Monthly Archives: January 2017


Ramirez, in his first time on the ballot this year, received nearly 24 percent of the vote

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“What is our idea about what games are?” he asked. “It’s going to sound a little strange at first. It’s that games are a platform for maximizing productivity for gamers, and goods and services for other people. There’s, like, no use of the word ‘fun’ in there.”

He elaborated: “You start to see this thing happening in lots of games where you have markets and auction houses, and trades in goods between different customers. And the appalling thing that happens is that someone will play your game 20 hours a week for four years, and then the value of that all goes to zero. It’s like you bought a house, made a lot of improvements on that house, and then when you move to your new house, you have to start over with no value for the investment you made.”

Suddenly, and with time on his side, there seems to be a chance A-Rod could be voted in one day. The real test case for A-Rod, though, is not the recent elections of Bud Selig — commissioner during the steroid era — or Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell and Ivan Rodriguez — all players suspected of PED use but never proven. Or even of the gains made by Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens. It’s Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez, in his first time on the ballot this year, received nearly 24 percent of the vote. He would, of course, have been a guaranteed Hall of Famer if he hadn’t twice been caught using enhancements banned by MLB.

Voters will have to decide whether there is a difference between the 2007 Mitchell Report on PEDs or involvement with the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative and being actually nabbed — and banned — during MLB’s testing period. At this point, the question cannot fully be answered.

USA beats France 82-0 at American Football world championships

The United States played France in American football, and this might surprise you, but the United States won. By a lot. The final score was 82-0, with the United States scoring a touchdown on its first 12 drives before running out the clock to end the game.

The game was part of the IFAF (International Federation of American Football) World Championship, being held in Canton, Ohio.

Elite Mens Tom Barrasso Jersey Team USA had won its first two games of the tournament comfortably — they beat Mexico 30-6 and beat Japan 43-18 — but it was nothing like this.

And it’s not like France is the worst football team in the world. They beat Australia 53-3, and Australia had previously beat South Korea 47-6. The French will go on to play Mexico in the bronze medal game. It’s worth noting that France’s starting QB, Paul Durand, was injured in the first few minutes of the game. America is 3-0 and will now face Japan in the gold medal game.

Now ask yourself how many things a lion’s provided you with in your entire life. Exactly.

Go ahead and make your shitty comments. Rely on outdated stereotypes. It’s fine that you think sheep are lazy, dimwitted, boring animals. So are people from Indianapolis, but they made the playoffs last year.
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“Injury derailed (Redman’s) career,” Batch told me. “You never know when that last play is going to happen. Then the team moves on without you. I was able to tell him my story and connect him with the right people.”

Recently, Redman got his answer in the form of a call from Charlie Batch, a former Pittsburgh Steeler who is also Senior Captain of the the Trust, established under the most recent CBA to provide transition assistance to former NFL players.

Devin Booker and Kawhi Leonard wow sellout crowd in Mexico City

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Phoenix Suns coach Earl Watson joked he might be requesting a change of venue for the team’s Monday matchup against the Utah Jazz after a 108-105 victory on Saturday over the San Antonio Spurs at Arena Ciudad de Mexico.

“Devin Booker doesn’t want to leave,” Watson said. “He wants to stay and play Utah here on Monday. He’s averaging 39. So we’re trying to change the game really quick.”
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The back-and-forth between Booker and Leonard certainly kept the sellout crowd of 20,532 on their feet.

Perhaps you’ve grown weary of our pining for England and hearing how much we wished we were in London last week for Indy vs. Denver ABA Bowl (#sorrynotsorry). The Pacers certainly didn’t enjoy themselves in one of the Committee’s most beloved arenas, absorbing their third loss this season by 25-plus points. That’s obviously not the sort of trip Paul George was hoping for in the wake of Indiana’s recent five-game winning streak and with George, while abroad, becoming just the fourth active player (along with LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving) to be outfitted with his own Nike signature shoe. Indy has bizarrely either taken a lead of at least 20 points or has fallen behind by 20-plus points in 18 of 39 games to date. And there might be more trouble on the horizon: ESPN’s Basketball Power Index says that the Pacers have played the league’s easiest schedule so far but face the seventh-toughest remaining schedule from here.

