New York Giants Still One Of The World’s Most Valuable Teams

The New York Giants haven’t been winning recently, but that hasn’t taken away from the value of the team very much. Forbes recently came out with their list of the most valuable sports teams, updated for 2020, and New York sports fans will likely be happy with the placement of some of their teams near the top.

The Giants came in at number ten, where they’re tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Their rivals the Dallas Cowboys came in at the top spot but the Giants are actually the third most valuable team in the NFL. Only the Cowboys and Patriots came in higher than them, though the Giants are also beat out by a couple of other New York sports teams.

Who are the most valuable teams?

Both the Yankees and Knicks are ranked higher than the Giants, with the Yankees coming in at number two behind Dallas. Their valuation has surpassed Real Madrid, which is a major accomplishment considering Real Madrid and their sport of soccer have a following across more of the world than baseball does.

The valuation for the Giants isn’t anything to scoff at, though, even if they’re only the third most valuable team in New York. Forbes listed the team value as 3.3 billion, which is still a high cost even by the standard of buying an NFL team.

The Giants didn’t gain any value this year, however, which is probably a side effect of their poor results in recent years. The team is one of the most historic in the league, and has a massive and loyal fanbase, but those fans have been put to the test by a franchise that’s finished in the bottom section of the league in the past few years.

The 0% growth in value should serve as a reminder to the ownership going into this season – the fans are patient, sure, but if the Giants want to continue as one of the elite franchises of the world, they’ll have to finally start winning again and justify the support they get from the fanbase.

New York Giants: Pass rusher Markus Golden reports to camp

New York Jets, Markus Golden

The New York Giants placed the unrestricted free agent tender on edge Markus Golden on April 27. On July 22 the deadline passed for Golden to sign with another NFL team, meaning he could only suit up for the Giants this season.

According to Art Stapleton of The Record, Golden has reported to the team’s training camp to begin his entry process.

Stapleton tweets out the timeline for Golden to return to the field, which includes testing and quarantining for COVID-19.

Golden will make roughly $4.2 million this season.

Golden enters his second season with the Giants. He inked a one-year deal with the Giants last offseason and led the team in sacks (10). Golden started 16 games while totaling 72 combined tackles, 27 quarterback hits and one fumble returned for a touchdown.

Giants new edge rotation

Golden, 29, joins an edge rotation with some new faces, as well as some returning players on rookie deals.

The Giants signed former Green Bay Packers pass rusher Kyler Fackrell to a one-year, $4.6 million deal in free agency. Fackrell is a season removed from recording 10.5 sacks. General manager Dave Gettleman selected two edge players on day three of the 2020 NFL Draft: Penn State’s Cam Brown (183) and Minnesota’s Carter Coughlin (218).

Third-year player Lorenzo Carter and second-year player Oshane Ximines will return for the 2020 season. The two outside linebackers recorded a combined 70 tackles and nine sacks last season.

The Giants defense will be administered by new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, previously of the Miami Dolphins. Graham was the Giants defensive line coach from 2016-17. Graham is expected to assume play-calling duties under new head coach Joe Judge.

Golden was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals with the 58th selection in the 2015 NFL Draft out of the University of Missouri. Across 62 NFL games, 40 of which have been starts, Golden has totaled 191 combined tackles, 29 sacks and 69 quarterback hits.

New York Mets: Edwin Diaz talks early-season struggles

New York Mets, Edwin Diaz

Across his three appearances in the 2020 MLB season (2.1 innings), New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz has surrendered two earned runs, two hits, three walks and a home run, which equates to a 7.71 ERA, a 9.53 FIP and a 2.14 WHIP. He has converted one of two save opportunities.

Diaz appeared in back-to-back games against the Atlanta Braves to begin the season (July 24 and 25). He then didn’t make an appearance out of the bullpen until July 30 against the Boston Red Sox, where he threw 35 pitches and got just one out.

Diaz feels that not throwing for five days affected his mechanics (quotes per Mike Puma of the New York Post).

