New York Giants: Jets Appear More Motivated For Week 10 Matchup

New York Jets, Jets, Kelechi Osemele

It’s not a matchup that comes around often, but the New York Giants are about to meet the New York Jets on Sunday to see which team is the best in the city – even if both teams are undeniably in a bad state right now, with the Giants having only two wins in their name and the Jets only having one. Any expectations for the season were shattered early on for both teams, but there’s something other than record at stake here: pride.

Based on the run up to the game, it seems that the Jets might be the team more motivated to play for pride, while much of the conversation around the Giants has centered around whether or not the team will and should fire head coach Pat Shurmur for his failures to make an improvement from last year.

“It’s something that probably didn’t really hit me really until I was here for a little bit and just kind of realizing two teams in the same city, same stadium. You don’t appreciate that when you’re somewhere else until you’re here, and then you kind of realize having two teams in the same city in New York, it’s just different. I can see why there is a rivalry there,” said Jets head coach Adam Gase, speaking to the team’s site about the upcoming game.

“In my mind, I’m like, ‘Aw, shoot, this is the Battle of New York.’ Let’s go. For me it’s a special game. I got all my boys — I’ve known Leo since 2010, I’ve got Lorenzo Carter, Alec Ogletree, Deandre Baker,” added Jets outside linebacker Jordan Jenkins, who will face the Giants in the regular season for the first time. “So yeah, this one is different because it’s braggin’ rights between me and the guys I played ball with back in the day.”

Meanwhile, the Giants are at a risk to come into this game demotivated following a loss to another rival, Dallas. It was a game the Giants could have won, but a number of mistakes including allowing Dallas to take the lead right before the start of the second half blew what chances they had of an upset.

Much of the blame has fallen on head coach Pat Shurmur, and the narrative for this game isn’t about the rivalry with the Jets, but about whether or not Shurmur will escape week ten without losing his job. Will this controversy about the coaching job end up being detrimental to the team? It’s hard to tell, but it’s at the level where it’s impossible to ignore, especially with some branding this game as a make or break one for Shurmur’s hopes of lasting the season.

The Giants are also still struggling with injuries – Evan Engram has been ruled out for week ten thanks to picking up a midfoot sprain in week nine, and Sterling Shepard is still out with a concussion that’s been troubling him all season long. Even if Daniel Jones shows up in full form, he won’t have a full arsenal to work with in terms of receiving weapons, something which hasn’t helped the Giants earlier in the season.

Should a loss against the Jets be expected? Not necessarily – the Jets aren’t the best team themselves, with only one win so far. However, the combination of them being motivated for the matchup and the Giants suffering from coaching controversy and injuries might just give them the edge they need. The game will very likely be close, but it remains to be seen whether the Giants will be the team on top at the end of the day.

BREAKING: Yankees hire Matt Blake as new pitching coach

New York Yankees, Larry Rothschild

The New York Yankees didn’t waste any time finding their new pitching coach, as they have hired Matt Blake to fill the role Larry Rothschild left behind. Blake was previously the pitching coach of the Cleveland Indians and is known for developing big-league pitchers.

Blake’s ability to refine pitchers and his familiarity with the Yankees system, having worked as an area scout for them in the past, makes him a fantastic candidate for the Bombers moving forward. He takes a more analytical approach to the game, while Rothschild depends on his gut and old-school mentality.

This is a step forward for a Yankees team that did have a great bullpen last year but saw their starters struggle at times. Blake should increase the efficiency of both units if he can manage to make the most of the pitching currently on the roster.

Check back for updates!

BREAKING: New York Yankees Hire Matt Blake As Pitching Coach

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have hired Matt Blake as their new pitching coach.

Blake was previously an area scout for the Yankees and a pitching coordinator for the Cleveland Indians. He will be taking the job of Larry Rothschild, who was fired about two weeks ago.

He will look to develop the starting pitching as well as strengthen middle relievers.

This is a developing story and we will know more soon.

Why The Giants Might Consider Placing Sterling Shepard On Injured Reserve

New York Giants, Sterling Shepard

The New York Giants have dealt with numerous injuries in 2019, and so has their primary receiver, Sterling Shepard. Shepard broke his thumb in training camp, then hurried to get healthy for the regular season. He was successful but has unfortunately been hit with even worse injury luck during the season.

In week one, Shepard was banged up while throwing a block on a run play. He stayed in the game but it was later discovered that he had suffered a concussion. Sterling missed week two and was back in the lineup for week three.

Sterling Shepard was not back in the lineup for long, unfortunately. In the Giants’ week five matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, Shepard suffered his second concussion of the season. That is two concussions in five weeks. Five weeks later, Shepard is still not back in the lineup. It is time for the Giants to consider putting Sterling on injured reserve and preserving him for next season.

Concussions Piling Up

This is not Sterling Shepard’s first season having a concussion. Sterling reportedly sustained two concussions in high school (according to sportsinjurypredictor.com). Then, in college at Oklahoma, Shepard dealt with another concussion that caused him to miss one game in 2013.

In 2017, Shepard was concussion-free, but he might have been dealing with the aftermath of his previous concussions when he missed two games with migraines. Now, in 2018, Sterling has suffered two more concussions and has missed six games with the potential to miss the rest of the season.

Regardless of his football status, the Giants should consider putting Sterling Shepard on season-ending injured reserve. This is now five concussions sustained in Sterling Shepard’s lifetime, a dangerous amount for anyone. Especially when considering the long-term effects that concussions can have on the brain.

A Father And A Husband First

Sterling Shepard is a football player. But Sterling Shepard is not just a football player. Sterling Shepard is a husband to his beautiful wife, Chanel, that he tied the knot with last year. Last year, Sterling also became a father.

In August of 2018, Chanel gave birth to her and Sterling’s first daughter, Cali Clay. They are now expecting their second child. Sterling Shepard, as Russell Shepard pointed out, has to do what is best for him and his family, not for the football team.

At 25 years-old, Sterling is too young to be jeopardizing his future for a 2-7 football team. The Giants need to do him a favor and shut him down for the season. By placing Sterling Shepard on injured reserve, the Giants would be ensuring that the young man will stay out of harm’s way until the end of the year. From then, it will be Sterling’s decision to make on when and if he will return to the field.

The New York Yankees have had this plan for Gleyber Torres all along

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

With the New York Yankees electing to reject shortstop Didi Gregorius’ qualifying offer of $17.8 million next season, they have a decision to make. Do they go out and sign a top-notch shortstop to fill the void, or follow their original game plan?

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s take a moment to remember Didi’s accomplishments, he deserves that much. Over the past few seasons, Gregorius has been a staple for the Yankees at short. Coming up with big hits time and time again, the locker-room connoisseur will undoubtedly be missed, and after having Tommy John surgery, paying him $17.8 million just wasn’t in the cards.

However, a game-tying homer in the 2017 Wild Card game, two homers against Corey Kluber in the ALDS (2017), and a grand slam in the 2019 ALDS, all highlight what he meant to the Bombers and his best clutch moments. Didi has been a fan-favorite for years, but ultimately, baseball is a business, and spending far too much on a shortstop who the Yankees see as replaceable, doesn’t make much sense.

How will the New York Yankees replace Didi Gregorius?

Gleyber Torres is your answer. This season, the Yankees were able to inject Torress into the shortstop position to give him some much-needed experience will Gregorius recovering from Tommy John. That experience will now pay off, as DJ LeMahieu can slide into his preferred second-base position while Torres takes over at short.

Torres’ natural position is short, which is why this move makes too much sense. While the youngster’s offense is impeccable, his defense at the position needs a bit of work. His 11 errors over 77 games are unacceptable, but it’s part of his progression in the infield.

What the infield could look like in 2020:

First base: Luke Voit

Second base: DJ LeMahieu

Shortstop: Gleyber Torres

Third base: Gio Urshela

Catcher: Gary Sanchez

This is a solid group of infielders. However, Urshela and Voit scare me. Two combined seasons of decent play doesn’t scream efficiency. If they cannot replicate their production, the Yankees will suffer a reality they did not expect. Bringing in some capable reserves should be a priority.

The New York Yankees were anything but a “small ball” team in 2019

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

One narrative that seemed to follow the New York Yankees this entire 2019 campaign was a misguided one. The noted narrative was the 2019 New York Yankees were somehow a small ball team.

I’m sorry, but where on earth was it evident that the Yankees were a small ball team in 2019?

The collective batting average of the 2019 Yankees was .267. That’s above the league average for baseball as a whole in 2019, but not when you look at the offensive breakdown of that .267 team average. The team had 1,493 hits, per baseball-reference.com. The team, collectively, also struck out 1,421 times (that’s excluding the pitchers offensive totals, bringing the team strikeout total to 1,437). That’s a differential of only 72 more hits than strikeouts (56 when you factor in the pitchers). A real small ball team would suggest that they struck out less, and got more hits as a team due to the nature of sac flies, sac bunts, and more than the 569 walks the Yankees recorded as a team.

The only offensive category the Yankees lead in suggesting their “small ball” mindset was runs. They lead the American League in runs scored. They also shattered their record they set last year for home runs hit as a team, but still fell short of setting a new record. In the American League, eleven more teams hit more doubles than the Yankees, eleven more teams stole more bases, five more teams were caught stealing less, and they were dead last in triples hit. These are not statistics indicating a “small ball” club.

By contrast, the Houston Astros lead the American League in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, OBP, walks, strikeouts, had 1,100 more hits than the Yankees, were second in the league in hitting doubles, fourth in the league in hitting triples, were eighth in the league in stolen bases, and still hit the third-most home runs in the American League. That’s a small ball hitting team.

We’re talking about the Bronx Bombers people. Not the Bronx “small ballers.” If you don’t like how many home runs the Yankees are hitting, and hate even more how many of their runs are scored via the long ball, I don’t know what to tell you. This isn’t a team designed to win via small ball. It just isn’t. 

So stop pretending that they are. You’ll add a couple of weeks to your life from how much less time you’ll be stressing over the Yankees’ inability to play small ball.

Former New York Giants safety Stevie Brown: A Recipe for Success

New York Giants

At first glance of former New York Giants safety Stevie Brown, you might think athlete, and you’d be right. Brown spent six years in the NFL, and although he is now retired, he isn’t slowing down one bit. He has never been one to slack or quit.  When he suffered an injury to his ACL, he came back stronger and better, never once letting it defeat him in any way. He works out every day and is extremely fit.  He is dedicated and determined to maintain his physique and inspires others with motivational quotes. Brown also gives insight to those who aspire to be fit with food and workout plans.

While Stevie Brown has killed it in the game of football, he also has a passion for food, and it most certainly shows.  Brown is always cooking everything from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to dessert and snacks. Every single dish he makes looks like it came out of a magazine. 

He is continuously turning unhealthy foods into more nutritional, yet oh so delicious fare. Everything is made with fresh, wholesome ingredients and from scratch.  

To share his culinary ingenuity with others, Brown created a food truck in the Houston area called PhreshPlate.  Here, you can get convenient, on-the-go food that is both healthy, yet satisfyingly delicious. Offering delectable breakfasts such as Protein Pecan Waffles or an Egg White and Turkey Bacon Sandwich, his meals are very affordable and most definitely tasty.  They may skimp on the calories, but most certainly not on the flavor.

If you are looking for a healthy meal for dinner, but are in a pinch, he most certainly has that covered with his savory BBQ Salmon served with a side of fluffy Cauliflower Rice. Every single thing he makes is delectable and mouthwatering.  

Brown is also involved in many philanthropic endeavors doing charity work with the Boys and Girls Club to talk about the importance of healthy eating, or playing with the kids as part of the active lifestyle initiative Play60 and has visited firehouses to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11.  He is always giving back to the community.

Brown is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth guys who are respectable and kind.  He always interacts with fans on his social media accounts and genuinely wants to help others succeed. 

He is a family man, and it most certainly shows: he was raised to be a gentleman full of class and respect.  Brown has a cup of kindness and an endless amount of determination, and that, along with a plethora of functional qualities, is a recipe for success!

 

New York Giants should end Sterling Shepard’s season

New York Giants receiver, Sterling Shepard.

