The Yankees took some shots at manager Joe Girardi after parting ways with him in October.

Stanton has spent eight years dealing with a suboptimal ownership dynamic and playing before small crowds in Miami. Now he wakes up in New York in the same batting order as Aaron Judge, who staked his claim to the future face of baseball designation with 52 home runs as a rookie. Stanton goes from the 25th-most-generous home run park in the majors to the No. 2 yard. The only way this could be more entertaining is if he hit left-handed.

Owner Hal Steinbrenner shared an amazing revelation when he said the organization would have moved on from Girardi even if the Yankees had won the World Series.

Quinn noted that the Falcons usually have an extensive walk-through before each practice, and that’s a session that Jones rarely misses no matter how much he’s hurting. He uses the time to get familiar with the game plan, run some routes and hone his timing with quarterback Matt Ryan.

If Jones is limited during the actual practice, he focuses on plays in which he’ll likely be the primary receiver.

We try to feature him on plays that are unique for him and Matt to be at full speed, Quinn said. When he goes, it’s these full-speed, aggressive routes. So that helps him as far as the timing goes.

So best wishes for a peaceful offseason to the Raiders, Texans and Dolphins in the AFC, and to the Cowboys, Packers, Lions and Giants in the NFC. That’s two division champs that not only did not repeat, but didn’t even make the final cut. That’s also two entire 2016 wild-card matchups wiped out: the Texans’ win over the Raiders, and the Packers’ elimination of the Giants �� as well as one unforgettable divisional-round game, the last-second Packers takedown of the top-seeded Cowboys.

Meanwhile, either the Seahawks or the defending NFC champion Falcons will miss out. If it’s the Falcons, that would mean the NFC title game opponents from last year, Green Bay and Atlanta, will watch the playoffs from home.

If the Patriots win, they will clinch home-field advantage in the AFC for the second straight year, the third time in four years and the seventh time in the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era. If another Jets touchdown is overturned on replay for questionable reasons, the Patriots will get the job done for sure. Somehow, nine of their last 11 meetings have been decided by seven points or less �� but the Patriots have won seven of them.

He has a rare combination of size, speed, instincts, ball skills and body control. And he’s no longer a rookie.

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The Hit didn’t announce Clowney’s arrival on the football scene.

On Jan. 1, 2013, with just over eight minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of the Outback Bowl, then-South Carolina Gamecock Jadeveon Clowney burst up the middle, a blazing runaway train, met Michigan running back Vincent Smith just as Vincent hugged the handoff to his chest — or was it even before?! — and bulldozed Smith to the ground. Smith’s helmet took flight. The ball did too. The Hit was born.

But Green is also the type of player who could heat up and win the Rockets a postseason game when they need something extra. He nearly did it on Thursday — or, at least, helped keep them in it despite James Harden’s absence. (Yes, to be fair, the Warriors were also missing Kevin Durant.)

This is the perfect team that can accentuate Green’s strengths, and it’s the best situation that he could ask for. It’s easy to be happy for Green, who has truly found his perfect landing spot.

The Thunder finished December with the third-best record in the NBA at 12-5. In that time, Russell Westbrook found himself in a familiar position, first in the league in usage rate (37.8), coinciding with a decrease in the same category for Carmelo Anthony and Paul George from the first two months of the season. The biggest difference for Westbrook: His 3-point attempts per game are down (5.6 to 4.3) and drives per game are up (17.0 to 21.5). — Vincent Johnson

Now’s a good time for the Wizards to make a push as they have the NBA’s third-easiest schedule in January, according to ESPN BPI. The Wizards have won six of their last seven home games and enter a stretch in which six of their next seven games are at home, with the lone exception being a trip to Memphis. — Micah Adams

He saw some of the things that he missed by trying to bounce some things, Titans coach Mike Mularkey said. He’s had a lot of success bouncing some runs, but at some point you’ve got to hit some of these holes that are there, and they’re not big all the time. I think he saw that, and obviously he’s a quick, fast learner.

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Since then, he’s learned to block out his various injuries.

History is a long drive, and as with all long drives we remember the first and last miles more than the hours of unchanging landscapes in the middle. On the merits, the first World Series — in 1903 — wasn’t that memorable, and in many ways, the play would have been unrecognizable to a modern fan: One team’s ace was ineffective after injuring himself in a trap-shooting contest, another pitcher threw five complete games, and the best player on the field (Honus Wagner) made six errors. And yet nobody would dispute that the 2017 Series and the 1903 Series belong to the same lineage, which makes 1903 the infrastructure upon which our modern game is built.

It’s gonna hurt, Jones said. But I’m out here. I made the decision to be out here. I don’t care about it hurting.

Jones’ production dipped this season, part of a wider drop-off under first-year offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, and there have been a few more drops than previous seasons — most notably, what should have been an easy 39-yard touchdown catch in a November loss at Carolina .

But, overall, it’s been another huge season for Jones. He had 88 catches for 1,444 yards — an average of 90.3 per game — and earned second-team honors on The Associated Press All-Pro team.

For instance, 1942 was the year Franklin Roosevelt sent the Green Light letter to baseball, more or less giving the sport permission to keep playing baseball during the war for the good of the nation. The larger culture reached its big, heavy paw into baseball and reminded the sport it is a game in the world, not actually a world of its own. Same for 2005, the year Congress called Rafael Palmeiro, McGwire and others to testify awkwardly about performance-enhancing drugs.

Or, as the vice versa: The 1992 season is the year the Homer At The Bat episode of The Simpsons aired. It might have been the last time baseball players were celebrities enough to carry a pop-culture phenomenon, and it helped launch the show’s practice of loading up on celebrity guest stars. Indeed, in retrospect that episode sort of looks like the final act of baseball’s reign as the national pastime.

He’s been cursing since his earlier years in both New York and Denver. Anthony attributes his vulgarity on the boards to self-motivation:

I’ve been doing it for a long time, Anthony said, via The Norman Transcript’s Fred Katz. I think now, just coming with the whole mindset thing and focus and that motivation to want to get back on the rebound tip, and being aggressive on the glass. Just kind of motivating myself. It’s a mind game I kind of play with myself to go out and play and get some rebounds.

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The Steelers are playing without Antonio Brown, and for Brown’s sake.

Is it foolish to use the term winnable games when discussing the Browns? Sure, when the Bears are next on the schedule. The Browns somehow have a more stable outlook for the future than do the Bears, whose coach and general manager are living on borrowed time. They looked downright inept against the Lions last week, at least as much as the Browns often do. If not now, Browns, then never.

A playoff bye would benefit him and them as he recovers from his calf injury. They managed to fill in for him on the fly against the Patriots, so they should be able to form an actual game plan this week. If they can keep Jadeveon Clowney reasonably in check, they can get away with it.

The Houston Rockets are just 2-5 straight up and 1-6 against the spread over their last seven games. The Rockets will try to build on a two-game winning streak when they host the Golden State Warriors this Thursday night.

Houston opened as a 3.5-point home underdog at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In their last three games as a home underdog, the Rockets are 0-3 SU and ATS, with two of those losses coming against Golden State.

The UNDER has gone 4-1 in Houston’s last five games for totals bettors.

Thanks to Houston’s recent losing streak, the Warriors have surged ahead of the Rockets in the standings and now hold a two-game lead for the top spot in the West. This race for home field advantage in the postseason could get out of hand in a hurry with Harden’s injury, putting added emphasis on this key home game for Houston on Thursday.

Despite the risk of losing federal funds for Title IX non-compliance, the NCAA, in recent years, has witnessed a troubling number of college football programs afflicted by athletic departments that have exhibited an inadequate approach to rape accusations.

Baylor University. The University of Tennessee. The University of Missouri. The list goes on.

Amid a growing number of sexual assault controversies and Title IX lawsuits facing such NCAA member schools, the NCAA Board of Governors passed a resolution this past August that requires college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators at NCAA member schools to complete annual sexual violence prevention education.

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While no arrests have been made in the case, Jackson could still be subject to an NFL investigation.

It was a friend of DeSean’s who borrowed his car while he was out of town, Denise White, a representative for Jackson, said. None of what was in the car was his obviously. He’s dealing with the person that was using it without his knowledge privately. The incident is being handled.

In the state of Florida hollow-point bullets are legal and being in possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Jackson gave the officers the name of his friend, but would not help them get the driver back to the scene, per NFL.com.

Fortunate to get a good shot to the net, Miller said. Not too often they come right on the stick like that.

Paul Carey and Michael Grabner scored in the first period for the Rangers, who improved to a league-best 4-0 in outdoor games during the season. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots to help New York improve to 6-2-3 in its last 11 overall.

Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio, Falcons assistant GM Scott Pioli (the son-in-law of legendary Giants coach Bill Parcells), Packers director of football operations Eliot Wolf, Seahawks co-director of player personnel Scott Fitterer and Vikings assistant GM George Paton were mentioned as possibilities for the job.

No matter how well Thomas looks, the odds of him playing against the Celtics on Wednesday at Boston’s TD Garden are long. For one, Lue said he will hold Thomas to playing only one leg of back-to-backs when he makes his return. So, if Thomas plays against Portland, he will automatically be out against the Celtics. Also, Thomas will be on a minute restriction whenever he returns, multiple sources told ESPN. And from the sound of it, Thomas has no interest in playing the Celtics at anything less than 100 percent.

I don’t want to play just to be out there, so, I don’t know. … That minute restriction, that would be tough to play in Boston on a minute restriction, Thomas said.

While LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love, Iman Shumpert and Derrick Rose were held out of the scrimmage, and the team was returning from an off day in Napa Valley that included wine tasting at a handful of vineyards, Lue was pleased by his team’s effort on Friday.

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Stanford’s Bryce Love is having a season for the ages, and it only got better with his performance in the Alamo Bowl Thursday.

The junior running back ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the Cardinal’s 39-37 loss to TCU, but he did so much more. Love eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark in the first half and broke Christian McCaffrey’s single-season rushing record (2,019) for Stanford as well.

In addition, by eclipsing the century mark yet again, he tied Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary for the most 100-yard rushing games on the year with 12. Also, with his 69-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, Love tallied his 12th touchdown of 50 yards or more on the season. Only Arizona’s team had more.

The 20-year-old is viewed as one of the top running backs in the draft and is a likely first-round pick, but he does have some injury concerns with the ankle injury which forced him to miss a game earlier this season and a hand injury which forced him to miss the end of Thursday’s game.

Alabama and Georgia will meet at the epicenter of SEC football in Atlanta to battle it out for the national championship trophy. Here’s what to expect.

That’s how it’s gone when Saban has faced a former assistant: He’s 11-0 against five guys who used to coach for him.

Saban began the drive to a national championship this season with a 24-7 victory over one former assistant, Jimbo Fisher of Florida State, and he will end it by facing another. Saban said about what you would expect him to say about Smart, who worked for him at LSU and the Miami Dolphins before joining him at Alabama in 2007.

He’s a good football coach, a very bright guy, Saban said of Smart. And he took over a program that has been successful … and he’s done a great job of taking it to the next level.

Smart not only knows how Saban thinks, but as Saban’s top recruiter during his tenure in Tuscaloosa, Smart had a hand in signing just about every player in an Alabama uniform.

It’s going to be strange seeing him in a Georgia Bulldog shirt, free safety Ronnie Harrison said. It’s still all love, though.

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