New York Giants: Pass Rusher Markus Golden Talks Numbers

Can Markus Golden be a great player for the New York Giants?

The New York Giants need a step up in pass rushing this season if they want to be a competitive team. Their defense couldn’t hold in several close games and one of the big factors in that was the team finishing 31st in sacks – in a passing focused league, getting sacks can be the difference to winning and losing, and the Giants were one of the absolute worst when it came to achieving them.

The team responded to the problem partly by moving on from outside linebacker Olivier Vernon, a highly paid player who definitely didn’t live up to the expectations during his time with the Giants, not quite performing up to the expected standard during the last couple of years and also struggling with injuries… Injuries that Vernon came back to a little too slowly for the tastes of many, leaving a lot of fans dissatisfied with the player for reasons outside of just his play.

It looks like the Giants might be replacing the production of Vernon with Markus Golden, a 28 year old former Arizona Cardinal who before injury was regarded as a rising pass rusher.

After finishing third in the league in sacks in 2016 with 12.5, Golden suffered an ACL tear in 2017 and was only able to manage 2.5 sacks last year. That was enough to get the Cardinals to lose faith in him, but with few others around the team with his specific skillset, it looks like Golden is going to see significant time on the field with the Giants.

Golden, however, told reporters on Saturday that he isn’t out to prove something.

“To say, ‘prove-it,’ I would look at it as a person who hasn’t done anything yet in the league, who hasn’t made plays, who hasn’t showed themselves that they can do it. But I’ve done that. I’ve had double-digit sacks, I’ve had big games, big moments… I would just say [I’m] getting out there, getting back started up, and getting back to where I was.”

And Golden also claims that he isn’t hunting for numbers this season, either. “I wouldn’t do that. That has never been me to come out and put numbers on stuff, because it’s bigger than that. Pass rush work, up front and back — you need your teammates to do all of that.”

“You always want to get better and work harder every year. I wouldn’t dare put a number on that. I just want to come out, hit the quarterback, whether it’s a hit or whether I’m sacking them, I’m just looking forward to finally being able to hit a quarterback,” Golden added.

It looks like Golden has a very calm and measured approach to this season which might be useful while playing in the infamous New York market, known for being demanding – it’s the same market that Olivier Vernon couldn’t catch a break in while playing at the same position, after all. How will Golden do this season?

We’ll see… He has competition from Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter, the last of whom has the most experience under the current system. But one thing is for sure, and that’s the fact that the Giants have a chance to start fresh at the position after being uncompetitive in the sack department for multiple years in the recent past.

Yankees Exclusive: Interview with Brian Cashman that never actually happened.

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

Here’s is my interview that never actually happened with Brian Cashman about the trade deadline. All opinions about fans are mine and probably his as well.

Me: Hey Brian I appreciate you taking the time to chat. I know your a busy guy since, according to Yankee fans, you’re alternating between actively trying to ruin the season or swimming in piles of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck with your time.

Brian Cashman: Anytime, and you forgot the part where I am actively poisoning our players to try and get them all on the IL.

M: laughter whoops, that’s my bad. Well does it bother you your team is neck and neck with Houston for the best record in the American League considering how hard you have tried to ruin the season?

BC: I’d be lying if I said it didn’t…wouldnt you be frustrated? I mean, I hire the most incompetent training staff I can, misdiagnose injuries to our best starter,  a key bullpen guy, and keep Stanton out all year and nothing seems to work.

M: I can see that, so was your plan to always ruin the team or did it happen organically as the season progressed?

BC:  It’s a little bit of both. I can’t say with a straight face I wanted the team to be this good when I planned on having Greg Bird and Jacoby Ellsbury be involved at the outset. Jacoby was never really going to play, but I thought Greg could make it to July at least. He would have helped keep Voit out of the line-up while we talked about his “perfect swing” and great defense. Unfortunately he can only stay true to his nature and spiked himself early on AND that was it. Maybe next year…I still think he has a ton of potential at this point Cashman bursts out laughing

M: Speaking of potential, what’s the situation with Clint Frazier now with Aaron Hicks injury?

