Former New York Giants Receiver Cody Latimer Arrested For Assault

New York Giants, Cody Latimer

Another day has gone by and another story has popped up about the New York Giants and the off-the-field qualities of their players. Or in this case, a former player. Cody Latimer was a member of the Giants for the past two seasons, and while he never excelled, he managed to hang around the rotation at wide receiver. When Latimer left the team as a free agent for the Redskins, the departure didn’t make too much noise in the Giants fanbase.

Latimer and his 300 yards from 2019 could be easily replaced, after all – either through the Draft or with talent already on the team. But there’s a reason why, despite not being the most notable player as a Giant, Latimer is being spoken about in relation to the Giants once again.

On Saturday morning, Latimer was arrested in Colorado on charges which include second-degree assault and illegally discharging a firearm. Of course, the problem technically doesn’t belong to the Giants. Latimer is a current member of the Redskins, which saves the Giants from another embarrassing situation right after DeAndre Baker’s arrest.

However, the two incidents in the past couple of days does bring into question the commitment to high character players from General Manager Dave Gettleman. It’s not possible to see every incident before it happens, but players such as Odell Beckham Jr. and Landon Collins were arguably moved on from for more minor things, while players brought in by the new regime haven’t had an entirely clean record.

With a couple of incidents already involving one current Giants player and one former player of the past two years this offseason, one can only hope that things are calmer from here on – before more doubt is cast on the organization and its decision making processes.

New York Giants Keeping Facilities Closed As Others Open Up

New York Giants, Quest Diagnostics training center

Outside of the DeAndre Baker story that’s cropped up in recent days, the most relevant situation for the New York Giants this offseason might just be the lockdowns in New York and New Jersey and how those have affected the team. The Giants are in one of the areas that has been affected the most by this year’s pandemic, and the Giants themselves are no strangers to the effects of these measures. It’s disrupted their offseason so far, and it looks like it could continue to keep the Giants away from their normal offseason activities.

According to Pat Leonard, the NFL has told teams that they can begin opening their facilities again on Tuesday – but this depends on state and local regulations, which puts the Giants in a worse position than other teams in less hard hit areas.

Giants Senior VP of Communications Pat Hanlon has denied that the Giants will open their facilities again as soon as the league is allowing it. This of course, seems like it could perhaps put the Giants at a disadvantage compared to other teams, depending on how long their facilities stay closed while other teams begin to open up. Even at this stage, however, restrictions haven’t been lifted enough for teams to hold OTAs or minicamps – anywhere in the league, not just in the case of the Giants.

This comes after the revelation that the Giants could potentially move their training camp to another location. While not confirmed as the team’s move, it supposedly is one option that the Giants have talked about among others.

With things staying closed for now in East Rutherford, that looks like more and more of a good option every day.

New York Giants: DeAndre Baker’s Lawyer Claims To Have Evidence That Exonerates Baker

New York Giants, DeAndre Baker

The New York Giants have been at the forefront of sports media recently for all the wrong reasons. Former 2019 first-round cornerback DeAndre Baker turned himself into the Miramar Police Department today. A warrant for Baker’s arrest was issued after DeAndre was accused of committing heinous crimes. Baker was accused of committing four counts of armed robbery and four counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

The media (myself included) was quick to assume Baker to be guilty. The accusations were extreme and the warrant out for his arrest did not look promising. Not to mention the “red flags” regarding Baker’s character. But, today, the news seems a little more positive for the former Georgia Bulldog.

Baker’s Lawyer Speaks Out

After surrendering to the Miramar Police Department at around 9:30 a.m., Baker’s lawyer, Bradford Cohen, made a statement regarding the potential innocence of DeAndre:

“We will be presenting the trove of evidence we have obtained over the past 3 days to the judge at the right time. Seven affidavits exonerating my client and video evidence.” – Bradford Cohen on Instagram

According to the NY Post, “Under Fla. law, if Baker is found guilty of holding a semi-automatic weapon, he could face a mandatory minimum of 15 years for each of the 4 armed robbery charges.”

