New York Yankees: Gio Urshela Survives Yet Another Injury Scare

New York Yankees, Giovanny Urshela

With the last series of the season meaningless for the New York Yankees, you would think that everything would be smooth sailing into the postseason, right?

Well, think again.

After James Paxton was removed as a precaution with glute pain on Friday, Gio Urshela was removed from the season finale after rolling his ankle.

He made a nice backhand snag at third and made a very Nolan Arenado like throw to get the runner at first, but rolled his ankle a few steps after he made the throw near the dugout.

So just to be cautious, the Yankees removed him from the game and made everyone worry again. He was seen by team doctors, and they said that it is nothing serious and no further testing is needed.

With four days off until the start of the postseason, it should be plenty of time to get the ankle right. The team has no concerns about his status for game one of the ALDS.

About The ALDS:

Right now, we don’t know much about the ALDS except it starts on Friday at home against the Twins. We have no idea of the rosters, the starting pitchers, gametime, Yankee Stadium gates, and TV coverage.

Those are things that will be announced over the next few days.

Speaking of the Twins, they beat the Yankees by just one homerun in the great home run race of 2019. The Yankees made a great comeback, but fell just short in the end.

But, none of that matters now as the Yankees just want to beat the Twins in the postseason and advance to the ALCS.

 

New York Giants: Star rookie defender could be lost for the season

New York Giants, Giants, NYG, Ryan Connelly

The New York Giants dominated the Washington Redskins in week four the regular season, beating them 24-3. Rookie quarterback Daniel Jones led the team was 225 yards and a touchdown to help secure the win. He also threw two interceptions displaying hit his rookie hiccups.

However, the biggest news comes on the defensive side of the ball, as another rookie, Ryan Connelly, left the game on a non-contact injury that seemed to involve his knee. Connelly has had issues in the past while playing at Wisconsin and this could surely spell trouble for a defense that has relied on his services thus far in the season. He finished the day with three tackles, two assists, a sack, and an interception.

Connelly has been one of the bright spots for the Giants this season after three consecutive weeks of weak defensive play. Against Washington, they were without Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis, two starters. Connelly showed he has the qualities to lead the defense and be a focal point moving forward, which makes his injury even more significant. After the play, he was immediately carted off the field.

Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter also left the game with a neck injury and was previously nursing an elbow ailment before the start of the game.

The New York Giants could be in trouble:

The Giants will take on a better team in the Minnesota Vikings next week. They will need their defense to be at tiptop shape if they wish to compete, as they have a considerably better defense and offense in comparison to Washington. The next few games will present a severe challenge for Big Blue, especially if they’re without several influential players on defense.

If Connelly’s injury ends up being significant, the Giants will have to hope Ogletree and Davis can replace him quickly and recover from their injuries

New York Mets: Pete Alonso Sets the Record

Pete Alonso finally did it. The Mets first baseman hit his 53rd home run to pass Aaron Judge and become the greatest rookie home run hitter of all time. It caps off an amazing season and gives the Mets something to look forward to as they move into 2020.

The home run was off Mike Foltynewicz and was typical of the year Alonso has put together. It was a long, booming home run to right center field and would have cleared the fences of the old Citi Field. Alonso gave it a little walk and a mini bat flip before soaking in the moment. He crossed home plate to pump up the fans and greet his teammates.

An Amazin Story

Heading into spring training, there plenty of concerns about Alonso. Many felt his glove still needed a lot of work and there was even consideration to keeping him in the minors to start the season. Alonso worked hard on his glove throughout the year and showed he is here to stay. His emotions of the entire season got to him when he went back out to his position after the home run.

In college, Alonso was told his dream was too unrealistic. Now he is living the dream and is the first Met and rookie to lead the MLB in home runs. Alonso is the superstar the Mets have been searching for since David Wright retired and potentially could be a captain next season. He gives Mets fans reasons to believe the Mets can make a legitimate postseason run in 2020.

New York Yankees: What Team will Hit More Home Runs this Season?

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins are currently in a historic race for most home runs as a team, in a single season. Near the end of August, the Twins broke the Yankees’ record for most home runs by a team in a single season. The Yankees’ bats have not slowed down, with all of these injuries, and have roared back to take the lead near the end of the season.

