|add to favorites||He wondered whether he should start a business or travel||Pc||
|. He also had just gotten out of a long-term relationship. And he doesn't have children or permanent roots."I started getting really stressed out about all these ideas I've had on what it is that I want to do, and my mind was racing," Hawley said. "I took a step back and Denis Malgin Authentic Jersey was like, ‘Wait, hold on. I'm never gonna have this opportunity where I have this much time, free time to go do what I want and travel.' So I was like, ‘You know what? How about not stressing about what's next and taking a step back and go do what I've always wanted to do.'"
He purchased a 10-year-old Ford E-350 Cargo Van for $55,000. He spent an additional $20,000 converting it into a camper, which includes the ability to raise the ceiling and accommodate his height. There's a mini-kitchen inside with a http://www.bengalsnflofficialprostore.com/WOMENS-JOSH-MALONE-JERSEY.html small sink. An external shower connects to a 16-gallon freshwater tank, and it has a generator. He'll take the portable grill that quarterback Jameis Winston gave him for Christmas and the YETI cooler Ryan Fitzpatrick gifted him with Fitzpatrick's face on it. He'll wash his clothes at laundromats or at friends' houses that he stops at along the way.
He still bears the scars of a life spent in the trenches, so the bed will take the most getting used to. He hasn't slept in it yet, but he is hoping that a foam mattress cover will help. "I got an ACL, MCL reconstruction in my right knee," Hawley said. "I dislocated my kneecap twice -- that was when I got rolled up two years ago. I played through that, but it's still bothering me. It still grinds. I basically have no cartilage left in both my knees. I have bone spurs in both my ankles. I've torn labrums in both my shoulders -- never had them fixed. The right one's been torn for four years.
"I've got bulging discs in my neck -- that one almost ended my career a couple years ago. It was really scary. I had a stiff neck for like three weeks. I couldn't move and it wasn't getting better. I was like, ‘Oh crap, this is serious.' But those are the major ones. Obviously a lot of fingers, hands, wrists, elbows. The head is a whole different thing -- that's really scary to think about."He had one diagnosed concussion when playing Chris Harris Jr Authentic Jersey at UNLV. He has taken hits to the head that have caused headaches, but no blackouts.
"That's another reason I've changed my diet and my lifestyle and why I meditate," said Hawley, who also gets chiropractic adjustments and massages once a week. "I want to try and grow my brain and protect it in any way I can, because I know that's a serious issue that I'm going to have to deal with later on in life." He doesn't plan to watch any football on his trip. He won't even have a television. He'll keep up with his fantasy baseball team on his iPad, and he plans to check out some major league ballparks, but that's about it. It's not that he doesn't like football. It just became very monotonous for him.
She also urged him to document his experiences on the road in a blog and on social media. She thought it might be able to help others. "I want to share it, and hopefully I inspire people to realize that it's not all about [material possessions]," Hawley said. "Experiences are just as important." He wants to help people who are at turning points in their lives or trying something new for the first time, even former players. A person's identity is often tied to a job like professional football and suddenly it's over -- and it can happen very unexpectedly.
"Transitions can be scary for a lot of people -- big transitions in life -- and that's what http://www.football49ersofficialonlines.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_PIERRE_GARCON_JERSEY.html I'm going through,” Hawley said. “What I've found is that every time I've had a big transition in my life and going with the unknown is when I've felt most alive. I'm really excited about this opportunity I'm going to take to dive into the unknown.
The Grand Canyon is on the list and so is Niagara Falls. The Bucs played in Phoenix the past two years and http://www.teamusahockeyjerseys.com/Adidas-Jimmy-Howard-Jersey this past season in Buffalo, but there was no real time for sightseeing on those trips. He wants to check out Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, Glacier National Park in Montana and Zion Canyon in Utah. He wants to venture down California's Pacific Coast Highway, including a visit to Redwood National Park.
"One of my goals is to do a multinight hike, like a 200-mile hike and camp and hike and camp," said Hawley, who purchased a tent and a fishing pole. "If I find somewhere beautiful, I may just go take off. "I might drive up to Alaska, because you can drive there. It's like over Darron Lee Authentic Jersey 1,000 miles through Canada to get there. I might as well. I've got nowhere else to be. [And] I love sunsets. Actually, http://www.officialpacershop.com/authentic-22-t-j-leaf-jersey.html one of the things I'm going to try to do is take a picture of every sunset that I see on the trip and make a collage at the end or a book of sunsets. Maybe like "Joe's Guide to the Perfect Sunset" or places around the country where the best sunsets are?"
He'll be doing more than just taking in beautiful scenery and sharing it with the world or showing people how he maintains his new fitness regimen on the road with TRX bands, power blocks and yoga mats. "When I'm on the trip, I want to give back," Hawley said. "I want to visit children's hospitals and do some charity work, as well, in different cities as I'm going."
With estimated career earnings of around $12 million, he's in a good place financially to be able to give back, and he won't have to rely on a steady stream of income."I made good money the last couple years, and if you live DaQuan Jones Authentic Jersey below your means, which I always have, you can make that stretch out," said Hawley, who believes that the offseasons, when he wasn't receiving weekly game checks, helped prepare him for retirement. He also earns money renting out his home in Atlanta.
|add to favorites||TAMPA, Fla. -- Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers center||Pc||
|Joe Hawley, who recently decided to call it a career after eight seasons in the NFL, is about to embark on a very unusual journey. Starting this week, he'll travel to 48 states over a period of six months, all while living out of a van and adopting a minimalist lifestyle. He wants to free himself from the http://www.avalancheofficialauthenticstore.com/Joe_Sakic_Jersey_Adidas excess, to live in the moment and to figure out who he is away from football, which is all he has known for most of his life. He sold his Mercedes-Benz C300 coupe and has given away most of his possessions to charity. His furniture -- including a $4,000 suede sectional couch and a $10,000 stained hardwood dining room table -- has gone to a Tampa-based charity called Metropolitan Ministries, with approximately 80 percent of its residents experiencing domestic violence and trying to get back on their feet. He gave away 70 percent of his closet to the Salvation Army. He has gone from eight pairs of jeans to two and from 50 shirts to 10. "If it doesn't fit in my van, I'm giving it away," said Hawley, 29, who spent three seasons with the Bucs and five with the Atlanta Falcons. "I thought about putting it in storage when I'm on the road, but I kind of want to start over when I'm done with the trip and have a fresh start, so I decided to give it all away. ... I don't need a lot of things to be happy. "I thought that it'd be awesome to give it all away to people who really need it. Like what's the money to me? I [could] get stressed out trying to sell everything and make pennies on the dollar on everything, but I decided I was just gonna give it away." He was inspired by a Netflix movie Shaquille O'Neal Jersey called "Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things." It's a far cry from what he saw in the NFL, where players often drove multiple cars and wore $500,000 Rolex watches. "It's just about living with less material possessions," Hawley said. "I've always admired that, and I've always wanted to experience what it's like to not have a lot of stuff and kind of experience the moment, live in the moment, live in the world and not worrying about trying to accumulate more. The more stuff you have, the more s--- you've gotta worry about. "Every time I've gotten rid of stuff over the last few weeks, I've literally felt a weight lifted off of my http://www.officialmarinersonline.com/authentic-23-nelson-cruz-jersey.html shoulders. It's kind of unraveling these chains that you have that lock you down in this place. I kind of want to feel that freedom of not having anything holding me back." He also wants the freedom of not having a regimented routine. He wants the peace of waking up to birds chirping instead of an alarm clock. He wants to skateboard down to the beach and cook hamburgers on the grill, to sit in a local coffee shop talking to perfect strangers. He wants to hike and ride a bike through rugged terrain and fall asleep under a blanket of stars. Hawley felt the end coming this past season. He went from a full-time starter in 2015 and 2016 to being active for just four games in 2017. He spent most of last season helping Ali Marpet make a transition from guard to center. When Marpet went to injured reserve, Hawley started the final two games of the season and felt the physical toll. He rolled his knee up twice and it still grinds and pops. When the Bucs declined his $2.5 million option in February, it helped make the