Does Robinson Cano’s 80-Game Suspension Put Surefire-HOFer Resume Up in Smoke?

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Robinson Cano’s path may still lead him to Cooperstown in the end, but it just got a lot less direct.

With eight All-Star appearances and a laundry list of statistical feats under his proverbial belt, the Seattle Mariners’ veteran second baseman entered Tuesday as a fairly surefire future Hall of Famer. But he’s exiting the day with a black mark that promises to throw that into question for years to come.

Major League Baseball announced that Cano has been suspended for 80 games after testing positive for Furosemide, a banned substance. In a statement posted to social media, the 35-year-old acknowledged the suspension and offered his side of the story:cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The key passage reads: “This substance was given to me by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment. While I did not realize at the time that I was given a medication that was banned, I obviously now wish that I had been more careful.”

Anyone with access to WebMD can look up that Furosemide does indeed have benefits as a medical treatment. Among the ailments it’s used to treat is high blood pressure. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com heard from a source that it was exactly that which necessitated Cano’s using it.

Even still, this is one for the file labeled “That’s Not Gonna Fly.”cheap nfl nike jersey

Furosemide is banned by both MLB (and the World Anti-Doping Agency) because it’s a diuretic that can be used as a masking agent for performance-enhancing drugs. Per stipulations in the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, the league only needed to prove that this is why Cano was using it.

The timing was right for Cano to give up the fight. He was already due to be sidelined for a while with a broken hand that he suffered Sunday. He’s going to kill two birds with one stone by serving his suspension while he’s also recovering from his injury.

The Mariners will miss him, though. Cano had been hitting .287 with an .825 OPS. In light of the team’s starting pitching issues, that offense was extremely valuable. Not having it for 80 games could end up costing the Mariners their first trip to the postseason since 2001.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Even if they get there, Cano won’t be joining them. The rules state he has to sit October out, too.

At least the Mariners will save about $12 million out of Cano’s $24 nike nfl jerseys cheap china million salary. Alas, they’re only going to be halfway through his 10-year, $240 million deal when this season is over. That second half now looks even more iffy than it already did relative to Cano’s age and up-and-down production.

Ravens Concoct Plans ‘In a Laboratory’ to Utilize Lamar Jackson

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Jackson’s mere presence in the lineup will keep opposing defensive coordinators up at night, even if he’s relegated to a small package of plays.

Baltimore’s coaching staff understands the fine line it must walk regarding the quarterback’s overall development while still utilizing his extraordinary athleticism, raw speed and ample arm strength. cheap nfl authentic jerseys

John Harbaugh and Co. are taking a Victor Frankenstein-like approach to building a role for the rookie.  cheap authentic nfl jerseys

“We do it in the laboratory,” Harbaugh said, per Ryan Mink of the team’s official site. “We do it on the practice field. We ran a lot of stuff out here…you guys probably saw. We’re going to always try to get our players making plays for us, and Lamar is a guy who can help us win games.”

Jackson ravaged the collegiate ranks with 9,043 career passing yards, 4,132 rushing yards and 119 total touchdowns. A package of plays for the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner should extend beyond the typical zone-read approach.cheap nfl jerseys from china

“They want me on the field to utilize my talent and be a quarterback,” Jackson said, per Mink. “So it’s cool with me.” nfl cheap jerseys

Rest easy, Ravens fans. Baltimore plans to use Jackson, and the offense should be far more potent and unpredictable after ranking 27th overall last season.

Kevin Durant, Warriors Blow Out Anthony Davis, Pelicans to Take 3-1 Series Lead

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The Houston Rockets are one win away from their second trip to the Western Conference Finals in four years.

Houston seized a 3-1 lead in its playoff series against the Utah Jazz on Sunday with a 100-87 victory in Game 4 at Vivint Smart Home Arena. As a result, all four second-round postseason series are 3-0 or 3-1 as the Rockets, Golden State Warriors, cool nfl jerseys Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics close in on the next round.

Chris Paul led the way with 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists behind 12-of-23 shooting from the field, while James Harden added 24 points, four rebounds, three dimes and four steals. Donovan Mitchell spearheaded the Jazz’s offensive attack with 25 points, nine rebounds and four steals, but his side didn’t have the firepower to counter the top seed’s All-Star backcourt.

Sunday’s matchup—and the series as a whole—set up as a defensive battle considering the Jazz boasted the league’s second-best defensive rating during the regular season compared to Houston’s sixth-best nfl jersey authentic

The defensive prowess on each side was on display for stretches with Clint Capela and Rudy Gobert protecting the rim and wings swarming outside shooters, which put the onus on the individual offensive players to execute difficult shots and plays.

The difference was the Rockets have two of the best offensive playmakers of their generation handling the ball on almost every possession to do just that.wholesale jerseys nfl

Harden did much of his damage early with a combination of pick-and-rolls, step-back jumpers and drives, where he would either draw contact, finish at the rim or free up his teammates. It wasn’t all great for the MVP candidate, though, as he struggled with turnovers (eight) and finding his rhythm (8-of-22 from the field) down the stretch when Utah dialed up the defensive pressure.

That’s when Paul took over.cheap china nfl jerseys

The nine-time All-Star played early stretches with the second unit and extended the advantage to double digits with a mix of floaters and mid-range jumpers. He also served as the primary ball-handler after the Jazz closed to single digits in the fourth quarter and probed the defense in critical moments to create looks at the rim for Capela (12 points and 15 rebounds) or himself.

His presence helped keep Utah at bay even with Mitchell doing his best to penetrate and find some type of offense against the stout Houston defense.

Kawhi Is Not Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan set the standard for what became known as “The Spurs Way,” which is understood to mean selfless sacrifice on and off the floor. The thinking went: if Duncan, arguably the best power forward of all time, set the bar high, everyone else would be held accountable. It worked—Duncan and the Spurs’ five NBA titles will attest.
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That extended to contract talks and taking less money than the max, or trusting the singular word of team doctors. The Spurs Way wasn’t challenged.

Leonard is the best Spur since Duncan was drafted in 1997. Though his stoic outward demeanor is similar to Duncan’s, the comparisons might end there.

The Spurs doctors have cleared Leonard, but he has sought second opinions from medical personnel outside the organization and hasn’t been cleared from the independent doctors.

“The ‘totally cleared’ part? The doctors are saying they feel you can’t harm the injury anymore if you play. Outside of a freak accident,” the executive said. “But if you don’t feel you are, it’s a mental part for these guys. That’s big.”5d9739c62748398af146d25311a379a4_crop_exactcheap nfl jerseys first

Leonard can be offered a “supermax” contract this summer, a five-year deal worth up to $219 million. But rival executives feel neither the Spurs’ offer nor Leonard’s accepting the offer is a certainty—thus the trickiness of the Spurs’ old-school ways and Leonard’s modern sensibilities.
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“As a player, potential free agent, that sticks a little to him,” the executive said. “If you rush him, you end up with Grant Hill in Orlando.”

Hill was one of the game’s five best players as a Detroit Piston, but he played on an ankle injury at the end of the 2000 season that should’ve sidelined him. It was the start of a cycle that robbed Hill of his prime years as he left Detroit for Orlando that summer. It took five years before he found his health again, and he turned into just a valuable role player as his career wound down.

One can assume Leonard doesn’t want to put himself in such a vulnerable position. Injuries to Stephen Curry, Jimmy Butler and Irving are all leg issues—perhaps a byproduct of a changing game that requires more torque and cutting as offenses grow more sophisticated. It’s not a stretch to say Leonard, possibly the NBA’s best two-way player, needs his body at optimal condition to be the player he expects to be. nfl women jerseys

‘That’s Your Leverage’: Don’t Blame Kawhi Leonard for Taking Control

Perennial All-Star Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs have arrived at an unlnfl  jerseys cheap from china ikely impasse, with questions surrounding loyalty, trust, money and control.

Leonard’s absence from the Spurs bench became a topic of discussion yet again during Saturday’s nationally televised broadcast. Their relationship with their franchise player looks murkier by the day, with a report surfacing from The Vertical’s Shams Charania that Leonard will continue rehab on an injured quad in New York as opposed to emerging from the shadows of ambiguity to join his team against the Golden State Warriors in the first round of the playoffs.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has issued statements that appear to be coded, as team doctors have apparently cleared Leonard to play. Leonard’s consultation with independent doctors produced a different prognosis, as the second opinion he’s sought has confi cheap nfl jerseys first rmed his feeling that he’s not quite ready to return.hi-res-9e14ab41e1282bb4df1b5d412dabc717_crop_north

It’s not the first time a star player and team have differing opinions, where a player has relied on outside opinions to determine the best course of action—and Leonard’s future free agency comes into play, as he could exercise a player option in the 2019-20 season or hit the open market.2012 nfl cheap jerseys

Leonard is taking control of his future, while the Spurs move through the present with trepidation.

Leonard need look no further than the events of last spring when Isaiah Thomas fought through a deteriorating hip and the emotional strain caused by his sister’s unexpected death to perform for the Boston Celtics.cheap authentic nfl jersey

His dream of a max contract and being the unquestioned leader of a contender was in his grasp—until his hip finally gave out and he missed the final games of the conference finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Then the second-guessing began and hasn’t stopped since. The max contract he craved now seems as unlikely as his rise to stardom from the last pick in the 2011 draft.