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Thursday, July 27, 2017

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Jim Mora happy Josh Rosen is keeping lower profile

Josh Rosen

Jim Mora has been happy with what he’s sign from quarterback Josh Rosen this offseason — and also with what he hasn’t seen.

Some believe Rosen presents character concerns especially after he was involved in some off-field issues. That led Mora to caution his quarterback against becoming a Johnny Manziel type.

Well Rosen missed most of last season with a shoulder injury and underwent surgery. Mora believes that humbled him.

“I love it,” Mora said of Rosen’s low profile while speaking at Pac-12 Media Day.

“We really very much just want to let our actions do the talking for us. Our young men have dedicated themselves to working very hard and saying very little and we eventually want to not be low profile but we want it because of the right reasons, which means we’re having success on the field,” said Mora, via the LA Times.

UCLA is coming off a 4-8 season — their worst under Mora. But with a new look Rosen leading the team, the Bruins should be in for a turnaround.

Colin Kaepernick a possibility for Ravens after Joe Flacco injury?

Colin Kaepernick Castro

If Colin Kaepernick ends up signing with an NFL team before the upcoming season, it will probably be because of an injury. Do the Baltimore Ravens suddenly make sense?

With Joe Flacco expected to miss 3-6 weeks because of a back injury, there has been speculation that the Ravens could give Kaepernick a look.

Harbaugh’s brother Jim was the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers when Kaepernick became a household name and led the team to a Super Bowl. Greg Roman, an offensive assistant with the Ravens, was the offensive coordinator in San Fran from 2011-2014. If nothing else, Baltimore has some familiarity with Kaepernick that other teams might not have.

John Harbaugh apparently thinks Kaepernick is a good player, because he said back in March that he “absolutely” believes the quarterback will be signed and end up starting somewhere in 2017. Jim Harbaugh has called Kaepernick a “great quarterback” and said he is capable of winning championships.

A recent report we heard about the level of interest NFL teams are showing in Kaepernick gave us an indication of how close — or how far — he is to landing a job. All it takes is one injury to change that, and the Ravens are now dealing with one.

Giancarlo Stanton mocks Jason Grilli after blasting home run (Video)

Texas Rangers reliever Jason Grilli was beyond fired up when he struck out Giancarlo Stanton to preserve a 10-4 lead in the ninth inning Tuesday night, and Stanton clearly took notice.

On Wednesday, Stanton got revenge on Grilli by blasting a solo home run in the eighth during Miami’s eventual 22-10 thrashing of the Rangers. Stanton enthusiastically celebrated the meaningless feat, and let’s just say the way he reacted looked a bit familiar.

Stanton doesn’t typically showboat like that, let alone on a homer that gave his team a 14-5 lead. Grilli’s antics the night before obviously irritated him. In a game where we saw one of the most bizarre ejections in baseball history, Stanton’s taunting of Grilli added another entertaining element.

H/T Eye on Baseball

LaVar Ball says he and LaMelo would beat Michael Jordan and LeBron James 2-on-2

LaVar Ball may have outdone himself yet again.

Before his Big Ballers AAU team played Zion Williamson’s SC Supreme team on Wednesday night, basketball’s most notorious hype man proudly boasted that he and 15-year-old son LaMelo, who headlines the Big Ballers roster, could beat anybody 2-on-2 … including Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

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That Big Baller irrational confidence truly knows no bounds.

While we know by now to take LaVar’s far-out claims for their entertainment value rather than for their coherence, to his credit, he has proven that he can dish out the tough love to his sons in addition to all the hype. Now let’s just hope that the AAU experience treats him better than it has these last few days.

H/T Overtime

Adrian Beltre ejected for moving on-deck circle

Adrian Beltre

Stop me if you’ve ever seen this before: An MLB player was ejected from a game for physically moving the on-deck circle.

Adrian Beltre, who is making a run at 3,000 career hits, was tossed from Wednesday’s Rangers-Marlins game after literally moving the circle closer towards the plate where he wanted to stand while warming up for an at-bat.

Marlins pitcher Drew Steckenrider asked Beltre to get closer to the circle, which is how things were initiated. But umpire Gerry Davis was not feeling Beltre’s sense of humor in the situation.

Not only was Beltre tossed from the game, but his manager, Jeff Banister, also got the heave-ho.

