MLB All-Star Game 2017: Rosters, starting lineups, how to watch live

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The preliminary rosters for the 2017 MLB All-Star Game were announced July 2, while the starting lineups for the Midsummer Classic in Miami were announced Monday.

Fan voting determined the starters for the game; the commissioner’s office filled out the rosters with input from the players.

There’s also room for one more player from each league. Those players will be chosen by fans from a group of candidates who were not selected as starters or reserves. The Final Vote lists were announced Sunday night:

There already were a stack of issues the union is ready to bring to the table that have gone on throughout the current labor deal: player discipline, concussions, the drug policy, Thursday night games.

But above and beyond those, these deals are about splitting the money. That’s what keeps bringing these sports to a screeching halt every several years; from 1998 to 2011, the NFL, NBA and NHL had a combined five lockouts. That’s the owners’ big stick, and clearly they haven’t been afraid to swing it.

The NFL players haven’t wielded their own big stick since the 1987 strike, the year of the scab games. The next time things got fractious enough for a season to be threatened, the owners flexed their muscles.

This time, both sides have ample reason to flex theirs. Houston’s offensive outburst came at the expense of Blue Jays ace Aaron Sanchez. The 25-year-old right-hander was making his first start since mid-May due to blister issues. The Astros lit him up for eight runs (five earned) in 1 1/2 innings. Sanchez walked four and gave up two home runs in his uninspiring return.

Laquon Treadwell Jersey The Astros (59-28) are still narrowly hanging on to the best record in baseball over the Dodgers, and their electric offense is a big reason why they’ve had so much success.

Oh baby: Carolina Panthers fan names newborn son after 2 favorite players

DeeJay Howell loves the Carolina Panthers

He loves his newborn son, too. Cameron Luuuke was born July 1 in Gastonia, N.C.

Gabriel Landeskog Limited Jersey Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly have been the unquestioned offensive and defensive leaders of the Panthers in recent seasons, and Howell told the Gaston Gazette that it made perfect sense to name his son after the two stars.
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Of course I thought about it. Just like in basketball, you know, guys, they create these super teams. But it’s not quite like that in football where I had the freedom just to go, Johnson said, via ESPN.com.

I was stuck in my contract with Detroit and they told me they would not release my contract, so I would have to come back to them. I didn’t see the chance for them to win a Super Bowl at the time, and for the work I was putting in, it wasn’t worth my time to keep on beating my head against the wall and not going anywhere.

Johnson was prolific in a Lions uniform, hauling in 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns in nine seasons.

Earlier this year, Johnson voiced his displeasure that the Lions made him repay part of his signing bonus once he retired.

The Lions’ relationship with former star running back Barry Sanders also soured after he prematurely retired. Their rapport has since improved, but it appears Johnson and the organization have an uphill climb.

Oddly enough, the Lions were probably one playmaker away from contending last season. Johnson’s services would have certainly helped their cause.

We get a Walt Frazier lottery suit!

Four current players, three former players (two also performing duties in the front office), three head coaches, two general managers, one team co-owner and one legendary broadcaster will be in attendance in the hopes that their envelope is opened last. Wait, should we rank all 14 representatives based on no specific criteria at all? Yes, let’s do this.

Excited to represent Philly at the Lottery and also excited to see which young fella is gonna have this draft reaction when they get drafted pic.twitter.com/ljVqX2WhJw

We get a Walt Frazier lottery suit! Will it be made entirely of ping-pong balls? Will it have Markelle Fultz’s face embroidered on the inside pocket? Nothing is off the table.

In all, according to NBA.com stats, 31 of the Celtics’ 75 3-point attempts in this series have come with a defender 4-6 feet away from the shooter, or what the league deems “open.” They’ve gotten 32 “wide open” 3-pointers.

In all, 35.3 percent of all the Celtics’ shots in this series have been 3-pointers either open or wide open — without a defender within four feet. The Wizards were not a great closeout team in the regular season, but only 26.4 percent of the shots opponents took were 3-pointers without a defender within four feet. During the season, 29.8 percent of the Celtics’ shots were open or wide open 3s.

James’ philosophy appeared to be: I’ll sleep when the Pacers are dead.

With the other three Eastern Conference series tied or close, the Cavaliers could get more than a week of rest before being required to start their next round. That was an alluring incentive for the league’s oldest team.jets_001

Steve Kerr’s health issue ‘fixable,’ Warriors GM says

The debilitating health issues confronting Steve Kerr are fixable, Warriors GM Bob Myers told The Associated Press on Wednesday, and he is confident Golden State’s coach will return to the bench.
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It just might take a while.

Look, what he’s facing is fixable, Myers said in Oakland. It’s just finding the issue and solving it. So I think that’s how you have to differentiate what he’s going through with somebody else.

Thomas then jokingly said, Kelly is one of the dirtiest players I know, before turning serious and saying he’s a clean player. Thomas said Olynyk is just playing playoff basketball and sometimes things are going to happen.

Avery Bradley also defended his teammate by taking a shot at Green.

Everyone has their own opinion, but I don’t agree (with) it, he said. I think Kelly is far from a dirty guy. I’m pretty sure some guys might have their opinion on Draymond, some of the plays that he’s made in the past. But I don’t care.

It’s ridiculous, Olynyk said. I know who I am, I know what I do, I know what I stand for, my teammates know, and that’s all that matters.

If the Celtics and Warriors meet up in the NBA Finals, expect this storyline to continue to grow.

Game Bud Dupree Jersey Bradley scored only four points in the second half, and Thomas had a relatively quiet game by his standards (18 points on 5-of-13 shooting) but several other Celtics stepped out into the spotlight. Center Al Horford hit 8-of-9 shots, including three treys, for 19 points. He added seven assists, six rebounds and three blocks.

Do hobbled Spurs stand a chance against well-rested Warriors?

It’s hard to make much of the meetings between the Spurs and Warriors this season — three games, two wins by San Antonio. The first win was on Opening Night, the second win came in March with four starters out for the Warriors and the final game, a 110-89 win for Golden State, came on March 29.

If their on-court tussles have been limited, that doesn’t change the fact that they have been on a collision course since training camp opened, with the Spurs (61 wins) running second to Golden State (67 wins) for almost the entire season. Not surprisingly, the Warriors and Spurs have been 1-2 in margin of victory throughout the year, too.

Game Kids Jeff Keppinger Jersey I’ll just coach until they tell me otherwise, Brown said. When they tell me otherwise, I’ll do the otherwise.

There’s a chance he may be (on site Sunday for Game 1 against the Spurs). Obviously, if he’s there, and I get asked, I’m going to say whether he was there or not. But we hope he is.

We have plenty of time to decide what to do, but I would imagine we’ll make the pick, Grousbeck said, via Boston.com . In this day’s NBA, picks are very, very valuable. You’ve got a young person you can help mold and grow with. Bring him in before the max salaries kick in years later. Makes a lot of sense to keep these picks.

Two possibilities will arise if Boston does, in fact, make the pick. The team could actually draft someone it wants to mold and develop into its own player, or the Celtics could make the pick for another team, and swap for a player after making the selection. The second scenario is quite common in the NBA Draft.

If the Celtics do keep the pick and draft a player for themselves like Grousbeck indicated, then who should it be?

Game Kids Paul Krause Jersey Markelle Fultz is pretty much universally rated as the top prospect in this year’s draft. Many believe the Celtics will take him. But there appear to be other options out there better fits that could help Boston immediately.

Breaking down new-look Packers: Did Aaron Rodgers get what he needed?

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The Packers are coming off a 10-6 season in which Aaron Rodgers led the team from a 4-6 record through a run to the NFC championship game that included a thrilling 34-31 victory against the Cowboys in the divisional playoffs.

