New York Giants: The two RBs backing up Devonta Freeman

The New York Giants responded to the Saquon Barkley injury by signing Devonta Freeman. The former Falcons running back looks to be their starter for the rest of the year as Barkley’s ACL recovers. However, Freeman is one running back in a rotation of multiple. With the team’s best player out, it’s reasonable to assume the Giants will give more touches to their backup backs this year.

Who is manning those backup spots? Largely, that’s one new signing and one player that’s been with the Giants for the past three seasons.

Dion Lewis

Former Patriots and Titans running back Dion Lewis was signed during the offseason by the Giants. At the time, it appeared he was just a backup to Saquon Barkley. In this role, Lewis looked like a pretty good fit. After all, he had rushed for nearly 900 yards during his best season and while his performance fell off more recently, the Giants didn’t need him for a large role.

But Lewis might be getting more touches than expected thanks to the team’s current situation. This may be a chance for him to help revive his career. It’s been trending backwards for the past couple of seasons, but we have yet to see much of Lewis as a Giant.

During the 2019 season he fell from 517 yards to 209 while competing with Derrick Henry. It’s hard to tell just how much of that is because of Lewis himself, though. After all, Henry would be considered stiff competition to any back in the league.

In his two appearances for the Giants, Lewis has 11 rushes and 21 yards so far. Not the greatest numbers, but those may see a change. Lewis hardly would have expected to fill in for Saquon Barkley full time in week two against the Bears, but that’s what ended up happening. Presumably, being more mentally in the game next time will prevent such bad numbers in yards per carry.

Wayne Gallman

The other main option behind Devonta Freeman is Wayne Gallman. Gallman actually predates Barkley but he’s only shown flashes of potential, never starring for the Giants. Still, there’s something impressive about his ability to avoid the cut. Even this season when the Giants brought in Lewis, Gallman was able to keep his job for another year.

With no Barkley in the picture and an unfamiliar free agent as the starter, Gallman may get a chance to touch the ball more – at least to trial his skills and see if he’s worth putting in the rotation. He had 476 rushing yards in 2017 but was never able to repeat the performance as Barkley came in and took over the top spot.

The following seasons, Gallman had 176 and 110 yards. Not enough to stand out, but those numbers have been enough to allow him to keep his job. Gallman only has one carry this season so far, in the opener. That was a 14 yard run, but peculiarly, he received no carries against Chicago even after Barkley was hurt.

Don’t expect Gallman to become the main option – but this season may just be a chance for him to justify his continued presence as a backup.

New York Mets: The Peterson/Chirinos Battery Lead Mets To 3-2 Win

New York Mets, David Peterson

Who would have thought the combination of David Peterson and Robinson Chirinos would team up with the 2020 season started? Both guys took different paths to the New York Mets roster but made the difference in their 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. The win kept their small playoff hopes still alive as they sit 2.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants for the final playoff spot.

While Peterson did not strike out batters at the same rate as his last start, he was still very effective. In his final start of the season, he held the Nationals to one run over seven innings and struck out four. Peterson used his slider to put away the Nats hitters and make the longest start of his career. He will finish the season with a very impressive 3.44 ERA, very deserving of a spot in next year’s rotation.

Rob and Dom Show

While the Mets only pushed across three runs on the night but they made them count. Chirinos drove in all three with a hustle single and a two-run home run. All of his RBI came off Patrick Corbin, and the home run was his first of the season.

Dominic Smith continued his hot hitting with three more hits, including two more double to up his season total to 21. It broke the Mets record for the most doubles through a 60 game stretch, and he still has three more games to add to that total. Robinson Cano also added two hits, including his first bunt single since 2013.

Edwin Diaz picked up his sixth save of the season after allowing one run in the ninth inning. He bent but did not break as he worked around two hits in the ninth to shut the door.

Rick Porcello faces off against former teammate Max Scherzer for the second game of the series on Friday. It is another 6:05 p.m. ET start from Nationals Park.

Tampa Bay Rays troll Yankees with ‘stable’ shirts

New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, Kevin Cash

The Tampa Bay Rays, fresh off claiming the American League East division title on Wednesday night, made fun of the New York Yankees in a clever way. Players were seen wearing a T-shirt with the message “whole damn stable,” which Bombers’ fans know the reference very well.

