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‘Here we go. Don’t miss it!’ Aaron Judge plans to ‘hunt mistakes’ — and make pitchers pay

Mired in a post-All-Star Game slump many were quick to blame on his victorious appearance in the Home Run Derby, Aaron Judge searched for answers.

Was it his swing? Did his desire to showcase his power in the derby dramatically affect his launch angle in the games that followed?cheap nfl jersey shop Was he trying to live up to his home run hitting hype from the season’s first half, and muscle out every pitch he saw?

No, no and no.

As he reviewed the swings he had taken and the pitch counts he faced, the New York Yankees right fielder came to a simple conclusion: He was chasing far too many “good pitches” from opposing pitchers.

Instead, he needed to go after their mistakes. The revelation resulted in a September turnaround he’s hoping will continue this whole season.01

Recently, he has replicated it well, smacking a trio of hard base hits in consecutive games this past weekend. If he keeps doing that, 2018 could be as good — if not better — for the reigning American League Rookie of the Year.

“That was the biggest thing, just hunting the mistakes,” Judge said. “Don’t try to go out there where the good pitch is. Try to hunt those mistakes that people leave out there — because there’s a lot of mistakes over the middle.”

According to ESPN Stats & Information, cheap nfl gear for men in 55 games from July 14 (the Yankees’ first game after the All-Star break) to Sept. 12 last year, Judge hit .185 with 11 home runs and a .392 slugging percentage. In the next 16 regular-season games, he batted .385 and led baseball with 11 home runs and a 1.115 slugging percentage.

Quarterback-starved Jets make the right move by trading up

Because of past failures at the quarterback position, the New York Jets — in a decades-long search for a franchise quarterback — put themselves in the unenviable position of having to trade up.

This current Jets regime whiffed on draft picks Bryce Petty and Christian cheap nike nfl jersey Hackenberg and they missed out on prized free agent Kirk Cousins even though they offered more money than the Minnesota Vikings. So general manager Mike Maccagnan had a choice:


Sit tight with the sixth pick and pray one of the top four quarterbacks falls in his lap — a quarterback he actually believes in — or be proactive and jump for one he really likes.

Wisely, Maccagnan opted for the latter, moving up three spots in the draft. To get the third pick away from the Indianapolis Colts, the Jets sent the sixth pick and two second-round picks in this year’s draft — the 37th and 49th overall picks — plus their 2019 second-rounder.

Maccagnan did well to keep his 2019 first-rounder, but make no mistake — this was a costly proposition. By trading three second-rounders, he gave up three potential starting players — a big haul for a rebuilding team with many holes.

The Jets went into the offseason knowing they’d have to pay big money for a quarterback (Cousins) or a big draft-pick package. After getting snubbed by Cousins, they opted for the latter route.

Again, they had to.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale It was a no-brainer. In the process, they boxed out the Buffalo Bills, who surely will be angling to move up for a quarterback.

The Jets re-signed Josh McCown and added Teddy Bridgewater at the start of free agency, but no one in the NFL actually believed they’d stand pat with that tandem. They were the Band-Aids, the quick fix. This franchise, in a perpetual search for the next Joe Namath, needed something long term.

How will the Rams replace Sammy Watkins? It’s complicated

It’s 797 snaps. That’s the amount Sammy Watkins was projected to play in 2017 before he, like most starters, sat out the regular-season finale. The Los Angeles Rams now have to replace those snaps. But it isn’t really about the raw number;cheap nfl jerseys nike it’s about the type of receiver who must make the most of those snaps — a respected, explosive, playmaking vertical threat who can take the top off coverages and open the middle of the field for others.83

Watkins provided that for a Rams team that became the first in the Super Bowl era to go from last to first in scoring from one season to the next. He made only 39 catches for 593 yards, but he caught eight touchdown passes, seven of them on plays inside the red zone, and he consistently created separation that helped free fellow receivers such as Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp.

