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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Featured Stories

Baker Mayfield blasts ‘clown’ Colin Cowherd in defense of Odell Beckham

Baker Mayfield

The drama between Baker Mayfield and Colin Cowherd has flared up once again, with Odell Beckham Jr in the middle of things.

Things started on Thursday when Cowherd mocked Beckham in a segment about the receiver’s top 10 moments. Most of the “moments” picked on Beckham for some of his notorious off-field issues, such as the infamous party boat and the hotel room photo.

Beckham got involved by pointing out the hypocrisy of Cowherd, who had sent him a text message congratulating him on his trade to Cleveland and said he was rooting for him.

Mayfield, who has a deep history with Cowherd, decided to get involved and called the FS1 host a “clown.”

“Once again, you’re a clown…. now I know you’re just trying to get me fired up. “Most memorable moments”… he’s 26 and his greatest moments are ahead of him. You forget the kids and people he inspires. That goes much further than football…You’re over double his age and you can’t even realize that it’s much bigger than just the game. Wisdom didn’t come with age for you did it?” Mayfield wrote on Twitter.

Mayfield is being a good teammate by showing he has Beckham’s back, but the two of them responding to Cowherd will only encourage the host because he is getting his desired reaction.

Watch: Deontay Wilder destroys Dominic Breazeale with lethal right hand

Dominic Breazeale Deontay Wilder

Deontay Wilder is a killer in the ring and showed it yet again on Saturday.

Wilder knocked out Dominic Breazeale just over two minutes into their WBC heavyweight title fight at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. He nailed Breazeale with a few big shots that backed up the challenger into the corner. Breazeale had to go into a clinch just to stop Wilder. Not long after the referee separated the two, Wilder landed his crushing right hand that ended the fight:

Wilder is a special, special fighter. You just don’t come across boxers with that type of punching power very often — someone who can knock you out with one punch.

Breazeale just missed making the 10-count. The knockout marked the 40th of Wilder’s career, the 20th coming in the first round. He has won all but one of his fights by knockout, with no losses. That was just Breazeale’s second defeat.

CJ McCollum meets woman behind ‘I’m trying Jennifer’ meme

CJ McCollum

The woman behind a famous meme involving CJ McCollum has received renewed attention with the Portland Trail Blazers making a deep postseason run, and McCollum is crediting her with helping to motivate him.

Not long before tip-off of Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals between the Blazers and Golden State Warriors, Jennifer Williams sat down for an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. McCollum came over to introduce himself, and he said “thank you” to her for providing motivation when she sent her now-famous tweet last year.

After DeMarcus Cousins signed with the Warriors last August, McCollum ripped the “disgusting stars” who are chasing championships with Golden State. Jennifer, who is a Warriors fan, zinged McCollum by telling him to “win a playoff game then talk.” McCollum replied by telling her, “I’m trying Jennifer,” and the response went viral.

The meme came back to life when McCollum scored 37 points and made some huge plays in Portland’s Game 7 win over the Denver Nuggets last round. Jennifer then came forward again and acknowledged that McCollum had proved her wrong.

And here we are. A simple tweet from a rival fan has become one of the most entertaining stories of the 2019 postseason. If the Blazers go on to pull a major upset and reach the NBA Finals, we know know it was Jennifer who helped get them there.

Kerr: Kevin Durant calf injury is more serious than we thought

Kevin Durant Warriors

The injury news surrounding Kevin Durant does not sound too promising.

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said after the team’s 114-111 win in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals on Thursday night that Durant’s calf injury is more serious than they initially thought.

The Warriors provided a medical update on Durant and DeMarcus Cousins before the game. They said both players would be evaluated again in a week, meaning they both would be out through Game 5 of the series. And while Durant is progressing, he still hasn’t been cleared for on-court work, unlike Cousins, who already has been. This line of thought is not too surprising given what Kerr said on Monday.

If anything, Cousins sounds like he is closer to a return than Durant.

The Warriors have won every game since Durant got hurt, including Game 5 against Houston, the game he exited due to his injury.

