Did the New York Giants get a steal in 6th round linebacker Cam Brown?

New York Giants, Cam Brown

At first glance, New York Giants’ sixth-round draft pick Cam Brown is a massive human. At 6-foot-5 and 232 pounds, Brown served as a linebacker for Penn State during his collegiate career.

The Giants clearly needed help at the position, given the ample draft capital they spent on retooling the depth at linebacker. Oddly, Brown only started two games with Penn State over his four seasons with the program, but he played in 51 of 52 games. In 2019, he set a career-high was 72 tackles, 5.5 for a loss, and two sacks. He also forced one fumble and recovered two.

Brown joins multiple Penn State teammates with the Giants — Saquon Barkley and cornerback Grant Haley. All three players featured on the Nittany Lions during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

What are the New York Giants getting in Cam Brown?

Brown is an athletic linebacker with plenty of room left to develop. His massive tackle radius gives him the length and mobility to secure the edge and hold down his duties in the run game. However, his football IQ is quite low, failing to diagnose plays at a high-level and see the field develop before him. This ultimately allows other teams to take advantage of his side and beat him with play-action or screen plays. He relied purely on his athleticism to swallow up runners and act as a pure pass rusher in the past.

Ultimately, Brown comes with no red flags, attesting to his high character and leadership. Nonetheless, his play strength and ability to diagnose plays is weak and requires ample development before he can be considered an everyday player for the Giants. A few things he should work on over the next year is his upper body strength, increasing his ability to jam tight ends and wide receivers in the slot, and his ability to identify plays as they unfold. Then there’s his tackling technique, as he tends to lower his head and spear runners — a bad habit he must fix.

I anticipate he will develop into an inside linebacker for the Giants, who are severely lacking talent at the position. Currently, they have Ryan Connelly, who’s coming off a torn ACL, TJ Brunson, and Tae Crowder.

Adding several late-round picks to the position was general manager Dave Gettleman’s way of increasing the probability of hitting on one of these prospects. Brown seems to have a ton of untapped potential, and hopefully, he can develop the mental side of his game and increase his overall play strength to match up with NFL talent.

Tom Thibodeau changing his ways for the New York Knicks gig?

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau

New York Knicks head coaching candidate is learning from his old coaching woes. Tom Thibodeau’s stint in Minnesota had it’s ups and downs.  So he may be changing his ways for his next job.

Thibs did take the Timberwolves to their first playoff appearance since 2004.  However, the big take away was working his younger players to hard.  The Knicks could use that, certain players more than others.

Thibs was on “The Woj Pod” talking about talking what he needs to do at his next stop.  “The way everyone’s managing with load management and where your team is, sports scientists, so it’s different.  And if your team is young and you’re in a rebuild, you’re probably practicing more than an older veteran team,” Thibs said.  The Knicks are certainly rebuilding so that’s a start.

For Thibs to be the next head coach of the Knicks, developing the youth is a must.  He had a tough time with that in Minnesota but was still able to make the playoffs.  However, developing the youth the proper way would’ve gave him more years there.  And not running the younger guys into the ground.

The Knicks could use this new Thibs.  It could be different this time around if he wants to be a coach longer than 2 and a half seasons.

The guy the Knicks really need to Target is Kenny Atkinson.  He developed the youth in Brooklyn very well.  He took average players and made them into playoff contenders.  That was before Durant and Irving arrived too.

Whoever the New York Knicks hire, drafting the right players and developing them needs to be the main focus.

New York Yankees: How Judge’s injury helps Clint Frazier

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees had their fair share of injuries last season and there was hope that this season would be different. Unfortunately, it seems that there’s going to be a repeat of history this year. Star right fielder Aaron Judge is dealing with another injury and the timetable for a return is unclear.

General manager, Brian Cashman, said that there is no definite idea on when Judge will be 100% healthy again but they do expect him to be ready by “summertime.” It seems that the Yankees are not optimistic about Judge being back for the start of the year.

