Devils Take Anthony Brodeur

Martin Brodeur takes a picture with drafted son Anthony Brodeur. Getty Images

Martin Brodeur takes a picture with drafted son Anthony Brodeur.
Getty Images

The NHL Draft took place Sunday at The Prudential Center in Newark. Most of the fanfare was over top pick Nathan MacKinnon, who went to Colorado. Florida surprised everyone by selecting Aleksander Barkov over Seth Jones and Jonathan Drouin. Jones had been projected to go first but the Avalanche went for offense with MacKinnon. Instead, he slipped to four while Drouin went to Tampa Bay. Following the Lightning’s pick, Nashville chose Jones. The No.1 rated defenseman is the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones. Jones was part of the Nets staff. Now, his kid will become a building block in Music City with Shea Weber taking him under his wing. 

Yesterday also produced a surreal moment. It took all the way to final round to happen. With the Devils and Kings swapping picks, New Jersey gave their remaining fans a treat by taking Anthony Brodeur. The son of future Hall Of Famer Martin Brodeur was thrilled to get drafted by his Dad making it all the more special. He went 208th overall. It didn’t matter. The wait was well worth it, generating the kind of buzz Gary Bettman must’ve loved. Especially coming off the highest rated Stanley Cup since 1994.

Considering the lockout which produced more fan frustration, the game is in a good place now. The shortened season was a rousing success with the Blackhawks and Bruins providing one of the best series in recent memory. An epic conclusion with Chicago scoring twice 17 seconds apart to stun Boston. Unfortunately, the Hawks already had to break up their second championship team in four years by dealing Cup hero Dave Bolland to Toronto and Michael Frolik to Winnipeg. The NHL offseason already is in full swing. With free agency beginning on Friday, there’s sure to be a flurry of activity.

Already we’ve seen trades with none bigger than the Devils acquiring Cory Schneider from Vancouver for their first pick (9th) with the Canucks tabbing center Bo Horvat. Schneider will supplant Brodeur as New Jersey’s number one goalie. He’s signed through 2015 and will earn $4 million per year. Brodeur handled it with class and his usual charm hinting that Schneider will have to fight him for the top spot. In what could be his final year at age 41, the all-time winningest netminder has done it all winning three Cups, four Vezinas and Olympic gold. The all-time career shutout leader got to call his own son at the Draft putting the cherry on top of the sundae. All the more fitting it was on a Sunday. A cool moment that will last a lifetime.

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Yankees sign Ben Francisco to minor league deal

Apparently, the Yankees plan is to corner the market on retreads. Today, Brian Cashman signed veteran outfielder Ben Francisco to a minor league deal. On the same day he was released by the Indians, Francisco found a team desperate enough to give him a look. He played for three teams last year and only hit four home runs. That included the hapless Astros along with the Blue Jays and the Indians, who had seen enough.

Considering the state of the Yanks, should we expect any less? They already have Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz on their roster along with “field goal kickerTravis Hafner. At least that’s what Cashman referred to him as after being asked if the former Indian slugger would be considered to play first for the injured Mark Teixeira. At best, he’ll DH some.

Would it really hurt the Yankees to see what Melky Mesa can do? He’s had a strong camp. The ex-Staten Island Yankee is considered a center field prospect who plays good D, has some pop and speed. Attributes which should be explored by the Bronx Bombers. If he’s not ready, they can always option him to Triple-A Wilkes Barre/Scranton.

You never know anymore with the Yanks, who prefer aging vets to kids. Cashman even hinted that recently retired Brave Chipper Jones would be a perfect fit for this team. Uh, really? I love Chipper but he shouldn’t play for any other team. Like Derek Jeter, he’s old school. He was already breaking down when he called it quits. Leave the guy be. Let the future Hall Of Famer enjoy retirement.

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King James wills Heat past Knicks

King James goes airborn.

