Saturday, December 16, 2017

Thank You Mike

We have reached the end of an era on WFAN, the top sports talk station in the New York market. Mike Francesa, who had been hosting on the network for the last 28 years, held his final broadcast on Friday, ending a long and very storied run on the airwaves. He is a big reason why not only WFAN is the success it is, but a big reason why sports talk radio is as successful a format as it is on the radio dial.

Francesa did things a little bit differently then other talk show hosts. He kind of considered himself like a Grand Poobah when it came to sports talk and sports in general. He felt that his opinions were the right one and that everybody else was either misguided or wrong. That's what made this entertaining because you never knew what he was going to say next. He had a lot going behind him to back him up however. He was a sports encyclopedia, he knew pretty much everything in relation to sports in New York (with the exception of hockey which he admitted he didn't know much about).

Francesa talked about what he felt he was right about when it came to sports whether it was right or not, it was his opinion and he stuck with it. It drew many ranges of emotions out of his listeners and it got the phone lines lighting up, which is the ultimate goal in sports talk radio. He was right on some of his opinions, he knows college basketball better then any other talk show host I've ever heard. Some areas like hockey, he doesn't know very well but he did a admirable job covering up for it. Sure he had his moments. Like hanging up on fans he was unhappy with. If he ever had a bad caller, or one he was just annoyed with, he'd drop the caller right away. That annoyed a few people, and I'll admit I was one of those who on occasion got annoyed by it as well. But because he took so many calls during the course of a day he had to do things like that at times. Every time he would open up his microphone he was always ready to go. He had passion in every single segment he did and it was infectious.

On a personal note, I do want to take this opportunity to thank Mike. I was such a big fan of him and Mad Dog, listening to them everyday was a joy. Hearing them on WFAN was a big reason why I wanted to get into the broadcasting profession in the first place. They were the reason why I wanted to host my own radio show. Just hearing the emotion he had in his voice and the passion behind every one of his arguments made for fantastic radio. It really helped me figure out what I wanted to do with my career.

When Francesa closed out his final broadcast on WFAN by saying this: “More than anything else going out, I want to thank you guys, the listeners, the audience, because without you, we don’t last a week, we don’t last a month. So what I’d like to say to you is I’ll miss you, I thank you, and from the bottom of my heart, I love you. Goodbye.”

No Mike, thank you. Thanks for keeping us entertained all this years and making it fun to tune into the fan each and every day.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Best And Worst Of NFL Week Fourteen

Week Fourteen in the National Football League turned out to be one of the more interesting weeks in the league this season. We had two teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles, clinch division titles. Philadelphia's title, though, came at a bit of a price, now that Wentz is done for the season with an injured knee. New England laid an egg in Mexico City against the Dolphins, while the 49ers have picked up a winning momentum with Jimmy Garoppolo as their starting QB.  One of the coolest things going on this week was the snow game in Buffalo between the Bills and Colts, while the Bengals laid a total dud against the Bears. There was lots of other stuff to talk about from this week, so lets get right into it. Here's the best and worst from week fourteen in the NFL.

Best:
Jimmy Garoppolo, Quarterback San Francisco 49ers
After what I've seen from him the last couple of weeks, Jimmy Garoppolo could be the very answer that the 49ers could be looking for. Think about this. With Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard at quarterback, the 49ers started the season 1–10. Now with Garoppolo. Both of wins with Garoppolo at quarterback have come on the road, including this weeks 26-16 win over the Houston Texans. San Francisco gained 416 yards in this game, while Garoppolo went 20-of-33 for 334 yards. He also threw an interception but more than made up for it in the third quarter with his first touchdown throw as the team’s starter. It’s clear they have found their answer at quarterback, which makes the rest of the rebuild much easier in the coming seasons. It gives the Niners something they've been needing all year, stability under center. If this keeps up, San Francisco may have found their future and can finally stabalize the position.

