The Boston Red Sox continue to struggle in the early part of the season, and Mookie Betts is one player who has reflected that.
After Monday’s loss to the Baltimore Orioles, Betts is hitting just .222 with three home runs in 17 games. While far from the worst mark on the team, he is the reigning American League MVP, and he knows that he needs to pick up the slack, saying as much on Monday.
Betts: ‘Basically, what I’m doing is unacceptable’
— Alex Speier (@alexspeier) April 15, 2019
Betts has defended manager Alex Cora, who has been faced with criticism for the fact that the team is now 6-11. He is willing to firmly point the finger at himself and his teammates, but at some point, these players have to hit if things are going to turn around in Boston.
- Mookie Betts
Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin is a serious doubt for the remainder of the team’s first round series, but he does not want to sit out.
Griffin missed Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Milwaukee Bucks with a knee injury, and according to coach Dwane Casey, he’s pushing to play despite the advice of the medical staff.
Dwane Casey says Blake Griffin is lobbying to play but decision is in hands of medical team
— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) April 15, 2019
We already know that Griffin would have played in the series opener if it was his decision. Ultimately, though, the Pistons are not going to overrule the medical staff, and as long as that remains the case, it is unlikely that we’ll see him on the floor in the series.
It didn’t matter much in the grand scheme of things, but Kevin Durant was ejected from the Golden State Warriors’ Game 1 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
On Monday, Durant apologized for his actions, stating that he didn’t want to disappoint fans, teammates, and coaches who were relying on him, even if the Warriors had the game comfortably in hand at the time of his ejection.
Kevin Durant issues an apology following his Game 1 ejection: “I don’t wanna disappoint my coaches, my fan base, and owners who expect me to be on the floor so I apologize.” pic.twitter.com/HH8tbFWe0g
— Logan Murdock (@loganmmurdock) April 15, 2019
Durant mixed it up a bit with Patrick Beverley of the Clippers, picking up two technicals in roughly 20 seconds. It didn’t matter in Game 1, but Beverley will likely try to continue to get under Durant’s skin, and he’ll have to keep his composure in the future.
LeBron James as a TNT playoff analyst? It could happen.
After Charles Barkley made a public plea for James to join the rest of the “Inside the NBA” crew for the playoffs, James issued a response on Twitter, and he sounds quite open to it.
Sir Charles, I actually do have a ton going on but I may take you up on your offer. We shall see. #KingInStudio
— LeBron James (@KingJames) April 15, 2019
James is a busy man, and if he wants to do it, TNT would have to work something out with his people. They’d probably do it, though, since James doing any type of TV work for the playoffs would be a huge draw for the network and would attract a lot of hype. This probably bears watching.
Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry was widely criticized for going scoreless in his team’s Game 1 loss to the Orlando Magic, but he’s trying to defend his performance.
Lowry thinks he played the right way despite his outing, noting that he really felt he simply needed to be more aggressive.
Lowry on going scoreless: "It's happened before. I'm a guy that plays basketball the right way. Just because I didn't score doesn't mean I didn't play the right way… Because we lost it looks worse."
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) April 15, 2019
Lowry: "I've just gotta make sure I'm more aggressive. I think in the situation that we're in, the way they're guarding me I can look to score a lot more, watching the film. But we'll see. You go with what the game gives you."
— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) April 15, 2019
Lowry’s most visible contribution was probably wiping out Michael Carter-Williams. He can say what he wants, but the Raptors will be demanding more from a player who averaged 14.2 points per game this season.
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Eli Manning appears to be fairly secure as the New York Giants’ starting quarterback for 2019, but he knows that his heir apparent could be just around the corner.
Manning admitted Monday that he anticipates that the Giants will add a young quarterback, likely through the NFL Draft, but it won’t change his focus on doing his job and winning games.
Eli Manning: I figure the Giants will get a young quarterback. I understand that. I'll do my job and my part. My job as I see it is to go out there and win football games.
— New York Giants (@Giants) April 15, 2019
The Giants have done their due diligence with the draft’s top quarterbacks, but it seems more likely they’ll add one later in the draft, not early. Manning looks safe as the starter for this next season, but the 38-year-old won’t be around forever.
- Eli Manning
Yasiel Puig will make his first trip to Dodger Stadium since being traded on Monday, and it’s fair to say he’s feeling motivated.
Puig didn’t hide his desire to get a measure of revenge on his former team as the Cincinnati Reds visit the Los Angeles Dodgers for their series this week.
“We’re going to Los Angeles, and we need to be prepared to beat my old teammates,” Puig said, via Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “It’s going to be a lot of people there [who have] been waiting for Puig, Matt Kemp, [Kyle] Farmer, and Alex Wood is not here, but everybody expects a lot and been waiting for us to go back. We’re excited to go back.”
Puig puts his ambitions right at the top. He thinks the Dodgers will end up missing him, and he’s certainly intent on proving that. The reception he gets from Dodgers fans after an up-and-down tenure filled with promise and unfulfilled potential will be intriguing.
- Yasiel Puig
With Russell Wilson’s contract deadline looming, things do not appear to be trending in the right direction for the Seattle Seahawks.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Wilson does not intend to sign a new contract this season if nothing gets done by the April 15 deadline. Such a scenario would likely lead to the Seahawks franchise tagging Wilson at the end of the season when his contract expires.
There is no indication that Wilson will skip training camp or any offseason activities if he doesn’t get a new deal. A trade is seen as unlikely due to a lack of suitors willing to pay Wilson what he is asking for, and getting a deal done with the Seahawks is viewed as “a challenge.”
It simply does not appear that the two sides are making any real progress in talks. It could set up an awkward season and an even more awkward offseason at this rate for the two sides.
- Russell Wilson