PFL 6 Results: Anthony Pettis eliminated from playoffs and Kayla Harrison stays perfect

The PFL returned tonight for their sixth and final regular season event of 2021. In the co-main event of the evening, former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis (24-12) returned as he took on Raush Manfio (13-3).

Pettis was a massive signing for PFL heading into the 2021 season. The Professional Fighters League put a ton of money behind Pettis and they hyped up the signing. It was a big signing for PFL, but Pettis needed to perform to make it worth it.

However, Pettis dropped his PFL debut to Clay Collard back in April. Tonight, he stood across the cage from Raush Manfio and he needed a win to even be in contention for the playoffs. A decision win for Pettis would’ve put him in tiebreaker, but a finish would’ve guaranteed him a spot.

PFL 6 Recap

I was incredibly encouraged with what I saw from Pettis in the opening rounds at PFL 6. Pettis looked much more aggressive and you could tell that he knew that he needed a big victory to advance to the playoffs.

Through the first two rounds, I thought that Pettis was getting the better of the striking at PFL 6. I had Pettis up 2-0 heading into the third and final round where the fight completely changed.

Early in the round, Manfio landed a big shot that hurt and dropped Pettis. Manfio then landed a big knee which put Pettis down a second time. Pettis was able to get back up and finished the round, but it was a clear round for Manfio.

Personally, I still had Pettis winning at PFL 6, but two of the judges didn’t agree. Raush Manfio took the split decision victory and eliminated Pettis from the 2021 playoffs. Definitely not what the promotion that was going to happen when they brought in Anthony Pettis.

In the main event of the evening, Kayla Harrison (10-0) returned to the cage. Harrison took on the veteran Cindy Dandois (16-7) who was looking to pull off the massive upset over the PFL queen. However, it was not meant to be.

As Harrison has done with all of her opponents, she went through Dandois like a hot knife through butter. Harrison picked up the first round armbar finish after dominating Dandois on the ground in the first. I don’t know if anyone in PFL can even be competitive with her at this point.

New York Giants waive training camp hopeful running back

New York Giants, Quest Diagnostics training center

The New York Giants aren’t going to have room for everyone going into the 2021 season, and some of the cuts aren’t even being held off until training camp. In a likely move to consolidate space, the Giants have already moved on from an addition they made earlier in the offseason.

That addition is former Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead, who may have been hoping to prove himself and end up with a backup running back spot via a good offseason showing.

Armstead came into the league in 2019 when he was taken by the Jaguars as a fifth round pick. He went on to put together a decent enough rookie season with a pair of receiving touchdowns as the most notable part of his statline, but ended up missing the entire 2020 season after being hospitalized twice with COVID-19. He was waived following the season, which was when the Giants picked him up.

It’s not all that surprising that Armstead didn’t make the roster with the Giants. The team is deep at running back already, and not just because Saquon Barkley is back this season. The Giants not only bring back Barkley and spent to bring in Devontae Booker as his main backup, but also added Corey Clement this offseason and drafted Gary Brightwell.

With a lineup like that, which features experienced NFL talent in addition to a new draft pick, making the team was always going to be hard for a player like Armstead.

If there is a silver lining, though, it may be that the early cut provides time for the player to find another spot in the league before training camp begins.

New York Yankees Recap: Yankees lose four straight to the Red Sox

New York Yankees, Domingo German

Tonight the New York Yankees renewed their rivalry with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston. Martin Perez of the Sox faced Domingo German of the Yankees. It was a beautiful night in bean town with a game-time temperature of about 68, and the game was played under sunny skies. Before the game, the Sox celebrated the career of iconic second basemen, Dustin Pedroia. The Yankees lost the game 5-3.

DJ LeMahieu led off for the Yankee and ground out on the first pitch. Aaron Judge hooked one down to the Pesky pole for the second out. Gary Sanchez stuck out for a fast inning for Perez. At the bottom, Michael Chavis faced Domingo German and singled to right. Alex Verdugo singled down the middle. JD Martinez flew out to Judge in center holding the runners. Chavis stole third. Xander Bogaerts doubled, driving in Chavis and Verdugo for the early two-run lead for the Red Sox. Rafael Devers went down on strikes. Hunter Renfroe hit one off the green monster, and that drove in Bogaerts for the three-run lead. Kike Herandez struck out, but the Red Sox did the damage with 3 runs scored. Red Sox 3 Yankees 0.

