New York Giants: Eli Manning Praised By His Receiving Targets

New York Giants, Evan Engram

In the NFL, everyone tends to have an opinion about the quarterback, the most important position on the team – but one of the more important groups to have an opinion about the quarterback on any given team is the wide receivers, the players that will be catching passes from the QB. Good chemistry between the quarterback and receivers can elevate both of them while poor chemistry can result in both playing worse and in the team making changes to one side or the other.

Which is why it’s a good thing for the New York Giants that Eli Manning and his group of receivers are getting along greatly so far at this point in training camp. It’s not the group that anyone expected – Russell Shepard and Cody Latimer will likely be elevated to starting due to Golden Tate’s impending suspension and Corey Coleman’s ACL tear, but it doesn’t look like this revised group of players will have much problem connecting with starting quarterback Eli Manning.

“Eli looks really good. He’s been slinging the ball around a lot, and there’s a lot of velocity, and he still has his touch. He’s Eli, he’s been making great throws for years, but definitely you can see his confidence, and you can see his confidence really growing this camp,” tight end Evan Engram, who will likely see increased usage with Golden Tate out for the first four games and Odell Beckham in Cleveland, said about Manning.

He’s not the only one to praise the experienced quarterback – Russell Shepard doesn’t seem to think that Manning’s age is going to be much of a problem this season.

It’s important to differentiate between legitimate praise and offseason hype, after all, no players are going to come out and flat out call their starting quarterback bad, but training camp performances so far seem to back up the idea that Manning is still sharp this season, which is something that both Giants and outside sources seem to have bought into during this offseason.

We’ll have to wait and see for the regular season to see how things actually turn out, but out of all the areas on the team, quarterback might not be the position that Giants fans have to worry about the most despite offseason fear’s about Manning’s age.

New York Yankees: Rays Ready To Make Their Run

New York Yankees

New York Yankees‘ AL East foe Tampa Bay has a very easy August schedule, and will try to use that to their advantage and make a run.

The Rays won’t be playing a team with a record better than .500 until August 27th when they take on the Astros. In the meantime, they have games against the Orioles, Blue Jays, Tigers, Mariners, etc. But all of them are bad teams.

Since those teams are so bad and Tampa is good, they have a shot at winning a lot of games this month. So, to prevent a run, the Yankees just have to keep winning too. The Yankees and Rays don’t face off until September, so nobody can gain any ground that way.

However, after the Red Sox series concludes, the Yankees have 10 easier games against AL East friends in the Orioles and the Blue Jays. They get the Orioles for seven and the Blue Jays for three. All of those are games that the Yankees must not lose at all costs.

The Tampa Bay Rays are in a good spot in their schedule to make a run for first, but will the Yankees be able to hold them off? They have a few easy games themselves and want to get wins in those to propel themselves way ahead into cruise control for the rest of the regular season.

 

New York Yankees: DJ And Gardy Are Back And Healthy

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

On Friday, New York Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner and infielder DJ LeMahieu reappeared for the team after missing time due to injuries. Gardner was briefly on the IL with knee inflammation, while LeMahieu was dealing with a groin strain but never went to the IL.

Both have had an impact on the team, but LeMahieu’s has been obviously more significant. Gardner has just been very inconsistent.

To make room on the roster for Gardner, Tyler Wade was sent back to AAA. JA Happ was also placed on the paternity list, and Stephen Tarpley will fill his spot until Happ’s scheduled start on Sunday.

The Yankees took the first game of four from the Red Sox prior to the doubleheader on Saturday. The Yankees have won their second in a row as Boston has lot their last five.

New York Mets: Marcus Stroman’s Mets Debut and Pete Alonso’s Slump

Are the New York Yankees interested in trading for Blue Jays pitcher, Marcus Stroman?

The New York Mets decision to bring in Marcus Stroman was a major trade that shocked the baseball world. Stroman is set to make his debut on Saturday against the Pittsburgh Pirates and Mets fans are certainly excited to see him pitch.

What Can We Expect From Stroman?

Whether you like his antics or not, Stroman is very confident in his own abilities  and has the heart of a Lion. He will fit in very well in the bright lights of New York and the fans will love watching his personality on display.

