5 minor leaguer pitchers suspended for drug violations

Five minor league pitchers have been suspended for drug violations.

The commissioner’s office announced the penalties Tuesday.

Most improbable win versus Hornets: Yes, the Celtics rallied from 18 down on the road to beat the Thunder in early November and would twice come back from 17 down to beat the Warriors. But in between those games, Boston found itself devoid of stars when Irving absorbed an inadvertent elbow from teammate Aron Baynes and suffered a facial fracture against visiting Charlotte. Boston already was playing without Hayward and Al Horford (concussion). Stevens was left with a 12-man roster featuring seven players who weren’t in the NBA last season (six rookies and Shane Larkin, who played overseas). Somehow, Boston rallied from 18 down to keep its streak alive. If the league had decided to present Stevens with its Coach of the Year Award in the aftermath, few would have argued.

The Devils announced Wednesday that Palmieri was injured after being hit by a shot on Monday in a game at Minnesota.

The 26-year-old Palmieri had four goals and five assists in 13 games. He missed six games earlier this season after injuring his left foot in practice on Oct. 22. Since joining the team in 2015-16, he has 60 goals and 59 assists in 175 games.

Coby Fleener caught all five of his targets for 91 yards against Washington in Week 11. Despite the big performance, don’t feel the need to claim the Saints’ top tight end on waivers this week. Fleener entered the week with 196 yards and two touchdowns on the season. His 91-yard performance marked his highest yardage total since he put up 109 against the Falcons in Week 3 last season. Even after the big game, Fleener sits 25th at the position in fantasy points. He was out-snapped by both Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui in five straight games entering Week 11 and has been on the field for only 37 percent of the Saints’ offensive snaps (51 percent of the pass plays) this season.

The defense also isn’t playing at the same high level as last season.

Anyone can rent the Kismet, and take it anywhere they want, for $1.2 million a week. “Plus expenses,” notes Olav Hinke, one of boat’s captains. That’ll all cover the ship’s 28-person full-time staff, including three chefs, who are there at your beck and call. Bill Gates took the Kismet to Cabo once.

Also: GM Les Snead was on a cold streak at the end of last season, when he barely survived the ax that got Jeff Fisher. But Whitworth was a superior signing. Sullivan and Woods have become major additions. Snead’s architecture and McVay’s could have the Rams in contention in December, and who’d have thought that would happen with a coach who gets carded in L.A.

Dowling bounced around a few more semi-pro teams and then moved to New Jersey and got into teaching and coaching both football and lacrosse; he is now the athletic director of Madison (N.J.) High.

For all of those men, the game stands out as one of the most memorable moments in their lives. For Taylor, however, the game is an afterthought in one of the most decorated careers in NFL history. Despite a dominant performance, he doesn’t “even think about that that game as far as career accomplishments, [because] the players didn’t belong on the field.” After it was over, several of the replacement players approached LT and asked for his autograph.

“Looking back, it was pretty funny,” Taylor writes. “It’s amongst the strangest games I have ever played in.”

What has gone right: Even Engram has provided the pass-catching punch New York has lacked at tight end since Jeremy Shockey’s heyday. The 2017 first-round pick leads all rookie right ends in receptions with 30 for 342 yards and three touchdowns.

What has gone wrong: Even before star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. went down with a broken ankle in Week 5, the Giants had little offensive spark with Eli Manning getting battered behind a porous offensive line and lack of support in the running game.nike-womennfl-saints-153

They’ve been very productive since that time and playing very, very well as a team.

Elliott said he didn’t think about his pending hearing, which could determine whether he’s suspended the next six games or will be available for the rest of the season. He didn’t have the chance to because he called conditions so treacherous that he struggled to hold on to the ball late because of the rain and cold.

“It’s one of those ones you want back, but I feel like I learned from it,” Nugent said. “I was happy to connect on the rest.”

“I think on the power play, it may sound difficult, and it may not go in, but you need five guys thinking as one,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “And I think right now, we’ve got five guys thinking as five guys. And so nobody can read what you’re supposed to be doing. And we do have, there’s a plan in place, and we’ve got to get the guys to just do the plan.”

Hellebuyck continued his strong run in net for the Jets, who had made the move to acquire Steve Mason as the starting netminder in the offseason. While Mason has a 4.84 goals-against average and .872 save percentage in his four games, Hellebuyck’s numbers rank among the league’s best.

He entered the game sixth in the NHL in save percentage (.937). Hellebuyck (6-0-1) is the only goaltender in the NHL who has made at least five starts and is undefeated in regulation.

“They’ve really made a turnaround as a team, which I think speaks volumes of the coaching staff and the job that Ed Orgeron has done there to get the players to re-center, refocus, work on improving.

Alabama (8-0, 5-0 SEC) and LSU (6-2, 3-1) will meet Saturday at Bryant-Denny Stadium.patriots_002-180x180


The big question is what kind of player will Smart eventually be?

These outings, far more than the 14-pitch innings that Miller or Allen work in the regular season, are exhausting. They’re exhausting the day of, and they can be prohibitively exhausting for the next day or days. The pitch count watch is back!

