Monthly Archives: January 2017

Elijah became adept at manipulating his parents

The Pirates return their top five prospects from last year, three of whom really boosted their stock and the likelihood of reaching their ceilings, and they added another premium guy to the mix with the emergence of 2014 draft pick Mitch Keller, an Iowa high school product who improved in every possible way in 2016.

Cole Tucker, their first pick from 2014, had a mostly positive return from shoulder surgery and returns to their top 10. Nick Kingham, who was a top 100 prospect before 2015, returned from Tommy John surgery and could see the big-league rotation this year. They also have stocked their upper levels with relief prospects who should help them avoid having to pay anyone to handle the seventh through ninth innings for them.

If there’s a weakness here, it’s that they’re not as deep as the three teams ahead of them, in part because they traded two second-tier prospects to Toronto to lose Francisco Liriano’s salary. I was not as big a fan of their 2016 draft class as I was of their drafts the last few years before that.

But the Pirates should be in good shape to remain contenders for the next few years by turning over the big-league roster to the likes of Austin Meadows, Josh Bell and Tyler Glasnow, freeing up the cash to spend on pieces they can’t supply internally.

Along the way, Elijah became adept at manipulating his parents. “He’d come into my office, which is right across from his room, crawl up into the fetal position and say, ‘Mom, I did it again,'” Brenda recalls. “That triggered a pity reaction. But then, if I didn’t immediately give him my credit card or bail him out, he’d get filled with so much anger that I worried he was going to break something.”

This torrent of arms has entered the organization from two avenues. General manager John Coppolella has been trading for young pitching at every opportunity, and scouting director Brian Bridges has crushed pitching in his two drafts at the helm.

Carroll couldn’t have known what would happen

Womens Devan Dubnyk Jersey You have to hit a two-pointer, which is about a 50-50 proposition.

Womens Cameron Brate Jersey And even then, if you do all that, you have to go to overtime, which is bad for an underdog, given that a favorite is more likely to exhibit its dominance over a longer period of time. (Think about what’s more likely: you beating LeBron James in a single game of one-on-one in which one point earns you the win, or you beating LeBron James in the majority of 10 games of one-on-one.) You need to try to win the game, and you’re unlikely to end up this close to the end zone again the rest of the way.

Meanwhile, in what might have been the final game at the Georgia Dome, Carroll did little to make life easier for his Seahawks. Seattle’s often-dominant pass defense was compromised by injuries and facing a tough matchup against MVP candidate Matt Ryan and Atlanta’s league-best offense. Russell Wilson & Co. got off to a great start, driving 89 yards on the opening possession to score a touchdown while taking eight and a half minutes off the clock, but it ultimately was Seattle’s only touchdown drive for the first 56 minutes of the game.

Carroll couldn’t have known what would happen, of course, but many of his decisions were too conservative in a vacuum. Kicking a field goal on fourth-and-6 from the Atlanta 15-yard line was reasonable enough, but it was disappointing to see Carroll decide to punt on fourth-and-1 from his own 39-yard line late in the second quarter. Outside of some rare situations, fourth-and-1 should be an opportunity for underdogs to hold onto the football, especially with a mobile quarterback like Wilson.

Buffalo Bills: Like in 2015, the Bills had the top-level talent to make a playoff run. However, injuries, a lack of depth and questionable coaching all eventually doomed the team.

NFL Supplemental Draft 2015 results: Isaiah Battle picked by Rams in 5th round

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The St. Louis Rams have used a fifth-round pick in the 2015 NFL Supplemental Draft to select Isaiah Battle. The St. Louis Rams will lose a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to select Battle, an offensive tackle out of Clemson. Battle was one of seven players eligible for this year’s supplemental draft, but he was the only one really talked about as a potential selection on Thursday.
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Battle is a talented offensive tackle who many thought could elevate himself to top-five status at his position with another productive season at Clemson. He’s started just 15 games over the course of his college career, with 11 of those games coming last season. That said, he’s been more known for an uppercut that caused him to get suspended and potential off-field issues than his play on the field.

