UFC: “Everybody Should Get Paid More,” Says Joe Rogan

Fighter pay has always been an issue on the forefront of the UFC world, but more recently that matter has been brought back up by some of the biggest stars seeking better paydays. Jon Jones has fought quite publicly with Dana White and has asked to be released by the UFC, while Jorge Masvidal has also told the league to let him go if he’s not worth it. He asked why he should have to fight for half as much as his previous outing because his opponent isn’t the same draw, a question that’s hard for the UFC to answer.

Conor McGregor walking away from the sport again, at least for now, can also be seen as frustration with the financial side of the sport. His brief jump to boxing was, after all, motivated at least in strong part because of the greater payday compared to MMA.

The situation surrounding how much fighters make will continue to be a talking point this year, especially as it’s affecting some of the most well known and mainstream talents in the sport, and it’s led to Joe Rogan giving his take on his podcast.

“I think everybody should get paid more. I think it’s a crazy way to make a living. I think you should get the most amount of money you can possibly get,” Rogan said. However, he did acknowledge that it’s a business and that the league doesn’t have unlimited money to spend on its fighters. “I don’t talk finances with them, but I know the WME people who own it are hurting, bad. They’re laying people off. Most businesses are hurting. All the entertainment business is (expletive).”

“You should get paid an incredibly generous amount of money to step into a cage fight for millions of people to see,” Rogan continued.

The matter of pay isn’t going to leave the conversation for a while, with the UFC still having ongoing disputes to clear up with Jones and Masvidal. Whether things will turn out in favor of the fighters or the company remains to be seen, but with the coronavirus pandemic preventing the UFC from collecting money at the gate from ticket sales at live events, it doesn’t seem like the company has the resources currently to deliver on an ideal outcome that would reward all of its fighters and please fans in the process.

New York Yankees select Trevor Hauver with the 99th pick, what are they getting?

New York Yankees, Trevor Hauver

The New York Yankees 3rd Round pick (2nd pick for the Yankees) has been announced and he (like Austin Wells) is out of an Arizona college, being from Arizona State. He is a 6-0 205 pound kid and he’s got more questions in his game than Austin Wells but is still a fine prospect, and a high value pick for New York in my opinion. He isn’t an elite baserunner as he has 1 stolen base to 8 caught stolen bases. He has some solid power in terms of percentages and home runs along with a decent ability to create extra-base hits.

He was able to have an NCAA/Cape Cod League career that was pretty good overall, with a .412 OBP and .475 SLG along with 22 Home Runs and 110 walks in 183 games. He’s also a left-hander in the box, meaning he’s going to love Yankee Stadium. What stands out is elite walking ability, which again is a skill that usually translates well into the MLB, but his 15.7% walk rate over 182 games is absurdly good.

It got much better since his 2019 NCAA season. Since then he has put up a 16.8% walk rate and was able to have a .494 OBP in his final NCAA season. In the short stint in his 2020 NCAA year and his Cape Cod year in 2019, he had more walks than strikeouts, a feat that’s rare for hitters and while strikeouts don’t concern me too much, it shows an elite level of plate vision for the kid.

Defensively speaking he’s a solid left fielder, and while he’s played some right field and 2B, I think he’ll be mainly a LF for the Yankees as he develops. He’s a little older, being a 21 going on 22-year-old prospect, but I think he will be MLB ready by late 2022 to early 2023 because this kid has a skill in plate vision that won’t need a ton of work in order for it to develop well.

His player comparison for me is a Tommy Pham, being great at getting on base with a solid SLG% and solid defense. I think this kid’s got a great future as he’s going to a great organization for developing great hitting especially when it comes to helping players with great plate vision.

How excited are you to bring Trevor Hauver to the New York Yankees system?

Today in New York Yankees history: Aaron Judge’s historic home run

New York Yankees, Aaron Judge

Exactly three years ago today, outfielder Aaron Judge hit a historic home run for the New York Yankees.

