Month: August 2017

Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski plays first preseason game since 2012

For the first time since 2012, Rob Gronkowski saw preseason action.

The Patriots tight end unexpectedly played 14 of the team’s first 16 plays in Saturday night’s exhibition loss to the Texans. Although he didn’t record any catches or targeted passes, Gronkowski said it was nice to just be on the field.

But at no point in the article did he mention “antifa.” The Wikipedia page for the group can provide a full explanation, but basically they are far-left minded people. Even though he didn’t mention that group, Breitbart News blogger Dan Leberfeld, who also covers the Jets for jetsconfidential.com, made a false headline claiming that Jenkins did.

The far-left Antifa movement, which seemingly showed up in Charlottesville looking for a brawl with the White Nationalists, were there to “defend their country?”
The article has since been taken down, and Leberfeld issued an apology.

The apology wasn’t good enough for Jenkins, though. As he said in a tweet to Leberfeld, once the article went up, people were made aware of it and took it as fact. He told Leberfeld in a tweet, “I still have to deal with the aftermath of that article.”

The preseason finale is currently slated for 7 p.m. local time Thursday at NRG Stadium. The National Weather Service has warned of the possibility of significant flooding in the Houston area, which could get 15 inches of rain from the storm after it makes landfall late Friday or early Saturday.

NRG Stadium sustained significant damage from Hurricane Ike in September 2008, forcing postponement of a Texans regular-season game. Multiple sections of the stadium’s retractable roof blew off, and debris landed inside the stadium.

Beyond the preseason game against Dallas, the Texans are scheduled to open the regular season at home Sept. 10 against the Jaguars.
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Ron Baker broke his own NBA free agency news because no one else would

The New York Knicks have an interesting July ahead. Having just fired Phil Jackson as team president, New York is reportedly in the market for a new leader in basketball operations. The Knicks have a free agency decision to make on Derrick Rose. And there is that whole sticky Carmelo Anthony situation to deal with, given the franchise’s desire to trade him and the star’s unwillingness to waive his veto clause.

But before all of that, the Knicks had urgent business to attend to. And that business involved the high-stakes free agency of one Ronald Delaine Baker, the finest player to ever come out of Scott City, Kansas.
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No trade is imminent between the Suns and Cavs since Irving’s trade request became public last week, but the team has been rumored to be involved in potential three-team trades. Eric Bledsoe is the likely moving piece in any trade scenario, and Phoenix would be in the market for more young pieces and picks in exchange.

News on Tuesday could hurt their potential involvement, though, as guard Brandon Knight tore his ACL, and could miss the entire season. Bledsoe becomes a lot less expendable as a result.

Riley Nash Limited Jersey Whether or not the Suns get involved in any blockbuster trades, it’s clear they won’t move Jackson, who had No. 1 pick aspirations early on last college season. The Suns are set to rebuild with Devin Booker and Jackson leading the way.

After telling Parker one last time about the complaints, Hayes took his concerns to T. Scott Wilkinson, the Hawks’ Chief Legal Officer. Hayes ended up postponing their meeting, which he didn’t tell Wilkinson the nature of. He wanted to wait for the on-boarding of the new Vice President of Safety and Security: Atlanta’s former Chief of Police George Turner, a black man Hayes would be answering to instead of Parker.

D’Angelo Russell looked a little sad watching the Lakers Summer League game

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Las Vegas Summer League kicked off on Friday night and the game between the Lakers and Clippers was the headliner. The building was packed to see how No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft, Lonzo Ball, would mesh with his new team. That included D’Angelo Russell, the guy the Lakers traded away so they could rebuild with Ball instead.

The clock will be ticking loudly. George is in the final year of his contract and the Lakers have cap space waiting for him. Westbrook has one year left before an opt-out and an extension to consider. Presti couldn’t let another MVP go without a fight and so while this is a swing for the fences move, the potential rewards far outweigh the risks. Those are the choices you have to make with a top-5 player.

Shedding Victor Oladipo’s burdensome contract in the process was already a win in terms of roster construction, and securing the ultra-useful Patrick Patterson on the cheap was slick. Defensive ace Andre Roberson looks a lot better on the wing with two premium All-Stars around him. The Thunder have gone from a middle-of-the-pack playoff team to one with a puncher’s chance against anyone in the West.
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The Nuggets, meanwhile, have been looking to make a big splash for years. They’ve been a stalking horse for several major players in recent years, but haven’t been able to close the deal. They went after Dwyane Wade in free agency last summer and worked their way into discussions on a George trade.

2017-18 Minnesota Timberwolves preview: High expectations are weird for these fans

This is the ninth of Limited Upside’s 30 team previews leading up to next season. We’re bringing together representatives from all 30 SB Nation team sites and other team-specific experts from the SB Nation/Limited Upside community to gauge the temperature of the fan base heading into the season. Check ’em all out here.
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The Minnesota Timberwolves have expectations. Big expectations! That’s what a summer of grabbing Jimmy Butler for very little and many more win-now moves will do to a team with two of the last four No. 1 picks.

