The Dodgers will again feature baseball’s highest payroll

The Dodgers’ staff has it all. There is star power in Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Kenley Jansen. There is tremendous upside in Julio Urias. There is a human filibuster in Pedro Baez. And there is depth galore with, by my count, at least 10 quality options to start games. That gives Dave Roberts the ability to manage his starters’ innings carefully and keep them primed for October. And all these hurlers will be working in front of an above-average defense.

The Dodgers will again feature baseball’s highest payroll. But the quality of what they ended up with almost justifies another quarter-of-a-billion-dollar expenditure. The offense should be above average, with a deep, well-balanced roster of position players. That group will be led by MVP candidate Corey Seager.

Game Kids Ted Hendricks Jersey Am I declaring the Dodgers the favorite in the NL? Not really. As strong as their projection is, it’s only a few runs better than the Cubs, and the gap isn’t large enough for me to declare Los Angles as a clear winner. Subjectively, it’s hard to pick against the Cubs, given the buffer they had on the rest of baseball in 2016. Still, if we end up with a Cubs-Dodgers rematch in the 2017 National League Championship Series, I won’t be at all surprised.

“Individual relationships are all really strong, and with that comes an open dialogue,” Hoyer said.

Manager Joe Maddon has been down this road before with marquee players and is keeping an open mind.

“It could be a positive for him and for us,” Maddon stated. “If you’re in that year, you want to put your best foot forward to attract the best contract the next season.”

Game Womens Stephen Gostkowski Jersey “It feels like only a few months ago that I was traded over here and starting my career as a Cub. I’ve had some incredible experiences with this organization. … I don’t want to see that time come to an end, but unfortunately the business side shows its head every once in a while.”

Ducks’ Antoine Vermette faces 10-game suspension for slashing referee

In the middle of a tight 1-0 game in Minnesota, Anaheim Ducks forward Antoine Vermette took himself out of the game after hitting an official with his stick.

That slap earned him a game misconduct penalty for abuse of an official, a NHL rule that doesn’t often get enacted. One of the last times it came into play? When Dennis Wideman blindsided an official last season in Calgary.

The NHL’s rules on abuse of officials is long, but the section pertaining to Vermette’s situation is as follows:

Any player who deliberately applies physical force in any manner against an official, in any manner attempts to injure an official, physically demeans, or deliberately applies physical force to an official solely for the purpose of getting free of such an official during or immediately following an altercation shall receive a game misconduct penalty and the guidelines set out in Rule 40 – Physical Abuse of Officials are to be applied

Rule 40 has three specific tiers of automatic suspensions. Sportsnet confirmed that Vermette was thrown out according to a Category II offense, where “physical force is applied without intent to injure,” including at least a 10-game suspension. Vermette can appeal the suspension.

Kiper has Deshaun Watson out of Clemson going to the Buffalo Bills with the 10th pick in the 2017 draft. Obviously, there are a few variables at play in Buffalo, with Tyrod Taylor’s future with the team uncertain at this point. There are also questions surrounding how NFL ready Watson is, and it’s possible he won’t be an out-of-the-gate starter.

Durant has seen how that movie ends on far too many occasions. He needed a change.

The constant disconnect on the court with the Thunder, particularly on the offensive end, began to wear on Durant mentally as early as their second season together, league sources told ESPN. Throughout his OKC tenure, Durant asked for more ball movement. At times, it looked like the Thunder might have turned the corner, but it was never sustained.
Elite Mens Preston Brown Jersey
On sheer talent alone, Durant’s union with Westbrook instantly catapulted the Thunder to being one of the league¡¯s best teams. But when going against a team with supreme talent and discipline, they were overmatched.
Mens Cleveland Browns Jersey
Durant desired continuity and teammates willing to sacrifice for the betterment of the team. After nine seasons with the franchise, he wasn¡¯t convinced that would ever occur.

Referees assessed Hield a flagrant foul two for grabbing Cousins by the junk while fighting over a screen with just under three minutes remaining in the first half. It is unclear whether it was intentional or inadvertent, but Boogie immediately demanded a technical foul be called on the Pelicans rookie after the mishap.

It was the first time Hield had been assessed a flagrant or technical foul this season. New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry nearly got tossed with his guard after giving officials a mouthful following the call.

A Knicks official had been discussing a potential reunion with Sprewell for months but the timing of his appearance coming so close to the Oakley incident appeared not to be coincidental. Dolan’s handling of the Oakley incident, including the suggestion that Oakley had a drinking problem, had drawn wide criticism.

Curt Fraser was the Thrashers¡¯ pick in another case of being on the inside track with management

¡°He¡¯s not playing a lot, and when he does play he¡¯s not getting a ton of minutes and he¡¯s way down in the lineup. So any time that comes up, you start to hear talk and conversation.

And I think they are being asked. ¡®What are you thinking here? What are you doing there? What¡¯s your future plans?¡¯ I have no doubt teams are calling and asking them that.¡±
Fernando Valenzuela Mens Jersey
¡°He¡¯s fallen further down the lineup. He just can¡¯t seem to get going. He had some injury problems at the beginning of the year, which affected him. He wasn¡¯t at his peak when the season began. He was playing catch-up.

Game Chris Harris Jr Jersey I just feel that as the Ottawa Senators have gotten going in the last little bit he can¡¯t find his way.¡±

Not only that, he thinks that Ottawa is apparently asking a lot for their former first round pick, making a trade not imminent:

Curt Fraser was the Thrashers¡¯ pick in another case of being on the inside track with management. Fraser and general manager Don Waddell were partners in bringing the Orlando Solar Bears to the International Hockey League in 1995 before working together again in 1999. Ted Nolan and Ron Low were contenders for the Thrashers¡¯ job and both had NHL experience, but were passed over for familiarity.

While the leftovers of the recent expansion teams only lasted a few more years in the NHL, it¡¯s highly likely the three coaches not chosen by Vegas could continue their success elsewhere in the league. The coaching pool is too talented and too deep, meaning Vegas won¡¯t be the only one that benefits next season.

Still, it¡¯s a glut of coaching talent the NHL hasn¡¯t seen in years, maybe even in the history of league expansion. If George McPhee wasn¡¯t working those phones before, he most definitely is now.

C.J. McCollum spoils a vintage clutch display by Dirk Nowitzki

As the American Airlines Center crowd wildly celebrated the legend¡¯s vintage moment, C.J. McCollum had a simple thought: 3.9 seconds is plenty of time.
Limited Bo Jackson Jersey
Dirk Nowitzki, one of the league¡¯s great closers of the past generation, gave the Dallas Mavericks a one-point lead with less than four ticks on the clock by drilling his second go-ahead 3-pointer of the final minute. The Portland Trail Blazers responded by giving McCollum a chance to be the hero in the final seconds for the first time in his career.

McCollum delivered, just as he¡¯d done on Portland¡¯s previous two possessions. The midrange floater after splitting Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes was McCollum’s first career game winner in the final five seconds, but it¡¯s a safe bet that it won¡¯t be the last.

Limited Charles Tillman Jersey The Knicks hoped that surrounding Porzingis with veterans and a winning environment would help his development. It hasn¡¯t worked out that way. Instead, Porzingis has played through another season filled with losses and off-court drama.

Porzingis shared some concerning thoughts about team chemistry and trust after Monday¡¯s loss to the Lakers.

“We don’t have that trust. Some games we do, some games we don’t. Some games we have that second effort, some games we don’t, like today,” he said.

Porzingis was asked why the team hasn’t yet developed trust in one another.

“If we had the answer, I would tell you something. But it’s just not there,” he said. “It’s kind of everybody for [themselves] a lot of times — both ends of the floor. So I wish I had the answer.¡±

Right now, that¡¯s another question for Jackson and the Knicks to answer. And it¡¯s another problem that Jackson can¡¯t solve on Twitter.

Denver became the first double-digit underdog to win the Super Bowl since the Chiefs in Super Bowl IV

As a Patriots fan, this may be the greatest Super Bowl ever and not just because Goodell has to swallow his bile and hand the Lombardi to Tom Brady.

