Dumaguete, Negros Oriental and Siquijor Trip

Ovechkin, Holtsby shine in Game 7, Caps beat Lightning 4-0

May
29

Alex Ovechkin lifted the Prince of Wales Trophy, spun around and set it back down on a table.

The rest of the Capitals joined him for a team photo after beating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0 on Wednesday night in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final, a victory that sent Washington to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in 20 years.

Ovechkin, who had never advanced beyond the second round, scored 1:02 into the winner-take-all showdown he had described as probably the “biggest game in my life.”

“The first goal was very important,” Ovechkin said. “After that you could see we have all the momentum on our side. Holts was unstoppable today. He was special. Everybody was all in. Everybody was sacrificing their bodies. I think we all deserve the win.”

To earn a spot in the Stanley Cup Final, where they’ll play the Vegas Golden Knights, the Capitals beat the top-seeded Lightning three times on the road, improving to 8-2 away from home this postseason.

The retired star quarterback and iconic golfer are set to join forces May 30 for the pro-am at The Memorial Tournament in Dublin, Ohio.

A room filled with heroes — Dan Hanzus, Gregg Rosenthal, Chris Wesseling & Marc Sessler — weigh in on audio clip consuming the nation — the Laurel or Yanny debate (2:00). The heroes then take a look at the current QBs in the league and how they measure up on The Dalton Scale (6:00). Where does Derek Carr rank (18:00), is Tyrod Taylor ahead or behind Dalton (24:00), how do the top rookie QBs compare to the Red Rifle (32:33) and more.

That rule would reduce speed and space on kickoffs, the NFL said, so fewer collisions with long running starts. It will be odd to see only three players allowed to line up deep on the kickoff return team, if the new rule passes.
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Jalen Ramsey Deletes ‘Pick Waiting to Happen’ Tweet on Josh Allen Minicamp Throw

May
19

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey tweeted and deleted a negative comment regarding Buffalo Bills rookie quarterback Josh Allen on Friday.

As seen in the following screenshot courtesy of Sporting News, Ramsey tweeted, That’s a pick waiting to happen, in response to a tweet by the Bills showing Allen throwing at rookie minicamp:

The Bills selected Allen with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft in hopes of developing him into a franchise signal-caller.

Boehm sits behind Mike Iupati and Justin Pugh on the guard depth chart, and it wouldn’t make financial sense for the Cardinals to cut either one. Pugh just signed a five-year, $45 million deal in March. While Iupati played only one game last year due to a triceps injury, he has $8.4 million of guaranteed money remaining on his contract.

As someone who was falsely accused of this very serious charge over 22 years ago, and never given the opportunity to defend myself and clear my name, I find it incredibly unfair, disappointing, and frustrating that this story would resurface now with the only purpose being to damage my character and reputation, Patricia said in the statement, which was released by the team. I firmly maintain my innocence, as I have always done.

I would never condone any of the behavior that was alleged and will always respect and protect the rights of anyone who has been harassed or is the victim of violence. My priorities remain the same to move forward and strive to be the best coach, teacher, and man that I can possibly be.

Patricia and a friend and former college teammate, Greg Dietrich, were charged but never prosecuted for aggravated sexual assault during a spring break trip to Texas in 1996.

According to records in Cameron County Circuit Court, Patricia was indicted in August of 1996. The case was dismissed five months later, in January of 1997.
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Wade Phillips: They say I’m old, but it doesn’t get old to me

May
12

Wade Phillips has seen a lot in his more than 40 years coaching in the NFL. Phillips, 70, has coached in the NFL longer than Sean McVay, 32, has been alive.

Phillips enters his second season with the Rams, the 10th team he has coached for since beginning his career under his father, Bum Phillips, in 1976.

“They say I’m old, but it doesn’t get old to me,” Phillips told Myles Simmons of the team website. “I’m looking forward to it.”

“The challenge I think for the officials sometimes is some of these hits are bang-bang,” Payton said. “We’ve seen that in the secondary and then you go back in the hits in the shoulder pad area. I don’t think it will be something that we will be looking at in the 20s or 30s. I think when the season’s over with that number will be smaller than most think. . . . Specifically there’s a timing element where it’s not bang-bang. But where I’ve got time here and I’ve continued to keep my head down here in this position. That’s where you run the risk of ejection.”

While that helps address concerns that the changes to the game will be significant, the fact remains that Competition Committee chairman Rich McKay has said that the changes will indeed be significant. If it’s too significant, fans and players will make their displeasure known. And if the question of when a flag will be thrown becomes too amorphous, many will argue that the officials have too much discretion to alter a game — especially with legalized gambling on the horizon.