Given that Texas was losing 18-6 at the time, you figure the umpires would have let it go, but they had other thoughts.

Michael Fulmer hopes Tigers go ‘all out’ with rebuild

Michael Fulmer

The Detroit Tigers have already traded one of their best players, but they haven’t exactly committed to a full-on rebuild yet. One of their players who has been mentioned in some trade talks hopes the team goes all-in on the rebuild if they commit to doing so.

Michael Fulmer, who won Rookie of the Year last season and was an All-Star this year, shared his thoughts on the team’s status Wednesday. Here are his comments via MLB.com’s Jordan Horrobin:

The Tigers have already traded J.D. Martinez to Arizona, but they didn’t get a ton for him because he’s a rental and set to be a free agent after the year. They have Justin Verlander and Ian Kinsler to offer, but the stock for each player is low due to disappointing seasons. Reliever Justin Wilson could also be a prime target for teams in need of bullpen help, and he could yield a prospect or two.

The player they could get the most for is Fulmer, but it makes little sense to deal him given how young and good of a pitcher he is.

Don’t be surprised if the Tigers follow Fulmer’s advice and deal another player or two in the next week or so.

No. 1 pick Dansby Swanson being demoted to minors by Braves

Dansby Swanson

Former No. 1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson will be heading down to the minor leagues to see if he can turn things around.

The Atlanta Braves informed Swanson that he will be sent down to Triple-A Gwinnett, multiple Braves reporters said on Wednesday.

Swanson was acquired by the Braves as part of the infamous Shelby Miller trade with Arizona prior to last season. Despite having success over 38 games at the end of 2016, Swanson has struggled this year.

The 23-year-old is batting just .213 with a .599 OPS in 95 games. And after putting together a strong June where he batted .306, Swanson has scuffled in July and is batting just .091 this month. Prior to Wednesday’s two-hit game, he only had one hit following the All-Star break.

When you combine the play of Johan Macargo and the return of Sean Rodriguez with Swanson’s struggles, the demotion becomes easy to understand.

Bryce Harper loses his mind after striking out, gets ejected

Bryce Harper angry

Bryce Harper was ejected from Wednesday’s Washington Nationals-Milwaukee Brewers game after exploding on home plate umpire Chris Segal over balls and strikes.

Harper was up in the bottom of the eighth with runners on the corners and a tie game. It was an important spot where Harper had an opportunity to break the tie, so the stakes were high for the at-bat.

Harper took the first pitch for a ball, but then got upset when the second pitch — which was low in the zone — was called for a strike.

The Nats slugger grew upset and chased a 1-1 break ball in the dirt. He then struck out on a 1-2 pitch and lost his mind.

Harper has always been a highly emotional player, so his reaction wasn’t too surprising. He just needs to learn to manage himself better because he let his anger get the best of him in this case. After the 1-0 pitch was called a strike, he grew enraged and essentially wasted the rest of his at-bat.

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Clayton Kershaw says no timetable yet for his return

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw is eager to return to action for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but the ace says there is no timetable yet for his recovery.

The southpaw left his start for the Dodgers on Sunday after tweaking his back. An initial report said he could miss four to six weeks. Kershaw isn’t setting expectations for his return yet.

The good news is an MRI showed that that his disc was not the issue.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner was on his way to a fourth this season prior to his back injury. He leads MLB in wins (15) and ERA (2.04) and has 168 strikeouts in 141.1 innings this season.

Joe Flacco could miss 3-6 weeks with back injury

Joe Flacco

The injury bug is starting to hit the Baltimore Ravens.

A day after news came out that running back Kenneth Dixon would miss the season after undergoing knee surgery, word is emerging about a back injury Joe Flacco is dealing with that could cause him to miss some time.

NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport says Flacco could miss 3-6 weeks because of a disc issue in his back.

The Baltimore Sun’s Jeff Zrebiec previously reported that Flacco’s back problems could lead him to miss time during training camp.

However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter paints a much more optimistic picture. He reports that Flacco hurt himself lifting weights and may only need to miss a week.

Flacco, 32, is entering his 10th year as the quarterback for the Ravens. He’s been extremely durable, playing in all 16 games in eight of his nine seasons. The only time he missed came in late 2015 after he suffered a significant knee injury.

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