These spring training stats have already proven me right about the 2017 MLB season

Hello, it is almost March. My plan for tomorrow is to explain why March is the very worst baseball month, so we will savor the last lingering day of February.

Limited Womens New Orleans Saints Jersey Here, take a deep breath. You hear that? It¡¯s peaceful. It¡¯s the sound of you not being entirely sick of spring training yet. We¡¯re still sharing highlights, still gawking at home runs, still immersing in the phoenix-sport that rises from the ashes every spring. In five days, you will want to punch spring training right in the baseball.

On the Cardinals, he¡¯s a weapon. You¡¯ve seen how the projection systems hate them this year, which brings up the obvious question: Which random goofball will carry them to 90 wins this year? This is my case for Martinez:

The NFL league office has amassed too much power, has no checks and balances, and needs someone to pull the reins in. Congress would seem to be the only entity that has the authority to do that, and they are taking that responsibility seriously.

I am an organizer by trade, so it seemed very natural to me to do something that fans could get behind and participate in as an outlet for our dissatisfaction with having no say in the league we loved. He¡¯s exactly the kind of player whose continued development, or lack thereof, we take for granted because it¡¯s almost like he¡¯s a known quantity.

Authentic Kids Keith Smith Jersey The change to the park was dramatic. Less than three hours before the outfield was completely flooded, the park looked relatively fine.

The field will eventually be fine, but for now: Let the birds have their fun. Every duck should have the opportunity to feel like they¡¯re in the majors.

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NFL results and scores: 49ers outlast Eagles, Teddy Bridgewater shines in debut

After a disappointing early slate, the NFL’s evening games during Week 4 lived up to their billing. Highlighting the day were the San Francisco 49ers, who finally secured their first win at Levi’s Stadium by downing the previously undefeated Philadelphia Eagles, 26-21. The Eagles scored touchdowns on a blocked punt, interceptions return and punt return, and still wasn’t enough to overcome an awful day on offense.

Sunday was also a great day for rookie debuts. Teddy Bridgewater led the Minnesota Vikings to 41 points against the Atlanta Falcons in a win, going 19-for-30 for 317 yards and scoring on a 13-yard run in the second quarter. Blake Bortles wasn’t good enough to make the Jacksonville Jaguars competitive against the San Diego Chargers, but he gave the fanbase plenty of hope with an efficient performance — 29-for-37, 253 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

After starting the season off with an ugly 26-10 home loss to Tennessee, Kansas City has bounced back nicely with a respectable road effort at Denver and a 34-15 win at Miami to go 2-0 ATS over its last two games.

The Chiefs’ offense will receive a nice boost on Monday night with Jamaal Charles set to return from an ankle injury he suffered in the loss to Tennessee. The Chiefs will try to break out of an 0-6 ATS slump in their last six games at home.

Game Womens Tashaun Gipson Jersey The total has gone UNDER in each of the last four meetings between these two teams and in eight of New England’s last 10 games against AFC West opponents. Monday night’s total is set at 47 points at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
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If Tom Brady returns to his usual form this Monday night, the Patriots should be able to pick up a win and a cover at Arrowhead. But with Brady struggling and the Chiefs playing well, Kansas City looks like a live dog as a 2.5-point underdog at home.

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John Lynch adjusting to football life away from family

New San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch clearly missed the competitive drive that comes with working for an NFL team.

But he will also miss the stability a life on football’s periphery provided him.

Speaking to reporters after his introductory news conference, Lynch offered a glimpse into his family life. His four kids are still in school at home in San Diego and, according to ESPN, Lynch’s oldest son could remain there to round out high school.

Munnerlyn is right, although his words likely will elicit an eye roll or two specifically because he’s about to become a free agent and people will believe he’s just trying to pad his own wallet. Interestingly enough, the pay scale of nickel corners seems to have been slow to catch up to the modern NFL game, unless you count the hybrid players like Malcolm Jenkins and Tyrann Mathieu. Their importance has steadily increased, but unlike other positions that have seen a steady raise over the last few years — guards and interior defensive tackles come to mind — it’s hard to think of a true nickel making significant money. The situation obviously gets complicated because it’s hard to pigeonhole defensive backs to one position in the secondary.

