Thursday, May 30, 2013

Yankee Fans Go Quiet as the Mets Sweep Their Noisy Neighbors

Mets fans are gloating tonight and they have every right to do so after defeating the Yankees in four straight games to earn bragging rights for the 2013 Subway Series.

The Mets have always been second class citizens in New York as the Yankees have purchased championships on a regular basis over the past 20 years or so. Any opportunity for the Mets to take the spotlight away from the free spending Yankees is cause for celebration. The Mets may not be going anywhere this season, but embarrassing the crosstown rivals in Queens and on their home field in the Bronx is an accomplishment worth bragging about.

Yankee fans are like schoolyard bullies. They have all the power and constantly love to remind Mets fans of  that fact. Any chance they have to kick their weaker neighbors they take. Prior to the start of this week's Subway Series Yankee fans were tweeting how much the Mets Suck and how the Yankees will kick their butts, etc. Now that the opposite has happened, the excuses are coming fast and's only the Yankees B team, all our regular players are hurt, you'll be playing golf in October while we're in the playoffs.
There's nothing greater than seeing the entitled Yankee fan base denied. For once they have to let another team take the spoils. Yankee fans have to be a bit more gracious in defeat and, as my British friends would say,  stop throwing their toys out of the pram when they don't get everything they want.

While the aging stars on the Yankees have gone down like bowling pins, the club has brought in a rag tag bunch of throw aways, rookies, journeymen and players off the scrap heap to fill in. Surprisingly this group has outperformed expectations and Yankee fans, in typical fashion, just assume it's their god given right to win their division every year. Time will tell, but this four game sweep by the Mets may signal the clock striking midnight and this rag tag bunch turning back in to the replacement players they are.

As for those Yankee fans that just assume their entitled club will be playing in October, I can't wait to see their reaction when their aging and gimpy team fails.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Mets Are Downright Terrible....My Reaction to the Yankees & Man City as Joint Owners of a New MLS Team

Money can't buy happiness but it can buy a championship
I am a Mets fan....there I said it. It's along the lines of being an alcoholic and going to AA and standing up in front of strangers and admitting your weakness. It's rough, but it's the truth.

Being a Mets fan is hard and often not a lot of fun....but Mets fans are the best baseball fans in New York as they are "real" fans and not "plastic" like at least half of the fan base of the crosstown New York Yankees. Unfortunately, being a Mets fan comes with hardships and often a lot of humiliation. Take this year's team for example. After seven weeks of the 2013 season the Mets are absolutely HORRIBLE. They flat out STINK.

The statistics thus far are UGLY. The team have scored more than 4 runs just once so far in the entire month of May. Their first baseman is a nice guy, but an automatic out and the outfield is filled with misfits and has  beens. When the team does hit for power, there's never anyone on base. Three fifths of the starting rotation stink and the bullpen overall is a nightmare.

As a former ticket holder I receive emails from the Mets on a regular basis...and I can tell they are freaking out based on the crazy offers they are sending out to fans.

The Twitter conversations among Mets fans are hysterical and reflect the complete frustration they have with the seemingly unending futility of this club.

Of course the season is long and you never know what's going to happen. For that reason, us Mets fans remain loyal and optimistic but deep down we're not expecting much. Okay, I'm done venting about the Mets.
Ike Davis has been stinking up Citi Field

MLS makes a deal with 2 Evil Empires
Now it's time for a vent of a different sort. The official announcement today that the New York Yankees and Manchester City will be joint owners of the newest MLS franchise, New York City FC, makes me sick to my stomach.

I have been a fan of proper football for close to 15 years and have followed the growth of MLS with optimism. The United States has made great strides in making football (not soccer) a major sport but the country has a long way to go to truly be competitive with long standing leagues in Europe, South America and the rest of the world.

