Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, Didi Gregorius hit a long home run to right.

Talbot immediately stepped back and signaled to the Rangers’ bench for the trainer. Talbot’s no longer in the NHL, but that scene sticks.

In starting to run toward first, he tossed — not flipped — his bat behind him. It hit Twins catcher Jason Castro.

Gregorius halted, trotted back toward Castro then briefly spoke to him while patting him on the shoulder, before restarting his HR trot. Clearly, Gregorius wanted Castro to know it was accidental and to ask if he was OK.

“He’s had an enormous impact of being able to change the culture of what things were to how it is right now,’’ linebacker Paul Posluszny said.

Brissett trade… Tolzien is scheduled to start the Colts’ opener with Luck remaining sidelined. But the trade with the New England Patriots that sent Jacoby Brissett to Indianapolis creates the possibility that Brissett is the best healthy quarterback on the Colts’ roster.

The Patriots won a game last season with Brissett, as a rookie, starting in place of the suspended Tom Brady and the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. Brissett might have been in position to be the primary backup to Brady this season in New England. But the Patriots, to the surprise of some, held on to Garoppolo rather than trading him to Cleveland or elsewhere for a package that likely would have included a first-round draft choice and another pick or two.

There’s seemingly no way Ross ends up falling all the way to Pittsburgh, but teams eschewed pass catchers for other needs in front of the Steelers. If he does end up next to Antonio Brown, look out. But, this could also be a trade-up spot for teams looking for quarterbacks in this draft a la Minnesota in 2014 with Teddy Bridgewater. That said, if the Steelers are no longer interested in Bud Dupree and are worried about how long James Harrison can play, T.J. Watt, Carl Lawson and Charles Harris will be in play with this pick as well.

The modus operandi in Atlanta is speed. Look at this defense. Grady Jarrett at defensive tackle. Vic Beasley on the edge. Inside linebacker Deion Jones. The youngsters in the secondary. They all can fly. Williams is faster and, potentially, more disruptive than any of them. With Beasley and Williams on the edge on third down, the Falcons won’t allow NFC South quarterbacks Cam Newton, Drew Brees or Jameis Winston much time to process and throw down the field.

Beth Mowins was assigned by ESPN to call an NFL game in September. And that, as intended, made a lot of noise and news.
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Alec Burks came off the bench to lead the Jazz with 17 points. Utah’s starters combined for just 40 points.

“There were times it looked like we didn’t want to play. Including me,” said Donavan Mitchell, who was held to 13 points by Bazemore.

Battling a hand injury, Prince had hit 7 of 24 shots for 17 points over the last four games. He made 6 of 11 — including a couple of 3s — against the Jazz.

“It’s OK to get tired of yourself sometimes,” Prince said. “You’ve just to work through it. I’ve got to continue to take my shots and continue to play defense.”

He is back where he belongs in the college game. He will attempt to replicate his success at Oregon under what should be favorable circumstances in Los Angeles. The NFL is unlikely to ever come calling again. And if it does, Kelly should not listen.

But if he’d stuck to coaching and coaching alone during his time in Philadelphia, things just might have been different for Kelly in the NFL.

But the Bulldogs showed Sunday they also can still play the championship-caliber defense that become so important in the program’s recent emergence as a national contender.

With Clemson’s Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Kendall Joseph and Austin Bryant all returning for another season alongside teammate Dexter Lawrence — along with several other high-profile defensive linemen — the question must now be asked:patriots_013_88452582c1c23a0c-180x180

You can’t make that assessment now. Eight defensive linemen went in the first round of the 1985 NFL Draft, which produced Hall of Famers Bruce Smith and Chris Doleman along with edge-rusher Kevin Greene. The 2011 NFL Draft produced 11 first-round picks on the defensive line, and seven of those players, including Marcell Dareus and J.J. Watt, have been selected to the Pro Bowl. Still, the potential for greatness in that 2019 class is off the charts.

Deciding when to call forward progress is just a judgment call for officials.

What happens when forward progress is calledTwo things happen: The play is over, and the ball is dead. The line of scrimmage is marked at the point of the ball that is closest to the opponent’s end zone when the whistle is blown.

Typically, if a ball carrier’s legs are still moving and he’s still trying to advance the ball, they aren’t expected to blow the whistle until it’s clear there’s no more hope for forward momentum.

