Rays’ power surge may be the biggest surprise of homer-happy season

The Rays entered the 2017 season having never finished in the top five for team home runs. Their first baseman, Logan Morrison, entered 2017 with only one 20-homer season.

So it’s safe to assume that nobody expected Morrison to already have a career high 24 home runs — tied for second in all of baseball — on a team that has the second most home runs in baseball: 128. That includes Morrison.

“It’s just a good start,” Morrison said when asked whether he thought he would near the top of the leaderboard. “I’ve got to keep it going.”

But it’s not just Morrison who’s had a power surge for Tampa Bay this year. It’s been a team wide effort. Seven Rays already have nine home runs. They only had eight players hit that many Hot Cheap Jerseys each of the past two seasons.

However, if you look back at previous All-Star Game rosters, there is another group of players who jump out. On each roster, there are one or two players who unexpectedly found themselves in one of baseball’s biggest showcases. One impressive first half of a season can have a player rubbing elbows with the best players in the game. One look at their names will cause fans to ask, “Who was this guy again?”

For the NFL franchise with the most Super Bowl titles (six), success starts at the top. The Rooneys are tremendous people and great franchise operators. I’ve known, liked and respected Dan and Art II for more than 30 years. They were bred to run the Steelers and, despite all the Houston Texans Cheap Jerseys winning seasons and championships, have remained friendly, humble, low-ego and never in panic mode.

I’ve picked up a few terms here and there

The notion that foreign born players can, and should, easily pick up the language of the country they’re playing in has become somewhat prevalent with fans and those around MLB. Proponents of the idea claim that it’s not that difficult to learn a second language while simultaneously spending six to eight hours a day at the ballpark, and that if a big-league club has the resources to provide a player with an interpreter, they should have the resources to provide the player with an English teacher. Whether it’s a majority opinion or not, that pressure to learn English is being felt by international players across MLB.

Asked whether he has felt any pressure from the fans in South Korea to learn the language, Dean said that he had not, though, he said that he has made a point to try to learn as much of the language as possible.

“I learned the alphabet, so I’m able to read Hangul, which is helpful, and I’ve picked up a few terms here and there. It’s definitely not easy, though,” he said.

He also recalled how, whether he is with his Korean-born teammates or interacting with fans, anytime he has used “one of the few Korean phrases [he] knows” correctly, everyone around him lights up, appreciative of the effort he made to learn their language.

While he acknowledges the difficulties he encounters daily, Dean knows it could be worse and considers himself lucky to be playing a game for a living, albeit far from home. He also notes that his pitching coach with the Tigers spent a little time in America and knows a few English Good Quality Cheap Jerseys phrases, making mound visits, with the help of the interpreter, easier than expected.

they tend to lose velocity because of a combination of wear and tear on their arms and simple aging.

Normally an increase in fastball velocity is a very good thing for a pitcher. The faster pitches go, the less time batters have to react, the more they make mistakes, and the more outs the pitcher gets. Price is throwing his four-seam fastball as quickly as he did when he was 27 years old. That’s saying something considering he’s 31 and has an additional 739 innings on his arm.

Yet, that increase in velocity hasn’t helped Price, who sports an ERA of 4.61 heading into his start Tuesday. That represents the worst ERA he’s ever put up in a season, worse than what is currently his worst season — his first full season in the majors, when he was 23 years old.

As pitchers get older, they tend to lose velocity because of a combination of wear and tear on their arms and simple aging. Price’s increase in velocity is substantial; his four-seam fastball traveled at an average velocity of 93.75 mph in 2016, whereas this season he’s thrown it an average of Flyers Cheap Jerseys 94.27 mph. Overall that’s an increase of about a half mile per hour. That might not seem like much, but when Find Cheap Jerseys Online ou consider that most pitchers his age lose velocity, it becomes more impressive.

It’s not easy to let go of a franchise player, but this franchise player is 33 years old and has failed to lead you to the playoffs in the last four seasons. Team owner James Dolan does not want to shell out $50 million or so to rid himself of Anthony, especially if that means watching Anthony compete for a championship in Cleveland or elsewhere next season. And the price tag, combined with the sting of witnessing Anthony’s inevitable success wherever he lands next, understandably sticks in Dolan’s craw.

Henke was the centerpiece of one of the first deep bullpens in baseball history

The Celtics appear determined to sign Gordon Hayward in free agency, then trade for Paul George, but if a trade with the Pacers doesn’t materialize, Boston could target Blake Griffin as a Plan B. Griffin doesn’t have the shooting prowess or two-way ability of George, but he would be another building block for the Celtics.

One of the top players in the league when healthy, the four-time All-NBA honoree has been limited in recent years because of injuries, so there would be inherent risk for Boston in signing Griffin. But in the short term, Griffin, 28, would close the gap between the Celtics and the Cavaliers.

Henke was the centerpiece of one of the first deep bullpens in baseball Cheap Womens Baseball Jerseys history.

“In ‘92 when we won everything, we had myself and Duane Ward, David Wells, Mike Timlin, David Weathers,” Henke said. “You could go right down the line. We had a pretty sound bullpen all the way through and then we had a strong starting staff, too.”

But aches began to chip away at Henke — a groin injury in Toronto, his back ailment with the Rangers and all the wear that accumulates on pitchers over the years that fans might Cheap Zach Parise Jerseys never fully hear about. Henke recalled a visit to famed arthoscopic surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

Andrews told Henke, “Every time you throw a pitch, you tear your rotator cuff muscles. There are microscopic tears that go in there every time you use your arm like that.”

These tears could be repaired through a restful offseason, though Cheap Youth NBA Jerseys Andrews’ words stuck with Henke. He could also see his physical ability beginning to fade.

