New York Giants: Three Observations From First Unofficial Depth Chart

New York Giants, Cody Latimer

We’re finally close enough to the preseason that we can get an idea of what the New York Giants will be running with for their starting lineup, and a couple of weeks into training camp, we have our first unofficial depth chart. You can find it on the team website, and of course, there’s some interesting things to note from what’s listed on it.

Developments in the battle at right tackle

Mike Remmers came out on top at right tackle, even if this is only the first depth chart and is still subject to change. That’s the expected outcome – second string right tackle Chad Wheeler was better than Ereck Flowers but still not good enough to be called impressive last season, after all. However, Remmers being the starter at the position wasn’t guaranteed.

The staff reiterated multiple times earlier in the offseason that the position has an open competition, even going as far as to say that it was Wheeler’s job to lose. In the end, however, it looks like Remmers is winning that competition despite coming off of injury.

Peculiarly, seventh round draft pick George Asafo-Adjei is in dead last behind Brian Mihalik despite some believing the Giants drafted him for below his worth earlier in the year. Is finishing last at the position behind a journeyman who joined the team last year the worst outcome in the world for a seventh round draft pick? No, but it does show that Asafo-Adjei has some more work to do before becoming a legitimate option for the rotation.

No surprises in receiver battle

Golden Tate and Sterling Shepard are both listed as top receivers – although Tate is likely going to face a four game suspension for violating the league’s substance policy – but the battle for the other receiver spots is about what was expected. Bennie Fowler, Russell Shepard, and Cody Latimer are shown to be in the mix and it looks like Shepard and Latimer are the frontrunners to become receivers two and three for this season’s lineup.

Don’t count Fowler out completely, however. As a former teammate of Cody Latimer, Fowler is already pretty familiar with competing with one of the players in the mix in this competition.

Markus Golden doesn’t enter first team immediately

Markus Golden should be a big addition to a pass rush that desperately needs it – if the Giants can get him back to his 2016 form. Golden had the third most sacks in the league that year but only had 2.5 in 2018 following an injury the year prior which ended his season.

Golden has big expectations this season but at this point the pass rusher is listed as the second SAM linebacker on the defense behind Kareem Martin, who took the top spot. Martin, of course, has a bit more experience with the Giants after joining them in 2018, which leaves one to wonder if Golden is behind Martin due to inexperience with the Giants or because of a failure to step up his play back to previous levels.

Another possible explanation, of course, is that the Giants are intending to use Golden mainly as a pass rusher who is more effective coming off the bench than playing in the starting lineup.

 

New York Yankees: Gleyber Torres Possibly Reinjured

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

New York Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres has been removed from Tuesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles with an apparent injury.

Torres left Sunday night’s game against the Red Sox with a core injury, and it’s unknown if Tuesday’s injury is related to Sunday’s. If it is, it’s a bad look for the training staff, rushing him back.

Here’s to hoping that Gleyber is ok, and it is nothing serious and he can hopefully avoid the IL.

(STORY WILL BE UPDATED LATER)

New York Knicks: Will Kevin Knox finally reach his potential?

New York Knicks, Kevin Knox

New York Knicks power forward Kevin Knox lit up the summer league just one year ago, but his regular-season performance was not as expected. Tallying 12.8 points, 1.1 assists, and 3.7 defensive rebounds per game in 2018, Knox underwhelmed in his rookie season, but there is hope going into 2019.

There is no question Knox earned essential playing time to help further develop And refine his skill set, but there are more hurdles that he will have to jump to finally reach his potential.

This off-season, knock started off blocking Zion Williamson twice in the opening game of the summer league. He also had a ball stripped away by Zion who then proceeded to dunk over the top of him. The play was plastered all over social media, and even Knox had seen it multiple times himself. Hopefully, that will act as motivation to continue improving in his sophomore campaign.

New York Knicks: Kevin Knox commented on his weaker Summer performance this offseason

“Yeah, I feel totally different,” he said. “I probably didn’t have the numbers I did last year, didn’t have all the highlights and stuff. But just me out there feeling more comfortable and more confident, dribbling the basketball, shooting the ball, I feel a lot stronger out there. I didn’t put the numbers up, like I said, but I think overall I had a really good summer this year and I think I feel better going into the season this year.”

