Month: August 2017

The Nationals finally traded for bullpen help

David Robertson coming to the rescue of the Nationals bullpen has felt inevitable for months now. You knew that Mike Rizzo wouldn’t (read: couldn’t) leave the Nats pen as is, as it was an invitation to an(other) NLDS exit no matter how good the lineup or rotation were. They didn’t end up getting Robertson despite rumor after rumor suggesting that was the end point of all this. But that’s also fine because the Nats decided to get two relievers in one deal instead.

Should we cut Heyward some slack because the Cubs did manage to win a World Series with him around? Maybe a little, but again, they won in spite of him, and on Thursday they traded their top prospect (an outfielder) for Jose Quintana because the team as a whole just isn’t doing enough to keep up in the NL Central. To contradict the contradiction before concluding this paragraph, it’s still one more World Series than the Twins or Mariners or Cheap Custom Hockey Jerseys Angels have won with the players who got them on this list, sooooo… yeah. There’s room for debate.

Jason Heyward’s deal should have been good. It actually seemed relatively reasonable at the time, with Heyward supposedly not even taking the highest offer because he believed in playing with and for the Cubs in their quest for a World Series. He was right on that last part, but Chicago won in spite of Heyward, not because of him: the Cubs actually did their best to keep him from contributing in the World Series at all by not playing him, as Heyward Wholesale Jerseys Cheap batted .230/.306/.325 in the regular season, “good” for an OPS+ of 70.

There was a lot of talk this spring about Heyward having a new swing that should heal what ailed him, and it did, sort of: now he has just an 84 OPS+ instead of being even worse, but that’s still a below-replacement bat that even his defense can’t save, especially not at $28 million.

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The 2017 MLB postseason race is the most crowded in history

Baseball is about to be swirling with chaos. Dripping with it. There will be confusion and rage, tears and disbelief, disappointment and desolation. Nothing will make sense, no matter how long you stare.

Look, too, at what the players who have done this during the more modern era of MLB have gone on to do in their careers. Miguel Cabrera is just 34, but he’d be a Hall of Famer if he retired today given his 15 years of dominance. Alex Rodriguez might irk you, but he’s also an inner-circle talent who stuck around for 22 years and finished just shy of being only the fourth player ever with at least 700 homers. Ken Griffey Jr., Roberto Alomar, and Robin Yount are all Hall of Famers.

Edgar Renteria is the only oddity in this time frame, but he also started when he was 19 and reached 1,000 hits about the same time he was any good — no one was confusing him for the rest of this bunch even as he neared 1,000 hits.

This is probably also a good time to point out that while Trout’s achievement has been more of a rarity in modern baseball — the ‘50s alone had five guys debut who would manage 1,000 hits before their age-25 season ended — Bryce Harper is right there nearing the same threshold. Given Harper’s missed time in 2014 and a down 2016, he’ll be hard-pressed to get there, as he sits at 779 hits. A strong finish to 2017, though, and a 2018 a lot Cheap Blackhawks Jerseys like it, and we might be looking at 24 players on this exclusive list.

Gio Gonzalez has been eerily effective. Stephen Strasburg has been fine. They’ve Cheap Bruins Jerseys had injuries and inconsistency at the back end, but the starting pitching has been an overall strength.

Is Daniel Murphy still doing a Rod Carew impersonation?

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New York upgraded at third base by dealing for Todd Frazier

The Yankees are 3.5 games back in the AL East, but they also had the kinds of problems that can wear on a team over the course of a long season and sink them in a hurry. We had already seen evidence of this basically once summer began, as New York is just 9-21 since winning six in a row in early June, dropping 7.5 games in the standings in that time. On Tuesday night, the Yankees made a trade that should plug a few holes and help stop all that bleeding.

New York upgraded at third base by dealing for Todd Frazier, but he didn’t come alone, as relievers David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle came with the White Sox’s third baseman. While Frazier isn’t a star, he’s a capable bat with a 105 OPS+ in 2017, whereas Headley’s is 20 points below that, well below average both for the league as a whole and, more specifically, the hot corner.

Last fall, he set Linden High football records for single-season receiving yards (969), single-season touchdown receptions (17 on 54 catches) and career touchdown catches (21).
Over two seasons per MaxPreps, Judge accounted for 1,405 yards and 22 touchdowns.

His Linden High quarterback would simply lob a pass into the end zone, where his 6-foot-7, 240-pound wide receiver, a kid named Aaron Judge, would inevitably rise above the masses and catch it.

“Nobody,” said Huber, who coached Judge for three years at the high school outside of Stockton, Calif., “could stop him.”

There is little doubt in the minds of anyone who saw him play football that Judge could have had a career in the NFL, if he had wanted one. He was athletic enough that Huber considered making him a quarterback at Cheap Baseball Jerseys China first, before deciding his size and speed would be better utilized at wide receiver, and Judge went Cheap Authentic MLB Jerseys on to break the school records in touchdown receptions and receiving yards.

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Owner Jim Crane certainly wasn’t happy about deals not getting done and one in particular that got nixed.

“We had a couple of other deals on the plate,” he told ESPN 97.5 Radio in Houston. “They were agreed on in principle. Then medicals were exchanged and they got vetoed at the top.”

The problem, though, is that multiple sources have said the deal for Britton with the Orioles never got to the top. This could have been in reference to another trade. So why again would Houston, knowing the Orioles were willing to trade Britton, not offer a good enough deal to get it brought to the owner of the team? If this was another deal why wouldn’t they go all-in on a trade that could help them win a World Series?

The Astros didn’t get help at the deadline beyond Liriano (who tossed 1/3 of an inning allowing a hit, a walk and a run in his debut Thursday), and it looks like they were trying a lot harder to outsmart teams than boost their World Series prospects.

Dallas Keuchel said to call the trade deadline a ‘disappointment’ was an understatement. After the reported details how the Astros approached the deadline, it’s hard to argue with him.

Gonzalez then warmed up in the bullpen with a ball that had Fernandez’s initials and number written on it. Another 16 inside a circle, if you will.

If that weren’t enough, Gonzalez’s wife is about to deliver the couple’s second child.

Good luck trying to process all that and then going out and pitching a ballgame.

“I tried to tone it down,” Gonzalez told reporters, per MLB.com. “Don’t let Houston Texans Cheap Jerseys this be too much overpowering the game and what you’re doing.”

In that, Gonzalez succeeded. Until Gordon stepped in to lead off the ninth Jerseys Supply inning.

Gordon’s connection to Fernandez is deep, as well. He witnessed Fernandez’s brilliance from his spot at second base. He absorbed Fernandez’s energy every day.

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it’s almost an afterthought, and that’s a damn shame.

The Induction Ceremony is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. ET, and it will be broadcast live on MLB Network. These things typically last about three hours.

You know what else was happening on Sunday afternoon? Not only is the crazy-intense July 31 non-waiver trade deadline one day away, but 10 baseball games were scheduled to start between 1:05 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

On an afternoon when three of the best players in baseball history — along with longtime Atlanta executive John Schuerholz and former commissioner Bud Selig — were being honored, baseball went on as if it was any other Sunday.

Look, I’m a huge fan of the everyday nature of baseball’s 162-game schedule. It’s one of the many things that makes it my favorite of the professional sports. It’s unrelenting, in a good way.

The 33-year-old Headley moved over to first base to platoon with rookie Garrett Cooper, who New York had acquired right after the All-Star break from the Brewers. Headley would hit against right-handed pitching, as he had struggled all season hitting from the right side of the plate.

Headley and Cooper were supposed to be split time at first base until the Yankees ultimately found a replacement — either via trade or a player returning from injury. However, the acquisition Kids Basketball Jerseys Cheap of Frazier seemingly lit a fire under Headley.

The Yankees were considering trading for Mets first baseman Lucas Duda, who Make Cheap Jerseys was traded to division rival Rays; and Athletics first baseman Yonder Alonso, who wasn’t moved before the deadline. The Yankees decided that employing Headley at first base has benefited the team both offensively and defensively, preventing them from going out and acquiring another first baseman.

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MLB trade news: Mets acquire Marlins closer A.J. Ramos for 2 prospects

Crazier things have happened than teams overcoming a nine-game deficit to win a wild-card spot. Like Friday night the Mets acquired Marlins closer A.J. Ramos despite the fact they are five games under .500 and nine games back of the Rockies for the second wild-card spot.