Despite being given a reduced suspension in the ruling, Hardy and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, will consult with the NFL Players Association to determine whether to sue the NFL, according to ESPN’s Ed Werder.

Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones released a statement Friday evening saying, “We are looking forward to the start of the season and having Greg be a part of the team.”

Hardy, who signed with Dallas this offseason, played in only one game during the 2014 season. He spent the rest of the year on the commissioner’s exempt list as the result of his conviction for assaulting and threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend. That conviction was later dropped after the victim declined to cooperate with authorities during his court appeal.

It wasn’t too long ago that outsiders considered the Chinese Basketball Association one of the great unknowns in professional sports.

But in recent years, especially since the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, the CBA has emerged as a viable option for borderline NBA players or veterans looking to extend their careers.

Many Chinese basketball fans say there are two kinds of foreign players: Stephon Marbury and everyone else. Will another American ever match Starbury’s status in the country?

Klay Thompson Kids Jersey The Hawks and the Celtics were the East’s two hottest teams since mid-December when they met Friday in Al Horford’s grand return to the ATL. Boston wanted to win badly for Horford and ultimately did hush a crowd that gave the nine-season Hawk a chillier-than-expected reception, but Atlanta seems to be steadying itself after the recent tumult and trade speculation. Mike Dunleavy, in particular, suddenly looks pretty comfortable with his new club, based on the 20 points he provided in Sunday’s home victory over Milwaukee.

Elite Womens Max Bullough Jersey The most impenetrable fortress in today’s NBA is … Washington’s Phone Booth? That’s what the numbers say after the Wizards brought a halt to Philly’s headline-grabbing three-game winning streak to make it 11 in a row at home. It’s the longest unbeaten run on their own floor since the then-Bullets won 15 straight at the old Cap Centre. The Wiz, as a result, are over .500 for the first time since late November of last season, when they started 6-5. As for John Wall news that doesn’t involve Jae Crowder: Wall’s game-winning bucket to beat the Bulls last week with five seconds remaining was his first career go-ahead field goal in the last five seconds of the fourth quarter or overtime. He was previously 0-for-16 in such situations.

Jordan Hill, the Seattle Seahawks’ part-time superstar

If you’ve been paying attention over the last few years, it’s apparent that the Seattle Seahawks like having designated roles for each of their defensive linemen. One of those roles is usually a backup defensive tackle that comes in as a rusher on passing downs.

That role was filled by defensive tackle Clinton McDonald during their Super Bowl winning season of 2013. He parlayed his 5.5 sack performance in 2013 into a pretty good contract in free agency with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last offseason. With his departure there was an opportunity for someone else to step up and take over that role. That’s exactly what Jordan Hill did at the end of 2014.

In a standard league, the first tier is somewhat deep. Dez Bryant and Antonio Brown are both solid first-round picks, while owners could certainly consider Demaryius Thomas at the tail end. There’s also nothing wrong with grabbing Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson or even Odell Beckham Jr. — OBJ does carry some risk with his balky hamstring and Victor Cruz coming back, though.

You could throw Jordy Nelson, A.J. Green and Alshon Jeffrey into the first tier because any of those guys could easily be the top receiver in the NFL. Nelson and Jeffery both hit double-digit TDs and were top-seven in targets, while Green could bounce back from injuries with what could be a high-powered offense.

Let’s take a quick look at how our rankings compare beyond the top 10 to others out there. This is based on our rankings vs. the average ADPs on FantasyPros.com.

But despite the Tebow touchdown run, Matt Barkley was the most impressive Eagles quarterback who took the field Sunday. He finished 12 of 20 with 192 yards and one interception, and led Philly on a five-play, 76-yard touchdown drive as the first quarter came to a close.

The 2012 NFL Draft wasn’t as good as it seemed

Robert Griffin III is on the bench, Trent Richardson is without a team and Justin Blackmon’s rights were just acquired by the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts, although it’s looking increasingly unlikely that he’ll ever play again.

Just over three years ago, those were three of the highest-valued offensive difference makers in a 2012 NFL Draft class that has since flopped. While the class started with Andrew Luck, who has since earned three trips to the Pro Bowl in as many years, the six picks that followed have ranged from subpar to terrible.

