Knicks decline Frank Ntilikina’s qualifying offer, should they re-sign him?

New York Knicks, Frank Ntilikina

With qualifying offers due on Sunday, August 2, the New York Knicks had to make a decision on Belgium-born point guard Frank Ntilikina. At 23-years-old, Ntilikina has failed to live up to expectations, despite having lofty expectations when he was drafted back in 2017.

Having averaged just 9.8 minutes per game last season, including 2.7 points, 0.6 assists, and shooting 36.7% from the field, it seems as if New York is ready to move on from the first-round bust.

According to Marc Berman of the NY Post, the Knicks declined PG Frank Ntilikina’s $7M qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Clearly, based on Frank’s statistical output, paying him $7 million to be a benchwarmer doesn’t represent an efficient financial decision. However, he still offers some value as a defensive player, despite averaging career lows last year.

Once head coach Tom Thibodeau took over the next roster, Ntilikina completely fell out of favor, as the disciplinary feature Derrick Rose, Immanuel Quickley, and even Elfrid Payton above the younger option.

The expectation is that the organization will target a veteran point guard to help establish a regular starter, and with the drafting of Miles McBride out of West Virginia, the likelihood of Frank making an impact is low.

Saving a few million rather than bringing him back with any dying hopes of resurrecting his career might be the most productive measure. He could salvage his career on a different team, one that can expand upon his existing talents, but the Knicks simply don’t seem like the right fit.

Do you think the Knicks should bring him back on a cheaper contract? Comment below!

New York Giants: CB Adoree’ Jackson placing an emphasis on learning this season

new york giants, adoree jackson

The New York Giants had a phenomenal defense in 2020. But the unit was not perfect. As good as the Giants’ secondary was, led by cornerback James Bradberry, there was room for improvement. Opposite of Bradberry, the Giants had a revolving door at CB2. In the 2021 offseason, New York seemingly solved this problem when they signed cornerback Adoree’ Jackson to a three-year, $39M contract.

James Bradberry established himself as a truly elite outside cornerback last season. But with two starting outside cornerbacks on a depth chart, the Giants lacked a second quality starter at the position. Adoree’ Jackson is not only quality, but he is high-quality as a former first-round pick who possesses the speed to shut down some of the NFL’s fastest wide receivers. The Giants are excited to have Jackson join Bradberry and form a potentially elite cornerback duo.

Adoree’ Jackson placing an emphasis on learning

Adoree’ Jackson is no rookie. He has been in the leagues for a few seasons now. 2021 will be Jackson’s fifth season in the NFL after he played the first four years of his career with the Tennessee Titans. In 2017, the Titans drafted Adoree’ in the first round of that year’s draft. He entered the league with high expectations and was viewed as an essential part of the Titans’ long-term plans on defense. However, the team cut him this offseason in an effort to create salary-cap space. The Giants capitalized on the situation and solidified their CB2 position by signing Adoree’ Jackson.

Despite being a seasoned (but still young) veteran in the league at this point in his career, Adoree’ Jackson is playing with the mindset of a rookie. Adoree’ has no chip on his shoulder as he enters his first season with the Giants. Instead, Jackson is placing an emphasis on learning and soaking up as much information as he can to improve his game:

No. What’s crazy is when I first came here, I treated myself like a rookie, like the new guy. That was my mindset every day, just trying to learn from everybody no matter who you are in the room because at the end of the day, if you’re doing something some way and I’m like, ‘How did you do it like that?’ and implement it to my game. So, for me I’m just trying to enjoy it and soak up all the information that I can because you’re never too old to learn and you’re never too young to learn, as well. So, I think that’s just been my mindset, just to think that I’m not anybody and trying to improve on my game. – Adoree’ Jackson when asked if he has a chip on his shoulder entering his first season with the Giants

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. The New York Giants defense could reach a new height guided by the duo of James Bradberry and Adoree’ Jackson in 2021.

New York Yankee Recap: Rizzo roadshow continues as Yankees sweep the Miami Marlins

anthony rizzo, yankees

In the matinee today, the New York Yankees went for the sweep of the Miami Marlins at LoanDepot Park in Miami, Florida. The Yankees won the first game 3-1, the second game 4-3 with new Yankee Anthony Rizzo hitting a home run in each and going five for five. The Yankees today had five lefties in the starting lineup. The Yankees are 4 for 10 this season when trying to accomplish a sweep of a series. The matchup today was Jordan Montgomery vs. the Marlins Sandy Alcantara. The Yankees swept the Marlins with the 3-1 win today.

Anthony Rizzo led off for the Yankees with Alcantara on the mound and popped out to shallow left. Aaron Judge struck out swinging. Joey Gallo struck out as the Yankees went down in order. At the bottom, Miguel Rojas led off by doubling off the left-field wall. Jazz Chisholm got an infield single moving Rojas to third. Brian Anderson got an RBI out to third, scoring Rojas. Jesus Aguilar popped out to a charging Judge. Lewis Brinson struck out, but the Marlins went on the board first. Miami Marlins 1 Yankees 0.

Gary Sanchez led off the second inning by grounding out to third. Rougie Odor ground out to second. Gleyber Torres hit back to Alcantara to end the scoreless half. Bryan De La Cruz led off the bottom by flying out to Gallo in left. Sandy Leon flew out to Gardner in center. Mangneuris Sierra ground out. Marlins 1 Yankees 0.

The top of the third inning was led off by Brett Gardner, who struck out. Tyler Wade walked and stole second. Jordan Montgomery went down looking. Rizzo flew out to center to end the half. The bottom was led off by the pitcher Sandy Alcantara who struck out. Rojas flew out to Judge in right. Chisholm reached on a ball three infielders couldn’t catch. Rizzo got the error on the play. Chisholm went for the steal but was called out. Upon review, the call was upheld. Marlins 1 Yankees 0.

Aaron Judge led off the fourth inning and singled through the right side. Gallo flew out to third. Sanchez struck out on a pitch way out of the box. Odor struck out as the Yankee stranded their only base runner of the game. At the bottom, Anderson went down on strikes. Aguilar struck out. Brinson popped out to Torres to end the inning. Marlins 1 New York Yankees 0.

The top of the fifth was led off by Gleyber Torres, who went down swinging. Gardner ground out to second. Wade went down on Alcantara’s 8th strikeout of the game. De La Cruz led off the bottom by singling for his first major league hit. Leon walked on four pitches. Sierra reached on the force out at second. De La Cruz went to third.  Sierra stole second. Alcantara chopped to third, holding the runner while being thrown out at first. Rojas went down on a Monty curveball, and the Marlins don’t score. Marlins 1 Yankees 0.

Pinch-hitting for Monty was Greg Allen, who struck out for Alcantara’s 9th strikeout. Rizzo ground out. Judge struck out to end the half and give Alcantara his 10th strikeout. At the bottom, Chisholm faced the new Yankee pitcher Clay Holmes. Monty only gave up 3 hits in the game. Chisholm struck out swinging. Anderson ground out to third. Aguilar hit down the third baseline, but Tyler Wade made a spectacular throw for the out. Marlins 1 Yankees 0.

Joey Gallo led off the seventh inning and got his first Yankee hit with a double that was almost a homer. Sanchez ground out to third. Odor chopped out to first. Torres, with the game-tying run just 90′ away, ground out to second to strand Gallo. At the bottom, Brinson led off for the Marlins, and he gound out. De La Cruz, ground to Wade, was originally called a single, but he was out at first on review. Leon found a hole for a two-out single. Sierra faced the new Yankees pitcher Joely Rodriguez and ground out to end the inning. Marlins 1 Yankees 0.

Brett Gardner led off the eight with a lead-off single off new pitcher Anthony Bass. DJ LeMahieu pinch-hit for Wade. He struck out. Giancarlo Stanton pinch hit for J-Rod. He reached with Gardner going to third. Against new Marlins pitcher Richard Bleier, Rizzo got a base hit to left, scoring Gardner and tying the game at 1. Judge singled and scored Stanton. Rizzo was out at third on the play. Gallo struck out but not before the Yankees scored two runs for the lead in the game. New York Yankees 2 Marlins 1

At the bottom of the eight against Zack Britton, Alfaro pinch hit for Bleier; he ground out. Rojas walked on four pitches. Chisholm hit into a double play to end the inning. Rizzo made a spectacular scoop, fired to second, and made the catch to complete the double play. Rizzo is the real deal.

At the top of the ninth inning, Sanchez against Dylan Floro stuck out. Odor flew out to the center-field wall. Torres got a base hit single to center. Gardner who started the eighth-inning rally, singled on a double-booted ball that scored Torres all the way from first base. LeMahieu grounded out, but the Yankees picked up another run. At the bottom with last licks in the game, Aroldis Chapman came on to close it out for the Yankees. Brian Anderson went down on a Chapman slider. Jesus Aguilar was called out on strikes. Lewis Brinson flew out to Gardner to end the game and get the sweep for the Yankees.

The final score was the New York Yankees 3 the Miami Marlins 1. The winning pitcher Joely Rodriguez throwing only one pitch. The loser was Anthony Bass. Aroldis Chapman got his 22nd save of the season.

 

 

 

 

 

Report: Knicks targeting Carmelo Anthony as potential free agent acquisition

New York Knicks, Carmelo Anthony

The New York Knicks have been connected to various big-name free agents, but one veteran offers a familiar face to MSG. 37-year-old Carmelo Anthony has seen interest by president Leon Rose, who has a long-standing relationship with the 10x All-Star.

Having represented him at CAA, Rose is keen on potentially bringing Anthony back to New York after averaging 13.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, and shooting 42% from the field last season with the Portland Trailblazers. Carmelo remains a solid three-point shooter, connecting on 41% of his shots over 4.7 attempts per game. He only started three games last year, averaging 24.5 minutes, but can still act as a solid rotational piece who can contribute offensively.

Ultimately, New York is desperate for more offensive production, especially with several players preparing to hit the open market, including Reggie Bullock, Alec Berks, and Derrick Rose. With three primary shooters potentially on their way out, finding cheaper veterans will be ideal for solving a few deficiencies. In addition, Anthony’s experience will help mold some of the younger players, a positive contribution that shouldn’t be overlooked.

The last time Anthony wore the New York Knicks logo was back in 2016 when he was 32-years-old. It has been five years since he’s played a meaningful game at Madison Square Garden, and with the team looking to make another playoff push this upcoming year, there’s no question he can provide some value. However, he doesn’t offer much defensively, which goes against Tom Thibodeau’s strategy. Nonetheless, asking him to provide offense when called upon is his best utility.

Anthony is coming off a one-year, $2.56 million deal with Portland, so he would be quite cheap to bring back. The expectation is that Burks and Bullock will both receive pay increases this off-season, but given Anthony’s age, the Knicks could secure his services on a very cheap contract.

New York Jets 2021 opponent report: Denver Broncos

Week 3 sees the New York Jets made a trip to the Rockies to battle the Denver Broncos, who are also facing a lengthy playoff drought.

The Opponent: Denver Broncos
The Dates: Week 3, September 26, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBS
The Series: Denver leads 21-16-1 (last meeting: 2020, 37-28 DEN)

Much like Elaine Benes’ heartbreaking revelation that she was turning into her incompetent friend George Costanza, the Denver Broncos may be coming to a similar epiphany of depression: they’re slowly transforming into the New York Jets.

Denver’s extended Super Bowl hangover…they haven’t reached the NFL postseason since their triumph over Carolina in Super Bowl 50…is only at five years compared to the Jets’ five-plus decades. That postseason drought, however, is tied for second-worst in the league (Arizona and Cincinnati are likewise shamed) behind only the Jets’ decade-long disappearance. What’s particularly troubling in Denver is the fact that their post-Super Bowl rut has stationed them at the bottom of the NFL’s standings. An active streak of four straight losing seasons is their longest such since a nine-year tally mostly accumulated during their AFL days. The 23 wins gained in that span best only four other teams.

The Broncos are a franchise in flux, cursed with both a quarterback controversy and a dominant thrower stationed in a divisional rival’s camp (Patrick Mahomes in Kansas City) with no end to his reign in sight. Head coach Vic Fangio is entering his third season, the proverbial make-or-break campaign, with only a dozen wins under his belt. A once-proud defense is struggling to regain its footing.

Their matchup against the Jets is the conclusion of an intriguing September slate. The Broncos have a prime opportunity to start 3-0 as a Week 2 matchup in Jacksonville is sandwiched by showdowns against the reeling New York franchises. Gang Green’s visit will serve as their 2021 home opener.

Denver and New York will square off for the second straight season. A Thursday night get-together, won by Denver in a 37-28 final, was overshadowed by late extracurriculars said to be exacerbated by ousted defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Skinny on the Broncos

Quarterbacks old and new have taken center stage in Denver’s endeavors of the new decade. Life after Peyton Manning proved to be too much for franchise legend John Elway, who stepped out of the general manager role over this offseason, passing the affair over to George Paton, formerly of the Minnesota Vikings’ front office.

Paton raised the heat on incumbent franchise thrower Drew Lock by acquiring brief Jet Teddy Bridgewater for a day three pick. Bridgewater is by far one of the most inspiring stories in recent NFL memory: last season saw him return to the brotherhood of NFL starting quarterbacks in Carolina after suffering a devastating non-contact injury in Vikings camp in 2016. Paton is very familiar with Bridgewater’s work, as he was the assistant general manager when Minnesota made him a first-round pick in 2014.

Lock is in a precarious position as he, like Fangio, enters his third season in the Rockies with a lot to prove. He tied for the league lead in interception with Carson Wentz (15) last season and is threatening to become the latest failed franchise project in the post-Manning era (joining washouts like Brock Osweiler, Paxton Lynch, and Trevor Siemian). The Missouri alum ended the year on a strong note, posting a 92.1 passer rating over his last four games, but the upcoming preseason slate will be crucial for him to prove can still be a long-term solution for an NFL franchise.

The ultimate shame about Denver’s quarterback issues is that they have a strong, skilled arsenal to work with. Courtland Sutton missed all but two games in 2020 due to a torn ACL, but the Broncos enjoyed promising showings from Tim Patrick, Jerry Jeudy, and tight end Noah Fant. Elsewhere in the backfield, the team lost Phillip Lindsay to Houston but is set to welcome back accomplished veteran Melvin Gordon.

Defensively, the team is set to welcome back franchise face Von Miller, who returns from a devastating peroneal tendon injury that kept him out of the 2020 season entirely.  Bradley Chubb rose to the occasion in Miller’s absence, earning his first Pro Bowl nomination and approval on his fifth-year option. The Jets felt Chubb’s wrath firsthand, as Sam Darnold was victimized for 2.5 sacks in the aforementioned Thursday night get-together.

New York Giants, Patrick Surtain
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What’s New in Denver?

The Broncos had an early draft pick to work with, choosing to use the ninth overall pick on Alabama defender Patrick Surtain II. His arrival was part of an expensive renovation project in the Denver secondary, as the Broncos bestowed over $65 million in guaranteed money to Justin Simmons, Kyle Fuller, Kareem Jackson, and Ronald Darby.

At $61 million over four seasons, Simmons (Pro Football Focus’ top-ranked safety in 2021 and earner of 16 interceptions since his 2016 entry) is now the highest-paid safety in football. Once Fuller was let go from Chicago, reuniting with Fangio, his former defensive coordinator with the Bears, was a de facto no-brainer. Fuller was added on a one-year deal worth nearly $10 million, it’s clear that Denver expects a lot of him in this prove-it year.

After Surtain’s selection, the Broncos also added Javonte Williams in the second round. The North Carolina alum shared the Tar Heels’ rushing duties with fellow rookie and current Jet Michael Carter. With Gordon in the latter part of his two-year deal, Denver could begin a transition plan that would make Williams their ground man of the future.

How to Beat Them

-Corral the QB

The Jets’ pass rush has a brilliant opportunity to show how far they’ve come from the depths of the 2020 season. That nationally televised loss against the Broncos let America know just how far the Jets had fallen. They failed to take down Denver third-stringer Brett Rypien at any point during the night, letting up a whopping 37 points and 359 yards of offense.

Listing pressure on the quarterback as a key to victory is a football cliche, perhaps the football equivalent of “pucks deep“. But when you’re facing a team that’s dealing with uncertainty in the most important role in football, dealing with a battle that could well extend into the regular season, the pressure becomes more important than ever. The Jets spent this offseason further bolstering a pass rush that was one of the rare silver linings of a 2020 season. If there’s any unit on their current depth chart that can be considered “elite”, that’s it.

Week 3 could also be a breakout for the New York pass rush because of Denver’s issues on the offensive line. Ja’Wuan James opted out of the 2020 season and was later released after suffering a torn Achilles in May. Another former Bear, Bobby Massie, is expected to take over. Division III standout Quinn Meinerz should also raise a little heat on incumbent center Lloyd Cushenberry. Granted an opportunity to build long-term momentum, the Jets must take advantage.

