the Dodgers hitters are tied for sixth in pitches seen per plate appearance

Irving would serve as the primary ball handler on a young, talented team with Ricky Rubio out of the picture after being traded to the Jazz. Rubio’s departure is also a cause for alarm, though, as he was a terrific pass-first point guard. Irving has yet to prove he is capable of creating for others at that level.

And that’s without mentioning the huge defensive gap between Irving and Rubio. Irving was one of the worst point guards in the league in terms of ESPN’s real defensive plus-minus (-2.30), whereas Rubio finished just outside of the top 10 at the position (0.76).

While the Dodgers were among the best in baseball last season, their offense was just 16th in scoring with 4.47 runs per game. Adding first baseman Cody Bellinger to the mix has made a distinct difference, as the lineup has produced 5.26 runs per game since his call-up on April 25. The rookie also became the first player in MLB history to hit 21 home runs in his first 51 games.

Overall, the offense remains prolific with a league-high plus-174 run differential, and a .340 wOBA, third-best in MLB. That’s going to be key to surviving ace Clayton Kershaw’s four- to six-week absence.

“One through eight, our guys grind and wear pitchers down,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “There aren’t easy outs. When you see pitchers tax after four or five innings, it’s because of the length of our lineup. It’s a luxury that we have. Even when we plug in other guys (Enrique Hernández or Austin Barnes), we just grind you.”

Indeed, the Dodgers hitters are tied for sixth in pitches seen per plate appearance (3.93). While that category doesn’t automatically generate an offensive powerhouse, the team saw 3.85 pitches per plate Real Madrid Cheap Jerseys appearances a season ago, tied for 13th in baseball.

“Every time I get up there and find a way to get on base, with the lineup behind me, I’m in The Best Cheap Jerseys scoring position at first base,” third baseman Justin Turner said.

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Gregg Williams replaces Ray Horton as defensive coordinator after the Browns ranked 30th in points allowed last season

The Bucs in their division have to dethrone the defending NFC champion Falcons, and the Panthers and Saints also are capable of rising to the top. The NFC South also has the league’s the best quartet of quarterbacks in Ryan, Newton, Winston and Drew Brees.

Tampa Bay’s passing offense should be outstanding, as Winston will be throwing to Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans and newly acquired deep threat DeSean Jackson along with the top tight end in the 2017 draft, O.J. Howard. But Winston, who threw for 4,090 yards and 28 touchdowns last year, needs to cut down on his 18 interceptions.

Gregg Williams replaces Ray Horton as defensive coordinator after the Browns ranked 30th in points allowed last season. Williams’ in-your-face style is a welcome change for this unit, which will now mix 3-4, 4-3 and “46” looks under the veteran defensive coordinator.

Williams gets a centerpiece in Garrett, a freakish athlete who signed a $30.4 million deal as the No. 1 draft pick. Garrett will be teamed with defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah, who led the Browns with 6.0 sacks as a rookie. Nose tackle Danny Shelton, a first-round pick in 2015, also should benefit from Williams’ arrival. There’s depth with backups in returners Carl Nassib and Jamie Meder, plus rookies Caleb Brantley and Larry Ogunjobe.

This should be a position of strength as Garrett continues to develop as an NFL pass-rusher.

There isn’t much change here because of the additions made last season. Jamie Collins Personalized Cheap Jerseys returns, and he’ll be joined by leading tackler Christian Kirksey. Second-year outside linebacker NFL Jerseys Outlet Joe Schobert should fill out the group. There is an opening after trading Demario Davis to the Jets.

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Felix Hernandez looks like a future Hall of Famer — but it will be close

With the July 31 MLB trade deadline approaching, the Seattle Mariners appear to be actively working the phones as they push for a wild-card spot.

The team acquired Marlins middle reliever David Phelps on Thursday, with baseball insider Jon Morosi tweeting a few days before that Seattle also would like more starting pitching. It’s a bold Vancouver Canucks Cheap Jerseys but savvy gambit. Though 48-49 and distantly trailing the Houston Astros in the AL West, the Mariners are just 2.5 games out in the wild-card race.+

Sandoval’s struggles in Boston were well-documented, from not long after he signed a five-year, $95 million free-agent deal in November 2014 to his recent designation for assignment and subsequent release. But the idea of Sandoval soon embarking on a redemption tour with beleaguered San Francisco doesn’t seem insane, at least as evidenced by what he showed Tuesday in Sacramento.

The show began two hours before game time when Sandoval took batting practice. Wearing shorts and a snug No. 48 that he would swap for No. 47 before the game began, Sandoval took some cuts from the left side of the plate. He offered hints of that sweet swing that helped him to a .294 batting average and 123 OPS+ in seven years with San Francisco, sending line drives arcing into the outfield.

“He looks like same old Pablo to me,” Blackburn said. “He’s still got really good Victor Cruz Cheap Jerseys hands, still got the same swing.”

Sandoval didn’t look as sharp from the right side of the plate, neither in batting practice nor in the game. He hit righthanded his final at-bat of the night against southpaw Dario Alvarez, popping up to second. Sandoval’s taken nearly three times as many at-bats in the majors from the left side of the plate than from the right, while Super Cheap Jerseys hitting nearly 40 points higher as a lefty.

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The key to whether the Dolphins can truly push the Patriots rides on the shoulders

The lack of a franchise quarterback, along with unstable management, is the main reason Buffalo has failed to reach the playoffs since the 1999 campaign.

Expect that streak to reach an NFL-high 18 seasons as Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane Cheap Jerseys Pay With Paypal become the latest head coach/general manager combination to try and circle the wagons with Tyrod Taylor returning under center.

Say what you will about the Dolphins beating only one playoff team last season (Steelers) en route to a 10-6 record and their first postseason appearance since 2008. Miami still enters the preseason with an improved roster and a brilliant young coach in Adam Gase.

The key to whether the Dolphins can truly push the Patriots rides on the shoulders — and left knee — of quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was flourishing in Gase’s offense until being lost for the season to a partially torn ACL in Week 14.

The Spurs adding Irving would be dangerous, but it seems unlikely the Cavs would be willing to send Cheap Laker Jerseys Sale their star player to one of the strongest teams in the league. And if Irving’s reasoning for getting out of Cleveland is that he wants to be the focal point, then why would he go to San Antonio? He’d be overshadowed by Kawhi Leonard.

And similar to the Heat, what could San Antonio give Cleveland to make the trade worth it? Leonard is out of the question, and most of the other players are great because they buy into Popovich’s system. Irving to the Spurs just seems unlikely for a number of reasons.

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Jazz’s Rudy Gobert caps monster game vs. Kings with controversial tip-in

Rudy Gobert did exactly what a center is taught to do: He put his hand up and tipped the ball in the basket.

The result of his heads-up play led to the Jazz defeating the Kings 110-109 in overtime Sunday. Only the play wasn’t as simple as it looked.

Initially ruled basket interference, it appeared Sacramento was going to Cheap Jerseys And Hats From China escape with a home win. Officials conferred, deliberated and finally decided Gobert’s basket counted.

“I didn’t know if I had time to get the rebound or not, so when I saw the ball on the side of the rim I just tipped it in,” Gobert said after the game. “I’m from Europe, so I thought it was good.”

There is no basket interference in Europe. Players can play the ball directly off the rim, sometimes even stealing points from their teammates.

Jennings joined in on the fun by changing his bio to get rid of any Knicks affiliation. He also tweeted a pair of eyes (like Isaiah Thomas and Andre Drummond did) but deleted it after getting weird messages from fans, although said, “I’m going to do it again.”

Cryptic emojis with NBA players isn’t a new thing. Most fans remember Cheap Jerseys China NHL a few summers ago when Chandler Parsons started the Emoji War of 2015. Parsons’ tweet was during free agency, which is the only other time in the NBA season that matches the intensity of the trade deadline. Fans and reporters are reading into every thing, so players have fun at their expense.

But while emojis clearly play a large part in all of this, we can’t leave out all of the profile changes as well. Players have added another dimension to the wackiness by changing their bio, profile picture, header, and who they follow/unfollow.

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James Harden not planning to rest despite wrist injury

Every single NBA player has to rest. There is no controversy in that. But resting in a regular-season game when fans have paid good money to see them play; that’s when the arguments begin.

Arguments amongst players, coaches, media and fans reach deafening highs right around this time of year as the season winds down and playoff spots are locked up.

That’s where the Rockets and MVP candidate James Harden sit right now. With six games remaining in the season, Harden is nursing a wrist injury and now is faced with the question: to sit, or not to sit?

Westbrook also became the first player in NBA history to record multiple six-game triple-double streaks in a season.

The Thunder still have six games remaining before the postseason. Barring injury, Westbrook will almost certainly break the record.

LeBron James and Paul George turned in a duel for the ages in a 135-130 double-overtime Cavaliers win. James finished with 41 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists in 52 minutes of action. George, meanwhile, poured in 43 points with nine rebounds and nine assists.

It’s the first time in James’ career that he’s had at least 40 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists in a game. It was his fourth career 40-point triple-double.

The Bucks may have lost 109-105 to the Mavericks, but Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 31 points with 15 rebounds and nine assists to give Milwaukee fans something to cheer about.

Jimmy Butler continued his fine form by scoring 39 points with six rebounds and Cheap Gaa Jerseys five assists in a 117-110 win over the Pelicans. The Bulls (38-39) are seventh in the Eastern Conference standings.

Jazz guard Rodney Hood, who was stifled by the Spurs’ vaunted defense, was able to score just five points on 2 of 9 shooting with two assists and one rebound in 27 minutes of action in a Cheap Football Jerseys 109-103 loss.

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Knicks owner James Dolan admits to calling rowdy fan an expletive

A Knicks fan claimed team owner James Dolan yelled at him earlier this week outside of Madison Square Garden. When asked about the incident, Dolan didn’t deny his involvement when he spoke to Deadspin.

“I did call him an a–hole,” Dolan told the website, “because he is an a–hole.”

The fan, Mike Hamersky, took to Twitter and sent a number of tweets to Knicks beat writers to try and get his story out there. He’s since spoken with websites, including Deadspin, to expand on his story and what caused Dolan to get frustrated.

The incident began because Hamersky yelled at Dolan, “Sell the team, Jim!” That’s when the owner approached him and, according to Hamersky, started yelling at him.

Two days after receiving the Martin Luther King Jr. Award for “efforts to promote diversity and tolerance,” Stoudemire was asked by Israeli website Walla Sport how he would feel about having a gay teammate.

His response: “I’m going to shower across the street, make sure my change of clothes are around the corner. And I’m going to drive take a different route to the gym.”

Considering he already intimated those comments were a joke while stressing “there’s always a truth within a joke,” the apology feels hollow.

Stoudemire’s apology continued, “I am open to creating a dialogue to Cheap Kids Jerseys NBA assist the fight the LGBT community encounters daily and will continue to focus on playing basketball.”

Should Stoudemire, who currently plays professionally in Cheap Kyrie Irving Jerseys Israel, create such a dialogue perhaps something positive will come out this. But he has plenty of goodwill to make up for when he has time off from his focus on basketball.

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Celtics coach Brad Stevens tired of talking about Indiana job speculation

In not-so-breaking-news, Celtics coach Brad Stevens again said he won’t be coaching in the NCAA Tournament anytime soon.

Stevens, who is a fun but unrealistic name to add to the list of potential candidates to fill the newly open position at Indiana University, shot down any possibility of returning to his home state while speaking to reporters before a Friday matchup against the Nets.

“I don’t speak to the rumor mill or anything else,” Stevens, 40, said. “I’ve made pretty clear I’m going to be here. I’ve been asked about that quite a bit. And I’ll keep saying the same thing. I’m going to be here until the Celtics decide they want to move in another direction.”

“The message is clear here: Do not underestimate Jeanie Buss,” her attorney, Adam Streisand, said. “There is not going to be a palace coup. Not now. Not ever.”

