Here’s how high 200-HR hitter Troy Tulowitzki could finish among shortstops

From there, Tulowitzki’s journey up the ladder becomes more difficult, as Vern Stephens (247) and Jose Valentin (249) are the gatekeepers to the top five. Presuming Tulowitzki does find a way to homer 50 more times over the next two-plus seasons, he’ll be in position to make a run at Robin Yount (251) and Derek Jeter (260). And after that? Well, Tulowitzki is a ways away from matching Miguel Tejada’s 307 — and less than halfway to first-place Cal Ripken Jr.’s 431.

Here’s a look at the top ten shortstops in one handy table:
Rank Shortstop Career HR
1 Cal Ripken 1981-2001 431
2 Miguel Tejada 1997-2013 307
3 Derek Jeter 1995-2014 260
4 Robin Yount 1974-1993 251
5 Jose Valentin 1992-2007 249
6 Vern Stephens 1941-1955 247
7 Jimmy Rollins 2000- 230
8 Nomar Garciaparra 1996-2009 229
9 Hanley Ramirez 2005- 214
10 Troy Tulowitzki 2006- 200

Of course, there’s a chance — albeit a slim one — that Tulowitzki won’t be among the qualified players as his career winds down. Consider the cases of the obvious snubs here — like Alex Rodriguez and Ernie Banks, each of whom who moved to a different position before their career ended. Tulowitzki is unlikely to move to another position and see more games there than he has at shortstop, but that doesn’t mean a positional change is out of the question — and who knows, maybe moving to a less-demanding position can help minimize his durability woes.

All told, Tulowitzki has a good chance to finish top five among shortstop home runs, and a solid chance to crack the top three. That’s not the lofty accomplishment he seemed destined for a few years back, but it’s a pretty good one nonetheless.

Monday’s slate does not offer us a traditional ace. Nor does it really offer a ton of pitchers to stack against. It’s kind of a mixed bag of good, if not great, pitchers and a couple of really bad ones. At pitcher, it’s pretty clear that you just diversify, but this does make the hitting more interesting.

I’m sure the Red Sox and Diamondbacks are going to be extremely popular for different reasons. The Diamondbacks are facing a pitcher making his major league debut (the Yankees’ Chad Green), and Red Sox have quite simply been the best hitting team in baseball. I don’t mind focusing on those two with several different pitchers, but that’s also going to lead to a lot of lineups that don’t cash. Instead I’ll focus on great hitters who have seen significant price drops.

Paul Goldschmidt just happens to be a part of the aforementioned stack and is extremely underpriced. I’ll have a hard time playing another 1B on FanDuel. I don’t feel quite as excited about Josh Donaldson, but his price on FanDuel has fallen $1,500 in the last month and he’s at home against a LHP. Giancarlo Stanton is down to $4,100 and he gets a very nice positive park factor in Philadelphia.

It’s unclear how much of a role MLB had in the development of Pitch. Fox broadcasts the All-Star Game and World Series every year, plus many other regular-season and postseason games. The network’s broadcasting agreement with MLB runs through 2021.

No woman has ever played in MLB, obviously. The Harrisburg Senators signed infielder Eleanor Engle in 1952, but her contract was terminated before she could appear in a game.

Odor has no regrets about punching Jose Bautista, expects suspension

Archie Manning is already getting questions about Peyton coming back

Peyton Manning and his father, Archie Manning, after beating the Patriots in the AFC title game.

“He’s busy now. Come August, I’m sure he will be doing things, but he won’t be in camp,” Archie said. “He did it for a long time, but I think Peyton will be fine. He said he would miss it for sure, but I think the one thing about Peyton, he will be busy, and that’s the good thing. I think if you just sit around doing nothing, that’s when you really miss it.”

Here’s the reality: Peyton got to walk away with his final moment being a Super Bowlvictory. Virtually no one gets that opportunity — he and John Elway are the only two Hall of Fame quarterbacks (Manning’s not in yet, but it’s a formality) to win a Super Bowl in their final game playing in the NFL.

