New York Giants stay in place as one of world’s most valuable teams

New York Giants, Daniel Jones

The New York Giants are still trying to get back to previous glories on the field, but the team is one of the most valuable in sports in spite of that. Team value is less about short term wins and more about having an iconic brand and dedicated fanbase, and the Giants have both of those things. Those factors have propelled them into being one of the highest valued teams in sports, and that hasn’t changed for the 2021 season.

On the latest Forbes list, the Giants came in at number nine overall. The team is valued at $4.3 billion, which places them just below the New England Patriots who are valued at $4.4B. The Giants have also had a 54% increase in value over the past five years, something that reflects the trend of inflation in sports franchise prices.

The Giants aren’t the most valuable team in the New York area, however. The New York Knicks come in at number three on the list, despite being a far more long suffering franchise that’s been further removed from success. The New York Yankees are predictably in the top three also, finishing second.

The most valuable sports team in the world is another NFC East rival of the Giants, the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys have a $5.7 billion valuation, and it looks like they’re unlikely to get dethroned from their spot soon. However, the Yankees do have a chance of doing so in the near future as their own valuation also breaks the $5B mark.

Really, this list shows how the Giants are an enduring brand regardless of whether they’re winning now or not. And if the team begins putting together better seasons, we might just see them jump over New England to move further up the list.

Mets opt to play things safe and will send Jacob deGrom to the injured list

New York Mets, Jacob deGrom

After leaving his last start with soreness in his right side, Jacob deGrom was scheduled for another MRI to dismiss the possibility of any serious damage. While doctors did not find anything of note in the test, the New York Mets decided to play things safe and will place their ace on the 10-day injured list.

The Mets are calling the injury as “right side discomfort”, and while they were initially hopeful he could avoid the injured list, they are prioritizing long-term health and giving their best starter a break, per Anthony DiComo of the team official site.

The stint on the IL could last only one start, but the Mets won’t know more until days go by and they see how the pitcher is feeling.

The Mets’ starter is eligible to return from the injured list on May 21.

The Mets will miss deGrom this week

He was able to pitch competitively on Sunday for five innings before leaving prior to starting the sixth frame against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“We want everyone to be with the team for the entire season to help us compete and win,” manager Luis Rojas said on Sunday. “And that’s what we’re doing with Jake. … We’ll listen to the experts first, and then we’ll come up with a plan.”

So far this season, deGrom has been money for the Mets, with a microscopic 0.68 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 40 innings.

“We don’t try to force anything here, knowing that there’s something going on,” Rojas said. “We always try to make sure that our guys are everything-free — tightness-free, soreness-free, everything.”

While deGrom has suffered numerous nagging injuries over the last four seasons, he has never missed more than a start or two. The right side issue is a recurrent one, so the Mets decided to avoid the risk of further aggravation and will shut him down for at least a week or so.

New York Giants’ 2021 NFL Draft earns great reviews from Daniel Jeremiah

Kadarius Toney, New York Giants

The consensus is that the New York Giants had a strong 2021 draft, acquiring multiple players who can make an instant impact while also adding draft capital for the future. At the end of the day, they put in place a contingency plan for quarterback Daniel Jones while also offering him weapons on offense and bolstering the defense with pass rusher Azeez Ojulari with the 50th overall pick.

The strategy this year was best player available and value, something that general manager Dave Gettleman has ignored in recent years. Over eight drafts, Gettleman had never executed a trade back, but he shocked the world and move back nine spots, adding a first-round pick and fourth-round pick in 2022.

Most analysts are grading the Giants positively after the draft. NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah had great things to say to the Giants media:

“I think when you look at what they were able to collect, and I think when you look at where this roster is, it’s actually in pretty good shape,” Jeremiah recently told the Giants Huddle Podcast. “I think just having some numbers to be able to spread out and to be able to get assets next year is huge. And there’s a little more certainty with the process next year. I’m all for that. Get some extra picks here and collect some picks for next year.”

The New York Giants FINALLY had a value-based draft:

Having additional assets in a draft class that will be far more familiar with NFL coaches due to the evaluation procedures opening up will be a benefit. This year, the lack of in-person communication and live visuals hurt scouts and upper management in their scouting processes. Most believe that draft capital next year will be significantly more valuable, so the Giants walking away with Toney and a future first-round pick is an absolute steal.

