New York Giants: Kyle Rudolph reveals what Joe Judge told him

new york giants, kyle rudolph

One of the signings flying under the radar for the New York Giants this offseason is Kyle Rudolph. The tight end won’t join the team with the kind of acclaim as some of their other additions such as Kenny Golladay or cornerback Adoree Jackson, but he has his own use nonetheless. While some believed the Giants would add to the tight end spot by highly drafting Kyle Pitts, it appears the Giants are going to continue to rely on Engram while adding Rudolph to play the role of secondary threat.

Rudolph has been a receiving tight end throughout his career and a red zone threat – he’s only a couple years removed from having 6 touchdowns in a season, after all. While he might not be the big addition that Pitts is, it looks like the Giants will have plenty of receiving potential at the position between him and Evan Engram.

As for why Rudolph chose to join the team, he spoke about that on SiriusXM.

And head coach Joe Judge seems to have played a direct role in getting Rudolph to the Meadowlands.

What Joe Judge said to Kyle Rudolph

“One of the lines he said that really resonated with me was: ‘Overachievers aren’t OK with mediocrity. I want to surround myself with a bunch of overachievers.’ I’ve always looked at myself as someone that tries to work harder than the next guy and be an overachiever and that really resonated with me and that’s something I want to be a part of,” Rudolph said.

It seems like Judge is helping turn New York into an attractive destination for free agents so far. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay has also expressed an appreciation for the culture of the team, which he’s joining despite having other offers.

The Giants have big expectations in Judge’s second season but they’ll have more tools to deal with those expectations than they have over the last couple of seasons. And some of that we can trace directly back to the noticeable change in the atmosphere that’s come about directly because of a new coaching staff.

New York Rangers Able to Squeak by the Woeful Buffalo Sabres

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

The New York Rangers were able to take advantage of a slumping team by defeating the Buffalo Sabres by the score of 5-3. Chris Kreider and Kaapo Kakko scored two goals each for the Blueshirts.

Carter Hutton started in net for Buffalo and made two saves before leaving 2:51 into the game after Julien Gauthier slid hard into him while being pushed by Sabres defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen. Former Ranger Dustin Tokarski, called up from the taxi squad earlier in the day, came on and finished the game.

The Rangers continue with their habit of playing close games this season. Eighteen of the Rangers’ 30 games this season have been decided by two or fewer goals, and 13 of those games have been decided by one goal.

With his second goal, Kreider scored his 173rd career goal with the Rangers, tying Mike Gartner and Tomas Sandstrom for 18th place on the franchise’s all-time goals list, per NYR StatsandInfo. His first goal was on the power play, tying him with Sandstrom for 13th place on the franchise’s all-time power-play goals list. His second was also a power-play, passing Sandstrom on that list.

Adam Fox scored the third goal of the second period, skating in his 100th career NHL game. He has registered 60 points (10 goals, 50 assists) in his first 99 career NHL games. Fox has also been somewhat of an ironman for the Rangers this season, leading the team in ice time in 24 of 30 games. He also had two assists in the game.

The New York Rangers and Fox continue to play solid defense in front of their net

Even though Keith Kinkaid had to make only 16 saves in the game, a couple of the saves could have categorized as outstanding. The Rangers continue to play well in front of their goalies. Heading into tonight’s game, they had held their opponent to 30 shots on goal or fewer in each of the last nine games and in 21 of 30 games this season.

In his post-game Zoom conference, Mika Zibanejad talked about the Ranger’s solid defensive play, especially Adam Fox.”He is unbelievable. The way he plays with the puck, I think everyone can see that. He is so calm and I feel that he makes the right decision all of the time. Defensively he has been really good this year, teaming up with Lindgren, and I feel like they have been rock solid.”

Acting head coach Kris Knoblauch echoed Zibanejad’s words in his post-game Zoom conference. “He (Fox) is really good defensively, making the read. He is not overly physical, he doesn’t play the game like Trouba or Lindgren but he is able to defend with the skills he has.”

The Rangers face two huge games coming up, traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers Thursday night and Saturday afternoon.