Last season, the Knicks gave the rookies plenty of time on the floor which helped them understand the physicality and speed of the NBA. That experience will surely translate over into the season ahead.

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Despite New York only earning 17 wins, the team’s chemistry was built and will have an impact this year. The veteran signings will also play a major part in the future success of the team. However, Knox might lose playing time to some of the veterans, which would put him at a disadvantage for the future.

Kevin does believe that the signings will take the pressure off of him and rookie RJ Barrett by forcing them to compete more and earn playing time rather than have it gifted.

Why the New York Knicks will be a much improved team in 2019-20

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

The New York Knicks are going to look like a different team during the 2019-20 season. Not re-signing a single player from 2018 shows you the direction they’re going and where they want to take the team.

Instead, they added young players and gritty veterans. The players they added include Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Bobby Portis, Elfrid Payton, Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Wayne Ellington, and Reggie Bullock.

This Knicks team is an adult version of last year’s team. The maturity, grit, and professionalism are there, as compared to the year before. Keeping their young core a focal point was the priority, though, as they represent the future and need to continue developing.

How did Las Vegas favor the New York Knicks?

Las Vegas put the Knicks at 28.5 wins for the season. 11 more wins then they had last season.

The Knicks will certainly be a better team next season, but by how much? The 17 wins they tallied in 2018 was on the back of rookies and inexperienced players. Tack on the inconsistencies of Enes Kanter and Tim Hardaway Jr. and you have the perfect storm.

The Eastern Conference will be wide open this season, aside from the Bucks and Sixers who will likely be the top dogs. The six remaining spots will be up for grabs.

If the Knicks play to their potential and develop the chemistry that fans believe they can have, the team might have a chance at claiming one of those openings.

The Knicks will be looking to turn some heads with their play this season, and they’ve added the pieces to surprise a few people.

New York Giants: Why Janoris Jenkins Is A Potential Trade Candidate

The New York Giants‘ secondary has been one of the league’s worst over the past two years. In 2017, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.4 passing yards per game (ranked 31st in the NFL). In 2018, the Giants’ secondary allowed 252.8 passing yards (ranked 23rd in the NFL), showing minimal to no improvement.

The Giants fixed this problem in the 2019 NFL Draft. New York drafted three defensive backs in the 2019 NFL Draft (four if counting Sam Beal). The secondary has been completely rebuilt.

The secondary is now filled with youth. But there are still a couple of veterans, Janoris Jenkins and Antoine Bethea, who will provide valuable leadership and mentorship for the younger defensive backs. But after they have fullfilled that role, what happens next? Could Janoris Jenkins be traded?

Why Jenkins Could Be Traded

Janoris Jenkins has had a rocky past couple of seasons. Janoris has not looked like the same shutdown cornerback that helped the Giants reach the playoffs in 2016. Granted, the whole team looks a lot worse since then, but Jenkins was particularly dominant that year.

Now, the Giants are hoping Jenkins can return to his shutdown form. But there is no guaruntee that will happen. But maybe it doesn’t need to. Not anymore, at least.

Last year, the Giants seriously lakced talent in the secondary. Janoris was the team’s primary cornerback and the only outside cornerback that opponents could take seriously.

This year is much different. The Giants now have an abundance of talented defensive backs that could be ready to start this year. The Giants drafted DeAndre Baker at the end of the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and he has looked excellent in training camp so far.

But he is not the only rookie having a strong summer. Sixth round rookie Corey Ballentine has been making plays all over the place during training camp and looks like he could make an immediate impact if needed.

This all makes Janoris Jenkins, to some extent, expendable. If the Giants are losing a lot of games midway through the season (like they are expected to), then they should seriously consider putting Jenkins on the trade block. This would allow the Giants to give their young corners some valuable playing experience while getting something else in return for a solid veteran player.

New York Mets: Finally Over The Hump

With their doubleheader sweep of the Miami Marlins on Monday night, the New York Mets went to one game over .500 for the first time since May 2nd. The Mets have pulled off one of the most remarkable turnarounds in baseball history, but they are not done yet. On July 12, they were 11 games under .500 and seemed dead in the water. Since then they went 17-5 to turn their season around and get themselves back in the wild card race.

How Did This Happen?

