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James van Riemsdyk signs big $35M, 5-year deal with Flyers


A 36-goal scorer is moving closer to home and couldn’t be happier about it.

No, the other one.

James van Riemsdyk signed a $35 million, five-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, the second-richest deal signed by an NHL unrestricted free agent when the market opened and John Tavares left the Islanders for his hometown team in Toronto.

I think my whole game has definitely expanded, van Riemsdyk said. Style-wise, I think I’m still very similar. I think I’m still a cerebral type of player who can skate well and have good offensive instincts and can make the smart plays in all three zones.

He has to be for the Flyers to make this type of commitment. This is by far Hextall’s biggest free-agent signing and Philadelphia’s richest since giving goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov $41.88 million on a nine-year deal in 2011.

Bryzgalov is retired and still collecting $1.6 million per year from the Flyers through 2026-27. As Bryzgalov was tweeting from Russia’s World Cup game against Spain, the Flyers were introducing van Riemsdyk, who they hope will be a far better use of money with an eye toward contending for the Stanley Cup in the coming years.

Our philosophy four years ago was to get our cap in order and gather young assets, Hextall said. We’ve kind of been through that process now. It’s coming to fruition in terms of guys we have on our team, and where we can add to strengthen our team, we want to do it.

If Jordan were to opt into his contract, the Clippers would be able to trade him to the team they saw fit and get something in return for one year of control. This is what Los Angeles did with Chris Paul last season when they sent him to the Rockets.

The Mavericks, of course, agreed to a deal in principle with Jordan in 2015 before the Clippers allegedly cordoned off the center and kept him from signing with Dallas so he could stay in Los Angeles.

Dallas would love to get a hold of Jordan, and it would appear the team also has their minds set on dealing veteran guard Wesley Matthews to get the 7-footer, according to the Times.

Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka apparently hurt, pulled from game vs. Mets


Still, it might not have been worth it.

Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka left after just five innings and 75 pitches against the Mets on Friday night.

The team said he left the game with stiffness in both hamstrings and will be re-evaluated Saturday.

Tanaka shook his head walking back to the dugout after scoring on Aaron Judge ‘s bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to tie the score at 1-all.

Train service will be provided in both directions on the Montauk Branch and will accommodate customers traveling from either New York City or Eastern Long Island. The 85-mile trip from New York Penn Station to Shinnecock Hills is expected to take about two hours.

In addition, fans traveling from New York City can take the Hampton Jitney – a bus service that will be running to and from Shinnecock Hills throughout the tournament. Reservations must be made in advance.

Cell Phone Policy: Phones are allowed on the course, but photography is not allowed within 100 yards of competition during the Thursday-Sunday rounds. During the practice rounds, photography is allowed with the flash turned off.

I’ve had asthma my whole life. My mom used to hook the generator up to the Suburban and roll the extension cord all the way down to the football field and have my nebulizer hooked up to that so I could take treatments in between offense and defense. I was in the fifth grade when she started doing that. I grew out of that when I got to the NFL, but sometimes I still have to take treatments before the game, and being in Denver with the altitude is definitely tough. I still keep my inhaler with me right now.

Thus, Watson wasn’t just slightly the best fantasy quarterback in the league while he played… he was way the best fantasy quarterback in the league while he played. So, for him not to be on top this year, he wouldn’t just have to regress slightly… he would have to way regress as a sophomore. How likely is that? When one is contemplating Watson’s small sample size (SSS), these are the types of factors to keep in mind:

How difficult was the competition? In those five games, Watson played on the road against the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, and at home against the Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs and Cleveland Browns. Four of those were playoff teams, and the two road games were in two of the most difficult places to play in the NFL.

The Colts could quickly earn a higher ranking here if Rogers or Grant emerges, or if rookie back Nyheim Hines pulls a Kareem Hunt


If Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is healthy and on his game, it might not matter that his supporting cast lacks depth and top-end talent. But that doesn’t change the fact that his supporting cast lacks depth and top-end talent.

This is by no means a terrible arsenal because Adams, Cobb, Graham and Jones are good players, but there isn’t a lot beyond that, and it doesn’t look like there’s a 2018 superstar within this group.

