The New York Rangers silence on George Floyd due to decision by James Dolan

New York Knicks, James Dolan

In the city that never sleeps, the New York Rangers organization has been silent on the George Floyd death and the protests going on all across the country. An email by executive chairman and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company and executive chairman of MSG Networks James Dolan gives fans the reason why.

A Twitter post by Pablo S. Torre on Monday night added some light to the reason why the Rangers are one of the few NHL teams to make any statements about Floyd’s death.

In his post, Torre acknowledged that he received a copy of an email Dolan sent to MSG employees explaining why the organization has stayed silent. I also have confirmed from an MSG employee of the email and its legitimacy.  The highlights of his email centered around,

“We are not any more qualified than anyone else to offer our opinion on social matters. What’s important is how we operate. Our companies are committed to upholding our values, which include creating a respectful workplace for all, and that will never change.”

The email doesn’t give a specific reason why the organization decided not to make any public statements while other NHL teams have done so.

The Rangers have one African-American player in their organization, 2018 first-round pick K’Andre Miller.  He himself was a victim of racism after he signed his entry-level contract with the team. Miller was participating in a live Zoom interview when the site was hacked with racist slurs visible on the live chat feed by everyone including Miller.

Earlier on Monday, Miller released a statement about the Floyd murder and his personal attack he suffered in that virtual interview and throughout his young career.

The New York Knicks players were also reportedly furious that a statement was not released by MSG and Dolan. The email bears the question, How can one of the biggest cities in the country, who have had their share of racism over the years, simply ignore this tragedy?

New York Giants: Can Daniel Jones Fix His Fumbling Problem?

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones is the new face of the New York Giants. After sixteen years, the Giants finally made a change at the quarterback position. The legendary Eli Manning was benched after two disappointing performances to start the 2019 NFL season. The team let rookie quarterback Daniel Jones take over in Week Three and that was all she wrote.

It did not take long for Daniel Jones to win the starting job. It also did not take long for Daniel Jones to win the fans over. But Jones’s rookie season was far from perfection. The Duke product had plenty of impressive performances and flashes of elite potential. However, those great moments were mixed in with plenty of growing pains and rookie mistakes.

Daniel Jones threw some legitimate dimes, hence the nickname Danny Dimes. His accuracy exceeded all expectations. But there was one mistake that Jones made continuously: he could not stop fumbling. Daniel fumbled the ball 17 times in 12 starts (18 times in 13 games). This is a serious flaw in Jones’s game and it’s one that some doubt he can fix. I completely disagree; allow me to explain why.

Quarterbacks Who Had Similar Problems

There have been plenty of other quarterbacks who entered the league and struggled with fumbling the football. Not all of them were able to fix this flaw. But many of them were. And many of the quarterbacks who solved this problem went on to be great (even legendary) quarterbacks.

Daniel Jones fumbled on 3.9% of his passing attempts. His 18 fumbles from the quarterback position in 2019 led the league by a wide margin. His 18 fumbles tied for the fifth-most ever in a single-season. It was a historically bad fumbling season for our rookie signal-caller. But let’s look at some of the other names on the list.

Kerry Collins and Daunte Culpepper are tied for the most fumbles in a season with 23. Culpepper was a three-time Pro Bowl quarterback that spent 11 seasons in the NFL and Collins spent 18 seasons in the NFL, making it to the Super Bowl with the Giants in 2000. Tied with Daniel Jones at 18 fumbles in a season is Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon. Moon also fumbled 17 times in his rookie season. Regardless, he still went on to have a Hall of Fame career.

Let’s make a more recent comparison. Carson Wentz is considered by many to be an elite quarterback in the NFL right now. He is young, has a cannon of an arm, and played at an MVP-level in 2017. 2017 was Wentz’s sophomore season (he only fumbled the ball 9 times that season). As a rookie, Carson Wentz fumbled the ball a league-leading 14 times. He fixed this issue and became an MVP candidate.

