New York Giants: One defender who’s primed to take a significant jump in 2020

New York Giants, Dexter Lawrence

If there’s any specific unit that needs to improve significantly in 2020, it’s the New York Giants’ defense. After injecting ample youth into the secondary, Big Blue struggled to put together a successful season on the defensive side of the ball, forcing the offense to compensate for lack of efficiency. However, the Giants did add multiple quality players to the team in the 2019 NFL Draft, and one of them is preparing for a big 2020 campaign.

Dexter Lawrence, who was drafted with the 17th overall selection last year, is primed to breakout based on his solid production during his rookie season. After posting 38 combined tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, and 9 QB hits, Lawrance has a solid benchmark to build off of with a tremendous supporting cast consisting of Leonard Williams and Dalvin Tomlinson.

“Big Dexy” earned a spot on the Pro Football Writers Association’s All-Rookie Team based on his performance in the trenches, continuously putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, earning an overall grade of 80+ in 2019 in more game than all but just one other rookie defender.

Dexter was the 4th defensive lineman selected in the draft but still managed to grade out higher than the players snagged before him. Those athletes include Ed Oliver, Quinnnen Williams, and Christian Wilkins, three exceptional players in college who didn’t manage to translate to the NFL as quick as Lawrence did.

What does Dexter Lawrence bring to the New York Giants’ defense:

Lawrence is an engulfing run stuffer who can impose his strength on interior offensive lineman. His ability to push the trenches with his massive 6-foot-4, 340-pound frame gives the Giants immense power from an inside look. One of the best attributes Lawrence has is his ability to move around the defensive line and feature in all different technique sets. With Clemson, he featured in the five-technique on occasion but moved around to disrupt the flow of opposing offenses.

While his strength is apparent, Lawrence has impeccable hand placement and fundamentals, which is why the Giants fell in love with him. General manager Dave Gettleman loves his interior lineman, and Lawrence has the potential to be an All-Pro and going into his second season with some experience under his belt, I would bet my chips on him having a dominant 2020 campaign.


NASCAR drivers speak out about national protests

Jimmie Johnson, Daniel Suarez, and Ty Dillon were among the NASCAR names to speak about the country’s continued anti-racism protests.

NASCAR drivers have begun to speak in support of the nationwide protests against systematic racism that have sparked by the deaths of African-Americans as a result of police brutality. Demonstrations have been held in major American cities after video emerged of a white Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, an 46-year-old African-American man.

Ty Dillon was the first driver to break the circuit’s silence via an Instagram post shared shortly before Sunday’s Cup Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway. In his post, the driver of the No. 13 Germain Racing Chevrolet speaks about white privilege and urges those reading to combat racism through faith.

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Dillon, 28, further explained to Michelle R. Martinelli of USA Today that his own privilege and Christian faith also played a major role in his decision to speak out.

“For me to be a white male, I wouldn’t know what it’s like to have the hurt and pain of racism throughout my life or affect my family. I wouldn’t know that. I’m not educated on that level because of the way I was born,” Dillon told Martinelli. “But I do know what pain feels like, and I’ve been through pain in my life. And to see the faces of people protesting who are hurt and have been going through this for 400 years and things haven’t changed, I’m so for protesting. Things need to be changed, and we don’t need to stay silent. I think that’s why I wanted to just post and say something about the fact that I don’t want to be seen as someone who’s silent.”

“I’m a Christian man, and my family is Christian. And, to me, I just want to stand with those who are hurt. And in the body of Christ, color doesn’t matter. We’re all brothers and sisters, and none of us are OK if there’s a part of our family that’s hurt.”

Charlotte, the hub of NASCAR, has been one of the cities where demonstrations and protests have been held. Dillon grew up in Lewisville, NC, just over an hour’s drive away.

