Hump day in a slow week


Well, yesterday we debuted our new Twitter widget with the Rangers’ players who tweet. It was pretty popular immediately, and I think it will be wildly so once they start playing hockey again.

And I’m sure they will recognize that y’all are on to their tweets because of this site eventually.

Like when Brad Richards starts getting hits on his web site ( from you guys. Richards tweeted last night for people to get involved in his charitable endeavors in PEI … and those endeavors are pretty cool. He’ll fit right in with the Rangers in terms of his work with kids and children’s hospitals. Good for him.

If you come across any other Rangers who tweet, please let me know and we’ll add them to the widget.


Watched some of the baseball all-star game last night (after spending part of the day discussing Horace Clarke, for God’s sake). Quick thoughts:

A) Baseball is still the best all-star game because they play both sides of the ball as if it’s a real game, whereas hockey, football and basketball’s all-star events are complete jackwagon, no-defense, no-intensity affairs. Baseball’s game ain’t perfect, but it is baseball.

B) The two rosters, made up of like 73 players or something, were pretty motley compared to all-star games of the past. Lot of middling stars, in my opinion.

C) Fox botched the telecast, as usual. What’s up with this clown Eric Karros? And why bother miking up the bases and players if the announcers are going to talk while we’re trying to eavesdrop? And it remains idiotic that home-field advantage in the World Series is decided by this exhibition, the biggest example of a TV network wagging a major sports league.

D) A lot of baseball players are in worse shape than me.

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  1. Good morning, boneheads!

    There are plenty of children’s hospitals in NY that I can see Richards getting involved in. No doubt, he will fit right in!

  2. I think Richards is going to fit in very well on and off the ice.

    Cant say i bothered with the all-star game Carp. One of our English soccer players (Rio Ferdinand) tweeted we should get one in the Premier League but given the amount of players who shy away from international duty with minor reasons i cant imagine players would be too bothered or clubs would be too happy to let guys play in a showpiece where they get little or no financial gain. As for adding home-field advantage, thats total bullcarcillo, should be team with the best record not decided by some motley crew playing an exhibition game.

  3. Is Homefiled advantage decided in the ASG any dumber than a regular season hockey game decided by a skills competition? I knew the NL would win since they had their pitching in tact. The AL had a bunch of 2nd and 3rd starters and middle relievers.

    Good article in the NY Times yesterday about Richards. He sounds like a good man, and a winner.

  4. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    I watched until my bed time…(10 ish)..”best all star game” is the same as “the girls all get prettier at closing time”…WTB ? who gives a carcillo?

    Of course it is stupid to decide something important based on the result of an exhibition game. At least hockey and the other sports do not do that.

    When is the announcements for our next RFA signing? (Cally/Dube/Boyle).
    Any other boneheads feeling some trades coming up soon ? (MDZ/MZA/WW/EC)

  5. Admirable goals for Mike Richards. I am still waiting for the hockey player whom will get involved with charitable grass roots environmental activities…the environment impacts the health of us all, and parts of the Bronx have the highest juvenile asthma rates in the U.S….protecting air quality and the water we drink (not to mention the natural world around us that is inextricably connected to our lives, happiness and health) can help prevent much of the human suffering that these social services charities must deal with. Hockey players often come from areas of the world where the natural enviironment played an important role in forming their early view of the world. The term “pond hockey” should not be seen as an oxymoron. Yes, I’m a “tree-hugger” and some of those hockey players are still in the closet on that subject!

  6. Sorry about the early morning typo…should read Brad Richards (NOT Mike Richards!) Oops…hope my work day typing is more accurate!

  7. Something to keep in mind I don’t think has been mentioned.

    Last year Tortorella was very balanced rotating centers icetime.
    The Rangers most frequent lineup had Anisimov, Stepan, Christensen and Boyle all getting right around 15 mins most nights.

    Brad Richards is going to play more than 15 minutes a night. Assuming Boyle and one of AA or Step continue to get their 15 – without getting more, which may be warranted – that means the 4th center (or 3rd offensive center) would only stand to get around 8 mins. Hmmm.

