After surgeries, Chapman ready to help A’s contend again

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Matt Chapman didn’t have a lot of time to savor his strong season — or the Oakland Athletics’ surprise playoff run — during the winter.

The 25-year-old third baseman had planned to have surgery on his right thumb after the season ended, but he also ended up getting an operation on his left shoulder in December. Both injuries had been bothering Chapman for a while.

“The shoulder was kind of a fluke thing, but it was hurting me the last couple years,” Chapman said. “Just overuse. … I didn’t really think it was anything besides just being sore.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Now he’s ready to build on a year in which he hit 24 homers, won a Gold Glove and finished seventh in AL MVP voting.10

His preparation has been compressed because of the surgeries and Oakland’s early start to spring training and the regular season. The A’s will travel to Japan to play the Seattle Mariners in the season-opening series on March 20-21.

“I think he’s right on schedule,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said Friday. “We maybe got him in there a day earlier than we expected. He’s running up close to 20 at-bats, which I didn’t think we’d have right now. I think everything’s going great with him.”nfl nike jersey cheap

Chapman has been to the plate 16 times this spring, with four walks and four hits including a double and a home run.

“Just getting more and more healthy and strong each day,” he said. “No excuses now.”

The A’s won a surprising 97 games last year even with injuries to their entire starting rotation. Now they’re aiming even higher.

“Hopefully continue to build on what we did last year,” Chapman said. “One hundred wins. Win the division. If your goals going into the season aren’t to win your division or make the playoffs, then what are you playing for?”

Molina continues comeback, catches Mikolas

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St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina took another step in his comeback from left knee surgery in December by catching Opening Day starter Miles Mikolas in a camp game Wednesday.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Molina, a nine-time All-Star, took part in a game played at the team’s complex in Jupiter, Florida, that included players who didn’t travel for the Cardinals’ 9-5 win over the New York Yankees in Tampa.9

“Yadi caught Miles, threw a couple guys out, took his at-bats, so favorable positive day back on the ranch so to speak,” manager Mike Shildt said. “They got their work in. It’s a good day for the Cardinals.”

The 36-year-old Molina has not played in a spring training game. He has averaged 133 games behind the plate over the past three seasons.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Mikolas went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA and was an NL All-Star last season.

Source: Bennett reunion with Patriots possible

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There could be a Bennett brothers reunion in New England, with Michael set to join the team via trade and Martellus contemplating a return to football.

The Philadelphia Eagles have informed Michael Bennett that they are planning to trade him to the Patriots, the defensive end told ESPN’s Josina Anderson on Friday. With that trade set to be finalized, tight end Martellus Bennett is interested in coming out of retirement to join his brother in New England, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

The Eagles would receive a fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft and send Michael Bennett and a 2020 seventh-round pick to the Patriots, a league source told Schefter. Philly.com was first to report that a trade was close to completion.10

Bennett played in 16 games (10 starts) last season and totaled nine sacks. He has 63 sacks over his 10-year career.

He told NFL Network earlier Friday that he was looking for a pay raise. He is scheduled to earn a base salary of $6.2 million in 2019 with a $1 million roster bonus.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Michael Bennett could have a quick reunion with the Eagles, as they are set to host the Patriots next season.

By acquiring Bennett, it could soften the blow if the Patriots lose defensive end Trey Flowers, who led New England in sacks each of the past three seasons, in free agency. According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Bennett had 51 total pressures last season to tie for 13th in the NFL. Flowers led the Patriots with 45 pressures.

Bennett, 33, told Anderson that Patriots coach Bill Belichick has been fond of his game.

Locked in at a reasonable salary for the upcoming season, the Eagles recognized there could be a market for Bennett given the lack of quality pass-rushers in free agency.

What matters when evaluating QBs today? Not height and arm strength

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The secret sauce remains elusive to those trying to find the perfect formula for scouting college quarterbacks. It’s quite possible the code will never be cracked. There will always be hits and misses as the search for the next Patrick Mahomes or Tom Brady ensues. There is no perfect process.

Different evaluators concentrate on different traits. Some might be physical and easy to spot, others like trying to find a foul stench in the wind.

The answers received around NFL combine week about top priorities for a quarterback prospect ranged from instincts to leadership to functional intelligence to decision-making to production. One thing became certain roaming Indianapolis: Height isn’t at the top of the list.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

This is especially relevant with Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray, all 5-foot-10 1/8 of him, in this year’s NFL draft. It seemed as if all the talk out of Indianapolis — from those working for teams to those close to Murray — was he would be the No. 1 overall pick by the Arizona Cardinals.8
The decision could depend on what the Giants see in each prospect. General manager Dave Gettleman is looking for a quarterback who can make all — or most — of the throws. He wants a quarterback who is athletic, but pass-first, not run-first. It’s the subtle pocket movements that matter most to the evaluator who has watched Jim Kelly, John Elway, Manning and Cam Newton most of his career.nfl cheap jerseys nike

This could play a large part in the Giants’ decision. Haskins’ pocket presence and ability to navigate around pressure might be the biggest question about his game. Can he move enough?

This is important to Gettleman, but not necessarily the most important quality being sought.

“A non-negotiable for me is instincts. It really is,” Gettleman said. “There are guys that are big, great arm, great athletes. They can’t figure it out. I don’t think people talk about it enough. Instincts are critical. You turn around at every position — people will fall in love with the height, weight, speed, defensive tackle, but you put his hand in the dirt, he can’t find the ball, he doesn’t understand blocking schemes — so all this great height, weight, speed, whatever he’s got, it doesn’t make a difference.”

Chelsea’s Hudson-Odoi should not be held back by age – Loftus-Cheek

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Hudson-Odoi came off the bench to cap a lively 12-minute cameo with Chelsea’s third goal in a 3-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League round-of-16 first leg on Thursday. And after the match, Loftus-Cheek said talent should be the only consideration when deciding his teammate’s minutes on the pitch.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“If he’s good enough, he’s good enough,” Loftus-Cheek said of Hudson-Odoi. “I think the manager knows him well.

“He sees him in training every day and he will make the decision. But Callum is doing well at the minute and that’s all you can do. I think he is doing so well now; he just wants to play. He is young, fresh, has that momentum. He is scoring so when he doesn’t start and feels he should, it’s part of the game.10

“I’ve told him: ‘You’re at a big club, you’re young, just keep your head focused and keep doing what you’re doing’ — like he did against Dynamo. He came on and did well.”

Hudson-Odoi submitted a formal transfer request in January after Bayern Munich bid £35 million to sign him, and fears remain that the 18-year-old will simply force his way out of Stamford Bridge this summer by threatening to run down his contract, which expires in June 2020.

Loftus-Cheek, who spent years on the fringes of Chelsea’s first-team squad before joining Crystal Palace on loan in 2017, said he sympathises with his teammate.

“I know what he is going through, having been at that age in the first team as well,” Loftus-Cheek said. “If I can help him do well, I’d love to do that.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“He is such a good kid and seeing him do so well I’m really happy for him — to give him that assist felt good.”

Loftus-Cheek’s own attempts to break into Chelsea’s starting XI under Sarri this season have been undermined by persistent back injuries, but the midfielder said he is cautiously optimistic that the worst of his fitness nightmare is behind him.

Liga MX W2W4: Monterrey and Tigres clash in Clasico Regio, La Volpe returns to Toluca

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It doesn’t get much bigger than this. A crosstown rivalry clash between the two title favorites will be one of the defining moments of the Clausura.

Sitting in the top two spots of the Liga MX table, Tigres and Monterrey have so far been the most impressive teams in 2019. Thanks to a reliable backline and a six-game winning streak, Tigres are currently sitting in first place on 22 points. Although Monterrey are one point behind their local rivals, Los Rayados’ attack remains the most dominant in the league.

At the risk of overlooking some of the X’s and O’s of the Clasico, there is very little between the two rivals who both boast an embarrassment of riches on the pitch. Even if Tigres striker Andre-Pierre Gignac isn’t 100 percent fit and available this week, the upcoming match will still be a star-studded affair that will feature many of the league’s top talents.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale9

With some help from a restored attack, Tijuana has surpassed all expectations. A current position of fourth in the league table and a place in the quarterfinals of the Copa MX has caught even the most optimistic of Tijuana fans off guard. Benefitting from Pareja’s leadership on the sidelines, Xolos are also on an eight-game unbeaten streak in all competitions.

Will Pareja extend that streak to nine this Saturday against Pachuca?cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Even though they’ve have had some serious defensive issues this season, Los Tuzos have remained quite strong at home. In the last 11 league games at the Estadio Hidalgo, Pachuca have collected eight victories and three draws. When looking at their previous Copa MX and Liga MX matches, Xolos have also never gained an away win over Pachuca.

After his early success with Tijuana, will Pareja be the first Xolos manager to steal three points at the Hidalgo?

MVP? Champion? Captain? Expectations sky-high for Aaron Judge in Year 3

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At this early stage of his career, Aaron Judge’s résumé already reads like a dream of a baseball-loving 11-year-old.

Home Run Derby champion. Fifty-two homer season. Rookie of the Year. Seven October bombs in back-to-back playoff appearances.cheap nfl custom jerseys

After an eventful first two seasons that have featured several milestones and accolades — and yes, injuries — what aside from winning a World Series is there for the 26-year-old New York Yankees superstar to accomplish in Year 3?

“See, that’s kind of the thing that drives me, to be honest,” Judge said in front of his George M. Steinbrenner Field locker earlier in spring training. “Nobody really knows. I don’t even know.10

“People can speculate and say, ‘He’s like this guy, he’s like that guy.’ But that unknown is kind of what drives me. Like, how good can you be? How good could somebody be? Just having that constant motivation of the unknown is kind of what pushes me.”

The projection sites have weighed in on what kind of hitter they think Judge will be in 2019. At best, they expect him to sneak over the 40-homer plateau. At worst, they’re anticipating he’ll struggle to hit .250.

Those who see Judge every day scoff at those numbers. As the right fielder enters a new phase of his career, they’re bracing for a whole lot more.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

“I guess the next step is winning the MVP,” veteran Yankees starter CC Sabathia said.

Do that, and bring a ring to the Bronx, and Judge will enter into the territory where one Yankees legend believes he belongs.

“His competition, for me, is in the monuments. His competition, for me, is the history of the Yankees,” said Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, referring to the plaques in Yankee Stadium’s Monument Park. “If you look at some of the things he has done, he compares to [Babe] Ruth and [Lou] Gehrig. He’s put up crazy numbers.”

How Mike Trout could wind up with Bryce Harper in Philly

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The ink is barely dry on Bryce Harper’s contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, and Mike Trout is under contract with the Los Angeles Angels for the next two seasons, but everyone already is talking about what might happen after the 2020 season. That’s when Trout can hit free agency and sign with the Phillies, teaming up with the player he was so closely linked with back in 2012, when both were hotshot rookies.cheap nfl custom jerseys

Consider some of the comments after Harper’s 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies was announced:

Jeff Passan, ESPN.com: “The deal is mutually beneficial. Philadelphia adds a middle-of-the-order bat to a lineup that already includes the homegrown Rhys Hoskins and a pair of dangerous trade acquisitions: catcher J.T. Realmuto and shortstop Jean Segura. It gets to sell tickets and sponsorships around Harper. And because the deal’s average annual value is $25.4 million, it gets flexibility to spend more in coming offseasons and not run the risk of exceeding the luxury-tax threshold. In other words: Yes, an outfield with Harper and Philadelphia-area native Mike Trout is realistic.”9
Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic: “So, $330 million was the magic number. The average fan probably sees no further than that total. The average Phillies fan likely is salivating, knowing Harper’s relatively low AAV will give the team greater room under the luxury-tax threshold and enable it to pursue other expensive players in the future — most notably Mike Trout if he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season.”

