solid veteran players might help keep James around next summer.

All that said, with their future fluctuating on the whims of both James and Irving, the Cavaliers have a duty to prepare for life without them. Getting veteran players who help win championships this season doesn’t do that.
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Shamar Stephen Limited Jersey Sure, solid veteran players might help keep James around next summer. But he still won’t commit to a decision no matter what the return in the Irving deal ends up being — or if it even happens at all. James is a master businessman and decision maker who always keeps his options open. He won’t change that just because of a new acquisition or two.

Trading for youth sets the Cavaliers up for the long-term, and that’s their best bet to remain competitive in the future. James’ best years are behind him, even if he’s still amazing and chasing championships.

The Warriors are still the team to beat in the league and no one is coming close anytime soon. The league is thinking differently because of their presence and, even though they have James, the Cavs may need to do the same. Building for the future is their best move.

Tampering is so fuzzy and subjective. Players, coaches, and general managers talk to each other all the time. Agents have increasingly transitioned into front office roles; retired players are moving into that direction, too.

Meanwhile, the financial rules governing cap space and contracts are complex and rigid. It’s quite hard to differentiate between two teams that have cap space. Without the Durant Rule contract, home teams have limited advantage in retaining stars. (Again, look at Hayward.) Plus, everyone under the sun knows who has cap space and who doesn’t.

LaVar Ball is such a Big Baller he lost a shooting contest to Ice Cube

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The BIG3, a professional 3-on-3 basketball league for old timers, knows how to market itself. For its Sunday visit to Los Angeles — which will be broadcast on delay Monday on FS1 — the BIG3 invited notorious misogynist and loud sports dad LaVar Ball to challenge league commissioner, legendary rapper turned family-friendly movie star Ice Cube, in a shootout. Specifically, the shootout would occur from the BIG3’s innovative four-point circle.

The decision would be tougher this time around. After all, LeBron has guided the Cavaliers to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances, including the franchise’s lone championship victory over the Golden State Warriors in 2016. His best odds at winning another championship — his fourth to pull him within two of Michael Jordan — are in Cleveland, as heading out West would result in a conference playoffs matchup against the Warriors, Rockets or Spurs.

Elite Youth Brett Hundley Jersey But LeBron left Cleveland in the past. Kyrie Irving’s doesn’t want to play with The King anymore, and James’s chances at taking down the Warriors — in a Cavaliers jersey, at least — could be out the door with his All-Star point guard.

That’s why the city of Akron is already letting The King know how much the value him with these Stay Home hats and shirts. Because they know what life without LeBron James is like in Cleveland. And if he leaves again, you can bet the house he’s not coming back.

Miami-Dade County tells new Marlins ownership the home run sculpture ‘is not movable’

Everybody breathe deeply and relax. The Marlins home run sculpture isn’t going anywhere.

After some initial panic that it could be sayonara to the gaudy, garish, colorful mass of dings and lights and spinning things in the outfield once new ownership takes over, Miami-Dade County has come to the rescue.

Since Marlins Park was built with taxpayer money, county laws require that it include art. The $2.5 million sculpture qualifies as that art, and since it is a part of Miami-Dade’s Art in Public Places program it cannot be moved without prior approval from the county.

“Listen kids, this can be our little secret. I’m going to get you a Pop-A-Shot for your sixteenth birthday part and all of your friends can come. Come on, please don’t tell mom. You can have a DJ too!”

The players are having fun with it, as Bastian reports the competition was intense pre-game on Friday, but there’s the slightest thing off about it since it seems to be a random idea with no special meaning for this weekend or this series specifically.

Or, it could just be for fun and to blow off a little steam. As long as Andrew Miller doesn’t get too involved, he JUST got came back from injury after all.

Even funnier is the fact that the Indians are away at the Royals this series, so Francona had to coordinate all of this for a visiting clubhouse. Maybe it’s all a plot to make the Royals players jealous and distract them before games.redskins_010_d364e8b1330a300d-180x180

the snaky language and gaslighting that comes with The Real Home Run Record

Which is why it’s perfectly fine to believe something like, “If Giancarlo Stanton hits 62 home runs, that will impress me more than when Barry Bonds hit 73.” That is a rational belief that can be argued, supported, disagreed with, and fought for.

What I’m not into is the unsubtle shifting of the goalposts; the snaky language and gaslighting that comes with The Real Home Run Record. Because it isn’t. Someone who hits 62 home runs will need a dozen more to break The Real Home Run Record, even if you’re already more impressed by the new accomplishment.

We’ve been here before, actually, because my colleagues and I really, really enjoy needling Pete Rose fans. It’s absolutely funny to suggest that Ichiro is the true Hit King and watch them scramble to their battle stations, and I will not apologize for this. Especially when Rose is the durf who says stuff like this:

If they make the postseason, they’ll probably Eli Rogers Jerseys make it by a game or two.