More drivers began to speak out in support of peaceful demonstrations after Sunday’s race. Two-time Xfinity Series champion and current Cup rookie Tyler Reddick shared a sketch of Floyd accompanied by several tags of support including “#BlackLivesMatter” and “#SystematicRacism”. Daniel Suarez, a Monterrey, Mexico native, was the first driver to acknowledge the death of Floyd last Wednesday. NASCAR brass got involved through a Twitter post from executive vice president Steve O’Donnell.

“I’ll never understand what it feels like to be black,” O’Donnell’s post reads. “but [sic] I’ll do my very best to not add to the pain/anger-support those who feel it & raise kids that don’t contribute to it-I promise I’ll call you out when you say something that crosses a line-Don’t care who you are-Every [sic] time.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson expressed his support after the race.

“The circumstances are just crazy and unacceptable,” he said in a press conference hosted on Zoom. “I am for protesting, peaceful protesting. I hope there’s more of that tonight. I know there are concerns, especially in the Charlotte area, near my home, that they will be protesting tonight. The message needs to be clear, but I think being peaceful is really the right way to send the message here. I hope everybody stays safe.”

NASCAR has been no stranger to controversies involving racism. During the circuit’s coronavirus-induced pause, Cup Series star Kyle Larson used a racial slur in a virtual racing event streamed on Twitch. He was subsequently suspended from racing in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and was later suspended indefinitely by NASCAR and ordered to complete sensitivity training before his outright firing. NASCAR has also attempted to discourage its predominantly white, Southern fanbase from displaying the Confederate flag during events.

In 2004, NASCAR introduced the Drive for Diversity initiative to help minority individuals advance in a variety of roles throughout the sports. Only seven African-American drivers have partaken in a Cup Series event, including active full-time driver Bubba Wallace.

Wallace, the driver of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet, called for unity prior to Sunday’s race on his Twitter account, sharing a video of Michigan Sheriff Chris Swanson joining protestors in a peaceful demonstration.

To the ones that believe we’re trying to throw black vs white at them.. open your eyes..It’s right vs wrong,” Wallace wrote in his tweet.

“It’s inclusion. We’re one race…Humans.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags



UFC: Landscape of the Bantamweight Division prior to UFC 250

Less than a month ago, Henry Cejudo (16-2) stopped Dominick Cruz (22-3) in the second round at UFC 249 to retain his bantamweight title. To the surprise of pretty much everyone, “Triple C” announced in the Octagon that he was leaving the sport following the Cruz victory. Cejudo said he felt like there was nothing left for him to accomplish and hinted that he wasn’t getting paid enough to stick around for any additional fights. With Cejudo out of the mix, the bantamweight division is wide open. While we do have some clarity in the title picture, the rest of the division is wide open with a lot of intriguing possibilities.

Yan vs. Aldo for the Title

UFC President, Dana White, came out last week and announced that Patr Yan (14-1) and former featherweight champion, Jose Aldo (28-6) would be fighting sometime this summer for the vacant bantamweight title. It was a fight that personally left me a little surprised. Jose Aldo is coming off of a loss in his divisional debut to Marlon Moraes (23-6) back at UFC 245 although many people including myself believe that Aldo won the fight. Aldo was called out by the former champion despite losing the fight on the scorecards. Because Cejudo wanted to fight him, Aldo was granted the title shot. With Cejudo out of the picture, I figured the UFC would pivot to someone at least coming off of a win. However, the UFC is still giving the former featherweight king the shot. Yan is the one guy in the equation who you cannot deny deserves the shot. He should have been in line ahead of Aldo in the first place. Yan is 5-0 since joining the UFC and has looked spectacular in every outing. He’s coming off an incredible win where he demolished UFC Hall of Famer, Urijah Faber. With Cejudo gone, Yan is the #1 guy in that division if you ask me. It will be a very interesting fight when he and Aldo square off given their skillsets. If you would have asked me a few years ago who would win, I would lean towards Aldo. However, if you ask me tonight as I’m writing this, I would lean towards the Russian, Yan. It will be a fun fight that fight fans should be looking forward to at some point this summer.

