MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Washington 8 Baltimore 1

Arizona 9 Texas 2

NY Mets 3 Minnesota 2

NY Yankees 8 Tampa Bay 3

Toronto 10 Boston 4

Cleveland 8 Detroit 0

Kansas City 11 Chicago White Sox 0

LA Angels 7 Houston 2

Oakland 9 Seattle 2

Philadelphia 9 LA Dodgers 8

Miami 12 San Diego 7

Milwaukee 13 Atlanta 1

Pittsburgh 3 St. Louis 1

San Francisco 8 Colorado 4 (10)

TUESDAY’S BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/scoreboard.asp?meta=true

 

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Syracuse 5 Indianapolis 2

 

TOP HEADLINES

Schwarber’s homer in 10th gives Cubs 4-3 win over Reds

Kyle Schwarber wasn’t thinking home run when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 10th inning Tuesday night.

That, he believes, was the key to success.

Schwarber hit a solo home run with one out to give the Chicago Cubs a 4-3 comeback victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

The lefty slugger stroked a 1-1 pitch from closer Raisel Iglesias (2-8) into the basket in front of the left field bleachers for his 21st homer and first career game-ending hit of any kind.

“I was actually trying to hit a single up the middle,” Schwarber said. “I didn’t want to get too big. I stayed up the middle, just got under it and hit it well enough for it to catch the basket.”

Robel Garcia and Kris Bryant also connected for the NL Central leaders, who have won six of eight.

Eugenio Suarez homered for Cincinnati, which fell to 7-4 against Chicago this season.

Steve Cishek (3-5) worked the 10th and four Cubs relievers combined for four scoreless innings.

Iglesias was pitching for the third straight day. He got five outs for a save Monday night and then the final two outs of the ninth inning Tuesday before staying in for the 10th.

“To come back tonight, he had one (bad) pitch,” Reds manager David Bell said. “It’s too bad because it shouldn’t take away from what he did and his performance tonight.

“His arm feels great. Knowing that it might cost us the next day or two, we went for it right there.”

New catcher Martin Maldonado, acquired Monday night by Chicago from Kansas City, started and went 0 for 4.

 

Four Cleveland pitchers limit Detroit to one hit in 8-0 win

A single by Nicholas Castellanos in the fifth inning prevented Zach Plesac and three Cleveland Indians relievers from making history.

Castellanos hit a grounder up the middle off Tyler Clippard for the only hit allowed by Cleveland in an 8-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night. It was the second one-hitter tossed by the Indians this season.

Detroit managed just two baserunners and sent 28 batters to the plate – one above the minimum – against Plesac, Clippard, Nick Goody and Tyler Olson. Victor Reyes began the game with a walk, but was immediately erased by Plesac’s MLB-leading fifth pickoff.

“I’m stoked and really happy for everyone right now,” said Goody, who struck out five working the sixth and seventh innings. “Plesac was throwing unbelievably, and (Tyler) Clippard and Tyler Olson came in and were both great. We’re all just doing our job and doing all we can for our team.”

Cleveland bolted to a 7-0 lead through three innings before the game was halted by rain for 2 hours, 7 minutes. Rookie Oscar Mercado hit a two-run homer and Francisco Lindor doubled-in a pair during a five-run second off Tigers left-hander Ryan Carpenter (1-6).

Tyler Naquin added a solo homer and Jordan Luplow doubled twice for the Indians, who have won nine straight against Detroit and pulled within five games of first-place Minnesota in the Central Division.

“A one-hitter on a night like this, that’s incredible,” Naquin said. “Plesac is always giving us a chance and Clip was ready to go, doing his thing. Then Goody is always doing it and Oly came in and shut the door.”

Plesac exited after the lengthy delay and was followed by Clippard, Goody and Olson, who pitched two innings apiece.

Though Goody (1-0) was Cleveland’s third pitcher, he was awarded his first victory since June 17, 2017, by the official scorer.

 

Harper’s 2-run double in 9th rallies Phillies past Dodgers

Bryce Harper threw his helmet off rounding the bases, thrust his arms in the air and screamed while teammates stormed out of the dugout to mob him.

That’s what Philadelphia has been waiting for from its $330 million man.

Harper hit a two-run double off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen with one out in the bottom of the ninth after pinch-hitter Matt Beaty hit a three-run homer off Phillies closer Hector Neris in the top half, rallying Philadelphia to a 9-8 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.

“That’s what baseball is all about,” Harper said. “Against one of the best closers, it’s always fun.”

Pinch-hitter Andrew Knapp hit a double with one out after Adam Haseley’s grounder hit off Jansen’s right foot near the ankle and rolled to first base. Cesar Hernandez followed with a single and Scott Kingery’s bloop single to center scored Knapp to get the Phillies within a run. Harper then ripped a ball to the gap that bounced off A.J. Pollock’s glove and went to the wall to win it.

“That was a huge moment for Bryce,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. “You could see how important that was for him.”

The Phillies rebounded from a 16-2 loss in the opener of a four-game series against the two-time defending NL champions.

Cody Bellinger hit his major league-leading 34th homer and Max Muncy, A.J. Pollock and Joc Pederson also went deep for the Dodgers.

Harper hit a three-run homer and had five RBIs for the first time since April 19, 2017, at Atlanta. Brad Miller and Kingery also connected for the Phillies.

Ranger Suarez (1-0) got two outs for the win.

 

Yelich hits grand slam, Brewers power past Braves, 13-1

Earlier in the day, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said his team had to find a way to make more plays in order to claw out of its midseason slump.

Milwaukee then went out and did it Tuesday night.

Christian Yelich hit his second career grand slam, Keston Hiura and Lorenzo Cain each had a solo home run, and the Brewers got a needed 13-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

“We talked about (making plays) a lot,” Counsell said. “(We had) a lot of people doing a good job tonight.”

Brandon Woodruff (11-3) gave up one run and five hits in 6 2/3 innings for the Brewers, who had lost eight of their previous 10 games. The right-hander walked one and struck out seven, snapping a 12-game streak in which Milwaukee starters failed to get a win.

With the Brewers leading 7-1 in the seventh, Yelich hit his 33rd home run of the season with the bases loaded. The shot, which came against Braves reliever Huascar Ynoa, was the first grand slam for Milwaukee this season and the second of Yelich’s career. He also had one last Sept. 2 at Washington.

Mike Moustakas picked up his 1,000th career hit with a single to right-center field in the seventh. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman stepped away from Moustakas to allow the 10-year veteran to acknowledge the standing ovation from the crowd of 31,599.

 

Judge, Gregorius lift Yanks over Rays after CC starts fracas

Aaron Judge hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the eighth inning, Didi Gregorius followed with a grand slam and the New York Yankees beat Tampa Bay 8-3 Tuesday night after another surly clash between CC Sabathia and the Rays.

A pitch after slicing a would-be homer foul by about two feet, Judge smashed a 3-2 pitch from left-hander Colin Poche (2-3) into the right-center field seats to make it 4-3. It was Judge’s 10th homer, and he carried the bat nearly all the way to first base before tossing it down and shouting into New York’s dugout.

Gregorius took a curtain call after hitting a long grand slam later in the inning that ended a 1-for-23 skid. Edwin Encarnación hit his 28th homer and third in two games, DJ LeMahieu also went deep, and New York stretched its AL East lead over Tampa Bay to six games.

Yandy Díaz hit a solo homer and an RBI double, and All-Star Austin Meadows delivered his 14th homer for Tampa Bay.

Benches cleared during the sixth inning amid a shouting match between Sabathia and hitter Avisaíl García. After Sabathia struck out García looking to strand two runners, the 38-year-old barked and pointed at García. Sabathia was restrained by Gregorius and never got close to García while both benches and bullpens emptied. No punches were thrown.

Sabathia was ejected for plunking the Rays’ Jesus Sucre during his last regular season start in 2018 and has had a few salty run-ins with Tampa Bay this season, including when he threw at Meadows three times and shouted insults during a game in May.

 

Angels beat Astros 7-2 for 5th straight W; Marisnick plunked

The Houston Astros expected the Angels to retaliate against Jake Marisnick in his first game versus Los Angeles since his violent home plate collision with catcher Jonathan Lucroy.

So while the pitch that hit Marisnick in the back in the sixth inning was no surprise, it still left manager AJ Hinch and his Astros profoundly steamed – even after Noe Ramirez insisted he hadn’t done it on purpose.

Albert Pujols hit a bases-clearing double during the Angels’ six-run first inning, and Los Angeles remained unbeaten in five games since the All-Star break with a 7-2 victory over the Astros on Tuesday night.

But both teams were preoccupied by the moment when Ramirez (4-1) drilled Marisnick between the shoulder blades with a 1-1 pitch in the sixth. Players nearly came to blows moments later, and Hinch vaguely hinted at retaliation if Ramirez isn’t punished by Major League Baseball.

“Wasn’t everybody expecting something to happen to Jake tonight?” Hinch asked. “I mean, the entire industry was probably expecting it. Our guy got suspended for an unintentional act, and they got a free shot. I feel bad for players nowadays. There’s a lot of gray area in what to do.”

Marisnick ran over Lucroy while trying to score in Houston nine days ago, leaving Lucroy with a concussion and a broken nose. He is out for at least three more weeks.

Shortly after Ramirez hit Marisnick, a verbal confrontation broke out between Pujols and several Astros in the dugout, including Lance McCullers Jr. and Justin Verlander. Both benches and bullpens partially emptied, but there was no serious physical contact.

“Sometimes you can retaliate, like tonight,” Hinch said. “They’re going to get away with it, unless he gets suspended. Sometimes you can’t, and you get thrown out of the game for backup sliders that hit guys. It’s a confusing time. Either the players govern the players on the field like it’s always been, or we legislate it to where none of this crap happens. They got a free shot at him with no warning, with no ejection. We’ll see if there’s discipline, and without discipline, there’s not going to be any issue doing it the next time. So if retaliations are in, cool. We’re well aware.”

 

Hernández, Gurriel lead Blue Jays to 10-4 win over Red Sox

Toronto pitcher Jacob Waguespack spent the day before his first major league start as a tourist in Fenway Park, signing his name inside the Green Monster and FaceTiming his high school coaches from the dugout.

When the time came for him to take the mound, it was the Red Sox who were caught looking.

The Blue Jays right-hander limited the defending World Series champions to one run before they figured him out in the fifth inning, and Toronto pounded new Boston starter Andrew Cashner for a 10-4 victory on Tuesday night.

Teoscar Hernandez hit a three-run homer, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had a single, double and triple for the Blue Jays, who lost three of their previous four games.

“First time in Boston. It’s great to pitch in Fenway Park,” said Waguespack, whose father, stepmother, brothers and girlfriend were there to see him. “It gets pretty loud when you give up runs. So hopefully it will be a little better next time.”

Justin Smoak also homered for Toronto, which led 4-1 before the Red Sox tied it and chased Waguespack in the fifth. The Blue Jays took the lead right back with two runs in the sixth, and then added four in the ninth.

“The one thing about the big leagues: You face a lineup for the third time and they usually get you,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “And they did.”

Cashner (9-4) was acquired from the Orioles on Saturday to help bolster the Boston rotation, but quickly fell behind 4-1 and then failed to get an out in the sixth.

In all, the bushy-bearded right-hander allowed six runs – five earned – on eight hits and two walks, striking out two. He also gave up two homers, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch on a third strike that allowed Hernandez to reach first.

Xander Bogaerts had a single, double and home run, and Mookie Betts also had three hits for Boston, which fell 10 games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.

 

Conforto, Mets beat Twins 3-2 after surviving tense 9th

The bases were loaded in the ninth inning against sputtering New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz, and the Minnesota Twins had their most experienced hitter at the plate in Nelson Cruz for a classic power-versus-power matchup.

So many of these tense moments have favored the first-place Twins this season, and the ballpark was alive with anticipation. This one went to the hard-throwing Diaz and the Mets, though, thanks in part to an early edge courtesy of Michael Conforto.

Conforto went 4 for 4 and drove in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the fifth inning , and Diaz retired Cruz on a full-count foul popup to preserve a 3-2 victory by the Mets on Tuesday night.

“All I wanted to do was elevate my fastball there to get him out,” Diaz said through a translator after escaping for his 21st save in 25 attempts.

Luis Arraez entered as a pinch-hitter for injured Jonathan Schoop and turned an 0-2 count into a walk. Singles by Mitch Garver and Marwin Gonzalez dialed up the pressure on Diaz, who has allowed 25 hits, 17 runs and six walks over his last 14 1/3 innings. But Cruz’s foul ball on the seventh straight fastball of his at-bat, all recorded at 98 or 99 mph, was well within the range of third baseman Todd Frazier to make a basket catch in front of the dugout.

“I don’t think I’d say I enjoy it, because we lost, but definitely we can take some positives,” Cruz said. “We got the game where we want to be, and unfortunately I wasn’t able to come through.”

Conforto was just 6 for 49 over his last 14 games. He made the defensive play of the night, too, a graceful leaping grab at the top of the wall in left-center to end the third with a runner on and take away an extra-base hit from Cruz. Schoop led off that inning against Steven Matz with a home run.

With Matz on a pitch limit, the Mets bullpen backed up the highlight reel created by Conforto with one hit allowed over the first four of five scoreless innings. Luis Avilan (2-0) picked up the victory.

 

Report: ‘No appetite’ among some NBA teams to take on final year of Chris Paul deal

The Oklahoma City Thunder are having a hard time finding anyone to take Chris Paul’s contract off their hands.

According to Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders, based on conversations with NBA general managers, there is “almost no appetite” around the league to touch Paul’s contract, particularly the $44 million player option in 2021-22.

Paul will be 37 years old by the time that deal expires.

The Thunder are running into the same problem the Houston Rockets had: Paul’s contract is nearly untradeable unless the pot is sweetened with extra draft picks. That runs counter to what Oklahoma City is trying to do, which is stockpile future first-round selections in order to strengthen their rebuild.

Ultimately, they’re reportedly open to keeping the point guard, largely because, at this point, they may have no other choice.

 

Report: Thunder open to keeping Chris Paul

While Chris Paul has been frequently linked with a move away from Oklahoma City, there are also indications that the Thunder would be comfortable keeping the newly acquired guard.

