Tag: New York Giants

New York Mets: How They Are Similar to the New York Giants Right Now

The New York Giants have made an improbable run toward the playoffs this season. When they got into the playoffs, they extended that momentum even further into a Super Bowl bid. It wasn’t easy, though. They began the season picked by almost every expert to finish last or near to last in their division.

Another team (the Philadelphia Eagles) in their division had made a flurry of offseason moves, including signing the Giants’ biggest free-agent Steve Smith and grabbed the attention span of football fans everywhere.

Still, another team in their division (the Dallas Cowboys), who were the defending division winners the previous season, were returning with a renewed focus and energy to make good on their previous success.

As for the Giants, themselves, they had lost key free agents and were wondering how and where the replacements would come from. There were questions of chemistry and an unsettling changing of the guard taking place throughout the organization. They spent money on role players as opposed to the big names.

Then, when they began to practice, that’s when everything really turned for the worse. Their top cornerback Terrell Thomas went down with a season-ending injury. That was followed by a string of several other injuries to the roster. The Giants were a team in despair—injured, mismatched and lacking motivation.

They only had two things going for them. One was a coach the players would run through a wall for in Tom Coughlin. Two, their long-time locker room leader and face of the franchise Eli Manning.

Then, something miraculous happened. They found their stride. The rest has brought them to where they are today—two weeks away from playing in their fifth Super Bowl.

You may be asking yourself  “That’s great for them, but this is a Mets’ site so what does this has to do with the Mets?”

The answer to that is very simple: with just weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the Mets are in a very similar place at this point of the offseason as the Giants were just before their season began.

Think about the staggering similarities. The Mets lost their key free agent. Everyone has spent the offseason pining over the departure of Jose Reyes.  Whether it was the right move by the Mets or not will be determined by hindsight. For now, let’s all agree that it has the potential to hurt them this year if no one steps up to fill the void.

Next, the Mets are picked to be last or next to last in the division for this upcoming season. Here’s why:

The Miami Marlins made a series of splashes (pardon the pun) in the offseason that have put them in the headlines and become the media darlings. One such move includes signing the Mets big free-agent Jose Reyes.

Another team, the Philadelphia Phillies, are the defending division champions and have an equally strong team returning with a renewed focus and determination to make good on their previous success. That’s not even mentioning the Washington Nationals’ or the Atlanta Braves’ offseason stories into the mix.

As for the Mets, themselves, they are a team entering the season replacing their roster losses with role players as opposed to big names. They are wondering where the production will come from to adequately replace the voids left behind.

They have a question of chemistry and an unsettling changing of the guard taking place within their clubhouse. There are questions of health across the board for this roster as well. In particular, Johan Santana and Ike Davis seem to have their names mentioned often in that discussion over the past few months. They are a team in despair; injured, mismatched and lacking motivation.

They only have two things keeping them afloat from last season. One is a manager the players would run through a wall for in Terry Collins (funny how he has the same initials as Tom Coughlin, isn’t it?). Two, their long-time locker room leader and face of the franchise David Wright.

Much like the Giants, something magical could happen in the season for the Mets too. Everything fell into place for the underestimated and overlooked Giants team. The Mets are underestimated and overlooked too. Why can’t they find their stride.

After all, the games are won on the field, not on paper. If that were not true, the Giants would never be where they are right now, and the Mets can draw motivation and solace from that fact.

They have to play the games. They have to perform to their capabilities and see where it takes them.

If they leave it all out on the field, they will have made another miraculous New York storied season by this time next year.


(For more on the New York Giants, please visit Big Giants Boom. For more on the New York Mets, please visit Mack’s Mets.)

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Leo Durocher: The 1954 New York Giants Can Win the Pennant

Three weeks into spring training, New York Giants manager Leo Durocher had a problem. It was a problem that every manager wished he had.

Durocher termed his 1954 team as the “best squad, especially young and talented players, I have ever had as manager.”

There was plenty of time, and a lot of baseball would played before Leo would have to decide which players stayed and which players would go, since the cut-down date, unlike today, occurred 30 days into the regular season, which was May 13.

A few of the veterans remarked that not since 1947 had there been such great talent in camp. That year, the Giants moved up from a last place finish in 1946 to fourth. They set a major league record in 1947 by hitting 221 home runs.

The 1947 hopefuls included Bobby Thomson, Whitey Lockman, Larry Jansen, Clint Hartung and Lucky Lohrke.