We’ve seen some great, potentially series-changing plate appearances this postseason, which had the potential to matter not just in the moment but in the innings and days afterward. In Game 1 of the Yankees-Indians ALDS, New York DH Chase Headley faced Miller with one out and nobody on in the eighth inning. The Yankees trailed by four runs; they were 97 percent likely to lose, and even a home run by Headley wouldn’t change that figure much. But Headley worked Miller to a full count and fouled off six two-strike pitches, including five more or less perfect sliders:

What happened? With two other quarterbacks absent (Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn), Dorsey started three games for the 2008 Browns before getting injured himself. He was released by the Browns after the season by new head coach Eric Mangini.

He covets his experience and ballhandling abilities off the bench but has also said the Celtics must be flexible, and there could be matchups in which Smart makes sense with the first unit.

Is he the sort of player that can start opposite Kyrie Irving in Boston’s backcourt or will he live in that Sixth Man, energy-giving role?

Tilman Fertitta, who bought the Houston Rockets in September, says that nothing compares to owning a hometown team, especially walking into “this situation with James Harden and Chris Paul.”ravens_132

That’s what Saban said the year before when we lost to LSU, and we ended up playing in the national championship

Cornerback Xavien Howard missed Wednesday’s practice because of the shoulder injury he suffered in last week’s loss to the Saints. Howard’s potential absence could put veteran Byron Maxwell back in the starting lineup after he was recently benched. — James Walker

“That’s what Saban said the year before when we lost to LSU, and we ended up playing in the national championship. … I gave that same speech and the same thing ended up happening. We had one loss, we went back and won the SEC championship game, and got to play Notre Dame in Miami.”

Sumlin: “That whole year had an impact. [That] one game was a big deal. But the season — for what people thought would happen with the move to the SEC — I think that entire year was really a positive situation for the football program. … There’s pluses and minuses that came with that, too, and we all know what those are.”

Nico Johnson: “[Manziel] had a great season to that point and then he pretty much solidified his Heisman Trophy by going to Alabama and beating us in our house. It was crazy. And then we continued to win throughout the year and it made his performance even greater that day.”

Texas A&M radio play-by-play announcer Dave South: “I still say it to this day … I’ve seen some great players in those 47 years [of calling football], but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody like Johnny Manziel.”

And, as always, Dallas has to find a way to slow down Rodgers and the prolific Green Bay offense.

“Hopefully, we’ll make our share of plays and hopefully derail (Rodgers) and that offense,” Garrett said. “You feel like at times you do a really good job of defending him and somehow, some way he gets outs of it and makes a play anyway. You’ve got to tip your cap to him and keep going.”yankees_1543_10982fb137faf5ef-180x180

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians had surgery to remove cancerous spot on kidney

Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians had a “small portion” of his kidney removed in February after tests revealed a cancerous spot on the organ.

According to the team’s website, Arians revealed the medical scare in his new book, “The Quarterback Whisperer,” which was released Tuesday.

Arians learned of the diagnosis of renal cell carcinoma in December when his doctor noticed a spot on an ultrasound taken during an examination of a hernia. The 64-year-old coach opted to wait until after the season to have it removed.

The Timberwolves were always going to be in the market for a free agent point guard this summer. The Ricky Rubio trade to Utah for Oklahoma City’s first-round pick in 2018 made that even more likely on Friday afternoon. It seems likely the Wolves did their due diligence beforehand on the best point guards of the class (George Hill, Jrue Holiday and Kyle Lowry), and they came away believing that Teague was their best bet in terms of signability and skill set.

Consider the trade like this: Rubio for Teague, that first-round pick and $3.5 million less in cap space this offseason trade (assuming, as I do, the team will use the typical eight-percent raise strategy in each year to structure Teague’s contract to conserve cap space). In that vein, I like it for Minnesota.

Teague is a better fit offensively than Rubio was ever going to be with Jimmy Butler and Andrew Wiggins on the perimeter. Essentially replacing Rubio at the cost of Teague plus $3.5 million also allows them to stay in the market for elite power forwards with the existing cap space they have. Future money on a three-year deal isn’t necessarily the worst thing in the world. Because of the upcoming Wiggins extension and the Butler trade, the Wolves will be capped out following this summer.

32 teams have to leave whatever hard feelings they had of Young behind.

The super-agent has been back in the elite quarterback business for a couple years now (he represented Paxton Lynch in last year’s draft and has Pat Mahomes as a client for this year’s). Steinberg’s standing in the business was based on not dealing with clowns and knuckleheads.

Young has been both before. But observers taking note of his announcement of Young hiring him sent a message that Young may have left those days behind.

Next: 32 teams have to leave whatever hard feelings they had of Young behind. If they have … then they’d have to realize there are far worse options, some of which were in uniform last season.

Gase’s rising star as a “quarterback whisperer” guaranteed that would be his only year in Chicago, before being elevated to head coach and trying to tame Ryan Tannehill in ’16. Although Tannehill improved in some ways — throwing deeper downfield, making smarter decisions with the ball — his struggles with pressure still were there. In the end, while showing a higher ceiling, Tannehill’s play and production were closer to his floor.

