Archive | Countdowns RSS for this section

A Tribute to Derek Jeter

By Brett Malamud

The day that Yankees fans have been dreading for the entire season is finally here. Tonight, Derek Jeter will take the Yankee Stadium field for the final time. After being officially eliminated from playoff contention in yesterday’s game, today’s game will strictly be about Jeter. I view the loss yesterday as a positive thing because in my mind, the Yankees have been out of the playoff hunt for a few weeks now. By losing yesterday, it allows the Yankees a final night at home in which they can properly honor and thank their captain. Could you imagine if they won yesterday and their playoff hopes were still alive? There would be no focus on Jeter, but rather the game, which of course is the way Derek would want it. But instead it’ll give fans a night that they’ll probably remember for the rest of their lives.

The Yankees have been doing a promotion called “#OneWordFor2” in which fans, players, and managers describe Derek Jeter in one word. While I don’t think I can only come up with one word, I’d like to give a few words that best describe Derek.
Heart
I’ve never seen a athlete play his sport with more heart than Derek Jeter. Day in and day out, Jeter gives it his all. From hustling on every ground ball, to that iconic fist pump, nobody has more heart than him, and nobody ever will.
 
Legend
Jeter will most likely be a first ballot hall of famer, and could very well be the first player to be unanimously voted in to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His five rings help him with this category too.
 
Two
There’s only one number two out there that people will remember and that’s Derek Jeter. When his number is retired by the team (next season?), It’ll mark the final single digit number to be retired by the Yankees.
 
Yankees
When I think of the Yankees, my first thought is Derek Jeter. Derek has been the face of the Yankees for twenty years. He’s been a Yankees fan for his entire life, even when growing up in Michigan. Derek also puts the Yankees before himself, and doesn’t like being the lone man in the spotlight. When asked about himself, he’s been known to always bring it back to the team. In fact, he announced his retirement online so that it didn’t have to be all about him.
 
Irreplaceable
Sure Jeter can be replaced when looking at this season’s statistics, but there’s never going to be a player of his class, attitude and demeanor. The way Jeter handles himself on and off the field cannot be replicated. Many players try to mold their characters based on Jeter, but nobody can truly be the same.
Derek Jeter will finish an iconic career this weekend (Via Getty)

Derek Jeter will finish an iconic career this weekend (Via Getty)

I’ve been a bit upset over the past few days, watching Derek play out the homestretch of his career. Derek Jeter has been my favorite athlete for my entire life. I’ve never watched a Yankees team that didn’t have Jeter on the roster. Derek has been a huge inspiration to me both on and off the field. Watching the Yankees play while Jeter was injured last year was a bit tough, and I knew that Jeter’s career would be soon be over, but he taught me to never give up and to battle back when the odds are against you. He taught me to put the team before yourself, and that if you try hard enough, your dreams will come true. Tonight marks the end of an era, for both Derek and myself. Derek will always be my role model, and I’m always striving to be the kind of person that he is. He will always be my favorite athlete, and I’ll miss him dearly.
So with all of that, here’s my top ten favorite Derek Jeter moments:
10. 6/3/03- The Captain Becomes The Captain 
Derek was named the 11th Yankees captain in history, and would go on to be the Yankees’ longest tenured captain.
9. 7/28/13- Back with a Bang
Jeter came back from injury last season by crushing the first pitch he saw for a home run.
8. Jeffery Maier
I’ll never forget this moment either. Thank god there wasn’t instant replay at that time.
7. 9/21/08- The Final Game at Yankee Stadium
Derek gave one of the most memorable speeches you’ll ever see.
6. 7/9/11- 3000th Hit
Derek took David Price deep and homered for his 3000th hit.
5. 11/1/01- Mr. November
A huge walkoff home run that took place just after midnight on November 1, earning Derek the nickname, Mr. November.
4. 10/13/01- The Flip
I remember watching this game live on television and at the age of 7, I knew that it was one of the greatest defensive plays I’d ever see.
3. 7/1/04- The Dive
One of the more iconic plays that I’ll remember. It came in one of the greatest regular season games you’ll ever watch.
2. 2000 World Series
One of the first World Series in which I watched every out of every game. In first grade, the Yankees-Mets rivalry was strong, and so I knew it would be a series that I’d remember. Of course, my guy Derek won the MVP in that series and I didn’t have to bother with the Mets fans in school.
1. 9/11/09- Hit Number 2722
An excerpt from my Letter to Derek Jeter: “No hit will be bigger to me than hit number 2722. It came on September 11, 2009, the eight-year anniversary of the tragic attacks. It drizzled all afternoon and the game was in danger of not being played. I came home from school that day and my dad surprised me with tickets. I was so excited and I ran to my room to put on my Derek Jeter jersey. This could be the night that Derek passes Lou Gehrig to become the Yankees all time-hit leader. But as I hopped in the car, the drizzle became worse and my dad said, “I think we should turn around and go home.” I grew upset. “No!” I replied. “We have to go. If there’s a rain delay, we’ll just walk around the stadium. We have to go! It’s Derek Jeter and he has a chance to make history.” My dad complied and we proceeded to Yankee Stadium. There was a rain delay but we waited it out. You hit the ball down the right field line, and history was made. That is one moment I will never forget and I’m thankful that I was a there to see it in person.”

