Watch: Theo Epstein, Joe Maddon on the rain delay from heaven

ubs president Theo Epstein trusted manager Joe Maddon during last fall’s epic World Series.

Not that Epstein always agreed with what his skipper was doing.

Suffice it to say things turned out better than OK, but also know that the two have a unique relationship. As the two appear on Tuesday’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” on HBO, that becomes even more apparent.

With an eye toward the 2017 season, the Cubs are aiming higher than “Try Not to Suck,” Maddon says. Here’s what he’s thinking for this year’s motto:

Iwakuma dealing with shoulder issue that has bothered a couple starts. Going back to Seattle for MRI.

It’s a stunning turn of events for manager Scott Servais, who has seen Miranda lead the way with seven starts this season — while carrying a 5.20 ERA. Though Seattle’s starters as a group have a 4.10 ERA, which sits in the middle of the pack among MLB teams, opponents are hitting .267 against them. Only the Braves, Cubs and Brewers have been worse in that department this year.

Those mediocre-or-worse numbers come despite Paxton’s Cheap Jerseys From China brilliance in his six starts before landing on the DL. The lefty has a 1.43 ERA and 0.982 WHIP while striking out 45 in 37 2/3 innings, but they can only give him the ball once every five days — when healthy.

The good news for the Mariners is there’s plenty of season to go and none of their rotation injuries is season-ending, so there is time to recover. But this is not the situation Servais and Co. expected to find themselves in six weeks into 2017.

MLB, HBO enter cross-promotion deal around Game of Thrones

If you go to a baseball game this summer, you may come away with some Game of Thrones merchandise.

That’s because MLB and HBO have entered into an agreement whereby the hit show will be promoted at ballparks. Nineteen MLB teams are participating with more expected to sign on, SportsBusiness Daily reports.

Details in terms of what fans will find at which games are still being worked out and will vary by team, notes. The cross-promotion will include special collectibles and co-branded merchandise, ticket packages, giveaways, theme nights and social media events.

He’ll have to prove it to the Rangers, whose roster is sufficiently stocked that anything they get from Hamilton in 2017 would be a bonus. He’s in camp on a minor league contract and the Angels are paying the vast majority of the $28.4 million Hamilton is owed in the final year of a deal he signed entering the 2013 season.

It’s up to Hamilton, then, to demonstrate that he’s worth a spot on the 25-man roster as a part-time first baseman, outfielder, DH, or bat off the bench. He last played in a major league game in October 2015, and turns 36 in May, but he’s confident his head and body are right after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery last summer.

“I am getting older but at the same time I can still Cheap Jerseys Bike do the things I used to do and I’ve seen glimpses,” he said. “It’s about getting there on a more consistent basis. Overall health is great. Most important thing is mental health and peace is good.”

For Terrelle Pryor, Washington is the best place to have a quick exit plan

Terrelle Pryor played this right, even though he didn’t really get what he likely thought he’d get.

No, that’s not necessarily because his likely starting quarterback for next season took the minimum-sized steps legally required for a walk-back from reports of a trade demand Tuesday morning. If you’re absolutely clear on whether Kirk Cousins ever demanded a trade, raise your hand … you’re probably not Kirk Cousins himself, by the way.

Pryor signed a one-year contract with Cousins’ Washington team, and realistically, the less-than-concrete explanation by Cousins on Adam Scheffer’s podcast is a great illustration why. Pryor is, as they say, betting on himself. Alshon Jeffery is doing the same in Philadelphia this season.

But he’s also betting on his new team, and he has an easy exit if he loses (if they lose, actually). That’s more than a little different than what Jeffery is doing with the Eagles.

Pirates relief pitcher Daniel Hudson allowed five earned runs in just 1/3 of an inning to sink the Pirates in a 10-3 loss to the Marlins. Pittsburgh was trailing just 4-3 in the Cheap Hockey Jerseys For Sale seventh inning when Hudson ended any chance of a comeback.

Rangers (11-14) at Astros (16-9), 8:10 p.m. ET — Houston will try to continue its dominance in the AL West by sending Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 4.34 ERA) to do battle against the Rangers and Andrew Cashner (0-2, 2.93 ERA). The Astros have a three-game lead in the West, but they have lost three of their last five.

Rangers reliever Jake Diekman has colon removed

The great Lone Star nightmare is over, exactly one year after it began. Houston had a QB problem; it was handcuffed by the salary of a free-agent bust it no longer wanted. There came Cheap Flag Football Jerseys Cleveland to the rescue, buying a second-round pick with Osweiler as a likely throwaway. It doesn’t matter the Texans lost Bouye, because they won by getting Osweiler off the books. They suddenly can be real competition to the Broncos for Tony Romo, too.

Jake Diekman, a key member of the Rangers’ bullpen last year, will miss at least the first half of the 2017 season after having his colon removed Wednesday.

