Marlins bringing back facial hair, players rejoice

The Marlins have lifted their ban on facial hair, and players could not be happier.

Manager Don Mattingly finally relented on to allow players to let their facial follicles grow free because so many grumbled about having to stay clean shaven.
“It was a constant fight last year, honestly, with guys,” Mattingly said, via the Miami Herald.

The ban went into effect when Mattingly took over as manager two seasons ago. However, the facial hair ban has been a hot topic with the Marlins for about 15 years, when Jeffrey Loria became the owner of the team.

Beards and mustaches were allowed in 2012, but the ban was put in place again in 2016.

While players are allowed to grow out their facial hair again, their beards and mustaches must look neat, according to Mattingly.

“Groomed is what we talked about,” Mattingly said. “We talked about keeping it groomed and being professional.”

But that’s a different discussion, and that doesn’t apply to Manny. He served the punishment that was in place when he broke the rules. He’s back in baseball’s good graces. He’s on the Cheap Echl Jerseys Hall of Fame ballot, with what should be a clean slate. And I believe the Hall should reflect this actual wonderful, flawed sport that I’ve loved watching since I was a kid.

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Mets scratch Noah Syndergaard due to ‘tired arm’

Defensive end. Demarcus Ware, who is the Cowboys’ all-time sack leader with 117, recently retired after playing his final three seasons in Denver. Dallas still hasn’t come close to replacing Ware’s productivity. No Cowboys player has registered more than eight sacks in any of the past three years since Ware’s release.

General manager. I know, this isn’t a player position. But Scot McCloughan’s dismissal has created a hole in talent evaluation at the most inopportune time of year (i.e. free agency and the draft). The firing and behind-the-scenes drama surrounding it — not to mention uncertainty surrounding Cheap Authentic Soccer Jerseys quarterback Kirk Cousins’ future with the franchise — have also put the franchise back in a negative light.

The Mets were forced to scratch ace Noah Syndergaard ahead of Thursday afternoon’s scheduled start against the Braves.

Manager Terry Collins told reporters Syndergaard is dealing with a “tired arm.” The injury is officially being called biceps tendinitis.

Matt Harvey will start in Syndergaard’s place Thursday against Atlanta.

Syndergaard, who is off to a fantastic start with a 1.73 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in his first four outings, dealt with blister issues during his first couple of starts this season.

While Syndergaard’s arm fatigue doesn’t appear to be anything serious right now, it will be something worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses. It is usually not a good sign when a 24-year-old is dealing with a tired arm during the first month of the season.
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Deshaun Watson should win Offensive Rookie of the Year, but he’ll be pushed

When Deshaun Watson became the Texans’ No. 12 overall pick in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, he immediately became the front-runner to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

While the Associated Press honor went to one Cowboy, quarterback Dak Prescott, last season, another, running back Ezekiel Elliott, was named Sporting News’ top rookie. Watson can keep one or both awards in the Lone Star State this year.

That, of course, is based on a projection of him winning the starting job in Houston over Tom Savage. When he does, Watson will be front and center of the reigning AFC South champions.

“First of all, Sean is a big wrestler,” Beane said of McDermott, who was two-time national champ in high school. “My oldest son got into wrestling last year, and I knew Sean was a big wrestler. Little did I know he had a wrestling mat in his house. He said, ‘Bring him over, we’ll wrestle.’ He’s got a whole almost a WWF setup over there.”

Beane’s first responsibility is hiring a scouting staff. He also has Cheap Gaa Jerseys to evaluate the rest of football operations and decide who he wants to keep and who he wants to show the door.

Seattle remains the class of the division that produced five straight NFC championship game contenders from 2011-15, including three Super Bowl participants. Bovada seems to have lost respect for Arizona, which fell to 7-8-1 last season a year removed from its run to the NFC title game.
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NFL Draft 2017: Thursday night’s spectacle injected fun back into league

It wasn’t just teams who helped themselves Thursday night in the 2017 NFL Draft.

The league itself received a much-needed boost, too.

Blame who or what you want for last season’s eight-percent decline in television ratings. Colin Kaepernick, the presidential elections, millennials with shorter attention spans, concussion-scandal fallout, choppy sequencing of commercials, product oversaturation — it all played a part.

But the underlying reality is that the NFL itself was missing core elements that had helped it become America’s top sport. Quite frankly, the league wasn’t as fun to watch as in previous years.

Raw emotion from players was being sanitized through measures like crackdowns on end-zone celebrations. The NFL’s ability to connect with its fans organically also began to wane. All the money spent on hype and commercialization failed to create a product that seemed fresh and hip.

If one theme was pounded home in the run-up to this draft, it was that this quarterback class was nothing special. This was not the year to give in to the usual quarterback panic — the fear that you’ll miss one if you don’t grab one right now, no matter who he is and how much you had to talk yourself into liking him.

The last thing the Jets needed to do was to repeat what they’d done Cheap Authentic Jerseys each of the previous four years (and five of the previous six): draft a quarterback without a clear-cut plan for him. Drafting them high, drafting them low and drafting them to add to the ones already on the roster, including the ones they signed as free agents.

Jeff Diamond is the former president of the Titans and the former vice president/general manager of the Vikings.

After the first round of the draft Thursday, Browns GM Sashi Brown said about his team’s quarterback situation: “We won’t rest until we solidify that position.”

Well, Sashi, you still have work to do. Perhaps it’s time to call Belichick again and make another offer for Garoppolo.

Because, despite all those high draft grades, the Browns are not making inroads toward their first their first Super Bowl appearance in team history, or even their first playoff berth since 2002, without a franchise signal-caller.

Jeff Diamond is the former president of the Titans and the former vice president/general manager of the Vikings. He was selected NFL Executive of the Year in 1998. Diamond is currently a business and sports consultant who also does broadcast and online media work. He is the former chairman and CEO of The Ingram Group.

“I said, ‘A’ight, cool.’ So they let me through the metal detector and into the club.

“My friends and I stood at the bar for like five minutes, and the place was packed wall to wall. The security guy suggested we go upstairs, where we could get a table and chill and it wouldn’t be so crazy. So we did, and he led the way.

“The stairway was narrow and dark and everything was black. I had a drink in my left hand and I was walking right behind the security guard. The music was loud and I could feel the bass thumping the stairs under my feet. But I could barely see and I guess I missed a step and my foot Cheap Mountain Bike Jerseys slipped. My gun came unhooked from my belt and went sliding down my right pant leg. My instant reaction was to catch it before it hit the floor, and I reached down with my right hand to grab it. And I guess my finger hit right on the trigger, because it went off.

“The music was so loud that nobody actually heard the gun discharge, but I knew that it had because I saw the flash of fire through my jeans.

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Toronto has a problem. No one on the entire roster is remotely as good as James is, and no one can even come close. The Raptors have a collection of good players, with Real Madrid Cheap Jerseys three scoring more than 20 points on Wednesday, but All-Star DeMar DeRozan didn’t even hit a field goal until the fourth quarter, while Kyle Lowry had the quietest 20 points you’ve ever seen.

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Bird stepped down from his position once before. One day before the 2012 NBA Draft, Bird, who cited health reasons, and the Pacers announced they would part ways. One year later, he returned to his post as team president.

The ex-Celtics legend also stepped down as Pacers’ head coach in 2000 after three seasons on the job.

Bird’s departure comes at the end of a rough stretch of Pacers’ seasons. Indiana made back-to-back first-round exits after failing to reach the playoffs in 2015. Bird bulldozed the roster over the summer, adding Jeff Teague, Al Jefferson and Thaddeus Young during free agency. He also replaced head coach Frank Vogel with Nate McMillan.

Paul George’s looming 2018 free agency has been well-documented. George wants to compete for a championship. The Pacers are lightyears away from contending in the East and have failed to add the help necessary to improve the team.

But then, hockey media has an uneasy relationship with incidents like this. It’s almost as if these incidents force the media to confront the results that all their talk of “team toughness”, “playing hard”, and “being accountable” actually produces – a game in which players feel the need to push the envelope of physicality and legality further and further to fit a media archetype – one that then comes back to bite them. And yet the trend continues. See also Damien Cox, no stranger to launching tirades himself, saying that Crosby’s injury is somehow “evening up” for the deeds of Matt Cooke, Tom Sestito, and their ilk – a view that only encourages players to walk even farther down this line between hockey and outright assault so they can be seen to be “making things right”, or risk getting roasted by the kind of men who would soil their pants if forced to stand up and back up their words in an NHL (or even rec league) environment.

Isaiah Thomas’ last 24 hours have not been easy after flying cross-country for sister’s funeral

The Boston Celtics only had one day’s worth of rest in between their first- and second-round playoff series. That minibreak was even shorter for Isaiah Thomas, who traveled cross-country and back in the last 48 hours to be with his family for his sister’s funeral.

Just a day before Game 1 of Boston’s first-round series against the New York Giants Cheap Jerseys Chicago Bulls, Thomas’ sister, Chyna, passed away in an automobile accident in Washington state. Thomas played the next day, somehow mustering the strength to score 33 points on 55 percent shooting.

This is the what we were waiting for this entire time in the Rockets-Thunder series. Game 1 was fine, and Game 2 gave us things to talk about, but Game 3 was thrills from front to end. Oklahoma City led most of Game 3 on Friday, but Houston kept eating into the deficit over and over again. With less than a minute left, James Harden tied the game. On the next possession, Steven Adams tipped in a Westbrook shot that ended up giving them the decisive advantage.

