Arizona probably had a worse season than you’d have expected from their talent

Having a good team is the sexiest way to kick off baseball’s winter season. Your team and your fans have visions of pennants dancing in your heads, and the free-agent market looks like a buffet of awesomeness as you think about what big-name signings and acquisitions would make your good team into a great one.

But when you’re an also-ran, the options are less exhilarating. A big signing may just make your non-contending team more expensive. A rebuild job may be a smart decision, but the moment you decide to start tearing up your team can be heart-rending and won’t sell tickets for next season.

Authentic Mens La’el Collins Jersey The Mission: Rebuild the front office.

Arizona probably had a worse season than you’d have expected from their talent, but even if the team had gone 82-80 and missed the playoffs by a less nauseating margin, the same fundamental problem would have remained.
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One of the most athletic pitchers in baseball, Buchholz can show an above-average to plus cutter and has long had a plus or better changeup, but his command wavers from adequate to awful, especially of his fastball, which was the pitch behind 70 percent of the homers he gave up in 2016.

Front offices are smarter now. They focus less on home runs and power and more on OBP and defense. Trumbo had a .316 OBP. He should play first base but always finds himself on a team that wants to put him in right field. That’s not his fault, and it’s nice that he can play right field, but he doesn’t play it very well.

Other big-market teams that could have made a run — the Cardinals, Red Sox (after trading Yoan Moncada), Giants and Yankees — weren’t so desperate for a third baseman that they couldn’t wait for the Machado plunge.

Ben Roethlisberger gets customized suits for Steelers’ offensive linemen

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive linemen keep Ben Roethlisberger clean on the field, so Big Ben¡¯s keeping them clean off the field.

Leodis McKelvin Kids Jersey Roethlisberger, who¡¯s known to splurge on his line around Christmas time, got his personalized tailor to dress his blockers with customized suits, shoes, shirts, the whole deal.

Asked if he was “disturbed” that a player would behave that way before a game, Bowles replied, “It was disturbing that it was said at all.”

Bowles said he had no problem with Richardson’s effort in the game. He played 45 of 48 defensive snaps — more than any defensive lineman — but managed only two tackles and one quarterback hit.

Prescott, a fourth-round pick, was the 135th player selected in the draft. There’s a learning curve involved in his development, but the coaching staff and front office love Prescott because he’s unflappable.

Womens Corey Linsley Jersey Win or lose, good play or bad play, his demeanor remains the same.

¡°Things happen for a reason and obviously that was a very unfortunate, freak injury that happened to [Romo] in Seattle,¡± Stephen Jones said. ¡°It’s fortunate, but misfortune in terms of Tony, that obviously in Dak we’ve found a very special player at quarterback.¡±

Outside of The Star in Frisco, the Cowboys¡¯ state-of-the-art training faciltiy, a daily debate wages all over Dallas-Fort Worth concerning whether Romo should replace Prescott if the Cowboys¡¯ offense struggles Sunday night against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Inside the complex, the topic doesn¡¯t come up.

Along with Belichick and Carroll, all are Super Bowl-winning head coaches

It might seem like there’s as much separation as ever between good and bad NFL teams. As I write this, Dallas and New England have a chance to go 14-2, while Cleveland could finish 0-16.

Elite Kids Mathew Barzal Jersey But as the NFL regular season draws to a close, a deeper look at the numbers reveals the opposite: Teams are bunched in talent much more closely than they appear. The league is at a crossroads, and the next few years will determine which contending franchises will rise to new dominance — or whether that’s even possible anymore.

Along with Carroll, other NFL head coaches under contract could be asked the same question by the media during the next month, and they will likely have the same response as Carroll.

The Saints’ Sean Payton? The Steelers’ Tomlin? The Packers’ Mike McCarthy? The Ravens’ John Harbaugh? Along with Belichick and Carroll, all are Super Bowl-winning head coaches.

Oh, Andy Reid of the Chiefs? He’s an L.A. guy.

Stan Kroenke (right) and the Los Angeles Rams parted ways with head coach Jeff Fisher (left) on Monday.

The Rams, however, paid a big cost to acquire the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft to select quarterback Jared Goff. They still owe the Tennessee Titans their first- and third-round choices in 2017. The franchise arguably cannot afford to bankrupt its future with more draft picks to land its next coach.

Do the Rams instead go after a Super Bowl-winning executive like Denver Broncos general manager John Elway, and let him figure it out?

