Ten secrets to the success of playoff contenders

Ten secrets to the success of playoff contenders

MLB JERSEYS
Look at the top of the standings and you find the better teams. Look at the top of the leaderboards and you find simple explanations for why the better teams have been successful. The Boston Red Sox have been successful in part because Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez rank first and third in baseball in wRC+. The New York Yankees have been successful in part because they lead the majors in home runs. The Houston Astros have been successful in part because their pitching staff leads the majors in strikeouts. The Chicago Cubs have been successful in part because they lead the majors in OBP.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping You usually don't have to dig very deep to find positive statistics for baseball's contending teams. We're all familiar with…
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Derek Carr getting wake-up call (literally) from Jon Gruden

Derek Carr getting wake-up call (literally) from Jon Gruden

NFL JERSEYS
It was early in training camp when the famously early-rising Jon Gruden told Derek Carr he would come wake him up if an idea, or a play, popped into his head. At any hour. Sure, Carr was game. So long as Gruden knocked on the quarterback's hotel room door first, and Carr was not rousted awake by the Oakland Raiders coach looming over him in bed. “He always makes it uncomfortable for us,” Carr said of Gruden this offseason. “And now, playing a lot of football, it’s so uncomfortable in practice that when we get to the games, it’s going to be nice. ... He is trying to take it to another level of just making you uncomfortable, giving you the toughest looks. He wants you to throw the ball…
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Jarvis Landry: Rant on ‘Hard Knocks’ was meant for whole team

Jarvis Landry: Rant on ‘Hard Knocks’ was meant for whole team

NFL JERSEYS
"It was directed to and throughout our whole team," Landry said. "I know that I said it in the receiver room, but it was directed to the whole team. I think that it is going to allow us to create a mindset and a culture. If we are going to change the culture, that is where it has to begin. We can’t be having favors or taking days off or stuff like that. We have to practice and put in the work to be great." Browns coach Hue Jackson said Sunday that he believed Landry's message was intended more for his fellow wide receivers rather than the entire team.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale "With Jarvis, I think he is coming at it from a different angle, in my opinion, with…
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Mesut Ozil issue ‘exhausting’ but Germany players understand decision to quit – Manuel Neuer

Mesut Ozil issue ‘exhausting’ but Germany players understand decision to quit – Manuel Neuer

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Germany captain Manuel Neuer has said Mesut Ozil's decision to retire from international competition is his own choice and that the team needs players who are "proud" as they look to bounce back from their World Cup exit. Ozil announced last week that he would not play for Germany again amid claims of racist treatment by the German football federation (DFB) and its president, Reinhard Grindel. He did not claim racism within the Germany squad.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping "It's a decision made by each player," Neuer, one of the few players to have spoken about the situation, told reporters at Bayern Munich's training camp. "The reasons are something to find for yourself, and he found them. We, of course, accept that decision." Ozil's announcement came more than two…
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U.S.’s Antonee Robinson signs new Everton deal, joins Wigan on loan

U.S.’s Antonee Robinson signs new Everton deal, joins Wigan on loan

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United States international Antonee Robinson signed a new three-year contract with Everton on Friday but will spend the upcoming season on loan at Wigan. Robinson, 20, came up through Everton's academy but has yet to play for the Toffees' first team. The left-back spent last season on loan with Bolton Wanderers, starting 26 games, and will return to the Championship with the Latics in 2018-19. His new Everton contract signifies the club sees him as a player for the future, but their recent signing of Lucas Digne from Barcelona meant Robinson's playing time would have been limited at Goodison Park this season.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china "It feels great to know that Everton have faith in me with this contract," Robinson told U.S. Soccer's website. "Even though at the…
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Inside the discovery of Mike Trout

Inside the discovery of Mike Trout

MLB JERSEYS
Greg Morhardt was the Los Angeles Angels' scout assigned to oversee the Northeast corridor a dozen years ago, and on a beautiful, late-summer day, he watched over a flock of high school age ballplayers in New Jersey. When somebody mentioned that the last name of the muscular kid with the football-player build standing out at shortstop was Trout, Morhardt immediately wondered whether he had a connection with the teenager. More than two decades before, Morhardt had played minor league baseball with a Trout, Jeff Trout. He was fast, Morhardt recalled, and a really good hitter, someone who might have had a little time in the big leagues if he had hung around pro ball a few more years. But Morhardt had been present when Jeff met Debbie Busonick, and Jeff…
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Scenes from Cooperstown, where the game is always good

Scenes from Cooperstown, where the game is always good

MLB JERSEYS
Abner Doubleday, the game's mythical inventor, did not in fact invent it. Baseball had been played in nascent forms long before 1839, the year in which Doubleday supposedly but not really invented the game. Baseball's story did not begin in a cow pasture in Cooperstown. The myth is a false tune written by tycoons like Al Spalding. They still play footsie with the myth in Cooperstown. There is a cafe on Main Street named after Doubleday. There is of course the ballpark there -- Doubleday Field -- two blocks from the Hall of Fame, on the spot that used to be Elihu Phinney's farm. There's still a barn there -- it's used to house maintenance equipment. But the Hall doesn't try to pull the wool over people's eyes about baseball's…
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Just how good can these young Bulls become?

Just how good can these young Bulls become?

NBA JERSEYS
The Bulls still ended up with Wendell Carter Jr. at No. 7, and they are thrilled with his potential as an Al Horford-style fulcrum who makes plays in space -- a perfect frontcourt partner for Markkanen. The more Carter proves a capable middleman connecting Chicago's offense from Point A to Point B, the less it will matter if none of Dunn, LaVine and Parker grows into the sort of alpha dog who makes that connection himself. "He's really good playing in the pocket," Hoiberg says of Carter. "We need that. We are going to have to string together a lot of simple plays -- to hit singles. When one guy tries for a home run, we get in trouble."cheap nfl nike jerseys from china Butler is a borderline top-10 player.…
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The NBA supermax and the price of loyalty

The NBA supermax and the price of loyalty

NBA JERSEYS
With another All-NBA berth the next season (2017-18), Butler would qualify for a five-year, $220 million supermax -- vaulting to a salary equivalent to 35 percent of the salary cap, 5 percentage points more than normal for a player at his experience level. The difference would amount to $25 million or more over the full deal. Add annual 8 percent raises that might outpace growth in the cap, and such a deal could soak up 40 percent of a team's cap space on the back end. It is as large a commitment as exists in the NBA. Butler was the only star on a mediocre team. Without finding a second, and perhaps a third, the Bulls would go nowhere interesting during the length of Butler's supermax. The sheer size of…
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Trade talk we’re hearing: Will the Rays deal Chris Archer?

Trade talk we’re hearing: Will the Rays deal Chris Archer?

MLB JERSEYS
The Tampa Bay Rays jumped into the trade deadline fray Wednesday and sent Nathan Eovaldi to the Boston Red Sox for prospect Jalen Beeks. Eovaldi is a pending free agent with overpowering stuff and a medical history that makes him the quintessential boom-or-bust deadline acquisition. Now the question remains: Are the Rays bold enough to trade Chris Archer to a contender between now and July 31?cheap nike nfl jerseys from china The Rays approached the deadline with a focus on moving Eovaldi and fellow short-timers Wilson Ramos, Sergio Romo, Carlos Gomez and Adeiny Hechavarria. Ramos was the clear headline piece until he suffered a pulled hamstring and went on the disabled list right after the All-Star break. But his recovery has progressed ahead of schedule, and he's at the point…
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