UFC 250 Has Big Implications

The rest of the division is completely wide open. There are two fights scheduled for UFC 250 which should help narrow down the contenders a bit, but it’s still not easy figuring out who would be next in line after the Yan/Aldo fight. Using the UFC’s rankings, #2 Aljamain Sterling (18-3), and #4 Cory Sandhagen (12-1) will be squaring off next Saturday in a fight that on paper would likely indicate the challenger for the winner of the Yan/Aldo fight. Sterling has rattled off four consecutive wins and Sandhagen is unbeaten since joining the UFC. A lot of people believed that Sterling should have been given the title shot over Aldo. The same night of the Sterling/Sandhagan fight we have former bantamweight champion, #9 Cody Garbrandt (11-3), and #5 Raphael Assuncao squaring off. Garbrandt was on the fast track to stardom after he dethroned Dominick Cruz for the title back in December of 2016. “No Love” was a knockout artist who looked like he could lead the division for the long haul. Garbrandt’s career has completely been derailed since that victory over Cruz. Garbrandt has dealt with numerous injuries and has been knocked out in three consecutive fights. This is a fight that could get him going back in the right direction. Assuncao, who is 11-3 in his last 14 fights, has been on the cusp of a title shot numerous times. Right before he’d get the shot someone would beat him. Back at UFC 200, it was TJ Dillashaw, then at UFC Fight Night 144 it was Marlon Moraes. Both guys were previously defeated by Assuncao, but he would fall to them both when a title shot was on the line. A win over Garbrandt could once again get Assuncao close to a title shot.

“The Answer” Drops Down

Last week there was another big announcement for the UFC’s bantamweight division in that former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar (23-8) would be dropping down to 135 to make his debut against #7 Pedro Munhoz (18-4). The last time we saw “The Answer” he was certainly not at his best. Edgar took a short notice fight against Chan Sung Jung and was taken out early in the first round. That loss came on the heels of his title loss to former featherweight champ, Max Holloway. Edgar hasn’t held UFC gold since 2011 and this drop to 135 is looked at as his last chance to win a title. Edgar had a solid run at featherweight but went 0-3 in his title opportunities. Now, Edgar is moving to the weight class he probably should have been in for a long time. Pedro Munhoz will be standing across from Edgar after a year layoff following a loss to Aljamain Sterling back at UFC 238. Going into the Sterling fight, Munhoz was riding a three-fight win streak which included a knockout of former champion, Cody Garbrandt. Munhoz is an extremely tough customer for Edgar’s first fight in the bantamweight division, but you wouldn’t expect anything less for Edgar. With his history, an impressive win over Munhoz on July 11th could vault Edgar right into title contention. I would like to see him get a couple of wins at 135 before getting a shot, but with the UFC, you never know.

What About GOATs?

With no disrespect to Henry Cejudo, the two greatest bantamweights of all time are Dominick Cruz and TJ Dillashaw. Yes, Cejudo did beat both, but he beat an older Dominick Cruz who hadn’t fought in three years and he beat a very depleted TJ Dillashaw at flyweight. When it comes to the body of work and longevity, the two best ever at 135 are Cruz and Dillashaw. So where do they fit into all of this? TJ Dillashaw popped for EPO back in January of 2019 after his loss to Henry Cejudo. Dillashaw had never failed a drug test before, but admitted he used it to assist him in having the energy to get himself down to 125 pounds. Dillashaw was suspended for two years, but that suspension will be up in January. Dillashaw thinks that he could warrant a title shot once he returns, but I’m not convinced the UFC will go in that direction.

