Monthly Archives: May 2017

Noah Syndergaard injury proves once and for all that Mets management is clueless

Prior to last week, the current Mets brass had already fostered a questionable reputation with handling personnel, especially from a health perspective. Their prized young core of starters has been bombarded by significant injuries over the past two years. David Wright, Wilmer Flores, Lucas Duda, Travis d’Arnaud, Neil Walker, Juan Lagares have all missed significant time with relatively ambiguous ailments.

Honestly, a lot of this can be attributed to bad luck. But when you look at what transpired over the past week, it’s impossible to deny that some level of incompetence exists among Terry Collins, Sandy Alderson and Co. Alderson even admitted it was his choice to start injured ace Noah Syndergaard in Sunday’s game against the Nationals despite his refusal to have an MRI on his injured shoulder just a couple days earlier.

Which makes the news about Clark a few degrees more chilling.
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Turner was just 46. Gleason turned 40 on Sunday. Brigance is 47. Clips of their NFL exploits (including Gleason’s legendary punt block in the first post-Katrina Saints game in the Superdome) are available 24-7.

Nor do you have to be that old to have seen Clark, now 60, make The Catch for the 49ers 35 years ago. Or to have seen Mackey score a touchdown in Super Bowl V in 1972.

Elite Eric Weems Jersey Or to have seen Brian’s Song, in which, among other emotional themes, Sayers suffered what was once believed the worst consequence of playing football, wrecked knee ligaments.

Joe Mixon’s rising draft stock is no surprise; not all teams thinking like Ravens

No disrespect intended to the Bleacher Report story that unveiled this news Wednesday morning. But seeing that Joe Mixon was climbing teams’ draft boards, a week after the Combine he was barred from attending, was the least-surprising aspect of this draft.

It would have been more shocking to see him falling, either down or off. It was just never going to happen. There was always the likelihood that teams would find a reason to pick him, rather than reasons not to pick him.

Authentic Kids David Parry Jersey It was a mild shock, though, to see it reported that at least four franchises have taken Mixon, the running back whose punch of a woman while a student at Oklahoma was caught video, off their boards.

One is very likely the Ravens, who remain the only NFL team to publicly declare it would not take a player with a history of domestic violence. It’s the policy they have stuck to since their epic mishandling of Ray Rice’s video-recorded attack on his then-fiancee three years ago.
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The two running catches above are a good start, but the grind of the season will reveal whether Cutch is even a short-term answer at the position.

The good news for McCutchen is the Pirates will probably need him in center field for a while. Marte’s PED suspension is 80 games, which puts his return around mid-July. Top outfield prospect Austin Meadows, the guy the Pirates want to replace McCutchen, isn’t ready for the Show.

Then again, if McCutchen regresses in the field, or Meadows’ bat catches fire in Triple-A, then Cutch will quickly find himself stewing on the fringes again, both in a physical and an organizational sense.

Clark got to that point midway through his open letter revealing his diagnosis with ALS

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Branden Oliver Jersey It wasn’t so much getting hit in the head … It’s just the shaking of the brain when they took him down with the force they play the game in.

Some 24 hours later, Clark got to that point midway through his open letter revealing his diagnosis with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

I’ve been asked if playing football caused this. I don’t know for sure. But I certainly suspect it did, Clark wrote. And I encourage the NFLPA and the NFL to continue working together in their efforts to make the game of football safer, especially as it relates to head trauma.

The awful price that football extracts just looms larger as the players paying it become sharper and more full-color in our memories. The number of players from Sayers’ era who are meeting this fate, and who can trace it to football, keeps growing, while their actual numbers are shrinking.

Which is saying a lot about a team that had recently planned its future around Johnny Manziel.

In the first hour or so after the trade broke, the world was 50-50 on whether Sashi Brown, Paul DePodesta and Hue Jackson were heroes or clowns. Desperate organizations tend to get undue praise for simply acting outside the box, for trying to game the system. Just as bad, moves often sound better than they make practical sense.

Practically speaking, the Browns are going into Year 2 of a rebuild, and they just tried to solve their quarterback problem by negotiating into Year 3 (with the 2018 second-round pick the Texans gave them to take Osweiler’s contract) while adding a quarterback who has no business being in their plans in any year right now.

That’s a good way to assure you don’t get a Year 3.

The Bengals instead drafted Joe Mixon with the 48th-overall selection.

The apotheosis of Cincinnati Bengals football as practiced by team president Mike Brown occurred during an NFL playoff game on a rainy Saturday night at Paul Brown Stadium in January 2016. In the space of just a few minutes, Brown’s clear conviction that character is of minor consequence in sporting endeavors was demonstrated, again, to be folly.

