Saturday, August 31, 2013

Projecting the Jets 53-Man Roster

Photo from

The preseason is over and teams have until Saturday at 6 PM to release their 53 man roster. Just another indication of how close we are to the start of the season. Unfortunately, that means the Jets will be playing (and losing) meaningful games soon. Ugh. Anyway, here's a lot at who I think will make it to the Opening Day roster, with some extra thoughts.

Quarterback (4)

In: Geno Smith, Mark Sanchez, Matt Simms, Greg McElroy

Out: Graham Harrell

Ideally, Mark Sanchez would be the one cut here, but they have guaranteed him a rather large amount of money, so that can't happen. Obviously Smith is the guy the Jets are grooming to be the guy eventually, but it looks like he'll have the be the guy from Day 1 with Sanchez hurting. Simms should have gotten a chance to work with the first team because he looks like a nice talent. Only the Jets would keep four QBs, which I believe they will do. They like McElroy as a young, possible replacement in case Smith is bad early and Sanchez is Sanchez. The team doesn't trust Simms enough yet. I have no idea why they even bothered to sign Harrell.

Running Back (4)

In: Chris Ivory, Bilal Powell, Kahlil Bell, Tommy Bohanon

Out: Mossis Madu, Lex Hilliard (IR)

I like Kahlil Bell the best out of the three halfbacks listed here, but that's not really saying much. I don't think Ivory can stay healthy, and I don't even know what to make of him when he is healthy. Bilal Powell does nothing for me, but he may surprise me. With Lex Hilliard out for the year, Bohanon is the only fullback on the roster.

Wide Receiver (6)

In: Santonio Holmes, Jeremy Kerley, Stephen Hill, Ben Obomanu, Ryan Spadola, Clyde Gates

Out: Michael Campbell, Zach Rogers, Mohamed Massaquoi, Vidal Hazelton (IR)

Clyde Gates has looked better this year after angering me throughout last year. He's incredibly fast and if he improves his route running, could certainly be a contributor. Spadola looks like he could be a pretty nice addition to this ragtag bunch.

Tight End (3)

In: Kellen Winslow, Jr., Jeff Cumberland, Konrad Reuland

Out: Chris Pantale

I think Winslow is fine, but nothing special because obviously injuries have ravaged him throughout his career. He'll be essential in being a check down option for Geno Smith. Cumberland is a good blocker, so he'll have to stay. Watch Reuland, he's looking like he may be at least a decent possession receiver and he's improving all around.

Offensive Line (9)

In: Nick Mangold, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Willie Colon, Brian Winters, Austin Howard, Caleb Schlauderaff, Oday Aboushi, Jason Smith, Vladimir Ducasse

Out: J.B. Shugarts, Patrick Ford, Will Campbell, Erik Cook, Scott Wedige

The five starters are going to be Mangold, Ferguson, Colon, Winters, and Howard. They just drafted Aboushi and he can be very valuable because he can play got guard and tackle. The interesting guy to watch is Vlad Ducasse. It's not out of the realm of possibility that this bust will be mercilessly cut. I just can't really make that call just yet. I know you read that last name as "Scott Wedgie." Don't lie to me.

Defensive Tackle (2)

In: Kenrick Ellis, Damon Harrison

Out: Lanier Coleman, Tevita Finau, Junior Aumavae

Ellis might lose a lot of his playing time to Sheldon Richardson when Coples returns from injury early in the year. But that's only if the Jets use a 3-4 base again, which might not be the case. Also, Coples may move to linebacker. We'll have to wait and see. But for now, Ellis's size, strength, and quickness make him a key player here. Harrison looks to be a pretty good backup and will be a nice contributor in the middle and at the end.

Defensive End (4)

In: Muhammad Wilkerson, Sheldon Richardson, Quinton Coples, Leger Douzable 

Out: Antonio Garay

Each of the last three years, the Jets have spent a first round pick on this line. The first of the three, Wilkerson had a great season last year, and I think he'll be even better this year, becoming more of a force in the pass rush. Speaking of pass rush, Quinton Coples was selected in the first round of the 2012 draft, and while he's starting the year injured, he looks to be a major factor in the pass rush when he returns, which looks like it's going to be around Week 2. His absence is why I'm listing Sheldon Richardson at defensive end, which is where he will play at the beginning of the year. As I just mentioned, the defensive scheme has been questioned recently, and we will never really know. Rex Ryan is notorious for having many versatile looks, so Wilkerson, Richardson, Coples and Ellis will find their way into the lineup somehow. Richardson's incredible athleticism makes him fun to watch, and he may just develop into an elite player. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed Leger Douzable in the two preseason games that I watched. I was sort of surprised that Garay was cut today.

