Tigers trade Justin Wilson, Alex Avila to Cubs

The Cubs have acquired lefty reliever Justin Wilson and catcher Alex Avila from the Tigers for infielders Jeimer Candelario and Isaac Paredes and a player to be named later or cash, as first reported by FanRag’s Jon Heyman and FOX’s Ken Rosenthal.

The trade is the second major deal of the month for the aggressive Cubs, who already sent prospects Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease to the White Sox as part of a four-player package for lefty Jose Quintana. Chicago has opened up a 2.5-game lead on the Brewers in the NL Central after a sluggish start and is considered the favorite to win the division again this season.

Normally, that wouldn’t even be news; the All-Star Game is once again an exhibition and the game’s umpires are rarely even noticed. But the announcement comes less than a week after news broke that Hernandez filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against commissioner Rob Manfred, alleging that he has been passed over multiple times for the chance to work a World Series and has not been promoted from temporary to permanent crew chief.

For some, the appointment mixed with Hernandez’s well-documented on-field struggles may cause the first thought to be that the league allowing Hernandez to work a major event is an olive branch in the midst of an ongoing legal battle. One could argue that the decision looks like Major League Baseball is throwing Hernandez a bone, rewarding his 24 years of service with his third All-Star appointment.

Just a few minutes ago, Miguel Sano pummeled baseballs, and one of them hit the Fans Cheap Jerseys windows. Another one hit the home run obelisk. And people — most of them waiting Cheap Youth Football Jerseys for Stanton to fight Judge to the death — were so danged into it. The ooohs and ahhhhs were organic and pure.

MLB trade rumors roundup: Sonny Gray, Yonder Alonso, and more

As the trade deadline nears, trade rumors of all sorts are flying around willy nilly. With so many pieces of information being batted around (pun entirely intended and I won’t apologize), here are all of the latest trade rumors in one place for ease.

Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona was set to manage his third All-Star Game — having also managed the 2005 and 2008 teams while with the Boston Red Sox — but underwent a procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat last week and will miss the game. Indians bench coach Brad Mills will instead manage the American League in Miami.

On Monday, Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Chris Sale of the Red Sox were named starting pitchers for the Midsummer Classic. This is the second All-Star start for Scherzer, who started for the AL in 2013 at Citi Field in New York.

Sale started last year as a member of the Chicago White Sox, making him the first pitcher to start consecutive All-Star Games since Randy Johnson in 2000-01.

Monday also gave us the batting orders for both teams. Fans voted for the starting position players, with the exception of Mookie Betts of the Red Sox, replacing an injured Mike Trout, who just finished a minor league rehab assignment for the Angels.

Joe Buck will call play-by-play of the All-Star Game, sharing the Fox booth with John Smoltz, the Hall of Famer and eight-time All-Star who started the game in 1996. That duo will be joined by reporters NBA Basketball Jerseys Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci from the dugouts during the game.

Yovani Gallardo is back in the rotation, for example. After all those deals, all Miami Heat Cheap Jerseys that planning, they’re back to where they started.

Did Joel Embiid really catch a ball at the Home Run Derby?

There are many questions at the Home Run Derby — how far can Aaron Judge hit a ball? How many home runs can Aaron Judge hit? Why is Aaron Judge the greatest human being of all time?

We also know that Embiid CLAIMS he caught a baseball at some point during the night. Is this possible? Sure, plenty of balls get hit into the stands. But we also know, through video evidence, that while Embiid had a chance to catch the ball, he probably did not.

Why do the Arizona Diamondbacks (a snake) have a bobcat mascot? Who knows, but D. Baxter is a pretty dang majestic cat. Look how furry he is! And he wears a jersey… which is always a good look for a cat.

The Cincinnati Bengals good cat mascot got its name from Bengals fans chanting “Who dey! Who dey! Who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?” in the 90s. And while the name may look a little awkward at first, the one gets points, of course, for be a tiger — the coolest of kitties.

The Denver Nuggets, despite claims (by me) that their mascot is a large chicken nugget, actually have an extremely cool cat as a mascot. Rocky has a lightening bolt as a tail, wears a tracksuit and sometimes is very tall — what’s not to love.

