Defending champ Aaron Judge won’t be part of 2018 Home Run Derby

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There will be a new Home Run Derby king at this year’s signature All-Star Game event.

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge told The New York Post on Tuesday that he will sit out the annual home run hitting contest, scheduled for July 16 at Nationals Park in Washington, during this year’s All-Star Game festivities.

Judge strongly hinted to reporters then about “leaning” toward not taking part in any future Derby competitions. He didn’t offer any reasons behind his decision, other than to say that it was a personal choice.

One and done, Home Run Derby champion, Judge told reporters. “It was a cool experience. I enjoyed it all, but I don’t think I really need to go out there and do it again.”

Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports that Patriots defensive end Adrian Clayborn “tweaked” a quadriceps muscle during offseason workouts.

Clayborn’s availability could be limited for the Organized Team Activities, which begin on Monday. Either way, he’s expected to be ready for the start of training camp.

Reiss notes that the quad issue underscores concerns about Clayborn’s history of injuries, from an ACL tear (plus more knee damage) in 2012 to a torn biceps in one arm in 2014 to another knee injury in 2016 to a torn biceps in the other arm in 2016.

Clayborn had a career-high 9.5 sacks in 2017, six of which came in one game, against the Cowboys.

At some point, Father Time catches up to everybody, so that’s something to think about before drafting players like LeBron and Chris Paul (No. 16) who are entering their 16th and 14th seasons in the league, respectively.cowboys_013

Patrick Ewing’s N.J. mansion’s listing price keeps tanking, now $4.8M

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His game-winning layup attempt in Game 7 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals may not have dropped, but the price of Patrick Ewing’s Cresskill mansion has. Again.

Once listed for $7 million in 2015, the 10,524-square-foot all-brick manor is now listed for $4.8 million after the price was dropped by $700,000 on Wednesday. The listing price has decreased three other times since the home hit the market.

Located on nearly two acres of wooded land in the exclusive Tamcrest Estates, the home, which has seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, opens up to a spacious foyer and a grand staircase. The foyer has French doors that lead to a library with a fireplace, according to the listing.

The 7-foot center made more than $123 million in his 17-year NBA career before retiring in 2002.

He purchased the Cresskill home in 2007 for $6.35 million. The property was last assessed at $4.2 million, according to property records. Property taxes for the home were $111,205 in 2017.

We’re hoping he stays healthy, has a productive year and we go from there, Quinn said.

Quinn said it is about new head coach Matt Patricia being able to get to know Ansah through the off-season program before the team makes a decision about a long-term deal. The fact that Ansah has been inconsistent early in his career — sandwiching a pair of double-digit sack seasons in 2015 and 2017 with a two-sack campaign in 2016 — also surely factors into the decision to wait.

The Final Four has arrived, giving us three more games of an incredible NCAA Tournament before declaring a champion.

Four teams, four incredible stories.
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The same can be said for Matt Ryan, who’s entering the final season of his contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

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McCarron, 27, has four starts in his NFL career: three in the regular season and one in the playoffs. But all of those appearances came at the end of the 2015 season when Andy Dalton suffered a broken thumb. McCarron wasn’t called into action at all in 2014 or 2016, and threw just 14 passes in 2017.

The pay difference in a fully guaranteed deal is mostly cosmetic at this point, but the shift in freedom near the end of the contract is a win for players moving forward and could affect future negotiations.

In the NFC North — and really, close to the entire NFL — Rodgers has been the golden standard for quarterback play.

But now he’s the third-highest paid player in his division behind Cousins and Stafford.

A new contract from the Green Bay Packers is likely on the way this offseason and there’s no reason for Rodgers to ask for anything less than what Cousins just received.

Cousins is a quarterback who doesn’t have nearly the career accomplishments of Rodgers or Ryan.

With the new Vikings’ signing setting a new standard, contract negotiations could become much less muddy if the top-tier quarterbacks refuse to settle for anything less than a fully guaranteed deal.

After all, if the Bears were going to lose with Glennon and a lousy supporting cast, anyway, getting Trubisky some much-needed game experience made far more sense in building toward the future.

The Cardinals did not display such foresight at quarterback in the previous four years under then-head coach Bruce Arians. Only one QB, 2014 fourth-round pick Logan Thomas, was drafted in that span even though Arizona knew the clock was ticking on a quickly aging Carson Palmer.

Logan wasn’t just a washout. He isn’t even playing the position anymore, having converted to tight end in salvaging his NFL career with Buffalo.

Arizona’s two backups in 2017, journeymen Drew Stanton and Blaine Gabbert, also showed no signs of being capable replacements for Palmer when they got to play as the latter ended his career on injured reserve.
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Well here’s a twist in the Richard-Sherman-to-the-49ers saga.

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According to an account of the negotiations published Monday on Monday Morning Quarterback on SI.com, the Seahawks declined a chance to match the contract offer Sherman received from the 49ers, with general manager John Schneider saying the incentives were “a little too rich for me.”

Top draft needs: Outside of a starting quarterback (which should be solved in free agency), this isn’t a roster with many holes. Riley Reiff stepped in and solved the left tackle issue, but right tackle (or guard) is an area to address. Drafting one would allow Minnesota to move Mike Remmers inside. Defensive tackle is another area of potential need, with Sharrif Floyd potentially out of football and Tom Johnson and Shamar Stephen about to hit free agency. — McShay

Best prospect fits: Ohio State guard/center Billy Price, UTEP guard Will Hernandez and Texas guard/tackle Connor Williams could fit along the offensive line for Minnesota, which picks near the end of the first round. If the Vikings target a defensive tackle, Florida’s Taven Bryan would work — if he lasts to Minnesota’s pick.– McShay

A Pro Bowler in 2014, Bennett has 433 catches for 4,573 yards and 30 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons with the Patriots, Packers, Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, and the Chicago Bears.

This contract would set new benchmarks for average per year, full guarantee at signing and three-year payout. The Jets, cognizant that it probably will take more than money to lure Cousins, will try to sell their vision for building a championship team.

They have a war chest of salary-cap room for 2018 and 2019, which will allow them to be aggressive in free agency. It also means they won’t have to dump salary; they can keep building what they started last year. They have five of the first 107 picks in the upcoming draft; they haven’t had that many since 2006. They have a bright offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach in Jeremy Bates, whose mentor was Cousins’ first NFL coach — Mike Shanahan. It means they speak the same language and see the game the same way.buccaneers_071

Astros prospect Forrest Whitley suspended 50 games for violation of MiLB drug program

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Astros right-handed pitcher Forrest Whitley, the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline, has been suspended 50 games without pay for violating the minor-league drug program.

Whitley was the Astros’ first-round pick in 2016 and is coming off of a year in which he struck out 143 batters in 92 1/3 innings across three levels. He finished the year with Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks and struck out 11 batters in six innings while allowing no runs in his debut against the Tulsa Drillers.

Aside Shohei Ohtani, he is the No. 1 right-handed pitching prospect in baseball.

The 20-year-old was not invited to spring training by the Astros, but he was expected to see time with the team in games and possibly even earn a late-season call up.

Whitley is the third Astros’ prospect, along with Dean Deetz and Jonathan Singleton, to be suspended for violations of the minor-league drug prevention program this offseason. Including David Paulino, he is the fourth prospect to be suspended in the last year.

The 24-year-old Sano could be subject to a suspension under MLB’s domestic violence policy for allegations made by Betsy Bissen, a photographer for a Twins website, that Minnesota’s All-Star third baseman assaulted her in 2015.

Bissen detailed her encounter with Sano at an autograph signing, saying he recognized her from the games she worked as a photographer. Bissen claimed Sano grabbed her wrist and forced her to accompany him to a nearby store afterward, where he tried to kiss her and get her into a bathroom against her wishes. Despite cries let out during the 10-minute struggle, no one helped her.

“No, he didn’t rape me, but he sure did assault me,” Bissen said. “When I said no, it should have been the end of it. He should have respected that and stopped. Instead he hurt me and kept going.buccaneers_002

Baseball must embrace technology in pitcher-catcher communication

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Back in 1994. 1994!!!

And why did the NFL approve this radical technological idea in 1994? From NFL.com бн

All legitimate, but very solvable, dilemmas. Baseball probably should have done this years ago. But let’s announce it soon and implement it next spring to get everyone used to it for the 2019 season.

It’s about time MLB catches up with the NFL, circa 1994.

And despite that, Taylor couldn’t keep his job in western New York.

But he’ll have a strong chance of starting in the NFL again after getting traded to the Cleveland Browns on Friday for a third-round pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter .

What does this mean for the Browns? : Taylor now joins a young roster that traded for wide receiverJarvis Landry earlier Friday. Shortly after, the Browns traded last year’s starting quarterback, DeShone Kizer, to the Packers for cornerback Damarious Randall.

The Brows now have a quarterback in Taylor, a few dynamics targets for him (Landry, Josh Gordon, David Njoku), a versatile running back (Duke Johnson), and a sturdy offensive line.

“We’re definitely aware of the email sent out by our baseball coach and the comments he made are in no way a reflection of Texas Wesleyan University, its values or its recruiting practices,” John Veilleux, vice president for marketing and communications for Texas Wesleyan, said at the onset of the investigation, per the Houston Chronicle. “This is a personnel matter and it is currently under investigation. We follow due process here. It is our university policy to not discuss personnel.”

The Giants are ready to spend ?in free agency in order?to upgrade their offensive line, and they?will need to put a stud workhorse behind?that improved run blocking. Barkley will be?a heavy favorite for 2018 offensive rookie of the year?no matter where he goes. seahawks_163_59bfc6d562979b02-180x180

Simpson was asked about removing a glove before taking a knife from Charlie, and continued to say he blacked out.

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Former NFL running back O.J. Simpson detailed how he would have?hypothetically murdered?Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in a never-before-seen 2006 interview. Fox aired that interview Sunday night on a program titled “The Lost Confession.”

The interview was with?book publisher Judith Regan and the it was aired in a??a two-hour special. The special covered several topics, including the night in question. During his?hypothetical confession, Simpson brought up a man named Charlie, and claims after he took a knife from Charlie he blacked out.

This comes off?news that the Jaguars are unlikely to re-sign Allen Robinson . Goedert would be?intriguing if he’s available, but Sutton, a big-bodied receiver with underrated downfield speed, is built to be a direct,?cheap?replacement for Robinson as?Blake Bortles’ go-to guy.

Lynn, like Cobb, was more popular early in the offseason, and seems to have dropped off the radar just a bit. Lynn’s best fits are still in the NL Central, where he enjoyed a successful career with the Cardinals. Returning to St. Louis would be good for both sides, as Lynn is comfortable in the ballpark and the Cardinals still need some rotation depth.

Out of all the remaining pitchers, Lynn might be the most likely to end up in Milwaukee. The Brewers reconstructed their outfield this offseason, but really need at least one more strong arm to realistically make a long postseason run. Lynn could help there.

The catalyst for this current conversation is the pace-of-play changes MLB commissioner Rob Manfred announced recently. He held off on implementing a pitch clock, but he did introduce a rule limiting the number of non-pitching-change mound visits to six a game (with one extra visit per each extra inning). This new definition of mound visits includes catchers and infielders who stroll over to the mound; those visits were previously unlimited.seahawks_052_4c5862a69a60bb38-180x180

The 7 stages of a Philadelphia Super Bowl celebration

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Every time there’s a major sporting event we see the Kübler-Ross model in action. These are the five stages of grieving, which outline how humans handle intense loss and sadness. You’ve seen them before. Bargaining, anger, acceptance — all that jazz.

Rodrigues profiles as a late bloomer on offense. He notched 30 points in 72 games during his rookie AHL season in 2015-16, then matched that 30 points in only 48 games last season. This season, he has 10 points in only eight AHL contests, while potting 12 points in 30 games with the Sabres. But dial in a little closer and you’ll see that he has five points during his past six games and is playing a much-expanded role with Jack Eichel on the sideline already. If the Sabres move Evander Kane, it basically assures Rodrigues a role near the top of the depth chart for the remainder of the season.

For new general manager John Dorsey and retained coach Hue Jackson, the challenge is not just trying to overhaul personnel from a team that finished 0-16 in 2017, but also finding the appropriate balance in addressing the positions of need through both avenues without blowing their bounty.

Dorsey has preached prudence in the pursuit of free agents who can help the team, but that doesn’t mean Cleveland will approach the frugality of the previous decision-maker, Sashi Brown.

While there is plenty of merit in looking at where some of the most discussed trade-bait players will land and how they will perform, there is also the oft-forgotten other side of the coin. What about the team those players left behind?

With every significant NHL trade, especially from the sellers teams, there is usually prime ice time and a major role left to be filled after a player’s or players’ departure.

Heat: Derrick Jones Jr. was recalled from Sioux Falls before the game, but his flight through Chicago was delayed and he was inactive. Thursday won’t count toward the 45-day allotment on his two-way contract. … Wade made his first six shots, meaning he was 17 of 23 in a stretch of about seven quarters going back to Saturday.

Lakers rookie guard Josh Hart isn’t guaranteed a return this season, now that he’s dealing with a broken bone in his left hand. He was hurt in practice Wednesday, returned to Los Angeles and won’t be evaluated for another 2/3 weeks. “If he is healthy and ready to play with a couple weeks left, then we will get him back on the court,” Walton said.

Miami was without guards Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington, both of whom suffered left quadriceps contusions in Tuesday’s win over Philadelphia.patriots_002

Eagles parade 2018: Route, map, and street closures for Super Bowl celebration

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The city of Philadelphia is still standing following the Eagles’ big win over the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. They’ll take a victory lap in the form of their Super Bowl parade Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. ET. The parade will begin at Broad and Pattison and will end at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

The parade route will go northbound on Broad Street to S. Penn Square, where it will turn west to 15th Street. Then it’s northbound again on 15th down to JFK Blvd. From JFK, it’s westward to 16th Street, north on 16th to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, west on the Parkway to Eakins Oval and ending at the art museum.

“I really forgot all about it,” Lue said of the controversy surrounding his decision to rest James, Love and Irving last season. “And I don’t even remember the backlash.”

When a reporter reminded Lue that he later referred to the game as a “forfeit” by Cleveland, it jogged the coach’s memory.

“Oh yeah,” Lue said. “Yeah, I had to apologize. OK. One of those games, like I said, sorry for the fans who had to go through that, because they come to see LeBron, Kevin [and Kyrie]. Just had to be smart, resting our guys on the back-to-back, and like I said, I was sorry for the fans that they had to go through that.”

LaVine hit a 3-pointer to make it 115-110 with 1:02 left.

“We stole that win,” Embiid said. “We didn’t play well. Offensively, I thought, we were moving the ball when we needed, but defensively I thought we sucked.”

76ers: C Embiid has nine straight double-doubles. … Simmons has six triple-doubles this season, which ties him with Wilt Chamberlain (three times) and Billy Cunningham for most in a season in team history.

Bulls: To look at some younger players during the final 25 games, C Robin Lopez and G/F Justin Holiday were removed from the starting lineup. Both were inactive on Thursday as Cristiano Felicio and David Nwaba (21 points) started; Also, Cameron Payne — who played in his first game on Thursday — will replace Jerian Grant as the backup point guard.jays_265_d850bfaaa88302f7-180x180

McDavid scores winner in overtime, Oilers beat Avalanche 3-2

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The Edmonton Oilers weren’t about to let another 2-0 lead slip away.

Connor McDavid scored at 2:19 of overtime and had an assist to lead Edmonton past the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Thursday night, two days after the Oilers blew a two-goal advantage in the third period of a 3-2 loss to Boston.

Edmonton broke the deadlock three minutes into the second as Draisaitl put on a clinic, faking out Mikko Rantanen before beating Varlamov up high with a backhander for his 18th of the season.

Yeah, I certainly disagree with what (Trump) said. I thought it was just divisive, Brady said on WEEI in Boston.

Trump hasn’t softened his stance on the issue. His war of words against the NFL and its players rages on. So if the Patriots manage to win yet another Super Bowl against the Eagles, there’s no guarantee they’ll even get an invitation to the White House, despite Kraft, Belichick, and Brady’s ties to Trump.

In past years, watching NFL games on mobile devices was restricted only to Verizon customers. That’s finally changing in 2018, with Yahoo streaming every playoff game on its mobile app, including the Super Bowl.

“I’ve been watching the news. I’ve been seeing what the kids from Douglas have been doing,” Luongo told the crowd. “You guys are brave. You guys are an inspiration to all of us. You guys are what is giving us hope for the future.”

Things should be a bit more normalized on Saturday, and the Panthers — winners of eight of their past 11 games — have thrust themselves into the playoff race.

The Panthers are led by Trocheck, with a team-best 23 goals, and Aleksander Barkov, with a team-high 55 points. Both have made the All-Star Game — Trocheck in 2017 and Barkov in 2018.

Another Panthers star is Jonathan Huberdeau, who leads the team with 36 assists.

The Penguins, meanwhile, have Malkin and the incomparable Sidney Crosby, a seven-time All-Star, two-time regular season MVP, two-time Stanley Cup MVP, two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time Stanley Cup champ.bears_116-223x223