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NBA Basketball

Twins acquire 2016 NL HR leader Chris Carter from Angels

Chris Carter is headed to Minnesota.

The Twins have acquired the slugging first baseman-outfielder from the Angels for cash considerations in a minor-league trade, Minnesota announced Tuesday.

The 2016 National League home run leader, Carter smashed a league-high 41 home runs with the Brewers while batting .222 that year. He last played in the majors with the Yankees last July, finishing the season hitting .201 with eight home runs in 62 games for New York.

Carter, 31, batted .255 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs in 38 games for the Angels’ Triple-A Salt Lake affiliate this season.

He’s 21 years old. It’s OK that he’s not perfect yet. And another thing his teammates wanted to talk about: He’s allowed only 13 hits in those 22 innings — 11 singles and two doubles. Opponents are making contact, yes, but not solid contact.

Put it like this: He’s gonna throw the ball in the middle, and it ends up at the knees, first baseman Jose Martinez told SN. When it moves, you’ve got to change your angle. That’s why he’s getting weak contact and ground balls all the time. For me, if he goes out there and it’s 10 ground balls every time, that’s perfect. Don’t worry about the strikeouts. Go out there and throw it in the middle. Pena sets up in the middle, and that ball’s gonna move, 100 percent. That guy’s nasty. He’s going to be good, and I’m glad he’s going to be around.

The sink on Hicks’ fastball is creating lots of balls on the ground for his fielders to handle. Of the past 19 balls opponents have put in play, only four have been in the air.

When you’re facing 105 with sink, that is not fun at all, Martinez said.

It is fun to watch, though.

On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the NFL was planning to suspend Winston for the first three games of the 2018 season for violating the league’s personal conduct policy in relation to the allegation. The NFL had no comment Friday.

The female Uber driver — who has only ever been identified as Kate — did not go public with the allegation that Winston grabbed her crotch during the Uber ride until last fall, when she told BuzzFeed News that she wanted to tell the truth about a powerful man who felt entitled to my body when all I wanted to do was my job. She did, however, file a formal complaint about Winston to Uber soon after the ride. She ended that complaint by stating, He is NOT safe for other drivers, according to the BuzzFeed News story. Winston’s Uber-riding privileges were revoked, but Winston did not notify the league of the complaint against him.

The woman has not filed a police report to date, and her attorney, John Clune, said Thursday that he did not have any comment about the NFL’s decision or what steps the woman might take next.

Bears release veteran tackle Matt McCants

The Chicago Bears signed veteran tackle Matt McCants just three weeks ago after a tryout with the team during rookie mini-camp.

The language of the rule now reads that a ball is caught when the player has control, two feet or another body part down, and makes a football move while making no mention of completing the process.

Like I say, it just took them seven years to figure out what we knew on Day 1, Johnson said, via the Detroit Free Press. … I think you [have to take the human element] into account. Yeah, slow motion can show every bitty frame, but you have to also take into account what actually happened in real time, I feel like. You take it slow mo and that easy catch can turn into, ‘Dang, he bobbled it a little bit.’

Walker believes that he — not Rob Gronkowski or Travis Kelce — is the best tight end in football.

Honestly, I feel like I’m the best tight end in the league in all phases, Walker said, via the Tennessean. Blocking, run blocking, catching the ball, breaking tackles, stuff like that. At the end of the day, if you don’t feel like that you shouldn’t be in the league.

Walker said he’s been focused this offseason on his conditioning and believes he’s primed for a big season at age 34.

Every year I try something new, Walker said. I don’t eat pork, I don’t drink alcohol. That’s been helping me, keeping me fit and in shape. Just go out here and I try to bust my butt every day in the weight room, on the field, and it’s tended to work so I’m going to stick to that regimen.

He’ll need to have a big season, to match his big talk.

Mark Herzlich invites Donald Trump to discuss anthem with players

Giants linebacker Mark Herzlich wants to have an actual conversation about the national anthem with President Donald Trump.

Herzlich is a member of the NFLPA’s executive committee, and has met with league officials on such topics before, at least before the league enacted a unilateral compromise which declared that any player on the field had to stand for the anthem, while allowing players the option to stay in the locker room.

Trump followed up by saying that players who knelt during the anthem shouldn’t be in the country, which has only fanned the flames.

Jim has excellent interpersonal skills required to establish trusted contacts at universities and across the agent community and has a strong team, goal and action-oriented approach he developed at the most competitive level of football, Cooper said in a statement.

Nagy will be joined on the staff by former Mississippi State head coach and longtime NFL assistant Sylvester Croom. Croom has been named the senior vice president of operations.

Perhaps as a direct result, Giants coach Pat Shurmur said he wanted to wait to discuss the new policy with his players.