Worst:
NFL Concussion Protocal
How this was allowed to even happen on Sunday is just beyond wrong. not only did Houston fall 26-16 but what happened to Tom Savage was beyond description. Savage was hit by a blitzing K'waun Williams and knocked for a loop. Savage was hit so hard that he was seen fencing, which is an involuntary physical response to a concussion. Even if it wasn’t a textbook example of the fencing response, it was a clear sign that something bad had likely happened to Savage’s brain. And yet, some how, for some reason, Savage was allowed to continue playing. He went through the concussion protocol and was cleared by one of the independent neurologists placed on the sidelines as part of the league’s attempt to better protect players who have potentially sustained brain injuries. After playing a single three-and-out series, he was inspected again and taken out of the game. He hadn’t sustained an additional injury. It was pretty clear that he wasn't right mentally and that hit had knocked him for a clear loop. The rest of the league really needs to take a closer look at this so that way somthing like what happened to Savage doesn't happen again.

Best:
Jonathan Stewart, Running Back Carolina Panthers
Big players show up in big games and JOjnathan Stewart did that on Sunday. Carolina was facing off against the top seed in the NFC in the Minnesota Vikings. Carolina walked away with a 31-24 victory and Stewart had a big hand in that. He reached the 100 yard mark for the second time this season, finishing with 103 yards on 16 carries and also had three touchdowns. He got the game started with a tremendous 60-yard dash to pay dirt that put the Panthers up 7-0 in the first quarter. His three touchdowns on Sunday matched his season total to that point and the carries and yards were the most this season for the 30-year old running back. If Stewart can keep this going the final few games of the season and into the post season, then the Panthers could be well on their way to making a lot of noise in the post season

Worst:
New York Jets
After what the Jets managed to pull off against Kansas City last week, fans of the team might want to commit that to memory, because it didn't happen against Denver. The Jets managed 100 yards on the day. Not 100 passing or rushing yards, but 100 yards of TOTAL offense, which was their worst offensive output since 2010. With those numbers, its no surprise that the Jets were shut out 23-0 by the Broncos. They could really do nothing right in this game, on either side of the ball, and it showed in this one. Josh McCown was awful, going 6-for-12 for 46 yards before suffering a broken left hand that will likely end his season. Backup Bryce Petty was worse, going 2-for-9 for just 14 yards, including badly missing Robbie Anderson for what could have been a surefire score. Just hen I thought the Jets might show some life and look like they MIGHT be able to make the push to become a playoff team, they go out and do that. Bad time to decide to lay an egg gang green.

Best:
Kareem Hunt, Running Back Kansas City Chiefs
There was a bit of a spell during the season where Kareem Hunt looked like he may have hit a wall. He hadn't been able to find the holes like he once did. He looked a little unsure of himself. But Sunday, in the Kansas City 26-15 win over the Raiders, Hunt found his game again and it was needed in a big way. Hunt had 25 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown and added 22 more yards on three catches. Hunt hadn’t rushed for over 100 yards since Week 5, and his touchdown was the first rushing score since Week 3. Kansas City needed this win in a bad way, and tSunday night for Bills vs Colts was a winter wonderlan.d hanks to Hunt and the defense, the Chiefs improved to 7-6 to keep pace with the red-hot Los Angeles Chargers atop the AFC West with three weeks left to play.

Worst:
Ending Of Seahawks-Jaguars
Jacksonville won the game 30-24, but that was just the start of it. Fans started throwing things at the field, which was just plain stupid. Then it went to another level. As Seattle defensive end Quinton Jefferson. Jefferson decided to take note of it, walked over towards the stands and start having a shouting match with the fans. Then, to make things worse, he started to try and climb into the crowd going after the fans. That can't happen. Fans are out there and I would have loved to see video of that fans reaction when Jefferson started to climb up to go after the guy. It had been a choppy football game and the Seahawks had a rough night. Jacksonville is sitting at 9-4 and was poised to make the playoffs. The way this football game ended Sunday night is I think one both organizations want to try and forget.

Best:
Pittsburgh Steelers Killer B's
Going into this Sunday's game, the Ravens looked like they had a solid defense, one that was ranked 7th overall in the league. If you hadn't watched a game all year until Sunday, you would have thought this Ravens team was a joke. Pittsburgh beat the Ravens 39-38 in dramatic fashion and the Killer B's of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown were all feeling it on Sunday Night. Rothlisberger threw for an eye popping 506 yards passing, to go along with two touchdown tosses. Bell totaled 125 yards and three touchdowns, and Brown caught 11 passes for 213 yards. All told, Pittsburgh racked up 545 yards, 31 first downs, and 39 points. Somehow, it was barely good enough to edge the Ravens by a point. Baltimore played out of their minds but the Killer B's were just that much better in helping the Steelers win the division.

