New York Yankees Re-sign Manager Joe Girardi

New York’s ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ deal with Nissan voided by judge

The “Taxi of Tomorrow” initiative, which was to go into effect Oct. 28, would have required every new taxi to be a Nissan NV200. Nissan was given a contract worth an estimated $1 billion in 2011 after a competition. Manhattan State Supreme Court Justice Shlomo Hagler ruled that the Taxi and Limousine Commission had overstepped its authority. In part, he relied on the same legal argument that doomed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to ban large sugary drinks from city eateries, saying the commission had infringed upon the City Council’s powers. “The notion that New York City should have one exclusive ‘iconic’ New York City taxicab is a policy decision that is reserved for the City Council,” he wrote. The city’s chief lawyer, Michael Cardozo, said in a statement, “We believe the Court’s decision is fundamentally wrong, and we intend to appeal immediately.” When the 10-year contract was awarded, Nissan officials said they expected to provide as many as 26,000 vehicles to the city’s taxi fleet over the deal’s lifetime. Travis Parman, a Nissan spokesman, said the company was considering its options, but it would still sell the vehicle to interested fleet owners. “We are disappointed in the court’s decision, but it will not prevent our plan to start upgrading the NYC taxi fleet with the Nissan Taxi of Tomorrow at the end of the month,” he said. The ruling was the second time a state judge has blocked the plan, after Justice Peter Moulton in Manhattan ruled in May that the initiative failed to comply with city regulations allowing taxi operators to buy hybrid vehicles. The taxi commission then revised the plan to permit hybrid models until Nissan provides a hybrid version of the NV200. The lawsuit was brought by Evgeny Freidman, a major city fleet operator, and the Greater New York Taxi Association, who claimed the commission did not have the power to force taxi operators to purchase a particular vehicle.

But the 48-year-old brought an abrupt end to the rumors when he agreed to a four-year extension as skipper through to the end of the 2017 season. “I feel very flattered and grateful that I have this opportunity and I look forward to it,” Girardi said on a conference call. Despite reports in the U.S. media that he was considering moving back to Chicago, Girardi said he never even spoke to the Cubs after his wife and children told him they wanted to stay in the Big Apple. “There were some things that we had to work through but my family played an important role with this,” Girardi said. “We had to decide what was best for all of us … so we put all that together and we’re glad we’re back.” Girardi has already been manager of the Yankees – one of the most highly scrutinized jobs in professional sports – for six seasons, steering the pinstripes to a record 27th World Series Championship in 2009. He also won the World Series three times as a catcher with the Yankees, in 1996, 1998 and 1999, as part of a 15-year playing career that also included stints with the Cubs (twice), Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals. “You hear stuff and you read things but our lives have been here for six years,” Girardi said. “Chicago was the team I grew up rooting for so Chicago will always a hold a special place in my heart but this place is special to me too. “This place has been really good to us and our family and my wife and our kids are established here.” Girardi began his managerial career with the Florida Marlins, winning the National League Manager of the Year award in 2006, before taking charge of the Yankees in 2008.

New York Jets Need to Bench Quinton Coples

Coples is not productive. In three games since returning to the lineup, Coples has produced a grand total of three tackles and zero sacks. You can’t even argue that his numbers are down because the Jets are bringing him back slowly; he’s played 71% of the defensive snaps in those three games. Still, there are people who are crediting Coples’ presence for allowing others to get to the quarterback. Phooey. Muhammad Wilkerson and Sheldon Richardson are wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks because they’re tough to block man-up. Coples – in his present form – can be blocked one-on-one and isn’t taking any extra blockers away from those two. Coples – and the Jets staff – are still unsure of his role. It’s tough for a seasoned veteran to change roles. Coples isn’t a veteran; he’s a second-year player who was always told to go get the quarterback. So what is it: Is he a defensive lineman? Is he a linebacker? Is he both?