Odell Beckham Jr Hopes Eli Manning Goes Out With A Trophy

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will miss the end of the season with a bruised quadricep, but that doesn’t mean Beckham doesn’t have some interesting takes on Eli Manning and the future of the Giants’ franchise quarterback. The comments come at a pretty timely point in the season, where there’s a lot of debate about whether or not Manning will be the team’s starter next season and on where the Giants should spend their first round draft pick.

While Beckham did state that these decisions aren’t in his hands, as a receiver and not an executive, he did say some things that indicate that he’d prefer Manning sticking around for a while longer.

“At the end of the day, I want him to be able to go home and talk trash to his brothers. I want him to go out, when it’s time to go out, I want him to go out the right way, I want him to go out with a trophy, so he can go home and, not rub it in their face, but that he’s got three rings and [Peyton’s] got two, or whatever it is. That’s what I want for him, that’s how I want him to finish. But it has nothing to do with me, it’s not my call, I’m just a receiver. So that’s above my pay grade.”

Manning hasn’t had a shot to win in the playoffs and bring home another trophy since 2016, which was also the year before Beckham’s injury troubles would limit him both last season and late this season. This year, Beckham bounced back from a slow start but will miss the last game of the season, and has been out since the Giants beat the Chicago Bears weeks ago.

The team’s decision to have Beckham sit out, however, makes sense given the fact that the Giants are already out of the playoff race. There’s no reason to risk one of their best players for one more regular season win. “You train all offseason for these 16 games, plus a chance to go to the playoffs. It’s definitely not the way I want to end the season,” Beckham said about the season’s result.

And what will happen to Eli Manning next year? Nobody knows. Manning himself has said earlier that he doesn’t know and Pat Shurmur also said earlier in the month that any decision would be made in the offseason. “Those are offseason discussions. I’m really pleased with the way he’s been playing of late,” Shurmur said.

The issue will continue to be talked about into the offseason, and it will likely be the main one that divides the Giants fanbase going into the draft. For now, though, the focus is on the last game of the season… Which Eli Manning will get the start in.

New York Yankees have interest in free agent infielder Josh Harrison

New York Yankees

Free Agent, Josh Harrison is entering his age 31 season and may quickly become a target for the New York Yankees should a deal with Manny Machado not materialize after the New Year.

On December 27, Jon Heyman reported that:

Harrison, who played all seven years of his major league career in the Pirates organization, is in high demand as a result of his energy and ability to play all over the field.

A year ago, Harrison’s name was floated around the Yankees as they were going into the ’18 season with two unproven rookies at second and third base in Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar.  Harrison seemed a worthy bench player to back up the rookies.

At that time, Mike Axisa of Riveravenueblues.com said that:

“Harrison’s offensive game is built around being aggressive, putting the ball in play, and hoping for the best.”

Harrison is a scrappy player, who, Axisa says

“…has consistently ranked as an above-average baserunner thanks to his aggressiveness, and his ability to do things like go first-to-third on a single and advance on a wild pitch.”

2018 was a down year for Harrison, who was plagued by injuries and played in only 89 games, starting 84 at second base and filling in twice at third base.  He hit .250/.293/.363 with an 80 OPS+.

Once one of the igniters of the Pirates ball club, he was reduced to backing up second base when he was healthy in ’18.

While there are teams who may consider Harrison for a full-time second base position, he would probably be a bench player for the Yankees, filling in at second base and also at third.

It will be interesting to see how the Yankees resolve their infield problems with Didi Gregorius not an option for possibly a large portion of the season.  The Yankees have to try to bring a generational talent like Machado to the team in the hopes of winning a World Series.

However, the Yankees have had to check in on players such as Harrison in case they have to quickly pivot their interest should Machado go elsewhere.

The New York Yankees Have One Main Deficiency In The Batting Order

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees will have one of the most intimidating batting lineups in the MLB if they manage to secure the signature of superstar free agent, Manny Machado. The third-baseman would join a group of sluggers that include Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

The three would make for consecutive home run threats, likely hitting out of the 2nd, 3rd, and fourth spots in the batting order. But, there could be one primary concern in regard to the batters – to be more specific, their favored stance.

A look at projected batting order for the New York Yankees:

1.) Brett Gardner

2.) Aaron Judge

3.) Manny Machado

4.) Giancarlo Stanton

5.) Aaron Hicks

6.) Gary Sanchez

7.) Miguel Andujar

8.) Gleyber Torres

9.) Luke Voit

Straight off the bat, you can see that 7 of 9 hitters favor their ‘right’ side. Only Hicks, who is a switch hitter, and Gardner, can hit in the lefty stance. This could be problematic for the Yankees against teams that utilize their pitching rotation strategically. They will likely utilize their right-handed pitchers more frequently against the Yankees.

