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 (Bob Donnan)
(Bob Donnan)

North Carolina is ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press Preseason Top 25 poll for the ninth time, the most of any school in history.

The Tar Heels received 35 first-place votes from the 65-member national media panel. Kentucky is ranked second with 10 first-place votes, followed by Maryland, which had 14 first-place votes, and Kansas, which was No. 1 on five ballots.

Carolina, which features four projected 2016 NBA Draft picks according to DraftExpress.com, was last ranked No. 1 in 2011-12.

Tags: AP Poll, Roy Williams, Adam Zagoria
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UConn is still a Top 25 team as the AP Poll this week put the Huskies No. 24.

The Huskies are one of five AAC teams -- tied for the most in the nation -- in the AP Poll.

The Huskies were 1-1 last week with a win over UCF on Sunday and a 63-58 loss to No 10. Cincinnati.

Tags: AP Poll, Men's Basketball, UCONN, UConn
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[polldaddy poll=7606751]

Tags: Brooklyn Nets, NBA, Nets, nets, poll, Note
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Well, unfortunately the Devils are not in the playoffs this year, but that doesn't mean Devils fans can't root against everyone else. So to that end, I ask you:

Which Eastern Conference team would you most like to see lose in the first round?

[polldaddy poll=7075040]

Tags: Devils, Devs, New Jersey Devils, Poll
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Last week, Pat Pickens and I debated whether the Devils would make the playoffs and what would happen if they didn't. We weren't optimistic, but the Devils have stopped the skid, which has me wondering if you guys have changed your mind. So vote below and make sure to leave any other thoughts you might have in the comments below!

[polldaddy poll=7049158]

Tags: Poll
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Now that Stefan Matteau is officially getting paid like an NHLer, the question becomes how long he'll stay with the Devils. Vote in the poll and weigh in below in the comments!

[polldaddy poll=6887092]

In case you're wondering how I feel, I laid out my expectations on the blog yesterday.

Tags: AHL, Devils, Devs, From The Stands, Junior, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Poll, Stefan Matteau
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Tomorrow is decision day for the Devils and Stefan Matteau. I want to know what you guys think -- should the Devils keep Matteau or should they send him back to juniors?

[polldaddy poll=6864158]

Tags: Devils, Devs, From The Stands, New Jersey Devils, Poll, Stefan Matteau, vote
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Bryce Salvador's journey the Devils captain is fairly captivating. He spent a full five years in juniors, sandwiched around being a sixth-round draft pick of the Lightning in 1994. After completing his overage year, he spent the next three years playing at the AHL level before finally reaching the NHL in 2000 and spending most of the next seven seasons with the St. Louis Blues. Eventually shipped to the Devils during the 2008 season, Salvador fit in well on the Devils' blueline until an inner-ear (cochlear) concussion wiped out his entire 2010-11 season and had him wondering if he would every play again.

(Note: I've excerpted a small section from the story below, but it's really worth reading in its entirety.)

Via Tom Gulitti of The Record:

He demonstrated his resilience again two seasons ago, when two hits in a preseason game against Philadelphia triggered headaches and vertigo caused by the problem with his inner ear. He never gave up hope of resuming his career, however, and made it back last season to play in all 82 of the Devils? regular season games and all 24 of their playoff contests.

Tags: BRYCE SALVADOR, captain, Devils, Devs, Headlines, New Jersey Devils, Poll
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Most of the Devils are fine with Ilya Kovalchuk's KHL dalliances -- although Patrick Elias doesn't seem too pleased with it. With news that Ilya has finally relented and will leave Russia as early as Monday, I started to wonder how you guys feel about his dance with the Russian devil, so to speak. Let your voice be heard in the poll below!

[polldaddy poll=6823707]

Tags: Devils, Devs, Ilya Kovalchuk, KHL, Kovalchuk Saga, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Poll, SKA St. Petersburg
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Which Giants player would you let date your sister? And which one would be most likely to make her pick up the check?

In a comical and somewhat insightful article in the Wall Street Journal, Aditi Kinkhabwala polled about two thirds of the Giants roster on pressing questions such as "who is coach Coughlin's favorite," and "who would do the best on 'Jeopardy?'" It's certainly a fun read for fans of the team, and some of the answers may surprise you.

Here's a taste:

Tags: giants, New York Giants, poll, voting, wall street journal
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In an online report for Newsday, Jim Baumbach explains why Mike Pelfrey has taken a step back in 2009, while writing:

“It's time to stop playing the ‘what if’ game with the Mets and start dealing in reality.  Face it: The chances of this injury-ravaged team turning its season around are about as good as Jon & Kate getting back together.”

According to Cool Standings, a team will likely need 90 wins to take the National League Wild Card this season.

Tags: Poll
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In the midst of yesterday’s off-field circus, the Mets moved one game closer to creeping back in to the Wild Card lead by defeating the Rockies last night in Citi Field.

[poll id="282"]

Tags: Poll
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The Mets are 39–43, five losses behind the Phillies; they trail eight teams for the Wild Card; and are 6–14 in their last 20 games.

