Orioles appear to be in holding pattern, but roster crisis looms

The Orioles are three games under .500 this season, but in this year’s parity-fest that is the American League, they’re still on the fringe of the playoff race.

Kids Marshal Yanda Jersey Heading into Tuesday’s action, Baltimore is 6.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and only 4.5 behind the second wild-card spot (though there are eight teams fighting for those two spots). Not an ideal position, sure, but the O’s aren’t quite in need-a-miracle territory, either. That said, it’s challenging to figure out exactly how the front office views this team.

Kids Davis Webb Jersey Boston’s Mitch Moreland had struck out to apparently end the game in the bottom of the ninth, but he reached first base due to Allen’s wild pitch. The Red Sox then became the first team with a walk-off win after striking out with two outs in ninth inning or later, and trailing at the time, since the Washington Senators in 1961.

Recently-acquired infielder Eduardo Nunez also recorded three hits while tallying four RBIs for the Red Sox. He is now batting .500 since arriving from San Francisco last week.

The game was already garnering attention early when Indians outfielder Austin Jackson robbed Hanley Ramirez of a home run by diving over the fence into the bullpen.

The Indians (57-48) have now lost three straight games after previously winning nine in a row. Despite its recent skid, Cleveland still holds a two-game lead over the Royals in the AL Central.

Boston’s late win helped them climb a half-game ahead of the Yankees in the AL East after New York lost 4-3 to the Tigers.

As their hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, reels from a weekend beset by violence stemming from a series of white supremacist rallies, NFL players Chris and Kyle Long said the community will emerge stronger.

Coming from Charlottesville, it’s a quiet town. The loudest it gets is on Saturdays at [University of Virginia’s] Scott Stadium. I’d say it was shocking to see that, but, you know, there are bad things that happen all the time and, like I said, prayers to those who are involved, said Kyle Long, an offensive guard with the Chicago Bears.

The reigning MVP just turned 32 and led the Falcons to the Super Bowl.

For the reasons it wouldn’t make sense– the LA Chargers would be bonkers to lose the single biggest reason San Diego fans have to watch the team. Rivers is also the heart and soul of this athletic team, and a team would be insane to turn back to GO without collecting $200.
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That said… Denver would have to pony up a slew of prospects (QB almost definitely included) to make something of this magnitude happen. While I know that the Chargers are strapped for cash (and that extra 67 million they’re sending the league for the next 10 years isn’t helping), this scenario isn’t even worth considering unless two people are primed to make it happen: Philip Rivers and John Elway. I’m sure that the actual coaches of each team also would like their two cents added, let alone the owners.

Youth NaVorro Bowman Jersey All-in-all, this is another case of Deion being Deion: giving sportswriters something to type about, regardless of the time of year. It’s worth noting, however, that he isn’t necessarily wrong at all. Philip Rivers is probably a piece that is strong enough to push Denver back into contention. If Anthony Lynn has his way, though, Mr. Rivers hopefully feels that he has as good or better odds to do the same with Los Angeles.

We’ve been happy with the trajectory he’s on,” Licht said of Martin. I’ve said that before but it’s the truth. He has the right mindset right now and he looks good physically.

The reigning MVP just turned 32 and led the Falcons to the Super Bowl. He might need a Julio Jones to get the job done in Philadelphia, but the team has a lot of pieces in place and Alshon Jeffery is plenty dangerous.

Newton was an MVP a year ago, but finished near the bottom of the NFL in passer rating in 2016. In reality, he’s somewhere in between and still just 28. He’s a player that can be built around for the future.

Dontari Poe and Alex Smith earned extra cash for losing weight and showing up

Imagine working at a job that would pay you hundreds of thousands — or even millions — extra just for losing a little weight or showing up when you were supposed to be there. That was the case for Dontari Poe and Alex Smith this week.

Poe, the Falcons’ new defensive tackle, has several make-weight bonuses built into his contract. Every time he hits a benchmark, he gets a hefty bonus. No pun intended.

