Brett Gardner’s three-run homer in the ninth gives Yankees win over Cubs

Brett Gardner just took the wind out of the Cubs’ sails.

The defending World Series champs were up 2-0 on the Yankees with two outs and a 1-2 count on Brett Gardner.

The Yankees did have two runners on base, but with a 25-mile-per-hour wind blowing in and Gardner at the plate the Cubs had to feel confident.

Well, they felt confident until Gardner did this.
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In Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, as the Cubs were battling for their first championship in 108 years, Chicago first baseman Anthony Rizzo confided in a mic’d up David Ross that he was teeming with nervous energy.
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I’m an emotional wreck, Rizzo told Ross for millions to hear.

It’s only gonna get worse, the veteran Ross responded.

It was a viral, human moment that echoed what It’s a Long Way to October achieved in 1982, but it was also a reminder that we’re unlikely to see anything on that scale again.

It would be much tougher to do this now because Major League Baseball has such stringent rules on microphones, where the cameras can be and where the crews can be, Diamond said. It would be so much more involved.

Not to mention the potential for controversy, as even one hateful word or unfortunate exchange that happens to be recorded can ruin an athlete’s image 鈥?especially in the social media age.

People are more cautious now with the microphones. People have to be careful and more politically correct and those types of things. Back in ’82, we didn’t have all that, Diamond said. In some ways, back then, Long Way to October’ was more authentic of behind the scenes (happenings) than what you see now.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has to be better than this.

We’re going to take a look at the newbies and try and guess what their vote percentage will look like when the results are announced. Two things to keep in mind: First, it’s a crowded ballot, again, and finding spots won’t be easy for voters when you remember that seven guys who received at least 45 percent of the vote are back on the ballot next year.

Authentic Womens Mario Addison Jersey On Monday afternoon, MLB handed down a joke of a penalty, when it announced Barnes was suspended for four measley games. The message is still very clear: MLB does not care about player safety.

Commissioner Rob Manfred has to be better than this. The solution is simple, once he recognizes it’s a problem that has to be addressed.

Let’s stop pretending a baseball intentionally thrown at the head is the same as a baseball intentionally thrown at the shin. The penalties should reflect the much more devastating potential damages.

The first time a pitcher is deemed to have intentionally thrown a pitch at a batter’s head in retaliation, it’s a month-long suspension. The second time, it’s a two-month suspension — and that pitcher is ineligible for postseason play.

Mens Albert Pujols Jersey I’m not saying the suspensions should escalate similar to PED suspensions. This isn’t the same thing. I don’t think pitchers should be banned from baseball after their third conviction, but repeated seven- to 10-game suspensions aren’t enough considering what can happen if a pitch connects with a head (and a four-game suspension is a complete joke).

It doesn’t matter whether the baseball actually makes contact, either.

Browns had better win big on Brock Osweiler gamble … or else

Elite Ian Kinsler Jersey The Browns’ jaw-dropping maneuver to take Brock Osweiler and his anchor of a contract off the Texans’ hands Thursday might have been a classic Moneyball move.

They’d better hope it was Moneyball, because even beyond the first glance, it smells more like Sam Hinkie than Billy Beane. The cost of blowing this deal — wherever it takes the Browns — is so high it could actually take them back not only to where they started, but behind that.

What’s crazy about the DH in the National League is that it would be considered a drastic change, a sport-altering change. While true in one sense, it would actually be less of a change than eliminating the four-pitch intentional walk, which has lots of support, and definitely less than putting a runner at second base at the start of every extra inning, an experiment set to begin in the low minors this season. Neither of those proposals makes sense from a make-the-game-better standpoint.

Elite Nickell Robey-Coleman Jersey But the DH to the National League is just the kind of change for the better MLB should want.

It will legitimize the position: Even though the DH has been in place for 44 years, many still view it as an illegitimate position. He’s just a DH or It’s not real baseball are popular cries from critics. Bringing the DH to the National League would certainly help lessen this argument, and perhaps eliminate it. If every team has a DH, it’s really hard to claim it’s not legitimate baseball.

At the same time, elite closer Trevor Hoffman will be inducted before long, as will all-time-best Mariano Rivera. If we reward pitchers who excel in such a specialized role with Hall of Fame induction, the same should apply to hitters who excel in their specialized role. In other words, if the DH is an official position — and it already is — we should embrace it and celebrate it accordingly.

Bills officially decline to pick up Sammy Watkins’ fifth-year option

The Buffalo Bills made a controversial decision Tuesday when they officially decided not to pick up wide receiver Sammy Watkins’ fifth-year option on his rookie contract.

Though the news was expected, it’s a stunning revelation considering the Bills traded their ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft along with their first- and fourth-round selections in 2015 to move up five spots to get Watkins.

Watkins, still just 23 years old, is a 6-1, 211-pound former Clemosn star that has battled a litany of injuries throughout his first three seasons in the NFL.

