It never rains ,but it does pour and then there’s the 1,000 pound Gorilla in The Room …

It never rains ,but it does pour and then there’s the 1,000 pound Gorilla in The Room …

Well , with the  NFL Pro Bowl   having    taken place   and their being a     victory    for the    AFC    in   defeating     the NFC   , the league can now put to past another meaningless event as part of the      postseason . From my own perspective there is no amount of tinkering which can be done which will make this game all the more appealing for the fans ! These games are always non-competitive and the sole reason for this exhibition , is simply lure the fans out once again and their for them to spend their money needlessly.  NFL   Commissioner    Roger Goodell    and the league hierarchy continue to sell the fans a bill of goods , which is of no real value and then bear in mind , the league still wishes to expand not only the postseason format , but also the number of teams to possibly include a franchise in Latin America as well as Europe. In this day and age , with the current President’s policy of America first, I am beginning to wonder if the league might become all the more jittery concerning President    Donald Trump’s    reach with his new agenda.

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The NFL’s biggest showcase event of the season will take place this Sunday at the NRG Stadium in Houston , Texas, when the Atlanta Falcons will face the New England Patriots in Superbowl LI (51) . This will be the Patriots’ seventh appearance in the big game as they seek to win their fifth Superbowl , while the team’s quarterback Tom Brady will seek to join Hall of Fame players Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana , as the only quarterbacks with four Superbowl victories to their name. Brady and the New England Patriots are likely to be seen as the presumptive favorites in this game, while opposing quarterback Matt Ryan and his teammates will be looking to upset the apple-cart and pull off what would be Falcons’ biggest win the franchise’s history. No doubt Atlanta’s billionaire owner Arthur Blank will be hoping to witness a victory for his team, after the near misses and the real consolation that after the era of Michael Vick , the Falcons can now be viewed as one of the league’s more respectable teams.

If this Superbowl game goes to form , then the fans should be in for a thrilling event , with both teams having been very good through much of the regular season , with each having risen to the occasion in the postseason. Matt Ryan’s record against the New England Patriots is not an enviable one, whereas for Tom Brady , this could be business as usual , considering the three-time Superbowl MVP’s record in the postseason as well as the big game itself. Get ready folks , as the fireworks will be explosive and certainly deafening . The pace of this game could very well be dictated by the pass offense of both teams and the defensive capabilities shown by both secondaries , but it would be remiss not to suggest the rush offense won’t come into play. With over one hundred and fifty million viewers likely to be watching the game domestically and a further 1.6 billion worldwide , this will be the television event of the year as it has been repeatedly over the last two decades.

Two years of frustration and it all led to the firing of head coach Chip Kelly and the subsequent dismissal of GM Trent Baalke by the San Francisco 49ers , as the franchise looks to retrench itself . Kelly was simply abysmal and this constant idiocy of his being a coaching genius , borders on the stupidity of Donald Trump having the wherewithal to defeat ISIS . Ego and outlandish statements cannot make up for common sense and intelligence , for which , both Kelly and Trump are indeed short off ! At no point during his NFL coaching career has Chip Kelly ever been able to get his teams play competitive football. This was clearly indicative of the abysmal season by of the Forty Niners in 2016. How else can you explain the team’s 2-14 record , with a defense which was nowhere to be seen, while the offense continued to spiral out of control faster than fecal matter being flushed down a men’s restroom cubicle ?

In the aftermath of the firing and drama surrounding Colin Kaepernick , the Forty Niners now find themselves at a crossroads , with many calling for the York family to relinquish control of the team and selling the franchise to someone who actually cares about football , as well as the organization itself. The team’s CEO Jed York has now made the decision to replace Trent Baalke and his decision to name a successor , has actually caught everyone off-guard , with the naming of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ strong-safety Jon Lynch . The player has never held an executive role in the NFL , since his retirement and the absurdity of this decision will either come back to bite the Niners in the ass or it will be seen as an ingenious move along the lines of Ozzie Newsome being hired run the operations of the Baltimore Ravens . Newsome has guided the franchise to two Superbowl victories, while several of his picks have produced Pro Bowl caliber players . One could equate Lynch’s hire with that of Matt Millen’s tenure with the Detroit Lions and the abysmal chapter for Lions , while Millen was in charge of all personnel decisions for Detroit. Needless to say , the fans were angered and his dismissal could not come fast enough. I would hate a that a similar fate would await Jon Lynch , but how can anyone have any faith in a member of the York family , as owners of the San Francisco 49ers. Since the departure of Eddie DeBartolo , this franchise has been adrift in an ocean of continued mediocrity .

If Jed York and his family were to consider selling the San Francisco 49ers , then the team could be sold for in excess of $3 billion , based on today’s value alone , without considering their market demographics , as one of the league’s best supported teams. Yet, for the moment, this will all be pure conjecture and a great deal of speculation as to the nature of the ongoing story-lines concerning the Forty Niners.

All of a sudden the Miami Heat have hit a rich vein of form having won seven straight games and placing themselves in with a chance of garnering a playoff berth , but it should be noted with the All Star Game still at the forefront of the players’ thoughts , albeit they still have two weeks of play before the break. It should be noted there has been a great deal of debate about the gross error in judgment by the fans and the continued idiocy of the league hierarchy of allowing the fans have the greatest say in the players placed on the starting rosters for the East and Western Conferences. The omission of Russell Westbrook speaks as to the lack of intelligence among the vast majority of NBA fans and their lack of in-depth knowledge of the game of basketball. To my mind, I feel as if the fans believe they are in fact voting for a contestant on the now defunct television reality show American Idol .

If the fans are being entrusted to with this sort of endeavor in voting for the All Star Game rosters solely based on popularity , then you might as well do away with the game altogether as well as the rest of the festivities which encapsulate the whole weekend encompassing the event. Russell Westbrook is having an exceptional season by anyone’s standards and this idiocy of fans stating their unimpressed shows , might be an indicator of what might be wrong with the NBA in general , they are far too impressed with style over substance. Westbrook has been added to the Western Conference roster as a reserve by Steve Kerr , who will be the coach of the team representing the West. It will be interesting to see how much playing time will given to the point guard during the contest.

Over the past ten days , the league has been very tops-turvy by way of the results and the all too inconsistent play seen from the players and the teams . Yet, still leading the pack within their respective conferences are the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East and the Golden State Warriors in the West. A repeat of last season’s NBA Finals seems to be what the fans want, even if there is once again going to be a great deal of controversy along with the way, with some rather dubious calls from among the officials . There still remains a great deal to play for and the fans seem to be loving every minute of what has been seen this season to date. There will be several games on tap for Monday night , of which the most interesting might be the contest between the Detroit Pistons and the Boston Celtics , two teams vying for dominance within their divisions as well as having an eye on the NBA Playoffs this season.

Isaiah Thomas of the Boston Celtics has proven himself to be the vocal leader on this Brad Stevens’ coached team . The Celtics have proven themselves to be the surprise team in the East this season , as seen with having the second-best record in the conference behind the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Serena Williams emphatically stamped her authority on the game of tennis, by winning her twenty-third Grand Slam singles’ title , defeating her sister Venus Williams in the Australian Open Singles Final. In doing so, Williams surpassed the mark of Tennis Hall of Fame inductee Steffi Graf , whose mark of twenty-two has stood for over a decade. Now the question becomes where does Serena Williams rank among the all-time greats among the female players to have graced the professional ranks of tennis?

In what turned out to be a tremendous Men’s Singles Finals , Roger Federer defeated one of his greatest adversaries , Rafael ‘Rafa ‘ Nadal of Spain. This five-set thriller graced the Rod Laver Stadium in Melbourne, Australia , as thousands watched this enthralling game , simply giving the fans everything they could have wanted and a great deal more . Sportsmanship was there to be seen , as was the athleticism and aggressiveness from both of these great players . Sadly, both of these players are now at the twilight of their careers and from my own perspective , Men’s tennis will be all the worse , once they make the decision to make an exit from the game. All due respect to Andy Murray , but your number one ranking , is something of a joke at present !

Spring Training is still over a month away , but already teams have been to assemble their rosters by way of their free agency acquisitions , non-roster invitees and no doubt there will be still more trades to come. Fans are already making a prognosis as to which prospects will be able to contribute for their ball-clubs this season. No doubt the reigning World Series champions will be looking to make a successful defense of the title they won with ease last season.

Major League Baseball really does need to provide the fans with something special this upcoming season and I don’t believe the World Baseball Classic will do anything to add to the perceived notion the game has been losing its way over the past five seasons. Teams continue to be profitable , because of the ever increasing admission prices , concessions and dare one say it , with the renewal of licensing agreements and television contracts, the league hierarchy led by Rob Manfred and the team owners will continue to gloat.

Mike Trout has added another ALMVP award to his resume’ , but the thing one the player desires the most is a World Series ring and championship acclaim. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the Los Angeles Angels will getting there anytime soon. With each passing year of near misses or just downright bad luck , this franchise’s continuing downward slide provides little hope for Trout , that his dream will ever come true. Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia , I do not believe he will be managing this team next year, should Los Angeles fall short of Arte Moreno’s wishes. Moreno , the impassioned owner of this team has stood by and given full reign to successive general managers and it has all been to no avail. For Mike Scioscia it’s now all in or bust , or he will be fired with the speed of lightning .

The Los Angeles Angels’ exhibition schedule will be somewhat rudimentary , but the real battles will begin with their regular season schedule and off-course Opening Day . The first game of their 2017 season schedule will be against the Oakland Athletics (A’s) on the 3rd April , 2017 at the O Coliseum in Oakland , California . The struggles of the A’s were apparent for all to see , with their pitching and hitting being inconsistent throughout much of last season . Now with the moves made it will be interesting to see what else will be done by GM Billy Eppler to bolster the roster for the upcoming season. One thing for sure , Mike Trout cannot do it all by himself as he has been asked to do , ever since he first played in an Angels’ uniform in 2012.

When baseball fans start to prognosticate about prospects (up and coming players) it is either , because they have nothing else better to do or they are simply reminding us why their team or teams might have been bad last season. From my own standpoint, these so-called prospects will not be making that great an impact in their first season. Consistency is they key , but not many are able to keep it all up over the prolonged season of one hundred and sixty-two games. Their contributions will be what they are , nothing more and nothing less.




Picture gallery and by clicking on an individual frame you can view that picture alongside a narrative.

What aspects of the recent news’ stories have you found to be the most intriguing and with the Superbowl just a few days away , do you believe the game will meet all expectations one feels we are using to seeing ?

🙂

Tophatal  … 01/30/2017

Related article : https://tophatal.wordpress.com/2017/01/04/out-with-the-old-and-in-with-the-new

 NFL   news  

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Results to date

NBA schedule 30th January

NBA player stats and rookie stats

NBA standings (division) , by conference and overall standings

2017 NBA All Star Game

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Australian Open Tennis
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MLB news

MLB transactions

MLB Opening Day (2017 Regular Season)

MLB free agents

MLB payroll (2017)

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30 thoughts on “It never rains ,but it does pour and then there’s the 1,000 pound Gorilla in The Room …

  1. This Sunday will be where the dirt hits the road , as the New England Patriots make a record ninth appearance in the Superbowl , as the franchise seeks a fifth win of the Lombardi Trophy . Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick has an astonishing six title wins to his name , four coming as the coach of New England , while the other two came as a lead assistant coach with former New York Giants’ head coach Bill Parcells . Belichick has long been considered among the legendary head coaches in the NFL , joining the likes of Chuck Noll , Vince Lombardi , Don Shula and Bill Walsh .

    If the New England Patriots were to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday’s big game , then it tie the Patriots with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers for the second best record in NFL history for the number of Superbowls won, with the Pittsburgh Steelers leading the way with an NFL record six titles .

    I am sorry but Jed York as the CEO of the San Francisco 49ers has erred on the side of complete stupidity ! His hiring of Jon Lynch to become the general manager of the franchise , warrants about as much serious attention as the claims being made by Matt Millen that Lynch can be a tremendous asset and a success with the Niners. One should bear in mind , Millen was a general manager and Head of Football Operations for the Detroit Lions , during which his tenure with the Lions was among the worst in the organization’s history.

    Niners’ CEO Jed York

    Matt Millen .

