2013 was an absolute nightmare for all sports in New York City. That’s pretty hard to do, considering there are nine teams in the area in the big four sports leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL). The Yankees and Mets both missed the playoffs, the Giants and Jets were an embarrassment, the Knicks and Nets were dismissed abruptly in May and now are struggling in a bad East, and all three hockey teams are very mediocre. No championships, just one division title, and five playoff absences.
So, each team has a New Year’s resolution as they all try to build for a better 2014 and try to bring home some championships to the greatest city in the world. I’m concluding with the city’s two MLB teams and two NFL squads.
New York Giants: Get Eli some help!
After a nightmarish 0-6 start, the Giants managed to win seven of their final 10 games to finish 7-9, but they still have plenty of work to do in the offseason. Eli Manning had the worst season of his career, throwing a career high 27 interceptions, but he didn’t get much help. Bad receiver play and a terrible offensive line plagued the Giants offense all season. Those are the keys to their offseason in free agency and the draft, in which, by the way, the Giants will have the 12th overall pick.
Kevin Gilbride is finally gone, so maybe a new offensive coordinator will help Eli bounce back. They aren’t too far from being a playoff team again, especially in the NFC LEast. Shore up the line, new OC, better receivers, and an improved defense will make the Giants contenders again, but that’s a lot, of course.
New York Jets: Offensive talent in the draft and free agency a must
The Jets finished a surprising 8-8 this season, knocking out their arch rivals the Dolphins in Week 17. Many expected them to be one of the worst teams in football this year, and they often looked like it at times thanks to a bad offensive line, a rookie QB, and some of the worst play-making talent you’ll ever see. QB Geno Smith had an up and down rookie campaign, but played well enough near in December to be penciled in as the starter next season, so quarterback isn’t entirely a need this offseason.
Gang Green will have a ton of cap space this year after saying goodbye to Santonio Holmes, Mark Sanchez, and Antonio Cromartie. This will allow them to be aggressive on the free agent market. Top free agents at the wide receiver position includes Eric Decker, Hakeem Nicks, and Jeremy Maclin (who could be cheap after missing the whole season with a knee injury)
With the 18th overall pick in the 2014 draft, the Jets should look to bring in some serious offensive talent. There are three potentially dominant receivers that could be available. Mike Evans, Johnny Manziel’s 6’5″ #1 target at Texas A&M, Sammy Watkins, Clemson’s speedster who has caught 80+ passes in two of the last three seasons, and USC’s Marqise Lee, a well-balanced receiver. There should also be some top offensive linemen available, as that area is a need for improvement this spring as well.
New York Mets: No Harvey, no problem?
The Mets’ sole highlight of 2013 will be lost for 2014. Matt Harvey, who started the All-Star Game at Citi Field, had a 2.27 ERA and struck out 191 batters in 178 innings pitched before going down to an injury which required Tommy John surgery. He’ll be out for a year, wasting a year of his prime as well as any chance of the Mets being contenders for at least another year.
Which is a damn shame, because the Mets have made some good moves this moves, signing former Yankee slugger Curtis Granderson and 40 year-old Bartolo Colon to multi-year deals. They have good young players coming up like Zach Wheeler and Travis D’Arnaud. If Harvey was healthy, the Mets may have had a potential playoff team on their hands. Instead, they will try to show some decency and show that they’re serious about building a bright future and win the fans back over. Let’s see if they do show something at all.
New York Yankees: Have good health insurance, maybe?
For the New York Yankees’ standards, 2013 was a total nightmare. Practically every player offense dropped like flies and hit the DL. This caused them to miss the playoffs for only the second time in 19 seasons. They then watched their arch nemeses in Boston go all the way to win the Fall Classic To make matters even worse, Robinson Cano, the only player that was healthy all year, left for Seattle in December for one of the most lucrative deals in sports history.
So how did they respond to all this embarrassment? By doing what they do best: trying to put the best team on the field using the ultimate superpower of money. They filled a huge void at catcher by signing Brian McCann and filled a black hole in the outfield by signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran. They’re not done either, as they’re attempting to fill a need in the rotation in Japanese ace Mashiro Tanaka.
What’s the problem here? Well, all three of the Yankees current big signings have injury histories. Plus, they have to rely on some other injury-prone veterans like a 40 year-old (to be) Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira coming off wrist surgery. A lot has to go right for them, first and foremost the general health of the offense. Maybe they’ll be fine with the launch of ObamaCare. NOT!!!!! (Ok, bad political joke).