Jermaine Eluemunor, OT, Texas A&M — Eluemunor is a British native who moved to the U.S. when he was 14. He has tremendous upside as a raw talent with great strength on a 6-4, 332-pound frame. He played both guard and tackle for the Aggies and has the lateral quickness to make him versatile enough to fit into any system or blocking scheme. Because he was late to pick up football, Eluemunor still has to develop his skills but could be a longtime NFL starter.

Jake Butt, TE, Michigan — Butt tore his ACL during the Orange Bowl loss to Florida State and may have been a first-round pick if healthy. The 2016 Mackey Award winner caught 138 passes for 1,646 yards and 11 over his career. Butt he has NFL size at 6-5, 246 and should find a team willing to take a flier on him early Saturday.

Not only did he take the cruel lessons from the first failure to heart, but those lessons are at the core of his public-speaking business, Ogden Speaking Academy.

“Today,” Ogden told Sporting News, describing his general subject matter, “I’m kind of like, ‘There are things I didn’t do correctly.’ All the things I talk about, that I tell clients not to do, I did them myself.”


Alshon Jeffery chose Eagles because he sees Carson Wentz winning MVP

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I don’t know how to articulate the greatness that’s inside of him, Swinney said of once comparing Watson to Michael Jordan. To me, that’s what Michael Jordan represents, because that’s what I grew up with. I’m sure when Michael Jordan was coming out of North Carolina, his 3-pointer wasn’t very good and he had some flaws when you started poking holes on him. But it was who he was, it’s that will, that drive 鈥?you can’t coach that.

The deal is worth $8 million, according to multiple reports.

Authentic Womens O. J. Simpson Jersey Pryor, a former quarterback, joins a Washington team that needed a playmaking receiver this offseason. The Redskins lost their top two wideouts 鈥?DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon 鈥?to free agency, and were left with mostly unproven players.

Alshon Jeffery teamed up with Torrey Smith during the first day of free agency to give the Eagles some talent at the receiver position.

His decision surprised some, especially after it was announced he turned down a multi-year deal with the Vikings in order to take a one-year deal with Philly. When asked why he wanted to play for the Eagles, Jeffery said it was the man under center.

Alshon Jeffery says Carson Wentz had lot to do with decision to come to #Eagles??

He’s going to be a future MVP

It was the best decision for me and my family. Also, it’s a great situation, he told CSN Philly. [Carson Wentz] had a lot to do with my decision. He’s a great quarterback. I mean, the sky’s the limit for him, I think he’s going to be a future MVP.

Wentz didn’t put up MVP-caliber numbers last year, but perhaps with Smith, Jeffery and Jordan Matthews on the field he can make a case in 2017.

Jerry Jones ‘very skeptical’ Cowboys DE Randy Gregory failed another drug test

Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory reportedly failed another drug test recently, but team owner Jerry Jones isn’t buying it.

According to a TMZ report, Gregory reportedly tested positive for marijuana in February, which would be the seventh time he failed a drug test.

I would be very skeptical, Jones said, via the Star-Telegram, of Gregory failing the test and of him reportedly skipping out on his rehabilitation treatments.

Gregory was already serving a year-long suspension from the NFL for his previous positive tests. He can apply to be reinstated in September, but he will need to stay drug-free.

Game Mens Mark Duper Jersey Jones said the organization is supporting Gregory and that he is an extremely important piece of the Cowboys team.

We need him on the football field, Jones said. We do support him absolutely.

Gregory first got in trouble when he failed a drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine in 2015. That season he failed his second test, which resulted in a four-game suspension. At the start of the 2016 season, he failed another test and earned another four-game suspension.

After that, Gregory tested positive again, which gave him a 10-game suspension. He was only back on the field for two games when he failed another test, which meant he will be sidelined the entire 2017 season.

New Orleans Saints superfan Jarrius Robertson underwent successful surgery Sunday to receive a long-awaited liver transplant, his father Jordy tweeted.

Surgery went GREAT! JJ is resting now with NEW, working liver ???? We will see him in a few hours. Next few days of monitoring are big – Jordy

Game Mens Dale Murphy Jersey — Jarrius Robertson (@Jarrius) April 30, 2017

Texans QB Deshaun Watson surprises mom with new Jaguar after draft

Despite strong media speculation, Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill cautioned in March that Arizona wasn’t locked into drafting an heir apparent to Carson Palmer. Bidwill’s warning became reality when the Cardinals didn’t use any of their seven picks on a quarterback. This increases the chances that Stanton could become Arizona’s starter in 2018 if Palmer is done with the Cardinals after this season.

Deshaun Watson is already putting his new NFL salary to good use.

The former Clemson quarterback thanked his mom for her years of support by surprising her with a brand-new Jaguar just a couple of days after being selected with the No. 12 pick by the Texans in the NFL Draft on Thursday.

Watson showed off the new ride, which was a gift for her birthday, by posting photos on his Twitter and Instagram accounts. He even shared a video of her getting behind the wheel of the car for the first time.

The Texans made a trade with the Browns and moved up from 25th overall to take Watson earlier in the first round. The two-time Heisman finalist threw for 4,593 yards with 41 scores and 17 picks last year and led the Tigers to the national championship.

