Pirates infielder Jung Ho Kang rejoins club after resolving visa issues

South Korean infielder Jung Ho Kang will rejoin the Pittsburgh Pirates organization for the first time since the start of the 2017 season, the team announced Thursday.

The 31-year-old Kang was placed on the restricted list in March of 2017 due to visa issues that resulted when he was arrested in his native country for DUI.

“After a lengthy process, we are pleased that Jung Ho has been allowed to reenter to the United States,” Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a team statement. “We are encouraged by the steps that Jung Ho has taken to date and are hopeful that having the game he loves taken away from him for more than a year has driven home the reality that he must make better life decisions as we move forward together.

As we have communicated to him throughout this process, we will work to provide Jung Ho with the resources and support necessary for him to meet the high expectations that we have for him as a member of our organization and our community.”

Kang received an eight-month suspended prison sentence last year after a DUI arrest in December 2016, his third in South Korea. The sentence was suspended for two years.

Darnold came off the bench in 2016 and won eight of nine starts, establishing himself as the Heisman favorite for 2017. He led USC to its first Pac-12 title since 2008, setting the school’s single-season record with 4,143 passing yards. But he also threw 13 interceptions and lost nine fumbles.

“It feels amazing,” he said after being picked. “It really is a dream come true.”

Curry, a two-time MVP and five-time All-Star, will be re-evaluated Friday. It will be his third and final test before the Warriors determine whether to give him the green light to take the court Saturday. He would start right away if cleared.

Before Curry’s status was upgraded, ESPN’s Basketball Power Index gave the Warriors an 87 percent chance to win their series with the Pelicans.

With Curry in the lineup this past season, the Warriors went 41-10 while averaging 120.4 points per 100 possessions, which would be the best offensive rating over the past 20 seasons. With him off the floor, however, the Warriors were only 17-14 in the regular season and had an offensive efficiency that was right around the league average.

Golden State went 3-1 against New Orleans in the regular season. In games Curry has played against the Pelicans, the Warriors are 25-5.

Both players chuckled as they looked back, but Mayfield conceded that some of his actions contradict the “humble” tag that Browns general manager John Dorsey gave him after drafting him.

“I’m not blind to that,” he said.steelers_128

Saquon Barkley Visited Buccanneers

The Buccaneers, who hold the No. 7 overall selection in this week’s draft, are one of the most RB-needy teams in the NFL, and they would love nothing more than to see Penn State’s Saquon Barkley — widely-regarded as the most complete and dynamic running back to enter the league in a long time — fall to them. And Tampa Bay did its due diligence on the Nittany Lion standout, as GM Jason Licht revealed several days ago that the team brought Barkley in for an official visit.

Jonathan Villar (B), 24 percent, Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds (RHP Luis Castillo): It’s early, but Villar is looking more circa 2016 than last season. This isn’t to say he’ll reproduce those numbers, but his playing time looks to be assured, at least for now. Castillo has been sluggish to begin the campaign, likely due to cold conditions affecting his changeup. This will be in a dome, but it’s still worth taking a shot on Villar as the Reds struggle to keep the running game in check.

Kyle Farmer (R), fewer than 1 percent, Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres (LHP Robbie Erlin): Farmer will be picking up some extra playing time at the hot corner while Logan Forsythe is sidelined. He can also catch, which is something to track because there is a chance of a double-switch, getting Farmer one game closer to catcher eligibility.

So who was Buchsbaum, aside from one of Belichick’s BFFLs?

Buchsbaum, who died in his apartment of natural causes in 2002, was an attorney-turned-draft analyst. He started studying NFL prospects as a hobby before getting hired by Pro Football Weekly as their draft writer. He was recluse, who spent most of his time in his own apartment studying tape on prospects starting in 1975 when he covered his first draft for PFW.

Patrik Laine is only 19, but his disarming candor, booming shot and scruffy beard have already earned the Winnipeg winger a legion of fans on two continents.

Jack Edwards, play-by-play voice of the Bruins on NESN: Not only were the Bruins toast, but we were deciding what kind of jam to put on that toast. [Analyst Andy Brickley] and I, in that last break before [Nathan] Horton scored to launch that comeback at 4-2, were actually discussing how we were going to do the autopsy during the game. Because it was a three-goal game and we realized that the later it got, the more our audience was going to hemorrhage. So we were going through the triage on how we were going to keep this audience through a tragic ending for a promising season. And then the world turned upside-down, and the South Pole was suddenly at the North Pole.

It’s unclear if the Jets got scared off by Ndamukong Suh, but the Rams got scary.

The hulking defensive tackle signed a one-year, $14 million deal with the Rams on Monday, ESPN first reported, a day after the Jets pulled their offer, which was reportedly the biggest Suh had received.

Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan said at the NFL owners’ meetings earlier Monday that the deadline they had set for Suh’s visit and decision had passed, leading them to drop the offer. The Titans and Saints also had been in the running for Suh.

Rozier hurt John Henson on switches. Tatum and Brown caught the ball on the move, burrowed into the chests of their defenders and just kept on burrowing until they were at the rim.

It was a gritty performance. It was the clichéd “finding a way.” It also is encouraging on lots of levels. That they can make those kinds of plays now suggests they will be able to make more dynamic ones as they hit their primes. And when Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward bend defenses away from them to give them more of a head start? Watch out.

The buzz about whether the Giants would deal their controversial talent, who NFL Network reported would “not step on the field” without a contract extension, has dominated the owners’ meetings. Giants co-owner John Mara insisted that he is not being shopped, which does not preclude teams interested in a nearly unmatched athlete from inquiring about him, as at least the Rams have.

“He’s not on the block,’’ Mara said Tuesday. “Is that gonna stop clubs from possibly calling us? No. But he’s not on the block. We’re not shopping him.”

With the Giants reloading under a new regime — general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Pat Shurmur — that has already ushered out another longtime Giants star in Jason Pierre-Paul, and with Beckham appearing in a recent video that appeared to show him near drugs, the rumors will continue. Even if the Giants demand a haul that likely no team would match.

Two weeks in, Thomson has seen growth from Kapler and the ability to adapt on the fly. After using 18 relievers in Philadelphia’s first three games, Kapler has given his starters more rope of late. Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta and Vince Velasquez all pitched into the seventh inning or beyond during three-game sweeps of Cincinnati and Tampa Bay.

To take Lamb’s place on the roster, Arizona recalled right-handed reliever Matt Koch from Triple-A Reno.

A Beckham trade to Baltimore might be far-fetched, but the Ravens know how much they need a game-changer on offense. They were so desperate for a potential No. 1 receiver this offseason, that at the start of free agency they gave a four-year, $29 million contract to Ryan Grant, who has 985 receiving yards and six touchdowns in four NFL seasons.

This viewpoint is less a manifesto on the intrusion of technology — although most coaches hate that, too — and more about protecting what seems to be the tiniest slice of a winning edge.

Coaches have spent years honing their ability to recognize crucial in-game insight, be it a formation on the other side of the field or a tell given away on the still photographs they now view on tablets. At times, they base their game plans on the introduction of a strategy that appears confusing to the naked eye but would reveal itself easily — but too late — in next-day film sessions.

Lamb sprained his left AC joint when he made a diving catch of a line drive in foul territory in the ninth inning of Arizona’s 8-7, 15-inning victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He stayed in the 5-hour, 45-minute game, singled in the 15th inning early Tuesday morning and scored the tying run with a headfirst slide, in obvious pain afterward.

Koch has made eight appearances, two starts, with the Diamondbacks the past two seasons, going 1-1 with a 3.50 ERA. Koch provides help to a depleted bullpen since all seven relievers appeared in the series-opening win over the Dodgers.

There’s an argument to be made that had Babe chosen hitting when he was 17, he would have gone on to be a better hitter than pitcher, maybe even the greatest hitter ever. But it might well be too late to play catch-up. (To be fair, it might well be the opposite: Maybe he has enormous untapped development potential as a hitter. We just can’t know without testing. But there’s a reason more hitters convert to pitching late than vice versa. The development demands are daunting.)

Ereck Flowers is getting a new position for Giants

e Giants spent a pile of money on Nate Solder yesterday, in part because they really wanted Nate Solder to left tackle for them.

But it also means that Ereck Flowers doesn’t have to anymore.

The 26-year-old struggled early in his career, particularly a problematic 2016 campaign. Some of those troubles were attributed to soft-tissue injuries.

Given that he did struggle in Williams’ system while flourishing outside of it, Gaines’ role in Cleveland will be one to track this offseason. Gaines joins newcomers Damarious Randall (safety), Terrance Mitchell (corner), and T.J. Carrie (corner) in the Browns ‘ secondary. Safeties Jabrill Peppers and Derrick Kindred , and corners Jamar Taylor and Briean Boddy-Calhoun round out the top of the depth chart.

Langford rushed three times for 4 yards while adding a reception for additional yard against the Lions.Shaw’s best game as a rookie came Week 14 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, a game which he earned his first and only start as a rookie.This year, there’s another 18-year-old defenceman on Finland the World Championship.Because he had contract squabbles with Colorado, there’s probably some expectation that he’s edgy, difficult non-conformist.

That is only about 4 percent of the county’s roughly 17 young children.The Rams also are scheduled to meet with Atlanta offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, architect of the NFL’s highest-scoring offense, after the Falcons’ playoff game at home Saturday against the Seattle Seahawks.

Unfortunately it is regimented a little more than I would like, he said. But we’ll have nine weeks of an offseason program.

As for what Cousins will do with the tens of millions of dollars he’s going to make, he said he’ll splurge on a trip to the Masters with friends and family.

It’s fun to have experiences with people you love, Cousins said.

Brown signed with the Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2013 and is coming off a season that saw him set career highs with 31 catches, 477 yards and four touchdowns. Brown has also been a regular on special teams throughout his time with the Cardinals.49ers_138

It’s such an inexact science, and the Rams’ and Browns’ hauls from their big deals show it’s great to get the picks, but you’ve got to be smart enough to use them well.

This will be the Jets’ most important draft pick in years. Ballard got a lot of “attaboy” calls/texts over the weekend, and rightly so. I had one GM tell me his team has about 70 players on its draft board rated as starter-quality, which strikes me as about right judging how teams have told me they’re judging this draft. STARTING PLAYERS IN THE 2018 NFL DRAFT INTERLUDE. Interesting question. Queried about how many starting-caliber players they felt were in this draft, six scouting people or GMs over the weekend came back with these figures: 35, “40 to 50,” “about 70,” 73, “75-ish,” 83 and 111. I asked because I wanted to figure out whether it made sense for the Colts to try to trade down one more time.

One of those teams said if you considered “situational starters” like third corners or slot corners, slot receivers or slotback/receiver types like Christian McCaffrey, he’d add 32 players to his team’s total. The Colts very much need to maximize this draft. It’s likely their roster is the weakest in the rising AFC South. Ballard knows he needs quantity in this draft.

As much as Andrew Luck’s return is the story of 2018 for the Colts, a very close second is what Ballard does with his five starter-caliber picks in the top 70 (as of this morning) in April. I like what the Bills did Free agency is a tortuous process, because even when you think you’ve made a great deal, you’ve got this feeling deep down:

And then the Colts will pick again at No. 36, the fourth pick of the second round. And again at No. 37. And again at No. 49. Frankly, I’m a little concerned about Ballard. Hope he’s been doing his cardio, because from April 26-28 he’s going to get quite the workout.

Yeah, they did, and I was prepared to blast them if they moved down too far. Last week on ESPN, analyst Louis Riddick — who worked in NFL front offices from 2001-13 — predicted the Colts would trade the No. 3 pick to Buffalo, which at the time had the No. 21 and No. 22 picks. And man was I going to hate it. That’s moving down too far. The Colts almost never get to pick in the top five. To have this chance and give it up Gutless.

The Colts did indeed move out of the Top 5 … all the way to No. 6. And picked up three second-rounders in the process At least one of them being early in Round 2, and perhaps next year’s pick as well if the Jets stink That’s not gutless. That’s glorious.patriots_098

Green Bay was 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in 2017 before Aaron Rodgers went down with a collarbone injury.

Major contenders on the Super Bowl 53 odds outside of the two teams that advanced to the Super Bowl this year include the Green Bay Packers (+800), Pittsburgh Steelers (+1000), and Minnesota Vikings (+1200).

His return should put the Packers in the mix for a tough battle for the NFC North title with the Vikings, who went 14-4 SU and 11-7 ATS last year.

While both Bonds and Brady won the award at 40 years of age, Brady is the only to have played the entire season at age 40 and win the award.

It’s the third time he’s been named the league’s regular season MVP, though he’s taken home Super Bowl MVP honors four times in a surefire Hall of Fame career. He guided the Patriots to a 13-3 record, the AFC East title, and their eighth Super Bowl appearance with Brady at the helm.

All the while, he posted his traditionally high-level numbers. His 4,577 passing yards led the league. He ranked among the top five quarterbacks in touchdown passes, yards per pass, and QB rating.

Randy Moss accomplished something just six wide receivers have managed in NFL history. Moss is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, the Hall announced Saturday.

But no one was ever wrong about whether that left leg (again, just so against the grain) was the Polish Cannon of lore.

Janikowski never failed to live up to the hype. He lived up to it so well that it only increased over the years, long after Gruden had left, Davis had passed away, a parade of coaches and failed draft picks paraded through and the franchise plummeted from the Super Bowl heights to, with a one-season exception, what they are today.

Seabass, the essence of unreliability, became the only constant. He just kept booming, no matter what chaos swirled around him. If it’s all over now, he walks away with more 50-yard field goals than anyone else (55). He’s one of two kickers with two 60-yarders (Greg Zuerlein is the other).

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.

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.”