Monthly Archives: May 2017

It’s mainly personified by the long plight of his free agency this offseason.

Baseball researcher Adam Darowski, who chairs the 19th Century Committee for the Society for American Baseball Research, recently lamented that Bennett is so overlooked as to not even qualify for the committee’s annual honor for most overlooked 19th century legend. Statistically, though, he rates among the best catchers in baseball history and did so in a bare-knuckled era where backstops played with little protection. Darowski elaborated on Bennett’s case in a recent article on his website.

Elite Mens Paul Pierce Jersey In a division where the Yankees and the Red Sox feud over division leadership like Captain America and Iron Man, the Blue Jays were somewhere, lost in the shuffle. And in comes, you guessed it, Bautista again.

Sure, Joey Bats comes on strong, like a right cross square to the jaw. That’s no secret. He’s made off-the-cuff remarks about opponents that have garnered him criticism from fans and ballplayers alike. The aforementioned bat flip will go down in baseball infamy, a lasting image of Bautista, if there ever was one. He’s been known to ruffle feathers in the sport and remains unapologetic about it.

Michael Jordan Youth Jersey It’s mainly personified by the long plight of his free agency this offseason. At least one team was reluctant to bid for his services this offseason for that reason. Orioles president Dan Duquette 鈥?the J. Jonah Jameson of Bautista’s story 鈥?said it in early December: His team had no interest in Bautista because Baltimore fans don’t like him. Duquette recently backtracked on his comments, probably more to look a bit more professional than to temper their veracity.

Eric Thames goes yard again as Brewers rough up Cardinals

Something’s brewing in Milwaukee.

The Brewers may have a bullpen that has already failed them multiple times this year, but the Milwaukee offense has shown some serious punch.

Authentic Womens Kelvin Sheppard Jersey After hitting three home runs in Thursday’s 7-5 home win over the Cardinals, the Brewers (9-8) now have an MLB-best 32 homers in 17 games. Leading the way is first baseman Eric Thames, who went yard again for his league-leading eighth homer this season.

Authentic Womens Andrew Norwell Jersey Chicago put fifth starter Brett Anderson (back) on the disabled list Sunday, but that’s addition by subtraction, based on his 8.18 ERA. His contribution pushed the Cubs to 10th in the NL with a 4.64 rotation ERA. Eddie Butler and Mike Montgomery are the main candidates to replace him. Butler, a onetime Rockies prospect, has been terrific at Triple-A (1.17 ERA in 30 2/3 innings). Whoever takes over won’t be needed until May 20, thanks to two off-days.

The Cubs’ bullpen, led by Wade Davis, has held up extremely well while picking up the starters. It leads the NL with a 2.97 ERA and is fourth with a .622 opponents’ OPS. Chicago used seven of its nine relievers Sunday, including Davis for an inning. Now comes a series in Colorado, a severe test for any relief corps, followed by a weekend set in St. Louis.

Chicago’s up-and-down play has helped keep the NL Central tight after the first five weeks; three games separate the five teams. The Cubs can change that with a hot streak, starting this week. There are signs they can do it, and signs they can’t. The fact there’s doubt is a good, albeit small, sign for the rest of the division as the second week of May begins.

How NFL Draft risks like Joe Mixon are weighed and managed

Before and during last year’s NFL Draft, players like Dak Prescott, Robert Nkemdiche and Tyreek Hill tumbled down draft boards due to a variety of off-field issues.

Joe Mixon is the 2017 NFL Draft’s prime example of a talented player who has a major character blemish.

Teams at this point in the NFL Draft process are wrapping up their due diligence on players with behavioral issues and injury concerns, and Mixon is the most controversial. Navigating these touchy cases is a major challenge for NFL general managers and player personnel directors.

Many teams are debating whether they’ll even consider the Oklahoma running back who was charged after an appalling 2014 incident in which he punched a woman.

I thought Watson was the top quarterback in this year’s class, and Cleveland should have received more than just next year’s first-round pick from Houston (which likely will be in the bottom third of the first round) for the right to select the Clemson product. (Another strike against the Browns’ front office.)

Maybe Trubisky and Mahomes will become elite. Maybe they won’t. But at least Chicago and Kansas City are making concerted efforts to identify franchise QBs.

Miami, Buffalo and New York again can thank New England for keeping the division out of the NFL’s basement. The Patriots have won the AFC East in 14 of the last 16 years, including eight straight. The stranglehold will not end in 2017.

Can Albert Almora replace Dexter Fowler?

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It’s weird. Vizquel won 11 Gold Gloves and has one of the finest reputations of any fielder in baseball history. While he got maligned once in a classic episode of The Simpsons when Bart fleeces a distracted Milhouse into trading a dog-eared, Seattle Mariners-years Vizquel card to him for a Carl Yastrzemski rookie, Vizquel soon came to personify defensive excellence in baseball. By sabermetrics, though, Vizquel’s practically a below-average player. And, as Forman pointed out, numerous shortstops rank better than Vizquel, depending on which metric one favors.

According to the Play Index tool on Forman’s site, Vizquel’s 5.0 Wins Above Average are tied for 54th among inactive shortstops who aren’t in Cooperstown. By Wins Above Replacement, which rates Vizquel far better because of his longevity, he’s 10th among inactive, non-enshrined shortstops with 45.3 WAR. Sabermetrics reaffirm Vizquel as a good defensive shortstop, with his 127.6 runs saved while fielding 18th-best among all shortstops in baseball history. But his minus-244.3 runs worse than average as a hitter paint him as the 13th-worst hitting shortstop of all time. Adjusting for his era, Vizquel would be just about the worst-hitting position player in the Hall of Fame.

Youth Allen Hurns Jersey Can Albert Almora replace Dexter Fowler? Dexter Fowler was solid as a leadoff hitter during his time with the Cubs, providing commendable offense and above-average defense in center. Now, Chicago relies on rookie Albert Almora to fill in for Fowler. He has some speed and is a good fielder, but is still just 22. The Cubs’ contingency plan is Jon Jay, one of the most consistently average players in baseball. Jay would be an adequate replacement, but Almora has the potential to eventually eclipse Fowler and keep the gears rotating in what was a ferocious Chicago lineup.

Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman now an investor, co-owner of restaurant near Nationals Park

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Ryan Zimmerman went to college in Virginia and has been with the Washington Nationals since 2005. With all that time in the DMV area under his belt, the veteran infielder has decided to help contribute to local cuisine.

According to Washington City Paper, Zimmerman is an investor and co-owner of The Salt Line, a New England-influenced alehouse that will sit on Dock 79, which is just a tenth of a mile from Nationals Park.

Zimmerman told City Paper that he and his wife try to go out every week if possible to well-received establishments, which influenced this move.

I’ll be joining him by investing in the future of our youth, Bennett said in a statement. The system is failing our kids, and it will be up to the community and our leaders to help keep the hope alive by focusing on improving our education system and the future of our kids. Any company that decides to invest in me, just know that you’ll be investing in opportunities and providing inspiration for these families — many who feel unnoticed or go unmentioned.

Bennett will also donate 50 percent of the proceeds from his jersey sales in 2017 to inner-city garden projects.
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He is asking fellow athletes to follow his lead.

I’m asking all professional athletes to join me by donating a portion of your endorsements this year to a cause of your choice, Bennett said. We can make a difference. It’s up to us to help plant seeds of hope and help fuel the future.

Bennett’s pledge comes a day after he wrote a piece for The Players Tribune about why he supported the women’s strike on International Women’s Day.

49ers GM John Lynch not sweating Reuben Foster, NaVorro Bowman situations

John Lynch has heard all the chatter about Reuben Foster’s health and NaVorro Bowman’s role with the 2017 San Francisco 49ers.
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And the team’s new general manager isn’t sweating it about either linebacker.

Lynch told co-host Mark Dominik and me Tuesday on SiriusXM NFL Radio that he anticipates Foster will be full go for the start of 49ers training camp after the rookie underwent rotator cuff surgery following his senior season at Alabama.

However, there can be few complaints about how Lynch and his team handled the draft.
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Lynch moved up and down the board like a seasoned GM, and set the franchise up well for the next stage of its rebuild by gaining an extra second- and third-rounder in the 2018 draft.

The third-round pick was acquired from the Bears that allowed Chicago to move up one spot to take Mitchell Trubisky.

In making that deal, Lynch was able to fleece a much more experienced GM in Ryan Pace for a 2017 third and fourth and still take the player he wanted in Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas before using the extra ammunition to move back into the first round and pick Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster.

The Padres are the last band on the stage in San Diego, and if they’re going to send the fans home happy, then signing Wil Myers to a contract extension is a great song to start the set. Myers showed his offensive potential in his first full, injury-free year in the major leagues, culminating in an All-Star appearance. The Padres have a lot of work left, but this is a good beginning to starting fresh and move forward as the last pro sports franchise in San Diego.

Aaron Hernandez news: Fiancee thought call about suicide was ‘a hoax’

Aaron Hernandez’s fiancee says when she received the call that the former Patriots tight end was dead, apparently from suicide, she thought it was “a hoax.”

Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez makes the comment in an interview with Dr. Phil McGraw that will air in two parts May 15 and 16 on McGraw’s syndicated “Dr. Phil” show.

“I thought it was a hoax, that this was some cruel person playing a trick on me,” Jenkins-Hernandez says of receiving the phone call that Hernandez was dead.

A press release promoting the TV interview says Jenkins-Hernandez “sets the record straight about her fiance’s mysterious jail cell death, rumors about his purported secret romantic life, and if she thinks he killed himself so that she could collect millions of dollars.”

