Lawsuit filed against New York Giants involving workplace violence

The New York Giants might not make it through this offseason without an off the field controversy, but this one doesn’t have to do with players. Controversies about staff are rarer but they do happen, and this looks like one of them.

Specifically, a lawsuit has been filed against the team by former video director Dave Maltese according to ESPN.

Dave Maltese was fired in March for what the suit describes as “retaliatory purposes” in violation of CEPA, New Jersey’s whistleblower statute. He claims this was a result of the complaint and report he filed following an alleged physical assault and attack he witnessed by current Giants director of football data and innovation Ty Siam against assistant video director Steven Venditti.

The lawsuit also claims that there was a pervasive culture of violence within the Giants organization. That, apparently, stretches all the way back into the early 2000s. The lawsuit mentions a separate case from 2004, when former video director John Mancuso claims that assistant O-line coach Dave DeGuglielmo ragefully tackled him.

Fans will of course recognize DeGuglielmo’s name because he filled in as the main offensive line coach for the Giants last season after Marc Colombo’s firing. He’d enter the offseason in contention to take over the job full time, but ultimately decided to head to the college ranks where he was hired to the same position by Louisiana Tech.

The Giants have already released a statement calling the claims meritless.

Many in the fanbase will likely assume the same thing and decide that this is just a case of a disgruntled employee trying to get back at their former employer, and there is a chance that this situation is something along those lines. For now, though, we don’t know.

This is just the beginning of the lawsuit and neither side has gotten a chance to properly argue their case either legally or in the court of public opinion. Just like we saw with the DeAndre Baker case last year, legal battles can have plenty of twists and turns and the result isn’t always the expected one.

The truth in this one isn’t clear, but it is a situation to keep an eye on going forward as it develops further.

Yankees prove something massive after Domingo German domination

New York Yankees, Domingo German

For the second consecutive game, the New York Yankees completely blanked the Texas Rangers. After starting pitcher Corey Kluber threw a no-hitter on Wednesday evening, Domingo German backed his performance up with another adequate outing.

German currently hosts a 3.05 ERA, and after starting the season with a few disappointing performances, he’s finally found his groove, allowing just six hits over 7.0 innings against Texas in the victory. He struck out five batters and didn’t walk a single one, giving the relief pitchers an easy way out of the final 2.0 innings of the contest.

However, the Yankees learned something huge over the past two games: Their starting pitching rotation is sufficient.

Currently, they have Gerrit Cole hosting a 2.03 ERA, the best of his entire career. Of course, it is over a smaller sample size, but he’s already performing far superior compared to his 2020 outing over just 12 games. In nine games, not only does he have a 2.03 ERA, but he also hosts a 1.63 FIP and is tallying 13.26 strikeouts per nine. He’s walking just 0.78 batters per nine and allowing 0.78 home runs per nine. That is the best rate he’s earned since his 2016 season.

Ultimately, Cole is pitching lights out and continues to impress after signing a massive contract with the Yankees last year. Gerrit is like fine wine, he gets better over time, and the occasional long-ball he allows is 100% worth his incredible ERA and elevating attributes.

This season, his fastball is averaging 97.4 mph, the highest it’s been his entire career. In fact, most of his pitches are seeing slight increases or are hovering at the same level compared to past seasons.

Having a bonafide number one is an incredible feeling for Yankee fans, and considering German sits at the bottom of the rotation and is playing this well, it should breed optimism. German has four wins on the season, having allowed just three runs over his last three games. He has struck out 18 batteries in that same time frame.

If Jameson Taillon can reach his potential and shake off the injuries he dealt with in the past, the Yankees will have one of the best starting rotations in baseball, which is a major development for a team that struggled in that category the past few seasons.

Knicks usher return to NBA playoffs with 15K sellout crowd

The New York Knicks are back in the NBA playoffs. And so are their fans.

A 15,000 home crowd is expected to rock the Madison Square Garden as the Knicks begin their playoff quest.

Game 1 of their first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks is scheduled on Sunday, with Game 2 on Wednesday. Both games have been sold out, the Knicks announced on Thursday.

The Knicks’ return to the playoffs is being trumpeted as the largest indoor event in New York since the pandemic. It will be the largest Knicks crowd or perhaps the whole NBA this season. Only 1,981 fans or 10 percent of The Garden’s seating capacity have been allowed to watch every Knicks home game since February.

