Ohtani: ‘Honored’ to be in Home Run Derby talk

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Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani said he is honored about talk of potentially participating in the Home Run Derby during the All-Star break. The Japanese phenom has six homers in 84 at-bats as a part-time DH.
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Judge won last year’s competition at Marlins Park, beating Miguel Sano of the Minnesota Twins 11-10 in the final. He became the fourth Yankees player to win the Derby, joining Tino Martinez in 1997, Jason Giambi in 2002 and Robinson Cano in 2011.

Robert Gsellman, New York Mets (available in nearly 95 percent): He has scored the 20th-most fantasy points of any pitcher with relief eligibility who has worked the majority of his time in that capacity. He is sneaking back onto the fantasy scene quietly, just as he did as a starter back in 2016. Gsellman even recorded a save on Sunday, a sign he’s moving into a more prominent role for the New York Mets. His peripherals lead me to think he’s been a bit lucky, but he’s also good enough generating ground balls and weak contact to be a useful option for as long as the Mets keep him in multi-inning relief.

Vander Laan Bobby Wagner Jersey signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Ferris State in 2016. He saw action in four games with the Colts last season in his only career games.

Vander Laan, 25, played quarterback at Ferris State, throwing for 8,240 yards and 85 touchdowns, while rushing for 5,953 yards and 81 touchdowns.

That’s the thing that impressed us last year when he came up, the quality of his stuff, how electric it was, Snitker said of Gohara, a native of Brazil. But he’s a big guy and got the strike zone.

Gohara made one start against the Phillies last season, and it was the best of his brief major league career. Gohara had nine strikeouts while limiting the Phillies to one run in seven innings on Sept. 24, 2017.

Albies goes deep, McCarthy and Braves beat Phillies 3-1

Sean Doolittle (2-2) struck out the side in the ninth.

Jeremy Hellickson held San Diego to one run and five hits over 5 1/3 innings. Franchy Cordero homered for the Padres.
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Hellickson threw one pitch after Jose Pirela’s one-out double in the sixth before exiting with a blister.

Setting expectations for Giants’ draft picks

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The UT-Chattanooga product played 33 games for the Bengals and Ravens from 2012-16. He was released by the Broncos just before the 2017 season began.
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Lewis-Harris wasn’t the oldest or most experienced player in rookie minicamp. That title belonged to 30-year-old offensive lineman Chris Scott, a veteran of 45 NFL games.

Rookie minicamp is reserved for players who have less than one season of accrued NFL experience (at least three games spent on the 53-man roster) or unsigned free agents. Here is an explanation of the difference between a rookie tryout and a free agent in minicamp.

This means that we’re going to get both disappointments and surprises every year when it comes to the contributions of first-round rookies. Last year, for example, we saw No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett Everson Griffen Womens Jersey impact 11 of a possible 16 games. 11th overall selection Marshon Lattimore, meanwhile, was a 13-game starter who went on to win Defensive Rookie of the Year.

We’re here to provide realistic first-year expectations for each 2018 first-round draft pick. With aforementioned factors considered, we’ll try to determine the level of contribution each rookie will have in Year 1鈥攂e it low, medium or high.

I’m not going to back off of this, head coach Hue Jackson said, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. We can keep writing this narrative. Tyrod Taylor’s the starting quarterback of this football team, and that won’t change.

Of course, this is Cleveland, where quarterbacks simply don’t start a full 16-game slate. We’ll probably see Mayfield at some point, either due to injury or after the Browns have fallen out of contention. However, while fans will get a look at the future in 2018, Mayfield is not going to have a large role.

While the Browns are preparing for their future at the quarterback position, the New York Giants are going all-in to try to win with their current signal-caller. They acquired left tackle Nate Solder in free agency to help protect Eli Manning, and they used the No. 2 pick on former Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.

The addition of Barkley is big. The playmaker has size (6’0, 233 lbs), speed (4.4-second 40) and can do pretty much everything well.

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Steelers ranked Mason Rudolph alongside first-round quarterbacks

The Steelers became the first team to take a quarterback after the end of the first round when they traded up in the third round to draft Mason Rudolph.

Pittsburgh had to give a seventh-round pick to the Seahawks for the chance to move up three spots, which General Manager Kevin Colbert called a “minimal” price to eliminate the risk that a quarterback they “valued as much as the rest of those quarterbacks that were drafted” in the first round would end up somewhere else.

Lions head coach Matt Patricia said Thursday he was falsely accused of sexual assault, a charge on which he reportedly was indicted but the 1996 case never went to trail when the alleged victim did not appear to testify.

Charges were dropped but brought to light late Wednesday by the Detroit News.

Rudolph said Roethlisberger even unexpectedly texted him to wish him well during the minicamp.

J.R.’s rehabbing right now and we’re going to see how that goes, Buccaneers general manager Jason Licht said during an appearance with WDAE-AM 620 (h/t JoeBucsFan.com). You know, he hasn’t been cleared and hopefully he gets cleared by training camp.

Less than $2 million of Sweezy’s contract is guaranteed, so clearing his next three seasons off the books wouldn’t be a financial challenge for the Buccaneers. While Sweezy does have four years of full-time starting experience, it makes no sense for Tampa to keep him if he isn’t a clear-cut top starting option and is still working his way back from injury.

“But without a doubt he is done for the season. Fusion takes 4-6 months for recovery,” Chao wrote.

“The best-case scenario of a spinal cord concussion and early recovery are gone. Let’s hope for the next-best possibility of a great result from surgery and full neurologic recovery over the next 4 to 6 months.”

Michael Strahan’s ‘jersey should definitely be retired’ by Giants

Jacobs won two Super Bowls as a running back for the Giants, rushing for 5,087 yards and 60 touchdowns in 107 games over eight seasons with the franchise. He was the No. 110 overall pick in the fourth round of the 2005 draft.
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While Jacobs’ career serves as one of many examples — more recently, Alvin Kamara (Saints) and Kareem Hunt (Chiefs) — of why teams commonly pass on running backs in the top five of a draft believing they can find production in the middle rounds, he doesn’t subscribe to the theory.

In this Oct. 2, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, and safety Eric Reid kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys in Santa Clara, Calif. The NFL players’ union has filed a non-injury grievance on behalf of free agent safety Eric Reid. The NFLPA cites one team appearing to have based its decision not to sign a player based on the player’s statement that he would challenge the implementation of a club’s policy prohibiting demonstration during the national anthem.

The NFLPA cites one team appearing to have based its decision not to sign a player based on the player’s statement that he would challenge the implementation of a club’s policy prohibiting demonstration during the national anthem.

Drafted 19th overall by the Titans in 2007, the Texas product appeared in two Pro Bowls and was named a second-team All-Pro in 2010.
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Authentic Mens Whitey Herzog Jersey On the field, there is only one football, and how the Giants distribute it when Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley are out there together is the sort of reverse-dilemma an offensive-minded head coach such as Pat Shurmur desires all day, every day.

It is off the field where the Odell-Saquon dynamic is most fascinating to anticipate. Last names are optional with these two mega-stars 鈥?one NFL established, revered (in some circles reviled), and the other a newbie arriving already a brand-ready college phenom, undeniably the most highly anticipated Giants rookie in the social-media age.

Odell is not part Authentic Matt Bryant Jersey of the furniture in an Eli Manning sense, but, entering his fifth season, he is familiar in a realm where new is embraced. How he reacts to his space, his domain, infiltrated by Smiling Saquon will be a case-study in worlds colliding. In the game, Beckham will have to adjust to seeing the ball less, hearing roars for Barkley and grow accustomed to chasing him down in the end zone to celebrate a Saquon Score.

Report: NFL may delegate anthem policy to individual teams

The NFL has said that players may protest during the anthem. Some teams have, as a practical matter, applied a different approach, discouraging and/or flat-out stating that players will not kneel. Soon, it could be for the teams to formally craft their own policies regarding whether players will be required to stand during the anthem.
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So it’s hardly a compromise to give the teams the power to tell players not to kneel. It could end up instead being a powderkeg, at a time when the issue has largely subsided, but for the pending Kaepernick and Eric Reid collusion grievances.
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Via Deone Bucannon Authentic Jersey the New York Post, the lawyer currently representing Luisa Esposito has asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to encourage Lisa Friel, the league’s special counsel for investigations to take action in a case that fell under her jurisdiction when the situation arose in 2005.

Esposito contends that attorney Allen Isaac groped her and demanded sexual favors from her in connection with representation stemming from an automobile accident. Esposito managed to capture one of her meetings with Isaac on tape, and it was enough to get him kicked out of the Wall Street law firm he founded. However, Isaac never was prosecuted.

So why Friel? At the time, she led the Manhattan District Attorney’s Sex-Crimes Unit, and she didn’t prosecute Isaac. So Esposito’s new lawyer, Peter Gleason, wants Goodell to tell Friel to tell the DA to move on the case.

Just like access to agents, limiting access of coaches to players empowers the third parties that the NCAA seeks to limit. The answer to influence isn’t to take coaches away from the players but to allow more access of coaches to players.

When NCAA coaches are not present, others will fill that void. The commission suggested greater access of NCAA coaches to their own players during the summer so third parties will not be empowered. It also recommended greater player access to agents so bad agents will not be empowered. But limiting youth players’ access to coaches will somehow limit the influence of third parties? That makes no sense.

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Browns struggle to find the right balance between veteran and rookie quarterback

Because the Cleveland Browns have had so many starting quarterbacks since returning to the NFL in 1999, the franchise has experienced just about every way possible to blow their chance at developing a franchise quarterback. That 19-year history invites significant angst as the Browns now try to balance relying on a veteran for whom they gave up a third-round draft pick against the rookie in whom they entrusted the first overall selection in the draft.
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Ryan Allen Elite Jersey It鈥檚 a delicate balance 鈥?arguably minefield 鈥?for the Browns. Wait too long to flip to Mayfield, and Taylor could win the hearts and minds of Browns fans. Go with Mayfield too early, and perhaps he ends up having his confidence shattered, in the same way last year鈥檚 rookie starter DeShone Kizer鈥榮 was, especially after Jackson repeatedly benched and unbenched Kizer as he struggled without the benefit of a high level of talent around him or a high level of coaching acumen.

The win totals Shaun Livingston Jersey that Vegas sports books take bets on are one of the best ways to predict how good each team in the NFL will be. The sports books are in business to make money, and they鈥檙e not going to make money if they鈥檙e way off on the lines they set. So they鈥檙e careful about setting the over-unders as close to reality as possible.
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Houston benefits from a last-place schedule that has them facing the Browns and Broncos, both of which are expected by Vegas to have losing records again this year, as well as from the AFC South teams playing the AFC East teams. Aside from the Patriots, Vegas thinks the other three teams in the AFC East are all going to be bad this year, which means the Texans get three easy games on their schedule 鈥?and means the Patriots should have six easy games in their division.

Ryan Shazier Has $8.26M of Steelers Salary Converted into Signing Bonus

The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly converted the bulk of injured linebacker Ryan Shazier’s 2018 salary into a signing bonus Thursday.

As we trend toward a split in styles of tight ends, with some of the next generation serving as pure pass-catchers acquired for defensive mismatches and all but ditching blocking responsibilities, Witten was a model of both. He blocked willingly and effectively, and cleared the way for four 1,000-yard rushers (DeMarco Murray did it twice in 2013 and 2014) during his 15-year career in Dallas.

Witten served as a reliable target at a variety of depths, finishing with the fourth most career receptions in NFL history (1,152). He also finished first in Cowboys history in career receptions (leading Michael Irvin by 452 grabs) and receiving yards (12,448, the second most of a tight end in NFL history), and third in receiving touchdowns with 68. Witten’s 11 Pro Bowl appearances were bested only by Gonzalez, who finished with 14.

Safety: Jaquiski Tartt is ideal for the strong starting spot, but free safety Eric Reid was unsigned. Seventh-rounder Adrian Colbert played OK as a rookie through six starts, but there’s nothing spectacular yet about his playmaking. Jimmie Ward, who’s better off at either corner or nickel back, isn’t an answer. The 49ers could use a versatile, more adept cover man.

Offensive line: Richburg takes care of center, but at left guard Laken Tomlinson and Jonathan Cooper are makeshift retreads. At right guard, Joshua Garnett, a 2016 first-rounder, didn’t play at all in ’17 after knee surgery. And while left tackle Joe Staley needs a successor soon, he and right tackle Trent Brown were terrific together last season, which makes the interior a much bigger priority.

Bowles was later asked if the Jets would consider carrying just two QBs during the 2018 season, presumably McCown and Darnold while potentially cutting ties eventually with Bridgewater and Hackenberg.

We’re open to anything right now, Bowles said. We’re going to let it all play out before we make those kinds of decisions. tigers_007-115x115

Browns defensive coordinator explains why they picked Denzel Ward over Bradley Chubb

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The Cleveland Browns came into the 2018 NFL Draft with four of the top 35 picks, and two of the top four. It was widely expected that they’d take a quarterback at No. 1, and that is indeed what they did: they selected Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield to be their QB of the future.
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It was at No. 4 where the Browns made their first surprising selection of the weekend. Most people considered NC State defensive end Bradley Chubb to be the top defensive player in the draft, and when he was still available at No. 4, figured the ability to pair Chubb with last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Myles Garrett, along the defensive line would be too enticing to pass up.

The Broncos likely won’t be contending for an AFC West title this year, as the Los Angeles Chargers were a kicker away from the playoffs last year and the Kansas City Chiefs Womens Vernon Butler Jersey could repeat Patrick Mahomes can replicate Alex Smith’s passing stats. Don’t assume Denver is going to have another top-five pick next year, though.
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Their draft class and the signing of former Vikings quarterback Case Keenum should give the Broncos stability, removing some of the low-end scenarios that plagued them in 2017.

