Month: July 2018

Even in crazy 55-hour period, Cowboys can block out the noise

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There was Randy Gregory’s first appearance in any Cowboys apparel since the 2016 season finale, after his reinstatement from a substance-abuse suspension. There was David Irving’s absence from training camp to deal with personal issues.

Those issues, however, can happen to any team across the NFL. What separates the Cowboys is a roughly 55-hour span that included everything from a thank you from President Trump to a Twitter tirade from the franchise’s all-time leader in touchdown catches.

All of that happened before the Cowboys held their first padded practice of the summer.

At the opening news conference of training camp, owner and general manager Jerry Jones said the Cowboys will stand for the anthem “toe on the line,” even as the NFL and NFL Players Association worked on a solution for the anthem.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

While Jones called President Trump’s frequent criticisms of the NFL and the players regarding the national anthem “problematic,” the President took to Twitter to credit Jones for saying that the Cowboys will stand.

Speaking on Thursday with 1310 AM The Ticket in Dallas, executive vice president Stephen Jones implied that a player would be cut if he protested during the anthem.8

The comments put the players in difficult positions, with living up to the front office’s wishes while understanding the need to raise awareness of social injustice. Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins called Jerry Jones a “bully.”

Dak Prescott drew criticism for saying he would continue to stand and did not think the game was the proper venue to protest. Last season, the Cowboys stood for the anthem, and none has expressed a desire to alter that in 2018.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

“We’re the Dallas Football Cowboys, we’re America’s Team, and we stand for the national anthem,” Ezekiel Elliott said.

Only a few hours later Friday came an inaccurately portrayed quote made by Stephen Jones on Sirius XM, saying Prescott would be better in 2018 because he would not have Dez Bryant in his ear. The tweet included Bryant’s Twitter handle and sent the receiver on a rant, even though Jones had also mentioned Jason Witten.

“You got great players like Dez and Witten. They want the ball. Everybody sees it,” Stephen Jones said after practice, clarifying his remark. “It’s on every team. The great players, the great receivers, the guys who catch the ball — they want the ball. They let the quarterback know that sometimes. I was a quarterback, so I understand that. It certainly in no way was it intended to be negative.”

The clarification by Sirius did not quiet Bryant on social media. He replied to fans who praised or criticized him in a back-and-forth that seemed ironic, considering it came on the day of Witten’s debut column on ESPN.com that said social media can be “poison” for players.

Byant also called Jerry Jones “clueless” and put blame for his release on center Travis Frederick and linebacker Sean Lee, whom he called a “snake.”

While Frederick was somewhat diplomatic in his reply, Lee was forceful.

Cowboys teammates come to defense of Sean Lee, Travis Frederick

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When Dez Bryant took to social media to comment on Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones’ incomplete answers that were tweeted by Sirius XM last week, he referred to his belief that Travis Frederick and Sean Lee played a part in his release.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

In doing so, Bryant called into question the quality of teammates Frederick and Lee were.

“I mean, you couldn’t really ask for two better teammates,” Pro Bowl right guard Zack Martin said. “I think it goes without saying.7

“You guys know them in the media, but what they mean to us and the leaders, the people, the day-to-day commitment they show, everyone on this team knows exactly who those guys are. And they take great pride in being great teammates, and you really couldn’t find better ones than those two.”

Defensive end Tyrone Crawford called Lee and Frederick “great teammates.” Every teammate asked gave similar responses.

While it might fall into the “What else would they say?” category, Lee has been voted a captain by his teammate multiple times, and Frederick was voted a captain in 2016. With the retirement of Jason Witten, both have stepped into larger leadership roles.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Teammates were reluctant to get into a back-and-forth over Bryant’s comments because they also like the receiver. What they did not like was seeing their current teammates taking heat.

“I love those guys, man,” cornerback Byron Jones said. “If I was starting a team, I’m picking those guys and I’m asking what the game is next. It doesn’t matter what the game is, I can count on those guys to be there on time. I can count on those guys to be leaders. Those guys are extremely accountable. If I’m looking for No. 1 teammates, those are the guys I’m looking for, Sean Lee and Travis Frederick.”

Trade talk we’re hearing: Who wants Hamels, what’s next for Orioles

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Under typical circumstances, Texas Rangers starter Cole Hamels might be the prize of the trade deadline. He’s a tested veteran with four All-Star appearances and a 2008 World Series MVP Award on his resume.

Hamels has a 4.72 ERA this season and he’s allowed 23 home runs — tied for second most in the majors behind Kansas City’s Jakob Junis. After getting shelled by Oakland in a 15-3 loss Monday, Hamels is 1-3 with an ERA of 11.12 in June. Those numbers are reminiscent of Yu Darvish’s implosion during his 2017 pre-deadline showcase before Texas traded him to the Dodgers.

As a result, things are strangely quiet on the Hamels front. An executive for one team in the starting-pitching market said the Rangers have “nothing” going on with Hamels at the moment. Another club recently discussed Hamels on a conference call and came away with reservations that he can be an impact addition down the stretch.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

So what’s the problem? Hamels’ velocity is down a tick from two years ago, and some scouts think that’s enough to reduce the effectiveness of his changeup. But Hamels averaged 92.7 mph against Oakland and touched 94 on the gun, and he still got lit up by the A’s. The bigger concern: He consistently fell behind in the count and threw only 55 strikes among his 92 pitches.

“It’s all delivery and command,” said an evaluator. “He’s just making mistakes.”7

Some Rangers officials think Hamels has been stressed out by all the trade speculation, and that it’s weighing on him personally. Hamels and his wife, Heidi, have four children, and it was a major adjustment for them to leave Philadelphia for Texas at the 2015 trade deadline. It doesn’t help that the Rangers are 23½ games out in the AL West and playing out the string.

If the July 31 deadline passes with no trade, that doesn’t necessarily spell the end of Hamels-related speculation. If the fog clears, the pressure lifts and Hamels starts pitching to his historical levels, he’s a prime candidate to be traded in August.

Hamels’ contract allows him to veto trades to 20 clubs, and he would almost certainly want his $20 million option for 2019 exercised before he signs off on any deal. But the Rangers have made it clear they’re willing to eat some of Hamels’ money, and he shouldn’t have any trouble clearing waivers.

Now that the Phillies-related buzz has dissipated, Hamels’ best bet might be a relocation to the National League Central. The Brewers’ starting pitching was middling even before Brent Suter blew out his elbow, and the Cubs are looking for a rotation upgrade. Seattle, the Yankees and several other clubs might be only one injury away from jumping in the mix.

In the interim, Texas isn’t having much luck with its other trade chips. Shin-Soo Choo has been terrific, but he’s elicited nothing more than a couple of nibbles. Beyond that, Jake Diekman, Keone Kela and Matt Moore are available amid a glut of relief options.cheap nike jerseys nfl

The Rangers are one of several teams sitting on a starting pitcher that they value more than other clubs do. Toronto’s J.A. Happ, like Hamels, was mentioned prominently in trade speculation a few weeks ago. But the Happ rumors have cooled considerably of late.

“Everybody is looking for bullpen help, because the relievers out there are better,” said a general manager. “What starter out there is really a must-have for a contender?”

Yankees GM: Catcher Gary Sanchez out until at least late August

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The New York Yankees are expecting injured catcher Gary Sanchez to be shelved until late August or early September, according to general manager Brian Cashman.

“Thankfully what Gary has is a solvable health issue; it’s a timing one,” Cashman said Wednesday. “We’ll just have to wait on it and hopefully be in a better position when he returns from the DL.”

Sanchez was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday after an MRI that morning revealed he had aggravated a groin injury that he had just returned from last week. The right groin strain was initially suffered in a late June game at Tropicana Field, where he was trying to beat out a ground ball in a loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.nike cheap nfl jerseys

Sanchez said he began feeling tightness in the same spot when he got out of his crouch to chase after a passed ball that got away in Monday night’s 7-6 loss to the Rays. As he seemingly took his time getting to the baseball, a Rays baserunner scored all the way from second base.5

Later in that game, Sanchez came out of the batter’s box slowly on a ninth-inning ground ball before trying to speed up far too late to beat a putout throw. Had he reached base, he would have driven in a crucial game-tying run. Instead, he was thrown out, ending the game.

After being criticized for the lackadaisical effort, Sanchez later expressed remorse for having let his teammates and fans down.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

“When the other team scores runs and you have the game on the line and you end up basically losing the game because it’s your fault, you feel really bad about that,” Sanchez said through an interpreter. “You feel bad for your teammates, you feel bad for the fans, because you want to give them the maximum effort.

“You have a responsibility as a player, and when you don’t give them the best you can, of course you’re going to feel that you let them down.”

It was during a conference call with reporters following Tuesday night’s trade with the Baltimore Orioles for reliever Zach Britton when Cashman also was asked about Sanchez. He said he would explore the options of adding another catcher by the trade deadline, but he wasn’t optimistic that would happen.

“We’ll see,” Cashman said. “We’re a little more vulnerable in the event that we have another issue at the catching position. Where do we turn to next?

Fulham make offer for goalkeeper Fabri from Besiktas, who eye David Ospina – sources

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Besiktas are considering a move for Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina following an offer from Fulham for their No. 1 Fabri, sources have told ESPN FC.

The Super Lig outfit have yet to strike a deal for Fabri but have already begun making preparations for their first-choice keeper’s potential exit this summer, sources have indicated.

