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Patrick Mahomes II's talent beginning to show up for Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If the Morgan Rielly jersey Kansas City Chiefs were encouraged by the most impressive practice session yet for Patrick Mahomes II on Wednesday, they had even more reason for optimism because of the rookie quarterback’s attitude about it afterward. “It definitely was a good day,’’ Mahomes said. “It’s all about putting these good days back to back and not having bad days.’’ That consistency will eventually make Mahomes, or a lack of it will eventually break him. Mahomes gets that, so he’s sounding more like a veteran than an awestruck rookie. He played more like a quarterback who understands his job on Wednesday. He scattered fewer throws than normal and made some of his best throws of the offseason. Mahomes in particular showed some versatility early in practice when he connected with rookie wide receiver Marcus Kemp on a deep ball down the right sideline on one play and threw a fade to rookie running back Devine Redding in between two defenders on the next. Matt Nagy, the Chiefs’ co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, said last week that Mahomes’ talent would begin to show once he mastered the Chiefs’ playbook Dominik Hasek Authentic Jersey and had a better understanding of what the defense is trying to do on a given play. That process may have started Wednesday. “Just knowing the playbook more and more each day helps out,’’ Mahomes said. “You’ve just got to stay on it, keep learning. That’s how you put good days on top of each other. “There are some times when I understand everything that’s going on and then there are a few times where you’re like, ‘What exactly does this [receiver] do against a certain defense?’ You have to make sure those times get erased. That just comes with repetition, with practice. I feel like those times become smaller and smaller when I don’t know what’s going on.’’ The Chiefs finish their offseason work Thursday with the conclusion of their three-day minicamp. Mahomes won’t have the chance to stack good days on top of each other again until training camp starts in late July. In the meantime, Mahomes will return home to Tyler, Texas, in hopes of retaining everything he’s gained from the past few weeks of practice. “I’m sure I’ll have some quarterback coach or somebody come in and help me out a little bit,’’ he said. “Just trying to stay on top of the footwork, stay on top of the playbook as much as possible.'' RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman stepped to the podium Wednesday for the first time this spring to address what was the most tumultuous offseason of his NFL career. He joked with linebacker Bobby Wagner, who was standing in the back, and then spent the next 18 minutes answering 24 questions about trade rumors, Russell Wilson and the state of the Seahawks' locker room. There was plenty to digest, but one sentence had to stand out to Pete Carroll and the team's brass. "I might have gone over the top," Sherman said, referring to a pair of sideline blowups directed at coaches last year. The admission might not seem like much, but it was something Sherman refused David Savard Youth Jersey to offer up six months ago after a Thursday night game against the Los Angeles Rams. During that game, Sherman got into a shouting match with Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell on the sideline. He was upset that the offense had attempted a pass from the Rams' 1-yard line. The play brought up bad memories of Super Bowl XLIX and Wilson's interception against the New England Patriots. Sherman said as much after the game. He then doubled down over and over again, saying he had no regrets and refused to apologize publicly even though Carroll thought Sherman was going to. The uneasy situation hung over the team down the stretch last season. It was not the reason the Seahawks lost to the Atlanta Falcons in the divisional round, but it didn't help. After the season, Carroll said the blowups were his biggest regret from 2016. And Sherman's actions were clearly a big reason why the team thought about trading him this offseason. Whether Sherman is capable of moving on from last season or the Super Bowl loss remains to be seen. What happens if the Seahawks lose 17-6 to the Green Bay Packers in Week 1? What if Wilson throws a pick from the Green Bay 1-yard line? Will Sherman be able to contain himself? Maybe. Maybe not. But his words Wednesday indicated that he's at least making an effort. In March, Carroll talked about Sherman's rough 2016 season and said most of the cornerback's issues were "self-inflicted." Sherman was asked what he thought his coach meant. "He means I hold myself to a high standard, and I'm a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of player," Sherman said. "So I'm competitive as all get out. That's what he means. He means I'm competitive as anybody out there, and at all times I'm competing. At all times I'm trying to win. At all times I'm trying to push the envelope and push the limits. And it has always been the case -- publicly, privately, and elsewhere. So that's what he means. It's never changed, it's never wavered. At times it might have gotten kind of overblown. I might have gone over the top. But he understood where it was coming from and so did my teammates."

Winners and losers of the Stanley Cup playoffs

Marc-Andre Fleury: Even as he skated around #8 Mike Glennon Youth Jersey the ice with the Stanley Cup in his hands, it was difficult not to sympathize with veteran goaltender. After years of serving as the Penguins' franchise goalie, Fleury sat last spring after suffering a concussion and watched as rookie Matt Murray took over the crease. The novice netminder went on to backstop the Penguins to their first title in seven years. When Murray got hurt before Game 1 of the 2017 playoffs, Fleury stepped in and was outstanding during the first two rounds, even inspiring some discussion that the 32-year-old was a potential Conn Smythe candidate. Fleury was exceptional through the first two rounds of the playoffs, posting a 29-save shutout in Pittsburgh's Game 7 victory over the Washington Capitals. But Murray earned the starting nod again after Fleury allowed four goals on nine shots in a 5-1 loss to the Ottawa Kevin Jepsen #49 Youth jersey Senators, a setback that put the Penguins in a 2-1 hole in the Eastern Conference final. If the Penguins actually did persuade Fleury to waive his no-movement clause, he'll be left exposed in the upcoming expansion draft, which would be a serious change (both geographically and competitively) for the three-time champion. Washington Capitals: This was supposed to be the year for a team that posted the league's best regular-season record, a feat that earned the squad its second straight Presidents' Trophy. But the Caps were also eliminated by the eventual-champion Penguins for the second consecutive year. This year's second-round Game 7 loss was especially devastating for a club that appeared poised to get over the hump, especially after acquiring defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues at the trade deadline. With so much talent across their roster, the Capitals could conceivably lose a star player to the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft. Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan also has a number of key free agents to contend with this offseason, including Shattenkirk, T.J. Oshie, Justin Williams and Karl Alzner. Restricted free agent Evgeny Kuznetsov is also owed a considerable raise. Bruce Boudreau: No coach in the league has a greater disparity between his teams' results in the regular season compared with the playoffs. During Boudreau's four full seasons behind the Anaheim Ducks' bench, his teams won more games during the regular season than any other squad. That success was ultimately overshadowed, however, by the team's four consecutive losses in Game 7s during that span -- all of which were played on home ice. Boudreau's inability to take his teams the distance in Anaheim echoed his preceding Authentic Steven Wright #35 Youth jersey tenure with the Capitals, where he failed to reach the conference finals. In his first season coaching the Minnesota Wild, Boudreau's club appeared unstoppable at times this season, establishing a franchise record with 106 points. Despite talent and depth across its roster, Minnesota bowed out in five games in a first-round series against the St. Louis Blues. With trade deadline pickup Martin Hanzal entering free agency and the expansion draft looming, the Wild could lose key roster components in the coming months. The pressure will no doubt be on Boudreau and his team to rebound next season. NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The day after a 2-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final ended the Nashville Predators' thrilling run through the 2017 playoffs, things were slowly returning to normal around the city. The sea of Predators hats and jerseys had subsided, and traffic was once again running along Broadway in downtown Nashville. The only evidence of the Predators' epic run remaining outside Bridgestone Arena might have been the beat-up Penguins "Smash Car," a vehicle reduced to a gnarled collection of metal after absorbing hundreds upon hundreds of blows from sledgehammer-wielding Predators fans. The madness surrounding the team that had taken over the city over the past two months had mostly faded, but there was still plenty of pride around Music City about its hockey team. And maybe just a little chatter about the second-period goal in Game 6 that was nullified by a premature whistle.

Is this the least hateable Yankees team ever?

The New York Yankees are back. They Authentic Brian McCann Womens jersey made the playoffs just once in the past four seasons, and while they never slipped below .500, they did mostly slip into irrelevance other than a one-and-done wild-card appearance in 2015. But here they are, led by future first-ballot Hall of Famer Aaron Judge (what, too soon?), making an argument that they are the best team in baseball. The thing about these Yankees -- I kind of like them. I said it. They're not your typical Yankees team, built more on youth and homegrown players than aging, high-priced free agents. You can't help but like Judge, or at least admit his combination of power at the plate and grace in the outfield is pretty awesome. Luis Severino has been fun to watch. Brett Gardner is playing like an All-Star. Alex Rodriguez isn't around to steal the headlines. It got me thinking: Is this the most likable Yankees team ever? I mean, it's OK to admit that most of us dislike the Yankees by default. You know the reasons Authentic Joe Morgan Womens jersey why. The rings. George Steinbrenner. The money. That pinstripes magic that makes everything always go the Yankees way. And no, I'm absolutely not bitter about that home run David Justice hit off Arthur Rhodes. So let's go back to 1920 and rank all the Yankees teams from least likable to most likable, focusing mostly on the post-1976 era, when I first started watching baseball. 2000 Yankees (87-74): This team won the World Series, which is bad enough. But even more disheartening, it wasn't even a good team. The Yankees won only 87 games and beat my Mariners in the American League Championship Series in part because Jamie Moyer broke his kneecap in practice before the series began. They won the first game of the World Series because Timo Perez didn't hustle and was thrown out at home plate. Then in Game 2, Roger Clemens THREW THE JAGGED SHARD OF A BROKEN BAT AT MIKE PIAZZA, a guy he had hit in the head with a pitch earlier in the season. If this happened in 2017, Twitter would have had a nuclear meltdown. 2009 Yankees (103-59): In 2008, the Yankees missed the playoffs for the first time since 1993, so they went out and spent $423.5 million to sign Mark Teixeira, CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. That's more than 17 franchises were valued at the time. They moved into the new Yankee Stadium and tried to sell $2,500 tickets. Then they won the World Series. 1999 Yankees (98-64): Chad Curtis, the World Series hero, was later sent to prison for molesting three teenage girls at a rural Michigan high school where he volunteered. Chuck Knoblauch was later arrested twice for domestic violence. Jim Leyritz killed a mother of two in a DUI accident. Hideki Irabu was later arrested for assaulting a bartender and drunken driving. Clemens and Darryl Strawberry were still here. They also won the World Series. 2012 Yankees (95-67): This was an aggravating, overachieving old team -- the starting lineup featured guys 31, 31, 32, 34, 36, 38, 38 and 40 years old -- that made the playoffs even though Mariano Rivera was injured. It then turned into destroyer of dreams against the Orioles in the division series. The O's had made the playoffs after 14 consecutive losing seasons. A feel-good story! Game 1 was a tie game in the ninth, when Russell Martin leads off with a home run, and the Yankees score five runs. In Game 3, Raul Ibanez homers in the ninth to tie it, and homers again in the 12th to win it. Raul Freakin' Ibanez, supreme Mr. Nice Guy and ex-Mariner, doing this for the Yankees (alongside Ichiro Suzuki). At least the ALCS turned in a four-game sweep in which the big story was Alex Rodriguez getting benched and holding Matt Duffy Authentic jersey that infamous on-field session with the media. And you wonder why teammates once called him "A-Fraud" for his poor playoff performances. 1949-1964 Yankees: Yeah, baseball in the 1950s was great -- if you were a Yankees fan. Otherwise, it mostly sucked. They won 14 pennants in 16 seasons, including five straight World Series titles from 1949 to 1953. Even Yankees fans grew bored with all the winning. They drew almost 2.3 million fans in 1949, but just 1.3 million by 1964. They also were one of the last teams to integrate, not signing a black player until 1955. 2004 Yankees (101-61): This was the apex of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. The Red Sox were searching for that long-awaited World Series title and were still the scrappy underdogs. The Yankees were the evil empire. They had traded for Rodriguez and Kevin Brown, and signed Gary Sheffield as a free agent. Jason Giambi went down with some weird intestinal parasite, and I am in no way suggesting that there was something more to that story.

