The Cubs can replace a lot of what Fowler brings to the table

Here’s the crazy thing: The Cubs can replace a lot of what Fowler brings to the table. On paper, at least. The switch-hitting Zobrist can lead off just fine — he had a .386 on-base percentage with 96 walks to just 82 strikeouts in 2016. He won’t necessarily be an every-day player in Chicago’s crowded lineup, but that’s OK, because at 36 years old and coming off Cam Newton Authentic Jersey back-to-back seven-month seasons, he doesn’t need to start 140-150 games.

When a tough righty is on the mound or Baez needs a breather, Zobrist can still play second base. When the Cubs are up against a dominant lefty, he can play left or right for Schwarber or Heyward. There’s no reason to think Heyward can’t play center — he was ready to in 2016 before Fowler returned — opening right field for Zobrist. Almora doesn’t have to be left out of the mix as he starts games as well, perhaps against lefties, which could move around the deck chairs some more without Fowler. If anyone can make it work, it’s manager Joe Maddon.

Although nothing has been agreed upon at this point, it seems inevitable that this swap is going to take place. The only question might be what the September roster limits will look like. But expanding the size of the roster and adding at least 30 full-time players with full service time and benefits is a no-brainer for union head Tony Clark.

The Mariners grew so frustrated with Walker they sent him down to the minors in early August. Manager Scott Servais basically questioned Walker’s competitiveness. “When you go out there and take the mound as one of five starting pitchers, there’s a certain level of expectation,” Servais said at the time of the demotion. “You have to go deeper in games. You’ve got to be competitive when you go out there. Just the consistency of it, not knowing what you’re going to get from time to time.”

In one of his first starts back from the minors, Walker allowed six runs and Cameron Artis-Payne Authentic Jersey three home runs while getting knocked out in the first inning. After that, he took some advice from pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. and added a little Felix Hernandez-like twist to his delivery to help him hide the ball better and keep his shoulder from flying open. Two starts later, against the same team that had just shelled him, he pitched a three-hit, 11-strikeout shutout against the Angels. Over his final five starts, he posted a 2.93 ERA. That’s the kind of upside the pitching-starved Diamondbacks are banking on.

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That would mean more work for Chris Ivory and Denard Robinson

Ravens coach John Harbaugh expected cornerback Jimmy Smith to play last Sunday with a back injury, but Smith missed his first game of the season. Harbaugh declined to give an update on Smith on Monday, and there should be a better indication on his availability when the Ravens return to practice Wednesday. Smith is perhaps the one player Baltimore can afford to be Jay Prosch Authentic Womens Jersey without on defense. In six full quarters without Smith, the Ravens have allowed quarterbacks to complete 75 percent of their passes and produce a 126.9 passer rating.

The Bengals have gone from one of the healthiest teams to the opposite end of the spectrum in one game. Wide receiver A.J. Green has a hamstring strain, running back Giovani Bernard went down for the season with an ACL tear, and it’s up in the air if cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick and safety Shawn Williams will play Sunday in Baltimore. Expect to see more of rookie wideout Tyler Boyd now that Green is out for at least this week, and potentially beyond.

Barring a quick recovery by Luck – typically, players in concussion protocol are sidelined for at least a week, but it is impossible to project individual cases – maybe Tolzien will provide a Turkey Day surprise.

Yet for a .500 team that has its first winning streak of the season and a slim margin for error, this setback to the heartbeat of the franchise could not have come at a worse time.

Ben Roethlisberger is coming to town, triggering one of the NFL’s most explosive offenses Jeff Allen Authentic Womens Jersey for a Pittsburgh Steelers squad that routed the Colts the past two times they’ve played.

With Luck – who was brilliant early, then clutch late during the 24-17 victory against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday – it seemed the Colts might have a chance to survive a shootout Thanksgiving night. The Steelers defense has been suspect, and unlike the previous two meetings the Colts get Pittsburgh on their own Lucas Oil patch this time around.

Scott who?

Tolzien, who joined the Colts this year, has been in the NFL as nothing more than a backup for six seasons, and in his six appearances with the Green Bay Packers, produced a 1-5 TD-to-INT ratio and 67.1 passer rating.

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NBA scores 2016: James Harden continues to create for teammates

For NBA fans who thought James Harden at point guard made no sense, it’s time to concede.

Harden calmly picked up his third triple-double of the season in the third quarter of Houston’s 126-109 win over Portland, finding guys like Trevor Ariza, Ryan Anderson and Eric Gordon, who combined for nine three-pointers.

Watch The Beard set up Ariza for a corner three with Nikola Mirotic Authentic Womens Jersey his patented euro-step that freezes C.J. McCollum just long enough to create an uncontested look.

Not quite satisfied? Here’s Harden’s first-quarter highlights, where he put up half of his numbers.

Glad we cleared that up.

At this rate, Drake is going to have to get a new jersey the next time he performs in the Bay Area.

It gets worse because Bradley Beal is injured, though it doesn’t appear to be serious. The Wizards are bottom-10 in both offense and defense, and the team’s playoff aspirations are already in big trouble.

The schedule repents the rest of the month. Washington will play three straight home games against the Knicks, the Heat and the Suns before traveling to play the Magic. Those last two teams might be the worst in the NBA, and none of the four are on a back-to-back.

But a 2-8 start hasn’t left the Wizards any room for error. The team can’t just Pau Gasol Authentic Womens Jersey play at a slightly above .500 pace — it requires a concerted effort to even get back to .500, and then win a few more games to pick up a low seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Washington can do it, of course. We’re halfway through November. But its first 10 games aren’t doing the last 72 any favors.

So that’s why any Wizards fans you might come across in the near future look like this.

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Rob Gronkowski ruled out for Sunday by Patriots

The New England Patriots have ruled out tight end Rob Gronkowski for Sunday’s game at the San Francisco 49ers.

The Pats listed Gronkowski as out with a chest injury on the injury report released Friday afternoon. He was not present for practice earlier Friday, marking the third straight day he was absent because of the injury sustained Sunday night Joseph Fauria Authentic Womens Jersey in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Hogan’s absence should mean more repetitions for veteran Danny Amendola and rookie Malcolm Mitchell at wide receiver alongside Edelman.

Rule 12, Section 3, Article 2 prohibits teams from committing “successive or repeated fouls to prevent a score.” If they do it again after receiving the required warning, according to Article 3 of the same rule, the act is to be declared “palpably unfair.” (For those seeking further clarification, “palpably” means “obviously.” I had to look it up, too.)

In such instances, referees are instructed to award the yardage a player would have reasonably gained — including a touchdown if applicable. They also return the lost time on the clock and have the option to eject the player(s) responsible.

Those instructions existed before the 49ers took down the Saints’ receivers and will continue to apply moving forward. They allow for a benefit of the doubt in one instance, but protect against a team routinely holding, tackling or otherwise committing intentional penalties as a substitute for actual defense and as a means of premeditated strategy.

We’ve seen similar instances before, and so has Boger — most notably at the end Josh Bynes Authentic Womens Jersey of Super Bowl XLVII. As you might recall, the Baltimore Ravens decided to punt from their end zone while clinging to a five-point lead over — yes — the 49ers with 12 seconds remaining. Ravens coach John Harbaugh ordered a play that called for his punt protectors to intentionally hold the 49ers’ rushers, giving punter Sam Koch a better opportunity to kill time prior to stepping out of bounds for a safety.

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Westbrook’s poster dunk is also the dagger that seals big OKC win

Almost the first thing Victor Oladipo did when he got back to his locker following the Oklahoma City Thunder’s 105-103 win over the Houston Rockets was grab his phone.

“Dunk him!” Oladipo roared.

Westbrook threw it into gear, and the Authentic Calvin Pryor Jersey Thunder defense that was so problematic against the Magic and Pistons slapped the cuffs on James Harden and the Rockets. Houston didn’t score for the final six minutes, until Eric Gordon hit a meaningless 3 with 0.9 seconds left, missing 13 of their final 14 shots from distance and scoring only 13 points in the quarter. At the heart of it was Andre Roberson, who is often panned for his offensive issues. He almost exclusively guarded Harden; the Thunder barely switched on screen-and-rolls, keeping Roberson on Harden Authentic Christian Hackenberg Jersey as much as possible. The payoff: Harden scored a season-low 13 points on 4-of-16 shooting, plus he had six turnovers (and to be fair, 13 assists).

“I think Dre’s been doing an amazing job, especially defensively, all year long and he’s not getting credit for it,” Westbrook said. “He comes out and competes and guards the best players every night and does a great job of it.”

Roberson prevented the showdown so many anticipated, a fireworks show between two of the league’s top scorers and assist-makers. While Harden struggled, Westbrook continued his torrid pace: 30 points, 7 rebounds and 9 assists. (Those numbers actually lowers his season averages.)

It was the formula the Thunder are operating by this season. But unlike recent games where Westbrook failed to get support, whether in scoring or on defense, the Thunder showed up against the Rockets. Oladipo had 29 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists, finally giving a glimpse of what the “Flash Brothers” can look like. There have been signs of the Westbrook-Oladipo tandem clicking, but this was the first time it truly came together.

