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Yankees homer in MLB-record 28th straight game

The New York Yankees wasted no time breaking the major league record for consecutive games with a home run.

DJ LeMahieu’s leadoff homer off Toronto’s Clayton Richard in the bottom of the first inning of Tuesday night’s game in New York gave them home runs in 28 straight games, breaking the record set by the 2002 Texas Rangers.

“I’ve heard the players comment on it, and they’re very aware of it,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after the game. “It’s impressive to me. It’s a tribute to having a lot of really good hitters and guys that could hit for power.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

During this streak, 14 Yankees have combined to hit 51 home runs. Aaron Judge got his first of the streak right after LeMahieu. It was the first home run since April 20 for Judge, who returned Friday from an oblique injury that sidelined him for two months.6

“I was just trying to do what he did. He’s been our MVP,” Judge said of LeMahieu. “DJ stole the show. We’re happy for him. No better person I want breaking that record.

“We’ve got something special.”nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Gleyber Torres and newly acquired slugger Edwin Encarnacion each chipped in with a home run to help the Yankees defeat the Blue Jays 4-3.

The most recent game in which the Yankees failed to hit a home run was May 25 against the Kansas City Royals.

Last season, the Yankees set the major league record for home runs in a single season, with 267.

Hopeful Orioles introduce No. 1 pick Rutschman

The Baltimore Orioles interrupted their miserable 2019 season to introduce a sliver of hope for the future: Adley Rutschman, the top overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft.

Rutschman sat alongside general manager Mike Elias during a news conference Tuesday at Camden Yards before the Orioles were to face the San Diego Padres, whose most notable player, Manny Machado, was nabbed by Baltimore with the third selection in the 2010 draft.

Machado became a star, but the Orioles traded him away last year in the midst of a 115-loss season because they couldn’t afford to keep him beyond 2018.

Now in the process of a major rebuild, Elias is counting on Rutschman — a switch-hitting catcher from Oregon State — to become a key figure in the team’s rise to respectability.

After mulling over several options, Elias settled on Rutschman and bestowed upon him an $8.1 million signing bonus, the largest ever provided to an MLB draft pick.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

Elias termed the selection of Rutschman as “probably the biggest decision this organization is going to make this year.”

Whether the 21-year-old rises to his potential will be determined soon enough, but at this point there is no understating his importance to a franchise that finished with the worst record in the majors last year and appears well on its way to duplicating that lamentable feat this season.4

“We couldn’t be more thrilled, having him be a part of the process we’re going through to take this organization back to where it belongs,” Elias said. “We are in phase right now where we are looking for building blocks, and I think by signing Adley Rutschman, we found a very big piece.”

Rutschman intended to take batting practice with the team and was to be introduced to the home crowd on Tuesday night. After that, the plan is for him to take a break to accept some of the many awards he garnered this season, then play in the Gulf Coast League before joining short-season Class A Aberdeen.

“I always believe, when in doubt, start players at the lower-level league because it’s very easy to transfer them if they’re performing well,” Elias said. “We took a lot of college players and almost all of them will be starting there.“china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Rutschman has already played plenty of baseball this season, but he can’t wait to get started with the next phase of his career.

“It’s always been a goal of mine to be in this position,” Rutschman said. “For me, it’s always been about the process of getting there. So, now it’s about setting new goals. Now that I’m here, I am just excited about the opportunity and I’m truly humbled to be a part of the building process that is going on right now.”

Rutschman is a pivotal piece of the rebuilding puzzle that Elias is trying to put together, but the Golden Spikes Award winner can’t turn the franchise around alone.

“We’re trying to bring in talent from every direction possible,” Elias said. “Obviously having the No. 1 pick in the draft is a special opportunity to do that. The important thing for us is, this doesn’t start and end here. But to have a player of his caliber, that I think is not necessarily available every year in the draft, is big for us.”