I¡¯m no fan of the NFL¡¯s overtime format, but to those complaining that Atlanta¡¯s No. 1-ranked offense never got the chance to answer the Patriots¡¯ opening overtime drive: Yes, it did.

John Matuszak Mens Jersey The Patriots finished the game with 31 unanswered points, 25 of them in regulation. The Falcons had four possessions after Tevin Coleman scored the Falcons¡¯ last points with 23:36 left in the game. Had they gotten even a field goal out of any of those four drives, they¡¯d be swimming in confetti right now.
Jordan Senn Mens Jersey
The Falcons defense was visibly gassed with 10 minutes left to play; inflicting another whole quarter of football on these men wouldn¡¯t be fair to anybody. NFL overtime exists for two reasons: to decide a winner as quickly as possible and to get the players off the field. It did its job, and the Patriots did theirs.

Denver became the first double-digit underdog to win the Super Bowl since the Chiefs in Super Bowl IV. The Broncos actually opened as a 14-point underdog, but the line moved to 11.5. The Broncos had lost each of their first four Super Bowl appearances, both straight up and ATS before winning Super Bowl XXXII.

The Atlanta Falcons quarterback, playing in his first Super Bowl, couldn¡¯t quite add a Super Bowl title to his impressive resume. The Falcons held as much as a 28-3 lead and looked poised to bring a championship back home to Atlanta. But then the Falcons fell victim to a Super Bowl-tested quarterback in Tom Brady, who engineered a miraculous comeback in the New England Patriots’ shocking, 34-28 Super Bowl LI victory. The loss for the Falcons marked the biggest collapse in Super Bowl history and is sure to leave an empty feeling in the stomach of Ryan and his teammates the entire offseason.

Dan Quinn is 19-13 in the regular season and 1-0 in the playoffs as coach of the Falcons

You might argue that McCarthy was unlucky to lose the coin toss and have his defense give up a season-ending touchdown within three plays from scrimmage after his decision to kick the extra point, that it was the worst possible outcome for his decision. That’s fair. It’s also fair to say he got the best possible outcome for making the same sort of bizarrely conservative mistake again last Sunday against the Cowboys.

Again, playing as an underdog on the road, McCarthy’s team took an early lead before beginning to scuffle in the second half. The Packers failed to score on two consecutive drives, which was enough to let Dallas back into the game for what turned into a 28-28 tie with 4:12 left. A pass-interference penalty set up the Packers on the Cowboys’ 35-yard line with 1:52 to go. The Cowboys had all three of their timeouts, but with Rodgers at the helm, the Packers could move further into field goal range, burn off significant clock or force Dallas to use their timeouts.

Somehow, they ended up with the worst of all three worlds. Instead of trusting their MVP-caliber quarterback to make plays and keep the ball in bounds, the Packers turned their offense over to Ty Montgomery, who ran the ball twice for a combined loss of 3 yards. Faced with third-and-long, Rodgers ended up throwing a deep incomplete pass on a play where there was no outlet for a short gain to make Mason Crosby’s field goal any easier, with three of the four receivers running 15-plus yards downfield.

There are players in this system with viable cases to be in the global top 100 but struggle to crack Atlanta’s top 10. They just took Ian Anderson third overall in the draft and he couldn’t even crack their top six.

The question is whether the pair will be able to keep up their play

Like Houston, 26-year-old Miller is an on-the-rise edge rusher. Although Miller served a suspension earlier in his career for a violation of the league’s substance abuse policy and has also dealt with a torn ACL, it certainly looks like his best days are ahead. His 14 sacks in 2014 combined with 10 sacks from Ware to make the Broncos one of the NFL’s top pass-rushing teams.

While the production doesn’t match that of Houston in Kansas City, Scotty Payne of SB Nation’s Broncos blog, Mile High Report, thinks it will be there soon and that will boost the Miller-Ware combination to the top of the pass-rushing duo rankings.

The Lions have an astonishing 14.2% of their cap in Calvin Johnson, with an additional 3.7% in receiver Golden Tate and 2.6% in tight end Brandon Pettigrew.

