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Patrick Wisdom smashes a ball high and deep down the left-field line for a solo home run, extending the Cubs' lead to 3-1 in the top of the 7th inning

4. Any trades in the next two weeks will open up more opportunities for secondary players like Patrick Wisdom, who's made a strong impression this season. He hit a solo home run in the seventh, No. 13 this season — tied for third on the Cubs.Minnesota Twins Face Masks
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2. Los Angeles Dodgers (58-36): Just two outs from a tie for first place, they instead watched Kenley Jansen blow his first save in more than two months. They also watched Gavin Lux go down, although Corey Seager should be back at some point in the next week.Texas Rangers Face Masks

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The Angels fortified their thin outfield by signing Adam Eaton to a major league deal Wednesday, just two days after the 32-year-old veteran was granted his unconditional release by the Chicago White Sox.

"Just play those teams like your hair is on fire," Kuiper said. "They've done that and they need to continue to do that."

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It was a solid night for Wood given the opponent, although he might get kicked out of a few group chats. The Turner and Muncy injuries had a big impact on the end of the game.Pittsburgh Pirates Face Masks

Jeimer Candelario's free pass loaded the bases, and Eric Haase's walk scored a run. At this point, all nine players in the lineup had stepped into the batter's box and reached safely, doing so with three walks and six singles. The last time the Tigers accomplished this feat was in the ninth inning Aug. 8, 2001, against the Rangers in Texas.Oakland Athletics Face Masks
Just when you think Tom Brady’s legacy can’t get more mythologized, the quarterback overcomes a new obstacle or hits a new milestone. That’s what happened on Thursday when multiple reporters indicated that Brady had played through a fully-torn MCL during the 2020 season when he and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl.Buffalo Bills Face Masks

And they had rookie phenom Justin Herbert in 2020, the sixth overall pick who shattered records as a rookie passer. He threw the most touchdown passes of any rookie in NFL history, despite the fact he was the second most pressured of any quarterback in the NFL. Herbert, the 2020 Offensive Rookie of the Year, became the fourth rookie quarterback to throw for over 4,000 yards.

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One of the big pushes across the NFL in recent years has been to improve player safety. After all, there is no NFL without the players who put their bodies on the line on a weekly basis — so continuing to push the limits of safety and protection for players is the only path to choose. We’ve seen rule changes, diminished impact on special teams and new equipment put into play all in the name of improved player safety and now, as has been announced by the NFL, the league will be holding an NFL Helmet Challenge.

This is not the first time the Eagles have been mentioned as a possible suitor for Watson. General manager Howie Roseman has not been afraid to take big swings, and Watson would certainly be that. If anything, after some maneuvering during the draft that came after the trade to send Carson Wentz to Indianapolis, the Eagles are better equipped to make a significant offer for Watson than they were in March.Cincinnati Bengals Face Masks

That does not, however, mean Stafford isn’t an upgrade over Goff. And now perhaps Stafford will have a little extra motivation to prove that to Ward.San Francisco 49ers Face Masks

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“Is coach Mike McCarthy the man to lead this team to success on the football field? Does owner Jerry Jones actually let him do his job without significant interference? Has McCarthy made the necessary adjustments to his coaching staff, on the defensive side of the ball in particular, that will allow this team to meet or exceed what amounts to lofty preseason expectations year after year? Or will the Cowboys disappoint yet again?”Houston Texans Face Masks

No matter who wins this job, the left tackle is an important position. In fact, I listed the left tackle (Dillard or Mailata) as the No. 15 most important player for the 2021 season.
For more proof, consider Neal has some very rare advanced stats going for him already. If the Bengals are drafting this high next year, landing the draft’s first offensive tackle isn’t a bad way to go.

The Houston Texans did not have one player from their 2020 draft class who made an impact on the team last season. Certainly, not having OTAs and rookie mini-camp played into the newbies’ lack of on-field production. But the rookies came into the season facing a difficult task to prove their worth in the NFL — given that the previous regime was not fond of playing first-year players.NFL Face Coverings Sales

As his co-hosts set the scene, explaining that the Patriots are “welcoming back” Brady to Gillette, Cowart cuts them off.Cincinnati Bengals Face Masks

Sure, that firepower will include the athleticism that propelled Fields to amass 6,240 yards and 78 touchdowns from scrimmage in two seasons at Ohio State. But Fields is also eager to display the intellectual firepower that limited his gaffes to a mere nine interceptions in that stretch—to show his knack for cycling through his reads and extending plays in ways the Buckeyes might not have requested from him.New York Giants Face Masks

The following year, in 2017, at least 10 Colts knelt during the national anthem, part of league-wide protests in the wake of former President Donald Trump saying that any player who knelt to protest police brutality and racial inequality was a “son of a (expletive).” Ballard admitted last summer that he wished he’d responded better when those protests happened.