Why is it a ruleThis rule exists in part to preserve fairness, and in part to protect players. Without the forward progress rule, a player could get a first down, but if the defense is able to stand him up and push him backward, it would overturn the first down.

Watson has written two books: “The New Dad’s Playbook: Gearing Up for the Biggest Game of Your Life,” featuring advice and info on being a father, and “Under Our Skin: Getting Real about Race – Getting Free from the Fears and Frustrations that Divide Us,” a look at race, bias and justice, following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

Without a doubt, but feel free to disagree. Fortunately for Lamar, UofL, and college football, facts and history cannot be rewritten by Todd McShay, Mel Kiper, and social media mafias. Lamar Jackson accomplished things on the field that had never before been done in the history of Louisville, the Atlantic Coast Conference, and all of college football. Thank you Lamar.

Numbers … meh. The drama of the game, the sheer drama, in such a loud place. Watching Watson, 22, duel Wilson, 28, you wanted it to never end. Couldn’t there be overtime? Quintuple overtime? The college overtime? The Buffalo Wild Wings never-ending overtime? In the last 11 minutes, Watson drove Houston 71 yards to go up 31-27, and Wilson drove Seattle 75 yards to go up 34-31, and Watson drove Houston 75 yards to go up 38-34, and Wilson threw an interception (“Just trusting it, and lettin’ it rip—one bad play,” he said), and it looked over. Houston ball, 2:49 to play. Two first downs, and they could run out the clock. They got one. Houston punted.

“No doubt we’d get it back,” Wilson told me. “I had no doubt. In fact, I went to the bench to prepare for the two-minute drive. I went over to the receivers. I said, ‘Hey, we’re probably gonna get the ball back with maybe a minute-thirty left, probably no timeouts left. Maybe one timeout. Be ready for these calls. Be ready for this, be ready for that.”
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Larry Fitzgerald undecided about playing in 2018

bengals_036It’s become a common question the past couple of years for Larry Fitzgerald: Will he return for another season, or will he retire?

Although the Cardinals star signed a 2018 contract extension in November, the 34-year-old wide receiver said Thursday he hasn’t committed to playing next season.

“A lot of it’s tied to Carson (Palmer) — Carson’s playing at a high level,” Fitzgerald said at the time (via NFL.com). “I don’t want to go through any other quarterback situations. It’s been great to have the stability that we have now with the big fella, he’s been playing light’s out.”

If Fitzgerald returns for another year (or three), he’ll continue to climb the NFL’s all-time receiving charts, icing on the cake in a career that has already earned him a spot in Canton. Fitzgerald currently ranks third in both receptions and receiving yards, and could move up to second on both lists with another season. (Jerry Rice remains well out of reach atop both categories.)

Shazier made an emotional appearance Sunday at Heinz Field for his team’s big game against the Patriots, his first trip out of the hospital since his surgery.?

Vernon Shazier said before his interview with ESPN that he couldn’t get into specifics of his son’s injury. The Steelers have not elaborated in detail what Shazier’s surgery entailed nor about his prognosis.

“We’re praying for healing and keeping our mind and faith strong. We know we’re in a deep valley, but we do not feel alone,” said Vernon Shazier, an NFL chaplain who added: “It’s easy to be faithful in a storm, but we’re not talking about a drizzle. We’re talking about a hurricane, a category 5 [hurricane], lots of metaphors to describe it.”

On Tuesday, Shazier was announced as a Pro Bowl representative for his 89 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles through 12 games and his teammates who’ve visited him say he’s eager to talk football strategy for the Steelers as they look to the playoffs.

Enstrom was drafted by the Thrashers the eighth round 2003.That’s also what made ‘s victory – and the back story behind it – so much better.When Frankie brought the subject to me I was like ‘hey, let’s do it, no doubt.’ I want to be able to help.a moment that exemplified San , brushed off the comments and returned for the Game 4 anthem with the city and the Spurs rallying behind him.

Wizards coach Scott Brooks wasn’t upset about the mistake.

After staring down his old team, whom he said threatened to make him a “Marlin for life,” the reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton spoke like a man who had escaped from a dysfunctional franchise in South Florida for a chance to win in New York with the Yankees.

“This has been quite the experience, quite the road to get here,” Stanton said.

