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    • lucky has written a new blog article "Saving their best pitching move for last, Cubs finally sign Yu Darvish" 02.12.2018

      CHICAGO -- A depressed free-agent market turned into a boon for the Chicago Cubs after they (finally) signed righty Yu Darvish to a six-year, $126 million deal Saturday, pending Brett Hull Authentic Jersey a physical. It's a move that wasn't necessarily on the Cubs' radar in early November. But with contract offers to free agents around the league decidedly lower than anyone could have predicted, Darvish became possible for a team that had many holes http://www.newyorkgiants.us.com/WOMENS-EVAN-ENGRAM-JERSEY.html to fill on its pitching staff.

      The Cubs were supposed to be about quantity over quality in their shopping this winter, and they followed suit by signing six free-agent pitchers before landing Darvish. The seven free-agent pitchers signed by the Cubs is the second-most by any team to the 2001 Texas Rangers, according to ESPN Stats & Information. But none of those other six contracts were for more than three years, with the largest package going to Tyler Chatwood at just $38 million. That's nothing compared to the $126 million they just spent on Darvish, though it's less money than comparable pitchers have gotten in the past. At an outlay of $21 million per year for Darvish, the Cubs aren't hamstrung going forward.
      Darvish can obviously make a big difference in a rotation which includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Cam Neely Authentic Jersey Quintana and Chatwood. Mike Montgomery can return to the role of swingman as opposed to No. 5 starter as the Cubs added rotation depth and an elite arm, all in one move. Darvish's issues in the postseason aren't to be forgotten, but the Cubs have plenty of time to figure out if tipping his pitches in the World Series was at issue or if he mentally broke down. Either way, they get six months of his nasty slider before they have to worry about October. "He throws strikes with all his pitches," an NL scout relayed. "He has a good feel to pitch for a power guy with the ability to change speeds."
      The Cubs were supposed to be about quantity over quality in their shopping this winter, and they followed suit by signing six free-agent pitchers before landing Darvish. The seven free-agent pitchers signed by the Cubs is the second-most by any team to the 2001 Texas Rangers, according to ESPN Stats & Information. But none of those other six contracts were for more than three years, with the largest package going to Tyler Chatwood at just $38 million. That's nothing compared to the $126 million they just spent on Darvish, though it's less money than comparable pitchers have gotten in the past. At an outlay of $21 million per year for Darvish, the Cubs aren't hamstrung going forward.
      Darvish can obviously make a big difference in a rotation which includes Jon Lester, Kyle Hendricks, Jose Quintana and Chatwood. Mike Montgomery can return to the role of swingman as opposed to No. 5 starter as the Cubs added rotation depth and an elite arm, all in one move. Darvish's issues in the postseason aren't to be forgotten, but the Cubs have plenty of time to figure out if tipping his pitches in the World Series was at issue or if he mentally broke down. Either way, they get six months of his nasty slider before they have to worry about October. "He throws strikes with all his pitches," an NL scout relayed. "He has a good feel to pitch for a power guy with the ability to change speeds."
      The Chicago Cubs struck early this winter with a quick signing of Tyler Chatwood, a starter who has never qualified for the ERA title in his career. They signed him to a three-year, $38 million deal, reflecting at least in part the importance that Statcast data plays in teams' decisions on which players to acquire and at what cost.
      Chatwood was the clear No. 4 starter in their rotation, with Jose Quintana their No. 1, followed by Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks in either order, and a cast of several potential starters for the final spot. Rather than adding another back-end starter, the Cubs decided to take advantage of the soft market for top-end free agents by signing the best player still available, Yu Darvish, at what appears to be a bargain salary on a deal that's a year or two too long.
      Darvish immediately moves to the head of the Cubs' rotation, and seeing as they're a contending National League team just two years removed from a World Series championship, he's sure to get a noticeable perceived bump in value, perhaps to the point where some will draft him a top-10 starting pitcher. In reality, not a whole lot changed as a result of the signing -- for him, at least.
      We've already seen what Darvish could do in the National League, with pitchers hitting instead of designated hitters and a greater volume of pitchers' parks -- nine of the 15 NL parks favored pitchers over hitters using five-year (2013-17) data in terms of run-scoring environments as well as inflated strikeout potential. In nine regular-season starts following his July trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he posted a 3.44 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 30.2 percent strikeout rate, the latter pacing to 203 whiffs over a 30-start campaign.
      That Darvish will be backed by one of the top defenses in the league also supports his case for an ERA drop into the 3.25-3.50 range. The 2017 Cubs, after all, had the fifth-most defensive runs saved (30) and fourth-best team ultimate zone rating (22.8). That's not quite a top-10 fantasy starting pitcher, but since he signed in about the most favorable situation one could at this stage restores him Dennis Byrd Authentic Jersey to where he began the offseason, http://www.vikingsonlineofficialonline.com/Everson-Griffen-Jersey as my No. 13 starter between Justin Verlander and Chris Archer. nhl jerseys cheap nhl jerseys wholesale wholesale nfl jerseys wholesale nba jerseys nike nfl jerseys wholesale

    • lucky has written a new blog article "Warriors got what they needed at the trade deadline" 02.12.2018

      OAKLAND, Calif. -- The trade deadline came and went, with the Golden State Warriors electing to stand pat. But perhaps the boldest move came on Thursday, when Warriors general manager Bob Myers addressed the team at shootaround prior to film study. It's something he does every dozen games or so, but the topic is usually about travel itineraries and team events. Rarely is it a serious issue or with a serious tone.

      But his objective on this day was to share his concern about the team's growing number of technical fouls. This season, collectively, the defending champions have demonstrated a lack of self-restraint. The Warriors have accumulated 39 technical fouls, second most in the league behind the Oklahoma City Thunder (40). They lead the league in ejections, with nine, with the Memphis Grizzlies second at five ejections. Draymond Green (14) http://www.authenticnikeseahawkshop.com/mark-glowinski-jersey-for-sale-c-42.html and Durant (11) have combined for 25 technical fouls and seven ejections, with Kevin Durant tops in the association with four. KD had only one ejection in his previous 10 seasons prior to entering this campaign.

      This issue extends beyond just the players. Head coach Steve Kerr occasionally drops profanity-laced tirades at the officials too. Early in the third quarter of Tuesday's loss to Oklahoma City, Kerr picked up his fourth technical of the season. He had five in total last season. Over the past three games, the Warriors are averaging 2.3 techs a game. This is the current state of the Warriors as they prepare for a showdown with the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday (ABC, 8:30 p.m. ET). It's a problem the team is trying to head off.
      Myers explained that there has been too much bickering with the referees and suggested it could be affecting their on-court production. His speech didn't last long, but players got the point: It was time to zip it and play ball. "It's not a good look," Kerr said in explaining what Myers' message was. "We need to look more professional, to act more professional, and to be more poised, and to represent our team in a better light. I don't think we've been doing a good job of that lately." Kerr, for his part, has taken responsibility, saying he has to be more in control, as well.
      "Draymond and I are actually more alike than you think," Kerr said. "We both have the Kyle Van Noy Youth jersey propensity to snap http://www.basketballofficialonline.com/Team/Authentic_Karl_Malone_Jersey.html because we're both incredibly competitive. We both lose it sometimes. That's just the way it is." Despite Myers' talk, Green picked up another technical foul Thursday evening in a convincing win against the Dallas Mavericks after waving off an official -- an incident described in the "Respect for the Game" rules as an impermissible act that will result in a technical foul, according to the official Twitter account of the National Basketball Referees Association. Nevertheless, Durant said the team understood Myers' message.
      "It felt like we got back to getting our hands on basketballs, helping out a little more, getting steals," Durant said. "We don't have enough time to even worry about refs when we're doing that. It was good to kind of hear that, and guys took it to heart and went there and tried to apply that." The team had been operating as if it could flip the switch whenever necessary and keep it cool down the stretch of important games. But the recent results have been concerning. Against two worthy opponents in the Thunder and the Houston Rockets on the season, the Warriors are 1-4. The Rockets, who are only a half-game back of the defending champs, own the tiebreaker. In Golden State's past nine games, the team has produced a 5-4 record. During that span, it lost three out of four -- only the second time that has occurred during Kerr's coaching tenure.
      Overall, the Warriors' defensive rating is a solid sixth at 103.9. But over the past five games, their rating is 109.2, 19th in the league. Golden State is No. 1 in assists-to-turnover ratio (1.90), but over the past five contests, it sits 28th at 1.44. "I know a lot of people expect us to be great every night," Durant said, "and that's a great standard to set. But some nights we're going to be in a slugfest, some nights we're going to score, some nights we're going to turn the ball over. I don't think it's something we should all be up in arms about."
      Kerr and Green Authentic Patrick Willis Jersey have stated for a week that guys are just eager Carolina Hurricanes Authentic Jersey to get to the http://www.canucksofficialauthenticshop.com/Kirk_Mclean_Jersey_Adidas All-Star break. In light of the team's struggles, Kerr has stressed that he doesn't want bad habits lingering, but he's almost certain the break will do the team some good to finish out the season strong. There's also the possibility the team could look to strengthen its bench.
      Among a few of the Warriors' players, Joe Johnson was a topic of discussion as a potential buyout candidate. But the 16-year veteran has since committed to signing with the Rockets after completing a buyout from the Sacramento Kings, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Marco Belinelli, a sharpshooter who is on the verge of inking a buyout from the Atlanta Hawks, has not been pursued by the Warriors, sources say.

    • lucky has written a new blog article "Kam Chancellor remains with Seahawks as salary becomes fully guaranteed" 02.12.2018

      Friday brought a bit of clarity to Kam Chancellor's immediate future with the Seattle Seahawks. While it's still uncertain if a neck injury suffered last season will allow the Pro Bowl strong safety to ever play football again, it has been expected that he will remain with the team for the time being as his medical situation is sorted out. That seems even more certain now that Chancellor's entire $6.8 million base salary for 2018 is fully guaranteed.

      The three-year, $36 million extension Chancellor signed last summer called for his '18 salary to become fully guaranteed if he were to remain on Seattle's Kevan Miller Youth jersey roster through Friday, which was the fifth day of the new Nick Van Exel Jersey league year waiver period. That money was guaranteed for injury only at the time of signing. That deadline had led to some speculation that the Seahawks might cut Chancellor, but that wasn't much of an option.

