Rangers GM Jon Daniels not blaming coaching staff for struggles

As the Texas Rangers continue to fall off the pace in the American League West, president and general manager Jon Daniels isn’t looking to place the blame on his coaching staff.

With the MLB draft (June 4) and the trade deadline (July 31) looming, Daniels is looking at rebuilding the team’s depth at the minor league level.

You are always looking to get better, Daniels said. “Obviously, we are not in a great spot in the standings, That will influence things. You try and take a step back and look at things for this year, next year and the foreseeable future, where you want to be and what is the best way to get there.”

Still, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he believes Gregorius hasn’t been as bad as the numbers have shown and that he’s not far from busting out.

I think if you look back at a lot of our games of late, there’s been two or three times in a game where he’s really stung the ball, Boone said before the Yankees and Nationals were rained out for the second straight day at Nationals Park on Wednesday.

He added, While I know he’s going through a tough stretch right now, I certainly don’t believe it’s as bad as the not-getting-hits because I do feel like there’s been a fair amount of good contact in there.

One good beating per series is plenty for Draymond Green and Golden State.

The Warriors got it in Game 2 at Houston, and now the defending champions plan to do what they seem to do best: bounce back with brilliance.

As the Western Conference finals showdown shifts to Oracle Arena for Sunday’s Game 3, tied at one game apiece, the Warriors have spent the past few days discussing their Game 2 troubles –a 127-105 loss and what they’re striving to do in order not to be dominated again.

It’s time to play.

“I think we’re at our best when we feel threatened,” Green said Saturday. “Game 1 we felt threatened, we came out with a sense of urgency. Game 2 we maybe didn’t feel as threatened and the sense of urgency wasn’t there. I think you’re allowed one of those a series. We’ve had our one, now it’s time to lock in for the remainder of the series.” ravens_080

Joe Flacco Reportedly Hasn’t Returned Any of Lamar Jackson’s Calls or Texts

​Quarterbacks are supposed to be the leader of their rosters, but apparently that rule doesn’t abide for AFC North signal callers.

After ​Big Ben publicly displayed his negative thoughts toward Pittsburgh drafting Mason Rudolph, many bashed him for not wanting to mentor the third-round selection. Well, that same group should have a fun time discussing Joe Flacco’s latest actions, as he’s also showing displeasure with the Ravens’ selection of a young quarterback.

It’s being reported that Flacco hasn’t returned any of Lamar Jackson’s calls or texts since he was taken with the 32nd overall pick.

I think they’re doing a good job, Shurmur said of the young receivers at large. We’ll just have to find out as we go, but we’ve added some guys to the mix.

One possible alternative is for the Giants to use two tight ends more than in the past, with Evan Engram playing to his strengths as a big slot receiver.

Oh, and to be clear, Lauletta also has a chance to make a lot of people look really, really dumb, and I’ll be standing at the front of the line. Gettleman resisted the loud and persistent calls for him to use that high pick to take a quarterback because he believes in Eli Manning and trusted his scout department’s ability to find his replacement somewhere else.

Is Lauletta that guy?

He is still far closer to a lottery ticket than a sure thing as he showed up for his first rookie mini-camp on Friday morning. For every fourth-round success stories like Cowboys starter Dak Prescott in recent NFL Draft history, there are far more misses.

Lauletta might be the next Kirk Cousins. He also might be the next Ryan Nassib, or Bryce Petty, or Stephen McGee, or Stefan LeFors, or Tyler Wilson, or Matt Barkley, oryou get the picture.

I don’t know, he said when asked if he was the future which, frankly, is an impossible question for anyone to answer. If he says yes, he looks like a jerk. If he says no, he looks like a bigger jerk. colts_093

Hamels has already yielded seven homers to right-handed sticks in only 88 plate appearances. Yikes.

As the series shifts back to Toronto, Wall said that Drake said the Raptors would sweep the Wizards and that he was supposed to come to D.C. to attend Game 3 but never showed. Game 5 is Wednesday, and we can’t wait.

Dwyane Wade turned back the clock in the Miami Heat’s Game 2 win over the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring 28 points, the most he had put up in a playoff game since 2016. During his postgame interview, Wade credited actor/comedian Kevin Hart, who was courtside cheering on his hometown Sixers, for motivating him.

C.J. Cron (R), 4.7 percent, Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers (LHP Cole Hamels): Rays bats will hardly draw much attention this season, but Cron could be worth frequent rentals against southpaws, whom he’s already tagged for two homers this season and a .267 ISO last season.

Sean Rodriguez (R), less than 1 percent, Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Colorado Rockies (LHP Kyle Freeland): Rodriguez will probably grab a start against the lefty — his usual role, considering his career .334 wOBA off them, compared to .279 off righties. Josh Harrison’s hand fracture could create a keystone platoon with Rodriguez occupying the short side and Adam Frazier facing righties, though Corey Dickerson is hardly a lock to man left field against southpaws, which could open up another path to playing time.

What shape is his jumper in now? And how is it affecting the rest of his game? As the Sixers bid for a 2-0 series lead over the Miami Heat and a deep playoff run, let’s dive into the impact Fultz can make.

While he has been a major contributor to a variety of wins, Fultz has attempted just one 3-pointer and 13 free throws (seven makes) since returning, shooting 42.5 percent from inside the arc. His jumper is a far cry from his Washington “hesi pull-up jimbo” form, as he showed against the Heat with an airballed pull-up and several turned-down, catch-and-shoot or off-the-dribble jumpers.

Fultz’s lack of confidence in his 3-ball is clear when teams go under screens or give him space, though he’s making incremental strides in midrange spots. He rarely looks at the rim in such situations, opting to spin into the paint or get off the ball. It’s unlikely Fultz will rediscover his pull-up 3 during a high-intensity playoff run, so expect him to continue getting the Sixers into their sets or relying on midrange pull-ups and dashes to the rim before addressing the issue in the offseason.

