If I'm an opposing Mark Fayne Youth jersey team, I'm scared of Adrian Kempe. Why? He's helping ease the loss of Jeff Carter (out indefinitely with a leg laceration). Promoted to second-line center between Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli, Kempe still needs work on faceoffs (he lost 13 of 15 in a Tuesday night win against the Ottawa Senators). But the 21-year-old's five goals through nine games, including the game-tying score against Ottawa, show he's here to stay.The Leafs are a balanced team.
Of the 20 skaters in their lineup this season, only fourth-line center Eric Fehr -- who was waived earlier this week -- did not record a point. The most dangerous player remains Auston Matthews, who has warded off all sophomore slump chatter with seven goals and five assists in nine games.Let's chalk up the four goals Corey Crawford allowed on 29 shots to the Golden Knights on Tuesday as a one-off. Vegas has been spooking everyone this season! Entering that game, the Chicago goaltender had been scary-good with a 5-2-0 record, 1.86 goals-against average and .945 save percentage.Nineteen-year-old Jesper Bratt was a sixth-round pick in 2016.
He's 5-foot-10, a buck-75, and perfectly embodies why the Devils have been an early surprise sensation. Bratt was supposed to be sent back to juniors, but has surpassed expectations with versatility and production (six points in eight games) as New Jersey averages a stunning 3.75 goals per game.Columbus has two of the best young defensemen in the game (Seth Jones, Zach Werenski) and a balanced crop of forwards that awaits Artemi Panarin to fully http://www.bearsfootballproonline.com/Kyle-Long-Jersey blossom in a Blue Jackets uniform. And yet the most dangerous player has to be Sergei Bobrovsky (see: 34-save performance Wednesday night).The Capitals have been shaky after a hot start.
Washington's defensive depth (or lack thereof) is at risk of being exposed and now must replace second-line winger Andre Burakovsky, who is out six to eight weeks after thumb surgery. Alex Ovechkin has a way of taking over a game and keeping this team afloat. His 10 goals lead the team by far: T.J. Oshie has six goals, and no http://www.officialjazzshoponline.com/John_Stockton_Jersey other Capital has more than three.The Predators might still be working through a hangover from last season's Stanley Cup run -- and who can blame them? Their scariest player is Filip Forsberg, who is having the best start of his career.
Forsberg is the first Nashville player to score seven goals in the team's first nine games.Sharks backup goalie Aaron Dell still might be spooked by Josh Bailey's highlight goal last week. Bailey, who has picked up after a career season (56 points in 2016-17), intercepted a pass, deked Joe Pavelski, then stick-handled in front of the net, sliding the puck through his own legs -- a la Marek Malik -- before scoring a beauty.The Bruins have seesawed through an inconsistent start.
As they Mark Fayne Youth jersey battle Mark Fayne Youth jersey through injuries -- to nearly all of their centers, goalie Tuukka Rask and now defenseman Adam McQuaid (who is out for eight weeks) -- it seems fitting that 40-year-old Zdeno Chara is the steady, imposing force on defense. Chara's offensive production is dwindling, but he still leads skaters in average ice time (22:50) and is a team-high plus-6.
Among the injury-stricken teams, perhaps the Wild have it worse. The latest: Zach Parise underwent back surgery and is out until Christmas. Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter are both still out. The scariest person in the Wild organization: the poor team doctor who has to deliver this news.
The scariest player on the Red Wings is defenseman Mike Green, whose 11 points ties Shayne Gostisbehere and Alex Pietrangelo as tops among D-men. After a surprising 4-1 start, Detroit has staggered through a 0-4-1 stretch in their past five games. Somebody wake up the power play (5.9 percent in the five-game slide).
After an inauspicious start (which is putting it kindly), only one player is standing out on New York's roster: Mika Zibanejad. The 24-year-old is a burst of energy for a team that's slogging. Even after a five-game goal drought, Zibanejad has accounted http://www.authenticsabresstore.com/-9-evander-kane-jersey_c-453.html for six of New York's 25 goals; no other Ranger has more than three goals.
has gotten three from Kyle Singler Womens Jersey the Nats/Expos franchise. Back in 1988, when Martinez got traded from Kyle Singler Womens Jersey the Cubs to Montreal, he was given a jersey with the number 3 on the back. Almost Kyle Singler Womens Jersey three decades later -- there it is again, that magic number -- he repeats the pattern, going from the Cubs to the Nats (née Expos) and getting three. Three years, that is.
In Year 1, Martinez couldn’t ask for a better situation to step into. He takes over a stacked team that haTs won two straight division titles. The lineup, featuring Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon (among others), is loaded. The rotation, starting with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg at the top,
is among the best in baseball. The bullpen, with trade deadline acquisitions Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson remaining to anchor the back end, is sound. But despite all that firepower, the Nats have gotten bounced in the first round of the playoffs each of the two years. It is the reason that Dusty Baker’s time ran out.
“Winning a lot of regular-season games and winning divisions are not enough,” said GM Mike Rizzo, explaining the team’s decision to part with Baker. “Our goal is to win a world championship.”
Despite his lack of managerial experience, there’s little reason to think that Martinez can’t guide Washington to a third straight NL East pennant. If he can lead them all the way to a World Series title, in the process making good on Rizzo’s goal, well then, three http://www.ramsnflofficialonline.com/Authentic-Jacob-Mcquaide-Jersey will really be the magic number.Jeff Conine, known as "Mr. Marlin" for his years as a player and staff member in South Florida, is leaving the organization after he said he was offered a lesser role and lower pay from the new ownership group led by Derek Jeter.
"To say I'm disappointed that I won't have a role in this organization, yeah, I'm disappointed," Conine told the Miami Herald on Thursday.Conine had been serving as special assistant to former Marlins president David Samson. When Jeter took over, he reportedly wanted to get rid of Baseball Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez, Conine and 2003 World Series-winning manager Jack McKeon. Jeter then backtracked.
Jeff Conine won't be with the Marlins next year after he couldn't come to terms with new ownership representative Derek Jeter. Joel Auerbach/Getty Images
But Jeter and Conine couldn't agree on a role.
"I spent 7½ years as a player and the last nine years as someone working with the organization," Conine said, according to the Herald. "I've always considered myself a Marlin. I'm a member of this community. I want to see them win again. I want to see them get back to the World Series and the playoffs."
Conine earned the nickname "Mr. Marlin" for being an original member of the expansion franchise that helped them win a World Series in 1997. After being http://www.bearsnflofficialauthentic.com/lamarr-houston-jersey_c-385.html traded in the post-title purge in 1998, Conine was brought back in 2003, when the Marlins won their second World Series.