New York Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard did not play again Monday night against Dallas. Shepard was placed back into the NFL’s concussion protocol after showing symptoms over the weekend, although previously being cleared. Shepard has already gotten two concussions on the season. His first coming week one, and his second coming week five. Shepard has already developed a history with concussions.

For the third year in a row, New York already has seven losses in the first week of November. The Giants are once again at a point where fans are already looking towards April’s draft. It’s clear that at this point in the season, the objective for the team moving forward is to continue to develop their rookie QB, Daniel Jones. With New York’s playoff chances already sim to none, there is so rush for Shepard to return to the football field.

Sterling Shepard was given a new contract by the Giants this offseason. He signed a deal of four years worth $41M, with $21.2M guaranteed, and a $10M signing bonus. At this point, the team has to decide to preserve Shepard’s future health and future with the team. Shepard is only 25 years old and playing his fourth season in the NFL. Sterling was selected in the second round of the 2016 draft by New York.

Recently head coach Pat Shurmur called Shepard’s injury “a serious injury that requires a serious response.” The Giants will have to make a decision that is best for Sterling and his future as there is no rush to get him back on the field this season.

Second team defensive struggles; New York Knicks lose 4th straight

New York Knicks, David Fizdale

The New York Knicks starting lineup last night might be the one.  The lineup consisted of Frank Ntilikina, RJ Barrett, Marcus Morris, Julius Randle and Mitchell Robinson.

That first squad played well together and gave fans hope it could be the lineup moving forward.  The Knicks were in the game and their defense was on-point.  They were aggressive with active hands and hitting the glass.

The Knicks were led defensively by Ntilikina who had an outstanding game on both sides of the floor.  Coming out party?  Ntilikina was excellent on defense, locking down Luke Kennard, who’s been hot for Detroit.  He had active hands, making steals, blocks and staying in front of his man like an elite defender.

Ntilikina was, finally, making shots on the offensive side as well.  His shot look confident and he was knocking them down.  Even Alan Hahn was complimenting Ntilikina’s play, as fans saw the Ntilikina from the FIBA World Cup.

However, the Knicks did make Tony Snell look like a max player, who didn’t miss a shot all game.  Snell was the Pistons entire offense while the starting lineup kept the Knicks in the game.  Then David Fizdale subbed in the second-team and the game went down the tubes.

The defense from the second unit of Bobby Portis, Taj Gibson, Kevin Knox, Wayne Ellington and Barrett/Ntilikina was atrocious.  The Knicks got blasted in transition as the Pistons got numerous easy buckets from a leaking defender.  The paint was open the entire game when this lineup was in and the Knicks had no answer.

Their answer of Robinson went out in the first quarter when he got an inadvertent elbow to the face.  The first unit would come back into the game, scratch and claw their way back in due to the poor defense from the second team.

Besides Ntilikina’s overall play, Randle’s offensive performance, Knox’s shooting and Barrett’s aggressiveness were the only other highlights.

Randle showed fans the player that they hoped for when they signed him.  He was actually hitting 3-pointers too.  Randle still had turnover issues but what else do you expect.  Barrett was driving to the rim with a purpose and getting several and-one’s.  Knox had a confident stroke and his shot continues to look more polished.  Another reason why Knox should get more minutes and how he’s a cornerstone to the Knicks going forward.

Due to the lackadaisical, careless transition defense and inability to clog up the middle the Knicks fell for a fourth straight time to the Detroit Pistons, 122-102.  If there’s any positive to come out of last night’s game, it would be that they may have found a serviceable starting lineup, finally.  The second unit still needs a lot of work to find the right fit.

New York Giants: Changes That Need To Be Made

The New York Giants are 2-7 to start the 2019 NFL season and the knives are out for heads and changes. Many believe a head coaching change is in order, and if Pat Shurmur surveys this mess of a season, his offensive and defensive coordinators may not.

In fact, they should not.

In my weekly podcast with blogger Craig Santucci of NYGiantsRush.com, we discuss not only our disappointment and surprise at the team’s performance (much of it scheme-related) but what we’d like to see management do to correct the issues.

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN