Month: June 2017

Aaron Judge, Cody Bellinger headline long list of deserving first-time All-Stars

As you probably know, All-Star voting ends on Thursday.

Womens Alexander Edler Jersey With that in mind, the goal for this column was to identify 10 or 11 rising stars who deserve their first trip to the All-Star Game. That first trip is special, any player will tell you. There’s just something about being honored, about standing out there on the field with the supertstars of the sport.
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Turns out, that’s not such an easy task this year. Sooooo many players who have yet to participate in the Midsummer Classic are having great seasons, and just mentioning 10 or 11 isn’t really fair. Think about this: There are 39 position players with a WAR of at least 2.0 (FanGraphs formula) and 19 of those guys have never been to an All-Star Game. Yeah.

So what we’re going to do instead is sort the honorable mention guys into groups, and then we’ll get around to the 11 rising stars who most richly deserve to be first-time All-Stars.

If nothing else, the offense should be better. Garcon gives the team a legitimate No. 1 receiver it didn’t have last year. A contract worth $9.75 million in guaranteed money is a lot to give a fullback, but Juszczyk is one of the best in the NFL and gives Shanahan some play-calling versatility. Fourth-round running back Joe Williams is already making waves in OTAs and could end up pushing Carlos Hyde.

Another new free agency addition is Marquise Goodwin, a wide receiver with blazing speed who is also an Olympic long jumper. Goodwin didn’t put it all together with the Buffalo Bills, but NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport recently raved about his potential with the 49ers:

I don’t know what he’s going to become, but if there’s anyone who can utilize speed, it’s Kyle Shanahan and what he does on offense.
The defense is also looking more promising than it did last year. Lynch pulled a fast one at the 2017 NFL draft, getting two third-rounders and one fourth-round pick from the Chicago Bears just to move down one spot from No. 2 to No. 3 overall. He even got the player he wanted all along — Solomon Thomas, who should immediately slot into a starting role on the defensive line. Lynch also traded back into the first round to get linebacker Reuben Foster, giving the defense two Week 1 starters right off the bat. Not bad at all.

NBA Mock Draft 2017: Blockbuster Celtics-Sixers trade doesn’t change player order in latest mock

No sooner has the NBA postseason wrapped up than we are on to the first highlight of the offseason: The 2017 NBA Draft. On Thursday, one of the most anticipated drafts of the last few years will go down, and there is plenty of intrigue remaining — even among the first few picks — as we enter crunch time.

With that, here’s how things are shaping up in our latest NBA mock draft…

Golden State will surely be heavy favorites to return to the NBA Finals and win their third championship in four years next June. But don’t expect the rest of the league to simply sit idle. Here are six potential moves that could, at least, make Golden State a little less of a massive favorite.

The first two games of the finals left the impression that there is simply no way Cleveland can keep pace with the Warriors. But the last three games were competitive, and if there was a glaring weakness the Warriors hammered into the Cavs, it was their lack of depth — especially when it comes to defending the perimeter.

By perimeter, we mean Kevin Durant. In addition to the offensive load LeBron James had to carry, he was also tasked with guarding Durant for far too much time. When the Cavs inserted Richard Jefferson, Durant immediately went on the attack and exposed him.

“The Decision” to take his talents to South Beach allowed James to play with Wade for four seasons. The middle two brought the championships, including a 66-16 record on the way to a repeat.

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Draymond Green ‘doesn’t feel wrong’ for costing Warriors the Finals in 2016

Draymond Green was suspended for Game 5 of the 2016 NBA Finals, which allowed the Cavaliers back in, and eventually bring home the title. Many say Green’s suspension cost the Warriors, and the fiery forward would agree with them.

Mens Ahkello Witherspoon Jersey He said the Warriors losing the series was his fault following their Game 7 loss, but he expanded on those thoughts recently to ESPN for an E:60 profile. Speaking to Tom Rinaldi, Green said he believes if he didn’t react the way he did, the Warriors would have won the series. But he still doesn’t regret his actions.

