It’s May and for New York sports fans that means our attention is fixed to baseball, baseball and more baseball. It wasn’t always this way as May was once a time to watch the Knicks and Rangers make deep runs into the playoffs. It was a time when MSG was the place to be in May, but those times are a distant memory.

Amazingly, you have to go back to 1997 to find the last time both the Knicks and the Rangers made the playoffs in the same season. After that season, the Rangers missed the playoffs for seven-straight years and by the time they got good again in 2005, Isiah Thomas was running the Knicks.

But, the Knicks finally appear to be headed in the right direction. They will have a very good draft pick this June, if they are really lucky, a top one. They have shed most of the contracts that run into the 2010-11 season, which positions them to bid on potential free agents like LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Assuming they don’t make a financial mistake with Nate Robinson or David Lee, we should see playoff basketball return to the Garden soon.

The same cannot be said for the Rangers. They have reversed the failure of previous years, but they have loaded up on bad contracts. They owe Wade Redden $6.2 million for the next five years; in fact they have spent about $40 million for next season already. They may get some cap help with the retirement of Markus Naslund, but they have serious salary problems that will make it very hard to upgrade the current team.

It’s hard to say if James Dolan notices this or even cares. Isiah Thomas was GM for way too long. Glen Sather has presided over the Rangers since 2000. Running the Knicks and Rangers does not seem to be a position where you have to deliver results. The MSG Network keeps running its special on 1994, the year when the Rangers won it all and the Knicks almost did. Maybe ownership should notice that every year that slips further away and we seem no closer to repeating it.