The best player in baseball and one of the best pitchers in the game squared off for an epic at-bat on Saturday night. Mike Trout and Felix Hernandez hooked up for a 14-pitch affair in the first inning in Anaheim.
Trout, the Angels superstar with two MVP awards and three runner-up finishes in his first five MLB seasons, fouled off nine pitches from the Seattle Mariners ace. But Hernandez, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner and two-time runner-up, got the better of the battle with a strikeout looking.
Hernandez also struck out Trout in the third inning and held the outfielder to 0-for-3 on the night, a rare bit of success against Trout, who is hitting .367/.409/.734 with seven home runs against Hernandez, the most home runs he has allowed to any player.
Hernandez left after six innings with a 3-3 tie, then Trout feasted off the Mariners bullpen, hitting a go-ahead home run in the seventh inning in the Angels’ 5-4 win.
But that 14-pitch at-bat was sure fun to watch.
This will be the 4-5 matchup, but home-court is still up in the air. A Clippers win in San Antonio, combined with a Jazz loss to a red-hot Damian Lillard and the Blazers, allowed L.A. to leap ahead. Utah closes with the top two teams in the West, so L.A. has the edge.
Current tiebreaker: The Clippers hold a 3-1 advantage over Utah.
Last year, the Jaguars were lauded for their free agent moves. Unfortunately, a roster loaded with talent wasn’t enough to overcome Gus Bradley is coaching. The Giants, on the other hand, spent a bundle in free agency to give their defense an injection of talent, and it worked like a charm.
All we are saying here is not to let the excitement of being an armchair general manager cloud your grip on reality.
To further dampen your enthusiasm, we should make one important note about this list. Many of these names, especially the players near the top, will not actually make it to the open market. Good teams don’t make a habit of letting their best players slip away. Players will get the franchise tag or sign a new deal outright before the tampering window opens on March 7.
This is exactly what happened the week of Feb. 27. Teams started applying the tag, so names like Le haveon Bell who made this look like a pretty sweet list are no longer available.
There is owners that is not even around the teams, James said. Owners are just owner of the team because they own the team. It is whatever. What does that make any sense of?
Cleveland is resting of its All-Stars came one week after the Golden State Warriors rested Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green in a nationally televised game against the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors rested their starters on a tail end of a stretch that included seven of eight games on the road and two cross-country flights.
The Spurs, who lacked Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Tony Parker due to injury, won by 22.
Quarterback Mike Vick is already considering an NFL return just days after announcing his retirement.
Two days before Super Bowl 51, the longtime Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback decided to hang up the cleats. It was perfect timing — Vick made his decision at the pinnacle of the excitement around Atlanta.
And then Tom Brady did what he does and orchestrated the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history. The Falcons blew a 25-point lead in a game that was quickly dubbed the worst football loss ever.
Per TMZ, it was Brady’s miraculous efforts in the Patriots’ comeback that inspired Vick to “[leave] the door open.”
“I’m getting cold feet man,” Vick said in an interview on the day following the Super Bowl and his retirement party. “As of right now I’m officially retired, but I’m gonna continue to work out, get myself in tip-top shape and just leave the door open.”
“Congratulations to the greatest team, the greatest coach, and the greatest quarterback of all time for winning their fifth Super Bowl victory in Houston,” Mayor Marty Walsh said in a statement. “The Patriots have made Boston and New England proud — fire up the duck boats!”
Just like in the Patriots’ 2015 Super Bowl parade, it appears as though the weather will be a factor, with a mix of snow and rain expected, as well as temperatures in the mid-30s and some pretty intense wind gusts.
Walsh said that based on past attendance, anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million fans could attend the festivities.
The city of Boston has more details about the parade route and road closures for anyone who wants to celebrate a fifth Super Bowl with Brady and Co.