Does fumbling the ball really make you a bad quarterback? Well, sometimes, but not always. Kurt Warner started in 116 games during his NFL career. He fumbled in 102 of those games (88% of those games). He is still a Hall of Famer. Mike Vick fumbled in 98 of his 115 games started (85%) and was still one of the most dominant players of his era. So these two guys did not really fix their fumbling problems and were lucky that it did not do much damage to their careers. But, like Wentz, there are plenty of quarterbacks who did fix their fumbling problems. Let’s take a look at a few more of those guys.

Quarterbacks Who Fixed Their Fumbling Problems

Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. The man has won six Super Bowls and dominated the league for twenty years. It has long since been forgotten, but two decades ago when Tom Brady was a youngling, he had a fumbling problem too. Brady played in only 1 regular-season game as a rookie. But in his second season (2001), Tom played in 15 games and fumbled 12 times. He then fumbled 11 times in 2002 and 13 times in 2003. After that, Tom cut the number down to 7 fumbles, then 4 fumbles, then went back up to 12 fumbles in 2006. From 2007 to 2012, Tom Brady never had a season with more than 6 fumbles. He had 10 in 2013 but since then it’s been smooth sailing. Tom has not fumbled more than 7 times in a season since 2014.

Even the best of the best have struggled with fumbles early on in their careers. John Elway is another example: he fumbled the ball 20 times in his first two seasons (on 639 passing attempts, a fumble on 3.1% of attempts). After that, Elway turned it around and cut that fumble rate down to 1.6%, fumbling 117 times on 6,611 passing attempts.

Now those are two extreme examples of two extremely good quarterbacks. This final comparison will be far more relevant. The next guy is a quarterback who worked with Jason Garrett, the Giants’ new offensive coordinator, for ten years. Yes, Tony Romo had a fumbling problem early in his career and Jason Garrett helped him solve it. Romo fumbled 32 times in his first three seasons as a starter. In those three seasons, Tony threw 1,307 passing attempts (fumbling on 2.4% of those attempts). Over the next 3,028 passing attempts of Romo’s career, he fumbled the ball a total of 33 times, 1.08% of his passing attempts.

There is no reason at all to believe that Daniel Jones cannot fix his fumbling problem. Some of the greatest quarterbacks of all time struggled with the same issues early in their careers. Even more promising, Jones’s offensive coordinator has experience with solving a young quarterback’s fumbling problems. On top of that, Jones has a new and improved offensive line to take care of him and make sure he isn’t getting that ball poked out from behind.

An Improved Offensive Line

Daniel Jones was the one at fault for many of his fumbles. At times, the rookie got tunnel vision and kept his eyes frozen downfield. He seemed completely unaware of what was going on around him and allowed the pocket to collapse, resulting in a sack and coinciding fumble. That happened a lot, but what else happened?

Well, as we all know, the Giants’ offensive line in 2019 was bad. Like really, really bad- especially from the offensive tackle position. The tackle duo of Nate Solder and Mike Remmers combined to allow 97 total pressures in 2019. Yes, you read that correctly, 97 total pressures. 57 of those pressures came from Nate Solder alone (Pro Football Focus).

The duo of Remmers and Solder led the league in pressures from a pair of offensive tackles. Now that statistic is flabergasting. But it is a statistic that will not be replicated in 2020. The Giants invested heavily in their offensive line this offseason. New York spent the fourth overall draft pick on stud Georgia prospect Andrew Thomas. They then selected two more offensive linemen in the draft (Matt Peart in round three and Shane Lemieux in round five). There is a legitimate chance that all three of these players become starters on the Giants’ offensive line in their careers.

It is exciting to see the Giants invest draft capital in their offensive line. But possibly the most impactful acquisition was on their coaching staff. New York hired offensive line coach Marc Colombo, the former Dallas Cowboys coach that helped the rival’s unit sustain its reputation as the best offensive line in the league. Factoring these improvements in, a new offensive line coach and new offensive line talent, there is no reason for Daniel Jones to be under constant pressure in 2020.

Daniel Jones will fix his fumbling problem. He is a hard worker that has already begun work towards improving his ball security this offseason. Daniel will be under less pressure in 2020 and will have fewer moments where his offensive line puts him in harm’s way. Combine this with the quarterback’s improved ball security skills and we are looking at a much more efficient version of Daniel Jones in 2020.

Also, shoutout to our man Chris, also known as The Entertainah, on YouTube. Chris recently made a video on this topic which inspired me to write this article. I pulled a lot of these statistics from his video, along with Pro Football Reference. Go check out his video here and make sure to subscribe to the man if you haven’t already.

BREAKING: MLB owners shifting interest towards a 50 or 60 game season

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported on SportsCenter that the MLB owners are shifting in the direction of wanting a 50 to 60 game schedule for 2020. With this schedule, the players would get the prorated salaries like agreed upon in March. The owners believe they have the discretion on setting schedule length.

As Passan said, this is no set deal, but just reports. He believes that both the players and owners are nearing closer to a deal, but players may want a longer schedule. The players proposed a 114 game schedule on Sunday that the owners basically vetoed.

If I’m a player, I try to get the season up to as close as 80 games as possible with the idea of more revenue-generating events. Those events could include a home run derby and an all-star game after the season if the coronavirus remains under control.

It appears as if the owners are okay with players possibly opting out this season if they don’t want to play, and are on board with a lengthened postseason. The season would return in July if this is passed, and the postseason would be just about over by the end of September.

Another reason why owners might want it this way is to make sure they don’t interfere with other sports too much so they can get as many viewers as possible down the stretch and into the postseason. Since there will likely not be any fans at any games in 2020, most revenue will be generated through TV deals.

We’ll see what develops from this likely proposal, and it could be the closest step to getting baseball back on the field in 2020.

New York Yankees’ legend Derek Jeter: “Racial hatred should be responded to with severe punishment”

New York Yankees, Derek Jeter

American sports icons and stars have reacted to the death of George Floyd in the last few days. Derek Jeter, the New York Yankees‘ last captain and Hall of Famer, recently released a statement through the Miami Marlins Twitter account (a team of which he is currently the CEO.)

“I am deeply saddened by the death of George Floyd and feel the pain and outrage it has caused his family and people throughout the world,” Jeter said, per the New York Post. “This is a narrative that has happened far too often with us as people of color. It is time for racial hatred to end and to be unquestionably recognized and responded to with severe punishment.”

Police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd, an African American, specifically into his neck, for several minutes. Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and was fired with the other three officers that were in the scene.

There have been protests in several cities around America, and while some have been peaceful, others have escalated and have resulted in violence.

The Yankees’ icon wants no more excuses

“It’s encouraging to see people of all colors around the world speaking out and protesting another human tragedy that has too often been the death of a black person,” the Yankees’ legend said. “No one should be excused from acts of racial hatred. Please do not allow anyone to demonize those who are standing up against these acts.”

Jeter himself is the son of a black man and a white mother.

“I hope that my children and nephews don’t have to live in a society where people are unjustly treated because of the color of their skin,” he said. “I hope that their white friends grow up to recognize that it is not only enough to verbalize their non-racist views, but also to participate at an active level to eradicate racism.”

While he played for the New York Yankees and shortly after his retirement, Jeter was not known for being outspoken on social issues. However, he chose to stand up and speak this time around.

“I hope we can all denounce the insidious signs of racial hatred,” Jeter said, “and take action as human beings.”

