Month: August 2017

They’re getting larger. They’re getting beefier.

That’s weird. Don’t know what happened in the 2000s to cause that spike; so odd. ANYWAY, the point is clear. Players are getting taller. They’re getting larger. They’re getting beefier.

The odds are strong, then, that players will grow incrementally taller, and the outliers will be bigger than Judge. They’ll be bigger than Giancarlo Stanton, just like those two were bigger than Frank Howard, who could have popped three Slim Players in the first hour of a road trip and still have been hungry.

Judge is becoming the prototype, and when the prototype becomes something that can roll off an assembly line, there will be new, fancier prototypes. It’ll be decades before it happens, but my point is this: Someday, there will be larger Aaron Judges, with more violence in their swings. The people of the future will marvel at them, and they’ll be right to do so.

Us, stuck in the present? We’ll have to make do with an amazing, necessary Aaron Judge. He’s better at hitting dingers than you will be at anything for the rest of your life, and that shouldn’t depress you. That should make you happy.

Even if you disagree with that admittedly extreme #take, though, we should be able to agree that introducing this kind of setup for a mid-July exhibition that counts for nothing makes all kinds of sense.

Outside of that one appearance, though, the right-hander has a 3.04 ERA, allowing just 27 runs in 80 innings, and that also happens to be his ERA over the eight starts since that lone implosion.

By ERA, Eddie Butler has been the Cubs’ best starting pitcher. Everyone they’ve tried Cheap Team Jerseys Basketball has been astoundingly mediocre or downright awful. The adjusted ERA for every Cubs starter this season (before Jose Quintana’s brilliant debut): 52, 81, 99, 101, 103, 105, 107. That’s like a Cheap Soccer Jerseys From China mathematical proof for a .500 team.

Altuve is a special talent who doesn’t get talked about enough

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Altuve hit .341 in 2014 but slugged .453, not showing much power at all considering the rate at which he picked up hits. The next year, though, his slugging went up six points while his average dropped nearly 30 points, and those mild power gains increased significantly in 2016, when he once again led the league in average but this time slugged .531 in the process.

Over the last four seasons, Altuve is one of two players in the league with at least 2,500 plate appearances along with Brian Dozier, and Altuve’s OPS+ of 145 in that stretch dwarfs Dozier’s 116 mark.

Even if you take playing time out of it — though why would you, given health is a key factor in a player’s productivity as well — Altuve still ranks 10th in the majors in OPS+ since 2014, min. 1,500 plate appearances. Go back to just 2016, and he’s third behind only Mike Trout and Freddie Freeman.

Altuve is a special talent who doesn’t get talked about enough, and he seems to just keep getting better. Considering how good this Astros team he’s on has been, people might have Cheap Jerseys AUStralia to start noticing sooner than later.

The Dodgers were going to win because they’ve won four straight division Cheap Jerseys And Hats titles, and they improved in the offseason. The Cubs were going to win because they were a freakishly young championship team. The Nationals had the pitching and the lineup.

this isn’t even new territory for Manfred or Major League Baseball.

Ian Kinsler isn’t the hitter he used to be, and don’t laugh: time will ravage you and your skills someday as well. Kinsler is a 35-year-old second baseman with a 94 OPS+, which doesn’t sound all that impressive until you realize second basemen do not typically age even this well. The power he showed last year isn’t there, but aside from the .244 batting average, he’s actually not that far off from the early-30s version of Kinsler who did pretty well for himself with the Tigers after coming over from the Rangers.

Maybe more important than how below his norm Kinsler has been, though, is emphasizing just how much better he would be than the guy the Brewers have had soak up the most plate appearances at the keystone. Jonathan Villar has hit .223/.287/.350 in 80 games and 329 plate appearances, which is roughly half as effective as he was a year ago for them. Eric Sogard has done his best to offset this in the 23 games he’s started at second base, but, as good as he’s been this year for Milwaukee, he’s been as bad as this year of Villar in almost every other season of his career.

There have been multiple studies released that sure make it sound like the baseballs MLB uses have been altered enough to account for the rise in home runs across the game. MLB’s response to it all has been, in short, “nuh uh” and now “did you ever think that maybe it’s the bats that are different,” with commssioner Rob Manfred using that tactic during questioning in Miami amid all-star festivities.

Bats are an easy target: bat production is not controlled by MLB itself, so they can try to pass off the blame to someone outside their jurisdiction. As Craig Calcaterra pointed out, Manfred had more than Cheap Ireland Rugby Jerseys a hand in the process of making it seem like MLB was the innocent victim of the steroid Cheap Infant Jerseys era instead of a willing accomplice, so this isn’t even new territory for Manfred or Major League Baseball.

the A’s did not pry the top prospects the Yankees had from the system

While they couldn’t offload him in the offseason due to his down year last season, he’s been stellar this year after a rough start in May. There are more than enough suitors knocking on the Athletics’ door for a chance to take Gray and his skills off their hands.