The theme of the T-shirt stems from the confrontation between the Rays and the Yankees back on September 1, when Aroldis Chapman pitched behind Mike Brosseau and later received a three-game suspension. Back then, both teams emptied the benches and exchanged words and insults.

“It’s ridiculous. Enough is enough. … It was mishandled by the Yankees. Poor judgment. Poor coaching. Poor teaching. Somebody has to be accountable and the last thing I’ll say is I have a whole damn stable full of guys that throw 98 mph,” Rays manager Kevin Cash say after Chapman’s pitch. Those comments were viewed as a threat back then, with games remaining in the series between the Yankees and Rays.

A familiar foe of the Yankees celebrated with one of the shirts

One of the Rays players that was seen wearing the shirt was Charlie Morton, who was also in the Houston Astros team that defeated the Yankees in 2017 and went on to win the World Series that year.

“It was in my locker last week and I like horses. … I rode when I was younger,” Morton said, per the New York Post. “I was ecstatic to see this shirt in my locker so I wore it.”

Morton also noted, “We’ve got some guys that throw really hard. There’s a premium on that nowadays, especially.”

Yankees manager Aaron Boone and Cash both received one-game suspensions after the incident.

The Rays went on to win the regular season series against the New York Yankees eight to two.

For now, the Rays are celebrating their deserved, hard-fought division title. It remains to be seen who will be laughing when all is said and done.

Yankees: Good news and bad news in offensive dud against Toronto

New York Yankees, Jordan Montgomery

If the New York Yankees wish to win games in the postseason, they can’t score just one run per game. Over the last two games against the Toronto Blue Jays, they have totaled two runs and allowed 18. The Yankees are very much a feast or famine team, who go through tough cold streaks but then dominate when on fire.

On Thursday evening, the Yankees only tallied six hits, with the top of the order recording the majority. The Blue Jays racked up 10 hits and four runs but struck out 12 times.

FINAL SCORE: 4-1

Good news and bad news for the New York Yankees:

GOOD NEWS:

For the second straight day, the Yankees don’t have much good news to enjoy. However, starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery had a decent outing, allowing three earned runs over 5.1 and innings pitched. He struck out eight batters, and while this wasn’t his best showing of the season, having some run support would’ve been beneficial.

Adam Ottavino, who came in after Montgomery as a relief arm, allowed three hits and one earned run. Ottavino currently hosts a 6.00 ERA and continued his tumultuous 2020 campaign on Thursday.

With the postseason only a few days away, the offense must pick things up. They are capable of dominating, but their inconsistencies have shown a glaring weakness.

One piece of good news, Gio Urshela, is currently on a 13 game hitting streak — 22-for-48 with six doubles and 10 RBIs over that span.

BAD NEWS:

There’s plenty of bad news to harp on from the loss to Toronto. The Yankees inability to score with runners in scoring position is becoming a serious problem. They live and die by the home run, and that has been their downfall in recent years.

Clint Frazier, who is currently hitting .280, snapped an 0-for-14 slump with a single in the seventh inning. His offensive contributions have disappeared in recent days. Defensively, the Yankees have struggled, and the catcher position remains a serious question mark heading into the playoffs. Reports have indicated that Kyle Higashioka could earn starting reps, specifically when Gerrit Cole is pitching.

The Bombers didn’t even put up a serious fight against Toronto who clinched a playoff spot in the win.

Should the New York Knicks inquire about Russell Westbrook?

New York Knicks, Russell Westbrook

The New York Knicks have a big couple of months ahead of them, as they continue rebuilding their team and exercising their youth agenda. After hiring head coach Tom Thibodeau and new general manager Leon Rose, the entire ideology of the team has changed. From the coaching expertise to their relationships with players around the league, the Knicks are in a better place than before, but they are still a struggling team that needs help at multiple positions.

Finding a strong point guard who can run the offense is a necessity, and while Frank Ntilikina and Elfrid Peyton are serviceable in their own respects, they need an all-around player who can carry the team on his shoulders.

Whether it’s through the draft, free agency, or a trade, the Knicks desperately need to find the answer at point guard, which leads me to Russell Westbrook.

Should the New York Knicks inquire about Russell Westbrook trade:

If you know anything about Westbrook, it’s that he loves to shoot. The Houston Rocket could be a trade piece as the organization looks to rebuild from the ground up. Westbrook is a former MVP and has earned All-Star accolades multiple times, which makes him a fantastic player and potential rock for the Knicks. Having Westbrook and James Harden was always going to be an unnatural fit for Houston, as both require the ball in their hands at all times.