Brett Malamud is a Computer Science Major at Binghamton University. He is the co-founder of dabuzzza.com. His favorite athletes are Derek Jeter and Todd Bertuzzi. You can follow him on twitter at @brettnyy

Advertisements

NFL Power Rankings Week 10

By Matthew Wieselthier

The KC Chiefs top our list this week solely on their defense. If they keep it up, they can make a deep run this season.

  1. Kansas City Chiefs
  2. Denver Broncos
  3. Indianapolis Colts
  4. Seattle Seahawks
  5. San Francisco 49ers
  6. New Orleans Saints
  7. New England Patriots
  8. Cincinnati Bengals
  9. Detroit Lions
  10. Carolina Panthers
  11. Chicago Bears
  12. Dallas Cowboys
  13. New York Jets
  14. Green Bay Packers
  15. San Diego Chargers
  16. Arizona Cardinals
  17. Cleveland Browns
  18. Tennessee Titans
  19. Philadelphia Eagles
  20. Miami Dolphins
  21. Washington Redskins
  22. St. Louis Rams
  23. Baltimore Ravens
  24. New York Giants
  25. Houston Texans
  26. Buffalo Bills
  27. Oakland Raiders
  28. Atlanta Falcons
  29. Pittsburgh Steelers
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  31. Minnesota Vikings
  32. Jacksonville Jaguars

______________________________________________________________

Matthew Wieselthier is the Sports Director at WPOB 88.5 FM, Plainview.  He is also the PA announcer at all sporting events at POBJFKHS.  You can follow him on twitter at @wieselsports66.

The Ultimate Guide for Following Sports on Twitter

By Greg Kantor

Twitter is a social networking website that allows you to create posts in the form of ‘tweets’. These tweets are short bursts (140 or less characters) of information that can literally be about anything. With regards to sports, Twitter has completely revolutionized sports reporting: breaking news about every major sport is posted instantly, and often before other media outlets (ESPN, newspapers, blogs etc.) can get the information out to the public.

Obviously, Twitter is an amazing tool for all types of sports fans, but the key is knowing how to get the most out of your Twitter account, and that’s where this guide will come in. This guide will give you the best sports accounts to follow and general tips to enhance your overall experience.

Must-Follow Accounts For Sports Fans

Disclaimer: the accounts are listed in no particular order.

