Jon Stewart on R.A. Dickey: How Will the Mets Screw This Up?


According to R.A. Dickey's agent, Bo McKinnis, negotiations between his client and the New York Mets are solid in terms of "a series of potential structures and lengths."

What, then, are the sticking points? Bo says, "We've got a difference in terms of the actual dollars per season."

In other words, the only thing they've yet to agree upon is money. Somehow, that reminds me of Steven Wright's predicament that "I got this powdered water ... now I don't' know what to add." Without water, you don't have water. Without money, you don't have an agreement.

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Can RG3 Make the Skins Into the Giants of 2012?


The Giants ended last night's game with the Washington Redskins in sole possession of first place in the NFC East but somehow it didn't feel that way. Unless you just want to believe that the Giants are going to pull off another postseason miracle after stumbling through another indifferent regular season -- and with tough road games coming up against Atlanta and Houston, it isn't likely Big Blue will finish much better than 9-7 -- what you saw last night probably gave you cause for concern.

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Marvin Miller: One of the Most Important Men in Sports


Marvin Miller, who died early yesterday of cancer at age 95, was more than what Red Barber once called him: "along with Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, one of the three most important men in baseball history." He was, for almost four decades, one of the most important men in all of sports

He was the man most responsible for hammering the old players union (essentially a company union maintained by the owners for their own benefit) into the most successful union in America. But he also had an enormous influence on all of sports. Just two quick examples:

DeMaurice Smith, the toughest leader the NFL players union ever had, was an admirer of Miller and spent several hours at Marvin's Upper East Side apartment discussing the strategy which helped the NFLPA finally kick the owners' butts in the 2011 lockout.

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Will The Real New York Giants Please Show Up?


I don't know where Eli Manning ranks this morning in the NFL's byzantine passer rating system. I know where he ranked before the kickoff of last night's New York Giants-Green Bay Packers game: he was 22nd among the league's starting 32 quarterbacks. He had thrown almost as man interceptions, 11, as TD passes, 12. His 7.3 yard per pass average was his lowest in four seasons. He had not throw a TD pass in three consecutive games, two of the losses for the Giants.

There's something in the Green Bay defense that brings Eli Manning to life. He threw 30 passes last night for 249 yards for 3 TDs with no interceptions. It was 17-7 before the first quarter was over, and already NBC executives, who had to lick their lips when they put this game on the schedule before the season, must have been cursing their luck. By halftime it was 31-10 with the Packers looking as ineffectual as they did in last season's playoff loss to the Giants with viewers dropping off by the million with every Green Bay punt.

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The Jets Can Make The Playoffs (Is What I Keep Telling Myself)


Do the Jets really have a chance to overtake the Patriots? Look at it this way: the Jets are coming off their best game of the year and they're playing at home. As for the Patriots, not only is Aaron Fernandez injured, but now, thanks to Dum Dum Belichick, "ace field goal blocker" Ron Gronkowski, maybe the best player in the NFL, is out for the rest of the season.

But look at both team's schedule for the rest of the year. The Jets have Arizona at home, Jacksonville and Tennessee on the road, then San Diego and Buffalo ... They could win all of those games, couldn't they?

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The NFL's Dirty Little Secret


Pssssst. Wanna buy some football tickets? I got some good deals for you.

Jets and Patriots Thanksgiving night at MetLife? How's this for a deal? 9,069 tickets available as low as $24.

What's that, you say? As low as $240? No, as low as $24.

You want Giants-Packers for Sunday night? I got Giants-Packers. 4,593 tickets as low as $41.

How about a game out in the sunny Southwest? I can getcha St. Louis at Arizona for as low as $3. You can take your whole family for one-third what you pay to see James Bond.

Name a team - I got 'em.

The dirty secret of NFL football, one that the league would like to ignore, is that ticket sales are declining at a startling rate and have been over the last several years. The TV ratings are through the roof, but ticket sales are down.

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R.A. Dickey Wins the Cy Young: Mets Ultimate Fan Shaft Is on the Way


R. A. Dickey becomes the first Mets pitcher in 22 years to win more than 20 games and the first since Dwight Gooden in 1985 to win the Cy Young. The only question on this memorable day, which is being asked in the New York Times, the Daily News, everywhere is "But will he be traded?"

A couple of weeks ago this looked like a transparent ploy by the Mets to get Dickey's salary down in negotiations for his new contract, which runs out at the end of next season. But then, Dickey stepped forward and announced that he would be willing to take less money than he could get on the open market as a free agent in order to stay with the Mets.

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Giants Problems: Defense First


What's wrong with the Giants? This is only two consecutive losses, which is no reason to panic, but when you consider that the two previous games were won by miracles - Dez Bryant's finger out of the end zone against Dallas and Eli's spectacular TD pass to Cruz late in the Washington game. Either one of those plays goes wrong, and the Giants are 5-5 today.

Anyway, losing to Cincinnati by 18 points is, at the very least, a cause for deep concern.

I watched this game carefully, and here's what I think is the basic problem: in the 3rd quarter, the G-Men set up a screen pass to Ahmad Bradshaw that resulted in a 2-yard loss. The Fox analyst said the Bengals linebacker "sniffed that one out perfectly."

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The Sleazy Mets


Last month, Mets GM Sandy Alderson called R.A. Dickey "one of our two core players" in the Mets organization - the other, of course, being David Wright. On Thursday, Alderson changed his tone: "It would be a little unusual to trade Cy Young winner " - everyone is assuming, rightfully so I think, that Dickey will received the honor next week. "But I can remember a time when we traded for the leading hitter in the National League [Willie McGee of the Cardinals, acquired by the Oakland A's in 1990], so it happens."

Yeah, right, it happens. It isn't because GMs are tight wads, or because they make phony comparisons like Willie McGee in 1990 to R.A. Dickey this year, or because Alderson wants to double-talk about the Mets' post-Madoff financial state compared to that of one of the lowest revenue teams in baseball, the Oakland A's.

Oh, and by the way, since you're the one who hauled out this bull shit comparison, you're the one who picked up the star player at Oakland, not the one who let him go.

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Putting a Finger on the Giants Win Over the Cowboys


There's nothing wrong with the Dallas Cowboys that gutting the entire coaching staff and starting over from scratch with a course in football fundamentals wouldn't cure.

The headline for recaps of the Giants' 29-24 victory over Dallas yesterday mostly deal with Eli Manning's 25th come-from-behind 4th quarter comeback. But in truth, Eli didn't have a particularly good day: 15 completions out of 29 throws for 192 yards and an interception. Nor did the Giants defense have a particularly good day, starting with the ugly fact that the defense allowed the Cowboys to climb out of a 23-point hole. They gave up 28 first downs to the Cowboys (the Giants offense had 11), gave the Cowboys 3 first downs on penalties, and, overall, gave up 434 yards (or 141 more than the Giants).

How do you lose a game like that? First, you run the ball with such appalling inefficiency that you net just 19 yards or 1.1 yds/try - whose defense were they running the ball against, Alabama's? Then you give your quarterback such terrible protection that he's sacked four times and is knocked down or hurried on 11 other throws (Eli went down just twice).

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