The Rams valued the skill set so much that they were strongly considering utilizing the franchise tag on Watkins before giving it to safety Lamarcus Joyner. Now Watkins is gone, joining the Kansas City Chiefs with a three-year,nfl jerseys nike cheap $48 million contract that was representative of his robust market — and the Rams are scrambling for ways to replace what he provided.

“It’s going to be hard,” Rams coach Sean McVay said, “and that’s something that we’re trying to figure out now. I don’t necessarily think you do that with one player; I think it’ll be kind of by committee.”

With an eye toward the future, Katelynn Flaherty running the show for Michigan

Not long after Michigan won the Women’s NIT championship last April, shooting guard Katelynn Flaherty strolled into coach Kim Barnes Arico’s office for the standard player/coach postseason meeting, looking ahead to next season.

The Wolverines were losing team captain and four-year starting point guard Siera Thompson to graduation, and Arico debated whether to entrust the job to incoming freshman Deja Church or someone else.nfl jerseys cheap nike In that meeting, Flaherty, a 2,000-point scorer heading into her senior year, surprised Arico by volunteering to replace Thompson.


Arico was skeptical. Flaherty had been a point guard in high school in New Jersey, but this was the Big Ten — faster, more physical, with more on the line. Michigan needed Flaherty to score big to complement junior Hallie Thome inside, and asking Flaherty to do that while running the offense seemed too much. Arico knew this from personal experience as a guard at Montclair (New Jersey) State University in the early 1990s.

“Usually every time Katelynn sets her mind to something and has a plan,” Arico said, “she’s been able to reach that goal.”

It hasn’t been easy. Five times this season Flaherty committed eight or more turnovers in a game, with a season-high 10 in a Feb. 4 loss at Rutgers. Her assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.07 isn’t the greatest. But for the most part, cheap nike nfl jersey Flaherty found ways to score, distribute the ball and help the Wolverines win.

Shuttling between the point and the wing, she averaged 23.2 points per game, fifth-best nationally, while shooting 41.8 percent on 3-pointers. Earlier this season Flaherty surpassed Glen Rice as Michigan’s career scoring leader for men and women; she since pushed her total to 2,673 points. A three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, Flaherty needs seven 3-pointers to join Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell as the only Division I women with 400 treys in a career.

Why AJ McCarron should not be compared to Tyrod Taylor

The Buffalo Bills swapped quarterbacks Wednesday, officially trading Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns and signing AJ McCarron to a two-year contract.

Comparing the two quarterbacks’ performances this season would not give a complete picture of what the deals mean to Buffalo. The question is not whether the Bills upgraded from Taylor to McCarron in 2018. cheap nfl jerseys china nike The more appropriate comparison is whether Taylor would have been a better long-term option for the Bills than whomever the franchise drafts in April and whether Buffalo would have been better off keeping the No. 10 pick in the 2017 draft and selecting Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes.


The Buffalo Bills swapped quarterbacks Wednesday, officially trading Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns and signing AJ McCarron to a two-year contract.

Comparing the two quarterbacks’ performances this season would not give a complete picture of what the deals mean to Buffalo. The question is not whether the Bills upgraded from Taylor to McCarron in 2018.nfl cheap jerseys nike The more appropriate comparison is whether Taylor would have been a better long-term option for the Bills than whomever the franchise drafts in April and whether Buffalo would have been better off keeping the No. 10 pick in the 2017 draft and selecting Deshaun Watson or Patrick Mahomes.

Ivan Nova will start Opening Day, might not finish season with Pirates

Ivan Nova will be the Pirates’ Opening Day starting pitcher at Detroit on March 29. It is unclear whether he will remain with Pittsburgh through the entire season.

Following the offseason trades of 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen and former 19-game winner Gerrit Cole, Nova is a veteran on a nfl jerseys wholesale team that has turned toward youth. Nova is owed $8.5 million in each of the next two seasons as part of a $26 million, three-year contract.


Acquired from the New York Yankees on July 31, 2016, Nova is 16-16 with a 3.82 ERA in 42 starts with Pittsburgh. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle calls the 31-year-old right-hander “the dean” of the rotation. Nova is four years older than any of the other projected starters, and his 69 wins in eight seasons are 24 more than the combined total of rotation mates Chad Kuhl (13), Jameson Taillon (13), Joe Musgrove (11) and Trevor Williams (eight).

