Archive for June, 2010

On Tuesday, June 22, 2010, Anaheim Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer announced his retirement after 18 seasons in NHL. Niedermayer was one of the best defenseman of the millennial years and will definitely be a first ballot hall of famer.

Scott Niedermayer is only 36 years old and it looked like he still had some good years left in him. Sadly, Niedermayer decided to call it quits on Tuesday, in a move that one can not help but respect.

You see Niedermayer did something that so few athletes do in this day and age; retire on top before their game begins to fade away. Most guys stick around long past their prime and do not know when enough is enough (i.e. Chris Chelios). When they do this, watching them struggle to play the game like they used to is very difficult to watch and it is very sad.

What athletes fail to realize is,that by continuing to play the game when you are long past your prime you can damage your image. Instead of being remembered for being an outstanding athlete, people will remember you for not giving up the game when maybe you should have.

Niedermayer did the right thing Tuesday, and in many ways he really did go out on top.

Scott Niedermayer broke into the NHL in 1991, as a 19-year-old rookie defenseman for the New Jersey Devils. He only played in four games in the 1991-1992 season and registered just an assist, but the next season he would go on to become a starting defenseman.

In his first full NHL season, Niedermayer scored 11 goals and 29 assists totaling 40 points. He was also able to establish himself as an effective weapon on the power play by scoring 5 goals and 14 points. From this season on, Niedermayer would be one of the best power play players in the NHL.

When he hung up the skates on Tuesday, Scott Niedermayer ended his career with 90 goals and 245 assists on the power play, which are some pretty impressive numbers. He was always the man on the point during the power play and if you want to see what a good point man is supposed to do on the power-play go back and watch how Niedermayer did it. He was like a quarterback when he was out there on the power play and his career numbers showed just how good he was.

After Scott Niedermayer became an everyday starter for the Devils, the team’s success began to grow. They began to make the playoffs consistently and in the 1993-1994 season the team came just a game away from the Stanley Cup Finals.

In the 1994-1995 season, Niedermayer alongside fellow great defenseman Scott Stevens, Ken Daneyko, Bruce Driver, and Tommy Albelin, the New Jersey Devils captured the Stanley Cup after sweeping the Detroit Red Wings in four games. The Stanley Cup victory was the first in franchise history and the first of Niedermayer’s career. Many consider this to be Niedermayer’s breaking out, and the most memorable event of the series was Niedermayer’s incredible end-to-end goal in Game 2.

From here on out, the Devils were a team that would become known for their ability to win games and for their great defense. In the following seasons, Scott Niedermayer would continue to grow as an outstanding defenseman with some offensive ability as well. He would also go on to be an alternate captain for the Devils and he played with that title for years, behind captain Scott Stevens.

In 1999, Brian Rafalski joined the New Jersey Devils’ defense and it would create two of the best defensive lines in the NHL; Scott Stevens & Ken Daneyko and Scott Niedermayer & Brian Rafalski. The solid defense of the Devils was one of the main reasons they made three Stanley Cup Final appearances from 2000-2003.

Niedermayer and the Devils won the Stanley Cup in 2000 and 2003, and they fell to the Colorado Avalanche in the 2001 final.

Niedermayer had an outstanding playoff performance in 2003 en route to the championship. He shared the most playoff points in the league with 18 that year alongside teammate Jamie Langenbrunner.

In the season following the 2003 Stanley Cup victory, Ken Daneyko retired and the Devils watched Scott Stevens and Brian Rafalski fall to injury and it was up to Niedermayer to carry and lead the young and inexperienced defense. Niedermayer did a great job in doing so and he was even named captain that season in Steven’s absence.  He put up 50 points for just the second time in his career and he was awarded the Norris Trophy at the end of the season for being the leagues best defenseman.

Sadly, after the lockout Scott Niedermayer decided to leave the New Jersey Devils after spending 12 seasons with the Devils. Niedermayer left the Devils to go play in Anaheim alongside his brother Rob. The Ducks signed him to a four-year $27 million deal in 2005 . The Ducks also decided to name him the team captain at the start of the season.