    The Detroit Lions are never going to win a Superbowl with Matt Stafford as the team’s quarterback. It should be noted this team also lost their best player over the last eight seasons , when wide receiver Calvin Johnson decided to hang up his cleats and retire.

    Jon Lynch the newly announced general manager of the San Francisco 49ers.

    As for the San Francisco 49ers Niners with the hiring of Jon Lynch , they now place an individual within the front office , a player who has no executive experience of running franchise , much less a renowned organization such as the Forty-Niners. We will get to see Lynch’s prowess first-hand , as an executive when the NFL Draft comes around the choices made by the newly installed general manager and coaching staff, which is still without a head coach .

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    San Francisco 49ers news

    NFL news
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    Tophatal ……… 31st January , 2017

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  2. The month of January was an excellent one for several teams around the NBA . Leading the way with the number of wins were the Golden State Warriors with twelve victories during the month . Golden State led by Steph Curry , Klay Thompson , Kevin Durant and Draymond Green will be looking to have an equally successful month in February , where they will begin their schedule with a game against the Charlotte Hornets . This will be one of several contests taking place on the 1st February . Monday’s results provided us with several stirring performances on the night .

    The Houston Rockets were big winners defeating their opponents the Sacramento Kings by twenty-two points on their way to a very good win . The New York Knicks continue to be an abysmal mess at home as well as on the road, falling to the Washington Wizards by the score of 117-101 .

    NBA news

    NBA results 31st January

    NBA standings division

    Tophatal ……

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  3. In the aftermath of another disappointing season where they were thought to be legitimate contenders for the NLCS Pennant , the Washington Nationals failed miserably during the postseason . Manager Dusty Baker and his managerial staff expected a great deal more from the team , where their NLMVP player , Bryce Harper had an excellent season , but where there was a lack of consistency through much of the regular season.

    Washington’s failure came simply from the lack of depth on the roster and no consistency with the pitching or offense during the season. GM Mike Rizzo will have to assess the current roster and seek to make some major trades , looking at possible non-roster invitees, their own free agents and their own farm system . Integral to the Nationals’ long and short-term success will the willingness of Mike Rizzo to sign both Bryce Harper and starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg to long-term deals once their contracts are up for renewal. Both players are currently represented by uber-agent Scott Boras , whose propensity to driving a hard bargain is well-known to the general managers around Major League Baseball (MLB).

    Bryce Harper signed a one-year $13.63 million deal and is eligible to become a free agent in 2018 , joining a list of high-profiled names that will be on the market . Scott Boras will act in the best interest of his client and it will be interesting to see if Bryce Harper becomes the first player in big-league history to sign a $350-$400 million contract .

    With just under a month before the Washington Nationals begin their Spring Training schedule , it will be interesting to see how the players fare during this exhibition season. Several of the players on the team’s roster will also be participants in the international team competition the World Baseball Classic . Washington’s first game during Spring Training will be against the Detroit Tigers on the 1st March, 2017. Their first game of the regular season will see them face their NL East divisional rivals the Miami Marlins.

    Washington National news

    Tophatal

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  4. many former players are idiots when it comes to running a club Ozzie Newsome is the exception to the rule. Atlanta NE could be a great game. I think the game hinge on the Falcons “D”. Atlanta has a very good “D” Getting pressure on Brady is the key. If not Katie bar the door for NE. I think NE will win. It will be a close one.

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  5. Several games are on tap for tonight within the NBA in the lead-up to the All Star Game which takes place on the 19th February . The rosters have been set for both conference, as the East takes on the West in this annual event . Of the games to be played the most interesting match-up will pit the Charlotte Hornets taking on the Golden State Warriors , while Dallas Mavericks will tip-off against the lowly Philadelphia 76ers .

    The Utah Jazz continue to have an amazing season and they might be the surprise team in the league, especially within the Western Conference , where they lead their division and they are certainly beginning to look like playoff contenders . Jazz head coach Quin Snyder is my favorite to win the NBA Coach of The Year Award ! Synder will lead the Utah Jazz when they face the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night (1st February). I fully expect the Jazz to continue with their winning ways in this contest !

    NBA news

    Utah Jazz news

    Tophatal ……..

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  6. There were several games on tap on Wednesday night , where the play was at times prodigious . Victors in the contests seen were the Indiana Pacers over the Orland Magic , Cleveland Cavaliers taking down the Minnesota Timberwolves , Boston Celtics defeating conference rivals the Toronto Raptors , New York Knicks holding off the still dormant Brooklyn Nets and a relentless Miami Heat team overcoming the Atlanta Hawks . These were part of the twelve games scheduled for Wednesday night providing the fans in attendance and television audiences with some great entertainment.

    There are a number of games scheduled for Thursday evening and it will be interesting to see how these teams fare.

    NBA news

    Tophatal …….. 02/02/2017 01:46:32

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  7. It would appear that Charles Barkley has always loved the sound of his own voice , even when he comes up with the most asinine of comments , merely to make himself heard. Granted, being a black Republican and an avid supporter of all things despicable , Barkley tends to say things about his race which are not only inflammatory , but it makes you wonder if , he would’ve preferred being born any other race , than black. With his latest comments Charles Barkley has again sought to be critical of LeBron James , calling the four-time League MVP , whiny , It wasn’t that long ago , Barkley was also critical of James for his having left the Cleveland Cavaliers , joining the Miami Heat , where the player would go to win two NBA titles , add to his resume’ also with two Finals’ MVP Awards . James returned to the Cavaliers , leading them to last season’s NBA Finals and once again repeating as Finals’ MVP.

    Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

    Charles Barkley Insists His Criticism Of LeBron James Was ‘Fair’

    By Jamie Cooper

    The already-insufferable Charles Barkley v. LeBron James beef just refuses to die already, in part because Barkley is simply too stubborn to stop defending himself. But there’s plenty of blame to go around. James should’ve anticipated the backlash before going to the media to complain about what he sees as the Cavs’ complacency toward roster building, which is what initially prompted Barkley to accuse James of being “whiny.”

    Perhaps because the TNT analyst has been such an outspoken critic of his over the years, James was clearly fed up and decided to snap back at Barkley by calling out all of his dubious behavior during his playing days. Barkley responded on Tuesday by saying that it isn’t his job to play nice with the players he criticizes.

    And it didn’t stop there. In an interview with Mike Wise of The Undefeated, Barkley was asked whether he would consider contacting James personally to try and hash things out. His response was about what you’d expect:
    “For what?” Barkley asked rhetorically Wednesday. “For tellin’ the truth? What am I supposed to say, ‘You’re the greatest player in the world’? You’ve got two All-Stars and you want me to feel sorry for you? Do you think Carmelo [Anthony] would be happy with two All-Stars? I think he’d be happy.”
    “I thought my criticism was fair,” Barkley told The Undefeated. “So I don’t understand why he took it so personally. But you know what, I’m a big boy. I’m good.”

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    Click on link to read this article in full.
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    This season the Cleveland Cavaliers remain dominant within their division and conference , but the team has also suffered some setbacks with injuries and inconsistent play , with some inexplicable losses. That being said James cannot do it all by himself , as many believe and unless he’;s surrounded by the right lineup , he cannot achieve success. These are things which Charles Barkley fails to acknowledge this , but continues with his antics and shameless stupidity, because he feels he has a right to add his concerns merely due to the notion, as broadcast a analyst , he knows what he’s saying. During his career , Charles Barkley , became a mercenary , pursuing a championship ring , something he was unable to achieve with any of the teams he played for over the course of his Hall of Fame career.

    If there is one thing we know Charles Barkley is capable of doing it serving some funny anecdotes , being able to mock himself , but most of all coming up with bilious diatribe. The fact of the matter is , Barkley’s employers TNT loves what he has to say, as it peaks piques for the network and programming content.

    Over their last fifteen games the Cleveland Cavaliers had their issues and it remains to be seen if GM David Griffin has any more pawns to play with by possibly seeking a trade. Clearly , team owner Dan Gilbert as well as the coaching staff of Tyronn Lue are not entirely happy with the state of affairs at present.

    Cleveland Cavaliers news

    Tophatal ….

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  8. Billionaire NFL owner slam’s the team’s quarterback , ” stating he’s overrated and not as good as first thought ” . Am I missing something here , concerning this rather asinine comment from Robert C ‘Bob’ McNair ? It was McNair who gave his blessing for the Houston Texans’ front office to acquire free agent quarterback Brock Osweiler , signing him to a multi-million dollar, multi-year deal . Now in the aftermath of a shocking exit in the postseason , McNair comes up with this idiocy ? What in the world could have convinced Bob McNair , GM Rick Smith or head coach Bill O’Brien and the coaching staff , Brock Osweiler was a franchisee and a Pro Bowl caliber quarterback capable of leading a team deep into the playoffs? The player has limited experience as a starter and his postseason experience simply imploded due to his lack of ability.

    Texans’ owner Bob McNair

    Brock Osweiler’s presence as Peyton Manning’s backup with the Denver Broncos proved that he had learned absolutely nothing .

    If the fomenting rumors are to be believed , then it would appear the Houston Texans will be interested in acquiring a free agent quarterback or seeking a trade of a passer no longer of use as a backup on a current NFL team. All signs seem to be pointing to the fact Bill O’Brien is intent on pursuing Jimmy Garoppolo , current backup to Tom Brady of the New England Patriots . O’Brien has a connection with the Patriots as he was once an assistant to current head coach Bill Belichick . Garoppolo is not yet eligible to become a free agent and if they are not able to get the passer , they could pursue his teammate and third-string quarterback, Jacoby Brissett . I think it highly unlikely , Patriots’ GM Nick Caserio would be willing to give up either of these two players, simply because the long-term future of Tom Brady is not known. Brady hasn’t intimated , he would ride off into the sunset should he lead the team to their fifth Superbowl victory , which would be a personal milestone for the player , having made six previous appearances in the NFL’s biggest showcase event. However , this is all dependent upon New England taking down the Atlanta Falcons in Sunday’s big event , Superbowl LI (SB51) .

    Brock Osweiler of the Texans

    Courtesy of CBS Sports

    Could the Houston Texans pursue Jimmy Garoppolo this offseason?

    Albert Breer suggests the Houston Texans could trade for Patriots quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

    By Ted Sullivan @ TylerSully

    On Saturday, the New England Patriots and Houston Texans were adversaries during their AFC Divisional Round contest and this offseason they could become trade partners.

    Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com suggests that the Texans could try and engage the Patriots in trade discussions for backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

    Jimmy Garoppolo .

    Want to know everything about your New England Patriots? Take a second to sign up for our FREE Patriots newsletter!

    It’s important to note that Breer isn’t reporting that the Patriots and Texans are in discussions for Garoppolo or anything of the sort, just that it could happen. That being said, it would make a lot of sense for these two teams to make a deal.

    Tom Brady is still playing at an extremely high level at age 39 and the future Hall of Fame quarterback has plans to play until he is 45 years old. Garoppolo, meanwhile, will be a free agent at the end of next season.

    If the Patriots want to stick with Brady, they’ll have to move Garoppolo soon to get any sort of value for him.

    Also, Bill Belichick clearly has good relationship with head coach Bill O’Brien and the Texans have adopted many former Patriots in the past, so there is some transaction history with the two sides.

    After watching Brock Osweiler in the AFC Divisional Round and for the 2016 season, it’s clear Houston put their eggs in the wrong basket. How they can recover from it is what Breer blueprinted in his tweet. They’d be able to keep Garoppolo on short money next season as he plays out his rookie deal and franchise him in 2018 as they continue to pay Osweiler.

    It’s costly, but given that the Texans were one win away from the AFC title game and all they seemingly need is a legit quarterback to be a threat in the conference, it may be worth it.

    For more Patriots news, follow Tyler Sullivan on Twitter: @TylerSully

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    Click on link to read this article in full.
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    Jacoby Brissett of the New England Patriots .

    As good as the Houston Texans are said to be , playing in what proved to be a very mediocre AFC South division this past season . There was nothing to suggest the team was capable of making it all the way to the Superbowl . Their demise in the divisional round of the postseason , should not have come as a surprise to anyone with a deep knowledge of the Texans.

    Houston Texans news

    Tophatal …………..

