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Coaches Corner – 1/27/12

28 Jan

News and Notes from around the world of Sports

Coach’s Corner 5

January 27, 2012

Peyton Manning

With each passing day, and the firing of anyone close to Peyton Manning, it appears more and more likely that Manning’s 28 million dollar option will not be picked up.  Medical experts claim his regenerated nerve in his neck will be fine, they just do not know when.  With that said, the Colts have some tough questions to answer.  Can they afford to pay him 28 million with the uncertainty of Manning’s health?

So if the Colts are not going to have #18 under center, where could he end up?

Let’s brain storm…Even thought he wouldn’t play for a  dysfunctional team like the Jets it would make for some great back page stories if he battled for control of the city against his brother, Eli.

New York fans are begging ownership for an opportunity to bring Manning to NYC.  I don’t think it will happen.

I can’t stand the Dallas Cowboys but let’s think about Peyton to the Cowboys.  They have outstanding receivers in Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Whitten.  Their running game is solid.  Peyton would have plenty of weapons.  Jerry Jones wants to win and would he be willing to deal Tony Romo or have him back up Manning for that chance to win next year?  Their defense is still terrible but the Cowboys would give Peyton a chance to win next year.  And . . . he would play his brother twice a year.

The 49ers are a natural choice.  An excellent defense and I bet Michael Crabtree would be a fantasy football sensation with Peyton throwing to him.  Frank Gore is an excellent running back.  But Alex Smith proved to be an above average quarterback and will probably be re-signed by the 49ers.

Chicago Bears?  Miami Dolphins?  How about the Baltimore Ravens?  Even though Joe Flacco was excellent in their loss, bringing in Peyton would make give them a better shot to make it back to the AFC Championship game or Super Bowl.

The more I think about it, if the Colts cannot determine that Peyton is healthy they will not pick up the 28 million dollar option.  Peyton will be the most sought after free agent in decades.

San Antonio Spurs News and Notes

How does Tim Duncan respond to Coach Pop when he is rested for an evening?  Well, according to David Robinson via twitter Duncan looked like he was playing in 1999 again.  Duncan traditionally is against missing games but this might be the key to keeping the Big Fundamental fresh for the duration.

The Spurs have announced that Bruce Bowen, and his sweet bow tie, will have his jersey retired in the near future.  Bowen was a key cog in the championship run and constantly guarded the opponent’s best player.  Bowen was not a prolific scorer but he was deadly from the corner.  Congrats Bruce.

Some Spurs fans have argued that “Big Shot Bob” aka Robert Horry deserves to have his jersey retired.  If the true mark of a man is winning, Horry could have his jersey retired by the Rockets, Lakers or Spurs.  I don’t think he will have the jersey retired but he was one of the most clutch players ever.

In my last Coach’s Corner I talked about the lack of national respect for Tony Parker.  How does he respond?  20 points and 17 assists in a win against the New Orleans Hornets.  Parker deserves to be an all-star this year.  

Tiago Splitter has made huge strides in his game the past year.  He has become a very dependable defender and scorer off the bench.  He is noticeably much more aggressive.

Knicks

On Tuesday, I went and attended two excellent high school basketball games.  The school I work at defeated their arch rival in both the boys and girls contests.  Our girls were down 13 at the half and junior point guard and stud Leslie Vorpal hit five straight three pointers and scored 17 total points in the third quarter.  The dominate outside shooting propelled them to victory.  The boys followed up with a big win.  6’10 wing/post Connor Lammert, who has committed to the University of Texas, had two huge dunks to lead the way.

On the same night, the Knicks destroyed a bad and depleted Charlotte Bobcats team.  I missed the game but was pleased to see Tyson Chandler continuing his fine play.  Melo only had one point but they still blew them out.

So, I was very confident as I sat down to watch the Knicks and Cleveland play.  I should have just went to bed.

My first year coaching 7th grade basketball, my friend and current high school head coach Tim Woods, told me that my kids were shooting too many jump shots.  We needed to drive to the hoop and quit settling for 17-20 foot jump shots.

It was so simple.  We went on to have an excellent season because we didn’t settle for the outside shot.