Despite the loss, LeBron James tied Magic Johnson (eight) for the most triple-doubles in NBA Finals history. James scored 29 points with 14 assists and 11 rebounds, but too often he settled for outside shots when he was having his way with Warriors defenders in the paint.

At times, this game looked more like a 3-point contest than an NBA Finals game. The Cavs, who made just 8 of 29 shots from beyond the arc, played right into Golden State’s hands.

Cleveland is now in a deep hole. Kevin Love stepped up with 27 points Sunday, but the rest of the team did little to help James take on Golden State’s plethora of dangerous players.

Heading back home, Cleveland needs to formulate a game plan that focuses on getting James, Love and Tristan Thompson looks in the paint. Post touches will not only provide Cleveland with better scoring opportunities, but will also slow the tempo.
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The Warriors, with Kerr back leading them to victory, look like a team that can handle any situation. It will be interesting to see if they can remain hot in Cleveland.

NBA Finals 2017: Draymond Green told Kevin Durant the Warriors didn’t need him

The Warriors had it all.

Limited Mens LeGarrette Blount Jersey In 2014-15, they rose to prominence, taking the basketball world by storm. They won 67 regular-season games on their way to an NBA championship sparked by the play of Stephen Curry’s first of consecutive MVP seasons.

The following season they took even more, posting a best ever 73-9 record as Curry won the MVP unanimously only to have their repeat dreams thwarted. A LeBron James-led Cavs team, which Golden State downed the previous season as All-Stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love sat with injuries, came back from down 3-1 to capture the 2015-16 title.

Kerr said his wife, Margot, informed him of his error as soon as he sat down from his speech. Full of shame, Kerr immediately walked over to Curry in order to apologize.

It was a horrible oversight, Kerr said. What he means to the franchise, I should’ve finished with up with him. How in the hell could I forget Steph Curry?

What I should’ve done is gone back up there and grabbed the mic. What I would’ve said, what I should’ve said, is he makes this whole thing work. Everything revolves around him. The whole culture revolves not only his talent, his unselfishness, but his joy.

He’s the person most responsible for what we’ve built, and I didn’t thank him.

Curry averaged 25.3 points per game this season, down from the 30.1 he averaged in 2015-16 but still his second best career mark. In the NBA Finals, he averaged 28.8 points per game, second only to Durant’s Finals MVP-worthy 35.2 points per game.

Limited Mens Ryan McDonagh USA Jersey One fair assumption, and something to which Kerr alluded: Durant likely never would have joined Golden State without Curry. His rise to stardom was the catalyst for what some already consider a dynasty.

So, yeah, we believe Kerr when he calls this an honest mistake.

McDermott built his chops as the long-time protege of late Eagles blitzing guru Jim Johnson.

Ryan made a lot of noise and boasted with little results. McDermott will be fiery, but he also won’t bring out the bold silliness. Gase was the right type of no-nonsense personality to put in a division with Bill Belichick. McDermott fit’s that profile, too.

McDermott built his chops as the long-time protege of late Eagles blitzing guru Jim Johnson. He mastered his craft under Ron Rivera. Carolina has developed into an elite pass-rushing group. His background in the 4-3 is a good thing for the Bills, because Ryan miscast his talent in the 3-4.

Buffalo should welcome a return to the base scheme that worked very well with Jim Schwartz in 2014. McDermott can restore Marcell Dareus as a top-flight disrupter away from the nose and also maximize the ball-hawking talents of cornerbacks Ronald Darby and Stephon Gilmore. The Bills fell apart up front against both run and pass under Ryan. McDermott doesn’t need to do much to fix that.

When McDermott walked on as a college defensive back at William & Mary, he learned a lot from a standout senior wide receiver and team leader named Mike Tomlin.