“Of all the things [the Giants] accomplished, I think getting those three picks next year might be my favorite.”

When it comes to Kadarius, the Florida stand-out receiver tallied 1,145 yards and 11 scores last year. He also had the highest missed tackle right out of any receiver in the draft class at 35%. He has only dropped three passes in four years, also having the lowest drop rate in the draft class. He is a stellar talent with unlimited upside, and given his physical attributes, the Giants are excited about his potential. So is Jeremiah.

“I think he gives you easy completions,” Jeremiah said about the No. 20 overall pick. “Just quick-hitters, get the ball in his hands. He’s phenomenal after the catch. You can do that, you can use him on jet sweeps, you can use him in the backfield some if you want to get him the ball that way. But I think just finding more dynamic players in whatever capacity you can use them I think is something the Giants really tried to focus on. They have to be more dynamic, they have to be more explosive, and I think he helps you accomplish that.

Toney will excel in the short/intermediate range, hauling in passes in space and utilizing his shifty abilities to make tacklers miss and churn out yards. The Giants need homerun hitters, and Kadarius is exactly that with his unique skill set.
The overall thoughts behind the draft are positive, and the Giants walked away with one of the best hauls in the NFL, according to most.

UFC: Conor McGregor wants at least two more fights in 2021

Conor McGregor, UFC

The biggest star in the UFC is wanting to make the walk at least a couple more times before the calendar turns over to 2022. Conor McGregor (22-5) is currently scheduled to face Dustin Poirier (27-6, 1 NC) in July at UFC 264.

That matchup will be the third installment of the rivalry between the two men. McGregor won the first matchup back at UFC 178 and then Poirier evened the score with a TKO victory in January at UFC 257.

Both men wanted to do the trilogy and that’s what were getting next. However, McGregor has made it known that he has bigger plans beyond the Poirier trilogy. McGregor had a fun question and answer on Twitter yesterday with his fans.

One of the questions that was asked was around his fighting plans for the rest of the year. When asked how many times he wanted to compete, the former two-division UFC champion said, “2 at least.”

Another question came in regarding his plans for those fights. To that, McGregor said, “I’ll have a few Proper Parties! It’s my birthday that week. Then the World title.” Make no mistake about it, Conor McGregor has his eyes on the UFC lightweight title.

Can McGregor regain the UFC lightweight title?

If you would have asked me a year ago about McGregor’s chances to recapture the UFC title, I wouldn’t be very confident. I’m in the group that believes Conor McGregor is sensational, however, I’m not sure he’s taking the belt of Khabib Nurmagomedov (29-0).

However, with Nurmagomedov out of the picture, it’s a different story. At UFC 262 this weekend, Michael Chandler (22-5) and Charles Oliveira (30-8, 1 NC) will battle for the vacant UFC lightweight title.

The winner of that matchup will likely face the winner of McGregor – Poirier 3 in the fall. With that, the path is quite clear for Conor McGregor to once again become the lightweight champion.

However, it’s a very steep ask. I’m not sure you can put McGregor as the favorite after his last fight with Poirier. If he is able to get passed The Diamond, then he’s got a tough matchup with Michael Chandler and Charles Oliveira.

Very different and difficult fights for McGregor. The odds are currently stacked against him, but McGregor’s proved the UFC nay-sayers wrong before. He just might do it again and walk out of 2021 the lightweight champion of the world.

New York Rangers Announce Ryan Lindgren Extension and Team Awards

Chris Drury has started to assemble the New York Rangers for next season by agreeing to terms with defenseman Ryan Lindgren on a three-year contract. The contract is reported to be at the $3 million AAV.

The 23-year-old Lindgren skated in 51 games with the Rangers this season. He registered one goal and 15 assists for 16 points, along with a plus-20 rating and 35 penalty minutes.

He was one of only three Rangers who recorded 90 or more hits and 50 or more blocked shots this season. At the time he suffered an upper-body injury on Apr. 29, Lindgren was one of only four Rangers (and the only defenseman) who played in each of the team’s first 51 games of the 2020-21 season. He ranked second on the Rangers in average shorthanded ice time this season (2:30), and he currently ranks fifth in the NHL (min. 115:00 of shorthanded ice time) in power-play goals against per 60 minutes of shorthanded ice time in 2020-21 (4.22). Lindgren was not on the ice for a power-play goal against in 20 consecutive games from Jan. 24 at Pittsburgh to Mar. 9 at Pittsburgh (51:30 of shorthanded ice time over the span).