Nova’s first Opening Day start will be at Comerica Park, where he made his major league debut with two innings of relief on May 13, 2010.

“It’s a privilege,” Nova said. “Every starting pitcher’s dream is to start the season for a team, be the Opening Day guy.”

Nova reported to spring training considerably lighter than he was at the end of last season.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china He is hoping that leads to more consistency.

He was 3-2 with a 1.50 ERA in five starts last April while allowing one walk in 36 innings. He was 2-8 with a 5.83 ERA in 13 starts during the second half.

“I worked harder than I ever have in the offseason,” Nova said. “I was upset about the way last season ended. I know I’m a better pitcher than that. I felt like I let team down and I let myself down too. I don’t want to have another season like that.”

Broncos pick Case Keenum to get back to being a playoff contender

There is one way to make a steely-eyed Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback get a little uncomfortable in his own skin.

Just ask John Elway to say “rebuilding.”

Or as Elway put it at the scouting combine: “I didn’t say it. I’m not going to say it. Life is too short to rebuild in the NFL.”

In an effort to lift the Denver Broncos back into the playoff conversation and to avoid the dreaded “R” word, the Broncos have gone in all-in on Case Keenum, who is expected to sign with the Broncos when free agency officially opens Wednesday afternoon.

The 30-year-old Keenum led the Minnesota Vikings to an 11-3 mark in his 14 starts last season in place of an injured Sam Bradford as the Vikings advanced to the NFC Championship Game. Keenum, Kirk Cousins and Drew Brees are considered the top quarterbacks in free agency,new nike nfl jerseys cheap with the Broncos heavily evaluating Cousins and Teddy Bridgewater before deciding Keenum would be their pick.

The Broncos’ desire to upgrade the offense quickly enough to take advantage of a quality defense came with a hefty price tag, which will be revealed once the terms of the multiyear deal are finalized. But that is the cost of doing business in free agency, and Keenum had impeccable timing after he had played so well for the Vikings in their playoff run.

Elway is now in his eighth year as the Broncos’ chief decision-maker. The Broncos have missed the playoffs in each of the past two seasons, and at the moment, linebacker Von Miller is the only former Broncos draft pick on the roster who has been named to a Pro Bowl.

Miller was in Elway’s first draft class — in 2011.

And just as folks once used to add up former Denver coach Mike Shanahan’s statistics “without John Elway,” Elway now finds himself sometimes being measured as a team executive for what has happened “without Peyton Manning.” When Elway romped into free agency in 2012 and signed Manning, who was not yet 100 percent after his fourth neck surgery, the result was four AFC West titles, two Super Bowl trips, one title and a historic season as the only 600-point team in league history.

In order to try to recapture a little of that history,buy nike nfl jerseys cheap the Broncos went after Keenum and got him. And it should be noted that the Broncos’ best quarterbacks have largely arrived from somewhere else.

Five of the top seven passers in the franchise’s history, including Elway at No. 1, have arrived either by trade or by free agency. The Broncos had four quarterbacks with the team this past season, including Chad Kelly on injured reserve, who were former draft picks, and Denver will have simply bypassed them all to sign Keenum.

While Keenum comes as a “safer” bet than the Broncos using the No. 5 pick of this draft on a quarterback to groom, Elway’s ability to build the kind of team that competes for a playoff spot each and every season will now largely hinge on his ability to build a roster around the players with the biggest contracts on the roster — Keenum and Miller.

Miller signed a $114.5 million deal in 2016.cheap nfl jerseys china

In short, the Broncos have to be right on this one. Keenum has to be what the Broncos have seen in their evaluations and then a little more. He has just two playoff starts in his career — both this past January — or two more than Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch.

But the biggest impact of all of this is the multimillion-dollar admission that Lynch has not become what the Broncos hoped he would be. The Broncos traded up to select Lynch in the first round of the 2016 draft. He has lost back-to-back training camp battles to Siemian and has four career starts, and he lost crucial developmental time in 2017 with shoulder and ankle injuries.

