Monthly Archives: August 2017

Broncos’ Menelik Watson pulls off surprise proposal during Saturday’s game

Menelik Watson took an uneventful preseason game and turned it into the most memorable night of his life.

The Broncos right tackle surprised his girlfriend, Azania Stewart, with an in-game proposal on Saturday during the team’s third exhibition game against the Packers.

“It was her first NFL game,” Watson said, via the team’s website . “She’s about to head back overseas to start her season. She leaves tomorrow. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’ve been contemplating it. What a perfect time to do it: in our stadium, the first game, in front of a beautiful crowd. I’m not really a public person, but I just thought it would be something special that we could remember forever.”

Hank Aaron has weighed in on the controversy surrounding Colin Kaepernick, saying the quarterback is “getting a raw deal” from NFL owners.

The Baseball Hall of Famer spoke to Roland Martin of TV One on Wednesday and lamented Kaepernick’s situation.

“If you look at all the quarterbacks in the league right now, you have to say he is one, two, three, four. I don’t think anybody can do the things he could do. I just wish somebody would open up and give him a chance to do his thing,” Aaron said.

Okung fit in with a group of good-but-not-great left tackles who were receiving contracts worth around $11 million a season and $35 million in the first three years. The Chargers made him the highest-paid tackle in the NFL at $13.25 million a year and $39 million in the first three. The Chargers have whiffed on high-priced offensive linemen in recent years and will hope this is not another mistake.seahawks_084

Kings offer Otto Porter Jr. a 4-year, $100 million deal that Wizards plan to match, per report

The Sacramento Kings have offered restricted free agent Otto Porter Jr. a max offer sheet, according to ESPN’s Chris Haynes and Marc J. Spears. Porter hasn’t accepted the offer sheet, but he will if the Washington Wizards fail to match it, per report.

However, the Wizards have repeatedly said that they will match any offer sheet that Porter signs this summer. The 24-year-old forward notched career highs with 13.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 43.4 percent shooting from three last season, clearing the way for Porter and his agent to demand a four-year max deal worth almost $100 million.
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When two-time MVP and two-time NBA champion Stephen Curry entered the league in 2010, he was rated a 69. Sixty-nine! At the end of last season, he was a 94. Rudy Gobert had similar results, entering the league as a raw athlete in 2014 with the tender rating of a 53. Now, the Frenchman’s a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate who ended the 2016-17 season at an 81 overall.

The list goes on and on. Players get better (or worse) as the season goes on, and their NBA 2K rating fluctuates weekly — sometimes daily — with their play. It’s a vicious cycle for those fringe players who care about their video-game selves, and an even more cruel punishment for the fans who use those players every day.

A. J. Pollock Elite Jersey That said, NBA 2K18 is exactly two months away, and a few notable players discovered their ratings in advance of the drop date. Some of their reactions were priceless:

Even if Utah was able to move Favors without taking salary back, then waive Diaw to create space for Porter’s max contract, the Wizards are expected to match any competing offer. That would leave the Jazz without two key players and on the outside looking in — yet again — for another free agent pursuit.

And if there’s anything worse than losing your star player, it’s losing more in pursuit of another.

In which Suns fans became jealous of The Process

The Process is a concept invented by fans of the Philadelphia 76ers to cope with a half-decade-long rebuild project that, in its early years, prioritized losing over everything else, including player development. While former general manager Sam Hinkie is most closely associated with The Process and the mantra that supports it — Trust the Process — the whole thing is entirely a fan creation.
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How about four wins in five games? San Antonio is 4-1 this month, taking advantage of a soft schedule but also knocking off the 16-10 Washington Mystics. It has been a mix of opportunity and improved play, and much of that stems from increased playing time for Plum.

The Stars are 5-0 when Plum plays 30-plus minutes, and while she missed that number this week, she did receive 25 and 28 minutes in San Antonio’s two games. In a win against Atlanta, Plum scored 10 points and dropped six assists, and in a loss to Chicago, recorded eight points and eight assists. It didn’t have to be fancy — just simple, effective passing like this.

Myles Garrett Limited Jersey The WNBA’s best team is still doing fine — their league-best 21-4 record shows that clearly. But after losing twice in the opening two months of the season, they’ve now dropped two games in a week. Last Sunday, they lost a two-point game against the Indiana Fever, and on Friday, it was a six-point defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Sparks. They still easily have the league’s best record, and with only nine games remaining, they should retain that without any problems. But if you were waiting for the Lynx to show signs of weaknesses, this week brought it.

This good dog just wants to watch the Vikings beat the Bills and maybe take a nap

The Vikings played the Bills on Thursday in their first game of the NFL preseason. Case Keenum looked great, throwing for 121 yards and — check out this good dog watching the game!

This good pup even showed up wearing a team bandana. It doesn’t look too energetic, though. But can you blame this very good dog? It was the fourth quarter by then and Minnesota was already up a touchdown. Who knows how long the family was there before the game. Time to go home and take a nap.

