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Daniel Murphy could be close to return; Stephen Strasburg, Brandon Kintzler placed on DL

jets_102Washington Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy, who hasn’t played this season after offseason surgery on his right knee, could be close to returning to the lineup.

He rejoined the team Sunday, taking batting practice and fielding grounders.

I don’t think it’s anything serious, Kintzler said Sunday. Probably just some rest and some strengthening. I don’t know what the timetable is, but I’m sure it would be no more than 10 days whatever we need.

The team recalled right-hander pitchers Trevor Gott and Wander Suero from Triple-A Syracuse.

Gott returns to the Nationals for his third stint of the season. He has appeared in 17 games out of Washington’s bullpen, going 0-2 with a 5.28 ERA.

Suero has appeared in 12 games for the Nationals, with a 4.15 ERA.

But Cespedes was removed from a Double-A rehab game Saturday night after he experienced tightness in his injured right quad, potentially delaying his return to the majors. The Cuban slugger will be re-evaluated Sunday, the Mets announced.

After the Mets’ 2-0 win over the Yankees on Sunday, Conforto is batting just .215 with seven home runs this season and is mired in a 3-for-32 slump in his past 10 games. Despite being just nine months removed from surgery to repair a torn capsule in his left shoulder, Conforto told the Post that he feels healthy, strong, fine.

Triple-A is not an answer, Conforto told the Post. I’ve been through that. I have done all I can do down there. I play at this level — that’s it.

But the Mets, who lost eight straight games before Sunday’s win and 15 of their last 19, are looking to jump-start their struggling offense and believe that Conforto might have rushed back too soon from his injury. The Mets initially targeted early May for Conforto’s return to the majors, but the former All-Star instead made his season debut on April 5.

Real or not? Chris Davis could have worst season of all time

jets_101The numbers are hard to fathom. A .152 batting average and .232 slugging percentage, nine runs, 15 RBIs. How bad is Chris Davis? Historically bad.

Matt Kemp went 1-for-4 with an RBI single and leads the National League with a .351 average and .592 slugging percentage. (Muncy actually has a higher slugging percentage but doesn’t have enough plate appearances to qualify for the leaderboards.)

Slumping badly at the plate, the plummeting Mets had lost eight straight games and 15 of 18 going into Sunday night’s Subway Series finale against the New York Yankees.

In other injury-related news, Callaway said closer Jeurys Familia (sore shoulder) and infielder Wilmer Flores (sore lower back) are both headed to Florida, and the team is very optimistic that they will be activated off the DL during the upcoming road trip.Ross Stripling, Max Muncy, Matt Kemp give Dodgers unexpected lift

Colorado scored twice in the bottom of the sixth inning on Ian Desmond’s two-run single that chased Zack Godley (6-5). Godley allowed two runs and five hits and struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings.

Arizona added three runs in the seventh. Goldschmidt tripled off Jerry Vasto to drive in two, and he scored on Marte’s double to left.

For us to add on was big, Goldschmidt said. A two-run ballgame, anything can happen.

Diamondbacks: C Jeff Mathis was placed on paternity leave and OF Christian Walker was recalled. … RHP Shelby Miller (Tommy John surgery) was scheduled to throw 85 to 90 pitches for Double-A Jackson on Sunday.

Rockies: OF Carlos Gonzalez (rib) has shown improvement and was available to pinch-hit on Sunday. He could return to the lineup Tuesday in Philadelphia. … RHP Adam Ottavino (left oblique strain) felt fine after a 20-pitch bullpen session Saturday. Thinks are pointing in the right direction, manager Bud Black said. … RHP Scott Oberg was put on the 10-day DL with a back strain, retroactive to Friday.

Stephen Jones isn’t sure why Dez Bryant hasn’t signed

jets_100The market for Dez Bryant remains quiet almost seven weeks after the Dallas Cowboys released the receiver.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said NFL teams have asked him and Dallas coaches about Bryant, and he’s not sure why the wideout remains unsigned.

4. Michael Phelps, Olympics: Swimming is a sport that the overwhelming majority of sports fans care about for exactly one week every four years. And yet Phelps was so good, so dominant, so clearly better than anyone else in the pool that his appeal somehow transcends the remarkable reality of his 23 gold medals (28 overall).

5. Serena Williams, women’s tennis: She wasn’t always likable, or easy to root for, but she has those 23 Grand Slams (39 with doubles), has been No. 1 eight different times, and often has seemed like she was playing an entirely different sport than her contemporaries.