The Cowboys definitely remain in search of safety help.

The Cowboys moved free safety Byron Jones to cornerback this offseason. Chidobe Awuzie, whom they drafted in the second round last year with the idea of playing him at safety, remains at cornerback after making six starts there as a rookie.

That leaves Xavier Woods as the starter at free safety . . . and the Cowboys looking for additional help.

“Absolutely. I mean, we don’t ever quit looking in terms of player acquisition,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. “One of the things that is unique is, when you have players with versatility, it probably makes you feel a little better.orioles_010

Who’s out, who’s in: Tracking the NBA coaching changes

Apr
26

After a 2016-17 season with no coaching changes, there has been plenty of movement on that front in 2017-18. Three coaches lost their jobs during the season, and the offseason firings began just hours after the regular season ended. We’ll be on top of all the moves as they happen.

The good feelings from Orlando’s hot start quickly faded as the Magic slumped to a 25-57 finish, leading to Vogel being fired after two seasons at the helm. Vogel was 54-110 in two seasons with the Magic.

The Raiders do have some great prime time slots including their NFL season opener in Los Angeles against the Rams in Monday Night Football.

At the very top of Sunday’s Cincinnati-Nevada, CBS’ Andrew Catalon, on TBS, was compelled to deliver this emphasized news: “Nevada is 24-3 after a loss.”

The significance of such a stat in a single-elimination tournament? Zero.

Yet a significant stat — free throws — has been eliminated from CBS/Turner’s in-game stat summaries.
Points-off-turnovers, often irrelevant or misleading, make the cut, but not foul shots.

Monday, ESPN’s “First Take” chose this as its posted topic for NCAA Tournament discussion and debate: “Are All These Upsets Good For The Game?”

Not sure what the answer is or why such a question would engender serious thought, let alone thoughtful opinion, but it’s irrelevant.

And if upsets are bad for the game, how do we solve it? Ban upsets or just legislate fewer? Do teams that outplay and defeat more talented teams hurt the game?

Hey, guess what? Embiid is just as dynamic on defense. Per Second Spectrum, when he was the closest defender to a play this season, he limited opposing players to an effective field goal percentage of 41 percent, best in the NBA. The Sixers vaulted from a good interior D (No. 9 in the NBA) to the league’s best with Embiid on the court.

Benches get shorter in the playoffs, and that … bodes well for the Sixers: When their five starters shared the floor this season, the Sixers outscored teams by an absurd 21.4 points per 100 possessions, tops in the NBA, and comparable to the two most recent champs. Here’s how the Sixers’ production this season stacks up with the Warriors and Cavs in offensive and defensive points per 100 possessions.seahawks_120

Joel Embiid lashes out as Heat snap 76ers’ win streak in Game 2

Apr
20

All-Star center Joel Embiid took to social media to express his frustration over sitting out the Philadelphia 76ers’ Game 2 loss to the Miami Heat due to injury.

“F—ing sick and tired of being babied,” Embiid wrote on his Instagram account.

Joel Embiid, who has missed the first two games of the playoffs, took to Instagram following the 76ers’ Game 2 loss to vent about being sidelined. Joel Embiid/Instagram
Embiid has been sidelined since March 28 after suffering a broken orbital bone and concussion in a collision with teammate Markelle Fultz. Embiid underwent surgery to repair the fracture.

Embiid, who averaged 22.9 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 63 games in the regular season, has cleared the NBA’s concussion protocol. Philadelphia lost Monday for the first time in Embiid’s 10-game absence.

The Sixers had won 17 consecutive games before losing to Miami in Game 2 at home.

Shortly after the charges were announced, the 49ers said they had been made aware of Foster’s situation but indicated he’d remain with the team. Foster’s status with San Francisco will depend on what is learned through the legal process, according to the 49ers (h/t Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports).

Donald’s workouts absence was expected and isn’t cause for alarm. It sounds as though the Rams know as well as anyone how important it is to get this deal done. When (and for how much) remains to be seen.

When I bring up this topic with personnel executives, Rosen is the one they point to as the most likely slider of the group. I personally believe Rosen is the second-best quarterback in the draft class behind Darnold, but the former Bruins QB might fall out of the top 10. Why? Part of it comes back to the durability concerns for Rosen that we’ve heard about throughout the process. We’ll continue to hear people question his intangibles as a leader, but that’s far less of a concern than the fact that he missed half his sophomore year with a shoulder injury and suffered two concussions last season.steelers_034

Weather forecasters are calling for an afternoon high of 54 degrees and a nighttime low of 50.

Apr
06

The normal high for March 29 in Flushing is 54 degrees, and the normal low is 38.