Despite this logical thought process, some righty hitters seem to perform even better against right-handed pitchers. For example, Judge earned a 2.85 BA with 19 homers against righties, while he hit just .261 with 8 homers against lefties in 2018.

Teams will undoubtedly have a lot of trouble facing this lineup, simply due to the pure power potential and elevated contact efficiency. Having multiple superstars on the same team is often the recipe for success, but we’ve seen teams struggle to find the right balance. The Yankees will need to find a way to utilize Machado, Giancarlo, and Judge at the same time to extract the most runs-per-game.

The Yankees could struggle with…

Consistency. Relying on home runs to score a majority of your runs can exploit weaknesses. The Boston Red Sox utilized pitchers with high strikeout rates to control the ALDS and stifle any hot-streaks. Judge, Stanton, and Sanchez combined for 457 strikeouts last season.

Machado, luckily, is far more disciplined with the bat in his hands. He will offer a stop-gap in the lineup for pitchers that are looking to catch the Yankees’ big-bats swinging.

I expect Machado to be strategically placed in the lineup, offering supports to Judge and Stanton – increasing on-base-percentage between the two sluggers will ultimately help the Yankees score more runs.

New York Giants: Previewing Week 17 Matchup Vs. Dallas

Coming off of a late game collapse in Indianapolis last week, the 5-10 New York Giants will be hosting the Dallas Cowboys at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday for the week 17 season finale. The Cowboys are, of course, a division rival in the NFC East. This means that this is the Giants’ second matchup with Dallas this season.

In week two, the Giants traveled to Dallas to play the Cowboys in a primetime Sunday night matchup. The Giants lost this game 13-20. This was when the Giants offense was at an extreme low point. The final score was only a seven point difference, but this was because of a garbage-time touchdown by the Giants. The Cowboys owned them this game, but the Giants will have a chance to get revenge in week 17.

Taking A Look At The Cowboys

The Cowboys have clinched a playoff spot by winning the NFC East. They are sitting at 9-6 and will be looking to reach double digit wins after coming up a game short last season. Dallas is being lead by third year running back Ezekiel Elliot. Elliot leads the league in rushing yards this season.

The Cowboys offense has added a new weapon since the Giants last played them. They received wide receiver Amari Cooper in a trade with the Oakland Raiders. Since joining the Cowboys in week nine, Cooper has totaled 694 receiving yards and six receiving touchdowns. Elliot and Cooper are two key players that the Giants defense will need to stop in order to win.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Cowboys have had a rookie emerge as the leader of their defense. The first-year linebacker out of Boise State University, Leighton Vander Esch, has totalled 131 tackles this season, third in the NFL. On top of that, Vander Esch has added two interceptions and seven passes defended. Edge rusher Demarcus Lawrence is also having a good season. He has an impressive 9.5 sacks and 61 tackles this season. The Giants’ offensive line will need to give Lawrence a lot of attention in order to keep quarterback Eli Manning upright.

Injury Report

For the fourth time this season, superstar wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. has been ruled out. His season is over after just twelve games and he will not play in the season finale. The Giants have also ruled out defensive end Mario Edwards, middle linebacker Alec Ogletree, tight end Rhett Ellison, and wide receiver Russell Shepard.

The Cowboys will be without two defensive linemen this week. Defensive tackle David Irving and defensive end Tyrone Crawford will not play on Sunday. On top of that, the Cowboys have four players questionable. Left tackle Tyron Smith, right guard Zack Martin, linebacker Sean Lee, and cornerback Anthony Brown are all questionable.

The Giants’ Game Plan

The Cowboys have already clinched a playoff spot and have no room for improvement for a higher seed. With this in mind, it is likely that many of the Cowboys’ starters will see minimal to no playing time. The Giants will lean heavily on running back Saquon Barkley this week with multiple defensive linemen and linebackers either out or questionable for Dallas. Eli Manning had a good day passing the ball last Sunday against the Colts, and Giants fans should expect more of the same from the veteran quarterback against a mediocre Dallas defense.

