New York Mets Ride Peterson’s MLB Debut to 8-3 Win

The New York Mets opted for David Peterson to make his MLB debut against the Boston Red Sox, and he did not disappoint. Peterson had the longest Mets outing of the season and became the first rookie since Steven Matz in 2015 to get a win in his first career start.

The rookie left-hander continued to ease the stress the Mets had thinking about the starting rotation. Peterson threw 5.2 innings, allowing seven hits, two runs and struck out three. He was not dominating by any means, but his line is what the Mets want out of their fifth starter. Peterson also received help from his defense, which turned two double plays for him.

Red Hot Offense

The Mets’ offensive struggles from opening weekend seem far behind them now. Much like Monday’s victory, they used a crooked number in the second inning to build a lead they never gave up. J.D. Davis led the way with a two-run homer and a double. It was a well-rounded effort as Jeff McNeil and Robinson Cano each recorded two hits and a double.

The only two Mets who failed to record a hit were Pete Alonso and Yoenis Cespedes. While Alonso drew a walk, both have started the season 2-for-20 and 2-for-14, respectively, with half of their hits coming via the home run.

Justin Wilson and Dellin Betances continued to look strong out of the Mets bullpen, each hurling a scoreless inning. Drew Smith also struck out the only batter he faced in relief of Peterson.

After taking the first two games in Boston, they return home to face the Red Sox at Citi Field. They put themselves in an excellent position to build a lead in the division as Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz will throw the next two games. The first pitch between deGrom and Nathan Eovaldi is Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. in Queens.

 

UFC: Dan Hardy Clarifies His Feud With Herb Dean

Refereeing can get controversial in any sport. In fact, just about every sports team will have a problem with the referee and his calls at one point or another. These debates can be turned up to eleven, however, in the UFC. While a football team might just lose yards or points because of a missed call, MMA deals with fights where bad refereeing can directly result in bodily injury.

That’s the basis of former fighter and current analyst Dan Hardy’s argument against official Herb Dean, who landed himself in controversy again with a late stoppage in Francisco Trinaldo versus Jai Herbert.

The matter has split the UFC fanbase in opinion and Hardy has come out to clarify some of his positions on Instagram.

What did Hardy have to say on the issue?

View this post on Instagram

I love Mixed Martial Arts. Sometimes it doesn’t love me back though, and that’s alright. Regardless, I’ll always do everything in my power to protect it, and those dedicating themselves to it. Sometimes you may disagree with me, and that’s alright as well. I’m always going to speak my mind, and it will always be backed by what I feel in my heart. If you understand what it takes to get in there, then you understand my passion and anger when I see a fighter left unprotected. It isn’t the first time it’s happened, and twice in a night is clear negligence, in my opinion. The referees job is more important than any other person in that building. It is on their shoulders to protect fighters from getting seriously hurt when they are unable to protect themselves. You may just see UFC fighters in there, but I see friends, teammates, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers, competing in the sport that they love. When I make a mistake, I look stupid on live TV. When a referee makes a mistake, people are left vulnerable and can be seriously damaged. That can be life-changing, and we all have someone to go home to, that loves us and wants us back in one piece. Thank you for all of the kind words and messages I’ve received. I am truly grateful. I’ll see you all around… ♥️ —————— 🏴‍☠️Outlaw🏴‍☠️ —————— 📸 – @jeffbottari 🙏🏼

A post shared by Dan Hardy (@danhardymma) on

“If you understand what it takes to get in there, then you understand my passion and anger when I see a fighter left unprotected. It isn’t the first time it’s happened, and twice in a night is clear negligence, in my opinion,” Hardy said in his post.

“When I make a mistake, I look stupid on live TV. When a referee makes a mistake, people are left vulnerable and can be seriously damaged. That can be life-changing, and we all have someone to go home to, that loves us and wants us back in one piece,” he continued later in the post.

As a former fighter, Hardy is all too familiar with the safety risks in the sport. He retired with a 25-10-1 record and in his biggest fight took on Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight crown. His feud with Dean had some fans telling him to stick with announcing, but in a sport like this, there’s always going to be controversy around the referees.

The dispute between Dean and his critics still remains unfinished, as Dean is under investigation but no verdict was passed down yet.