Friday brought two local feel-good stories for a pair of solid complementary power backs. Foreman went first at No. 89, making the transition from Austin to Houston and adding to the Texans’ impressive haul that includes QB Deshaun Watson.

Conner, cancer free and ready to keep running hard in the NFL, went from Pittsburgh to … Pittsburgh. They both will have chances to be key contributors on winning AFC teams.


Capitals vs. Penguins, NHL playoffs odds: Washington set as road favorite for Game 4

The Washington Capitals broke a three-game postseason losing streak against the Pittsburgh Penguins with their win on Monday in Game 3. The Capitals will attempt to even up their second-round series at two games apiece with another road win in Game 4 on Wednesday night.
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Washington is a -125 betting favorite in Pittsburgh at sportsbooks monitored by The Penguins are going off at +105 to take a 3-1 series lead.

Lars Eller, Nate Schmidt, and Tom Wilson are all expected to play for Washington. Only Karl Alzner (upper body) is sitting out Game 1.

On the Penguins side, Kris Letang (neck) is out for the year, while Matt Murray (lower body) is doubtful. Carl Hagelin and Chris Kunitz are questionable but considerable possibilities.
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Vanderdoes overall body of work isn’t the reason he makes this list; he played a full four years at UCLA and appeared in 38 games. Instead, his inclusion comes because he may have peaked early in his college career, failing to match the recruiting hype that surrounded him as a former five-star prospect.

Eastern Washington’s Cooper Kupp and East Carolina’s Zay Jones are in the same boat. Hansen played last season in Sonny Dykes’ air raid offense at Cal, in a scheme that emphasized quick distribution to wide receivers. A receiver’s numbers balloon in a system like that. But the point, for Hansen, is that he can play anywhere an NFL team asks him to play, and in whichever type of offense.

I think there’s always a knock on receivers that only play in like an air raid, spread offense, Hansen says. I think there is some truth to that. We don’t have the ability to run the full route tree like the NFL does, and that, I think, hurts you as a receiver in the offense.

Blues vs. Predators 2017 odds: Nashville a Game 4 betting favorite over St. Louis at the sportsbooks

The Nashville Predators will be seeking a fourth straight postseason win at home Tuesday night as they take on the St. Louis Blues as chalk at the sportsbooks.

Some of Toronto’s best defense was done at the free throw stripe. Antetokounmpo missed six himself and the team shot 18-of-28 as a whole.

The Bucks almost made another mini-comeback in the final seconds of the game as well, and had the ball down just three points in what could have been the final possession. Antetotkounmpo made a big mistake as he dunked through a wide-open lane while his team had no timeouts left, playing into the Raptors’ trap.

A final last-second chance saw the Raptors intercept a pass and DeRozan spike the ball down in celebration.
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Paul Posluszny Elite Jersey As always, there’s no reason to be too confident in Toronto going forward.

His performance at the free-throw line hurt, but playing all but two minutes of this game, he finished with 34 points on 13-of-23 shooting, three assists and nine rebounds. He was huffing and puffing his way down the floor, but provided for his team on both ends of the floor in a game he needed to play nearly all of.

He had help on the outside with clutch deep-ball shots from Khris Middleton and Jason Terry, and the offensive rebounding efforts of Greg Monroe, who finished with four, was felt.

Meanwhile Toronto’s offense fell off a cliff.

With less than three minutes to play, the Raptors had scored all of seven points for the entire quarter. By the finish, they only made three field goals for the entire quarter.

DeMar DeRozan showed big with 32 total point on 12-of-24 shooting, but nobody else came to support.

Kyle Lowry was a forgotten man with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting despite playing 44 minutes and no other Raptor finished with double-digits in points.

What’s next for Russell Westbrook and the Thunder?

Russell Westbrook and the Thunder were bounced in five games by James Harden and the Houston Rockets. Man, that’s a loaded sentence.

Everything about the season of Russ and Harden was condensed into those five games. The Rockets were clearly superior and had far more depth. Harden was excellent for the most part, but other Rockets had moments of glory. OKC was thin and too dependent on Russ, who may have tried to do too much.

We get into all that on this week’s Drive & Kick, along with Warriors talk, the carnage that is the Clips-Jazz series, and the Cavs’ inevitability.

For example, you tell a new partner where you need to be, but he does not manage to get there with his feet…

I was suffering all this season, because I couldn’t find perfect chemistry with other partners. I played with Drouin once and it was good, but the coaches didn’t put us together again. Some guys have stayed too long on the team. They’ve got money and stopped working. They knew there was no competition for their positions, and the organization was not going to take someone else. They did not play really well this season. You can see it in their stats. When we played together and I made a pass, they were not expecting it. That’s why this season was hard for me despite good stats.

Elite Mens Todd Gurley Jersey What did you feel, when Nikita Nesterov was traded?
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No one wants to lose their friend. We’ve become closer after all these years. I got upset at first. But this is hockey, it happens. You need to accept it. But then I was happy for him. He wanted to go, because he wanted to play more and he didn’t have a chance at Tampa. I’m happy for my friend, because he got a chance at Montreal. We are still in contact.