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Astros finish perfect 10-game road trip with 11th straight win

It doesn’t look like the Astros are experiencing a World Series hangover at all.

Houston defeated the Royals 7-4 Sunday, extending their win streak to 11 games. Even more impressive, 10 of those games came on the road.

According to ESPN, it’s only the sixth time in 65 seasons that a team has completed a perfect road trip of 10 or more games. The 11-game win streak is also tied for the fifth-longest win streak by a defending World Series champion team in 80 years.

One [player] was trying to play an iron on a par-3 and someone yelled, ‘J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets,’ right in his backswing, Darnold said. He knew I was there, that’s why he was yelling, and it just so happened to be right in the guy’s backswing by accident. It was just a funny fan moment.

But the laser focus of [the player], who still hit a really good shot, was cool to see. It’s just really cool to see these guys do what they do — even with all the hecklers and everything that’s going on, they’re able to focus on what they need to do.

Bellinger, who had 39 home runs and 97 RBIs last season, struggled in the postseason, striking out 29 times in 64 at-bats. The 22-year-old has struggled with low and inside pitches, leading to 58 strikeouts in 212 at-bats so far in 2018.

Roberts also pulled Bellinger from a game earlier this season for a perceived lack of hustle. If he’s unable to turn things around soon, Roberts may be forced to send Bellinger down to the minors to get his timing right.

Both players seemed excited to be on the field, with Brady yelling at himself after failing to connect on a pass, and Gronkowski letting out several gleeful yelps following catches.

That doesn’t mean is right in Gronk’s world. After leading the team last season in receptions (69), receiving yards (1,084) and receiving touchdowns (eight), he clearly wants to see his value reflected in his contract.

WATCH: Odell Beckham’s campers pull out stops to mimic Giants star’s move, style

The running joke at the Odell Beckham Jr. Football ProCamp was nobody had more energy than the hype man barking instructions to campers on the microphone.

But the namesake host sure came close.

I mean my family’s first and foremost, he said. So I got to make sure I’m a good dad here and a good husband for a little while and then we’ll be back to camp before we know it.

It’s not about realizing that goal as much as it is something worth chasing.

Part of the reason Barkley and Giants star Odell Beckham Jr. bonded even before they were teammates is because of that shared mindset, and that approach has helped the 21-year-old from Penn State clear hurdles that traditionally stunt the growth of young running backs when they arrive in the NFL.

I met with Coach Ash, Blazek, Robinson, and Boone at Rutgers yesterday, Franks told I spent some time with the players eating lunch and it was really cool to see what my potential future teammates are like and they were are really cool guys. I got to ask them some questions about what it’s like in the transition from high school football to college football and what it takes.

Ultimately, Rutgers was able to address multiple areas that the staff hadn’t touched on in Frank’s recruitment, elevating itself up his gargantuan list of offers.

It was a great visit, overall. I loved the food. The people were great and I also had a meeting with Mrs. Christine in the Business school so that was really cool, too. The visit to Rutgers has helped them in my mind. I had a good time on the banks.

It appears Franks’ recruitment could role into the 2018 season, as he still has lots to assess.

Yankees’ Jonathan Loaisiga debuts Thursday | What you need to know, scouting report

Despite one of the tougher minor-leagues roads you’ll hear about, Yankees pitching prospect Jonathan Loaisiga will make his MLB debut Thursday, manager Aaron Boone said.

Loaisiga will jump from Double-A Trenton straight to Yankee Stadium, where he’ll face the Rays.

Who is he? Loaisiga, 23, is a righty from Nicaragua. He’ll be the 15th player from his country to play in the majors. ranks him the Yankees’ No. 12 overall prospect.

Team owner Jeffrey Lurie was among personnel expected to make the trip, but the travel party was expected to be rather small as most of the players that hoisted the Lombardi Trophy in Minneapolis in February were not planning to attend.

The White House rescinded the invitation less than 24 hours before the scheduled ceremony. A statement from the White House panned the team for not attending en masse and because they disagree with their President because he insists that they proudly stand for the National Anthem, hand on heart, in honor of the great men and women of our country.

