Month: November 2019

Willis Reed, Walt Frazier, Bill Bradley, Patrick Ewing and now, Marcus Morris

By Scott Mandel

The Knicks are advertising their next game with, “come see Marcus Morris and the Knicks at MSG.”
Wow.

If this is not quite a sign that the apocalypse is on its way, it may be a sign that basketball, once known as the city game (when the city referred to was New York) has become a secondary event in this city and at Madison Square Garden, which used to house the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus every year until that entity also went out of business.

Is Jim Dolan, the Knicks owner, doing the same thing to the Knicks that happened to the circus or, have the Knicks, with a record of 4-14, become the new circus in town with Dolan as the ringleader?

Image result for marcus morris
The Knicks are advertising on social media to “come out to MSG to watch Marcus Morris and the Knicks in 2019. Their record is 4-14.

Penn State Did Not Lose to a Better Ohio State Team, Their Coach, James Franklin Lost to Better Coach

By Scott Mandel

James Franklin, the head coach of Penn State, is terrible.

Letting Ohio State’s #2, defensive end Chase Young, the best football player in the country, rush his quarterback without a double team, or even a strong-side chip from a tight end or running back, is pathetic coaching at any level.

Leaving his helpless offensive lineman, #71, out there on an island by himself to block Mr. Young in obvious passing situations was truly the stupidest coaching I have ever seen in my life.

Chase Young , Ohio State’s pass-rushing machine, today set the all-time record for the storied university’s football program for most sacks in a season today with 16.5 sacks. There are still more games to be played to the 2019 season yet James Franklin could not figure out how to help his overmatched right offensive tackle.

Hell, most of the offensive tackles in the NFL will be overmatched against Young, who is profiling as the next Lawrence Taylor in the league where they play for pay.

There are rumors James Franklin is going to interviewed for the head coaching job with the University of Southern California. My strong advice for Penn State backers is to help Franklin pack his bags and send him on his way.

Today, in Columbus, Ohio, Penn State was not beaten by a better team. They were beaten by a better coach.

Jets’ Owner, Christopher Johnson: “Adam Gase Is Our Coach. Period”

by Scott Mandel

So the Jets owner, Christopher Johnson, publicly pronounced that his choice of Adam Gase to be the head coach of the New York Jets on January 3rd of this year has been rewarded with the kind of progress all of us sane football fans can easily perceive.

I mean, who wouldn’t think a 2-7 football team wasn’t showing progress, right? Perhaps, the Jets “big win” over the 2-8 New York Giants changed everyone’s thinking around Jets land. But, is their thinking rational?

Here’s the thing. The Jets stink. Their offense, which is Gase’s baby, stinks. Their defense stinks. Their special teams stink.

So why is Christopher Johnson sticking with Adam Gase, then? One reason and one reason only.

Sam Darnold, the young quarterback drafted last year who has seemingly regressed in this, his second season as an NFL starting quarterback. Johnson and the Jets’ hierarchy are protecting Darnold from the awful prospect of having a winning head coach come in next season, with a winning track record and mucking up Darnold’s development.

We agree, with Johnson, but only to the extent the young quarterback should have the benefit of continuity within the offensive system Gase installed this year. But, It would not ruin Darnold’s career to go into yet, another system next season if Gase was relieved of his duties. Darnold, still only 22-years old, is talented and mobile, a prototypical modern quarterback in today’s NFL. His weaknesses of ball security and decision-making with many of his throws are fixable by any coaching staff, and are separate issues that have been a part of his history, going back to his college days at USC.

I am convinced this head coach is not going to be successful. He does not appear to have the personality or leadership skills to coach 53 players and the three platoons of a football team. he focuses on offense the way Rex Ryan focused on defense.

The reality is, his offensive systems have not proven successful in the past nor hase his play-calling been viewed as groundbreaking in any way.

If I’m running the Jets, should a better option than Adam Gase present itself, if a coach with a long career of winning and getting his teams into the postseason become available, I would get rid of Gase in a second. The still young Darnold can adjust to a third system. Especially when the current system sputters, anyway. And. before we start talking about offensive lines and injuries, always know that every NFL team has the same issues with offensive lines and injuries. 


Mike McCarthy would have had this team in a better place than 2-8, or whatever their record is.

Mets’ Pete Alonso Named National League Rookie of the Year

by Scott Mandel

New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso tonight was named the 2019 National League Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).

Alonso received 29 of 30 first-place votes and garnered 148 of a possible 150 voting points. He is the second Mets position player (also, Darryl Strawberry in 1983) and sixth player in club history overall to win the award. Four Mets pitchers have also been named Rookie of the Year: Tom Seaver (1967), Jon Matlack (1972), Dwight Gooden (1984) and Jacob deGrom (2014).

The 24-year-old put together one of the greatest offensive seasons ever by a rookie, setting numerous Mets and major league records. Most notably, he became the first Met and first rookie to lead the majors outright in home runs, swatting a major league rookie-record 53 blasts.

“I am so grateful to the Baseball Writers’ Association for their recognition,” Alonso said. “I’m truly blessed and humbled to be part of a group of some of the best to ever play the game. This season was the most special time I’ve ever had on a baseball field. I’m extremely thankful to the Mets for allowing me the opportunity to prove myself at the major league level this year. I can’t wait to get back to work in the spring and make a push for the postseason in 2020.”

Alonso was a three-time NL Rookie of the Month honoree, taking home the award in April, June and September. The only other players to win three NL Rookie of the Month awards are Jason Bay (2004) and Juan Soto (2018).

In addition to setting Mets club marks for home runs, extra-base hits (85) and total bases (348) in his first major league season, Alonso also established club rookie records for hits (155), RBI (120), runs scored (103), at-bats (597), plate appearances (693), games played (161), slugging percentage (.583), OBP (.358) and OPS (.941). He tied the club rookie record with 72 walks.

“Pete’s historic rookie season created great memories and thrilled Mets fans all year,” Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said. “We are very proud of how he represents our fans, teammates and the organization on and off the field with his energy, enthusiasm and passion.”

Alonso became the first rookie position player in Mets history to be named to the NL All-Star team. He was the first rookie to win the Home Run Derby outright as well, defeating fellow rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the final round. In the Midsummer Classic, he went 1-2 with a two-run single and a stolen base, making him the first rookie with multiple RBI in an All-Star Game.

“Pete was a joy to watch all season long for our passionate fans as well as all of us in the organization,” Mets Executive Vice President and General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen said. “We’re so proud to see his on-field results match his tireless work ethic.”

Alonso led the NL in extra-base hits, was second in total bases, third in RBI, sixth in slugging and seventh in OPS. He led all qualified rookies in games played, hits, home runs, RBI, OPS, extra-base hits, runs scored, walks, total bases and slugging percentage.

Alonso will receive the award during the 97th Annual New York Baseball Writers’ Dinner on January 25, 2020 at the New York Hilton Midtown Hotel.

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