Dallas Green, former Phillies, Yankees, Mets manager, dies at 82

Dallas Green, a towering baseball figure who won a World Series as a manager in Philadelphia and paved the way for lights at Wrigley Field as president of the Chicago Cubs, died Wednesday. He was 82.

No cause of death was announced, but Green had been suffering from kidney failure and had been in declining health for much of the past year.

“The game lost a great baseball man today,” Phillies chairman David Montgomery said in a statement released by the team. “Dallas held many different positions in baseball, and his passion and love for the game was evident in every role he played.

“He was a big man with a big heart and a bigger-than-life personality. Having known Dallas since 1971, he was one of my first phone calls upon becoming Phillies president because of his perspective and advice. All of us at the Phillies had tremendous respect for Dallas as a baseball man and friend. We will miss him dearly. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, Sylvia, and his children, Dana, John, Kim and Doug.”

Then a weird thing started to happen. Gonzaga was back the next year. The year after that, too. And the year after that, and the year after that, and the year after that.

Suddenly, the Bulldogs were every bit as much of a March fixture as Duke. But it wasn’t just March. Gonzaga was scheduling major-conference opponents and playing in big early-season tournaments in November and December, and they were winning. They were winning a lot.

Mark Few — who had taken over the year after Gonzaga’s initial Elite Eight run after Dan Monson ironically bolted for Minnesota — had somehow taken a program from the lowly West Coast Conference and turned it into a perennial national player. This, like the Zags’ original run, was cool with America. A new name on the national scene, and one with humble beginnings and a much taller annual wall to climb than the established powerhouses. How could it not be cool?
11

Warriors vs. Thunder isn’t a rivalry until Oklahoma City actually wins

Entering the season, the Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder matchup was one the world wanted to see.

Here was David vs. Goliath: Russell Westbrook running rampant with his cast of others against a proverbial group of Monstars, who somehow put an ex-MVP in Kevin Durant alongside the two-time and reigning award winner, Stephen Curry. Everyone, save for Warriors fans, pulled for the upset.

But Oklahoma City is slingshot hasn’t been strong enough, and quite frankly, it never will be.

When Durant first returned to Oklahoma City on Feb. 11 as a member of the Warriors, the thought was simple: Maybe the emotions would carry Westbrook and the Thunder to an improbable victory over a powerhouse team that swiped their best player to compete for an NBA championship.

The Warriors had already bludgeoned the Thunder by 26 and 21 points, respectively, in their previous two matchups in Oakland. Maybe the emotional lift at home was what Oklahoma City needed to jet the team forward.

According to an official release from Planters, the company is Shout for Nuts vending machine dispenses Planters peanuts when fans shout I love nuts into it. GQ.com recently caught up with Harbaugh about how this came about, and asked what his beef is with the peanut machine.

He also admitted that he is a big peanut guy. Harbaugh went on to say that his favorite food that features the peanut is a classic peanut butter and jelly.
42

AFC South injuries, Week 8: Will Rackley goes down

The Jacksonville Jaguars were the only AFC South team in action for Week 8, and they suffered another loss both in the standings and on the field Sunday when offensive lineman Will Rackley was forced out with a head injury.

Outside of Patterson’s return and an impressive touchdown run from Adrian Peterson, the Vikings weren’t able to muster much offense. Christian Ponder wasn’t actively bad, but he didn’t do a ton to help move the chains for Minnesota’s offense, except for his 19-yard touchdown run in garbage time.

The game wasn’t close for most of the second half while Eddie Lacy was rumbling his way toward the 94 yards rushing he finished with. The Packers improved to 5-2, while the Vikings fell to 1-6.

Aaron Rodgers and Jordy Nelson were fantasy studs, which has become par for the course. Nelson caught both of Rodgers’ touchdowns. Eddie Lacy also earned stud status with a 94-yard, one-touchdown performance.