Diekman, 30, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis when he was 11, according to The Dallas Morning News. He lost 20 pounds over the course of a severe flare-up in December and decided to embark on a series of procedures designed to fix the issue.

The first step was a four-hour surgery Wednesday in which his colon was removed, and follow-up procedures will create a reservoir called a J-pouch that will replace the colon.

Diekman is documenting the process in a series of video diaries for The Morning News, the first of which can be seen here.

The left-hander appeared in 66 games for Texas last season, posting a 3.40 ERA and picking up four saves. He joined the Rangers at the July 2015 trade deadline as part of the deal that brought Cole Hamels from Philadelphia.

Stafford might seem like a success considering he’s still “the guy” in Detroit.

Cap space. This is not something the Coyotes have to worry about. According to the cap-space facing them next year is over $26 million. The major players they have to re-sign under that space? Anthony Duclair, Alex Burmistrov, Teemu Pulkkinen. Players like Zbynek Michalek, Shane Doan and Radim Vrbata come in that group too, but two of those may be done with the Yotes and the 3rd is likely to be relatively cheap. Let’s just say here – the Coyotes are in a hell of a strong position. The Canadiens, meanwhile, sit with $22 million and Price signed for another year…but the trouble is, they have bigger fish to re-sign. Expensive fish. Fish like Alex Radulov ($5.75 million) and Andrei Markov (even with a substantial wage cut). Or even more pressingly still…Alex Galchenyuk (we’ll get more to him later, by the way).

Let’s get this first one out of the way, right out of the box, and in a way that couldn’t possibly be any clearer.

OEL is not on the table in these trade talks. Nor is Max Domi. Nor Clayton Keller. No. Nope. Non. Nyet. Forget it.
Second… This trade has to be realistic. We’re not looking to utterly fleece the Habs here (although frankly, it can be done, as Andrew Shaw’s agent has proved). No “NHL ’17 on easy” shenanigans here.

Stafford might seem like a success considering he’s still “the guy” in Detroit. But examination of how his career started makes one wonder how that’s the case. Injuries allowed Raiders Cheap Jerseys Stafford to start and play just 13 games in his first two seasons. He did inherit a horrendous 0-16 team, but the Lions won just two games the next season (by a combined six points). Lots of yards don’t outweigh lots of interceptions, losses and disappointment for this slinger.

Sanchez and Kellen Clemens had an open camp competition for the Jets’ starting job. The rookie, who had just been given a $50 million contract, got the nod for Week 1 and the season.

The conclusion has already been drawn. T

I’m of two minds. The first one is logical and reasonable. The Mets have been bitten by the injury bug early and often, yes, because that’s the chair that is pulled out from under baseball teams when the music stops. It doesn’t have to mean anything. They might be weird when it comes to playing short-handed instead of putting hurt players on the DL. It always seems like there’s a predictable progression with the Mets that begins with “John Pitch has a little elbow tenderness, but he’s not expected to miss a start,” and ends with “The ashes of John Pitch’s elbow were shot into space on Saturday, in a ceremony attended by Pitch, who is just a head on a wagon now, and his family.”

But it’s not like they found their medical director at Hollywood Upstairs Medical College and hired him because he would work for under-the-table cash. He’s wildly respected. If you want proof, here you go:

The conclusion has already been drawn. That George will leave Indiana is already determined, so now everything he does, good or bad, becomes a premise for this impending departure.

If he says that his teammates need to be better, whether emotionally Cheap Bike Jerseys or in terms of production, it’s evidence that he sees himself as above them or that he’s throwing them under the bus. He’s also been criticized in the past for not being vocal enough, which at that point meant that he didn’t care. If he plays out of his mind to try and steal a game from the Cavaliers, and somehow the Pacers still lose, then his performance becomes just an audition for his future teams.

No matter what he does, it is twisted into the worst assumptions about his intent.

An aggressive play style can come with repercussions in today’s NFL.

Remember that Burfict comparison? Here’s where things come full circle. Burfict has been to the Pro Bowl. Foster has the same potential, maybe even more. But it comes with plenty of concerns.

The on-field concerns vary, but the most prominent is style of play. Being a vicious hitter comes at a price. Trying to rattle off big hits, Foster has shown tendencies to drop his head, which can lead to major injuries. With some past issues regarding stingers, medical concerns are at the top of the chart in terms of risks for the standout linebacker.

An aggressive play style can come with repercussions in today’s NFL. Foster’s hit on Deshaun Watson in the National Championship, for example, drew a flag that could’ve potentially resulted in harsher punishment had it occurred in the NFL.

McCaffrey’s collegiate résumé is arguably the best in the entire draft class. At Stanford, he Wholesale Jerseys Paypal set the record for all-purpose yards in a season in 2015, racking up 2,019 rushing, 645 receiving, 1,070 on kick returns, and 130 on punt returns.

It was enough to earn him the 2015 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and nearly enough to snag the Heisman Trophy. While his numbers weren’t quite as gaudy in 2016, he still managed to lead the nation in all-purpose yardage, despite finishing with more than 1,000 yards fewer than the season prior.

Big numbers in college don’t always mean a productive NFL player. But McCaffrey’s best attributes translate well to a professional backfield, and his trademark versatility will be useful.

Kupp sounds like he’s roaring to get going.

There’s a lot of good FCS football, and EWU’s one of its best programs. Kupp was its best receiver for four years. There are receivers in the league now (Pierre Garcon, Tyrell Williams, and more) and in the past (some guy named Jerry Rice) who didn’t play top-division ball.

But it wasn’t a draft plus.

“People wanna know about it,” Kupp said. “They wanna know what I think about it. I don’t know if it really matters what I think about it. But I think regardless of what I was able to do, regardless of whatever you did, regardless of whatever I was able to produce, even against FBS teams, I don’t think it would’ve changed a whole lot, in terms of people are always gonna have that question of, ‘Well, you played in the FCS.’”

“What I’m excited about is getting to a team, knowing where I’m gonna be at, knowing the players and coaches I’m gonna be around, and being able to go out and be the best player I can be and produce for a city and for a team,” Kupp said before his draft night. “I believe, regardless, I can be a Hall of Fame player, and that’s what I’m excited to be. That’s not gonna change just because I played at a small school.”

But it was those 15 years in the Hub where Pierce is best remembered. It was a time that began under tumultuous circumstances and remained that way for a decade. So many things happened between the time he was drafted in 1997 and the moment when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen made the Celtics relevant again. There was Rick Pitino and Antoine Walker. There was a stabbing. There was Jim O’Brien and a Fashion Online Shop Cheap Jerseys frosty early relationship with Doc Rivers. There was bubbling trade talk and frustration.

NFL draft 2017: Start time, TV channel, live stream, and order for Round 2-3

It’s Day 2 of the 2017 NFL Draft and things are happening. Some of the top names are off the board, but a few surprise talents still remain, like Dalvin Cook; teams will have seven minutes per pick in Round 2 and five minutes per pick in Round 3.

On Friday, the draft picks back up at 7 p.m. ET. Coverage will continue to air on ESPN and NFL Network. The ESPN coverage begins at 7 p.m. on the flagship network and then switches to ESPN2 at 8 p.m. ET. A live stream will be available at both Watch ESPN and

Will it? Probably not. Chris Paul and J.J. Redick are also free agents. Doc Rivers is not a rebuild coach, he’s a contenders’ coach. You’ll remember that Doc fled Boston when the tank rolled into town. In Los Angeles, Doc’s not just the coach: he’s also the decision-maker in the front office. Unless that changes, Doc Rivers The GM will want to give Doc Rivers The Coach the best roster possible.

That means retaining as much of that core as possible. The Clippers’ salary cap situation does not allow the team to sign an expensive player in place of any of those guys should they leave. Sign-and-trades remain rare and unlikely to bring significant return. The options really are to re-sign these guys or watch them leave for nothing.

Two trips to the conference finals within three years would be a mark of huge success for the Rockets and one not achieved since their back-to-back championships behind Hakeem Olajuwon in the mid-1990s. These Rockets have already eclipsed the Rockets Morey inherited when he took over as GM in 2007. That Cheap USA Hockey Jerseys team starred Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady, yet only won a single playoff series. How Morey guided Houston from the end of that era to this mad science experiment without ever having a losing season is really impressive.

The Nationals are the best team in baseball, even without Adam Eaton

On Sunday, the Nationals defeated the Mets, 23-5. On Saturday, they lost Adam Eaton for the season. It was a weekend of contrasts, and considering they actually lost the series Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale against the Mets, the outrageous score probably isn’t enough to pick them up. It was, overall, a bad weekend for Nationals baseball.

I’m here to pick them up. While no team can brush off the loss of a player as talented as Eaton and pretend they didn’t need him in the first place, the Nationals are still better than we thought. This is terrifying, considering they won 95 games and the National League East last year, even though they underperformed their Pythagorean record.

They’re even better now. And to prove I’m not overreacting to a single month of baseball, I’ll go through what’s convinced me that the Nationals aren’t just the team with the best record in baseball, but the team with the best roster in baseball.

In the Western Conference, the San Antonio Spurs had another typically excellent season with 61 wins, trying to make the NBA Finals for the first time in three years. The Houston Rockets were an offensive juggernaut, making an NBA-record 1,181 three-pointers this year, and had the third-best record in the NBA with 55 wins. Houston was led by a resurgent James Harden, who will face off with fellow MVP candidate Russell Westbrook — the first man to average a triple-double in 55 years — and the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first Cheap Nike Jerseys round.