Month: April 2018

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NFL trade rumors: Giants owner noncommittal on Odell Beckham Jr.’s future

Odell Beckham Jr.’s latest controversy has led some to wonder if he’s worth keeping in New York.

Giants co-owner John Mara didn’t exactly commit to Beckham’s future with the team after a video of a man appearing to be the Giants receiver surfaced with what many have speculated could be drugs.

“I can’t answer that one way or the other. We’re certainly not shopping him,” Mara said Sunday at the NFL owners’ meetings. “Again, when you’re coming off a season when you’re 3-13 and played as poorly as we played, I wouldn’t say that anyone is untouchable.”

Mara admitted the video, which shows a model and a man resembling Beckham in bed holding a brown blunt in his hand, didn’t help the expectations the Giants have for Beckham.

Phillies: RHP Pat Neshek said he feels better after receiving a cortisone shot on Friday. Neshek began the season on the DL because of a shoulder injury and expects to return in a month.

RHP Jake Arrieta, the 2015 NL Cy Young Award winner, makes his debut with the Phillies on Sunday after signing a $75 million, three-year deal in free agency. RHP Trevor Richards (0-1, 10.38 ERA) makes his second career start for the Marlins.

Police say they have recovered several of the stolen items, including Apple and Rolex watches and rare coins.

In addition to Almeida, police are looking for two other suspects they identified as Shayne Denn, 26, and Eric Tyrell, 28, both of whom remain at-large.

Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer, who surrendered Duda’s homer Saturday, said he didn’t have enough time to warm up before the inning. In an attempt to speed up play this season, Major League Baseball has cut the time between innings from 2 minutes, 25 seconds to 2:05.

Bauer criticized Commissioner Rob Manfred’s decision, but Francona said the pitchers need to adjust.

“If a pitcher wants to throw more, they’ve got to get out there,” Francona said. “The umpire’s responsibility is to start this game at a certain point and we kind of explained that to our guys.”cardinals_047

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Patriots have had no trade talks involving Rob Gronkowski , report says

Rob Gronkowski will likely be staying put in New England.

According to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport, the Patriots have had no trade talks involving the veteran tight end this offseason and expect to have him on the roster for 2018.

Meanwhile, the team is trading wide reciever Brandin Cooks and a fourth-round pick to the Rams for the 23rd overall pick in the first round of this month’s NFL Draft. The Rams had been linked to Giants wideout Odell Beckham Jr. but instead opted for Cooks, who was due a $8.5 million club option before the season.

Davis has been giving New Orleans all it could possibly ask for this month, as he has attempted not only 10-plus free throws in all four games, but also recorded multiple blocks and multiple steals in each of those contests.

I’m high on players from motivated teams, and Towns qualifies, but for several reasons, he won’t be on my rosters tonight. First, he’s averaged just 37 fantasy points against the slow-paced Memphis Grizzlies this season, and second, he’s not that much cheaper than Jokic, who has been outproducing Towns substantially down the stretch and is just as motivated. Moreover, Jimmy Butler is back, and while that’s great for him and the team overall, it has the potential to cut into Towns’ usage.

Finally — I’ve been yelling at [previous managers] Matt Williams and Dusty Baker, ‘Let me go,’ said Scherzer, who said it was his first steal since high school. There’s obviously situations where I can; I think I’m fast enough.

If J-Dub [former teammate Jayson Werth] can steal a base, so can I.

Nationals manager Dave Martinez, who presented Scherzer with the second-base bag as a memento after the game, said this was going to happen.

We’ve talked about it for a week now, and he’s gung-ho, Martinez said. He loves to play the game. We talked and I said, ‘If a guy plays behind you and you think you’ve got a chance.’ But I said please don’t get hurt sliding. He said, ‘I’ve got the best pop-up slide in baseball.’ And he showed it.