But Munnerlyn doesn’t have much to worry about. With a rising salary cap and the need for solid cornerbacks at an all-time high, he’s essentially a home owner in a seller’s market. Munnerlyn, 28, has never appeared in fewer than 14 games in a season and has had eight picks and 32 breakups over the last five years.

While he might want to stay in Minnesota, there will be offers elsewhere.

“I definitely get anxious, because I want to know what’s my next move,” he said. “I definitely would love to stay here but at the same time, I know it’s a business. I know things can get a little tricky. Money does play a little issue, but at the same time, you want to be happy. If I’m back here, I’m definitely pulling for that. Hopefully, they bring me back.”

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In Tony Romo, Cowboys face now-or-later cap decision

As the Dallas Cowboys deliberate what to do with Tony Romo over the next few weeks — or perhaps a little longer — they might be thinking about J. Wellington Wimpy.

No, he¡¯s not one of those pass-rushers Jerry Jones so craves. He¡¯s not some ultra-slick draft prospect nobody knows about.

He¡¯s Popeye¡¯s buddy. Yeah, that Popeye.

He¡¯s most famous for saying, ¡°I¡¯d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.¡±

Limited Youth Paul Hornung Jersey In Romo parlance, the Cowboys are wondering if it is better to take $5.1 million today or $14 million tomorrow.

Or something like that. Still, App State finished with a 31-28 Camellia Bowl win over a strong Toledo, reaching 10 wins for the second straight year.

Per S&P+, the Mountaineers hit at least the 70th percentile seven times, and their defense hit at least the 68th percentile nine times. This was a balanced, pragmatic, and dangerous-as-hell team, the Kansas State of the mid-major ranks.

Last week, ESPN¡¯s Ed Werder was told by a source that Romo is expecting to be released, not traded, and he believes he can start another two to three years.

A trade is not impossible, but Romo¡¯s contract complicates matters. Romo is set to make $14 million in 2017. He is scheduled to make $19.5 million in 2018 and $20.5 million in 2019. Would a team want to take on that kind of salary in 2017 knowing he has played in parts of five games the past two seasons?
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Therein lies the rub on a trade and why a release is easier and potentially cleaner for the Cowboys.

Romo is carrying a $24.7 million salary-cap figure in 2017.

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Russell Wilson could have fully guaranteed contract, Brandon Bostick finds a new NFC North home and other NFL news

Limited Youth Leonte Carroo Jersey The Seattle Seahawks could lock up Russell Wilson to a long-term contract that is fully guaranteed, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Seattle is at a crossroads as much of its young talent is relatively inexpensive. As those contracts near their end, head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider face the unenviable challenge of trying to keep their core of players intact.

The Super Bowl-winning quarterback falls at the center of that, and fully guaranteeing his contract, an unprecedented move for quarterbacks and a rarity in the NFL, could work to the Seahawks’ advantage. The thinking behind the move would be that Wilson could be willing to take less money if the contract is fully guaranteed, thus giving the team more cap flexibility to build around him.

Marshawn Lynch could receive a new deal as well, which would further complicate matters when it comes to Wilson. It’s no secret that he’ll be expensive, but both sides are in a holding pattern while the running back decides his future.
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Ryan Clark announces retirement after 13 NFL seasons

Washington safety Ryan Clark officially announced his retirement on Thursday, according to the team’s official website. He played for the New York Giants, Washington and the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s not feeling nostalgic about it all yet, however, saying that the emotions will come later in the summer.

Via Washington’s blog:

“I would have to think that those emotions come more in late July, early August, when you got a ton friends who are getting ready to go play football and you¡¯re not suiting up. I think that¡¯ll be the time that it really hits you that you¡¯re not doing it anymore.”

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After changing Sox, Chris Sale must find new comfort zone

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There’s no denying Chris Sale is entering a new phase of his career this season, but it isn’t for the reason you would think.
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For the first time as a big league pitcher, Sale won’t be working with Don Cooper.

Cooper, 60, has been the Chicago White Sox’s pitching coach since 2002, which means he has overseen each of the 17,271 pitches Sale has thrown since his major league debut in 2010. He helped ease Sale’s transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation in 2012, coaxed the ace lefty through five All-Star seasons and even convinced him to change his style of pitching last year.

“I don’t think that’s fair to him,” Francona said. “We all see how hard he’s working. I think we’re just going to go off of him. As he gets things accomplished with the proper amount of intensity, he’ll move on to something else. I think that’s the timetable we need to abide by.”

Cleveland’s spring training outfield mix consists of Lonnie Chisenhall and Brandon Guyer in right field, Tyler Naquin and Abraham Almonte in center, and Brantley and recent free-agent signee Austin Jackson in left field. Third baseman Jose Ramirez is capable of playing left, should the need arise.

Like Brantley, Jackson is behind the other position players after knee surgery. He hit .254 in 54 games with the Chicago White Sox in 2016 before having a small portion of his left medial meniscus removed in June.

“We almost have to guard him from [himself], because he feels good and he wants to come in and show what he can do,” Francona said of Jackson. “It’s different when you come into camp and start pounding every day. We’ll keep an eye on him. He’ll be another guy that won’t be raring to go right away.”

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Michael Bennett backs out of sponsored Israel trip because he ‘will not be used’ by government

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett will not participate in a sponsored trip to Israel, he announced via Twitter. The trip, planned by the Israeli government, is intended to combat the negative perception of Israel and will include several NFL players. Bennett won’t be one of them.

Bennett took exception to the Israeli government’s plans to make him “an influencer and opinion-former” on its behalf, with the expectation that he would become “an ambassador of goodwill” for Israel. Bennett, who expressed his support for Palestinians, said he was unaware when he agreed to the trip that was the Israeli government’s expectation, and that he will not “be used in such a manner.”

Bennett cited the influence of Muhammad Ali, whose support for the Palestinian people never wavered. Bennett said that participating in this trip would keep him from being a “voice for the voiceless” Palestinian people.

An open letter from advocates for Palestinians to the NFL players committed to participate in this trip to Israel was published in The Nation. It urged players to consider withdrawing from the trip.

“Based on the public dedication to social justice that many of you share, it came as a surprise to us to see that you will be going on a tour of Israel next week sponsored by the Israeli government as part of an effort to get you to ‘become ambassadors of goodwill for Israel,’” the letter read. “We would ask that you reconsider attending.”

The trip is scheduled to last a week, and includes a hospital visit, a visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, and a meeting with a group of black Americans who live in southern Israel and are known as the “Black Hebrews.” The group will visit Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, and Galilee.

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Bengals coach Marvin Lewis once made that point to ESPN in a 2016 interview.

Trade down in the draft. The Sam Bradford deal blessed the Eagles with a 2017 first-round pick they weren’t expecting to have after trading up for Wentz, but Philadelphia needs to stockpile more picks and acquire more young talent on rookie deals. The Eagles had no second- or fourth-round picks in last year’s draft, although they had two fifth-rounders and three seventh-rounders.

More disconcertingly, the 2014 and 2015 drafts just haven’t delivered much talent to the Philadelphia roster. Jordan Matthews is the only starter to come out of 2014; first-rounder Marcus Smith has barely played, and third-rounder Josh Huff was cut after being arrested for DUI during the season. The 2015 draft delivered solid middle linebacker Jordan Hicks, but first-round pick Nelson Agholor has become a symbol of Chip Kelly’s personnel issues, and second-rounder Eric Rowe was dealt to the Patriots after one season. The Eagles need a young core to grow alongside Wentz, and they’ll feel the absence of those disappointing classes.