Stroman features one of the best sinkers in baseball along with his sweeping curveball. He has the second highest groundball rate in baseball, which could be an issue for the the Mets defense, but their team defense has been much better of late.

What is Going On With Pete Alonso?

The Mets star rookie has been in a major slump since the All-Star break. He is just 8-for-64 since but has walked 15 times. Most of those walks are due to the fact that teams just are not pitching to Alonso. He has chased more pitches outside of the zone because all he wants to do is hit. Young hitters usually struggle a little when the league starts to make adjustments.

Some of these struggles occur because Robinson Cano has not been hitting consistently all season. Pitchers would much rather pitch to Cano instead of the power hitting Alonso. Cano has some big hits in Thursday’s win and if he finds any long term success, it could drag Alonso out of his slump.

 

New York Giants: Alonzo Russell Has Been A Pleasant Surprise During Camp

The New York Giants‘ receiving corps has taken multiple hits early on in training camp. Starting receiver Sterling Shepard broke his thumb on the first day of practice while the team’s third receiver tore his ACL on the same day. To make matters worse, newly signed starter Golden Tate has been suspended for four games.

The Giants’ receiving corps is in trouble. What was once one of the team’s strongest position groups is now a topic of comedy on Twitter. The Giants signed two receivers to help patch their new holes, but will it be enough?

Fans of the Giants may not yet know it, but there is a backup receiver on the roster that could fill in and make an impact if given the opportunity. Alonzo Russell has been looking sharp so far in training camp and his solid play could earn him a bigger role in the Giants’ offense this year.

Alonzo Russell Practice Highlights

Alonzo Russel has been a pleasant surprise during training camp so far. Russell is a sizable receiver, standing in at 6-foot-4-inches and weighing 218 pounds. He has the perfect NFL body for a receiver, but it has not amounted to much so far.

That is until this year’s training camp. It seems like 2019 could be the year that Alonzo Russell finally puts it all together. After going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft, Russell has yet to see any NFL game action. But with the way he has been playing in this year’s training camp, Russell should see some snaps this year.

On the first day of practice, Alonzo made a handful of impressive plays with the third team. Many esteemed Giants reporters have been praising Russell’s play in training camp. Alonzo has been taking advantage of his extra reps since the recent receiver injuries.

Russell’s impressive play with the third team has lead him to play with Daniel Jones and the second team. The two have put together numerous highlights plays in training camp. It will be exciting to see these two connect during the preseason.

Check out this highlight play from Thursday’s practice. Russell pulls in a tough jump-ball touchdown reception off of a perfect back-shoulder fade from Daniel Jones:

The Jones To Russell Connection

Alonzo Russell is worth keeping around for the future. Not only is he an underrated talent, but he is also Daniel Jones’s favorite target. Jones has not gotten any playing time with the first team yet. But while playing with the second team, Jones and Russell have displayed a clear connection.

It will be exciting to watch these two in game-action during the preseason. If they can continue to demonstrate chemistry, then the Giants will need to hold onto Alonzo Russell and keep him around for the future whenever Daniel Jones takes over as the starting quarterback.

New York Yankees: Thurman Munson’s Death Still Resonates 40 Years Later

New York Yankees

An unforgettable New York Yankees story:

To an earlier generation, it was known as “The Pearl Harbor Question.” People who were remembered December 7, 1941, could tell you where they were and what they were doing when they first heard the news that Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese.

Almost four decades later, fans of the New York Yankees would experience something quite similar on August 2, 1979. It was on that day that Yankee catcher Thurman Munson died in a plane crash at the Canton-Akron airport in Ohio.

Do you remember where you were on that Thursday afternoon?

I was home having supper with my brother Pete. We were watching the five o’clock news on Channel Four in New York. It was around quarter to six when they went to the newsroom to preview the six o’clock news.

That’s when they reported that Thurman Munson had died in a plane crash while practicing takeoffs and landings at the Canton-Akron airport in Ohio. This then 17-year-old was absolutely devastated, to say the least. I just couldn’t eat or do anything the rest of

This Day In New York Yankees History: Thurman Munson Passes From Plane Crash

Thurman Munson was one of the best to ever wear pinstripes. Born on June 7th, 1945, Munson played 11 years with the New York Yankees where he racked up a total of seven All-Star games while batting a career .292 with 113 total home runs (Baseball Reference).