Niedermayer would continue to shine in Anaheim and he finally got the opportunity to show the world his offensive abilities in addition to his outstanding defense. In his first season as a Duck he put up 63 points and the following year he put up 69 points. These were numbers he could not put up in New Jersey due to their commitment to a defensive style of hockey. A style they proved to be successful.

In Niedermayer’s second season as a Duck they added Chris Pronger, and him and Niedermayer would help lead the Ducks to their first Stanley Cup in franchise history.

It was Niedermayer’s fourth Stanley Cup in his career and he had yet another excellent post season. A post season where he had such a great performance and displayed such a tremendous amount of leadership, that he earned the Conn Smythe trophy for being the playoff MVP.

Niedermayer thought about retiring after the cup and it appeared that he did, but then in December of 2007 he announced he would return and play the rest of the season. He would go on to play two more seasons with the Ducks, before announcing his retirement on Tuesday.

Not only was Niedermayer an outstanding NHL player, but he also displayed his talent at the international level while playing for team Canada. Niedermayer was two gold medals while playing for Canada in the Olympics in 2002 and this past February. He was also the team captain for the 2010 Canadian team. He was also part of the Canada team that won the World Cup in 2004 and the World Championships in the same year.

It is very sad to think we will no longer be able to watch this great defenseman play anymore. I watched him play for most of his career and I have to say that I’m proud he was a New Jersey Devil and it was in many parts thanks to him that the team was as successful as it was. Other players looked up to him and he was a great role model to young players. Niedermayer was never one to let his teammates or the fans down.

When all was said and done this week, Niedermayer finished up his career with 172 goals and 568 assists, totaling 740 career points. These are some impressive numbers, especially for a defenseman.

Niedermayer will always be remembered for his tremendous amount of skill as a defenseman, leadership, ability to win, and before I forget to mention it, his talent and speed as a skater.

Niedermayer was one the fastest hockey players in the league during his time and it played a role in what made him great at defense. He made it look so easy by the way he skated so smoothly and calmly. Most guys would try with everything they had in them to go full speed, but he did it using very little effort. His skating ability was put on display at several All-Star weekend skills competitions, where he often won the fastest skater.

When Niedermayer called it quits Tuesday, it got me thinking a lot about the past Devils teams and how they never really were the same after he left. Neidermayer brought a different element to the team and it was an element they still have not replaced defensively and in the locker room.

His track record speaks for himself. The guy is a flat-out winner and always has been. Even with the way he went out Tuesday, he went out a winner and at the top of his game.

Thanks for the memories Scott. You are and always will be one of the best defenseman and hockey players to ever play the game. I can only hope that one day the Devils organization does the right thing and raises number 27 to the rafters, as it is beyond well deserved. I mean let’s be honest here. Niedermayer is going to be a first ballot hall of famer.If Daneyko and Stevens are up there already it just would not be right to leave out the guy who is just as good, if not better than the two jerseys already hanging up there.

Happy retirement Scott Niedermayer. Number 27 forever.

A Personal Note On Grudges

Posted: June 24, 2010 in Uncategorized

Normally, my articles are going to be concerned with topics like sports, music, movies, and television. However, from time to time I will post personal stories as well. Like they say, writing is like therapy and it is a good place to air out anger and frustrations or even just to clear your head. So the following is just that; me clearing my head of frustrations and things that have been bothering me.

The first thing I would like to discuss is what I find to be the greatest weakness within myself, which is the fact that I hold grudges. Most the time if people wrong me, I’m very quick to turn my back on them and hold my anger towards them for a very long time. It is not a good thing at all, but I struggle to let things go.

For example, say you have a solid group of friends but then something happens; Something like,  you barely hear from them anymore and that pisses you off a lot. I would be pissed off for a long time about it, especially if they think that the problem is not them, but the thought of the fact that “you don’t like them”.

It could even be something that happened in the past with an ex-girlfriend. Maybe you went through a bad break-up and one of the people moved on way faster than the other and lied a lot.

Yes both happened to me and I’m not going to sugar coat them because they both bother me greatly. In fact, the ex-girlfriend one bothers me so much that it affects the way I go about things now with other girls and friends.

