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Houston Texans

Albert Pujols has reached another historic milestone.

The Angels first baseman hit his 1,952nd career RBI in the first inning of Los Angeles’ 7-5 loss to the Twins on Sunday, passing Cardinals great Stan Musial for sixth place on the all-time list.

You sure you don’t want to get a shot at the 6-foot-3, 341-pounder at the gut of the defensive line?

I’m positive. If you see this, Snacks, take it easy on me, Barkley added as he looked straight into the camera. I don’t know anybody in this league that can run over Snacks. His name is Snacks for a reason.

Barkley has had his nose in the playbook over the last few weeks, and he’s trying to pick up all the intricacies of being an NFL running back, but he’s also learning quickly how to handle some tough love from his veteran teammates.

That’s the plan, Kuechly said, via Jourdan Rodrigue of the Charlotte Observer. That’s how it went last time and everything went well. I don’t anticipate it being different.

Kuechly has had labrum shoulder before – to his left shoulder – and knows what to expect when it comes to his recovery timeline. Following that surgery he was ready for the start of the team’s training camp in 2016.

Kuechly appeared in 15 of 16 regular season games last year and played in Carolina’s playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints. He played through the shoulder injury late in the year and had surgery to repair the damage in February.

He has been able to take part in individuals drills but teams drills have been on hold until training camp.

I just want to be out there, man, he said. I’m not able to do the team-related stuff right now, which is a bummer. That’s the best part of the (organized team activity) and mini-camp portion.

The Buccaneers waived defensive back Maurice Fleming with an injury designation Monday. Tampa Bay did not announce a corresponding move.

Fleming, who had moved to safety from cornerback this offseason, was hurt early in organized team activities with an undisclosed injury.

He originally entered the league as a college free agent from West Virginia, signing with the Bucs in 2017. Tampa Bay waived him with an injury designation on August 26 after he played through a knee injury, making him a hard-luck star of Hard Knocks.

The images Spenser Rapone posted on Twitter from his West Point graduation were intentionally shocking: In one, the smirking cadet opens his dress uniform to expose a T-shirt with a blood-red image of socialist icon Che Guevara. In another, he raises his fist and flips over his cap to reveal the hand-scrawled message: Communism will win.

RHP Michael Fulmer. There was trade talk regarding Fulmer last year, and Cabrera’s absence should intensify the chatter. Fulmer is a 25-year-old staff leader who can’t become a free agent until after the 2022 season. There is, however, a red flag: He had elbow surgery last September and his 2018 numbers have not been good (4.40 ERA/4.27 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, 2.30 K/BB).

RHP Mike Fiers. Fiers signed a one-year, $6 million contract with the Tigers last offseason after the Astros made him a free agent. He has been as advertised: a mid-rotation starter who can work deep into games. Fiers’ 4.01 ERA, aided by a sharp improvement in his control (1.9 BB/9 against a 2.8 career ratio), is right in line with his 4.14 career mark.

Tebow has this down to an art. He knows which jokes to make (The bus rides maybe aren’t as fun, but the rest of it’s been a lot of fun, he said.), which questions to evade, which answers he can give the same version of in every city.

He has done this before. He has been doing it in some way, shape or form ever since he won the Heisman Trophy as a Florida sophomore in 2007. Tebow, who went 1-for-3 with a double in the Rumble Ponies’ 10-2 loss Friday, might be the most comfortable minor leaguer in front of a camera, which is good because he’s the most famous minor leaguer there is.

With hindsight on our side, it’s fair to conclude the Buffalo Bills’ trade of a 2015 first-round pick and a 2014 fourth-round pick to Cleveland to move up from the ninth pick to the fourth pick for Watkins was one of the worst draft moves in NFL history.

Instead, they mortgaged their future for a player who four years later is on his third NFL roster. 

Former GM Doug Whaley’s reputation might never bounce back.

No wonder the Bears haven’t been to the playoffs since 2010. 

But another reason the Bears haven’t been successful in the last decade is Jay Cutler, who quarterbacked the team to a 51-51 record over eight seasons after Angelo acquired him from the Broncos in 2009. 