So Dallas Cowboys defensive end David Irving probably should’ve thought twice before showing up for camp with nipple rings … because the obvious happened.

Irving tweeted Thursday night that he lost a nipple ring in practice, and it was about as gross as you’d expect.

Irving, 23, is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s PED policy, so his nipple should have plenty of time to heal before it’s time for the third-year pass rusher to go after opposing quarterbacks in the regular season.

But for now, Irving’s going to keep practicing in camp and it will probably be uncomfortable. Maybe that’s a good thing, though.

A quality starter his first two years, Fuller’s 2016 ended before it began when he got knee surgery in training camp and ended up missing the entire season. Fuller should be healthy in time for the 2017 season, but the Bears are clearly hedging their bets, signing Prince Amukamara and Marcus Cooper in free agency. Now playing for a coaching staff and GM who didn’t draft him, it’s not a sure thing that Fuller gets his fifth-year option picked up.
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Alex Ovechkin slowed by pair of leg injuries as Captials bowed out

Alex Ovechkin was dealing with a pair of leg injuries as the Capitals’ latest playoff disappointment culminated in a Game 7 loss to the Penguins this week.

Washington’s star forward told reporters Friday that he was playing with a left knee injury suffered on a controversial hit during Game 5 of the Maple Leafs series, then hurt his hamstring in Game 3 against the Pens.
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Alex Ovechkin played through knee and hamstring injuries: knee from Kadri hit, hamstring in Game 3 vs. Pens. No surgery required for either.

Jose Iglesias Womens Jersey Senators coach Guy Boucher said after the game all three players were resting and could have played if the outcome had been in doubt.

The score wasn’t what we wanted. We decided to shorten down the bench and get ready for the next game, Karlsson told reporters.

The Norris Trophy finalist has had no trouble playing through the pain over the last month. In the second round, he was forced to miss the third period of a Game 5 loss to the Rangers because of the injury and returned to scored five points in the final two games of the series to help the Sens to the East finals.

Karlsson, who leads the team with 15 playoff points, skated 12:36 before his exit Sunday.

Asked if he’ll be able to play Tuesday as the Senators attempt to force a Game 7, Karlsson said his injury is a non-issue.

Oh yeah, absolutely, he said. Same as against the Rangers, same mentality, same thing. We all need to move on from this pretty quick. It’s wrong to say but I’d rather lose like this than in overtime or anything.

NHL playoffs 2017: Caps’ Daniel Winnik plays goalie, robs Pens’ Bryan Rust of easy goal

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The Penguins are riding a roller coaster of emotions vs. the Capitals.

Just minutes after Penguins captain Sidney Crosby left Monday’s game after taking a cross-check to the face, Pittsburgh was robbed of a revenge goal.
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Conor Sheary had Caps goalie Braden Holtby beat. The puck caromed off the post, giving Bryan Rust a golden opportunity. Enter Daniel Winnik.

Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton was said to covet Kevin Shattenkirk at last year’s trade deadline before he was shipped within the division for an underwhelming playoff run with the Capitals. At 28, he’s still the top defenseman on the open market and will command a hefty contract, an asking price the Rangers may or may not be willing to meet after clearing Derek Stepan (at the cost of Antti Raanta) from their payroll last week.

I don’t know that the Rangers are as eager for Shattenkirk as everybody thinks they are, TSN hockey insider Bob McKenzie said Monday on Edmonton’s TSN 1260. They might get in those sweepstakes. But quite frankly, part of the reason 鈥?well, a big part of the reason 鈥?they made the (Stepan) deal is they were trying to shed a contract.

Exactly whom the Penguins are targeting is left for the imagination at this point. Cue the Matt Duchene speculation.

In one fell swoop, Hurricanes GM Ron Francis rid himself Thursday of a pair of mistakes made by predecessor Jim Rutherford, trading goalie Eddie Lack and defenseman Ryan Murphy to the Flames to clear part of Lack’s $2.75 million cap hit. Carolina agreed to keep half that ($1.375M) on its books for the 2017-18 season, but it saves the Canes about $800,000 if they had simply bought him out, which was the next option.