    Keep in mind too the Rupp can play the middle (and thereby ‘creates’ a spot on LW, even if Hagelin makes the team.)

    What’s it all mean? You figure it out.

    Here’s the original Semin blurb from Winnipeg;

    RUMOUR CENTRAL: The Washington Capitals are said to be shopping Alex Semin with Montreal, Nashville, Toronto, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Jose, all said to be interested in the right-winger, who has 166 goals in the last five years. Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian has also had his name linked to Semin in various trade rumours.

  8. Ted leonsis says Caps will look to deal too;

    “We will enter the new season with a very good team and a team that is changed in terms of personality from last season.

    We will look to make some trades in the off season maybe even sign another free agent. We will continue to look at all of our options. We may not be able to get anything done. We may be able to do something. Time will tell.”

  9. Carp, agreed that the MLB all star game is the best all star game. (I still only watched about 30 minutes of it.)

    Did not get to read the posts yesterday but I must be showing my age because I could care less what people are tweeting about. I do think it was a useful tool on July 1. I know I am in the minority.

    Have a great day boneheads.

  10. MLB all-star game is the best all-star game. I watched about 30 seconds of it. That’s how bad they all are.

    Easily the worst is football – with it happening after the season. So stupid.

  11. I had a decision to make last night – either take a sleeping pill or watch baseball. Even when I was a kid and followed baseball I still couldn’t watch a game. It is sooooo boring.

    I can’t believe that people have no other outlets for entertainment than reading people tweet about going to the movies or what they’re going to eat at their next meal or (the best ones) the ones that say that they are relaxing. That is, they tweet that they’re doing nothing. How exciting!

  12. Also.

    Fox is horrible. They shouldn’t really be allowed to broadcast baseball until they get some announcers that aren’t morons or hall-of-famers gone senile.

    The teams were pretty pathetic because tons of people dropped out to nurse injuries. Europansies!

  13. Gift of GAB-orik on

    When 30 or so guys say no and don’t go to the game, and half the starting pitchers get disqualified because they pitched within a week of the game, is it still an all star game? Or does it become the secondary stars game?

    Sure it’s an honor to be named to the all star game, but if you’re named only after a bunch of people decline, doesn’t it lose it’s luster a bit?

  14. Baseball = lame x 10 to the millionth power. It’s a much more powerful drug than Oxycotin with many of the same side effects(i.e. marked drowsiness, confusion, constipation). Only it’s not addictive. Not even remotely.

    Baseball’s all-star game = See above, only multiply the dosage by three.

    Why people watch and/or prattle on about the sport is beyond me. I do still love a day at the park with some beers. But 162 days in front of the television watching a bunch of fat millionaires pretend their athletes? Nope. Even in the dog days of summer with rinks thawing all around me, I’d rather talk Rangers than watch that waste of a sport.

    Rod – If I were to guess, I’d say Christensen has played his last game as a Ranger and Boyle will be moved to fourth line, which will get more minutes without a goon on the roster. Figure there’s 60 minutes in a game to be pursed out. Richards gets at least 20 of them of the top. Give 15 a piece to Anisimov and Stepan, that leaves Boyle playing 10, depending, of course, on special teams. Lots of PKs will mean more minutes for Boyle. Lots of PPs will mean more minutes for Stepan. I don’t see Rupp playing center unless the injury bug strikes. I think Hagelin is destined for Hartford next season, and we’re likely to see Weise make the team as a spare forward.

  15. Boyle’s going to get more than 10, Phil. He’s the checking-line center and penalty killer. If Anisimov plays with Callahan and Dubinsky, he’s going to get more than 10, too.

    That’s why I’ve been saying Stepan should get a shot at first-line LW. Otherwise it’s 6-7 minutes a night for him (and his fourth-linemates).

  16. Are we talking lines again? I’d wait until August, that’s when it gets really slow.

  17. I mean…I can go back to telling Carp that Wade Boggs was better than Donny Baseball during Donny’s prime…

  18. OH! Once I heard something AMAZING in the FOX booth. They were talking about the “Flying Burrito Brothers” for some reason and Joe Buck (the moron) was saying how it was a crazy band name and he never wants to hear what that sounds like. Then McCarver was saying how “these kids” come up with crazy names. Worst part…NO ONE corrected them and mentioned that it was Gram Parsons band…or that they were amazing….or that they played music like 40 years ago. Ridiculous.