At the time of his death, Hernandez was serving a life sentence for the 2013 first-degree murder of Odin L. Lloyd, who was dating Jenkins-Hernandez’s sister. He recently had been acquitted of two other murders.

“Our last talk had nothing to do with suicidal thoughts. … I felt like we were looking so bright. We were going up a ladder to a positive direction,” Jenkins-Hernandez says.

A judge Tuesday vacated the 2013 murder conviction because Hernandez died before his appeal was heard by the highest court in Massachusetts. Hernandez’s estate stands to be paid millions because Los Angeles Angels nike_steelers_1531of that ruling, although the estate owes Lloyd’s family from a wrongful-death suit and faces other lawsuits filed by families of other alleged victims.

Bills’ draft pick Zay Jones showcases interesting take on O.J. Simpson police chase

After the Steelers drafted JuJu Smith-Schuster in Round 2, Pittsburgh wide receiver Martavis Bryant said the move was done to replace Coates, not him. Bryant is probably right. According to, no wide receiver with as many targets (49) dropped a higher percentage of passes (10.2) than Coates. Smith-Schuster, though, has his own problems to worry about. notes that Smith-Schuster flubbed 15.2 percent of his potential catches in three seasons at Southern Cal.

Is Zay Jones a fan of The Juice?

When the Buffalo Bills drafted the East Carolina wide receiver with the 37th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Jones was sporting an interesting t-shirt.

Elite Mens John Jerry Jersey Jones wore a shirt that had seven white Ford broncos chasing a single police car, the reverse of the iconic picture captured during former Buffalo Bills running back OJ Simpson’s famous police chase in California in 1994.

Jones could be just goofing around, but maybe the shirt design has a deeper social message?

Who knows, either way it looks like some Bills fans seem to like the t-shirt involving one of the team’s most infamous players.

Don’t care how Zay Jones plays. Him wearing an OJ shirt at the same time he’s drafted by the Bills is worthy of multiple 1st rd picks IMO
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— Cory O’Neill (@CoryONeill1) April 29, 2017

Give Joe Johnson your sick, your poor, your injured centers

The closing moments of Rockets vs. Thunder Game 4 were compelling in the same way watching a foal trying to figure out how to walk is compelling. You just sit back, laugh, and occasionally yell What are you doing, you fool?Both teams made bizarre decisions — Russell Westbrook taking twos down six, James Harden forcing action when he needed to burn clock, Jerami Grant fouling softly when a three-point play was death — and the Rockets, who are better, came away ahead. Harden hit a helluva dagger after struggling all game, and for his trouble he goes home with a 3-1 lead. Given the Spurs and Grizzlies are locked in a dogfight, Houston might be starting to feel good about its prospects.

Then surely the Caps won’t score on this play. And in fact, they don’t. Fleury gets even more acrobatic, as if he’s a puppet on strings the Sports Gods are pulling to further your playoff grief.
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The play stops. It’s only been 20 seconds, but 20 years have been shaved off your life. The Capitals lose. You lay there on the floor, wondering why you waste your time with mean things like watching playoff hockey and not with something less agonizing like Antiques Roadshow or a book. Watching a book.

Just imagine how it must feel to be a fan of either of those teams. Please check on them today.

Because that was brilliant, torturously beautiful sportsing. If you leave a playoff hockey viewing experience with frayed nerves, a tear-stained shirt and gasping for breath then you’ve gotten your money’s worth. That 20 seconds was why we tune in every night, even if it was the worst best thing to ever happen to us. All of us.
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Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go ride a motorcycle out of a helicopter.

Hawks put pressure back on Wizards, tie series at 2-2

The Wizards charged towards the end of the postseason looking like one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. With John Wall making a case for best point guard in the East, it looked as if Washington was ready to make a big postseason splash. And to an extent, they did. They came out and decidedly won their first two games in Washington to take a commanding 2-0 lead on the Hawks.

Jay Bromley Mens Jersey But when they got to Atlanta, they weren’t ready to end the Hawks there. They got blown out in Game 3, which you could write off as one bad game. But in Game 4 they had their chances, but ultimately let Atlanta off the hook. Now? The series is tied 2-2 and it will be a best out of three moving forward. The Wizards have plenty of time to redeem themselves but for now they look like a team not quite ready to be able to step on a team’s throat when they need to.

Remember that time the Atlanta Hawks won player of the month with their entire starting lineup in 2015? Well their Game 4 win over the Wizards was kind of like that. With seven players scoring in double figures, including their entire starting five, they tied up the series and will now head to Washington for Game 5.

Deion Sanders Mens Jersey Falling to No. 4 would be a major bummer for the Celtics, but fortunately this draft is deep enough in the lottery that they will still come away with a great young talent. Jayson Tatum is exactly that. He’s a 6’8 wing with a polished scoring package and the ability to create offense from all three levels. With Tatum and Jaylen Brown, Boston would have two big, athletic wings at a time when those players are valued more than ever.