The Kansas City Royals mascot is Sluggerrr, a lion with a crown built Wholesale NFL Jerseys into his head. He also has a growl built into his name, which his honestly purrfect.

Of course, there are plenty of other good cats out there, mascots and otherwise. It would be impossible to rank them all. These are just 10 of the finest felines, but here’s a reminder Real Cheap Jerseys that all cats are good. And sports cats are even better.

Logan Morrison was wrong to call out Gary Sanchez for Home Run Derby selection

Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Logan Morrison is having a fine season, perhaps even one worthy of representation in the MLB All-Star Game. He might have had a point when lamenting not getting chosen for the Home Run Derby, but it was lost when he called out New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez.

Judge is an earthquake of a man. He won the Home Run Derby with long, long, long home runs, and we’re lucky to watch him.

What I can’t stop thinking about is how players keep getting bigger and bigger. And bigger and bigger. It’s not just the baseball players. Twenty years ago, I was the same height as the average American male. Now I’m two inches shorter because these damned kids with their beef hormones in the hamburgers, I don’t even know. Everyone is getting bigger. But especially the baseball players.

Remember that Cal Ripken was supposed to be a freak because he was 6’4 and a shortstop. Now those kinds of shortstops are the rule, not the exception.

My question to you is if we’ll be here in 2047 watching a 7’0, 320-pound man in the Intergalactic Home Run Derby, marveling at the spectacle and forgetting just how big Judge was.

There are two answers to that. The first is that people don’t really talk about Frank Howard anymore, even though he was definitely a proto-Judge:

It’s more likely for a league like the 2017 AL to exist, with several teams in contention.

One more time with feeling: There’s nothing special about Vancouver Canucks Cheap Jerseys August 9. The Orioles and Angels could lose three in a row and fall right the heck off this chart Youth Authentic Cheap Jerseys forever, and the 2017 season suddenly isn’t much different than several other seasons in the Wild Card Era.

Doug Gottlieb’s ‘questioning’ whether Adrian Beltre is on steroids sparks media Twitter brawl

Doug Gottlieb wonders whether Adrian Beltre is on steroids. He’s just wondering, mind you.

Other national media figures aren’t going to let the Fox Sports Radio host skate on that.

At the heart of Gottlieb’s suspicion is Beltre’s late-career production, which included career hit No. 3,000 on Sunday. Armed with little more than the Clay Travis-esque “I’m just asking the question,” Gottlieb on Tuesday loosely tied Beltre to the dozens of failed PED tests by players from the Dominican Republic, in the majors and the minors (Beltre, 38, is the first Dominican player in baseball history to reach 3,000 hits).

Gottlieb also dragged out the old argument that baseball writers didn’t properly cover PED use in the game during the late 1990s/early 2000s, and he added that today’s media might be turning a similar blind eye to Beltre.

The most recent wild-card team to win the World Series was the San Francisco Giants in 2014. They defeated another wild-card winner in the Kansas City Royals. A wild-card team has won the World Series six times since the wild card was added in 1994. The Marlins are the only team to win the World Series twice as a wild card (1997, 2003).

This season, the MLB All-Star Game did not determine which league will have home-field advantage for the World Series. The team with the better record will now hold home-field advantage in the World Series.

The New York Yankees hold the most all-time World Series titles with 27, and Kobe Bryant Cheap Jerseys are in a position to challenge for a 28th with rookie Aaron Judge Manchester United Cheap Jerseys making an MVP case. The Los Angeles Dodgers are another favorite from the regular season to win the title, as long as Clayton Kershaw is fully healthy.

Brett Gardner’s power surge is legitimate — but don’t ask him about it

Brett Gardner is not a power hitter. Or so he says.

Never mind that the Yankees outfielder has a career-high 19 home runs as August begins or that he has the second most on the team, trailing only Aaron Judge. His .469 slugging percentage, another personal best, and 17 doubles, second best on the Yankees, are no reason to start throwing the label around either, he says.

