Yankees oust Marcus Thames, Phil Nevin in major staff shakeup

Sports

New York Post 14 October, 2021 - 12:13pm

Reports: Yankees parting ways with three coaches

Gwinnett Prep Sports 14 October, 2021 - 06:40pm

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Assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere is also out, per the reports.

The staff shakeup comes a week after the Yankees' season ended with a 6-2 loss to the rival Boston Red Sox in the American League wild-card game.

New York and Boston both finished 92-70 in the regular season, eight games behind the AL East champion Tampa Bay Rays.

The Yankees finished 23rd in the majors in team batting average (.237) and 23rd in RBIs (666) in 2021.

Thames, 44, was drafted by the Yankees in 1996 and played two of his 10 MLB seasons with the team. He was promoted from assistant hitting coach to hitting coach after the 2017 season when manager Aaron Boone was hired to replace Joe Girardi.

Nevin, 50, and Pilittere, 39, also joined Boone's staff before the start of the 2018 season.

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SC20 said:

Coach Martin is one of the best in the business!! Thank you for all have done for the student athlete!!!!

HeatherDrew said:

Big Daddy said:

How come Archer HS Baseball only gets coverage when they lose....Show some love.

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Yankees 3B coach Phil Nevin let go after costly Wild Card blunder

Yardbarker 14 October, 2021 - 01:56pm

Phil Nevin made what could go down as the worst mistake of the 2021 MLB postseason, and it is one that may have cost him his job.

The New York Yankees informed Nevin on Thursday that he will not return as their third base coach next season, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic. Nevin’s contract is set to expire, and many predicted that the Yankees would not renew it.

Nevin had been with the Yankees since 2018. The 50-year-old was absolutely crushed on Twitter over a bad decision he made to send a runner during New York’s eventual loss to the Boston Red Sox in the AL Wild Card Game.

Nevin’s big blunder came in the top of the sixth inning when the Yankees were trailing 3-1. Aaron Judge reached on an infield single, bringing Giancarlo Stanton to the plate with one out. Stanton hit a missile off the wall in deep center, and Nevin waved Judge around despite the slugger having virtually no chance to score. He was thrown out easily, ending what could have been a game-changing rally for the Yankees.

One mistake shouldn’t define a career, but Nevin will never live that one down.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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Back on Sept. 27, New Orleans Pelicans executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin said during the team's media day session that star forward Zion Williamson had undergone surgery to repair a fracture in his foot he suffered early into the offseason but should be good to go for the start of the regular season next week. Fans will have to wait a little longer for Williamson to make his 2021-22 debut. Per the Pelicans' website, Griffin confirmed Thursday that Williamson will be sidelined at least two-and-a-half weeks as he works to recover from this latest issue. "Zion underwent imaging (Wednesday) on his right foot," Griffin explained. "(Doctors) who reviewed those images were very encouraged by the healing evidence there. They are very optimistic he will recover from this, and they have cleared him to continue his progression. The next step for him now will be running and on-court individual work." Griffin added "there is no fixed timeline" for when Williamson will return to the lineup. "As he continues along his return-to-play progression, doctors will be using additional imaging that will take place two to two-and-a-half weeks from now, as guides and landmarks for taking the next steps," Griffin continued. "It’s everyone’s goal that Zion return to play as soon as is safely possible." Griffin's positive update is that Williamson has suffered no additional setback in his recovery. According to ESPN stats, Williamson led New Orleans for the 2020-21 campaign with 27.0 points per game and a player efficiency rating of 27.17.

