New York Giants: Nick Foles Quickly Exits The Open Market

It wasn’t that long ago that it was fresh news that the Philadelphia Eagles were planning to not franchise tag Nick Foles, and to let the quarterback become a free agent on the open market. There was some speculation that Foles could be a good option for the New York Giants, who are looking for a quarterback to eventually take over for Eli Manning and to offer some competition this season at the position, but it now looks like that won’t be a viable outcome.

That’s because Foles has already found another team, and it happens to be one of the other quarterback needy teams that the Giants would have to compete with in either the draft or free agency. Foles is expected to sign with the Jaguars according to Philly.com, and that’s both good and bad for the Giants.

The bad is that there’s another quarterback off the market and the Giants won’t be able to consider bringing Foles in to serve as a backup or competition to Eli Manning this year before eventually acting as a stopgap while the team finds a franchise quarterback. Such a move wasn’t the most popular of all the potential options, but it was an option nonetheless and it puts more pressure on the Giants to find their next quarterback in the draft.

The good is that with the Jaguars finding a quarterback, they are no longer a risk to trade up past the Giants and take the player that the Giants are possibly looking at, Dwayne Haskins Jr. Haskins has been mocked to both the Giants and the Jags and with both teams picking one spot apart from each other, a trade up could easily result in the Jaguars getting the Ohio State quarterback instead of the Giants.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that the draft is the way to go. The Nick Foles rumors have lasted since before the season ended, but now, we can officially put them to bed. If the Giants want a new quarterback, even as a backup, they’re going to have to look elsewhere.

New York Sports Are Going Through Something…Well, Comical

As the great George Carlin used to say….these are the thoughts running through my head when I’m home alone and the lights go out…

I’ve enjoyed watching the Lebron James attrition tour this season. Is everyone aware he’s the same age as Andre Iguodala? Why would any free agent want to go play with him in L.A. for his age 36 and 37 seasons? The minute Paul George decided not to come to LA the Lakers should have told Lebron thanks but no thanks and stuck with the kids and Luke Walton. The next 2 years are going to be a glorious dumpster fire for all the Lebron and Laker haters…you know..decent human beings.

Another quick NBA thought I haven’t seen anywhere yet. If KD comes to NY as many seem to think, Golden State is sure to resign Klay Thompson. The following season Draymond Green and Iguodala come off the books. If Anthony Davis is smart he would refuse to resign with anyone he’s traded to next year and see if Golden State comes with a max offer. Steph would be going into his age 32 season and Klay 30 with AD 27, wouldn’t that be the most Golden Statesy move to make?

The Phillies have to be feeling great giving 13 years and $330 million dollars to an empty-headed poodle like Bryce Harper who immediately tripped over his own dick and talked about bringing a title back to DC. I’ve seen that once before in a press conference…..in the opening montage of BaseKetball (an underrated classic movie).  At least he’s hit 30 Homer’s twice in seven seasons and batted .300 twice as well…once he even did both in the same year. Good thing Philly fans are intelligent rational people.

The Giants have the 6th pick in this year’s draft and honestly, I hope they take an offensive lineman just to see fans reactions. I think that would finally break the fanbase. Giants fans keep hoping for a Quarterback, remembering how great it was when they took Eli Manning and waiting for the team to deliver again and instead they keep getting Eli Apple and Ereck Flowers (Even our Lord and savior Saquon being selected pissed off half the fanbase at the time.) Giants fans have turned into Weezer fans waiting for the next Pinkerton while the Giants keep giving us the NFL equivalent of Hurley.

The Jets are going to sign Leveon Bell because that’s what the Jets do. They should make him wear a Ladanian Tomlinson throwback Jets Jersey at the press conference. Everything the Jets do is another step on their path to ruin. Sam Darnold and his forehead had that fantastic game to start the season against Detroit and he spent the rest of the year winging spirals to the other team and their best defensive player openly talked about how sick of losing he was. Bringing in an expensive running back whose career is at the top of the hill before he starts accelerating down the other side and hiring a coach who thought Jay Cutler was the solution to his QB issues is pretty on brand for the Jets.

Troy Tulowitzki and Greg Bird have looked great so far in Spring training but I still keep picturing Jacoby Ellsbury sitting at a table at the Cheesecake Factory telling a waiter he’s not quite ready to order yet, his friends will be there soon. I hope I’m wrong and both stay healthy and productive but I’ve been burned before by Bird as a fan, and Tulo has murdered me and so many others in fantasy baseball that he should have to wear a mask like Hannibal Lecter when he comes up to bat. Quid pro quo Clarice.

