In appreciation of Jim Thome and the quietest 600-homer career of all time

Jim Thome had the quietest 600-homer career of all time. We know this because people keep forgetting Jim Thome is in the 600 Home Run Club.

It was 612 home runs, actually, and Thome is one of eight players to reach the hallowed milestone. Albert Pujols will be the ninth, and it’s the Pujols Watch that has brought Thome’s name back into the baseball conscience. That seems odd to say given that he was active as recently as 2012, but here we are.

It’s not quite Jim Thome, forgotten slugger. But it sure seems close.

Earlier in the season, Travis induced weak contact on inside pitches or was missing altogether. Now, Travis takes pitches over the plate and barrels them to the outfield.

Throughout April, the bulk of his swings and misses were on pitches in the inner half of the strike zone. Like many right-handed hitters, Travis found that location to be his Kryptonite. But now with his new position in the box, he predominantly whiffs on offerings down and away.

In April, Travis had three measly extra-base hits, while in May he collected 20 extra-base hits and now has the most doubles of any hitter in MLB with 18.
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What’s the reason for his dramatic turnaround? The answer may be a simple step backward in the batter’s box.

Game Womens Jimmy Graham Jersey Earlier in the season, Travis was standing much closer to home plate. In essence, that also pushed the barrel of his bat even farther away from the plate and was causing him to chase pitches outside the strike zone or induce weak contact.

But a small shift backward in the batter’s box has lined the barrel of his bat back into the strike zone. It’s rejuvenated his swing and Travis has enjoyed a tremendous spike in extra-base hits throughout May.

The mock drafts would be a lot more convoluted in these years

“There was, like, this,” she stops to open her arms, puts her lips together and makes a sound similar to dropping a cannonball into a body of water.

It took Schakowsky time to grasp the full scope of the need for players’ health advocates, even as she took up the banner. She talked with constituents who blew up her phone that March after the roundtable and realized the enormous hold football has on American culture. She met with retired NHL players in October and watched middle-aged men cry because they couldn’t remember things.

Schakowsky was born in a quiet Northside neighborhood in Chicago to two eastern European Jews who came to America at the height of the Nazi occupation across the ocean. By 1969, she was a young mother, who had grown annoyed by not knowing what basic items were fresh at local supermarkets and so organized the National Consumers Union (eventually changed later to National Consumers United) which, she jokes, was a “modest name for a group with six people.”

Buffalo jumps all the way from No. 19 to No. 2 in 2016 and from No. 8 to No. 1 in 2014. Meanwhile, the Browns drop out of the top three again in 2016 and fall two spots each in 2014 and 2013.

The mock drafts would be a lot more convoluted in these years, but there are a few interesting situations:

What do the Giants and Jets do with the first two picks in 2015? The Jets could certainly use Jameis Winston or Marcus Mariota, but the Giants may be better served trading that pick away. Maybe the Buccaneers or Titans would want to come up from No. 4 or No. 5, respectively, to secure a franchise quarterback.
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Mike Tirico replaces Al Michaels on ‘Thursday Night Football’

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Mike Tirico will slot in to call play-by-play on NBC’s broadcasts of Thursday Night Football this upcoming NFL season.
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The network got the green light from the NFL to have Tirico replace Al Michaels, who will still do the playcalling for Sunday Night Football.

Cris Collingsworth will remain as the NFL analyst for both Thursday and Sunday games featured on NBC.

Then why’d they go get Glennon?Lynch said, via The MMQB’s Peter King.

It’s important to note that the car washing scene isn’t reality. As I said there’s a lot going on here. We got to this point through a wavy transition, which is the ultimate sign of a dream sequence.

In the car-washing dream Gronk is impressed by a butt.

Part of the reason why the Seahawks need a reliable backup quarterback is because their cheesecloth O-line keeps getting Russell Wilson wrecked. Seattle ranked 28th in the league last fall after letting Wilson and his backups get sacked on more than 7 percent of passing plays. Wilson has used, uh, bubble water to stay remarkably resilient, but it’s clear Pete Carroll needs a contingency plan as his star quarterback gets older.

Wilfork: Draft was a dream come true. Everybody that gets in this game and gets drafted, as a kid you dream of being an NFL football player and for that dream to come true, man, it was an amazing feeling. It was one of the perfect things in my life because when I was four to five years old, that’s all I dreamed about was being a football player, an NFL football player, to be the best.

Brad Miller and Matt Duffy are the listed starters

Elite Womens Jason Taylor Jersey Most underrated player in baseball history? Every player mentioned here might have a case, though Johnson could lay the most claim. In the special Negro League induction for the Hall of Fame in 2006, the last time Johnson was up for consideration, his candidate profile noted, Johnson may have acquired his Home Run nickname in his Findlay semi-pro days, when he reportedly hit 60 round trippers in a single season. His constant production at bat in high-level black ball may have also led to the nickname – he is credited with season batting averages of .371, .374, .397 and .413 while in his prime. He also spent five years in the Cuban Winter League before 1910, winning a batting championship and hitting .319 overall.