He played 17 years in the big leagues for six teams -- finishing with a .285 batting average and .789 OPS. He was a two-time http://www.losangeleskingsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Jeff-Zatkoff-Jersey All-Star.As a special assistant, Conine helped the team with everything from counseling players on the field to sitting in on trade and free-agency discussions.
When it comes to the Washington Nationals’ hiring of Dave Martinez as their new manager, three is the magic number. Three years. That’s the guaranteed term of Martinez’s agreement to replace Dusty Baker. The deal also includes an option for a fourth year, but it’s the three that's important.
It’s the three that speaks volumes because it’s the first time that the Lerner family, which took over ownership of the team in 2006, has given a manager more than two years guaranteed.
Davey Johnson, who had 14 years of experience and a World Series title on his managerial résumé before taking http://www.authenticclippersstore.com/Austin_Rivers_Jersey over in Washington, didn’t get three years. Dusty Baker, who was the winningest active skipper in MLB as of a couple of weeks ago, didn’t get three years. Bud Black, who was the Nats’ first choice back in 2015 before backing out and opening the door for Baker, didn’t get three years (which led to his backing out). Two years later, Martinez has finally broken the mold.
The fact that the Nats were willing to commit three years to Martinez should not be overlooked. For starters, it shows that the Lerners are making good on their name and, well, learning. They’re learning that, in a managerial market where veterans (Ron Gardenhire, Tigers) as well as newcomers (Alex Cora, Red Sox) are garnering three-year pacts, two years simply won't make the cut. Not when you think highly of a candidate, which clearly the Nationals do.
They think highly enough of Martinez that he was a finalist to replace Davey Johnson back in 2013. (The gig ultimately went to Matt Williams.) They think highly enough of him that, earlier in October, he was the first name to pop up on their radar following the surprising announcement that Baker’s tenure in DC was over.
After years in the dugout as a coach on Joe Maddon's staff, Dave Martinez gets his first shot at managing with the Nationals. Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
And why shouldn’t they think highly of him? After all, the 53-year-old Martinez checks quite a few boxes. As a former player who spent 16 seasons in the bigs, clubhouse credibility won’t be a problem.
He’s familiar with the Nats/Expos franchise, having spent three and a half of those seasons playing in Montreal. He’s of Puerto Rican descent and is bilingual, a blessing in baseball’s multicultural landscape. Perhaps most importantly, he’s spent the past 10 years apprenticing under one of the game’s most respected managers, serving as Joe Maddon’s bench coach first with Tampa Bay, then in Chicago.
Of course, the one box that Martinez doesn’t check -- and make no mistake, it’s a supersized box -- is that he’s never managed. Not in the minors, not in the majors, not anywhere. And the last time that Washington hired a guy with no previous managerial experience (Williams), things didn’t work out so well. That said, those 10 years spent watching and learning from Maddon should count for something,
as does the fact that Dave Roberts seems to be doing just fine in Los Angeles despite the Dodgers' being his first skippering gig. Add it all up, and presto -- Martinez is on the books through at least the 2020 season.
Speaking of the books, it’s worth noting that Martinez probably won’t cost too much, a detail that presumably made it easier for ownership to go long on his deal. Although dollar amounts haven’t been disclosed yet, it’s http://www.officialjazzshoponline.com/Adrian_Dantley_Jersey safe to assume that the rookie skipper will earn far less on an annual basis than, Mark Gastineau Youth jersey say, the $4 million that Joe Girardi -- who was linked to the Nats after the Yankees let him go
this past week -- made last year. For Mark Gastineau Youth jersey all we know, the entirety of Martinez’s compensation package over the life of his contract might amount to less than the $2 million that Dusty Baker got paid last season alone. In other words, even though the Lerners have committed what, for them, is an unprecedented amount of time to a manager, that’s probably not the case when it comes to the money. Then again, that didn’t stop them from giving only two guaranteed years to Williams, another first-time bench boss. So clearly, the Nationals are learning, and the magic number three proves it.
What it means: The Seahawks (5-2) pulled into a tie for first place in the NFC West with the idle Los Angeles Rams, who still seem like their only legitimate threat in the division. The Seahawks have to shore up the issues that allowed Houston to gain 509 yards of offense, which is not something you see against Seattle's defense. But it's encouraging that the offense (479 yards) could carry the Seahawks to a victory on a day where their defense wasn't at its best.
What I liked: Earl Thomas strengthened his first-half case for comeback player Authentic Le'Veon Bell Jersey of the year with a 78-yard pick-six. He looked like he knew where Watson was going the entire time when the rookie tried to throw deep over the middle to a receiver running an in-breaking route. Instincts are a huge part of Thomas' game and they were on display there.
What I didn't http://www.officialathleticsproshop.com/Ryon_Healy_Jersey like: http://www.ramsshopsnfl.com/orlando-pace-jersey_c-443.html The Seahawks managed only 33 yards on the ground as their running game continues to be ineffective. As much as Eddie Lacy has been a target of criticism, it's not as though he's alone in not producing. Lacy gained zero yards on six carries and Thomas Rawls lost a yard on his Authentic Le'Veon Bell Jersey six attempts.
Seattle had managed all of two yards rushing late into the fourth quarter before Wilson gained 32 on a pair of scramble runs. Getting their running game going will be a priority for the Seahawks in the second half of the season.
Fantasy fallout: Richardson continues to emerge as a big-play threat and a go-to option in Seattle's offense. He caught six passes for 105 yards and two more touchdowns to give him a team-high five on the season. A Seahawks penalty negated what would have been a third Richardson score.
The fourth-year receiver was slowed by injuries over his first two seasons, but he's healthy now and has developed a lot of trust with Wilson, which has been evident. Meanwhile, Graham caught his third and fourth touchdowns, giving him four in three games. His first of two Sunday was again near the goal line, where he's suddenly becoming much more of a factor than he was over his first two seasons with Seattle.
Freeney gets involved: So much for easing Dwight Freeney into action in his Seahawks debut. The veteran defensive end who signed with Seattle in the middle of last week, played 12 of 40 defensive snaps in the first half, according to Pro Football Focus, and was routinely on the field in passing situations. He shared a sack with Sheldon Richardson at the end of the first half. That gave him 123 for his career, which moved him into a tie with former Indianapolis Colts teammate Robert Mathis for 17th on the all-time sack list. The Seahawks added Freeney to give their pass rush a boost after losing Cliff Avril. The early returns are encouraging.
