MLB’s threat of pitch clocks fizzles … for now

Now that Major League Baseball has settled on some pace-of-play changes for 2018, the focus can shift to a bigger and more pressing concern: rampant unemployment.

It has been evident for a while that players don’t care for the pitch clock, and any hopes of a negotiated settlement to introduce the clock in 2018 were destined to go down to the wire. When dozens of free agents are still looking for work, it’s not the best time for conciliation and dealmaking.

Defending Daytona 500 winner, Kurt Busch, starts 11th, alongside younger brother Kyle Busch, the 2015 Cup Series champion who is still seeking his first Daytona 500 win. If Kurt Busch wins Sunday, he will become just the fourth driver to win consecutive Daytona 500s, joining Richard Petty (1973-74), Cale Yarborough (1983-84), and Sterling Marlin (1994-95).

Danica Patrick will make her final career NASCAR start from the 28th position, having announced last November she would retire from NASCAR after this weekend. Patrick is the only female driver to win the Daytona 500 pole (2013) — or in any Cup Series race — and she is also the only woman to lead a lap in the Daytona 500.

Contreras understands the consequences and is willing to accept them if need be.

What about a tight game or an extra-inning game and you have to go out there? he asked rhetorically. They cannot say anything about that. That’s my team. If they are going to fine me for mound visit No. 7, I’ll pay the price.

Canada’s Patrick Chan was one of the heavy medal favorites heading, and he had a great start to his program with Dust in the Wind blaring. However, he committed a critical fall in the middle, which dropped his score to 90.01. It was still good for second place at the time, though.

Rippon’s lead did not last long, however. Russian athlete Dmitri Aliev blew past the field with a 98.98 score, pulling off a near-perfect run while dressed up in a fancy coat and skating to Masquerade Waltz.royals_014

The Broncos, in the throes of a three-game losing streak, are in the midst of a quarterback crisis.

If there was one team in town that was granted unconditional love, the kind passed to three, four generations, it was the Giants, once known as the New York Football Giants for both emphasis and to avoid confusion with the baseball team that shared the Polo Grounds.

There was no number of losing teams, strange selections of head coaches, stranger play-calling and geographical inconveniences that could diminish Giants’ fans’ devotion.

And so sports continues to teach — force — its best customers to live without, many never to return.

Other moves… Some quick thoughts on other prominent moves made in the final flurry of activity as teams reduced their rosters to 53 players apiece by the deadline:

The Broncos might regret releasing safety T.J. Ward. The acrimony increased Monday, when Ward told reporters that the Broncos handled the situation in an “unprofessional” manner. Several of Denver’s defensive players expressed support for Ward before the move was made. John Elway has been very good as a front office executive and he gets the benefit of just about every doubt at this point.

Veteran safety Malcolm Jenkins called the Eagles “hungry,” adding, “Every game we feel is an opportunity to establish ourselves, prove a point and to have fun. We don’t look past anybody. We’re going to enjoy every moment, stay in the moment and keep doing what got us here.”

Starter Trevor Siemian was benched this week in favor of Osweiler, who will be seeking the form he had two years ago in his first stint in Denver.

As turnovers continue to pile up and add to Denver losses, they’re trying to save their season, with a defense that’s ranked No. 1 in the NFL, from being wasted.

Siemian is ranked 29th in the league in passer rating (76.8) and has been sacked 25 times, tied for second-highest among the NFL starters. Siemian threw three interceptions in Monday night’s 29-19 loss to the Chiefs and has 10 for the season.

Anyway, this past Sunday, with the game about over and the winning Jaguars taking a clock-killing knee, Bennett ignited a now NFL-requisite brawl. After the snap, he threw himself at the back of center Brandon Linder’s knees. Then he jumped on Linder, who did not try to retaliate, a second time.bills_031

DeFilippo took a step backward to being a quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia after serving as an offensive coordinator in 2015 in Cleveland.

The Bears might be looking for the next McVay to work with prized young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the No. 2 overall selection in last year’s draft who had his ups and downs as a rookie. The Colts need someone to help put the career of their franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck, back on course after he missed all of this season following shoulder surgery.

He helped Wentz develop into a league MVP front-runner as a second-year pro before the quarterback suffered a season-ending knee injury.

Injuries are only part of the collapse. The defense is now allowing 2.1 points per drive while forcing a three-and-out 25.6 percent of the time after posting rates of 1.4 and 34 percent, respectively, in 2016. According to the game charters at Pro Football Focus, the Giants have the 26th best defense in 2017 compared to the No. 7 defense just a year earlier.

Yet even as Seattle Coach Pete Carroll praised Kaepernick as “a fantastic football player” and called him “a starter in this league,” the Seahawks passed on the quarterback in favor of Austin Davis, a 28-year-old with a much less impressive résumé. That continued a pattern this offseason, in which NFL teams have signed the likes of Gabbert, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Josh McCown, Brian Hoyer, Nick Foles, Matt Barkley, Ryan Mallett and Case Keenum, arguably none of whom can match Kaepernick’s effectiveness.

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the players’ union, said in a written statement Monday morning that he and players were assured last week by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New York Giants co-owner John Mara “that they would respect the Constitutional rights of our members without retribution.”

That meeting took place last Tuesday.

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins was put under pressure on 15 of his 38 dropbacks (40 percent) on Sunday against the Seahawks, who rank 15th for their pass-rushing ability per the game-charters at Pro Football Focus. The Vikings rank sixth and feature defensive end Everson Griffen, the eighth-highest rated edge rusher in 2017, per Pro Football Focus.

The Falcons and Patriots remain in the playoffs and they cannot be hired while their teams continue to play.

He, like Joseph, had the advantage of being available right now. Teams with coaching vacancies like that, especially given the intense competition to fill out coaching staffs with top assistants.

That formula works against Shanahan and McDaniels. Will someone be willing to wait?

Bottom line: Sim’s week 3 matchup vs the Rams isn’t ideal but if Martin is out, the workload will be there and he is a locked-and-loaded flex play with extreme upside.

NEWS: Arian Foster left Sunday’s contest versus the Patriots with a groin injury. The Miami Herald’s Adam Beasley believes it could be more than just a one-week issue.

Fantasy spin: Foster missed the second half of last year with a torn Achilles and has a pretty long injury history. At 30 years old, don’t be surprised if the former All-Pro misses a good chunk of time.

Three weeks ago Jay Ajayi was the presumptive backup and would be flying off the waiver wires. Yet, today it’s unclear. Ajayi was in the dog house a week ago and fumbled in relief duty on Sunday. Kenyan Drake looked pretty explosive and scored his first career touchdown in Week 2.

It’s utterly unclear who to add but whoever emerges could be a fantasy game-changer in an Adam Gase offense.

As for the president’s comment about attendance, through Week 12 it was listed at nearly 12 million fans for the league’s 32 teams by Pro Football Reference, with Week 12 drawing just over 1 million.

Business Insider reported last week that average attendance at NFL games was actually up slightly, from 68,914 per game in 2016 to 69,264 per game, through the first 10 weeks of the season. (Sunday marked Week 12.) It’s important to note, though, that NFL ticket sales are driven by season-ticket purchases and individual games purchased before the season starts and the league wants teams to report “tickets distributed” rather than the number of fans who actually attend. In the San Francisco 49ers’ Santa Clara stadium, attendance can be listed as topping 70,000 on Sunday while the stadium (especially the sunny side on hot days) looks empty.

To that end, Goodell spent part of Tuesday in a ride-along with Miami law-enforcement members and three members of the Dolphins who have regularly taken a knee during the anthem to raise awareness of social injustice and racial inequality. It’s part of an awareness by the NFL that it can’t just force something onto the players. It has to find a way, as SI’s Peter King put it, for players to win, too. cowboys_053

Indeed they are. But Smith also was a voice of experience and reason.

Robbie Anderson, WR, Jets: New York’s offense over the years has often been a cesspool when it comes to fantasy football and that’s largely been the case this year aside from Josh McCown, who is ranked 10th among quarterbacks in fantasy points. But Anderson is slowly making the case that he can be fantasy relevant. Anderson has had at least five targets in every game except Week 2, and over the past four games, he’s accumulated 28 targets. In those four games, Anderson has 17 receptions for 263 yards and three touchdowns. With Tampa Bay on tap for New York this weekend, Anderson has a great chance at continuing his success vs. the Buccaneers. If you need a WR2 or flex play, Anderson seems like a quality pick.

Whether Bryant plays may not matter as Williams has a chance to do well in Sunday’s matchup. He was also banged up in the team’s victory, but is fine for Week 10. With Ezekiel Elliott starting his suspension this weekend, the offensive burden will be on quarterback Dak Prescott. Williams is owned in just over 13 percent of ESPN leagues.

We haven’t arrived, he said. I’ve been around this league long enough to know that things change quick. It’s possible we could lose seven games in a row and you miss the playoffs. So for us, we’ll take it one game at a time. We know how hard we work and we know what we’re capable of talent-wise.

The running game produced 197 rushing yards. The defense harassed Broncos quarterback Brock Osweiler into three sacks and two interceptions.

I don’t think any of us anticipated coming in and the score to be what it was, Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. We knew that we could have some success and that offensively, we weren’t going to shy away from their [defensive] front. We were going to try to attack them. .?.?. That complementary football really makes it hard on teams that don’t have the same balance that we do.cowboys_033

Jalen Ramsey was called for one of the most bogus unsportsmanlike penalties we’ve seen

JuJu Smith-Schuster had a quiet first half against the Jaguars, but he made a smart play early in the third quarter that could have an impact later in the game.

Blocking Jalen Ramsey on a Le’Veon Bell touch, Smith-Schuster pushed Ramsey into Bell when he was out of bounds, leading to an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for Ramsey:

A few of those players have one thing in common: The Cincinnati Bengals.

Whitworth, 36, spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career with the team and that meant six trips to the playoffs without a win. That’s the same way Harris and Peko got their six losses, and the way Tate got five of his six.

The offensive tackle got another crack at it when he joined the Rams in the offseason on a three-year, $33.75 million deal and Los Angeles went 11-5 to win the NFC West. But still no luck.

What once may have seemed like a high-scoring playoff affair will likely shift into an ugly, low-scoring game with the elements playing a factor, unlike in L.A. At this point, the Falcons should be totally fine trading a shootout for a drag-out fight.

There’s no doubt the Falcons battled an identity crisis like most teams that lose in the Super Bowl the true source of the so-called hangover. The fact that they’ve fought to replicate their 2016 success while pivoting 180 degrees from offense to defense prove they are a complete contender.

Now that they’ve stunned the Rams, it would surprise no one if they fly higher than the Eagles, too.

Fournette and the Jaguars face the Patriots on Sunday in the AFC championship in Foxborough, Mass.

Last week, in the Jags’ 45-42 AFC divisional playoff victory Sunday in Pittsburgh, he rushed for 166 yards and three TDs on 46 carries, despite sustaining an ankle injury that sidelined him briefly in the second quarter.

The Patriots have won six straight games against Tennessee, their longest winning streak against the franchise in team history. This includes a 17-14 home win in the Divisional Round of the playoffs Jan. 10, 2004.

New England is 9-1 at home in the playoffs since the 2011 season. No other team has more than five home wins in the postseason in that time.

The Titans are 5-6 in their last 11 road games (inc. playoffs), turning the ball over at least once in all 11 games, their longest streak since doing so in 18 straight games from Nov. 8, 1998-Oct. 22, 2000.patriots_089_a7f044ed422c9a59-180x180

Texans to hire Brian Gaine as new general manager, report says

The Texans are close to naming Bills vice president for player personnel Brian Gaine as their new general manager, according to

Rick Smith stepped away from the position of Texans GM after the season to care for his ailing wife. He also had some reported tension with head coach Bill O’Brien.

According to the report, Gaine was always a Houston favorite, having spent three years in the organization from 2014-16 as the Texans’ director of pro personnel and director of player personnel.

The Patriots scored 30+ points in a game seven times this season. Only the Eagles and Rams (nine) had more such games.

Tennessee outscored opponents 98-49 in the third quarters of games in 2017 (inc. playoffs). Their +49 differential is the third highest in the NFL.

In NFL playoff history, a quarterback age 40-or-older has only thrown for more than 100+ yards three times and 2+ touchdowns twice. In his postseason career, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is averaging 267.5 passing yards and 1.9 passing touchdowns.

The next night Altuve faced Aroldis Chapman, who throws the hardest fastball (100.0 mph) in the AL. Altuve, batting in the ninth inning of a tie game, smashed one of those 100-mph bullets to left for a single, then scored on a walk-off double by Correa, sliding home gleefully on the seat of his pants like a kid on a metal saucer down a snowy hill.

The Yankees got the message. For the rest of the series, covering 21 plate appearances, they dared throw him only 15 more four-seam fastballs—just seven in the strike zone.

