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It’s the Weekend

Ed Botti

December 10, 2021


Well, now that we are firmly entrenched in an official work stoppage in MLB, it makes it quite challenging to find anything Yankee or even Baseball related to write about.

The most exciting baseball stories of the week are hardly worth a full article, and most of them do not involve the Yankees.

Does anyone really want to hear me or any other writer opine on and dissect the Rule 5 Draft?

OK here you go, the Yankees lost double-A right-hander Brian Keller to the Red Sox, and took Steven Jennings from Pittsburgh’s High-A roster and believe it or not, they got Manny Ramirez. No, not that Manny Ramirez, the right-handed pitcher who was on the Astros’ Low-A team.

Manny is a 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic, who has been in the Astros’ system since 2017, and someone that hasn’t recorded an inning pitched in the minors since 2019.

What did they see in him? No idea.


Now that the Yankees cut bait with Clint Frazier, we are starting to hear from him, and even his Fiancée. Apparently, he is quite happy to be out of the Bronx and making his home on the Northside of Chicago. I wish him the best.

A little inside information told to me by someone that has firsthand knowledge; they ruined his swing. They inundated him with stance changes and completely changed the swing that earned the “legendary bat speed” moniker.

So, if you are keeping score at home, the Brian Cashman 2016 rebuild has yielded one player that actually stuck.

Gleyber Torres.

I would have expected more than that when you deal Aroldis Chapman, Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Andrew Miller. But, that’s just me!

Apparently Mr. Cashman’s boss is happy with that return.

Our cross town rivals, the Mets, are seriously considering hiring Buck Showalter as manager. Here’s a quick message to Steve Cohen. Sign the man! I wish he was still in pinstripes!

But, the good thing is we still have a few other sports to follow and try to fool ourselves into thinking that we can substitute Baseball for another sport. Who are we kidding? We are Baseball junkies. Everything else that takes place on a field, court, rink or whatever is secondary to anything Baseball related.

But, it’s worth trying, so let’s take a look at the past week.

It gets a little difficult to talk or write about Football in our area of the Country, for one reason. The New York area hasn’t had a competitive Football team in years. The product both the Giants and Jets put out there each week is embarrassing. Both teams seem clueless and leaderless. I will give the Jets head coach Robert Saleh a pass. He is only in his first season.

Simon Bruty/Sports Illustrated

As far as the other Judge in town goes, his record stands at 10-18. His General Manager, Dave Gettlemen is most likely a lame duck. And for good reason. His draft selections have been brutal. When he is replaced this spring, I would imagine that the new GM is going to want to select his own coach, and quite possible his own quarterback. So, the Giants will be looking at their 5th coach since 2015 when they decided for some unknown reason that Tom Coughlin was finished.

Joe Judge has been telling us now for 2 + seasons about how much of a disciplinarian he is, and then his teams go out and commit one dumb penalty after another. Somehow, I don’t think his message is being heard. They have communication problems so bad, that they usually snap the ball with the play clock at almost 0:00. It’s really hard to figure that out. So, he blamed the Offensive Coordinator (Jason Garrett) and fired him and then went on to score 22 points over the next 8 quarters!

You want to see discipline. Just take a look at a Bill Belichick coached team. They never beat themselves. It’s hard for me to praise any team from Boston, but give credit where credit is due. We are witnessing one of the greatest coaches in league history.

I will also cut a break for Jets young quarterback Zach Wilson. I can’t remember the last time a rookie QB was given the starting job out of camp, and the team didn’t think it was a good idea to have a veteran back up on hand to mentor and guide the rookie through the long season.

Note to Jets GM Joe Douglass: Playing QB at Brigham Young in the West Coast Conference is slightly different then playing NFL Football.

Wilson has to figure it all out on his own or with rookie offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur. To make matters worse for Zach, he also has to deal with his Mother embarrassing him by posting silly videos of herself online, as if she is the story, not her Son.

It’s a lot for a 22 year old to deal with. But when you see that ball fly out of his hands, you sense that he will eventually be fine.

When I look at the Yankees and the Giants, I see a trend here, by the way.

Both teams are family owned businesses. Both teams had glory years under the family patriarchs, George Steinbrenner and Wellington Mara. Both patriarchs left their Sons in charge. Both Sons (Hal Steinbrenner and John Mara) are not up to the task and are not delivering a good product to their loyal fans.

They both seem lost and overwhelmed. Their fathers on the other hand, seemed to thrive under pressure, and do whatever was needed to put a winning team on the field.