This league chews up and spits out lots of talented players in their prime. It treats older players in a really rough fashion. Watching Manning at times during his final season — including Super Bowl 50 — was brutal.

He got out while the getting was good and he’ll be glad he did for a long time, even if it stings a little bit once training camp rolls around.

With the No. 1 overall pick, I drafted Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, which was the plan all along. Then I apparently became a Saints fan. Who Dat? Me.

I drafted Mark Ingram, Brandin Cooks, Coby Fleener and Drew Brees with four of my next six picks, and now I’m all in on the New Orleans offense. Not that it’s a horrible situation — Brees was the No. 6 quarterback in standard leagues in 2015, Ingram the No. 15 running back, Cooks the No. 12 receiver and Fleener is a breakout candidate now that he’s with the Saints — but I don’t love the idea of being tied to one team.

Former Broncos general manager Ted Sundquist, who drafted Cutler, explained forBleacher Report what he heard about that meeting:

Shortly after Josh McDaniels moved into his office at Dove Valley, he called in Cutler and his agent, Bus Cook, for a closed-door meeting. The story goes that McDaniels began with a 20-minute dissertation of his resume, how he’d worked his way up the ranks in New England to become Bill Belichick’s right-hand man with the offense and how the team would have been nowhere the year before without his tutelage of backup Matt Cassel. He continued on with justification of his hiring by Bowlen.

After the perplexing recitation of accomplishments, McDaniels suddenly shifted gears.

From a recent Q&A with the Chicago Tribune’s David Haugh:

Q: What role do you think your age, your family, being a husband and father played in handling that uncertainty?

A: “No doubt. That’s valid. We all become a little wiser. Now I take a little more time to process things. In Denver, when it went down and I (asked for a trade), it was more of a reaction instead of thinking about it and saying, ‘Do I really want to go through with this and pit myself versus (formerBroncos coach) Josh (McDaniels) and Denver?’ If I was in that situation now, it might play out differently. But as you get older and having Kristin and the boys (Camden and Jaxon) and now a daughter (Saylor), there’s a lot more to think about. It’s not just you. Having kids helps you realize how selfish you can be as a person, rather quickly. These have all been things I haven’t mastered, but I’m definitely more aware of.”

Clearly, this is a reunion that should’ve happened years ago before Cutler matured. Still, I’ll take what I can get.

Reunion No. 2: Martellus Bennett and the Bears

So, the Bears traded away Martellus Bennett this offseason to the Patriots, which gives Bill Belichick the scariest tight end combination in the league. Bennett and the Bears clock in as the second-best reunion of the summer.

I’m not sure if it’ll be tense, but it might be strange. While a member of the Bears this past season, Bennett never really outright complained about his role on the team, but he certainly provided hints of unhappiness. According to the Chicago Tribune, he “had an outburst — something just short of a tantrum,” at practice before the Bears’ Thanksgiving win over the Packers. Bennett didn’t travel with the team to that game and he admitted to reporters that he didn’t even watch it on TV.

Johnny Manziel’s high school coach: ‘I really don’t know that guy’

According to Smith, Manziel used to go “out of his way” to help special needs kids in Kerrville, which is one reason why he’s surprised by recent events.

“‘Your actions speak so loud I can’t hear a word you’re saying.’ That was something we shared with our kids a lot in Kerrville,” Smith said. “And that’s one of the things I talked with him when he was in rehab. Right now, his actions are a little bit different than what he said he was going to do.”

The Browns released Manziel earlier this offseason. So did two agents. Manziel’s NFL future — along with this future outside of football — remains cloudy. And his recent Tweeting spree did nothing to help his case.

According to TMZ, Manziel rebounded from his court appearance in Texas by visiting three Hollywood clubs on Friday night.

If Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman was in charge of making the NFL schedule, it doesn’t sound like he’d have put his team in the regular-season opener.

Since 2002, the NFL has kicked off each season with a Thursday night opener. Since 2004, that game has been hosted by the defending Super Bowl champion.

For the 2016 version of the NFL’s regular-season opener, the Panthers will be traveling to Denver for a Super Bowl 50 rematch against the Broncos.

Konnor Vanatta says the Broncos new quarterback is his hero.

His mother Pam said he’s been a fan of Manning since he was 4 and that his grandmother got him the orange jersey.

“It was absurd to me. I was shocked,” Pam Vanatta said. “I was speechless.”

The school, Monfort Elementary School, told Vanatta the number 18 was affiliated with a gang in Los Angeles, and that there are several numbers they ban in school. Greeley police told CBS4 they have run into local gangs using the number, among other numbers. They said they support the school district’s actions.

White is 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds and ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds at the NFL combine. Johnson, meanwhile, is 6-2, 230 and ran his 40 in 4.41 seconds when he was coming out of The U. So the size and speed combination, yeah, that’s there. Other athletic indicators are pretty close, too

So, a big, fast, athletic receiver like Andre Johnson. That’s a start. But (Curtis) Johnson wasn’t done showering praise on White.

“[White] has hands similar to Reggie Wayne,” Johnson said. “So he was one of those guys where when you looked at the draft and watched television, you say this guy is going to be a bona fide player.”

With everything on the line, Kyle Lowry carries Raptors to the Eastern Conference finals

From there, everything changed. Lowry had 29 of his 33 points in the second half of Game 3, and then went for 25 in Game 5 followed by a postseason career-high 36 in Game 6.

In Game 7, he shot 11-for-20 from the field, 5-for-7 from 3-point range and 8-for-11 from the free throw line.

Still, his impact was always felt. He currently holds a plus-77 postseason plus-minus rating. As a team, the Raptors are plus-eight for the playoffs.

“I just wanted to stay poised and level-headed no matter what happened,” said Lowry, who was nearly traded to the New York Knicks in December 2013. “We knew it was going to be a 48-minute game and they weren’t going to give up easily and they were going to make a run. We just had to stay focused on the task at hand and get back on defense. Their coaches did an unbelievable job in going small, but we had to be big and just play our game.”

After back-to-back first-round exits, the Raptors won a franchise-record 56 games and advanced to Round 2 for the first time in nearly 15 years despite being pushed to Game 7 by the Indiana Pacers.

Now, they’ve bested Dwyane Wade and the Heat as well.

It certainly has been a bumpy ride to get to this point. Just ask embattled coach Dwane Casey, GM Masai Ujiri, Lowry or DeRozan.

The scrutiny has come with the ups and downs, but somehow the Raptors have been able to go where they’ve never gone before.

Even better: For once, they made it easy on themselves, outscoring the Heat 30-11 in the fourth quarter and leading by as many as 28. The key stat was the rebounding column, which Toronto dominated by a margin of 20.

“It’s very important for our program,” Casey said. “I think we’ve done everything we’ve set out to do, but we’re not done yet. I know what it’s like to win a championship. I’m not saying we can do that, but I think this group is hungry and never say never. I know one thing: Our guys will compete.”

Lowry and DeRozan (28 points) closed the series by scoring 59 points combined in Game 5, 59 in Game 6 and a career postseason-high 63 in Game 7.

Bismack Biyombo had 17 points and 16 rebounds in Game 7, Patrick Patterson finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and DeMarre Carroll was outscored by Wade only 16-14, meaning he harassed the future Hall of Famer defensively all game long.

“We never doubted Kyle and DeMar,” Casey said. “They’re our guys. They’re here, they’re our All-Stars and I thought they played like it tonight. They both stepped up and carried us.”

There is a lot of uncertainty surrounding whether Jonas Valanciunas (right ankle sprain) will be ready for the start of Round 3, as he has not resumed basketball activities since two days before Game 1 against Cleveland. At this point, it doesn’t look promising.

The Cavaliers hit 77 3-pointers during their four-game sweep of the Atlanta Hawks, and will be a tough opponent for the Raptors, who usually put more emphasis on defending the paint than the perimeter.

“It’s been unbelievable,” Lowry, who averaged 31 points on 66 percent shooting and posted a 46.2 PER against Cleveland in the regular season, said of what the Cavaliers have been able to accomplish.

“We’ve all watched it and we’ve witnessed all the things they’ve done, like hitting 25 3s in a game and 70-something 3s in the series, but that’s why we have books and film and we’ll have time to scout it and make adjustments.”

Nevertheless, Toronto’s season already has been a resounding success, and the Raptors are playing with house money now.

Just don’t tell them they’re the “underdogs.”

“We look at ourselves as a team that’s going to continue to play hard and grow and go from there and let the chips fall where they may,” Lowry said.

“It’s been a crazy ride. DeMar’s been here for the long run, and I’m more happy for him and these guys that have been with this franchise for 21 years to finally get to this point. Our owners, [senior basketball advisor] Wayne Embry — for me I’m happy for the other people that we’ve done it for.”

PITTSBURGH — When puck drops for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday at Consol Energy Center, chances are good that the goaltenders at either end of the ice will be 21 years old.

Fans have already seen what Penguins rookie goalie Matt Murray can do in the postseason, with his 7-3 record in 10 playoff games, while veteran Marc-Andre Fleury serves as the backup. And it appears the Lightning will have to rely on Andrei Vasilevskiy for Game 2 after starter Ben Bishop suffered a lower-body injury in Game 1 and is listed as day to day.

Most would think that it would be a challenge for a pair of 21-year-olds to perform at their best with a berth to the Stanley Cup finals at stake. Murray has proved to be poised and confident, and Vasilevskiy seems to have the same mindset. Having little NHL postseason experience could also help, in a way.

Former NHL goalie Andrew Raycroft was 23 when he played for the Boston Bruins during the 2003-04 season. He won the Calder Trophy as the league’s rookie of the year and led the Bruins into the first round against the Montreal Canadiens. It was his first taste of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

“I want to be able to be looked back on and know that ‘He was one of the greats in the game.’ If I have the opportunity to do that, I’m going to try my best,” Day said after his 4-shot victory. “And I have the opportunity to do that right now, try and work as hard as I can to really leave my footprint in this game. I’m very motivated to win as much as I can right now.”

He stomped his way all over everyone at The Players Championship, even though he had a few nervous moments. Day made bogey on No. 6, had to make a 15-foot par putt on the next hole and really looked out-of-sorts from just 40 feet right of the green on the par-5 ninth. He muffed three straight chips and had to make a 6-foot putt just to escape with bogey, which dropped his lead to two shots.

“If I walk away with a double-bogey there, I let everyone [back] in the field,” he said. “I was right there next to the green in two and felt like an amateur chopping my way to the pin. That putt was probably the most crucial putt of this tournament for me.”

John Elway explains why Broncos are ready for Paxton Lynch to start soon

“He’s a young guy with tremendous athletic ability, he’s got the strong arm, can make all the throws, he’s smart, and he’s a guy that can fit into this offense real well,” Elway said.

The system in question was a perfect fit for a hyper-athletic talent like Elway back in the day (Kubiak was his boss’ quarterbacks coach when Mike Shanahan ran things in Denver) and it makes sense for Lynch.

Roll him out, get him on the edge, let him take shots down the field and use his athleticism to make plays where necessary … it’s a perfect fit.

The Broncos should be scary not because they have to play Lynch in 2016 but because they can play Lynch. He has weapons (Demaryius Thomas, Emmanuel Sanders) and fits the offense, and they’ll run the ball and play tons of defense.

Denver already won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning limping through the season. It’s not unreasonable to expect success with a rookie either.

Outfield options: Ryan Braun, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto, Dexter Fowler, Carlos Gonzalez, Bryce Harper, Odubel Herrera, Matt Holliday, Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, Marcell Ozuna, Angel Pagan, Joc Pederson, Hunter Pence, Stephen Piscotty, Gregory Polanco, Yasiel Puig,Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich

Holy crowded outfield.

Outfield picks: Bryce Harper, Nationals; Yoenis Cespedes, Mets; Dexter Fowler, Cubs

Harper is easy and doesn’t need discussing.

So, yeah, fair to say I am less than convinced this is the answer to the Texans’ lingering QB problem. Coach Bill O’Brien will have to stick with him, but after drafting more weapons on offense there won’t be any excuses here. While Houston’s defense made strides in the second half of last season, this isn’t the 2015 Broncos defense.