Since these events that occurred nearly a year ago, I do not hesitate now to turn my back on people and kick them out of my life. It started then and it has occurred in certain other situations since then. Now whenever people wrong me in any sort of way, even if they are sorry, I’m quick to turn my back and hold bitter feelings towards them.

This is something that I would love to change, but I’m not sure how. It’s easier said than done when people tell you to just drop it and let it go. Because whenever you are reminded of the what happened in the past, you still feel the feelings you felt then, because somethings are just hard to forget about.

For two people that have wronged me in the past, I will never forget what they did or what happened so it is very difficult to let go of it. Especially one that was very life changing when I learned of the events that happened. One of the people I no longer speak too, while one we are trying to start over and rebuild a strong bond, but who knows if this will occur. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and effort on both sides, but nothing is impossible

Holding grudges is something that has got to be understandable to some extent, but it is still not right. For instance, if a person has wronged you or hurt you in the past whose to say they will not do it again?

I understand people make mistakes and they should be given another shot. There have been grudges that I have let go of before. If the person apologizes in a sincere manner and admits to their mistake, then I believe they can be forgiven and I let go of whatever mistake they made in the past.

However, with several of the grudges I still hold today, the people have not apologized nor have admitted to being even a little wrong. Is this why I still hold onto a grudge? It’s part of it. The other parts I’m uncertain about, which is why I’m writing this article.

If only I could learn to let things go, it would make me a better person and in my opinion would allow for more good to enter my life. Yes, it is very possible to have a better life without a certain person in it, but it is not good nor healthier to hold an angry grudge against them. The best thing would be to leave what happened with you and that person in the past and move on and forget about it.

Although I struggle letting go of grudges there a certain things that I understand. I understand that bad stuff is going to happen in life and there is nothing you can do to stop it. People are going to let you down, even ones you care about. Hopefully it can be fixed, if both sides are willing to try. Sometimes it won’t be fixed, but hey it is just a part of life.

On a more positive note, you will always have a select people you can turn to no matter what. There is always that one or two friends you know you can always count on and they will always be there. You also can not forget about your family either. Luckily for me, I know I can always turn to my family and the brothers in my fraternity if I ever needed anything at all. I’m also lucky to have about three or four friends I know I can count on no matter what.

Maybe writing about my grudge holding will help me bury this once and for all and maybe one day I will be able to let go of all my grudges, but it will take a lot of time and effort.

On another note, I would like to say if anyone I have turned my back on is reading this or anyone else I have held a grudge against is reading this, my ears are always open for discussion, but due to my stubbornness and my pride I will not be the one to start it.

As a good friend once told me, maybe it’s the Italian in me for why I’m like this. Whatever it is, I hope one day to truly let go of all my grudge holding and leave the past in the past and keep my head focused on the future.

Whipporwill Valley Road in Middletown, New Jersey in one of the most visited roads in the entire state. However, last night was first time Greg Caggiano of Franklin & Heard Paranormal ever visited the road. He decided to do a write-up on the road for his blog “From New York to San Francisco” about the experience.

“Old Whipporwill Valley Road in Middletown, New Jersey is perhaps the single most famous road in the entire state, made known by issues of Weird NJ, the paranormal bible of the state. The road, night in and night out, plays host to kids and adults alike, looking for a good night of fright.

The reason why this road is so popular, is because it is one of the safest isolated places that Weird NJ has ever published, and by “safe” I mean LEGAL. Here you cannot get arrested for trespassing, because it is an actual road and not private property.

There are so many legends surrounding the road, including the woods in the surrounding area serving as a meeting spot for Klansmen in the early 1900′s (some say that even continues today), a meeting spot for Devil worshipers in the 1800′s, and of course, the spot where a witch was supposedly burned in the 1800′s as well.

These three are the front-running stories, but obviously false legends have also sprung up noting people who have gotten murdered in the woods or on the road, and how when you exit the road, if you look on the back of your car, you will see hand-prints.

