A brave Mets fan finally told Neil Walker that fans call him ‘daddy’

Whenever you start a conversation with I’m not trying to make things weird, there’s a strong chance that you are, in fact, about to make things super weird with whoever you are talking to at that very moment.

Fortunately for a Mets fan who broke some exciting (?) news to New York second baseman Neil Walker on Tuesday night at a charity event, that opening statement turned out to be wrong for once and the conversation did not, in fact, get super weird.

A little weird, maybe. But not super weird.

The fan, labeled as Julia on Twitter, took a video of the encounter, in which she told Walker what Mets fans have been up to for a while now — the practice of calling him daddy at every opportunity.

Over that 13-3 run, the Cubs have a team ERA of 3.71 while averaging 6.54 runs per game on offense.

Elite Womens Connor Shaw Jersey Arizona has not enjoyed a second-half surge like the one that the Cubs are on. Instead, the Diamondbacks are hovering around .500, going 7-9 through their first 16 games out of the All-Star break. With the Los Angeles Dodgers running away with the NL West, Arizona’s main focus over the next month will be to hold on to a wild card spot.

Elite Womens Kenta Maeda Jersey The Diamondbacks enter Tuesday with a five-game lead over Milwaukee in the wild card standings. Arizona is just 2-8 in its last 10 games against Chicago.

The UNDER is 5-1 in the last six meetings between these two teams at the sportsbooks.

At 60-45, Arizona has a better season record than Chicago’s 56-48 coming into this series, but the Cubs seem to have the momentum. Wednesday’s game will pit Zack Godley against Jake Arrieta, and Thursday’s game sets up as a pitcher’s duel between Zack Greinke and Jose Quintana.

Brandon Marshall on drama with Sheldon Richardson: ‘That’s dead’

Brandon Marshall is over the controversy surrounding his contemptuous relationship with former Jets teammate Sheldon Richardson.

The Jets defensive end said last week that Marshall “knows what he did to the locker room” and essentially called him a drama queen during a radio interview.

Marshall said that, to him, the drama with Richardson was “dead” and he has no desire to go back to that dramatic atmosphere.

“I wasn’t surprised,” Marshall when he heard Richardson’s most recent comments (via ESPN). “But, you know, there is so much good energy here and the environment is amazing. I don’t really have time … I don’t have time to go back to that.

There is little doubt national anthem protests will be prevalent this season. The Seahawks’ Michael Bennett and Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch sat during the anthem before their teams’ preseason games this weekend, and Bleacher Report spoke with multiple NFL players who expect the protests to continue, especially after the racial violence in Charlottesville this past weekend and President Trump’s initial response to it.

The movement to sit during the anthem to protest perceived racial oppression was started last season by Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick left the 49ers as a free agent this spring and is still unsigned, which many league observers believe is a direct result of his actions.

Goodell said he agrees with a player who told him there is a “time and a place” for such silent protests. Goodell did not reveal who the player was but said, “We all have to, sort of, understand, the responsibility of doing it at the right time and in the right way… Protest to progress is what I call it. We all have to recognize that people want to see change. Let’s go out and try to make that happen in a peaceful and an important way.”

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We mentioned the Sonny Gray rumors, and on Friday the club was connected to Texas right-hander Yu Darvish.

Cooperstown Confidential, by Ze’ev Chafets: Similar to James’ work, Chafets’ book offers a particular focus on the 2007 election.

A Legend for the Legendary, by James A. Vlasich: Bill James touted this book in The Politics of Glory, writing that Vlasich masterfully covered the Hall of Fame’s founding. Having read Vlasich’s book based on James’ recommendation, I can say it’s true. Vlasich got access in the 1980s to the personal papers of Alexander Cleland, the founding secretary of the Hall of Fame. Vlasich used this to produce an exhaustive history of the Hall’s founding.