The Seattle Kraken lost one of their expansion picks to waivers. Dennis Cholowski was claimed by the Washington Capitals, according to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet. To make room on the roster, the team loaned Beck Malenstyn back to the AHL. This is exactly the risk that we discussed earlier this summer, as the Kraken collected almost a dozen defensemen who all required waivers to go to the minor leagues. While they managed to get several through in the preseason, Cholowski is now lost just a few months after being selected from the Detroit Red Wings in the Seattle expansion draft. He did not play for the team in the opener after Jamie Oleksiak was cleared from the COVID protocol at the last minute and will now head to Washington, where it’s nearly as crowded on the back end. The Capitals used all six of their defensemen Wednesday night for at least 16:50, with Justin Schultz being the lowest on that pole but contributing a goal and six shots to the effort. Matt Irwin, who was serving as the team’s seventh defenseman, seems likely to be the odd man out when the newest player arrives. That doesn’t mean the 23-year-old Cholowski is in line for big minutes though. He’ll have to prove that his poor results in Detroit were more because of the team around him than his own shortcomings. He’s also a 2016 first-round pick who has over 100 games at the NHL level already, something that’s certainly worth another look for a team that can afford it. Roster spots are thin around the league, but given that Malenstyn can be moved down without issue and Irwin might even clear waivers if needed, the Capitals could take a chance. If they ever want to place Cholowski back on waivers and send him down, the Kraken would have a chance to reclaim him.

The New York Giants had literal injuries added to the insult of this past Sunday's 44-20 loss at the division-rival Dallas Cowboys. The lost not only dropped Big Blue to 1-4 on the season, but quarterback Daniel Jones (concussion), running back Saquon Barkley (ankle) and wide receiver Kenny Golladay (knee) went down to concerning injuries. Arguably the most important part of that trio is on pace to be back on the field for this Sunday's matchup against the 4-1 Los Angeles Rams. As Nick Shook noted for the NFL's website, Giants coach Joe Judge told reporters that Jones is recovering well from what was a scary concussion and is making "positive" progress toward returning to the lineup sooner than many would've thought earlier this week. SNY's Ralph Vacchiano added that Jones took first-team snaps during practice. Vacchiano also showed how close Jones is to being cleared ahead of Sunday afternoon: Jones has passed for 1,282 yards with four touchdowns and just one interception this season. Per ESPN stats, he also leads the Giants with 197 rushing yards and two scores on 30 attempts. If Jones can't play, backup journeyman Mike Glennon will again be called into action as he was in Dallas.

The return of Zach Bogosian to Tampa Bay is off to a tough start. After the Lightning lost the first game of this season to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Bogosian won’t get another chance to take the ice for quite some time. The veteran defenseman is out four to six weeks with a lower-body injury, according to team reporter Bryan Burns. The team recalled Andrej Sustr in his place. It’s been a very interesting few years for Bogosian, who was a highly paid member of the Buffalo Sabres as of February 2020. The Sabres decided to waive and then assign Bogosian to the minor leagues, which didn’t sit well with the veteran defenseman, so he decided not to report and forfeited the rest of his $6M 2019-20 salary. It turned out to be quite the successful move, as after going through a contract termination, Bogosian signed on with the Lightning just in time to help them win the Stanley Cup. Last season, he ended up with the Toronto Maple Leafs as a Cup-winning veteran who was supposed to bring playoff toughness but failed to help the Leafs slay their first-round demons. Why chase rings around the league when you can just go back to Tampa? That’s exactly what Bogosian did this offseason, signing a three-year deal with the Lightning with a full no-trade clause. Now out more than a month, the Lightning will need to find an answer on their third pair that isn’t Bogosian. Cal Foote, the obvious choice, is still working his way back from his own injury and was wearing a red no-contact sweater at practice. It’s Sustr for the time being, despite the 6-7 behemoth last playing in the NHL during the 2018-19 season.

Philadelphia 76ers All-Star guard Ben Simmons went from reportedly staying away from the team indefinitely to force a trade to returning to Philadelphia earlier this week ahead of Friday's preseason finale at the Detroit Pistons. According to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN), Sixers coach Doc Rivers told reporters Wednesday he doesn't "know" how Simmons' trade request will "work out" and added he's "assuming" the 25-year-old will play for the club, either on Friday or when the regular season starts next week. "I can't get in anyone's head," Rivers explained. Rivers was later hesitant to commit to Simmons making the trip to Detroit. "Whether we play him or not, that's going to depend on what we see this week," Rivers said. "He's coming from behind, because he hasn't been in camp, obviously. Having said that, do you rush him and put him on the floor? That's a whole other subject. What we see this week is how we determine everything going forward." Simmons reported to the 76ers shortly after the club placed $8.25 million owed to him on Oct. 1 in an escrow account and began to subtract fines for missing practices and games from that account. Meanwhile, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer wrote that Simmons may remain attached to the 76ers until at least Dec. 15, when "a far larger pool of players also become trade-eligible" because of an NBA rule regarding recently signed talents.

The Seattle Kraken’s inaugural season hasn’t gotten off to the smoothest start. After a handful of players hit the COVID protocol only for most of them to be cleared just before the game Tuesday night, Marcus Johansson -- one of the players to be cleared and pla -- has suffered a lower-body injury and will be out indefinitely. Johansson has been moved to injured reserve. The team has also swapped Kole Lind and Alexander True between the AHL and NHL rosters, with the former joining the Kraken for their journey to Nashville. Johansson played more than 16 minutes Tuesday night, actually logging the sixth-most ice time among the team’s forwards. Now that he’s out, the team will have to reorganize their lines and find another option for the power play. The 31-year-old forward signed a one-year, $1.5M deal with the Kraken this offseason after a disappointing season with the Minnesota Wild, but he has long been a reliable two-way option that can play up and down the lineup. With Calle Jarnkrok still listed in the COVID protocol, Yanni Gourde still working his way back and Johansson now shelved with an injury, the team is already getting thin on capable NHL forwards. This is the difficult part about having only a partial minor-league affiliate, as the Kraken only actually have five forwards (not including Lind) in the AHL to draw from, meaning a rash of injuries could put them in a very tough spot. For now, things can be handled with a few recalls, but if many more serious injuries happen, look for the Kraken to make a waiver claim, trade or free agent signing to add to the group. Alex Barre-Boulet, exactly that kind of addition, was not active for Tuesday night’s game but could make his Seattle debut in the coming days now that there is another open spot.

It's another day and yet another brutal injury for the LSU Tigers. Per Alex Scarborough of ESPN, LSU head coach Ed Orgeron told reporters Wednesday that All-American cornerback Eli Ricks is out for the remainder of the season and will undergo surgery to repair a shoulder injury that has bothered him for some time. "It's a sustained injury that kept on coming back and coming back," Orgeron explained, according to Shea Dixon of 247Sports. "He and his family decided to get it operated on and get it fixed. I think he gets it fixed pretty soon. It was a nagging injury, and he kept on playing with it and playing with it. And it kept re-occurring, so they decided to get it operated on." Ricks tallied four interceptions as a freshman and had accumulated a single pick, 11 total tackles and one pass breakup this season before Wednesday's development. As Brody Miller wrote for The Athletic, Ricks' absence leaves the Tigers in "massive trouble" as it pertains to both sides of the ball due to a handful of injury woes. Fellow LSU All-American cornerback Derek Stingley is already out indefinitely and may never play again for the program after having a medical procedure performed on his left foot. Orgeron also confirmed Monday that star wide receiver Kayshon Boutte was lost for the rest of the campaign due to a leg injury suffered in this past Saturday's loss to the Kentucky Wildcats that dropped LSU to 3-3 on the year. The Tigers face the 4-2 Florida Gators this Saturday.

The idea that the Cleveland Browns, specifically their offense, may be better off without star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. is hardly a new topic but is once again generating discussions on local sports talk radio stations and making headlines. Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com became the latest person to suggest the club should look to deal Beckham to a buyer before the Nov. 2 NFL trade deadline as the 28-year-old attempts to reclaim his Pro Bowl form coming off the torn ACL he suffered last fall as part of an offense that has seemingly moved on without him. In his three games this season, Beckham has a paltry nine catches for 124 yards and no touchdowns, and quarterback Baker Mayfield targeted him only three times in this past Sunday's disappointing 47-42 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers that dropped Cleveland to 3-2 ahead of a matchup against the 5-0 Arizona Cardinals. According to Andrew Gribble of the Browns' website, Beckham told reporters Thursday his eyes are still on the biggest prize, one that's eluded him since he entered the league via the 2014 draft. "The ultimate goal is to win a championship, and I feel like I'm in a great situation to do that," Beckham explained. "There will be days where it will be my day and we'll be sitting up here and the conversation will be different. My main focus was to be healthy, to be able to stay healthy and get through a season." Beckham added he doesn't mind attracting attention from defensive backs and, thus, creating openings for fellow receivers such as Rashard Higgins. "As I get down in the red zone and I'm running a corner route, three people are coming with me and Higg's wide open, I know that happens," Beckham said. "I know I bring a lot of attention to defenses on the other end and other people are going to be open, and you've got to live with that." Those words are nice and all, but they also remind everybody that Beckham can be an expensive decoy at $15.75 million for the season. Besides, there must be something to these continued trade rumors regarding one of the most well-known names at his position; right?

The worst fears of Carolina Panthers fans were confirmed when the team announced running back Christian McCaffrey was held out of practice as he works to fully recover from the hamstring injury that's kept him out of action since Sept. 23. A different star ball-carrier may take the field for this Sunday's matchup between the 3-2 Panthers and 2-3 Minnesota Vikings. Per Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk, Vikings Pro Bowl running back Dalvin Cook was a full participant in practice as he attempts to return to 100% from the ankle sprain that has slowed him since Sept. 19. Cook gave it a go against the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 3 but was inactive for this past Sunday's thrilling 19-17 win over the Detroit Lions even though he previously vowed to "play through pain." Backup Alexander Mattison rushed for over 100 yards in the two games he started for the injured Cook. Mattison was limited in Thursday's practice session because of a shoulder issue after he was a non-participant Wednesday. Thus far this season, Cook has logged 226 rushing yards and a touchdown on 51 carries with 10 catches for 70 yards. The Vikings are on their bye after Week 6, so it's possible they could sit Cook one more game to make sure he experiences no additional setbacks.

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields appeared to hyperextend his knee in this past Sunday's win over the Las Vegas Raiders that improved Chicago to 3-2 on the season but has insisted he won't miss the Week 6 divisional matchup against the 4-1 Green Bay Packers. There is, however, some bad news regarding Chicago's offense. Per Jeff Dickerson of ESPN, Chicago placed running back Damien Williams on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday. While it's unknown if Williams tested positive for the coronavirus or was deemed a high-risk close contact, Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk notes that "no player" has returned to play Sunday after being added to the reserve/COVID-19 list on a Thursday. Rookie and sixth-round draft pick Khalil Herbert is next up on the depth chart and could become a temporary RB1 for Chicago's biggest game, to date, of the campaign. Herbert won't be entirely new to the offense, as he went for 75 yards on 18 carries in the victory over the Raiders. Chicago's David Montgomery is on injured reserve with a sprained knee. According to ESPN stats, Green Bay's defense is surrendering 102.2 rushing yards per contest this fall.

New York Yankees will not retain hitting coach Marcus Thames

Elite Sports NY 14 October, 2021 - 12:00am

Lindsey Adler of The Athletic is reporting the New York Yankees will not bring back hitting coach Marcus Thames for the 2022 season. Adler later added the Yankees would also part ways with third base coach Phil Nevin.

News: Yankees have informed hitting coach Marcus Thames that his contract will not be renewed for the 2022 season.

— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) October 14, 2021

News: Yankees have also informed third base coach Phil Nevin that his contract will not be renewed for the 2022 season.

— Lindsey Adler (@lindseyadler) October 14, 2021

Thames had served in his role for four seasons, but the Yankees’ offense took a significant step back in 2021. They ranked 23rd in MLB in hitting just .237 as a team, and New York ranked 19th in runs scored despite being sixth in home runs. The Yankees made the playoffs, but only thanks to clinching a Wild Card spot on the last day of the season. The bats, as they had been most of the season, were borderline silent in the AL Wild Card Game loss to Boston.

As for Nevin, his firing is a little more of a shock. He and manager Aaron Boone have been friends for decades, but the Yankees also made 50 outs on the bases in 2021. Nevin’s decision-making was put further under the microscope after the AL Wild Card Game. After Giancarlo Stanton’s double just missed being a home run, Aaron Judge was thrown out at home and the Yankees still trailed 3-1 rather than 3-2. They lost 6-2.

Now, Nevin could become a strong contender for the San Diego Padres manager’s job, as he spent over six years playing for them.

The Yankees have also not yet made a decision on mBoone’s future, but firing two coaches means the front office is ready for change. Stay tuned to ESNY for more updates.

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