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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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Robert Quinn Kaepernicks after sacking Colin Kaepernick (GIF)

St. Louis Rams defensive end Robert Quinn rubbed it in on Colin Kaepernick after sacking the San Francisco 49ers quarterback during the Week 4 game between the teams on Thursday.

Robert Quinn KaepernicksQuinn got to Kaepernick on the first play of San Francisco’s possession following a Rams field goal to make it 3-0. The former North Carolina Tar Heel curled his arm and gave a kiss to his biceps just like Kaepernick does to celebrate a nice play.

Will Kaepernick take the disrespect as well as Aaron Rodgers does when someone does his belt celebration?

Quinn now has five sacks on the season, placing him second in the league. He has 20.5 sacks in 35 games since being drafted in the first round by the Rams in 2011.

GIF via Turf Show Times

Matt Flynn likely to start for Oakland Raiders in Week 4

Matt Flynn has been taking all the snaps with the Oakland Raiders’ first-team offense in practice this week, and he will likely start in place of Terrelle Pryor on Sunday at home against the Washington Redskins.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Thursday that Pryor is unlikely to play in the Raiders’ Week 4 contest because of a concussion. Pryor was concussed in the fourth quarter of the Raiders’ blowout loss to the Denver Broncos on Monday night.

We knew things weren’t looking good for Pryor when he tweeted Tuesday morning that he didn’t remember much from the game after being concussed.

Terrelle Pryor Wesley Woodyard

Pryor was hit with a head shot from Broncos linebacker Wesley Woodyard that occurred in the tackle box. Pryor wanted Woodyard fined for the hit, but Raiders coach Dennis Allen thought it was a legal play. Legal or illegal, it will likely result in Pryor missing at least one game.

Flynn was signed by the Raiders in the offseason but lost the starting quarterback job after playing poorly in the season. Pryor appeared to be a more dynamic playmaker, and the former Ohio State quarterback has proven he gives them a good chance to win games. Flynn’s limited mobility makes him less of a threat than Pryor, but the good news is he’ll be facing a Washington defense that has allowed 32.7 points and 333 passing yards per game, both of which are second-worst in the league.

Mariano Rivera retirement gifts: A look at what he received

Mariano Rivera tips capAs a show of respect for the greatest closer of all time, many MLB teams gave Mariano Rivera a unique retirement gift upon his last visit to their ballpark.

Rivera, 43, announced prior to the season that this would be his last year playing. His announcement gave teams plenty of time to plan what they would do to honor the legendary player. Most teams delivered with outstanding gifts.

Below is a look at all the retirement gifts Rivera received during his final MLB season. We have them grouped by division. The Yankees obviously went all out honoring Rivera. Their gifts and honors for him are listed on the final page.

On a personal note, Rivera has been one of my favorite players to watch over the years. His consistent excellence on the mound, respect for the game and overall behavior makes him a true model player and ambassador of the game.

GIFTS FROM AL CENTRAL TEAMS

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NFL picks Week 4 against the spread – Del’s comeback

Del has dug himself into quite the hole with some rough picks through the first three weeks of the NFL season. If this were Week 10, I’d start to get a little concerned. Since there are still over 200 games remaining in the regular season, there is more than enough time to turn the season around.

That being said, there can be no more excuses. The comeback has to start now, and the top three have to improve. After seeing three weeks of play, we’re hoping to have a better idea of what teams are and aren’t capable of. As usual, Del’s Week 4 NFL picks are below, with analysis of the top three after the chart. Be sure to check back later in the week for Doc Brown’s Week 4 selections.

NFL PICKS WEEK 4
(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)

NFL-Picks-Week-4

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Lamar Odom’s life reportedly ‘revolving around smoking crack and partying’

Charles-Barkley-Lamar-Odom-jokeEarlier this month, we shared with you a report about how Lamar Odom had supposedly acknowledged that he had a substance abuse issue and checked into a drug rehabilitation facility. That later turned out to not be true, with one gossip magazine claiming Odom left rehab after one day and another confirming that he is not in a facility. The latest report about Odom’s alleged drug use indicates his condition is as bad as ever.

TMZ reported on Thursday that Odom has been staying in a home in a gated community 100 miles from Los Angeles and partying with two young women — one of whom he has supposedly become intimate with. The report also states that Odom’s life has been “revolving around smoking crack and partying.”

Multiple sources privy to Lamar’s current state tell TMZ … Lamar has a driver who is regularly shuttling back and forth from L.A. to his rental home with one purpose — scoring drugs, including crack. We’re told Lamar is so paranoid … he insists the driver only buy small quantities of crack at a time, so as not to draw too much attention to him — and that means frequent trips to score the drug.

Lamar almost never leaves the home. He’s smoking crack and partying with the 2 women, both in their early 20s. His life now revolves around smoking crack and listening to rap music.

Last month, Odom was seen walking out of a CVS store with steel wool scrubbing pads, which are a popular ingredient used to make homemade crack pipes. TMZ’s sources reportedly reiterated several times that Odom fears he is being watched. He has supposedly been using an app on his phone that automatically erases text messages once they are read and alerts him if someone has taken a screenshot of the text.

It’s hard to separate truth from fiction, but we’re all still waiting for some stories to surface about Odom seeking help. As of now, the only reports we have seen indicate he is heading in the wrong direction.

Related: Lamar Odom’s dad says Kardashians are ruining his son
Related: How much money did Lamar Odom spend on drugs from one dealer?

Bobby Valentine’s 9/11 comments reportedly cost him TBS playoff gig

bobby-valentineBobby Valentine made some incredibly stupid remarks earlier this month on the 12-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011 terrorist attacks. Rather than taking time to pay tribute to the victims and their families, Valentine used the topic as an opportunity to praise the New York Mets for supporting the community during a difficult time and bash the New York Yankees for supposedly not doing the same.

Fortunately, there were some consequences. According to Newsday’s Neil Best, Valentine was originally supposed to be a part of the TBS broadcasting crew for the 2013 MLB playoffs. Instead, Keith Olbermann will be joined in studio by Pedro Martinez and Tom Verducci. Valentine was reportedly nixed after his idiotic comments, which he later refused to back down from.

“Two people familiar with what went down said Valentine was sunk by comments on WFAN Sept. 11 in which he criticized the Yankees’ response – or lack thereof – in the days after the terrorist attacks of 2001,” Best wrote.

Turner Sports simply claimed Valentine was a candidate but the network decided to go in another direction.

“Bobby was one of a number of candidates being considered for the role, but we elected to go with the team of Keith, Pedro and Tom and we’re very excited about that combination in-studio for us,” a Turner spokesman said.

It doesn’t really matter if Valentine’s 9/11 comments are the reason he got bounced from the postseason broadcasting booth. The important thing here is we don’t have to listen to him during the playoffs. I think we can all consider that a victory.

H/T Deadspin

Robinson Cano reportedly seeking a 10-year, $305 million contract

Robinson-Cano-YankeesThe New York Yankees and Robinson Cano are said to be far apart in their negotiations for a long-term contract to keep the slugger with the team. There are probably a lot of reasons for that, but I’m guessing the fact that Cano is reportedly seeking a 10-year deal worth more than $300 million is probably causing the biggest holdup.

Cano recently left agent Scott Boras and joined Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, but it sounds like his new agents do business the same way his old one did. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Cano is looking for $305 million over a 10-year period and is expected to take the highest offer he receives — either from the Yankees or some other team.

Cano is 30 years old and has been one of the best hitters in the American League for several years. He’s a career .306 hitter with tremendous power, though his power numbers are somewhat inflated by Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right field. A deal anywhere close to the $300 million range would dwarf the eight-year, $110 million contract that 30-year-old Dustin Pedroia — a career .301 hitter with much less power than Cano — signed with the Boston Red Sox earlier this season.

ESPN pointed out that $305 million would match the total value of Alex Rodriguez’s record-setting contract, should A-Rod meet all the incentives in the deal. Cano clearly feels as though he has earned the right to become the highest-paid player in the history of the game. However, the way the A-Rod saga turned out is likely to deter the Yankees or any other team from giving a player a deal of that magnitude.

Realistically, Cano is not going to get anything close to $300 million. The Red Sox are out of the running, leaving only a few teams (the Los Angeles Dodgers for one) who would be willing to get into a bidding war with the Yankees. Cano will only be worth as much as a team is willing to pay, which probably won’t be a record-breaking figure.

Jim Brown: Trent Richardson trade was a ‘brilliant move’ for Browns

Jim-Brown-does-not-like-Trent-RichardsonFor whatever reason, Cleveland Browns legend Jim Brown was never a fan of Trent Richardson. Brown disagreed with the team’s decision to use the No. 3 overall pick on Richardson in last year’s draft, saying that he felt the former Alabama star is “ordinary” and was simply the best back in a class that was below average. For that reason, we should not be surprised that Brown felt trading Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts was a wise decision.

“I was surprised,” Brown said Wednesday on Showtime’s Inside the NFL, by way of Eye on Football. “But then I thought it was a brilliant move … Because first of all, Trent [Richardson] couldn’t have carried the kind of load that Cleveland needed.”

Again, not a shock. I don’t know if Richardson is “ordinary” or not. He’s only in his second season in the NFL, so time will tell if he can be the explosive back everyone expects him to be in Indianapolis. However, I tend to agree with Brown that a running back has to be incredibly special to use a top-five pick on with the way the NFL emphasizes passing now.

Former Browns president Mike Holmgren ripped Cleveland for trading Richardson. As expected, Brown was happy to disagree with the man he openly admits he never saw eye-to-eye with.

“[Holmgren] had all his boys that were going to come in and take advantage of the kind of money that he could pay his guys and never really be there,” Browns reiterated. “He took advantage of Randy [Lerner] and it was just a shame. Randy’s a good guy. Young owner. Wanted someone to take the pressure off of him. Mike came in, saw the weakness and took advantage of it.”

It’s tough to judge the trade until we see what the Browns are able to get with the pick they acquired from the Colts. At the moment, there’s really no arguing that the Colts got the better end of the deal.

Isaac Redman admits he went back into game against Bengals with concussion

Isaac-Redman-SteelersPittsburgh Steelers running back Isaac Redman shared some information with reporters on Wednesday that is likely to make Roger Goodell cringe and could result in his team being fined. During Pittsburgh’s Week 2 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, Redman left the game and the team announced he was being evaluated for a concussion. Apparently he fooled the medical staff.

Redman returned to the game shortly after leaving. According to him, he did so while concussed.

“I had a concussion,” the 28-year-old veteran said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I was pretty much out of it the rest of the game. I just tried to go back in.”

That is precisely what the league does not want to hear. When asked how he was able to pass the concussion tests, Redman gave a very simple answer.

[Related: Terrelle Pryor tweets he ‘didn’t remember much’ after concussion]

“I said I was all right,” he replied.

Redman did not appear on the injury report the following week. The league claims to have very specific medical evaluation tests in place and requires a player to pass those tests to reenter a game after he is suspected of having suffered a concussion. Players also have to pass another series of tests before playing the following week. If Redman was indeed “out of it,” he should not have been playing. Expect the NFL to remind the Steelers of that in the near future.

H/T Pro Football Talk

Davey Johnson: Nationals ‘probably’ would have won in playoffs with Stephen Strasburg

Stephen-Strasburg-NationalsWashington Nationals fans are left to forever wonder what could have been if the team allowed Stephen Strasburg to pitch in the 2012 postseason rather than shutting him down because of an innings cap. The Nationals certainly could have used another arm in the 2012 NLDS when they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games.

However, it should be noted that Washington had Game 5 under wraps until their bullpen imploded. I guess you could argue that the team could have used Strasburg in a bullpen role rather than starting him, but we know how much hindsight means. On Tuesday, Davey Johnson was asked if his team would have advanced to the NLCS if Strasburg pitched.

Although that’s debatable, it’s a valid question and one the Nationals knew they would have to answer. Johnson was also asked about a recent article by John Feinstein of the Washington Post, which basically argued that the Nats cost themselves a championship by shutting down Strasburg. Johnson didn’t want to go that far.

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