decision easier. "Most football players don't get a chance to leave on their own terms," Hawley said. "I'm so grateful for the ability to walk http://www.officialpiratestore.com/authentic-24-barry-bonds-jersey.html away when I want to. With a lot of people, they get cut or they don't make a team at the end of training camp or they don't get drafted or they're in high school and they don't make [it] to college. So most people always have that thought in the back of their head of, ‘What if I could have played or what if this didn't happen to me?' I got to end my career and gave it everything I had, and I have nothing left to give Florida Panthers Womens Jersey to the game of football. I'm very grateful for that because there's no regrets." Trimming the excess has been about so much more than just getting rid of stuff for Hawley. It's about his health too. He has lost almost 50 pounds thanks to a ketogenic diet. It's helping his body recover from inflammation and stomach issues, including ulcers, from trying to maintain a playing weight of 300 pounds.The majority of his calories now come from meat and fats found in whole eggs and avocados, instead of junk food and carbohydrates. "I feel clearer. My appetite is gone. I have a lot more energy. There's not a lot of up-and-down swings. Like after you eat, you don't crash," said Hawley, who was listed at 6-foot-3 and 302 pounds last season. "One of my life goals is to try and have a six-pack, and I've never in my life had it. I've never been able to have one, so I'm kind of excited to try and do that." Like so many NFL players retiring in their late 20s and early 30s, Hawley immediately began to worry about what was next. He had spent his whole life working toward accomplishing a lifelong dream of playing in the Authentic Ryan McDonagh Jersey NFL, but in doing so, he neglected other passions he had growing up, such as art. He always wanted to try photography too. cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys|
|add to favorites||Dial Ohtani-mania up a notch after his first home run||Pc||
|In his first at-bat in front of the home fans in Anaheim, two-way wonder Shohei Ohtani swung at a 2-2 curveball from Josh Tomlin and lofted a fly ball to center field. Watching on television, it looked like a routine fly ball hit off the end of Ohtani's black bat, except the center fielder kept drifting back, the ball kept carrying and maybe the baseball gods lent a helpful hand at the last instant to push the ball into the first row of stands. The home run was an impressive display of Ohtani's raw power that scouts have raved about -- yet it still felt unexpected and wonderful, a moment that makes you scream "Yes!" in unfiltered enthusiasm. That wasn't even the best part of the home run. He swung with a slight twist of the hips, cocking his bat into position and following through with his front foot pointed to the mound instead of using the high leg kick he used in Japan, finishing off his swing as if he were hitting a 2-iron at Augusta. He took off out of the box -- he wasn't immediately sure it was out -- and as he rounded third base tried to suppress a smile. As he crossed home plate and returned to the dugout, the Angels gave him the cold shoulder. That wasn't the best part. Angels fans erupted in joy, jumping up and down, raising their hands over their heads in exultation and high-fiving their neighbors. They stood on their feet, gave Othani a curtain call and he hopped out of the dugout and tipped his helmet. That still wasn't the best part. The best moment of the moment came after his teammates ignored Ohtani, a long-standing tradition when a player hits his first major league home run. Bench coach Josh Paul didn't even look at him as he stepped down into the dugout. http://www.broncosfootballofficialonline.com/Demaryius-Thomas-Jersey Angels players remained lined up along the railing. Yet there was Ohtani, a smile as wide as the Pacific, waving his hands over his head in the empty dugout. He was so happy. He grabbed Ian Kinsler because he had to hug somebody. Finally, his teammates turned around and mobbed him. That moment of pure happiness on Ohtani's face was beautiful. It was a 5-year-old kid blowing out the candles at a birthday party. That was the best part. As David Ross said in the ESPN booth during the Angels' 13-2 win over the Indians, "Just a cool moment in baseball." Will this two-way thing work? Ohtani is already the first non-pitcher to start on Opening Day and then start on the mound in the first 10 games of a season since 1919 -- when Babe Ruth did it. We've seen Ohtani pitch. Now we've seen him hit (he later added two hard-hit singles). A common refrain on Twitter was along the likes of: "I'd like to see him hit more home runs than he gives up and strike out more batters than he strikes out as a batter." Given where we are with the specialization in baseball, that seems almost impossible. But now it sounds possible. Maybe Ohtani can pull this off. Good news for the Mets. Matt Harvey gave up one hit to the Shaquille O'Neal Womens Jersey Phillies over five scoreless innings in his first start, striking out five with one walk. This wasn't the overpowering Harvey of his peak or even the 2015 World Series season, as he averaged 91.7 mph http://www.officiallachargers.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_DEXTER_MCCOIL_JERSEY.html with his fastball. He did throw it with much more confidence than last season, however, and challenged the Phillies with it up in the zone. Seven of his 10 non-strikeout outs came on fly balls or infield pop-ups, so at least on this cold night at Citi Field, the Phillies weren't turning on it with any damage. Keep in mind the first rule of the first week of the season: Don't overreact to the first week of the season. Still, it was obviously a positive development for the Mets, who have maybe as wide a swing of outcomes this season as any team based on the health of their starting rotation. One key stat to look at was Harvey's swing-and-miss rate. He generated nine swings and misses, with a miss rate of 22.5 percent. Last season, when he fanned only 67 batters in 92 ⅔ innings, his miss rate was 18.5 percent, so this was at least a small increase from that (although below the 26.5 percent miss rate of 2015). Wild one in Milwaukee. I was set to write an ode to my man Tommy Pham, who homered, doubled, stole a base and threw a runner at home, but the Brewers stunned the Cardinals with back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the ninth from Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun off of Dominic Leone to win it 5-4. (Note to Greg Holland: Can you be ready on Wednesday?) Dexter Fowler and Pham had led off the game with back-to-back home runs, giving us this statistical shining moment: It was the first game in major league history that began and ended with back-to-back home runs. It was Braun's first walk-off home run since September 2011: Leone is supposed to play a key role in the Cardinals' bullpen, even after Holland is ready to take over in the ninth. Leone had a nice season with the Blue Jays, posting a Dustin Hopkins Authentic Jersey 2.56 ERA with 81 strikeouts in 70 ⅓ innings and had a solid rookie campaign with the Mariners in 2014. He also had some injury issues in 2015 and spent a large chunk of 2016 in the minors after struggling with the Diamondbacks. Yelich homered on a 2-2 slider, Braun on a first-pitch cutter. The back end of the Cardinals' bullpen remains a work in progress. Side note: Mike Matheny, master strategist, had a weird double switch in the seventh inning when he took out Matt Carpenter and inserted Matt Bowman. The pitcher's spot was still five spots away, but even stranger is that Bowman faced only one batter as Tyler Lyons started the eighth to face Yelich. There was no need to double-switch knowing you were going to remove Bowman after one batter anyway. wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys from china|
|add to favorites||Kevin Durant, Warriors good enough to let Thunder beat themselves||Pc||
|OKLAHOMA CITY -- It wasn't an emphatic slam-the-door kind of crunch time for the Golden State Warriors, but it was an effective one. And really, a lot of it was kind of just letting the Oklahoma City Thunder do what they've done so often this season -- beat themselves.
Kevin Durant led the way with 34 points and 10 rebounds, with Klay Thompson Authentic Jarrad Davis Jersey adding 20 points, as the Warriors beat the Thunder 111-107 on Tuesday, outlasting a furious attempt by Russell Westbrook (44 points, 16 rebounds and 6 assists) to drag his team over the finish line.
The box score says it came down to a duel between Westbrook and Durant, every NBA fan's fever dream, but the deciding plays of the game featured what Durant's teammates did -- and what Westbrook's didn't. Westbrook played his part, trying to energize the Thunder, scoring 17 in the third quarter as he led OKC back from a 10-point halftime deficit. It was clear the Thunder needed an adrenaline jolt, and that's something Westbrook specializes in. He thrives in messy and slightly chaotic environments, and when the signal goes up, he relishes answering it.
But with Carmelo Anthony and Paul George struggling, shooting a combined 9-of-35, including 3-of-18 from 3, the Thunder eventually ran out of chances. It wasn't that the offense stalled or the shots were bad -- they just didn't go in. "I take it on myself," George said. "We've got to do a better job of helping Russ.
"[Westbrook] was great, he was great. He took it to another level, a level those guys didn't have an answer for. It's frustrating when we see that and notice that and we can't help him by making shots and putting the ball in the basket."