Then you have Dominick Cruz. Cruz looked a step off in his fight against Cejudo at UFC 249. It was his first fight since the Garbrandt loss back at UFC 207 and he did not appear to be very sharp. In his time away from the sport due to injuries, Cruz continued to perfect the craft of being a commentator appearing on many of the UFC’s events over the last few years. Cruz is primed for a career at the booth once his career is over, but I’m not convinced he’s done just yet. He hinted that he might have retired if he would have won the belt from Cejudo, but I can’t see Cruz going out after that loss especially ending the way it did. So if Cruz isn’t going to retire and Dillashaw doesn’t get the title shot, what do you do with both of them? You can probably see where I’m going in suggesting you have them headline a card in January. I don’t see Cruz taking a fight against just anybody in the division and he might want to give himself a long training camp before his next fight. Dillashaw is going to need a big name for his return, and the two have a history with Cruz edging out Dillashaw for the title back in 2016. A fight between these two makes a ton of sense to me and I would not be shocked to see this fight announced in the fall.

Where’s the Magic?

I feel like someone is missing from all these potential matchups. Well, how about the UFC’s #1 ranked Bantamweight Marlon Moraes. I’ve mentioned Moraes a few times, but I haven’t talked about who he’s fighting next. Well, that’s because there’s no fight currently scheduled for him. Moraes, according to Dana White, was going to fight Yan in June, but that fight has been scrapped in favor of the title fight mentioned above. At this point, there’s not anyone for Moraes to fight that wouldn’t be a big step down in competition with most of the top ten already booked. At this point, I guess the UFC will likely pair Moraes up with one of the winners from UFC 250. You honestly have to feel for Moraes who holds wins over Aldo, Sterling, and Assuncao yet seems to be without a dance partner. If I had to take a guess, if Aljamain Sterling wins at UFC 250, he will likely get the next shot at the title. That would mean that the UFC will likely pair Moraes up with either Assuncao for the third time or he will fight former champion Cody Garbandt in his next fight. Of course, that is all speculative at this point.

Stacked Division, Stacked Fights

The UFC’s bantamweight division is incredibly stacked as we’ve laid out in this article. I didn’t even mention guys like Sugar Sean O’Malley, Jimmie Rivera, Urijah Faber, John Dodson, Song Yadong, and Marlon Vera in this article. With no champion, this talented weight class has entered chaos in the best possible way. There are so many fun matchups that are already scheduled and there are so many fun matchups to day-dream about. This division will become a lot more clear over the next six weeks, but until then, let the chaos commence.

Bobby Portis “unlikely” to return to the New York Knicks next season

New York Knicks, Bobby Portis

The New York Knicks are “unlikely” to pick up Bobby Portis’ team option contract for next season.  This is according to SNYs Ian Begley.  He would be owed $15.75 million for the 2020-21 season.

The 25-year-old is averaging 10.1 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists for the Knicks.  Portis is also shooting 45 percent from the field.

Portis has been serviceable for the Knicks. Fans would like him to be brought back over other players.  But for the price tag it doesn’t make much sense.  Also with the front office, allegedly, being “enamored” with Detroit’s Christian Wood, Portis coming back is doubtful.

Portis has had his moments for the Knicks.  Everyone remembers the “Bobby Portis Game” against the Bulls.

The Knicks were down 18 points. Portis has a game high 28 points leading the charge for the Knicks in the 4th quarter, where he had 11 huge points.  The Garden faithful reigned down chants of “Bobb-y Por-tis!”

As much as fans might want him back, the Knicks need to be smart.  Giving him over $15 million is nuts. He’s a nice role player but not for that price tag.  Maybe if the Knicks can renegotiate that contract, we’d gladly welcome him back.

The team need to prioritize that money better.  It should go to building around RJ Barrett and Mitchell Robinson.  The new New York Knicks front office has plenty of intelligent basketball minds now provide it.

UFC: Jon Jones Vacates Title Over Dispute With Dana White

The light heavyweight division has long been one of the deepest in the UFC, and right now, it looks like the division will be shaken up once again by the departure of champion Jon Jones. This wouldn’t be the first time Jones has been removed from his position as the champion – Jones has had to earn the title back in the past thanks to his troubles outside of the ring with legal problems and USADA – but it would be the first time that he’s vacated the belt willingly.