Asked why he called a fake punt up 24-3 with 5:22 left in the game, Carroll said, “Going into the game, I was hoping we would get the chance, because I thought we were going to need the rushing yards, to tell you the truth.”
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Around 6:30 a.m., a woman named Renada Gibson walked into a gas station near the highway in New Orleans East. She bought two coffees, four doughnuts, a pack of cigarettes and a fruit bar.

Eagles vs. Giants 2016 picks and predictions: Experts predict New York to end season with a win

The New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles were eliminated from the postseason last week, so it would be natural to think that this Week 17 matchup is meaningless for both teams. That would also be wrong.

For starters, we could possibly be witnessing the Elite Youth Reggie White Jersey end of a Hall of Fame coaching career with rumors swirling about the fate of Giants coach Tom Coughlin. The players continue to show their support and respect for him in the locker room, but it’s hard to ignore the poor results on the field in recent years.

The Giants have already guaranteed themselves Limited Kids Ryan Smyth Jersey a third straight losing season and a fourth consecutive playoff-less campaign. They are the only NFL team since 1990 (under the current postseason format) to follow a Super Bowl win by missing the playoffs in each of the next four seasons. Still, the Giants have a chance to salvage some pride and send their longtime coach out with a win if they can beat Philly.

Cincinnati Bengals: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State
After A.J. Green, the Bengals have depth issues looming at wide receiver. Thomas is at worst a high-end No. 2 wideout with good size and ability to go up and get the ball.

Denver Broncos: Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU
It’s clear the Broncos need offensive tackle help, and it’ll be tricky finding one this late in the first round. Hawkins gets the nod over players like teammate Vadal Alexander or Le’Raven Clark of Texas Tech because of his athleticism and potential.

Arizona Cardinals: Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State
The Cardinals will need help along the defensive line sooner than later, and a talent like Ogbah is too good to pass up with this choice. He’s a high-effort lineman whose attitude will fit perfectly in Arizona.

Carolina Panthers: Josh Doctson, WR, TCU
Sure, the Panthers just drafted Kelvin Benjamin two years ago and Devin Funchess last year, but Doctson would be a fabulous addition to the receiving group. He’s a big-play threat who excels at high-pointing the ball.

Can MLB create an international draft that works?

I had Dexter Fowler as the second-best free agent in this winter¡¯s class behind only Yoenis Cespedes, but he would have been No. 1 if we were talking specifically about the Cardinals¡¯ needs.
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St. Louis had few spots on their roster where they could clearly use an upgrade and gain a couple of wins just by one move, and centerfield was the most obvious one, with no true center fielder on the roster and a rather glaring need for another high-OBP bat in the lineup.

Only four Cardinals hitters managed to top a .330 OBP last year, and one, Aledmys Diaz, is probably going to regress at the plate from his 2016 performance. Fowler¡¯s .393 OBP was a career high and it¡¯s reasonable to expect him to regress as well, but even his subpar .346 on-base percentage from 2015 would be a boost to this lineup over the .290 the Cards got from center fielders this past season.

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His contract also calls for team options in 2020 and 2021 at an average of $10 million per year. Assuming the Nats exercise both options, they¡¯ll have Eaton for five years at a total cost of $38.4 million, or an average annual value of $7.7 million. Compare that to, say, the $27.5 million AAV years that the division rival Mets just shelled out for Yoenis Cespedes ($110 million over four), and the Eaton trade seems like an absolute steal for Rizzo and the Nationals — until you factor in what they gave up. In light of Harper¡¯s tweet, let¡¯s go ahead and call it the ¡°wow¡± factor.

In his two years before free agency, Ryan had a 2.35 ERA over 157 1/3 innings. And in his first season with the Blue Jays, he had a 1.37 ERA over 72 1/3 innings while posting 3.5 WAR (his single-season high). Over the rest of the contract, however, he had a 4.34 ERA in 83 total innings.

Wagner performed well for the Mets for two years and four months, helping them to a National League East title in his first season with 40 saves in 45 chances with the team and 34 saves in 39 chances in the Mets¡¯ near-miss in 2007.

Some players and coaches marveled at how Kelly has handled everything

At his Wednesday news conference, the normally guarded Kelly opened up about his father, noting his sense of humor and insatiable thirst for knowledge.

¡°He lived a vibrant and long life, 87 years,” Kelly said. “He touched a lot of people in his life, and it was evident to us yesterday when we had the funeral how many people came and expressed their condolences and reached out. He had a huge impact in his life. I think it¡¯s a difficult time; I think we all feel for my mom more than anything else. But it¡¯s an opportunity to celebrate the times that we had with him, and he was just a great man.¡±

When he was done answering questions, Kelly walked on to the field, where a handful of Niners stopped him and offered hugs before practice began.

