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.

Raptors vs. Bucks 2017: Schedule, scores, news, and predictions for NBA playoffs

The Toronto Raptors caught their stride at the end of the season and landed the East’s third seed behind Cleveland and Boston. That doesn’t make their first-round matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks any easier, as a stacked Raptors starting five will attempt to deal with one of the most unique, talented players the league has ever seen.

That doesn’t mean Kadar didn’t have his share of hits, however. Leonard Fournette only wound up one spot from his projected landing spot at No. 9. Jonathan Allen’s draft day slide dropped him only two selections from his early destination at 19th. The Titans were tagged to draft Adoree’ Jackson in the middle of the first round and did — just at No. 18 rather than No. 11.

The slides of three players who wound up returning to school showcase the struggle in mocking up a draft nearly a year from its start date. Lowell Lotulelei, Nick Chubb, and Kemoko Turay returned to school after failing to live up to their pre-draft hype. Lotulelei and Chubb each appear in at least one of Philadelphia Eagles Cheap Jerseys the three aforementioned “way-too-early” mocks above, but they’ll need to have successful 2017s to reclaim the draft stock 2016 left behind.

All mock drafts are a buckshot approach at predicting an unpredictable process. There’s no regression analysis available to tell you the Bears are going to ship four draft picks to the 49ers in order to move up one spot in the first round. But “way-too-early” drafts deserve to be taken with a grain of salt so big it could sink a luxury sealiner — no matter who the expert behind it is.

Noah Syndergaard skipped an MRI for an injury even the Mets were worried about

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 Direct Cheap Jerseys hit in the beans every 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.

Game 1 of Wizards-Celtics was straight-up WILD. Washington started the game on a 16-0 run. That’s a wrap, right? NOPE. Boston had the game tied four minutes into the second quarter. By the end of the third, the Celtics led by 15. Bojan Bogdanovic went on a spree to get it back within three before Boston put it away to claim Game 1 victory.

Isaiah Thomas is a tough dude on multiple levels. He spent the 24 hours before the game flying back and forth to the West Coast for his sister’s memorial. In the first quarter, his tooth got knocked out of his face via inadvertent elbow. He kept playing. Well, in fact.

A big factor in Boston’s comeback: Markieff Morris went down with a nasty ankle injury. It’s a bad sprain, and while he didn’t return to Game 1 the Wizards say he’ll be back for Game Fashion Online Shop Cheap Jerseys 2 on Tuesday.

Brandon Jennings was not going to let Terry Rozier get his sneaker back on easily.

Lonzo Ball’s shoes look great, but Big Baller Brand is charging $495

UCLA product and projected top-three NBA draft pick Lonzo Ball unveiled his first sneaker, named the ZO2: Prime, on Thursday and the kicks are fire. The sneakers are available for pre-order on the Big China Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Baller Brand website and retail at $495.

Ball’s sneaker are low-top kicks that feature the comfortable Ortholight insole and a full bed of shock-absorbent material. They feature a Microfiber Python texture in Matte black and have gold accents throughout the shoe.

Another 3-1 lead disappeared as the Oilers squandered a two-goal difference in just under five minutes. Much like the Predators, however, the Oilers responded with a goal from Adam Larsson — his second of the game — with four minutes to play.

Kevin Fiala was stretchered off in the early moments of the second period in a scary situation in St. Louis. The Predators forward was awake and stable after being transferred to a local hospital after this scary collision into the boards.

Awuzie does a little bit of everything from playing inside and outside at corner to blitzing off the edge, which led to eight sacks in his last two seasons at Colorado. Teams that run a lot of zone coverage will love Awuzie because he’s more experienced in it than most and expertly reads routes. He’s a screen pass killer. Coaches will love him. He may never get a lot of interceptions, and will get beat over the top by Discount Volleyball Jerseys speed receivers.

Deshaun Watson just wins games. Will that continue with the Texans?

Deshaun Watson shined at Clemson, and he was always at his brightest in his team’s biggest moments. Now he’ll look to carry that success to the Texans after being selected by Houston with the No. 12 overall pick. They traded with the Browns to move up and take him, and they needed a quarterback.

The Browns get Houston’s 25th overall pick this year and their first-round pick in 2018. Cleveland got Houston’s second-round pick in 2018 as part of the Osweiler trade.

There’s no perfect prospect in this year’s quarterback class, but Watson has the best resume. Watson thought he should be the first quarterback off the board, before Mitchell Trubisky, because of it. He’s the third QB taken after the Bears took Trubisky and Chiefs took Patrick Mahomes. This will irritate Clemson.

“You’re gonna have to live with the consequences that come Cheap Atlanta Braves Jerseys with it,” Watson Basketball Cheap Jerseys said Tuesday on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, of teams passing on him.

It helps that Milwaukee has the best player on the floor: Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, two blocks, and 7-of-10 shooting, while notching a team-best plus-29.

How you view Miami’s draft is dependent on whether or not you thought they should take an offensive lineman in the first round instead of pass rusher Charles Harris. After him, the Dolphins got a group of solid, albeit maybe unspectacular players.