Linebacker (10)

In: David Harris, Nick Bellore, Demario Davis, Josh Mauga, Garrett McIntyre, Calvin Pace, Antwan Barnes, Ricky Sapp, Danny Lansanah, Troy Davis

Out: JoJo Dickson, Jacquies Smith

Harris is obviously the star of this group. Demario Davis is at least decent in both the pass rush and run defense. He may continue to develop. Troy Davis and Lansanah have looked pretty good this preseason. Rex Ryan has been on record recently with his praise for Ricky Sapp.

Cornerback (5)

In: Antonio Cromartie, Dee Milliner, Kyle Wilson, Isaiah Trufant, Darrin Walls

Out: Mike Edwards, Royce Adams, Ellis Lankster

The one that's going to raise some eyebrows here if the fact that I have Ellis Lankster being cut. He wasn't particularly good in the slot last year, which would have been his role this season. Darrin Walls will probably be as good or better than Lankster, but he actually has some upside. Wilson needs to improve in the slot, but Isaiah Trufant has impressed me in limited time over the past few years.

Safety (3)

In: Dawan Landry, Jaiquawn Jarrett, Josh Bush

Out: Antonio Allen, Rontez Miles

If they don't keep four quarterbacks, expect Allen to take that spot. Jarrett will be starting opposite Landry because well, Allen is quite bad.

Special Teams

PK--Nick Folk; P--Robert Malone; LS--Tanner Purdum

I have no idea why the Jets love Nick Folk so much. I think that Dan Carpenter would have been the better option because Folk has been quite inconsistent. Malone has no competition. Purdum is Purdum.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why 19 is Greater Than 69

Today the Mets traded Marlon Byrd and John Buck to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league infielder Dilson Herrera and a player to be named later.

This has been quite the polarizing move in the circles of Mets fans that I've noticed throughout the day. Judging by the title of this post, and my overall philosophy when it comes to roster construction, it will be pretty easy to figure out what camp I'm in. 

Good riddance, don't let the door hit you on the way out, or let it, I really don't care. Both Byrd and Buck would have been out the door as soon as the season was over, faster than you could say Saltalamacchia. Neither of them would have helped the Mets get anywhere next year and certainly not by the time the team will finally be in position to make a playoff run, in 2015. 

Marlon Byrd's 36th birthday is on Friday, and while he's been decent this year, this success will not last for very long. In the case of 33 year old John Buck, he just has not been good this year. At all. His already paltry .652 OPS decreases to an abysmal .591 when you take away his great first 12 games of the season, when he got off to a blazing start. So yes, since the second half of the Colorado doubleheader on April 16th, the Mets have 85 times started a player who produced a .591 OPS in that time period. The only thing he's done of worth since then is become a father, and console Matt Harvey last night. That was an absolutely great moment, but it doesn't change the fact that Buck has produced nothing since mid-April.  

Herrera is only 19 years old and he received an invite to the Futures Game during All Star Weekend. So he can't be completely worthless. Even if he never makes it out of A ball, the idea behind this move is the important thing. It's much better to get something out of these two not very valuable assets before they leave for good. 

I like it. 

I won't even delve into the insulting idea that the Mets could have turned this deal into a blockbuster involving CarGo, Stanton, Profar, Starlin Castro or any other major league player. Please stop, and fall down a flight of stairs if you seriously believe that. Or at least never attempt to talk about sports again. For the sake of the world. 

UCL, Three Cringeworthy Letters for Any Mets Fan

Let me narrate this story of Matt Harvey to you using my ESPN Text Alerts and my reactions to it.

3:19 PM- ESPN MLB NYM - Matt Harvey underwent MRI on Monday morning for undisclosed reason, Newsday reports.