With the team leading 7-3 in the 6th inning against the Baltimore Orioles, the then 25-year-old hit a towering 495 foot homer to left field in Yankee Stadium. The home run is the longest by any Yankee player in the Statcast era. The ball almost made it to the concourse in left, something you don’t even see in batting practice. Here’s the towering shot down below:

This was one of the highlights for Judge in a campaign that saw him place second in MVP voting while running away with the Rookie of the Year award. He hit .284 with 52 home runs and 114 RBIs. His OBP was a whopping .422 as he led the league in walks, and had an OPS of 1.049. His 2017 performance propelled the Yankees to a wild card spot in a season where the team was not expected to make the postseason.

Unfortunately, a lot of Judge’s good luck didn’t carry over with him in the next two seasons. Both 2018 and 2019 saw IL stints, limiting him to just over 100 games in both years.

In 2020, Judge began spring training injured, but the team hopes to have him ready whenever the regular season begins. With the intentions of the season beginning to shift towards 50 games, it’s even more important to stay healthy and be on his A game. The 2020 season will see the team not just challenging their AL East foes, but their NL East foes as well. That includes the reigning World Series Champion Washington Nationals.

Hopefully, we see more 500 foot home runs coming from Aaron Judge in the near future.

New York Giants: Daniel Jones Hosts Workout With Receivers In Texas

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants have a true leader in their newest franchise quarterback. After sixteen years with the legend Eli Manning, the Giants began a new chapter in 2019. Daniel Jones is now the face of the New York Giants, and so far, he has shown admirable leadership qualities.

Eli Manning’s offseason workouts at Duke were an annual tradition. Every year, Manning would rally the troops together and conduct workouts with Duke head coach David Cutcliffe. Daniel Jones is working hard to continue this tradition, though in a slightly different way.

The coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for professional sports to conduct offseason activities. Teams have been conducting minicamps virtually. Recently, though, things have begun to ease up. More and more states are reopening or partially reopening and moving into their first phases of return to normal life. Along with this, Daniel Jones has conducted some offseason training with his teammates.

The Texas Workouts

Daniel Jones “organized an off-site throwing and catching program with his skill players” the past two weeks. Jones and company came together in Austin, Texas, to get some work in. The Giants’ training facility is closed because of COVID-19, so The Giants players needed to find another location to practice.

According to the New York Post, “the arrangements were helped along by Colt McCoy,” who used his strong connections with his alma mater (University of Texas) to help Daniel Jones arrange these training sessions.

There was “a pretty good group of guys” in attendance. Among those guys includes wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton and tight end Kaden Smith. Additionally, Saquon Barkley, Golden Tate, Jonathan Hilliman, and Corey Coleman joined the quarterbacks in Texas. The Post also reports that there were “as many as 15-20 players participating at various points in time.”

The Giants have a new offense to learn this year. Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was hired this offseason to serve as the Giants’ offensive coordinator. The players in Texas spent time running routes designed by Garrett and discussing the concepts in the passing game.

This is one of many moments where Daniel Jones has already established himself as a leader of this football team. Last week, the 23-year-old released a statement in support of his teammates and the Black Lives Matter movement. This week, Jones has brought his teammates together to focus on football and preparing for the 2020 NFL season.

The Giants’ quarterback is a leader. At only 23-years-old, Daniel Jones has already impressed in that regard. On the field and off the field, Jones is proving to be an excellent man and teammate. Giants fans seem to be lucky enough to have another classy individual lead their team into battle once again.

Ray Borg out of UFC on ESPN 10; Gustavo Lopez steps in to fight Dvalishvili

UFC on ESPN 10 has last one of it’s main card fighters as former title challenger, Ray Borg (13-5), has pulled out of his fight against Merab Dvalishvili (10-4) due to personal reasons. We do not know why the former UFC title challenger had to pull out of this fight. This would have been his second performance at bantamweight after the UFC forced him to come up from flyweight due to weight issues. Stepping in on short notice to make his UFC debut is Combate Americas bantamweight champion, Gustavo Lopez (11-4).

UFC Debut For Lopez

Lopez comes into this fight on a three fight winning streak. All three of Lopez’s last three wins have ended in the first round. In his eleven career victories, he’s only gone to a decision once. This is a huge opportunity for the Cambate Americas champion who is getting to fight on a main card in the UFC on the biggest network in sports for his debut. With the lack of a camp, the UFC has decided to make this fight a catchweight fight. Instead of meeting at 135 pounds, the two fighters have agreed to meet at 140 pounds.

