New York Giants: Eli Manning Debate Will Be Settled By Final Games Of 2019

Eli Manning has once again found himself the starting quarterback for the New York Giants, after Daniel Jones’ run lasted from a couple weeks into the season to the most recent game where he was injured and taken out of action.

Manning coming in as the top quarterback is less controversial than it was at the beginning of the season – the Giants don’t have the option to play the younger rookie right now, after all. Jones is in a walking boot and bringing him back at all this season would be a pointless risk when the Giants’ path this season is already largely decided.

That doesn’t mean, however, that some of those debates from the early season can’t be settled by the last games of the year. Particularly, the debates about whether or not Manning should have started throughout this season.

Jones brought success for a couple of games and it looked like starting him was an obviously good move, but all of the games after that point, which have been part of a long losing streak, have cast doubts on the choice for some and blurred the lines on whether or not benching Manning was a good decision.

It’s not that anyone expected Manning to lead a miraculous turnaround and for the team to have more wins under him than it does under Jones. In fact, without Jones, the Giants probably would have lost the Tampa game. But there’s an argument to be made that they haven’t gained much with Jones in terms of performance, beyond the first couple of starts.

And the only thing starting Jones has done so far is throw the team’s precious rookie quarterback into an immediately bad situation, one where he’s expected to win with a terrible offensive line, a Saquon Barkley who has struggled after missing time with injury this year, and a number of receiving targets who keep managing to get themselves hurt.

It’s a pretty bad environment for a rookie quarterback to start out in, and the Giants haven’t gained much from throwing Jones to the wolves like this. They still only have a couple of wins. And they still look bad for the way they handled things with Eli Manning, their longtime starter.

Now, Manning is back on the field even after being benched, and he has a chance to show that the Giants benched him too soon and should have kept him around one more season before making a smoother transition in the offseason to Daniel Jones, which would have also allowed Jones to maybe step into a more stable situation – that would depend on just how much the Giants have improved since this season, of course.

There’s not much pressure on Manning. The team is already bad regardless of what happens in the last weeks of the season, and Manning doesn’t enter the season with the pressure of being the season long starter but rather as the backup who spent most of the year on the bench.

So in a way, you could say Manning has the last laugh in all of this. There’s a debate to be had with whether or not the team moved on too soon or not, and Manning has now found himself in a pressure free situation where he can make a statement through his play that he should have seen the field full time this season.

Even Without Kyrie, Spencer Dinwiddie Is Keeping The Nets Relevant In The East

Brooklyn Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie

When the 2019 NBA season kicked off on October 23rd, Brooklyn Nets fans everywhere were anticipating the grand arrival of their new, superstar point guard, Kyrie Irving. Kyrie didn’t wait long to illustrate his offensive impact, dropping 50 points in his first game, becoming only the 5th player to score 50 or more in a season opener in NBA history, as the Nets lost a fierce battle in OT to the Timberwolves 127-126.

His offensive output would continue. Over 11 games that he played and started prior to getting plagued by a shoulder injury, Kyrie went on to put up an average of 28.5 PPG along with 7.2 APG and 5.4 RPG, a stat line that surely looks very complete yet oddly enough, was overshadowed by a meager 4-7 team record that was capped off with a three-game losing streak on the road (ESPN.com).

But with Kyrie’s departure and Caris LeVert sidelined with a thumb injury, a familiar, bright starlet reemerged onto the scene for the Nets, just like he did last season alongside former teammate D’Angelo Russell.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Spencer Dinwiddie, is smoking hot right now and shooting lights out, leading the Nets to a 5-3 record since Kyrie’s absence and averaging 25.0 PPG, 7.3 APG, 3.3 RPG along with 1.0 SPG and 1.0 BPG over the course of all nine games he’s started (ESPN). The 26-year-old has taken the reins with confidence and has shown everyone in the league once again why he shouldn’t be taken for granted.

Dinwiddie’s offensive upside has been highlighted by his tenacious driving ability and deadly precision around the perimeter, shooting 35.5% from behind the arc as a starter (ESPN). In addition, his scoring approach and unique style of play have genuinely been a difference-maker. As Nets announcer Ian Eagle stated this past Friday when the Nets hosted the Celtics, “Spencer Dinwiddie is very creative, especially in isolation settings.”

Dinwiddie dropped 32 points with 11 assists and 5 rebounds in their big win against the Celtics, following that up with yet another monster 29-point outing accompanied by 4 assists and 6 rebounds in their 3-point loss to Miami on Sunday (ESPN).