Non-Athletes:

  1. Elias Sports Bureau (@EliasSports): Your go-to account for all the interesting and weird statistics about any sport
  2. Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell): ESPN sports business reporter; provides a fantastic look at sports from an unique angle
  3. Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter): ESPN NFL insider; reports exclusively on breaking news and rumors about all NFL teams
  4. Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN): ESPN the Magazine senior baseball writer; more than just news and rumors, Buster posts a daily insider blog that is free for all to read
  5. ESPN Stats and Info (@ESPNStatsInfo): ESPN’s twist on the Elias account; tends to tweet more general statistics
  6. Deadspin (@Deadspin): sports news, but often with a lot of humor
  7. Jim Irsay (@JimIrsay): owner of the Indianapolis Colts; gives insight into the life of an owner, but with a comedic twist
  8. Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie): TSN hockey insider; tweets breaking news and rumors about the NHL
  9. MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors): official account for their website (MlbTradeRumors.com); reports on all types of baseball information, not just trades
  10. Adrian Wojnarowski  (@WojYahooNBA): NBA columnist for Yahoo; tweets breaking news and rumors about the NBA
  11. Chris Mortensen (@mortreport): ESPN senior NFL analyst; tweets breaking news and rumors about the NFL
  12. Onion Sports Network (@OnionSports): a satirical look at all things sports from The Onion
  13. Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS): CBSsports.com baseball writer; tweets breaking news and rumors about the MLB
  14. Jay Horwitz (@Jay_HorwitzPR): Public Relations Director for the Mets; behind the scenes look at the life of a PR guy; expert at butt-tweeting (follow to find out..)
  15. Erin Andrews (@ErinAndrews): Fox Sports Broadcaster; tweets all things college football, including interviews with top athletes
  16. J.A. Adande (@jadande): ESPN NBA writer; tweets exclusively about the NBA, but also responds to fans
  17. FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs): the best account for sabermetrics and the MLB (think: Moneyball)
  18. Eric Stangel (@EricStangel): Executive Producer/Writer for The Late Show; tweets about sports humorously, as well as the perils of rooting for the Chargers
  19. Peter King (@SI_PeterKing): SI senior writer; tweet about breaking news and rumors in the NFL
  20. Robert Raiola, CPA (@SportsTaxMan): gives an interesting look at sports, strictly from a monetary standpoint (salaries, taxes etc.)

(Staff addition: We of course cannot forget one of the funniest team accounts out there. The marketing guys over at the Los Angeles Kings organization have had some pretty good tweets over the years on their account (@LAKings). The funniest one perhaps came at the end game five of the 2013 Western Conference Finals. After losing in double overtime to the Chicago Blackhawks and officially being eliminated, the guys who run the Kings twitter account went straight to punchlines. The best being towards the then-recently eliminated Pittsburgh Penguins)

Kings-tweet1

screen-shot-2012-07-08-at-8-45-25-pm

Athletes:

  1. Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco): former MLB player; now tweets about his crazy life post-baseball
  2. Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32): pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks;  constantly provides great, funny tweets about the life of a MLB player
  3. Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson): former boxer;tweets about his family and post-boxing endeavors
  4. Chad Johnson (@Ochocinco): wide receiver in the NFL, currently a free agent; tweets about his life outside of football; always interacts with fans
  5. Kevin Love (@kevinlove): power forward/center for the Minnesota Timberwolves; behind the scenes look at the life of an NBA player
  6. Paul Bissonnette (@BizNasty2point0): left winger for the Phoenix Coyotes; always tweets about his life and consistently interacts with fans
  7. LeBron James (@KingJames): forward for the Miami Heat; everyone knows about LeBron on the court, but his Twitter account gives us a fantastic glimpse into his family life
  8. Roberto Luongo (?) (@strombone1): goalie for the Vancouver Canucks (possibly); this account probably belongs to Luongo (the tweets from inside the locker room/teammates attest to that assumption), but the anonymity of the account allows Luongo to tweet freely and give opinions about everything.
  9. Metta World Peace (@MettaWorldPeace): forward for the New York Knicks; gives his fans a sneak peek into the life of one of the most enigmatic players ever to don a NBA uniform
  10. Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP): second basemen for the Cincinnati Reds; tweets about the life of a MLB player and consistently connects with fans Read More…

NHL Top Ten Players So Far This Season

By: Matt Federbusch

1. Steven Stamkos (TB) 20 points, 11 goals, 9 assists

Stamkos has been fantastic so far. He is second in goals this year and second in points. The reason I put him first on this list is because he is the most offensively balanced player in the league right now and has been a huge part in the Lightning’s success.

