Aguilar stands tall in middle of Brewers’ lineup

Four months ago, Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell was trying to figure out how to fit Jesus Aguilar onto his roster. Now, Counsell is having a hard time taking the hard-hitting first baseman out of his starting lineup.

Aguilar has been Milwaukee’s hottest hitter over the last month, batting .283 with 12 home runs, 34 RBI and a .964 OPS. Five of those home runs along with 12 RBI have come over his last five games and he’s driven in multiple runs in five straight starts, tying a franchise record.

He’s certainly been one of the most pleasant surprises (this year), Counsell said. He was last year, as well and he’s taken it up a notch this year. You need those kind of performances you weren’t expecting. You need that kind of stuff.

Thames, who’s spent the majority of his playing time in the outfield since returning June 11, is still adjusting to the position but is happy for his teammate.

I mean, hey, the team is winning, Thames said. It was the same thing for him the first half of last year when I was going off. It’s great because we’re winning and today, he pretty much did it himself and it was awesome. I’m happy for him. He works hard. He’s such a smart hitter, smart player. He’s a great team guy so you can’t help but root for him.

Bumgarner pitched eight innings of three-hit ball for his first win this season, Mark Melancon earned his first save in a year and the San Francisco Giants beat the San Diego Padres 3-0.

Bumgarner’s sacrifice fly scored Pablo Sandoval in the fifth. Sandoval singled leading off the inning and Joe Panik followed with a double.

It was the fourth time in his career Bumgarner made a scoreless start and had the game-winning RBI, tying Stephen Strasburg and Fernando Valenzuela for the most such games by any pitcher in the last 40 years, according to STATS.

The Padres’ best scoring chance came in the fifth, when Jose Pirela was thrown out at home trying to score from second on Manuel Margot’s one-out double to deep right field. Giants catcher Buster Posey tagged out Pirela after a perfect relay from Andrew McCutchen and Panik.

Bryce Harper led off the eighth with a double off Mychal Givens (0-4) and Trea Turner followed with a single. After Anthony Rendon struck out, Soto hit a liner into the gap in left-center.

Jags want Leonard Fournette to run smarter without losing aggressiveness

The Jaguars led the league in rushing attempts last season and their biggest free agent acquisition was guard Andrew Norwell, so it seems unlikely that they’re going to be changing their approach in 2018.
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Fournette has cut weight heading into his second season and says he feels he has more burst than he did last season. Should that and a keener understanding of the game lead to fewer early collisions with defensive players, it should bode well for Vegas Strong Jersey the Jaguars’ chances of a second straight trip to the postseason.

When asked if the procedure was season-ending for Smith, manager Alex Cora told reporters it probably was.

Smith, 28, has appeared in 18 games for the Red Sox this season and registered a 3.77 ERA in 14 1/3 innings pitched.

Barron could be challenged in camp, too, but for now, Cory Littleton, Bryce Hager, former Chief Ramik Wilson and rookie Micah Kiser are battling for snaps at the other inside spot. Kiser is a natural inside pass-rusher but not much else. Littleton also can get to the QB and is equally good at run and pass coverage. Wilson goes in with the most seasoning, having started 11 games for the Chiefs two seasons ago. But Hager, who produced as a starter in the Rams’ 2017 regular-season finale against the 49ers, has a chance to emerge as the best of the bunch.

He signed Nate Solder and Patrick Omameh in free agency and in the second round of the draft selected Hernandez. When Flowers inexplicably was a no-show Tom Waddle Youth Jersey for the first month of the voluntary workout program — he was upset about moving to right tackle to accommodate Solder — Gettleman dangled Flowers on the trade market but got no takers, not even a seventh-round pick.

Deshaun Watson: I know who I am and what I can do

Now that Deshaun Watson is eight months removed from the torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, everyone — especially fans in Houston — expects the Texans quarterback to contend for comeback player of the year and MVP honors. Is it asking too much from a quarterback who has played only seven career games?
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It’s no pressure, Watson said in a phone interview Thursday after participating in the 14th annual Gatorade Beat the Heat program, teaching young athletes at a YMCA of Greater Houston Camp proper hydration and heat safety.

I know who I am and what I can do. Pressure is trying to focus on what other people think I can do. I already know what I can do.

Now that players are done with their offseason work, Watson and his receivers will get away to throw together before training camp begins. His rehab will continue, too.