Despite probably not having one of their best hitters in the lineup for the beginning of the shortened season, the Yankees have another option that can fill that void. Clint Frazier is the best option the Yankees have to fill the empty right field spot. With Aaron Hicks also returning from an injury, Mike Tauchman will fill in at center field and Brett Gardner will slide over to left field when needed.

There have been rumors for years that the Yankees are looking to trade Frazier, but I think if the Yankees really wanted to do that, they would have already. There’s some concerns with behavior, however, you cannot deny that Frazier is a talented ballplayer.

Before Frazier was controversially demoted to triple-A during mid-June last year, he was batting .283 with 22 extra-base hits and 11 home runs. He was one of the league’s best hitters with runners in scoring positions as he held a .375 batting average in such scenarios. After Frazier was sent down and was brought back up later in the year, he was never the same.

I think there’s a pride thing with Frazier, that he almost felt abandoned when he demoted despite having terrific numbers. Some players just have that in them, and that isn’t a problem as long as it doesn’t interfere with the team’s success. An example of a player who was prideful but let it fuel his success is all-time Yankee legend, Reggie Jackson. Of course, Frazier is nowhere near the dominance that Reggie displayed while in pinstripes, but I think there is a part about Frazier that he needs that pride to keep him going – and being sent down did the exact opposite of that.

Judge’s injury could be a big opportunity for Frazier to shine once again. Maybe if it’s for a longer period of time this year, the New York Yankees will keep him on the roster even when Judge returns. Frazier could also play left field as well.


New York Islanders: “What If” Rick DiPietro had stayed healthy?

For a franchise enriched with a good amount of success, the New York Islanders are still one of the more prone “what if” teams in professional sports.

So when CBS put out their tweet yesterday, it got me thinking about one guy: Rick DiPietro.

Before he became one-third of the popular midday radio show, DiPietro, Canty and Rothenberg, DiPietro was a goalie for the Islanders for 13 years. The 38-year-old Maine native was a pretty solid one too before injuries ravaged his body.

The Isles drafted DiPietro out of Boston University with the number one pick of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. DiPietro became just the fourth American player ever to be drafted first overall. Mike Milbury, the team’s general manager at the time, dealt future Hall of Fame goalie Roberto Luongo — whom he drafted three years earlier — to Florida to make room for him. It’s still talked about as one of the worst and most controversial moves in franchise history. But that’s a conversation for another day.

DiPietro’s first two NHL seasons were nothing to write home about, just five wins in 30 games. It wasn’t until 2003-04 where he was slotted as the starter in goal and fans got their true first look at the organization’s possible answer in net for the next five to ten years.

That season, DiPietro saw action in 50 games and went 23-18-5 with a .911 save percentage. His strong rookie campaign helped propel the Islanders into the postseason, where they were eliminated in five games in the first round by the eventual Stanley Cup winners, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

After being ousted in that series, the NHL went through a work stoppage that costed the league the entire ’04-’05 season. When play resumed in 2005-06, DiPietro quickly established himself as one of the top up-and-coming netminders in the sport; DiPietro would record 30 wins, a new career-high, and set a new career-best for games played with 63.

New general manager and his former backup, Garth Snow, rewarded DiPietro for his solid season, extending him to a 15-year, $67.5 million contract. The deal itself was ludicrous at the time and still is today, even though the team bought DiPietro out in 2013.

The first year of that mega-deal was the most notable of DiPietro’s career. His name was in the Vezina Trophy conversation that season after he went 32-19-9 and helped the Islanders get back to the playoffs. Unfortunately, it was also the year DiPietro would truly peak and where his downslide began.

In the thick of the playoff chase in early March, DiPietro suffered the first of several injuries to come, when he was concussed after a collision with a Montreal Canadiens player. Another concussion followed a short time after that. DiPietro would return for the playoffs and play in games two through five of the Islanders’ series loss to Buffalo. After the season ended, he had surgery to fix a torn labrum in his hip.