What's next: The Seahawks are home again next week to host the 3-4 Washington Redskins. Their roster could look a little different at that point with the NFL's trade deadline Tuesday.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider shot down any thought of the team trading Graham, which didn't seem likely in the first place. But the Seahawks still need help at left tackle -- Houston's Duane Brown may be available after all -- and they have a potentially tradable asset in cornerback Jeremy Lane, who has lost his starting job to Authentic Le'Veon Bell Jersey rookie Shaquill Griffin. Stay tuned.
Wentz and his Philadelphia Eagles spent most of their postgame time with the news media willingly dissecting everything that went wrong in victory. The overriding narrative? The offense was slow and sluggish (Wentz's words), the quarterback was rattled by the early San Francisco pressure, and he took too many hits behind an offensive line that sorely missed Jason Peters.
North Dakota -- a town with a population of 1,264 -- was then planted behind a dreadful offensive line as he pieced together perhaps the worst small-sample career box score in league history. He went 0-4 D'Angelo Russell Authentic Jersey as a starter, and threw 10 interceptions and no touchdown passes in 90 attempts. He was sacked 15 times and concussed once. He posted a quarterback rating of 0.0, spent 1978 on injured reserve, and landed briefly with the Oakland Raiders, who released him.
As it turned out, the Bucs had ruined the rookie's shot at long-term NFL sustainability by rushing him into an overwhelmingly dire situation. "With the team just starting up and me coming from a small-school background, I wish I'd sat and learned," Hedberg said. "I wasn't ready for that at that point." In sudden need of a less hazardous profession, Hedberg moved back to North Dakota and got into coaching.
Thirty-five years later, he ended up coaching another North Dakota prospect, Wentz. As an assistant at Southern Illinois, Hedberg had unsuccessfully recruited Wentz, a late bloomer at Century High School in Bismarck. They reunited at North Dakota State in 2014, Wentz's first year as the Bisons' starter and Hedberg's first year as their quarterbacks coach. It was clear early that Wentz would have a chance to do things in the pros that his position coach couldn't fathom.
Hedberg had seen Wentz's athleticism and playmaking ability in high school. On the practice field at North Dakota State, where the offense often huddled up and placed its quarterback under center (imagine that), the coach was struck by the quarterback's ability to quickly process pre-snap information at the line and to call out the proper http://www.raidersofficialfootball.com/Authentic-Dave-Casper-Jersey protections. "A lot of players will tell you they watched two hours of film, but did they really know what they were looking for?" Hedberg said. "Carson always knew what he D'Angelo Russell Authentic Jersey was looking for."
Wentz constantly offered suggestions to his coaches on passing concepts he thought would work against certain opponents. On his own, he came up with a term that signaled a route adjustment to his tight ends. "The first time he did it in practice, we didn't know what he was doing," Hedberg said. "It was a concept that changed the whole scenario for the defense." Two years deep into Wentz's career in Philadelphia, Hedberg still refuses to identify the term. "The word hasn't changed for us," he said.
Wentz remains as big a hero across the valleys and plains of his home state as he is on Broad Street in Philly, and Hedberg is uniquely qualified to explain why.
"It's the way North Dakota is," Hedberg said. D'Angelo Russell Authentic Jersey "The people can identify with Carson. He's just like they are, and the one thing he's done is he's given back to http://www.detroitredwingsofficialonline.com/Adidas-Chris-Chelios-Jersey the Fargo and Bismarck communities. I think that's why people admire him so much, and why they're so proud of what he's done."
Hedberg rejects any attempt to assign him credit for Wentz's development. The kid has the requisite talent and work ethic, after all, and just needed the opportunity Philadelphia gave him. But you don't have to be a member of the Cleveland front office to be surprised at how quickly Wentz has taken the league by storm. The http://www.authenticducksjerseys.com/Authentic-Ryan-Garbutt-Jersey demands on quarterbacks have grown exponentially over time, in part because of the ever-escalating size and speed of the men rushing them.
"The biggest attribute for a quarterback," Hedberg said, "is having the D'Angelo Russell Authentic Jersey courage to stand in there when you know you're going to get hit and still throw an accurate ball. Carson has always shown that."
Wentz has always shown an eagerness, not just a willingness, to take a hit. If he can stay healthy, he will likely be a dominant player for who knows how long. Randy Hedberg was asked if the unleashing of Wentz on the NFL was his way of paying back a league that was so hard on his 22-year-old self. The coach laughed. "No," he said. "It's probably more of 'Do what I say, not what I do.'
PHILADELPHIA -- The kid made it look so damn easy for seven weeks, he had some nerve Sunday making it look hard. When Carson Wentz had http://www.officialwashingtoncapitals.com/Adidas-T-J--Oshie-Jersey finally finished up a long and rainy day at the office, he had an awful lot of explaining to do.
How could he throw for only 211 yards, two touchdowns and a lousy two-point conversion? How dare he misfire on one sure touchdown, and maybe another, before beating the 0-7 San Francisco 49ers by a mere 23 points in his own backyard?
Wentz and his Philadelphia Eagles spent most of their postgame time with the news media willingly dissecting everything that went wrong in victory. The overriding narrative? The offense was slow and sluggish (Wentz's words), the quarterback was rattled by the early San Francisco pressure, and he took too many hits behind an offensive line that sorely missed Jason Peters.
These were the sounds of elevated standards and heightened expectations, all good stuff for Philly fans wondering if they've been gifted the magical player who will lead them to the forbidden place. For Eagles fans wanting to believe Wentz will deliver the franchise's first Super Bowl title, this 33-10 dismissal of the Niners was a hopeful development. The franchise player brought his C-plus game, and that was still plenty good enough to protect his status as the NFL's first-half MVP.
Wentz's job isn't to win the heavyweight QBR championship. His job is to win the game, and today he stands as the only quarterback in the 2017 season to have won seven of them. For Womens Prince Amukamara Jersey good statistical measure, Wentz is also tied with Deshaun Watson for a league-leading 19 touchdown passes -- three more than Wentz had his entire rookie year.
Meanwhile, as the Eagles improved to a league-best 7-1 in their own ballpark, the Cleveland Browns were busy in London losing for the eighth time in eight tries. Call it a tale of two continents. These are the same Cleveland Browns who traded out of the No.
2 spot in the 2016 draft because they were afraid to put their future in Wentz's hands. The same Cleveland Browns who employ poor Paul DePodesta, a Harvard man and chief strategy officer who indicated in an http://www.bearsfootballonline.com/WOMENS_YOUTH_MARCUS_COOPER_JERSEY.html ESPN Cleveland radio interview that the team didn't see Wentz developing into a top-20 quarterback.
Sunday's Wentz probably looked a little more like the Wentz the Browns envisioned. The Wentz who grew from a 5-foot-6 high school freshman into a 6-foot-5 senior, and still didn't land any major scholarship offers. The Wentz who broke his wrist as a North Dakota State senior and Womens Prince Amukamara Jersey threw only 612 total college passes.