Worst:
Marvin Lewis, Head Coach Cincinnati Bengals
There are some who might come to wonder if Marvin Lewis day's as head coach of the Bengals might be numbered. First, there was blowing the lead against the Steelers on Monday night the week before. Now, the Bengals get rolled over, 33-7, by the Bears. Embarrassing only begins to describe it. At home, the Bengals lost by 26 points to a Bears team that came in with a 3-9 record and hadn’t won since October 22nd. Look I'll give credit where its due, Cincinnati didn't look very good before Lewis came aboard to run this team. He's done a fantastic job bringing this team back to respectability. But with the way things have gone this year, Marvin Lewis days have been numbered. He might not get fired but his contract is up at the end of the year, so that will probably be the end of the line. I almost feel bad for him with the way things have gone this year.

Best:
LeSean McCoy, Running Back Buffalo Bills
Sundays game between the Bills and Colts was played in a winter wonderland. Snow was falling all over the place, it really was a pretty sight to see. Buffalo walked away with a 13-7 overtime victory and Shady McCoy was a HUGE reason Buffalo was able to come away with the win. Buffalo’s passing game was pretty much inert. The Bills managed just 92 total yards through the air. So for most of the game, the offense ran through McCoy. He finished with 156 yards on 32 carries and won the game for Buffalo in overtime on a 21-yard dash for glory. it might also be worth noting that Frank Gore had 130 yards on the ground for the Colts as well, which was a big reason why the Colts ALMOST came away with the win, but McCoy's scamper near the end of the game helped Buffalo come away with the victory.

Worst:
Oakland Raiders Offense
To say that the Raiders offense has been a mess this year would be an understatement. Oakland went into the game at 6-6 and had a chance to take a lead in the AFC West with a win, but that didn't happen as the Chiefs walked away with the win. Kansas City got torched by the Jets last weekend, but they showed up against the Raiders, shutting down the Raiders run game and making Derek Carr look uncomfortable. Carr completed just 24-of-41 passes and was generally out of sorts. It’s just a continuation of what we’ve seen all year long. Whether it’s due to Oakland firing offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave after last year, or a case of Carr simply regressing, he’s taken a step back. As such, so have the Raiders, who had no answers Sunday.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Memo To Sandy Alderson

This past weekend turned out to be a very bad one for fans of the New York Mets. First, the New York Yankees managed to add the reigning National League Most Valuable Player in Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins into what was an already loaded lineup. Then, in a way to respond, if you will, the New York Mets went out and reminded everybody why they are the New York Mets. This is all thanks to the brilliance of the General Manager, Sandy Alderson.

Any Mets fan can tell you what a headache it is having to listen to the same old babble come from the upper management of this baseball team. Sandy came out with more of the same over the weekend. In summation, Alderson indicated, from what I've read in some reports, that the Mets will not be aggressive in the relief or second-base markets and wait for the prices to drop, though those are their two main areas of need. He said the plan is not to get a first baseman who takes Dominic Smith out of the competition. He described finding a starter as the fourth need on a three-need list. He also went on to add that “our farm system right now is not brimming with prospects.”

From every indication I'm getting at this point, it looks like, just like the year before Cespedes came to the team, that the starting pitching is what is expected to save this franchise again this season.

I'm so sorry, but as good as the pitching staff is, when healthy, they can't carry the team. The offense and defense have too many glaring holes in it that need to be addressed. If Alderson and the rest of upper management had any spines at all they would go out and make moves that were necessary to put a competitive team on the field every day. All Mets fan want that from their team day in and day out, make us want to spend our hard earned money to come out and watch this team.