Keenum’s arrival turns back the clock, or perhaps even stops it, on Lynch. Elway has left open the possibility that Lynch could be the team’s backup if he’s ready to work on his game, but in the end, even one of Elway’s most notable first-round picks couldn’t avoid the team’s current mission.

Because if you can’t help Elway avoid a rebuild, you’ll be moved aside for those who can.

Ryan Braun: ‘Don’t feel comfortable at all’ in making transition to first base

Ryan Braun is willing to play first base if that helps the Milwaukee Brewers strengthen their lineup.

That doesn’t mean he thinks it will be an easy transition after playing the outfield for the past decade. On Saturday, Braun expressed some serious reservations about the move.

The slugger started in left field for the first time this spring when the Brewers faced the Colorado Rockies. He made his first four Cactus League starts at first base.

“It’s enjoyable,” Braun said,nike nfl jerseys for cheap “taking ground balls for the first time in a long time. But it’s also stressful. I’ve never done it at all. I had no idea what I was getting myself into.”

Braun is getting time at first base after the Brewers acquired outfielders Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain during the offseason. If the transition goes well, Braun would likely split time between left field and first.cheap nike nfl jerseys china

Assignments on bunt plays and shifts are among the tasks that Braun is trying to master.

“I definitely don’t feel comfortable at all,” he said. “I’m doing the best I can with it. Guys have to make sacrifices. I think ultimately if we want to get to where we want to get as a team, based on the roster we’ve put together, it obviously helps make us a better team if I’m able to play multiple positions.”

Braun came up as a third baseman with the Brewers and played there in 2007 before moving to the outfield in 2008. He has primarily played left field since then, except for a two-year stint in right that ended in 2015.

Braun, who has had back trouble during his career, said he has to bend down and squat more while playing the infield.

“So, generally, you’re putting your back in more vulnerable positions, which for me is a challenge,” he said. “My back is the biggest thing healthwise I’ve focused on for a few years now. … I think in the long run I have no doubt first base would be easier.nfl jerseys nike cheap But to this point, it’s definitely been a lot harder on my back than the outfield was, so we’ll see.”

Braun went 1-for-3 with a double and scored a run in four innings before leaving the Brewers’ 9-2 win. Left-hander Brent Suter, competing for a spot in the rotation, pitched four shutout innings and allowed two hits.

Suter was 3-2 with a 3.42 ERA in 22 appearances with Milwaukee last season, making 14 starts. He hopes the 15 pounds he gained in the offseason will keep him stronger throughout the year.

“There’s no fatigue in my legs,” he said. “I’m able to stay on top of pitches later in the counts, later in the game. I’m more on top of the ball. So far it feels like it’s paying off.”

Marcus Rashford downs Liverpool as Man United thrive without Paul Pogba

1. Rashford exposes Liverpool’s flaws

Marcus Rashford marked his first Premier League start of 2018 with both goals as Manchester United punished the defensive mistakes of rivals Liverpool to seal a 2-1 win at Old Trafford.

The victory, which lifts United five points clear of Jurgen Klopp’s team in second place, was sealed in the first half by Rashford’s two strikes.

But while the 20-year-old, impressing in front of England coach Gareth Southgate, took his goals in clinical fashion, the failure of Liverpool to defend both properly was a return to their early season failings.

And Dejan Lovren, who had a spectacularly bad performance during the 4-1 defeat at Tottenham, was at fault again for both of United’s goals.6

On both occasions, Lovren was beaten in the air by Romelu Lukaku in aerial challenges, with the United forward winning the flick-ons to tee up Rashford.

For the first goal, Rashford easily turned Trent Alexander-Arnold in the penalty area before beating goalkeeper Loris Karius with a powerful shot into the far corner.

And the second was another fine finish by Rashford, who scored after Juan Mata had latched on to Lukaku’s second flick.

Although Liverpool pulled one back with an Eric Bailly own goal in the second half, the visitors struggled to display their attacking flair at Old Trafford.

