New York Minute

September 29, 2009 3:33 PM

All Around the Big City

So as we wait for the Yankees to get ready for the playoffs, the Mets to end their season, and the

Jets and Giants to get ready for their next opponents, here’s a few thoughts to that crossed my


-- Does anybody miss Eric Mangini? Really, the effort his Cleveland Browns put up

Sunday in a 34-3 loss to Baltimore was pathetic. His team is winless, and the quarterback

situation is still a mess. Meanwhile, the Jets are 3-0, the defense is vastly improved from a year

ago and Rex Ryan looks like he’s a better coach than his old man. Miss Mangini? Don’t think so.

-- The Mets lost again last night, this time to the Nationals, and have 90 losses for the season.

They are 23 ½ games out of first place and and only the pathetic Pirates and the Nationals have

worst records in the National League. Yes, it’s all because of injuries, right? Well, last night’s

lineup included David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Luis Castillo and Jeff Francoeur. In fact, Wright

and Beltran have been back for a while, and Castillo and Francoeur have been in the lineup just

about every day. There is no way this team should be this bad. No way. But manager Jerry

Manuel is coming back, Omar Minaya is hanging on and everybody thinks it will get better next

year when the injured players come back. Here’s a news flash: It won’t. The Mets need to totally

rebuild. Another 90-loss season in 2010 is not out of the question.
-- The Giants are 3-0, will be 4-0 after playing the Chiefs on Sunday, and have looked

impressive doing it. But the season-ending loss of second-year safety Kenny Phillips slipped

under the radar of a lot of fans last week, and it’s a critical one. Phillips was a promising young

player, and losing experienced talent in the secondary is always a problem. The Giants didn’t

need Phillips against Tampa Bay – they probably could have won the game playing with 10

defenders – but down the road, the Giants will feel the loss of Phillips. Maybe it won’t cost them

a trip to the playoffs, but it could be the difference between them making the Super Bowl or

suffering an early loss in the playoffs.

-- The Rangers are in full preseason mode. That’s great. Can somebody tell me when the games

become important in April?

-- There have been lot discussions about various postseason awards for the Yankees, but few

people have talked about Joe Girardi getting named the American League Manager of the Year.

Yes, he did have a bloated payroll and more weapons at his disposal than any manager in the

game, but the team got off to a slow start, the team did not have a consistent fourth and fifth

starter and he somehow managed to juggle an outfield with Melky Cabrera, Brent Gardner, Nick

Swisher, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Jerry Hairston and get all of them playing time.

Most importantly, he managed to get a big year out of Alex Rodriguez after the third baseman

missed the first 1 ½ months of the season. Girardi’s ultimate assessment will be determined by

how the team fares in the postseason, but 100 wins and the best record in baseball are not too

bad for the manager in just his second year in pinstripes.

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