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The 2018 Major League Baseball regular season will begin on March 29 — the earliest Opening Day in league history.
In addition to the early start, all 30 MLB teams will be in action on Opening Day this year. The full slate of games begins on ESPN at 12:30 p.m., when the Miami Marlins host the Chicago Cubs.
This was easy. Realmuto is either the first- or second-best position player on this team, and there’s a reason for that (besides that the team lacks a true hitting star). He hits extremely well for a catcher, and Baseball Prospectus’ catching metrics rate him as a positive defender across the board, including his framing. He’s one of the best backstops in the game, and the Marlins are going to get an impressive haul for him when the inevitable trade finally happens. Fortunately for the Marays, Realmuto is here to stay.
Lincecum did not play in 2017 and only made nine appearances with the Angels in 2016. That wasn’t enough to keep the Rangers from going out and getting him though. Neither was the fact he made just eight appearances out of the bullpen in his first 10 MLB seasons.
What is really good news for Texas is the 33-year-old can’t wait to get back into the game, saying he felt weird not being out on the diamond when spring training started last year.
“It’s one of those things that’s an itch in you and it’s kind of one of those things when you see everybody going out spring training, we gotta migrate, I gotta head down,” he said. “I don’t feel right if I’m not doing the same thing.”
The 5-11 pitcher won two Cy Young awards with the Giants in 2008 and 2009 and threw more than 200 innings four times.
Bucks forward Jabari Parker announced Monday that he will make his season debut Friday against the Knicks.
Currently seventh in the Eastern Conference standings, Milwaukee is trying to reach the postseason again after earning the six seed last season. While Parker may be brought back slowly, he should provide a lift for the Bucks.
There’s still more that Gordon must tackle to master his new position, as evidenced by some items on his spring to-do list. He’ll spend his time working on his throwing motion to generate more spin off his fingertips to get greater carry with more accuracy, staying on top of situations to have an idea of where he needs to throw the ball before it’s hit to him, communicating with his fellow outfielders (a group that now includes Ichiro Suzuki), backing up second base in the event of errant throws and learning to read situations so he can change his depth and position in the middle of counts to gain precious extra steps.
“We talked about it, so I think that needs to happen,” Thomas said, via ESPN. “My minutes just can’t be with LeBron at all times. We got to play to our strengths. Just like Chris Paul and James Harden, they don’t play together at all times.
“We got to play to our strengths. Kyrie (Irving) last year, they didn’t play together at all times. So (Lue is) figuring it out, and we’re figuring it out as a unit, how to use our strengths, and at the same time, we know for the most part we start games together, finish games together, and we go from there. So it’s a learning process, and we’re still learning each other. I’m still learning this team, and Ty Lue is still learning how to use me and use me to the best of my ability.”
After a huge midseason slump, Lue admitted last week that he needed to shake up the starting lineup to see if that would help. He ended up benching Jae Crowder, put Tristan Thompson in at center and moved Kevin Love to power forward for Friday’s home game against the Pacers.
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“Any time we make this kind of investment and commitment to a player, we want to do it with the right type of player,” Cardinals vice president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “We talk a lot about the Cardinal Way and the character that we look at, and Paul exemplifies all of that.”
DeJong finished second to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger in National League Rookie of the Year voting last season.
The extension locks up DeJong past his arbitration-eligible years, which ran through 2020.
“It’s a first-class organization and exactly where I want to be long term,” DeJong said. “I think we’re all pretty happy about this.”
Over the past several years, the Cardinals have reached long-term deals with players just before the start of the regular season, including Stephen Piscotty, Allen Craig, Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch first reported DeJong’s extension agreement. FanRag Sports first reported the terms of the deal.
“Once again, we got out-worked tonight,” McMillan said, referring to what he said was a similarly discouraging effort in a loss at Dallas on Monday.
McMillan said the strong effort from the lowly Hawks should be a warning to his players about the competition they can expect in the final weeks of the regular season.
“You are getting a taste of what it’s going to be like going down the stretch,” he said.