DiPietro was healthy enough to play another 63 games in 2007-08, and he even was selected for his one and only All-Star appearance. During All-Star Weekend, DiPietro would end up getting hurt during the skills competition. He continued to play despite the injury until the Isles shut him down for the rest of the year once they were eliminated from playoff contention.

The next few years saw the demise of DiPietro. He never returned to full health and played in only 50 games from 2008 to 2013. The Islanders finally let him go in 2013. DiPietro would catch on with the Charlotte Checkers, the Carolina Hurricanes AHL affiliate. There he played in five games in the 2013-14 season before he was cut in late November which led to his retirement.

DiPietro’s career looked like it was ready to take off until things unraveled. He hadn’t even reached his prime yet by the time he was dealing with injury after injury.

So, what might have happened if his body hadn’t broken down? A few things really.

For one, he would have lived up to his insane contract. In the four seasons he was healthy, DiPietro was winning between 25-30 games a year. He was only continuing to take his game to another level with each passing year.

The Islanders don’t end up rebuilding. Once DiPietro began to fall apart, so did the franchise. They went through a painful five years which were some of the lowest for the organization. And even when they finally got back to being respectable, DiPietro was basically a shell of himself and the team no longer needed his services. Oh, and the team also never gets the chance to draft John Tavares.

The franchise doesn’t go through a goalie carousel for years. Even now with Ilya Sorokin making his way to Long Island hopefully soon, the Isles’ search for a true number one goaltender has been long and arduous. You can’t even count on one hand how many goalies they’ve had since DiPietro without getting angry. DiPietro staying in one piece would have meant security for the organization at the most important position.

Garth Snow builds a Cup contender around DiPietro. With a number one goalie locked in, Snow would have been able to put his major focus on putting the pieces around him which lead to winning consistently.

DiPietro ends up becoming one of the top goalies of his generation. When you post back-to-back 30 win seasons, there’s something special. DiPietro’s play would have garnered league-wide recognition, and his battles with Henrik Lundqvist, Carey Price, Marc-Andre Fleury would have been legendary.

He becomes a legendary figure for the team and has his number 39 retired. Cup winner or not, DiPietro would have become the second coming of Billy Smith for the Isles. His exceptional numbers and the impact on the franchise would have earned him his spot up in the rafters of Nassau Coliseum and the new Belmont Arena.

We will never know what Rick DiPietro could have become before his career took a turn sideways. It’s one of those conversation Islander fans still wrestle with nearly seven years since he last played.

And it’s something they’ll continue to ponder because there was an opportunity for him to be something special.





What the New York Jets are looking to gain in a potential Jamal Adams trade

New York Jets, Jamal Adams

The New York Jets and star safety Jamal Adams have reached an impasse, as negotiations for a contract extension are stalling. Adams has demanded he wants a new deal moving forward, going into the fourth season of his rookie contract. General manager Joe Douglas has been adamant that he does not want to offer a long-term contract before the fourth year of his rookie deal.

Adams is clearly utilizing his leverage to cash in early, which is extremely smart for any NFL player that has the ability to do so.

However, due to the stalling and negotiations, Adams has made it known that he is open to a potential trade. The Jets reportedly entertained the idea in 2019, but things could be a bit more serious this time around with Douglas refusing to budge.

Michael Irving stated that the Jets are looking for a first and third-round pick in return for the star safety. Adams is one of the best strong safeties in the NFL, posting 75 combine tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 10 tackles for a loss in 2019. That’s not even mentioning his seven passes offended, two forced fumbles, and one interception. He also scored two defensive touchdowns.

Adams is not a traditional strong safety, though, as he posted a 55.3% completion rate against and a 5.1% missed tackle rate. He is adequate in every category, attesting to his immense talent and value for any defense.

