Start here

Smallthoughts: Rant of the Week…New York Jets


Be honest you knew this could get bad but you didn’t think it would be this bad. We know the Jets schedule worked against them the first six weeks but 3-3 was what I expected. Now we know why no one and I mean no bothered with Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Jets were bidding against  themselves to retain his services when in fact maybe the smart thing was to let him go and see what you have with Bryce Petty. Forget Geno , we know what he is …Petty was supposed to be someone they were grooming for the future. Geno Smith has no future with the Jets and possibly no future in the NFL if you go by what many others say about him. Oh by the way for those wondering why isn’t Bryce Petty ready yet ? it’s simple …He was HURT for 6 weeks and just got off IR. So let’s use our brains and give him some time for we go throw him to the lions and say let’s see what he’s got. Fitzpatrick played himself right out of the starting job as quarterback. And at this point might have played himself right out of New York. So now he becomes the latest of failed quarterbacks of the New York Jets …before Fitzpatrick it was Geno Smith , before him Mark Sanchez  it’s been awhile since the Jets had a good QB…Chad Pennington and Vinny Testavarde were the last two good QB’s for the Jets that made you feel you would win. Now the Jets are going to Geno …again !!! It is a panic move called by the Owner plain and simple. If he is smart let his people figure their way out of this mess themselves right the ship and stay out of the way other wise we will be subject to Tony Romo to the Jets rumors. Believe it. Woody Johnson loves star quarterbacks …remember Brett Farve? At this point play Petty when he is ready and ride out the season . Geno doesn’t deserve a another shot at the job. If the season goes completely out of control …get the number pick and draft a quarterback make losing worth something , but that is getting ahead of ourselves at this point. The head coach needs to get his head from between the cheeks of his …he doesn’t make good in game adjustments. He saw Darrelle Revis get beat early and often against AJ Green opening game and did nothing !Bill Belechick would have made adjustments at half time change things up, instead Todd Bowles stays the course because it was a good game plan…duh ! it’s not working Bowles. Try something else. Can someone tell offensive coordinator Chan Gailey he has more wide receiver than just Brandon Marshall? This is a total break down of the team it’s not just one player or even one side of the ball this is a total team effort of bad plays , bad playing , bad penalties by a bad team.

It’s time to right the ship or it becomes crash and burn and things will get more ugly than they are now.

Smallthoughts: Rave of the Week …Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller’s excellence puts heat on two Yankees prospects

In Cleveland it’s Miller Time !

Clint Frazier and Justus Sheffield. Remember those two names, those are what the New York Yankees got in exchange in a midseason trade for Andrew Miller. They better be real good otherwise this trade will go down as the great heist for Cleveland. If Terry Francona is the curse buster (in Boston) and looks poised to do it again in Cleveland then Andrew Miller has to get star billing for rising to the occasion in the post season.

Miller pitched a remarkable 2 ²/₃ shutout innings of relief, entering with one out in the sixth and going through the eighth, and his one strikeout gave him 14 in 7 ²/₃ innings for the series, tying him with Brad Lidge (with Houston in the 2004 NLCS) for the most whiffs in an LCS. For the postseason so far, Miller has tallied 11 ²/₃ shutout innings and struck out 21.

“It’s so fun to be a part of this team,” Miller said. “I really enjoyed my time with the Yankees. It’s tough when you leave a comfort zone and a place that you like. But I knew I was coming to a team that had won a lot and had expectations to win more. I was coming to play for Tito [Francona]. I couldn’t have dreamt it up any better.”

For Miller it is a dream come true for the Yankees they hope this isn’t the beginning of bad nightmare

Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday …Kirby Puckett

Puckett’s major league debut came on May 8 against the California Angels, a game in which he went 4 for 5 with one run.That year, Puckett hit .296 and was fourth in the American League in singles.Throughout his career, Puckett would routinely appear in the top 10 in the American League in such offensive statistical categories as games played, at bats, singles, doubles, and total bases and such defensive stats as putouts, assists, and fielding percentage for league center fielders.

In 1987, the Twins reached the post-season for the first time since 1970 despite finishing with a mark of 85-77 Once there, Puckett helped lead the Twins to the 1987 World Series.. For the season, Puckett batted .332 with 28 home runs and 99 RBI.During the year, Puckett put on his best performance on August 30 in Milwaukee against the Brewers, when he went 6-for-6 with two home runs, one off Juan Nieves in the third and the other off closer Dan Plesac in the ninth.

Puckett had his best all around season in 1988, hitting .356 with 24 home runs and 121 RBI, finishing third in the AL MVP balloting for the second straight season.Puckett won the AL batting title in 1989 with a mark of .339, while also finishing fifth in at bats, second in doubles, first in hits, and second in singles. In April 1989, he recorded his 1,000th hit, becoming the fourth player in Major League Baseball history to do so in his first five seasons.

In 1991 The Twins and their opponent in the world series , the Atlanta Braves, had each finished last in their respective divisions in the year before winning their league pennant, something that had never happened before.

Going into Game 6, the Twins trailed three games to two with each team winning their respective home games. Puckett gave the Twins an early lead by driving in Chuck Knoblauch with a triple in the first inning. Puckett then made a leaping catch in front of the Plexiglass wall in left field to rob Ron Gant of an extra-base hit in the third. The game went into extra innings, and in the first at-bat of the bottom of the 11th, Puckett hit a dramatic game-winning home run on a 2–1 count off of Charlie Leibrandt to send the Series to Game 7.

This dramatic game has been widely remembered as the high point in Puckett’s career. The images of Puckett rounding the bases, arms raised in triumph (often punctuated by CBS television broadcaster Jack Buck saying “And we’ll see you tomorrow night!”), are always included in video highlights of his career.

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights…Kirby Puckett.



MLB debut
May 8, 1984, for the Minnesota Twins
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1995, for the Minnesota Twins
MLB statistics
Batting average .318
Hits 2,304
Home runs 207
Runs batted in 1,085
Career highlights and awards

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday…Andre Dawson

I always liked watching Andre Dawson play. He played hard all the time. He was part of a young outfield that the Montreal Expos(Now the Washington Nationals) in the 1976-77 years. He played in the outfield Warren Cromartie  and Ellis Valentine. Dawson was a blend of speed and power and played great defense. Valentine had the stronger throwing arm of the two but Valentine wore out his welcome in Montreal and in New York and basically never became the player that Andre Dawson would later become. part of the problem for Dawson was that he played for the Expos…and ownership was quick to move players that were due to be paid big contracts or tried hard to move players with big contracts at the expense of winning. Playing on the artificial turf in Monreal ruined his knees and once he became a free agent at the end of the 1986 season had him looking for a place where he could play on natural grass to save the wear and tear on his knees. He signed with the Chicago Cubs in 1987 and became the only player to win the National League MVP for a last place team (The Cubs record was  76-85, last in the National League East)

Little known fact about Andre Dawson … is the only player to hit 200 home runs and steal 200 bases with Montreal. During his Expo days, Dawson hit two home runs in the same inning twice: at Atlanta–Fulton County Stadium against the Atlanta Braves on July 30, 1978  and at Wrigley Field against his future team, the Chicago Cubs, on September 24, 1985. As of 2014, Dawson, Willie McCovey and Jeff King are the only three players who had hit two home runs in one inning twice.

Dawson finished his career with 2,774 hits, 438 home runs, 314 stolen bases, and 1,591 RBI. He is one of only eight players in major league history to record over 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases in his career (300-300 club); the other players to accomplish this are Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, Reggie Sanders, Steve Finley, Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltrán. Dawson is also one of only five members of the 400 HR-300 SB club, along with Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, and Carlos Beltrán.

In 1997, Dawson’s #10 was retired by the Montreal Expos in his honor (the number had been previously retired for Rusty Staub).

Dawson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.Dawson’s Hall of Fame plaque depicts him with a Montreal Expos cap.

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday spotlights…The Hawk …Andre Dawson.


MLB debut
September 11, 1976, for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
September 29, 1996, for the Florida Marlins
MLB statistics
Batting average .279
Hits 2,774
Home runs 438
Runs batted in 1,591
Career highlights and awards

Smallthoughts: Rant of the Week …Washington Nationals

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers works against the Washington Nationals in the ninth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

The SanFrancisco Giants lost their playoff series and fired 2 coaches. Who will pay the price for the Nationals or ( as one person put it The Crashionals) not even make it to the National League Championship Series? This  was team that was championship or bust , they replaced the manage and hired Dusty Baker , they signed Daniel Murphy who had an MVP type season , so what happened this time? A lot was expected of this group. Is it time to break up the Nationals?

Smallthoughts: Rave of the Week …Terry Francona

Image result for terry francona

He won 2 championships in Boston and was shown the door, so do you think he didn’t take alittle pleasure in beating the  same team that fired him in 2011?  And his team the Indians swept the RedSox to boot so he wouldn’t be human if he didn’t.He is underrated as a in game manager and knows how to get the most out of his players.  Oh by the way all he does is win!!! Now Cleveland is in the American League Championship  Series against the Toronto Blue Jays. He was the manager when the RedSox finally broke their 86 year curse to win their championship, its been 68 years since the Indians won a championship so could this be the year ? Is Francona the curse buster?  We will soon find out !

Smallthoughts: Old School Tuesday …Cleon Jones

When I first became a Met fan he was my favorite Met and always wanted to play for the Mets and wear number 21 (Cleon Jones number)

He played in Major League Baseball as a left fielder. and played most of his career for the New York Mets and in 1969 caught the final out of the “Miracle Mets” World Series Championship over the Baltimore Orioles.

Jones earned a reputation as an outfielder with one of the strongest arms in the National League. For his career, he had 64 outfield assists, including ten in 1966 and 1970.

Jones was awarded the starting center fielder job in 1966, and batted .275 with eight home runs, 57 runs batted in and sixteen stolen bases to finish tied for fourth in National League Rookie of the Year balloting. His batting average dipped to .246 in 1967, and he ended up sharing playing time in center field with Larry Stahl. Following the season, the Mets acquired Jones’ childhood friend Tommie Agee from the Chicago White Sox. Jones was moved to left field with the former Gold Glove-winner Agee playing center field.

Jones began the 1968 season platooning with Art Shamsky in left. He was batting .205 on May 18, when he went three for four with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored to lift the Mets to a 5–2 victory over the Atlanta Braves.[5] From there, Jones began to hit; perhaps the finest game of his career occurred on July 16 at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia, when Jones went four for six with three RBIs and a run scored, and played all three outfield positions.[6] He ended the season with a .297 batting average, which was sixth best in the National League.

Jones was batting .341 with ten home runs and 56 RBIs in the first half of 1969 earning the starting left field job for the All-Star Game. He went two for four with two runs scored in the NL’s 9–3 victory. He hit a home run in the first game after the break,and emerged as the hitting star of the surprising Mets, with a team-leading batting average well above .330. The Amazins found themselves in second place, five games back of the Chicago Cubs in the newly aligned National League East when the Houston Astros came to Shea Stadium for a July 30 double header.

Early in the 1970 season, Jones suffered through the worst slump in his career that saw his batting average reach .167 on May 26. His average improved to .251 by the time he began a then-club record 23-game hitting streak on August 25. For the season, he wound up hitting .277. In 1971, Jones was again a .300 hitter, as he was seventh in the league with a .319 batting average.

In 1972, Jones platooned with John Milner in left field. He played twenty games at first base, but not very well, and endured one of his worst seasons. The following season, Milner was shifted to first with Jones once again in left field.

In the 1973 season opener, Jones had his first career two home run game against the Philadelphia Phillies. He had his second on September 19, against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of a crucial three game series at Shea for first place. The following day, Jones started one of the most memorable plays in Mets history, what has become known as the “Ball on the Wall Play”. In the top of the thirteenth inning, with Richie Zisk on first, Dave Augustine hit what appeared to be a home run over the left field wall. Jones turned to play the ball off the wall and the ball hit the top of the wall and went right into Jones’ glove on the fly. He turned and threw to relay man Wayne Garrett, who threw home to catcher Ron Hodges to nail Zisk at the plate. Following this miracle play, the Mets won the game in the bottom half of the inning to move within half a game of the first place Pirates. Jones caught fire at the end of the season, hitting six homers in the last ten games of the season to lead the Mets to the pennant. The Mets won the Eastern Division title on the last day of the season with a record of 82-79 but went on to demonstrate that it was no fluke when they upset the “Big Red Machine” in the National League Championship Series. Jones went three for five with two RBIs and a run scored in the series clincher.

The Mets lost in seven games to the Oakland Athletics in the 1973 World Series. For his part, Jones batted .286 with a home run in game two, and scored one of the four runs the Mets scored in the twelfth inning of their game two victor.

Smallthoughts:Old School Tuesday spotlights…Cleon Jones.


MLB debut
September 14, 1963, for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
May 1, 1976, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Batting average .281
Home runs 93
Runs batted in 524
Career highlights and awards