New York Giants: DeAndre Baker Still Hasn’t Turned Himself In To Police

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

The offseaon took a strange turn for the New York Giants when cornerback DeAndre Baker was accused of armed robbery, and it doesn’t look like that story is going to die down anytime soon. While some may assume that Baker and Quinton Dunbar have already been arrested by the Miramar Police Department following the warrant being revealed online, that isn’t entirely the case – Baker hasn’t yet turned himself in, and both players claim innocence.

While the initial headline might sound like a manhunt is in the works, reality likely won’t be that exciting. While Baker hasn’t turned himself in yet, it looks like the Giants corner is working on doing so. According to Andy Slater, Baker is currently working out the details of such a move and, according to Baker’s legal team, statements from witnesses will prove his innocence.

It seems like it’s the same story from Dunbar. According to Dunbar’s lawyer, there’s five witnesses that clear the innocence of his client. These claims, of course, will be further tested in the future – right now, it’s just the police’s words against the words of the players and their lawyers.

Is it possible that this story was jumped on too soon by the media when there might still be significant turns left? Possibly. There is a chance that this is a large misunderstanding, if what the lawyers claim is true. On the other hand, there’s a motive to claim innocence here, even if neither player really is innocence. After all, if the allegations are indeed true, it looks like both formerly prominent players could see their way out of the league entirely thanks to their actions on a single day.

New York Giants: Drafting DeAndre Baker was a much more controversial deal than we realized

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

When trying to exercise the entire rebuild of a football roster, it’s often a good idea to look in-depth into the type of people being allowed entry into the building. The New York Giants threw around the word “culture” far too often to have a first-round draft pick from 2019 facing jail time after being accused of an armed robbery. Cornerback DeAndre Baker has been the man of the hour with his most recent blunder, from sleeping in meetings to robbing people at gun-point. That’s quite the jump if you ask me.

However, his personality issues and arrogance isn’t a new occurrence. It’s something the Giants have been dealing with for quite some time. In fact, before he was drafted, there was controversy over the selection, but the Giants traded up and grabbed him anyway.

“There was a battle in our building on whether we were going to take DeAndre or not,” the New York Post discovered via a source,“ because the story was he had to have his a– kicked every day to work hard at Georgia — to even go to practice. We knew that and we still drafted him, and from Day 1 it was like taking a guy in the first round that you had to teach nearly everything to.”

It seems the Giants knew what they were getting in Baker — a lazy, arrogant, piece of work. Clearly, he’s lived up to those expectations as he’s now facing time in prison and the loss of his entire career.

Was this Dave Gettleman’s fault?

Nobody but Baker should be blamed for his actions, and reports have indicated he’s still at large amid an arrest warrant. Gettleman, however, was aware of these troubling red-flags that he was clearly warned about. Missing on a player in the first round can be pernicious to a team, but luckily, he had three of them last year, and Baker was the worst of the crop in his rookie campaign.

That doesn’t mean he was void of potential, as it was likely he would’ve developed into a quality corner for the New York Giants. Now, they’re looking at replacements to sure up a position that has been a significant weakness in recent years. Nonetheless, we can continue to adopt the “next man up” mentality and push forward.

In the meantime, Baker has some explaining to do.

New York Giants: Three Players Already On The Roster Who Could Replace DeAndre Baker

New York Giants, Darnay Holmes, Julian Love, Jabrill Peppers, DeAndre Baker, Xavier McKinney, Corey Ballentine

The New York Giants are once again at the forefront of sports media for all the wrong reasons. Last night, disappointing and gutwrenching news broke about Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker. The Miami Police Department issued an arrest warrant on DeAndre Baker. Baker is accused of committing four counts of armed robbery and aggravated assault. With Baker likely to be jailed, the Giants will need to look elsewhere at cornerback and find his replacement. Here are three players that are already on the roster who could potentially replace DeAndre Baker:

Julian Love

Julian Love started five games at safety for the Giants in 2019. He was expected to continue in a rotational safety role in 2020, but expectations have been subverted by DeAndre Baker’s incident. This makes Julian Love a potential option at outside cornerback.

Julian Love played safety as a rookie in the NFL, but he played cornerback in college. At that position, Love recorded 32 pass breakups and 4 interceptions over his last two years at Notre Dame.