And United held on to claim the win that takes them one step closer to securing Champions League qualification and runners-up spot behind runaway leaders Manchester City.

2. Cut off supply line as you neutralise Liverpool

Before this game, Liverpool’s front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane had scored 45 Premier League goals between them this season, so their threat to United was obvious.

To have any hope of winning this fixture, United simply had to find a way to keep them quiet — a task few clubs have managed this term.

But United found a way, and it was by cutting off the supply line to Salah, Firmino and Mane, with the Liverpool midfielders dominated by the hosts.

Liverpool’s much-vaunted forwards made it easy for United, though, because none of them was prepared to drop deep and go in search of the ball.

If it didn’t come to them, they were not willing to put the work in to bolster their midfield numbers, and that will be a concern to Klopp, especially if Liverpool have ambitions of making progress in the Champions League.

Top teams will have noted how United snuffed out the threat of Salah,nike nfl jersey differences Mane and Firmino, and they will copy the blueprint.

United also dropped deep, often defending their 18-yard line, to nullify the threat of Mane and Salah’s pace.

With so many teams focused only on attacking nowadays, Jose Mourinho’s approach was a reminder of the importance of a sound defensive plan, and the fact that Liverpool’s goal came from an Eric Bailly own goal underlines the success of United’s approach.

3. Pogba absence helps United

Paul Pogba’s absence from the Manchester United team due to an injury sustained in training on Friday could have been perceived as a negative by Mourinho, but the Frenchman’s absence ultimately worked in the home side’s favour.

Pogba has been out of form in recent weeks, and his performance at Crystal Palace on Monday was bad enough to warrant him being dropped for this game. But the £89M man is still a key man in Mourinho’s team, and it is difficult to envisage him being left out against Liverpool.nike nfl womens jerseys

But without him, United were a much better team — they were more organised and disciplined.

Scott McTominay’s emergence as a holding midfielder has given United balance and helped lift Nemanja Matic’s game, perhaps because the former Chelsea man knows that McTominay will not wander forward and abandon his defensive responsibilities as Pogba does when selected in that role.

Without Pogba, Mourinho is also able to accommodate Rashford and Juan Mata in the team, and both were crucial to this result.66

Rashford’s two goals from his left-sided attacking position — Pogba’s favoured role — justified his selection, while Mata was able to provide a link between midfield and attack in the absence of the roaming Pogba.

The debate over Pogba’s best position and his value to this United team will rage on, but when Mourinho’s team can play so well without him, it does not bode well for his future as a cornerstone of the side.

49ers wanted to trade for Talib, he said he wouldn’t go to San Francisco

The Broncos agreed to trade cornerback Aqib Talib nfl authentic jerseys to the Rams last week, but not before trying to trade him to the 49ers.

Denver had agreed to ship Talib to San Francisco but it was called off when he rejected the trade, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Talib really couldn’t have rejected the trade —nfl jersey for cheap  he doesn’t have a no-trade clause in his contract — but he could have made it difficult for the 49ers by threatening to refuse to show up to work, 879748244-e1511901085423

perhaps holding out all the way through the preseason only to show up to start collecting paychecks when the nfl jerseys cheap authentic  regular season began. The 49ers may have sought an assurance from Talib that he would be a happy camper in San Francisco, and when he wasn’t inclined to give that assurance, the 49ers decided to move on.

For the 49ers, moving on meant signing cornerback Richard Sherman instead. Sherman’s contract with the 49ers is actually a more team-friendly deal than Talib’s because much of Sherman’s pay is wrapped up in playing and playing well, with per-game roster bonuses and a Pro Bowl incentive bonus. Talib gets an $11 million base salary this year even if he plays poorly custom nfl jerseys cheap  or gets hurt and doesn’t play at all. So the 49ers are probably happy in hindsight to have Sherman for a better price,custom nfl jerseys  and not have to give up any draft picks to acquire him.

The Rams ended up agreeing with the Broncos on the Talib trade, and he apparently said he’s willing to go to Los Angeles.