That's something that has perplexed the Thunder all season, these games where good shooters miss a lot of good shots. George has fallen victim to it often, starting the game hot, then getting mostly the same looks and missing them. He talks a lot about rhythm, but for whatever reason, he seems to slip in and out of it over the course of a game. Anthony got the Kyle Lowry Womens Jersey kind of looks Kevan Miller Womens Jersey the Thunder want -- spot-ups from the perimeter http://www.seahawkshopfootballofficial.com/WOMENS-EDDIE-LACY-JERSEY.html -- but missed all of them.
"I've got to figure it out," George said of his recent shooting struggles. "There's something mechanical in my shot. I've had struggles throughout the season and my career of shooting, but it's all just been about not making shots. I don't know what it is. It feels funny. Shooting the ball feels funny. So I'm going to work with the trainers and try and figure that out. But I don't feel myself shooting the ball right now."
And that was the dramatic difference. The star-driven Thunder didn't see their stars perform, while the Warriors got solid http://www.officialnflvikingsprostore.com/ADAM-THIELEN-JERSEY-CHEAP.html games out of Durant and Thompson, with the secondary players stepping up. Quinn Cook was steady, hitting his free throws, a big corner 3 and a tear-drop late. Jordan Bell finished a dunk set up by quality offense. David West was his usual steady self. "It was a great win, short-handed and on the road against a good team fighting for playoff position," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. "It's a hell of a win, especially without all our guards. I loved how these guys played and competed."
Without Stephen Curry, Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and a few others, the Warriors were going to have to focus in three main areas: Durant being great, Thompson being hot for a few stretches, and playing excellent defense. They definitely checked those boxes, especially in the second quarter as the Thunder shot just 6-for-26 while Durant poured in 24 first-half points. Durant cooled in the second half as the Thunder trapped him at every opportunity, but there was just enough around him, combined with George and Anthony shooting so poorly, to get it done.
For the Warriors, it's a validating win to go on the road and play well against a desperate team sans Curry. But for the Thunder, it's an excruciating loss, and one that kind of summarizes their season. They lost in the margins, missing nine free throws, missing great looks and not coming up with the critical stop or loose ball.
There were a number of little moments that kept OKC from taking control. There was Westbrook diving out of bounds to save the ball, which he threw right to Durant and led to a Thompson 3. Or after a big stop, Raymond Felton tried to hit one of three Thunder players leaking out for a would-be layup, only to have the ball get knocked in the air and turned into a West layup. Or with a minute left when the Thunder had cut their deficit to four after two George free throws and got the needed stop but couldn't completely secure the rebound. The ball got loose, was batted around, and Corey Brewer poked it out of bounds.
That's what has left the Thunder so frustrated with their predicament. As in Tuesday's game, they really only need to look in the mirror. The issues are on them, and are all correctable ones. But they've left themselves in a precarious spot, all but kissing goodbye to a chance at home court in the opening round, with the reality of missing the postseason altogether still looming on the other side.
|add to favorites||Ranking the NFL teams most likely to trade up to draft a QB||Pc||
|The problem with every mock draft, every year, is the first draft-night trade. There's no accounting for it. All we know is that it will happen, that it won't be the last, and that it will instantly undo all the weeks and months of predicting and prognosticating that went into everyone's favorite pre-draft exercise. Last year, it took less than 15 minutes for the Chicago Bears to blow up every mock draft there was by trading up one spot from No. 3 to No. 2 to take quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Something similar will happen again this year, although we don't know where and when. But Cameron Fleming Womens Jersey it's a good bet that when a team does trade up in the first round later this month, it will be for a quarterback. This year's class features five quarterbacks likely to go on Day 1, and four who could be gone in the top five picks. So, who are our likely culprits? Which teams are lurking, waiting to make that move up the board to muck up the mocks? The Jets had the decency to make their move early, jumping up from No. 6 to No. 3 a couple of weeks ago by sending three second-round picks to the Colts, but all that did was make things more volatile. If you want a quarterback, it's clearer than ever that you're going to need to be prepared to trade up. With that in mind, we present the teams most likely to trade up for a quarterback in the http://www.falconsfootballofficialonline.com/Matt-Schaub-Jersey.html 2018 NFL draft. This is the most obvious choice. The Bills already moved up from No. 21 to No. 12 in a deal that sent left tackle Cordy Glenn to Cincinnati, and they still hold the No. 22 overall pick. Having two first-rounders gives Buffalo a unique ability to maneuver in the first round, and having unproven options AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman on the roster gives the team motivation. Problem is, the old draft value chart developed by Jimmy Johnson assigns a point value of 1,200 to the No. 12 pick and 800 to the No. 21 pick, which adds up to 2,000 and is therefore a bit less than, say, the 2,600 points assigned to the Giants' No. 2 pick. So if the Bills want to jump the Jets, it's going to take more than just their two 2018 first-rounders. Buffalo might be better off eyeing the Browns' No. 4 overall pick, though by that point, the Bills could be left with their fourth-choice quarterback. This one is a little bit tougher, as Arizona is sitting at No. 15 overall, and a move into the top five would be ultracostly. The trade-chart value -- http://www.officialsbuccaneersprostore.com/Vernon_Hargreaves_Iii_Jersey_Cheap and yes, we recognize this isn't a be-all/end-all -- of the Cardinals' first three picks is 1,675 points, which would land somewhere between the fifth (1,700) and sixth (1,600) overall picks. The Cardinals likely would need to offer this year's first-round pick as well as next year's as a starting point for negotiations if they wanted to get into that top-four mix. Maybe they'll get more aggressive if one or two of the big four QBs slips out of the top five or six. The Cards are heavily invested in Sam Bradford as this year's starter and have Mike Glennon as the backup, but they have yet to address their long-term future at the position. The commitment to Case Keenum is really only one year, and with 2016 first-rounder Paxton Lynch looking like a shaky bet, the Broncos could be in the quarterback market at No. 5 overall. But if there's someone they really like at the top of the draft, don't count the Broncos out of the running for that No. 2 overall pick the Giants own. With the Jets sitting at No. 3 and obviously eyeing quarterbacks, it's entirely possible some team will get scared that the Jets will take the same guy that team likes, and overpay the Giants for the pick right in front of the Jets. Moving up from No. 6 to No. 3 cost the Jets three second-rounders. Moving up from No. 5 to No. 2 likely would cost the Broncos at least that, especially if they're not the only team in the market. Even before Tuesday's trade with the Rams, we expected the Patriots to be in the quarterback market late in the first round. It didn't seem reasonable to think they could get all the way from No. 31 to the top five, but now that they have the 23rd and the 31st picks, along with two second-rounders, it seems as if nothing is impossible. With Jimmy Garoppolo now plying his trade in San Francisco, there's no long-term successor in Justin Schultz Womens Jersey place for Tom Brady. The Patriots absolutely should be a factor if Lamar Jackson makes it into the middle of the round, and it's entirely possible they could get even higher up in the round if they decide they want to do it. Sitting at No. 11, the Dolphins aren't in great position to move up. They have Ryan Tannehill for at least one more year, and if that doesn't go well. they could end up with a long-term need at the position. But for now, let's look at the Dolphins as a team that becomes interested if someone like a Baker Mayfield or a Josh Rosen starts to tumble out of that top five or six range, and the move-up price Jermaine Kearse Womens Jersey isn't as steep as it would be to get Miami from No. 11 to No. 2. Work with me here a second. There's only one spot the Giants could move up into, and it's the No. 1 spot. This would be somewhat similar to the move the Bears made last year to get from No. 3 to No. 2, and the Giants would need a specific motivation to do it. In this imaginary scenario, let's say the Giants like Sam Darnold the best of all the available quarterbacks, and that the Browns are planning to take someone else, like Josh Allen. The Browns telegraph their desire to other teams in the hopes of creating a market for the pick, and they're able to convince the Giants that another team -- maybe the Jets? cheap jerseys from china wholesale jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys from china|
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|add to favorites||Can the Nuggets or Clippers crash the party?||Pc||
|The Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets sit at No. 9 and No. 10 in the West with 34 and 10 percent chances, respectively, of making the playoffs, per BPI. If that seems low given the compact standings, it's worth keeping in mind that both teams have tough roads ahead. Each of Denver's final seven games are against teams with winning records, while the Clippers' only game against a team with a losing record comes in the season finale against a Lakers squad that ranks 10th in net rating since the All-Star break (and has zero tanking incentive). The good news: Both teams get several shots to knock off current playoff teams. Denver faces Minnesota twice in the final week of the season, while the Clippers have games against the Spurs, Jazz and Pelicans. The term "must-win" is overplayed, but if you're looking to circle two big dates in the race for No. 8, look at next Thursday (April 5) and Saturday (April 7). On Thursday, the Nuggets play the Wolves and http://www.authenticsharksjerseys.com/Authentic-Joe-Pavelski-Jersey the Clippers play the Jazz with head-to-head tiebreakers at stake. Then on Saturday, the Nuggets and Clippers face off. If both take care of business leading into that matchup, this could essentially act as a de facto play-in game to determine who has a real shot to sneak into the postseason. Since the Nuggets play the Timberwolves twice, including in the regular-season finale, if Denver makes a run it could come at Minnesota's expense. The Wolves are trying to end a 13-year playoff drought, the NBA's longest active http://www.lionsnflofficialprostore.com/YOUTH+KERRY+HYDER+JERSEY streak and second-longest in league history. Unless Towns is going to erupt for 56 every