Dangerous Switch

For Dvalishvili, the opponent change is pretty significant. In Borg, Dvalishvili had an opponent where I thought the path to victory was relatively clear. He just needed to land two takedowns to secure the victory. If he got Borg down, I wasn’t sure Borg was getting back up. Dvalishvili is going for his fourth consecutive win in the UFC in this fight.  Now he’s got to go up against a very hungry, Gustavo Lopez, who has really good submissions as well as real knockout power at 135 pounds. This is a much more dangerous fight for Dvalishvili if you ask me. If you’re not familiar with Lopez, you can check out his last fight against Joey Ruquet below. Lopez knocked Ruquet out cold in the first round.

MSGN to celebrate New York Rangers 1994 Championship on Sunday

“And this one will last a lifetime” – The famous words echoed by New York Rangers broadcaster Same Rosen are etched in every Blueshirt fans memory.

 

This Sunday, June 14, Madison Square Garden Network will spend the day celebrating that unforgettable win when the Rangers defeated the Vancouver Canucks in seven games to bring the Stanley Cup back to New York City for the first time in 54 years in 1994.

MSGN has an incredible lineup of on-air programming that will relive that incredible journey.

  • In-depth player features that look back at the storied careers of Rangers legends Adam Graves, Brian Leetch, Mark Messier, and Mike Richter
  • An episode of “Connections,” featuring a candid, sit-down conversation between Graves, Leetch, and Richter on everything from the mutual respect and admiration for each other, the passion of the fans and the surreal feeling after they won the Cup
  • Re-airings of the championship-clinching Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals at 5:00 P.M. and 8:30 P.M. – Messier, Graves, and Leetch, who was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy for playoff MVP, all scored to lead the Blueshirts to a 3-2 victory over the Canucks and the Stanley Cup title
  • A look back at play-by-play announcer Sam Rosen’s career covering the Rangers and his iconic on-air call after they won Game 7 – “This one will last a lifetime!”
  • A replay of the team’s ticker-tape parade celebration down the Canyon of Heroes in New York City.

Grab an ice-cold beer, get the family together as watch Adam Graves, Mark Messier, Brian Leetch, and Mike Richter beat the curse of 1940!

New York Yankees analysis: Who is the best NY pitcher, Gerrit Cole or Jacob deGrom?

The New York Yankees have had a bountiful number of outstanding pitchers in their glorious past stretching back more than a hundred years. Pitchers like Whitey Ford, Red Ruffing, Lefty Gomez, Ron Guidry, Mariano Rivera, and a multitude of others.  This offseason the New York Yankees wanted to add to that list with their next great pitcher, Gerrit Cole.

Cole landed the most lucrative contract for a major league starting pitcher.  The Yankees will shell out $324 million over the next nine years for his pitching prowess.  The Yankees wanted him so badly they sent Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman, Manager Aaron Boone, pitching coach Matt Blake and an ace, in the hole, Cole’s childhood idol, New York Yankee Andy Pettitte to California to snag him.  They showered him with gifts, including a personal touch with bottles of he and his wife Amy’s favorite wine.  But did they get the best starting pitcher in the New York market?

Some might say the best is the Mets Jacob deGrom.  For those that believe that they have a good argument and they might correct.  For those that believe Gerrit Cole is the best starter, including this writer, we have an equally good case, for both of these arms are among the best to pitch in modern baseball.

Probably the main reason there could be a good argument, either way, is because of the hitting lineup that backs him up.  The Yankees most certainly have a more potent lineup than the New York Mets. And for Gerrit Cole, his Astros lineup was near equal to the quality of the Yankees. We will leave the Astros cheating debate out of this debate.  The stronger, the lineup the better the pitcher’s stats will be.  So this is a debatable area of discussion.  But looking solely at the stats Gerrit Cole is far superior to deGrom.

