Monthly Archives: August 2017

Jets RB Matt Forte practicing again, could play Saturday

Running back Matt Forte has returned to practice and could be ready for the Jets’ preseason game Saturday against the Giants Saturday.

Forte had been sidelined for three weeks with a strained hamstring. While the team is hesitant to put his name on the roster for Saturday’s game, Forte expects to play.

“That’s my goal,” Forte told reporters, via ESPN. “I don’t know what the coaches’ plan is, but that’s my plan.”

Forte said there is “no doubt” he will be ready for the Jets’ season opener against the Bills, which is one of the few positive things to come out of the Jets’ camp this summer.

New York jettisoned many of its starters during the offseason with trades and releases, leaving a very young and inexperienced offense as the regular season gears up. With not a lot of depth or veteran leadership, they need Forte on the field and in the locker room.

The report comes almost a year to the day, Aug. 14, 2016, that Kaepernick first sat during a pre-game national anthem to protest what many perceive as racial inequality and injustice in the U.S. And it comes during a month in which other NFL players and athletes have voiced their support for Kaepernick and adopted his cause as their own.

Kaepernick is currently a free agent after opting out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers at last season’s end. His political activism is cited as a reason the 29-year-old quarterback hasn’t found another job in the league.seahawks_026

Kelly Olynyk plays better with a man bun, according to the cold, hard sports stats

Kids Sean Smith Jersey Basketball is all about the numbers: points per game, scoring percentage, assists — the list goes on and on. But now, for newly signed Miami Heat forward Kelly Olynyk, we may have the most important statistical breakdown of all — which hairstyle does he play best with?

Kids George Fant Jersey That’s right — during the 2016-2017 season, Olynyk outscored, rebounded, and assisted his headband-rocking self while playing with a man bun. This isn’t a style opinion — no, these are cold, hard sports statistics. You can’t argue with the numbers.

So when Olynyk starts playing in Miami, let’s hope he stays cool in the heat (ha) and decides to wear the man bun all the time — because not only will he be cooler and look cooler, but he’ll play better too.

We’re presenting our NBA free agent rankings somewhat differently this year. We pulled together a list of the top 50 free agents overall, then sorted them by position. (We listed them in the position they played the most last season, according to Basketball-Reference’s play-by-play data.) As such, we don’t have an overall top 50 ranking, or even a top 10 for each position.

Needless to say, with such shaky options outside of the marquee stars, this is all rather subjective. Some players not listed in these rankings could easily be better fits for specific teams’ situations than the players listed. We’ll leave those decisions up to the general managers.

The first night of NBA free agency didn’t disappoint. Besides the usual allotment of big-money contracts to stars and role players alike, the Paul George sweepstakes came to a swift end when the Pacers traded him to the Thunder for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis. That left other teams (*cough Celtics cough*) out in the cold wondering why the Pacers settled for an inferior offer to theirs.

They may be able to negotiate Wiggins to a bargain with his stock being low.

Limited Womens Alex Goligoski Jersey The Wolves are young and they’re only becoming more relevant in the NBA landscape. Locking Wiggins into a signature shoe deal now puts Adidas on a pedestal moving forward. If they’re playing the Warriors in the Conference Finals or the Cavaliers in the NBA finals, Wiggins and Adidas will be there.

They may be able to negotiate Wiggins to a bargain with his stock being low. Plus, he’s only the third-best player on his team. But still, he’s a 22-year-old with lots of potential. Negotiations can swing both ways.

But it’s still a dangerous proposition for Adidas
Wiggins can dunk and score, but Adidas needs its next signature shoe athlete to set titself apart from the rest of the pack and sell a product of its own stature.

Wiggins has proved he can be a solid player, but what quality does he have that makes him different from, say, DeMar DeRozan. DeRozan is one of the league’s best scorers and a good tough-shot maker. But DeRozan doesn’t have a signature shoe, despite all of his solid qualities.

Bledsoe didn’t get the maximum contract he wanted out of the Suns, but in declining the team’s initial four-year, $48 million contract offer and waiting the market out, the Suns guard was able to pocket an additional $22 million in salary.
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Bledsoe didn’t sign until late September, nearly missing the deadline to accept the qualifying offer that would have made him an unrestricted free agent in 2015. But because he did things the Rich Paul way, he ended up with a five-year, $70 million deal.

That’s a good chunk of change for a player who had just torn his right meniscus.

Breaking down the worst first pitches of all time

If you were not connected to social media on Wednesday night, you might have missed it. The thought of this being the first time you’re seeing this brings tears to my eyes. There was a first pitch at Fenway Park, and it was Godfather II. It was the Sistine Chapel. It was the moon landing. It was the first amino acids combining to form life.

It was thrown hard enough to surprise. Errant enough to affect the people who had no earthly indication that a baseball might be coming. And, if you’ll look closely, it hit the photographer right in the beans. Jordan Leandre is a hero, and the best part is that he knows how to have fun with his 15 decades of fame.

Ruth entered a league that didn’t care about home runs and left it homer-wild. He invented the very idea of a home run chase. Maris had to deal with unrelenting hometown pressure that’s still hard to fathom today. McGwire and Bonds both had to face pitchers who also shopped at back alley GNCs and weren’t dragging into the dog days of summer like their predecessors were.

Houston has had slightly better results of late with a 5-3 record over its last eight games, and a strong series against one of the league’s best teams this week could help the team to get some of its swagger back.

Tuesday night’s total is set at nine runs. The UNDER is 8-0-2 over Washington’s last 10 games and 9-2-1 over Houston’s last 12 games.

This three-game series will be the first between these two teams since 2014. Edwin Jackson will face off against Mike Fiers on Wednesday, and the series finale will feature a pitching duel between Stephen Strasburg and Dallas Keuchel.

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Saints fire 2 doctors who failed to diagnose a fractured leg

The New Orleans Saints fired two team orthopedists, Deryk Jones and assistant Misty Suri, on Wednesday after the team discovered they misdiagnosed cornerback Delvin Breaux’s leg injury, according to ESPN’s Mike Triplett.

Breaux was originally diagnosed with a leg contusion, per ESPN, but the injury sidelined him for the majority of training camp. His unavailability reportedly frustrated Saints management, which eventually sought trade offers.
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It was later discovered, however, that Breaux’s injury was actually a fractured fibula that requires surgery and has a recovery time of 4-6 weeks.

Branden Albert Mens Jersey Wilfork graded in the top five of his position in four of those five seasons, including ranking first overall twice. His 2006 top-ranked overall grade of 86.8 was the highest mark of his career.

Wilfork’s undeniable ability led me to post an interesting question on twitter: Where does Wilfork stand with regards to defensive tackles of his era? For simplicity, I considered Wilfork’s peers to be those that started their careers in the decade spanning from 2000-09.

My first takeaway is how the talent of players from 2000-09 seems vastly different from those from the earlier 1990-99 decade and those from the 2010-present. The 1990s has Hall of Fame players like Warren Sapp and Cortez Kennedy and John Randle, along with the likes of Ted Washington, La’Roi Glover, Bryant Young, and Kevin Carter. The 2010s has the likes of J.J. Watt, Ndamukong Suh, Gerald McCoy, Geno Atkins, Aaron Donald, and so many more.

Perhaps recency bias plays a part, but the defensive tackles from the 2000s seem to lack the same luster. For defensive tackles that started from 2000-09, there’s:

Beyond these players, there’s the likes of Albert Haynesworth, Darnell Dockett, Kris Jenkins, and…Jay Ratliff? How many of these players are in contention for the Hall of Fame?

Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run a decade ago, so let’s celebrate how absurd that was

It’s the 10th anniversary of Barry Bonds hitting his 756th home run, and I have thoughts. They’re the thoughts of someone who was there and unambiguously cheered him on. See that picture up there? I’m in it.

Limited Sharrif Floyd Jersey And I … I think I’m recording it on a flip phone? I did not remember that, and now my week will be spent looking through boxes and ordering cables to connect this dinosaur to my computer. Great.

Even if those sell-offs could lead to the kind of young, sustainable core that got the Royals where they are in the first place.

What a mess.

For my money, I’ll go hard buy for the Brewers (the Sonny Grays of the world, because they’ll be contending indefinitely), soft buy for the Twins (only the cheapest of the cheap options, because Bartolo Colon will fix everything), and rentals-or-bust for the Royals (there’s nothing they can probably do for the next couple years, so live it up now.)

Kids Michael Crabtree Jersey But I’m glad I’m not the GMs or owners of these three teams. All 30 teams will face tough decisions at some point this deadline. These three will have tougher decisions than most.

Take the Rays. If they make the postseason and lose in the ALCS, what will the general response be? What a fine season. What a good, encouraging, strong season that helped the franchise immeasurably.

A-Rod has an ‘A-Rodcade’ and we need to know which games are on it

T.J. Warren Kids Jersey Here is Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod) meeting with business people for a business meeting regarding his business (A-Rod Corp). No big deal.

They’re sitting at 47-49 and although the playoffs might be out of reach for a .500 team, they’re only four games back of the division lead despite the fact that they are sitting in fourth place. It’s a tight race and since they’ll need to pass the Cubs at some point, a win on Friday against that team is exactly what they needed.

And boy did they get exactly what they needed.

Sam Bennett Kids Jersey Yet even teams that have a postseason berth all but locked up, like the Dodgers or the Nationals, made some moves at the trade deadline. A few of those moves were big ones (hello, Yu!) and look to be immediately beneficial to the teams that took the plunge and upgraded their rosters.

But the Astros didn’t make any major moves at the deadline, and in fact they barely made any moves at all. The only trade they took part in was acquiring the middling Francisco Liriano from Toronto for Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernandez.

