New York Giants: Latimer and Fowler Ready To Take Spots At Receiver

New York Giants wide receiver, Cody Latimer.

With injuries and suspensions to star players comes chances for lesser known players to shine and that’s exactly the position that New York Giants receivers Cody Latimer and Bennie Fowler are in following the news that Golden Tate will likely miss the start of the season with suspension and that Corey Coleman will be out with a torn ACL. It seems Sterling Shepard will be back for week one following a fractured thumb if things go well, but that’s about the only good news the team has gotten at the receiver position recently.

Latimer will likely find himself in the starting lineup, at least at the start of the season, as Coleman was considered the main competition for him and Russell Shepard. Now that Coleman is injured and Tate will likely be suspended for the first games of the season, both Latimer and Russell Shepard will likely find themselves as the main receivers playing next to Sterling Shepard.

“We’re just a bunch of hungry guys. Bennie and Russell are so humble and just so hungry. Watching them every day and the excitement they bring, it motivates me. Me and Bennie have been competing for years now and to see him never slouch, every day is always bringing it and always hungry,” Latimer said on Wednesday.

Fowler and Latimer were teammates on the Denver Broncos before the former ended up spending time with the Patriots and Bears and the latter ended up in New York before their eventual reunion. Fowler ended up playing in 10 games last season and scored one touchdown for the Giants, a number that may improve with a full season to work with.

“We don’t know what’s going to go on with Golden, but we know [Sterling Shepard is] going to be back. It’ll be Cody, [Russell Shepard] and Sterling out there, just like how we finished the Dallas Cowboys game last year,” Fowler stated.

It remains to be seen just how effective the Giants will be with no Beckham and now no Tate, at least for the first four games of the season. If there is one fringe benefit of the situation, however, it’s that there’s room for players such as Russell Shepard and Latimer to take the spotlight a bit more and improve with regular season experience that isn’t limited as much by being low in the rotation… At least for the first four games of the season.

Will this receiver corps be enough to prevent another early season skid that turns into a worse one as the season continues, like the one that happened last year? We’ll just have to wait and see.

New York Giants Practice Report: Daniel Jones shows what he’s made of

New York Giants rookie quarterback, Daniel Jones.

The New York Giants held practice outside today for the first time since last week.

Players Who Stood Out:

Daniel Jones had a very impressive practice with quite a few touchdowns. The deep balls continue to have incredible touch on them. In the shorter areas of the field, he connected very well with CJ Conrad and Scott Simonson.

Evan Engram has looked dangerous since his return. He continued to add to his total of touchdown receptions from Eli Manning today. He has a chance to be the primary red-zone weapon this year.

Deandre Baker has been a tough matchup for Cody Latimer. This is very encouraging since Baker is listed 3 inches shorter than Latimer.

CJ Conrad made plays down the field and scored a touchdown. He almost had a 2nd touchdown but Michael Thomas did a great job deflecting the pass.

TJ Jones scored a couple of touchdowns, most notably he beat Julian Love on a deep post for 6 who has had a great camp so far.

Camp Battles:

Ryan Connelly was getting first-team reps today and rotated with Tae Davis. BJ Goodson did not participate in team drills leaving room for the rookie to get some valuable reps.

Behind the two starting tight ends there might be three more that deserve to be on an NFL roster. CJ Conrad, Scott Simonson, and Garrett Dickerson have all made plenty of plays throughout camp. The Giants will have tough choices to make at this position when camp comes to a close.

Rod Smith appears to be battling himself for a roster spot as a guy who just can’t find a rhythm or hold onto the ball after the handoff. He might be out of Giants camp sooner than later unless they see a potential move to fullback, even then Elijah Penny is nearly a lock to be the fullback in 2019.

Kyle Lauletta looks like he’s being given the chance to compete with Alex Tanney for the third spot at quarterback. This could potentially mean nothing if the Giants see keeping only two quarterbacks as a possibility. Daniel has played well enough for them to consider that an option.

Bumps and Bruises:

Sam Beal couldn’t make it through a whole practice and might’ve returned too soon. He looks like he just needs more time to recover.

BJ Goodson wasn’t a full-go but he doesn’t appear to be dealing with anything major.

Darius Slayton hasn’t suited up for practice yet and there’s no definite timetable for his return.

Markus Golden took another day to rest but he is expected to be ready to go again soon.

Sterling Shepard continues to prove his toughness practicing through a fractured thumb, he seems to be the reason for hope in this Giants passing game in 2019.

Significant Injuries: Big George remains in the concussion protocol.

Final Thoughts:

The quarterbacks continued to look sharp, particularly Daniel Jones. He had touchdown passes all over the field. Other positions of strength include tight end, defensive back, and running back. The team will have tough decisions to make at these spots when camp ends. The New York Giants will hold their last practice open to the public tomorrow at 2:45 until August 6th.

New York Mets: How Should We View Their Hot Streak?

Simeon Woods-Richardson

Since the beginning of the second half of the season, the New York Mets have been one of the best teams in baseball. Their terrific starting pitching and much improved bullpen has led their rise in the wild card standings.

Their recent hot streak has come against subpar teams, which could taint their success to some. It is a plausible idea, but about a month ago the Mets were struggling to beat below average teams. When their cold streak started, they were swept by the last place Marlins.

Why Should We Believe?

The Mets have certainly given us plenty of reasons to think our hearts will be broken again, but what is the point of loving the Mets if you will never believe in them? They now possess a starting rotation capable of beating any team on any day. Even Matz and Syndergaard who struggled early in the season are starting to find their groove.

Their hitting has been up and down, but with their starting rotation all they need is three to four runs a game. This is very reminiscent of the 2015 Mets where they had five great starters, but this version of the flushing five may be their best one.

Why We Should Not Believe?

If you are still pessimistic about this team, it is understandable. Edwin Diaz still has to find some consistency as the Mets closer. His ERA is just over three in save situations, but his control needs to be reined in big time before the Mets can be confident in him.

The Mets defense has been called into question as well, but it also has been better during the second half. Good pitching needs good defense to be successful. This was part of the reason they struggled in the first half, their defense could not help their pitchers. Will their defense struggle again? Yes, but it is important that their defense is more consistent now.

What’s Next?

If the Mets can get through the next string of games and get back to .500, they should be fully confident in taking their big series against the Washington Nationals. This season should be proof that anything can happen in baseball.

New York Yankees: Why Brian Cashman didn’t trade for a starting pitcher

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

While New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman’s trade deadline track record speaks for itself, his lack of action this year caused a bit of confusion.

With the Yankees coming off a devastating series against the Boston Red Sox and a good portion of the pitching rotation injured or playing with prolonged ailments, it was all but guaranteed they would trade for a pitcher. As the 4 PM cutoff rolled around and the Yanks were leading by a small amount against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cashman elected to call off the dogs.

The pursuance of any relief was over, and once again, the Bombers’ GM stayed put. Maybe, this was the right move, ultimately, time will tell, however, the reason for this is quite simple.

“You fall back and look at the roster you have and feel like, ‘This is a damn good roster,’ and we can compete with anybody in the game,” said Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

The New York Yankees can compete with anyone:

He trusts his players and knows what they’re capable. Having the ball in the hands of Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ, Zach Britton, and James Paxton should be comforting, but the last few weeks have been concerning. So concerning that the fan-base was sure he would trade away offensive juggernaut Clint Frazier or young third baseman Miguel Andujar.

It seems as if the price was too high for a pitcher, and when the Mets came knocking to flip Marcus Stroman for Estevan Florial and Deivi Garcia, Cashman laughed the offer to the bank. Similar to what he did with Gio Urshela, Mike Tauchman, and Cameron Maybin, there’s hope for a struggling pitching rotation.

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Extracting the value and quality can be difficult when pitchers go through a cold streak. The entire Yankees starting staff now have ERAs over 4.00, with Domingo German just barely over the threshold. Bringing in reinforcements might have been the ideal scenario, but there’s no doubt the talent on the roster should theoretically be enough to win games and reach the World Series.

Gaining back Luis Severino and Dellin Betances bt the end of the season will help significantly, but the Yankees will inevitably face their fair share of challenges when it comes to pitching until they eventually make their return.

New York Knicks: How will Bobby Portis make an impact in 2019?

New York Knicks, Bobby Portis

The newest member New York Knicks is bringing the heat. Newly acquired center/power forward Bobby Portis has been quite vocal since signing with the Knicks.