The Mets have played some poor competition, but not too long ago they were the second worst team in the NL. They have taken care of business against the teams they need to beat. Most of the credit goes to towards the Mets starting pitching and bullpen. The ERA of their starting pitchers have been the lowest in baseball and their bullpen has been spearheaded by the Seth Lugo.

During this hot streak Lugo has only allowed one base runner in 12.2 innings out of the Mets bullpen. He is also starting to take save chances away from Edwin Diaz. The Mets need to get Diaz right and he has shown glimpses of finding himself again. In his last few innings he surrounded home runs or walks between three strikeouts where he looks like the Diaz of old. After pitching coach Phil Regan came out to speak to Diaz during game 1 on Monday, it seemed to calm him down.

The Calming Influence of Regan

There is a lasting impact from the 82-year old pitching coach. He brings a calming influence and has an answer for any situation. Regan was not some random guy the Mets picked to replace Dave Eiland. Regan had been in the organization for many years and worked with most of the Mets pitchers when they were in the minors. Most of the pitchers the Mets have are loaded with talent and the small adjustments Regan has made is taking them over the top.

Watching Regan interact with all of his pitchers is coaching gold. When he came out to speak to Diaz Monday, he came out with a smile on his face and made Diaz grin as well. He relaxed Diaz which led to him closing out the first game of the doubleheader. One of his other great moments is after, what could have been, Zack Wheeler’s last start as a Met. After Mickey Callaway removed him from the game you can see Regan greet him first with a pat on his back following a subtle fist pump as Wheeler walks by.

The Comeback Kids

Monday night’s comeback win was pulled straight out of the 2000 and 2015 Mets playbook. It took three home runs from J.D. Davis, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso to get the Mets the lead. Alonso’s capped off the inning and drew flashbacks to the Mike Piazza home run down the left field line against the Atlanta Braves in 2000.

At 57-56 the Mets now set their sights towards the top two wild card spots. They have two more games against the Marlins, then three against the Nationals. The Mets are 2.5 games back and will have Stroman, Syndergaard and deGrom lined up against the Nats. If the Mets take either of the next two against the Marlins, you can guarantee a playoff atmosphere over the weekend.

New York Knicks: Carmelo Anthony Deserves A Farewell Tour

New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony

While Carmelo Anthony did not lead the New York Knicks past the second round of the NBA Playoffs, Carmelo was a great Knick. Easily one of the top ten Knicks of all time, Melo’ seemed to score regardless of no team help.

With Carmelo never having team support, it’s incredible the Knicks went as far as they did. While he will not be remembered for taking the Knicks to the promised land, Carmelo Anthony will be remembered as a passionate Knick, who was a superstar for his hometown team, in an era when no other superstar wanted to come to New York. 

Growing up around the Syracuse area, I have always had a bias toward Carmelo, he lead my local college to it’s only National Championship, and he then went on to be a consistent NBA scorer.

The slander Carmelo gets is ridiculous, he is easily a Hall Of Fame Player, but media members and fans remember the fact that his teams never won much in the NBA, and they don’t like his style of isolation basketball. Carmelo Anthony is one of the best players for Team USA, leading the team to a gold medal multiple times.

Carmelo Anthony deserves a farewell tour, just like Dwayne Wade’s last year, but with what team should he play with?

Why Anthony deserves a farewell tour

Dwayne Wade is a comparable player for Carmelo Anthony. While Melo’ did not win any championships, he was the better player. Carmelo Anthony should have a farewell tour with his hometown team, the New York Knicks.

The Knicks should sign Anthony regardless if they get two superstars. Melo’ would be a great addition to the New York Knicks bench. He would also be great as a mentor to young players, teaching R.J. Barrett and Mitchell Robinson how to be professional superstars. Signing Anthony would also boost attendance for the Knicks. 

Fans would love to see Carmelo Anthony wearing his hometown orange and blue again. Following Anthony’s final game at MSG, his jersey should be hung in the raptors for all the hard work he put in for the Knicks franchise. 

THANK YOU ME70!

 

New York Yankees: Why Mike Ford is Important to the Yankees

New York Yankees, Mike Ford

The New York Yankees have had more players on the injured list than any other team this season. They’ve also spent more money on rehabbing than any other team. The “Next man up” mentality has been the theme all season and it seems this won’t stop with more and more guys hitting the IL each series. I’ve never seen anything like this before.