      NFL rules make it difficult to cut injured players. It could have led to a grievance, which is a can of worms the Seahawks would surely not want to http://www.authenticstlouiscardinals.com/Carlos-Martinez-Jersey open given Chancellor's standing as one of the most revered members of the organization. Aside from potentially getting messy, cutting Chancellor would have meant his $9.6 million cap hit for 2018 skyrocketing to $19.5 million as future cap charges would be moved up. That's an unwieldy figure for any team let alone one without much cap space like Seattle.
      The two sides could have, in theory, reached a settlement, but as former NFL agent Joel Corry has pointed out, Chancellor would have little financial incentive to settle with a total of $12 million in injury guarantees over the next two seasons. Of his $10 million base salary for 2019, $5.2 million is guaranteed for injury. As for the possibility of Chancellor retiring any time soon, that remains unlikely as well. By doing so, he would forfeit $12 million in injury guarantees over the next http://www.officialauthenticbroncosshop.com/WOMENS-DEREK-WOLFE-JERSEY.html two seasons. Technically, he could also be on the hook for repaying $7.5 million in remaining signing bonus proration.
      All of that has led to the belief that he would remain with the Seahawks, even with his football future in doubt. Unless Chancellor makes a turn and http://www.nfl49ersofficialauthentics.com/C-J-Beathard-Jersey is able to pass a physical some time later this offseason -- recall coach Pete Carroll saying at season's end that he and Cliff Avril are going to "have a hard time playing football again" -- one possibility is that he begins next season on the physically unable to perform list.
      Chancellor, who turns 30 in April, spent part of this week modeling clothes at the Grungy Gentleman Runway Show as part of Fashion Week in New York. That industry has been an interest of his and one that Chancellor may pursue after football. But the passing of Friday's roster deadline is another sign that his post-football life isn't about to begin just yet. "He's doing phenomenal," cornerback Richard Sherman said Thursday night from an awards show in Seattle. "He and his wife are traveling around. They went to Italy. I think they're in New York at some fashion show. But he's in great spirits. He's healing up. Everything is testing and things like that. He has to go back and get an MRI every couple months, so there's not much he can do. It's not like there's any rehab you can do to heal it."
      In addition to Chancellor, three other Seahawks had either a portion of their 2018 base salary or the full amount become fully guaranteed on Friday. They are: quarterback Russell Wilson ($4.9 million of $15.5 million), wide receiver Doug Baldwin ($4.5 million of $8.25 million) and center Justin Britt (all $2.75 million). Tucker is the most accurate kicker in NFL history. He became the fastest pure kicker in NFL history to reach 800 career points, doing so in his 95th regular-season game.
      But there should be some added respect for the Baltimore Ravens kicker after Sunday's Super Bowl, which featured two missed extra points. Eagles kicker Jake Elliott missed wide right on a point-after attempt in the first quarter, and the Patriots' Stephen Gostkowski was wide left on an extra point in the second quarter.
      Tucker, meanwhile, is in a class by himself on point-after kicks. The six-year veteran is the only kicker in NFL history to make every extra-point attempt in his career (minimum 200 tries), Albert Pujols Jersey according to ESPN Stats & Information. Tucker has made all 205 extra points in the regular season (plus all 23 in the postseason), but he has work to do to set some league marks. The record for consecutive extra points made to begin a career is 321 by Rian Lindell from 2000-10, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Tucker’s point-after streak is tied for the sixth-longest streak to begin a career.
      The record for most consecutive extra points is held by Gostkowski, who made 478 in a row from 2006-16. Tucker, who averages 34 extra points per season, would need to be perfect for another eight years to break that mark.Extra points became more of a challenge starting in 2015, when the NFL first moved point-after attempts from the 2-yard line to the 15. So, instead of of a 19-yard kick, extra points became a 32-yard attempt.
      Tucker http://www.officialcavaliershop.com/authentic-32-jeff-green-jersey.html wasn't happy about the change when it occurred three years ago. “I think the idea is to add excitement to every single play," Tucker told the Ravens' website in 2015, "but really what it does is make every kicker’s job a little Preston Smith Youth jersey bit harder." While others have had trouble making the adjustment, Tucker has remained perfect. wholesale nfl jerseys cheap mlb baseball jerseys cheap jerseys 90 wholesale jerseys cheap wholesale jerseys nfl discount jerseys nfl jerseys paypal nike nfl jerseys

    • lucky has written a new blog article "What should Red Sox do if J.D. Martinez really is 'fed up'?" 02.11.2018

      Martinez switched agents last year because of Scott Boras' track record of negotiating seven-year deals for free-agent outfielders (Matt Holliday, Jayson Werth, Jacoby Ellsbury, Shin-Soo Choo). But with spring training set to begin next week, the best offer he has gotten is a five-year proposal reportedly worth $125 million or so from the Boston Red Sox. Needless to say, Martinez must be feeling, well, underfed. Probably fed up, too, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported this week, with a historically lethargic market, with the starved-for-power Red Sox and maybe even with Boras, though he’s hardly the only agent having a difficult time making deals.

      As much as the two-time defending American League East champions need Martinez -- and make no mistake, they really need him after hitting the fewest homers in the league last season and seeing the New York Yankees pair Giancarlo Stanton with Aaron Judge -- they also don’t feel pressure to up the ante at a time when Martinez isn’t exactly being inundated with offers.

      The sides will come together eventually, right? Right? Well, what if they don’t? What if the Arizona Diamondbacks step up their offer enough that Martinez stays in the desert, where he would also remain in Womens Ryan White Jersey his preferred role as an outfielder and work with personal hitting coach/close friend Robert Van Scoyoc? Or what if a mystery team enters the fray? Or what if Martinez really is fed up enough to spurn Boston?
      “We expect to improve and I would hope to improve with a big bat in the middle of the lineup,” team chairman Tom Werner said recently. “But there are also other ways to http://www.authenticflyerstore.com/authentic-47-andrew-macdonald-jersey.html improve.”Say, for instance, swinging a trade for Josh Donaldson or Manny Machado before July 31. By then, both sluggers are expected to be on the Jeff Allen Youth jersey doorstep of free agency. If the Toronto Blue Jays or Baltimore Orioles aren’t in wild-card contention, they could opt to trade their superstars.
      The Red Sox won’t suddenly have more elite prospects in their depleted farm system to use as trade bait. But for a two-month rental, the asking price won’t be nearly as high as it was this winter for Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu or St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Marcell Ozuna, both of whom are under contract beyond this season.
      Here’s a thought: Sign free-agent third baseman Moustakas and move young Rafael Devers across the infield to first base, where many scouts project he might wind up eventually. Or use Devers http://www.official76ershop.com/authentic-5-amir-johnson-jersey.html as the primary DH and let Mitch Moreland and Ramirez split time at first base. Either way, Moustakas would help boost the middle of the order. He hit 38 homers and slugged .521 for the Kansas City Royals last season, and at Authentic Nick Easton Jersey age 29 he’s firmly in his prime. Like Martinez, Moustakas is repped by Boras, but Dombrowski must already have him on speed dial.
      If Moustakas is too far outside the box, the market will present other options. With more than 100 free agents unsigned, one-year contracts might be offered up as easily as sunflower seeds and bubble gum. First basemen/DH Logan Morrison (38 homers last season for the http://www.chicagoblackhawksofficialonline.com/Adidas-Richard-Panik-Jersey Tampa Bay Rays) and Lucas Duda (at least 27 homers in three of the past four seasons) could fall into that http://www.chiefsshop.us.com/WOMENS-TANOH-KPASSAGNON-JERSEY.html category, along with outfielders Carlos Gonzalez and Carlos Gomez.
      Sign J.D. Martinez! Look, it would be one thing if the Sox were taking advantage of this market’s nearly unprecedented dormancy by low-balling Martinez. But their reported offer Kenyan Drake Youth jersey is comparable to other recent contracts for free-agent outfielders, including Yoenis Cespedes' four-year, $110 million deal with the New York Mets last winter. And if the competition for Martinez increases, the deep-pocketed Sox can afford to kick in more cash or even an extra year.

      Signing a one-year deal somewhere else and going back out into free agency next winter doesn’t make sense for Martinez, especially considering the 2018-19 megaclass of Bryce Harper, Machado and Donaldson. Martinez is still the marquee name in this market, and if he accepted the Red Sox’s offer today, he would be its first -- and possibly only -- nine-figure signee. It’s true Martinez went into this looking for a six- or seven-year deal worth about $30 million per year, and his disappointment at not receiving it would be undeniable. But at least he has a legitimate offer on the table, which is more than most free agents in this market can say. In the end, the Red Sox are banking on him taking it.
      The Boston Red Sox have offered J.D. Martinez a five-year, $125 million contract, an offer that The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported has left Martinez “fed up” with the Red Sox and that he would rather sign with another team. Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston also talked with Scott Boras, Martinez’s agent, on Tuesday, and Boras said Martinez was prepared to begin spring training without a contract.


    • lucky has written a new blog article "Jimmy Garoppolo's deal a reminder why Redskins opted for Alex Smith" 02.11.2018

      If the Washington Redskins needed another reminder of why quarterback Alex Smith can help them, they received it Thursday afternoon. That’s when Jimmy Garoppolo signed a deal that averages $27.5 million per year. And that’s when they could, once more, be thankful that they traded for Smith. Or, excuse me, will trade for him March 14.

      He still must prove he’s a better fit in Washington than Kirk Cousins. But they’re comparable quarterbacks and Smith was more Womens Bobby Doerr Jersey affordable. Seeing Garoppolo’s deal with San Francisco hammered that home. It also reinforces what many said two years ago with Cousins when pushing the Redskins Peter Forsberg Youth jersey to strike a deal: Quarterback money always Patrick Marleau Jersey goes up, and what looks like a lot of money now, quickly changes. The mistake was not anticipating where the contracts were headed.
      Neither Cousins nor Garoppolo belongs in that top-paid-quarterback spot when you look at their standing among the other passers. However, that’s not how free agency works, and both will benefit from excellent timing. Cousins played his best season right before entering free agency; Garoppolo did the same. Both served notice to every other quarterback in the future how to use the franchise tag -- or the threat of it -- to their financial advantage. Every time the Redskins tagged Cousins, that became the baseline for talks and his side parlayed that into $44 million over two years. Their proposal to Washington two years ago was a fully guaranteed three-year deal at $19.5 million per year. The Redskins had no desire to pay that much in guarantees.
      Garoppolo got paid for what the 49ers -- and many others -- believe he will do; Cousins will get paid because he’s a good quarterback in a league where few such players become available. But Garoppolo has started only seven games; Cousins has been a full-time starter for three seasons but started only one postseason game. That doesn’t make either one unworthy of signing, but it does point out how expensive the position has become.
      Before the Garoppolo deal, Derek Carr and Matthew Stafford had the two highest cap hits among quarterbacks this season and the two highest averages per year. Neither has won http://www.footballbearsofficialonline.com/Eddie-Goldman-Jersey.html a playoff game. It’s a team game, so other areas matter quite a bit; Nick Foles winning the Super Bowl did not make him better than Tom Brady. However, if you’re going to pay a quarterback this much money, there is an expectation that he can lead his team somewhere.
      That brings us back to Smith. As of right now, he’ll have the 17th highest salary cap hit among quarterbacks this season. That’s before we know the details of Garoppolo’s deal and before Cousins has signed. Smith also will count $17.5 million less than Cousins would have had the Redskins used the franchise tag on Cousins or $11 million less than the transition tag.
      The Redskins' thinking for more than a year has been: If they don’t have Brady or Aaron Rodgers, they don’t want to pay a quarterback at the upper end of the pay scale. So without that sort of quarterback, pay less for a quality QB and build around him. Of course, it’s hard to do the latter, just as it’s hard to find a good starting quarterback.
      As has been stated often, it’s hard to truly know how beneficial Smith’s deal is because the details are unknown. But it will average $23.4 million per year. Considering the cap is expected to keep rising for the next few years, if his play remains at the same level as the past couple years, he’ll be paid accordingly. There will likely be an out after two years of the extension in case his play starts to drop.
      Quarterbacks up for new deals between now and 2019: Rodgers, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Dak Prescott. Jared Goff and Carson Wentz are up in 2019, but both their teams likely would pick up their fifth-year option, pushing this to 2020. Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger are up after the 2019 season, but both could end up retiring (or already be retired).
      But all of this means the Redskins, if all goes right, will have a quarterback at a more desirable price. To make it work, though, http://www.seahawksfootballauthentic.com/12TH-FAN-JERSEY-CHEAP.html Smith must continue be a solid starter. Even more so, the Redskins must finally build a complete team. And that, folks, is the hard part. It’s not as if the Redskins have been held back by the quarterback's money, so it’s time to finally get it right. nfl jerseys free shipping cheap nfl jerseys wholesale nike nfl jerseys supply wholesale jerseys china cheap jerseys free shipping

    • lucky has written a new blog article "How Josh McDaniels went from Patriots to Colts and back again" 02.11.2018

      As the Philadelphia Eagles http://www.officialrockieshop.com/authentic-51-jake-mcgee-jersey.html were upsetting the New England Patriots on the field, social media was alive with speculation on the future of Josh McDaniels. The Patriots offensive coordinator had agreed to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts after a second meeting in Massachusetts during the Super Bowl bye week. Was McDaniels wavering in his decision?

