Kelvin Gastelum grinds out decision over Ian Heinisch at UFC 258

A big middleweight matchup was featured on the main card of UFC 258. Former interim title challenger and Ultimate Fighter winner, Kelvin Gastelum (15-6), took on the rising contender, Ian Heinisch (14-3).

This fight was a huge crossroads fight for both men. For Gastelum, he walked to the cage tonight carrying a three-fight losing streak. Just a couple of years ago, Gastelum was looked at as one of the best middleweights in the UFC.

However, many have soured on Gastelum after his last few performances. He needed a win in the worst way tonight, but it wouldn’t be easy. Ian Heinisch is a very promising contender in the middleweight division.

Heinisch was introduced to the UFC fans through Dana White’s Contender Series. Between his skills and his backstory, there is plenty of reason to root for Heinisch. He was looking to pickup the biggest win of his career at UFC 258.

UFC 258 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 258 middleweight contest got underway with a big leg kick for Heinisch. Heinisch then landed another leg kick before shooting in for his first takedown. Gastelum defended well and used a scramble to get back to his feet.

Gastelum pressed Heinisch up against the fence, but Heinisch attacked a kimura. It looked tight, but Gastelum defended well and was able to break the hold. Another scramble saw Gastelum get the back of Heinisch.

Gastelum went for a takedown of his own along the fence, but Heinisch attacked the kimura again. However, Gastelum wound up getting the mount and he broke the hold. Heinisch was able to buck out of the mount and the two went back to striking.

A big leg kick for Gastelum lands and Heinisch was breathing heavy. Gastelum pushed forward then forced a clinch along the fence. Gastelum landed a couple of takedowns, but Heinisch did a good job of getting back up. It’s 1-0 Gastelum after one at UFC 258.

Round 2

Heinisch looked like he was feeling the moment of UFC 258 before the second round started. A lot of deep breaths coming from Heinisch as the action resumed. Gastelum opened the striking with a big leg kick, but Heinisch countered with a big right hand.

Heinisch shot in for a takedown, but Gastelum easily shrugged him off. Heinisch lands a big flying knee but Gastelum just ate it and took Heinisch down. Gastelum worked his way to Heinisch’s back, but Heinisch was able to get back up.

The two resumed striking halfway through the round. Gastelum moved forward with heavy pressure and forced another clinch along the fence. A scramble broke the two up. Heinisch kept looking for a high kick, but it was hitting all arms.

Gastelum shot in for a takedown of his own, but Heinisch defended well. Heinisch was breathing very heavy as he march forward. A massive body kick lands for Heinisch. Just before the round ended, Gastelum forced another clinch along the fence. 2-0 Gastelum at UFC 258.

Round 3

Heading into the final round at UFC 258 and Ian Heinisch is going to need a finish in this one. Gastelum opened the striking with a leg kick. Heinisch steps forward with a big elbow that lands clean. He followed it with a takedown, but Gastelum forced a scramble to get back up.

Heinisch kept looking for big kicks in the third round. Gastelum steps forward with a beautiful combination and Heinisch backed up to the fence. After a quick reset, Heinisch launched with another flying knee.

However, just like in the second round, Gastelum used that to get a takedown. Heinisch hits a beautiful reversal and gets the back of Kelvin Gastelum. He’s got the hooks in and he started looking for the choke.

Heinisch tried to get the front mount, but Gastelum countered well and got back to his feet. A big left hand lands for Gastelum and Heinisch shoots in for a takedown. Both men looked fatigued in the final seconds. Heinisch gets another takedown, but can’t keep Gastelum there.

Gastelum gets back up and lands a takedown of his own as the bell sounds. The last round was close, but Kelvin Gastelum should get the decision at UFC 258.

Kevin Gastelum def. Ian Heinisch by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

New York Giants: Joe Judge quietly promotes Freddie Kitchens to senior assistant

New York Giants, Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns

When Freddie Kitchens joined the New York Giants as a tight ends coach, some expected more. Specifically, that the tight ends coaching job might be a stepping stone to a larger role in the organization. With the disappointing year one performance from offensive coordinator Jason Garrett, those talks only intensified. It seems like Kitchens might be a preferred offensive coordinator in the eyes of Joe Judge, after all.

Kitchens hasn’t taken over as a coordinator, but he did move up in the coaching staff to become a senior offensive assistant rather than just the coach of the tight ends.

It appears that fellow assistant Derek Dooley, most notable for being the former head coach of the University of Tennessee, will act as the tight end coach now that Kitchens is moving positions.

As the former head coach of the Browns, tight ends coach looked like a rather low position for Kitchens to settle for. It’s not surprising to see him move up in the ranks and take on a larger role. This also appears to be a move from Joe Judge to shape the offense further and make changes from last season, when the Giants had one of the worst offenses in the league.

While Jason Garrett isn’t getting replaced this season, the presence of Kitchens on the offensive staff might prompt some different offensive decisions that shake things up compared to the stale offense from last year.

All in all, it’s a promotion that’s not entirely unexpected and seems like a win for the Giants on the offensive side of the ball.

NASCAR Cup Series Preview 2021: Front Row Motorsports

Veteran endeavors and rookie debuts will lead the way from Front Row Motorsports’ 2021 NASCAR proceedings.

2021 Front Row Motorsports Driver Chart
Driver Car No. Crew Chief Primary Sponsor(s)
Michael McDowell 34 Drew Blickensderfer Love’s Travel Stops
David Ragan (part-time) 36 Derrick Finley Select Blinds
Anthony Alfredo (R) 38 Seth Barbour DUDE Wipes/MDS Trucking

History

Despite relatively conservative settings, Front Row has been one of the Cup Series’ modern staples, regularly fielding cars since 2009 after first arriving five years earlier. The late John Andretti was the first full-time driver of the car, with names like David Gilliland, Josh Wise, and Brett Moffitt all assuming the titles in years since. Renowned part-time names include Terry Labonte, Jeff Green, and Joe Nemechek.

Front Row earned the ultimate triumph in the spring of 2013, when Gilliland pushed David Ragan to a victory at Talladega, allowing FRM to sweep the top two sports. Three years later, the team made a brief appearance in the NASCAR playoffs, earning a spot when Chris Buescher won a rain-shortened summer race at Pocono.

2020 in Review

2020 was a breakout year of sorts for FRM, as the team earned a personal-best seven top ten finishes between Michael McDowell and Rookie of the Year contender John Hunter Nemechek, their best being the former’s seventh-place posting at Indianapolis. Nemechek had respectable efforts but he left at the end of the year to take over one of Kyle Busch’s Tundras in the Camping World Truck Series.

“Last year, we feel like we made a pretty big gain just from overall competitiveness and speed in our race cars,” said McDowell, whose 23rd-place finish in the standings was FRM’s best posting since Buescher reached the playoffs. “I feel like we have the potential to be more competitive this year than we even were last year, but you just never know until you get to the racetrack.”

Meet the Drivers

Michael McDowell

Experience: 13th full season
Career Cup Victories: 0
2020 finish: 23rd
Best standings finish: 23rd (2020)

It’s a shame that McDowell’s season was mostly remembered for his get-together with Bubba Wallace at the All-Star Open event at Bristol in July. Having worked with low-budget teams for most of his career, McDowell put up the best numbers of his Cup Series career, earning a career-best four top-ten finishes, each of them coming away from superspeedways. Prior to that, McDowell had one such result, coming at Homestead in the 2016 finale. This season will be his fourth in the No. 34 Ford.

“It’s a lot of fun because on those good days where you sneak out a top 10 or a top five you really feel like you’ve accomplished something,” McDowell said of competing with a mid-budget team. “Then you obviously have those ups-and-downs, on those days where you run twenty-something you can kind of brush it off and get ready for the next week. But just seeing the steady progression for us is what I think is the motivator. Last year, you always have high expectations, but when you actually go out there and perform we started to feel like, ‘Hey, we can do this. We can run 15th every week and we can beat two or three of these big teams and do it on a weekly basis.’ So that was a lot of fun and very rewarding and hopefully, we can keep that going into 2021 as well.”

Even McDowell’s crash with Wallace at the Open led to some good in the end. The pair auctioned off the bumper from Wallace’s downed No. 43 for the non-denominational Motor Racing Outreach, a religious organization that provides service and worship opportunities for drivers on the NASCAR circuit. Such an endeavor raised over $20,000.