Should teenagers be tried as adults and sentenced to life terms?

The scientific community believes the human brain is not considered fully mature until age 25. This inherently means a person younger than 25 is still impressionable, capable of learning new things and able to modify behavior. If this is true, why are teenagers and young adults not being granted the chance to turn their lives around with rehabilitative support that includes counseling, education and work training?
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Then, phrases, like It wasn’t me or I didn’t do it, often are joked about as something all inmates say. But soaring exoneration rates of those who were falsely accused and wrongly convicted point to disturbing realities about the inconsistency and inefficiency of the criminal-justice system. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, [a] total of 166 wrongly convicted people whose convictions date as far back as 1964 were declared innocent in 2016, which amounts to approximately three exonerations per week. The vast majority of overturned convictions in 2016 were for drug crimes.

Brian Hoyer wound up for a throw then fumbled 3 yards for a Broncos fumble recovery

Brian Hoyer made the funniest blooper on Saturday’s slate of NFL preseason games.

Hoyer was gathering himself in the pocket preparing to make a throw, which he did. However, the ball was not in his hands when he tried to sling it. Instead, it went back three yards.

After leaving the Chargers in 2015, Mathews signed a three-year, $11 million deal with the Eagles. Then-head coach Chip Kelly planned to make him the key part of a 1-2 punch with Sproles. Mathews was fairly productive in the role, averaging 5.1 yards per carry and scoring seven touchdowns on 126 touches, but he still had injury problems, missing three games.

When Doug Pederson took over for Kelly in 2016, Mathews played a somewhat bigger role and set a career high with nine touchdowns, but he was decidedly a committee back next to Sproles, Smallwood, and Kenjon Barner. Mathews also suffered a severe neck injury, which ended his season early. He missed most of the offseason program recovering from surgery, while the Eagles signed Blount to more or less take his spot.

Mathews might still have something to offer as a short-yard specialist, but he turns 30 in October and has a long injury history to worry about. At best, he’ll likely have to settle for a one-year deal with the regular season right around the corner.

However, the Seahawks still have their own offensive issues to untangle. Marshawn Lynch’s brief retirement left a jumbled depth chart at running back and turned a run-first offense into an inefficient unit. The team added former Packer Eddie Lacy to a group that includes tough-running Thomas Rawls and versatile second-year back C.J. Prosise, but there’s no definite answer in that backfield so far.
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Capitals’ Kevin Shattenkirk suspended two games for charging

The Capitals will start their week without Kevin Shattenkirk.

Washington’s big trade deadline acquisition was suspended two games by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Sunday for charging Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel during the Caps’ 4-2 loss on Saturday night.

Shattenkirk, facing the first suspension of his NHL career, was penalized late in the third period with his third minor penalty of the game.

The ban will cost Shattenkirk $47,222.22 in salary as a first-time offender. He will be eligible to return to action on Thursday against the Predators.
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If the beard wasn’t enough, the fact that he has no front teeth makes this picture the proverbial Mona Lisa of hockey.

Jagr is getting the lifetime achievement award here because he is in the process of growing his hair out. It doesn’t seem like he’ll retire anytime soon, so that’ll be plenty of time for him to give us back the famous mullet we’ve somehow been living without for several years.
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Mike’s commitment to excellence and to winning were unparalleled, and his commitment to the community was unrivaled, as was his boundless support of youth hockey. He was a prolific philanthropist, and, above all, a devoted partner and husband to his wife of 62 years, Marian. At this moment of heartbreaking sorrow, we send deepest condolences to the entire Ilitch family and to all who were privileged to know him, play for him or work for him.

I won’t even drop a wait until they make the postseason on you.

Elite Justin Williams Jersey Yeah, there’s nuance, but you are under no obligation to pay attention to it. You can either scream about the cheating or scream about the people who scream about the cheating, and you’ll fit into this little debate just fine.

I would like us to enjoy détente for just one day and say it all together: Holy crap, 756 home runs are a lot of home runs.

Like, seriously. I mean, whoa. Right? Just like … damn. The concept turns me into an idiot, and I keep mumbling the number over and over again in a Spicoli voice. I would like to share this amazement and confusion with you.
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I won’t even drop a wait until they make the postseason on you. Because you’ll really need to wait until the deadline to see if the can add another pitcher, or a first baseman who can push Chase Headley to the bench.

If they get a first baseman (or, I guess, another third baseman and move Frazier to first), they’ll have an even more absurd lineup. If they get another starter to replace Michael Pineda, they’ll have the support they were counting on in the first place. And if they have some or all of that, they’ll be in solid position to make the postseason.