BC:  I have to thank the media for their help with this one. Clint clearly is ready to be an everyday left fielder for this team, and he was really an impact bat for us…I wasnt sure how I was going to get him out of the line-up. Then he had that rough night in Boston and while he was out of position and leading the team and league in assists he somehow was labeled a liability on defense. Then when he voiced frustration at my jerking him around, the media stepped in and Yankee fans bought their narrative and wanted nothing to do with him. So I think I’ll let him waste away one more season in AAA while our sheep like fans get excited about guys with no future like Maybin and Tauchman. My goal is for Gardy to be our starter in left until he’s 50….he can be our Tom Brady.

M: I’m impressed with the way your manipulating the fans and the media with those moves, but then you went and turned the fans against you by not getting a starter at the trade deadline. Explain that to me.

BC:  Well I want to keep my job, I couldnt torture the fans if I got fired right? So I mean who was I getting? Stroman, Ray, Boyd….Sonny Gray was better than any of those guys. All the fans would have killed me if we had a repeat of that. The only reason I got away with it is the players we sent Oakland were part of our core of porcealin prospects, guaranteed to break if you use them.

M: You’ve mentioned fan reactions a few times, how does that play into the moves you make?

BC: Well obviously I hate them and want the team to be good enough to keep their interest but always fall short in the end. I mean you look at Dave Dombrowski..he got Boston one title on a team that had two players have career years, survived the beginning of Chris Sales decline, and thought Nathan Eovaldi could stay healthy. He gave up almost all their depth for one title run and right now that’s fine. Now he’s gotta resign Betts and Martinez, while still having a ton of cash wrapped up in Sale and Eovaldi who are both not ever gonna be the same. He’ll be gone in a few years. What I’m creating is sustained success with no title. That’s much harder to do.

M: Clearly you have given this alot of thought and I know your a busy guy so I’ll let you go,  is there anything else youd like to share with Bombers fans?

BC: I just want them to know that I get to pocket all the money from concessions personally and they are 100% right that those pennies are what drives me. I didnt make a deal at the deadline not because nothing reasonable was available but because I hate them and my players. As my bonus this year I’m getting the money the club gets from Ellsbury’s contract insurance. Just remember, I’ve built the worst best team in baseball and I’m gonna keep doing it.

M: Thanks Brian.

BC: Anytime, I’m always here for ESM.

New York Mets: Can they Get Over .500?

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

The New York Mets welcome in the Miami Marlins for a four game series, which kicks off with a twi-night doubleheader. The Mets just took game one behind the right arm of Jacob deGrom. If the Mets can pull of a sweep of the doubleheader, they will be over .500 for the first time since May 2nd.

On to Game Two

Jacob deGrom was dominant today. He struggled over the first couple of innings but threw seven innings and only allowed two runs He has been dominant during day games throughout his career. His ERA was 1.86 during day games before today.

deGrom is certainly the guy you want on the mound to get your team back to .500. Walker Lockett is the game two starter and gave the Mets his best start back on July 20. He only allowed one run in five innings and will look to do the same in his spot start tonight.

Robinson Cano to the Injured List

Cano just has not been able to catch a break during his first season as a Met. Just as he was swinging the bat well, he strains his hamstring trying to leg out a double during Sunday’s 13-2 win in Pittsburgh. He was placed on the 10-day IL and Luis Guillorme was called up to replace his spot on the roster.

The Mets are now 2.5 games out of the second wild card spot and another win will put only the Milwaukee Brewers in front of them, before they catch up to the Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals.

New York Knicks: How Taj Gibson is going to earn his keep with the Knicks

New York Knicks, Taj Gibson

While the headlines for the New York Knicks have been filled with names like Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, and RJ Barrett, one of the more underrated signings of the off-season was Taj Gibson.

Gibson, who is going into his 12th NBA season, will play in an essential role for the Knicks as not only a contributor on the court but also as a mentor for the young center, Mitchell Robinson.

Robinson, who is one of the more talented young stars on the Knicks, is preparing to take his game to the next level and year too.

With the help of a 12 year veteran in Taj, he has the perfect resource to enable him to continue improving upon the success he enjoyed in his rookie campaign.

Not playing any collegiate basketball, Robinson lacks several fundamental traits that he will look to refine in the season ahead. Gibson, who has developed those abilities throughout his career, will look to instill those tools into his player makeup.

