It has been a wild year for New York sports in 2022. And 2023 promises to be just as unpredictable and exciting.
In the past 12 months, Aaron Judge thrilled the baseball world by hitting 62 home runs, setting a record for the American League (and, ahem, the Yankees). Judge was rewarded with a $360- million/nine-year contract.
The Mets’ owner Steve Cohen has spent money so lavishly on free agents that he makes the Steinbrenners look like cheapskates. His newest addition: the coveted Carlos Correa in a 12 year, $315 deal. The Mets won 101 games in 2022 but fizzled in the post-season. Initially, it was thought they were good but were still lacking one big bat. Now they have him.
Jets quarterback Zack Wilson, the No. 2 pick in the entire 2021 draft, was exiled to the bench. Now, upon his return, he was benched in the third last Thursday in a dismal loss to the Jaguars and may never start another game for the Jets.
The New York Rangers have emerged as legitimate championship contenders and even the Knicks – who have won eight of their last nine games at press time -- have awakened from a slumber to return to respectability.
And so it goes.
Whither 2023? Here are some bold predictions for the year ahead on our sports scene:
1) Aaron Judge will disappoint Yankee fans by failing to repeat his record setting 62 home runs he hit in the past season. If he has a slow start next spring, look out. The fans can turn on an icon justlikethat.
2) The Mets will lead the National League in wins – and march on to the World Series. Will they face the Yankees? Does the team have enough pitching? Betting on two almost-40 year old star pitchers is a dangerous game after 162 games but with the surprise addition of free agent Carlos Correra – in a deal hammered out in the middle of the night after an earlier deal to join the Giants fell apart, I’m going to go out on limb and say the Mets will win their first World Series since 1986.
3) The Knicks will make the playoffs. Who cares if they get the final slot? Who cares if they bow out in four straight games? Getting to the playoffs is an accomplishment, enough.
4) The Giants will play in the playoffs in January The Jets won’t though. The G-Men are stepping up at the best possible time and the J-E-T-S are slipping away.
5) The Rangers have a shot to win the Stanley Cup – if they acquire a Patrick Kane-like scorer.
7) Mets starters Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer will combine to win 35 games. I’m betting that they stay healthy down the stretch and into the playoffs.
8) Yankees ace Gerrit Cole will win fewer games than either Scherzer or Verlander, upsetting Bombers’ fans. I AM a Yankee fan. But I am not optimistic about 2023 – the pitching is a complete question mark.
9) The Nets will not make it past the first round of the playoffs. I’m not impressed by their recent winning streak.
10) Daniel Jones will be the starting quarterback for the Giants on opening day in 2023. The Jints have never seen what he could do with a stellar supporting cast, especially at wide receiver. We’ll find out next season.
11) The starting qb for the Jets, meanwhile, is not currently on the team’s roster. The Jets are one player away from becoming a championship contender. Unfortunately, they lack a serious quarterback. They’ll have to go out and find him.
12) Tom Brady will try to trade himself to the Jets. Hey, if I recognize the Jets’ problem (see above), so does Tom Brady. Look for him to try to trade himself to the Jets. Wouldn’t that be sweet, if Brady boosted the Jets right over the New England Patriots, Brady’s old team and the Jets’ nemesis for a decade.