Look I'll give credit where its due, Sandy has done good things for this team in the past, but this is the here and now. When the Yankees pull off a move like they did, it does have some benefit to the Mets in that it gets Stanton out of the division. But it also reminds you this is still the Mets, a team that has been noted for being cheap in years past. They have a reputation at times for not going out and getting the best players available. Which can really hurt a team that has holes that it needs filed and a minor league system that apparently isn't ready yet to be a contending team. Also news flash to the Mets upper management, those stud starters in your rotation, they are going to want nice paydays when their contracts are up. What are you going to do then huh?

So memo to Mets upper management. I know you want to get the salary down a little, but don't do it and sacrifice giving this team a chance to be at least somewhat good. How about you wake up and work hard at trying to get a good team on the field like now, otherwise the fans will be driven away because of your inability to put a decent product on the field!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Playoff Clinching Scenarios Week 14

As we head into week fourteen in the NFL, a few teams already have a shot to clinch playoff spots and even division titles. So here's what the clinching scenarios look like for this week.

AFC 
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (10-2)
-New England clinches AFC East division with a win, or a Buffalo loss or tie.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS (10-2)
-Pittsburgh clinches AFC North division with a win and Pittsburgh clinches a playoff berth with a Buffalo loss

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (8-4)
-Jacksonville clinches a playoff berth with a win plus, losses by Buffalo, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and the Oakland-Kansas City game does not end in a tie

NFC 
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (10-2)
-Philadelphia clinches NFC East division with a win or tie OR a Dallas loss or tie

MINNESOTA VIKINGS (10-2)
-Minnesota can clinch NFC North division with a win or tie OR a Detroit loss or tie and a Green Bay loss or tie

LOS ANGELES RAMS (9-3)
-Los Angeles can clinch a playoff berth with a win, plus losses by Detroit, Green Bay, Dallas, Carolina and Atlanta

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Best And Worst Of NFL Week Thirteen

We continue to inch closer and closer to the finish line in the NFL, as week thirteen has now passed us by. We got four weeks to go in the regular season and the playoff picture is starting to take a little more shape. We got four teams, the Steelers, Patriots, Vikings and Eagles, that now sit at 10-2. We got division races heating up in the South and West Divisions. As for week thirteen, the Kansas City offense finally decided to show up, but they were somehow outplayed by the Jets. Tom Brady had an off day against Buffalo, but the Pats still found a way to pick him up and get the Win. Green Bay has somehow managed to climb its way back to .500. All that and more went down this week in the NFL. Here's a look at some of the best and worst from week thirteen.

Best:
Marshawn Lynch, Running Back Oakland Raiders
Oakland had a little trouble getting the air attack on Sunday against the Giants, which had a lot to do with Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper not being there. So it was the ground game that got going in the Oakland 24-17 win. Oakland’s offense went through Marshawn Lynch, who had started to look like the beast mode of old. He finished the day rushing for 101 yards and one touchdown on just 17 carries. One of those was a 51 yard romp in the opening quarter that looked like a flashback from his days in Seattle. Lynch also added 20 yards on one reception. He was the biggest reason why Oakland won by a touchdown over the hapless New York Giants. Beast mode went into full effect from the start and the Giants had no way of stopping it.

Worst:
Blaine Gabbert, Quarterback Arizona Cardinals
Blaine had showed up a little in his first couple of games, throwing five touchdowns and three picks. But the bad Blaine Gabbert decided to make an appearance for the Cards on Sunday. Following a Rams field goal, on his first attempt of the game, Gabbert threw up a putrid attempt deep down the right side of the field that never had a chance. It was picked off by Lamarcus Joyner, and seven plays later the Rams punched in a touchdown to take an early two-score lead. He later threw a pick six to Alec Ogletree that easily lead to the 32-16 win by the Rams. It was a hell of a time for Bad Baline to decide to show up

Best:
Tarik Cohen, Running Back, Chicago Bears
It was one of the weirdest plays of the year when it started out, but boy did it turn out to be a big play indeed for the Bears on Sunday. I know the final score didn't go the way the Bears wanted, as they fell 15-14 to the San Francisco 49ers, but this play was one of the highlights of the year in Chicago. With just under six minutes left in the first half, Cohen caught a punt at his own 39 yard line, ran backwards to his own 24, being chased by about seven of the 49ers, and somehow managed to turn the ball upfield, outrace all of them and score a touchdown. He outran everybody to get to the endzone and put six points on the board for Chicago. Not much else really went right for the Bears, but this was the biggest highlight on the day for the boys from the Windy City.