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That sentiment isn't something just tossed out lightly by the Broncos, given their 2015 defense will always hold a special place in the trophy case, as Miller was the Super Bowl Bowl 50 MVP after the Broncos led the league in total defense, pass defense and sacks en route to the franchise's third Super Bowl title.

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Once the 2021 NFL campaign arrives, the Los Angeles Rams will be ready to make plenty of noise. Oh, and they’ll also be doing so in style. This week, the NFC West powerhouse took to Twitter to reveal some awesome new throwback uniforms the players will be rocking this fall.San Francisco 49ers Face Masks
The thought behind starting Nuñez was to keep the Giants from stacking their lineup with left-handed hitters, of which they have an abundance, to face the right-handed Gray. But Giants manager Gabe Kapler didn't budge, and his left-handed hitters did most of the damage.Seattle Mariners Face Masks

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2-0 record with a 4.94 ERA in five starts. In 23.2 innings, he struck out 32 while walking four.
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For all his maladies, Betts never did end up on the injured list in the first half, and the Dodgers sounded confident he can avoid the injured list this time as well. Manager Dave Roberts, who said Betts has had to “manage” the hip injury all season, said Betts would not play Sunday, with the hope he can rejoin the lineup for Monday’s series opener against the first-place San Francisco Giants.

The Mets, meanwhile, ought to take advantage of series against teams like the lowly Pirates. Losing in Pittsburgh is not a good sign for a team with postseason aspirations.

Clemens is hitting .248 (28-for-113) with six doubles, three triples, three home runs, 12 RBIs, 11 walks and 29 strikeouts in 30 games for the Mud Hens this season. He is the Tigers' No. 13 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.Chicago White Sox Face Masks

In the bottom of the inning, Muncy hit his nightly homer against the Giants. Yes, it actually is nightly. He has eight homers in 30 at-bats against them this season. The Dodgers seemed to be hunting fastballs against Gausman in the first inning, and Turner hit one out to left for the fourth homer of the first inning. Chicago Cubs Face Masks

There is one very direct stat to follow, and it would be intriguing even if Ohtani didn’t, you know, pitch. Ohtani leads MLB with 33 homers heading into the second half. With the Angels having played 89 games, that puts him juuuust barely on pace to eclipse the 60-homer mark.San Diego Padres Face Masks

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Pederson joined the Cubs over the winter on a one-year, prove-it deal, with a mutual option for 2022, following seven seasons with the Dodgers. The 29-year-old, who’s struggled against left-handed pitching in his career, got the chance to play every day.Arizona Diamondbacks Face Masks

Not that it’ll be an easy road for a manager who has only known pandemic baseball and long-shot attempts to squeeze another run at glory from the end of the championship tube in less than two years as a big-league manager.MLB Face Masks

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"Our entire organization is heartbroken by the news of Dick's passing," Giants President and CEO Larry Baer said. "So much of our success over these past three decades is directly linked to Dick's contributions. He will be truly missed by all of us and our thoughts are with Mari Jo and his entire family during this difficult time."Chicago Cubs Face Masks

Come on! You didn’t think this was going to get a mention? They rank 24th of 30 MLB teams with a collective 4.96 ERA. That’s a sight better than last year’s historic dumpster fire of a bullpen, but it’s not enough. They have two full-time members who have ERAs less than four in newly-minted closer Ranger Suarez and Archie Bradley. The rest of them need to significantly improve, or president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski had better be working those phones to replace them with guys who can nail things down in the late innings.

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Barnes allowed a single to Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, then a single to Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Eduardo Escobar during his appearance in the eighth inning. He also walked Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto.Oakland Athletics Face Masks

As Taylor established himself as an everyday, anywhere player, his confidence soared, knowing there’s a huge difference between a guy without a position and a bench player.

That was 2014 and the Red Sox have no regrets. They can only hope history is about to repeat itself.
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Through all the boos from Mets fans at home this season, Lindor has swung the bat well in his last 12 games going into Friday’s contest. He’s slashing .313/.478/.486 with two home runs and 10 RBIs during that span.

Bauer is under a temporary restraining order after a San Diego woman accused him of sexual assault. The allegations are being investigated by the Pasadena (Calif.) Police Department, and it's possible that Bauer could face criminal charges.Seattle Mariners Face Masks

Castro was placed on administrative leave July 16 by Major League Baseball as it investigates a domestic violence accusation.