(Eh, it's probably nothing. It's Matt Harvey, he's not human, he's fine!)

Now things got interesting with the next four texts which I read all at the same time.

3:55 PM- ESPN SportsCenter - Mets All-Star P Matt Harvey has partial tear of elbow ligament, source tells

(Heart sinking.)

3:56 PM- ESPN MLB NYM - Matt Harvey has partial tear of elbow ligament, source tells

(Double heart sinking. At least Harvey is famous enough to warrant two texts a minute apart saying literally the same thing.)

4:00 PM - ESPN MLB - Mets P Matt Harvey (partial UCL tear) headed to DL, may need Tommy John surgery, source tells ESPN.

(Double take.)

(Heart pounding.)


(About to throw my phone against the wall.)


(Resumes crying.)

Ah, this is tough. This is tough for the Mets, more importantly, this is tough for Matt Harvey, and most importantly this is tough for me.

Okay, but seriously, the worst part about this is that it deprives me and every other Mets fan of seeing Harvey take the mound for over a year if he ends up having Tommy John surgery. Harvey is an incredible pitcher and I consider myself lucky to be able to experience him in a Mets uniform.

But that's about it.

This season is almost over, and the team obviously is not going anywhere.


The Daisuke Disaster

On Wednesday, my friend Spencer and I decided to buy tickets to Friday night's Mets/Tigers game. Thursday afternoon, the Mets announced that they have signed Daisuke Matsuzaka to major league contract and that he will join the rotation on...Friday.

I rolled my eyes.

I rolled my eyes again.

I shook my head. 

I chuckled to myself. 

I already knew that Matsuzaka wasn't very good, but I decided to check out his baseball-reference page. Let's just say, some things are best left unknown. 

I get it, the Mets are very thin on starting pitching unless they stupidly rush someone like Rafael Montero or even Cory Mazzoni up to the major league roster before they're ready. 

I just really hope that the Mets don't think that he is going to be a long term solution. Or even a short term solution. I'm pretty sure it's just a publicity stunt, and I'm completely fine with that, the season is almost over and they are going absolutely nowhere (except hopefully second place!). 

We knew that Friday night's game would be interesting, which is why Spencer hatched this gem of an idea. The sad part was that looking at a lot of the reaction, I felt like one of the few who understood just how bad Matsuzaka is at his job. 

Well he started the game off striking out Austin Jackson looking, leading to us immediately placing a backwards "K" on our sign. Then in probably the most hilariously accurate microcosm of his career, he followed up that great start by giving up a bomb to Torii Hunter.

Things got worse in the second inning when Hunter hit a ground rule double to drive in a run, Miguel Cabrera happened, increasing the lead to 5-1. After that, Dice-K seemed to settle in a bit, throwing Cholula Hot Sauce level heat with his blazing fastball that topped out at 91.

Look, as long as he's not meant to be a part of the long term future, I really don't care either way because this is a dead season. That is, as long as when the September callups happen, he isn't stealing any time from a more important, younger pitcher who actually has a future with this team. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jets vs. Giants Recap

Last night marked the third preseason game for both the Jets and the Giants, which means that this was the game in which the starters actually played more than one series. In traditional fashion, it also meant that the two New York teams faced off to earn meaningless supremacy for a year.

The first important thing I noticed was Kellen Winslow, Jr. I had absolutely no clue he was a Jet. I knew that he appeared at mini-camp, but I didn't know that he was signed immediately after. Since I have been away for seven weeks, I missed the first two preseason games so I was shocked when his name was called by the announcers.

After David Wilson's touchdown, I tweeted this. I think that explains everything. Just when we thought the only thing we had to worry about was the offense.

Geno Smith started out pretty good early, though a lot of that was due to Marty Mornhinweg's gameplan which included a lot of short check down passes. It seems like they were very focused on protecting Smith from making too many mistakes with a ton of short passes to Winslow, Jeremy Kerley, and even the running backs Bilal Powell and Chris Ivory. Unfortunately, Geno still found a way to make huge, costly mistakes. The first interception wasn't his fault, Prince Amukamara played the route perfectly and made an awesome pick. The second one was an awful throw by Smith which went straight to Stevie Brown, who was probably shocked that he didn't have to do anything to earn that ball. Justin Tuck's interception was also pretty bad, but Brown's was absoutely horrible.

