Former UFC champ Daniel Cormier on retirement: “Yeah, I’m not going to fight anymore”

Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier (22-3, 1 NC) made it clear leading up to UFC 252 that he would be walking away following his fight with Stipe Miocic (19-3). Cormier went on to lose a unanimous decision to Miocic back on August 15th.

The former two division UFC champion told Joe Rogan in a post-fight interview that he would only fight again if it was for championships. That of course seemingly cracked the door on a potential return for Cormier.

Today, Cormier returned to his ESPN show with Ariel Helwani. Helwani simply asked the former UFC champion if he was done. Cormier replied with, “Yeah, I’m not going to fight anymore.”

Future UFC Hall of Famer

Cormier continued, “I told Joe Rogan after the fight that I was only interested in fighting for championships…I’ve lost two fights in a row for the first time in my career. You have to understand when it’s time.”

DC went on to talk about the fact that he might have been hit with the right hand by Miocic at UFC 252 that dropped him in the second round was, “Because I’m older.” Cormier will be turning 42 years old next March.

Initially, Cormier didn’t want to fight in the UFC past his 40th birthday. Of course, the potential fight with Brock Lesnar kept him going. The fight never materialized and Cormier agreed to giving Miocic a rematch after DC won the belt from him at UFC 226.

When DC was finished by Miocic, he said that he couldn’t walk away after that performance. He waited for Miocic to heal up and the two rematched at UFC 252. Losing twice left Cormier no where to go and at 41 years old, he acknowledged that it’s time to move on with his life.

Daniel Cormier’s Legacy

DC is truly one of the best fighters to ever do it. Unfortunately for him, he fought as the same time as Jon Jones and Stipe Miocic. Those two men had Cormier’s number when no one else could solve his puzzle. Cormier will no doubt go into the Hall of Fame as a former two division UFC world champion.

I do feel bad for Daniel Cormier. There people who do not put a ton of stock in his UFC light heavyweight title run since he never defeated Jon Jones. There are also now people questioning his first win against Stipe having lost twice to Miocic. People have said the shot might have been pure luck.

At the end of the day, Cormier won the heavyweight title clean. When Jones was out, he beat every man at light heavyweight to capture the title. While pundits can always talk, there is no questioning the legacy that Daniel Cormier will leave inside the octagon.

Rumor: Yankees would have to part with top pitching prospect for red-hot Rangers’ starter

New York Yankees, Lance Lynn

The rumor mill is flowing, and the New York Yankees are checking in on multiple players. With Mike Clevinger off the board and headed toward San Diego to play for the Padres, one option that remains available is Texas Rangers’, Lance Lynn.

Lynn played in 11 games for the Yankees back in 2018, posting a 4.14 ERA. His 61 innings pitched, and two homers allowed were quite impressive, and he backed up a solid 2018 performance with a 3.67 ERA in 2019. He went 16-11 with the Rangers last year at 32 years old. His major issue — wild pitches. Over 208 innings pitched, he threw 18 wild pitches, by far the most in his entire career.

However, during an abbreviated 2020 season, he has posted a 1.93 ERA with a 4-1 record. His 51.1 innings pitched is a lofty number, enjoying 56 strikeouts and allowing six homers.

The major issue with acquiring Lynn would be his price tag. Since he is red hot, the Rangers are looking for valuable assets in return. Specifically, they desire young pitching prospect Deivi Garcia, who pitched six scoreless innings in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader against the New York Mets.

The value for the New York Yankees:

Lynn is currently in the second year of a three-year deal, giving the Yankees one more season of control. Is it worth sending Garcia over for Lynn, who will account for $8 million in base salary next year?

Some might say that acquiring proven talent is a good deal, but Garcia has immense potential.

Nonetheless, the Yankees are hoping to compete for a World Series this season, and with the majority of their players returning to health in the coming weeks, having sustainable pitching is a priority. I do like that Lynn has another year on his contract, further bolstering his value as a starter. He also lasts an average of 6.0 innings per game, which is incredibly valuable at this point of the Bombers.

In addition, the Yankees are set to lose James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, and JA Happ, which only expands Lynn’s worth.

