Judge’s success has come as a surprise to many after he struggled in his first big league stint in 2016

Elite Youth Nico Siragusa Jersey Cool factor: After being hit by Ventura, Machado immediately knew what to do — as obvious as heading to first base after a walk. With no hesitation, he dropped his bat and flung his helmet to the side while heading to the mound. The 99-mph pitch to his ribs clearly stung, as Machado skipped a couple of steps to conceal a fleeting limp. Everything Machado does on the field is smooth, and this was no different.

Harper, meanwhile, adds a bit of eff-you to all his moves. After Strickland’s pitch sprang off his hip, he pointed (cool), flicked his bat aside (really cool) and chucked his helmet like 50 Cent throws a first pitch (not very cool).

Judge’s success has come as a surprise to many after he struggled in his first big league stint in 2016. Judge struck out 50 percent of the time in 2016 (42 times in 84 at-bats) and looked lost at the plate. He was practically an automatic out with two strikes, often chasing pitches out of the zone for strike three.

Determined to right his 2016 wrongs, Judge worked on his approach at the plate during the offseason and the results have been better than anyone could have predicted. Entering play Tuesday, the 6-8 right fielder has a .319/.419/.687 slash line and leads all of baseball with 17 home runs.

Elite Youth James Develin Jersey He has recorded a 2.89 WAR this season, trailing only Mike Trout among position players, and his .419 OBP ranks also ranks second in the American League behind Trout.

There’s no question Judge has been excellent in 2017, but can he keep it going?

Judge recorded just two roundtrippers in 19 games from May 5 to May 27 and saw his average drop from .337 to .316. But he walked 11 times during the stretch to keep his OBP high.

There’s a strong history of rookie running backs making an immediate impact ,too.

The Jaguars aren’t moving on from Bortles and that leaves plenty of room to be skeptical. On the other hand, they used their first-round draft pick on Leonard Fournette, which suggests the Jags will emphasize taking the ball out of the fourth-year quarterback’s hands.

Fournette is a 6’0, 240-pound tank who is well-suited for a role as a workhorse running back. That would be a welcome change in philosophy for the Jaguars, who finished No. 4 in the NFL in pass attempts and No. 24 in rush attempts (although, being behind in most games contributed largely to that).

There’s a strong history of rookie running backs making an immediate impact ,too.

Ezekiel Elliott was a huge reason for the quick turnaround the Dallas Cowboys made from a 4-12 team in 2015 to a 13-3 powerhouse in 2016. He was also part of a larger trend of running backs drafted in the top five who helped their teams increase their win totals:

The NFL released a statement Wednesday saying that the reports relating to Brady from the independent spotters and neurotrauma consultants stationed at games.

“There are no records that indicate that Mr. Brady suffered a head injury or concussion, or exhibited or complained of concussion symptoms,” the statement read.

The league said it will continue to work with the NFLPA to review the matter.

“As you know, it’s not the most unaggressive sport,” Bundchen said. “Football — like, he had a concussion last year. He has concussions pretty much — we don’t talk about it, but he does have concussions.”

Vick missed the 2007 and ’08 seasons after getting jailed for running a dogfighting ring out of his home.

Tavon Austin, a first-round pick for the Rams in 2013, looked like he could be a dynamic receiver who can wreak havoc from anywhere on the field. But in four seasons, he’s only caught 181 passes for 1,642 yards and 12 touchdowns.

So far, the Rams have been more committed to using him on bubble screens instead of stretching the field. Austin has averaged just 9.1 yards per reception and has only corralled six passes for 197 yards and two scores on post and go routes in his career.

Limited Womens Jacksonville Jaguars Jersey Vick missed the 2007 and ’08 seasons after getting jailed for running a dogfighting ring out of his home. He since played with the Steelers and Jets, even joining the American Flag Football League, but wants his NFL career to end where it started. Vick, who is working National Playmakers Academy to help players avoid the same mistakes he made, said he has no interest in returning to the league as a backup either, saying he had his fill.

He threw for 22,464 yards and 133 touchdowns to 88 interceptions over his 13-year NFL career. Six of those seasons came in Atlanta — his longest stint with any team — where he passed for 11,505 yards and 71 touchdowns to 52 interceptions. He also rushed for 6,109 and 36 touchdowns.

Jeff Teague Elite Jersey The 2017 draft was a particularly deep one for cornerbacks and pass rushers. The Bears could have benefited from a dominant rusher to come off the edge opposite Akiem Hicks, but failed to grab anyone in this draft who can help disrupt opposing passers.

Chicago has plenty of corners on the roster, but in a draft class that was stacked with talent, the team could have added a playmaker at the position. The Trubisky pick, and the way the Bears went about it, raised plenty of eyebrows. But only taking one defensive player despite the team’s needs and a wealth of players available helped Chicago earn the worst marks in this draft.