Joe Sheehan’s newsletter: “There’s no need to be coy; Mike Trout is scheduled to reach free agency at the end of the 2020 season, and he plays for a team that has made the postseason once in his seven full seasons, one that is unlikely to get to October in 2019.”cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Then came the hammer, from Harper himself during his introductory news conference in Clearwater, Florida, on Saturday: “I’m making 26 [million] a year. That’s going to be able to bring some other guys in as well to build up this organization. There’s another guy in about two years that comes off the books. We’ll see what happens with that.”

If that sounds like a recruiting pitch for Trout, well, that’s exactly what it was. Harper even said he consulted with Trout during his free-agent process. Of course, there is no guarantee that Trout reaches free agency. The Angels remain hopeful about signing him to a mega-extension, although if that happens it likely won’t happen until next offseason. On Friday, the day after Harper’s agreement with the Phillies broke, Trout remained mum on his future, saying his focus is on getting ready for the season.

Here’s hoping: LeBron, Simmons still a chance for Melbourne showdown

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Marvel Stadium could be the stage for a dream match-up between NBA superstars LeBron James and Ben Simmons when Team USA take on the Australian Boomers in a highly-anticipated FIBA World Cup warm-up series.

More than 90,000 tickets have been sold for the two-match series to be held in August as teams prepare for the World Cup that kicks off in China on August 31.

USA Basketball national team director Sean Ford and Basketball Australia acting chief executive Paul Maley led a delegation that toured the Docklands facility on Tuesday afternoon.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

Ford outlined the difficulties involved in assembling a roster of NBA superstars, but is hopeful James, an unabashed fan of incoming coach Gregg Popovich, will opt to play.10

“I think he would like to play for coach Popovich, but of all the athletes, LeBron probably has the most going on both on and off the court,” Ford said. “I mean we would love to have him … who wouldn’t, right?

Whether ‘King’ James is present for the August 22 and 24 games or not, Ford is confident there will be plenty of big-name NBA talent on show for the locals.

“It’s hard for us to say ‘These five or six guys will be here’,” he said. “I’m confident that we will have a quality team here with high-level NBA players … who exactly they will be I can’t say right now.”

Meanwhile, Simmons remains coy about his availability for the 2019 World Cup.

With a mega-dollar contract extension with Philadelphia 76ers in the offing, he has a lot to lose if he suffers a major injury playing for his country.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“He is a 22-year-old and most of us can only comprehend a little bit of what his life is like,” Maley said. “He’s in the middle of a season where they are legitimately hopeful of going deep into the playoffs, then there’s contracts coming up and all sorts of things.

Beverley: Clippers ‘want it more’ than Lakers

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“There was seven people in here on media day,” Beverley explained in the Clippers locker room after beating the Lakers. “I told Shai [Gilgeous-Alexander], look [around] the room, there’s seven people … watch at the end of the year [how many more there will be]. Like I said about us being the best team in L.A., a lot of people don’t believe me, it’s fine.

“Women lie. Men lie. Numbers don’t.”

Like Beverley, the Clippers just keep grinding and proving people wrong as they’ve won three straight and are in seventh place in the Western Conference standings despite trading away their leading scorer and rebounder, Tobias Harris, at the trade deadline.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Meanwhile, the Lakers’ season keeps fading away as LeBron James watched his team fall for the ninth time in the past 12 games.

Beverley played a significant part in adding to the Lakers’ demise with 13 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists. He took on the assignment of guarding James and picking him up at half court at times as well.9

“Aggravating, defensive, hard-nosed, competitive,” teammate Montrezl Harrell said of Beverley. “That is what he brings to our game, that is what he brings every night. Before the coaches even went down to who’s got who, Pat came in and said I got LeBron.

Beverley’s tenacity helped set the tone for the Clippers. Beverley came into the game with something to prove, reminding some in the locker room on Sunday after the Clippers defeated the Knicks that he had predicted who would be the best team in L.A. before the season began.

Even though Beverley plays like he has something to prove every night, the Clippers guard looked extra motivated against the Lakers.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

“I played for Miami, with LeBron,” Beverley said of being in training camp with the Heat in 2010. “They cut me. I got drafted by the Lakers, they traded me to Miami. Bron got there, they cut me.