Jason Campbell was sensational against the NFL’s best defense, and it prompts questions about what took so long to give him his chance. The Browns quarterback threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns, operating an effective downfield offense without the assistance of a running game. Most promising is how Campbell worked with Josh Gordon, as the receiver and quarterback were both difference makers on Sunday.

The Detroit Lions could be the most dangerous NFC team that never gets mentioned in the conference’s roll of contenders. Their 5-3 record might not stand out against the Seattle Seahawks or San Francisco 49ers, but this team has an offense that will match up against any in the NFL. The Dallas Cowboys’ defense is no slouch, and Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush still combined for more than 450 yards of total offense. Watch this team in the second half of the season, and defenses should sleep on them at their peril.24

Jets ‘happy’ with Rex Ryan, won’t discuss contract status, says owner Woody Johnson

The Jets are off to a 4-3 start under Rex Ryan this year and in position to possibly secure an AFC Wild Card berth, if not the AFC East division title, and owner Woody Johnson expressed on Thursday that he’s happy with the job his coach has done so far.

Johnson, however, would not go as far as to say whether or not Ryan’s job was in jeopardy or secure, remaining adamant that a decision on that front wouldn’t happen until the season is over.

The Jets continued their surprising run last week, taking down the New England Patriots, 30-27. They are now 4-3 and sit just one game behind the Patriots with an important tiebreaker in hand.

Most NFL analysts are going with the Bengals in this game. Of the eight ESPN experts who submitted their picks so far, six are picking the Bengals, with only two taking the Jets. At CBS Sports, seven out of nine panelists took Cincinnati, with Jason La Canfora and Josh Katzowitz being the only votes in New York’s favor. Finally, both experts at Yahoo Sports picked the Bengals, along with the majority of users in a fan poll.

The Giants finally got a win, keeping the heat from the New York media off Tom Coughlin for at least one week. The Eagles thought they had a quarterback controversy until Nick Foles flopped against the Cowboys. Foles also got a concussion, so Michael Vick has the job back. Oh, and Matt Barkley threw three picks in emergency action, just in case Eagles fans thought he would be the answer in 2013.15

Top West Coast TE recruit Brevin Jordan is close with ‘Tight End U’ Miami

At 6’3, 240, Brevin Jordan is considered 2018’s third-best tight end, according to the early and still-developing 247Sports Composite. He’s currently rated as the best TE west of the Mississippi.

At The Opening’s Los Angeles camp, he listed Miami and Michigan “and UCLA for sure” as three schools he’d definitely put on a top list, were he to make one, with Ohio State and Georgia two others he’s “really looking into.”

Arizona is likely to be a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament when the bracket is announced on Sunday. This win improves them to 30-4 overall. It’s all kind of remarkable because the Wildcats had every excuse for a down year this season.

The season started with the unexpected and frankly almost tragic early retirement of Ray Smith. Smith, a former five-star recruit, tore his ACL for the third straight year during the Wildcats’ season-opening scrimmage. He also tore his ACL when he arrived going into his senior year of high school and again when he arrived on campus a year ago.

Arizona also had to deal with the drama around Trier, who missed the first 19 games of the campaign after he tested positive for PEDs in the preseason. Don’t forget that Arizona also missed out on elite recruit Terrance Ferguson, the five-star swingman who decided to play professionally in Australia rather than honor his commitment to Arizona.

Sean Miller’s team was carried by three freshman — Lauri Markkanen, Rawle Alkins, Kobi Simmons — for much of the year. Allen was terrific as a veteran presence in the backcourt. Dusan Ristic worked his way into being a quality center. Trier eventually came back and found his stride, and that set the tone for this Pac-12 title run.

Incredible job by Sean Miller. Oh yeah, he’s got DeAndre Ayton coming in next year, too. The man knows what he’s doing.17

And if that’s the system he wants the Knicks to run, there’s obviously no better teacher.

With just a few minutes left in the first half and with Barcelona still just holding a single goal, PSG badly needed to hold out a little longer. Going into halftime up three goals would have put a lot more pressure on Barcelona and made their job much tougher. Instead, Marquinhos and Layvin Kurzawa lost their minds on an attacking sequence in the 40th minute, with Marquinhos flailing around ineffectually in his efforts to block off Andres Iniesta. Kurzawa desperately tried to turn the ball around the post, despite his goalkeeper being practically on his hip to gather the ball, and put the ball in for an own goal instead.

Jackson has proven himself to be an all-time great head coach, arguably the greatest of them all. But his insistence on running the Triangle — a system with which only he has succeeded — has maimed several Knicks rosters struggling to grasp the concepts of the read-and-react offense.

Jackson had burned the Knicks roster, rebuilt it, then burned it down again before putting together this year’s team. He’s been through more coaches than seasons, and this year is on pace to follow the last three.

It’s time for Jackson to do what he should have done when he first came to New York and return to the sidelines. Because it’s become clear, only the Zen Master fully understands the offense.

And if that’s the system he wants the Knicks to run, there’s obviously no better teacher.

“S—, do I have a choice? Do I have a choice?” Rose told reporters, according to theNew York Daily News’ Stefan Bondy. “I just want to win games. Winning takes care of every category for an athlete.”

After starting the season 14-10, New York (26-39) plummeted down the East’s standings and 5.5 games out of the conference’s eighth seed. The Knicks would need to win 16 of their last 18 games to finish .500., and 11 of those opponents are playoff-bound.
16

Outlets began to run with the story, saying that it indicated Rodgers wanted a new deal

Aaron Rodgers on if Mike Glennon possibly getting $15M/year in free agency should lead to talks about his own contract: “I think it has to.”

After saying that he thought it had to, Rodgers laughed and added, “I don’t think I need to expand on that.”

Outlets began to run with the story, saying that it indicated Rodgers wanted a new deal. Rodgers called those reports “fake news” on Twitter:

Actually, I said 4 words. And was referring to comparing contracts between players that play the same position.

Speaking of Suggs, the Ravens’ linebacking corps is already looking completely different than it did last year. With Dumervil cut and Zach Orr gone as well after a surprise retirement, Baltimore will rely on Suggs and C.J. Mosley more now than ever. Cutting Dumervil puts the Ravens in the market for a pass rusher, though the move suggests Baltimore could be looking for younger players to infuse into the defense.

Cutting Dumervil is a risky move for the Ravens, but it saves the team money and gives Baltimore, one of the oldest teams in the NFL last season, an opportunity to get younger. With talent on both sides of the ball, it’s very possible we could see the Ravens in playoff contention next season.

The nature of the free agency market demands players be overpaid. There are rumors that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Mike Glennon is likely to receive as much as $15 million per year when he hits the open market.

A fifth-round pick in 2013, Wagner became a full-time starter for the Ravens in 2014. The Lions can use the help after finishing No. 30 in the NFL in rushing yards in 2016 and below the league average in total yards and points.4

Celtics want Aussie NBA free agent Andrew Bogut in Boston: reports

REPORTS that Andrew Bogut may be headed to the Cleveland Cavaliers appear premature.

The Australian big man was involved in talks with Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge on Monday night (US time) and may have also spoken to senior Celtics players, according to The Boston Globe.

It was reported Bogut was also planning to speak to both Celtics coach Brad Stevens and Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue.

While he has played only 26 games and just five since New Year during an injury- marred season with Dallas, the 32-year-old Bogut is still considered a useful contributor as a strong defensive and rebounding presence.

“You know, Willie, one of my best memories is right here on this field when you made that short-yardage stop down there against the Colts (back in 2003),” Belichick said. “And then the next year, we opened with them, and you made the sack that took Mike Vanderjagt out of field-goal range. And I think that’s where (Mike) Vrabel got them on the fake timeout, too, and then they changed the rule on that. But anyway, you got the Colts back to back, two years in a row — here and in Foxborough.”

McGinest said he was a hated figure in Indianapolis and that he could not tell those stories or else his stay as a combine analyst would be significantly less comfortable.

“Trust me, Willie, when I came to Indianapolis, they threw stuff at me, yelled at me and everything else. Then when I went for it on fourth-and-2 (in a Nov. 2009 regular-season matchup) and we got stopped, ever since then it’s been ‘Hey Coach, good to see you. How is it going?'”

Every now and then Belichick, in the eyes of fans from 31 other teams, reaches peak evil and then does something to warm the collective hearts of everyone.

Belichick and McGinest likely went on to share a root beer float at Steak ‘n Shake.25

How I hit you twice and you got knocked down four times?

This trade wasn’t perfect — one-time first-rounder Cooper didn’t last long with the Patriots. Still, New England offloaded a player it deemed unnecessary for a Super Bowl run while turning the last year of his contract into a second-round pick.

The 2016 second-rounder was critical for the Patriots, who were stripped of their first-round pick as a result of the Deflategate fiasco. They ended up trading that pick and came out with two rookie starters: third-rounder guard Joe Thuney and fourth-round receiver Malcolm Mitchell.

The Cardinals, meanwhile, got a superstar edge player. Jones has become the team’s No. 1 priority this offseason. Arizona quickly franchised Jones in late February and will look to sign him to a long-term deal this summer.

Woodley said it was funny that Thompson is considered the better striker since he outstruck him back in November in what ended up being a majority draw. Thompson replied that Woodley only hit him two times that did any damage. Woodley countered that he dropped him four times, which Thompson tried to laugh off as being untrue.

“That’s how you know your head is so shook,” Woodley said. “You got knocked down four times. How I hit you twice and you got knocked down four times?”

Thompson replied: “Four times? … That’s in the past, though.”

The stories of many other Cuban MLB players are not so different from this; there’s Yoenis Céspedes on the witness list for this same trial and Yasiel Puig’s tale of black-market smuggling and the late José Fernández’s decision to dive from his escape boat to save his mother from drowning. The details change but the central theme does not, and it’s the same for dozens of current major leaguers. Eating a passport is the headline, then, but a reminder of the pervasive risk and dedication in these baseball immigrant narratives is the story.
17

Tebow worked out at times over the winter with National League MVP runner-up Daniel Murphy in Jacksonville.

“I’m not going to worry about what everyone’s writing or what everyone’s thinking or however I’m being marketed,” Tebow said. “I think for me, I just want to be able to continue the process, enjoy the process, enjoy every day and get to know my teammates and have fun out there.”

Last September, Tebow signed a $100,000 minor league deal with the Mets. He went 4-for-14 in instructional league games and batted .194 with three doubles and 20 strikeouts in 62 at-bats in the prospect-rich Arizona Fall League. Once minor league spring training games begin here, he — like the other young players — will be attempting to make a good impression on the team’s decision-makers. He declined to predict whether he will ever make the major leagues.

“I don’t have to give my chances,” Tebow said.

Tebow worked out at times over the winter with National League MVP runner-up Daniel Murphy in Jacksonville. Murphy, the ex-Met and Washington Nationals second baseman, told reporters Tebow’s power is “real.”

“He just needs that experience to pull from, which only a full season can give you,” Murphy said.

“He’ll always be a part of the Chiefs family, and we’ll be ready to honor him for his outstanding playing career when the time is right.”

Jamaal Charles’ brilliance in Kansas City often went unnoticed as much of his best work for the Chiefs came when the team was still rebuilding.

Jan 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots players huddle during the game against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots players huddle during the game against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
, who is coming off perhaps the best season of his seven-year NFL career, has reached a six-year deal with the Chiefs, a source told ESPN.

Guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif and the Chiefs have agreed to a contract extension. It is a five-year, $41.25 million deal that includes $20 million in guaranteed money, a source told ESPN.