6. LeBron James, basketball: I stand by everything I wrote last week. And forgot to add this: He’s got at least 3-4 more elite years to solidify his status.

If Marshall had not signed, the Giants could have been on the hook for an injury settlement.

Marshall announced his new home on Instagram with a post of himself in a 12th Man shirt. The Seahawks fans — considered the loudest in the NFL — go by the 12th Man moniker.

Marshall is No. 16 in NFL history with 959 receptions and No. 23 with 12,215 yards. He is a six-time Pro Bowler but has never made the playoffs during his 12-year career with the Broncos, Dolphins, Bears, Jets and Giants.

In his one season with the Giants, Marshall produced just 18 catches for 154 yards in five games before suffering a season-ending ankle injury. The Giants opted not to replace him with a Pro Bowl-validated third receiver, rather going with Cody Latimer, Russell Shepard and a cast of others with much to prove.

DeAngelo Hall is retiring . . . unless he isn’t.

The team tweeted Monday night that “DeAngelo Hall has not yet officially decided to retire despite reports.” It did not offer further explanation.

It simply could mean Hall has not officially submitted his retirement papers. Or maybe it means he’s reconsidering? But then, he’d have to find some team willing to give him a contract.

So it seems unlikely that Hall will attempt a “comeback.”

A report earlier Monday quoted Hall saying, “I’m done.” The defensive back added that he was weighing offers to join a front office or work in TV.

The Dallas Cowboys have to be encouraged that they fell just one victory short of the playoffs last year despite their best player suspended for 38 percent of the regular season.

The 2016 rushing champion is still only 22 years old, and it’s not as though his numbers took a nosedive. Elliott accumulated 857 yards from scrimmage in his final six games of the year, which was better than his pace from that monster rookie campaign.

The Saints have Sheldon Rankins, David Onyemata and Tyeler Davison back from last year and Bromley will likely be trying to earn a spot as a depth option behind them.

Frazier was in Tampa the entire time, and getting over the concussion was a mental grind, especially the setbacks, like when he practiced at night for the first time.

It was one of those injuries that the more frustrated I got, the more emotional I felt about it and the worse it could have made my symptoms because it was what was inside my head, Frazier said. “I was trying to make sure that everything I did was in a positive manner, even the music that I listened to and the movies that I watched and (TV) shows to try to get laughter because I was sitting in my apartment all day long.

I watched a lot of Friends. I watched a little bit of The Office, things to try to make me laugh. Mainly music was the thing. Any time there was a dull moment, I had music playing. The idiom was The Chainsmokers’ sound, something uplifting … mood boosters to try to maybe trick myself to think it’s going to be all right.

Finally, it’s all right again.cardinals_037

Dak Prescott: ‘I Want to Be the Best Quarterback That the Cowboys Ever Had’

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott revealed a lofty goal for his career Wednesday.

When Jon Machota of the Dallas News asked if he is feeling added pressure due to the possibility of a big contract in his future, Prescott said: “I want to be the best I can. I want to be the best quarterback that the Cowboys ever had. So when I go in each and every day, it’s just about being the best player I can be. All that stuff comes when you play the game well.”

After winning Offensive Rookie of the Year, being named to the Pro Bowl and leading the Cowboys to the playoffs in 2016, Prescott had some growing pains last season, as Dallas finished a somewhat disappointing 9-7.

Romo didn’t have the same playoff success as Aikman and Staubach, but he is Dallas’ all-time leader in passing yardage and passing touchdowns.

Prescott has the potential to near the status of those legendary signal-callers, and if he makes strides over the next two seasons, he is in line to be paid like one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL.

In the postseason, Sissons added five goals and 18 assists over 26 games.

Studenic, a 2017 fifth-round pick by the Devils, backed up his 48-point regular season with three goals and 12 assists over 24 OHL playoff games. The forward helped Hamilton knock off the Soo Greyhounds, who were the overwhelming favorite to win the OHL after going 55-7-3-3 in the regular season.

Here’s the full schedule for the 2018 Memorial Cup. The top team in the round-robin games will automatically advance to the final, while the second and third-place teams will play in the semifinal. All games will be played at Brandt Centre in Regina.

What is post time for the Preakness Stakes on Saturday? When is the Preakness Stakes on Saturday?

The Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the Triple Crown, will be run Saturday, May 19, 2018 (5/19/18) at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland. Kentucky Derby winner Justify is the favorite, as expected, and drew the No. 7 post position.cowboys_070

NFL free agency rumors: Eagles releasing linebacker Mychal Kendricks

Mychal Kendricks will soon be a free agent.

The 27-year-old linebacker will be released by the Eagles, according to a report by ESPN. Kendricks has spent all six of his NFL seasons in Philadelphia.

Eagles releasing veteran LB Mychal Kendricks, per source. Kendricks spent six years with Eagles; he’s not expected to be unemployed long.

The Eagles selected Kendricks in the second round of the 2012 draft. His best season came in 2013, when he registered 113 total tackles and four sacks.

Dan Quinn, Falcons: Quinn already has led to his team to an NFC championship and avoided a subsequent Super Bowl hangover, keeping Atlanta a strong playoff team. The key is not letting up.

Mike McCarthy, Packers: McCarthy changing his coordinators to Mike Pettine and back to Joe Phiblin was a needed shake-up to extend the Super Bowl window with Aaron Rodgers.

Mike Tomlin, Steelers: Even with Pittsburgh’s recent disappointments in the playoffs, the Steelers simply don’t change coaches.

Just got off the phone with the Boca Raton police department. Richie Incognito had the police called on him, there was no arrest made, but he is now under what they call the Baker Act, which is involuntary mental evaluation.

For the fourth time, Arizona will host a Super Bowl when the big game returns to the desert in 2023 for Super Bowl 57. It will be the third time University of Phoenix Stadium as hosted the Super Bowl (2008 and 2015), with Sun Devil Stadium having hosted the game in 1996.

Per AZCentral.com, the cities of Phoenix and Glendale touted upgrades near the stadium and throughout the area in their pitch to land another Super Bowl. A renovated airport in Phoenix and additional hotels and parking in Glendale are expected to be in place by 2023.

When it opened in 2006, University of Phoenix Stadium featured the first retractable natural grass playing surface in North America and the first completely retractable roof operating at an incline. Its seating capacity is expandable to 73,000.ravens_147

Ben Roethlisberger “kind of caught off guard” by Martavis Bryant trade

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s response to the team’s decision to draft Mason Rudolph in the third round drew attention on Tuesday, particularly when Roethlisberger said he plans to play 3-5 more years after musing about retirement not so long ago.

Between last year’s trade request and reports just before the draft of a possible trade, Roethlisberger may have been the only one caught off guard when the Steelers shipped Bryant to Oakland. Roethlisberger said he’s heard comparisons between Washington and JuJu Smith-Schuster, who made a strong impact as a rookie in 2017.

If those comparisons continue, the Steelers offense should be in fine shape.

“We had another team which is going to surprise you. Another team had said, ‘You may get a big surprise on draft day, at No. 2, if he’s available.’ And it was the Patriots,” Mills said. “They had 23 and they had 31 and they had two seconds. We thought, ‘That’s gonna be a heck of a move, to get up that high from where they are.’ And of course he wasn’t available so we never knew if that was reality or not.”

There was talk before the draft of the Patriots trading up for a quarterback, but trading all the way up to No. 2 would have been incredibly hard to pull off. Given that Giants General Manager Dave Gettleman scoffed at trading down from No. 2, he surely would have demanded even more than the Patriots’ two first-round picks and two second-round picks. Would Bill Belichick, who has traditionally preferred trading down over trading up, really have pulled the trigger on a trade like that?

Then there’s the question of how Brady would have reacted: He’s already refusing to say if he feels the Patriots appreciate him. How would he feel if the Patriots used a bounty of draft picks to take the next franchise quarterback, rather than using those picks on players who can help Brady win another Super Bowl this season?broncos_037_e0f31aee9c392ca7-180x180

Marlon Mack undergoes shoulder surgery

Colts running back Marlon Mack played his rookie season with a torn labrum, General Manager Chris Ballard told SiriusXM NFL Radio.

Mack underwent offseason shoulder surgery to repair the tear.

Ballard said he expects Mack to return fully healthy by training camp.

With Frank Gore‘s departure, Mack should get more work this season. A fourth-round pick in 2017, he ran 93 times for 358 yards and three touchdowns.

The report also quotes Lions team president Rod Wood, who told the outlet that he didn’t know about the incident, but later made this statement to the Detroit News:

“I am very comfortable with the process of interviewing and employing Matt,” Wood said. “I will tell you with 1,000-percent certainty that everything I’ve learned confirmed what I already knew about the man and would have no way changed our decision to make him our head coach.”

