A Month of Fundays

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

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

This Week on the Blog

With the baseball hot stove on low,  the Giants other that OBJ on the sidelines, and the NHL All Star break on, the Knicks are our only regularly scheduled team.  Let that sink in.  Still there could be some interesting news from all 4 teams.

Knicks:  The Knicks have to stop winning. It's that simple.  Fortunately, Calderon's x-rays proved negative last night, so the can still trade him.   Same with Prigs.  And I think they should entertain offers for Hardaway. I don't think he'll ever be the impact 2 his genes and AA indicated he could be.  Anyway, more trades are on the way.  The question is when?

Yankees:  The Yanks are still in the Moncada holding pattern.  I think he will be a Yankee shortly after OFAC releases him.  Meanwhile, more and more Cubans have defected, and the Yanks should also be scouting them.  And perhaps this is the week the re-organization of the minors becomes clear.

Giants:  The Giants are at the Senior Bowl this week and have been seen talking to OL's, LB's and Safeties.  Hmm or not so hmm.  They seem to have picked more guys they've been seen talking to at the Senior Bowl lately.   So we'll see.   Btw, seems like they are sticking with the rest of their coaches.  Now it's all about talent acquisition.

Rangers:  Rangers return Tuesday.  They need to stay hot and make their trades very carefully in the second half.

All in all and less predictable week than usual, but I hope it's a great one for all of you.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Knicks and Tobias Harris

Disturbingly, the Knicks now seem to be rolling.  Let's hope they don't roll right out of the top 4 in the draft, bucause it's looking like a 4 player draft.  Maybe a bit deeper but the Knicks shouldn't tempt fate.

Anyway, much was made today about Tobias Harris's eagerness to join the Knicks and win a title.  Delusional as that sounds, and as bad as TH played tonight in only his second game off the DL, it's probably a good way to go.   The Knicks are either going to get a C or a PG if they stay in the top 4 of the draft.   But what they will also need to go along with that kid, will be another young scorer, whether it's a 2 or a 3/4 like Tobias Harris.

Harris is only 22 and was really developing until he hurt his ankle and missed a bunch of games.  Presuming that will stabilize and he'll continue to grow, Harris would be a nice target for the Knicks.   He's an RFA and that might be the market the Knicks should be playing with this year's group of UFA's being older and looking for max deals - and if they're any good the teams that have them can offer a bigger max, so...  RFA's could be appetizing.

The Knicks essentially only have 1 starter now, and that's Melo.   So between the pick and the cap room they really need to try to get 4 more, with at least three of them being long term fixes.   Harris could be part of that group.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Rangers: JT Miller

Today, Larry Brooks is pimping the idea that the Rangers need to make a decision about JT Miller by the trade deadline next month.   That's ridiculous.  Miller is one of their few current players who isn't under a big contract or scheduled to get one any time soon.   Thus Miller is incredibly valuable to a cap-strapped team like the Rangers.

What concerns me most in hearing JT's name in trade talks is that I don't think they would trade him for a third line C like Vermitte.  I think they'd only trade him for another big piece.   And first, I don't think they need another big piece, and second I don't know how they would afford one under the cap.

As it is, the Rangers are headed for very tough decisions over MZA and Hags, and even MSL.  They need players like JT and Fast to hold the fort and grow as they wait for Duke and Buch, and the others.  

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Yanks Add Reggie Willits as OF Coordinator

The Yanks have continued the rejiggering of their minor league system by adding former Angel OF Reggie Willits as their OF coordinator.   That means he'll cruise around the minors helping both OF prospects to field better, all prospects to run the bases better, and INF prospects to become OF prospects.  Could Moncada be one of the latter?

Giants Draft Pt.1: Overview

Okay, so this is Giants Draft Pt.1, which is not to be confused with the Giants Offseason posts which are now up to 11.    These parts will focus entirely on the Giant draft, while Offseason will focus on current team issues, hirings and future signings.  Got it?  Good.

I never try to organize the draft by need, because that creates reaches, and sacrifices both draft value and future value.   Drafting for need is just plain dumb.    I like to draft by WANT.   Meaning, I like to look at the Giants and see what can give them the biggest improvements then use the Draft as a shopping tool.

For example, I want better OL's.   They only have two I like at all and 1 can tolerate.  So I want them to hit the OL in FA and the draft.   Now, here comes the first part of the distinction between drafting for need and drafting for want: everyone knows and even says that OL is a big need for the Giants.

And that's true.  But I don't want to go reaching for them.  I've only seen 2 kind of OL's ever succeed for the Giants, and I'm really not interested in experimenting with that formula.  So, I want to find some OL's with good feet, strong hands and consistency.  Arm length is not as big a deal as I used to think it was.   Seubert, Snee, Pugh and the Cowboys Zach Martin, are the proof.   But I want rough, tough guys like that, or big, naturally powerful, suprisingly athletic guys like Shawn Andrews.

So unless they fit those parameters, I am not taking them just to take them.

Similarly, though the Giants have big presumtive needs at LB and S, I'm not going to go reaching around for them.  We need football players, not athletes, at both positions. So I won't buy the combine helium from any of them unless there is game tape to back it up.

I do want the Giants to add another running back and and another WR, though these are not their on the list of their top needs.   With a fixed OL, the  chance for making big plays goes up.  So, we need to replace David Wilson at RB, and we need to add another big play receiver, to take some heat off of OBJ and Cruz, create more chaos for secondaries, and in case Cruz isn't Cruz anymore.  

And I always like to take a CB.   So, we'll see what happens.

I do want the Giants to hit their immediate needs, like a run stopping DT and a good LG in FA.  By doing this they can really hit their wants and become that much more dominant.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Rangers Win in OT!

What a game!  The Rangers just beat the Sens to head into the allstar break on a 16 for 19 streak.   Wow.  And it really was some game, given that the Sens have had insane luck at the Garden for the past several years.  In fact, Anderson had never lost there till tonight.  

The first period was scoreless and back and forth.  In the second, Hayes put the Rangers up 1-0 off a rebound.   Just a few minutes later the Sens scored back to back goals to make it 2-1 goint into the third.

In the third, Kreider scored, and he was a beast all night.  He now has 9 or ten points in his last 10, and we're starting to really see, consistently what a dangerous man he is.

In the OT, the great Derek Stepan made a spinning pass to Hags, who was able to tip it in for the win. The pass was just insane.  

Huge win and the Rangers are heading into the allstar break en fuego.

Yanks Dealt Gonzalez Germen for Cash

Yanks got cash, for Germen Gonzelez, whom they DFA'd last week.  Beats nothing.  Now throw it on top of the Moncada kitty.

Moncada Worked Out for the Yanks

According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Yoan Moncada has already worked out for the Yankees, who, according to Badler are one of the favorites to sign him.   This is good news, and let's hope that OFAC clears him soon, so it doesn't get anywhere near the June 15 deadline for the Yanks.

It's important to get amateur signings in the system as soon as possible, and they will absolutely want him at Spring Training.  

Get it done, Yanks!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rangers: Save the Farm

The Rangers seem to be going for it this year.   That's fine an good, and they clearly need help on face-offs and in their defensive depth.  Those will probably be addressed, but in so doing the Rangers have to protect the jewels of the farm, which include Duclair, Buchnevich, Skjei, Miller and probably the goalies.

Thus if they are going for help, they'll probably have to trade current roster players.   It will be tough, but the roster players most likely to go for a 3rd C who can win face-offs, would be Hags or even MZA, both of whom are due big raises if retained.  On the defensive side, it would be great if Sather and his advisors could duplicate the Kevin Klein move and trade John Moore for a slightly older more consistent D.  Other parts might be involved, but the future can't be sacrificed like it was during the load up for `94.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Rangers Pummel Pens

Rick Nash scored in the first thirty seconds of this one and it was never particularly close after that, as the Rangers finished it 5-2.    Nash had a second goal, and Stepan also had 2.   Brassard had the other goal.   Stepan and Brassard showed why they MUST shoot more -- they're good at it.   St.Louis and Kreider both had 2 assists.  

Crosby scored for the Pens, because McDonagh somehow left him open at the side of the goal on a PP.  Sidney also treated us to more of his whining and poor sportsmanship as well as his magical hold over NHL referees.  

Nice game for the Rangers as they finish their "most dangerous" 7 games with a 5-2 mark.   Looks like they're heating back up.

Yanks: The Pulaski Staff

Okay, Axisa has cleared up the Tony Franklin confusion  http://riveraveblues.com/2015/01/minor-league-notes-hernandez-coaching-staffs-113186/ .   Tony Franklin will indeed manage Pulaski, but for the early part of the season he will rove.  He's joined on the staff by hitting coach Edwar Gonzalez, Pitching Coach Justin Pope, and defensive coach Hector Rabago.   All three are former Yankee farmhands.

Now we just need to know the GCL staffs (assuming we still have two teams there and that Pulaski isn't replacing one) as well as the DSL staffs.