Steven Stamkos has been on fire this season, and has no plans of slowing down (Via Hockey World Blog)

Steven Stamkos has been on fire this season, and has no plans of slowing down (Via Hockey World Blog)

2. Sidney Crosby (PIT) 23 points, 8 goals, 15 assists

Sidney Crosby, what can I say? As a Ranger fan, I despise the guy but I can’t say I don’t respect his talent. He leads the league in points but most of those points have surprisingly been assists, not goals. He still leads the Penguins with 8 goals but he has definitely shared the wealth with 15 assists.

3. Alexander Steen (STL) 18 points, 12 goals, 6 assists

Steen leads the league in goals right now and has been huge for the Blues so far. He currently has a point streak of seven games.

4. Phil Kessel (TOR) 18 points, 9 goals, 9 assists

The Toronto Maple Leafs are having a great year so far. They are first in the Atlantic division. Kessel is the main reason for their success, having a balanced 9 goals and 9 assists

5. Henrik Sedin (VAN) 19 points, 3 goals, 16 assists

Sedin hasn’t scored a lot of goals this far, but he has been a fantastic playmaker, leading the NHL with a jaw-dropping 16 assists.

6. Alex Ovechkin (WSH) 15 points, 10 goals, 5 assists

Ovechkin cooled down in the last few years, but he has been scorching so far with 10 goals early in the season.

7. Kyle Okposo (NYI) 17 points, 4 goals, 13 assists

The Islanders have been playing well so far and Okposo has helped a lot with 13 assists, 3rd most in the league right now.

8. Matt Duchene (COL) 14 points, 9 goals, 5 assists

Colorado is in first in the Central Division and Duchene has been huge, leading the team in points and goals.

9. Frans Nielsen (NYI) 16 points, 8 goals, 8 assists

Along with Okposo, Nielsen has been great for the Islanders as well, having a solid 16 points and 8 goals.

10. Joe Pavelski (SJ) 16 points, 6 goals, 10 assists

San Jose is first in the Pacific Division and Pavelski has been a terrific playmaker with 6 goals and 10 assists.

______________________________________________________________

Matt Federbusch is an avid sports fan and a Jets season ticket holder. Besides the Jets, He also supports the Knicks, Rangers, and Mets. His favorite all-time Jet is Curtis Martin.

Top Five MLB Teams That Need To Take Out Their Checkbook For 2014

By: Sam Breiter

Baseball in 2013 was a season to remember to say the least. Whether you are talking about the unbelievable breakout season from Chris Davis, who led major league baseball with 53 homeruns, or if you are discussing the legacy of a man named Mariano, you can clearly see how extraordinary this year in baseball was. Just three days ago, the Boston Red Sox organization gained the title of World Series Champions. For now, they will be noted as the best team in baseball, but April is just around the corner and now every team will have fair game to work on improving their team to become potential champions for 2014. Some teams may look at their 40-man roster today and feel a sense of comfort and confidence for next year, knowing that they may be one small signing or trade away from being contenders. Other teams may look and find that there are many holes that need to be covered, and they have a lot of work cut out for them this winter. Noting, there are some organizations that have more available money for the elite free agents than others. For example, the Houston Astros may need an outfielder, but do not expect them to spend $20 million on a five tool superstar, but rather a player with mediocre talent since they are many years away from being competitive.  What I am about to review is the top five teams who need to make moves this offseason in order to have a fighting chance in 2014. I took into consideration the available funds the team has, what they need, and their desire to improve to stand a chance next year.

