Josh Hamilton expects to make Rangers’ opening day roster

Josh Hamilton has had a pair of knee surgeries since last appearing in a major league game and doesn’t seem to have a position with the Rangers, but he still believes he’ll open the season with Texas.

Sure, the former American League MVP said Thursday, via MLB.com. If I’m healthy, I know I’ll get out there and perform.

Hamilton admitted considering retirement, acknowledging how difficult it would be for him to approach the levels he performed at during his first stint with Texas, but ultimately decided to take one last shot.

I have a lot left, he said. A whole lot. I’ve got a good feeling.

During the trial, prosecutors argued DeCinces used non-public information passed along by a Laguna Beach neighbor to make a windfall in a corporate merger while helping friends and family members do the same.

DeCinces reportedly cleared about $1.3 million when Advanced Medical Optics was bought out by Abbott Laboratories in 2008 for about four times the price at which the former company’s stock was being traded.

David Parker, a friend of DeCinces’ who also profited from the deal, was convicted on three counts Friday. The jury was deadlocked on charges against the man who provided DeCinces with the information, James Mazzo, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial.

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Mariachi band hilariously follows Mariners player on his birthday

To celebrate the special occasion, Seattle Mariners teammates hired a Mariachi band to follow him around all day.

It’s Leonys Martin’s 29th birthday, so the #Mariners have lined up a mariachi band to follow him around this morning at practice.

Based on the latest ballot tracking, the Baseball Hall of Fame’s class of 2017 could include as many as five players, which would be only the second five-member class in history.

To earn a plaque in Cooperstown, former major league players must be retired at least five years and receive votes on at least 75 percent of ballots cast by voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

There was nothing wrong with MLB’s on-field hats when they featured only a team’s logo, even in the All-Star Game and World Series. This worked for decades. Nobody complained. Nobody thought, You know what would make me buy that hat? A giant patch on the side.

But the annual ridiculousness has been an evolution a long time coming. The changes started innocently enough. For the 1992 season, MLB added its official logo to the back of all on-field caps, which was a fine and appropriate (but still unnecessary) use of a patch. That appeased the Patch Powers for a few years, but then they got antsy again, and disaster followed in 1996.

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NFL free agency: Kevin Zeitler honest about going where the money is: Cleveland

Few free agents say the biggest reason they signed with a new team was the money even if that was the case.

Kevin Zeitler deserves credit for honesty after inking the largest free-agent contract for a guard in NFL history.

Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Zeitler told co-host Bill Polian and me the five-year, $60 million deal tendered by the Browns was why he spurned an offer from the Saints to leave the Bengals.

On April 6, Mazza was the pitcher for Tebow’s first professional dinger, a shot that just cleared the left-center field wall in Columbia, S.C. Mazza had a tough night in general, allowing seven runs (all earned) in 2 2/3 innings.

The 22-year-old left-hander responded with a pair of decent outings on April 12 and 18, but he threw just a combined nine innings in those starts. In fact, he threw 81 pitches his last time out, when he lasted just five. Now he has gone nine on just 85.

That’s a high-class Maddux, no matter the level of ball.

If the baseball thing doesn’t work out for Mazza, he might have a future in golf. The (San Jose) Mercury News noted Mazza finished second in the World Long Drive Championship main event in 2010 as a high school junior. He crushed a drive a reported 436 yards.

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Photo appears to show Royals’ Yordano Ventura wasn’t robbed at accident scene

A graphic photo tweeted out by a longtime sports writer in the Dominican Republic appears to quash any claim that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was robbed after the car wreck that killed him.

The previously undistributed photo tweeted Wednesday by Bienvenido Rojas of Santo Domingo appears to show a bloodied Ventura with a watch on one wrist and a bracelet on another while a man wearing hospital gloves takes a camera phone picture of the watch. Omnisport deemed the photo too graphic Cheap Authentic Jerseys From China to show.

Still, winning 13 games is a tall order for any team. The Patriots went 14-2 last season, but have won 12 games or less in six of the last nine years.

Another factor in the Westgate’s decision to open the Pats so high is bookmakers’ anticipation that most people will bet ‘over’.

“We know there’s going to be a lot of public support for the Patriots, there always is,” Westgate manager John Murray told ESPN. “We should see some wiseguy bets on the ‘under’, but we know we’re going to get overwhelmed with Patriots ‘over’ money, so we figure we might as well start them with a high total.”