Say, do you know who is probably worth an Adam Shaheen Jerseys extra win or two over the average player? Mike Trout, who has been the best player in baseball for several years running. If the Angels squeak into the postseason by a game, that means they probably wouldn’t have if they had replaced him with any outfielder other than maybe Aaron Judge, George Springer, or Mookie Betts. Which sounds pretty valuable to me. Perhaps it’s a good way to describe the most valuable player, even if he spent more than a month on the DL.

I’m playing the devil’s advocate here because I don’t really believe in the idea that a player needs to be on a contending team to be considered for MVP. I don’t like giving a player bonus points for his team barely making the postseason, and I’m not into diminishing the accomplishments of a player whose team finished 10 games up or 10 games back.

Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg agreed.

Robbie Gould Game Jersey John Ireland tweeted a picture of your old mural out, but his wife wants to get rid of it and it’s obviously a bit of a superstitious year for Dodgers fans since it’s been since ’88 and everything might need to stay the same now that they’re doing so well.

So when did you paint the mural? Was it after the World Series or had it been there for a while?
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Putting an impact on a team’s season with the All-Star Game is a challenge, he said. Especially when there’s a fan vote and also when there are guys here from teams that aren’t going to make playoffs, so [playing for home field advantage] wouldn’t have as big an impact on them. People are still going to watch the All-Star Game, they still want to see the best players out there see what they can do against the other leagues’ best.

Remember that Kershaw has more chances for these events, however, going head-to-head with an opponent over 100 times more than Judge this year, and that gap will eventually increase. Kershaw is the steadier bet for a positive outcome, and if you’re looking to sell someone on baseball’s beauty, this is the best way to go about it. Start with someone who is going to remind you of why he’s brilliant more often any of his peers.

A player like Trout or Judge also suffers from the biggest marketability problem that baseball has. I wrote about it last year:

Imagine that in another sport. Imagine Steph Curry passing through town, taking one shot every 45 minutes for three hours, missing them all, and leaving for the night. It’s not a zero-sum game, but that’s is baseball’s competition, and the odds are overwhelming that if you carve out three hours for Curry, he’s going to do something Curry-ish before the night is over, even if he has a dreadful night.

Cardinals’ Rally Cat is home safe after being lost on the streets of St. Louis

After making his (it’s a he!) first grand appearance on the field Wednesday night in St. Louis, the infamous Rally Cat bit a stadium worker, was taken into the tunnels of the stadium, and promptly disappeared.
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A few weeks ago, that wouldn’t have been quite as depressing as it is now, since the Mariners seemed more or less out of the playoff hunt with only the most tenuous of threads to hold on to for hope.

The commitment here should really be applauded, with the entire team taking part and props set up so everybody could really get in the spirit. In photos of the event Beltran is smiling and laughing about the whole thing, which is nice to see in any situation, but especially in one where a player has to poke fun at his own aging and shift in role.

Maybe the glove will be reincarnated in another piece of leather and its spirit will guide a minor leaguer to sliding catches and heroic saves in the future like some kind of inanimate A Dog’s Purpose spinoff.

Or maybe it will just sit in the clubhouse in a simple white box until Beltran moves on from the team, like a beloved token of past defensive memories. He’s past 40 now, and if he does see any time in the outfield again it won’t be for any sort of extended stretch. That’s not always easy to face for a former Gold Glove winner so good on Beltran for joining in on the fun.
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It’s also a reminder that no matter how invested we get in things, baseball is still just a game and there are issues in the world that hit close to home for MLB players and employees happening all the time.

The ongoing situation in Venezuela is just one of them.

Lions DE Kerry Hyder out for season with torn Achilles

Lions defensive end Kerry Hyder will miss the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles after he suffered the injury in Sunday’s game against the Colts.

Hyder, a breakout star who led the Lions last season with eight sacks, was pressuring Indy quarterback Scott Tolzien in the first quarter when he slipped and hit the ground, immediately clutching his lower left leg.

Trainers attended to him for several minutes before he left the field on a cart.

Lions coach Jim Caldwell would not disclose that Hyder suffered a torn Achilles after the game, though the severity of the injury was later confirmed Monday.

“It’s significant. The doctors, that’s the initial impression,” Caldwell said, via ESPN. “When we have something certain, we’ll release it. But I’ll tell you it’s significant.”

It’s tough to find many wins for the Bears, who are definitely in rebuilding mode. It’s looking they’ll go with Glennon at quarterback, but he not believed to be the future for the Bears. Even an optimistic Bears fan might put the over/under for wins at four. The Bears are probably looking at a 3-13 season and another top-five draft pick next year as they build toward the future.

“Hard Knocks” director Matt Dissinger explained to ESPN how they handle it from the filming perspective.

“We try to maintain a respectful distance when doing it. It’s terrible. And it’s also terrible afterwards when you [say], ‘Uh, can I ask you a few questions?’ But it’s part of camp, it’s part of the reality of the NFL. … We work really hard to get the audience invested in these guys and to really show a well-rounded portrait of who they are.”
The “Hard Knocks” episode featuring Aguayo’s release airs Tueday night at 10:00 p.m. and will be on HBO Go later.
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Maybe it has to do with how hard guys swing these days.

