That took it up a notch. Things got out of hand, fast.

Game Kids Chance Warmack Jersey The next time the teams played, in Boston on Monday, Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy hit Boston’s Mookie Betts in the thigh with a fastball. So, on Tuesday new Red Sox ace Chris Sale threw a fastball behind Machado, prompting an emotional, profanity-laced tirade from Baltimore’s superstar after the game. It’s hard to blame him for being pissed.

I wrote last week how it’s way beyond time for MLB to implement much, much stronger penalties for pitchers who throw baseballs at players’ heads. With all that we know about the long-terms dangers of concussions and head injuries, it’s absolutely reckless for baseball to treat a baseball thrown at the head the same as a pitch thrown at the butt when it comes to punishments.

Barnes was suspended only four games. As a reliever — not Boston’s closer or set-up guy, by the way — that realistically keeps him out of, at most, two appearances. It’s a laughable punishment from MLB and commissioner Rob Manfred.

Benjamin Watson Womens Jersey That version of balk aside, the other seemingly mysterious and sometimes confusing balk rules about not deceiving the runner don’t add much to the game or preserve any real sense of integrity. Deception in some form has always been part of the game. So, yeah, fake pickoff throws to any base should be OK. It should also be OK to accidentally drop the ball while on the mound. Perhaps the only actions that should be considered balks are fake pitches and stopping the delivery midway through.

Seahawks’ Kam Chancellor upset at ‘No Fun League’ for proposed rule change

The NFL has leaping rules in place on field-goal attempts, but if you’re athletic enough then there’s a loophole. Well, the NFL reportedly is trying to close that loophole as officials meet with one another this offseason.

NFL competition committee is likely to propose ban on field goal and extra point ‘leaps,’ source said, as suggested by NFLPA at combine.

The loophole is being able to time the snap perfectly and jump over everyone on both lines without the assist of others. If you put your hands on a teammate to help you jump, then it’s illegal. The task is extremely difficult to do, but Kam Chancellor managed to pull it off twice in a 2015 game against the Panthers.

Limited Womens Jason Jones Jersey When he met with reporters for the first time in spring training last week, Scherzer admitted the injury, which was revealed in the offseason, is lingering.

Looking at the MRIs and everything, the fracture in my knuckle is essentially healed even though I still am experiencing some symptoms in the site, as everything finally comes up and gets healed, Scherzer said, via FederalBaseball.com. Over the course of this I’ve been able to throw tennis balls, throw lacrosse balls and at least keep my arm in some kind of functional standpoint

Gerald McCoy Elite Jersey Right now, this is the week I’ve finally been able to pick a baseball up and be able to throw for me, a modified grip, but not my true grip. And so as this fracture continues to heal, as the symptoms continue to alleviate, as we get treatment on everything, I’ll be able to work back into all my grips and obviously be able to get back on the mound.

Opening day is still more than month distant, but this is obviously a story to watch.

Braves hilariously set ‘Big Sexy’ Bartolo Colon’s photoshoot to smooth jazz

Bartolo Colon may have packed on a few pounds over his 20 years in the majors, but he’s still Big Sexy.

Womens Jamie Langenbrunner Jersey The 43-year-old, who signed a one-year deal with the Braves worth a reported $12.5 million, recently posed for player portraits during spring training.

His new team is having fun with his infamous nickname and gifted the internet with this hilarious video of his photoshoot set to some smooth jazz:

Diamond and crew followed the team to a TV room off the visitors’ clubhouse as players anxiously gathered to watch the final innings of the Dodgers and Giants at Candlestick Park.

The Braves hadn’t done things the easy way all season, so this extra obstacle seemed only fitting. After all the ups and downs the season delivered, the Braves’ immediate fate was out of their hands 鈥?and that made for spectacular drama.

It was like, You can’t write this script,’ Diamond said.
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The room was a mix of nerves, fatigue and hope, the tension rising with each out.

When the Dodgers’ Bill Russell grounded out to the Giants’ Darrell Evans at third to give the Braves the division, the emotions quickly shifted to relief, jubilation and satisfaction.

But the wild celebration that unfolded tested Diamond and his crew, who, after months of bonding with the team, struggled to remain impartial observers as the champagne flowed.

We had to be careful not to get so caught up in the euphoria that we were going to miss documenting the story, Diamond said. Part of my youth was, this was so exciting and so mesmerizing that sometimes I had to take a step back. My job is to document what’s going on not be a part of what’s going on.

The gap between Cook and top-10 picks Leonard Fournette and McCaffrey still shouldn’t be that wide.

You only get to take so many people with you to the draft so I thought it was best because I’ve had a lot of people involved in my life through the process so I wanted to share that moment with everybody, Howard told Sporting News. It was best for me to stay back and have everybody here for a party.

Comfortable might be the way to describe Howard, a 6-6, 251-pound tight end who impressed at the NFL Combine with a 4.51 in the 40-yard yard dash. Howard averaged 15.1 yards per reception over four years with Alabama. He’s most remembered for his play in the last two national championship games against Clemson.

The gap between Cook and top-10 picks Leonard Fournette and McCaffrey still shouldn’t be that wide. Cook was every bit as productive as those counterparts. Cook rushed for 3,456 yards and 38 touchdowns the last two seasons. He will show that over the next few seasons. It works out for Minnesota, which gets to replace one franchise back in Adrian Peterson with another one in Cook.

But the Cowboys 鈥?with defense as a priority as they build on a surprising 13-3 season 鈥?caught Lewis long before he dropped too far down. They took his Michigan teammate, defensive end Taco Charlton, with their first-round pick.
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Elite Mens Nevin Lawson Jersey In recent years, the Cowboys have taken Randy Gregory after a failed combine drug test sent him plunging down the draft board; traded for Rolando McClain after his drug issues had aborted his stays with two previous teams; and given Greg Hardy a one-year deal after he’d sat out nearly a full season following a domestic violence conviction that was later wiped out before a re-trial could take place.

The Cowboys took a cornerback, Chidobie Awuzie, in the second round, and reportedly are shopping incumbent Orlando Scandrick. Where Lewis fits in is hard to predict so early. He has a window to play. But he was not projected as an automatic starter, even before his legal issues. He was the 15th cornerback taken in a deep draft.

NFL free agency 2017: Where the top 100 free agents have signed

There’s no shortage of optimism for NFL fans in the spring, and nothing says hope springs eternal like a brand new free agent acquisition. The player your team just signed is totally going to be the difference this year; you just know it!

While there are a few names still on the market, most of the biggest money has already been spent in the weeks since NFL free agency began on March 9.

Grooming a young franchise quarterback is an art, not a science.

For a team to overcome high QB bust odds, it needs to know everything about itself and everything about the quarterback in question. That’s what teams like the Bears and Texans need to do in 2017.

It’s getting harder to be patient and sit a quarterback given the demands on coaches and offenses to produce quick turnarounds. In more cases, the so-called rushing quarterbacks into action is the only option.

The Texans and Bears in 2017 are faced with such conundrums with Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky, respectively. The Chiefs (Patrick Mahomes) and Browns (DeShone Kizer) might even find themselves in similar situations by the time training camp arrives.

But which approach — start or sit the rookie franchise passer — has been preferred in the league’s recent passing-boom history?

SN’s Vinnie Iyer and Tadd Haislop look back at franchise-hopeful quarterbacks drafted over the last 14 seasons and determine whether one plan truly is better than the other.

Editor’s note: This list, updated from its 2016 version, includes last year’s rookie quarterbacks for additional context.nike_steelers_3004

Westbrook was the story of the season

Kawhi Leonard is, in my opinion, the best player in the league right now, Popovich said after San Antonio’s 103-96 Game 6 victory to eliminate Memphis on Thursday. He’s the best two-way player and does it all with such class. It’s impressive.

Leonard ran amok against the Grizzlies, averaging 31.2 points per game, including a 43-point Game 4 barrage that nearly went to double overtime. He did so shooting 54.8 percent from the field, 48.3 percent from three, and 96.7 percent from the foul line, far and away the most efficient shooting mark of any player to average at least 17 points in the first round.

Elite Womens Randy Gregory Jersey In the small-sample-size theater that is the postseason, a few major runs by a certain lineup can certainly have a huge impact. There are a few other huge plus-minus swings in the postseason: The Wizards have been outscored by 23 points in Bradley Beal’s 43 minutes off the court, and Chicago has lost by 26 in Dwyane Wade’s 69 minutes resting this series. But neither are nearly as severe as the two point guards above.

Austin Rivers Womens Jersey Westbrook was the story of the season, and the Thunder always fell apart when he sat throughout the entire year. We talked a lot about how that cost them the playoffs, and his on/off splits are admittedly even worse by a small margin. But now Westbrook is eliminated, and it’s time to do the same with Conley.

The Grizzlies are actually pretty similar to the Thunder in two respects, and it’s the same two areas that are killing them.

Memphis’ backup point guard, Andrew Harrison, is a below-average backup point guard who shot 32.5 percent in 80 games during the regular season. In Oklahoma City’s series against Houston, they tried two backup guards (Semaj Christon and Norris Cole) before giving up and putting Victor Oladipo at signal caller when Westbrook rested. None of those options worked, and the same thing is playing out in Memphis.

Even the 49ers were confused why the Bears traded up for Mitchell Trubisky

The Chicago Bears had a strange approach to the 2017 draft. Nothing was more confusing than their decision to sacrifice three picks to move up one spot, from No. 3 to No. 2, in a reach to get North Carolina quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

Trubisky has the tools to develop into a viable NFL starter, but the Bears are paying Mike Glennon $18.5 million dollars to start this year. It was hasty to sacrifice additional picks to move up to draft another quarterback when the Bears have glaring needs elsewhere on the roster.

Jared Crick Authentic Jersey Ross’ ACL tear was a freak accident in spring practice during his sophomore season. Somebody was in his way, and he jumped out of the way to avoid contact.

He heard the pop, but was able to get up on his own and walk without any assistance. When he went to sleep that night, he woke up with his leg stuck at a 90 degree angle, and knew something wasn’t right.

