Monthly Archives: May 2017

A wave of key players is either looking with him, or already found it.

The Committee is exploring ways — including considering immediate ejections or suspensions — to take dangerous hits out of our game, Vincent’s note read in full as part of a series of tweets that laid out the NFL Competition Committee’s agenda for next week’s annual league meeting in Phoenix. We’ll communicate this to our coaches and players with video examples of flagrant hits that may result in ejection or suspension.
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Not that the NCAA was being proactive in 2008 (when it created the targeting penalty) and 2013 (when targeting began prompting ejections), but it’s ahead of the NFL on this one. And the college game already is having to amend its rule.
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As targeting ejections have doubled over three years, writes Jon Solomon of CBS Sports, the NCAA Football Rules Committee is looking at changing the replay standards so a targeting ejection only occurs if the penalty is confirmed. Currently, if replay doesn’t have enough evidence to confirm targeting but can’t rule it’s not targeting, the call on the field stands and the player gets ejected.

Instead, Cousins is apparently looking for an exit. A wave of key players is either looking with him, or already found it.

And after McCloughan’s name has been effectively smeared and his own exit path cleared, here Washington is again, embroiled in chaos at every level, fans in agony.

All of this come after they had not one, but two potential franchise quarterbacks on hand, in one way or another and at one time or another, ready to ride to the stars and take the franchise and its followers with them.

That was all in front of them five years ago. Now, it’s a smoldering wreck.

Murphy’s relationship with Torre lasted long after the manager was fired in 1984.

During the season’s final series in San Diego, with the Braves and Dodgers battling for the division, Phil Niekro pitched his second straight shutout to put the Braves in a strong position. Not only that, but he hit a two-run homer to put the game away late. After Niekro rounded the bases and got back to the dugout to prepare to pitch the next inning, he got a glimpse of Diamond and the crew near the tunnel to the clubhouse. With a big grin on his face, Niekro looked to Diamond and said, How about THAT?! Those are moments that you never forget, Diamond said.
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Murphy’s relationship with Torre lasted long after the manager was fired in 1984. A decade later, just after Murphy retired and when Torre was managing the Cardinals, the skipper invited Murphy to spring training as a guest instructor. Murphy obliged. I’ve seen a picture of me somewhere in a Cardinal uni, Murphy said. Quite the strange sight.

Speaking of Gibson, for someone with a reputation for being mean and ornery, he took to the documentary well. That fiery demeanor was mostly just his playing persona. Bob had never been known for his cooperation with the media, but he could not have been any more cooperative than he was with us that season, executive producer Terry Hanson told me.

Green Bay Packers Authentic Jersey I asked producer Glenn Diamond whether there was any good stuff that had to be cut for time. With 400 hours of footage, certainly there were cool things that didn’t make the cut, right? Not so much. Actually, we had to lengthen things to the point of sometimes it dragged a little bit, Diamond said.

The Cowboys lost right tackle Doug Free to retirement

Projected to the be the top quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft, Darnold’s Rose Bowl performance against Penn State has already won over NFL decision makers. As long as he continues to improve, he’ll be the first quarterback selected.

Unless Jared Goff makes major strides in Year 2, the Rams can’t afford to sink with him at the helm. New coach Sean McVay has no ties to Goff, and if things don’t work out, McVay may prefer Josh Rosen, a far better fit for his offense.

The Cowboys lost right tackle Doug Free to retirement, which breaks the seal on what has been the league’s sturdiest line over the past three seasons. Left tackle Tyron Smith, center Travis Frederick and right guard Zack Martin are arguably the NFL’s best players at their respective positions. But Free’s decision and the loss of guard Ronald Leary in free agency (Denver) causes a two-position shakeup.

For now, it’s looking like La’el Collins will move outside and replace Free, with newcomer Jonathan Cooper, the Cardinals’ 2013 first-rounder who fizzled in Arizona, New England and Cleveland, the front-runner for the left guard job. There will be a drop-off, and it will trickle down to make things less easy for Elliott and Prescott. With no changes to his primary receiving corps at wideout or tight end, this is Prescott’s key personnel adjustment.

Prescott’s overall numbers might not be as gaudy, and the Cowboys’ win total might not suggest dominance. But through all the new hurdles, Dallas will see a better Prescott who will be more battle-tested to improve on his disappointing playoff experience.

Winning at the end is the most important thing, and Prescott has the makeup to get there.
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There are a number of other good shortstops who aren’t in the Hall of Fame

Why: With the Hall of Fame as exclusive as it is, every position in baseball has a list of players who might at least merit consideration for Cooperstown. Shortstop is no different in this regard, perhaps because of how significant of a determining factor offensive numbers can be in getting a player inducted. Shortstops often stake their place in baseball with their glove, and it can hurt their legacies down the road. Just ask Mark Belanger, arguably the best-fielding shortstop in baseball history but whose .228 lifetime batting average helped him top out at just 3.7 percent of the vote his only year on the writers’ ballot in 1988. It’s striking that Belanger did even this well, in fact.

Elite Kids Lawrence Thomas Jersey There are a number of other good shortstops who aren’t in the Hall of Fame, particularly the farther back one goes. Jack Glasscock’s descendants owe some kind of debt to Society for American Baseball Research member and 19th Century Committee chairman Adam Darowski, who has lobbied hard in recent years to get him in. Dahlen, who has been on a few veterans ballots in recent years, has a strong case as well.
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We’ll start this list in New York, too. The Mets don’t have the worst record in baseball thanks to a quick start (7-3), but they’ve been a disaster since a 16-inning win against the Marlins on April 13.

Toronto and San Francisco are just a hair behind the Mets on the disappointments list. The Blue Jays are just 8-17 on the season; of the 15 AL teams, the Jays are 14th in OPS, 13th in homers, 14th in runs scored and 14th in on-base percentage. Devon Travis (.130), Jose Bautista (.178) and Steve Pearce (.167) are the primary culprits. Toronto’s DL is crowded, too, with Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and J.A. Happ all on right now, and last year’s AL ERA champ, Aaron Sanchez, has only made two starts. Closer Roberto Osuna has as many blown saves (three) as converted saves (three).

Cubs defend Joe Maddon over controversial decisions in World Series

Remember all the criticism Cubs manager Joe Maddon endured for some of his controversial decisions in the World Series?

Despite the fact the Cubs won the series — their first world championship since 1908 — some critics still blame Maddon for several calls late in Games 6 and 7.
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And that mindset upsets Cubs players and others in the organization.

The new designation, granted by the commission Friday, provides legal protections for the legendary structure, which has sat mostly abandoned for more than a decade. But at one time, the Houston Astros, Houston Oilers and Houston Rockets all played home games in the famous dome, which opened in 1965. The dome continued hosting professional rodeo events through 2002, and famously served as a shelter for evacuees from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

But it has fallen into disrepair in recent years, and parts of the building were demolished in 2013.

The new protections afforded by the state antiquities status now gives the state, instead of Harris County, final approval over the building’s ultimate fate. In late 2016, Harris County approved a $105 million plan to renovate and redevelop the building into mixed use for parking, events, and retail and hospitality space.

For Cynthia Neely, who spent nine years petitioning to have the building granted historic status, Friday’s announcement is the start of a new chapter for the Astrodome.
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Anything you can imagine can be done in that building, Neely told Click2Houston. It will find its place in the history books again as a historic building that has been revitalized and found a whole new life.

Diamondbacks’ Shelby Miller has UCL tear, considering Tommy John surgery

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Shelby Miller’s forearm injury is worse than the Diamondbacks originally feared.

Miller told reporters Thursday he has a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) and is considering Tommy John surgery. He is currently on the 10-day disabled list.

The 26-year-old right-hander left his start Sunday against the Dodgers with forearm tightness. Results from an MRI were originally inconclusive, but the MRI was sent yesterday to noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews for a third opinion.

I still haven’t made a decision on what I’m going to do yet, Miller said, via AZCentral.com. I’m still kind of processing all of it. It’s still kind of early.

Miller is 2-2 this season with a 4.09 ERA, a big improvement from last season’s nightmare (3-12, 6.15 ERA).

Nicknames aren’t unique to these Knights, of course. Nicknames are deeply engrained in baseball culture. Even guys who despise each other will add the -y to the end of their teammate’s name, because that’s just what baseball players do.

That’s not the case here, though. The nicknames stem from genuine affection, from a sense of belonging that didn’t take long to develop.
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I’m seeing that same culture that we had at school, Fulmer said.

The Twins are in a state of flux, and with new front office folks at the helm, we’ll probably see moves made sooner rather than later. It’s somewhat surprising that the Twins ended up holding on to Brian Dozier, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if he was gone by the All-Star break and the Twins are completely out of it.

Colts hire ‘character coach’ who revolutionized Green Beret selection process

The Indianapolis Colts, seeking to unlock the secrets of character as it relates to NFL prospects, have hired the man who revolutionized how the U.S. Army selects Green Berets and who might’ve just missed preventing the Browns from drafting Johnny Manziel.

According to ESPN.com, the Colts have hired retired Army Lt. Col. Brian Decker as first-year general manager Chris Ballard joins the likes of the Seahawks and Patriots in the move to add so-called “character coaches.”

From ESPN.com:

He turned an outdated [Green Beret selection] system based on who survived three brutal weeks of training into a data-driven model that amassed 1,200 predictive data points, from peak physical performance to psychometrics, the science of measuring mental processes. His system was calibrated to detect intangible leadership characteristics in order to find soldiers who weren’t satisfied merely with becoming Green Berets, but who wanted to become great Green Berets.?