Lindgren also receives a team award from the New York Rangers

The New York Rangers also announced their team award winners for the 2020-21 season today. Adam Fox was named the Rangers’ Most Valuable Player, Lindgren was named the recipient of the Players’ Player Award, and Brendan Smith was named the winner of the John Halligan Good Guy Award.

The Players’ Player Award in 2020-21, which is given annually to the Ranger who, as selected by his teammates, “best exemplifies what it means to be a team player.” Lindgren established career-highs in several categories in 2020-21, including assists, points, plus/minus rating, and hits (98), and he led the team in plus/minus rating this season.

The Most Valuable Player Award was voted on by members of the New York Rangers media and has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1941-42 season. Fox has won the award for the first time in his career. He is the first Ranger who has won the award in one of his first two seasons in the NHL since Henrik Lundqvist in 2006-07, and the first Rangers skater who has done so since Brian Leetch in 1988-89. Fox, who also won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award in 2020-21, became the seventh Ranger to be named the Team’s MVP (as chosen by the media) and to receive the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award (as chosen by the fans) since 1987-88, which was the first year the Steven McDonald Extra Award was presented.

The John Halligan Good Guy Award recognizes a player for their cooperation with the media throughout the season. The award has been presented annually since the 1974-75 season and was renamed in 2009-10 to honor the team’s late public relations director. The award recipient is chosen by members of the media who cover the Rangers throughout the season.

Smith skated in 48 games with the Rangers this season, registering five goals and five assists for 10 points, along with a plus-three rating and 73 penalty minutes. He established a career-high in penalties drawn (25) and tied his career-high in goals this season, and he leads NHL defensemen in penalties drawn in 2020-21. The Rangers posted a 25-19-4 record in the 48 games that Smith played this season.

 

 

Did the Owner Derail the New York Rangers’ Rebuilding Efforts?

The New York Rangers and their fanbase have always been pleased that the owner had generally kept his hands off the operations of the hockey team. That all changed last week when the owner not only decided to call for the firing of a top NHL official publically, he fired the President and General Manager.

Why? Because the rebuild was not going fast enough.

This impatient person has now interfered in a way that has had him widely panned across the NBA for the way he handles the Knicks. The impatient owner fired John Davidson and Jeff Gorton because a team with the second-youngest roster in the NHL did not make the playoffs. In a pandemic shortened season, no less. Almost all pre-season pundits genuinely believe that this would not be the year that the young Blueshirts make the playoffs.

The good news is that at least the owner had the sense to hire Chris Drury as the replacement, who will also get a helping hand from Glen Sather.

But at this point, that might be good news/bad news as it now seems likely that this owner will know run constant interference as the Rangers strive toward the goal of making the playoffs next season.

As the Rangers talk with the media for a final time today, Ryan Strome mentioned this in his Zoom conference. “That’s the goal. I think that message has been sent and received,” Strome said.

It will also be determined soon what the team’s makeup will look like next season, including whether or not head coach David Quinn will be allowed to continue with the rebuilding process.

The New York Rangers owner did not help with the public relations of the organization.

While many around the league rallied around the Rangers after the Tom Wilson incident, that was not the case for the organization’s public message on the NHL and the alleged Department of Player Safety.

It was very nice to read our own Fireside Rangers Twitter page and see all of the supporting comments concerning what happened to Pavel Buchnevich and Artemi Panarin at the hands of Wilson. It also somewhat validated what Ranger fans believed should happen when many Devils and Islander fans also called for a suspension.

Realistically, an overwhelming number of knowledgable hockey people outside of the Nation’s capital knew that Wilson should have been suspended.

The owner did not need to make that statement. He already had so much support around the league from the NHL community and the media.

Now the Rangers have to hope that any player they want to bring him to help this young and talented team will not look past them due to the past and possible future actions of this owner.

Yes, the Rangers rebuild effort has been temporarily derailed. It is now up to Chris Drury to get the rebuild back on track and keep it there.