The Dodgers did well to add Darvish, but the Rangers did well in parting with him, too. And if they manage to get him back for 2018 and beyond, then that sentiment will only ring more true.

Jose Fernandez’s family visited the Marlins’ clubhouse in memory of the pitcher

Less than a year after he died unexpectedly in a boating accident, and on what would have been his 25th birthday, the family of Jose Fernandez visited the Marlins’ clubhouse in memory of the deceased Marlins pitcher.

Jannik Hansen Authentic Jersey Carson Smith, acquired the offseason before from the Mariners, has yet to pitch for Boston in 2017 while he recovers from Tommy John surgery. That’s where Reed is supposed to help out, as his presence means fewer high-leverage innings with Matt Barnes in them, innings Barnes was never supposed to have in the first place.

Monday starts with press conferences, where each manager — Joe Maddon of the Chicago Cubs heads the National League, and Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians leads the American League — reveals his starting lineup and starting pitcher for Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Giancarlo Stanton of the host Miami Marlins will defend his Home Run Derby title (8 p.m., ESPN), this time in his home park, and will be challenged by an eight-player field that includes, among others, New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge and Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman and outfielder Cody Bellinger, both rookies.

Before the main event on Tuesday, every all-star is literally paraded through Miami, arriving at Marlins Park for a red carpet event (3 p.m., MLB Network).

Cameron Sutton Authentic Jersey Last but not least, the MLB All-Star Game itself will conclude the festivities in Miami, with Fox televising the game beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. Joe Buck will call his 19th midsummer classic, an MLB record, joined in the booth by analyst John Smoltz and on the broadcast by reporters Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci.

Skip Bayless: NFL, Roger Goodell making Ezekiel Elliott ‘face of domestic violence’

Roger Goodell was blasted for dropping the ball on the Ray Rice domestic violence case in 2014. But if the NFL Commissioner went easy on the Ravens running back then, he’s going overboard with his six-game suspension of Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott now, says FS1’s Skip Bayless.

“We’re going to show everyone that we’re going to take the hottest young Dallas Cowboy, the young star who’s risen all the way up to No. 2 on the list of merchandise sales to Tom Brady, and we’re going to take him down for six games just to show the world how serious we are about domestic violence.”

“I had hoped to keep family matters private, but at this time I have to get the facts out,” Brock said in the statement. “I have never put my hands on the mother of my children, as what has been publicly reported. The information in the police report is untrue.

“I stayed in an unhealthy relationship for the sake of my children, which was not in my best interest. As the case I was involved in has been dismissed, I am eager to move forward and focus on sharing custody of my two children and ensuring a stable environment for them.”

Brock, a two-year starter for San Francisco, concluded by saying he looks forward to continuing his football career. Reports Wednesday indicated a handful of teams had expressed interest in signing him, but coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers weren’t one of them.

The No. 10 overall pick in the 2011 draft came in as the potential savior with his impressive physical skills, but he quickly proved he was skittish under pressure — 40 sacks for 293 yards lost in going 4-10 as a rookie. He didn’t use much of his athleticism and kept getting worse, winning only one of his 12 final starts for the team. He’s now a below-average backup in Arizona.dolphins_075

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The Cardinals have been a giant ball of frustration this season

Why they’re here: The Rays are the forgotten team in this year’s playoff race, but they made quality additions at the trade deadline — Lucas Duda hit three home runs in his first four games with the Rays — and they have a lineup that can slug with anyone. The rotation, headed by Chris Archer, can be very good if Jake Odorizzi comes back healthy and Blake Snell ever figures out his control issues. They’re only 7-10 since the All-Star break, though.

Why they’re here: The Cardinals have been a giant ball of frustration this season, but they still have a solid rotation (holding onto Lance Lynn helps) and a lineup with five guys sporting an OPS of at least .820. That’s a good start. And remember, this franchise won its two most recent World Series titles with teams that weren’t world-beaters during the regular season — 2006 (83 wins) and 2011 (90 wins) — so maybe this hot-and-cold team is destined for greatness. Probably not, though.

Why they’re here: Is there any magic left in Kansas City? This is definitely a one-more-run situation, what with Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas and Jason Vargas all free agents after the season. The Royals have a solid, but not spectacular, rotation (though Danny Duffy feels like a potential playoff star) and a solid bullpen, too.

Game Mens Randy Bullock Jersey Spieth was gunning for the career Grand Slam, and Thomas was … well, searching for his first major championship, which came Sunday with a final-round 68 as he overtook a few of the game’s other young stars in the process.

Game Mens Mike Evans Jersey I think what he learned is that he has to play his game and not force it, said veteran caddie Jimmy Johnson, who left Steve Stricker to work for Thomas full time two years ago. Let the course come to him and play a little smarter. He was trying too hard, maybe. I don’t think he was so much frustrated as he was playing too hard. He’s just letting his potential go through now.