They say don’t read into the preseason too much but we kind of want to this time around. We need more good dogs attending football games throughout the regular season.

Another name to watch is Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith. A highly touted prospect out of Notre Dame, Smith was a potential top-five draft pick before he suffered a devastating knee injury in his team’s bowl game. The Cowboys took him in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, but he missed his entire rookie year recovering. Now Smith is healthy enough to see some football action, and he’s set to make his debut in this game. If Smith plays up to his potential, he’ll be a big upgrade to a defense that was average at best last season.

“I hope — again I can’t speak, I haven’t really talked to our team about it — I would hope that we don’t have those issues,” Jackson said via Dan Labbe of Cleveland.com.

The violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of people, injuring 19 and killing one, highlight the need for thoughtful discourse about race in America. That’s what players are trying to accomplish with the anthem protests, and given the ongoing — and often heated — discussion on this topic, the protests are raising awareness of inequality.

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Ronald Darby picked off Tyrod Taylor a week after being traded by the Bills

Golladay, a third-round pick this year out of Northern Illinois, made a strong impression in his NFL debut. He went off with three catches for 53 yards and two touchdowns. This was his second score:

He’s big enough and strong enough that he’s going to present problems for just about any defender. Yes, it’s preseason, but Golladay looks like he might be quite the draft steal for Detroit.

Clemens, who is trying to hold off Cardale Jones for the backup quarterback job, got his one of his passes tipped. Seattle’s Terence Garvin happily took advantage. The Seahawks turned three of Los Angeles’ four turnovers into scores, including this one:
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Ronald Darby was traded from the Bills to the Eagles last week for Jordan Matthews and a third-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s only preseason, but he immediately made the Bills feel the effects of the trade.

In the first quarter of the Eagles’ game against the Bills, Darby picked off Tyrod Taylor, and was eventually tackled after making his way down the field.

Darby spent two years in Buffalo after being a second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. He comes to a Bills team that was sixth in the NFL in passing defense in 2016.

John Johnson Womens Jersey The Bills lost Stephon Gilmore to the Patriots during the offseason, but if Darby is going to produce like this, they won’t be regretting the loss too much.

The Chargers didn’t do a great job of taking care of the ball on Sunday night. This fumble, which happened when Andre Williams acted like he had no idea he was supposed to actually take the handoff from backup Kellen Clemens, was one of four turnovers for Los Angeles in the 31-point loss.

Shea Weber has long been considered one of the NHL’s best

Patrick Marleau scored 502 goals and 1082 points in 19 seasons with the Sharks, but never won a Cup. Perhaps a change of scenery will improve his luck after Marleau signed a three-year deal with the Maple Leafs this summer.

Shea Weber has long been considered one of the NHL’s best, and most consistent, two-way defensemen, but he has never played past the second round of the playoffs in his 12-year career with the Predators and Canadiens.
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Ryan Miller has 358 career wins and led the Sabres to consecutive trips to the 2006 and 2007 Eastern Conference Finals, but has never secured a championship in the NHL.
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The NHL Players Association, for one, called the move shortsighted and condemned the league for a perceived disrespect of its players’ wishes.

The International Olympic Committee, having refused to give in to NHL demands on issues such as covering players’ injury insurance, said it feels very sorry for the athletes.

Some of Ovechkin’s teammates, like fellow Russian forward Evgeni Kuznetsov, echoed their captain’s sentiment in saying they would play regardless.

For some reason, for me, I still think it’s going to happen, American T.J. Oshie told reporters.

In the case of the Capitals, they would seem to have the backing of owner Ted Leonsis, who said earlier this year he would support his players’ wishes even though I might get fined. I might get punished in some way. But I feel I’m in partnership with his players.

MLB trade rumors roundup: Sonny Gray could fetch a big return

With nine days remaining until the non-waiver trade deadline in baseball, Oakland Athletics right-hander Sonny Gray looks like the big-name pitcher most likely to be dealt in the coming days.

The 27-year-old Gray has gotten hot at the right time, posting a 1.62 ERA in his last five starts.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports says the Milwaukee Brewers, New York Yankees, and Atlanta Braves remain well-positioned to acquire Gray, given the strength of their farm systems.
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The Houston Astros have long been rumored as a potential landing spot for the A’s right-hander, but Rosenthal suggested they might go after an elite reliever instead and stick with their current rotation.

2021, the final year outlined in the current CBA, is expected to also include a series in Mexico during the spring months. In addition, each year of the deal will include spring training trips to Mexico (2018 and 2020) and Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic (2019).

On top of all those plans the league is also planning post-World Series tours in Japan (2018 and 2020) plus either either Asia or Mexico in 2019.

Players will be receiving compensation for the extra travel and special events, starting at $5,000 for international spring training appearances, $60,000 for in-season trips to Asia or England, and $15,000 for in-season trips to Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic.
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On top of the regular-season money, any post-season trips will pay out $100,000 for a stint in Japan, $50,000 for anywhere else in Asia, and $25,000 for a tour of Mexico.