 

 

 

 

 

UFC: Jack Hermansson – Edmen Shahbazyan postponed one week

UFC 262 has lost one of it’s fights. MMA DNA was the first to report today that the middleweight matchup between Jack Hermansson (21-6) and Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) is being postponed. Shahbazyan confirmed the news on his Twitter page. 

At this time, it’s not known why the fight is being postponed. However, fight fans will not have to wait long for this matchup. Shahbazyan confirmed also that the fight is being pushed back just one week to UFC Vegas 27.

With the news that it’s only being pushed back a week, we can safely make the assumption that nothing serious is happening. The most important thing is that the UFC was able to turn around this matchup quickly.

Shahbazyan is looking to bounce back after his first UFC and career loss in his last matchup. The promotion was giving him the fast track and he took on Derek Brunson in a main event last year.

The veteran did a fantastic job of weathering the storm from Shahbazyan and making him tired. Brunson ended up scoring the TKO victory in a very humbling defeat for the top prospect.

In all honesty, I’ve been surprised about this booking from the beginning. I’m shocked that the UFC decided to give Shahbazyan a fight with Jack Hermansson after his last fight. However, they ultimately wanted to keep him around the top ten.

UFC bounce back for Hermansson

Jack Hermansson is still ranked seventh in the UFC’s middleweight division, but he’s coming off of a lopsided loss to Marvin Vettori in his last fight. Hermansson had some moments, but ultimately, The Italian Dream was too much.

That loss puts Hermansson at 1-2 in his last three matchups. The two losses coming to Vettori and Jared Cannonier. Twice now, Hermansson has come close to getting a UFC title shot.

After winning four in a row, Hermansson got a shot against Jared Cannonier. Had Hermansson won that fight, he might’ve been challenging for the title. However, Cannonier stopped him in the second round.

Then after he defeated Kelvin Gastelum, Hermansson was right back in a good position to potentially get a UFC title eliminator matchup. But, he of course came up short against Vettori.

Now, he will look to reset against the top prospect. This is a big fight for both of these men and it will tell us a lot about where they are heading in the future.

After losing his title at Bellator 258, what’s next for Juan Archuleta?

Juan Archuleta

This past Friday night at Bellator 258, Juan Archuleta (25-3) was attempting to defend his bantamweight title for the first time. Standing across the cage from him was Sergio Pettis (21-5) who was looking to stay undefeated in Bellator.

Since making his debut with the promotion back in 2018, Juan Archuleta had gone 7-1 in Bellator. His lone loss came to Patricio Pitbull when he moved up to featherweight to try and become a world champion.

However, his natural weight class was always 135. Late last year, he got his shot at the bantamweight title. Archuleta defeated Patchy Mix and became the undisputed bantamweight champion for Bellator.

However, he had a tall task in front of him for his first title defense. Sergio Pettis has really been coming into his own and he was ready to take the 135 pound title on Friday night.

When the fight started, Archuleta was trying to use his footwork and activity to frustrate Pettis. However, Pettis was having none of it and he was catching Archuleta clean coming in with counters. While Archuleta found some success, Pettis was just getting the better of him.

Ultimately, all three judges gave the fight and the Bellator bantamweight title to Sergio Pettis. Archuleta suffered just his third career loss and ultimately came up short in his first title defense.

What’s next after Bellator 258?

Unfortunately for Archuleta, he won’t be getting an immediate rematch. He didn’t have the type of reign leading up to Bellator 258 that would warrant an immediate rematch and the fight wasn’t close enough on the scorecards.

With that, he will have to fight a top contender next. Earlier today, I wrote a piece on what I thought would be next for Sergio Pettis. Bellator has some decisions to make in terms of his next title defense.

Right now, I think the two leading candidates for a title shot are Raufeon Stots (16-1) and Magomed Magomedov (18-1). One of those two men will likely get a crack at the Bellator bantamweight title next.

With that in mind, whoever doesn’t get the shot should fight Archuleta next. His stock doesn’t take a hit and he’s still going to be at the top of the division. So, whoever doesn’t get the title shot next, they should get a consolation prize in fighting the former champion.

