Touching the bases….

By Rich Mancuso

A few thoughts:

NEW YORK/JERSEY FOOTBALL SCENE A LOSS:  In The case of two New York/New Jersey football teams, Giants and Jets, another January approaches without a post season. In the case of two coaches, Tom Coughlin (Giants) and Rex Ryan (Jets), well that may be off-season priorities that will be addressed.

Though from this perspective, both coaches deserve opportunity to return and turn things around. In the case of the Jets, it is a continued process of turning things around. And a proper quarterback in place, and with seven draft picks, Ryan has that chance to turn it around.

Defense is not the issue for Gang Green. The quarterback is the issue, and Ryan showed what his defense can do. If healthy also, the proper plan is set and the Jets did pull two great wins over the Patriots and Saints. Many say, overachieved with more than four wins.

In essence, Ryan needs another year.  The Jets may be one or two steps away from returning to the Super Bowl hunt. Oh, Ryan has also learned to be quiet. No longer considered “Fat Mouth” from this point of view and that worked to his credit….

Coughlin is very simple: Eli Manning was not throwing the ball like a two-time Super Bowl champion.  And the veteran coach will walk out on his own terms.  So, forget about his dismissal and give the coach credit…

Oh by the way, that February Super Bowl Game is approaching at Met Life Stadium. The NFL said Wednesday, “Let it Snow.”  Better you than me in the stadium if it snows and is below the freezing mark. In the long run more revenue for the league, and as always the inconvenience and wrong move for the fans….

KNICKS/NETS AND ISSUES AT HAND: Despite the results, both the Knicks and Brooklyn Nets are good where they stand. Yes, good and why? They are situated in a mediocre division and have time to get things correct. Common knowledge about the division, but easy to understand what has occurred.

Injuries, and from this perspective, Johnson and Williams, when healthy, are the best duo on the court, in the game. And, Jason Kidd is partly at fault. Nets made the wrong move and the guy Kidd wanted off the bench, Lawrence Frank should have been the leader. After all this is a team of experienced veterans and leadership, and Frank had that experience to deal with the high profiled Nets roster that has shown signs of getting out of this early tailspin.

Kidd may have retired prematurely and would have helped the struggling Knicks even if he was a part time player….

The Knicks: Another issue and as pathetic as the division is, a team that was not made to win. Not a championship team last May when they were eliminated by the Pacers, though much better than what has been constructed at this juncture. The coach, Mike Woodson, assuming they can’t get 15 wins by mid-January will be dismissed. Because when a team fails, as we all know, the manager or coach is the first to go….

RANGERS/ISLANDERS:  No comment about the Islanders. Before they make the move to Brooklyn, and to add to a fading fan base, they need to send a message and get in the win column. That won’t happen without a better percentage of shots on goal and more aggressive play….

Rangers need this momentum of building to a winning streak. Have to believe once the Blue shirts are at full strength it will happen…. Nash still has not played to capability and sources are saying, some changes will be coming to assure that Nash lives up to his billing. 

A this rate, there is hope for the Rangers. They can make noise in this no-name Metropolitan division, but they need more and it spells: RICK NASH….

YANKEES/METS: There is hope as we approach the holidays. Because the Yankee s and Mets have not been idle with off-season roster moves. For the moment, the Mets appear to be done with any major acquisitions. The Yankees, far from over and more will come after the holiday season.

In the meantime, even as MLB hit the Yankees with a luxury tax bill of $28 million in 2013, the spending, more so concerns of going over the $189 million salary threshold will continue though not at the rates granted to contracts of Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran.

Beltran is expected to be introduced to the media at Yankee Stadium sometime Friday, his second stint in a New York uniform.

And how about the Yankees and Mets almost like exchanging players via free agency: Bartolo Colon and Curtis Granderson former Yankees, now cross-town Mets and Beltran, who has never been forgiven by Mets fans for his last at bat in the NLCS against the Cardinals, now in pinstripes….

Report card: Mets have improved but still steps away from playoff aspirations… Yankees vastly improved and at this point could be playoff ready, though a lot will depend on who is healthy and ready for a return to form in 2014…

From the Yankees, some holiday cheer:

Comment: Rich Mancuso Mancuso