King James goes airborn. Copyright Getty Images

 

The Knicks almost made it three for three against the Heat. Unfortunately, Miami boasts the best player on the planet. Despite trailing by 14 at the half, the Heat came all the way back to beat the Knicks  99-93. LeBron James carried them to victory. King James did it all, scoring 29 while grabbing 11 rebounds and dropping seven dimes. It was his defensive play that lifted the Heat to a six-point win which extended their win streak to 14.

James made two consecutive treys at the beginning of the fourth quarter to tie the game. He also had a couple of steals along with a monster block on Tyson Chandler that swung the momentum. His rejection of Chandler led directly to a strong LeBron finish that extended Miami’s lead to four (91-87). While he hustled down court following a great defensive gem, Chandler wasted time complaining about no foul. That kind of selfish play is part of the Knicks’ problem. Had he gotten back, maybe LBJ doesn’t have an easy jam during crunch time.

Instead, James did what he does best running the floor. A J.R. Smith force from downtown led to another Heat score with James this time setting up Chris Bosh from 17 for 93-87. Too often, JR bombs away from beyond the arc. He misfired on 11-of-14 attempts. At least a couple down the stretch were poor shots that allowed the Heat to run out. Smith posted a double/double (13 and 12) but shot five for 18 from the field with three turnovers.

Carmelo Anthony scored 24 of his game high 32 in a strong first half. He only took one more shot than Smith but went 13-of-14 from the charity stripe. Melo also only took three three’s making one. A noticeable difference from JR’s chuck session. The three can be a weapon when utilized right. When the Knicks move the ball around, it works. Jason Kidd snapped out of a huge slump by knocking down four treys. In his new role off the bench, the future Hall Of Famer contributed 14, 8 and 6. Exactly what Mike Woodson needs from him the rest of the way. If there was one question mark, it was Woodson not playing Amar’e Stoudemire the final seven minutes. Stat added 12 (5-7 FG). He could’ve helped offensively. But Woodson opted to go with more D.

Ray Felton had nine. He came up with a couple of timely buckets that allowed the Knicks to stay within two. It was too much LeBron, Bosh and Dwyane Wade (20, 8, 8). The Heat made the same amount of three’s (8) in nine fewer attempts (20). Shane Battier was a perfect four-for-four from downtown en route to a dozen. It wasn’t Miami’s supporting cast that hurt New York. Only the terrific trio of LeBron, Wade and Bosh, who scored most of his 16 in the final stanza. As long as LeBron stays healthy, it’s hard to see anyone beating them in the East. He is playing at an all-time level shooting over 56 percent from the field and over 40 from three. The most dominant player since MJ.

The positive for the Knicks is they stayed with the Heat. Some better decisions late and they win. The negative is they blew a double digit lead. Once LeBron took over, that was it. His steal of a lazy Smith pass and punctuation jam was poetry in motion. What a player. Look what winning a title did for him. He is scarier than ever.

Many have taken to the airwaves bashing the Knicks. It’s easy to criticize their imperfections. What other team has pushed the Heat? The Knicks remain third in the East a half game behind the Pacers. They’re 35-21 and lead the Nets by three games. If they take care of business, they should finish no lower than either a two or three. Nobody is saying they can win a title this year. Whoever believed that due to the hot start is delusional. How many even thought they’d be in this position? The Atlantic was supposed to be a toss up. It’s still the Knicks’ division to win or lose.

They go on the road for the next two at Cleveland and Detroit. We’ll see how they respond.

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Melo loses cool against KG

Carmelo Anthony battles with Kevin Garnett during last night's Knicks loss against the Celtics.

Carmelo Anthony battles with Kevin Garnett during last night’s Knicks loss against the Celtics.

Not every game is going to go your way. Lately, that’s been the story for the Knicks who haven’t been the same since injuries to starting point guard Ray Felton and super sub Rasheed Wallace. Defensively, they’ve slipped allowing easier baskets. Offensively, it’s been more ragged with too much reliance on MVP candidate Carmelo Anthony and Sixth Man J.R. Smith. What Knick fans have gotten is more inconsistency. The orange and blue are 5-5 in their last 10 and have slipped to second in the East. A game behind Miami with Atlanta creeping up.

