New York Yankees: Jacoby Ellsbury Somehow Gets Injured Doing Nothing

New York Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury

The New York Yankees‘ players have been picking up injuries like the Red Sox pick up losses this season, but one player, coincidentally sent over from Boston to ruin our cap-space, has continued to follow a path of uselessness.

Outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, has not only been nearly ruled out for the remainder of the season, but he’s picking up more injuries by doing absolutely nothing.

Prior to the Yankees’ 6-4 win over the Giants on Sunday, manager Aaron Boone stated that Ellsbury is “dealing with different things” and that “a number of little things that continue to pop up.’’

Boone further said that Ellsbury is nowhere near a return or even live-action – that spells “insurance money” if you close your eyes.

Why are the New York Yankees being punished by Jacoby Ellsbury?

Was it Boston, bad luck, the strength and conditioning department? Who put Ellsbury up to this nonsense. After having hip surgery last year and spending the season on the IL, he picked up shoulder problems out of nowhere. Now simply throwing the ball seems to be too difficult.

The last time Jacoby played in a professional game was during the 2017 season, and now in a time where the Yanks need all the help, they can get he’s practically useless.

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How much money is Ellsbury owed?

Ellsbury, 35, is owed $42 million over the next two season, and there is a $5 million buyout of a $21 million option for 2021. However, the Yankees can collect insurance on his contract if he doesn’t play this season, which they’re probably expecting.

Essentially, if Jacoby remains inactive for the remainder of the season, the Bombers can collect $15,857,142 in insurance money. Unfortunately, it cannot be used to offset the luxury tax threshold. Another wrench thrown into the mix by the one valuable outfielder.

 

 

New York Giants: Daniel Jones Already Proving To Be A Leader

The New York Giants have drafted Daniel Jones with the 6th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The New York Giants found themselves a new quarterback recently. With the 6th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants selected Daniel Jones.

Much has been said about this draft selection. General manager Dave Gettleman has received a ton of criticism for drafting Daniel Jones as high as he did. Daniel Jones has also been criticized regarding his talent on the football field.

Fans and analysts can criticize Daniel’s football skills all they want, but there is one thing that is certain with Daniel Jones. Daniel Jones is a great person off the field and it is one of the reasons the Giants committed to him as their next franchise quarterback. On Monday, Jones proved he is the leader we imagined him to be.

Daniel Jones Offers Support To Corey Ballentine

Just hours after the 2019 NFL Draft, tragedy struck for one of the newest members of the Giants. The Giants’ 6th round pick Corey Ballentine was shot and injured Saturday night during a social gathering outside a residence. The gun-shot wound was considered non-life-threatening for Ballentine and he is expected to make a full recovery.

Unfortunately, Ballentine’s friend and Washburn football teammate was not blessed with the same fate as Ballentine. Corey’s teammate, Dwane Simmons, was killed in this shooting. May Dwane Simmons rest in peace.

Corey Ballentine paid his respects to his friend, Dwane Simmons, on Twitter:

Corey Ballentine and the Simmons family could use all the love and support they can get during this difficult time. The Giants’ new quarterback was quick to understand this and support his fellow teammate.

Daniel Jones reached out to Corey Ballentine to offer support on Monday. Jones said this in an interview with Alex Marvez and Gil Brandt during an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio.

Just a really tough situation for him… Wanted to let him know I was thinking about him and I was here if he needed anything.

It shows tremendous leadership and maturity for a young player in the NFL to reach out to his teammates and offer support during a difficult time like this. The Giants are lucky to have found another leader and a great young man at the quarterback position. Giants fans fell in love with Eli Manning the person as much as Eli Manning the player. It seems like we might begin to feel the same way about Daniel Jones soon enough.

New York Knicks Deserve The First Overall Pick

New York Knicks, James Dolan

We are closing in on the biggest off-season in New York Knicks history.  The NBA draft lottery is two weeks away.  It might as well be an entirely at this point.

While us fans sit, wait, speculate and, of course, sweat, there is only so much that we can talk and write about until the lottery happens on May 14th.  The one thing Knicks can, for the most part, agree upon.  That one thing is that these two weeks are going to be a grind.

The new system when it comes to picking the lottery is bogus.  And I’m not just saying that because the Knicks had the leagues worst record.  But seriously, the team with the worst record should get the first pick.

The leagues’s 3 worst teams each have a 14% chance of obtaining the 1st overall pick.  The team with the worst record should get the first pick.  They were not the best team the previous season and deserve the top overall pick, of their choice.

