One statistic sums up New York Giants’ problem with home games this season

The New York Giants don’t look like a good football team this season. The team has a 1-5 record following their most recent loss on Sunday, and looked uncompetitive by halftime against the Los Angeles Rams.

The team is trending in a bad direction in general, but it’s worth noting that some of the worst performances this season have come at home in front of a crowd that is growing increasingly tired of seeing the Giants lose like this.

With this result, the Giants fall to an 0-3 record in home games this season and have been outscored 82-38 by their opponents.

The previous highlights of their home games this year include the 17-14 loss to an Atlanta team that had allowed 80 points through their first two games, and the season opening loss to a Denver team that is now 3-3.

By contrast, the Giants have been a more competitive team on the road. They lost to Washington at the end of the game by only one point, and their sole win of the season came as underdogs at the New Orleans Superdome.

Even in the loss to the Cowboys in Dallas, there was more to cheer for as the game featured a breakout performance from wide receiver Kadarius Toney despite the score getting away from the Giants.

The repeated poor showings at home have seemingly been a factor in fans choosing to boo, and the question remains of how long home crowds will continue to put up with performances like Sunday’s before deciding to not attend.

The Giants ownership has been criticized this season for not committing to fully tearing down the organization and rebuilding it along more modern lines. Historically, the Giants are one of the more patient teams in the league and tend to shy away from moves like that.

But going forward, after another uncompetitive home loss, the ownership could be faced with a new prospect: make big changes, or watch the stands become emptier over the course of the season as many fans decide to stop rewarding a bad organization with money and attendance.

It’s unclear if a declining attendance would push John Mara to make changes. It is clear, however, that even the team’s core fans have serious problems with the way recent seasons have gone.

That agitation has manifested itself in the form of boos at home, and it doesn’t look like that atmosphere is going to improve unless the team itself makes a miraculous turnaround from this point on.

Here’s why the New York Giants can’t afford to wait on firing Dave Gettleman

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

I’ve been taking victory laps on my Twitter for the last few hours in the form of digging up old Dave Gettleman-related tweets in an attempt to ease the immense pain the New York Giants caused me – and surely countless others – today.

Admittedly, it did help me to feel a bit better for a short amount of time.

Now, though, it’s time to get back to being rational and trying to examine what the New York Giants can do to start to dig themselves out of the massive hole the once-proud franchise currently finds itself in. The action plan for that centers around firing GM Dave Gettleman immediately — like tonight, immediately.

Some critics of this course of action may attempt to argue it won’t do any good and that the embattled executive deserves the chance to see this season through in the (one in a million) chance that this lousy football team turns things around and makes the playoffs. Where they are most wrong is that Dave Gettleman deserves nothing but (possibly) a handshake and walking papers. The ship for this regime to have any success sailed on the night Saquon Barkley was drafted second-overall and crashed about two years ago.

Now, it’s time for owner John Mara to step up and realize that irreparable damage will likely be done if he allows Gettleman to oversee operations at the looming NFL trade deadline. Think about this simply: if you were running a business, would you let a manager whom you were almost positive you would soon be firing hang around and make important decisions regarding the future of your business?

Especially when the said manager has a guaranteed contract that has to be paid out fully – no matter what – and your business is extremely profitable and not strapped for cash? It should be an easy decision, but unfortunately, nothing has been easy for this ownership group to figure out over the past decade. If John Mara still cares about the average New York Giants fan this will not be a difficult decision to make — the jury is still very much out on that, though.

Taking a deeper dive into the context, it is easy to realize that having a GM that will be far more concerned about saving his job than the long-term well-being of the New York Giants, you can begin to understand just how much damage could potentially be done if Gettleman is not removed from his post in the near future.

Just imagine ‘DG’ making another Leonard Williams-type move at the trade deadline (although, to be fair, Williams has played well as a Giant), where he forfeits assets instead of acquiring them. The New York Giants are already in a messy salary cap situation moving forward, this franchise can not afford for it to get even a slight bit worse under any scenario.

Dave Gettleman’s track record makes it clear to us that it will get worse, and we’ve only seen the version of ‘DG’ that might have felt somewhat secure in his standing, so far. I don’t even want to think about the things a desperate Dave Gettleman could be capable of.

Hopefully, we won’t have to find out what those things are.

Chicago Bears: Situationally, the Bears can’t execute.

justin field, bears, matt nagy

Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field for the Chicago Bears was a classic case of what to expect when playing the Green Bay Packers. The Bears may have marched down the field with an eight-play, 54-yard drive that took a little over four minutes off the clock and scored a touchdown on their opening posession, however, Chicago failed to execute when it matters most on offense.

Throughout the first half, the Bears did manage to keep the game close. Both rivals did trade punches early on in what appeared to be a heavyweight fight in the making. Then Aaron Rodgers decided to takeover, doing what he does best against the Bears: Dominate.

Four years into the Matt Nagy era and the Bears offense still fails to execute. The Bears would punt on four straight possessions after Justin Fields’ interception, which was questionable after a Packers defensive lineman was in the neutral zone.

“We got to understand that where we’re at in the season right now and where we want to go,” said Nagy via the Bears official YouTube channel. “We got to look at and say okay together where was it? Was it a couple plays here or there? Was it big picture? “

Losing to the Packers isn’t a matter of losing by a few plays. Losing to Green Bay is about playing mistake-free football on both sides of the ball. Chicago’s defense showed up to play on Sunday but the offense failed to put up points when it matters most. Two of Chicago’s four punts came when the Bears crossed midfield and successfully entered Packers territory.

This simply isn’t a case of the Bears turning on the film and figuring out what went wrong and where. The Bears need to figure out why execution was lacking on Sunday afternoon and do so quickly. Chicago is heading to Tampa Bay next week to face the Super Bowl champion Buccaneers, another game that the Bears will need to be near-perfect in order to come away with a victory.

NASCAR: Kyle Larson punches ticket to championship round

Larson dodged late-race chaos to not only win at Texas but earn entry to the NASCAR Cup Series’ championship final.

Everything’s bigger in Texas…including the victories.

Kyle Larson dominated Sunday’s Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, leading 256 of 334 laps in the opening round of the NASCAR Cup Series’ playoffs’ Round of 8. Not only does Larson earn his series-best eighth victory of the season but he also becomes the first driver to clinch his spot in the Championship 4 that will run for the title at Phoenix on Nov. 7.

Larson’s No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet led the final 218 laps of the event, one that swallowed up several other semifinalists over the final stages. Joey Logano (30th) and Martin Truex Jr. (25th) each failed to finish thanks to incidents that occurred over the final 35 laps. Late damage also prevented Denny Hamlin (11th) from keeping pace with Larson. Their final positions were partly aided by an early incident at lap 32 that involved a dozen drivers.

Hendrick teammate William Byron finished second behind Larson, beating out Christopher Bell. Fellow semifinalist Brad Keselowski finished fourth while Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five.

The Fateful Eighth

Larson’s downright dominant effort at Texas locks him into the list of four contenders that will race for a championship at Phoenix. As the regular season champion and owner of a 40-plus point lead above the fifth-place cutoff as the Round of 8 commenced, Larson had a smooth road toward the Championship 4. He and his team nonetheless found it important to kick off the semifinal round on a strong note.

2020’s regular season champion, Kevin Harvick, appeared to be a shoo-in for the Phoenix quartet after entering the Round of 8 with nine wins. But consecutive finishes outside the top 15 forced him into a desperate situation at the penultimate race at Martinsville, one that relegated the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to the status of an also-ran. Harvick’s weighed heavily on Larson’s mind but he can now spend the next two races in relatively solace.

“We had a good points lead or whatever from the cutoff going into it, but still…Harvick had his issues last year and didn’t make the Final Four. That will always be on my mind,” Larson said after the race. “I was positioned well to where if I finished in the top four or five, I was still going to probably gain a lot, I would think, on the cut line…(but) I’m not going to plan on racing any differently these next two weeks. I still want to win stages, win some races and keep this momentum going into Phoenix.”

Larson was able to withstand five restarts over the final 34 laps despite some competitors, like Bell and Ryan Blaney (6th), working with fresher tires. His work on the restarts worked alongside his team’s fast pit stops, which helped maintain his permanent hold on the lead of an afternoon where green-flag stops were mostly eliminated.

Larson’s win was the 14th of his career, breaking a tie with fellow Hendrick Motorsports legends Tim Richmond and Chase Elliott (the latter being the defending Cup Series champion). He is also closing in on a NASCAR record held by HMS’ own Jeff Gordon: having led 2,267 laps this season, Larson is only 54 away from breaking Gordon’s record for most at the front during a 36-race season, setting such a record during his final championship trek in 2001.

“That would be really, really cool,” Larson said of potentially breaking Gordon’s mark. “I led a lot more laps today than I thought I would, so yeah, it’s definitely a goal of mine. I think somewhere in the back of my mind like it’s a goal. It’s not like something I’m upset about if I don’t lead any laps in a race or anything, but once I’m leading I want to stay in the lead to help catch that record.”

The win at Texas was Larson’s first in a points-event in the Lone Star State, though he previously took home the first-ever All-Star Race hosted by the 1.5-mile oval in June.

Postseason Pratfalls

Though the race was relatively calm following the aforementioned incident on lap 31 (which ended the days of Bubba Wallace, Ryan Newman, Alex Bowman, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr., among others), several late incidents reshaped the playoff picture…

  • Joey Logano’s No. 22 Team Penske Ford blew its engine at lap 298, pushing him back to 30th. Logano failed to earn any stages points after the first two segments and will likely need to win one of the next two races to reappear in the championship-chasing group at Phoenix as he sits 43 points away from a transfer.
  • Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota lost a tire with 21 to go and went for a spin. Though he avoided major damage, Hamlin was involved in a seperate, more costly incident involving old enemy Chase Briscoe, bringing back memories of their antagonistic encounter at the Indianapolis road course in August. Hamlin would fight back to finish ninth and owns a nine-point lead above the cut-off.
  • Another Gibbs Toyota, that of Martin Truex Jr., was involved in a Turn 3 incident with Daniel Suarez, as contact with the latter’s No. 99 Trackhouse Racing Chevrolet put it into the wall. Truex’s No. 19 finished 25th and he’s now 22 points away from Phoenix.

Power of Penske

In addition to Byron’s No. 24 Hendrick machine (which was eliminated earlier this postseason), the top challenger to Larson’s reign was the Team Penske tandem of Keselowski and Blaney. The two ran in the top five most of the day and Blaney’s sixth-place finish allowed him to be labeled to the first driver currently in the final four on points, sitting 17 ahead of Elliott in fifth.

Keselowski felt that he and Blaney could’ve given the Hendrick pair a run for their money had they gotten some longer runs in the race’s dying stages.

“We had the car balanced really well with the Discount Tire Ford on the long runs,” the driver of the No. 2 said. “The last few times we have been here you get 40 or 50 or 100 lap runs at the end but today, we didn’t run more than two laps at a time for the last 45 or 50 laps. That’s just not what we needed. We needed the long runs to be able to keep them honest. We had long-run speed, but the 5 and 24 were just blistering fast on the restart and drove away from me. I just wanted some laps to let their stuff wear down.”

Up Next

The Round of 8 carries on with its middle portion on Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway’s Hollywood Casino 400 (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN). It perhaps couldn’t be better timing for Logano, who clinched his spot in last year’s Phoenix group with a win in last year’s fall event in Kansas City. Logano is tied with Gordon, Hamlin, Harvick, and Jimmie Johnson for the most wins at the track with three, previously winning in 2014 and 2015. This will be the latter of two races at Kansas, the first won by Kyle Busch back in May.

For full results, click HERE
For full standings, click HERE

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Giants get embarrassed by Los Angeles Rams, lose 38-11

daniel jones, giants

The New York Giants have fallen to 1-5 after losing their second consecutive game. The Giants hosted the Los Angeles Rams in MetLife stadium today and were blown out, losing 38-11 in embarrassing fashion.

It was a day riddled with injuries, turnovers, and missed opportunities for the Giants. Daniel Jones started the game after suffering a concussion only seven days ago. The Giants’ quarterback committed four turnovers (three interceptions and one fumble) in what was by far his worst performance of the season thus far.

The Giants came into this game short-handed. Saquon Barkley, Kenny Golladay, and Darius Slayton were all inactive. Somehow, the Giants left the game with even fewer key players on offense. Kadarius Toney, Andrew Thomas, and CJ Board all left the game with injuries.

Matthew Stafford and the Rams’ offense lit up the Giants’ defense. Stafford threw for 251 yards and 4 touchdowns. The Rams totaled 365 total yards of offense compared to the Giants’ 261 yards.

The injury-riddled New York Giants are in a difficult situation. The fanbase is fed up and wants to see major changes made soon. For now, the Giants will prepare to play the Carolina Panthers next week. At 1-6, the Giants are in dire need of a win to get the fanbase back on board.

Chicago Bears: Reality now sets in after loss to Packers

The scoreboard may look closer than expected but one takeaway from the Chicago Bears‘ loss to the Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon is the Bears still have a lot of work to do. After opening the game with an eight-play, 80-yard drive that ended with rookie running back Khalil Herbert scoring a one-yard rushing touchdown, the Bears’ offense stalled in the second and third quarter.

With two straight wins, Chicago seemed to be riding a hot hand heading into this week, showing some signs of hope that the Bears could knock off the Packers at home for an upset win. Instead, Aaron Rodgers had other plans in what could be his final game at Soldier Field as a member of the Packers.

Chicago scored just once in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to just three points. Rodgers and the Packers offense would then

While the Bears’ defense did sack Rodgers three times, the Bears’ offense struggled to get anything going when it was just a three-point game. Fields did show some maturation on a 10-play drive in the fourth quarter, hitting wide receiver Allen Robinson and tight end Cole Kmet for 20 and 21-yard passes on back-to-back plays to move the chains.

Rookie running back Herbert was a bright spot on Chicago’s offense. After getting the nod as starter, Herbert rushed 19 times for 97 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry. The sixth-round pick broke off a big run for 25 yards to give the Bears some momentum in the first quarter on a drive that would end in a questionable interception by Fields.

Chicago now drops to 3-3 through the first six games for the third time in the last four years under head coach Matt Nagy. The story seems to remain the same for Nagy’s Bears. Over the last four seasons, the Bears have beaten average teams but struggled to get past good teams in the NFC. Losses to the Rams and Packers further prove the Bears have a long way to go in order to close any sort of talent gap in the NFC North.

Yankees: Former nemesis David Ortiz shares his thoughts on the Bombers’ manager situation

New York Yankees

For years, slugger David Ortiz tormented the New York Yankees with timely hits and home runs during his time with the Boston Red Sox, where he is an absolute legend (deservedly so). Now that he is retired from the diamonds, he works as an analyst, and has an opinion about the Bombers’ manager situation.

Aaron Boone is the current Yankees’ manager, but the organization hasn’t made his return for the 2022 official. In fact, while ownership is reportedly leaning towards keeping him and offering him a new contract, there is also a strong chance that he leaves for greener pastures. He has had winning seasons in the four years he has been at the helm, but hasn’t been able to take the club to the World Series.

Ortiz, according to NJ Advance Media, was caught by TMZ cameras in Beverley Hills on Friday, and he offered his thoughts about Boone and the Yankees’ manager situation.

The Yankees’ foe said managers “don’t play”

“The manager don’t play, man,” Ortiz said. “The manager just makes moves. Nowadays, the game is more played out coming from the front office than anything else. That’s why you see all these young managers trying to do their thing, but they get to be managed by the front office.”

He is, in fact, right, as many of today’s top clubs rely on their analytics department to build lineups, design bullpen usage, and establish some rules and patterns for the manager to follow.

Ortiz declined to go into specifics when he was asked if he had any advice for Yankees’ general manager Brian Cashman or owner Hal Steinbrenner. “I don’t know, man. I don’t know how they roll,” he said.

He did speak about Red Sox’s skipper Alex Cora, stating that he should get a “10-year” extension.

Lastly, Ortiz said his former foe and current friend Alex Rodriguez, who played for the Yankees during his prime and helped the team win the 2009 World Series, would be a good manager.

“As a manager, I think A-Rod would do great, too,” Ortiz said. “A-Rod has a lot of baseball knowledge. He’s a guy that loves baseball. Who knows? A-Rod has a lot of things going on now. He works everywhere. Eh, I don’t think so. He’s too busy with so many things.”

Ex-NY Jets QB Geno Smith ready for chance at prime time redemption

Geno Smith, New York Jets

Smith, once the future of the New York Jets, has a chance to reclaim the narrative on his NFL career in a new opportunity in Seattle.

No matter what happens during the remainder of his NFL career, Geno Smith will go down as the answer to a trivia question asked by those who cycle through MetLife Stadium’s gates, no matter whether they wear green or blue.

For New York Jets fans, Smith is the last green thrower to toss a perfect game on the gridiron (a 158.3 passer rating) and the only one to do so in the 2010s. In the realms of New York Giants history, he’s the man who ended Eli Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts under center.

Smith is finally free from the incessant spotlight of quarterbacking in the metropolitan area, one that has slightly hardened him as he tries to carve out an extended NFL path. While Smith had settled into a backup role in Seattle, a rare injury to Russell Wilson (one expected to keep him out for at least the next three weeks after he was placed on injured reserve) has thrust him back into the gridiron mainstream. His path starts on Sunday night as the Seahawks (2-3) start the process of salvaging their season in prime time against the Pittsburgh Steelers (8:20 p.m. ET, NBC).

The visit to Pittsburgh will be Smith’s first regular season start since his infamously historic single outing as the Giants’ primary man in December 2017. The trust bestowed in Smith to help the Seahawks in their most desperate hour in a long, long time is the highest vote of confidence since former blue head coach Ben McAdoo controversially inserted Smith into the woebegone Giants’ starting lineup once they were among the earliest eliminated from the 2017-18 playoffs. McAdoo did in spite of only Manning’s streak but the prescience of then-rookie Davis Webb, who had been the Giants’ highest selection at quarterback since the instantly-traded Phillip Rivers went fourth overall on a fateful spring afternoon in 2004.

At the time, a respectable performance (21-of-34, 211 yards, a touchdown, and two lost fumbles in a 24-17 to the Oakland Raiders) wasn’t enough to withstand the fury of Giants fans eager to see their Super Bowl hero go out on any semblance of a “right” note. When McAdoo was ousted, one of the Giants’ first moves was to re-establish Manning as the top passer.

McAdoo had a parting gift for Smith upon his firing after the Oakland debacle.

“When Coach Mac was let go and left the building, I talked to him before he left, and he had told me he felt like I deserved to play the rest of the season,” Smith told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News after his metropolitan departure in 2018. “He believed in me. A lot of people did. Guys wanted me to do well. But there are some things that are out of your control.”

“I’m not going to cry cry over spilled milk over things I can’t control. That’s only going to hinder my success or progress. It just added fuel to fire, made my offseason workouts interesting because I’m working harder. That opportunity was taken away from me for whatever reason, so every time I step on the field or in weight room, that’s my motivation.”

Going into Sunday night’s crucial contest, Smith is slightly more laid back, yet still enthusiastic, as he believes he’s made the most out of the past two-plus seasons through watching Wilson work.

“It’s not like I haven’t been playing football at all. The difference is now, it’s physical reps,” Smith told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. “I’m getting all the reps. You always take mental reps and prepare that way, but this is about physical preparation as well, more than just the mental side of playing quarterback. This week was different because I’m taking physical reps, as well.”

Sunday’s return to the spotlight is nearly four years in the making: Smith spent a year as Rivers’ backup with the Los Angeles Chargers before settling in Seattle in 2019. Wilson’s durability has made the job of Pacific Northwest understudy a bit of an afterthought: Sunday night will mark the first time since New Year’s Day 2012 that someone other than “Russ” will start under center for the Seahawks (that honor going to the late Tavaris Jackson).

Yet, Smith had shown enough, primarily through his lasting starting endeavors with the Jets, that he could be a reliable contingency plan in case of an emergency. The West Virginia alum, after all, had his fleeting flashes of brilliance of green, including those earned in a prime time setting. For example, the second-round pick threw three touchdowns and engineered a game-winning field goal drive in a Monday night triumph in Atlanta as a rookie in 2013. While ultimately meaningless in the grand scheme of the standings, Smith managed to provide temporary solace to the tumultuous teams of the 2010s, sending Rex Ryan out on the right note with a 37-24 win over Miami.

Seattle was partly rewarded when Smith allowed them to keep pace in yet another nationally televised instance: as the Seahawks struggled to keep pace with the mighty Los Angeles Rams, the departure of Wilson could’ve been damning.

Instead, Smith rose to the occasion, keeping the increasingly desperate Seahawks in the game through a 131-yard performance that yielded 10 points over his first two drives in the fourth quarter. The affair ended in heartbreak…Smith was forced into a Nick Scott interception when intended receiver Tyler Lockett fell down on a route…but it was enough to keep the faith amongst Seattle brass.

“If Geno is going to play for us some as Russ comes back, you know, he showed that we’re in good hands,” Carroll said in the LA aftermath, per Liz Mathews of Yahoo! Sports. “I was just proud for him and the fact that he hung with us all this time and believed in being part of this program. Then when he got his chance, he did really. That was pretty good.”

“I went right to Geno afterwards and said, you been waiting a long time for your opportunity,” Carroll told reporters. “The faith you’ve shown in our program and us to stay with us, so proud that when he got in there, he did great. He really looked good. He’s been working for that. He’s a talented football player.”

Smith now gets to prove such acument on a long-term basis. The opportunity provided in Seattle affords him a rare chance as a high-profile washout (a status granted through factors partly beyond his control) to reclaim the narrative on his NFL career and perhaps get back on the radars of teams searching for starters.

But Smith appears to be embracing this chance with a sense of healthy abandon, one set to savor every moment of this comeback.

“I’m fresh, I feel like I’m 21 years old. I’m ready!” Smith said during Pittsburgh prep, per Rapoport. “The moment is what it is. We have a Sunday night game in Pittsburgh. It’s one night, not the rest of my life. Mostly, it’s a game I love to play, a game that I’m passionate about. It’s one that I prepare for and am ready for whether I get to play or not. It’s not a chance to showcase anything, that’s how I see it. I’m not going to change my stripes. I’m just looking forward to playing football.”

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags

New York Yankees: An umpire can dramatically change an entire season

The New York Yankees season came to an end when they lost the wild card game against the Boston Red Sox. But it didn’t have to be that way. First, of all this is not a condemnation of umpires because they are held to a different standard than players or managers. Second, it’s not about one team or even one win or loss. It’s simply a statement of fact. An umpire’s lousy call can dramatically change any baseball season with just one bad call.

Any ardent baseball fan watching the game for years knows that there are good umpires and those known to be pretty lousy. So many fans have wondered for years how Angel Hernandez keeps his job; he is generally considered to be the worst umpire there is. The names C.B. Bucknor and Joes West also enter into the conversation. But in this postseason, none is worse than Gabe Morales. He might have made two season-ending mistakes that might as well have sent two teams packing. What makes the mistakes beyond egregious is that the bad calls weren’t even close to correct. In this modern age of instant replay, mistakes and how bad they were being flashed around the world in an instant.

After Morales made his last season-ending mistake, New York Yankee pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. had seen enough and expressed so on Twitter. He did it very politely, but he had to call out Morales for his ugly officiating.

Nestor Cortes@Cortes_1210@mlb umpires need to make a living, and I know that, but that call is ridiculous12:38 AM · Oct 15, 2021·Twitter for iPhone

The call he was referring to was Morales’s far from a correct call he made in the Los Angeles Dodgers/San Francisco Giants ALDS final game 5. In the ninth inning of that game, a horrible call sent the Giants packing with one hideous call. Wilmer Flores was called out when he failed to hold up. The problem call was uncovered on instant replay that Flores did hold up and by a mile. Unfortunately, that type of call can not be challenged, and just like that, the San Francisco Giants went down with a resounding thud.

That call sparked memories for Cortes Jr. that were very close to his heart. There is nothing exceptional about Cortes Jrs. pitching, except for the results. He is not a flame thrower, doesn’t have one particular strike-out pitch. He is an enigma. Hitters never know what is coming at them from all different arm angles, speeds, and positions. But, Cortes Jr. also has an excellent memory. He doesn’t forget. He knows who is responsible for a dramatically missed call. A call that may have been the difference between the Yankees playing the wild card game in the familiar environs of Yankee Stadium instead of having to play at Fenway Park.

Knicks News: Mitchell Robinson says first action was ‘bad’, a few surprise players make 15-man roster

mitchell robinson, knicks

The New York Knicks are just a few days away from the start of the regular season against the Boston Celtics. However, the preseason finale against the Washington Wizards gave them an opportunity to get center Mitchell Robinson onto the court for the first time since fracturing his foot last season.

Robinson, who has been working diligently in the weight room to increase his mass and size, showcased some of that power on a few put-back dunks. Robinson enjoyed 27 minutes of play, connecting on 3-of-8 field-goal attempts, picking up nine rebounds and two steals.

However, the 7-foot big man indicated that his first outing wasn’t bad, but it was bad.

“It wasn’t that bad, but it was bad,’’ Robinson said of his conditioning level, per the NY Post.

“I got to work on my finishing, get my touch back,’’ Robinson said. “That’s the main thing. Once I get my conditioning back — that’s the main thing — so I can play all day, I’ll be all right.

Mitch struggled with his conditioning levels, which was to be expected given his inability to run and do stamina training for the majority of this past off-season. It will take him a few games to get back in the flow of things, but playing 27 minutes and holding his own was impressive enough. Robinson also stated that he needs to feel more comfortable around the rim, taking his time instead of rushing shots or opportunities.

“I felt like tonight I rushed it instead of taking my time like I how it was before all this happened,’’ Robinson added.

All of these factors will improve in due time, but Robinson displayed his newfound power and strength in the paint, which should provide Knicks fans with sufficient optimism.

Knicks retain a few surprise players on 15-man roster:

The Knicks waived four players on Saturday, including Brandon Goodwin, Brandon Knight, Aamir Simms, and MJ Walker. While some of these options will likely find their way to the G -League team, the Knicks rounded out their 15 roster players for the regular season. A few interesting retentions include Wayne Selden, Jericho Sims, and even Kevin Knox.

Selden proved enough to retain a spot with the Knicks, and as an experienced veteran in the NBA, he clearly has a bit more value than some younger options or players who haven’t made a significant impact in quite some time. Sims, while young and inexperienced, showed fantastic athleticism and aggressiveness in the paint, and while he needs to work on his defensive positioning, he has significant potential if given the right opportunities and time to grow. Sims is currently on a two-way contract this year but could very well sign a new deal to stick with the team for the next few seasons at a minimal cost.

Knox, who showed signs of life to hold him over for one more season with the Knicks, is likely in his final year with New York. Knox has one more year on his contract until the Knicks have to make a decision on his qualifying offer, which would pay him about $8 million for the 2022-23 season. The team probably doesn’t want to execute his QO, given he contributed just 3.9 points last year. However, against the Pistons last week, Knox contributed six points in 12 minutes, far outperforming his statistics from a season ago.

Ultimately, Knox is a solid bench piece at this point in his career with the team that drafted him, but he is on thin ice given his dwindling minutes over the past three seasons.