New York Giants rank near the bottom of NFL in projected 2022 cap space

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

The New York Giants are preparing for yet another messy offseason. The Giants are expected to make a change in the front office. New York is likely letting General Manager Dave Gettleman go and bringing in a new GM in the coming weeks. The new man in charge, however, will be inheriting a bit of a mess. The 4-11 Giants are closing out another season of major disappointment and are in a tight space when it comes to money this offseason.

According to Spotrac, the New York Giants are projected to have the fifth-lowest amount of salary cap space available in this upcoming 2022 offseason. The Giants are projected only $3,486,532 in cap space.

Recent contracts given out to the likes of Kenny Golladay, Adoree’ Jackson, and Leonard Williams are taking up a large percentage of the team’s salary. These big cap hits are going to make it difficult for the Giants to improve their team this offseason. As things stand, the Giants cannot even afford a draft class with only $3.5 million in cap space. Some good players are inevitably going to be cut or have their contracts restructured this offseason.

What does this mean for the GM search?

Dave Gettleman has created a bit of a mess with the Giants’ money. He made an effort to acquire talent through free agency and expanded the team’s salary in the process. Gettleman restructured many contracts to try and avoid a tight budget, but nevertheless, the sins of his past have caught up with the team.

Working alongside Dave Gettleman has been assistant GM Kevin Abrams. Many rumors suggest that Abrams could be in line to take over as the team’s next General Manager. This has confused and frustrated some fans due to the Giants’ messing cap situation. Kevin Abrams is a “contract guy” who started his career as a salary cap analyst. His primary job has been working with the money, and the Giants’ money is not in the best situation.

Any incoming General Manager candidates might think twice about taking the Giants’ job due to their money situation. There is not much money to spend and improve the Giants’ roster, despite the team possessing one of the worst rosters in the NFL. Thankfully, the Giants possess nine draft picks in the upcoming 2022 NFL Draft, including two picks in the first round. These draft picks should make the job a bit more attractive.

Inevitably, the Giants are going to need to trade and cut players and restructure contracts in order to prepare for the 2022 season. There is a long and crucial offseason ahead of the New York Giants, and getting the right general manager in place is the first step in the process of turning this team around.

Who will be UFC champion after 2022? (Welterweight – Heavyweight)

UFC, Jon Jones

2021 is coming to a close and it’s time to look at some UFC predictions for 2022. One of the fun things to do entering a new year is predicting who will be holding UFC gold once the calendar turns over to 2023.

In this article, we will be taking a look at the big boys and seeing who will be wearing gold at the end of next year. Last year, these predictions didn’t do very great as the only one I got right was the middleweight division.

I thought Jon Jones would return to become UFC heavyweight champion and I figured Israel Adesanya would defeat Jan Blachowicz. I also figured that Gilbert Burns would defeat Kamaru Usman when they fought.

Obviously, none of those predictions came true. Hopefully, my 2022 predictions for UFC champions will be a lot better.

UFC champions after 2022

Welterweight – Kamaru Usman

Starting off is the UFC’s welterweight division. Kamaru Usman (20-1) is still the king at 170 pounds after a sensational year that saw him defend his title three times. In fact, he was my fighter of the year in 2021 with those three defenses.

As we enter 2022, it’s hard to see anyone taking the title from The Nigerian Nightmare. The most intriguing contender is prospect Khamzat Chimaev (10-0). Chimaev has the skillset and the talent to potentially dethrone the champion, but we need to see him compete against more top competition first.

Leon Edwards (19-3, 1 NC) is likely getting the next crack at Usman. Edwards didn’t win the first time they fought and it’s hard to see him beating him the second time. I think Kamaru Usman leaves 2022 with the UFC welterweight title still wrapped around his waist.

Middleweight – Israel Adesanya

Next up is the UFC’s middleweight division where Israel Adesanya (21-1). This past year saw Adesanya defend his middleweight title once and that came against Marvin Vettori back in June.

Adesanya completely dominated the fight to retain his title. Next up for The Last Stylebender is a rematch with former champion Robert Whittaker (23-5). Whittaker is by far the biggest challenger for Adesanya in the middleweight division.

These two will fight at UFC 271. If there’s one man who can beat Adesanya at 185, it’s Whittaker. However, I still give the edge to Stylebender and I think he’ll hold on to his middleweight title. If Whittaker doesn’t beat him, no one will next year.

