Tag Archives: cheap nfl jerseys

The unlucky legacy of the 2018 Houston Astros

Specifically, it will remember the fly ball Jose Altuve hit over the wall in Game 4 of the ALCS, the extraordinary leap Boston’s Mookie Betts made for it, and the way that after the ball had landed, uncaught, it was declared an out. It will remember the debate that ensued over what constitutes interference, from Joe West’s confident ruling on an essentially unknowable call to the flukily blocked camera that might have otherwise saved Altuve’s home run and the Astros’ season. The future will have no trouble remembering that all as, from Houston’s perspective, bad luck.

In baseball, the point is to win the World Series and the tactic involved — the skill involved — is “avoiding outs” and “getting outs.” But we don’t declare the World Series winner based on who avoided the most outs (i.e., who got the most hits). That would be one kind of sport — golf is that kind of sport, and the discus throw, and the 1,500 freestyle, where every stroke, inch or second counts equally toward the final outcome. But baseball is the kind that has added layers upon layers of suspense and variety: Outs avoided make rallies; rallies make runs; runs make wins; wins make standings; standings make postseason series; and postseason series make the World Series winner.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

And, indeed, outs themselves are made up of layers and sequences — strikes and balls, batted balls chased and caught and thrown and tagged. You might even say the point is to win the World Series but the tactics are “throw good strikes” and “hit the ball hard.” The layers in between give it all texture.6

That’s why it’s fun. And the result is that, along the way from “control the count” to “win the World Series,” only some hits count. A hit that doesn’t produce a rally is ultimately no better than an out, a rally that doesn’t produce a run is ultimately no better than an out, and a run that doesn’t win a game is ultimately no better than an out. We measure skill based on those hits, rallies and runs, but we measure success based only on the higher outcomes.

This is true at virtually every level of play, and it’s almost always what we’re actually talking about when we talk about luck. A team that vastly underperforms its run differential? It scored more runs than its opponent in the aggregate, but there is no partial credit for a close loss. A pitcher who has allowed an unsustainably low BABIP? He gives up lots of hard contact, but there is no partial credit on a diving catch.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

On Thursday, in the third inning, the game scoreless, the series still very much undecided, Justin Verlander got two strikes on J.D. Martinez. He threw a perfect 1-2 slider, right on the outside black, just above the knees. It was a pitch that umpires across baseball call a strike 84 percent of the time, according to ESPN Stats & Information. It was a pitch that, had it been slightly worse — i.e., slightly more hittable — Martinez probably would have swung at, probably would have whiffed at or hit meekly to the shortstop, or maybe hit for a single. But Martinez took it, umpire Chris Guccione called it a ball, and on the next pitch Verlander threw a hanging curveball — this one, ironically, probably not in the strike zone — and Martinez crushed it for what ultimately would be the game-winning, series-winning home run.

Will Durant stay or go? Like Thunder, Warriors are stuck in a waiting game

Kevin Durant will stand on the floor at Oracle Arena on Tuesday night and watch another banner lifted into the rafters and wait for another ring to be presented to him, this time with the slight discomfort of his former team in the building on the same night.

The Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder share a strange, awkward bond, with it less a rivalry and more sympathetic schadenfreude. Durant left the Thunder to join the Warriors, a seismic moment in NBA history, altering the trajectory of one franchise, and enhancing the other.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

But as the Warriors kick off their final season in Oakland, the bittersweet taste of their pending move across the bay lingering over it, like the Thunder experienced themselves, Durant’s uncertain future and the growing rumbles surrounding it will blanket everything else.4

There has been swelling noise Durant could leave the Warriors next summer, with connected insiders dropping hints and close associates either backing them up, or not outright denying them. And speculation goes back even further: In the days following Durant’s departure from OKC, those close to him predicted the Warriors wouldn’t be his final career stop.

But it’s not even an open secret that Durant will consider leaving the Warriors next summer; it’s just reality. And it’s been that way since he signed another short-term deal in July (a two-year contract, with an opt-out after this season).nfl jerseys nike cheap

There’s no financial incentive this time around, no 10-year threshold to hit. Another one-year deal next summer could give Durant full Bird rights in 2019, allowing him to sign a five-year max, but if he had his eye on that he would’ve signed a two-plus-one. (The cap jumping from a $109 million to a projected $116 million could be financially beneficial to a small degree, but that projection wasn’t when Durant signed.)

The actual incentive behind another single-season deal, as Durant said himself, is to keep his options open.

“I could have easily signed a long-term deal but I just wanted to take it season by season and see where it takes me,” Durant told ESPN’s Nick Friedell a few weeks ago. “And I think this year is going to be a fun, exciting year for us all. I’m looking forward to just focusing on that and we’ll see what happens after the year.”