  19. heres my question how do the islanders who are 10 mil below the cap floor get there if they dont acquire a hefty contract.

    can you say gomez to isles and semin to montreal.

    garth snow may need to take a bad contract

  20. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Steve Hamilton was far superior to Mariano R. If that big lefty played today he would average 200 saves per year.

  21. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Wild places – brad Richards and mike Richards and Keith Richards are tweeting that world peace is their next big project. Then, they want to insure that the world’s dirt remains brown.

  22. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    I find a truism, as true as anything I have ever considered, is that when someone does not like something, like “baseball sucks” from yesterday, that person knows next to nothing about it. The more you know about a subject the more you appreciate its refinements and nuances, on a much deeper level than surface appearances.

  23. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Two – that is a Hattie…. Until one a day shows up , I will man his post …

  24. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Boom boom while we disagree on THE HORACE, where are you on big Steve Hamilton? Was he indeed the greatest reliever the game has ever seen?

  25. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    FDA has announced that watching MLB has the same affect as taking ambien and the side effects are much less severe.

  26. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Manny –

    I always defend Tim McCarver for three reasons: 1. He and I were born on the same day in the same year in neighboring states (Tennessee- Virginia); 2. As a major league catcher of much distinction and success (after all, he caught Bob Gibson and Steve Carlton), he has walked the walk and has much to offer when it comes to talking the talk; and, 3. He displayed as much G-U-T-S as any announcer I have ever heard, when, in the sixth inning of game four of the 2004 World Series, he said: “Tony LaRussa is coming to home plate to ask the home plate umpire why Red Sox pitchers are getting the low strike call, and his pitchers are not.”

    I know how I interpret that, you interpret that any way you wish. Gutsy!

  27. Boom Boom – I cannot say enough about Tim McCarver as a player. I am only 30 years old but I have read numerous books about the 1964 season and other surrounding seasons and I certainly understand why McCarver is one of the most important catchers ever. Plus he caught Bob Gibson and Gibson is my favorite pitcher ever.

    But – McCarver has his moments of complete senility and that overshadows his brilliance to me. Maybe it’s because he is with that buffoon Joe Buck. But he calls players by the wrong names and rambles about the weirdest stuff.

  28. Wicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Morning ILB and all!

    The new whackamole/wasabi—> seems to be a hit!

    Did Hartnell get traded by the flyers?

    Has anyone seen the movie rango?

    Inventory sucks, later assens!

  29. That’s a good one, CT. Horace Clark was REALLY good!!!! (jk)

    I slapped in Robin Yount instead of Horace Clark.

  30. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Indifferent re Steve Hamilton, Eddie, but not on the pitchers he was traded for, Jim Coates. Never before or since have I seen a baseball team hit like crazy for any pitcher, as the Yankees did for Jim Coates. It seemed like every time he took the mound, Yankee hitters would go nuts with big-scoring innings, and I recall discussing this with baseball fans who observed the same thing, many times. Coates was a mediocre pitcher, but ever since then I have factored in run support as a handicapping tool.

    The antithesis of that, today is Cole Hamels. He is lucky when the Phillies score more than one run in any of his outings, or so it seems. Chemistry is hard to define and scientifically measure, but something is going on with these pitcher – teammate run support relationships.

    The Yankees should never have traded Coates. They certainly didn’t hit for Hamilton to the same extent, even if Hamilton was a better pitcher than Coates.

  31. bull dog line on

    it means that if a good player becomes available, the Rangers have enough depth at center to trade 1. probably AA.

  32. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    CT/manny – where are you two on The Horace debate? Was he the greatest switch hitter Ever? Debate…

  33. Eddie – I might list Pete Rose, Eddie Murray and maybe…I don’t know…Mickey Mantle ahead of Horace.

  34. bull dog line on

    if Rupp plays left wing, as most are projecting, they leaves Sean ( The Golden Jet) Avery out of the lineup.
    WW, Dubi, Fedotenko, and Rupp.
    thats without moving Stepan, or AA to left wing.