Gibson signed a two-year deal worth 20 million in July. He is mostly being paid to mentor Robinson, who is the future at the position. Head coach David Fizdale would be foolish not to start Mitchell at center this season given his potential and the optimism surrounding him.

However, having a reliable backup like Gibson allows the Knicks to experiment and utilize him in specific situations. Ensuring the Knicks don’t stunt Mitchell Robinson’s growth, though, is a priority and something that must be taken seriously in the 2019-20 season.

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Gibson’s defensive abilities are one of his strengths and something he can pass on to Robinson in a different facet compared to DeAndre Jordan’s. He has some insight from a versatile stretch five, but will likely never experience closing games alongside another center, despite sharing the floor with Luke Korner at times in 2018.

It will be interesting to see how the Knicks utilize Robinson and continue to shape him in his second season, but I imagine Gibson will play it a factor in his development.

New York Giants: Who Are The Pro Bowl Talents?

The New York Giants have been one of the league’s worst teams over the past two seasons. In 2017, they finished with a 3-13 record awarding them with the second overall pick in the Draft. Then, they showed minimal improvement in 2018 with a 5-11 record and the sixth overall pick.

The Giants need to turn things around as soon as possible. The team needs more elite talent in order to be a playoff-contending team. But that’s not to say that New York has no talent whatsoever. There are a few players that could earn a trip to the Pro Bowl if they live up to their potential in 2019. But who exactly on the Giants actually has a chance of making the Pro Bowl in 2019?

Saquon Barkley (Obviously)

Saquon Barkley is not only a Pro Bowl talent, but he is also arguably the best player in the NFL at his position. As a rookie, Saquon lead the league in yards from scrimmage with 2,028 total.

His record-breaking season earned him a few prestigious awards, too. Including Pepsi Rookie of the Year and AP Offensive Rookie of the Year. A decorated rookie season for a generational talent.

But that was year one for Saquon Barkley. Year two looks to have plenty more in store for the Penn State alum. Barkley is a shoo-in for the Pro Bowl this year. That is unless he manages to carry Big Blue all the way to the Super Bowl…

Kevin Zeitler

It is surprising that right guard Kevin Zeitler has not been to a Pro Bowl yet. The former Cleveland Brown has had a very successful career thus far and made a name for himself based on his elite-level pass-protection.

The New York Giants have not had an offensive lineman selected for the Pro Bowl in seven years. 2019 very well could be the year that this drought ends. Zeitler allowed all of 11 pressures all season long, and he owned the highest pass-blocking grade of any offensive lineman in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus.

If Eli Manning is able to put together a solid season behind his new rebuilt offensive line, Zeitler could receive his first-career Pro Bowl selection. But, what if the Giants saw two offensive linemen make the Pro Bowl?

Will Hernandez

Will Hernandez is another gem from the Giants’ 2018 draft class. Hernandez was a first-round talent that slipped into round two. Luckily for the Giants, they had the second pick in the second round and were able to steal Will Hernandez.

Hernandez was excellent in his rookie season. According to PFF, Will allowed only 5 sacks in his rookie campaign. This was tied for the ninth fewest of all guards in the NFL. But, almost more impressively, Hernandez committed only two penalties on 1,027 snaps. This is an incredible accomplishment for a rookie and it truly demonstrates Will’s advanced technique and discipline.

So, of course, there are a couple of other players on the Giants’ offense who could earn the nod to Orlando if they break out this season. Evan Engram has all the potential in the world if he stays healthy and Sterling Shepard is a solid receiver poised to break out in an expanded role. And even Eli Manning, if the veteran quarterback can revert to his old form then, of course, he could be selected, too.

But what about the defense? Is there any real talent on the other side of the ball?

Jabrill Peppers

Giants Nation loves rooting for an exciting defensive presence. Prior to his departure, Landon Collins was one of the most popular athletes in New York. Despite being placed on injured reserve and having the worst season of his career in 2018, Giants Nation still voted Landon Collins to the Pro Bowl.

Peppers has already begun to see that same love from Giants fans. If he puts together the season that he is capable of he could break out and make it to Orlando.