Pitino spurns Greek team, focused on NBA job

Rick Pitino has turned down an offer to return as president and coach of Panathinaikos, the franchise he led to a Greek League championship this season, Pitino told ESPN on Friday.

The Naismith Hall of Fame coach said he wants to return to the full-time pursuit of a job in the NBA — as a coach or in a player personnel or advisory role.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Pitino led Panathinaikos to a Greek Cup title, completing a 15-0 season. The team was 7-0 when he arrived. Pitino also led the team into postseason play in the EuroLeague playoffs.6

Pitino, 66, won NCAA titles at Kentucky and Louisville, reached seven Final Fours and claimed conference titles in the Big East, SEC and ACC. His career has also been marred by scandals that led to his demise at Louisville, where a national title and two Final Four appearances were vacated. He was fired in 2018.

The FBI inquiry was the last in a series of scandals at Louisville — including an NCAA investigation into strippers and prostitutes used during recruiting visits to the school.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

In the NBA, Pitino resigned from the Boston Celtics in January 2001, during his fourth season, with a 102-146 overall record. He was considered to have been overwhelmed with dual roles after signing pro sports’ biggest coaching/executive deal to date (10 years, $70 million). He resigned with nearly $30 million left on the deal.

“I’m not looking for any of that [control] at this stage of my life,” Pitino told ESPN in December. “I want to develop teams and develop players and build a winner. I value analytics. I want to fit into an organization. At this stage, that’s all I’m interested in.”

Pitino had a shorter but more successful run as coach of the New York Knicks in the late 1980s, winning an Atlantic Division title and reaching the playoffs twice (1988, 1989) before leaving for Kentucky. Under Pitino, the Knicks won 52 regular-season games and reached the conference semifinals in his final season.

How the Clippers can make their anti-pitch to Kawhi Leonard

What could possibly compel a player who just won an NBA championship and a Finals MVP award to ditch his existing team?

For the LA Clippers, who have been eyeing Kawhi Leonard since his exodus from the San Antonio Spurs to the Toronto Raptors nearly a year ago and even sent senior basketball officials to observe him at Raptors games this season, this is the riddle they must solve. As a rule, challengers looking to unseat incumbents during good times typically face long odds; people looking for prosperity and stability aren’t inclined to switch things up when times are prosperous and stable.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Had the Raptors flamed out against the Philadelphia 76ers or even in the Eastern Conference finals versus the Milwaukee Bucks, the Clippers could have approached Leonard with the proposition that there’s a natural ceiling to what he can accomplish in Toronto. But with the Raptors writing a storybook ending to their Season of Kawhi, the Clippers have a much more daunting task than they did even two months ago convincing Leonard to change course.

But if love of Southern California is one of Leonard’s defining features, so is an insistence on structure and professionalism. Those who have observed Leonard during his one season as a Raptor describe an athlete who moves with uncommon precision through a full day at the training facility, and expects it to run like clockwork — no matter which postal code that facility sits in. By every account, Leonard already has that in Toronto and would demand it with the Clippers.5

One of the cardinal virtues of the Clippers’ current brass is the belief that they should never have to use the market as a selling point for prospective free agents. Although they appreciate that NBA players are drawn to the region, the Clippers feel it is imperative to become the kind of organization that wins recruiting battles based on the quality of their management, culture and infrastructure. In this regard, the Clippers think they have a compelling pitch to Leonard as an organization that has spent the past two seasons sculpting itself into the kind of workplace that appeals to Leonard’s sensibilities.

A perennial laughingstock for decades under the ownership of Donald T. Sterling, the Clippers spent recent seasons climbing their way up from the ranks of the NBA’s dregs. It took years to rebrand the franchise in the imaginations of players and agents and to build the infrastructure to catch up with the rest of the league. (There are still plenty of NBA players who were active when the Clippers practiced in a health club in El Segundo.)