MLB 2017 predictions: Cubs poised to knock on World Series door again

Jed Hoyer is standing against the back wall of the visitor’s clubhouse deep inside Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians.
Mike Napoli Authentic Jersey
He’s soaked in champagne, and he’s not the only one. It has been less than an hour since the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series title in 108 seasons, and everyone in this clubhouse — players, front office types, family members, former Cubs (Ryne Sandberg!) and famous fans (Bill Murray!) — is drenched in champagne and reveling in an unforgettable moment of baseball history.
Branden Albert Limited Jersey
There are several possible explanations for those numbers.

Maybe pitchers were getting knocked out earlier because of a corresponding increase in offense; runs were up big time, and the average length of a start last season dropped to 5.6 innings, the lowest figure in the past 10 years. That’s not significantly outside the range of the previous nine seasons, however; starters averaged between 5.8 and 6.0 innings over that time.

Maybe, and this is more plausible, managers were more vigorously protecting their fragile assets and reducing workloads. That can at least explain the increase in starts of between 80 and 99 pitches.

Or maybe, managers weren’t going to allow lesser starters to be exposed and were more willing to mix and match earlier in games.

Cahill was used almost exclusively as a reliever with the Cubs, but he has extensive starting experience. The other pitchers did the majority of their work in 2016 as starters.

history wasn’t kind to players who had been chosen No. 1 overall in the MLB Draft

Brian Roberts Authentic Jersey
Damon played long enough to compile pretty solid numbers — 408 stolen bases and 235 homers in the regular season, along with 10 homers and 13 stolen bases in the postseason (he won two World Series rings). He was pretty damn good for a really long time, but that won’t be enough. It’s entirely possible that, on this crowded ballot, he meets the fate of one of his Yankees teammates, Jorge Posada, and drops off after just one year of eligibility.

Jon Singleton Authentic Jersey Until Jones came along, history wasn’t kind to players who had been chosen No. 1 overall in the MLB Draft. Jones spent his career proving history doesn’t have to repeat itself. He had the numbers to satisfy traditionalists — .303 average, 468 home runs, 1,623 RBIs — and the sabermetric crowd — his 85.0 WAR and 65.8 JAWS are both way, way above the average numbers for Hall of Fame third basemen. He won an MVP, was an All-Star regular and hit .364 in the 1995 postseason, when the Braves won the World Series. He’ll definitely get in on his first ballot.

Spring training games will bring joy for two innings, then everyone will get bored — just like we always do. Spring training produces mixed emotions. Fans are so excited to see live baseball, but we quickly remember that opening day is still a loooong way off. Our mood goes from Baseball is back! to I’m gonna check out Netflix in about 30 minutes. (Update: Yes, this happened. It always happens.)

it’s not like his immediate durability is more questionable than that of Anderson.

That won’t fly under new offensive coordinator Mike McCoy, who is ready to ramp up the passing game. Dump-offs and other quick passes to backs in 2017 will be a much bigger part of what Denver does. In the running game, with McCoy and new offensive line coach Jeff Davidson, the Broncos are transitioning from zone blocking to gap-based power blocking.

Both the passing attack and the run-blocking scheme fall in line with Charles’ strengths. The Broncos can’t afford to trust Booker in a bigger role or give Henderson too much of one early in his career. Charles is looking at a No. 2 role at worst as the preferred primary insurance to Anderson.

As Anderson and Booker adjust to an altered scheme and rebound from their respective adversities, Charles is an ideal, low-risk, high-reward signing. The only question mark regarding Charles’ production in Denver in a complementary role is health. But at this point, it’s not like his immediate durability is more questionable than that of Anderson.

Throughout the offseason, it had been uncertain whether the Broncos would go big and bold to address their backfield. It came down to being aggressive early in the draft and selecting either Christian McCaffrey or Dalvin Cook. They picked neither.

The knee-jerk reaction? Winner, Houston Texans. Winner, Bill O’Brien. Winner, Watson. Winner, winner, winner.

Houston has posted a 9-7 record three straight seasons with O’Brien while starting eight different quarterbacks, and Watson was the backup plan after the Texans couldn’t land Tony Romo in the aftermath of the Osweiler trade. Trubisky and Mahomes were top 10 picks, but Watson will have the most success among that group in 2017 and beyond.


Murphy didn’t have a good finish to the 1982 season

Le’Veon Bell Elite Jersey Speaking your mind — to power, against power, in favor of power — isn’t supposed to put your livelihood in jeopardy. That’s one of the concepts embedded in the flag and anthem that everybody is fighting to make Kaepernick stand up for, or else.
Dion Bailey Womens Jersey
Nobody should pay a price for that, not a team executive, not a backup quarterback.

Murphy didn’t have a good finish to the 1982 season, and Torre didn’t want that sour taste to linger all offseason. So shortly after the season ended, just as Murphy was about to win the MVP award, Torre called him and said he wanted Murphy to go to an instructional league to get some hitting reps, re-focus and take away some positives. But he didn’t send him alone. Torre, along with his brother Frank, went with Murphy to Orlando to work on hitting. Torre pitched BP and Frank helped critique. It worked out OK: Murphy won a second MVP award in 1983. It was incredibly generous and incredibly helpful, Murphy said. It was invaluable.

