New York Giants: A look at all the cornerbacks on the roster – who can replace DeAndre Baker?

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

Taking a look at all of the cornerbacks on the New York Giants’ roster and who could be in line to replace DeAndre Baker:

With DeAndre Baker self-sabotaging his career and holding partygoers at gunpoint, the New York Giants must reevaluate the cornerback position and see if a player on the roster is capable of filling in for Baker. Of course, these are all still allegations and not proven, but multiple witnesses told TMZ that Baker was the primary piece in the armed robbery.

Looking to the roster, here are the cornerbacks on the team and if any of them are capable of taking over the number two spot.

Julian Love:

Love didn’t see much playing time until later on in the 2019 season, but when he finally earned starting reps, he didn’t disappoint. Over 15 games started, Love posted 37 combine tackles, five tackles for loss, one forced fumble, three passes offended, and one interception. He posted a 65.5% completion rate against and allowed one touchdown.

Overall, he only played 37% of defensive snaps and still looked good in a diverse role. He featured at free safety, cornerback, and strong safety. While he might be better suited for a safety position, he did play boundary corner at Notre Dame. He could be in line to earn significant reps as the number two corner opposite James Bradberry moving forward.

James Bradberry:

This is a complicated situation for Bradberry, who recently signed a three-year contract with the Giants. Expecting to see a rebuilding team with success in its future, Baker had to go and ruin the party. Bradberry will now have to serve as the number one corner, and likely watches his counterpart struggle a bit while they become acclimated with the position. Nonetheless, at least the Giants have one quality player they can rely on.

Sam Beal:

Beal has been injured for most of his first two seasons in the NFL, and he struggled in coverage last season over three starts. Beal logged a 76.2% completion rate against an allowed one touchdown on 21 targets. The best thing we can pull from his small sample size is his 0.0% missed tackle rate, indicating his technique and efficiency in that category. The Giants need to see more from Beal, who has plenty of potential but has failed to remain healthy to unlock it. This could be his season to break out.

Corey Ballentine:

Ballentine is a former sixth-round draft pick from 2019, and while he struggled significantly last season, there’s potential to be seen. In 13 appearances and over 27% of defensive snaps, he posted a 64.3% completion rate and allowed four touchdowns. He has to decrease the number of touchdowns he allows and must develop in coverage. The Giants moved him interior to the slot position, which likely put him in a difficult position. In the most recent draft, the New York Giants added several slot competitors, which could allow Ballentine to move over to the outside, which would put him in a position to steal reps at the number two corner spot.

Chris Williamson:

Williamson is an athletic corner with tons of potential. His biggest knock is his tackling technique and inefficiency in the area. He has the speed and physicality to match up against wide receivers in the NFL, but he must get better in the tackling category. I wouldn’t expect him to be an influential player in year one, but he could develop moving forward.

Grant Haley:

Haley is more of an interior slot corner with fantastic tackling ability. He is not the best in coverage and will likely serve as a reserve option for the Giants moving forward.

Darnay Holmes:

Holmes is an extremely athletic and high-character player with a sky-high ceiling. He will likely slide into a nickel-corner role rather than playing on the outside. His injection could give Ballentine more opportunity on the outside, where I estimate the Giants will utilize a position battle to find Baker’s replacement.

New York Yankees: Remember Derek Jeter’s top 10 career moments here

New York Yankees, Derek Jeter

The New York Yankees history is a book filled with great baseball players, like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, and a host of other award-winning players.  For Generation Z fans, Derek Jeter is the greatest of all Yankees.  Much of the praise is deserved.  A few days ago, I wrote a top 10 for the best Yankee games stretching back to 1923.  With one of Derek Jeter’s games in that article, it got me to thinking about what the top 10 moments of Derek Jeter’s Hall of Fame career would be.  Below is my top 10, feel free to disagree in the comments.

10. Jeter’s Jeffery Maier Home Run

Under the category of taking it when you can get it, Jeter benefited from a young boy in the stands.  It was the 1996 ALCS against the Orioles. That young boy was Jeffery Maier, surely he didn’t know it at the time, but his Derek Jeter catch or knock into the stands would go down in baseball history.  Umpire Richie Garcia would call it a home run tying the game.  The New York Yankees would go on to win the game 5-4 with a Bernie Williams walk-off homer.