Yet, it’s hard to say the 2012 NFL Draft was bad, altogether. While there was no shortage of disappointing picks, there were a few diamonds in the rough that have had a lasting affect on the league since entering three years ago.
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Except for when the Ohio State coaches apparently forgot about Elliott against Michigan State in 2015, he delivered in the big games. In 2015, he closed the regular season with 214 yards and two scores on 30 carries against Michigan. Against Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, he ran 27 times for 149 yards and four scores.
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It’s been the same with the Cowboys. Leading into the regular-season meeting, Green Bay was allowing fewer than 2 yards per carry in the first five games. Elliott averaged 5.6 yards per carry. In Dallas’ biggest win of the season at the Pittsburgh Steelers, he had 114 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries and also scored on an 83-yard screen pass. After the Cowboys saw an 11-game winning streak end to the New York Giants, he ran through and over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 159 yards on 23 carries. To celebrate his touchdown, he jumped in an oversized Salvation Army kettle, something that will be replayed for years.

Vikings sign WR Jarius Wright to 4-year, $14.8 million extension

The Minnesota Vikings and wide receiver Jarius Wright have agreed to terms on a four-year, $14.8 million extension, with $7 million guaranteed, according to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. The deal was confirmed in a statement from the Vikings.

Mitch Richmond Mens Jersey “Jarius has been a key member of our offense since we drafted him in 2012 and we felt it was necessary to secure his future with our organization,” general manager Rick Spielman said in the statement. “His commitment to this team, hard work and leadership in the WR room are several of the intangibles that he brings to our club on a daily basis and we’re excited for his future with the Vikings.”

Wright has one more season left on the four-year, $2.5 million rookie deal he signed with the Vikings after being selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft. His extension will keep him in Minnesota through the 2019-’20 season.

James, Hard Knocks’ biggest standout, seemed to have the best chance of making the final roster — not only for his ability to contribute on defense, offense and special teams, but also because of his willingness to do whatever it’d take to earn his place.
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Instead, James was one of, if not the very last cut. The final cornerback spot came down to him and Jumal Rolle. And the reason that head coach Bill O’Brien and GM Rick Smith decided to keep Rolle was almost callous: James, simply, is too small. Not many CBs can be 5’9 and play like Antoine Winfield could.

Heading into Week 4 of the preseason, O’Brien and Smith were on the fence about whether Brown would be one of the 53 men left standing — he made plays during every preseason game, even leading the team in sacks, but they were worried he had reached his ceiling.

No team has a quarterback who is as hot as Aaron Rodgers

The Giants haven’t scored more than 20 points in a game since late November. That won’t get it done against a Green Bay offense that has topped 30 points in four straight games. If the Giants are unable to run the ball against a stout Packers run defense and Manning plays poorly with consistent pressure coming off the edges, it’s going to be a long afternoon in Green Bay.

Odell Beckham Jr. is a big-game player, and it will show in his first playoff game. Beckham saved the Giants’ season with 211 yards and two touchdowns in the second half against the Baltimore Ravens, and he has more catches (33) and touchdowns (4) this season in the fourth quarter than any other quarter. He also scored the winning touchdown in the Giants’ biggest game of the season last month against the Dallas Cowboys. Beckham will make enough big plays on Sunday at Lambeau Field to supplement a Giants defense that will limit Rodgers and the Packers just enough to escape with a dramatic victory.

No team has a quarterback who is as hot as Aaron Rodgers, but you can never count out Eli Manning when it comes to the playoffs.

Limited Kids Sherrick McManis Jersey In all, the Packers listed seven players as questionable on Friday’s injury report: Cobb, Randall, right tackle Bryan Bulaga (abdomen), center JC Tretter (knee), outside linebackers Nick Perry (hand) and Jayrone Elliott (hand), and inside linebacker Joe Thomas (back).

From Weeks 12 to 14, the Seahawks piled up 503 yards on the ground and averaged 6.53 yards per carry as a team. They’re hoping some of that production will return in Saturday’s playoff game against a Detroit Lions team that ranks 23rd against the run.