This year, Westbrook averaged 27.2 points per game, the highest since his 2016-2017 season. He has earned All-Star appearances in the last six consecutive years, taking one break during the 2013 campaign. The Knicks would theoretically be gaining one of the best offensive players in the league, and an athletic freak who can change the dynamic of a game at any given moment.

However, any offense that has Westbrook in it must completely revolve around him. Every pass needs to be orchestrated to get him the ball, and everyone else has to play second fiddle. I don’t believe Westbrook and Julius Randle would mesh together, meaning the Knicks would have to part ways with Randle in this scenario.

In a potential trade, the Knicks could send Randle over to Houston and consume Westbrook and his massive contract. He is currently on a five-year, $206.8 million deal. His contract expires in 2023, but he’s on the hook for over $40 million in each season, which will take up a ton of cap space.

Personally, I would stay far away from Westbrook, as the Knicks need to keep building on their youth and not inject a ball hog into the middle of their offense. Signing complementary pieces who the Knicks can build around is where they should be headed, meaning Westbrook should be a pipe dream left for the optimists.

UFC: Glover Teixiera – Thiago Santos booked for the third time

Anthony Smith, UFC

The UFC is going to try to book a light heavyweight title eliminator for the third time. COVID-19 has had their way with this contest, but the promotion is determined to make it happen. This fight will determine who will face the new UFC light heavyweight champion.

For the third time, the UFC has booked Glover Teixiera (31-7) against Thiago Santos (21-7). Originally the two men were scheduled to square off at UFC Vegas 10 in the main event of the evening. However, Teixiera came down with COVID-19 which scrapped the fight.

The UFC then pivoted to book the fight for Fight Island. The fight was to take place on the October 3rd card. This time, Santos came down with COVID-19 and the promotion was once again forced to cancel the fight.

Now, per ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, the UFC is once again booking this fight for the main event on a Fight Night on November 7th. The fight will take place at the APEX in Las Vegas.

UFC Title Eliminator

The UFC will crown a new light heavyweight champion this weekend at UFC 253. Dominick Reyes and Jan Blachowicz will go head to head to determine who will be the new light heavyweight king.

The fight between Glover and Santos will crown a clear number one contender. For years, the light heavyweight division was ruled by Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier. Because of their dominance, there wasn’t a lot of parody in the division.

Now, we will actually see some fluidity in the division. This weekend is going to be a big night for the UFC in crowning a new champion. This fantastic fight in November should generate an exciting number one contender for the first title defense.

Both Santos and Teixiera have fought for the UFC light heavyweight title before. Both fell short, although Santos came a lot closer to defeating Jones than Teixiera did. This should be a fantastic fight on November 7th.

New York Yankees: Clarke Schmidt expected to make first MLB start on Sunday

New York Yankees, Clarke Schmidt

Reports indicate that Clarke Schmidt will make his first New York Yankees start on Sunday against the Miami Marlins. Schmidt, 24, has made two major league appearances out of the bullpen, but has yet to start a game. He has a 7.71 ERA in 2.1 innings.

The hard-throwing right-hander from the University of South Carolina was drafted by the Yankees in the first round of the 2017 draft. It wasn’t until 2018 where he made his professional debut, beginning a quick rise to the majors. His first season saw him stay in rookie ball and low-A, pitching to a tune of a 3.09 ERA across three levels.

2019 saw him make appearances in both A and AA, but never saw AAA. He had a 3.47 ERA across three levels, impressing the Yankees with his velocity and strikeout numbers. He struck out 102 batters in just 90.2 innings, and sits in the mid-90s on the radar.

Schmidt impressed during the shortened spring training, and was invited to “summer camp” once the season commenced. He impressed again there, but was sent to the alternate site in Scranton to continue training. After staying in Scranton for nearly a month and a half, he made his major league debut on September 4th, out of the bullpen.

The Yankees have tasked Schmidt with starting the final game of the regular season, which will likely be a meaningless game for the team. They are poised for the five-seed, as Tampa Bay has clinched their first division in 10 years.

Additionally, Deivi Garcia is likely to start on Saturday, per Aaron Boone. Garcia has a 2-2 record with a 4.88 ERA in five starts. Like on Sunday, Saturday’s game is expected to essentially be meaningless for the Yankees.

