Cubs starter Jon Lester bashes first career home run

Jon Lester is not usually mentioned in the category pitchers who rake, but that notion may have to be reconsidered.

Brandon Bass Youth Jersey The Cubs ace jacked his first career home run in the in the bottom of the third inning Tuesday night at Wrigley Field against the Diamondbacks.

But thank you, guys, for being there for me, getting me prepared to go to the next level.
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And I remember my senior year at Seminole High School, at the end of the year we went to a Spring Training game in Daytona beach. I didn’t really know that much about the Montreal Expos, but in Orlando, Florida, there used to be the Minnesota Twins, and that was the closest team to Sanford, so if we ever went to a Spring Training game, we would probably go to Orlando to see a Spring Training game, but that day we ended up going to Daytona beach in 1977. It was Andre Dawson’s rookie season.

Like I said early, I didn’t know anything about the Expos. I just knew they had a team. So we go there. We watched the game. Dawson is playing. Carter is playing. Ellis Valentine, Warren Cromartie. Just a 17-year-old kid before I was even drafted. I went up to Andre Dawson and asked him for an autograph. He denied it. Not knowing that two years later we were going to be teammates.

So I get drafted by the Expos in the fifth round. Again, still, I don’t really know that much about the Expos. They drafted me. I still didn’t really know that much about the Expos. I spent that half season in rookie ball. The next two years I spent in A-Ball and Double-A. I was called up to the Big Leagues at the end of my second full season. The first time I put on my Expos uniform, we were in Wrigley Field. I swear to God, that was the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life. Wrigley Field, first time in the Big Leagues, 19 years old, just turning 20, from Sanford, Florida. Wow.

The only difference this time around is he’s got an entire city on his back.

Mens Mike Alstott Jersey His on-the-field talents are a solid base to being a fan favorite, but his personality off it keeps fans coming back for more. He’s gotten Skittles endorsements because of his love for the candy. A love so well-known that it’s been thrown at him on the field after some of his punishing touchdown runs.

He could really sell anything. During his rookie season in Buffalo, he made going to Applebee’s and balling out at Dave and Buster’s look like the two best things in the world with Kenny Mayne.

Lynch being in Oakland could bring even more of those opportunities. The rap scene in the Bay Area is a strong one that many hold close to their hearts. Draymond Green recreated E-40’s Tell Me When To Go music video for a Beats by Dre commercial in 2016.
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But now he’s in the Bay Area — which is already riding high. The Golden State Warriors just won their second NBA title in three years and won’t be stopped anytime soon. Despite the Raiders’ inevitable departure, Oakland has its native son trying to help it win one last Super Bowl before leaving.

There’s no question that Lynch is going to do everything in his power to make that happen. He’s also going to have a damn good time while trying, just as he did in Seattle. Whether it was stuffing his face with Skittles, grabbing his crotch, or just keeping it real.

Which team has the best chance at the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft?

The 2018 NFL Draft is exactly nine months away and the early favorite to be the No. 1 pick is USC quarterback Sam Darnold, with two more quarterbacks — Wyoming’s Josh Allen and UCLA’s Josh Rosen — also in the mix. A season of college football could certainly throw other prospects toward the top, but for now, it looks like April will be a good time for a team in need of a quarterback.

There’s a strong chance that the team that earns the first selection in the NFL draft will need a new passer under center. But which team will that be?

The teams that finished with the worst records in 2016 are a good place to start looking for candidates, but fortunes change quickly in the NFL. There’s always a chance that the wheels will fall for other teams.

Still, the likeliest teams to tank in 2017 are exactly who you’d expect:

He arrived the year after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and within four seasons navigated them into Super Bowl champions.

If his defense rises, he thinks the Saints can compete for that glory once again. Meet his obsession.

The offense once again looks lethal, and Peterson adds one more tantalizing weapon.