The league making such a strong push into international markets (mimicking NBA and NFL strategies in the last decade) is smart if they hope to grow the game further, and paying the players handsomely for the extra travel responsibilities is also smart.

Giants schedule 2017: Primetime games highlight New York’s calendar

You’ll be seeing the Giants under the lights quite a bit this season.

The Giants will open the season in Dallas on Sunday Night Football, which will be the first of four primetime games on the schedule.

A second nationally televised game will follow in Week 2 with a Monday Night Football contest against the Lions at MetLife Stadium. The Giants will return to Sunday night in Week 6 with a visit to Denver. The final primetime game of the season will be at Washington to close out a trio of Thanksgiving Day games.

It is a manageable schedule for the Giants, who went 11-5 last season and lost to the Packers in the first round of the playoffs. There will be no Packers rematch during the regular season, nor will the Giants play either Super Bowl team this season. But Eli Manning, Odell Beckham Jr., and Company, will play five playoff teams from a season ago.

Ball had threatened to pull his team off the court if his demand to remove the female referee was not met. He was later ejected after getting T-d up again.

Ball’s AAU team, which was eliminated from the tournament on Saturday, has been a huge draw with attendance for the tournament at an all-time high. Court Club Elite had reportedly been pressured by Adidas to put three Ball-approved officials on the court to prevent him from withdrawing his team.

Ball also gave the female referee a backhanded compliment while doubling down on his initial remarks.

“She’s probably a great ref with the women. But this men’s stuff? It’s a difference between women’s basketball and men’s basketball,” he said Saturday. “Just because we go like that and don’t hit the ball don’t mean it’s a foul. But don’t get your feelings personal.”
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Bills schedule 2017: Buffalo faces uphill climb to end playoff drought

A new coach and fresh outlook following the Rex Ryan era might not be enough for the Bills to snap a 17-year postseason drought.
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Buffalo faces the fifth-most difficult schedule in 2017, based on combined opponent winning percentage from 2016 (.561).

Taylor Lewan Kids Jersey The slate includes each of the last four Super Bowl finalists and one primetime matchup: an early-November Thursday Night Football game against the Jets in the Meadowlands. Only the balance of the AFC West — Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders — have it worse, at least on paper.

We hope you like the Steelers in prime time or in national games, because that’s where they’ll be for most of the last month. The placement of the Patriots matchup is bizarre and won’t be easy for Pittsburgh as it comes off rivalry games against the Bengals and Ravens, and the Monday Night Football game at Houston on Christmas night should have divisional implications both ways. If Pittsburgh comes out of this month with a record better than 3-2, then it might be the top seed in the AFC playoffs.

Pittsburgh can’t afford another four-game losing streak, and chances are that won’t happen in the season’s first two months. The Steelers should be 6-2 (or perhaps better) when they hit the November bye week, but they have to build a cushion given the set of prime-time games in the final two months. That four-week stretch against the Packers, Bengals, Ravens and Patriots will go a long toward determining whether Pittsburgh claims the divisional title, and what its seed in the AFC playoffs might be. If another playoff matchup with the Patriots happens, then it won’t hurt to have it at Heinz Field.

Mariners place Felix Hernandez back on DL

After two straight rocky starts, the Mariners have placed starting pitcher Felix Hernandez on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday.

Hernandez, who previously spent nearly two months on the DL earlier this season, is currently dealing with right biceps tendinitis.

Hernandez, 31, allowed four runs, while failing to reach six innings, in each of his last two starts. The former ace is 5-4 with a 4.28 ERA this season.

Entering Saturday’s MLB action, the Mariners (56-55) were just 1 1/2 games behind the Royals for the final wild card spot.

Thoughts: Bierbrodt was a former first-round pick who had made his MLB debut in 2001 with Arizona, but he struggled during his time in the majors (6.66 ERA in 38 career appearances for four teams). Conti hit .240 in 119 games over the next three seasons in the majors, for three teams. Ryan and Nelson made only brief big-league appearances after the trades.
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Authentic Mens Mario Edwards Jr Jersey Lopez was solid in the regular season, with a 4.00 ERA in 13 starts, but he was lit up in the playoffs (9.95 ERA in 6 1/3 innings). Neither Christenson, Difelice nor Peterson made an impact on the field for Arizona.

The mold of the leadoff hitter is surely different from even five years ago, let alone the 1980 version. What about Rickey Henderson, you might ask?

Well, MLB’s all-time stolen base leader was an outlier during the days of speed. Henderson certainly had a penchant for the dramatic as a table-setter, drilling 81 of his 297 career home runs when leading off a game. However, there was only one Rickey Henderson.

The question is, what has caused the shift across the game? Is it a new perception of need from the players hitting at the top of the order, or are leadoff hitters simply acclimating to the game around them?