Jabrill Peppers is capable of a lot more than he gets credit for. He is not just a box safety who defends the run. Jabrill is one of the most versatile young safeties in the league.

The Browns used Peppers as a jack-of-all-trades defensive back in 2018, like he was used in college at Michigan. Most of his snaps were played at safety (281 snaps), but he played a lot of snaps at linebacker (172 snaps), edge (133 snaps), and slot cornerback (108 snaps), too, according to Pro Football Focus.

This lead to a better statistical season from Jabrill Peppers. He played all 16 games and finished with 79 combined tackles, 1 interception, 5 passes defended, 5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries.

The Giants have a lot more talent than people want to give them credit for. Granted, much of their talent is unproven and based on potential, but that is something that the Giants have a lot of.

Hopefully, not a single player from the Giants plays in the Pro Bowl because they are too busy prepping for the Super Bowl. But if New York is unable to make it back to the promised land, fans should expect to see a couple of Blue helmets playing in Orlando in January.

New York Yankees: Is Aaron Judge Struggling at the Plate?

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

New York Yankees’ slugger Aaron Judge has not shown that same raw pop that he has recently compared to his last two seasons. Considering he had missed about two months with an oblique strain, the young star has 11 home runs this season and is batting .284 currently (Baseball Reference).

Judge had not hit a home run since July 19 (59 at-bats), before last night’s dinger against Price. Prior to this drought, the longest Judge had gone without parking one was seven games – the beginning of the season.

Judge’s struggles

There have been many rumors that Judge is dealing with the same oblique injury that had sustained earlier this season. However, I don’t believe Judge’s is playing through an injury. I think the answer is much simpler – teams are figuring out his weaknesses and are pitching him differently.

Judge’s 2017 breakout rookie year where mashed 52 home runs was nothing short of unbelievable. Nobody knew of him prior to that year and teams just pitched to him as he was any other rookie. Now, teams know his potential and throw him differently.

Take a look at this video:

Even though this video is from 2017, it still shows Judge’s weaknesses. Majority of the strikeouts shown are spinners down and away or an elevated fastball on the outside corner. It is clear that he has trouble covering the outside spot, and tends to chase a slider down and away consistently.

Judge’s struggles do not concern me. He is the kind of player to go through his hot streaks and cold streaks. Yankee fans saw this during his first two seasons and as he grows as a player he will become even better. I mean, the guy did mash 52 home runs his rookie season…

How bad do the New York Yankees own David Price?

New York Yankees own Boston Red Sox pitcher, David Price.

What’s David Price’s worst nightmare? The New York Yankees.

Heading into Sunday’s matchup Price was holding onto a 6.15 career ERA against the New York Yankees. Price’s ERA against the Yanks will only keep increasing after his outing Sunday night. Price now holds a 9.61 ERA at Yankee Stadium since 2016, per Katie Sharp. He allowed seven earned runs on five hits in 2.2 innings pitched. Allowing two bombs to Aaron Judge (389 feet) and Gio Urshela (437 feet), Price just looked hopeless facing the Yankee lineup.

David Price is one of the best things to ever happen to the Yankees. It seems that every time he takes the mound against the Bombers, he lets them walk all over him. Yankee fans seem to enjoy seeing his name on the scorecard as well:

Besides David Price, Chris Sale is also owned by the Yankees. Sale allowed eight earned runs on nine hits through 3.2 innings pitched. The lefty duo combined for 6.1 IP, 18 H, 15 ER, 2 BB, 4 HR this weekend against the Yankees. That’s a total 21.32 ERA, credit to Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com.

Heading into Sunday’s matchup, Price is credited to a 3.86 ERA with a 7-4 record. He holds a career 3.28 ERA in 12 years playing. A five-time All-Star and a Cy Young Award winner in 2012, Price has been one the most consistent arms in baseball – just not against the Yankees. Price is 33 years old is signed to a 7-year/ $217,000,00 contract with the Boston Red Sox where he’ll be eligible for free agency following the 2022 season (Spotrac).

David Price has been, is, and will be forever owned by the New York Yankees.

New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez Injury Update

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

New York Yankees’ catcher Gary Sanchez injured his groin while running out a groundball during a game against the Minnesota Twins on July 23rd. The club feared that they were going to lose their slugging catcher for the rest of August however recent news is showing a positive recovery.