 

 

 

 

 

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees fail as Phillie’s pitching tie up the Yankees

New York Yankees, Jameson Taillon

Last night at George M. Steinbrenner Field in St. Pete, the New York Yankees hosted Joe Girardi’s Philadelphia Phillies. It was a great night for baseball, it was 68 degrees and game time, and the game was played under mostly cloudy skies. There were about 2,800 fans in the stands rooting on their favorite team. Jameson Taillon was on the mound for the Yankees and Aaron Nola for the Phillies. The Phillies shutout the Yankees 4-0.

At the top of the first, Taillon, one of the best New York Yankee pitchers in spring training, took to the Yankee’s mound. Taillon, so far in the spring, has not allowed an opponent run. He faced McCutchen, who struck out, Hoskins doubled, Gregorius flew out, and Bohm struck out for the quick inning for Taillon. At the bottom, DJ LeMahieu faced Nola and struck out. Arron Judge ground out. Aaron Hicks struck out for a quick inning for the Phillies.

At the second, Hererra grounded out against Taillon. Quinn struck out, and Joyce struck out for Taillon’s 4th strikeout of six hitters. At the bottom, Giancarlo Stanton hit a single up the middle. Gleyber Torres struck out, Jay Bruce struck out, and Gio Urshela had a long fly out to end the inning.

The third inning had Mathis faced Taillon. Mathis is an unusual player; he is a 14 veteran and has only hit .194 for a career average. He struck out for Taillon’s fifth strikeout of the game. Ex-Yankee Ronald Torreyes singled to left. Back to the top of the lineup, McCutchen popped back to Taillon for the second out. Hoskins singled, and Torreyes scored for the Phillies’ one-game lead. Gregorius singled, and Bohm singled, loading the bases, and that was it for starter Taillon. Chad Green came in and struck out Hererra for the final out. Phillies 1 Yankees 0. At the bottom, Sanchez struck out, Frazier struck out, and LeMahieu ground out as Nola, who had three excellent innings.

At the top of the fourth, Quinn singled when Joyce at first failed to catch the ball, nevertheless, it was called a single. Quinn made a play for second, ran back to first, and made it back to second with an errant throw. Then Joyce flew to Frazier, Frazier moved back instead of forward, and the ball fell about 15 feet in front of him for the double, and Quinn scored on the screwed-up play for the 2 run lead for the Phillies. Torreyes struck out, and McCutchen flew out to end the inning, but the Phillies picked up another run. Phillies 2 Yankees 0.

At the bottom of the fourth, Aaron Judge hit a long ball to the wall in the center, but it was caught at the warning track. Aaron Hicks ground out. Stanton, on the second pitch, was hit in the upper arm. Stanton took first, and Gleyber Torres flew to first for the final out as Nola again conquered the Yankees.

Aroldis Chapman took over in the fifth inning. Chapman walked Hoskins on four pitches. Gregorius got a wild pitch, and Hoskins moved to second. Gregorius ended up striking out. Bohm at the plate, Chapman, threw a ball in the dirt that Sanchez didn’t catch and Hoskins moved to third base. Bohm struck out, Hererra ground out to end the half, but Chapman did not look sharp and didn’t seem to have command of his pitches.

Jay Bruce led off the Yankees half of the fifth; he flew out to center. Urshela popped to the infield for the second out. Gary Sanchez followed with another strikeout. Nola really looked good for the Phillies in five innings of play while striking out seven Yankees.

Darren O’Day, the sidearmer, took over for the New York Yankees at the bottom of the fifth inning. Quinn struck out. Joyce walked, and Mathis hit into a force out of Joyce at second two men out. Torreyes had a line-drive single to left. Two on two outs. McCutchen flew out to deep center to Hicks for the final out of the inning.

At the top of the sixth, Clint Frazier faced Nola out for the sixth inning of work. Frazier struck out against the pitcher that has only allowed one Yankee hit over his innings. LeMahieu struck out, and Aaron Judge lined out to second for six innings of shut-out baseball for Aaron Nola.