Worst:
Rob Gronkowski, Tight End New England Patriots
There's no argument that Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends in all of the game of football. What happened on Sunday in the Patriots win over the Bills was just disgusting. He was ticked off about officials not giving him calls and took a vicious, dirty cheap shot on rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White, who ended up suffering a concussion during the incident. The worst part about it all is that White was laying on the ground when Gronkowski laid into him, giving him a forearm shiver to the head. It was a cheap shot that's for sure and Gronk has gotten a one game suspension from the league for it, which was a good call by the league. This was a surprise outburst from a guy who usually has more control over his emotions then that.

Best:
Alfred Morris, Running Back, Dallas Cowboys
There had been some thought as to how well the Cowboys were going to play this week with no Zek Elliott in the lineup. Well there's no real need to worry, as Morris showed some life and potential for life in the Dallas run game when Zek isn't there. Dallas pulled out a 38-14 win over the Redskins on Thursday night, and Morris was a big part of that attack. He had 27 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown. He was making Redskins defenders look just silly and he was on his game. Morris showed that he still has plenty left in the tank and that Dallas can hold on till Zek comes back into the mix.

Worst:
DeShone Kizer, Quarterback Cleveland Browns
Its been a rough going of it for Cleveland football fans. The Browns are now one loss away from becoming the first NFL team ever to start  0-13 in consecutive seasons. Sunday, they went to 0-12 after falling to the Chargers 19-10, and Cleveland did a good job on defense to hold that Chargers offense to just one touchdown. It was rookie QB DeShone Kizer who had a rough going of it late in the ballgame. Kizer turned the ball over on each of his final two drives, down by nine points. First he fumbled the ball when Joey Bosa came screaming off the edge and took him down for a sack. Then, Kizer threw his only interception of the game. That was all she wrote. Now at 0-12, the Browns appear destined to set a new mark for futility in the NFL and another No. 1 overall draft pick next April.

Best:
Jimmy Garoppolo, Quarterback San Francisco 49ers
Welcome to San Francisco Jimmy Garoppolo. He didn't blow everybody away in the win but he was a part of the 49ers 15-14 win over the Bears, and he did have an impact in this football game. He completed 26 of 37 passes for 293 yards. Not earth shattering numbers by any stretch of the imagination, but it was a good beginning. And Garoppolo made one huge play. Just before the two-minute warning, on third-and-9, Garoppolo’s 33-yard pass to Trent Taylor was the play of the game. The calm, accurate strike over the middle set up the game-winning field goal. It was a solid enough performance to make one thing. All the 49ers sent over to New England was a second round pick. This guy could be the answer in San Francisco. Is it too early to tell? Yes. But was it a good start? Yes it was.

Worst:
Vance Joseph, Head Coach Denver Broncos
He looked like he couldn't get the Broncos ready to play on Sunday, and at the way the Broncos are going, they might not win another game this season. Denver fell 35-9 to the Dolphins and were badly outplayed in this football game. Denver’s offense was absolutely dreadful, this time with Trevor Siemian back as starter. Denver’s only touchdown was from the defense. The offense gained just 14 first downs. Its not all on the coaching staff. The Broncos have three quarterbacks and they’ve all been terrible. However, Denver had practically the same quarterbacks last season and a different coaching staff went 9-7. A 3-13 mark will be tough to take. The Broncos have never lost 13 games in a season. The blame has to land somewhere, and its gonna fall on the coach.

Best:
Frank Gore and Larry Fitzgerald
Both guys have had hall of fame careers and will one day end up in Canton. That's not for quite a while yet, lets just enjoy what we have from these two great players while we have them right now. Gore and Fitzgerald both moved up their respective all time lists this week. Gore passed Hall of Famers Jerome Bettis and Ladainian Tomlinson on Sunday to take the No. 5 spot on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. He finished with 61 yards on just 13 carries, bumping his career total up to 13,697 yards. As for Fitzgerald, he moved up the ranks on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list. Moving into fourth place to eclipse the great Isaac Bruce, Larry Legend caught 10 passes for 98 yards and a touchdown.

Worst:

Julio Jones, Wide Receiver Atlanta Falcons
Last week Julio Jones went off in a big way against Tampa Bay, snagging passes for 253 yards. This Sunday at home against one of the best defensive secondaries in the league, Jones was darn-near invisible. He caught just two passes on six targets for a total of 24 yards. In a game that was decided by five points, that definitely stands out as a big reason the Falcons lost, falling 14-9 against Minnesota. Atlanta had a bad day all around offensively, so not all the blame should fall on the shoulders of Julio Jones, but his no showing is a reason why Atlanta came up short on Sunday.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

2017 Bowl Season

College football's regular season is now in the books. That means one thing and one thing only. Its time to go bowling! All roads will eventually lead to determining a National Champion, which will be decided on January 8th in Atlanta. In total there are 40 bowl games scheduled for this year. Don't worry we have you covered. Here's the full list of every bowl game on the schedule for this year.

AIR FORCE RESERVE CELEBRATION BOWL
North Carolina A&T vs. Grambling State ​Saturday, Dec. 16 11 a.m.

R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL
Troy vs. North Texas Saturday, Dec. 16 1 p.m.

AUTONATION CURE BOWL
Western Kentucky vs. Georgia State Saturday, Dec. 16 2:30 p.m.

LAS VEGAS BOWL
MWC vs. Pac-12 Saturday, Dec. 16 3:30 p.m.

GILDAN NEW MEXICO BOWL
Colorado State vs. Marshall​ Saturday, Dec. 16 3:30 p.m.

RAYCOM MEDIA CAMELIA BOWL
Middle Tennessee vs. Arkansas State Saturday, Dec. 16 8 p.m.

CHERIBUNDI TART CHERRY BOCA RATON BOWL
FAU vs. Akron Tuesday, Dec. 19

DXL FRISCO BOWL
Louisiana Tech vs. SMU Wednesday, Dec. 20 8 p.m.

BAD BOY MOWERS GASPARILLA BOWL
FIU vs. Temple Thursday, Dec. 21 Time: 8 p.m.

BAHAMAS BOWL
Ohio vs. UAB Friday, Dec. 22 12:30 p.m.

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL
Central Michigan vs. Wyoming Friday, Dec. 22 4 p.m.

BIRMINGHAM BOWL
Texas Tech vs. USF Saturday, Dec. 23 Noon

LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL
San Diego State vs. Army Saturday, Dec. 23​ 3:30 p.m.

DOLLAR GENERAL BOWL
Appalachian State vs. Toledo Saturday, Dec. 23​ 7:00 p.m.

HAWAI'I BOWL
Houston vs. Fresno State Sunday, Dec. 24 8:30 p.m.

ZAXBY'S HEART OF DALLAS BOWL
West Virginia vs. Utah Tuesday, Dec. 26 1:30 p.m.

ADVERTISING QUICK LANE BOWL
Northern Illinois vs. Duke Tuesday, Dec. 26 5:15 p.m.

CACTUS BOWL
UCLA vs. Kansas State Tuesday, Dec. 26 9:00 p.m.

WALK-ON'S INDEPENDENCE BOWL
Southern Miss vs. Florida State Wednesday, Dec. 27 1:30 p.m.

NEW ERA PINSTRIPE BOWL
Iowa vs. Boston College Wednesday, Dec. 27​ 5:15 p.m.

FOSTER FARMS BOWL
Purdue vs. Arizona Wednesday, Dec. 27​ 8:30 p.m.

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL
Missouri vs. Texas Wednesday, Dec. 27​ 9:00 p.m.

MILITARY BOWL PRESENTED BY NORTHROP GRUMMAN
Virginia vs. Navy Thursday, Dec. 28 1:30 p.m.

CAMPING WORLD BOWL
Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State Thursday, Dec. 28 5:15 p.m.