The Broncos have 8.5% of their cap in Thomas and another 3.9% in Emmanuel Sanders. No other player reaches 2.0% in cap allocation.
Johnathan Joseph Kids Jersey
Washington has 6.6% of their cap in Garcon and 6.3% in Jackson, and an additional 2.6% in receiver Andre Roberts.

The Cowboys have 8.5% in Bryant and 5.7% in Witten. No other player reaches 2.0% in cap allocation.

The Patriots have four players with 2.0% or more of cap space: Rob Gronkowski (6.0%), Julian Edelman (3.2%), Brandon LaFell (2.4%), and Danny Amendola (2.2%).
numbers from

Mark Trumbo Kids Jersey Bryant reportedly wants a deal with numbers similar to the eight-year deal the Lions gave Calvin Johnson in 2012, with $48 million guaranteed and an annual average north of $16 million. Under the franchise tag, he’d make $12.8 million, fully guaranteed, this season, and Dallas would then have the option to tag him again in 2016 for a one-year deal in the neighborhood of $15.5 million.

What do the Patriots have in mind for Le’Veon Bell?

QB Matt Ryan is playing at an MVP level, and you especially like his chances of matching Rodgers’ offensive output at home. But what stood out about Atlanta in Saturday’s victory over the Seattle Seahawks was how dynamic and energetic the Falcons were on the other side of the ball. We’re not used to thinking defense when we think of the Falcons, but their young defensive stars have been difference-makers down the stretch. Green Bay has one of the best pass-protecting offensive lines in the league, and Seattle had one of the worst. But that doesn’t mean Falcons coach Dan Quinn & Co. can’t scheme ways for the Falcons’ defensive team speed to make a difference in coverage or by chasing down Rodgers outside of the pocket better than Dallas did.

It’s not as if the Steelers can’t find other ways to win, but the design and effectiveness of the Patriots’ plan to stop Bell will tell a significant portion of the story of the AFC Championship Game.

With all that in mind, we tapped five Americans to share some of their experiences of what it’s really like to play pro basketball in China.

Randolph Morris: ‘A tremendous experience’

Authentic Kids Nolan Cromwell Jersey Morris, a former standout at the University of Kentucky who played in the NBA with the Knicks and Atlanta Hawks, has enjoyed one of the finest CBA careers of any American. He’s playing in his seventh season with the Beijing Ducks, having joined the franchise in 2010.
Limited Womens Jeremy Evans Jersey
Morris averaged 29.9 points and 12.2 rebounds in his first season with Beijing and has hovered right around 25 points and 10 rebounds over the course of his CBA career. Morris said the quality of CBA play is already good and continuing to improve, which surprises some Americans who come over expecting to produce eye-popping numbers.

Last week OBJ, this week Dez Bryant for Packers CB LaDarius Gunter

When the 2015 NFL draft weekend wrapped up, the Green Bay Packers felt confident they had found their shutdown cornerback of the future.

If it wasn’t first-round pick Damarious Randall, then surely it would be second-rounder Quinten Rollins.
George Johnson Game Jersey
Yet when defensive coordinator Dom Capers sits down these days with his assistant coaches and decides whether to match one of his cornerbacks against the opponent’s No. 1 receiver, it’s someone else the Packers picked up that May 2015 weekend who’s the focus of the discussion.

Instead, mysteriously, the Seahawks handed the ball to backup running back Alex Collins twice, running the risk of a fumble with little upside, to end the half. It’s a bizarre decision: If you want to give up (and you shouldn’t), why not kneel three times given Atlanta had only two timeouts? And why wouldn’t you want to try to score against a middling pass defense given how much success the Seahawks had enjoyed throwing the ball downfield?
Glenn Gronkowski Game Jersey
I’m not one to argue that an end-of-half field goal would have given the Seahawks momentum heading into the final 30 minutes, but those three points could have come in handy.

And if Carroll didn’t have enough faith in Wilson to try to score without turning the ball over, he might as well not have sent the team out for the second half. Atlanta promptly took the ball after halftime and drove 75 yards for another touchdown. Carroll’s aforementioned fourth-and-1 punt, designed to keep the game close, came with the game at 12-10. By the time Wilson took his next meaningful snap on offense, the score was 26-10.