Light Heavyweight – Jiri Prochazka

Next up is the light heavyweight division where Glover Teixeira (33-7) is currently the champion. If you would’ve told me that entering 2022 that Glover Teixeira would be the UFC’s light heavyweight champion, I would have told you that you were on drugs.

However, Teixeira proved this past year that age is just a number and he became the light heavyweight champion. His Cinderella story has truly been remarkable, however, it might come to a screeching halt in the first part of 2022.

I believe that the best light heavyweight in the world is Jiri Prochazka (28-3-1). Prochazka has looked sensational since joining the UFC with knockout wins over Volkan Oezdemir and Dominick Reyes. He will now get a shot against Teixiera in the first part of next year.

I don’t see any scenario where Teixeira wins unless he’s able to just take Prochazka down at will. Once Prochazka gets his hands on the UFC light heavyweight title, I don’t see him letting it go.

Heavyweight – Jon Jones

Last but not least is the UFC’s heavyweight division. Last year, I figured that we would have seen the heavyweight debut of Jon Jones (26-1, 1 NC) and I figured he would be atop the heavyweight division. Well, I’m keeping that prediction for 2022.

The one thing I did get right about 2021 was Francis Ngannou (16-3) defeating Stipe Miocic to become champion. Ngannou will defend his title against Ciryl Gane (10-0) next month in a unification bout.

I’m still torn on that fight, but I think that the winner is going to face Jon Jones. While some might think I’m crazy, I still believe that at his best, Jon Jones is the best fighter in the UFC. He’s had so many issues outside the cage, but inside, he’s been flawless.

Whenever he comes back and gets his shot in 2022, I think he’s going to show off just how good he is. I believe that Jones will capture the UFC heavyweight title in 2022 and regain his top spot on the pound for pound rankings.

Kemba Walker becomes first Knick to win NBA Player of the Week this season

Kemba Walker’s remarkable turnaround in New York has captured the admiration of the entire NBA. The Bronx native capped off his best stretch as a Knick with the NBA Player of the Week award.

Walker averaged 25.0 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 8.3 assists, leading the Knicks to a 2-1 record in the past week. He beat Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid, Cleveland’s Darius Garland and Kevin Love, Miami’s Tyler Herro, Max Strus, and Ömer Yurtseven, and Milwaukee’s Jrue Holiday in the Eastern Conference for the weekly honor.

Walker is the first Knick to win the NBA Player of the Week award this season.

The Knicks have been 2-2 since Thibodeau reinserted Walker to the lineup when the team had been decimated by the COVID-19 outbreak and Derrick Rose’s ankle injury that required surgery.

Walker started the past week with a 21-point, 8-rebound, 5-assist effort in the Knicks’ 105-91 win over Detroit Tuesday night that snapped a five-game losing streak at home. It was a fitting follow-up to a 29-point night in Boston where the Knicks fell short against his old team Celtics.

Last Thursday, Walker exploded for a season-high 44 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists but were not enough as the Washington Wizards beat the Knicks, 124-117.

On Christmas Day, Walker delivered a triple-double (10 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists) to fuel the Knicks’ 101-887 rout of the Atlanta Hawks.

After three weeks of not hearing his name, Walker walked into the Garden on Christmas as the Knicks’ best gift. The sold-out Garden crowd gave him an ovation and chanted his name as he checked out.

“It was amazing,” Walker said. “Those are the moments that you dream about. It’s kind of hard to put it into words, to be honest.”

Walker looks forward to leading the Knicks to their first win streak since October when they visit Thibodeau’s old team, Minnesota Timberwolves, on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander beat Golden State’s Stephen Curry, Utah’s Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, and San Antonios’ Dejounte Murray for the weekly honor in the West.

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo

Who will be UFC champion after 2022? (Flyweight – Lightweight)

2021 was an incredible year for the UFC. This year, the world’s biggest MMA promotion welcomed back fans in the arenas after 2020 ended with empty arenas due to the ongoing pandemic.

Thinking back, there were so many memorable moments for the promotion. Starting the year at UFC 257 where Dustin Poirier stopped Conor McGregor in the second round. Then they rematched at UFC 264 and the fight ended with Conor McGregor snapping his leg.

There was UFC 261 that saw the first sellout for the promotion since shutting things down in 2020. Kamaru Usman knocked Jorge Masvidal out cold. Rose Namajunas knocked out Zhang Weili to become a two-time strawweight champion.