Since Jose Quintana has already changed hands and fetched a nice group of prospects from the Cubs (including their top prospect Eloy Jimenez) the baseline price tag for this type of pitching talent is now publicly set, which could help the A’s maximize their return for Gray and take home some valuable prospects in the process.

As Mark Feinsand reports, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto may be “going for it” over the next few years, despite the fact that their farm system doesn’t have as many gems to barter with as they used to possess.

However, due to Gray’s contract status — he is only making $3.575 million this season and is eligible for arbitration the next two seasons — going through with this trade would net the Mariners an affordable and able pitcher who isn’t just a win-now acquisition.

As for the A’s, their rebuild has been sped up considerably: Three top-10 prospects from a farm system that was one of the game’s best is no small thing. Giving up Gray wasn’t an easy decision, but the A’s have admitted it’s rebuild time, so moving him for the largest haul makes sense. This is the kind of deal that should work out for both sides, but it will take longer to see things that way in Oakland.

That being said, the A’s did not pry the top prospects the Yankees had from the system, and just like Gray is risky in some respects — injuries, his down 2015 — the prospects they did get have plenty Cheap High Quality NFL Jerseys of variance, too. The Yankees should be commended for not giving up as much Cheap Golden State Warriors Jerseys as they could have, but we’ll need to wait and see if the A’s faith in who they did get was well placed.

There were limitations on what the Reds could give Greene.

That’s what we’re here to help with, though, sifting through major rumors to see what has merit and what’s more wishful thinking than probable.

The latest comes from Mark Feinsand over at, who reports that there may be a new suitor for Oakland right-handed pitcher Sonny Gray in the Seattle Mariners. But could that actually happen?

The kind of promising return package that they only could have hoped for a season ago, that’s for sure. As previously noted when analyzing Sonny Gray to the Astros, Oakland has been attempting to part with this particular chip for a while now.

A few minutes after 5, the news broke. It went right up to the last minute, but the Reds got it done. Greene signed for $7.23 million, $36,000 overslot, and the highest bonus ever under the current draft system (which started in 2012). The Reds’ front office was outwardly confident about Greene signing, and they had good reason to be. It didn’t make a lot of sense for Greene to delay entering the majors for another year.

He was the second overall pick, and was given an overslot bonus. Waiting a year to move up just one spot in the draft would have been a waste, since it wouldn’t have netted him much more money than he got by signing now. And there was no guarantee that Greene would have moved up that one spot.

There were limitations on what the Reds could give Greene. If he’d demanded more money, they could only give him $42,400 overslot before they incurred a 75% tax on every dollar over that. So it made sense for Greene to sign, but it wasn’t a sure thing. And if he hadn’t, the Reds would have walked away Dallas Cowboys Cheap Jerseys with an extremely nice consolation prize: the No. 3 pick in the 2018 draft, which they would get in addition to whatever pick they earned through their performance in 2017. But neither side has to think about Chinese Cheap Jerseys what happens if he doesn’t sign anymore, because Greene signed and is now officially in the Cincinnati Reds system.

Panthers’ Jeremy Cash booted from practice for going low on Christian McCaffrey

Someone should let Jeremy Cash know that training camp is a time for practice.

During Carolina’s workout at Wofford College on Sunday, the Panthers’ second-year linebacker was booted from practice after laying a low hit on rookie running back Christian McCaffrey, the Charlotte Observer reported.

According to the Observer, an angry coach Ron Rivera shouted an expletive and instructed Cash be yanked from the field during team drills for the questionable hit.

McCaffrey, the No. 8 overall pick at this year’s draft, has put on a standout performance at camp. The former Stanford All-American has drawn a great deal of praise from his teammates for his speed and shiftiness, giving the Panthers hope for an improved offense led by healing quarterback Cam Newton.

And with the rising cost for quarterbacks in the NFL, Cousins stands to earn a big pay check.

In short, get ready for another eight months of speculation about Cousins’ future. He was involved in trade rumors in the early stages of this offseason, even after signing his franchise tender. There were reports suggesting Cousins wanted to join Shanahan in San Francisco, but Cousins denied he asked for a trade.

His name was linked to the Cleveland Browns during the 2017 NFL draft, too, but Cheap Dan Marino Jerseys nothing came of it.

Any team in need of a quarterback will probably be tied to Cousins, but the 49ers Cheap Custom Hockey Jerseys are the most logical landing spot. Shanahan’s success with quarterbacks — most notably last year with NFL MVP Matt Ryan — and his good relationship with Cousins are only two factors in play.

Vikings, Linval Joseph agree to 4-year extension, agent says

Defensive tackle Linval Joseph, coming off his first Pro Bowl season at age 28, has been richly rewarded by the Vikings.

Joseph was originally a second-round pick out of East Carolina in 2010 by the Giants. He’s entering his fourth season with the Vikings. He tallied 77 tackles (37 solo) along with four sacks on his way to being named the No. 76 best player in the league by the players, according to NFL Network.