 

New York Rangers hire Jacques Martin as new assistant coach

Earlier today, the New York Rangers announced that they are naming Jacques Martin as their new assistant coach, replacing Lindy Ruff, who had filled that position since 2017. Martin was previously affiliated with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the last seven seasons, where he became a two time Stanley Cup champion (2015-2016 and 2016-2017).

What are the New York Rangers getting in Jacques Martin?

During his time with the Penguins, the team finished with a total record of 214-115-40 through 369 games. In those games, Pittsburgh ranked second in the league for goals per game, shots on goal per game, and power-play percentage. They were third in the league for wins, fourth for point percentage, and twelfth for penalty kill percentage. It seems as if Jacques Martin is the perfect fit for the Rangers as they continue to grow and develop their young offensive stars. 

With head coach David Quinn entering only his second season as an NHL coach, adding a more experienced assistant coach will be very beneficial for the team. As we saw this season, developing young stars is a difficult job to have. Do it right, and you could have a big-time player, mess it up, and you can have a big-time bust.

With all of the young talent that the Rangers possess, such as Kakko, Chytil, and Shesterkin- and whoever they choose to draft first overall this year- they need an experienced coach who can get the job done. Having an assistant coach that has been able to win two Stanley Cups and develop one of the biggest powerhouse teams of the last decade would be a win for any team in the league, and the Rangers should be lucky that they just landed one.

Jacques Martin will prove to be a key addition to the team, and it just adds to the overwhelming potential the New York Rangers already have. With big-name stars already on the roster, young prospects becoming better every year, and an elite coaching staff, it won’t be long until the New York Rangers are back on top of the standings.  

New York Yankees targeting starting San Francisco Giants pitcher in trade deal

Kevin Gausman, New York Yankees

With the trade deadline nearing at 4 PM, the New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman are silently making calls and checking up on different players who could be of value. While they missed out on starting pitcher Mike Clevinger, due to an absorbent price tag, they have targeted San Francisco Giants starter Kevin Gausman as a potential option.

What would Gausman bring to the New York Yankees?

The San Francisco starter has had a tumultuous start the 2020 season, driving down his stock and potentially making him a cheaper target for the Yankees. He currently has a 4.54 ERA with a 1-2 record. Over 35.2 innings pitched, he’s allowed 37 hits, six homers, and eight walks. However, he has a solid 48 strikeouts. He’s been a decent pitcher over the past few years, posting a lofty 5.72 ERA in 2019 with the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds.

Ultimately, with James Paxton being placed on the injured list with a forearm flexor strain, adding a starter to the rotation would be beneficial. However, the past few days have been decent for the rotation, with Deivi García posting six scoreless innings against the Mets in the second game of the doubleheader on Sunday.

Jordan Montgomery also had a decent outing, and Michael King pitched well over the weekend, despite leaving the bases-loaded for Brooks Kriske on Sunday. Starting pitching hasn’t been the kryptonite for the Yankees. It has been their bullpen.

Cashman checking up on Gausman is interesting, and they might be able to get him for cheaper than expected. Either way, the Yankees would have to give up prospects or some of their youth outfielders. Miguel Andujar and Clint Frazier rank atop the list of potential trade pieces, but Gausman might not be worth one of those starting level players. I would prefer the Yankees to go out and find a bullpen arm that could help supplement the loss of Tommy Kahnle.

The New York Mets are reportedly looking for a starter, a catcher, and bullpen help

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The New York Mets are still very much in playoff contention, even though the team is just 15-19 in the standings. There are still 26 games to be played, and while the team has been hit hard by injuries, especially on the pitching side, there is still hope of making a run at the playoffs.

However, to reach that destination, the New York Mets need to make a move today. Starting pitching is an area of need, but not as much as getting relief help. The team’s best reliever, Seth Lugo, has been moved to the rotation, and that has left a huge hole in the back of the bullpen, which has been reflected in the results.

According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, the Mets are working to improve several areas. New York, per Heyman, is “looking for a starter, a catcher, and pen help.”

Boston has been doing background work on Mets’ minor leaguers

Speaking of backstops, the Mets could deal some prospects to the Boston Red Sox, which are in the last place of the American East division, in exchange for Christian Vasquez. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic recently reported that the Sox have been “doing background” on some Mets minor leaguers.