The reason? His ongoing dispute with Dana White over payment.

This wouldn’t be the first time that fighters have complained about their pay, but it looks like the spat between Jones and White is going to go further than others have. The other comparable situation, of course, is Conor McGregor’s jump to boxing. Jones is also interested in boxing, but it’s more uncertain at this point whether he’ll return to the UFC, while such a return didn’t seem like an impossibility when McGregor took his fight with Mayweather.

Jones revealed his intentions on Twitter, which is the place where the rest of his fight with White went down. He said that he has nothing to gain by fighting for the title and recommended a fight between Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz for his title, which presumably, will be vacated due to Jones’ own request.

He touched on the inherent danger involved in fighting in the UFC, as part of his argument that fighting isn’t worth it unless the UFC gives him a superfight. Based on Dana White’s responses in a recent press conference, it doesn’t look likely that Jones will get what he’s looking for.

Jones will vacate his title with a record of 26-1 with one no contest, one of the best records that the UFC has seen. He defended his title from Reyes in a decision in February, and for most of his career, the only thing to hold him back from remaining champion indefinitely has been his own problems. While Jones is indeed a controversial fighter, a lot of fans would still like to see him around the sport – even if they hope that someone else defeats him for the light heavyweight crown.

Just how well will Jones do in boxing if he does vacate his title officially and jump to the other most popular combat sport? That’s an unknown, but interestingly, Jones has at least one offer from a fight, from former UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa. At the very least, the fight would be something to see, with Jones’ debut in boxing likely drawing both a lot of viewers and a larger payday than the UFC offers.

New York Mets: Alonso and Stroman Voice Opinions on the Protests

Let me guess your reaction to this article. It is either “the athletes should stick to sports” or “it is good to see the players using their platforms in a good way.” Those reactions sum up the way the world operates where everyone has to be on one side or the other.

Following the events surrounding the death of George Floyd, the country dove deeper into chaos and divide. Pete Alonso and Marcus Stroman are two of the vocal leaders in the New York Mets locker room and made their voices heard on social media.

The Mets’ first baseman showed his fearlessness to express his opinion on a pressing matter. His perspective is from someone who has never faced discrimination but showed his support for equality in the country. Throughout his tenure as a Met, he quickly became a leader for the franchise. Alonso kept it simple with a black background and white letters for his Instagram story.

He wanted people to know he is on their side for the battle and will continue to use his voice for change. Fans may forget his support for first responders throughout the 2019 season. He donated part of his home run derby winnings to them, bought the 9/11 memorial cleats for the entire team, and wore them without the MLB’s permission. Alonso also was denied to wear first responder hats during the game but donated the cleats to the 9/11 memorial.

Stroman’s Perspective

Stroman put together a few tweets expressing his disappointment and anger with racism in America. Never shy to voice his opinion, he has lived through discrimination based on color and his height. It has created a strong attitude and character that some people love, and others hate.

In April, he challenged NASCAR drive, Kyle Larson, to a fight after Larson’s use of a racial slur during a virtual race. Stroman has never backed down from anyone and is as vocal as anyone in the sport, especially when it comes to race issues.

Do the New York Yankees have a Luis Severino problem?

New York Yankees, Luis Severino

When the New York Yankees extended starting pitcher Luis Severino on a four-year, $40 million deal, they didn’t imagine he would play in just three total games over two seasons. He began to feel discomfort in his elbow during the post-season in 2019, which ultimately resulted in him undergoing Tommy John surgery. The Yankees expected Severino and new ace Gerrit Cole to feature as one of the leagues best one-two punches, but that reality will have to wait.

The last time Severino showed elite quality was in 2018 when he posted a 3.39 ERA and was voted an All-Star. He ranked ninth in Cy Young award voting, posting 220 total strikeouts and allowing 19 homers over 191.1 innings. However, his 2017 season was even better, after posting a 2.98 ERA, with 230 strikeouts and allowing 21 homers.

Seemingly, it seems as if the Yankees’ faith in long-term extensions has backfired significantly. This can be attributed to the previous strength and conditioning regimen, who the Yankees recently shook up in favor of Eric Cressey, who is known for his ability to rehabilitate players and sustain their health.

Severino, though, has now undergone two consecutive seasons of serious injuries, and it could cause a problem for the Yankees, who owe him $10.75 million in 2021. Luckily, the team has a club option 2023, that would include a $2.7 million buyout. If he bounces back strong and shows his previous form, the Yankees might not defer his $15 million salary in year five of his club option-season.

The New York Yankees have a very strong starting rotation, when healthy:

The Yankees have one of the best starting rotations in baseball when everyone is healthy, consisting of Cole, Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A Happ, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, and a bevy of younger starters. With the 2020 season in jeopardy, they could be looking to the free-agent market to replace some expiring talents. Tanaka, Happ, and Paxton will be free agents after the 2021 season.

Even a shortened season would give the Yankees some sort of security and idea going into the off-season regarding potential extensions with these three players. Tanaka has been a stud in the postseason but has gradually fallen off due to age.

I believe they will let Tanaka and Happ walk, with Paxton potentially earning a few more years on his deal if he returns to some degree this season. Ultimately, they need to see some sort of progress from Paxton after undergoing lower back surgery to remove a cyst.

Nonetheless, Severino is an enticing piece that could be utilized in a trade down the road. His team-friendly deal could come in handy if he shows some sort of progress in 2021. Obviously, if he performs well, the Yankees will keep him, given the fact that Happ is earning $17 million, and Luis is hovering just about $10 million. But, everything is still up in the air, and with team owners and the players union negotiating financials, there is a possibility the 2020 season could be canceled altogether.

New York Giants: UDFA Derrick Dillons could become next explosive kick returner

New York Giants, Derrick Dillon

The New York Giants landed a bevy of undrafted free agents after the 2020 NFL draft, one of them being LSU wide receiver Derrick Dillon. Dillon is an explosive runner, despite being used lightly in the LSU offense in 2019, catching 15 passes for 202 yards and two touchdowns. At 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds, Dillon is small but has elite speed, running a 4.29 40-yard dash.

His strengths are limited to short-area quickness and pure speed, but he could develop into a quality special-teams player. He has the tenacity to block well but also displays effort in all facets of the game. He lacks the necessary strength to dominate as a pass-catcher at the NFL level, but he could be a fantastic kick returner for Big Blue.

The current wide receiver unit for the Giants consists of Darius Slayton, Sterling Shepard, Golden Tate, Corey Coleman, and several other fringe roster players. These include Binjimen Victor, Austin Mack, David Sills, Da’Mari Scott, Cody Core, and Alex Bachman.

While Dillon has a tall task ahead of him to earn a spot on the roster, I believe he has the explosive running ability to return punts potentially. The Giants have failed to find a consistent threat in the return game, and Dillon’s elite speed gives him a leg up on other players. With the number of injuries the Giants have sustained in recent years, they cannot depend on active players on both sides of the ball to also return kicks.

While new head coach Joe Judge is keen on maximizing his players at different positions, we saw how that panned out with Jabrill Peppers returning punts in 2019, as he suffered a season-ending hip injury.

Aside from returning punts, the Giants have Cody Core as a primary gunner on the defensive punt team, which could open up an opportunity for Dillon to carve out a role in that same way.

New York Yankee Top 10s: The Yankees unsung players, what do you think?

New York Yankees, David Robertson

The New York Yankees have had loads of star players throughout the years like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Thurmon Munson, and Derek Jeter among dozens upon dozens more.  But for as many stars the Yankees have had, there are even more that contributed in many ways and became unsung.  The reasons for this are many, including being on a team so great that some players slip through the cracks.  Others may have had average careers but on one day or one season placed their names in Yankee history.

