Justin Verlander helps Tigers hold off Royals

KANSAS CITY — Before the Detroit Tigers Jerseys departed from a spirit-sapping trip to Toronto, one in which the team was unceremoniously swept, Justin Verlander Jerseys posted a picture on his official Instagram account Sunday that showed the 32-year-old ace scaling the side of the CN tower.

Tuesday night’s outing wasn’t quite as adventurous as his daring edge walk, but there were some tense moments all the same as the Tigers white-knuckled their way to a 6-5 win at Kauffman Stadium, snapping a four-game losing streak and halting an atrocious start to the club’s six-game road trip.

Verlander helped lead the way, recording his first win against the Royals since last season and giving up four runs — only two earned — in 6 2/3 innings pitched. It was not the same superlative performance as last week, when he had a no-hit bid broken up in the ninth inning in a start that was absolutely dominant from start to finish. But it was a solid outing that gave his struggling team what it needed most: a chance to win.

“He’s really pitched exceedingly well, not just velocity but in his approach,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. “I think he’s trying to show everyone that Justin Verlander’s still here.”

Wholesale JerseyVerlander himself admitted there were some aspects of his start he would rather not re-visit — his slider, for example. But his fastball remained sharp, and his velocity, especially late in the game, was still strong, topping out at 97 mph.

“Even if things aren’t working quite as well as they normally do, fastball location will get you out of trouble,” Verlander said.

It may not have been the same headline-grabbing performance as Verlander’s last start, but it resulted in a win, regardless, and the Tigers are desperate for those any way they are available.

“He utilized all his pitches, was using his fastball on both sides of the plate — keeping guys honest — and throwing all his off-speed stuff. He threw down in the zone, then worked up in the zone with a purpose,” rookie catcher James McCann Jerseys explained. “His breaking balls may not have been as sharp as the other night, but he found a way to get it done. That’s the Verlander we like to see.”

And in turn, Verlander got some well-deserved run support cheap mlb jerseys, something that had been lacking previously each time he took the mound. The Tigers jumped on Johnny Cueto Jerseys early, building a 3-0 lead by the second inning, and pulled away again in the seventh following a leadoff single from Anthony Gose Jerseys and a two-run shot from Ian Kinsler Jerseys.

Kinsler, who finished with two hits on Tuesday night, leads the American League with 51 multihit games this season and has gone 21-for-54 (.389) with 11 runs, four home runs and 11 RBIs in his last 13 games.

“His attitude is great every day,” Ausmus said. “He comes to win, and he puts his work in every single day wholesale jerseys. He’s one of the more voracious workers on this team.”

There were some shaky plays in the field, however, and they likely led to a few tense moments in the dugout, with a dangerous Royals lineup — one that returned Alex Gordon Jerseys from the disabled list for the first time in eight weeks — threatening to rally late in the game.

Left fielder Tyler Collins Jerseys, who had a big night from the plate (2-for-4), was charged with a fielding error on a Salvador Perez Jerseys single that allowed him to advance to second. Andrew Romine Jerseys, who entered the game as a defensive substitution, clearly thought he should have been charged with one as well on Lorenzo Cain Jerseys‘s eighth-inning single. Romine approached reliever Alex Wilson Jerseys after the game to tell him as much. And then there was the odd, uncontested steal from Ben Zobrist Jerseys in the ninth, a baffling play that allowed Zobrist to take second base with what was met with virtual indifference.

As for the latter, Ausmus chalked that up to an “ill advised” high leg kick from closer Bruce Rondon Jerseys that allowed Zobrist to get a good jump.

Regardless, the Royals fell short of completing the comeback, so there was not much of an appetite for second-guessing after the game cheap jerseys.

“We did a heck of a job holding them off,” McCann said. “Because they put up a good fight.”

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Hall of Fame debate: Mark Recchi

There’s no denying the impact Mark Recchi had during his 22-year career. He won three Stanley Cups with three different teams: the Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys (1991), the Carolina Hurricanes (2006) and the Boston Bruins Jerseys (2011) wholesale nhl jerseys. He made a difference both on and off the ice wherever he played. Recchi could have retired after a disappointing 2009-10 season in Boston, but decided he wanted to go out a winner and stayed for one more season, helping the Bruins hoist the Cup with a win over the Vancouver Canucks Jerseys in 2011. He officially announced his retirement wholesale jerseys while celebrating with his teammates on the ice at Rogers Arena. “Rex” didn’t earn induction in 2015.Nfl Jerseys Wholesale

The Case For

Not many can go out the way Recchi did. I still remember the image of him sitting at his locker at TD Garden after the Bruins lost in historic fashion to the Philadelphia Flyers Jerseys in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals. The Bruins had a 3-0 series lead, but the Flyers erased that deficit and won in seven games. By the time the media was allowed in the Bruins’ locker room, all of the players were out of their equipment with the exception of Recchi. The only piece of equipment hanging in his stall was his helmet. The 2010 version of the Bruins missed their opportunity, and Recchi knew it. He said he needed time to decide whether or not he would retire cheap nhl jerseys. It didn’t take him long to realize the team’s potential, so he signed another one-year deal for 2010-11. It was that drive, determination and never-say-die attitude throughout his entire career that made Recchi so good, and the players around him better.

His contributions on the ice were impressive, too. He finished with 577 goals and 1,533 points (12th all time) in 1,652 games. He produced three 100-point seasons. He was extremely durable, too, routinely playing a full 82-game season. Plus, three Cup championships speaks for itself. He’s one of only three players to win a Cup with three different teams, joining Joe Nieuwendyk Jerseys and Claude Lemieux.

The Case Against

You can make an argument cheap jerseys for many players to be in the Hall of Fame. But there’s not one thing about Recchi’s career you can cite as a reason he doesn’t deserve induction. Drafted by the Penguins in the fourth round of the 1988 draft (No. 67 overall), he made the most of every opportunity in his career and proved why he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Our Vote

There’s no question Mark Recchi should be in the Hall of Fame.

ESPN panel: 82 percent voted into Hockey Hall of Fame.

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Pacers add free-agent guard Douglas to roster

The Indiana Pacers signed free-agent guard Toney Douglas on Tuesday.

Terms of the deal weren’t immediately available.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound former Florida State player is another addition to a roster that has undergone a major overhaul since the end of last season cheap nba jerseys. Power forward David West Jerseys and backup point guard C.J. Watson left in free agency. Two-time All-Star center Roy Hibbert was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in July.

Wholesale Jerseys Douglas was the Lakers’ first-round draft pick in 2009. Since then, he has played with New York, Houston, Miami, Golden State, Sacramento and New Orleans and has career averages of 7.6 points, 2.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists cheap jerseys.

Team president of basketball operations Larry Bird said Douglas is the “type of player” Indiana needs to play at a faster pace.

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Social media reaction to Frank Gifford’s passing

Former New York Giants Jerseys Hall of Fame and broadcast legend Frank Gifford has died suddenly of natural causes at age 84, his family told the Associated Press on Sunday.

“We rejoice in the extraordinary life he was privileged to live,” the family said in a statement, “and we feel grateful and blessed to have been loved by such an amazing human being.”

One of the most versatile and iconic players in football history, Gifford earned the NFL’s Most Valuable Player award in 1956 when he led the Giants to their fourth NFL Championship.

In 12 NFL seasons, Gifford made the Pro Bowl eight times at three different positions (defensive back, halfback and wide receiver) just as position specialization was taking over the game.

The Giants would go on to appear in the Championship Game five more times before Gifford retired in 1964, marking the most glamorous era in franchise history.

New York was at the epicenter of professional sports activity in the 1950s, with the Giants joining baseball’s Yankees and Dodgers as the most celebrated teams of the decade.

Those legendary Giants squads featured not only Gifford, but also Hall of Fame coaches Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry as offensive and defensive coordinator, respectively wholesale jerseys.

Lombardi’s offensive attack took advantage of Gifford’s throwing ability, featuring an effective halfback option pass that baffled opposing defenses.

Gifford’s career was notoriously put on 18-month hiatus following an especially brutal hit from Hall of Fame Jerseys linebacker Chuck Bednarik in 1960. To his everlasting credit, though, Gifford returned to go out on his own terms, recapturing Pro Bowl form in 1962.

“Frank Gifford was the ultimate Giant,” Giants president John Mara said in a statement released by the team. “He was the face of our franchise for so many years. More importantly, he was a treasured member of our family. My father loved him like a son and was proud to act as his presenter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a favor Frank returned years later by presenting my father in Canton. For my siblings and me, Frank was like a revered older brother whom we looked up to and admired cheap nfl jerseys. We loved him and will miss him terribly.”

Gifford’s legacy goes beyond the gridiron. Blessed with matinee idol looks in the world’s most dynamic city at the time, Gifford was a celebrity on par with Hollywood’s A-list stars.