Vazquez would be more than a rental, as he is under team control until the end of the 2022 season. He is due a manageable salary, too, at $6.25 million in 2021 and $7 million in 2022, the latter being a club option.

Per SNY, trading Vazquez would presumably take the Mets out of the running for pending free agent J.T. Realmuto, in the case that the Philadelphia Phillies fail to resign him before next season.

The Mets have surrendered several top prospects in the last two years as they have become buyers. Anthony Kay, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic has been flipped, but they still have some ammunition left to strike a deal should they decide to go that route.

The New York Yankees Are Playing the Most Important 3 Games Of the Year

Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees

It’s August 31st, the trade deadline looms over the Bronx Bombers, as they are desperate to shore up a beaten and battered bullpen riddled with injuries. They look to add a frontline starter with control to avoid two paydays for starting pitchers like Tanaka and Paxton. This team needs to get the job done. Today the Yankees don’t sit on a 17-15 record despite a 7-2 deficit with two outs in the 9th and an error by Luke Voit that tied up the game in the second game. They sit at 19-13, with a three-game winning streak, and with their bats starting to wake up. Gary Sanchez and Aaron Hicks haters trembled at the sight of those two being heroes.

They now face their fierce rivals in the Tampa Bay Rays who they’ve lost 6 out of 7 against. In a three-game set where they sit only two games back in the loss column. This is a matter of life or death in the divisional race for the Yankees, and this time they can’t lose.

No Injury Excuses

Yes, Judge, Stanton, Gleyber, Britton, and Paxton are all injured. The Rays are also battered with injuries with 15 IL trips this year. There aren’t any excuses for losing this series other than “The Rays are a better team.” New York needs to bear down, get ready, and take a win here. This series will show who’s the better team, and we need the Yankees to step up and win. They have no doubleheaders in this series, so playing DJ, Voit, Frazier, Hicks, Sanchez, Tauchman, and Urshela needs to happen in all three games.

Need Starters to Go the Distance

Gerrit Cole and Tyler Glasnow will go toe-to-toe in tonight’s game, and the Yankees need Cole to step up and have his best outing of the year. We need the Gerrit Cole that’s going to go seven innings and get 11 strikeouts while giving up one run. We need him to be the pitcher we paid him to be tonight. Masa takes the task of Game 2, and he can either win the series or put the Yankees in a spot to win the rubber match. He cannot falter either. The 3rd game, which could be for the sweep, for the series, or to stave off of a 2nd home sweep, lies on the shoulders of Jordan Montgomery.

These starters need to be ready and able to get the ball and get the job done. We can’t bank on trade deadline reinforcements until we get them.

The Offense Needs To Keep the Ball Rolling

The Yankees averaged 2.7 runs a game in that seven-game losing skid, but in their three wins, they’ve averaged 5 runs a game. This is despite the doubleheader lineups oftentimes involving at least one really bad lineup. Instead, we saw the lineups do their jobs in yesterday’s miracles. The offense no longer is so Luke Voit and DJ LeMahieu dependent, as we saw a combined .350 OBP in the two games from everyone outside of those two. That’s fantastic considering that Fraizer only played one game, and we have no Judge, no Stanton, and no Gleyber. This lineup has the next man up mentality, and it’s the recipe for success in New York.

This series is one that could redefine the entire season. A season mired in disappointment and seemingly spoiled by a seven-game losing skid and being 2nd in the division can be changed for the better if the New York Yankees are SAVAGES in the box.

New York Mets: Seth Lugo is getting results as a starter

For a long time, New York Mets‘ pitcher Seth Lugo wanted to be a starter. After all, he came up through the minor leagues as such. But the last, before the 2020 season, that he started a game was in 2018. He was too valuable of a reliever, but injuries and ineffectiveness forced the team to put him back in the rotation this year.

His first start came on August 25, against the Miami Marlins. For three innings, he was perfect, with no hits or walks and five strikeouts. On Sunday, against the Yankees, the New York Mets’ righty was impressive once again, allowing four hits and two walks against a good offense, with only an earned run (a home run) and seven punchouts.

Lugo is slowly, but surely building arm strength and stamina to have a normal starter workload in just a couple more starts. But results-wise, the Mets have to be pleased with that they have seen so far from the talented hurler.

