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Opinion: Trading Ike Davis Was a Mistake for the Mets

In Sports on April 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm

By: Brian Mangan

In an ideal world, I would have written this on Friday when the news came down and have plenty of time to organize my thoughts on it.  In an ideal world, Ike Davis would still be a Met.  This is not an ideal world.  As it stands, I think the Mets made the wrong choice and I hope and believe that Ike will have a long and productive career in Pittsburgh.

The long and short of it is this: I often make fun of writers and other analysts for making a big deal over a player’s “streakiness” when in fact a baseball season is nothing more than several dozen such little “streaks” which amount to nothing more than statistical noise.  For example, at Metsblog, the writers are convinced that David Wright is an unusually streaky hitter.   We put the issue to bed a few years back, pointing at the player who, at that time, was the best in the world and who would never be considered streaky:

For the first nine games, Pujols hit .400/.486/.886. Then for the next eight games, he hit .147/.275/.294. But wait! In the next seven games, he hit .520/.600/.800! But now he looks lost, hitting .222/.364/.296 in his last seven games.

That is baseball. Pujols is “The Machine” but he goes through swings like anyone else. It’s luck, it’s health, it’s rhythm, it’s weather, it’s opposing pitching, it’s being home or away.

The reason I bring this up now is because – like all rules – they are meant to be broken.  And boy, has Ike Davis broken the rules.  In Ike’s few years with the Mets (which go back to 2010, longer ago than one might realize) he has been the most streaky, most bi-polar, hitter that I have ever seen.  I have been a Mets fan for many years, and have defended many players against silly allegations like streaky, and choker, and other nonsense — but I don’t think we’ll see another player with a career like Ike’s for 20 years.

Rangers Lay an Easter Egg

In Sports on April 21, 2014 at 11:46 am

By: Michael Abitabilo

When the New York Rangers took a 2-0 lead 8:22 into the first period Sunday, perhaps they thought they had their first round series under control and that the Flyers would just roll over and die. But the Rangers don’t because the Flyers didn’t. Instead, after losing their seventh straight Stanley Cup playoff game two, the Rangers head to Philadelphia having lost their home ice advantage, and knowing they are likely in for yet another extended first round series.

On paper, the Rangers put together a reasonable facsimile of their game one effort: their shots on goal, hits, giveaway/takeaway and faceoff numbers were all nearly identical. Not surprisingly, though, the Flyers were substantially better than they were in game one. In addition to generating 10 more shots on goal than they did last Thursday, the Flyers forechecked effectively throughout, and made it difficult for the Rangers to get out of their defensive zone. The Rangers failed to elevate their play and/or match the Flyers’ intensity, consistently allowing the team in orange to win the physical battles. 

Rangers’ Game One Victory a Blueprint for Success

In Sports on April 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm

By: Michael Abitabilo

With their thrilling 4-1 defeat of the Philadelphia Flyers in game one of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals Thursday night, the New York Rangers have laid out a blue(shirt)print for success in the remainder of the series.

The Rangers played with poise and discipline throughout, standing up for themselves physically but refusing to engage in the post-whistle or behind-the-play shenanigans for which the Flyers are infamous. With the score tied at 1 entering the third period, the Rangers were able to clamp down defensively, holding the Flyers to just one shot in the final frame. When the Flyers’ Jason Akeson took a double minor for high sticking 7:35 into the third, the Rangers took advantage of his gaffe by scoring two goals in a 47-second span on the ensuing power plays to take a commanding 3-1 lead.

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