David Ragan (part-time)

Experience: 16th season
Career Cup Victories: 2 (Last: Talladega, spring 2013)
2020 finish: N/A
Best standings finish: 13th (2008)

Ragan will once again briefly end his retirement to run the Daytona 500, doing so last year in a collaborative effort between FRM and Rick Ware Racing. Daytona is the site of Ragan’s other Cup Series victory, which came in July 2011 in Jack Roush’s No. 6 Ford. Ragan finished fourth in last season’s 500, his first top five since subbing for an injured Kyle Busch in 2015.

Anthony Alfredo (Rookie)

Experience: 1st season (No prior Cup Series starts)
Career Cup Victories: N/A
2020 finish: N/A
Best standings finish: N/A

Alfredo already has a lot to prove, even before he makes his first Cup Series start. Choosing the Connecticut native to take over for Nemechek in the No. 38 was a surprising decision considering he hasn’t run a full Xfinity Series season yet. He has some short track success to his name, finishing in the runner-up slot in the CARS Late Model Tour with Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team.

“It’s a huge step for myself and my career and to be competing against childhood heroes of mine, guys who have been racing not only in their career but in this series since before I was born or maybe one years old. I think guys like (Ryan) Newman have been in the series since I was one or two, so there are a lot of veterans out there and I know that they have a tremendous amount of experience in general in racing, let alone just this level, so I’m looking forward to learning from them.”

“It’s going to be a challenge to compete with them on a regular basis, but that’s what probably has me most psyched about this year.”

Alfredo did show some strong potential while sharing Richard Childress Racing’s Xfinity ride with Myatt Snider and Kaz Grala. He earned top tens in five of his first nine starts (including a fourth at Homestead) and closed his tenure out with a third-place showing at Texas. The No. 38 will be one of two Rookie of the Year contenders on the Cup Series level, squaring off against Chase Briscoe and Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 14 Ford.

Outlook

Contending at non-superspeedway events might be a tad too much to ask for from FRM’s perspective, but putting a car in the top 20 in the standings is a realistic goal.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: Daniel Jones named team’s most improved player by Pro Football Focus

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants‘ offense was pitiful in 2020, averaging only 17.5 points per game. Despite this, the team saw growth from its second-year quarterback, Daniel Jones. The sixth overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft was a highly scrutinized selection. But the young gunslinger out of Duke has exceeded all expectations so far and is heading into a crucial third season.

Daniel Jones’s 2019 rookie season got off to a hot start, but his turnover tendency weighed things down. His 2020 sophomore season garnered similar results early on, but down the stretch, Jones took huge steps forward in his ball security and overall passing efficiency. This improvement gave Giants fans hope as the team made a late playoff push.

Still, critics are abundant. There are many fans that are not pleased with Daniel Jones’s progress and want to see a quarterback change. While the majority of the fanbase is in agreement about giving Jones one more year, there are some who feel as though Daniel Jones is a bust after two seasons.

While it has not necessarily translated to an abundance of wins, Daniel Jones has grown as an NFL quarterback. Pro Football Focus recently listed the “most improved player” for every NFL team. For the New York Giants, PFF selected Daniel Jones.

Daniel Jones improvements

Daniel Jones saw a massive improvement in his 2020 Pro Football Focus grade. In 2019, Jones earned a 65.9 overall grade. In 2020, Daniel improved his grade all the way up to 78.4, giving him a grade similar to that of Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, and Drew Brees.

Statistically, Daniel Jones did not improve this past season. His touchdown total decreased significantly from his rookie season. In 2019, Jones threw an impressive 24 touchdown passes as a rookie. This year he threw only 11 touchdown passes in 14 games. Daniel Jones needs to improve this total in 2021, but these stats do not tell the full story.

Pro Football Focus’s grading system isolates quarterback play away from the quarterback’s supporting cast. So PFF’s high grade on Daniel Jones’s 2020 season indicates that he was not the problem with New York’s offense. Rather, the Giants’ lack of playmakers surrounding Daniel Jones was the issue.

PFF notes that the biggest reason for Jones’s improved grade was that he “did a better job of keeping the ball out of harm’s way, reducing his number of turnover-worthy plays from 31 in 2019 to 17 this past season on a similar number of dropbacks.” Daniel Jones is no longer the turnover machine that he was in his rookie season.