Sean McVay’s quest for playcalling perfection

Sean McVay is critical of himself. But that’s what he believes a good head coach and playcaller should be.

Accountability is everything for the Los Angeles Rams, the only remaining undefeated team in the NFL. And it starts with McVay.

“The cold didn’t really dictate the play selection,” McVay said after the Rams held off the Broncos 23-20 last Sunday in bone-chilling Denver temperatures. “If anything, the cold might have just affected my brain with some of the decisions I made.”nfl nike jersey cheap

The critique seemed harsh, if not unwarranted. The Rams, after all, had just won their sixth consecutive game — their second straight on the road, and Todd Gurley rushed for a career-high 208 yards.

“I don’t want to be some Negative Nelly,” said McVay, brazenly aware of his harsh self-evaluation. But the reality is, the second-year coach points out what he must improve, knowing his team has the potential to go as far as he can lead them — and yes, that is a Super Bowl.8

The Rams feature the top-ranked offense in the NFL, Gurley leads the league in rushing yards and Jared Goff is fourth in passing yards.

But even as the Rams average 464.3 yards and 32.7 points per game, McVay sees plenty of areas for growth, beginning with him as the playcaller.cheap nfl nike jersey

“One of the things that I’m not afraid to admit is that this is only the fourth year that I’ve done it,” the 32-year-old McVay said. “By no means do I have all the answers or the solutions.”

Goff, who has passed for 1,928 yards and 12 touchdowns with five interceptions this season, said McVay can be too hard on himself.

“He does a great job with us,” Goff said. “And he holds himself to a high standard.”

In the immediate aftermath of each of the Rams’ victories, McVay is quick to credit players, while often chastising himself, stating that he could have put his team in better situations.

“That’s what we love about him,” Gurley said. “He is just a great coach no matter if it is our fault. He is always taking the blame and he says he can do a better job.”

Raiders CB Gareon Conley may lose spot in starting lineup

And while Conley has been relatively healthy — he came back earlier than expected from a strained hip suffered in the first practice of training camp — and has been a mainstay on defense this season, his snap total dropped off dramatically last weekend. And with Daryl Worley returning from an NFL-mandated four-game suspension last week, Conley is in jeopardy of losing his starting gig at right cornerback.nike replica nfl jerseys

Besides, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said Tuesday that Conley is “basically a rookie player” and a “work in progress” for a defense still trying to find its identity heading into this weekend’s game in London against the Seattle Seahawks.

“He is learning a lot of things,” Guenther said of Conley. “Unfortunately, he gives up the one play off the goal line and we are in a pretty good call to stop it.”1

Late in the third quarter of Sunday’s 26-10 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers, one snap after Derek Carr’s end zone interception, the Raiders had the hosts on their own 4-yard line. But Chargers receiver Tyrell Williams blew by Conley down the left sideline and Philip Rivers hit him in stride for a 48-yard gain.

“I don’t want to give (Conley) too much right now,” Guenther added. “If we can give him little by little by little, just like a normal rookie player, that’s how I’m viewing Gareon. He really only played one-and-a-half games last year and he sat out pretty much through the offseason. It’s no different than a young player. He’s a work in progress.“replica nike nfl jerseys

After playing 57 defensive snaps (90 percent) in the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams and then tying for the defensive lead with 64 snaps (97 percent) in Denver in Week 2, Conley played 31 snaps (70 percent) at Miami and 55 (68 percent) against the Browns.

But against the Chargers, Conley had just 12 snaps (19 percent), behind fellow corners Worley (49 snaps), Rashaan Melvin (40 snaps), Leon Hall (39 snaps) and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (19 snaps).

“Worley played good,” Gruden said Monday, when asked if Conley’s lack of playing time was related more to his struggles or to Worley playing well.

“Worley is a good player. Gareon had a couple of struggles … (and we’re) trying to find a right mix, trying to find a right mix at a lot of positions. Daryl Worley is a good player. I think he was second on our team in tackles. He earned a right to be out there.”

How the ESPN Fantasy Soccer tier system works

Each week, you’ll select a Tier 1 and Tier 2 forward; a Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 midfielder; and a Tier 1 and Tier 2 defender, in addition to your goalkeeper. The best players available obviously will be in Tier 1. Tiers 2 and 3 will feature less heralded players, mostly from teams that are not championship contenders, testing your knowledge of the entire league.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Makes sense, right? But remember, you’ll want to pick a new team of players every week — taking advantage of lopsided-looking matchups, for instance. When Manchester City plays Huddersfield Town, for example, you’ll probably want to stock up on City players.

