Baseball Hall of Fame 2017: ‘Small Hall’ theory sounds nice, but isn’t realistic

Limited Youth Bryan Bulaga Jersey The first time I walked into the Hall of Fame Gallery was magical.

The entire Cooperstown experience was surreal, of course, but the Gallery simply took my breath away. I took a picture of the bronze plaque honoring Theodore Samuel Williams. Same with the plaques honoring Jack Roosevelt Robinson and Stanley Frank Musial and Willie Howard Mays and Mickey Charles Mantle and maybe a dozen others. I couldn’t help myself.

These were the legends I’d read about my entire life, the giants who shaped the game and captured the imaginations of baseball fans across the country. These were the plaques I had come to Cooperstown to see. I was completely in awe of those larger-than-life stars of my favorite sport.

Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper will also be the three most under a microscope this spring as the Nationals are seemingly running out of time before the club goes from contender to pretender and possibly loses Harper to free agency in two years.

Limited Youth Dion Sims Jersey Harper, who went from NL MVP honors in 2015 to a season of not hitting above .250, missed time with neck and shoulder problems last season. But he and the Nats will benefit from a full season of Trea Turner and newcomer Adam Eaton, who was acquired from the White Sox this winter for three of Washington’s top pitching prospects.

Despite the big trade, the Nationals whiffed on addressing their biggest need, a closer, and are probably wishing they had right-hander Lucas Giolito back with the question marks around the health of Scherzer (finger) and Strasburg (elbow).

it’s up to a manager to make sure that big thing gets a chance to pan out.

Yes, Uehara is getting up there in baseball age: He’s turning 42 in April. But the Cubs’ bullpen needed a bit of a lift and more stability after the departure of Aroldis Chapman this offseason.

Uehara’s numbers in the second half of 2016 were beyond impressive for a reliever older than 40. Even though he was sidelined with a strained pectoral muscle for more than a month late in the season, he didn’t allow a single runner to score in September (11 games, 11 innings pitched). Uehara’s two postseason appearances in the 2016 ALDS resulted in no runs scored and one hit allowed.

Authentic Womens Darrelle Revis Jersey Uehara is a low-risk, high-reward move and will probably offer the Cubs some sturdiness in the bullpen. With the addition of Wade Davis via trade, the Cubs likely won’t miss a beat in 2017. Carl Edwards Jr., Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop are all set to return, and will be flanked by Uehara and Davis.

Elite Womens Eddie Lacy Jersey The team took on Jim Leyland’s personality, said retired outfielder Andy Van Slyke.

Jim loved those players, and when I say loved ’em — loved ’em. But I don’t think sometimes he knew how they loved him back, said longtime confidant Rich Donnelly. Donnelly coached alongside Leyland for all 10 of Leyland’s seasons with the Pirates, and later with the Marlins in 1997-98 and the Rockies in 1999.

Even if stats departments work overtime to find the next big thing in baseball, it’s up to a manager to make sure that big thing gets a chance to pan out. That’s something that’s getting lost by the wayside, but also something we shouldn’t forget as fans, analysts and supporters of the game.

MLB Network Presents: Jim Leyland: A Life in Baseball will air Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 9 p.m. ET on MLB Network.

Raiders first-round pick Gareon Conley won’t face NFL punishment for rape accusation

Raiders first-round draft pick Gareon Conley won’t be disciplined by the NFL for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman, league spokesperson Brian McCarthy confirmed Tuesday (via ESPN).

Since the reported assault occurred before the NFL Draft, Conley was not a member of the organization. Therefore, they won’t hand down a punishment.

“I will tell you I was a little surprised by that comment that that reporter made because it was inaccurate,” Smith said, via the Houston Chronicle. “Bus Cook is a friend of mine and obviously represents Jay. I was in Denver when we drafted Jay, so I’ve got a relationship with Jay.

“Obviously, we respect him and respect Bus enough that we would not not return phone calls. I don’t know where that came from and obviously Jay has decided what he’s doing and moved on.”

After he was released from the Bears, Cutler expressed his desire to go into broadcasting. Less than 24 hours later, he was hired by Fox Sports.

Cutler reportedly was interested in playing for Houston before the draft, but the Texans picked Clemson’s Deshaun Watson in the first round, which didn’t leave much room for Cutler.

Now Tom Savage is the Texans starter with Watson projected as his backup.

On Wednesday in Kansas City, Marques Ogden will open his second two-day public speaking conference bearing his name. Plans are already in place for a third conference this November in Baltimore, up the highway from his hometown of Washington and in the city where he made one of his four stops during his five-year NFL career.

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Jeets is indeed the next Yankee up after the Monumental Rushmore.

If that had happened, that would have been the end of what’s turned into an ugly incident.

Game Womens Kenjon Barner Jersey But instead, the fourth Boston pitcher to face Machado after the incident finally delivered the retaliation; Matt Barnes threw a 90-mph fastball inches behind Machado’s head in the eighth inning of the final game of that series.

