New York Yankees: Still more unexpected consequences of the COVID-19 virus

New York Yankees

The longer the delay in the start of the baseball season, the New York Yankees and all of the sports find even more unexpected consequences of the shutdown of the sports world.  We all know by this time that spring training was canceled, and the baseball season delayed.  It was originally delayed two weeks, but that now has passed an additional two weeks with no concrete date for the baseball season to start.

The closure has affected the players, scouts, club owners, revenues for past stars, international scouts that can’t travel home and are stuck in hotels around the country, free agents in limbo, and the list goes on and on.  Today we are going to talk about exhibition games that are canceled around the world and other unexpected consequences of a closed down baseball season.

International games canceled or in limbo

From the time that Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred canceled spring training and delayed the beginning of the regular season one by one games that were to be played at international sites have been canceled.  One of the games the most looked forward to is the London MLB Series.  Last year it pitted the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox in the series, which was a fantastic success drawing thousands of fans.  The Series was swept by the Yankees.  The purpose of the games it to promote baseball in the United Kingdom.

This year’s exhibition series was to be between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs.  The games to begin on June 13th have been canceled.  The MLB Mexico City series was supposed to start on April 18, but it too was canceled.  Originally the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks were to played in the brand new Alfredo Harp Helu Stadium in Mexico City.  The World Baseball Classics qualifiers for the 2021 Classic in Puerto Rico were supposed to take place beginning on March 13, but they too were indefinitely delayed.

Long-awaited Field of Dreams game in limbo?

A stadium is being constructed in the cornfields of Iowa.  When complete, it was to replicate the movie of the same name, the Field of Dreams.  The 1989 movie featured an Iowa farmer that heard voices coming from his cornfield telling him to build a baseball diamond in his fields.  He did and the 1909 Chicago White Sox came.

This year’s game was to be played between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.  Thus far, there’s been no change in the status of the Iowa game that was to be played on August 13.  Whether the game will be canceled remains up to MLB.  The fact that construction is still ongoing is a sign of hope the game can be pulled off.

After the game was played the stadium holding 8,000 fans is being built right next to the field in the movie.  The stands are slated to be demolished after the game is played and will become a baseball diamond for Little League and other ball games.

We wish we could watch the grass grow!

By now, baseball fans, including New York Yankees fans, are sorely missing baseball games that have been delayed.  The only hope fans have at this point is that there will actually be a baseball season.  If there is a season, it will most likely not start until June at the earliest, and when it does start, there probably will not be fans in the stands, at least at the beginning.  We don’t know if that Arizona Plan will be implemented or if games will be played in home parks.  There should be some indication by MLB in the coming weeks.

One thing that does not change whether baseball is played or not is that the grass keeps going around the country.  This, of course, excludes Rogers Center in Toronto and Tropicana Field in Tampa, as both have artificial turf.  The New Globe Life Field home of the Rangers will experiment with a new synthetic material that isn’t grass, and the home of the Diamondbacks have switched from grass in their retractable roof stadium to turf for the 2020 season.

In empty stadiums all over the country, groundkeepers will have to mow grass and tend to the fields even though the stands are empty.  LongtimeYankee Stadium Head Groundskeeper Danny Cunningham and his crew are still tending to the beauty of Yankee Stadium, whether games will be played there or not.  Other maintenance staff is tending to all the repairs necessary to keep the Stadium in top-notch shape. The only thing he won’t be doing is rolling out and pulling in the rain tarp as the grass will be enjoying all the rainfall.

 

 

New York Giants: Grading and evaluating all day 3 draft picks for Big Blue

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes

Taking a look at all of the New York Giants’ day three selections:

The Giants got better this offseason, mainly due to the excellent drafting GM Dave Gettleman and HC Joe Judge pieced together. They solved their massive hole at left tackle and secured a versatile safety who can move from the deep portion of the field to the box, where he can rush the passer and play against the run.

Overall, Big Blue knocked this one out of the park, but the later rounds represent untapped potential and upside from young, undeveloped players. Here’s a look at each one and what they bring to the team.

1.) CB Darnay Holmes

This was an intriguing pick given how many late-round picks Gettleman spent on the secondary last year, but Holmes is one of the fastest corners in this draft class. His incredible agility and place speed made him attractive, and he was also a high-rated nickel corner by most analysts.

Despite not having much experience in the nickel spot, his frame and skill-set match up perfectly. Factor in his return-man abilities and he can start out as a special teams ace and graduate to a starter on defense. He undoubtedly has the traits to get there.

Grade: B

2.) OL Shane Lemieux

Lemieux could be another gem of an OL in the later rounds, as he can move around the line with a versatile skill-set and frame. As a former four-star recruit for Oregon, he started 52 games at left guard for the Ducks. Referred to as a team leader in college, he’s a strong, quick, and athletic lineman, giving him the potential to be a starter early in his career.

However, the Giants see him as a project and want to develop him to potentially take over for Kevin Zeitler one day or act as a quality depth piece. Nonetheless, he’s a blue-collar player with high upside.

Grade: A-

3.) LB Cam Brown

With the 183rd pick in the 2020 NFL draft, the Giants selected Brown out of Penn State. At 6-foot-5 and 233 pounds, Brown has great closing speed and uses his length to his advantage. His frame makes him a high upside player with plenty of potential, and hopefully, the Giants can unlock that.

Patrick Graham has a knack for maximizing linebackers, and Brown is one of those intriguing players that could work his way into the rotation. Despite his solid frame, he gets too aggressive and over rush plays, and his open-field tackling can become problematic at times. A year of development should alleviate some of those concerns, but he is a solid pack in the later rounds.

Grade: B

4.) OLB Carter Coughlin 

Carter is a solid prospect out of Minnesota at 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds. His abilities off the edge are a bit limited by his lack of size, but he brings quickness and agility to his game. He played out of position in college and will likely transition to an off-ball linebacker at the pro level.

I project Coughlin as a special teams contributor for the time being, and unless he can put on some serious size, his potential is capped as a rotational player at best.

Grade: B

5.) ILB TJ Brunson

The Giants drafted South Carolina ILB TJ Brunson with the 238th overall pick. Brunson is a bit undersized and slow for the LB position but has potential as a special teams player. He will inevitably compete for a roster spot as a seventh-round pick, and he does possess decent athleticism and range.

Grade: B-

6.) CB Chris Williamson

Another slot corner on the books for the Giants, who land CB Chris Williamson out of Minnesota. He’s a tenacious player with solid athleticism and zone coverage skills. Adding more competition to the interior CB spot is a good thing, as it was a real problem in 2019.

Williamson is a poor tackler and lacks anticipation, but his problems are most fundamentally based, indicating he can improve on his issues and hopefully alleviate them.

Grade: A-

7.) LB Tae Crowder

Crowder is a hard-hitting linebacker who just squeaked into the 2015 class for the Bulldogs. He comes to the Giants with the last pick in the NFL draft at No. 255. As the new Mr. Irrelevant, Crowder will compete for a roster spot with the rest of the 7th rounders.

Grade: B