It seems like oblique strains are on the rise in the MLB.

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Unanimous? No, but he’d get some votes. I think he’d be up there with Blue Jays first baseman Justin Smoak as most improved player.

Michael Thomas Authentic Jersey Schoop has, in fact, improved throughout his career, injuries in 2014 aside. He posted a 2.1 WAR in 2016 and is well on his way to doubling that mark this season (3.9 bWAR through 108 games). He has improved as a defensive second baseman the past couple years (0 defensive runs saved vs. minus-3 in 2015).

Still, it might have to be Smoak here: He’s putting together a 3.4 WAR season (his career high is 1.3) and he had his first All-Star appearance at age 30.

Both guys are deserving, I think, which means it isn’t unanimous for one or the other.

It seems like oblique strains are on the rise in the MLB. Any idea why?

This year has been all about the rookies, as 21-year-old Cody Bellinger hit his 30th home run this week, and the Yankees’ Aaron Judge is the front runner in the American League MVP race.

Albies and Devers are the youngest of the young but far from overwhelmed. The future is bright for both players but possibly even brighter for MLB.

Paul Goldschmidt is good. Everyone knows this. But Thursday, he was even better than normal, as he went 3-for-4 with three home runs and six RBIs in a 10-8 Diamondbacks win over the Cubs. And crazier than that, in a game that featured three rain delays, he hit a home run after each one. That’s not a stat many batters have achieved.

We’re placing players in peril when they have no notice or familiarity with the surface they’re playing on, he said. There may be a better solution where you have a base that has a less slick surface in response to precipitation.

Boras said he was in the stands at the Chicago Cubs-Arizona Diamondbacks game Saturday when he saw the video replay of Harper’s injury on his phone. He left the stadium and was later kept apprised of Harper’s status by another one of his clients, Washington outfielder Jayson Werth.

Adrian Beltre doubles to join MLB’s 3,000-hit club

Adrian Beltre became the 31st player in baseball history to reach 3,000 MLB hits on Sunday at Globe Life Park.

Beltre blasted a 91-mph pitch off of Baltimore’s Wade Miley down the left-field line for a standup double in the fourth inning, becoming the first-ever Dominican native with 3,000 hits.
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The report did state that it is unclear if there is any momentum in the trade talks, but the two teams are in contact.

Verlander is owed $60 million though 2019, which is a little more than Houston is known for spending, but a trade would make sense for both teams. The Tigers are starting to rebuild after failing to win a World Series title for Mike Ilitch. They sent closer Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila to the Cubs, and outfielder J.D. Martinez to the Diamondbacks.

The Astros are in contention for a possible World Series run, but they desperately need to solidify their rotation. While ace Dallas Keuchel has been great when healthy, he does not have a running mate to help him get through the postseason.

Lance McCullers Jr. started the season off in great form, however, he has recently battled injuries and control issues. The rest of the rotation (Collin McHugh, Brad Peacock, Charlie Morton and Mike Fiers) has performed well at times this season, but likely won’t be enough to help the Astros reach their full postseason potential.
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The Tigers will almost certainly after top Astros prospects Kyle Tucker or Derek Fisher, both outfielders, in return for Verlander. The trade’s chances of getting done may come down to Houston’s willingness to part with major pieces in their farm system.

Hicks could cost the Eagles big money when he becomes a free agent following the 2018 season.

He understands the value of consistency, and having the same defensive scheme — and defensive coordinator — two (healthy) seasons in a row will go a long way to get there.

Hicks already has a plan, telling BGN, We’ll be able to see [the same route concepts] and take specific film and figure out the steps and drill work. Work on what we weren’t really good at last year. That’s how you take the next step.

Authentic Youth Charles Leno Jersey Still playing under his rookie contract, Hicks could cost the Eagles big money when he becomes a free agent following the 2018 season. But, if he keeps flying around the field, making big plays on opposing quarterbacks, and contributing to an upward-trending defense, he’ll be worth every penny.