“It was the first time I’ve had fun in a while,” Bazemore said. “The season being what it’s been, I’ve kind of been frustrated. … That’s not who I am and that’s not what got me here.”
Curry apparently hurt his ankle when he stepped on teammate Zaza Pachulia’s foot. After returning with 7:18 remaining in the first half, Curry scored the Warriors’ next 11 points — including two 3-pointers and a three-point play.
Atlanta, in contention for the league’s worst record, stayed close with Golden State, which began the night a half-game behind Houston in the race for the league’s best record.
“It shows how hard we’re working,” said Taurean Prince, who had 15 points. “It shows what we can be.”
“We did a great job of fighting back,” Bledsoe said. “They did a great job of keeping their composure and making plays.”
Looking lost on offense and trailing 64-50 at the half, Bledsoe, who had 17 points, sparked the resurgence in the third with eight points during an 18-6 run, including his second 3 that pulled Milwaukee to 70-68. The Wizards immediately called time out to regroup. They pushed the lead back to seven. Jason Terry hit a wide-open 3 with 13 seconds left in the third that cut the lead to 84-81.
Shooting guard is tough to figure out tonight. D’Angelo Russell, the most expensive option, plays way down in pace in Sacramento tonight, and though the Kings are the worst overall defensive team in the league, their DvP to guards is merely average. Conversely, appealing bargain choices like Dwyane Wade and Rodney Hood are playing up in pace and getting significant court time, but are nonetheless hard to trust.
After a sizzling start to the season, the Los Angeles Kings find themselves on the outside of the playoffs looking in if the season ended this weekend.
Fortunately, the Kings have 21 games remaining to climb into the top eight and qualify for the postseason. They’ll try to make up ground Saturday night against the visiting Edmonton Oilers at Staples Center.
Los Angeles (33-23-5) is one point behind the St. Louis Blues for the second wild card from the Western Conference, and two points behind the Anaheim Ducks for third place in the Pacific Division.
The Kings started a franchise-best 9-1-1, but couldn’t maintain that pace after losing last season’s leading point scorer to injury.
Jonathan Quick made 32 saves in a 5-0 victory in Edmonton on Jan. 2, and Darcy Kuemper was the winning goalie with 25 saves in a 5-2 win in Los Angeles on Feb. 7.
Edmonton (25-31-4) has seen its playoffs hopes fade as losses such as those have mounted. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl continue to be the bright spots for the Oilers, however.
McDavid has 27 goals and 44 assists, leaving him well within reach of last season’s career-high 30-goal total.
Draisaitl has 18 goals and 36 assists, notching one of each in a 3-2 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
Draisaitl has played well against the Kings in his career, totaling two goals and eight assists in 13 games, but his minus-7 rating equals the lowest against any team in the NHL.
A 4-12 season followed, and Reid was ousted after 14 seasons as head coach. Philadelphia needed a change, and it certainly got one with a swing-for-the-fences hiring of former Oregon head coach Chip Kelly. Kelly, who was later given general manager duties as well, made his share of changes — trading LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles and signing DeMarco Murray to a big contract — but ultimately lacked the kind of control he had held over players who weren’t yet of drinking age in the NCAA. Despite starting his career with back-to-back 10-win seasons, he didn’t see his way to the end of a third.
What does this mean for Revis? It could mean the end of the road for one of the best cornerbacks of his era. Over an eight-year span in the last decade, Revis made the Pro Bowl seven times, but he has struggled to find work recently and things won’t get any easier.
Revis likely will keep his eye out for another opportunity, though.
For virtually the first time all season, the New England Patriots are projecting to be fully healthy when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl 52. Players like Julian Edelman and Dont’a Hightower, who were lost to season-ending injuries are still out but the rest of the team is good to go per the Patriots’ latest injury report.
Like the Patriots, Philadelphia put out a clean injury report as well, expecting all of their active roster players to play on Sunday. It is rare to see two teams this healthy heading into the final game of a grueling NFL season, with the obvious exception of course being Carson Wentz’s absence under center.
