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Monday, August 29, 2016

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Carlos Beltran rocks the drawn-on hairstyle in dugout (Video)

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Carlos Beltran is the latest athlete to try to paint on his hair.

Beltran displayed the look Sunday in the Texas Rangers dugout as they beat the Cleveland Indians, and teammate Martin Perez in particular looked quite amused by Beltran’s appearance.

So yeah, not quite the best look. You can even see the sideburns starting to run a little bit. But it’s a style statement, and you have to respect that, don’t you?

Of course, Beltran is far from the only athlete to try to rock this sort of “hair.” LeBron James has been accused of resorting to similar tactics in the past, too. Beltran doesn’t seem interested in hiding it, though, so respect for that.

Jason Hammel held closed door meeting with Joe Maddon over early hook

Jason Hammel

As successful as the Chicago Cubs have been, not everything is perfect in their clubhouse.

Starting pitcher Jason Hammel was not happy at being removed very early in Saturday’s game against the Dodgers, and he had a meeting with manager Joe Maddon about it.

Hammel was visibly angry when Maddon removed him with just one out in the third inning after allowing five hits and three runs, and he didn’t hide his displeasure when speaking to the media after the game.

“I didn’t even pitch today in my mind. I barely threw 40 pitches,” Hammel said, via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. “It was a side day for me pretty much.”

Maddon simply said that his decision was based on how the game was playing out, as well as the fact that he had rookie left-hander Rob Zastryzny available to face the Dodgers’ lefty-heavy lineup.

“Of course he didn’t like what I told him, but I had to tell him,” Maddon said. “He was not happy with me taking him out that early.

“And that’s cool. I’m not going to make an excuse why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence or any of these other issues. It was the right thing do to today, based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like, and Rob Z’s availability.”

Hammel and Maddon go way back. Beyond their shared time with the Cubs, Maddon managed Hammel for three years in Tampa Bay as well. However, their relationship seems to be going south at a bad time, and they likely won’t be sharing potato chips anytime soon.

Colin Kaepernick on national anthem: ‘I’ll continue to sit’

Colin-Kaepernick-covers-Beats-by-Dre-tape

Colin Kaepernick has been making a political statement during the preseason by refusing to stand during the playing of the national anthem, and the San Francisco 49ers quarterback says he will continue the practice for the foreseeable future.

While speaking to reporters on Sunday, Kaepernick made his plans clear.

Kaepernick spoke at length about why he is making a stand.

While Kaepernick has chosen not to stand during the national anthem in all three of his team’s preseason games, the decision gained a lot of attention over the weekend. Kaepernick was open about his reason for protesting, saying he refuses to stand for a country that allows racial inequality. You can read more of Kaepernick’s controversial comments here.

Blaine Gabbert is believed to be the favorite to win the 49ers’ starting quarterback job, but Chip Kelly insists Kaepernick is still in the running.

Brandon Jennings stokes controversy by preferring career of Robert Horry to Reggie Miller

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Ah, the great debate in every sport. If given the choice between a Hall of Fame career and a pile of championships, which would you want your legacy to be?

Brandon Jennings’s answer? The rings. That’s why he’d rather have Robert Horry’s resume than Reggie Miller’s.

Naturally, this was a pretty controversial take, and Jennings had to spend quite a while defending himself on Twitter.

So we’re guessing Jennings is good with Kevin Durant’s decision — a decision that people like Barkley hated. The Knicks point guard does have a point, however. At the end of the day, people will always ask how many rings you’ve won. Jennings would simply prefer to have as many as possible.

Stephen Jones confirms Cowboys will start Dak Prescott, may add veteran backup

Dak Prescott

Dak Prescott will start for the Dallas Cowboys as long as Tony Romo is out, with the team admitting that they may look for a veteran backup in the short term.

Executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed that Prescott would start in Romo’s absence, but left the door open for a backup option.

“We look forward to Dak being our starting quarterback Week 1, which it looks like it’s going to be the case if Tony can’t go,” Jones said, via David Helman of the team’s official website.

Jones did not outright confirm that the Cowboys would get another backup, but he certainly didn’t rule out the possibility.

“We’ll just see. There’s a lot of ways to acquire players,” Jones said. “There’s quarterbacks that are out there and don’t have a home right now, and then there’s quarterbacks that other teams have right now – of course we can’t talk about those players.”

For now, though, it will be Prescott, who certainly isn’t lacking in confidence. The team will desperately hope that his good preseason carries over into meaningful games.

Report: Giancarlo Stanton has ‘slim chance’ of returning for final week of Marlins season

Giancarlo Stanton

If the Miami Marlins can stay in the race, there is a slight chance they’ll have some big help down the stretch.

According to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball, Giancarlo Stanton could return for the final week of the regular season if everything goes “absolutely perfect.”

The most recent word is that Stanton is working on his rehab, but it’s unclear how far along he is.