“I thought maybe they would give me a grace period. But I haven’t performed the last two years,” Charles said. “At the same time, I know it was about business. I think it would have been cool if they came and told me about a pay cut because I think I would’ve taken that pay cut, because I think I owed it to them for allowing me to be on the team. But I felt like when I got that call, it was just like, man, it was just OK, man. If it can happen to Peyton Manning it can happen to anybody.”

Charles rushed for a combined 404 yards on 83 carries in 2015 and ’16. That, of course, came after three consecutive seasons of rushing for at least 1,000 yards in Kansas City. It didn’t help that he suffered two ACL tears, including one from October.
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J.J. Watt wants to line up at FB, run over brother T.J. in Texans-Steelers game

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For J.J. Watt, simply playing against younger brother T.J.’s team on Christmas isn’t enough. The older brother wants to face his sibling head-on.

That’s probably part of the reason J.J. Watt has requested to line up at fullback during the Texans’ Christmas Day matchup against the Steelers this year. That way, he can get a piece of his brother, who also plays defensive end.

Authentic Hunter Henry Jersey I’ve signed my contract and all that but technically the rule is I can’t go inside the facility until Stanford’s graduation date, McCaffrey said Friday on The Dan Patrick Show. I’m not even enrolled right now, obviously, and that’s just the rule so I can’t go and we’re on the quarter system so Stanford’s graduation is pretty late. It’s tough. A lot of guys are graduating this week so they can go out but I can’t.

McCaffrey said he doesn’t have a trainer in North Carolina yet, so he’s at home, where he talks with Panthers coaches on Skype.

This isn’t an issue for most players who attended universities with academic calendars that are organized by semesters. However, rookies from quarter-based schools, such as Stanford and UCLA, are unable to participate in team workouts right away.

The rule’s intent is to allow players to stay committed to finishing their academic work and graduate, for those who are in position to, without the burden of NFL workouts.

In Crosby’s absence, look for Malkin and Co. to thrive

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Beating the President’s Trophy winners and the team with the best record coming out of the regular season without superstar Sidney Crosby and playmaker Conor Sheary is going to be no small feat, especially in a heated rivalry matchup in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Washington Capitals, coming off a giant overtime win in Game 3, finally have some momentum swinging in their direction, and with the flurry of new and potentially series-changing injuries, every hockey fan in the country can tell you that these two casualties to the lineup don’t bode well for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

But like the immediate, gloomy reaction people had with losing defenseman Kris Letang to a season-ending neck injury, those same dramatic fair-weather fans and media analysts are already saying Washington is, without a doubt, going to come back and win three of the remaining four games simply because Crosby can’t play for the what might be the rest of the series. Emotions are high yet again, possibly even higher than when Letang was ruled out, and a lot of followers of the Penguins are pretty upset with the actions that led to Sid’s current setback (Expect a very unpleasant cold shoulder for Matt Niskanen from angry Pittsburghers come Wednesday night).
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But Moss had avoided trouble at Marshall, and that’s what the Vikings were banking on when they scooped him with the 20th pick of the draft — behind players like Kevin Dyson and Robert Edwards. The legendary athlete paid immediate dividends in Minnesota, teaming with Cris Carter to give the franchise two of the NFL’s top wideouts. He racked up at least 1,200 receiving yards in each of his first six seasons. His 156 receiving touchdowns rank second all-time.

Jazz-Clippers has been the closest and best series of the NBA first round

It doesn’t feel like anything in the Jazz-Clippers series has gone according to plan.

Justin Tucker Limited Jersey In the utopia version of this series, Blake Griffin wouldn’t have suffered a season-ending injury, Rudy Gobert wouldn’t have tweaked his knee just minutes into Game 1, and Gordon Hayward wouldn’t have suffered through food poisoning in Game 4.

Mike Dunleavy Limited Jersey Before the draft, the Bears and Niners reached a tentative agreement to make a trade if the player the Bears wanted was still on the board after Cleveland picked. Lynch thought Chicago wanted Thomas, and was comfortable with taking Foster with the third pick. 49ers’ chief strategy officer, Paraag Marathe, felt confident the Bears were targeting Trubisky when they called about trading up.

Then why’d they go get [free-agent quarterback Mike] Glennon? general manager John Lynch asked.

It’s the same question a lot of people are asking … maybe even Bears head coach John Fox. He reportedly didn’t know the team was trading up for Trubisky, and the deal may have exposed rifts in Chicago’s front office.

We don’t know what the hell they were doing, an unnamed team executive told CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora. It’s all anyone is talking about. It’s really bad between Pace and Fox. Fox is fuming about being left in the dark on the trade (for Trubisky). I don’t know anyone who likes their draft.

Maybe the Trubisky pick will surprise us and work out just fine for Chicago. Right now, it feels like the Bears don’t really know what they’re doing.