Do the Mets still play in MLB or were they kicked out as they do with shitty soccer teams so someone else can be in the league. If not could we try that this year? Boot the Mets and put the Roanoke River Rats in the NL East? Maybe Manny Machado could toil away his career in front of no one there instead of San Diego.

Finally, I wanna call out a writer who has disappointed me so much the last week. If I see the “He’s been going off the rails” quote about Robert Kraft from Bill Simmons one more time I’m going to be sick. It’s one thing to be a passionate fan of a team, it’s another to make excuses for despicable behavior and to try to downplay it.

Robert Kraft is a billionaire, I’m sure there were ways for him to get whatever he was trying to get from his spa debacle without taking advantage of women who were essentially held captive. Just because it’s a misdemeanor and he will probably get out of it criminally doesn’t make it any less reprehensible. Blaming the media for making it a “bigger deal” then it should be is also garbage. The owner of the NFL champions solicited sex acts from a victim of human trafficking the morning of the AFC title game….seems like a pretty big story to me. You would have hoped for better than this from Simmons…..oh well Go Sawx amirite?

Should New York Knicks Fans Be Worried About Kevin Knox?

The New York Knicks top pick in the most recent draft is in a slump.  Kevin Knox has been in a rut the past 3 games.  However, fans should not be worried.  Knox has averaged 8 points in his last 3 contests while shooting 20% from the floor.  Cause for concern?  Possibly, but don’t over think this.

Knox is only 19-years-old.  The conversation should simply be left at that.  Slumps are going to happen.  He’s going to have bad stretches of shooting.  No need to start bashing the kid over a couple bad games.  Relax.

The other big thing is, the Knicks are bad.  Coach Fizdale is going to try to give other players more time to see what he has going forward for next year and further on.

Case in point, Henry Ellenson, former Wisconsin lottery pick.  Why not give the young kid some time?  The team has literally nothing to lose.

Fans are worried that Mitchell Robinson, a second-round pick, is out-performing Knox.  Valid.  But instead of being concerned, fans should be ecstatic.  This just means that Scott Perry had a great first draft.  And Robinson being under DeAndre Jordan’s wing helps.  Knox doesn’t have that…yet.

Knox is going to be fine. The sky is the limit for this kid and he’s going to figure it out.  Similar to how Robinson is succeeding with Jordans mentorship, Knox will flourish once another player, maybe Durant (cough, cough), comes and helps in his development.

New York Yankees Bold Prediction For The 2019 Season

New York Yankees' Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

We’re a week into New York Yankees baseball, how about some bold predictions – which will only turn out to be way off base later, but what the heck:

Troy Tulowitzki hits .250 with 15 homers and gives you solid defense until Didi gets back.  He was one of the top shortstops during his tenure with the Rockies.  He’s going to be a good fit he he stays healthy and with that attitude-he wanted to replace Jeter when he retired-he yelled into the Blue Jays dugout as he rounded the bases for his homerun-an attitude that demands respect and gets it.

Tulowitzki’s homer off Marcus Stroman was a good one, not a batting practice homer off of a AAA relief pitcher. He had a double and a walk in Saturday’s matchup with the Pirates and made his signature moves at shortstop -the off-balance throw to first to catch the runner.

The first base competition for the Yankees takes a turn:

Greg Bird makes the opening day roster and Luke Voit starts the season in AAA along with Clint Frazier.  The reason I make this prediction is because Bird is raking, he had a double in Saturday’s loss to the Pirates to continue his hitting streak. Bird is six for 11 with four extra-base hits so far this spring.  If he keeps up this torrid pace, his lefty bat makes its way into the lineup.

Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton hit 100 homers. The Yankees hit 266 home runs in 2018, setting a Major League Baseball record.  The lineup was fraught with injuries to key players, such as Judge (wrist) and Stanton (hamstrings) who played through injury because Judge was out.  

A pair of healthy sluggers make the world go round:

In 2019, both Judge and Stanton are healthy to start the season and fans are excited to see the power bats in action again gearing up for what will undoubtedly be a big season for this pair of sluggers.  Judge, who hit 27 homers in 112 games in ’18 is projected by ZiPS to perhaps hit 35 homers in 128 games in ’19.

Stanton, on the other hand, hit 38 homers in 150 games in ’19 and ZiPS projects him for a big year in ’19 with 47 home runs in 150 games.  The resulting combined projected homers, according to ZiPS, for Judge and Stanton would be 82, but I’m predicting that Judge has a better year that ZiPS projects and we see him claim the power throne from Stanton.