Clippers coach Doc Rivers and assistant Mike Woodson were ejected with seven seconds left, two of four technicals the team received in the final 4:50.

The founder of Papa John’s International will step down as CEO next month, handing over his company just weeks after making controversial remarks about national anthem protests by NFL players, for which the company later apologized.

John Schnatter, who is featured on Papa John’s pizza boxes and in the chain’s commercials, will be replaced by Chief Operating Officer Steve Ritchie on Jan. 1, the company announced Thursday. Schnatter, 56, is still the company’s largest shareholder and will continue to serve as chairman of the board.

“I want to put the focus back on our people and pizza,” he said.

Good thing for Pat Shurmur that the Giants didn’t take a “what have you done for us lately?” approach to hiring their next head coach. Instead, New York proved willing to overlook the dismal NFC title game showing by the Vikings, for whom Shurmur was the offensive coordinator, against a divisional archrival in the Eagles, no less.

On Monday, the day after Minnesota was drubbed by Philadelphia, 38-7, the Giants announced they had hired Shurmur, with whom they had been linked. He replaces Ben McAdoo, who was fired with four games left in the regular season, after which Steve Spagnuolo took over as interim coach and guided New York to a 1-3 record, completing a 3-13 season.

Their second straight loss dropped the Clippers into ninth place in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Denver for the final playoff spot.

The Wolves led by five early in the fourth quarter only to have the game devolve into a back-and-forth affair in which neither team led by more than three until the final 2:44.

That’s when the Wolves pulled away to a 121-114 lead on a 3-pointer by Namanja Bjelica and five straight points by Teague.

It was the smart decision-making of not allowing us to lose the game on a possible poor play. In fact, many folks probably remember one of the only times Eli did throw in No. 22’s direction. It came on the game-winning drive, and Samuel had a chance at a leaping interception on the sideline. Fortunately, he dropped it. The very next play, David Tyree caught a ball with his helmet, and the rest is history.cowboys_097

So why did they drop a spot in this week’s rankings?

The Houston Texans’ handling of an injury to quarterback Tom Savage was called into question after video showed him striking his head against the ground and shaking as he lay disoriented on the field.

Savage, who also appeared to spit up blood, came out of the game and entered concussion protocol but initially returned to the field, replacing T.J. Yates on the team’s next possession.

Strength of schedule — only the Seattle Seahawks have faced easier opponents among NFC teams.

Buffalo Bills Head Coach Sean McDermott decided to shake things up a bit this week and benched quarterback Tyrod Taylor in favor of fifth-round pick Nathan Peterman. It didn’t go well. Peterman was intercepted on five of his 14 passes, one for a pick-six, before Taylor was called on in relief in the second half.

Peterman finished the game with a 17.9 passer rating, more than half what it would have been if he just threw those 14 passes away (39.6).

Quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons’ offense appears to be back on track. Ryan completed 19 of 27 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns in Monday night’s 34-31 win over the Seahawks, his fourth straight game with two touchdown passes, and the team is now scoring 2.1 points per drive, eighth-best in the NFL. However, they have some difficult matchups ahead, limiting their playoff chances to just 26 percent heading into Week 12.

Parks, who had a history of activism before the boycott, told the authors of “The Thunder of Angels: The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the People who Broke the Back of Jim Crow”:

“But when that white driver stepped back toward us, when he waved his hand and ordered us up and out of our seats, I felt a determination cover my body like a quilt on a winter night. I felt all the meanness of every white driver I’d seen who’d been ugly to me and other black people through the years I’d known on the buses in Montgomery. I felt a light suddenly shine through the darkness.”

The president praised her “courageous” act of resistance and its broader impact Saturday on social media:

“Her courageous act inspired a young Christian pastor, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr, along with thousands of others in Montgomery to join the movement and boycott the city bus service .?.?. Soon millions of others across the country joined the Civil Rights Movement and helped secure the freedom and the equality that is every American’s birthright.

The poll also indicated a small but significant shift in public opinion on the mandatory nature of the anthem.

“I saw a big guy who was athletic, but a guy who didn’t play very hard. And I was concerned about that,” said Stiegelmeier, who wasn’t ready to make a full commitment to Goedert. “We asked him to walk on, and he took the bait. The way he’s grown since then is just amazing. He has made himself, coming from that community, into what he is today.”

After two years in the program, Stiegelmeier put Goedert on a 40-percent scholarship. A year after that, he went to 70 percent, then finally, a full ride. On the heels of that came his 2016 breakout season: 92 catches, 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns, including a ridiculous one-handed TD catch against Drake that made an ESPN SportsCenter Top 10 list. Referred to around the program simply as “The Drake Catch,” the highlight is now part of the pre-game hype reel on the SDSU video board, ending with Goedert pointing a football — with one hand, of course — into the camera.

Also worth noting: despite the talk of apocalyptic boycotts and ratings doom, the poll found NFL viewership remains both steady and nationwide. The poll indicated that 69 percent of adults watch or follow the sport at least a little; interestingly, that’s up from 56 percent in 2009, when Michael Vick was returning to the NFL after a prison stint for dogfighting.

The HBO/Marist poll surveyed 1,093 Americans, a standard, statistically valid survey size, from Oct. 15 to Oct. 17. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points. For more details, the full survey is available online.

Granted, this is one poll, and other polling organizations which use different questions will return different results. But it’s a data point that helps illustrate that public opinion of the protests during the national anthem aren’t nearly as universal as either its supporters or its critics claim.tigers_057-115x115