Welcome to New York (or welcome back, in some cases). This week saw a plethora of new players entering the New York sports scene—free agent acquisitions for the Giants and Jets, players acquired at the NHL trading deadline, a prodigal son returned and a future hall-of-famer is back from injury.
The prize for this week’s Hot Stove Player of the Week, Martin Brodeur, is the return of Sean Avery to the area. Enjoy!
Martin Brodeur: The Devils goalie made his triumphant return, and has won all four games he’s played. He threw two shutouts in those games, and only let in a total of four goals. He’s about to break every goaltending record there is. And now his old nemesis is back. The new kinder and gentler Avery wouldn’t dare call the goalie Fatso again, would he?
Bart Scott/Jim Leonhard/Lito Sheppard: The Jets improved their D with two former Ravens joining their old coach, and an ex-Eagle thrown on the pile for good measure.
Chris Canty/Michael Boley/Rocky Bernard/C.C. Brown: The defensive line for the Giants is getting awfully crowded, but it’s a good problem to have. Big Blue’s 2008 D line ran out of steam the second half of the season, so they needed to bulk up. And their best new edition will be the return of Osi Umenyiori.
But who’s going to catch the ball for them?
Sean Avery/Nik Antropov/Derek Morris: Size, grit and toughness have been added to the Blueshirts roster. “Even a milder version of Sean Avery is still not that mild,” said the agitator about himself. With John Tortorella thrown into the mix, the Rangers may even be fun and entertaining now. And let’s start counting: the Rangers are 1-0 with Avery in the lineup.
Larry Hughes: After starting his career with the Knicks by going 0 for 90 from the field, the shooting guard put in 23 points in the Knicks win over Atlanta, and also scored 19 and 25 in the team’s two losses last weekend.
Schmucks of the Week
The Media: Alex Rodriguez made a seemingly innocent comment praising Jose Reyes, while absent-mindedly insulting his teammates at the same time. He caught himself and tried to correct what the intent of his comment was, but the media had already run away and blew it up on the back pages of the papers.
A-Rod should know better by now, but give the guy a break. He’s already a disaster (and now injured); he doesn’t anybody else’s help. I guess the lesson is: Never, ever say anything bad about Derek Jeter. Over in Port St. Lucie, the media has taken a molehill and made a mountain of Johan Santana’s sore arm.
They tried to paint Santana and Dan Warthen as having a “war of words,” which wasn’t even close to the truth. Sure, the Mets have screwed up injury situations before (see Church, Ryan), but the media blew this way out of proportion.