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.

Every NFL Team’s Undrafted Free Agent Most Likely to Make the Roster

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Who will be the next Case Keenum, Andrew Norwell or Malcolm Butler? All three cashed in during free agency after entering the NFL as undrafted free agents.

The majority of league rosters are made authentic nfl jerseys cheap  up of former draft picks, but there are those who overcome the odds after being overlooked to become productive performers.

“We’re always adding more and more to the roster,” Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace said after the draft, per the Chicago Tribune’s Colleen Kane. “That’s going to continue. It’s going on right now in college free agency. It’ll continue as we bring guys in for tryouts in the rookie minicamp and the preseason scouting process, trade possibilities. It’s going to keep on happening.”

Only a few roster spots are truly available every year. An individual’s room for error is slight after 32 franchises deemed him unworthy of a draft selection.

Opportunities may not be plentiful, but they do exist. nfl jerseys for cheap An undrafted free agent can shirk the label with the right skill set, attitude and approach by both the individual and team.

“I would say it started with having a vision for the player,” Texans general manager Brian Gaine said, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson. “When we would scout that player—and some of those guys that we got that were undrafted free agents, perhaps we had a draftable grade on but then they just happened to go undrafted and we pursued them. So, for me, I call that the eighth round. We’re always trying to extend the draft.”cheap nfl jerseys

Each franchise should feature at least one signee from the “eighth round” who makes the active roster in September.nfl jersey cheap

Knicks Are a Long Way from Fixed, but David Fizdale Appears to Be a Good Start

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NEW YORK — By this point, Knicks fans know the deal. New coach comes in, refers to Madison Square Garden as “The Mecca” and claims working there is a dream come true. He says he’s going to emphasize defense and accountability, that some sort of super-awesome culture is going to be instilled, that he knows it’s been a dark few years but brighter times lay ahead.

Tuesday was no different. The Knicks introduced their new head coach, David Fizdale, the 11th man to hold that position since Jeff Van Gundy left in late 2001 and fifth since 2014 (extra snack for those poor diehards who can name the previous 10). A new head coach, of course, means another introductory press conference, and so here we were again, sitting in a hall at Madison Square Garden as the Knicks’ latest liberator, in this case, Fizdale, took the stage to share the myriad ways he planned to embark on the task that has flummoxed 10 coaches, and even more front office executives, before him:cheap nfl jersey

How to fix the Knicks.

Then again, things are a bit different this time. For one, Fizdale isn’t being billed as some savior; he’s just the latest piece to a puzzle being put together by team president Steve Mills and general manager Scott Perry. He’s also joining a team that, as hapless as things have recently felt, finds itself in decent position moving forward. The Knicks will have cap room next summer. They have a lottery pick this year and likely one next year, too. cheap nfl authentic jerseys Rookie Frank Ntilikina, who won’t turn 20 until late July, is already one of the league’s top defenders.

And there’s Kristaps Porzingis, a talent who has the potential to grow into the type of franchise cornerstone that teams spend years searching for.

“The best way to describe him is he’s the future of the NBA,” Fizdale said Tuesday. “Look around who’s playing right now. They all got guys super-long, super-athletic, super-skilled, super-tough-minded. He fits all of the qualities of a megastar and a guy who can really propel a franchise forward to high places.”cheap authentic nfl jerseys

Which leads us back to Fizdale, and Mills’ and Perry’s decision to entrust him with the team’s future and the question of whether they were smart to do so.

Of course, one press conference, and all the platitudes and performing that come with it, can’t answer this question. And so saying that the Knicks will suddenly morph into a championship-caliber defensive team because Fizdale said he wants a “loud defense that sparks the offense” would be naive.

For one, Fizdale made it clear he is of the modern mindset in basketball, that size should not dictate position. Asked about whether he plans on playing Porzingis predominantly as his lone big man on the floor, or alongside a second one, Fizdale replied:

“Why limit it? Why put a ceiling on it? cheap nfl jerseys from china I just see so many different ways to use him,” Fizdale said. “Obviously, if you play him at some 5, it’s like that super-lineup you’re always seeing from different teams—I don’t even know how you match up with him. He can play some 4. If you have another speed guy at the 4, you might even be able to play positionless.”

This sort of thinking, Perry added later, was one of Fizdale’s attributes that appealed to the Knicks.

“You hear him talk a lot about positionless basketball, not being afraid to try different combinations,” Perry said. “With where the game is going today, that’s a really appealing quality that he nfl cheap jerseys brings.”

Rob Gronkowski: Patriots Fans Will See ‘Freak-A-Leak’ When I ‘Maybe’ Return

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New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski addressed the media at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, cheap nfl jersey store on Saturday, and while he largely avoided questions regarding his playing status, he did offer some hints.

According to NESN’s Doug Kyed, Gronk said fans will see a “freak-a-leak” when he comes back. Then, in response to a follow-up question about whether he’ll play in 2018, Gronkowski said, “Maybe.”

Gronk has yet to commit to playing, and he hasn’t attended the start of the Pats’ offseason program. He has two years remaining on the six-year, $54 million contract extension he signed in June 2012.

A reporter asked Gronk when he would replace his motocross helmet with a Patriots helmet, and, according to Kyed, nike nfl jerseys sale he responded, “When it comes down to time.”

The four-time All-Pro was also asked if he would attend New England’s voluntary workouts, per Kyed, to which he said, “nfl authentic jerseys china No, I’ve got riding skills to work on.”

After the Patriots’ Super Bowl LII loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Gronkowski said he would take the offseason to think about his playing future.

Though he hasn’t yet said anything publicly about what he’ll do in 2018, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via NFL.com’s Jeremy Bergman) reported in February that he was expected to continue playing.cheap personalized nfl jerseys

The 28-year-old Gronkowski is a five-time Pro Bowler and two-time Super Bowl champion.

After missing eight regular-season games in 2016, Gronk bounced back last season with 69 receptions for 1,084 yards and eight touchdowns.

In just eight NFL campaigns, Gronk ranks third in team history in receiving yards (7,179) and first in touchdown catches (76).

Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles Reportedly Restructures Contract with Eagles

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Nick Foles may not get a chance to start in 2018 after leading the Philadelphia Eagles to their first championship and winning Super Bowl MVP, but the team is reportedly taking care of him as a reward for his efforts.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, Foles and the Eagles have agreed on a restructured contract that includes a mutual option for the 2019 season.cheap nfl authentic jerseys

Despite his unbelievable Super Bowl run, Foles has acknowledged that he understands the Eagles are still Wentz’s team. After all, the organization gave up a haul of picks to draft Wentz in 2016, and the former No. 2 was the favorite for NFL MVP before going down in Week 14 last season.

That said, Foles went into this offseason hoping for an opportunity to start somewhere in 2018. However, knowing the value he brings to the team as a backup, Philadelphia reportedly set a high price for the 29-year-old signal-caller on the trade block, and no team has been willing to meet the asking price, at least not yet. cheap authentic nfl jerseys

Teams in need of a quarterback this offseason have addressed those holes in free agency and will continue to do so. Barring an injury around the league, Foles appears to be locked in to remain on the Eagles roster next season. And while the franchise wasn’t able to help him get a starting job, it apparently has taken care of him from a contract standpoint.

Wentz is still aiming to be back on the field when Philadelphia hosts the Atlanta Falcons in Week 1 on Sept. 6. cheap nfl jerseys from china However, given the mobile quarterback suffered a serious knee injury, there’s still a long way to go before he is ready for full contact on the field. That means the backup could once again nfl cheap jerseys  be called upon if Wentz suffers a setback on the road to recovery.

Foles will have to be ready to play if/when needed in 2018. Regardless of how next season plays out, he will have a chance to test the open market if he so desires.

Shohei Ohtani Flashes Hype-Worthy Ace Potential After Nightmare Beginning

Shohei Ohtani finally got a proper introduction to a major league mound on Sunday, and he used it to look a lot more like the Japanese legend than the spring training cautionary tale.

Granted, the 23-year-old wannabe two-way star (he went 1-for-5 in his hitting debut on Thursday) didn’t compile an all-timer of a pitching line in the Los Angeles Angels’ 7-4 win over the Oakland Athletics. He lasted six innings and gave up three runs, all of which scored on a long home run by Matt Chapman.

But like with any good race car, it’s what’s under the hood that cheap nfl nike jersey  counts.hi-res-8b972f0294394847354e0c0d4a6fa205_crop_north

Elsewhere on Ohtani’s debut line are six strikeouts and one walk. He earned those by throwing 63 strikes and by collecting (per ESPN.com) 18 whiffs out of 92 total pitches.

That’s a 68 percent rate of strikes and a 20 percent rate of swinging strikes. cheap nike nfl jersey Even Max Scherzer would blush at strike and whiff rates like those.

Yeah, yeah. Small sample size and everything. One promising start does not an ace make. And so on with the appropriate disclaimers.

But if nothing else, this much is apparent right now: The Ohtani who looked completely out of his depth during spring training wasn’t the real Ohtani.

Although he arguably looked worse at the plate in putting up a .347 OPS in 11 Cactus League games, Ohtani didn’t look good on the mound. He put up a 27.00 ERA in two Cactus League starts and also mostly got knocked around in three unofficial outings.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Included among the latter set was an exhibition against the Mexican League’s Tijuana Toros in which he got shelled for six runs. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, part of the problem was that Ohtani’s fastball velocity was having difficulty escaping the 90-to-91 mph range.nfl nike jersey cheap

In retrospect, maybe that’s because he was saving his best bullets for The Show.

Former Kentucky Castoff Charles Matthews Is All About Now as Michigan’s Main Man

SAN ANTONIO — It’s Friday afternoon, two days after Charles Matthews and the Michigan Wolverines landed here to prepare for the Final Four and one day before Michigan will beat Loyola of Chicago to reach Monday night’s national title game against Villanova in the 2018 NCAA men’s tournament. Right now, Matthews ambles into a media session and settles into a seat behind a raised table.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Like so many others with big basketball dreams, he grew up imagining not only sinking buzzer-beaters but also recounting his heroics in interviews. But as he faces the reporters and hears the first question about Kentucky, he can’t help but let out a sigh. cheap nike nfl jersey      hi-res-c393e22b32b59fa0f38a40375d9e4183_crop_north

“I spoke with my media department and my coaching staff,” he responded politely, “and I’m not answering any more questions about the Kentucky transfer process. It’s so far removed now. I’ve been at Michigan two years now. If it’s not about Michigan or the Final Four, cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale I don’t really want to talk about it.”

It’s easy to understand his frustration. Yes, Matthews started his college career at Kentucky. And yes, at one point, he considered himself a potential one-and-done player. But he left Lexington after nine months, and he’s been with Michigan for almost two years. One of the biggest lessons he’s learned is not to worry about the past and not to obsess over the future. Instead, he focuses with laser-like precision on the present.

Working with Greg Harden—the University of Michigan associate athletic director and life cheap nfl nike jersey coach who has helped mold the minds of Tom Brady, Desmond Howard, Michael Phelps and many others—Matthews has learned to become a man of the moment. And this is his moment with Michigan.

In the most important month on the college basketball calendar, cheap nfl jerseys china nike Matthews has been the Wolverines’ most consistently stellar two-way star. He was the West Regional’s Most Outstanding Player, and he’s averaging 16.6 points per game in his team’s tournament run. “He changed his color blue,” assistant coach Saddi Washington said. “He’s a maize man now.”

Cleveland Browns grab Tyrod Taylor for QB spot

Cleveland Browns grab Tyrod Taylor for QB spot
Buffalo Bills quarterback cheap nfl nike jersey Tyrod Taylor (5) gestures to the stands while walking off the field following an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Bills won 24-16. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

Cleveland Browns grab Tyrod Taylor for QB spot
Buffalo Bills quarterback cheap nfl jerseys china nike Tyrod Taylor (5) rushes during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)17d_a1

Cleveland Browns grab Tyrod Taylor for QB spot
Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) plays during the second half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

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Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) hands the ball off against the Miami Dolphins during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Bills won 24-16. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

Cleveland Browns grab Tyrod Taylor for QB spot
Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) speaks with the media following an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins Sunday, Dec. 17, 2017, in Orchard Park, china nike nfl jerseys cheap N.Y. The Bills won 24-16. (AP Photo/Rich Barnes)

Giants Release Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to Save $6.5M in Cap Space

The New York Giants announced Sunday the release of cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie in order to shave $6.5 million off their books, as first reported by cheap nfl nike jersey Adam Schefter and Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

On Saturday, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com reported the Giants had asked Rodgers-Cromartie to take a significant pay cut to remain with the team, adding that the sides were far apart on any agreement nike nfl jerseys cheap china . They apparently were far enough apart that the Giants decided to release the 10-year veteran.hi-res-506fb0b001f9f555173f46ba5e5f15b0_crop_north

added that Rodgers-Cromartie wants to play as an outside cornerback again after the Giants reportedly told him they wanted to move him to safety cheap nfl jerseys china nike in 2018. The Giants tinkered with him at free safety at times in 2017, and Rodgers-Cromartie seemed willing to make the move.

“Hey baby, you can put me anywhere as long as I play and get on that field a little bit, I don’t mind,” he said in January, per Dan Duggan of NJ Advance Media. “Free safety, strong safety, linebacker—it doesn’t matter. I’m just trying to be out there.”

Rodgers-Cromartie, 31, accumulated 48 tackles in 15 games for the Giants in 2017, failing to register an interception. Pro Football Focus gave him a 77.2 china nike nfl jerseys cheap grade for the season, 58th in the NFL among cornerbacks.

While Rodgers-Cromartie remains a solid option at corner, his release was almost certainly about money and potentially about team culture as well.

As Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News noted, “Rodgers-Cromartie was the first of three Giants defensive backs ultimately suspended during the season,cheap nfl nike jerseys from china  including Janoris Jenkins and Eli Apple, and new Giants general manager Dave Gettleman is determined to restore a healthy culture.”

The Giants suspended him for one game in October for a violation of team rules amid a cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping number of heated arguments with former head coach Ben McAdoo.