Crazy Weekend in NY Sports!!!
It has been a roller coaster year for New York sports teams and this past weekend just added to the ride. Baseball season is underway and it seems as if the Mets and Yankees are switching places in the early going. The NBA regular season is coming to the end and the Knicks are not making it easy on their fans. The NHL regular season is over and with the best goalie in the league and the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, the Rangers have their highest expectations going into the playoffs since ’93-’94. This past Sunday capped off what was an amazing and unpredictable weekend in New York.
Opening weekend in MLB is always fun for me…mainly because my Mets are statistically still relevant. Coming into this season, the Yankees were the favorite to win the AL East while the Mets were the favorite to finish last in the NL East, so no one could have predicted how this opening weekend went. The Yankees started this young season by getting swept by their division rival Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Both Sabathia and Kuroda got rocked in their first starts of the season and Hughes, although only giving up 2 earned runs, couldn’t even complete 5 innings. The Yanks were able to put up some runs in the first two games but with the ever-reliable Mariano Rivera blowing the opening day save for the first time in his career and picking up the loss there definitely were some Yankee fans worrying a little.
On the other side of the City, the sad and in debt Mets did something they have never done before; swept an opening series against a division rival. Johan Santana was the opening day starter and pitched an impressive game with 5 shutout innings followed by a flawless bullpen performance to finish the shutout. Frank Fransisco became the Mets first ever closer to have a save in the first 3 games of a season. I personally sat in the Champions Club Level right next to Fred Wilpon’s sky box seats and saw him smile, possibly for the first time ever, at the end of Sundays win against the Atlanta Braves. Lets put this opening weekend in perspective though. There are still 159 games left in this season and I am sure the Yankees will be just fine and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mo goes 40-1 in save opportunities. The Mets looked great in the opening weekend but I am a realistic Mets fan so I won’t get ahead of myself.
The Knicks are in the midst of a very intense and exhilarating playoff race. Currently, if the playoffs started today, the Knicks would be facing the Miami Heat in the first round in the 2-7 match-up. As a Knicks fan, I would HATE to see that, but as a basketball fan, I would LOVE to see that. Since Mike Woodson has taken the reigns as New York’s interim head coach, the Knicks have the #1 ranked defense in the NBA and an 11-3 record. Their most impressive win during Woodson’s short run came Sunday against the team with the best record in the NBA, the Chicago Bulls. If you watched this game or saw the highlights on ESPN you would know that this was one of the most exciting games of the entire NBA season and the type of game that the Knicks have lost far too often over the past decade. Carmelo had his highest scoring performance as a Knick (43), and hit a game tying 3-pointer to bring the game into overtime and then drained the game winning 3 in the end of OT. With another big game against Chicago on Tuesday and then a pivotal game against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday we should have a clear understanding of where the Knicks playoff future lies by Thursday.
The other New York team that plays in the Garden has been making noise all season but hasn’t got the recognition they deserve because of the sport they play. The Rangers have been unbelievable all season long and Henrik Lundqvist is the front-runner to win the Vezina Trophy as well as probably receiving some votes for the Hart Trophy. The problem with the Rangers regular season success is that in the NHL there are a lot of playoff upsets. They have run into an unfavorable match-up for their first round by being paired with the 8th seeded Ottawa Senators. The Senators played the Rangers in 4 regular seasons games this season and won 3 of them. I still feel that the Rangers will step it up in the playoffs and hopefully bring back the cup to NY.
In other New York sports news, my new favorite Jet, Tim Tebow, had over 15,000 people attend his Easter Event in Texas on Sunday but since I do not care about his political or religious views what-so-ever that is all I will say about that.
It is great to be a New York sports fan right now and I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks. Let us know how you think the Mets and Yankees polar opposite starts will pan out. Also, where do you think the Knicks and Rangers will finish their Post Season play?