Trading away Adams would significantly hurt the Jets’ defense, and considering they just allocated resources toward bolstering the offensive line, they could be in a position to win immediately. Trading away their best player, arguably, would significantly limit their probability for success, but they would gain valuable draft capital in the process.

Douglas likely wants to ensure Adams remains healthy for the 2020 campaign, which makes sense given he hasn’t even reached the fourth year of his rookie contract. The Jets could always pick up his fifth-year option and prolong the contract extension even further. Nonetheless, Adams looks to be extremely serious on the matter and does not want to waste any time finding a solution. He has held out virtual meetings and stayed away from the team in the meantime.



The Importance of the New York Mets Bullpen in a Short Season

As Major League Baseball continues to juggle the idea of playing baseball again this season, teams are scrambling to get their pitchers ready. The New York Mets will rely heavily on their bullpen through the first month of their season as pitchers get their endurance up to speed.

If there are only two weeks of Spring Training games before the season starts, it is not enough to get a rotation ready. Each starter will get three starts max, which forces the bullpen to throw more innings early in the season. With the way pitchers work today, we will not see them at their peaks for at least 2-3 regular season starts.

Bullpen Importance

The needed relievers make sense as to why a potential 30-man roster is in the works. Anywhere from 1-4 extra relievers are required in order to be competitive during the first part of the season. Late inning relievers like Edwin Diaz, Dellin Betances, and Seth Lugo will have their critical roles. Middle relief is where the key outs will be. If starters only go 4-5 innings during the first couple weeks of the season, someone has to bridge the gap.

Brad Brach, Justin Wilson, Jeurys Familia, and potentially Drew Smith are a few middle relievers who will have to finish the work for the starter. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo are the only relievers who can pitch multiple innings due to their starting pitching backgrounds. Most likely, Lugo’s outings come late in games while Gsellman will take most of the multiple innings appearances from innings four through seven.

During 2019, in outings of more than one innings, Gsellman had a 2.18 ERA. It included multiple three-inning outings where he kept teams scoreless and the Mets in the game. When healthy, he can play as big of a role as Lugo, just earlier in the game.

Luckily the Mets employ Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman, two of the most in-shape pitchers throughout baseball. The Mets can be more flexible with how deep each of them pitch, compared to the average pitcher. While deGrom moves in silence without social media, Stroman displays all the works he is putting in for the eventual season. Depth is a key part for any championship team and the Mets can finally say they have it on both sides of the ball.

New York Yankees News: Yankee prospects want a season and sooner than later

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

The New York Yankees and all MLB teams sit waiting while the negotiations between owners and players seem to be at a standstill.  The reason there haven’t been breakthrough centers around health issues and money.  The health issues have been addressed even though some players have said the risk is too high.  The biggest stumbling block to getting a deal done is the owners’ plan for revenue sharing, which the MLPA has said is dead on arrival.  At this point, neither side seems willing to blink.

If no deal can be reached, the baseball season will be canceled.  If the negotiations go on and on without resolution, the season will be defacto canceled as time will run out to have a viable season.  If the season is canceled, it could have a negative effect on many player’s careers, including players that will become free agents at the end of the season, whether there is one or not.  However, the effect on many Yankee prospects may be even more costly. When you take a year away, that cannot be replaced, and several New York Yankee prospects want to advance to the Stadium this year.

Clarke Schmidt, pitcher

If there is one player chomping at the bit to play, it’s Clarke Schmidt. He is just itching to see the big time, and he believes he is fully ready. Yankee scouts saw something in Schmidt when the New York Yankees took him in the 2017 draft even though he needed Tommy John Surgery.  But that gamble paid off last season when he had an ERA of 3.84 in twelve games at high A Tampa with 69 strikeouts.  Once he was promoted to Trenton AA, he pitched even better, bringing that ERA down to 2.37 across 19 innings in three games.

