A Month of Fundays

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

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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Yanks Win a Girardi Wet Dream

The Yanks just won a game where they were one-hit. Fortunately that hit was a Starlin Castro homer that brought in Gardy, too. This was, of course, a perfectly ludicrous game for old time Yankee fans, but you know Girardi loved it, since he wrote out the line-up.   The odds against being one-hit and winning have got to be catostrophically long. But these are a margins that Giradi loves.  Fortunately, Eovaldi, and the Nuclear Option (Betances, Miller, Chapman) were all sharp today.  Otherwise they would have lost.

It's also important to recognize that Eovaldi is the anti-Pineda.  I would guess that going into last year and this year people probably thought Pineda had a better chance of ascending into a top tier pitcher than Eovaldi did, but that's just not what's happening. Eovaldi is showing grit and guts, as well as coachability, and the Yanks should think about locking him up.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

This Week on the Blog

Alright, this week, the Yanks looked more like a .500 team, and the rest of our teams didn't do anything stupid, at least not as stupid as waiving Slade Heathcott over a predictable 40 man roster crunch -- in MAY!   Sheesh.  Alright, let's take a look.

Yanks: We've been talking about the Yanks roster problems for a few years here, and they're right back into them this year.  The other day they released Slade Heathcott, a former first round pick, who'd been injured a bit, but who also hit the biggest homerun of the season for the Yanks last year.   Banged up as he's been because he plays hard, his upside is Brett Gardner, but with a vastly better arm and better power.   You don't waive that because your jackass manager keeps running through relievers, and your old team keeps getting injured.  Speaking of  first rounders, the draft is starting on Thursday, June 9th.   The Yanks still have all their picks, but haven't picked up any extras through the competitive balance market.   Rumor has it that they are looking for a bat with pick 18.

Giants: The Giants will continue OTA's this week, and I think all the way to their mandatory training camp in June.  Then they'll be off until training camp starts on July 28th.  They still haven't done anything about the OL, and clock is still ticking.  The June 1 market isn't what it used to be, because of the early designations teams can make.   We'll see if there's something they can do, or whether they've missed all their opportunities.

Rangers: Five Rangers are going to play in the World Cup of Hockey -- let's hope they don't get hurt.  Perhaps it is because the Cup final that the Rangers haven't started making moves.  Other teams have.  The Rangers are still without a first of second rounder in the coming draft, and that's due to their own shortsightedness.  Their advantage during this era has been their scouting department, and so they have blunted that advantage by constantly trading away picks for old players for Cup runs that never turned up a Cup. They have to do better.

Knicks: Phil Jackson isn't especially predictable, and has not yet introduced Jeff Hornacek as the new coach.  Who knows when he will?   Meanwhile, rumors abound that the Knicks are looking to add picks, and while it's long been thought they'd pick up a second or two, word today is that they are looking for a first.  I wish this was a slightly better draft, because then I'd want to start the tear down now, and there are packages we could build to get into the lottery, but I'm not sure the transformative talent is there in this draft.

Things are looking up for me, and I hope they are for all of you, too.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

This Week on the Blog

This past week was pretty interesting with the Yanks starting to win some games,  the Knicks settling on a coach, the Ranger players doing well in international play, and no Giants getting hurt. This week could be a little more eventful.

Giants: The Giants OTA's start Monday. This is the first official time both veterans and rookies will practiced together, though the players have been practicing on their own and Eli has already thrown to Sterling.  OTA's are also where a lot of installation takes place.   They can also be predictors of the current depth chart, though it's unclear how much media access there will be between now and the mid-June full team mini-camp.  We could also see more bottom of the roster moves around now, and might get a glimpse of what they have planned for Bobby Hart.  I'm sure they would have wanted to have the right side upgraded by now, but they won't, so whoever they end up getting will have a lot of catching up to do.

Yanks: Rob Refsnyder is finally playing today and in just his second at bat worked a 10 pitch RBI double.  Here's hoping the other Yanks are observing how to do it.   Seriously, he  has the best approach on the team, and he can't get AB's. Girardi is a horrible manager for young players.   Meanwhile, CC seems to have re-invented himself.  He was great last night, and I'm not sure he broke 90 on the gun. Frank Tanana was a lefty power pitcher who then became a successful crafty lefty after injuries.  In fact, he and Doyle Alexander (for whom the Yanks would constantly trade), used to beat the Mattingly/Winfield/Rickey Yanks like drums.  Talk about frustrating, but more power to CC if he can make that work.

Knicks: The Knicks will almost certainly announnce Jeff Hornaceck this week, and then they have to get into the interesting business of hiring assistants, the dreadful work of possibly placing Kurt Rambis on either the coaching staff or the FO Team.  Then it will be time to work on the roster, where they clearly need players, and the draft where they clearly need picks.

Rangers: The FO and scouts have probably left La Quinta with a plan by now. If not, they're probably taking their time with their first mostly playoff-less Spring in years. We'll see if they have anything to say before the playoffs conclude, or if they'll start their housecleaning now.  It's a big offseason for them and they have some big decisions to make.

I hope and pray that all of you have great weeks.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

More Knicks Stuff

While the Knicks are negotiating with Jeff Hornacek, Kristaps Porzingis was unanimously voted to the All-Rookie first team.  Cool, with the right coach he might have been rookie of the year, though it's hard to beat a C when the offense is designed to go through him, like it was with KAT, and that's not to take anything away from him.  They both have huge upsides, and with the other guys from last year, it might turn out to be a legendary vintage, like those mid-80s drafts.  And unlike the one that's coming up.

Jerian Grant received just one second team vote.  I think we all thought he was a steal on a great night for the Knicks last June.   I don't know what the big adjustments were, but he didn't really seem comfortable till late.  Hornacek has been good with Guards and let's hope he can bring out the best in Grant.  He was great at ND, and shouldn't have struggled as much as he did as a rookie.

Back to the draft.  The one that is coming up seems not nearly as deep in star talent as last year's draft but that doesn't mean there are no players, especially if we have a system.  What's more, because of the perceived lack of quality it might be cheaper to trade for and buy picks than it was necessarily last year.  Like the Giants, the Knicks should have roster spaces to fill and it would be nice to fill some of them with players who can grow with KP, Willy and Grant, provided Grant isnt traded.

Per Hornacek. I'm really interested to learn how it came together.  Hornacek as a player was pretty fly for a white guy, and Jackson had tried to acquire him.  And there's been talk today that Hornacek was the first guy Jackson contacted.  What's more it's being reported that Hornacek's interview changed the hole search, as most of the organization was either thinking Rambis or favoring Blatt.   So, I'm very intruiged with the story and why here. I think Blatt and Vogel would have been fine, too, but it remains a roster issue until further notice. Another report said the Hornacek thing has revitalized Jackson and we'll have to see what that means, too.

UPDATE: Frank Isola is reporting that the Knicks and Coach Hornacek have reached an agreement in principle, but that it won't be announced tonight.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Knicks to Hire Jeff Hornacek?

It's unclear if this is yet a done deal, but reports are coming in from all over the Twittersphere that Jeff Hornacek, former NCAA hero of Iowa State, is making a deal to become the new coach of the Knicks.  Hornacek had diminishing returns over his career with the Suns, but he is also the son of a coach, who played for some great coaches, and was being asked to coach as soon as he first considered retiring.   When he joined the Suns, he got them back to jacking threes like they used to under Mike D'Antoni, so that could be interesting.  He's also supposed to run a "modern offense" which the Triangle is no longer.  We'll see what the compromise on that is.  His teams do run the fastbreak, unlike the Knicks, so that could be interesting to see, too. Frankly, I believe that by mastering the fundamentals to the point that you can play above them -- and that doesn't just take talent, but it takes a certain type of talent -- you win.  Until the Knicks have that kind of talent, it wouldn't matter if they brought in John Wooden.  So, we'll see if this is real, and then talk some more.

BTW: This guy likes to have his 4's jack 3's, so I pray he's not one of those idiots who wants to make Zinger a C.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Yanks Recall The Grinder

The Yanks today recalled Rob Refsnyder and James Pazos.   Pazos needs consistency, and Refs needs consistent playing time.  He is now the only guy on the team who grinds like the Great Yankees did from 1923 till the last few years.  Even when they were bad in the early `70s, guys like Murcer and White were making pitchers work.  Not this bunch of pretenders.  And Refs has been smoking hot for the past month in AAA and his average over that time is around .400.   Play the man!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Knicks Met With Vogel

Word is leaking out that Phil Jackson and Steve Mills met with deposed Indy coach Frank Vogel this past week.  That, perhaps, explains Steve's disappearing act at last week's combine.   It might also explain why Vogel went from the top of some lists to the bottom. I don't suppose it's a fait accompli that he's getting the job, but the Knicks were a little too quiet last week, and with all the teams we follow, that usually means something's up.  So maybe it will be Vogel.

It's sort of interesting that the Knicks are taking so long to build a "Triangle Squad."  Back when Bill Belichick was on of only two teams running a 3-4, it used be easy for Bill to find cheap parts.  Far as we know, the Knicks are the only team trying to run the Triangle now, and they don't have enough guys to execute it.   Of course, teams like Golden State (who not only have a start player than should have been a Knick, they have the Knicks first choice for Coach Triangle), and the Spurs run elements of the Triangle, so maybe they've got all th guys.

And it's strange the the media seems to treat the Triangle like it's the Single Wing.  It's not some antiquated scheme, it's a specific motion offense and all the good teams run a motion offense.  When you're on O, you've either got to be shooting, passing, cutting, driving or picking. In the Triangle, off a pass you either cut to the hoop, or set a pick for the guy who now has the ball.   You don't stand around, and you don't clear out for Iso.  Too many Knicks just stand around when they should be executing an action verb.  Seems like they shouldn't have guys like that anymore, and should be making sure Zinger, Willy and Grant all keep it moving.

Btw, Willy's agent denied that the Knicks have offered Willy a deal, but that seems more like the Knicks wanting to control the narrative, rather than them not doing what they need to do with their stashed guy.  The Rangers signed their's last week, and they do share an owner.