Ospina is on a shortlist of keepers Besiktas have drawn up should the 30-year-old join the recently promoted Premier League side.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

The two deals could go in tandem as Besiktas want to avoid selling a key player without lining up a replacement, as was the case when Cenk Tosun was sold to Everton in January.

Sources said Ospina has been offered to Besiktas through his agents and would be prepared to play in the Super Lig next season.8

The Colombia international has been considering his options after being relegated to third-choice keeper at Arsenal following the signing of Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen. However, agreeing a fee with Arsenal could prove to be a potential stumbling block for Besiktas.

The Black-Whites are operating on a tight budget this summer because of pressure from UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules to curb spending, as well as the weakening of the Turkish Lira to the Pound and Euro.

Fabri has just 12 months remaining on his contract and has not been offered an extension.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

If a move goes ahead, Fulham goalkeeper coach Jose Sambade would be set for his third reunion with Fabri. Sambade previously worked with Fabri at Deportivo La Coruna and Besiktas. And the coach is a keen admirer of Fabri and played an important role in convincing the keeper to make the move to Turkey in 2016.

Besiktas finished the 2017-18 Super Lig campaign in fourth place and will compete in the Europa League next season.

Fabinho jokes he’ll get Kylian Mbappe to swap PSG for Liverpool

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First-year Liverpool player Fabinho has joked that he will “try slowly to convince” former Monaco teammate Kylian Mbappe to swap Paris for Merseyside.

Fabinho, 24, and Mbappe both played for Monaco before the former signed for Liverpool and the latter moved to Paris Saint-Germain.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

And the Brazilian told reporters about the newly minted World Cup winner with France: “Kylian Mbappe sent me a text message congratulating me for coming to Liverpool.

“Unfortunately I have not had a chance to congratulate him for what he did during this World Cup.7

“What France did was fantastic. What Mbappe did in two years of professional football is amazing. He is a phenomenon and needs to be congratulated, and as soon as I have the chance I will.

“He has already said for this season he will remain at PSG, but I will try slowly to convince him to come over.”

Fabinho is joined at Anfield this season by fellow newcomers Naby Keita, Xherdan Shaqiri and goalkeeper Allison, who completed his move to Liverpool on Thursday in a record deal for a goalkeeper.

Liverpool finished the previous campaign in fourth place, 25 points adrift of winner Manchester City, but Fabinho believes the new additions can help Jurgen Klopp’s team push for the title in 2018-19.

“I believe so,” he said. “I believe we have a very good team and we will be able to fight for the title.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

“I understand we have excellent players. We have an excellent manager. I understand also that City are the champions and last season they produced excellent football.

Cavaliers waive veteran center Kendrick Perkins

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The Cleveland Cavaliers have waived veteran center Kendrick Perkins, the team announced Tuesday.

Perkins was signed by the team on the final day of the regular season and did not play a single minute in the 2018 postseason.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Perkins was a member of the Cavs team that made the 2015 NBA Finals and was back with them for training camp this fall, before being released during the preseason. He played part of the season for the Canton Charge, the Cavs’ G League affiliate.8

Perkins, 33, won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008 and was part of three other Finals teams in Boston, Oklahoma City and Cleveland.nfl cheap jerseys nike

His last NBA action before this season came during the 2015-16 season, when he averaged 2.8 points and 3.5 rebounds for the New Orleans Pelicans in 37 games.

The Cavs added Perkins more for the veteran leadership he could provide to the Cavs’ locker room and less for his on-court contributions, league sources told ESPN in April.

Sources: Kawhi Leonard considers participating in USA Basketball camp

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San Antonio Spurs star Kawhi Leonard is seriously considering participation in the USA Basketball national team’s minicamp in Las Vegas next week, an event for the embattled All-NBA forward to showcase the status of his recovery to prospective trade partners, league sources told ESPN.

Leonard has been listed as one of the 35 players invited to the camp at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas since April, but his recovery from a season-ending quadriceps injury and possible trade status created uncertainty about his intentions.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich will lead the camp in his role as national team coach.7

Monday was the first official date Leonard had been eligible to sign a five-year, $221 million super-maximum contract extension, but it came and went with Leonard having already made it clear that he does not want to return San Antonio.

So far, the Sixers have held out three players — Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz — in talks. Boston hasn’t included five players, including Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward and Al Horford. The Celtics and Sixers have offered pick-heavy packages that haven’t moved the Spurs, league sources said.

The Sixers have the most insight into his medical condition because Leonard used New York-based Jonathan Glashow, the Sixers’ orthopedic surgeon, as one of his primary outside physicians. “In some ways, [Leonard] has made it so the Sixers know more about his recovery than the Spurs do,” one rival executive said.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Recently, there has been less traction around the possibility of the Celtics’ and Sixers’ talks with the Spurs. Those teams are well-positioned for the future, and aren’t in the marketplace to be risk-takers. And Leonard — with his murky health picture, his desire to be in Los Angeles — constitutes a risk on some levels.

So far, the Lakers are playing the longer game in trade talks, confident in the belief that Leonard wants to play with them and plans to sign in free agency in July 2019.

The Spurs’ negotiating style — initially scripted conversations with teams, slow-developing — doesn’t always lend itself to a rapid acceleration of deal talks. San Antonio has been methodical in is approach to searching out a deal.

Through conversations with opposing teams, it appears that the Spurs want to bring back an All-Star-caliber player, high-potential young players and draft assets in a Leonard deal. For now, the threshold on a trade is considerable and it remains unclear if the marketplace will command such a significant return.

Portland extend unbeaten run to 12 games in goalless draw at LAFC

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The Portland Timbers extended their unbeaten streak to 12 matches by earning a 0-0 draw at LAFC at Banc of California Stadium Sunday.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

Portland (has eight wins and four ties in its last dozen games, while LAFC improved to 5-0-4 at home in its first season and has four wins and two ties in the past six games.

LAFC midfielder Lee Nguyen was shown a red card in the 84th minute for his high-footed challenge that struck Timbers midfielder Sebastian Blanco in the leg.

Four minutes later, LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller went to the ground to stuff a dribbling Diego Valeri. Miller made six saves for his sixth shutout of the season.

Portland’s Jeff Attinella earned his fifth clean sheet with six saves, including one on a snap header by Carlos Vela in the 93rd minute.8

The Timbers missed an opportunity for the opening score in the 5th minute when Miller stopped Valeri, who had stripped Benny Feilhaber for the breakaway.

In the 31st minute, Adama Diomande missed giving LAFC the lead. He took a scooped pass from Joao Moutinho over his shoulder and one-touched a shot to the right post, but Attinella was there to make the save.

Portland was inches from scoring early in the second half only to see a strike from Samuel Armenteros hit the post.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

The teams played the first of two matches against each other in a span of four days at Banc of California Stadium. They meet Wednesday in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match.

Portland returns to MLS play Saturday vs. the Montreal Impact. Timbers midfielder Diego Chara will miss the game because of yellow-card accumulation after receiving a caution in the first half.

The protracted battle between Marvell Wynne and MLS that led to the end of his career

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The MLS veteran and former U.S. international announced his retirement from the game in a Twitter post back on April 20. It wasn’t aging legs or a decline in ability that ended his career, but rather a heart defect that despite being corrected by surgery, resulted in him not being cleared to play.

“It’s not really the way I wanted to go out after being in the league for 13 years, but I guess my hand was kind of forced,” said Wynne via telephone. “I didn’t really have an option, to be honest.”

Before the start of the 2017 season, Wynne signed a new two-year deal with the San Jose Earthquakes that would have earned him $257,000 a year. But during the preseason physical, Wynne was diagnosed with an enlarged aortic root, the section of the aorta closest to and attached to the heart, consisting of the aortic valve and the openings for the coronary arteries. The typical diameter of an aortic root is 2 to 3 centimeters, while Wynne’s was between 4.4 and 4.8 centimeters. Surgery is usually recommended only if the diameter exceeds 5 centimeters, but Wynne was told by his doctors that the rigors of playing professional soccer necessitated having surgery if he wanted to continue playing.cheap official nike nfl jerseys

Wynne opted for surgery, a nine-hour operation that took place on March 24, 2017, at Stanford Medical Center. Wynne recalled that the surgeon, Dr. Craig Miller, discovered in the operation that the walls of Wynne’s aortic root were thinner than normal, like a water balloon filled with too much water.

“I was actually at high risk for a rupture because they couldn’t tell the actual thickness of my aorta,” said Wynne.7

Wynne is not the first professional athlete Dr. Miller has operated on. In 2005, Dr. Miller performed a similar operation on now-former NBA player Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf not only recovered, but he went on to play eight seasons in the NBA. Granted, the sports are different, but both involved a certain level of physicality as well as aerobic intensity. Dr. Miller also performed a similar operation on an F-18 Navy fighter pilot who was able to regain his flight status in spite of sustaining considerable G-forces on his chest.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

The surgery was a success, but Wynne’s future as a professional soccer player was still unclear. His agent and the MLS Players Association asked that Wynne’s future be assessed post-surgery, and the league agreed. In the interim, MLS continued paying Wynne, although it was under no obligation to do so, considering he officially failed the entrance physical.

Wynne was keen to get back on the field as soon as possible, and he was cleared by both Dr. Miller and his cardiologist, Dr. David Liang, to begin ramping up his workouts.

To that end, Wynne was seen by MLS’ cardiologist, Dr. Matthew Martinez, in mid-June. In an undated letter obtained by ESPN FC that Dr. Martinez sent to Wynne, he indicated that Wynne “was doing well at that time and his CT indicated the repair of his ascending aorta was stable without complications.”