Because the Bears gave up two first-round picks, a third-rounder and quarterback Kyle Orton for Cutler and a fifth-round pick, and because they swiftly gave him a two-year, $30 million contract extension through 2013, the organization had no choice but to be committed to Cutler. But the 2006 No. 11 overall pick never delivered in Chicago, posting an 85.3 passer rating. He took them to the playoffs just once, and while he was on the roster, the Bears didn’t draft a single quarterback in the first four rounds.

The Eagles wanted to send a smaller delegation, but the 1,000 fans planning to attend the event deserve better. These fans are still invited to the White House to be part of a different type of ceremony — one that will honor our great country, pay tribute to the heroes who fight to protect it, and loudly and proudly play the National Anthem. I will be there at 3:00 p.m. with the United States Marine Band and the United States Army Chorus to celebrate America.

Drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft, Owens went on to have a career in which he was named to six Pro Bowls, was a member of five first-team All-Pro teams, and finished three seasons as the NFL’s receiving touchdowns leader.

Bills General Manager Brandon Beane said after the draft that quarterback Josh Allen has a lot of catching up to do, but didn’t rule out the prospect that he could progress quickly enough to start games early in his rookie season.

In a recent visit to the #PFTPM podcast, former NFL V.P. of officiating Mike Pereira explained that Goodell’s reaction to the NBA’s Tim Donaghy scandal was to be grateful it didn’t happen to the NFL, but to move forward as if it did. The NFL and its teams should take the same approach in response to the Colangelo situation.

Awuzie said he has no preference.

The Cowboys didn’t address the free safety position this offseason — at least not yet — so Awuzie and Byron Jones are Plan B options if the current options don’t work out. Jones started at free safety last season but was moved to cornerback this offseason.

Even in non-militant Green Bay (where no player sat or knelt last season following the week of Trump’s son of a bitch remarks), players are concerned about the way this came together.

You can’t fine somebody for a peaceful protest, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams said, via Ryan Wood of the Green Bay Press-Gazette. We’re not out here holding signs, saying we don’t care about the troops or we don’t care about our country or whatever. It’s a peaceful protest, and it’s something as simple as people just expressing themselves and how they wanted to do it. It brought light to the situation, but at the same time, it’s headed in a negative direction with people getting in trouble for it now.

The league should’ve just stayed in their place where they were before and allowed people to do whatever it was that they were doing.

Herndon’s arrest isn’t the first DWI arrest for a Jets player this offseason. In February, outside linebacker Dylan Donahue was arrested for DWI after allegedly causing a wrong-way crash with a jitney bus inside the Lincoln Tunnel.

Donahue, who was also arrested for DWI in his home state of Montana last year, went through a 30-day alcohol rehab stint in Florida after his Lincoln Tunnel crash.

He showed tremendous courage and dignity in his battle with ALS and we hope there will soon be a cure for this horrendous disease. I will always remember Dwight the way he was — larger than life, handsome, charismatic, and the only one who could pull off wearing a fur coat at our Super Bowl parade. He was responsible for one of the most iconic plays in NFL history that began our run of Super Bowl championships, but to me, he will always be an extension of my family. I love him and will miss him terribly. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife Kelly, his children, and the entire Clark family.

The Scarlet Knights will open in early November at home in an expected quad meet featuring Fresno State.

Rutgers will wrestle at the Journeyman Duals in Clifton Park, N.Y., and will have a dual meet at Hofstra in mid-November.

Rutgers will attend the Cliff Kean Invitational in Las Vegas as a team rather than the Midlands Championships outside Chicago, but the Scarlet Knights may still send individuals to compete at the Midlands.

The much-anticipated dual meet against Oklahoma State at the RAC is scheduled for Jan. 13, 2019. Princeton will be at the RAC on Feb. 3.

On Thursday, May 31, the team notified the White House of 81 individuals, including players, coaches, management, and support personnel, who would attend the event. On Friday, the Secret Service cleared them for participation. These individuals, along with more than 1,000 Eagles fans, were scheduled to attend the event

jets_008Patrick was very good early, then got nicked up, Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. There were some key blows inside of that inning, but he rebounded enough to pitch into the sixth inning.