Yeah, Jeets is indeed the next Yankee up after the Monumental Rushmore. WAR, what is good for? Learning that Jeter ranks No. 88, or after Ruth (No. 1), Gehrig (No. 18), Mantle (No. 21), DiMaggio (No. 68), as the next highest longest-time Yankee.

Sure, the recency bias and that bigger modern media marketing gives him some overhype. But the Captain’s credentials, including those 3,465 hits (No. 6 all-time) and five World Series wins in the wild-card era are impressive in relation to some inflated stars (sorry, A-Rod) in the steroid era. It’s kind of nice that like the origin for Ruth and Gehrig, Jeter’s number also reflects his most frequent, iconic spot in the Yankees’ lineup.

Change the definition of balk. The balk is one of the most vague and subjective things in all of baseball. Truth is, it’s kind of baseball’s version of what is a catch? with the added confusion of imaginary 45-degree lines.
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MLB went decades without regularly enforcing the must come to a complete stop rule for pitchers coming set before renewing enforcement during the 1988 season, presumably to be more fair to base runners who might attempt to steal. But strangely enough, there hasn’t been a runner to steal 100 or more bases since the renewed enforcement went into effect (Vince Coleman was the last in 1987).

Edinson Volquez hopes ‘justice is served’ in brother’s murder

Edinson Volquez received the tragic news Monday that his brother, Brandy, was killed in their native Dominican Republic.

The Marlins pitcher told reporters he hopes justice is served for his brother’s death.

The incident, captured in a graphic video, pushed many teams to take Mixon off their draft boards. He was considered to have first-round talent but slid to the draft’s second day.

Bengals owner Mike Brown defended the choice, and now Mixon will join more than three dozen other rookies at the L.A. event at which, according to the NFLPA, More than 20 NFLPA business partners will be on site to engage with the latest group of promising NFL stars to create unique brand content, secure endorsement deals and promote licensed products through group player rights.

The Rookie Premiere runs Thursday through Saturday and will help the rookies learn the business of football, the NFLPA says.
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The change to replay review would reportedly give managers 30 seconds to decide whether to challenge a call on the field, the USA Today report says, citing unnamed sources. If a challenge is made, umpires would have just two minutes to determine whether the call should be overturned or confirmed.

The policy change would need the approval of MLB clubs before taking effect, USA Today reports.

In addition to the proposed replay change, Manfred and union head Tony Clark reportedly plan to meet with players to discuss more potential changes for 2018.

Authentic Youth Al Jefferson Jersey I hope we have a nice robust dialogue with the players. I hope they come forward with their ideas on what’s going to happen, Manfred said, according to USA Today. My biggest single hope is that we make an agreement for what we’re going to do in 2018.”

it’s shocking he lasted on the board beyond the top 10

When weighing his initial value to his team under a former safety in Bowles, Adams is in a great position to hold off any defensive tackles, edge rushers, linebackers or cornerbacks with a better overall rookie season. Given the fact only three second-rounders — all inside linebackers — have won DROY since 2000, Adams’ four toughest competitors will come from the 16 other defenders taken in the first round of ’17:

Garrett, the most talented player in the ’17 class, offensively or defensively, will get plenty of chances to wreak havoc off the edge, helped by the presence of teammate and outside playmaker in Jamie Collins. It just will be more difficult to deliver the necessary numbers and get enough attention for his rookie work.

Authentic Kids Jonathan Ogden Jersey If Adams was the No. 1 defensive back in the ’17 class, then consider Lattimore, the best corner, as the 1A, With his shutdown potential, it’s shocking he lasted on the board beyond the top 10. In the pass-happy NFC South, Lattimore will get plenty of chances to get the needed picks, a la Peters two years ago.

That hands-on background is quite a difference from Blandino’s. He joined the NFL as an intern in the officiating department after graduating from college and gradually worked his way through the ranks at the league office. That experience gave him years to get to know NFL coaches and front office members, and he became a high-profile figure in explaining officiating issues to the media and fans, accumulating more than 35,000 Twitter followers.
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It’s not clear whether the league will expect Riveron to be as public-facing as Blandino was, or whether he’ll focus more on the internal mechanics of the job.

Tony Romo fails to advance in U.S. Open qualifying with late triple-bogey

Tony Romo failed to advance Monday in his attempt to qualify for the 2017 U.S. Open in June at Erin Hills Golf Course.

Only seven players advanced from Romo’s qualifier, played at Split Rail Links and Golf Club just outside Dallas and featured a field of 117 players. The former Cowboys quarterback showed fight, but an untimely triple-bogey on the par-4 15th hole ended his chances to move on to the next round of qualifying.

Another cap and McCloughan’s game-day tan suit jacket were soon to follow, but this is no small-scale effort to make up for lost income. Jessica McCloughan told The Washington Post on Monday that the couple will give the proceeds from the eBay auctions to the Redskins Charitable Foundation.

Considering the ugliness that marked the last several weeks of McCloughan’s run in Washington, that’s quite a gesture.

“When it’s all said and done, Scot and I are still grateful that we were able to come here, so why not give back to the people that brought us here,” Jessica McCloughan told the Post. “The Charitable Foundation truly does a ton of stuff for kids in the D.C. area.”