“I hope everyone in sports and entertainment is listening because the public has spoken — they are fine with getting vaccinated and want to get back to the experiences they love,” Dolan said in the statement. “This overwhelming response by Knicks fans — almost 90% of whom are vaccinated — should silence any doubters. It’s time to start booking events and filling up our schedules, so stay tuned. We want to thank Governor Cuomo for this leap forward; he knew we could do this — not just for us, but for New York.”

Knicks president Leon Rose also took his time to thank the fans on a social media post by the team.

It’s the hottest show in town as tickets were sold out in less than an hour during its public release last Wednesday. Season ticket holders and depositors had the first access to the tickets last Tuesday.

The resounding Knicks box-office success drowns their city rival Brooklyn Nets’ struggle to fill the Barclays Center even in a limited capacity. They have yet to sell out both of their home games against the Boston Celtics despite having superstars Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and James Harden. The Nets announced on Thursday that they are offering a 50 percent discount on a number of tickets in their vaccinated section.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Hawks interim coach fined $25K for ‘asserting NBA’s bias towards Knicks’

Atlanta Hawks interim coach Nate McMillan is in hot water following his controversial comments about the league and the New York Knicks on his zoom call with reporters on Wednesday.

NBA meted McMillan a $25,000 fine on Thursday in what was termed as “detrimental public comments asserting bias by the NBA relating to the 2020-21 Playoffs.”

This stems from McMillan saying the league wants the Knicks to be in the playoffs. The Hawks interim coach has included this message in his pep talk with his team.

“Absolutely, I’ve talked about that to the team a lot. Basically, I’ve gone as far as saying the league wants this,” McMillan said on Wednesday. “They need this, New York, this is a big market for the league, and New York has been out of the playoffs for a number of years.”

The Knicks made the playoffs for the first time in eight years, exceeding expectations by taking the fourth seed in the East. The Hawks wound up fifth despite having a similar record after losing the tie-breaker. The Knicks have swept the Hawks this season.

“And [Knicks] is a team that our league, they want to see — there’s a huge fan base — and they want to see New York in the playoffs. So, yes, we have talked about that, about the advantages of this situation and some things that we’re going to have to face, going into [Game 1], with everyone picking New York to win and a lot of folks wanting to see New York in the playoffs,” McMillan said.

But despite McMillan’s comments insinuating they are the underdogs, the oddsmakers couldn’t decide who’s the favorite to win the series. Both the Hawks and Knicks are given -110 odds or an implied 52.4% chance to win the series.

Meanwhile, 15 of 18 ESPN’s NBA writers and analysts have picked the Knicks.

“It’s a battle, it’s a challenge, just playing New York, all that comes with it. They’ve had a really good season, and I think the NBA is excited about having them back in the playoffs,” McMillan said.

The Knicks will host Game 1 and Game 2 of the series on Sunday and Wednesday with an expected 15,000 home crowd, which the team billed as the largest indoor event since the pandemic.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

After UFC fallout, Diego Sanchez has cut ties with Joshua Fabia

Unless you’ve been living under a rock over the past month, you’ve probably heard about the fallout between the UFC and Diego Sanchez (30-13). Sanchez is one of the original Ultimate Fighter winners and he’s spent the vast majority of his career with the UFC.

The Nightmare was gearing up to fight Donald Cerrone at UFC Vegas 26. The fight with Cowboy was supposed to be Sanchez’s retirement fight. However, shortly before the fight, it was announced that Sanchez was off the card. 

This news sparked a series of events that gave us an insight as to what was going on. It all started when Sanchez’s coach Joshua Fabia requested all of Sanchez’s medical records since he made his debut with the promotion.

Fabia stated that he wanted them to be able to see the impact to Sanchez’s health after a career in the UFC. Keep in mind that the medical records and medical tests that are passed before the fights run through the athletic commissions.

The situation didn’t feel right to the UFC and as a result, they just decided to cut ties with Sanchez. They released him, but they paid him his full purse for UFC Vegas 26 despite the fact that Sanchez was no longer going to be competing.

After this, Sanchez and Fabia released footage of a confrontation from Fight Island where Fabia confronted the UFC commentators. After that, they released audio of a phone call with the UFC‘s lawyer Hunter Campbell.

UFC’s Sanchez cuts Fabia

The MMA community and specifically fighters in the UFC have begged Sanchez publicly to get rid of Joshua Fabia. Fabia is the ‘Founder’ of the School of Self-Awareness and he’s shown off some bizarre training methods with Sanchez. 

In reality, it’s almost looked like Sanchez was brainwashed. UFC President Dana White has openly said that he supports Diego Sanchez and will always answer if he calls. However, he will never give Joshua Fabia the time of day.

Throughout everything, Sanchez had stuck by Joshua Fabia. Well, that changed today when the former Ultimate Fighter told MMA Fighting that he’s cut all ties with Joshua Fabia. Sanchez also said he’d be making a statement next week after having some time to gather his thoughts.

If I’m being transparent, I’m extremely happy that Diego Sanchez got rid of Joshua Fabia. Perhaps this can assist in mending his relationship with the UFC. Either way, it appears we’ve seen the end of this Diego Sanchez – Joshua Fabia drama.

New York Yankees Recap: German masterful in Yankees’ 7th shutout of the season

New York Yankees, Domingo German

The New York Yankees had a matinee today for the fourth and final game against the Texas Rangers. If the Yankees could come away with a  win, it would be their eighth series win in a row. The final score was Yankees 2 and the Rangers 0, for the Yankees’ seventh shutout of the season and their 8th series win in a row.

Dan Dunnings faced DJ LeMahieu to start the first, and he ground out. Brett Gardner struck out, and Luke Voit ground out to third. At the bottom, Domingo German faced Calhoun, who flew out to Andujar in left. Nick Solak singled down the middle. Nate Lowe flew out to left. Joey Gallo flew out to end the scoreless inning.

Rougie Odor led off the second inning by going down looking. Gleyber Torres had a base hit in front of the left-fielder. Gary Sanchez hit into a double play to end the half. Adolis Garcia flew out. David Dahl singled to right. Kiner Felafa ground into a double play for the force out. Charlie Culberson hit out to Gardner in center, still no score.

Mike Ford started the third inning but singling to left field. Miguel Andujar singled up the middle to two on and no outs. Tyler Wade went down looking. DJ LeMahieu got into an odd double play when the ball was thrown to third, catching Ford off the base. At the bottom, Heim popped back to catcher Sanchez who made an over-the-shoulder catch. Calhoun doubled to far left out of the reach of Wade. Solak went down on strikes. Lowe flew out to Gardner in left-center for yet another scoreless inning.

The top of the fourth was led off by Brett Gardner, doubling to the center-field wall. Luke Voit, with one-on and no outs, popped out to the Rangers dugout. A wild pitch allowed Garder to avoid the throw and made it to third base. Odor struck out. Gleyber Torres ground out to strand a leadoff double. Joey Gallo led off the bottom when he singled. Garcia singled. Dahl struck out, and Kiner Falefa ground into a double play for another scoreless inning as German worked out of a mini jam. No score.

Gary Sanchez led off the fifth in a game that looked like a pitcher’s duel. Sanchez struck out. Ford flew one to the top of the centerfield wall that was caught for the second out. Andujar went down looking for the Yankees’ fifth scoreless inning. At the bottom German with only 50 pitches, Culberson led off by grounding out to second. Heim had a base hit up the middle. Calhoun lined out to Gardner in center. Solak hit to third, DJ made a sparkler for the force out at second to end the inning. Still scoreless.

At the top of the sixth, Tyler Wade ground to right. DJ LeMahieu chopped out to short. Brett Gardner worked a walk. Luke Voit hit into the force out to end the half. At the bottom, Lowe led off against German, who had only allowed 6 hits and no runs, and he hit right back to German. Gallo struck out. Garcia struck out as both dueling pitchers go into the seventh inning scoreless.

The seventh started as a surprise, with John King replacing Dunning with 89 pitches, and pitched masterfully to hold the Yankees scoreless. In inning was led off by Rougie Odor, who got plunked. Glyber Torres with one on and no outs ground out, but Odor moved to second. Gary Sanchez got a line-drive single that didn’t allow Odor to score as he held up on third base. Gio Urshela was brought in to pinch-hit for Ford. Urshela got an RBI single driving in Odor as the New York Yankees finally got on the board against Ranger pitching. Miguel Andujar went done on strikes. Aaron Judge, who had the day off, pinch-hit for Tyler Wade. Judge singled driving in Sanchez, Urshela was out at second, in a  play that should have been challenged but wasn’t. New York Yankees 2 the Rangers 0, in the longest half-inning of the game.

David Dahl led off against German, who only had 79 pitches at the bottom of the seventh. Dahl ground out to Voit; Dahl was out at first as German handled the out. Kiner Falefa ground back to German. Culberson ground out to short. German had put down the last eight Rangers in a row. Yankees 2 Rangers 0.

The top of the eighth inning saw DJ Lemahieu at the plate; he lined out to short. Brett Gardner singled. Luke Voit walked. Rougie Odor went down on strikes for his third strikeout of the day. The Rangers brought in Josh Sborz to face Gleyber Torres with two on and two outs. Torres struck out looking. At the bottom, the Heim faced Chad Green, and he ground out to Voit. Calhoun ground out to short right. Solak popped out to Torres for the quick 1-2-3 inning for Green. Yankees 2 Rangers 0.

In the eighth inning, it was Gary Sanchez leading off; he struck out. Gio Urshela walked. Andujar hit liner single for short. Urshela made a running error to third for the 18th out on the bases and the most in the majors. Aaron Judge lined out to short left. Aroldis Chapman came in in the bottom of the ninth inning, hoping to get his 11th save of the season. Lowe struck out. Gallo walked.  Khris Davis pinch hit for Dahl, and he struck out on a 102 mph fastball.

The final score was the New York Yankees 2 and the Texas Rangers 0. The winning pitcher was Domingo German, and the loser was  John King. Aroldis Chapman got his 11th save of the season.

 

 

Battle of New York: Knicks fans troll Nets for struggling to sell tickets

new york knicks, julius randle

Who runs New York?

It appears the Knicks still own the city despite the emergence of the star-studded Brooklyn Nets as a title contender.

The Knicks remain to be the biggest draw as their tickets sold like hotcakes on Wednesday. Knicks’ Game 1 tickets sold out in less than an hour. Fans who want to watch the Knicks’ Game 1 against the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday can find the cheapest tickets at Seat Geek, a secondary market, for as low as $217 and as high as $5,969 for first row seats.

Meanwhile, the Nets are struggling to sell tickets, with still a handful available at face value on Ticket Master.

Nets fans can still buy tickets for as low as $129 to as high as $529 for a lower bowl ticket at Ticket Master.

The Nets have already employed the help of one of their Big 3, James Harden, to draw fans to watch their home games in their first-round matchup against the Boston Celtics. Harden has offered a 50 percent discount on limited seats.

The Knicks fans quickly trolled the Nets with their sarcastic humor on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

The Nets have swept the Knicks this season though the last two games came down to the last possession. Unfortunately, they are on the opposite side of the Eastern Conference Playoffs bracket. Meaning, the only time they could face each other in the playoffs is at the conference finals.

A Knicks-Nets conference finals in the East could rival a Los Angeles Lakers-Clippers matchup in the West.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

UFC: Michael Chandler hopes to return near the end of the year

Michael Chandler (22-6) is still dealing with the disappointment from failing to capture the UFC lightweight title last Saturday. In the headliner of UFC 262, Chandler took on Charles Oliveira (31-8, 1 NC) for the vacant lightweight championship.

The first round of their fight at UFC 262 was one of the best opening rounds of a championship fight I’ve seen in a while. It had it all and both men looked like they could finish the fight in the first round.

For Oliveira, he was able to get Chandler’s back in the first have of the round. A lot of people thought that if Oliveira could get in that dominant of a position at UFC 262, he could finish the fight by submission.

In fact, I picked Oliveira to win by submission. However, Chandler powered through and got out of the dangerous position. The second half of the round was all Michael Chandler and he hurt Oliveira badly on the feet.

At one point, it appeared that the fight was seconds away from getting stopped. Chandler had the UFC lightweight title within his reach, but Oliveira was able to survive the onslaught and we went to the second round.

Much like the first round changed on a dime, the second round changed on a dime. After coming close to finishing the fight in the first round, Chandler was clipped with a perfect left hook from Charles Oliveira.

Oliveira followed up with some finishing shots and captured the UFC lightweight title. For a moment in the first, Michael Chandler’s perfect UFC start appeared to be going according to plan. However, he left the door open and Charles Oliveira took advantage.

UFC return for Michael Chandler

Michael Chandler sat down with MMA on Point this week to break down UFC 262 and talk about his next steps. Chandler admittedly thought he wouldn’t be in a position to consider his options following a loss.

The former Bellator champion said that he planned on winning the UFC title and wanted to wait for the winner of Dustin Poirier – Conor McGregor 3. If that would’ve happened, Chandler said he thought the UFC would book him anywhere from November to January of 2022.

Despite losing at UFC 262, Chandler is wanting to stick to that timeline. Chandler said, “November at the earliest. December, maybe even January. I’m not getting any younger… Obviously, the stakes are high, the competition is high. No matter what, I’ll step inside the cage with a top five guy.”

Opponents to watch for in his UFC return would be Justin Gaethje, Beneil Dariush, Rafael Dos Anjos, or perhaps Islam Makhachev. The loser of McGregor – Poirier could also be an option. As Chandler said, the UFC will give him a top five guy next regardless and if he wins impressively, he’ll be right back in the title mix.

Luca Vildoza set to join Knicks, will wear Jeremy Lin’s number

Luca Vildoza, knicks

Luca Vildoza is expected to arrive in New York this weekend, according to his camp. But he won’t be on the Knicks bench when they open up their first-round playoff series on Sunday at The Garden.

Vildoza, who signed a partially guaranteed four-year, $13.6 million deal with the Knicks, will have to clear health and safety protocols before joining the team.

The Argentinian guard also revealed that he would wear No. 17, the jersey number of former Knick Jeremy Lin who took New York and the NBA by storm in 2012 in a phenomenon dubbed as Linsanity.

But Vildoza had his own personal reasons in choosing No. 17.

“I’m going to wear 17. It’s my dog’s birthday and as a kid, it was my lucky number,” Vildoza said.

The 25-yeard old combo guard also shared that he’s excited to join the Knicks and realize his childhood dream.

“I’m very nervous. I doubt that (Derrick) Rose knows who I am. Knowing that I am going to share a season with him is a dream,” Vildoza said.

The Euroleague star is expected to clear the league’s health and safety protocols by next week. Still, he isn’t going to see action in the playoffs, as New York coach Tom Thibodeau indicated earlier.

“It’s going to take some time for him to get over here,” Thibodeau said. “Our scouts really liked him. We’ll have time to evaluate him over the summer.”

Even if he is reduced to an observer, the time he’ll spend with the Knicks during this playoff run will help him acclimatize himself with the city and the team’s schemes in time for his NBA Summer League debut.

Vildoza will also see action in the Tokyo Olympics with the Argentina national team.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Bellator 259 Preview: Cris Cyborg – Leslie Smith 2

Tomorrow night in the main event of Bellator 259, the women’s featherweight title is up for grabs. The reigning champion and all time great Cris Cyborg (23-2, 1 NC) is back to defend her crown against Leslie Smith (12-8-1).

This Bellator title fight is actually a rematch from 2016. Leslie Smith was the first woman to welcome Cris Cyborg to the UFC. That night, Cyborg was able to stop Smith in just 81 seconds.

Cyborg went on to capture the UFC featherweight title and now she’s the Bellator featherweight champion. Cris Cyborg lost her professional MMA debut and since then, she’s been almost perfect.

In fact, most of the time, the Bellator champion has looked indestructible. The only woman to defeat Cyborg is Amanda Nunes who did it in devastating fashion. Nunes is widely considered to be the greatest of all time so there’s no shame in Cyborg losing that one.

Since making the move to Bellator, Cyborg has gone 2-0 with two stoppage victories. Her last win against Arlene Blencowe was her first career submission victory to go along with her 18 career knockouts.

Leslie Smith is going to look to pull off the massive upset at Bellator 259. Since joining the promotion in 2019, Smith has gone 2-1 with a loss to Blencowe. Overall, Smith is 4-1 in her last five fights leading up to tomorrow night.

Bellator 260 Prediction

Cyborg will walk into Bellator 259 as a staggering -1200 favorite and she should be. Again, the only woman to defeat her was the greatest of all time. Cyborg is considered by many to be the second greatest female fighter of all time.

She’s captured titles in Strikeforce, Invicta, the UFC, and Bellator. If I’m being completely transparent, I just don’t see how Leslie Smith can win tomorrow night. Of course, it’s a fight and technically anything can happen.

However, we’ve seen this fight before and I don’t think the rematch goes any different. Smith would have to either catch Cyborg with a perfect punch or survive and outwork the champion over five rounds. Unfortunately for Leslie Smith, I don’t see this fight making it past the first round.

Prediction: Cris Cyborg by TKO – Round 1