Trump also tweeted, The Philadelphia Eagles Football Team was invited to the White House. Unfortunately, only a small number of players decided to come, and we canceled the event. Staying in the Locker Room for the playing of our National Anthem is as disrespectful to our country as kneeling. Sorry!

No Eagles players stayed in the locker room for the anthem nor kneeled during it last season.

Giants rookie Will Hernandez won’t back down from a scuffle | ‘Sometimes we are going to butt heads’

Good luck to the teammate tasked with giving offensive guard Will Hernandez his embarrassing assignment whenever the Giants ‘ veterans decide to poke fun at their rookies.

It could get ugly.

White voters believe players don’t have the right to protest, via a narrower gap of 53-43. And while all American voters support the NFL’s new anthem policy (51-42), all American voters oppose fining teams if players on the field fail to stand for the anthem, by a 51-44 margin. None of this is surprising, but it underscores the fact that the NFL, for whatever reason, has opted to listen to only one side, with Steelers owner Art Rooney recently claiming that the vast majority of our fans oppose players protesting during the anthem. The NFL’s own secret research contradicted this, and the new Quinnipiac poll does, too. And if the NFL plans to continue to heed only one segment of the fan base while ignoring those who feel differently, those fans eventually may vote with their eyes, ears, and wallets.

It’s obviously important for everybody, Brady said of OTAs. The coaches do a great job of getting us ready. It was just some personal reasons for me (that kept him out). But I’m here now and I’m focused on what I need to do, as I always am, and I’m looking forward to this year.

Money tends to be a sticking point and a reason for players to stay away from OTAs. It’s not an uncommon occurrence, and with Brady approaching 41 years old in August, perhaps a compensation issue would be to blame?

I’ve never talked about my contract, Brady said. I’ve never brought up money for a lot of reasons that I’ve said over the years. Those things are very personal.

A theme is emerging here: It’s personal.

There’s been rumblings of a rift between Brady and head coach Bill Belichick in recent months, which could also qualify as personal, so naturally Brady was asked about that dynamic and whether his personal reason for missing OTAs had to do with the coach. Predictably, Brady responded with not at all, I mean, no.

So what is the status of that relationship, Tom?

The Cubs scored five runs in the 11th and improved to 8-1 against the Brewers (who are 38-19 against everyone else).

eagles_087The Cubs also became the first team to beat the Brewers this year in a game Josh Hader pitched. Chicago tied the game with a run off Hader in the eighth.

Not to be confused with Jack Bauer: Jake Bauers has been one of my favorite sleeper prospects in the minors. He has put up solid, if unspectacular numbers as he has progressed, but he has always been young for his league. He’s still just 22 and in his fifth major league game cracked his first home run while adding a double and two walks in an 8-4 win over the Blue Jays:

Miracle Mariners: The Mariners began their tough stretch of 13 games against the Angels, Red Sox and Yankees with a 5-3 win over the Angels as Nelson Cruz swatted two home runs.

So when I heard back in early March that the Syracuse Chiefs the Triple-A affiliate of MLB’s Washington Nationals had added a Brannock Device Night to their 2018 promotional calendar, I knew I had to get in touch with their GM, Jason Smorol. By the time we were done talking, I’d convinced him that the team should go all-in by doing one of those one-game rebrandings that minor league theme nights sometimes entail, and he had invited me to come up and throw out the first pitch.

This is a story about how a minor league team goes through all the steps and approvals needed to do one of those one-game makeovers, from changing the team name to designing special uniforms. It’s also a story about how local culture and local businesses intersect with minor league baseball. And yes, it’s also a story about how my compulsive preoccupation with a metal foot-measuring gizmo led me to throw out the first pitch at a Triple-A ballgame.

Jason Smorol thought he was done with minor league baseball. He had worked for a variety of Single-A teams in the 1990s and early 2000s before leaving the industry so he could spend more time with his young children. He’d been working for a construction equipment company for about a decade when the Syracuse Chiefs came calling in 2014.

