New York Giants: Former Jet Says Jonathan Stewart Was Signed To Snitch

One of the more forgettable parts of the season for the New York Giants was the signing of Jonathan Stewart, who came over from Carolina and was originally projected to split carries with rookie Saquon Barkley. Some imagined that Barkley would take a longer time getting used to the speed of the NFL game, and that a veteran presence would be needed to take away some of the pressure.

Those predictions turned out to be wrong. Stewart finished the season with only six total rushes while Barkley was one of the top rushers in the entire league, finishing only behind Ezekiel Elliot in total yards as well as finishing third in NFL history for all-purpose yards for a rookie running back.

An injury ensured that Stewart didn’t play beyond the first three games, and the signing is regarded as one of the moves that didn’t work out, despite a successful first year for general manager Dave Gettleman, who brought in several players who should have long-term roles.

Former Jets linebacker Bart Scott has one idea about why the signing really happened, however. “I told you what Jonathan was when he got here. He was the snitch. But you have to be healthy to be able to snitch because you’re not in the locker room to tell Gettleman what’s going on,” Scott said on WFAN Sports Radio.

Stewart and Gettleman were on the same team, of course, when they were both with the Panthers immediately before joining the Giants. Stewart was with the team from 2008 to 2017, but the Giants seemed to sign him right as his career took a turn towards decline.

Of course, Stewart is still with the Giants, so he’ll have a chance to redeem himself and add depth to the backfield behind Saquon Barkley. But based on current circumstances, it seems unlikely that his role will be to monitor the locker room for Dave Gettleman. After ending the season with 17 rushing yards, there’s definitely more important things to focus on for Stewart at this point.

New York Yankee Retrospective: The Boss Takes Over

New York Yankees

On January 3, 1973, a group of investors headed by shipbuilder George Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees from CBS for $10 million. Players, fans, (and managers) came and went, and mistakes were made. But most importantly, consider the results George’s teams accrued: seven World Championships and 11 American League pennants. The Boss passed away in the summer of 2010, a year rife with losses of beloved former Yankees.

Big Little Luis

Infielder Luis Sojo, born on January 3,1965, played with Toronto, California, and Seattle before the Yanks selected him off waivers in 1996. The six homers, 86 rbi’s, and seven stolen bases belie the popularity Luis reaped playing for four Championship teams. Part of the reason is Sojo’s World Series-clinching rbi hit vs. the crosstown Mets in 2000.

The Kansas City Royals released reliever Lindy McDaniel on January 3, 1977, effectively ending the at-the-time second longest pitching career in the bigs in terms of game appearances, with 987. Lindy had starred in New York for five years with a 38-29 record with 53 saves. And he was traded for a true Yankee favorite: line-drive hitting outfielder “Sweet” Lou Piniella. McDaniel’s big-league mark: 141-119, with 172 saves.

At the Movies

Scan the listings over the next six weeks for It Happens Every Spring, a zany, old-time, black-and-white baseball film.  It starred Ray Milland, who was born on January 3, 1905.

New York Yankees Remain In Lead For Manny Machado While Teams Offer Deals

The New York Yankees might be sitting idly by while the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies make offers to superstar free agent Manny Machado, but they know they hold the advantage.

Reports have indicated that the White Sox made Machado an offer, likely one that’s closer to $200 million than the 10-year $300 million he desires. It doesn’t seem as if the market will raise the money to that level, as teams are starting to become more aware of their financial situations and what locking in a player multiple years can do to a franchise – see Jacoby Ellsbury.

With that being said, it’s probable the Yankees will make a similar offer, or at least match that of the others teams. Waiting to see what the White Sox and Phillies do is just good negotiating. You don’t want to overpay if the other teams aren’t willing to break a certain price point for the two-time Gold Glove winner.

Nonetheless, it’s expected that Machado will sign with the Yankees if they can get in the ball-park of what he seeks. Friends of the superstar have hinted at his preference, and being that the Yanks are his boy-hood club, they hold a bit more rope than the rest.

Why did the New York Yankees sign Troy Tulowitzki:

Taking precautionary steps is essential when it comes to any deal. Signing Tulowitzki on a veteran minimum deal while the Toronto Blue Jays pick up the $20 million he’s owed next season was a no-brainer for the Bombers. He offers a stop-gap while Didi Gregorius heals from Tommy John surgery and insurance in case Machado slips through the cracks. A no-risk deal that only bolsters the veteran leadership and defensive capabilities of an infield that ranked towards the bottom of the league in costed runs.