The injury was the first time he had to go a year without football, which was a tough pill for Ross to swallow. But Ross said it was the best thing to ever happen to him because he was able to grow from it.

Speed was what got Ross into playing football, which goes for a lot of people. But his speed was another beast. The 40-yard dash record was thought to be so unbreakable, that Adidas offered the player who broke it their own island.

Ross didn’t get the island, but he got the record.
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His cousin told his girlfriend as they were watching that Ross was going to break the record. The speed was so fast that his grandmother said she almost had a heart attack. She knew the record was coming, though.

Jamaal Charles will visit Broncos, and could be a great fit

The Denver Broncos will be hosting former Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles for a visit on Tuesday, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

The Chiefs released Charles on Feb. 28 after he spent the first nine seasons of his career with the team. The veteran back turns 31 years old next season.

Last season, Charles was placed on IR after dealing with swelling in his knee that also landed him on IR during the 2015 season. After a re-evaluation, it was determined that he would need a second surgery on the knee. Spencer Ware’s emergence during the season made it easy for the team to move on.

Charles would be a good fit in Denver, though. The team started three different players at the position during the 2016 season, with rookie Devontae Booker and C.J. Anderson getting six and seven starts, respectively. He would have a lighter workload in Denver, and if he’s able to maintain good health, could be effective in a more limited role.

Signing Charles would be a low-risk, high-reward proposition for the Broncos. Charles is a versatile back who could be an added weapon for a team that appears to be going with Trevor Siemian as its starter for the 2017 season yet again. The more weapons the young quarterback can have around him, the better.

Limited Youth Shea McClellin Jersey In his last full healthy season, Charles rushed for over 1,000 yards, scoring nine touchdowns, with nearly 300 receiving yards. He’s been a Pro Bowler four times, as well as earning two first-team All-Pro nominations.

Limited Youth David West Jersey Running backs with knee problems like Charles don’t get too much demand, but if he’s healthy, it’s a smart and inexpensive move for the Broncos to make. He’d also have a chance to show he can do it against a divisional rival, the Chiefs.

At Michigan’s Pro Day, Peppers said he’d be the steal of the draft.

It’s likely Samuel will play wide receiver for the Panthers, and regardless — they just got much more dangerous. Cam Newton has been playing amazing football but the Panthers have had a lack of playmakers next to him on offense. They now have two more.

Sticking with the running back position, the Vikings took Cook out of Florida State. With the last few years of the Adrian Peterson era being tumultuous at best, the Vikings are now finally ready to move on with Cook, who will step right in and be a contributor from Day 1.

The Cleveland Browns, who took Myles Garrett with the first pick of the draft, passed up taking a quarterback twice despite having nothing interesting at the position. They finally took DeShone Kizer off the board at No. 52 overall, a pick they received from the Titans. Kizer has so much potential, but his tendency for frustrating mistakes make him a gamble. But he’s a gamble that will now be in Cleveland.

At Michigan’s Pro Day, Peppers said he’d be the steal of the draft.

“Whatever team takes me, it’s going to be a steal,” Peppers said, via the AP. “I don’t care what the draft experts — and things like that — what they have to say. I only care about what these GMs and coaches think about me. I just need the opportunity. That’s it.”

Hooker was languishing behind then-starters Vonn Bell and Tyvis Powell, and he was tired of not playing. The Pennsylvania native was also homesick. He told his mother, Angela Dennis, that he wanted to transfer somewhere closer to home. She wasn’t having it.

“Her exact words were: ‘I don’t know what you’re going to do. But you’re not coming back home,'” Hooker said.

It’s a good thing he stuck it out, because he became a star.nike_broncos_3097

Chicago opened opportunities to enhance the fan experience

The Cowboys gambled on Lewis, who will have a hearing for one count of misdemeanor domestic violence in late July.

Lewis was a key figure in the Wolverines’ recent revival. The dynamic cornerback plays the pass well in man coverage, and his Big Ten tenure suggests he’s the kind of player defensive coordinators can leave on an island, even against top receivers. Though his 5’10 frame leaves him vulnerable against bigger wideouts, his innate ability to track and explode toward the ball made him one of the NCAA’s most impressive defensive backs.

Over his last three seasons, Lewis has made only six interceptions but broke up 35 potential completions — a rate of more than one per game. In 2016, opposing quarterbacks completed just seven of their 30 pass attempts to receivers he was covering. He changes directions well and mirrors receivers though the first move of their routes, offering little separation.

Limited Mens Sheldon Richardson Jersey Chicago opened opportunities to enhance the fan experience, including Draft Town, an interactive experience for fans in Grant Park. But like Chicago, the move to Philadelphia is not expected to become an annual tradition.

The NFL decided on Chicago in October 2014, after sending letters to New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles about hosting it.

Limited Youth Kenyan Drake Jersey As far as the coming years go, it would appear as if we’ll likely have to wait and see on a year-by-year basis. For 2018, Dallas is being considered, as are several other big cities, according to NFL.com:

Other cities that have expressed interest in hosting the event include Chicago, Canton, Denver, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. Falcons owner Arthur Blank told ESPN last month that he would like to see Atlanta considered as a draft host, as well.