Author Archives: Chris Pummer

Manning vs. Manning

MIKE SILVA: You want a great quarterback? Give me Peyton. You want a championship quarterback? Give me Eli.

CHRIS PUMMER: Football being a team sport, I don’t think Eli Manning’s two Super Bowl titles puts him in the same class as his older brother. Continue reading

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Melvin Mora Remembered

MIKE SILVA: How often do late season call-ups make a huge impact on a team in the postseason? Some names that come up off the top of my head are Shane Spencer with the Yankees in 1998, K-Rod in Anaheim in 2002, and Francisco Cabrera with the Braves in 1992. The Mets had two such players under Bobby Valentine: Melvin Mora and Timo Perez.

CHRIS PUMMER: Melvin Mora’s career batting line after his 30th birthday: .281/.354/.441 in more than 5,000 plate appearances. That’s a pretty good career, even before you consider that he was used as a utility player until he was 33. If he’d posted the same numbers before 30 with the same number of plate appearances, he’d have finished with 3,006 hits. Continue reading

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Capuano or Marquis?

CHRIS PUMMER: Nobody is likely to remember Chris Capuano as the one that got away for the Mets, but the lefty did strike a pretty fair deal with the Dodgers. Certainly I think it will be better than…

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Best Athletic of the Moneyball Era

CHRIS PUMMER: Now that the Moneyball movie is moving to second-run theaters, and some of the better players for the A’s of a decade ago slowly fading into retirement, it might not be premature to consider who defined that era of baseball for Oakland. Continue reading

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Wally Backman’s Future

MIKE SILVA: Since the end of the 2011 season the Mets have extended Terry Collins another year to 2013, and announced an overhaul of their coaching staff. The latter didn’t include Binghamton manager Wally Backman, who many speculate will be offered the Triple-A job in Buffalo now that Tim Teufel has been promoted to coach third base in New York. What does the future hold for Backman? With the Mets I am unsure, but inevitably it will lead to a big league managerial job.

CHRIS PUMMER: If Backman were sidelined that long because of his troubled history, a coaching job in another organization might be available. But I doubt he’ll get the call for a high-profile major league managerial job.
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Jason Isringhausen and 300 Saves

CHRIS PUMMER: Not a lot of people seem enthused about Jason Isringhausen getting his 300th save, and I think that’s too bad. Ok, as far as milestones go, it’s not a big deal. But considering the injuries and struggles he had earlier in his career as a starter, why can’t we enjoy this kind of marker as a celebration of second chances? Continue reading

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Carlos Zambrano’s Legacy

HOWARD MEGDAL: If this is how it ends for Carlos Zambrano, I hope the focus won’t be on his contract. There was too much to like about him as a ballplayer.

CHRIS PUMMER: Finished or not, Zambrano’s best days have long been over. That means it’s quite likely his legacy as lunatic is cemented. Continue reading

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State of Soccer in USA

AIDAN KELLY: While the Women’s World Cup alone is not going to revolutionize the game, it is a cog in the forward moving wheel of the American soccer evolution.

MIKE SILVA: Every four years after the Olympics we hear stories about how soccer can grow in the United States. The discussion lasts a few days, and then our sports culture returns to normal with the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL (in that order) taking up the free time we have to dedicate to sports.

HOWARD MEGDAL: It was impossible to come away from Wednesday night’s MLS All Star Game at Red Bull Arena with the impression that soccer hasn’t put down real roots in the United States. Continue reading

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Phil Jackson: Career in Review

MIKE SILVA: Last week, NBA analyst Steve Kerr told Chris Russo of “Mad Dog Radio” that Phil Jackson’s strength was more motivational than “X’s” and “O’s.” Throughout his coaching tenure he would find ways to get into his players, opponents,…

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Keep Mike D’Antoni?

MIKE SILVA: The question should not be whether the Knicks keep Mike D’ Antoni for next season, but whether he is the right person to get this team to a championship level. Since Donnie Walsh took over in April of 2008 the goal was for the Knicks to clear cap room to make a run at Lebron James and another superstar. They didn’t get James, but Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony will do just fine. Now that Walsh seemingly will be in control for the next couple of years I have confidence the remaining pieces necessary will be added to round out the roster. There should be no doubt the Knicks will be, regardless of the new collective bargaining agreement, one of the top teams in the NBA over the next five years. The task for D’Antoni is to get them to win a championship, something he failed to do during his time in Phoenix.

HOWARD MEGDAL: Mike is probably right: D’Antoni simply hasn’t done enough to lose his job. But I am concerned about the idea of sacrificing a season to D’Antoni, if he truly isn’t the person to coach this team (and issues of both defense and offense are still to be determined). Continue reading

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