Category: Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays

Way-too-early 2018-19 fantasy basketball rankings for roto leagues

Get ready for a wild and crazy 2018-19 fantasy season. Fantasy managers are going to have their hands full as a number of star players are set to return from serious injuries. Where those players are drafted and how well they perform on the court could make or break many fantasy teams.

Canada had to settle for a disappointing fourth-place finish.

“We wanted to win gold,” Canada forward Bo Horvat said. “We wanted to be in the final. It’s not a result we wanted. But we have to take the positives from this experience and bring it to next year.”

Kreider scored the go-ahead goal for the U.S. in the second period, capitalizing on a mistake by Canada captain Connor McDavid.

Canada answered with a Marc-Edouard Vlasic shot that went in between the pads of goaltender Keith Kinkaid.

Sweden beat Switzerland 3-2 in a shootout for gold later Sunday.

The good news for the Packers as they examine their 2018 schedule is Aaron Rodgers is back, and Green Bay has won the division five out of 10 seasons since he took over as starting quarterback. Minnesota has won the division the last two seasons, and the Vikings are one of four playoff teams on the Packers’ schedule this season. Atlanta visits Lambeau Field, too, and Green Bay has road matchups against New England and the Los Angeles Rams.
Toughest tests: Road games against the Seahawks and Patriots won’t be easy; Green Bay has lost the last three trips to Seattle, starting with the infamous “Fail Mary” game. It’s worth noting that Rodgers has never started a game at Gillette Stadium. The Packers also travel to the West Coast to face a beefed-up Rams team in what could be one of the most entraining games of the season.

Biggest breaks: The Packers avoid a trip to Atlanta, where the Falcons have scorched them three times in the last two seasons. The home schedule is very friendly. Keep in mind Green Bay finished 4-4 at home last season, and that included a 3-0 record with Rodgers.

Ty Lawson says his comeback story is just beginning

Ty Lawson knows what the NBA was thinking: Teams had given up on him.

“Oh yeah, for sure,” he said. “100 percent.”

The Washington Wizards point guard is also sure of why NBA general managers and coaches were keeping their distance.

“Everybody says I have a problem with drinking alcohol,” Lawson said. “I don’t really have a drinking problem. I don’t drink that much, to be honest. Only when I go out with friends [on occasion] … to clarify that, I don’t think I am an alcoholic at all. I am not.”

Less than 48 hours earlier, Lawson was still feeling the sting of losing in the first-ever Game 7 in Chinese Basketball Association playoff history. Hours after finishing with 14 points and six assists for Shandong in a 105-95 semifinal loss to Zhejiang Guangsha, Lawson found out the Wizards were ready to sign him for the NBA’s postseason.

You could hear it in his voice when he took a jab at Georgia earlier this year, saying that making one SEC championship game doesn’t mean anything and, “Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while.” You can see it, too, when he tugs on the Florida logo on his polo shirt, talking about what the “Gator Standard” means to him and how to get back to that level of success.

Slowly but surely, players are starting to believe.

They admit that their confidence was shaken toward the end of last season. Franks called it “one of my lowest times.” After squeaking by Vanderbilt at home, the team crumbled, losing six of its last seven games to finish 4-7. The way McElwain left, with unsubstantiated accusations of death threats against him and his family, only made matters worse.

“We were trying to keep everything together, and then it was a snowball effect,” veteran wideout Freddie Swain said. “One thing went wrong and then after that everything went wrong.”

A little less than a month later, Mullen was introduced as Florida’s next head coach.

NFL Draft 2018: Failed drug test latest incident for Florida WR Antonio Callaway

If former Florida wide receiver Antonio Callaway didn’t have enough questions surrounding him entering the NFL Draft after being suspended by the Gators for the entirety of the 2017 season, he certainly has more now after an alleged positive drug test.

According to ESPN, Callaway tested positive for marijuana at the combine. Callaway’s agent said the sample was diluted, which the NFL considers a failed test anyway.

Former Florida WR Antonio Callaway — who some considered as talented as any WR in this draft — tested positive for marijuana at the combine, NFL sources told ESPN.

“Steph in, Steph out, we still run the same stuff,” Durant said. “I still get in pick-and-roll. Maybe the volume just went up a little bit more. It’s not just one guy who has the ball all the time and making all the plays. I think that’s the beauty of our team, that all of us can go off and score 30 or get eight, nine assists or grab 11 rebounds. … All of us chip in when it comes to facilitating and orchestrating.”

Durant averaged 28.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists in the series against San Antonio, in which the Warriors won in five games by an average margin of 14 points. But the offense is still a work in progress because Curry’s absence causes indecision within the system and less room to operate. During the Game 5 clincher, Durant called an audible on offense and it resulted in a turnover. And while Durant was getting back on defense, Kerr said something to him, and he was seen replying, “Relax.”

The key for the Broncos as they look over their 2018 schedule is no secret regardless of opponents: If Denver can’t solve its quarterback problem, it will have another down season. Defenses in Los Angeles, Houston and Arizona, just to name a few, won’t make that task any easier.

Toughest tests: Beyond the typical challenges that come with road games in Kansas City, Los Angeles and Oakland, San Francisco will present Denver it’s toughest away game in 2018. The Broncos’ home games against the Texans, Rams and Steelers, teams that figure to be strong playoff contenders, pad the schedule with even more tests for whoever starts at QB in Denver.

Biggest breaks: Drawing the Texans, Rams and Steelers at home is a break for the Broncos, who also host the Browns as part of the AFC North matchup. Four of the five non-division games on Denver’s road schedule are winnable on paper.

Bottom line: Even if Case Keenum starts at quarterback and plays well for Denver in 2018, its schedule, combined with the talent in its own division, makes a playoff push doubtful. Before they even think about where they stand in the AFC with contenders like the Texans and Steelers on their schedule, the Broncos need to take care of their standing in the AFC West. Those six games will define Denver’s season. Record prediction: 7-9

Andujar has seven doubles and 10 total extra base hits in the last six games. He finished 4-for-4.

David Robertson and Aroldis Chapman pitched clean eighth and ninth innings, respectively, though Chapman put runners on first base and second base with one out.

Romine started at catcher for the second straight day with Gary Sanchez at designated hitter. Sanchez went 1-for-3.

Anthony Rizzo (DL, back) is eligible to be activated by the Chicago Cubs on Monday, and word has it that he should be ready by then. Should that remain the case by the time weekly lineups lock, he’d be an instant start in all formats — despite the tricky nature of back injuries and their sometimes-adverse impact upon hitters’ power numbers — as the team draws a good-to-excellent set of hitting matchups.

Three weekend games at Colorado’s Coors Field have a lot to say about that, but it also helps that the Cubs play the week-opening three games against the St. Louis Cardinals at home, which is the more hitting-oriented of the NL rivals’ home ballparks, and against only right-handed Cardinals starting pitching. That’s also great news for Ian Happ, typically the team’s leadoff hitter against righties, and Kyle Schwarber, usually the team’s No. 5 hitter against them.

Although it appeared just a few days ago that Torres was being groomed to take over at third base, it now seems as if he’ll be handed the Yankees’ starting second base position.

Torres, 21, played second base on Friday night and Saturday afternoon in Triple-A after a string of games at third base.

After being trounced in Game 1, the Spurs fought admirably behind Aldridge and jumped out to a six-point halftime lead.

“They just took it to us the whole first half,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “They were tremendous defensively. That’s I think the second-best defense in the league statistically, and they showed it in that first half. They got after us. They took away everything we were trying to do.

“So in the second half, I thought we matched that effort level, that physicality, and we’re able to get the upper hand and obviously we had a lot of guys do some great things out there.”

The Warriors deployed their usual third-quarter barrage, this one a 17-5 run to start the frame. Then in the fourth, the Warriors kept leaning on their stars, and Thompson and Durant produced. Thompson scored 24 points in the second half alone, his second-most second-half points in his postseason career.steelers_121

The Harris County district attorney’s office says a grand jury indicted Bennett on Friday on a felony count of injury to the elderly.

Prosecutors in Houston say a warrant has been issued for the arrest of Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Bennett for injuring a paraplegic woman as he tried to get onto the field at last year’s Super Bowl to celebrate with his brother.

Authorities say Bennett was a spectator at the game in Houston when he tried to get onto the field immediately after the game to see his brother, Martellus Bennett, a tight end for the Patriots at the time. Prosecutors say he pushed through security personnel, including a 66-year-old disabled woman who had told him to use a different entrance to access the field, after the Patriots came from behind to beat the Falcons, 34-28, in Super Bowl LI.

Jeff Green was awful, and it wouldn’t surprise me if Lue yanks him from the starting five, or at least pulls him earlier. The Cavs can’t run an optimal spread pick-and-roll with Green on the wing, because the defense ignores him. He’s not an accomplished pick-and-roll screener, so they can’t adjust by using him that way. The Pacers are hiding Myles Turner on him, which has the ripple effect of slotting two like-sized players — Bogdanovic and Thaddeus Young — on LeBron and Love, neutering that pick-and-roll combination.