“I just couldn’t do it much longer,” Henke said. “I understood that and I accepted that.”

Nissan Stadium damaged by fireworks shell days ahead of USMNT game

David Price is throwing faster but striking out fewer hitters; is that a bad thing?

David Price’s second season with Boston has been an odd one.

Unlike other seasons in his to-date stellar career, Price missed the first two months with an elbow injury. Since returning to the mound, Price has experienced the odd combination of both throwing faster and striking out fewer hitters.

Generally speaking, that’s a hard thing to pull off, kind of like running faster and stealing fewer bases, or using better ingredients yet baking worse muffins. Still, somehow Price has done it. So we’re left to wonder: Could Price’s increase in fastball velocity be a bad thing?

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Breaking down new-look Bills: Simplicity to benefit Tyrod Taylor, evolving roster

So maybe the Bills won’t snap their 17-year playoff drought, the longest of any team in all four major American sports leagues, in 2017. At this point, Buffalo will take a lack of dysfunction as a step in the right direction.

It’s fair to start to wonder whether the 2017 Cubs are ever going to look like Cheap Infant Jerseys the 2016 Cubs. One thing we pretty much know for sure at this point — these Cubs aren’t going to match the regular-season win total of those Cubs. Last year, manager Joe Maddon’s team won 103 games (with 58 losses and one tie). To match that, after this uninspiring 35-34 record through 69 games, they’d have to go 68-25 (or 68-24-1, to be exact) the rest of the season.

But when the Astros became competitive a couple of years back, Luhnow followed a strategy a Luddite GM might: trade prospects and sign veteran free agents.

On the trade side, he turned Rio Ruiz, Brett Phillips, Mark Appel, Thomas Eshelman, Andrew Thurman and Daniel Mengden into Evan Gattis, Ken Giles, Mike Fiers, Carlos Gomez and Scott Kazmir. On the free-agent side, he brought in known quantities Luke Gregerson, Roberto Hernandez, Jed Lowrie, Pat Neshek, Colby Rasmus and Joe Thatcher. He also signed Cuban star Yuli Gurriel, who had a long international resume.

Last offseason, after the Astros failed to return to the playoffs, Luhnow Cheap International Soccer Jerseys made five more major additions: Brian McCann (trade), Carlos Beltran (free agent), Josh Reddick (free agent), Nori Aoki (waivers) and Charlie Morton (free agent). McCann, Beltran, Reddick and Aoki were brought in to lead the more-contact movement, as the WSJ noted, and the return of Morton’s velocity was intriguing, but as with all the other moves, it shouldn’t have taken profound #analysis to match strategy and player.

Chargers bid farewell to San Diego with emotional final practice

The San Diego Chargers are officially no more.

The Chargers held their three-day minicamp this week at their old San Diego training facility. When Thursday’s practice ended, it was the last time the team would be at Chargers Park before their move to Los Angeles.

You can’t name a better playground game than capture the flag. In these practice facilities that NFL teams have nowadays, or even in their monster stadiums, you could set up one heck of a game.

Capture the flag is all about good strategy, but the variety of athletes who football teams have would make for an even more interesting game. Some coordination on who should be going after the flags and who could be a decoy, would force players to think critically in trying to outsmart their teammates.

Could you imagine if a team like the Falcons were playing among themselves? You’d think players like Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, or Tevin Coleman would be the main flag capturers on the roster — until Vic Beasley or Deion Jones comes out of nowhere. Those skill position players are key, but you can’t forget how shifty the defense is.

A few teams, like the Falcons, already have pingpong tables set up in their locker rooms. All they need to make this happen is a few cases of beer and some cups. — Jeanna Thomas

Cubs (38-37) at Nationals (45-30) 7:05 p.m. ET — Both Cheap Hockey Jerseys Youth teams are coming off losses, but the Nationals have been the more consistent team this season. Washington will send Gio Gonzalez (7-1, 2.96 ERA) to the mound to try to fend off Eddie Butler (3-2, 4.19 ERA) and the mercurial Cubs Cheap Girls Softball Jerseys bats. This, on paper, looks like a possible playoff matchup, but the Cubs have a lot of work to do in order to even make the postseason and catch the surprising Brewers in the NL Central.

Bengals’ Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones arrested on multiple charges

Bengals cornerback Adam Pacman Jones was arrested Monday night on multiple charges, according to Cincinnati police.

Online records show Jones was booked into the Hamilton County Justice Center at 12:25 a.m. Tuesday on misdemeanor charges of assault, disorderly conduct and obstructing official business. According to documents cited by the Cincinnati Enquirer, police say Jones later spit on a nurse and a deputy at the jail, resulting in an additional felony charge of harassment with a bodily substance.

Sure, there was some luck involved when arguably the greatest passer ever hits the free-agent market. But that shouldnt diminish how Elway was able to woo Manning to Denver above other suitors and accept a contract structured in such a way as to financially protect the Broncos in case the neck problems that led to his Indianapolis release proved career-ending.

Manning rebounded to enjoy three of his greatest seasons in Denver. The fourth was the most rewarding because it resulted in a Super Bowl win even though the head coach had changed and the Broncos were now being carried by a defense that Elway and his front office had built. Elways decision to hire Kubiak and fire Fox after an opening-round playoff loss for the second time in three seasons was justified.

The window on that era of Broncos football began to close following Mannings post-Super Bowl 50 retirement. It officially shut Monday when Kubiak announced his departure.

Like when he first took the reins, Elway finds himself having Cheap Jerseys NCAA Basketball to begin Cheap Jerseys MLB With Free Shipping anew at two of the games most important spots.