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Month: May 2017

Remember that 2014 NFL Draft first round that landed Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel?

Remember that 2014 NFL Draft first round that landed Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel?

What the 1860s are for white Hall of Fame candidates, anything before Rube Foster founded the first lasting black circuit, the Negro National League in 1920 is for African-Americans. After blacks were excised from the majors in the 1880s, they played in obscurity for decades. Donaldson starred in the 1910s, pitching for racially-mixed semi-pro teams that traveled throughout the Midwest. He would prove himself durable enough to pitch multiple decades in the Negro Leagues and log more than 300 known wins. One has to wonder, though, what Donaldson’s case would like with a full record of his contributions.

Authentic Mens Hines Ward Jersey About that 2017 NFL Draft, which includes four of the first 52 picks. Cleveland can take Myles Garrett at No. 1 without over-thinking it. Pair Garrett with Emmanuel Ogbah, who led the team with 6.0 sacks as a rookie. That’s a no-brainer.

Authentic Mens Shamar Stephen Jersey The Browns, however, can enjoy the freedom with the No. 12 pick. It doesn’t have to be a quarterback if Deshaun Watson, Mitch Trubisky or the others do not feel right. It could be a bold pick or a small trade up for, say, a 240-pound running back who just ran a 4.51 at the NFL Combine. Hello, Leonard Fournette.

Remember that 2014 NFL Draft first round that landed Justin Gilbert and Johnny Manziel? A Garrett-Fournette combo would generate about 50 times more excitement in Cleveland. There’s your Draft Day script re-written. Only the quarterback question 鈥?the biggest question in Cleveland 鈥?hasn’t been answered.

He writes that the injury isn’t the reason he retired

He writes that the injury isn’t the reason he retired

He said during a post-operative checkup with Dr. Wendy W. Lee — who he described as a certified badass — she addressed a reticent Imhof by looking at him, smiling and saying, Matt, the worst part is over. You survived.
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The 47th overall pick in the 2014 MLB Draft out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Imhof was 13-10 with a 3.69 ERA in four stops in the Phillies organization.

He writes that the injury isn’t the reason he retired, but that he now looks to the future even if it doesn’t include playing the game he loves: I don’t know if my career lies in coaching or in business, but I do know that I cherish every moment I’m able to step on the diamond. … I have never doubted my ability to be successful in life and I don’t plan on starting now; whether it’s a baseball field or a boardroom, I know my future is bright.

I am always open to the idea — whether it’s timing, structure — that we could make the WBC or anything else better, but the idea that this will be the last WBC is not one I’d be supportive of, Manfred said.
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Timing might be the biggest drawback, and the reasons are familiar: It’s right in the middle of spring training, taking MLB players away from their usual teams to represent their home countries, going into the tournament baseball-cold and potentially putting themselves at risk for season-affecting, or season-ending, injuries. Fans of some teams are likely to watch with bated breath, not because of game tension but rather over concern that their favorite team’s star could wreck his season before it begins.

Some have proposed moving the WBC to November, perhaps a week or two after the World Series. That makes much more sense, from a player-readiness perspective and a fan-interest one. Spring training games are enough to feed the crushing hunger for baseball after a long offseason. A fall-based WBC would be a good way to keep the good times going for fans not ready to face the baseball-less winter.

NFL Draft picks 2017: Scouting report for Bucs TE O.J. Howard

NFL Draft picks 2017: Scouting report for Bucs TE O.J. Howard

O.J. Howard is the best tight end in the 2017 NFL Draft class. The question, then, is not about the Alabama product’s ranking, but rather how high he’ll be drafted April 27. Many think he’ll be selected in the top 10.

Howard at the NFL Combine ran a 4.51 40-yard dash at 6-6, 251 pounds. In four seasons at Alabama, Howard recorded 114 catches for 1,726 yards. Here is Howard’s 2017 NFL Draft scouting report, provided by Optimum Scouting’s 2017 NFL Draft Guide.