A frustrating 102-96 home loss to the hated Celtics didn’t help matters with Anthony losing his cool. Melo had one of his worst games of the season, misfiring on 20 of 26 field goal attempts while picking up five fouls, including a technical against trash talker Kevin Garnett. KG was at his best last night pushing and shoving in the low post with Anthony, who let the physical battle affect his game. He was four-of-seven from the line and 4-of-13 from downtown.

Garnett had a strong game, finishing with a double/double (19 and 1o) on six-of-11 shooting. He also drained all seven free throws including some clutch ones in crunch time that derailed a Knicks comeback. The future Hall Of Famer played with an edge, befitting of his persona. The king of trash apparently went too far, with him reportedly referencing Melo’s wife La La as tasting like his favorite cereal, Honey Nut Cheerios. If true, I could understand Anthony’s frustration. But also got to give Garnett props. He chose a good cereal that’s sweet. It was a compliment. :D

Anthony should know better than to let an old dinosaur like KG get under his skin. He’s not supposed to fly off the handle over such silly trash talk. He’s expected to be a leader for a team that has a chance to have postseason success. Especially once Felton, Sheed and Iman Shumpert return. Melo was so livid that he waited in the tunnel for Celtic players looking for Garnett. Heck. He even tried to track him down by the Boston team bus. Crazy.

A day later, he said he only wanted to talk to KG. They did speak by phone and cleared the air. We’re guessing he felt Garnett crossed the line. I definitely agree. Some things shouldn’t be said on the court in the heat of the battle. The moment got to Melo, whose team suffered an ugly defeat to a team they should’ve handled. The Celtics were minus Rajon Rondo, who again was serving a suspension for shoving someone. As good as he is, he has a two cent head. If you can’t beat Boston without Rondo, when do you plan to? The good news is the Knicks get three more cracks at the Celts. The next meeting is Jan.24 on a Thursday, which probably means it’ll be shown on TNT. Get your popcorn ready.

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A-Rod Hits No.600

In yesterdays Yankee win over the Blue Jays, Alex Rodriguez finally made history by becoming the youngest player ever to reach 600 home runs.

In yesterday's Yankee win over the Blue Jays, Alex Rodriguez finally made history by becoming the youngest player ever to reach 600 home runs.

Yesterday, Alex Rodriguez finally snapped out of it to hit his 600th career home run in the Yankees’ 5-1 win over the Blue Jays- salvaging the final game of a three-game series.

In doing so, the future Hall Of Famer (yes, he still is in our book) became just the seventh ballplayer to reach 600 and the youngest ever beating out who else but The Babe. A-Rod recently turned 35 reaches a special milestone at 35 years, eight days with Babe Ruth next youngest at 36 years, 196 days in 1931. However, as was noted in the Yahoo recap, Ruth accomplished it in fewer games (183) due to being a pitcher first with Boston before becoming a full-time slugger. Pretty amazing stuff.

In finally reaching 600 homers, Rodriguez joins tainted record holder Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Ruth (714), Willie Mays (660), recently retired former Mariner teammate Ken Griffey, Jr. (630) and no habla engles Sammy Sosa (609). Pretty exclusive company even if the chase was marred by his steroids admission last year. Sadly, nearly half the list cheated with Bonds and Sosa front and center. It’s still odd that A-Rod also did it because we always thought he stood for integrity. Especially being a baseball guru who prides himself on being the best. Guess it just goes to show that even the most gifted athletes can slip up. Simple message. Trust no one.

It’s a shame that such a remarkable feat which saw the Yankee third baseman hit one off Shaun Marcum into Monument Park is basically acknowledged with a shrug. Something like this should be more celebrated but unfortunately, it was anti-climatic due to circumstance. Baseball is a great sport filled with legions of diehard fans who take pride in the history books. The home run has always been the greatest thrill. Now, it’s forever tainted making the legends before them turn in their graves.