We mentioned the Sonny Gray rumors, and on Friday the club was connected to Texas right-hander Yu Darvish. Darvish, who has a career average of 11.0 Ks per nine innings and a 3.45 ERA this season, would be a huge rotation addition as a short-term rental (he’s a free agent after the season).
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Elite Kids David Bakhtiari Jersey If the Cubs decide to target pitchers with years of control remaining — remember, both Jake Arrieta and John Lackey are free agents after the season — it makes sense they’d be very interested in a couple AL East pitchers. Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer was once a Cubs farmhand; he was drafted by Cleveland and traded to Chicago in the Mark DeRosa deal, then shipped from the Cubs to the Rays in the Matt Garza deal. If the Blue Jays decide to restructure, Marcus Stroman could be available for the right price, too.

The guy who held this role, Miguel Montero, forced his way out of that clubhouse (albeit unintentionally) with his comments about Jake Arrieta’s inability to hold runners on base. The Cubs called up rookie Victor Caratini to replace Montero, but he’s hit just .188 in his first taste of the majors. Starter Willson Contreras has shouldered the lion’s share of the playing time, starting 10 of the 11 games since Montero’s comments.

Yoan Moncada carted off field after scary outfield collision with White Sox teammate

Major League Baseball’s top prospect, Yoan Moncada, was carted off the field Monday night in Chicago after an outfield collision with White Sox teammate Willy Garcia.

Game Womens Jason Heyward Jersey Both players were injured in the top of the sixth inning after chasing a pop-up off the bat of Darwin Barney down the right-field line. Garcia slid in an attempt to catch the ball, while Moncada, racing from second, tried to jump over him to avoid a collision. Instead, Garcia took a blow to the side of the head from Moncada’s knee.

Both players players were pulled from the game after the collision but Moncada seemed to get the worst of it, needing a cart and the assistance of trainers as he was unable to put any weight on his right leg.

The White Sox announced Moncada is day to day with a right knee contusion, while Garcia suffered a head contusion.

First, Frazier will replace Chase Headley at third base and provide tons more pop to the position. Frazier has outhomered Headley 16-4 this season, which will help the Yankees overlook Frazier’s poor batting average (.207) and slightly above-average 105 OPS+.

Second, New York is bolstering its shaky bullpen with Robertson and Kahnle. Robertson, 32, succeeded Mariano Rivera as the Yankees’ closer in 2014, only to sign a four-year, $46 million contract with the White Sox that offseason. The Yanks will take on the final year-plus of that deal and make him a setup guy again. Kahnle, 27 and a Yankees draft pick in 2010, has shown closer stuff (60 Ks, seven walks in 36 innings) this year. He’s under team control through 2020.
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New York’s player cost isn’t cheap: a pair of first-round picks in outfielder Rutherford (2016) and left-hander Clarkin (2013), a 22-year-old international player in outfielder Polo, plus veteran reliever Clippard. Chicago GM Rick Hahn adds to his stockpile of high-level prospects. Rutherford is a potential impact bat who has the ability to stay in center field, Hahn told reporters in announcing the trade.

Garoppolo is easily the most coveted backup in the NFL after spending two seasons behind Tom Brady and filling in briefly in 2016.

Cousins is likely to play out the remainder of his contract, and that probably means he’ll become a free agent in 2018.

Giving him the record-breaking contract almost definitely required to keep him in Washington would be a risk. Letting him walk is also a risk.
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Hendrick knew which Twitter accounts to court, eventually earning quote-tweets from Pakistani musicians like Salman Ahmad and Osama Com Laude that expanded his audience even further. It was a successful strategy, earning the account 3,000 new followers over the course of his run.

But Hendrick himself seems to have been a complete fabrication. The person in Hendrick’s initial profile photo was a fake, identified on Twitter as a marketing specialist from South Carolina and eventually called out in The Daily Pakistan. Once that story broke, Hendrick swapped the photo, borrowing the face of an American student named Sabin Selimi, currently studying at University College London.
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His newspaper job was also fake. Rossiyskaya Gazeta has no foreign correspondent assigned to South Asia, and when reached by The Verge, the newspaper said they’d never heard of the reporter. We have never published this author before, the paper said in a statement. Nate Hendrick has no relation to the newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

Garoppolo is easily the most coveted backup in the NFL after spending two seasons behind Tom Brady and filling in briefly in 2016. Durability is a question as is, uh, everything about him. But it’s a good risk for the Saints to take.

