Angels hope to gain ground on Mariners

The cowboys_073 can’t afford to lose much more ground to the Seattle Mariners heading into the second game of their three-game series Tuesday night at Safeco Field in Seattle.

The Angels lost the series opener to the AL West-leading Mariners (42-24) on Monday night, 5-3, getting solo home runs from Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, but giving up two-run homers to Nelson Cruz and Ryon Healy, as well as a solo homer from Cruz. They are 5 1/2 games back of the Mariners.

Leake faced the Angels on May 4 in Seattle and allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings of a 5-0 loss. He has made three starts against Los Angeles overall in his nine-year career and is 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA.

Leake will try to keep the Mariners on a roll. They are 9-2 since May 31, and 18-5 since May. 18.

Me, personally, and our coaching staff are really looking forward to the next couple of weeks of baseball, Servais said. We really believe in this team. Our guys believe in themselves and we’re going to face some good clubs and we’re looking forward to it. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

I take full responsibility for not taking care of my business in the classroom, it read in part. I will use this tough lesson as motivation to get better and learn from my mistakes as I become a professional.

Alexander had seven career interceptions for the Hokies, including four as a sophomore. He missed four games last fall due to suspension and injury.

Still, at 6-foot-3, 207 pounds, he has a good chance to become the first player selected in the supplemental draft since 2015. The draft is usually held in early to mid July and has previously featured high-profile players like Josh Gordon, Terrelle Pryor and Ahmad Brooks.

Brian Anderson had three hits and Cameron Maybin had two for the Marlins, who have won three of four. J.T. Realmuto, Lewis Brinson, and Yadiel Rivera each drove in a run without a hit.

The Marlins took control of the game in the middle innings scoring twice in the fourth, once in the fifth, and once in the sixth.

Justin Bour walked to open the fourth and moved to third on Maybin’s double. One out later, Brinson had a sacrifice fly to get the Marlins on the scoreboard. After an intentional walk to Rivera, Smith followed with his run-scoring single to right.

Nagy: Allen Robinson ahead of the game in ACL rehab

Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson could be on track to return sooner than later.

Robinson, who continues to rehabilitate from the torn ACL he suffered in September 2017, received an encouraging endorsement from his head coach following Wednesday’s organized team activity.

He’s been doing great in meetings, Nagy said. “He’s answering every question in the meetings, he’s out here focused doing everything that we want him to do.”

That said, the thrill of gambling comes from the sense of real risk and the potential for real rewards. Responsible bettors wager just enough to pique their emotional investment in a game, but not enough to leave them sobbing silently in a parked car and wondering how to explain Cancelled Christmas to the family after the Chargers miss a last-second field goal.

One good rule of thumb: Never wager more in one NFL weekend than you would spend during a typical night on the town with pals. If you are the type who buys rounds of single malt scotch at clubs with roped-off lounges, that could be a few hundred bucks. If you are more like me and wrap your Buffalo wing bones in a cocktail napkin so you can later use them to make soup stock, it might be far less. Either way, you can “punish” yourself for a bad weekend of bets by staying home on a few Saturday nights, balancing your entertainment budget with minimal guilt.

Hard Knocks, which debuted in 2001, is a reality show that follows NFL teams throughout training camp leading up to the regular season.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were featured last year. This will be the first time that the Browns are the subject of the show.

Cleveland is a natural choice for Hard Knocks given the number of intriguing storylines surrounding the team.

That Browns are coming off of an 0-16 season and have won only one game over the past two campaigns. Even so, there is excitement surrounding the team entering 2018.

Cleveland selected Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft. Additionally, the Browns selected Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward with the No. 4 overall pick and Georgia running back Nick Chubb in the second round.cowboys_044

Cowboys will use Tavon Austin in Lance Dunbar’s former role

The Cowboys didn’t trade for Tavon Austin the receiver. They traded for Tavon Austin the web back.

The Cowboys plan to use Austin the way they used Lance Dunbar.

Dunbar had 94 rushes for 422 yards and a touchdown and caught 68 passes for 646 yards in 54 games with the Cowboys when he wasn’t injured.

Obviously, he played slot. He’s a returner. And so what you try to do is you try to get the ball in his hands a number of different ways. When we played the Rams this year, they lined him up as a running back. They tried to hand it to him, to throw it to him throughout the year, and that’s what people have tried to do throughout his career. He’s certainly a dynamic guy, and we just felt like for the value he could come into our football team and help us, and add some explosiveness to our offense.”

The NFL would undoubtedly alienate some American fans by moving the Super Bowl overseas. But would having the sport’s biggest event in London attract enough international fans to justify the move? It appears that Khan thinks it could work, and given how seriously the NFL has taken the prospects of building a bigger fan base in London, he may have some support within the league office.

On All or Nothing, Dez says he can be an announcer. How about letting him join you in the booth? Since your chemistry is so good (which it was, not being facetious) then maybe he has a different future. It sure would be entertaining.

broncos_056_847aceb4bdf14383-180x180Tony and Dez were magic!! Here comes Dak, and he and Dez have zero chemistry 😦 Every w/r’s stats were way down last season, due to Dak being so inaccurate. Dez’s teammates, for the most part, say he is a great teammate!!! It is a shame he has not had a boatload of teams after him, imo. He played injured most of last season! They are now trying to make the team “Dak friendly”…smh It’s a crying shame, they did not think to do that for Romo, before he had sacrificed his all for Dallas. Coaching changes are desperately NEEDED!!

Dave Shula coaching again, 22 years after the Bengals fired him

In four and a half seasons as head coach of the Bengals, Dave Shula went 19-52 and became known as a failure who managed to get a head-coaching job only because his father is Don Shula, the winningest coach in NFL history. After he was fired in 1996, Shula never coached again.

Until now: Shula has just started a new job as the wide receivers coach at Dartmouth.

Shula says he can now look back at his coaching career in Cincinnati and say he wasn’t so bad. After all, the Bengals had six straight losing seasons under Bruce Coslet and Dick LeBeau after firing Shula, and even though they’ve been better since hiring Marvin Lewis, they still haven’t won a playoff game since 1990.

These trades don’t give us clarity on what exactly will happen come draft day, but they do show teams are starting to feel confident about how the first few picks will go. The primary matters for the remainder of the draft process will be figuring out which teams covet which quarterbacks, and just how far they’ll go to get their guys.

The Browns’ trade for Tyrod Taylor does not take them out of the quarterback market in the draft. Darnold is the best quarterback in the class with the fewest concerns for the long term, and most around the league feel this is a done deal. Only a handful believe Wyoming’s Josh Allen has a shot to be considered at No. 1.

The Rams have been aggressive this offseason, especially on defense. With their offensive line already somewhat of a strength, they would be wise to add to it, keeping Jared Goff and Todd Gurley comfortable. The Rams then can continue to find offensive playmakers and defensive depth in the later rounds.

The project, where both the Rams and Chargers will play, also will have 200,000 square feet for use by NFL Media, making it the rent-free home of NFL.com and NFL Network. That surely went a long way toward getting the owners to pick Inglewood over the Chargers-Raiders proposal in Carson.

For Kroenke, the revenue will come from plenty of things other than 20 Rams and Chargers home games. He wouldn’t be spending the money, with zero public dollars involved, if he didn’t think a significant return on the investment were looming.

For the Rams, the enhanced game-day experience coming from a state-of-the-art stadium should result in more fans showing up for the game, and in turn more noise. Rams G.M. Les Snead addressed this dynamic during a recent visit to PFT Live.bills_072

OBJ to report for Giants’ conditioning program

Odell Beckham Jr. is expected to be in attendance Monday for the start of the New York Giants’ offseason workout program, the wide receiver told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.

Beckham is scheduled to fly from Los Angeles to New Jersey later Sunday. He plans to be at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center on Monday to “check in, workout in the gym and meet with some people.”

New England needed a linchpin against the run and a true nose tackle. Shelton came on strong as a run-stuffer last season and is better suited for Bill Belchick’s scheme than he was for that of Gregg Williams.

Adoree’ Jackson, the team’s 2017 first-rounder, has the talent to develop into a special No. 1. So this is a great deal for a reliable, durable No. 2. Butler will allow former Patriots teammate Logan Ryan to move into his more comfortable role in the slot. Butler lost his mojo with the Patriots in a tough 2017 season that ended with his Super Bowl 52 benching, but he can rebound to be the well-rounded cover man Tennessee desperately needed.

This was a bad loss.

Handed a 5-0 first-inning lead, Yankees left-hander Jordan Montgomery laid an egg in his second start of the season, then replacement Domingo German struggled in his season debut.

After chipping away, the Orioles pulled ahead in the seventh when rookie right fielder Anthony Santander hammered a 3-0 pitch by German into the right-field seats for his first career homer, a two-run shot that turned a 6-5 deficit into a 7-6 lead.

The Yankees came right back to tie the game in the home seventh when backup catcher Austin Romine, starting for the second day in a row, greeted reliever Darren O’Day with his third hit of the game, a two-out, game-tying RBI single.bills_033

Will Bryce Harper end up a Phillie?

Arrieta signed a three-year, $75-million contract with options in spring training.

The Phillies set up behind Arrieta: Cesar Hernandez, 2B: Carlos Santana 1B; Odubel Herrera CF; Rhys Hoskins, LF; Nick Williams, RF: Maikel Franco, 3B; Knapp; J.P. Crawford, SS.

The Phillies traded Galvis for pitching prospect Enyel De Los Santos in the offseason.

Jake Thompson, who earned his first career save with three innings of scoreless relief in Saturday night’s 20-1 win over the Marlins, was optioned to Triple-A to make room for Arrieta.

Arietta, who signed mid-way through spring training and needed to build up his pitch count before making his debut, had been optioned to Single-A Clearwater at the start of the season.

Though attendance at this juncture of the offseason is not mandatory under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, first-year Giants coach  Pat Shurmur left no room for interpretation when he said it was important for all players to show up given the amount of change in scheme, coaches and players.

Had Beckham opted not to report to East Rutherford, it would have been taken as a sign of a looming holdout. He is unhappy with his current contract — one year at $8.45 million — and wants an extension probably in the range of five years and $100 million , which would be record-setting for a wide receiver.

“When you build a chemistry, you can’t develop those relationships unless you are working together,” Shurmur said. “That’s why I think it’s super important that you have a high-attendance rate at the offseason. I know there is a resistance sometimes. But the players need to be there. Especially when you are adding new players and there are new schemes. That’s the best thing for them.”bills_001

Landon Collins says he ‘buried the hatchet’ with teammate Eli Apple

New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple has received a clean slate from the team’s new regime. He’s also been given a reprieve from teammate Landon Collins, who called him a “cancer” late last year.

Pretty bad. We’re about to hit the 20-year anniversary of the 1998 draft, which famously saw Colts general manager Bill Polian agonize over whether to take Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf, as Peter King documented for Sports Illustrated. Polian got his call right. The Colts grabbed Manning while the Chargers traded up to No. 2 and happily settled for Leaf, who threw 36 interceptions over 18 starts and was out of football by 2001.

Since then, it hasn’t been quite as easy. We’re still judging the most recent classes, and there are different ways to evaluate quarterbacks, but the first quarterback taken in the 19 drafts since 1998 has been the most productive and/or successful passer from that class only five times. It hasn’t happened since 2011, when the Panthers controversially chose Cam Newton over Blaine Gabbert and a bevy of dominant defenders with the first overall pick. (More on that later.) That was the fourth consecutive year in which the league correctly chose the most productive pro passer first, but the success rate wasn’t good before that and hasn’t been good since.

Their potential decision to select a quarterback is perhaps most intriguing, with Darnold apparently standing out among a deep class at the position.

“If Darnold is available, they’re taking Darnold,” the NFL talent evaluator said. “They don’t like [Josh] Rosen.”

Darnold is considered the top quarterback in the class by Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, with Rosen at No. 3 behind Josh Allen.

Rosen’s coach at UCLA, Jim Mora, said on Path to the Draft that he would pick Darnold first if he were in charge of the Cleveland Browns, who have the Nos. 1 and 4 picks, though he noted that was because of Darnold’s fit and “blue-collar, gritty attitude,” via Dan Parr of NFL.com.

Either player would be an interesting addition for the Giants, for whom Eli Manning has started all but one game since 2005. He was benched last season during New York’s 3-13 campaign, however, and the organization could be looking for options beyond the 37-year-old.rams_068

What does Eagles’ Malcolm Jenkins think of Donald Trump?

As players across the NFL kneeled during the national anthem last season, in order to call attention to the issues of racial inequality and police brutality, the hullabaloo surrounding the social act made its way to the oval office.

Here are some of the notable things Jenkins said in his interview with The Atlantic about Trump, Colin Kaepernick , social activisim and support from Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie.

On brands not wanting to work with him because of his activism : “There were threats to me and my family — and brands and sponsors didn’t want to work with me, because of my political stance.

Typically, he plays at 265 pounds. Right now, I’m told he’s 260, but will be back up to his usual weight (if not a few pounds heavier) by the time camp rolls around. Given that scenario, there wouldn’t seem to be an issue.

Except Guerrero and his treatment of Patriots players beyond Brady is a polarizing subject in and around Patriot Place. Everything seems to be up for debate.

Plus, Gronkowski’s quest for pliability may have even stirred up some of the reported friction between Bill Belichick and his star tight end.

And yet history tells us that the league will wrongly evaluate these prospects. Chances are that one or two of these five passers will turn into superstars, but it’s unlikely that those one or two will be the first quarterbacks taken on draft night. Some fans are about to buy authentic team jerseys they’ll quickly regret. Thousands of scouts spent tens of thousands of nights in hotels around America for decisions nobody will want to claim three years from now. We should be able to do better than this.rams_013

Tony Romo finishes last in PGA Tour debut

Tony Romo isn’t going to make it to the weekend in his first shot at the PGA Tour.

On the heels of a back-nine collapse Thursday afternoon at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship, things got even worse for the former NFL quarterback Friday.

Playing the back nine first, Romo made the turn at 8 over for the day and 13 over for the tournament, leaving him last among 132 players in a field that includes the likes of Jim Furyk, Davis Love III, John Daly and Graeme McDowell.

Warriors: It was the eighth time that Thompson has scored at least 20 in a quarter. … Durant didn’t score a point until he made one of two free throws with 6:27 left in the half. … Warriors last loss to the Suns on Nov. 9, 2014 in Phoenix. … Warriors have won in Phoenix the last seven tries. … With the win, Golden State is 10-4 in the second half of back-to-backs this season.

Suns: This was the 34th different starting lineup Phoenix has used this season. … Booker has missed the last 11 games but has not been declared out of the Tuesday night season finale. … Jackson was hurt in the team’s loss to New Orleans on Friday night.

The 27-year-old Grant has not missed a game in his four-year career, but the Ravens had an issue with his ankle during the physical, leading them to back out of the contract. That led to rampant speculation the team had a change of heart after learning the Raiders had cut receiver Michael Crabtree, who a day later signed a three-year deal with Baltimore.

Grant caught 84 passes for 985 yards and six touchdowns in four seasons with the Redskins, and makes a nice complement to star receiver T.Y. Hilton.

Beasley scored 20 points for the Knicks in their final home game of the season, which opened a home-and-home series. Rookie Frank Ntilikina added a career-high 17 and Courtney Lee also had 17.

“I feel like I’m getting better,” Ntilikina said. “I’m feeling more comfortable.”

The Knicks remained without injured starters Tim Hardaway Jr. and Enes Kanter.buccaneers_001

Report: Seahawks to explore trade options for Richard Sherman

After meeting with cornerback Richard Sherman, the Seahawks are expected to explore trade options, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports.

Rapoport adds the Seahawks could release Sherman or potentially keep him at likely a different salary.

General Manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll discussed Sherman’s future with him Wednesday as teammates tweeted what sounded like good-bye messages to Sherman.

The Seahawks would clear $11 million in cap space by parting ways with Sherman.

The Browns are expected to take a QB at No. 1 and the Giants may do so at No. 2 (or trade the pick to a team, like the Bills , that wants to jump in front of the Jets), but if the Jets are comfortable potentially getting their third-favorite of the four QBs, that should be just fine by them, even if giving up three second-rounders was a heavy price to pay.

Defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh agreed to a one-year contract with the Los Angeles Rams on Monday, joining All-Pro Aaron Donald on a potentially fearsome defensive front.

Suh was released by the Dolphins earlier this month when he declined to restructure his hefty contract after three seasons in Miami. He attracted widespread interest as a free agent before agreeing to join the defending NFC West champion Rams, who have revamped their already solid defense with several impressive offseason additions.

The Patriots announced they have released Reedy, while also making the previously reported release of tight end Martellus Bennett official.

Reedy, 26, joined the Patriots’ practice squad on November 22, 2017. He was elevated to the 53-man roster on December 2, before being released on December 13, and re-signed to the practice squad on December 19. Reedy was released from the practice squad on January 3. He was then re-signed to the 53-man roster on Jan. 17 but was inactive for two postseason games.

He appeared in two games for the Patriots last season and returned four punts for 32 yards after ing in nine games with the Buccaneers.jets_281