Twelve poor games doesn’t mean the player is a complete bust, though. There’s still time to bounce back from rough starts. Those who receive big money have the remainder of their contract to live up to expectations, as long as the team that signed them doesn’t release them.
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Fans complain if their teams aren’t aggressive in free agency, but teams can’t build only through free agency. They have to build through the draft and supplement their roster with free-agent signings. Sure, the 8-4 New York Giants deserve credit for spending more than $200 million in free-agent money over the offseason and improving their defense. But not all of their issues are fixed. The New York Jets invested heavily last year in free agency and came out with 10 wins, but now they are sitting near the bottom of the league at 3-9.

Here’s my ranking of the most disappointing free-agent deals from the 2016 offseason, taking into account the value of the deals they signed:

Authentic JJ Redick Jersey The Texans signed Osweiler to a four-year, $72 million deal this offseason, hoping to bring consistency at the quarterback position. Osweiler has been consistent — consistently below average.

It’s a much bigger game for the Giants, who lost handily to the Steelers last week

“Matthew, Thank you for the opportunity to give, and get. I went to tweet this to you and discovered I’d been blocked. I couldn’t understand why. It bothered me a little, but overall, just made me wonder why. Maybe I said something a while back I don’t remember. … Your writing made me think. The only “mean” tweets I send have been political (not a fan of who won the election). Your line about putting negativity into the universe hit home. Despite my feelings about this, it does make me re-think the words I choose [to] tweet. Putting negativity in the universe …
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Kids Ronnie Lott Jersey “I am not blocked on twitter. In fact it was your tweet to pick up Tim Hightower (instead of CJ Spiller) when I lost Mark Ingram that [led] to me winning a fantasy championship last year by the score of 100.48-98.26. I am forever grateful to you. I just wanted to be the one (of many) to tell you that I fully support your blocking rules on social media. There is just no reason for people to go out of their way to send mean-spirited tweets.

“To take it one step further. If you could mention it to parents everywhere that when it comes to school and youth sports the same rules apply. There is no place for bullying. I do a lot of (volunteer) youth coaching. It is quickly turning into my most enjoyable hobby, but unfortunately it is alarming when you see kids getting bullied and when you address it to the parents they don’t seem to care or simply don’t get it. Then you quickly realize where the kids are learning it from. Thanks for your positive message and keep up the fantastic work. You are a company man after all. -Patrick”

A loss to the Broncos would open up things for the West — before accounting for any other games, it would drop the Patriots’ chances of claiming the No. 1 seed down to 35 percent. It also would give the Broncos an 85 percent chance of making the playoffs, while they’re only a 50-50 shot with a loss. Losing to their perennial rivals from the East also would essentially eliminate the Broncos from contending for the AFC West title; even if they qualified for the playoffs, it probably would be as the sixth seed, meaning their playoff path probably would travel through New England in January.

The 49ers and the Cowboys were the only NFL teams this season that didn’t reach 30 points in any game

It was believed that the team would either release him or trade Kaepernick this offseason. However, now that Kelly is at the helm, there is speculation that they could keep Authentic Womens Nicolas Meloche Jersey the 28-year-old dual-threat signal caller and hope that Kelly’s offense represents a better fit for Kaepernick’s skill set. Blaine Gabbert performed adequately as his replacement, but his ceiling is thought to be much lower than Kaepernick’s.

The hiring of the offensive-minded Kelly appears to be a good fit for a 49ers offense that ranked last or next-to-last in nearly every major statistical category in 2015. Their 238 points scored were the fewest by any team since the 2012 Chiefs. The 49ers and the Cowboys were the only NFL teams this season that didn’t reach 30 points in any game.

Kelly was a surprise casualty Elite Austin Romine Jersey of the Eagles just after a Week 16 game against Washington. Kelly left his job at Oregon to join the Eagles in 2013, and many felt that he would get more than three seasons to turn the team around.

However, Kelly hasn’t seemed like a favorite of the players. Furthermore, given his control over personnel, many of the team’s failings in recent seasons can be attributed to him. He got rid of players like DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Nick Foles, bringing in players like DeMarco Murray, Kiko Alonso and Sam Bradford, who have not found much success.

In San Francisco, Kelly will not have that same kind of control over personnel, per NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport. General manager Trent Baalke will maintain his power over the roster, while Kelly will stick to coaching.

The big question looming over the team — and one that is front and center now for Kelly — is what to do with quarterback Colin Kaepernick. The fifth-year player was benched last November following a string of underwhelming performances, and ultimately ended up on the season-ending injured reserve list with a non-throwing shoulder injury, which required surgery.