New York Giants: Top Players/Positions To Monitor In Training Camp 2020

New York Giants, Darius Slayton

Football is back! The New York Giants officially reported to training camp on Tuesday, marking the beginning of the 2020 NFL season. Veterans reported to training camp today as the team does its first wave of COVID-19 testing. This will be a crucial season for the Giants as they enter the year with a brand new coaching staff and a revamped roster.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no preseason this year, making training camp that much more important. Many of those players who standout in the preseason to earn their roster spots will not be afforded such an opportunity this year. Instead, the Giants’ new coaching staff will have to gauge their players’ talents in training camp alone.

With that being the case, who are the top players, or what are the top positions to watch during training camp in 2020?

You can check out the video version of this article below, or continue scrolling for the written version:

UFC: Max Holloway could get the next title shot according to Dana White

It was very clear that UFC president Dana White was not a fan of the decision at UFC 251 between featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, and former champion, Max Holloway.

The fight left the UFC in a bit of a pickle when it comes to what happens next. If Holloway had only lost that one time to Volkanovski, the promotion would have no issues booking the fight again.

However, Holloway has lost two consecutive fights to Volkanovski. Yes, the second fight was razor close, but still it’s two losses in the record books. With that, most thought that there is no way that the UFC would give Holloway another shot especially right away.

Despite that, White said to ESPN that, “It’s hard to not…” when considering booking Volkanovski – Holloway 3. White went on to talk about how Volkanovski wouldn’t enjoy that idea.

What should the UFC do?

The UFC is really in a tough spot when it comes to the featherweight division. The UFC is going to book Zabit Magomedsharipov and Yair Rodriguez but that’s not finalized yet. They are also going to book Brian Ortega – Chan Sung Jung but that fight is also not finalized.

Those are all the contenders in the division outside of Calvin Kattar. I’m not convinced the UFC loves the idea of giving Kattar a shot at the title right now.

So with everyone booked, either Volkanovski is going to sit for a while or they run the fight back a third time. I definitely understand the frustration this would bring from the champion.

Volkanovski really has nothing to gain from fighting Holloway a third time meanwhile Holloway has everything to get back. Both of these fighters are so evenly matched. A third fight between the two would create more problems than solutions.

What if Max Holloway wins a close fight? How could you then deny Volkanovski a fourth fight since he won the first two? If you give Holloway another shot, it really hurts the division.

While he might not want to, I think the best thing would be for Volkanovski to sit on the sidelines for a bit. Maybe let Holloway fight a guy like Calvin Kattar next. Let the division play out more before giving Holloway a third fight with Volkanovski.

New York Yankees receive good news on Aroldis Chapman front

New York Yankees, Aroldis Chapman

The last we heard of New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman was that he was unable to produce consecutive negative tests. With COVID-19 hitting the Miami Marlins hard, baseball has been forced to rearrange schedules and compensate appropriately.

The Yankees will now face off against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday. They were originally scheduled to play against the Philadelphia Phillies, who are coming off a three-game series against Miami.

The New York Yankees must tread lightly:

While the 2020 season remains a massive struggle and changes will have to be made as we go, the Yankees are set to gain back one stud player soon.

Chapman, who was still testing positive as of last Wednesday, is apparently “doing well,” according to Aaron Boone. He is reportedly asymptomatic and could return with the Yankees by next week given his tests come back in good fashion. In the meantime, the Yankee have been utilizing Zack Britton as a closer when necessary, as he finished the game on Sunday night against the Washington Nationals.

The Yankees are currently 2-1 on the season. Last week, general manager Brian Cashman compared Chapman’s situation to both DJ LeMahieu and Luis Cessa, who have both been cleared to return to baseball activity. LeMahieu has featured in the Yankees’ last two games, with Cessa working his way back.

Chapman simply cannot pass the administered test but has been working out plenty in this New York City apartment. With a team as strong as the Yankees, they can supplement his loss for the time being, but eventually, they will need his services to close out games as the season progresses. In 2019, Chapman logged 37 saves, with 85 strikeouts and allowed just three home runs. He was an All-Star for the second consecutive season.

Hopefully, he can return quickly and not skip a beat after giving up a season-ending homer to Jose Altuve in the ALCS last year.

MLB News: MLB adjusts, Miami shut down, Yankees to play Baltimore

If the last week in MLB means anything, the MLB will be adjusting rules and schedules on the fly throughout the season. Major League Baseball made the decision to have a 60 game season, and they appear ready to do anything to make that a reality.

The first two games of the season went just fine.  But on Sunday, the apple cart was set on its head.  It all started when the Miami Marlins played a three-game series with the Philadelphia Phillies.  Unbeknown to the Phillies, they were playing a series with players that had been exposed to the coronavirus.  On Friday, one Marlin’s test came back positive on Sunday, another three positive tests.