9.  Derek’s Opening Day 1996

Before opening day in 1996 owner, George M. Steinbrenner wasn’t sure Jeter should be the opening day shortstop.  Afterall just a few months early he almost traded him to the Mariners.  He only 21 and a scrawny kid that had had problems with his defense in spring training.  So what did Jeter do, he made spectacular plays and got a homer in the win against Cleveland on opening day.  The next day he would go 3-3 and stole bases.  In those two games, Jeter turned heads in what would be a Hall of Fame career, all with the Yankees.

8. The 5 for 5 in Division opener

During 2006 in the Division Series against the Detroit Tigers, a series the Yankees would like to forget.  The Tigers took the ALDS from the Yankees in four games.  But in the only game, the Yankees won, game one, Derek Jeter went 5-5, including two doubles and a home run while scoring three runs. It would be one of only three games in his career where he would get 10 RBIs.

7. Jeter is All-Star and World Series MVP

In 2000 Jeter put his hame into the history books by becoming the only player in the history of the game to be both All-Star and World Series MVPs in the same season.  That record still stands today.

6. Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit

Like so many great Yankee players, Jeter hit a lot of home runs, but he was also a hitting king.  In a comeback year, Jeter was hitting .331, but his signature moment was when he hit his 3,000th hit.  On July 9, 2011, he hit number 3,000 off Rays ace David Price.  He wasn’t done in the same game. He had a total of five hits and went 5-5.  Jeter always reached milestones with style increasing his mystique.

5. Jeter’s World Series leadoff homer

In the first subway World series since 1956, the Yankees would take game one in twelve innings. They would survive a comeback and take game two. Moving to the Queens in games 3 and 4, the Mets would win game 3.  In game four, Manager Joes Torres moved Jeter from his familiar hitting spot, to lead off.  Jeter launched a home run off Mets starter Bobby Jones into the left-field bleachers at Shea.  The New York Yankees would win the game and ultimately the series with Jeter being named MVP.

4. Jeter becomes Mr. November

Years before, Reggie Jackson was nicknamed “Mr. October” for his clutch hitting in the postseason with the Dodgers and the Yankees. After hitting two home runs in the first five games of the World Series in 1977, Jackson hit three home runs in game six, and the Yankees would win their first World Series in fifteen years. 

Derek Jeter was named Mister November with me in the stands during the ALCS of 2001.  Jeter in the tenth inning of a tied game against the Diamondbacks came to the plate just as the clock struck midnight, marking the first time that Major League Baseball had been played in November.  Byung-Hyun Kim was one the mound pitching. Jeter then hit Kim’s ninth pitch of the at-bat just over Yankee Stadium’s short rightfield wall for a game-winning and Series-tying home run. It was the first walk-off home run of Jeter’s career.  From then on, Jeter was known as Mr. November.

3. Derek Jeter’s flip

Many call it the most fantastic play in baseball. It was the 2001 American League Division Series against the A’s, and the New York Yankees were facing elimination in Oakland in Game 3. Jorge Posada hit a solo home run off Zito in the top of the fifth, and the Yankees carried that 1-0 lead into the bottom of the seventh in what would be a pitching duel between Zito and the Yankees Mike Mussina.

With slow-footed Jason Giambi on third, Terrence Long doubled, and the third base coach signaled that Giambi should take off for home.  Shane Spencer threw an off-line throw to cut of Giambi.  Giambi’s attempt to reach home plate seemed a surety.  The ball went just past the first baseline, but Jeter seemingly popped up out of nowhere to scoop up the ball and flip it to catcher Jorge Posada to catch Giambi by a split second and get the out that would seal the deal on the Yankee 1-0 win.

2. Derek Jeter flies into the stands

With no regard for his own safety, Derek Jeter flew into the New York Yankee Stadium fan’s arms.  In the 12th inning of a tie game against the Red Sox, Trot Nixon popped up down the left-field line. Derek Jeter, in a dead sprint from his shortstop position, made an over the shoulder catch. He had so much momentum that he launched himself over the railing and ended up two rows deep. He emerged with a cut on his chin and blood running from his cheek.  Team trainer Gene Monahan, manager Aaron Boone, and Alex Rodriguez helped Jeter off the field with his parents shocked in the stands. The Yankees went on to win the game in the bottom of the 13th inning on a John Flaherty single.