Not simple enough.  I nearly lost my appetite as the Knicks, guards and posts alike, continued to jack jump shot after jump shot.  At some point, you have to show the ball fake and take it to the hoop.  I tell my 12-year-old daughter this and my 10-year-old son this all the time.

D’Antoni will be fired before you know it.  Mike Woodson will finish the year as the head coach.  The Knicks won’t trade for Dwight Howard.  They will make the playoffs and bow out in front of their home crowd amiss a ton of boos.  The boat is sinking and people are jumping off the band wagon faster than the Italian ship captain that accidentally slipped and fell into the life boat.

Iman Shumpert cannot be allowed to shoot as much as he does.  He is an aggressive defender but a not a three-point shooter.  If I were an opponent’s coach, I would allow him to shoot from 23 feet all day long.

Landry Fields deserves more time and shoots.  Fields is talented and needs to have many more touches per game.  His lack of touches appears to have led to him forcing shots and his shooting percentage being very low.

Let Steve Novak and Jeremy Lin get an opportunity.  Novak could fill the roll and minutes of Harrington and Lin or my 12-year-old son Andrew could fill the minutes of Bibby.

Baron Davis better be better than advertised.

Joe Pa

In my last Coach’s Corner, I said that I could not forgive him for his actions.  I still can’t.  But my friend and co-worker – One Door Down or James Barton shared with me a link of a story Rick Reilly wrote about him.

Check the story out here.

http://espn.go.com/espn/story/_/id/7492873/rick-reilly-paterno-true-legacy

Giants vs Patriots

Key #1 to a NY Giants Victory on Defense

The Giants are able to get pressure on the opposing quarterbacks without blitzing.  Tuck, JPP, Osi, Kwi, Chris Canty, and Rocky Bernard will all be counted on to keep the pressure on Tom Brady.  Rushing only the front four successfully will allow the Giants to keep everything in front of them.

Brady is going to complete passes to Welker and the tight ends.  The Giants, with 7 in coverage will be able to keep the receivers in front of them and survive to play another down.

Key #1 to a NY Giants Victory on Offense

Mario Manningham.  If you asked me who the best receiver on the team was, I would say that Victor Cruz is definitely the man.  Hakeem Nicks is a home run hitter also.

But the Patriots are going to have to pick their poison.  Are they going to double team Cruz?  Nicks?  If they do, that will mean Manningham will be in lots of one-on-one coverage.  With the way Manning has been throwing the ball, I think Manningham will have a huge game.

Look for more keys to victory in the next Coach’s Corner.

Early pick by yankeetodd

Giants 27 and Patriots 21.  I could see the Giants by as much as 10 right now.

The Prince of Detroit

His Dad didn’t see it coming.  In the city that his Dad belted many long and deep home runs, Prince Fielder signed a massive nine-year contract with the Tigers.

Fielder was clearly the best free agent still left on the board and the Tigers will be a better team next year because of him.

But is a nine-year contract a wise move?  Think A-Rod.

Fielder is 28 years old and Detroit Tigers owner Mike Illitich wants to win now!  He reportedly wears his Detroit Red Wings hockey championship ring and shows Tiger players that ring as a motivational tool.

The Tigers advanced to the American League Championship series last year behind excellent pitching.  Justin Verlander was on the golf course when he heard the news of his team acquiring Fielder.  He was having a bad outing until he heard the news.

The move also strengthens the American League (like it needed it) and weakens the National League (it already is)

The National League is the Phillies to lose.  No one else is in their class.  If they lose, it would be like the Miami Heat losing (oh, wait. . .)

Look at the moves in the American league this year.

The Angels added Albert Pujols and CJ Wilson.

The Rangers add Yu Davarish.

The Yankees added Michael Pineda.

The Tigers added Prince Fielder.

The Red Sox have a million closers now.

Here’s a wild thought to consider.  Of the following teams – the Yankees, Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, Texas Rangers, and Anaheim Angels – two of them will not make the playoffs next year.

That doesn’t seem fair.

The National league should not be able to have a wild card team if any of these six teams have a better record.  Who wants to watch the pitcher bat anyway?