The Falcons, however, provided the reality check in the NFC championship game by knocking off the Packers, 44-21. The message was clear: Green Bay needed to put more pieces around Rodgers, who turns 34 this season and has a contract that runs through 2020.

Here’s a closer look at how the Packers did just that in the offseason.

Bills quarterback Kevin Kolb’s 2013 knee injury occurred during training camp, but it was technically off the field.

Kolb, at the time battling rookie EJ Manuel for Buffalo’s starting job, slipped on a wet rubber mat in a tunnel while switching fields between drills.

Kolb avoided serious injury and returned to practice a few days later, but he did end up second on the depth chart for the season.

Alejandro Villanueva Authentic Jersey Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson, as the team opened training camp in 2016, placed on the non-football injury list. He apparently was hit in the eye with a paintball, which, like the other paintball-related injury on this list, sounds incredibly painful.

He was expected to miss most of training camp. The eight-year Jay Cutler era, sprinkled with sparks but drenched in disappointment, ended when the Bears released the quarterback at the start of the 2017 league year — right before they signed Mike Glennon to a 3-year, $45 million deal.

This season was going to be pivotal for coach John Fox and his staff in Chicago regardless of who formed the roster. But general manager Ryan Pace, who like Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is entering his third year with the Bears, gambled his own fate and earned the head-scratcher of the offseason award when he traded a haul of picks to draft Mitchell Trubisky at No. 2 overall.

Tim Duncan’s former financial advisor gets 4 years in prison for wire fraud

The man who defrauded Tim Duncan will pay for his dishonest crime.

Charles Augustus Banks IV, the former financial advisor of the Spurs legend, was sentenced to four years in prison and ordered to pay $7.5 million in restitution to Duncan during a Wednesday court hearing in San Antonio, the Associated Press reported.

The offer the Wizards made to Porter at the onset of free agency was short of the max, but the team is ready to match the Kings’ offer, multiple reports say. Should the Wizards do that, Porter would become the highest-paid player on the roster, the Washington Post notes.

Bojan Bogdanovic is expected to be one of Washington’s salary-cap casualties, as he’s seeking a bigger salary than the $4.6 million qualifying offer extended to him by the Wizards.

Porter, who Washington selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, plans to meet with two more teams before making a decision about where he’ll play next season.

Still, a Cubs-Tigers deal for Verlander makes a lot of sense. The Cubs need a starting pitcher for 2017. They’ll need starting pitching help after 2017, with Jake Arrieta and John Lackey both free agents. So if the Cubs do trade for a pitcher, it makes sense for them to go after one signed beyond 2017. Maybe that’s Verlander, maybe it’s a younger guy like Sonny Gray. I don’t know if they’d be willing to part with top prospect Eloy Jimenez; yes, they traded Gleyber Torres last year, but that was a better Cubs team and Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer believed Aroldis Chapman was the final piece needed. This year’s team isn’t even a sure bet to make the playoffs.

Even if they want to keep Jimenez, they still have a logjam of position players, particularly if they believe Kyle Schwarber is still in their long-term plans (and, no, Schwarber isn’t good enough to be the centerpiece of a Verlander or Gray deal). They could make Ian Happ or Javier Baez part of a deal for a pitcher.
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When Reggie Jackson and Billy Martin clashed at Fenway

When discussing baseball history, it’s fun to look back at every aspect of the game: the good, the bad and the ugly. On June 18, 1977, the Yankees experienced the ugly in more than one way.

Jamison Crowder Kids Jersey Forty years ago today, the Yankees and the Red Sox played a game on national television. Sounds familiar, right? And the game was a heated contest that featured a war of words that nearly turned into a nasty brawl. That probably also sounds familiar because in the storied history of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry, fans have witnessed many bench clearing incidents between the teams, only this wasn’t an incident between the two rivals — it was a kerfuffle between a fiery manager and his star right fielder.
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If we based the rubric purely on team wins, the Spurs would be at the top of this list. But no one’s calling this a superteam. This is a super franchise starring Leonard. The Spurs became the first team in NBA history to win over 60 games with only one All-Star on the team (Leonard).