Altuve devours fastballs. The harder they come in, the more he feasts on them. The average big league heater is 92.3 mph. The major league batting average on above-average fastballs (94 and above) is .254. Altuve hit .432 against them, including an astounding .529 in the postseason. Nobody in baseball was within 31 points of his mastery of velocity.

The conference champions will play in Super Bowl LII on Feb. 4 in Minneapolis. lists the Patriots as the futures favorite to win the big game at 10/11 (-110), followed by the Vikings at 2/1 (+200), the Eagles at 7/1 (+700) and the Jaguars at 8/1 (+800).

Interim GM Marty Hurney and coach Ron Rivera said Monday they believe the Panthers followed the protocol after Newton took a big hit in the fourth quarter of the 31-26 loss in New Orleans.

We did everything the right way, Hurney said (per the Charlotte Observer).

However, The Washington Post noted, in the wake of a joint NFL-NFLPA investigation into the handling of Texans QB Tom Savage’s concussione during the regular season, the league and union announced modifications to the protocol, one of which came into play Sunday regarding Newton: Any player who falls or stumbles after suffering a potential head injury must be be taken to the locker room for a concussion evaluation. A sideline evaluation in the medical tent is not sufficient, under the late-season rule change.patriots_039_a40c16664832efe5-180x180

It’s only December, and somehow Manchester City is already all but assured of winning this year’s English Premier League title.

Led by Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva, the club only appears to be getting better—bad news if you’re a fan of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or any other top flight club left in the dust by Pep Guardiola’s side.

Carrasco has been awesome, five scoreless innings, allowing two hits, no walks and five strikeouts.To purchase tickets visit BuyTickets.So that matchup, between All-Pro safety and a promising young quarterback, be key to the Bucs offense.But Drummond is already All- and is being treated like a superhero Detroit ?and rightfully , I might add.You make a rhythm and find a rhythm.The Jags host the Green Bay Packers on their opener, and have high hopes of a play-off run.

Hershiser pointed to the Dodgers’ series-opening victory over the Giants on Monday.The Celtics point guard is liable to careen wildly anticipation of any contact, and he pulled off favorite flop history.Baron Corbin a strong .

Everybody wants those things to be done quicker than later.Millennials are , aspiring, have been coached to dream big by their parents and by their culture, and perhaps because of those big dreams, do not like to hate on others.After the war, he made his home Berea and owned and operated the Jennings Body Shop for 33 yrs.

To Pedro Feliz: You really did have more skills than I gave you credit for.1 trading back to select the they wanted anyway, Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves.After a breakthrough 1996 as a setup , he became the Yankees’ closer 1997.But with all the hype which surrounds the top two or three wide-outs this class, some of the other players are getting lost the shuffle.

The callers would say something nice about Francesa, and then Francesa, in most cases, would reply with something less nice but still broadly gracious, and then he would move on to the next caller.

He made sure that he positioned himself front of a claustrophobic scrum of photographers, fans, and security guards that surrounded the field.Not surprising at all.A resume-enhancer of that caliber could easily land him on another NFL sideline after spending the past two seasons away from the professional game.

They motivate and encourage.The comments were sparked by ‘s poor showing .He liked the people he rented to and treated them with the same respect that he wanted to be treated.Pick Analysis: The Patriots pick up a heady center the late stages of the draft with the selection of Larsen.At 9 pm Friday the 13th of June, four 911 calls rang almost simultaneously to police.Normal Forward Lineup #2 – Ribeiro, Read, are on ice for Stars.

Pass by Staal intercepted by Reilly Smith neutral zone.BOCA RATON, Fla.Pass to Torrey .Q: Defensive end Bosa.I ‘t run the 40 ‘t have that cozy feeling I used to have when I was here before, but I keep things perspective.

Keenum piloted wins over Green Bay and Baltimore and Cleveland too, and then Bridgewater was healthy enough to return on Nov. 12 at Washington.

Case Keenum, quarterback, Minnesota. This is a weekly award, because this ridiculous Keenum had a day, again, in Atlanta: 25 of 30, for a season-high 83 percent, with two touchdowns and no picks, in the 14-9 win over Atlanta. But it is more than that. Eight Sundays ago the man GM Rick Spielman chose as his 2017 third-string quarterback—behind starter Sam Bradford and the starter-in-waiting coming back from a serious knee injury, Teddy Bridgewater—came in to the game at Chicago for a hobbled Bradford and beat the Bears.