Even though his teammates at the top of the order couldn’t bring him home for another run, Scherzer’s arm made it a moot point. The three-time Cy Young Award winner tossed a two-hitter for his fifth career shutout, and his first since his no-hitter in the final game of the 2015 season.cardinals_091

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Russell Westbrook praises James Harden, doesn’t make MVP endorsement

Reigning MVP Russell Westbrook praised former teammate James Harden but stopped short of saying the Rockets superstar deserves MVP honors this season.

Harden, who had his second MVP runner-up finish last season, is widely considered the favorite this season. He leads the NBA in scoring (30.6 PPG) and ranks third in assists (8.7 APG) for the Rockets, who have clinched the top seed in the playoffs.

Cleveland’s LeBron James, a four-time MVP, is considered the primary challenger to Harden. James is averaging 27.7 points, 8.7 rebounds and 9.2 assists per game and has been especially dominant since the All-Star break.

Westbrook, whose campaign last season was fueled by becoming the only player in NBA history other than Oscar Robertson to average a triple-double, has not generated much MVP buzz despite posting impressive numbers again this season. He entered Saturday averaging 25.6 points, 9.9 rebounds and a league-leading 10.1 assists per game, but the Thunder have been perceived as disappointing after their offseason trades for Paul George and Carmelo Anthony.

Take a look at the outpouring of love and support that took over social media Sunday remembering Taylor’s impact of a career cut short.

If Manning stays retired, Fox is pursuing Cowboys tight end Jason Witten as Plan B, say sources.

The 35-year old Witten could be another Romo, say sources. He has the same direct-from-the-huddle knowledge of today’s game and TV-friendly personality. Like Romo, he’d have a built-in fan base of Cowboys fans across the country. With America’s Team constantly featured in the best broadcast windows, Witten is a household name after 15 seasons in the league.

On the other hand, Witten won’t make as much in the booth as he can on the field. Under his current deal, he averages $7.4 million annually, according to . Unlike the oft-injured Romo, Witten is still at the top of his game. He’s coming off his 11th Pro Bowl season and has played 239 straight games for the Cowboys. Jerry Jones gave him a four-year contract extension in 2017.

That could leave Joe Thomas, the just-retired Browns offensive lineman. Or another star tight end: Greg Olsen of Panthers.cardinals_136

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Suh signing makes Rams big winners of NFL free agency, according to ‘Madden’

Whether it’s because of the massive contracts being handed out or the increased willingness for teams to complete trades, NFL offseasons are more dramatic now than ever. That drama has been on display since the start of 2018 league year, with several teams making a pushes to contend while others find themselves rebuilding.

As they relate to the upcoming edition of the “Madden NFL” video game series, the moves being made in 2018, both in free agency and via trades, have differing levels of impact.

Los Angeles has also added Aqib Talib (93 Overall) and Marcus Peters (87 Overall) to its secondary, which more than offsets the loss of Trumaine Johnson (82 Overall). The departures of Sammy Watkins (82 Overall) and Alec Ogletree (74 Overall) are not very significant.

The other NFC West team that appears to be on the rise also made a big splash in free agency, as the 49ers’ signing of Richard Sherman (91 Overall) is one of the flashiest moves of the offseason. Sherman likely will start the season rated lower considering he’s coming off a major injury, but he still might be the team’s highest-rated player.

If it happens, McGlinchey may join Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, who widely is regarded as a guy who’ll be taken in the top 10. Some of the more prominent mock drafts (we’ll have one, and it will be posted whenever it’s posted) have McGlinchey going no higher than No. 16, to the Ravens.

Brandt’s prediction suggests that he’s reliably been told by a team picking in the top 10 that McGlinchey will be the pick. In 17 days, we’ll see whether it happens. Along with every other pick taken in round one.

Brandt claims he was misquoted. “I’m getting killed on Twitter,” he said in a tweet directed to King. “I didn’t realize you were asking me a prediction for the top 10. I thought you asked what would surprise me most in top 10. I would be shocked if McGlinchey went in top 10. I wouldn’t be shocked if he slid out of Round 1.”

If the Giants do decide to give Beckham a rich extension, they surely will seek to include stringent clauses in the contract that will require Beckham to give back signing bonus money if he is suspended for any reason.texans_132

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Johnny Manziel will play two quarters in Spring League debut

Johnny Manziel hasn’t played a competitive game since December 27, 2015. That changes Saturday when he makes his debut with The Spring League.

The former Browns quarterback will play the first and third quarters, Kevin Seifert of ESPN reports.

The four teams in the league will rotate quarterbacks, so Manziel should see around 30 snaps.

Manziel will play in the second of the two games in Austin, Texas.

The Wild started fast, holding San Jose to no shots on goal for nearly nine minutes and taking a 2-0 lead on goals from Brodin and Cullen.

The Sharks then found their game late in the period and scored twice in 64 seconds to tie it, with Burns getting the first on a shot from the point and Pavelski tying the game after a turnover by Matt Dumba.

Wild D Louie Belpedio made his NHL debut after signing a contract earlier this week following a four-year career at Miami of Ohio. He had two assists to become the first Minnesota player ever with two points in his debut. … Sharks F Evander Kane returned to the lineup after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. … Brodin’s goal gave him 100 career points.

Jonas Valanciunas scored 25 points, and the Raptors rallied for a 108-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Monday night. Toronto closed the second quarter on a 21-7 run, and the Raptors also scored the first 13 points of the fourth.

Detroit was without injured stars Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin for its home finale, but the Pistons still led 53-36 in the first half. But it was 60-57 at halftime, and Detroit managed only 38 points over the final two quarters.

“I think we competed hard,” said Eric Moreland, who started at center in place of Drummond. “I think we competed on both ends tonight.”

The short-handed Pistons are out of playoff contention, and Toronto had some key players out too in Fred VanVleet and Serge Ibaka. Although the result meant little, it was a tight, entertaining game through three quarters. The Raptors led 85-80 at the end of the third before breaking it open.texans_111

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Titans waive Victor Ochi

The Titans trimmed a player from their roster on Monday.

The team announced that linebacker Victor Ochi has been placed on waivers. Ochi signed with the Titans last June, but tore his ACL in August and spent the entire season on injured reserve.

Ochi signed with the Ravens as an undrafted rookie in 2016 and went on to play two games for the Jets after getting cut in Baltimore. He also spent time with the Chiefs, but didn’t appear in any other games.

But without the benefit of an off-day Tuesday, Pittsburgh will take the field for 13 straight days and 26 of the next 27.

Temperatures in Chicago are not expected to change dramatically until Wednesday, meaning the Pirates will continue to play in wintry conditions for at least another day.

But cold weather or not, the Pirates will look to stay hot.

“We’ve been able to have success with what we’ve been doing,” pitcher Trevor Williams told reporters on Friday, according to

Williams suggested holding on for another three days in Chicago might be worth waiting for as Pittsburgh’s next road trip will be a warm one.

“I think all of us are ready to get to Miami,” he said.

“To be on the grass on the field where it felt natural and I was doing it myself, man, it makes me want to go out and run forever,” Golden said, via Darren Urban of the team website.

Golden, who led the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks in 2016 but had none in four games last season, could see a position switch as Arizona changes to a 4-3 defense. He played linebacker in the 3-4 but likely becomes a defensive end in new coach Steve Wilks’ defense.

“Football is football to me, whether you are in the three-point stance, whether you are standing up,” Golden said. “You can do all the technique you want, at the end of the day, you have to beat that man. I played defensive end in college, and I set the edge. I have got it on film in the league. I’ve got film setting the edge and getting around these guys. To be real, it’s just not difficult at all. I’d be lying if I said it’d be one percent difficult. It’s football.”