The Giants will look to improve to 6-10 against the Cowboys, but many fans will argue that they shouldn’t. The Giants currently hold the 8th pick in the draft. With a win this week, the Giants could fall all the way back to the 12th pick in the draft. With a loss, the Giants could stay where they are, or potentially move all the way up to the 4th pick. For the Giants’ future, a loss would be ideal. However, head coach Pat Shurmur has already spoken out against tanking, so expect the Giants to give this one their all.

New York Yankees Could Strike Deal To Send Sonny Gray To Brewers

The New York Yankees have been trying to unload starting pitch Sonny Gray since the end of the 2018 season, simply because he doesn’t seem to be a fit in New York.

Last season, Gray was dropped from the starting rotation – he was factored in as a relief option but struggled with his control and effectiveness on the mound. In 2018, Gray’s ERA was 3.71, which was 10th best in the American League. He also ranked 9th in WHIP.

Sonny Gray’s ‘home’ VS ‘away’ game with the New York Yankees:

Looking back, you can see that Sonny was much better during ‘away’ games than at home at Yankee Stadium. He had a 3.17 ERA, .226 BAA and 1.15 WHIP during ‘away’ games. The primary reason the Yanks are trying to unload him is because, well, he’s not a good ‘home’ pitcher.

Several teams have inquired about Gray, including Cincinnati, San Diego, Milwaukie, and Oakland.

Some positives that still remain for the pitcher – he’s still young at 29 years-old. He can still be efficient in a less pressurized environment, something that Yankee Stadium doesn’t offer. The Yankees recently traded for James Paxton and resigned J.A. Happ, which constitutes a full rotation.

Looking at Sonny Gray’s change in stats:

Finding a proper suitor for Gray will take some time, but I’m confident a deal will eventually reach the surface. There’s still plenty of value to be extracted from the former Athletic. His strikeout rate increased in the Bronx, despite his ERA being a full-run higher than it was in Oakland (4.51 with NY, 3.42 with the A’s).

The Yankees play in one of the more hitter-friendly parks in the AL, which doesn’t bode well for Gray who seems to have lost his touch with a short right-field fence. Moving to a different ball-park might be the change he needs to regain his old form.

 

 

Reports Indicate Manny Machado Will Sign With New York Yankees

The New York Yankees will reportedly sign superstar free agent Manny Machado, according to Dan Clark.

The Yankees met with Machado for a mere 90-minutes before concluding their gathering, whereas he spent over four-hours with the Phillies.

Machado will unofficially join an infield consisting of Miguel Andujar, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, and Luke Voit/Greg Bird.

He will likely fill in at shortstop while Gregorius heals after Tommy John surgery. It was reported that Machado wanted a deal in the 10-year, $300 million range and that he preferred the Yankees, his boy-hood club. The Bombers must have offered him something close to that number despite stating they wanted to stay under $300 million.

Andujar is now put in a peculiar position, as he’s the everyday third-baseman for the Yankees, where Machado featured in 2018. His natural position is at short, though, which might mean that Didi will be allowed to walk in free agency next winter.

Moving forward, the batting order for the Yankees will be intimidating for any team, especially with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton hitting consecutively with Machado.

The announcement is expected to be made in early January, after the New Years celebrations have concluded.

New York Yankees: Judgement Day Looms For Manny Machado

It’s no secret the New York Yankees are pursuing superstar free agent Manny Machado, and for a variety of reasons, him being added to the team makes sense.

While some have expressed their lack of desire to acquire the top talent, primarily due to his past effort and lapses of judgment at times, his presence would be beneficial.

Former Yankee and current free agent pitcher Zach Britton stated that he had a good relationship with Machado on the Baltimore Orioles, even going as far as stating he was a quality teammate and wasn’t a distraction by any means. That’s good to hear, as the red flags surrounding him fall primary around his work ethic and personality.

How would the New York Yankees utilize Manny Machado?

To start, it’s fair to say Machado would start the season at short-stop. Didi Greogius is recovering from Tommy John surgery and it seems he will miss a fair chunk of the 2019 season. The star free agent could fit right in at SS and potentially remain there for the forseable future. Didi is a free agent next winter, which might make him expendable, despite being a clubhouse and fan-favorite.

Nonetheless, the two-time Gold Glove winner is much more than just an above average fielder, he’s also a stellar hitter. In 2018, he slashed .297/.367/.905 – these numbers are MVP caliber, but while Machado didn’t win that particular award, he was an easy choice for the All-Star game.

Moving forward, the Phillies and White Sox are also interested in the third-baseman, but the Yankees hold the advantage being his boy-hood club. If they can come close to the deal he seeks – 10-years, $300 million – his signature will be a lock.