The Mets miss him in the bullpen

Yes, Lugo is dearly missed in the back of the bullpen, especially since the Mets have blown lead after lead since he was placed in the rotation. But after Steven Matz’s struggles, Noah Syndergaard long-term injury and Marcus Stroman decision to not play the season, going with Lugo as a starter made sense.

“It doesn’t matter who it is, whether it’s the bullpen or anything else — offense, defense, starting pitching,” Lugo said to MLB.com about the bullpen struggles. “These are my teammates, so I always feel for these guys. I know we can make the adjustment we need to make to be successful.”

Against the Yankees, Lugo used his five-pitch mix to get outs, with much success. He mixed in a four-seam fastball, a sinker, a curveball, a slider and a changeup to keep hitters off balance, and it largely worked. He is stretched out to 60 pitches, and each time he takes the mound, the number will increase until he reaches 90 or 100.

“I foresee quality starts,” Rojas said. “If he keeps stretching out, I see quality starts coming from him.”

What to expect from the Yankees and Brian Cashman on deadline day

The New York Yankees bounced back over the weekend and won three straight over the Mets to get back on track. Tonight, Gerrit Cole takes the mound against the Rays hoping to finally get over the hump against Tampa Bay.

With all this going on, the eyes of fans everywhere surround today’s trade deadline. The Yankees have been fleeced with injuries this year that have taken a World Series favorite team to a shaky contender.

Despite the three straight wins over the Mets, the Yankees are still just 3-7 in their last ten games. They currently find themselves 3.5 games out of the division lead. The Yankees are in desperate need for a shot in the arm, and the deadline could provide that. But, what should we really expect from GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees?

Who are the Yankees looking at?

There have been multiple reports confirming that the Yankees have been talking to the D-Backs about the players listed above as well as the Brewers regarding Josh Hader. Of course, Hader would require Cashman to give up the cream of the crop in terms of Yankees prospects.

The Diamondbacks could be a partner that fits the bill for exactly what Cashman is looking for. The Yankees could use another outfielder with the injuries to Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. Starling Marte could fit in perfectly. They could also use some rotational help from Robbie Ray and bullpen help from Archie Bradley.

One single deal could help the Yankees in all areas. However, we know how stingy Cashman can be when it comes to dealing prospects. If he feels that it’s not a winning deal for the Yankees, he will not make it. This decision making has caused mass frustration from the fan base in the past.

So what do I expect? While it’s confirmed that the Yanks have been very active checking in on players, I’m not expecting much to get done today. Unfortunately for fans, when Cashman thinks the Yankees have a winning team, he tends to air on the side of optimism with what they have assuming the team gets healthy.

The D-Backs are the one team I could see a deal happening with. Would remind me of the Frazier, Robertson, Kahnle deal from a couple of years ago. However, I’m not sure Cashman is going to give up the Yankee prospect capital to get it done. Time will tell, but I’m hoping we see some big move that will give the bombers a much needed shot in the arm.

New York Islanders: 3 Key Players to Game 4’s Win

Thomas Greiss, New York Islanders

As New York Islanders‘ head coach Barry Trotz said, “that was the worst game that we’ve played to this point in the playoffs.” I don’t think the Islanders played terrible last night, but they weren’t good. Nevertheless, the Islanders take a 3-1 series lead. And for the first time in 27 years, the Islanders could be headed to the Eastern Conference Finals. The Islanders are clicking right now, and it’s a scary sight for all other teams. There were three key players to last night’s win, and they deserve to be recognized for their efforts.

Thomas Greiss

This was possibly Thomas Greiss’ last game as an Islander. Greiss gave it his all, as he made 36 saves on 38 shots. Greiss made some of the hardest saves look insanely easy. The Islanders are unbeatable when their goalies are clicking. Greiss didn’t make any mistakes last night. As Thomas Greiss said, “it’s not rocket science out there, just stop the puck.” Greiss gets the first star of the night for sure. If this is his last game, thank you, Greisser, for everything.