Starter Carson Wentz continues his rehab from the ACL and LCL he tore in his left knee. He was injured in a December game against the Rams, and recovery time typically takes 9-12 months. While Wentz has set the season opener as his target for a return, the Eagles will have plenty of reps available in training camp and the preseason, not wanting to overtax Nick Foles.

Philadelphia also has Nate Sudfeld on its roster.

In Perkins’ absence, Stewart was the primary ballcarrier during the three voluntary practices of the Giants’ pre-NFL Draft minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, as Perkins watched from the sideline with his arm in a sling while recovering from his injury.

This weekend’s rookie minicamp and upcoming OTAs should offer a more definitive glimpse of the Giants’ running back rotation behind Barkley and Stewart.

Last season, Perkins appeared in 11 games, making four starts, finishing 2017 with 41 carries for 90 yards and eight catches for 46 yards.

Bruce Arians joins Greg Gumbel, Trent Green in CBS booth

Former Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has taken a television job in retirement.

CBS announced today that Arians will work in a three-man booth with Greg Gumbel and Trent Green this season. Jamie Erdahl will be the sideline reporter on the broadcasts.

“I always hoped that broadcasting would be an option after I retired from coaching as a way to stay involved with this great game,” Arians said in a statement. “I am thrilled to have that opportunity with such a class organization as CBS Sports.”

That’s the wrong idea—eliminating a role for women in the predominantly male world of professional football is the opposite of empowering them.

When a cheerleader complains, the organization will say, fine, let’s just get rid of the cheerleaders, Ware says.

They must pass an arduous audition process that often includes a test about the organization’s history and the game of football, and an interview segment where hopefuls dress in business attire and answer questions from local professionals to prove they can handle the responsibility of representing the organization in the community and abroad.

The play of their defense in that game was a major reason why the Vikings didn’t return home to play in Super Bowl LII. They gave up season-highs in both points and yards as the Eagles rolled to a 38-7 win. As the team prepares for the 2018 season, linebacker Ben Gedeon said they need to use the loss as “fuel” and safety Harrison Smith wants the loss to be an educational tool.

“We didn’t deliver, so that’s something we can learn from this offseason, and hopefully we will use it in the future,” Smith said, via the Pioneer Press. “If we just throw the film away, that’s doing yourself a disservice. We want to learn from the good and from the bad, and use it all to get better for the season.”

The Vikings defense had its worst day at the worst possible time. Getting a chance to reverse that this season will take the same kind of effort from the unit every week.

Former WR Ryan Switzer thinks Cowboys may have miscast him on offense More When the Dallas Cowboys traded for Tavon Austin of the Rams, it appeared the club was continuing an evolution to small ball.broncos_131_a52cec69b93f017c-180x180

What does this mean for Mark Ingram?

The veteran will turn 29 in 2018, which isn’t old for most positions but it’s where many running backs slow down. With Ingram set to reach free agency in 2019 and Kamara stepping in as an instant star in 2017, there may not have been much more of a future with the Saints for Ingram.

Warner isn’t breaking new ground here. There’s a natural human tendency to rage against the dying of the light.

Just a few years ago, former NFL and USFL star Herschel Walker insisted he could still play at age 52. Nearly 20 years after he left the gridiron for the silver screen, Hall of Fame power back Jim Brown sported a Raiders jersey for a Sports Illustrated cover story on the fanciful notion of an age-47 comeback.

The rare confidence which enables a supreme athlete to erase reasonable doubts doesn’t vanish after retirement. Seven years removed from his last NFL snap, former Bengals wideout T.J. Houshmandzadeh firmly believes he could return as a No. 3 receiver with a few month’s worth of work.

Maybe I’m wrong, Houshmandzadeh told the Bengals ‘ website last month, but that’s what I think and I believe it wholeheartedly. In my heart of hearts, I believe I can still play football.

Warner has authored one of the most unlikely, storybook careers in American professional sports history.

On Monday, the NFLPA announced their decision, writing in their release that they told agents of free agents who had participated in the protests during the national anthem to collect, memorialize and report any relevant information about potential violations of the Collective Bargaining Agreement by teams. The NFLPA went on to write that a club appears to have based its decision not to sign a player based on the player’s statement that he would challenge the implementation of a club’s policy prohibiting demonstration and that at least one club owner has asked preemployment interview questions about a player’s intent to demonstrate.

He has been a strong supporter of former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who in 2016 became the first player to kneel during the anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Kaepernick wasn’t signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco. Reid continued the quarterback’s protests. Reid last week filed a collusion claim similar to one filed by Kaepernick last year.sharks-021