night, Butler's return could give Minnesota the jolt it so desperately needs amid concerns of its tank running on empty with Tom Thibodeau's insistence on relying almost exclusively on his starters. If the drought continues and the Wolves collapse with tired legs, it will be easy to point to the fact that the Butler-Towns-Wiggins-Taj Gibson-Jeff Teague lineup still leads all five-man lineups by more than 100 minutes, despite the fact Butler has been out since Feb. Cory Littleton Womens Jersey 23. "The s--- I'm wearing tonight, they ain't never been seen before," James told media just before the game. Upon adding a few pregame images to his Instagram story, the unveiling of his "South Beach" themed LeBron 15s instantly took the internet by storm. Styled in a Miami Vice-influenced teal, black and pink palette, the new sneakers took inspiration from the LeBron 8 model that Nike launched in the fall of 2010, just as James was set to begin his first season in a Heat uniform. Unfortunately for everyone watching, the pair was made just for James and isn't expected to be released. After pouring in 41 points against the New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers All-Star guard Damian Lillard jetted home to Portland in time for the birth of his first son, Damian Jr. Upon returning to the court Friday, Christian Yelich Womens Jersey Adidas surprised its signature athlete with a batch of baby editions of the Dame 4 awaiting Lillard at his locker. As the crib pairs each featured "Dame Jr." and "Lil' Dame" custom text, it's safe to say baby Dame will go on to have quite the sneaker collection as he grows older. "My boy gone represent," Lillard captioned on Instagram. Around the league, as expected, Houston Rockets forward PJ Tucker continued his streak of wearing rare models, breaking out the "Business" LeBron 6 from 2008. Utah Jazz wing Thabo Sefolosha returned to the court, fittingly in his beloved Nike Air Max 90 retro running shoes, just as the brand was celebrating its annual marketing-driven pseudo holiday, Air Max Day. Golden State Warriors wings Patrick McCaw and Nick Young both turned heads as well, with McCaw paying tribute to teammate Kevin Durant by wearing a 2012 edition of the KD IV that was originally made to commemorate his second scoring title. Swaggy P once again donned a former Kobe Bryant Adidas signature model, wearing The Kobe in a white-and-yellow makeup at home. So, one might not be too surprised to learn that two Timberwolves players were ejected Mark Scheifele Womens Jersey from this game -- big man Karl-Anthony Towns late in the first half for arguing with the referees and guard Jeff Teague late in the game for hip-checking Jazz guard Ricky Rubio into the courtside seats. Jazz forward Jae Crowder was also ejected after jawing with Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau, who also received a technical foul in a heated game that featured five of them. But if the Timberwolves were a bit frayed and thus on edge, well, you can't blame them. They lost to the http://www.authenticcardinalsbaseball.com/Authentic-Randal-Grichuk-Jersey Trail Blazers in Portland the night before, a nationally televised game which naturally ended later than most games. Then the Timberwolves flew out immediately after -- losing an hour along the way -- for Salt Lake City, where they would close out a back-to-back against a Jazz Lee Smith Womens Jersey team that had been off for three ... whole... days. So the ingredients added up to a Jazz win, right? Especially with this being a red alert affair? Jazz coach Quin Snyder tried to temper such talk before the game, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, when he said, "I think back-to-backs are overrated. Obviously it's a factor, but we've had, on our end, back-to-backs where we've played well and won. So I don't think you can say, 'A team is on a back-to-back, they're going to be tired that way.' I don't think it's the best way to prepare yourself for the game." cheap jerseys china cheap jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys from china wholesale jerseys|
|add to favorites||NBA tankathon: Who will win the best lottery odds?||Pc||
|With less than two weeks left in the regular season, there's postseason uncertainty throughout both conferences. A rash of injuries to stars and impact role players -- all with murky roads to resolution -- coupled with the usual jockeying for seeding makes for a compelling home stretch. The bottom half of each conference's playoff picture is also littered with potential land mines that offer up enormous contrasts in style and personnel. It could make for a potentially wacky first round. Let's roll through some of the key questions as we try to make some http://www.broncosfootballofficialonline.com/Gary-Zimmerman-Jersey sense of it all, including a look at the games that could determine seeding and matchups. This might be the most important and impactful seeding race. Entering Friday, the Cleveland Cavaliers, Philadelphia 76ers and Indiana Pacers are separated by just a half-game. Why does this matter so much? If the Pacers come out on top, it would likely lead to a Cavaliers-Sixers opening series, and that could be a blockbuster ... if the injured Joel Embiid can make it back in time. (Cleveland holds the inside track to a home-court tiebreaker.) It would also present what's likely the most difficult path possible for LeBron James to reach his eighth straight NBA Finals. In addition to facing a Sixers team that should only get stronger as benches shorten in the playoffs, the Cavaliers would then most likely face the Eastern-leading Toronto Raptors. Make it through them and there's a decent chance the Boston Celtics await in the conference finals -- http://www.torontomapleleafsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Garret-Sparks-Jersey and the longer you wait to face Boston, the more time Kyrie Irving and Marcus Smart get to recover from injury. ESPN's Basketball Power Index (BPI) currently handicaps No. 3 heavily in the favor of either the Cavaliers or Sixers, mostly due to the remaining schedules. Indiana has the hardest remaining schedule in the entire NBA, per BPI. Each of the Pacers' next four games are against teams well over .500, with three of them on the road, including at Toronto on the second night of a back-to-back after playing at home against the Golden State Warriors -- presumably with Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson back in the lineup. Meanwhile, the 76ers sport the league's second-easiest remaining schedule, with the Cavaliers closer to middle of the pack. If the Pacers can keep pace through this daunting stretch, the potential three-team tiebreaker works in their favor by virtue of a 5-2 record in games against Philly and Cleveland. Of course, the severity of Embiid's face injury will be a huge factor here; the Sixers have posted a net rating of plus-11.6 with their All-Star center on the floor and minus-3.9 when he's off. Avoiding LeBron and the Cavs early becomes even more important for the Sixers if Embiid can't go in Game 1 of the postseason. In all likelihood, the Raptors will be the No. 1 seed in the East, but that doesn't mean there's no suspense Dallas Thomas Youth jersey for the North. Typically, a three-game lead with seven to play for a team on pace to win 60 would be insurmountable. Then you realize the Raptors' next three games are at Boston, at Cleveland then home against Boston on the second night of a back-to-back. Although unlikely, it's not unreasonable to think they could drop all three and suddenly find themselves tied with the Celtics with one week left. BPI still likes the Raptors to finish atop the East, giving them a 94.5 percent chance, a number that's probably too low since it doesn't fully weigh the injury to Irving. (On Monday, ESPN's Jeremias Engelmann projected Toronto to have a 98.2 percent chance at No. 1 using real plus-minus and factoring in injuries. The Raptors have snagged another win since then, while Boston has won twice.) There's more for the Raptors to play for even if they wrap up the No. 1 seed. Their most likely first-round opponent is the Milwaukee Bucks. Though Toronto won the season series 2-1, two of the three games went to overtime, and Jabari Parker only played once. Either the Bucks or Miami Heat will likely finish as the No. 8 seed; they're currently a half-game apart. The Heat swept the season series, thus awarding them any potential tiebreaker for the No. 7 seed. If the Raptors decide they would much rather play the Heat than the Bucks, the schedule works out so that on the final day of the season, they might be able to do something about it. Toronto closes out on the road in Miami and could have a hefty incentive to win that game. Without Parker and Eric Bledsoe, the Bucks took the Raptors to six games in the playoffs last season and held a 2-1 lead. With both of them now in the mix -- plus an improved Giannis Antetokounmpo -- Milwaukee potentially presents an early challenge that Toronto likely didn't expect with what has been the best regular season in franchise history. On the same night as Heat-Raps, the Bucks face http://www.packershopnfl.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_CLAY_MATTHEWS_JERSEY.html the Sixers. Those could become two enormous games to Authentic Michael Strahan Jersey watch. Since the All-Star break, only the Houston Rockets have a better net rating than the Jazz, who have outscored teams by 8.6 points per 100 possessions. The defense has simply been on another planet, with a defensive rating of 95.6 -- nearly six points better than anyone else. The gap between Utah's defense and the second-best D since the break is larger than the gap between the No. 2 and No. 14 defenses. Without Curry on the floor, Golden State's offense has been merely average, scoring at a rate that would rank 15th leaguewide in offensive efficiency. If Utah can manufacture enough offense, it could be the team to give a Curry-less Warriors more resistance than they're accustomed to in early rounds. Although the Thunder sit fifth in the West, they also have the NBA's second-hardest remaining schedule, which means a slide to No. 7 isn't out of the question. They've already beaten the Warriors twice this season, and Tuesday they can become the first team to knock the champs off three times in one regular season during the Golden State's run under Steve Kerr. Watch even a few minutes of Thunder-Warriors games and it's apparent Oklahoma City is not scared. OKC is 6-6 as an underdog this year -- best among West teams -- and as good a bet as anyone to knock off a heavy Authentic Damon Severson Jersey favorite early. wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys|
|add to favorites||ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- None other than John||Pc||
|Elway has publicly said in DeSean Jackson Womens Jersey recent days that the Denver Broncos, even with Case Keenum signed to be the team’s starting quarterback, would still consider selecting a quarterback with the No. 5 pick in the NFL draft. Elway, as the Broncos’ chief football decision-maker, said it’s “wide open." Four quarterbacks would be considered with that No. 5 pick, and they also are the four quarterbacks who have been the key figures in much of the pre-draft discussion both near and far -- Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, Wyoming’s Josh Allen, UCLA’s Josh Rosen and USC’s Sam Darnold.