He is also one of only five rookies since 2005-06, the year Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby came into the league, to finish the season averaging more than a point per game while appearing in at least half of his team’s games. Of those five, Barzal is the only one to appear in all 82 games of his rookie campaign. The company Barzal keeps in that group shows how special his accomplishment this season is. The center averaged 1.04 points per game, which puts him behind only Ovechkin (1.31), Crosby (1.26), Evgeni Malkin (1.09) and Connor McDavid (1.07), who appeared in 45 games in his injury-shortened rookie campaign.

While Barzal is in a class all his own this season, he was far from alone as an impact player in Year 1. The many immediate contributions are great signs for the teams that are drafting and signing these guys, and it’s great for the league that the players coming into the NHL seem to keep getting better.

Here’s a look at my top 10 rookies for the 2017-18 season.jets_038

Saints’ Drew Brees sues jeweler for allegedly cheating him out of $9M

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has filed a lawsuit accusing a California businessman of cheating him out of $9 million through jewelry purchases.

Area media report that Brees and his wife filed suit Monday in California against Vahid Moradi, who operates CJ Charles Jewelers in San Diego.

Even before Tuesday’s trade with the Rams, we expected the Patriots to be in the quarterback market late in the first round. It didn’t seem reasonable to think they could get all the way from No. 31 to the top five, but now that they have the 23rd and the 31st picks, along with two second-rounders, it seems as if nothing is impossible. With Jimmy Garoppolo now plying his trade in San Francisco, there’s no long-term successor in place for Tom Brady. The Patriots absolutely should be a factor if Lamar Jackson makes it into the middle of the round, and it’s entirely possible they could get even higher up in the round if they decide they want to do it.

Not too shabby, considering he struggled in spring training with his arm and bat. He went 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA in a pair of Cactus League outings and wound up pitching against minor leaguers on back fields, and also had trouble making contact with his swing.

He showed really good command today and was able to move the ball in and out, up and down, and we had a hard time getting consistent contact off of him, Chapman said.

Ohtani received ample support from the Los Angeles lineup.

Rain probability: 15 percent chance of light rain showers at 1 p.m., a 40 to 50 percent chance from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., then a 30 percent chance after 5 p.m.

Our advice to Mets fans: Dress in light layers and bring your rain gear with you, just to play it safe. Unlike some other sports stadiums in the New York region, Citi Field allows fans to bring umbrellas inside.

Dustin Colquitt signs on for three more years in K.C.

The Chiefs used a third-round pick on punter Dustin Colquitt in 2005 in a move that settled the position for more than a decade.

Colquitt’s run in Kansas City is set to continue through at least the 2020 season. Colquitt’s agents announced that their client has signed a new three-year deal with the Chiefs.

The Seahawks, who lost Paul Richardson in the opening wave of free agency, are also slated to meet with former Packers wideout Jordy Nelson. That meeting won’t happen if Nelson strikes a deal with the Raiders after visiting with them Wednesday, however.

With John Brown signing in Baltimore, the loss of the other Brown would leave the Cardinals down with Larry Fitzgerald, J.J. Nelson and 2017 third-round pick Chad Williams at wideout.

Because of his problematic qualities juniors, plus his high salary demands and relatively small stature, Bossy was not chosen until the 15th pick of the 1977 draft.Financial details were not disclosed.Such a unique set of accomplishments and a hallowed place history is more astounding considering Howe’s early years.

Lynch has been the better back recently, as he ran 207 times for 891 yards (4.3 per carry) and seven touchdowns last year. He’s also due $6 million this year, which has as much to do with why anyone would wonder about his future as anything.

Martin’s averaged less than 3.0 yards per carry each of his last two seasons with the Buccaneers.

While he’s getting another chance from Jon Gruden, nothing about the way Martin has ed lately suggests he’s prepared to take ing time away from anybody.

The Alliance of American Football, co-founded by longtime television executive Charlie Ebersol and Hall of Famer Bill Polian, will debut on February 9, 2019.

“This [spring football] is a massive gap in the market,”?Ebersol told reporters. “This is a marketplace of tens of millions of Americans who have been telling us for decades that they want to see high-quality football longer than the football season.”49ers_073

The Miami Dolphins have been stuck in mediocrity for more than a decade.

Monday, March 12, 11 a.m. CT, start of the NFL’s legal tampering period, in the downtown Chicago office of agent Mike McCartney: Indianapolis calls. Colts want free-agent center Ryan Jensen. Tennessee calls. Jensen.

You have no idea what I’ve been through the last two days,” McCartney said. Anything in the NFL is old news if it happened 90 minutes ago, so covering something four days ago is so … nineties. But indulge me. The Kirk Cousins story is still fresh to me, with lots of unanswered questions (Did the Jets get played

That comes after New York finished a mediocre 21st in the NFL in pass defense. Johnson was a third-round pick out of Montana in 2012 and established himself as a solid starter in his second year in the NFL. His breakout season came in 2015, when he had a career-high seven interceptions. The Rams used the franchise tag on Johnson the last two offseasons. He posted a farewell to the Rams on his Instagram account Monday, signaling that he would be leaving the team with which he had spent his entire NFL career. ”

Bag has been secured for everyone going into the draft.