At the bottom, Justin Wilson took over for the New York Yankees. Hoskins singled to center. Gregorius followed with a long home run to right for the Phillies 4-0 lead. Bohm walked. Hererra at the plate, Wilson thew a pitch and called for the Yankees trainer. Apparently injured, he was taken out of the game, replaced by Nestor Cortes Jr. with no outs.  Herrera walked charged to Wilson. Quinn bunt for an out but moved the runners to second and third. Joyce popped to the infield for the second out. Mathis struck out, and the Yankees got away with leaving two on base. Phillies 4 Yankees 0.

At the bottom of the seventh, Hicks flew out. Stanton had a long base hit to left. Torres ground to second, reaching first, but Stanton forced out at second. Jay Bruce almost got a home run, but Rojas snagged it for an amazing catch, and the Yankees last out of the inning. At the bottom, Jankowski walked. Moniak at the plate, Sanchez had a passed ball, and Jankowski advanced to second. Moniak, still at the plate, Jankowski headed for third and was called out. Two away. Moniak flew out to right for the end of the inning.

At the top of the eighth, with Hector Neris on the mound, Gio Urshela flew out to left. Sanchez struck out for his third strikeout of the game. Brito lined to first for the 1-2-3 inning for Neris. At the bottom Tyler Lyons the seventh pitcher on the Yankee’s mound, William struck out, Stott struck out swinging, Garcia doubled to left, and Rojas struck out.

With last licks in the line and trying to avoid the shut-out, Chris Gittens, one of the Yankees’ best hitters in the spring, faced the Phillies’ De Los Santos. Gittens was the Eastern League MVP in 2019. As the rain started at Steinbrenner field, he stuck out, one away. Tommy Milone struck out. The New York Yankees down to their last out brought Trey Amburgey to the plate. Amburgey ground out to second to end the game.

The Phillies won the game 4-0 for the Yankees shut out. The Yankees starter Jameson failed, and the Yankee hitting couldn’t catch up to the Phillies pitching. The winner was and the loser Jameson Taillon. It was reported that Yankees pitcher Justin Wilson had a shoulder injury and would undergo tests.

BREAKING: New York Giants sign former first-round cornerback Adoree’ Jackson

new york giants, adoree jackson

The New York Giants have made another big splash in free agency. The Giants have agreed to terms with one of free agency’s top cornerbacks, Adoree’ Jackson (per Ian Rapoport). According to Adam Schefter, the Giants signed Adoree’ Jackson to a three-year deal worth $39 million. This is the second big move New York made this week after landing 2021’s top free-agent wide receiver Kenny Golladay on Saturday.

The former Tennessee Titans cornerback Adoree’ Jackson was shockingly released by his former team last week. The Titans released Jackson to save over $10 million in salary-cap space. Interest amongst teams generated quickly and the Giants quickly set up a meeting with Jackson. Adoree met with New York on Sunday and Monday while Giants players heavily recruited the cornerback to join their team.

The New York Giants are landing a talented, yet injury-prone cornerback in Adoree’ Jackson. Jackson has played in only three of his last 21 regular-season games. He was placed on injured reserve in 2020 after suffering a knee injury just three games into the season.

While Adoree’s career in Tennessee ended with injuries and inconsistency, it began with impressive and reliable outside cornerback play. Since 2018, Adoree Jackson has the fourth-highest coverage grade when lined up outside according to Pro Football Focus with a grade of 85.6. This grade has Jackson on a list with stars like Jaire Alexander, Richard Sherman, and Stephon Gilmore.

Adoree’ Jackson is a highly athletic cornerback that played primarily on the outside with the Titans. He’s a 4.42s forty-yard dash guy with a 36-inch vertical. Jackson topped 70 combined tackles in each of his first two seasons and racked up a total of 27 passed defended during that time span. Adoree Jackson has two career interceptions and three forced fumbles to his name.

Adoree’ Jackson has some question marks from his final two seasons in Tennessee. But he is still a young, talented player at only 25-years-old. A change of scenery could benefit Adoree. Playing opposite of James Bradberry in Patrick Graham’s defensive scheme with the New York Giants could be exactly what Adoree Jackson needs to get his career back on track.

New York Mets Turn Triple Play in 5-4 Loss to Houston Astros

The New York Mets have already had themselves a 22-pitch walk this spring, and they added a triple play to their list of oddities in spring training. Despite the triple play, the Mets needed more help in their 5-4 loss against the Houston Astros.