But then the Broncos’ once-vaunted defense put the fun in dysfunction in allowing two big plays to seal the team’s fate, a 42-yard scoring run by Kenyan Drake and a 23-yard scoring strike by Cutler to Kenny Stills.

“We had a clock malfunction, early start,” Spooner said in a statement. “The time that they lost was 1.1. With an inbounds at 1.2 that leaves, mathematically, 0.1 and that should have been where we reset it. We actually made the mistake in their favor if you will, and reset it at 1.1.”

The same goes for head coach. Relatively speaking, it’s been a stable operation since Young calmed things down back in the day. Ironically, the biggest blip was … no, not the Ray Handley debacle in 1991 after Parcells retired, but when Mara, who has been in charge only since 2005, nudging Tom Coughlin out two years ago. The entire “smooth transition” notion took a hit then; it just happens to be a more catastrophic hit now.

In the Chargers’ run of five wins in seven games, Philip Rivers has 14 touchdown passes and three interceptions. In a stunning acknowledgement of the passing of an era, none of the touchdowns has gone to Antonio Gates.nike_redskins_2500

Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger NFL’s first QB with three 500-yard games

Ben Roethlisberger’s career has reached another historic milestone.

“He’s a winner. He’s going to find a way to win games,” Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell added. “We were down 11 … he put us in a position to win games. That’s what you want in your quarterback. That’s why I’m glad I play with him.”

The Steelers (11-2) will look to secure the No. 1 seed in the AFC as they face their toughest test this season when they host the Patriots (11-2) at 4:25 p.m. ET Sunday.

When Jurich came to Louisville from Colorado State in 1997, boosters took him and Terrilynn through campus. “She won’t tell you this, but she started crying,” Jurich says. Terrilynn had grown up in Wyoming, Jurich in Southern California. At Colorado State, where Jurich had been athletic director, the football stadium looked out on the Rockies. In Louisville, the Juriches found an industrial wasteland. The defining landmarks were a pair of silos, which stood between the campus and Interstate 65.

“What did you get us into?” Terrilynn asked.

The Texas Rangers have signed free-agent shortstop Yenci Pena, one of the players taken from the Atlanta Braves as punishment for circumventing international signing rules, according to multiple reports.

The agreement comes after the Rangers missed out on Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, who chose the Los Angeles Angels on Friday.

The Rangers had one of the largest amounts of international bonus money for the pursuit of Ohtani, at more than $3.5 million. They can spend that money on other international players.

Pena is from the Dominican Republic and was among 13 prospects the Braves lost when former general manager John Coppolella was banned for life by Major League Baseball last month. MLB said the Braves funneled extra signing bonus money to players through deals with other players.
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The Raiders to Vegas plan hit a supposed snag last week when billionaire Sheldon Adelson

Specifically, Vick said this in the Players’ Tribune:

“I’m 36 now and as my career winds down, and as my life begins to move on to its next chapter, I can’t help but feel as though I am finally coming full circle: The Falcons are back in the Super Bowl … and I’ll be there.”

The Raiders to Vegas plan hit a supposed snag last week when billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp., pulled his $650 million proposed investment from the potential deal. But the fact there’s no longer a casino mogul involved in the deal now sounds like something that had to happen for the league to truly consider Vegas.

The NBA moved the 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte, N.C., to New Orleans because of the league’s objection to North Carolina’s House Bill 2, which limits anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and it requires people to use the restroom that corresponds to their birth gender in public facilities. The NCAA relocated seven championship events from North Carolina last year in response to HB2.

The scoreless first quarter was nothing new to the Patriots, who have not scored in the first quarter of any of their seven Super Bowls under coach Bill Belichick. But the Patriots offense was even outscored by the Falcons defense in the first half.

The Falcons, with the NFL’s top scoring offense, had zero net passing yards in the first quarter. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who was named NFL MVP on Saturday, threw just two passes in the first quarter, completing both for 12 yards.

The Falcons finally got a spark early in the second quarter as rookie linebacker Deion Jones forced a LeGarrette Blount fumble. The turnover led to 5-yard touchdown run by Devonta Freeman to cap a five-play, 71-yard drive buoyed by Julio Jones’ incredible 23-yard catch over the middle. texans_046

How many people believe there’s big difference between the 32nd and 33rd picks?