-Neutralize the Weaponry

Denver has stockpiled several offensive weapons that the quarterback, be it Bridgewater, Lock, or someone from the 2022 draft class, could work wonders with. The Jets found out about the group’s potential the hard way last fall: going up against Rypien, an undrafted second-year man making his first NFL start, Patrick tallied 113 yards on six clutch receptions, while Jeudy literally stole his first NFL touchdown from Pierre Desir.

The showdown against Denver will be one of the Jets’ biggest challenges in the early going, especially with Sutton’s potential return to the lineup. But with so many areas to improve after the horrors of 2020, it was almost a guarantee that one or more areas of the roster were going to be neglected. That turned out to be the secondary, which is set to see Bless Austin and Bryce Hall headlined at cornerback. Projected top strong safety Ashtyn Davis is already out for Week 1, while rookies and undrafted journeymen are expected to receive major snaps.

This visit against Denver presents a major opportunity for Robert Saleh and Jeff Ulbrich to show their impact. Whether the Jets capitalize remains, as always, the question.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants: Aldrick Rosas released by Jags, Devonta Freeman picked up by Saints

New York Giants, Aldrick Rosas

As the New York Giants continue training camp, there’s some speculation on which players the team might bring in as late additions to bolster their ranks. They’ve already made a couple of signings like this so far, particularly on the offensive line. But as free agency speculation heats up around the league in general, what about the former Giants that are looking to make it onto a roster or stay on one?

Their situations vary – and in the case of former Giants kicker Aldrick Rosas and former Giants running back Devonta Freeman, their situations are polar opposites. Rosas was the starter in New York for three seasons before ending up with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but his bad run since getting into legal trouble in the 2020 offseason has continued.

Rosas only appeared in 6 games for the Jaguars last season compared to playing in every game for the Giants the season before that.

And, perhaps more importantly for his career, he was on and off the practice squad. Rosas did sign with the Jaguars again in March, which might have given him a bit of a sense of security, but any confidence in making it to the regular season with Jacksonville was ultimately misplaced.

The Jags moved on from the kicker on Friday, leaving him with a limited amount of time to find a new landing spot – if there even is one.

It’s safe to say things are going differently for former Giants running back Devonta Freeman. Unlike Rosas, Freeman was only with the team for one season and didn’t get much time on the field.

He only had 5 games played and during that span, 172 rushing yards for an average of 3.2 yards per attempt. He was waived in January, but didn’t earn a full contract with the Bills after finishing out the season on their practice squad.

Freeman might have a new home this year as he’s been picked up by the New Orleans Saints and will have a chance at making the roster.

It notably puts him on the same roster once again as former college QB Jameis Winston, which is potentially a connection to look out for if Winston ends up taking the starting job in the post-Brees era.

It remains to be seen whether or not Rosas and Freeman will be on a roster when the regular season starts. However, few around the Giants organization will likely feel bad about moving on from either player.

The Giants for the most part have upgraded at both positions, and it still looks like Rosas never really recovered on the field from the offseason legal trouble that got him cut from the Giants in the first place.

Yankees already proving they crushed the trade deadline, but what now for Luke Voit?

anthony rizzo, yankees

In just two games, the New York Yankees are already enjoying new acquisition Anthony Rizzo and his talents. Wearing pinstripes, Rizzo has four hits and two homers, exactly what the Yankees needed and desired when they traded away several high-profile prospects in return for the slugging first baseman.

On the season, Rizzo is hitting .256 with a .470 slugging percentage, including 16 homers and 42 RBIs. However, he seems to be reinvigorated, smashing homers to help the Yankees climb back in the AL East standings. His future on the team is in question since he’s in the final year of a seven-year contract, but after Saturday’s victory, the Bombers are just 2.5 games back in the Wild Card, well within range of a playoff appearance.

In the AL East, the Bombers are 7.0 games back, as the Tampa Bay Rays have stolen first place from the Boston Red Sox. Boston and Tampa are going head to head, with one more game in a series to determine who retains the first spot in the division.

As for the Yankees, they have several players working their way back from injury, one of which is Luke Voit, who is traditionally their first baseman.

Luke Voit is currently on his third injured list stint this year, which is what sparked a move by the Yankees to bolster first base.

“There’s no question,” Boone said. “But in the end he’s a pro. I know he’s worked his tail off the last couple of days to make sure he’s continuing to physically get ready and prepared to take his at-bats. I’m sure there’s some frustration there because I know he wants to be here right now. But that’s all part of things you’ve got to deal with that are sometimes out of your control as a pro.”