“He’s in tremendous shape, I just visited with him in the locker room, and I can say there is something still burning within him to get a chance to play in ‘that game,’ Payton said. “Every once in a while in this league, you get a unique player who you hope gets the chance to do that.”

The Saints open the regular season on Sept. 11 in a Monday night battle at the Minnesota Vikings, against Peterson’s old team.

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2017 NHL Draft: One-on-one with Devils GM Ray Shero

In any other year, Ray Shero might be the most popular general manager in the National Hockey League, holding the first overall pick in the upcoming ddraft and fielding trade offers from interested parties. Of course, George McPhee, GM of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, holds that title instead.

Shero does not mind, though; and later this week he will stride to the podium and hopefully alter the future of the New Jersey Devils in a positive way with that first selection of the draft.

Game Womens Patrick Mahomes II Jersey Before heading to Chicago, Shero chatted with Sporting News for this exclusive one-on-one interview.

That is exactly what the Predators and their 24-year-old Swedish winger did Saturday in Toronto. With Arvidsson reportedly seeking $4.5 million for one season and the team offering a two-year deal worth a total of $5.5 million, the gap between the two sides proved to be too large to bridge in advance of the arbitration hearing.

This past week, the Senators avoided arbitration with forwards Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Ryan Dzingel and the Red Wings did likewise, agreeing with forward Tomas Tatar at the 12th hour on a new multi-year contract. That is always the preferred path for both team and player as the arbitration process is often contentious and unpleasant.
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Arvidsson’s case is an intriguing one. The skilled former fourth-round pick recorded only eight goals and 16 points over 62 NHL games from 2014-15 through 2015-16. Last season he exploded offensively, recording 61 points in 80 games. Arvidsson tied linemate Ryan Johansen for the team lead in scoring, while he and Filip Forsberg led Nashville in goals. His production fell off in the playoffs where he scored three goals and 13 points in 22 games as the Predators reached the Stanley Cup Final.

Former Canadiens owner David Molson dies at 88

The Molson family has long been integrated with the Montreal Canadiens and one of the team’s former presidents died Monday.

The Canadiens announced the death of David Molson at the age of 88.

Molson, who took over as team president from his cousin and primary owner Hartland Molson in 1964. David Molson was team president until 1972 and the Habs won five Stanley Cup titles under his leadership.

Molson, who was born June 1, 1928, was the son of prominent Montreal residents John Henry Molson and Florence Hazel Browne. He joined Molson Breweries in 1949 and held various positions until appointed vice-president in January 1964.

Molson and his wife, the former Claire Faulkner, whom he married in 1955, had two sons, John Henry and David Hugh, and a daughter, Catherine Elizabeth.
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The Canadiens are currently owned by Molson brothers, Geoff, Andrew and Justin.

That leaves Tampa Bay and New Jersey, whose salary cap considerations couldn’t be more different.

Authentic Womens Jeremiah Attaochu Jersey The Devils now have the most free cap space in the NHL, just shy of $28 million, after buying out Mike Cammalleri. GM Ray Shero has flexibility, and while he won’t hand out a big-money unless it makes sense for the future, perhaps no team is a better fit in terms of want and need for the 28-year-old New Rochelle, N.Y., native. The Lightning, who offer Shattenkirk his best chance to win now, simply won’t be able or willing to compete with New Jersey if a bidding war takes place.

There could always be a wild card. TSN’s Bob McKenzie identified the Coyotes and Avalanche as teams lurking in the weeds for Shattenkirk.

Toronto makes sense as a fit, but it remains to be seen whether the Leafs want to commit long-term dollars outside their current core.

Zaza Pachulia has more NBA All-Star votes than DeMarcus Cousins, Chris Paul combined

Although the NBA changed voting rules for the NBA All-Star Game, the polling continues to be a popularity contest.

Just take a look at the latest NBA fan polling results released Thursday. You’ll notice Warriors center Zaza Pachulia has the eighth-most All-Star votes despite averaging just 5.5 points and 5.7 rebounds per game.
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Embiid, who has revitalized the franchise, was named Eastern Conference player of the week. Jahlil Okafor and Nerlens Noel will see more playing time in his absence.