 

New York Giants: Mixed Messages Surrounding Eli Manning’s Future

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

The New York Giants finished the 2018 NFL season a disappointing 5-11. On Wednesday morning, general manager Dave Gettleman addressed the media in his post-season press conference. Many of the questions for Gettleman were about quarterback Eli Manning.

Later that day, Eli Manning and head coach Pat Shurmur both participated in interviews on WFAN660. Shurmur’s, Manning’s, and Gettleman’s responses to questions regarding Manning left some fans confused.

Dave Gettleman’s Press Conference

Dave Gettleman was asked about his quarterback situation multiple times during his press conference. Some were lead to believe that the general manager is ready to move on from Manning, including former Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich.

When asked if he was committed to Eli Manning in 2019, Gettleman responded with this:

Here’s what I’m committed to do. I’m committed to making the best decision in the interest of the New York Football Giants. That’s what I’m committed to do. We’re in the evaluation process. I know that you guys want answers now, but very frankly, I didn’t come in yesterday. I’ve got to do what I do, which is get in my office and watch film. We’re going to meet this week with the coaches and get their evaluation. We’ll meet next week with pro personnel and get their evaluations and get their feelings on everything. That’s our schedule, and I will be watching film for the next who knows how long until my eyes bleed. That’s what I do. So, my commitment is to make this team the best team it can be and if that happens to have Eli playing quarterback, it does.

He later went on to say that “everything is on the table” for the Giants at the quarterback position.

A very noncommittal response from the general manager. It should also be noted that Manning and Gettleman had a lengthy, private conversation on Monday. According to Gettleman, Manning came to speak with him.

Pat Shurmur’s Interview

Pat Shurmur and Eli Manning both went to WFAN660 to be interviewed by Mike Francesca. The head coach was interviewed first. When asked about his quarterback, Shurmur was much more supportive of Manning than Gettleman was.

Shurmur said that he “appreciates the good in Eli.” He also said that he believes Eli “can still play” and can still “make the throws.” This makes it seem like Shurmur has already made his evaluation, unlike Gettleman. It is very peculiar to hear the general manager be so noncommittal, then hear the coach be so supportive and committed to the quarterback.

Eli Manning’s Interview

Shurmur and Gettleman’s evaluation does not mean much if the veteran quarterback decides not to come back next season. Surprisingly, some of Manning’s responses in his interview with Francesca seem to indicate that Manning is considering retirement.

To close the interview, Francesca asked Manning if this was the last we had seen of the quarterback’s professional career. Eli responded with an eyebrow-raising, “we will see.”

This quote seems to indicate that Eli is mulling retirement and has not decided wether or not he will play football next season. Manning said in the interview that he “wants” to play, but also that he to have “an open conversation” with Gettleman and his staff through this evaluation process.

Eli also reinforced his previous statements of wanting to play for one team. This could mean that the Giants have the ability to tell Eli he is not going to be a part of the team next season, ultimately sending him into retirement.

Giants fans want answers about their franchise hero. As Gettleman, Shurmur, and Manning continue their evaluation process, the fans will continue to listen eagerly to find out what is in store for this franchise in 2019.

 

New York Yankees Could Have Four-Gold Glove Winners On Roster In 2019

With an emphasis on defensive being established this offseason, the New York Yankees have improved their infield significantly, and there’s more work to be done.

With reports indicating that Manny Machado will join the esteemed franchise, the Yankees will add two Gold-Gloves to the infield, and the signing of Troy Tulowitzki adds another two. That’s four Gold-Gloves between them.

In the outfield, the Yankees have Gold-Glove winners in left-fielder Brett Gardner and the oft-injured Jacoby Ellsbury. Both are stellar defenders but have been inconsistent in regard to offensive production.

The New York Yankees’ youth agenda:

With the Bombers utilizing their younger stars – Miguel Andujar & Gleyber Torres – the team lacks a few infield veterans to help develop the youngsters and sure-up the unit. Signing Tulo provides great defensive value. He will undoubtedly be a primary tool in the growth of both players, and giving them consistent reps will additionally help.