Daniel Jones took huge strides in 2020. He kept the ball clean and made plays through the air and on the ground. While the Giants definitely need to see more from him to feel confident in his long-term future, they also need him to surround him with a better supporting cast. If the Giants can add some more playmakers to their offense and keep Jones protected, he could have a breakout 2021 season.

New York Knicks: With Mitchell Robinson injured, who’ll step up in the frontcourt?

New York Knicks, Obi Toppin

One of the major contributors to the New York Knicks‘ surprising 12-15 start has been defensive centerpiece, Mitchell Robinson. Unfortunately, Robinson fractured his hand in Friday’s 109-91 victory over the Washington Wizards and will miss four to six weeks. Robinson shoots 66% from the field while averaging over a block and a steal per game, meaning other bigs have a major gap to fill.

The person who instantly has more pressure to succeed is Julius Randle. Averaging 37 minutes a game, the most on the team, Randle needs to provide the presence Robinson gives on the floor. That is, grabbing offensive rebounds, blocking shots, and clogging passing lanes.

Additionally, Nerleans Noel will have an expanded role during Robinson’s absence, and will likely be the one to take his place in the starting lineup. In 22 games, Noel averages two blocks and a steal per game. He doesn’t have much of an offensive game, averaging 3.5 ppg, but can grab offensive rebounds and dunk much like Robinson.

Obi Toppin should also get extended minutes in some games, getting the opportunity he’s wanted all season. Although he likely won’t start, his playing time should greatly increase, and he should get more touches. Toppin averages 4.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in just 12 minutes and can provide an offensive spark that Noel can’t necessarily give.

And finally, there’s Taj Gibson. In five games with limited minutes, Gibson’s averaged 3.4 points and 2.2 rebounds. Gibson will likely get the least playing time of the four, but should still see the floor.

Although it hurts the Knicks now, Robinson’s absence could actually benefit the team down the road. Obi Toppin could have the chance to finally shine, while veterans can show what they bring to the table. Between the Knicks’ four other bigs, hopefully, they can fill the void that Robinson leaves and continue to win games.

Knicks bracing for worst-case scenario with Mitchell Robinson’s injury

knicks, mitchell robinson

Next man up!

New York Knicks head coach Tom Thibodeau has no other recourse but to lean on Nerlens Noel and Taj Gibson as the next men up to fill up the gaping hole vacated by Mitchell Robinson.

The 23-year old Robinson, the Knicks’ defensive anchor, suffered a fractured right hand in the Knicks’ 109-101 win over the Washington Wizards Friday night. He hurt his right hand when his hand collided with Julius Randle’s elbow while going for a rebound. Robinson had 10 points, 14 rebounds, and four steals in 20 minutes before he left.

(Editor’s note: ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski reported minutes after this story came out that Robinson will undergo sugery and is expected to be out four to six weeks).

Robinson injury explained

A New York City-based Performance Physical Therapist & High-Performance Consultant had a dimmer outlook before Wojnarowski’s report.

“I watched the tape of the play. It looks like [Robinson] sustained the fracture in a wrist extended position, which is most commonly associated with distal radial fractures,” Dr. Ernest S. Eusebio told Empire Sports Media.

Dr. Eusebio, who has worked with NBA, MLB, NFL athletes, and Olympians, is the founder of the Wolves Performance & Lifestyle Collective, an all-encompassing high-performance consultancy providing solutions in Professional Sport, Entertainment, & Fortune 500. He is also an awarded clinician by the American Health Council (Best in Patient Care).

Dr. Eusebio explained that there are several types of that injury.

“But typically they all involve fractures or displacement of the local structures proximal to the distal radius. Bones typically heal within a 6-8 week time frame, but high-level rim protectors, like Mitch, who have to consistently use their hands to anchor defense and finish plays at the rim, might need to undergo specialized performance physical therapy for about 10-12 weeks to feel normal again,” Dr. Eusebio added.

After Wojnarowski’s report came out, Dr. Eusebio said that “historically, the 4-6 weeks is the timeline of clearance to run through some practice time.”

“They found a fourth metacarpal fracture. Better outlook than a true distal radial fracture,” Dr. Eusebio explained. “It’s still the same region of the hand.”