Lack, meanwhile, will back up Mike Smith in Calgary. The Flames have since placed Murphy on buyout waivers.

Draymond Green ‘happy’ about Warriors’ meltdown vs. Grizzlies

Draymond Green was pragmatic about Golden State’s meltdown against the Grizzlies on Friday night.

The Warriors blew a 24-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost the game in overtime, 128-119.

I’m actually happy we lost today, Green said, via the San Francisco Chronicle. There are some things we need to correct to win a championship.

The league is geared toward retired NBA players over 30. Iverson, 41, says this new league will show younger fans the great players from 10-plus years ago.

I’m going to put my effort into it to make sure it can be as big as ever, he said.

Limited Youth Emmanuel Lamur Jersey Iverson will be one of eight player-coaches in the eight-team summer half-court league called BIG3.

Aside from Iverson, former NBA stars Gary Payton and George Gervin also will be coaches.

Tyrunn Walker Kids Jersey Roger Mason, a former Spurs player and current deputy executive director of the NBA players union, will serve as the BIG3 president and commissioner.

Former players Kenyon Martin, Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson, Rashard Lewis, Jermaine O’Neal, Jason Williams, Mike Bibby and Bonzi Wells also are committed to the new league.

The 30-year-old said he was told by a staff member that the Bulls and Hoiberg benched him in order to save him from himself.

I thought it was bulls—, Rondo said. Save me from myself? I never heard that before in my life. But I guess [they are] trying to do the best thing for me.

Derek Fisher claims he got more out of a less talented Knicks team

Derek Fisher added another facet to the Knicks drama surrounding its star players on Monday as he claimed his squad did a better job with less talent when he was head coach than they are now under Jeff Hornacek.

Fisher, who was fired last February after a 23-31 start, told Bleacher Report he laid the groundwork for success that hasn’t come yet.

“We were able to take a team that wasn’t as talented as the team they have now, and we were much better and much further along than this group is that they have now,” Fisher said. “Because the foundation was being laid.

“That’s different than just trying to coach basketball — and it takes longer. That’s the part that you can’t measure in wins and losses, either. That’s what we were doing the best at.”

Fisher does have a point. The current Knicks squad that now features the new faces of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Courtney Lee among others is 21-28 entering Tuesday’s game against the Wizards. The trio, which are set to earn a combined $143 million from the Knicks, hasn’t played up to their contracts.

Aside from the Lynn situation, here’s the thing that makes the decision-making process difficult for the Cardinals, and why I wouldn’t be surprised if they wait until the offseason to make any major moves: Aside from cascading waves of bullpen stumbles, most of their issues in 2017 stem from disappointing production from young players not living up to reasonable expectations.

These three guys in particular: Outfielder Randal Grichuk was sent to the minors, and he’s currently on the DL with a .215 average; shortstop Aledmys Diaz, an All-Star last year, was sent to the minors, too; Stephen Piscotty has a .236 average and just six home runs. t_rangers_069-115x115

Pelicans desperately need Jrue Holiday to wake up in DeMarcus Cousins era

Things appeared to be trending up for Jrue Holiday around this time last week. The Pelicans had just formulated the most intimidating frontcourt duo in the NBA, had rejuvenated ambition, and all while the eight-year veteran was having arguably the best stretch of basketball in his career.

Game Womens Paul Posluszny Jersey The Rockets want a perimeter defender in Shumpert, while the Cavs still search for a backup point guard in Patrick Beverley, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein. But Houston is hesitant to part with Beverley.

The Pacers are assessing the possibility of trading their superstar, according to Wojnarowski. It’s unclear who possesses the assets to sway Indiana’s decision, but if moves collapse for Boston in pursuit of Butler, George may be plan B. The Lakers are also in the mix for George, according to USA Today’s Sam Amick. They may just pursue him as a free agent in the summer of 2018, though.