But everything else about Jones is subtle, yet great. He’s still able to come off as relatable, even as one of the best pro athletes in the world. You’ve just never noticed it.

Mike Napoli Limited Jersey He’s earned nearly $52 million over the course of his NFL career. Making that type of bread will change a person. Yet Jones still enjoys the things in life that really matter — like a fresh cut.

An urban legend (it’s totally true) says that after a fresh cut, the recipient of said cut is invincible for 24 hours. There’s nothing like a brand new line-up (and a fade, for some of us). It’s the self-appearance version of a direct deposit hitting your bank account — it’s pretty, and the only way from there is down.

Winston’s best days are still ahead of him and he could be in line for a breakout season in 2017. Giving the 23-year-old Keenan Allen, Mike Williams, and Travis Benjamin to work with could be a good situation for the Chargers for years to come.

With the young-franchise-quarterbacks-of-the-future tier mostly pilfered through, Rodgers is finally off the board.

You’re starting your Sunday at least $400 in the hole hours before the game even begins.

Once you get there and spend another $50 or more to park your car, you have to make it through the parking lot without someone vomiting on you, stabbing you (if you’re going to a Niners game) or, worst of all, telling you how great their shitty brisket is (wow, you grilled some meat, awesome.)

Don’t forget to put all of your crap in the clear plastic bag!

And then you’re finally inside. Weave through the throngs of sweaty humanity touching you, sneezing on you, coughing, being loud, until you find your seat. Oh, look, the man in front of you isn’t wearing underwear beneath his sweatpants, so now you’ve got to look around his hairy ass just to squint at tiny little specks moving an even tinier little speck around the field.

Watkins put together an explosive 2015 despite battling nagging injuries all season. If he can find a way to stay healthy, he could be the missing piece in the Bill Buffalo offense. With free agency looming, that would be a major win for both the Bills and Watkins himself. One big season is all it would take to reward Buffalo’s draft faith in him while setting the stage for a massive contract.

The first question any team will ask when it comes to Watkins next spring is whether or not he can stay healthy, and 2017 may be his last chance to prove he can. If the young receiver can fulfill the massive potential he’s displayed in flashes over three seasons in the league, this season could be the best of his life.patriots_116-180x180

Jay Beagle, Phil Kessel to settle feud in Mario Kart battle

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As the Capitals-Penguins series intensifies, Jay Beagle and Phil Kessel might take their feud off the ice.

The Capitals forward challenged the Penguins forward to a Mario Kart battle to squash their beef and settle their differences relating to the hit that sidelined Sidney Crosby with a concussion.

The quarrel got off to a confusing start because of an incorrectly relayed quote, so let’s go back to the beginning.

Jordin Tootoo Womens Jersey Unable to attend her husband’s games since she was diagnosed in October, Anderson returned for the playoffs. She wrote Saturday that, while emotionally on overload, watching the Senators on their playoff run helped her as she underwent radiation therapy.

Mentally I didn’t want to throw him off his game, nor did I want him or his teammates to be affected in anyway, she said. They were living their childhood dreams and I wasn’t going to be the person to shatter their world. I shared the news with close family members and Craig, but I wanted the results from the MRI before I could tell anyone.

The Senators saw their season come to a close Thursday with a double-overtime loss to the Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals.

I couldn’t have asked for a better year and memories, Anderson wrote. My advice to everyone, everyday we are given, we are blessed. Don’t put off what you can do today! Live life to the fullest because in a blink of an eye it can and will change.

After hearing the results of one PET scan Thursday, Anderson will get a second scan to confirm her tumor was indeed gone.

Nothing better than hearing CANCER FREE two times! I will be continously monitored for the next couple of years with followed-up pet scans, ENT visits, and tests, she wrote. We pray this beast doesn’t return.