Now, Giants fans will have to play the waiting game. The hope is that these accusations are false, as they are disgusting actions for anyone to commit. Hopefully, Mr. Cohen is telling the truth and there is indeed evidence to exonerate DeAndre Baker. Not only is it important for the Giants’ defense to have DeAndre Baker, but it is more important for such terrible crimes to not have been committed.

Here is why Giancarlo Stanton is the Yankees’ top candidate to lead the team in homers

New York Yankees, Giancarlo Santon

Between Gleyber Torres’ continued development, both Aarons (Judge and Hicks) health and DJ LeMahieu’s contract status, one talented New York Yankees‘ slugger isn’t getting enough attention. That, and of course, the fact that, for some people, he is “constantly” injured and had a “down” 2018, his last full season.

Yes, Giancarlo Stanton couldn’t manage to stay healthy in 2019, battling a myriad of physical issues that limited him to 18 games. And yes, if you compare his 38 home runs with the 59 he hit in 2017 with the Miami Marlins, you will surely be disappointed. But when a batter has a .266/.343/.509 line, a 129 wRC+, over 100 runs and RBI, and almost 40 homers and people are still bummed, well, you know you set some lofty standards.

Stanton is perhaps the New York Yankees’ purest slugger. He is capable of going on a home run binge and knock 15 or 20 balls out of the park in a 45 game span. And, believe us, few players work harder on their physique than him.

The Yankees’ premier slugger

If health cooperates, Stanton could lead the Yankees in home runs and RBI and here is why:

  1. He should be healthy to open the season, if there is one, of course. Stanton suffered a Grade 1 calf strain in late February that limited during spring training, but that is well in the rearview mirror now.
  2. There is no certainty that the Yankees’ other prime candidate to lead the team in home runs, Aaron Judge, will be healthy to start the season. He is still battling a rib injury.
  3. He should rotate between left field and the designated hitter spot, keeping fresh throughout the season – in theory.
  4. He has averaged 34.75 home runs in seasons he has played 100 or more games. That is a very high floor.
  5. He is among the yearly leaders in average exit velocity and peak exit velocity, per Statcast data. Few batters hit the ball harder than Stanton when he is right.

All in all, we should get past the fact that some nagging injuries derailed his 2019 season, and concentrate on the things that Stanton does right that can justify his lofty contract: hitting home runs. And, if healthy, he will knock his fair share of balls out of the park.

The New York Yankees are staying in touch, getting ready for a potential season

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While MLB, the players’ association, health officials and other interested parties continue to discuss a potential return of baseball in the upcoming weeks, the New York Yankees are concentrating in establishing policies intended to make sure players, staffers, coaches and employees are safe in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.

“That’s been the mission plan, focusing on how we as an industry create a safe environment, because that’s the only way it’s going to work,” general manager Brian Cashman said this week. “Every business out there is coming up with new best practices, researching as much as they possibly can about the best hygiene care moving forward in terms of cleaning their facilities and maintaining a safe and healthy environment.”

And, as baseball is getting closer to a return (one of the proposals has July 4th as the potential date for the start of the regular season) Cashman and other members of the New York Yankees’ front office have stayed in touch with manager Aaron Boone via video chats to talk details about the season.

Boone, meanwhile, has been communicating frequently with his players and coaches to relay that institutional information. Players are at their homes waiting for MLB to tell the Yankees and the other 29 teams that it is safe to play again.

Some Yankees opted to stay in the spring training complex

A few Yankees’ players, such as rehabbing starter Luis Severino and sluggers Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton opted to stay in the Yankees’ spring training complex, George Steinbrenner Field, getting ready for the hypothetical start of the season. Others, like Miguel Andújar, J.A. Happ, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Tyler Wade stayed close, in Florida.

According to the Yankees’ GM, the players are “eager” to reunite and return to the diamond, as reported by MLB.com.

“From the Yankees’ perspective, I think we have a really talented group that is definitely focused on trying to be the best team in the game,” Cashman said. “I think our guys are hungry and regardless of the amount of games played. If put in the position to do so, they’re going to compete in the best of their ability because they want what they feel they’re capable of achieving, which is a championship.