The current stats of team home runs has the  New York Yankees at 305, and the Twins at 303 (MLB.com). The Yankees easily won the race and broke the record last season with 267 home runs as a team (MLB.com). A large part of that total is the top three leaders for the team, Torres (38), Sanchez (34), and Gardner (28) (MLB.com). Out of everyone in the lineup that can mash baseballs, who would have thought Brett Gardner would be a top-three home run hitter on the team this year?

What could be the explanation for this power surge?

Aaron Judge was asked in an interview whether the Yankees could break their own record at the beginning of the season and responded, “We are going to crush that number.”

Clearly, Judge was right, but no one expected this power surge from the Twins. The Twins have made this race unprecedented, with now being the first time a team has reached 300 home runs in a single season.

The possibility of “juiced baseballs” could explain why so many home runs have been hit this year. That can be a misconception of the fact that pitcher’s overall fastball velocity has increased over the last decade. Also, that idea would not explain why strikeouts have increased over the last decade as well. Spin rates are now a big part of grading and analyzing pitchers’ stuff at the big league level. There are many other variables that lead to these statements, but the game has just changed in a positive way for both the offensive and defensive facets of baseball.

New York Yankees set to play Twins for ALDS

New York Yankees, James Paxton

The New York Yankees will begin their postseason run this Friday where they take on the Minnesota Twins in game one of the American League Divison Series.

“They’re a beast,” said manager Aaron Boone. “We know how dangerous they are…and not to just cover all my bases here but I look at everyone that’s in this playoff mix as very real, very scary and capable of beating anyone.”

The Yankees hold a 4-2 record against the Twins this season and have historically always dominated them.

“We understand the history,” said team president Dave St. Peter. “Organizationally, I just say it’s time to slay the dragon, right?”

The last time to two teams matched up in the postseason came during the 2017 Wild Card game when the Yankees beat the Twins 8-4.

The series will definitely be filled with high-scoring games. Both teams have slugged the baseball all year long, where the Yankees are currently at 305 home runs and the Twins have slugged 303 bombs.

“Let’s go. Bring ‘em on,” St. Peter said. “We don’t get to pick who we play. No time like the present to break that curse, so to speak.”

Hal Steinbrenner, son of George Steinbrenner, has other plans. “We’ve got as good a chance as anybody. October is still October, right? Got to stay focused…(There’s) a long way to go, but we’re going in strong.”

It’s believed that James Paxton will be the game one starter for the New York Yankees. Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino are believed to be the apart of that starting rotation for the playoffs.

New York Giants: Tom Coughlin Discusses His Thoughts And Feelings On The Eli Manning Benching

Tom Coughlin, former New York Giants head coach and current Jacksonville Jaguars Executive VP of football operations  held his annual Champions for Children Gala event in New York City on Friday night. The event honors cancer patients, philanthropists, and celebrities committed to tackling childhood cancer. Plenty of current and former New York Giants players and personnel were in attendance.

I was also in attendance as a member of the press for Empire Sports Media, a “community of die-hards” striving to bring you the best New York sports coverage. Tom Coughlin found time to talk to members of the press during the event.

While speaking with the media, Coughlin was questioned by ESPN reporter Jordan Raanan on how Tom Coughlin felt about the Giants’ recent decision to bench Eli Manning. Coughlin gave an exclusive anecdote of the situation and revealed his true thoughts and feelings:

The Coughlin And Shurmur Anecdote:

Tom Coughlin shared the story of how and when he found out about the Giants’ decision to bench Eli Manning in favor of the rookie Daniel Jones. Coughlin details the moment when Giants head coach Pat Shurmur reached out to Coughlin:

“Pat Shurmur actually said to me, ‘he’s your guy and I wanted you to know I had a very difficult thing today and I know [Eli’s] you’re guy.”

When asked for clarification on whether Pat Shurmur reached out to Coughlin the day the decision made, Tom was difinitive, saying “He did.”

Coughlin’s True Feelings On Eli Manning:

Tom Coughlin openly stated that he has a “special relationship with Eli [Manning].” When the news came down last week, Tom Coughlin did speak with Eli Manning and offered him some advice.

What I say to him is, I knew when this happened, he knows he has my one-hundred percent support. [I knew] he would handle it with class and with dignity and he will help the young guy just like Kurt Warner helped him. That’s who Eli is. – Tom Coughlin at the 2019 Champions For Childrens Gala

When Pat Shurmur informed Tom Coughlin of his difficult decision, Coughlin reaffirmed his true feelings about Eli Manning, stating: “Yeah, he is my guy, and he’ll always be my guy.”

Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin have always had a very publicly strong, father-and-son-like relationship (seen evidently at Tom Coughlin’s resignation speech in 2016). It is pleasing for Giants fans to see that these two New York legends have continued their strong relationship despite parting ways within the sport.

It is also highly encouraging for Giants fans to see current head coach Pat Shurmur handle this monumental moment with such class and respect toward Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin.

The Video Clip:

Below is a video clip of Tom Coughlin’s interview at the 2019 Champions for Children Gala in New York City.

New York Giants Legend Justin Tuck Likes What He Sees In Rookie Dexter Lawrence

Former New York Giants head coaching legend Tom Coughlin held his annual Champions for Children Gala event in New York City on Friday night. The event honors cancer patients, philanthropists, and celebrities committed to tackling childhood cancer. Plenty of current and former New York Giants players and personnel were in attendance.

I was able to attend the event as a member of the press with Empire Sports Media and talk to former Giants defensive end  Justin Tuck. Tuck was inducted as a member of the Champions for Children Hall of Fame in 2018, so I asked him what he thought of this year’s group of inductees:

What Justin Had To Say About This Year’s Inductees:

“I think Coach Coughlin is a no-nonsense guy, so the people that you see on this dock here tonight obviously have done huge things in the community. Whether that be through cancer or whatever their causes are, if coach wants them to be honored here tonight, that speaks volumes to what they’ve been able to accomplish and what they’ve done as far as giving back and being there for cancer or whatever their causes are. I’m excited tonight, I know that we are honoring people who have made a difference for people who are less fortunate or having rough times, you know, they’ve made a difference in their lives so it’s good to honor those people and recognize their accomplishments in this space.”

Justin Tuck is as excellent off the field as he was on the field. Justin prioritizes giving back and making a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.

I was also able to talk a little bit about football with Justin Tuck last night. Knowing Tuck was a staple on the Giants’ defensive line for years, I was curious to know what he thinks of the Giants’ newest addition to the defensive line, rookie Dexter Lawrence II.

Justin Tuck Likes What He Sees In Dexter Lawrence:

“Listen, as a rookie playing interior d-line, you’re gonna have some bumps and bruises. But I definitely see growth in him every game. I like him in there and I like his ability to be more than just a run-stuffer. He’s a huge kid to move! And he’s only going to get better! I love his hands, I love his feet… We gotta talk because I’ve seen him, you know, be a little slow off the ball and some things like that but that comes with confidence. And the more he gets reps and the more he plays in this league and the more he understands and, you know, he has all the talent to be one of the best to do it at his position.”

Extremely high praise there from Justin Tuck regarding Big Dex! Justin and I are in agreement, Dexter has all the talent to be one of the best to do it at his position. It will be exciting to watch Dexter Lawrence progress throughout the rest of his rookie season.

New York Knicks: Why RJ Barrett should be an automatic starter

New York Knicks, RJ Barrett

The New York Knicks went into the 2019-20 season with middling hopes and expectations. Signing numerous second-tier free agents to help bolster the team and increase their offensive production will surely add a few more wins to their 17-win benchmark set just one year ago.

To aid their struggling franchise, the Knicks drafted RJ Barrett out of Duke with the third overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft. A player that would’ve been the number one overall pick given Zion Williamson didn’t take over the college basketball stage by storm, Barrett is a solid choice and will be a significant piece to the puzzle moving forward.

Averaging 22.6 points and 4.3 assists per game with the Blue Devils attests to Barrett’s ability to not only score points but also move the ball around the floor. His willingness to pass and open up shots for teammates is an underrated attribute that he should be commended for. The Knicks can easily justify starting him immediately and giving him plenty of time to develop and expand on an already-existing skillset.

The New York Knicks built a reliable team around RJ Barrett:

With players like Julius Randle and Marcus Morris to help mentor him and refine his abilities, Barrett can jump right into regular minutes and learn on the go. However, some might argue that playing him off the bench may allow him to adapt to the physicality and speed of the NBA at a more personal pace.

Being that playing time is essential to growth, I believe that Barrett’s best chance of developing quickly is to start immediately. He will have players like Dennis Smith Jr., Randle, Morris, and Mitchell Robinson playing around him and feeding him the ball. Also, the youth on the team, including Kevin Knox gives him a confident feeling on the season. He’s not far off from players like Knox who were struggling as rookies just last year.