Giancarlo Stanton led off the second inning by walking. Luke Voit singled up the middle as Stanton moved to second. Gleyber Torres went down on strikes. Gio Urshela singled to load the bases. Miguel Andujar went down looking. Clint Frazier walked in a run. LeMahieu had a two-run single to right, and two Yankee runs scored to tie up the game at 3. Judge ground ou to third, but the Yankees matched the Sox and tied the game. At the bottom, Christian Vazquez singled. Marwin Gonzalez went down swinging. Chavis flew out to Frazier in right. Verdugo grounded out to end the inning. New York Yankees 3 Red Sox 3.

Gary Sanchez led off the third inning by grounding out to third. Stanton singled to left. Luke Voit singled, moving Stanton to second. Torres’s struggles continued as he hit into a double play ending the half. JD Martinez led off the bottom by walking. Martinez went to second on a passed ball. Bogaerts flew out to Andujar. Devers hit back to the mound, but German bobbled the ball, and Devers reaches, and Martinez went to third. Renfroe flew out to Judge by the sac fly, scored Martinez. Hernandez ground out to third. Red Sox 4 Yankees 3.

At the top of the fourth, Gio Urshela hit one off the green monster for a double. Andujar singled, and Urshela took off for home but was out at the plate. Frazier flew out to center. LeMahieu faced the new pitcher Hiro Sawamura and hit into the force to end the half. Vazquez led off the bottom, and he flew out to Frazier. Gonzalez hit back to German, who fielded it. Chavis flew out to Andujar at the green monster to end the inning. Red Sox 4 Yankees 3.

Aaron Judge led off the fifth by hitting one deep but for an out. Sanchez walked. Stanton struck out swinging for the second out. Then, Luke Voit went down on strikes. At the bottom, Verdugo faced Lucas Luetge, and he ground out second. Martinez popped out to LeMahieu. Bogaerts flew out to Judge in front of the left-field wall to end the inning. Red Sox 4 Yankees 3.

At the sixth, Gleyber Torres led off and ground out to short. Urshela was out swinging. Andujar singled to right. Frazier struck out swinging as he continued his slide. Devers led off the bottom and struck out swinging. Renfroe walked. Hernandez swung and missed. Vazquez walked, and that did it for Luetge. Gonzalez faced the new Yankee pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga and flew out to Judge in center to end the inning. Red Sox 4 New York Yankees 3.

It was the top of the lineup for the Yankees in the seventh inning. DJ LeMahieu led off by grounding out to Devers at short. Judge also grounded out to Devers. Sanchez ground out for a quick half for Whitlock. The bottom of the inning saw Chavis at the plate; he reached on a wild pitch. Verdugo went down on strikes. Martinez went down on strikes. Bogaerts struck out for a four-strike-out inning, only the third time it has been done in Yankee history. Red Sox 4 New York Yankees 3.

At the top of the eighth, Stanton faced ex-Yankee Adam Ottavino and struck out. Voit stuck out against his former teammate. Torres lined out to center to end the half. The bottom was led off by Devers facing the new Yankee pitcher Zack Britton, and he popped out to LeMahieu in shallow center. Renfroe at the plate he left the mound with an injury had he hobbled back to the dugout. Renfroe faced the new Yankee pitcher Luis Cessa and walked; it was charged to Britton. Hernandez ground out to Urshela, with Hernandez moving to second. Vazquez got a base hit to center, driving in Hernandez for the 2 run Sox lead. Gonzalez singled to left, moving Vazquez to second. Chavis struck out, but the Red Sox got an insurance run. Red Sox 5 New York Yankees 3.

With last licks on the line for the Yankees, Matt Barnes, the Sox closer, faced Gio Urshela, who got an infield single. Miguel Andujar singled to left, moving Urshela to second. Tyler Wade was pinch-running for Andujar. Frazier struck out on a good at-bat. Urshela left the game and was pinch-run by Brett Gardner. Lemahieu hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game and give the win to the Boston Red Sox. The winning pitcher was Garrett Whitlock, the loser was Domingo German and the save went to Matt Barnes.