Boston Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will look to beat the Baltimore Orioles for the third time this season when he makes the start Tuesday at Camden Yards.

eagles_088Boston won the opener on Monday 2-0 in 12 innings, handing the Baltimore its fifth straight loss. The Red Sox improved to 6-1 against the Orioles this season as Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. lifted sacrifice flies against Mychal Givens.

Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts was reinstated from the disabled list before the game and went 1 for 5 in the leadoff spot. Betts, who came in with a major league-leading .359 batting average, missed 14 games with an abdominal strain.

Orioles: RHP Andrew Cashner (2-8, 4.98 ERA) attempts to break a run of three successive losses. Baltimore scored only one run in each of those games.Rodriguez, Red Sox look to keep winning vs. Orioles

Heaney (3-5) was shaky after throwing a one-hit shutout against Kansas City in his previous start on his 27th birthday, no less. This time, the left-hander was tagged for five runs and seven hits in three-plus innings.

Giving up homers never wins you games, not like that, Heaney said. Not that early, not that often.

Guerra struck out four while allowing five hits and two walks, aided by two double plays and two highlight-reel catches in left by Braun.

He made a diving grab to prevent Rizzo’s flare from falling for a hit to lead off the fourth. Two innings later, Braun made a leaping catch at the wall to rob Willson Contreras of a tying homer.

Braun held the glove behind his back after coming down with the ball and swaggered for a few steps toward the infield before shrugging and revealing the ball in his mitt.

It was a lot more fun than when they scored all those runs, but I take a lot of pride in my defense, Braun said.

The Cubs got an effective outing from starter Jose Quintana, who allowed four hits, two walks and struck out three over six innings. The left-hander gave up solo homers to Erik Kratz and Jonathan Villar.

Brandon Marshall is switching coasts in his pursuit of a Hall of Fame jacket.

eagles_088After spending last season with the Giants and the previous two with the Jets, Marshall signed Tuesday with the Seahawks. The deal reportedly is for one year and worth $2 million.

Here’s the proof:

He doesn’t think it has anything to do with pressure of playing in New York or dealing with some boos here and there.

I just don’t think he’s got into that long stretch where he’s that MVP that everyone wants to see, Boone said. To me, that’s about timing and rhythm. For as many ups and downs that he’s had so far, he’s been really productive for us.

So I just don’t think from a timing standpoint he’s ever really got it completely locked in like I know that he will at some point. And I think there will be that stretch – that few-week stretch, that month stretch – where he’s really locked in from a timing standpoint and you’ll see the massive production happen on a more consistent basis.

The fun part about this was how many of the respondents wanted to know where whoever won this GOAT argument falls among the other GOATs of our time. It was too irresistible an idea to ignore, so here’s One Man’s List of all the GOATs from the four major team sports, plus soccer (which, admittedly, was an easy one) to the four key individual sports, plus one under the general heading Olympian (again, admittedly, an easy one). Here’s mine. Hoping to hear from you, and soon:

1. Roger Federer, men’s tennis: Not only has he won 20 grand slams, a staggering record, there is an awfully good chance that won’t be his final total. Add to the fact he is an such absolute gentleman both on and off the court that even fans of contemporaries like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic limit themselves to rooting for their guys and not hooting Federer. I hope we have fully appreciated what we’ve had with Federer through the years.

Alexander will serve a four-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

There’s absolutely no way the Raiders leave Miller on the bench behind Breno Giacomini at right tackle. He’ll start Week 1.

Head coach Sean McDermott lost a reliable middle linebacker in Preston Brown during free agency. In response, the Bills selected athletic second-level defender Tremaine Edmunds at No. 16. The Virginia Tech product stands at 6’5″, 250 pounds with the ability to pressure the pocket.

James possesses the physical tools to help in run support, line up against tight ends and cover in space. A player with that type of versatility should appear on the field in Week 1 with a sizable role.

The Chargers have their secondary bookends and slot defenders in place. The safety positions should have plenty of combinations during practices; joining James are fourth-rounder Kyzir White, Jahleel Addae, Adrian Phillips and Rayshawn Jenkins.

Two years ago, the Oakland Raiders fielded one of the top offensive lines in the league. After quarterback Derek Carr took some hits in the past couple of years, head coach Jon Gruden felt the need to address the offensive tackle position early in the draft.