Out of all the stories, the only one that really makes sense is the one involving the KKK. Monmouth County and parts of Long Island, New York were hotbeds for Klan activity in the early 1900′s. The seclusion of Whipporwill Road would make it an ideal area for Klansmen to meet. The solitude felt there now would only be even worse back then, as mansion homes can now be seen from the road.

As for the Devil worshipers, I suppose it is possible, although the ritual acts of worshiping Satan really did not become popular until the mid-1900′s, with Anton LaVey’s creation of the Church of Satan. However, could be possible that other forms of occult practice were held there.

When it comes to burning witches, the only confirmed acts of witch-hunting on record predate the 1700′s, and most come from Salem, Massachusetts. That said, it is highly unlikely that any were burned here, as this was the practice in Europe, not the newly settled colonies. Here in the U.S, drowning and hanging were the ways witches were put to death.

For this to happen in the 1800′s would almost be impossible. There were more newspapers around by this time, and more reporters looking for extravagant stories to make a name for themselves. Should an event like this happen at a more civilized time in this nation’s history, it would be fact, not legend.

So for the first time, last night, I made it down to Whipporwill Valley Road (the valley was added recently in order to try to confuse people seeking the road) with my friend Brett Bodner, who has assisted Jeff Huber and I on paranormal investigations at the Proprietary House.”

You can read the rest of Greg’s article right here

I have been down the road a number of times since getting my license two years ago. Although I have read some pretty creepy and intense stories about the road, I have never experienced anything out of the ordinary. The road is just a naturally creepy place because there are no street lights along it and there are a few isolated houses off of the road.

The darkness gives you that uneasy feeling and like Greg says in his article, the thought of what would happen if your car was to break down on the road only adds to that feeling.

As we drove down the road last night, Greg was surprised at how calm I was. It reminded me of how nervous I was the first time I drove down the road. The road is very scary if you have no idea what you are getting yourself into, but after you drive down it once you realize that it is not really something to write home about.

You always hear these crazy stories about people getting chased off the road by the KKK or seeing animal sacrifices on the side of the road, but I have never come across anything even close to these stories. Who knows though, maybe one day I will have some sort of scary experience on the road and I’ll have my own story to add to the numerous tales of Whipporwill.

Although it is unlikely you will see something very unusual on the road, I still encourage anyone who has never been to the road to definitely pay it a visit. The dark, narrow, dirt road is a big Weird NJ hot spot in Monmouth County and is still creepy even without something frightening happening to you.

I’ve been down the road enough times that it does not faze me at all to drive down it. However, I have heard stories about people walking the road to see what it is like and they say its pretty scary. This is something I am probably going to attempt soon and I encourage all of those who say the road is not scary to do the same.

I will be sure to write-up a full report of the experience of walking down Whipporwill and I will let everyone know how it goes. Stay tuned for that article.

In a trade many did not see coming, the New Jersey Devils reacquired center Jason Arnott in a trade with the Nashville Predators. The Devils dealt right wing Matt Halischuk and a second round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

Jason Arnott is considered by many to be one of the greatest New Jersey Devils players of all time. He is the man who clinched the 2000 Stanley Cup with a goal against the Dallas Stars in double overtime, which brought home the second Stanley Cup in franchise history (Seen in the clip below). Arnott was a clutch player as a Devil and he always seemed to come up with the big goal.

Arnott had 97 goals and 124 assists as a Devil, totaling for 221 points. He is also remembered for being on one the most talented lines in Devils history, the “A-Line”. The “A-Line” consisted of Jason Arnott alongside left wing Patrik Elias and right wing Petr Sykora. The line was exciting and played a major role in the Devils great success in the early 2000’s.

With all that being said, it is fair to say that Devils fans everywhere have a great amount of respect for the guy and they will continue to respect him because of everything he has done for the franchise. However, this was not a very good move on Lou Lamoriello’s part.

The Devils did need a second line center and they acquired a pretty good one today. A good 34 year old center. In my previous article maybe I should have been more specific and said they needed a talented and youthful second line center.

This move only adds another older player to the Devils roster and they are slowly becoming one of the oldest teams in the entire league.