The Yankees hope that bringing in the top free agents will lead them back to the promised land and their 28th World Series Championship (Via New York Times)

The Yankees hope that bringing in the top free agents will lead them back to the promised land and their 28th World Series Championship (Via New York Times)

#5 Kansas City Royals- After being regarded as one of the worst teams in baseball after their great run in the 70’s and 80’s, the Kansas City Royals in 2013 really found themselves as a team. Prior to the 2013 season, the Royals had not been over .500 since 2003, and before that 1993. After spending the last couple of years trading away talent to improve their farm system, the Royals have reached that essential milestone where they have developed a group of young prospects into MLB superstars. Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, and Eric Hosmer, to name off a few, had a key role in allowing the Royals to win their 86 games this year. The Royals were just seven games back of the division-winning Tigers, and missed a wild card spot by five and a half games. So what’s it going to take to get over that hump? What do the Royals need to do to go back to the glory days of when they were one of the most feared teams in baseball? I have one answer to that question and that is pitching. If we look at the pitching rotation for 2014, for the team right now you see the names James Shields, Jeremy Guthrie, Bruce Chen, and two question marks. Ervin Santana, who had an above average year, is now a free agent, and the Royals never really had a true number five guy. Shields and Guthrie provide a great one two punch, yet it is fair to note that Chen has always time after time proven himself to be unreliable with injuries and inconsistent success. With this said, the Royals, in order to get over that hump, need to sign two starting pitchers that will work long innings and keep the rotation intact. The best fit for the Royals would include pitchers who have shown their talent such as Ubaldo Jimenez, Dan Haren, A.J Burnett, Matt Garza, or Hiroki Kuroda. Additionally, they might want to try to get back Santana, and maybe go for some of the lower demand pitchers including Scott Baker, Mike Pelfrey, Ricky Nolasco, or even Jason Vargas.  With this added pitching help, the Royals can easily run away with a wild card spot, or perhaps even be the American League Central Division champs.

#4 Texas Rangers- Ever since 2010, the Texas Rangers have always been looked upon as, if not the best, one of the best teams in all of Major League Baseball. Their dominance in hitting the long ball, getting on base, and sustaining an above average pitching rotation and bullpen has allowed their success to last. In 2010, the Rangers made the World Series and fell flat on their face against the San Francisco Giants. The following year, after one of the most dramatic World Series ever, the Rangers fell just short losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in a seven game series. The following year, they won the wild card and missed their shot of going anywhere in the playoffs, and this year they did not even get a wild card spot. Clearly it may look as if this team is declining, but do you really expect the Oakland Athletics to come up with another 96 win season considering their best player is not even considered a superstar. If the Rangers brought back the same team they had this year, next year it looks pretty likely they would be the favorite to win the division, but down in Texas these fans expect more than a division title. Matt Garza, Nelson Cruz, A.J Pierzynski, and David Murphy, to name a few, are players who will be free agents this year and may just not be a part of the team next year. With this said, pitching (both starting and relief), a left fielder, and a catcher need to be acquired if the Rangers do not want to fall short yet again. In terms of pitching, look for the Rangers to attempt to sign one big name pitcher. I believe Garza will return and they will look to bring Alexi Ogando into their rotation and maybe even sign Roy Holladay if the Phillies part ways with the old ace. In terms of the bullpen, whatever happened to Neftali Feliz? From 2010-2011 Feliz combined for 72 saves, but from injuries the past few years people tend to forget about him. Expect Feliz to be their number one closer in 2014, but do not be surprised if Chris Perez comes in to become either the setup man or closer assuming Feliz does not work to his expectations. Behind the plate, the Rangers have always had power, if we go back a few years to Mike Napoli, or the more current days of Pierzynski. Do not be surprised if either of these players are brought back to the organization, yet I predict Brian McCann will be wearing a Texas Rangers uniform in 2014 because he will get paid the money he deserves, and the Rangers have a better resume of getting deep in the playoffs compared to the Braves. The Rangers have always had big time sluggers in the outfield. The Josh Hamilton/Nelson Cruz combo was one of the best power hitting outfields ever seen on one team. With Hamilton enjoying his money in L.A, and Cruz doubtful to return, do not be surprised to see the Rangers spending huge on a new outfielder. Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo, Curtis Granderson, Carlos Beltran, and Mike Morse are the best fits for the Rangers if they are willing to spend big on a new outfielder.

Read More…