“I know our players … all share a common trait, which is they are hungry to compete and they love playing in this environment of New York. I can tell you, they’re daydreaming every day about finding a way to get back to this circumstance, if it’s practical.”

NY Governor Cuomo to allow sports to return to New York

On Saturday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated that sports could return to New York without fans.

“If you can do it without a crowd, great,” said the longtime governor. He also said that in terms of the Yankees and Mets playing: “when you look at the risk-reward, there’s a lot of reward with minimal risk.”

Horse racing will be allowed soon, and Watkins Glen International Raceway in rural Upstate NY can be used for NASCAR and other events. Watkins Glen is tentatively scheduled to host NASCAR the weekend of August 13-16.

This announcement is big news for New York sports. It could allow the Yankees and Mets to play at their home ballparks if a season happens. Also, it could allow for the in-state NBA and NHL teams to reopen practice facilities to prepare for a resumption of their season.

Cuomo mentioned that sports returning to the state would be a great way to restart the economy. New York was hit the hardest by the coronavirus and is deep into an economic hole. This could also allow for youth sports to return.

Although downstate New York remains shut-down, parts of Upstate began to reopen on Friday. Regions have to meet all criteria set by the state in-order to transition into phase one. Except for Watkins Glen, all of the pro sports teams and venues (except Buffalo teams) are downstate and in regions yet to officially “open.” But from what we’ve heard, pro sports may be an exception to the shutdown.

It’s great to hear that sports will be allowed in New York again, even though it will be without fans.

Former Yankees GM Bob Watson Dies At Age 74 – a look at what he brought to the team

New York Yankees, Bob Watson

When people think of the late 1990s, they usually give all the credit to New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner or Brian Cashman for the championship years. Swept under the rug usually is the man who helped polish those teams from 1995-1998, Bob Watson. It is with regret that we inform you that at age 74 Bob Watson reportedly passed away during the night. He was battling kidney disease, and while he fought a long and hard battle, it was one that ultimately ended up killing him.

One of Baseball’s Better Sluggers

Bob Watson was a notable baseball player, as he played 19 seasons in the MLB, mostly with the Astros but he had stints with the Red Sox, Yankees, and Braves. With a 31.1 fWAR, 184 Home Runs clubbed, and 128 wRC+, he enjoyed a career of pretty darn good hitting. He was stellar in October, with a .371/.403/.565 slash line and 177 wRC+ in October. He also was a 2x All-Star, but his story didn’t end after he hung up his cleats in 1984.

Making History

For New Yorkers they remember him most for being the General Manager of the Yankees from 1996-1997, where he won a World Series for the New York Yankees in 1996 becoming the first African American GM to ever win a World Series. He was responsible for parts of the 1996 Yankees such as trading for David Cone in 1995, signing Darryl Strawberry, trading for Tim Raines, and while this move was for the 1997 Yankees, he also brought in David Wells. He helped polish off the strong core the Yankees were starting to build by bringing in two really good pitchers and some quality veteran bats, and by doing so made this team deadly in their dynasty in the late ’90s.

Bob Watson is a big part of the history of African Americans in sports, and his legacy should never be forgotten not just as a player or GM, but as a symbol of diversity and true freedom not just for those who are the majority, but for all, and even though he is gone, his legacy as a player, GM, and most importantly as a man who broke through the GM color barrier and won it all.

Is New York Jets’ rookie corner Bryce Hall the answer to their problems in the secondary?

New York Jets, Bryce Hall

Why did Bryce Hall fall to the fifth round for the New York Jets, and what did they get in the talented cornerback?

When the Jets landed Bryce Hall in the fifth-round of the 2020 NFL Draft, most were blown away at the value of the selection. The former Virginia star is in a position to pick up where he left off in 2018, leading the FBS with 22 pass breakups, 62 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks,  interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.

