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Could Omar Vizquel help other shortstops get in the Hall of Fame?

May
31

Game Paul Posluszny Jersey Who he is: Baseball-Reference.com founder Sean Forman recently tweeted an interesting chart about the Hall of Fame candidacy of shortstop Omar Vizquel, who’ll be newly eligible on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s ballot this fall.

The Giants’ struggles aren’t all about Madison Bumgarner’s dirt-bike accident. Far from it. Three opening-day starters — Brandon Crawford, Denard Span and Jarrett Parker — are on the DL, and so is utility guy Aaron Hill. Veteran rotation guys Johnny Cueto (5.10 ERA), Matt Moore (4.80) and Jeff Samardzija (6.32) have been inconsistent. Offensively, the Giants are last in the NL in runs scored, home runs, OPS and slugging percentage. It hasn’t been pretty.

And then there are the Royals, who are on a nine-game losing skid. Kansas City’s offense was wildly inept in the season’s first month. Manager Ned Yost’s team scored only 63 runs, which was 24 fewer runs than any other team in the majors. Think about this: In their past four wins, the Nationals have scored 65 runs. Yeah. More in four games than the Royals have scored in 23 games. And then there’s this: In April, MLB teams scored five or more runs 307 times — K.C. did it just twice. They only reason the Royals are not the most disappointing team is expectations weren’t as high for the Royals as they were for the Mets, Giants and Blue Jays.
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A couple of quick mentions: The Mariners are better than this. Well, they’re supposed to be better than an 11-15 month. The Dodgers have scuffled along to a 14-12 record, and the Cardinals looked awful in the first two weeks but crawled back to a 12-12 mark.

Look: Your New Year’s resolution? Follow Pablo Sandoval’s weight-loss plan

May
31

Limited King Dunlap Jersey And if you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to drop a few, then maybe you should watch his post on Instagram. Yep, he’s exercising (though it appears he hits better with a bat) and breaking a sweat, if his T-shirt is an indication. (He says, via the caption, that he’s doing his part to contribute to the team.)

That’s great news for Red Sox fans since their third baseman’s weight gain was a big story last spring — really big, like Pablo Sandoval in spring training 2016 big. A reminder:

The 30-year-old Thames now has seven home runs in his first 14 games, and boasts an OPS of 1.459. That’s the same Thames who has not played in the majors since 2012, and spent the past three years in the Korea Baseball Organization.

In an appearance Wednesday on CBS Chicago’s Mully & Hanley Show, Bosio was asked about Thames, the PED-related suspension this week of Pirates outfielder Starling Marte, and whether he thought steroids were still an issue in baseball. Bosio had an interesting response.

Well, the bottom line is [Thames] has hit the ball and we gotta figure out a way to get around [it], Bosio said, via Yahoo Sports. All that other stuff, I’ll let other people worry about. But he’s doing stuff that I haven’t seen done for a long time.
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You start thinking about Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez when he went to the Dodgers, Barry Bonds … You’re talking about some of the greatest players to ever play this game. So, yeah, it’s probably a ‘head-scratcher’ because nobody knows who this guy is. And when he was here before, his body has changed. But, like I said, I’ll leave that to everyone else and we’re just gonna try to worry about how to pitch him better and get him out.

Johnny Manziel to New Orleans Saints defies logic for reasons beyond the obvious

May
30

Elite Anthony Chickillo Jersey The first Johnny Manziel-Saints bomb dropped at 10:32 a.m. ET. Secondary strikes came at 10:35 a.m. and 10:55 a.m., respectively.

But by the time NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport hit send on his third Manziel-related tweet Thursday morning, Twitter already had been blown up by the idea of the troubled quarterback playing in New Orleans.

The report, via those three tweets:

Elite Roy Miller Jersey Saints coach Sean Payton & Johnny Manziel were spotted together Super Bowl week, at breakfast. They discussed a return to football. … Manziel has kept a low-profile as he trains for a return. Payton appears to have taken an interest in him. … The Saints still need a backup QB. Payton could make the most of Manziel’s talent. Drew Brees would be a perfect mentor. A lot makes sense.

Mostly, though, the second half of his career only hints at what might have been. That he had a 120 OPS+ for those years suggests he might have stayed close to .300 lifetime in Boston.

Lynn hasn’t been on the Hall of Fame radar for years, but it doesn’t bother him much. A father of two and grandfather of three, he lives near San Diego, where he and his wife do work for a charity, the Face Foundation, that helps families that can’t afford operations for their pets. He said the foundation has saved 1,600 pets in five years.

He might not have much chance at Cooperstown, though his career produced much for which he can be proud.

If you look at what I did per game, it matches up with a lot of guys, Lynn said. There’s just not enough games.

Browns won’t rush QB DeShone Kizer onto field

May
20

The Cleveland Browns are in desperate need of a starting quarterback, but they won’t rush rookie DeShone Kizer onto action.

Speaking on 92.3 The Fan Tuesday morning, vice president of football operations Sashi Brown said the team will give the second-round pick out of Notre Dame a chance to “solidify” himself in the NFL before rushing him onto the field.

“Ideally we’d be able to come in and give DeShone some time and again, Hue (Jackson) talked about this бн making sure he understands that he doesn’t feel like he has to have the pressure on him to be the week one starter or even the 2017 starter at some point,” Brown said, via ESPN.com. “We like Cody (Kessler), we like Brock (Osweiler), we like Kevin (Hogan) and he doesn’t need to feel that pressure.”

[Glennon] found out as the rest of the world did. The Bears don’t believe in him as much as he thought, as much as they conveyed to him during his blissful first seven weeks on the job. Glennon felt as though he had been cheated on, according to people in the know. When admiration, affection and support abruptly become rejection, it hurts. And the pain cuts deep.
On Saturday, Bears coach John Fox admitted that all players are “not really excited” when you draft someone else at the same position.

“And you allow them that,” he added. “I think that’s something that you do, and you do talk that through. But they get over it. And then they start competing.”

Competing for how long, though? Glennon likely believed he was going to get a chance to prove himself worthy as the team’s starter. But now he probably realizes he’s just a stopgap. If nothing else, he gets this year to show what he has in the hopes another team could use him, if that’s what it comes down to.
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He’s finished in the top 10 of MVP voting four times

May
19

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Not only would this be more efficient for pace of play and length of games, but imagine Bartolo Colon and Kyle Schwarber getting down to Uptown Funk in center field to decide the winner of a ballgame. Can you say TV ratings? Dancing with the Stars seems to be doing all right.

For voters who have faced the Bonds/Clemens PED dilemma for years, Manny’s two actual suspensions made it easy to leave him off their ballot. Personally, as I wrote about extensively here , I don’t think there should be a distinction.

After eight full seasons north of the border, Bautista has the third-most WAR in Blue Jays history at 38.0 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in WAR among position players. He led the majors in home runs in both 2010 and 2011. He’s finished in the top 10 of MVP voting four times. He has delivered countless big hits and memories — both positive and negative.

Limited Courtney Upshaw Jersey Look no further than Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS, when Bautista nearly flipped his bat into orbit after a huge home run in the seventh to all but secure the game and the series for Toronto. Some viewed it as unsportsmanlike. Others viewed it as entertainment. But for Toronto, it was a signature moment, a sweet rush of baseball euphoria that the town had been waiting for since Joe Carter touched ’em all in 1993.

While 2016 was a down year for the 36-year-old — he slashed just .234/.366/.452 in 116 games — he still means so much to Toronto fans, who have come to love him. He gave the Blue Jays something the city of Toronto was lacking for years: an identity and a hero.

For whatever reason, sports fans don’t like Cutler, either.

May
16

They don’t dislike Cutler for the reasons they hate Brady, a Super Bowl champion who regularly beats their favorite teams. They dislike Cutler because of his own sweet self. He has never seemed tolerant of fans and the media.

Womens Dante Fowler Jr Jersey His marriage to reality TV star Kristen Cavallari should have softened his public image. At least marriage and fatherhood to three young children have made him smile in public. But Cutler can never catch a break image-wise.

Hill in 2014 pleaded guilty to charges of domestic assault and battery by strangulation of his pregnant girlfriend. He was placed on three years probation and in counseling, and he was kicked off Oklahoma State’s team. He had first- to second-round talent, but his heinous act caused him to fall to the fifth round, where Kansas City drafted him. The Chiefs were heavily criticized and were forced to publicly explain Hill’s selection.

Due to his baggage, Mixon probably will not be a first-rounder — he’s more likely to go in Rounds 2-4. The team that drafts him will have an owner, GM and coach who strongly believe in second chances and are willing to forgive, but not forget, his despicable act. They’ll brace themselves for a PR fallout, and they’ll put the hammer down on Mixon through required counseling sessions.

Mixon and his agent will be forced to negotiate a contract with major financial penalties in the event of any off-field incidents.

The pressure, then, will be on Mixon to prove he’s a changed man.

If not, his NFL career will be short.
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Jeff Diamond is the former president of the Titans and the former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected NFL Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group. Follow Jeff on Twitter: @jeffdiamondNFL.

Seahawks’ Russell Wilson, Ciara welcome baby girl

May
12

This was supposed to be a weak draft for high-end, impact pass-catchers, but then came Western Michigan’s Corey Davis at No. 5 (Titans), followed quickly by Clemson’s MIke Williams at No. 7 (Chargers) and Washington’s John Ross at No. 9 (Bengals).

Other than Tennessee, which had a glaring need, it was a weird mini-run with both Los Angeles and Cincinnati passing on good values at more pressing positions.

Good things come to those who wait and take the best player available. New Orleans should be thrilled it got a potential shutdown cornerback all the way down at No. 11 with Ohio State’s Marshon Lattimore.

When offensive skill talent didn’t shake out for New Orleans at No. 32, it was smart to take the likely starting right tackle of the near future in Wisconsin’s Ryan Ramczyk.

The Seahawks quarterback welcomed his first child, a daughter named Sienna Princess Wilson, on Friday with wife Ciara. It is the singer’s second child after she gave birth to a son in 2014.

The couple broke the news of their baby girl’s arrival with simultaneous announcements on their Instagram and Twitter pages.

The Patriots rarely pay top dollar for free agents, but they came out of nowhere to land the top free-agent cornerback on a five-year, $65 million deal. Gilmore in a “down year” last season with the Bills still produced a career-high five interceptions. New England let Logan Ryan (Titans) walk and found a bigger, younger, more talented ballhawk to become their luxury No. 2 corner.

At the same time, the Patriots weakened division-rival Buffalo’s secondary, almost forcing it to draft a corner (Tre’Davious White) in the first round. Gilmore also is a player the Dolphins and Jets desperately could have used. He initially was insurance in case the Patriots moved shutdown corner Malcolm Butler (see below), but the signing turned out even better.
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We’ll now see if this young Bucks team has enough experience to rally in Game 6 to avoid elimination.

May
10

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Sometimes virality or memedom happens to you and it’s not fair. Like, I’m pretty sure this kid didn’t ask to be the face of success on the internet:

Spencer Hawes Authentic Jersey But you know what? If you’re dumb enough to ignore all of the rules of public proposals that I set out above, you deserve to go viral and I don’t feel bad for you. Call me harsh or cold-blooded, but there is too much stupid in this world. The only people I do feel bad for are those blindsided with proposals from the schmucks who think jumbotron proposals are a good idea.

It wasn’t DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry that led the Raptors to their Game 5 win. It was Serge Ibaka and Norman Powell. Powell stepped up when asked Monday night, as explained by our Raptors blog, Raptors HQ:

Let’s begin with the obvious highlight: Norman Powell. Despite playing no meaningful minutes in the series’ opening three games, Powell came into Game 5 as the Raptors secret weapon. His aggressive inside-out game on both ends of the court confounded the Bucks with 25 points on 8-of-11, including 4-of-4 from three (he hasn’t missed from there in two games), and 5-of-5 from the line, plus four rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Norm looked to personally break Milwaukee’s spirit with a series of dunks — he saved the rudest, a crusher on Thon Maker, for last — to send them on their way, whimpering. It was an awe inspiring performance. Powell came in with a lot of energy, said Bucks coach Jason Kidd. And they’re feeding off that. And how.

Ibaka, meanwhile, finished with 19 points, six rebounds, and this monster smash on Giannis Antetokounmpo. We weren’t sure anyone was able to dunk on Giannis, but Ibaka did it.

We’ll now see if this young Bucks team has enough experience to rally in Game 6 to avoid elimination. The Cavaliers are waiting on the winner of this series.

NHL playoff schedule 2017: Second round play starts for an eager Eastern Conference

May
09

Elite Stephen Curry Jersey No, you’re not experiencing deja vu. The Penguins and Capitals are playing in another second-round series. Prepare yourselves accordingly for the Metropolitan Division rivalry matchup years in the making.

Tate was a football player in high school, and his physical ability wowed scouts.

I remember I went to watch him play football one time, his baseball area scout told MLB.com a couple of years ago. He was like a man among boys. He was a water bug out there. … No one could tackle him. The bottom line was he was the best athlete in the country that year … hands down.

The idea was that Tate could cover ground in the huge outfield at the Padres’ Petco Park, while also providing some offensive punch. From that same article:

I know that [Grady Fuson, vice president of scouting and player development] liked him a lot, D-backs general manager Kevin Towers, who was GM of the Padres at the time, said of Tate on Thursday. If you look at the Padres now, you see you have to be athletic at Petco Park. They’ve become that. We were trying to find that athlete — an offensive, defensive guy with that speed dynamic. He was kind of the guy from the beginning.
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If Tate can resurrect his career on the gridiron, it’ll be an awesome story.

The timing here is extremely convenient: general manager Ryan McDonough is coming back for his last season under contract. If he wants to continue to be employed, it might be wise to attempt to make the playoffs for once. Another 19-year-old probably won’t help you do that. A certified top-10 overall player in the prime of his career with two affordable years under contract like Jimmy Butler will.

The Pacers have already failed Paul George

May
07

Paul George is 26 years old, still in his prime (despite his leg injury), and one of the best two-way players in the game. He’s grown up with the Pacers since they drafted him No. 10 in the NBA draft in 2010.

Since he recovered in sparkling fashion from an awful leg injury in the summer of 2014, the Pacers have spent the past three years trying to surround George with talent. But while trying to develop an identity, they’ve continuously failed, putting groups of mismatched players with mismatched styles around George.

In 2015 when George returned from his leg injury, the Pacers vowed to be a faster team. David West, the team’s vocal leader, took an $11 million pay cut to walk away. On the way out, he said he wanted to win now (hence, joining the Spurs) and didn’t like how Larry Bird treated Roy Hibbert in Bird’s postseason press conference. The Pacers then traded Hibbert to the Lakers.

Paul George’s free agency begins in the summer of 2018, so it’s Game Teddy Bridgewater Jersey easy to see why there is so much urgency with the Pacers front office to create a winning team now. As the Pacers trail the Cleveland Cavaliers 0-3 in their first round series, Paul George’s future becomes more and more unclear. Sure, it’s virtually impossible to beat LeBron in the first round of the playoffs. But Paul George has been so good, the Pacers could be up 2-1 if some things went differently here and there. If he had a better roster around him to push them over the hump, maybe they would have a chance in this Game Marshawn Lynch Jersey series.

It’s been an odd season for George, as the Pacers spent the final hours of the 2017 trade deadline mulling trade offers for their All-Star. This series, or the failed attempts at the trade deadline aren’t what failed Paul George. The Pacers started doing that long ago.