New York Yankees gain much-needed momentum after back-to-back walk-off wins

New York Yankees, Gleyber Torres

A little more than a month into the 2021 season, the New York Yankees have yet to completely fire on all cylinders. Although the Yankees have won seven of their last nine games, the team average is still less than stellar at .222 with a .701 OPS. However, the Yankees finally have some true momentum going after back-to-back walk-off victories against the Washington Nationals to conclude the longest homestand of the season.

This series victory over the Nationals was by no means the prettiest, but it got the job done. After an abomination of a game on Friday, the Yankees were able to grind out two tough victories over the weekend, including a victory over Max Scherzer on Saturday. Gleyber Torres once again lived up to his clutch gene, knocking in the tying run in the ninth inning and then winning the game in the 11th inning with singles both times. Corey Kluber pitched another beauty, going 5.2 innings and allowing two runs against the lethal Washington offense.

On Sunday, Domingo German pitched a gem for the Yankees. He went 6.1 innings, allowing two runs off five hits. His first six innings were scoreless, but a towering blast off the bat of Kyle Schwarber was responsible for the two runs in the seventh.

Gleyber Torres came through once again on Sunday, this time hitting his first home run of the season. One of the biggest worries this season has been the play of Torres, but it seems that he’s finally getting into a grove after a productive series. And finally, Giancarlo Stanton played hero for the Yankees on Sunday, lining a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth.

These are all good signs for the Yankees’ offense; Torres is slowly looking like his normal self, Giancarlo Stanton is staying hot, and even Aaron Hicks is finally starting to hit the ball. Luke Voit is expected to return to the lineup on Tuesday, and the team has momentum off the walk-offs.

Although this MLB season has featured less offense than anticipated, it’s hard not to worry about the team with the nickname of “The Bronx Bombers”. However, it must be noted that the team is making serious offensive strides, even though it’s not fully showing in the stats.

As the team hits the road for a nine-game trip, the Yankees need to build off their successful homestand. With many other teams struggling out of the gate, the Yankees need to take advantage of it and return home with a winning road trip. The Rays, Orioles, and Rangers loom ahead, meaning the Yankees will have plenty of opportunities to win games and make a dent into Boston’s divisional lead.

 

Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton speaks on walk-off single versus the Nationals

new york yankees, nyy, giancarlo stanton

The Yankees took down the Nationals yesterday by a score of 3-2. It was a well-pitched game on both sides as neither team lit up the scoreboard. However, the Bombers were able to outlast Washington and secure the series victory.

The Yankees’ offense was slow. They couldn’t seem to provide German with any kind of run support. Their first hit of the game was an RBI single by Hicks in the third. That gave New York a 1-0 lead. It wasn’t until the sixth that the Yankees would score another run. Gleyber Torres smashed his first home run of the season into the left-field bleachers. That gave the Bombers a 2-0 lead. 

After that, German gave up a two-run shot to Kyle Schwarber which tied the game. German was phenomenal the entire day and just slipped up at the end. He was taken out and Michael King finished the inning in relief. 

The game remained locked up at two as they headed into the bottom of the ninth. The Nationals looked to their closer Brad Hand to keep the game tied. Hand was in a similar situation on Saturday in which he blew a save in the ninth. However today, Hand was just trying to keep the team’s hopes alive.  

Tyler Wade walked to begin the ninth and the Yankees pinch-hit Aaron Judge for Brett Gardner. Judge had a great at-bat in which he also walked. DJ LeMahieu was up with Tyler Wade in scoring position and hit a soft grounder to third. Castro threw Judge out at second but LeMahieu was able to beat the throw at first. That means Stanton was up with men on first and third with only one out. Stanton ripped a single through the left side and walked it off for New York. 

Giancarlo Stanton talked to the media following his walk-off single. He said that he “loves” moments like that. Saying that coming through for his team was “big time.” He said he had a chance “earlier” that he “didn’t capitalize on.” But, Stanton said it was “great” to secure it the second time. “When you win those games that are right down to the wire, it’s big for everybody.” 

Another series win for Giancarlo Stanton and the Yankees. They finished 7-2 in their homestand and improved to 18-16 on the year.

Following an off day today, the Yankees will head to Tampa to face the Rays in a three-game set. New York has struggled tremendously against Tampa Bay and will look to build on their recent success. Tune in tomorrow at 7:10 pm EST to catch the first game of the series.