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Hanley Ramirez says Tom Brady’s book helped him lose 15 pounds

Hanley Ramirez says he’s heading into the 2018 season 15 pounds lighter.
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The Red Sox first baseman/designated hitter has been criticized by fans and team officials for being overweight the past three seasons, but sported a slimmer look as he reported to spring training Friday.

The Browns aren’t fooling around,With three stunning trades on the eve of free agency, Cleveland landed a proven starting quarterback, a game-breaking, three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver and a shut-down cornerback,After 16 straight losses on the field, victory,Two months after a winless season mercifully ended, new general manager John Dorsey addressed major roster needs Friday by acquiring mobile quarterback Tyrod Taylor in a deal with Buffalo, wide receiver Jarvis Landry from Miami and cornerback Damarious Randall from Green Bay, a person with direct knowledge of the overhaul told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity,Teams are not permitted to announce any trades until next week,In exchange, the Browns shipped quarterback DeShone Kizer and swapped late-round picks with the Packers, gave the Dolphins a fourth-round pick this season and a seventh rounder in 2019 and sent the Bills the No. 65 overall pick in this year’s draft,All in a day’s work for Dorsey, who brought in major talent without giving up any of the team’s five picks in the first two rounds this year,And the makeover came as the team awaits word from Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas on his future.

The 27-year-old starting pitcher though has a new home and a confident new manager after being traded from the Pirates to the Astros. His new skipper sees no need to drastically change the young man.
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We feel like there’s some adjustments that we can make that will make him a little bit better, but we feel the same way about (Justin) Verlander and (Dallas) Keuchel and Lance (McCullers), Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Friday. He doesn’t need to be fixed.

Cole had a career-worst 4.26 ERA in 203 innings in 2017 and gave up 31 home runs after allowing 36 in his previous four years combined. His year wasn’t great, but in a season where homers flew out of MLB ballparks at a record rate, his numbers may have been a bit misleading.

He may not have to change everything he does in order to get Dwyane Wade Authentic Jersey back to his Cy Young-type season of 2015, but he could do a thing or to do adjust to a game which is emphasizing swing loft resulting in more home runs.
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Peyton Manning reportedly will decline ESPN’s Monday Night Football offer

Game Youth Mark Messier Jersey Peyton Manning will reportedly decline ESPN’s reported offer to join its Monday Night Football booth, according to a report by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand.
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The Terrelle Pryor Sr. one-year signing was a bust, as he did little to help Washington overcome the free-agent losses of Pierre Garcon (49ers) and DeSean Jackson (Buccaneers). First-round pick Josh Doctson has not yet delivered as a true Authentic Blake Wheeler Jersey No. 1, and slot man Jamison Crowder was the Redskins’ limited leading receiver by default.

Doctson was a good red-zone target at times, but the team didn’t really have an outside gamebreaker or possession guy. The Rams’ Sammy Watkins would be the top target to regain the big-play element the Redskins had with Jackson, plus a little more. The Seahawks’ Paul Richardson is also someone to consider as a speedy downfield threat.

Going for more versatility, the Jaguars’ Marqise Lee and the Chiefs’ Albert Wilson also would fit as No. 2-types. On the cheap, flyer route for upside, there’s the Broncos’ Cody Latimer. The priority of the offseason is a field-stretcher, so if the Redskins don’t get that in a veteran, they’ll focus on drafting someone fast early in the draft.

In fact, The Athletic first reported that Sherman had dinner with 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan on Friday night. ESPN added that Sherman will meet with the team Saturday with the possibility of a contract getting done, but the 49ers want to make sure Sherman is on track with his rehab and healing from his injuries.

Sherman is also expected to undergo a physical and meet with team doctors to talk about the Achilles tendon he tore last year, NFL Network reported.

Sherman, who turns 30 this month, said Friday on KIRO-AM in Seattle that he wants to go to a franchise that’s building a championship team. Some of the moves the 49ers have made this season indicate they’re trying to do just that, including signing Jimmy Garoppolo to a five-year, $137.5 million contract last month.

I want to go to a contender, Sherman said. I play at a high level. I’ve always been a guy that can work well with others and continue to elevate if my teammates elevate and elevate others.
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MLB Opening Day 2018: Schedule for all 30 teams

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.

Jabari Parker set to make season debut Friday vs. Knicks

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.lions_082

ESPN Fantasy Baseball 101: How to sign up

For frequently — and infrequently — asked questions, check out our support portal, where you can search for and find answers and solutions!

If you received a fantasy baseball invite via email, Facebook, Twitter or text/SMS to join a friend’s league, you must click the unique link on the invite to join that league. Please check your email or other messages for your invite to join the league. Contact your commissioner to resend the invite, if needed.

To create your LM league, you’ll need to choose your basic settings, including League Name, Scoring Type, Draft Type and Draft Date. You don’t have to put too much thought into them while creating your league, because you can change all of these settings at any time before your draft.

Create Standard Free: This is the simplest way to get started. You provide a League Name, League Motto, Restriction Type (which type of users are able to enter), whether it’s a Private or Public league, Scoring Type, Draft Type and Draft Date. We take care of the rest. The limits here are that your league must have 10 players, the commissioner can’t customize your settings, the draft must be online, and your league won’t include keepers or a league history. These leagues are eligible for the ESPN Fantasy Baseball leaderboard.

“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.lions_135

Curry closed the half with a left-handed layup, giving him 25 points in 18 minutes.

“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.

Kings fighting for playoff spot as they host Oilers

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.

Latest Super Bowl 2018 odds: Patriots steady favorites against Eagles for Sunday

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.

He returned to form by the postseason and hit five homers and drove in 14 runs in the playoffs to help the Astros to their first World Series title.

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.

How you can utilize Shohei Ohtani in ESPN Fantasy Baseball leagues

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.royals_005