Of course, how could you not mention UFC 269 where Julianna Pena shocked the world by stopping Amanda Nunes. I could go on and on about how big of a year this was for the promotion. So many titles changed hands and so many epic fights.

Now, it’s time for the UFC to look forward to 2022. Last year, we published our predictions for who we believed would be champions once 2021 ended and it was a mixed bag of results. That said, let’s preview 2021 and predict who will be UFC champions at the end of next year.

UFC 2022 Champions

Flyweight – Deiveson Figueiredo

Currently the UFC flyweight champion is Brandon Moreno (19-5-2). Moreno defeated Deiveson Figueiredo (20-2-1) earlier this year for the flyweight title. These two ended 2020 with an incredible fight that saw the two men fight to a draw.

They ran things back this year and Moreno completely dominated the fight and submitted Figueiredo. They will fight for a third time at UFC 270 in January. Now, the popular pick right now is taking Brandon Moreno. In trilogies, whoever wins the second fight is much more likely to win the third.

However, I still believe that Figueiredo is the best flyweight in the world when he’s at his best. I don’t believe we saw the best Figueiredo during their second fight. I think he’s going to be motivated for this third fight and I think he takes the belt back and keeps it for the rest of 2022.

Bantamweight – Petr Yan

Currently, the UFC bantamweight champion is Aljamain Sterling (20-3). Petr Yan (16-2) is the interim champion. These two fought back in March and Yan was dominating the fight. However, Sterling won the title after Yan hit him with an illegal knee in the fourth round.

Due to neck surgery, we haven’t seen Sterling since. Yan went on to fight and defeat Cory Sandhagen for the interim title back at UFC 267. Make no mistake about it, Petr Yan is the best bantamweight in the world.

He’s going to fight Sterling in the first part of 2022 and I think he finishes him. After that, he’s likely going to have to face TJ Dillashaw (17-4) at some point and that’s going to be a very tough fight. However, I don’t see anyone at 135 defeating Yan next year.

Featherweight – Alexander Volkanovski

Arguably the one UFC champion that I feel like I’ve underestimated the most is Alexander Volkanovski (23-1). I thought the featherweight champion was the third best featherweight entering 2021 behind Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.

When the year started, I thought Ortega would become champion. However, Volkanovski showed the world that he was the best featherweight when he brutalized Ortega at UFC 267. In reality, Volkanovski is likely going to have his trilogy with Max Holloway next.

There just isn’t any other appealing contenders in the UFC’s featherweight division. When Holloway defeated Calvin Kattar to start 2021, he looked like the best in the world. However, he didn’t against Yair Rodriguez while Volkanovski did against Ortega.

I think Volkanovski will defeat Holloway for a third time in 2022 and I think he will close the year as the UFC’s featherweight champion. Who knows, Volkanovski might even try to move up to lightweight after defeating Holloway for a third time.

Lightweight – Charles Oliveira

The division with the biggest stars in the sport is the UFC’s lightweight division. The lightweight division is incredibly stacked with big names and big talents. That said, nobody in the world is better than the champion, Charles Oliveira (32-8).

Oliveira has shown the world this year just how special he is. In the last 12 months, he’s brutalized Tony Ferguson and finished both Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier. Next, he will take on Justin Gaethje (23-3). Gaethje will be another massive challenge, but I’m picking Oliveira in that one.

The one guy to watch to challenge Oliveira is Islam Makhachev (21-1). The only man in the world I think who can beat Oliveira right now is Khabib Nurmagomedov. Khabib is of course retired, but his protégé fights very similar to him.

Makhavchev is fighting Beneil Dariush in the first part of 2022. Whoever wins that fight will be in line for a UFC title shot. Assuming Oliveira gets through Gaethje, I think we are setting up for a late summer clash between Oliviera and Makhachev.

2021 UFC Fight of the Year

2021 is coming to a close and there were so many incredible UFC fights this year. There were massive title fights, stunning upsets, incredible comebacks, and so much more. 2021 was an incredible year for UFC fans.

A fight that stands out immediately is the featherweight title fight at UFC 267. Alexander Volkanovski was defending his title against Brian Ortega. This was a fight that many in the community were torn on entering 2021.

Given the way Ortega looked in his 2020 return, many including myself thought he was the guy to beat Volkanovski. However, the champion held strong. Volkanovksi and Ortega had a battle to remember at UFC 267 and Volkanovski won a decision.