Joey Lucchesi cruised through the first two innings of his start but ran into issues in the third. Jose Altuve’s RBI single through a drawn-in infield and Michael Brantley‘s two-run single off Jerry Blevins put the Mets in a 3-0 hole. Lucchesi went back to the mound in the fourth and completed a scoreless inning to finish the start on a good note. At the moment, he should maintain the upper hand over Jordan Yamamoto for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Jerad Eickhoff pitched the next two innings with mixed success. He allowed four hits, two runs (one earned) and was bailed out by getting Jose Altuve to hit into a triple play. Mike Montgomery continued an impressive spring with two strikeouts in two scoreless innings.

The Mets lineup only contained two expected starters for Opening Day and the pitcher batting ninth. Wilfredo Tovar drove in the first run with a fifth-inning double. Albert Almora was responsible for the rest with an eighth inning three-run home run. Almora’s leg kick is tapping into his power stroke as he now has a .556 slugging percentage during spring training.

On Tuesday, the Mets return to Port St. Luice to face the Miami Marlins. Daniel Castano (1-1, 4.05 ERA) faces off against Marcus Stroman (1-0, 2.70). The first pitch is set for 1:10 p.m. ET.

Knicks’ Derrick Rose clears NBA protocols, shares COVID-19 battle

The New York Knicks announced on Monday that Derrick Rose has already been cleared from the league’s health and safety protocols after three weeks and eight-game absence.

Rose then proceeded to address the elephant in the room.

“Oh man, I was away because I actually had [COVID-19] it. I felt all the symptoms, sick and everything, but I’m happy to be back, and that’s in the past,” Rose told reporters in his first public interview since contracting the virus.

Rose and his whole family, along with the mother of his girlfriend, got infected. He quarantined with them in their home until getting the clearance to rejoin the team in their last two games, watching from the sidelines in street clothes.

“You know it sucked, but I was just with my family. My girl, my kids, her mom, all of us had it, so we were in the house for 10-14 days taking the test and, of course, taking all the meds and everything. I was with my family, and that’s the best thing about it, but like I said, it’s in the past. Thank God, I don’t have to worry about that anymore,” Rose said of the ordeal.

Rose revealed he tested positive for the virus the day after getting inconclusive results before the Knicks game in San Antonio last March. He was thankful his kids didn’t feel worse than he did.

“It just sucks, man! You feel every pain— the body is sore, headaches and all that. The kids weren’t too bad. They had fevers and running noses, and that was pretty much it and a bad cough. But it’s real, the COVID thing. I know a lot of people overlook it, but it’s very serious. It’s real,” Rose said.

He described COVID-19 as 10 times the regular flu.

“It’s completely different. I mean, they say everybody is different, but for me, I’ve never felt anything like that before. I’ve had the flu. It wasn’t any like the flu. My sense, the flu, your stomach or like your joints and everything gives you bad [feeling] times 10. Like I said, slowly, I’m getting back. I’m progressing every day and just trying to get back in the swing of things,” Rose said.

While he was already cleared by the league, New York coach Tom Thibodeau was non-committal on the former MVP’s exact return on the court. The Knicks will play the Washington Wizards at home on Tuesday and Thursday.

“He has to go through conditioning, and once he’s ready to go, we’ll move forward with it. But he’s been out for a while now, and we’re just starting to ramp it up again, and we’ll see how it goes,” Thibodeau said.

Acquired from Detroit this season, Rose immediately made an impact on the Knicks teaming up with rookie spitfire Immanuel Quickley off the bench and later on started when Elfrid Payton went down with an injury. The Knicks have struggled without him, losing five of the eight games he missed. The Knicks were 7-3 with Rose in the lineup. He is averaging 12.5 points, 4.9 assists, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.1 steals with shooting splits of 43/46/83 for the Knicks this season.

“It sucks, especially when you get traded and I had the chance to play again,” Rose said. “The game has just been taken away from me for something like that. Getting back and playing in rhythm and trying to get myself back to where I was, it’s gonna take some time, but every day I am getting the most out of my days, so that’s all I can do.”

Rose is just happy to be out of quarantine and be back on the court practicing with the team. Besides dealing with the COVID-19, Rose also grieved the death of a close friend Langston Hampton– the younger brother of his best friend and personal assistant Randall Hampton, Empire Sports Media has learned from a source with knowledge of the situation.

“My appreciation for the game and while I was going through quarantine, I tried to take all the information and try to better myself,” Rose said. “I couldn’t exercise. I couldn’t do anything but just be around my family and read. Just leaving the house, it’s something we take for granted. Just breathing. Just everything. I went through a lot in quarantine. I’m just thankful, very thankful.”

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

New York Yankees: The Gerrit Cole catching dilemma

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The New York Yankees are just a week away from the beginning of the regular baseball season. They have announced that Gerrit Cole will be their starting pitcher on Opening Day, April 1st. Manager Aaron Boone has also announced that Gary Sanchez will be the opening catcher, catching Cole in his regular-season debut.

Before spring training, he suggested that Kyle Higashioka would not be Cole’s personal catcher in 2021. A decision I questioned at the time. On the one hand, I can understand that Boone wants Cole to be caught by all the catchers. But on the other hand, I wonder how wise that decision is. During 2020 Cole’s first season with the New York Yankees, he was caught by both Sanchez and Higashioka. The results were eye-popping.

During 2020 Cole had an ERA of 3.91 across 8 games with 12 home runs allowed and 12 walks, with Sanchez catching him. When being caught by Kyle Higashioka over 3 games, Cole’s ERA was a tiny 0.90 with only one home run.  He also won his postseason game caught by Higashioka. Coincidence? I think not. You could see that he struggled and appeared unsure when being caught by Sanchez and seemed to be more comfortable pitching to “Higgy,” seldom calling him off. It was obvious that they developed a relationship that didn’t exist with Sanchez.

Cole has been outspoken about pitching to all catchers and not suggesting any disconnect between him and Sanchez. How he feels away from the public media is anyone’s guess. If I were him, I would choose the catcher I am most successful with. When he was with the Houston Astros, he had a personal catcher for many games, Robinson Chirinos, who is now a Yankee but injured.

So far in spring training Boone has been true to his word having different catchers catch Cole. Cole so far in spring training has the highest ERA of any of the starters. Yesterday in Dunedin, Florida against the Blue Jays, Cole had his best outing of the season, going 5 innings with 4 hits, one earned run and 8 strikeouts. He also seemed to pitch with ease. The catcher—Kyle Higashioka.

Regardless of Aaron Boone’s desire to have Cole pitch to several pitchers, if in the regular season, Cole continues to pitch poorly while being caught by Gary Sanchez, he will relent install Cole’s personal catcher if it means winning more games. Also of concern for Boone is if Sanchez who looks good so far, can hit respectably in the lineup. Last season he has a .143 batting average while Higashioko had a .250 average with 4 homers, one in every four games.

Whether Gary Sanchez catches the majority of Cole’s games, remains to be seen. One thing is for sure if both catchers perform as they did last season you may see Boone resort to the change he made last season, and possibly earlier than last season. This is Boone’s last season of his contract. he won’t want to fall short again.

 

Leon Edwards seeking May UFC return; who makes sense for him to fight?

Leon Edwards

It’s been just over a week since UFC Vegas 21. In the headliner, Leon Edwards (18-3, 1 NC) made his highly anticipated return against Belal Muhammad (18-3, 1 NC). Edwards was looking for a performance that would show the world he’s ready for a UFC title shot.

In the first round, Edwards looked sensational. His striking looked crisp and he wobbled Muhammad badly with a headkick. However, the second round would end the fight in a way that nobody wanted to see.

When Edwards was setting up a kick, he pushed his hand out and it poked Muhammad badly in the eye. After Muhammad wasn’t able to continue, the fight was ruled a No Contest. After nearly two years away, the UFC return for Leon Edwards ended with no clarity.

Last week, Edwards appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience. He talked about the fact that he was going to go on to finish that fight and the eye poke just delayed the inevitable. Edwards said he has no unfinished business with Muhammad and wants to move forward.

With that, Edwards was seeking a UFC title shot. However, we now know that UFC 261 is being headlined by the rematch between Kamaru Usman and Jorge Masvidal. Edwards told Rogan that he was seeking a May return which would line him up right after that title shot.

