A Month of Fundays

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


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Knicks Beat the Cavs in Cleveland

After last night's meltdown, the Knicks travelled to Cleveland today where brand new coach, Derek Fisher earned his first win.   Early, it sort of looked like it could be a repeat of last night, but the Knicks hung in there, and started to hit the open man.  And the open man, more often than not, was scoring.  Basketball O is literally that simple.   The only time things lagged was when they reverted to one on one, or stopped trusting what had been working.   There were some good games all around, and everyone, include JR Smith, played under control.  Quincy Acy looks like he might have a role on a winning team.  And Shane Larkin has insane speed and deserves to be developed.   A really nice and unexpected win.

Yanks New "Quadrants"

George King, who's about as accurate as a broken clock, has been peddling the idea that the Yanks are dividing their scouting and development operation into 4 separate departments, all responsible to the GM.   He's been pimping the quad decision for weeks, including today in Baseball America - which might say something about them.

Anyway, according to King the new departments are pro scouting, amateur scouting, international scouting and player development.   He says they will all report to Cashman, but that doesn't really give Gary Denbo a job.   King says he won't be involved in the DR like Newman was.   Anyway, given the new titles, it's unclear where Denbo fits in.   They are still to name a head of development.   Damon Oppenheimer will remain as head of amateur scouts, and Donny Rowland will probably be formalized as the head of international scouting.

It's unclear who will be the head of pro-scouting and that's not so much what they should be focused on, anyway.   So we'll see what they have to announce when they finally make some announcements. For all we know they, and all we know about King, they could be dividing into eighths.

Yankee Pitching Stuff

It seems like a lot of people want the Yanks to get one of the "big" free agent pitchers among Lester, Shields and Scherzer, and of course all of them are over thirty and will require 4 or more years.   McCarthy would probably give them the best bang for the buck, as he might be less in dollars and years.

And of course, they really should re-sign Robertson.  He's basically everything a Yankee reliever is supposed to be and he's a stand up guy.  Perfect to play Mo to the loads of young pitchers that will be coming through over the next year and teach them how to be Yankee tough.  We need more guys like DRob, not less.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Knicks Are Now Down 30 in the 4th...

The Knicks are getting slaughtered tonight in their home opener against the Bulls.   Nobody looks very good, and the young players, including Hardaway, have looked lost, and tentative, while aggressively committing dumb fouls.  Good thing this year doesn't matter.   Sad thing the NBA salary cap and rules have created seasons like this for most franchises.

Yankees Still Quiet

So as of game 7 of the World Series, the Yanks have not hitting coaches for their major league or AAA affiliates.  What's more, they have not named a new head of development, nor a major league 1B coach.   Beyond that they don't seem to have completed their organizational meetings nor have they moved around or replaced any minor league coaches with the exception of Colbrunn.    Of course, all of these positions will be figured out and announced, and hopefully soon so we'll have more to talk about.  

Rangers Jon Moore Suspended For 5 Games

John Moore must have been pretty persuasive during his hearing, because he only got 5 games.  That's what usually goes with a phone interview, so he got lucky.  Meanwhile, the Rangers did not as there is no way on earth they can suit up Kotska 5 more times this year and expect a good result.  He's literally an assist machine for whomever we're playing.   We'll see what happens here, but the Rangers must realize this won't work.

Rangers: Tape to Tape

Back in the preseason, I talked about chipping pucks to the fast guys and letting them do their thing.  Hunwick's method works, too.  Duclair couldn't have swooped and scored like he did with that tape to tape diagonal pass from Hunwick.  In fact, the Rangers were doing a lot of that late Monday.  They literally owned the puck in the third.  We hadn't seen that for 5 straight periods as they'd been dominated and couldn't establish consistent enough possession to score much.

I don't know what the difference was, other than the line changes that put Brassard, their hottest C with Nash, their hottest player.  But the shuffling made them coherent and that's the way they've got too play if they want to become elite.   Too many times, in the early going, they've misfired or mistimed passes, or whiffed on pucks altogether.

In other new, AV says Stepan will starting skating with the team again in 4-7 days.  He also said a whether or not they call up a D will depend on the length of John Moore's suspension.  In the meantime, he said Kotska will play Saturday.   I literally can't believe Kotska still has a jersey after his last performance.   Like the rest of you, I'd rather see a kid.