The Thunder weren’t shy about the importance of the result. Westbrook dubbed it a “big win,” and he’s not normally one to speak of anything being more important than another. It’s still November, and it’s a long road ahead. But after four straight failures and grumblings of feared issues becoming concrete reality, winning, and with such a flourish, could be a significant boost.

“It was huge for us,” Oladipo said. “It was real important to me. This organization is known for winning. Losing is unacceptable. We got to do whatever it takes in our power to continue to keep winning.”

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Panthers need to address O-line for Cam Newton’s long-term safety

Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera appeared to have a change of heart on what happened at the end of Sunday’s pivotal 20-play, third-quarter drive that ended in a punt.

Twenty-four hours after saying the Panthers “can’t take back-to-back sacks” — a take implying the blame was on quarterback Cam Newton — he repeatedly said Terrell Suggs Youth Jersey “we can’t miss blocks.”

He said Newton really didn’t have many options other than to take the sack.

This won’t change the outcome or the fact that Carolina had a colossal collapse in the 20-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

In the run-up to the 2016 election, Kaepernick repeatedly made it clear he didn’t approve of either President-elect Donald Trump or Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. On Election Day, Kaepernick said he would not be voting and followed through on that promise.

On Wednesday, Kaepernick told Arizona reporters on Timmy Jernigan Youth Jersey a conference call that it “didn’t matter” who won the election because neither candidate was a good choice.

On Sunday, Kaepernick said he felt it would be hypocritical for him to vote because it would be the equivalent of showing support for a system he doesn’t believe in. He also said the choice of Trump should increase the urgency for everyone to work toward Zach Orr Youth Jersey solutions to make the system better.

“I think everybody should feel urgency to make sure that we’re doing the right thing, building things the right way in order to be able to protect ourselves from what may come from this,” Kaepernick said.

When asked whether he believed the reason for so many no-shows to the voting booth were because many feel the same way as him, Kaepernick said he wasn’t sure.

“You would have to ask them that,” Kaepernick said. “I don’t want to speak for anybody or put anybody in a situation where I am not representing them properly so I really can’t say.”

Kaepernick has previously pledged to donate $1 million and any proceeds from the sale of his jersey to groups that can help the causes he’s working for and he recently held a “Know Your Rights” camp for kids in Oakland that provided guidance on a variety of topics, including education, fitness, money and interacting with law enforcement.

But slow-motion replay shows Newton didn’t have as much time to get rid of the ball as it appeared in real time. Defenders were all over him quickly on sacks of 7 and 12 yards that took the Panthers out of field goal range with a 17-3 lead late in the third quarter.

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Stephen Curry dribbled the ball up the court and stopped to pop a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Midway into the third quarter, Stephen Curry dribbled the ball up the court and stopped to pop a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic looked as if he shoved the two-time MVP right as he released the ball from his fingertips.

Curry fell to the hardwood, the whistle Steve Largent Authentic Jersey blew and the ball rattled in, enabling a four-point play. It was one of his seven 3-pointers, part of a 33-point outing — on 17 shots — that didn’t include him playing a single minute in the final quarter.

Griffin said constructive dialogue was consistent with the personality of his team. After some NBA teams were following San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lead and organizing demonstrations during the national anthem to protest how minorities are being treated in the United States, the Cavs sought to figure out ways in which they could enact social change rather than just bring attention to injustice.

Griffin expects a similar response in dealing with some people’s disappointment in Clinton’s defeat.

“I mean, the reason we’re here today is that we proved we deal with adversity really well,” the GM said, referring to the Cavs’ comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to beat a Warriors team that won a record 73 games in the regular season. “And I think our nation does the same thing really well. … You have a right to place your vote and to cast your vote and state your opinions. And once that happens, we have to come together and we have to find a way to fight through that adversity. And I know our players know how to do that. I think it’s when our country is at its best as well, so I think everyone will get in line and do that.”

While the Cavs ventured all over the White Steven Hauschka Authentic Jersey House grounds, at one point greeting a group of military veterans at the outdoor basketball court, they did not cross paths with president-elect Trump, according to Griffin. In fact, Trump did not come up in any discussions between the team and Obama, or with Lynch and Jarrett.

“Zero (Trump talk),” one Cavs player told ESPN.com.

On Wednesday, Jefferson joked via Snapchat that the annual tradition of the NBA champion visiting the White House would cease to exist because of the league’s distaste for Trump, writing, “Words cannot express the honor I feel being the last team to visit the White House tomorrow.”

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Pete Carroll thinks Rex Ryan should just coach his own team

After his interception in the third quarter Monday night, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman stared down the Buffalo Bills’ sideline and drew the ire of Bills coach Rex Ryan.