But after watching Womens Prince Amukamara Jersey the Eagles' quarterback play for a season and a half, it's hard to believe any Moneyball metrics would instruct an analytics-based franchise to pass on him. Good football men in Fargo swore by Wentz's worthiness as a top-two pick, never mind as a future top-20 passer, including one who knew how impossibly cruel the quarterback position could be to a small-college kid from North Dakota who wasn't properly prepared.
Randy Hedberg helped coach Carson Wentz into the pros, and he has a story to tell. He joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1977, the year after the expansion Bucs introduced themselves to the NFL with an ungodly 0-14 season. Hedberg had played his ball at Minot State, where he was a quarterback and three-sport star. He was an eighth-round draft choice of the Bucs, the 196th pick overall, and preseason injuries elevated him from a fourth-string unknown to something of a first-string sensation heading into opening day.
Hedberg had made the mistake of leading John McKay's Buccaneers to a 14-0 victory over one of the http://www.tennesseetitansauthorizedstore.com/ryan-succop-jersey-elite NFL's most storied franchises, the Baltimore Colts, in the final preseason game. Tampa Bay had lost 23 of 25 games, preseason included, and its fans were desperate for any sign of hope. Some wore T-shirts that carried Hedberg's picture and the words, "RH Positive, a Bucs Transfusion." Some called him "Randy Iceberg," and some wore buttons that read, "Why Not Minot?" KCJB Radio in Minot scrambled to join the Bucs' radio network.
HOUSTON -- Last week, after the highest-scoring team in baseball in the past eight years produced a grand total of five runs in three games at Yankee Stadium, Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch diagnosed the problem thusly: "We've lost a little bit of our offensive mojo." Let it be said, then, after three games of the 113th World Series that the Astros' mojo has returned.
Following up on a Game 2 outburst in which they bashed four home runs in the final three innings of an 11-inning victory at Dodger Stadium, the Astros erupted again, scoring four runs in the second inning of Game 3. They knocked out Los Angeles Dodgers starter Yu Darvish after only 1-2/3 innings -- the shortest outing of his five-year major-league career -- and rolled to a 5-3 victory and a two-games-to-one lead in the series.
"Four runs in any game is big. Four runs in the World Series is huge," Hinch said. "To get that kind of momentum started, get the crowd into it, have a lead, it puts a ton of pressure on the other dugout."
As powerful as the Astros' bats have been over these past seven months, they are never quite so prolific as when they play at home. In the postseason, in particular, the Astros have gone 7-0 and outscored opponents by a 36-10 margin at Minute Maid Park.
And so, before the first World Series game in Houston since 2005, Hinch sounded an almost anticipatory tone about the capability of the offense to continue what it started when Marwin Gonzalez homered against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
"I'd love to Womens Derek MacKenzie Jersey say it's going to spill over, and it might," Hinch said. "We've gone on some incredible offensive explosions this season. We have the best offensive team in the league for a reason. I think it can be that way."
And here's the scary part: The http://www.officialrockiestore.com/Ian_Desmond_Jersey Astros could have had an even bigger night. They went only 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and left 12 men on base, signs that the offense still isn't cranking at full capacity. The Dodgers would rather not find out what that looks like.
The Astros' lineup is deep, their approach both relentless and diversified. They can punish pitchers for making mistakes by hitting the ball over the fence just as easily as they can manufacture runs by stringing together hits and running the bases aggressively. And in the big Womens Derek MacKenzie Jersey second inning, the Astros did a little of everything.
The onslaught began in a familiar fashion for this World Series. Yuli Gurriel, who has hit right-handed pitching all season, led off the inning by launching a 94 mph fastball into the Crawford Boxes beyond the left-field Womens Derek MacKenzie Jersey fence for a 1-0 lead.
Then, the http://www.authenticramsofficialshop.com/Nike-Tavon-Austin-Jersey.html Astros capitalized on Darvish's inability to command his slider. Josh Reddick, whose struggles against the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series came to symbolize http://www.newyorkjets.us.com/WOMENS-MUHAMMAD-WILKERSON-JERSEY.html the Astros' futility, lined a cutter into left field for a double. Evan Gattis, the bearded slugger, worked a seven-pitch walk. Gonzalez, a former utility infielder-turned-RBI machine, drove home a run by knocking a single off the wall in left-center field. Veteran Brian McCann punched an RBI single to right field.
Two batters later, young third baseman Alex Bregman hit a low line drive to center field. Gonzalez tagged up and scored from third base to stretch the margin to 4-0. And after AL MVP frontrunner Jose Altuve lined a double, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made the slow walk to the mound to replace Darvish with Kenta Maeda.
It was a vintage Astros rally. Nine batters came to the plate. Five batters got hits. Six batters reached base. Darvish was made to throw 29 pitches to eight batters before being lifted.
reservations about Isaacson's plan, supported it "full bore," an owner says. Not only that, the commissioner moved around the room to guide the conversation about its pluses. Many times he told the owners they weren't hearing the players' core arguments.
"We're all in this together," Goodell told them. The players and the union executives, who have been at odds with Goodell for years, were impressed. "It Michael Oher Jersey was the proudest I've ever been in the NFL," one owner said later. This was Goodell leading in a manner they'd rarely seen: He was not playing a zero-sum game, he was not risk-averse and his compassion clearly lay with the players in the face of severe pressure from hard-line owners and business executives. "He did a great job because he didn't say much," Blank says. "I don't mean http://www.redskinsnflofficialonline.com/Nike-Jonathan-Allen-Jersey.html that in a negative way."
The players had arrived at NFL headquarters wanting to be their own voice rather than have the union speak for them. DeMaurice Smith, the players' association chief, was uncharacteristically quiet during the session, having found a way to move forward on this issue with Goodell after a private meeting at Dulles International Airport on Oct. 3. In a similar sort of way,
the players concluded that Goodell seemed to be speaking for himself more than for many owners and even the league -- something that stunned them because, after all, some players privately view the commissioner as the puppet of ruthless billionaire owners. "There was sincerity on both sides," 49ers CEO Jed York says.
The meeting was going so well that even the unintentionally awkward moments were forgiven. At one point, Buffalo Bills co-owner Terry Pegula, moved by Anquan Boldin's story about his cousin being shot and killed by a police officer, complimented him on how impressive he was but kept calling him "Antwan." Then Pegula suggested that Boldin would be the perfect NFL spokesman on social issues not only because he had walked away from the game to pursue causes but because, the owner said, it couldn't be a "white owner but needs to be someone who's black."
Some people quickly glanced at one another; others looked down, cringing. But the discussion resumed, and soon the session was running so long -- by 90 minutes -- that nobody knew how to end it. At one point, Robert Kraft mumbled to the two Jets players seated on either side of him, "Can we just shut the f--- up and end this?" Everyone on that side of the table laughed, and the optics of the Patriots owner laughing with two players from his team's rival seemed to have accomplished the mission.
But it was hard to tell if it was just optics. Shortly after 1 p.m., Goodell and Smith stepped out of the session to tell Lockhart and union spokesman George Atallah to craft a joint NFL-NFLPA statement, a symbol of rare cooperation.
Players were still skeptical that the owners Michael Oher Jersey and league executives beyond Goodell were motivated to act -- a week later, Chargers tackle Russell Okung would label the league's lack of urgency "disappointing" and said the players-owners meeting appeared "unproductive at best and disingenuous at worst."
Before everyone left the room that afternoon, Davis made one last point: how important it had been that acting Jets owner Michael Oher Jersey Chris Johnson, the brother of Woody Johnson, now Trump's ambassador to the United Kingdom, had visited with every player in the locker room to hear their concerns.
TWO HOURS LATER, those 11 owners joined their counterparts and league executives in a third-floor conference room at the Conrad Hotel in lower Manhattan. It was uncertain and tense. Most pro-stand owners, like Dan Snyder of the Washington Redskins, had been purposefully excluded from the players' meeting.
Inside the conference room, Goodell kicked off the session by asking each of the http://www.authenticpacersstore.com/t_j_leaf_jersey.html 11 owners to give his account of the players' meeting. Nearly all offered slight variations on the same theme: It was a very good session; the players were passionate and very impressive; we've got a lot of work to do to address their concerns and to use the NFL platform to address these difficult social, racial and justice issues. The mandate to stand wasn't mentioned. Goodell didn't interrupt anyone, and he summed it up by saying that the two sides were "on a good path to a partnership."
led by retired wide receiver Anquan Boldin and Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins, entered the conference room and shook the owners' hands, an uncommon occurrence at prior tension-filled joint meetings. The players took seats side by side with the owners.
Goodell wanted to put the players at ease by allowing every one of their voices to be heard. The players said that they felt the owners -- as a collective more than the small group in the room -- were being duplicitous; they were empathetic to their concerns behind closed doors but not publicly. Fans needed to hear from owners that players who knelt or raised fists were good men who loved their country, they argued.
Messages of support couldn't be Ryan Schraeder Jersey delivered only inside the locker rooms. Finally, New York Jets linebacker Demario Davis stood up in the center of the room and told owners: "I'm going to break it down for you guys. You guys aren't supporting us, and until you do, there's going to be an issue."
Davis' message, and passion, seemed to relieve the tension. Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank later told Davis that he'd "missed his calling" as a great public speaker. A few owners tried to separate their deep dislike of unemployed quarterback Colin Kaepernick,
who started the protests a little more than a year ago, from the players' broader message: This wasn't an "anthem protest" but rather an "inequality in America" protest. Knowing that their motives and message had largely been lost in the political chaos, the players told stories of their personal connections to the military and showed a good grasp of the business problems suddenly confronting the league. Left unsaid was the Ryan Schraeder Jersey warning issued on Oct.
11 by Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy about forcing players to stand: "I think it's gonna be an uproar if that is to happen, because you're basically taking away a constitutional right to freedom of speech."
League executives tried to show they understood the players' concerns. Several league staff members presented a three-pronged action plan: expand the My Cause, My Cleats initiative; help convene more meetings with lawmakers to ramp up lobbying http://www.hockeyjetsofficialauthentic.com/Dustin_Byfuglien_Jersey_Adidas for players' causes on Capitol Hill and, through the clubs, in statehouses across the country; and use the NFL's platform to promote it all. The league had scrapped a staff idea to extend an olive branch to Kaepernick -- who in October filed a collusion http://www.ravenshopnflofficial.com/JIMMY-SMITH-JERSEY-CHEAP.html claim against the owners -- by inviting him to visit the league headquarters.
The action plan had met harsh criticism when it was first introduced inside the league office the Thursday before the owners' meetings. Anna Isaacson, the NFL's vice president of social responsibility, chief marketing officer Dawn Hudson and others had presented the plan to Goodell and top executives,
including public relations chief Joe Lockhart, chief operating officer Tod Leiweke, chief media and business officer Brian Rolapp and general counsel Jeff Pash. Isaacson characterized the plan as a chance to seize the social moment and make an impact beyond football. There was also a request for a huge marketing budget. The league's Ryan Schraeder Jersey business executives ripped it, accusing Isaacson -- who had joined the NFL after
working in merchandising and community relations for baseball's Brooklyn Cyclones -- and Hudson of losing sight of the goal, which was to persuade all the players to stand for the anthem. The plan was "too political," they said, and would likely invite further attacks by Trump. "How could you possibly present this to owners?" one executive asked. As the proposal was discussed, Goodell remained mostly quiet but seethed because he felt the plan was uninspired.
Neither Goodell nor the business executives liked the action plan at that moment, but what worried the business executives was that Goodell was not focused on what they deemed the priority: the very real financial problems facing the NFL. Fact was, they were right. Goodell believed that all players should stand, but he and Vincent had been working with them for more than a year on their concerns, calling them individually and holding meetings, and the commissioner deeply cared about their cause.
Yankee Stadium, watching the Yankees play the Houston Astros in the ALCS but also, perhaps, catching a terrifying glimpse into his future. The Cowboys are what the Yankees once were: America's most iconic team in America's most iconic -- and patriotic -- sport. Jones was a man at the pinnacle of his profession that chilly night, the Hall of Fame owner whose power among his peers is drawn from a relentless skill at growing the NFL's
total revenues and the guile to outmuscle everyone. But those who have spoken with him sense a dull panic, as if so much of what the NFL has built -- what he has built since buying the Cowboys in 1989 -- is eroding. Jones and his fellow owners had arrived in New York that day like heads of state, setting up shop at the Four Seasons and in their own apartments with a clear agenda: Stop Trump from attacking our business. Find a way to persuade players to stop kneeling. Get the focus back to football.
But the owners had far different ideas about how to accomplish such difficult goals, according to nearly two dozen interviews Outside the Lines conducted with owners, league and team executives, players and lawyers briefed on the two days of closed-door meetings. For one thing, this was not the usual scandal or crisis the league could fight in the court system or the court of public opinion Keanu Neal Youth jersey and then march away from.
