New York Giants: Looking Back At The 2018 Trade Deadline

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The NFL trade deadline is coming up, and as one of the teams struggling this year, many think the New York Giants could make moves to either compete better or further their rebuilding process at the expense of winning immediately. It’s hard to predict which option the Giants will go with, considering that Dave Gettleman is the General Manager and at this point is very well known for unexpected and unpredictable moves, but we can look back at Gettleman’s first year to see what the team did back then.

The most notable move that the team made was moving Damon Harrison to the Detroit Lions for a fifth round draft pick only days before the deadline, which raised many eyebrows for fans – Harrison was, after all, the team’s best run defender. The Giants’ play in this area became noticeably worse after getting rid of Harrison, and it wasn’t until later on that the public would find out that this unusual move may have been made because of the front office disliking certain off the field traits about the player.

The other move in October, of course, was getting rid of cornerback Eli Apple, who never quite matured into filling the role that the Giants wanted him to play on the defense. What is the common theme in both of these trades?

Both times, Gettleman moved players from the previous regime before immediately replacing them with draft selections or free agents of his own choosing. Harrison was replaced with Dexter Lawrence and the Giants drafted a number of cornerbacks, although the team still struggles at the position due to their inexperience. When the team waived Ereck Flowers, they’d replace him the next offseason with the addition of Mike Remmers from free agency.

So it can be expected that as the trade deadline approaches, the Giants front office will focus on areas of the team where Gettleman’s vision hasn’t been enacted yet – rather than trying to win now, it seems more likely that the team embraces the rebuild and makes moves accordingly, just as they sacrificed competitiveness at the trade deadline last year in exchange for moving on from players that didn’t fit into the team’s future plans.

Still, with many players on both sides of the ball not having had much time to prove themselves, after the roster was drastically rebuilt over the past two years, it remains to be seen just who is on the chopping block.

But even if the exact moves aren’t clear, just as no one saw the Harrison trade coming last year, one should remember that the Giants under Gettleman have already proven that they’re willing to move on from talented players and focus on rebuilding if the situation calls for that. And right now, based on the team’s performances, rebuilding might just be needed.

New York Mets: Jeff Wilpon’s Power Struggle

New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon

Stop me if you have heard this one before…Jeff Wilpon wants full control over the New York Mets decisions. The COO of the organization looks to hire a manager who falls in line. Instead their aim should be a manager who will do things their own way.

This does not rule out the possible hiring of Joe Girardi or Buck Showalter, which is why they are still receiving interviews. Both managers are guys who want to run the team their own way and leave the front office out of their decision making. This was part of the reason why the Yankees let Girardi go because they wanted someone who would know their place in the organization.

First Year Managers Only?

It is hard to think any veteran manager will simply fall in line with what Wilpon/Brodie Van Wagenen want. Much like Mickey Callaway they will take a chance on a manager without any experience who will follow what he is told. If this is the case, expect another year(s) of futility from the Mets.

This has been the issue since the Wilpons took control of the Mets. Everything has to be done their way and no World Series championships in the last 33 years should show that this is not working. Jeff and Fred Wilpon never worked in baseball outside of owning the team and their baseball opinions are just as good as someone you find on the street. They are single handedly killing their own franchise and their idea that they know best will continue to hold back the franchise.

As the list of candidates settle, the manager who will not be a “yes man” deserves the job. Girardi/Showalter and a potential future hall of famer in Carlos Beltran do not fit that mold. The selected manager will be very telling of what the future of the team will be.

New York Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton Out Of ALCS Lineup With Injury

New York Yankees, Yankees, Giancarlo Stanton

The New York Yankees can’t stop biting the injury bug.

Yet again, Giancarlo Stanton is down with another injury. He has a quad strain, but the team hopes that it is pretty minor. He injured it running to first in the second inning of game one.

The Yankees are optimistic that he will be able to return sometime this series, and are not planning to take him off of the roster. If he is removed from the roster, he becomes ineligible for the World Series.

“We’re hoping the off day helps and it declares itself more” said Yankees skipper Aaron Boone about Stanton. The team will make a decision about his roster status back in New York.

Cameron Maybin will be getting the start in Stanton’s place for game two against Justin Verlander and the Astros. He will be playing left and batting eighth. Gardner remains in center as Aaron Hicks will be on the bench again for game two.

The injury makes Boone and Brian Cashman look like geniuses for having five outfielders on the roster rather than four outfielders and six infielders.

But for the meantime, Stanton will still be available off the bench as a pinch hitter. With a big at-bat late in the game, you would think that the team would go with Stanton over Maybin.

Maybin for Stanton is the only change in the lineup from Saturday to Sunday. The Yankees will be looking to take a 2-0 lead before the teams even play a game in New York. James Paxton gets the ball against Verlander. Let’s go Yankees!