Golden won’t get much work on the field in the offseason, but he has to get healthy first.texans_094

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Paul George on future: ‘Can definitely see’ staying in OKC

As the Thunder battle to secure a playoff spot, Paul George said it’s not championship or bust for him as he evaluates this season with regard to his future free-agency decision.

As I told [ESPN’s] Rachel [Nichols], I can see myself being here, George said. I’ve been happy here, I’ve been happy with the organization, happy with my teammates. Our record is not what we want it to be, but I think I’ve enjoyed just learning and being around these guys. So my answer is still the same. I’m not going to let the playoffs or how we finish this season persuade or indicate where I’m going to this offseason. I’m going to put everything into this and again, I can definitely see myself being here.

Absolutely. That definitely changes a lot, he said. Andre is a big piece, and him going down, it definitely was a big blow to us. But you’ve got to look at everything. You’ve got to look at what we can be, imagine what we would be if Andre was here playing with [us] now. Absolutely, you’ve got to look at everything. You’ve got to look at the team coming back, with free agency coming up with other guys who we could possibly go grab and who could we, myself, [Carmelo Anthony], [Russell Westbrook], who can we recruit with us here. You’ve got to look at everything.

The series finale between the Seattle Mariners and the Minnesota Twins was postponed Sunday because of wintry weather.

With snow in the forecast and game-time temperatures expected to hover around freezing, the game was called off about three hours before it was supposed to begin and rescheduled for May 14, what had been a mutual day off for both teams. The Mariners had not been scheduled to return to Minnesota this season.

Lance Lynn had been scheduled to make his Target Field debut for the Twins, opposite Marco Gonzales of the Mariners.

The two teams played through the coldest outdoor Twins’ game in Minnesota history on Saturday when the first pitch was thrown in 27-degree weather. Seattle beat Minnesota 11-4.

Right-hander Phil Hughes is rehabilitating a left oblique strain and likely will take the fifth-starter spot. Instead of being needed on Wednesday against the defending World Series champions, Hughes could be in line to start Friday against Chicago.cardinals_012

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Dungy didn’t know sweeping new helmet rule was coming, either

It’s still not clear who knew that the NFL would be proposing and passing a broad new rule that prohibits lowering the helmet to initiate contact before it suddenly happened last Tuesday, but it’s pretty clear who didn’t know: Pretty much everyone.

The list of people caught surprise by the rule change includes Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy. An influential voice in the industry who often receives requests from the league and those who run it for advice and counsel, Dungy didn’t know that the league would be considering, or implementing, a rule that could have such a significant impact on the game.

In reverse order, here are the teams that should consider going after Beckham most.

The Colts haven’t been as active in NFL free agency as they had teased and as many expected. So far on offense, they’ve lost wide receiver Donte Moncrief and replaced him with former Redskins backup Ryan Grant. They also signed Eric Ebron to add to their pop at tight end behind Jack Doyle.

For now, beyond go-to guy T.Y. Hilton, Andrew Luck is returning to a wideout corps in which Grant and Chester Rogers are the next two most viable options. Seeing the Colts not push harder to sign Allen Robinson and Watkins, instead settling for Grant, was a head-scratcher.

They promoted him to the active roster on October 18, 2016, and he played in three games.

Neasman, 26, played in 11 games last season, mostly on special teams. He played six snaps on defense, making two tackles, and 184 snaps on special teams.

Anderson is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in four starts against the Padres. He has thrived at Coors Field where he is 8-5 with a 3.39 ERA in 20 games (19 starts) with 31 walks and 108 strikeouts in 119 1/3 innings. Against the Padres at Coors Field, Anderson is 1-0 with a 0.73 ERA in two starts.

Lucchesi will make his first career start on the road in his Coors Field debut. In his first two career starts, he has eight strikeouts and three walks in 9 2/3 innings, while yielding three earned runs.