We have not discussed it as a team, Shurmur said. We’re gonna sort of let it settle for a little bit here. It’s like any new rule, it’s a new policy, and I certainly trust that our players are going to do the right thing. And I think we just let it settle for a minute. At some point we’ll discuss it, but we just haven’t done it yet.

As Panthers wide receiver Torrey Smith mentioned earlier in the day, Herzlich said he’d prefer the focus to remain on work being done by players in the community, rather than any symbolic action during the anthem.

Nate Solder Jersey: Tremendous amount of pressure to fix Giants OL

The Giants made left tackle Nate Solder their biggest acquisition in free agency this offseason in a move that didn’t surprise anyone who watched the team play last season.
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Limited Youth Scottie Pippen Jersey The offensive line was a mess for the Giants in 2017 and the hope is that Solder can pave the way to a more competent group this time around. It’s a new situation for Solder, who said on WFAN Josh Robinson Youth jersey that the group is trying to find our identity in the face of an urgent need for things to come together quickly. He noted that it’s not just up to him to make that happen.

After earning $9.56 million over his first four NFL seasons, Shazier is set to count $8.7 million against the Steelers’ salary cap after the team exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie contract last year. Although he won’t play in 2018, Colbert confirmed there will be some sort of designation for Shazier so he can still remain a part of the team next season.

The kid had a devastating injury, Colbert said. His willingness to not only aggressively rehab but to put himself out there and ask for no pity, again that’s all part of the recovery process that I think, he helps us as much as we help him.

There’s been word about talks to tweak Gronkowski’s contract for the 2018 season. They added some $5.5 million in incentives to his deal before last season and it’s thought something similar could be in the works for Gronkowski, who has a base salary of $8 million for this season.

Gronkowski has been joined as an OTA non-participant by quarterback Tom Brady. Brady has reportedly spent some time with wide receiver Julian Edelman at Gillette Stadium, however, and is also expected to be at the mandatory workouts this week.

The NBA isn’t desperate to find more 6-1 point guards. That’s why Carsen Edwards’ decision to enter the draft feels more like a learning opportunity than a career move. The sophomore, who led Purdue with 18.5 PPG, should come back for his junior season.
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That’s the only way Purdue will earn top-25 consideration after losing the strongest senior class in America. But with Edwards and Matt Haarms (2.1 BPG), Matt Painter will have a strong inside-outside combo. Depth is a concern, but Dartmouth graduate transfer Evan Boudreaux (17.5 PPG) will join the program after decommitting from Xavier after Chris Mack’s move to Louisville.

Expect head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels Jersey to maximize Michel’s production right away

Throwing Peters into a star-studded defense coordinated by Wade Phillips has the potential for serious fireworks. Could he threaten double-digit interceptions, or will quarterbacks simply avoid him in 2018?
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The Dolphins made several additions before the draft, signing veterans such as Danny Amendola, Albert Wilson, Josh Sitton and Frank Gore and trading for Robert Quinn, but getting versatile defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first round should pay off immediately for Miami’s defense.聽

Not only will Fitzpatrick be asked to play slot cornerback and safety, Colt McCoy Youth jersey but he could be the weapon the Dolphins need to combat a tight end like Rob Gronkowski, whom Miami faces twice a year. His ability to wear many hats and handle responsibilities against both the run and pass should give defensive coordinator Matt Burke an answer for all kinds of offensive formations and sub-packages.

Cousins is now surrounded by weapons, both on the ground (Dalvin Cook) and in the passing game (Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph), and he’ll have the benefit of playing with one of the game’s best defenses. If he can provide an edge at quarterback, while managing the game and accentuating what the Vikings already do well, Minnesota should be a clear favorite atop the NFC in 2018.
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So if you see Patriots (-14), it means the sportsbook thinks that it can get equal action on both sides by guessing the Patriots will win by 14 or more points, probably because they are angrily extra-motivated by accusations of cheating or coming to terms with their own mortality or something. If you pick the Patriots and they win 35-22, you lose.
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By the way: The Patriots are 0-5 against spreads of 14 or more points in the past three years. When the spread is that big, per Pro Football Reference, the NFL as a whole is 3-10 against the spread (or ATS, as the cool gamblers say) since 2015. Those big spreads are a sign that many casual gamblers are betting based on the reputations of the teams, so the sportsbooks are trying to entice action toward the underdogs. That means you shouldn’t wager along with the homers and bandwagon jumpers. And you thought this article would be nothing but gags!

The over-under or number is the number of points/goals/runs the teams are projected to score in a game combined (or can be applied to longer-term bets, like how many games a team will win in a season). If the over-under is 48.5 and you bet the over, you win if the final score is 28-21 but lose if it’s 28-20.