Yannick Ngakoue Limited Jersey Rookie Alex Collins will see some action, but Carroll has made it clear that Rawls will be the primary back.

“He’s been ready for about four or five weeks, and we can really see that he can turn it around and count on his legs and count on his quicks and all that kind of stuff,” Carroll said. “We haven’t gotten him the ball as consistently as we would like, and any runner needs to get the football to start to get a feel for it.

Why Jose Bautista Is A Good A¡¯s Target

Game Youth Thomas Morstead Jersey “He¡¯s not the Blue Jay we wanted anyway,” said the A¡¯s fan with a PhD in sour grapes. Edwin Encarnacion is not coming to Oakland, despite Oakland¡¯s attempt to lure him with $50M over 2 years. Now the A¡¯s aren¡¯t exactly linked to Jose Bautista, but the fit is at least imaginable enough that the marriage is predicted by Fanrag, or FANRAG, or something about rooting for your team at just the wrong time of the month.

Elite Anton Stralman Jersey Bautista is not without warts and risk, but I am in the camp that believes it would not be a bad signing at all to ink Bautista, even though he is coming off a poor season riddled with injury and he recently turned 36. Why is it still a good idea? Several reasons.

The end of the road draws near for this Royals core that has brought home two pennants and a championship, and beyond that is a lot of question marks. The Royals will retain some players past 2017 – Salvador Perez, Alex Gordon, and Yordano Ventura are all still under club control. However they will need some help from the farm system if the Royals hope to avoid falling back to last place.

Of course, Durant is known most for his unrivaled ability to put the ball in the basket. He won four scoring titles in a five-year span ¡ª the first player to do so since Michael Jordan won seven straight from 1987-1993 ¡ª and already leads the Warriors at 25.9 points per game on nearly 54 percent shooting.

But if anything stands out about Durant in a Warriors jersey, it isn¡¯t his shot-making. Rather, it¡¯s his unexpected surge on the defensive end. The Golden State star is averaging a career-best 1.5 blocks per game. Opponents can¡¯t score consistently when he¡¯s guarding them, and he defends the rim better than most of league¡¯s top centers.

Scott Chandler expected to play against Texans Sunday night

New England Patriots tight end Scott Chandler is expected to be active for the team’s Sunday Night Football matchup against the Houston Texans, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Chandler was limited in practice all week and listed as questionable with a knee issue on the injury report. It’s unclear when he picked up the injury, but it apparently wasn’t serious enough for him to miss any game action.

Chandler has become the top tight end target when Rob Gronkowski suffered a knee injury in the Week 12 loss to the Denver Broncos. He has four touchdowns on the season, with two of those coming Elite Mens Paul Coffey Jersey in the past two weeks. Chandler had four catches for 61 yards in last week’s loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, his highest yardage total of the season.

In addition to Chandler, it appears as if the Patriots will have Authentic Brian Hoyer Jersey Gronkowski back in the lineup Sunday as well. The Boston Globe reports Gronkowski is expected to play just two weeks after injuring his knee against the Broncos when safety Darian Stewart hit him low.

Panic index: The Texans don’t really know what they have in Savage at this point. They’ve only seen him throw 65 passes over two games. But can it really be worse than what Brian Hoyer did against the Chiefs last January? So, Texans fans, your team may not win with Savage, but they probably wouldn’t have won with Osweiler, either.

The Miami Dolphins masterfully turned their season around after a 1-4 start, where it looked like things were getting worse before they were getting better. Since then, they found some continuity on the offensive line, and Jay Ajayi emerged as a great young running back, now with three 200-yard games under his belt this season.

Moore came in for Tannehill against the Arizona Cardinals, and was able to finish the game for the Dolphins. In his two starts since then, he’s played well, throwing for six touchdowns and two interceptions, along with 469 yards. For most NFL teams, if they are told that’s the production they’re going to get out of their backup, they’d definitely take it.

It’s worth mentioning that those two games came against the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets. The playoffs are going to be another beast, but Moore has shown he can (at the very least!) manage a game.