New York Giants: 11 Evaluators Name Mekhi Becton Top Tackle In 2020 Class

New York Jets, Mekhi Becton

If the New York Giants decide to spend the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft on a tackle, they have no shortage of options. In fact, one could argue that they have too many options, and that there’s no clear player to take at this spot. There’s multiple tackles who are highly rated by analysts and the press, and it looks like this draft presents a large danger of taking the wrong player while another player at the position has a more successful career with another team.

As we come closer to the scheduled draft, however, the narrative is shaping up and its becoming clearer which players experts prefer and which ones they think will fall in the draft. Right now, it looks like Mekhi Becton is holding onto his earlier momentum, and Becton was recently rated the best tackle by a panel of 11 evaluators spoken to by ESPN. This panel includes scouts, executives, coaches, and analysts.

As the chart shows, Becton was our top-ranked tackle, edging Wills for first in total points with 32 and in first-place votes (5-4). The voting highlights how widely opinions vary when assessing the tackles at the top of this draft class.

Becton beat out Alabama’s Jedrick Wills for the top spot with 32 points compared to 31 – but had a large advantage to Tristan Wirfs and Andrew Thomas, who received 23 and 22 votes respectively and were some distance behind the top two.

Despite that fact, it’s Wills that Jordan Raanan links to the Giants rather than Becton, partly because Wills is a player that the Giants staff has more experience with due to Alabama connections.

The Giants already have former Alabama running backs coach Burton Burns on staff. He has seen what Wills can do and would likely provide another stamp of approval. Wills would be an ideal fit in an offense expected to be more run-heavy than most. No wonder the buzz on Wills to the Giants has been building in league circles. He would start on the right side and, depending on how things shake out over the next few seasons, potentially move to the left.

It’s also worth noting that Wills might come at a lower cost in draft position than Becton – and with multiple teams sitting below the Giants and looking to take a quarterback, there may be a chance to trade down a few spots and take Wills while Becton on the other hand would require keeping the fourth overall pick. At least, that’s the case if other teams value Becton as much as pre-draft analysis predicts – something that’s never a given in the chaotic NFL Draft.

Former New York Yankees’ second baseman Damaso Garcia dies at 63

New York Yankees

A former New York Yankees‘ player passed away on Wednesday. Damaso Garcia, who played for the Bombers in 1978 and 1979, died today in his native Dominican Republic. He was 63 years old.

Details of the cause of the death of Garcia aren’t available at the time. “It is a sad day for the Dominican baseball community,” Erick Almonte, the president of the Dominican national player federation, told ESPN.

Garcia had a successful career. Although his numbers don’t exactly pop up, he managed to go to the All-Star game in two separate occasions, which is plenty more than the average player can achieve.

The second baseman signed for the New York Yankees back in 1975, as an amateur free agent. He started his 11-year MLB career in 1978. During the 1978 and 1979 seasons, he played only in 29 games in the Bronx, before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Finding the opportunity that the Yankees couldn’t give him

He received the opportunity to play a full season for the first time in 1980, and that year, he finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting, as the New York Post remembers. In total, he spent seven years in Toronto. The mid-eighties saw Garcia’s best moments, as he was an All-Star in 1984 and 1985.

He played with the Braves in 1988 and with the Expos in 1989. That year, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. In fact, doctors told him that he only had a few months to live.

That wasn’t the end of the line for Garcia, however. He underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and while there were some bumps in the road (specifically in the form of speech and mobility issues) he managed to overcome the situation and live several more years.

One of this former Yankee’s contributions to society was managing a baseball camp for children with hemophilia in the Dominican Republic, his hometown. His son suffered the condition.

New York Yankees: Mariano Rivera ‘blessed’ to be last to wear Jackie Robinson’s 42

For the African American community, Jackie Robinson is bigger than baseball. He broke the color barrier and opened up plenty of opportunities in MLB. That’s why New York Yankees‘ legend Mariano Rivera feels “blessed” to be the last player to wear his number 42, before the league retired it for good to honor Jackie.

But besides Robinson, number 42 is strongly associated to Rivera, the greatest and most dominant closer of all time.

Rivera wore 42 in each of the 1,115 regular-season games — plus 96 postseason contests — he appeared in during his Hall of Fame career, one that saw him go in unanimously, the only human to ever do it to this day.

Rivera explained that he didn’t choose the number because of Robinson. “I didn’t ask for it,” he said to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com. “It was given to me.”

It should be noted that lots of players were wearing number 42 during Rivera’s playing days. Only the Dodgers retired it in 1972.

The Yankees’ reliever understood the legacy behind the number

During his early playing days, Rivera wasn’t too much into the game’s history. However, back in 1997 when MLB retired it to honor Jackie, Mariano began to understand the significance of the uniform.

“I was really naïve when it came to statistics, the people that had played the game; I was just happy to play the game and do the best I could to help the team win,” Rivera said. “People were talking about Jackie, making such a big move to retire the number, so I decided I better learn about him and understand what he was all about, what he did.”

Thirteen active players were wearing 42 when MLB retired it in 1997, and they were allowed by MLB to continue using it for the remainder of their careers. After that, no one would ever use it. The Yankees’ righty was the last man standing.

“I was blessed that as the years went by, people wearing that number kept retiring and I kept going to the point that I was the last one standing,” Rivera said. “At that point, it was even more demanding, the amount of responsibility I had wearing that number. That was real pressure.

New York Yankees’ fans grew accustomed to seeing Rivera’s 42 enter the game from the bullpen. Those are excellent memories that will linger in everyone’s minds.

“I wanted to make Mr. Jackie Robinson proud of the legacy that he left us. Me, being the last No. 42, doing it in a great arena as New York, I was thankful for the legacy he left for us to continue and pushing it forward, passing it down to the next generation.”

Bud Selig, former MLB Commissioner, declared April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day back in 2004.

New York Mets: Marcus Stroman Challenges Kyle Larson to a Fight

New York Yankees, New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

Marcus Stroman has always been outspoken, and a headline maker, no matter the situation. After NASCAR driver Kyle Larson used a racial slur in a virtual race, the New York Mets star took to Twitter to vent his anger at Larson.

Stroman has never been one to back down from any challenge. Stroman felt the apology meant nothing because Larson used the slur under the assumption that stream viewers were not able to hear what he was saying.

Tale of the Tape

Stroman has about three inches on Larson and is in by far better shape. For entertainment sake, who would not love to watch Stroman lay the smackdown on Larson. On the other hand, the Mets may not want to see their All-Star pitcher anywhere near the octagon. With Noah Syndergaard on the shelf, the Mets will need all the starters they can get.

A fight between the two seems highly unlikely. Then again, the Mets have a history of their players going on an doing things people never even imagine. Luckily we are all in quarantine for the distant future, so hopefully, all of this is just talk instead of reality.

New York Mets: MLB to test up to 10,000 employees for coronavirus antibodies

New York Mets

Despite the current, ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the players’ association are working around the clock to increase the possibilities of playing ball again this year. Losing the 2020 season would be catastrophic from a financial standpoint, but so far, it is very difficult to imagine professional sports being played in the near future. That means the New York Mets and the New York Yankees, two clubs that play in America’s most affected city when it comes to coronavirus cases and deaths, probably won’t be playing at home anytime soon.

Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN that he wasn’t confident that New York would open up large gatherings in June, July, or even August, which would leave September as the most likely date to consider games with fans in the stands, at least in New York city.

However, MLB is currently considering Arizona and Florida to host major league teams for the entire season in a shortened schedule. It represents quite a challenge, but the option is there, with a division realignment that would favor the Yankees and affect the Mets.

To know more about the possibilities of playing this year, the league needs medical information about the disease. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, MLB employees are participating in a study that will “test up to 10,000 people for coronavirus antibodies and should offer researchers a better sense of how widespread the disease is in major metropolitan areas across the United States.”

Passan says that this development will not necessarily speed up the return of baseball, as it will be done to provide medical professionals with crucial and geographically diverse data that will help them understand COVID-19’s prevalence and infection rate.

It is unclear if the Mets will take part

It remains to be seen which current members of the New York Mets will be part of the study.

The league likely won’t precipitate a return to action if the results of the study are not encouraging. Several people will participate in the tests, including but not limited to players. Front office staff, concession workers and others will take part, as well.

“This is the first study of national scope where we’re going to get a read on a large number of communities throughout the United States to understand how extensive the spread of the virus has been,” said Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, a professor of medicine at Stanford University who will assess the gathered data. “This will be the very first of those. Why MLB versus other employers? I’ve reached out to others, but MLB moved by far the fastest. They’ve been enormously cooperative and flexible. We’re trying to set up a scientific study that would normally take years to set up, and it’s going to be a matter of weeks.”

Yankees fans should’t expect to set foot in Yankee Stadium anytime soon

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees are quite a while away from setting foot in Yankee Stadium.

With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down the entirety of New York City and the globe, sports fans have been waiting idly by as the virus makes its way through communities and individual homes. The closest thing to sports we have now is the NFL draft coming up in just one week, but baseball has been considering returning Arizona without fans.

As for the New York Yankees, fans shouldn’t expect to set foot in Yankee Stadium anytime soon, Mayor Bill de Blasio told CNN. The mayor also stated that he was “not confident” that New York would open up large gatherings in June, July, or even August.

“I think it’s going to be awhile,” said de Blasio. “I think that’s one of the things later in the trajectory.”

It could take until the fall for the stadium to be packed once more and baseball to be in full swing. Expect to watch games without fans and a dull atmosphere. Opening day was scheduled for April 2, which has passed by without the blink of an eye.

“By September, we are hopeful we could be back to something more like normal,” de Blasio said on “Fox and Friends.”

The good news is that football will be operational if September seems to be the return of normalcy, but baseball could be in trouble. It’s possible the entire season could be lost amid the continuation of the virus, and even starting up again without fans is problematic.

While the Arizona heat would kill the virus on any surfaces, elderly managers and assistants would be at risk with a-symptomatic players on the field. Hopefully, significant progress is experienced in the coming weeks, as a decline in deaths has already started to emerge from New York.

 

Giants are early favorites in only one game for the upcoming NFL season

New York Giants, Joe Judge

What happens when a team wins a total of 12 games over three seasons? The bookmakers give them zero respect. That’s the case of the New York Giants in 2020.

Big Blue has been anything but big of late, winning just four games last year, five the year before and three in 2017. As a result, the oddsmakers at BetOnline.ag have made the Giants favored in just one game in ht early point spreads released for the 2020 season – the final game of the season at home agains the Washington Redskins.

New York Giants
Notes: Favored in 1, dogs in 12, and three pick’ems.

New York Giants +12½ @ Baltimore Ravens
New York Giants +6 @ Chicago Bears
New York Giants pk @ Cincinnati Bengals
New York Giants +7½ @ Dallas Cowboys
New York Giants +6½ @ Los Angeles Rams
New York Giants +7 @ Philadelphia Eagles
New York Giants +8½ @ Seattle Seahawks
New York Giants pk @ Washington Redskins
Arizona Cardinals @ New York Giants pk
Cleveland Browns @ New York Giants +1
Dallas Cowboys @ New York Giants +3
Philadelphia Eagles @ New York Giants +3½
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants +2½
San Francisco 49ers @ New York Giants +6½
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants +3
Washington Redskins @ New York Giants -5

The Giants are pick’em at Washington, Cincinnati and Arizona. Most likely those games will have some type of a point spread come the week of the game.

Last season, the Giants were favored five times: by 3 over Washington at home and by 1 on the road: by 3.5 over Arizona and Miami at home, and by 3 over the Jets which was an away game.

They lost to the Jets and Cardinals outright and covered the spread in the other three games. Overall, the Giants were 7-9 against the spread in 2019.

So far the season is set to begin on time but nothing is certain at the moment so all of this could change.

New York Giants: Eli Manning might do the impossible and blow our minds

Eli Manning, New York Giants

Will former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning do the unthinkable?

Modern-day NFL players are intertwined with the social media world, often distracting them from their duties and creating a direct link to hostile, angry fans. Don’t doubt the effect of social media on players and how it can negatively impact their lives, which is why former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning has always steered clear of such a reality.

Playing in the NFL for 16 seasons is an incredible feat owned by Manning, who only missed one game in his entire career due to Ben McAdoo attempting to make a radical change, which ultimately ruined his games-played streak. You can imagine the pair probably don’t talk much anymore after such a motion.

However, after spending nearly 40 years without joining social media, Manning is considering joining Twitter for the first time, evidently, after his career has ended in the NFL.

Not only with this be monumental for Giants fans looking for a direct link to Manning and his apparently hilarious personality, but it will remind us of how good a player he actually was and the steps he took to ensure he was mentally prepared for each game.

Former Giants kicker, Lawrence Tynes, texted Manning to convince him to join Twitter, and Manning responded with unexpected optimism.

He simply said, “Thinking about it.”

Eli even uses periods at the end of simple sentences to portray his seriousness about social media and the effects it can have on you after retirement. Of course, that just might be Mannings personality, but I’m excited to see how he harasses Tom Brady after beating him in two Super Bowls.

Tynes goes on to say how funny Manning is and how we don’t really even know the real version of the quarterback that played with the Giants for 16 years. Not only is he the most competitive dude Tynes has ever met, but he is also hilarious. Given the faces we’ve seen Eli make over the years, it’s only fair to say he can make fun of himself at the same time. I am excited to hear the stories and legends of Manning with the Giants and connect with him on a rational level that doesn’t include the ultimate bias of the last few seasons.

New York Yankees News: Arizona and Florida Governors okay with plan to start baseball in their states

New York Yankees

Baseball Commission Rob Manfred is working with the New York Yankees and the other 29 major league teams to get baseball started against while the coronavirus drags on.  He is also working with federal health officials and the governors of Arizona and Florida to use facilities in their states to get a start to America’s summer pastime.

Recently Manfred issued one plan to get baseball going by isolating it in both Arizona and Florida, where there is already a baseball infrastructure.  In Arizona, baseball would use the retractable roof Chase Stadium home of the Arizona Diamondbacks of the National League.  It is likely that doubleheaders and even tripleheaders would be played there in an attempt to get as many games in as possible.  The 30 MLB teams would also use open-air minor league and college stadiums within a 50-mile radius of Pheonix.  Although many New York Yankee fans are in favor of the plan just to be able to play, they also cite isolation from their families as an issue.

Florida is also be considered.  In the dual state plan, the Grapefruit league would be played there, and Cactus League games played in Arizona.  There is a lot of pushback for both plans as they would have environmental obstacles as well as causing players to be away from their families for an entire season.  The plans would cause the players to isolate themselves in hotels and only be allowed to travel between hotels and stadiums.  Florida is the home of the New York Yankees George M. Steinbrenner Field; it’s major training facility.

Another plan put forth makes less sense, still allowing players to engage in air travel and play teams that are not in their usual divisions.  This plan would create an entirely illegitimate season with a meaningless World Championship.

Both the Arizona Governor Doug Ducey and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have both indicated that they are okay with starting baseball in their states.  Ducey said:

“I have had discussions [Manfred],” Ducey said, via the Arizona Republic. “While I want to hold the content of those discussions in confidence, I just want everyone to know that Arizona, at the right time, is very open-minded to hosting whatever Major League Baseball would like from the state, at the time that it would be appropriate for public health if Arizona were in a position to reopen.

“We have the facilities that are here. We have the hotel space that is here. We want to make sure that the metrics and data are proper before we are able to go forward.”

Florida Governor DeSantis has deemed sports as “essential businesses” in the state, too.  Florida has over 21k active cases of the coronavirus in the state and Arizona has 3,800 cases as of Tuesday night, according to the New York Times.

One of these plans may be adopted or neither may take effect as Manfred mules over what to do to complete some type of baseball season.  He just may wait until it is safe to have baseball at New York Yankees Stadium and in other MLB home parks.  That would be a best option in this writer’s opinion, where a traditional season of 80 or so games could be played.  Manfred is not going to rush into starting the season but must make some decisions as to what a season will look like in the next few weeks.

“MLB has been working diligently to plan for many different contingencies, as one of many ideas that has been discussed has been to play some of our games in Florida when the public health situation allows for it,” the league said in a statement on Tuesday, via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. “We are appreciative that the Governor is open to playing games in Florida as one potential solution, but we all agree that such efforts can only be undertaken in a manner that does not endanger public health, nor the health of our players and fans. We will continue to be guided by those principles.”

New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, said today that he doubts that large gatherings would be allowed during June or July and possibly even August.  It should be noted that the major is a die-hard Boston Red Sox fan, although I’m sure that will have nothing to do with when Yankee Stadium can be opened to fans. One thing we call all agree on is that New York Yankees fans are starved for baseball and just want to hear the phrase, “Play Ball!”

New York Giants’ Joe Judge comments on team and the value of players like Isaiah Simmons

New York Giants, Joe Judge

Here’s what Joe Judge had to say about the New York Giants during the quarantine and much more:

With a virtual reality becoming the new norm for the Giants and head coach Joe Judge, challenges are being presented regarding the evaluation of players and prospects. The NFL Draft is only a week away, and the team isn’t able to study the body movements and personalities correctly for incoming players, making this situation a bit more problematic.

However, Judge is not wasting any time hopping on video calls with players and organizing his calenders for the next few months.

Judge has created four calendars to ensure the team is prepared moving forward and have the appropriate dates lined up for the start of the NFL season and specific dates for the draft.

Despite being holed up in his basement, Judge is bringing that tenacity to his work-load and pushing on with motivation. Being a new head coach and dealing with a world-wide quarantine due to a pandemic is not the start he imagined would propel him to success. With a setback already in place, the Giants are in a position of disadvantage.

The Giants’ head coach went on to state that the Giants must take the best player available in the draft, which can be perceived in two ways. Either Isaiah Simmons is the guaranteed pick if he’s available or Judge just tossed a smoke-screen into the mix to confuse other teams’ general managers ahead of the draft next week.

However, a positional talent being drafted must fit into the team’s system and schemes, which is where Patrick Graham comes into play regarding Simmons, who’s a unique talent that needs a creative coordinator to maximize his abilities. Graham coming from Yale and acting as Miami’s DC in 2019; he’s prepared to activate an innovative and unpredictable defense with different blitzing schemes. Simmons would likely fit well in his system, using a blend of 3-4 and 4-3 looks.