Hall has fantastic size at 6’1″, 202-pounds, and after undergoing surgery on his left ankle, he missed ample playing time in 2019. Hall believes missing so much time last season played a significant part in his draft-stock tumbling:

“I think that definitely played a factor in me going a lot later than where I went, but at the end of the day I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be,” Hall said after he was taken with the No. 158th overall selection. “I know God brought me here for a reason. I don’t ask too many questions that are above my head and I’m here now, so I’m ready to look forward from now on.”

Hall might be the steal of the draft for the Jets according to one senior advisor:

“He clearly was a first-three-rounds type of prospect. There were mock drafts literally a year ago that had him in the first round,” said Phil Savage, GM Joe Douglas’ senior advisor. “I think realistically he was a second- or third-round kind of talent. He unfortunately had that ankle fracture and he’s not able to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl and he’s not able to participate in the combine. Then with this pandemic, there was really no way to ultimately follow up with him from a medical standpoint other than just the combine.”

What does Hall bring to the Jets?
Bryce is a very instinctive corner that works primarily on the outside. His long arms allow him to disturb passes and torture opposing receivers in coverage. He still needs some refinement in his hip movements as they can lack fluidity, but he’s fast and can match up with pass-catchers on vertical routes. Good agility and reactionary instincts allow him to play off-ball coverage and break well. He’s decent in man-coverage but could use more awareness on stop-and-go routes, getting beat deep on occasion.
Hall can undoubtedly be a quality starting corner for the Jets, but I believe he will need more time to develop.

Why the New York Giants’ offensive scheme could either be a home run or a bust

New York Giants, Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley

The New York Giants will turn over their entire offensive scheme this off-season, forcing players like Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley to learn yet another operation. Barkley stated he feels like a rookie again, having to adapt once more.

However, this might be a good thing, considering how poorly Pat Shurmur’s offense performed in 2019. Former Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett is bringing his experience and knowledge to the Giants as their offensive coordinator, despite giving up playcalling duties in 2013. Garrett originally began calling plays in 2007, but his offense never ranked lower than 13th in total yards.

Jerry Jones moved Garrett to a more walk-around head coach, allowing him to manage the entire team instead of taking his focus away toward the offensive unit. Jones had previously stated that Garrett giving up playcalling had been in the works since 2010. With that being said, the Giants are gaining an experienced coach who can bring 10 years of wisdom to New York.

The hope is that Garrett learned a thing or two from Kellen Moore and his system in 2019. Moore helped build and realize the number one passing attack in all the football, something the Giants could desperately use moving forward.

Here is how Joe Judge described the implementation of Garrett’s offense on Thursday’s Zoom call :

“I think schematically, the easiest way to describe it to the outside world right now is it’s going to be similarly based off what Jason’s done in Dallas over the last 10 or so years,” Judge said. “There are going to be some similarities carried over from that, but it has to cater to our players we have on our roster currently.”

Of course, the players already on the roster will have to learn another offense, and Jones is getting the Eli Manning treatment to start his career. Having a poor offensive line in his rookie season and then having to learn a new offense certainly isn’t the ideal way to start your career.

Now, the New York Giants have allocated resources toward his protection scheme and bolstering the unit to give Jones more time in the pocket.

Saquon Barkley, on the other hand, will have to adapt his running style and begin to learn the new tendencies of the offensive lineman. The belief is that the Giants will utilize 12 personnel often and pulling lineman across the formation in the run game.

Barkley plans to get in touch with Ezekiel Elliott to discuss how Jason Garrett’s offense might work:

“I actually haven’t contacted Zeke yet. That’s something that I do plan on doing,” Barkley said. “I kind of want to dissect it and get the system down myself and then get to Zeke and see what he was doing here, what he was doing there, because it’s kind of like with anything. Obviously there [is] some basic stuff that you learn and the big stuff that you’ve got to be able to do, but at the end of the day, there’s some stuff that you’ve got to do as a football player and become great and use your creativity. I’ll definitely use him and try to learn from him to see what he was able to do.”

