Andrew Miller is one of the top relievers available on the free agent market this winter, and big market teams are looking to add him.
The Philadelphia Phillies, who have made it clear that they are going to spend big this offseason, have been linked to Miller for several weeks. Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philly reported on Friday that they are still “strongly” interested in the left-hander.
Still hearing the Phillies are strongly on Andrew Miller.
— Jim Salisbury (@JSalisburyNBCS) December 14, 2018
In addition to the Phillies, the New York Yankees are also entertaining the idea of bringing Miller back. Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Yankees have turned their attention toward bolstering their bullpen and met with Miller’s representative at the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.
Miller had a rough year in 2018 with the Cleveland Indians after dominating for several seasons with top American League teams. Despite his struggles and 4.24 ERA, he is still drawing interest from plenty of teams.
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The Chicago White Sox are one of a handful of teams that are said to have a legitimate shot at signing Bryce Harper, so naturally there are photoshopped images out there of the star outfielder in a White Sox uniform. But before they become a reality, flame-throwing pitcher Michael Kopech has something to say.
Harper has worn No. 34 throughout his career with the Washington Nationals. Kopech, a 22-year-old starting pitcher who was called up by the White Sox late in the 2018 season, currently wears that number in Chicago. His reaction to seeing an image depicting Harper in a White Sox uniform was pretty entertaining.
— Kopech (@MichaelKopech5) December 13, 2018
Unfortunately, Kopech underwent Tommy John surgery toward the end of the season and is not expected to pitch again until 2020. If Harper does end up signing with the White Sox, perhaps Kopech will let him borrow the number for a year and figure out compensation at a later point.
We’ve already seen one star player not bother trying to keep his old jersey number when changing teams this offseason, but Harper will certainly be able to afford paying off a new teammate if he leaves the Nationals and is committed to keeping No. 34.
Odell Beckham Jr missed last week’s game against the Washington Redskins because of a quad injury he has been battling, and he has not made enough improvement over the past several days to play on Sunday.
Giants head coach Pat Shurmur announced on Friday that Beckham will not play when the team hosts the Tennessee Titans this weekend.
Coach Shurmur: Odell is out and will not play this Sunday against the Titans. #TENvsNYG
— New York Giants (@Giants) December 14, 2018
Beckham said Thursday that he is starting to feel much better, but he also visited with a specialist and said “s— ain’t right” when discussing the injury. It’s hard to tell if the Giants would be more willing to push him if they were still in playoff contention rather than being 5-8.
For what it’s worth, Beckham said recently that he is still fully confident the Giants are going to make the playoffs. Whether or not he will be on the field again this season to help them accomplish that goal remains to be seen.
- Odell Beckham
The Kansas City Police decided to have some fun with their fellow law enforcement agency from Los Angeles in advance of Thursday night’s showdown between the Chiefs and Chargers, but it was the LAPD that got the last laugh.
Earlier in the week, the Kansas City Police issued a warning about traffic that would be caused by people heading to Arrowhead Stadium during rush hour on Thursday. They took the opportunity to throw shade at the Chargers for leaving San Diego.
While our football team doesn't have to move cities to get fans, we'd like to keep our city's traffic (both fans & commuters) moving during tomorrow's Chiefs vs Chargers game. Stadium full of people will be going to Arrowhead during rush hour. Plan alt. routes or extra time.
— Kansas City Police (@kcpolice) December 12, 2018
Unfortunately for the KCPD, their team blew a 14-point lead — on two separate occasions — and ended up losing to its AFC West rival. After the Chargers scored a touchdown with four seconds left and converted a two-point attempt for the win, the LAPD decided to rub salt in the wound.
— LAPD HQ (@LAPDHQ) December 14, 2018
Between the police department beef and all the taunting Stephen A. Smith had to deal with for his embarrassing blunder, Thursday night’s game ended up being pretty ruthless. The Chargers are glad they were on the winning end of it.
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There was a lot of overreaction last year when Josh McDaniels decided to back out of a verbal agreement to become the head coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Many people believed he would never get an NFL head coaching offer again for the way he handled the situation, but that simply isn’t the case.
In an appearance on WEEI’s “Mut & Callahan Show” Friday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter was asked about the potential of McDaniels interviewing for head coaching jobs again after the season. He noted that NFL teams are increasingly interested in offensive-minded coaches and called it “laughable” that people thought the Colts debacle would ruin McDaniels’ chances of landing another job. However, Schefter says McDaniels will be “picky.”
“That doesn’t mean he’s going to take one, either. We’ve seen how picky, and selective he can be.” Schefter said. “He should be because he is going to be a candidate every year as long as Bill [Belichick] and Tom [Brady] are there and he’s thriving in the system and he’s demonstrating the work that he does. Unless he’s entirely comfortable with that situation, he is not going to jump unlike other coordinators and coaches who when they first get an opening they can’t wait to get a head-coaching job. Josh has proven he is going to be very patient with this and very picky to the point where some people think it is a detriment when it’s not. It’s just not.”
It is believed that McDaniels is being compensated like a first-time head coach after Patriots owner Robert Kraft sweetened his deal last year. With numerous reports indicating the relationship between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady has not been all that strong in recent years, it seems like Kraft wants to keep McDaniels around to almost serve as the middle man between the two.
We have already heard McDaniels linked to one job that should be very appealing, but it remains to be seen how long Belichick plans to coach in New England. That could also factor into McDaniels’ decision.
- Josh McDaniels
The Kansas City Chiefs rank dead last in the NFL in pass defense through 14 games, and there is a chance things could get even worse for them after starting cornerback Kendall Fuller suffered an injury on Thursday night.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Fuller played through a significant wrist injury in his team’s loss to the Los Angeles Chargers, and he is scheduled to undergo surgery.
Sources: #Chiefs CB Kendall Fuller played through a painful wrist injury, believed to be a fracture, in last night’s loss to the #Chargers. The plan is to have surgery this morning. A blow to their secondary.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 14, 2018
Fuller has 70 total tackles, two interceptions and a forced fumble on the season. Kansas City’s starters haven’t been good against the pass all year, and now their depth will be put to the test with two games remaining before the playoffs.
The Chiefs allowed 313 passing yards on Thursday night and could not get stops against Philip Rivers and the Chargers when they needed them. While they should see some improvements as Eric Berry gets up to speed and his role expands, losing a starting cornerback this late in the season is never easy to overcome.
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- Kendall Fuller
The Los Angeles Chargers pulled off their biggest win of the season on Thursday night in dramatic fashion, but erasing a 14-point deficit — on two separate occasions — was not enough to make them forget about what happened with Stephen A. Smith earlier in the day.
During an ESPN appearance on Thursday morning, Smith offered some of his takes on the big AFC West showdown between the Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs. To say he embarrassed himself would be an understatement, as it seemed like he knew absolutely nothing about the game.
In just this short clip Stephen A. Smith:
— Forgot Spencer Ware was out
— Called them San Diego Chargers
— Said he was looking forward to watching Hunter Henry, who hasn't played all year
— Said Henry was going up against Derrick Johnson, who is a free agent
— Broke Tedy Bruschi pic.twitter.com/wOaorAbBKY
— Jordan Heck (@JordanHeckFF) December 13, 2018
Not long after the Chargers defeated the Chiefs by scoring a touchdown with four seconds left and adding on a two-point conversion, offensive lineman Russell Okung took to Twitter to compliment Henry on a job well done. Henry was happy to play along.
You carried us!!! https://t.co/oQFBvbgatZ
— Russell Okung (@RussellOkung) December 14, 2018
Duh. All night
— Hunter Henry (@Hunter_Henry84) December 14, 2018
Henry, of course, has not played this season after he suffered a torn ACL in May. Smith tried to offer an explanation for why he brought Henry up during his analysis, but it was obvious he just wasn’t prepared to discuss the game. The Chargers aren’t letting him forget it.
We’re a third of the way through the NBA season, and a number of players have staked an early claim for postseason hardware. Recently, we reviewed 10 early candidates for MVP.
Though no rookie will enter that conversation this season (the last rookie to win the award was Wes Unseld in 1968-69), a few first-year players look like future MVP candidates. Here are 10 rookies who have gotten off to a hot start – the leading candidates, at this point, to win Rookie of the Year.
10. Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets
Bridges made an interesting decision choosing to return to Michigan State for his sophomore year. Though he had a solid season, he didn’t help his draft stock, and he may have hurt it slightly. A top prospect out of high school, he fell to No. 12 in the draft. In his rookie campaign, Bridges isn’t putting up jaw-dropping numbers — 7.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. But he’s playing 20 minutes a night for a surprisingly good Charlotte team (currently No. 6 in the East), and he’s shooting 48.4 percent from the field. Last week, he dropped a career-high 16 points and connected on three of his six three-point attempts. Look for his role in James Borrego’s offense to continue to increase.
The LBS season of giving continues in Week 15 of the NFL season. The winner of Week 15 in the LBS Pick ‘Em contest will receive a MistyMate personal mister.
“MistyMate’s Personal Misters are the perfect gift for hikers, bikers, runners and more. They deliver a blast of cool on demand, helping weekend warriors and serious athletes alike take control of their climate.”
The MISTPRO3 Personal Mister makes for a great holiday gift – it’s easy to use (no batteries), lightweight, long-lasting (1-4 hours on a single fill), currently TSA compliant and has great colors.
You can read more about it and purchase it at the MistyMate website.
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Shareef O’Neal made it out of his heart surgery successfully on Thursday night, and he had his fans in mind afterwards.
The UCLA Bruin sent a tweet in the evening thanking his fans for all the “love and support,” saying that helped him through his surgery.
I made it,Thank you for all the love and support! I really appreciate all your thoughts and prayers, that’s what helped me through this surgery. I’m on the road to recovery, and I’ll be back soon…better than ever.
His Words, typed by Mimi oneal pic.twitter.com/yPu2js7M2f
— Shareef O’Neal (@SSJreef) December 14, 2018
O’Neal, the son of NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, was part of a highly-touted recruiting class at UCLA, but he is taking a medical redshirt season after an electrical problem was discovered in his heart during a routine check in the fall. The surgery is supposed to correct the issue and help O’Neal play at full strength in the future.
O’Neal has faced this potential scary situation with nothing but optimism. That positive attitude should serve him well throughout his recovery.