At the time of the trade, Headley was hitting .258/.341/.371 and was somewhat of a liability in the Yankees lineup. With the addition of Frazier, it looked like Yankees fans were getting their wish, which was to see Headley play less and eventually not on the lineup card.

Since the Yankees acquired Frazier from Chicago — and further, over the last month — and moved Headley over to first base, Headley has been one of the Yankees’ best hitters.

Elite players need a chance to prove their greatness on the big stage in October, and Votto simply hasn’t had a real chance to do that. He’s appeared in just nine postseason games and has hit .250 (8-for-32) with no extra-base hits and just one RBI in those contests.

And with the Reds rebuilding, it’s unlikely he’ll get the chance to improve those numbers and add to his legacy. While a trade to a contender in the future would be Votto’s best chance to improve his postseason pedigree, his massive contract — he’s in the middle of a 10-year, $225 million deal he signed Mls Cheap Jerseys in 2014 — makes a trade unlikely.

So Votto seems destined to spend the rest of his career with the Reds in relative New Vikings Jerseys Cheap anonymity as his greatness continues to be undervalued across the sport.

David Price on Dennis Eckersley incident: ‘I’m just standing up for my teammates’

David Price told reporters Saturday he is frustrated by the fact that NESN Red Sox broadcaster Dennis Eckersley “doesn’t ever show his face in the clubhouse.”

The Boston Globe revealed last week that Price blew up at Eckersley on a June 29 team flight, mocking the Hall of Fame pitcher (“Here he is — the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is easy for him!”) and telling him to “get the f*** out of here.”

While several high-ranking members of the Red Sox organization have apologized to Eckersley, Price didn’t sound apologetic in his first public comments about the incident.

Price noted that his frustration stemmed from the fact Eckersley is critical of the team but is never around the clubhouse.

Gonzalez struck out five Marlins batters with three walks and hit a batter in the eighth inning before leaving with a 1-0 lead. Sean Doolittle came on to preserve the 1-0 victory and record his seventh save of the season.

“Look at this passion. I mean, I’m not an all-star, my career numbers aren’t the best. I came out here in the game and the crowd was unbelievable, just showing me love,” he told AT&T SportsNet in the postgame interview.

That’s why he prefaced that statement with a simple “I love it here in Pittsburgh.”

And now he has a chance to stay in Pittsburgh through next year. The Braves signed him to a two-year contract as a free agent last offseason. After the injury, and after the emergence of young infielders Johan Camargo and Ozzie Albies in Atlanta, Rodriguez was expendable. The Pirates, who don’t know if Jung Ho Kang will return in 2018, can use Rodriguez to, at minimum, fill the utility role in which he Toronto Blue Jays Cheap Jerseys excelled the past two seasons.

If he gets to do that, then he can view the past six months in much different, much Victor Cruz Cheap Jerseys more positive, way. He can look at them as the time it took to get him back to a place he loves.

Sheldon Richardson asked to take a pay cut during trade talks

Sheldon Richardson is still a member of the Jets despite a whirlwind of trade rumors surrounding the 26-year-old defensive lineman.

Richardson shed some light on the trade talk Thursday, telling the New York Daily News interested teams like the Seahawks and Redskins wanted him to take a pay cut before they would pull the trigger on a trade.

“It’s a business, bro,” Richardson said. “There was one team that asked me to take a pay cut … and it was Seattle. And Washington too. There were a lot of offers. A lot of good offers. You’d be surprised.”

Richardson is entering the fifth and final year of his rookie contract that was heavy on back-end pay. After the Jets selected him with the 13th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft, Richardson earned $9.35 million over his first four seasons. He is due $8.069 million for the 2017 season.

Taylor said “gratitude was at the core” of everything he said Saturday, but he first thanked his mother.

“I played 15 NFL seasons, but the toughest person I’ve ever met in my life is right there,” he said pointing to his crying mother, Georgia.

Taylor also got choked up when discussing his agent, Gary Wichard. Taylor said Wichard, who died of cancer in 2011, was “so much more” than just his agent.

“He was a dear friend. He was an advisor. And he was truly the father I never had,” Taylor said. “No one believed in me the way Gary did. As a football player, as a person. Even Lakers Cheap Jerseys as a dancer, he talked me into doing ‘Dancing With the Stars.'”

Taylor also joked that he “stole a lot of money from” Redskins owner Dan Snyder with Manchester United Cheap Jerseys just 2 1/2 sacks during his lone season in 2008 with the Redskins before returning to Miami.

Former Cowboys and Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson, who drafted Taylor, presented him and Taylor joked he played for a lot of coaches and was sort of a “coach killer.”

It was an exhibition game, sure, but the beginning of football season is supposed to feel good.

That feeling started earlier in the day. Baker helped dedicate the new stadium and the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village with Tom and Gayle Benson, 2017 Hall of Fame enshrinee Morten Andersen and several other community leaders.

Benson helped renovate the stadium with an $11 million donation, $1 million more than the amount for which the Hall of Fame asked. It’s an intimate stadium positioned in the buckle of the Rust Belt that is just another can’t-miss attraction for visitors. There’s more to come in the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, including a luxurious Hall of Fame Hotel. The project’s completion is scheduled for 2020, which links with the NFL’s 100th season.

Tony Romo: It’s almost unimaginable that a team — other than the one coached by Cutler’s old coordinator — wouldn’t have chased Romo before Cutler if they were in need of a quarterback who could immediately start. That’s despite the fact he’s in much the same boat as Cutler: retired, aging, beat up and in transition at a new job.

Shaun Hill: Started the Vikings’ opener last season while late trade acquisition Sam Bradford got up to speed. That’s another non-Kaepernick option teams would surely employ in an emergency, by the way: Deal for a quarterback rather than sign a free agent, as the Vikings did when they lost Teddy Bridgewater. Speaking of …

Teddy Bridgewater: The still-rehabbing Bridgewater set off a brief flurry Jerseys From China of speculation when he liked a Dolphins tweet last week. It’s not unreasonable to see a team take a flyer on him, with Got Cheap Jerseys the Vikings declining his fifth-year option and with secrecy still shrouding his health.

Brock Osweiler: The Bradford/Bridgewater scenario applies here. Who’s to say a free-agent flop of epic proportions wouldn’t be deemed as a “safer” move than signing Kaepernick? The Browns sure did.

Much of what happened Wednesday wasn’t Fleury’s fault.

Before you know know it, the kids in Toronto are going to be ruling the Eastern Conference. The Connor McDavid-led Oilers will be a Stanley Cup contender for the foreseeable future. At least other aging teams like the Blackhawks and Penguins have Stanley Cups to show off.

What the Rangers have done since Lundqvist first took the crease in 2006 is remarkable, but also disappointing. The Blueshirts have gone to the playoffs 11 times in the past 12 seasons, but have just one Stanley Cup Final and two conference finals trips to show for it. That stretch includes three different head coaches, a reminder that winning and winning championships don’t always go hand in hand.

For those 12 years, Lundqvist has been the Rangers’ cornerstone. The guy fans around the league associate with the Rangers. He has won an Olympic gold medal and a Vezina Trophy, and he owns franchise and NHL records. He is a Hall of Famer.

“’Flower’ has carried us here,” Cullen said. “He’s played so well for us. That makes it even worse that we kind of hung him out to dry. Bottom line is we didn’t play well. We have to figure it out here as a group. We have to understand that it’s not going to be easy. We have to put our best effort out there. We Cheap Barcelona Jerseys have to win battles. We have to fight a little bit. We didn’t tonight.”

Cullen is right. Much of what happened Wednesday wasn’t Fleury’s fault.

3. Flip Forsberg, Predators — With a goal and an assist, Forsberg will ride a seven-game point streak into the Cup Final. His 15 points set a franchise playoff record.

2. Pekka Rinne, Predators — Rinne, like much of these playoffs, was Cheap Chelsea Jerseys sensational, stopping 38 of 41 shots. Credit his resurgence for the Preds’ unlikely run.

1. Colton Sissons, Predators — Sissons joined Forsberg as the only players in franchise history to score a hat trick in the playoffs.