For a team that has the 24th-ranked bullpen by ERA right now, the Astros definitely could have used some help there. And while they wanted to hold on to top prospects instead of going all-in for this season, that might backfire since they held on to everyone.

Boston got their slight lineup upgrade in Eduardo Nunez, and now they are shopping for relief help. One of their prime targets is Twins closer Brandon Kintzler. Kintzler is a free agent after this season so the Twins shouldn’t be asking much in return.

Ravens schedule 2017: Baltimore’s fate could rest on another rematch in Pittsburgh

The Week 10 bye will come right on time, but also is sandwiched between two road games, including to Green Bay. Their game against the Texans is their first Monday night home game since 2012 бн when they won the Super Bowl.

Besides the Sunday night game in Pittsburgh, the quirk in their late schedule is in Week 16, the Saturday afternoon before Christmas at home against the Colts, always an emotional situation for Baltimore fans. They finish against the Bengals again; they lost what turned out to be a meaningless finale last season.

Roberto Aguayo was released by the Buccaneers this week after a year of unfulfilled expectations. After being the most accurate kicker in college history, the Bucs traded up to select Aguayo in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and did not play like a second-round kicker.

His struggles continued into 2017 when he missed a field goal and an extra point in the team’s first preseason game. After that, coach Dirk Koetter lit into his kicker with some strong comments, and a day later he was released.

Aguayo’s journey is disappointing because he had a lot of pressure on him early. He was mocked and condemned by fans, all the way until his exit. Making the departure a bit more awkward, perhaps, was the fact HBO cameras were there to capture it all for their series “Hard Knocks.”

A trailer for Tuesday night’s episode was released earlier in the day, and it shows the kicker’s final days in a Bucs uniform.

The first takeaway is Chris Baker, a defensive tackle, openly mocking Aguayo’s kicking struggles as he lines up a kick. Baker accurately predicts Aguayo will miss the kick wide left, and then laughs when he’s correct. dolphins_018

This one’s going to anger some people but it could be on the horizon.

It should be noted that getting 74 percent of the writers’ vote is no guarantee of them inducting a player in subsequent years, with Jim Bunning receiving 74.2 percent of the vote in 1988 and then falling short his final three years of eligibility and needing the Veterans Committee to select him in 1996.

Still, Hoffman’s far earlier in his eligibility and, as with Thome, Hall of Fame voters are being a little looser with the ballots these days. He’s a likely selection this year.

Game Youth Olivier Vernon Jersey Coming close: Edgar Martinez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens

Other arguably-deserving candidates likely to fall short this year: Andruw Jones, Mike Mussina, Curt Schilling, Larry Walker, Billy Wagner

No induction by Modern Baseball Committee: This one’s going to anger some people but it could be on the horizon.

Allan Bud Selig was the ninth commissioner of MLB from 1998-2015. He is credited with guiding the league out of financial strife, and also faced the performance-enhancing drugs era.

Selig first involved himself in the major leagues when he held the largest amount of stock in his hometown Milwaukee Braves in 1963. The franchise later relocated to Atlanta, and Selig, then MLB’s Executive Council Chairman, would become owner of the Milwaukee Brewers. Selig led negotiations with the player’s union in the strike-shortened 1994 MLB season.

I just want to see people have the equality that they deserve. And I want to be able to use this platform to continuously push the message of that.

One member of the Seahawks’ front office told ESPN’s Jim Trotter that he is OK with it, as long as Michael is preaching love and not hate.
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Bennett said he spoke to other players around the league about his stance but did not talk to Lynch.

Red Sox get Addison Reed from Mets

The Red Sox moved to shore up their bullpen at the trade deadline by acquiring Addison Reed from the Mets on Monday for three minor leaguers.

Minor league pitchers Steve Nogosek, Gerson Bautista and Jamie Callahan are headed to the Mets in the deal.

This is bizarre. Max Scherzer is coming out of this game. Came out to throw warmup pitches, then walked off and said I can’t go.

According to MLB.com, Scherzer suffered neck spasms after sleeping on the area funny. He then took himself out of the game as a precaution.

The Nationals have dealt with a number of high-profile injuries already this season. Adam Eaton, Trea Turner, Jayson Werth, Michael A. Taylor and Stephen Strasburg have all either been on the disabled or are still currently on the shelf.
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Elite Youth Jeff Heuerman Jersey Scherzer’s home run was a moonshot to left field. After teasing with a bunt stance, he opened up and blasted one into the seats.

For Lynn, this has a double meaning. #Cardinals do indeed have his phone number, but they also know by the number it will take to sign him.

A couple weeks ago the Twins were buyers. Now, they’re sellers. Jaime Garcia, they hardly knew ya up north. And here’s the thing: They were right to be buyers, and now they’re right to be sellers. They took a shot, and it didn’t work (though it wasn’t Garcia’s fault).