In last week's New York Week That Was we opened up with the week's best quotes, and because, like most of you, I spent much of my time the past seven days bailing out my basement and chopping up fallen trees on my property, I'm going to list some more quotes, because it gives us a nice snapshot of what happened over the course of the week and, more importantly, it makes things easier for me.
"After conferring with Gov. Christie, Woody Johnson and commissioner Goodell, we have determined the best course of action for the safety and well being of all is to move the game to Monday night." - John Mara
"I am frustrated for him. Part of my job is remembering he is a person and not just some employee of the New York Yankees." - Joe Girardi on A.J. Burnett
"I felt great the whole time. I purposely kept not looking [at the pitch count] because I didn't want it in my head. But I didn't labor at all." - Chris Capuano on his complete-game shutout
"I'm getting out. I'm getting in my car [this] morning and heading west." - Terry Collins on escaping the hurricane (not the Mets)
"It really don't matter because the film don't lie. The film don't lie. You can say what you want to say. You can say the sky is red, but it ain't red. That's just what it is. We know how we play and we know what we do on that field not just as a corner tandem but as a secondary. We play great football." - Darrelle Revis responding to Vontae Davis' claim that the Dolphins have the best CB tandem
"I hear it but I don't pay attention to it. Right behind are ‘You [stink] chants.'" - Curtis Granderson on the fans' MVP chants
"No one ever counts how many touchdown passes you throw in preseason." - Eli Manning after Monday night's game.
"We've got some work to do. I think we all know that." - Plaxico Burress
"Will we end up being [the] best defense in football? I think so." - Rex Ryan
"Oh, yeah." - Girardi after being asked if Freddy Garcia would start again
"Not having a ligament in your right arm helps." - R.A. Dickey on his pickoff throw of Mike Cameron at second base in Monday's game
"He got big outs when he had to, and that's CC. It's not like me to blow my top, but it's an important game. This is a huge game, a huge series." - Girardi after the opening game of the series with the Red Sox
"It's part of the game. Yankees-Boston, everybody wants to win." - Francisco Cervelli on the fireworks in Tuesday's game
"It doesn't matter if I felt good or my stuff was good. I have to figure out how to get through the sixth with the lead." - Phil Hughes
"It's brutal. I can't stand playing a nine-inning game in four hours. It's not baseball. I don't even know how to describe it." - Mark Teixeira on the length of Yankee-Red Sox games
"The extensive nature of changes that were proposed to me at the last minute has made a successful transaction impossible." - David Einhorn
"It's a big step for me. Just the fact that I have thrown the same way for so long. I have to stick with the game plan." - Burnett on his rejiggered delivery
"It's unbelievable. To be here it's amazing." - Jesus Montero on making his major league debut
And now on to the top stories of the week in the world of New York sports.
The MetLife Bowl (New York Giants Perspective): The inaugural MetLife Bowl was finally played on Monday, with the Snoopy trophy at stake (come on, try not to laugh), with the annual preseason game now having shades of the old Mayor's Trophy Game that was played between the Yankees and New York Mets (not to mention the Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Giants who once were participants). Local bragging rights were on the line, but neither team will brag after this poorly played game. Though the Giant offense moved the ball up and down the field with ease against the Jets' defense, they shot themselves in the foot time after time and couldn't get into the end zone. Manning (15-for-30, 200 yards, two interceptions) was mediocre once again, and like last year tried to force throws that turned into picks. Brandon Jacobs (51 yards on 10 carries) was good . . . well, until he got himself kicked out of the game, that is. The first-team defense held the Jets' first-team offense to 113 yards and seven points in 30-plus minutes of play, not to mention shutting out Burress, who was the top storyline coming into the game. And the special teams were a flat-out laughingstock, with Jerrel Jernigan and Devin Thomas muffing punts and kickoffs galore, getting a field goal blocked and allowing a 68-yard kickoff return.
The MetLife Bowl (New York Jets Perspective): Just like Manning, Mark Sanchez (8-for-16, 64 yards, touchdown) was mediocre, but he did throw one TD pass without tossing any interceptions. The first-team offense only gained 113 yards, scored a measly touchdown, was 1-for-8 in third-down conversions and again committed too many penalties. The running game was not impressive, with Shonn Greene only able to gain 42 yards on 11 carries. Santonio Holmes caught two passes, including a touchdown, but Burress was invisible, with no catches while being thrown to four times. The defense, though, held the Giants to a mere three points, and came up with an impressive goal-line stand and two picks. But rookie Muhammad Wilkerson will have to do a better job of keeping his cool, as he was tossed from the game with Jacobs. As for special teams, Antonio Cromartie had a nice 68-yard kickoff return, and Nick Folk earned the starting job when he booted a 33-yard field goal and boomed his kickoffs. But they were all good enough to proudly raise Snoopy in victory.