Since the league's creation, New York's team has been the Red Bulls and they have slowly and organically grown the team and its fan base. With stars like Thierry Henry, Tim Cahill and Juninho the Red Bulls have brought some true world football experience to the club.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber's quote after the announcement of the Man City/Yankees join venture was:
"This is a transformational moment for Major League Soccer and soccer in America." The Commissioner added that the Yankees-Manchester City partnership combines "two of the most respected brands in sports."
Come on Mr. Commissioner, we all know it's all about the "Benjamins". The partnership of the 2 evil empires is paying the league $100 million for the expansion franchise NYCFC. In a league that was built on the "single entity structure" which imposes a salary cap of just $2.95 million per team, it seems strange to allow two franchises that are about buying championships to own an MLS club.

The rule is meant to allow all teams to compete evenly for players at the financial level. With the involvement of Manchester City and their oil baron owner Sheikh Mansour, it's a joke to think that his never ending financial resources won't come in to play for his MLS team.

Here is an excerpt from Euronews that explains how the MLS salary structure and the "buy a championship" mentality of Sheikh Mansour are at odds with each other:
While MLS clubs are allowed to sign three ‘designated players’ largely from outside the salary cap, allowing the likes of David Beckham and Thierry Henry to move to the league, the average annual salary in the league is close to a modest $150,000 according to the MLS Players Union.
 Sheikh Mansour, the billionaire from Abu Dhabi who owns Manchester City, has spent unprecedented millions on players since taking over the club in 2008 but his staff will find a very different ‘transfer market’ operates in MLS.
“Regarding the salary cap, we know very well the rules of the MLS and we think we can build a winning team within these rules,” said Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano.
“We’re going to make extensive use of our expertise, our knowledge, our people. We have very high-calibre people in Manchester City that have been very successful building winning teams”.
The article goes on to discuss the New York area fan bases that already exist for EPL clubs and how these fans will not automatically buy in to a club financed by Manchester City.
While the link with City will undoubtedly allow access to a network of scouts and coaches to help the new club, the close association with one particular Premier League club could create some marketing problems.
Premier League clubs, including City’s rivals Manchester United, have developed significant fan bases in the United States, including New York, and while they would appear to be a natural core support for the new club, it will be a key task to persuade them they are not supporting an inferior replica of the English team.
For me the Manchester City of today and the New York Yankees of the Steinbrenner era represent all that
is wrong with sports. For close to 20 years, and until 
just recently, the Yankees have been all about buying the shiniest and most expensive players, whatever the cost, to ensure that the Yankees are crowned champions every year.

Before Sheikh Mansour sunk his oil money from the United Arab Emirates in to Manchester City, they were a moderately successful club with a loyal fan base. They were always in the shadow of their more famous neighbors Manchester United. While I don't like Man United, I at least respect them for continually growing on their club's history. Manchester City, on the other hand, purchased their current history (check out this article from Forbes about this). For that, they should not be respected.

In short, two Evil Empires that represent greed and winning at all costs are not worthy of my support regardless of the fact that New York City FC will be playing in my home town. It's like your partner cheating on you with your two worst enemies....completely sickening. As long as those two clubs are owners of MLS's newest franchise, I will never support the MLS club in my own city.

My allegiance will remain with the New York Red Bulls that happen to play in New Jersey.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Happy St. Totteringham's Day 2013

It's a holiday that has been celebrated by Arsenal fans every year since 1995 and today it is celebrated once again. After a frustrating season where the giddy press were writing off Arsenal and declaring Spuds the new kings of North London it's even more sweet to celebrate this achievement today.

Here's just a small sample of the BS that was thrown at Arsene Wenger and his club during the now completed campaign:

Now we’re Tot dogs! Bale: Spurs have finally shot past under-fire Gunners

Spurs will win 2-1 – they’re a lot stronger than Arsenal - Harry Redknapp   

Wenger to be given the sack? - Arsenal in crisis    

Exclusive: Wenger held 45-minute crisis talks in a bid to salvage Arsenal's season

Rather than dissect the hows and why of the now complete Arsenal season, I'm going to take the day off to celebrate. Instead I'm going to let Gooners themselves express their feelings on this St. Totterhingham's Day 2013...but before we begin here are a couple of smug Spuds fans running their mouths and now having to suck it up:

And now on to the Gooners on this St. Totterhingham's Day:

Enjoy the celebration and look forward to Champions League football next season. #COYG

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Forget That Good Start By The Mets....Arsenal Need To Finish Strong

Harvey is a Stud
We're a month in to the new baseball season and it's already looking a lot like last season for the Mets. They had a great first week and got the fans wondering if perhaps they were better than what was expected. Well, it's three weeks later and the Mets are playing exactly as we all thought they crap.

Wednesday's Mets victory in Miami marked the end of the teams' six game losing streak. During that streak the Mets managed to take the lead in a 15 inning game, only to lose in the bottom of the 15th. The very next day the Mets went to the bottom of the ninth with a 1-0 lead and left the field 2-1 losers.

The bullpen has been horrible. We've become used to terrible bullpens with the Mets, but this year's crop may be the worst yet. No lead is safe and there are no trustworthy arms in the pen.

As for the starters, Jon Niese has been decent and Dillon Gee hot and cold. The one bright spot on the entire pitching staff for the Mets has been rookie Matt Harvey. He's off to a 4-0 start (he would have been 5-0 until Bobby Parnell blew a save opportunity this week) and has an ERA under 2.00. He throws heat and exhibits total confidence on the mound. If it wasn't for Harvey, I'm not sure the Mets would ever win games.

John Buck has been clutch
Offensively, it's been a crap shoot. It's either feast or famine. The surprise of the season so far has been catcher John Buck. The catcher has been a lifesaver for this team. He finished April with 9 home runs and 25 RBI's. To put that in perspective, 2012 catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas combined for a total of  2 home runs and 34 RBI's for the entire season.

Ike Davis is once again having problems at the plate and outside of Buck, David Wright, Daniel Murphy and maybe even Jordany Valdespin no one in the lineup is clutch.

At 11-15, it's still early days for the 2013 season so there is plenty of time for the Mets to turn things around. The question is will they?.......Don't answer that.

For a similar, but even harsher view of the 2013 Mets, Bill Price's piece from the New York Daily News is worth a read:

Mets vs. Marlins, Game 26: Is Mets' future really that bright?

Ike has been ice cold again

Wenger deserves to be smiling at the end of the season.
I have no interest in getting in to the Arsenal only try to achieve a top 4 finish argument right now. The facts are, with 3 games remaining on Arsenal's schedule it is imperative that they do finish in the top 4 this season.

Despite the fact that the Gunners have admittedly had a difficult season, they currently sit in 4th place. This clearly shows that Arsenal's under achieving season, is way better than most of the EPL's clubs' typical seasons.

Arsenal's draw with Manchester United last weekend was a decent result, but three points were a must to remain in control of their own destiny. Unfortunately, two moments of madness by Bacary Sagna pretty much gave ManUre & Judas the tying goal.

So here's where we're at:

No movement3Chelsea343365
No movement4Arsenal353064
No movement5Tottenham341762
Remaining fixtures:

Arsenal:                     May 4th at QPR
                                   May 14th vs. Wigan
                                   May 19th at Newcastle

Chelsea:                     May 5th at Man. United
                                    May 8th vs. Tottenham
                                    May 11th at Aston Villa
                                    May 19th vs. Everton

Spuds:                         May 4th vs. Southampton
                                    May 8th at Chelsea
                                    May 12th at Stoke
                                    May 19th vs. Sunderland

Obviously we can't assume anything here, but

  • Arsenal MUST and should win their three remaining fixtures.
  • Chelsea or Spuds or both will lose points when they play each other May 8th.
It's raining on Spuds' season
  • I'm hoping that Arsenal win all 3 fixtures to finish with 73 points.
  • If Chelsea lose to Man. United and draw with Spuds the best they can do is 72 points.
  • If Spuds draw with Chelsea and win their other 3 games they'll finish with 72 points.
  • Spuds would miss out on goal differential and St. Totteringham's Day will officially be celebrated.

Rafa looks to the heavens for help.
Time will tell, but here's hoping for a May 19th St. Totteringham's Day holiday (or maybe even sooner).