Lucchesi’s second start was Thursday against the Rockies when he pitched five scoreless innings and allowed one hit, a single by Charlie Blackmon to open the game, with three walks and seven strikeouts.texans_013

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The problems with Manziel’s comments about the Browns

Earlier today, we posted an item based on a quote from Johnny Manziel that had been pushed to Twitter by Andrew Perloff of The Dan Patrick Show, during Dan’s interview of Manziel. Some took issue with this, claiming that the comments were “taken out of context,” twisted to support a predetermined narrative.

This is a claim that emerges from time to time in the sports world, a second cousin once removed of the”fake news” shout, from those who prefer to ignore the words that came from someone’s mouth. Manziel’s words weren’t “taken out of context”; it was an isolated quote that has the same meaning in context as it has out of context.

How is the phrase “if Cleveland did any of their homework” anything other than a slap at Cleveland for not figuring out that Manziel was lying to them? Does anyone think that Manziel, when meeting with the Browns (or anyone else) in the pre-draft process said, “I’m not a guy who came in every day and watched film” and “I’m not a guy who really knows the X’s and O’s of football”? He surely said the opposite, which definitely means he was saying what he needed to say in order to get drafted as high as possible.

But the Bengals have been looking for an upgrade in the secondary, and they may be the team to give Reid an offer. If they do, it may quell the talk that he’s been blackballed, although questions about why it took so long for him to get an offer will persist.

Reid was the first player to join then-teammate Colin Kaepernick‘s protest in 2016.

Eric Karabell: Scott Kingery has appeared in seven games so far and already played five positions, so I would call that kind of impressive. At the plate, he has hit three doubles and certainly could stick in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Fantasy managers are spending so much time worrying about whether he will become a regular at any position that they overlook the potential for more than 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases. So far I have seen every indication that a 20-20 campaign is feasible, as is more than 500 at-bats.

I also think Miami’s Brian Anderson, Pittsburgh’s Colin Moran and Cincinnati’s Jesse Winker will be successful thanks to excellent plate discipline and in each case undervalued power.patriots_113-223x223

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Jed York says he and Richard Sherman unblocked each other on Twitter

Suh or the speculation on Odell first, he said, which one is it

For the next hour, with his voice beginning to scratch near the midpoint, McVay seamlessly handled queries about the Rams’ most recent acquisition — star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh — and the pursuit of New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

As he did Monday night after news broke of the Rams’ interest in Beckham, McVay prefaced answers to questions about him by saying he could not talk about other teams’ players because of tampering rules. He then reiterated that the Rams have demonstrated this offseason that they are not shy about pursuing any trade.

Translation: The Rams would love to add Beckham to a team that led the NFL in scoring last season.

Many coaches and NFL executives disdain and refuse to answer questions posed as hypotheticals. But McVay politely and enthusiastically embraced an onslaught.

How would a player such as Beckham hypothetically fit into the Rams offense

Trying to get myself right mentally, for my family. Show these people I deserve a second chance – to do this [sport] that I love. New Gators coach Dan Mullen said Elam was still a part of the Gators family, but there are no guarantees he’ll find an NFL family. He’s 26. There are plenty of younger safeties, including in the same building where he stood. Elam offered no rationalizations, and cast no blame. He said he got complacent. He said he made childish mistakes. He didn’t even use the injuries as an excuse, saying the time off helped me get right mentally. There are two questions here: 1) Is Elam right mentally 2) Was he good enough to begin with He did have a rash of injuries, but it’s impossible to tell if he would have done better if healthy. Was it a bad fit in Baltimore

Or was it something no team could fix On Wednesday he spoke not as a big shot but as a fringe player – a guy who was just trying to get a look, or maybe a camp invite. He said he’d do whbroncos_019-500x500atever is asked, whatever is needed. I’m still young, he said. I can move. I can do special teams. I can be a great teammate. I can lead guys. I can do a lot of stuff. He said it was time to grow up and be a man. He had the look of someone who had confronted his football mortality. He knew no one owed him a thing. He was asked bluntly why anyone should trust him with another shot. People make mistakes, he said.