Ian Kinsler denies telling home fans ‘f— all of you’ after clutch home run

Ian Kinsler is having a rough season at the plate with the San Diego Padres this year, and the veteran infielder has heard some boos from home fans while struggling to produce. He appeared to fire back at the Padres faithful following his big home run on Thursday night, though Kinsler insists we are all misinterpreting his actions.

With San Diego trailing the Pittsburgh Pirates 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth, Kinsler belted a three-run homer that eventually turned out to be the game-winner. He appeared to shout, ‘F— you! F— all of you!’ toward the stands when he finished rounding the bases.

The reaction looked like it was clearly directly toward the fans, but Kinsler said after the game that it was merely an “inside thing” with his teammates.

“That was for my teammates. It had nothing to do with the fans,” Kinsler said. “It’s an inside thing with them. I was trying to get everybody fired up.”

We find that extremely hard to believe.

Kinsler is batting just .175 this season with an on-base percentage of .233, so you can understand why Padres fans have been frustrated with him. He should be used to that by now, as even his own Alexa device trash talked him before he decided to play a 14th MLB season. That home run must have felt good, but a guy who is hitting .175 really shouldn’t be that animated in bragging about one clutch swing.

Report: Adam Gase completely removed himself from Jets’ draft process

Adam Gase eyes

If any of the players the Jets drafted last month go on to enjoy successful NFL careers, head coach Adam Gase will not be able to say he had a hand in bringing them to New York. In his first year with the team, Gase apparently felt it was best to completely remove himself from the draft process.

Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News published a behind-the-scenes look at the rift between Gase and Mike Maccagnan that resulted in the former Jets general manager being fired this week, and apparently the relationship got so bad that Gase gave up on trying to help evaluate players. Sources told Mehta that Maccagnan did not want Gase’s input, because he felt the Jets’ scouting department should be able to evaluate players without being influenced by the coach. Maccagnan apparently operated the same way when Todd Bowles was the head coach in New York.

While there were some points where Gase shared his opinion during meetings with Maccagnan, Gase became angered that the GM did not allow him to have more input on players that were going to have to succeed in the coach’s system. Eventually, Gase decided to go to great lengths to remove himself from the draft process altogether. One team employee who was in the war room during the draft said Gase intentionally moved his seat so he could not be seen on camera.

“He literally took his seat and moved it (out of camera view),” the staffer said. “That was extreme.”

Here’s more on the dynamic that quickly became “awkward” for many within the organization:

Gase wanted to wash his hands of the draft before it even began, according to sources. Eyewitnesses told the Daily News that he was oddly detached for all three days. This was a Maccagnan Production through and through. Gase stayed out of the way, rarely giving input on trade possibilities or prospects when the Jets were on the clock. There was no point that Gase ever fought for or objected to any of Maccagnan’s picks.

Obviously, that is no way to run a team. Jets owner Woody Johnson and CEO Christopher Johnson must not have known how ugly the power struggle had gotten, which could explain the odd timing of when Maccagnan was fired. It could also be explained by one source telling Mehta that Johnson tries to see the good in everyone and simply “doesn’t know what he’s doing.”

Gase was at odds with Maccagnan before the draft because of some major free agent signings he disagreed with, and it will be interesting to see how that plays out going forward. Now that the Jets have sided with Gase over a GM that had been with them for years, the pressure will be greater than ever to win.

10 MLB rookies having a big impact this season

Chris Paddack

Each MLB season brings a new crop of rookies to excite and intrigue fans across the sport. Some are highly-touted, while others are further off the radar and may even be journeymen. Even those who have completely conquered the minor leagues can have some initial trouble adapting to the highest level of competition, so rookies that do storm out of the gates successfully deserve plenty of plaudits.

Here are ten players with rookie status in 2019 who are having a big impact so far this season.

10. Christian Walker, 1B, Diamondbacks

Walker retains his rookie status, but he had MLB experience before 2019. In parts of four seasons dating all the way back to 2014, he had hit just .170 in several brief stints. In 2019 with Arizona, things have been completely different. The first baseman has been a surprising power source for the Diamondbacks, sitting among the team leaders in home runs well into May while hitting just shy of .300 and drawing plenty of walks. Not bad for a 28-year-old rookie.