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  9. Is there really any sense in trying to suggest that either New York Mets or New Yankees will be successful this upcoming season . It should be noted in recent years , especially since 2011 neither of these two teams have any real prolonged success. The Mets have not won an NL East divisional title in over eight years , while the Yankees remain cash-rich , profitable , but starved of a recent World Series title .

    The retirement of Derek Jeter the former New York Yankees’ captain has left a deep void within the organization , which now lacks competitiveness and the will to win.

    Joe Girardi , manager of the New York Yankees , along with his managerial staff and the front office led by GM Brian Cashman , will have to take a long hard look at the makeup of the current roster along with their non-roster invitees and their farm system , which hasn’t produced a top-notch Major League star in over eight years.

    To understand why the New York Yankees have failed can be put down to the fact , there is no real depth to their lineup and the lack of productivity has been staggering . Joe Girardi and the playing staff will have their usual exhibition schedule before embarking on their regular season schedule beginning on the 2rd April , 2017. The opening game of their schedule will be against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St Petersburg , Florida .

    Mets’ manager Terry Collins (left) and his AL counterpart Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees.

    From being on the verge of bankruptcy after the reckless shenanigans of Bernie Madoff embroiled the New York Mets’ co-owners Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz , almost being the ball-club to its knees . The Mets have been trying to put that chapter behind them , even in the aftermath of former CFO Jonathan Martin and then MLB Commissioner Bud Selig remaining in complete denial as to how close the franchise came to be bankrupted and being put out of business.

    In 2015 the New York Mets under their manager Terry Collins made it all the way to the World Series where they would fall to the Kansas City Royals , losing the series without putting up much of a fight. Having resigned big league slugger Yoenis Cespedes to a major deal , the Mets are now looking to bolster their batting . With David Wright no longer a force to be reckoned with . Terry Collins will be more ever-reliant on Cespedes and Asdrubel Cabrera to fortify the Mets offense this upcoming season. . While many believe the Mets have one of the best pitching rosters in all of baseball , I believe there is still something lacking to their pitching lineup ! Noah Syndergaard remains the best pitcher on the roster of the New York Mets and it will be interesting to see if this player is capable of reproducing the form seen over the last two seasons.

    Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets.

    As with the New York Yankees , the New York Mets will also be involved an exhibition schedule before their regular season begins with a game against the Atlanta Braves at Citi-Field in Flushing , New York .

    New York Yankees news

    New York Mets news

    Tophatal ……….

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  10. OK , so at this point last season the NBA was something of a maelstrom . The fans were given were given a great deal to cheer about in the lead-up to the All Star Game won by the Western Conference by the score of 196-173 . With the expectations of the fans undoubtedly rising , between now and this NBA All Star event, it will be interesting to see how the teams will fare for themselves . From my own standpoint these games are no longer entertaining or competitive .

    Thursday’s schedule should be a fitting tribute to the teams who will be in action for themselves . Among the games taking place are the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the Washington Wizards , while the Atlanta Hawks facing some demons of their own , the Houston Rockets are on the road to recovery .

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  11. At some point the idiocy which exists within the NBA will have to be questioned . If the rumors are to be believed, with the front office of the Chicago Bulls seriously looking into acquiring Jahlil Okafor from the Philadelphia 76ers , then clearly fans of the Bulls should no longer place any faith in the decision-making of John Paxson or team GM Gar Forman. Okafor will not be the answer to the Bulls’ problems which have manifested themselves in so many ways during the course of this season. Fred Hoiberg and his coaching staff cannot be totally pleased with what they have seen from this Bulls’ lineup .

    Jahlil Okafor of the 76ers .

    There has been dissent within the Chicago Bulls’ locker room with Jimmy Butler and Dwyane Wade questioning the direction of the team , while point guard Rajon Rondo now being looked upon as the voice of reason among the players. Rondo was swift in questioning the dissent shown by his teammates , but did not name them specifically when he made his comments known to the press. In the Chicago Bulls most recent game they got the better of the Oklahoma City Thunder on their way to a 128-100 victory .

    While I believe Jahlil Okafor to be a good player , I do not believe he brings the attributes which will make the Chicago Bulls a great deal better . A number of the games coming up for the Bulls will see them make a West Coast swing to take on several teams within the conference . Next up for the Chicago Bulls will be a game against the Houston Rockets at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas on the 3rd February .

    Chicago Bulls news

    NBA team transactions

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  12. There could be as many as four or five teams , likely to show interest in Jimmy Garoppolo of the New England Patriots , with growing rumors that the Cleveland Browns are now prepared to throw their hats into the ring to acquire the Patriots’ quarterback . First of the known teams other than the Browns , have been the Houston Texans , where team head coach Bill O’Brien having been an assistant coach under Bill Belichick would like nothing better than to have Garoppolo signed in time for players to report for mandatory OTA’s . Cap relief as such would be provided , but I do believe Patriots’ GM Nick Caserio would be prepared to drive a hard bargain to get something tangible in return from a possible trade . O’Brien hasn’t limited his wish to Tom Brady’s number two backup , but if the trade fell through , then he would be prepared to set his sights on the Patriots’ third-string quarterback Jacoby Brissett .

    Bill O’Brien of the Texans.

    Having finished the season at 1-15 in the NFL and hampered by the injury to Robert Griffin III , it could be said Hue Jackson his coaching assistants and front office of the Cleveland Browns are now at their wit’s end in seeking an alternative to Griffin. In what was meant to be his first season since being acquired as a free agent from the Washington Redkins , the player’s season literally went up in smoke having played less than a handful of games in the preseason , as well as the regular season for the Browns .

    Hue Jackson head coach of the Cleveland Browns .

    The problems for the Cleveland Browns this past season , went way beyond a poor offense , lack of depth on the roster as well as a very poor secondary . It was simply about a lack of veteran leadership and the coaching staff being completely out of their depth. Cleveland may well have played , many of their opponents close , but in today’s NFL , close simply isn’t good enough , as it is all about winning and what have you done lately . I don’t believe the Browns will relinquish their number one pick in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft , but it is clear that they will have to give up something in order to obtain Jimmy Garopollo , based on the Patriots’ own wishes .