After the Patriots, the Westgate opened the Packers, Steelers and Seahawks at 10.5 wins apiece. The Browns (4.5) were assigned the lowest win total of all 32 teams.

Based on the Westgate’s numbers, here’s a projected playoff field for the upcoming season, in order of seeding.

Twins offer to help clothe Beyonce’s growing family

The Minnesota Twins aren’t expected to get many wins on the field in 2017, but they’ve already scored one on social media.

A day after Beyonce announced that she’s pregnant with her own set of twins, the Minnesota version offered to help clothe the mega-star’s growing family with a set of personalized jerseys.

The team isn’t waiting for an answer, asking simply, “Where should be send these?”

“Until I had surgery on both my knees in August, 2014.”

Swisher’s MLB career began in 2004 with the A’s. He left Oakland to Cheap Braves Jerseys join the Yankees in 2009, the last time the Pinstripers won the World Series, and he stayed in New York through the 2012 season. He spent the 2013, 2014 and part of the 2015 season with the Cleveland Indians and played his last major league games with the Braves in 2015.

In July 2016, he opted out of a minor-league deal with the Yankees after the birth of his second daughter.

Swisher, an outfielder and first baseman, hit .249 for his career, belting 245 home runs and 803 RBIs.

Chris Correa, the Cardinals’ former director of amateur scouting, pleaded guilty in January 2016 to five criminal charges involving unauthorized access to the Astros database.

The Cardinals fired Correa in 2015, and he currently is serving a 46-month sentence in federal prison.

St. Louis Cardinals Chairman and CEO William O. DeWitt Jr. said in a statement the club supports the commissioner’s decision.

Bryce Harper, Nationals avoid arbitration with $13.625M deal

Bryce Harper and the Nationals avoided arbitration, the team announced Friday, with multiple reports saying the four-time All-Star agreed to a $13.625 million deal for 2017.

Harper, 24, is coming off a down 2016 season in which he reportedly struggled with a shoulder injury. Still, his new contract represents an $8.625 million raise.

Harper hit .243/.373/.441 with 24 homers and 86 RBIs in 2016, a season after he was a unanimous choice as the National League MVP after a 2015 season in which he batted .330/.460/.639 with 42 homers and 99 RBIs.

A four-time All-Star in five MLB seasons, and the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year, Harper is under contract through the 2018 season. He reportedly will be seeking a $400 million deal if he hits free agency, which Cheap Full Dye Softball Jerseys most clients of his agent, Scott Boras, do in order to maximize their contracts.

Harper already has been the focus of rumors that he eventually will end up with Yankees, where his left-handed swing is tailor-made for the team’s stadium. Harper has 121 home runs in five MLB seasons.

Just what exactly are the Diamondbacks? I’m not sure anyone could have seen the mediocrity that bound the DBacks in 2016. Trading Dansby Swanson is still a head-scratching move, and Shelby Miller’s ineffectiveness was way worse than what many could have projected. But trading for Taijuan Walker gives the Diamondbacks another good, young arm in the rotation, and should the pitching hold up, Arizona could rebound in 2017.

Pittsburgh Penguins injury updates, and AHL reinforcements are coming

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season ended last night (recap here) in Game 5 of a 5 game first round season.

What does this mean for the NHL team? Well, the return of the “black aces”, as WB/S coach Clark Donatelli confirmed the below players are getting called up:

These guys usually practice before the regular team does and stays a little off to themselves, but are still emergency reserves in case of extreme injury. The Penguins “regular” healthy scratches last game of Scott Wilson, Carter Rowney and Chad Ruhwedel figure to be the main reserves, along with current backup Tristan Jarry.

Speaking of Jarry, how much longer will he be the backup? We’ve finally got some news on Matt Murray and it’s actually a positive update:

Coach Sullivan on Murray’s status: “Matt skated this morning on his own with no equipment. The next step for him is to get in full gear.”

After the Yankees put down the Red Sox on the strength of a Maddux from Detroit Tigers Cheap Jerseys Masahiro Tanaka on Thursday night, they welcomed the Orioles into Yankee Stadium for what figured to be a hotly contested weekend series between two divisional rivals. However, the Orioles appeared to be more than ready to take the game to the Yankees as they got out to a 9-1 lead after the top of the sixth inning was done. This included a massive dinger from Manny Machado and a grand slam from Mark Trumbo that seemed like the exclamation point for the end of a statement win for Baltimore.