The Raiders traded back and selected Kolton Miller with the 15th overall pick. At UCLA, injuries shortened his collegiate experience, but he started on both sides of the offensive line—most recently at left tackle.

According to’s Paul Gutierrez, Miller only saw reps at left tackle during the three-day rookie minicamp.

Despite going into his age-35 season and coming off Lisfranc surgery, Donald Penn shouldn’t be counted out as a starter. The 13th-year man earned back-to-back Pro Bowl selections in the last two seasons.bucks_427

Terrance Williams arrested on intoxication charge

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrance Williams was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor public intoxication Saturday after a car registered to him was found crashed into a light pole, police confirmed to

Williams was arrested by police in Frisco, Texas, near his residence a short time after the crash. He was released from the Frisco Detention Center after posting $369 bond.

The incident remains under investigation, police said. There’s a chance Williams could face additional charges if police determine he was driving the car at the time of the crash.

His free-wheeling style was perfect for Texas A&M, and it should translate well to the larger CFL field too. That’s assuming he hasn’t lost most of his skills during a long layoff. However, it’s also easy to see Manziel, assuming he’s focused and in shape, doing the same things on a CFL field that helped win him a Heisman Trophy. The CFL has been interested in Manziel for a while.

My 7 1/2-year-old nephew was offered 10 extra-credit points (in school) if he wore anything regarding Cleveland yesterday, and he went all green, Stevens said. “And three years ago, I think he was all Cleveland stuff. So we’re making strides with him. But yeah, we have a large contingent. Maybe they’ll get some of those (Game 3 giveaway) yellow shirts and pass them around to some people who haven’t completely converted to rooting for the Celtics yet.”

There’s nothing about the playoffs that’s comfortable until you either win it all or you lose and go into the summer, he said.

Summer might not be as close as it once seemed.

It was three days of stewing on Game 2, Korver said. “It probably did something good in us. It’s frustrating to have to wait that long for another game. We were able to put in some new things on offense, too.”

Before the game, Stevens downplayed his team’s road issues, saying there was a “small sample size.”

It got a little bigger, and a little more troubling. Still, he won’t focus on Boston’s road woes. cowboys_062

Seahawks sign former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds, report says

The Seahawks have reportedly signed the NCAA’s all-time leader in rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.

According to NFL Media, Seattle has agreed to terms with former Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds as a wide receiver/kick returner.

Reynolds finished his college career with 64 rushing touchdowns for the Midshipmen. He also was the NCAA’s all-time leader in rushing yards for a QB.

With a laser shot and a physique that resembles an NFL defensive lineman, Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien has become a folk hero around the NHL.

The Golden Knights are Canada’s team because Nevada might as well be an honorary province. According to the Business Council of Canada and Nevada, which is a thing that exists, 1.7 million Canadians visit Nevada annually, which would make it the third-largest city in Canada. The siren’s song of affordable hockey tickets and warm weather is undeniable.

The Golden Knights are Canada’s team because they embody the shared values of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: “openness, respect, compassion, willingness to work hard, to be there for each other, to search for equality and justice.” And that’s just Ryan Reaves.

Shepard began his NFL career with the Buccaneers. He accumulated 432 receiving yards and three touchdowns over four seasons in Tampa Bay. He also contributed on special teams.

The Giants finished 2017 with a 3-13 record. They fired coach Ben McAdoo in Week 13 and replaced him with former Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur following the season.

Darren McFadden was entering his second season with the Cowboys when he broke his elbow, an injury that was expected to sideline the running back for at least a couple months. Dallas’ running backs coach told reporters that McFadden fell on his elbow while trying to catch his phone and keep it from hitting the floor.

That was the initial story, at least.

McFadden a couple weeks later said he had slipped on wet concrete and fell on his elbowthe phone just happened to be in his hand. The phone, thankfully, by all acounts was not harmed.

The cast on backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke’s left foot when he arrived at Vikings training camp in 2016 was a mystery, until he explained what happened. Turns out he injured himself breaking into a house … his own house.ravens_172