Another fight that stands out to me is the battle between Jiri Prochazka and Dominick Reyes. A likely title eliminator which took place back in May. Both of these powerful light heavyweights hurt each other in a wild slugfest.

The pace was insane for two guys so big and powerful. In the end, Prochazka landed a perfect spinning back elbow which knocked Reyes out cold. That finish is also a top consideration for knockout of the year.

All that being said, there’s one fight that stands out amongst the rest. It was a fight that took place at UFC 268 and it was a fight that had an insane amount of hype leading up to it and it somehow surpassed even the loftiest expectations.

2021 UFC Fight of the Year

The UFC Fight of the Year in 2021 is definitely the battle between Justin Gaethje (23-3) and Michael Chandler (22-7). This fight took place in November and it’s still a fight that I’m buzzing about nearly two months later.

Gaethje made his lone appearance in 2021 count with this fight against Chandler. These two are fan favorites for their styles and they showed why in their battle. Michael Chandler said their fight would be like a car crash and that’s exactly what we got.

From the opening bell at UFC 268, these two guys went at each other with everything they had. Chandler came out quick throwing major heat and he hurt Gaethje in the first round. However, Gaethje hurt him back when they were swinging away.

In the second round, Gaethje dropped Chandler and hurt him bad. However, Chandler survived and the two continued to slug it out in the center. The final round saw Gaethje land more, but Chandler had big moments in the round as well.

These two threw caution to the wind and just went after each other. Ultimately, Gaethje got his hand raised at UFC 268 and earned a title shot in his victory. If you haven’t watched this instant classic, I highly recommend figuring out a way to watch it as soon as you can.

New York Yankees Top 10s: The best Yankee seasons throughout history

The New York Yankees ponder if there will be a 2022 baseball season due to the COVID-19 coronavirus and failure to agree to a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. So, I thought it would be an excellent time to take an in-depth look at Yankees seasons of the past and decide for myself which season was the best. I looked at each season as a whole: who the players were, how many games were played, the season stats if they won the World Series, and if they did, how dominant they were.

You may find that I differ a bit from some other writers, and that’s okay; it’s what makes being a Yankee fan so special. So, here goes my top 10 Yankee seasons.

10a. 1954 154 games

During the season, the team racked up 103 wins against 51 losses and a winning percentage of .630, which is why it is included on this list. It was a year when the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Orioles. Casey Stengel managed the Yankees. That year, catcher Yogi Berra was named season MVP. However, even with Micky Mantle, Phil Rizzuto, Gil McDougald, and Yogi on the team, they couldn’t reach the World Series; they fell eight games behind the Cleveland Indians. The latter was eventually shut out in the series by the New York Giants.

10b. 2019 162 games.

2019 was a heartbreaking year. In Aaron Boone’s second year as New York Yankee manager, he won 103 games with the Yankees. It was a year with the most injuries in team history, but with the team’s depth, including step-ups from the minor leagues, they were able to have one of the best seasons in team history. The team swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS and went to the ALCS against the Houston Astros that they lost in six games. The Yankees may have been denied a World Series berth as the team may have cheated in the ALCS. MLB  proved they did cheat in 2017 when they won the World Series, and although never proven, many Yankee fans think the same was true of 2019.

9. 1950 154 games

1950 was a big year for the little shortstop known as Phil Rizutto; he played so well he was named the Yankee’s MVP. The team was 98-56, with a winning percentage of .636. That year the Yankees took the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series via the shutout. It was a year that Vern Bickford would pitch a no-hitter for the Yankees on August 9th. Yankee rookie Bob Grim was the AL Rookie of the Year.

8. 1936 153 games

For 1936 the Yankees went 102-51 with a .667 winning percentage. The year was all about Yankee star Lou Gehrig, and he was named season MVP. The Yankees won the World Series over the New York Giants, the San Francisco Giants, four games to two. It was a year that would see two of its Yankee players eventually reach the Baseball Hall of Fame, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. Gehrig, for the year, batted .354 with 49 home runs tying his all-time record. He would also have an unbelievable 166 runs batted in.

7. 2009 162 games

2009 was an exciting year for the Yankees. Hideki Matsui was in the seventh year of his contract. He hit .271 while hitting 28 home runs. His performance in the World Series that year won him the title of World Series MVP. The team went 103-59 with a .636 winning percentage. The New York Yankees took the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series four games to two. Manager Joe Girardi in his third year as Yankee manager brought the Yankees to the World Series and won it for the first time since 2000 when manager Joe Torre had his last World Series win. It would also mark the last time the Yankees would win a World Series, spawning a twelve-year drought that the Yankees hope to end soon.