      As Eagles coach Doug Pederson answered questions in his postgame news conference, McDaniels' agent, Bob LaMonte, was asked about his client’s future, according to a source. LaMonte was shocked there was even a question. “He’s going to Indy,” he said, unequivocally. Meanwhile, the Colts were dealing with tragedy with the death of linebacker Edwin Jackson, who along with Uber driver Jeffrey Monroe was struck and killed on the side of the road by a drunken driver early Sunday morning.
      “Sunday was a hard day,” Colts general manager Chris Ballard said. “I didn’t watch the Super Bowl. My mind was around Edwin Jackson and his family, Jeffrey Monroe and his family, that’s where my mind was. ... I don’t deal with [the rumors] world. I deal with what’s going on internally, where we’re going, what our internal perception is, making sure our fans understand where we’re coming from. All Authentic Roger Maris Jersey the rumors -- everybody has got an opinion or a take. Some are true, some are not.” On Monday, McDaniels returned from Super Bowl LII with the Patriots with a sense of finality. One of the last things on his agenda was to meet with owners Robert and Jonathan Kraft and coach Bill Belichick. Up to this point, they hadn’t discussed anything regarding McDaniels’ future.
      McDaniels began exit interviews with the Pats on Monday but seemed focused on his new beginning Tuesday morning when Ballard checked in with his coach-in-waiting. The two talked on the phone, making sure everything was on track for McDaniels' arrival in Indianapolis. They went over the agenda for a planned Wednesday news conference and the plane the Colts were sending to pick up McDaniels. McDaniels told Ballard he had his suit picked out and was ready to go. Around 11 a.m. ET, after Ballard’s call with McDaniels, the Colts tweeted the news that he would be their new coach, with a news conference set for 3:30 p.m. ET Wednesday.
      By Tuesday afternoon, Robert and Jonathan Kraft, as well as Belichick, met with McDaniels again and made an aggressive pitch. McDaniels' conversation with Belichick had particular influence, a source Authentic Nolan Ryan Jersey said. Belichick wasn’t trying to talk McDaniels out of going, but he knew his offensive coordinator was having second thoughts.
      Belichick offered to include McDaniels on more of the inner workings of the organization, from roster construction to financial/salary-cap related considerations. That was viewed as “extremely valuable” to McDaniels. Ownership also endorsed it as a way to extend Belichick’s influence on the organization in future years, although no assurances were given to McDaniels that he would succeed Belichick. McDaniels, who a source confirmed got a significant http://www.officialfootballjetsstore.com/Ladainian-Tomlinson-Jersey raise, has privately said in the past that he did not want to be the coach who succeeds Belichick. Although he since may have changed his mind, McDaniels knows Belichick, after five Super Bowl victories, will be a hard act to follow. Beyond financial and professional stability, McDaniels also was thinking of his family. He wanted a long-term commitment from the Patriots so his four children, ages 12 to 3, would be able to attend the same schools over the next several years. The transient life of a coach doesn’t always make that possible.
      After hours of meetings on Tuesday, McDaniels was swayed by the Patriots' pitch. He called Ballard, who was in a draft meeting at Colts headquarters, at 7:15 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and told him he had changed his mind and was “going in a different direction.” “He called and said he had bad news for me,” Ballard said. “I said, ‘I just need a yes or no answer. Are you in or out?’ We went around for a minute and he said he’s out and I said. ‘OK, we’re going to move forward. I wish you the best of luck.’” Ballard said he did not try to persuade McDaniels because he wanted his new coach to be “all-in.” The five-minute conversation ended, and Ballard told Colts owner Jim Irsay and then the public. A news release was sent out at 8:34 p.m. ET confirming McDaniels would not be the next Colts coach.
      Ballard was “pissed and angry because he was completely blindsided by the whole thing because the process was at the finish line,” according to a source. Ballard’s focus shifted from the initial shock of McDaniels’ call to going back to http://www.officialbengalsfootballproshop.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_JEREMY_HILL_JERSEY.html his pool of candidates he had worked on compiling to find a coach who's “all-in on the vision” of the franchise. Ballard took the blame for scheduling a news conference without a signed deal. “I thought a lot about that but I was very confident," he said. "That’s on me; that’s not on the organization. That’s on me. I was very confident that a deal was in place and that we were going to be moving forward and having a press conference [Wednesday]. That’s on me.”
      McDaniels has been looking for the perfect head-coaching situation after his first stint with the Denver Broncos went sideways quickly. The Broncos wanted McDaniels to bring the Patriots' winning ways with him to the Rocky Mountains when they hired him in 2009. What they got instead was their very own videotaping scandal to go with losing and personnel blunders. McDaniels was fired less than halfway through his four-year, $8 million deal with an 11-17 record.
      He has been working his way back ever since, keeping an Excel file on his laptop titled “lessonslearned.xls.” McDaniels has in recent years turned down opportunities to pursue available head-coaching jobs in Cleveland, Los Angeles and Atlanta.One source said: “He’s always just insisted that everything be right, or he wasn’t going to leave.” It’s unclear what it was about the Colts' job that McDaniels ultimately decided wasn’t perfect, but he Andy Lee Jersey reached a point where he believed he was better off staying in New England.


    • lucky has written a new blog article "Who does ZiPS project to be the top 100 prospects of 2018?" 02.10.2018

      The ZiPS projection system is data-driven, so the names here will not necessarily match the names you see on a more scout-driven list. Which is fine, computers are great at sorting through large amounts of data, not scouting players, and what the data say provides a well-rounded look at a player in addition to the stats. You'll find a lot of agreement on a lot of players, this year's edition featuring nearly three-quarters of the same players as Keith Law's Top 100. It's the disagreements that tend to be the most interesting.

      One note is that a projection system needs data, so there's one very notable omission here in Hunter Greene, drafted from high school and very little professional experience. For a player like him, I'm not sure a projection system has a lot to offer at this stage in his career. Projections are cool tools, but knowing how to use a tool also means knowing when not to use it. Hammers do what they do well, but you can't use them to fix a broken window. I think.
      Every year during Super Bowl week -- and especially when his New England Patriots are playing in the game -- Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer picks up the phone on his drive to spring training to talk baseball and football. Most of all, he makes a Super Bowl prediction -- usually a good one. In Super Bowl 49, he picked the Patriots to win by four over the Seattle Seahawks. They won 28-24. Last year, Hoyer was at it again when New England came from behind to beat Atlanta 34-28. Hoyer predicted 35-27. Can he be on the money a third time? And what does he think of his Kam Chancellor Womens Jersey Cubs coming off their "hangover" season? We will get to all that, but we begin with the passing of a popular executive. Kevin Towers Earl Campbell Womens Jersey was close with both Hoyer and Theo Epstein. He died earlier in the week after a battle with cancer.
      JH: The things that have been said about him that resonate with me are that he was one of those http://www.officialsaintsfootballshop.com/YOUTH+JOHN+PHILLIPS+JERSEY people that was impossible not to have a good time with. He was happy all the time. You always felt like he was focused on you when talking to him. It was a gift, really. I had the unusual situation of taking over for him as GM in San Diego. He could not have been better to me. We ended up living just a few blocks from each other, and a number of times we would grab beers together before he ended up going to the Diamondbacks in 2011. We would meet for beers at his corner place and talk. I think that was pretty rare: to sit down with someone who used to have your job and talk. It shows what he was like. I always appreciated it. He will be dearly missed.
      Well said. Let’s get to what continues to be on everyone’s mind: the slow-moving free-agent market. Front offices, obviously, are part of that equation, along with agents and players. Lorenzo Cain said he finally signed when Milwaukee offered him a fifth year. My point is: Can’t the narrative change for any team, like it did for Milwaukee, through the team changing it themselves? In other words, couldn't they increase their offer and end the stalemate?
      JH: There’s a bit of a freeze right now because both sides feel good about their position and justified in their position. That’s why it has been so slow. Do you feel like you are in a position of strength in the market, considering there is so much inventory out there at this late date? In other words, you don’t feel like you have to budge?
      JH: I wouldn’t characterize it that way. Every team has their internal rankings. Every team has their evaluations which they will never reveal. Those rankings guide them through the market. Both sides of the market can always move or activate and free things up. To this point, we haven’t gotten there. Like everyone, as the calendar has gotten toward February, I keep thinking that there will be movement. I never expected to be driving to AZ with this much of the offseason left. Every year, I’m curious, on your long drive out to Arizona, between listening to the radio or some podcasts, when your mind wanders back to baseball, what do you think about most regarding your team and the coming season?
      JH: A few thoughts. We still have this excellent, young core. I think 2018 is the year where our guys are going to take a big step forward. Most of our guys are in their mid-20s, entering their prime years. I think this group is really going to come together. I’m excited for that part. On the pitching side, I like the additions, but we’re still looking to add depth. That’s an annual thing http://www.seahawksfootballauthentic.com/KJ-WRIGHT-JERSEY-CHEAP.html you think about. You prepare for injuries even if some years you go unscathed.
      And then the new coaching staff. I’m looking forward to working with them. We do have a lot of stability, but injecting some change into that can be a good thing. Follow up to that: How does the dynamic in spring change with new coaches? In this case, the front office and Joe Maddon know the players better than the new coaches -- at least right now.
      JH: It makes those early spring meetings that much more important. The last few years has been same players, same Authentic Matt Breida Jersey staff. Generally, it makes those meetings a little easier. Those meetings will be more in depth this time around. More questions. Everyone talks about spring being too long. This year it’s probably a good thing to have the time for players and coaches to get to know each other. Speaking of coaches, if your team improves five-to-10 spots in the rankings regarding situational hitting -- like man on third and less than two outs -- will Chili Davis have done his job?
      JH: I’m not sure how you would define it, but we all saw the same thing last year. We struggled in those spots. We struggled in situational-hitting moments both in the regular season and in the postseason, and we probably did become a little home-run dependent. Chili really preaches a team focus on offense. Trust the guy behind you, pass the baton. We all want to get back to that grinding offense we had in 2016.


    • lucky has written a new blog article "Cubs need familiar faces to take next step at the plate" 02.10.2018

      CHICAGO -- After a winter makeover on the mound -- which still might see more changes -- the Chicago Cubs enter spring training with a very familiar group at the plate. In fact, when it comes to position players, there is not one new face outside of a backup catcher (Chris Gimenez) who might or might not make the team. The Cubs lost Jon Jay to Authentic ArDarius Stewart Jersey free agency but will go to battle this season with every other hitter who helped them to a third consecutive playoff berth last year. That might come as a surprise, as the team expected a potential trade for a pitcher this offseason, but phone calls with opposing front offices never led to anything.

      That part should not come as a surprise, considering what other teams are looking for and how they value certain Cubs hitters. Multiple executives indicated throughout the offseason that if they were calling Chicago, they weren’t looking to "buy high" on Kyle Schwarber or Ian Happ, Reid Duke Jersey for example. Meanwhile, the Cubs undoubtedly view both those players in higher regard. They know them. They know their drive. Even Schwarber’s obvious body transformation wasn’t enough to sway a rival executive to give up an elite pitcher. Shortstop Addison Russell was dangled as well, according to league sources, but the match never fit there, either. So the core group gets another chance to do something special.
      “I think 2018 is the year where our guys are going to take a big step forward,” general manager Jed Hoyer said last week on his way to Mesa, Arizona, for spring training. “Most of our guys are in their mid-20s, entering their prime years. I think this group is really going to come together.” More than ever, the Cubs will need to rely on their offense, as their lack of pitching depth is starting to catch up with them. They drafted hitters high, which means at some point those players need to be the strength of the team as the front office figures out how to revamp the staff. Six free-agent pitchers should help, but they also bring question marks.
      On the other hand, there should be no questions about Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo & Co. But there are once you get to the "& Co." Sure, a healthy Willson Contreras has become someone to count on, but what about three other core guys who have shown inconsistent Charles Mann Jersey tendencies? This http://www.officialbruinsprostore.com/anton-khudobin-jersey-for-sale-c-40.html trio will decide if the Cubs' offense becomes a dangerous beast or continues to show its warts. Kyle Schwarber
      Those who have scoffed at his body transformation simply because it doesn’t mean he can hit fastballs again actually do have a point. We don’t know if he’ll return to being a fearsome hitter -- at least not yet. What we do know is that getting into great shape has never hurt anyone. If Schwarber can leg out one more hit per month, it can be meaningful. If he plays defense, say, just 25 percent better than he has in the past, it can be meaningful as well. Those things are now possible, but he’ll be judged on his contact rate more than anything. The power is there.
      Let’s face it: 2017 was a throwaway year for Russell. He was hurt, faced off-the-field issues and rarely looked like his old self, both in the field and at the plate. Talk about a misleading stat: Russell actually hit one point higher in 2017 than he did in 2016, but no one who watched him would think that his season last year was anything close to the season he had when the Cubs won the World Series. The big hits and big plays were http://www.patriotsfootballofficialsauthentic.com/Andre-Tippett-Jersey.html few and far between in 2017. It leads to one simple question: Are Russell’s health issues behind him? If so, then his paltry .304 on-base percentage in 2017 should improve, as should his play in the field. The bar is high for him on defense. It’s not like he was bad last season, but he needs to stay healthy.
      The favorite of many a fan, he can frustrate even the most die-hard Baez lovers. It’s not so much how many times he strikes out as how he goes down. Usually, it’s on a breaking pitch nowhere near the plate. Having said that, Baez's OPS was .796 last year. One more leap and he will be a real difference-maker. He was having just an OK season on defense until Russell went down with an injury. Then he picked up his game. If Baez can play
      162 like he did while filling in for Russell, he will finally shed the "inconsistent" label. First things first: Lay off those breaking balls and take some walks. Everything else will follow. Of course, the team isn’t reliant on just these three hitters, but they have the highest ceilings. It’s these three players -- with a nod to Albert Almora as well -- who are X factors who have shown flashes of greatness, but we don’t yet know how good they can be over the long haul. This is the year they need to bring it for a full season.
      One of the yearly articles I have the most fun writing is the list of the top 100 ZiPS minor league prospects. Forecasting is inherently a future-driven activity, even if it uses the past as a guide, and it is always tantalizing to peer behind the veil and try to see a bit of the future. It is also the hardest forecasting challenge; they're called prospects, after all, and not guarantees. It isn't that hard to project Clayton Kershaw to be a Cy Young favorite or Joey Votto to be the crazy genius of hitting, but it's extremely hard to find the next versions of those players. cheap jerseys paypal nfl jerseys nike nba jerseys wholesale nhl jerseys cheap nba jerseys for sale

    • lucky has written a new blog article "Unquestionably, Cleveland has improved compared" 02.10.2018

      to the dysfunctional group we saw lose 14 of its last 22 games. Since returning from his hip injury, Thomas has been one of the league's least effective players, and replacing him with a point guard rotation of George Hill and Jordan Clarkson will immediately improve the Cavaliers.