Jorge Posada

Posada will be missed for many reasons.  17 years as a Yankee, 5 championships, and huge double against Pedro Martinez in game 7 of the 2003 comeback  (sorry David, Robbie, and Ed Kolovson) in the playoffs.  We all knew that once Pedro reached 100 pitches you had to take him out but Posada’s double allowed the Yankees to storm back and win.

But one reason that he will be missed is his wife is beautiful.

With Jesus Montero being traded, some Yankee beat writers debated having Posada stick around one more year and take the left handed at bats as DH.  Andruw Jones would take the at bats from the right side of the plate.  But Posada decided a summer with his family was what he wanted.  Who can blame one of the most passionate Yankees for wanting family time?  Posada deserves to have his number retired and deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Down on the farm

You might see these five guys in the Bronx soon. 

The Yankees recently traded their best prospect, Jesus Montero, in more than a decade for starting pitchers.  Will Michael Pineda and Jose Campos be those guys? Only time will tell.  In the mean time, let’s examine the top players that one day you could see in the Bronx.

Cashman has maintained that the young arms are untouchable.  Both Banuelos and Betances have been previously linked to every trade that the Yankees are exploring.  Does Cashman believe that these young guns will have a spot in the Bronx or is he waiting for the right deal to come along?

By some accounts, the catchers are as talented at Montero in some ways.  Sanchez and Romine have long been linked to trades themselves.  If you believe the experts, both catchers will have long major league careers and could help us one day forget Jesus Montero (Except my son won’t)

Dante Bichette Jr. surprised the Yankees last year and we will continue to monitor his progress.  But with the blood lines of a former major leaguer, Bichette could possibly have a future in the majors.

1.     Manny Banuelos.  LHP.

He has tremendous potential to be one of the best Yankee farm hands to come along in a long time.  Banuelos has command of three pitches, a fastball, curve, and change up.  Look for Banuelos to make an appearance in the majors in 2012.  Has the potential to be a starter in the Bronx or a piece of a trade.

2.     Gary Sanchez – Catcher.

Sanchez is younger that Jesus Montero and many experts compare Sanchez’s offensive game to Montero.  In 2011, Sanchez hit 17 home runs and drove in 82 RBI’s at low class A ball.  Many experts believe that the young Yankee has a ton of upside and potential.

3.      Dellin Betances RHP

I was excited to see Betances pitch last year.  The 6’8 New Yorker has all the tools to be a starter in his home town for a long time.  His fast ball reaches the upper 90’s.  The depth of the Yankees will allow Betances to begin the year at Triple A but the big leagues are in the near future.

4.      Dante Bichette Jr.Third Base

Is this A-Rod’s replacement?  The son of the former big leaguer with the same name, Bichette was the MVP of the Gulf Coast League last year.

5.      Austin Romine – Catcher

With so much depth in the organization at the catcher position, having Romine and also Sanchez made it easier to trade Montero.

Romine is an excellent defensive catcher who has the ability to be an every day  catcher.

Personally speaking, I don’t know if the Yankee farm system is completely overrated because that’s what New Yorkers do or if we are in a period of strong player development.

When Roberto Kelly was breaking into the majors, my brother and I bought at least 50 of his rookie cards thinking he was going to be the next best Yankee.  He wasn’t but he did bring us Paul O’Neil.

I am personally excited to see Big Dellin Betances develop into a Yankee pitcher.  He has the size and speed on his fastball to overpower hitters.  The way the Knicks have been playing, I might take a front line of CC Sabiatha, Michael Pineda and the 6’8 Betances over the Knickerbockers.

But let’s be honest.  The Yankee farm team is ultimately used to acquire other stars.  This completely bothers my father.  But every once in a while, the Yankees give their own kids a chance and they find a star.

If King Felix comes available and the Yankees are in the mix, you can expect these names to be discussed.

Today, I heard the classic 3rd Base Rap song “The Gas Face” on the radio.  One line in that song sums up the Mets off-season.

“All you really get is a box of Newports and Puma sweats.  Damn.”

Follow me on twitter @yankeetodd1

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