In the abruptly shortened spring training this year, he impressed in four games.  He pitched for seven innings with an ERA of 2.57 and eight strikeouts and whip of 1.714.  The 24-year-old has in two seasons advanced from #62 prospect to #2. Schmidt has a mid-90s fastball, a deceptive changeup, and a slider that has been billed above-average. For a player advancing so quickly, a year off could be detrimental to his career.

Luis Medina, pitcher

Medina is another right-hand pitcher that the Yankees really like. Medina is blessed with phenomenal fastball velocity in the upper 90s, a great hook, but the righty has had problems with control. He pitched poorly in Advanced-A last season with far too many walks allowed. Nevertheless, he was promoted to the Charleston River Dogs, where things seemed to turn around, where he pitched to a .084 ERA.  With him seemingly gaining control, no play could have an adverse effect. Medina at 21 has time to develop.

Deivi Garcia, pitcher

Deivi Garcia was once a number one prospect but has slipped down to number three in most listings.  Garcia has had his struggles. In 2017 at Tampa high A, Garcia had impressive success pitching to an ERA of 1.27, but in 2018 he had an up and down year. 2019 was a bit better; between Tampa and Trenton, he was 4-6 ERA of 3.43.  He earned a promotion to Scranton Wilkes/Barre, where his tired early in games and basically fell apart.  In six games, he was 1-3 with an inflated 5.40 ERA.  In spring training, he failed to impress. Whether time off helps or hurts Garcia is questionable.

Anthony Volpe, infielder

The New York Yankees have high hopes for Volpe. Volpe is an infielder, but shortstop is his desire and where he plays best.  The Yankees can see Volpe with a future, staffing that position. During spring training, he didn’t get to show his stuff, playing in only one game.  In 2019 he played in 34 games at Pulaski. He hit .215 with two homers but with an OPS of .704 with a .936 fielding percentage.  Volpe is only 19 and is still developing.  Missing a season is not going to aid in that development.

There are also other prospects like pitcher Luis Gil and Roansy Contreras that also would like to see some playing time this year.  You might notice I have left Jasson Dominguez and Estevan Florial off the list.   Jasson, although the top Yankee prospect at 17, is still a year or two away from the bigs although he continues to work out in the Dominican Republic.  Florial has dropped off the Yankees top 10 prospect list, after having a sub-par season in the minors and when called up.  With the minor league season canceled this year, lack off of play could be a significant issue with many of these players.

Kyle Busch is what NASCAR and other sports need right now

Kyle Busch, Nascar

Kyle Busch’s (inadvertent) Darlington heel turn was just what NASCAR needed as it leads the charge back from sports dormancy.

For many, The Real Heroes 400 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday was a lot like a television pilot.

Millions flocked to the screen as NASCAR became the first North American team sport to return to live competition as the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Of that sports-starved public, thousands, possibly upwards of a million, admitted that they had never partaken in a NASCAR event.

A television pilot must accomplish several tasks if it hopes to go beyond its premiere night. It must establish the major players. It must define some traits and characteristics of said players. A goal or endgame to the debut season, or perhaps the series itself, is established. Perhaps a catchphrase or two is uttered.

NASCAR achieved that and then some. Viewers met some of the popular drivers the series had to offer. They learned of Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s propensity for attracting trouble on the very first lap. They cheered when seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson took the lead toward the end of the first stage and bemoaned his wreck on the last lap of the portion. Rookie young guns Tyler Reddick and John Hunter Nemechek posted top ten finishes. Finally, Kevin Harvick made series history by becoming the 14th driver to win 50 Cup series races by getting to the finish line first.

In a quest to carry out the entirety of its schedule, the second half of a Darlington doubleheader went down on Wednesday. That’s when the new legion of fans met their villain.

It’s not unusual for pop culture to be patient in introducing their main antagonist. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, for example, waited ten movies to give Thanos a speaking role. Wednesday’s race, the Toyota 500, took 200 laps.