The Raptors announced Monday that DeRozan likely will miss their next two games with a right ankle sprain. The Eastern Conference All-Star starter will have the injury reevaluated at the end of the week.

DeRozan was upset with the injury because he tried to go into the mindset this year of wanting to play all 82 (games).

Kids Randy Gregory Jersey It sucks. I tried to go into the mindset this year of wanting to play all 82.

Still, it’s obvious why folks in Boston are pining for Hayward. He is only 26 and has developed into the kind of do-it-all wing who would complement guard Isaiah Thomas and big man Al Horford. Hayward is averaging a career-high 22.4 points and 6.0 rebounds, shooting 45.3 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from the 3-point line. He might not make the Celtics an immediate threat to take down Cleveland in the East, but he would represent a step in that direction.

The problem is that Utah, winners of 15 of their last 21 games, is in position to make the playoffs for the first time in six years and is just now cashing in on years of difficult rebuilding. They have no desire to let Hayward walk, and with the trading deadline still seven weeks away, they’ve not considered offers for Hayward. That could change. As one league source pointed out, No one does things more quietly than Utah, and the 2011 trade of Deron Williams to the Nets, which seemingly came out of the blue, is a good example of that.

Porter takes advantage of DeMar DeRozan watching the ball

Sonny Gray, A’s. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that “once Quintana went off the board, Oakland’s Sonny Gray stepped from the on-deck trade circle to the plate,” and the surprising Brewers, according to multiple reports, have showed the most interest in the 27-year-old right-hander. He broke out in 2015, when he was 14-7 with a 2.73 ERA and an All-Star but has been bothered by injuries. A plus: He can’t be a free agent until after the 2019 season and is making only $3.6 million this year.

Gerrit Cole, Pirates. GM Neal Huntington hasn’t had “a real conversation about Gerrit, and I don’t see us doing so,” he told Peter Gammons (via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). The right-hander, 26, is under club control for two more seasons. Huntington told Gammons that “to go move Cole and [Andrew] McCutchen and throw up a white flag is a bad message to the players.” Posturing for a better deal maybe?

Michael Fulmer, Tigers. Sure, GM Al Alvila would prefer to deal Justin Verlander (or Jordan Zimmermann) over Fulmer, 24, who is 10-6 with a 3.06 ERA. But “I think Al is being forced to listen,” an unidentified NL executive told the Boston Globe. “The Tigers could get a huge haul for Fulmer, but they’re trying to get their payroll down and get younger. Trading Fulmer is not necessarily the way to do it.”

Here, Porter takes advantage of DeMar DeRozan watching the ball. Notice how he doesn’t just sprint towards the basket once Wall makes his move.

Porter does a good job of reading how the Raptors are defending Wall and makes himself available for a pass as soon as Wall has some breathing room. It goes to show how cutting can be a skill, not simply a matter of lucking into being in the right place at the right time.
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Lillard on Sunday also became the first player in Blazers history to make 1,000 3-pointers.

The 101 points Irving, James and Love combined for marks a Cavaliers franchise record for a trio.

The Lakers took the loss despite playing about as well as could be expected. They shot 52.9 percent from the field and turned the ball over a season-low six times.

This was a game Cleveland had to have — not necessarily for standings sake, although their lead over the Celtics for first place in the East certainly isn’t insurmountable; more so to save face, considering the unpopular decision to rest their three stars in Saturday night’s nationally-televised game against the Clippers.

Damian Lillard dropped a season-high 49 points as he carried the Trail Blazers to a 115-104 win at Miami. He was remarkably efficient, making 14 of 21 shots, including 9 of 12 from 3-point range.