How many of Rodriguez’ 600 blasts were performance enhanced? If you buy the story he gave last year about it just being with Texas, then that’s still a good chunk. He totaled 156 in only three seasons, averaging a gaudy 52-per-year. In already his seventh year in the Bronx including Wednesday’s 17th dinger of 2010, A-Rod is at 255 long balls (36.4) with over seven weeks left. Yes. It’s true that his production has curtailed since a monster ’07 that saw him hit 54 homers and drive in a career high 156 en route to an MVP.

 

A-ROD IN DECLINE???

Year      GP          HR

’07          158        56

’08           138        35

’09            124        30

*’10            101         17

*Current season

 

Part of this is due to the chronic hip he had surgery on last year, costing him over a month. Perhaps it’s also a sign that age is finally catching up. During his prime years, Rodriguez was deadly- rarely missing pitches. Even if he’s slowing down, the New York native answered critics last year by still reaching 30 homers and 100 RBI’s while having a memorable postseason filled with clutch home runs- leading the Bronx Bombers to their record 27th championship and first in the A-Rod Era.

What else is there for Rodriguez to accomplish? Well, the questions already started about whether he can catch Bonds, who’s still 162 clear of him. It all depends on health. If he stays healthy and can recapture the stroke that once made him a gimme for 40, then he should be a lock. However, homers are down since Major League Baseball (MLB) cracked down on performance enhancers. When Jose Bautista’s leading the majors with 33 homers, it tells you plenty. It’s become a pitcher’s game again.

A-Rod will still have the advantage of being in the middle of the most potent lineup with Mark Teixeira and Robby Cano providing plenty of support along with Jorge Posada and All-Star Nick Swisher. Will finally ending the 0-for-17 drought and longest between home run 599 and 600 among the Elite Seven get Rodriguez going? You have to think it’ll relax him with a hot streak just around the corner. Amazing that he still has knocked in 87 despite less dingers. No doubt, he’s making his RBI’s count as he paces the Yanks ahead of Teixeira (81) and MVP candidate Cano (71).

If anything, he should be a lock for 27 taking him to 610. Ten more isn’t a lot to ask for one of the greatest superstars the game’s ever seen. Then, it becomes a matter of math. Can he average 30 HR the next four years before he turns 40 in 2015?  If Alexander The Great can get back to that level, that would be at least 120 pushing him to 730- making the record attainable.

It should be interesting to follow the plight of A-Rod and whether he can become the new Home Run King. Even if it won’t be fully embraced despite his unique talent.

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More HB: October Baseball

-The baseball playoffs kickoff today with three of the four Division Series starting up with the Phillies hosting the Brewers, the defending champion Red Sox visiting the Angels and the Cubs taking on the Dodgers.

Last night, the White Sox became the eighth and final participant thanks to splendid pitching from John Danks, who limited the Twins to two hits over eight shutout frames en route to a 1-0 win in their one-game playoff last night in the Windy City to clinch the AL Central. Jim Thome’s 34th home run of the season off Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn which ledoff the seventh was the difference in a game that saw both teams combine for a run on seven hits.

The White Sox got a big defensive play by veteran center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr. who with the game scoreless tossed out Michael Cuddyer at the plate on a short fly to complete a 9-2 inning ending double play. The much likable future Hall Of Famer deflected attention paying homage to veteran backstop A.J. Pierzynski for catching the ball and in one motion applying the tag on a throw which he caught on the third base side of the plate:

“That play, all I had to do was make a good throw. The credit is all A.J. I put a two-hopper in there and he was able to get it and block the plate. That’s the key there. He put his body on the line for us.”

“He did a heck of a job,” Thome added of Griffey, who’s making his first postseason appearance since 1997 with Seattle. “I’m so happy for him, too.”

Closer Bobby Jenks came on to work a perfect ninth for his 30th save.