What was even worse for the Giants was what happened after Brown made the play. He went down and we learned this morning that it was due to a torn ACL, That's a devastating blow to the Giants defense because their secondary was already questionable with Antrel Rolle out (he wasn't even that good to begin with) and with Aaron Ross and Corey Webster being possible issues. Prince Amukamara will have to be a star in order for this pass defense to have any succcess, and I don't think that's out of the question.

As for Geno Smith, the short passing game looked really good when the offensive line gave him enough time. The rookie Brian Winters looked decent filling in when Vlad Ducasse went down with an injury. We already know that Ducasse is completely worthless, so I'm intrigued to see what this kid can do.

Unfortunately, when the protection did break down, Geno Smith looked ridiculously uncomfortable and rushed most of his throws. He also tended to stare down his receivers, but I'm not terribly worried about either issue because he's a rookie. He'll get better and more comfortable as time goes along.

I must say, that Smith looked pretty good on deeper throws, so that looks to be an important part of his game.

As for the Jets defense, Sheldon Richardson impressed me, he looked very good last night and on a few plays used brute force to simply overpower his counterpart. Along with Muhammad Wilkerson, I that the Jets defensive line may just have a foundation for years to come. Obviously I haven't seen too much from Richardson, but if he continues playing like he did last night, watch out.

Last night, Curtis Painter reminded me that he is...Curtis Painter.

Now for more important backup quarterbacks, Matt Simms confused the QB situation just a bit by his play last night. He came in when Mark Sanchez got injured, something that Rex Ryan has been getting killed for. I'm going to defend Ryan on this one, Mark Sanchez should be and at least for this game, is the backup quarterback. Also, the preseason is coming to a close soon, so he needs to get a look at Sanchez anyway. There's no reason why so many people should think that putting him in the game was such an egregious decision.

Anyway, back to Simms. He looked very good and had quite a few nice throws to Ryan Spadola. I think that he should get a chance to compete for the starting job. Ideally, they would cut Mark Sanchez, but since that would never happen, I guess Greg McElroy is the odd man out. We'll see if Simms looks even better in the final game against the Eagles.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The First of Many Bitter, Rambling Jets Articles

This upcoming football season, I'm excited for many things. The Super Bowl is coming to MetLife Stadium. There are so many young, exciting players ready to take the league by storm. Mobile quarterbacks are all the rage these days. That’s all well and good, but unfortunately for me and every other person in my situation, none of that excitement involves the New York Jets. In fact, Jets fans feel the polar opposite of excitement this summer. Disgust, dread, embarrassment, anger, and in some cases, complete apathy are the feelings that the Jets have and will conjure up in the hearts of their many “fans” this year. My Jets aren’t just bad, they will be downright disgraceful.

The worst part is, it didn’t have to be this way. The Jets roster is a result of extremely poor management by Mike Tannenbaum allowing the roster to deteriorate year after year without seeming to care. Despite getting to the AFC Championship Game in 2009, the 2010 season was the only real chance the Jets had of getting to the Super Bowl, which they nearly did. Since then, management has done an awful job at keeping some semblance of talent on the team.

And now Tannenbaum is gone, but his stench still remains surrounding the team like child support surrounds Antonio Cromartie. While I think that John Idzik and Rex Ryan have the right idea, it’s going to be a few horrible years before the Jets can even think about an 8-8 record.

But for now, enjoy the Mark Sanchez to Braylon Edwards connection that got old three years ago!!!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Curse of the Bargnanino

*NOTE* Thanks to horrible internet, it's been 41 days since I wrote this, and I can only post it now that I'm at the airport.

As you may already know from my last post, I have been in Ghana for the past week and a half. While my family is originally from here, and it’s been a relaxing time here, I have one major issue with this country. Internet is not as widely accessible as it is to me back in New York. I have a wireless modem here that gives me reasonably slow internet at home. Then there are the internet cafés, which are usually reliable, until I went to one on Monday which for some reason had blocked.[1] So now I’m typing this on Word, to then upload using my modem.[2]

Anyway, while I was at the internet café, I saw this: