Weighing in on the Yankees, Giants and Favre

"You Gotta Be Kidding!"
by Mickey Charles, CEO Sports Network

Once Lance Berkman and Marcus Thames became aware of my feelings about their respective talents, or lack of same, they stepped up to the plate, literally and figuratively. They contributed mightily to the demise of the Minnesota Twins and helped prepare the Yankees for the next encounter, with either Texas or Tampa Bay, where, as was almost the case, or close to it with Atlanta and San Francisco, the proverbial "home field advantage" has become relatively meaningless and a mere myth.

Thames has to become patient and more discriminating at bat, he has to engage in a few pre-game conversations with Brett Gardner who never met a first pitch that he liked ... not even a second one. Does that mean that a few 'wish I had swung at that' opportunities went by? Could be. But better to do that than flail away. It is time for Thames to read the pitcher, as much as the catcher and the man on the mound are trying to figure out what to do with him ... the batter. Berkman, if called upon again, must keep reading about his past successes and dream, envision what might be, has been, as he walks to the plate.

Joe Girardi and his pinstripe laden flock can sense World Series again and will meet one of two teams that have played their backsides off and just might be ripe for the picking. One who roots for the New Yorkers has to hope that he understands that. You also have to wonder if he is going to carry his one pitcher for every batter into the late innings into this final set before the big one. He has already indicated that AJ Burnett, he of the 1-12 record over the past four months, is going to be his starter in game four. Everyone else that has read this has put an 'L' next to that game. It is pre-determined. Why the ongoing prayerful vigil, the undeserved confidence, and the figmental fascination that Burnett will snap out of it and not collapse in an early inning, one in which Girardi will keep him in until the game is out of reach? Burnett will leave the mound bloodied and beaten having put his team into yet another hole from which they cannot extricate themselves and Girardi will pat him on the butt as if to say "Well done!"

There is something drastically wrong with that picture and mentality. Can the Yankees go with a three-man rotation? Not likely but possible. Can they reach into the bullpen and ask Joba if he can step up? He would be better than Burnett.

Roy Halladay
Roy Halladay will be Philadelphia's opening game starter in the NLCS vs. the Giants.
The gang from Philadelphia rolls along and, while they would have beaten Cincinnati regardless, the Reds looked like the Big Red Machine from the Little League this past week. Despite the fact that they were 3-3 against San Francisco this season that does not necessarily portend a close series or a match-up that will go to seven games. However, Roy Halladay will be formidable although beatable. One for the guys in Red. Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels can be beaten. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner will not go down easily, if at all. The Achilles' Heel for the Giants is their inability to put runs up on the scoreboard. Philadelphia, as is always the case in the City of Brotherly Love, has already put two places aside at Citizens Bank Park for the Pennant and World Series trophies.

We will see.

The New York Giants might have also read how I felt about them this past week as Eli Manning came out against the unpredictable Houston Texans looking like a mirror image of his much more talented brother, Peyton, as he took Houston apart and did not bother to put them together again. Is this a Manning that has been in hiding all these years, is he that talented, were the Texans that bad, can he do it again with an opportunity against Detroit this week ... not the most threatening team in the NFL and what did Tom Coughlin have to do with the game plan, if anything? Did either of them smile during the destruction, go over to congratulate team members, offer some pats on the butt that did not go along with an invitation to the shower, or did they just remain congratulatory and do they now fancy themselves a contender for the title in the East Division of the NFC where they are tied with Washington and Philadelphia for the top spot?

The 'Skins and Eagles are definably beatable by the Giants, home and away. As for the rest of the schedule - Dallas, Seattle, Jacksonville, Minnesota, Green Bay ... if Eli continues to watch film of this past weekend and realizes that he has a defense that will keep his team in every game coming up, it could be interesting. On the other hand, if Manning becomes the Manning of recent vintage and Coughlin continues down the path of the unimaginative, pedestrian, mediocre playbook coupled with a staid, dispassionate, unemotional attitude then it will be reversion to the same old, same old this weekend. And, against Detroit?

Brett Favre
Brett Favre and the Vikings have struggled to a 1-3 record this season.
Yes, it was raining in New York Monday night, it was torrential, the ball was slippery, running was challenging, tackling was almost impossible and range of sight was short...but it was the same for both teams. OK, Brett Lorenzo Favre broke some records during the game and that is fine. .. most fumbles in a career - 162, breaking Warren Moon's record of 161, first player in NFL history to throw 500 TD passes and record 70,000 passing yards. He is the only player to win the AP Most Valuable Player three consecutive times (1995-97), has led teams to eight division championships (1995, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2009), five NFC Championship Games (1995, 1996, 1997, 2007, and 2009), winning two (1996 and 1997), and has two Super Bowl appearances, winning one (Super Bowl XXXI).

And now, according to unreliable sources that prowl the sewer systems of sports, some of his alleged exploits off the field, while not breaking any records, could break up his image, career, marriage, endorsements and it has created a mini-Tiger Woods situation that the NFL is "investigating." What can they, the football powers that be, possibly determine by their investigation and at what cost and result? If he was measuring his manhood, no pun intended, that was, and is, his business. If he screwed up, the operative and emphatic word being 'if,' then he will hear about it at home and among the snickers in the locker room. If it is all nonsense without substantive proof and no one comes forth with credible evidence - and why would they save for the publicity (?), then it is time to return to the last vestiges of his career and football.

Brett Favre has nothing more to prove on or off the field. We can account for the former and his wife has to account for the latter ... maybe. We are due to undergo another retirement speech and this one was planned for the end of the season. I doubt it will be sooner "for the good of the sport and sanctity of [my] family." A man with nothing to prove wants to prove more as an NFL quarterback and as a yet to be confirmed philanderer with sexual appeal.

Doesn't anyone ever learn?

You gotta be kidding!

You gotta be kidding!

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