The 2019 Clippers bear little resemblance to their namesake of a decade ago. Sterling has been replaced by Steve Ballmer, the wealthiest owner in North American sports. Ballmer has invested significant resources into accelerating the Clippers’ makeover, including a massive renovation to the training facility currently underway, with the most advanced arena in the NBA to follow in five years.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

A front office that less than a decade ago could have fit into a compact SUV is now one of the NBA’s deeper basketball operations departments. It’s a thoughtful, forward-thinking group that has already demonstrated an ability to evaluate talent, build and refine systems, and identify the kind of NBA organization it wants the Clippers to be. They can point proudly to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, the process that acquired him in a draft-day trade last June, the Kawhi-ish manner in which he comports himself, and the quality of his development over the course of his first-team All-Rookie season.

The Clippers are well aware that Leonard has already priced his love of the region into the equation. Leonard grew up in Southern California’s Inland Empire, before heading off to San Diego, where he played his college ball at San Diego State. Extremely protective of his private life, he keeps close quarters with a tight circle of family and dear friends — many of them located in Southern California. Those who have spent time with him in San Diego say that the impassive Leonard is a different person when he’s in his natural habitat. They describe someone who is a portrait of perfect contentment when he’s having dinner during the offseason at George’s at the Cove overlooking La Jolla Bay, or relaxing in North County with people close to him.

Perhaps the Clippers’ proximity to the places Leonard feels most at home will be enough. The informed belief that Leonard had every intention of signing in Los Angeles in 2019 was the determining factor for both the 76ers and Boston Celtics in not accepting more robust proposals by the San Antonio Spurs for Leonard last summer, according to sources with each team who were close to those negotiations.

Brees awarded $6M in diamond fraud lawsuit

A jury has awarded more than $6 million to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in a lawsuit that claimed a San Diego County jeweler sold him overpriced diamonds.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that a Superior Court jury made the award Friday in a fraud suit Brees and his wife filed against a La Jolla jeweler last year. Brees wasn’t in court.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal6

The suit claimed that Vahid Moradi improperly valued gems the Breeses bought as an investment at $15 million, when they were worth millions less.nike nfl cheap jerseys

Moradi denied the allegations in court.

Brees was with the San Diego Chargers from 2001 until joining the Saints in 2006. He led New Orleans to victory in Super Bowl XLIV following the 2009 season.

Last season, Brees set the career passing-yardage record for NFL quarterbacks.

No home rehab for Broncos’ Phillip Lindsay this time

The hit to the wrist of Denver Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay during a Christmas Eve game against the Oakland Raiders last season sent shockwaves of anxiety through the rookie.

Lindsay knew something was wrong. After all, he had suffered injury before, having torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during his senior season at Denver South High School. The memories of the pain, the recovery and the do-it-yourself rehab sessions on the living room floor of his parents’ Aurora, Colorado, home are always with him.

“But a lot of has changed this time,” Lindsay said. “Like night and day, a lot of night and days.”

Oh, what a difference a few years can make. Lindsay is on track to return from wrist surgery to repair ligament damage and should be ready to go when the Broncos open training camp next month.

After spending countless hours with the team’s medical staff, the strength and conditioning staff and the training staff, Lindsay has promised, repeatedly, to return to the lineup and remain the Pro Bowl running back he showed himself to be during his rookie season in 2018.nfl nike jerseys cheap china5

“I’m very thankful [for the Broncos’ staff],” Lindsay said as the Broncos’ offseason program drew to a close. “They hold the reins back on me a lot. They make sure everything goes well, which they’re supposed to. You don’t want to go out there and mess up by tripping or falling or by something that’s not supposed to happen. I’m itching to be out there, and they know that.”

The recovery process is much different than what he endured in 2012. When he suffered that knee injury, his family couldn’t afford visits to a physical therapist. Lindsay’s “rehab” usually consisted of his father, Troy Lindsay, trying to bend and stretch the injured knee the way he believed a physical therapist might. That process has Phillip Lindsay carrying injury baggage that many players don’t. Lindsay has often said he didn’t get into any sort of physical rehab with a doctor, or a physical therapist, until he arrived at the University of Colorado in the fall of 2013.

