New York Giants And Panthers To Interview Baylor HC Matt Rhule

New York Giants considering Matt Rhule for head coach.

There’s a lot of speculation about Matt Rhule to the New York Giants, but it looks like some progress is finally about to be made. That progress will come in the form of an interview between Rhule and the Giants, although they aren’t the only franchise competing for the attention of the Baylor head coach.

The other team that’s scheduled an interview, the Panthers, recently got rid of Ron Rivera – one of the other possible candidates for the Giants job, although it looks like Rivera is more likely set for Washington at this point.

The Panthers are set to have their interview first but there’s no guarantee that Rhule ends up with either team. Despite losing on New Year’s Day to Georgia, his Baylor team is in a good position currently and it would be much harder to find success after jumping to the NFL regardless of which job Rhule selects.

He said before that he expects to stay at Baylor. Of course, that statement came out before the news that Rhule would interview with two different teams, so it may not be the most accurate as of now. There’s definitely some mixed signals, but all this could just be Rhule exploring options without having serious intents to move up to the NFL.

Regardless of what the odds are that he ends up the head coach of the Giants, Rhule is perhaps the top candidate – for better or worse. He’s been highly praised by many but with much of his college experience coming from mid level programs, it’s debatable whether or not jumping all the way to the NFL as a head coach would be a good idea.

Especially with the pressure that comes with taking the Giants job after the team has been losing for years at this point.

New York Giants: Comparing HC Candidates Mike McCarthy and Matt Rhule

Will the New York Giants consider Mike McCarthy as their next head coach?

The New York Giants are conducting interviews this week for their vacant head coach position. After going 9-23 over the past two seasons, the Giants fired head coach Pat Shurmur. There are plenty of strong candidates this time around, and the Giants will be conducting a complete and thorough head coach search to ensure they hire the right guy this time.

So far, the Giants’ top two candidates are Matt Rhule and Mike McCarthy. The two are very different. McCarthy has tons of NFL experience and is a well-renown offensive play-caller. Matt Rhule is a college head coach that has experience coaching both sides of the ball. Both candidates have definite pros and cons.

Comparing Experience:

Mike McCarthy

As far as NFL head coaching experience goes, the Giants are not going to find a candidate with more pro experience than Mike McCarthy. Mike McCarthy has been coaching in the NFL since 1993 and served as head coach of the Green Bay packers from 2006 to 2018.

McCarthy has an impressive career record, too. His regular-season head coaching record stands at 125–77–2 (.618). On top of that, the offensive guru has a 10–8 (.556) playoff record along with a Super Bowl XLV victory. If the Giants want a proven, experienced head coach, Mike McCarthy is the best candidate.

Matt Rhule

However, Matt Rhule has plenty of coaching experience at the collegiate level and appears ready to make the jump to the pros. Matt Rhule began his coaching career in 1998 and worked his way up to a job in the NFL in 2012 as the New York Giants’ assistant offensive line coach.

Rhule then received a promotion to the head coaching level by Temple. Matt Rhule’s tenure with Temple lasted from 2013 to 2016 before he left to take the head coaching job at Baylor in 2017. Baylor has been led under Matt Rhule’s command since then, though that might change this offseason as he has garnered plenty of interest from NFL franchises.

Matt Rhule has a career head coaching record of 47-42. But, to be fair, Rhule has had to coach some disaster-programs in college. He took over a weak Temple football team in 2013 and went 2-10. By 2015, Rhule had led Temple to 10 wins and did so again in 2016. Rhule’s tenure at Baylor has a similar story. Baylor went 1-11 in 2017, improved to 7-6 in 2018, then 11-3 in 2019. Rhule has proven that he can quickly turn around lousy football teams.

Making the jump from college to the NFL is not always pretty. It is an arduous task for head coaches, but many believe that Rhule has proven himself ready for the pro game. Either way, the edge in this category easily goes to McCarthy. Mike McCarthy coached the Green Bay Packers in over 200 games and won a Super Bowl. His pedigree is hard to beat amongst coach candidates.

Comparing Their Different Coaching Styles:

Mike McCarthy’s New Offensive Approach:

As stated earlier, these coaches have very different coaching styles. Mike McCarthy is an offensive-coordinator turned head coach. He called plays for the Green Bay Packers offense through his twelve years with the organization. Unfortunately, McCarthy’s offense and coaching style, in general, got “stale” towards the end of his time in Green Bay, which led to his eventual firing in 2018.

Over the past year, Mike McCarthy has taken the time to reinvent himself as a head coach. He has remade his offensive system and placed a great emphasis on embracing analytics. Additionally, the former Packers coach has enacted a plan termed “The McCarthy Project.” ESPN described this project as McCarthy “and several of his former colleagues — including former Saints head coach Jim Haslett, former Packers quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti and former Packers linebackers coach Scott McCurley — have done extensive and high-tech studies on both their own previous experiences and on what happened from week to week around the NFL.”

While Mike McCarthy will still be an offensive-minded head coach that calls plays, his scheme might look a lot different in 2020. If all the reports hold true, Mike McCarthy has remade his playbook and will shift towards a more modern approach in his next head coaching stint.

Matt Rhule’s Versatility:

One significant advantage that Matt Rhule has in his coaching resume is the fact that he has experience coaching both sides of the ball. Rhule has coached defensive lines, linebackers, quarterbacks, offensive lines, and more positions before becoming a head coach.

Rhule does not call plays like Mike McCarthy, but he oversees the entire team’s operations. He has a knowledge of offense and defense, which gives Rhule the ability to progress talent all over the field that other coaches do not possess. Rhule is also an excellent leader that is well respected by his players and peers. With holes all over both sides of the Giants’ roster, Matt Rhule is an excellent choice as a head coach who will fix both sides of the ball.

New York Mets: Is Robinson Cano capable of bouncing back?

We keep saying that if enough things go right with the New York Mets, they could make the playoffs. Once there, they have a strong enough roster to advance a round or two. Why not shoot for the Fall Classic? Anything can happen in October baseball.

There are plenty of things that need to “go right.” Edwin Diaz needs to improve in the ninth inning, Seth Lugo needs to keep up the good work, at least one of Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha needs to have a bounceback season, and so on.

However, Robinson Cano keeps being ignored. Why? The industry, after a bad 2019 (.256/.307/.428 with a 93 wRC+) considers him a declining veteran and a below-average performer. The first statement may be true, given that he is 37. But he can still be an important contributor for the Mets.

The Mets’ X-factor?

The sweet-swinging second baseman had a productive half-season in 2018. That year, he hit .303/.374/.471 with a 135 wRC+. It’s not like he forgot how to hit.

He had ongoing muscular problems in his left leg in 2019. Cano visited the injured list three times with left quad and left hamstring issues. We don’t need to tell you how important legs are for batting.

Despite his underwhelming 2019 stats, Cano can still help the Mets. He was in the 87th percentile in hard-hit rate with 46.0. His 90.8 mph average exit velocity ranked well above the league average, which was 87.5 mph.

His wOBA was .309, but his xwOBA, an expected stat that assesses a player’s offensive contributions while considering average exit velocity, launch angle, plate discipline and other factors, was .328. Not good, but also not terribly bad. In 2018, his xwOBA was .381, in the 93rd percentile. A bounceback season is in the cards for Cano if he can stay healthy.

He needs to work in strengthening his legs muscles, among other things. However, if the New York Mets can have a healthy Cano, good things are in store.

After all, we are talking about a player with a career 125 wRC+ and a .302/.352/.490 line. He has 324 homers and one of the sweetest swings you will ever see. He may not go down easily.

Should the Yankees be worried about the first base position?

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees had a revolving door at the first base position last season, featuring Luke Voit, Edwin Encarnacion, Mike Ford, and DJ LeMahieu at different times throughout the season.

The Yankees’ top utility player, LeMahieu, was the best defensive option of the group, posting a .992 fielding percentage over 40 games. While his sample size isn’t significant, he proved to be the best option among the grouping. However, in 2020, LeMahieu will return to his natural second base position, leaving Luke Voit to fend for himself at first.

Voit’s explosion onto the scene in 2018 provided him with the opportunity to lock down the first base position moving forward. He was given the green-light in 2019 to start but sustained injuries that limited his production over 162 games.

He logged a .989 fielding percentage over 83 games with seven errors. His numbers are efficient and can be relied on by the Yankees, but his injury history doesn’t precisely brew security. Voit missed half the season in 2019 with a sports hernia injury (defensively); however, he did feature as the designated hitter for 34 games.

Before missing the playoffs, he slashed an abysmal .200/.319/.331 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 24 games. This can be attributed to his injury that was undoubtedly lingering, but he’s expected to return next season with a full bill of health.

At the Winter Meetings, manager Aaron Boone told Kristie Ackert of the NY Daily News that he expects Voit to be healthy for spring training:

“I think Luke Voit comes in healthy, and I think even though he got back and I think was healthy to some degree, still probably wasn’t quite all the way Luke Voit the second half of the season. Luke has proven to be a really impactful hitter and confident that the surgery he had this winter was a successful one and that he will come in and really lay claim to that position.”

The New York Yankees are taking a calculated risk:

The issue remains health, and if Voit is forced to miss any time in 2020, the Yankees don’t have many players who can fill in aside from LeMahieu, which could slide Gleyber Torres into second base from shortstop. They also have Mike Ford, Tyler Wade, and Thairo Estrada that can feature if need be.

Considering the insane injury problems the Yankees faced last year, they must prepare for a similar outcome. Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Expect to see Ford earn some playing time at first base, as his progression will be necessary for supplementing any injuries at the position.

New York Knicks: Reggie Bullock’s Spacing Helps Mitchell Robinson’s Lob Attack

New York Knicks, Mitchell Robinson

New York Knicks basketball is back for the year 2020 and their offense already looks different. The offense actually looks sharp and improved under Interim Coach Mike Miller. For the improved spacing, ladies and gentlemen, thank Reggie Bullock the sharpshooting 6’7 guard who’s been out since the beginning of the year due to a neck injury.

Frank Ntilikina, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson all seemed to have a weight lifted off their shoulders with the improved spacing and Mike Millers’ ability to put everybody in great situations on the court. Below is a link showing Julius Randles lob to Mitchell Robinson while Anfernee Simons was hesitant leaving Reggie Bullock open in the corner.

Frank Ntilikina looked smooth during Bullock’s first official game in a Knick uniform. The connection Ntilikina had with Robinson during the Blazer game with Bullock spacing the floor on the wing looked flawless.

Julius Randle been more precise with his moves lately. Randle’s improvement under Interim Coach Mike Miller has been fantastic. The Knicks power-forward been lessening his turnovers.

Not only has Reggie Bullock brought sharp three-point shooting, he seems to be disruptive defensively alongside Ntilikina. If Reggie continues this two-way style of fantastic shooting and solid defense, he’ll definitely be rewarded more minutes under Mike Miller.

Overall, the more space Mitchell Robinson gets to roll with in the paint offensively, the more efficient the Knicks offense could become. Certain players are still gaining believe it or not. RJ Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Julius Randle, and Kevin Knox are improving plus they’re still young. Let’s see how the Knicks manage their road trip out west.

New York Giants: Could Don “Wink” Martindale be the Answer?

New York Giants

The moment the New York Giants fired head coach Pat Shurmur, the process of finding a new head coach began. They have already interviewed Cowboys passing game coordinator/DB coach Kris Richard for the job, the first of many. Expect the Giants to do their research on nearly ten candidates over the course of the next few weeks. But there is one coach that could be the answer to a franchise that has made the playoffs just once since 2012. Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale is that guy. No, he’s not the most innovative of coaches, but he brings more than an abundance of potential. He should be the next head coach of the Giants, and here’s why:

Why Don “Wink” Martindale Should be the Next HC of the New York Giants

Baltimore’s successful defenses

For multiple years now the Giants have been towards the bottom of the league in almost every defensive category. They struggle to pressure the QB, rarely force turnovers, and are prone to giving up big plays. In other words, they need help across the board. The best place to start would be by bringing in a coach who has had success in recent years.

Martindale has been with the Ravens since 2012, where he started out as the linebackers coach. He was named the defensive coordinator in 2018 and has built the Ravens into one of the best defenses in the NFL. This past season, Martindale’s Ravens allowed the fourth-least yards of offense per game (300.6), forced the eighth-most turnovers (25), and surrendered just 17.6 points per game, the third-least in the league.

How the Giants’ youth could improve

No one should expect the Giants to instantly become one of the best defenses if Martindale comes. But they can expect one thing – improvement. The Giants have a number of young, talented players on the defensive side of the ball. Towards the end of the season, rookies Julian Love, DeAndre Baker, and Oshane Ximines started to show they have what it takes to play in the NFL. Add in Dexter Lawerence, who played well for almost all of 2019, the Giants have some pieces to work with.

On top of the players that are already there, the Giants have a great opportunity to add a game-changer on defense in the upcoming draft. Adding a player as talented as Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons and making some splashes in free agency could give Big Blue enough talent to compete in 2020. Having an experienced coach in Martindale leading all of those young players could put the Giants back on the map.

His plan to bring Joe Brady

While many casual football fans may not know who Joe Brady is, almost all of them know how potent the LSU Tiger’s offense has been this year. Brady is the mastermind behind that offense, and has not only led the Tiger’s to the national championship game but has set a number of records along the way as well. LSU set school records this year for points (621), points per game (47.8), and total yards (7,206). The offense was on full display this past weekend, during the semifinal game against Oklahoma where the Tiger’s rolled to a 63-28 victory.

Does LSU’s success mean the Giants will become the best offense in the NFL if Brady is hired? No, obviously not. But he will bring an offense that is unique and innovative. After watching the Giants call running plays up the middle on second down the past two seasons, perhaps it’s time Big Blue ventures into the land of college offenses. Arizona saw their offense improve greatly this season when they switched to Kilff Kingsbury’s air-raid offense.

Taking a chance on a coach who has never been the head coach of any team is risky, but it could pay great dividends for the Giants. Hiring Martindale and him bringing Brady along with him could bring Big Blue back to where they haven’t been since 2016 – the playoffs.

New York Yankees Trade Debate: Andujar & Garcia For Josh Hader

The hot stove has been cooking this trade rumor up for weeks now. The New York Yankees have been after Josh Hader and have been linked to him since just before the Winter Meetings ended in early December. Since then the Brewers and the Yankees have remained engaged, and the Yankees have appeared aggressive in their pursuit of Josh Hader. Now, we don’t know exactly what they have offered up until this point, but we do know that they’ve tried to put together packages for Hader.  Jon Heyman has suggested that Miguel Andujar could be the centerpiece if the trade was to happen. Yankees GM Brian Cashman has shown reluctance to deal top pitching prospect Deivi Garcia, but from what I’ve understood in the discussions, Garcia is not “Untouchable“. Yankee fans have been sounding off on this potential trade for weeks with passionate people on both sides of the fence. So with that in mind, let’s dive into both sides of the trade debate where the Yankees would be receiving Josh Hader and the Brewers would be receiving a prospect package headlined by Miguel Andujar and Deivi Garcia.

Deal

Josh Hader has been historically good over his first three seasons. Hader has a career ERA of 2.42 and is averaging an astonishing 15.3 strikeouts per nine innings while winning back to back Trevor Hoffman awards (Baseball Reference). Hader had a .806 WHIP last year which is lower than any season current Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has had in his career. Simple point here: Josh Hader is an absolute stud. I have always been in the camp that you should always trade away prospects for sure things and Josh Hader is a sure thing. Hader is arguably the best reliever in baseball and he comes with four years of club control. The Yankees will have more control over Hader than they have over any reliever they currently have on the active roster. Miguel Andujar is great but there really doesn’t seem to be a place for him on this team right now. Gio Urshela came out of nowhere last year and took over the third base position. He matched Andujar’s ability at the plate while showing off MUCH better defensive skills. With the emergence of Urshela, Andujar becomes expendable. Deivi Garcia is currently the Yankees #1 overall prospect. He has shown flashes of brilliance but he does come with a few flaws. His 5’9, 160 LBS frame gives scouts a lot of concerns over his future as a starter. There are scouts that believe he’s overrated as a prospect and think he projects to be a bullpen arm long-term. The Yankees had the opportunity a couple of years ago to acquire Gerrit Cole but turned down the deal when the Pirates asked for Miguel Andujar and Chance Adams. Josh Hader is not Gerrit Cole, but he is the best reliever in the game. The Yankees are set with their rotation moving forward and Miguel Andujar is expendable, you have to make that deal if that’s the request.