Brock Nelson

Who knew it could be Brocktober in Paugaust? Brock Nelson finally broke his cold streak and put up two goals last night. This is only the beginning of his hot streak; once Brock gets on a roll, he’s impossible to stop. Nelson possesses the best shot on the team by far. When he’s in front of the net with no one around him, you can bet on Nelson burying it top corner. The Islanders are dangerous even when Nelson wasn’t clicking; what’s going to happen to the league when he clicks?

Scott Mayfield

I’ve said it once, I will say it again; Scott Mayfield won the Islanders the game last night. Mayfield basically said, “okay, I’ve had it, this game is going to be over because I want it to be, I’m tying the puck up, outmuscle me.” And no one was able to outmuscle Mayfield at all. For the last 18 seconds, Mayfield kept the puck on the boards. Mayfield has a purpose, and he fulfilled it. Mayfield also got on the scorer’s sheet last night with an assist.

Honorable Mentions

Josh Bailey has to be mentioned as one of the top players. Bailey is now point per game in the playoffs. He is also tied for 4th in the NHL in assists during the playoffs. Bailey is the anchor of the B-B-B line and creates offense for everyone around him. Bailey has been criticized for too long; hopefully, now the criticisms will stop. JG Pageau deserves a mention as well because he’s the do it all guy. Lou Lamoriello should get a parade through the streets of Long Island for that trade. Pageau is tied for 3rd in playoff goals this season. How many playoff goals does that late first-round pick have again?

Conclusion

The Islanders are one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals. Soak it in Isles fans, the day you’ve dreamt about is almost here. Nine more wins and you’re lifting the Stanley Cup. The Islanders play the Flyers on Tuesday at 7 pm ET.

Judge Likens Giants’ Offensive Line To a “Lunch Pail” Crew

New York Giants, Joe Judge

In the 1980s, New York Giants head coach Bill Parcells dubbed the offensive linemen “The Suburbanites”, since the majority f them would pull up into the stadium parking lot in family-oriented vehicles with baby seats in the back.

They were anything but that on the field, as they dominated the trenches en route to two Super Bowl championships. Current Giants head coach Joe Judge has a lot of Parcells in him. He does, however, come from the Parcells coaching tree by virtue of working under Bill Belichick, Parcells’ longtime defensive guru.

The Giants’ offensive line is being rebuilt and with a new position coach (Marc Columbo joins holdover assistant Ben Wilkerson this year), the Suburbanites could be in for a revival. Columbo, a former Boston College star offensive tackle, was actually a player under Parcells in Dallas and credits the Hall of Fame coach with saving and reviving his career.

“Marc coaches those guys hard. Him and Ben get after it pretty good,” said Judge. “They understand it’s coming from the right place. I’ve seen those guys improve because they come to work every day with their lunch pail.”

The Giants’ line did not look very sharp in last Saturday’s scrimmage versus the defense, but it’s still work in progress. Judge did not criticize the fact that the defense was in the backfield more often that he would have liked. Then again, it could just be that the Giants’ defensive front is coming together. After all, they do have some good young players in their front seven.

Judge decided to dwell on the positives when speaking to reporters on Sunday.

“You saw a lot of things from them,” Judge said. “You see the young guys and the athleticism. I thought Nick Gates did a good job in the middle, commanding the calls and getting everyone on the same page. I thought he played with a lot of toughness the other night. I thought the tackles did a decent job. There were some other times, obviously, our defense was able to mix up some different looks and create pressure. There is a lot of parity in the night between our offense and defense based on the situation they were in. I thought Hernandez and Zeitler did a good job really playing physical. That showed up with (rookie) Shane Lemieux. I was pleased with how (rookie) Matt Peart and Eric Smith played on the edges. There are a lot of young guys who showed up as well. Tyler Haycraft had a large load the other night, did a decent job in there handling it, especially with the mental and the changes our defense gave with different looks. That’s always a key thing for the center position, to be the smart guy who steers everyone on the same page. I was pleased with the way the offensive line worked.”

“They’re improving every day,” he added.

The line could end up starting three rookies by year’s end: first and third round picks Andrew Thomas and Peart at tackle and Lemieux, a fifth rounder, at center. Right now, it appears only the guard positions are set with Will Hernandez at left guard and Kevin Zeitler on the right side. Either Gates and Spencer Pulley will start the year at center.