What Freddie Kitchens’s promotion means for the New York Giants’ offense in 2021

New York Giants, Freddie Kitchens, Cleveland Browns

New York Giants head coach Joe Judge made some key changes to his coaching staff this offseason. When Judge was hired in the 2020 offseason, he built a strong coaching staff that featured many former head coaches in assistant coaching roles. One of those former head coaches was Freddie Kitchens, Judge hired him as the tight ends coach.

Freddie Kitchens served as head coach of the Cleveland Browns in the 2019 season. Kitchens took over as the offensive coordinator for Cleveland in the 2018 season after the team fired Todd Haley. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield saw his game elevate to another level once Kitchens was put in charge. Unfortunately, things did not end well for Kitchens in Cleveland, as the Browns disappointed in 2019 and fired their head coach after one season.

Joe Judge then brought Freddie Kitchens onto his staff as a tight ends coach. But, after just one season, Kitchens’s role with the Giants is changing. Coach Judge gave Kitchens a promotion this offseason to “senior offensive assistant.” This new role will change Freddie Kitchens’s responsibilities with the team completely while also having a significant impact on the Giants’ offense.

How Freddie Kitchens will make the offense more vertical

At the beginning of Freddie Kitchens’s career, he worked under Bruce Arians with the Arizona Cardinals. Kitchens learned a lot from Arians and developed his playbook based on the former Cardinals head coach’s offensive scheme. Like Arians, Kitchens loves to utilize 11 personnel and his offense places a heavy emphasis on vertical passing concepts.

Quarterbacks in Kitchens’s offense tend to have a high average depth of target. Under Todd Haley, Baker Mayfield’s ADOT was just 6.8 but shot up to 9.1 once Freddie Kitchens took over. According to PFF, Mayfield’s ADOT under Kitchens in 2018 was 9.6 yards, a very deep average. Kitchens again had him over 9 yards in 2019, averaging 9.2 yards ADOT.

Compare this to Daniel Jones’s first two seasons in the NFL. Under Shurmur in 2018, Jones’s ADOT was 8.4 yards. Garrett’s notoriously non-vertical offense in 2018 brought Daniel Jones’s ADOT down to 8.0 yards. Now, as a senior offensive assistant, one must assume that Freddie Kitchens will help Jason Garrett implement more vertical passing concepts and try to raise Daniel Jones’s ADOT in 2021.

Baker Mayfield threw 72 total 20+ yard passes in 2018 and 76 attempts in 2019. Kitchens had him airing the ball deep frequently. Daniel Jones threw 54 deep passes under Shurmur in 2018, playing in only 12 games. In 14 games under Garrett in 2020, Jones threw far fewer deep balls, only 43 total. This is obviously a problem, especially when considering Daniel Jones had a 132.5 passer rating on 20+ yard throws last season, the highest in the NFL.

Daniel Jones is an efficient deep-ball passer. Unfortunately, he rarely pushes the ball downfield due to a lack of vertical passing concepts in Jason Garrett’s offensive scheme. Freddie Kitchens should alleviate this issue and help Garrett get the ball downfield more frequently.

How Freddie Kitchens will help the offensive line develop

Head coach Joe Judge said that Kitchens’s “primary responsibility is going to be working with the front” in his new senior offensive assistant position. Judge explained, “tying into having two young offensive line coaches with Rob and Ben, I think Freddie is going to be an asset up front working directly with them and helping bring together the game planning, like all of our coaches will, but working directly with (offensive coordinator) Jason (Garrett) with some of the things that are going to happen upfront.”

NASCAR: Ryan Blaney looking to return to his winning ways at Pocono

Four years ago, young Ryan Blaney was in the midst of his second season driving the famous Wood Brothers Racing No. 21 machine. He had yet to win a NASCAR Cup Series race and was searching for a victory to secure job security.

Enter Pocono in June of 2017.

Blaney had a solid car all weekend and was running towards the front for most of the race. On a restart with around 10 laps remaining, Blaney snagged the lead from Kyle Busch and held off “The Closer” in Kevin Harvick to win his first race in NASCAR’s premier series.

The only catch? Neither could Blaney’s Crew Chief Jeremy Bullins nor spotter Josh Williams could hear the driver throughout the race.

