EL BARRIO, EL FALLS: It is a good sports news week… if you ignore the likelihood Florida prosecutors will release video of Robert Kraft’s tug job [gag, vomit]. Sorry to
throw up throw in that tidbit but it is arguably numero uno on the List of Things I Can Die Happy Never Seeing. Anyway, let’s look away from that image and instead look at the Mets Best Rookie Position Player in Years, How 2019 shapes up for the Jets and Giants and finally, the NBA and NHL Playoffs.
Peter Alonso: Fake Sandy Alderson would not like hearing me praising the Real Sandy Alderson – but he does deserve some praise. Sandy did trade for Noah Syndergaard, and although he was an after thought in the trade to bring Travis d’Arnaud to the Mets, RSA gets praise for adding him to the deal. For those wondering, although Jacob deGrom was drafted in 2010 and Sandy started in 2010, deGrom was drafted by Omar Minaya, the General Manager at the time and now special assistant to the GM, Brodie Van Wagenen. Sandy’s latest pick to blossom is Pete “The Polar Bear” Alonso. The rookie just tied Ron Swoboda for best start to a Mets career in Home Runs. Alonso has a .333 batting average and 7 dingers. That’s been big for the Metsies, who are doing their best to be competitive in a very tough NL East. I could get into deGrom being shutdown for a sore elbow but this is not the time for bad news. Let’s celebrate the Mets finding a homegrown solution to one of the field positions.
NFL Schedule: According to The Sporting News, the two NY teams have a strength of schedule of .473, tying them with New England, Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals for 27th-31st in the league. This is mainly because the NFC East and AFC East play each other this season and both division are weak. Besides New England, the AFC East host 3 teams that were under .500. The NFC East is weak too with Philly and Dallas playoff teams but not high caliber.
The Giants also draw the NFC Central teams which aren’t that threatening – minus Chicago. The J-E-T-S are up against several squads in the AFC North, which only had one playoff team. But it has Pittsburgh, which just missed the playoffs and an improving Cleveland so it may not be so weak. The game is played on the field; I am sure this strength of schedule will be overrated halfway through the year.
NBA and NHL Playoffs: It is now time for the best part of the NBA and NHL season, the playoffs. Playoff hockey in general is more entertaining but playoff basketball has its moments. As a Knicks fan, I am not sure I know what playoffs are anymore... The NHL drew the first big shock of the playoffs as the 8 seed Colorado Avalanche upended the number 1 overall seed Calgary in 5 games. Sorry for the Canadians but that is the playoffs. In basketball, the Pacers keep getting the Celtics on the ropes but can’t seem to knock them down, so this may go to 7.
This is arguably the best part of the sports calendar so I encourage everyone to enjoy it as a neutral because as New Yorkers, we don’t have a team in it. Yeah, I said it Nets and Devils fans!