Monthly Archives: August 2017

Bills trade LB Reggie Ragland to Chiefs

The Bills are continuing to clean house.

Buffalo has traded linebacker Reggie Ragland to Kansas City in exchange for a 2019 fourth-round pick, the team announced Monday.

In a corresponding move, the Chiefs released linebacker Josh Mauga to make room for Ragland.

Ragland leaves Buffalo less than 18 months after being selected by the Bills with a second-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. However, the former Alabama star never played a game in his rookie season after he tore his ACL during the first week of training camp last summer.

Ragland played three defensive snaps in the Bills’ preseason loss to the Ravens on Saturday, though Bills coach Sean McDermott made it clear on Sunday that he was fighting for his roster spot since recovering from his knee injury.

The Bills traded wide receiver Sammy Watkins to the Rams earlier this month and recently sent cornerback Ronald Darby to the Eagles.

Sherman admitted that Kaepernick “may not be the best, but he’s better than a lot of these dudes starting.” That sentiment has been supported by statistics in other media reports. But Sherman actually pointed out specific players he says are inferior to Kaepernick.

“Now if you told me this guy threw eight pick-sixes last year and played like a bum, had no talent, that’s one thing,” Sherman said. “But (Buccaneers backup QB) Ryan Fitzpatrick, (Ravens backup QB) Ryan Mallett or whoever is playing for the Jets right now — whoever is starting for the Jets is terrible — have jobs. You’re telling me fans would rather you lose and put a worse player out there because a guy took a stand? That’s where it’s so troublesome to me.”

Sherman also mentioned starters Jared Goff of the Rams and Blake Bortles (Jaguars) as lesser players than Kaepernick.seahawks_126

NBA free agency 2017: Jamal Crawford to sign 2-year deal with Timberwolves, per report

Free agent shooting guard Jamal Crawford will sign a two-year deal worth $8.9 million to join the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania. The move adds to an impressive Timberwolves’ summer of talent acquisition.

Crawford has reigned supreme as one of the league’s most feared bench scorers of this century. A three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year (2010, 2014, 2016), the veteran perimeter scorer averaged 12.3 points on 36 percent shooting from downtown with the Los Angeles Clippers last season.
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Last season, Briante Weber, Ramon Sessions and Brian Roberts all spent time on Charlotte’s roster, although none really locked down the backup point guard spot. Perhaps Carter-Williams can do that, the former Rookie of the Year winner who has seen his career decline ever since the first season in Philadelphia.

Carter-Williams’ most recent stint was in Chicago, were he averaged a career-low 6.6 points on an also career-low 36.6-percent shooting from the field. Before last season, Carter-Williams had averaged double-digit points in the previous three seasons, although his averages had declined three straight seasons. In Chicago, though, Carter-Williams was almost entirely ineffective overall.

In Charlotte, the Hornets must still see a role for Carter-Williams, who is primed to become a reclamation project for someone.

Hip hop acts draw a different crowd, and the white acts bring in more money, Parker told Hayes, according to the lawsuit.
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Following this discussion, Hayes talked to Shaw, the organization’s Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer. He told her about the problems of the last year. Shaw told him to speak to Parker’s superior, though Hayes expressed concern that there would be retaliation.

Lonzo Ball throws back-to-back incredible full-court assists in Summer League game

Lonzo Ball was back with the Lakers on Wednesday night after missing the previous Summer League game against the Kings. Ball came out strong against the Sixers, throwing two incredible back-to-back assists.

Both of these plays are just fantastic outlet passes. His court vision and willingness to pass the ball have not been overstated. If he is able to continue to do this in the regular season, the Lakers have a promising future.

Game Kids Adrian Peterson Jersey The question we had before us this summer was how the league would react to the Golden State Warriors. Would teams simply pack it in and keep their proverbial powder dry for another day, or meet the challenge head on and deal with it on its own terms?

We got our answer even before the NBA free agency bazaar opened for business, when Chris Paul surveyed the scene and engineered a trade to Houston. This was a savvy move by the Point God. Not only did he wind up in his preferred destination, he also brought his Bird Rights with him. That leaves open the possibility of a major extension in his new home, and that, my friends, is the personification of player power.

Michael Hutchinson Game Jersey No doubt Paul could have re-upped with the Clippers for the max had he wanted, or found a full list of suitors in free agency. But look at the market he left behind. With few viable options, the deep point guard class of 2017 was left scrambling for jobs and favorable terms. The Spurs never entered into the bidding and if you think the president of the players’ union was taking a discount at this stage of his career 鈥?well, no. He wasn’t. Nor should he.

Things We Love About The Warriors: Athlete activism

Limited Christine Michael Jersey Kevin Durant awaits entry into San Quentin State Prison for a game against the San Quentin Warriors. Nancy Mullane.
Authentic Nicklas Lidstrom Jersey Things We Love About The Warriors is a summer series focused on traits we admire about the team as a whole, or individual players, that extend beyond the boundaries of the court.

All those things have to be worked out by the smart people in the NBA before any expansion could be approved. We at SB Nation don’t have those same limitations, and we also know that there’s one especially fun thing about the process: The Expansion Draft.

