Monday, April 30, 2012

Springtime in New York

It is amazing - is it not - how quickly things change. Way back when in mid-March when Andy Pettitte announced he had ended his retirement to sign a minor-league deal with the Yankees, my initial thought was, "Wow - what a nice luxury for the Yankees to have - a five-time World Series winner as an extra pitcher." By the time he arrives in mid-May, he will no longer be a luxury. He will be either the #2 or #3 starter. Michael Pineda is finished for the year without ever having thrown a pitch for the Yankees in a game that counted (Pedro Feliciano anyone?). Phil Hughes has been abysmal. Freddie Garcia has been even worse. If Andy cannot bring it as he could before his retirement, rumor has it that that the back-up plan calls for cloning C.C. Sabathia. Outrageous? Perhaps. But it has a much higher upside than giving the ball to Hughes every fifth day.

As someone who neither watches nor gives a rat's ass about professional basketball, I cannot pretend to care whether the Knicks win a single game in the NBA playoffs. That being said, I laughed to myself more than a little when I read late last week just how much the Knicks were looking forward to playing the Miami Heat. In the first game of their first-round series against Miami on Saturday afternoon, the Knicks scored 67 points. Miami scored 100. Hmmm. I would hate to think how many points the Knicks might have lost by had they not been so excited to play Miami. The countdown to tee times for the Knickerbockers is tee minus three games.

The tenant of MSG for whom I root fervently has continued to enjoy a successful post-season run. As the Rangers pursue their first Stanley Cup since 1994, it is worth pointing out the following similarities thus far between the '94 post-season and (thus far) the '12 post-season. In defeating Ottawa in Round One, the Rangers came back from a 3-2 deficit to win a seven-game series for the first time since....1994. In '94, who did the Rangers play in the second round - after sweeping the Islanders in Round One? None other than this year's second-round opponent the Washington Capitals. Here is to hoping that this year's series ends up the way the 1994 series did. Of course, the '94 Capitals did not have Ovechkin.

Then again in '94 the Rangers did not have Chris Kreider. The young man can play more than just a little bit.


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