Hello everyone and welcome back. My deepest apologies for the long lay off. Your boy Mr. Glass-Half-Full is in the middle of moving and let me tell you, I am GREEN as hell when it comes to anything construction or building related. These soft hands were NOT ready for this kind of manual labor.
My spawts writing has slacked, but being that we are in the Dog Days of spawts with hockey and basketball mercifully ending, this was the optimal time to slack. So get off my back! Baseball is a long ways from heating up, and being that my Mets are going through their usual June Swoon, it’s easier to divert my attention elsewhere.
Having said all that, this is still your “One-Stop Shop” for everything NY spawts related (if you like the Mets/Giants/Rangers), so I wanted to give you lovely people some updates on where each team before we head into these Dog Days of Summer. All the fun and excitement of Summer diverts our attention from the things that are really important in life! This is why I am a Winter guy. Less distractions, more spawts.
Let’s start with the only team that is currently still in action, the NEW YORK METS. Our Metsies are starting a brutal stretch where they play 29 games in a row versus teams that are/were currently over .500. After taking the Rockies series and splitting the series against the Jankees, the Mets dropped 3 out of 4 to the Cardinals in typical brutal fashion. The Mets bullpen, which was supposed to be fixed this offseason with the acquisitions of Jeurys Familia and Justin Wilson to go along with the trade for Edwin Diaz, has once again turned into a major weakness.
Diaz, the crown jewel of the monster trade that shipped out Jared Kelenic (who is raking for the Mariners down on their farm) and Justin Dunn, is now sporting a 3.77 ERA to go along with 3 blown saves after blowing only 4 saves all last year and pitching to a 1.96 ERA. Not to be outdone, Familia, who was signed to be the prime setup man to Diaz, has blown 4 saves on his own and has a 6.91 ERA. Anyone who says they could have seen this coming from Familia, the owner of a career 3.03 ERA, is a damn liar. The Mets bullpen, as a combined unit, lead the league with 16 blown saves already and own the 6th worst ERA in the league. Just what you want to see out of your newly constructed bullpen! For the life of me, I can’t understand why the Mets continually fail to field a decent pen.
Sitting at 34-37, the Mets season is at a crossroads before we even hit July. This seems like a yearly occurance, and given the inconsistency the Mets have played with this entire season, its hard to see them turning it around before the All-Star break. On the flip side, the Mets have played tough competition well thusfar (despite the results), and if the bullpen could EVER figure their shit out, this team has the ability and talent to turn things around. Losing Noah Syndergaard to a hammy issue won’t help things, for a team already lacking pitching depth. Hopefully Ervin Santana can come in and give the team a couple of decent spot starts.
With bad injury news coming out on Brandon Nimmo’s neck (going to see the same specialist that diagnosed David Wright with spinal stenosis)and prized offseason signing Jed Lowrie being dead, the Mets aren’t getting much in the way of reinforcements anytime soon. The Mets have to either get their collective asses in gear, or face down what might be a massive sell-off at the trade deadline if things continue to go south. Said sell-off could lead to the blowing up of the roster and starting a rebuild. Its put up or shut up time for Mickey Callaway and Co., or else they might all be on the next bus out of Queens come August.
The NEW YORK GIANTS just wrapped up their spring workouts, with Mandatory Mini Camp ending last week. It’s been a quiet spring for the Giants, and given the controversy and circus-like atmosphere that has plagued this franchise the past few years, this is exactly how Giant fans should want it. Gettleman and Shurmur have always talked about eliminating distractions and getting players that lived, ate and breathed football. It seems like they have finally bred a culture that focuses solely around football. I, for one, couldn’t be more pleased about this.
The Giants made it through OTA (Organized Team Activities) and Mini Camp without any major injuries to report, so that is the best news of all. Hate to see players go down during these spring practices. Your season can be torpedoed in May, and that flat out sucks.
The other positive news is that all of the Giants rookies, namely, Mr. Daniel Jones aka Eli Manning Dos (that’s two for all my non-Spanish speaking readers), looked better than advertised all Spring. Internally, there are reports from the Front Office and others around the organization raving about DJ. He has not looked out of place and seems to be picking up the offense with no issues right off the bat. You are even seeing some analysts and media members starting to change their tune about the Jones. The real test will be when bullets start to fly in Training Camp and Preseason, so that’s when we will really be able to tell if this hype is for real.
Coach Shurmur, in what was most likely “coach speak”, mentioned that Jones was on track and preparing as if he was going to be a ready for Week 1. He also reiterated that Eli was currently the team’s starting quarterback (several times). I would be SHOCKED if Manning was not the starter Week 1, given his salary and the team’s loyalty to #10, but that tidbit from Shurmur is encouraging nonetheless. If all else is equal, Eli will get the start, but if he falters/looks like crap/the season goes down the tubes early, Jones will be breathing down Eli’s neck and will get the call. Manning’s leash has never been shorter, and as a huge Eli fan, I am perfectly okay with that.
As for the other rookies, none looked out of place. Tough to judge players like Dexter Lawrence and Oshane Ximines, given the lack of contact during the spring. However, there were rave reviews about our first-round pick, D’Andre Baker. Guys and gals, I think we got ourselves a player here at Cornerback. Baker has been locking down wideouts all spring and this is all without being able to press and get physical with the receivers at the line of scrimmage, which is supposedly Baker’s strength. I’m excited AF about the secondary as a whole, as Julian Love, Sam Beal (last year’s Supplemental draft pick), and Corey Ballentine have all flashed during practices too. The future of the Giants secondary looks to be in good hands (that pun may or may not have been intended).
Another member of the Giants secondary also seems to be flashing all over practice. That player is none other than local boy, Jabrill Peppers. The former Paramus Catholic product has been lining up all over the place in practice and has been making plays while telling everyone about it afterwards. He is vocal, he is fast, he is versatile, and me thinks he will ease any pains that Giant fans had after losing Landon Collins. Peppers was a key piece that the Giants wanted back in the Odell Beckham trade, and he is showing why this spring. The Giants have been lacking passion and swagger on the defensive side of the ball for almost a decade now. Jabrill might be the man to bring that swagger back.
Now, as I mentioned before, we are in the Dog Days of summer between Mini Camp and Training Camp. Let’s hope everyone rests up and stays out of trouble (shouldn’t be a problem with this current roster) and the Giants get their remaining injured all healed up (Engram, Solder, Remmers). I am READY and excited for Training Camp.
Lastly but not leastly (I know that is not a word), the NEW YORK RANGERS offseason has just begun. The team started off on the right foot by bringing back John Davidson to run things as the Team President. I can’t pretend to know much about other Presidentes around the league, but what I do know is that Davidson has had success at both of his previous stops (St. Louis and Columbus). Being the Rangers Prez was always his dream job, and that is why he left a really good situation in Columbus to come home (starred in net for the Rangers for 8 years back in the late 70’s and early 80’s and carried the team to the Cup Finals in ’79 ). We are in good hands here folks.
His first order of business was to fix the shit show that is the Hartford Wolfpack (Rangers AHL affiliate). That was where many of the team’s top prospects went to die and showed little to no development. With the influx of young talent that should be coming through the Wolfpack soon, Davidson is starting from scratch and throwing huge resources into getting this level fixed. You would be hard pressed to find anyone that would disagree with this plan.
Other than that, there is not much else going on………If you lived on a different freakin’ planet! This week, the Rangers will be picking #2 in the NHL Draft, where they will have the privilege of drafting either the uber-talented American Center Jack Hughes or, the scoring machine out of Finland Kaapo Kakko. This is one of the rare situations in a draft where it is truly a win-win, no matter who falls to the Rangers at #2. As luck would have it, the team picking in front of the Rangers is none other than the hated New Jersey Devils. Regardless of which team gets which player, the rivalry will be on fleek once the draft is finished and both players will be forever linked going forward.
Personally, while I am going to be pleased with the Blueshirts drafting either player, I want the goal scorer in Kakko. It feels sacrilege to not want the American, but man, the Rangers have lacked a homegrown goal scorer for my whole adult life. Kakko plays like a man amongst boys already and he doesn’t turn 19 until February. If my “Consolation Prize” is getting the absolute playmaker and American-born Hughes, then my friends, it is a great time to be a Ranger fan. Here’s to speeding up this rebuild, starting this week and continuing on with a strong offseason (hopefully with Artemi Panarin in stow).
UPDATE: The Rangers FLEECED the Winnipeg Jets last night by trading them back the 20th pick in this year’s draft (a pick they traded to the Rangers for Kevin Hayes) and Neil Pionk for 25-year-old righty defenseman Jacob Trouba. Trouba is coming off his most productive season in the NHL after scoring 50 points and was a highly sought after piece on the trade block, having been rumored to be wanted by, at least, a dozen or so other teams.
The Rangers were in desperate need of talent on their blueline, and they have that now in the form of Trouba, who is a top-line defenseman that excels on both ends of the ice. The fact that the Rangers somehow swung this trade while giving up so little is absolutely amazing. Kudos to Jeff Gorton and Co. for pulling off this coup!
That’s a wrap for now folks. I am hoping to see something positive from the Mets over the next few weeks to get me excited during these dog days. I will be checking in several times over that time period to make sure all of you are well-informed and entertained. Have a great summer you animals! Training Camp is only 40 days away! Enjoy the time off.