New York Yankees: Gleyber Torres is the newest global ambassador of Special Olympics

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

The Special Olympics global movement announced two new ambassadors, and they also happen to be the first MLB players to be considered as such. One is a member of the New York Yankees, shortstop Gleyber Torres, and the other one is fellow Venezuelan Willson Contreras, who plays for the Chicago Cubs.

Both baseball stars are bilingual and thus in perfect position to build bridges of inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in the Americas.

“Special Olympics is proud to have Gleyber Torres and Willson Contreras join our movement as Global Ambassadors,” said Special Olympics chief executive officer Mary Davis, per MLB.com. “Their passion and perspective amplify the voice of the Unified Generation and show the world how the power of sport can create an inclusive world.”

“Gleyber and Willson’s dedication to their sport translates to their endeavors both on and off the field,” said Special Olympics North America president Tony Wyllie. “We look forward to partnering with them to promote the inclusion movement in North America, Latin America and around the world.”

“Gleyber Torres and Willson Contreras deepen the bench of Special Olympics Global Ambassadors who can truly transcend borders,” said Special Olympics Latin America president Claudia Echeverry. “Their recognition and reputations throughout the Americas are unmatched and having these powerhouses of baseball on our team will connect our global movement across languages, across continents and across real and perceived barriers.”

The Yankees’ shortstop involvement with the community

The Yankees’ star, therefore, earns a new commitment with the community, but his leadership and charisma almost guarantee that he will fulfill his new role to perfection.

Torres and Contreras will be tasked with leveraging their networks with the intention of supporting and promoting the movement’s mission around the world, but with an emphasis in the Americas and in Venezuela.

Torres, who is one of the New York Yankees’ brightest stars on and off the field, will partner with Special Olympics New York, especially through opportunities involving baseball.

“I couldn’t imagine a greater honor than being welcomed into the Special Olympics family as a Global Ambassador,” said Torres. “I am excited to hit the ground running and lend my platform to Special Olympics athletes to spread inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities in New York, Florida, Latin America and beyond.”

Some of the most notable Special Olympics Global Ambassadors have been NFL stars Joe Haden and Jamaal Charles, NBA representatives Andre Drummond, Damian Lillard and Ricky Rubio, WNBA’s Elena Delle Donne, former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo, retired soccer player Didier Drogba and others.

Joe Judge Settling in to Life Without Saquon Barkley

New York Giants, Devonta Freeman

The New York Giants lost star running back Saquon Barkley to a torn ACL for the season last Sunday in Chicago and now face the prospect of a running back-by-committee approach.

Then again, whoever holds the hot hand could end up getting the reps.

“He may be the guy for that moment,” head coach Joe Judge told reporters about the hot hand on Thursday. “Maybe he’s the guy for that game plan the way things are working and clicking. But I’d say within every specific game plan, we’re going to always look to use all of the players we have at the game, and make sure we have enough combinations to go ahead and create advantages for ourselves.”

Right now, the Giants have three players that will be vying for reps at running back – Dion Lewis, Wayne Gallman and the newly signed Devonta Freeman.

“I think you just use whatever you have on your roster, whether it’s a guy like Saquon, we still have Dion Lewis who we rely heavily on, and Wayne Gallman who we rely heavily on,” said Judge. “Obviously, Saquon’s situation, we all feel for him. He’s going to work his butt off to get back here as fast as possible.

We’re happy to have Devonta. The thing I see with him is he’s a ball guy. You can tell this guy has a lot of passion for the game, he has a lot of experience, he plays hard, he practices hard. I was very impressed yesterday out at practice with the fire he practiced with, the attention to detail, how fast he picked up on a lot of our system. He’s an experienced guy, but sometimes experience in other systems doesn’t always translate over to knowing the alphabet of what you’re doing. But he really did a good job of understanding what we’re doing in practice, being able to get in the huddle, break the huddle, know what to do and do it very effectively. It was very encouraging on day one.”

Time will tell how this all pans out but one thing is for sure, all three can play and all three are currently healthy.

 

 

New York Yankee’s Top 10’s: Who was the best Yankee hitter in the postseason? (Videos)

New York Yankees, Bernie Williams

This article is a brand new installment of the New York Yankee’s Top Tens. In this top ten, we examine the Yankee players who have had the most hits in postseason play. It may surprise you, of the top 10, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig did not make the list, part of the reason is that when they played, there was only the World Series, not all the rounds of the present postseasons. In the illustrious history of the Yankees, they have had a multitude of great players, but those on this list had the most hits in postseason play.

