THIS METS-YANKEES SERIES LOOKS LIKE A MISMATCH...EXCEPT FOR...
The New York Yankees host the New York Mets in a three-game series Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the Bronx Bombers could use a sweep against their struggling crosstown rival in pursuit of the red-hot Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox lead the Yankees by 4 ½ games in the American League East. The prize is the division pennant and a spot in the Division Series. The best-case scenario for the second-place team would be the unenviable do-or-die one-game wild-card playoff.
Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes is expected to return to the lineup Friday night after missing 57 games with a hip injury, but the Yankees still have far more offensive firepower and the much better bullpen.
The Yankees are 62-33. The Mets are 39-55 (including 28-54 since their amazing 11-1 start).
The Yankees have a plus+131 run differential (493-362) and the Mets have a minus-68 run differential (363-431).
The Yankees have outhomered the Mets 161 to 97.
The Yankees have a .793 OPS (on-base percentage + slugging percentage). The Mets have a .685 OPS.
The potential equalizer for the Mets – in two of the three games at least – are starting pitchers Noah Syndergaard (vs. Domingo German) in Game 1 Friday night and Jacob deGrom (vs. Masahiro Tanaka) in Game 3 Sunday night.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman is shopping for at least one starting pitcher before the non-waivers trade deadline July 31. The Mets appear to be a logical trade partner. For deGrom or Syndergaard, the Mets probably would want outfielder Clint Frazier and one or two other top prospects. Zack Wheeler or Steven Matz would be less costly upgrades for the Yankees.
The Yankees and Mets have been involved in 15 transactions since 1966. Most of them were minor deals of no great benefit to either team.
The best of the deals for the Yankees was obtaining third baseman Robin Ventura for outfielder David Justice Dec. 7, 2001. Justice was traded to Oakland one week later. Ventura had a solid 2002 season (.247, 27 HRs, 93 RBI) for the first-place Yankees.
THE RAZORSHARKS WILL RETURN FOR 2019 SEASON
The RazorSharks will return for their 15th minor-league basketball season. Rochester native and Chicago resident Dr. Severko Hrywnak, who founded the Sharks in 2005, returns as owner/Chief Executive Officer.
The Sharks will be playing in a new league this season. Dr. Sev has sold his half interest in the North American Premier Basketball League to former-partner Dave Magley. The league has been rebranded: The Basketball League (TBL) will open on or about January 1, 2019, with Rochester and hopefully 11 other teams: Albany; Bellevue, Wash.; Kansas City, Mesquite Nevada; Owensboro, Kentucky; Vancouver, B.C.; defending NAPBL champion Yakima, Wash.; Raleigh; San Diego; Tampa Bay, and the Ohio (Ohio) Bootleggers.
Dr. Hrywnak, who admits he lost at least $7 million in 14 years operating the Sharks and the Premier Basketball League/NAPBL, says he continues to own the team because he loves Rochester and basketball. The Sharks have won nine division titles and eight league championships in the ABA and PBL.
He plans to become a minor investor in the indoor soccer Chicago Mustangs.
MIXED TAKES ON JOSH ALLEN
Former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo and current Giants head coach Pat Shurmur both told the New York Post that Buffalo’s Josh Allen would’ve been their pick if they decided to choose a quarterback in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft.
McAdoo was impressed with Allen’s “high ceiling.” Shurmur, interviewed before the draft, liked Allen’s toughness and competitiveness: “He’s a really big guy with some gumption. I just like his mindset.”
NFL.com’s Adam Schein describes Allen as “the next Carson Wentz.” Wow, the Bills should be so fortunate. He said he thinks Allen could start Week 1: “I don’t want to hear about AJ McCarron. And spare me the Nathan Peterman nonsense.”
Five of ESPN’s NFL Insiders were asked to pick the rookie quarterback “in the best spot for long-term success”: The five nods went to Baker Mayfield (Cleveland), Mason Rudolph (Pittsburgh), Lamar Jackson (Baltimore), Josh Rosen (Arizona) and Sam Darnold (Jets).
RED WINGS OFFENSE PLUNGES TO NEW DEPTHS
The Rochester Plates/Red Wings tried two team names Thursday night at home in a doubleheader against the Norfolk Tides and lost Game 1 by a 1-0 score and Game 2 by a 1-0 score.
Rochester’s frustrating season-long batting woes hit a new low.
Here’s where the Red Wings rank in the 14-team International League in major offensive categories:
.288 batting average (14th...second-worst Pawtucket .240)
318 runs (14th...second-worst Pawtucket 350)
1,026 total bases (14th...second-worst Buffalo 1,092)
.306 on-base percentage (14th...second-worst Charlotte .311)
.341 slugging percentage (14t...second-worst Pawtucket .360)
.647 OPS (14th...second-worst Pawtucket .674).
Rochester is not last in home runs. The Red Wings have 63 HRs and rank tied for 11th in the IL.
Rochester’s pitching staff continues to shine with a league-best 3.36 ERA.
ESPY TEAM OF THE YEAR ASTROS HAVE A BIG CHANCE TO REPEAT
The Houston Astros were voted ESPYs Team of the Year Wednesday night for winning the 2017 World Series. Their offense is down this season but they have a chance to repeat because their pitching has been much better this season:
2017 – 101-61 record (.623)...+196 run differential (896-700)....batting average .282/.823 OPS...238 HRs...4.12 ERA...batting average against .240...fielding percentage .983.
2018 – 64-35 record with 63 games remaining (.646)...+188 run differential (50-312)...batting average .261/.768 OPS...126 HRs...2.94 ERA...batting average against .210...fielding percentage .988.