But it’ll also be important to take a close look at the tiers each week, because there will be changes. Players could move up or down a tier, depending on their current form. Fulham midfielder Jean Michael Seri might have been a Tier 3 midfielder at the start of the season, since he plays for a newly promoted side. But Seri already has a goal and an assist, and is sixth in the league in passes completed, so he’s a Tier 2 midfielder this week.5

Players could change positions, too. West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic had generally played as a midfielder prior to last season, but he then was shifted to center forward over the course of the campaign. He’s playing at center forward again this season, so he’s a Tier 2 forward this week, rather than being listed among the midfielders.

As you’ll see, the tiers aren’t exhaustive — there are nine Tier 1 forwards available for selection in the Premier League this week, for instance. There will be more players available in the lower tiers, but not that many more. We want to give you plenty of options, but not overwhelm you.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

And some players will be added or dropped from the game altogether due to injury, form, etc. Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne is expected to be out for at least a couple more months, but once he’s back, you can bet he’ll be a Tier 1 midfielder every week for the rest of the season, as long as he’s healthy.

So, don’t forget to check your team, and the list of players in each tier, before every round of games begins. Because the tiers can be adjusted any given week, and that could really impact your results. Your team from the previous week will roll over automatically, but if one of your players changes tiers or drops out of the game altogether, you’ll be left with a blank spot and earn no points at that position.

Fans in China use ‘polite booing’ for Sixers’ JJ Redick

Chinese fans booed Philadelphia 76ers shooting guard JJ Redick every time he touched the ball during Friday’s preseason game at Mercedes-Benz Arena, harboring hard feelings for a racist slur he used several months ago.

However, many fans applauded Redick’s marksmanship as he scored 28 points on 10-of-10 shooting in the 76ers’ 120-114 win over the Dallas Mavericks.nfl cheap nike jerseys

“It was the most polite booing that I’ve ever received in my life,” Redick said. “I mean, they booed and they cheered. It was like, ‘We’re mad at you, but we appreciate the way you shoot a basketball.'”

Redick was one of several NBA players to record a video wishing fans a happy Chinese New Year in February for Tencent, a Chinese media company and partner of ESPN. Redick stumbled over his words in the video, and it sounded like he used an offensive term in reference to Chinese people.6

Redick apologized in February, explaining that he was “tongue tied,” and reiterated his remorse Friday, praising China’s culture and energy. He said he expected to be booed and that Chinese fans are entitled to do so.

“The whole thing, it was a very unfortunate situation,” Redick said. “I’m just deeply, deeply remorseful for offending so many people.”

Redick, who is coming off the bench to make room for Markelle Fultz in the 76ers’ starting lineup, said the booing did not provide him any additional motivation. He was simply in a spectacular shooting rhythm, his lone miss not counting because he intentionally launched a halfcourt heave after the buzzer at the end of the third quarter.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping

“I did take an extra dribble on purpose even though it was a preseason game, because I wanted a 10-for-10 night,” said Redick, who was 7-of-7 from 3-point range.

Jason Collins looks to future as Lakers celebrate their first Pride Night

As he proudly celebrated the Los Angeles Lakers’ first Pride Night when he was honored by the organization Thursday, Collins said he has been in contact with and supports other athletes who have yet to come out.

“Definitely hoped that there would be more players who would step up because I know I’m not alone,” Collins said before the Lakers played the Kings at Staples Center in a preseason game. “I’m in contact with some people who are in professional sports in the big four and aren’t ready to publicly come forward yet. My job with the NBA now is to try to create an environment that makes them feel comfortable to step forward and also to tell our allies that we need them to step forward as well.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Collins, who is a Global Ambassador and diversity advocate for the NBA, returned to the site where he played his first game as an openly gay male athlete after he signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets and faced the Lakers on Feb. 23, 2014.

Minnesota United FC midfielder Collin Martin is currently the only openly gay professional male athlete in North America after he became the second openly gay player in Major League Soccer history, following Robbie Rogers of the LA Galaxy.5

Collins praised the NBA as “the best overall with regards to being an ally” as the Lakers hosted members and supporters from the LGBTQ community and celebrated diversity, inclusion and unity. Lakers CEO Jeanie Buss showed her support by wearing a Lakers Pride Night shirt and also dyeing her hair.

Collins, though, hopes gay male athletes can come forward and receive the same reaction that many WNBA players have.

“To have it like in the WNBA, where a player like a Sue Bird can step forward, and everyone is like, ‘Great, go win that championship,'” Collins said. “And that’s exactly what she just did. Or what happened with Elena Delle Donne right before the Rio Olympics, same type thing and everyone’s like, ‘Great, nike nfl jerseys cheap china now go win a gold medal.’

“So when we’re at that day with male athletes who choose to step forward and share their true self with the world, it’s like, ‘Great, now go win a championship.’ And so we have some work to do, because throughout male professional sports, at least in North America in the top five leagues, we only have one currently out male player, and that’s in the MLS.”