So let’s look at the stats.  Cole was 35-10 and deGrom was 21-17 in the past two seasons.  Cole with a 2.69 ERA and deGrom at 2.065. So with deGrom’s better ERA was Coles wider margin of wins because he had the bats behind him?  That’s questionable.

Where the New York Yankees Gerrit Cole gains the advantage in being proclaimed the best New York starter is in the postseason where he has outperformed deGrom.  deGrom in 2015 pitched in three postseason games for an ERA of 2.88. Gerrit Cole in seven games pitched to an ERA of 2.60.  Cole in his ALDS appearances shines with an ERA of .079.

My main reason for believing Cole is the better pitcher going forward is that Cole has just gotten better and better with each year he pitched. In the past three years, he has gone from a winning percentage of .500, 750, and .800.  deGrom in the past three years has trailed off, indicating his best years may be behind him.  I am not discounting his two Cy Young Awards, but after all, they are against National League hitting.  deGrom’s winning percentage has dropped in the past three years, from .600 to .579.

In a New Post survey conducted back in March, they queried 32 MLB executives asking them if salaries were equal, which would you prefer, Gerrit Cole or Jacob deGrom.  Most all the executives said you’d be just fine with either.  However, when pinned down, they gave the edge to Gerrit Cole 19-13.

Those same executives cited many of the same reasons as to why I go with Cole as well.  His age, his stuff, his American League experience, his stats, and his postseason success.  However, deGrom is not without his admirers.  They cite his experience under the bright lights of New York, of which Cole has had none.  His athleticism, his ability to repeat pitches, and four from this group cited the college shortstop deGrom’s natural skills.

deGrom has had more rest than Cole not playing in the postseason last year, but that could be outweighed by Cole not having to hit and run the bases.  No matter who you pick as the best New York starting pitcher, it is beyond extremely close as to who is best.  If this baseball season starts, the entire baseball world will be watching these pitching greats.

Below is a short video highlighting the best pitchers in spring training, including the New York Yankees Gerrit Cole and the New York Mets Jacob DeGrom.

Austin Wells has no regrets and said passing on the Yankees in 2018 was the best decision

New York Yankees, Austin Wells

When a high school baseball player has a commitment to attend a specific college, some teams try to lure them away in the draft by spending a mid or late-round pick and offering over-slot money. Some of them sign, others honor that commitment and go the university. New York Yankees‘ first round selection last night, Austin Wells, was in the second camp.

Oddly enough, the team that tried to lure him away from a college commitment in 2018 were the New York Yankees. He decided to go to the University of Arizona to pursue his education and hone his game a little bit more. The decision paid off.

In a couple of years with the Wildcats, Allen developed a sweet swing that is a great bet to hit for both average and power when he goes to the highest competition, Major League Baseball. The Yankees took him on Wednesday night with the 28th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.

The Yankees had their eye on him since 2017

Wells’ true breakthrough year was in 2017, while he was at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. But he hurt his elbow and was unable to play in his senior season. Nevertheless, the Yankees drafted him in the 35th round of the 2018 Draft.

Wells decided to keep his word and go to Arizona. “Coming here was the best decision I ever made,” Wells told Tucson.com in February. “So I’m super thankful … not thankful that (my injury) happened, but I’m thankful that I was able to go through this process, because I feel so much more prepared to play baseball at the next level.”

He dominated with the Wildcats, with a .353/.462/.552 as a freshman and a .375 average and a .527 OBP in his abbreviated sophomore year.

“God has an interesting path sometimes,” Austin’s father, Greg Wells, said via Tucson.com. “If you look at where Austin is at today versus where he would have been signing out of high school, he’s a better person, a better man, more educated.”

UFC: Anderson Silva-Anthony Pettis at middleweight?

The UFC world is anything but dull at the moment, and now we have another fascinating potential matchup to discuss that has come out of left field. Former lightweight champion, Anthony Pettis (23-10), took to Instagram yesterday to call out former middleweight champion and pound for pound great, Anderson Silva (34-10-1).