It’s time to put The Boss in the Hall of Fame

When George Steinbrenner lorded over the Yankees, a local businessman would often show up at Yankee Stadium as the guest of The Boss, to sit in the owner¡¯s box, take in a ballgame and chat. It made sense that long before Donald Trump ran for office, he and Steinbrenner were friends. Because back in the ¡®70s and ¡®80s, it was as if Steinbrenner created the mold through which Trump¡¯s national image would flourish two decades later: a pushy, attention-starved millionaire who operated temperamentally and lived on the cover of the New York tabloids — Steinbrenner

Authentic Kids Leodis McKelvin Jersey Before the politics — just take the politics out of it, please — Steinbrenner was Trump before Trump became Trump. Decades before the first episode of The Apprentice, Steinbrenner made famous the phrase ¡°You¡¯re fired¡± in a national beer campaign, guest-hosting “Saturday Night Live,” posing on horseback as King George for the cover of Sports Illustrated, making the rounds on late-night talk shows. Steinbrenner¡¯s personality was so ingrained in popular culture that Jerry Seinfeld made Steinbrenner a recurring character in arguably most famous sitcom in television history.

From big market teams spending less to notable free agents having trouble finding a home, the new deal will have an immediate impact this offseason.
All metrics “get” the value of the strikeout and the walk, and the role played by park effects. What they are missing is a precise measurement of pitchers’ ability to manage contact.

Cris Carter Elite Jersey Frequency is a key; for most pitchers, the frequency of most BIP types allowed correlates well from year to year. Starting pitchers’ popup, fly ball and grounder rates allowed tend to stay about the same; not so line-drive rates, which are relatively volatile.

This is where a couple of my metrics come in. Adjusted contact score expresses a pitcher’s contact management performance based on the exit speed and launch angle of each ball put in play, on a scale where 100 equals average. Then, you add back the K’s and walks to get each pitcher’s “Tru” ERA, which can then be compared with his ERA and FIP.

The extraordinary measures of Giannis Antetokounmpo

Early in the 2012-13 season, 18-year-old Giannis Antetokounmpo landed on the radar of NBA scouts, shrouded in mystery. He didn’t attend the combine or team workouts, so he had never been extensively measured. He had played mostly in Greece’s youth system and second-tier pro league, so no one could agree on how he’d best be used in the NBA. There was only one consensus: His body was among the best scouts had ever seen.

The Bucks drafted Antetokounmpo 15th overall that year, feeling he combined big-man length with the agility of an elite guard-. Their instincts were quickly proved right: Thanks to his unique biomechanical and physiological qualities, he is one of just three players in the past decade to average 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1 block per game in his age-21 season.

To understand how Antetokounmpo’s form gives way to function, we recently spent a day measuring the 6-foot-11 forward, then asked Marcus Elliott, M.D., the founder of P3 Applied Sports Science, a training center that specializes in advanced athlete assessment, to help break him down. Welcome to our tour of the NBA’s ideal body.
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Authentic Kids Michael Jordan Jersey WINGSPAN: Basketball is a game of angles; a defender isn’t so much guarding his man as he is reducing the size of his angle to drive to the basket or pass to teammates. That’s where wingspan factors in for Antetokounmpo, whose outstretched arms measure 7-foot-3, 4 inches more than his height. “If you have long arms, it allows you to get places faster, without having to move your feet or your center of mass,” Elliott says. Antetokounmpo ranks in the top 10 in rebound rate among small forwards. The leader? Quincy Acy, whose wingspan is 9 inches longer than his height.

LATERAL MOVEMENT: “To be a great lateral mover in the NBA, you’ve got to have great hips,” Elliott says. “That means high force, very stable and flexible.” That can be challenging for an NBA big man, who can rarely get his hips low enough to create the lateral force to move like a wing player. But Antetokounmpo isn’t a typical big man. He displays great hip extension and high abduction and adduction velocities, which means he’s able to handle lateral motion (say, sliding side to side while defending a ball handler) faster than other athletes his size.

HEIGHT: “When we first drafted Giannis, we measured him at 6-foot-8?,” Bucks GM John Hammond says. But at midseason, the Bucks’ strength and conditioning coach walked into Hammond’s office. “He told me, ‘The kid is still growing and I don’t think he’s done.'” By season’s end, he was 6-11. Even more remarkable is that the basketball gods gifted Antetokounmpo those extra 2? inches of height without exacting any payment. The 6-11 Giannis is every bit as stable and agile as the shorter version. If he remains at the small forward position, he’ll do so as the tallest wing in the league.