And perhaps it's a moot point if quarterbacks are selected with the first four picks for the first time in the common draft era or if Elway is simply trying to entice one of the quarterback-needy teams to make him an offer he can't refuse for the pick. But, essentially, two things have to happen for the Broncos to use their first pick on a quarterback. They, specifically Elway, have to be in football love with at least one of those quarterbacks. And that quarterback still has to be on the board.
Crunch the numbers, watch the game video -- again and again -- and consider the Broncos signed Keenum already because Elway, as well as coach Vance Joseph, repeatedly said they want Keenum and the team’s No. 2 quarterback to bring the same skill set to the team’s offense. That makes Mayfield the best football fit.
Also, consider when asked what trait they were looking for in Keenum, the word Elway and Joseph both used was “grit." In this quarterback class, Mayfield has the grit. Toss in a career 68.5 percent completion rate, 131 career touchdowns, his ability to digest information, as well as his ability to rebound after on-field mistakes, and he fits the bill. He would have to convince the Broncos an alcohol-related arrest last year was a one-time mistake and not a glimpse at something more and that he could handle the weighty expectations and scrutiny that come with the job.
Allen is the http://www.officialshopraidersonline.com/Seth_Roberts_Jersey_Cheap biggest project among the top four quarterbacks on the board, but he also is considered the most physically gifted by personnel evaluators around the league. In short, he can make throws few others on the planet can and that opens a whole bunch of possibilities for those who draw plays up in the league. But accuracy is king in the NFL, as is the ability to let the ball go with the timing to complete passes in much smaller throwing windows. Allen completed 56.2 percent of his passes during his college career against defenses with very few elite cornerbacks and against very little bump-and-run coverage overall.
He had almost as many games in his career with a completion percentage of 50 percent or less (nine) as he did of 60 percent or more (10). And history hasn’t always been kind to those trying to go from 56-57 percent passers in college to 60-plus percent in the NFL. Rosen is a gifted passer with the footwork of a multisport athlete, a balanced delivery, and he throws with anticipation. In short, he is the most proficient, traditional pocket passer in the group.
But he also played in just six games in 2016 because of a shoulder injury and this past season missed time with concussion issues. And fair or not, beyond those injury concerns, Rosen would have to convince the Broncos that his narrative of being difficult to coach and not always popular among his teammates is not an issue. It should be noted Rosen’s teammates stood tall for him with their public comments at the scouting combine. Darnold presents evaluators with the most potential to grow from where he is now to what he might be. And where he is now is the first guy to have thrown for at least 4,000 yards in a season at USC, Lamarcus Joyner Womens Jersey and he won’t turn 21 until June.
Teams have come away from interviews impressed with his level-headedness about the whole process, and while quarterbacks should always flourish in the home cooking setup of a pro day, Darnold showed his willingness to compete in bad weather during his own. Darnold's issue is decision-making and what looked to be a general disregard for the ball at times with nine lost fumbles, including three against Ohio State, and 13 interceptions this past season alone.
That’s 22 turnovers in 14 games on the quarterback -- 1.6 per game. To put that in perspective for the Broncos, http://www.officialnationalshop.com/authentic-62-sean-doolittle-jersey.html they are in this position because of turnovers at the quarterback position as their three starters turned the ball over 25 times combined in 16 games -- or 1.6 per game. HOUSTON -- The Houston Texans -- and the rest of the NFL -- found out last season that perhaps the most impressive part of Deshaun Watson’s game was his ability to use his legs to extend plays. Now, coming off ACL surgery, Watson has to be especially smart about doing so, although head coach Bill O'Brien said he is confident in his young quarterback's instincts to protect himself.
In six starts last season, Watson frequently made plays after the pocket collapsed and was a big part of the reason why Houston ranked 14th in the league in rushing; in seven games, Watson ran for 269 yards on 36 carries for 2 touchdowns. Watson tore the ACL in his right leg during a practice last season on a drill in which he was simply handing the ball off to a running back -- although he told ProFootballTalk this offseason that he thinks he loosened his ACL on a hit he took the Sunday prior against the Seattle Seahawks.