The concept here is to create diversity and unpredictability. Barkley, following a lead blocking guard like Kevin Zeitler or Will Hernandez, seems like a very good idea. There will be many intricacies to Garrett’s offense, but we should expect a heavy dosage of running the football.

Ultimately, the entire scheme has the potential to be fantastic or a complete bust under Garrett — it all relies on what he favors and if he learned from the Cowboys’ successes last season. The offense will be extremely diverse and ever-changing based on the matchup. Here’s a fascinating breakdown of how Moore’s offense was used in the first 3 weeks of the 2019 season, per SI.

Through three weeks, Moore looks like a great teacher. In Week 1 the Cowboys lit up the Giants with a barrage of pre-snap motions, intersecting routes and post-snap jet-and-orbit motion. In Week 2 at Washington, the Cowboys scaled back a step or two, using more of the spread 2×2 concepts they’d run under Linehan, perhaps in an effort to exploit the Redskins’ zone coverages. (Spread your offense and you widen a defense’s zone voids.) In Week 3 against Miami, Dallas showed more pre-snap movement and a host of multi-level crossing routes inside, high-lowing Dolphins underneath defenders across the middle of the field. Their execution was good, not great, which for that game was more than enough. Overall, given the volume of new things the players are being asked to do, Dallas’s offense looks very buttoned up.

New York Yankees Player Profiles: Aaron Judge, the next Captain or will he flop?

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

For the New York Yankees, on April 27, 1992, an African American biracial baby was adopted by Wayne and Patty Judge a day after he was born, that baby was Aaron Judge. When Judge was old enough to understand, his parents told him, he was adopted.

Growing up in California, Judge was a San Francisco Giants fan. Judge attended Linden High School, where he was a three-sport star. He played as a pitcher and first baseman for the baseball team, a wide receiver for the football team, and as a center for the basketball team. He set a school record for touchdowns (17) in football and led the basketball team in points per game (18.2). In baseball, he was part of the Linden High School team that made the California Interscholastic Federation Division III playoffs.

You can imagine with this sports record that Judge was heavily recruited by teams like Notre Dame, Stanford, and ULCA as a tight end, but Judge wanted to play baseball. He was selected in the 2010 draft by Oakland but wanted to attend college instead. He played for Fresno State, where he was named a Freshman All-American. In 2012 he won the TD Ameritrade College home run, Derby. During the summer of 2012, he played for the Brewster White Caps of the Cape Cod League. This is where I may have seen him play and when he was drafted #1 by the New York Yankees. In his junior year with Fresno, he led the team in home runs, doubles, and RBI’s. In 2013 the Yankees selected him in the draft, and he signed with the Yankees for a 1.8 million signing bonus. He joined the team but was injured in running drills that kept him out of the season.

In 2014 Judge had a .333 batting average with the Charleston River Dogs of the Class A South Atlantic League. The Yankees invited him to spring training in 2015, and he ended up playing for the Trenton Thunder. He played only 63 games with them before the Yankees promoted him to AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre. In 2016 Judge found himself on the DL again, this time with a knee sprain. He ended the season with the Rail Riders batting .270 with 19 home runs in just 93 games.

In 2016 Aaron Judge made his major league debut in August of the year. In
his first at-bat, he hit a home run. He also hit a homer in his second game, becoming the only player to do that since 1980. But again Judge found himself on the DL, this time with a right oblique strain the same injury that has caused him not to play last year. In 2017 he was named right field starter for opening day. 2017 was filled with firsts, like the first multi-home run game, first grand slam, and the MLB Rookie of the month award. Judge was named the AL Player of the Month for June, batting .337 with 10 home runs, 25 RBIs.Judge broke Joe DiMaggio’s record for most home runs hit in a Yankees’ rookie season with his 30th on July 7.

