Thursday, August 5, 2010

Do Giants Want Plax Back?

By Tony Mangia


Reports that ex-New York Giant, Plaxico Burress, may be released from prison before the NFL season begins could be more fantasy league than reality television. Even if the troubled wide receiver, serving time for felony gun charges, is released on a work release program, chances are slimmer than the 6'5" Super Bowl XLII hero himself that he'll play a down this season. The NFL has stated that if Burress is granted work release with a waiver his suspension from the league would be lifted.

Burress' attorney, Peter Frankel, said he filed a second application for work release a month ago and claims that his client is "hopeful" of an early discharge but the New York State of Corrections stated that the 33 year-old Burress will not be granted any special privileges. Frankel said Burress is hoping to get the work release with the added benefit of a waiver; which allows him to travel with a team on weekends. A spokesperson for the Oneida Correctional facility (Plax's temporary home since September 2009) said that in general, inmates given work release must perform community service type work Monday through Friday in New York. They also made it clear that a waiver is a rare occasion but not impossible. Frankel seems to be soft-stepping the subject and isn't screaming for his client's release. "He still has a year left on his sentence," Frankel affirmed, "It's completely up to the Corrections Department."

Would the respectable and proper Giants, who are looking optimistically at third place in the tough NL East division and an 8-8 overall record, take a shot (no pun) at Burress---the man who caused the club so many headaches in the past? Burress routinely ignored team rules and the veterans have long memories. This upcoming year will be a real test for the Giants and taking back a player they emphatically distanced themselves from might be a stretch although, GM Jerry Reese hasn't discounted the return of Burress. "We leave all our options open," he said.

Too Many Other Giant Problems

There are many questions involving Big Blue's defense...again and the offensive line is getting older and more injury-prone. Running back Brandon Jacobs is slowly morphing into Ron Dayne. He dives under his blockers asses and can't be counted on in short yardage situations like in the past. The running game--once a Giant's strength--is now ordinary and suspect.

Their passing game has become more instrumental to the Giants O, but Eli Manning still carries that befuddled look on his face too many times. Manning misses his once favorite playmaker Burress, but has managed to turn the "other" Steve Smith into his new go-to wide receiver. If Smith can equal his 100 reception season of last year, Plax is fleeting thought. Smith is complimented by capable game-breaker Dominik Hixon and Signorice Moss.

Burress was released by the Giants in April 2009 after accidently shooting himself in the thigh while entering the Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan. A year and a half lay-off makes it hard to believe he could play a meaningful season or help the Giants team at all.

Plaxico Burress is a talented and troubled man. He has vowed to play again. Prison time could makes a man think hard and long about his past. Burress is now thinking third and long about his future. There are probably a dozen NFL teams---besides the Raiders, of course---that would snatch him up immediately. They just might have to wait until his official release date of June 6, 2011 to start the Welcome Back Plax circus.


No Thanks, I'll Take the Cash

A Yankee security guard caught Alex Rodriguez's 600th home run ball...and gave it back. A-Rod's 500th went for $103,000, so this tainted milestone could have fetched more. In the last few weeks, the Yankee organization was promising the lucky fan who caught the 600th dinger an autographed ball and jersey and...get this...dinner with Mr. Ego himself and Cameron Diaz. I can imagine that meal, A-Rod alternately looking at his watch and admiring his reflection in a spoon while the annoying Diaz sprays chewed up food all over the table as she guffawed and tells everyone she isn't dating the Yankee.

Josh Beckett is Still a Punk

Like to see Red Sox pitcher, Josh Beckett still taking on all comers, especially with a gang of four backing him up. At Monday's Sox-Indians brawl--- Kevin Youklis, Mike Cameron, Dustin Pedroia, and Jacoby Ellsburg all backed the pitcher...and all four are on the DL thus avoiding suspensions--on a technicality-- for players jumping into a fray. All were fined.

He Was Trying to Beat the Shot Clock

The other day in court of law, former Knick coach and current University of Louisville coach, Rick Pitino had to recount in detail about his "15-second" sexual encounter with a woman on trial for allegedly extorting him. Pitino said he didn't use a condom and the woman claims she got pregnant. Maybe, with foreplay, it would have lasted as long as a TV Time Out.

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