    NFL news

    Cleveland Browns news

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  13. A couple of games on tap for tonight within the NBA , meanwhile College Basketball will take center-stage both on Friday night , as well as on Saturday with a litany of games. The rankings have changed among some of the lower teams on the ladder, but at the top of the heap are Gonzaga (22-0) while former number one-ranked team Villanova falls to number four in the polls . Gonzaga’s next game will see them tipping off against Santa Clara , tomorrow afternoon, while Villanova will face Providence .

    Let’s just say it’s not too complicated within the NBA at present , as the teams gather momentum heading into the All Star Game , a little over two weeks away. The Golden State Warriors remain the best team in the league as their record indicates . They will be in action when they face the Sacramento Kings on the road this Saturday evening .

    Given the recent impressive run by the Miami Heat , it will be interesting to see how they fare in their next game when they are due to face the Philadelphia 76ers at the American Airlines Arena in Miami , Florida on Saturday evening .

    NCAA Men’s Basketball

    NBA news

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  14. This will have to be the year where the Detroit Tigers step up to the plate or the front office headed by Al Avila and Tigers’ owner Michael Ilitch will have to take drastic measures and simply gut the entire playing roster . Having team All Stars such as Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander has raised the profile of the franchise in recent years along with the players’ respective success. Yet , as the end of the day without a World Series’ title to call their own , this ball-club will continually be looked upon as an also-ran, never quite good enough to be called champions. Manager Brad Ausmus and the managerial staff < have to be concerned with the fact the core of this lineup is a veteran one . Granted, experience and leadership are part of the essential needed for any championship caliber team , but at the end of the day that is not the only thing required as there has to be grit and determination shown by the players.

    The Detroit Tigers’ payroll for this season is in line with what one might expect from one of the big-league teams in baseball. Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander are among the highest paid players on the Tigers’ roster. However, profitability continues to be something of a struggle for Detroit in comparison to many of its rivals in a similar market.

    This past season was something of a misnomer for the Detroit Tigers as they were bowled over by a number of their rivals . Having missed out on the postseason the Tigers will have to regroup and that begins with the exhibition schedule starting in March with a game against the Washington Nationals at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan . The Detroit Tigers’ regular season opener will see them facing the Chicago White Sox .

    Detroit Tigers news

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  15. Well, the big day is here and the biggest showcase in all of North American sports has arrived with Superbowl 51 , where the participants will be the New England Patriots taking on the Atlanta Falcons . New England in making their ninth Superbowl appearance , will be looking to raise the Lombardi Trophy for a fifth time . For the team’s head coach Bill Belichick a record breaking fifth win , would place him ahead of such legendary coaches as , Bill Walsh , Don Shula , Chuck Noll and Vince Lombardi . Contemporaries of Belichick , such as Bill Parcells , Mike Shanahan , Tom Coughlin are left stranded in his wake and no doubt all are likely future inductees for the Hall of Fame . There can be no denying the Patriots’ head coach now stands head and shoulders above his predecessors . Granted , many of his detractors will continue to say he cheated his way to many of this victories , but in reality , the NFL has always been built around the pretense of the game being pure , when it is in fact filled with less than honorable characters at every level of the game and where cheating has always taken place . It is all part of the overall facet of the sport since its inception .

    NFL news

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  16. Another night of NBA performances from the teams and players . Among the big winners were the Washington Wizards , the Atlanta Hawks , Indiana Pacers , Miami Heat , Cleveland Cavaliers , Utah Jazz , Milwaukee Bucks , San Antonio Spurs and their being the surprise of the night , with the Golden State Warriors falling to the Sacramento Kings in a rare road loss . The Warriors lost to the Kings 109-106.

    There will be a limited Sunday schedule with the league not wishing to clash with the Superbowl .

    NBA news

    NBA standings (divisions)

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  17. I was once told the Dallas Mavericks (20-30) were a perennial powerhouse . Granted there was a time the Mavericks made the playoffs like clockwork and you were guaranteed they would play with passion. Yet during all that time the Mavericks only ever won a sole title during their forays into the NBA Playoffs . Now the franchise on borrowed time and it is clear the front office led by Donnie Nelson did not plan their long-term future with the impending retirement of their multiple All Star forward Dirk Nowitzki .

    This season the Dallas Mavericks have been among the worst teams in the Western Conference , where their division record is paltry and among the league standings the Mavericks have not fared that much better. Dallas Mavericks’ owner and billionaire entrepreneur , Mark Cuban , comes across as a highly intelligent individual , but he too, like the incumbent US President Donald J Trump , whom Cuban often criticizes, are both narcissistic individuals, who tend not to listen to anyone when seeking advice. We are witnessing the pain of the Mavericks , while the Trump administration is suddenly finding out , you cannot rule unilaterally and that the rule of law does actually count for something .

    With their season now on the line , having performed sporadically over their last twelve games played . In their last game the Dallas Mavericks faced the Portland Trailbazers . Next up for the Mavericks will be a game against the Denver Nuggets on the road .

    Dallas Mavericks news

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  18. There’s a saying , ” you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” and ” that a rabid dog , is best put down , because it can no longer serve its master ” . In the case of Tim Tebow , he keeps on trying to reinvent himself . First as a failed sport’s announcer covering College Football after his all too brief career in the NFL . Tebow was then signed by the New York Mets to a Minor League contract , where even failed to make the squad for Spring Training. Now in a second attempt for a bit at the apple the former Heisman Trophy winner is once again seeking to make a name for himself in the Majors . Tim Tebow has been undergoing a rigorous training schedule seeking to improve his skill-set as a second baseman , training and apparently learning alongside the former Mets’ Daniel Murphy .

    Courtesy of The New York Post

    Tim Tebow turns to ex-Met as baseball mentor

    By Brian Costello

    HOUSTON — As part of his pursuit of becoming a future big-league Met, Tim Tebow has turned to a former Met.

    Daniel Murphy (left) and Tim Tebow.

    Tebow has been training this winter with former Mets and current Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy in Florida in preparation for spring training. Tebow said the two are “next-door neighbors” in Jacksonville, Fla., and Murphy has told him a lot about the Mets and helped him improve.

    “It’s not that we talk that much about the Mets organization, although they have been great to both of us,” Tebow told The Post at the Super Bowl. “It’s just about the pursuit of baseball, the ins and outs. He is a total analyst of the game and works like crazy. For us, it’s been going over the little things over and over and over again. Talking pitches, out of the hand, how we’re picking stuff up. That’s what Daniel does that’s such a different level.”