However, they have 80 games left to play, the potential to make a trade, and Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, John Maine, Billy Wagner and J.J. Putz eventually due back from the disabled list.

[poll id="279"]

Tags: Poll
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According to a poll in the Baltimore Sun, 80 percent of 14,000 voters say Mets fans are the most obnoxious fans in baseball.

thanks to our old friend Elliot S for the link

Meanwhile, six percent voted for the Yankees, five percent voted for the Red Sox and just one percent voted for the Phillies.

Tags: Poll
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Today, around 5 pm, I will be filming a segment for SNY out in the Verizon Studio in center field in Citi Field.

If you’d like to say hello, and possibly be in the shoot, feel free to stop by.

Lastly, I need some information for the segment, so please take part in the following poll:

[poll id="265"]

Tags: Poll
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In a poll to MetsBlog on May 25, 95 percent of 5,000 people said they expected the Mets to go at least 8–5 during the next 13 games, against the Nationals, Pirates and Marlins.

The Mets were 7–5, with one game rained out in Pittsburgh.

The thing is, the Mets started the stretch 5–1 in the first six games, all at home, then went 2–4 while on the road, including a three-game sweep from the Pirates.

Tags: MetsBlog, Phillies, Poll, Yankees
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The Mets ended a 10–game road trip 5–5 yesterday, that sent them to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Boston.

On May 14, 50 percent of 4,200 people on MetsBlog said the expected the Mets would go 5–5 on the recently-concluded 10–game road trip, which is exactly what happened, while 33 percent said they would go 7–3.

Jerry Manuel, as quoted by Adam Rubin in the Daily News:

Tags: Poll
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Yesterday, during a conference call with reporters, Omar Minaya said he is confident in his team’s doctors who say Carlos Delgado can return to the lineup in 10 weeks, though that will obviously all depend on how his rehab goes.

According to Minaya, though he is always open to making a trade, Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis will be able to handle the position in Delgado’s absence.

…i asked the following question a few days ago, but i wonder if people may have changed their mind since getting actual news about carlos

[poll id="255"]

Tags: MetsBlog, Omar Minaya, Poll, Matthew Cerrone
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Earlier this season I had been posting a link to an online, audio, post-game show, featuring a guest, live callers, a minor-league recap and discussion about that night?s game.

I am trying to learn how to make the show better, so, if you have time, please take one of the following anonymous, three?minute?surveys:

If you listened to the show at least once, click here.

Tags: Poll, Matthew Cerrone
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The Mets begin a four-game series with the Giants in San Francisco tonight, after which they travel to Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers and then to Boston to face the Red Sox in Fenway Park.

In the Bergen Record, Bob Klapisch points out, “So far, the Mets faced only one superior team, the Cardinals, and ended up getting swept.”

The Giants and Dodgers are a combined 26–8 at home.

Tags: Poll, Matthew Cerrone
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[poll id="247"]

Tags: Poll
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Tomorrow, at 12:30 pm, I am scheduled to be on SNY’s Pre Game Live, during which I’d like to give a sense of where Mets are fans are at, in regards to the following poll question:

[poll id="248"]

Tags: Poll
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I e-mailed a few bloggers from other team?s in the NL East, essentially asking the following question ? so I thought it would be interesting to see where we, as Mets fans, stand as well:

[poll id="243"]

Tags: Poll
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Mets 20–year-old OF Fernando Martinez has yet to play in more than 90 games in a single season during his three-year professional baseball career, during which he is batting .280 with 82 extra base hits in 929 at bats.

He has been ranked the team’s top prospect each of the last two seasons by Baseball America.

[poll id="238"]

Tags: Poll
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Last season, Livan Hernandez started 31 games between the Twins and Rockies.

the question, though, this year, is less about durability, and more about performance and whether the Mets will acquire or promote someone else to take his place

So, the second Under-Over question is:

[poll id="230"]

Tags: Poll
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…i goofed on the previous Daniel Murphy poll, which was supposed to read 150 hits, not 100… so, it has been deleted… my bad

Anyway…

Last season, Luis Castillo only started in 81 games at second base for the Mets, his lowest total since 1998.

Tags: Poll
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Yesterday, I started posting Under-Over Polls on a variety of potential stats or totals for the 2009 season.

To see yesterday’s list, go here, otherwise please take part in the new set of polls that start with the following:

Last season, John Maine won just 10 games, in an injury-shortened season, following a 15–win season in 2008.

Tags: Poll
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Last season, Francisco Rodriguez had 62 saves for the Angels, though he did not crack 47 saves at any other point in his career.

This season, he will be pitching in the National League for the first time in his caeer.

[poll id="235"]

Tags: Poll
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In 2007, Carlos Delgado hit just 24 home runs.

Last season, he hit just 17 in the first half of the season, but rebounded to hit 21 in the second, to finish with 38 on the year, his second-highest total since 2001.

[poll id="233"]

Tags: Poll
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Last season, his first in the National League, Johan Santana finished the year with a 2.53 ERA, following 2007, when it was 3.33 in his last season with the Twins.