“Pure and simple, Love is a cover guy who possesses the feet, hips, instincts and competitiveness you want in a corner.” – NFL.com analyst Lance Zierelein

Sam Beal

The Giants had high hopes when they selected Sam Beal in the third round of the 2018 Supplemental Draft. So far, he has not exactly lived up to expectations. Injuries held Beal back in his first two seasons, but he was not overly impressive when he found the field.

Sam Beal played in 6 games and started 3 games in 2019. In those games, Beal allowed a 76.2% completion percentage when targeted. He allowed opposing receivers to gain 171 yards and 1 touchdown. Opposing quarterbacks recorded a passer rating of 115.4 against Sam Beal. If Beal is going to replace DeAndre Baker, the Giants will need him to improve his performance significantly.

Corey Ballentine

Corey Ballentine, the Giants’ 2019 sixth-round draft pick, could be an option to replace DeAndre Baker. Unfortunately, Ballentine’s situation is similar to Sam Beal’s. If he wants to earn this promotion, he needs to improve his performance.

Ballentine dealt with some injuries in 2019, but he did manage to play in 13 games and start 2 games. While Ballentine’s performance was slightly better than Beal’s, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Corey Ballentine allowed opposing offenses to complete 64.3% of their passes in his coverage. They totaled 393 yards and 4 touchdowns against Ballentine, too. Ballentine was a rookie, so his struggles are understood. However, if his impressive performances in last year’s training camp and preseason are any indication as to what Ballentine has in store for the future, then there is reason to believe he could earn the job.

New York Yankees: CC Sabathia throws two names that could be team captains in the future

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Clark Griffith, Kid Elberfeld, Willie Keeler, Hal Chase, Frank Chance, Roger Peckinpaugh, Babe Ruth, Everett Scott, Lou Gehrig, Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Willie Randolph, Ron Guidry, Don Mattingly and Derek Jeter. What do those names have in common? They were all captains of the New York Yankees at some point in their careers.

Their names come to prominence today because a recently-retired New York Yankees’ great threw two current members of the team as candidates to, some day, captain baseball’s most famous franchise.

CC Sabathia, the World Series-winning starting pitcher who retired this last season, expects either Aaron Judge or Gleyber Torres to be named captains at some point in the future.

Filling the Yankees’ vacancy

The Yankees haven’t had a captain since 2014, when Hall of Famer Derek Jeter announced his retirement. He was appointed the team’s leader in 2003.

Sabathia spoke about the subject on MLB’s Instagram page, praising his former teammates and saying they have the goods to lead the franchise from the field.

“Those two dudes are just leaders,” Sabathia said. “Either one of them, I could see being the next captain.”

And while the shortstop and the right fielder are expected to form the core of the Yankees of today and tomorrow, neither of them has signed a contract extensions to ensure their stay in the Bronx for the long haul.

If there is anyone who knows what he’s saying, it is Sabathia. He played with Jeter for six years, from 2009 to 2014, and they even won a World Series together. Additionally, Sabathia was around to witness both Judge’s and Torres’ rise to stardom in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Both are polite, well-behaved men that do most of their talking in the field. They have a reputation of being good teammates, and they have stayed away from scandals off the field. The Yankees have a couple of great candidates in them.

New York Yankees: Cashman still mad at Astros for sign-stealing scheme

New York Yankees, Brian Cashman

This offseason, MLB decided to punish the Houston Astros after investigations found a sign-stealing scheme put in place in 2017, the year in which they were crowned champions of the World Series. Members of the New York Yankees (a team that fell to the Astros in the 2017 and 2019 American League Championship Series) and other teams felt that the punishment was light: the GM and manager got one-year suspensions and the team lost a couple of draft picks and a few million bucks.

The Yankees wanted revenge on the field, and if coronavirus hadn’t forced MLB to postpone the start of the season, the two teams would have met today in Houston. That’ll have to wait for now.

The only thing clear about all the sign-stealing mess is that New York Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman is still not over the fact that the Astros cheated to beat his team.

He said that “there is a little bit of frustration,” while crediting Jomboy for “decoding” the trash can system.