1. Derek Jeter’s walk-off goodbye to Yankee Stadium.

On the last day, Jeter faced dozens of reporters in the locker room.  All they wanted was for Jeter to talk about his career, something he always hated to do, somehow he slipped away to a private area, but when he returned, the number of reporters had more than doubled.  Jeter finally relented and said:

“The only thing I’ve ever wanted to talk about is winning,” Jeter said. “When there’s particular attention on you, as opposed to the team, it can be uncomfortable. But I understand it, and I appreciate it.”

Jeter took to the field for a pregame ceremony a few minutes before 7 p.m., and following that, a video was played on the center-field video board in which several fans — young and old — thanked Jeter for his years with the Yankees. At the end of the video, Jeter reciprocated, thanking the fans. When Jeter appeared on the board, the crowd roared with applause.

Nothing was more like Derek Jeter than his final game at Yankee Stadium.  It was as if it was a perfectly choreographed game to show off Derek Jeter as the man of the moment he was throughout so much of his career.  Setting the stage, it was Derek Jeter’s last game at New York Yankee Stadium; his parents were in the stands as they were in many important moments in their son’s career.  The game was tied 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles.

What Jeter and his fans didn’t know was that Jeter’s memorable moments weren’t finished; it was about to get emotional and magical.  Richardson was on first base; Brett Gardner hit a sac fly to center advancing Richardson to second. The game was tied at 5. In his last at-bat in a game that would probably go into extra innings, Jeter stepped to the plate. The eternally patrician Bob Sheppard over the public address announced “number two, Derek Jeter, number two.” The crowd is cheering Der-Ek-Jet-er, Der-Ek-Jet-er. Jeter would go after the first pitch he saw and smack a walk-off single and win for the Yankees in his very last game at Yankee Stadium.  Jeter, who seldom showed emotion, realized he had won the game with a massive smile across his face and raised arms, as his teammates swamped him.

It’s moments like this. The Yankees make tears stream down my face.  It happened when I learned Thurmon had died when George obviously ill, handed out the ball at the All-Star Game when Bobby died when Yogi died when Mariano lost it on the mound when Derek and Andy took the ball from him that one last time, and when Derek said goodby with a walk-off win. I can’t help it; I love my Yankees.

After the game Manager, Joe Torres would sum up Jeter’s career perfectly. “What he represents, we don’t have enough of in sports; I’m not just talking about his ability to play baseball, but also what he represents as a man. Sports will cry out for more people as respectful as Derek Jeter.”

 

 

New York Yankees receive great injury news with James Paxton and Aaron Hicks

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

Great injury news from Yankees GM Brian Cashman on two starting players:

With Major League Baseball team owners and players in a showdown to determine the future of the 2020 season, the Yankees are quietly seeing their players return to full health. Before the coronavirus pandemic took full hold of society and suspended operations across baseball, the Yankees were scheduled to start the year without multiple players. Starting outfielders Aaron Judge, Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, and starting pitchers James Paxton and Luis Severino were all set to miss time.

However, all of this extra time off has allowed them to heal and hopefully return once the regular season begins (aside from Severino), which general manager Brian Cashman is optimistic about.

Cashman, spoke to the media on a charity video call Thursday that helps raise money for Family Centers, or Fairfield County, Connecticut nonprofit that is helping people impacted by the coronavirus.

During the call, Cashman was asked about injured pitcher James Paxton and centerfielder Aaron Hicks, who are both reportedly recovering well and ahead of schedule.

”He’s been tremendous,” Cashman stated on the call.

Hicks, who underwent Tommy John surgery after the Yankees exited the playoffs in October, has been swinging a baseball bat and started a throwing program. The Yankees would love to have their centerfielder back as soon as possible, given the injuries that continued to plague the unit. The idea of Hicks returning this summer is a “legit option,” according to Cashman.

The Yankees starting outfielder signed a seven-year, $70 million extension just before the 2019 season began, but he only played in 59 games. The hope was that Hicks could remain healthy and lock down the position for the next few years, but it looks like Brett Gardner might have some more time as a starter before his inevitable retirement.

Paxton, on the other hand, has been recovering well after having a cyst removed from his lower back several months ago.

“Feels great,” Cashman said of Paxton. “We’re fortunate to know that one of the better starting pitchers in the game — his issues, looks like they’ve resolved and it’s just simply now tuning up and getting ready.”