Nepotism at it’s worse!

The NHL and NBA seasons are too young for me to get too excited over at this point. But, I will say this; the Rangers are playing a great brand of Hockey and MSG is once again a building hosting exciting games.

It has been a few years since I could say that. I guess we could throw in the 2020/2021 Knicks into that discussion for exciting games, but they seem to have fallen flat this year. Last year, coach Thibodeau had them buying in to a defense first approach, and they surprised a lot of teams with their grit and tenacity. In the offseason, they added some less defensive minded players such as a washed up Kemba Walker, and now they are back to being a soft team that relies way too much on perimeter shooting and seems afraid to play in the paint.

My Team, the Brooklyn Nets seem to be treading water waiting for the Playoffs. Their record stands at a respectful 17-8 and they will probably coast through the season, unless they lose Durant or Harden to injury. I have given up on the whole Kyrie Irving situation. It is a shame, because if they have all three in June, look out. Right now, I am just hoping Joe Harris makes it back. He needs to redeem himself from last year’s playoff debacle!

Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack

This week it was announced that Golf legend, Tiger Woods, will play his first official tournament next week. This comes almost 10 months to the day after his single-car accident in California that nearly killed him, and almost cost him his right leg.

He will play at the PNC Championship starting on December 16 together with his son, Charlie.

My only question is, what was the cause of the accident? It seems that it was never fully investigated, and we never heard what exactly happened. Tiger previously pleaded guilty to reckless driving when he was found “under the influence” of something behind the wheel of his Mercedes in Florida back in 2009.

That part of the story seems to have been swept under the rug. California law enforcement did not run a blood test. When you consider that he drove off a 45 MPH road at 80 MPH you have to wonder if he was given special treatment. Would you or I have been treated that way if we flipped our cars on the Garden State Parkway? I doubt it.

In another disturbing type of story this week we learned that Medina Spirit, the horse who failed a drug test after he won the Kentucky Derby this year, died during a workout Monday morning in California.

According to his trainer Bob Baffert, the horse collapsed in training at Santa Anita and suffered an apparent heart attack.

If you recall, Baffert denied allegations that he had drugged the horse (betamethasone) after a split urine test, disclosing that the drug was in Medina Spirit’s system because of a topical ointment (Otomax).

The controversy left a blemish on the legacy of Baffert who was suspended from the Churchill Downs track for two years.

Baffert sued for additional testing to prove that the betamethasone had come from the Otomax treatment.

In my opinion, Baffert has some explaining to do.

This week also put to end a really bad oversight and mistake. Gil Hodges finally has been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I will leave you with this. This season will mark the end of Mike Krzyzewski Duke coaching career.

Photography Duke Athletics

Just how great of a coach was he?

In 41 seasons at Duke, Coach K, a Naismith Hall of Fame coach, five-time national champion and 12-time Final Four participant built a program that few programs in the history of the game can match.

No coach in Division I men’s basketball history has won more games than Coach K’s 1,170.

He has a 1,170-361 record in 46 years as a head coach, including a 1,097-302 mark in 41 seasons at Duke.

The numbers that illustrate Coach K’s career are simply astounding:

· Five national championships (1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015)

· Six gold medals as head coach of the U.S. Men’s National Team

· Nine National Players of the Year

· Six National Defensive Players of the Year (nine honors)

· 10 consecutive top-10 AP poll finishes (1997-06)

· 12 National Coach of the Year honors

· 12 Final Four appearances (tied for most in NCAA history)

· 12 ACC regular season championships

· 15 ACC Tournament championships (most in league history)

· 28 NBA Lottery picks (most in Draft history)

· 35 NCAA Tournament bids (most by one coach)

· 37 All-America selections

· 67 ACC Tournament wins (most in league history)

· 68 NBA Draft selections, including 42 first-round picks

· 97 NCAA Tournament wins (most in NCAA history)

· 126 weeks ranked No. 1 in the AP poll (most by a coach in poll history)

· 517 ACC wins (most in league history)

· 556 weeks ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll (most by a coach in poll history)

· 649 weeks ranked in the AP poll (most by a coach in poll history)

· 1,097 victories at Duke (most in NCAA history at one school)

· 1,170 career wins (most in NCAA history)

That pretty much says it all. The Man was simply an incredible coach. 41 years at the same school. We won’t be seeing anything like that any time soon!

Best of luck to Coach K!

Have a great weekend.


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