The Buccaneers have looked on the verge of a breakout season, but Jameis Winston has been a tad too inconsistent in his first two NFL seasons. Bradford has much less upside, but he is consistent.

NFL odds 2017: Rodgers, Packers lead NFC conference odds for season ahead

The Green Bay Packers finished 2016 on an 8-1 straight up and 7-2 against the spread run. The Packers will try to carry that momentum into 2017 and advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2011.

Green Bay is a +190 favorite to win the NFC title at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. After starting the season off 4-6 SU in 2016, the Packers went 6-0 SU and 5-1 ATS down the stretch to win the NFC North and defeated New York and Dallas in the playoffs before falling to Atlanta in the NFC Championship Game.

The pressure will be on new coordinator Steve Sarkisian to keep the offense rolling for an Atlanta team that went 13-6 SU overall and 12-7 ATS on the NFL point spreads last year.

Led on offense by a pair of sensational rookies in Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott, the Cowboys went 13-4 SU and 10-6-1 ATS in 2016. Both young stars return with more experience this season, and the addition of Nolan Carroll this offseason should help Dallas’ secondary. Barring any key injuries, a drop-off doesn’t appear likely in Dallas this season.

Seattle beefed up its offensive line with the acquisitions of Oday Aboushi, Luke Joeckel and LSU prospect Ethan Pocic and its backfield with Eddie Lacy in hopes of taking some of the pressure off star quarterback Russell Wilson. If Wilson is able to stay healthy this year, the Seahawks should push for their third Super Bowl berth in the last five years.

Other potential contenders to win the NFC include the New York Giants (+900), Arizona Cardinals (+1400), Carolina Panthers (+1400), and Minnesota Vikings (+1400).patriots_030-180x180

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Is Bill Foley bluffing? Golden Knights owner claims ticket revenue among NHL’s best

The NHL in Las Vegas is an unusual arrangement. Even under the novelty of the Sin City’s first foray into major professional sports, it was expected the expansion Golden Knights franchise would need some time to warm up before establishing itself as a hot ticket around town.

That day has already arrived, Vegas owner Bill Foley told Forbes in a weekend interview.

Foley, whose showmanship often pulls from the locale, claimed the Knights project to rank among the NHL’s top five, six or seven teams in ticket sales during their inaugural 2017-18 season, ahead of storied franchises like the Bruins, Flyers and two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins.

Edmonton has more revenue in their brand-new arena, Foley said. The Rangers, Toronto, Chicago Blackhawks, they’re all ahead of us. Montreal is right with us.
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Limited Womens Briean Boddy-Calhoun Jersey Does having the first overall pick allow the Devils to change the narrative from five straight seasons out of the playoffs, worst record in the Eastern Conference a year ago, to the tide is turning, we won the draft lottery, and the future is bright?

RAY SHERO: I think that’s a great way to put it. It was nice to win something; and then there’s some light at the end of the tunnel, too, because we’ve been building towards this by getting younger, developing prospects, stockpiling draft picks, and now we get to choose the first player this year. We pulled back two years ago when I first came in here and had to do things differently from what the New Jersey Devils had done before, because they were so successful that they were always pushing to win [the Stanley Cup] again. So, we’ve had a tough go of it, but now there’s that light at the end of the tunnel.

Predators’ top scorer Ryan Johansen out after emergency surgery

The Predators will have to continue their best-ever run in the Stanley Cup playoffs without their top scorer.

Ryan Johansen underwent emergency surgery after suffering a left thigh injury Thursday night against Anaheim, the Predators announced. The 24-year-old is expected to be sidelined for two to three months.

Johansen has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 14 playoff games during the Predators’ first run to the Western Conference finals. He had 61 points (14 goals, 47 assists) during the regular season while playing in all 82 games.

Limited Womens Reggie Jackson Jersey In fact, Johansen has not missed a game since being traded to Nashville in January 2016 in a deal that sent Seth Jones to Columbus.