I never thought that these words would be coming out of my mouth, but Lou Lamoriello is slowly losing it. For some reason he believes that by bringing back old Devil greats, this will help return the team to the glory days. What he fails to realize is that this is not the case.

Would you like to see some evidence? Take a look at how Brian Rolston has played since his return to the Devils. He has put up terrible numbers the past two seasons and has not exceeded more than 37 points. Again he too, is an aging once great Devil.

If that’s not evidence enough, lets take a look at Bobby Holik’s return to the Devils. He struggled greatly and was far from the player he once was. He put up 9 points in 62 games and eventually went on to become a healthy scratch towards the end of the season and for most of the short post-season.

Re-returns do not work out well at all. The evidence is there but Lou continues to ignore it. It is almost like he does not understand that to win in this new NHL, it usually takes having a young team. Look at the past two Stanley Cup winning teams. The Chicago Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins were two predominantly youthful teams. Why can’t Lou get the hint?

Not only have youthful teams been successful, but the whole idea of going out and getting players from the glory days has been done before. Greg Caggiano, writer for “From New York to San Franciso“, published an article yesterday about the Arnott signing and he made an excellent point comparing what the Devils are doing now compared to the New York Rangers in the late 90’s.

“This series of moves seems eerily similar to Neil Smith in during the tail-end of his tenure with the Rangers in the late 90′s. When nothing else was working, he resorted to bringing back the 1994 Cup heroes and former Oilers teammates of Mark Messier, who were then way past their prime. It worked a little bit, but fizzled out after a short while.” (You can read the rest of the article here)

Last season, he traded away a great young player by the name of Niclas Bergfors for a half a season of Ilya Kovalchuk. I mean everyone knows he is not going to resign in New Jersey and the whole season changed once they brought him in. He is a selfish player and it changed the way the Devils played.

The only good thing Lou has done lately is hire John MacLean as the head coach. Even that is going to take some time to see how he will be able to perform at this level.

Arnott was a great player and yes he has done so much for the franchise and was part of the reason they had as much success as they did. Unfortunately, Arnott’s best days are behind him and he likely will only have 30 or so points this season.

He is a great leader and a high character guy, but the Devils did not need to add another aging play to their roster. Martin Brodeur, Patrik Elias, Bryce Salvadore, Colin White, Brian Rolston, Rob Niedermayer, Jay Pandolfo, and Mike Mottau are all in their mid-thirties. Which is once again evidence that this team is not moving in the right direction. When a majority of your players are old it is usually not a very good thing.

Do not get me wrong. I am a big Jason Arnott fan and I will always be grateful to him for what he did here in New Jersey years ago. However, that time has passed and is now over. Now he is probably going to ruin the way he went out as a Devil, by not being anywhere near the type of player he was in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The Devils traded him to Dallas in 2002 and brought in their current captain Jamie Langenbrunner, who has been excellent with the Devils and brought in a new generation of Devils hockey.

Jason Arnott will always be a Devil’s legend, but the move to bring him back was not a very good move. Arnott makes 4.5 million and the Devils should be spending this type of money on youthful players instead of bringing back players from the glory days.

Lamoriello will see soon enough that this is not the way to bring the Devils back to their winning ways. Unfortunately, it appears that this team is not moving in the direction they need to be moving in for the team to be successful.

If the off-season has more moves like this (meaning another resigning like Scott Niedermayer or Petr Sykora), I would not be surprised at all if the Devils have a similar result to this year’s season and other previous seasons; yet another early exit from the playoffs.

In a surprise decision, New Jersey Devils’ President, CEO, and General Manager Lou Lamoriello named former Devil John MacLean, the next head coach of the New Jersey Devils. The decision was made public via a press conference on Thursday afternoon.

John MacLean has been in the Devils system for years and even spent most of his time as a player in New Jersey. He was a Devil from 1983 to 1998 and currently holds the franchise record for most goals scored with 347. MacLean is also remembered for his overtime goal against the Chicago Blackhawks in 1988, which propelled the Devils into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

After last season, John MacLean was given the head coaching job the New Jersey Devils’ AHL affiliate the Lowell Devils, to see how he would be as a head coach and to give him some head coaching experience. MacLean led Lowell to a 39-31-4-6 record and a playoff berth. Before coaching Lowell, he was an assistant coach for the Devils for seven years.