For the Twins, who dealt away ace Johan Santana for a four-player package which included speedy center fielder Carlos Gomez, it was a disappointing conclusion to what was a good year where they came oh so close to still making October.

“You never want to put 162 games all into one game, but that’s what ended up happening,” Twins first base slugger Justin Morneau lamented despite a great second half finishing one RBI shy of AL leader Josh Hamilton. “It’s going to hurt for a while and it’s going to be a long night for sure.”

Even in not the most productive lineup, the 27 year-old former 2006 AL MVP had a terrific season finishing at .300 with 23 dingers and 129 RBI’s- one shy of his career best two years ago. Morneau’s proven himself as one of the best young sluggers in the game and along with great hitting catcher and teammate Joe Mauer, whose .328 mark was good enough for the batting title should continue to lead Minnesota forward into their new stadium.

Ron Gardenhire did another tremendous job and should merit some AL Manager of The Year consideration though ultimately, Tampa’s Joe Maddon will justifiably take it home. One of these years, it’s all going to come together for the Twins which is a credit to Gardenhire and his staff.

-In assessing the four series, here’s who I like:

A.Cubs vs Dodgers- LA matches up well despite getting in via the most pathetic division. Their potent lineup has vastly improved since Manny Ramirez came over strengthening teammates James Loney, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. The key will be for Cubs pitchers to keep the guys in front of Manny off base so he can’t do much damage. Lou Piniella won’t let him beat them. So, it will be up to Manny’s teammates to come through.

The Cubs have a balanced attack with Alfonso Soriano, Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez, Mark DeRosa and certain NL ROY Geovany Soto. The pitching is about even with the red hot Derek Lowe taking on Ryan Dempster, who went 14-3 at Wrigley Field this year. Chad Billingsley faces Carlos Zambrano in Game 2 with Rich Harden battling Hiroki Kuroda in Game 3 and Greg Maddux getting the ball against Ted Lilly for Game 4. If it goes five, Lowe and Dempster would face off again.

The pens are about even with Chicago using the trio of rookie Jeff Samardzjia, setup man Carlos Marmol and closer Kerry Wood to shut the door. Rookie Cory Wade sets up while either Jonathan Broxton or Takashi Saito closes depending on Joe Torre.

The Cubs should have an edge in experience which could be huge at the plate if some of the younger Dodgers aren’t patient. This shapes up to be a good series but there’s too much at stake for the Cubs here.

Series Prediction: Cubs in 5

B.Phillies vs Brewers- Last year, the Phillies had a remarkable run to their first division title in 14 years stunning the Mets. The euphoria from that comeback was too much as the Rockies swept them. This October should be different because of last year’s experience. The goal wasn’t just to get there again but to win. This time, the Brewers are playing that role after winning five of six to slip past the Mets for the wild card clinching their first playoff berth since 1982 when they were in the AL East.

With C.C. Sabathia unable to pitch until tomorrow, that should be an edge for the Phils who even seem to have an advantage in starters with ace Cole Hamels dominating today’s first game fanning nine in eight innings. Not surprisingly in just his fourth outing this season, Yovani Gallardo struggled allowing a three-run third with Chase Utley’s two-run double and Shane Victorino’s bases loaded walk the difference. With Ben Sheets out for this round, the pressure falls on Sabathia who again will go on short rest against Brett Myers tomorrow. Jamie Moyer faces Jeff Suppan in Game 3 and Hamels returns for Game 4 against Dave Bush. If it goes five, it would be Myers against Sabathia with all bets off.

It’s hard not to like the Phils in this series due to a lethal attack of Utley, possible NL MVP Ryan Howard, Pat Burrell, Jimmy Rollins along with underrated contributors Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino. They should hit. Taking nothing away from Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, J.J. Hardy and Corey Hart but this just isn’t their time.