Interesting video submission last week from our own Tom Haberstroh, who did the math and found that the Bulls have played (yikes) at the level of a 10-72 team when Jimmy Butler is off the floor. Haberstroh’s research only reinforces how good we feel about referring to Butler as a must-choice as an East starter for players and media members before All-Star balloting closes Monday night. Dwyane Wade, meanwhile, celebrated his 35th birthday early by scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter to seal a win over New Orleans and ease the sting of that 18-point lead squandered just days earlier in a loss at Washington. The outburst accounted for D-Wade’s best quarter since a 19-point effort for Miami nearly two years ago (March 29, 2015).

Aaron Rodgers’ ‘guarantee’ could join Rex, others in NFL lore

We in the media have perfected an unflattering routine of asking newsmakers for predictions and, when offered, inflating them into guarantees. There is a phonic difference between “I think we’ll win” and “we will win” that sometimes gets lost in the excitement.

Aaron Rodgers’ “I think we can run the table” contention in Week 11 falls somewhere in between.

Game Mens Shane Doan Jersey To be sure, he’s no Rex Ryan, whose bold predictions couldn’t allow him to avoid his second firing in the past three years. Rodgers didn’t promise a six-game winning streak to end the season, but his assertion was bold nonetheless.

He’ll turn 30 in September, but he should have plenty to offer a Cardinals team that only managed to average 3.29 yards per carry last season, the lowest in the NFL. Arizona is hurting at the position as both Johnson and Marion Grice are dealing with hamstring injuries, while Ellington only recently returned to practice from his own injuries.

Last week, head coach Bruce Arians said he has been disappointed in his running back corps.

“I am not pleased with the time (Andre) and David have lost, and I was not fired up about the running backs’ performance on Saturday,” Arians said.

Arians added that the team would be looking elsewhere for help. It landed on Johnson, who is coming off a good season in a limited role with the Jets. He appeared in 16 regular season games last season but started just six, finishing with 663 yards and one touchdown on 155 carries. His 4.3 yards per carry average was his best since his 2012 season in Tennessee.

Game Mens Vincent Valentine Jersey On March 8, 2015, Johnson sustained injuries during a drive-by in his home state of Florida that claimed the life of another. Johnson was taken to the hospital where he recovered.

Trent Richardson probably had a perfectly good reason for running away from that hole, jerks

Trent Richardson has not had the NFL career everyone thought he would coming out of college. The first-round pick has spent time on multiple teams, and is now playing for the Oakland Raiders. Friday night, in a preseason game, Richardson performed his patented “run away from the hole the line has opened and into a group of people trying to tackle you” move.

maybe Trent Richardson just wanted to go hang out with his friends in the pile did you ever think about that jerks?

Rivers was making an average of just over $15 million per season on his previous contract, and his play hasn’t declined at all since he signed that deal. San Diego hasn’t found the success it wants, but that hasn’t had much to do with Rivers’ play. He’s been excellent for years, and is coming off a season in which he completed 66.5 percent of his passes for 4,286 yards, 31 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Marlon Moore vs. Preston Brown
There’s no video of this one, but apparently Cleveland Browns wide receiver Marlon Moore took off his helmet and traded blows with Buffalo Bills linebacker Preston Brown, who said Moore “came at [him]” as he walked off the field. More like a skirmish than a fight, but at least nobody’s JAW WAS BROKEN.

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I only ranked five fights, so that’s why this is fifth. If I ranked 25 fights, it would’ve ranked 25th. This is everything bad about training camp fights rolled into one. The fight happened over a $600 plane ticket and ended with the starting quarterback’s jaw broken and the other player immediately waived from the team, although he was later claimed by the Bills. Todd Bowles has the ongoing challenge now of not allowing the fight to split the team after some players said Smith deserved it, while only Brandon Marshall has publicly come to the quarterback’s defense.

The Chiefs’ one loss to a high-scoring opponent was against the Steelers when the teams met in October in Pittsburgh

Hakeem Nicks Mens Jersey It might sound crazy for the Chiefs to try to win a high-scoring battle against the Steelers. But that strategy has worked well for them against similarly constructed opponents.