“It had been five days since I last threw, so I felt I didn’t have my mechanics in order,” Diaz said before the Mets suffered a crushing 11-10 loss to the Braves. “I felt like my body just wasn’t in sync and I felt like I was trying to overpower the pitches too much at that point.

“Five days without pitching isn’t the same when you are more and more accustomed to pitching three days in a row or sometimes one day and then two days after. It’s a little bit different when you have that much of a layoff.”

Even if Mets manager Luis Rojas makes a switch in the late innings, Diaz simply wants to “pitch more frequently.”

“I’m open to pitching whenever, so that doesn’t matter to me,” Diaz said. “It’s just one of those things where I would like to pitch more frequently as opposed to having those longer layoffs.”

Despite his early-season struggles, Diaz feels he has the “stuff to be a closer.”

“I feel like I have the stuff to be a closer,” Diaz said. “I have proven over the last four or five years that I have the stuff and I can be the closer because I have done it before. Whether it’s here or wherever I think I am a closer.”

Diaz is in his second season with the Mets, who are 3-6. The right-hander recorded a 5.59 ERA, a 4.51 FIP and a 1.38 WHIP in 2019.

UFC Vegas 5 Recap: Derek Brunson derails the Shahbazyan hype train

Derek Brunson

The UFC made their Las Vegas return tonight. Headlining the first card back in the United States was a middleweight contest between Edmen Shahbazyan (11-0) and Derek Brunson (20-7). UFC Vegas 5 was highly anticipated and it didn’t disappoint.

Derek Brunson breaks Edmen Shahbazyan

In the main event of the evening, Derek Brunson was looking to spoil the party for the 22 year old UFC phenom, Edmen Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan was headlining his first card while Brunson was headlining his fourth.

As the first round started both men were just feeling the other out. Brunson started the action with a couple of kicks. Shahbazyan landed a crisp right which Brunson countered with a body kick.

Brunson looked incredibly patient to start looking for his openings. Brunson shot forward with a couple of big shots and landed a takedown. Shahbazyan was able to work his way back up to his feet but ate some big shots.

Shahbazyan started throw massive shots which opened the eyes of Brunson. Brunson remained patient almost seeming to fight in slow motion at times. Shahbazyan threw a knee that Brunson used to clinch him. Close first round that I give to Shahbazyan.

Brunson opened the second round with a leg kick but Shahbazyan landed a massive body kick to counter. Shahbazyan looked to be going more to the body in the second.

Brunson started really looking to grapple early on in the second round. Shahbazyan landed another massive body kick and a couple of shots. Brunson then landed some big shots of his own before trying for another takedown.

Shahbazyan really started to look tired about three minutes into the round. Brunson really started pressing the action when Shahbazyan looked tired. Brunson landed another takedown on an exhausted Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan started taking massive shots. Dominant second round for Brunson.

In the final round, Brunson immediately pressed forward landing big shots. Shahbazyan crumbled. Herb Dean called a stop to the action after Shahbazyan showed nothing. Statement win for Derek Brunson.

Jennifer Maia Armbars her way to a UFC title shot

The co-main event of the evening featured a women’s flyweight contest between Joanne “JoJo” Calderwood (14-4) and Jennifer Maia (17-6-1). Calderwood elected to stay active against Maia despite having a UFC title shot guaranteed once Valentina Shevchenko heals.

As the fight started, Calderwood immediately started looking for kicks. Maia was pushing forward looking for big 1-2’s. Maia started landing some big shots early on. Calderwood took a couple of clean shots down the middle that got her attention.

Maia was finding a home for her right hand a ton in the first two minutes. Calderwood kept looking for kicks to keep the distance and score points. Calderwood caught a kick from Maia and used it to take the fight to the ground.

Maia looked for some submissions off of her back, but couldn’t get anything to stick at first. Calderwood just looked content to hold top position. Out of no where, Maia throws up an armbar. She locked it in and Calderwood was forced to tap.

Crushing defeat for Calderwood who was supposed to fight for the title in June. With that win, Maia will likely be next for the champion. In fact, the champ had something to say about her win.

Vicious knee leads to a finish for Vicente Luque

The third fight of the main card had fight of the night written all over it. The UFC paired welterweights Vicente Luque (18-7-1) against Randy Brown (12-3).

Early on in the first round, Luque landed a massive leg kick that got Brown’s attention. Luque continued to spin Brown around with a couple of additional calf kicks early. Brown started landing a crisp jab that reddened the nose of Luque.

Luque continued to pepper the lead leg of Brown with inside and outside calf kicks. Brown stepped in but was met with a massive right that floored him from Luque. Luque let Brown back up to his feet with about two minutes left.

Brown seemed to get his feet back under him and started landing jabs again. Luque was just stalking Brown near the end of the round. Brown was rocked again which forced him to shoot for a takedown. The round ends and it was a clear one for Luque.

As the second round started, Brown landed a massive body kick to start things. Brown looked more comfortable to start the second landing some decent combinations off the jab. Luque dropped Brown with a calf kick about a minute into the round.

Luque allowed Brown to get right back up. Brown tried firing off his jab to keep Luque off of him. Luque continued to plot forward just stalking Randy Brown. Brown did start to gain momentum back with some good knees in the clinch.

With about a minute left in the round, Brown got a big takedown into side control. However, Luque was able to get right back up. Luque clinched up with Brown and landed a massive knee that floored Brown. A few follow up shots ended the fight. Great finish for Vicente Luque.

Bobby Green wins entertaining scrap with Vannata

The main card was kicked off by a rematch between lightweights Bobby Green (25-10-1) and Lando Vannata (11-4-2). The two men fought to a draw back at UFC 216 in 2017.

Both men were talking before the fight even started. They both took the center and immediately started trying to figure out their range. Green looked really smooth in the opening minute evading shots and landing some good counters.

Both men stepped forward with big shots and Green hit the deck for a just a second after a massive right from Vannata. Green was able to bounce back quickly. About a minute later, after hitting the deck himself, Green dropped Vannata with a massive right of his own.

Vannata worked his way back up to the feet and the two men resumed their stand up fight. Both fighters seemed to rock each other in a big exchange towards the end of the round. Very fun first round that I give to King Bobby Green.

Green took the center to start round two and landed a stiff jab. Vannata tried for a takedown thirty seconds in, but couldn’t land it. These two could not stop talking to each other in the cage.

Vannata started showing some real damage on his nose from the stiff straight shots from Green. Green continued to pepper Vannata with jabs. Vannata landed a couple of clean shots which forced a Green takedown attempt. Vannata pulled guard for a guillotine but couldn’t secure it.

The two ended up back on their feet with about two minutes left in the round. Green started pepping Vannata again with straight shots. Vannata shot for a takedown and was able to get it near the end of the round. Despite the takedown, Green still landed the bigger shots. Another round for Bobby Green.

Both men started the final round with a big high five. The two started exchanging immediately and Vannata seemed to land a shot that wobbled Green. They clinched and started throwing bombs at each other.

On the break, Green landed a massive shot that put Vannata down. Green got on top and started landing bombs. Somehow, Vannata was able to survive. After regaining his composure on the bottom, Vannata was able to work his way back up two minutes into the round.

Halfway through the round, Green shot in for a takedown and was able to get Vannata down. Green landed some pretty decent elbows from the top position. Vannata worked his way up with about a minute and a half left.

Vannata tried to push forward for the last minute, but Green seemed a step ahead. Green put on a great performance and takes the final round and the fight on my scorecard 30-27. The judges agreed giving the fight to Green unanimously (30-26, 30-27, 30-27).

UFC Vegas 5 Final Takeaways

The UFC returned to Vegas but didn’t do it without some adversity. There were fights cancelled to undisclosed reasons, COVID, and a fighter fainted before making the walk. Despite that the night delivered with some solid fights.

Jennifer Maia to me was the star of the night. Weeks ago she was just another top ten UFC flyweight and now she’s the likely number one contender.

Tonight also proved that Edmen Shahbazyan is not quite ready for the top competition in the UFC’s middleweight division. He looked completely lost after he couldn’t finish the fight in the first round.

New York Mets: Pitching Struggles Continue in Fourth Straight Loss

Michael Wacha had nothing in his second start for the New York Mets, and it was evident from the first inning. It was the second straight night the Mets starter failed to pitch five innings, and their lack of offense led to a 7-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The Mets never had a lead at any point during the game. The Braves started their scoring early with a Marcell Ozuna first inning, two-run home run to give the Braves a 2-0 lead. They added on to their lead in the second inning as back-to-back doubles from Tyler Flowers, and Ronald Acuna Jr. followed by an Ozzie Albies single, gave Atlanta a quick 5-0 lead.

Wacha was stuck in his mess all night. His lack of control and ability to put hitters away forced him to throw 96 pitches in the four innings he pitched. Once the Mets fell behind early, they played like a team who lost any life they had left.

Ugly Offense

The Mets only mustered one run, which came on a Robinson Cano sacrifice fly. Their offense struggled to drive in fields as they went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left ten runners on base. Despite the struggles as a team, Cano continued his hot hitting. Cano’s double was the only extra-base hit they had all night.

The one bright spot from the loss is the MLB debut for Franklyn Kilome. He came out of the bullpen following Wacha and pitched very well. Kilome kept the Braves hitters off-balanced and confused, throwing four innings, allowing two runs and striking out five without walking a batter. He also retired nine in a row to finish his night. Not only did he earn a future role but rested a struggling Mets bullpen.

Another bright spot is Jeff McNeil’s 12-pitch at-bat while the Mets were down 7-1 and with two outs in the ninth. McNeil continued to fight and work out a walk to extend the game another batter. It was not the type of at-bat the Mets have put together frequently and shows the focus McNeil has. Most players would have given up the at-bat to end the game.

The Mets attempt to stop their losing streak as David Peterson takes the mound in his second career start on Sunday. He faces off against Kyle Wright, and the first pitch from Truist Park is at 1:10 p.m. ET.

New York Giants: Could Jabrill Peppers Be The Team’s CB2?

New York Giants, Jabrill Peppers

The New York Giants might or might not have a vacancy at their second outside cornerback position. Second-year cornerback DeAndre Baker has found himself in quite a bit of legal trouble this offseason. Baker currently has eight felony chargers hanging overhead and has been placed on the NFL’s commissioner’s exempt list. He is not allowed to participate in the Giants’ training camp and, day by day, it looks less and less likely that we will see DeAndre play another game in a Giants uniform.

DeAndre Baker’s absence leaves a huge hole in the Giants’ secondary. New York signed James Bradberry this offseason as their primary outside cornerback. But the expectation was for DeAndre Baker to be the team’s second outside cornerback. If DeAndre is indeed done as a Giant, they will need to find someone else to play that position. There are numerous options on the roster to fill that role: Corey Ballentine, Julian Love, and Sam Beal. But the most intriguing option is the most unlikely.

Jabrill Peppers As CB2?

The Giants’ secondary has a trio of young, talented safeties: Julian Love, Xavier McKinney, and Jabrill Peppers. Last season, Jabrill Peppers was arguably the best player on the Giants’ defense. The hard-hitting strong safety was a playmaker for the team in the eleven games he played. But could Peppers undergo a position change this year and fill the Giants’ second cornerback position?

This is one of many topics that we discussed in this week’s episode of Fireside Giants. You can find all the links to watch or listen to this week’s episode HERE.

Preview:

In an interview with the NY Post last week, Jabrill Peppers’s trainer, Brian Walker, threw out the idea of Peppers playing cornerback in 2020. According to Ryan Dunleavy of the NY Post, Walker “thinks cornerback could be Peppers’ best NFL position.” Walker compared Peppers to the likes of Stephon Gilmore and Byron Jones:

“You could see him with a Gilmore — same shape, same body — where he could lock down a half [of the field],” Walker said. “This staff is used to having really good, really strong cornerbacks. Personally, I feel like he could make the jump like Jones. Both athletic guys. They just needed more time to develop in terms of technique.” – Brian Walker via the NY Post

Jabrill Peppers was excellent in run-support for the Giants last season. He totaled 76 combined tackles, 5 tackles for loss, and 3 forced fumbles in 11 games in 2019. Moving him to cornerback would diminish this facet of his game. But what if he could make that transition? Having a strong cornerback like Jabrill Peppers on the outside could be exactly what the Giants need.

Peppers has been a bit inconsistent in coverage throughout his career. However, Brian Walker also mentioned that Jabrill Peppers has improved his speed and athleticism this offseason:

“He looks like he did as a [New Jersey] state champion sprinter,” trainer Brian Walker told The Post. “Movement-wise, he looks free. He’s maintained that speed and strength, even though he is leaning up.” – Brian Walker via the NY Post

Jabrill Peppers is an ideal strong safety. But he might provide more value to the team if he can be an ideal outside cornerback. At the very least, the Giants should give Jabrill some reps at outside cornerback in training camp and see how he fares. Jabrill Peppers could be exactly what the Giants’ defense needs.

New York Rangers Offense Sputters in Loss to Carolina

The New York Rangers could not capitalize on the multiple power plays given them as they fall to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in the opening qualifying game of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. They now trail 1-0 in the best-of-five series.

Shesterkin sits out the first New York Rangers first playoff game

Igor Shesterkin was deemed unfit to play prior to puck drop, according to Dan Rosen of NHL.com. The NHL does usually require teams to give very little information on injuries. Shesterkin was seen sitting in the stands and it was reported during the game broadcast that he should be available for Monday’s game.

That means that the start went to Henrik Lundqvist, who went 3-0-0 with a 2.33 goals-against average and a .947 save percentage against Carolina this season.

The first bit of game action took less than a period as tempers flared between the Carolina and the Rangers, with 38-year-old Canes veteran Justin Williams dropping the gloves with Ryan Strome.

The game did not start well as the Hurricanes scored the first two goals, courtesy of Jaccob Slavin and Sebastian Aho.  The Blueshirts were very sluggish in the first period, being outshot 21-4. The Rangers responded in the second period with a Mika Zibanejad goal.

The Hurricanes regained their two-goal advantage midway through the third period as a Vincent Trochek deflected off Marc Staal‘s skates.

The Blueshirts pulled within one with just under two minutes left in the game, in an unlikely situation of killing a penalty when Staal punched a shot past Petr Mrazek.

After killing the penalty, the Rangers pulled Lundqvist out of the net for an extra skater but could not score.

The biggest storyline of the game was the lack of efficiency on the power play as the Blueshirts could not score on any of the seven penalties that the Hurricanes took in the first two periods, being only able to muster only eight shots in all. The Hurricanes also outshot the Rangers 37-26, and their scoring chances were much better overall.

Also, forward Jesper Fast exited in the first period and did not return when he took a heavy hit from former teammate Brady Skjei and headed straight to the dressing room.

In his post-game comments, head coach David Quinn said about the Ranger’s play: “I thought for the first 30 minutes of the game we were slow, they (Carolina) set the tempo and we took to long to respond to it.”

Quinn also thought that the Rangers needed to be tougher in front of the net. “We got to find a way to get more inside, we were too perimeter. We have to be tough, and tough means that we have to get the net and get inside of people.”

The teams play game 2 of the series at noon on Monday.

 

 

MLB reverses its course; Monday night’s Yankees – Phillies back on

New York Yankees, Gio Urshela

Just a few minutes after several journalists, most notably MLB Network’s Jon Heyman and New York Post’s Joel Sherman, reported that Monday night’s game between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies had been postponed, Sherman informed that the game is back on as previously scheduled after a “reversal” from the league.

The Phillies played against the Miami Marlins last weekend. The Marlins have, until Saturday, 18 players who tested positive for COVID-19 and two coaches, and the outbreak started before they faced the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

This situation prompted a quarantine for the two teams, and daily tests for Phillies’ players, coaches and staffers that have resulted in two positives: one coach and one clubhouse worker.

The Phillies were supposed to play against the Toronto Blue Jays this weekend but that series was canceled, as well. Then, Sherman and Heyman originally reported that MLB was going to postpone Monday’s tilt against the Yankees, but that is no longer the case.

“Heard there was a reversal and Phillies at Yankees is back on for Monday,” Sherman reported on his official Twitter account.

The Yankees have no COVID-19 cases

Meanwhile, Heyman expanded a little more. “Though many were told this and many confirmed this postponement, there’s now a consideration to reversing this and Philly going to the Bronx Monday. Either way, 4 games between the teams will be played; Phillies never had a player test positive and a Yankees have no Covid cases,” he said.

MLB is trying to navigate through the season while COVID-19 cases are soaring in some locations, most notably Florida. That is why the Marlins won’t return to play until next week, but nevertheless, the outbreak has greatly affected the schedule of several teams, including the Yankees.

COVID-19, additionally, recently hit the St. Louis Cardinals, as two players tested positive according to the latest reports. Their game against the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday was postponed.

New York Jets’ C.J. Mosley Opts Out Of Season

C.J. Mosley, New York Jets

As the pandemic develops, the entire league has faced a string of players opting out. Players of all talent capabilities have pulled out and now the Jets have faced a MAJOR blow. The first Jet has fallen in terms of opt outs.

As Mosley prepped to return following his injury riddled campaign last season, COVID has thrown a wrench in that plan. The Jets must now do something that the rest of the sports world, and the world as a whole has had to do, adjust.

What’s Next

C.J. Mosley was a big money signing for the Jets. He was expected to be the quarterback of the defense and bring an All Pro presence to the young defense. In his debut game, he was the glue holding the defense together, until he wasn’t.

Last season, the Jets were forced to pivot quickly and adapt after Mosley’s injury. Guys like James Burgess, Neville Hewitt and Blake Cashman has to rake in expanded roles immediately. All three flourished, and that was without Avery Willamson, the Jets standout backer under Todd Bowles in the 2018-19 season. Willamson, who was a rumored cap causality, will now take on the role of lead backer, and it’s all the more important this season. Without Jamal Adams the Jets will be forced to develop more of a presence in the box that Adams compensated for. Patrick Onwuasor will be counted on to be a rotational presence and try to fill, at least slightly, some of the inside the box presence the Jets has with Adams and (presumably) Mosley.

It’s time to adapt for Gang Green, and now it’s a matter of who will step up. 

New York Jets LB C.J. Mosley reportedly opting out of 2020 season

C.J. Mosley, New York Jets

After partaking in just two games last season, New York Jets LB C.J. Mosley is reportedly skipping the 2020 campaign.

Per ESPN’s Rich Cimini, New York Jets linebacker C.J. Mosley will be opting out of the 2020 NFL season. Mosley, 28, becomes the second New Yorker to opt-out, following the departure of reserve offensive lineman Leo Koloamatangi.

Mosley signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Jets last offseason after five years with Baltimore. He made his NFL entry as a first-round pick (17th overall) and earned four nominations each to the Pro Bowl and All-Pro teams.

His Jets debut was one to remember, as Mosley earned six tackles (including a sack), a fumble recovery, and an interception returned for a touchdown in the Jets’ opening weekend tilt against Buffalo. A groin injury kept him out of the fourth quarter of that 17-16 loss and would later sideline him for the rest of the season, save for an October showdown with New England. Mosley later underwent surgery to resolve the issue.

According to Cimini, Mosley’s opt-out has to do with “family health concerns” as the NFL prepares to navigate its 2020 season around the coronavirus pandemic. The Jets have descended upon Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park to prepare for training camp. But Mosley’s opt-out, as well as the trade of Jamal Adams to Seattle, will leave the Jets without two of their top defenders.

Mosley is, at press time, the 36th NFL player to opt-out of the season. He’s one of the most notable departures to date on a list that includes Super Bowl star Damien Williams and New England Patriots Pro Bowler Dont’a Hightower. The Patriots have been, by far, the team most affected by the departures, with seven exits so far. Receiver Marquise Lee was the latest on that list.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags