It’s not to say that baseball becomes less important

Freese was dealt to the Angels and is currently under contract with the Pirates likely until 2019. He’s worked through his depression, anxiety and alcohol issues, found a great support system which includes his wife Mairin and new hobbies outside of baseball.

“I have perspective in my life. It’s not to say that baseball becomes less important, but it just doesn’t flood your brain as much,” Freese said. “I know I had the alcohol issues in the past, but you come to realize it’s a lot deeper than that. It’s depression and anxiety issues. I had to attack the way I was thinking. I re-trained my brain by being around Mairin and getting help. The foggy feeling Wholesale NHL Jerseys I always had is now lifted.”

But if Kendrick can shake off his 2016 woes, then it’s a solid move for the Phillies. Philadelphia traded first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf and 26-year-old Darnell Sweeney to get Kendrick. Sweeney last saw major-league action in 2015, and the 29-year-old Ruf had a rough go in 2016, hitting just .205 in 43 games.

The Phillies’ offense was offensive last year, finishing dead last in runs scored, walks and OPS in the National League. Kendrick more than likely won’t save a terrible offense, but if he can be the consummate professional hitter that he has been his entire career, he’ll help a Phillies lineup that features young, budding stars in third baseman Maikel Franco and outfielder Odubel Herrera.

If he doesn’t produce at the plate, then the Phillies can let Kendrick walk after the season — the 33-year-old is in the final year of his two-year, $20 million contract he signed with the Dodgers before last season. If he performs well, he could be trade bait if the Phillies are out of contention halfway through the year. Not a stretch to believe.

Injuries to King Felix, Mitch Haniger continue strange, frustrating season for Mariners

This has been a strange season for the Mariners, to be sure.

How strange? This sentence is true: Taylor Motter leads Seattle in home runs entering Wednesday’s game against the Tigers in Detroit. No, really.

Motter is a 27-year-old utility man — you might know him as the guy with the long hair — who arrived in an offseason trade with the Rays. Motter hit just two homers in 80 at-bats last year and was supposed to be a versatile backup for the M’s — he started games at six positions for Tampa Bay — but he was pressed into a temporary starting role when shortstop Jean Segura landed on the disabled list with a hamstring issue.

And now he leads a team that was expected to contend for the AL West title with five home runs. So, yeah. It has been a strange year. Mostly strange bad, too, not strange good (like Motter).

And it just keeps getting worse. Seattle is 8-11 on the season and coming off a 19-9 defeat Tuesday in Detroit, which dropped them 6 1/2 games behind division-leading Houston. In that game, franchise ace Felix Hernandez left after just two innings, which can’t be a good thing.

“We should know a lot more in a couple days,” manager Scott Servais told reporters after the game. “At this point, it’s just a dead arm.”

The Mariners placed Hernandez on the disabled list Wednesday with a reported case of shoulder inflammation. No need to talk about how important Hernandez is to this team (or that city). He’s a legend, and he’s still in his prime-years window. Here’s hoping his DL stint is brief.

And that wasn’t the only bad news from Tuesday’s game. Rookie NFL 21 Cheap Jerseys sensation Mitch Haniger left in the third inning with what the club is saying is a strained oblique. Haniger had been the brightest spot of the season for the Mariners; he’s hitting .338 with a 1.042 OPS, four homers and 16 RBIs.

Mets plan to start Matt Harvey Friday vs. Brewers following suspension

The situation between the Mets and starting pitcher Matt Harvey is not a simple one, but the right-hander will be back on the mound soon.

Mets manager Terry Collins announced Monday that Harvey will start Friday against the Brewers upon the conclusion of his three-day suspension without pay for failing to show up to Saturday’s game. But that doesn’t mean the drama will come to a close.

Harvery claimed he had a migraine, according to multiple news reports, and a miscommunication with the club led to all the subsequent commotion.

The Braves had just traded Smith to Seattle hours earlier, but the Mariners announced shortly afterward that another trade involving Smith was in the works.

Once the dust settled, Seattle will have a rotation that consists of Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton, Drew Smyly and Yovani Gallardo. Though all five of them have had success, and have upside, it’s still not a rotation that strikes fear in opposing lineups.

On the other hand, Smith is a speedy outfielder who already has elite defensive skills with developing offensive numbers. In 72 games played with Atlanta last season, Smith MLB Jerseys Usa slashed .238/.316/.365 with 22 RBIs and 16 stolen bases before getting injured.

Smyly endured a dreadful season last year with the Rays, finishing with a 7-12 record and a poor 4.88 ERA. The left-handed pitcher is still 27 years old, but he will have to show more consistency for this trade to work in Seattle’s favor. Moving to spacious Safeco Field should help.

At first glance, the Mariners came out on top in this deal. They gave away some middling prospects and an outfielder they had just received, who, in truth, is very similar to Jarrod Dyson, another recent trade acquisition. But Smith could easily wind up as the best player in this trade.

Tampa Bay, a team built for the future, should be able to help nurture Smith’s career.

How much the former affects the latter remains to be seen.

Revis said all of that to NFL Network on Wednesday in a hallway of a Pittsburgh courthouse, after a hearing for four felony charges and one misdemeanor he faced from a fight last month.

How much the former affects the latter remains to be seen. In a just world, it wouldn’t affect his prospects at all. A municipal judge dropped all charges after just under two hours of testimony.

Of course, in a just world, what appears to have happened based on that testimony (two drunks instigating an altercation with a famous athlete who was minding his own business) should never Cheap Texas Rangers Jerseys have resulted in all those felonies — certainly not a charge of “making terroristic threats” — and left Revis in danger of a long prison sentence.

But that’s a discussion of the criminal justice system for another day.

“Mike Ilitch was far more than a model owner of the Tigers franchise, the team Cheap Vintage NBA Jerseys he loved all his life and played for as a minor leaguer,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement released Friday evening. “He was also a fierce believer in his home city of Detroit, and the role that the Tigers and sports played in contributing to civic pride and renewal.

“Mr. Ilitch led a decorated life of service to his country, accomplishment in business and philanthropy in all of his endeavors. He was also extremely supportive of me both personally and professionally. On behalf of all of Major League Baseball and Mr. Ilitch’s countless friends and admirers throughout the game, I extend my deepest condolences to his wife Marian and their entire family, the Tigers organization, their fans and his fellow citizens of Detroit.”

Ilitch and his wife of 61 years, Marian, had seven children. Marian Ilitch and three of the couple’s daughters are among only 12 women to have their names engraved into the Stanley Cup.

Freddie Freeman’s bittersweet story about representing Canada in WBC

Most observers expected the Nats to have a dangerous lineup this season, but few predicted this kind of firepower. The Nationals lead baseball with 139 runs scored, and have the best OPS (.817) as well. It seems everyone is off to a hot start. Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, Daniel Murphy, Trea Turner and Adam Lind are all hitting over .300, and Harper, Murphy and Zimmerman ranked in the top five in the NL in RBIs entering Thursday.

When you’re scoring runs in clusters, it can mask some deficiencies. The Nats bullpen is still a work in progress, as the Nationals are near the bottom of the MLB rankings in team ERA. Dusty Baker and his staff can breathe a little easier knowing a three-run blast from Harper or Zimmerman can make up for a hanging curve from a middle reliever.

Coming off a 9-1 road trip, the Nats head home Friday to begin a series against the Mets.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman showed that even a native-born American has reasons to be proud to represent a different country in the World Baseball Classic.

Tweeting out a note Wednesday night, Freeman said he couldn’t be more excited to play for Canada in next month’s tournament.

The note explained why: His dad and late mother, both Canadian-born, met and were married in Oshawa. Freeman’s family eventually relocated to California, where he was born in Fountain Valley in 1989.

“Long story short,” Freeman writes, in part, “my parents got married Detroit Lions Cheap Jerseys in Oshawa … and made their home in California. My mother passed away when I was 10 years old of melanoma skin cancer. It is going to be a very emotional day for me when I put on that Canada uniform come March 9th. I carry my mother with me everyday and I can’t wait to represent her by playing in her honor. Thank you team Canada for letting me play to honor her and my family!!”

The WBC begins March 6. Canada opens play March 9 against the Dominican Republic.

Former Chiefs DB Sanders Commings eyes switch to baseball

Tim Tebow isn’t the only former NFL player attempting to make the switch to baseball this spring.

Sanders Commings, who had an injury-marred stint with the Chiefs after a standout career at Georgia, is working out in Arizona and could sign with a major-league organization soon, according to Fox Sports.

Commings has a more robust baseball background than Tebow, who signed with the Mets last fall. The defensive-back-turned-outfielder hit .520 as a senior at Westside High School in Augusta, Ga., and was the Diamondbacks’ 37th-round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft.

Torre emphasized the change is on a trial basis intended to allow officials to study in-game consequences.

But while the rule itself, which is not yet finalized, seems to have good intentions, like speeding up the game, it will infuriate baseball purists.

The rule also changes the ways the game is played.

If a runner automatically trots out to second base, would teams just bunt with their first batter? Advancing the runner to third with one out will be a very popular managerial model.

“What really initiated it is sitting in the dugout in the 15th inning and realizing everybody is going to the plate trying to hit a home run and everyone is trying to end the game themselves,” Torre said. “I don’t know what inning is the right inning. Maybe the 11th or 12th inning. But there are a number of reasons.”

This rule likely won’t make its way in MLB for many years, if ever, largely Extremely Cheap Jerseys because it will take an overwhelming amount of player support.

Injuries kept his NFL career from taking off. He broke his collarbone in training camp as a rookie and broke his ankle in camp the following summer before being waived by the Chiefs before the 2015 opener. All told, he played in just two regular-season games.

Former MLBer Rick Ankiel drank vodka before a few starts to calm nerves

Rick Ankiel is known for his epic pitching slump with the Cardinals, then his resurgence into the big leagues after a rough few years.

However, what wasn’t known was that Ankiel used liquid courage in the form of vodka to push him through a couple of games early is his career.

Ankiel joined host Ryan Kelley on “The Morning After” during Cardinals spring training Monday to discuss his new autobiography coming out in April and dropped a few details on how he dealt with nerves when he was a surprise opening day starter in 2001 against the Diamondbacks and pitcher Randy Johnson.

Holland was dominant for the Royals in 2013 and 2014, saving a total of 93 games while posting a 1.32 ERA and 193 strikeouts to just 38 walks those two seasons. He was an All-Star and finished in the top 10 in NL Cy Young voting each of those two seasons but tailed off in 2015.

The reason for that became clear late that season when Holland revealed he had been pitching through elbow pain since August 2014 but refused to submit to an MRI. An exam in early September 2015 revealed ligament damage in his elbow, and Holland finally shut it down Sept. 18 Cheap NFL Jerseys China of that year.

Holland, now 31, saw his velocity drop off precipitously in the second half of 2015. A repaired elbow should help that, and there’s a long line of pitchers who have emerged from elbow reconstruction as good or better than they were before.

Coors Field might not be the ideal jumping-off point for such an attempt, but the opportunity is there if Holland proves healthy, with Adam Ottavino and Jake McGee the other contenders for late-inning roles.

Watch: Donald Trump takes shot at Colin Kaepernick being out of a job

Two weeks into NFL free agency, Colin Kaepernick is still without a job for next season, and the controversial quarterback’s ongoing struggle to land a gig has sparked the interest of President Donald Trump.

Speaking at a rally in Louisville, Ky., on Monday, Trump took multiple shots at Kaepernick and cited a Bleacher Report article to fire up his Republican supporters.

“I don’t think it’s anything serious. … He’s not working out. He did everything at the Combine and had good numbers. A lot of guys decide to stand on what they did at the Combine. Some guys come out and try to improve it,” Mora said. “Fabian, I think his numbers were good enough at the Combine that for him to come out here and work out today isn’t that important. And all these teams that are really interested in him will be back to see him in an individual workout as well.

“So anything that happened to him I believe is minor and nothing to worry about.”

Moreau, who was expected to be a top 40 pick, is the second cornerback to suffer a serious Cheap Jordan Jerseys injury during a pro day. Washington’s Sidney Jones had surgery earlier this week after he tore an Achilles tendon a few weeks ago.

Portland’s first home game was scheduled for April 11, but the turf positioning took longer than expected, and opening day got moved back a few weeks. The second attempt at opening day arrived with most of the turf laid down, but left field was still uncovered. Fearful at the embarrassment another opening day postponement would cause, management decided the game must happen, even though left field was cement.

Japanese star Shohei Otani won’t play in World Baseball Classic

The Orioles are definitely going to put a devastating offense on the field in 2017. Re-signing Mark Trumbo and flanking him with Adam Jones, Chris Davis and perennial MVP candidate Manny Machado, that’s as potent a one-through-four as any in baseball. Baltimore still believes it can compete with this group of players, and maybe 2017 is the year it all comes together for them.

Shohei Otani, the 22-year-old rising star known in baseball circles as the “Japanese Babe Ruth,” has a right ankle injury that will prevent him from playing for his country in the World Baseball Classic, according to the Tokyo Sports Press.

The report said Hideki Kuriyama, Otani’s manager on the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, announced the news Tuesday.

Otani’s absence surely will disappoint MLB scouts hoping to catch a glimpse of his two-way talent against big league competition.

The 6-3 right-hander, whose fastball has been clocked at 100 mph, went 10-4 as a starting pitcher for the Fighters in 2016, striking out 11.2 batters per nine innings with a 1.86 ERA, but he does plenty of damage at the plate as well. He also batted .322 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs.

Otani’s unique dual threat capabilities should make for an impressive bidding war Cheap Football Practice Jerseys when he makes the jump to MLB, which could come as soon as 2018.

But baseball fans won’t get their sneak peak during the March 6–22 tournament as anticipated.

The Cardinals reached .500 after breaking the Blue Jays’ hearts

Listen, we know it’s tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every Custom Cheap Jerseys day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn’t easy. It’s OK, though. We’re going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.

Memphis is a team that prides itself on toughness and effort on the defensive end. That’s all sweet and nice, but Kawhi Leonard doesn’t care about your pride. He doesn’t care about your effort or your experience.

There’s only one question: Can you stop him? The answer from one down to 15 on the Memphis roster is a resounding no, especially with Allen injured.

The Grizzlies are going to throw different looks at Leonard in the series. Carter is 40 years old, and as amazing as he was in his prime, Leonard is exponentially better. Memphis’ best defender is out indefinitely with a calf injury. Green and Ennis are physical, tough-nosed defenders, but Leonard has too much talent

If Memphis can’t get a handle on Leonard, an extraordinarily tough feat in spite of the team’s defensive deftness, the series will be over quicker than it started.