NEW YORK, NY – We’re into September and a chill is in the air. This is usually the best time of year for sports. The NFL and NCAA football seasons get into full swing, the baseball pennant races heat up, and hockey training camps start, signaling the imminent return of the NHL season. But this year is different. There are no meaningful baseball around these parts down the stretch. The NFL has waffled on its tolerance of the delinquency of its own players. And their fearless leader, who made so much money for the league, went into hiding.
On the baseball field, the Yankees’ challenge for one of the Wild Card spots in the AL never really left the launch pad. As AW predicted a couple of weeks ago, the Orioles and Buck Showalter gave the Yanks no quarter last week. The Yanks aren’t winning games at anywhere near the .750 clip that they needed to have any shot of making the playoffs. Derek Jeter, on his victory lap of the league, couldn’t hit a barn door with a banjo. He is probably as sick of all of the Farewell Jeter nonsense that the Yankees have been pouring on in the attempt to sell a few more jerseys and hats as the rest of us. Now Jeter will be looking forward to his last career game, a meaningless affair between the eliminated Yanks and the cellar dwelling Boston Red Sox at Fenway.
Over in Queens the only thing to cheer has been Jacob deGrom, the rookie righty who has had a stellar rookie season for a team mired in mediocrity. deGrom should be a shoe-in for the NL Rookie of the Year award, as FSA predicted yesterday. In his most recent start, DeGrom struck out the first eight batters he faced. My only issue with this is that he struck out the meat and potatoes of the Marlins’ lineup and got to the pitcher and couldn’t strike him out. What happened there? Nevertheless, it was a great achievement and the kid has a bright future. He’ll look great in pinstripes in a few years when the Yankees overpay for him. Until then, Mets fans should enjoy watching him pitch every fifth day. With Harvey and deGrom at the top of the rotation next year, the Amazin’s should finally be able to win the number of games that the front office has predicted they would win for the last few years.
A lot of column inches and comments have been dedicated to the mess the NFL and its criminal contingency have created over the last month or so. I, like my brethren here in Mattvtille, am afraid that Roger Goodell’s sudden disappearance from the spotlight is an attempt by him and the owners to let the controversy blow over and keep Goodell gainfully employed it doesn’t work. A change at top of the league’s administration is absolutely necessary to show that the NFL is serious about changing its wife-beating, child-lashing, dog-fighting, performance enhancing ways.
Hockey training camps have started. Pre-season games will be starting soon. It will be a welcome break from the NFL nonsense.
Tune in tomorrow for Emmitt Smith look-a-like, Junoir Blaber.