Lillard, an All-Star Game snub, has been one of the best players in the NBA since the break. His 29.8 points per game since then are surpassed only by Russell Westbrook’s 34.5, per CBS Sports. Portland (32-37) is 9-4 during that span.
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Lillard on Sunday also became the first player in Blazers history to make 1,000 3-pointers.
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This is on the 30 NBA teams, and all their openings over the years, that kept passing him over. After all the interviews, all the years on the bench, all the hands-on-tutoring, all the osmosis of working next to four head coaches on five franchises, all the times running the show in summer league, the mountain of off-season and in-season work.

All the dues he paid. All the dues some coaches are constantly told have to be paid, right before someone with less experience, or no experience, or only college experience, bogarts the line ahead of you.

NBA Draft 2017: Harry Giles is the most volatile first-round prospect in recent memory

On July 23, 2015, Harry Giles stepped onto the floor at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, surrounded by fans on one side of the arena and a cavalcade of college coaches and media on the other. In the front row alone, Connecticut’s Kevin Ollie, Kentucky’s John Calipari, North Carolina’s Roy Williams and his eventual college coach, Mike Krzyzewski — surrounded by assistants Jeff Capel and Jon Scheyer — sat and watched as Giles displayed the dizzying array of physical gifts that made him the No. 1 player in high school basketball by most scouting services by the time the summer ended.
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That day, Giles ran the floor like a gazelle, moved laterally like a player six inches shorter, and explosively leapt with ease. His lean, wiry, 17-year-old frame belied the strength within — he held his position on the block and overpowered weaker AAU players who couldn’t keep up athletically. It was clear his skill level in terms of shooting or creating offense was still a work in progress, but he was a versatile monster on both ends of the floor who controlled the game.
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Celtics (37-21) at Pistons (28-30) 6:00 p.m. ET — Boston needs to bounce back after an ugly loss to Toronto on Friday that saw tempers flare on both sides. The Pistons have an abundance of quality players, but they can’t get the same guy to step up on a consistent basis. Isaiah Thomas has been one of the best players in the NBA this season.
Thunder reportedly expect Enes Kanter to return Friday vs. Lakers

You don’t want to overreact to three games, but something doesn’t seem right. Jrue has the look of a guy who hasn’t yet returned from the break, rather than one galvanized by his team’s acquisition of another superstar.

So what is actually going on? Is he overly flustered by the nearly impossible burden of pleasing two bigs who thrive with the ball in their hands, and aren’t really accustomed to playing any other way?

Karl-Anthony Towns’ father pondering lawsuit against Timberwolves, mascot

The lawsuit, should he file it, would be for negligence after the team’s mascot fell into Towns, causing an injury. The 54-year-old says he suffered a significant leg injury in the Jan. 26 game against the Pacers after the mascot slid down the arena stairs and ended up crashing into a chair, which then hit Towns’ knee, causing considerable pain, according to SI.

Elite Womens Dede Westbrook Jersey Even though they suffered a 126-98 loss, the Suns have to come away impressed with this starting five. There were three double-doubles among the starters with Chriss (23 points, 11 rebounds), Len (11 points, 11 rebounds) and Ulis (10 points, 12 assists) playing well. Then there’s Booker, who led the team in scoring with 28 points and has played well all season long.

Elite Womens Luke Glendening Jersey The lineup was younger than seven of the eight NCAA Tournament teams that played Thursday night, with only Purdue being older. The younger players were given more playing time as veterans sat because of the Suns’ poor record (22-49 entering the game).

We view it as open. Any championship window, no matter how small that window is, I think if you recognize it, you have to go for it. We think, as long as we have this roster, we are capable and have the potential to do it. Last year, we had injuries in the playoffs. The year before, we blew a 3-1 lead, but nobody talks about the fact that Chris missed the first two games of that series because of a hamstring injury. We had to deal with the (former Clippers owner Donald) Sterling mess the year before. I don’t know if it’s the Clippers’ curse or whatever, but we’ve had to deal with a lot at a bad time. For our group, we look at this postseason as another potential championship. That’s how we’re looking at it. First thing’s first: we need to get out of the first round.