The boat is one of 12 yachts that have been docked at Liberty Landing Marina in Jersey City since June 14 while ocean-racers prepare for the final leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Now in its 11th year, 12 teams are competing in the 11-month race, including the Qingdao. The race began in Liverpool, United Kingdom in August 2017 and has made stops in Uruguay, South Africa, Australia, Tasmania, China, Seattle and Panama. The yachts set sail once again on Monday for the final leg of their journey.

The 12 teams are made up of 712 crew members, many of whom have little to no prior sailing experience. Only the skippers that lead each team are professionals. Team members can participate in each of the eight legs of the race or take part in a few as one, which leaves about 20 crew members on board each yacht at a time.

The longest leg of the race – from Liverpool to Punta Del Este in Uruguay – had the teams at sea for five weeks. The shortest leg will be the last f the journey – a five-day trip from Northern Ireland back to Liverpool.

The yacht with the highest cumulative points at the end of the individual races will win the Clipper Race Trophy. In the end, the teams will have traveled 40,000 nautical miles.

New Jersey begins accepting bets today


Regardless of whether the house wins or loses (and it usually wins), the fact that the house even exists in New Jersey represents a huge victory.

On Thursday, sports betting will commence at 10:30 a.m. ET at Monmouth Park. At 11:00 a.m. ET, the Borgata in Atlantic City will begin taking wagers. And off New Jersey will go, with other casinos and race tracks getting in on the action.

We’ll do the same things we did last year. It’s just now we have guys that have been seasoned and played, defensive backs coach Dennard Wilson said. They’ll be ahead of plays. They’ll be ahead of shifts.

Johnson is the addition that turned heads in the offseason, a true No. 1 cornerback capable of locking down one side of the field. Signed to a five-year, $72.5 million contract, the former Ram should make life easier for everyone. He could free up Maye and Adams to blitz more, and give Claiborne the benefit of dealing with No. 2 receivers rather than No. 1s. The 6-foot-2 Johnson had 14 pass breakups a year ago, along with two interceptions and 65 tackles, and allowed just one touchdown in 932 snaps, according to Pro Football Focus.

He’s a really smart player, Enunwa said.

His instincts were right regarding his ability to win any further appeals. In fact, he possibly wouldn’t have managed to further delay the suspension pending a long-shot appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

That said, long-shot appeals sometimes prevail. Just ask the folks in New Jersey, who now enjoy legalized gambling because the powers-that-be pulled a needle out of the haystack by taking the case to the Supreme Court.

We got our responsibilities, Carter said of his role in the Giants’ system. It’s going to be [mostly] affect the passer and set the edge.

While padless practices like Tuesday’s may do little in the way of evaluating bruisers like Carter, it’s obvious that the Giants have drafted a supreme athlete.

Listed at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds on the official team roster, Carter has the size, length and speed to contribute immediately to the Giants’ revamped pass rush.

But that athleticism alone won’t be enough for him at this level.

Cowboys DL David Irving suspended 4 games for violating NFL’s substance abuse policy


The NFL has suspended Cowboys defensive lineman David Irving four games without pay for violating its substance abuse policy, the league announced Friday.

Irving will serve the suspension to start the season, and is eligibie to return to the active roster Oct. 1. In the meantime, he is eligible to practice with the team and play in all preseason games.

The lawyers for Kaepernick, who opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in 2017, want to examine the Trump administration’s involvement with the NFL during Kaepernick’s free agency and how the league handled the player protests last season, the website reported.

Trump had spoken to some NFL owners about the protests, and the attorneys want to know if he exerted any pressure on them.

Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of the National Anthem during a preseason game with the Green Bay Packers in August 2016 to protest racial injustice.

He filed a grievance against the NFL last October, claiming the 32 NFL teams were colluding to keep him out of the league.

The owners of respondent NFL teams have been quoted describing their communications with President Trump, who has been an organizing force in the collusion among team owners in their conduct towards Mr. Kaepernick and other NFL player, the ​claim says. Owners have described the Trump administration as causing paradigm shifts in their views toward NFL players.

The failure by the runner to make an effort to touch the plate, the runner’s lowering of the shoulder, or the runner’s pushing through with his hands, elbows or arms, would support a determination that the runner deviated from the pathway in order to initiate contact with the catcher in violation of Rule 6.01(i) (Rule 7.13), or otherwise initiated a collision that could have been avoided.

Colin Kaepernick calls out NFL owners, Trump in collusion fight

Trump lashed out at players taking a knee during the anthem in a September 2017 speech in which he called for team owners to punish protesting athletes.

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a b—- off the field right now. Out. He’s fired. He’s fired!​’

The NFL ​last month approved a new policy that demands all players on the field stand during the anthem or stay in the locker room. Teams would be fined if players disobey the rules.

Williams remained in Southern California during the offseason to rehab his back and has been slowly integrated back into the Chargers’ offense this spring.


If he can stay healthy through camp, his return will function as somewhat of a bonus first-round pick.

For Williams in particular, the offseason provides a chance at redemption. Though he was limited in practices and in games last year, he was able to spend the year learning the offense and adapting to Rivers’ leadership style. But now he can truly work on improving on the field as a route runner and building chemistry with Rivers to make up for the time he missed last year.

I think it humbled him. He came back hungrier, receiver Keenan Allen told USA TODAY Sports. I think he wants to make plays now, and he’s planning to make plays. He’s moving faster.

Torres hit just 24 homers in 370 minor-league games.

I’m working every day, Torres said. I don’t think about homers. I just try to think about putting the ball in play and do my job every time. If I get a homer, I’m happy, too. If I get a base hit, if I help the team, I’m very happy.

Torres’ three-run blast in the fifth inning turned a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead. The 21-year-old from Venezuela worked a full count against Rays lefty Blake Snell, who tried to throw a 96-mph fastball down and away and instead left it chest-high. Torres ripped into it, sending it nearly to the left field second deck.

Torres leads all big-league hitters with five three-run homers this season. All other Yankees have combined for just eight three-run homers, including two grand slams.

His 33 RBI are also the most among AL rookies.

Manager Aaron Boone was asked what’s been most impressive about Torres in the first 45 games of his career.

Zach Miller will do as much as he can to play again


The Bears placed tight end Zach Miller on the physically unable to perform list on Tuesday, which means that he won’t be returning to the field in 2018 after suffering a knee injury that’s required him to undergo nine surgeries since being injured last October.

This day’s version of the day-by-day effort included a scuffle between center Weston Richburg and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas.

Again, I didn’t do that in Miami with the quarterbacks because they didn’t want to do it, Landry said. I would say that the chemistry and the type of guys that I’m around here makes me that much more excited because I know I’m going to be pushed at all levels at all times.

It’s a less than ideal way to head into a crucial season for the 2015 first-round pick. Ray did not have his contract option for next season exercised by the Broncos, so he’s set to be a free agent next offseason and could use a strong season to land a good deal on the open market.

The size of Ray’s opportunity even if he’s healthy will likely be impacted by the presence of this year’s first-round pick as well. If Bradley Chubb makes a quick transition to the professional ranks, Ray could be an afterthought before his contract is out.

Browns cornerback Howard Wilson will miss his second straight NFL season before it started.

Wilson had surgery on Tuesday for a torn left patellar tendon and is expected to be sidelined the entire 2018 season, a cruel blow for the former fourth-round pick who missed last season after breaking his kneecap in rookie minicamp and undergoing surgery.

Skidding Rockies hit the road to face Phillies


jets_110The Colorado Rockies start a six-game road trip Tuesday night in Philadelphia. The change of scenery might not be a bad thing.

The Rockies, who were swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field this past weekend, kick off a three-game set against the Phillies. Philadelphia will send likely All-Star Aaron Nola to the mound to face right-hander Jon Gray.

The Rockies (32-33) enter the series on a four-game losing streak and are below .500 for the first time since they were 6-7 on April 11. Colorado has lost seven straight games at Coors Field and is 11-19 at home this season.

The team is 2-8 in its last 10 games and has allowed 8.5 runs per game during that stretch. Manager Bud Black says the Rockies’ pitching needs to improve.

Pitching is paramount to winning, Black told after Sunday’s loss. And these last 10 games or so, we haven’t pitched well as a group. The 13-man pitching staff has not pitched well enough to beat the other team. And this series, they outpitched us and outhit us.

Rockies pitchers will face a struggling Phillies offense in the series. The Phillies’ .230 team batting average and .692 OPS ranked 14th and 12th, respectively, in the National League as of Monday.

Tuesday’s matchup is the first of seven between the Rockies and Phillies this season. Colorado won five of seven in 2017.

Olney: My new MLB rule four pitchers per nine innings. Max.

The obsession of managers and front offices with relievers is sucking the life out of baseball. It’s time to limit calls to the bullpen.

I thought bad shifts were similar, but I may have been wrong. In fact, we all may have been wrong about shifting, and annoyed Phillies starter Jake Arrieta may be right in a way he didn’t mean to be.

Arrieta was referring to his own team’s ineptitude at shifts, which is supported by data. According to Baseball Info Solutions, the Phillies have lost eight runs due to their shifting strategies this season, worst in baseball. (The overall Philly defense is at minus-53 runs saved, also last.) Only two other teams (Dodgers and Pirates) are negative in the shift category. On the other end of the spectrum, the Astros have saved 17 runs with the shift, one more than the Kansas City Royals.

K.J. Malone retires after rookie minicamp


Karl Malone played 19 seasons in the NBA. His son, K.J. Malone, didn’t make it to his first NFL game.

The Texans placed the offensive guard on the reserve/retired list Monday. K.J. Malone has decided to pursue other interests outside football, according to Sarah Barshop of ESPN.

Malone, who went undrafted out of LSU, attended Houston’s minicamp over the weekend. He told reporters during the camp that he was healthy and ready to compete for a roster spot.

After all, there’s the business of saddling the potential Triple Crown winner he referenced.

While Justify is the prohibitive favorite after his convincing win in the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, Baffert’s charge faces a talented field of seven at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md.

We have to worry about something,” Baffert said. It’s not like I’m just sitting here thinking ‘we just need to get around (the track).’ We still have to get around there.”

Bookies will become the competition. And some bookies may still try to operate in conjunction with legalized sports betting program, enhanced risks notwithstanding.

Indeed, traditional bookies will continue to serve one specific subset of the betting public: Those who want to bet on credit. While this could increase the incidence of broken thumbs and/or kneecaps, those who would gladly (or otherwise) pay on Tuesday for a hamburger today will still be looking for a way to bet.

And if there’s a demand, a supply will exist. Increased risks of incarceration notwithstanding.

Jackson hasn’t talked to Flacco, and the 11th-year veteran doesn’t seem to want a connection with his understudy. We all understand competition can bring out the best or worst in people.

For the time being, Flacco doesn’t have to worry about losing his job to a rookie who needs time to develop. However, Jackson’s progression could be rapid. He’s the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner who spent three seasons at Louisville under Bobby Petrino, a former NFL coach. 

Falcons sign Jason Hall, waive Terrence Magee


The Falcons signed rookie free agent Jason Hall on Tuesday. They waived running back Terrence Magee in a corresponding move.

Hall originally signed with the Seahawks as an undrafted college free agent. But Seattle waived him last week.

In four seasons at the University of Texas, Hall made 162 tackles, seven tackles for loss, five sacks, three interceptions and 10 pass breakups.

Rather than Super Bowl 55 in 2021 as originally planned, the big game will return to LA for Super Bowl 56 in 2022. It will mark the eighth time the LA area has hosted the Super Bowl, with LA Memorial Coliseum having hosted two Super Bowls and the Rose Bowl having hosted five.

The venue, currently being built in Inglewood, is expected to be a masterpiece, in part because it will be more than a stadium, as its name — LA Stadium and Entertainment District at Hollywood Park — suggests.

Richardson, a bust for the Browns and Colts in the NFL, had 48 carries for 259 yards and two touchdowns for the Roughriders last season.

Steve Wilks, Cardinals: Wilks is stepping into a rebuilding season, and because everyone in Arizona recognizes that, the Cardinals will deal more patience to their rookie coach.

Frank Reich, Colts: Indianapolis finally shook up the once semi-successful duo of Ryan Grigson and Chuck Pagano. The Colts now will practice patience with Chris Ballard and Reich.

Matt Patricia, Lions: Now that Patricia has been pried away from the Patriots, the Lions want to give him time to fix their defense and develop a more balanced offense.

Matt Nagy, Bears: Nagy, the first new coach hired in 2018, also has the coolest seat among the rookie coaches. Chicago thinks he can deliver for Mitchell Trubisky the way Doug Pederson did for Caron Wentz.ravens_149