The “problem” was the infield. The regulars were Whitey Lockman at first, Davey Williams at second, Henry Thompson at third and Captain Alvin Dark at shortstop. Power-hitting Bobby Hofman was the first infield reserve off the bench.

Youngsters Foster Castleman, Billy Gardner, Ron Samford and Joey Amalfitano would challenge them.

Second baseman Davey Williams had a chronic back problem, which was a pinched nerve that could force him out of the lineup at any time, Durocher was considering carrying seven infielders. Since Amalfitano was a “bonus baby,” he had to make the team.

The Giants won five of their first nine exhibition games, winning their last four straight after dropping four of the first five.

The pitching, which Bob Feller pinpointed as the key to the season, had been fairly solid. Sal Maglie and Larry Jansen appeared to be heading for comeback seasons

Maglie had suffered from back, shoulder, and arm problems in 1953, while Jansen’s back problems, which arose in 1952, forced him to compensate, resulting in arm problems.

In 1951, the year of the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World,” both Maglie and Jansen had won 23 games. In 1953, Sal was 8-9 with a 4.15 ERA and a 105 ERA+, while Jansen went 11-16, with a 4.14 ERA and a 105 ERA+.

Johnny Antonelli, who was acquired when Bobby Thomson was sent to the Milwaukee Braves, was having control problems, giving up 12 walks in only five innings, but Durocher and pitching coach Frank Shelleback were working with the young southpaw on his stride and follow through. They believed that they had solved the problems.

Right-hander Ruben Gomez led the 1953 Giants with 13 wins, a 3.40 ERA, and a 128 ERA+. Durocher was more than optimistic that Gomez, the rejuvenated Maglie and Jansen, along with Antonelli would give him a formidable starting staff.

If Al “Red” Worthington returned to form, Bob Feller might be right. The Giants might win the pennant.


By LOUIS EFFRAT Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES.. (1954, March 17). Giants Spend Day Off at Game As Pilot Works on Infield Puzzle :Players See Cards-Cubs Contest at Mesa — Durocher Stays in Phoenix to Wrestle With Problem of 4 Talented Youths. New York Times (1923-Current file),36. Retrieved November 12, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2007). (Document ID: 92821238).


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New York Sports: It Was a Good Weekend For NY Sports Fans (Sorry Rangers Fans)

Well NY sports fans, this is the time of the year we have all been waiting for. MLB playoffs, NHL season getting under way and the NFL season is in full swing. Granted, the Mets haven’t been respectable since June, the Yanks are doing what they do best: winning games in October. They swept the Minnesota Twins to move onto the American League Championship Series, awaiting the winner of the Tampa Bay Rays/Texas Rangers series.

The Islanders and Rangers opened their seasons over the weekend. The Isles lost a hard fought game 5-4 in a shootout against the Dallas Stars. The Isles welcomed back goalie Rick DiPietro as the opening night starter for the first time since 2007. Even though injuries have hurt them early on in the preseason, the Islanders brought in some new defenders to help sure up the front of the net as they hope to take some of the pressure off of DP.

The Rangers welcomed the Derek Stepan era as he scored three goals in his NHL debut, including the deciding goal, in a 6-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.

In their first head-to-head meeting of the year, the Isles got the best of the Rangers 6-4. One of the headlines coming out of the game was the obscene gesture new Islanders defenseman James Wisniewski made towards the always controversial Sean Avery.

As much as it pains Jets fans to admit, the Giants may be a playoff team this year as well. The Giants defense has looked unbeatable the last two weeks, shutting down the Bears and the Texans respectively. In Sunday’s win over the Texans, the Giants defense improved to first in the NFL in yards allowed per game (244.6), per play (4.1) and passing yards (146.0), and second in sacks (19). Hakeem Nicks is making a statement with his play as of late, and will be a big part of the Giants success as the season goes on.

Once again, the Jets defense looked very impressive as they were able to get past the Vikings 29-20 on Monday night, improving to 4-1. The offense struggled throughout the first three quarters, only managing five field goals. The defense turned out to be better than their offense as they put the game away late when Dwight Lowery intercepted Brett Favre‘s pass and returned it for a touchdown with 1:30 left in the game. In the spirit of Halloween, that was the nail in the coffin.

As October continues, the sports world may revolve around New York, even if no one wants to admit it. With two contending football teams, a baseball team that is the favorite to reach the World Series, and a pair of hockey teams fighting for respectability, the next few weeks of New York sports are going to be very interesting and undoubtedly exciting.

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