New York Jets: Defensive expectations for upcoming season

New York Jets, Jamal Adams

The New York Jets‘ defense played well last season, ranking seventh in the NFL in fewest yards allowed. The defense kept the team in games and was one of the few somewhat-consistent areas of the team. The team should be bolstered with some new additions, both in the draft and free agency, and some returning players. I won’t mention every player, but let’s take a look at the expectations for each defensive position group for this upcoming campaign:

This is assuming no additions or changes will be made from this point, i.e. Jamal Adams will be on the team

 

Defensive Line

The defensive line had some positives, and negatives, last season. The main positive is that they contributed greatly to allowing the second-fewest amount of rushing yards last season, behind only the Buccaneers. The line, led by Steve McLendon and Quinnen Williams played well in that regard. McLendon totaled 36 tackles and 2.5 sacks while Williams produced 28 total tackles, one fumble recovery and 2.5 sacks as well. Keep in mind, Williams played in only 13 games last season, as a rookie, due to an ankle injury which kept him off the field weeks two, three and four. Barring any injuries or suspension, he should be expected to improve. He should be expected to total around 40 tackles and 5 sacks across a full season in year two.

One player I expect to get more consistent playing time is Foley Fatukasi. The third-year man out of UConn played in 14 games last season, totaling 26 tackles, in which 7 were for a loss, and a sack. To top it off, from weeks six through nine, he was the third-highest graded defensive lineman in football, behind only Aaron Donald and Calais Campbell. That is some outstanding company to be in, especially for someone who is mostly a rotational player. As a result, I believe he gets more consistent playing time, although he will not be a starter.

The team also added defensive end Jabari Zuniga in the third round of the draft. In 42 collegiate games at Florida, he totaled 118 tackles, in which 34.5 were for a loss, and 18.5 sacks. Depending on his field time and progression, he can add somewhat of an edge rush, which the defense needs. Overall, expect the run defense to remain in the top-five.

 

Linebacker

The linebacker group is going to be an interesting one leading up to, and throughout, the season. The group, led by C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson, could be set up for a strong campaign. Both players are coming off of injury-riddled seasons and should be expected to bounce back. Mosley played in just two games while dealing with a recurring groin injury. In the first game of the season against the Buffalo Bills, Mosley showed why he was signed to lead the linebacker group. Before leaving the game, he totaled 6 tackles, a fumble recovery and a pick-six. If he remains healthy and plays all 16 games, Mosley should be expected to total no less than 90 tackles and a couple of sacks and interceptions. He should have a well-rounded season as he is accustomed to having.

Avery Williamson missed all of last season due to a torn ACL. The year before, he totaled 120 tackles, 6 for a loss, and 3 sacks. There’s no reason to believe that, if he’s healthy, he won’t be near those numbers again. While he may not exactly replicate them due to the number of talented linebackers around him, he should be able to put up numbers near those that Mosley should be expected to.

The team brought back a few players from last season during free agency as well. They brought back James Burgess, Jordan Jenkins and Neville Hewitt. Jenkins, an outside linebacker, had a career-high in sacks last season with eight. His returning outside rush will be one of the top options this upcoming season. For a team that doesn’t have the strongest presence of outside pass rush, Jenkins returning was a nice touch. He shouldn’t be expected to repeat and have a career-high in sacks again, but he should be expected to have between 5 and 6 sacks easily. As for Hewitt, he played the most snaps out of any Jets linebacker last season with 718. He shouldn’t be expected to play the same amount or even have the same amount of production, especially if the main starters remain on the field. He should be a rotational player.

 

Cornerback

The cornerback group played better than many people thought they did. With that being said, they were a middle-of-the-pack group. The team ranked 16th in the league in passing yards allowed per game. The group, led largely by Brian Poole last season, has him returning on a one-year deal. Poole is arguably their best cornerback and should be expected to retain that title throughout the season. He should be expected to have a slight increase in passes defended with more depth and talent around him in the secondary.

The Jets also added veteran Pierre Desir to the group. Desir, who recently played for the Colts, is not necessarily a team-changing addition. However, he does add experience and depth to the thinnest part of the defense.