Philly’s pen is also stronger with Scott Eyre and J.C. Romero setting up closer Brad Lidge, who took NL Comeback Player of The Year by going 41-of-41 in save opportunities. It’ll still be interesting to see how the ex-Astro fares in October with memories of Albert Pujols taking him yard. He didn’t look great today giving up a run while putting the tying runs in scoring position before K-ing Hart to save it for Hamels. The Brewers rely on Guillermo Mota to setup closer Salomon Torres who was very shaky in September. It might be wise to use Todd Coffey and Mark DiFelice more. Starter Manny Parra also is available.

All signs point to the Phillies. They have a better offense, more pitching, a solid bench and valuable experience.

Series Prediction: Phillies in 4

C.Angels vs Red Sox- This is the hardest match-up to call as it pits the experienced defending champion Red Sox against baseball’s best team during the regular season, the Angels who hit the century mark in wins.

For Mike Scioscia’s club, the pressure is on to get the monkey off their back versus a team that’s historically owned them in October. Dating back to 1986 when they rallied from 3-1 down to advance to the World Series, Boston’s won nine straight postseason games against the Halos. Something’s gotta give.

Their lineup is improved with first base slugger Mark Teixeira added to a middle of the order featuring vets Torii Hunter and Vlad Guerrero trying to get in table setters Chone Figgins and Garret Anderson. They better hit because even post-Manny, a Red Sox lineup that includes MVP candidates Dustin Pedroia and Kevin Youkilis along with always dangerous slugger David Ortiz will. They also got good news as J.D. Drew pronounced himself ready to go if needed for tonight’s first game. Mike Lowell probably should be back too. Toss in deadline pickup Jason Bay and speedy rookie center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and Boston’s loaded.

The pitching match-ups are intriguing with John Lackey facing Jon Lester tonight, Dice-K versus Ervin Santana Friday and Joe Saunders taking on Josh Beckett in Game Three. Lackey and Lester will also go in Game 4 and ditto for Daisuke Matsuzaka and Santana if it goes the distance. Both teams possess good starters but I’ll give a slight edge to the Red Sox trio.

The Angels will have an edge in the pen with Scot Shields setting up record setting closer Francisco Rodriguez (62 saves). Rookie Jose Arredondo and Darren Oliver also are frequent contributors. Terry Francona will rely heavily on the duo of Hideki Okajima and closer Jonathan Papelbon, who was up and down in the final month due to coming in a few games in the eighth. He might be gassed. Manny Delcarmen and Javier Lopez should also be called upon out of the pen along with promising rookie Justin Masterson.

This series could depend on if the Angels hit. They never have had much success against Boston. Either way, it shapes up as a five-game series.

Series Prediction: Red Sox in 5

D.Rays vs White Sox- You have the new kids on the block against a very experienced bunch who have been here before. If the AL East winning Rays aren’t fazed by their first ever October, they should have enough to get through the White Sox.

Joe Maddon’s scrappy bunch pitch better and find ways to win games despite only two consistent power threats in certain AL ROY Evan Longoria and 101 RBI man Carlos Pena. The good news is that Carl Crawford is back which should give the lineup a boost. Speedy center fielder B.J. Upton (67 SB) and backstop Dioner Navarro also are part of the mix. Veterans Cliff Floyd and Eric Hinske provide leadership. Hinske usually comes off the bench as does utility specialist Willy Aybar.

The White Sox will have a huge power advantage with veterans Ken Griffey, Jr., Jermaine Dye, Jim Thome, Paul Konerko and Nick Swisher all threats to go deep. Toss in talented rookie second baseman Alexei Ramirez (21 HR, 77 RBI, 13 SB) and Ozzie Guillen’s club has plenty of offense. A.J. Pierzynski might be universally hated but can get the job done. Just imagine if they had first base slugger Carlos Quentin.

The question is are the White Sox too reliant on the home run? The Rays boast a good pitching staff with 14-game winner James Shields matching up against Javier Vazquez in Games 1 and 5. Scott Kazmir goes against Mark Buehrle in a battle of southpaws for Game 2. Game 3 pits Matt Garza against Gavin Floyd in what promises to be a good match-up between young hurlers. Andy Sonnanstine gets the ball in Game 4 versus White Sox hero John Danks.