Coach Rick Carlisle told reporters, With the trade deadline tomorrow, you can read a lot into that. Williams has been rumored to possibly return to the Utah Jazz.

The Rockets (44-21) got 35 points from James Harden, but he missed all eight of his 3-point attempts as the Rockets were just a combined 8 for 32 from behind the arc.
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Utah (41-24) has won four straight and climbed within three games of Houston for third place in the West. The Jazz haven’t been in the playoffs since they were the eight seed in 2012 and haven’t won a playoff series since 2010, when they made the playoffs as the five seed.

Westbrook’s team is too lousy to win the award.

Again, the chances of this are incredibly slim. But, yeah, Yankees brass have to salivate at the idea of Freeman wearing pinstripes and hitting homers in their stadium for the next four seasons. The cost would be incredibly steep — a package that starts with two elite prospects (Frazier/Torres), then a couple of mid-level guys — to even get the Braves to listen to a discussion. You know what? The Braves aren’t listening. Never mind.
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Winning matters. So much so that some league MVPs hadn’t even had prolific seasons. Derrick Rose in 2011 is the latest example of a player whose MVP candidacy was boosted because of team success. Rose averaged 25 points, 7.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds on a Bulls team that was known for its defensive prowess, leading us to assume that MVP award routinely goes to the best player on one of the NBA’s top teams.

And don’t forget, Robertson didn’t win the MVP either when averaged a triple-double in 1961-62. Bill Russell won the MVP by leading the Celtics to a No. 1 playoff seed and eventually a championship.

You get the picture — Westbrook’s team is too lousy to win the award. But it extends even deeper than that.

Westbrook has been criticized this season for taking too many shots, turning the ball over a lot and playing poor defense. Of the top 40 scorers in the NBA, Westbrook is shooting the lowest percentage (41.9 percent). That would be the worst percentage by an MVP since Bob Cousy shot 37.8 percent in 1956-57, which was well before the NBA-ABA merger.

Game Womens Ben Heeney Jersey Take a look at the five worst percentages by MVPs.

The Bucks, according to league sources, were another. That would have reunited Williams with Jason Kidd, his coach in Brooklyn in 2013-14, one of Williams’ most disappointing years. He was hampered by injury and out of shape as the star-laden Nets won just 44 games. During that season, Kidd was once so frustrated by Williams that he took the practice court against him in order to spark some motivation. Yet Kidd wanted Williams in Milwaukee.

Stephen Curry says he’d pick James Harden for MVP

At this point, it’s a complete guessing game as to who will be crowned the NBA MVP this year, but James Harden and Russell Westbrook have been leading the talks.
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For two-time reigning MVP Stephen Curry, the choice isn’t that difficult — go with Harden.

The report states that Silver thinks players like Paul and owners like Michael Jordan could meet like they did during collective bargaining to discuss ways to improve the All-Star Game.

Among the possible rules changes, captains would be allowed to pick their own starters, there could be a 4-point shot added to some spots on the floor and there could even be a 10-point half-court shot.
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All of these changes would be strictly for the All-Star game only. No one wants to see players chucking up half-court shots on a regular basis.

We will change it by next year, Silver said of the All-Star game.

It seems as though the players and fans alike are tired of watching a meaningless game near 200 points year-in and year-out without any consequences.

The Knicks are looking for a new point guard. The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports Ricky Rubio is a significant target for the Knicks, and ESPN’s Marc Stein says New York wants another piece in a potential deal involving Rubio and Derrick Rose. Something to keep an eye on.

Jahlil Okafor would prefer to go to the Bulls in a trade, ESPN’s Marc Stein reports, but the Sixers will take the best deal that comes their way. It feels like a matter of when, not if, Okafor will be traded. The Sixers simply don’t have room for Okafor in a crowded frontcourt, especially after they added Tiago Splitter in a deal with the Hawks.