The Prospective Matchup

I have to tell you, this is not the fight that I thought would be next for the 45-year-old Anderson Silva. Silva has gone through some rough times in his career after losing his title to Chris Weidman back at UFC 162. Silva suffered a devastating injury in their second fight, and since then, he’s gone 1-4-1 in six fights. It is very clear that Silva is not the same guy, but he still has the passion to keep fighting. Silva has gone out recently and talked about fighting a former lightweight champion, but that was Conor McGregor. Silva said that he would cut down in order to meet McGregor at a weight that was more in the middle. Then out of no where, Pettis says that he wants to be the man to fight “The Spider” next.

“Showtime” is coming off of a very close decision win over Cowboy Cerrone back at UFC 249. The win snapped a two-fight losing streak for Pettis. The former lightweight champion was on his way to superstardom back in 2013. He even found himself as a cover athlete for Wheaties. Since then, he’s gone 5-8 in the UFC. Now, he’s fought some of the best guys in the world, but it’s been very clear that Pettis is no longer considered one of the absolute best fighters in the UFC. He did turn a lot of heads with his knockout win over Stephen Thompson, but he followed that win with back to back losses.

Would the UFC make this fight happen?

When you think about it, there is nothing about this fight that makes sense. Pettis is coming off of a win at 170 pounds, but his natural weight class is 155. He would be fighting 30 pounds above his natural class. Silva is a much bigger man who has fought during his career at 205 pounds. When you look at the two men, they don’t look like they belong in the octagon together. Size wise, it would resemble when BJ Penn fought Lyoto Machida years ago. I can’t exactly see the UFC jumping to make this fight, but crazier things have happened.

If this fight does come together, I really don’t see how Pettis would win unless he stops Silva. While Silva is clearly not the same guy he used to be, he’s just one fight removed from putting up an extremely competitive fight with current middlweight champion, Israel Adesanya. If Pettis and Silva fought, I think Silva would have the massive advantage. Silva does incredible work from the clinch, and we’ve seen Pettis get tired whenever a fight included a lot of clinch work. I think Silva would be the sizable betting favorite in this fight if it was to materialize. Would it be fun? Sure, it would be a lot of fun to watch. Do I think it will realistically happen? At the moment, I can’t see it, but given the current landscape of the UFC, you never know.

New York Jets could pursue OLB Markus Golden to bolster pass rush

New York Jets, Markus Golden

While the New York Jets have plenty of strong units on both sides of the ball, their past rash could be problematic in 2020. Having recently cut Trumaine Johnson, who they coughed up $34.5 million guaranteed money for in 2018, they now have $11 million in cap-saving to spend elsewhere.

The Jets recently signed veteran quarterback Joe Flacco to supplement any injuries to Sam Darnold, but their spending might not end there. Currently, the Jets seem confident in Jordan Jenkins as their most active pass rusher.

Jenkins has a fantastic motor and is a positive influence in the locker room, but he posted a significant amount of his production against backup players over the last two seasons. He’s posted 14 total tackles in that time span, and three of them came again starting offensive tackles. That shows us that Jenkins might not be as efficient and productive as we would hope, which makes the idea of signing Markus Golden intriguing.

Golden is an intriguing player that would project as a 3-4 outside linebacker and Gregg Williams defensive scheme. Last season, he posted 10 sacks with the Giants on a one-year deal, paying him $4.75 million. Golden could be a significant add for the Jets, who are looking for an established pass rusher without the monstrous price tag. Jadeveon Clowney still remains a free agent and a possibility, but his asking price is so astronomically large that even dabbling in his market seems like malpractice. Nonetheless, that opens up at the opportunity for Golden to join the Jets on a much cheaper deal.

The Giants recently placed a free agent tender on golden, which would pay him 110% of his 2019 salary on a one-year deal for 2020. However, golden is still seeking a long-term extension that would pay him more per season. The Jets could offer him a 2-3 year deal to hold him over, averaging in the $8 million-per range.

Golden only produced one year of solid play, which could take away from his monetary expectations. That’s why a number like $8 million seems to be fair and reasonable.

If the Jets are willing to take a flier on a two-year deal, paying him $16 million with $10 million guaranteed, I believe it would only benefit the defense as a whole. He’s also a leader and a positive contribution to the locker-room.