Luck said he went out and played catch with coach Frank Reich three weeks ago with The Duke, a regulation NFL football. It marked the first time he had done so since last October’s failed attempt to return from shoulder surgery, and he could tell it was different this time.

It’s gone, Luck said of the pain, via Zak Keefer of the Indianapolis Star. The Shane Vereen Womens Jersey pain is gone and it’s going to stay that way.

Luck also insisted yesterday that he would be ready for the regular season opener, but after eight months since last throwing, and a year and a half from the surgery, it’s reasonable to be skeptical (especially after owner Jim Irsay’s promises a year ago which baited in paying customers).

But Luck said all the rehab and work he’s done this offseason has him in a better place, as he gradually increases his Authentic Austin Rivers Jersey workload.

A very different soreness, Luck said. I had pain last year (that) I wasn’t being honest to myself about. I was trying to get through pain, per se. There’s none of that now….

Jets OC on Darnold: ‘We’re throwing everything at him’

The New York Jets have a good problem at quarterback: Multiple options.
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After drafting Sam Darnold with the No. 3 overall pick, the Jets owned the luxury of allowing him to learn behind veteran Josh McCown. Then Teddy Bridgewater began turning heads in offseason workouts.

In a perfect world, Darnold would win the starting gig outright, McCown would mentor the rookie through any rough patches, and the Jets would trade Bridgewater for draft capital. Perfect scenarios rarely happen in the NFL, but the Jets are finally in a solid place with their signal-callers.

Heading into training camp, Darnold taking a step towards corralling the starting gig should provide a breath of fresh air for Jets fans long-suffocated by their QB play.

Through his first two seasons, Elliott has already been the workhorse. It’s debatable whether it is even responsible in the long-term to up his workload much more. In 10 games in 2017, Elliott averaged 24.2 carries per game. For comparison, the top two running backs, Le’Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy, earned 21.4 and 17.9 totes per tussle, respectively. During his rookie campaign, Elliott led the NFL with 322 carries in 15 regular-season tilts, 21.5 per game.

Perhaps the Cowboys leaned on Elliott more last season anticipating his six-game suspension. Had Elliott played a full 16-game slate in 2017, he was on pace to carry Derek Watt Womens Jersey the rock 387 times. The last running back to earn more than 330 carries in one season was DeMarco Murray ‘s 392 with Dallas in 2014 — it took a year for Murray’s legs to recover from that workload.

With the Cowboys receiver corps in flux, Dallas anticipates leaning on Zeke heavily, at least to open the season. For a tailback who has notoriously been out of shape early in training camps, hitting the ground running is key. RBs coach Gary Brown relayed what the told Elliott heading into training camp.

Come in and be in the best shape of your life, Brown said. Be ready to get a lot of carries early. It is Craig Robertson Jersey going to be a situation where defenses are going to try to stop us. They are going to try their best, but they are not going to be able to.

Giants add Mark Koncz to personnel department

Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman brought Mark Koncz onto his new staff on a temporary basis this spring, to help with his first draft back in New York.

He has since made the move permanent.

Among the 24 NFL quarterbacks who have thrown as many passes as Marcus Mariota in the first three seasons of their NFL careers, Marcus Mariota ranks eighth since the merger behind just Dan Marino, Jeff Garcia, Carson Palmer, Peyton Manning, Jameis Winston, Andrew Luck and Matt Ryan. Simply put, this is a good list to make.

Mariota’s career passing efficiency numbers are carried by his performance in 2015 and 2016, as he went from a 6.66 ANY/A over the first two years of his career to 5.51 last year. Naming Matt LaFleur as offensive coordinator in Tennessee should allow Mariota to get back to the top of the ranks of young passers.

As a non-play-caller, LaFleur has overseen the NFL development of the peaks of the careers of Matt Schaub, Robert Griffin III, Matt Ryan and Jared Goff in his nine years as an NFL assistant and coordinator. Now set to call plays, there could be big things in store for Mariota moving forward.

Miami spent two days on the field this week preparing for coach Adam Gase’s third season. It’s not unusual for clubs to wipe out the final day of mandatory minicamp, with many squads electing to use that time for team bonding and chemistry building.

The Dolphins wrap up pre-training camp work next week with their final days of voluntary organized team activities, June 11-14.