Howard’s unusually high ranking for a tight end coming out of high school was, for the most part, accurate. Howard at Alabama played in every season for which he was eligible, and he caught 114 passes for 1,726 yards (15 yards per catch) but only seven touchdowns.

Athletically, Howard checks all the boxes as a gifted athlete. He showed off that athleticism when he played the trifecta of sports at Autauga Academy in Prattville, Ala.

Early in his career Crimson Tide career, Howard was viewed as a bust who struggled to be the offensive focal point coaches and fans were expecting. He had some growing pains, but they turned him into the near-unanimous top tight end prospect in the 2017 draft class.

Though Howard oozes with potential and has the skills to be coached to an All-Pro level, criticisms of him are fair.

Some question Howard’s determination to be the best football player possible. His under-utilization in college might not be just because of schemes — his lack of overall grasp of the game might have been a cause, too.

Demeanor is one thing evaluators can legitimately question, but Howard’s overall talent is not. He has elite, natural athletic traits. He remains raw in some receiving areas, but that’s a coachable flaw.

If drafted into the right situation, Howard should be a production freak within his first two or three seasons in the NFL.nike_chargers_196

Kipnis played a bunch of positions in college

Kipnis played a bunch of positions in college

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The bizarre turn of events for Osweiler and the Texans has teams again questioning the wisdom behind putting big money into players (especially quarterbacks) with limited starting experience.

The trickle-down effect of Osweiler’s quick fall from grace could hit Jimmy Garoppolo, who has made only two career starts for the Patriots. Now any team that trades for Garoppolo likely will need him to prove himself as the starter over a full season or two before it signs him to a lucrative, multi-year deal (even if it needs to work a Kirk Cousins-like one-year franchise deal for the succeeding season).

The Rockies pegged him as a third baseman, and that foresight has proven incredibly accurate. Arenado has played four years in the majors, and he’s won the NL Gold Glove at third base all four years. Oh, and he’s led the NL in homers and RBIs each of the past two seasons. He just might be the best position player in the NL. Not bad for a second-round pick, eh?

Kipnis played a bunch of positions in college, and he’s listed as a center fielder on the 2009 MLB draft page at Baseball-Reference.com. Cleveland put him at second base, though, and that’s worked out well. In five full seasons in the bigs, he’s produced a WAR of 3.9 or better four times and made the All-Star team twice.
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A never-ending series of injuries effectively ended what started out as a potential Hall of Fame career (he made three All-Star teams before his 25th birthday) for Sizemore, who was drafted by the Expos and traded to Cleveland in the infamous Bartolo Colon deal. One of MLB’s great what-might-have-been stories. So much fun to watch in his prime.

Royals honor Yordano Ventura ahead of spring training

Royals honor Yordano Ventura ahead of spring training

The Royals are deeply missing one of their own ahead of spring training.

The team honored late pitcher Yordano Ventura before their first workout Tuesday by leaving a locker stall open and wearing patches on their jerseys with Ace 30” inscribed in white lettering.

Hardy was unable to field the ball, but he threw it to second base, where Baltimore second baseman Jonathan Schoop tagged Mitch Moreland, who was off the bag. Schoop then stepped on second to force Dustin Pedroia, who was standing on first base and likely assumed an infield fly had been called (it hadn’t). Schoop completed the triple play by throwing to first baseman Chris Davis, retiring Bradley, who was not on the first-base bag.

What a roller coaster of emotions Orioles manager Buck Showalter must have ridden during that play. From an easy out, to a potential error, to slowly realizing his team just got out of a two-on, no out jam while trailing 5-2.

So, just your basic 6-4-3 triple play.

This was the first triple play for the Orioles in 17 years and the first in the majors this year.

Limited Rick Barry Jersey The play couldn’t help the O’s enough, though. They lost by that 5-2 count.

