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Frankly Frankel: August 15, 2015

15 Aug

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Carlos Beltran comes through with a monumental home run, Geno Smith gets punched in the face by a teammate and then Rex Ryan invites him to play in Buffalo, and the battle between Roger Goodell and Tom Brady rages on. This is Frankly Frankel on this Saturday, August 15, 2015.

  • I know it’s been a few weeks, but I had to express my thoughts on the recent events in the sports world. Of course I begin with the Yankees who easily won the teams biggest game of the season Friday night with an ultra-dramatic 4-3 victory to snap the Blue Jays 11-game winning streak.
  • Things were not going well for the first seven innings. David Price (whom the Yankees better sign when he comes a free agent in the offseason) was pitching a gem, and the Yankees offense looked as anemic as ever. Then in the top of the 8th, Mark Teixeira and Brian McCann each had one-out singles. They were followed by Chase Headley who drove in Teixeira with a ground-rule double. Headley’s RBI double was the Yankees first run against the Blue Jays in 33 innings! The only other team to hold the Yankees offense scoreless for a longer period of time was the 1909 Browns, according to Elias Sports.
  • After Headley’s double, John Gibbons took Price out of the game and inserted hard-throwing reliever Aaron Sanchez to face pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran. Beltran’s at-bat could not have started any worse. He quickly fell behind 0-2 on back-to-back 97 MPH fastballs and there was no doubt in my mind Beltran would strike out and the Yankees would go on to lose the game.
  • According to the YES Network broadcast, it was Beltran’s first home run off a fastball 97 MPH or faster since 2008 (off Matt Lindstrom). That’s why I was so confident Beltran wouldn’t come through because he can’t get around pitches that fast, at least I thought.
  • There were still six outs though for the bullpen to get, and in the bottom of the 8th, Justin Smoak hit a ball off Dellin Betances that 99/100 times clears the fence. But someway, some how, the ball faded and Jacoby Ellsbury made the catch just in front of the wall. As Michael Kay put it, it was like the ball hit an invisible wall and died in the outfield.
  • In the bottom of the 9th, Russell Martin flied out to lead off the inning, but then Chris Colabello and Kevin Pillar had back-to-back one out singles. Andrew Miller then threw a wild pitch and Toronto had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one man out.
  • Miller then reached deep into his back of tricks to strike out Ben Revere, one of the hardest hitters to strike out in the entire league, and then struck out Troy Tulowitzki after a nearly eight-minute at-bat (Watching it live, it felt like an eternity).
  • Now the Yankees have to use that momentum and carry it into Saturday and Sunday’s games. They need to make that loss sting for a team as inexperienced in high pressure late season games as the Blue Jays are. Make it hurt!!
  • Onto the Jets who just completed arguably the most embarrassing week in the history of the franchise. It all started on Tuesday when linebacker IK Enemkpali punched Geno Smith in the face and broke his jaw. Geno will reportedly miss 6-10 weeks which means he will miss multiple games to begin the season.
  • When I first heard of this, a few thoughts ran threw my mind. One was Todd Bowles is losing control of the team. Sheldon Richardson has become a loose cannon since Bowles became coach, and now no-name players are hitting the “franchise” quarterback. I think Bowles needs to sit everyone on the Jets down and run a significantly tighter ship. It seems like the players believe they can get away with whatever they want.
  • The next thing I thought of was Geno has zero leadership, which along with talent, is the most important attribute an NFL quarterback needs to have. If you are the leader of a team, you can’t let yourself get punched in the face, you can’t be putting yourself in harms way like that. To back up my point, all I have to say is Peyton, Rodgers, Brady, Luck, Russell Wilson, and Brees, etc. would never in a million years allow themselves to get decked in the face. It just wouldn’t happen.
  • The reason is those guys are natural born leaders who set the example for all the other players in their locker rooms. I can’t say the same for Geno.
  • The last thought that when through my head was maybe, just maybe, this could be a wake-up call for Geno, a realization that he needs to change his tone if he wants to be a successful quarterback in the National Football League. I have nothing to support this, but maybe Geno comes back a different person. We shall see.
  • As for everyone who thinks Ryan Fitzpatrick is a better option than Geno, all you have to do is look at the fact Fitzpatrick has a career record of 33-55. Fitzpatrick being rated the best backup quarterback in the league means he shouldn’t be starting, and you are what your record says you are. I’m not saying Geno’s the answer, but that if you’re expecting anything from Fitzpatrick, get over yourself.
  • Still, you have to admire Fitzpatrick’s path to the NFL with him coming out of Harvard and carving out a highly respectable 10+ year career.
  • The last part of this story may be the most bizarre of it all. The day after Enemkpali punched Geno and was immediately released by the team, Rex Ryan signed him to play for the Bills. After I saw Enemkpali was released, I said to myself imagine if Rex picked him up? And he did! I remember watching TV after hearing this had happened and listening to Stephen A. Smith say he didn’t think Enemkpali would get another chance to play for another team, and he was signed within 24 hours.
  • Just when you think Rex can’t do anything more to surprise you, he does this, and to be honest, I lost a whole lot of respect for him with this move. There’s no defense for it, no matter how much Geno deserved to be punched.
  • The Jets first pre-season game didn’t do anything to turn the pessimism into optimism. Matt Stafford drove the Lions offense right down the field against the Jets revamped secondary, and Antonio Cromartie beaten more times than an egg during his time on the field. All I can say is I hope Bowles was just concealing everything and plans to unleash himself and the team come the regular season because after all, the pre-season means NOTHING.
  • Tom Brady and Roger Goodell squared off in court this week, and there still appears to be no end in sight to this DeflateGate nonsense. While I believe Brady is innocent, if Brady wins this case, then Goodell’s credibility will go from zero, to negative. Goodell put everything on the line in his battle against Brady, and he can’t afford to lose this one.
  • What I ultimately think will happen is the court will side with Goodell and his doing what it takes to protect the integrity of the game, whatever that means. The bottom line is I just want this to end, and based on the way the Patriots first pre-season game went, it appears the Pats are moving along as if Brady will start week one against the Steelers. But we shall see.
  • Lastly, my best wishes go out to Red Sox manager John Farrell who announced Friday he has been diagnosed with Stage 1 Lymphoma. The cancer is reportedly highly curable, and here’s to an extremely speeds recovery for Farrell.
  • Be sure to follow me on Twitter @lucasfrankel to keep the conversation going.
 
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