News of Gronkowski’s return may have contributed to a slight uptick in the total, which moved from 48 to 48.5. Four of the last five Super Bowls have had at least 52 total points and seven of the last nine have had at least 48 scored.
Brady had some competition for MVP earlier in the season, when Carson Wentz and the Eagles rolled out to a 10-1 start on the season. That came to a screeching halt after he tore his ACL against the Rams. Antonio Brown was also considered to be a contender for the award, but he missed the final two games of the regular season with a partially torn calf he suffered against the Patriots.
The prewritten speech before Brady was even named the winner of the award is just another example of his extreme preparation.
Or at least, somebody will draw that ridiculous conclusion.
Holtby dropped his fifth straight start and is 2-4-2 in February. His goals-against average has risen to 2.95, more than half a goal above his career percentage.
Washington (34-20-7) has lost two straight since winning at Buffalo on Monday. The Capitals are just 6-6-4 in their last 16 games and have more losses overall than in each of the past two seasons.
It was scary. I don’t think nobody can have fun having those kind of problems, but it’s all in the past, Martinez said. I think my family helped me a lot. Surgery I think helped me a lot too.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire says the team will look out for Martinez’s health.
NBA players are confident. They bet on themselves constantly (figuratively — we’re not attempting to start a gambling scandal here) in games and when signing contracts. There are major concerns that a shooter will be losing his legs or be right up against the clock, causing him to shoot less efficiently, when reaching the final round. But NBA players all imagine themselves as the best. Of course, they’ll put the moneyball rack last and assume their rhythm will trump any other downsides.
That’s the strategy for the NBA’s new and improved Three-Point Contest. You’ll have to ask the contestants exactly why they chose to put their moneyball rack where they did, but you can imagine it’s probably similar to the reasons above.
Seattle traded for Phelps to bolster its bullpen and entering the 2018 season he’s slotted to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. But he has started 64 games in six seasons. Phelps laughed when asked if he ever thinks about going back to starting.
I think about pitching, he said. I stopped worrying about that a couple years ago. I’m just trying to be the best version of myself and everything else will take care of itself.
Position players reported to camp on Monday and received physicals. Seattle’s first full-squad workout will be Tuesday. . On Sunday, Servais said pitcher Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks because of minor lat strain.
The 2018 NBA Slam Dunk Contest was filled with throwbacks. Donovan Mitchell gave us a moment to remember Dr. Dunkenstein and put on a Toronto Vince Carter jersey to do a famous Toronto Vince Carter dunk. Larry Nance Jr. wore his dad’s old uniform to do his dad’s old dunk.
One of the most exciting prospects in some time has arrived in Major League Baseball. When the player in question comes touted as Japan’s Babe Ruth, he can’t help but consume the fantasy baseball headlines, if not because of his potentially lofty impact, then certainly because of the unusualness of his anticipated role.
Shohei Ohtani, the 2016 Japanese Pacific League MVP who signed with the Los Angeles Angels in December, is a rare two-way player, bringing potentially high-quality hitting talent to go along with excellence as a pitcher. He’s the first such player of his type — one we genuinely want to use as both hitter and pitcher — in the Rotisserie era.
Even now after all that missed time, Crawford remains seventh in the NHL in Goals Saved Above Average at plus-17.58, per Corsica. That’s how good he was in those 28 games (.929 save percentage) before leaving with a mysterious head injury, and the team’s other goalies haven’t come close to duplicating it (.903) since he went down.
Jonathan Toews, Brent Seabrook, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith used to form a core that was the envy of the rest of the NHL. But it’s no longer 2013, and the Blackhawks still want to lean on those four in the same way they always have. The problem is, outside of Kane, it seems apparent at this point that aging is catching up to them.
In other words, if Ohtani hit only one home run, he wouldn’t be penalized, resulting in a negative score in the category, but rather would earn an amount equivalent to the difference between players who were one home run apart. His batting average would be the only potential negative category, if he hits so poorly that he’s a detriment to your team.
One final note: Ohtani will not be available as part of the player pool in batters-only leagues, due to his primary position being starting pitcher.
Happy drafting, and let the Ohtani strategizing in fantasy baseball leagues begin!
That’s not where the team intended to be this season, though, despite an active summer that saw veterans like Niklas Hjalmarsson, Brian Campbell, Artemi Panarin, and Scott Darling depart. Those were moves designed to keep the team competitive on the fly.
Here’s your chance to test all of your Super Bowl knowledge. This Sporcle.com quiz challenges you to list every Super Bowl winning team in order of when they last won the Lombardi trophy. Can you name them all?
Conspiracy theorists point to a pass interference call on Jacksonville’s A.J. Bouye. But there’s no follow-up about the Jaguars leaving two timeouts on the board with the ball and 55 seconds left before halftime. There’s no mention of a third-and-18 pass from Brady to Danny Amendola that kept a touchdown drive alive in the fourth quarter. That was the biggest play of the game, and it happened without a penalty.
Right behind Moss for touchdowns (153) and just ahead of him in yards (15,934) is Owens, whose 1,078 receptions rank eighth all-time. Owens was passed over the previous two years, but finally got in this time. While his numbers are undeniable, Owens was perceived as a bad teammate — something that had kept him out of Canton.
Urlacher spent his entire 13-year career with the Bears and was the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2000. He was the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 when he had 121 tackles with six sacks, five pass breakups and a forced fumble to help the Bears win the NFC North. Urlacher was an eight-time Pro Bowler with 1,229 tackles, 41 1/2 sacks, 78 pass breakups, 22 interceptions and 12 forced fumbles over his career.
“My message has been clear all year. I’m about creating positive change in the communities that I come from, whether it be Philadelphia, New Jersey, Ohio, Louisiana, or this entire country,” Jenkins said. “I want to see changes in our criminal justice system. I want to see us push for economic and educational advancement in communities of color and low-income communities.”
Defensive end Chris Long, who skipped the White House visit last year as a member of the Patriots, had already said he would not go this year, either.
“No, I’m not going to the White House. Are you kidding me?” Long said last week on the Pardon My Take podcast.
Running back LeGarrette Blount, who like Long moved from the Patriots to the Eagles this season, skipped last year’s White House ceremony. He said at the time, “I just don’t feel welcome into that house.”
MSG analyst Joe Micheletti over a replay: “I mentioned that he’d been out there for an extended shift. He’s 74; he can hardly skate.” Yikes!
Oh, Carolina’s Jaccob Slavin. He wears No. 74. And he’s only 22.
Stanley Wilson was a muscular, 5-foot-10 running back from Los Angeles, recruited to Oklahoma, where he scored seven TDs his senior season. He was a straight-ahead banger and dipper — he now would be classified “a downhill runner” — who could plow for first downs and touchdowns, catch passes in the flats and throw powerful blocks.
He played for the Bengals in his rookie and second seasons, 1983 and 1984, but then lost the entire 1985 season to a cocaine suspension. Returned in 1986, he lost his entire 1987 season, again, to cocaine.
The Titans snatched Western Kentucky wideout Taywan Taylor with their third-round pick in the 2017 draft, and it has become clear throughout the preseason they have plans for him with their first-team offense.
As my father often said about successful child-raising: “There’s a lot to be said for neglect.” As for the NFL, neglect is still causing serious growing pains in a child now 31 years old.
Last Sunday the totally unintended use/misuse of replay rules — its overwhelming use from its start has been totally unintended — made an NFL-asked-for-it mess of the Patriots-Jets game, determining its outcome after a long delay led to startling word that the Jets not only hadn’t scored a TD, the ball belonged to the Pats via a touchback.
That was a big story through Monday, as it should have been. Then, all gone!
9. Roger Goodell, commissioner, NFL (2): This is the 10th anniversary of his reign, but Goodell has kept a conspicuously low profile this offseason — no doubt because of the lingering fallout from the Deflategate saga. The league has been on a winning streak in court recently, but Goodell isn’t taking any victory laps.