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Kimbrel, who has a 0.53 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 33⅔ innings, has been every bit as dominant this season as he was in his first five years with the Braves. He’s appeared in 35 games and in 17 of them, he’s retired every batter he’s faced. St. Louis Cardinals Face Masks

Jerry Remy keeping it real: "Kiké is a good player but he has got to learn to speak in front of Boston people. They want workers they don't want to hear about extra days off at the All-Star break… Not a good idea. You sound like Adrian Gonzalez."MLB Face Masks

Facing Martin with the bases loaded, Baddoo singled up the middle. He plated two runs — charged to Gibson — for an 8-0 lead. Schoop followed with an RBI single up the middle, and Grossman tacked on a single into left field to load up the bases.Pittsburgh Pirates Face Masks
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7. San Diego Padres (55-41): As the Giants and Dodgers battle, the Padres will visit the Braves and Marlins this week. It's a chance to make up a ton of ground if they can have a good week, and they appear ready for it. They scored 41 runs while taking a series against the Nationals.

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We’ve established that Austin will need to play with more consistency and cut out the mental errors in 2021 to hold onto his spot, but if he’s going to convince the team he’s a viable option into the future, the Jets also need more playmaking from him.NFL Detroit Lions Team Face Coverings

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Yet in today’s NFL we all know passing is king, and Thuney is stout in pass protection. He has the awareness and experience to identify twists and stunts up front, and the power, technique and lower-body strength necessary to win many one-on-one matchups. Take this example against the Baltimore Ravens:

“We ain’t welcoming him, we just got to play him. There ain’t going to be no damn ceremony for him or nothing like that,” Cowart said. “They might clap for him, but there’s not going to be no — bro, this is our opponent. Bro, what? We like to win.”

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The NFL finally has managed to expand the regular season from 16 to 17 games. The NFL still wants to expand the regular season to 18 games.NHL Team Logo Face Coverings Shop

Since Jim Harbaugh took the head coaching job back in 2015, he’s made sure to utilize the tight end and fullback positions into the Wolverine offense. Even when Harbaugh hired Josh Gattis – a spread offense man – as the offensive coordinator, we still see the usage at a high level for tight ends. During the shortened 2020 season, Erick All had the third-most receiving yards on the team, and was targeted a good amount during games.

He played the 10th hole with each four-some, and then drove the cart back to tee off again. Most of the time he drove the ball over the trees at lengths of roughly 300 yards. It was a scramble format, and he let the rest of the golfers take it from there after getting his drives in.NFL Carolina Panthers Team Face Coverings

The sixth-year veteran is not expected to reach an agreement on a long-term deal with Washington prior to the July 15 deadline, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.NFL Cleveland Browns Team Face Coverings
Yastrzemski homered twice and drove in four runs while leading the Giants to a 7-2 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, their fifth straight and 58th in 90 games. It was Yastrzemski's best offensive game of the season, a reminder of just what an impact he can make when fully healthy and fully locked-in with his mechanics. San Diego Padres Face Masks
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Yastrzemski broke a scoreless tie in the fourth with a solo homer off Adam Wainwright. In the seventh, he got a hanging slider from McFarland and skied it over the left field wall.St. Louis Cardinals Face Masks

A decade ago, Stelica, visiting from Bucharest, sat with me as the Red Sox faced the Orioles in a must-win baseball game. The Sox and Tampa Bay Rays were in a dead heat for the AL Wild Card spot heading into the season’s final game. Boston’s epic collapse in the month of September was either going to be laughed off with a brow-swiping phew, if we won and the Rays lost, or taken like a punch to the gut if the opposite happened. A win or a loss for both would mean a one-game, winner-advances showdown.Tampa Bay Rays Face Masks

"I keep using the quote that 'we're built for this' and I think today was a perfect example," Pillar said after the game. "We went through every single guy on the bench. I was the last guy off the bench, we had two new pitchers brought up today. ... no one flinched.

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The Minnesota Twins may shop two-time All-Star Jose Berrios, but he won’t come at a cheap price.

Los Angeles also lost right fielder Dexter Fowler for the season with a torn knee ligament in early April.

1. Kyle Hendricks went on an incredible run before the All-Star break, throwing 10 quality starts in 11 tries. He picked up where he left off Friday, tossing six innings of one-run ball.Minnesota Twins Face Masks

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You can also track all available targets, air yards, and targets inside the 10-yard line throughout the offseason here.Cleveland Browns Face Masks

Based on last year's performance, there's no reason to think they can't. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, Sweat and Young were already the NFL's best pass rush duo in 2020.Washington Football Team Face Masks

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Giving the Texans last place in a power ranking that looks over the next three years is a different twist on a familiar theme.