Last year when Brent Sutter stepped down, he said that he believed MacLean was ready to be a head coach and MacLean was one of the top candidates for the job. However, Lamoriello decided to try to bring back some past glory by bringing back Jacques Lemaire. Instead, he watched his team experience the same result they have experienced in the previous two seasons, which is a early exit in the first round of the playoffs.

The hiring of MacLean is a great decision by Lou, in my opinion. MacLean is a highly respected guy in the locker room and has done so much for the franchise. The opportunity is well-deserved, but now MacLean must prove himself and show everyone that he has what it takes to coach at the NHL level.

The New Jersey Devils are a very talented team, which everyone can see. However, once the playoffs roll around the team struggles and they get knocked out early. MacLean must bring a stop to this trend and allow for the Devils to be serious contenders for the cup. Just by moving past the first round, he will be more successful than the past two coaches.

MacLean must also try and push Lamoriello towards addressing the Devils needs this off-season. The Devils have had the same needs for the past two seasons now, which is to acquire a quality defenseman and a solid second line center.

The Devils defense has a lot of weaknesses and in order to have success it is going to need to be strengthened. Colin White is getting up there in age and so is Mike Mottau and Bryce Salvadore. Paul Martin is the only consistent one and Andy Greene is slowly emerging as a solid defenseman. However, to go deep into the playoffs they will need to surround them with a little more talent defensively.

Hopefully, he pushes the Devils towards a more offensive approach to the game as well. The Devils basically played the trap last year and the trap is a system I believe can no longer work in the new NHL. Teams can not sit back and just wait for teams to make a mistake because it allows the other team to dictate the game instead of them.  The Devils have a great amount of talent offensively and I believe that it is time they use it. The addition of a solid second line center can only make the offense that much better.

MacLean has had the job for one day, but he is already doing good things. He named Larry Robinson as assistant coach. Larry Robinson was a assistant coach for the Devils for years and he was even head coach for a little while. Robinson was the man who led the Devils to the Stanley Cup in 2000. Robinson brings great experience with him and can even help MacLean do his job better.

The rest of the coaching staff is still to be announced, but according to the New Jersey Devils official website Chris Terrari will remain goaltending coach and Scott Stevens and Tommy Albelin are going ot be reassigned within the organization.

In the press conference held yesterday, MacLean said that he was looking forward to the opportunity and was excited looking forward to being the head coach of the New Jersey Devils.

“For me, it’s almost like Draft Day again. I’ll be a rookie head coach. The organization’s been very good to me. I’ve been through a lot with it, and I’m looking forward to being able to help it along in the head coaching capacity, and get us back to winning another Stanley Cup.” said MacLean.

Myself and Devils fans everywhere are excited for this too. MacLean has been around long enough to see what style of coaching works and what does not. He deserves this shot and hopefully it works out for him and the rest of the team.

We can all hope that he can return to the Devils to their old form of being a team that gets it done not only in the regular season, but in the playoffs as well.

As the 2010 trade deadline approaches, it appears that for the first time in two years the New York Mets are moving in a positive direction and it looks like the playoffs could be on the horizon if they keep it up.  Let me enunciate on the “if they keep it up”.

The Mets have looked great as of late. The bats seem to have woken up and David Wright has been red hot as of late, delivering big hits when he has the opportunity, which is normally something he does not do. The team has won five straight games going into tonight’s game against the Cleveland Indians.

Additionally, the pitching has been outstanding. Who would have thought that R.A. Dickey and Hisanori Takahashi would have pitched as excellent as they have since becoming a part of the starting rotation, due to the injuries of John Maine and Oliver Perez. Dickey is 4-o right now with an ERA of 2.78 and Takahashi is 5-2 with an ERA of 3.48. Don’t even get me started on how good Mike Pelfrey has pitched this season. Sunday, he picked up his ninth win of the season and now has an overall record of 9-1, which is phenomenal. Johan Santana has been outstanding as well, but unfortunately in games he pitches he usually does not get offensive support, which is the reason for his record of 5-3.  Johnathon Niese have even looked superb at times, but he does have some inconsistency in his starts.