McDermott grew into the same type of captain before he left the Tribe. That’s also where he became a superb student of the game, knowledge that he would use to later develop his versatile scheming.

Remember, even before Kaepernick began taking a knee during the national anthem, all sorts of leaks were coming out of the 49ers about how toxic he, his attitude and work ethic were all, of course, coming in the wake of the divorce with coach Jim Harbaugh that dragged his former quarterback choice down with it. The dysfunction in and around his employers pre-dated any protest.vikings_013

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NFLPA eyes ‘less punitive’ approach to recreational weed

The NFL players’ union would like to make the league’s policy on recreational marijuana use ‘less punitive,’ NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told The Washington Post.

A proposal currently in the works first must be approved by the union’s board of player representatives and only then would be made to the league. Any changes in the league’s drug policy must be agreed upon by both sides.

Chad Henne Youth Jersey Because Sherman never missed anything, Carroll said that’s probably why his injury was not reported. The Seahawks did report the sprained MCL quarterback Russell Wilson had earlier in the season.

Luke Bowanko Youth Jersey The NFL declined comment to Pro Football Talk on the subject, but the Seahawks appear to be in clear violation of the league’s injury report policy. The Jets were fined a total of $125,000 in 2009 for not reporting an arm injury to quarterback Brett Favre.

As for Sherman’s regrets, those are likely tied to his sideline outburst with Carroll and offensive coordinator Darell Bevell as well as his increasingly strained relationship with local media.

There were a couple of outbursts that we had that really took us to a place we don’t want to be, Carroll said. The emotional side of it brought out some expressions that took us to a place that was a distraction.

The Seahawks’ season ended Saturday with a 36-20 loss to the Falcons as Sherman struggled to prevent Julio Jones from catching six catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.

When he wasn’t injured, Josh Hamilton was about as dangerous a hitter as anyone in baseball. He proved it for the umpteenth time against the Orioles on May 8, 2012. Hamilton’s four-homer game in Baltimore was part of a 5-for-5, 8-RBI night for the former MVP.

Steelers’ Ryan Shazier goes bare in frigid Pittsburgh

It’s a frigid day in Pittsburgh, with the temperature in the teens and the wind chill around zero. That’s a definite home-field advantage for the Steelers as they host the Miami Dolphins in their AFC wild-card playoff game at 1 p.m. ET.

Maybe that’s the message Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier tried to convey as he went bare in pre-game warmups.

The Steelers are hopingthe weather cools off Dolphins running back Jay Ajayi, who torched the Steelers for 204 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-15 Dolphins victory in Miami earlier this season.

With their core of young stars, the Astros are going to be contenders for many years to come. Makes sense they’d want more immediate help at the top of the draft, with college hitters or pitchers. They’d be happy if Faedo is still available here, and if he’s not, guys like UCLA’s Griffin Canning and Mizzou’s Tanner Houck are options. Faedo hasn’t had the greatest season, but the raw stuff is there.
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Elite Mens Phillip Dorsett Jersey Pratto had the game-winning RBI in the championship game of the 2011 Little League World Series, which is pretty cool. He’s still a heck of a baseball player, which is more relevant to this discussion. Pratto could wind up several spots higher than this.

The Mariners have been college-heavy in the first round recently, and there are a couple college right-handers who could be in play if this scenario plays out. Canning’s a hard-throwing right-hander with 124 strikeouts and 28 walks for the Bruins this season, to go with an ERA of 2.55.

Rays C Derek Norris accused of abuse by former fiancee

Rays catcher Derek Norris is under investigation by Major League Baseball after his former fiancee said on social media that he had physically and emotionally abused her during their relationship.

MLB spokesman Pat Courtney confirmed to ESPN for a story published early Wednesday that the league is looking into the matter. The Rays released a statement Wednesday, via the Tampa Bay Times, saying they take these allegations very seriously and will fully cooperate with the Commissioner’s Office on this matter.