The documentary shows Torre pushing and prodding Dale Murphy to reach his full potential. The footage only provides brief examples, however. The reality was far greater. When Dale Murphy was on the field and in the cage preparing for a game, Joe Torre was behind the cage working with him every day, Diamond said. Dale Murphy, his MVP seasons, were a direct result of Joe Torre. Most people don’t know that. I know it because I was there every day. Of Torre’s instruction, Murphy said: He knew how to individually reach a guy, and what would help him.

Redskins deny Kirk Cousins’ trade request despite QB’s leverage

Kirk Cousins asked Redskins owner Dan Snyder for a trade, according to ESPN, but was basically told not to get his hopes up.

Cousins wants out of Washington probably because the team lost its two best receivers — DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon — this offseason. The team has also been reluctant to give him a long-term deal, so he’s ready to move on.

As for a trade, many have speculated the 49ers as the likely destination. San Francisco needs a quarterback as it plans to rebuild with Kyle Shanahan as head coach.

According to The AP, he said we took the risk of entering the country illegally because he feared he would miss an October deadline that year that would’ve rendered the White Sox’s eight-figure offer invalid, a contract he later signed.

If I had not been there on that particular day, the deadline, then the contract would not be executed and would no longer be valid, Abreu told jurors. We had to be in Chicago to sign the contract.

Limited Youth Mark Arcobello Jersey That Air France flight was part of a convoluted route from Cuba to the majors, during which Abreu fled Cuba on a speedboat and eventually wound up leaving Haiti with the fake passport, all allegedly with the help of a web helpers and fixers.
Limited Youth Shaq Thompson Jersey
Once he made it to Miami, he would be allowed to remain in the U.S. under the so-called wet foot, dry foot Cuban immigration policy at the time.

Abreu is one of several Cuban players, including with the Marlins’ Adeiny Hechavarria and Mariners’ Leonys Martin, who have testified in the Hernandez’s and Estrada’s trial that has gone on for a month and is expected to last a few more weeks, according to The AP.

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner expected to miss at least three months with shoulder injury

Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner, who was involved in a dirt-biking accident earlier this month, has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of his AC joint in his throwing shoulder and is expected to miss at least three months, keeping him out until after the All-Star Break.

MLB.com ‘s Chris Haft wrote Friday that Bumgarner will need about two months of rehab before he can throw and another three to four weeks of bullpen sessions, simulated games and rehab assignments in the Minors before he’s ready to return to the Giants.

Thankfully, the left-hander won’t need surgery on his injured shoulder, so things could definitely be worse.

Bumgarner was 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA in four starts before the injury.
Y.A. Tittle Kids Jersey
Decades before HBO’s Hard Knocks and other productions brought the inside-access idea into the mainstream, this was a groundbreaking attempt to give fans a season-long, intimate look at the human side of professional sports.
Zach Parise Kids Jersey
But despite their growing national prominence on WTBS, the Braves weren’t exactly a compelling product on the field, having finished at or near the bottom of the National League standings nearly every year Turner had owned the team.

Still, the ever-enterprising businessman/showman saw a marketing opportunity and had his executives get cracking on his idea, which fit in with Turner’s larger goal to turn the Braves into a national television commodity. Through WTBS, Turner wanted to make the Braves, as he would dub them, America’s Team.

Between its conception and its premiere, the project that came to be known as It’s a Long Way to October transitioned from a timeless, generic baseball production into a laser-focused narrative as it documented one of the more unexpectedly dramatic team seasons in MLB history.

Cris Carter pledges to help Michael Floyd’s journey into recovery

Hall of Famer Cris Carter says he’s there for Michael Floyd and wants to be a mentor to the Vikings’ new receiver.

According to Twincities.com, Carter and Floyd spoke earlier about their shared history of battling alcohol abuse.

The former Alabama star, picked No. 8 overall by the Raiders in 2010, has had issues with substance abuse the past couple of years. The NFL suspended him four games during the 2015 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy, and he was suspended 10 games in 2016 for again violating that policy. Although he was eligible to return late last season, the Cowboys did not activate him.

Last December, the NFL suspended McClain indefinitely for missing a drug test, which the league views equivalent to a failed test.

McClain had signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Cowboys in March 2016.

Ogden reaching out to the NFL Trust paid relatively fast dividends. They got him a grant (from a fund named for longtime union executive director Gene Upshaw) to pay his rent, health insurance and bills for four months. The check arrived from the trust, he recalled, just as his aforementioned cars were about to be repossessed and his phone had been turned off. (He also got a health assessment through the trust and is keeping track of the post-career aches and the warning signs of degenerative brain disease.)

Long story short: It was.

Ogden, 36, whose older brother, Hall of Fame tackle Jonathan, was his Ravens teammate for two years, is in the middle of post-football career No. 2. He’s an entrepreneur, he’s married and has two daughters, he’s gotten football out of his system (he went to one last tryout in Vero Beach, Fla., for a CFL team last month, then called it quits) and, two years ago, he published a memoir, “Sleepless Nights,” with another in the works for next year.