It could be a while before his phone rings.There’s a good combination there.He wants to be a versatile defender, and he showed that late Monday night’s 129 loss.It’s time for the hate for Brees to stop!

The Los Angeles Times splashed the headline across the top of the page: Koufax, Drysdale Eye $1 Million Pact.I’ll console this lose knowing that, if the Caps signed him, would pretty much become a 4th liner for his entire career.For his career, he has struck out 7 batters per 9 and from 2008 to 2013 had increased that up to 8 batters per 9.- be intact coming into next year.Slug Sports Radio W.

My sense is that Justice Sotomayor was would side with the sports leagues. Although unrelated, she once was said to have “saved baseball” with a decision ending the 1995 strike, and to have “saved the NFL” in a 2004 decision against Maurice Clarett that upheld the NFL’s rule requiring players to be three years removed from high school before being eligible for the draft. Unlike many of her colleagues today, I found her more on the side of the sports leagues.

That leaves three justices who, to me, did not truly show their hand. I had thought Justice Ginsberg, through a comment of hers in a dissenting opinion four years ago, would be solidly in the column of New Jersey, but she was hard to read, as was Justice Kagan, with pointed questions to each side. Justice Thomas did not ask any questions which, I am told, is standard operating procedure for him.

We disagree.The sixth-rounder delivered a pair of explosive plays and displayed the kind of big-play potential the Dolphins ‘ offense has lacked the past.After gobbling up 18 passes defensed each of the two previous seasons , Skrine had just seven 2015.While the Atlanta Falcons should feel amped about defeating the Seattle Seahawks 36 on Saturday night to advance to the 2016 NFC Championship Game, it came with a price.Robinson 1999 as another indelible memory.bears_121-223x223

Greg Millen thought he had an extension from the St. Louis Blues to celebrate at Christmas in 1989.

Instead, he was traded. So there he was, sitting in the living room with his family as a Quebec Nordiques executive brought logo-covered pajamas and gifts for his three young daughters to convince the goaltender to report to his new team.

”It was very close to Christmas when that happened,” Millen said. ”I think I reported right afterward on my own, which was very difficult. It was all during the holidays this was going on. That was a tough one.”

The very next year, on Dec. 21, 1990, the Pittsburgh Penguins traded Rob Brown to the Hartford Whalers for Scott Young, and on Dec. 23, 1991, the Los Angeles Kings traded Corey Millen to the New York Rangers for Randy Gilhen.

No deals have been made that close to Christmas in the decades since thanks to an oddity in major North American professional sports: The NHL’s holiday roster freeze, which allows players to breathe easy for more than a week each December. Teams can’t trade, waive or loan players to the minors from Dec. 18 at 11:59 p.m. to Dec. 27 at 12:01 a.m., save for a few injury exceptions.

It happened for him.Asiata is a steady, underrated who rarely fumbles or loses when called on to give Peterson a rest.And is probably fine with that.with right shoulder tendinitis…made five rehab starts with Tennessee of the Southern League where he was 0 with 8 18 innings of work…made one rehab start with Syracuse of the International League and was 0 with a 4 …was reactivated on 6 and picked up his first win of the at ARI …from 6 through 7 won four straight and posted a 3 seven starts…three of the four wins came consecutive starts from 7 through 7, with a 2 …notched a string of 31 scoreless innings from 6 to 7…had winning streak snapped a complete game loss on 7 at KC …finished July with a 3 and a 3 six starts…lost his last four starts from 7 through 8 before being placed on the disabled list with looseness his right shoulder on 8 …over his last three starts he posted 8 16 innings of work…was transferred to the 60-day D.L.They’re , needing six points five to qualify for the playoffs for the first time ever.

San clearly has -term plans for him.If his career numbers are any indication, he not hit home runs like this all .Mattingly played 14 seasons with the Yankees, hitting .307 for his career and winning the AL MVP 1985.The most successful position groups tend to be the ones with the best organization.A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community select eight finalists from the 32 nominees.

Bowe has the second-largest cap number on the Chiefs’ roster for 2015 , at $14 million.It’s not like a lightswitch — you can’t turn it on and off.Huberdeau, 23, who wasn’t expected back until March, celebrated as if he hadn’t scored nearly 10 months which indeed was the case with his last goal coming on 9 against the Carolina Hurricanes.The panel: The panel was asked to go as or as short as they wanted with their answers.