New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson arrived at the winter meetings with much of his heavy lifting for the offseason already done. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes has re-signed for $110 million over four years, and second baseman Neil Walker already accepted a qualifying offer worth $17.2 million for 2017.

¡°The nice thing is we¡¯ve filled a couple of our holes, and we don¡¯t have a huge amount to do,¡± Alderson said Sunday night. ¡°But that doesn¡¯t mean we can be any less prepared or less active. Just taking a look at our roster, from the bullpen to the bench, there are things we need to flesh out. We¡¯ll see where we go over the next three days.¡±

Sandy Alderson said he doesn’t expect to sign one of the top-tier closers, instead looking at midrange and/or internal options to boost the Mets bullpen.

Kids Yasmani Grandal Jersey That is why it was always hard to imagine Edwin Encarnacion ending up in pinstripes. While Holliday received a one-year, $13 million contract, Encarnacion will probably end up with four or five seasons. By the end of that contract, Encarnacion, 33, could very well be ineffective, like Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira were at the conclusions of their long contracts. The Yankees have been there, done that.

“We kind of felt like we did two offseasons’ worth of shopping in one offseason last year,” general manager Jed Hoyer said Wednesday on a conference call. “With that in mind, I don’t expect nearly the activity we did a year ago.”

Jadeveon Clowney Game Jersey The Cubs have asked about Kenley Jansen, who will likely come at a high price. But with the bulk of their shopping done last offseason, they are also exploring other bullpen options.

So does that rule out re-signing closer Aroldis Chapman, or adding Mark Melancon or Kenley Jansen? Probably, though industry sources say the Cubs are kicking the tires on all types of relievers, from free agents to potential trade targets. They’ve asked about Jansen, but it’s unknown if the price tag will be too high. There’s a good chance it will be, so names such as Greg Holland, Wade Davis, Alex Colome and A.J. Ramos are being explored.

Alderson said he has engaged only in preliminary discussions with respect to parting with an outfielder. Still, he speculated that he may benefit from the Houston Astros acting quickly in signing free-agent outfielders Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick.

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“It’s an unfortunate thing that goes on in this profession. We all know about it when we sign up for [this], but when it happens, you’re still kind of taken aback by it.”

Game Kids Justin Houston Jersey As the coach of an NFL team in the midst of a 10-game losing streak — and who enjoyed his greatest coaching success in Eugene — Kelly has been connected by many to the Oregon job for the past couple of months.

Kelly welcomed Phil Knight, Nike’s co-founder and the most prominent Oregon booster, as a guest to a game earlier this season, which further fueled speculation.

“When it comes to football, nobody judges you on your past,” says teammate Walter Powell.

IN LARGE GROUPS, common goals are often vague and unsatisfying. In small groups, like a 53-man football team, they’re precise and attainable. The offensive guard has to get to the linebacker, seal the double-team, pick up the blitz. The running back has to read the blocks, carry out the fake, pick up the blitz. The communal nature of the work lends itself to a tight focus.

Comparisons between football and battle are an insult to those who engage in true combat, but it’s understandable, and maybe even advantageous, for a football team to cast itself and its goals in military terms. There’s an undeniable psychological benefit for a group to believe that it’s fighting for its own preservation.

Through this prism, it shouldn’t be surprising that Incognito — the Bills’ nominee for this year’s USAA Salute to Service Award, incidentally — is valued by teammates for his loyalty and intensity. Reformed bully? Same guy? In the locker room, it doesn’t really matter. We’re hardwired to accept those with whom we share the pursuit of a goal.

Kirk Hinrich Kids Jersey It’s the tribal way. The Iroquois Nation elected civil leaders to conduct affairs during peacetime. When war broke out, however, wartime leaders took control to ensure the survival of the tribe. In the tribal world of the NFL, Incognito would be a wartime leader. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say this: Richie Incognito would not be trusted with peace.

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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson doesn’t know how he feels about a return to the team that drafted him. In an interview with ESPN, Peterson said he was “still uneasy” about going back to the Vikings after his 2014 suspension, especially considering his feeling that the organization stood idly when it had the power to stick up for him.