This was truly a cooperative effort, and we want to thank our FBI field offices in Chicago, Phoenix, and Houston; the United States Attorney’s Offices in the District of Connecticut, the Southern District of Texas, and the District of Arizona; and our FBI Mexico City Legal Attach茅.
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Hosmer is part of a core of young players all entering their walk years in Kansas City, including third baseman Mike Moustakas, center fielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar, though Rosenthal called Escobar less of a priority to the Royals.

The Bears must now do what they can to put Trubisky in the same type of position for success.

The Bears must now do what they can to put Trubisky in the same type of position for success.

While our draft diligence led us to select Moss, there were plenty of cases in which we rejected players due to off-field concerns. NFL execs always want to improve their teams, but players with cleaner backgrounds and similar skill sets always take precedence.

One such instance, which ended up hurting our team, was the 1995 NFL Draft, when we and 10 other teams passed on Warren Sapp. A future Hall of Fame talent, Sapp had been labeled with unconfirmed-but-harmful drug rumors before the draft. Sapp fell to Tampa Bay at No. 12, right after we selected a safe player in defensive end Derrick Alexander at No. 11.

While his inexperience was obvious at times, Wentz had earned the trust of Eagles coaches and teammates by season’s end through on-field flashes of brilliance and the type of work ethic that Trubisky promises to exhibit in Chicago.

We have the guy behind center, Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews told co-host Gil Brandt and me Wednesday night on SiriusXM NFL Radio. He has mojo about him, a swagger. It’s not too much and it’s not too little. It’s really just right.
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Authentic Kids Marqise Lee Jersey When you’re around him and you watch on the practice field, you’re not afraid to say, That’s my quarterback.’

The Bears must now do what they can to put Trubisky in the same type of position for success.

Alex Marvez can be heard from 6-7 p.m. ET Friday on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Somewhere where he can escape and just play hockey.

Somewhere where he can escape and just play hockey.

Now, let’s add the two stars they must have as part of their core: Paul and Griffin. Because of the rising collective bargaining agreement, both are set to make more than $30 million their first season. Paul — who commands 35 percent of the salary cap — is well over $35 million.

Let’s imagine a scenario where the Clippers bring back everyone. That includes re-signing Redick, bringing back likely free agent Luc Mbah a Moute (he has a player option we expect him to decline), and adding a player with the taxpayer’s mini mid-level exception.

Pull factors. There’s a few of those for Arizona. The fact that Price can join a team on the way up and push it to the next level. The fact that off the ice there is the entire desert and ranches aplenty for Carey to keep his horses. But most of all, there’s the fact that Arizona is a little more easy-going than Montreal. Price can come to a place where he isn’t expected to carry a franchise on his back and a media who won’t push him under the spotlight for every single loss. Somewhere where he has young stars to share the load.

Somewhere where he can escape and just play hockey.

Push factors. See the above in reverse. Price wants to stay in Montreal, and that’s admirable. But maybe Montreal is less happy for him to stay than they have been in the past.

Then there’s the cap space issue. How much can Montreal offer Price? How much are they willing to offer him and for how long? And how much longer is Price willing to take the uncertainty, pressure, upheaval and blame in Montreal from a marketplace that is still expecting him to singlehandedly carry them to a Stanley Cup?

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The Bucks are no pushover of a team, but neither are the Raptors.

The Bucks are no pushover of a team, but neither are the Raptors.

It’ll be a challenge. Milwaukee welcomed Khris Middleton back from a torn hamstring in March, but it lost Jabari Parker to a second torn ACL. Malcolm Brogdon could win Rookie of the Year, and Michael Beasley was surging until a hyperextended knee sidelined him for a few weeks.

The Bucks are no pushover of a team, but neither are the Raptors. Toronto’s beaten Milwaukee three times to one this season, and the Bucks were set back when they lost Parker midseason. That’s why as good as Milwaukee is as a team, it comes down to one player, and one player only.

Limited Kids Paul Stastny Jersey Dan Kadar’s first 2018 draft went up Saturday afternoon, shortly after the final pick of the 2017 event. CBS, FOX, and USA Today all jumped back on the horse in the hours following Chad Kelly’s crowning as this year’s Mr. Irrelevant. Those three released their way-too-early (actual titles, not an exaggeration) 2018 mock drafts as NFL fans scramble to fill the Mel Kiper-shaped void left in their hearts. In all four, players like USC quarterback Sam Darnold, LSU linebacker Arden Key, and Florida State safety Derwin James are all projected to be early day one picks.

But those prospects shouldn’t go racking up credit card debt in anticipation just yet. These 11.5-months-away mock drafts are notoriously inaccurate. For proof, look no further than SB Nation’s first crack at the class of 2017.
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Dan Kadar’s May 2, 2016 look at this past draft featured a few notable hits — but several more misses. Eventual fifth-round pick Brad Kaaya shows up at No. 2 overall. Five picks later comes Kelly, a mere 246 slots away from his eventual landing spot. Other Day 3 selections like Zach Banner, Conor McDermott, and Malachi Dupre showcase just how difficult it is to get even a fraction of a mock draft right before a player’s final NCAA season. Georgia lineman Greg Pyke went from projected first rounder to undrafted free agent.

Gareon Conley’s attorney says there was a consensual sexual event with accuser

Gareon Conley’s attorney says there was a consensual sexual event with accuser

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Gareon Conley says that he did nothing wrong with the woman who accused him of sexual assault. Conley’s attorney says Conley did have a consensual sexual event with the accuser, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Can the Grizzlies really expect to beat San Antonio? Well … probably not. But hey, if it’s going to happen, it has to start here. More likely, it feels like their best-case scenario is to win the final two home games before falling in a Game 7 in San Antonio. The Spurs may not have played poorly, but they certainly fell short of their exceptional expectations as well as the level of play they consistently delivered throughout this season as they locked up the No. 2 seed.

Authentic Isa Abdul-Quddus Jersey This series hasn’t been the most watchable one, as proven by a postgame press conference rant being the most memorable thing stemming from it so far. Still, it is decidedly competitive now, and San Antonio has to treat Memphis with total seriousness headed forward. They can’t assume they’ll sneak out a Game 4 win, and Memphis won’t be giving it up easily.

If they can’t get it done on the road on Saturday, then we’ve got another week of this series left to play. We can all find at least some part of it to enjoy between now and then. (I’m looking at you, immortal Vince Carter.)

The Gasol brothers both got the better of each other on one possession

The Gasol brothers both got the better of each other on one possession

One of the best things about the Spurs-Grizzlies playoff series is that it pits Pau Gasol against Marc Gasol.

Did anyone really win in this exchange? Gasol blocked Gasol, then Gasol scored on Gasol.
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So technically Pau won, since he scored, but it wasn’t pretty.

Maybe this one will have to be settled at the next family dinner. Let’s get one thing out of the way: Leonard ate Houston’s lunch in the closing minute of the last Rockets-Spurs game. That was both impressive and sucked as a Rockets fan. Mom made us our favorite sandwich and Leonard stole it.

But it wasn’t the norm over the full four games of this series. In clutch moments we should fully expect Leonard to start possessions on Harden, but Houston should respond by running their offense, not isolation plays, and forcing Leonard off Harden in switches.

Until the third quarter of the fourth game, the regular primary defender the Spurs put on Harden in this series was Danny Green or Jonathon Simmons. Leonard often stuck with his own matchup by defending Trevor Ariza or wrapping up Ryan Anderson.

A telling sign of this commitment, until the final quarter of game four, Leonard wasn’t mirroring Harden’s minutes, instead both coaches were sticking to their rest and rotation schedules.

Game Mens Nate Thurmond Jersey Surprisingly, Popovich didn’t put Leonard on Harden at the end of games one, two and three, which were each one- or two-possession games at some point in the closing minutes. Harden was left to go at a mixture of Green, Simmons andGinobili in those closing frames.