Best [nose tackle] I’ve ever been around, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said Friday, via ESPN.

The Vikings had the third-best defense in the league statistically in 2016 allowing 314.9 yards per game. They were sixth in scoring defense, allowing 19.2 points per game. Defensive tackle is not the most glamorous spot on the field, but it is vital to a team’s defensive success, and signing Joseph long term is a smart move.

Cousins, a 2012 fourth-round pick, has developed into one of the league’s most prolific passers in recent years. He threw for more than 4,900 yards last fall — good for third in the NFL — and made his first Pro Bowl, but he saw his touchdown rate drop while his interception rate rose in an uneven season.

He also has a penchant for making back-breaking mistakes, like the pair of picks he threw in Week 17 against the New York Giants that effectively kept Washington out of the playoffs.

Less than a week before the July 17 deadline, the writing was on Cheap Blackhawks Jerseys the wall. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that both sides were OK if Cousins ended up playing under Cheap Bruins Jerseys the tag and as hinted, a deal couldn’t be reached.

Bills’ Sammy Watkins will play a quarter in preseason opener

Sammy Watkins isn’t going to let his injuries get to him this season.

Bills coach Sean McDermott said on Tuesday he expects the wide receiver to play in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Vikings.

Injuries cut his professional football career short, but the lasting impacts from the sport may still be affecting him. A chilling video was recently released of Price where he Cheap NFL Jerseys China was disoriented while talking to police, and eventually ran himself through a glass door, shattering it.

Local 4 in Michigan has the story, and the video:

Price’s wife, U.S. Olympian Candice Price, told the station she believes her husband is suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, commonly known as CTE. A report from the New York Times this week revealed an examination of 111 brains of former NFL players showed all but one had the disease.

While he was able to answer questions just fine in the interview, it’s obvious Price struggles at time. He admitted to the network, mentally, some days I struggle a lot. He said he doesn’t even remember crashing through the door.

Parker, set to be Miami’s starter on the outside and potentially take over for Jarvis Landry as the team’s most important passing-game weapon, was always going to be a bigger part of Miami’s Cheap Atlanta Braves Jerseys offense. With Cutler, Miami should be even more confident in Parker’s perimeter impact.

Tom Brady’s high school shared what may be his first media interview from 1994

Every future star NFL quarterback starts somewhere small, working his way up the ranks of high school recruitment boards. Tom Brady was one of them, proving himself as merely one of the top 6 best quarterbacks in the state of California in 1994 at Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif. Here is an interview that his school says may be his first media appearance, 23 years ago.

The talks didn’t start with the arrival of Hurney, though. There were reports of preliminary negotiations back in June between the team and Turner, and it’s hard to imagine Hurney bridged the remaining gap a day after he was hired.

But the timing of the deal does seem noteworthy, especially after speculation that stalled contract negotiations for linebacker Thomas Davis and tight end Greg Olsen may have contributed to the abrupt firing of Gettleman — speculation that both players denied:

In Gettleman’s time as general manager, he did reach long-term extensions with core players like Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and Kawann Short. But Steve Smith, Josh Norman and DeAngelo Williams all left during his tenure and celebrated his firing Monday.

Hurney spent 11 years as general manager of the team before he was fired Authentic Cheap Jerseys during the 2012 season. If the goal of his time as the interim GM in 2017 is to settle Baseball Jerseys For Sale some of the contract talks that Gettleman couldn’t, it seems like he’s off to a good start.

NFL to begin employing full-time game officials

The NFL will begin the process of employing full-time game officials, the league announced Wednesday.

Up to 24 officials will be hired for 2017 after a plan was approved by the officials’ union (NFLRA).

We believe this is a great development for NFL officiating overall and ultimately the quality of our game, NFL Executive VP of Football Operations Troy Vincent said in a statement.

There are currently 124 game officials. The full-time staff will come from that pool. Each of the seven field-officiating positions will be represented in the gradual hiring process and will serve on the NFL’s 17 crews, the league said.

We’re looking forward to working together with the league on this effort, NFLRA executive director Scott Green.

There’s a wall of helmets representing all 32 NFL teams. Each helmet can be illuminated, so during a game week, the Cowboys’ opponent will be highlighted. If Dallas is playing Atlanta, for example, the Cowboys helmet and the Falcons helmet will the two illuminated on the wall.

There’s a state-of-the-art television studio and control center. In a separate location is an entire studio dedicated to podcast recording.

There are separate walls that monumentalize the top 10 moments in Cowboys history, the Cowboys’ five Super Bowl wins and Cowboys Pro Bowlers, among other tributes. A cluster of manikins Cheap NFL Jerseys Nike displays the evolution of the Cowboys uniform.

There’s a cafeteria run by master chefs. In that cafeteria are commemorative displays of firsts — the Cowboys’ first game, for example. One of Tom Landry’s old hats rests in a AFL Cheap Jerseys glass case a few yards away from where Jason Garrett eats his lunch.