The game itself had come under a monthlong attack by the president of the United States, with no letting up. It was also a prickly regional problem. The players' protests and the president's criticism played far differently in New England and California than they did in Texas, where Jones and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair were fielding an avalanche of complaints from outraged fans. This time, Goodell didn't have to simply manage owners' bruised egos and simmering feuds;
this was a national political crisis threatening the league's business and its brand, seen through a different lens by each owner depending on his or her own political leanings and each team's fan base. It would require leadership, diplomacy and, most likely, a little luck.
Yet in many ways, the meetings would be a referendum on the same argument owners have been holding in private meetings for years: What is the NFL's identity? Is it a strict entertainment company that Jones and others envision, controlling the behavior of its players in service of its financial bottom line? Or should it attempt to transform itself into a more socially conscious league that would strive, through the forging of a rare and fragile
owners-players partnership in this moment, to use its mammoth platform to try to change society for the good, even if the cost of that process, slow and complicated, would likely be measured in short-term Keanu Neal Youth jersey declining popularity and lower revenues?
Some owners left the Yankees game early, seeking a good night's sleep before the meeting with the players the next morning. Jones could afford to stay out late. Goodell had personally decided which owners would attend, and he had not invited Jones. The commissioner, sources say, wanted to Keanu Neal Youth jersey prevent the players-owners meeting from devolving into an argument about whether a player should be benched if he kneels -- an argument that was more likely to break out if Jones attended. For his part, Jones, who declined comment for this story, didn't seem bothered. He beamed in the Yankee Stadium suite alongside his oldest son, Stephen, masking worries over what was now at stake http://www.authenticchicagowhitesox.com/Michael-Jordan-Jersey for the NFL in 2017.
Polls show that the protest issue has resonated with millions of fans who insist all players should stand for the national anthem; some are calling for an NFL boycott and vowing to never watch another NFL game. Owners are alarmed at how rapidly fans' outrage is eroding many of the league's key business metrics, and executives at some broadcast partners have complained to owners http://www.authenticsabresstore.com/evander-kane-jersey_c-440.html about how the NFL lurches from crisis to crisis.
A recent Morning Consult poll revealed that the NFL's net favorability has dropped to 11 percent from a high of 56 percent in May. Jones was furious that local TV ratings in Dallas were down, especially a 19 percent drop for this year's game against Green Bay, compared with last year's. "There is no question the league is suffering negative effects http://www.packersnflofficialonlinestore.com/Justin-Vogel-Jersey from these protests," he would tell reporters after the Cowboys routed the 49ers. "All times, I want to do the right thing by [NFL sponsors] and their customers. I have a great responsibility to the people who support us. ... We Keanu Neal Youth jersey all get great benefits from having a lot of us watching our games. All of us do."
Jones arrived in New York to have a good time -- and to deliver a reckoning. The only question was whether his billionaire partners and Goodell would heed that reckoning.
It was the final question raised by a group of 11 NFL team owners as they mingled inside the sixth-floor conference room at the league's Park Avenue headquarters in New York City, minutes before they were to meet with a group of 12 players, one former player and three union leaders on the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 17.
The day already had been stressful, and the meeting hadn't even started. League executives had spent that morning as they had the previous four Authentic Red Schoendienst Jersey weeks: grappling with a series of events the league and owners could not control, unleashed by President Donald Trump's harsh criticism of the decision by a handful of players to kneel during the national anthem.
Morale was bad inside the league office, and the pressure was not letting up. There was the http://www.broncosfootballprosshop.com/Max_Garcia_Jersey_Cheap looming notion that sponsors would leave the NFL -- not just because of Authentic Red Schoendienst Jersey the protests but because of an array of challenges confronting the league, including the continuing decline in TV ratings. Nearly all of the league's longtime sponsors, from Papa John's to USAA, were rattled, and fissures within the league offices and teams, to say nothing of the players, were starting to expand.
Among many league and team executives, the games had become, improbably, an afterthought. These two days of New York meetings held the potential to provide a measure of hope -- a way for owners to formulate a plan with players that would satisfy disenchanted fans and advertisers.
It was no secret that commissioner Roger Goodell and the owners wanted the players to stop kneeling during the anthem immediately. A week earlier, Goodell said that he hoped owners and players could "move past" the anthem issue at the meetings. If and how that could be accomplished was Authentic Red Schoendienst Jersey unclear. After Goodell's statement, Jerry Jones, the Dallas Cowboys' owner, threatened to bench any player who knelt,
the only owner to issue such an ultimatum, one that won praise in Texas and across much of America's heartland. Spurred on by Jones' stance, some hard-line owners looked at the meetings as the opportunity http://www.authentichoustonastros.com/Jose-Cruz-Jr-Jersey to vote on a mandate that would force all players to stand for the anthem.
For weeks, Goodell had tried to get in front of the issue. One owner had complained that NBA commissioner Adam Silver got away with ordering players to stand because, unlike Goodell, he has a good relationship with the union. Another owner had remarked to a colleague that Trump would like nothing more than for Authentic Red Schoendienst Jersey players to strike over the protests, maybe forcing a suspension of the season.
As owners filed into the http://www.arizonacardinalsauthorizedstore.com/karlos-dansby-jersey-elite large conference room featuring a massive, football-shaped table, everyone feared the discussion could get ugly. NFL executive Troy Vincent, who cared deeply about the players' concerns but had little patience for the protests,
called San Francisco 49ers GM John Lynch the Saturday before the meeting. He told him that if safety Eric Reid, one of the most ardent protesters, knelt the next day, he shouldn't "bother to show up" at the players-owners meeting because nobody would take him seriously, according to people briefed on the call. Reid knelt anyway. And he intended to show up.
Just before Reid and the other players and union leadership arrived, talk among the owners turned to a final issue, small but symbolic: the seating arrangement. In collective bargaining negotiations, the owners sat opposite players and union representatives. But Goodell told the owners their job that morning was to listen; the session was not a negotiation or anything that could be resolved by a quid pro quo. The owners decided the meeting would have to start with the tiniest of gestures:
"He didn't http://www.officialsseahawksshop.com/Deshawn_Shead_Jersey_Cheap have his normal slider in the strike zone, so DeSean Jackson Authentic Jersey we didn't chase. He couldn't really get it for a strike. It was all over the place. When you can essentially disregard a pitch that will go advantage to the hitter."
Said Roberts: "The fastball command wasn't there, and the slider was backing up. He just really didn't have the feel and couldn't get any type of rhythm going."
Never mind DeSean Jackson Authentic Jersey that the Astros were unable to tack on more than one more run over the next six innings. On a night when neither DeSean Jackson Authentic Jersey of their co-aces, Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander, was on the mound, they gave starter Lance McCullers Jr. a hefty cushion.
