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The Big Sexy comeback: Bartolo Colon wants a last spin in MLB

If there’s a pathway to play baseball under the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 season will serve as an accelerated test lab for implementing changes in the game. One of them will be the use of a universal designated hitter. The concept that Major League Baseball will be better served by having bona fide hitters at every spot in the lineup is widely popular but, unexpectedly, not with Bartolo Colón.

And not because Colón, among the players most unskilled with a bat in MLB history, hit an all-time memorable home run.

“In general, when it comes to baseball, I don’t like all the changes they’re putting in,” Colón, who turned 47 Sunday, said during a video call with ESPN. “Nowadays baseball has too many changes. We have never seen so many home runs. Right now, the game is only for the hitters.”

And for one magical day, May 7, 2016, Colón legitimately looked the part of one when, as a member of the New York Mets, he launched a home run to left in San Diego’s Petco Park off Padres right-hander James Shields.nike jerseys nfl cheap

Then 42 years and 349 days old, Colón became the oldest player ever to hit his first career home run. Video of the dinger and the portly Colón slowly rounding the bases became a social media sensation.8

“I still have the bat; it’s a beautiful memory for me,” he explained. “Ever since [my debut] with Cleveland, I always dreamt of playing interleague baseball. When I was with the White Sox [in 2003], one time I thought it was going to happen, when I faced Carlos Zambrano of the Cubs. I really thought I was going to hit it out that day because the ball was flying out of the park.”

In 2018, Colón spent his 45th birthday as a member of the Texas Rangers as the oldest active player in the majors. Bartolo kicked off his Rangers tenure with a solid 3.55 ERA over his first nine starts, but finished the season with a 7-12 record and 5.78 ERA over 146⅓ innings pitched.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

He wanted to continue pitching in 2019 but no opportunities materialized. In February, Colón signed a deal to play in Mexico with the Acereros of Monclova before the pandemic hit.

Now, facing a shortened season and expanded rosters, Colón hopes for another shot as veteran help for the back end of any MLB rotation. And, if given the choice, he would go back to the team he spent the 2014-16 seasons with, the Mets.

In a career spanning over two decades — he has also played for the Indians, Expos, White Sox, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics, Braves and Twins — Colón singled out his time with the Mets as “really special.”

“If it was up to me, I would retire with the Mets. I would like my career to end in New York. I’ve played with 11 teams, but with the Mets, the way all those players treated me, how that entire franchise treated me, from the front office to the kitchen staff, was amazing. I felt like all the players were a family, and the support that the team and the fans gave me was great,” Colón said. “And Mets fans are the best. In the beginning, when they laughed at me every time my helmet fell off when I was batting, at first I felt uncomfortable. But when I saw how much the fans enjoyed it, I asked for a bigger batting helmet so that it would fall more because it was so much fun for them!”

Colón became one of the most popular players in Mets history, particularly after pitcher Noah Syndergaard anointed him with the “Big Sexy” moniker. Syndergaard even went on to publish an Instagram post of his entire family donning “Big Sexy” T-shirts.

Rays prospect Brent Honeywell has elbow procedure

Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Brent Honeywell had a decompression procedure on his right ulnar nerve and is set to begin strength and mobility exercises.

Dodgers head team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache performed the procedure on the 25-year-old right-hander in Los Angeles on Wednesday, working with Dr. Steven Shin to remove scar tissue from the area of the nerve.nike nfl cheap jerseys7

Honeywell, who hasn’t pitched in the minors since September 2017, is scheduled to start exercises on Monday at the Rays’ spring training complex in Port Charlotte.

Honeywell was among Tampa Bay’s top prospects after going 13-9 with a 3.49 ERA in 26 starts for Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham in 2017.nike jerseys nfl cheap

He missed the following season after Tommy John surgery during spring training. He sat out 2019 after an operation last June to repair a right elbow fracture.

Brendan Bailey leaving Marquette in order to pursue pro career

Marquette forward Brendan Bailey is bypassing his final two seasons of eligibility to pursue a pro career.nfl nike jersey cheap

Bailey had entered his name into consideration for the NBA draft in April but still had the option of returning to school. Bailey and Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski announced Friday that Bailey was indeed moving forward with his pro career.