The Other Games: If preseason games are relatively meaningless, then the final contests for the two local teams were less than that. On Thursday, the Giants took on the Jets' biggest rival while the Jets' played one of the Giants' enemies, with neither team fielding their starters. In Big Blue's 18-17 victory over the Patriots, there was yet another crushing injury when Clint Sintim tore up his knee. Jernigan continued his butterfinger act, though he made a nice catch on the game-winning two-point conversion. The play of the game was a fake punt, which led to a 65-yard touchdown run by Da'Rell Scott. And rookie linebacker Jacquian Williams was all over the field, and recorded three sacks. As for the Jets' 24-14 loss to the Eagles, Greg McElroy injured his thumb and Kyle Wilson and Joe McKnight didn't fare so well. The lone highlight was a Drew Willy to Scotty McKnight touchdown pass.
The Rivalry: Whatever series precedes the Yankees clashing with the Boston Red Sox is just an appetizer for the main course, and the four-game set with the Orioles was just that. Burnett has gone from pie-throwing life of the party to making a case for being the worst starting pitcher in Yankees' history, and he did what he does best on Friday -- give up runs at an alarming rate. He didn't want to be taken out of the game the last time around? Well, Girardi let him take a beating down in Baltimore. The Yanks took a Hurricane Irene break and then won two out of three to break even in the series (with Derek Jeter passing Mickey Mantle on Sunday as the all-time franchise leader in games played), before traveling up to Boston. The rest of the country is sick of the Yankees-Red Sox hype, the wild card has taken away the sting and urgency of the rivalry and each game takes as long as a cricket match to play, but Yankee and Red Sox fans don't care. While the arch rivals may lack the heated intensity of a Graig Nettles slamming Bill Lee to the ground or Pedro Martinez playing like a matador to a raging-bull-like Don Zimmer, there are still fireworks galore, tempers flaring and high tension in the games. Francisco Cervelli was in the middle of things in Tuesday's win, and with his overly enthusiastic antics, it's no surprise that opponents are going to plunk him. On the mound, CC Sabathia gutted out his first win over the Sox this year. The shaky starting rotation reared its ugly head in game two, when Phil Hughes let in six runs. But Thursday's finale saw Burnett, using the advice of Larry Rothschild, surprisingly not be a complete disaster. Is there hope for him yet? Russell Martin had the key blow of the game, while Montero made his debut, going 0-for-4 but scored the winning run. Mark Teixeira left the game with an injured knee, and Alex Rodriguez missed the series, but should return soon.
Champion in the Making? With one month left to play in the season, one reason to keep our eyes on the New York Mets is to see if Jose Reyes, who returned from the DL this week, can become the first player in franchise history to win a batting title. The Mets have had home run, RBI and stolen base champions, among other stat leaders, along with Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Award winners, but no batting champion or MVP (though that hex should have ended in 1988) and, of course, no no-hitters. The highest single-season average in team history was recorded by John Olerud, when he hit .354 in 1998, which was good for a second-place finish, nine points behind Larry Walker. Rounding out the top five are .340 by Cleon Jones in 1969 (third place, behind Pete Rose and Roberto Clemente), .333 by Lance Johnson in 1996 (fourth place), .328 by Dave Magadan in 1990 (third place) and .325 by David Wright in 2007 (seventh place). Presently, Reyes is in first place with a .335 average, four points ahead of Ryan Braun. Other highlights for the Mets this week, who went 5-1, included a string of outstanding starting pitching performances by Capuano, who threw a complete-game, two-hit shutout on Friday, Dickey and Dillon Gee, not to mention Miguel Batista winning his 100th game in his debut with the team. Lucas Duda continued his rise with the game-winning hit in Wednesday's win. The Amazin's won a five-game series vs. the Marlins, highlighted by their defense, clutch hitting and pitching. It was like 1911 all over again, back when teams often played five-game series and doubleheaders, and 2-1 and 3-2 scores were prevalent. But the best moment of the week? When Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen engaged in an in-depth discussion on Bullwinkle and Tennessee Tuxedo. The lowlight of the week, though, was the inability of David Einhorn and the Mets to finalize a deal, which can't be seen as good news. And finally, the Mets received pitchers Daniel Herrera and Adrian Rosario from the Brewers to complete the Francisco Rodriguez trade.
Dee-Fense: Hey, we have some actual basketball news. The New York Knicks hired former Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Woodson as an assistant coach. He knows a little something about defense, and as we all know, the Knicks need all the help they can get in that department.