The Bengals feel free agency statistics don’t favor putting a significant investment into one player that hasn’t come up through their system. They feel that some players, particularly those who have come from struggling teams, have years of bad habits coached through other systems that are hard to break.

For a team like Cincinnati, which relies heavily on continuity with its coaching staff, that’s a big sticking point.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis once made that point to ESPN in a 2016 interview.
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Jakub Voracek Mens Jersey Victor Cruz’s tenure with the New York Giants has come to an end after the team announced his release on Monday. The Giants save $7.5 million in salary cap money by cutting the 30-year-old receiver.

It’s a bittersweet end to Cruz’s Giants career after being a beloved fan favorite for so many years. An undrafted free agent out of UMass, Cruz signed with the Giants in 2010 but didn’t emerge as a star until 2011.

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New York is the best road team in the NHL this year with a 17-7 record away from Madison Square Garden

The Rangers entered the All-Star break on a dud of an offensive performance, losing as -145 favorites at home against the Philadelphia Flyers. But it was another strong performance for Henrik Lundqvist, who stopped 24 of the 26 shots that he faced and allowed two or fewer goals with a .920 save percentage or better for the fourth straight time.

Lundqvist is 10-5 all-time against Columbus with a 2.59 goals-against average and a .915 save percentage in those 15 starts.

In 25 games at home this season, the Rangers are just 14-11 per the OddsShark NHL Database. New York is the best road team in the NHL this year with a 17-7 record away from Madison Square Garden.
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The looming expansion draft and tight playoff race might try to convince you that the deadline will be a quiet affair, but don¡¯t let that lull you into a false sense of news security. Every day, there are hints that the league¡¯s trade machine is starting to churn as teams move pieces around the board to prepare for the floodgates to open.

They¡¯re not hard to miss, but with a little practice you can learn what to watch for so you¡¯re not caught off guard when your favorite team trades your favorite player.
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This is the most telling sign. Why? Because it¡¯s in the hopes that someone picks that player up and clears up cap space for them.

As Cap Friendly pointed out on Wednesday, the Kings have been at this game for awhile now. They have $6.89 million in deadline space that jumps up to to $8.48 million if Gilbert is claimed or assigned. That¡¯s a lot of wiggle room that lets GM Dean Lombardi snag one expensive player or two impactful players at a cheaper cost.

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James Harden on current Rockets: ‘I love what we have’

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With the trade deadline nearly two weeks away, one of the more powerful voices in the Houston Rockets organization wants to the team to stay put.

“I love what we have, love it,” leading scorer MVP candidate James Harden said Wednesday. “From top to bottom, we have depth. You can throw any guy in there and they know their role, that’s important. I’m going to ride with these guys for sure.”

“I love what we have, love it. From top to bottom, we have depth. You can throw any guy in there and they know their role, that’s important. I’m going to ride with these guys for sure.”

Reasonable people can disagree if it’s wise to deal Anthony. Several people in the organization believe the best approach is to deal Anthony and move forward with Porzingis and fellow young big man Willy Hernangomez, per sources.

Several agents have noticed how Carmelo Anthony is being treated by Phil Jackson.

Austin Rivers Jersey The Knicks have a first-round pick in the 2017 NBA draft (and, if they are fortunate, maybe they land another pick in an Anthony trade, though Jackson might be hurting Anthony’s trade value). This draft is believed to be guard heavy, so the Knicks might be able to find a guard to pair with Porzingis and Hernangomez. Along with the $20-plus million they have to spend in free agency this summer, the Knicks could be in a solid position to rebuild.

The lack of communication — and, more so, trust — has at times been crippling for the Lakers. Even if a coach or front office staffer wanted to loop Jeanie Buss on basketball matters, there was a risk Kupchak or Jim Buss would see that as betraying their confidence and loyalty.

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