The record high for March 29 in Flushing is 81 degrees (set in 1998), and the record low is 25 (set in 1959), according to AccuWeather.

Freaking out is obviously pointless. That’s doesn’t mean there isn’t a lesson here. The lesson is that no two baseball seasons are alike. If the Dodgers get back to the World Series, they’ll have carved out a different path than the one they took last season, even as they rely on so many of the same faces.

Players will tell you that they are at their best when they are comfortable and they know their roles, Zaidi said. Speaking for myself, in my 14th year in baseball, I value continuity a lot more. Whenever we’re thinking about a transaction, I always ask myself, ‘Is the upside worth the potential disruption ‘ It used to be just, ‘Does this make us better on paper ‘

Continuity isn’t a frequent topic in baseball analysis, and it’s hard to think of an objective way to measure its effect. That’s different from saying it doesn’t matter. Roberts had a friend come in during spring training to address the team about that very topic — continuity, connection — though he stopped short of calling it a motivational speech. Still, Roberts is a believer in continuity.

Travel-ball coaches who face the daunting task of making sure parents get something for their money — and don’t stuff their inbox or their ears with gripes over playing time — will DH for their pitchers just to give an extra kid an at-bat (and keep his family happy). If you’ve got 14 11-year-olds and you can play only 10 every game, life is easier if you tell the pitcher his talent is so unique that he’d be stupid to pick up a bat. Easy money produces unexpected results. Watch the National League; starters who can lay down a bunt are lauded in the way astronauts once were.

It’s impossible to predict what might happen when Ohtani takes the mound against the A’s, and that’s what makes it so riveting. His poor spring might have been the result of a Japanese system that’s far more focused on the process. patriots_152

Josh Bynes expected to re-sign with Cardinals

Mar
28

Linebacker Josh Bynes is expected to re-sign with the Cardinals, Josh Weinfuss of ESPN reports.

Bynes, 28, was one of the Cardinals’ priorities in free agency.

Ravens safety Eric Weddle is not impressed with the Cardinals’ decision to sign quarterback Sam Bradford.

Responding to news of Bradford being slated to make $20 million this year in Arizona, Weddle wrote on Twitter that the contract was stupid.

So dumb. Bradford has been paid more for nothing than anyone in history of NFL, Weddle wrote.

Weddle has a point: As the first overall pick in the 2010 NFL draft, before the current rookie wage scale was implemented, Bradford got a six-year, $78 million deal. In 2016, Bradford signed a two-year, $36 million deal with the Eagles, who traded him to the Vikings six months later. And now Bradford gets another $20 million this year with the Cardinals.

That’s a lot of money for a quarterback who has never been to a Pro Bowl, never led a team to the offs and never had a 4,000-yard season, or a 25-touchdown season. But Bradford keeps persuading teams to pay him. Maybe some day he’ll live up to that pay.

Chicago lost for only the third time its last 10.It’s talking loud and confidently.Hitchcock said Friday he hadn’t made up his mind.Philly, it was just thrown out there, he said.He also scored a nice goal.

The NHL realignment announced this week means those intense rivalries return for Minnesota with the Wild next.1 back, but he completely underwhelmed Weeks 1 and 2 before suffering ankle injury Week 3.Scored 19 points with nine boards, four assists, two blocks and two steals win over Charleston Southern on Feb.Q: How did it get to that point?Looking elsewhere becomes more interesting.Check out footage from Friday’s show below.

The deal includes a $3 million signing bonus, annual workout bonuses of $500,000, and fully guaranteed base salaries of $22.5 million in 2018, $27.5 million in 2019, and $29.5 million in 2020.

The cash flow is $26 million through one year, $54 million through two years, and $84 million through three years. The cap numbers are $24 million, $29 million, and $31 million.49ers_211

Top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres likely to start season in minors

Mar
12

Top Yankees prospect Gleyber Torres, perhaps too eager to impress, appears headed to the minors to start the season, the New York Daily News reported.

Torres, 21, is returning this spring from season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left (non-throwing) elbow last June.

In 2012, the Pirates traded their best pitcher, Joel Hanrahan, for a package of players that included underachieving reliever Mark Melancon. In 2016, they traded their best pitcher, Melancon, for a package of players that included underachieving reliever Felipe Rivero. In 2018, they traded their best pitcher, Gerrit Cole, for a package of players that included underachieving reliever Michael Feliz.

Feliz stumbled to a 5.63 ERA in 2017, but half of his 30 earned runs came in just three appearances. A .381 BABIP and 15.1 HR/FB percentage certainly did not help his cause, so he could greatly benefit from having those metrics dip to the league norms. Feliz has one of the most electric fastballs in the division, sitting at 95-97 mph with a 27.2 percent Whiff/Swing ratio, according to Baseball Prospectus. That pitch, paired with a potentially plus slider, could make him Rivero’s set-up man in the near future.

