You can’t make John Elway ‘stick to sports,’ so stop making Colin Kaepernick do it

Elite Kids Wayne Gretzky Jersey
Nothing and nobody are going to stop John Elway from endorsing a Supreme Court nominee. Not his team, not his league, not Broncos fans, non-Broncos fans or the general public.

Instead, he spent a few years playing in the outfield for a local softball team as one of its home run hitters before the majors beckoned again for a short comeback in 1998.

Stieb wound up at 176-137 with a 3.44 ERA for his career, respectable numbers no doubt in his eyes but not Hall of Fame worthy. He takes the same hard stance with other candidates, even friends. Asked to assess the Hall of Fame chances of good friend and fellow 80s ace Bret Saberhagen, Stieb pulled up Baseball-Reference.com.

He’s like me, Stieb said, looking at Saberhagen’s numbers. He’s got no chance.

Stieb noted Saberhagen’s JAWS rating, the stat created by Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated which rates Saberhagen as the 66th-best pitcher in baseball history and Stieb as 67th-best. Stieb looked at some of Saberhagen’s other accomplishments.

All he’s got on me is two Cy Youngs and a World Series that he actually pitched in, Stieb said. And I don’t think that’s enough to make it to the Hall of Fame.

What is Stieb’s standard for Cooperstown?
Devin Hester Authentic Jersey
The Hall of Fame is more indicative of somebody having consistency throughout their whole career and dominating numbers throughout their whole career, he said.

If only Stieb gave himself more credit for accomplishing this.

MLB’s biggest issue isn’t the sport; it’s the fans

Some baseball traditionalists are starting to reach Old-Man-Yells-At-Cloud status.

Last week I wrote a jovial, lighthearted column that poked some fun at Major League Baseball’s pace-of-play and length-of-game issues, offering 30 silly, overtly exaggerated and obviously sarcastic solutions to those problems.

Wes Ferrell, pitching in a high-offense era: Wes Ferrell had the opposite problem of Frank Howard. He did his best work in the American League of the late 1920s and early-mid 1930s, when entire leagues hit around .300. His lifetime 4.04 ERA could forever rule Ferrell out of Cooperstown, though because of the times it was actually 16 percent better than average when adjusting for his league and ballpark.
Game Mens Rees Odhiambo Jersey
Game Mens Jelani Jenkins Jersey Frank Howard, hitting in a low-offense era: Playing from 1958 to 1973, hulking slugger Frank Howard had 382 home runs and a .273 batting average. It probably shouldn’t have been any surprise to anyone that he drew just six Hall of Fame votes out of 432 cast in 1979 and has, by all accounts, never made a serious run thereafter as a candidate on the veterans’ ballot. But Howard played some of his best years in the 1960s, when pitchers ruled baseball. His 142 OPS+ means his adjusted rate of total offensive production was about 42 percent better than an average hitter. It also means he might have had 500 home runs, a .300 batting average and an automatic plaque in Cooperstown if he’d played in an easier era for hitters.

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

They needed new acquisition Mitch Moreland to be a viable bat to go along with his glove

The AL MVP winner will not be Mike Trout. Trout has had multiple MVP-worthy seasons, and was finally recognized with the award in 2016. But he won’t repeat in 2017, regardless of whether his numbers back it up. That’s just how it’s going to go for him for the next few years. But who will actually win? Let’s go with Jose Altuve.

Limited Kids Pat O’Donnell Jersey The NL Cy Young winner will be Clayton Kershaw. This is always a safe prediction, and Kershaw will pick up his fourth Cy Young award in 2017 after having an injury-shortened-but-still-ridiculous 2016 campaign that saw him post a 1.69 ERA and finish fifth in the voting.

They needed new acquisition Mitch Moreland to be a viable bat to go along with his glove. They needed Hanley Ramirez to provide some clutch at-bats. They needed to get something from Pablo Sandoval.

And, at least to an extent, all of those things have happened. But it still isn’t working.

