This week we'll say Happy Birthday to one Alice DiMenna. It's her very first one so let's give her a nice ovation. Alice is perhaps history's finest human, and you'll one day recognize her as the face on the one-dollar bill. That's right, folks, we're going for currency. That's the kind of kid I'm planning to raise.
Mets: Expectations have been low for the Mets heading into 2013, thanks mostly to recent history, but by naming David Wright captain this week the Mets ensured themselves a 90-win season and the playoffs. After all, the Yankees also have a captain and we've seen how that's worked out. Wright also may be ready for Opening Day which would be even better.
Yankees: The Yankees similarly altered expectations with their trade for Vernon Wells, somehow managing to turn everyone even more pessimistic with one move. Although, count me among those who figures this move is likely to pan out, because it's the Yankees and that's how things usually go.
Either way, Spring Training is almost over. Thank goodness.
Knicks: After a disastrous west-coast trip a week ago in which the team pretty much bottomed out, the Knicks rebounded with four straight wins thanks to a soft schedule and the emergence of Kenyon Marin. Sure, it helped to face the likes of Utah, Orlando and Toronto over four straight, but finding Martin to be a double-double machine and relentless defender in the post certainly counted as something of a surprise. Now those finding themselves getting too carried away may need a reminder that this was easily the best week of basketball Martin's played in years, so we may find out a bit more when they step up in competition in the week ahead with the likes of Boston and Memphis. By all accounts, Tyson Chandler is still alive and well, so that might help as well.
Monday, March 25
1:05 PM MLB NY Mets at Atlanta
7:30 PM NHL New Jersey at Ottawa
Tuesday, March 26
1:10 PM MLB NY Mets vs. St. Louis
7:05 PM MLB NY Yankees vs. Houston
7:00 PM NBA NY Knicks at Boston
7:00 PM NHL NY Islanders at Washington
7:30 PM NHL NY Rangers at Philadelphia
Wednesday, March 27
6:10 PM MLB NY Mets vs. Houston
7:05 PM MLB NY Yankees at Baltimore
7:30 PM NBA NY Knicks vs. Memphis
10:30 PM NBA Brooklyn at Portland
Thursday, March 28
1:05 PM MLB NY Mets at Washington
1:05 PM MLB NY Yankees vs. Pittsburgh
7:00 PM NHL NY Islanders at Philadelphia
7:30 PM NHL NY Rangers at Ottawa
Friday, March 29
2:05 PM MLB NY Yankees at Washington
7:30 PM NBA NY Knicks vs. Charlotte
9:00 PM NBA Brooklyn at Denver
7:30 PM NHL New Jersey at Tampa Bay
Saturday, March 30
12:05 PM MLB NY Mets at Baltimore
9:00 PM NBA Brooklyn at Utah
1:00 PM NHL NY Islanders at Pittsburgh
7:00 PM NHL NY Rangers at Montreal
7:30 PM NHL New Jersey at Florida
Sunday, March 31
7:30 PM NBA NY Knicks vs. Boston
Nets: The Nets continue to chase the Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead, using wins in three of their last four to move within two of their crosstown rivals. Deron Williams has been the catalyst, playing by far his best basketball of the year so far through the month of March and seeming to peak at the perfect time for a possible playoff push. The Knicks found trouble when they went out west, and Brooklyn is about to take on a similar gauntlet when they head out to take on the Blazers and Nuggets in the week ahead.
Rangers: The Rangers took two more inconvenient losses this week to the Panthers and Capitals as they continue to cling to a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With the lockout-shortened season suddenly getting very short, they brought Chris Kreider back up to see if he could boost the offense. It's been a disappointing year for the Blueshirts to date, with some openly wondering if maybe they've started to tune out head coach John Tortorella. But there's still time to get things righted beginning next week with games against Philadelphia, Ottawa and Montreal.
Islanders: The Islanders have flirted with the idea of being a good hockey club this season, but just can't seem to break through. Three straight losses to Montreal, Ottawa and Pittsburgh put them on the outside looking in to make the playoffs, though they'll try to build on Sunday's 3-0 win over Florida when they take on a gauntlet of Washington, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh in the week ahead.
Devils: The Devils have played a similar brand of inconsistent hockey that all the area teams have enjoyed, sitting just ahead of the Rangers at seventh in the Eastern Conference. They'll take the momentum from consecutive wins over Carolina and Florida into games with Ottawa, Tampa and Florida.
Big East basketball: It hasn't been a great farewell for the Big East as we know it in the NCAA tournament, with Georgetown going down to 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast in a stunning opening loss. Notre Dame and Villanova joined them as first-round losers, while Syracuse and Louisville continue to be the league standard bearers.