VALERO ALAMO BOWL
Stanford vs. TCU Thursday, Dec. 28 9:00 p.m

SAN DIEGO COUNTY CREDIT UNION HOLIDAY BOWL
Michigan State vs. Washington State Thursday, Dec. 28 9:00 p.m.

BELK BOWL
Wake Forest vs. Texas A&M Friday, Dec. 29 1:00 p.m.

HYUNDAI SUN BOWL
Arizona State vs. NC State Friday, Dec. 29 3:00 p.m.

FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL
Northwestern vs. Kentucky Friday, Dec. 29 4:30 p.m.

NOVA HOME LOANS ARIZONA BOWL
New Mexico State vs. Utah State Friday, Dec. 29 5:30 p.m.

GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL CLASSIC
USC vs. Ohio State Friday, Dec. 29 8:30 p.m.

TAXSLAYER BOWL
Mississippi State vs. Louisville Saturday, Dec. 30 Noon

AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL
Memphis vs. Iowa State Saturday, Dec. 30 12:30 p.m.

PLAYSTATION FIESTA BOWL
Washington vs. Penn State Saturday, Dec. 30 4:00 p.m

CAPITAL ONE ORANGE BOWL
Wisconsin vs. Miami Saturday, Dec. 30 8:00 p.m.

OUTBACK BOWL
South Carolina vs. Michigan Monday, Jan. 1 Noon

CHICK-FIL-A PEACH BOWL
Central Florida vs. Auburn Monday, Jan. 1 12:30 p.m.

CITRUS BOWL PRESENTED BY OVERTON'S
LSU vs. Notre Dame Monday, Jan. 1 1:00 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF AT THE ROSE BOWL GAME PRESENTED BY NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL
Oklahoma vs. Georgia Monday, Jan. 1 5:00 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF AT THE ALLSTATE SUGAR BOWL
Clemson vs. Alabama Monday, Jan. 1 8:45 p.m.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY AT&T
Matchup: TBD Atlanta, Georgia Monday, Jan. 8 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Meet The New Yankees Skipper

He isn't the most conventional choice, but he was apparently the best fit to manage this team. There had been a few names that had come up for consideration to take over as the manager of the New York Yankees. Recently retired outfielder Carlos Beltran, longtime Yankees coach Rob Thomson, former big league manager Eric Wedge and Dodgers third-base coach Chris Woodward had all interviewed. As was San Francisco Giants bench coach Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens, who had finished runner up for the position. At the end of the day, former Yankees 3rd baseman Aaron Boone was selected to take over the most storied franchise in all of baseball.

What made Boone a hero for the Yankees, came in the 2003 Playoffs, game seven of the ALCS against the Red Sox. In extra innings, Boone cracked a Tim Wakefield knuckleball into the left field seats to send the Yankees into the World Series. He spent 12 years in the Majors as a player, retiring in 2009 with a career.263 batting average, hitting 126 home runs and 555 RBI's. Boone becomes the 9th active manager in the Majors to manage a team he once played for. He joins Kevin Cash of the Rays, Alex Cora of the Red Sox, Craig Counsell of the Brewers, Terry Francona of the Indians, Dave Martinez of the Nationals/Expos, Mike Matheny of the Cardinals, Paul Molitor of the Twins, and Dave Roberts of the Dodgers.

He was a solid baseball player, there's no taking that away from him. It's his experience with managing a team that has one a little worried.  He does have this working for him: he's been covering Major League Baseball for ESPN since 2010. So he's been keeping plenty of tabs with whats going on in the game. He has a clear understanding of what's going on in the game of baseball, as is evident by his work on TV.. Now, one has to wonder, how he can be able to handle the room.

Sure, shouldn't have a problem being able to play his numbers and trust his gut when making decisions on the field. Its being able to handle his players that is going to be fun to try and watch. Dealing with Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and Masahiro Tanaka, for example, are dealing with three different personalities. The sign of a good manager is somebody who can have control of his locker room and being able to push the right buttons to get the best out of his players.

The pressure is going to be high for the new skipper, replacing someone like Girardi and inheriting a win-now roster full of young stars like Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Luis Severino. I think with the mental calm that Boone shows, he should be able to handle the high pressure of this job. Boone should be fun to watch with this team to see how he handles this club as a first time skipper.