In fact, he’s in a much better place with the current next team than the rookies were last year.

New York Giants: 3 players that need to step up against Washington Redskins

New York Giants, Giants, NYG, Ryan Connelly

The New York Giants will face off against a winless Washington Redskins team in week four of the regular season on Sunday. The Giants are coming off their first win of the year behind rookie passer Daniel Jones.

Throwing for 336 yards and two touchdowns, accompanied by two rushing scores, Jones is in a position to continue his success in just his second start in the NFL.

The rookie’s home debut will be exciting, but the Washington Redskins are no easy team to play, especially as a division rival with safety Landon Collins seeking revenge.

Here are three New York Giants players they need to step up:

1.) Ryan Connelly

With linebackers Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis both missing Sunday’s matchup against Washington, rookie Ryan Connelly will be the catalyst the position.

Already ascending to the top linebacker spot for Big Blue, Connelly is in a position to lead the unit and show that he can communicate with the defense. After three difficult weeks in the first half of games, Ryan has stood his ground and made consistent plays to help the defense get off the field.

In week three against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Connelly made an essential stop on third-and-two on the Giants’ 5-yard-line to hold their opponents to a field goal. This ultimately allowed the offense to score a touchdown and take the lead — a pivotal moment in the game and a testament to his speed and efficiency in the open field.

The Giants need him to step up in the absence of Ogletree and Davis — this game represents a big challenge for Connelly, which I think is more than capable of handling.

2.) Janoris Jenkins

After being tortured by Mike Evans for 190 yards and three touchdowns last week, Janoris Jenkins will need to elevate his game and play like the cornerback he’s capable of being. He will have a tough matchup against Terry McLaurin, a young wide receiver that is rising in the NFL.

The Redskins top pass-catcher struggled with a hamstring injury this week and could be on a snap count, which would benefit Jenkins. However, stopping him will allow the defense to increase their efficiency and make third-down plays to keep the offense on the field.

Ultimately, Jenkins is on this list because we need to see a quality bounce-back performance from him. If the Giants can go into week five at 2-2, they will gain back Golden Tate and be in a position to succeed moving forward.

3.) Wayne Gallman

With Saquon Barkley missing time due to a high ankle sprain, the Giants will roll with number two running back Wayne Gallman on Sunday. Gallman has been waiting for this opportunity, and in his third season, he will receive it. The Giants expect him to be an in-between the tackles runner and pick up yards to help the offense move the chains. Having a balanced offense is part of head coach Pat Shurmur’s game plan, meaning Wayne must provide value to support the overall production of the offense.

The Giants offense of line has ranked in the top five this year so far in the run game. Gallman should have the resources necessary to break off a few solid runs. However, most of his value will come in the form of protecting Daniel Jones and allowing him to operate at a high-level.

 

 

New York Giants News, 9/29 – The offensive player we need to talk more about

New York Giants, Evane Engram

Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!

While New York Giants rookie passer Daniel Jones has been the talk of the town after a 336-yard, four score performance in his first NFL debut, most are overlooking out fantastic his tight end has been.

After years of hoping Evan Engram would blossom into a premier pass-catching tight end, his time has finally come, and the departure of Odell Beckham Jr. has aided that.

Through three games this season, Engram has tallied 277 yards and two scores, already cutting his 2018 totals in half. Last week, he helped the offense with 113 yards and a touchdown — his 75-yard catch and run sparked a change in momentum for the Giants in the second half.

With Cody Latimer missing time against the Buccaneers and Golden Tate missing the first four games of the season, Engram has been stellar in his third season as a professional. His numbers post-Beckham have been astronomically better, as he nearly doubled his production without the Giants top wideout in 2018.

Engram is not only playing at his peak performance, but he’s doing it at the perfect time with Jones taking over at the helm for Big Blue. He will continue to be an essential target for the new quarterback and act as a security blanket when pressure closes in on the pocket.

Nonetheless–

Your top news of the day:

John Fennelly – Giants’ Plan B at ILB starts with putting Ryan Connelly in charge

Joran Raanan – It’s Wayne Gallman’s show in Giants backfield

Dan Benton – Giants’ Pat Shurmur called Tom Coughlin before benching Eli Manning

Chris Pflum – Film Study: Evan Engram and Sterling Shepard were fantastic in Tampa

Alexander Wilson – New York Giants: 3 keys to beating the Washington Redskins in week 4