Owings robbed Jordy Mercer of a hit and started a double play in the sixth, catching a deep ball near the wall in center on the run. He got the ball in quickly and the relay throw doubled up Josh Bell at first base, who had rounded second when Owings caught it. The play was upheld by a short video review.

For me the catch was 1, the quick relay was 1A, Lovullo said. It was a great baseball play.

The Padres added a run in the eighth when Travis Jankowski hit a ground-rule double, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a ground out.

That was tremendous. That was a big win, manager Mickey Callaway said. It wasn’t a now-or-never situation today, but this is going to be real big for us moving forward.

Severino (9-2) struck out seven in five innings but was handed his first loss since April 10 at Boston. The power-packed Yankees, with the best record in the majors at 42-19, had won four straight and nine of 10. They had been the only big league club that hadn’t been shut out this year.

Those guys did something special tonight, Callaway said about his pitchers. That was a tough lineup and they got the job done.

Struggling veteran Jose Reyes, who replaced Cabrera, singled with two outs in the fifth before Frazier lofted a 1-2 slider over the 370-foot sign in left-center.

I need to make a good pitch and throw the slider in the dirt, Severino said. I threw a bad pitch.

jets_009Odell Beckham Jr. was not among the players at New York Giants voluntary organized team activities Tuesday, but the star receiver could be back soon.

Coach Pat Shurmur said after practice that OBJ’s absence was expected, but added the wideout was pretty closeto being fully medically cleared to participate.

Beckham broke his ankle in early October. The 25-year-old reported for voluntary minicamp in April and was at Giants OTAs last week before missing Tuesday’s session.

NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that Beckham has been in and out of the offseason program, and he’s limited when in the building as he goes through rehab.

PASPA’s fatal constitutional flaw, according to the Supreme Court, was that it dictated how states are to regulate their own citizens without setting forth any federal regulatory or deregulatory scheme. As Alito wrote, Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own. Because Congress did not regulate sports gambling, but simply prohibited states from doing so, it violated the Tenth Amendment, Alito concluded.

But according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo, all eyes should be on another playoff-contending team (although the Yankees shouldn’t be counted out just yet):

The Braves could pare as much as $60 million off their payroll in the offseason, which means they’ll likely be a player in free agency and at the trade deadline, where they will likely go after a starting pitcher. The Braves are heading toward a playoff berth probably a year ahead of schedule. They have the money to go big — perhaps on Cole Hamels for example — if they so choose.

Here’s why a contender would want Hamels: In four starts from April 30 to May 22, he faced the Indians, Red Sox, Astros, and Yankees. In 24 innings, he had a 1.88 ERA and.161 batting average against. Hamels is more than willing to give up his no-trade provision for the chance to pitch in the playoff hunt. At 34, Hamels is still very good. His $23 million salary and $6 million buyout of an option for 2019 becomes an issue. But his salary will only be half that by the trade deadline. He’s well worth the investment and it looks like the Yankees could be interested.

What if Yanks had traded for Verlander?

Yes, legalized sports wagering will help sports leagues — even if they don’t get the clumsily-named money grab known as an “integrity fee.” Increased interest in the various sports will create more value. Substantially more value.

Regardless, the ability to bet will pump up all pro sports, with the NFL perhaps at the forefront.

The Kentucky Derby is the marquee event in horse racing, but, the way Bob Baffert sees it, the Preakness Stakes is more fun.

The Preakness is always my favorite leg in a sense because it’s more relaxing,” the Hall of Fame trainer said. It’s almost like you’ve been working so hard trying to get to the Derby. It’s been going on for months. Finally the Derby is over. Now everybody can settle down, take a deep breath. You come in here (for) the second leg, you get to watch the Derby winner. Down deep, the public wants to see the Derby winner win because it’s exciting. They want to see if this could be the (Triple Crown winner) one again. So it makes it exciting.”