The game swayed back and forth between players shooting free throws, and a couple crucial Westbrook misses gave us all the drama we needed. It ended on a missed Harden three right here, which could have ended the game and the Thunder’s playoff hopes had it splashed in.
Put Russell Westbrook and James Harden duking it out continuously at this level, and I could watch it for days.

Blake Griffin suffers a season-ending injury in the playoffs for the 2nd straight year

Blake Griffin’s season is done, with the Clippers announcing their star big man will miss the rest of the playoffs with an injury to the plantar plate in his right big toe. It’s the second straight year that Griffin has suffered a season-ending injury in the postseason, and it comes in a playoff series that Los Angeles leads two to one against the Utah Jazz.

The injury happened in the second half of Game 3 on a seemingly innocuous drive to the rim where Griffin suffered minor contact. Here’s the play when he apparently hurt himself:

The Broncos were always going to have a tough draft. Their biggest Texans Cheap Jerseys position of need — offensive line — fell victim to one of the weakest classes of blockers the league has ever seen. Even so, the team did well to add Garett Bolles, a high-ceiling tackle, on day one. With a prolific defense already in place, Denver focused on rebuilding its offense, adding a pair of big-name talents on day three. Jake Butt and Chad Kelly may never reach the dizzying highs of their college careers, but were low-risk, high-reward pickups for John Elway.

Can’t see the Lightning not taking a defenseman here. Valimaki isn’t the right-hand shot their system could use, but he is a well-rounded, two-way defenseman with size and budding leadership qualities. Valimaki finished with 61 points in 60 games and looks more and more poised as he adapts to the North American game.

A pitcher was ejected for losing control of a curveball in the Orioles-Red Sox game

Kevin Gausman entered Wednesday night’s game with 17 walks in 30 innings. He leads the AL in earned runs, and he leads the majors in hits allowed. He has not been very good this season. He has not been very good at all.

You might say that he is the kind of pitcher who could lose control of the occasional curveball. Like this:

Before the series even started, there was a Chance the Rapper concert scheduled at Oracle during what would have been Game 5. Expecting the Warriors will sweep the Blazers, though, feels a bit presumptuous. No one on Golden State is expecting that, to be fair. But is the NBA? Well, no need to worry because the sweep happened.

If Game 5, had happened, it would have been played on April 26 at Oracle Arena. The same night as the Chance concert.

Chance is getting bigger and bigger, but I Cheap Elite Nike NFL Jerseys Cheap Embroidered NFL Jerseys initially thought maybe he wasn’t slated to perform at Oracle. I saw him in Dallas last year, and he played at a large concert venue rather than an even larger arena. (Highly recommend it, by the way.) But …

The same loophole that allowed Thon Maker to enter the draft last season allows Diallo to do the same thing this year. He joined Kentucky midseason but didn’t play, making him possibly the first-ever one-semester-and-done prospect.

Diallo was a no-brainer five-star recruit as a 6’5 shooting guard with a strong upper body and elite athleticism. He might need a year or two in the D-League to improve his handle and midrange scoring package, but he looks like the rough outline of everything you want out of a two-guard. He makes a lot of sense for a team like Portland with multiple first-round picks.

The linebacker has long been a student of the game

Clemson lost just two games in Watson’s final two years in college. The only game the Tigers lost in the 2015 season was the College Playoff National Championship matchup against Alabama. Clemson fell in a heartbreakingly close 45-40 game, but Watson was phenomenal, throwing for 405 yards and four touchdowns against one interception.

In last season’s rematch, Watson willed the Tigers to victory with his MVP performance. He had 420 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions, and he added a score on the ground in the comeback win.

“It’s kinda cool just seeing all the guys you’ve been playing against the last couple of years or that you’ve been competing with, and no one knows each other and then when you come in together that weird feeling of being around those guys.”

Training with a new group of guys and stepping outside of his comfort zone will be a good test for the months ahead. After the NFL Draft in late April, Reeves-Maybin will roll right into a whirlwind of rookie minicamps and getting acclimated to his new team and city.

The linebacker has long been a student of the game, and wants to show his knowledge and ability to talk about the game to his new team and coaches. He said he’s eager to “put that confidence in them that I’m a guy they don’t have to worry about” on and off the field.

Expected to be a mid-round pick because of his shoulder injury, Reeves-Maybin is confident that whatever team lands him will be getting a guy who is ready to contribute the same way he did in college.

“It forces you to see the small details in things and how small problems can Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Site lead to bigger problems,” Reeves-Maybin said. “You can tell when someone’s having a good day or bad day Cheap Jerseys Stitched because you’re not focused on what you gotta do, you have a clear view on everything.”