The one scenario that continues to play throughout my head is that somehow the Knicks will end up with the 5th pick in the draft.  That’s the worst case scenario that I can not get out of my head.

Fans stated that they would be “Ok” with a top 3 pick.  However, the Knicks need the first pick.  Plain and simple.  The organization has been through so much.   Losing, constant degrading and an overall negative stigma surrounding the team.  It is time the franchise finally gets some good ju-ju so they are not a laughing stock anymore.

Luck has not been the Knicks friend of recent.  The Knicks are a laughing stock and need help.  The number one pick will significantly help.  If there is anytime the basketball Gods want to help the New York Knicks out of basketball turmoil then it is on May 14th.

New York Knicks: Why Ja Morant Could Pair Perfectly With Kevin Durant

Could the New York Knicks draft Ja Morant if they miss out on Zion Williamson?

Star power is necessary for any team to succeed in the NBA, but sometimes the mesh of different styles of play can cause too much adhesion. For the New York Knicks, Zion Williamson seems to be the obvious selection if they manage to land the 1st overall pick in the draft.

However, if the Knicks can lure Kevin Durant to the Big Apple, grabbing Ja Morant isn’t a bad consolation given they don’t land the top pick. Pairing the decisive point guard with the perennial All-Star would create an exciting tandem, especially with young building blocks like Mitchel Robinson and Kevin Knox impacting the game.

What would Ja Morant bring to the New York Knicks?

In 2018, Morant averaged 10 assists per game. To put that into perspective, Emmanuel Mudiay averaged 3.9 per game and Dennis Smith Jr. 5.4. There’s no question Morant would immediately be the team’s starting point man, and he would bring versatility and a swagger to New York that hasn’t been seen in quite some time – maybe J.R. Smith’s 6th man of the year campaign flashes what success looks like in the Empire State.

Now, it’s nice to think that Morant would be a premium talent when it comes to distributing the ball and driving to the hoop, but the fact of the matter is, Williamson is simply more powerful and effective.

Zion’s massive frame and shooting ability will draw multiple defenders, opening up opportunities for players like Durant. Keeping the opposing defense honest and playing smash-mouth ball down low in the paint creates shooting chances from behind the arch.

Having athletic youth players like Knox, Robinson, and Dennis Smith Jr. only help form that dream scenario with Williamson and Durant. Durant’s experience and leadership is exactly what’s needed to take the Knicks to the next level, but even if they miss out on Zion in the draft, there’s plenty of talent to choose from that will influence the change in culture for the Knicks.

 

 

New York Yankees: Luke Voit Living Up To Expectations A Month In

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

A lot of questions surrounded the 2019 first base battle for the New York Yankees, and when the team left spring training for New York, it looked like Luke Voit would be the starting first baseman. Greg Bird would likely still get at-bats, DHing against certain right-handers.

Voit didn’t get off to a fantastic start, but neither did Bird. About two weeks ago, Bird was placed on the IL with a plantar fascia tear, and Mike Ford was called up.

Ever since Bird was on the IL, Voit has had great success, and Ford has been playing decently as well.

Was the opportunity that Bird had before the injury his final in Pinstripes? The way Voit has been playing, I think so. I don’t just think that I believe that Voit will be the first baseman for years to come.

Voit is red hot

Ever since Bird went on the IL, Voit has been great. He has been even better since the Yankees went out west, batting well over .400 with four home runs in the last seven games (LAA and SF games).

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On the season, Voit is batting .283 with 25 RBIs, an OBP of .400 and an OPS of .935.

His offensive production has been making up for Aaron Judge’s injury disappearance, and more offense should return soon in Miguel Andujar, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton (Note: Andujar should begin rehab with A-ball Tampa Tarpons on Tuesday).

His average puts him 32nd in the AL, his OBP at 16th in the AL, his eight home runs put him sixth in the AL with teammate Gary Sanchez, and his 25 RBIs are good for second in the AL.

Voit is doing everything that the Yankees want him to do: drive in runs and get on base. He has also just been named the AL player of the week for 4/21-4/28.

Bird gets worse with time

In 35 at-bats before his injury, Bird bat a dismal .171, driving in just one run on an opening day solo-blast.

His WAR sits at -0.2, meaning that the Yankees would have more success if they didn’t use Bird at all this year.

Bird needs to be traded or sent to play AAA ball for Scranton. They could sure use players since everyone else has been called up, including Mike Ford.

Ford could keep a roster spot

In 24 at-bats, Ford has just four hits but has four RBIs. His defense is better than Voit’s and Bird’s, with better on-base, slugging, and OPS numbers than Bird.

Ford also has had more minor league success, batting over .400 before receiving the call after 10 games with Scranton.

The conclusion:

Luke Voit is here to stay for years to come. He’s sure proving that last year’s success was no fluke, and he will continue to mash. Greg Bird’s time may have come to an end as a Yankee, and Ford could stay up to play defense and potentially DH. But remember, DJ LeMahieu can play first base, too.

Still, with the injuries, I think that LeMahieu will end up staying at second and third, and Voit will be the everyday first baseman.

 

Did the New York Giants Grab a Potential Star in WR Darius Slayton?

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

The New York Giants didn’t exactly replace the production of star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. when they signed Golden Tate to a four-year contract, but they’re putting together a solid foundation of offensive weapons.

In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Giants selected Auburn wideout, Darius Slayton, with the 171st pick. Slayton is a speedster, running a sub 4.4 40-yard dash, but in addition to his blazing speed, he’s an adequate blocker.

Slayton told reporters:

“There’s big-time running backs, so you obviously have to do a little more blocking probably in the SEC as opposed to the Pac-12. I feel like on the pro level, especially somewhere like the Giants when they have a back like Saquon (Barkley), you got to do your part and block for him, as well when it comes time to run routes and catch the ball, then do your own job. I think it’s prepared me to come into this situation and be successful.”

To add to his impressive skill-set, Slayton is more than capable of running every route asked of him and doing it with quality.

“I’m a complete player. I think through this process, I was fighting people putting me in a box as just a deep guy, or just a this guy, just a whatever guy. Just to have a complete game – that I can run the full route tree, I can get in and out of breaks, as well as beat you deep with my speed. I think that’s the biggest thing I have to show as soon as I get there.”

Slayton racked up 670 yards and five touchdown catches at Auburn last season, which didn’t turn any heads but he’s certainly the type of quality the Giants are looking to bring in. He has the intangibles to be a leader and provide that positive locker-room influence fo his teammates.

Despite his positives, Slayton needs more refinement in man-coverage. His separation lacks at times, something he will certainly work on at the next level. At 6’1″, he has the height to contest jump balls and snag it out of the air.

Take a look at this clip against LSU standout corner, Greedy Williams.

Great timing with the quarterback and come back on this route – he turns Greedy entirely and fights him off using his hands. At the next level, he might need to create more separation, but his eye-hand coordination is certainly there. There’s plenty of the optimism surrounding this young pass catcher.

New York Giants Future Franchise Quarterback Would Have Been There At 17

The New York Giants drafted

The New York Giants apparently have their man.  The internet and fans everywhere exploded when Daniel Jones’ name came out of Commissioner Roger Goodell’s mouth.

“With the 6th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select….Daniel Jones. Quarterback, Duke.”  Giants fans around the world had two reactions.  Either yelling profanity at the TV or simply putting both hands over one’s face and shaking our heads, which is what I did.

Despite 95% of Giants disliking the pick, I understand it.  Dave Gettleman knew that Jones was his guy and did not want to risk losing him to another team.  I get that.  There were rumblings that Washington wanted Jones as well.  But, that is all speculation now.

I am not mad at taking Jones, everyone had a inkling they would.  However, I am upset over where they drafted him.  Jones, most likely, would have been there at 17 to pick, and maybe even at 30.

Gettleman stated before the draft that he wanted to get two players that can come in and be starters.  He did the exact opposite when drafting Jones.  But again, if he thinks “he’s the guy” then you have to take him when you can.

Even though a majority of Giants fan have or continue to sour on Gettleman, at this point, there’s nothing we can do.  If he thinks that Jones can take the keys from Eli in 2-3 years then we got to get behind that.  Nothing we can do now but understand that Jones was drafted at 6 for a reason and that reason was to be the Giants future franchise quarterback.

New York Yankees: Miguel Andujar Return Date Nearing After More Injury Scares

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

Clearly, New York Yankees youth star, Miguel Andujar, is more than capable of hitting as his normal self, going 3-for-5 in an extended spring training game last weekend. The problem is his fielding, and if he can make the throws from third-base across the diamond.

A partial labrum tear has limited his throwing motion and forced the Yankees to be cautious with overworking him as he rehabs. Hitting isn’t too physically tasking for him at this point, and he’s edging closer towards a possible return.

The expectation is – if Andujar can successfully make the throws he could be available to start as soon as the upcoming weekend. However, that’s dependent on Gio Urshela and if he will miss any time. Urshela has been fantastic as of late but was plunked by a fastball on the left hand on Sunday. Luckily, x-rays returned negative providing a big sigh of relief for the fan-base.

Gio’s defensive abilities have been elite and he’s hitting an impressive .351 over 20 games. However, Andujar is the starter and will likely join the team and fill the role immediately.

The New York Yankees would be smart to ease Andujar back into the lineup:

Personally, I believe the Bombers should take a more conservative approach with Miguel, utilizing him as a designated hitter and keeping Urshela at third – his defensive abilities are far superior to Andujar. For example, Gio has already turned 7 double plays in 20 games while Andujar turned just 6 all of last season.

Andujar is making the right steps in his rehab:

Being that the Single-A Tampa Tarpons are off on Monday, Andujar will feature in his third extended spring game instead.

“If it goes well, he will probably play for the Tarpons starting Tuesday,’’ Boone said.

 

 

 

New York Jets: What Does Pass Rusher Jachai Polite Bring to the Defense?

What does Jachai Polite bring to the New York Jets?

The New York Jets biggest need was Edge rusher prior to the draft.  The Jets used the 68th overall pick in the 3rd round to select Jachai Polite, linebacker from Florida. Polite should project well into Gregg Williams’ new aggressive scheme.

Rapid Reaction

Apparently, the Jets front office had Polite very high on their boards:

Polite has the numbers to warrant the praise as well. Last year Jachai racked up 49 tackles, 19.5 tackles-for-loss, and 11 sacks. He did all of this at Florida while playing as a 3-4 Outside Linebacker. All Jets fans know that has been a position of need for years.

Polite does come with some baggage though. He only has one year as a starter, where he picked up 11 of his 15 career sacks. That same year Polite also racked up 6 of his 8 career forced fumbles. He left the Combine with bad remarks about two of his interviews; following a 4.84 40-yard dash that did not impress. Some of the comments following the pick were that he is a talented player but not polished.

Can New York Jets DC Gregg Williams Get The Most Out of Him?

Some anonymous scouts have told us that Polite could never start in his first year.  Others see him as a pure pass-rusher and never as a 3-down linebacker. I believe the Jets will eventually see value from this 3rd round pick.

Speaking of the 3rd round, that’s where the Jets got one of their current starters in Jordan Jenkins. Granted, Jenkins was a much more polished prospect at the time. Gregg Williams has already stated that he is not comitting to one particular scheme, but we can expect a fair amount of his customary 3-4. Williams’ defensive schemes have always been a hybrid and rotated their depth.

I have a feeling Polite will be on the field this year. He may not be a day-1 starter, but our new defensive guru should get some use out of him. Let’s all remain hopeful as we review some of his tape:

New York Giants Attempted Trade To No. 10 After Jones Pick

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants were widely criticized for taking quarterback Daniel Jones at the expense of neglecting the team’s defensive concerns and possibly passing on a higher rated quarterback, Dwayne Haskins, during the 2019 NFL Draft. This came after they passed on Josh Allen, possibly the best pass rusher available, who was taken immediately after the Giants’ selection of Daniel Jones by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The pick also ruled the Giants out from getting any of the other highly rated defensive players that could have been on their draft board such as Ed Oliver, Devin Bush, or Rashan Gary. Could the team, however, have gotten one of these players not with the sixth overall pick but with the tenth? According to Broncos GM John Elway, who talked with Peter King, the Giants made a competitive offer to move up to number ten overall.

The report claims that both the Giants and the Falcons talked to Denver about a trade but in the end of the day, despite a competitive offer from the Giants, it was the Steelers that won out. The trade was made and the Steelers picked up Michigan linebacker Devin Bush, while the Broncos dropped down later in the round and would select Noah Fant before getting their quarterback in the second round.

While it is encouraging that the Giants tried to gain another top ten pick after spending the number six overall one on a player that most aren’t very confident in, something which could have offered more improvement to the defense while also letting the team take the quarterback they wanted, one must ask why the team prioritized Jones so highly in the first place.

It would have made more sense to most if the Giants selected Allen with the sixth pick and then tried to trade up to draft Jones if they still believed that Jones was the best quarterback available. Instead, they took Jones with the one pick that they did have and assumed they would be able to trade up to find another player. Which of course, ended up being a bad assumption as Pittsburgh was able to offer more.

But you can’t change the past, and the Giants will have to live with the choices they made. Choices which could look genius in the future, but more likely will result in the end of Dave Gettleman’s time as General Manager.