“Frustration after the fact that Jomboy, for instance, put out online and decoded after the A’s Mike Fiers revealed [to The Athletic] what was transpiring [in Houston],’’ Cashman said. “Frustration in, ‘Wow, we knew something was going on and we complained about it.’ But we didn’t have the fact of what the specifics [were] and once you saw it playing out, once it was decoded, you say, ‘How could we have not have figured that out?’ ”

The Yankees tried to determine what was happening

Cashman also said that the Yankees “tried every which way to determine if they were doing something. We don’t know what they’re doing. We don’t know how they’re conveying the signals, but it’s clear as day and the whole industry knew about it.’’

Cashman also said that out of respect to baseball and the commissioner’s office, he wasn’t as vocal about the scheme in the past. He preferred to wait until the league found evidence and levied punishment.

“I think people in my position have to be very careful to be critical of decisions that ultimately are in somebody else’s hands,’’ Cashman said. “Is there frustration in what transpired and how it potentially denied us further play in the postseason? Of course there is. Do I have strong feelings on that? Of course I do. Does it serve me or the Yankees or the industry of baseball by at times letting my guard down and sharing how I really feel from that and the emotion that comes from that? I’m not sure it’s helpful to the process.’’

“They clearly benefited from [the system],’’ Cashman said of the Houston Astros. “They’ve been disciplined for it now and as we move forward, we just have to move forward and not look in the past because there’s nothing we can do about it.’’

New York Mets: Why the DH is an Advantage

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

The eventual universal DH for the shortened 2020 season is going to be a significant factor in the New York Mets’ success. Recently, Fangraphs put together an article compiled with stats and projections on why the DH does not help the Mets. I agree with statistical evaluations and projections a majority of the time, but this is a different situation.

There are a lot of variables that do not go into these projections. It does not take into account the pitchers, matchups, or teams a player faces. For example, Robinson Cano only hit .215 against left-handed pitching. With a DH, Cano would likely sit while Jeff McNeil moves to second base, and the Mets adjust their defense accordingly.

More Than Numbers

It is best to understand that these numbers are just projections and do not dictate a season. It does not account for a player’s readiness after only two weeks of spring training. It also does not consider that the Mets are going to use multiple players in roles that support their offense best. Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, Jeff McNeil, and Michael Conforto are the only four players who can be considered as candidates to play all 82 games.

With the depth the Mets have, they can plug players in and out. Other teams do not have the same depth, which creates the advantage for the Mets. At least half of the teams in the AL would be glad to have Yoenis Cespedes, J.D. Davis, or Dominic Smith as their every day designated hitter. We have also seen that all three hitters have the ability to play everyday roles. Cespedes has even performed at MVP caliber levels during his time with the Mets.

This is not a knock on the statistics themselves, but a knock that it changes the Mets advantage. Projections only provided a back cover summary of what the entire story is.

Bob Watson, the New York Yankees’ GM of the World Series-winning 1996 team, passes at 74

New York Yankees

Bob Watson, the general manager of the 1996 New York Yankees that were crowned world champions for the first time since 1978, passed away this Friday at 74 years old.

Per MLB.com, the Houston Astros honored Watson at a reception at Minute Maid Park in 2017, and in 2020 dedicated the Bob Watson Education Center at their Urban Youth Academy. Those two occasions provided an opportunity for many of the people who admired him to reach out. One of them was former Yankees manager Joe Torre.

“He’s just a good man,” Torre said. “He’s honest. He cares a great deal. He has a passion for the game because he’s been in so many different aspects.”

Watson battled a long illness, and his body is finally resting in peace.

League statement

“Bob Watson was a highly accomplished figure in our National Pastime and a deeply respected colleague for those of us at Major League Baseball,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement Friday morning. “He was an All-Star during his 19-year Major League career and a groundbreaking executive in the front office. Bob rose up to become general manager of the Astros in 1993 and made history as the first African American GM of a World Series champion with the 1996 New York Yankees. He then oversaw all on-field operations for the Commissioner’s Office and played a pivotal role in USA Baseball’s success internationally, including its Olympic Gold Medal in the 2000 Sydney Games.

“Bob was known for some of the unique moments of his generation, including scoring the millionth run in baseball history and a memorable role in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training. But I will always remember the outstanding example that Bob set for others, his years of model service to the Baseball Assistance Team and the courage with which he met his health challenges in recent years. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife Carol, their children and his many friends and admirers across our game.”