The Mets acquired the All-Star Ramos for two prospects from the Marlins with an apparent desire to spell Addison Reed in the bullpen down the stretch. Ramos currently has a 3.63 ERA with 20 saves on the season.

“A.J. is an outstanding pitcher,” Mets manager Terry Collins said Friday night (via ESPN). “Gives us another end of the game guy which is tremendously helpful. The nights whether (Addison Reed) closes or not, we’ve got another closer down there. That means a lot to us.”

Of course, you knew he’d thank Craig Biggio, his longtime teammate with the Astros, but his heartfelt thanks were even more touching than you’d expect.

Biggio played alongside Bagwell during the first baseman’s entire 15-year career in Houston, and the two players were close on and off the field, as were their families. They’re both commemorated with statues outside the Astros’ Minute Maid Park, second baseman Biggio hurling a ball to an outstretched Bagwell at first.

And now the two Astros legends are enshrined in Cooperstown together (Biggio was inducted in 2015). Biggio appeared in a video introducing Bagwell at his introduction, and Bagwell gaves his MLB Jerseys China thanks near the end of his acceptance speech.

“The last teammate I want to talk about obviously is Craig Biggio,” Bagwell said. “Thank New Cheap Jerseys you, kid, for that wonderful intro. That was great.

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Dallas Keuchel gets no help from Astros offense in first loss of 2017

There was so much more to Dallas Keuchel’s first loss of the season than Dallas Keuchel. The Astros hit into three inning-ending double plays, they got shut out over six-plus innings by a rookie, and Houston went 0-9 with runners in scoring position in the 3-0 loss.

Keuchel may have been handed his first loss of the year, but this loss was on the lineup, not the former Cy Young winner.

At the same time some props have to be given to Rays starter Austin Pruitt. Even though the Astros are missing two of their most dangerous hitters in Carlos Correa and George Springer, the former Houston Cougar Pruitt still held one of the best-hitting teams in the league scoreless over 6 1/3 innings while earning his sixth win of the season.

Houston’s lineup didn’t do a good job, but Pruitt did his job with what he was given. Logan Morrison gave him a two-run lead in the first inning with his 28th home run of the season and Pruitt never looked back.

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve collected three more hits with two runs scored in a 6-5 win against the Tigers. Altuve, who is batting .369, already has 19 three-hit games this season.

Wins and loses are probably the most overrated stats when it comes to pitchers, but reigning AL Cy Young winner Rick Porcello fell to an alarming 4-14 this season after giving up four runs in seven innings in Boston’s 4-2 loss to the Royals. ERA, which is an important stat, isn’t on Porcello’s side, either. It fell to 4.55 after this outing.

Diamondbacks (59-44) at Cardinals (51-52) 7:15 p.m. ET — The USA Cheap Jerseys Diamondbacks and their fans will be thinking of Robbie Ray, who left Friday’s game after getting hit in the head. It Texas Rangers Cheap Jerseys appears the breakout pitcher will be fine, and Arizona will have to move forward after a tough 1-0 loss. Zack Greinke (12-4, 2.92 ERA) has quietly put together a Cy Young-caliber season. He takes the mound Saturday against St. Louis’ Mike Leake (7-8, 3.20 ERA).

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5 reasons Falcons pass rusher Takk McKinley will be your new favorite NFL player

Takk McKinley is best known for carrying a large framed photo of his grandmother, Myrtle Collins, on stage with him after being selected No. 26 overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL draft. His passionate speech about his grandma, who raised him, included an F-bomb. He created a sensation when he said the NFL could “Fine me later, man,” about his swearing.

“You can shoot a cannon in a stadium, or you can shoot a musket in a stadium as well,” Norman added. “If one of them is bad and looked at as dangerous, how come not all of them are looked at in that way? … When someone shoots an imaginary bow and arrow up in the sky, that’s a penalty?”

Cooks, whose Instagram handle is thearcher10, has mimicked a bow and arrow shot following each of his 17 touchdowns over the last two seasons. The former Saints receiver who was traded to the Patriots has not received a single flag or penalty for his simulated archery.

Norman also referenced the shooting of a cannon at Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium and Gillette Stadium’s “End Zone Militia,” who shoot muskets in the air after the Patriots score.

NFL official Carl Johnson was at Redskins camp Sunday to explain the league’s new rules and points of emphasis for the 2017 season. He made it clear that any form of imaginary weaponry celebrations are illegal.

Tomlinson cited the sacrifices his mother made, like saving enough money for Lsu Cheap Jerseys Tomlinson to attend a football camp hosted by former Cowboys tight end Jay Novacek. Also at the camp were receiver Michael Irvin and running back Emmitt Smith, whom Tomlinson had a chance meeting at the camp.

Tomlinson said he left that camp “at the top of the world” believing he could fulfill Kobe Bryant Cheap Jerseys his dream of playing in the NFL.

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It proves OBJ has a ways to go — on and off the field.

Casey Hayward was a terrific value as a free-agent signing for Los Angeles in 2016, and with him and Verrett, the team is looking at a corner combination as strong as the 1-2 pass-rush punch of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. The only person in that equation who isn’t paid enough is Verrett, who should get his just salary if he can prove to be healthier in 2017.

Many teams have splurged on centers of late, as Alex Mack, Rodney Hudson and Travis Frederick are among those who’ve gotten rewarded handsomely. Behind the elite guys, Paradis did an excellent job as Denver’s best offensive lineman in 2016. The 2014 sixth-rounder should see a nice long-term raise soon before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2018.

Johnson is in for a monster raise soon, and he can look to franchise-tagged second-rounder Le’Veon Bell for some inspiration. The third-rounder from 2015 is already the league’s best all-around running back, a special talent in the Marshall Faulk vein.

All the focus has been on teammate Odell Beckham Jr.’s worth to the team, but Collins, the young heart, soul and dominant playmaker on defense — now the Giants’ better side of the ball — should have eyes on Earl Thomas- and Eric Berry-type money soon. He was an absolute second-round steal.

Oh, and about that highest-paid player in the game thing. Of course that will never happen in a quarterback-driven league, where the top 15-20 richest players are the guys under center. But Beckham might want to start by being the NFL’s best wide receiver, which he currently is not. That distinction belongs Houston Texans Cheap Jerseys to Julio Jones and/or Antonio Brown.

The last time we saw Jones, he was making a circus sideline catch in the Super Bowl after Good Cheap Jerseys torching the Packers for 180 yards and two TDs in the NFC title game.

Compare that to Beckham’s last game, also against Green Bay.

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And what of the pressure of being the high-priced hometown kid at MSG?

When asked if his new prized acquisition will pair with team captain — and fellow All Star — Ryan McDonagh on the team’s top defensive pairing, Gorton demurred, leaving that decision to head coach Alain Vigneault.

However, the GM did add, “We’re bringing him here to play a lot.”

And what of the pressure of being the high-priced hometown kid at MSG?

“There’s going to be a lot of pressure, but that’s something that is exciting to me,” answered Shattenkirk, who grew up north of New York City in Westchester County. “As a local boy I had a chance to experience it as a fan, and now I welcome it. No matter where you go, you’re trying to win your team a Stanley Cup, and there’s no better place to try and do it for me than in New York.”=

And yet the people who work in that department did nothing to punish Wingels. He was not fined. He will not be suspended, according to NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk. The pretenders at Player Safety didn’t have much to say publicly. But then, no one there has said much at all during the playoffs. The last tweet from that office’s Twitter account announced a small fine against Edmonton’s Leon Draisaitl for spearing. That was on April 19.

In the opposite locker room, Capitals coach Barry Trotz defended Cheap Blank Hockey Jerseys Niskanen, who doesn’t carry a reputation as a dirty player and has never been suspended in 10 NHL seasons.

“I thought it was a hockey play,” Trotz told reporters. “Crosby (was) Cheap Authentic NBA Jerseys coming down. (Niskanen) just sort of ran into him.”

Niskanen called the play “unfortunate,” adding “I certainly didn’t mean to injure him.”

“I think he’s coming across, trying to score,” he said. “As he’s doing that, he’s getting lower and lower. And when it’s happening that fast, my stick and his head [collided]. I wasn’t extending, trying to hit him in the head. It happened quickly.

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