“Pocono has a special place in my heart,” Blaney said. “I get those memories back every time I drive through the tunnel”.

Since that victory four years ago, Blaney’s picked up four more victories, including one earlier this season at Atlanta in the Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500. However, things have been a bit tougher for Blaney since his win back in March. He hasn’t finished a race higher than 10th since the Goodyear 400 at Darlington on May 9.

“It’s kind of been a struggle,” Blaney said. “We haven’t been where we need to be speed-wise and we haven’t executed great, and I’m part of that. It’s a big group effort, but the biggest thing is trying to find a little bit of speed in our cars”.

However, nobody’s been able to have enough speed to keep up with Hendrick Motorsports cars. HMS-owned cars have won each of the last five points-paying races, including the last three races being won by Kyle Larson.

“That group has got it figured it out right now,” Blaney said. “If I could tell you today what they’re doing a lot better than everyone else, we’d be doing it…….. I think we’ve made some gains on them, but we still have got to keep working”.

That being said, each race weekend brings up new opportunities. With two Cup Series races this weekend, that’ll certainly be the case for Ryan Blaney this weekend. He’ll search for his 6th career Cup Series win on Saturday and will look to become just the fourth multi-winner in 2021.

“We’re getting down to coming to the end of the regular season,” Blaney said. “Pocono’s a great place to get some stage points and win races here in back-to-back days”.

The first Cup Series race of the Pocono Speedway Doubleheader begins at approximately 3pm on Saturday with coverage on NBCSN. The Camping World Truck Series races earlier Saturday afternoon with a 12pm start time on FS1.

Tom Thibodeau bares what Knicks are looking for in NBA Draft

New York Knicks, Tom Thibodeau

The New York Knicks have four picks (19th, 21st, 32nd, 58th) in the upcoming NBA Draft. But the consensus around the league is that they will not be adding four more rookies to a core that finished fourth in the Eastern Conference this season.

New York coach Tom Thibodeau confirmed that belief on Friday at the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.

“For myself, I’m catching up. Our scouts have evaluated them. They put a lot of work into it. And then you have to be ready for all the possibilities — whether you move up, move back, or you trade out,” Thibodeau said.

The Knicks have met with some prospects who are mocked out of their range, such as projected lottery picks Scottie Barnes (FSU), Jalen Johnson (Duke), Jaden Springer (Tennessee), James Bouknight (UConn), and Corey Kispert (Gonzaga).

They have to package some of their picks or a combination with one of their players under contract to move up.

Teams who could be willing trade partners are the Golden State Warriors and the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Warriors have two lottery picks (7th and 14th), while the Thunder have three picks in the top 18. The Cleveland Cavaliers, who are picking at No.3, are also rumored to be moving on from Collin Sexton as they can land either Jalen Green or Jalen Suggs.

But the Knicks are also prepared to stick with their picks, looking for two particular skill sets in this Draft.

“I love coming here for the opportunity to sit down and interview with players. You get to know them a lot better. So you’re still gathering information. You see who might be a good fit for you. And again, I think we’re looking for wings and guys who can shoot. So there’s a number of guys that we think are gonna be good pros. So there’s a lot of value here,” said Thibodeau.

So far, the Knicks have zero in on guards and wings who can score in a myriad of ways.

Aside from the five projected lottery picks mentioned above, they have also either interviewed or conducted a workout with Jared Butler (Baylor), Nah’Shon Hyland (VCU), Ziaire Williams (Stanford), Miles McBride (West Virginia), Joshua Primo (Alabama), Aaron Wiggins (Maryland), Jose Alvarado (Georgia Tech), Mac McClung (Texas Tech), Alan Griffin (Syracuse), Marcus Zegarowski (Creighton), Geo Baker (Rutgers), Tyson Etienne (Wichita State) and big men Trey Murphy III (Virginia), Luka Garza (Iowa), Moses Wright (Georgia Tech) and Fardaws Aimaq (Utah Valley).

“These players are remarkable and how well they present themselves. I think they’ve gotten used to this environment. I think the agents are doing a good job in preparing them. You’re also doing a lot more research. You’re talking to a lot of people around them. And then you’re seeing and evaluating whether all the intel matches up to what the players are saying,” Thibodeau said of the Draft process.