As part of a lengthy Instagram post Tuesday commemorating her graduation from college, Kristen Eck wrote of falling in love with, getting engaged to, and ultimately leaving the man she thought she was going to marry. While Norris’ name isn’t mentioned, ESPN noted a 2015 interview Eck did with MLB Network in which she is identified as the catcher’s fiancee.

Today, Mazzone does pitching seminars across the country, decrying the emphasis on velocity, the pressure to throw hard that he believes is wrecking too many arms.

Certainly, pitchers such as Maddux didn’t need overpowering speed to thrive.
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Game Womens Terence Newman Jersey Maddux said it best one time when he got a group of young pitchers together in spring training, Mazzone said. He said, 鈥榊ou know why I’m a millionaire?’ He said, 鈥楥ause I can throw my fastball where I want to.’ He said, 鈥榊ou know why I got beachfront property in LA? Because I can change speeds. Thanks, Leo. Thanks for letting me talk to the pitchers.’ That’s all he said and walked off.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Saturday no decision has been made yet on Romo’s future with the team.

Romo’s contract would currently cost the Cowboys a $24.7 million cap hit this year. If they designate him a post-June 1 cut, the team would save $14 million in cap space in 2017 with Romo counting $10.7 million against the cap this year and $8.9 million in 2018.

Releasing Romo would open things up for McCown to join the team. The Cowboys would be McCown’s 10th team since getting drafted by the Cardinals in the 2002 NFL Draft. He has Texas roots, growing up in the East Texas town of Jacksonville and spending three seasons at SMU in Dallas before finishing his college career at Sam Houston State in Huntsville.

McCown will be 38 on July 4, about three weeks before the Cowboys open training camp. He appeared in just five games last year because of a shoulder injury, and threw for 1,100 yards, with six touchdowns and six interceptions. He’s been a journeyman backup for most of his career, which would make him a good fit behind Prescott, who was the NFL’s surprise rookie of the year last season.

The Jets cornerback is facing multiple charges following an altercation that left a pair of Pittsburgh men unconscious last weekend.

Revis was charged Thursday with two counts of felony aggravated assault, single counts each of robbery and conspiracy, both felonies, and making terroristic threats, a misdemeanor. He did not speak with media who had assembled Friday evening in front of the Pittsburgh Municipal Courts building.

The alleged incident occurred at 2:43 a.m. Sunday when 22-year-old Dallas Cousins recognized Revis, a Pittsburgh native who played collegiately at Pitt. The man pulled out a cell phone to film his interaction with Revis.
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Only Tom Brady could turn his worst Super Bowl into his best

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Tom Brady is starting to look the same after every Super Bowl victory.

While accepting his fourth Super Bowl MVP trophy Monday, the Patriots quarterback had that familiar, constant smile on his face. He sported the requisite pullover and jeans that made him look like he walked off the page of a Ralph Lauren ad.

And he’s always in fashion on the field, too. During Sunday’s game, it was impossible to tell whether his team was down 28-3 or about to walk off as Super Bowl 51 champions in a 34-28 win. The fiery competitor is always there. The greatest NFL quarterback of all time never goes away.

That leaves it to Ryan to match Brady drive for drive. So far, few teams have been able to keep up with Ryan in the NFC. The Patriots will do their best to take Jones out of the game, but the Falcons will know this and make sure they get all their other targets involved. Out of the backfield, it’s extremely challenging to slow down both Freeman and Coleman because how well their skill sets are used in the ideal situations.

Atlanta OC Kyle Shanahan, SN’s Coordinator of the Year for 2016, will have utmost confidence he can match wits with New Endland defensive coordinator Matt Patricia. The Falcons will stay in it by avoiding turnovers and consistently scoring.

Game Kids Rod Woodson Jersey The game will likely come down to a few third- and (maybe) fourth-down stops in the red zone. It’s easier to count on the Patriots to come through with those, and that’s why they will win the game by four points.