New York, NY – We’re almost a month into this baseball season and the Yankees have won more games than I thought they would win before the All Star break. And the Mets have won more games than I thought they would win all season. Up in Boston, the Bosox are off to a flying start also. Funny how the two teams a lot of people picked to prop up the AL East (myself included) are leading the way in the early goings. The Blue Jays‘ season hasn’t gotten traction yet. And a weekend set against this Yankees may be just the thing to jump start their campaign.
With yesterday’s news that Derek Jeter won’t be ready for May 1st (or June 1st or probably July 1st either), the role of the bit-part players in the Yankees lineup has taken on added importance. Jeter’s replacement, Jayson Nix will have to pick it up. He’s batting well below the Mendoza line at .167. And as the Yankees and Diamondbacks played long into the night in front of a crowd small enough to get Red Barber fired, it became alarmingly clear to me that this Yankee team can not keep this up much longer. They will need to get some of their stars healthy and back in the lineup before the wheels really come off.
The Mets season was doomed by mother nature before it could gain any real momentum. Snow-outs in Minnesota and Colorado followed by the Rockies taking both games of Tuesday’s twin billing have left the Mets in a tail spin. They are back down to .500 heading into a weekend set against the Nationals. For the Mets, it may be time to call up Zack Wheeler. After Niese and Harvey, the Metropolitans would do better throwing a concussed Short Matt out there to pitch. Bring up the kid and give the fans a decent reason to go to Citi Field.
On the ice, the Rangers are clinging to that last playoff spot. They’re locked in a Michael Vick-style dog fight with the Winnipeg Jets for the final playoff spot. The two teams are even on points but the Rangers have a game in hand over the Jets. Mats Zuccharello is back with the big club and he has been a major contributor over the past week or so. He scored a pair of goals last night in the Rangers’ 6-1 win over the Panthers.
Out at the Mausoleum,the Islanders keep winning, beating Cheesy’s Bruins and the Maple Leafs this week to tighten their grip on 7th place in the East. I still don’t see much strategy to their game, other than working really hard, but that has been enough to power them into the playoffs. The Devils snapped their losing streak last night but they are too far gone. They won’t make the playoffs unless a lot of teams lose a lot of games in the next week.
Finally this weekend starts the NBA playoffs. The New York Knickerbockers locked up the #2 seed and home court for a couple of rounds. In the first round, the Knicks will play the Celtics. Mike Woodson has done a great job with this team and they should have what it takes to get through Boston in the first round. On a related note, when is the Garden going to have a Mike Woodson stick-on goatee night. Every fan in attendance gets a fake goatee as thick and dark as crude oil.
Thats it for me today. Enjoy the weekend.