6. 1923 152 games

Babe Ruth had one of his best years in 1923, he scored 177 runs, hit 59 homers, and hit .378 on the season and was named the MVP. The team went 98-54, a .645 winning percentage. The Yankees won the World Series that year over the old New York Giants 4 games to 2. Manager Miller Huggins brought the Yankees to their first-ever World Series that year. For that reason, many believe this may have been the best Yankee season ever, however emotion aside, the stats just don’t support that. Babe Ruth did hit 41 home runs that year, with 141 runs batted in.

5. 1942 154 games

In 1942 the country was deep in the throes of World War II. The country needed a boast and hope; the 1942 Yankees provided that hope. The team stats were 103-51 .669. Joe Gordon was the MVP for the season that ended with the St. Louis Cardinals beating the Yankees in the World Series four games to one. The 1942 New York Yankees came in number five on my list as it was one of the greatest seasons in their history, even though they did not win the World Series. Their .669 winning percentage is sufficient to have them on this list.

4. 1939 151 games

The 1939 Yankee stats were 106-45 .702. Joe DiMaggio was the season MVP, and the Yankees won the World Series over the Cincinnati Reds in a four-game shut-out. 1939 was one of the most exciting baseball seasons for the Yankees. Joe DiMaggio graced center field while the Yankees won their 4th largest number of games in their history. Joe McCarthy’s Yankees matched the Reds in the World Series in hits with 27, but out-homered them 7 to 0 and out-scored them 20-8. Charlie Keller led the Yanks with seven hits, three home runs, six RBI, eight runs scored, a .438 average, and a 1.188 slugging percentage

3. 1961 162 games

The New York Yankees had one of the more exciting baseball seasons in 1961. Their stats were 109-53 .673. They won the World Series over the Cincinnati Reds 4 games to 1. Roger Maris was the season MVP. Whitey Ford was the World Series MVP. He won the Cy Young Award that year. What added tremendous interest to the year was the M&M boy’s home run race. Throughout the year, Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris fought to excel above each other in their number of home runs hit. Roger Maris won the race with 61 home runs, which was an MLB record at the time.

2. 1998 162 games

The 1998 Yankees are considered by many as the best Yankee team ever. There is no question that the season produced the most games won by any Yankee team. However, they did not have the winningest season. The stats are 114-48 and a winning percentage of .704. That year, they won the World Series over the San Diego Padres. Joe Torre won his second manager of the year award, and Scott Brosius was the World Series MVP. Another reason that fans place the 1998 team ahead of all others is that it is in the memory of many present-day Yankee fans.

1. 1927 154 games

During the year 1927, the New York Yankees won 110 games and lost only 44 games; that’s a .714 winning percentage. Lou Gehrig was the MVP of the season. That year the Yankees won the World Series by shutting out the Pittsburgh Pirates. Many baseball writers give this number one placement to the 1998 team or the 1923 Yankees. I placed the 1927 team over the 1998 teams because their total of 110 wins was accomplished in only 154 games. The 1923 team also did not sweep in the World Series.

Interesting season facts

Honorable Mention 1950 98-56 .636, Phil Rizzuto was the MVP. The Yankees won the World Series against the Phillies. 1947 97-57 .630 Joe DiMaggio was the MVP. The Yankees bested the Dodgers in the World Series. 1977 100-62 .617, Reggie Jackson was the World Series MVP in the win over the Kansas City Royals.

The Yankees’ worst season ever was in 1908, when they lost 103 games. They came in 39 1/2 games behind the Detroit Tigers. The Yankees lost the World Series 12 times in their 39 appearances. The Yankees have had 78 seasons with no MVP. However, the MVP award was not instituted until 1931. The Yankees have had three stretches where the team did not play well: 1903 to 1922 under several managers., although they did win 92 games in 1904. 1963 to 1975, when the CBS ownership let the team and stadium go and again from 1979 to 1994.

Under George M. Steinbrenner’s ownership since 1973, the Yankees won 7 World Championships, 16 division titles, and 11 American League Championships, becoming the winningest Yankee owner ever. The Steinbrenner family owns the team that hopes to see many more championships in the future. The New York Yankees are the winningest team in all of the sports with 27 World Championships.

EmpireSportsMedia.com’s Columnist William Parlee is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

 

2021 UFC Fighter of the Year

2021 was a huge year for the UFC. We saw some incredible fights, stunning upsets, and monumental wins. There were so many fighters who had sensational 2021 campaigns.

One fighter that stands out is interim UFC heavyweight champion Ciryl Gane (10-0). Gane has completely taken off this year and he’s showing the world just how special he is. The French heavyweight started the year by taking on Jairzinho Rozenstruik.

After outpointing Rozenstruik, he defeated Alexander Volkov. That win against Volkov earned him an interim title shot against Derrick Lewis at UFC 265 in Houston. Gane had the best performance of his career and stopped The Black Beast in the third round. Talk about an incredible year.

Another fighter that really stands out is Charles Oliveira (32-8). Oliveira competed twice and stopped Michael Chandler and Dustin Poirier to win and defend the UFC lightweight title.

While these are just two examples, there are so many other fighters who also had incredible years. All that being said, there is one UFC fighter who stands out amongst all fighters for their year in 2021.

2021 UFC Fighter of the Year – Kamaru Usman

Make no mistake about it, Kamaru Usman (20-1) is the only choice for UFC Fighter of the Year. The Pound for Pound king had three appearances in 2021 which solidified him as the best in the world.

To start the year, Usman defended his UFC title against Gilbert Burns. In all transparency, I thought Burns had the best chance to dethrone him given his style. However, Usman showed just how good he is and stopped Burns.

Then, he had a rematch with Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261. Most people expected Usman to defeat Masvidal by utilizing his wrestling. However, Usman shocked everyone when he knocked Gamebred out cold on the feet.

To cap off his year, Usman defended his title against Colby Covington at UFC 268. If Usman is 1A, Covington is clearly 1B. Covington would be the welterweight champion if Kamaru Usman wasn’t competing.

However, Usman is competing and these two had another close fight in November. When the scorecards were read, Usman won again making him 2-0 against the second best welterweight in the world.

Usman is starting to beat guys at 170 for the second time. However, his greatest UFC challenge might come to a head in 2022. If you want one fighter who has the potential to stop Usman’s run, it would be Khamzat Chimaev.

However, Chimaev is still a win or two away from a title shot. Right now, it’s hard to see Usman’s reign coming to an end. The Pound for Pound king deserves to be celebrated and he’s clearly the UFC’s Fighter of the Year in 2021.

Knicks’ Tom Thibodeau raves about Quentin Grimes, suggesting more action for the rookie

quentin grimes, knicks

The New York Knicks might have something special with rookie Quentin Grimes out of Houston. The shooting guard stands at 6-foot-4, 210 pounds, but showcases incredible energy as his most valuable attribute early in his career.

Despite the Knicks struggling through a cold streak, they secured an impressive victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday, Christmas Day. They are gearing up to take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night at 8 PM, a winnable game considering they will be without D’Angelo Russell and Patrick Beverley.

However, the Knicks are still going through lineup changes with players returning from the NBA health and safety protocols list.

With RJ Barrett still gaining back his stamina after dealing with Covid, head coach Tom Thibodeau utilized Quentin Grimes more prominently to help supplement his minutes. Against Atlanta, Grimes played 25 minutes, recording 15 points, two assists, two steals, and two rebounds. He shot 5 of 12 from three-point range and played solid defense, earning the only positive +/- off the bench.

After the game, the Knicks’ coach raved about Grimes’s qualities, specifically hitting on his defensive contributions.

“The energy and defense, that’s a big component,” Thibs said. “He is a terrific wing defender for a young guy.”

The best way to get into Thibodeau’s good graces is to play aggressive defense and provide unparalleled energy. Grimes runs up and down the floor without missing a beat, utilizing those young legs to provide his team with a spark.

“He’s high energy, he’s tough, he takes the right shots, he plays defense,” Thibodeau said.

Another efficient development regarding Grimes is his shot selection. The Houston product is hitting an impressive 45.5% of his three-point attempts, including 42.3% from the field. He hasn’t been a shot creator, but simply getting in the right positions to knock down good opportunities. He’s hit 95.5% of his field goals off assists. Every single three-point field goal made this season has been assisted, which is something the Knicks need with several players taking on the role of creators.
Thibs didn’t only mention Grimes but also fellow rookie Miles McBride, who has also just flashed signs of potential this season.