“This has always been a dream of mine, and Marquette has helped prepare me to make this dream a reality,” Bailey said in a statement issued by the university.2

Bailey, the son of former Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves forward Thurl Bailey, will turn 23 on June 9. He spent two years on a mission with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between the end of his high school career and the start of his Marquette career.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 7.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 25.3 minutes this past season. He started each of Marquette’s 30 games as the Golden Eagles went 18-12.

“We are thankful for his contributions to our program the last two seasons and will do all we can to assist him with the process,” Wojciechowski said in a statement. “His best basketball is ahead of him and we can’t wait to see where his journey takes him next.”

EuroLeague, EuroCup seasons terminated because of coronavirus pandemic

Europe’s top two club basketball competitions have been terminated this season without naming any winners because of the coronavirus pandemic, organisers EuroLeague Basketball said on Monday.nike nfl jersey cheap

“Having explored every possible option, the Executive Board has made the decision to cancel the 2019-20 EuroLeague and EuroCup,” the organising body said in a statement.1

The 2020-21 EuroLeague and EuroCup seasons will start on Oct. 1 and Sept. 30 respectively, according to the statement, which added that the same 18 teams that contested this season’s EuroLeague would also compete in the next campaign.

The two competitions were indefinitely postponed on March 12 and the statement said clubs, players and all stakeholders had been willing to resume action but were unable to do so due to concerns over the health and safety of athletes and staff.

The league also said that a reduced training camp schedule compared to the previously approved minimum of three weeks would cause an increased injury risk for players.

“Without a doubt, this is the most difficult decision we have had to take in our 20-year history,” EuroLeague president Jordi Bertomeu said.nfl nike jersey cheap

“Due to reasons beyond our control, we have been forced to cut short the most successful and exciting season in European basketball history.”

Source: Seahawks make 1-year offer to Devonta Freeman, in talks with Carlos Hyde

In need of a veteran running back, the Seattle Seahawks have made a one-year offer to two-time Pro Bowler Devonta Freeman and also have been in talks with Carlos Hyde, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday.

The Seahawks are looking to reinforce their backfield with starter Chris Carson and 2018 first-round pick Rashaad Penny coming off season-ending injuries. Another veteran running back, Marshawn Lynch, told ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt earlier this month that his agent had been in contact with the team about a potential return to Seattle.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The 28-year-old Freeman, meanwhile, has been a free agent since the Atlanta Falcons released him in March with three years and $21 million remaining on his contract.

SiriusXM NFL Radio first reported Seattle’s offer to Freeman.8

Hyde, 29, is coming off a career-high 1,070-yard season with the Houston Texans. He carried 245 times, also a career high, and scored six touchdowns in his lone season with Houston. The 2014 second-round pick previously played for the 49ers, Browns and Jaguars.

NFL Network first reported the news of the talks between Seattle and Hyde.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

General manager John Schneider told KJR-AM in Seattle earlier this month that Carson (hip) is expected to be ready by Week 1 but that Penny’s recovery from reconstructive knee surgery might sideline him beyond then. Penny tore his left ACL and suffered additional damage to the knee in Week 14 of last season.

Schneider said it’s going to be “really hard” for Penny to make it back by roster cutdowns, which happen the weekend before the opener. The Seahawks believe there’s a strong chance Penny will have to begin the season on the physically unable to perform list, in which case he’d have to miss the first six games.

The rest of the Seahawks’ backfield consists of second-year pro Travis Homer and three rookies: DeeJay Dallas (fourth round), Anthony Jones (UDFA) and Patrick Carr (UDFA).

The Seahawks open the 2020 regular season against the Falcons in Atlanta.

Jets, Jamal Adams reach impasse in contract extension talks, sources say

The New York Jets and Jamal Adams have reached an impasse in contract talks, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday, raising tensions between the team and its star safety.

The two sides have had multiple conversations since the NFL draft, but the Jets told him they prefer to wait on a long-term extension and Adams wants a deal before the season, sources said.

The Adams camp is upset, claiming the Jets are dragging their feet, sources said.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

On Wednesday, the cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesalepossibility of a trade came up in a conversation between the two sides, sources said, but there are conflicting accounts on how serious those talks were.

The Jets remain intent on signing Adams, 24, to an extension and have no desire to trade him, a source said. Adams is said to be open to a trade if his contract demands aren’t met. More than half the teams in the league have reached out to the Jets to express interest, according to a source.7

Clearly there is a fundamental difference on the timing of a potential extension. They haven’t discussed money yet, sources said.