In another top 10, we examine some New York Yankee players that never really became headliners but did make their mark in some way.  I could have picked 50 but arbitrarily narrowed it down to just 10.

10. Cecil Fielder 1996-1997

Cecil Fielder was never a big star with the Yankees, but in his two years, he hit .260. The All-Star and MVP candidate with the Detroit Tigers was traded to the Yankees. In just 151 games, he managed 26 home runs. Overshadowed by the likes of Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams, he never really endeared himself to Yankee fans. He had the distinction of winning the Babe Ruth Award for outstanding performance in the 1996 postseason. The Yankees would go on to win the World Series against the Atlanta Braves.

9. Ronald Torreyes 2016-2018

Little Ronald Torreyes (5′ 8,” 151 pound) was a fan favorite super-utility infielder for the New York Yankees for three seasons under manager Joe Girardi that frequently used Torreyes. He hit .281 for the Yankees but 2017 was his breakout year when it seemed whenever Girardi would put him in for a hit, he seemed to not disappoint. In 2017 he led the team in batting average at .314. When Aaron Boone was named Yankee manager, Torreyes was traded to the Chicago Cubs.

8. Aaron Small 2005-2006

Aaron Small is an interesting story that I remember well.  Aaron Small was a Journeyman pitcher.  Aaron Small was about to call it quits. He spent most of his career in the minors and he wasn’t pitching well enough to be a serious contender for a spot in the New York rotation in ’05. Then, an injury bug hit and Small found himself with a spot start in July. He would pitch well and would get a win. Small would then go on a tear, he ended the year 10-0, with a 3.20 ERA. Small’s the 33-year-old, his 2005 season helped the Yankees to clinch the division title.

7. Ralph Terry 1956-1957 and 1959-1964

Ralph Terry was a Yankee pitcher for seven years in two different stints. In 1962 he had a 23 game winning season going 23-12 with a 3.19 ERA.  He only had a no-decision in four games started. He also lead all of baseball in wins in 1962.  He was known as a “finisher.” In 1963 he completed a career-high 18 complete games.

6. Joe Dugan 1922-1928

Joe Dugan is a New York Yankee player that most fans have not only not seen him play, but probably have never heard of. He batted in his seven Yankee years .286 and was an MVP candidate in 1925. Although he was never a home run hitter, he had five straight seasons hitting over 100 hits on the season. But what made Dugan a Yankee worth remembering is that he was an excellent defender at the hot corner, leading the American League as a third baseman in fielding percentage in four consecutive seasons.

5. George Selkirk 1934-1942

During his nine years of Major League Baseball service, all with the Yankees, Selkirk appeared in 846 games, batting .290 (.265 in 21 World Series games), with 108 regular-season home runs, 131 doubles, 41 triples, 810hits, and 576 RBIs. Selkirk earned the nickname “Twinkletoes” for his distinctive way of running on the balls of his feet. Selkirk twice in his career recorded 8 RBI in one game, both against the Philadelphia A’s at Yankee Stadium after World War II he managed at the A and triple A levels for the Yankees.

4. Chien-Ming Wang 2005-2009

Wang is an interesting story while being sad at the same time.  The New York Yankees got Wang from his homeland of Taiwan where he was a huge pitching star.  He was projected as a possible ace for the Yankees.  In his first rookie year, he pitched to a 4.02 ERA.  In his second year, he was 19-3 with an ERA of 3.63.  in 2007 he would come in second in the Cy Young Award Voting.  He pitched two consecutive 19 win seasons. Then his future was turned upsidedown when he was injured running the bases.  He would never return to form and never become the next big Yankee pitching star.

3. Ron Blomberg 1969-1978

Ron Blomberg one of the most unsung Yankee players.  Blomberg is mostly known today as one of the old guys who shows up annually for the Old Timer’s Day Game.  What few remember is the Blomberg is usually recognized as the first designated hitter in baseball.  In his ten years being a DH and outfielder for the Yankees he hit .302. In his first plate appearance as a DH in 1973, he walked with the bases loaded against the Red Sox’s Luis Tiant. The bat he used is in the Baseball Hall of Fame Museum.

2. David Robertson 2008-2014, 2017 and 2018

It would be hard for David Robertson to become a huge star with the Yankees being constantly overshadowed by future Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera.  But nevertheless, he made his mark in his two stints with the Yankees. He pitched for the better part of 9 seasons he would go 38-22 in 501 games.  Even though he never started a game for the Yankees and often being called in in a rough situation he managed a career 2.75 ERA.

1. Eddie Lopat 1948-1955

Lopat just missed being a Yankee legend.  He pitched eight years with the New York Yankees.  During his time with the Yankees, he had an outstanding career going 113-59 with an ERA of 3.19. He was an All-Star and a three-time MVP candidate. Lopat had four years with 15 or more wins. In 1951 he would have 21 wins, and in 1953, he had a winning percentage of .800 going 16-4. In 1953 he led the American League in both earned run average and won/lost percentage.  Feel free to comment on any Yankee you remember as an unsung Yankee hero.’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewillam.


MLB: Players Union wants a 114 game season and an opt-out, details

Fans of the New York Yankees and all the MLB teams continue to wait for a baseball season, amid a coronavirus pandemic, racial rioting in the streets, and with millions of Americans unemployed. During all of this strife and health concerns, baseball doesn’t seem to be able to get a deal done to give some hope and enjoyment to fans that just want to see the boys of summer out there playing baseball.

MLB wants players to take a 50% salary cut that was agreed upon back in March and to take further cuts sharing any losses the owners may endure.  The players called any plan for revenue sharing dead on arrival.  The players consider that a revenue cap, something they have rejected since the 1970s.  The owners countered with no revenue sharing, but pay cuts of as much as 75% for the highest-paid players with lesser percentage cuts for those earning near the minimum.

According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the MLBPA (players union), a counteroffer to MLB’s last proposal, was presented to MLB Sunday afternoon. The Players are now asking for a 114 game season ending on October 31st. They also want an opt-out for any player that does not wish to play. Players would continue to receive the 50% of pay but would take home more money with more games played.

For the players opting out: those who are considered “high-risk” would receive a salary, whereas others would receive service time only. Further, players would receive $100 million in total advances during the new spring training. Also: MLBPA proposes two years of playoff expansion. Passan suggests that the players union put in a salary deferment if a 2020 season is not played as an olive branch to the owners. It would defer $100M total, applied to players making $10M+ before proration, and would do so with interest to make players whole. It opens the door to more.

A 114 game season also presents questions of what an expanded postseason would look like.  The main concern would be the logistics of where the games would be played with at least half of all teams located in areas that where games wouldn’t be able to be played due to cold and winter weather.  Neutral sites in warmer parts of the country would have to be used.  Another consideration for owners is that playoff games would suffer revenue loss due to football games being televised at the same time.

With each proposal and counterproposal being refused, the likelihood of a 2020 baseball season seems less likely.  Some owners are even saying that they would be willing to forgo the season to save money.  Although there are health concerns that have been addressed by MLB’s 67-page health initiative, money remains the stumbling block to getting a deal done.

Fans see this as millionaires fighting with billionaires, both wanting to make more money.  Meanwhile, baseball fans sit cloistered at home with no baseball to enjoy.  If the baseball season is canceled, it will do damage to the game that may take years to recover from, when baseball is already in decline.  Both the MLB and the MLBPA must come to a compromise that satisfies both sides to some degree, and sooner than later, because the clock is ticking on the ability to have a viable season.’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.  Follow me on Twitter @parleewilliam