“A lot of times, you find a lot of interesting things. I think that’s an important piece of this. It’s not the end-all, be-all, but it’s a big part of determining who would fit into your group,” he added.

Last year, the Knicks successfully picked two rookies — Obi Toppin and Immanuel Quickley — who were gym rats that seamlessly fit into Thibodeau’s culture. The past regimes have more misses than hits in the NBA Draft. But after team president Leon Rose beefed up the Knicks scouting department led by scouting guru Walt Perrin, there’s hope that the Knicks have a much better grasp of the process this time around.

On top of the specific skill sets they are looking for, the Knicks also value their background. They have cast a wide net, including unranked prospects, to have more intel which becomes useful down the road.

It’s a Perrin signature that his former team, Utah Jazz, did in trading for the likes of Jordan Clarkson.

“There’s a great value in [character]. You try to measure their drive and intelligence and how players have improved over a period of time. And also if they have gotten through some adversity. You’d like to see that quality as well. There are a number of things you’re looking for,” Thibodeau said.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Report: Jets ink OT Morgan Moses to one-year deal, add more competition to OL

morgan moses, new york jets

The New York Jets have been contemplating the idea of signing former Washington offensive tackle Morgan Moses to a one-year contract. Well, on Friday, they finalized the deal to bring Moses to New York, having started 97 games in his career for Washington.

The Jets, who have Mekhi Becton, George Fant, and rookie Alijah Vera-Tucker capable of playing offensive tackle, now have added competition from a solid veteran.

In 2020, Moses played the majority of his snaps at right tackle, featuring at left tackle in Weeks 11 and 12. He’s capable of playing on both sides but was far better in pass blocking when featuring on the right side of the OL. He allowed five total sacks, 14 QB hits, and 22 hurries.

Overall, Moses has been a consistent option for Washington for the past seven seasons. At 6’6″ and 335 pounds, rookie quarterback Zach Wilson now has himself a consistent OT on the right side who can provide support due to injury and will likely push Fant for the starting job.

Moses is coming off a five-year, $38.5 million deal, so the Jets signing him to a one-year contract should land in the $5-8 million range for the 2021 campaign. Fortunately, Moses hasn’t missed a game in six seasons, showcasing his reliability, and was mainly cut due to financial reasons and not performance-based factors.

UFC Vegas 30 Preview: Ciryl Gane – Alexander Volkov

Ciryl Gane UFC

Tomorrow night in the main event of UFC Vegas 30, we will see top five heavyweights battle it out. Top contenders Ciryl Gane (8-0) and Alexander Volkov (33-8) are looking to put themselves directly into title contention tomorrow night.

Ciryl Gane made his UFC debut back in 2019 in what was just his fourth professional fight. Obviously you can see by his record that he’s been perfect inside the octagon. The UFC has brought him along at a gradual pace and now he’s fighting the elites of the heavyweight division.

In his last two fights, Gane has defeated former UFC champion Junior Dos Santos and fellow top contender Jairzinho Rozenstruik. If Gane can defeat Volkov at UFC Vegas 30, he might only be a win away from a shot at the heavyweight title.

Alexander Volkov made his UFC debut back in 2016 and started out 4-0. Volkov knocked out former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum in a main event to get a shot against Derrick Lewis. The matchup was looked at as a potential title eliminator.

Volkov dominated the entire fight, but was caught by the massive power of The Black Beast in the final seconds. Since that loss, Volkov has gone 3-1 in the UFC. A win tomorrow night over the undefeated Gane would put him in an excellent position to get that elusive title shot.

UFC Vegas 30

I’m incredibly excited and intrigued by this main event at UFC Vegas 30. On one hand you have the great striking and skills of Ciryl Gane. The former professional kickboxer has shown off his great technique inside the octagon.

However, it’s his movement that impresses me the most. His lateral movement is of someone from a lower weight class. His overall knowledge of the game and his movement could cause Volkov issues tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 30.

On the other hand, Alexander Volkov looks like he’s really turning the page. Over his last couple of fights, he looks like a completely different fighter. I love his aggressiveness and how he pushes forward with a combination of volume and power.

He will give Gane the toughest test of his UFC career. I’ve really gone back-and-forth over this prediction. I think the fight is going to be razor close, but I see Volkov getting the nod here. Ultimately, it will come down to significant shots and I think Volkov lands enough to sway the judges.

