New York Giants: Eli Manning Likely Starter Against Miami Dolphins

New York Giants, Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley

The clock is ticking for Eli Manning as a quarterback of the New York Giants and many are wondering just what Eli’s last home start will go down as – it looks now, however, like it will almost certainly be Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. With three games left in the season, it looks like Daniel Jones, the preferred starter even after his ankle injury, is going to miss this one.

That, of course, leaves Manning to step in once again, just as he did on the road against the Eagles on Monday Night Football.

According to SNY’s Ralph Vacchiano, it’s likely that Manning ends up the starter.

A team official said it is “likely” that the 38-year-old Manning will get the nod to make what could be the final home start of his iconic Giants career, this Sunday at the Meadowlands against the Miami Dolphins. Jones was “limited” at practice on Wednesday, as he attempts to recover from a high ankle sprain. And though he didn’t appear to be bothered at all by his injury and said he felt fine, the source said the team will likely take a cautious approach.

The cautious approach with Jones’ injury makes sense when you consider that the Giants are already out of the playoffs and don’t have anything more than pride to play for at this point. Giving Eli Manning another start at home also helps to deal with the dissatisfaction that many have about the way that the Giants moved on from him, which was less than graceful and saw Manning ousted after only two games, following an offseason in which the coaches insisted there were no plans to start Jones.

The Giants have one more home game other than the Dolphins one, their season ending clash with the Eagles, but Jones will most likely be back on the field by then since the Giants have chosen to not shut him down for the year.

Will this be Manning’s last home game for the Giants? We’ll see – but based on the current leanings of the team and their preference to bring Jones back this year, it looks like that may just be the case.

New York Giants: Special Teams A Bright Spot In Poor 2019 Season

New York Giants, Aldrick Rosas

The New York Giants are once again one of the worst teams in the NFL. After losing their 9th-straight game on Monday night, the 2019 Giants tied their franchise record for the longest losing streak. Offense and defense are both at fault here.

Both sides of the ball have underperformed in 2019. Whether that be because of a lack of talent or lack of coaching, regardless, both sides rank near the bottom of the league in terms of total yards gained and allowed. However, there is one part of the team that the Giants can take pride in.

The New York Giants’ special teams unit has been among the best in the league in 2019. Special teams coach Thomas McGaughey has done an excellent job with his unit of the team this year and should be the Giants’ top interim head coaching candidate if they do decide to fire head coach Pat Shurmur.

Special Teams Stats And Highlights

The Giants’ offense and defense are ranking in the high twenties or the bottom quarter of the league. However, the special teams unit has been quite the opposite. New York’s special teams rank in the top ten for just about every significant statistic.

Granted, Aldrick Rosas has had his struggles this year. The Giants’ third-year kicker missed a kick attempt in five straight games between Weeks 7 and 12. But he seems to be back on track, making 100% of his field goals and extra-point attempts in each of the last two games.

The Giants’ punt returners have done an excellent job this season. Golden Tate has served as the primary punt returner, but Jabrill Peppers took some snaps back there too before his season-ending injury. Whomever they’ve had back there has found success. The Giants rank 1st in the NFL with an average of 11.3 yards per punt return.

Additionally, the Giants’ kick returners have performed past expectations in 2019. The Gmen are averaging 23.7 yards per kick return, ranking 9th-best in the league.

Additionally, New York also has the top-ranked kickoff coverage in the NFL. Their kickoff coverage is allowing only 17.9 yards per return this season. Returning kicks and punts, or kicking off or punting to the other team, the Giants are excelling in every aspect of special teams.

Riley Dixon has silently emerged as one of the best punters in the NFL this season. He has arguably been the Giants’ most consistent and reliable player in 2019. Dixon even earned himself a contract extension. The Giants rank 6th in the NFL in net punting, with an average of 43.6 yards.

The New York Giants’ special teams has been among the league’s very best this season. The unit is a major bright spot for a disappointing 2-11 team. Giants fans should hope that the team’s offense and defense can rise to the special teams’ level in 2020.

New York Mets: Winter Meetings End With More Work to be Done

As the winter meetings come to a close, the New York Mets were in the middle of the pack when it came to making moves. The Yankees and Angels came out as big winners, while the Mets opted to add depth pieces. Now that we move towards 2020, what is next move for Brodie Van Wagenen?

The additions of Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello were low risk, high reward moves, but that has become the norm under Van Wagenen. Some have panned out, but they are still a couple of pieces away from becoming a top tier contender in the NL East. The moves to add starters have filled a part of their needs, but what else is left?

Who Else is There to Sign?

The most significant piece for the Mets to sign Dellin Betances to solidify their rotation. Should they sign him, the Mets have the potential to possess one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball. Of course, we are playing the hoping game but stick with it here. A bullpen of Edwin Diaz, Seth Lugo, Dellin Betances, Jeurys Familia, Brad Brach, Justin Wilson, Robert Gsellman is loaded with potential.

We have to assume Diaz and Familia were no where near the pitchers they were last year and are due for a bounce-back in 2020. Plus, this is a bullpen that is without one of the six starting pitchers that will head to the pen.

The other need should still be an everyday center fielder. Jake Marisnick was assumed to be the every day center fielder, but he will be nothing more than a Juan Lagares replacement. His role should be to replace either Michael Conforto or Brandon Nimmo as a defensive replacement in center field.

Get Marte or Get More Pitching

Starling Marte should be the man they want to play center field everyday. The Mets have the pieces in place to make the trade, but should the Mets hesitate to pull the trigger; they should have another plan in place. If they unload Jed Lowrie’s contract, they should aim to bolster their pitching staff with major league ready arms. It does not matter whether they start or relieve; the options have to be available.

The Mets were relatively lucky with health in their pitching staff in 2019. They cannot depend on the same health and should plan for the worst. If the Mets can limit guys like Walker Lockett and Drew Gagnon from making 27 combined appearances and cut that number in half, it will put the team in a much better position to contend in 2020.

Just a Piece of What New York Giants Chris Peace is Like

New York Giants, Giants, NYG, Ryan Connelly

Although New York Giants Chris Peace may be a newcomer to the NFL he already has shown potential.  Peace is someone who works hard to achieve his goals and it shows.  He will be a success on the field in no time.  Peace is grateful for each and every opportunity he is given and shows this by playing with fortitude and also giving back to the community in each and every way he can.

What makes Peace truly admirable are not just his talents, but his work off the field.  Recently, Peace went to Macy’s Herald Square in New York City on December 3rd, which is internationally known as #GivingTuesday, for Operation Happy Children.   When you write a letter to Santa Claus at Macy’s, Macy’s will donate a dollar for every letter received to the Make-A-Wish Foundation up to one million dollars.  This will go towards granting the wishes of children across the country who are sick.

This past Monday Night Football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, players sported cleats adorned with causes near and dear to their hearts.  Peace chose to represent My Sisters’ Place, an agency that does great work in combating domestic violence and human trafficking.  Peace thought it was very important to bring awareness to these issues because it is a serious problem and we need change.

Peace is such an upstanding guy full of class and not only are the New York Giants lucky to have him, but the NFL is as well!

Peace recently became a father to a healthy baby boy a week ago.  Peace will be a great role model for his son because he serves as a great example of how hard work and dedication can get you far in life, but success is not contingent simply just on fame and fortune, but how you carry yourself and what you stand for and Peace embodies this perfectly.

Rey Ordóñez: Mets should leave Amed Rosario alone

New York Mets shortstop Amed Rosario began his Major League career with such high expectations, it was almost impossible for him to succeed. As a 21 year-old in 2017, Rosario – considered the top prospect in all of Baseball by many – played in 46 games, batting .248 with four home runs and 10 RBI. His fielding was not eye-popping either.

Rosario’s second season didn’t wow anyone to the point where they felt he would live up to the hype. He batted .256 with 9 HR and 51 RBI. He did steal 24 bases, however. Again, his fielding was nothing special and there were rumblings that the team was contemplating moving him to the outfield.

2019 changed all of that. Rosario began to blossom. His defense improved to the point where the team backed off the notion of moving him off shortstop and his offense was more in line with the player the Mets felt they developed a few year earlier. Rosario raised his average to .287, belted 15 homers and drove in 72 runs. The Mets were finally realizing that he was their man.

Rey Ordóñez, the Mets’ former All-Star, Gold Glove shortstop, is confident the Mets have something special in Rosario.

“I try to see the Mets play every time they come to play the Marlins,” said, Rey, a former shortstop, who was a part of what is almost universally acclaimed as the best defensive infield of all time. “He was so much better the second part of the year. I would just leave him alone. The stuff he has done at such a young age (23) is amazing.”

“I just think his defense will keep getting better and better,” said Ordóñez. “As far as his offense, his stats are something that I only could have dreamed of when I was playing.”

No one is expecting Rosario to become a defensive whiz like Ordóñez but they’re hoping he’ll continue to improve on both defense and at the plate.

Nate Solder named Giants’ nominee for NFL Man of the Year Award

New York Giants, Nate Solder

The NFL released the list of 32 nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year presented by Nationwide on Thursday. This season the New York Giants are represented by left tackle Nate Solder.

The award, which has been handed out annually since 1970, was renamed in 1999 in honor of the late Pro Football Hall of Famer Walter Payton and “recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.”

“It’s certainly humbling, because every year, there are so many fantastic candidates from every team,” Solder said in a press release from the Giants. “Over the years, there have been so many tremendous people that have won it. I just want to be a part of the momentum for every guy. I don’t want to win it for myself. I want everyone to be successful with their organizations, what they’re doing and just bring awareness to what guys are doing in the NFL.”

Solder and his wife, Lexi, are very active in the local New Jersey community but have also been involved in charitable efforts around globe that have taken them to Africa and Central America.

“I think anything that I’m asked to do, I want to do it with the best of my ability,” Solder said. “That’s something I always try to do, and I do have a huge responsibility. There is an accountability to each other. We have accountability as teammates. We have accountability to Christ as we serve others. I think it’s everything that we do.”

On the field, Solder is as reliable as they come and hasn’t missed a game since 2015.

Since they’ve been handing out the award, only one Giants player has won it – Eli Manning in 2016.

The New York Mets are “open” to deal Brandon Nimmo in a Starling Marte trade

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

The MLB Winter Meetings are at full force. The New York Mets, a team on the verge of contention, are looking to add a fifth starter and strengthen its bullpen.

To do so, however, they would need to shed some payroll to acquire a high-profile free agent or give up major-league ready talent to lure a team into trading a valuable piece back.

General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen is reportedly looking at all avenues to improve the team. One of them, however, would involve trading a valuable, controllable young piece of the outfield.

A valuable young piece for the Mets

According to Andy Martino, the Mets are likely to deal a major league outfielder in their pursuit of Pittsburgh Pirates’ star Starling Marte. And that player is Brandon Nimmo.

Martino, citing his sources, said that the Mets are “open” to the idea of trading Nimmo to the Pirates if that’s what it takes to land the two-time Gold Glove winner.

For now, the two teams are in constant conversations, but no deal is imminent. As Martino wrote, it is “too early” to say if Marte gets traded to Mets during the Winter Meetings, but they’re “working on it.”

Nimmo, 26, has significant trade value in his own right. He is young, he has four additional years of cheap team control, and he is a talented and patient hitter that can fit in nicely near the top of any lineup.

A lost season

However, injuries did not treat him well throughout the 2019 season. He missed time with a bulging cervical disc in his neck and only played in 69 games with the New York Mets.

His ability take walks rode his OPS all the way to .782 and his OBP to .375 despite a meager .221 batting average. Additionally, he hit eight home runs and stole three bags. He was an above-average hitter with a 104 wRC+.

Since 2017 began, Nimmo has an elite .391 on-base percentage in 1,004 plate appearances. Defensively, he is best suited in right field but is capable of playing at all three positions if needed.

Presumably, more pieces would be moved in a potential trade between the New York Mets and the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A 10 Part Breakdown of the New York Yankees Depth: Center Field

Do the New York Yankees need starting pitchers for 2020? They need upgrades and help, but they don’t NEED a starter. Do the Yankees need a starting shortstop? No, but it would be smarter to resign Didi Gregorius. Do the Yankees need a center fielder for 2020?

Short Answer: Yes

Aaron Hicks is going to perpetually be on the IL the remainder of his career. He averages between 80 and 90 games a season. And now, he’s basically lost for the season. It’ll be a miracle if he can actually come back and play any games before the end of 2020 considering how slow he was coming back from a back injury. It could be a situation like Zack Wheeler, who took 2 and a half years to recover from Tommy John surgery. So you need a center fielder for the entirety of 2020. Just to be safe.

Now, do the Yankees need to pay for a center fielder?

Short Answer: No. Long Answer: No, But They Should

Mike Tauchman is on the roster and has experience playing center field. He doesn’t have much though, only 22 games. For someone who’s only been in the majors since 2017, it’s not a bad idea to bring Brett Gardner back. It would be smarter to have Gardner and Tauchman platoon in center, providing defensive days off to Judge and Stanton from time to time. Gardner’s veteran presence is invaluable, and he more than justified a one year contract based on his performance last year. So, if Hicks can come back before the end of the year, you have Gardner as the 5th outfielder on the bench. 

And considering how much the Yankees are offering Gerrit Cole, signing Gardner isn’t going to set you back in relation to the luxury tax.

You need to better develop Tauchman as it will possibly take longer than anticipated for Estevan Florial to reach the big club. He has yet to play for the Staten Island Yankees. So for Tauchy to have Gardy’s help next season… it’s the only way you can go if you’re the New York Yankees.

New York Yankees re-sign Brett Gardner to a one-year deal with potential for more

New York Yankees, Brett Gardner

The New York Yankees didn’t hesitate to bring back veteran outfielder Brett Gardner soon after inking star pitcher Gerrit Cole to a nine-year, $324 million contract.

Gardner had career highs in home runs (28) and RBIs (74) last season with the Bombers, reviving his career with a newfound slugger mentality. Attribute his success to an increased launch angle or juiced baseballs if you will, Gardner played a pivotal role in supplementing injuries to starters Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, and Giancarlo Stanton throughout the 2019 season.

The veteran signed a $7.5 million contract over one-year last offseason and inked a more significant $12.5 million deal with the Yankees until 2021.

A nice payday for Gardner, who has an option in 2021 for $10 million, given he produces once again. Brett has been more than just a player for the Yankees over the years, as this will be his 13th season in Pinstripes. Not only is he a capable starter, but he’s a leader and mentor for the younger players.

With Hicks set to miss 8-10 months recovering from Tommy Johns surgery, the retention of Gardner makes perfect sense.

What Gerrit Cole Means for the New York Yankees Luxury Tax

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

Remember when I asked whether the luxury tax or championships were more important for the New York Yankees front office? Well, they just showed that they have no problem going all-in on the RIGHT piece missing from the puzzle. 

So what does Cole mean for the Yankees and the luxury tax?

The luxury tax for 2020 is $208 million. But going $40 million past the $208 million results in being taxed at 42.5%. The Yankees will also have their highest pick in the Rule 4 Draft drop 10 spots getting there.

Going into signing Cole, the Yankees were sitting at $199,228,571 in total payroll. Tack on Cole’s salary, which puts the Yankees at $235,228,571. Gardner is going to get resigned, and so will Betances (in all likelihood). That will result in the Yankees crossing the $240 million thresholds right there. And they will be adding more payroll through trades because… well, they always do. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when they cross that $248 million thresholds.

Why They Can Afford It

In 2018, the Yankees were a 100 win Wild Card team that was eliminated in the ALDS. The team made $668 MILLION in gross revenue but spent a paltry 29.8% of that on the payroll. The Yankees were division winners for the first time since 2012, winning over 100 games, and made it to game 6 of the ALCS. It’s not unrealistic to assume that they will make $800 million in total revenue.

Then there’s the money the Yankees generate whenever Yankee Stadium plays host to NYCFC home games. And the concerts that they’re hosting as well. And the licensing revenue from MLB certified jersey and hat sales. And the money the Yankees get in licensing for the trademarked Yankees logo being featured in ad campaigns. And the ad revenue generated from YES broadcasts. And…

I still feel more than justified giving the front office grief for arguing “the luxury tax” for keeping this team one rung down from the next level. They’ve ALWAYS been able to afford this. It’s the price of being the New York Yankees