Month: May 2017

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I think we’re going to have lots of opportunities

Sergio Romo Limited Jersey I’ve long tried to avoid using pitcher wins/losses in my writing at Sporting News and in my conversations with friends and colleagues. I’m sure there have been occasions when I’ve been lazy in spouting out statistics and used it from time to time, but no longer. I’ve taken the pledge.

They were the best ballclub I’ve ever been around, including any team I’ve ever played on, that really just lived in today’ and didn’t talk about yesterday, Ryan Dempster, who spent nine seasons with the Cubs and now works as an MLB Network analyst, told Sporting News. When you blend that many people who think that way together, it was just all about today.
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The celebration is far from over, of course, but Hoyer, the Cubs’ general manager, is already being asked about what’s next for a franchise that just ended the longest championship drought in major American sports history.

I love our core, I love this group of guys, Hoyer says. I think we’re going to compete for a long time. But it’s really hard to get to this point, and I think the minute you stop recognizing that, you’re in a lot of trouble. Our guys never did.

He pauses and smiles.

And, yes, now that we’ve won, he says with a grin, I think we’re going to have lots of opportunities, but the playoffs are really humbling. To think that simply being the most talented team, or having the best record … it’s really hard to win. If any playoff run shows that, I think it’s this one.


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Tigers, Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch dead at 87

Detroit Tigers and Red Wings owner Mike Ilitch died Friday at the age of 87, his company, Ilitch Holdings Inc. announced.
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Womens Tom Rathman Jersey A staple in the city of Detroit, Ilitch also founded the Little Caesars Pizza chain and owned the historic Fox Theatre. His family-owned company also operated Joe Louis, Cobo, and Little Caesars arenas, among other businesses.

My father was a once-in-a-generation entrepreneur, visionary and leader, setting the tone for our organization and our family, said Christopher Ilitch, President and CEO of Ilitch Holdings, Inc., in a statement released by the company. He made such a positive impact in the world of sports, in business and in the community, and we will remember him for his unwavering commitment to his employees, his passion for Detroit, his generosity to others and his devotion to his family and friends.

Together my family and the company celebrate the tremendous man he was, and we will continue to work hard to uphold his remarkable legacy. I’m honored to have had the opportunity to work with him to nurture and grow our businesses, but mostly, I’m grateful to have called him my Dad, and I know my siblings feel the same.

Me being away from it just let me know how much more I loved it, and how much more appreciative I needed to be toward football, Hopper told Omnisport after one of his daily workouts at a Charlotte high school. It was definitely a bump in the road, missing football for a year, but it brought me closer to it and made me have a stronger feeling for it.

Knowing that I still have years left to play brought me closer to the game.


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Watson enjoyed the draft process

Depending on whether DeShone Kizer makes strides as a rookie, the Browns will have to decide whether to trust him for the long term or take a quarterback early in 2018. Barkley is a special talent who may grade as high as, if not higher than, Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott.

Defensive backs have gone in the top six picks the last two years, and James could be next. He’s a physically built, highly athletic safety who can set the tone for a defense. 49ers pass on a quarterback, as they likely will add Kirk Cousins in the offseason.

The drop continues from Round 2 to Round 3 with an 18.7 percent loss in value, as well as a different contract structure. Third-round picks likely will not receive any base salary guarantees, whereas second-rounders will have at least some future guaranteed salary. Third-rounders also will be the first players to accept what’s called a split salary, which means their base salaries would drop from $465,000 to $348,000 if they landed on injured reserve.

However, starting in the third round, every player is eligible to earn a salary increase in the final year of his contract to whatever the level of the RFA tender. In general, that means a potential raise of about $1.37 million. When you factor in that raise, a third-rounder has the potential to out-earn a second-round pick.

Watson enjoyed the draft process, and even took time during the Tostitos Cantina promotion to interact with fans before the draft as a chance “to give back.” Chances are Watson will give a lot more to the Texans in the future. nike_cardinals_311


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Could Vizquel’s induction help kick-start another wave?

Sabermetrics aren’t everything, of course, particularly to the type of Hall of Fame voter who might support Vizquel. But advanced stats hint at controversy that could swirl this fall. Put another way, Vizquel’s popularity with Cooperstown voters is going to anger some people. Already, Forman got into it with longtime Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly over Vizquel. Similar debates are sure to follow elsewhere.

That said, the chart Forman posted hints at a potential silver lining for statisticians and historians: As fans, voters and others dig into Vizquel’s candidacy, there’s a good chance they could notice the many fine, underrated shortstops who rank in front of him — some of whom could use considerably more help getting in the Hall of Fame.

Limited Youth Robert Nkemdiche Jersey Waves of shortstops have been inducted before. Could Vizquel’s induction help kick-start another wave?

Cooperstown chances: 50 percent odds Vizquel is inducted by the BBWAA at some point during his candicacy.

Mens Johnathan Hankins Jersey Shortstops who might be helped by Vizquel’s induction, in alphabetical order: Mark Belanger, Bert Campaneris, Bill Dahlen, Art Fletcher, Nomar Garciaparra, Jack Glasscock, Marty Marion, Vern Stephens, Alan Trammell.

They’ve won just three times in 14 games and have been outscored by 37 runs. The disabled list is crowded — Yoenis Cespedes, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores — and ace Noah Syndergaard left Sunday’s start with what looked like a lat injury. Curtis Granderson (.128), Jose Reyes (.174) and Neil Walker (.195) are healthy but struggling massively. The positive vibes from the strong start (that 7-3 record tied for the NL’s best) are long gone.


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Andrew McCutchen has perfect reaction to Pirates moving him to right field

Andrew McCutchen has played his last game in center field for Pittsburgh.

The Pirates star will be moved to right field in 2017 to make room for Starling Marte to take over in center field, the team announced Sunday.

Authentic Womens Ryan Nugent-Hopkins Jersey The NFL rules won’t change in overtime 鈥?both teams will have a chance to get the ball and the first team to score a touchdown will win the game. The downside of the proposal is that there could be more ties during the regular season.

NFL committee rules state 24 of the 32 teams will have to approve of the change for it to go into effect. Team owners will have their annual meeting at the end of March to discuss potential league changes.

Limited Kids Terrell Owens Jersey Per ProFootballTalk.com, in the past five years 83 NFL games have gone into overtime. Out of those 83 games, only 22 have passed the 10-minute mark. Essentially, the proposal would have a limited impact on NFL games if it’s passed.

The Indians ace tossed a complete-game shutout while giving up just three hits with nine strikeouts in a 3-0 win against the White Sox. He improved to 2-1 with a 4.28 ERA on the season with the marvelous performance.

Kluber, who sent the first seven White Sox he faced back to the dugout Friday night, now has four career shutouts.

It was a much-needed performance from Kluber, who had just allowed six earned runs in 6 1/3 innings against the Tigers in his last start. But he showed great command against Chicago by throwing 73 of his 110 pitches for strikes.

The Indians (9-7) have now won four straight as they try to make it back to the World Series to rectify last season’s loss against the Cubs.


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Mets’ Noah Syndergaard has no use for World Baseball Classic

Numerous high-profile MLB players are skipping the World Baseball Classic, for a wide and understandable variety of reasons.

Not many have been as straightforward as Noah Syndergaard about why they’re sitting out the quadrennial competition, though.

The Mets right-hander was asked following his spring training debut Friday whether he’d miss participating in this month’s WBC and responded, Nope. Not one bit.

Why not?

Because I’m a Met, he said, via Newsday. And ain’t nobody made it to the Hall of Fame or win the World Series playing in the WBC.
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He’s not lying, though he figures to get blowback from some corners for his honesty.

And perhaps an exasperated sigh from one of the many staffers in MLB’s New York offices who have spent months promoting the event.

Elite Mens Will Lutz Jersey The players are very aware of the talent on the Charlotte roster, too.

It’s awesome, being here and getting to grow with the guys you’re hopefully going to be surrounded with for the next couple of years in Fulms, Gio, Moncada, Lopey, all those guys are so talented, Burdi said. Not only are you getting to grow with them, but you’re getting to watch some really good baseball. I’m just fortunate to be a part of it.

The Royals are teetering on the edge of blowing it all up, which is unfortunate, considering their core group of players seemed ready for at least a few more years of postseason contention. Still, they traded reliever Wade Davis to the Cubs for Jorge Soler, have Billy Burns from the trade with the A’s last deadline, and could be hungry after a fairly blah 2017.


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Michael Vick on Joe Mixon: ‘Hopefully, he’s humbled by what happened to him’

Michael Vick knows what it’s like to be considered a pariah by a significant segment of the American public after spending 18 months in prison for his involvement in a dogfighting ring.

Joe Mixon’s NFL career is in its nascent stages, but he figures to deal with a similar type of notoriety no matter how long he spends in the league after video of him punching a woman in the face in 2014 went public last year.

Vick said Monday at a charity golf event in New Jersey that he hopes Mixon appreciates the opportunity he has been given after being selected in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Bengals.

“I feel great,” Mariota told WGFX-FM in Nashville on Thursday. “Overall, we’re in a good spot. I’m probably another week or two from really full-head running, but I’m starting to do some jogging and more things on my end, which is a positive movement. Again, they think I’m ahead of schedule. For me, I’m going to continue to take it one day at a time and do my best to get ready.”

Mariota was expected to miss four to five months after undergoing surgery Dec. 28 to repair the broken right fibula he suffered in the team’s Week 16 loss to the Jaguars.

In the meantime, Mariota’s newest pass catchers can prepare for his return. The Titans loaded up on options for the signal caller by selecting wide receiver Corey Davis with the No. 5 overall pick, wide receiver Taywan Taylor with the No. 72 pick and tight end Jonnu Smith with the No. 100 pick at last month’s draft.

“Yeah I was very excited,” Mariota said. “It’s gonna be fun to be able to play with those guys. They gotta come in and work right away. But I think we have a good core group of veteran guys to help these guys out, and hopefully they’ll make an impact for us.”

Mariota, 23, threw for 3,426 yards and 26 touchdowns with nine interceptions, completing 61.2 percent of his passes and rushing for two more scores, in his second NFL season before getting hurt.nike_steelers_1529


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T.J. Watt thinks Christmas Day matchup against brother J.J. will be ‘weird’

If it weren’t for the Raiders’ bad judgment, Chicago easily would be the most clueless team so far in the draft. Piling on their terrible pick-up of Mike Glennon as an expensive, short-term stopgap, the Bears blew their draft pick currency on a questionable franchise passer in Trubisky.

Elite Mens Ryan Shazier Jersey The Saints were a good landing spot for him, but he was rumored to be going as high as No. 3 to the Bears before that big trade with San Francisco.

The Titans at No. 5 and the Jets at No. 6 both surprisingly passed, too. That cost him a much nicer top-10 guaranteed contract.

T.J. Watt hasn’t yet responded to his brother, but did discuss the upcoming matchup on a Friday conference call with Pittburgh media.

Elite Mens Francois Beauchemin Jersey I played with him in the backyard a bunch, I’ve seen him play a bunch, we’ve never been on the same field in full uniforms competitively before, T.J. said (via ESPN). I think that will be really cool and a weird day for me.

Thankfully for their mother, both T.J. and J.J. play on defense, so there’s no opportunity for the two to face off against each other. T.J. Watt comes off a junior season at Wisconsin where he tallied 15.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. J.J. Watt was injured in 2016, but is still a four-time Pro Bowler with 76 career sacks in six seasons.


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Kawhi Leonard’s response to being called the 2nd-best player in the world was exactly what you’d think

LeBron James may not be this year’s Most Valuable Player, but he’s easily the best basketball player in the world. By many standards, Kawhi Leonard is the second-best. His ability to dominate the game on both ends of the floor separates the Spurs’ All-Star into a class of his own.

Elite Youth Nick Folk Jersey As does his demeanor, which was on full display when a reporter alerted Leonard that TNT’s studio crew of Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith, and Charles Barkley dubbed him the world’s second-best player.

Some people inside the Bills organization insist that Whaley’s choice was current head coach Sean McDermott. Others there say his first choice was Bills interim head coach Anthony Lynn, now the Los Angeles Chargers head coach. Either way, the final call was the Pegulas’. And they have told some in their inner circle that they question whether they made the right move letting Lynn walk.

Andrew Franks Authentic Jersey McDermott became the guy, however, and it was clear from the outset that he wanted a strong hand in personnel and that he did not see Whaley as a bridge to future success.

The guy that Whaley chose bit his ass,” the Bills executive said.

Whaley made his NFL name by digging for players, hitting the road, traveling to big and hidden places, never minding hopping on flight to flight. And some people in the Bills front office said that was part of his undoing as general manager, that he never fully understood or embraced the full role of a GM, all of the details. He never stopped being a scout, they said. He was frequently out of the office and on the road, they said. He was like an assistant coach who became a head coach who kept act liking an assistant coach.


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Hawks put pressure back on Wizards, tie series at 2-2

Game Darrelle Revis Jersey The Wizards charged towards the end of the postseason looking like one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. With John Wall making a case for best point guard in the East, it looked as if Washington was ready to make a big postseason splash. And to an extent, they did. They came out and decidedly won their first two games in Washington to take a commanding 2-0 lead on the Hawks.

Game Mark Jackson Jersey But when they got to Atlanta, they weren’t ready to end the Hawks there. They got blown out in Game 3, which you could write off as one bad game. But in Game 4 they had their chances, but ultimately let Atlanta off the hook. Now? The series is tied 2-2 and it will be a best out of three moving forward. The Wizards have plenty of time to redeem themselves but for now they look like a team not quite ready to be able to step on a team’s throat when they need to.

The injury came at the absolute worst time for Parker, who was rebounding off of a poor shooting night against Houston in Game 1. The veteran guard had scored 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting, nailing both of his three-point attempts before his injury. Parker missed extended time just once in his career, after suffering a hand injury midway through the 2009-10 season.

There’s no nightlife in Utah. Obviously, as players, you want to be able to have a little bit of a nightlife, but the main focus is winning games. Me personally, I want to get out there because I want to beat the Clippers. That’s my former team, and my kids are out there. But as far as nightlife, there’s no comparison to nightlife in Utah and L.A.