Elster's World

Friday, October 03, 2008

Slooooow Friday

Since I'm sitting here anyway reading about sports online, I might as well write about sports online (I'm sure Joe would disagree):

Mets Post-Mortem

All in all, another horrifically disappointing season. There were some ups (most notably the All Star Break run, Johan Santana living up to expectations, Delgado's return to performance enhancing...I mean his second half surge, Mike Pelfrey's breakout, Ryan Church's April, Jerry Manuel's run and the return of Duaner Sanchez - ok the last one was a joke) but there were mostly downs (including David Wright's quiet 124 RBI, the bullpen, John Maine's injuries, Pedro, the bullpen, Alou's quad, the bullpen, Willie's first half, the bullpen, Carlos Delgado's first half and the bullpen - oh and let's not forget Billy Wagner's 120 blown saves and the meltdown of his arm down the stretch..again).

At the end of the day, a team that's been built to WIN NOW has managed to not make the playoffs two straight years. The blame - well there's plenty of blame to go around. Omar Minaya did an awful job of constructing the bullpen (did the Mets really need two lefty specialists?) and for all the accumulation of "power arms", Aaron Heilman was the only guy who could throw harder than 90 miles an hour for the majority of the season. Minaya was silly to rely on Alou and Pedro - both famously falling apart in their twilight years (and yes Joe - I will still defend the Pedro signing for all eternity so feel free NOT to bring it up below) and was bailed out only because Nick evans and The Murph managed to be effective players in left - neither of their natural positions. Willie was just terrible this season until he was infamously canned at 2:00 am in California - another embarrassment for the front office. David Wright had a statistically great season but every Met fan will tell you he astoundingly morphed into A-Rod this year. Carlos Beltran was way too quiet for way too much of the season after making the "team to beat" statement in March (no Carlos, we haven't forgotten) and Oliver Perez was way too inconsistent.

(Speaking of which, when the evil Scot Boras starts shopping him around for 6 years at 14 million per, wouldn't you rather take C.C. Sabbathia at 7 years and 18 million per? At least he's totally money And then you have a rotation of Santana, Sabbathia, Pelfrey, Maine and Parnell or Neise - hey it aint my money. But my point is, there's no way the Mets should overpay for Perez)

Minaya got an extension and hopefully the Mets will work out something with Manuel. Minaya must must must fix the bullpen, upgrade left, hope the Murph can play second base, find a number 5 starter on the cheap, find a closer and upgrade the bullpen (notice a theme here?).

So that's the Mets.

Jets Quarterly Report

The Jets went into the season with new acquisitions and high hopes. After the first four games they are pretty much exactly where everyone thought they would be: 2-2. How are they getting there?

QB - Favre is an upgrade over Pennington - to me that's not opinion, it's a fact. Obviously he comes with risk that Chad never did (terrible picks, crazy decisions) but he gives the offense a new dimension - he buys himself time to make throws and he can get the ball down field...HARD. he had an awful game against the Chargers (but the team did too) and he was brilliant against the cards. He's somewhere in between those 2 games - and should get better as he clicks more with his receivers. Grade B+ (on the way up)

RB - Um, well let's see. Thomas Jones has been awful (I admit, i did not see that coming) and Leon Washington has been underused (though he's not an every down back) but he's too small to be a good blocker. Tony Richardson has not made an impact. Offensive line hasn't helped the cause. Grade D+

Receivers/Tight Ends - Getting better as the season goes on. Coles and Cotchery are a good tandem and have shown the ability to stretch the field with a stronger armed QB. Keller is good and Chasney Stuckey is showing why he was the original name of Joe's fantasy football team (until his season ending injury). Chris Baker has been quiet so far this season. Not a big fan of Bubba Franks. A

Line - In a few words - not bad pass protecting but terrible running. Have not seen any signs that Alan Faneca is making the players around him better. One of the writers I read said Brick has been better this season and I'll take his word for it. If the line can improve significantly from where it is right now, the jets are a good offensive team. C

Defensive Line - Much better against the run. Actually pressuring the QB. Jenkins has been good, Ellis has been good and I've even heard the name "Coleman" this season. The backups aren't making too much of an impact. B+

Linebackers - So in retrospect, wouldn't an inside of Harris and Vilma have been an upgrade over Harris/Barton? Is Barton the best late hitter in football? Is it possible that he's lost 5 steps? In other words, the inside LB's haven't been very good. Calvin Pace has really impressed me this season against the pass AND run and it's nice to see that Bryan Thomas can play well every other year. Really, that's nice. Vernon Gholston's 7 sacks have been remarkable. B

Secondary - There's Rhodes and Reevis, half a Lowery and pray for rain. Is the suspension of Eric Smith really a bad thing for the Jets? Eric Smith is such a made up name anyway - it sounds like the name you'd put on a hotel register if you were there for an affair. By the way, I'm officially adding Reevis to the Shut Down Corner roster and I'm also begging Rhodes to start making more fantasy plays for me. C

The Jets defense has for the last few years made nice strides after the bye week. if that continues, and the offensive line gets better, i believe the Jets are a 10-6 playoff team.

Knicks and Rangers

New personnel (Rangers), new system (Knicks) so everything remains to be seen.

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