In relation, Cutler was a much better Gase pupil, going away from many of his long-established bad habits. Tannehill’s development more inched along like it has since he entered the league.

Or does Fox censor Gaga by cutting to commercial? Or hit the mute button? Staying on the air might for another celebrity political rant might equally outrage fans who don’t want to hear about politics during the biggest sporting event of the year. The NFL’s passive acceptance of protesting political players such as Colin Kaepernick outraged some hard-core football fans who launched a #BoycottNFL movement this season. While the networks showed Kaepernick and other players kneeling during the national anthem at the start of the season, they gradually phased those shots out of their game telecasts.

NFL Draft 2017: Oklahoma’s Joe Mixon drafted by Bengals

While some NFL teams like the Dolphins and Patriots did not consider drafting Joe Mixon, the Bengals were willing to give the controversial Oklahoma running back a chance.

The former USC cornerback was drafted by the Titans in the first round, and while he’s certainly happy to be in the NFL, he tweeted his excitement about being in the popular video game as well. After all, since EA Sports discontinued its NCAA Football franchise, he’s had to wait to become an animated version of himself.

Jackson will probably be a popular player in the video game. His explosiveness makes him the exact type of player people love to use in the video game. He even said himself after being drafted how versatile he can be.

“I can do more than one thing on the defense — I can play outside, I can play inside. I can also return,” Jackson said, via the Titans’ official website. “And if I am needed on offense you can throw me out there whenever. I am just thankful the coaches at Tennessee believed in me and picked me up. I am fired up to go put a helmet on, put a jersey on, strap up the cleats and go out to practice right now.”

You may recall the spring of 2007, when the Patriots, fresh off the frustration of seeing the rival Colts win the Super Bowl, aggressively traded for wide receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker and signed a premium defensive free agent in linebacker Adalius Thomas. The Patriots went 16-0 that season with a record point total. They won another AFC title before they were upset by the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

New England in 2014 signed cornerback Darrelle Revis, which helped deliver that elusive fourth ring. In 2016, before the Patriots’ latest title run, tight end Martellus Bennett and wide receiver Chris Hogan were key additions.

What’s cooking with Arizona LB Paul Magloire?

Paul Magloire nearly took a completely different career path.

“If I could redo my whole life, I would have gone to culinary school,” the Arizona linebacker told Omnisport. “I would want to cook. I like cooking.”

Before Magloire left Arizona to visit the Giants last week, he prepared a couple of ribeye steaks so they’d be ready to throw on the grill when he got home.

1. Bill Belichick genuinely doesn’t know the the names of any social media platforms
He knows social media platforms have a “Face” on the end or start of their names. He thinks it’s possible the face belongs to somebody.

But he really just doesn’t care to actually know what it is, and has never put in the energy to find out. He kinda guesses at the names of these sites based on what he hears other people saying, much like a confused grandparent, and that’s how we get these mashups.

2. Bill Belichick knows exactly the names of every social media platform and intentionally combines their names to make it look like he’s out of touch when really he’s an omniscient wizard who understands everything about everything

Maybe the best thing the offense has going is that the bar isn’t that high — after all, even with Pumphrey, SDSU ranked 79th and 70th in Off. S&P+ the last two years. SDSU has flipped the old truism around: the best offense is a good defense, and SDSU’s defense has been awesome.

Each level of the defense has a couple of impressive players to replace — ends Alex Barrett and Kyle Kelley, linebackers Calvin Munson and Austin Wyatt-Thayer, corners Damontae Kazee and Kalan Montgomery, safety Malik Smith. But we’ve already seen the replacements, and aside from the glitch against Colorado State, the unit held steady.nike_jaguars_1750

The 76ers are one win away from tying their win total from the previous two seasons combined.

For Fultz, the ideal NBA situation would be to sign with a team on the rise that doesn’t have much competition at point guard and can throw the maximum possible amount of money at him.

The 76ers are one win away from tying their win total from the previous two seasons combined. With the dynamic yet oft-injured Joel Embiid, Philly has a building block for the foreseeable future. The 76ers still haven’t seen No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons touch the floor, and the Colangelos only have $35 million in guaranteed contracts for next season. This is a perfect match.

The advantage of pace for a team like Ohio State: Forcing your less-talented opponent to out-execute you as many times as possible.
When you combine that with spread spacing, you raise the stakes for every outcome and can double down every time you out-execute the defense.

This is particularly relevant along the line, where a team like Ohio State should have the kind of athlete most teams can’t find, although this is frustrated by the difficulty in evaluating high school OL.

Just imagine that executed for a blue-chip Buckeye WR, with future NFL linemen advancing into open grass to lead block, and you can see why this would be a nice complement to the existing Meyer offense. Ohio State does have screens, but they’ve never been as devastating as Wilson’s. Meyer prefers to use the QB option game, rather than screens or play-action, as a constraint (a play that prevents the defense from loading up to stop the offense’s basics).

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