Portis has already talked about the Knicks’ bench being one of the best in the league. He was also quoted saying he loves being the underdog, which is what the team will inevitably be this season.

Portis recently said that second-year player and one of the bright spots from 2018, Mitchell Robinson, will be the starting center for the New York Knicks. Rightfully so, Robinson deserves to showcase his abilities and earn starting minutes as a result of his impressive defense throughout his rookie campaign.

When he spoke with the Marc Berman of the New York Post, Portis said, “I don’t care about starting or coming off the bench.”

This is a direct testament of his mentality towards the 2019-20 season and the type of player he is and can be for a team in need of veteran leadership.

With these stats, 14.2 points, 8.1 rebounds and shot 39.3 percent from beyond the arc, Portis should be the leader on the bench. Those stats and being productive on defense will put him in the conversation for the sixth man award.

The New York Knicks need to talk with their actions:

All of this optimism that Portis is bringing to the Knicks is great, but fans need to see it on the court. The Knicks have nothing to lose this season, literally. The only way is up, so Portis will need to prove his worth on the court and help the younger player develop even further.

While there will certainly be hurdles and challenges to overcome, the signing of numerous veteran players should allow the starting team to mesh efficiently and continue on towards a complete rebuild.

Why the New York Yankees should call up Clint Frazier

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

Many New York Yankees fans believed Clint Frazier would no longer be in pinstripes following July 31st. Everyone anticipated a trade sending him elsewhere. However, the trade deadline has passed and Frazier is staying with the club.

With Luke Voit’s absence due to injury (sports hernia), there is no better time to call up Clint Frazier. He’s been down in Scranton for way too long, and it would be perfect to use him as an everyday DH with Voit on the injured list.

In the short time, Frazier was in the major leagues this season, he slashed .283/.330/.513 with 11 home runs and 34 runs batted in (Baseball Reference). In Scranton, he went through a short slump in which he recently resurfaced. He is currently batting .240 with five home runs and 11 runs batted in.

The only primary concern with Frazier is his defense. Yankee fans remember when he missed two batted balls in left field that proved to be critical against the Astros earlier this season. This season Frazier is currently fielding a .939 average in right field with three errors on 49 defensive chances. It is believed that his defense is the primary reason why he was demoted to triple-A earlier this season.

Among all the obstacles Frazier has faced this season, it seems that he is handling it all very well. In regards to his defensive struggles, he knows it is something he needs to work on to get himself back to the major leagues. Take a look at this Instagram post from Yes Network, it shows the young slugger putting the work in:

I believe Frazier will find himself back on the field in the Bronx before the regular season is over. He’ll definitely be recalled during the postseason. But if the Yankees want him to perform, a call up soon will be needed.

New York Yankees: With No Trades, are the Yankees Banking on Severino’s Return?

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

The New York Yankees were one of the most anticipated teams to land a deal before the July 31st trade deadline. Well, 4 pm passed today and the Yankees did not make any last-minute moves. However, they did acquire left-hand pitcher Alfredo Garcia from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Joseph Harvey.

Many fans believed general manager Brian Cashman was going to add before the deadline, especially since he said he had been in contact with pretty much every team. The only thing I could think of that could have hindered this is maybe teams were asking too much in return from the Yankees.

Or maybe Brian Cashman and the Yankees are banking on the return of their ace Luis Severino heading into the remainder of the year?

Luis Severino has missed the entire season this year due to a lat injury. However, there has been recent positive news where it has been reported Severino is nearly ready to throw off a mound, per Lindsay Adler of The Athletic. Manager Aaron Boone has also said, “Sevy’s getting close to being on a mound.”

The right-hander will first have to go through a full spring training before returning to the Bronx. He’ll need to work himself back up to the Major Leagues after missing this significant amount of time. However, I do think Yankee fans will see Severino before the regular season ends. If he stays on track with his throwing program, I think Sevy will be taking the mound in pinstripes very soon.

New York Mets: Was Their Decision to Keep Their Assets Smart?

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

The New York Mets have been known for making crazy decisions in the past and over the years it has characterized the franchise. Under the regime of Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets have not been afraid to do things their own way, given his aggressiveness in the offseason and right before the trade deadline.

Their recent hot streak and solid second half start has given management hope they can actually make a postseason run. The Mets did not feel forced to move anyone at the trade deadline if the correct offer was not there.