A storm was brewing over Darlington and it wasn’t just in the clouds. On the track, Kyle Busch and Chase Elliott battled for the right to take the lead away from Denny Hamlin before the skies opened. As their machines crossed the start/finish line, Elliott’s pass of Busch ended in disaster, as the latter’s No. 18 Toyota clipped the back of the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. The No. 9 car spun and hit the inside wall and his top five finish became 38th in the blink of an eye.

Social distancing measures might’ve prevented a brouhaha from being staged in the No. 18 pit. Those seeking confrontation saw their fight dreams partially fulfilled when Busch was approached by Alan Gustafson. Elliott’s crew chief knows Busch from a peaceful time in his career, serving as Busch’s own pit boss for the first three years of his Cup career (2005-07).

Behold the villain.

NASCAR fans can’t seem to agree on much these days. Rare unanimity is formed when misfortune befalls Busch’s Joe Gibbs Toyota. During the 2018 race at Watkins Glen, for example, the Finger Lakes roared when fan-favorite Elliott passed him en route to his first Cup Series victory.

Wednesday’s incident with Elliott is fairly minimal in the list of Busch encounters. After all, Busch repeatedly denied intentionally spinning the No. 9 and Fox’s commentary duo Mike Joy and Jeff Gordon agreed that there was little else the Toyota could do to avoid the unfortunate occurrence. That didn’t stop Elliott’s fervent fanbase from sending plenty of unfriendly salutations to Busch’s social media account after the race. Elliott, after all, is the son of NASCAR royalty (his father Bill was part of the 2015 Hall of Fame class) and a two-time winner of the Cup Series’ Most Popular Driver Award that has backed up the hype (top ten standings finishes in each of his first four seasons).

Elliott’s fans might not want to hear it, but Busch’s villainy, inadvertent as it may have been, was just what NASCAR, and the rest of live sports, may have needed as they gradually return.

Busch is the driver that often elicits the most boos on race weekend. The word “incident” appears on his Wikipedia page 16 different times. Elliott is far from the first prominent driver to engage in unpleasantries with the Las Vegas native. He incurred the wrath of another massive NASCAR factions, House Junior, when he spun out Dale Earnhardt Jr. toward the end of a 2008 event at Richmond. During a Truck Series race in 2011, a displeased Busch slammed into Ron Hornaday during a caution (which netted him a suspension for the Cup Series race two days later). Even Busch’s own brother Kurt wasn’t spared from his wrath. A get-together during the 2007 All-Star Race led to the siblings not speaking for nearly half-a-year until their grandmother intervened during Thanksgiving dinner.

Fans have taken issue with Busch’s supposed bending of racing rules as well. The first of two Cup Series titles came in 2015 after he missed the first 11 races due to an injury sustained during an Xfinity Series race at Daytona. Speaking of racing in NASCAR’s lower tiers, fans have often taken issue with Busch running in such events. After all, it’s not like you see Aaron Judge spending his off-days with the New York Yankees playing AAA-ball in Scranton.

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Most drivers would shrug and try to move on from focus on such topics. Busch does the opposite.

Part of Busch’s appeal as a NASCAR heel is his willingness to accept and embrace his role. When booed during driver introductions at the All-Star festivities after the Earnhardt incident, Busch responded only by cupping his ears. When he pulled off a contact-heavy victory over Kyle Larson at Chicagoland Speedway in 2018, Busch feigned tears when fans were less than pleased with the result.

When it became clear that fans were going to blame him for the Elliott incident even if there was little he could do to avoid it, Busch engaged in his trademark snark and might’ve only hinted at anticipation of the No. 9 team seeking revenge.

“Obviously I just made a mistake, misjudged the gap, sent him into the wall. That was entirely unintentional,” Busch said in a postrace conference call hosted on Zoom on Wednesday night. “I’ll definitely reach out to him and tell him I’m sorry, tell him I hate it that it happened.”