The Detroit Lions are clearly the third-best team in the NFC North, trailing the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers (with a healthy Aaron Rodgers) but ahead of the Chicago Bears. New head coach Matt Patricia will impact the product on the field, though.

The New York Giants were open to trading Ereck Flowers during the NFL draft. It just didn’t happen, in part because of the price.

The Giants were looking for a mid-round draft pick in return for Flowers, according to a source. That wasn’t going to happen, given the level of his play and contract.

The price was considered significantly too steep for one team, and it ultimately didn’t lure any bites. Flowers is guaranteed $2.4 million this season.

Since selecting quarterback Jameis Winston first overall in 2015, the Bucs have gone 20-28, including 5-11 last season. In 42 seasons of NFL football in Tampa Bay, the team has only had seven seasons with 10 or more wins. In contrast, the Bucs have recorded 10 or more losses 25 times in their history as a team.

Irsay: Colts turned down trade offers for Luck

Colts owner Jim Irsay hinted during a draft day conversation Saturday that the team has received multiple trade inquiries about franchise quarterback Andrew Luck, only to quickly dismiss them. Luck hasn’t played a game in over a year, and is still rehabbing the surgically-repaired throwing shoulder that kept him on the sideline the entire 2017 season.
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Evans is a notch below the Roquan Smith-level linebacker prospects in this year’s class, but he could easily develop to be as good as Mosley. Oh, there we go comparing Alabama defenders again. Excellence really can get wearying.

Trading up for Evans feels like a little bit of a reach, but the Titans have plenty of young talent from past drafts that needs to be developed, so spending a little capital to get the player Mike Vrabel really wants won’t cripple them.

Mike Hughes was one of the major catalysts in the Knights’ undefeated season. He’s a physical defender with great speed and the absolute mentality that any ball thrown in his area is his鈥攐r at the very least, won’t belong to the receiver in question.

Sam Mills Kids Jersey The NFL will reportedly address the future of the kickoff play during a May 1 and 2 summit meeting at league headquarters in New York.

Zack Cox of NESN shared comments from Matthew Slater of the New England Patriots in which he said doing away with kickoffs would be a tragedy:

The concern at the NFL level comes after the NCAA approved a change in kickoff rules for the 2018 campaign. According to聽Greg Johnson聽of NCAA.org, kickoffs will automatically be deemed touchbacks if the returner calls a fair catch inside the 25-yard line, which minimizes the incentive to return deep kickoffs and theoretically will lead to Andrew Sendejo Jersey fewer returns.

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NFL Draft 2018: 5 Sleeper prospects

Game Womens Deacon Jones Jersey The good general managers have success with their early-round picks, the great ones can do that and hit on late-round prospects.
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Every year in the NFL, there are prospects who fly under the radar in the draft only to make a significant impact in their rookie season.

It takes an astute GM to find such gems and here we look at five sleepers from this year’s class who should be firmly on the league’s radar.

LB Genard Avery, Memphis – One of the top athletes in an extremely deep linebacker class, Avery is a player who deserves to be talked about more given his production.

Racking up 22 tackles for loss and 8.5 sacks in 2017, Avery brings significant pass-rush upside and can play sideline to sideline and downhill. He plays with aggression and thud that belies his 6-0 and 248-pound frame. Getting him at any point beyond round two will be a steal.

CB Isaac Yiadom, Boston College – Seen as a day-three guy, Yiadom has the tape and the physical makeup of a cornerback who deserves to be taken considerably higher.

At 6-0 with arms just over 32 inches, Yiadom fits the mold of the long corner so many teams are looking for. He is physical in press coverage, jamming receivers with a powerful punch that can throw them off their routes, but is also athletic enough to fluidly turn his hips and maintain tight downfield coverage.

With that kind of versatile skill set and impressive on-ball production (22 pass deflections) in his college career, Yiadom is a mid to late-rounder who could become a year-one contributor at an extremely important position.

Panthers 鈥?Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn: Carolina is in desperate need of reinforcements at Bruce Irvin Authentic Jersey corner. Davis’ size (6-1, 206) makes him better suited to take on super-sized NFC South receivers like Julio Jones, Michael Thomas and Mike Evans.

Buccaneers (from Rams via Bills) 鈥?Donte Jackson, CB, LSU: Did we mention that atrocious Tampa pass defense? Jackson isn’t big (5-11, 178) but has excellent speed. So in some ways, pretty much Brent Grimes, just 12 years younger.

Elite David Backes USA Jersey Titans 鈥?Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State: An exceptional athlete (41陆-inch vertical, 4.54-second 40 at the combine), he’d add another dimension to Tennessee’s passing attack and could take over the primary role in a year if Delanie Walker, soon to be 34, isn’t re-signed beyond 2018.