NFL free agency news: Raiders, former Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson Jersey agree to deal

The Raiders have signed former Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson, according to a report from the NFL Network.
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The Chiefs selected defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie, son of Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, last week in the sixth round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

At the same time, NFL clubs have reduced the length of offseason and regular-season practices, as well as the amount of contact allowed in both, as part of a new labor pact struck with the players union in 2011. DeCamillis believes that agreement led to an unintended consequence 鈥?sloppier fundamentals and tackling techniques that are causing players to get hurt more.

Some of the things technique-wise we can get across 鈥?keeping our heads up, how we’re teaching tackling and blocking -鈥?those are the things that you see over and over on the film that we’ve gotta eliminate,DeCamillis said. I think guys are really making an effort to Womens Vadim Shipachyov Jersey do that, but it’s going to take a lot more effort on our part. We just have to do a better job of coaching it as much as we can.

Baltimore has also added defensive ends Myles Humphrey and Christian LaCouture as undrafted free agent signings in the last two weeks since the NFL Draft.

Gregorius didn’t talk to reporters before Saturday’s game, but Boone addressed the topic at length in his pre-game media session.
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I think it’s a matter of he’s not in a real strong powerful position like he was most of the first month where he could do damage, Boone said. Sometimes right now when he’s barreling balls, it’s not quite with the impact just because he’s so good at touching the ball if he decides to swing.

Boone went to explain how Gregorius makes contact on pitches that many other big leaguers don’t hit, but that they’d mostly led to groundouts, flyouts or popups during his slump.

I think sometimes we’ve seen through this stretch where he’s hit frankly a fair number of balls on the nose, but maybe not with that slug impact that we’re used to seeing, Boone added. I think part of (the reason for) that is because he’s so good at getting the barrel to the ball. When he goes to swing, if he’s not in a great position to really hit it with authority, it results in putting it into play for an out sometimes. Sometimes it can be a result of something he’s really skilled it.

Cavs must maintain sense of urgency entering Game 4, Ty Lue says

Down 0-2 in the Eastern Conference finals heading into Saturday’s Game 3, Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue had desperation on his side as his team played with a have-to-have-it edge in their 116-86 blowout of the Boston Celtics.

Now Lue is tasked with distilling that same sense of urgency for 48 hours heading into Monday’s Game 4 (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Next year could bring a bump for several NHL players — and teams — however. The upstart Vegas Golden Knights already had measurable data in 76 countries as the most-searched NHL team in the world. Players like Hall and Nathan MacKinnon emerged as MVP candidates, and will certainly garner more discussion. Unrestricted free agent John Tavares and the Ottawa Senators’ Erik Karlsson, one of the league’s best players and the focus of rampant trade rumors, will be heavily Googled and tweeted about this offseason. And maybe some player’s Twitch stream will become a sensation.

Playing in a division that includes three playoff teams from last season is a good way to start in a hole. The Buccaneers have only two other 2017 postseason teams (Eagles and Steelers) on the docket, but they still face the fourth toughest schedule in the NFL with their opponents’ combined winning percentage from last season at .531. And that’s before you factor in the improvement teams like San Francisco and Chicago have made this offseason.

Toughest tests: The Bucs finishing last in their division last season gives them the chance to play other fourth-place teams in the conference. For a team on the rise like Tampa, that should be a good thing, but it might not be the case this year. Last year’s conference losers in San Francisco and Chicago have improved on paper and easily can give Tampa Bay a run for its money in those matchups.
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Mark Andrews Jersey agrees to rookie deal with Ravens

The Ravens agreed to terms with tight end Mark Andrews after getting Orlando Brown Jr. done earlier Wednesday, Jeff Josh Reynolds Womens Jersey Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports.
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Both Andrews and Brown were third-round picks.

That leaves only first-rounders Hayden Hurst and Lamar Jackson unsigned.
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Andrews made 112 catches for 1,765 yards and 22 touchdowns in his career at Oklahoma, including 62 receptions for 958 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

I use [Game 3] as fuel. I thought it was embarrassing. Thought we came out, the way I played, the way I performed, how not aggressive I was in the first half, I look at that as fuel to come out in Game 4 and be excited about it and be ready to play and ready to fight.

It still took Paul, a 13-year veteran and nine-time All-Star playing in his first conference finals, a while to get in a rhythm Tuesday night. He went scoreless during the first quarter and didn’t record an assist until an inbounds pass in the final second of the frame.

Paul missed his first four shots from the floor, including a left-handed layup early in the second quarter that didn’t even hit the rim, before finally getting a midrange turnaround to fall with 8:33 remaining in the half.

Paul caught fire minutes later, scoring 12 points in a span of 2:39 as the Rockets took the lead with a 17-5 run to close the half. Paul’s scoring flurry featured three 3-pointers — the first a fadeaway from deep in the left corner that Kevin Durant tightly contested — and a layup.

Paul had seven points during the Rockets’ rally in the fourth quarter, which he started with a 17-foot pull-up jumper immediately after the Warriors pushed their lead to 12 points, matching their largest of the night. Paul also had two of his four assists during the 24-9 run that gave the Rockets the lead for good, capping it with a feed to Eric Gordon for a 3-pointer that put Houston up five with 2:27 to play.

Rays call up SS prospect Willy Adames, who homers off Chris Sale Jersey

The Tampa Bay Rays promoted top shortstop prospect Willy Adames, who started against the Boston Red Sox in the opener of a three-game series Tuesday night.
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Adames homered off Boston ace Chris Sale in his second major league at-bat, sending an 89 mph changeup over the left-field fence. It was the first time in his career Sale allowed a player’s first career homer, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Pirates center fielder Austin Meadows hit his second homer in as many games off Amir Garrett in the seventh inning, leaving him 6 for 15 Kerry Wynn Jersey in his first four major league games. Meadows faced Garrett in the minors and knew what to expect.

Nationals: 1B Ryan Zimmerman, on the 10-disabled list with a right oblique strain, took 50 swings Monday, manager Davey Martinez said. .Rain and a lingering illness have prevented second baseman Daniel Murphy (right knee surgery) from participating in extended spring training, Martinez said.

Padres: RHP Tyson Ross (3-3, 3.15 ERA) gave up a season-high five runs in six innings while taking the loss May 7 against Washington.

Nationals: Martinez did not announce the starter for Wednesday’s contest before Tuesday’s game. RHP Erick Fedde, currently with Triple-A Syracuse, is a potential spot start candidate.

Hamels limited the slugging Yankees to four hits over seven innings, and Jurickson Profar and Ronald Guzman homered for the Rangers in a 6-4 win Tuesday night.

Game Youth Trey Hopkins Jersey I’m just here to play and trying to remain healthy and maintain what I can do out on the field, and just getting good results and enjoy playing the game of baseball, Hamels said. That’s really all I can care about. … All of the decisions are not up to me. The only decision I have in my hand is to throw the baseball and get guys out.

Hamels (3-4) struck out seven and walked two during his first start in 11 days. He was scratched from his previous turn because of neck stiffness.

He was really good. The cut fastball was a real weapon for him, threw some good changeups, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. We knew we had a tough opponent tonight in Hamels.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Hamels was fresh and had probably the best mix pitches we have seen from him all year. … Kept the hitters off balance.

Elite Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Jersey The 2008 World Series MVP for Philadelphia, which won the NL pennant again in 2009, Hamels was acquired by Texas in the middle of the 2015 season. The Rangers have a $20 million club option for 2019 that includes a $6 million buyout.

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Eric Gordon opened the final period with a 3-pointer to get the top-seeded Rockets within 4, but Thompson scored the first eight points of a 13-4 run to make it 100-87 with about eight minutes left.
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Houston used a 9-3 spurt, where Womens Ryan Kesler Jersey James Harden scored five, to cut the lead to 103-96 with less than five minutes to go. But Thompson struck again, hitting a wide open 3 to leave the Warriors ahead by 10 with four minutes left.

Severino, who didn’t give up a hit through the first three innings, got help from two spectacular plays on line drives. In the third, first baseman Tyler Austin laid out to his right to snare Matt Joyce’s liner with a runner on first base. In the fourth, third baseman Miguel Andujar jumped as high as he could and nabbed Mark Canha’s liner with two men on.

Not to be outdone, Dellin Betances grabbed a comebacker by sticking his glove out behind his back and not even looking. He got Joyce out easily at fist base.

Kids Dan Bailey Jersey Chad Green (seventh) and Betances (eighth) each threw scoreless innings. Betances appeared to cut his finger. The Yankees’ trainer examined it and seemed to blot blood from Betances right middle finger. Betances stayed in the game.

The gap in the process leaves the door open for prognostications and little else. Waves of predictions will flow over the barren landscape like rain pummeling a dry plain. Most of those guestimations will be made by media personalities paid to keep the clicks and eyeballs rolling in during the NFL’s downtime.

Sometimes, however, the smoke comes from a more notable source; one that stops and makes you reconsider whether it’s simply a scorching thought to gain attention. Such a take took place recently when Denver Broncos general manager John Elway gave his assessment of the AFC West following the draft.
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It’s the wild, wild West. I thought the Chargers did a really nice job with the draft, Elway told reporters in Omaha, via The MMQB’s Peter King. They’ve got the settled quarterback, even though the Raiders do too. Looking at it, [the Chargers ] may be the ones to beat. As I stand here, looking at it, the Chargers might be the team to beat.

It’s hard to argue with Elway’s assessment in mid-May.