As of Sunday, the Marlins sit 1.5 games out of a wildcard spot. They’ve held up as well as they can be expected to without their biggest bat, and it sounds like they shouldn’t bank on Stanton getting back, despite him being very vocal about his hope to do so. However, it would be a welcome boost to their playoff hopes if they could get his big bat in the lineups for even a few games down the stretch.

Broncos closing in on quarterback verdict; Gary Kubiak impressed by Trevor Siemian

Trevor Siemian

The Denver Broncos are nearing their quarterback decision, and coach Gary Kubiak sounds quite impressed with Trevor Siemian.

Kubiak said that he could probably make a decision now if he had to, but he refused to give a timetable for when he’d formally name a starter.

“I’ve got a lot invested and a lot of work that I can make some decisions off of now,” Kubiak said after Saturday’s preseason game, via ESPN’s Jeff Legwold. “I’ll do that. Does that mean I’m going to do it [Sunday] or Monday? I don’t know. I’ve got enough going on that I can make a decision.”

With Mark Sanchez not playing at all and Trevor Siemian starting and doing nothing to make himself look bad, it seems likely that he would be the frontrunner as things stand.

“I’m impressed. I think he’s very calm,” Kubiak said of Siemian. “I can tell by the way he handles the team in the huddle, he’s got control of what’s going on. Gets a bad break on the ‘go’ ball and comes right back and goes down the field. I think what I see is a guy getting better. … I’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m going to make a decision this week. … I’m going to do that, but at the same time, I’ve got a lot of things going on. I’ll take my time and do it the right way.”

Siemian started the game, but it’s worth noting that Kubiak was talking up Paxton Lynch last week, too. Whatever the case, it sounds like Sanchez is definitely running behind in the race.

DeMarcus Cousins would be interested in playing at 2020 Olympics

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DeMarcus Cousins will turn 30 around the time of the 2020 Summer Olympics, but he may yet have interest in playing for Team USA again.

The Kings big man did not fully commit yet, but Cousins made clear that he would at least consider Tokyo 2020 when the time comes.

“I’m open to [coming back for Tokyo 2020],” Cousins said, via Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “I’ll be older then, so it depends on how my body feels. As of right now, where I’m at, absolutely, I’m open to it. I think people don’t understand [how hard this winning is]. They see the guys on the roster and they think automatically, they’re supposed to win. This [international game] isn’t our game. This isn’t the way we play. This is an adjustment for every guy on the roster.

“No matter how much time there is, if guys can come together and mesh and play with some type of chemistry, you’re going to win games. It’s been proven in the past. We’ve had some of the most talented teams in the past and we didn’t win, so it’s not as easy as people think it is.”

Cousins said that he loved his Rio experience.

“It’s all worth it at the end of the day,” Cousins said. “All the B.S., everything we went through. Everybody went through their own little type of adversity. This is the best feeling ever, honestly. This is the best feeling ever.”

Cousins definitely seemed to enjoy Rio, right down to his friendly rivalry with Brittney Griner. He won’t quite be too old in 2020, and if he’s still producing at a high level, it would not be a surprise to see him return to the international stage.

Odell Beckham criticized for avoiding contact, allowing INT (Video)

Odell Beckham hair

New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr caught some heat on social media over the weekend for quitting on a ball to avoid a hit.

But the team probably didn’t mind.

In Saturday’s preseason game against the New York Jets, Beckham blatantly pulled up short on a slant route because he was about to get popped. That led to Eli Manning’s pass sailing right into the arms of Darrelle Revis.

Can you blame him? If that happened in the regular season, Giants fans would crucify their star receiver. But in that situation, they should praise him.

Preseason injuries can destroy a team’s season. Beckham is easily one of New York’s most important players (remember this catch?), so he should be applauded for using his head in a meaningless exhibition.

H/T The Big Lead

John Harbaugh calls for shorter preseason in light of Benjamin Watson injury

John Harbaugh

Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh is frustrated after an important player suffered a season-ending injury in preseason, and he thinks the NFL should think about making some changes.

Harbaugh called for a shorter preseason after Saturday night’s game, saying that modern NFL coaches and staffs have the tools at their disposal to prepare players properly without putting them in game situations where they could be injured.

“It’s not the ’70s anymore,” Harbaugh said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN. “These guys playing in these games — it’s tough — and they’re not meaningful games. They are important to get better, and they improve us. But we football coaches can find ways to get our guys ready and get our players evaluated without the kind of risk that a game necessarily entails.

“I’m really hopeful that the union and the league can get together and do something that’s good for everybody — especially what’s good for the players and for the fans.”

Harbaugh went as far as to say that the preseason should be dumped entirely.

“If I had my choice, I’d go none,” Harbaugh said. “That might be an extreme point, but we could run scrimmages, or we could run practices against other teams and figure it out. We’d all be in the same boat. That’s for people higher up than me to decide.”

Harbaugh emphasized that his opinions weren’t just because of Benjamin Watson’s season-ending injury. Don’t expect this to ever happen, of course, but it would be interesting to see if anyone else shares Harbaugh’s sentiments.

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