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Happy, not satisfied: Yankees know they have to improve from big first half

Regardless of whether the New York Yankees would have won Sunday’s first-half finale at Progressive Field, to a man, the postgame clubhouse refrain still would have been the same.

We’re good, but not yet good enough.

This is a team, nearly 30 games above .500 entering the All-Star break, that is mostly pleased with the way it performed throughout the earliest stages of the season. But the self-aware bunch also knows it can — and must — be even better if it wants to close the second half as a division champ and World Series winner.

“We’re not satisfied at all in that room,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.nfl nike jerseys cheap china

The 4½ games his team trails the rival Boston Red Sox in the American League East are part of the reason why.

“I’m pleased with the way we played in the first half,” outfielder Brett Gardner said Sunday following New York’s 5-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians, “but I’m not pleased that we’re not in first place in the division.

“So we’ve got some work to do.”8

That’s the common sentiment among the 62-33 Yankees: that once they return to action at home Friday, hosting another Subway Series against the crosstown rival Mets, there is work to be done.

It’s work that spans the entire team. The Yankees believe no one area is as strong as it can be at this point, nor is one part of the roster infinitely superior to any other.

“We can pitch a little better, we can play a little better defense, and we’re capable of scoring more runs,” Gardner said. “It’s easy to sit here and nitpick and try and see what we could’ve maybe done different or to see how we could be better, but ultimately we have to be better if we want to win the division and get to where we want to be at, which is win a World Series.”

Starting pitching has been among the list of Yankees bugaboos since the season began. With a distinct drop-off in consistency behind the likes of ace Luis Severino and vet CC Sabathia, questions about the Yankees’ rotation have persisted.

The easiest and most discussed solution to address some of New York’s starting woes is to add a veteran pitcher before the trade deadline.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Since near the start of June, the Yankees have been doing their due diligence in making phone calls with other big-league teams to see what it might take to get a trade partner. Although there have been conversations regarding trades for position players such as Baltimore’s Manny Machado, New York’s primary focus from the start has been to get more arms for their shaky staff’s postseason run.

Might we see a deal that shores up the Yankees’ rotation within the next two weeks? Boone couldn’t say with 100 percent certainty as he began his All-Star break on Sunday. Still, he has full faith in the behind-the-scenes work general manager Brian Cashman and others are doing.

The legend of SaQuads Barkley and his Giant legs

Saquon Barkley could be throwing a first pitch, running over a defender or hitting a golf ball. It doesn’t matter. Muscles seemingly protrude from his quads as if he’s the Incredible Hulk, no matter the task.

It’s the inevitable consequence of having tree trunks pose as limbs. There is a reason Barkley can squat 650 pounds, clean more than 400 pounds and holds just about every record for a running back in the Penn State weight room.

Barkley has 28-inch quads, according to Tom Marchitelli, the owner of Gentleman’s Playbook Custom Suits, who fitted Barkley for his draft day suit. Marchitelli said that is bigger than most of his clients who are linebackers.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Barkley’s new teammates with the New York Giants have noticed these gargantuan legs, perhaps because they seem more appropriate (based on sheer size) for a lineman but have the definition usually reserved for finely tuned skill-position players. They’ve seen up close and personal during workouts and practices the sheer size of these monsters. Star wide receiver Odell Beckham even minted the nickname “SaQuads” back in the spring, according to Barkley.

This is all new to Barkley, the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft. He’s been called SaySay or Say or Quon before. But never SaQuads, until now. It seems to have caught on.

Giants fan Joe Ruback, better known as License Plate Guy, even put the new nickname on the back of Barkley’s jersey at the Landon Collins Celebrity Softball game he organized last month. Barkley wore it with pride, even though the nickname isn’t exactly his favorite.12

“It’s fun. It’s all fun,” Barkley said. “You know, SaQuads. I’m a rookie right now. They’re having a little fun with me. That’s cool. It’s cool. I think the fans are enjoying it. I’m going to stick with it a little bit.”

In the long run, Barkley is hoping that he will be better known for what he does on the field with the Giants than the size of his leg muscles. Maybe then SaQuads will fade.

At Penn State, Barkley went from a fine physical specimen to a somewhat mythical physique. He did it by dominating in the weight room.

“He’s got the quads and calves of a 300-pound bodybuilder,” said Brian Stamper, Barkley’s pre-draft trainer at Tom Shaw Performance in Orlando, Florida, earlier this year.

Galt insists that if Barkley wanted, squatting 700 pounds would be attainable. Already, he’s third all-time at Penn State, having successfully squatted 650 pounds. Only an offensive lineman and a defensive tackle surpassed him.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Galt and the Penn State coaching staff had to walk the fine line between allowing the relentless Barkley to grow physically and putting his football future at risk. They were holding him back at practice to protect their most valuable asset and needed to do the same in the weight room, for the sake of the player and the team.

Man United to call up several youngsters for United States tour

Jose Mourinho is set to include a number of young players in Manchester United’s squad for their preseason tour of the United States after training with the first team at Carrington.

With the bulk of the senior squad still participating in the World Cup or on holiday after their exertions in Russia, Mourinho has bolstered his numbers by promoting a host of academy graduates.

Demetri Mitchell, RoShaun Williams, James Garner, Ethan Hamilton, Tahith Chong, Angel Gomes and Mason Greenwood have spent the week training with returning first-team regulars such as Chris Smalling and Juan Mata and are in line to be included in the squad that jets off to Los Angeles on Sunday.cheap nike nfl jersey

Garner has captained England’s under-17s and Greenwood is still just 16 but finished as a top scorer in the U18s last season.

Diogo Dalot, a £19 million summer signing from Porto, will also be in the group.10

United will play games in the U.S. against Club America, the San Jose Earthquakes, AC Milan, Liverpool and Real Madrid.

Daley Blind was one of the senior players to report back on Wednesday but his participation in the tour is in doubt amid interest from Ajax.

Sources have told ESPN FC that the clubs have opened talks over a move for the 28-year-old, who started just four Premier League games last season, and are keen to tie up a deal before United depart this weekend.

Meanwhile, sources have told ESPN FC that Neil Ryan, son of Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant Jimmy Ryan, is in line to take over as U18 coach from Kieran McKenna.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Ryan is in Austria for a joint training camp with the U18s and U23s with reserve team manager Ricky Sbragia and academy chief Nicky Butt.

McKenna is set to travel to Los Angeles as part of Mourinho’s new-look coaching team that also includes Michael Carrick.

Will Justus Sheffield shore up the Yankees’ rotation — or be trade bait?

A first-round pick in 2014 from Tennessee, the left-handed starting pitcher has climbed the ranks in the Yankees organization and become a possible piece of the puzzle as New York reportedly tries to land Machado from the O’s.

On Wednesday alone, there were conflicting reports as to whether Sheffield, a Triple-A starter, was part of a trade package the Yankees offered the Orioles in exchange for their superstar shortstop.

With Baltimore in need of young starting pitching it can rebuild around, Sheffield would be a slam-dunk addition. But the Yankees like Sheffield’s trajectory and are looking for starting pitching themselves, so bringing him to the Bronx sooner rather than later makes some sense.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Potential trade partners will get an up-close look at Sheffield during Sunday’s Futures Game at Nationals Park. An annual exhibition that offers an early look at the next crop of rising major league stars, the Futures Game has helped launch some big league careers. Last year, current MLB regulars Ronald Acuna Jr., Rhys Hoskins and Rafael Devers competed in the game.

One of the Yankees’ most venerable active pitchers is already singing the praises of his team’s lone Futures Game rep.11

“What I saw during spring training,” CC Sabathia said of Sheffield, “he could pitch in the big leagues and be a great starter.”

Based off the reports he has heard about Sheffield’s most recent performances for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Sabathia believes it won’t be long before the player he considers a little brother is on a big league roster.

And Sabathia would be happiest if Sheffield came up in pinstripes.

“I hope that he gets up here soon,” Sabathia said. “If his stuff is there … it would give us a boost, for sure.”

Sheffield — who was traded to New York at the 2016 deadline as part of a move that sent reliever Andrew Miller to eventual AL champion Cleveland — has a 4-5 record and 2.44 ERA in 16 starts between Double-A and Triple-A this season. He opened the year with the Yankees at spring training: In 5 1/3 innings across three spring appearances, he allowed six hits and seven runs and struck out four.

Although the numbers weren’t impressive, something caught Sabathia’s attention.nfl cheap nike jerseys

“Just electric stuff. His slider wipes off the table. His fastball is good,” Sabathia said. “He’s just got to get the command down.”

Sheffield’s command and control have appeared to improve as of late. He’s lasting deeper into games, allowing fewer runs and giving up fewer walks. He had one three-walk game since June 14 after four such outings in his previous seven starts, and he has surrendered just two runs in his past 18 1/3 innings — a span of three starts.

Gareth Bale and building from within are Real Madrid’s best options for life after Ronaldo

No sooner had Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus been confirmed than the roll call of usual suspects to replace the Portugal captain at the Bernabeu was dusted off: Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard … it is a list as well-thumbed as Florentino Perez’s cheque book during his first spell at the helm of Real Madrid.

The Real president’s first reaction will be to break the bank in response to losing his star attraction, but none of those players will be easy to land. Mbappe and Neymar are under lengthy contracts, and minimum release clauses do not exist in Ligue 1. Daniel Levy stands between Perez and Kane, and any inquiry for Hazard would be met with a similar response: not for less than €200 million and probably for considerably more.wholesale cheap nfl jerseys

Even Perez might balk at those numbers after Real issued a swift denial of a €272 million bid for the France international last week.

Above all, none but Hazard has openly stated any desire to play for Madrid: Mbappe had his heart set on Barca before eventually signing for PSG.12

Neymar might view Ligue 1 as a steppingstone, but having washed his hands of one player with a tendency to detract from the efforts of the collective — albeit one who scored a lot of goals — Perez would be well advised not to remove his fingers from the fire just to plunge them into the frying pan with a move for another.

There is little point in trying to replace the irreplaceable; Ronaldo is a one-of-a-kind player. But Perez pre-empted a post-Cristiano landscape in 2013 when he signed Gareth Bale for a world-record fee. Rather than forking out another this summer, it is time to hand the mantle to the Welshman.

With Ronaldo, the team often found itself playing for his benefit. They should now be handed the opportunity to prove that they can be successful in his absence. Madrid are not short of talent, and the notion that a new superstar is required undermines the entire squad.nfl jersey cheap wholesale china

In Julen Lopetegui, Perez hired a coach with a long-term plan in mind and one noted for developing youth. If Perez plays to his manager’s strengths, he might find the rewards more profitable than a quick fix.

What effect Ronaldo will have on a settled and unified Juve dressing room will provide an interesting side-narrative to Real’s season. Massimiliano Allegri was offered the Madrid job and turned it down. Accommodating Ronaldo is now his problem.

Perez’s experiment might not work. Lopetegui might not even last the season. But Madrid have spent the past two years hoovering up some of the finest young talent in the world, and on paper, Lopetegui is the right man to harness it.

Vinicius Junior could prove to be Madrid’s Mbappe. At €45 million he is hardly going to be eased in at Castilla and will be given an immediate chance to justify that price tag.

New Panthers owner under contract to keep statue of Jerry Richardson

New Panthers owner David Tepper said he’ll accept nothing less than an “open and safe” work environment, but he’s “contractually obligated” to keep a 13-foot-high statue of former owner and team founder Jerry Richardson outside of the team’s stadium.

Tepper, who was introduced as the Panthers’ new owner Tuesday, said keeping the statue in place was part of the deal when he purchased the team.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

Tepper said there will be “no impediment” in employees feeling comfortable in taking any concerns up the ladder on the business side of the organization, and that he wants to create an environment where “everybody feels safe like a family.”

Richardson announced in December that he intended the sell the team, following reports of sexual and racial misconduct in the workplace. The NFL substantiated the claims against Richardson after a six-month investigation and fined him $2.75 million.12

“Listen, whatever was, was. This is now,” Tepper said Tuesday. “This is going to be an open place. So there are not going to be non-disclosure agreements no matter what in this new place. That was then, this is now.”

Built in 2016, the statue features Richardson holding a football next to two growling Panthers.

Fans have expressed their desire on social media and sports talk shows to remove the statue, which was built in 2016.

Tepper reiterated that Charlotte is the “logical place” for the Panthers, though he said new practice facilities are a priority.

He is considering moving the team’s practice facilities to South Carolina, in part to keep both states interested in the team. The Panthers currently practices on three fields within walking distance to their downtown stadium. Tepper said that valuable land could be then used for developmental purposes.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Tepper plans to hire a new team president to replace Danny Morrison, who left last year, and recent COO Tina Becker, who resigned Monday after seven months in the position. He said he has two candidates in mind with some marketing background.

Has Matt Harvey made himself into a quality trade target?

“It’s a good sign that I can go out and not feel great and kind of be out of whack and still limit damage,” Harvey said. “But today was definitely a struggle and I’m happy to get through it.”

It’s no small point. By the end of Harveys’ tenure with the New York Mets, those small struggles tended to turn into raging dumpster fires. When you look at where Harvey was by the time the Mets designated him for assignment back in May, cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping routine outings such as the one Saturday have to be looked at as positive data points.

For one thing, it was the fourth straight outing in which Harvey pitched into at least the sixth inning and he hasn’t given up more than three runs in any of his past five outings. Over his 11 starts for the Reds, Harvey is 4-3 with a 3.79 ERA. He has struck out 6.7 batters per nine innings and has whiffed over three batters for every one he has walked. From a results standpoint, Saturday’s performance was an ebb in his momentum. But only an ebb.

“He was laboring a little bit,” Reds manager Jim Riggleman said. “But he made the necessary pitches to minimize the damage. Kept that one inning to two runs. He put us right where we wanted to be.”

Under the hood, things look even more promising for Harvey’s revival than his overall Cincinnati stat line. First, there’s those past five outings: He’s 3-1 and would be 4-1 if not for the Reds’ bullpen meltdown Saturday. His ERA is 2.48. The strikeout rate is still more of that of a finesse pitcher (6.2), but his strikeouts-to-walks ratio is up to four and he hasn’t given up a home run in a month. The trend is good.59

“I do think that his slider has been better as the season has gone along, from the time that he joined us,” Riggleman said. “And as good as he’s throwing the ball, he’s more pitching now and really using the slider to get the strikeout. He wasn’t striking people out that first month.”

The results are solid, to be sure. No, they aren’t Harvey circa 2013, when he struck out more than a batter per inning and had the lowest home run rate in the National League. That guy had Tommy John surgery in 2014 and a procedure for thoracic outlet syndrome in 2016. This guy, though, is at least revving up his stuff to the point where we can believe he used to be the other guy, the one with the catchy superhero nickname.

“I am healthy,” Harvey said. “Definitely. Feeling healthy. I’m two years out from surgery now, so it’s been a lot of work to get to where I am now, but everything feels good.”

Much of Harvey’s velocity is back and, seemingly, it’s not going anywhere. His fastball has been sitting at 93-94 mph for each of these past five starts, and in each of them he has topped out at over 96. The bite on his slider is better — his six highest scores for average break length have come over his past six starts. As a result, Harvey’s chase rates are up, he’s getting more swinging strikes overall, he has stayed in the zone more consistently and stayed far more efficient with his pitch counts.cheap new nike nfl jerseys

“I’ve been doing that for five or six starts,” Harvey said when asked about his improved stuff. “That’s what happens when you feel good and everything is coming out fine.”

Marcell Dareus’ heritage spurs him to help Haitian children

Marcell Dareus didn’t understand what the children were saying, but he knew he wanted to help.

The Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle was touring Haiti in February 2017 with Hope for Haiti — a nonprofit organization whose goal is to improve the quality of life for Haitian people, particularly children — and was astounded when he saw the destruction that still remained from the earthquake that devastated the country in January 2010. Especially when he saw the more than 800 children the organization was trying to help.

That’s when he continued to pledge his support for Hope for Haiti, and it’s partly why he returned to the country for a second time in June.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

“It means the world to me,” Dareus said last month. “It’s an opportunity where I can just help out, give a little bit back. Can’t change the world but I can change a life. Just a little token.”

Dareus’ connection to the country is through his father Jules Dareus, who grew up in Haiti before immigrating to the United States as a young adult. Jules died when Marcell was 8 years old and Dareus had long wanted to go to Haiti to learn about his heritage and possibly find some relatives he had never met.

That feeling intensified after the earthquake and Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti in October 2016. The country had not yet recovered from the earthquake when Matthew hit. Dareus did some research, found out about Hope for Haiti, and donated $25,000 to the organization.48

Dareus met with Haiti’s prime minister Dr. Jack Guy Lafontant, high-level government officials, Hope for Haiti board members and others before traveling to the school for the dedication.

“This new school building will revolutionize education in the whole community,” school director Augustin Bertrand said in a statement. “For the first time the Cammy children will have a nice, standardized and safe place to learn.”

In addition, Dareus has pledged additional funds to Hope for Haiti through his own foundation. The money will go to help with school construction, teacher training, salaries and mobile clinics.

Dareus said he’s hoping to make more trips to Haiti in the future and wants to continue to help the country and the children. He’s not concerned about whether his involvement will spur others to help, though.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“To be honest, I don’t really care what anybody else does,” he said. “This is just coming from me, how I feel, from the heart. I’m not asking anything. I just want to help out.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp delighted as coach Pepijn Lijnders returns

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has said he is pleased to welcome Pepijn Lijnders back to the club, describing his return as “really important.”

Lijnders, who left his post as first-team development coach to manage NEC Nijmegen in January, returned last month in a “senior capacity” as part of Klopp’s backroom staff.

The 35-year-old was dismissed by NEC in May after failing to achieve promotion to the Eredivisie, but Klopp feels he returns to Merseyside with greater experience.where to get nfl jerseys cheap

“It’s good. It’s very, very good. We sent him away for half a year to get very important experience and to have him back now feels just fantastic,” he told Liverpool’s website.

“When he came in the building, everybody was really delighted about that. He’s a fantastic person and a fantastic coach, so it’s really important that we have him back and I’m really looking forward to working together with him.”11

Assistant manager Zeljko Buvac has been absent at the start of Liverpool’s preseason work.

Buvac’s situation remains unresolved after Liverpool confirmed in April that he would be spending time away from the club for personal reasons.

Meanwhile, the 26 Liverpool players not on international duty reported to Melwood on Monday after the summer break, with Andrew Robertson taking part in his first full preseason as a Liverpool player.

The left-back completed his transfer from Hull midway through last summer, meaning he missed out on the preseason tour to Hong Kong.

“I think I did the first three weeks with Hull so it was a lot different — it’s always good to get a full preseason with the team you’re going to be with,” he said.china nfl jerseys cheap

“Over the close season I’ve been working on getting fit and now I want to get fitter until August and it’s all leading up to that West Ham game [on the opening weekend] now.”

Despite losing leg, former NFL RB Isaiah Pead is back on the run

Pead’s newest toy is a cream-colored Campagna T-REX, the closest he can get to a motorcycle — and quite the fearless choice for someone who nearly lost everything in a car accident.

“This is for the young and wild,” said Pead, pulling out of a garage filled with toddler toys in plastic bags. “It’s like playing running back, low to the ground, see things before people see you. You have to make a split-second decision.”buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

Pead skirts out of the driveway, bolting through his suburban neighborhood in the oversized go-kart and clinging to normalcy at all costs.6

The man who ran a 4.47-second 40 at the 2012 NFL combine isn’t about to slow down now. Pead, who spent five years as an NFL running back, lost his left leg in the early hours of Nov. 12, 2016, after his 2011 Cadillac CTS-V hit a divot on I-670, spun off a guardrail and took a terrible tumble at least 40 feet down an embankment.

What happened in that car, and the eight surgeries that followed, only fueled his competitive drive and led to a second act: A push for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo as a sprinter in the physical impairment classification.

Pead earned nearly $4 million as a player, qualified for an NFL pension, started a trucking company based out of his hometown of Columbus, Ohio, and has a 19-month-old son, Deuce, who was born a week before the accident.

So why is he spending most of his days grinding on a tattered high school track with his prep coach?

Because running backs run.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“My dream is done. But I’m still young, have my whole life ahead of me. What’s next?” said Pead, 28, wearing a diamond-encrusted wheelchair charm on his gold necklace “What do you want to be remembered for?”