It’s been a pretty busy and interesting week in New York/New Jersey sports and while a number of these tops have already been discussed at nauseous in the media, I have some thoughts on what’s been going on and just wanted to wait a few days to put paper to pen on what’s been going through my mind.
Let me start with the Jets fiasco.
When the Jets released a statement last Wednesday announcing that Chairman Christopher Johnson had decided to fire General Manager Mike Maccagnan, to see I went off the deep end would be a bit of an understatement. One thing I always took a lot of pride in when I covered the Jets for ESPN Radio and WFAN Radio is that I believe I did as good a job as one can do covering a team that you’re a fan of.
But last Wednesday, the fan in me was stewing to the point that my wife Sheryl literally had to come me down when we were having lunch. During a phone conversation with my long time friend Larry, he told me he had never heard me that angry in our thirty years of friendship. Fan or reporter, the bottom line is still the same and that is the Jets remain as dysfunctional of a sports franchise as you can get.
I would have had no problem if the Jets had decided to fire Maccagnan along with Head Coach Todd Bowles after the season, but I also had no problem with keeping him and allowing him to be a part of hiring a new coach. But here’s my issue and I think this is the bottom line…once Adam Gase was hired as Head Coach, why did it take Johnson so long to realize that this was another shotgun wedding that was going to fail?
If you trusted Gase to be “the guy”, that decision could have been made long before the draft and free agency. End of story.
As far as the Knicks go, I’m not going to proclaim that I’m a huge follower of basketball because I’m not. But I think the reactions to the Knicks not getting the first pick in the draft has been a little silly. I read a lot of stories written by basketball experts and talked to a lot of people much more knowledgeable on the sport than I am and it seems pretty clear that this draft is not only about Zion Williamson but also about Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett.
The Knicks didn’t have the fortunate luck to land the number one pick but they did get number three meaning they will get a good player there if they don’t trade the pick. It could have been a lot worse because they could have dropped to as low as five so it has to be taken as a good thing they wound up with the third pick. And besides…my almost nine year old son Jared is a huge basketball fan and tells me that the Knicks will be okay with Barrett if they take him.
I don’t need anybody else’s thought because Jared’s proclamation is good enough for me.
On now to soccer.
After a rough start to the season, it looks like the defending MLS Supporters Shield champion New York Red Bulls may be getting their act together. They’ve won four of their last five matches including Sunday’s 1-0 win over defending MLS Cup Champion Atlanta at Red Bull Arena. Don’t fall asleep on the Red Bulls. They have a good mix of veterans and young players so don’t be surprised if we’re talking about them come playoff time.
Also, the Cosmos are 5-0 in NPSL play after a pair of wins over the weekend. The most famous franchise in North American soccer history is getting ready to launch a new professional league in August, but in the meantime they have their sights set on adding some more hardware to their extensive trophy case. Head Coach Carlos Mendes is doing a great job.
I can’t believe that, at the time I’m writing this, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders are in first place in the American League East! All joking aside, the Yankees deserve a lot of credit for staying above water with all the injuries. So many of these call ups have stepped in and have done a great job. Looks like some interesting decisions are ahead for General Manager Brian Cashman and Manager Aaron Boone when the Bombers’ walking wounded start to come back.
And finally, Long Island has always been a hotbed for lacrosse and this past weekend was another example why. 8,017 fans jammed into Hofstra University’s Shuart Stadium on Saturday to see the the NCAA Men’s Lacrosse Quarterfinals as Virginia and Duke came away with overtime victories. On Saturday night, the expansion New York Riptide won a coin flip and will pick first in the 2019 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft. The Riptide begins play in December as indoor lacrosse makes it return to Nassau Coliseum. Also, the New York Lizards continue training camp as they get set for the 2019 Major Lacrosse League season.
Lacrosse is alive and well on Long Island as it always had been but it seems like the sports continues to grow and grow.
That’s all for now! I’ll check in again soon with more takes on what’s happening with local sports.