If I was told before the season started that Mike Ford would be in the lineup in game four of a Yankees vs. Red Sox series, I would have told you “who?.” Well, Ford has established himself as someone who the Yankees can call on in a time of need and deliver. Ford had a big hit in the final game against Boston where he knocked in a run off David Price.

For a guy who’s only had 34 at-bats in the major leagues this season, he shows utter calmness and confidence at the plate. His ability to foul off pitches and go deep in counts is worth so much as a hitter. Not only does he consistently have quality at-bats, but his eye at the plate also allows him to stay within the zone to avoid chasing pitches.

His presence at the plate reminds me a lot of Joey Votto. Votto was the same with his keen eye and ability to go deep in counts.

With Edwin Encarnación out for the significant time, Ford will most likely find himself in the DH spot a ton and getting time at first base. The Yankees aren’t asking much of Ford, just to swing consistently while popping a few. That’s all Yankee fans can ask for from Mike Ford. I think he knows that too, no need to try and do too much.

Ford absolutely teared up triple-A this season. He slashed .303/.401/.605 with 23 home runs (Baseball Reference). In the majors, he appeared in 13 games and through 38 at-bats, he is hitting .211 with two home runs and four runs batted in.

Will the New York Knicks Have Over or Under 27 Wins?

New York Knicks, Allonzo Trier

The 2019-20 over/under for each NBA team has been set just following the Summer League. According to the BetOnline AG sportsbook, the New York Knicks’ over/under is set at 27.5. In order to get to 28 wins, and thus, hit the over, the team would have to win 11 more games in 2019-20. Can they do that?

With the signings of Reggie Bullock and Marcus Morris becoming official, New York’s fifteen-man roster is likely set. Here is that first fifteen:

Point Guard: Dennis Smith Jr., Elfrid Payton, Frank Ntilikina

Shooting Guard: RJ Barrett, Allonzo Trier, Wayne Ellington, Damyean Dotson

Small Forward: Kevin Knox, Reggie Bullock, Ignas Brazdeikis

Power Forward: Julius Randle, Marcus Morris, Taj Gibson

Center: Mitchell Robinson, Bobby Portis

With this team, the Knicks clearly lack star power, but will hope to make up for it with depth.

Prediction

I think the Knicks will likely hit the over, but not by much. With such a deep team, many of the players are of a similar caliber, and so it will be difficult for Coach David Fizdale to manage his rotations. 

That said, New York has a lot of depth and combined with the young talent, it should push the team to about 30 wins. Part of that will be determined by the play of said youngsters.

If RJ Barrett, Kevin Knox, and Mitchell Robinson can take a step forward and become legitimate NBA players, this team will get to 30 wins and might push for 40.

It will certainly be interesting to watch the Knicks this year as they unfold what has become known as “Plan B” after the team missed out on the summer’s big free agents.

 

New York Jets: Chris Herndon Shows Promise for the Jets

New York Jets, Chris Herndon

The New York Jets seemed to have found their tight end weapon, Chris Herndon. The Patriots had always had Gronk. The dominant tight end who made sure Tom Brady always had a safety option in worst-case scenarios and a prominent red zone target. The Jets have longed for success similar to the Patriots and they may have found their version of Rob Gronkowski.

Herndon is far from similar to Gronk but he can be a HUGE part of success for the Jets offense and especially Sam Darnold. When Herndon finally hit his stride and got comfortable, he finished the season with 502 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 39 receptions. Herndon looked primed for another great season after proving himself as a stud young tight end last season. Then he violated the substance abuse policy and now he’ll be out for the first four games of the season which just happen to be four of the most important games of the season. Herndon dropped the ball and let his personal troubles hinder not only his own but the rest of the Jets success.

His return from the suspension

Herndon will return against the Cowboys and be around the team for the rest of the season. He’ll be the security blanket for Sam Darnold in a red-zone threat. Darnold will now just have to learn how to operate with Herndon’s temporary replacement. Herndon will have to not only reintroduce himself to the squad but earn all the respect right back. Herndon has a long road ahead of him. However, the 12 games he’ll be available for will still make a significant difference. Herndon has gained a lot of attention, where he’ll need to come back firing on all cylinders.