Thibodeau doesn’t want to dwell on the negative as the Knicks are in the thick of the fight for a playoff spot this season. Entering Saturday’s home game against the Houston Rockets, the Knicks are on the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference with their 12-15 record.

Life without Robinson

Thibodeau will lean on their depth, and Kevin Knox, whose status he earlier described as situational, may find his way back into the rotation.

 

“We’ll have some flexibility. We could play smaller,” Thibodeau said after last night’s win in Washington.

“I like what Taj gives us. Obviously, the great value and the things that Mitch brought to the team was the defensive component, and I feel that Nerlens does many of those things extremely well. And of course, Taj, that’s been his strength throughout his career. So I don’t want to lose that piece of it. But I like the way Obi’s coming on. He’s giving us good minutes. So we have that option. We can downsize and can play Kevin (Knox) at the 4. Play Julius at the 5. There’s a number of things that we can do,” he added. 

Collective effort

Thibodeau was using a tight 10-man rotation before Robinson’s injury.

Noel is usually the first center off the bench to spell Robinson. He anchored the Knicks’ defense in the second half last night, and he is expected to replace Robinson in the starting lineup. He had four points, four rebounds, and three blocks in 16 minutes, while Gibson is averaging 7.5 points and 3.0 rebounds in 14 minutes off the bench since Derrick Rose’s arrival.

“I like the versatility of the team. But anytime you lose a player of Mitch’s caliber, we have to make sure we’re playing hard. We can’t replace that individually. We have to do it collectively, and everyone has gonna have to step up,” Thibodeau stressed. 

Life without Robinson begins today when they go up against the undermanned Houston Rockets, who will be missing key players Victor Oladipo (sore right foot) and Christian Wood (ankle sprain). Veteran bruiser PJ Tucker is questionable for the Rockets.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Mets: Ali Sanchez Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals

Ali Sanchez quickly found a new home after the New York Mets designated him for assignment on Thursday. The Mets shipped Sanchez to the St. Louis Cardinals for cash considerations. Yadier Molina is on top of the depth chart, but Sanchez will battle Ivan Herrera and Andrew Knizner for the backup role.

Sanchez joined the organization as a 16-year old international free agent in 2013. He is known for his defensive presence but does not provide any offensive production. Injuries to Rene Rivera and Tomas Nido forced Sanchez to the big leagues in 2020 after six years in the minors.

Sanchez struggled on both sides of the ball in his five big league games. He recorded one hit in nine at-bats and was part of numerous defensive lapses. One of them resulted in Jon Berti stealing three bases in one inning. Sanchez has thrown out 46% of stolen base attempts in the minors but was 0-for-3 with two wild pitches and a passed ball last season.

James McCann, Tomas Nido, and Patrick Mazeika are the only catchers on the Mets 40-man roster. Bruce Maxwell and David Rodriguez are non-roster invites who will also join them in spring training.

Yankees sign veteran outfielder, possible Brett Gardner replacement?

New York Yankees, Jay Bruce

The New York Yankees haven’t been in contact with outfielder Brett Gardner for quite some time, and it seems like they might move on from the esteemed veteran. After spending 13 years in pinstripes, Gardner stated last season that he would like to return to the team for one final year to play in front of his family and fans.

However, general manager Brian Cashman is penny-pinching, trying to stay under the $210 million luxury tax threshold. His approach this season has been extremely cautious and cost-efficient, signing starting pitchers to bargain deals coming off significant injuries.

Cashman’s approach took another turn on Saturday morning, as they signed veteran left fielder Jay Bruce to a minor league contract, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com.

Some might say this is the end of Gardy’s tenure with the Yankees, and they might be right. Bruce, a 33-year-old outfielder spent 11 games in 2020 in the outfield, and 10 as the designated hitter. He’s capable of moving around in the outfield, finishing the season with a .198 average and six homers over 32 games. He’s not an offensive master-class, but he does have far more power than Gardner, which is exactly what the Yankees seem in their analytical approach.

How will the New York Yankees utilize Bruce?

Bruce is more of a role filler, as Clint Frazier cemented himself as the starting left-fielder following a breakout season. As a Gold Glove finalist, his defensive problems have taken a backseat, and his offense has settled in the .267 average range. He is a solid contact hitter with lightning-quick bat speed but could use a bit more efficiency in his strikeout percentage. He’s striking out nearly 30% of the time, so getting that number down is essential if he wants to retain his spot as a starter.

Nonetheless, Bruce will play a reserve role, having featured with the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets, and Philadelphia Phillies over the course of his career. He did hit double-digit home runs in 2019 with 26, indicating a proficiency in that area. Hopefully, he can get back to hitting long balls routinely with the Yankees, as Cashman likely views him as a rotational option to keep the fatigue down over the course of 162 game season.

Report: New York Knicks will pursue next available star player

New York Knicks

Some might say that the New York Knicks have been more conservative with their roster construction the past few years, but the reality is, they haven’t been an appealing landing spot for a majority of NBA stars. Ranging from Kevin Durant to Kyrie Irving, who signed with the Brooklyn Nets during the 2019 free agency period, the Knicks are still looking to add a big player who can transform their team.

The Knicks are playing above expectations this season, coming off a dominant victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday evening. Tantalizing defense and impressive offensive production from Julius Randle and Immanuel Quickley fueled their victory. However, they did lose starting Center Mitchell Robinson to a fractured right hand, and there’s no timetable for his return.

Considering his injury and the Knicks’ progression this season, they may seek another trade to inject more talent into the roster while they wait for Robinson to recover. However, the next player New York pursues will likely have to be a star, and they have the assets and draft equity to spend if need be.

According to Stefon Bondy of The New York Daily News:

 “They’re going to be in the mix when a star becomes available,” a source told Bondy.

The Knicks have a plethora of options to choose from when considering a trade. Ranging from Kevin Knox to Austin Rivers, President Leon Rose has players at his disposal if he wants to package together some of his assets. He could even throw Elfrid Payton into the mix, who is currently on a one-year, $5 million deal and playing solid basketball with aggressive defense.

The issue is, the Knicks don’t have any above-average talent (with the exception of maybe Julius Randle) to utilize in a trade for a star, so their draft capital might be the most valuable selling point. As we’ve seen in the past, established players can demand multiple first-round picks, so offering more players than draft picks might be a beneficial move. The Knicks recently parted ways with Dennis Smith Jr. for Derrick Rose, and with NY three games back from a .500 record, I expect another move to occur in the coming weeks.

New York Yankees: Derek Jeter’s enshrinement into the Hall of Fame will be like no other

New York Yankees, Derek Jeter

The New York Yankee’s had a famous shortstop named Derek Jeter for twenty years. During that time, he had many firsts, which continues today even when he no longer plays baseball. This year on July 25 Jeter will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame after waiting a long year when the ceremonies were cancelled last year due to the coronavirus. The ceremony on July 25 will for the first time be held indoors without adoring fans. It will be a television event.

Yesterday the Hall officials made this announcement:

“Though we are having to cancel our 2021 Hall of Fame Classic Weekend, the Hall of Fame is maintaining its commitment to hold an Induction Ceremony on July 25,” said Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “We had hoped to be in a position to welcome loyal baseball fans back to Cooperstown for Induction Weekend, but with the continuing uncertainties created by COVID-19, the Board of Directors has decided not to hold Induction Weekend ceremonies at the traditional Clark Sports Center location. We have prepared alternative plans to conduct our annual Awards Presentation and Induction Ceremony as television events taking place indoors and adhering to all of the required New York State guidelines.”

The Hall of Fame’s 2021 Induction Ceremony will honor the members of the Class of 2020: Derek Jeter, Marvin Miller, Ted Simmons and Larry Walker. Being honored during the Awards Presentation will be 2021 Ford C. Frick Award winner for broadcasting excellence, Al Michaels, and the 2020 Frick Award winner, Ken Harrelson; the 2021 Baseball Writers’ Association of America Career Excellence Award winner, Dick Kaegel, and the 2020 BBWAA Career Excellence Award winner, Nick Cafardo; and the 2020 Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award winner, David Montgomery.

The New York Yankee Derek Jeter and the other inductees will get there day but not in the sun. The 2019 ceremony was held in front of a record 55,000 fans, listening and cheering. That will no longer be the case as inductees will receive their award and give their acceptance speech before a digital television camera instead of an adoring audience. It will be a very different weekend in Cooperstown, but at least the awards will go on.