NFL free agency: Giants get Eli Manning insurance by signing Geno Smith

Tigers ace Justin Verlander looked very shaky in his last two starts, prompting concern in the Motor City. Cancel the red alert. Verlander looking very strong in seven scoreless innings Thursday against the Mariners. He struck out eight and scattered five hits and two walks. He didn’t get a decision in Seattle’s 2-1 victory.

Mets starter Matt Harvey gave up six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Braves in a 7-5 loss. The right-hander yielded five hits and five walks. On a positive note, Harvey had four quality starts to begin the season before Thursday’s tough outing.

Every kid dreams of hitting a walk-off grand slam to win a game in extra innings. Matt Carpenter lived that dream Thursday afternoon as the Cardinals beat the Blue Jays 8-4 in 11 innings.

Geno Smith will remain in New York as he is expected to sign with the Giants, according to ESPN.

Giants expected to sign former Jets QB Geno Smith, per @JordanRaanan and me. Smith and Brandon Marshall teammates again.

According to NFL Media, the former Jets QB will take a physical with the team over the weekend and likely sign Monday. The 26-year-old will be brought in to compete for the backup quarterback position behind Eli Manning with Keith Wenning and Josh Johnson.

Smith had a roller-coaster of a career with the Jets, starting off with two poor seasons. His next two seasons were cut short due to injury, and he hasn’t had a chance to show if he’s progressed as a passer.

Now, he’ll get a chance to study under Manning, although it’s unclear how long his contract will end up being. If nothing else, the Giants will get a quarterback with at least some playing experience behind Manning in case the starter suffers an injury.

Smith reportedly had interest from other teams, including Dallas Cowboys Cheap Jerseys the Chargers and Browns.

Gary Sanchez injury update: Yankees catcher expected off DL for Cubs series

The Yankees are expected to activate catcher Gary Sanchez from the disabled list Friday in time for the opener of a much-anticipated series against the Cubs in Chicago.

“That’s the plan,” Brian Cashman said Thursday (via the New York Daily News).

It was hard to tell if excitement or merely autocorrect was in play later in the afternoon, when Sanchez tweeted: “Taking off for Chicago. See you on the filed, tomorrow.”

Sanchez, who hit 20 homers in only 53 games in a breakout rookie season in 2016, has missed 21 games with a strained right biceps suffered April 8 in Baltimore.

But led by this year’s rookie sensation, Aaron Judge, the Yankees have gone 16-5 without Sanchez, averaging 6.2 runs per game. Judge has 13 homers in only 104 plate appearances.

In five games this season, Sanchez, 24, is 3 for 20 with one home run.

Austin Romine (.316/.349/.456, two homers and 10 RBIs with no errors behind the plate) has filled in more than admirably.

Friday’s 2:20 p.m. ET game opens a three-game series at Wrigley Field between two storied first-place teams, one with the most World Series titles in MLB history (27) and the other coming off its first in 108 years.

Wilson has thrown knuckleballs in games before, but coaches asked him to do it sparingly out of respect to his catchers in San Francisco.

The Beard — if we can still call him that — is confident Cheap Miami Dolphins Jerseys in his ability to knuckle balls in there. He even admired one of his pitches at the USC session.

“I can already see myself out there,” Wilson said, “Throwing up some waffles.”

Baseball Hall of Fame 2017 full voting results: How did Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens fare?

If it were just about the numbers, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Manny Ramirez would be a lock to make the Baseball Hall of Fame. But the trio, all linked to performance-enhancing drugs in their careers, will have to wait at least another year to achieve baseball’s highest honor.

Ramirez, who unlike Bonds and Clemens, caught and punished twice by baseball for PED use, received 23.8 percent in his first attempt at the Hall of Fame.

Yankees rookie outfielder Aaron Judge went 3 for 5 with two runs scored, a home run and two RBIs in an 8-6 win over the Blue Jays. The home run was Judge’s 13th of the season, and his 10th in his last 14 games. Judge’s 13 home runs are the most by a rookie in their first 25 games of a season in MLB history.

Astros shortstop Carlos Correa finally caught fire with four hits and a solo home run in a huge 10-1 win against the Rangers. In addition to man-handling their AL West foes, Correa also raised his average to .255 on the season.

Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon has been impressive early this season, but the young hurler was lit up for six earned runs off of eight hits in just five innings in Cheap Jerseys USing Paypal a 7-2 loss to the Reds. Despite the loss, Taillon is still 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA this year.

