I have been wanting to do something a little different for a while, and since I am both here and at Pinstripe Alley these days, I thought I would try my hand at a Sunday column offering thoughts on the Giants, the Yankees and sometimes the sports world at-large.
'Valentine's Views' will, I hope become a regular Sunday morning staple at both sites. So, here goes.
- I think the primary difference between the Giants and the Yankees is management. The Giants, with a Super Bowl and four straight playoff appearances, are managed by the very stable Mara family and are always consistent in what they do. The Yankees are managed, of course, by the mercurial Steinbrenner clan. With The Boss in declining health, the last few years have seen a power struggle, resulting in some stupid decisions and affecting the product on the field.
- I think anyone who tells you the Giants are not, on paper, a playoff team is not living in reality. Yes, I am talking about you, Mike Florio. Our man 'cjmulrain' did a great job a few days ago calling out Florio for predicting that the Giants would miss the playoffs in 2009. That IS possible, certainly. Injuries happen. So do funny bounces and inexplicable losses. But, heading into the season the Giants are undeniably one of the league's 5 best teams, and one of the two best in the NFC. Saying flat out that they will miss the playoffs is folly.
- I think I am finding it impossible to decide which guy is the best Giants' beat writer -- Mike Garafolo or Ralph Vacchiano. MG leads right now, but only because of our recent interview with him. Of course, I haven't gotten around to asking Ralph yet this off-season.
- I think Roger Clemens should follow Mark McGwire's lead and simply quit talking about the steroid allegations he faces. I also think it is sad how he has consistently thrown Andy Pettitte, and what used to be a great friendship, under the bus.
- I think relaxing the batting practice policy and allowing fans without field-level tickets down by the fences before games was a smart decision by the Yankees. They have created enough anger amongst fans already this season, and it's about time they did something right.
- I think I owe 'FrankDiscussion,' a PA regular, a huge 'thank-you' for the two phone calls he placed that helped me get through my first radio show last Tuesday.
- I think the 10-game homestand the Yankees started Friday night is huge in many ways. They need victories to get pointed in the right direction, and they need big crowds and energy in the Stadium to soothe some of the ill feelings that have been generated by The House that George Built.
- I think my pal 'jrs' is doing a great job at Blueshirt Banter. But, I also think there is still no way he turns me into a hockey fan.
- I think when I watch Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic I wonder how anyone else ever gets a rebound when he's in the neighborhood. I also think the Celtics win their Game 7 with the Magic tonight, just because I don't think Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo will let them lose.
- I think I really, really want the under-manned Rockets to send the arrogant, play hard only when they feel like it Los Angeles Lakers, home for the summer this afternoon.