    Tebow, the former Jets quarterback, is at the Super Bowl promoting Avocados of Mexico. He said he eats four avocados every day. He made the rounds on radio row Friday and stopped for a few minutes to chat with The Post.

    —————————————————————
    Click on link to read this article in full.


    Personally, I believe the skill-set of Tim Tebow in baseball , is nowhere near what it needs to be and his understanding of the game is simply less than average much as it is with his lack of athleticism for baseball. It is hard to see any team wishing to sign Tebow even as a non-roster invitee. It would be a waste of space on a roster and needless to say and even bigger waste were he to be signed by Minor League Affiliate at any level .

    Tophatal ………

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  19. So just when you thought the NFL season couldn’t any worse the most prestigious game of the league’s season is turning out to be a monstrous bore . If things carry on as they are , then the Atlanta Falcons are likely to blowout the New England Patriots and cruise their way to their first Superbowl championship in the Falcons history . Matt Ryan is playing with a great deal of aplomb , befitting a player likely to win the Superbowl MVP as well as the league regular season League MVP Award . It would be a unique double, which has not been accomplished too many times during the same season.

    Tophatal ………

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  20. Well, it wasn’t to be, as the New England Patriots rallied back from a 28-3 deficit to beat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime 34-28 in Superbowl 51 (SBLI) . This might well have been the greatest game in Superbowl history , with both teams playing exceptional football at the time. The Pats’ defense in the end came up stellar , but it wasn’t from the lack of trying , because in the first two quarters , this secondary was nowhere to be seen , as Matt Ryan and his Falcons’ teammates had the better of New England.

    Things began to change , as the Patriots slowly began to eat into the confidence of the Atlanta Falcons , as Tom Brady began to show his postseason experience and greatness , rallying back his team from this enormous deficit.

    For the New England Patriots’ organization this was a historic event as Bill Belichick , becomes the first NFL coach in history to win five Superbowls in his position , GM Nick Caserio wins his third as an executive and team owner Robert Kraft wins his fifth. Not to be left out of the equation, Tom Brady has now surpassed both Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana for the number of Superbowl victories by a quarterback .

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell did show signs of discomfort in having to be on the same podium as Robert Kraft and Tom Brady , after his rather vitriolic attacks on both the player and owner in the lead-up to and aftermath of the Deflate-Gate scandal , which the commissioner orchestrated a number of team owners around the NFL to simply lambaste the Patriots quarterback and organization , jointly. When it comes to a lack of class , it definitely can be found with the NFL hierarchy . led by Roger Goodell and the infantile owners within the league. ” Cheating “ has always been part of the NFL , and the problem with this league , it has anal retentive fans who are in denial when they claim the New England Patriots are the only ones out there cheating . Can you just wake the fu#k up once and for all and realize , everyone is doing it in one form or another ?

    It was a gallant effort by the Atlanta Falcons in providing one of the greatest games ever witnessed in NFL history regular season or otherwise , but in the end the writing was on the wall as their confidence was shattered in the waning stages of the game , with the victory being taken out of their hands with the astounding catch by Julian Edelman and the two-yard touchdown reception and rush by James White to essentially win the game . I should also add , Tom Brady added another Superbowl MVP Award for the fourth of his career.

    NFL news

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  21. It’s now ten consecutive wins for the Miami Heat as there now seems to be a growing confidence with the team . The Heat are now currently the ” hottest team ” in the NBA with their current streak . In their last game the Miami Heat were able to subdue the Philadelphia 76ers on their way to a twenty-three point victory , 125-102 . Next up for the Heat will be a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota on Monday , 6th February .

    NBA news

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  22. Well the NFL season is now over after an astounding victory by the New England Patriots . With all of the regular season and postseason awards now known, it is left to the teams to now prepare for their off-season , but also look ahead to the NFL Draft and the start of free agency . For New England GM Nick Caserio his biggest task might well be assessing the possible offers for the team’s backup quarterback Jimmy Garopollo . Many believe it would be absolutely foolish to let the player go, given the fact Tom Brady , while still playing at a high level , it is clear he is coming to the end of what has been an astonishing career . Granted , behind Garopollo on the team’s depth chart is another great talent with Jacoby Brissett . Yet hear again , despite Brissett’s athleticism and play-making ability , I very much doubt the Patriots’ coaching staff are fully willing to entrust him with the starter’s role with such limited experience .

    It will be interesting to see the off-season decisions made by the front office of the New England Patriots and which players they will seek to retain , while letting others go due free agency and cap restrictions as they might be . Tom Brady will not be riding off into the sunset anytime soon and the seventeen-year veteran obviously feels there are some records which are quite well within his reach , as he seeks to further put an indelible mark in the franchise’s as well as NFL history . At best , I believe Brady is likely to play no more than another two years and then call it quits , from a game here was one of the most dominant players of his generation.

    NFL news

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    NFL salary cap (2016) and for the upcoming year (2017)

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  23. Two weeks away from the NBA showcase of the All Star Game and the league is in full flow . The Miami Heat have been on an impressive run with a ten-game win streak , their best of the season , while slowly moving up the conference and divisional ranks .

    If the Miami Heat are said to be riding high , then for the worst team in the NBA the Brooklyn Nets (9-42) , their problems and season just continues to get worse with each passing game . There doesn’t seem to much that this team is capable of doing which might lead to a positive result . In their last game the Brooklyn Nets faced the Toronto Raptors losing the contest 103-95 . For their next scheduled contest Kenny Atkinson and the coaching staff will prepare the Brooklyn Nets to take on the Charlotte Hornets at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte , North Carolina on Tuesday , 7th February .

    The Brooklyn Nets could seek to abandon their season altogether and simply look to shed themselves from burdensome salaries and free agents at the trade deadline and seek to obtain a Lottery Pick in the 2017 NBA Draft .

    NBA news

    NBA schedule and results

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  24. The Philadelphia 76ers (18-33) are giving up on the season and the longer this travesty goes on that the league hierarchy believes their teams are competitive . The less rewarding remains the experience for the fans in attendance as well as those watching on television. Teams which are failing miserably are playing with such inconsistency that it doesn’t bear talking about , other than to suggest money is still being made by these NBA franchises win or lose.