The concept is simple: all 30 teams can protect eight players off their roster, and the two expansion teams (it might just be one, but we’re going with two because it’s more fun) can pick from the remaining pool. They’d also get a top draft pick, but that’s not a major factor for this exercise.

(In reality, teams often work out trades and deals in advance of an expansion draft, like the story of a 2004 trade that allowed the Suns to sign Steve Nash. We’ll keep this process simple, though, and not worry about deals like that.)

What did the Suns do with their newfound cap space? They signed a 30-year-old Steve Nash. Nash won the next two NBA MVP awards, the Suns went to the next two Western Conference Finals, and the team changed basketball forever.

There are three major issues that the NBA must figure out before seriously considering expansion team bids. (Of course, we’re probably still a few years away from even seeing that happen.) Tim Cato breaks down those three topics, and also highlights one common problem that’s brought up but really isn’t a problem at all.

Bears’ Deonte Thompson took a field goal try back 109 yards for a kick-six

The Bears and Cardinals played a snoozer of a first half, but it ended with a bang.

The Cardinals’ Phil Dawson attempted a 63-yard field goal to close out the half. For reference, the longest kick in NFL history is 64 yards, which was set in 2013 by Matt Prater. So this kick was quite the long shot.

Thompson could not have scored a longer touchdown in any play on the field. Cordarrelle Patterson scored the first 109-yard touchdown in NFL history with a kickoff return in 2013 as a rookie. Prior to his, three players shared the record at 108 yards between Ellis Hobbs, Randall Cobb, and Jacoby Jones, who did it in Super Bowl XLVII.

The kick-six was impressive, but Chris Davis’ kick-six from the Iron Bowl (which was also 109 yards) will forever be the greatest.

Kaepernick has become the face of this movement, and it’s carried consequences. He has said he won’t continue his protest this season, but he remains a free agent anyway while players like Thad Lewis and Jay Cutler have landed with teams.

Bennett expects repercussions from his protest, also.

“Of course I’m going to face backlash. This is bigger than me. This is bigger than football. This is bigger than anything that we have any different. This is about people. This is about bringing opportunities to people, giving people equality. This is bigger than a sport,” Bennett said.

Bennett’s protest doesn’t target law enforcement or the military. The tragic outcome of the recent violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., did play a role. But it’s bigger than any one thing for Bennett.

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2018 Stanley Cup odds: McDavid, Oilers gaining on Crosby, Penguins

The 2018 Stanley Cup will not be contested for another ten months, but Westgate listed its odds to win Lord Stanley’s chalice and, not surprisingly, the two-time defending Cup champion Penguins are favored for a three-peat. Breathing right down the necks of Sidney Crosby and Company are the Oilers, already a sexy Cup pick, ranked right behind the Penguins.

Authentic Mens Joel Bitonio Jersey In typical Gronk fashion, he elected not to drop, but forcefully spike the puck.

Gronkowski has battled injuries throughout his NFL career. When healthy, however, he has been a star for New England. He’s totaled 10 or more touchdowns in five of his seven NFL seasons and racked-up 6,095 career receiving yards.

Cassidy also said that the Patriots offensive linemen could potentially fill a role for the Bruins, and so could wide receiver Julian Edelman.

it would be interesting to see if [Edelman] could be a goal scorer, Cassidy said to ESPN. It seems like he has the talent to play a lot of different positions. He competes hard in those dirty areas. He might have a little [Brad] Marchand in him.

Mens Matt Martin Jersey Marchand was one of the NHL’s top goal scorers in 2016-17, potting 39. Of the football-hockey crossovers, Marchand has drawn more comparisons to Gronkowski thanks to both player’s propensity to celebrate championships their respective teams have won.

As an aside, most of the dialogue from the Mighty Ducks trilogy has not held up well. The third movie, where the kids go to a prep school and have all of their offensive creativity drilled out of them by a defensive-minded coach does feel like it would fit right in as a movie about hockey in 2015 though.

The Dodgers aren’t built on short rest anymore.

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Scream it to the heavens, because that’s all they really needed. They might get to the seventh game of the World Series and decide that Kershaw on three days’ rest is the best choice, or they might bumgarner him into the game in a relief capacity, but that’ll be different. That’s a team making unorthodox decisions because it might help it win. It’s not a team continually trying the same strategy over and over again because it has to work eventually.

While Darvish is an exciting acquisition, it’s still worth tempering the expectations just a little. He’s not having the season that Greinke was having years ago, so the Dodgers aren’t heading into the postseason with the best 1-2 punch they’ve ever had. He isn’t having his strongest season. And Willie Calhoun is a mighty fine prospect who should thrill the Rangers for years.

But the Dodgers finally got the best starting pitcher available, four deadlines after the new ownership sent a very expensive message to the loyal fans. The Dodgers know as well as any team in baseball that October offers no guarantees and that the postseason sprays like a territorial cat all over the house when it smells confidence on a team. All they can do is assemble the best roster possible with the best players available.
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There’s no sense of cheer and goodwill to share after a rousing NLDS victory — not unless it comes with the natural follow-up of winning the NLCS and World Series. There won’t be an at-least-you-gave-us-a-great-season standing ovation if they’re eliminated from the postseason this year. The Dodgers are World Series-or-bust like no team in baseball, with the exception of maybe the Yankees.

