Monthly Archives: May 2017

MLB needs harsher suspensions for pitches thrown at batters’ heads

Joe Namath Authentic Jersey Sometimes, solutions are simple. It’s admitting there’s a problem that’s the stumbling block.

Well, baseball has a problem with pitchers throwing fastballs at batters’ heads. You know the most recent visible incident, the catalyst for this column and others like it across the country — Red Sox pitcher Matt Barnes threw a 90-mph fastball behind the head of Orioles superstar Manny Machado on Sunday.

I don’t really care about the lead-up to that pitch. For the purposes of what we’re going to talk about here, it doesn’t matter.
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If Jeter and Mantle were the long-shining favorite suns, then Maris would be the supernova of this list. He was the best Yankee and American League player during his back-to-back MVP seasons of ’60 and ’61, culminating with his still AL record 61 home runs. It was brief dominance during a limited career that falls well short of the Hall of Fame, but those memorable moments Maris provided were Monument worthy.

It’s appropriate that Dickey shares the number with Berra, because he preceded him as the Yankees’ great catcher, ending his career as Berra’s player-manager in 1946. It’s easy to underrate Dickey — like many of Jeter’s best teammates — because he played on seven World Series winners with teammates such as Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio. He also was at a Yankees position where Berra, Thurman Munson (No. 15), Jorge Posada (No. 20) and Elston Howard (No. 32) all got their numbers retired as well. On this list, however, this is Dickey’s rightful place.

Newton started both games.

He started them even though, while the Panthers had said they had found no damage in his shoulder from Week 14, they in fact had seen the tear.
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Alternative facts, NFL style.

Fine. Lie to us. The public is used to it, and it expects nothing more from this league. But the Panthers likely didn’t lie to Newton — they just let him play hurt in borderline-meaningless games.

Also remember this: It had been recommended (at least it was here) that it was already time to sit him down for the season, because his health was in danger from the NFL continuing to refuse to call obvious illegal hits on him.

That was a season-long problem, again, starting with that Thursday night opener — and continuing in the very next game after his injury, in Washington on Monday night, when he not only didn’t draw a flag for a late helmet-to-helmet hit, but was penalized himself for taunting. Once again, a national audience saw a league operating with two sets of rules, for Newton and for every other marquee quarterback.

There are certainly some (hits) that are deserving (of ejections), Berry told CBS Sports. But there are also some where the receiver is up in the air and the defensive player doesn’t launch, but he’s also changing his vertical plane. Where do you gauge hitting that person? That’s a tough thing to do instantaneously.

Athletically, I don’t even know if they’re capable of doing that at the college level. Even the NFL guys can’t pull that off, either.

Game Shaquil Barrett Jersey That — the arbitrary nature of a human official’s call in the moment — is the tricky part. At least the NFL has acknowledged that intent often is impossible to judge. That’s the case even upon replay review.

Tony Romo golf scouting report: ‘He’s got some game,’ Jason Day says

Retired Cowboys QB Tony Romo was bounced from U.S. Open qualifying earlier this week, but it’s fair to predict he will move past the “stink for a while” stage.

That’s from no less of a golf expert than former world No. 1 Jason Day.

He was asked Tuesday at the The Players Championship about Romo’s golfing skills. Day was uniquely qualified to comment because friend and fellow Australian David Lutterus was paired with Romo at the U.S. Open local qualifier Monday in Aledo, Texas.

The media-room exchange at TPC Sawgrass:

Q. True or false: Jason Day will one day tee off with Tony Romo. I’m sure you saw he’s qualifying for the U.S. Open this week?

His all-around contributions made him an indispensable member of a Lions team that was the class of the league for much of his career, winning titles in 1952, 1953 and 1957 and losing to Cleveland in the 1954 championship game. The Lions have lost 12 of their 13 playoff games since their triumph over the Browns in the 1957 title game.

“Yale Lary was a true American hero,” Pro Football Hall of Fame CEO David Baker said in a statement . “He was defined by his heart and character that made him one of the game’s greatest players. Yale led by example and raised the level of all his teammates that resulted in multiple league titles for the Detroit Lions. Those same traits were on display during his service to our country as a member of the United States Army. Yale Lary lived a life of character that will serve as great inspiration to generations of fans.”

A Fort Worth native, Lary starred at Texas A&M before the Lions selected him in the third round of the 1952 NFL Draft. He was part of the ROTC program in College Station, leading to his recall to active duty in 1954.

Lary also played baseball at A&M and continued to play in the summer during his NFL career. He played parts of four seasons for a variety of minor league teams, including the Beaumont Exporters and the Macon Peaches.


So expect at least Peterson and Revis to be playing somewhere in 2017.

Hitters like to step out and adjust their gloves and do all sorts of other nonsense, but if an umpire ejects a player for stepping out, every other player will think twice about it. Think of it as the floor is lava, but with grown men and more severe circumstances.

At least Peterson and Revis were on NFL teams last year. The last time we saw Lynch in an NFL game was when he rushed six times for 20 yards in Seattle’s playoff loss to Carolina in the 2015 postseason. He had only seven starts and 417 rushing yards that season as he dealt with mid-season sports hernia surgery — hardly the Beast Mode we’re accustomed to seeing.
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Lynch is a five-time Pro Bowler, but no GM is excited to sign (much less trade for) a player who has been retired for a full year and whose last season was lousy and injury-riddled. And, again, there are personal issues with Lynch, including questions about how difficult he is for coaches and his 2012 DUI arrest, which was settled as a reckless driving charge. There’s also his infamous non-cooperation with the media that has cost him plenty via NFL fines.

If any of these three players are signed, it will have to be on a one- or two-year contract with a lower base salary and heavily incentive-laden; the type of deal that will be resisted by the player and his agent.

I’d pass on all three, but as the saying goes, all it takes is one team out of 32 to believe.

So expect at least Peterson and Revis to be playing somewhere in 2017.

Jalston Fowler Limited Jersey 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.

Ezekiel Elliott can’t seem to run away from self-inflicted controversy

Ezekiel Elliott is already one of the NFL’s best runners, but he can’t seem to run from controversy.

The latest source of heat on the Cowboys’ now second-year feature back comes courtesy of a leaked video from TMZ, which shows Elliott exposing the breast of a woman while partying it up at Dallas’ annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday.

It was later explained by Elliott’s camp as a harmless bit of a hand-aided wardrobe malfunction between two young partiers who would still end up hanging out later.

Limited Youth Chad Henne Jersey It doesn’t matter whether you think it could be filed under the sort of drunken debauchery seen this time of year. Or whether you think Elliott deserves to be punished for something that could be deemed sexual assault.

The point is that being a budding Cowboys superstar alone comes with a bright spotlight and the glare of scrutiny. In only a short time in the league, that has been compounded for Elliott.
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So far, nothing has come out of the league’s investigation into Elliott being accused of assault last summer, before his first NFL training camp. But because he plays for a Dallas team that not long ago signed Greg Hardy, and in a league under pressure to get things right with domestic violence incidents, the longer the probe, the more he must consider the consequences of his actions.

Indians activate Jason Kipnis from DL, will make season debut Friday

The Indians are about to get a welcomed face back in their lineup.

Second baseman Jason Kipnis will make his season debut Friday against the White Sox after getting activated from the 10-day diabled list.
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Kipnis had been dealing with right shoulder inflammation. He now returns to the lineup after posting a .200/.273/.300 slash line with two doubles and six strikeouts in 20 at-bats during his rehab stint.

Kipnis is starting at second base and batting sixth against Jose Quintana and the White Sox on Friday. He should move back into the No. 2 spot once he regains his form.

Calvin Pickard Elite Jersey With the gregarious Torre mic’d up for about 50 games during the 1982 season, there was plenty of material with which to work as the crew pried into this usually unseen world.

Having played and managed in media-rich New York, Torre normally didn’t flinch at cameras and microphones. But this was different. This was an intimate set-up that could potentially capture even the most private of conversations between a manager and his players.

It takes you a little time to get used to it, but it really came down to trusting the people you work with. You buy in. That’s it, Torre said. That’s so against what I would ever allow to have happen, only because I just feel there’s so much inside baseball that you don’t want to share. But just the fact that it was in-house and they had their finger on the button, it was basically just something I trusted.

Verizon lands NFL deal to stream Ravens-Jaguars from London

Pegula: No, it’s not the same situation. It’s a different team, different issues. We need to get better.

There have been a lot of reports and speculation since the end of the season about Doug Whaley’s future. You’ve mentioned you enjoyed working with him. How tough was it that he kind of got strung along here a little bit in the last few months?

Pegula: There were a few tears around the building, to be honest with you. He’s a good guy.

Terry, it’s been reported that Brandon Beane, the assistant GM in Carolina, is a candidate. Can you confirm that?

Pegula: We haven’t started any — had one discussion regarding who our candidate is.

Terry, do you have a structure of what you want the front office to be? Whether it’s the head coach reporting to the GM, or Director of Football Operations, or whatever it is – or are you going to let the candidates in the interview —

Pegula: We’ve got to let that roll and see how it shapes out as we talk to people.

For a mere $21 million, Verizon has earned the right to stream the Ravens-Jaguars game from London on Sept. 24, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The matchup will be shown on three Verizon-owned platforms: AOL, Complex and go90, the report said. It could also end up on Yahoo if Verizon’s pending $4.5 billion deal for that company is finalized.