McCullers was mostly solid, giving up three runs and four hits in 5-1/3 innings. But it helped that when he got in trouble, walking the bases loaded in the third inning, he could look up at the scoreboard http://www.officialbullsonlinestore.com/Authentic-Denzel-Valentine-Jersey and see that second-inning four-spot before giving way to reliever Brad Peacock for a good, old-fashioned 3 2/3-inning save.
"That momentum is something you need in a series like this," shortstop Carlos Correa said. "It's on our side right now. We've got to be able to go out there [Saturday] and get that other win."
That was the formula the Astros used to win 101 games during the regular season and seven more against the Yankees and Boston Red Sox in the playoffs. The Astros scored 896 runs in the regular season, more than any team since the 2009 Yankees. They scored early, often and played from in front, literally spending all but a handful of days in April in first place in the AL Central.
In 2017, that's the Astros Way. And now, after a three-game hiccup in New York, the best offense in baseball is getting its groove back again, halfway to the first World Series championship in franchise history.
Holy god. What are you even supposed to do with this guy? Play off of him, and he uses the open space as a runway. If Giannis Antetokounmpo is barreling at a flat-footed defender in the paint, it's over. Your natural instinct -- the only thing you can do, really -- is to backpedal, and most defenders open their hips in one direction as they do. That gives Antetokounmpo a straight line to paydirt.
Somehow hold your ground, and Antetokounmpo buries his head in your chest, tips you off-balance, reaches up, and lays the ball in over your head. Press him, and he zips around you. He doesn't even need to blow past you; if he just gets side-by-side, he reaches his arm to a spot you can't, and flicks the ball up.
The only answer is to send help, and that is old hat for Antetokounmpo now. He sees every possible pass, and with arms that long, almost every pass is possible. When Thon Maker is at center and the Bucks slot four shooters around Antetokounmpo, they will get a high-value shot every single time.
He's getting better at everything. His passing advanced last season. So did his rim protection. He has a soft little floater now, and a Dirk-ish slide-back jumper for post-ups late in the shot clock.
He knows how much defenses fear him. He is mastering little tricks that play on that fear -- subtle acts of cruel puppetry. Watch how he spooks the entire Portland defense into gearing up for a drive, only to pivot into a handoff that gets Tony Snell a wide-open triple:
It was a nasty game between the Belfast Giants and the Sheffield Steelers on Sunday night in the U.K.'s Elite Ice Hockey League, and that nastiness manifested in one of the most stunning displays of violence in the young season -- and one of the most controversial decisions by a hockey league's player safety department.
Defenseman Spiro Goulakos of the Giants, who had already been given a 10-minute misconduct penalty for a hit from behind earlier in the game, laid out Steelers forward Colton Fretter (a 2002 draft pick of the late, not-so-great NHL Atlanta Thrashers) with a nasty check along the boards in the third period. There was no penalty called on the play.
Fretter got up and immediately charged after Goulakos as he stood, oblivious, near the red line. Fretter jumped into the air and -- in shades of the infamous hit that then-Vancouver Canucks winger Todd Bertuzzi made on Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore in 2004 -- drove his forearm into the back of Goulakos' head in an act of revenge.
"It's one of the most vicious attacks from behind I've ever seen," said Belfast coach Adam Keefe. "There's certainly no spot in the game for that." Fretter dropped his gloves and started to go after his fallen foe, but Goulakos put his legs in the air in self defense, at one point kicking Fretter away from him. One problem: This is hockey, and Goulakos is basically wearing knives on his feet.
So both the hit and the reaction were put before the EIHL department of player safety officials, and they returned with a rather http://www.authenticbuccaneersofficial.com/Nike-Ronde-Barber-Jersey.html baffling verdict: Fretter, who skated halfway down the rink to deliver a leaping blow to the head of an opponent, was suspended for one game, which was already mandatory by virtue of the match penalty he received. Goulakos, who put up his skates to prevent Fretter from pummeling him with his bare hands after that hit from behind, was also automatically suspended for Alan Trammell Jersey a game after receiving a match penalty for kicking ... but then received two additional games from the league.
There's still a certain amount of frontier justice inherent within departments of player safety, be it in the NHL or EIHL. On a play like this, there's no doubt that the initial, non-penalized hit on Fretter that sparked the incident was taken into account.
So was the fact that Fretter apparently has a target on his back in the league. He's an offensive player, usually the guy getting hit rather than hitting. He scored 26 goals in 48 games last season for Sheffield, with 27 http://www.minnesotawildofficialonline.com/Adidas-Mikko-Koivu-Jersey penalty minutes.
There's also an unspoken standard in player safety regarding anything used to harm another opponent other than one's fists. Note that Fretter dropped his stick before blindsiding Goulakos.
Look at the longest suspensions in hockey history, and you'll see many of them resulted from an Alan Trammell Jersey illegal use of the stick. You'll also notice that one of them -- New York Islanders winger Chris Simon's 30-game suspension in 2007 for kicking Pittsburgh Penguins forward Jarkko Ruutu -- involved a skate stomp. That brings us to this incident: a hit from behind without a stick involved gets one game; a guy using his skate blade to fend off an opponent gets three.
Again, this is "hockey logic," which is why "hockey logic" is dumb. We can all see why Fretter snapped, and there are think pieces written that justify it. But the idea that this deliberate, violent and forceful act of retribution gets a single game Alan Trammell Jersey (already mandated by the match penalty), or triple what the victim gets for self defense, is an astoundingly bad look for the EIHL and the sport itself.
The following spring, after his leg injury healed, Correa went to Double-A (the Corpus Christi Hooks) and http://www.authenticsanjosesharks.com/authentic-patrick-marleau-jersey played in a preseason exhibition game against the Astros. Before the game, he popped into Linares' office for a word. "Hey, remember what I told you last year?" Correa said. "Well, Authentic Karl Joseph Jersey I learned to hit the inside fastball. Now, watch me take off."
Sure enough, Correa homered against Astros reliever Josh Fields, the precursor to seven homers in 117 Double-A at-bats in a meteoric 2015 season. He got promoted to the big leagues in June of that year, hit 22 homers in 387 at-bats and was crowned American League Rookie of the Year.
"Every day that we played, every game that we played, he did something that would wow you," Linares said. "Makeup-wise, probably Carlos is the best I've ever been around. He's a once-in-a-generation type player. Those guys, you don't get those guys off the street."
If Correa took a http://www.officialsstlouisblues.com/Adidas-Brayden-Schenn-Jersey small step backward last season -- his home run total dipped from 22 to 20 and his OPS from .857 to .811 -- he surged back to the top of baseball's young shortstop class this year. Despite missing 42 games in July and August because of a torn ligament in his left thumb, Correa batted .315 with 25 doubles, 24 homers and 84 RBIs. He reached base at a .391 clip and posted a .941 OPS, MVP-worthy numbers if he hadn't gotten injured.
True to form, Correa doesn't believe he's a finished product. As much as any of the young Astros, he has watched and learned from 40-year-old designated hitter Carlos Beltran, a fellow native of Puerto Rico whom Correa says has "taught us so much about the game, things that we didn't know about."
"He's so smart, he's so passionate about the game," Beltran said. "He doesn't want to be good; he wants to be great. And when I see that in a younger guy, I'm motivated to help him and to share information that has been key for me in my career. And he's a good learner, man. It's not difficult to teach a guy like that. I'm proud of how he's been able to handle every situation." Even flying across the country to root on Single-A teammates in a championship game that few outside of Lancaster would remember.
"The guys all went crazy. They started jumping all over me, and I was like, 'Easy, easy. My ankle's still not ready,'" Correa said. "But to me, it meant everything to be there just because I spent a whole season with that group of guys. I saw them more than I saw my Authentic Karl Joseph Jersey family, so they became family. It was one of the best moments of my minor league career, for sure."
"Guys were playing hard on both sides," Roberts said. "And unfortunately we came up short. We didn't expect these guys to lay down. It's a very good ballclub over there."
Just like that, after 104 regular-season wins and eight victories in nine games to start the postseason, the Dodgers have lost home-field advantage in the World Series. The Dodgers scored six runs in a game started by red-hot Houston ace Justin Verlander -- and lost.
The culprit was a bullpen that until the eighth inning on Wednesday had posted 28 straight scoreless innings to establish a postseason record. And the guy on the hill for the end of http://www.packersauthenticofficialstore.com/WOMENS-JAHRI-EVANS-JERSEY.html that streak, and the eventual blown save, was perhaps the Authentic Karl Joseph Jersey most unlikely of any Dodger to let a little air out of their championship balloon: Closer Kenley Jansen.
"He's human," said Corey Seager, who seemingly put the Dodgers in position for the win with a two-run homer off Verlander in the sixth. "But he's our guy. That's the guy you want on the mound. Tomorrow, he's going right back out there.
From the moment they drafted him with the first overall pick in 2012, the Houston Astros suspected Carlos Correa was special. On Sept. 15, 2014, they knew it for sure. Correa's 2014 season had ended in June, when he fractured the fibula above his right ankle. After having arthroscopic surgery, he left his Class A team in Lancaster, California, just an hour northeast of Los Angeles,
to begin his rehabilitation under the supervision of the Astros' training staff at the club's facility in Kissimmee, Florida.Fast forward to September, and Lancaster was playing for the California League championship -- its best-of-five series against the Visalia Rawhide (an Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate) that was knotted at two games apiece. And Correa couldn't bear the thought of following along by staring at a computer screen some 2,500 miles away, just refreshing the score over and over again.
"I got hurt and my season got cut short, but I still felt like I was part of http://www.officialhawksshop.com/authentic-1-tracy-mcgrady-jersey.html the team," Correa recalled recently. "I just felt like I should've been there." And so Correa dipped into his $4.8 million signing bonus and flew across the country. He arrived at Lancaster Municipal Stadium -- or "The Hangar," as it's called -- shortly before the first pitch of Game 5 and surprised his teammates with a pregame pep talk before a 10-2 victory.
"The first thing he asked me, he's like, 'Hey, can I sit in the dugout?' I told him, 'You can be my bench coach,'" said Rodney Linares, Lancaster's manager in 2014. "And he had a really good speech. It wasn't like, 'Let's go! Rah-rah!' He just said, 'Everything we did for the entire year sums up to this.' When he showed up, it showed me a lot." Actually, it left many Astros officials flabbergasted.
Winning and losing are rarely emphasized in the minor leagues, with the development of individuals taking priority. The best teams at the beginning of a season are often weakened by the end, the result of mass promotions to the next level. Most minor Parker Ehinger Youth jersey leaguers can't wait for the season to end in the hopes of receiving a September call-up to the majors, or a well-earned break before heading to the Arizona Fall League or winter ball.
Yet there was Correa, still a week shy of his 20th birthday, caring enough about teammates he hadn't seen since late June of that year to make sure he was by their side. If the Astros didn't already think they had a future superstar in their midst -- a cleanup-hitting shortstop who could help lead them to an American League pennant and the second World Series appearance in franchise history -- they did after that.
"I don't know if you see that from a guy who signs Parker Ehinger Youth jersey No. 1 overall, 19 years old, but he's always been very caring of his teammates and trying to fight for the guy next to him," said Astros pitcher Lance McCullers Jr., a member of that Lancaster team. "He was super-close to a lot of the guys on that team, including myself, and we were asking him, 'Please come back. Please come back. We want you here to experience this with us.' It raised everyone's spirits to see him again."
Said former Astros scout Paul Ricciarini: "That meant more to me than watching him hit home runs and make great plays. He told those guys, 'We worked hard all year. I want that damn ring.' How many kids Parker Ehinger Youth jersey are going to do that, especially with his talent? You just don't find kids like that. Learning that about him and watching the passion and the honesty that he had for his teammates, that's a Hall of Fame makeup."
Looking back, though, Linares says it wasn't out of character for Correa, who often showed maturity beyond his years Parker Ehinger Youth jersey as he zoomed through the Astros' farm system.
Take, for example, when he showed up to spring training in 2014. The Hangar is known as a hitters' paradise because of the gusty winds that tend to blow toward the outfield. http://www.officialathleticsproshop.com/Rickey_Henderson_Jersey It isn't unusual for home run totals to be inflated at that park, and with Correa ticketed to open the season in Lancaster, expectations were that the 6-foot-4, 215-pounder would routinely test The Hangar's limits. But Correa had other ideas.
"Everybody knows Lancaster is a launching pad, right?" Linares said. "Well, we get there and he says, 'Jefe,' -- he called me 'Jefe' -- he goes, 'The only thing I'm going to tell you is don't worry about Correa and homers because all I want to do is learn how to hit the inside fastball and get my defense better.' He goes out there and he's hitting .330 or whatever, but he hasn't hit a lot of homers. Everybody's like, 'What the heck is going on? This guy is a power guy. Why's he got six homers and everybody else has got 20?' But he had a plan. He knew what he wanted to do to http://www.authenticbluejaysstore.com/Authentic-Roy-Halladay-Jersey make himself a better hitter."