Big Ben Whitney: New York Athletes on the Brink – Sam Darnold, Gary Sanchez, and Kappo Kaako – Stay or Go?

BEN-WHITNEY, Meet-The-Matts, Gary-Sanchez, Sam Darnold, Kappo Kaako, Brian-Cashman, The-Clash, Google, COVID

STAMFORD, CT – I once lost a $1,200 pot on the river with a pocket aces and a full boat of aces over threes to a drunk guy who who got a miracle four of a kind with pocket threes. I once had Jenny Mendlebaum semi-drunk at a beautiful spot overlooking the Hudson River in high school, but couldn’t close the deal. A plucky band of college kids once defeated a seasoned group of world class hockey players from the USSR. My point, nothing in this life is guaranteed. When Sam Darnold, Gary Sanchez, and Kappo Kaako arrived on the scene in New York, they were labeled “can’t miss” future stars. Now I’m not sure if any of them will be in New York in a year. Let’s play, Should He Stay or Should He Go?

Sam Darnold

Many criticized the Giants for passing on the USC product, but in 3 seasons he hasn’t shown much. We know he was working with college level talent and a coaching staff that couldn’t lead my dog Chief to a river flowing with peanut butter but still, show me something Sam.

Keyshawn Johnson and an array of NFL pundits think the Jets should keep him, put some talent around him and give him a fighting chance. This would have been an easy decision if they’d just fired Gase and told the interim guy not to win any games. I’m sure they could’ve dug up a Sudfeld. Operation Tank for Trevor – successful.

Now they have to figure out if they like the second QB in the draft or if they should try to revamp the roster for Darnold. If if’s me, I’m punting on Sam and tearing it down.

Verdict: Go

Kaapo Kakko

Some people thought the Finn should have been picked ahead of Jack Hughes, but Kakko’s progress has been slow. He just turned 20 so there is plenty of time to blossom. And though it hasn’t been resulting in many points, he had been playing well before going on the dreaded Covid list. He’s holding on to the puck a lot more and has been much more noticeable in his own zone.

The problem is the Rangers are loaded with talent and prospects on the wing, but are relatively thin at the pivot. And with Mika’s disappearing act this season, they have to look into trading from strength to acquire a center. Kaapo seems more likely to go than Lafreniere.

If he is the key piece that brings back Jack Eichel, or another quality center, they have to do it.

Verdict: Go

Gary Sanchez

It’s hard to give up on a guy who can hit dongs in bunches like Sanchez. And his defense actually improved quite a bit last season. He’s still good for the occasional passed ball, but not as often. And he has a great arm.

But last season and his past playoff disappearances have fans fed up. He also had some weird comments last year about not knowing why he wasn’t playing in the playoffs. Yeah, that’s a tough one Gary. I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it the .147 batting average had something to do with it.

I think we’ve all seen him chase enough curve balls in the dirt for one lifetime. This is the last chance for The Kraken and I’m not sure he sticks.

Verdict: Go

That’s my time. Come back tomorrow for a guy that should never go, Angry Ward. Follow us on Twitter at @BenWhit8, @MeetTheMatts, @Matt_McCarthy00,Instagram @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.

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About Ben Whitney 281 Articles
Ben Whitney comes from journalistic stock. Aside from his brothers, rumor has that his great-great grandfather was the youngest brother of Eli Whitney and covered the earliest "rounders" games. Big Ben is also another New York Rugby Club player/pal of Different Matt, Short Matt and Junoir Blaber. He likes film noir discussions, has twin girls and took up ice hockey after retiring from rugby.