635 days later

It has been 635 days since the Cleveland Browns last won a regular season football game. On Thursday night the Browns played the Jets and ended that streak by beating the Jets 21-17. For much of the first two games fans and critics have said that they need to start rookie QB and the first pick the draft, Baker Mayfield. However, I disagreed with that argument because I believed that by him sitting until he was needed, it gave him a chance to learn from the sidelines. The NFL is a lot different than college football and by rushing a QB in to early it could ruin him. Perfect example is Johnny Manziel, had he sat and learned the offense and the speed of the game he may have turned out differently. Another example is Aaron Rodgers; he sat for years behind Brett Favre. Now, I realize that Tyrod Taylor is no Brett Favre; however, Taylor was still performing well enough to put the team in a good spot to win the first two games.

Tyrod Taylor’s first game he went 15-40 for 197 yards a touchdown and an interception and 77 rushing yards on 8 carries against the Steelers, a game that they ended in a tie. Game 2 against the Saints he went 22-30 for 246 yards one touchdown and one interception along with 26 rushing yards on 4 carries. The game ended in a loss but because of missed attempts by the kicker, who was then released the next day. These numbers show that Taylor was not to blame for the 0-1-1 start; rather he should be praised for keeping the Browns in the games. However, on Thursday, Taylor started the game in terrible fashion and it seemed like the clock was ticking for the Baker Mayfield era. Taylor took a hit late in the 2nd quarter and was ruled out for the remainder of the game, and it was at that time Cleveland got a look at the future.

Baker comes in down by 14 points and on his first drive goes 3-4 for 47 yards and gets the Browns in field goal range to begin chipping away at the Jets lead.  Baker comes out of the half and picked up right where he left off.  The Browns went on to score 18 points in the second half while holding the Jets to only 3 points.  The Browns broke the winless streak and their QB of the future finished 17-23 for 201 yards and a receiving touchdown.

The Browns finally won a game but the key is not only that Baker looks the QB of the future for the Browns but the fact that if the Browns had a competent kicker they are sitting at 3-0 and are shocking the world.  This team has started to put all the pieces together and is beginning to look like an actual NFL team right now.  The Cleveland fans went crazy on Thursday night and from the videos seen of all the fans celebrating in bars and in their homes and how social media exploded some could have believed the Browns just won the Super Bowl. There is a lot to be excited about right now if you are a Browns fan and there is a lot of energy on this team. This being said, to all the NFL fans that have laughed and joked at the Browns expense, hold on because this team might not be the mistake on the lake for much longer.

The right move for David Wright

The long expected news came out yesterday that David Wright will retire at the end of this season. The Mets captain has not played in the MLB since 2016 due to injuries and it seemed inevitable that his career was over. David Wright was not only a fan favorite on the Mets but a fan favorite in all of baseball. Wright came to play every day with a positive attitude and played the game the right way.

David Wright has spent 13 years with the Mets and during that time he has posted a career .296 batting average, .376 OBP, .491 SLG, .867 OPS. Furthermore, he has played the second-most games in Mets history, he has the most at bats, hits, RBI, walks, runs scored and total bases in Mets history during his 13 years in the Queens. He started in 5 All Star games which makes him tied with Darryl Strawberry for second most starts in an All-Star Game in Mets history and his career average 3.8 WAR per season is the most among any position player with at least five years in the Mets Organization. The numbers show that David Wright was not only talented but it shows that even though he has struggled with injures half of his  career, he has refused to quit and kept working to get back to playing at the high level he was capable of.  Wright earned many honors during his career, he is a 7x all-star, 2x gold glove and silver slugger winner an the 2012 NL Defensive Player of the Year.

While Wright was an all-star on the field he was just as big of an all-star off the field. I personally had the honor to meet Mr. Wright when he was inducted into the Fall League Hall of Fame in Scottsdale Arizona in 2017 and he was one of the classiest people I have met. He walked up and down the first and third base sides signing autographs for fans making sure he got pretty much everyone who wanted one. Mr. Wright loves his fans and loves the game of baseball. It is with great sadness that we have to say goodbye not only to a legend of the game but one of the most real, genuine people in pro baseball.

Hard times For The Mets

The start of the 2018 season looked like the Mets were going to not only be the best team in the National League East, but they had the look of the potential best team in all of baseball. They had a great 10-1 start which was the best start in team history and everything seemed to be clicking. However, as every Mets fan knows, good things haven’t happened to the organization in many, many years and it was only a matter of time before the wheels fell off. Well, it happened, after a great start the fun loveable Mets became what every fan was used to. Today the Mets are sitting in fourth place in the NL East and are 28-36 and 9.5 games out of first place in the division.

The Mets tend to make questionable decisions. This is proved true when looking at the roster. The roster is made up of many players that are past their prime and showing age. Example such as Adrian Gonzalez, this guy has been a traveling piece these past few years with stints in LA and Boston and then an even shorter stint with the Mets. In 54 games he batted .237 with a .299 OBP his age was showing at first base and did not seem very mobile, this was reflected in a -.6 The Mets released him, but their problems remained.

