New York Giants: Former Packers Coach McCarthy To Receive Interview

The big question going into 2020 for the New York Giants has to do with who the head coach will be, but there’s a number of names who have been linked to the Giants as candidates and there’s no completely clear answer at this point. It looks like Baylor’s Matt Rhule will get a shot at the position, but there’s no guarantee at this point, and many think it would be a better idea to bring in an experienced NFL head coach rather than a college coach who only has a limited amount of time spent at a high level program.

With Jason Garrett being an unpopular option to fill the “experienced NFL head coach” role, former Packers coach Mike McCarthy looks like a dark horse option at this point.

According to Adam Schefter, McCarty is expected to interview with the Giants this weekend, presumably for the head coaching job which was left vacant by the firing of Pat Shurmur on Monday. They aren’t the only team looking into McCarthy, with the Browns also bringing the coach in this week for an interview.

But some might argue that the Giants job is more of an attractive one than the Browns. The Giants may have gone through a lot of chaos over the past couple of years, but at the end of the day they don’t have the same history of being a coaching graveyard that Cleveland has had in recent years.

McCarthy’s previous experience working with quarterbacks including Aaron Rodgers makes him an interesting potential choice, as it’s well known that the Giants are building around rookie quarterback Daniel Jones right now and will likely go for a head coaching candidate who can get the most out of him, after spending the high price of the number six overall pick to bring their new quarterback in.

A lackluster past couple of seasons have gotten McCarthy fired after a string of playoff appearances and losses in the years following the Packers’ last Super Bowl win, but it’s hard to deny one thing: there is some appeal in the Giants having a Super Bowl winning head coach with a history of division victories rather than an unproven coach coming right out of the college game.

New York Giants: A Greater Emphasis On Analytics Promised By Dave Gettleman

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants fired their head coach on Monday and kept their general manager safe. Dave Gettleman has served as the team’s general manager for the past two seasons in which the Giants won only 9 games. Additionally, Gettleman constructed the 2019 roster that featured not one single Pro Bowler.

Despite all of this, ownership is confident in Dave Gettleman. They believe he is the right man to lead them out of this mess. There has been a lot of improvement behind the scenes, particularly in the analytics and scouting departments.

Dave Gettleman conducted his end-of-season press-conference today. While getting grilled by members of the press, the Giants’ general manager shed some light on those behind-the-scenes improvements.

The Computer Folks

In April 2018, Dave Gettleman called the idea of using positional value and analytics to guide decision-making “nonsense” and began typing on a keyboard to mock those who rely on statistics. A video of this outrageous moment can be seen in the tweet below:

It seems that Dave Gettleman has had a change of heart since then. He was even asked about his infamous keyboard mockery in his press conference. Dave claims that he did that “kidding around” and that he just meant to say that Saquon Barkley is a special talent.

According to owner John Mara, the Giants are “deeper into analytics and technology than ever before.” If true, this is a forward-thinking step in the right direction. Dave Gettleman’s press conference seemed to confirm this.

Dave Gettleman was asked about the state of the Giants during his press conference and where the team is headed. In his response, Gettleman explained how he thinks he has “set the team up for sustained success.” Dave has done this by “rebooting” the scouting and analytics department.

We have completely redone our scouting situation, how we look at college personnel, how we look at pro personnel. We are in the process, we have hired four computer folks, software, and we are completely redoing the backend of our college and pro scouting systems. – Dave Gettleman via Giants.com

This is an encouraging sign from Dave Gettleman. Even though his phrasing “computer folks” might be strange, it is important that the Giants are placing a greater emphasis on analytics moving forward. It is also reassuring to hear Dave Gettleman say that the Giants are “committed to being forward-thinking.” Time will quickly tell if Gettleman is telling the truth or just saying what fans want to hear.

New York Mets: five bold predictions for the 2020 season

New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard

Spring Training is not particularly close, but the New Year is. We are feeling bold, aren’t you? Let’s discuss five predictions for the New York Mets’ 2020 season.

The rules state that the predictions need to be bold, which means that they normally wouldn’t come to fruition. However, they also should be possible, or attainable to some degree. There will be no “the Mets will acquire Mike Trout and Gerrit Cole and forget about luxury tax or payroll money.”

Without further ado, here are five bold predictions for the New York Mets in 2020:

Bold predictions for the Mets

Michael Conforto will hit 40 home runs

Conforto is entering his prime and already surpassed 30 home runs this year, with 33. He will be healthy and productive, and thanks to his sweet swing and elevated FB% (he had 40% in 2019) he will take his game to a whole new level in 2020.

Noah Syndergaard will throw 200 innings of sub-3.00 ERA… with the Mets

The subject of never-ending trade rumors, Thor will bring his A-game next season. He will be a sub-3.00 ERA hurler for the third time in his career (second if we count full seasons.) Syndergaard will also clear the 200-inning threshold and be an anchor of a formidable rotation.

J.D. Davis will hit .310 with 30 home runs

Yoenis Cespedes is traded and paves the way for Davis to play regularly. The Mets find him at-bats in the outfield and some in third base. The ex-Astro finishes with a .312 average and 31 home runs, evolving into a true middle-of-the-order threat.

Brandon Nimmo will lead the league in BB%

We know that Nimmo can walk with the best of them. If he had enough at-bats to qualify, his 18.3 BB% would have finished second in MLB after Mike Trout’s 18.3. Next year, he will lead the charge with a 17.4 BB% mark. A keen eye at the plate to set up one of the best offenses in the National League.

The Mets will advance to the World Series

Finally, and against all odds, the New York Mets will advance to the Fall Classic thanks to dominant postseasons from deGrom, Pete Alonso, and Jeff McNeil.

Who Was the Greatest New York Yankees Player: Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig?

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees have been blessed with some of the greatest players in the world putting on the pinstripes. So it begs to question: who was the most magnificent Yankee of all time? Let’s look at the two most formidable Yankees of the ’20s and ’30s, Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig?

What Could Have Been

Lou Gehrig’s life and career were cut short by the disease he’d be named after. Now, he was 36, so it’s circumspect to believe that he’d last as long as Ruth did (who played till he was 40). But he certainly could have given Ruth a run for his money in several main categories. Except for home runs. Ruth definitely would have still held onto that.

Ruth had a career batting average of .342, Gehrig with .340. Ruth had 2,873 career hits, averaging 186 a season. Gehrig had 2,721 averaging over 200 hits per season. Ruth struck out 1,330 times in his career, Gehrig, only 790 times. Gehrig hit more doubles, triples, and averaged nine home runs fewer than Ruth did, and had twice as many MVPs as the Sultan of Swat.

Ruth still holds career records in slugging, OPS, and OPS+ and hit over 200 home runs more than Gehrig. If Gehrig had the option to play 2-3 full seasons after 1938, he’d had passed Babe Ruth for most RBI’s.

Are Things Skewed Toward Ruth?

Gehrig spent his entire career in the live-ball era, something that Ruth can’t say. But Ruth was a two-way player, finishing with a 94-46 career record, adding 20 more WAR points to his resume than Gehrig, who was a career first baseman.

But, the legend was a STUD offensively. Offensively, Ruth had a WAR over 162 while Gehrig was at 112. Statistically, all things point to Ruth being the better player over Gehrig.

But statistics don’t always paint a complete picture. We’re still talking about two human beings who happened to be giants of the game of baseball. And unfortunately, we who were born past 1939 will never have gotten to see these men play. All we’ll have are the highlight reels that would serve as the basis for what would become SportsCenter’s top 10 plays.

Let’s appreciate the fact they both happened to be Yankees.

Yankees: Here Comes the Computerized Strike Zone, Umpires Agree during Negotiations

New York Yankees, Edwin Encarnacion

No change in America’s pastime has been more controversial than the use of a computerized or electronic strike zone. It’s been talked about since the 1950s when in the Brooklyn Dodgers spring training, the first contraption to measure balls and strikes was tested.  The so-called “cross-eyed electronic umpire” introduced that day used mirrors, lenses, and photoelectric cells beneath home plate that would, after detecting a strike-through three slots around the plate, emit electric impulses that illuminated what The Brooklyn Eagle called a “saucy red eye” in a nearby cabinet.  Back in the ’50s, it was the atomic age, but sports never have been technologically advanced and have been reluctant to change anything about the game.

Since the 50’s things have changed in baseball, albeit reluctantly, it’s become a time of analytics, and how the game is managed has changed.   Although having no effect on the game, they first used slow-motion cameras to analyze plays.  Then came the instant replay.

Now just about everything in the game is open to challenge, except the calling of balls and strikes by the home plate umpire.  Now that the non-challenged aspect of the game is about to change.  The Associated Press has reported that umpires agreed to cooperate with Major League Baseball in the development and testing of an automated ball-strike system as part of a five-year labor contract, two people familiar with the deal told The Associated Press. The Major League Baseball Umpires Association also agreed to cooperate and assist if commissioner Rob Manfred decides to utilize the system at the significant league level. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because those details of the deal, which is subject to ratification by both sides, had not been announced.

On July 10 of this past season, the Independent Atlantic League became the first pro ball league to let a computer call balls and strikes at their All-Star game.  The TrackMan computer system is a far cry from the mirrors and lenses used back in the 50’s experiment.  This system uses Doppler radar, that doesn’t make mistakes.   The ball travels toward the umpire, the radar tracks where the ball does or doesn’t pass through the zone, it immediately sends the call to an iPhone in the Umps pocket and his earpiece, and the call is announced.  The system isn’t perfect, and you still need a home plate umpire.  For instance, the radar can’t recognize whether a hitter held up or not, and it can not determine if a ball hit the ground first and then traveled through the zone.

More tests will be done.  It looks like in the upcoming season, TrackMan will be tested in the Florida State League.   If all goes well there, the next step the MLB has planned is to try it in triple-A parks in 2021.  If that goes well, it seems inevitable that the computerized ball and strike zone will soon after becoming a reality in major league parks.  “It would change the game for the good. It would continue the effort to eliminate human deficiency,” Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt wrote in a story for The Associated Press in October.

“We have replay everywhere else in the game. Like it or not, replay gets the call right.”  Detractors will say it changes the game dramatically and takes the humanity out of it.  Those that like the move say it will be fairer and spot the numerous bad calls we have seen as recently as in this postseason play.  For years many Yankee fans have said that some major league umpires have it in for the Yankees and show that bias in a usual amount of bad calls against the Yankees.  The TrackMan would put an end to that, whether you feel there was a bias or not.  You can’t argue with radar!  Fewer mistakes, less fun, but it’s all good.

The Yankees can execute three different actions with Miguel Andujar

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

Injuries can be the turning point for any given player, and for Yankees‘ Miguel Andujar, it could be the determining factor behind trading him for assets. The young third baseman tore his Labrum last season, virtually missing the entire campaign, hurting his chances of earning a starting job.

Manager Aaron Boone did give us an update on his progress:

“[Andujar] is doing really well,’’ Boone said Friday at Yankee Stadium. “I expect him to be ready to go for spring training.’’

The emergence of Gio Urshela, who posted a .314 batting average in 2019, has put Andujar in the passenger seat, relegating him to a reserve option or designated hitter role. In his rookie campaign two years ago, he was stellar, hitting .297 with 27 homers and 47 doubles. There’s little evidence to suggest he cannot be the same offensive force he once was for the Yankees, but rumors of Josh Hader being on the table could force GM Brian Cashman’s hand. It boils down to his confidence in Urshela, and if manager Aaron Boone is assured that his one season of offensive efficiency can spill into 2020.

However, there are several things the Yankees can do with Miguel Andujar, let’s take a look:

1.) Trade him

Andujar has plenty of value after being the runner up for Rookie of the Year in 2018. His injury might decrease his projected value a bit, but other teams hold him in high regard. If Hader is really on the table and they require Andujar to be a part of the deal, Cashman won’t hesitate to pull the trigger if the overall price is right.

2.) Keep him at third base

While Urshela will undoubtedly get the first crack at the starting job on the hot corner, Andujar could easily replace him if his offensive abilities don’t remain consistent. Having a capable reserve at one of the more challenging positions in baseball is essential, and one injury there could derail the infield enough to sway the team’s record.

Keeping Miggy seems like the better move, in my opinion, but supplementing the loss of Dellin Betances and Nestor Cortes Jr. is also something to consider. I’m not entirely sold on Urshela, as his lone season of production is something to be cautious about.

3.) Andujar could change positions

The Yankees have floated the idea of moving Andujar around the infield, potentially to first base. This would make sense given his lack of fielding efficiency on the hot corner, logging a .948 percentage over 136 games in 2018. His lone season of sample size doesn’t give us much to work off of regarding progression, but it’s fair to assume it can only get better from there.

Boone stated earlier in the offseason that they haven’t considered moving him just yet, but Spring Training could be a substantial opportunity to earn reps elsewhere.

 

New York Yankees: Mike Tauchman is due for a break out season

Mike Tauchman, New York Yankees
Mike Tauchman has been a slow blooming acquisition of the New York Yankees from the Colorado Rockies. He has spent most of his time in the minors but also has shown his abilities to play almost anywhere on the field, and late last season became one of the Yankees hottest bats. Let’s find out a bit more about this versatile player.
 
Mike is 29 years old, he is a multi-talented athlete having attended high school in Palatine, Illinois where he played baseball and was the quarterback for the football team. In his senior year, he led a come- from- behind win against future NFL quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. He attended Bradley University where he played baseball for the Bradley Braves. In his senior, he won the Missouri Valley Conference Baseball Player of the Year Award.
 
The Colorado Rockies selected Tauchman in the 2013 draft. In 2017 he would see 31 games in the majors for the Rockies and would bat .222. In a week in May of 2018, he would hit five home runs, hit .417, drive in eight and have 27 bases while in the Pacific Coast League. But in 21 games with the Rockies, he would hit just .094. Just before the end of spring training in 2019, the Rockies would trade Tauchman to the Yankees.
 
Mike came over to the Yankees with the reputation of being a good fielder and not much of a hitter, and that was largely true for the first two months of the season, which he spent as the team’s reserve outfielder. When Aaron Hicks returned from his injury he was demoted back to the minor leagues, where his story could have easily ended. However, it didn’t. With the unprecedented injuries that kept popping up last season, Tauchman would again see himself at the Stadium. After getting recalled again in late June, Tauchman went on a tear to close out the rest of the season, a phenomenon that can best be described as “Tauch-mania.” After slashing .228/.318/.404 with four home runs in 42 games before the All-Star break, Tauchman turned it on in the dog days. In his final 45 games, Tauchman powered nine home runs, 20 extra-base hits, 30 RBI and slashed .315/.395/.582. Tauchman’s peak came in July when he had 13 RBI in 16 games, plus an OPS of 1.224 while proving to be an excellent defender in left field.
 
Unfortunately, Tauchman’s season came to a premature end after a Grade 2 calf strain sidelined him in September. He likely wouldn’t have played much in the playoffs anyway, but it was a sour end to a breakout season for Tauchman.
 
Just like last year’s stand out Gio Urshela blasted onto the scene, so this year will Mike Tauchman, who will come into his own as a regular player. Tauchman did a fine job last year on his trips between Scranton Wilkes/Barre and the Stadium. His defense in left field was nothing short of excellent. As he has more constant at-bats, he looks to him to become more contact and consistent behind the plate. With his increased at-bats last season he slugged .504. He likes New York, and at 29 he wants to make his mark. Look for Mike Tauchman to have a break out year.
 
Mike is married to his wife Eileen since January 7, 2017. Mike has a 4- year old dog named Kota. The husky mix was born in New Mexico and was rescued by Mike and his wife. He “loves traveling around the country with mom and dad” according to Mike. When he hit his first 3 run home run against the Red Sox, he desperately wanted the ball back. Working with security staff, he got the ball back for a few signed balls and some photos.

New York Mets rumors: Bullpen projections, historic moments and more!

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

We are officially in the last day of the year! While the New York Mets fell short of a postseason spot in 2019 and blew some games in spectacular fashion, the team finished with a positive record and is well-positioned for a playoff run in 2020.

Brodie Van Wagenen and his staff worked hard to improve the roster. Now, the Mets have six capable starters thanks to the Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello additions. Also, they have a relief ace in Dellin Betances.

Here are the New York Mets’ links and rumors of the day!

MLB.com: Sarah Langs of MLB.com reviewed the 10 historic performances of the 2019 season in Major League Baseball. Two of them had to do with the New York Mets: Jacob deGrom’s second Cy Young award in a row was one. The other one was Pete Alonso setting the highest number of home runs by a rookie hitter.

SNY: Speaking of performances, John Harper made a list of the top 10 memorable moments of the decade as it winds down. It is a great way to remember specific baseball events that left a print on our minds.

MLB.com: January 8th, 2020 will be the date set for the New York Mets’ annual winter blood drive. It will last from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm ET, at the Foxwoods Club, in Citi Field. Donators will get two tickets for a specific Mets’ game next season.

Metsmerizedonline.com: While we are in the mood for moments, Metsmerizedonline.com reviewed the best of each year of the decade. Go take a look, it is a worthwhile list.

MLB.com: Here, we have spoken at length about how good the Mets’ bullpen can be. As it turns out, we aren’t alone! MLB.com notes that the relief corps will be among the best in the National League. The writer uses Steamer’s projections to paint a very favorable picture. He observes that getting Edwin Diaz back to 2-WAR levels would go a long way for the success of the team.

Should the New York Rangers Trade Chris Kreider?

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Much of the news swirling around the New York Rangers this holiday season centers around the possibility that the Blueshirts would move 28-year-old winger Chris Kreider. But after watching him recently with linemate Mika Zibajenad, many wonder if this is a good idea.

The Case for Moving New York Rangers’ Kreider

The biggest motive in making the move is that Kreider will be an Unrestricted Free Agent after the season. Kreider does have a modified no-trade clause and carries a $4.625 million salary-cap hit. A couple of weeks ago, Kreider reportedly gave the Rangers a list of 11 teams that he would consider playing for. There are many that feel that the Rangers are unwilling to commit a lot of money to a player that was good but never achieved what many thought he would, even if it means alienating fans.

The second part of the equation is that if the Rangers are dead set on dealing him, is whether to do it now or wait until the trade deadline in February.  There seems to be quite a bit of interest in Kreider, who currently is playing very well. Trading him now will give the Rangers the chance to assimilate any new players on the team for a playoff push. However, the general thought is that waiting until the deadline makes teams willing to offer more in one last attempt to improve their team.  Creating bidding wars means that the Rangers can get the most in return for Kreider. In either scenario, with Taylor Hall off the market, Kreider is now one of the top targets of many teams.

The Case for Keeping Kreider

One of the biggest reasons for keeping Kreider is that he is a leader on the team and popular with teammates. An important consideration for a young team that has a fair chance to at least make a playoff run. Last year’s purge of popular players did not go well. After trading Zuccarello, Hayes, and McQuaid, the Blueshirts proceeded to go 1-6-5 over their next 12, which lead to a poor 5-11-5 finish. That would not be a great message for a young team.  Then there is the chemistry that Kreider and fellow linemate Mika Zibanejad have built up this season. He is also proving to be a leader to a team with many young players.  This may be what the Rangers are thinking as on the Hockey Night in Canada pregame show Saturday, Sportsnet reporter Elliot Friedman mentioned that Kreider is getting some interest but may not be available yet. It was also stated that the Rangers still have interest in resigning him.

The bottom line is that the decision to keep or move Kreider may hinge on whether the Rangers can stay in the playoff race. If the Rangers would falter before the trade deadline, the decision to trade him becomes much easier.

 

A 10 Part Breakdown of the New York Yankees Depth: Starting Pitching

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

In the last few seasons, the New York Yankees starting rotation was not as well as people thought it was. Masahiro Tanaka, the teams imported ace, has been giving up (on average) 4.5-4.9 runs per game, with an adjusted WAR of -0.1, averaging a .500 record over that time span. Luis Severino is still trying to figure himself out. And while CC Sabathia is now retired, he… uh, wasn’t great.

What About Now?

Gerrit Cole is a big upgrade. Like… such an upgrade that we catapult ourselves to the top of the league in terms of starting rotation. Our starting 4 looks like this:

  1. Gerrit Cole: WAR of 12.1 in two seasons with Houston, with 602 strikeouts compared to the 734 strikeouts he recorded as a Pirate.
  2. James Paxton: 26-12 over the last 2 seasons, with 394 strikeouts, and a WAR of 5.1 in the same time span.
  3. Luis Severino: Last season was shortened to just 12 innings in September. He still managed a 34-15 record since 2017, with 467 strikeouts, and a 10.7 WAR.
  4. Masahiro Tanaka: a WAR of 5.7 since 2017, he still averages about 150 strikeouts per season, with at least 1 complete game shutout. This is great stats for a number 4.

So Who’s the 5?

Boy howdy do we have options.

We don’t know yet what’s going to happen to Domingo German. Chances are if MLB levees a suspension against German, he’ll have a reduced sentence for time already served. But that will mean we need to figure out how to bridge the gap between then.

Jordan Montgomery would be a great filler, but we’re talking about a team that developed the Joba Rules, shut down Phil Hughes during the best season he had as a Yankee starter (screwing him up for the end of his tenure), and at least one massive implosion from more than one member of our bullpen at the WORST time every year for the last 5 seasons. They aren’t going to let Montgomery throw more than 150 innings next year.

What would be a smart move is to have Monty serve as an opener. We know Monty can go more than the one inning they let Chad Green go on average last season. Slowly building him up to 5 innings, and complimenting him with Happ (if we can’t move Happ) would allow us to save our pen throughout the entire season, which would mean they get to stay fresher during a push into October.

We finally have a starting rotation that can complement one of the best bullpens in the game. Everyone should be happy about this! I know I am.