      Cleveland has also added more shooting with Rodney Hood stepping into the wing rotation in place of Jae Crowder and Dwyane Wade and more athleticism and explosiveness in the frontcourt with Larry Nance Jr. replacing Channing Frye. Perhaps more importantly, the Cavaliers have reset their chemistry after the difficulty of integrating Thomas led to finger pointing in the locker room. Something had to change in Cleveland, and many things did.

      All of that should concern the Celtics and the Raptors, who had to hope -- if only briefly -- that the Cavaliers might be so broken as to crash out early from the playoffs, before a possible Eastern Conference finals matchup with them. Surely, neither Boston nor Toronto wants to see even a lesser Cleveland team in the playoffs after the Cavaliers soundly defeated both en route to last year's NBA Finals.
      At the same time, I don't think Cleveland's moves should cause the Warriors to fear a fourth consecutive Finals matchup. Dealing Thomas ceded the possibility that the Cavs could Womens Tarik Cohen Jersey get him back to last year's All-NBA form, which would have given them a second shot creator on the perimeter. And Crowder, sent to the Utah Jazz, looked like an ideal matchup Brandon Morrow Authentic Jersey for Golden State's versatile frontcourt. Without them, Cleveland is left with a lower ceiling.
      Projections using the multiyear, predictive version of ESPN's real plus-minus (RPM) don't suggest this Cavaliers roster is in the same class as the Warriors. Let's take a look at a possible rotation once Kevin Love returns to the lineup. RPM projects Cleveland as nearly average defensively, which would be a huge improvement for a team that currently ranks 29th in defensive rating. However, the projection of an offense 2.9 points per 100 possessions better than league average would be slightly worse than what the Cavaliers have managed so far (3.4 points per 100 possessions better).
      This kind of team would typically win about 47 games in a full season, similar to Cleveland's current pace but obviously much better than the team has managed recently (and better than what the Cavaliers' negative point Authentic Lorenzo Mauldin Jersey differential would typically suggest). It's possible role players such as Hill, Hood and Nance will exceed their projections playing alongside James. Still, the pressing question of who the Cavaliers' third-best player is after James and Love remains up for debate, and that's a big downgrade from when Kyrie Irving was a part of http://www.nflcardinalsofficialstore.com/YOUTH+CHAD+WILLIAMS+JERSEY Cleveland's big three.
      I suggested last month that the Lakers should look to sell high on Clarkson in the midst of the best season of his career if they could find a taker who would send back expiring contracts in return. Little did I imagine then that the Lakers would be able to foist Clarkson on the very team whose star they hope to sign. To be clear, we should not consider this a "LeBron or bust" move for the Lakers. Whether they're planning to aggressively pursue multiple max players this summer or pivot to 2019, as ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Adrian Wojnarowski reported earlier this week, moving Clarkson's salary was an important step.
      The Lakers now have two paths available. If need be, they can renounce the rights to restricted free agent Julius Randle and waive Luol Deng and stretch the $36 million-plus remaining on his contract. Those moves would likely give them enough cap space to sign a max free agent with 10-plus years of experience (like James) and one with seven to nine years of experience (like Paul George).
      Alternatively, they can hang on to Deng, try to re-sign Randle to a reasonable contract and wait until summer 2019, when http://www.denverbroncosshops.com/Bradley_Roby_Jersey_Cheap there will be additional max talent on the market. In that case, the Lakers would still have about $45 million in cap space to take on short-term salary from teams in the luxury tax or sign players to one-year contracts. They're in an enviable position either http://www.officialhornetsproshop.com/authentic-2-larry-johnson-jersey.html way.
      The same can't be said for Thomas, who has seen his market value diminish dramatically over the last nine months. The best remaining hope for Thomas to get the kind of lucrative deal he was hoping to command would have been turning things around with the Cavaliers and having James re-sign in Cleveland. That would have all http://www.officialmontrealcanadiens.com/Adidas-Dominic-Moore-Jersey but forced the Cavaliers to re-sign him using Bird rights. Now, Montee Ball Jersey Thomas finds himself with a team that's unlikely to have any interest in re-signing him to a long-term deal. Perhaps if he proves a good fit, Thomas could re-sign a one-year deal with the Lakers that gives him a chance to rebuild his value. But if Thomas continues to struggle in L.A., the Brink's truck isn't coming.


    • lucky has written a new blog article "MLB's best up-and-coming players for 2018" 02.09.2018

      Let's get right to the point: You want to know the future. Some of you might have different reasons for wanting to know, but the ability to see a slice of the future would be empowering. That's why you're here. You want to know some baseball players who are about to improve.

      Imagine what you could do with that knowledge! I find this all rather intoxicating. It's an annual pursuit -- the search for players on the verge of something special. You might not need me to say this, but telling the future is hard. All you can do is try in good faith.

      What you'll find are 10 young players poised to reach the next level. Don't read too much into the order; it's alphabetical. These players are "up-and-comers" instead of "breakouts." The difference between the two is blurry. Last season, the Yankees' Aaron Judge was a breakout; the Cardinals' Tommy Pham and Dodgers' Chris Taylor were breakouts. Someone like Houston's Alex Bregman didn't exactly break out, but he could have been considered an up-and-comer who simply established himself over a full season. All young breakouts are up-and-comers, but not all up-and-comers are breakouts, if you know what I mean. These are guys I think could become quality regulars in 2018.
      In points leagues, when you check out the end-of-season scoring leaders, there are likely to be more starting pitchers in the top 50 than players from any other position on the field. For 2018, 40 hitters are projected to have 400-plus fantasy points in ESPN default scoring, and that's spread out all over the diamond. By comparison, 22 starting pitchers are projected for the same 400-plus total.
      It's for this reason that, especially http://www.authenticnetstore.com/Rondae_Hollisjefferson_Jersey in terms of the elite arms, Clayton Kershaw and his fellow Cy Young candidate brethren tend to get a big bump in points league rankings, as compared to in category-based leagues, in which even the best of the best starting hurlers are destined to have a goose egg in the saves category, putting a ceiling on their maximum overall value compared to hitters. No such handicap exists in points leagues, which is why I often lean toward the No. 1 starting pitcher as the No. 1 overall selection.
      However, in 2018, that isn't the case. Mike Trout, even though he missed http://www.authenticclippersstore.com/Patrick_Beverley_Jersey close to 50 games last season with a thumb injury, was one of only nine members of 20-20 club -- and his 33 HRs were far and away the most of this group, despite his having only 507 PA on the season.
      Assuming a healthy 2018, there's little reason not to expect a final stat line in the neighborhood of 40 HRs, 100 runs, 100 RBIs and 20 steals. Throw into the mix that Trout has seen his BB/K rate rise for four consecutive seasons, Zach LaVine Jersey to the point that in 2017 he had more walks than strikeouts for the first time in his career, and we're looking at a points-league player to which there are few rivals.
      While it's true that you can never predict injuries, and I tend to shy away from trying to bake the risk of a player getting hurt into my overall rankings, it's hard to ignore the chance that Clayton Kershaw's back won't allow him to get through 2018 without his missing any starts. With that in mind, I'm going to have to take last year's No. 1 and drop Kershaw a few pegs. If I get the No. 1 overall pick in my points league draft, I'll be sure to land Trout and take it from there. -- AJ Mass
      Trout has been a joy to roster in a fantasy league since his breakout season of 2012, and few have questioned his place atop the fantasy rankings hierarchy. However, a funny thing has happened while the Los Angeles Angels' star has earned (mostly) unquestioned status as the No. 1 guy for most every format: The diminutive second baseman for the Houston Astros has been valuable for fantasy purposes each and every http://lionsshopsnflofficial.com/nevin-lawson-jersey_c-385.html season since 2014. Jose Altuve has topped Trout in value in four consecutive seasons!
      As a result, it seems only fair that Altuve ever so gently brushes Trout to the No. 2 spot, which by the way is still really, really good. It is not that anyone is dumping Trout to Luis Valbuena territory. Trout is Authentic Karlos Dansby Jersey awesome. Altuve has just been a bit more awesome, as he has compiled a .334 batting average -- with three AL batting titles! -- over four years with an average of 18 home runs, 76 RBIs, 39 steals and 98 runs in 156 games per season. Altuve deserves this honor, and there's no hint of pending statistical drop-off, either.
      In a basic roto league, one should be looking for all kinds of things, with balance chief among them, but most of the Wayne Gretzky Jersey time, it comes down to taking the best player available, at least in the early rounds. Trout does everything well. He hits for average, offers power and speed, and scores many runs. Let us not hold the 2017 injury and missed games against him. Altuve, however, hits for more average -- a lot more, really -- and steals more bases. These are important factors.
      It is certainly not solely about the power, and position Authentic Brandon Shell Jersey scarcity plays no role here, either, but Altuve is great. Trout is great. Just be objective and willing to think outside the proverbial roto box: One of them finishes ahead of the other on the ESPN Player Rater each season. It seems time to acknowledge this with the top spot in the rankings as well, so please, Jose Altuve, do not disappoint. -- Eric Karabell


    • lucky has written a new blog article "The upshot: Cousins is likely to find" 02.09.2018

      a historic contract on the open market, but it won't necessarily be easy for him to get there. Each potential landing spot has hurdles in front of it that he and/or his new team Dejounte Murray Authentic Jersey will have to clear. We're not likely to know the exact parameters of the Cousins market until after the combine, when the free-agency picture starts coming into focus. But when the smoke clears, expect Cousins to be at the top of the most interesting quarterback offseason in memory.

      NFL head-coaching candidates with ties to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick have already filled multiple openings during the Womens Tim Anderson Jersey 2018 hiring cycle.