 

New York Yankees: Tanaka Pitches Gem, Torres Takes Care of the Rest

New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka

The New York Yankees marched into Minute Maid Park with one goal on their minds: win game one and put the pressure on the Houston Astros. The Bronx Bombers stood true to this goal and have now taken a 1-0 lead in the ALCS.

Masahiro Tanaka, who has been an electrical force throughout most of his starts in the postseason, rose to the occasion on Saturday night. He pitched six marvelous innings, allowing one hit and striking out four batters on 68 pitches. Yes, only 68 pitches through 6 innings of work.

The bullpen, which consisted of Adam Ottavino, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Zack Britton, pitched a combined three innings, allowing two hits and striking out two batters on 39 pitches.

Gleyber Torres had an explosive night in the batter’s box, going 3 for 5 with 5 RBI and one home run. Torres started the entertainment by driving in an RBI double to left-center field in the top of the 4th, granting the Yanks with their first run of the game.

Aaron Judge, who went 2 for five on the night, also executed a gorgeous play in the bottom of the 5th. After a great running catch, Judge rocketed the baseball to DJ LeMahieu and doubled off a sleeping Alex Bregman.

Torres came back to haunt Zack Greinke in the top of the 6th, blasting a 320-foot solo shot to left field. Shortly after, Giancarlo Stanton demolished a 406-foot solo bomb to right-center field, extending the Yanks lead to 3-0.

Yet again, Torres came in clutch with another impressive at-bat in the top of the 7th. With the bases loaded on a 3-2 count with two outs, he punched a 2-run double into shallow right-center field, extending the Yanks lead to 5-0.

At the top of the 9th, Gio Urshela smoked a 361-foot solo homer to the right field. The 7th and last run for the Yankees was recorded by no other than Torres, who drove in an infield RBI, extending the Yanks lead to 7-0.

With game number 1 in the hands of the Yankees, there is still unfinished business left to take care of. The magical number is now seven, and the pressure has been put on the Astros.

 

 

 

New York Giants: Dexter Lawrence Is Wreaking Havoc

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

The New York Giants lost to the New England Patriots 35-14 this Thursday night. This lopsided defeat indicates a blowout, but anyone who watched the game knows that this game was not a one-sided affair.

In fact, the Giants’ defense played an exceptional game through the first three quarters. Things fell apart in the fourth, but there is a lot to build on from the Giants’ week six performance.

One player who has stood out from the rest this season is rookie Dexter Lawrence. He has easily been the most impressive rookie from the Giants’ draft class so far, and that says a lot considering how much Daniel Jones and Ryan Connelly have impressed. But Dexter Lawrence has been playing at another level, at a level without rookie mistakes.

Lawrence Is Wreaking Havoc

Dexter Lawrence has surpassed all expectations so far in his rookie season. Dexter is Pro Football Focus’s third-highest graded rookie so far this season. He has been making an impact as a run-stuffer and a pass-rusher.

Dexter has 18 combined tackles so far this season, an average of 3 tackles per game. He has also added 3 quarterback hits and 2 sacks with 1 forced fumble. Lawrence has also been applying consistent pressure to opposing quarterbacks.

On this play against Minnesota, you can see Dexter Lawrence completely dominating the opposing offensive guard, driving him back into the lap of Kirk Cousins:

This play is an excellent demonstration of why Dexter Lawrence is a force to be reckoned with. His pure strength and power at the point of attack is enough to scare any opposing quarterback. His massive figure and tackling ability also makes him a factor in the run game. Dexter has been improving week to week and is now looking like he could soon be one of the best players at his position soon enough if he keeps up this level of play.

Dexter’s Increased Playing Time

A big part of Dexter Lawrence’s recent improvement is his increasing playing time. Lawrence was initially pegged in as a “two-down run-stuffing defensive lineman” by fans on draft night. But Dexter has proven fans wrong so far this year.

Each week, Dexter Lawrence’s role increases. He has seen more snaps in every game, proving he is more than a two-down player. Leading up to the week five contest against Minnesota, Dexter was averaging 28-34 snaps per game from weeks one to four. This number has increased mightily in weeks five and six.

Dexter Lawrence was on the field for 52 snaps against the Vikings. His increased usage led to increased production with one sack, one forced fumble and six instances of being the first defender to contact according to Pro Football Focus. This led the Giants to increase Dexter’s playing time again in week six with 62 total snaps.

New York Giants: Markus Golden is Unstoppable

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

Time after time again New York Giants outside linebacker Markus Golden has made fantastic plays!  Again Markus proves to be Golden!

In last night’s prime time game against the undefeated New England Patriots, the New York Giants defense was full of fire.  Despite a loss, this is not indicative of how the defense played-with certain players, in particular, doing a rather good job!

In yesterday’s game, Golden fought hard against the New England Patriots offense, getting a sack on quarterback Tom Brady and 3 tackles and a fumble recovery which resulted in a touchdown for a total of 42 yards.  Golden showed off his veteran prowess, reaching for the end-zone.  Golden has accumulated five sacks this season in six games.

Golden deserves more recognition and credit than he gets.  He is a truly powerful entity on this defense and after every great play he has, he motivates the other players on this secondary and the fans as well.

Golden is well versed when it comes to the game of football both physically and mentally.  He is aware and knows how to be a pivotal contributor to the defense and the New York Giants team itself.  He is persistent and tough and never lets his endurance wane, no matter what the score or circumstances may be.

Golden is a true gift for the New York Giants as his resilience and tenacity make him a true contender!  He made both his family, teammates, and fans proud yesterday!  We all are grateful and lucky to have him!  He makes us proud to be Giants fans!

New York Jets: Containing The Cowboys Key Pieces Is Essential

Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys’ defense is young and talented. To go along with that, so much of the preparation and headlines regarding this game have been centered around Sam Darnold and the New York Jets offense. Reportedly Adam Gase hadn’t been using the regular playbook in order to not over expose it without the franchise guy at the helm. Now Darnold is back and the Jets offense is going to be expected to come out and perform a hell of a lot better than they have to this point.

The Jets can win this game on offense by scoring points but the Jets can easily control the momentum in this game with their defense. Their defense will not only get a lift from Sam being back on offense but they also get Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland back. Jenkins and Copeland are both two of the best edge rushers on this squad and their additions will help immediately. The biggest key to this game is going to be controlling the 4 key pieces of the Cowboy offense.

Amari Cooper:

Despite being injured Amari Cooper has been great for the Cowboys this year. He’s been a true number one wide receiver for this squad. The Jets are going to have to find someone capable of covering him in this ballgame. The best case would be a swapping of Hairston, Johnson and Roberts throughout the game. Allowing them to rotate may be able to contain Cooper. The added benefit of his injury will assist the corners to keep up with him.

Michael Gallup:

The big bodied receiver is a huge part of the Dallas offense. He’s a mismatch and hard to cover. Brian Poole has been the Jets most reliable corner this season and I think this should be his matchup all day. Gallup has been able to torch just about every defense since Thanksgiving last year. He’s got it all figured out now and he’s a dangerous weapon. If the Jets can keep him in control that’s huge.

Ezekiel Elliot:

The Jets run defense has been solid and their front 7, despite injuries has been pretty good. This matchup is evidently a rough one but with two of their starting offensive linemen questionable and a solid defense this matchup could be a lot more in favor of the Jets than expected. The key is gonna have to be if Tyron Smith and La’el Collins play. If they don’t then this could be a big thing for the Jets.

Dak Prescott:

Dak is a glorified game manager. However, he’s also a bonafide leader. He’s by far not one of the most talented QBs in the game. His leadership skills and above average skill set make him a good QB. Pressure rattles Prescott and the Jets will be able to apply that this time around. Jordan Jenkins and Brandon Copeland are excellent edge rushers and will hopefully apply pressure and rattle Dak or else it could be a long day.

If the Jets offense is even remotely good and the defense can contain Dallas than this is a game the Jets could fare better in than expected. If the key pieces are electric than it could be a long day. Gregg Williams better be ready because if he and his defense aren’t prepared it’ll be a terrible loss.P

New York Jets: Parry Nickerson Lands with the Sehawks

Former New York Jets cornerback Parry Nickerson has landed a spot on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad.  Nickerson, originally a draft pick out of Tulane University in the sixth round, 179th overall by the New York Jets in the 2018 draft, tied for the fastest time in the 2018 NFL Combine’s 40 yard dash.

Nickerson totaled 21 tackles and one pass deflection with the New York Jets in 2018.  Nickerson was let go by the New York Jets and was picked up by the Seattle Seahawks and eventually signed to their practice squad.

Nickerson may be on a practice squad, but this is most certainly not indicative of his talents.  He is skilled at the cornerback position and in defense in general.  He never runs out of fuel and always goes for it when it comes to taking down any offense he faces.  This dates back to his days playing for Tulane University’s Green Waves Football Team.

Nickerson is also a pillar in the community and has hosted a two-day football camp for local instilling local youth with integral information needed for football and life in general!

Nickerson’s credits his beloved grandmother, who sadly passed away from cancer, for teaching how to be strong and resilient and fight through any adversity.  Nickerson does just that every time he steps out on the field and in life in general.  He never lets anything get him down.  He is a hustler and immerses himself in preparing to be the best that he can possibly be.

New York Yankees: Aaron Hicks over Cameron Maybin?