New York Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. Will Likely Miss Last Game Of Season

The New York Giants will be going all out for a win against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, but they may just have to do so for another game without one of their best players. The Odell Beckham Jr. injury has been one of the storylines of the second half of the season, and that injury could last through the end of the season and cause Beckham to miss the Dallas game in addition to every other game since the win against the Chicago Bears.

Beckham was a notable absence on Thursday’s practice, which isn’t a good sign for making a late season comeback to help the Giants out against their bitter rivals. Of course, it hasn’t been officially confirmed yet by Pat Shurmur. Shurmur had more optimistic words for the press, but those words don’t match up with Beckham sitting out of practice on Thursday.

“We’ll just have to see where they’re at. They’re feeling better than they did last week, we’ll just have to see,” Shurmur said, speaking of both Beckham and linebacker Alec Ogletree, who missed the most recent game while in concussion protocol. Ogletree also sat out practice and is unlikely to play in the game itself.

Beckham only has six touchdowns this season and barring a comeback for the last game, and a four touchdown performance, will finish without getting to double-digit touchdowns for the second straight year. You can’t put all the blame on Beckham, though. The offensive line has been shaky and, earlier in the season, was one of the worst in the league. With more pressure on Eli Manning, it’s been harder for Beckham to get the ball than it has been in past years.

Still, Beckham has 1,052 yards on the season, and Giants fans will be glad to see him back once he eventually recovers from his current quad injury. That, however, might not be until the season is already done.

New York Yankees Remain Interested In Quality Veteran Reliever

The New York Yankees are in the market for a new reliever, especially as free agents David Robertson and Zach Britton remain unsigned but are still potential options to re-sign in New York.

A potential relief option for the New York Yankees:

One alternative that has been high on the wish-list for the Yankees is Rockies reliever, Adam Ottovino. The 33-year-old is coming off his best season to date, recording an ERA of 2.43 (2.74 FIP) and 0.99 WHIP. He struck out an impressive 112 batters in 77.2 innings, earning an average of 13.0 per 9 innings.

Ottavino has been one of the more consistent relief options since 2013, despite a rocky (pun intended) 2017, where he finished with a 5.06 ERA and 1.63 WHIP.

It seems as if the lone bad season was a minor blip on the radar, as he returned with a bang in 2018. He’s a solid option for New York, as they will potentially be losing several relievers if they choose to let Britton and Robertson leave in free agency.

Reports have stated that the Yankees still remain the favorite to retain Britton, while several other teams including the Red Sox and White Sox are speaking with Ottavino’s representatives.

Comparing Adam Ottivino to Robertson and Britton:

Ottavino: 2.43 (2.74 FIP) and 0.99 WHIP

Robertson: 3.23 ERA (2.97 FIP) and 1.033 WHIP

Britton: 2.88 ERA (4.08 FIP) and 1.160 WHIP

If the Yankees have the choice of the three, it seems as if Ottavino would be the better option given the Red Sox or White Sox don’t secure his signature first.

 

 

Could New York Yankees Use Gleyber Torres As Glorified Utility Man In 2019?

While the New York Yankees work through several injuries, it’s essential they find a versatile player that can adapt and be utilized in a variety of ways. Starting second-baseman Gleyber Torres fits the bill.
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The second-year pro might be put in a position to play a nice chunk of the 2019 season at shortstop while Didi Gregorius heals from Tommy John surgery. Torres performed well last season,hitting .271 with 24 home runs over 431 at-bats.

The 22-year-old has shown he can be a consistent player in an intimidating Yankees batting order, but his defensive skills have been questioned.It was thought the Yankees might be grooming him to be the shortstop of the future, as that was his position in the minor leagues. He was later moved to second-base and made 12 errors. While at shortstop, he committed 5 errors over 21 games,which prompted the move to second.

Looking at the numbers — 2.9 WAR in 2018 — it’s obvious that Torres had issues with fielding, similar to Miguel Andujar, who at third-base clocked 15 errors. At the ripe young age of 22, Gleyber has plenty of time to improve upon his weaknesses. Instilling faith in the youth player might be something the Yankees would consider,such as putting him back at shortstop until Didi returns.

Alternative options:

The only other legitimate options the Yankees have at shortstop are 24-year-old Tyler Wade and superstar free agent Manny Machado. It seems as if they are leaning towards signing Machado to take over the shortstop position, especially if Didi leaves for free-agency in 2019.