      The other Belichick associates -- some with strong ties to Belichick, others with weaker ones -- have combined for a 156-227 (.407) record as head coaches under varying circumstances, with only one posting a winning record so far. This poor mark has become a http://www.officialnationalshop.com/authentic-7-trea-turner-jersey.html leading case against http://authenticoilerstore.com/justin-schultz-jersey_c-431.html hiring Belichick assistants, but the associations could be overblown. Matt Patricia and Mike Vrabel could find themselves in strong position to win. Patricia will inherit a 9-7 Detroit Lions team featuring Matthew Stafford and two 1,000-yard receivers. Vrabel will take over a 9-7 Tennessee Titans team that won a playoff game this season and features Marcus Mariota at quarterback.
      Here's a quick look at how former Belichick assistants fared as head coaches, ordered by winning percentage. I've revisited the quarterback situations Tony Dorsett Jersey in each case and put each tenure into perspective.
      The associations with Belichick are weak in some cases, especially as they pertain to whether the coaches succeeded ultimately. Josh McDaniels and Eric Mangini are two examples who spent nearly all their professional careers aligned with Belichick before becoming head coaches. Many of the others had significant careers apart from Belichick, starting with Al Groh, the only coach on the list with a winning record as a head coach.
      QB situation: O'Brien inherited and quickly traded Matt Schaub, who had set an NFL record the previous season by throwing pick-sixes in four straight games. He went 27-21 in his first three seasons with Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum, T.J. Yates, Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden as his starters. How did O'Brien do it? The Texans had the NFL's second-ranked defense over that span, according to ESPN's efficiency metric. That let O'Brien survive long enough to select Deshaun Watson in the 2017 draft.
      Takeaway: O'Brien worked as a head coach at Penn State after leaving the Patriots and before joining the Texans, an experience that surely played a significant role in preparing him. He's won two AFC South titles and just earned a contract extension through 2022, putting him in position to become a success story among former Belichick assistants.
      Belichick ties: Mangini was a defensive assistant under Belichick with the Browns and Patriots, rising to defensive coordinator with New England in 2005. He also worked with Belichick on Parcells' Jets staff. QB situation: Mangini inherited Chad Pennington, who went 11-13 as a starter during Mangini's tenure, tossing 27 touchdown passes with 25 interceptions in those starts. The team acquired Brett Favre for Mangini's final season and started 8-3, only to finish 9-7 and out of the playoffs, with Favre tossing 22 touchdowns with 22 picks.
      Takeaway: Trading for Favre was part of an expensive push into the veteran player market that raised expectations for Mangini. Those expectations went unmet, and Mangini was fired. His tenure was ultimately disappointing, but not disastrous. In firing Mangini, the Jets' then-general manager Mike Tannenbaum thanked him for doing a "great job" in establishing a foundation.
      QB situation: McDaniels inherited Jay Cutler and was expected to do great things with him, but the two clashed from the beginning after Denver showed interest in former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who was traded to Kansas City instead. The Broncos traded Cutler to Chicago. Kyle Orton wound up making 27 of 28 starts during the abbreviated McDaniels era, which included spending a 2010 first-round pick on Tim Tebow.
      Takeaway: McDaniels' turbulent, ill-fated run with the Broncos played a leading role in bolstering the narrative that former Belichick assistants could not export New England's culture simply because they enjoyed similar autonomy. McDaniels and Mangini qualify as a Belichick protégés more than the other coaches on this list. They were relatively young and had spent nearly all their careers with http://www.officialshopraidersonline.com/John_Matuszak_Jersey_Cheap Belichick when hired as head coaches. baseball jerseys cheap nhl jerseys wholesale nba jerseys wholesale nike nfl jerseys 2016 cheap nfl jerseys free shipping nike nfl jerseys 2016

    • lucky has written a new blog article "Resetting the 2018 NFL offseason quarterback market" 02.09.2018

      Kirk Cousins is a little more than a month away from showing us what can happen when a healthy, top-level starting quarterback in his prime hits the free-agent market. This will be unprecedented. In the era of the franchise tag, only two top-level quarterbacks have become unrestricted free agents -- Peyton Manning in 2012 and Drew Brees in 2006 -- and each was coming off a major injury at the time.

      Cousins is 29 years old, healthy and coming off his third straight 4,000-yard passing season at a time of rapid salary-cap growth. As of March 12, when agents of prospective free agents are free to talk with other teams, Cousins will be in a position to set a new standard at the top of the NFL salary structure.

      Now, because I know some of you will ask: No, I do not think there is any chance Washington franchises Cousins for the third year in a row. It's certainly true that it has considered the idea of franchising him and trying to trade him, in an effort to avoid losing him and getting nothing in Cameron Sutton Jersey return. And at this stage of the process, that's the right position for them to be taking outwardly, just in case some team wants to offer them something crazy. But I, and the sources I've spoken to on this matter, consider a third Cousins franchise tag (which would cost Washington about $34.5 million) a totally unrealistic outcome.
      Why? Well, any team willing to trade anything of significance for Cousins would want to know that they can sign him long term, and for how much. Washington is likely to end up with a third-round compensatory pick if it lets Cousins walk, http://www.officialnflvikingsprostore.com/SHAMAR-STEPHEN-JERSEY-CHEAP.html which means a team probably would need to offer http://www.officialseahawksfootball.com/YOUTH+KAM+CHANCELLOR+JERSEY a second-rounder or more in order to get him, and why would a team do that if all it is guaranteed is one year at $34.5 million?
      If Washington franchises Cousins, he'll surely rush to sign the tender and put the team in an impossible bind. That $34.5 million would immediately hit Washington's 2018 salary cap along with about $24 million in cap cost for Alex Smith, likely requiring undesirable roster cuts elsewhere and making it basically impossible for the team to do anything else in terms of player acquisition until they traded Cousins.
      In theory, Cousins could make it easy on Washington by negotiating with potential trade partners on a long-term deal before a trade is finalized, but there's no reason to believe Cousins is or will be interested in doing his current team any favors. If Washington did decide to franchise Cousins, the more likely reason would be that it got cold feet on the Smith deal and decided to back out before it became official. As of Tuesday night, we can call this "Pulling a McDaniels." Not saying this will happen, but if Tuesday taught Alex Anzalone Jersey us nothing else, it's that nothing is final until it's final.
      What Cousins wants -- and believes he deserves -- is a chance to hit the market unfettered, with a menu of potential new destinations from which to choose. It appears certain he will get that, and when he does, his deal could average $30 million or more per season with upward of $90 million in guarantees. The questions then will become how many teams will bid that high and how much he likes the idea of playing for those teams.
      The Minnesota Vikings, who are coming off a 13-3 season and with all three quarterbacks on their roster eligible for free agency, should be at the top of Cousins' wish list. They have the cap space to make it happen. They have an elite defense, top-level wide receivers, a strong running game and an offensive line that -- while it might need some maintenance work in the coming years -- did an awfully good job of keeping Case Keenum clean in 2017. The question with the Vikings is how committed they are to developing Teddy Bridgewater as their long-term solution and Kyle Van Noy Jersey rewarding Keenum for what he did in 2017. If they bring one or both of those guys back, that probably rules out Cousins. But if they see themselves a Cousins away from the Super Bowl, maybe they change the plan and go for it.
      The New York Jets also have the cap room and the need. Their roster needs more work than Minnesota's does, but the receiving corps showed promise this season, the coach just got extended, and Cousins has spoken highly of new offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates. Perhaps he'd enjoy a shot to make a big splash in Jarvis Landry Authentic Jersey the Big Apple. The Buffalo Bills are coming off a 9-7 season and have a No. 1 receiver in Kelvin Benjamin and an http://www.officialnikejetshop.com/keyshawn-johnson-jersey-for-sale-c-52.html elite running back in LeSean McCoy. If Cousins likes what Sean McDermott is putting together in Buffalo, the Bills become an interesting option that might not be too far from title contention. The Jacksonville Jaguars would be interesting if they found a way to move on from Blake Bortles, but his $19 http://www.authenticnikeseahawkshop.com/kj-wright-jersey-for-sale-c-25.html million contract option could end up being guaranteed if Bortles, who just had wrist surgery, can't pass a physical by early March.
      The Cleveland Browns will have all kinds of money to spend, but that situation comes with a ton of uncertainty. How long will Hue Jackson be the coach? Would Cousins expect to click immediately with offensive coordinator Todd Haley? How close, really, is a team that is 1-31 over the past two years to contention?
      There's long-range coaching staff uncertainty, too, with the Denver Broncos, who also have to move a bunch of money around to clear room for a Cousins pursuit. And while the Arizona Cardinals have a need and sound like a nicer place to live than some of these other options, the Cardinals feel like a start-from-scratch situation in the wake of Bruce Arians' and Carson Palmer's retirements (and possibly Larry Fitzgerald's, too).


    • lucky has written a new blog article "J.D. Martinez will be the starting DH for" 02.08.2018

      It's time for my second Anders Nilsson Youth jersey annual way-too-early All-Star teams. This is a tough assignment! We should turn this into a contest, that's how difficult it is. Last year I successfully named a whopping 28 of 71 All-Stars. You may think that's a lousy percentage, but only 23 players were All-Stars in both 2016 and 2017. Consider some of last year's All-Stars: Justin Smoak, Corey Dickerson, Yonder Alonso,

      Avisail Garcia, Chris Devenski, Alex Wood and Corey Knebel. Nobody would have Alejandro Villanueva Jersey predicted any of those players to make it in February. And veterans like Jason Vargas, Ryan Zimmerman and Zack Cozart http://www.nflcardinalsofficialstore.com/YOUTH+DORIAN+JOHNSON+JERSEY had monster first halves to get there. I nailed Robbie Ray, but missed badly on Robert Gsellman (I did, however, predict an injury for Noah Syndergaard).

      This year's way-too-early All-Star selection process is made even more difficult by all the unsigned free agents, as we don't even know what teams some potential All-Stars will be playing for. On top of that, we have to account for what the fans might do -- last year, I had Cubs fans voting in Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber as starters, and none even made the team -- plus we have to have a representative from every team, including the Marlins. And remember that rosters were cut from 34 to 32 players last year.
      Yes, I'm predicting Hosmer to re-sign with the Royals and Martinez to sign with the Red Sox and both to become All-Star starters. ... AL first base lacks an obvious favorite to win the fan vote, especially if Miguel Cabrera doesn't bounce back. Smoak was the starter last year, but look for Royals fans to enthusiastically support Hosmer, the 2016 starter. He'll have to get off to a better start than last year, however, when he hit .225 with one home run in April. ... Salvador Perez has started the past four All-Star Games, but Sanchez unseats
      him thanks to his prolific offensive production. ... Jose Ramirez started at third base last year and might end up on the ballot at second, so I'm going with Donaldson being healthy out of the gate and putting up big numbers. ... Shortstop will be a fun vote with Correa, Francisco Lindor and now Manny Machado, but Correa is my preseason AL MVP favorite, so I'm predicting big things. ... Stanton might be listed as a DH, but let's put him in the outfield in a stellar starting trio.
      The players will vote in Perez as the backup, but Mike Zunino could be a surprise here. He was second to Sanchez in WAR among AL catchers in 2017. ... If Abreu doesn't make it, I have no idea who ends up representing the White Sox since Garcia is an obvious regression candidate. ... It's too http://www.officialramsfootballshop.com/YOUTH+JOHN+JOHNSON+JERSEY soon for Yoan Moncada, plus second base is loaded with Schoop, Robinson Cano and Brian Dozier. Schoop made it last year and I'm buying a Womens Shawn Kelley Jersey repeat of his breakout season. ... As I went through the rosters, Beltre was my final selection as the lone choice from the
      Rangers. He last made the All-Star team in 2014, although AL third base remains loaded with up-and-coming potential All-Stars like Alex Bregman and Matt Chapman. ... A couple years ago, AL outfield was so weak that Michael Saunders, Mark Trumbo, Ian Desmond and an aging Carlos Beltran were All-Stars. There's much more depth now, with defensive whiz Buxton a good bet to make his first All-Star team. ... Davis beats out Nelson Cruz, last year's AL RBI leader, for the second DH spot.
      So many good choices for starting pitchers as I left out Luis Severino, Dallas Keuchel and Marcus Stroman among others. Aaron Sanchez, a 2016 All-Star and that year's AL ERA champ, is another starter to watch if he can keep the blisters from popping up. ... Verlander fixed his mechanics in the second half last year when he went 10-2, 1.95. He will be a preseason Cy Young favorite alongside Kluber and Sale. ... How good will the Cole trade look if he makes the All-Star team? ... This is the year Paxton finally stays healthy and makes 30 starts. ...
      Chris Archer is the more obvious pick for the Rays, but we know there has to be a surprise here, so let's go off the charts for Snell. The young lefty has top-shelf stuff and got his delivery in order in the second half, when he posted a 3.49 ERA and improved his strikeout-to-walk ratio from 1.32 in the first half to 2.96. He's a strong breakout candidate. ... I'd love to see Miggy make the team, since that means he's mashing again, but his poor 2017 performance and back issues are a concern, so Greene is my pick for the Tigers. ... We have to pick somebody from that dominant Yankees bullpen and Green is my guy. Batters swing through his high-spin four-seamer as he struck out 103 in just 69 innings. He's not the closer, but he’ll give Aaron Boone a valuable midgame option.