With the New York Yankees laying in wait in Philadelphia after a successful series with the Nationals, everything came to a halt.  MLB postponed/canceled Monday night’s game between the Yankees and Phillies and the Marlins game with the Orioles.

The Yankees, Phillies, and the Marlins were all holed up in Philadelphia, awaiting virus test results on Monday.  The Yankees and the Phillies are apparently safe for the moment, but the Marlins got even worse news.  Now one half of the entire team has tested positive since Friday, plus some of the crew.

Today the MLB acted swiftly, shutting down the Phillies until Friday and the Miami Marlins for at least a week. This left the outsiders in the matter with idle time, those being the Yankees and Orioles with no team to play.  MLB’s answer was to send the Yankees back to the safe bubble of Yankee Stadium. Further, they sent the Orioles to play the Yankees for Wednesday and Thursday.

These moves will put the Yankees back on track to play the rival Boston Red Sox on Friday for a three-game weekend series. The Orioles will continue there schedule by leaving the stadium Thursday night to fly to Tampa for their series with the Tampa Bay Rays. Both the Phillies and the Marlins will remain shut down until further tests show that it is safe to play.

Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred earlier today refused to call this situation a nightmare. He said we expected this to happen at some point in the season, although not this early.

He appears ready to adjust schedules on the fly as needed to get the 60 game season completed.  This may result in not all teams playing the full 60 games if the season is to be completed by the September 27 target. Some teams may play 55 or 57 games, or even less.  There is precedent for how to handle this.  After the strike in 1981, they discarded the typical games won formula and went by the winning percentages.

One thing is obvious; in this season filled with unknowns, it is to expect the unexpected.  Meanwhile, Manfred has doubled down on the health protocols to keep players safe, demanding that they are followed.

 

 

New York Mets Sign Catcher Bruce Maxwell

Oakland Athletics, Bruce Maxwell

The New York Mets add another catcher to their 60-man by signing 29-year old Bruce Maxwell. He is most known for being the first Major League Baseball player to take a knee during the national anthem. The combination of hitting struggles and blackballing for kneeling kept him out of baseball for the past couple of seasons.

He spent the first three seasons of his career with the Oakland Athletics but only hit .240 over 127 games. The A’s designated him for assignment in September 2018 and became a free agent for the offseason. Maxwell also just completed two years of probation and community service for disorderly conduct from an October 2017 arrest.

Mexican League Revival

Maxwell could not land a job in the U.S. but went to the Mexican League and delivered a terrific season. He slashed .325/.407/.559 with 24 home runs and 112 RBIs in 109 games. Maxwell’s home run total was more than double any amount he put up in any professional season. The production was enough for the Mets to allow him to join their player pool, pending a physical and negative COVID test.

The topic of kneeling during the anthem is widely discussed and controversial. There are certain groups of people who don’t want him signed by any organization, those who see him as a leader and those who just see him as another baseball player fighting his way back to the big leagues. Maxwell will need a combination of poor play and injuries to work his way up the Mets catching pyramid.

MLB examines the possibility of Phillies and Marlins quarantining for an undetermined period of time

A total of 15 players of the Miami Marlins’ 30-man active roster tested positive for COVID-19, which is among the worst-case scenarios for MLB and the 2020 season. The Marlins played against the Phillies over the weekend, and while the latter is finishing up tests, the New York Yankees won’t be facing them tonight.

The situation is slowly getting out of control, and MLB is currently discussing several scenarios that would allow them to continue with the season but also preserving the health of the players and the other teams.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, one of the possibles paths that MLB could take given the situation is having both the Marlins and the Phillies quarantining for an undetermined period of time.

MLB needs to be flexible if it wants to complete season

The idea would be to ensure that most of the players that tested positive can get back into the field as soon as possible (with the proper two negative tests separated by at least 24 hours,) thus avoiding the situation of Miami having to replace 15 players of their active roster with taxi squad members.

Because the Baltimore Orioles were supposed to play against the Marlins in Miami this week, and the Yankees were going to face the Phillies in Philadelphia, the Bombers would be going up against the O’s under this scenario, playing Wednesday and Thursday.

MLB would like the Phillies and Marlins to try and make up for the missed games later in the season, if possible. The league has indicated that despite its desire for every team to play 60 games, it needs to be flexible during the pandemic.

That’s why MLB will determine the playoff spots by winning percentage. The possibility of the coronavirus effectively ending the season remains, but for now, the league is trying to navigate the situation.

New York Yankees receive good news for Wednesday game against Baltimore

The New York Yankees have received good news this afternoon, as they are expected to play a two game series against the Baltimore Orioles beginning on Wednesday. The team was originally supposed to play the Phillies this week, but that was disrupted because of coronavirus.

Philadelphia played a series this past weekend against the Miami Marlins, who now have almost half their roster positive for coronavirus. Miami hid positive tests from the Phillies in order to conclude their three game series on Sunday.

Instead of telling the truth, Miami’s antics have affected the league. It’s led to four games postponed for the Yankees and Phillies, as the teams were supposed to play two in Philly before traveling to New York for two. No Phillies have tested positive and the Yankees are at no additional risk, just victim to Miami’s poor decision.

Miami has been shut down for at least a week, the league postponing all their games until then.

The MLB is trying to change the schedule to accommodate all teams and to play as many games as possible. They realize 60 games may not be possible for all teams, so some postseason spots and seeding could be based off of winning percentage instead of record.

Games will be made up if possible, and the expanded roster makes more makeup games likely. But due to the nature of this year’s schedule, not all games may be able to be made up. If a team only plays 57 games, the league could just call it good enough.

A makeup series against the Phillies could replace a series against the Orioles down the road for the Yankees. That way, teams will still only play their divisional rivals 10 times.

The most important matchup for the Islanders going into the qualifying round

In every playoff matchup, there are certain elements to watch for. For the New York Islanders, as they get set to begin their postseason series against the Florida Panthers Saturday, one could very much be the deciding factor between moving on or going home.

No, it’s not offense or even special teams. What this series will come down to is goaltending and the duel that will take place between Semyon Varlamov/Thomas Greiss and Sergei Bobrovsky.

Isles head coach Barry Trotz said on Monday he still has a decision to make as for who will tab for the start in game one. Both goalies have had previous success against Florida and made a good push for why either of them should get the nod during the team’s short camp in Phase 3. The duo will get time to make one last case tomorrow night in the exhibition game against the Rangers, where afterward, Trotz will most likely make his final call.

From the Panthers’ perspective, Bobrovsky was going to be the clear cut choice. He was their starter for the majority of the year — starting in 50 games — after signing that massive contract last summer and got them to the postseason. Oh, he’s also a two-time Vezina Trophy winner.

So why is it the key matchup for both squads? Goaltending can steal or win you a series in the playoffs.

Time and time again, we’ve seen over the years what a hot goaltender can do for a team. The Isles saw it first-hand last year with Robin Lehner in the first round against Pittsburgh. They also witnessed Greiss do the same four years ago in a series against those same Panthers. Greiss stood on his and helped the Islanders win their first playoff series in 23 years.

That was then; this is now. And it could turn out to be the same or something totally different.

In the series four years ago, Greiss outplayed Roberto Luongo, who was a future Hall of Famer, then and nearing the tail end of his career. This upcoming series, Varlamov or Greiss will be opposed by Bobrovsky, who is in his prime and in the first year of his long-term deal.

Another factor to keep in mind is that all Varlamov and Bobrovsky do have some added pressure. While it’s Greiss who could be playing with house money.

Florida brought the 31-year-old Bobrovsky in for the exact situation they are in now and from what they witnessed last spring as well as when he was on top of his game this season. Bobrovsky needs to play well, not only to justify the Panthers handing him that deal, but also show he’s buried his past playoff demons deep into the ground.

Varlamov’s job, even though he also signed a five-year deal last offseason, as the starter isn’t solidified. All year he and Greiss traded starts back and forth as a 1A-1B tandem. Varlamov did have some great stretches of play but also had some really tough ones. And just like Trotz did during the year, if he sees Varlamov struggle early or the Islanders lose one of the first three games, Greiss will get the call to replace him.

Transitioning to Greiss, this might be his last go-around as an Islander with him being a UFA after this season ends and with the club’s recent signing of 24-year-old prospect Ilya Sorokin. So if he gets the nod, it could mean a new contract a few months from now, whether it’s from the Isles or another team. 

The goaltending in the Isles-Panthers series won’t be the sexiest facet to watch, but it will be the most important. It’s as split down the middle as any of the other matchups in the qualifying round. All three goalies are capable of deciding the series in one way or another.

Does one team have a significant advantage over the other? We’ll get our answer very soon.