Yahoo was the NFL’s partner the first time it tried a streaming-only broadcast in 2015. The rights to that London-based Jaguars-Bills game went for $15 million. cubs_958

The Warriors are peeved they have to face the Jazz because Utah’s boring

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The Golden State Warriors aren’t pleased that the Utah Jazz are their opponents, when they could’ve been going up against the Los Angeles Clippers. And no, this isn’t about basketball whatsoever.

Mens Greg Lloyd Jersey Utah, the Warriors say, has no nightlife.

The problem with Utah is that you’re just sitting there and your mind is, like, dead, because in L.A., you still got energy for the game, Andre Iguodala told ESPN’s Chris Haynes. Because you’re in L.A., you’re like, ‘Man, this is just the vibe in L.A.’ but in Utah, it can kind of lull you to sleep. And then you’ve slept too long or I’m bored out of my mind and now you got to try to pump yourself up for the game. You know you’re in the playoffs and you’re supposed to be pumped anyway, but the vibe is just like, ‘Man, let’s just get out of here.’

No player is more important to the Los Angeles franchise right now than Chris Paul, who can decline the player option on his contract to opt out and test free agency. If he opts in, Paul will make more than $24 million next season. He could also opt out to sign a more lucrative, long-term deal in Los Angeles.

But he’s not the only free agent. Griffin is in a similar scenario with a player option and the ability to test the waters over the summer. Griffin has missed consecutive playoffs with devastating injuries and has had his fair share of setbacks over the course of his career. But he is also 28 years old and in the prime of his playing career.

Redick is also a free agent at the end of this season, and at 32 years old, the prospect of winning a championship weighs heaviest at this point of his career.

Combined, it will cost Los Angeles more than $200 million to retain its core going forward.

Grizzlies hold their ground vs. Spurs, turn it into a series

The Spurs and the Grizzlies are really playing a series now. Game 1 was a San Antonio blowout, and David Fizdale’s epic rant clearly established they felt like the referees robbed them of a chance in Game 2. But when the series shifted back to Memphis in Game 3, the Grizzlies seemed determined to come out swinging.

Teemu Selanne Limited Jersey The 105-94 win pushes the series to a 2-1 San Antonio lead with another game left to play here at the FedExForum. The Grizzlies were decisive and aggressive with their play on Thursday, matching the Spurs in the first half before pushing the game into blowout territory with a plus-14 third quarter.

There are thousands of pitchers like Mahomes scattered throughout baseball history, but it’s impressive that he hung around major league staffs for as long as he did. That’s not easy. He had one really strong year in his career: 1999, when he came out of the Mets’ bullpen 39 times and notched a 3.68 earned run average that was 21 percent better than the league average.
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He also pitched for Yokohama in Japan in 1997 and 1998. His last big league appearance was on Aug. 26, 2003. He started for the Pirates that day against the Marlins and gave up two runs in five innings, striking out two and walking one. Mike Lincoln got the win in a 4-3 Pirates triumph, but Mahomes was solid. It was unremarkable but entirely professional, much like the rest of Mahomes’ career.

Enough about that, though. His son Patrick is now an NFL quarterback, as he makes the transition from air raid to the pros. No matter how brilliant his career is, Mahomes won’t be the first professional ball-thrower in his own family.

Predators fans showed P.K. Subban wholehearted support after Mike Milbury’s dancing criticism

A few days ago, NBC hockey analyst Mike Milbury called P.K. Subban a clown for dancing during warmups because he’s a hater and haters are going to hate.
Nolan Carroll Kids Jersey Houston didn’t have its current personnel. Corey Brewer, K.J. McDaniels, Tyler Ennis, Dekker and Montrezl Harrell all played a serious enough amount of minutes to drag the Rockets’ second unit offense down (Dekker was a bright spot). Houston’s current offense is predicated around having four three-point shooters on the floor at all times. At points in games against the Spurs this season, Houston had no more than two.

Isaiah Crowell Kids Jersey The Spurs play really good close-out defense. They’re an old team, but you wouldn’t know it from how close they are to many of the Rockets three point attempts. They’re not quick enough to force Houston’s shooters off the three point line like the Utah Jazz, but the Spurs use their basketball IQ to close out on almost every shot. It’s fun to watch an aging Pau Gasol close out on a Patrick Beverley three point attempt.

James Harden took lots of pull up threes because San Antonio’s defense burns the shot clock. Mike D’Antoni’s ¡®Seven Seconds or Less’ Suns faced this same problem. Despite having a historic offense run by Steve Nash they’d fail to crest 100 points in some playoff games against Popovich’s defenses. The Spurs had the best defense in the league this season by defensive rating and in their games against Houston their composure and system forced Houston into taking bad three pointers, not wide open looks Rockets shooters have been hitting all year.

Getting back to Lou Williams… Eric Gordon saved the Rockets bacon in two of these games with his shooting. He lead the Rockets in scoring in game two. In game three he went cold and the Rockets offense faltered at several points. Williams coming off the bench in game two or three would have been the difference and in this series it could easily be the difference.