That was more than eight months after he had suffered the injury. And Lindsay has routinely credited Dr. Ted Layne at Colorado as being the person who saved his knee.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

This time, Lindsay has immersed himself in his rehab. He has been on the field with his teammates during the Broncos’ offseason program but was held out of virtually all drills.

“I feel like I’m very close,” Lindsay said. “It’s going to come down to the head coach and our training staff to make the decisions. I trust them. For me, I’m going to be ready when it’s time. That’s it. When they say it’s time to go, they say I’m going today, I’ll be ready. … It’s a long process, but it’s worth it. You can’t go out there half injured, half healthy. You’re going against these grown men and it’s your livelihood. You have to be OK.”

It remains to be seen if the Broncos want to put Lindsay on some kind of limit when it comes to his carries, at least early in the season, but the team’s new coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello, knows what it has in the 24-year-old. Last season, Lindsay rushed for 1,037 yards, had 10 total touchdowns and added 35 catches for 241 yards.

Nationals release struggling reliever Rosenthal

The Washington Nationals released right-handed reliever Trevor Rosenthal on Sunday after his struggles continued in his second stint in the major leagues this season.

Rosenthal had a 22.74 ERA in 6⅓ innings over 12 appearances this season. In his final game for Washington on Saturday, he allowed three earned runs and three walks without recording an out as the Nationals blew a four-run lead in a 13-9 loss to the Braves.

‘”He’s got great stuff,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “He just couldn’t find the strike zone.”nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Rosenthal retired the only batter he faced Friday night before bottoming out Saturday night.6

“I was very hopeful he had turned a corner,” Martinez said. “We’re up four runs (on Saturday), we’re down a couple guys, and to me, that was his spot. It just didn’t work out.”

Washington also optioned right-hander Joe Ross to Triple-A Fresno. Ross was the losing pitcher Saturday after giving up four earned runs and five hits in the eighth inning. He had been considered for a start Sunday before being used in Saturday’s game.

Rosenthal, 29, had rejoined the Nationals in June after starting the season with a 36.00 ERA in seven games — not recording an out over his first four appearances — and agreeing to go to extended spring training.

Things didn’t go much better upon his return, as he had a 10.80 ERA over five appearances this month.

The Nationals have a major league worst 6.32 ERA from their bullpen this season.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

An All-Star in 2015 with the St. Louis Cardinals, Rosenthal underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017 and missed all of the 2018 season.

The Nationals recalled right-handers Austin Voth and Kyle McGowin to fill the open roster spot. Voth, 26, was 1-1 with a 6.57 ERA in four games (two starts) for the Nationals last year, while McGowin has a 9.90 ERA in three games (one start) for Washington this year.

Sources: Bucks trading Snell to Pistons for Leuer

The Milwaukee Bucks are trading guard Tony Snell and the 30th pick in Thursday’s NBA draft to the Detroit Pistons for forward Jon Leuer, league sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Pistons now have the 15th and 30th picks in the draft. Milwaukee saves $4 million in salary this year, and remove Snell’s $12 million salary hit in 2020-21.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale6

Snell has spent the past three seasons with Milwaukee, playing in 74 games (12 starts) last year. He averaged 6.0 points and 2.1 rebounds for the Bucks in 2018-19.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Leuer played in 41 games for the Pistons last year (one start), averaging 3.8 points and 2.4 rebounds. He’s entering his ninth season in the NBA.

Cowboys’ Sean Lee greeting new role with familiar intensity

Linebacker Sean Lee knew something wasn’t quite right as quarterback Dak Prescott rolled to his right on the first day of the Dallas Cowboys’ minicamp.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw wide receiver Amari Cooper stop, which immediately triggered to Lee that Prescott was throwing back across the field. As Prescott threw the ball, Lee darted to his right and tipped the pass away for an incompletion.