Crawford’s most touted, reliable and developed skill is his plate discipline. As a minor leaguer, Crawford consistently posted a double-digit BB%, a trend that continued during his cup of coffee in 2017: his walk rate of 18.4 percent was fourth best in the majors among players with at least 80 PA, trailing Joey Votto, Mike Trout and Aaron Judge.

While that figure may be unsustainable given Crawford’s level of production on balls in play over the same period (.214 BA, .300 SLG) as pitchers will be more aggressive in the zone, most projection systems peg Crawford for a considerable bounce-back with the bat and a sustained walk rate of around 12.1 percent.

Both are graduates from the top of prospect lists, and both are young middle infielders with superb discipline. It’s not hard to project one as being similar to the other going into 2018.
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Draymond Green, Le’Veon Bell discuss Michigan State scandal aftermath

Mar
08

Draymond Green has a message for his alma mater.

The Warriors forward opened his postgame press conference on Saturday by discussing the recent scandals at Michigan State, where he played under coach Tom Izzo from 2008-12.

Fellow alumni and Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell also shared his thoughts at Pro Bowl practice on Saturday, saying he “felt bad for everything that happened to all the women” and insisted that Dantonio “do everything the right way.”

“I’m obviously hoping for a turnaround. I mean, it’s kind of a big target on our back right now. I just kinda wanna be a supporter, the best that I can,” Bell said. “And I want Michigan State to be the top of the class — basketball, football, all that, all athletics — make things go the right way. This can kinda go down the line, and people kinda forget about it because we did a lot of positive things more so than negative things coming out of the university.”

Michigan State, which has already seen the resignations of university president Lou Anna Simon and athletic director Mark Hollis, is facing multiple Title IX lawsuits and is under federal investigation.

The comment came after Oliver Maroney of Dime and Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported that Aaron Gordon, Victor Oladipo, Larry Nance Jr. and Dennis Smith Jr. had accepted invitations to participate in this year’s edition of the high-flying competition. However, both Smith and Nance took to Twitter to refute the initial reports.

The odds of Adebayo ever becoming the type of big man who can average between 15-20 points per game are slim, and yet he doesn’t have to improve much offensively to become a starter for a team like the Heat because of how well he complements playmakers. He can generate enough scoring for himself off rolls, cuts and putbacks — three plays that don’t require him to dominate the ball in any fashion — and he has the skill set to develop into a threat from midrange and on face-ups.

One of the ways Adebayo can make up for his limitations as a scorer is with his passing. He currently leads all rookie centers with 49 assists, and he’s averaging 3.6 assists per 100 possessions on the season. The latter puts him ahead of a number of All-Star-caliber centers, including Karl-Anthony Towns (3.1), Anthony Davis (3.0) and Kevin Love (2.9).
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The Kings blew a lead late in the fourth quarter but outscored the Nets 16-11 in the extra period to end a five-game losing streak.

Mar
03

Spencer Dinwiddie’s bucket with 1:22 left gave Brooklyn a 111-110 lead before Bogdanovic drove into traffic near the baseline and pulled up for the basket that gave the Kings the lead for good.

After Dinwiddie missed a 3-pointer, Buddy Hield made a pair of free throws to make it 114-111. Bogdanovic sank two free throws after D’Angelo Russell also missed a 3-pointer.

“It came down to who had the grit to go get rebounds and loose balls,” Fox said. “It’s always great playing these games, games that come to the wire. I feel like we made the correct plays.”

“You just try to make it as hard as you can,” Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. “James, his ability to score from behind the arc, drive the ball and then get to the foul line, he’s as good as anybody. You can’t count on one guy to do that; you have to throw as many bodies at him as possible. And he’s going to make some plays.”

Using a 16-4 run out of halftime, Golden State won for the seventh time in eight games by beating the Wizards 109-101 as Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Stephen Curry added 25, and Klay Thompson helped limit Bradley Beal to eight Wednesday night, a day after the Warriors took schoolkids to a museum instead of visiting President Donald Trump at the White House.

Asked for the secret to such success at the outset of the second half, Kerr couldn’t help but respond with a joke.

“Mainly fiery halftime speeches from the coach — Knute Rockne style, `win one for (assistant) Ron Adams’ type speeches,” Kerr said with a chuckle. “No, it’s not about adjustments. It’s about our guys, I think, just wanting to make a push coming out of the break. I can’t really explain it other than throwing that at you.”

The Blazers trailed the Wolves by 10 points late in the third quarter.
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