Prediction: Alexander Volkov by Split Decision

New York Yankee Legends: The Yankee Red Sox rivalry started with Babe Ruth

George Herman “Babe” Ruth born in 1895, is the greatest New York Yankee baseball player to have ever to play the game. He also started one of the greatest rivalries in all of the sports. He would go on to hit 714 home runs, 2,213 RBI’s, over 2,000 bases on balls, with a slugging percentage of .690 and an OPS of 1.164, two records that still stand today. He was not only a great baseball player but still, today stands as one of America’s greatest sports icons in American culture.

So goes the story of the real Babe Ruth that few know about. Ruth was born in Baltimore Maryland. With his father working long hours in his saloon and his mother often in poor health, Little George (as he was known) spent his days unsupervised on the waterfront streets and docks, committing petty theft and vandalism. Hanging out in his father’s bar, he stole money from the till drained the last drops from old beer glasses, and developed a taste for chewing tobacco. He was only six years old.

Having been declared incorrigible at the age of seven by the Baltimore courts, his parents sent him to St. Mary’s Industrial School. After a month passed they brought him back home to see if he had changed and reconciliation could be achieved, he hadn’t and it would lead to several attempts by his parents. in 1904 at the age of nine, Ruth would meet the Roman Catholic Brother Matthias at St. Mary’s. Later in life when asked about Brother Matthias, Ruth would say. He changed my life, “He taught me to read and write and he taught me the difference between right and wrong, He was the father I needed and the greatest man I’ve ever known.”

Ruth would end up living his young life at the school until the age of eighteen. During that time his mentor would throw balls at the boys to catch. Young George was thrilled to catch and throw the ball. He imitated the Brother’s hitting style, holding the bat at the knob and taking big swings.

As he grew older he began to actually play baseball at St. Mary’s. In one St. Mary’s game in 1913, Ruth, then 18 years old, caught, played third base (even though he threw left-handed), and pitched, striking out six men, and collecting a double, a triple, and a home run. That summer, he was allowed to pitch with local amateur and semipro teams on weekends. Impressed with his play a Baltimore scout Jack Dunn signed Ruth to his minor-league Baltimore Orioles club the following February. The Orioles short on money sold the young Ruth to the Boston Red Sox.

During the offseason, Babe married his girlfriend Boston waitress Helen Woodford. In the following season, he shined for the Sox, winning three complete games in a span of nine days in June. Between June 1 and September 2, Ruth was 13-1 and ended the season 18-8. The personality of the younger Ruth began to show its head as he caroused at night and began to argue with umpires.  In his six seasons with Boston, he won 89 games and recorded a 2.19 ERA. He had a four-year stretch where he was second in the AL in wins and ERA behind Walter Johnson, and Ruth had a winning record against Johnson in head-to-head matchups. But also during the time, he fought with management and was as a headache. His continued outright refusal to adhere to the team’s curfew earned him several suspensions and his non-stop salary demands infuriated owner Frazee.

Just after New Year’s 1920, the worst deal in Major League history would be made. The Boston Red Sox would sell Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000. Frazee would comment that Ruth was one of the most selfish and inconsiderate men that ever wore a baseball uniform. He also said Ruth ate and drank excessively, frequented prostitutes, and had been involved in several car accidents. It would have surprised no one if, for whatever reason, Ruth was out of baseball in a year or two. It was a gamble that the Yankees were will to take.

While Babe Ruth was with the Yankees he broke every record in baseball. He became an American Icon and a part of American culture. In his fifteen years with the Yankees alone, hit scored nearly 2,000 runs and 2,000 RBI’s.  He also hit 659 home runs.

In 1928 the Yankees got the AL pennant. The Yankees swept the Cardinals that year and Ruth hit 54 home runs on the year. During this time, the Yankees were known as Murderers’ Row, because of the power of its lineup, In January 1929, Babe’s first wife, Helen, died in a house fire in Watertown, Massachusetts.

At the end of the 1929 season, Miller Higgins passed away and Ruth applied for the job but was never seriously considered for the job. By the end of June 1930, Ruth was ahead of his 60-homer pace of 1927, but injuries slowed him down and he finished with 49. In 1931, at age 36, Ruth had one of his finest seasons. He hit .373/.495/.700, with 46 home runs, 162 RBIs, 128 walks, and 149 runs scored. The Yankees swept the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series, giving them wins in 12 straight World Series games. For the previous few years, Ruth’s hard living and injuries were catching up with him.

In 1934 due to his declining health and stats Yankee’s owner Ruppert gave Ruth a pay cut of 50%., Ruth accepted knowing his 20-year career was coming to an end. On July 13 against the Detroit Tigers, Ruth would hit his 700th home run. Ruth had always wanted to be a manager, So Yankees manager Ruppert worked out a secret deal with the Boston Braves manager to offer Ruth a contract that would include the titles of Assistant Manager and Vice President. When Ruth would present the deal to the Yankees owner, he said he wouldn’t stand Ruth’s way, so Ruppert’s trick worked.

In 1935 with the Braves, Ruth would play in only 28 games batting .181. Ruth did get the final three home runs of his career that year. Ruth is the only major leaguer to pitch in at least 10 seasons and has a winning record in all of them. Ruth had winning records in 10 seasons: 1914-1921, 1930, and 1933. Andy Pettitte now holds the record at 13 seasons (1995-2007). Ruth concluded he was finished even as a part-time player. As early as May 12, he asked Fuchs to let him retire, Ruth retired on June 2 after an argument with Fuchs.

On an afternoon in 1945 wearing a brand-new Gems jersey with a bright red baseball cap and matching stockings, the 51-year-old Ruth managed to hit off a handful of home runs before the game, much to the delight of everyone in attendance at Hartford, Connecticut’s Buckeley Stadium. His game-time performance, however, resulted in a handful of unexciting balls and strikes while at-bat. Later he would tell reporters “Some days the pitches look like watermelons and other days like peanuts.” No one would know it at the time but it would be the last time Ruth would ever wear a baseball uniform.

A few months later he was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer in 1946 and died from the disease in 1948. A living legend took the plate for the last time in front of thousands of adoring fans that September in Connecticut history. Such was the life of George Herman “Babe” Ruth.

On August 16, 73 years ago, the “Babe” passed away. A requiem mass and funeral for the Babe was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral three days later.  6,000 mourners bowed their heads as Cardinal Spellman made a special prayer at the end of the solemn 1-hour service. 75,000 people waited outside the Cathedral in the pouring rain to say goodbye to the greatest baseball player of all time.

 

Gary Sanchez is carrying the Yankees on his back

New York Yankees, Gary Sanchez

The 2020 season, for New York Yankees’ catcher Gary Sanchez, was a nightmare. He batted .147, he had a 68 wRC+ (well below the average, established at 100) and struck out in 36 percent of his plate appearances. This season, he started off hot, then cooled off and, once again, lost playing time to Kyle Higashioka.

However, he is back to being scorching hot, and has maintained that level for a while. Not only he is back performing like an All-Star: Gary Sanchez is carrying the Yankees. The team is streaking and is now four games behind the leader in the AL East, in large part thanks to the Kraken.

“When we were struggling to score runs, I kept saying, ‘It’s a matter of time,’” Sánchez said to MLB.com after Thursday’s win through an interpreter. “I have so much confidence in the talent that we have and in my teammates. Eventually, this is what was supposed to happen, for the offense to work the way it’s working right now.”

The Yankees’ catcher is on quite the hot streak

The Yankees’ starting catcher has hit an incredible eight home runs in his last 23 games, and he credits the improvement, per MLB.com, “nixing a problematic leg kick from his stride at the plate.”

Over that timeframe, Sanchez has been, without a question, the Yankees’ most valuable hitter, with a .338/.410/.743 line, eight homers, and a 206 wRC+.

For the season, Sanchez has a .240/.344/.503 line with a 130 wRC+ and 13 home runs in 56 games. He has lowered his strikeout rate to 26.9 percent, almost 10 percentage points compared to last season’s disaster.

Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone praised Sánchez’s “courage” for deciding to make the changes in-season. He said his previous stance was preventing his catcher from catching up to fastballs.

Now that he is producing at a high rate, Sanchez is deserving of a place in the All-Star game and of regular playing time on the Yankees.