The White Sox pen is basically Octavio Dotel handing off to closer Bobby Jenks. Matt Thornton and Scott Linebrink also contribute. Tampa has a distinct edge with the trio of Grant Balfour, J.P. Howell and veteran sidearmer Chad Bradford setting up for veteran closer Troy Percival. There’s also Dan Wheeler who saved 13 while Percival was out. Plus lefty Trever Miller. If a starter gets into trouble, Maddon can also bring in former 2007 first overall pick David Price, who was very sharp after being recalled posting a 1.93 ERA fanning 12 in 14 innings with opponents hitting just .176.

If a game is tight late, you have to like the Rays.

Series Prediction: Rays in 4

Here are the rest of my October picks:

ALCS: Red Sox over Rays in 6

NLCS: Cubs over Phillies in 5

World Series: Cubs over Red Sox in 7

WS MVP: Aramis Ramirez, Cubs

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Golden Brett Broadway Bound

Brett Favre is no longer the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers. The 38 year-old future Hall of Famer was traded to the New York Jets for a conditional 2009 draft pick.

It was first reported by both ESPN and Fox Sports just after midnight on the East coast.

“We just felt like this was an opportunity to go get somebody of Brett’s stature and what he’s accomplished,” Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said during a conference call earlier this morning.

“We felt it was in the best interest of the team and when the opportunity presented itself, we felt it was the right move for us to make and we went ahead and did it.”

When it became apparent Favre would not be the man in Green Bay with the Packers opting to hand the reigns over to Aaron Rodgers, the Jets and Bucs were the final two teams in the running to land the NFL’s all-time leader in throwing touchdowns (442). Tampa dropped out making Gang Green’s destiny of landing the former Southern Miss star likely.

Favre was originally selected by the Falcons in the second round of the 1991 Draft. He only played in two games going 0-for-5 with two picks and a sack before Atlanta dealt him during the offseason to Green Bay for the 19th pick in the 1992 Draft in which they ironically selected another Southern Miss star Tony Smith, who lasted only three seasons. Perhaps that explains the Falcons legacy.

After becoming the starter with his new team, Favre went onto a brilliant career spending the next 16 years as arguably the best quarterback in the game leading the Packers back to the NFL’s elite winning Super Bowl XXXI over New England and losing to John Elway and Denver in Super Bowl XXXII. He is the only three-time AP MVP (1995-97) in league history.

Not only does Favre hold the NFL record for most TD’s thrown but most career passing yards (61,655), most career completions (5,377), attempts (8,758) and interceptions (288). He also holds the record for most consecutive starts among NFL QBs with 253 straight including 275 with playoffs. Not surprisingly, he also owns the most ever victories (160) for a starting signal caller.

Now, Brett will get the opportunity to turn around a Jets team which went just 4-12 a year ago as both Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens struggled. Before he decided to unretire getting league approval for reinstatement, the original plan was for the two QBs to battle it out in camp and preseason to see who would win the starting job.

Instead, the Jets will reportedly release the classy Pennington later today who twice cameback from rotator cuff surgery battling injuries during a respectable eight-year career finishing with 82 TDs and 55 Ints while tossing for 13,738 yards.

“It’s a bittersweet moment for us,” Tannenbaum pointed out. “I have all the respect in the world for Chad as a person, as a player. We’ve accomplished a lot of good things with Chad … He gave his heart and soul to this organization for a long, long time. I really appreciate everything he’s done.”

For his team, it’s the right move which of course comes with a lot of expectations. The pressure to win now while sacrificing the team’s future.

A high risk investment for a veteran QB who never seems to know whether he’s coming or going.

We doubt Jet fans will care. Today’s their day to celebrate arguably the franchise’s biggest acquisition.

Now the fun really begins.

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