NEW YORK, NY – The NBA schedule was released yesterday. I know what you’re thinking. Different Matt? Leading with NBA basktball? Yup. Wonders never cease. What struck me about the schedule was that the Christmas schedule includes a real doozy. The Knicks and 76ers will face off on Baby Jesus’ birthday in what is sure to be a showcase of draft lottery hopefuls. The Eastern Conference bottom feeders will tip off at noon and will be sure to put all of the crazed children, blissfully drunk on new toys, down for their afternoon naps. Hey – they can’t all be winners, folks.
Onto more pressing matters. The New York Baseball Yankees are sputtering along, four and a half games behind the Red Sox and holding the #1 Wild Card slot. The Baby Bombers‘ big bats have gone eerily silent recently. Aaron Judge has seen his numbers sink faster than the Titanic. I don’t think this is a Bobby Abreu Home Run Derby situation. He’s worn out and now he’s pressing a bit.
Since the break he’s been swinging at a lot of bad pitches, making less contact, and striking out more. He’s playing like he did at the end of last season when people were convinced he’d never fix the holes in his swing. We’ve seen how Judge can hit when he’s on. He needs to get back to his first half form where he was laying off of bad pitches and not pulling off of the ball.
Gary Sanchez won’t be a catcher very long. He’s struggled defensively behind the plate and he’s banged up. He’ll be a full-time DH soon. He was back behind the plate Tuesday after taking a couple of games off from catching, and he took a pitch to the wrist while batting.
Football is upon us. The Hall of Fame game is in the books and we’ve got a slew of preseason games tonight. Fantasy football managers will be developing their draft strategies that will go to mud as soon as the first picks are made. I’m not sweating it this year. I never do, actually. I don’t even know why I play. My Giants will be better this year. They made a lot of moves to bolster the squad, but they didn’t address the offensive line. If Eli has time in the pocket, Big Blue will be just fine. But that just doesn’t seem likely. And none of that matters anyway. The Patriots will cheat their way to another Super Bowl victory.
On to Hockey. We’re only a month or so away from NHL preseason. Things will finally be back to normal. I’m going to be optimistic about the Rangers’ chances this year. There are a lot of new faces in the squad. I think they may start slowly but will pick up once the team has had a chance to mesh. The defense will definitely be better. And that’s a plus.
That’s all for me today, come back tomorrow for Grinding Ax Walter Hynes.