Ranking Super Bowl champs' offseasons: Is Patriots' 2017 best ever?

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Marshawn Lynch's impact on a youthful Oakland Raiders running back room this offseason? Exactly what the Raiders hoped for, and expected. Go ahead and pick up what Oakland's Mighty Mites are putting down. "He's an 'O.G.' in this league," said DeAndre Washington, "been around for a long time, got a lot of experience." Jalen Richard concurred. "It's been Authentic Marc-Edouard Vlasic Womens Jersey really cool to sit back and learn from him," Richard said. "Obviously, me being as young as I am and him being as seasoned as he is, I've had chances to watch his highlights and stuff as I was trying to perfect my craft. To actually have him here in person and have that physicality there, talk to him after each run and see what his thoughts were, is really helpful." The skill sets of Washington and Richard, who are 5-foot-8 and were rookies last season, are remarkably different from that of the violent-running Lynch, who came into the NFL as a first-round draft pick in 2007. Yes, Washington and Richard are more change-of-pace backs to a lead back like Lynch. But if all goes according to the Raiders' plan, they will play off each other Dmitry Orlov Womens Jersey well and improve upon Oakland's No. 6-ranked total offense of a year ago. And that's not counting seventh-round draft pick Elijah Hood, whose body type and running style echo Lynch's. "He's been telling us that, me and all the other guys in the room like DeAndre and Elijah [Hood], the young guys, giving us his take on what works for him," Richard said. "Everybody's body is different, so keeping your body fresh might be different, but the little tricks and things that he uses on the field as a running back, he explains to us how we could implement it into our running style. He's been very helpful to everyone in the room." Last year, Latavius Murray, who was allowed to leave in free agency for the Minnesota Vikings, had 12 rushing touchdowns while averaging 4.0 yards per carry in rushing for 788 yards in 14 games. He missed two games with turf toe. Richard, who broke off a 75-yard touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints on his first NFL carry, rushed for 491 yards and the TD on 83 carries as an undrafted rookie. "I still have that chip on my shoulder," Richard said. "I feel like I still have to go out and perform like I'm trying to make the team, which I am. Nothing is guaranteed every year. "I like feeling that need to continue to prove myself and prove my spot here. That's what I've been doing this offseason and I look forward to training camp." Washington, a fifth-round pick last spring, had 467 rushing yards and two TDs on 87 attempts. "I think I came on a little bit stronger toward the end of the year," Washington said. "That just came with repetition, getting more reps, game play and just being in this offense and getting used to the terminology and things. So now I have a better feeling with what the guys are going to do, what everybody's on the field instead of just what I'm doing. So it definitely can help me going into this season." The last time Lynch, 31, played a full season, in 2014, he led the NFL with 13 rushing TDs while rushing for 1,306 yards David Andrews Jersey and averaging 4.7 yards per carry. Injuries limited him to seven games and 3.8 yards per carry average in 2015 for the Seattle Seahawks. A few big years in his native Oakland, and Lynch could potentially be on his way to Canton. So yeah, he has a lot to give before he exits ... again. "Just being in the room with him," Washington said, "dissecting film, picking up pointers and different things that can [help] us take our game to the next level has definitely been huge the few weeks that he's been here." We have, for some time now, been praising the New England Patriots for a stunningly impressive offseason. Super Bowl champions don't always have great offseasons, but the Patriots' 2017 so far has seen them aggressively reshape their roster in the hopes of returning to the top of the NFL mountain. So with the help of ESPN Stats & Information, we got to thinking: Is this the best offseason ever for a defending Super Bowl champ? The proof tends to be in the pudding, and we have yet to see how all of New England's offseason moves work out. But as of now, the Patriots have added key pieces, kept their losses to a minimum and avoided any crippling injuries or off-field fiascoes. As you'll see below, not every Super Bowl champ can say the same. For the sake of fair comparison, we are limiting our study to Super Bowl champions in the salary-cap era, which means we go back as far as the last Jimmy Johnson Cowboys team -- the Super Bowl XXVIII champion Dallas Cowboys of 1993.

The 2017 Stanley Cup playoff picture: Best postseason photos

Nearly three periods of scoreless Andrew Nicholson Womens Jersey hockey passed in Game 6 before Patric Hornqvist netted the game (and championship) winner for the Penguins -- off Predators goalie Pekka Rinne's left elbow -- with 1:35 left. Hornqvist, a former Predator, silenced Nashville's raucous, catfish-throwing crowd. The Predators challenged for goalie interference, but the goal was upheld. Carl Hagelin set off a Penguins bench celebration with an empty-netter with 13.6 seconds left. Pittsburgh won its second consecutive Stanley Cup, making the Penguins the first back-to-back Cup winners in almost 20 years. After P.K. Subban spent Games 3 and 4 in Nashville getting under Sidney Crosby's skin, needling him on and off the ice, Breathgate seemingly simmered over during Game 5. At the end of the first period, with the Penguins leading 2-0, Crosby and Subban clashed near the boards behind Pittsburgh's net. Crosby Jose Juan Barea #5 Womens jersey held the Predators defenseman down and repeatedly pushed his head into the ice. Crosby and Subban both got minor penalties for holding. After the game, Crosby said that Subban "lost his stick and he was doing some UFC move on my foot there. I don't know what he was trying to do." When Subban was asked if things were getting a little too personal between him and Crosby, he said, "It's hockey, man." Sidney Crosby -- who scored his first Stanley Cup Final goal since 2009 in Pittsburgh's 4-1 Game 4 loss and moved into sole possession of 20th place on the all-time postseason scoring list -- was back on the ice Wednesday in Pittsburgh ... and he was already looking ahead. "We're just focused on tomorrow," he said. "That's how we're looking at it. We did some good things last game, so if we can build off of that, we'll put ourselves in a good spot." Predators rookie Frederick Gaudreau, an undrafted free agent playing in just his sixth postseason game, scored the go-ahead goal in the second period of Game 4. It was his third goal of the playoffs -- and second game-winner -- and made him just the second player in NHL history to score his first three career goals in a Stanley Cup Final. It earned him the team dog chain, a metal chain and padlock awarded to the top Preds player in each win -- but it apparently wasn't enough to earn the 24-year-old his own locker. Gaudreau still has only a chair. Pekka Rinne's diving denial of the Penguins' Jake Guentzel -- which came right after the Predators goalie stymied Sidney Crosby twice on a breakaway -- was the save of the Stanley Cup Final so far. Rinne stopped 23 of 24 shots on Monday and robbed the Penguins on several occasions after Crosby tied the score 1-1 on a breakaway in the first period. Predators defenseman Roman Josi scored his sixth goal of the postseason, added two assists and fired up the home fans in Nashville's Game 3 win over the Penguins. His goal came on the power play, and Josi became the first blueliner to post a three-point game in the Stanley Cup Final since Dustin Byfuglien did it with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. For years, Predators fans have taken to tossing whole catfish onto the ice during home games. So Little's Fish Market in Nashville is offering a free catfish to anyone who shows a ticket for Games 3 or 4 of the Stanley Cup Final. Owner Chris Little says he's getting plenty of orders. "We'll definitely see some on the ice," Little said. "There's no Ichiro Suzuki #51 doubt about that." It's rare for two superstars to fight in the Stanley Cup playoffs, much less the Final. Even though it didn't last long and looked more like an overly long, awkward embrace, Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin and Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban did drop their gloves for a quick bout in the third period of Game 2. The "fight" went down eight years to the day after Malkin also earned both a goal a fighting major in the 2009 finals. P.K. Subban jumped for joy after the Nashville Predators -- who've never won even a division title in their 19-year history -- clinched their first trip to the Stanley Cup finals by eliminating the Anaheim Ducks with a 6-3 win in Game 6. The Predators got a timely hat trick from Colton Sissons, who entered the game with two career playoff goals. Sissons' memorable evening was made possible by Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne, who carried Nashville for long stretches in this series and ended Game 6 with 38 saves. For the second consecutive game, defenseman Olli Maatta opened the scoring for the Penguins, doubling his regular-season goal output in two playoff games -- much to the delight of forward Nick Bonino, center. Pittsburgh piled on from there, with a commanding first period that chased Senators goalie Craig Anderson on his birthday. When Matt Cullen scored in the second period, it meant that a player from each of the Penguins' four lines, along with a defenseman, had a goal.

A-Rod celebrates with nephew selected in MLB draft

Aaron Judge is about two months Corey Dickerson Authentic jersey away from having his first year of major league service time in the books, and he hasn’t made a single All-Star team or won a major award. Mark Reynolds and Steven Souza Jr. and many others have accomplished far more in their respective careers than Judge, who is so new to the sport that he is still learning how to navigate ballpark hallways to find some visiting clubhouses. But in assessing the potential of Judge’s marketability in the way you might form a weather forecast, you could draw some lessons from one of baseball’s all-time greats: Babe Ruth, a transformative star who lifted the sport to the status of national pastime in his era. Ruth became a legend because of some of these factors that captured the imagination of fans: At 6-foot-2 and 215 pounds, Ruth dwarfed most other players of that time. Ty Cobb was 6-1 and 175 pounds, Hall of Fame second baseman Eddie Collins was 5-9 and 175 pounds, and Walter Johnson -- known as "Big Train" -- was 6-1, 200 pounds. With his thick upper body, Ruth didn’t look like other ballplayers. He Jeff Keppinger Youth jersey hit the ball farther than his peers and hit more home runs than anybody else. In 1920, Ruth led the American League in homers with 54 -- more than any other team. Ruth played in baseball’s biggest market in a ballpark suited to his particular skills as a power hitter -- with a short right-field porch -- to the degree that Yankee Stadium became known as The House That Ruth Built. He was the best player in the league, putting up numbers not seen before, hitting the ball where nobody had ever hit it. And when Ruth came to the plate, you couldn’t take your eyes off him. As one of his peers said, even his strikeouts were epic, with Ruth swinging so hard that he fell down. In the midst of his career -- and even after it -- fans gathered to watch him take batting practice, to see the strength and the power. Does any of this sound familiar? As of today, Judge leads the majors in homers and would nearly be the Triple Crown winner in the AL … for the Yankees … who play in a relatively new park that rewards right-handed sluggers who can hit the ball to the opposite field … like Judge. Since the beginning of spring training, fans and teammates and opponents have stopped whatever they are doing to watch Judge take batting practice, because they are wondering what he’s going to do next, and how far he might hit the next pitch -- doing stuff they’ve never seen before. “That guy is from another planet,” Pablo Sandoval said in the Red Sox clubhouse after Judge’s 496-foot homer Sunday. Ruth loved the big stage. Judge does not seem to have Ruth’s larger-than-life personality, on or off the field; he is very understated and reflexively deflects attention. But for a sport and a team searching for a breakthrough star, Judge has made quick inroads. He has at least some elements of the formula that elevated Ruth into an icon. Being selected during the MLB draft is a life-changing moment for talented prospects, and one that is typically shared with family. NC State SS Joe Dunand had the opportunity to share the moment with an uncle who is no stranger to the MLB draft process: Former baseball great Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez was with Dunand and members of his family on Monday, and posted Adidas Authentic Boone Jenner Youth Jersey a video of the exciting moment when his nephew's name was called 51st overall by the Miami Marlins.Watch the celebration that ensued as the 21-year-old's dreams came true. A bit more than two months ago, the San Diego Padres -- a rebuilding club that has little to lose this year but much to gain in 2018 and beyond -- gifted us with a little bit of an experiment: They committed to playing three players who would ordinarily be playing for a team three, four, maybe even five levels away from the majors. They put Mentos in Diet Coke and let us watch. Catcher Luis Torrens, shortstop Allen Cordoba and pitcher Miguel Diaz were Rule 5 picks. The basics of the Rule 5 draft go like this: Players who are in a minor league system for a certain amount of time without being put on a 40-man roster are "exposed" to the rest of the league's teams, who can pick those players in the winter draft. It's a way of keeping teams from hoarding and stashing qualified major leaguers in the minors, of ensuring that these players get a chance to play in the majors if there's a team that will give them a shot. A player picked in the Rule 5 draft must spend the entire next season on the major league roster or else be offered back to his original team. Two things make Torrens, Cordoba and Diaz so notable. One is just how far they were from the majors. Torrens and Diaz played last year in Class A, which is below high-A, below Double-A, below Triple-A -- four promotions from the majors. Torrens, who signed with the Yankees for $1.3 million as a 16-year-old, had played only 161 minor league games before San Diego gave him a major league roster spot. Diaz, an erratic right-hander with a powerful fastball, had thrown only 236 minor league innings. Most of those had come in the Milwaukee Brewers' Dominican and Arizona complex leagues, where the "crowd" typically comprises a handful of player development staff and the occasional family member.

Giants' Odell Beckham Jr.: Contract questions 'not for me to discuss'

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- New Logan Couture Youth Jersey York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was back on the field Tuesday for mandatory minicamp and flip-flopped on questions about whether his absence from voluntary OTAs had to do with his contract. ESPN's Adam Schefter recently reported through sources that Beckham's contract was part of the reason he remained away from the Giants' workouts over the past three weeks. Beckham is set to make $1.8 million this season. "You probably have to ask the people who do the contracts," Beckham said when asked the first time whether the contract factored into his decision to skip OTAs. "I wouldn't be able to tell you." When asked later in the 11:30 a.m. interview session with reporters, his first since the season ended in January with a dud in Green Bay, about whether he wanted a new deal before his fourth season, Beckham again deferred to others. "I couldn't really tell you. Like Dennis Maruk Authentic Jersey I said, when the time comes ... Any contract question is not for me to discuss," he said. "I haven't really talked to anyone about contracts. So it's not something that has been in the air. It was kind of something that was brought up amongst other people. It was never really in my discussion. Take it a day at a time, and when it comes, it will come." When pressed a third time at the end of the interview whether Beckham missed OTAs to prove a point, his answer was markedly different. "No," he said. "I was just out in Los Angeles training. I've seen the whole holdout stuff and I've never really seen it work, so it was never in my mind that I'm not going to go to OTAs to get a new contract. I don't think that really proves a point, in my opinion. I was out there really taking time for myself to reflect on life and value what is really, really important. And like I said, to grow and mature in life. You should be growing each and every year, each and every day." General manager Jerry Reese said at the end of last season that Beckham needed to take a look in the mirror and grow up this offseason. Beckham finished with over 90 catches, 1,300 yards and double-digit touchdowns for the third consecutive season. He made another Pro Bowl, but performed poorly in his first career playoff game after a boat trip in Miami earlier in the week. Beckham punched a hole in the wall in the bowels of Lambeau Field after that loss. After the way last season ended, Beckham's absence from voluntary OTAs garnered plenty of attention. But quarterback Eli Manning didn't seem to think Beckham missed a ton. "Not much," said Manning, who remained in touch with Beckham over the past few months. "He'll be fine." eckham described the time spent in Los Angeles training as somewhat cathartic. He worked with Authentic Danny Amendola Youth Jersey his trainer Jamal Liggin four to five times per week, and sometimes twice a day. "I was really just taking the time to train, make sure I get proper training, really grow and mature in yourself," Beckham said. "You just have time to be able to reflect on life and learn new things. It was a great process for me. I definitely enjoyed it." The Giants seemed to ease Beckham back into team drills on Tuesday. He only sporadically worked with the first-team offense. He took just seven reps in team drills, even though coach Ben McAdoo thought he came back in good shape. Beckham also said his relationship with Reese is the same. Nothing there had changed. Although the Giants haven't discussed with Beckham's team about a new contract, co-owner John Mara said at a Giants Town Hall event that they wanted Beckham as a Giant for life. "I think we're on the same page there," Beckham said. "I think this is one of the best organizations in the league, and I would love to be here for the rest of my life." Garoppolo didn’t take part in drills because of what appears to be a leg-related injury. When players ran at the start of practice, Garoppolo rode the exercise bike instead. When players ran hills at the end of practice, Garoppolo was off to the side with a few others holding a plank. If this was the regular season, he might have pushed through it. Since it is June, playing it safe is the smart call, which is important context. The injury appeared to happen at last week’s mandatory minicamp, as Garoppolo didn’t finish in the team’s final practice of the week and then didn’t run with teammates afterward (more planks). So third-stringer Jacoby Brissett stepped into the No. 2 spot in that practice and has continued in that role this week.

The five most controversial calls in Stanley Cup Final history

On Sunday night in Nashville, Kevin #13 Mike Evans Authentic Jersey Pollock was welcomed into an exclusive and very unwelcome fraternity -- the NHL Zebra Haters' Club. He joins esteemed members like Leon Stickle, Kerry Fraser, Bill McCreary and Stephen Walkom, each of whom was inducted into the club following controversial, series-altering calls that helped shape the outcome of a Stanley Cup Final. And while their names may never be etched onto the Stanley Cup, their infamous contributions will nonetheless be part of its lore. Wayne Gretzky and the Los Angeles Kings had a 1-0 lead and were 1:45 away Walter Payton Authentic Jersey from taking a commanding 2-0 lead in their series against the Montreal Canadiens when Habs coach Jacques Demers called a timeout and asked referees for a measurement of McSorley's stick. Fraser skated to the Kings' bench, pulled out a measuring device and determined that McSorley's stick had an illegal curve, warranting a two-minute penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Demers pulled goaltender Patrick Roy to create a 6-on-4 power play, and Canadiens defenseman Eric Desjardins scored the tying goal just 32 seconds later to send the game into overtime. Desjardins netted the game winner 51 seconds into overtime to give the Canadiens a 2-1 win -- the first of four consecutive victories for Montreal. Years later, McSorley said the Canadiens' equipment staff had wheeled the Kings' stick rack into their locker room to measure for illegal curves. The New York Islanders entered Game 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers with a 3-2 series lead and an opportunity to become the second NHL expansion team to win the Stanley Cup. With the score tied at 1 in the first period, Islanders forward Duane Sutter beat goaltender Pete Peeters on a cross-ice feed from Butch Goring, giving the Isles a 2-1 lead with 5:52 remaining. Replays clearly showed that when Clark Gillies entered the offensive zone and dropped the puck back to Goring, the puck left the offensive zone into neutral ice, after which Goring brought the puck back over the blue line. Linesman Leon Stickle waved the pass clean. Although the Flyers twice rallied to tie the score, the Islanders clinched their first of four consecutive Stanley Cups with Bob Nystrom's goal 7:11 into overtime. After the game, Stickle admitted he made the wrong call. He was vilified by fans every time he returned to Philadelphia. In front of a raucous crowd at Bridgestone Arena (where they had gone 9-1 in the playoffs), the underdog Nashville Predators needed a win to send the series back to Pittsburgh for a seventh and deciding game. With 1:07 gone in a scoreless second period, the Predators appeared to take a 1-0 lead when Filip Forsberg's shot squirted past Penguins goaltender Matt Steve Cishek #31 Authentic jersey Murray and Preds forward Colton Sissons poked it into the open net. Positioned to Murray's right in the far left corner of the offensive zone, Pollock was blocked from the action by the bodies of Forsberg and Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley. He blew the play dead, thinking Murray had smothered the puck. Pollock whistled the play dead about a second before Sissons celebrated what he thought was the game's first goal. The game remained scoreless until the Penguins' Patric Hornqvist netted the game winner with 1:35 remaining in the third period, and Carl Hagelin finished off the Predators with an empty netter. After the game, Pollock reportedly apologized to Sissons for his mistake. One win from clinching their second Stanley Cup in franchise history, the Calgary Flames thought they had taken a 3-2 lead against the Tampa Bay Lightning on a power-play goal by forward Martin Gelinas with 6:57 remaining in regulation. Flames forward Oleg Saprykin raced the puck through all three zones and fired a shot on Tampa goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin that caromed off the netminder and onto the right skate of Gelinas. The puck ricocheted in the direction of Khabibulin and crossed the goal line before the goalie could kick the puck back out of harm's way. Referees Bill McCreary and Stephen Walkom never saw the puck cross the line, nor did they seek out a video review. It was not revealed that Gelinas had actually scored until the following faceoff, when a television replay showed the puck clearly crossing the line. The game spilled into overtime, where Martin St. Louis netted the winning shot 33 seconds in to send the series back to Tampa. The Lightning won their first Stanley Cup following a 2-1 Game 7 victory that was fueled by a pair of goals from Ruslan Fedotenko. Later it was revealed that Fraser was originally scheduled to work Game 6 in Calgary but was replaced after Calgary fans reacted angrily to Fraser's calls in Game 4.

With Aaron Judge starring, maybe the Yankees won't need Bryce Harper

The 6-foot-7, 282-pound Aaron Judge is Authentic Welington Castillo Womens such a force of nature, he might be powerful enough to bend Yankees history and change the landscape of legendary careers. With each mighty swat, Judge jumps closer to becoming the biggest name in all of Major League Baseball. Even before his near 500-foot homer Sunday at Yankee Stadium, Judge was the leading All-Star vote-getter in the American League. Judge is smashing baseballs today. In the future, he might put a hammer to the idea that Bryce Harper, scheduled to become a free agent following the 2018 season, is destined for pinstripes. But Judge might be crushing those assumptions like 92 mph meatballs. At the least, if Judge continues to hit close to this -- right now, he is a Triple Crown leader -- he will be the most marketable player in the game. His impact will likely stop the downward trend of the Yankees' attendance. He might eliminate any ancillary reasons -- besides winning -- for signing Harper. For Dallas Keuche Authentic jersey the Yankees, Judge is a financial double threat. His salary is a bargain and his production is potential future leverage. While Harper’s free-agent clock started when he was young -- he'll be a free agent in his mid-20s -- the 25-year-old Judge won’t be eligible for free agency until he's 31. Judge is making the league minimum of $535,000 this year with only a minimal pre-arbitration raise due next year, while Harper will receive nearly $14 million this year and nearly $22 million next season. Harper still could end up in the Bronx in two years, but if Judge is the real deal, then the Yankees will be a bit less desperate -- and in a much better negotiating spot when they sit in front of Harper’s agent, Scott Boras. The Yankees also might try to one day relatively soon (read: over the next couple of years) sign Judge to a long-term deal, using the advantage of eligibility for agency being so far off to pick him up at a discounted price. This would allow them to retain the resources to sign Harper, which makes for the tantalizing prospect of a 2-through-5 combination of Gary Sanchez, Harper, Judge and, if he gets right, Greg Bird. By the winter of 2018, it will likely still be pretty enticing, but the Yankees might need to find pitching instead of another outfielder. Their system is deep with Clint Frazier and Dustin Fowler at Triple-A and some nice looking prospects at the lower levels. And it's not just about outfielders. Gleyber Torres, one of baseball’s best prospects, could be a Yankee by next month and another star who blocks a potential free-agent signing like Manny Machado. With Starlin Castro at second and Didi Gregorius at short, Torres could move from the middle infield to third base in the Bronx. But Torres is still a prospect who's yet to do anything at the major league level. Judge, though, is doing it all. He is the most fascinating man in baseball, from his quirky habits to his Jack Armstrong, all-American values of putting the team first. When asked a question about himself, Judge nearly always turns it into praise for his teammates. When he begins Authentic Walt Weiss Womens jersey a game, he pops in two pieces of gum and, for good luck, doesn’t switch out those pieces until he makes an out. When he runs in from right to end an inning, he always waits at the dugout to let his outfield teammates enter first. This is all part of the legend of Aaron Judge. It's still early in his career. Maybe somehow this is all a mirage, but it sure doesn’t feel that way. Judge is making Yankees history -- and, possibly, changing it too. Tough loss: The win streak looked like it would go to 12 games when the Astros took a 7-1 lead in the fourth inning Tuesday. David Paulino and Chris Devenski got through seven innings with a 7-3 lead, but the Royals made it 7-4 and loaded the bases off Reymin Guduan and James Hoyt with two outs in the eighth inning, so A.J. Hinch called on closer Ken Giles, who promptly served up a three-run double to Whit Merrifield. In the ninth inning, Mike Moustakas won it with a two-out, walk-off home run after Salvador Perez beat the shift with a little dribbler into right field. "I let my team down," Giles said after the game. "It's all on me. In my eyes, this team won today. My failure shouldn't overshadow what these guys did today. They did exactly what they needed to do. This is going to hurt for a little bit, all right." Player of the week: Mike Fiers. The right-hander won both his starts, including a gem Saturday against the Los Angeles Angels in which he allowed two hits and an unearned run in 7 1/3 innings. With Dallas Keuchel landing back on the DL with neck discomfort, Fiers is suddenly an integral part of the injury-riddled rotation instead of the No. 5 starter. He has allowed a staggering 18 home runs in just 65 innings, but he has now gone three starts without allowing one. Hinch credited the improved results to a better changeup, while Fiers credited a better curveball. The truth: probably both!

Michael Vick told Roddy White he was destined for NFL stardom

Roddy White couldn't recall Justin Braun Womens Jersey the exact day, but the former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver remembered it was at OTAs during his rookie season. White, the 27th overall pick in the 2005 NFL draft, was approached by quarterback Michael Vick, the first overall pick in 2001. "He told me I was going to be a star in this league," White said of Vick. "He always believed in me from day one, from the time he met me and when we were going through OTA practices. Since that day, we always connected. We always had a bond." Vick and White, teammates for two seasons with the Falcons, will share the stage Monday when the organization honors the retirement of both players with a special ceremony at owner Arthur Blank's family business office. Vick, who galvanized an entire city with his electric performances, spent his first six seasons with the Falcons and was named to three Pro Bowls before a 23-month prison sentence for running a dog-fighting operation Dale Hunter Jersey ended his time with the organization. He was the first quarterback in league history to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in a season (1,039 in 2006). "I love Mike, man," White said of Vick. "That's my guy to the end, no matter what. My locker was right across from his and we had a lot of conversations. He would invite me over to the house. And then I became close to his family. We just always stuck together." White said one game with Vick stood out more than any other: a 38-28 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on a Saturday night inside the Georgia Dome. Vick, battling Tony Romo, threw four touchdown passes and had a 121.0 passer rating. White caught three passes for 104 yards, including a 52-yarder. "I played really well and we connected on some passes," White said. "We played a game against the Saints and did some good stuff, too. One of the things I remembered was how good Mike was and how special he was, especially when the lights came on. He was just a different dude out there and basically unstoppable. Watching him rush for 1,000 yards as a quarterback and watching him throw for over 2,400 yards, that was amazing. To actually be a part of that was special."hite, who played 11 seasons with the Falcons and made four Pro Bowls, left as the franchise's all-time leading receiver with 10,863 yards on 808 catches with 63 touchdowns. "Roddy is the single greatest competitor that I have ever coached," Buccaneers coach Dirk Koetter, the former Falcons offensive coordinator, said Sunday. "Roddy brought a unique combination of toughness and swagger." White earned the respect of the entire Falcons franchise. "This [ceremony] just says how much they appreciated my time that I was there, and I'm grateful for that,'' White said. "I really do appreciate just them making the effort Authentic Cyrus Jones Womens Jersey and making this stand out and having the whole ceremony. You know, they didn't have to do it. "I'm really, really grateful." So are Falcons fans for having Vick and White as their own. "Boston loves their athletes, and if you're in, you're in. Boston is also all about what Julian is; you just go to work and grind it out," Frank said. "He loves Boston and everything about the Patriots. There are also a lot of off-field opportunities if you stay in Boston. We'd love to be a Patriot for life." Julian, 31, reinforced those thoughts in a tweet after news of the extension became public. In some ways, the situation reminds Frank Edelman of where his son's football journey began, with the Redwood City (California) 49ers Pop Warner team. There was a special camaraderie on that team, a loving bond between the players that also extended to coaches and families. Winning obviously helps and both teams did that. The culture on both teams was also similar. One of the Edelmans' favorite sayings is, "The early bird catches the worm and the night owl sees it all." That is in reference to the round-the-clock work ethic required to succeed, and explains why Julian is often the first Patriots player at the facility each day, and also why he values a hard-driving environment like New England's in which players compete at everything. Frank Edelman also talked about their appreciation for an organization that gave Julian his NFL start by drafting him and developing him. When contract talks began about two months ago, Frank and Julian talked about how they never wanted to see the talks get to the point where anger or jealousy entered the equation, because the Patriots have a reputation for hard-line stances. "For a time, you're thinking maybe it won't happen," Frank said. "So it's always nice when it does, even when you get a feeling that it might have been hard for them to do it." Other thoughts and notes around the New England Patriots and the NFL: