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Friday, April 19, 2019

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Capitals furious over ‘dirty’ play by Warren Foegele on TJ Oshie

TJ Oshie hurt

The Washington Capitals are furious over a “dirty” play by Warren Foegele that injured TJ Oshie during Game 4 of the team’s first round playoff series with the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday.

Foegele, who scored Carolina’s first goal of the game in a 2-1 win, crosschecked Oshie into the boards late in the game. Oshie went to the ice after crashing into the boards and was holding his arm.

Caps coach Todd Reirden was furious after the game and said Oshie would be out for “quite some time.”

Alex Ovechkin called the hit “dirty.” He was upset that the penalty called was a 2-minute minor for boarding.

The Capitals are planning to provide more information on the extent and Oshie’s injury on Friday. The series is tied 2-2.

Packers coaches did not want to draft Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

The Green Bay Packers’ decision to draft Aaron Rodgers with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2005 draft is one of the most important moves that shaped the NFL’s history over the past 15 years. The pick of Rodgers added a complicated element to the end of Brett Favre’s career and helped set the Packers up for more than a decade of winning, including a Super Bowl.

The story of how the pick went down is incredibly fascinating, and was shared by former Packers executive Andrew Brandt during an interview on “The Ask Gary Vee Show.”

According to Brandt, the Packers only had first-round grades on about 20 players that year. By the time their No. 24 pick came up, there was only one remaining player available for whom they had a first-round grade: Aaron Rodgers.

Brandt told Vee that the Packers’ coaching staff was begging them not to take Rodgers. The coaches felt they already had a quarterback on the roster in Brett Favre and badly wanted a player who would help them win now rather than take a guy who would be sitting on the bench. They wanted to stretch for a guy they had a second-round grade for.

The Packers were so unconvinced about taking Rodgers that they waited most of the 15 minutes they had before needing to make a selection to see if another team would come through with a trade offer. After getting no trade calls, they finally took Rodgers.

And guess what happened? Brandt says they could hear fans at the draft party in Lambeau Field booing the pick. On top of that, they got a phone call from Favre’s agent Bus Cook immediately asking them what the heck was going on.

The Rodgers pick led to an uncomfortable situation in Green Bay for three years before the Packers decided to finally move forward and turn things over to Rodgers for the 2008 season.

You can understand why things were so uncomfortable those first few years for the Packers, which also led to Favre slighting Rodgers at times. Time does help people forgive and forget, and the two quarterbacks have finally made amends.

As far as the pick, the Packers executives sticking to their draft board and going through with the Rodgers pick was the best thing they could have done. They got a Hall of Fame quarterback to follow a Hall of Fame quarterback, which is almost unprecedented.

You can listen/watch the story here, just beware of some curse words from Vee.

H/T Evan Silva

David Price offers vague reason for why he won’t visit White House

David Price

Several Boston Red Sox players have said they will not attend the White House next month when the team visits to be honored for winning the World Series, and David Price is the latest. The reason behind his decision, however, is a bit unclear.

Price, who finally proved his worth to Red Sox fans in the playoffs last year, told Jon Heyman that he is not joining the team in the nation’s capital on May 9. When asked why, he simply said because “it’s baseball season.”

Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers and Jackie Bradley Jr., have all said they won’t go to Washington, either. Red Sox manager Alex Cora has openly questioned Donald Trump’s handling of the recovery efforts from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, but he has not said whether or not he will attend the White House visit.

Players from all major sports have decided to pass on visiting the White House since Trump was elected president, and that will likely continue as long as he is in office.

Report: People close to Robert Kraft in disbelief he hasn’t taken plea deal

Robert Kraft

Robert Kraft is determined to beat the solicitation of prostitution charges against him, and there are apparently even some people in the New England Patriots owner’s inner circle who believe he is dragging the case out too long.

Despite prosecutors having video evidence that Kraft engaged in sexual activity at a day spa in Jupiter, Fla., the 77-year-old has entered a not guilty plea and rejected a plea deal from prosecutors several weeks ago. ESPN’s TJ Quinn, who has covered the case extensively, said during an appearance on WEEI’s “Mut & Callahan Show” Thursday that some people close to Kraft are surprised he hasn’t waved the white flag.

“There are people around him who have said to me they can’t believe he doesn’t just take this plea agreement, this diversion agreement that they offered and say, ‘OK, fine, I did this. I am sorry.’ And then move on with it,” Quinn said. “They are pretty amazed that he’s going to continue to fight it like this.”

The plea deal offered to Kraft would have essentially required him to admit guilt in exchange for having all of the charges against him dropped. Kraft’s powerful legal team is fighting to have the case thrown out based on on the grounds that the footage from inside the spa was illegally obtained, among other arguments.

Even if Kraft somehow beats the charges, prosecutors are planning to release the video footage. Kraft’s lawyers are trying to prevent that from happening, but they are fighting an uphill battle. The Patriots owner’s image has taken a hit no matter what, which is probably why some close to him are surprised he doesn’t just apologize and move on.

You could make the argument that prosecutors have already botched the case with some of the turns it has taken, but that doesn’t really help Kraft’s reputation. It would make sense for him to just take the hit and try to move on.

Watch: Zion Williamson dunks for couple’s baby gender reveal

Zion Williamson gender reveal

When it comes to baby gender reveals, this one may top them all.

Nolan Burg works for Duke athletics and used his connections to orchestrate a great gender reveal. He and his wife Danielle got Blue Devils star Zion Williamson to dunk a ball that was coordinated with the mascot releasing blue and white confetti to show they were having a boy.

If you ask me, everything in life is better with Zion Williamson involved, and that includes gender reveals. Maybe he can offer that service to others.

That was probably our favorite sports-related gender reveal since Joey Logano’s awesome one.

Best revenge games on the 2019 NFL schedule

Le'Veon Bell

The 2019 NFL schedule was released on Wednesday, much to the delight of football fans everywhere. This is the first opportunity to start breaking things down, project wins and losses, and really get excited about the fall slate to come.

Another exciting part about the schedule is being able to look at potential revenge games. Few things are more exciting than watching a player or coach go against his former team. They have extra motivation to prove a point and show them how they went wrong.

Keeping that in mind, here’s a look at the best revenge games on the schedule.

1) New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Rams, Week 2

Does anything more really need to be said? The Rams beat the Saints in the NFC Championship Game to advance to the Super Bowl, thanks to one of the most controversial calls in NFL history. Adding insult to injury, the Rams lost and had trouble scoring in the Super Bowl, giving the Saints the feeling that they probably would have been a better NFC representative. Though this game won’t give Saints fans an opportunity to get rowdy at Mercedes-Benz Superdome, those who do make the trip to Los Angeles will be sure to make their voice heard.

2) Le’Veon Bell’s New York Jets vs Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 16

Does anyone have a bigger eye on a game than Le’Veon Bell on Week 16 when his New York Jets take on the Pittsburgh Steelers? Bell sat out the entire 2018 NFL season rather than play for the Steelers under the franchise tag for the second straight year. He endured a season of criticism from fans, critics, and even some of his former teammates. He’d probably want nothing more than to have a monster game against Pittsburgh.

3) Earl Thomas’ Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks, Week 7

It might be harder to envision a defensive player having a revenge game against his former team, but we’re talking about Earl Thomas — he’s a totally different matter. Remember what happened when he went against the Dallas Cowboys last year and was trying to prove a point to them about why they should have acquired him? We can only imagine how hard he’ll be playing against Seattle, especially with the thought that they slighted him regarding his contract situation.

4) Vic Fangio’s Denver Broncos vs Chicago Bears, Week 2

Fangio gets a chance to prove very early to the Denver Broncos brass just how astute of a coach he is. His Broncos will be hosting his former team, the Chicago Bears, and the game comes in Week 2. Fangio should know Chicago’s offense better than anyone after going up against them in practice regularly and watching them in games. He should be highly motivated to stop his former team and should have a gameplan that will keep them off the scoreboard.

5) Vontaze Burfict’s Oakland Raiders vs Cincinnati Bengals, Week 11

The league office better have some extra eyes on this contest. In Week 11, Vontaze Burfict will be going up against the only team he’s ever played for when his new squad, the Oakland Raiders, host his old one, the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals let him go following a season where he dealt with more concussion issues. When you think of dirty NFL players, Burfict’s name is at the top of the list. We can only imagine what kind of hits he’ll be eagerly dishing out to his former teammates in this one — if he’s healthy for the game.

Bonus: Cole Beasley’s Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys, Week 13

Slot receivers don’t always have the opportunity to make a huge impact on a game, but if there’s a situation where one will want to, it’s here. The Cowboys let Beasley go in the offseason, feeling he wasn’t worth the money the Bills signed him to. Instead, they chose to go a cheaper route by signing Randall Cobb. Beasley is sensitive about the subject and will be gunning to have a big game. He also seems to be all-in with the Bills and has already made some comments that would puzzle Cowboys fans.

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Watch: Managers go at it in Royals-White Sox scuffle

Things got rather heated on Wednesday between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox.

Royals pitcher Brad Keller hit White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson with a pitch during the game after Anderson extravagantly tossed his bat after a home run.

Keller’s pitch seemed like a fairly clear bit of retaliation for that action, and the benches immediately cleared. The Royals’ actions didn’t sit well with White Sox manager Rick Renteria, either, who squared up his Kansas City counterpart, Ned Yost.

The White Sox have good reason to be upset after this, and it will be interesting to see if they come down hard against Keller. The league has started to promote younger players doing things like Anderson did, and the Royals look pretty bad trying to police it.