In his rookie season, Munson batted .302 where he only fanned 56 times in 526 plate appearances. He racked up a total of 137 hits with 54 runs batted in and 6 home runs. Because of his significant first year, Munson was selected as the Rookie of the Year. Known for his stellar defense, Munson also won the Gold Glove Award in three consecutive years (1973-1975).

Munson was considered as the “heart and soul” of the Yankees, so he was selected as the team’s captain. In his time being the captain, Munson led the Yanks to three World Series where they won twice (1976, 1977, 1978).

During an off day in the season of 1979, Munson was practicing flying his plane – a Cessna Citation I/SP jet. He purchased this plane so he would be able to fly home to his home in Canton, Ohio on off-days. On August 2nd, 1979, Munson took out his plane with his friend and flight instructor, Jerry Anderson and Dave Hall. Munson was attempting to complete the final landing of the day where while descending, he let the jet fly too low where he hit a tree which caused the plane to burst into flames. Hall and Anderson both survived the accident however, Munson suffered a broken neck. Asphyxiation due to the toxic substances of the fire ultimately caused Munson’s death. 

Image result for thurman munson plane crash

Thurman Munson will forever be remembered as one of the greatest Yankees. Rest in peace, Capt!

New York Yankees Prospects: Brian Keller From Trenton Tosses No-Hitter

The New York Yankees are known for their strong farm league system. They have countless names that they can call up from their triple-A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, into the big leagues when they need a player.

Another name that has brought big news is Brian Keller who is in double-A with the Trenton Thunder. Keller was given the start today against the Altoona Curve (Pittsburg Pirates Affiliate), where he tossed a no-hitter in his seven innings pitched. The Thunder had a doubleheader today in which both games only consist of seven innings.

Behind Keller’s masterpiece, the Thunder won 2-0 in game two of the doubleheader where Keller fanned six while walking one. He currently holds a 3-1 record on the season with a 2.03 ERA. In 48.2 innings pitched, Keller has allowed 11 earned runs on 33 hits. He has only allowed one home run in that time.

Keller was drafted in the 39th round of the 2016 draft and is looking like a late-round steal. Only at 25 years old, Keller could be finding himself in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with the triple-A Railriders soon based on his performance.

Other than Keller, the Yankees’ farm system has some gems. Big-name Deivi Garcia is ranked the number one prospect in the system. The Yankees must expect a lot on Garcia since they refused to trade him in the July 31st trade deadline. There have been talks of possibly seeing him in the Bronx for the postseason roster. Besides Garcia, another top prospect is Estevan Florial. Hard-throwing Albert Abreu and 2019 draft first-rounder Anthony Volpe are also guys who have big expectations set upon them.

Did the New York Jets make a major mistake letting Jason Myers walk in FA?

New York Jets, Jason Myers

The New York Jets may regret letting Jason Myers go:

Last season featured one of the most underrated success stories. Jason Myers was brought over from the Jaguars in free agency and it became one of the best moves in the former front office regime’s tenure. Myers was an above-average kicker throughout the beginning of his career.

Having a debut season with 26/30 FGs made and an 86.7 FG %. Then he followed his debut campaign up with a 27/34 season where he had a 79.4 FG%. In his final year in Jacksonville, he only played in 6 games but still finished with 11/15 and a 73.3 FG%. There was clearly potential there and upon losing Chandler Catanzaro in free agency, the Jets took a shot on Jason Myers. 

Myers ended up making his first pro bowl and emerging as one of the best kickers in the game. He finished the year with 33/36 FGs made and a 91.7 FG%. Myers assuringly guaranteed himself an extension with the Jets. Part of the reason Mike Maccagnan got fired was due to the inadvisable decision to let Jason walk in free agency, electing to sign a lesser option.  Myers found a home in Seattle and Chandler Catanzaro rejoined the Jets. 

Now as training camp kicks off Catanzaro has reportedly struggled and in Seahawks camp, Myers has reportedly continued to flash his skills. Unless Catanzaro can knock the rust off and produce a solid season, many will continue to be mad at Mike Maccagnan from losing one of the best young kickers in the game and severely hurting the Jets special teams unit.