In order to make a playoff run, everyone knows that a team must have great pitching. Yes the pitching as of late has been excellent, but I believe it is going to take the addition of one more solid starter in the rotation in order for this team to develop into serious contenders. It is only a matter of time before Dickey and Takahashi slow down because they are not used to being starting pitchers or pitching a large amount of games. Even when or if John Maine and Oliver Perez return, it is safe to say that they can not be counted on either. I mean talk about inconsistency, that word sums up both of their careers so far. They are the two most unreliable pitchers the Mets have on the roster right now. Not to even mention, that the Perez signing has been one of the worst Met signings in recent years.

With the trade deadline approaching, it appears that there are going to be three solid pitchers being shopped around and if the Mets would like to make a serious push for the playoffs, they are going to have to do their best to acquire one of them. These three pitchers are the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Dan Haren, the Houston Astros’ Roy Oswalt, and the Seattle Mariners’ Cliff Lee.

Dan Haren is a pretty good pitcher, who developed as a solid starter in Oakland and then signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2008. He has been known to strikeout many batters consistently every year and he doesn’t give up too many walks. He has a career record of 86-66 with a career ERA of 3.68 and 1,132 strikeouts. This year he is having moderate success on a team which is not having a very good year. Haren is 7-4 with 97 strikeouts, but his ERA is pretty high this year as it is up to 4.61.

Roy Oswalt has been a great pitcher for years, but it has been very quiet because of the team he plays on. He has played for the Astros for his entire career and has put on great numbers consistently since 2001. He has a career record of 141-78 and an ERA of 3.23. He is having a bit of an off year this year with a record of 4-8, but his ERA is still pretty decent at 3.16. Like the Diamondbacks, the Astros are also having a very bad year so it is not 100 % Oswalt’s fault for his record. There are a few risks to adding Oswalt. He is getting older and he is entering the stage in ones career where they usually begin to slow down and who knows how he would be leaving Houston after spending basically his entire career there.

Cliff Lee is easily the best pitcher out of the three being mentioned in trade rumors. He has been a solid go to pitcher for years now and has proved that he can perform in the playoffs. Last year, he shut down the opposition in every game in started in the playoffs last year as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. He has some nasty pitches and he is simply one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball today. He won a Cy Young in 2008 after having a season when he went 22-3 with a 2.54 ERA.  Lee has a career record of 94-55 with an ERA of 3.91.

The Mets would most likely have to give up some solid prospects in order to acquire any of these pitchers. All three of these teams are out of playoff contention so it is very unlikely they will ask for some big name players in exchange for one of the pitchers. Any of these teams will most likely ask for prospects like starting pitcher Jonathon Niese, relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia, shortstop/second baseman Ruben Tejada, and possibly catcher Josh Thole.

I’m hoping the Mets will not trade away Ike Davis, as he has been outstanding since being called up and is really showing the potential to be a great first baseman  both defensively and offensively. I also think it would not be a good idea to trade Niese away either. He is a rookie, so of course he has his ups and downs, but when he pitches at the top of his game the guy is lights out and untouchable.

Out of the three possible pitchers (Dan Haren, Roy Oswalt, Cliff Lee), I’m not sure who the number one candidate would be for the Mets to land so I decided to ask a good friend of mine Frank DeGennaro of the blog “Your Everyday Fan” to hear his opinion on the topic.

“Lee is the most likely of the three. The Rangers are in huge talks with the Astros so Oswalt is probably out. The Mets may not have enough for Haren because the Dbacks have a ton of prospects so they will be asking for a lot more. The Mariners are the most desperate right now.”

However, the question is will the Mets make a move. If they do will it be Dan Haren? Roy Oswalt? Or will Frank be correct and the Mets will make a big splash by landing ace Cliff Lee. Only time will tell, but I would be very happy with the addition of anyone of these pitchers because they would bring something New York Mets pitching lacked for years: Consistency.