Manager Aaron Boone met with media on Sunday that Sanchez would most likely begin a minor-league rehab later this week or next week, per Lindsay Adler of The Athletic. Sanchez also caught a bullpen over the weekend where he said he had no pain.

Bryan Hoch from MLB.com tweeted a video of Sanchez running down the line at Yankee Stadium before a game. This also could have been a drill they were giving him to teach him how to hit the bag properly – which is how he injured his groin.

It looks like Sanchez is nearing the end of his recovery and should be starting baseball activities soon. Boone said that there is a possibility that he comes off the 10-day injured list before next week’s series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Sanchez’s return for this series would be huge as the Yanks will try to bury the Rays in the standings.

Sanchez is currently slashing .229/.299/.508 with 24 home runs and 58 runs batted in this season (Baseball Reference). Prior to his injury, he was slumping a bit where he only had six hits in July and one home run. However, it looked like he was having better swings the Minnesota series and was just having bad luck at the plate.

New York Jets: How will Ryan Kalil make an impact in 2019?

Ryan Kalil

The New York Jets never seemed to have any issues at center for the longest time. After Nick Mangold retired, it left a gaping hole in the offensive line. Mangold was a replacement for the legend Kevin Mawae. Mangold was a 7-time pro bowler, so the guy who had to replace him had to be great.

Wesley Johnson first came in and disappointed in relief of the Jets’ trusty steed. Then the Jets brought in Spencer Long to take his spot for the 2018 season, and Long snapped just about as bad as Stevie Wonder would’ve done trying to snap a football.

The Jets then became reliant on Jonathan Harrison, and after proving he’s not right for the starting job early on in camp, it was time for Joe Douglas to make his first big move.

Douglas said he was going to find talent anywhere. That included a 5-time pro bowler and 2-time all-pro who experienced a brief retirement.

Another changing of the guard for the New York Jets:

Now, Ryan Kalil joins the Jets to be the presumed starting center on a one year 8.4 million dollar deal. Kalil is reportedly a big fan of Sam Darnold which played a big part in his decision.

The fact is Ryan Kalil will be a considerable addition to this offensive line and could very well be the piece this team was missing to potentially make a run at the playoffs. Kalil is a veteran leader who will make everyone around him better and significantly improve the development of Sam Darnold, and that’s all you can ask for.

New York Knicks: Is Julius Randle the new leader on the team?

New York Knicks sign Julius Randle.

The New York Knicks made several off-season signings, but the most influential will likely be former New Orleans pelicans, Julius Randle.

His influence will likely be more significant than Marcus Morris’s, as he is an offensive player who is an average defender is well. His power will come in many different ways, one of which is as a veteran leader for the younger players on a team like Kevin Knox and RJ Barrett.

The Knicks were coming off a 17-65 record in 2018, but they built their 15 man roster for 2019-20 To compete for a playoff spot. The probability of them reaching the postseason is low considering the lack of chemistry and remaining youth, but the NBA is full of surprises and you never know who could go on a run.

Randle, who signed a two year, $17.71 million contract, has a player option for the second season, which gives him the ability to remain with the team or to take his talents elsewhere. With the Pelicans, Randle was productive, especially after Anthony Davis requested a trade. He went from averaging 19.9 points on 13.4 shots per game to 24.2 points on 17.6 shots per game, shooting nearly 50% and 36.4% on three-pointers.

The Knicks have paid him to be their top scorer and most impactful player, and that is what they need him to be if they want to reach the postseason and change the entire course of the franchise.

He is guaranteed a starting position and will be the focal point of their offense as the Knicks look to develop players like Barrett and Knox further. Unlike last season, the team will have the support to weather better opponents and not have to rely on their youthful players that don’t have the experience to match up.

One of the more exciting aspects of Randle is that his three-point percentage increased by nearly 10% in one season. On 144 for three-point attempts from 2015-18, he had on 25.7%, and last season he had 194 attempts and connected on 34.4%.

While Julius’s offensive production is impressive, I am very excited to see what he has to offer to the young players on the team. He can be a voice in the locker room and a leader on the court.