I would expect to see Voit in the designated hitter role when Stanton is featuring in the outfield, which will hopefully be more frequent. There is no reason to leave Voit and his quality bat hanging in the reserves, especially if the Yankees determine he is 100% healthy. We haven’t seen the last of Luke, and he’s likely chomping at the bit to make a return.

Knicks: A Kyle Lowry free agent acquisition could pay dividends for Miles McBride

kyle lowry, knicks

Finding a solid veteran point guard will be a priority for the New York Knicks in August as they scour the free-agent market. With several options available, one who stands out is former Toronto Raptors PG Kyle Lowry.

While Lowry may not be a perfect fit with the Knicks, he closely resembles the 36th overall selection Miles McBride out of West Virginia. McBride has been compared to Lowry in the past, playing fearless defense but also elevating his team as a scoring option too.

“I definitely honored to have my playing style compared to Kyle Lowry,’’ McBride said on a Zoom call Friday, via Marc Berman of The Post. “I know he’s led the league in charges and I’m willing to do anything to win. That’s something I certainly can get behind.”

McBride is known as a tough player, featuring as a former high school quarterback and leader on the basketball court. Tom Thibodeau loved what he saw from McBride during the pre-draft process, as just several days before, he keyed in on him as a perfect fit to develop.

Last season with West Virginia, the 6’2″, 200-pound guard averaged 15.9 points, 4.8 assists, and shot 43% from the field. He also connected on 41.4% of his shots from three over 3.8 attempts per game. By all standards, McBride offers plenty of value as a defensive player first and foremost but also has tons of offensive potential that could be unlocked by good coaching and a solid veteran mentor above him.

Should the Knicks consider Lowry?

Lowry could fit that bill perfectly, coming off a solid season averaging 17.2 points, 7.3 assessed, and shooting 43.6% from the field. He’s also a quality three-point shooter, hitting on 40% of his shots over 7.2 attempts per game. Learning from a player like Lowry would undoubtedly elevate McBride and his skill set, especially since he’s been compared to him in the past.

However, Lowry’s coming off what most would consider a down year, playing in just 46 games. At 35 years old, Lowry just finished a one-year, $30.5 million contract and could sign in that price range.

If the Toronto Star is looking for a one-year contract, the Knicks should consider jumping on it, as it would give them the ability to clear space next off-season in 2022 to target a younger long-term solution or star like Bradley Beal. As far as we know, having Lowry ahead of McBride might even help him become a starting player down the line, and opening up more cap space next season would be ideal.

Nonetheless, if the Knicks elect to go that direction, signing Lowry to help develop McBride while also having a solid defensive player and offensive threat at point guard would be a win-win situation.

What do you think about the idea of signing Kyle Lowry? Comment below!

New York Yankees: 3 Major takeaways from Yankees series win

New York Yankees, Jonathan Loaisiga

The New York Yankees entered last night’s early evening game after a 3-1 win over the Marlins last night when the Yankees saw their newest hitter Anthony Rizzo hit a 449′ foot home run at LoanDepot Park in Miami. He became an instant Yankee favorite. The Yankees had the same lineup featuring 4 lefty hitters, including another new Yankee, Joey Gallo. Domingo German faced the Marlins Trevor Rogers. Rizzo hit another home run, and the Yankees won it 4-2. Just before the game, Marlins manager Don Mattingly although vaccinated, tested positive for the Covid virus, the bench coach James Rowson managed the game.

Rizzo homers again!

No matter how humble, Anthony Rizzo is doing everything he can to gain the hearts of Yankees fans immediately. He wasted no time last night getting his second home run in as many days as a new Yankees. He hit a 449′ monster home run on Friday night, then last night, he scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning in Miami. Then, he hit a really sky-high home run into a maintenance area just left of the foul pole for an insurance run for the Yankees in the seventh. Showing how he is a complete player; he was excellent at defense and got on base in all five of his at-bats. In a momentary scare, he was hit by a pitch in the hand in the second inning of the game but was okay. After the game, Aaron Boone had this to say:

“I think the heat of [the playoff] chase definitely invigorated him,’’ manager Aaron Boone said. “I think he is one of those guys who truly does live for that.”

Without really trying, other than his home runs and defense at first, Rizzo is endearing himself to Yankees fans by his demeanor. In interviews, he is humble, and he carries himself, not demanding respect but earning it. It sure looks like he embraces what it means to be a New York Yankee.

Loaisiga slams the door shut

Yankees manager Aaron Boone did not want to use Zack Britton, who had been used heavily this week. He also wanted to keep closer Aroldis Chapman out of the game; he had been feeling some general soreness. He also had been worked four of the last six games. So in the fifth inning, he went to his bullpen. Luetge, Holmes, and Green who combined to allow just one hit. Then he asked Jonathan Loaisiga to hold the game and close out a win in the ninth.

Attempting to hold the two-run lead, Loaisiga allowed a one-out single from Brian Anderson, then induced a ground ball from Lewin Diaz. That could have finished the game, but Gleyber Torres, lacking focus, tagged Brian Anderson at second; the only problem was that he tagged him with his glove, not the ball, and both runners reached.  Loaisiga put the gaff behind him and struck out Alfaro, and induced a ground ball from De La Cruz for his third save of the season. YES analyst Jack Curry said that he sees Loaisiga as a closer before his career ends after the game.

Stanton is comfortable in left

The New York Yankees have been preparing Giancarlo Stanton to play in the outfield at some point. Being in Miami in a National League Park, manager Boone took the opportunity to play Stanton in left field as there was no DH. Last night for the second night in a row, Stanton was out there looking comfortable. Although he really hasn’t had any immensely difficult plays during both nights, he has looked like he hasn’t missed a beat making common plays. Adding to his comfort level has to be playing in LoanDepot Park, where he spent eight years out in left field.

Boone aims to play Stanton in left field one or two games a week, assuming his body holds up. Now that the Yankees have kept Luke Voit, Stanton’s ability to play in the outfield will give Boone the option for the DH slot with Stanton, Voit, Rizzo, and others. Boone said after the game:

“I was really encouraged,’’ Boone said of what he saw from Stanton defensively on Friday. “Not surprised. He’s always been a very good outfielder.”

Note: Today, the New York Yankees will go for the sweep of the Marlins. The Yankees are 4-10 in sweep attempts. Today at 1:10 pm, Jordan Montgomery will start for the Yankees against a yet-to-be-named Marlins starter. With two Yankee wins and two Red Sox losses, the Yankees are 7 games out of first place and just one game out of the second wild-card slot.

New York Giants News: Team lands LB Todd Davis, Lemieux/Carter injury update

new york giants, todd davis

With starting middle linebacker Blake Martinez on the COVID-19 list, the New York Giants needed more linebacker depth on the roster. The team announced the signing of veteran LB Todd Davis to the roster on Saturday afternoon, with the expectation that Martinez will come off the COVID-19 list this weekend.

Davis, who is a seven-year veteran in the NFL, featuring with the Denver Broncos and Minnesota Vikings, can offer competition next to Martinez at the LB2 spot.

Last season with Minnesota, the 28-year-old defender featured in 11 games, starting in six. He tallied 35 tackles, two tackles for a loss, 1.0 sacks, and two passes defended. During the 2019 season, he contributed 134 tackles, six tackles for a loss, and a career-low 4.3% missed tackle rate.

As a quality reserve, Davis could even push for starting snaps alongside Martinez given the opportunity. The team currently has Reggie Ragland, Tae Crowder, TJ Brunson, and Carter Coughlin eyeing playing time this upcoming season, but injecting more talent into a spot that is unresolved will curate a position battle.

The 6’1″, 230-pound linebacker has appeared in four postseason games, including a Super Bowl win with a Denver Broncos. That essential experience will provide the Giants with intangible value.

More news from training camp:

Outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter has spent the last few days working on the side with trainers, struggling with an injury aside from his torn Achilles he suffered against Dallas last year. Carter is looking to make a comeback this season and return to his starting position after playing in just five games in 2020.

Carter took a big step forward after two tough seasons entering the NFL, securing the edge and playing well as a run defender.

In addition, the Giants are also planning to bring in center Austin Reiter, a former starter for the Kansas City Chiefs. Another Super Bowl-winning Player, Reiter, could push for starting snaps, potentially allowing Nick Gates to compete at guard with Shane LeMieux.

The second-year offensive lineman suffered an injury this week and is expected to miss a few weeks rehabilitating. Luckily, the injury wasn’t significant and won’t require any surgery.