[poll id="232"]

Tags: Poll
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Brandon Knight will get Mike Pelfrey's start today against the Orioles, in a game that will be televised on SNY.

In three appearances, Livan Hernandez has let up four earned runs, nine hits and three walks, with three strike outs, in 7.2 innings pitched.

Jon Niese has given up four runs, four hits, four walks and struck out four in four innings through two starts.

Tags: Pedro Martinez, Poll, Tim Redding
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Free-agent LHP Odalis Perez told Yahoo! Sports that nine of 10 teams are interested in signing him.

The 31-year-old Perez was 7-12 with a 4.54 ERA for the Nationals in 2008.

He signed a minor-league deal with the Nationals, then refused to go to camp, he was released and is now a free agent.

Tags: Poll, Tim Redding
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In case you missed it…

To vote in this week’s Fan Confidence Rating, click here.

Tags: Poll
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I was waiting to post the Confidence Rating until after Oliver Perez was re-signed, so…

To vote in this week’s Fan Confidence Rating, click here.

Tags: Poll
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Manny Ramirez is represented by Scott Boras, and so his ultimate decision will likely be based on the value of the contract, not with who is giving it to him.

Jon Heyman of SI.com recently said he believes the Dodgers will eventually need to guarantee a third year for Ramirez, adding to their current two-year, $45 million offer, even if they’re bidding against themselves.

Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of FoxSpots.com believes the Giants are still interested, though no offer has been made.

Tags: Poll
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Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com quotes a league executive who believes Ben Sheets will require at least a one-year deal, worth around $7 million, with the potential to earn close to $14 million, ‘and a lucrative club option.’

Yesterday, Jon Heyman of SI.com write, “Some Mets people are now wondering whether one or two years for Sheets might be a better gamble than four or five for Oliver Perez.”

[poll id="209"]

Tags: Oliver Perez, Poll
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In the end, Derek Lowe and the Braves agreed to a four-year, $60 million deal, while Omar Minaya’s best reported offer stopped at three years, $36 million.

From what I can gather, while Minaya may have been willing to give Lowe a fourth-year option, he was never going to guarantee the fourth season – and, frankly, according to published reports, and people close to the GM, he is not too disappointed with the results.

Nevertheless, on Dec. 10, the day the Yankees signed C.C. Sabathia, I ran a poll on MetsBlog.com that asked, ‘Would you give Lowe a four-year, $66 million deal,’ and 71 percent of people said, ‘No.’

Tags: Poll
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This morning, I realized I goofed and forgot to run the Fan Confidence Rating last Friday – as I normall do.

So, to vote in this week’s Fan Confidence Rating, click here.

Tags: Poll
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In a critique of the trade on ESPN.com, Keith Law writes:

“If the Mets get the healthy J.J. Putz - he missed time with rib and elbow injuries in 2008 - they might actually have acquired the best closer of their offseason, one even better than their new closer Francisco Rodriguez.”

According to Law, Putz pitches at 92-95 mph; his fastball has good life, but it plays up because he pairs it with a plus splitter with a hard, late bottom; he pounds the strike zone - he walked fewer batters in 2006 and 2007 combined than K-Rod has thrown in any single season of his career.

Tags: Poll
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In case you missed it...

To vote in this week?s Fan Confidence Rating, click here.

Tags: Poll
Comments

According to David Lennon’s blog for Newsday, this morning on WFAN, Evan Roberts and Joe Benigno discussed whether they would continue to play out the season, or, instead, skip it and play a one-game playoff with the Brewers.

In other words, for fear of potentially being passed by in the standings by the Brewers, would you skip the next six games and take your chances in a one-game, winner-take-all playoff with the Brewers to see who gets in to the post-season?

[poll id="175"]

Tags: Poll
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The Mets will play the American League Yankees today at 2 pm in Yankees Stadium, then will play the Yankees against at Shea Stadium tonight at 8 pm.

I am quite open and honest about my dislike of the ‘Subway Series.’  That said, when the game begins, I feel the juice and excitement and it is hard to deny the entertainment.

The problem for me is that, as a Mets fan, who really only concerns himself with the National League, I would much rather see the Mets play the Phillies, or Braves, etc., than some inconsequential team from the American League, who just happen to play a few miles from Shea Stadium.

Tags: Poll
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As noted in an earlier post, Jerry Manuel had the following to say to reporters after last night’s game:

“We might have some tough decisions to make…We can’t continue play good, don’t play good, and not find a consistent formula…It could mean some tough decisions…Could be lineup changes, could be rotation changes, could be all types of changes.  We have to do what we have to do to get this team on track.  We have such great fans, and they’re just waiting, they’re waiting, they’re waiting, they’re waiting, they’re waiting for us to do well, just hoping we do well and we’re not giving them anything – and that’s not fair to them.”

To watch all of Manuel’s post-game remarks from last night, courtesy of SNY, click here.

Tags: Poll
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On a scale of 1–10, 10 being ‘100 percent confident,’ 1 being ‘No confidence at all,’ how confident are you in the overall future-direction of the Mets?

[Poll=126]

Tags: Poll, Matthew Cerrone
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