Adams, eligible for a new contract now that he has completed his third season, said in January that he wants an extension by the start of the 2020 season. He is due to make $3.5 million this year. His salary jumps to $9.9 million in 2021, the amount of his fifth-year option.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Conversely, the Jets don’t feel there is a sense of urgency because they have Adams under team control for at least two years and have the option of the franchise tag in 2022. Another component is the uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, which could have a massive impact on NFL revenue.

Since 2011, only 16 of 223 first-round picks received a new contract after their third season. The most recent was Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, who was drafted eighth overall in 2017 — two spots after Adams.

Adams believes he is worthy of being an exception after being named All-Pro and making two Pro Bowls in his first three seasons. He hasn’t named his price publicly, but it’s believed he wants to become the NFL’s highest-paid safety. The Chicago Bears’ Eddie Jackson has the highest average per year at $14.6 million.

The Jets entertained trade offers for Adams last fall at the trade deadline, with the Dallas Cowboys showing interest. Adams was furious upon hearing his name had come up in trade discussions.

General manager Joe Douglas said in February that his goal was to make Adams “a Jet for life,” and he hasn’t wavered on that position publicly. After the draft, Douglas said his plan was to reach out to Adams’ agent to initiate contract talks. He did, but those talks haven’t been fruitful.

Cavaliers’ Larry Nance says it’s important for NBA to crown a champion this season

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Larry Nance said it’s important for the NBA to crown a champion in this pandemic-altered season.

Speaking on a Zoom conference call, Nance said he’s cautiously optimistic about the league resuming after pausing play for two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Although the Cavs won’t be competing for a title, Nance empathizes with players who may not get to finish what they started if the league winds up scrapping the season.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“We’re not in position to win a championship this year, but if I was — if I was Giannis [Antetokounmpo], if I was LeBron [James], if I was Kawhi [Leonard] — If I was on one of those championship-caliber teams, I’d be pretty upset about it,” Nance said Tuesday. “Because it’s very rare in this league that a chance like this comes along, and that’s taken a valuable year off someone’s career.”8

Nance was recently able to work out on a court for the first time since March as the Cavs reopened their training facility for players last week. He said he felt confident in returning to the floor because of the “well-regimented” health and safety measures implemented by the team.

A huge soccer fan, Nance said he has been closely monitoring the return of other leagues worldwide as potential test cases for the NBA to follow.cheap nfl nike jersey

Nance is doing what he can to stay in shape, and he has passed some time watching “The Last Dance” with his father, Larry, who battled Michael Jordan throughout his pro career. Nance said he and his dad have had a running debate whether Jordan was a better player than James.

CJ McCollum, Mark Cuban question notion of return for NBA

Blazers star CJ McCollum and Mavericks owner Mark Cuban threw the wisdom of the NBA’s return into question Thursday, a day before Portland and two other teams were to reopen their facilities for player workouts, with more set to open next week.

McCollum, in an interview with Yahoo Sports, expressed confidence in the steps the Blazers have taken to make workouts safe but said he wasn’t sure the efforts were warranted.

“I am worried like the rest of the world,” McCollum said, according to Yahoo Sports. “But I like that it is optional and I’m pleased with the caution, structure and measures the Blazers organization has put in place to ensure the safest environment possible for all parties involved.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

“I get the meacheap nfl nike jerseys chinasures [the league is] taking. But you have to think at some point when there are drastic measures that need to be taken, ‘Is it really worth it?’ It’s either safe or it’s not.”

Cuban, speaking to ESPN Radio’s Freddie & Fitzsimmons, framed the issues in terms of whom players, coaches and trainers trust with their lives.7

“Seriously. If you’re a player, who do you trust with your life?” Cuban said. “If you’re a coach or a trainer or anybody, for that matter, that’s essential personnel for getting something back together, do you trust the hotel that we’re going to stay at to keep everything safe — the technology they’re using, the protocols they’re using?

“Who do you trust with your life?” Cuban repeated. “That’s a big question to ask somebody, but we all make decisions like that every day. Do you stay in? Do you go out? What do you do? Where do you go for your groceries? All these things, how do you do it?”

McCollum also downplayed the urgency of players needing to get back into the gym.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Let’s just be honest, man, it’s not like it will be the first time players got gym access outside of the team’s facilities,” McCollum said. “Some people have been working out, if we’re being honest.”