Among players still on the Miami Dolphins roster, only three were deemed by PFR to be more valuable last season than running back Kenyan Drake.

The 2016 third-round pick took the reins in the backfield soon after Jay Ajayi was traded midway through the season and never looked back. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry in the final nine weeks of the year, which ranked sixth among backs with at least 50 attempts during that stretch.

Considering that he also averaged 5.4 yards per rush within a smaller sample as a rookie in 2016, that might not have been a fluke. Regardless, the Dolphins’ high-potential starting running back is just the 35th-highest-paid player on the roster.

White House explains decision to cancel Eagles visit

A day after canceling the Philadelphia Eagles’ scheduled Super Bowl LII celebration visit, the White House provided further explanation as to why it decided to scrap the visit.
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In a statement released by Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House said it decided to cancel the event after learning that only a tinynumber of players planned to attend the celebration. The Eagles tried last week to reschedule it, per Sanders, but the dates offered by the team conflicted with President Trump’s schedule.

The White House, despite sensing a lack of good faith, nonetheless attempted to work with the Eagles over the weekend to change the event format that could accommodate a smaller group of players, the statement said. Unfortunately, the Eagles offered to send only a tiny handful of representatives, while making clear that the great majority of players would not attend the event, despite planning to be in D.C. today. In other words, the vast majority of the Eagles team decided to abandon their fans.

Recently, head coach Anthony Lynn raved about an undrafted gem that may join the secondary, according to Ricky Henne of 

It’s hard to tell after one practice, but I was just watching him out there at corner, Lynn said about Alabama product Tony Brown. He can play some free safety as well. I thought he did fine. He’s picking up the system. He’s still learning (and) has a lot going on, but he’s a very gifted young Womens DeMarre Carroll Jersey man. Very talented. His skill set is off the charts.

Brown ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, and Authentic Joe Hawley Jersey he plays with a compact frame at 6’0and 198 pounds. If he’s able to shift between cornerback and safety, he’ll be another asset for the Chargers’ deep secondary.

If nothing else, his speed should help him earn an immediate role on special teams.

Former NFL player Kenyatta Jones dies at 39

Kenyatta Jones, an offensive lineman who played parts of four seasons in the NFL, died Saturday at age 39, his mother told the Tampa Bay Times.
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It is with great sadness that we have learned of the passing of Kenyatta Jones at such an early age, USF Interim Director of Athletics Scott Kull said in a statement. Our first NFL Draft pick and Super Bowl champion, Kenyatta demonstrated what USF football would become and was the first of what would be many talented and hard-working Bulls that have Dan Feeney Jersey followed their dreams to the professional ranks. Our thoughts and prayers and those of Bulls Nation are with his family during this difficult time.

Jones played one season with the Redskins in 2004, and later played in the Arena Football League.

According to the Times, he was arrested in a narcotics sweep in 2008, but was not prosecuted.

Gronkowski addressed the trade speculation with reporters Saturday.

It just shows how much fake news is out there, Gronkowski said. Hashtag fake news that’s all I know. Cyrus Jones Authentic Jersey It’s true. It exists. See it all the time about me. It’s wild.

I like to tell people that I’ve been heavily into baseball history literally the entire time I’ve been literate. The first book I read (after the children’s books phase) was an anthology of the biographies of some of the great St. Louis Cardinals stars through the 1950s. Because of that book, and even though I’ve never been a Cardinals fan, my favorite historical player (i.e., one I never actually saw play) was Dizzy Dean. I got a little misty-eyed in Cooperstown last summer when for the first time I encountered Dean’s uniform in a display at the Hall of Fame museum.

But elements of Schoendienst’s story from that book have always stuck with me. First, like me, he was a rural Midwestener, having grown up in Germantown, Illinois. When he was a teenager, he nearly lost an eye when he was hammering nails into a barn and a nail ricocheted right into it.

James had no doubt who would win.

Going against the Warriors in the last three years in the finals, I kind of figured or thought that they could get it done, James said. Just because of the 18 of a possible 21 finals games that I’ve played against them in the last three years, I figured that they could make it happen. Just their championship DNA.
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11. New Steelers weapons. Watching Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and JuJu Smith-Schuster is always a delight. But this season we’ll also see James Washington in the slot, Jaylen Samuels lined up all over the field and Mason Rudolph trying to avoid direct eye contact with Ben Roethlisberger for six months.

One potential legalization hurdle involves the integrity fees being sought by sports leagues in exchange for endorsing gambling on their match-ups.

Paul Kariya Youth Jersey Both the NBA and MLB have suggested a 1 percent fee on all legal wagers on their games, said Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee Chairman Gary Pretlow (D-Westchester), who called the ask a little high.

Surrounded by media members in the locker room after the Packers’ OTA session Thursday, Jones described聽the sequence of events leading up to the photo.

A lady was sitting next to me, across the row when we were getting off the plane (and)聽I saw she needed help with her bags, D.J. Swearinger Authentic Jersey Jones said. She had a cane, she was dragging her bags, and I was like, ‘Do you need help?’ And she said yes, so I started carrying her bags and when we were walking off the plane, the flight attendant told her that there would be somebody there to push her with a wheelchair. There were聽wheelchairs when we walked, but nobody was there, and the wheelchairs were folded up. So I asked if she wanted me to push her and she said yes. I pushed her down to where her daughter was.

Cody Kessler and rookie Tanner Lee now back up Bortles.

The Browns traded Kessler to the Jaguars on March 28, and while ready for the move, Kessler believes his time in Cleveland will help him in Jacksonville.

The time in Cleveland was ups and down, frustrating, but being able to start eight or nine games my rookie year really prepared me, Kessler said, via the team website. Last year didn’t go the way I wanted it to or I had planned, but it’s part of it. You take it and run with it. I took that time to work on myself saying, ‘What do I want to work today?’ It really did help me.

It’s the same thing here. Obviously, Blake is the starter and a great guy to learn from, but you always prepare as the starter and prepare as if you’re playing on Sunday. That’s helped me and made my life easier as a backup.

Kessler started eight games as a rookie in 2016. He started none last season, watching DeShone Kizer and Kevin Hogan pass him on the depth chart.

Offensive lineman Ramon Foster (pictured) likes the new rule, in part because each of his four concussions occurred when a defender used his helmet to hit Foster in the helmet.

The veteran wide receiver is not expected to sign a contract until the start of training camp, according to a report from NFL Network. Bryant has drawn interest from multiple teams, but he’s being patient and selective, the report says.

Bryant was cut by Dallas in mid-April after spending his entire eight-season career with the team. The Cowboys saved more than $8 million in salary cap space by releasing him, according to multiple reports.

Bryant was selected to the Pro Bowl three times with the Cowboys and led the NFL with 16 receiving touchdowns in 2014. Last season, he registered 838 receiving yards and six touchdowns.

Jason Witten, Bryant’s former teammate with the Cowboys, said in May he expected the wide receiver to sign with Green Bay. Witten recently retired and agreed to become the color analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

MLB trade rumors: Imagining Orioles-Phillies Manny Machado deal; should Yankees be worried?

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Much has been written about the impending free agency of Baltimore Chris Jones”>”>Chris Jones Jersey Orioles shortstop Manny Machado and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper.
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Both will hit the open market after the 2018 season and command contracts which could reach as high as $400 million.

The Nationals still have dreams of reaching the World Series this season with Harper, but for the Orioles, the playoffs are nothing but pure fantasy.

BREAKING: Johnny Manziel has signed a two year deal in the CFL. He’s officially back in professional football. It’s not the NFL, but it’s a serious step in the right direction that will earn him some good money in the meantime.

Johnny Manziel heads to the CFL for 2 years, but he is a worthwhile add as your last roster spot in Superflex and 2-QB leagues. Keep an eye on how he fares over the summer (remember CFL season is earlier). If he lights it up, no reason he can’t be next Flutie/Garcia in fantasy.

There will be a surprise or two over the first five picks that will cause more than one of the top quarterbacks to fall to No. 6 when the Colts are on the clock. One of the teams looking for quarterback help will do what it takes to move up in the draft. Moving back again after trading down from No. 3 to 6 with the Jets in March will allow GM Chris Ballard to continue to stockpile picks to build through the draft. — Mike Wells

It might not be a popular opinion outside of Jacksonville, but the Jaguars believe they can win with Blake Bortles. He’s coming off the best year of his career and Tom Coughlin, GM Dave Caldwell and coach Doug Marrone believe Bortles will be even more efficient in his second full season with offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. The Jaguars want to win by running the ball and playing great defense, and want to invest early picks to help them do that. — Mike DiRocco