COMPARING COLLEGE NUMBERS FOR J.P., EJ AND JOSH
The Buffalo Bills have selected only three quarterbacks in the first round of the NFL college draft: J.P. Losman, Tulane, No. 22 overall in 2004...EJ Manuel, No. 16 overall in 2013...Josh Allen, Wyoming, No. 7 overall in 2018.
Just for fun – and attempting to prove nothing – here’s how they fared in their college careers:
Losman – 17-20 record; 570-of-987 (.578) for 6,754 yards passing; 60 TD passes; 27 INTs; 129.8 passer rating; 237 carries for 2451 yards and 10 TDs.
Manuel – 24-7 record; 600-of-897 (.669) for 7,741 yards passing; 47 TD passes; 28 INTs; 150.4 passer rating; 298 carries for 827 yards and 11 TDs.
Allen – 16-11 record; 365-of-649 (.562) for 5,066 yards passing; 44 TD passes; 21 INTs; 137.7 passer rating; 237 carries for 767 yards and 12 TDs.
PIONEER HALL OF FAME JOCKEY MANNY YCAZA DIES AT AGE 80
Hall of Fame jockey Manny Ycaza died his week at age 80. He had a very interesting life.
He was born in Panama, where his father drove a bus. He was a jockey by age 14 and immigrated to the United States in 1956. He is credited for being the first great Latino rider in America and for launching the “Latino Invasion” of great riders. In 1977, he became the first Latino jockey to be elected to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
He won 2,367 races out of 10,561 mounts, but only one of those wins was in a Triple Crown race – the 1964 Belmont Stakes. It was a big one. His victory aboard Quadrangle cost Northern Dancer a Triple Crown.
He was known for being an aggressive and daring jockey. He was often suspended by the stewards but never had problems getting top horses to ride. He won four riding titles at Saratoga Racecourse.
His first wife was 1960 Miss Universe.
After he retired as a jockey he gave driving standardbred (harness) horses a try
Brent Musburger at age 79 is the new radio play-by-play broadcaster for the Oakland Raiders. Greg Papa was replaced after 21 years on the job. Color analyst Tom Flores will be retained by the Raiders in another capacity.
Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl 52 MVP led the league in all licensed merchandise sales from March to May. He was followed by Tom Brady, Cason Wentz, Saquon Barkley and Dak Prescott. One-handed rookie Shaquem Griifin was 43rd.
ERSPN NFL Insider Nate Davis picked all 257 NFL games for the 2018 season. He projects a 3-13 record for the Buffalo Bills. I don’t think they’ll be quite that bad. The only team projected for a worse record is Indianapolis at 2-14.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO...
Friday, July 20
Ben Simmons (22)...Shaquem Griffin (23)...Steven Admas (25)...Dwight Powell (27)...Stephen Strasburg (30)...Troy Smith (34)...Adam Rose (39)..Pavel Datsyuk (40)...Ray Allen (43)...Peter Forsberg (45)...Josef Stumpel (46)...Murray Craven (54)...Boston scribe Dan Schaughnessy (65)...Mary Dwyer (70)...Tony Oliva (80). Gisele Bundchen (38) is invited to the birthday and she can bring along hubby Tom Brady.
Saturday, July 21
DeAndre Jordan (30)...Kellen Winslow II (35)...CC Sabathia (38)...David Carr (39)...Tamika Catchings (39)...Willie Eyre (40)...Brandi Chastain (50)...Lyle Odelein (50)...Mike Bordick (53)...Henry Ellard (57)...Phil Russell (66)...Doug Collins (67)...Al Hrabosky (69)...John Hart (70).
Sunday, July 22
Ezekiel Elliott (23)...Sean Lee (32)...Steven Jackson (35)...Dmitri Kalinin (38)...Mike Sweeney (45)...Keyshawn Johnson (46)...Kristine Lilly (47)...Sergei Zubov (48)...Tim Brown (52)...Shawn Michaels (53)...Doug Riesenberg (53)...Rafael Addison (54)...Alvin Robertson (56)...Dave Stieb (61)...Michael Spinks (62)...Scott Sanderson (62)...Lasse Viren (69)...Cliff Johnson (71)...Sparky Lyle (74)...Gerry Desjardins (74)...Secretariat’s jockey Ron Turcotte (77). David Spade (54), Willem Dafoe (63), Danny Glover (72) and Alex Trabeck (78) are invited to the birthday party.
ON THIS DATE IN SPORTS...
160 years ago (1858), the first admission was charged – 50 cents – to see a baseball game: New York beat Brooklyn 22-18...42 years ago (1976), Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final home run...38 years ago (1980), Tom Watson won the 109th British Open...24 years ago (1994), O.J. Simpson offered a $500,000 reward for evidence of his wife’s killer...4 yerars ago (2014), Rory Mcllroy won the 143rd British Open.
73 years ago (1945), the Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Athletics played a 24-inning 1-1 tie...61 cyears ago (1957), Althea Gibson became the first African-American to win a major US tennis tournament...59 years ago (1959), the Boston Red Sox with infielder Pumpsie Green became the last MLB team to use a black player...29 years ago (1989), Mike Tyson KOd Carl Williams in 1:33 for the heavyweight boxing title...5 years ago (2013), Phil Micelson won the 142nd British Open.
55 years ago (1963), Sonny Liston KOd Floyd Patterson in the first round for the heavyweight boxing title...45 years ago (1973), Susie Maxwell Berning won the U.S. Women’s Open at CC of Rochester...45 years ago (1973), Luis Ocana won the 60th Tour de France...34 years ago (1984), Kathy Whitworth won the LPGA Rochester International for her 85th career victory...28 years ago (1990), Greg LeMond of the USA won the 77th Tour de France.