He became the second rookie to hit 30 home runs before the All-Star break after Mark McGwire in 1987, the first Yankee to do so since Alex Rodriguez in 2007 and the first player in baseball since Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera in 2013. Before the All-Star break, Judge hit .329 with 30 home runs and 66 RBIs. Judge won the 2017 Home Run Derby, besting Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sanó 11–10 in the final round to become the first rookie to win the Derby outright. He finished the season second in the voting in the AL MVP behind Altuve of the Astros (since then we have learned that Altuve may have cheated his way to that award). During the 2017-18 offseason, he underwent shoulder surgery to repair cartilage.

As the 2018 season opened, Judge found himself making his first start in
centerfield and by doing so, becoming the heaviest player in the history of
the MLB to play the position. Judge is 6 ft. 7 and weighs 282 pounds. On
April 16, Judge became the fastest player in MLB history to reach 60 home
runs, doing so in 197 games compared to Mark McGwire’s 202 games.

The accolades go on and on when speaking of Aaron Judge. He is a huge fan favorite in more ways than one. The Yankees think so much of him that they have set aside an area in the right-field called the Judge’s Chambers. But for all the fanfare there are some cracks in the armor. Judge, mostly due to his size and musculature, is subject to injury. He also is subject to the strikeout. He became the first MLB player to record eight strikeouts in a doubleheader.  It’s the most in a doubleheader since strikeouts for hitters were first recorded in 1910.

Judge started the New York Yankees 2019 season off strong with a .288 batting average, five home runs and 11 RBI’s in 20 games played. However, on April 20, Judge suffered an oblique strain while hitting a single in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals. He was immediately placed on the IL without a timetable on when he’d be back. That timetable ended up with him missing two months of the season. Even with all this time on the IL, he hit .272 with
27 home runs and 55 RBI’s. He hit a 462-foot blast against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 27 marked the 100th of his four-year career. He also had his lowest OPS since 2016.

Last season has been pretty much on par with his best season, considering that he missed two months. We can look for Judge to have a great 2020 if he can stay healthy. Considering his injury history, It would seem to me; he needs to back off the bodybuilding a bit and spend that time on agility and mobility stretching exercises.

Aaron at age 28 is not without a love life, he has dated Sterling Olmstead,
Jen Flaum, Brittany Hodges, but his present girlfriend is Samantha Bracksieck, who attended Fresno State with Judge. They were an item back in college, but broke up and went their separate ways, but she may be the one because they are back together again. She has a master’s degree in kinesiology (the study of body movements). Maybe, along with making Judge happy, she can keep him healthy too.

Unbeknown to Aaron Judge at the time, near the end of last season, Judge dove for a catch hitting the ground hard and apparently fractured a rib.  Although it was painful, he played through it for the remainder of the year.  The discomfort continued during the offseason, and when Judge arrived at spring training in Tampa, he told doctors about what he thought was shoulder pain.  The original plan was to rest him and let the shoulder resolve itself.  That turned out to be a wrong decision because, after weeks of tests and MRIs, doctors finally found the cause of the pain a fractured rib.  They also discovered that he had suffered a partially collapsed lung.

After weeks of rehab Judge is still not ready to play and did not take part in any spring training games before the season was halted. New York Yankee manager Aaron Boone does not have a timetable as to when he can rejoin the team should the season get started.  It was suggested that he might miss at least some of the season.

There is no question that Aaron Judge is a superstar.  The issue as to if he will ever be New York Yankee Captain or be offered a long term contract is dependent on his ability to stay on the field. Since college to the present, Judge has suffered over twelve injuries that have kept him away from the game.  The 2017 season shows what Judge can do, he hit 52 home runs, batted .284, and drove in 114 runs. He did that playing in 155 games.  But in his other three years, he has averaged only 80 games a season, that is not superstar material.

For Judge to remain viable as a New York Yankee, he must stay healthy this year when he finally plays.  He is now 28 and the clock is ticking. If he is again injured and misses much time on the IL, it will spell doom for Judge.  Just two years ago, he seemed to be a lock to be the next Yankee Captain, but this year fans are starting to mention Gleyber Torres for the next Yankee Captain.  I may be overreacting, but this will be a do or die year for the star.  The Yankees are not going to give a long term contract to a player that is constantly injured.  The Yankee front office will be watching intently.