NASCAR announces updated schedule, starting lineup for Darlington

Set to return on Sunday, NASCAR updated their series schedule through late June. The slate includes visits to Bristol and Talladega.

As NASCAR inches closer toward returning, its front office announced its moves beyond May.

NASCAR unveiled a schedule update on Thursday afternoon, with each of its three national series set to continue action into late June. This second stage of revival will come after NASCAR completes a series of seven races over eleven days at Darlington and Charlotte Motor Speedway. The premiere Cup Series division is set to make its return from the COVID-19 pandemic pause on Sunday afternoon with the Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (3:30 p.m. ET, Fox).

“As we prepare for our return to racing at Darlington Raceway on Sunday, the industry has been diligent in building the return-to-racing schedule,” NASCAR executive vice president and chief racing development officer Steve O’Donnell said in a statement. “We are eager to expand our schedule while continuing to work closely with the local governments in each of the areas we will visit. We thank the many government officials for their guidance, as we share the same goal in our return – the safety for our competitors and the communities in which we race.”

The racing body has remained committed to running every race amongst its three national levels in the wake of the pandemic. Darlington and Charlotte are each set to host a pair of Cup races over the next two weeks, while the “minor league” Xfinity Series will run a single race at the respective tracks. Another lower-tier set, the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, will return on May 26 at Charlotte. The Cup Series has 32 races remaining on its slate, having run the first four prior to the virus-induced hiatus.

Under this new schedule, the series will descend upon tracks at Bristol, Atlanta, Martinsville, Miami, and Talladega. Much like the events at Darlington and Charlotte, these events will be run without spectators. In accordance with the new schedule, events in Kansas, Michigan, and Mid-Ohio were postponed and those at Iowa Speedway were canceled. The June visit to Talladega also sets up a return for the top division Automobile Racing Club of America, another lower-tier was bought out by NASCAR in 2018.

In addition to the schedule news, NASCAR also unveiled the starting lineup for the first race of the revival. Drivers were chosen at random in tiers based on their spot in the car owners’ standings. For example, the top dozen were assigned the top twelve positions, followed by those in the 13th through 24th-place slots. NASCAR has eschewed qualifying as it returns to action, but an exception will be made for the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte on May 24.

Brad Keselowski was the lucky winner of Sunday’s pole position, meaning he will start first at the Real Heroes 400. The driver of Roger Penske’s No. 2 Ford is currently tied for eighth with Matt DiBenedetto in the points standings. He has finished no worse than 15th in each of his last five Darlington Cup events, which includes a win at the 2018 Bojangles’ Southern 500. Alex Bowman will start alongside him in the No. 88 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports.

Other notables in the Darlington field include Matt Kenseth at 12th. The 2003 Cup Series champion will be making his first start since November 2018 in place of the disgraced Kyle Larson in the No. 42 Chevrolet. Meanwhile, Ryan Newman will start 21st in his first start in the No. 6 Ford since missing three races with injuries sustained in a scary crash at the end of February’s Daytona 500. Points leader Kevin Harvick will start in the sixth position.

For the full starting lineup, click here.

Updated NASCAR Schedule
Series Date Location Time (ET) TV
Cup May 17 Darlington 3:30 p.m. Fox
Xftinity May 19 Darlington 8:00 p.m. FS1
Cup May 20 Darlington 7:30 p.m. FS1
Cup May 24 Charlotte 6:00 p.m. Fox
Xfinity May 25 Charlotte 7:30 p.m. FS1
Truck May 26 Charlotte 8:00 p.m. FS1
Cup May 27 Charlotte 8:00 p.m. FS1
Xfinity May 30 Bristol 3:30 p.m. FS1
Cup May 31 Bristol 3:30 p.m. FS1
Truck June 6 Atlanta 1:00 p.m. FS1
Xfinity June 6 Atlanta 4:30 p.m. Fox
Cup June 7 Atlanta 3:00 p.m. Fox
Cup June 10 Martinsville 7:00 p.m. FS1
Truck June 13 Homestead-Miami 12:30 p.m. FS1
Xfinity June 13 Homestead-Miami 3:30 p.m. Fox
Xfinity June 14 Homestead-Miami 12:00 p.m. FS1
Cup June 14 Homestead-Miami 3:30 p.m. Fox
ARCA June 20 Talladega 2:00 p.m. FS1
Xfinity June 20 Talladega 5:30 p.m. FS1
Cup June 21 Talladega 3:00 p.m. Fox

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Jets: 3 free agent cornerbacks to consider adding for competition

New York Giants, Dre Kirkpatrick

The New York Jets still have a shaky secondary, specifically at the cornerback position where they lack a true ace. Solving the issue with a free agent makes the most sense, despite their only being limited talent available. Ultimately, adding a seasoned veteran would inject competition into the unit and hopefully extract the most value from the players already on the roster.

Here are three veterans free agents the New York Jets could pursue:

1.) Logan Ryan

Recent reports by the New York Daily News indicated that the Jets and Logan Ryan had come to a conclusion on a contract. However, these reports were false — Ryan remains a free agent and stated he is “open for business.”

While Ryan fits more of a slot right this point in his career, he had a solid 2019 season. At just 29 years old, he racked up 113 total tackles, 4 interceptions, 4.5 sacks, and 4 force fumbles, while playing in all 16 games. He’s been a good but not great player his entire career, and he has played on some of the best defenses in football. Coming from the Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots, he brings knowledge and experience in successful organizations.

2.) Aqib Talib

Talib is another veteran that could make sense for Gang Green. At 34 years old, Talib has been one of the game’s more dominant cornerbacks, but age has finally taken its toll. His play has decreased significantly over the past few seasons, but he has immense experience and understands how to play at a high-level. While this is not an ideal scenario, kicking the tires on a one year deal could be worthwhile for the Jets.

3.) Dre Kirkpatrick

Another veteran, Kirkpatrick, is 30 years old, coming off eight consecutive seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. He has failed to remain healthy in the last two seasons, but he was once regarded as one of the better corners in the NFL.

While Kirkpatrick’s football is probably behind him, he could be a decent number two corner for the time being. He has tons of experience to go along with his football etiquette, and the Jets could do a lot worse than bringing him in to create competition at the position.

 

New York Giants have one cornerback that needs to break out in 2020 after DeAndre Baker self-sabotage

New York Giants, Sam Beal

On Thursday evening, New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker was reportedly involved in an incident at a party, which included a semi-automatic weapon and another NFL player as an accomplice. Baker had previously lost $70,000 in cash a week prior, and set out to a new party to gamble his lost money back into his pocket. After getting into an argument with another partygoer, he proceeded to flip the table and draw a weapon. He proceeded to rob the party of cash and jewelry, at one point he even instructing a friend to shoot someone who just entered the party.

This is Example A of how to throw away your life and potentially successful career in the NFL. If all of these allegations are, in fact, true, Baker will no longer be on the Giants and will likely be sitting in jail. If the accomplice would have pulled the trigger, Baker could be facing the death penalty in Florida. Luckily, nobody was injured during the incident.

Who will benefit the most on the New York Giants after this disaster?

So, as we look forward to the 2020 campaign for the New York Giants, we can already rule one player out indefinitely. New coach Joe Judge will have a big problem to solve, and he already has a few players on the roster that could fill the role Baker is leaving behind.

Former supplemental draft pick Sam Beal is the player that comes to mind and having spent two seasons doused in injuries, Beal has been forgotten. Last year, in his first live-action as an NFL player, he played in just six games and started in three of them. He compiled 26 combine tackles, one pass defended, and a 76.2% completion rate against. On the bright side, he missed zero tackles. However, his completion percentage was dreadful and that is a category he must improve in if he is going to compete for the No. 2 corner spot.

This is undoubtedly a tough situation for newly signed corner James Bradberry, who is expecting to join a team in the flux of success and in the midst of a rebuild. Now, his cornerback mate will likely be sitting in jail as the Giants try to piece together a solution.

General manager Dave Gettleman spent a third-round pick on Sam Beal two years ago, and so far that decision has been a complete mess. That doesn’t mean Beal can’t step up and rise to the occasion. This will be a fantastic opportunity for him to gain significant playing time and show that his 2019 preseason wasn’t a fluke.