Authentic Kids Brandon Thompson Jersey Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947, becoming the first African-American since 1884 to play in the majors. During the Reconstruction Era, though, a number of blacks played with whites, Fowler among them. Fowler was the first African-American in Organized Baseball, Brian McKenna wrote in Fowler’s SABR biography. He also had the widest traveled career and longest, of the early players, by any qualification. Shocking to some, he was the first African-American to captain an integrated club. He was also one of the first significant black promoters, forming the heralded Page Fence Giants and other clubs and leagues.

Brad Miller and Matt Duffy are the listed starters, but Duffy is still recovering from Achilles surgery. That could force Miller back to his natural position, shortstop, from second. A Duffy setback could also open up short to a slew of competitors: Tim Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft; Nick Franklin, who’s mainly an outfielder now but who began his career as a middle infielder; prospect Willy Adames, one of the key pieces in the trade that sent David Price to the Tigers (Franklin was in that trade, too); and minor leaguer Daniel Robertson, who was acquired in the deal that sent Ben Zobrist to the A’s in 2015. Plus, the Rays reportedly are interested in signing recently released Brett Lawrie as a second base option.

Age only begins to explain free agency struggles of Adrian Peterson, Darrelle Revis

The NFL free-agent market can be kind to some players and cruel to others. So far, not so good for two future Hall of Famers in Adrian Peterson and Darrelle Revis.

Authentic Kids Aaron Donald Jersey And I’m not surprised.

Besides their outstanding careers as seven-time Pro Bowlers, Peterson and Revis share several traits that don’t bode well for big paydays this year. Both will be 32 when the 2017 season begins. Both are accustomed to top-market salaries. Their on-field performances were lackluster or worse last season. They’ve battled injuries in recent years. Off-field incidents have tarnished their images.
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Now Peterson and Revis might be joined on the market by another high-profile, controversial former star. Marshawn Lynch is putting out trial balloons that he may be interested in coming out of retirement … but only if the soon to be 31-year-old can play for his hometown Oakland Raiders.

In that time off, I realized what I had given up, said Ramczyk, who also had mulled a career in law enforcement coming out of high school. I’d been competing in different sports my entire life. To be out of that, I felt kind of lost. I missed the game of football and wanted to get back at it.

After dominating the Pointers’ competition for two seasons, Ramczyk wanted a bigger challenge, even if it meant having to follow the NCAA’s transfer rules. He sat out the entire 2015 season before being cleared to play at Wisconsin, where he reunited with Badgers coach Paul Chryst, who had previously recruited Ramczyk (pronounced RAM-check) to Pitt.

5 interesting NFL rule change proposals submitted by teams for 2017

NFL teams and the league’s competition committee submitted their rule change proposals for the upcoming season as NFL owners are set to meet to discuss what’s best for the league. The proposals were sent in earlier this week, but made public on Thursday.

The league will consider 15 new rules, six new bylaws and three new resolutions. Some of the proposals make sense, and have already been made public. But there are plenty of others that are interesting and are worth further explanation.

Game Mens Manti Te’o Jersey Younger fans have no memory of the 1988 All-Star Gala at the Cincinnati Zoo. Come to think of it, older fans probably don’t either. It was a rain-effected disaster that was so bad it was great. (For the full story on that weird night, read this.) Here, watch late, great Craig Sager do his duty to kill time by interviewing a young Mark McGwire, who has a big snake around his neck. Yep, it was weird.

If you watched baseball in the ’80s and ’90s, before just about every game was broadcast on a regional network affiliate, local stations produced their own broadcasts. That meant original theme songs! Watch this video to waste a good hour of your day.

The Series run in 2015 was just the beginning; 2016 would provide them their chance to take back the city, like the other mob bosses in New York scrambling for power after Don Corleone bit the dust.

Game Mens Mackensie Alexander Jersey The Yankees didn’t have a poor record for most of last season, but they were a poor team to watch. There was no life or excitement until rookie catcher Gary Sanchez came up last August and raked. The Bombers finished 84-78 and missed the playoffs.

NFL Draft 2017: Jaguars select controversial Biletnikoff winner Dede Westbrook

Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook won the Biletnikoff Award last December as the best receiver in college football.

But he had to wait until the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft before he heard his name called. The Jaguars selected the 6-foot, 178-pound playmaker, whose off-field issues pushed him down draft boards to 110th overall.

Westbrook, who caught 80 passes for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns last season with an average of 19.1 yards per reception, had a pair of domestic violence arrests before he arrived at Oklahoma in 2015. He had two children at the age of 18 and was accused in both 2013 and 2014 of assaulting the mother of their children. He was never charged and said last December he had resolved the issues with the woman.

Westbrook was asked at last month’s NFL Combine about the incidents and his responses weren’t exactly apologetic. ESPN’s Todd McShay said Saturday Westbrook was actually kicked out of one meeting with a team.

There is no indication he’s abused his children and the Texas native does not have any history of substance abuse.

The Jaguars needed a big-play receiver to complement Allen Robinson, Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee. The speedy Westbrook ran a 4.34-second 40-yard dash at the Oklahoma pro day and was the only Power 5 conference player to have at least 1,500 yards and 17 touchdowns last year. The Jaguars selected LSU running back Leonard Fournette with the No. 4 overall pick in Thursday’s first round as they try to give Blake Bortles the weapons he needs to succeed.

If Westbrook stays out of trouble, he could be a steal. If his issues catch up to him, he could be a bust like Justin Blackmon, who was the fifth overall pick in 2012, but washed out of the league after two troubled seasons.
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Colts have ‘best defense in AFC’ according to DT Johnathan Hankins

Johnathan Hankins came to Indianapolis this offseason after spending four years with the Giants, and he feels like he’s joined a special group.

Appearing on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football Monday, Hankins said he loves the job done by new general manager Chris Ballard bringing in plenty of new defensive players. He feels like their group is now one of the best in football.

Hamels’ situation sounds more serious. He was scratched from his scheduled start against the Astros on Tuesday after feeling what he described as a sharp pain on the side on his second warmup pitch in the bullpen. An MRI Wednesday confirmed the oblique strain and the initial projection is he will miss about eight weeks.

While this is the fifth time Hamels has been on the DL in his 12-year big league career, he has made at least 30 starts every season since 2008. That streak will come to an end if the expected timeline holds up. The 33-year-old has a 3.03 ERA in five starts this season, though with only 15 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings, he is fanning batters at less than half his career rate.
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Kluber, meanwhile, made his start against the Tigers on Tuesday but lasted only three innings before being removed because of tightness in his back. The 2014 AL Cy Young winner and manager Terry Francona acknowledged the issue has bothered Kluber for a few starts now.

Authentic Mens Drew Brees Jersey Kluber hasn’t been particularly sharp in 2017, posting a 5.06 ERA in six starts. It doesn’t sound like the Indians expect him to be out for an extended period, however.

We think letting him miss a little bit of time is best thing for everybody, Francona told MLB Network Radio shortly before the team made the DL move official.

Improvement inside Colts headquarters already evident with new GM

From an on-field production standpoint, it will take years to truly grade how well Chris Ballard did running his first NFL Draft.

But in every other way, Ballard already has earned an A-plus.

The selection process provided another glimpse of the newfound unity inside Indianapolis Colts headquarters — something that was sorely missing when Ballard’s predecessor Ryan Grigson was paired with coach Chuck Pagano.

Nobody was more surprised by Chicago’s maneuvering than Trubisky. Wearing a white draft cap emblazoned with a sparkling Bears logo, Trubisky told media at the NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Art Museum he didn’t have a lot of (pre-draft) discussions with Chicago brass.
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Authentic Womens Jason McCourty Jersey I think they didn’t want other teams to know they wanted me, Trubisky said.

The key now is what will the Bears do now that they have him.

The temptation to fast-track Trubisky will be strong with the ability to escape from Glennon’s massive contract after just one year and the need for Fox and Pace to prove they are the right coach-GM tandem for the job.

Gordon decides to transfer from Baylor to Utah. We felt he deserved a second chance, and we gave him that, Utes coach Kyle Whittingham said at the time. Before missing the deadline, Gordon had thought about entering the NFL’s supplemental draft that summer. He wouldn’t play a down for Utah.

In the end, Joe Mixon fell one round for hitting woman on video

So in the end, the price Joe Mixon paid for an infamous crime caught on an infamous video was, roughly, one round of the NFL Draft: about 32 picks.

That’s where the former Oklahoma running back landed on Friday night: with the Bengals at 16th in the second round, at No. 48 overall. Speaking in strictly football terms, he was seen as a sure thing in the top half of the first round.
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It was a luxury pick for the Patriots, who already had the best offseason of any team. The Super Bowl champions selected what they deemed the best player available and added a potential playmaker to last season’s No. 1 scoring defense.

Kids Alan Trammell Jersey The Patriots then added some offensive line depth with Troy’s Antonio Garcia after using a fourth-round pick they got from the Titans to move back into the third round at 85th overall.

Garcia has some nastiness that earned him first-team All-Sun Belt honors. The 6-6, 302-pound Houston native did not allow a single sack last season, which included a game against Clemson and its impressive front four. Garcia was a four-year starter at tackle for the Trojans. He’s a tough road grader on the ground and anchors well with a good power step in pass protection. He slides well, but if he has a weakness, it’s that he will sometimes get beat on an inside move.

Draft picks: Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes, Villanova DE/OLB Tanoh Kpassagnon, Toledo RB Kareem Hunt, Michigan WR Jehu Chesson, Georgia Southern LB Ukeme Eligwe, USC S Leon McQuay III

Trading up for Mahomes, a big-armed gunslinger who really doesn’t mesh with the true mentality as Alex Smith’s successor, set up a bad tone in this draft. The best pick was Kpassagnon as an edge rusher. Hunt can help now, but Chesson is a project. Waiting too late for linebacker and not taking a cornerback really hurts for a team trying to win bigger now.