“The intensity that he plays with, he is all out and so is Miles McBride and that is a different weapon that we have,” Thibodeau said. “Both of those guys have been terrific. You can add Jericho [Sims] to that. I love our young guys. They are great workers, they are competitive, they are smart and those types of guys always get better.”

The rookies and youngsters have been an essential factor in keeping the Knicks alive and in games this season, despite falling below .500. Their schedule is lightening up a bit after a tough stretch the past few weeks. They will take on Minnesota, Detroit, Oklahoma City, Toronto, Indiana, and back-to-back games against Boston. All of these teams are sub .500 squads, giving the Knicks a bit of hope to string together a good stretch of wins and get back into playoff contention.

Yankees have a special new hitting coach in Dillon Lawson, what you need to know

The New York Yankees have a new hitting coach, Dillon Lawson. The change was caused by the Yankees not renewing the contract of Marcus Thames that oversaw the poor hitting lineup in 2021. Thames was the hitting coach from 2018 when Aaron Boone was hired as the new Yankee manager replacing Joe Girardi. Thames came under fire this past season when the Yankees only came in in the middle of that pack in most categories. Lawson was elevated to hitting coach Casey Dykes, and Eric Chavez will act as assistant hitting coaches.

After Thames, it’s difficult not to be excited with the addition of Lawson; with his analytical approach to coaching, he could potentially turn the careers around for Gleyber Torres, Gary Sanchez, and Miguel Andujar. He could also help out DJ LeMahieu and Joey Gallo that did not perform as expected last season. It’s looking possible with Lawson’s tools, and vast knowledge of hitting could leave a very positive impression.

Lawson attended Transylvania University, in Kentucky where he played college baseball. He was a catcher and part-time first baseman. When he graduated, he was a coach from 2007 thru 2009 at Lindenwood University, IMG Academy until 2011, and Morehead State. He became hitting coach for Southeast Missouri thru 2015 and for the University of Missouri through 2018 for the Tri-City Valley Cats and the Quad Cities River Bandits. He was hired as a minor league hitting coordinator for the New York Yankees in 2018.

Also with the University of Missouri connection is Joe Migliaccio, who is entering his third year as a Yankee minor league hitting coach. He has nothing but good things to say about Lawson. In an interview with Pinstripe Alley, Migliaccio said, “he is known for using tech resources to spot what’s working and what’s not, and makes sure the hitter understands his message. Additionally, he is not about to teach something that hasn’t been proved.”

Lawson is a progressive hitting coach who is very careful in giving information passed on to the players. He has already proven that his methodology and philosophy have worked for the Yankees in the minor leagues. Yankee prospects Anthony Volpe, Oswaldo Cabrera, and Trey Amburgey, among others, all had their hitting abilities advanced under Lawson. As a result, the Yankee minor league teams all had great years last season. Now the Yankee front office has elevated Lawson to be their hitting coach in 2022, hoping for similar results.

When manager Aaron Boone announced the new 2022 season coaches, he expressed his excitement to be able two work with Lawson. “He’s kind of earned this opportunity based on the quality of work we’ve seen from him and the impact we’ve seen him have on hitters.”

SEE: Insane document of Yankees buying Babe Ruth from Red Sox in 1919

New York Yankees, Babe Ruth

Just one day and over 100 years ago, the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox executed one of the most illustrious trades in baseball history. On December 26, 1919, the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees for just $100,000.

At the time, Ruth was only 25-years-old, born in Baltimore, Maryland. He weighed slightly over 200 pounds and stood at 6-foot-2. Ruth would obviously go on to be one of the best baseball players in history. It is quite interesting to see the low price for a player of Ruth’s stature, considering players are earning hundreds of millions over the course of a career at this point in time.

Ruth finished his career with a .342 batting average, 714 career homers, and 2214 RBIs. He hit 60 homers during the 1927 season over 151 games, posting a .356 average and .772 slugging percentage.

Interestingly, the Red Sox were one of the most dominant teams when the MLB was created, winning five of the first 13 World Series. However, after Ruth joined the Bombers, they took off and left Boston behind. Ruth spent 15 seasons with the Yankees, winning four World Series titles, winning seven total. He was named the American League MVP in 1923, setting records in his wake.

It is an interesting piece of history to see the price that Ruth was ultimately acquired for and the unbelievable career he had after leaving Boston in 1919. At such a ripe age, he would go on to play until 1935, when he was 40 years old.