The best example was a Dec. 5 game against Atlanta, which wound up leading the NFL in scoring by 4.5 points, at 33.8 points per game. Coach Andy Reid realized the Chiefs weren’t going to hold the Falcons much below their season average for points. Few of their opponents did.

So the Chiefs put everything into giving their offense a boost. They scored two touchdowns on fourth-down plays, one being a 55-yard run from a punt formation by Albert Wilson.
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The Chiefs’ one loss to a high-scoring opponent was against the Steelers when the teams met in October in Pittsburgh. The game got away early from the Chiefs, who made some uncharacteristic mistakes. They committed two turnovers on their first three possessions and were down 22-0 at the end of the first quarter. They didn’t score until the fourth quarter and lost 43-14 as Roethlisberger threw for 300 yards and five touchdowns, two to Brown. Bell rushed for 144 yards.

The commissioner denied any link between the two investigations and disciplinary actions for the Patriots during a Tuesday morning appearance on ESPN radio’s Mike and Mike show. Nevertheless, Goodell’s decision to come down hard on Kraft and the Patriots was something that pleased the majority of the league’s owners, according to Outside the Lines.

“Roger did the right thing — at last,” one owner said to Outside the Lines, in reference to Goodell’s decision to uphold Brady’s punishment. “He looks tough — and that’s good.”

Goodell’s job now being more secure is just one of the many revelations from this Outside the Lines pieces. Here are some others.

The Steelers might face the toughest road of the 2014 division winners in trying to defend their title

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They also are really thin in the backfield with LeGarrette Blount (team-best 4.7 yards per carry in 2014) suspended for the opener and the offseason departure of Shane Vereen (team-best 148 touches in 2014). Complicating things even further, the Patriots will be without one of their top wideouts, Brandon LaFell (74 catches, 953 receiving yards), who was placed on the PUP list.

The Steelers might face the toughest road of the 2014 division winners in trying to defend their title. Pittsburgh has the most difficult schedule in the league, based on their opponents’ win percentage from last season (.579), and play 11 games against teams that finished with a winning record last year. They’ll also be missing a trio of key players for this game: Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey is out with a leg injury, while both running back Le’Veon Bell and wide receiver Martavis Bryant are serving suspensions.

He runs a 4-3 scheme that is derived from former Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Johnson’s blitz-heavy attack of the early 2000s. McDermott’s defense in Carolina was not as blitz-centric, but required linebackers to have speed and range and for the secondary to handle zone-coverage responsibilities.

He has an “intense” personality: At the end of this past season, Bills wide receiver Sammy Watkins called for a “culture change” around the Bills’ organization, saying some players lacked discipline. In contrast with Rex Ryan’s more laid-back style, McDermott could represent the change Watkins desired.

Game Youth Victor Butler Jersey “I think that most people who know me would say that I’m an intense individual and very driven to win and enjoy the competition aspect of the game,” McDermott told Bleacher Report in 2010. McDermott had a reputation in Carolina for working long hours and said he slept in his office for most of the week during the regular season.

The Washington Wizards are currently ranked 17th in the Basketball Power Index

Ryan Miller Womens Jersey The Washington Wizards are currently ranked 17th in the Basketball Power Index, and are projected to win 38 games. Simulating the rest of the season, BPI gives the Wizards a 34 percent chance of getting to the playoffs in coach Scott Brooks’ first campaign in Washington.

The Wizards have one of the most promising back courts in the league, with point guard John Wall a three-time All-Star at 26 years old and shooting guard Bradley Beal showing great potential — Zach LaVine is the only guard under 25 shooting better than Beal from three this season. Washington also possesses a young wing in Otto Porter Jr. who continues to improve on a near-nightly basis, having gone from a true shooting percentage of 41 percent as a rookie to 64 percent so far this season.
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Where were you when Josh McCown became elite? It’s probably something that we’ll all tell our grandchildren someday.