Bringing back Pau Gasol would technically make this a big three because of his 2014-15 All-NBA appearance and two All-Star bids in the last three seasons, but he’ll be 37 on Thursday and not close to a seventh All-Star bid. Not helping Aldridge’s current star status is this fact: He averaged a career-low 16.5 points per game this postseason and scored in single digits in two of his three games without Leonard by his side. Yikes.

How they move up: Moving Aldridge would be considered a sell-low move, so it’s hard to see them making a serious upgrade with him as the centerpiece in a deal. There are other interesting buy-low candidates out there like Andre Drummond and Anthony. Internal development from Kyle Anderson or Dejounte Murray is probably the best bet.

Hawks top draft pick John Collins wants to emulate Paul Millsap

John Collins was the Hawks’ top pick in Thursday’s NBA Draft, and he is ready to get to work.

The 6-10 forward is expected to play a huge role in the future of the rebuilding Hawks but his playing time on the roster depends on Paul Millsap, who opted out of his contact for next season with Atlanta but could still return.

An infusion of young talent and hiring of former Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin as offensive line coach led to improvement in 2016. Frank Gore became the first Colts running back to record a 1,000-yard rushing season since 2007. And while quarterback Andrew Luck was sacked 41 times — matching the career-high total from his 2012 rookie year — only 10 came in the season’s final seven games. That includes shutouts of three of the NFL’s top pass rushers in Oakland’s Khalil Mack and Minnesota’s Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter.

If they don’t get hurt and stay together and all that kind of stuff I think the physical stuff is there, said Mudd, who retired in 2012 after 37 seasons as an NFL offensive line coach. Two of those guys — Kelly and Haeg — they’ve demonstrated the mental (toughness) to go out there and scrap and not give and be determined to get the job done. Those are interesting characteristics they have.
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Limited Mens Troy Polamalu Jersey The next benchmark for the line to reach is providing better protection to Luck than in previous years. The beating that Luck has taken caused him to miss the final nine games of the 2015 season and undergo surgery last January to repair a torn labrum suffered in the same year. Luck still hasn’t thrown in practice this offseason and a timetable for his return is unknown.

Should the NFL’s 2016 rookies be worried about a sophomore slump?

Authentic Kids Randy Bullock Jersey In 2016, a handful of rookies became household names by playing like seasoned veterans. But the risk of sophomore slumps for players like Joey Bosa, Dak Prescott, Jordan Howard, Tyreek Hill, and Ezekiel Elliott may have fans feeling anxious as the 2017 season approaches.

The 49ers will be bad in 2017. That’s not a hot take, just the reality of the situation. Shanahan’s tenure won’t be judged off an obvious rebuilding year — wins and losses will be less important than how the team actually looks on the field.

If the 49ers are competitive every week, keeping games close, and responding to the culture Shanahan implements, then that’s an encouraging sign. It’ll give the team hope for the future as it starts building up a core of real NFL talent.

Nearly everything about San Francisco’s defense was a trash fire last season. The unit allowed a league-high 30 points per game, was dead last with 165.9 rushing yards allowed per game, and was No. 28 in defensive DVOA. All of these numbers are the worst in franchise history.
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Linebacker NaVorro Bowman was by far the best player on that side of the ball, and once he tore his Achilles in Week 4, the entire unit rolled over and died.

Thankfully, there are glimmers of actual talent on this defense. Thomas will be paired up with rising second-year lineman DeForest Buckner. Linebacker Malcolm Smith and defensive tackle Earl Mitchell came over in free agency, while Foster is solid insurance in case Bowman can’t come back healthy. Jimmie Ward, who got his fifth-year option picked up, will transition from cornerback to safety full time.

There are still too many holes in too many positions, but first-time defensive coordinator Robert Saleh at least has more to work with than Jim O’Neil did last season.