“That doesn’t change the outcome of the night.”

Much like LeBron James during his Miami Heat tenure, Busch is taking his role as the villain and running with it. It creates a perfect setting for NASCAR’s new fans. Deeper into the call, Busch was asked whether he saw Elliot give him the middle finger after exiting his downed car. Busch dryly replied “I thought we had protocols where we’re not supposed to do that, so okay”…conveniently leaving out the fact he likewise got into hot water for making the same gesture to a NASCAR official during a 2010 race at Texas.

Team sports are often filled with squads or players that you love to hate. The Golden State Warriors picked up where the Heat left off after James went back to Cleveland. Championships earned through reportedly illicit strategies only amplify the hatred, as any fan of the New England Patriots or Houston Astros will tell you.

That’s another part of what makes Busch so effective as an antagonist. Even his staunchest detractor can’t deny Busch has skill and poise behind the wheel. When NASCAR granted him an injury waiver and conditions (reaching the top 30 in points in addition to learning the necessary win for a playoff berth) to compete for the 2015 title, Busch fulfilled them with no qualms. When the haters called that title illegitimate, Busch partook in all 36 races and put up an average finish of 8.9 en route to a title last season.

In terms of his lower-tier endeavors, NASCAR has tried to put a slight kibosh on it by having drivers compete for points in only one series (he was far from the only offender) and putting quotas on how many races Cup regulars could run. Busch has only responded by making the most of the opportunities he takes. Since 2016, he has run 65 races on the Xfinity and Truck circuits. 33 have ended in victory lane.

(Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

As organized, professional team sports gradually start to return from the coronavirus hiatus, Busch has become America’s new polarizing figure, his No. 18 team drawing jeers moving forward. Fans are often not satisfied unless they have a cause to root against. Silly as it sounds, some people just aren’t satisfied with a concept unless there’s a villain to root against. There’s a reason that you rarely see a movie where every character is likable. How else would the supposed hero’s triumph be earned or vindicated? Thus, villainy has a number, and its numerals are 18.

As for Busch, the bearer? As you can tell by now, he doesn’t mind it one bit.

“I can say whatever I can say. I’ve never been a very good politician anyways. His fan base is going to have the hatred for me anyways. I just deal with what I got to deal with. Rowdy Nation will have my back and we’ll go after it after that.”

Much like Tom Hiddleston as Loki or David Bowie as Labyrinth‘s Goblin King…the villain is perfectly cast. 

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

Yankees news, 5/22/20: Gleyber Torres long term deal incoming? Yankee Stadium will be active soon

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Your top Yankees links/news of the day!

New York Post | George A. King III: While Aaron Judge is the primary name associated with long-term contracts, Gleyber Torres could be the player that earns one first. Ultimately, general manager Brian Cashman and owner Hal Steinbrenner are going to have to make a decision on Judge, Torres, and likely Gary Sanchez. Will they be able to keep all three? The probability is against that reality, but they simply can’t let Torres go considering his youth in quality after just two seasons.

That raises the question, which of the three are worth investing long-term in. Despite Torres being an All-Star, hitting 38 homers, and driving in 90 runs, some factors might suggest he doesn’t deserve a long-term deal. His defense is questionable, and his efficiency at shortstop specifically has yet to be justified. If he cannot increase his defensive success, the Yankees could look to deal the young slugger. However, I do believe he is a building block moving forward.

CNN | Mirna Alsharif: While the Yankees might not be playing at their stadium in the Bronx, the city is found a use for their parking lot, at the very least. The coronavirus pandemic has reincarnated the drive-in movie theater, and that is how Yankee Stadium will be repurposed in the coming weeks. The events hosted at the stadium well range from karaoke nights to movie screenings. It will cover all genres and appeal to the melting pot that is New York City.