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The official 2019 New York Yankees ALCS roster has been released. There is still a lingering question that remains in the minds of many: should Aaron Hicks start over Cameron Maybin?

Hicks or Maybin?

To begin, let’s talk about both players and career stats. In 2496 plate appearances, Hicks slashed .236/.328/.401/.729 with a .318 wOBA and a 99 wRC+. In 4117 plate appearances, Maybin slashed .256/.324/.376/.701 with a .309 wOBA and a 94 wRC+. There is a massive difference in plate appearances, but overall Hicks is a better hitter.

Now let’s talk about their 2019 regular season stats. In 255 plate appearances, Hicks slashed .235/.325/.443/.769 with a .325 wOBA and a 102 wRC+. In 269 plate appearances, Maybin slashed .285/.364/.494/.858 with a .362 wOBA and a 127 wRC+. This case is more accurate as Maybin only had 14 more plate appearances than Hicks. However, Maybin was a better hitter this season.

Defensive stats also deserve to be recognized. In 5251.1 innings, Hicks has a 15 DRS, .912 RZR, 19.6 UZR, and a 4.9 UZR/150. In 8552.1 innings, Maybin has a 1 DRS, .907 RZR, 6.2 UZR, and a 1.0 UZR/150. It’s blatantly obvious that Hicks has been the better defender, regardless of the massive difference in innings played.

Just as I did earlier, let’s dive into 2019 regular season numbers. In 499.1 innings, Hicks had a -1 DRS, .893 RZR, 0.6 UZR, and a 0.8 UZR/150. In 588.1 innings, Maybin had a 0 DRS, .879 RZR, -0.2 UZR and a -0.2 UZR/150. In this case, Hicks was still the better defender this season.

When comparing career numbers, Hicks is the better hitter and defender. When comparing numbers from the 2019 regular season, Maybin was the better hitter, but Hicks was the better defender.

Taking an analytical approach, this argument is clearly in Hicks’ favor, but does that mean he deserves to start over Maybin? Not necessarily.

Hicks has been recovering from an elbow injury and hasn’t played since Aug. 3. While Edwin Encarnacion was able to make an immediate impact in the postseason after coming off an oblique injury, to expect Hicks to do the same is pushing the boundaries. Then again, Didi Gregorius was able to snap out of his slump and is slashing .400/.500/.700/1.200 with a .494 wOBA and a 216 wRC+ in the postseason.

There is also the concern that Hicks will be thrust into the batter’s box, expected to figure out his timing immediately against elite pitching in the Houston Astros. Then again, Encarnacion made a significant impact on his first game back and Gregorius was a force to be reckoned with during games 2 and 3. It’s definitely a gamble that could go either way.

However, playing Maybin over Hicks might be the safest option. Maybin can still be used off the bench for speed, as he stole 9 bases, recorded a 0.7 BsR and was in the 87th percentile range for speed in the 2019 regular season. He also has stolen 2 bases this postseason and hasn’t been caught stealing. Maybin also proved to be an above-average hitter in the 2019 regular season.

New York Knicks could reportedly be shopping PG Frank Ntilikina

New York Knicks, Frank Ntilikina

With New York Knicks point guard Dennis Smith Jr. out with a lower back injury, veteran Elfrid Payton and third-year player Frank Ntilikina will be handling a majority of the playing time during the preseason. However, rumors and reports of the Knicks’ potentially moving on from the Frenchman have arisen.

According to Forbes, the Detroit Pistons could be interested in trading for the Knicks point guard. He’s a sensible target for Detroit, as he is just 21 years old and they’re looking for cheaper talent they can develop.

Ntilikina is a former first-round pick during the Phil Jackson era who was never able to reach his potential at the NBA level, as of yet.

Should we remain hopeful for the New York Knicks point guard?

Averaging just 5.9 points and 3.1 assists per game over two seasons, Frank is looking to elevate his statistics and provide more production during the 2019-20 campaign. He proved his worth during the FIBA World Cup with France, overcoming a tough USA team that featured Kemba Walker. He outplayed the All-star and hit several timely jumpers to drag his team to an improbable victory.

His efficiency during the World Cup gave fans hope that he could finally reach his potential this upcoming season, and with Smith out with injury, it gives him additional minutes to show just that.

In the first preseason game, Ntilikina earned nine points, three assists, and five rebounds over 23 minutes of play. Payton played just two minutes more at 25 minutes and scored only five points. The younger options seem to be more productive on the floor and could earn additional minutes with Smith out until the regular season.

In the second game of the preseason against the Washington Wizards in which the Knicks lost 115-99, Ntilikina scored five points while Payton put up a fat zero on the scoresheet.

The Knicks may elect to shop Ntilikina, according to SNY’s Ian Begley. However, they don’t have enough depth to justify his departure and the value other teams believe he is worth will not match up to the expectations for the Knicks.