      Posey makes his fourth straight at catcher, edging out Yadier Molina in the voting. ... National League first base is the most loaded position in the majors. Zimmerman was the starter last year, Rizzo in 2016 and Paul Goldschmidt in 2015, so the fan voting could go in any direction. Joey Votto might Hayes Pullard Womens Jersey be the best, but hasn't started since 2013. How about another new starter in Freeman? He was hitting .341/.461/.748 when he was hit by a pitch and fractured his wrist on May 17. ... Second base http://www.authenticcoyotestore.com/antoine-vermette-jersey_c-436.html is pretty weak, so let's give Murphy his second straight appearance there. ... Arenado won the voting last year, and I'll project him again, although it feels weird to have no Cubs starters given their rabid fan base. ...

      Kenley Jansen ripped Dodgers fans after Cozart beat out Seager in the voting last year, but Seager should make his third straight appearance and first as a starter ... Harper is an easy choice and Ozuna actually has started the past two All-Star Games. Pham is my surprise choice, but he had a quietly awesome all-around season, and Cardinals fans will vote well if he gets off to a good start.


    • lucky has written a new blog article "How Belichick assistants have fared as NFL head coaches" 02.08.2018

      Matt Patricia and Mike Vrabel could find themselves in strong position to win. Patricia will inherit a 9-7 Detroit Lions team featuring Matthew Stafford and two 1,000-yard receivers. Vrabel will take over a 9-7 Tennessee Titans team that won a playoff game this season and features Marcus Mariota at quarterback. ere's a quick look at how former Belichick assistants fared as head coaches, ordered by winning percentage. I've revisited the quarterback situations in each case and put each tenure into perspective.

      The associations with Belichick are weak in some cases, especially as they pertain to whether the coaches succeeded ultimately. Lawrence Timmons Youth jersey Josh McDaniels and Eric Mangini are two examples who spent nearly all their professional careers aligned with Belichick before becoming head coaches. Many of the others had significant careers apart from Belichick, starting with Al Groh, the only coach on the list with a winning record as a head coach.
      QB situation: O'Brien inherited and quickly traded Matt Schaub, who had set an NFL record the previous season by throwing pick-sixes in four straight games. He went 27-21 in his first three seasons with Brock Osweiler, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brian Hoyer, Ryan Mallett, Case Keenum, T.J. Yates, Tom Savage and Brandon Weeden as his starters. How did O'Brien do it? The Texans had the NFL's second-ranked defense over that span, according to ESPN's efficiency metric. That let O'Brien survive long enough to select Deshaun Watson in the 2017 draft.
      Takeaway: O'Brien worked as a head coach at Penn State after leaving the Patriots and before joining the Texans, an experience that surely played a significant role in preparing him. He's won two AFC South titles and just earned a contract extension through 2022, putting him in position to become a success story among former Belichick assistants.
      QB situation: A.J. Feeley and Jay Fiedler were the Dolphins' notable quarterbacks before Saban arrived. The team signed Gus Frerotte in free agency before Saban's first season, then acquired Joey Harrington via trade a year later. Frerotte went 9-6 as a starter under Saban, who wound up using five starters during his tenure.Takeaway: Saban worked as a head coach at Michigan State and LSU between leaving Belichick's Browns staff and joining the Dolphins. He was also a head coach at Toledo before joining Belichick's staff in Cleveland. Is Saban a former Belichick assistant? Yes. Did his association with Belichick define him when the Dolphins hired him? No.
      QB situation: McDaniels inherited Jay Cutler and was expected to do great things with him, but the two clashed from the beginning after Denver showed interest in former Patriots quarterback Matt Cassel, who was traded to Kansas City instead. The Broncos traded Cutler to Chicago. Kyle Orton wound up making 27 of 28 starts during the John Wall Authentic Jersey abbreviated McDaniels era, which included spending a 2010 first-round pick on Tim Tebow.
      Takeaway: McDaniels' turbulent, ill-fated run with the Broncos played a leading role in bolstering the narrative that former Belichick assistants could not export New England's culture simply because they enjoyed similar autonomy. McDaniels and Mangini qualify as a Kenny Golladay Jersey Belichick protégés more than the other coaches on this list. They were relatively young and had spent nearly all their careers with Belichick when hired as head coaches.
      QB situation: Schwartz inherited Dan Orlovsky, Jon Kitna and Daunte Culpepper from a team that had gone 0-16 the previous season. The Lions traded Kitna and drafted Matthew Stafford first overall. Stafford started 61-of-80 games under Schwartz and peaked with a 10-6 season in 2011, when Stafford ranked third in touchdown passes (41) and 13th in Total QBR (60.5).
      Takeaway: A three-year scouting association with Belichick does not exactly make Schwartz a disciple, especially when we consider that Schwartz coached with Baltimore and Tennessee for more than a decade between leaving Cleveland and joining Detroit. Schwartz helped make the Lions competitive after they were historically uncompetitive. However, the team did not consistently exhibit the discipline that has long been a Belichick hallmark.QB situation: Crennel inherited Matt Cassel and then signed one of his former Browns quarterbacks, Brady Quinn, as a free agent before the 2012 season. Cassel and Quinn were each 1-7 as Chiefs starters under Crennel, while Kyle Orton won two of his three starts.
      Takeaway: Crennel operated under dire circumstances. He took over as interim coach after Todd Haley's firing and then endured a tragic ending to his only full season in 2012 when linebacker http://www.officialtigerstore.com/Jose_Iglesias_Jersey Jovan Belcher committed suicide in the parking lot at http://www.authenticcanadienshop.com/authentic-4-jean-beliveau-jersey.html team headquarters. Crennel's association with Belichick would not seem to rank high on a list of why http://www.torontomapleleafsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Johnny-Bower-Jersey his Chiefs tenure did not succeed. wholesale nba jerseys cheap jerseys elite jerseys for cheap wholesale nfl jerseys nike nba jerseys for sale wholesale jerseys

    • lucky has written a new blog article "Josh McDaniels changes mind, jilting Colts to stay with Pats" 02.08.2018

      After two days of reflection and conversations with the Patriots, New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has decided not to accept the Indianapolis Colts' head-coaching job, the team confirmed Tuesday night."After agreeing to contract terms to become the Indianapolis Colts' new head coach, New England Patriots assistant coach Josh McDaniels this evening informed us that he would not be joining our team," the team said in Marcus Martin Youth jersey a statement. "Although we are surprised and disappointed, we will resume our head-coaching search immediately and find the right fit to lead our team and organization on and off the field."

      In the past 48 hours, Patriots owner Robert Kraft began talking with McDaniels and ultimately wound up sweetening his contract, helping to entice McDaniels, who had yet to sign a contract with the Colts, to remain in New England, a source said.But this wasn't a decision about money. The truth is, McDaniels, 41, has been vacillating Keith Hernandez Womens Jersey on this decision throughout the interview process, ever since meeting with the Colts on wild-card weekend. It is the reason a second meeting with Colts officials and team owner Jim Irsay was held. McDaniels was trying to get comfortable with the idea of taking his family out of New England and moving to Indianapolis, sources said.

      Throughout the process, McDaniels had emphasized to the Colts that he would need time to mull the decision and discuss it with his family. The more McDaniels reflected on potentially having the opportunity to coach the Colts, the more it did not feel right to him and the better it felt to remain in New England. McDaniels still would like to become a head coach again, but this time, in this instance, he was not comfortable.
      The Krafts also stepped in this week to make McDaniels feel even more wanted, and the two sides were able to come to an agreement Tuesday night that will enable New England to retain its offensive coordinator at a time it is losing its defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, to Detroit as the Lions' new head coach.The about-face from McDaniels caught the Colts off guard. In a text to ESPN's Mike Wells, one member of Indianapolis's front office described the situation as Lanny McDonald Womens Jersey "Unreal. I'm at a loss."
      McDaniels' decision to stay could spark speculation that perhaps Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's tenure is about to end, but those close to McDaniels say that isn't the case, a source told ESPN's Mike Reiss. The bigger factor to McDaniels was that the Patriots, who hadn't addressed his future until the past week or so, made an ultra-aggressive late push to try to entice him to stay. Had that happened a month or so ago, even if there was clarity that Belichick was definitely going to be the coach in 2018 (which he decisively is), McDaniels might not have pursued other head-coaching jobs as aggressively as he did.Indianapolis now finds itself in a coaching bind, playing catch-up at a time when the other head-coaching openings in the league have been filled.
      During the interview process, the Colts spoke with McDaniels, who is remaining in New England; former Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Matt Nagy, who accepted the Chicago Bears' head-coaching job; former Houston Texans defensive coordinator Mike Vrabel, who accepted the Tennessee Titans' head-coaching job; former Carolina Panthers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks, who accepted the Arizona Cardinals' head-coaching job; Baylor head coach Matt Rhule, who said he's remaining at the school; and former Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Kris Richard, who took a defensive passing-game coordinator coaching http://www.authenticdevilsstore.com/-3-ken-daneyko-jersey_c-450.html job with the Dallas Cowboys.
      Four coaches who would have been members of McDaniels' staff in Indianapolis told ESPN's Dianna Russini on Tuesday night they were blindsided and had yet to hear from him.Despite McDaniels' sudden shift, two people who agreed to be assistants for him in Indianapolis will remain with the Colts, regardless of who the next head coach will be, sources said. Former Cowboys assistant head coach/linebackers coach Matt Eberflus signed to become the Colts' defensive coordinator, and former Illinois defensive line coach Mike Phair signed to become Indy's D-line coach.
      Indianapolis now http://www.authentichoustonastrosshop.com/Justin-Verlander-Jersey has coaching and quarterback questions. On Sunday, http://www.newjerseydevilsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Jamie-Langenbrunner-Jersey ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported there still are concerns about Andrew Luck's shoulder and whether he could wind up needing additional surgery.The Colts now will have to go back to the drawing board, while the Patriots have some of the coaching stability they appeared to be losing. The situation is not entirely dissimilar to Belichick stepping away from the New York Jets' head-coaching job after the 1999 season, but he did that the day of the news conference. McDaniels has done this the night before he was Stephen Curry Jersey scheduled to be introduced by the Colts; but he was not comfortable making the jump, neither for him nor his family.
      NFL head-coaching candidates with ties to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick have already filled multiple openings during the 2018 hiring cycle.The other Belichick associates -- some with strong ties to Belichick, others with weaker ones -- have combined for a 156-227 (.407) record as head coaches under varying circumstances, with only one posting a winning record so far. This poor mark has become a leading case against hiring Belichick assistants, but the associations could be overblown.


    • lucky has written a new blog article "Todd Frazier looks like a bargain for Mets" 02.07.2018

      It seemed all along that Todd Frazier was destined for the New York Mets or New York Yankees. Since he settled for a two-year, $17 million contract from the Mets, the takeaway has to be that the Yankees simply weren't interested -- at least beyond a one-year deal -- and will be content running with Miguel Andujar as their Opening Day third baseman.

      The Mets, after bringing back Jay Bruce on a three-year contract earlier in the offseason, added another power bat in Frazier, who has hit 102 home runs the past three seasons, including 27 in 2017. The contract obviously looks like a bargain for the Mets given that Frazier has produced 3.4 WAR each of the past two seasons.

      Mets third basemen hit .269/.315/.413 last season -- four different players started at least 25 games there -- and combined for minus-17 Defensive Runs Saved. Even given Frazier's age -- he’s entering his age-32 season -- he provides enough value at the plate to go with solid defense that he should easily earn the value of the contract and serve as an improvement over 2017's potpourri of Mets third basemen.
      Frazier has Latavius Murray Youth jersey morphed into a "three true outcomes" slugger. In 2015, he hit .255 and belted Authentic Wesley Walker Jersey 79 extra-base hits for a .498 slugging percentage. In 2017, those numbers dropped to .213 with 46 extra-base hits, so if he's not hitting a home run he's not doing much else http://www.officiallightningsshop.com/authentic-18-ondrej-palat-jersey.html when he puts the ball in play.
      You can see why there wasn't that much interest in him on the free-agent market. If the average continues to drop and he loses a step on defense, he'll decline dramatically from a 3-WAR player. The one thing propping up his offensive value last year was that his walk rate spiked as he drew 83 walks, giving him a career-best .344 OBP. The Mets were 10th in the National League in OBP, so Frazier could help lift that figure.
      I'm skeptical about both options at first base but Frazier or Flores can play there, with Reyes sliding in at third if needed. There's power from one to eight and the bench gives new skipper Mickey Callaway some options to play Lance Parrish Authentic Jersey with. Now, despite all the home runs last year, the Mets were just ninth in runs. They didn't get on base enough and didn't run the bases well. The speed issue hasn't been addressed, so the Mets will once again have to slug their way to runs.
      The Mets have been criticized for not spending enough on payroll. While Bruce and Frazier http://www.goldenstatewarriorsonline.com/Official-Rick-Barry-Jersey aren't big difference-makers, give the front office credit for taking advantage of the market and at least spending wisely. Will that be enough to push them into playoff contention? We all know that depends more on the health of the starting rotation than how many home runs Bruce and Frazier will hit.That leaves Mike Moustakas out there still seeking a home. While he comes with one gleaming credential -- 38 home runs -- it’s worth noting that the Royals ranked just 23rd in the majors in WAR at third base last season. He just didn’t do enough in the rest of his game to create much value -- and home runs are cheap these days.
      The Mets were one team with a need at third, as the Angels added Zack Cozart and the Giants traded for Evan Longoria. The market for a third baseman is thin and unless a team like the White Sox shows interest, you have to http://www.officialmlbstoreco.com/MLB_JERSEYS_BOSTON_RED_SOX-c-1_38.html wonder if Moustakas ends up back in Kansas City.The Nationals have plenty of offensive depth -- Matt Adams, Howie Kendrick, Wilmer Difo, Brian Goodwin and uber-prospect Victor Robles form maybe the best bench in baseball -- and the rotation is strong in the top five. The depth in the rotation is a little thin if somebody goes down, but the weakest spot is catcher, where Matt Wieters had a miserable 2017. Lucroy is coming off a poor season as well, thus the rumor all winter has been the pursuit of Realmuto, with the Nationals unwilling to give up Robles or outfield prospect Juan Soto.
      The rotation as it stands isn't terrible -- Joakim Nordstrom Jersey FanGraphs projects it as 10th in the majors -- but Darvish would certainly be an upgrade over Eddie Butler or Mike Montgomery (who is best suited for the bullpen). One report had the Cubs offering Darvish a four-year deal while the Twins offered a five-year deal. Although Theo Epstein signed Jon Lester to a six-year contract a few years ago (with a seventh-year option), we know the front office is averse to giving pitchers long-term deals. http://www.broncosauthenticsofficial.com/jeff-heuerman-jersey_c-554.html Still, many believe that the Cubs remain the favorites to land Darvish.
      The team's website lists Luke Gregerson as closer, and while he has closing experience, he's coming off the worst season of his career, posting a 4.57 ERA with the Astros and serving up 13 home runs in 61 innings. The projections at FanGraphs like the St. Louis bullpen better than I do -- 10th in projected WAR -- but there has to be some concern about the ninth inning. Dominic Leone, if he pitches like he did last year with Toronto, could end up in that role. jerseys wholesale cheap nfl jerseys nike wholesale nfl jerseys cheap nfl jerseys paypal mlb baseball jerseys nhl jerseys china cheap jerseys nike nfl jerseys 2016

    • lucky has written a new blog article "And, just as quickly, dog masks seem to have mercifully gone" 02.07.2018

      the way of the Discount Double-Check, Cam's Dab, the Dirty Bird and, god willing, Dilly Dilly. ecause except for the wolf tattoo on his left biceps, Long and the rest of the Eagles seem to have moved on rather quickly from the whole underdog shtick. And, quite frankly, after destroying a dynasty like New England, it doesn't http://www.footballchargersofficialstore.com/Joe_Barksdale_Jersey really fit them anymore anyway. "The way this whole year has been for us, how could this team and this city and this game go any other way?" Long laughs. "For us, it was perfect. I'm sure the whole world at home was watching and going 'Oh, here we go, here's where the Eagles panic.'"

      It's a legitimate Authentic Jack Mewhort Jersey concern, I tell Long, after checking his locker thoroughly for dog masks. (Nothing.) Because by my count, three teams have basically handed Super Bowls to New England, all because they got spooked by the big, bad, zombie Patriots and tried to http://www.winnipegjetsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Ben-Chiarot-Jersey "over-kill" them Adam Joseph Duhe Jersey late in the game with, oh, I don't know, stupid pass plays at the goal line."But there was no panic, not from Case Keenum Jersey this team," Long says. "I know what the whole world was thinking late in the game, but we've been proving the whole world pretty wrong for most of this season."
      While this Super Bowl, with a record 1,151 yards and 74 points, featured less defense than the Pro Bowl, it did feel inside the stadium like Long or one of his defensive line mates would need to step up and become a Philly legend. That guy was defensive end Brandon Graham, whose strip sack on Brady would seal the win for Philly. If you're worried the play might have gone to Graham's head, don't. At 10:44 p.m. inside the Eagles locker room, Graham, still dressed in a game uniform streaked with Patriots red and blue across the front, is on FaceTime at his locker, doing the E-A-G-L-E-S chant with his family back in Michigan. Having seen the Falcons run out of gas late in last year's Super Bowl, the Eagles' defensive line made a point of trying to stay fresh for the Patriots' inevitable fourth-quarter surge.
      "Shoot, I'm still fresh, I could go play some more right now," Graham jokes. "We just knew we had to keep coming, keep pushing the pocket and make that play when we got the chance. So we stayed aggressive and we kept coming and we matched their intensity." On his game-winning play, Graham got leverage by feigning a stunt. When the blocker overpursued, Graham used that momentum to throw him off balance and clear a path to Brady.
      "Brady only had to hold the ball on one play and it ended up costing him the game," Graham says. "And now we're legends for life in Philly!"
      Now, as the red digital clock inside the Philadelphia locker room clicks toward 11, the Eagles coax players toward the team buses with a makeshift dinner buffet set up near the exit that gives the area the thick, rich smell of a steakhouse. (Underdogs eat hot dogs. Champions eat prime rib.) But while most teammates leave the locker room with carryout boxes full of steak, 310-pound defensive tackle Fletcher Cox's hands are already full.
      In the hallway, tackle Beau Allen is already talking about "getting back to Philly, man, that will be a sight to see. We started this thing as underdogs and ended up making history." Next to him, a few feet away from broadcaster Tony Dungy and Brian Dawkins, the Eagles' newest Hall of Famer, Lurie speaks softly about his parents and especially his dad, who taught him football. Asked to sum up this year in one word, he chooses "ethereal." Ah, a thing of delicate beauty that seems too perfect for this world.
      One might also use that word to describe the silver Tiffany keepsake cradled safely in Cox's right arm as he exits the locker room. As the cornerstone of the franchise, the Eagles couldn't find a more perfect guy to safeguard Philly's most important artifact since the Liberty Bell. And this scene, with Cox, chomping on a stogie, wearing his new Super Bowl champ T-shirt and carrying that trophy home to Pennsylvania, feels like the perfect final moment to this incredible season.
      The NFL did the right thing by upholding Zach Ertz's touchdown. As referee Gene Steratore said, Ertz caught the ball and took more than two steps to establish possession before he dove over the goal line. In NFL catch-ese, Ertz became a runner and this was not an instance of going to the ground. He didn't need to control it "throughout the process."
      The ESPN Win Probability model strongly recommended going for it on the Eagles' 4th and 1 on their own 45. The decision alone (independent of the result) increased their chance of winning by 7.3%. They needed at least a 39% chance of success to make the risk worthwhile, and league average there is over 65%. A bold, but calculated decision that paid off.


    • lucky has written a new blog article "Inside the Eagles locker room: No underdogs, just top dogs" 02.07.2018

      THERE IS ALWAYS a story to be told in the crowded, chaotic rhythms of the stadium corridors just moments after the conclusion of a Super Bowl. At 9:45 Sunday night in Minneapolis, with Tom Petty's Eagles anthem "I Won't Back Down" still echoing from the field, Tom Brady strolled back Chris Sale Youth jersey to the Patriots locker room in quiet solitude behind a thin black curtain that offered little protection from http://www.washingtoncapitalsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Lucas-Johansen-Jersey the bitterly frigid air. At that exact moment, headed in the opposite direction and passing within feet of Brady, was Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, surrounded by a sea of family and friends, adoring fans, cheerleaders, team officials, a dozen TV cameras and a full security detail that ordered everyone to MAKE ROOM for the NFL's newest, and most unlikely, quarterback king.

      Late Sunday, after Foles and the Eagles had completed the greatest underdog run in NFL history, I wandered down into http://www.cardinalsofficialonlinestore.com/Corey_Peters_Jersey the concrete hallways below U.S. Bank Stadium in search of the ubiquitous dog masks that had become the unofficial symbol of the Eagles' inconceivable run from NFC mutts to Super Bowl champions. But while I found plenty of Eagles hats and Eagles wings, some fur coats, lots of bear hugs, a Union Jack Danny Gare Jersey cape and even a Browns jersey, I didn't see a single dog mask.

      And as I continued my search over the next hour inside the Eagles' epic post-Super Bowl locker room celebration, I watched firsthand as this team -- and, perhaps, the entire city of Philadelphia -- transformed before our very eyes from the greatest underdog act in the NFL to the top dogs of the sports world.
      AT 10:14 INSIDE the Eagles' expansive, plush locker room, with Foles still in demand and surrounded by a mob that, at times, runs 10 deep, a softly smiling Carson Wentz quietly shuffles past his celebrating teammates underneath a cockeyed championship hat. There's just the tiniest hobble caused by his surgically repaired knee and just the tiniest hint of bittersweet joy in his countenance. How could the Eagles' franchise quarterback not be feeling conflicted? After Foles threw a 22-yard touchdown to undrafted rookie free agent Corey Clement to make it 29-19 halfway through the third quarter, fans in Minnesota sounded like they were doing the "SKOL!" chant. But they were actually yelling for the greatest, truest Philly underdog of them all: Foles.
      In a moment, though, whatever is on Wentz's mind is drowned out when someone mercifully dumps Queen's "We Are the Champions" and, instead, cranks up a full-team, full-blast, full-bounce, 15-minute rendition of Kap G's now-fitting "Rings." This is followed by samples from Cardi B and Meek Mill, which means it's safe to say the Eagles have both the best football team and the best NC-17 postgame playlist on the planet. (In my mind, Post Malone kinda set the tone for this crazy game the night before when he ended his set at the ridiculously awesome Maxim party by imploring everyone to "make some mistakes, make some babies and have a Super Bowl!")
      At 10:19 the first tsunami of champagne misses Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie, who is dancing (if that's what we're calling it) in the middle of his players, and instead soaks my entire notebook while I just happen to be noting the immense difference between this locker room and the Patriots' after Super Bowl LI. Of course, there are many different ways to conduct yourself after winning the Super Bowl, and there is absolutely nothing wrong if an organization like the Patriots chooses to take a businesslike approach to victory, even if it borders on joyless.
      But I gotta say, and I think most of America agrees with me on this one: Just like quarterback catches and trick plays, the Eagles do Super Bowl celebrating so much better than New England. And it's http://www.officialdallasstars.com/Adidas-Bobby-Smith-Jersey kinda nice to be reminded that this http://www.bearsnflofficialproshop.com/prince-amukamara-jersey-for-sale-c-68.html is all actually supposed to be fun.
      Watching from just outside the dance circle is a beaming Jim Schwartz, a pupil of Bill Belichick's years ago in Cleveland and now the Eagles' defensive coordinator. Schwartz and I go back a bit -- when he was in Tennessee we once spent an entire interview talking about blackjack strategy as a way of understanding how defenses try to minimize the odds of playcallers -- and even though he Bruce Bochy Authentic Jersey didn't want to talk, it was obvious he understood just how rare it is for a former Belichick assistant coach to get the better of his mentor, especially in the Super Bowl. And if Schwartz's smile didn't give it away, his four-figure, crystal-ensconced, custom-made, sparkling loafers did the trick. That's how confident Schwartz is, I guess: He already has the shoes to match his new Super Bowl ring.
      A moment later, when head coach Doug Pederson calls the team together for a chat, it is Schwartz who passes him the Lombardi trophy so he can hold the hardware while he talks to the team. (I have to be honest here: I missed most of Pederson's speech while listening to members of the Eagles organization speculate about how fans in Philadelphia would react to the win. "There might not be anything left by the time we get home," is how one team member put it. There were some arrests, at least one overturned car and a collapsed hotel awning on Broad Street, but, for the record, Philly is still standing.)
      But I do manage to catch Pederson's most poignant moment, near the end when he hoists the trophy into the air and shouts, "An individual can make a difference ..." and the locker room finishes his sentence by yelling back to him, "... but a team can make a miracle!"
      By this point, I have all but given up my search for dog masks when Mr. Underdog himself, Chris Long, enters the locker room. The top-seeded Eagles, presumed doomed after Wentz blew out his knee in December, joined the 1980 Raiders and the 2007 Giants as the only teams in NFL history to capture a title after winning every playoff game as an underdog. The whole dogface thing started when the Eagles sneaked past the favored Falcons in the divisional playoffs. Afterward, Long donned a kinda creepy German shepherd mask as a way of mockingly celebrating the Eagles' status as the greatest underdog in sports since, I guess, Rocky, or, perhaps, the science of Authentic C.J. Miles Jersey basketball analytics.


    • Despite the overall paucity of moves, two teams have lost their all-time WAR leaders. First, the Marlins gifted Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees. Later, the Rays traded Evan Longoria to the Giants. Both moves left the fan bases in Florida stewing. Just as much animosity was stirred up when Pittsburgh sent Andrew McCutchen to San Francisco. McCutchen ranks "only" 12th on the Pirates' all-time WAR leaderboard, but none of those ahead of him played for Pittsburgh this century.

      Perhaps there is no way to quantify it, but there are ancillary effects in these kinds of transactions. You could look at the negative impact in the areas of marketing and branding when a franchise unloads a long-standing fan favorite, but it would be tough to pin down an exact number. All we know is that it sucks for those jilted fans.
      Last week, a new class of Hall of Famers was announced. The identity of those newly immortalized legends will determine what Main Street in Cooperstown will look like on an upcoming summer weekend. The streets will be clogged with blue-clad Braves fans (Chipper Jones), yellow-wearing Padres fans (Trevor Hoffman) and dueling fan bases of Vladimir Guerrero admirers (Expos and Angels).Once again we'll be reminded just how strong those affinities between great players and the http://www.authenticwhitesoxstore.com/authentic-45-derek-holland-jersey.html communities most invested in their exploits are. One-franchise players such as George Brett, Robin Yount, Cal Ripken Jr. and Derek Jeter might be rare, but it doesn't take an entire career to win over a city.
      With the transaction market still frozen, that Hall announcement gives us a great opportunity to look at baseball through its unparalleled historical lens. Let's focus on the concept of the "franchise face" -- the player whose very presence on a team serves as a rallying point for the cities in which they play, a presence that often lasts well beyond a player's on-field career.Here's the question of the day: How many franchises currently have, or might have, their best-ever player in the organization right now?First, let's acknowledge that the label of "best" is never as easy to define as you'd think.
      The perfect example of this is Alex Rodriguez's time with the Texas Rangers. According to FanGraphs, A-Rod put up 27.0 WAR for Texas from 2001-03. Those account for three of the top four seasons in Rangers history. They also are the only three seasons in which Rodriguez played for Texas. No one has ever been better for the Rangers while they were with the Rangers.Does that make A-Rod the best player in Rangers history? Well, he ranks just 10th in career WAR for that franchise. The feeling here is, no, as great as those three seasons were, there weren't enough of them for Rodriguez to be anointed as the best Texas Ranger of all time. Alex Rodriguez is not the historical face of the Rangers.
      Therefore, in these assessments, cumulative production will matter as much as short-term brilliance, and context will matter as well when the metrics are close. WAR data from FanGraphs served as the basis for this piece.he brilliance of Trout cannot be overstated. He's only 26 years old, but already owns the four highest single-season WAR totals in Angels history. His career total of 54.4 is 8.6 more than second-place Chuck Finley. Trout can't become a free agent until after the 2020 season, so there's a strong possibility that he'll stand alone for a long time atop this franchise even if he departs. But even if Trout retired today, he'd still be worthy of being called the best Angel ever.
      And by the time we run through all the teams, this much will be clear: Trout is the only star toiling in baseball right now who is clearly the best player the history of the franchise he will be playing for when the 2018 season begins.Anthony Rizzo already ranks 48th in Cubs history. Baseball can be a cruel sport for sentimental types, particularly in the 21st century, when players are too often referred to more as Chris Tierney Jersey commodities than people. But it's really hard to imagine Rizzo playing for another team. Not saying it won't happen, but it's not likely to happen anytime soon. If T.J. Lang Jersey Rizzo remains a first-division player over the next seven or eight years, he can get into the Santo-Banks class.
      But Bryant is the guy to watch. You have to remind yourself that he has http://www.officialpelicansshop.com/authentic-12-donatas-motiejunas-jersey.html played only three big league seasons. It feels like he has been around for a decade. According to Baseball-Reference.com, only four players have put up more WAR during the first three seasons of a career. Bryant already is at 21.6 career WAR. If he keeps putting up seven-win seasons for the next half-decade, he'll be in position to blow by every other Cub.Bryant -- a Scott Boras client -- doesn't hit free agency until 2022, though the Cubs certainly could sign him to an extension that pushes past his arbitration years. You never know, but you'd have to think the Cubs will pony up enough of their expanding base of financial clout to keep Bryant around for the long haul.
      Arizona's top two players -- Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez -- both logged significant time with other franchises. Goldschmidt is the first player who might become Arizona's true icon -- a historical, one-franchise talent. He's at 31.6 WAR through last season, ranking third in franchise history behind Johnson (53.6) and Gonzalez (33.8). He'll move into second this season. The question is whether he'll stick around Arizona long enough to cement his best-Diamondback-ever status: Goldschmidt can become a free agent after the 2019 season, and Arizona is not a franchise with unlimited resources.
      For all of their historical success and status as an iconic franchise, the Dodgers' career leader (Don Drysdale) has just 65.6 career WAR. (By the way, pitcher WAR totals mentioned in this piece include their contributions at the plate.) There are several others over or near 60 -- Duke Snider, Don Sutton, Zack Wheat, Pee Wee Reese -- who all reside in that group. However, the franchise face is almost certainly Jackie Robinson (57.2 WAR), for reasons that go well beyond the ballfield.
      Robinson's No. 42 hangs in every ballpark, Womens Vince Dunn Jersey so no one will ever upstage his status as one of http://www.raidersfootballofficialstore.com/Deandre-Washington-Jersey the most important players ever to don a uniform. But in terms of determining the best-ever Dodger, Kershaw can bring some clarity to what is as of now a murky argument. He's at 59.3 WAR for his first 10 big league seasons, a faster pace than all but 10 other big league pitchers throughout history. However, he has made just 48 starts over the past two years, so now durability may be a looming issue. nfl jerseys from china cheap jerseys wholesale wholesale jerseys usa nike nfl jerseys wholesale wholesale nfl jerseys nike wholesale jerseys

    • lucky has written a new blog article "To the outside observer, this was nothing less than" 02.06.2018

      the gutsiest coaching job in Super Bowl history -- an all-out, nothing-to-lose strategic masterpiece equal to the monumental http://www.dolphinsshopfootballonline.com/Chase-Allen-Jersey moment. Pederson was sending in plays like a boxer determined to keep his opponent on the ropes. Body blow. Uppercut. Corner route in the end zone to a covered Alshon Jeffery. Touchdown pass to a double-covered Clement in the back of the end zone. Pederson and the Eagles watched last year's Super Bowl. They knew Brady and Belichick would keep coming. They had to stand on the gas pedal until they saw that checkered flag.

      But to the Eagles themselves? To those who've been watching the Eagles for the past month? For the past five months? Well, this was just Pederson coaching the way Pederson does. That's been Doug all year, and that is Doug," Celek said. "He's a heck of a playcaller. He's going to keep you off-balance, and he did that tonight."
      In the end, that's what it took to deliver Philadelphia its first Super Bowl title. This was the third time (in eight tries!) that a team beat the Brady/Belichick Patriots in a Super Bowl, and each of the three required some kind of superhuman effort. A David Tyree helmet catch. A Mario Manningham sideline miracle. A backup quarterback who was thinking about retirement last summer becoming the first player to throw and catch touchdown passes in the same Super Bowl. A gutsy play call that let everyone on the field know he believed in them, because Pederson's a coach who believes that's the only way this will work.
      Former Patriot LeGarrette Blount, who signed a one-year deal with the Eagles last offseason, already has a 36-yard run and a 21-yard touchdown scamper against his former team. Here's what Blount said last week about facing New England: "Straight enemy mode," he said. "Ain't no friends, no homies, none of that. ... I don't play for the Patriots anymore. I don't watch the Patriots. I don't care about the Patriots."Patriots No. 1 wide receiver Brandin Cooks has been ruled out for the rest of the game with a head injury after taking a big hit from Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins in the second quarter. Cooks caught a 23-yard pass over the middle and circled in an attempt to gain extra yardage when he turned to the outside and ran into a thunderous hit by Jenkins.
      The biggest surprise from a defensive game-plan perspective for the Patriots is that Malcolm Butler is not starting, with Eric Rowe getting the nod over him. The Patriots are primarily playing a "big nickel" package with three safeties. Rowe has been in coverage on both of the Eagles' first-down conversions on third down.Shades of Super Bowl XLII, as Eagles WR Torrey Smith pulls off a David Tyree-like helmet catch on 3rd and 12 to extend their opening drive and set up a Jake Elliott FG. Good mix of plays by Doug Pederson to get offense going, but Pats' defense stiffens near the goal line.It's two degrees for kickoff, which means this is officially the coldest Super Bowl ever. Beats Super Bowl XVI in Detroit in 1982 — also played indoors — which had a low http://www.floridapanthersofficialonline.com/Adidas-Colton-Sceviour-Jersey of five degrees that day.
      It was all set up for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to produce another dramatic, fourth-quarter, winning drive -- the ball in his hands, 2:21 remaining and a touchdown would win it -- but then it all came crashing down.And there was Brady, sitting dejectedly on the field at U.S. Bank Stadium after having the ball stripped out of Artie Burns Jersey his hands by defensive end Brandon Graham, knowing that a sixth Super Bowl title had slipped out of his grasp if not for a late miracle.
      It never came, one Curt Schilling Authentic Jersey last-gasp drive stopped short as Brady and the Patriots met their match in a worthy Philadelphia Eagles squad that never backed down and rolled the dice with success on fourth down in a 41-33 victory Sunday."They made one good play at the right time," said Brady, who was 28-of-48 for 505 yards, with three touchdowns.One of the major disappointments for the Patriots was how they were carved up throughout the game on defense, and an unconventional coaching decision -- to replace starting cornerback Malcolm Butler with Eric Rowe -- will be second-guessed in New England. Butler, the team's Super Bowl XLIX hero, played only on special teams in a move that Bill Belichick said wasn't disciplinary.
      The Super Bowl appearance was the eighth in 18 http://www.officialpiratesproshop.com/Joaquin_Benoit_Jersey seasons during the Belichick-Brady era. It's the third time the pair has lost, and it comes with potential major changes on the horizon. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could move on to coach the Indianapolis Colts, and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia seems set to take over the Detroit Lions. Other assistant coaches might also be on the way out.
      Then there is the question of the status of Belichick or Brady. In an interview with Westwood One before Super Bowl LII, Brady confirmed his plans to play in 2018, saying, "Yeah, you're gonna see me playing football next year. I don't envision not playing." And ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that Belichick is also expected to be back.But according to an ESPN The Magazine story, the Patriots dynasty started showing cracks in the aftermath of backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's trade to the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 31. It was a deal few saw coming, in part, because the club had been so adamant on keeping him as the heir apparent to Brady. But with Garoppolo's contract expiring at the end of the season, and Brady playing at Authentic Colorado Avalanche Jersey a high level at 40, things reached a breaking point.
      "We probably had, in my opinion, the best quarterback situation in the league for the last -- let's call it 2½ years. It's just not sustainable, given the way that things are set up," Belichick said, referring to the salary cap. "It's definitely not something that we wanted to walk away from, and we rode it out as long as we could." nfl jerseys nike nfl jerseys from china cheap jerseys free shipping cheap jerseys for sale cheap jerseys nfl nhl jerseys china



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