No Deal

Josh Hader has been historically good, but his arm has been used a lot over the past couple of seasons. 168 innings to be exact if you include the Postseason. He also comes with a lot of baggage and one has to wonder how he would transition to the pressure cooker that is New York. If the Yankees made the deal for Hader, he wouldn’t have the pressure of being the only big time guy in the bullpen. But, he would have a lot of pressure put on him due to the price that it would take to acquire him. People forget just how good Miguel Andujar was back in 2018. From an offensive perspective, you could very well say he was the best hitter the Yankees had as he broke Joe DiMaggio’s rookie double record. Yes, he was historically bad defensively, but Andujar is young and very athletic. There is no reason to think he can’t improve his defense over time. If he can get to just an average level defensively, you are looking at an all-star third basemen given his hitting ability. Moving on to Deivi Garcia. As mentioned above, there are some concerns with Deivi Garcia and some scouts believe he’s not as good as his ranking. However, you don’t get to be the Yankees top prospect by chance. At just 20 years old, Garcia has quickly risen through the Yankees farm system to AAA. He’s got one of the best curveballs in all the minor leagues with an incredibly high spin rate. He has a explosive fastball that can touch the mid 90’s. With Garcia, you’re not looking at an ace level pitcher, but you are looking at a guy who can be a really solid middle of the rotation kind of arm. If the rotation doesn’t work out, he looks primed to be a dominant relief pitcher. Who knows, maybe Garcia could be just as dominant out of the bullpen as Josh Hader is now. If he transitions to the pen, Garcia could lean on his best two pitches, his fastball and curveball. That two-pitch mix could be lethal out of the pen. Turning down this deal would be banking on potential, but it might be potential that is too good to just trade away even if the piece coming back is as good as Josh Hader.

To me, the Yankees are in a great position in these trade talks. They would love to add a guy like Josh Hader who would just stack the deck for them in 2020. However, they might already have the best bullpen in baseball without Josh Hader so it makes him a luxury item and not a necessity. In my opinion, both Andujar and Garcia are expendable pieces looking at the way the Yankees are setup moving forward. Andujar is currently behind Urshela and I’m not convinced Garcia will go ahead of Domingo German and/or Jordan Montgomery for a rotation spot after the 2020 season. Now, the Yankees would still likely have to add another piece to make this deal, but the pieces would not be as significant as Andujar and Garcia. If it was up to me, I’d pull the trigger on this deal due to the Yankees lack of World Series success over the last decade. Hader would just be another piece to put them over the top. However, that is just my opinion. In all honesty, I really don’t think there is a wrong answer in this debate.

The New York Rangers’ Doghouse is Open For Business

New York Rangers, Brady Skjei

New York Rangers head coach David Quinn might be beginning to show his frustration with the slow start to games the team has experienced in their last two contests.  People had noticed that during Thursday night’s game against Calgary that a couple of players did not see ice time for most of the third period. Hence being placed in Quinn’s doghouse, which is surprisingly defined in the Cambridge Dictionary as “a situation in which someone is angry at you for something you did or did not do.” The two most recent notables to experience this were Brady Skjei and Kaapo Kakko.

Skjei continues to struggle for the New York Rangers

Social media blew up when the television cameras caught David Quinn leaning over to assistant coach Lindy Ruff and appeared to tell him something to the effect that Skjei does not get any more ice time. Skjei continues to be plagued by turnovers, including a key one in which he tried to clear a puck, and it went right to the Flames’ Dillon Dube, who promptly found Derek Ryan, who scored the goal that made the game 3-2. The benching came in the last 10 minutes of the third period when Skjei was tagged what could have been described as a questionable penalty call. However, it was one of a handful of crucial penalties the Blueshirts took as they were trying to tie up the game.

Kakko’s Benching a Bit of a Surprise

Kakko had already picked up a goal and assist in the Calgary game, but the 18-year-old was whistled for holding at 12:08 of the final period and was benched. After serving the penalty, he did not see the ice for the remainder of the game. Puzzling more was that the line of Brett Howden, Filip Chytil, and Kakko dominated shift after shift for most of the contest. Now, we may also consider that something else was wrong with Kakko that Quinn did not share. It has been well documented that the youngster deals with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, and perhaps his playing time was influenced by this.

David Quinn is never one that has backed off from the tough love approach of trying to bring along younger players. Let’s hope that this approach will help more than it hurts their development.

The New York Yankees revitalize their strength and conditioning after record setting year

New York Yankees, Luke Voit

The New York Yankees, since the end of the season, have been addressing issues that affected the club last season, and that includes the number of injuries that plagued the clubs last year.  The number of injuries and days missed from the field were unprecedented last year.  Thirty players were injured during the season with 39 separate incidences.  As the season progressed and the injuries mounted, fans began to wonder what was wrong with the training staff that is responsible for strength and conditioning.  As pressure mounted on General Manager Brian Cashman to answer these questions, he said they always continue to address any gaps, mistakes, or deficiencies in any of our processes.

It appears that they have addressed the situation, first by hiring a new training and conditioning coach. They will employ Eric Cressey to oversee their training and conditioning. This according to a report from The Athletic. Last year’s strength and conditioning coach Matt Krause was recently fired, as reported earlier by the New York Post. Cressey is somewhat of a star in athletic performance circles.

He has worked with other teams and with pitchers like the New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard, the Washington Nationals Max Scherzer, and the Cleveland Indians Cory Kluber, who is now a Texas Ranger.  Cressey co-founded Cressey Sports Performance, which has facilities in Massachusetts and Florida.  According to reports, Cressey will be allowed to continue his work with other teams but will oversee everything that has to do with training and conditioning of the Yankee players.

The New York Yankees made even more moves:

In another significant move, the Yankees have replaced long-time head athletic trainer Steve Donohue, and have promoted his assistant Trainer Michael Schuk, who has been with the training staff for the last six years.  Donohue had been a head trainer since the legendary trainer Gene Monahan retired after the 2011 season.  “Stevey” Donohue was not fired but will take on an essential consulting role. Donohue formerly worked with the minor leagues since 1979 and moved to the major league team in 1986.  As to the circumstance of the individual player’s injuries, it’s difficult to quantify how much responsibility any club’s strength and conditioning coach should be assigned.  But after evaluating the situation, management saw the need for changes.

The Yankees are doing everything possible to assure a season that can take the team to another World Championship after winning 100 or more games in the past two seasons.  These changes to the medical staff should hopefully lessen player’s days away from the team that reached a high of 2,433 days lost to the Injuries list last season.  In addition to these changes, they have also hired Matt Blake as the new pitching coach, replacing Larry Rothschild.

Blake is something of a “pitching guru,” he was also the founder of Elite Pitching Development and the pitching coordinator at Cressey Sports Performance.  In one of the most significant moves, this offseason is that Hal Steinbrenner opened his wallet, and got the Yankees the big prize in one of the best pitchers in baseball, in Gerrit Cole.  Cole is a modern pitcher who pitches to analytics and is interested in the newest technologies that affect pitching, lifestyle, and nutrition.  The Blake, Cole, and Cressey mix should be very beneficial to the Yankees and all of the players going forward.

New York Mets’ news: Nimmo’s contributions, Cespedes and more

New York Mets, Brandon Nimmo

The New York Mets’ are still generating headlines into the New Year. Details about how Yoenis Cespedes got injured came to light. Also, MLB.com ran a lengthy analysis on Brandon Nimmo.

A catching prospect was recently tabbed as a breakout candidate, while the Mets’ Triple-A team announced its manager.

Here are the New York Mets’ news and rumors of the day:

MLB.com: Anthony DiComo analyzed one of the Mets’ most underappreciated players: Brandon Nimmo. A perennial trade candidate, the outfielder is one of the best table-setters in the league with a near-.400 OBP in the last three years.

Having an on-base machine in front of Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso is a very good development for the Mets. He is also a slightly below-average defender in center and playable in the corners.

Nimmo closed out the 2019 season with a .995 OPS in September and looks poised for a good year.

NY Post: The Post published an article revealing the details of Yoenis Cespedes’ injury. As it turns out, a wild boar that escaped from his cage caused the accident.

According to the Post report, which quoted several people familiar with the incident, “Cespedes has traps on his ranch for a variety of reasons, including to keep boars away from people. But one boar was removed from a trap — perhaps by Cespedes — and either charged toward Cespedes or startled him, causing Cespedes to step into a hole.”

The incident ended up costing the Cuban outfielder millions of dollars. The Mets restructured his contract.

Syracuse.com: Brian Schneider, who last worked with the Miami Marlins, is the new manager of the Mets’ Triple-A affiliate.

Schneider, 43, will lead the Syracuse Mets in 2020. He spent five seasons as the Marlins’ catching coach. Before that, he managed the Single-A Jupiter team, accumulating a 117-160 record. He is an ex-major leaguer with 13 seasons in the bigs.

Metsmerizedonline.com: The folks at MLB Pipeline analyzed 30 prospects that could break out in 2020. Among those young players was a New York Mets’ member: Francisco Alvarez.

He is a $2.7 million-bonus man, and a very talented catcher. He had a .317/.407/.510 line in 42 games for Gulf Coast and Kingsport. Alvarez hit 10 doubles, seven homers, and 26 RBI.