trailing 7-3 in the second quarter, and were facing a third and long on their own one yard line. Eli Manning found Victor Cruz for a ten yard completion, but Cruz wasn't done. Cruz changed direction on Jets corner back Antonio Cromartie, and was off to the races. Cruz took it to the house for a 99 yard touchdown that gave the Giants the lead for good, and the Giants won 29-14.

From that play on, the Giants began a run that would take them all the way through the playoffs, and into the Superbowl.

2. "The Catch II" Manning to Manningham (Super Bowl XLVI)
With the Giants trailing the Patriots 17-15 with under four minutes in the fourth quarter, it was up to Eli Manning to lead another game-winning drive. The Giants were backed up on their own 10 yard line when Manning dropped back to pass. He looked right, saw nothing, came back left and let one go down the sideline for Mario Manningham. The ball was thrown where only Manningham could catch it, and Manningham did while keeping both feet in bounds.

The 38 yard pass set the Giants up for the eventual game-winning score in Super Bowl XLVI, and will now be known by Giants fans as "The Catch II".

The Manningham catch came four years after Manning hit Tyree in Super Bowl XLII for one of the greatest catches in Superbowl history.

1. Giants win their fourth Lombardi Trophy

The Giants completed their improbable run by winning their fourth Super Bowl in team history. The Giants defeated Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for the second time in four years, and Eli Manning left no doubt that he is an elite quarterback with his second Super Bowl MVP trophy.

The Giants scored with just under a minute left to take 21-17 lead over the Patriots. Tom Brady led the Patriots out to the 50 yard line with enough time for one more play. Brady hoisted the ball towards the end zone, and the Giants knocked the ball down and sealed the victory.

Head Coach Tom Coughlin preached one word to his team all year "finish", and thats what the Giants did. The Giants ended the season, including playoffs, on a six game win streak and won seven of their last eight to capture the Lombardi Trophy.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nets Resign Brook Lopez

Nets Resign Brook Lopez

The Nets and 7 foot center Brook Lopez, who was a restricted free agent, have been able to come to a agreement on a 4 year $60 million dollar max contract.

The Lopez signing will take the Nets out of trade talks with the Orlando Magic, as once Lopez signs the new deal he can't be traded until January 15th. Lopez was the center piece of the offer heading to Orlando, so the Nets Magic trade rumors will stop for the summer.

Lopez is coming off a year in which he was only to play five games due to various foot and ankle injuries. Lopez has shown he can be good offensive center in the NBA, but his rebounding dropped in the 2010-11 season to only 5.9 rebounds a game, which is very low for 7 foot center who plays over 30 minutes a game.

Lopez in four seasons has averaged 17.4 points 7.5 rebounds and 1.6 blocks for his career, but coming off a year of only playing five games should raise some concern about his health going forward.

Knicks Agree to Contract with James White

Knicks and James White Agree to Contract

The New York Knicks and forward James White have agreed to a contract.  Specifics were not released, but a person with the agency that represents White believes the contract is a one year deal worth just under the $1.4 million veteran’s minimum.

Many people have no idea who the 6’7” 200 lbs. White is, but he can play.  White had runs in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs and Houston Rockets in 2006-2007 and 2008-2009 but only appeared in 10 games total.

White has spent his time recently in Italy, where he was very successful.  For the 2010-2011 season, White led the league in scoring at 21.0 points per game for Dinamo Sassari in a transition offense.  This past season, a new revamped offense with Pesaro, White was top three in scoring at 17.1 points per game. 

White will be with the Knicks in Las Vegas, but will not participate in games.  He will be there to meet his new teammates and coaches and to work out, learning the new system he will be a part of with the Knicks.

For anyone who is unfamiliar with White, which is a large portion of fans, follow this link for a ridiculous display he puts on at a slam dunk contest.  White earned the nickname “Flight 75” for his leaping ability.  To see how outstanding it really is, check out this link:  

White is notorious for being able to dunk from the foul line, making it look routine.  He is also capable of dunking from that distance while putting the ball between his legs.  

Knicks Re-Sign J.R. Smith

J.R. Smith Returning to Knicks

The New York Knicks and shooting guard J.R. Smith have agreed to a new contract after Smith declined his player option earlier in the season.

After declining a $2.5 million dollar option, Smith and the Knicks agreed to a two year contract with each year being worth $2.8 million, a 20% increase from last season’s salary.  The second year of the contract is not guaranteed, as it is a player option.

Smith’s role with the Knicks this year could see an increase because of roster moves.  With Landry Fields verbally reaching a contract with the Toronto Raptors, Smith is expected to step into the starting shooting guard role.  Also, with Iman Shumpert shelved for the time being, Smith will have to pick up some of his minutes as well.

Retaining Smith is a good move for the Knicks in my opinion.  People who saw him play with the Knicks last season after returning from China can make a strong argument that it is not by looking at the stats; Smith shot 40.7% from the field and 34.7% from three point range in the regular season, below his career averages of 42.7% and 36.9%.  His numbers in the playoffs against the Heat were even worse, dropping to 31.6% and 17.9%.

But if you look past the shooting numbers you can build a strong argument for Smith being a good player to retain.  He plays good defense, stepping up against bigger players such as Lebron James and being able to guard both guard spots as well.  He also provided the Knicks with another ball handler when Jeremy Lin went down with an injury. 

Where Smith helps and isn’t given credit for is on the boards.  He rebounds well for a shooting guard, something the Knicks are going to miss with Fields north of the border.

Smith also showed great growth under head coach Mike Woodson so it will be interesting to see how much more development he can have in a full season under Woodson.  Smith has all the talent in the world and the tools to be a top NBA player, he just needs a coach and staff that are willing to work with him through his rough patches and help him grow as not only a basketball player but a person as well. 

Jerry Stackhouse to Sign with Nets

Jerry Stackhouse to sign with Nets

Nets were able to reach a verbal agreement for 37 year old guard Jerry Stackhouse to sign a one year 1.3 million dollar contract.

Jerry Stackhouse’s best days a long behind him as this is more of a signing to fill the roster and for a good influence and leader in the locker room as Stackhouse can mentor young shooting guard MarShon Brooks assuming he isn’t traded in part of a Dwight Howard deal.

Last year in 30 games with the Atlanta Hawks Stackhouse averaged 9.1 minutes and 3.6 points per game a far cry from his great Pistons days.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Yanks Play Well but A.L gets Shutout

The Yankees starters played well overall, but were no match for the National League bats as the American League lost 8-0. Home field advantage for the World Series goes to the National League with the win in the All-Star game.

Derek Jeter, making his 13th All Star team, was able to go 1 for 2 making the start at shortstop. He got a base hit in the first inning off Giants pitcher Matt Cain.

Robinson Cano, who heard it from Kansas City fans on Monday night at the Homerun Derby for not picking Billy Butle,r got booed a lot again on Tuesday night. Cano went 1 for 2, getting a base hit off Stephen Strasburg of the Nationals in the fourth inning in a fun match-up.

Curtis Granderson also was starting for the American League in center field, but he had a tough time facing two of the better lefthanders the National League had to offer. He went 0 for 2 in the game flying out in the third inning against Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals and grounding out in the fifth against Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers.

Rangers Sign Jeff Halpern to One-Year Deal
Since making multiple moves on the opening day of free agency, the Rangers have been staying quiet. Today the Rangers signed veteran Jeff Halpern from the Washington Capitals. The Rangers signed Halpern to a one-year deal. 

Halpern, who has been on multiple teams including Tampa Bay, Montreal and Dallas along with two seasons overseas, recorded 16 points (4G, 12A) in 69 games last season for the Caps.Halpern enjoyed his best season in 200 with the Caps, recording 21 goals and 21assists in 80 games.

 The Rangers will most likely use Halpern on the fourth line, and also on the penalty kill. 

The Rangers are still expected to make a move to acquire a big name scorer, and seem to be taking their time with a decision on who to go for. Rick Nash of Columbus, and Bobby Ryan of Anaheim are the top prospects, although Alexander Semin is still a free agent who can help the Rangers offense next season.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Knicks Land Marcus Camby from Rockets

Knicks Land Marcus Camby in Sign and Trade with Rockets

The Knicks were able to land another important piece today in center Marcus Camby.  He will backup both Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire and can start at either power forward or center if injuries do occur.

The Knicks signed Camby to a three year $13.2 million deal, with the third year being only partially guaranteed.  It will turn into a 2 year $10 million if the third year isn’t picked up. 

Most people are under the impression that the Knicks have no cap space, so the first thought that comes to mind is how do the Knicks keep adding players? In this scenario, it was by a sign and trade.

The Knicks agreed to send Toney Douglas, Jerome Jordan, Josh Harrellson and second-round picks in 2014 and 2015 for Camby. The deal cannot be finalized until July 11th, once all deals can be finalized for NBA players. 

The 38 year old and 16 year veteran had narrowed his choices down to the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Miami Heat ultimately choosing the Knicks because of money.  The Heat and Nets could only offer the veteran’s minimum, with no assets to trade.  The Knicks had assets to trade, in turn being able to give Camby more money.

Camby has still been productive even this late into his career.  He averaged 7.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game in 59 games between the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers.  The addition of Camby gives the Knicks one of the best one-two punches at the center position in the NBA. 

This will be Camby’s second go-around with the Knicks, as he played with them from 1998-2002.  Hopefully his tenure this time can be as successful as his first time, as he started for the Knicks in the NBA Finals in the 1999 series against the San Antonio Spurs.  

Cano comes up short in Derby

Robinson Cano unable to win Derby

Robinson Cano, the captain of the American League team, had a tough night in Kansas City at the plate and from the fans.

Cano took a lot of heat from the fans in Kansas City for picking Mark Trumbo over the Royals Billy Butler. Cano was booed the most out of any player in Homerun Derby history when he was batting.

Cano wasn’t able to hit a homerun in his 2nd Derby appearance, after putting on a show in his first one. Cano had to be tired from a late Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN against the Red Sox in which the game didn’t end until around 1230am. It was said Cano didn’t get into Kansas City until around 5am.

Cano will be the starting 2nd Baseman for the American League tomorrow as the MVP candidate will be looking to redeem himself.

Mets Snubbed as All-Star Game Starters

David Wright and R.A. Dickey snubbed from starting spots!/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/display_600/image.jpg

The Mets were snubbed in more than one way Monday afternoon by NL All-Star manager Tony La Russa, as R.A. Dickey was not picked to start the All-Star Game Tuesday night.  In addition to Dickey’s snub, David Wright will also not be the starting designated hitter for the NL squad.

Dickey’s stats were more than worthy of the starting pitcher spot in the All-Star game, but he will instead be pitching sometime in the first half of the game as San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain was selected as the starter. 

La Russa said that both Dickey and Cain were “equally legitimate” in earning the starting spot, but Cain nonetheless got the nod.

La Russa says that Cain and Posey have familiarity already because of being on the same team during the regular season, but Cain has a good point when he says that it would have been beneficial for Dickey to start.

“I was actually thinking that it might be a little bit of help if R.A. were able to start it, because maybe Buster would be able to catch him today and then catch him warming up or something like that – maybe a little bit of help doing it that way,” Cain said.  It makes sense as Posey is not familiar with catching the knuckle-balling Dickey, so it should be interesting to see how he fares during the game. 

After losing out on the starting 3rd baseman spot on the NL squad to San Francisco Giant Pablo Sandoval, David Wright lost out on the starting designated spot as well.  La Russa opted to instead go with Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzales in the designated hitter spot. 

Nets Summer League Roster

Brooklyn Nets Summer League Roster

The Brooklyn Nets played their first Summer League game losing to the Magic on Monday morning with many speculations of a trade between the two teams.

The Nets roster for the Summer League will consist of:

MarShon Brooks- Guard
Stephen Dennis- Guard
Bryant Dunston -Forward
Jeff Foote- Center
Ashton Gibbs- Guard
Taurean Green- Guard
Adam Morrison -Forward
Carleton Scott -Forward
Tornike Shengelia- Forward
Garrett Stutz- Center
Tyshawn Taylor- Guard
Al Thornton- Forward
Edwin Ubiles- Guard
Julian Wright - Forward

If rumors are true and a Dwight Howard deal is close it will probably shake up this roster a bit as definitely MarShon Brooks will be heading elsewhere as he is a big piece in the move to get Howard.

Knicks Re-Sign Steve Novak

Steve Novak Re-Signs with Knicks

After being picked up on waivers from the San Antonio Spurs, not much was known about Steve Novak.  He was thought of as an above average 3 point shooter, but never had an opportunity to showcase his talents outside of short spurts throughout five seasons.

Novak finally go his opportunity this past season with the Knicks and took full advantage.  He turned his waiver wire pickup into a multi-year contract, agreeing to terms on a four year $15 million dollar contract with the Knicks this afternoon.

In his one season with the Knicks, Novak lit up Madison Square Garden nightly, earning the nickname Novakaine.  The Garden faithful would get into a buzz every time he would touch the ball and more often than not he gave them what they wanted, knocking down his 3 pointers at a 47.2% clip.  He would then follow it up with the putting on of the championship belt.

Novak gives the Knicks a deadly weapon off the bench, but not too much else.  He hustles and plays hard every night, but is limited in everything other than his outside shooting.  He can struggle at times on the defensive end and is a poor rebounder.  These problems were very evident in the playoff series against the Miami Heat when Novak struggled mightily

But when his three point shooting is on, it more than makes up for the other deficiencies he has.  The Knicks now have one of the deadliest 3 point shooters in the NBA, a weapon that will benefit from plenty of open shots playing with teammates like Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Yankees Finish First Half with Win in Boston

Yankees vs Red Sox Post Game Recap 7/8

Yankees were able to win 7-3 in Boston to finish off the first half of the season in first place in the A.L East with a record of 52-33.

Ivan Nova had a great start on Sunday Night Baseball picking up his 10th win of the season as he allowed six hits two walks two runs only one earned run, and struck out 10 Red Sox batters.

Mark Teixeira was able to to have another good game continuing his hot hitting going 2 for 5 with an RBI, run scored and hit his 20th double of the year.

Derek Jeter who will be starting shortstop for the American League on Tuesday in the All-Star Game went 3 for 5 with a run scored to finish off a great first half of the season for the Yankee Captain.

Curtis Granderson who will also be starting in the All-Star Game went 2 for 4 with a run scored to finish off his first half.

Nick Swisher had a big game as he was on base the whole night going 2 for 3 with two walks, a run, and an RBI.

Robinson Cano was able to extend his hitting streak to 15 games in the top of the ninth inning with a double off the monster.

Andruw Jones flashback weekend continued on Sunday as he went 2 for 5 with 3 RBIs and hit his 11th homerun of the season and 4th homerun in the series against Boston.

The Yankees will be on break for the All-Star Game but Robinson Cano will be the Captain for the A.L in the Homerun Derby on Monday Night. The Yanks will be back in action on July 13th at home against the Angels.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mets End First Half on Down Note, Blasted By Cubs

Mets Blasted by Cubs, End First Half on Down Note

Final Score: Chicago Cubs: 7 New York Mets: 0

The Mets were not able to build off their strong performance Saturday afternoon, falling behind early and never recovered en route to a 7-0 shutout at the hands of the Chicago Cubs.  The Mets lost the season series to the Cubs 4-2.

Even with a disappointing end to the first half, it should still be pointed out that the Mets did have a strong half overall, going into the All-Star break with a 46-40 record.

This afternoon’s game though is one to forget.  Jon Niese gave up four runs in the first inning and the Mets were never able to build any momentum to get back into the game.  Niese would give up a three-run homerun in the 7th inning to Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, adding to the insult.  Niese’s final line was seven innings pitched, nine hits, seven earned runs, no walks and three strikeouts.

For the Cubs, Ryan Dempster returned from the disabled list and shut down the Mets.  Dempster threw five shutout innings and four Cubs relievers combined to complete the shut out. 

The Mets managed eight hits, but only one was of the extra-base variety.  They also struggled with runners in scoring position today, going 0-8 and leaving six runners on base. 

Sandy Alderson was in the booth for an inning and a half today, but did not say much in the way of planned roster moves for the Mets.  He was not explicit in the way of trades and would not mention by name which relievers were being looked at as call-ups after the All-Star break.

Next up for most of the Mets is a little break with the All-Star festivities starting Monday.  David Wright, R.A. Dickey and manager Terry Collins will be on their way to Kansas City to take part.  The next game for the Mets will be Friday, July 13th as Johan Santana (6-5 3.24 ERA) will take the mound against the Atlanta Braves and Tim Hudson (7-4 3.65 ERA).  The Mets will finish the first half five games, at worst, behind the Washington Nationals depending on the outcome of their game. 

Knicks Have 2 Players Named to Team USA

Knicks Have 2 on Team USA

The USA Basketball team for the 2012 Summer Olympics was announced last night, and the Knicks will have two players representing them in London.

Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler will be the Knicks heading to London.  They will be joined by Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Russell Westbrook, Deron Williams, Andre Iguodala, James Harden, Blake Griffin and Kevin Love.

Even with injuries to big named players such as Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard, the committee was able to put together a stellar group of players.  This is a testament to how deep the player pool in the United States really is.

Anthony is one player who is honored and excited about playing in the Olympics.  This will be his third appearance on team USA.  “Going to practice and being around the guys, putting the uniform on, I still get excited about that,” said Anthony.

Anthony is another long athletic player that head coach Mike Krzyzewski has at his disposal.  Anthony figures to have a big role on the team because of how well his game translates internationally. Anthony and Lebron James will be look at a lot of playing time at the power forward position throughout the tournament. 

Tyson Chandler is set to also have a big role on the team.  With big men Dwight Howard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Lamar Odom all not part of the team this year, Chandler is the lone center on the roster.  Coach K will lean on him to bring a defensive presence and be a difference maker on the glass for Team USA.  If Chandler can play as well as he did with the Knicks in the regular season, Coach K will be a happy man.