The Predators and Ducks are tied 2-2 with Game 5 set for Saturday in Anaheim.

Marcel Dionne Mens Jersey The Lightning may have missed out on Shattenkirk, but they did sign veteran winger Chris Kunitz to a savvy one-year, $2 million deal. The 37-year-old spent the last nine years in Pittsburgh, bringing his Stanley Cup pedigree to a Tampa team that hasn’t been able to get past the Penguins in recent seasons. Maybe we can pretend they didn’t also sign Dan Girardi …

Brent Burns is more excited than most to have his brother in beards and ESPN Body Issue cover partner back in the fold.

It sounds like Jumbo Joe is staying put, after all. Joe Thornton has re-signed with the Sharks to play a 13th NHL season in San Jose, according to NBC California’s Kevin Kurz. To follow up, TSN’s Bob McKenzie said Thornton intends to return but he has not yet signed.

Pittsburgh’s Jamel Artis explodes for 43 points in loss to Louisville

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Pittsburgh fell 85-80 to No. 14 Louisville on the road Wednesday, but it was of not fault to Jamel Artis.

The senior forward, who was already averaging over 20 points per game before Wednesday’s explosion, almost broke a school record by pouring in 43 points on 15 of 22 shooting.

Don Hennon holds the Panthers’ record having scored 45 points in a game in 1957.

Artis had his way early and often, draining seven 3-pointers to help keep his team in the game. Pittsburgh only had one other player in double figures.
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Louisville, who was led by Quentin Snider’s 22 points, ultimately scratched out the win, but Artis reminded college basketball fans that there are great players all over the country.

Thomas gets the nod for the other East guard spot for the load he has to carry for a Celtics team that has moved into the top seven in offensive efficiency. Thomas is the leading scorer in the East at 28.2 points per game, and is having his most efficient season, shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 37.9 percent from the 3-point line. He is getting to the line 8.7 times per game, well above his career average (5.2) and is making a career-best 90.7 percent from the stripe.

That’s going to leave four good East guards up for selection as reserves 鈥?Kyrie Irving, John Wall, Kemba Walker and DeRozan. You could have all six going to New Orleans, except that the fan vote has Dwyane Wade leading. If Wade makes the team, at least one deserving guard will be bumped.

he doesn’t see any way Barkley can come back with an appeal.

Yu Darvish, Rangers. Here’s what he said at the All-Star Game: “Liking Texas and signing a deal are two different things. … It’s all business.” Translation: If the Rangers struggle at all over the next two weeks, the right-hander (6-8, 3.49 ERA) will be shopped before he becomes a free agent. (Oh, and Cole Hamels could be had, too.)

Lance Lynn, Cardinals. Rarely sellers, the Cardinals are trying to make that determination, and Lynn is in the big middle of it. After a self-described “dead arm” resulted in his ERA ballooning from 2.69 to 3.86, Lynn (8-6) has consecutive quality starts. “I said earlier this season that I would like to be here for a long time,” Lynn told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “That hasn’t changed. It’s a business. I know how it goes. We control what we control. If the other teams win it could change. I have control of what I do — where I throw the pitch.”

Marco Estrada, Blue Jays. Team president Mark Shapiro is taking calls after a bad first half (though he says he still thinks the Jays are talented enough to contend). Estrada’s 4-6 mark and 5.17 ERA would mean a team is taking a risk, but he might benefit from a change of scenery and then walk at season’s end.

“So when I heard that, I said, ‘Okay, kill him ‘Bron.’ I like that. I like to see somebody destroy Charles Barkley like that. Then I stepped back and I said, ‘Okay, that’s a little too far ‘Bron.’ Then I thought about it again and I was like, ‘Hmmm. That’s an accumulation of stuff.’ Hey, may the best man win, and I think ‘Bron won that one.”

Judge Green has slammed his gavel, and he doesn’t see any way Barkley can come back with an appeal.

“Listen, in the day and age we live in, if it was some real dirt, then we would already know about ‘Bron.”rangers_564-115x115

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