This is what each New York sports team and their fans would receive this Christmas in a perfect world.
Merry Christmas, New York! As the world celebrates one of the most popular holiday’s nearly every New York sports team and their fan base are hoping for a big-time gift this Christmas: improvement.
The city of New York has not won a sports title in any of the four major U.S. sports (MLB, NBA, NHL & NFL) since the Giants defeated the New England Patriots in 2012 and the city is craving the chance to hold a parade down Cannon of Hero’s.
In order for each team to get closer to delivering that parade, here’s a look at a perfect gift for them to receive this Christmas.
New York Yankees: An Aggressive Winter
Who would’ve guessed the Yankees would be the New York sports team in need of a makeover this holiday season? Despite championship aspirations and an 8-1 start to the 2020 season, the Yankees fell flat, failing to win the AL East and being bounced by the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS.
Despite this, it doesn’t appear the Yankees front office is going to use this offseason to add much-needed pitching depth, find help at catcher with Gary Sanchez struggling and are in danger of losing defending AL batting champion DJ LeMahieu to free agency.
If the Yankees want to end their title drought in 2021, New York must be aggressive this winter and add the necessary pieces to improve, or else they’re looking at a long 2021 season.
New York Mets: Trevor Bauer
The New York Mets received an early Christmas present when new owner Steve Cohen was approved by MLB and completed his purchase of the club.
However, now it’s time to get greedy and request what Cohen promised to bring in: star talent. That starts by going out and signing the top free agent on the market in defending Cy-Young Award Trevor Bauer.
If the Mets were to sign Bauer, they’d form by far the best 1-2 starting rotation punch in baseball with two-time Cy-Young Award winner Jacob DeGrom serving as the ace. It’d also signal to their fan base they’re officially committed to bringing in star talent to a big market and ending their three-decade-long title drought.
Brooklyn Nets: Less Kyrie Irving distractions
With Kevin Durant healthy and ready to play, the Brooklyn Nets are legitimate NBA Finals contenders.
They kicked off their 2020-21 season by dominating the Golden State Warriors and putting the entire NBA on notice.
Now, they just need Kyrie Irving to act like an adult. Irving has refused to speak to the media leading to fines and has continued to earn the reputation as a drama queen. The Nets have all the talent they need to win the Eastern Conference, but if Irving, who next to Durant, is expected to be the teams’ leader on and off the court, continues to be a distraction, they may just fall short.
New York Knicks: Translating Preseason Hype to Regular Season
There’s never much hope provided to New York Knicks fans but their 2020 preseason provided some reason to be excited for the future.
The team went 3-1 and more importantly, saw rookie Immanuel Quickley shine, third-year forward Kevin Knox, and second-year guard R.J. Barrett looked much improved and the same high-level defense rebounding from Mitchell Robinson.
In their regular-season opener, the Knicks led the Pacers in the third quarter but fell flat in the fourth, losing 121-107. They did, however, show promise with improved shooting.
There’s reason for Knicks fans to at least believe their team can be improved this season and for the perfect Christmas Gift would be to see that reason for hope continue to be put on display when the games count.
New Jersey Devils: Jesper Brat contract extension
The New Jersey Devils showed some flashes of improvement last season but were among six teams’ not invited to the NHL bubble after finishing among the bottom three in the Eastern Conference.
Now with newly hired head coach Lindy Ruff set to take over, it’s time to re-sign a key piece of their future in Jesper Bratt.
The 22-year-old is currently a restricted free agent and is coming off a 2019-20 season that saw him total 32 points with an even 16 goals and 16 assists. Along with Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes are likely the core New Jersey is set to build around making a new contract t keep Bratt in Newark critical.
New York Rangers: Get Vitali Kravtsov’s visa issue worked out
The New York Rangers have arguably collected the NHL’s top young core and, heading into 2020-21, will look to ride that group to the postseason.
However, there’s some doubt Russian winger and top prospect Vitali Kravtsov who is an important depth piece for the Blueshirts will be able to participate in the 2021 season that starts Jan. 13.
Due to visa issues, there’s a good chance Kravtsov stays in Russia and does not join the Rangers for the upcoming season. While this is not a dagger to the teams’ playoff chances by any means, he’s an exciting young player that would help the team become even deeper and one many in New York City are excited to see on the ice.
New York Islanders: A Stanley Cup Finals berth
Under the leadership of head coach Barry Trotz and general manager Lou Lamoriello, the New York Islanders have again become one of Hockey’s most relevant teams’.
After winning four-straight Stanley Cup titles from 1980-83, the team has not been back to the finals since 1984 but in 2020 came just two games away as they fell in six games to the eventual Cup champion Tampa Bay Lighting in six-games.
Now it’s time for the Islanders to take the next step and get back to the Stanley Cup Finals and play for a chance to bring the Cup back to Long Island and New York City.
New York Giants: Dave Gettleman being shown the door
The New York Giants have shown some improvement in 2020 but not enough as the team has clinched their fourth straight losing season.
While it appears they’ve found the right head coach in Joe Judge, general manager Dave Gettleman’s time is up. The Giants are an embarrassing 14-32 in Gettleman’s tenure with the team and have made several questionable draft decisions and disastrous free-agent signings.
It’s time to move forward with Judge and leave Gettleman in the past as the Giants look to bring winning football back to the tri-state area and nothing would bring more hope or happiness to Giants fans than seeing the general manager responsible for three of the teams’ four straight losing seasons fired.
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images
New York Jets: The Jaguars defeating the Bears bundled with a Jet loss to Browns
Last Sunday, the New York Jets won a Football game, defeating the now 9-5 Los Angeles Rams and avoiding a dreaded 0-16 season. That’s great news! Expect, that win has major consequences.
With the Jets 1-13, they’re now tied for the worst record in Football with the Jacksonville Jaguars and with Jacksonville’s strength of schedule, it’s the Jags who now are in the driver’s seat to clinch the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2021 NFL Draft and select a generational talent in Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
In order to land Lawrence, the Jets must lose to both the 10-4 Browns and Patriots in their final two games, while the Jags must win at least one more.
Thus, no better Christmas gift for Jets fans would be to lose the Cleveland Browns and see the Jaguars stun a 7-7 Chicago Bears team that has won two straight and have scored at least 30 points in each of their last two games.