What with the profusion of winners in New York lately, the question on everyone’s mind this morning seems to be: Hey, how did you know these guys were going to be so good?
The Daily News asks Yankees GM Brian Cashman–who gambled half a billion dollars on four high-priced free agents, all of whom have played really well so far—and Cashman comes back with some answers about how team-oriented they all were.
Let’s get Rex Ryan in here. The Jets coach traded up to draft Mark Sanchez, a guy who had only started 16 games in college, and whose own college coach said he didn’t think was ready for the N.F.L., and then gave him a 5-year contract worth $60 million dollars. But Ryan never had a doubt. Why, Peter Vecsey asked?
[H]e said he knew Sanchez was worth the draft pick on a visit to California when Sanchez aced all the football stuff and then was cool enough to pretend to hop on a nonexistent motorcycle.
“He just blew us away,” Ryan said.
I am still trying to envision this. Did this happen during an interview in some conference room, or out on the practice field? Did Sanchez flick his wrists and pretend to rev the engine of said nonexistent motorcycle, and say anything like ‘let’s ride’? Or did Rex just know and they sort of nodded at each other? Could this work in any other interview situation or is it unique to professional sports?
To think all those other teams spent all that money on scouts and fancy computer projections.
We also learn that someone—who still hasn’t been outed—only gave Rex Ryan the first 70 or so characters of that selfish Twitter post that led him to bench receiver David Clowney.
“Somebody only gave him half of the first message about me being disappointed with my playing time,” Clowney said. “Our media personnel told him that I actually stated that my team comes first and I’m going to keep working hard.”
The plot thickens.
The other side of the scouting coin is that sometimes you screw up, which appears to be what’s happened with Joba Chamberlain, who was perfectly good as a reliever before the Yankees decided he should start. Last night, in less than four innings, he was not good. The Post says the “erratic right-hander lit a stink bomb and lobbed it high above the pitcher’s mound at the Stadium.”
But the award for bad scouting has to go to Binghamton, where Athletic Director Joel Shirer resigned yesterday in the wake of a mass dismissal of six players—one of whom was just arraigned on cocaine distribution charges. (The school is mum on the other five.) But that doesn’t even compare to some earlier misses at Binghamton.
Former player Miladin Kovacevic…faces prosecution in his native Serbia on charges he beat a classmate into a coma during a May 2008 barroom brawl. He fled New York for home, creating tensions between the U.S. and Serbia that were resolved when Serbia agreed to pay $900,000 to the victim’s family and prosecute Kovacevic.
Rex Ryan would have known better.