Twins finally acquire Jaime Garcia from the Braves for Huascar Ynoa

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After it seemed like a done deal only a few days ago before being held up due to prospect medical concerns on the Braves’ part, Jaime Garcia is now officially heading to the Twins in exchange for 19-year old right-hander Huascar Ynoa, who was spending time with the Elizabethton Twins in the Appalachian League.

In addition to Garcia, catcher Anthony Recker is also heading to Minnesota and the Braves are sending some cash along as well.

As we previously noted when the trade first crystallized, the Twins hope that Garcia can be a back-of-rotation pitcher to help them win the division. He has injury history, but has been healthy this year while putting up a 4.30 ERA in 113 innings, striking out 85.

Recker, meanwhile, has been in the league since 2011 and has been a bit of a journeyman playing for the Athletics, Cubs, Mets, and Braves in that span. Minnesota’s current backup catcher Chris Gimenez is batting .196/.323/.366 in 44 games. While Recker has only gone 1 for 7 in six games this season, it never hurts to try another piece behind Jason Castro if that’s the baseline you are working with.
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While his July splits are on par or better than his performances in other months, he’s looked off in recent starts besides just his blown save or hit batters. Even taking those missteps into account, his performance hasn’t caused too many issues for Cleveland.

Should Miller be out longer than expected, the Indians will be losing a reliever who has been a reliable and important puzzle piece for them.

However, the soreness could also be a result of him genuinely needing a break from his workload. He put up more than 93 innings of work all told last year between the regular season and postseason, and has already worked 54 innings this year.

CBS reveals first woman to call NFL game for network

Beth Mowins will become the first woman ever to handle play-by-play duties during an NFL game broadcasted by CBS, the network announced Tuesday.

Despite joining CBS Sept. 24 for the Browns-Colts broadcast, Mowins will actually begin the season working with ESPN, calling Week 1’s Chargers-Broncos matchup on Monday Night Football.

With CBS she will join former NFL kicker Jay Feely in a revamped broadcasting lineup for the network which includes Tony Romo joining Jim Nantz as the No. 1 broadcasting team.

Nonetheless, Jackson believes his players should concentrate on football while on the field rather than using their position as a platform for change. Given the fact that Cleveland hasn’t had a winning season since 2005 or made a playoff appearance since 2002, Jackson’s emphasis on improving as a franchise is not misplaced.

“I understand there is a lot going on in the world. I like to just keep it here. What we deal with, we try to deal with as a team in our closed environment. We talk about things,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, that won’t happen. I can’t tell you it won’t happen, but I just know our guys, and I don’t think that is where our focus is. We hope the things that are going on in the world get ironed out, but I know right now we are doing everything we can to get our football team better.”

Kaepernick is still seeking an NFL job following the backlash for his protest against police brutality and racial injustice, but vowed to not continue the protest this season with a new team.

As for Bennett and Lynch, they don’t appear eager to stand for the anthem anytime soon and it wouldn’t be surprising if others joined them. Just don’t expect those players to be wearing brown and orange.
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The Rangers had been on the fence this year regarding the buy/sell decision.

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The A’s and Yankees have been connected on this deal for a while, but reports are that the teams have been at an impasse trying to hammer out the final prospect details. The Yankees aren’t the only team that would love a young ace who is under club control through 2019, so the Gray market is one filled with dark-horse candidates, such as the Braves and Brewers and other teams who aren’t really in the rental market. And remember this: Because Gray is under club control for two more seasons, they don’t have to trade the right-hander now. They could hold him if they don’t find an acceptable return, then spend the offseason working for the right deal.

The Rangers had been on the fence this year regarding the buy/sell decision. Well, they traded catcher Jonathan Lucroy to the Rockies on Sunday, a pretty clear signal of what they’ve decided to do. Darvish, like Lucroy, is a free agent after this year, and he is clearly the premier starting-pitcher rental on the market right now. Though the Dodgers are a great fit, Darvish would be an upgrade for pretty much any contending team. Don’t be surprised if he winds up with the Cubs or the Yankees, or even in Cleveland.

The Cubs did just that, winning six straight out of the break and overtaking the Brewers last week for the National League Central lead. Sandberg still sees the surprising Brewers, who are 2 1/2 games back of the Cubs, and the Cardinals, who sit 5 1/2 games out, as Chicago’s top contenders in the division.

It’s fun to see (the Cubs) putting the pieces together, along with the front office making some key moves with (Jose) Quintana and a veteran catcher (Alex Avila), Sandberg said. That’s also a very good message from the front office.

Game Womens Ryan Kesler USA Jersey Sandberg teamed with Subway this week on a groundbreaking to renovate a Little League field at Chicago’s Garfield Park. The job, which began Tuesday, includes the upgrading of the field surface, dugouts and fences.