  35. bull dog,

    I think it would be better if the Rangers dealt from their stronger organizational depth on D rather than from their forwards. If you trade AA and Stepan regresses or doesn’t reach full potential then you’re left with Richards and a few questions marks down the middle. They can afford to gamble a little more with dealing away D.

  36. Good late morning all! I thought Weekes was being dropped from Waseka? His breakfast tweet makes me wanna boudreau :)

  37. And then some guys like Nick Swisher, Melky Cabrera, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, Mark Texeira, Ramiro Pena, etc…. (and this is just Yankees and ex-Yanks that were better)

  38. bull dog line on

    MDZ, is 1 player that is probably can be had right now. I do not know who else may have value, outside the top 4.

  39. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Manny – I look for the positives I can get – educational matter – from broadcasters, and make allowances for their short-comings. I loved Scooter Rizzuto’s enthusiasm, even though he botched the english language badly, saying things like “Foul Bwall” in his early broadcasting years.

    I learned much and liked the delivery style of Skip Carey, so I forgave his almost unbearable “homer” plugging of the Braves, all the time. I detested Don Sutton’s personality as a player, but he won me over as one of the most astute broadcasters ever. So many hated Howard Cosell, I found his over-bearing manner and stentorian self-aggrandisement style amusing and entertaining. When he and I both worked in the ABC building, frequently I would ride the same elevator with him. He was a boor, one time talking about his stock market holdings, for the benefit of a packed elevator crowd, another time name-dropping (Mets GM Bing Devine) that he was on to way to having lunch with Devine, for the benefit of the rest of us. I liked him anyway, and miss him, in fact. ( Cosell: “Well, Champ, what’s it gonna be, you gonna carry the rope-a-dope 15 rounds, or take the bum out, early?” (Ali: “Cosell, Cosell, you need a new rug for your head, Cosell.”) When will we ever have repartee like that, again?

    So they all have weaknesses, but they all have first-hand observational experience, they all know on a professional and/or personal basis, the athletes the rest of us follow from a distance, and some of them played the game. No one is perfect, but Tim McCarver has given the game of baseball, on and off the field, a hell of a lot since he was an 18-year old prospect in 1960.

  40. bull dog line on

    if Rupp moves to center, that would open a spot for rookie on the left wing. I guess because it is Avery, the Rangers could keep a better player in the minors, so Avery can play.

  41. You’re right Boom Boom! I should stop complaining. I do tend to just yell at announcers. Good advice.

  42. bull dog,

    I think they still believe in MDZ. They just need to go back to what they did in the first half of his rookie year and shelter him on the 3rd pair while working the PP. He wasn’t ready for 2nd pairing (top 4 D) minutes and responsibility last year but the decision to Whale Redden and not having known quantities in McD and Sauer made him a top 4 guy by default. The D they expect him to be typically don’t fully flourish until around 24-25 years old.

    And then I suppose it all comes down to who you’re trading for and the needs of the team on the other end of the trade. I doubt they get a consistent 30+ goal guy for anything less than someone like McD being involved.

  43. AA now moves into a role of a two-way, reliable second line center without too much pressure to score. Exactly what he’s been projected to become. There is very little sense in trading him.

  44. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    It seems Marlon Brando botched his line in “Apocalypse Now” when, at the end of the film, he says: “The Horror.” He was actually supposed to deliver the line: “The Horace.”

  45. Agree, CTB, that’s what they project him. There is a good reason why every team involved with any trade discussion with NYR asks for him. And that is the same reason why the management wants to part of it.

  46. bull dog line on

    what do you project Stepan to be. in a division where most teams second center had been better than our first, your projection for AA is not good enough.

  47. Watching Kate Upton play in the Celebrity Softball game was more interesting than the MLB ASG.

  48. Doodie Machetto on

    CTB, I think offensive defensemen typically flourish by their third year in the league, rather than their age. Some recent examples (age listed is at end of the season):

    1) Mike Green: 07-08, third partial season (first season played 22 games), second full season, age 22.
    2) Keith Yandle: 09-10, third full season, age 23.
    3) Duncan Keith: 07-08, third full season, age 24.
    4) Alex Goligoski: 10-11, third partial season (first season played 45 games), age 25.

    I think it’s that third year when an offensive defenseman really needs to take off. Of course, being on a good team (especially one that is good on the PP) typically helps things.

  49. Stepan is groomed to become a first line center. At least that is what I think he is envisioned by the management. He just turned 21. There is nothing wrong with playing him on the L with Richards and learn the game. When he is ready, and Richards needs to have his responsibilities diminished, they can switch.

  50. Well no one can match the Pens in terms of depth down the middle, at least when healthy.

    The Flyers really have to hope that Giroux and Schenn become mega stars over the next couple of years since the heaviest lifters on their defense are also their oldest.

    Tavares has actually done better than I expected at this point in his career. I still think his rather ordinary skating ability will limit his ceiling but I do admit he’s got great hands around the net. I have full faith though that they’ll continue to rush and overmatch most of their prospects until they can raise their payroll to acquire some legitimate veteran depth to allow their younger guys to succeed on a more manageable growth curve.

    The Devils are not terribly deep down the middle. Zajac took quite a step backwards last year.

  51. bull dog line on

    so the player you are grooming to become the first line center moves to left wing? i do not see the logic in that. to me this is about who the Rangers feel the better center is going to be. I think it is Stepan.

  52. doodie,

    MDZ still differs from those guys in that he made the jump straight from juniors with no intermediate step in between. Most of the guys had at least 1 full season in the AHL before winning an NHL job.

  53. Joe Buck and Tim Carver are worse than Edzo and Pierre…not even close…

    I really think Zuccarello may get a long look at the top line LW with Gaby and Richards…he fits there…he has the skill to keep up, he doesn’t dog it (woof woof)…It’s worth a look….

    I like Stepan at center. I’m not in love with the idea that we should move the kid from his natural position.

    Sean “Jumbo” Avery may be forced to be the spare guy…

  54. I do see the perfect logic in that. Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. But unless something unbelievable becomes available, I doubt AA gets traded.

  55. bull dog line on

    Philly, Briere, Giroux.
    Pitt, Crosby, Malkin, Staal.
    NYI, Tavares, Neilson.
    NJD, Zajac, Josefson.
    in the conference.
    Wash, Backstrom, Johansen.
    TB, Vinnie, Stamkos.
    you also have Spezza in Ottowa, Plekanec in Montreal, and Weiss in Florida.
    as well as Staal and Sutter in Carolina, and Roy in Buffalo.
    so I guess to way and reliable is nice, but is it good enough?

  56. bull dog,

    I believe the Flyers groomed Giroux on the wing before moving him to center.

  57. Speaking of Giroux, he spent most of his Flyers’ career on the R wing. Now he is ready. You think his center ice man skills diminished from playing on the wing for a couple of years?

  58. Look, if old Dizzy Dean could make a post baseball career out of announcing ( aye the old Wabash Cannon Ball…”listen to the rattle, the rumble and the roar…” Dizzisms, “thar goes a lazy can o’ corn into the outfield” etc. etc…..and he would actually sing it out, and he was there for years, so give ’em a break. ….and of course the immortal ” and he slud into third!”

  59. Hey all,

    Sorry about the Jagr thing yesterday….totally thought he played LW (Now it makes sense that my wife calls me an “idiot”) HaHa

    I thought there was some good things with Jagr in the locker room, as far as he enjoyed teaching some of the younger Rangers, and stuff.

    For the money I still thought 1 -2 mil for 20 goals was worth it. Plus can you imagine Jagr with Richards on the PP? I thought it all sounded pretty good at least.

    Plus I knew Messier was doing something for the organization and thanks for letting us know “what” he was doing. It’s cool to think that some of these kids are being evaluated by Messier, especially knowing how particular Messier could be about teammates.

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