Lee played in only seven games in 2018 because of recurring hamstring injuries. When he returned late in the season, he told the coaches not to mess with Vander Esch and Smith because they were playing so well, which limited his own playing time. Lee’s 37 tackles were a career low, coming in just 220 snaps. In 2017, he missed five games because of hamstring injuries, but Lee still had 118 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four quarterback pressures and an interception.

There was a time when the Cowboys could not win without Lee. From 2015 through 2017, they were 1-7 without him.

Last season, the Cowboys found out they could succeed without him — as Vander Esch, a rookie first-round pick, and Smith, a second-rounder in 2016, flourished.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal7

However, Dallas wasn’t quite ready for life without Lee, and in March, he agreed to a restructured contract that will pay him $3.5 million and give him the chance to earn $7 million based on playing time and a playoff appearance.

“He’s a warrior, man,” Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said.

Lee could have looked elsewhere without the pay cut, but 10 years with the Cowboys mattered to him.

“I mean, it’s gone too fast,” said Lee, who was the Cowboys’ second-round pick in 2010. “It’s been a dream come true. I’ve been so blessed to be a part of this organization, to play with some incredible football players. I’ve been lucky to have a lot of faith put in me by the Joneses, stuck with me through a lot of injury and tough times; for me, the ultimate goal is to be able to bring a championship here. By now, I was hoping we would have one, but every time we step in here it’s a blessing. It’s so much fun. I feel like a rookie half the time I walk in here.“cheap nfl nike jerseys china

Lee, who will turn 33 a few days before the Cowboys leave in July for the start of training camp in Oxnard, California, will need to learn a new position: strongside linebacker. In the 4-3 scheme, the strongside linebacker can play on the ball or off the ball, depending on the call or formation, but there aren’t many snaps. Last season’s starter, Damien Wilson, played only 285 snaps with the Cowboys using their nickel defense more.

Inside the NFL contract that two Steelers won’t sign

Alejandro Villanueva considered walking away from football in 2017. He was 28 years old and beginning business school at Carnegie Mellon. His exclusive-rights free-agent status kept him on league-minimum money despite two years as a starter at left tackle.

So in 2017, Villanueva worked out with the Pittsburgh Steelers but didn’t sign his exclusive-rights tender. Hours before the training camp reporting window expired, the Steelers signed him to a four-year, $24 million deal.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“I can’t say if it’s better to sign now or later,” said Villanueva during this week’s minicamp, entering his third year on that deal. “But betting on yourself, in this business, usually works.”

Intentionally or not, Villanueva set a precedent in the Steelers locker room that at least one player is following.

Steelers cornerback Mike Hilton finds himself in a similar situation, an exclusive rights free agent (ERFA) who refuses to sign the tender, at least for now.5

The two have discussed the matter, Hilton said, and though Hilton isn’t divulging the nature of those talks, he calls Villanueva “a guy I can go to with questions.”

These are shared experiences of a tapped market.

ERFAs are players with expired contracts and two years or fewer of accrued NFL seasons. Teams can retain them on a one-year tender at a low number (around $645,000) with no negotiation and no chance for the player to shop his services. Right tackle Matt Feiler, who started 10 games last season, signed his tender this offseason.

This is a way for owners to keep good undrafted players before they can cash out. Hilton wants out of that scenario after two productive years as a slot corner for Pittsburgh.

But what Villanueva pulled off is “very rare,” said former NFL agent Brodie Waters, a consultant who runs ESPN’s Roster Management System. He estimates fewer than 10 players under the current collective bargaining agreement have landed new deals during their ERFA year.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“The player has zero leverage other than retiring,” Waters said. “It would be extremely rare for the Steelers to do anything unless they identify they really want him, and he’s willing to take a below-market deal. If he’s played two years, they’ve got him for two more years. There’s not a lot of incentive to do something.”