With the Bengals leading the Pittsburgh Steelers by a point in a wild-card round game, and with Pittsburgh beyond desperate because quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was playing with an injured shoulder, linebacker Vontaze Burfict took a personal foul penalty for striking wideout Antonio Brown in the head following an incomplete pass, and cornerback Adam Jones talked himself into an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Those 30 yards put the Steelers in position to win the game with a field goal.

A smart man, a smart organization would have learned the obvious lesson from that moment.

The Bengals instead drafted Joe Mixon with the 48th-overall selection.

That hasn’t been the case however with the “Madden NFL” franchise since 2012 thanks to its team-building mode and agreement with the NFLPA.

The incredibly popular card-collecting Ultimate Team mode now features freshly drafted rookies introduced in conjunction with the NFL Draft for its sixth year running with “Madden NFL 17.” The players enter with cards reflecting the type of ratings they may start with in the next game (in this case “Madden NFL 18”) along with special future editions that rate them at what their perceived full potential is envisioned to be. The new rookies are obtained through card packs or the Auction House.nike_cardinals_317

Trammell has a very solid case, one that’s arguably better than Derek Jeter’s.

Jones was not injured and it was the only hiccup in what was an impressive showing by the East Carolina receiver in front of scouts and coaches from every NFL team.

I think the toughest defender was the punching bag at the end, Jones quipped following his workout. I was just trying to keep the scouts on edge.
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Despite some erratic throws from ECU quarterback Philip Nelson, Jones put on a show with diving catches, polished route running and proficient footwork near the sideline.
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He’s gifted, athletically, and his length is probably what a lot of people don’t realize about him, said East Carolina coach Scottie Montgomery, who spent four seasons in the NFL as a receiver and was the Pittsburgh Steelers receivers coach from 2010-12. He has a large catch radius.

Then the intangibles, the type of person he is, you connect all that with great hands, and that’s what a National Football League receiver who plays for a long time looks like.

Trammell seems like the most likely candidate to be helped if Vizquel makes a run at induction through the BBWAA. Trammell will be newly eligible this fall with the Modern Era Baseball Committee (what the Veterans Committee is calling itself for his era) and dwarfs Vizquel by any number of different metrics. Trammell’s 40.2 Wins Above Average is also best of any inactive shortstop who isn’t in the Hall of Fame. By sabermetrics at least, Trammell has a very solid case, one that’s arguably better than Derek Jeter’s.

An interesting convergence could happen with the Hall of Fame, between Trammell becoming eligible on the veterans’ ballot this fall, Vizquel hitting the writers’ ballot around the same time, and Jeter eligible in just under three years. There might be a lot of focus on shortstops with the Hall of Fame over the next few years.

Noah Syndergaard injury update: Mets ace has partial lat tear

Elite David Backes Jersey Fulmer, who turned 23 in December, grins as he recalls the experience. To be fair, though, Fulmer grins a lot.

Carson is a competitor, McCatty said. He’s a great kid, really a testament to his parents. He’s really a fine young man, and he has a lot of ability, also.
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Fulmer breezed through the first couple levels of the ChiSox farm system after he was the No. 8 overall pick in the 2015 draft, then spent most of 2016 in Double-A Birmingham, before the stint in the bigs and four starts in Triple-A. He’s made three starts for the Knights this season, and he’s allowed only three walks in 17 innings. That’s big for Fulmer, who isn’t going to make his living striking guys out with a fastball that approaches triple digits, like Giolito and Lopez. That’s not to say he’s a finesse pitcher, though. Far from it.

It’s not the 98-mph fastball, but it’s still a good fastball, McCatty said. He’s got action on it, he’s come up from last year and developed his cutter more, and that really, really helps him. He’s throwing the ball outstanding. We’re really happy with what he’s doing.

The New York Mets received troubling news Monday when an MRI determined ace Noah Syndergaard has a partial tear in his right lat muscle, the team announced. He has been placed on the 10-day disabled list and there is no timetable for his return.

Syndergaard was forced to leave Sunday’s 23-5 loss against the Nationals in the second inning due to the injury. He had been pushed back from a scheduled start Thursday due to what the team described as biceps tendinitis, but refused to get an MRI after that setback.

While timeframes for a return from similar injuries vary, Mets teammate Steven Matz missed two months with a torn lat muscle in 2015.

Syndergaard, 24, is 1-2 so far this season with a 3.29 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings pitched.

Josh Gordon’s NFL career in doubt after reported reinstatement denial

Josh Gordon applied for reinstatement to the NFL in March, but the league responded Thursday with a no, according to USA Today.

The troubled receiver has been suspended for the majority of his career but had a brief bit of playing time last year when the league conditionally reinstated him to participate in training camp and the preseason. But before the regular season began, he entered a rehab facility and was placed on indefinite suspension again.

Cooper said he hadn’t been given any indication as to why teams were reluctant to call, but acknowledges that it may have had something to do with his use of the N-word at a Kenny Chesney concert in 2013.