The big news in Green Bay’s offense is of course the status of Aaron Rodgers, but the second most important Aaron in that offense is Jones, and he’s become one of the league’s most prolific backs. Since Jones’ rookie season of 2017, only Todd Gurley, Derrick Henry, and Alvin Kamara have more rushing touchdowns than Jones’ 37, and only six backs have more rushing yards than Jones’ 3,364. Jones has averaged 5.17 yards per carry in his career — only Nick Chubb has a higher yards per carry total since 2017 among backs with at least 500 carries in that time. In 2020, Jones had 11 carries of 15 or more yards for 425 yards, ensuring his status as a big-play back. Add in his receiving ability, and Jones is also one of the most complete backs in the league.

Richard Sherman, a free-agent cornerback who played the previous three seasons with the 49ers, is being held in a Seattle jail while under investigation in a burglary domestic violence case, according to court records.New York Giants Face Masks

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Unreal. This may have cost Brady a shot at playing golf with Trump later this summer. In all seriousness, Brady saw his chance to have some fun at Trump’s expense and he ran with it. Folks were laughing and rightfully so.

The Packers signed Gaines to a futures deal in early 2021. He played with Vernon Scott at TCU but injuries in multiple years likely complicated his path to the NFL. Nicknamed “Thump," Gaines is a striking tackler who might have to claw his way to a roster spot with special teams impact, but he could have in-the-box versatility the Packers are looking for at safety.Indianapolis Colts Face Masks
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But it’s going to look worse before it gets better as the most painful part begins of whatever this transition becomes. And whatever length of time it takes.Seattle Mariners Face Masks

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The Los Angeles Angels phenom failed to make it out of the first round of the Home Run Derby, losing a multi-round swing-off to Juan Soto, but he still received $150,000 for participating. According to the Orange County Register's Jeff Fletcher, Ohtani decided to give the money away.

I am the world’s foremost Romainglish speaker. I know this because Romainglish is not a real language. It is a combination of Romanian and English that I developed in order to communicate with my grandfather. I can’t quite speak Romanian, and he couldn’t quite speak English, hence this pidgin form of communication. My grandfather, Stelica, was the world’s second most advanced Romainglish speaker.Pittsburgh Pirates Face Masks

Marsh is considered the top prospect in the Angels' organization. He was drafted in the second round in 2016 and was batting .382 with two home runs and six RBIs in his past eight games with Triple-A Salt Lake. He went 0-for-4 Sunday.Milwaukee Brewers Face Masks

"It's just all about patience," he said. "This is a long season and we've got plenty of games to play left, so it's just kind of staying positive and just focusing on helping the team win one game at a time. If I can help the team win that day I've done my job, whether it's defensively, offensively, on the bases. I'm just trying to do it that way."Los Angeles Angels Face Masks

But a bat like that — and Burger's, too, for that matter — can indeed make Hahn's life easier.

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Yankees RHP Luis Severino hasn't pitched in a major league game since Sept. 28, 2019. On Sunday, he took an important step closer to his long-awaited return, throwing in a 30-pitch sim game at Yankee Stadium before the team's series finale against the Red Sox.
For those wondering how the PBWR figure is defined, here is ESPN’s description of it.NFL San Francisco 49ers Team Face Coverings

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They made the decision to forge ahead with Ryan, and when you watch him on film you can see why new head coach Arthur Smith feels comfortable moving into the new season with Ryan as his QB. What stands out studying the veteran passer is how he handles the pocket, from his footwork evading pressure and moving through reads as well as how he processes information pre-snap and post-snap:NFL Dallas Cowboys Team Face Coverings

Signed: TE Dan Arnold (2 years, $6M), CB A.J. Bouye (2 years, $7M, per NFL Network), G Pat Elflein (3 years, $13.5M), OL Cameron Erving (2 years, $10M), DL Morgan Fox (2 years, $8.1M), S Delano Hill, DL DaQuan Jones (1 year, $4.5M), CB Rashaan Melvin (1 year), LB Frankie Luvu (1 year), WR David Moore (2 years), LB Denzel Perryman (2 years), OLB Haason Reddick (1 year, $6M)NFL Pittsburgh Steelers Team Face Coverings
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To quantify the outlook for each team, ESPN graded five categories: QB situation (worth 20% of final score), Non-QB roster (30%), coaching (20%), drafting capabilities (15%), front office (15%).

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“People are interested in the team, they’re excited,” Grissom said. “Got a lot of new energy and a lot of new things to talk about. The pandemic is a challenge and just kind of working through that, but every day we’re getting better. Season tickets, our corporate partners, our marketing team — everybody’s having a great time. We’re making a lot of progress.”

Abram was a tremendous liability last season. He was freelancing and giving up big plays left and right while taking bad angles for missed tackles and racking up stupid penalties. If he can’t get it together, fourth-round rookie Tyree Gillespie could get a shot.NFL Jacksonville Jaguars Team Face Coverings

It’s deadline day for franchise-tagged players to sign long-term deals originally appeared on Pro Football Talk