“There were people (in the organization) that Mike Morgan Authentic Womens Jersey I trusted, who knew exactly what was said, that weren’t heard from.” in the decision-making process. “They weren’t able to do anything about it,” he said via Vikings reporter Bob Goessling.

After the Vikings worked jointly with the NFL to put him on the commissioner’s exempt list stemming from a Nov. 4 no contest plea to charges of reckless injury to his 4-year-old son, Peterson said he felt “ambushed” after the decision to suspend him for all but one game in the 2014 season. The former All-Pro finished with just 21 carries and one start while watching his team struggle and miss the playoffs with a 6-9 record.

But it was something that came up later in the press conference that raised an eyebrow. Someone asked Baalke about the team’s offensive struggles last season, and specifically about Greg Roman, the former offensive coordinator.

Flustered, Baalke went back to the line he’d been dropping all morning, the one about Nick Vannett Authentic Womens Jersey not wanting to look backward.

Dysfunctional leadership has been a theme for the 49ers since the beginning of the 2014 season when rumors of friction between former head coach Harbaugh and Baalke and team president Jed York first surfaced. Harbaugh was in the news last week too. In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Michigan’s new football coach said, “I didn’t leave the 49ers. The 49ers hierarchy left me.”

Reports last week said that the 49ers were set to hire Gase, but the two sides couldn’t come to terms on who would get the defensive coordinator job. A report from the San Jose Mercury News said that the deal fell apart when Gase rebuffed his would-be bosses’ suggestion to make Jim Tomsula defensive coordinator. Gase reportedly wanted to keep Vic Fangio or hire Bengals defensive backs coach Vance Joseph for the job.

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During Green Bay’s current four-game losing streak, the defense is allowing a league-worst 38.25 points per game. And during that span, opposing quarterbacks are completing 71.9 percent of their passes, averaging 9.76 YPA and have a passer rating of 127.4.

Football Outsiders still Cody Parkey Womens Jersey gives the Philadelphia Eagles a 40.5 percent chance to make the postseason, and they’re 4-0 at home this season. But at 5-5 and in last place in the NFC East, Philadelphia’s margin for error is small going into the final six games. Carson Wentz & Co. are four-point favorites.

When the Seahawks’ offense is clicking, Wilson is able to make plays from the pocket but also improvise. The second part had been missing for most of the season since he was hobbled. In the past three games though, Wilson is back to making plays outside of the structure of the offense.

That has been part of the reason why Seattle is averaging 29.3 points since Week 9.

“A lot of those things, you Corey Coleman Womens Jersey can’t coach those and teach those,” Pete Carroll said. “The guys can either do it or they can’t. He’s been a marvelous performer and athlete his whole life, and he uses all of those skills when it comes time.”

Meanwhile, Evans has one target on virtually every three snaps, according to ESPN Stats & Info. His 121 targets are more than any other receiver in the league, including Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown, and Winston relies on him to leap into the air and make tough-contested catches. Evans has 65 catches for 916 receiving yards, third-most in the NFL. On the deep ball, he has the fifth-most air yards per target (15.13) of any receiver in the league.

“Unfortunately for us, they have a great chemistry. They really go to [Evans] and they do because he can make all of the plays,” said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

“He can make them in tight quarters, he can get deep, he can get open in the third-and-mediums and the third-and-6s and things like that, he can be a guy to go to. He’s got quick bursts, he’s got great catching range, come through guy. He’s really tough and a great player.

Carroll added, “He’s a fighter and a clawer and scratcher just like our guys are, so [there] should be some good battles.”

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The Houston Texans agreed to a trade that will send quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick to the New York Jets in exchange for a late-round conditional draft pick, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. It Ra’Shede Hageman Womens Jersey is a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft that can become a sixth-round pick with playing time for Fitzpatrick, per John McClain of the Houston Chronicle.

Fitzpatrick, 32, started 12 games for the Texans in 2014, leading the team to a 6-6 record with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions. However, he became an expendable piece for the team when the Texans added Brian Hoyer in free agency to compete with Ryan Mallett for the team’s starting quarterback job.

It’s the second quarterback trade this week for the Texans after Case Keenum was sent from Houston to the St. Louis Rams for a seventh-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft on Tuesday.

“I think even with [Elliott and Prescott] they’re having fun and not thinking about, ‘Oh, I’m not supposed to be doing this.’ That’s not the case at all. They know what they’re capable of and they’re doing it.”

Despite their youth, Prescott and Elliott do not look like they are slowing down. Prescott has had back-to-back 300-yard passing games and beat Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks in the last two games in Ben Roethlisberger and Joe Flacco. Elliott leads the NFL in rushing with 1,102 yards and total yards from scrimmage (1,382)

Prescott’s passing performance through 10 games outshines the season-adjusted rookie averages of other great first-year quarterbacks Dan Marino, Russell Wilson, Matt Ryan, Jim Plunkett and Ben Roethlisberger. He even beats “non-rookie” rookies, like Jim Kelley and Warren Moon, who had experience playing in the USFL and CFL respectively.

They have to make split-second decisions that will impact the communities that Ricardo Allen Womens Jersey they serve, but also their families and their own personal lives. But that doesn’t mean that we’re OK with status quo. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done, things that can change, things that will change, that have changed. But you don’t rest on those and look at them as that’s it. There’s a continuous battle, a continuous change, a continuous fight that needs to happen.”

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He looked truly happy doing the TV show. He looked more relaxed and smiled more in a dozen Mondays than I can remember in almost three seasons covering him. He showed a different, more playful, side. He geeked out at meeting Jaleel White, since Steve Urkel is one of his favorite TV characters. Then in the finale, he couldn’t stop laughing when his 2-year-old son surprised him after his first dance.

After some prodding, Johnson even played the trombone on live Chris Ivory Authentic Jersey television. Football-playing Calvin Johnson likely never would have done that.

“Dancing with the Stars” showed that while football was always part of Johnson’s life, it never seemed like it was his whole life. And it reminds me of what he said at his football camp in June: The playing-football portion of his life is over. The next phase has just begun.

“I’m not coming back [to football],” Johnson said in June. “You ain’t gotta worry about that.”

Some comments on the Viennese Waltz, which garnered a 35 of 40:

One big reason for this is that most of the NFL’s Thanksgiving games are traditionally played by a few specific teams. At least one of the Chicago Bears, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions or Green Bay Packers have appeared in 68 percent of all Thanksgiving matchups, with Detroit participating in a league-high 34 percent of those games.

Three of the four teams — the Bears, Lions and Packers — are classic franchises whose origins date back to 1930 or earlier; the Cowboys have probably earned/branded their way into that group, too. And for their part, the Cowboys, Bears and Packers usually put a good Dan Skuta Authentic Jersey product on the field. Together, the three teams have had an average Elo of 1561 going into their Thanksgiving Day appearances — a very strong rating.

The NBA simply does a better job of making sure that its best teams are scheduled for the holiday, often using the previous season’s NBA Finals matchup as a starting point and going from there. There’s also the advantage provided by scheduling additional games on the holiday (five Christmas Day NBA games versus three Thanksgiving NFL games) — although the league has to try to come up with more good games, a single bad matchup doesn’t spoil the day. And it helps that the NBA doesn’t link specific franchises to its Christmas games, except for occasionally the New York Knicks4 and Los Angeles Lakers.5 So, when you watch the NBA on Christmas, you can be pretty sure that you’re seeing the cream of the crop. For the NFL on Thanksgiving, it’s less certain.

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Ray Lewis publicly questioned the passion of Joe Flacco on Thursday when asked why the Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback has been so inconsistent this season.

“Gifted? Absolutely. Passionate Artem Anisimov Authentic Jersey about what he do? I’ve never seen that,” Lewis told Fox Sports 1 on Thursday. “I don’t know what that looks like.”

What Lewis forgets to mention is that Flacco was the one who carried Lewis and the Ravens to a Super Bowl title four years ago with his scintillating playoff run.

Flacco, who currently ranks 29th in the NFL in passer rating, has been criticized over the years for not being emotional, including a few times by Lewis.

Brown, who has worn specialized cleats with artwork featuring posthumous athletes such as Arnold Palmer, Muhammad Ali, Jose Fernandez and Pat Tillman, is taking a break from the footwork but could return with a Thanksgiving theme Thursday night at Indianapolis.

This week has taken on a different tone for the usually flashy Brown, who has answered questions about the final play in Sunday’s 35-30 loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Brown ran 44 yards downfield but got pushed out of bounds by Byron Jones at the Steelers’ 20-yard line. While offensive coordinator Todd Haley and coach Mike Tomlin said they’ve both talked to Brown about staying in bounds on a final play, Ben Roethlisberger added Brown’s options were limited on a scramble play with defenders closing in.

Brown said Friday there was no plan for a lateral play and seven Cowboys were sitting in a zone, “four guys around me.”

Brown knows everything is magnified during losing streaks, and he’s counting on every Steeler to change that.

Since Archibald accounted for 56.8 points per game for the Kings Brandon Dubinsky Authentic Jersey in 1972-73, no NBA player has reached the 50-points-per-game level for an entire season.

“I think it puts a lot of pressure on a guy,” Archibald said of the roles Westbrook and Harden have. “But those guys can handle it. I don’t know if I handled it well or not … but I would be honored and proud that someone else did that.”

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“Age was never a number I paid attention to, but in today’s game, the game is built and revolves around younger players,” said former Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, who played with Betts in 2014-15. “What Mookie did, 23 years old, was Adam Thielen Authentic Womens Jersey amazing, and I truly think the kid is still learning the game. He asks so many questions. There’s no such thing as a stupid question, but you’d sit there and say, ‘Mookie, did you really just ask me that?’ There’s so much he’s still learning.”

Victorino got a sneak peek at Betts’ desire to be great in 2014. A few weeks before Betts made his major league debut, he shared a Triple-A outfield with Victorino, who was recovering from back and calf injuries.

“We’re getting ready in the outfield and he goes, ‘Shane, I don’t want to interrupt you because I know you’re going through your [pregame] routine and everything, but at some point, I’d like to talk with you because I just moved to the outfield this year,’” Victorino recalled. “I was mind-blown. I stopped right there and we conversed.”

“It was just so important for this organization to put this lovable loser crap to bed,” Ricketts told USA Today Sports on Wednesday. “… We Adrian Peterson Authentic Womens Jersey had to get past that and put that in the history of the Cubs, and not the future. We changed that dialogue, and now, it’s all a thing in the past.”

Bartman was vilified by some in Chicago for attempting to catch a ball above outfielder Moises Alou along the wall in left field during Game 6 of the 2003 National League Championship Series between the Cubs and Marlins. Bartman made contact but didn’t catch it, and neither did Alou, who would have made the second out in the eighth inning but instead jumped up and down in frustration. The Cubs fell apart and lost that game and also Game 7.

“At the right time,” Ricketts said of his plan to contact Bartman. “I’m sure we’ll figure something out that provides closure for everybody. Hopefully, we can make it work.

“I never focused on ghosts or curses or Bartman or any of that stuff. … We wanted to eventually get to that point where we can pick out rings … and here we are.”

Frank Murtha, a lawyer who has served as Bartman’s spokesman, told USA Today that Bartman still lives and works in the Chicago area. Bartman has not conducted any interviews since the 2003 incident.

“[Bartman] was just overjoyed that the Cubs won, as all the Cubs fans are,” Murtha said after the Cubs clinched the title.
Leaving Altuve aside here, since he was the clear No. 3 choice, the Betts camp might suggest that because the Red Sox were better, they didn’t play as many close games as the Angels, thus “limiting” potential higher-leverage at-bats.

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Sashi Brown sat in a second floor Cleveland Browns conference room on Monday and tried to do the impossible.

And: “We don’t want to be here (at 0-10), but we also believe we’re on the way to a much brighter future.”

He said the same thing many Aaron Williams Authentic Jersey other GM/VP football types have said in the past however many years in Cleveland, with the same conviction.

“Being as young as I was at that time, playing three years, and actually getting a Super Bowl ring, I didn’t believe it,” Bobby said. “I didn’t believe it that day. I just kept looking at it, thinking, ‘This cannot be happening.'”

The next summer, Johnson was traded to the San Diego Chargers.

He was cut two weeks later.

“They couldn’t count on me,” he said. “I Adolphus Washington Authentic Jersey don’t blame them, you know. Just like a regular job, if you come in late every day, eventually you’re going to get fired. That’s what happened. I would have got rid of me, too.”

But the cut pushed Johnson deeper into his addiction.

“I started doing cocaine 24/7. I didn’t have to be at practice. I didn’t have to get drug-tested,” he said. “I stayed high practically all day and night.”

Johnson headed home to Tennessee, but instead of being with his family in Smyrna, a rural town outside of Nashville, he hid himself in the city, often sleeping on benches along Nashville’s Cumberland River.

“It was embarrassing,” Johnson said. “One day you’re in the Super Bowl, the next day, you’re walking around, homeless, smoking crack. How in the heck did I end up in this situation?”

It was outside of a Nashville pawn shop in 1989 when Johnson said he hit rock bottom.

“The drugs were calling me. I mean, literally, the drugs were calling my name,” he said. “I walked into the pawn shop to get high, maybe a place to sleep that night. A cheap room.”

He talked about seeing progress. Believing in the draftees. Finding positives.

“We always want to learn, but no, we are steadfast in our plan, and we feel like we’re on the right course,” Brown said.

He added: “We always knew this was going to be a major challenge, where we sat with our roster, our cap situation and where we were standing at quarterback as well. So we know what we were undertaking.”

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A guy named Ken is the greatest Jeopardy! contestant of all time. A guy named Ken won Thursday night. Raiders receiver Amari Cooper (who is not named Ken, and has never won Jeopardy!, for the record) is a nice guy, and he wants to make Derrick Rose Authentic Jersey sure all the Kens are aware of each other:

I don’t watch Jeopardy much anymore, I just get the highlights from Amari Cooper.

Pretty good for a guy who learned Jennings’ name within the last year:

Watching jeopardy, I remember when I was in like middle school some dude won like 50 times in a row or something??

I am also not named Ken, but if Amari Cooper Doug McDermott Authentic Jersey wanted to start a Jeopardy! newsletter to keep everyone abreast of the latest story lines on the show, I would sign up. I’m just saying.

We may know the players in the first round, but the order always comes as a surprise. This week’s mock draft features several fits that just make sense, regardless of position rankings. Oh, and there’s a bonus surprise team taking a quarterback in the first round.

There’s always talk about how Dallas could go any direction with the next pick, but why not San Diego? The choice here is Ramsey. He’s the draft’s No. 3 overall player and could star at corner or safety. But would it really be a surprise if the Chargers go with DeForest Buckner, Joey Bosa or even Ronnie Stanley?

I still don’t think the Cowboys should go with a quarterback with the fourth pick in the draft because it probably won’t impact the team much in 2016. Bosa would. He would pair nicely with DeMarcus Lawrence as bookend edge players for the Cowboys.

This might be dull because it’s become a common pick, but with Ramsey and Bosa gone, taking Jack should be an easy choice. His health should be fine by the time the season starts. Jack has unique on-field athleticism at linebacker, which allows him to cover and chase down the ball carrier.

Buckner’s fit in Baltimore is hand in glove. He’s a powerful 3-4 end who can handle multiple blockers and create havoc up front. He’s not the sensational outside pass rusher the Ravens need to eventually replace Terrell Suggs, but he will make any rushing linebacker behind him better.

Forget whatever is happening with the never-ending Colin Kaepernick disaster. It has no bearing on this pick. I think this pick will be whichever of Goff or Wentz is available. The intrigue will be if a team trades in front of the 49ers and neither is available.

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