Diamondbacks (17-12) at Nationals (18-9), 2:05 p.m. ET — Two of the most explosive offensive teams in MLB will face off after splitting the series’ first two games. Reigning NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (3-2, 2.94 ERA) will take the mound for Washington to duel against Braden Shipley, who is making his season debut.

Bernie Kosar: ‘No disrespect’ with ALS remark about Dwight Clark

The Cubs are good. It’s no secret, and there’s no secret to their success. At this point, the biggest unknown is whether the Cubs are going to be just as hungry in 2017 as they were in their championship-winning season. The gang’s still all together, and the Cubs made sure to supplement the outfield with Jon Jay and the bullpen with Wade Davis. Solid moves all around for a team that could be a dynasty in a few years.

Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar said Wednesday he meant “no disrespect” to 49ers great and former Cleveland director of football operations Dwight Clark when he made a joke on Cleveland radio about Clark’s ALS diagnosis.

“We had a bad weekend with Gale Sayers being diagnosed [with dementia] … Dwight Clark Cheap Hats And Jerseys with ALS,” Kosar said on WKNR-AM, on Wednesday. “I could make a joke about [Clark’s] struggles in picking players when he was here. It almost makes me wonder if maybe it started earlier.”

Clark, who announced Sunday he has Lou Gehrig’s disease, was with the Browns from 1999-2002. Cleveland was 21-43 during those four seasons.

“It’s not about Schwarber hitting leadoff. He’s just not hitting like Schwarber yet, that’s all,” Maddon said. “Once he starts hitting, which he will, that number’s (on-base percentage) going to get so pretty.”

Schwarber’s woes continued as he went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Ducks some. Oilers less.

It started out well enough. Just past five o’clock local time, the upstart Edmonton Oilers played host to the bullshit shitbird Anaheim Ducks. Fans chewed Detroit Lions Cheap Jerseys their nails in anticipation. More food than usual was eaten to comfort the anxious. Buttholes everywhere. Clenched.

And then it got better. By some grace of god, a technical difficulty (thanks, Rogers) forced someone other than Brett Kissel to sing the US national anthem. “It’s happening, isn’t it?” We all thought.

Tennessee had two major areas of need coming into this year’s draft. It addressed both of them by the 18th pick of the first round. Davis may have seemed overvalued at the No. 5 overall pick, but the run on wide receivers that followed validated the Titans’ choice. Thirteen picks later, Jackson shored up a big hole in the secondary while adding significant special teams value. Taylor and Smith should add more punch for an offense that needed to surround Marcus Mariota with playmakers.

Ezekiel Elliott’s 2016 disproved the recent adage that running backs aren’t worth premium picks. The Jags doubled down on that in 2017, selecting Leonard Fournette at No. 4 overall. Fournette could be a generational talent, but he’s coming off a disappointing junior year at LSU. If he lives up to expectations, he could transform Jacksonville’s offense and take pressure from embattled quarterback Blake Bortles. Tackle Cam Robinson (and, to a lesser extent elusive wideout Dede Westbrook) will also be a boon for Bortles.

Larry Bird will step down as Pacers’ president of basketball operations, according to report

Larry Bird is stepping down from his position as Indiana Pacers’ president of basketball operations, according to The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski. His position will be taken over by Kevin Pritchard. Bird is expected to continue working with Pritchard and the Pacers as a consultant, according to Woj.

The move comes after Indiana was swept by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first-round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. It was the first time the Pacers were swept in their franchise’s storied history.

The Cavaliers’ spread lineup has proven much more fruitful than its normal unit with two other All-Stars. It yanks the thought of helping from opposing teams and forces them to guard either LeBron or the three-point line. It’s a perpetual nightmare that Pacers head coach Nate McMillan is fighting through and losing against.

Amid Cleveland’s midseason defensive breakdown, Tyronn Lue said he had a secret plan to fix the Cavaliers. If the first round has been any indication, his plan is to spread the offense out and score more points.

And at least against Indiana, my guys, it’s working.

The Cavaliers are a game away from sweeping the Pacers at Banker’s Create Cheap Jerseys Life Fieldhouse. They’ll have the winner of the Toronto Raptors vs. Milwaukee Bucks series Custom Cheap Jerseys in the second round. And if Cleveland continues to spread its opponents out like this, the victor of that No. 3 vs. No. 6 showdown had better be ready to put a body on James and pick its poison.

Otherwise, it’ll be death by the spread with LeBron delivering the elimination blows.

Ibaka finished with a steal and three blocks.

Fueled by a brilliant performance in net from Braden Holtby, the Capitals were able to go into Pittsburgh and steal Game 3. Holtby allowed six goals on 35 shots through the first two games of the series, but bounced back with a 28-save effort on Monday night.