Drafting these players could make or break your fantasy hoops season

Rolling the dice means confronting the prospect of drafting a single player that could, all on his very own, make or break your season.

At its core, winning in fantasy hoops is about one thing: maximizing return on your draft-day investment. You need to create differentiation between your team’s numbers and your fellow pseudo general managers. To do that, you’ll have to balance risk versus reward in some extreme configurations.

If you’re in it to win it, you’ll need to venture out of your comfort zone and take a player with at least one red flag.

Red flags come in all shapes, sizes and hues. There are a lot of “maybes” in fantasy hoops.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Maybe a player is coming off a season-ending injury and has a return date you can’t trust. Maybe a player just switched teams. Maybe a player just got relegated to a sixth-man role. Maybe a player is getting up there in years. Maybe a player is still a couple of seasons away from his peak. Maybe a player has a key statistical flaw you’ll have to build the rest of your team around. Maybe a player is playing for a coach he can’t stand … and the feeling is mutual.6

I play in a lot of expert leagues. To win in those, I’m looking to take at least two big swings. Players that might scare other experts off, but will provide the statistical differentiation I’ll need to succeed.

Let’s take a look at some polarizing options that could single-handedly make or break your season.

(For the purposes of this discussion, I’m going off of our preseason points rankings.)china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Do you take Antetokoumpo No. 1 overall in a points league? Will he finish the season at No. 1 on the Player Rater? There’s no question the Greek Freak is a top-five asset, but is his considerable upside worth risking a No. 1 overall pick over more established uber-talents like James Harden and Anthony Davis?

If you’re picking No. 1 overall and you miss — even by a few draft slots — the squandered value can tank your team.

If you wager on Antetokoumpo at No. 1, you’re betting on the 23-year-old’s considerable upside. Unlike Harden and Davis, Antetokoumpo still has room to grow. In 2017-18, he only posted a middling 76.0 FT percentage. And although his 3-point production improved as the season progressed, he still only finished with a 30.7 3PT percentage.

When Big Ben leaves, the party begins in Steelers locker room

That the needle dropped when the quarterback departed was no coincidence.

“You’ve got to respect what he wants,” Darrius Heyward-Bey said. “He’s not here, it’s party time.”

There’s an unwritten rule in the Steelers locker room that Roethlisberger works to protect — no blaring loud music during core business hours.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Players cultivate a casual, laugh-heavy atmosphere each day, but from 8 a.m. until post-practice showers between 3 and 4 p.m., musical silence is black and golden.5

Roethlisberger says the Steelers’ setup has been this way since he arrived in 2004 and veterans such as Alan Faneca and Brett Keisel kept the speakers off.

Now, at 36, Roethlisberger is upholding the tradition, though he’s not trying to be the get-off-my-lawn dad.

“That’s one of the reasons they invented headphones, so you can listen to your music,” said Roethlisberger with a laugh. “If you want to listen to music, that’s no problem, we just don’t want to have to hear it at other people’s lockers. It’s just kind of always been that tradition and we try to keep it going.”cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Roethlisberger occasionally enforces the rule with teammates, either in person or via his long-distance connection.

“Usually I’ll send AB [Antonio Brown] a text on the other side of the locker room,” Roethlisberger said. “I’ll be like, ‘AB, music.’ He’ll look down and say, my bad. It’s pretty funny. We have fun with it. He’ll say like, it’s Vinny [Williams] or somebody else. It’s usually done in fun. It’s not really serious. But I try to keep that tradition alive.”

Players don’t need Roethlisberger to formally address the team about the music, Heyward-Bey said. The rules are understood, and players get a feeling about how things should be.

Gor Mahia identify Batambuze as Walusimbi replacement

Gor Mahia have identified Uganda’s Shafik Batambuze as a potential replacement for Godfrey Walusimbi, according to the club’s CEO Lordvick Aduda.

Walusimbi left Got for Kaizer Chiefs in August after four years at the club, but the Kenyan champions appear to have identified a replacement.nike nfl jerseys for cheap

“We are in talks [with Batambuze],” Aduda told KweséESPN. “He is a quality player who our technical bench feel can fill that left-back position.”

Gor must wait until December to complete the player’s transfer and registration.6

“The window is currently closed, so there’s little we can do right now,” Aduda added, “but talks are at a very advanced stage.

“The player has also expressed his willingness to join us.”

Batambuze is no stranger in the Kenyan Premier League, having featured for Sofapaka, Western Stima and Tusker FC.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

He left the last of these to sign for his most recent employers, Singida United of Tanzania, in May 2017, having won the Kenyan Premier League and Gotv Shield titles with Tusker in 2016.

Known for his prowess from set-pieces, Batambuze was part of the Uganda squad at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.