According to Ken Berger of Bleacher Report, the Thunder would have no problem keeping Paul on board if they can’t find a trade partner and Paul is willing to stay. While his deal is bloated with three years and $124 million remaining, that is still a year less than Russell Westbrook had left.

Paul’s willingness to stay remains somewhat of a question. The 34-year-old has never even played in the NBA Finals, and he is running out of time to find that elusive championship. The reality is that Paul just doesn’t have a ton of potential takers thanks to his contract unless Oklahoma City is willing to sweeten the pot by adding assets, and he may have to settle for playing on a non-contending Thunder team for at least one season.

 

Warriors GM opens up about Kevin Durant leaving: ‘I was sad’

Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Meyers opened up to the local media on Monday about his last interaction with Kevin Durant.

Meyers said he spoke personally with Durant for between one and two hours before news broke that he wasn’t coming back to the Bay Area. He admitted he “was sad” when he found out Durant was signing with the Brooklyn Nets. He also said that he and Durant parted on good terms and gushed about having had the opportunity to watch the superstar up close for three years.

There have been a ton of reports since Durant left the Warriors indicating he has hard feelings about how he was treated, and about the injury that will cost him most — if not all — of the 2019-20 season.

Clearly, Meyers is doing everything he can to publicly let Durant know that he, and the Warriors, just feel lucky to have had him around when they did. Of course, the team’s announcement about Durant’s No. 35 jersey shows that as well.

 

Will Jordan always be better than James?

With the Los Angeles Lakers moving the heavens and the earth to bring in talent to support LeBron James in the twilight years of his career one thing is now a certainty:  Among non-centers, Michael “Air” Jordan will always fly higher than LeBron “King” James.

What made Kawhi Leonard’s achievements in Toronto so special this year was the fact that he didn’t do it with a ready-made winner like the San Antonio Spurs, a Raptors team that had never tasted a championship before.  Leonard was able to take a team and teach them how to win and show them how to win both on and off the court; this is why teams like the Los Angeles Lakers were willing to wait for him to make a decision on where he wanted to play.

By contrast, when LeBron James went to the Miami Heat, he made sure that everyone that he wanted to play with was there, and in the process created a modern day “super team.”  He was unwilling to wait for a team like the Cleveland Cavaliers to grow up around him or for the franchise to acquire better players for him, he wanted to win, he wanted to win right away, but he also had to win on his terms and timetable, not anyone else’s.  “The Chosen One” needed to speed up the process and not pay his dues the way Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls did.

The concept of Larry Bird and “Magic” Johnson being on the same team or Michael Jordan inviting Isiah Thomas to Chicago to play with him on the Bulls is beyond unfathomable.  These are all players who not only wanted to be the best, but understood they had to beat the best in order to properly claim their title.  When Kevin Durant left the Oklahoma City Thunder and joined the Golden State Warriors, he was considered a sellout for signing up with a team that had already won a championship, yet somehow creating a “super team” was more accepted.  Sure, LeBron James caught some heat when he left for Miami, leaving the Cavs in his cold wake; but to me there is little difference between what “The King” did and Durant did, yet one was right and one was wrong after doing basically the same thing for the same reason.

What makes the run of the New England Patriots so remarkable is that Bill Belichick has always found a way to infuse new players into his system.  Those players always keep the locker room hungry, almost desperate for a championship; something that NBA players want but are not willing to wait for.  Nowadays it’s cool to team up with your buddies and plan your free agency together as if they were going on a honeymoon (See Durant and Irving).

The only true power NBA players have lies in free agency because salaries are limited and players are thought to be “leaving money on the table” if they leave the team that drafted them for another franchise.  The result is the “super team” which, recent history shows us, is liked by the fans because dynasties sell; they give some people a team to root for, while the rest have a team to hate.  Thanks to LeBron James, the handful of “super teams” the NBA now has will fight for years to come like a basketball version of “Games of Thrones” with each new superstar waiting for their chance to join their friends and make their run.  And while LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard might win a few more rings in their careers; unless another players comes along and goes 6-6 in the NBA Finals the way Michael Jordan did, his “Airness” will always be the best non-center ever to play the game.

 

2019 NBA offseason grades for every team: Clippers, Lakers, Nets come out big winners after free agency madness

The 2019 NBA free agency period will go down as one of the most frenetic and unpredictable in recent memory, and the decisions of several superstars effectively reshaped the league and our expectations heading into next season. It’s been the summer of the tandem, as star duos have chosen to team up in Los Angeles (Kawhi Leonard and Paul George with the Clippers, LeBron James and Anthony Davis with the Lakers), Brooklyn (Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant) and Houston (James Harden and Russell Westbrook), but those aren’t the only teams who had successful offseasons.

We’ve logged every team’s transactions, including draft picks, trades and free-agent signings, and assigned a grade to teach team’s offseason maneuvers. Success is judged differently, as not every team had a chance to sign the big fish, but the most important thing we looked for was if the team appeared to have a plan, and how they were able to execute it. Some, as you’ll see, had a better summer than others.

We’ve included every official transaction, as well as some that haven’t technically been completed yet, and will continue to add to the list as moves continue to be made before the start of the season in October.

Atlanta Hawks

Added:

G Allen Crabbe (trade with Nets)

F Evan Turner (trade with Trail Blazers)

F Chandler Parsons (trade with Grizzlies)

C Damian Jones (trade with Warriors)

F Jabari Parker (signed)

Drafted:

F DeAndre Hunter (No. 4 pick, via Pelicans)

F Cam Reddish (No. 10 pick)

C Bruno Fernando (No. 34 pick, via 76ers)

Lost:

F Taurean Prince (trade with Nets)

G Kent Bazemore (trade with Blazers)

C Dewayne Dedmon (signed with Kings)

F Deyonta Davis (waived)

F Omari Spellman (trade with Warriors)

C Miles Plumlee (trade with Grizzlies)

G Jaylen Adams (waived)

Hawks GM Travis Schlenk has a clear direction for his young squad, and he found the man he wanted by trading up to snag Hunter at No. 4. He’ll be a nice defensive piece around Trae Young and John Collins, and the Hawks also added, even more, shooting with Crabbe and (potentially) Reddish. Turner was a puzzling addition, but can add depth as another primary ball-handler behind Young. Offseason Grade: B

 

Boston Celtics

Added:

G Kemba Walker (sign-and-trade with Hornets)

C Enes Kanter (agreed to sign)

Drafted:

F Romeo Langford (No. 14 pick)

F Grant Willaims (No. 22 pick)

G Carsen Edwards (No. 33 pick, via trade with 76ers)

G Tremont Waters (No. 51 pick)

Lost:

G Kyrie Irving (signed with Nets)

G Terry Rozier (trade with Hornets)

C Al Horford (signed with 76ers)

F Marcus Morris (agreed to sign with Knicks)

C Aron Baynes (trade with Suns)

We have to operate under the assumption that there was no interest on either side for Irving to return to Boston, so emerging at the relative last minute to ink a deal with Walker was a huge win. Factoring in last season’s chemistry issues, the move from Irving to Walker might even be a net positive. Replacing Horford and Baynes with Kanter is a massive blow defensively, but it may have been smart in the long-term to avoid matching Philly’s offer for an aging Horford. That being said, the Celtics will likely be worse this season due to their losses. Offseason Grade: C+

 

Brooklyn Nets

Added:

F Kevin Durant (sign-and-trade with Warriors)

G Kyrie Irving (signed)

C DeAndre Jordan (signed)

G Garrett Temple (signed)

F Wilson Chandler (signed)

F Taurean Prince (trade with Hawks)

F David Nwaba (agreed to sign)

Drafted:

C Nicolas Claxton (No. 31 pick)

G Jaylen Hands (No. 56 pick, via Clippers)

Lost:

G D’Angelo Russell (sign-and-trade with Warriors)

F DeMarre Carroll (trade with Spurs)

C Ed Davis (agreed to sign with Jazz)

F Jared Dudley (signed with Lakers)

G Allen Crabbe (trade with Hawks)

F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (agreed to sign with Raptors)

G Shabazz Napier (traded to Timberwolves, via Warriors)

F Treveon Graham (traded to Timberwolves, via Warriors)

Nets GM Sean Marks can take a bow after winning the Kyrie-K.D. sweepstakes, but he also added veteran wing depth with Temple and Chandler and got a protected first-round pick from the Warriors in the Durant-Russell sign-and-trade. Overpaying Jordan was the cost of doing business with Irving and Durant, but they were also able to pick up Prince, a potential fill-in starter while Durant recovers, for Crabbe’s bloated expiring contract and two first-rounders. Minor moves aside, getting Kyrie and Durant puts the Nets among the NBA elite, something that we never would have dreamed at this time last year. Offseason Grade: A+

 

Charlotte Hornets

Added:

G Terry Rozier (sign-and-trade with Celtics)

Drafted:

F PJ Washington (No. 12 pick)

F Cody Martin (No. 36 pick)

F Jalen McDaniels (No. 52 pick)

Lost:

G Kemba Walker (sign-and-trade with Celtics)

G Jeremy Lamb (signed with Pacers)

C Frank Kaminsky (agreed to sign with Suns)

G Tony Parker (retired)

Talk about an unmitigated disaster. Not only did the Hornets lose their franchise player in Walker after reportedly low-balling him with an offer he would never accept, but they also went out and gave Rozier a three-year, $56.7 million deal to take Walker’s place. Bottoming out is fine in today’s NBA (Charlotte may very well be the worst team in the NBA next season), but those are the type of contracts you want to avoid while you’re tanking. Part of this grade really goes back to not trading Walker in February if they knew they weren’t going to offer him max money this summer. Offseason Grade: F

 

Chicago Bulls

Added:

F Thaddeus Young (signed)

G Tomas Satoransky (sign-and-trade with Wizards)

F Luke Kornet (agreed to sign)

Drafted:

G Coby White (No. 7 pick)

F Daniel Gafford (No. 38 pick)

Lost:

C Robin Lopez (signed with Bucks)

G Shaquille Harrison (waived)

G Walter Lemon Jr. (waived)

Re-signed:

G Ryan Arcidiacono

The addition of Young seems strange given that the Bulls already have Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. as young, potential-filled frontcourt pieces. Some feel White could be the best point guard in the draft, and it’s a sign that the franchise has moved on from Kris Dunn as the point guard of the future, which is a positive step. Satoransky proved himself to be a solid combo guard with the Wizards in John Wall’s absence last year, so he was worth taking a chance on. Overall it wasn’t an overwhelming offseason for Chicago, but it could have gone much worse. Offseason Grade: B

 

Cleveland Cavaliers

Added:

None

Draft:

G Darius Garland (No. 5 pick)

F Dylan Windler (No. 26 pick)

G Kevin Porter Jr. (No. 30 pick, via trade from Pistons)

Lost:

David Nwaba (agreed to sign with Nets)

The Cavs are going to be terrible again — particularly if they can find a suitor for Kevin Love. Some draft analysts were extremely high on Garland as a score-first point guard in the Damian Lillard mold, and if the Cavs think he’s that good then there’s no reason to worry about his fit next to Collin Sexton at this point — they were right in taking who they felt was the best player. Windler was sought after by a few teams and Porter Jr. is full of upside, but with no other major additions we can expect the Cavs to be bottom-dwellers once again. Offseason Grade: C+

 

 

Dallas Mavericks

Added:

G Seth Curry (signed)

G Delon Wright (sign-and-trade with Grizzlies)

C Boban Marjanovic (agreed to sign)

Drafted:

F Isaiah Roby (No. 45 pick, via trade from Pistons)

Lost:

Dirk Nowitzki (retired)

Re-signed:

F Kristaps Porzingis

F Dwight Powell

F Dorian Finney-Smith

F Maxi Kleber

The Mavs are banking on Porzingis being healthy after inking him to a max contract, and clearly they worked their charms on him after reports surfaced of Porzingis possibly taking the qualifying offer this season and testing the free agent waters next summer. Now the Mavericks have one of the most exciting young one-two punches in the NBA between Porzingis and Luka Doncic, while bringing back Curry and adding Wright shored up their backcourt. Offseason Grade: B+

 

Denver Nuggets

Added:

F Jerami Grant (trade with Thunder)

Drafted:

C Bol Bol (No. 44 pick, via Heat)

Lost:

G Isaiah Thomas (signed with Wizards)

F Trey Lyles (signed with Spurs)

F Tyler Lydon (agreed to sign with Kings)

Denver was understandably quiet this offseason outside of rewarding Jamal Murray with a max extension, and they should return as one of the favorites in the loaded Western Conference. Grant is a solid piece as a versatile, bouncy player who can play three through five. As they did with Michael Porter Jr. in last year’s draft, the Nuggets took a flier on a slipping prospect in Bol, who could end up helping them down the road. Offseason Grade: B

 

Detroit Pistons

Added:

G Derrick Rose (signed)

F Markieff Morris (signed)

G Tim Frazier (signed)

F Tony Snell (trade with Bucks)

Drafted:

F Sekou Doumbouya (No. 15 pick)

F Deividas Sirvydis (No. 37 pick, via trade from Mavericks)

Lost:

G Ish Smith (signed with Wizards)

G Wayne Ellington (signed with Knicks)

F Glenn Robinson III (signed with Warriors)

The Pistons didn’t lose a whole lot, but they didn’t gain much either. Rose was a great story last season, but it remains to be seen how he’ll affect a team looking to ascend in the Eastern Conference. Doumbouya has the potential to be very good, but it won’t be any time soon, and the Pistons’ window with Blake Griffin as their best player may be closing rapidly. Offseason Grade: C

 

Golden State Warriors

Added:

G D’Angelo Russell (sign-and-trade with Nets)

C Willie Cauley-Stein (signed)

F Glenn Robinson III (signed)

F Omari Spellman (trade with Hawks)

G Alec Burks (signed)

G Julian Washburn (trade with Grizzlies)

Drafted:

G Jordan Poole (No. 28 pick)

F Alen Smailagic (No. 39 pick, via Pelicans)

F Eric Paschall (No. 41 pick)

Lost:

F Kevin Durant (sign-and-trade with Nets)

F Andre Iguodala (trade with Grizzlies)

C DeMarcus Cousins (signed with Lakers)

G Shaun Livingston (waived)

F Jordan Bell (signed with Timberwolves)

C Damian Jones (trade with Hawks)

G Quinn Cook (signed with Lakers)

F Treveon Graham (trade with Timberwolves)

G Shabazz Napier (trade with Timberwolves)