McCown, a career 59 percent passer with a 78.3 quarterback rating over 13 years in the NFL, passed for 457 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Browns to a win over the division rival Ravens in Baltimore. McCown, now among the NFL’s elite signal callers, *cough* has passed for 300-plus yards in three straight games for Cleveland — his 1,154 passing yards over a three-game period is a Cleveland franchise record, by the way — and his play has silenced cries from fans for Johnny Manziel to start. For now.

The Falcons won with fourth-quarter comebacks in their first three games this year before blowing out the Texans in Week 4. They got back to their standard operating procedure on Sunday by coming from behind once again against Washington. They’re the first team in NFL history with four fourth quarter comeback wins in their first five games, and while that’s a fairly meaningless and obscure stat on the surface, the ability to finish is anything but a bad thing.

Wherever the Raiders make their long-term home, Derek Carr is a franchise cornerstone

How quickly will Carr¡¯s fibula heal? With the Raiders rolling with rookie Connor Cook in the playoffs, veteran Matt McGloin has likely played his final game with Oakland. McGloin was the Raiders¡¯ highest-paid QB this season, making more than $2.5 million in base salary, and the Raiders have shown that if they trust Cook in the postseason, they trust him to be Carr¡¯s backup.

Then again, if Carr¡¯s leg is not fully healed by the start of the offseason program, Cook will again get first-team reps. There were reports Carr¡¯s injury was not that severe, that he could have potentially been ready for the Super Bowl had Cook and McGloin somehow piloted the Raiders to the title game. Pie-in-the-sky dreams, critics charged.

This is why the Giants are trying to change as little as possible once they reach what McAdoo has consistently called the 17th game.

¡°Just keep doing what you¡¯re doing. Have faith in yourself. Have faith in the guy next to you,¡± DeOssie said of his similar message. ¡°Keep doing what you¡¯re doing. Do whatever you¡¯ve been doing. Take it to the next level.¡±
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The playoffs are admittedly different. The game moves faster, with intensity higher than anything many of the Giants have ever experienced. Veteran linebacker Kelvin Sheppard recently explained that everyone knows it¡¯s a do-or-die situation. It¡¯s a reality that can¡¯t be shelved.

Casillas wanted to make it known that his teammates shouldn¡¯t leave any room for regrets.
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¡°Work as hard as you can this week; leave no stone unturned,¡± he said of his message. ¡°If you¡¯ve got to cut communication off between your family and you, then so be it. This is it, we¡¯ve got one week, or five weeks — that¡¯s how I look at it. You put everything into it because this is what we all wanted to do in the beginning. This is why we play the game, to get to the Super Bowl.¡±

Who could Kevin Durant and Draymond Green be talking about with this triple-double comment?

Kevin Durant told reporters following Golden State¡¯s 127-119 win over the Denver Nuggets on Monday that Draymond Green doesn¡¯t care about triple-doubles.

Green had just recorded his second triple-double of the season ¡ª a 15-point, 10-rebound, 13-assist effort. When told of his teammate¡¯s comments, the Warriors¡¯ point forward said he doesn¡¯t care about stuffing stat sheets, but prefers winning to accolades.

¡°Nah, I don¡¯t care (about triple-doubles) at all. It¡¯s not really a focus of mine,¡± he said. ¡°Trust me, if I cared, I¡¯d have a lot more than ¡ª what do I have, one this year? Two? I¡¯d have a lot more than that if I cared. It really doesn¡¯t matter to me. As long as we win, we have a great team. It¡¯s not about chasing stats.¡±
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David Savard Youth Jersey In any case, Braves fans know full and well the devastating effect that injuries can have on a season, or even a franchise¡¯s path. The Braves¡¯ front office likely does as well, as it recently shook up their medical and training staff. Even before then, though, Eric Cole posed to me a pretty important question ¡ª just how have the Braves fared, relative to the league, in terms of injury?

This post is meant to answer that question, albeit more in a choose-your-own-adventure than a pedagogic way.

The good news for analyzing injuries is that much of work has already been done: Jeff Zimmerman at Baseball Heat Maps has actually done the heavy lifting, creating really useful spreadsheets with every DL stint a player was subjected to since 2010. You can access these data here.

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