The Dolphins, however, have started the process of cleansing their roster of the huge contracts that limited their flexibility and wisely shifted their focus to remaking an offensive line that has lacked talent and availability for years.

The acquisitions of center Daniel Kilgore and guard Josh Sitton and release of center Mike Pouncey were critical moves that can help the Miami offense hit a new level in 2018. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill is returning, plus young tackles Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James will benefit from improved teammates and another year of growth. Sitton is a remarkable upgrade from veteran turnstile Jermon Bushrod, as the four-time Pro Bowler was ranked sixth by B/R NFL1000 scout Ethan Young compared to Bushrod’s 61st.patriots_017

Jimmy Butler ruled out Monday with knee injury

The Timberwolves will be without guards Jimmy Butler and Jamal Crawford on Monday when they travel to play the Clippers.

It brings some comfort to Cozart knowing that Simmons, the best defensive shortstop of his generation, is right by his side as a security blanket.

Myers hit a career-high 30 homers last year, but he also struck out 180 times and batted .229 after the All-Star break. He went home to Charlotte, North Carolina, in October, worked with a personal trainer, loaded up on protein shakes and increased his weight from 201 pounds to a bulked-up 226.

“I’m tired of being tall and skinny,” Myers said. “I wanted to be tall and big.”

Elfrid Payton led the Magic with 22 points and six rebounds. Evan Fournier added 19 points, and Aaron Gordon poured in 11 points with 13 rebounds. The Magic have now won two of their last three games (Celtics and Timberwolves) and lost by just one point to the Cavaliers in between.

While other losing teams like the Kings have essentially given up on the season, Orlando (14-32) has decided to fight despite owning the league’s third-worst record.

The Celtics, now losers of three straight, still hold a two-game lead over the Raptors for top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Pacers guard Victor Oladipo has played like an All-Star all season, and he continued his run of good form by scoring 19 points on 8-of-14 shooting, four rebounds and three steals in a 94-86 win over the Spurs. Oladipo, averaging over 24 points per game this season, has been a steal for the Pacers.

Lillard is currently averaging 25.0 points, four rebounds and six assists per game. He also has the Trail Blazers (23-21) in playoff contention.

This year’s All-Star Game takes place next month, and starters will be announced Thursday night. Coaches then select the reserves Tuesday. More disappointment could be ahead for Lillard, who currently ranks behind even Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball in the voting.indians_005

What time does the Super Bowl end, for those who just want to see ‘This Is Us’ after the game ends

The Philadelphia Eagles are the champions following a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52. And now that means we’re almost ready to find out how Jack Pearson dies on This Is Us. The expected start time for the show is 10:45 p.m. ET.

If you’re interested in taking the next step toward seeing just how and when Jack Pearson dies, you can skip the Eagles-Patriots Super Bowl that precedes it and tune in to NBC at approximately 10 p.m. ET. That allows for about three hours and 30 minutes of broadcast time and will ensure you don’t miss a minute of Emmy nominee Chrissy Metz’s powerful journey. In the last 11 years — but excluding last year’s overtime Super Bowl — the big game has typically ended its broadcast at 10:07 p.m.

Everyone loved this one. That’s why the Eagles won Celebration of the Year for it at Saturday’s NFL Honors awards show.

We thought the Eagles might top all of this in the Super Bowl, but no such luck. But they did get to hoist the Lombardi Trophy for the first time in team history, which probably makes up for it.

Penn State didn’t actually do anything wrong here. But if a question that faces you in life is, Should a little FCS program try to dunk on a historic, national blue-blood on Twitter for claiming one of its players? the answer must always be, Yes.

“He’s an awesome player and somebody who you have to be ready to play,” Long said. “He’s so unique. In my opinion, I’m not an expert historian, but you’d have to really sell me on there being a better tight end that ever played.”

Instead, Brady will have the biggest mismatch-maker in the NFL at his disposal now that Gronkowski has been cleared. He is the Patriots’ leading receiver this season with 69 catches for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns in the regular season.

Josh McDaniels took one last trick from Bill Belichick, and snubbed the Indianapolis Colts after initially accepting their head coaching job. He’s been a great student to Belichick, really.

The Colts now get to frantically search for a new head coach just a couple of weeks before the NFL Combine takes place, and the NFL draft happens in late April. It’s not an ideal situation for them, but apparently Robert Kraft did just enough to keep his offensive coordinator (and stick it to the Colts for Deflategate).