Because of Jim Buss’ attempt to take over the team, he now has lost his position as a co-trustee. There were four co-trustees within the two thirds of the Lakers that the Busses own.

According to an L.A. Times source, Jim resigned his spot to younger sister Janie, who has always supported Jeanie. Now the two women and Johnny are co-trustees.

Jim Buss refused to delve into the issues with the family, saying in a text message that, “It is difficult for me to remain quiet as many of the articles and stories are full of Wholesale NFL Jerseys Nike misreporting and does not Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping cover the truth and reasons of what has transpired.”

The brothers tried to oust Jeanie from her position after she gutted the Lakers’ front office last month, hiring Magic Johnson to be president of the organization and Kobe Bryant’s agent, Rob Pelinka, as the new general manager.

Jim Buss lost his position as executive vice president of basketball operations in that makeover.

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Colon was a lottery ticket for the Braves from the beginning

Maybe Colon hasn’t been told yet. Maybe Father Time will delay that dreaded visit. Some pitchers have been successful well past 44, even after it appeared they might be done. Nolan Ryan pitched until he was 46; Phil Niekro until he was 48, to name two. But they were unique. Ryan worked out obsessively and took excellent care of his body. Niekro stuck around because the knuckleball didn’t put much strain on his arm. And, oh yeah, both were Hall of Fame talents.

Colon was a lottery ticket for the Braves from the beginning, a “you never know,” relatively low-stakes gamble. The gamble didn’t pay off.

The team granted him his latest start as a courtesy, hoping that the three weeks off would help Colon, as he did with the Mets the past two season, continue to defy age and body type and be a productive member Cheap NFL Jerseys Nike of a starting rotation. It wasn’t meant to be.

But it’s not surprising that Colon believes he can still pitch Cheap New York Giants Jerseys at the big-league level. Competitors always want to compete — and believe they can compete — even when their bodies just won’t allow them to be effective anymore. Colon wasn’t effective for the Braves. Wednesday’s outing swelled his ERA to 8.14 and his WHIP to 1.78. It was the fourth time in his past seven outings that he allowed six earned runs or more, and was his third straight outing in which he failed to make it past the fourth inning.

Why he’s here: Like Dallas Keuchel in 2016, Porcello has been a huge disappointment the year after winning the AL Cy Young Award. Even if he wasn’t expected to match last year’s achievements, few could have seen such a major drop in production for Porcello, who hasn’t been able to fool anyone this season. His teammate David Price could’ve taken this spot, too.

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Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper celebrate All-Star selections with huge games

Max Scherzer was doing Max Scherzer things in St. Louis on Sunday, and Bryce Harper showed why he was the leading vote getter for the 2017 All-Star Game.

Scherzer struck out 12 while allowing just two hits in seven shutout innings to help Cheap MLB Jerseys From China lead the Nationals to a 7-2 win over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. With All-Star selections announced just prior to Sunday night’s game, Harper celebrated his selection by smashing a pair Cheap Paintball Jerseys And Pants of home runs in his first two at-bats.

“It felt good,” Harper said of his two long balls before heaping praise on Scherzer during an interview with ESPN following the game. “Max went out there and did his thing. I don’t know what you can say about that guy.”

Estrada was drafted by the Phillies in 1997, and he debuted for Philadelphia in 2001. Before the 2003 season, he was shipped to Atlanta for Kevin Millwood. 2004 was Estrada’s first major Cheap Michael Jordan Jerseys For Sale league season with a significant amount of playing time. He used that opportunity to earn a spot on the NL roster at the All-Star Game.

Estrada hit .332/.382/.481 with 4 HR and 47 RBIs in the first half of the season. Outside of Mike Piazza, this was the best offensive half from a catcher in the NL, so the selection was Cheap Personalized Jerseys justified. Estrada’s bat cooled in the second half. He would spend the next three seasons catching over 100 games for Atlanta, Arizona, and Milwaukee. His career ended in 2008 as a member of the Nationals.

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