The NBA and the National Basketball Players Association are scheduled to host a conference call for all players Friday to field and address such concerns, sources told ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne.

The Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers planned to reopen their facilities Friday. The Denver Nuggets expected to, but sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that the Nuggets will instead open their facilities Monday. The Sacramento Kings also said they would open Monday.

“The issue is you can go to your practice facility, but there’s all these stipulations,” McCollum told Yahoo Sports. “You can’t use certain stuff, can’t do certain stuff. Now they’re talking about you might have to be 12 feet away from your strength coach. How are you going to lift 12 feet away from somebody?”

Packers fellowship goes to friend of Matt LaFleur, Aaron Rodgers

Matt LaFleur has created a full-time, year-round minority fellowship on the Green Bay Packers coaching staff, and the first person to hold the job has a connection to both the second-year head coach and quarterback Aaron Rodgers: He has caught passes from both of them.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

LaFleur tabbed former NFL receiver Ruvell Martin, who had LaFleur as his quarterback at Saginaw Valley State before he began his career with the Packers in 2005.5

Martin, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Chargers, played in 82 career games for four different teams. Half those games came in three seasons with the Packers (2006-08). He quickly became friends with Rodgers and caught a touchdown pass from him in 2008, which was Rodgers’ first year as a starter.

LaFleur created the position for “young and aspiring minority coaches,” the team said. Martin will work with the offense, coordinated by Nathaniel Hackett, and will assist first-year receivers coach Jason Vrable.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

The Packers previously had hired minority coaching interns for training camp but not for a full season. In 2018, they had three former players — Jarrett Bush, Nick Barnett and Brandon Jackson — as coaching interns as part of the NFL’s Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship Program.

Jordan Love’s transformation from ‘Sticks’ to Packers’ future QB

“It took him awhile to grow,” Barnes said. “Freshman year, he was shorter than most of us. It wasn’t until his junior year that he really had a growth spurt and even senior year he was still light, probably weighed 170 maybe. We used to make fun of him and call him ‘Nutella Sticks,’ and we used to try to make him eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.”

When Matt Wells, then the head coach at Utah State, first laid eyes on him during the spring before Love’s junior year of high of school: “He was 6-2, 170 — and that 170 was maybe on a good day,” Wells said.cheap nike nfl jersey

“Whenever he came back from college, that’s a whole different story,” said cornerback Johnny Balderas, another of Love’s high school teammates. “This was a grown man, and it was amazing just how he looked. Time changed, and so did he.”

It took awhile, but the Jordan Love who got the call from the Green Bay Packers with the 26th pick in last month’s NFL draft no longer looked like a Nutella stick. These days, he’s almost 6-4 and 224 pounds and tough as leather both physically and emotionally, according to those who have watched him mature.6

Such is the physical maturation of Love, who impressed the Packers enough for them to create one of the biggest stirs of the offseason when they traded up to pick him in the first round even though their two-time MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers remains under contract through the 2023 season and has given every indication he plans to play through then (and perhaps beyond).

The answers started with Love’s mom, Anna. The longtime California Highway Patrol officer became the central figure in Love’s life after her husband and Jordan’s father, Orbin, a veteran of the Bakersfield Police Department, died by suicide in 2013. Anna Love declined comment for this story, but she wrote in Orbin Love’s obituary that he was “taken suddenly by a medical demon,” blaming his sudden change in behavior on a new blood pressure medication. Jordan was 14 years old at the time of his father’s death.

“He told my son, ‘I’m done with sports; my dad wanted me to play,'” said Dennis Hicks, whose son Dennis II was one of Love’s childhood friends. “My son would tell him, ‘Just stick with it, you’re too good. What are you going to quit for? He wanted you to be a quarterback. At least let’s finish out high school.’ So I think some of their little talks helped. Then he started to love it.”

Like Orbin Love, Dennis Hicks was heavily involved in his son’s athletic pursuits. Together, they coached Jordan and Dennis II in seventh grade basketball.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“We were the only two fathers there when all the kids were trying out,” Hicks said. “He was at one end of the gym and I was at the other, and we saw this one coach trying to coach the seventh and eighth grade boys. We said, ‘Do you think this guy needs some help?’ So we asked him, and then next thing you know we’re coaching the seventh graders. Orbin was always there for Jordan.”