10a.  Chuck Knoblauch – 48 hits.

Chuck Knoblauch only played to the New York Yankees for four years but made his mark in postseason play, with 48 hits. 1998 was his big year with the Yankees. In the World Series, he had an OPS of 1.063 and a .375 batting average.

10b.  Scott Brosius – 48 hits.

Scott Brosius is another player that only played for the Yankees for four years, but he too made his mark in the postseason. He drove in 15 runs in the 1998 postseason and was named the MVP in the World Series that year.

9a.  Joe DiMaggio – 54 hits.

“Joltin’ Joe” was one of the most popular Yankee players. He played his entire 13 years in the majors with the Yankees. From 1936 until 1951, he had 54 hits in the postseason. He would have had more, but he spent three years fighting in World War II.

9b.  Alex Rodriguez  – (54)

Alex Rodriguez was a controversial player with the New York Yankees, whether you liked him or hated him, it can’t be taken away from him, that he was one of the best players to ever play the game of baseball.  For the Yankees, he was often criticized for not hitting in the postseason.  But the fact is, having 54 hits in the postseason placed him 9th in all of Yankee history.

8.   Micky Mantle – 59 hits.

The fan-favorite, Mickey Mantle, had the eighth-most hits in postseason play for the Yankees. Mantle played all his games with the Yankees for 18 years.  He appeared in the postseason in 12 of those years. In the 1960 postseason, he had a 1.345 OPS. His 59 hits put at number 8 on this list.

7.  Hideki Matsui – 64 hits.

Hideki Matsui, called “Godzilla,” is just one of the latest Yankee players to strike gold with his 64 hits in 6 postseason appearances that places him as having the seventh-most hits in postseason play. He set a Yankees record in 2009 when he had an OPS of 2.027 in the World Series with 8 hits driving in 8, and being named the World Series MVP.

6.  Tino Martinez – 69 hits.

Tino Martinez had a big job replacing fan favorite Don Mattingly at first base.  But Tino did not disappoint, especially in the postseason when he had 69 hits. In nine years, he had five series in the postseason, where he hit 8 or more hits.

5.  Yogi Berra – 71 hits.

Yogi Berra was not one of the greatest Yankee postseason hitters, but in his 14 World Series, he had 71 hits. However, with Yogi you have to take into account that when he played there was only the World Series, no playoff games.  If he was playing today, he just might be number one on this list. Yogi Berra holds the record for the most World Series wins with ten rings.

4.  Paul O’Neill – 76 hits.

The present YES Network commentator, Paul O’Neill, is one of the most popular Yankees players of the last thirty years, he also amassed 76 hits in postseason play in his nine years with the Yankees.  Other than Derek Jeter, he had his name chanted the second-most by the Yankee faithful.

3.  Jorge Posada – 103 hits.

Jorge Posada was the New York Yankee regular catcher from 1998 to 2011. From 1995 to the end of his seventeen-year Yankee career, he hit 103 hits in postseason play. In 2001 he had 15 postseason hits. He also had 3 home runs. Posada was one of the core four during the Yankee dynasty of the late ’90s and early two thousands.

2.  Bernie Williams – 128

Bernie Williams was one of the most popular Yankees of all time.  He was the heart and soul of the Dynasty years and should have been part of a “core five.” In his 16 year Yankee only career, he amassed 128 hits during postseason games. He also holds the title for the most home runs in postseason play (22). Add to that his 80 RBI’s leads all the Yankees. He also holds the record for the most walks in the postseason (71).

Derek Jeter is number 1 with his 200 hits. He also holds the record for the most doubles and triples in postseason play.  Add to that; he has the most stolen bases (18) in Yankees postseason history. Derek Jeter’s timely hitting throughout his career is the stuff of legends.

As to who was the best player in the Yankees postseason, it’s according to how much weight you put on each category.  My choice is Bernie Williams because his home runs and total hits were more impactful, with his 80 RBI’s than Jeter’s greater number of hits. He also had more postseason hits on average, than Jeter. Overall, Jeter was the best Yankee player, but in the postseason, my nod goes to Bernie Williams.