Where Do The Mets Go From Here?

The Mets now sit 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot with two months to play. They have one of the best starting rotations in baseball and the bullpen is slowly coming around. Edwin Diaz has struggled since April but a big save last night was a step in the right direction.

Michael Conforto is swinging a hot bat and J.D. Davis has looked like a brilliant pick up by Van Wagenen. The Mets obviously will not win every single night, but they have put themselves in a great position to have a chance to win. At only three games under .500, getting this close was unthinkable a month ago.

Can the Mets Really Make The Playoffs?

There are plenty of reason to think the Mets cannot make the playoffs, the odds game and their lack of defense/bullpen. There are also plenty of reason to think they can. They are taking advantage of a weaker schedule and it is building up their confidence for when they need to battle other postseason contenders through the rest of the season.

The Mets still have a mountain to climb, but each day they are getting closer and closer to reaching the summit. In the words of Tug McGraw “Ya Gotta Believe.”

New York Jets: Can Deontay Burnett be an impact player in 2019?

New York Jets, Deontay Burnett

Let me take you back to USC in 2017. With a star QB and a young emerging wide receiver in the fold, USC had a potent offense. The featured player was soon to be New York Jets passer Sam Darnold, and the young emerging wide receiver is underrated and overlooked Deontay Burnett.

Darnold went on to be the third overall pick to the Jets in the 2018 Draft. Deontay Burnett went undrafted and signed with the Tennessee Titans. Then, Burnett shined in the preseason with them only to get released. The Jets proceeded to sign him and eventually had him on the gridiron.

He shined and showed his connection with Darnold was still present, and that can be a weapon for the Jets. He finished his rookie year with ten receptions for 143 yards. 

Now, Burnett returns for his second year and is in the thick of the competition for the WR 4 & 5 spots. Someone needed to stick out, and Burnett has done just that by shining in camp and proving he can be a phenomenal weapon for this team in the long run.

I believe he is overlooked and will earn a spot on the roster and shine this season. One saying that is often reiterated is, “talent over everything,” Deontay Burnett is a prime example of that because he’s a talented young wide receiver with speed and superb athleticism.

Burnett is a gamer, and the Jets needed to make sure he can shine this season. The familiarity with Darnold is one thing, but talent is another and Deontay will be a crucial player for the New York Jets if allowed to shine. 

New York Knicks: Allonzo Trier to return in 2019 with more offensive prowess

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

Hitting on .394 of his three-point attempts in his rookie season proved that New York Knicks shooting guard Allon Trier was capable of making an impact on the floor.

The Knicks youth have all been working diligently on improving their game in different facets. Dennis Smith Jr. with his perimeter shot, Mitchell Robinson on a three-point shot, and not Trier trying to further refine his threes as well.

The Athletic’s Mike Vorkunov detailed how players like Kevin Knox and Robinson are preparing for their second season at the NBA level.

Trier, the player of focus, will have plenty of competition this year in his quest to find playing time. Improving his jumper and three-ball are two essential tools he must have access to. Allonzo spoke to the Atheltic about his progression:

“It’s something Coach talked to me about,” he told The Athletic. “‘You shoot it so good.’ And the front office talked to me about I need to shoot more 3s off the catch, as soon as I can get it let it fly. They said you have such a beautiful stroke and shoot such a high percentage that you have to get more off so you can get — according to analytics, the more I get off and I shoot at a high percentage then it’ll be good for us. Not only myself but as a basketball team, so that’s one thing I’ve been focused on doing.”

Trier put up a solid stat line of 10.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game in 64 outings. He had great moments in his rookie season but also struggles as his defense lacked at times and his selfish style of play saw the offense sputter when he was cold.

What will Trier’s developed three-ball do for the New York Knicks?

Theoretically, improving his scoring ability will allow the offense to be more efficient for longer stretches throughout any given game. Momentum is a very important factor in basketball and Trier adding a consistent three-pointer to his game will give the Knicks that added leverage.

Despite a spat with Tim Hardaway Jr. and a lack of production at times, he still managed to secure a two-year, $6 million deal. Coming off the bench will likely be his best bet in the coming season, but if he can produce there’s more playing time to be had from the 6-foot-5 guard.