The Mets signed Jose Bautista who has not been the same player after his famous bat flip in the playoffs against Texas and who can forget when he got rocked by Odor the following season. Regardless, the season started and he did not have a team. Finally, the Braves sign him, that experiment failed, he was released and who else but the Mets came swooping in to sign him. This year Bautista is batting .200 with only 2 homeruns thus far and a WAR of .1.

Matt Harvey was another one who was not only unproductive on the mound but seemed to be a toxic teammate and did not have many friends with in the clubhouse. Poor start after poor start and no sign of being the dark knight that he once was the Mets had no choice but to trade him to the Reds and move on from what at one time was their Ace of the pitching staff.

The issue is not just these guys however, the injury bug has hit the Mets, just like it has in previous years. Who knows when, if ever David Wright will come back. Noah Syndergaard is out on the DL. Yoenis Cespedes is still rehabbing an injury, Todd Frazier has spent some time this season on the DL. Guys such as Wilmer Flores, AJ Ramos, Kevin Plawecki, Juan Lagares and Jeurys Familia have all been on the DL already this season.

The bright spot for this team is their starting pitcher Jacob DeGrom. In the last 62.1 innings pitched he has only 6 earned runs and has an ERA of .87 the guy has been lights out. The down fall, the Mets have so many guys either injured or in bad slumps they cannot score runs for the poor guy. DeGrom is 2-8 in those last 10 games and it isn’t his fault he has been nearly perfect. It is safe to safe the Mets will be active before the trade deadline in July. They need younger top prospects and need to start the rebuilding process. This means they could be forced to get rid of DeGrom if the deal is sweet enough. Which is sad sight for Mets fans, the one positive thing about the team could be gone before seasons end.

Life for Mets fans is hard, but hang in their fans. If the organization can rebuild the right way the song could be different in the future. We all seen this to be true with the Cubs and even the young Yankee team right now. However, the fans have seen the choices this organization has made, so maybe the last lucky time for the Mets was in the 1986 world series.

Christmas came early for the Yankees this year

Yankee fans everywhere woke up to the news that their team signed Giancarlo Stanton. The slugger from the Marlins is making a new home in the Bronx and what a sight that will be. Yankee fans are acting like children on Christmas morning when they asked for a gift they thought they would never get but then get surprised with it. While the rest of MLB feels like they just got into a car wreck with a train. Stanton without a doubt will be amazing playing in Yankee Stadium with that short right field and batting along guys like Judge and Sanchez.

Not only is this good for the Yankee’s that a huge star player signed with them but who better to help Judge improve his consistency and becoming a better player than Stanton? Plus, now they have an abundance of outfielders so it is likely that they will rotate around between playing the field and batting DH. This is a plus because it will likely keep them healthier during the long season and keep them fresher for the postseason. It seemed as if the Marlins were really running out of options and Stanton had a no trade clause in his contracted which allowed him to veto the Cardinals and the Giants trade offers. Eric Hubbs from Barstool sports said it best last night, he said with Stanton giving his list of teams he would be willing to go to and with many other teams dropping out left and right, the Yankees were the only guys left at the bar to make a trade with if the Marlins wanted him gone that bad.

The trade consisted of the Yankees getting Stanton and the Marlins getting Starlin Castro as well as two minor league prospects (Jorge Guzman and Jose Devers) also the Marlins are willing to eat 30 million from the Stanton contract and that makes it so the Yankees will end up paying Stanton 265 million instead of 295 million. Basically, a steal for the Yankees  when looking at the player Stanton is as well as what they had to give up for him. The prospects they gave up was surprising especially with Miami just getting rid of Dee Gordon it seemed likely that they would take the Yankees #1 prospect Gleyber Torres instead of Castro for rebuilding purposes as well as another top prospect such as perhaps Chance Adams to improve the pitching down there in south beach. However, that is not what happened and the Yankees are sure happy about that.

This trade makes me think back to when the Yankees got Alex Rodriguez and how excited Yankee fans were then. Now obviously that ended in a bitter sweet way and the Yankees hope for a better ending with Stanton but none the less. Stanton is just as polarizing as A-Rod was and with the ability to help Judge and Sanchez makes this even bigger. Just to give you a look at the possible numbers, last year Judge hit 52 home runs last season Stanton hit 59 and Sanchez hit 33 that is a combined 144 home runs just between those three guys. Plus, they have arguably the best bullpen in baseball with Robertson, Betances and Chapman. This is going to be a very scary team to face. Ladies and Gentlemen, this could be the beginning of another Yankee dynasty and a rebirth of the evil empire.

Oh No Ohtani

One of the hottest names out there in MLB right now is Japanese player Shohei Ohtani. The “Japanese Babe Ruth” as some are calling him. This guy can pitch and he can hit and he wants to come to America and play with the best players in the world. Nothing wrong with that right? Well, here is the problem, this guy makes zero sense professionally. Athletes will tell you one of two things usually, one, they play to win championships. Ohtani will not tell you that. The other reason is to get rich, but again Ohtanti will not be telling you that either. No, Ohtanti says he wants people to like him and he wants to judge his career on the amount of applause he gets when he ends up retiring.

Who the hell does this guy think he is? You get referred to as the Japanese Babe Ruth which is arguably the greatest compliment ever and you do not care about money, championships or traditions? Now I get it, it’s a child’s game and he is playing for the love of the game but if that is the case, why not just stay in Japan? This guy passed on millions of dollars to come over here now instead of waiting 2 years. Again, I have no problem with this but what reason is behind coming here if it is all about the fans.

When Ohtani arrived the first teams he ruled out was the Yankees, Red Sox and Twins. It seemed like a very odd move but he made a statement that he wanted to play on the west coast because it was closer to Japan. I get it he wants the flight home to be shorter, no problem with that. However, like everything else this guy does he makes a statement that makes no sense he then says the Cubs and Rangers are still in the hunt. Ohtani, look at a god damn map, Chicago Illinois and Arlington Texas are not on the west coast they are both very much in the mid-west. Ohtani then said he wants to play for a small market team because he is afraid of the big cities. Odd move, like did he think that some place like Waco Texas would have a pro baseball team? But then he keeps L.A. on the list of possible teams he might sign with.

Ohtani sets off a lot of red flags for me and I would pass on him if I was a GM because another thing is his numbers are not as dominating as some think. When compared to guys like Ichiro, Tanaka, Hideki Matsui and other Japanese greats they dominated other players in Japan and was truly the best in their country. Ohtani said himself that there are so many more players that are better pitchers and hitters in Japan than him, this is what he said in an interview with Jon Morosi. The confidence is not there which is yet another red flag. Ohtani might come over and maybe he will be in the same conversation with Ichiro and Matsui but he has seemed more like a confused person rather than a legit pro athlete.

When it rains it pours on the Yankees

The Yankees are trying to win the division and are currently only 4.5 games out of first place. The issue is that when it rains it seems to pour on this team. Many issues are going on such as Judge can no longer hit, Sanchez cannot catch balls which is less than ideal when you play catcher. CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda are on the DL and now they can add Mashahiro Tanaka to that list.

Having these issues are not good news for a team who has a legit chance to catch Boston and take over first place in the AL east. Getting hit with the injury bug is part of the game, especially when the season is so long but this is just terrible timing.

Granted Tanaka and CC have been less than stellar to watch and even at times painful for Yankee fans, but they are still MLB starters and the best the team have on the pitching rotation. Thank god, the Yankees went out and traded for Sonny Gray, otherwise this situation would be much worse. My advice to Yankee fans, keep your head up, the bullpen is still really good with David Robertson, Dellin Betances and Aroldis Chapman and besides it could be worse, you could be the Mets, have arguably one of the best rotations (at least on paper) and have a good chance to end the year with a losing record.

The Yankees are a young team and will figure it all out. This team looks like if healthy and once all the kinks are ironed out, will start to look like contenders every year again, just like Yankee fans are used to. Every storm runs out of rain so hang in there Yankee fans.

The verdict is still out on Judge

Aaron Judge blew the minds of many baseball fans during the first half of the season. Judge was batting .329 with 30 HR’s and 66 RBI’s and seemed like a for sure lock to win the rookie of the year and possibly even MVP. He goes to the Home run Derby, puts on a great show and goes on to win. Hell, the Yankees even made “the Judge chambers” in the right field sections. Impressive for a guy who many was surprised made the opening day roster. The issue is the numbers he put up since the break.

Since the break, Judge is batting .169 with 5 HR’s and 12 RBI’s. and is one of the top leaders in the league in strikeouts. These numbers are very troubling for a guy who was demolishing pitchers earlier in the year. Some fans are worried that the homerun derby messed up his swing, some others say he is just in a slump and he will be fine, and yes even though he is struggling right now his season stats as of mid-August, are a .292 batting average with 78 RBI’s and 35 HR’s and has a chance to still finish the season with great numbers. However, I am not sold either way yet.

Watching what Judge did the first half was fun to watch and was truly incredible but even when he was at the top of his game I was not convinced it would last, let’s remember the numbers Judge put up last year for the time he was with the Yankees. In 84 at bats in the 2016 season he was batting .179 with 4 HR’s and 10 RBI’s. These numbers look like his numbers post all-star break this year. As much as I want Judge to back to the numbers he was putting up earlier this year I am not sure he will.

Sure, the Yankees have kind of spoiled their fans these past decades with all the world series wins and guys like Jeter and Rivera, who were the most consistent in the league and in MLB history. Fans have seen what Judge can do but they have also seen someone who is a strikeout leader and unable to get base hits and is not consistent.  So, before we “All Rise for Judge” lets deliberate a little longer and make sure that he is the real deal and not just a flash in the pan.