Washington appeared to be cruising to a 2-0 win before giving up two goals in 48 seconds in the waning moments of the game. The Capitals bounced back with a quick overtime winner from Kevin Shattenkirk to wrap up the game.

Even after winning Game 3, the Capitals are just 2-11 in their last 13 postseason road games against the Penguins, per the OddsShark NHL Database.

Lost in talks about the Bucks’ incredible wingspans is the guy guarding them. Ibaka’s length was felt throughout as he disrupted shot after shot around the rim.

In the opening quarter he held Antetokounmpo to 1-of-6 shooting, and though that didn’t last, the slow start helped Toronto gain a lead it wouldn’t lose.

Ibaka finished with a steal and three blocks.

It was just his defensive effort either. Ibaka finished with 19 points and six rebounds, scoring inside and out. He really took his game into Antetokounmpo, putting him to work on the block.

The Raptors looked like the complete team we thought they were, and NBA Jerseys Cheap that came even without their best two players at their best. DeRozan still wasn’t all the way there and NFL Jerseys Nike Lowry sat a few minutes, still uncomfortable with his back injury.

This Toronto team is deeper than its previous installments and that’s what gives them the opportunity to knock off the Cavaliers should they finish off the Bucks.

Wizards’ Markieff Morris will play in Game 2 vs. the Celtics

Wizards forward Markieff Morris will play in Game 2 of Washington’s second-round series against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, according to The Vertical’s Shams Charania.

Morris suffered a sprained left ankle in the second quarter of Game 1 when he made a jump shot before landing on Al Horford’s foot. He exited the game under his own power but did not return after heading to the locker room. The Wizards went on to lose, 123-111.

Morris said after that loss he would play in Game 2, and that sitting the remainder of Game 1 out was a precautionary measure. The Wizards forward averaged 14 points and 6.5 rebounds per game for a Washington team that finished the regular season with the Eastern Conference’s fourth-best record. He is averaging almost two blocks per game during the playoffs.

Without Morris, the Wizards had paired Kelly Oubre with the starting unit, making it easier for Boston to hide Isaiah Thomas defensively.

“All these [Nats] think I’m crazy, but I want to hit the ball in the air [every time], optimally at about 25 degrees at 98 miles per hour. Those are home runs,” Murphy said Friday. “Ryan’s exit velocity last year was elite [14th in baseball, at 94.1 mph]. He’s just looking to take his already elite Basketball Jerseys For Sale skill Patriots Cheap Jerseys of putting bat to ball and [achieving high] exit velocity off the barrel and get it at the right angle. Now we’re really starting to do some serious damage.

Is he going to lead the NL in OPS this year, with a cool 1345 mark? Probably … probably not. But he’ll contribute, though. He’ll apparently contribute a lot more than we thought he would, which makes a scary lineup extra scary.

Dalvin Cook was drafted to take over for Adrian Peterson with Vikings

It took Dalvin Cook only three years to become Florida State’s all-time leading rusher. Despite one of the most stacked resumes in the 2017 NFL draft, he still fell to the 41st overall pick, likely the result of a combination of off-field troubles, durability questions, and ball-security issues.

He’d later claim those quotes were taken out of context, but that wasn’t enough to prevent him from sliding further down draft boards while players like Patrick Mahomes and Mitchell Trubisky rose.

Kizer’s pre-draft workout reputation — disappointing with flashes of potential — describes his college career as well. The Fighting Irish struggled in 2016, finishing 4-8. And while their quarterback posted a solid 26:9 touchdown-to-interception ratio, he acknowledged his culpability in Notre Dame’s spiral from bowl team to meme.

“Out of those eight losses, probably seven of them we have an opportunity to, within the fourth quarter, go down and score,” he told ESPN’s Jon Gruden. “Quite frankly, if you’re going to win those games, then the quarterback has to make those plays. So quite frankly, I just didn’t make enough plays in this past season.”

He shows flashes of talent — making big throws, understanding where to put Cheap Essendon Jerseys the ball, finding open targets — but he also gets caught trying to do too much. Kizer is a frustrating passer with the potential to be much more.

He missed one game in 2014 for what the school called “personal reasons” and missed 20 field goals over four years, while Aguayo had just nine over three years.

But the biggest concern is just the value of a kicker. There are plenty on the free-agency market and many teams find starters there. Is it worth it to use a draft pick to upgrade a position that comes into play just a handful of times during a game?

The Browns will hope that Gonzalez beats Cody Parkey for the Cheap Authentic Jerseys From China job and makes an impact that makes his selection worthwhile.