    Jahlil Okafor is now being shopped around by the Philadelphia 76ers and it is becoming abundantly clear the front office no longer has the wish to be competitive. It is widely believed the New Orleans Pelicans remain the firm favorites to acquire Okafor as they willing to give up some pieces in order to obtain the forward. Having Jahlil Okafor on this Pelicans’ roster would be of great benefit to the team in so many ways . Jahlil Okafor alongside the Pelicans’ Anthony Davis would be a godsend to the New Orleans’ coaching staff headed by Alvin Gentry .

    Courtesy of USA Today

    Sixers in trade talks with Pelicans around Jahlil Okafor

    By Sam Amick , USA Today Sports

    The New Orleans Pelicans may be on the verge of getting Anthony Davis some more help.

    According to two people with knowledge of the situation, the Pelicans are in serious trade talks with the Philadelphia 76ers to acquire second-year big man Jahlil Okafor. The Sixers, who are known to have engaged with eight teams regarding Okafor, are pushing for the Pelicans’ first-round pick in the deal. The people spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the talks.

    With Sixers rookie center Joel Embiid widely considered the breakout star of this NBA season, and third-year forward Nerlens Noel also taking up time in the Philadelphia frontcourt, Okafor has been marginalized this season.


    Click on link to read this article in full.


    Joshua Harris and his fellow executives within the organization of the Philadelphia 76ers have been doing the fans a great disservice for the past five years and no amount of excuses can be made to suggest they still have the fans’ best interest at heart. Failure has now become synonymous with the Philadelphia 76ers , while NBA Commissioner Adam Silver sits idly by and continues to watch Harris and his associates simply use the Sixers’ franchise as a tax write off for their commercial endeavors.

    NBA news

    NBA transactions

    NBA standings (division) and by conference

    NBA standings (overall)

    NBA free agents

    NBA salary cap (2016) and projected cap for 2017

    New Orleans Pelicans news

    Philadelphia 76ers news

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  25. The NFL postseason came to a glorious end with the New England Patriots defeating the Atlanta Falcons for the Patriots’ fifth win of the Superbowl in the franchise’s history . Now begins the off-season moves of varying degrees where some big-named players will be on the move or retained by their current teams. For the New England Patriots the off-season will provide the coaching staff and front office will offer them little time to plan their strategies in dealing with their free agents and preparation of their draft choices for the upcoming NFL Draft . Clearly, the Patriots will want to be build upon the foundations already established , while also looking at the long-term needs of the franchise.

    It will be interesting to see how the now four-time Superbowl MVP franchise record holder Tom Brady will seek to improve upon last season . This Patriots’ team could get better and they are already prohibitive favorites for Superbowl LII (SB 52) which will be staged in Minneapolis , Minnesota at US Bank Stadium , home to the Minnesota Vikings .

    NFL news

    NFL transactions

    New England Patriots news and team free agents

    Projected team payroll for 2017 and cap space for all thirty-two NFL teams

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  26. Three weeks away from the start of Spring Training for Major League Baseball and the teams will soon begin to have their pitchers , out-fielders and hitters report for duty in preparation for their exhibition season. For a number of teams there is a great deal on the line as they seek to bounce back from a disappointing regular season or the failure of having a great postseason run, The Chicago Cubs as the reigning World Series champions will be looking to see if they can become the first club in over a decade to make a successful defense of the World Series. Team manager Joe Maddon , his coaching staff as well as the players will be “pumped” to get their season started and prove to the fans the club can be seen as a legitimate contender again this season. Their biggest challenge could from the Los Angeles Dodgers with their ever expanding payroll and talented team.

    During this off-season there have been some major trades , but nothing one could view as a blockbuster deal which would be seen as a game changer among the teams. The Chicago Cubs’ strength last season came from a very good pitching staff led by Jake Arrieta , which might be even better this season based on the depth of the pitching rotation and bullpen. Offense on this roster should not be overlooked with Kris Bryant looking to live up to the expectations seen last season , with the player winning the NLMVP in 2016 . Chicago’s Spring Training schedule will begin with a game against the Kansas City Royals on the 1st March , 2017. It will be interesting to see how the Chicago Cubs fare during the exhibition and how their players acclimatize themselves to the season , in preparation for the start of their regular season schedule. Joe Maddon will ready the Chicago Cubs for their first game of the regular season when they play the St Louis Cardinals their divisional rivals within the NL Central .

    MLB news and transactions for January and February

    This week in baseball history

    On this day in MLB

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  27. Now it comes down to this , former New York Knicks player Charles Oakley is escorted from Madison Square Garden where the Knicks were playing the Los Angeles Clippers in a regular season game . Oakley was arrested by local police after he got into a physical and verbal altercation with Madison Square Garden staff , including a security official.

    Charles Oakley , had already directed a verbal assault towards Knicks’ owner James Dolan . A profanity-laced tirade is reported to have taken place as the former Knicks’ guard assaulted the two employees. No reasons where given as to why this incident took place , but one might Charles Oakley might well have been angry with the lack of competitiveness shown by the Knicks’ players during the contest against the Clippers. New York Knicks’ team owner James L Dolan has issued an order banning Oakley from attending all future games at Madison Square Garden and all other events organized by Knicks’ parent company Madison Square Garden Entertainment .

    Charles Oakley is seen here

    To understand how bad the New York Knicks just happen to be , you simply have to look at their record over the past two and a half months . There is nothing to suggest head coach Jeff Hornacek and his coaching staff actually know what they are doing , while the contributions of Derrick Rose , Joakim Noah and Carmelo Anthony have been minimal at best .It is also rumored the front office headed by Phil Jackson in conjunction with Steve Mills are trying to get Carmelo Anthony to waive his no-trade clause in order for the organization to facilitate a trade . Anthony is due over $11 million for the remainder of this season , while his contract does not expire until 2019 when he becomes an unrestricted free agent .

    The idiocy of a former player and the Knicks’ organization in general .

    Currently , the twelfth-seed within the Eastern Conference the New York Knicks are three and a half games out of the eighth spot in the East. I personally do not believe the Knicks are good enough to gain a playoff berth this season.

    NBA news

    New York Knicks news

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