After another fruitless offensive outing, in which they wasted another great Chris Sale outing by refusing to score, Bogaerts acknowledged the slog Thursday night.
Womens Joe Gilliam Jersey
The Red Sox, who sit at 11-10 thanks in large part to strong pitching, are struggling to score runs. That much is inarguable they’re tied for 27th in runs scored. But they aren’t hitting poorly. So is it just about missing Ortiz, or is it something else?

Praising Theo Epstein as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, general managers of all time, Obama said, His is job is to quench droughts 86 years in Boston, 108 in Chicago he takes the reins of an organization that’s wandering in the wilderness and delivers them to the promised land. I’ve talked to him about being DNC chair, but he decided wisely to stick to baseball.

All you need to know about this team was encapsulated in that one moment in Game 5, down three games to one, do-or-die, in front of the home fans, when David Ross and Jon Lester turned to each other and said, ‘I love you man,’ and said, ‘I love you too.’ It was sort of like an Obama/Biden moment.

Kushner family to pull bid for Marlins if Jeffrey Loria becomes ambassador to France

If Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria were to be named U.S. ambassador to France, as is reported to be a possibility, it’s going to complicate the process of selling his MLB franchise.
Shea McClellin Limited Jersey
Although the Kushners have made substantial progress in discussions for us to purchase the Marlins, recent reports suggest that Mr. Loria will soon be nominated by the President to be Ambassador to France.

If that is true, we do night want this unrelated transaction to complicate that process and will not pursue it. The Kuchners remain interested in purchasing a team and would love to buy the Marlins at another time.
Sam Reinhart Limited Jersey New York businessmen Joshua Kushner, Jared’s brother, and Joseph Meyer have had exclusive discussions with Loria to buy the Marlins this week, the Miami Herald reported.

But the report indicated uncertainty that a deal would get done, citing Kushner’s personal net worth of $200 million as one hurdle, for instance. Kushner, who founded a private equity and venture capital firm, and Meyer would need to secure outside financing to meet Loria’s asking price of $1.6 billion.

Another hurdle then seems to be Loria’s candidacy for a position with the Trump administration.

The New York Post reported Wednesday morning Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, was pushing for Loria, a noted Trump backer, to become his ambassador to France.

Loria, 76, donated $125,000 to the Trump campaign last year. He would follow Jets owner Woody Johnson as the second sports figure to join Trump’s staff. Johnson was appointed ambassador to the United Kingdom last month.

Jared Kushner is married to Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

Padres close in on massive six-year deal for OF Wil Myers, report says

From his first start with Charlotte this year until he’s finally in the big leagues for good, he’s using his time as a learning experience.
Mens Darrius Heyward-Bey Jersey
In this game, you’re always trying to improve your craft. The more experience you have in the Triple-A atmosphere, the competition you’re going to face obviously helps, Fulmer said. But we’re trying to get ourselves ready for that level. I feel like a lot of us are ready, but we’re young. We need more experience, we need more innings and I think that’s why we’re here. But I think we’ll get the opportunity soon.

Burdi is the only one of this group who hasn’t made the majors yet, but that’s understandable because, y’know, he was playing college ball for Louisville at this time last year. So when the former college closer got the chance to train this spring with the big-league club, he made the most of the opportunity.

The San Diego Padres and outfielder Wil Myers are closing in on a six-year deal worth more than $80 million, according to Fox Sports.com.

The proposed deal would cover three years of arbitration and three free agent years, which would lock Myers down in San Diego until after the 2022 season.

Myers, 26, slashed a healthy .259/.336/.461 last season with 28 home runs and 94 RBIs. He also stole 28 bases and scored 99 runs in a true breakout season.

Myers was also able to stay healthy last season, appearing in 157 games, after failing to reach 90 games in any of his first three seasons in MLB.

Mens Riley Reiff Jersey With Matt Kemp now a member of the Atlanta Braves after a trade last summer, Myers will now be counted on to be the face of the San Diego franchise.

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.
nike_steelers_2108

Texans LB Max Bullough suspended after testing positive for PEDs

Jackson has played in only 15 games over the last two seasons and has seen his numbers decline in each of the last three years. At 34, he is not in a very desirable position. Teams likely are looking at him as more like Andre Johnson with the Colts and Titans.