Empire Sports Media | William Parlee: Do you like history? Well, this article sums up the best Yankee seasons in their history, and what a collection it turned out to be. Here’s an in-depth look at seasons of the past and what players left there mark during history. Hopefully, these spark your memory and give you a flash into the past of what being a Yankee fan is all about.

New York Yankees: Will Aaron Boone remain Yankee Manager at the end of 2020?

New York Yankees, Aaron boone

At the beginning of December 2017, the New York Yankees officially replaced Joe Girardi with Aaron Boone.  He signed a three-year contract with the Yankees for $1.15 million a year with a team option for 2021.  That amount is high for a rookie manager but low compared to many in the MLB, including the Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Scioscia, who earns $6MM a year for a team that has won one World Championships in 60 years.  Scioscia last brought the Angels to the World Series 18 years ago.

Many Yankee fans were sorry to see Joe Girardi go, and just as dissatisfied with the Yankee’s pick of Aaron ‘who” Boone.  Some Yankees had remembered him as a player that was unremarkable except for his famous home run that brought the Yankees to the World Series against the Red Sox.  Their main concern was that he had no managerial experience, not even being a baseball coach.  But, in his first year, he managed a team that produced 100 wins, he gained some respect among Yankee fans.

Upon his hiring New York Yankee owner and General Partner Hal Steinbrenner said:

“I firmly believe that Aaron possesses the attributes needed to follow in the tradition of great Yankees managers,” Hal Steinbrenner said in a statement. “From all accounts, he is a polished communicator who possesses the ability to cultivate and grow relationships. Aaron has also spent a lifetime immersed in baseball, affording him a unique and intimate understanding of what fosters team success.


“Aaron’s name is already etched into Yankees history, and my family and I are excited to welcome him back to this franchise. This opportunity will allow him to continue to make a positive impact on this organization in distinctly new and meaningful ways.”

Enter the 2019 season.  Boone would be faced with unimagined problems in managing a team that would have an unprecedented number of injuries, 39 to 30 different players.  Boone had to continually bring up players from the minor leagues and shift his lineups almost every day.  In that task, Aaron Boone was masterful, and he brought his team to even more wins (103) and take them to the postseason.  The New York Yankees would sweep the Minnesota Twins in four games in the ALDS.

After winning the ALDS, they moved on to face the Houston Astros in the ALCS.  The Yankees shut out the Astros in Game one 7-0. By the time Game 5 came about, the Yankees would find themselves in an elimination game in which the Yankees James Paxton would best the Astros at Yankee Stadium.  The series moved to the last two games at Minuteman Field in Houston.  In Game 6, it would be the top of the ninth that the Yankees would tie the game up when first baseman DJ LeMahieu hit a two-run homer.  But at the bottom of the frame, Altuve’s walk-off Astros home would take them to the World Series.

Many in baseball think that the Houston Astros cheated in the ALCS and that the may have worn electronic devices that alerted hitters what pitch was coming, thus cheating the Yankees of a World Series berth.  MLB later proved that the Yankees were cheated in the 2017 ALCS.  Leading to the further belief that they continued to cheat, although MLB could not find enough evidence to support the claim.  Whatever the case, the Yankees went to the 6th game of the ALCS, proving that Boone’s management success wasn’t just a fluke and further endearing him to fans.

This year with the coronavirus, the season, if played at all, will be greatly shortened with an expanded postseason.  Regardless, Boone’s contract is up whether a season is played or not.  The Yankees do have a team option to hold on to him for a 2021 season when his contract will expire.  19 managers in MLB make more money than Aaron Boone, most of which haven’t made the postseason in years.  With the exception of Davey Martinez, who won the World Series last year for the Washington Nationals.  He earns only $850k a year.

With Boone’s success, the New York Yankees are bound to take up their option and keep Boone for the 2021 season unless he fails miserably in 2020.  What happens after that depends on Boone’s performance and whether the Yankees will be willing to pay Boone, who undoubtedly will demand a salary commensurate with managers that usually take their teams to the postseason.