The Patriots essentially used their second- and third-round draft picks to bolster their defensive line. They traded the former to Carolina for Ealy, a disappointing Panthers second-round pick from 2014. They used the latter on Rivers, a sleeper prospect from Youngstown State.

With Trey Flowers breaking out as a pass rusher late in 2016 and having a monster Super Bowl, it was easier for New England to let Jabaal Sheard leave to play 3-4 outside linebacker in Indianapolis. Ealy and Rivers are the usual body types from which they get the most in their edge rotation, a la Flowers and Rob Ninkovich before he moved to linebacker. With both Sheard and Chris Long gone, Ealy and Rivers are built to give the Patriots significantly more pop at end.
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Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Royals are in serious trouble.

Memphis, though, has yet to see production from Chandler Parsons, who missed 48 games after signing a $94 million deal with the team over the summer and won’t play in this series. In the games he played, he averaged 6.2 points on 27 percent three-point shooting.

Nickell Robey Womens Jersey The talent disparity between the Spurs and Grizzlies is palpable. Leonard is a candidate for the league’s Most Valuable Player of the Year award. Aldridge is only two seasons removed from his glory days in Portland. They’ve got an aging but skilled Pau Gasol manning the middle, and the pieces around San Antonio’s core is functional enough to support their star power.

The Spurs also have the oracle of head coaches in Gregg Popovich, who’s won five championships since 1999. Aside from the difference in talent on the floor, it’s his wealth of experience that poses the biggest obstacle for the Grizzlies.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Royals are in serious trouble. They won on Monday, but that snapped a nine-game losing streak that has them comfortably in the AL Central’s cellar. While they are just 5.5 games back, as Royals Review points out, there are deeper issues here than just their record. The Royals have scored 69 runs — the next-lowest total in the league is 91, a tie between the A’s and Giants, both of whom also play in pitcher-friendly parks.
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They have the second-worst offense in the league according to OPS+, and worst in the AL. Their pitching isn’t bad, with the staff as a whole putting up a 102 ERA+ that’s right around the league average. It has been top-heavy to start the year, though, with Nathan Karns and Jason Hammel both imploding while only half the bullpen has been reliable to this point. They can probably bank on Karns and Hammel turning things around, but if Kansas City isn’t scoring runs, it’s not going to matter.

Disastrous public proposal leaves Fenway Park chanting ‘SHE SAID NO!’

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A public proposal at the Red Sox game on Sunday night turned into worst night on earth for one man. Just before 10 p.m., a fan decided to pop the question during a break, and you probably have guessed where this is going.

The scoreboard proposal at Fenway may have just gone awry. There was no hug, the camera cut away and the crowd groaned.

Red Sox officials confirmed a fan was ejected for throwing peanuts at Jones, per USA Today, and also said that they were investigating how many people security threw out of Fenway Park on Monday.

This isn’t the first time that a black MLB player has told reporters he heard racist taunts in Boston this year. David Price said in January that he heard taunts from Red Sox fans last season, which was his first with the team after signing a massive contract as a free agent in 2015.

Elite Womens Nene Jersey I got it all, Price said. It’s all right. I don’t care about that … I’ve heard that since I’ve been in school. There’s nothing you can say to me that I haven’t heard before. Your ignorance is not going to affect what I’m trying to do. But I feel sad it’s still out there.

On Monday, Jones said ejecting fans for abusing players on the field wasn’t strong enough punishment. What they need to do is that instead of kicking them out of the stadium, they need to fine them 10 grand, 20 grand, 30 grand, he said. Something that really hurts somebody. Make them pay in full.

The 31-year-old is at least off to a great start on the field. Even after going 0-for-4 in a 5-2 win over the Red Sox on Monday, Jones is batting .309/.369/.479 with four doubles and four home runs through 24 games this season.

Steve Ballmer’s reaction to a Joe Johnson dagger was priceless

The first-round series between the Jazz and the Clippers has provided plenty of excitement and plenty of Joe Johnson heroics. He hit a game winner in Game 1 and he was huge in Game 3 as well. Who shot the dagger in Game 5? Oh, just Joe Johnson.

After Johnson hit a jumper to put the Clippers up 92-87 with 19 seconds left, the camera cut right to Clippers owner Steve Ballmer.

Essentially, the Flyers are going to have to lose someone from that group in the near future. The question is whether or not they can control how they do it, and if they get anything in exchange for it.

What can they do? Dealing a forward to a team that either:

a) needs to find forwards in order to fill its quota of two exposed forwards that have meaningful NHL experience in the past two seasons, or,
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Elite Kids Brendan Shanahan Jersey b) just doesn’t have enough forwards that it really wants to protect

… is something that would make sense for the Flyers. They may not get a ton back in exchange for some of these bottom-of-the-roster kind of guys, but even a mid-round draft pick would be worthwhile given the fact that something is going to have to give here pretty soon.

Of course, this requires a team that wants one of those guys like a Laughton or a Cousins or even one of the protection-worthy guys enough to give up something of value for them. And that’s not a given. But you have to think the Flyers are going to try and make a deal work here, even if it’ll likely just be a minor one.