Re-signed:

G Klay Thompson

F Kevon Looney

This is a tricky one to grade. Obviously the Warriors would have preferred to keep Durant, and losing him takes them from perennial title favorite to a much murkier future. But GM Bob Myers did well to get Russell out of the situation, a 23-year-old All-Star who can either blossom in the Warriors system or be sold to the highest bidder. Losing Iguodala and Livingston hurts, but Golden State made a clear effort this offseason to get younger and more athletic. Re-signing Thompson was the top priority, and bringing back Looney must have been a pleasant surprise given their cap situation. That being said, they’re no longer the chalk title favorite they once were, so that has to be reflected in their grade. Offseason Grade: C

 

 

Houston Rockets

Added:

G Russell Westbrook (trade with Thunder)

F Deyonta Davis (signed)

Drafted:

None

Lost:

Chris Paul (trade with Thunder)

Re-signed:

G Austin Rivers

F Danuel House

G Gerald Green

Daryl Morey from the top rope! Just when we thought free agency madness had settled, the Rockets acquired Westbrook and shipped off Paul to OKC, pretty much validating the rumors that Paul and James Harden could no longer coexist. Houston also got Rivers to take less money to come back, keeping their rotations intact, and didn’t have to give up Clint Capela or Eric Gordon to acquire their new second star. Their defense needs work and the Westbrook-Harden fit is mind-boggling (Jimmy Butler would have been a much more seamless fit, on the court at least), but the Rockets certainly did not stand pat as the top of the West became loaded. Offseason Grade: B

 

Indiana Pacers

Added:

F TJ Warren (trade with Suns)

G Malcolm Brogdon (sign-and-trade with Bucks)

G Jeremy Lamb (signed)

G TJ McConnell (agreed to sign)

Drafted:

C Goga Bitadze (No. 18 pick)

Lost:

G Darren Collison (retired)

G Tyreke Evans (suspension)

F Bojan Bogdanovic (signed with Jazz)

F Thaddeus Young (signed with Bulls)

G Wesley Matthews (signed with Bucks)

G Cory Joseph (signed with Kings)

C Kyle O’Quinn (signed with 76ers)

The Pacers gave Brogdon a whole lot of money, but overall they upgraded their roster this summer. Losing Bogdanovic hurts, but replacing him with Warren and Lamb should get them close to his production as Victor Oladipo hopefully returns healthy at some point. Indiana continues to look like a really good team that everyone will constantly overlook, and they surely like it that way. Offseason Grade: B+

 

Los Angeles Clippers

Added:

F Kawhi Leonard (signed)

F Paul George (trade with Thunder)

F Maurice Harkless (trade with Trail Blazers, Heat and 76ers)

Drafted:

C Mfiondu Kabengele (No. 27 pick, via Nets)

G Terance Mann (No. 48 pick)

Lost:

F Danilo Gallinari (trade with Thunder)

G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (trade with Thunder)

G Garrett Temple (signed with Nets)

F Wilson Chandler (signed with Nets)

G Tyrone Wallace (waived)

G Sindarius Thornwell (waived)

Re-signed:

G Patrick Beverley

F JaMychal Green

C Ivica Zubac

G Rodney McGruder

The Clippers edged their in-arena rivals by winning the Kawhi Leonard sweepstakes, then made a jaw-dropping move to bring in George, cementing themselves as odds-on title favorites for next season. On top of that, they brought back Beverley, Zubac, Green and McGruder while adding an intriguing prospect in Kabengele and an established two-way player in Harkless. The only thing you can really knock the Clippers for is the haul they had to surrender to get George (losing Gilgeous-Alexander hurts), but in today’s NBA climate you pretty much have to make that deal for a chance to win now. Offseason Grade: A

 

Los Angeles Lakers

Added:

F Anthony Davis (trade with Pelicans)

C DeMarcus Cousins (signed)

G Danny Green (signed)

G Avery Bradley (signed)

G Quinn Cook (signed)

G Troy Daniels (signed)

F Jared Dudley (signed)

Drafted:

G Talen Horton-Tucker (No. 46 pick, via trade from Magic)

Lost:

G Lonzo Ball (trade with Pelicans)

F Brandon Ingram (trade with Pelicans)

G Josh Hart (trade with Pelicans)

C Moritz Wagner (trade with Wizards)

F Isaac Bonga (trade with Wizards)

F Jemerrio Jones (trade with Wizards)

F Mike Muscala (signed with Thunder)

G Reggie Bullock (agreed to sign with Knicks)

Re-signed:

G Rajon Rondo

G Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

C JaVale McGee

G Alex Caruso

What a wild ride for the Lakers. First they get Davis for an incredibly high price, then are proclaimed front-runners to sign Kawhi Leonard, only to be left in scramble mode to fill out their roster once he chose the Clippers. That being said, the Lakers enter next season with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, plus a strategic roster around them. Green is exactly the type of player they needed, and Cousins appears motivated to finally prove that he is back to his old self, joining former teammate Davis in the frontcourt. It wasn’t a path most would recommend, but at the end of the day the Lakers are a healthy season from James and Davis away from being title contenders after missing the playoffs last season, and that has to be considered a win. Offseason grade: A-

 

 

Memphis Grizzlies

Added:

C Dwight Howard (trade with Wizards)

F Andre Iguodala (trade with Warriors)

F Josh Jackson (trade with Suns)

G Grayson Allen (trade with Jazz)

F Jae Crowder (trade with Jazz)

G Kyle Korver (trade with Jazz)

G De’Anthony Melton (trade with Suns)

G Tyus Jones (signed)

F Solomon Hill (trade with Hawks)

C Miles Plumlee (trade with Hawks)

Drafted:

G Ja Morant (No. 2 pick)

F Brandon Clarke (No. 21 pick, via Thunder)

Lost:

G Mike Conley (trade with Jazz)

G Delon Wright (sign-and-trade with Mavericks)

G Avery Bradley (waived)

F CJ Miles (trade with Wizards)

F Chandler Parsons (trade with Hawks)

G Jevon Carter (trade with Suns)

G Julian Washburn (trade with Warriors)

Re-signed:

C Jonas Valanciunas

Memphis made a ton of moves this offseason to fully signal their rebuild, and don’t appear to be anywhere near finished. They might not have gotten enough for Conley given some of the deals we saw for stars afterward, but they wanted to do right by their former franchise player and send him to a preferred destination. The headline is getting Morant, an explosive guard who should be the perfect complement to second-year forward Jaren Jackson Jr. They also took a chance on Josh Jackson, a former No. 4 pick, and got perhaps the most athletic player in the draft with Clarke. The future looks bright in Memphis — it’s just going to take a while to get there. Offseason Grade: B

 

Miami Heat

Added:

F Jimmy Butler (sign-and-trade with 76ers, Trail Blazers and Clippers)

C Meyers Leonard (trade with 76ers, Trail Blazers and Clippers)

Drafted:

G Tyler Herro (No. 13 pick)

F KZ Okpala (No. 32 pick, via Suns)

Lost:

G Dwyane Wade (retired)

C Hassan Whiteside (traded to Trail Blazers)

G Josh Richardson (traded to 76ers)

F Ryan Anderson (waived)

Miami finally got a star, but what else will they have to support him? After reportedly being in on Russell Westbrook, the Heat may or may not have eyes for Chris Paul in what promises to likely be a short stint in Oklahoma City. Sending Whiteside to Portland was addition by subtraction, freeing up Bam Adebayo to take over as the full-time starter, and Herro looked good in Summer League — take that for whatever it’s worth. Overall the Heat basically replaced Richardson with Butler, which makes them a better team. Offseason Grade: B+

 

Milwaukee Bucks

Added:

C Robin Lopez (signed)

G Wesley Matthews (signed)

Drafted:

None

Lost:

G Malcolm Brogdon (trade with Pacers)

F Nikola Mirotic (signed with FC Barcelona)

G Tim Frazier (signed with Pistons)

F Jon Leuer (waived)

F Tony Snell (trade with Pistons)

Re-signed:

F Khris Middleton

C Brook Lopez

G George Hill

Losing Brogdon is a huge blow to Milwaukee, but the Pacers’ offer was just too large to be matched. Most of the Bucks’ core, however, remains intact after bringing back essential pieces in Middleton and Brook Lopez. They also added a second Lopez twin to fill the gaping hole at backup center, and they’re hoping Hill, who performed well last postseason, can step into Brogdon’s shoes as a combo guard. All in all, the Bucks should still be the favorite to come out of the East. Offseason Grade: B

 

Minnesota Timberwolves

Added:

F Treveon Graham (trade with Warriors)

F Jake Layman (trade with Blazers)

G Shabazz Napier (trade with Warriors)

F Noah Vonleh (signed)

G Tyrone Wallace (claimed off waivers)

F Jordan Bell (signed)

Drafted:

F Jarrett Culver (No. 6 pick, via Suns)

G Jaylen Nolen (No. 43 pick)

Lost:

F Taj Gibson (signed with Knicks)

G Tyus Jones (signed with Grizzlies)

G Cameron Reynolds (waived)

G Derrick Rose (signed with Pistons)

F Dario Saric (trade with Suns)

F Anthony Tolliver (signed with Blazers)

The Wolves were apparently extremely close to signing D’Angelo Russell to pair him with Karl-Anthony Towns before Golden State swooped in, and as a result Minnesota’s offseason is pretty blah. They traded up to get Culver, who could be an impact player right away, but lost Saric, a starter, in the process. It’s hard to say the Wolves are better off now than they were last year. Offseason Grade: C

 

 

New Orleans Pelicans

Added:

G Lonzo Ball (trade with Lakers and Wizards)

F Brandon Ingram (trade with Lakers and Wizards)

G JJ Redick (signed)

F Derrick Favors (trade with Jazz)

G Josh Hart (trade with Lakers and Wizards)

Drafted:

F Zion Williamson (No. 1 pick)

C Jaxson Hayes (No. 8 pick, via Hawks)

G Nickeil Alexander-Walker (No. 17 pick, via Hawks)

G Marcos Louzada Silva (No. 35 pick, via Hawks)

Lost:

F Anthony Davis (trade with Lakers)

F Solomon Hill (trade with Hawks)

G Elfrid Payton (signed with Knicks)

C Julius Randle (signed with Knicks)

F Stanley Johnson (signed with Raptors)

When you trade a superstar player who has said he wants out, you’re not supposed to get better immediately. But David Griffin endeared himself to New Orleans fans by putting on a clinic this offseason, acquiring promising young players and first-round picks like they were Pokemon cards, not to mention adding win-now vets in Redick and Favors. They lucked out by getting Zion, but everything else was a product of a shrewd front office which has set the Pelicans up for years of success, maybe even starting this season. Offseason Grade: A+

 

New York Knicks

Added:

F Julius Randle (signed)

F Bobby Portis (signed)

G Wayne Ellington (signed)

F Taj Gibson (signed)

G Elfrid Payton (signed)

Drafted:

G RJ Barrett (No. 3 pick)

F Ignas Brazdeikis (No. 47 pick, via Kings)

Lost:

F Mario Hezonja (signed with Blazers)

F Noah Vonleh (signed with Timberwolves)

C DeAndre Jordan (signed with Nets)

F Lance Thomas (waived)

This grade goes back to trading Kristaps Porzingis and clearing the deck for two max slots — then missing out on every max player and spending the money on Randle, Portis, Ellington, Gibson and Payton instead. This offseason can’t be viewed as anything but a disappointment for the Knicks, who were hoping Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant would take their two-man show to MSG. Instead they’re stuck with at least another year of rebuilding, with Barrett and Kevin Knox their only hopes as potential future superstars. Offseason Grade: C-

 

Oklahoma City Thunder

Added:

G Chris Paul (trade with Rockets)

G Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (trade with Clippers)

F Danilo Gallinari (trade with Clippers)

F Mike Muscala (signed)

Drafted:

F Darius Bazley (No. 23 pick, via Grizzlies)

Lost:

F Paul George (trade with Clippers)

G Russell Westbrook (trade with Rockets)

F Jerami Grant (trade with Nuggets)

Re-signed:

C Nerlens Noel

The Thunder and Sam Presti rivaled the Pelicans with their execution this offseason. They lost George and Westbrook, but returned a treasure trove of first-round picks, a young potential All-Star in Gilgeous-Alexander, and pieces which will allow them to try to win now should they so choose (Paul and Gallinari). It seems like the Thunder’s wheeling and dealing isn’t done yet, but for now it’s already been a huge success given that their previous core appeared to have exhausted its championship possibilities. Offseason Grade: A

 

Orlando Magic

Added:

F  Al-Farouq Aminu (signed)

Drafted:

F Chuma Okeke (No. 16 pick)

Lost:

C Timofey Mozgov (waived)

Re-signed:

C Nikola Vucevic

G Terrence Ross

G Michael Carter-Williams

F Khem Birch

The Magic returned to the playoffs last season and appear determined to run it back, bringing Vucevic, Ross, Carter-Williams and Birch back into the fold. The addition of Aminu seems strange given Orlando’s roster chocked full of long players who can’t shoot, but he’s been on a winning team for years and should help defensively. Overall, nothing thrilling for Orlando this offseason, but they didn’t really hurt themselves either. Offseason grade: C

 

 

Philadelphia 76ers

Added:

G Josh Richardson (trade with Heat, Blazers and Clippers)

C Al Horford (signed)

C Kyle O’Quinn (signed)

G Raul Neto (signed)

Drafted:

F Matisse Thybulle (No. 20 pick, via Celtics)

G Marial Shayok (No. 54 pick)

G Jordan Bone (No. 57 pick, via Hawks)

Lost:

F Jimmy Butler (trade with Heat)

G JJ Redick (signed with Pelicans)

G TJ McConnell (agreed to sign with Pacers)

C Boban Marjanovic (agreed to sign with Mavericks)

Re-signed:

F Tobias Harris

F Mike Scott

F James Ennis III

G Shake Milton

Losing Redick throws a wrench into a lot of what the 76ers have done offensively over the past few seasons, and the loss of Butler will force Ben Simmons and Harris to be perimeter closers. But the Sixers now have one of the more intriguing starting lineups in the NBA, with crazy length and size throughout. Richardson was a good piece to pick up with the loss of Redick and Butler, and the Horford signing, while risky for the later years, should be a short-term benefit as he can both play alongside Joel Embiid and spell him while he rests. Philly is still an Eastern Conference favorite despite their losses. Offseason grade: B

 

Phoenix Suns

Added:

G Ricky Rubio (signed)

F Dario Saric (trade with Timberwolves)

C Aron Baynes (trade with Celtics)

G Jevon Carter (trade with Grizzlies)

G Jalen Lecque (signed)

Drafted:

F Cameron Johnson (No. 11 pick, via Timberwolves)

G Ty Jerome (No. 24 pick, via Celtics)

Lost:

G Troy Daniels (signed with Lakers)

F Josh Jackson (trade with Grizzlies)

G De’Anthony Melton (trade with Grizzlies)

F T.J. Warren (trade with Pacers)

G Kyle Korver (waived)

F Richaun Holmes (agreed to sign with Kings)

Nobody really knows what the Suns were doing this offseason, trading down in the draft to take a player (Johnson) who many believed would be available much later. They also traded away Warren, who blossomed into a knock-down 3-point shooter last season. They finally got a point guard in Rubio, and Saric should help as a stretch-four, but overall this was a pretty lateral offseason for Phoenix, who continue to lack true direction. Offseason Grade: D

 

Portland Trail Blazers

Added:

C Hassan Whiteside (trade with 76ers, Blazers and Clippers)

G Kent Bazemore (trade with Hawks)

F Mario Hezonja (signed)

F Anthony Tolliver (signed)

Drafted:

F Nassir Little (No. 25 pick)

Lost:

F Al-Farouq Aminu (signed with Magic)

C Enes Kanter (agreed to sign with Celtics)

G Seth Curry (signed with Mavericks)

F Evan Turner (trade with Hawks)

F Maurice Harkless (trade with Clippers)

F Jake Layman (trade with Timberwolves)

C Meyers Leonard (trade with Heat)

Re-signed:

F Rodney Hood

The Blazers made a big move to replace the injured Jusuf Nurkic with Whiteside, a polarizing player to say the least. They’re hoping a fresh start in their positive culture will get him going, but it certainly could go the other way. Bazemore is a solid addition, but losing Harkless and Aminu will hurt the defense, while they also lost shooting with Curry’s departure. If Mario Hezonja is expected to get actual playing time for you, you have to question how your offseason went. Offseason grade: C

 

Sacramento Kings

Added:

F Trevor Ariza (signed)

C Dewayne Dedmon (signed)

G Cory Joseph (signed)

F Richaun Holmes (agreed to sign)

F Tyler Lydon (agreed to sign)

Drafted:

G Justin James (No. 40 pick)

G Kyle Guy (No. 55 pick, via Knicks)

G Vanja Marinkovic (No. 60 pick)

Lost:

C Willie Cauley-Stein (signed with Warriors)

G Alec Burks (signed with Warriors)

G Frank Mason (waived)

Re-signed:

F Harrison Barnes

After a breakout 2018-19 season, the Kings had a busy offseason which started with signing Barnes to a long-term, big-money deal. Adding Ariza should help solidify their perimeter defense, and they got a solid (possibly overpaid) center in Dedmon to go along with a tried-and-true backup point guard in Joseph. Overall the additions outweigh the subtractions, so that has to be viewed as a success. Offseason grade: B

 

San Antonio Spurs

Added:

F DeMarre Carroll (trade with Nets, Wizards)

F Trey Lyles (signed)

Drafted:

F Luka Samanic (No. 19 pick)

F Keldon Johnson (No. 29 pick)

G Quinndary Weatherspoon (No. 49 pick)

Lost:

F Davis Bertans (trade with Wizards)

Re-signed:

F Rudy Gay

The Spurs just continue to be the Spurs, drafting mysterious Europeans (Samanic) and bringing in glue-guy veterans (Carroll). Keeping Gay will give them some much-needed scoring punch, but losing Bertans hurts their 3-point shooting. Lyles has shown signs of being a solid rotation player, so he might thrive in the Spurs’ system. Overall it’s more of the same for San Antonio, who we will undoubtedly rule out of the Western Conference playoff picture, only to see them right there next April. Offseason grade: B

 

Toronto Raptors

Added:

F Stanley Johnson (signed)

F Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (agreed to sign)

Draft:

F Dewan Hernandez (No. 59 pick)

Lost:

F Kawhi Leonard (signed with Clippers)

G Danny Green (signed with Lakers)

Re-signed:

G Patrick McCaw

Toronto lost Leonard to his native Southern California and, though it likely wasn’t their fault, it was a tremendous blow to their chances of repeating as champions. Losing Green can’t be overlooked either, and replacing them with Johnson and Hollis-Jefferson doesn’t exactly get you excited. Toronto will still be good, but a title is likely no longer in the cards. Offseason grade: C-

 

Utah Jazz

Added:

G Mike Conley (trade with Grizzlies)

F Bojan Bogdanovic (signed)

C Ed Davis (agreed to sign)

F Jeff Green (agreed to sign)

Drafted:

F Jarrell Brantley (No. 50 pick, via Pacers)

G Justin Wright-Foreman (No. 53 pick)

G Miye Oni (No. 58 pick, via Warriors)

Lost:

F Derrick Favors (trade with Pelicans)

G Kyle Korver (trade with Grizzlies)

G Ricky Rubio (signed with Suns)

G Raul Neto (waived, signed with 76ers)

Utah went from being one star away to being a true title contender thanks to the addition of Conley, whom they got relatively cheap from the Grizzlies. Bogdanovic adds the shooting that they need without compromising their elite defense, and replacing Favors with Davis and Green is at least not a total loss. The Jazz are now a team to be feared out West. Offseason grade: A

 

Washington Wizards

Added:

G Isaiah Thomas (signed)

G Ish Smith (signed)

G Isaac Bonga (trade with Lakers, Pelicans)

F Jemerrio Jones (trade with Lakers, Pelicans)

F C.J. Miles (trade with Grizzlies)

F Davis Bertans (trade with Spurs, Nets)

C Moritz Wagner (trade with Lakers, Pelicans)

Draft:

F Rui Hachimura (No. 9 pick)

F Admiral Schofield (No. 42 pick, via 76ers)

Lost:

F Trevor Ariza (signed with Kings)

C Dwight Howard (trade with Grizzlies)

F Bobby Portis (signed with Knicks)

G Tomas Satoransky (sign-and-trade with Bulls)

F Jabari Parker (signed with Hawks)

F Jeff Green (agreed to sign with Jazz)

F Jonathon Simmons (waived)

Re-signed:

C Thomas Bryant

Oh boy. On nights that Bradley Beal rests, the Wizards roster could probably be mistaken for a G League team. It’s hard to see where the points are going to come from outside of Beal, and Hachimura, while he could be a solid rotation player, doesn’t have the look of superstar. When bringing back Thomas Bryant and is your huge offseason move, you’re probably in trouble. Let’s hope that, if nothing else, Washington’s lack of punch will allow Isaiah Thomas to have a comeback season. With John Wall out, however, this is going to be a difficult year for Wizards fans. Offseason Grade: D

 

WNBA suspends Riquna Williams 10 games for domestic violence

Los Angeles Sparks guard Riquna Williams was suspended without pay by the WNBA on Tuesday for 10 games – nearly a third of the season – for a domestic violence incident.

Williams was arrested on April 29 and charged with two felony counts, one involving the assault of an individual with whom she was in a relationship and the other involving a threat to another person with a firearm. Her criminal case is ongoing.

The WNBA conducted its own investigation and consulted with a panel of experts in the field of domestic violence. Among other factors, the league said it took into account the nature and seriousness of the allegations, including the involvement of a gun. The WNBA also will require Williams to participate in counseling.

“As an organization, we abhor violence of any kind and specifically take domestic violence allegations very seriously,” the Sparks said in a statement. “We will provide whatever resources we are allowed to help Riquna learn and grow from this unfortunate situation.”

The suspension, which surpassed the seven games given to Brittney Griner and Glory Johnson in 2015 for their domestic violence arrests, will begin with Thursday’s game against the Dallas Wings. It’s not the longest in league history: The WNBA dismissed Rhonda Mapp, who also played for Los Angeles, in 2003 for violating its drug policy. Mapp never returned after being suspended by the league for two years.

According to an arrest report, Williams forced her way inside a Florida home and repeatedly struck Alkeria Davis in the head and pulled her hair on Dec. 6. Two men told Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputies they spent 10 minutes trying to break up the fight. When they finally separated the women, the 28-year-old Williams grabbed a gun from her car, placed it on the trunk and pointed it at one man, saying “you’ll get all 18” before speeding off, authorities said.

Davis said she and Williams had been together on and off for five years and had broken up a month earlier. She told authorities she thought Williams was jealous but had never been violent in the past.

 

Jadeveon Clowney not signing extension with Texans

The 3 p.m. Central Time deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extension came and went without a Jadeveon Clowney deal. He will play this season for $15.967 million.

While no agreement was expected, Clowney is now in a strange spot. The former No. 1 overall pick has been extension-eligible since January of 2017 yet will play a sixth season without a long-term extension in place. As a result, the Texans should not expect to see him for a while.

Clowney is unlikely to show for “a good portion” of training camp, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweeting the Pro Bowl edge defender might not resurface in Texans gear until September. As was the case with Le’Veon Bell last year, Clowney is going into his sixth season and has already accrued enough service time to be an unrestricted free agent. So, the Aug. 6 date will not affect the 26-year-old’s potential UFA path.

Of course, we haven’t heard anything on Clowney being willing to forgo a near-$16 million payday to reach free agency unscathed, so it’s entirely possible the Texans will have Clowney back by the time the regular season begins.

A reported disagreement between Bill O’Brien and since-fired GM Brian Gaine on Clowney’s value existed, with O’Brien being against a long-term deal for the former South Carolina prodigy. The Texans are going without a GM this season, but their adjusted front office will have to deal with a disgruntled standout — one the team shopped in trades this offseason.

 

EZEKIEL ELLIOTT TO HOLD OUT OF TRAINING CAMP WITHOUT A NEW DEAL?

Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas Cowboys could be headed toward a contract impasse that keeps him out of training camp.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk wrote Monday that, “Per a league source, Elliott has privately said that he will hold out of training camp unless he gets a new contract.”

The Los Angeles Chargers are already facing a similar threat. Melvin Gordon has declared through his agent that he will demand a trade and could hold out into the season if he doesn’t get a long-term extension worthy of his production.

Elliott is clearly one of the NFL’s best running backs and is more valuable than the $3.85 million he’s due to make in 2019 without a new deal.

Sitting out of training camp does makes sense, especially if Elliott believes the Cowboys will eventually grant him his new deal. Running backs already deal with tremendous wear and tear, and it’s not like Elliott doesn’t know the offense. There are penalties to missing camp days, but it stands to reason Dallas could waive those in this situation.

However, his situation isn’t as simple as all that. The Cowboys have other players they might see as higher priorities who are also looking to get paid big-time money — quarterback Dak Prescott, defensive back Byron Jones and receiver Amari Cooper being atop that list.

Then there’s the looming legal battle with a Las Vegas security guard, who said he will sue Elliott over an incident at a concert earlier this year.

 

Dak Prescott not planning on taking Cowboys-friendly discount?

The quarterback market has grown rapidly over the past year and change, and Dak Prescott is the latest passer in position to benefit. Entering his contract year, the 2016 offensive rookie of the year has been negotiating with the Cowboys for several weeks.

Cowboys management has floated the idea of convincing the quarterback to take a slight discount in order to help Dallas retain a strong roster around him. Prescott, who is attached to a fourth-round rookie contract (four years, $2.7 million), might not be on board with that line of thinking.

“For somebody to say you can only take so much because of the salary cap or you can only do this or that, I don’t know how fair that is to say,” Prescott said, via Jori Epstein of USA Today. “Because with gambling, with everything going into this league, everything is going to continue to keep going up.”

The salary cap has steadily risen by approximately $10 million annually over the past several years, and the recent rumblings have many owners ready to see what loosened gambling restrictions could do for the league’s revenue. The NFL and NFLPA are also negotiating a new CBA, which could be a game-changer for player salaries.

This points to a friendlier marketplace, particularly for quarterbacks. While franchise signal-callers out-earn their non-QB teammates, the league now has eight quarterbacks averaging at least $27 million per year. Two years ago, it had zero. While Prescott has not shown himself to be a top-tier quarterback, he has piloted the Cowboys to three winning seasons and quietly has two top-five QBR marks (2016 and ’17).

“It’s important for all these guys to get every bit of their worth. I want to see Zeke (Elliott) the highest paid. I want to see Amari (Cooper) the highest paid,” Prescott said. “I want to see myself up there. And I don’t think any of that is too far-fetched. Because at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, a year or two later, you’re not going to be the highest paid. That’s just the way the game goes.”

A recent report indicated the Cowboys were comfortable paying Prescott in the $30 million average annual value neighborhood. It sounds as if they will need to get to that place, and perhaps higher, to strike a deal with their fourth-year starter. The Cowboys have been studying Carson Wentz‘s $32 million per-year deal as they move forward with Prescott. Negotiations are ongoing, and the last report on the discussions pegged the sides as far apart.

“I mean, steps have to be made,” Prescott said. “They’re simple steps. For the most part, obviously you want to get closure and obviously you want to get it done, but the Cowboys probably feel the same way that I do: Nobody wants to take anything that’s not fair to the other.

“I don’t think it’s fair to sit there and say, ‘This guy can’t get that because he needs the rest of the team.’ The rest of the team can all get theirs with the way the league is trending.”

 

2019 NFL PLAYER RANKINGS BY POSITION-DEFENSE

DEFENSIVE TACKLES

  1. FLETCHER COX, PHILADELPHIA…The All-Time Philadelphia leader in sacks with 44.5. 10.5 sacks in 2018.
  2. CHRHIS JONES, KANSAS CITY….15.5 sacks in 2018 which included an NFL record for consecutive games with a sack (11).
  3. DEFROEST BUCKNER, SAN FRANCISCO…The first 49er with 12+ sacks since the 2012 season.
  4. GENO ATKINS, CINCINNATI…Now has 71 career sacks. Only 12.5 away from the Cincinnati record.
  5. GRADY JARRETT, ATLANTA…Just signed a new contract with the Falcons. Has increased his sack total in each of his last four seasons.
  6. SHELDON RANKINS, NEW ORLEANS…Had a career high 40 tackles and 8 sacks last season. Injured during the playoffs.
  7. DAMON HARRISON, DETROIT…An elite run-stuffer after coming over from the Giants. Rushing totals dropped from 144.6 to 83.2 over the final 9 games.
  8. JURRELL CASEY, TENNESSEE…Had a career high 50 QB pressures in 2018.
  9. JARRAN REED, SEATTLE….Combined with Frank Clark to have 23.5 sacks in 2018.
  10. KAWANN SHORT, CAROLINA…Needs to rebound from a disappointing 2018 season.
  11. LINVAL JOSEPH, MINNESOTA
  12. EDDIE GOLDMAN, CHICAGO
  13. KENNY CLARK, GREEN BAY
  14. MALIK JACKSON, PHILADELPHIA
  15. SHELDON RICHARDSON, CLEVELAND
  16. NDAMUKONG SUH, TAMPA BAY
  17. GERALD McCOY, CAROLINA
  18. COREY PETERS, ARIZONA
  19. LAWRENCE GUY, NEW ENGLAND
  20. DA’RON PAYNE, WASHINGTON

DEFENSIVE ENDS

  1. AARON DONALD, LA RAMS….The NFL Defensive POY. Had an NFL high 20.5 sacks.
  2. CALAIS CAMPBELL, JACKSONVILLE…. The NFL’s best all – around 4 – 3 defensive end. Led the league with a career – high 43 run stops in 2018.
  3. JJ WATT, HOUSTON… The all-time NFL leader in average sacks per game at 0.88.
  4. MYLES GARRETT, CLEVELAND… Has 20.5 sacks in his first two seasons for the Browns.
  5. CAMERON HEYWARD, PITTSBURGH… Has a career-high 45 sacks, eight sacks in 2018.
  6. CAMERON JORDAN, NEW ORLEANS… Was a key member on the NFL’s second – ranked run defense in 2018.
  7. AIKEM HICKS, CHICAGO…. 7.5 sacks last season. 23 Sacks since 2016.
  8. JOEY BOSA, LA CHARGERS…. Had – digit sacks in his first two seasons. Is expected to return healthy after a foot injury in week 11 of 2018.
  9. LEONARD WILLIAMS, NY JETS… 85 quarterback hits and 17 Sacks in four seasons.
  10. DANIELLE HUNTER, MINNESOTA…. Compiled a career-high 72 tackles and 14.5 sacks last season.
  11. JONATHAN ALLEN, WASHINGTON…. Led the Redskins DL in tackles with 61 and added eight sacks.
  12. BRANDON WILLIAMS, BALTIMORE… Since becoming a starter in 2014 the Ravens have given up only 95.1 yards rushing per game.
  13. DEMARCUS LAWRENCE, DALLAS…. 10.5 sacks in 2018, was re-signed in the off – season to a five-year contract for $105 million.
  14. FRANK CLARK, KANSAS CITY… The Chiefs gave up a lot to get Clark. In 22 games Clark has 17.5 sacks, 37 QB hits and four forced fumbles.
  15. MICHAEL BROCKERS, LA RAMS… His production is expected to go up as he will be used as both a nose tackle and defensive end in 2019.
  16. STEPHON TUITT, PITTSBURGH… Had to learn a new technique in 2018, but still managed 5.5 sacks.
  17. TREY FLOWERS, DETROIT…. Let New England in sacks over the last three seasons and earned the largest contract and most guaranteed money in the 2019 free agent signing class.
  18. MELVIN INGRAM, LA CHARGERS…. Played 300+ snaps at both left and right end in 2018.
  19. DEE FORD, SAN FRANCISCO…. The 49ers acquired Ford in a trade with Kansas City. Ford had 13 sacks in 2018. He must stay healthy.
  20. MATT IOANNIDIS, WASHINGTON… Managed a career-high 7.5 sacks in 2018 earning him a three – year, $21.8 million contract extension.

 

LINEBACKERS

  1. LUKE KUECHLY, CAROLINA… Recorded 20 tackles for loss in 2018. Since 2012, he has more tackles, interceptions and takeaways than any other linebacker in the NFL.
  2. KHALIL MACK, CHICAGO… Finished 2018 with the team high 12.5 sacks.
  3. VON MILLER, DENVER…. Averages 0.82 sacks per game, third among active players in the NFL.
  4. DARIUS LEONARD, INDIANAPOLIS…. The NFL’s defensive rookie of the year. Has a chance to become even better in the Tampa – 2 defense.
  5. BOBBY WAGNER, SEATTLE… Seattle’s defense has allowed an average of just 17.4 points per game since Wagner came on the scene in 2012.
  6. ANTHONY BARR, MINNESOTA…. Barr creates opportunities for others in Minnesota’s defense so he is stats aren’t reflected by his value.
  7. CJ MOSLEY, NY JETS…. New York made him the highest-paid inside linebacker in NFL history after signing him in free agency. He has forced 15 turnovers between 2014 – 18.
  8. DEION JONES, ATLANTA…. Missing 10 games in 2018 hurt Atlanta’s defense. Jones had 14 – plus tackles in multiple games in 2018.
  9. CHANDLER JONES, ARIZONA… Led the NFL in sacks at outside linebacker in 2017 with 17. Lost 25 pounds in anticipation of moving from defensive end to linebacker.
  10. RYAN KERRIGAN, WASHINGTON…. Has led Washington in Sacks in six seasons.
  11. DON’T’A HIGHTOWER, NEW ENGLAND… One of the NFL’s best when he is healthy.
  12. LEVONTE DAVID, TAMPA BAY… One of the few bright spots in Tampa Bay’s defense in 2018.
  13. LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH, DALLAS…. Came into his own when starter Sean Lee suffered an early season hamstring injury.
  14. TELVIN SMITH, JACKSONVILLE… Let Jacksonville in tackles with 134.
  15. JAYLON SMITH, DALLAS… Showcased his skills that made him a top – 10 pick in 2016. Is fully recovered from the knee injury he suffered at Notre Dame.
  16. BLAKE MARTINEZ, GREEN BAY… Transitioned well into a new system leading the Packers with 146 tackles.
  17. JADEVEON CLOWNEY, HOUSTON… Has 53 tackles for loss since 2016, the third highest total in the NFL.
  18. TJ WATT, PITTSBURGH… Has 20 sacks in his first two seasons in the NFL.
  19. ANTHONY HITCHENS, KANSAS CITY…. Flourished in his first season with Kansas City on the inside. Will shift to the outside in 2019.
  20. LORENZO ALEXANDER, BUFFALO…. 6.5 sacks in 2018, the second highest output of any player age 35+.
  21. JASON PIERRE – PAUL, TAMPA BAY… Will transition from 4 – 3 DE to 3 – 4 OLB. There are some concerns about his health after a car accident in May.
  22. BRADLEY CHUBB, DENVER…. Led all NFL rookies in sacks with 12.
  23. KWON ALEXANDER, SAN FRANCISCO…. Suffered a torn ACL in Tampa last year. Averaged 8.3 tackles in 46 career NFL starts.
  24. BENARDRICK MCKINNEY, HOUSTON…. Had a career-high seven pass breakups last year and became Houston’s first player with the least 100 tackles, one interception and one sack in a single season since 2011.
  25. TERRELL SUGGS, ARIZONA…. The NFL’s active career sacked leader with 132.5, all with Baltimore.
  26. DEVON KENNARD, DETROIT…became Detroit’s first linebacker in franchise history to record at least 45 tackles, seven sacks and nine tackles for loss in a single-season.
  27. KJ WRIGHT, SEATTLE… Hopes to return fully healthy after missing 11 games with a knee injury in 2018. Had eight tackles and an interception in the playoff game against Dallas after his return.
  28. DANTE FOWLER, LA RAMS… Spent three disappointing seasons in Jacksonville. Will be used as an outside linebacker for the Rams.
  29. ALEC OGLETREE, NY GIANTS… Acquired from the Rams in 2018 and led all NFL linebackers with five interceptions. Finished second with the Giants in tackles with 93.
  30. CORY LITTLETON, LA RAMS…. The former undrafted free agent broke up more passes than any other linebacker in 2018 and led the Rams with 125 tackles.

 

CORNERBACKS

  1. STEPHON GILMORE, NEW ENGLAND…. Forced the NFL’s second – highest total of past breakups with 20. Allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete just 42% of their attempts.
  2. KYLE FULLER, CHICAGO…. Tie the NFL lead in interceptions and has 43 passes defended over the last two seasons.
  3. PATRICK PETERSON, ARIZONA…. Arizona is expected to shift back to press coverage and that will help Peterson’s numbers in 2019.
  4. JALEN RAMSEY, JACKSONVILLE… The trash talking Ramsey didn’t play up to his talk in 2018. Was still selected to the Pro Bowl team.
  5. DENZEL WARD, CLEVELAND…. When healthy, one the top corners in the NFL.
  6. CHRIS HARRIS, DENVER…. And all – around corner will play outside in 2019. He is the NFL’s only player with multiple interceptions in every year since 2012.
  7. MARSHON LATTIMORE, NEW ORLEANS…. Injustice second season in the NFL, Lattimore became a huge presence in the Saints’ secondary.
  8. DARIUS SLAY, DETROIT…. One of the “BIG PLAY” corners in the NFL. Has 43 pass breakups over the last two seasons.
  9. XAVIEN HOWARD, MIAMI…. Tied for the lead in interceptions with seven despite missing the final four games with a knee injury. Howard has 11 interceptions in 17 starts.
  10. DESMOND KING, LA CHARGERS…. Smothers wide receivers in the slot and is excellent in limiting the yards – after – catch.
  11. BYRON JONES, DALLAS
  12. AQIB TALIB, LA RAMS
  13. JASON MCCOURTY, NEW ENGLAND
  14. AJ BOUYE, JACKSONVILLE
  15. CASEY HAYWARD Jr., LA CHARGERS
  16. BRYCE CALLAHAN, DENVER
  17. TRE’DAVIOUS WHITE, BUFFALO
  18. DESMOND TRUFANT, ATLANTA
  19. MARCUS PETERS, LA RAMS
  20. DONTE JACKSON, CAROLINA
  21. RICHARD SHERMAN, SAN FRANCISCO
  22. PIERRE DESIR, INDIANAPOLIS
  23. TRUMAINE JOHNSON, NY JETS
  24. JAMES BRADBERRY, CAROLINA
  25. JANORIS JENKINS, NY GIANTS
  26. JOSH NORMAN, WASHINGTON
  27. RONALD DARBY, PHILADELPHIA
  28. JONATHAN JOSEPH, HOUSTON
  29. JUSTIN COLEMAN, DETROIT
  30. MARLON HUMPHREY, BALTIMORE

 

SAFETIES

  1. EDDIE JACKSON, CHICAGO…. Had six interceptions, three turnovers return for touchdowns, 15 pass breakups and 51 tackles.
  2. JAMAL ADAMS, NY JETS… Led all NFL safeties in total defense stops with 44 and 22 quarterback pressures.
  3. DERWIN JAMES, LA CHARGERS…. The NFL defensive rookie of the year runner – up. Recorded 100+ tackles with 3.5 sacks in three interceptions.
  4. DEVIN MCCOURTY, NEW ENGLAND…. Has five Super Bowl starts.
  5. EARL THOMAS, BALTIMORE…. Injuries has forced Thomas to miss 19 games over the last three seasons. When healthy, he is one of the best in the business.
  6. HARRISON SMITH, MINNESOTA…his numbers didn’t improve from 2017 to 2018, but is still an excellent tackler and cover man.
  7. LANDON COLLINS, WASHINGTON…. Signed a record – setting, six – year, $84 million contract. Washington is hoping Collins will get back to his playmaking days of 2016 and 2017.
  8. TYRANN MATHIEU, KANSAS CITY….. Signed a three – year, $42 million contract. Kansas City is looking for a multi – dimensional safety.
  9. KEVIN BYRAD, TENNESSEE… Has more interceptions than any other NFL player since 2017 with 12.
  10. MALCOLM JENKINS, PHILADELPHIA…. Despite injuries, Jenkins led the NFL in snaps among safeties with 1,174. Jenkins recorded 97 tackles last season, the second – highest of his 10 – year career.
  11. KEANU NEAL, ATLANTA
  12. JORDAN POYER, BUFFALO
  13. JOHN JOHNSON III, LA RAMS
  14. ERIC WEDDLE, LA RAMS
  15. DAMARIOUS RANDALL, CLEVELAND
  16. LAMARCUS JOYNER, OAKLAND
  17. JABRILL PEPPERS, NY GIANTS
  18. ADRIAN AMOS, GREEN BAY
  19. PATRICK CHUNG, NEW ENGLAND
  20. ERIC REID, CAROLINA
  21. HA HA CLINTON – DIX, CHICAGO
  22. KAREEM JACKSON, DENVER
  23. MICAH HYDE, BUFFALO
  24. RESHAD JONES, MIAMI
  25. SHAWN WILLIAMS, CINCINNATI
  26. JESSIE BATES, CINCINNATI
  27. SEAN DAVIS, PITTSBURGH
  28. JUSTIN SIMMONS, DENVER
  29. ANTOINE BETHEA, NY GIANTS
  30. QUANDRE DIGGS, DETROIT

 

PFF ranks all 32 run defenses ahead of the 2019 NFL season

It’s rankings season here at PFF as camps are rapidly approaching. We dropped our offensive line rankings last week and now we turn our attention to the defensive side of the ball. These are our evaluations of the relative run defenses around the league.

  1. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

The 49ers once again invested heavily in their front-seven this offseason, but almost all those moves came with the expressed intent of affecting the pass. Dee Ford has a career-high run-defense grade of 67.6, and Kwon Alexander’s is 53.3. Nick Bosa should hold his own in that regard, but this is still a rough unit overall.

  1. LOS ANGELES RAMS

Run defense is more about having few weaknesses than it is about having playmakers. So even the Rams have one of the NFL’s best disruptors against the run in Aaron Donald, they are a liability to get gashed this upcoming season. Dante Fowler (61.2), Cory Littleton (42.1), Samson Ebukam (67.1), Michael Brockers (68.2) and Clay Matthews (64.3) are all coming off rough seasons in run defense.

  1. ARIZONA CARDINALS

While Terrell Suggs has been ageless to some degree as a pass-rusher, his run-defense grade took a steep downturn in 2018. His 64.4 run-defense grade was easily the lowest we’ve ever seen from him.

  1. MIAMI DOLPHINS

Christian Wilkins should make his presence felt in run defense from Day 1, which actually gives the Dolphins a surprisingly stout interior. Davon Godchaux has quietly become one of the better run-defending defensive tackles after earning an 85.4 run-defense grade last season. It’s poor efforts in run defense from projected starters along the edge in Charles Harris and Jonathan Woodard that drag this unit down significantly.

  1. ATLANTA FALCONS

The Falcons’ front-seven is decidedly built for speed over power. That being said, Grady Jarrett is still one of the best in the biz at creating disruption against the run and earned a 90.0 run-defense grade last season. However, Jarrett and off-ball linebacker Deion Jones are the team’s only defenders in the front seven that have played above expectation against the run in recent years.

  1. OAKLAND RAIDERS

The Raiders’ front-seven will look very different in 2019, but that doesn’t necessarily mean better. Vontaze Burfict is coming off by far the lowest-graded season of his career (47.9), and Brandon Marshall is coming off his lowest-graded season in run defense (55.9).

  1. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

Frank Clark should help alleviate some of the Chiefs’ run-defense woes from a season ago, but he’s been far from a consistent force against the run. His 5.6 run-stop percentage last season ranked 30th out of 52 qualifying edge defenders.

  1. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

This ranking comes as no surprise after they got trounced by the Patriots in the playoffs. They addressed defensive tackle in the first round with their selection of Notre Dame’s Jerry Tillery, but he will add far more to their pass-rush than their run defense after only earning a 78.1 run-defense grade last season.

  1. CINCINNATI BENGALS

The linebacker position for the Bengals is still too big of a question mark to put them much higher than this. They’ll be asking a lot from rookie third-rounder Germaine Pratt to try and solve their woes. Even getting Preston Brown back healthy might not move the needle too much after he earned a 55.6 run-defense grade on 375 snaps last season.

  1. CAROLINA PANTHERS

The Panthers made a lot of changes to their defensive line over the course of the offseason, but fortunately for them, they were on more pass-rush focused players. Gerald McCoy will likely fill the role of sub-package rusher for Carolina while Brian Burns at under 250 pounds could struggle in run defense out of the gate.

  1. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Vita Vea is one of the players we’re most excited to see play in Year 2, as he looked like a different player down the stretch for the Bucs. Over the first 11 weeks of the season, he earned a 54.0 run-defense grade compared to a 79.6 over the last fiveweeks.

  1. NEW YORK GIANTS

The Giants certainly have the potential to stop the run with some of the big bodies they’ll be throwing out along the defensive line. B.J. Hill, Dalvin Tomlinson and Dexter Lawrence were all college nose tackles and make up the Giants’ interior rotation.

  1. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Bobby Wagner cleans up a lot of runs for the Seahawks’ defense. He’s ranked top-15 in run-stop percentage among linebackers for five straight seasons.

  1. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

The loss of Trey Flowers will hurt a ton, but there are still some talented run defenders on this roster. Lawrence Guy has had a journeyman career but has quietly become one of the league’s best run defenders. He earned a 91.2 run-defense grade on 587 snaps last season.

  1. GREEN BAY PACKERS

The Packers added a bunch up front, but arguably their biggest change over a year ago could come from within. Mike Daniels floundered to an injury-plagued 61.2 run-defense grade last season after never grading below 75.0 in that regard since 2013. They’ll need him back at his best in 2019.

  1. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

The Colts’ young linebacker duo well-outperformed expectations last season. While Darius Leonard grabbed all the headlines, Anthony Walker’s solid play flew under the radar. He earned the second-highest run-stop percentage of any linebacker in the NFL.

  1. TENNESSEE TITANS

The Titans have the makings of something special at the linebacker position, but neither Jayon Brown nor Rashaan Evans was known for their run defense last season. Brown earned a 63.0 run-defense grade in his breakout campaign while Evans earned a 72.5.

  1. BUFFALO BILLS

Much of the Bills’ success in run defense this season stems from the development of Tremaine Edmunds. As a rookie, Edmunds struggled with 18 missed tackles and a 55.6 run-defense grade. If those numbers improve in Year 2, so will the Bills’ defense.

  1. CLEVELAND BROWNS

The Browns have the potential to end up a lot higher on this list when all is said and done. We’re particularly excited to see what Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi are capable of when not forced to play every single snap. Garrett earned an 80.2 run-defense grade last season while Ogunjobi was at 73.0.

  1. DALLAS COWBOYS

The Cowboys’ run defense begins and ends with the league’s best young linebacker duo. Leighton Vander Esch ranked third in run-stop percentage as a rookie while Jaylon Smith checked in at 29th.

  1. WASHINGTON REDSKINS

The Redskins have certainly invested heavily into their front to earn this ranking. They’ve used a first-round pick on their defensive line in three straight seasons, yet none have quite been the ‘hit’ they’d hoped for. This will be a big season for Da’Ron Payne and Jonathan Allen, who earned run-defense grades of 72.6 and 68.1 last year, respectively.

  1. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

Calais Campbell reinventing himself as a 4-3 defensive end well into his 30’s is one of the more interesting career transitions. He’s utterly dominated as a run defender in that role with a 90.3 run-defense grade in 2017 and a 93.8 this past season. At 6-foot-8, 300 pounds he’s a handful for opposing offensive tackles.

  1. BALTIMORE RAVENS

There are few more impactful run-defending duos in the NFL than defensive tackles Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce. Williams has long since established himself as one of the league’s best nose tackles, but Pierce may have surpassed him at this point. The fourth-year defensive tackle has seen his run-defense grade improve from 81.4 as a rookie, to 87.9 in 2017, to 92.0 last season.

  1. MINNESOTA VIKINGS

A big part of living up to this ranking will be the Vikings’ edge duo bouncing back to what we’ve seen from them their entire career. Danielle Hunter and Everson Griffen have been impactful run defenders over the course of their careers, but Hunter had an unusually down year in 2018 (67.8 run-defense grade) while Griffen’s leave of absence limited him to only 585 snaps on the year.

  1. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

The Eagles’ commitment to adding to an already dominant front-seven is legitimately impressive. Linebacker Zach Brown should be the big needle mover here, as he ranked 14th in run-stop percentage (8.9) last year in Washington and has had back-to-back run-defense grades over 80.0.

  1. PITTSBURGH STEELERS

This is a unit that should only improve with the addition of sure tackling linebacker Devin Bush. The Steelers first-rounder missed all of 11 tackles on 146 attempts his last two seasons at Michigan.

  1. DENVER BRONCOS

This Broncos’ front features one of the most underrated players in the NFL today. Defensive tackle Shelby Harris may not be a full-time player, but when he’s on the field, he shuts down run games. He earned a 79.5 run-defense grade in 2017 before an 85.3 run-defense grade last season. Harris’ 9.8 run-stop percentage ranked 11th among interior defensive linemen last season.

  1. DETROIT LIONS

With Damon Harrison, you’ll have a top-10 run defense almost by default. He’s led all defensive tackles in run-stop percentage each of the past five seasons. It’s an unbelievable string of consistency considering how quickly the turnover at a position like nose tackle is in the NFL.

  1. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The Saints’ defensive line is dripping with potential at the moment. They’ve seen a distinct upward trajectory in the play of defensive tackles David Onyemata and Sheldon Rankins over the course of their careers. Onyemata went from 55.2 run-defense grade as a rookie, to 75.0 in Year 2, to 76.7 last season. Rankins similarly went from a 59.1 run-defense grade as a rookie to 63.8 in 2017 and 73.4 last season. However, with Onyemata suspended for Week 1 and Rankins coming off a torn Achilles, there’s still a lot of unknown with the duo.

  1. NEW YORK JETS

This is about as old school a front-seven as you’ll see in the NFL today. They have the ability to send out a jumbo defensive line that all goes 300-plus pounds while putting thumpers in C.J. Mosley and Avery Williamson behind them. The key playmaker here though is first-rounder Quinnen Williams who put up the highest run-defense grade we’ve ever given to an interior defender last season at Alabama.

  1. HOUSTON TEXANS

Not too many teams rank highly in run defense off the backs of their edge defenders, but that’s how dominant the Texans duo is. Jadeveon Clowney is arguably the most dominant run-stopping edge in the NFL today after a 91.2 run-defense grade last season while J.J. Watt isn’t too far behind after an 88.7 run-defense grade in 2018.

  1. CHICAGO BEARS

Chicago’s defensive line features multiple elite run-stuffing talents. None was more formidable last season though than Akiem Hicks. The former Saint is proving himself one of the best free agent additions in recent memory. His 13.3 run-stop percentage was the second-highest figure of any interior defender in the NFL last season

 

Jalen Hurts has not won starting job yet, Lincoln Riley says

Lincoln Riley added to what figures to already be a pretty big chip on Jalen Hurts’ shoulder on Monday saying the quarterback has yet to earn the starting job.

Hurts, who transferred to Oklahoma from Alabama, will almost certainly be the starter for the Sooners this year.

Yet on Monday, Riley said, “He’s gotta win the job first,” when asked what sets Hurts apart (h/t ESPN). “If he wins the job, then we’ll talk about that.”

The two other quarterbacks that Riley could potentially start are redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and true freshman Spencer Rattler.

“One of them’s got to go win it,” Riley said. “We’ve got an interesting dynamic in there with Jalen as an older, more experienced guy that’s been through a lot of battles, and we’ve got some very young, talented players in there with a chance to make a name for themselves. It’s really, truly, ‘May the best man win.’”

If we’re being honest, neither of the young quarterbacks has much of a chance to take the job from Hurts. Yet Riley is doing what every good coach does this time of year — stoke the competitive fire of his leaders.

Hurts is already tremendously motivated to have a big season after losing his starting job at Alabama to Tua Tagovailoa. He has a chance to shine in a mobile-quarterback-friendly offense this year, and we fully expect him to do just that.

 

QB Kelly Bryant emotional about getting back on field with new team

New Missouri quarterback Kelly Bryant expects to feel plenty of emotions when he first takes the field for the Tigers this coming season.

Bryant was asked about how he may react when he plays this year after missing most of the 2018 season following his decision to leave Clemson and transfer to Missouri.

He responded by saying, “I might even cry,” per Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports.

Bryant lost his starting job last year early in the season. True freshman Trevor Lawrence burst onto the scene, forcing Bryant out of the starting lineup. The decision by head coach Dabo Swinney to oust his championship-winning quarterback didn’t sit well with Bryant, who shortly afterward left the team.

Now with a fresh start at Missouri, Bryant will have another chance to prove he’s one of the elite quarterbacks in college football.

 

Big 12 Notebook: ‘Horns down’ on deck at Big 12 media days

So when is flashing “horns down” considered a penalty and should it always draw a flag?

Greg Burks, the Big 12 coordinator official, said it depends on when and where an opposing player flashes the hand signal that is the exact opposite of the Texas Longhorns’ “Hook `em horns” gesture.

Burks said Tuesday officials are likely to let it go if someone scores and then turns to their own fans and “it’s real quick.”

An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty comes into play if the gesture if directed at the other crowd or bench – the Longhorns in this case – or it is directed toward another player.

“By rule, anything prolonged and designed to bring attention to the individual rather than the team is a foul,” Burks said.

His advice to those wanting to do “horns down”: do it in the back of their own bench area.

STAY HOME CYCLONE

Matt Campbell has never put much thought into being an NFL coach, even though several pro teams expressed interest in the 39-year-old Iowa State coach in the past year.

“Well, my goal initially wasn’t even to be a college head football coach,” Campbell said Tuesday at Big 12 media days. “My goal and dream was to be like my father who was a high school head football coach.”

Campbell is going into his fourth season at Iowa State. The Cyclones, coming off consecutive 8-5 seasons, were picked third in the preseason Big 12 poll – behind only four-time defending champion Oklahoma and Texas, the two teams who played in the league championship game last season.

“My greatest passion is to develop and help 18-22 year-old men go from a young man to a chance to leave as a 22-year-old man,” said Campbell, who was Toledo’s head coach for five seasons before going to Iowa State.

Iowa State is coming off consecutive 8-5 seasons and is the Big 12 preseason pick to finish behind Oklahoma and Texas. The Cyclones have quarterback Brock Purdy, who in 10 games as a true freshman last season threw for 2,250 yards and 16 touchdowns.

The lofty outside expectations are a big change from when Campbell first got to Ames before the 2016 season.

“If we worried about what the expectations of our football program were outside of our walls, the first three years, I think we would have crumbled really fast,” said Campbell, who drew interest from several NFL teams this past offseason. “So what we’ve been able to do is handle our own expectations and making our own expectations way loftier than anything that could be said outside of our walls.”

UPWARD BEARS

Baylor went from a 1-11 record in coach Matt Rhule’s first season to 7-6 with a bowl victory in Year 2.

Now the question is can the Bears make a similar jump as Rhule’s teams at Temple. The Owls went from 2-10 in his debut season to 6-6 in the second year, and followed that with consecutive 10-win seasons before he got the Baylor job.

“That’s what I would like to do,” Rhule said. “That’s the expectation for me, but it’s way easier said than done.”

Rhule said he judges his teams on how hard they are working. He said these Bears are “the hardest, most industrious groups” he has been around, and work like other Big 12 teams.

KANSAS GROUND GAME

New Kansas coach Les Miles says preseason All-Big 12 running back Pooka Williams has been reinstated to the team, seven months after he was arrested and charged with domestic battery in a case involving an 18-year-old woman.

Williams later reached a domestic violence diversion agreement with the local district attorney’s office.

“I did not make this decision, but I stand by it and see it as a right one,” Miles said Monday at Big 12 football media days.

Williams, who will be suspended for the season opener Aug. 31 against Indiana State, went through a legal investigation, and code of conduct proceedings with the university.

“He basically understood very much that if he did not meet the criteria that the board asked that this would not last long,” Miles said. “He’s taken responsibility, he’s been remorseful. He’s learned from this experience, as has our team.”

Williams ran for 1,125 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman last season.

 

Report: Asking prices on MLB trade market are ‘enormous’

With the MLB trade deadline looming, things are a little bit distorted in the market due to the limited number of teams who are clear sellers.

As of Monday morning, 22 of 30 teams are within five games or less of a playoff spot, meaning many teams will be looking to add and few are immediately set to sell. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, trade prices are “enormous” with roughly two weeks to go before the July 31 deadline.

Olney uses the example of New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler, with the Mets seeking high-end prospects in exchange for him despite the fact that he would be a rental for the team acquiring him.

It is quite clearly a sellers’ market, with even teams sitting below .500 looking into adding players at the deadline. It could make for a chaotic few weeks, and a few teams desperately overpaying for players in the market.

 

Will MLB finally admit to juiced baseball’s?

The New York Yankees imported starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka backed up comments made by his All-Star teammate Justin Verlander regarding the baseballs being used this year. As MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred tries to downplay the differences in the baseballs being discussed, and Verlander was told to tone down his complaints, Tanaka said there is a difference in this year’s baseballs, differences that for pitchers like him, make a big difference.

For the 30-year-old Masahiro Tanaka, dealing with a different baseball is nothing new, after pitching from 2007-2013 in his native Japan, he joined the New York Yankees in 2014.  The size and weight of the baseballs on each side of the Pacific Ocean is something every pitcher who comes East needs to adjust to.  Now, Tanaka is saying he needs to adjust to the baseballs being used by Major League Baseball compared to year’s past.

As with many Japanese pitchers, Tanaka doesn’t have a 100-mile-per-hour fastball and relies on deception to get hitters out, which is why the changes in how the baseballs feel are very noticeable to him.  In speaking at the All-Star game Tuesday, the righty started said that the balls feel harder than before and the seams are in a lower spot than before.

Both Justin Verlander and Masahiro Tanaka are having good years for their team, with the Houston Astros ace once again returning to his previous Hall of Fame form, posting a 10-4 record in the first half with a 2.98 ERA despite allowing 26 home runs in 19 starts.  Verlander has never allowed more than 30 long balls in a season.

As Verlander pointed out in his rant on Sunday, Major League Baseball now owns Rawlings, who manufacturers baseballs for both Triple-A teams and the majors.  When Manfred took over as MLB commissioner, he wanted to increase offense in the game, and now home runs are being hit at a record pace and everyone not scared to talk on the record says the baseballs are different.  Major League Baseball needs to come clean and just admit that the baseballs being used in games are different than in years past and they are behind the change; otherwise these types of comments from players and questions from the media will not end.  And if MLB continues to deny that the baseballs are different, then questions about the players cheating will increase, causing friction between the teams and their players.

Time to fess up Rob Manfred and admit that the baseballs are juiced; otherwise your own credibility will be called into question with other things that you say will no longer be believed.

 

Is Maddon on the way out of Chicago?

Is Joe Maddon managing his final 72 regular season games on Chicago’s North Side?  The Chicago Cubs manager is in the final year of his contract and the 65-year-old could be playing to keep his gig beyond this year.  While the Cubs sit atop the National League Central, the team has been playing like the rest of the division, unimpressively; which begs the question, what, if anything, will it take for Maddon to keep his job in 2020?

Kris Bryant believes that it not up to Maddon to keep his job, in speaking to the Chicago Tribute, the 2016 World Series champion said, “We have to play better to show that he deserves to be here.  A lot of that falls on us. We just haven’t performed the way we should. I can think of a handful of ballgames that we should’ve won, and that whole narrative would be much different.  But it hasn’t been that way, and we hope to change it certainly so he’s not getting that blame.” Bryant added, “I honestly don’t think there’s anything else he can do,” when asked if there was anything more Maddon could do to help the Cubs kick start the season.

Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein said before the season started that the team lacked “urgency” last year under Joe Maddon, and when assessing the first 90 games of 2019 said, “The first half this year hasn’t been as clean as we’d like and as heads-up as we’d like and maybe as intense as we’d like.”

In my opinion, I think the Chicago Cubs have already decided to move on from Joe Maddon, and are just playing out 2019 and his the final year of his contract.  The Cubs won the 2016 World Series in spite of Maddon, and enough time has passed since the team’s first championship in 108 years for the team to move on and find a new manager.  There is already talk that Maddon could find himself managing the New York Mets or the Philadelphia Phillies in 2020 if those teams make changes this offseason.  Personally, I think Maddon’s act is old and tired and his mad scientist persona no longer connects with today’s Major League Baseball player.

While I would love Joe Maddon to write a book about baseball and other things, I think as a manager are numbered now, and even another World Series title won’t be enough to save his job.  Sorry Kris Bryant, you will be meeting a new skipper at spring training come February.

 

Blackhawks trade center Artem Anisimov to Ottawa for Smith

The Chicago Blackhawks traded Artem Anisimov to Ottawa on Tuesday in exchange for Zack Smith, a swap of 31-year-old forwards.

Anisimov played four seasons for the Blackhawks, scoring 77 goals and adding 78 assists in 291 games, including 15 goals and 22 assists last season. The Russian has also played with the New York Rangers and Columbus Blue Jackets over 11 years in the NHL.

Smith played 70 games last season for the Senators, scoring nine goals and adding a career-high 19 assists. The Canadian has played his entire 11-season NHL career with the Senators with 94 goals and 99 assists in 612 career games. Smith was placed on waivers last September only to go unclaimed. He had nine goals and 19 assists for the rebuilding Senators last season.

Smith’s contract has an annual salary cap hit of $3.25 million. He is signed through the 2020-21 season.

The move for Anisimov inches the Senators closer to the NHL’s salary cap floor. Anisimov’s current deal also runs through 2020-21 with an annual cap hit of $4.55 million, according to capfriendly.com.

Anisimov immediately becomes the second-highest paid for forward on Ottawa’s active roster behind Bobby Ryan ($7.25 million annual cap hit).

 

AP source: Seattle close to naming Ron Francis as GM

Seattle’s NHL expansion team is close to an agreement with Hockey Hall of Famer Ron Francis to become its first general manager, a person with direct knowledge tells The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Tuesday because the team had not made an announcement.

The expansion Seattle franchise is set to begin play in the 2021-22 season as the NHL’s 32nd team.

After longtime Detroit GM Ken Holland went to Edmonton, adviser Dave Tippett left Seattle Hockey Partners LLC to become Oilers coach and Vegas’ Kelly McCrimmon and Columbus’ Bill Zito got promotions, there was a limited pool of experienced NHL executives to choose from for this job. Francis fits that bill.

The 56-year-old has been in hockey operations since shortly after the end of his Hall of Fame playing career. All of that time has come with the Carolina Hurricanes, including four seasons as their GM.

Carolina didn’t make the playoffs with Francis in charge of decision-making, though his moves put the foundation in place for the team that reached the Eastern Conference final this past season.

Francis had 1,798 points in 1,731 games over 23 seasons with the Hartford Whalers/Hurricanes, Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Maple Leafs. He won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 1991 and 1992.

Competing for the Cup in the early going will be the expectation for Seattle after the Golden Knights reached the Final in their inaugural season in 2017-18. Francis will have two full seasons to scout the rest of the league before his as-yet-named team’s expansion draft in June 2021.

Francis did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

 

NINE IU EAST SQUADS EARN NAIA SCHOLAR-TEAM HONORS

RICHMOND, Ind. – Nine Indiana University East teams received NAIA Scholar-Team recognition for the 2018-19 school year, the NAIA announced July 15.

The Red Wolf squads honored:

  • Women’s Basketball
  • Women’s Cross Country
  • Men’s Golf
  • Women’s Golf
  • Women’s Outdoor Track & Field
  • Women’s Soccer
  • Men’s Tennis
  • Women’s Tennis
  • Women’s Volleyball

The women’s volleyball team received the Scholar-Team award for the eighth consecutive year.

The women’s tennis team led the department with a 3.57 team GPA.

IU East’s student-athletes compiled a 3.14 GPA for the 2018-19 school year.

For a program to be considered for the NAIA Scholar-Team award, the team must finish the school year with a minimum 3.0 grade-point average (on a 4.0 scale) as defined by the institution.

A total of 1,939 programs across the nation were named 2018-19 NAIA Scholar-Teams.

 

SPORTS EXTRA

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1890      For the first time in baseball history, two 300-game winners are opponents as Tim Keefe of the Giants faces Pittsburgh’s Jim ‘Pud’ Galvin in a Players League match-up. New York beats the Burghers, 8-2, in the first of four historic confrontations between the two future members of the Hall of Fame.

1904      At New Jersey’s Wiedenmeyer’s Park, which will become better known as Ruppert Stadium, the Highlanders host an American League game, beating Detroit in the Newark ballpark, 3-1. The contest is played away from Hilltop Park, the team’s usual home, to avoid New York City’s blue laws.

1912      At the Ostermalm Athletics Grounds, Sweden’s Vesteras Baseball Club plays an exhibition game at the Summer Olympics against an American team. The squad from the United States, who unsurprisingly wins the contest 13-3, consists of athletes who are in Stockholm competing for gold medals in other sports.

1914      Against the Giants, control artist Babe Adams of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches an entire 21-inning game without issuing a single walk. The contest, which is the longest game in big league history without a base-on-balls, is decided by Larry Doyle’s home run in the top of the frame, giving Rube Marquard, who also goes the distance, the 3-1 victory.

1918      The Phillies play the longest game in franchise history, a 2-1 loss in 21 innings to Chicago at Weeghman Park. The starting pitchers, Philadelphia right-hander Milt Watson and Chicago southpaw Lefty Tyler, each go the distance, hurling a complete game in the marathon.

1923      Yankee starter Carl Mays goes the distance, losing to the Indians at Cleveland’s Dunn Field, 13-0. The 31 year-old right-handed submariner gives up 20 hits, including four singles and a double to the Tribes’ leadoff batter Charlie Jamieson, who enjoys a 5-for-5 day at the plate.

1924      Cardinals’ knuckleballer and future Hall of Famer Jesse Haines throws a no-hitter, beating the Braves at Sportsman’s Park, 5-0, to become the first post-1900 Redbird hurler to accomplish the feat. It will be 54 years before another no-hit game is thrown in St. Louis, a span that will end in 1978 when Bob Forsch holds the Phillies hitless at Busch Stadium.

1934      Cubs right-hander Lon Warneke, with his team ahead of New York, 3-1, loads the bases in the seventh inning with an intentional pass in order to face opposing pitcher Roy Parmalee. The strategy backfires when the hurler hits a grand slam, a drive that barely clears the right field wall, that will prove to be the difference in the Giants’ 5-3 victory in the opener of a twin bill at the Polo Grounds.

1936      Carl Hubbell’s 24-game winning streak, spanning over two seasons, begins with a 6-0 victory over the Pirates. ‘King Karl’ will not be defeated until Memorial Day next season.

1941      Thanks to the outstanding defensive work of Indians’ third baseman Ken Keltner, Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak ends in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium in front of 67,000 fans. The ‘Yankee Clipper’ who batted .408 during the stretch, will begin another streak that will last 17 games, extending the remarkable span of hitting safely to 73 of 74 games.

1947      Less than two weeks after Larry Doby’s debut with the Indians, Hank Thompson becomes the second black player to debut in the American League and first for the Browns. The former Kansas City Monarchs standout, who will play in only 27 games for St. Louis because his presence does not significantly raise attendance, goes 0-for-4 in the team’s 16-2 loss to Philadelphia at Sportsman’s Park.

1947      At Cleveland Stadium, the Yankees sweep a doubleheader against the Indians, 3-1 and 7-2, The victories extend the club’s winning streak to 19 games, equaling the American League mark established by the White Sox in 1906.

1954      With Jim Gilliam (2b), Jackie Robinson (3b), Sandy Amoros (lf), Roy Campanella (c), and Don Newcombe (p) in the starting lineup against the Braves, the Dodgers field the first team which consists of a majority of black players. The historic five helps Brooklyn to beat Milwaukee at County Stadium, 2-1.

1957      In front of a House Judiciary subcommittee, team owner Arnold Johnson, contrary to the truth, denies he has favored the Yankees when trading players from the A’s to the Bronx. The Congress is skeptical, due to a number of recent suspicious deals between the New York and Kansas City clubs.

1959      Mel Allen asks his director to replay Jim McAnay’s ninth-inning single, the first hit allowed by Ralph Terry in the team’s eventual 2-0 loss to Cleveland at the Bronx ballpark. The Yankee broadcaster’s request marks the first use of instant replay in a baseball broadcast.

1961      After checking in a month earlier at an Atlanta hospital, where he placed beside his bed a brown bag filled with $1 million in negotiable securities along a with Luger, Ty Cobb dies at the age of seventy-four after a long battle with cancer. Only three former players, Ray Schalk, Mickey Cochrane, and Nap Rucker, along with Baseball Hall of Fame director Sid Keener, attend the Georgia Peach’s funeral services.

1961      Yankee sluggers Roger Maris (35) and Mickey Mantle (32), both ahead of the Bambino’s record 1927 pace, each lose a homer when the nightcap of a twin bill is rained out in the top of the fifth inning against the Orioles in Baltimore. The Memorial Stadium washout occurs on same day Commissioner Ford Frick decrees that Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs will not be broken unless a player hits 61 or more within the first 154 games of the newly expanded 162-game schedule.

1964      In Los Angeles, the Chavez Ravine contest becomes the first Pay-TV baseball game as Subscription Television offers the cablecast to subscribers for a fee. The Dodgers beat Chicago, 3-2, with Don Drysdale collecting 10 strikeouts.

1969      At Metropolitan Stadium, Gold Glove pitcher Jim Kaat commits three errors. The 30 year-old right-hander still gets the victory when the Twins beat the White Sox, 8-5.

1974      Cardinals right-hander Bob Gibson becomes the second pitcher in major league history to record 3000 career strikeouts when he fans Cesar Geronimo of the Reds. In 1923, Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators became the first major leaguer to reach the milestone.

1976      Walter Alston becomes the sixth skipper to win 2,000 games when the Dodgers overcome a four-run first inning deficit and beat Chicago at Chavez Ravine, 5-4. ‘Smokey’ will leave at the end of the season, finishing his 23-year tenure in his only managerial position in the majors with a 2,040-1,613 record (.558).

1978      Just prior to the start of the Oriole game at Memorial Stadium, Doc Medich goes into the stands and saves the life of a 61 year-old fan suffering from a heart attack. The Ranger right-hander, a medical student in the off-season, administers a heart massage to the ailing man until medical help arrives.

1978      Reggie Jackson is suspended for five days without pay by the Yankees. During a Bronx Bomber loss, the future Hall of Fame slugger incurs skipper Billy Martin’s wrath by striking out attempting to bunt after being specifically told to hit away.

1979      At Seattle’s Kingdome, Pirates outfielder Dave Parker, who cuts down Brian Downing at home with an amazing throw, is named the All-Star Game’s MVP when the National League wins its eighth straight Mid-Summer Classic. In the 7-6 victory over the Junior Circuit, Mets outfielder Lee Mazzilli homers to tie the game in the eighth, and then walks in the ninth to bring in the eventual winning run.

1987      Don Mattingly becomes the first American League player to hit a home run in seven consecutive games. Tomorrow, the Yankees’ first baseman will equal Dale Long’s 1956 major-league mark by hitting a round-tripper in eight consecutive contests.

1987      In his major league debut, Ken Caminiti hits a triple and a homer, and scores the winning run in the ninth inning as the Astros edge the visiting Phillies, 2-1. The Houston rookie is just the fourth big leaguer to have hit a home run and triple in his first game.

1990      Minnesota becomes the first team in baseball history to turn two triple plays in the same game. The Twins’ multiple around-the-horn triple killings, both being accomplished after being started by the third baseman (5-5-4-3), aren’t enough when the team loses to the Red Sox at Fenway Park, 1-0.

1990      Bo Jackson homers three times off Andy Hawkins, going deep in the first, third, and fifth innings in the Royals’ 10-7 victory over New York at Yankee Stadium. The Kansas City center fielder, who has to leave the game after dislocating his shoulder in the sixth attempting to catch a fly ball hit by Deion Sanders, ironically, a fellow NFLer, that turned into an inside-the-park homer, will blast another round-tripper in his first plate appearance upon his return to the lineup on August 26, giving him home runs in four consecutive at-bats, 40 days apart. (Ed.note – Our thanks to J. Quagliata for suggesting this entry. -LP)

1991      In a 9-8 extra-inning loss to Kansas City at Royals Stadium, Orioles DH Sam Horn becomes the first non-pitcher in major league history to strike out six consecutive times in a single game. In 1913, Carl Weilman, a hurler for the Browns, became the first major leaguer to accomplish the dubious feat.

1993      In a Northwest League contest, Jason Thompson’s error with two outs in the ninth inning spoils Glenn Dishman’s bid for a perfect game against the Yakima Bears. On a routine ground ball, the Spokane first baseman, anxious to begin the celebration of his teammate’s accomplishment, pulls his foot off the bag before the final out is recorded.

1993      Southpaw Frank Tanana becomes the second of only two pitchers, along with Rick Reuschel, to give up a home run to both Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds when the Giants’ left fielder takes him deep for the lone run he gives up in the Mets’ 3-1 victory at Candlestick Park. In 1976, Hank Aaron, finishing his career with the Brewers, hit a three-run homer, the 748th of his then-record 755 round-trippers, off the left-hander, who was pitching for the Angels at the time.

2000      On the first pitch he ever sees in the major leagues, Chris Richard homers, helping the Cardinals defeat the Twins, 8-3. It is only the fourth time in franchise history the feat has been accomplished.

2008      The Phillies trade minor league prospects Adrian Cardenas, Josh Outman, and Matthew Spencer to Oakland for right-hander Joe Blanton. The A’s Opening Day starter, who is currently 5-12 with a 4.96 ERA, is expected to deepen Philadelphia’s rotation.

2017      Ryan Zimmerman becomes the franchise home run leader with his 235th home run for the Nationals when he goes deep in the first inning off Reds Scott Feldman in the team’s 6-1 victory at Great American Ball Park. The 32 year-old Washington first baseman surpasses Vladimir Guerrero’s total from playing eight seasons with the Montreal Expos.

 

THIS DAY IN SPORTS HISTORY

JULY 17, 1941

CLEVELAND-In a brilliant setting of lights and before 67,468 fans, the largest crowd ever to see a game of night baseball in the major leagues, the Yankees tonight vanquished the Indians, 4 to 3, but the famous hitting streak of Joe DiMaggio finally came to an end. Officially it will go into the records as fifty-six consecutive games, the total he reached yesterday. Tonight in Cleveland’s municipal stadium the great DiMag was held hitless for the first time in more than two months.

Al Smith, veteran Cleveland left-hander and a Giant cast-off, and Jim Bagby, a young righthander, collaborated in bringing the DiMaggio string to a close. Jolting Joe faced Smith three times. Twice he smashed the ball down the third-base line, but each time Ken Keltner, Tribe third sacker, collared the ball and hurled it across the diamond for a put-out at first. In between these two tries, DiMaggio drew a pass from Smith.

Then, in the eighth, amid a deafening uproar, the streak dramatically ended, though the Yanks routed Smith with a flurry of four hits and two runs that eventually won the game. With the bases full and only one out Bagby faced DiMaggio and, with the count at one ball and one strike, induced the renowned slugger to crash into a double play. It was a grounder to the shortstop, and as the ball flitted from Lou Boudreau to Ray Mack to Oscar Grimes, who played first base for the Tribe, the crowd knew the streak was over.

However, there were still a few thrills to come, for in the ninth, with the Yankees leading, 4 to 1, the Indians suddenly broke loose with an attack that for a few moments threatened to send the game into extra innings and thus give DiMaggio another chance. Gerald Walker and Grimes singled, and, though Johnny Murphy here replaced Lefty Gomez, Larry Rosenthal tripled to score his two colleagues. But with the tying run on third and nobody out the Cleveland attack bogged down in a mess of bad base-running and the Yanks’ remaining one-run lead held, though it meant the end of the streak for DiMaggio, who might have come up fourth had there been a tenth inning.

“I can’t say that I’m glad it’s over,” DiMaggio said after the game. “Of course, I wanted it to go on as long as it could. Now that the streak is over, I just want to get out there and keep helping to win ball games.” It was on May 15 against the White Sox at the Yankee Stadium that DiMaggio began his string, which in time was to gain nationwide attention. As the great DiMag kept clicking in game after game, going into the twenties, then the thirties, he became the central figure of the baseball world.

On June 29, in a doubleheader with the Senators in Washington, he tied, then surpassed the American League and modern record of forty-one games set by George Sisler of the St. Louis Browns in 1922. The next target was the all-time major league high of forty-four contests set by Willie Keeler, the famous Oriole star, forty-four years ago under conditions much easier than for a batsman than they are today. Then there was no foul-strike rule hampering the batter. But nothing hampered DiMaggio as he kept getting his daily hits, and on July 1 he tied the Keeler mark. The following day he soared past it for No. 45, and he kept on soaring until tonight. In seeking his fifty-seventh game, he finally was brought to a halt.

Joe DiMaggio’s consecutive-game hitting streak has been among the most enduring records in sports. Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds has come the closest to matching it, hitting in 44 consecutive National League games in 1978.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STANDINGS

American League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
NY Yankees 60 33 .645 34 – 16 26 – 17 32 – 11 12 – 11 9 – 6 6 – 4 W 1
Tampa Bay 56 41 .577 6 26 – 22 30 – 19 23 – 19 14 – 10 10 – 8 6 – 4 L 1
Boston 51 44 .537 10 22 – 25 29 – 19 20 – 20 16 – 7 12 – 12 6 – 4 L 1
Toronto 36 60 .375 25.5 18 – 30 18 – 30 14 – 24 11 – 15 9 – 10 4 – 6 W 1
Baltimore 28 66 .298 32.5 12 – 35 16 – 31 14 – 29 7 – 15 5 – 15 4 – 6 L 3
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Minnesota 58 35 .624 28 – 16 30 – 19 17 – 9 21 – 12 17 – 9 5 – 5 L 2
Cleveland 53 40 .570 5 28 – 20 25 – 20 13 – 8 24 – 17 10 – 10 8 – 2 W 3
Chi White Sox 42 49 .462 15 25 – 20 17 – 29 13 – 17 22 – 18 4 – 9 3 – 7 L 5
Kansas City 34 62 .354 25.5 20 – 29 14 – 33 6 – 15 18 – 26 7 – 16 5 – 5 W 2
Detroit 29 61 .322 27.5 12 – 32 17 – 29 9 – 11 14 – 26 1 – 11 2 – 8 L 2
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Houston 59 37 .615 33 – 14 26 – 23 13 – 10 12 – 9 28 – 11 5 – 5 L 2
Oakland 54 41 .568 4.5 30 – 20 24 – 21 13 – 14 13 – 2 23 – 22 8 – 2 W 5
Texas 50 45 .526 8.5 31 – 20 19 – 25 7 – 6 13 – 7 22 – 24 4 – 6 L 3
LA Angels 50 46 .521 9 27 – 21 23 – 25 11 – 7 7 – 8 23 – 27 7 – 3 W 5
Seattle 39 59 .398 21 19 – 29 20 – 30 7 – 8 10 – 13 19 – 31 2 – 8 L 5

 

National League
East
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Atlanta 58 38 .604 28 – 19 30 – 19 22 – 14 18 – 10 14 – 12 8 – 2 L 1
Washington 50 43 .538 6.5 26 – 20 24 – 23 27 – 18 5 – 11 10 – 11 8 – 2 W 1
Philadelphia 49 46 .516 8.5 29 – 20 20 – 26 25 – 24 11 – 9 8 – 10 4 – 6 W 1
NY Mets 43 51 .457 14 23 – 19 20 – 32 23 – 24 7 – 14 7 – 9 6 – 4 W 3
Miami 35 57 .380 21 17 – 31 18 – 26 16 – 33 7 – 16 7 – 4 3 – 7 W 1
Central
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
Chi Cubs 51 44 .537 33 – 17 18 – 27 14 – 11 19 – 17 10 – 9 6 – 4 W 1
Milwaukee 49 47 .510 2.5 29 – 21 20 – 26 15 – 9 24 – 18 7 – 13 3 – 7 W 1
St. Louis 47 46 .505 3 27 – 20 20 – 26 16 – 14 16 – 18 9 – 7 6 – 4 L 1
Pittsburgh 45 49 .479 5.5 22 – 21 23 – 28 6 – 7 19 – 22 10 – 16 4 – 6 W 1
Cincinnati 43 49 .467 6.5 24 – 21 19 – 28 9 – 7 19 – 22 9 – 11 5 – 5 L 1
West
Team W L Pct GB Home Road East Central West Last 10 Streak
LA Dodgers 63 34 .649 37 – 12 26 – 22 12 – 4 19 – 11 29 – 15 5 – 5 L 1
Arizona 48 47 .505 14 20 – 22 28 – 25 10 – 7 9 – 7 19 – 29 5 – 5 W 1
Colorado 46 49 .484 16 26 – 23 20 – 26 10 – 12 9 – 7 20 – 24 2 – 8 L 3
San Francisco 46 49 .484 16 20 – 26 26 – 23 4 – 9 10 – 9 26 – 24 8 – 2 W 4
San Diego 45 49 .479 16.5 23 – 27 22 – 22 10 – 14 9 – 11 19 – 21 3 – 7 L 4

 

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER STANDINGS

Eastern
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Philadelphia 22 10 6 6 39 32 7 6-3-2 4-3-4 36
D.C. 21 8 8 5 27 23 4 5-5-2 3-3-3 32
New York 20 9 4 7 35 28 7 7-1-3 2-3-4 31
Atlanta 20 9 3 8 28 25 3 6-3-1 3-0-7 30
Montreal 22 9 3 10 26 36 -10 5-1-4 4-2-6 30
New York City FC 18 7 8 3 31 22 9 4-4-1 3-4-2 29
Toronto FC 20 7 5 8 32 33 -1 4-3-3 3-2-5 26
Orlando City SC 20 7 4 9 28 27 1 4-1-5 3-3-4 25
New England 20 6 6 8 24 38 -14 4-2-4 2-4-4 24
Chicago 21 5 7 9 32 31 1 5-4-2 0-3-7 22
Columbus 21 5 2 14 17 31 -14 4-2-6 1-0-8 17
FC Cincinnati 20 5 2 13 20 45 -25 3-1-4 2-1-9 17
Western
Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
Los Angeles FC 20 14 4 2 53 17 36 8-1-0 6-3-2 46
Seattle 20 10 5 5 31 26 5 8-2-0 2-3-5 35
Los Angeles 20 11 1 8 27 25 2 7-0-4 4-1-4 34
Minnesota 20 10 3 7 37 29 8 6-3-1 4-0-6 33
San Jose 20 9 4 7 33 31 2 7-1-3 2-3-4 31
Real Salt Lake 20 9 2 9 29 29 0 7-0-2 2-2-7 29
FC Dallas 21 8 5 8 29 26 3 6-4-1 2-1-7 29
Houston 19 8 3 8 29 28 1 7-3-1 1-0-7 27
Sporting KC 20 6 7 7 32 34 -2 4-3-3 2-4-4 25
Portland 18 7 3 8 28 30 -2 2-1-1 5-2-7 24
Colorado 20 5 5 10 31 40 -9 4-2-5 1-3-5 20
Vancouver 21 4 8 9 22 34 -12 3-4-4 1-4-5 20

 

WNBA STANDINGS

Eastern Conference
W L Pct GB Home Road Conf Last 10 Streak
Connecticut Sun 11 6 .647 7-1 4-5 6-3 5-5 2 W
Washington Mystics 9 6 .600 1.0 4-3 5-3 6-2 5-5 3 L
Chicago Sky 9 8 .529 2.0 6-3 3-5 4-3 4-6 2 W
New York Liberty 7 10 .412 4.0 3-5 4-5 1-5 5-5 3 L
Indiana Fever 6 12 .333 5.5 2-7 4-5 3-4 2-8 3 L
Atlanta Dream 5 11 .313 5.5 4-6 1-5 2-5 4-6 1 L
Western Conference
W L Pct GB Home Road Conf Last 10 Streak
Las Vegas Aces 11 5 .688 6-2 5-3 4-2 8-2 5 W
Minnesota Lynx 10 7 .588 1.5 6-3 4-4 4-4 6-4 1 W
Los Angeles Sparks 9 7 .563 2.0 4-2 5-5 3-4 5-5 2 W
Seattle Storm 10 8 .556 2.0 7-3 3-5 4-3 5-5 2 W
Phoenix Mercury 7 8 .467 3.5 4-2 3-6 3-5 5-5 2 L
Dallas Wings 5 11 .313 6.0 5-4 0-7 3-3 4-6 2 L