Jackson is big and can still get down the field, so for a team looking for a veteran specialist, he might fit the bill. But he’s going to have to play for cheap if he wants a new job.

Texans linebacker Max Bullough has tested positive for PEDs and will miss the first four games of the 2017 season.

Limited Womens Matt Paradis Jersey Max Bullough of the Houston Texans has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2017 regular season for violating the NFL policy on performance enhancing substances,” the league said in a statement Thursday.

Bullough will be eligible to return to the Texans’ active roster on Monday, October 2 following the team’s October 1 game against the Tennessee Titans. Bullough is eligible to participate in all offseason and preseason practices and games.”
Limited Womens Jack Conklin Jersey
Bullough may participate in Houston’s offseason practices and preseason games before his suspension begins.

He started three games last season and had 19 tackles and six assists. He signed with the Texans as a rookie free agent in 2014, but was released that same year and again in 2015.

Patrick Mahomes being a top-10 pick is another sign that the NFL’s changing

The offense Patrick Mahomes played in at Texas Tech for three seasons is worlds different than NFL offenses have historically been.

Texas Tech runs the air raid, a spread scheme that emphasizes shotgun snaps, wide splits between linemen and receivers, and tons of passing to areas all over the field. Last season, Mahomes threw 591 passes in 12 games, the third-highest total in college football. The only QBs to throw more were at Washington State and California, two of the sport’s other air raid teams. Drew Brees threw 42 times per game to lead the NFL; Mahomes threw 49 times per game in the Big 12, on about 60 percent of his plays.
Le’Veon Bell Womens Jersey
Air raid quarterbacks have yet to make a mark in the NFL, since the scheme’s emergence around the turn of the century. Some examples:

Dimick was very productive in his Utah career, registering 29.5 sacks in four years and 45 tackles for loss. He has an endless motor and above average athleticism. The reason no team drafted Dimick is he lacks length that NFL teams want in their pass rushers. My hunch, though, is that there will be more than a few teams in the NFL that regretted drafting Dimick, because he plays with a huge chip on his shoulder and is a hard worker, so I expect him to succeed as a pro.
Ahtyba Rubin Womens Jersey
Dimick was a key figure in Kyle Whittingham’s defensive front for years. He’s a listed 6’3 and 269 pounds, which doesn’t scream terrifying defensive end or impenetrable gap-plugger, and that’s an issue. But Dimick played in a program that’s good at player development, and which had eight fellow draftees this year. He stood out among a lot of pro talent, and I think he’s good enough to make a team.

Warriors vs. Blazers 2017 live stream: Start time, TV schedule and how to watch Game 4 online

The Golden State Warriors were without Kevin Durant and head coach Steve Kerr in Game 3 against the Portland Trail Blazers, but were still able to overcome a 16 point deficit and walk away with a 119-113 victory. Now up 3-0 in the series with all the momentum in their favor, the Warriors appear primed to complete a sweep of the Blazers’ Monday night in Game 4.

Thanks to his impressive workouts, Mahomes’ stock soared throughout the pre-draft process. He was a perfect fit in Kliff Kingsbury’s air raid offense, but the big challenge for him will be adjusting to the NFL style. While an exciting prospect, Mahomes will need to be brought along slowly at the professional level. He’ll at least have an opportunity to sit and learn behind Alex Smith.

Mahomes has tools to spare. At 6’2, 225 pounds, he has the right build for an NFL quarterback. His arm strength and confidence are some of his biggest attributes — Mahomes can gun it down the field even without the need to step into his throw, like he did with this touchdown pass against Baylor:
Limited Kids Joe Vitale Jersey
Mahomes’ ability to place the ball where he wants with just a flick of the wrist is impressive, and his fearless gunslinging style can be a joy to watch. His accuracy improved every year he was in college, going from a 56.8 completion percentage his freshman year to 65.7 last season.
Limited Kids Stephen Paea Jersey
When the play breaks down, Mahomes has the agility and running skills to escape pressure and improvise on the fly.