That being said, his most significant impact hasn’t been his scoring and one-on-one play, but rather his ability to maximize the success of all the versatile, role players he has around him. Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris, DeAndre Jordan, along with Taurean Prince and Garrett Temple, have been thriving around Dinwiddie’s play and for a good reason. He opens the floor and creates space for his big men to score, using his excellent court vision and trusting his profound grasp of the squad’s chemistry to find his teammates for high percentage opportunities unselfishly. Utilizing the team’s full strength has fueled the Nets to win 5 of their last 7 games, a complete 180 after possessing a record that was below .500 (ESPN).

In a YES Network interview during the press conference following their fourth straight victory coming on the road against Cleveland, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson stated that the key to their recent success without Kyrie has been the chemistry the team has implemented in their playing style.

“It’s how connected these guys are and it helps that there are guys that have been here for a long time and I think that continuity helps. GT (Garrett Temple) is kind of like the new guy in that crew, TP (Taurean Prince) too. But we got guys that have been here that understand what we’re doing and that helps a lot.”

The Nets have rediscovered how underappreciated great chemistry can be and how influential it is towards building a recipe for success through Spencer Dinwiddie’s recent play.

But the biggest question of all is what will happen when Kyrie comes back? The difference between these two point guards right now is that Dinwiddie has found the right balance between taking over games with his scoring whilst using other vital parts of his offensive skill set to bring out the strengths of his teammates to collectively control and dominate opponents to victory. Unlike Dinwiddie, Kyrie has naturally balled out in style, yet has not found the “connection” to use the various weapons he has all around him to win games.

However, Kyrie’s return is still not clear, so for now, the Nets look primed to push their way past .500 behind the spectacular play and leadership of Spencer Dinwiddie. Despite dropping loads of cash to get two mega superstars during the offseason, it turns out that what the Nets needed all along was already on their team, to begin with. Even without Kyrie, KD, and Caris LeVert, the Nets look like a playoff team behind Mr. Dinwiddie and deservedly so.

Mets Fans Get Holiday Gift: Wilpons to Sell Majority Share of the Team

New York Mets fans are doing cartwheels down 126th Street this afternoon as the news broke that the Wilpon family is in negotiations to relinquish as much as 80 percent of their share of the club to billionaire Steve Cohen, who is already a minority share holder.

Bloomberg News is reporting that “the transaction would value the team at $2.6 billion, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The Mets confirmed the talks in a statement…Fred Wilpon, the team’s principal owner, will remain in his current role for at least five years, at which time Cohen will have a path to controlling the franchise, said the person. Jeff Wilpon, his son, will remain as the team’s chief operating officer for the five-year period, the person said.”

From the Mets:

The Sterling Partners and Steve Cohen are negotiating an agreement in which Steve Cohen would increase his investment in the New York Mets. As part of that agreement, Fred Wilpon will remain in the role of the Control Person and CEO for five years and Jeff Wilpon will remain in his role of Chief Operating Officer for the 5 year period as well. Steve Cohen will continue as CEO and President of Point72 Asset Management and his stake in the Mets will continue to be managed by his family office, Cohen Private Ventures.

So, the Wilpon’s stranglehold on the Mets will soon be over and with it could be the small-minded, small-market philosophy that has held the team back from competing with the Yankees, Dodgers, Braves, Cubs and others for top free agents.

Should the New York Mets Target Blake Treinen?

Should the New York Mets target Blake Treinen?

The Oakland A’s non-tendered former elite reliever Blake Treinen. Does he make sense for the New York Mets?

The New York Mets bullpen is in dire need of help. It ranked as one of the worst bullpens in baseball by ERA, blown saves, FIP, and innings pitched. For the Mets to be successful in 2020 they need their bullpen to improve.

The easiest way for that to happen is for the Mets to acquire good relief pitchers in free agency. All that would cost is money and the team would improve. However, the Mets are reportedly working within a limited budget according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

That put Mets’ GM Brodie Van Wagenen in a bind. He has to figure out how to put a better team on the field in 2020 without much salary space to do it.

Enter Blake Treinen. Treinen was arguably the best closer in baseball in 2018. He had an ERA of just 0.78, a FIP of 1.82, he finished top six in Cy Young voting, and top-15 in MVP voting. He was without a doubt elite.

All of that went away in 2019 when he turned in the worst season of his career. Treinen had his ERA rocket up to 4.91 and his FIP jumped up to 5.14. He was awful and so, the A’s non-tendered him, instead of paying him the near eight million dollars he was due.

So, does he makes sense for the Mets? He’s certainly worth a shot on a cheap prove-it deal. Treinen’s peripherals were worse than his 2018 numbers, but not by much. The two big changes were a 10% increase in his fly-ball rate and his 7.5 % increase in hard-hit rate.

Both of those changes can be attributed to the change in the ball that was seen during the 2019 season. Every pitcher found that the ball was getting hit harder and farther in 2019 than ever before it wasn’t just Treinen. If MLB stays away from the juiced ball they used in 2019 it’s possible that Treinen returns to his elite form.

With that being the case the Mets should absolutely take a chance on Treinen. That is, so long as the deal is for five million or less and no longer than two years. Treinen pitched himself out of a long term contract in the 2019 season. Treinen needs to establish whether the 2018 or 2019 version is who he really is at this point in his career.

Zack Wheeler Signs With The Philadelphia Phillies

New York Mets, Zack Wheeler

Starting pitcher Zack Wheeler agreed to a five year, $118 million dollar contract with the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday. He choose the Phillies over teams like the New York Mets and the New York Yankees.

Wheeler, now 29, was drafted by the San Francisco Giants with the sixth overall pick in the 2009 amatuer draft. He was traded to the Mets in 2011 and made his debut in 2013.

Wheeler was solid in 2013 and 2014, before missing the next two seasons with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, and underwent Tommy John surgery.

He returned in 2017, and had an ERA of over five in his only poor season. In 2019, his ERA was almost four, throwing 195 innings. He was 11-8 and had a WAR of 4.1.

His career ERA is a nice 3.77 over 126 career starts.

Wheeler now goes to a Philadelphia team trying to make their first postseason since 2011. They have hired a new manager in former Yankee manager Joe Girardi, and are ready for a fresh start after two disappointing years with Gabe Kapler at the helm. Kapler now manages for the Giants.

It’s unfortunate that both the Mets and the Yankees missed out on the Wheeler sweepstakes. The Yankees were looking for a final piece to push them into the World Series, and the Mets were looking to keep their entire starting pitching core together to make it back into the Postseason.

It’s especially disappointing for the Mets. Their fans have undergone a lot of pain over the last few seasons, and the team was finally starting to show postseason potential.

The Mets may now have to join the Yankees in going all in for Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

New York Giants: Eli Manning “Very Likely” To Start Week 14 Matchup In Philadephia

New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning.

The New York Giants are 2-10 and heading into a primetime divisional matchup this week on Monday night football. The Giants will travel to Philadephia and take on the Eagles who are fighting for a spot in the playoffs. This matchup would have been Daniel Jones’s first time experiencing the Eagles’ crowd on Prime Time, a daunting task for any quarterback, let alone a rookie.

Unfortunately, it seems likely that we will have to wait until 2020 to see Danny Dimes face off against the Eagles in Philadelphia. The ankle injury Jones suffered last week against the Green Bay Packers makes it “very likely” that he will miss this week’s game, and Eli Manning will start in his place.

Daniel Jones Injury Report

Daniel Jones’s injury occurred on his 4th and 2 rushing attempts against the Packers. Daniel was not afraid of the contact and muscled his way for a first down. However, Jones did injure his ankle on the play. Jones stayed in and finished the game, but an MRI this week indicated that the injury might be more severe than the Giants initially believed it to be.

Daniel Jones was unable to practice Wednesday as he was in a protective boot. The injury has been classified as a “moderate-high ankle sprain.” Pat Shurmur admitted that if the Giants had a game to play tomorrow, Daniel Jones would not be able to play.

Shurmur has not officially declared Eli Manning the starter this week, but he did say it is “very likely” that Daniel Jones will not be able to play. The Giants’ head coach also stated that as soon as Daniel Jones is healthy again, he will start again.

The Return of Eli Manning

Eli Manning’s season was presumed over after being benched for Daniel Jones in week three. Jones started in each of the last eleven games, but his start-streak is likely coming to an end. Eli Manning will have the opportunity to step in and face off with his nemesis Eagles one last time.

This game could end up being Eli’s “farewell tour.” It was reported that Manning was not interested in a “farewell tour” or any other “ceremonial nonsense,” but with Jones injured, Eli is ready to return to the starting lineup. Daniel Jones expects to return to the starting lineup before the season’s end, but Manning is prepared to play for as long as he is needed.

These will likely be Eli Manning’s last snaps in a New York Giants uniform. But Eli has not made any decisions about his future, and he is not worried about showcasing his talents for next year. The veteran quarterback said he takes it one game at a time and does not make decisions about his future while living in the present. Manning stated that he would analyze everything after the season.

Eli Manning will step in with a tough task on the table. The 5-7 Eagles are motivated to make the playoffs and have gotten the better of the Giants in each of the last four matchups. The Eagles-Giants all-time series is tied at 86-86-2, so this tiebreaker game would be a poetic sendoff to Eli Manning’s legendary career.

The New York Knicks Not So All Decade Team

New York Knicks, David Fizdale

This decade has been a struggle for the New York Knicks. Good players have been hard to find for the Knicks. On the other hand, they have been rotating through players who do not belong on NBA teams. Here is the New York Knicks Not So All-Decade Team.

(Starters performed worse for the Knicks then bench players)
STARTERS:
Point Guard: Chris Smith
Shooting Guard: Sasha Vujacic
Small Forward: Ricky Ledo
Power Forward: Lou Amundson
Center: Andrea Bargnani
Recognize this lineup? That’s because every player here was apart of the Knicks 2014-2015 team. Each player here was filler. No player had a future with the franchise. None. Bargnani was acquired in a trade and was supposed to have a future with the Knicks, but he was so bad and injury-prone that, that never happened. Vujacic was only on this team because of his connection to Rambis, Fisher, and Phil Jackson. Smith was only with the Knicks to entice his brother to re-sign with the Knicks.
BENCH:
G: Alexey Shved
G: Beno Udrih
G: Ron Baker
G: Jerian Grant
F: Travis Wear
F: James White
F: Isaiah Hicks
F: Mindaugas kuzminskas
C: Samuel Dalembert
C: Kevin Seraphin
Shved always played his heart out, while Udrih had no place being on an NBA roster. Baker wasn’t terrible, but what puts him on the bench is his contract that he signed, worth nearly 4 million more dollars then he was worth. That is not Baker’s fault, that’s on the Knicks front office, but from a fan perspective, that terrible contract put Baker on this list, and make his agent a most wanted criminal for how he robbed the Knicks. Grant was a first-round pick that did not pan out. Wear should never have been on the team, and later cost the Knicks a draft pick, because of who they had to get rid of to keep Wear on the team. White is not remembered for his time on the Knicks, but his time representing the Knicks in the dunk contest and losing in it. Hicks was a good college player but never deserved an NBA contract, even on a two-way deal. Seraphin and Dalembert were two of the worst centers to play for the Knicks, ever. Kuzminskas never stuck in the NBA but had that great preseason that he will be remembered for.

Yankees should tell Texas Rangers to go away in potential Miguel Andujar trade

New York Yankees, Miguel Andujar

The Yankees have a question mark at third base, despite Gio Urshela rising from the ashes like a legendary Pheonix to supplement the injury to Miguel Andujar last season. The former Indian and Blue Jay hit an astounding .314 with 21 homers and 74 RBIs, helping the Bombers reach the ALCS before being knocked out by the cheating-driven Houston Astros.

The rise and establishment of Urshela pose the Yankees with a question — is Miguel Andujar expendable in a potential trade?

Let’s get one thing sorted out:

Can the Yankees trust Urshela as a long-term option? Defensively, he’s far better than the Yankees youth product, but last season was his first as an above-average third baseman. Before coming to the Bronx, Urshela’s career-best batting average was .233, and his highest home run total was six, recorded back in 2015.

However, Andujar hasn’t shown he can be a consistent option either, which has led to teams like the Texas Rangers inquiring about his availability.

MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan explains.

(The Rangers) are definitely intrigued by the possibility of trading for Yankees third baseman Miguel Andújar. He missed most of last season after undergoing right shoulder surgery and has been replaced by Gio Urshela. The Yankees would expect much in the way of a trade, but acquiring Andújar would allow the Rangers to use their financial resources elsewhere. New York needs starting pitching, but it also has an affinity for hard-throwing relievers and Texas has depth in that area.

The Rangers would inevitably get significant value for Andujar on a great deal, as the Yankees have minimal leverage considering he missed all of last season. I believe the Yankees should shoo them away like a stray-dog, as Andujar has too much potential and value to give up for pennies on the dollar.

Giving him one more season to prove his worth and develop should be a priority for manager Aaron Boone. Best case scenario, Andujar’s bat comes alive during the 2020 regular season, and the Yankees can shop him at the deadline to supplant a deficiency.

With the pieces in place to win a World Series, the Yankees must do whatever it takes to bring the trophy home in 2020. They have the money available to sign premium players in free agency, but they also have the luxury of holding onto players like Andujar.

New York Jets place CJ Mosley on IR

The New York Jets‘ biggest addition this off-season was CJ Mosley. Sadly, Mosley’s injuries will limit him to just two games this season.

Adam Gase has announced that the New York Jets are placing star linebacker CJ Mosley on IR. That will put a disappointing end Mosley’s first season with the team.

The Jets have severely missed CJ Mosley this season. Despite the league-leading run defense and top-10 defense in DVOA, his absence has been felt.

CJ Mosley’s two replacements Neville Hewitt and James Burgess have graded out as two of the worst pass coverage linebackers in the NFL. Teams have been able to shred the Jets in zone coverage because neither is able to cover the middle of the field. Hewitt and Burgess are also among the team’s leaders in missed tackles.

Having CJ Mosley in the lineup would change the Jets defense. He would be ab;e to competently cover his zone and he would limit runs in the second level. Two things the Jets have severely struggled with.

None of this is to mention the amount of money Mosley is getting paid to miss the season. CJ Mosley is getting paid $19 million this year. That’s a lot of wasted money for the Jets.

When Mosley has been on the field he’s been a difference-maker. He was the Jets’ best player in week one against the Bills, and he stood out when he returned for a short while in week seven. He’s clearly still the All-Pro caliber players he was when the Jets signed him in the off-season.

Mosley is set to have surgery to fix his groin injury sooner rather than later. Adam Gase is optimistic that Mosely will be healthy in time for off-season activities.

Hopefully, Mosely will be healthy in 2020. the Jets defense isn’t the same without him.

LaMelo’s Controversial Past; All Star Future Makes Him Perfect Fit For Knicks

New York Knicks

Playing in New York comes with a certain spotlight. The lure of playing in the Garden, the pressure of the New York media and the fans expectation of success all comes with playing in New York.

Not prospect is equipped for that spotlight like LaMelo Ball. The 18-year-old guard is projected to be a top 3 pick in next years NBA draft and the Knicks should have him on top of their draft boards.

As I previously stated playing in New York comes with pressure and a spotlight on you. Ball has had more criticism and spotlight on him than any other prospect in this class.

Ball first appeared to the media at age 13 when he was eighth-grader starting alongside his older brothers Lonzo and LiAngelo on the Chino Hills High School basketball team that was competing for a national championship.

The Ball family eventually became a media circus because of the Lavar Ball, LaMelo’s father constantly making controversial and irrational decisions.

In case you forgot I’ll give you a couple of examples of Lavar’s controversy to jog your memory.  In early 2017 Lavar said that Lonzo who was still at UCLA was better than Steph Curry, the reigning MVP at the time. Lavar also pulled LaMelo out of high school to go play professionally in Lithuania, effectively making LaMelo ineligible for college basketball.

Ball has been surrounded by controversy since he was only 13 years old and he has always handled it with maturity; he does not say anything harsh towards the media or causes any controversy of his own. Ball’s ability to take all the criticism thrown his way in stride and rebrand himself from a distraction to a potential all-star is one the reasons he’s uniquely qualified to play in New York.

Even if Ball didn’t have to deal with controversy his whole life his skillset is exactly what the Knicks need.

While far from a finished product, Ball has all the tools to become a star. When watching Ball’s game the first thing you notice is how tall he is. Ball is listed at 6-foot-7 and reports say he may still be growing. Ball uses his natural height to consistently get to the basket even against grown men in the NBL, some of which have NBA experience.

With this said Ball is only shooting 37.5 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc.  Ball’s poor shooting numbers are due more to bad selection than lack of natural talent as a shooter.

Ball’s shot selection has always been an issue but something many young players face and can be fixed as he matures. Signs of improvement are there, in Ball’s last four games he is shooting slightly over 42 percent. His last two games are a 32 point triple-double and a 25 point double-double, he was only one assist away from a triple-double in the latter.

The Knicks have also struggled badly, at the free-throw line this season. The Knicks are the worst free-throw shooting team in the NBA and it has constantly plagued them late in games. Ball has shot 72 percent from the free-throw line this season. That would make him one of the Knicks more effective free throw shooters if he shoots a similar percentage that would put him above major contributors like R.J. Barret and Julius Randle.

The Knicks need a lot more than scoring, they also need a playmaker. Currently, Frank Ntilikina leads the team in assists with only 3.5 assists per game. That number is far from amazing, while, Ntilikina is a great energy guy and plays fantastic defense he is not the player who should be leading your team in assists.

Ball is currently averaging just under 7 assists per game in Australia. That number may not be exceptional but, Ball has once in a generation court vision and makes passes very few other players around the planet can. You don’t have to watch Ball for long to realize his passing abilities don’t come around often.

Ball’s natural height and scoring ability do not come around too often at the point guard position, factor in his breathtaking passing ability and how he’s uniquely accustomed to pressure and criticism there’s no way he should not be on the top of the Knicks draft board.