A Month of Fundays

A New York Yankees, Giants, Knicks, Rangers and other stuff blog.

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Saturday, August 23, 2014

This Week On The Blog

This should be another interesting week on the blog.   All of the teams could or should be in buy or sell mode, so we'll see what happens.

Giants: The Giants will start cutting players any minute now, and have to have their first cuts in by tomorrow.   Some teams have already cut guys.   The Giants will also play the last of their endless preseason games on Friday, and the first O will have a drive or two before sitting out.

Yankees:  The Yankees should be sellers, unless something comes up for next year, and I don't Prado level.   They're sort of in it, and they're sort of not, but this team isn't winning a World Series this year, so they might as well start selling.

Rangers:  The Rangers landed a good player in Kevin Hayes this past week, and now they gave to lock up John Moore.   What's more, they are tight against the 50 contract rule, so I still think they're have to make a trade to alleviate the overcrowding.  What's more, if they can free up some slots, there are still some good college players out there.

Knicks:  They're sort of doing a slow rollout of a substantial rebuild.  They haven't made a trade in a few weeks, and last week they added another coach.   Who knows what's coming this week?  A new exec?  Another trade?  They're using Phil's calculus now.  So maybe they'll do something and maybe they won't.

Should be a fun week.  Let's hope for great news for all 4 teams, and for all of you.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Giants Post Game pt. 1: Nassib Scorches the Jets

The Giants just won their 4th preseason game in the row, as Ryan Nassib decimatd the Jets starters and backups to throw 3 TD's and hand the ball to Andre Williams for another one.   The TD passes were to Hynoski, Parker and good old Corey Washington.   Nassib is just getting better and better, and tonight he probably banished Painter for good.   He finished the game on his knee in the victory formation.

Btw, Rex Ryan had his starters in well into the third quarter, both on O, when they had Vick in and on D.   They even put Babin back in in the 4th quarter to try to stop Nassib.   I wonder if Rob even likes him?

Yanks Win on Prado Walk Off Single

It was another big game for Martin Prado who had a 2 run shot and a bases loaded single to win the game in the 9th.  The Yanks had fallen behind  3-0 in the first on an Abreu karmic homer, but then Greene and the other Yankee pitchers held them scoreless for 8 innings, and managed to catch up and finally beat them in the 9th.   Good Friday Night Win for the Yanks.

Giants Down at the Half

The Giants are down 10-7 to the Jets at halftime.   It was another frustrating first half for the 1's.   The Giants looked good on their first drive until a Jernigan dropped stopped it.  Later, poor OL play bogged them down.     Something weird happened at the end of the first half, though, Geoff Schwartz who had been playing LG hurt his toe and had to be carted off.  Weston Richburg then came in at LG and the line play was terrific as they drove for a TD to Randle in the two minute O.  

We've always though Schwartz should be back at RG now that Snee is retired, and this may convince them that this is the way to go with these OL's.  

Soup Harris also got hurt, as did Bowman.   Rashad Jennings also looked good.

Penalties are still killing them.

Very good chance that Mike Vick will shred our young D depth in the second half.

Yanks: Yasmani Tomas And Yoan Moncada

Okay, the didn't go for Rusney Castillo, and, as such, have not yet gotten back into the deep end of the Cuban talent pool.   Now, was this because they're are salary maxed?  Was it because they were done spending on this year's team?  Or was it because they didn't value him at 7 year 72.7?  I don't know.   But that make all in a row that the Yanks have passé on since Contreras years and years ago.

That said, they'll have two more chances in the next several months.  The players are RF Yasmani Tomas, a 23 year old right handed power bat, and  switch hitting Yoan Moncada, a 19 year old 2B who may be able to play SS.  Both are younger than Castillo.  In fact, if the Yanks want Moncada, they have to do it before the IFA year ends and pay the fines, because next year, they can't bid more than 350K on any teenager.  So Moncada is a more urgent issue to come to market.   But Tomas has the bigger  bat.

We'll see what they do here, but as the team has swooned, it's made more and more sense to hold off and wait on Tomas and Moncada, who are both years shy of their primes and both would fill immediate needs for they 2015 Yankees.

UPDATE:  Jose Abreu, another Cuban the Yanks could have had for just money, as if to underline the massive error the Yanks have been making in talent collection, has hit a three run bomb already tonight.

Rangers: Hayes Added to Traverse City Roster

The Rangers have added recently signed Kevin Hayes to their Traverse City team.  Having done that, I don't know if the Rangers will have the best team in the tournament, but with Hayes, Haggerty and McCarthy, they would have had the makings of a hell of a college team last year.    Feels like the farm is bouncing back, even with the dearth of picks over the past few years.

Giants Tonight Pt 2: The WR's.

I was all set to post a picture of Corey Washington after another game winning catch tonight, but he may not get the chance.   And that's because Corey and Soup Harris are getting some reps with the 1's tonight, and may not be playing in the 4th Quarter.   This is good news, because regardless of how good they both look, they haven't played against 1's yet, and this will be their chance.

Btw, the Jets take this game more seriously than we do every year, so again, the most important thing is no injuries.   Better play from the 1's is second.

Giants Tonight Pt. 1

The Giants will play the jets tonight in their fourth of five exhibition games.   The key remains that they get no more injuries, and that some players step up to fill the holes that appear to remain.    On the exhibition level, I expect the Giants to play a little better than they did last week, when the threes outplayed the ones.  This is usually the game where the starters play the whole first half and into the third quarter, so we won't see as much of Painter and Nassib as we did  last week.   It will be interesting to see if they open up the playbook tonight.  They were embarrassed last week when the Colts rolled out their exotic schemes against the vanilla the Giants were running.   Time to play better.  But avoiding injuries is the key.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Yanks Lose

After Girardi typically tried to push a recovering starter into the 7th only to take him out after a walk, then call in the C bullpen and blow the game in the 7th,  Jacoby Ellsbury came up with the Yanks down 5-2, with two on in the 7th and 9th, and didn't so much as move a runner.   153M.  Didn't like the deal when they made it, and still don't.   What an embarrassing group of free agent flops.  Welcome back to 1982.

Giants: Surgery For Cooper Taylor

Giant second year safety Cooper Taylor will require surgery for his foot injury.  It's unclear if this will mean the full year IR or partial year IR for him, but the Giants do need the roster space and can use it on a guy in a cast.    Best wishes to Cooper for a speedy recovery.

Rangers Land Kevin Hayes

The media are now reporting that the Rangers have won the Kevin Hayes sweepstakes.  This is very good news, and Hayes has grown into an excellent power forward type player over his 4 years at BC. It's a bit of a coup for the Rangers because Hayes had former teammates and even a brother already in the league.  Of course, the Rangers had his ex-teammate Kreider, and Kreider can jump out of a pool.

The signing of Hayes, as well as the deals for Haggerty, McCarthy and really any of no pick guys has been vitally important to the Rangers who have traded so many prime picks and prospects over the past few years.   Because of all of those moves moves, the Rangers had a gap between their prospects who had graduated, like Kreider, Talbot, and most likely JT Miller, and the kids like Duclair and Buchnevich.    That's not to say Lindberg, Fast and some of of the others won't play in the NHL because they will, a few might even be really good, it's just too soon to tell and there haven't been enough indications.   So the Rangers need as many of these sort of floor guys as they can get their hands on.

But Hayes may be more than a floor guy, as he really came into his own and looked like a future star this past year.   Just an outstanding pick up for the Rangers.  He's definitely the best value they've gotten since UFA began, and we must wonder if he'll be added to the Traverse City Roster.

There was some concern that signing him would put them over the limit, but they still have some junior players who can slide, and I still think they will make a trade.  Let's go, Rangers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Yanks: Severino Rusty In Return

Luis Severino pitched three innings in his return to action tonight.    He K'd three through the first two perfect innings.  Things bogged down in the third when he gave up a walk, and a homer, for two runs.  He was replaced by Lindgren in the 4th.   The homer jumped his AA ERA over 2, telling you just how good he had been before he was shutdown.

Ramon Flores Homered for GCL 2 Today

The forgotten man of Yankee OF prospects, Ramon Flores, started his rehab today and homered.   This man has the walk gene and still has time to work his way onto next year's team.  Along with Severino returning today, this is great news.

Giants: Beckham is Sore and Will Not Play Against the Jets

Better safe than sorry, but you have start wondering how much missing the first four preseason games will curtail his rookie season.   This is getting a little frustrating.

Monday, August 18, 2014

NFL Practice Squads to be Expanded to 10

Word came out today that the NFL will increase each teams allowable practice squad number to 10.   This is great for teams with good scouts, but you have to wonder why the NFL doesn't just consider a minor league.    That could be accomplished by expanding the game day and regular season rosters, of NFL teams and giving teams an allowable number of players to send to the minors, that can get experience there and be called up when needed.    Not everyone is ready to play in the NFL when they are done with school, and a new league could help them transition and the NFL teams have access to more players.   That's sort of what NFLE was supposed to be, but if it's done during the regular season, perhaps in Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it could be done here, and wouldn't have to include international non-prospects.

Caldera:Yanks Not Getting Rusney Castillo

Peter Caldera has quoted an industry source as saying the Yanks will not sign Rusney Castillo, who they were reported to like as a 2B.   This would seem like another Hal call on a Cuban player.   He was going to cost money, and he might have blocked Refsnyder if they kept him at 2nd next year, but holy frijoles do the Yanks even need the offense he could add.   We'll see what happens over the offseason with the other Cubans, but so far, the Yanks have not been able to get back into the deep end of the pool since Contreras.   Wonder if he banged Hal's chick or something.

Ryan Graves Traded to Duclair's Team in the Q

Ryan Graves, the big D we drafted last year has been traded to the Q.   What's interesting is that he's been traded to Anthony Duclair's team in the Q.  They'll probably be on the ice in most situations together.   Graves is coming off a good season and a shoulder injury.   It will be fun to follow how they do together.    Outside of international play, we haven't really had two of our guys on the same team since Stepan and McD were at Wisconsin.   Should be interesting.

Knicks Add Jim Cleamons to Their Staff

So the Knicks have added former Knick Jim Cleamons to fill out Derek Fisher's coaching staff.  This adds more experience to be bench as well as another guy who had played for Holzman.  He was, of course, the man we got back in the painful Walt Frazier trade.   Let's hope we win something this time around.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Giants Postgame: The Bottom of the Roster

As bad as the Giant starters have looked during this preseason, the reserves and remnants have had some outstanding performers and the Giants will have hard decisions to make come cut time.

We've already talked a lot about Washington and Harris, but Austin, Talley and Parker have also been making plays.  I don't think Washington or Harris can make it to the PSquad, and I wonder if the other three still have any PSquad eligibility.   It would be good to keep any of them around.

It's hard to judge if any of the reserve OL's have looked good without seeing more tape, but Richburg, who played all three interior spots last night, does look like he belongs in the top 5.

The  DL and LB's also look deep.   Kelcy Quarles had a dumb penalty last night, but he's been game and playing well.   Stanton has also looked good at End.   Wynn as looked good, so have Anderson, Adkins and Manning.   When was the last time we had depth at LB?  With the development of Williams and the surprise that Kennard has been, the Giants LB's could finally be a strength again.  And hopefully one or two of the extras will make it to the PSQuad.

They're also looking really good at Safety, even with with injury to Taylor.

Some of the guys who came and won the game last night will migrate up the depth chart and make the team.

Yanks Win Another One

Kuroda had his best start in awhile, and after a slow start by the O, they mustered enough runs to get him a win.    To their credit the Yanks were being no-hit early, but they started grinding and got Helickson out of there in 5.   They were up 3-2 late when Tex hit his 20th to I've them a slight cushion.  Betances and Robertson were strong again.  Big win.

This Week on the Blog

Could be another interesting week on the blog.   Let's take a look.

Yankees:  Yanks have to keep trying to get back into the wc race.  And we should also find out if they are getting Rusney Castillo or not.   Severino is supposed to be back at AA, too.   They have 2 weeks left to trade their guys to playoff contenders or even add guys.

Giants:  Giants have to get better.  They also have to start making roster decisions.   And they really have to get the OL figured out.  Right now, they have their best RG playing LG, and their best C playing backup RG.  That's no way to run an OL.

Rangers:  Rangers will try to sign Kevin Hayes.   And I still think they have a trade coming.

Knicks:  The Knicks will continue to be talked about, even though they seem to have nothing cooking.

So, it could be pretty interesting.   Have fun!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Giants Postgame Pt.1: Corey Washington Does it Again!

Holy crap.   What was for three quarters a somewhat alarming first three quarter of a boring preseason game that saw the Giants trailing 26-0, turned into the most exciting 4th quarter of a preseason game I've ever seen.    The Giants scored 27 straight points in the 4th to remain undefeated in the pre, and Corey Washington scored his third game winner in a row!

Painter looked like pre-last week Painter for most of the night, but did connect on a fade to Davis to score our first TD.  After the ensuing kick, our D scored.   I think it was Adkins who recovered the fumble.

Then Nassib came in and started finding Harris, Washington and Harvey.  And then Cox ran one in from the 2.   They got the ball back, and overcame a 4th and 16 on a 26 yard pass to Adrien Robinson, then followed it up with a 28 yard play to Robinson.  And all of a sudden they were in scoring range.    Washington was interfered with on their first try, which placed the ball at the four.   Then Nassib hit him for the game winner.

Nassib looked very good again.  So did Harris and Washington. Robinson may even have awakened.   Anyway, it was a rousing 4th quarter, and a great win.  But they have a ton of work to do to get ready for the season.

Giants Down 20-0 at the Half

I don't know if it appropriate to feel embarrassed over a half of preseason football, but I, and I'm sure many of you are being tested.   Kennard has played well.  And that's about it.   Eli was 1-7 and had an int. called back by penalty.   This is awful stuff.   Curtis Painter looked like the version from before last week in relief of Eli.    This is awful, have I mentioned that?

Yanks Win a Game!

The Yanks finally won a game, but it wasn't easy, and Joe Girardi cost Shane Greene a win.    Greene started the seventh by giving up a hit and a walk and was removed, with the Yanks leading 2-1.  Then, with reasons known only to Girardi, Kelley was used, instead of Betances.    And, of course, Kelley gave up one of the runs, and the game was tied.   Then Girardi used Betances for a clean 8th.  The Yanks then decided to score another run, courtesy of Gardy and Jete.    Then Robertson pitched the 9th for save.   Greene's great start became a no decision because Kelley pitched the 7th and Betances didn't.   Weird.

Yanks: Shane Greene Rocks

Not sure if he's done yet, but Shane Greene has thrown 6 innings of 1 run, 6 hit, 1BB 10K ball so far today.   He's mixed his pitches well and gotten the old Kevin Brown combo of grounders and K's, even though he mostly throws his 4 seamer.  He keeps it down, which is what Phil Hughes did in the minors which made him an extreme ground ball guy, until he hurt his leg and became an arm throwing fly ball machine.

The emergence of Greene, and if they let him, Bryan Mitchell augers very well for the future of the rotation.   If they keep McCarthy, who is also doing a Kevin Brown K/grounder impression, they'd have 5 righty starters, all of whom can get K's and keep the ball down.  Of course that assumes Tanaka and Pineda complete their comebacks from injury.  Handedness should never trump goodness, and until Manny Banuelos is ready to take a job away, that's a pretty good way for the Yanks to go.  

Greene has pitched like a great #3 so far, and who knows how far he can go if he maintains command?

Giants Today Part 2 The Starters

This will be game three for the Giants, and usually teams have their starters play into the third quarter in game three's.  But what happens when game 3 is not the penultimate game?   I guess we'll see, but will Eli and the boys perhaps play to the half?  I don't expect them to play at all in game 5.

Yanks and Rusney Castillo

So Cuban escapee and ballplayer Rusney Castillo has finished hit tryout tour, and now it seems like Jay-Z's Roc Nation is auctioning him off this weekend.  The Yanks are said to be heavily interested in the 27 year old, but as a 2B and not an OF.

I don't especially believe that they see him as a 2B and not, at least also, an OF.  I do know that they have veterans with presumptive claims on RF right now, and I suspect that's among the reasons they're mentioning 2B.   I don't really think they're trying to get him just to block Refsnyder and eventually Katoh.

Hopefully, if they do get him, his contract will be trade-able in the few years, so he won't be blocking Austin or Judge or whoever pops.

Being 27, they'd be getting him at what should be the beginning of his prime, so he could still be good for awhile and if he is, all the better.   He just shouldn't be used to block any of the other good young players.

Btw, there's another Cuban OF named Yasmani Thomas who isn't available yet, and might not be until the offseason or ever next Spring Training.  He's a more prototypical RF and power bat.   The Yanks should look into getting him, too.   Actually, they should look into getting anyone who doesn't have draft pick compensation.

And meanwhile, if they keep losing, their picks will become protected.

Giants Today Part 1

The Giants will return to Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time since they won their last Super Bowl later today.    When they get to half time of this game they will be at the halfway point of their preseason schedule -- so ten more quarters of experimental reffing, and live reps for guys who won't even make the psquad.  

But even with all of this time left, it's getting late early for Trindon Holliday, who hasn't played yet and won't play tonight.   He's the super fast return specialist the Giants signed during their haphazard festival of FA signings over the offseason.   They were hoping to even find a role for him in the new O, but younger WR's with real size and skill have been too impressive for him to beat out on O, his shot it returns, and with Odell Beckham returning against the Jets next week there go the punts.  

And unfortunately for Trindon, Demps will probably be the top kick returner when the season begins.  Injuries are tough. So instead of being a dynamic threat on returns and in the new O, he could be an early injury settlement and the kids continue getting reps at WR.