Knicks Tonight

It's opening night at the Garden.  It used to be one of the most thrilling days on the calendar, and it probably will be again next year, but not this year, not with regard to this team of mismatched parts.   The most interesting part of this year will be to see which young, cheap players can learn the triangle and compete on defense well enough to stay another year.   Certainly don't get too attached to any of them, and don't get attached to any veterans, save Melo, because they can all become bundled assets or liabilities in trade scenarios.   So on opening night, the one thing we really know is that this roster will change enormously over the next year or two.   So we really will just be rooting for the uniforms.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Giants Grab CB Mike Harris From Lions PSquad

The today snatched CB Mike Harris from the Lions PSquad to fill the pace left by Jon Beason.  I thought they might add another LB, but they're hitting CB again, as they did all throughout the offseason to precious little avail.  He's pretty average sized, now we'll get to see if he's a player.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wow!

What a third period.  Holy crap.   The Rangers had been really frustrating for the first two periods.   They were hitting and winning face-offs, but they were also getting called for penalties including two majors and two ejections for Chris Kreider and John Moore.   Meanwhile, they killed all the penalties, but gave up three goals between kills on a couple of defensive lapses by MSL and softies.  Things looked awful.

But then Rick Nash put the team on his back.   He dug a puck out that led to an MZA assist to Klein.   Then he scored his own goal and it was 3-2.   There was another defensive lapse and suddenly it was 4-2.  But they did not give up.  Almost immediately, Brassard cleaned up a Hagelin rebound off the cross bar to make it 4-3.   And then, a few minutes later, Duclair, who had also been a force in the third scored his first career goal as he skated in and beat their goalie to tie it.  It was his first NHL goal and a huge one.   Literally, moments later, MZA who already had two assists scored the game winner for his first goal of the year.  

Huge games by Nash, Brassard, Duclair, MZA and Klein.   Hagelin was also flying and killing things.    Not such an elite game for MSL, Hank or even McD, who was a bit up and down again.  But a huge win being down 2 men and 3 goals.   This is their second big character win in their last couple.    And they managed to get back above.500.  They now have a four day break till Saturday.

Btw, I wouldn't be surprised with a personnel move or two during this four game lay off. Their scouts have been active and there were scouts all over the Garden again tonight.

Rangers Tonight

Rangers play the Wild tonight at the Garden.    Apparently, Chris Kreider, who potted the Rangers' first power play goal of the year a couple of days ago, was taken off the power play after the lousy game in Montreal.  Vigneault is officially roster weird.  They should bench almost everyone on the team for Montreal, dropping Kreider off the power play because he is one of their youngest really important players is ludicrous.   Why haven't there been consequences for the older players like Girardi, who have been awful on the PP?  There've been no consequence for veterans yet this year.  And Tanner Glass will stay in the lineup as Kevin Hayes gets a night off.   Sheesh.

Knicks Trade Outlaw for Moultrie

In an example of the sort of franchise will we wish for all of our teams, the Knicks today traded a shot veteran, in this case, Travis Outlaw to the 76ers,   They had to give up a 2019 2nd rounder and the option to flip 2018 second rounders, but those are sort of easy to come by. They've already waived Arnett Moultrie, the other player in the deal.   This has given them room to add another player, with the widespread opinion that player will be UCLA rookie Travis Wear.  We'll probably know if that's the case soon, as the Knicks have become relatively transparent.

Reese: DaMonster Must Play More Snaps

First the head coach said it, and now the GM has said it.  So will we see more of DaMonster on Monday, or is Perry Fewell even more idiotic and command resistant than he has seemed so far?   It's easy for people to get the impression that the Giants "don't have the talent" when the coaches don't always play the talent they have.  Sheesh.

Giants: Beason Out for the Year

Giants middle linebacker Jon Beason will be out for the rest of the season following foot surgery.   This is a brutal blow for the Giants, who've only really played decent defense under Fewell lately when Beason's been in there.   Obviously, his IR'ing creates a roster space.  But what is out there?  How fast can Devon Kennard get up to speed?  Can he lead the defense?  This is a big problem and the Giants are going to have to find someone who can translate Fewell for the guys.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Yanks and the Concept of a Sub Rosa Rebuild

The pro-Yankee internet got all twisted up a few weeks ago when Cashman said essentially that the Yanks would never rebuild, and would continue to try to win the World Series every year.   People got depressed.   But let me remind you that in the past Cashman has also said that "Enrique Wilson will be our Third Baseman."  Cash has also said, "Bubba Crosby will be our Centerfielder."   The GM of the Yankees has also said, "We will not re-sign ARod if he opts out."  That one I sorta wish was true.  So, in any event, this is a guy who has historically failed to tip his hand publicly, so why should we think he was doing it now, especially when it behooves the franchise to get the season tickets renewed first.

If they were doing nothing else, the above would be wishful thinking on my part.   But, in fact, everything they are doing and have done lately aside from their reactive free agent splurge last year, has been setting up  for a future run.

To wit: they are undergoing a pretty substantial reorganization of their minors for the second year in a row.  Newman is retired, Roessler is fired.  More firings could be on the way.   Thus far, the only additions have been Gary Denbo in for Newman, and Greg Colbrun's return to Charleston.  Happenstance has really played into the Yankees hands with Colbrunn, and having a top notch hitting coach in Low A, where a bunch of their stalled hitting prospects like Aune and Mikolas will be next season and then should see a huge wave of IFA talent start filtering through the next.

And that's on top of the spending on top scouts they've been doing or the past few years.

What they have yet to do is hire a head of player development and I believe that is because they are undergoing their ongoing review of the entire system right now.  In fact, I think that seems more important to them, right now, than the major league hitting coach job that still isn't filled.

We could also look at their drafts and see a desire for : a wave of college talent, with Refsnyder, Rumbelow, and Lindgren leading the way; a wave of prep talent with Murphy, Bird and Austin leading the way; and a monster wave of IFA talent coming up later with Severino, Mateo, and Dermis Garcia or pick one leading the way.

So why are the spending all this time and money on the farm, for the second year in a row if they aren't rebuilding?   The inescapable conclusion seems to be that they are.  They're bullshitting about it.

We'll see who they hire and what they implement, but they would be wasting time on the farm if they didn't intend to use it.  And even Hal must realize that Time is Money.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Rangers Streak Ends at 3

Carey Price was great and the Rangers were anything but tonight in Montreal.   They couldn't control the pucks, win battles or win face-offs.   The compete level just seem to there tonight.   There was a moving ceremony before the game addressing the Ottawa tragedy, and so the players minds and some hearts might have been elsewhere.  Do better next time, Rangers.

This Week on the Blog

Could be a very interesting week on the blog.  Each of the four teams we cover should be plenty busy, and if they're not, we've got problems.

Yankees: Yesterday, they hired one of the best hitting coaches in baseball to handle their Low A affiliate.   Maybe this coming week, they'll finally name a hitting coach for their Major League and Triple A affiliates.    We'll also see if they name someone to the all important director of development position.   So this could be a week of crucial hires for the Yanks or they could keep twiddling their thumbs.  Btw, it's possible that they're not really twiddling their thumbs at all, but are instead involved in their top to bottom analysis of their system.   We'll see.

Knicks: They will finally start their '14-'15 regular bridge to the new roster season this coming week. They've already made some cuts that will be destined for the D league.  They may also have to make contract room for a kid or two.  Of course, we'd all like to see all of our teams become more kid friendly, so it will be interesting to see what the Knicks are willing to do.

Giants: I thought we might see some roster turnover during the first week of the bye, but nothing happened.   We'll see if they make any moves early this week as they get ready to play again. I think Schwartz can come of the injury DL, and hopefully, he'll be ready to play RG real soon.  They have a chance to save their season, but they have to pick it up in all three areas.

Rangers:  Rangers are getting down to decision time with Anthony Duclair.  Of course it's a no brainer that they should keep him, but we'll see if they're willing to overcome their longterm early season bias toward marginal veterans.  Meanwhile, they need another win tonight, and let's hope Declair has his coming out party.

In all, it should be a really interesting week.  And I hope it's a great one for each of you.

Rangers Tonight

Anthony Duclair will be back in the lineup as the Rangers take on Montreal tonight.   He's going to be playing on a line with Carl Hagelin and Dom Moore.   Hope Dom can keep up with his wings, not many can.   Should be fun.

The other story that's brewing is, will the Canadiens, being the punk ass bitches that they've always been, take a run at Chris Kreider?   Or will they take a run at Hank?  Either case would be too bad, and I hope the Rangers will not stand for any of it, if it does come up.   I suspect the league might have warned both teams.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Yanks: Colbrunn Goes Home

In a bit of good news for the system, Greg Colbrunn, who left the Red Sox because he wanted to be closer to his home in Charlestown, NC, has returned to the RiverDogs as their batting coach, and position he's held in the past.   Interestingly, the Dogs may end up having a better hitting coach than the major league Yankees do.

This is pretty exciting, because when all of those IFA kids they signed this year end up in Charleston, they will really have access to one of the best hitting coaches in baseball.

Eric Hinske Rejects Yanks

The other day the Yanks reportedly told Dave Magadan that they wanted to go in another direction in their searching or a new hitting coach.   That other direction remains unclear as reports have surfaced that Cub assistant coach Eric Hinske has turned them down, choosing instead to be the Cub assistant hitting coach this year.  Not sure if the Yanks should be looking for a message in this, but it's pretty clear they didn't have much of a plan, when they let Long go.   I'm still hoping they hire 2 and that Rowson is one of them.

Btw, yesterday, Trey Hillman cleared something up.  He was asked if he wanted to interview for Newman's job, not that he was offered the job itself.   So Denbo might have gotten it anyway.