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|add to favorites||The Falcons' best argument is, 'We've got other people to||Pc||
|take care [of],'" Corry said. "What else can they say? They can't say, 'Well you haven't achieved the things as these other highly paid quarterbacks have.' How many playoff wins does Kirk Cousins have? Zero. How many playoffs wins does Matt Stafford have? Zero. Jimmy Garoppolo hasn't even started a full season yet." Condon, who represents both Stafford and Brees, secured $92 million guaranteed for Stafford in a five-year extension in September. And the fact that Brees took a hometown discount to remain in New Orleans most likely has Condon pushing for a Erik Haula Authentic Jersey different outcome with Ryan. "Here's why I don't think Matt Ryan is taking a discount: His boy is Stafford, and Stafford didn't take a discount," Corry said. "You think he wants to hear from his boy about how he took a discount?" Here are some other elements Corry pieced together related to how Ryan's extension might come together: Length of contract: Ryan has one year and $19.25 million left on the five-year extension he signed in July 2013, so it essentially was a six-year deal. "He's 32, 33, so he's not quite in the Cousins' position where I don't think it's going to be something where you add two years so you have three years total and all three are fully guaranteed," Corry said. "I think it's going to be more along the lines of what those quarterbacks around the same age did a couple years ago with Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. They all signed four-year extensions. So I expect it to be a four- or five-year extension." Bonuses: Ryan's last contract included a $28 million signing bonus and $12 million option bonus built into the second year. Corry sees the same thing happening this time. "That's their preferred structure," Corry said. "I don't really like it from a team standpoint because DeAndre Hopkins Authentic Jersey if you make a mistake like you did with [Sam] Baker, then you're going to have a lot of dead money from the acceleration of both the signing bonus and the option bonus. That's why, from a team standpoint, I don't like it. I love it from a player Delanie Walker Authentic Jersey standpoint because it makes it harder for you to get http://www.officialnationalstore.com/Daniel_Murphy_Jersey cut. You don't see a whole lot of http://www.bengalsnflofficialprostore.com/WOMENS-JOSH-MALONE-JERSEY.html teams using that concept anymore." Clearing cap space: Much was made of the Falcons and Ryan not coming to terms before the start of free agency, which most likely would have cleared cap space since Ryan's cap hit is $21.65 million. Corry doesn't think it would have mattered all that much in relation to the free-agent market. "You were already a good team, so you didn't need to be out there in on [the] spending spree in free agency," Corry said. "Even if you picked up $10 million in cap room by doing his extension before free agency, you still weren't going to be in a position to go http://www.officialusahockeysshop.com/Cheap_Olympic_Dustin_Brown_Jersey shopping in the high-rent district. You weren't ever going to be in the position to do that no matter when you did his extension. You have priorities that aren't related to free agency. You've got extensions you need to start taking care, especially with these young defensive players [Grady Jarrett, Ricardo Allen, Vic Beasley Jr.]." It was one of my first days in the Parabolic Performance NFL prep program when the trainers took out the cones. They assembled three of them in the shape of an L. We all knew what was coming. The three-cone drill is something most of the participants had seen before. Most of us, if not all, had never actually run it before. This is likely a common scene every year when NFL hopefuls begin preparations for the scouting combine and pro days. Like everybody else, I’ve watched from a distance as prospective NFL players blaze through the drills with ease.It seems simple enough. If 300-plus-pound guys can do it, so can I. It left me wondering: How I could do in these events (sans the 225-pound bench press)? So this year, I decided to make it happen. The good people at Parabolic took me in as if I were a real athlete and allowed me to participate in their NFL prep program along with close to two dozen prospects ranging from a safety from Valparaiso to offensive linemen from Wagner, Monmouth, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, to name a few. It wouldn’t take long for me to realize how much went into the process, and how hard it was on a middle-aged body, which, while in decent shape, was not used to these types of explosive movements. I was a part-time participant (approximately three days per week) in a program designed to improve performances for what are effectively job interviews for the NFL. “We’re teaching them to move efficiently,” trainer Justin Moore said. A lot easier said than done for a 39-year-old sports reporter than a 20-something soon-to-be professional athlete. But I learned how to run, jump, breathe, set up in the proper stance, navigate turns and all sorts of minor details that help maximize your performance for pro-day drills. I made the biggest gains in this event. When I began, they tested my functional strength and asked me to do jumps off one leg. It was embarrassing. Maybe you could fit a Jolly Rancher between my foot and the ground when I tried to soar. All the squats (something I rarely did prior to the program), jumps and deadlifts paid off. My legs were exponentially stronger by the end of the process. That was noticeable, as were the gains in my jumps, which improved steadily. My key for this drill was to jump using my entire foot, not just off the toes. This was drilled into me for weeks by my trainer Kris Enslen. It worked. My jumps were higher when concentrating on keeping my entire foot on the ground. The other thing was to fire down and then up quickly when jumping. Don’t be deliberate. Be violent. I did well with that. I was having trouble nailing the red tile in the video for weeks. Barely nicked it a couple times during workouts. Nailed it handily on my first try at the pro day. It was good enough for a massive six-inch gain from start to finish. For a minute at least, it made me think I’m not a terrible athlete. Even if, some days, I was watching Maryland defensive lineman Kingsley Opara jump 36.5 inches before or after me. cheap nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys from china wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys|
|add to favorites||This is the window. Now is Johnny Manziel's best||Pc||
|chance -- as slim as it might be -- to catch the eye of an NFL team before deciding whether to circle back and make a two-year commitment to play in the CFL. The process began last week, when Manziel jumped into the University of San Diego's pro day attended by scouts from 13 NFL teams. It will accelerate on Wednesday as he joins the Spring League, a developmental program that runs March 28 through April 15 in Austin, Texas, with games staged on April 7 and 12 -- Manziel's first since starting for the Cleveland Browns on Dec. 27, 2015.
Manziel said last week "there's still people that still doubt what I'm doing and still doubt where I'm at" -- an acknowledgement of his extensive list of off-field indiscretions. He won't resolve all of those questions over a http://www.officialkingsteamstore.com/Jake_Muzzin_Jersey two-week minor league experience, but the stint will help him address a more tangible issue: How far, if at all, did he deteriorate physically during what he admits were long stretches of substance abuse?
There is no precedent for a quarterback returning from two years away to earn a starting job in his first season back. There have been only six cases since the 1970 merger in which a quarterback has started eight-plus games in a season after not playing in an NFL game over the prior two-plus seasons, according to the Elias Sports Bureau research, and each were either on a roster or played in the CFL in the interim:
And fair or not, NFL teams have Fred Biletnikoff Womens Jersey recently demonstrated a resistance toward investing in backup quarterbacks who they believe will draw public attention.The league itself has also changed dramatically since Manziel was last a part of it. More than half of teams (17) hired new head coaches in those two seasons. There are also 14 new general managers, 27 new offensive coordinators and 14 teams with new starting quarterbacks. A Myles White Womens Jersey total of 65 quarterbacks have started at least one game since the end of the 2015 season.
If no NFL teams express interest based on his performances in the Spring League, however, Manziel would still have time to join a CFL team before the start of the league's training camp in May. His rights continue to be owned by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, whose season begins June 16 and whose coach -- former Hawaii and SMU coach June Jones -- has said Manziel would be "the best player to ever play up here."
CFL rookies typically must sign contracts that bind them to the league for two seasons. Unless his CFL team grants a rare waiver, Manziel wouldn't be eligible to return to the NFL before November 2019 -- or, more realistically, the 2020 NFL season.
"If something [with the NFL] pops up, it pops up. And if not, if I don't get the opportunity to go back, I'm going to go play in the CFL, and things are going to be fine," Manziel said at Texas A&M's pro day on Tuesday. "One way or another, one day down the line, I'll get back to exactly where I want to be, because I'm not going to stop until I do." How did the 2012 Heisman Trophy winner (and 2014 first-round draft choice) fall this far? Let's take a closer look at the 800-plus days since Manziel last played in the NFL.
Ryan's agent, Tom Condon, also couldn't "characterize the timetable" http://www.steelersofficialsstore.com/Louis_Lipps_Jersey_Cheap when reached by ESPN last week. However things proceed from here, Corry foresees an extremely lucrative payday for Ryan, especially in the wake of the $84 million fully guaranteed contract Kirk Cousins secured in a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings.
"After Cousins, since he's got $84 million guaranteed at signing, Ryan's going to have to have at least $85 million guaranteed at signing, and probably $100 million in overall guarantees," Corry said. "Ryan had $42 essentially fully guaranteed at signing last time and $59 in overall guarantees. Is that really that much of a stretch when you put it in that context of when the cap was $123 million?"
The guaranteed money is what matters in the Darron Lee Womens Jersey big picture, though folks often point to average per year. Cousins heads that group at $28 million per year based on the shorter length of his contract. He is followed by San Francisco's Jimmy Garoppolo at $27.5 million per year, Detroit's http://www.officialpittsburghpenguins.com/Adidas-Olli-Maatta-Jersey Matthew Stafford at $27 million per year and New Orleans' Drew Brees at $25 million per year. "If I'm Condon, that $30 million per year mark for Ryan is important, even though it's kind of meaningless in the overall scheme of things," Corry said. "I'd like to be able to say I had the first $30 million per year quarterback, particularly since Condon had the first $20 million per year quarterback in Brees."And personally, I'd wait until [Green Bay's] Aaron Rodgers. But if I'm doing it before Rodgers -- I'm assuming Rodgers is going to put the bar way out there -- so if you're going to do it today, it's got to be at $30 million per year just to get my attention."
Falcons owner Arthur Blank never committed to making Ryan the highest-paid player in the league, though Blank said the one-time MVP would be in a competitive range. But the team doesn't have much of an argument if Ryan is being compared to the other quarterbacks who have recently signed deals, Corry said.
|add to favorites||With Verlander from start, Astros could be even better in 2018||Pc||
|ARLINGTON, Texas -- If taking the Lorenzo Cain Jersey ball on Opening Day is a mark of excellence, Justin Verlander belongs to a select group. On Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Park, he became the 18th pitcher in Major League Baseball history to start 10 season openers. CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez are the only other active pitchers who can make that claim.