Anyway, according to a report by the New York Daily News in 2011, the workout supplement Creatine was thought to be linked to oblique issues. I’m a Twitter doctor, not a real one, so I’ll trust what that report says.
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But in my earnest, scholarly Twitter medical opinion (in which I’m very learned in the field of medicine), I don’t think there’s any single reason.

Maybe it has to do with how hard guys swing these days. With launch angles and pull power the two prevailing schools of thought in today’s baseball, it wouldn’t surprise me if the torque on the upper body with front shoulders flying out, hips dropping and really trying to get power into the swing is a big part of it.

Swinging a bat as hard as these guys do takes core and upper-body strength, and if players are really going for monster dingers like they have been, that could add additional stress on the body.

Elite Kids Dwayne Allen Jersey Many of the usual suspects went yard Sunday. Mike Trout homered for the Angels. Cody Bellinger hit No. 32 in the Dodgers’ 8-0 victory over the Mets. And of course Aaron Judge had a hand in the Yankees’ 8-1 win over the Indians, cranking a three-run home run (No. 35 this year).

Everyone from players to fans wonder: Is the ball juiced this year? Are hitters just suddenly naturally better and stronger the past couple of years? Whatever the reason(s) behind the offensive explosion this year, it shows no sign of slowing down. According to ESPN Stats and Information, there had been 4,131 home runs in the majors this year entering Sunday. Roughly two-thirds of the way through the season, that’s on pace to smash the single-season record of 5,693 home runs set in 2000.

Other professional athletes expressed their dismay over the violence in Charlottesville. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James said the situation was sad and took a swipe Saturday on Twitter at President Donald Trump, who came under bipartisan scolding for not clearly condemning the hate groups immediately after the altercations.

Three-time All-Star Lee May dies at 74

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Brent Burns Authentic Jersey Three-time All-Star Lee May passed away on July 29 at age 74. The cause of his death is unknown.

May, whose nickname was the Big Bopper, spent 18 years in the league and played for the Reds (1965–71), Astros (1972–74), Orioles (1975–80) and Royals (1981–82).

May is probably best known, oddly, for being the key player the Reds sent to the the Astros in late 1971 in a multiplayer trade to acquire second baseman Joe Morgan, a key figure in the Big Red Machine’s 1970s championship years.

He retired in 1982 with a .267 batting average, 354 home runs and 1,244 RBI.

Thoughts: Iglesias was the big surprise to be traded; his reputation as a defensive whiz at shortstop was already solid, and he was hitting .330 for the parent club at the time of the trade. He’s been Detroit’s starting shortstop since that deal. Montas, Wendelken and Ogando made the bigs, but have yet to make an impact. Mortensen hasn’t been back in the majors, and Jacobs has been playing independent ball since 2015.

Peavy had a 4.04 ERA in 10 regular-season starts, then made three postseason starts (one good, one so-so, one bad). Berry was Boston’s designated pinch-runner in the playoffs, going three-for-three in stolen base opportunities. Thornton, Villarreal and McDonald didn’t appear in the postseason for the Red Sox.

Thoughts: Hembree has been a regular part of Boston’s bullpen (3.30 ERA in 110 appearances) since the trade. Escobar was waved by the Red Sox in April 2016, and after stints in the Arizona and Cleveland organizations, is now pitching in Japan.

Peavy had a 2.17 ERA in 12 regular-season starts, then threw 5 2/3 shutout innings against the Nationals in the NLDS before struggling a bit in the NLCS and World Series.

The Illini have no guarantees, but they’re sort of interesting now.

Smith’s first team was all-or-nothing, relying on big plays for nearly all of its success on both offense and defense. In Bill Connelly’s big Illinois preview, he projects about four wins. This is a long rebuild.
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It should be a lot more fun to watch, though. Garrick McGee enters his second year as the Illini’s offensive coordinator, and he’s got an enjoyable dual-threat QB, Chayce Crouch. The offense, which worked at a glacial pace in 2016, might be able to speed up a bit. Receiver Mike Dudek, who went over 1,000 yards as a freshman in 2014, is healthy after missing the last two years with plural ACL tears. His good health is one of the feel-good stories of the long CFB offseason.
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Nobody really sees the stuff that we do off the field or behind the scenes or before the season. So I think knowing that, it just has to be what our product is gonna be, what we put out on the field. And once people see that, I think that enthusiasm will come back. Nobody can really see that right now, but we’re working really hard.

An arbitrator determined that Graham should be identified as a tight end even though he lined up in the slot or out wide as a traditional receiver on about two-thirds of the Saints’ offensive snaps in 2013. The crux of the ruling was that Graham’s versatility is standard for today’s varied offenses.

Graham ended up signing a deal with the Saints worth $40 million over four years and was traded to the Seahawks in 2015.

Bell’s value to the Steelers isn’t in question, and his impending free agency will set the tone for next year’s running back market. Some team is going to pay Bell plenty of money next season, but don’t expect it to be in the $15 million per year range.