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.

Serena is not above the rules

The U.S. Open ended in controversy last weekend because of decisions that the chair umpire made by penalizing Serena Williams. It all started when Williams’s coach was seen coaching her from the stands. This is an odd rule in tennis where the coach cannot coach the player during some tournaments. Regardless of the feelings on this rule, it is a rule and it has to be enforced. Williams told the umpire she was not being coached however, her coach went on record saying he was coaching and coaches her during every event. The umpire gave her a warning for the violation. The match went on and Serena was not playing well and out of frustration she decided to slam her racket on the ground. Thus, leading to another violation and Williams was issued a lost point. Serena was not happy about the decision and reacted by yelling at the umpire and calling him a thief. The umpire then was forced to give the next penalty which is a loss of a game. Serena declared that her penalties were given because she was a black woman and she wouldn’t have gotten them if she was a male.

The reason I decided to hold out on writing this blog is because I had a strong feeling there was going to be a bigger story to come out of this situation. Sure enough, there is, umpires are now talking about boycotting Williams’s upcoming matches. This is not because she is black or a woman this goes far beyond race and gender. This is an issue of attitude and professionalism, Serena has had a history of yelling at umpires and breaking rackets when she is losing or not playing well. The umpire that issued the violations to Serena has given similar penalties to top male players. This is why the umpires are upset the fact that Serena lost the match and fans boo and have blamed the umpires makes it an issue. The fans arguments they produce is that it was unfair, it was given to her due to her race and gender. These are all basically ways to say that Serena is above the rules.

This is why the umpires are considering boycotting her matches. The rules are the rules and the umpire was more than fair with Williams. Williams has acted like an entitled child for most of her career and finally the umpires have had enough and the fans should as well instead of defending her for being unprofessional and obnoxious. Serena did not lose because of the umpire. Serena lost because of Serena. Had Serena played better she could have won, had she not slammed her racket or yelled at the umpire she would not have lost the point or the game. Follow the rules, play the game correctly, control your temper. As the saying goes, play stupid games win stupid prizes, and all the games Serena was playing and has been playing most of her career are catching up to her.

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.

Gruden is getting PAID

The Oakland Raiders have announced that Jon Gruden is set to become their new head coach. Furthermore, Gruden is going to now be the highest paid coach in NFL history with a 10 year, 100-million-dollar contract with possible ownership stakes. Gruden has not coached in the NFL since 2009, however he was still involved with the NFL, he was a commentator on Monday Night Football as well as having his own show Grudens QB Camp where he worked with soon to be drafted QB’s.

I like the move by the Raiders. This is a guy who knows the game and has been around the game even when he was not coaching. Gruden worked with his now starting QB Derek Carr when he was about to go pro so he already knows how to elevate his game. Gruden also knows the strengths and weakness of other young QB’s since he has worked with most of them. Which will give him the advantage when working with his Defense.

Many people might not like the amount of money Gruden is going to get, let alone the fact that it is a 10-year deal but it seems like every year when there is a coaching job open, sports networks always throw in Gruden’s name as a possibility because they know that this is a guy who not only knows the game, but also is a coach that can win games and elevate his team’s performance.

Giants Land Longoria

The Giants traded for third baseman Evan Longoria today. This is a great thing for the Giants considering the fact that they now do not have to worry about playing Pablo Sandoval. I like this move for the Giants because this means they have a gold glove third baseman who even though his last couple years have not been as good as what we know he can do, they are still pretty good. Longoria also has a contract that would not hurt the Giants he has 5 years 81 million left on his contract so it gives the Giants a little wiggle room with keeping him or using him to trade for someone else down the line.

The biggest thing I have been hearing is why him? Why sign Longoria when there is better third basemen that teams are shopping for or are free agents. The answer to these questions in my opinion are simple it because since 2013 Longoria has played in almost every game of the year since 2013 the fewest games he has played in was 156. Longoria will be on the field almost every day making plays and getting hits. He is a consistent player for the most part and that is what the Giants need in order to be a contender in that division. He hovers around batting .270 every year which helps the Giants know what they are truly getting.

I am fine with the Giants passing on guys like Machado or a Moustakas because you get more in the sense of better contract with Longoria. Longoria is more consistent in the numbers and if you try to trade him it will not be too difficult plus Machado could only be there for one year anyway. The Giants still need a lot of help to get back to the dominating team they were but this is a step in the right direction.

Mad Marlins

This off season has been a tough one for Marlin fans. Derek Jeter comes in and starts firing people left and right and then he gets rid of their best players for prospects and a bucket of balls. Yesterday the Marlins fans had a chance to tell Jeter how they really felt. Many were fighting back tears because they love the team so much and others were just pissed and told him they had no plans to renew their season tickets. It is a tough time in Miami right now no doubt about it.

However, let us just recap what has happened before Jeter took over. Miami has not had a winning record since 2009. As matter of fact they only have six winning seasons since their existence is 1993. Now they do have two world series titles one that even came against Jeter’s Yankees in 2003 but oh wait, the next year they get rid of their best players and their world series MVP goes to Boston and wins them a world series a few years later. Marlins fans are a tough group of people it takes a lot to put up with constantly losing and never having much to be proud of.

The issue I have is that the fans in south beach are making it sound like it is all Jeter’s fault. They are upset that he is gutting the whole organization. But why are they mad? It is not like they were winning with who they had and furthermore the contracts they had tied the hands on the organization to become better. Stanton had to go to New York for many reasons but the biggest is to get rid of the massive contract because the Marlins are not the Yankees they cannot throw that much money at a player and be able to keep growing. Besides it is a known fact that nobody goes to Marlins games the stadium is always empty which is another reason for television companies not to show their games. Last season they ranked 28th out of 30 in attendance beating out only Oakland and Tampa Bay. These prove that even by having a relatively new stadium people will not come if you cannot win games.

I am fine with what Jeter is doing in Miami because it needs to be done if you are not winning games people will get fired and the organization should get shook up. Jeter is right by getting young player that can become the future and get extras that can be traded away for more talent and depth. So, my feelings are very simple towards Marlins fans. Shut up and trust the man, it cannot be much worse for you all then what it already has been and if you do not believe me then look at your attendance and think to yourself why is there nobody here. True fans will stick it out through the good and the bad. If Jeter makes this a playoff team in the future I hope you all will look back and realize how stupid you looked because you threw a fit over losing a couple of players and did not trust the Jeter to build a winning team.