Verlander’s first nine openers came as the Detroit Tigers’ resident ace, so with the rare exception, he Alex Goligoski Womens Jersey took the mound with a chill in the air. In http://www.authenticmilwaukeebrewersshop.com/Ryan-Braun-Jersey 2012, the game-time temperature at Comerica Park was 43 degrees when he pitched eight shutout innings in a win over the Boston Red Sox. A year later, it was 35 degrees with 17 mph winds when he threw five scoreless innings in a 4-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins at Target Field in Minneapolis. Sled dogs were optional.
In Verlander’s first Opening Day start with the Houston Astros, the sun was out and the temperature crept into the low 70s, and he experienced the sensation of playing a regular-season game in late March without seeing his teammates wrapped in parkas in the dugout. “It was a nice change of pace,” Verlander said. “You don’t think about the weather when you’re out there pitching. But it’s nice to be able to feel the ball.” He is literally and figuratively warming to the next chapter of his career amid the comforts of the American League West.
Verlander shut down the Texas Rangers' lineup over six four-hit innings before Houston manager A.J. Hinch lifted him with 91 pitches in the ledger. The Astros were within an out Authentic Marcus Allen Jersey of a shutout when closer Ken Giles gave up a run on a wild pitch in the ninth to account for Texas’ only score in a 4-1 Houston victory.
This game served as a reminder why Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow jumped through so many hoops to pry Verlander loose from the Tigers in a five-player trade in late August, and it showed why the Astros were downright euphoric over having Verlander and Gerrit Cole join a rotation that already included Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr. and Charlie Morton. “We have a rotation full of aces,” Houston third baseman Alex Bregman said. “Every day when we Authentic John Ross Jersey wake up, we get to play behind one of the best pitchers in the game, so it’s always going to be fun coming to the ballpark.”
Thursday’s opener featured something old and something new for the defending champions. George Springer, who was last seen demoralizing the Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitching staff in the World Series, hit a solo homer off Cole Hamels leading off the top of the first inning to give Houston a lead it never surrendered. As the Elias Sports Bureau notes, the homer off Hamels and his 2017 Opening Day dinger against Hernandez make Springer the first player to go deep to start a game in consecutive season openers.
The Astros also unveiled their four-man outfield alignment, which features Bregman stationed in left field and Josh Reddick, Jake Marisnick and Springer sliding over to enhance the Astros’ coverage in the pasture. Hinch used the strategy four times against Joey Gallo, and Texas’ big first baseman responded with three fly outs and a strikeout. The first one nestled in Bregman’s glove in left. “It’s a lot further away, and it’s harder to see,” Bregman said. “When Gallo hits you a fly ball, it’s usually very high, so it’s a little nerve-wracking. I think our front office and our coaching staff know what they’re doing, and they play the numbers, so it’s fine.”
Everything looks easier when Verlander is cutting a swath through opposing lineups, and he was efficient until the sixth inning, when he allowed back-to-back singles to Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre and had to dig deep to strike out Nomar Mazara to end the threat. Verlander averaged 95 mph with his fastball and topped out at 97, and he put up zeroes on a day when it was a challenge to throw the ball past the Texas hitters. The Rangers swung at 41 pitches and missed only nine.
The outing continued a pattern of excellence that Verlander established after joining the Astros from the Tigers. Between the regular season and the postseason, he went 9-1 with a 1.66 ERA, 81 strikeouts, 13 walks and a .164 opponents’ batting average for http://www.49ersofficialauthenticshop.com/15-pierre-garcon-super-bowl-jersey.html Houston in 2017. Not that there was anything wrong with his pitching before the trade, but he seemed invigorated by the change of scenery.
“It’s special,” Verlander said. “Opening Day is always special. There’s so much atmosphere. There’s the intensity. It’s a really unique experience, and I cherish every single one of them. The one I probably remember most is my first Opening Day [in 2006], when I wasn’t even pitching. I was just a fan sitting there and enjoying it. It was kind of a full-circle moment.”
Verlander is quickly building a fan base in Houston, and it emanates from the stands to the home clubhouse. The Astros have seen how he http://www.officialwarriorsproshop.com/patrick_mccaw_jersey.html elevates the level of performance of the entire staff with his work ethic, positive example and professional advice. He’ll be around for 33 or 34 starts this season, and his new teammates consider each one a gift and a pleasure to behold.“He’s a Hall-of-Famer-in-waiting,” Springer said. “As a player, you understand when you’re playing with greatness. And he’s it.”
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|allowing one hit in six innings, but the Rays improbably scored six runs in the eighth to ruin Alex Cora’s managerial debut. The Rays had lost 70 games in a row they trailed by four-plus runs, most in the majors, and were the only team not to win a game last season after trailing by at least four runs. Real or not: So Stanton homers twice and the Boston bullpen blows a comfortable lead in disastrous fashion. I’m sure that will go over well on sports radio in Boston on Friday morning. Those guys are always very calm and not reactionary at all. Joe Kelly walked three batters and Carson Smith walked one before Denard Span cleared the bases with a triple down the right-field line. Cora explained after the game that he didn’t want to use Craig Kimbrel before the ninth inning on Opening Day. “We talked about it before the game,” he said. “I’m not going to put him in that spot right now.” I’ll buy that. Kelly and Smith are good relievers who had bad days. The Boston pen led the majors in WPA last season while ranking second in ERA. Sure, a chunk of that was Kimbrel’s dominance, but this should be a very good pen. What happened: The Twins tied it with two runs in the ninth and escaped a bases-loaded jam Laquon Treadwell Youth jersey in the 10th thanks to a five-man infield, but Adam Jones sent Orioles fans home happy with a walk-off blast off Fernando Rodney in the 11th. Real or not: This was a fun game, as Dylan Bundy and Jake Odorizzi locked up in a scoreless duel before the bullpens took over. Brad Brach blew the save for Baltimore, but the issue here is Minnesota’s bullpen. The Twins invested heavily to upgrade their relief group, signing Rodney, Addison Reed and Zach Duke as free agents. Is Rodney going to be the answer at closer? He’s 41, and although was very good for Arizona last season after a bad April, he still walked 4.2 per nine, so it’s always a tightrope with him. I’d say there's a 50 percent chance he lasts the season as closer. Real or not: If you’re sensing a trend about bullpens on this Opening Day, you’re right. There was a lot of shoddy relief work. Knebel had a monster season in 2017, making the All-Star team while striking out 126 batters in 76 innings. He was worked hard, appearing in 76 games and tiring in September, but he should be fine. I want to point out something else that allowed the Brewers to win this game: They actually Hunter Pence Womens Jersey carried 14 position players on the Opening Day roster -- including three first basemen on the bench as Ryan Braun started at first. A lot of teams are carrying just 12 position players. Well, in the 12th inning, manager Craig Counsell still had Ji-Man Choi on his bench to hit for the pitcher. He doubled with two outs and scored the winning run on Orlando Arcia’s single. Choi probably will be replaced on the roster as soon as they need another pitcher, but he helped the Brewers to one big win. What happened: Matt Davidson became the fourth player to hit three home runs on Opening Day to power the White Sox to a 14-7 victory.Real or not: Davidson matched a record set by Dmitri Young (2005 Tigers), Tuffy Rhodes (1994 Cubs) and George Bell (1988 Blue Jays), and the White Sox tied the Opening Day record with six home runs as a team. So, is Davidson for real? The 27-year-old has power, slugging 27 home runs in 118 games last season, but he also posted a horrific .260 OBP as he hit .220 and had a 165/19 K/BB ratio. He was http://www.authenticducksjerseys.com/Authentic-Rickard-Rakell-Jersey a little better in spring http://www.officialbostonbruins.com/Adidas-Patrice-Bergeron-Jersey training, with nine walks and 19 strikeouts, and drew a walk in this game. If he doesn’t improve the walk rate and cut down the strikeouts, the raw power won’t be enough to keep him in the majors. The game: Angels at Athletics What happened: Shohei Ohtani went 1-for-5 in his major league debut, but the Oakland bullpen threw six scoreless innings as the A’s won 6-5 in 11 innings. Real or not: Hey, Ohtani has more hits than Mike Trout, who went 0-for-6 for the first time in his career and struck out in the 11th with two runners on. Credit to the Oakland bullpen and Boog Powell’s triple off Justin Upton’s glove (he should have caught it) that led to the winning run, but let’s focus on Ohtani. One thing he did in this game was drop the high leg kick he had in spring training, when he went 4-for-32. That could be a temporary thing until he gets his timing down, as the leg kick is used to help deliver more power. He Evander Kane Jersey singled in his first at-bat, a hard bouncer past the first baseman, grounded out to second his next http://www.raidersfootballofficialstore.com/Marshall-Newhouse-Jersey three times and then struck out against Chris Hatcher. The A’s even showed him some respect by shifting Authentic Nelson Agholor Jersey on him. He had one decent at-bat against lefty Ryan Buchter, fouling off a couple tough pitches before hitting a hard grounder. You can’t read anything into one game, but he certainly seemed focused on getting the ball in play. Like any young hitter, he just needs at-bats. Side note: Ohtani will make history of sorts when he starts on Sunday. The last player to start a game on the mound and in the field or at DH in the same season was Rick Rhoden with the Yankees in 1988. Rhoden was a good-hitting pitcher whom manager Billy Martin started one game at DH, saying injuries had left him with no other choice. Before that, Willie Smith started one game at pitcher for the Angels in 1964 (and pitched 14 times in relief) and started 80 games in the outfield. In his case, all his pitching outings came through June 15, at which time he was moved to the outfield. Remarkably, he hit cleanup in his first start in right field and ended the season hitting .301 with a 2.84 ERA in 31⅔ innings. Real or not: Phillies fans were apoplectic about new manager Gabe Kapler pulling Aaron Nola with one out in the sixth inning after just 68 pitches. It did seem like a quick hook, but the bullpen has to hold a 5-0 lead. Instead, Freddie Freeman greeted Hoby Milner with a two-run homer and four of the five relievers Kapler used gave up runs, including three home runs. Ouch. The story, however, was the Atlanta offense: Is it good? I’m not sure about that. Markakis didn’t homer all spring and hit just eight in 160 games last year. The combination of Ender Inciarte, Ozzie Albies and Freeman is a nice top of the lineup, but it’s pretty thin after that, at least until Ronald Acuna gets called up. They need their catchers to produce again and Dansby Swanson to make big strides. Real or not: Are the Giants for real? A good bullpen will help given the issues there in 2017. Closer Mark Melancon is on the DL, but Hunter Strickland may be the better option at this point anyway. This much is certain: With Madison Bumgarner likely out until early May and Jeff Samardzija sidelined for three weeks or so, it’s critical for the Giants not to fall way behind before May even kicks in. They play the Dodgers 10 times by the end of April and the Diamondbacks six times, with three-game series against the Angels and Nationals. So beating Kershaw like this is a nice start. wholesale nfl jerseys from china wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap nfl jerseys cheap jerseys cheap jerseys|
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|It’s the first 2018 regular-season edition of Real or Not, and Mr. Stanton immediately lived up to the hype. In his first game that mattered with the New York Yankees, Stanton hit two home runs, including an opposite-field blast in his first at-bat to lead the Yankees to a 6-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. You know it felt good, especially since it meant he wouldn’t have to deal with the New York media asking, “Are you feeling the pressure?” after the game like he would have if he’d gone 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. “You gotta get that first one out of the way and you Drew Doughty Authentic Jersey can stop worrying about it,” Stanton said. “It was a great day. We got 10-plus hits; we put it on ’em. I think they only got two hits. So it was a good day overall.” Here’s my takeaway from this game. Aaron Boone spent much of spring tinkering with his lineup, speculating about potential batting orders, suggesting he might hit Aaron Judge leadoff, and then having a wrench thrown into whatever plans he may have had when Greg Bird landed on the disabled list after foot surgery. He ended up hitting Judge, Stanton and Gary Sanchez in the Nos. 2, 3 and 4 slots against Blue Jays lefty J.A. Happ. I’d keep it just like that. Righty, lefty, doesn’t matter. Don’t overthink it, don’t worry about separating the right-handed batters with a lefty, don’t worry about potential bullpen matchups that may arise later in the game. Just put the big boys right where they were in the opener: 2-3-4. Make pitchers sweat the night before about facing those three in a row. Make it difficult to work out of potential jams. It’s a lethal trio to get through. If Brett Gardner is the primary http://www.steelersofficialsstore.com/Jack_Ham_Jersey_Cheap leadoff hitter, he’s a solid on-base guy. Judge is going to hit home runs and draw a lot of walks even when he isn’t hitting home runs. That’s going to create a lot of RBI opportunities for Stanton. With Sanchez backing him up, you can’t really pitch around Stanton when there’s a base open. What the entire lineup is going to do is make pitchers work. Gardner is always among the league leaders in pitches per plate appearance. Judge is patient and works the count. Stanton is a little http://www.rangersteamonline.com/Jesper_Fast_Jersey more aggressive, but he takes his walks as well. Happ actually pitched pretty well, but in 4⅔ innings he threw 96 pitches, even though he issued just one walk and four hits. (Gardner, Judge and Stanton saw a combined 75 pitches in their 14 plate appearances.) The Yankees are going to knock out a lot of starters early just by running up those pitch counts. Managers may not mind going to their bullpens, but that could lead to some taxed relievers by the end of a series. It’s one game. Stanton reminded everyone about that. He said the two home runs rank high on his personal list: “They’re up there. As long as we get a little start here, keep it rolling in the series. Got 161 to go.” Here’s the rest of what happened on an exciting Opening Day: The game: Cubs at Marlins What happened: The Cubs hit three home runs -- including Ian Happ’s homer on the first pitch of the major league season -- and the bullpen threw 4⅔ scoreless innings in an 8-4 victory. Real or not: Yes, Virginia, the Cubs are better than the Marlins. In fact, somebody on our baseball staff asked this question: How many players on the Marlins’ Opening Day roster would make the Cubs’ roster? J.T. Realmuto would make it -- although only as the backup to Willson Contreras -- but he’s on the DL. Kyle Barraclough and Drew Steckenrider are pretty good relievers; maybe they beat out Justin Wilson or Pedro Strop or Brian Duensing. Starlin Castro maybe edges out Ben Zobrist or Tommy La Stella as a backup infielder, although La Stella was excellent off the bench last year. Justin Bour would be a nice pinch hitter, but the Cubs already have a better first baseman and manager Joe Maddon demands defensive versatility. So, what, maybe three guys? Four if you include Realmuto? Real or not: Martinez battled the strike zone all day, walking six batters, but the concern here is the Cardinals’ bullpen, which struggled in the clutch last season (18th in win probability added) and started the season with projected closer Luke Gregerson on the DL. Before the game, reports broke that the team had agreed to a deal with free-agent closer Greg Holland on a one-year contract. Holland saved 41 games with the Rockies in his return from Tommy John surgery, but he also was handled with kid gloves and threw just 57 innings, so he’s not a guy you count on for four- or five-out saves. There are some quality arms here, including rookie Jordan Hicks and his 100-mph heater, but manager Mike Matheny’s ability to get the best out of them remains a question. Maybe new pitching coach Mike Maddux will help.hat happened: George Springer led off with a home run and Justin Verlander cruised through six scoreless innings in a 4-1 win to push his regular-season record with the Astros to 6-0 in six starts with a 0.90 ERA. Real or not: The way Verlander pitched after a midseason mechanical change suggests he should Jim Palmer Youth jersey be right in the thick of the Cy Young race, but how about Springer as a sleeper MVP candidate? He may rank behind two of his own teammates in that area, but he’s coming off a 5.0 WAR season and is still improving. His big improvement last year was cutting his strikeout rate from 23.9 percent to 17.7 percent. The reason I like him as Jamal Adams Womens Jersey a potential MVP is that he hit .310/.380/.613 with 27 home runs in the first half before sliding to .241/.347/.377 in the second half. That coincided with a quad injury that landed him on the DL in late July. If he can stay healthy and focused for six months, you could be looking at some insane numbers from the leadoff spot. Side note: The Astros employed a four-man outfield against Joey Gallo. That could be the hot new trend this season. Stay tuned. cheap jerseys china cheap jerseys free shipping cheap jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap nfl jerseys|
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