Maple Leafs sign Nikita Zaitsev to 7-year, $31.5 million extension

The Maple Leafs have signed defenseman Nikita Zaitsev to a seven-year contract extension worth $31.5 million, the team announced Tuesday.

Jerry Rice Jersey The deal carries an average annual value of $4.5 million and keeps Zaitsev in Toronto through the 2023-24 season.
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The Maple Leafs signed Zaitsev from the KHL last spring on a one-year deal worth $925,000 and decided to keep the Russian around after a successful first season in the NHL. He previously registered 32 goals and 63 assists in 317 regular season games in the KHL.

Zaitsev, 25, recorded four goals and 32 assists in 82 games this season. He also led all Toronto players with an average of just over 22 minutes of ice time per game.

Vlasic, 30, was due to become a UFA after next season and gets a sizable raise ($7 million AAV) from the $4.25 million he’ll make in 2017-18. That one might hurt toward the end of its life, but getting Jones, also a member of the 2018 UFA class, for $5.75 million AAV until he’s 33 is brilliant.

Meanwhile Thornton awaits Marleau’s decision, which is said to be down to the Maple Leafs, Ducks, Stars and Rangers. If Marleau elects to return to San Jose, it’s expected Thornton will do the same, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

The Predators and Avalanche made a trade! Just not the one everyone was hoping for. With Matt Duchene rumors swirling, the Predators dealt center Colin Wilson to the Avalanche for a fourth-round draft pick in 2019, according to TSN. Wilson, 27, has two years remaining on his contract at $3.937 million AAV and became expendable when Nashville signed Nick Bonino to a four-year contract. He’s a

Vote DeMarcus Cousins to the All-Star Game and he’ll release an R&B album

DeMarcus Cousins shouldn’t need any help to get to the All-Star Game, but the Kings center is somehow trailing Zaza Pachulia for a spot in February’s event.

Not to worry, Boogie has a unique incentive in mind to gather votes. Cousins told KHTK-AM just what he’s willing to do to make the All Star Game.

It is what it is, Westbrook said Friday, via ESPN.com. That’s the nature of the business, the game. I just play. I don’t play for All-Star bids. I play to win championships, and every night I compete at a high level, and it’ll work out.

Game Victor Martinez Jersey I just continue doing what I’m doing and play the game the right way, and everything else will work out.

Westbrook ultimately lost a tiebreaker between himself, James Harden and Stephen Curry, with the latter two earning starting bids. The NBA’s new voting system included players and media votes for the first time this season.

Chris Hogan Youth Jersey [Winning the players’ vote] doesn’t change anything for me, Westbrook said. It’s a great honor … and being an All-Star is something you don’t take for granted.

But like I said, I don’t play to play in the All-Star [Game]. I play to become a better player and to win championships.

There is no doubt Westbrook will be named as one of the Western Conference’s reserves. At his height, there’s no way Isaiah Thomas should be able to score as well as he does. The odds are certainly stacked against him considering only two players in NBA history under 6-feet have ever averaged 25 or more points in a season: Calvin Murphy for the Rockets in 1977-78 (25.6 points) and Michael Adams for the Nuggets in 1990-91 (26.5 points). Thomas is currently averaging more points than both them (27.8 per game) on a much greater effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage.

NBL player Akil Mitchell’s eye pops out of socket in scary injury

Former Virginia starter Akil Mitchell suffered a gruesome eye injury in a National Basketball League game Thursday night in New Zealand.

Our thoughts are with Akil Mitchell following a terrible eye injury. We will update once we know more. The game will resume in 2mins ??

While trying to tip the ball in on a rebound, a defending player accidentially poked the New Zealand Breakers forward in the eye. Mitchell went down immediately to the concern of his teammates, and then a camera zoomed in on his face to show the horror.

Over his last 10 games, Thompson is averaging 8.9 points and 8.6 rebounds but upped his game on Sunday against the Thunder, posting a season-high in scoring (19), steals (4), shot attempts (15), and made free throws (5) while matching his season-high in blocks (4).