How many people believe there’s big difference between the 32nd and 33rd picks? Probably not too many, but the NFL rookie contract structure results in a 20.4 percent loss in contract value (about $1.8 million), the biggest among all draft picks.

The 33rd pick likely will get about half of his third-year salary guaranteed, compared to a full guarantee for pick No. 32. While some may argue the chance for true free agency after four years is a benefit for the 33rd pick, most teams are just as bullish on extending the 32nd pick if his play warrants it.

Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas: A third-year linebacker who played in 22 games, starting 18, the 6-3, 238-pound Jefferson could be the top linebacker of next year’s draft class. Jefferson has 121 tackles, 16 for loss, and nine sacks in two seasons for the Longhorns.

Saquan Barkley, RB, Penn State: In a draft class that could include Georgia senior Nick Chubb, LSU junior Derrius Guice and bruising Alabama junior Bo Scarbrough, Barkley could be the most complete back of the bunch and first one selected next year. The 5-11, 223-pound Barkley ran for 1,496 yards with 18 touchdowns last season and caught 28 passes for 402 yards and four scores.

Da’Shawn Hand, DT, Alabama: It should be no surprise that Alabama could have multiple players taken in the first round of next year’s draft and Hand has a chance to be one of the first defensive players selected. The 6-4, 280-pound defensive lineman enters his senior season with 11 career tackles for loss and seven sacks.

Deion Harris, CB, North Dakota: Almost every year there is an FCS player or two who sneaks into the first round. Harris could be that player next year. An excellent special teams player, Harris is a 6-3, 180-pounder who had five interceptions last season and could leave North Dakota as the school’s all-time leader in pass breakups. nike_cardinals_1080

Jamaal Charles would have taken pay cut to stay with Chiefs

Jamaal Charles has been a Kansas City Chief for the entirety of his NFL career — and if he had any say, he’d still be one.

Charles, appearing on the podcast “Unmatched Sports with Cal Jones” on Thursday, said he would have taken a pay cut to remain in Kansas City. He had one year remaining on his contract worth $3.75 million, but the Chiefs cut the 30-year-old running back in February. He had been with the organization for nine years.

Impressed after learning about his methodology, the Browns, under then-CEO Joe Banner and then-GM Michael Lombardi, hired Decker in February 2014. But Banner and Lombardi parted with the team before Decker’s first day on the job. Two months later, the Browns took Johnny Manziel in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft.

It’s pretty clear how that turned out.

Over his next two years in the Browns personnel department, Decker worked on his methodology in an effort to predict college prospects’ character. He lost his job when the Browns named Sashi Brown GM in January 2016 but is now back in the league in Indianapolis.

Marshall, who was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and serves as an advocate for mental health awareness, was slated to earn $7.5 million with the Jets prior to his release in March. He then signed a two-year contract worth $12 million as a free agent with the Giants just five days later to join an already impressive receiving corps that features Pro Bowler Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard.

Before calling it quits, Marshall has set his sights on winning his first Super Bowl.
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Manchester United is managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho

Last season, Mercedes ran the gamut, as expected. But internally, there was a battle between Lewis Hamilton and eventual champion Nico Rosberg. That battle won’t be reignited this season, as Rosberg elected to retire after winning his first title. That left an opening on the team, which then managed to secure Valtteri Bottas from Williams to fill the vacancy.

There were several other driver lineup changes, including the retirement and quick unretirement of Felipe Massa at Williams, and the Manor Racing Team folded in the offseason. On top of that, Formula 1 has a new ownership in Liberty Media, and longtime executive in charge, Bernie Ecclestone, has been ousted after several decades in the role.

You can find a season preview right here and a look at all the big and small changes that occurred this offseason right here. Below, you’ll find information on how to watch races online and on television in the United States, as well as a full schedule for the season and results, updated throughout the year.

Between Alabama and LSU, there’s at least five without blinking. Texas A&M DE Myles Garrett and Tennessee DE Derek Barnett are the other first-round locks. Include Robinson and White, and there’s nine. Then you need three more from the group of Humphrey, Williams, Missouri DE Charles Harris and Florida’s defense. Right now, it looks frustratingly short.

From our soccer editor Kevin McCauley: “Manchester United is managed by former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, and they got absolutely stomped in London earlier this year. Mourinho was pretty mad about new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrating all of the goals like a madman, so Man United will be motivated to get some revenge.”
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