The outfield on the other hand is tidy, with Aaron Judge and his cannon manning right field and Aaron Hicks holding down center. Judge is bound for a Gold-Glove in his career, or at least some sort of recognition for his ability to gun-down runners from afar. Hicks is a serviceable defender that gets the job done but isn’t making diving catches on a regular basis.

The team has a strong foundation of defenders and adding veteran talent only contributes to the betterment of the roster as a whole. In 2018, the combination of Gardner, Hicks, Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton ranked third in baseball for outfield defensive runs saved, only behind the Brewers and Diamondbacks.

Here’s how the infield ranked last season:

At first base, Greg Bird and Neil Walker, who spent a majority of the season at the position, ranked 21st in the MLB. Second base ranked 23rd despite a solid defender in Torres. Third-base ranked dead last in the league, with Miguel Andujar finishing as arguably the worst infield defender in baseball.

With the Yankees pitching ranking fourth-highest in the league in ground-ball rate, (44.6%) complications for lackluster defenders can arise. Andujar allowed a league high 25 runs costed at third base.

Ground-balls are, in fact, a great thing, but when you have sub par defenders fielding them, it can create issues that ultimately shouldn’t be a problem. Having good players in the field could be the difference between a Wild-Card game and having home-field advantage in the second-round of the playoffs.

These are some essential reasons that signing Tulo and securing Machado are atop the list of priorities this offseason.

New York Yankees: from “championship caliber” to champions

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The 2018 season ended with a whimper not a bang as the New York Yankees found themselves eliminated from the playoff race by the Boston Red Sox in Major League Baseball’s American League Division Series.

Owner Hal Steinbrenner was disappointed and expressed his dissatisfaction with the ALDS result, telling the NYPost.com’s Joel Sherman that the loss “certainly pisses me off.”

In a number of interviews, notably with YES network’s Meredith Marokovitzs on December 5th, Steinbrenner said that the Yankees will “field a championship caliber team” and he believed that the 2018 team was a championship caliber team that didn’t live up to it’s potential.

Steinbrenner told NYPost.com’s Greg Joyce on October 13:

“Look, my family has always been willing to take money that comes off the payroll and put it back in,” Steinbrenner said Friday on “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN 98.7 FM. “We’re going to do our best to field a championship-caliber team every single year. This coming year is going to be no different than last.”

True to his word, Steinbrenner and the Yankees stayed the course from 2018 by resigning veterans Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia and JA Happ, then made their only splash of the offseason early (November 19) by acquiring James Paxton in a trade with the Seattle Mariners.

The Yankees recently signed free agent Troy Tulowitzki, in a surprising, but not splashy move to bolster the infield in the absence of Didi Gregorius.

However, the offseason’s biggest free agent stars, Manny Machado and Bryce Harper remain unsigned and Yankee fans, many caught up in the media frenzy surrounding these superstars, are frustrated that a truly spectacular move has not been made to propel this team from “championship-caliber” to champions.

Hot stove season is in a deep freeze at the moment for Yankee fans who are clamoring for the team to step up and sign not only Machado and/or Harper, but also relief pitchers, such as Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino.

And it’s not just the Yankees fans that feel the frustration with the cold stove, fans across MLB feel the chill as well. Travis Sawchik of fivethirtyeight.com said that “Free agency has become more and more a battleground between teams and players,” especially as the trend set in 2017 of waiting out the market has extended into the 2018 offseason.

Even superstars are having to wait, Sawchik says:

“and teams seem to have learned, collectively, to wait out free agents. Thirty-five free agents signed guaranteed major league deals last year between Feb. 1 and opening day,2 compared with 18 in 2017, 13 in 2016, 10 in 2015 and 13 in 2014. The longer free agents wait, the fewer dollars they’re typically awarded.”

While perhaps a tectonic shift is taking place in MLB with respect to free agents, these are topics for the lawyers, Yankee fans have stars in their eyes and are restless to see them in pinstripes. I have even seen it suggested by fans, unrealistically, I might add, that there be a signing deadline, such as January 1 for all free agents.

Whatever the solution to the cold stove, Yankee fans are eager to see Steinbrenner and the Yankees field not only a “championship-caliber” team, but champions, such as Machado, Harper, Britton, and Ottavino, elite players at the top of their game now.