“For me, the way I judge a game is what I do on the defensive end,” Thompson said. “That’s what my calling is, right? So, making it tough for [Steven] Adams, keeping him from getting a double-double, it’s a good game. Obviously the scoring, that’s extra, that’s a cherry on top, that’s a bonus. So as long as I take care of what my duty is every night, everything else is extra.”

While Kyrie Irving and James applauded Thompson’s effort on Sunday, Thompson says he’s not trying to live up to his contract.

“At the end of the day, I’m going to do my job. That’s what it’s about,” the 6-9 forward said. “Do my job and do whatever it takes to win and do what my teammates need me to do. I don’t need to go out there and try to prove myself or prove my contract. I already earned my keep, but the key is to keep building every day and never be satisfied.”
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Krause managed the franchise as Michael Jordan

Limited Youth Andrew Hawkins Jersey The entire Bulls organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Jerry Krause, Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a release from the team. Jerry was one of the hardest working guys I have ever been around, and he was one of the best talent evaluators ever. Jerry played an integral role in our run of six championships in eight years. He truly was the architect of all our great teams in the ’90s. I would not have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame if it were not for Jerry. We will miss him tremendously, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his wife Thelma and the Krause family.
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Born and raised in Chicago, Krause began his NBA career as a scout for the Baltimore Bullets and also dabbled in baseball scouting but became famous after he succeeded Rod Thorn as the Bulls GM in 1985, after Jerry Reinsdorf bought the team.

Krause managed the franchise as Michael Jordan, who he inherited as a player, and Phil Jackson, who he made the coach in 1989, ascended to elite status.

But his eye for talent also brought the Bulls players such as Scottie Pippen, from tiny Central Arkansas. Still, he was criticized by fans for frequent misses on draft day.

With Channing Frye, Deron Williams, J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Tristan Thompson starting, the result was not surprising for the Cavs. It was, however, what LA needed in order to keep pace with the Thunder for playoff positioning.

ABC and the league, on the other hand, likely saw ratings drop a week after the Warriors and Spurs sat their stars during another Saturday night primetime matchup. Basketball fans not tuned into March Madness got to witness the Cavaliers have season-lows in points, 3-pointers made (five) and 3-point percent (18.5). Not to mention, Clippers stars Blake Griffin, Chris Paul and DeAndre Jordan sat out the entire fourth quarter.

Bulls, Bucks, Nuggets, Cavs? What’s next for Dwyane Wade?

Back in November, a more innocent time for the Bulls and their backers, Dwyane Wade was leaning back near the sideline at TD Garden in Boston, looking ahead to what figured to be a fascinating season for his new team. Chicago had brought together Wade and former rival Rajon Rondo to go along with established star Jimmy Butler. The future was still cloudy, but promising.
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We don’t look at ourselves as a Big Three, Wade said then. We’re just coming out here and trying to help lead this team and play basketball. Everyone on this team is on the same level, same page. It’s just the way it is. We are all cheering for each other, cheering for each other’s success. We know we need all of us and everyone to be successful.

You guys are sitting at ninth in the West (one game behind the Nuggets in the West standings). Where do you see this team going?

We have enough to not only make the playoffs, but maybe make some noise. I know a lot of people thought we were ahead of schedule last year. It was a bit humbling this season. We jumped the curve. We won a series and fought the Warriors tough. We kind of missed that stumbling period. Turns out we needed that growth. It’s a lesson about not taking anything for granted. We have a lot of talent though and have a great coach. I believe we can give any team in the playoffs hell. I’m that confident in my squad.

Did the expectations from last year add pressure?
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Pressure, nah. Fam, this is just playing ball. Pressure is the homeless man, who doesn’t know where his next meal is coming from. Pressure is the single mom, who is trying to scuffle and pay her rent. We get paid a lot of money to play a game. Don’t get me wrong — there are challenges. But to call it pressure is almost an insult to regular people.