Who should the UFC pair Edwards with?

The fight that makes the most sense to me is the fight with Colby Covington (16-2). Covington is the former UFC interim champion and he doesn’t have an opponent at the moment. However, Covington has said he’s only interested in a matchup with Masvidal or Usman. 

In an ideal world, UFC 261 would happen with Covington and Edwards fighting in a title eliminator the next month. However, there are many hurdles to clear for that one. The next logical option for Edwards with be Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (16-4-1).

Wonderboy has been calling for a fight with Edwards a lot over the last couple of months. This would be a fun matchup and would get Edwards in there with a top guy. I can’t see any other option besides these two for Edwards. It’ll be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do for Leon’s next fight.

Mets’ Carlos Carrasco stays mentally strong after injury: “This is nothing for me”

Simeon Woods-Richardson

The New York Mets’ pitching depth will be put to test for the first few weeks of the season, as they are set to enter the year without one of their best starters, right-hander Carlos Carrasco.

The Mets acquired Carrasco together with All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor in January, sending shortstops Amed Rosario and Andres Gimenez plus two prospects to the Cleveland Indians.

Carrasco had reported late to spring training as he underwent additional imaging and testing related to his 2019 leukemia, and just when he was starting to ramp up, he suffered elbow soreness that had everybody in the Mets’ organization in fear.

However, he explained that wasn’t uncommon for him during spring training over the course of his career. But just when he was starting to build up arm strength again, he tore his right hamstring. The Mets have been adamant to put a timetable for his return, but according to MLB.com’s beat writer Anthony DiComo, they privately think he can make it back in 6-8 weeks.

The Mets are counting on him

Even the pitcher himself doesn’t know when he will be back exactly, but he is not letting the series of injuries affect his mindset.

The Mets know that they brought a fighter into the fold. During his life, Carrasco has recovered from leukemia and heart issues. He learned how to be patient and disciplined, and knows he will be back eventually.

“If something happens, it’s going to happen,” Carrasco said. “I’ve been through a lot. My elbow, my hamstring is nothing for me. I’ve been through worse with my leukemia, all that kind of stuff. This is nothing for me.”

Carrasco, 34, pitched very well for the Cleveland Indians in 2020, with a 2.91 ERA in 68 frames, and a 10.85 K/9 mark. He has been a fantastic starter during the course of his career, with a 3.77 ERA.

Yankees News: Clint Frazier erases any concern of ‘sluggish’ injury feeling

New York Yankees, Clint Frazier

The New York Yankees have one final week to iron out their active roster before the start of the 2021 regular season. With Clint Frazier penciled in as a primary starter in the outfield, skipper Aaron Boone feels confident that they have their long-term solution at LF. Frazier showed out in 2020, posting a .269 average with eight homers and 26 RBIs over 39 games. His defense took a dramatic leap forward, finishing as a Gold Glove finalist.

However, Frazier had an injury scare several days ago, running into the outfield wall and staying down for a few minutes. Luckily, all indications point toward him being 100% fine, despite Boone deeming him “sluggish” over the weekend.

The Yankees had Frazier play in right field on Sunday against Toronto, and he didn’t miss a step, going 2-for-4 and hitting a two-run double. The Yankees are testing him out at different spots, similar to the role Brett Gardner played during his time as a starter. Frazier can fill in diversity, and it only increases his value to the team. The Yankee outfield has picked up plenty of injuries of the past few seasons, so having quality supplemental options is a major bonus. For example, if Aaron Judge were to miss any games, Frazier could move to right field with ease and Brett Gardner would take over in left.

“He’s playing right field, so I kind of wanted him to stay back and get some work in right field, just to have a couple days rolling into that,” Boone said before Sunday’s wn over Toronto. “So he’s good to go.”

This spring, Frazier is hitting .321 with two homers and six RBIs over 31 plate appearances. He’s had a phenomenal offensive spring and has been consistent defensively as well. While he has struck out eight times, he’s made some solid contact and earned three walks, showing off a bit more patience. The 26-year-old has an opportunity to lock down the starting position for the foreseeable future, and he’s well on his way to accomplishing that goal.