-Judge will hit over 50 homers this season and be in the MVP conversation-

Yankees win 103 games. While the Yankees fans were ecstatic that the team won 100 games in 2018, losing to the Red Sox to end the season was no cause for celebration.  It took a while to appreciate the 100 wins, especially with the seasons that Bird and Gary Sanchez had and the injuries to Judge, Sanchez and Aroldis Chapman that they had to overcome.

2019 feels like an improved team, with the addition of James Paxton, Adam Ottaviano and infielders, DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki – fans are expecting nothing less than a World Series this season.  Are these the players that can deliver – or, in the case of Tulowitzki, can he deliver until Gregorius is ready to return to the team in July or perhaps, even August?

A clean bill of health is necessary if No. 28 is to be realistic:

The 2019 Yankees have the opportunity to outpace the 2018 team and win number 28 on paper, but as always, the health of the team, and sometimes even luck, have a lot to say about how a season pans out.

Last bold prediction is my opening day roster – this is the best team I believe we can field behind the ace Severino on Opening Day – what changes would you make?

Opening Day Roster:

  • Gardner LF
  • Judge RF
  • Stanton DH
  • Sanchez C
  • Hicks CF
  • Bird 1B
  • Torres SS
  • Andujar 3B
  • LeMahieu 2B

New York Jets To Pass On Le’Veon Bell: 2nd Tier Market More Attractive

The New York Jets should consider free agent Adrian Peterson in 2019.

Paying top dollar for a star running back can be a great move if they provide immense value to the offense. In the case of the New York Jets, former Steeler Le’Veon Bell certainly has the potential to revolutionize a unit led by second-year quarterback, Sam Darnold.

Providing the young signal caller with that type of weapon would make the offense 10x more efficient. It’s expected that the Jets will have over $100 million in salary-cap space, opening up a window of opportunity for them to put something special together in the near future. Adding the right pieces at the right time will be the challenge, or the better focus might be – allocating money towards positions of need.

How much would it take for the New York Jets to secure Bell?

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, Bell is seeking money in the $17 million per year range, with $45 million guaranteed in the contract. The New York-based team could easily meet his demands, but why should they?

A second-tier market includes players like Tevin Coleman, C.J. Anderson, Latavius Murray, Adrian Peterson…this list goes on. Signing a veteran running back might be exactly what the Jets needs in the interim. A player like Peterson, who has proven he can still dominate, would be a great tool for Darnold to utilize and learn from.

Peterson only earned $1.015 million in 2018. The Jets could theoretically sign the illustrious Peterson and Coleman to be a third-down, pass catching back. A duo like that would be feared, and it would give the team time to find their true work-horse. Additionally, it would cost them a fraction of what Bell is asking for.

The Jets need an upgrade THIS year:

The Jets finished last season as the 26th ranked rushing team, averaging 101.4 yards per game. There’s no question that the running back position needs an upgrade, but there’s more value to be found than an attitude-driven Le’Veon Bell.

 

New York Yankees: Do You Know The True Story Of How The Yankees Were Born?

New York Yankees

There is a Latin saying that goes “Parvis e glandibus quercus.” That translates to “Tall oaks from little acorns grow.” Why do I bring this up you ask? Well believe it or not, the New York Yankees-Major League Baseball’s tallest oak-was once a little acorn.

In fact, they first took root in Baltimore, where they were the original Orioles. In January of 1903, businessmen Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchased the team. The purchase price? $18,000. They also moved into a new park called Hilltop Park because it was located in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. They also adopted a new name. At the suggestion of team president Joseph Gordon, they were dubbed the Highlanders.

This was for two reasons; the location of the park (now the home of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center), and because there was a British regiment touring the country whose commander was named Gordon. This did not go over well with the many Irish Catholic fans who despised the British. So they were called among other things the Hilltoppers, Americans, and Invaders.

The inception of the New York Yankees:

The press started calling them Yankees or Yanks because it was easier to print. They would officially become the Yankees in 1913. That year also saw the team leave Hilltop Park to move into the Polo Grounds, home of the Giants. In January of 1915, the team was sold to Jacob Ruppert and T.L. Huston for $460,000, more than 25 times what Farrell and Devery paid. Under Ruppert and Huston, the team started to play better baseball, as they won no pennants under the previous owners. Then they made the move that would change the course of baseball history: purchasing Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox.

Finally the Yankees would win the first of their 40 pennants in 1921. Ruth’s drawing power caused them to outdraw their landlord, the Giants. In retaliation, the Giants kicked them out. After an extensive search, the Yankees bought a parcel of land in the Bronx. It was right across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds.

On April 18, 1923, Yankee Stadium opened. The Yankees would cap off the year by winning the first of their 27 World Series titles, defeating the Giants, the team the Yankees lost to in both the 1921 and 1922 World Series.

From humble beginnings, the New York Yankees would set the standard against which other teams are measured. They were one acorn that certainly became a mighty tall oak.

 

New York Giants: Monster Linebacker Would Be Fantastic Pick In 2019 NFL Draft

If the New York Giants decide they want to wait until 2020 for a quarterback or prefer to pursue Josh Rosen, the 2019 NFL draft opens up like a flood gate. With a ton of offensive and defensive talent, there is plenty of the Giants can choose from to address positions of weakness.

While offensive or defensive line would make the most sense, they could choose to go after one of the most physically gifted linebackers in the last decade. LSU backer Devin White has emerged as one of the most intriguing prospects as he represents a major upgrade over the oft-injured BJ Goodson.

White formally met with the New York Giants at the NFL combine, stating:

“We watched straight film,’’ White said Saturday. “They didn’t tell me nothing, we watched straight film. ‘What were you doing right here? Oh, that was a good play. What was this? …. Tell me what was going on. Draw this up.’ It was straight football, strictly business and I know they were picking my brain to see was I the linebacker that can go out there and control everybody. Did I know what I was doing at LSU? And I think I put on a show for ’em.’’

That’s the type of confidence you want in your defensive leader, and having a player with his skill-set to learn behind Alec Ogletree is an ideal situation on the defensive side of the ball. This would make the idea of retaining Landon Collins that much more attractive, as White and Collins would make for one of the best run-stopping duos in the league.

How did Devin White look at the NFL combine?

White ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at the combine, leading the linebackers in that category.

The sideline-to-sideline speed that the LSU product possesses is generational. Additionally, he’s extremely intelligent in the middle of the field and can feel out run plays. He’s phenomenal at not just plugging holes, but picking the right ones to shoot to stop runners behind the line of scrimmage.

In his final two seasons of college, he amassed 25.5 tackles for a loss – 12 in 2018. He had an astounding 123 total tackles last season.

There’s no question that he would provide major value to a below-average Giants defense. Pairing him with Ogletree would immediately make the duo one of the best in football.

New York Giants: Should The Giants Trade For Chiefs’ Pass Rusher Dee Ford?

Beginning on February 19, NFL teams were officially allowed to apply the franchise and transition tags to impending free agents. The New York Giants have yet to place a tag on safety Landon Collins, but a few other teams have used their tags. The deadline to use the franchise tag is Tuesday, March 5th.

The Kansas City Chiefs officially placed the franchise tag on edge defender Dee Ford on Saturday, March 2nd. However, the Chiefs will be listening to trade offers for Ford. The Chiefs recently made a change in their defensive scheme, which is why they are willing to trade Ford.

Highlights From Dee Ford’s 2018 Season

Dee Ford is a 3-4 edge defender. He is a stand-up outside linebacker that is great at rushing the passer. In 2018, Ford had 13 sacks, 7 forced fumbles, and 55 tackles. He was Pro Football Focus’s 11th ranked edge defender with an overall grade of 87.7. He even earned PFF’s number 1 ranked pass-rush grade in 2018 with a grade of 91.0.

Why The Giants Might Want To Trade For Dee Ford

With the Giants having the 2nd least total sacks in the league in 2018, Ford could be a big upgrade off the edge. The Giants are reportedly shopping Pro Bowl edge rusher Olivier Vernon. If the Giants do not find a trade partner, they could cut Vernon to free up a large amount of cap space.

Regardless of wether the Giants trade or cut Vernon, they will still have a massive hole to fill at the edge position. Dee Ford could fill that hole.

Olivier Vernon was good in 2018, but has been inconsistent during his entire career with the Giants. In 3 seasons with the Giants, Vernon never reached 10 sacks in a single season. He has only done this once in his career. He had 11.5 sacks with the Dolphins in 2013. Ford has reached 10 sacks twice in his career. He had 13 in 2018 and 10 in 2016.

Former Giants general manager Jerry Reese signed Olivier Vernon to a massive contract back in 2016. Current Giants general manager Dave Gettleman inherited Vernon and his gargantuan contract last offseason. With Vernon not playing up to his contract, it makes sense Gettleman is considering moving on from the veteran.

An interesting scenario that could take place is a Vernon for Ford trade. Olivier Vernon played under the Chiefs’ current defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo when he was with the Giants. Spags helped Vernon have a career-year in 2016. This might lead the Chiefs to have a lot of interest in Vernon.

Vernon could go back to being a 4-3 defensive end for the Chiefs, while Dee Ford could continue his career as a 3-4 outside linebacker with the Giants. It would be a high-risk, high-reward trade for both teams. But if Spagnuolo can get the best out of Vernon in Kansas City, and Dee Ford can continue to progress his talents in New York, both teams could walk away from this trade very happy.

Why Dee Ford Is A Risky Player To Trade For

Dee Ford did have PFF’s highest pass-rush grade in 2018, but that grade came out of no where. In Ford’s first four seasons in the NFL, he was nowhere near as good as he was in his fifth season. Dee has been wildly inconsistent throughout his career.

In 2017, Ford dealt with a back injury. This forced him to play in only 6 games and total a measly 2 sacks. It took Ford 5 years to finally hit a real stride, then, once he did, his defensive coordinator was gone. Maybe a change of scenery will bode well for Dee. Or maybe he will regress back to his previous playing talent.

If the Giants trade for Ford, they will be hoping to progress his talents. The Giants have lacked a serious pass-rushing threat for years now. If Giants defensive coordinator James Bettcher can figure out a way to elevate Dee Ford’s talents, trading for him could be a brilliant move.

New York Yankees: Aaron Judge Prepared To Make Run At 2019 MVP Title

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

With the New York Yankees taking a home run-centric approach to their offense, slugger Aaron Judge will only benefit in the season ahead. The young outfielder has proven that he’s more than capable of being a top-tier player at the professional level.

His 2017 season earned him runner-up consideration for the MVP while he easily earned the Rookie of the Year and All-Star accolades. His ability at the plate centers around homers, as he launched 52 in his best season to date. He also had an on-base percentage of over 1.000 (1.049).

The New York Yankees suffered due to Aaron Judge’s lingering ailment:

Last year, a broken wrist forced him out for nearly nine weeks as he scraped together another productive season with 27 homers and a .278 batting average. If he were healthy the entire season there’s no question Judge could have broken 40 homers for a second consecutive campaign.

Judge stated that even after he returned the fractured wrist had not completely healed, but he wasn’t going to sit idly by as his team progressed through the playoffs. The 2019 season represents a different opportunity. With a full bill of health and the appropriate upgrades made to the batting order and bullpen, Judge will have plenty of support as the team endures the inevitable cold streaks.

Can Aaron Judge earn MVP honors?

What we’ve seen from Judge has barely scraped the surface of his potential. That statement alone scares me and I’m lucky enough to have him on the team I root for.

The Yankees are just tapping the keg on Judge’s abilities, and it all starts with his hitting. Being a slugger inevitably forces batters to sacrifice their strikeout rate for home runs. With Judge, he has the talent to cut down on his strikeouts and increase his contact percentage, something that Giancarlo Stanton will seemingly never be able to do.

Judge struck out a high 1.34 times per game in 2017, and 1.35 times in 2018. So, his strikeout rate actually increased last season, but he also played injured for the final few months which could have played a part in the slight increase.

That will be an interesting stat to keep an eye on, as an increase in contact but maintaining consistency in regard to home runs could be the difference in earning MVP consideration or not. However, last season he did see a major increase in doubles (22 in 112 games) compared to 24 in 155 games (2017). That indicates an elevation in quality contact.

Additional info:

On Sunday, the Yankees played the Detroit Tigers in their 8th game of the Grapefruit League. Judge smacked two homers, one a solo shot to right and the other a double to right. Two opposite field homers. That fact alone should tell us something about the form he’s in and his impressive contact.

 

New York Yankees: Masahiro Tanaka Dominant in Spring Debut

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had is spring debut on Sunday at home against the Tigers, and boy he sure looked good.

In the first inning, Tigers centerfielder Daz Cameron rocketed a double deep into center field, but Tanaka stranded him on third by striking out the next two batters and forcing a fly out to center for the third out.

Tanaka’s second inning was flawless, working three groundouts to the left side, two of them to Miguel Andujar at third. The first one, Andujar took a few steps right to field a backhanded, hard-hit ground ball, and threw a two-hopper to first. The second was a routine ground ball that he put away with ease.

The third inning was just as good for Tanaka, getting the leadoff hitter to groundout to Kyle Holder at short, then two easy flyouts to Estevan Florial in center.

His final stat line: three innings, one hit, two strikeouts, and one runner stranded at third.

He also got a little run support in the first two innings, Brett Gardner hit two homeruns to right field for his first two hits of the spring, Aaron Judge lined his first homerun of the spring to right, and Gary Sanchez hit a screamer down the left field line that barely stayed fair.

Yankees feature two squads in two-game Sunday:

The Yankees are actually playing as a split squad today, the other team is playing the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin. Luke Voit is leading the way down there with a solo homerun, making the fight for first base even more interesting.