Now all of a sudden, he gets a mistake, and Gary’s hits ’em out of the ballpark when you make a mistake to him. So that’s what gets me excited. When he’s controlling the zone, he’s on the short list of deadly hitters, and that’s what we’re starting to see more and more.

Sanchez was deadly in his first two big-league seasons, hitting .299 with 20 homers and 42 RBIs in a 53-game rookie season in 2016 and then .278 with 33 homers and 90 RBIs in 122 games last year.

This year, despite hitting for a low average, Sanchez has been productive, and that’s what matters to Boone.

I really don’t get caught up in average, Boone said. “I’m looking at OPS, on-base percentage, at-bat quality.”

Sanchez has improved his at-bats by being a smarter hitter of late.bucks_511

As former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the NFL continues, Patriots owner Robert Kraft is the latest executive to be questioned in connection to the grievance, according to a report from TMZ.

Details haven’t been revealed when the deposition will take place or whether Kaepernick will be in attendance as he has been in the past.

Kaepernick’s collusion case claims that he has been unable to find a job with the NFL and has been blackballed by NFL owners as a result of kneeling during the national anthem as a form of social protest.

ESPN reported in November that Kraft would be asked to “turn over all cell phone records and emails” after Kaepernick filed the grievance.

“For a long time, I was told that this was a fool’s errand and that I was wasting money and that we weren’t going to win,” Christie said. “I think that hanging in there for as long as I did, spending the money that we did, is gratifying when the highest court in the land says you were right all along.”

He called the Supreme Court’s decision “incredibly gratifying, for sure.”

Orlando, Atlanta, and Memphis will host the other three franchises. Salt Lake City’s team will play at Rice Eccles Stadium.

The AAF plans to launch next February, with a 10-week regular season and two rounds of playoffs.

Head coach Pete Carroll noted the team would like to use the San Diego State product as a three-down back who can also stand inside in pass protection via Bell. “We’re gonna work real hard with his pass protection and make sure that he’s up to speed there,” Carroll said of Penny. “We’d like to see if we can make him available to us on all three downs. Kind of like we use Chris [Carson].”

“I’m going out there and I’m going to play football how I know to play football,” he said, via the Buffalo News. “I’m still working on a lot of things. Coach [Brian] Daboll’s going to help me out. Through this whole draft process, I felt like I’ve made a lot of strides. . . . As we progress through this rookie minicamp, and through the rookie developmental period, I plan to improve every day.”cowboys_102

The Browns claimed linebacker Jermaine Grace off waivers from the Colts, the team announced Wednesday.

Grace is entering his second NFL season out of the University of Miami. He originally signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2017.

Grace, 24, appeared in 11 games and made three special-teams tackles last season.

They got there through individual negotiations, which is how NFL players would have to make it there. And I don’t think they will. Rosters are too big, and players outside of the top tier are too replaceable for teams to go that far, which is evidenced in the way coaches and GMs churn players in-season. But they can get closer to it with their biggest stars. In that regard, Ryan’s new deal had plenty of good news tucked away in its details.

Sporting a hard-hat and safety vest, Hall of Fame Dallas Cowboys quarterback and current Fox broadcaster Troy Aikman announced Troy’s, a new restaurant/beer hall, will be part of the Globe Life Park complex in Arlington.

The Chiefs were awarded tight end Alex Ellis off waivers from the New Orleans Saints and released defensive tackle Stefan Charles as part of a series of roster moves Tuesday.

Fuller joined the ream in 2013, becoming defensive backs coach in 2017, after Steve Wilks replaced Sean McDermott as defensive coordinator.

A fourth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2001, Fuller played for Seattle, Green Bay, and Carolina. He has coached with the Raiders, Packers and Titans.

“Kerryon is a good-sized back and we classified him as a slashing-style runner that can do a lot in the running game. Really underutilized in the passing game, we thought, so we think he has great upside there, as well. I think he’s going to be a great complement to the guys we have there in the room with (LeGarrette Blount), Theo (Riddick), Ameer (Abdullah).broncos_012_39f2516d2435d739-180x180