Playing in the AFC South would generally make things much easier for Osweiler, only that division might actually be halfway decent this year, too.

My crystal ball says: There will be some tears and disappointment here. And I have a hunch that this ends up being only a two-year, $38 million deal that leaves a fair amount of carnage in its wake.

Kirk Cousins
This can’t be all doom and gloom.

The fourth inning in Wrigley Field was pretty wild on Saturday. First up, the Pirates scored a pair of runs off Jake Arrieta, erasing a streak of 26 straight scoreless innings against the Cubs’ ace, which included a shutout in the 2015 NL Wild Card Game.

That top of the fourth Saturday ended when a hard grounder up the middle hit Arrieta’s lower leg and redirected into a double play to kill the rally.

And then Jeff Locke gave it right back. Jason Heyward singled, Kris Bryant walked and Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run homer. A Ben Zobrist walk followed, and then pitching coach Ray Searage went to the mound.

As the Pirates broadcast noted, that’s a rarity. Searage did appear to be giving home plate umpire Brian Knight an earful.

Dick’s Sporting Goods has released its latest jersey report — an “official ranking of the best-selling players jerseys nationwide” through the first three weeks of the NFL season, according to sales at their stories — and suffice it to say, there is plenty of shake-my-head data on the most popular teams in certain states.

Neither the Giants nor Jets sells the most jerseys in the state of New York; the Bills somehow hold that distinction.

The Redskins have apparently taken over Nebraska, while the Ravens own not only their own state of Maryland, where the Redskins also play home games, but DC as well.

Despite residing nearly 4,700 miles away from the stadium, football fans in Hawaii are big supporters of the Carolina Panthers.

NBA approves on-jersey advertising program

The first season of the program will be in 2017-18, which will also be the first season that Nike makes the NBA’s uniforms after taking over from Adidas. The Adidas logo is not currently on game jerseys.

“It’s my hope, independent of whatever additional revenues are generated through this patch program, that the greatest impact will be in this amplifying effect of companies choosing to associate directly with a team jersey, then going out and promoting that relationship to the largest market,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said.

Silver said the league had calculated that the program will be worth about $100 million a year. It’s a small opportunity relative to the league’s overall revenues, which Silver said are projected to be $7 billion in the 2017-18 season.

Silver said Friday that the Nike swoosh will appear on every jersey for 29 of the league’s teams, but that the Charlotte Hornets will likely have the logo of the Nike-owned subsidiary Brand Jordan because the team is owned by Michael Jordan.

The money will be counted as basketball-related income and, therefore, split with the players. What isn’t yet clear is how a team will resolve a conflict if a company buying a patch is a competitor of a company that endorses that team’s star player.

Silver said that the NBA must also have conversations with its TV partners, ESPN and Turner, as well as the league’s top sponsors, based on who the jersey ad sponsors turn out to be.

Silver said there is “enormous uncertainty” around the patch program, which is one reason the initial idea is to restrict sales to a three-year period. The plan is also facing some backlash from fans who want to see the jerseys remain commercial-free.

“There’s a reason this is a pilot program,” Silver said. “We listen very closely to our fans.”

“We didn’t think that was fair. We have revenue sharing already and we think that is fair,” Alexander said.

The NBA is moving a step closer to putting advertisements on jerseys.

Sources told ESPN.com that the league sent out a memo this week, ahead of the owners meeting Sunday at the All-Star Game in Toronto, where the topic of putting corporate logos on uniforms is expected to be discussed.

Towns routinely greeted questions about his success with a shrug. The Timberwolves still won only 29 games and finished far out of the playoff picture in the Western Conference.

“People who know me know I’m never satisfied. I’ve never felt like I’ve had a good game,” Towns said near the end of the season. “It’s hard to get me to even say I played good. That’s just in me. I’m just never satisfied. A lot of my friends get annoyed by it. I’m never happy about anything, playing-wise. I always think there’s things I messed up on, things I should’ve done differently that could’ve A) made us win or B) made the win easier.”