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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Blog

Will Cardinals fire OC Mike McCoy and replace him with Byron Leftwich?

Will the Arizona Cardinals fire Mike McCoy as offensive coordinator and replace him with Byron Leftwich? That’s what many people are wondering.

Three different prominent NFL reporters suggested on Twitter Thursday that the Cardinals could fire McCoy and replace him with Leftwich, who is the team’s quarterbacks coach.

The Cardinals entered Thursday’s game against Denver as the 31st-ranked offense in points scored and 32nd-ranked team in offensive yards. They looked even worse than that, embarrassing themselves with dull playcalls that did not work to the team’s strengths and a lack of adjustments against a ferocious Broncos pass rush. They scored just 10 points while committing five turnovers.

After the game, Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks said that everyone will be evaluated, but talk of changes are “premature.”

McCoy was fired as the Broncos’ offensive coordinator last season and deserves to be fired by Arizona this season. He also has one of the most predictable rushing offenses in the league.

The Cardinals could use a change even if it’s just for the sake of change, because what they’ve been doing has been embarrassing.

David Price takes shot at Alex Bregman with ‘post that’

David Price

David Price and the Boston Red Sox got the last word with the Houston Astros and were happy to let them know it.

Prior to Game 3 of the ALCS, when the series was tied 1-1, Alex Bregman trolled the Red Sox by posting video on Instagram of the Astros belting three home runs off Nathan Eovaldi in June when Eovaldi was with Tampa Bay.

Eovaldi started and got the win in Game 3, going six strong innings for Boston.

Then in the Red Sox’s Game 5-clinching win on Thursday night, Eovaldi went 1.1 innings in relief. He struck out Bregman in the eighth. After Eovaldi punched out Bregman, you could see Price in the dugout say “post that” to mock the Houston third baseman.

Bregman initiated the trash talk, and the Red Sox were happy to finish it. Price also earned the right to speak after pitching six scoreless innings, striking out nine to pick up his first career postseason win as a starter. Boston won both of his starts in the series and took three straight in Houston to end the series.

Watch: LeBron James has two huge dunks for first career Lakers points

LeBron James dunk

LeBron James’ first points as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers were emphatic ones.

James threw down huge dunks on consecutive possessions early in the first quarter of the Lakers’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers on Thursday night.

James finished his first quarter as a Laker with 13 points on 5-for-6 shooting with three rebounds and the steal that you saw.

They’re going to love him in Los Angeles. So will TV executives at TNT and ESPN.

Watch: Sixers fans go nuts for Markelle Fultz’s first career 3-pointer

Markelle Fultz

Markelle Fultz gave the fans in Philadelphia three reasons to jump out of their seats on Thursday night.

Fultz drained a 3-pointer during the fourth quarter of the 76ers’ win over the Chicago Bulls, marking the first triple of his NBA career. The fans were thrilled to celebrate the big shot:

As if that wasn’t enough, Fultz had a nice drive to the basket and finish with his left hand later in the quarter:

Fultz was just 5-for-15 in the game for 12 points, but at least he wasn’t scared to take an outside shot unlike earlier in the contest.

The Sixers gave their fans plenty of reasons to cheer. Joel Embiid had 30 points and 12 rebounds, while Ben Simmons recorded a triple-double.

Manny Pacquiao says Floyd Mayweather Jr will fight on New Year’s Eve

Floyd Mayweather

Is Floyd Mayweather going to come out of retirement (again) to fight at the end of the year? That’s what Manny Pacquiao says.

Pacquiao recently signed with Mayweather’s advisor Al Haymon and has a fight coming up against Adrien Broner in January. That fight is supposed to be a prelude to a Mayweather-Pacquiao rematch.

According to Pacquiao, Floyd will have a tune-up first that will take place on New Year’s Eve.

“Floyd is going to fight on December 31 and I’m going to fight January 12,” Pacquiao said, via The Mirror. “After that, we’ll know [about their rematch]… he’s coming back, we’ll discuss it after Broner.”

If that indeed is the plan, they’re not doing a whole lot of promoting. That supposed fight date for Mayweather is only 2.5 months away. Fighters usually have done media tours by then. Mayweather did say last month that he was going to return this year to fight Pacquiao, but that was about it.

Either Mayweather is simply bored in retirement or he wants more money, because the guy never seems to stick by his retirement announcements.

Mayweather, 40, is 50-0 in his career and last fought in August, defeating Conor McGregor. He and Pacquiao fought in May, 2015, setting a pay-per-view record with 4.6 million buys for a fight that left most fans disappointed and even angry.

Watch: Rafael Devers hits 3-run home run in Game 5

Rafael Devers

Rafael Devers may have delivered the knockout blow against the Houston Astros on Thursday night.

Devers was up against Justin Verlander with two on and nobody out in the top of the sixth inning of Game 5 of the ALCS. Devers took the first pitch he saw from Verlander out to left field, above the Crawford boxes.

The homer marked Devers’ first of the postseason, and it made the score 4-0 in favor of the Boston Red Sox.

Devers’ bat has been big in the postseason. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored in Game 2; 1-for-1 with a walk and run scored in Game 3; and he got Boston on the board with a 2-run single in the first inning of Game 4.

Justin Verlander burned by umpire before JD Martinez home run

Verlander JD Martinez strike

The Boston Red Sox owe umpire Chris Guccione a thank you for the assist on JD Martinez’s home run in Game 5 of the ALCS on Thursday.

Martinez was batting with one out in a scoreless game and had an 0-2 count. Justin Verlander painted the outside corner with a beautiful slider, but Guccione inexplicably called it a ball. MLB.com’s tracker shows the pitch was over the corner and in the strikezone.

The very next pitch, Verlander hung a breaking ball that Martinez launched over the left field wall for a solo home run to put Boston up 1-0 on the Houston Astros.

Martinez should have been retired on a strikeout looking for the second out of the inning. Instead he ends up accounting for the first run of the game.

Between this and what happened in Game 4, the Astros have to be furious with the umpires.

Twitter reacts to Josh Rosen throwing second pick-six in one quarter

Josh Rosen

Josh Rosen had an ugly start to the game on Thursday night against the Denver Broncos.

The Arizona Cardinals rookie quarterback threw two pick-sixes in the first quarter against Denver. The first came on the team’s opening possession when Rosen had a pass tipped at the line of scrimmage that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown. The second came later in the quarter on a miscommunication between Rosen and JJ Nelson, who broke off his route, allowing an easy interception for Chris Harris.

The Twitter reactions to Rosen’s awful start were harsh.

The good news is Rosen began the game by completing 7 of his first 10 passes. The bad news is two of those passes were completed to the wrong team.

He and the Cardinals have to be hoping for better days ahead.

76ers fans yell at Markelle Fultz to ‘shoot it’

Markelle Fultz free throws

Markelle Fultz is still trying to shake out whatever psychological issues have been affecting him, and the demands of the fans probably will not help matters.

Fultz opened up the season going 2-for-7 in Boston on Tuesday. He played his second game of the season on Thursday night, but this one was at home. 76ers fans did not like seeing him pass up shots even when wide open.

The fans at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia yelled at Fultz to “shoot it” when he got the ball.

Fultz’s actions on Thursday against the Chicago Bulls was a continuation of what happened against Boston. The 2017 No. 1 overall pick also passed up open shots against the Celtics:

Fultz began to change his shot last year, but that was ascribed to a shoulder injury. He then missed most of the season with whatever issues he had — be it the yips or his shoulder — and he’s still trying to regain his shot and his confidence. His issues seem to be mental.

Trail Blazers pay tribute to late owner Paul Allen with rose on seat

Paul Allen

The Portland Trail Blazers were hoping to have fans in all seats for their season-opening game on Thursday night, with the exception of one chair.

The seat where team owner Paul Allen would sit was pulled down at the Moda Center in Portland. A Blazers hat saying “rip city” and a rose was left on the seat.

Allen died on Monday at the age of 65. The Microsoft co-founder owned both the Trail Blazers and Seattle Seahawks. He bought the Trail Blazers in 1988 and played a big role in the development of the Moda Center, which was previously named the Rose Garden.

Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1982 and was successfully treated for it until it returned this month, leading to his death.