His on-field production over the next three seasons (123 receptions for 1,739 yards and 13 touchdowns) wasn’t enough to keep him in Philly.

“I’m extremely apologetic about that,” Cooper said. “I told everybody it was completely my fault. I’m so sorry about it. That’s not the type of person I am. People that know me know that. Some of the guys here know that. I don’t know if that’s the reason or not, but I’m going to make the best of this opportunity, keep moving forward and become a better human, a better person and a better football player.”

But, for now, Cooper’s focus is to make a Tampa Bay team trying to give quarterback Jameis Winston as many weapons as possible. Bucs coach Dirk Koetter told media that he and his staff made the decision to go after Cooper before the 2017 NFL Draft. The 6-3, 214-pound receiver has already played with Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson, in Philly, and could join a receiving corps that also features Pro Bowler Mike Evans and rookie tight end O.J. Howard.

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Lions in early contract extension talks with Matthew Stafford

Detroit could use a franchise tag on quarterback Matthew Stafford next offseason to prevent him from leaving via free agency.

Lions general manager Bob Quinn, however, is optimistic it won’t come to that.

Quinn said on SiriusXM NFL Radio that Detroit has started contract negotiations with Stafford’s agents.
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Montgomery is expected to carry the backfield load in Green Bay again this season.

The Packers, however, will not be void of backfield depth. They used three of their 10 picks in last week’s draft on running backs. Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and Devante Mays were all taken in the fourth round or later, so they will likely have limited roles in 2017.

Elite Kids Marvin Jones Jr Jersey Green Bay is also thought to be a possible destination for free agent Jamaal Charles, who at 30 years old is trying to prove he can still play despite his worrisome injury history.

The Packers finished last season 20th in the league in rushing yards per game. Montgomery proved he has explosive, game-changing abilities out of the backfield, but they need one or more of their rookies to step up and provide depth.

Running back Don Jackson was also released from the Packers. He appeared in three games with one start in the middle of the season before he was placed on injured reserve on Nov. 16.

Awuzie ran a strong 4.43-second 40-yard dash and had an elite broad jump at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The Boston Celtics are somehow the No. 1 seed, and the Chicago Bulls are somehow in the playoffs. Neither seemed likely a couple weeks ago, but here we are, with both teams earning a chance to face off against each other.
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Boston’s slow build of a contending playoff team has finally sent them to the very top of the Eastern Conference, topping Cleveland after the Cavaliers stunningly collapsed in the final games. They aren’t without playoff concerns: many of us understandably wonder how the 5’9 Isaiah Thomas may fair in the playoffs, and he is the central hub to their offense. But he has proven himself all season, so let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, at the very least.
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All around on the Celtics are quality players of many different varieties — floor spacers, defenders, get-hot-out-of-nowhere scorers. Boston has a varied team, and Al Horford gives them another star, which makes them more formidable than the Celtics team that lost to Atlanta in last year’s postseason.

That’s so important, because football’s always been my physical outlet, Awuzie said. When I play football, I’m trying to get out all this tension in my body — my roughness, my toughness, whatever. When I get on the football field, that’s where I release it. I don’t release it anywhere else. So every time I step on the football field, I try to impose my will on other people. If my coach wants me to get the job done, he knows that I’m gonna do it in a way where I’m being physical with another player.

Dan Kadar’s scouting report:

Awuzie ran a strong 4.43-second 40-yard dash and had an elite broad jump at the NFL Scouting Combine. He did 16 bench press reps and measured in at 6’0 and 202 pounds, giving him above-average size and strength for a corner.

Kobe Bryant got real about the harsh reality of retiring from sports

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Kobe Bryant went on Good Morning America on Monday to discuss his new animated short film Dear Basketball, which is being entered in the Tribeca Film Festival. Robin Roberts asked him straight up if he missed the game and his answer was so good it had the crew clapping.
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No, I don’t. No, it’s crazy but I started playing when I was 2, and so after playing for 20 years in the league — what I have now is, everything I’ve learned from the game I carry with me to this day.

Mike Glennon is our starting quarterback, Pace said. There is no quarterback competition when Mitch gets here. Glennon is our starting quarterback. We’ll focus on Mitch’s development and Mike Glennon winning games for the Chicago Bears.

Then Pace offered up a little bit of a more questionable statement, essentially saying that Glennon was fine with the move.

I talked to Mike [Thursday night], Pace said. He understands the competitiveness of our business at every single position. Mike also understands he’s our starting quarterback. Mike’s been here working hard all the time, already developing leadership with his teammates. I’m extremely excited about Mike Glennon this season, and I’m extremely excited about adding Mitch to our roster.

Glennon may not come out and create an uncomfortable environment after having just signed with the Bears. Though you have to wonder what he’s thinking, after believing he had finally come from under Jameis Winston’s shadow.