Best available undrafted free agents, 2017 NFL draft: biggest UDFA names

The NFL draft is over, which means the rush to sign undrafted free agents is on. This year’s draft featured 253 picks, starting with Myles Garrett to the Browns on Thursday and ending with Chad Kelly to the Broncos on Sunday.

Here’s a running tracker of UDFA signings.

It’s hard to make a mark in the NFL as an undrafted player, but a couple of players pull it off every year. Solid contributors are there for the finding, and the teams that find them will get an excellent value reward whether it’s on offense, defense, or special teams. UDFAs are on cheap, short-term contracts, but many can play.

But when the Pegulas fired Ryan, they kept Whaley. And when they hired McDermott, they kept Whaley.

“Both of them, and especially Kim, are into branding,’’ the Bills executive said. “She is really caught up into that. And when you think branding more than you think pure football sense and what works and what doesn’t and the type of clarity you need in an organization, you’re toast. I think they have regret about a lot of the way they’ve handled things since becoming owners. But I don’t think they knew any better then or now.’’

Whaley’s out. The Bills scouting staff is out. Ryan is gone. Marrone is long gone.

The Pegulas should let McDermott pick his own GM and give both total juice even though McDermott is a first-time NFL head coach. Because these first-time NFL owners are the source of NFL Cheap Jerseys Nike the Raiders Cheap Jerseys Bills dysfunction. It originates with the choices they have made and the best chance for resolution is for them to make fewer of them.

Rajon Rondo is out for Game 5 against Celtics

Rajon Rondo’s injured thumb will keep him out of the Chicago Bulls’ Game 5 matchup against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, according to The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson. Head coach Fred Hoiberg didn’t shut the door on a possible return in the near future, meaning Game 6 or 7, but Rondo wasn’t very optimistic about those odds.

Rondo on his thumb: “It’s still broke.” Unclear if he’ll be able to play in Game 6.

How the Celtics hide Isaiah Thomas on defense.

I wrote an appreciation of those who volunteer to be put on posters by oncoming dunkers, inspired by Mike Muscala’s face.

Dwyane Wade shared that the Bulls didn’t have hot water in their locker room in Boston the other night. Brandon Jennings accuses the Celtics of doing that purposely. My take: who wants a hot shower after lots of physical activity? Though I suppose for bench guys who don’t play much …

Oh, just Kevin Durant in the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse with a plate of cupcakes. Nothing to see here.

Godwin will likely find success in the NFL in large part thanks to his willingness to learn. Going into an NFL locker room as a rookie can be intimidating, but the vets are much more likely to take care of someone who is humble and ready to learn, rather than someone who thinks they will be the star of the Dallas Cowboys Cheap Jerseys team from day one.

The receiver’s humility and willingness to put in the hard work needed to succeed was something he tried selling teams at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine.

“I take a lot of pride in my work ethic. If they draft me, they’re going to get a guy who’s going to come in and work hard every day,” Godwin said.

Kawhi Leonard is the best player in the NBA right now, says Gregg Popovich

After his superstar forward dominated the Memphis Grizzlies through all six games of their first-round playoff series, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich heaped the highest of praise onto Kawhi Leonard:

Carlson is too late. The puck disappears under Rust. Carlson drops back, hoping, praying for it to slip free again. At this point you, the impartial viewer, have sunk to your knees with slumped shoulders and tears streaming down your face.

Carlson does end up with the puck again, but by now you know better than to hope. Only when your spirit is broken will the Sports Gods, in all of their cruelty, give you the scoring chance you so desired.

The Thunder badly needed a win on Sunday but yet when it came down to it, they let the Rockets erase a second half deficit and come away with a win. This was Game 2 all of over again.

In all, the Thunder held a 14-point third-quarter lead. That advantage evaporated when Westbrook went to the bench. Oklahoma City outscored Houston by 14 points with its MVP front-runner on the floor. When he exited the game, the Rockets erased that lead wholly.

Or what if a player realizes that next year’s draft class at his position is way more Vip Cheap Jerseys loaded and that his only chance of getting drafted is to leave right now?

Some players need liquid income to help their families.

Auburn running back Peyton Barber entered early to provide Where To Buy Cheap Jerseys for his homeless mother. He went undrafted but now has a UDFA contract with the Buccaneers and a chance to make a lasting pro career.