2017 MLB All-Star Game voting: Bryce Harper pushing 3 million

Bryce Harper, like his Washington Nationals in the NL East, is making All-Star voting a runaway.

With just more than three weeks to go before this year’s game, July 11 at Marlins Park, Harper is pushing toward 3 million votes, with 2,827,330, in a balloting update announced Monday by MLB.

He and Nats teammate Daniel Murphy, who leads at second base by more than 1 million votes, the widest margin at any position, are two of three players — along with the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon — to have 2 million votes.
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Jason Heyward has a tenuous hold on the third outfield spot in the race for an NL starting position, leading teammate Ben Zobrist, in fourth place, by 85,529 votes as of Monday.
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Never the star but a star in his role, Hill will give any team a floor manager and solid defender at point guard. He has shot over 40 percent on 3-pointers the past two seasons, but he won’t take over possessions. He’ll make sure the stars get touches.

At age 31, Hill likely doesn’t have many super-productive years left. He should age nicely in the right lineup, though, and he will not disrupt the locker room chemistry.

Where Hill lands could depend on how the point-guard situations shake out in free agency. Only speculation, but a Spurs reunion would be a nice way for Hill to finish his career.

Dallas Keuchel’s neck issues should prompt Astros to trade for a pitcher

With Dallas Keuchel on the shelf for another 10 days with more neck issues, the path for Houston should be clear: The Astros need to make a move for another starting pitcher.

Houston has rocketed off to a fantastic start with a 42-18 mark. A lot of that has been due to the starting pitching and the return of Keuchel to Cy Young form.

But here’s the thing: No matter how good Keuchel has been — and no matter how good he may be the rest of the season — this is the second consecutive year the Astros’ ace and the 2015 AL Cy Young winner has faced injury issues. And if Houston wants a real shot at representing the American League in the World Series, it needs get serious like a bald-headed principal.

Cook is starting after starter Derek Carr’s season-ending broken leg and backup Matt McGloins shoulder injury in Sundays 24-6 loss to the Broncos. Cook who hasnt started a game since Michigan State’s 2015 national semifinal against Alabama went 14 of 21 for 150 yards with a touchdown and interception in relief of McGloin.

The highlight: Cook stepped up in the pocket and put perfect touch on a lofting 32-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper in the third quarter of last weeks game.

His fourth-quarter interception was one that got away from him. Cook overshot tight end Mychal Rivera, who had found a spot in Denvers nickel zone, and was picked by Broncos safety Justin Simmons. The high throw was caused by pressure from Shane Ray, who pushed Raiders tackle Vadal Alexander into Cooks right hip.sharks_412

Ric Flair claims he busted hand fighting a Warriors fan at NBA Finals

Apparently a fight that broke out by the Cavaliers’ tunnel in Game 2 of the NBA Finals wasn’t the only messy scuffle at Oracle Arena Sunday night.

Former wrestler Ric Flair claims he also got into a fight, and he apparently injured his right hand after a beatdown with a Warriors fan.

With Games 3 and 4 of the series heading to Cleveland, Warriors fans might want to be prepared if either of these Cavs super fans are in the house.

Authentic Kids Yannick Ngakoue Jersey Ultimately, this trade comes down to the fact that Danny Ainge didn’t quite have the same evaluation on Fultz as the majority of the basketball world 鈥?myself included. If Ainge believed that Fultz was the star that the Sixers are gambling he is, the former Washington lead guard would be a Celtic on Thursday.

Purely from a value perspective, this is not a trade I would have consummated had I been running the Celtics. But as one NBA executive put to me on Saturday, Ainge isn’t out here playing checkers. He’s playing chess,and he’s seeing a board that the rest of us can’t yet see. The Celtics have enough assets to make a move on essentially any player they want. Let’s see how they utilize them before reacting to what 鈥?upon first glance 鈥?would seem to be a trade that’s riskier than necessary.

Authentic Kids Chidobe Awuzie Jersey Thompson, who went scoreless in Game 1 and Game 3, had a clear message for the opposition after his team prevailed in a chippy contest during which seven technical fouls were called鈥攊f the Warriors wind up winning the title, they’re not going push Cleveland around in doing so. Thompson got into it with Warriors heel Draymond in the game, then delivered an expletive-laden rant in his postgame interview.

With Matt Moore hit, NFL concussion protocol is biggest wild-card loser

The NFL season began with a quarterback getting hit in the head, rolling around on the turf in pain, then getting sent back into the game suspiciously quick. The first weekend of the playoffs featured the same thing.

Nothing ever changes in Americas favorite sport at least not in the area it swears it’s changing for the better, with head injuries.

The way Matt Moore went back into the game for the Dolphins on Sunday in Pittsburgh after missing just one play looked too much like the way Cam Newton didn’t come out at all on the opening Thursday night in Denver four months earlier.

He’s won 49 games in the National Football League and we need to understand how hard it is to win games in this league.

Pagano has gone 49-31 over the last five seasons, with a 3-3 mark in the playoffs. Ballard said he will work together with Pagano to make the best decisions for the Colts.

Ballard will focus on building the roster through the draft, but that doesn’t mean he’ll ignore free agents. He will just take a cautious approach to free agency.

We’re going to try acquire as many young players we can to complete a competitive roster, he added. We want the most competitive roster we can get. That’s how you get great. That’s how you get special as a team.

And Kaepernick, who restructured his contract in midseason to allow him to walk after the season, will be coming off of starts in the last 11 games, following a year of being benched, operated on, dangled as trade bait and hurling himself into the eye of an off-field hurricane.

Stats can tell half-truths, and so can ones eyes, but he did throw 16 touchdowns passes to four picks, have a 90.7 passer rating (better than Philip Rivers, Eli Manning and Cam Newton, among many others) and went for more than 400 yards passing and rushing combined twice.jays_1262_f9274dee0c9b5e72-180x180

Philip Rivers feels ‘numb’ after Chargers move to LA

When the Chargers-to-L.A. talk surfaced a few years ago, Philip Rivers was vocally opposed to the move. But now that the move is official, the franchise quarterback has no choice but to get on board.

I want to be clear that my love for San Diego, the time here, the memories weve had, the games, practices everything about it is special and awesome. Thatll never go away, he told KLSD-AM in San Diego on Friday. But at the same time and I hope that people will understand this I have to get excited and fired up about going up to a new area and representing our team, our organization and going and trying to, shoot, win as many games as we can win and be the same guy that Ive always been. Thats the only way I know.

‘It’s really loud in there,’ Rodgers said Friday, per the Green Bay Press-Gazette. ‘Whether that’s all natural or not is yet to be seen.’
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After determining that fake crowd noise had been blasted in the stadium while opponents’ offenses were on the field during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, the NFL penalized the Falcons by stripping them of a 2016 fifth-round draft pick and fining then $350,000.

In response, Falcons director of event marketing Roddy White (not the wide receiver of the same name) was fired by the team. Also, Falcons president Rich McKay was temporarily relieved of his duties on the league’s competition committee, per Pro Football Talk.

Henry Anderson Mens Jersey That record includes three regular-season games and one in the postseason. While Green Bay lost 33-32 at Atlanta in Week 8 this season, Rodgers went 28 for 38 for 246 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions.

In his lone playoff game at the Georgia Dome, in 2011, he completed 31 of 36 pass attempts for 366 yards, three TDs and no picks in a 48-21 Packers win. Green Bay went on to win the Super Bowl that year.

Derek Carr frustrated with Raiders contract negotiations, report says

Jaye Howard Game Jersey Derek Carr is ready to commit his career to the Raiders.

The quarterback will enter the final year of his rookie contract this season and is eager to finalize a lucrative extension before the start of training camp, but negotiations have seemingly been delayed.

Chris Watt Limited Jersey The designated for return rule has been in place for the last five seasons. It allows an injured player to return to practice after six weeks on IR and to games two weeks after that.

While teams have appreciated not having to leave a banged-up player on the 53-man roster even though he couldn’t play, numerous teams have tough decisions to make every year when faced with multiple players who will miss extended periods but don’t necessarily have season-ending injuries. This change would help alleviate some of that hand-wringing.

NFL owners are expected to approve one other rule change Tuesday in Chicago, according to multiple reports. Owners will vote again on a proposal to reduce regular-season overtime periods from 15 to 10 minutes, which was tabled at the league’s annual meetings in March.

Blount keeps Philadelphia from going all third-down, scatback type with the three-headed committee of Darren Sproles, Wendell Smallwood and Donnel Pumphrey. Sproles was spry getting some extra rushing work last season, but he turns 34 in June. Smallwood showed flashes in 2016 but is going into his second season coming off a knee injury. Pumphrey has speed as a fresh-legged change of pace alternative, but he’s still a rookie fourth-rounder.

Philadelphia, after missing out on Dalvin Cook in the draft and having undrafted rookie Corey Clement as the only viable pure power option, needed Blount’s thundering style and finishing ability to round out its backfield. Blount fits well into Pederson’s offense and will find plenty of room to rumble behind the Eagles’ elite line, especially with the Eagles being able to stretch the field vertically as well as horizontally in 2017.

How do those first-round projections make him feel heading into the Combine?

The Steelers did fine Brown. Tomlin did scold him for it. And much of the public did describe Brown in the aforementioned ways.

Plus, that segment of the Steelers fan base that splits its time between dragging Tomlin and knocking Brown — that colleague Mike DeCourcy has had to address twice since late last season — rose up to shout once again that Brown was overrated, overhyped and unworthy of elevation among the franchise greats and of their love and respect.

That all of this was going on when his extension was unresolved was not a coincidence, and never is. One of the NFL’s biggest bargains was headed toward not being a bargain anymore, and in the NFL, anything goes when it comes to shutting down that threat. After all, one never knows if there’s another sixth-round pick out there who could become the next Antonio Brown with a cheaper price tag.

In the light of a late-winter day, it all looks and sounds so foolish, so reactionary, so borderline-anal. In the middle of yet another remarkable Steelers run energized by another otherworldly season by Brown, there truly was talk about how he needed to cool it with the diva routine before he ruined everything … including his long-term future with the franchise on which he became a star.

How do those first-round projections make him feel heading into the Combine? Nervous?

Not really. Njoku simply is ready to try something else.

“I don’t feel nervous when I see that,” Njoku said. “I don’t want that to get to my head when I see it because anything can happen from now until draft day. I choose to continue to work hard every day. I’m not the nervous type of guy. I’m excited to be where I’m at.”avalanche-021_b606a1df961cda8f-180x180

Seattle traded for Graham in 2015 and while he has not had the statistical impact that he had with the Saints

This is similar to the above stat because 1) it helps explain it and 2) the 23 pass attempts for Ryan tied a season-low. The quarterback had only thrown fewer than 30 passes three times this season, and his only other 23-pass game came against the 49ers in a blowout victory.

To be fair, this game was also a blowout for most of the first three quarters, and the Falcons’ running game was having success. But it seems like Atlanta might want to have allowed its MVP quarterback to air the ball out just a little more.

Seattle traded for Graham in 2015 and while he has not had the statistical impact that he had with the Saints, he was an important part of their offense last season and clearly their second best receiver. Graham will be 31 years old so his market right now should be tied to that of Greg Olsen of the Panthers, which should mean a deal in the $7.5 to $8.5 million a year range.
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Graham is currently slated to earn $10 million this season so it’s likely that the Seahawks would have to guarantee very little over what he is currently earning if extended early, which makes the move beneficial to Seattle to do now rather than after the season. Graham has a $2 million roster bonus due in early March so the timeframe for an extension should be before that bonus is earned. Given the lack of depth at the skill positions this would seem like a likely move.

“We want to make the game as exciting and action-packed as possible,” Goodell said. “That’s what we work toward all the time.”
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Goodell suggested the competition committee will look at instant replay and possibly bring a tablet to the sideline for officials to review replays immediately. He also said the league will look into having fewer stoppages and commercial breaks during games.

“We don’t want unnecessary delays,” he said. “Less is more in this area.”

Ravens safety Matt Elam arrested on multiple drug charges

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Because linebacker Sean Lee played so well in 2016, $5.5 million in cap relief with him is a possibility, too. Those three restructures and the release/trade of Romo would give the Cowboys about $15 million in cap room. That isn’t much, but it would be enough to bring back a few players.
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Dallas’ decisions become more difficult from there, and the likelihood of more restructures depends on how much the Cowboys want to spend in free agency. The last time they were coming off a playoff season, they made the bold (and costly) move to acquire Greg Hardy. If they want to do something similar in 2017, they won’t be able to stop with just those three restructures.

Ravens safety Matt Elam was arrested early Sunday in Miami on multiple drug-related charges, NBC Sports first reported.

According to Miami-Dade police records, Elam was booked at 3:45 a.m. ET on charges of possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis, possession of cannabis with the intent to sell or deliver, and possession of a controlled substance.

Elam, a Palm Beach Gardens native, was pulled over by police for reckless driving before authorities discovered the marijuana in addition to three grams of oxycodone in his vehicle. The University of Florida product and first-team All-American was suspended in 2015 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

Elam, 25, was selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He is set to become a free agent in March after the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option.

Cubs top Giants behind Jon Lester’s complete game, Kyle Schwarber’s career-long HR

The last time Jon Lester and Johnny Cueto squared off at Wrigley Field it was a memorable pitching duel in Game 1 of the NL Division Series last October. This time around only one pitcher left the game with a lasting memory.

Lester pitched a four-hitter for Chicago’s first complete game of the season with 10 strikeouts and no walks in a 4-1 Cubs win. Cueto was solid as well, striking out eight in six innings, but surrendered three homers.
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Anthony Rizzo had a two-run shot and Jason Heyward hit a blast, but neither was as impressive as Kyle Schwarber’s career-long 470-footer onto Sheffield Avenue.

Brandon Crawford doubled in Buster Posey in the fifth inning for the club’s lone run, as Lester needed just 99 pitches for his 15th career complete game.

Blue Jays hitters drove in a season-high 17 runs on 23 hits in a romp of the Reds thanks to home runs from Russell Martin (two run), Troy Tulowitzki (grand slam) and Justin Smoak (three run). Devon Travis and Ezequiel Carrera added four hits for Toronto, who have now won six of their last seven after a dismal start to the season.

Giants reliever Hunter Strickland plunked Bryce Harper on the hip with a 98-mph fastball with his first pitch to the National outfielder to set off a benches-clearing brawl that ended with Strickland being dragged to the Giants dugout by three of his teammates. Both Harper and Strickland were ejected and each are facing suspensions.

Andrew McCutchen blasted his sixth career walkoff home run, taking D-backs reliever Archie Bradley deep to give the Pirates a 4-3 win.

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