One of the most interesting additions to the cornerback group is rookie Bryce Hall. Before the 2019 season, Hall was projected to be a potential first-round draft pick by some mock drafts. However, his season was cut short due to injury, and, as a result, he fell to the fifth found. While on the field, Hall, who transitioned to cornerback after originally playing wide receiver, has shown good ball skills and coverage. During his junior season, he led all collegiate players in pass breakups. If he can stay healthy, the Jets may have drafted a day one talent in the fifth round. Hall shouldn’t be expected to be a day one starter, but rather a rotational corner who can produce. In all, the Jets should be expected to have a more productive and stronger year from their corners.

 

Safety

Jamal Adams is the leader in the secondary, on defense and the team as a whole. He has even been in the discussion for being the best safety in the league. After not making the Pro Bowl as a rookie, he has made it in each of the last two seasons. He should be expected to be a Pro Bowler once again and be among the top safeties in the league.

Marcus Maye has been a nice complimentary piece to Jamal Adams since they were both drafted in 2017. Maye bounced back with 65 total tackles, 7 passes defended and one interception after his season before was cut short due to injury. Maye is more than capable of increasing his tackle amount to above 70, as he showed his rookie season. He should be expected to approach the 75 tackle mark and have a few interceptions.

Now we get to Ashtyn Davis, who was drafted by the Jets in the third round of this past draft. Davis is somewhat of a mystery in the secondary. He can play safety, of course, but he could also be moved to play slot corner or nickel. He is extremely versatile and can provide help anywhere. Whether it be rotational help at safety or fill-in time at corner, Davis should provide help everywhere. In all, the Jets’ safety group should be expected to be one of the best in the NFL.

 

Bottom Line

The New York Jets’ defense should be better as a whole this upcoming season. Their run defense should be expected to remain top-five and their pass defense should show improvement. A defense that has some big-time players, such as Jamal Adams and C.J. Mosley, now has a better infusion of talent and help around them. Expect the defense to move up a few spots in the rankings next season.

 

New York Yankees: Luis Severino’s latest health update

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

While our own Alex Wilson explained here that the New York Yankees haven’t had any luck in Luis Severino’s long-term deal since he has been injured most of the time after inking the contract, reports from his progress so far after undergoing Tommy John surgery are positive. He will miss the whole season (if there is any) and return next year with an eye on returning to the level that made him one of the best starters in the American League until not so long ago.

Actually, the Yankees’ starter is among the players that chose to stay at George M. Steinbrenner Field for workouts in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. He said that, so far, everything is going as planned following the TJ surgery performed on him in February.

“Of course it’s frustrating, but this year has been a frustrating year for everybody. So right now, I’m just focused on trying to be healthy for next year,” Severino told the New York Post (seen here at MLB.com) via email. “With everything that’s been going on, there hasn’t been any baseball. But right now, there are more things to worry about than playing baseball, you know, like the health of everyone and staying safe. I’m just focused on the day to day.”

The Yankees seem to think that Severino’s partially torn ulnar collateral ligament is originally from last season start against the Astros in the American League Championship Series, specifically, in Game Three.

The Yankees will miss him this year

Since the usual recovery time frame from Tommy John surgery is between 12 to 18 months, Severino could miss part of the 2021 season, too.

“I’ve been down in Tampa since the day after I had my surgery,” Severino said. “I do arm bike, dumbbell exercises, and I just follow the routine that [trainers] Timmy [Lentych] and Alfonso [Malaguti] plan out for me. I spend an hour and half with them in the trainer’s room before I move into the gym, every day, five days a week.

“Things have been progressing well. I’ve been making steady progress — lifting, doing exercises. Since three months ago — I think when I first had my surgery — I feel way better. I’m doing everything I need to do right now so that I can start throwing this summer.’’

Other rehabbing players in the New York Yankees’ roster have joined Sevy in Tampa, such as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, while Miguel Andújar, Mike Ford, J.A. Happ, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Tyler Wade have been spotted at the facility.

For now, he knows that he won’t be pitching in games for a while, but he’s doing everything in his power to regain health, slowly but surely.

“Of course, it’s disappointing, but I want to look long term,” Severino said. “I want to be healthy for a long time. So I want to use this year — and last year — to get better, listen to my body. Of course, I was mad at that time [of the injuries], but right now I just want to worry about getting healthy again and having a long career.”

What is Gleyber Torres’ best spot in the New York Yankees’ lineup?

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

Lineup construction is very important in Major League Baseball, especially in a team like the New York Yankees, with hitters so good and with so diverse traits that accomodating where they fit best is crucial.

Gleyber Torres, the Yankees’ shortstop, is young and talented, and that is no secret. However, most of the lineup is also very good at hitting the baseball and getting on base. Where does the Venezuelan infielder fit best in the batting order?

Batting leadoff shouldn’t be an option given that the New York Yankees have other, better options for that spot.
While he hit 38 home runs in 2019 and has 62 already in his short career, Gleyber registered a .337 OBP last season, which is far from elite. That means the Yankees should consider other players for the second and third spots in the order, such as Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton, just to name a few. All of them are more willing to take a walk and their on-base percentage skills would be maximized in front of guys like Torres, with prodigious power but lower OBPs.

For reference, here are Torres’ stats in different batting spots:

Batting 1st .125/.222/.500 with a .722 OPS in 9 plate appearances

Batting 2nd .200/.333/.200 with a .533 OPS in 6 plate appearances

Batting 3rd .262/.311/.523 with a .834 OPS in 75 plate appearances

Batting 4th .224/.258/.424 with a .682 OPS in 132 plate appearances

Batting 5th .281/.342/.578 with a .920 OPS in 149 plate appearances

Batting 6th .280/.328/.542 with a .870 OPS in 116 plate appearances

Batting 7th .391/.468/.725 with a 1.193 OPS in 79 plate appearances

Batting 8th .323/.432/.452 with a .884 OPS in 37 plate appearances

Batting 9th .000/.000/.000 with a .000 OPS in 1 plate appearance

What would the Yankees have in store for him?

It’s curious to see the Yankees’ star struggling so much from the cleanup spot. While Torres had better numbers batting seventh, that won’t be a regular occurrence, because it would be a waste of his talent.

For me, the Yankees would be wise settling for the fifth spot in the lineup, although batting cleanup could also be an option, last season struggles notwithstanding.

MSGN will feature New York Rangers ‘Greatest Playoff Wins’ this week

The current New York Rangers team is preparing for their first playoff appearance since 2017. This week, Madison Square Garden Network will broadcast give fans a look back at iconic playoff performances and moments from players such as Mike Gartner, Ron Greschner, Mark Messier, and more.

MSGN will show some of the best playoff games the Blueshirts have played in over the last 34 years. It all begins on Monday with the 1986 Patrick Divison semi-finals against the Philadelphia Flyers.

Take a look at the week-long schedule;

Monday, June 1
11 p.m./7:30 p.m. Rangers at Philadelphia – 4/9/86
Rangers take a very physical Game 1 of the Patrick Division Semifinals

1 p.m./9:30 p.m. Philadelphia at Rangers – 4/12/86
Ron Greschner leads the Rangers with 2 goals in a very physical Game 3 of the Patrick
Division Semifinals

Tuesday, June 2nd
3 p.m./12 a.m. Devils at Rangers – 4/19/92
Mike Gartner with the game-winner as the Rangers take Game 1 of the Patrick Division
Semifinals

5 p.m./2 a.m. Devils at Rangers – 5/1/92
Mark Messier and Adam Graves with 2 goals each as the Rangers take Game 7 of the
Patrick Division Semifinals

Wednesday, June 3rd
11 a.m./7:30 p.m. Rangers at Washington – 5/2/12
Marion Gaborik with the goal in triple OT as the Rangers take Game 3 of the Eastern
Conference Semifinals

1 p.m./9:30 p.m. Washington at Rangers – 5/7/12
Marc Staal with the OT winner as the Rangers take Game 5 of the Eastern Conference
Semifinals