“I had some words,” Ryan said afterward. “I think I said, ‘You’re too good of a player to act like an ass.’ I think that’s what I said.”

During his weekly appearance on the “Brock and Salk” show on 710 ESPN Seattle, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was asked about Ryan’s comments.

“I just wish he’d coach his own team,” Carroll Cornelius Lucas Authentic Womens Jersey said. “Just coach your own guys.”

San Francisco star Buster Posey was picked at catcher in the National League, ending Yadier Molina’s eight-year reign with St. Louis.

“I don’t know if it makes it any more special or not that he had won it eight years in a row because I think I’d be happy with it either way,” Posey said. “This one’s up there for me. I’m a firm believer you win ballgames with pitching and defense.”

Posey was joined by a pair of Giants teammates, the double-play combination of shortstop Brandon Crawford and second baseman Joe Panik.

Young shortstop Francisco Lindor from the AL champion Cleveland Indians was a first-time winner, along with Texas first baseman Mitch Moreland, Detroit second Dan Orlovsky Authentic Womens Jersey baseman Ian Kinsler, New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner and Boston right fielder Mookie Betts.

Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez won his fourth Gold Glove in a row, Houston pitcher Dallas Keuchel took his third straight and Tampa Bay center fielder Kevin Kiermaier repeated from last year.

Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre was rewarded for the fifth time overall.

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Stephen Curry hits 13 3-pointers to top personal best, set NBA mark

Stephen Curry let it fly from the top of the arc, backpedaled as his record-breaking 3-ball dropped and then wildly began bobbing his head and shuffling his feet with the swagger of a two-time reigning MVP.

Add another remarkable achievement to a long Bryce Brown Jersey list of them for Curry: most 3-pointers in one game.

The star guard sank 13 to set an NBA mark — one game after missing all his 3-point tries for the first time in two years — and the Golden State Warriors beat the winless New Orleans Pelicans 116-106 on Monday.

Fitzpatrick and Marshall? They’re fiery competitors — a good thing — but it doesn’t set a positive example for the rest if they’re yelling at each other on the sideline.

“Things got a little heated,” said Marshall, claiming he still has “love” for his quarterback.

Fitzpatrick, too, downplayed it, saying, “That’s just part of football and part of our relationship.”

Let’s not forget Marshall and Richardson had a heated C. J. Prosise Jersey altercation after the Week 3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. This is a team filled with strong, volatile personalities, but there’s a leadership void, especially on defense.

“We’ve got to play better, and we’ve got to have a lot better composure,” said Bowles, saying the personal-four penalties were “infuriating.”

Despite the self-inflicted adversity, the Jets displayed resilience, rallying from a 20-13 deficit in the fourth quarter. This could have been a season-defining win. The Dolphins practically handed it to them, muffing a punt snap deep in their own territory — a blunder that set up the Fitzpatrick-to-Marshall touchdown. They took the gift and stamped it “Return to sender.”

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Rob Gronkowski is having a career-defining season

Rob Gronkowski started the Patriots’ season on the sideline, but despite the lingering hamstring injury and just one catch for 11 yards until Tom Brady returned from suspension in Week 5, he’s having a fantastic season that could end up defining his career.

He’s fresh off of scoring his Cordy Glenn Authentic Womens Jersey 69th career touchdown, and Gronkowski is currently second in the league this season among tight ends for receiving yards with 484, despite his lack of production through the first four games of the season.

As is his tradition, Bill Belichick was effusive about Gronkowski’s milestone.

“Love it. Love it. Love to see those touchdowns.” – Belichick on Gronkowski setting record

— Adam Kurkjian (@AdamKurkjian) October 30, 2016

His talent sparks both animus and respect from his Corey Graham Authentic Womens Jersey opponents, because at 6’6 and 265 pounds, he’s just about impossible to stop.

Gronk’s 69th touchdown came against the Bills, and despite his myriad accomplishments, they weren’t in the mood to give him credit after losing to the Patriots 41-25 at home.

“He uses his body well, but he’s got Tom Brady,” Bills safety Corey Graham said, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “I mean, Tom Brady’s Tom Brady.”

And not surprisingly, Gronkowski has been better with Brady.

Rob Gronkowski’s last four games, coinciding with Brady’s return and Gronkowski’s return to health: 21 catches, 473 yards, 3 TDs.

— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 30, 2016
Tom Brady is great, but so is Gronkowski. He has a ludicrous catch radius and remarkable speed for his size. Defensive coordinators can’t just assign one linebacker or safety to cover Gronk and hope it ends well. It won’t.

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