New York Yankees News/Rumors: LeMahieu on free agency and Aaron Boone on Yankee readiness

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

The New York Yankees fans thought during the last postseason that the Yankees should acquire Manny Machado or Bryce Harper the big free agent names out there.  But Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman passed and instead got a little known Colorado Rockie named DJ LeMahieu and fans were disappointed.  But, Cashman saw something in LeMahieu that he thought would be a fit for the Yankees at a much lower price than the giant contracts the other two would be asking.

As it turns out, Cashman’s decision was brilliant.  For the 2019 season, DJ held down second base during the whole season with cat-like defense, while being a Silver Slugger batting .327 with 26 home runs and 102 RBIs.  Add to that he and Brett Gardner were the only members of the 2019 New York Yankees to play over 140 games in an injury ridden season for the Yankees.  Oh, and as a side point, the duo of Machado with the Padres and Harper with the Phillies was bested by DJ by a wide margin. DJ was the Yankees MVP.

DJ was signed to a two-year $24 million contract and will become a free agent following this season, whether it is played or not.  Interestingly the coronavirus has not only shut down baseball, but it changes the free agency scenery dramatically, not only for DJ but for Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton as well.  With teams strapped for money due to the revenue, they will lose this season, whether games or played or not, little will be left over to pay free agents the money they thought they might make.

In the case of DJ LeMahieu, he has made it clear that he likes it here in New York and would like to stay a Yankee.  In this writer’s opinion, the Yankees should work during the season to resign him to another two-year extension at the same salary.  With the coronavirus situation, I think DJ would be happy with that, knowing that the monies available will be greatly contracted for free agents.

During the shortened spring training DJ continued to impress, although he was homerless in 10 games, he hit .345 with 10 hits and 3 RBIs.

In an email to the New York Post, DJ told the Post what he has been doing during the shutdown:

“I’ve stayed in Tampa. There was a period for a few weeks where I had to get creative when the [George M. Steinbrenner Field] wasn’t open. But for a good portion of time I have been able to work out at the complex in the mornings,’’ LeMahieu wrote. “I’ve been hitting outside a few days a week. The other days I’ve been getting work in in the cage and working out. We have a good group down here and we are doing our best to make the most of our time.’’

He continued to point out what he has been doing and that he misses his family and playing Yankee baseball against uniformed teams.

“I personally need a week or two of spring training to develop a rhythm and collect live at-bats against pitchers. I would think the pitchers need more time,’’ LeMahieu wrote. “Even though we already had a spring training it’s been two months of relative down time. In many ways I feel like we are kind of starting from scratch.’’

“I haven’t been able to see my parents or extended family,’’ he wrote. “Everyone has been affected one way or another these past few months.’’

“I’ve missed baseball a lot. I can practice every day, but there’s nothing like seeing another uniform across the field and winning ballgames,’’ LeMahieu wrote.

Aaron Boone on the Yankee’s readiness and Cashman on the 2020 season

The New York Yankees manager, who has spent most of his time during the shutdown at his Greenwich, CT home, has not been out of touch with his players.  On the homefront, he has been playing catch with the Yankees newly acquired ace pitcher Gerrit Cole who purchased a home in the same neighborhood.

But he has been in touch with other players as well, including keeping tabs on those players that choose to stay at the George M. Steinbrenner Training complex at Tampa, Florida.  Those players include Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, DJ LeMahieu, among others.  He recently said that all the Yankee players are staying in shape and working out so that when and if a spring training 2.0 can be started, his team will be up and running ready to hit the field.

New York Yankees President Randy Levine and General Manager Cashman have both spoken out this week on the 2020 season.  Both men have made it known that they believe a new season will happen.

“I can’t promise anything, but am I optimistic? I’m optimistic.”  “I am optimistic. I don’t represent the players and the (players’) association. Obviously there’s a lot of hurdles that everyone’s trying to navigate here, and certainly trying to find common ground appropriately with the Players Association is one of those things and obviously the commissioner of baseball and his team are having honest, frank conversations and negotiations … I’m optimistic that where there’s a will, there’s a way.

“We’ve all found ways to adjust and make adjustments. … With this COVID-19 experience moving forward, it’s incumbent upon all of us to find a way. I trust that all leadership will find a way within our industry, just like everybody’s trying to do in their own respective industries as well.”