Thursday, June 4th
3 p.m./12 a.m. Pittsburgh at Rangers – 5/11/14
Carl Hagelin with the game-winner as the Rangers take Game 6 in the second round of
the Eastern Conference Playoffs

5 p.m. /2 a.m. Rangers at Pittsburgh – 5/13/14
Henrik Lundqvist’s with 35 saves as the Rangers take Game 7 in the second round of the
Eastern Conference Playoffs

Friday, June 5th
11 a.m. /7:30 p.m. Philadelphia at Rangers – 4/12/86
Ron Greschner leads the Rangers with 2 goals in a very physical Game 3 of the Patrick
Division Semifinals

1 p.m. /9:30 p.m. Washington at Rangers – 5/7/12
Marc Staal with the OT winner as the Rangers take Game 5 of the Eastern Conference
Semifinals

Sunday, June 7th
Rangers Series Clinchers
11 a.m. Devils at Rangers – 5/1/92
Mark Messier and Adam Graves with 2 goals each as the Rangers take Game 7 of the
Patrick Division Semifinals

1 p.m. Atlanta at Rangers – 4/18/07
Henrik Lundqvist and Jaromir Jagr lead the Rangers as they eliminate the Thrashers in
Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

3 p.m. Ottawa at Rangers – 4/26/12
Dan Girardi with the game-winner as the Rangers take Game 7 of the Eastern
Conference Quarterfinals

5 p.m. Montreal at Rangers – 5/29/14
Henrik Lundqvist with the shutout as the Rangers take Game 6 of the Eastern Conference
Finals

 

7 p.m. Home Ice with David Quinn

Reports: Yankees to release minor leaguers on Monday

New York Yankees, Yankees, Brian Cashman

Multiple sources report that the New York Yankees are planning to release minor league players today. The numbers and names of players are unknown at this point.

This is undoubtedly disappointing for everyone, especially those being released. Smaller market teams are planning on paying their minor leaguers all season and are limiting releases. These include the Twins, Royals, and Reds.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more updates.

New York Jets: How important is Jamison Crowder to the Jets’ offense?

New York Jets, Jamison Crowder

The New York Jets completely overhauled their offense this off-season, making 2019 signing Jamison Crowder their longest-tenured wide receiver. Playing in all 16 games last season with Gang Green, he posted 833 yards, six touchdowns, and a 63.9% catch rate. He led the team and overall yards and was tied with Robby Anderson in touchdowns.

It is quite problematic that Crowder remains the Jets’ longest-tenured pass catcher, but he is crucial to an offense that lacks veteran leadership in the locker room. Featuring at the slot position, Crowder is a fantastic security blanket for Sam Darnold in the passing game, and the instability in the wide receiver corps for the Jets makes him even more valuable.

The team has failed to draft quality players at the position in recent years, missing on players like Ardarius Stewart, Chad Hansen, Charone Peake, and Devin Smith.

However, general manager Joe Douglas invested a second-round pick in the 2020 NFL draft on Baylor receiver, Denzel Mims. Mims is a big body who can go up and snag contested balls, and he’s also a great contributor in the blocking game. While he did struggling to hold onto balls in 2018, he alleviated most of those concerns last season, entering the NFL as a fantastic option to take over the number one pass-catching spot for Darnold.

If the Jets really want Darnold to succeed, they must provide him with the resources necessary. They already have running back Le’Veon Bell and Mims as a fantastic option for him in the passing game.

Nonetheless, I do believe that Crowder will remain his top pass catcher and act as a sense of stability in both the locker room and on the field.

Ultimately, it boils down to health for Crowder, who missed seven games in 2018 due to injury. Last season was the second-best overall in his career, only seeing better numbers in 2016 when he posted 847 yards and seven touchdowns. I expect him to improve on his production last year with a better offensive line and more time for Darnold to survey the field in the pocket.