Frederick Exley’s 1968 cult classic fictional memoir, A Fan’s Notes, centered on the writer’s fascination with Gifford’s “gift for living out his dreams.”

Shortly after the release of Exley’s book — “unmatched in American literature,” per critic Jonathan Yardley, for its use of football — Gifford went on to a successful cheap jerseys second career as a broadcaster.

Gifford replaced Keith Jackson as the play-by-play announcer on ABC’s Monday Night Football, teaming with Howard Cosell and Don Meredith as the most renowned broadcasting trio in NFL history.

A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Pro Football Hall of Fame and Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Gifford stands in the pantheon of American professional sports.

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Scouting the most NBA-ready rookies

Evaluating rookies is a tough proposition in the dog days of summer. We’ve already watched and rewatched hours of game footage from their collegiate/D-League/international careers, analyzed predraft intel and crossed off names from the draft board.

We then tracked their performances in summer league, where they tried out their skill sets in skeleton systems with quasi-NBA talent as teammates and opponents. But none of this really gives us a good indication of who these players will be when the ball tips in late October, after informal pickup games at the practice facility wholesale jerseys, training camp and the preseason.

The reality is that not even the first few months of the regular season can give us an accurate depiction of what lies in store for some of these prospects. Noah Vonleh Jerseys was a lottery pick last season, got stuck on the bench and was eventually shipped out to Portland after only one season in Charlotte. He’s also just 19 years old cheap nba jerseys, so to judge his prospects off such a limited body of work is irresponsible.

Rather, what most people care about is rookie readiness. Think of it like buying furniture from IKEA: some stuff comes out of the box ready to be placed in a corner with no assembly required, but many of the cooler items need you to grab that funny little wrench-like tool and unintelligible instruction sheet before attempting to make an armoire out of some wooden planks and pegs cheap jerseys.

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Pats move up part of Gronk’s bonus

The New England Patriots Jerseys and Rob Gronkowski Jerseys agreed to restructure the star tight end’s contract with a bit of immediate security that suggests what has long been presumed: He isn’t going anywhere for a long time.

Gronkowski’s contract called for a $10 million option bonus for the team to decide upon by the end of the 2015 league year that would, in effect, kick in the remaining four years on his deal wholesale jerseys. If the team opted to decline that bonus, Gronkowski would become a free agent, an unlikely outcome given his production and standing as a focal point of the team’s offense.

But that’s a decision the Patriots won’t soon have to make, as the team recently reworked the deal by paying Gronkowski a $4 million bonus at the outset of training camp, leaving just $6 million to be paid out by the end of the league year, according to league sources.

The motivation for such a deal can be as simple as the team wanting to reward a player who has performed at a high level (and would have seen the same money at the end of the year), or perhaps also as a method of cash-flow management cheap nfl jerseys. The decision does not affect the team’s salary cap and there are no additional tweaks to the contract for future years, but it puts to rest any conversation — even if unlikely — about whether the team would pick up Gronk’s option.

Gronkowski made news earlier this summer when he revealed in his book “It’s Good to be Gronk” that he had yet to spend any of the money he’d made from the Patriots over his five NFL seasons — which amounts to more than $10 million — instead living off endorsement deals. 

The 26-year-old has established himself as one of the game’s pre-eminent players, hauling in 52 touchdowns in just 65 career regular-season contests. He was signed to an extension after just two seasons in the NFL that can keep him with the Patriots through the 2019 season cheap jerseys.

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Jeff Samardzija has no complaints over staying

CHICAGO — When he was finally pinned down for an interview, Jeff Samardzija said all the right things Saturday when it came to staying with the Chicago White Sox Jerseys and not being dealt at the non-waiver trade deadline.

If Samardzija harbored a selfish thought that he would have liked to have been traded to a team with much better odds of winning the World Series, he wasn’t about to reveal it.

“No, I think we’ve always thought of ourselves as contenders,” Samardzija said when asked if there was any part of him that wanted to go to a first-place team. “I think we just need to go out and do what we’re capable of doing and that’ll take care of most of it. I love this team and think we have a great group of guys and we just need to keep playing like we’ve been playing.”

Speculation swirled all the way to the trade deadline that the White Sox could trade Samardzija for a minor cheap mlb jerseys league prospect or two. But both sources and reports suggested that while the White Sox listened to offers on Samardzija, they never seemed close to dealing him.

So instead of going to a contender, like he did last season when he was traded from the Chicago Cubs Jerseys to the Oakland Athletics, Samardzija will fight it out with his White Sox teammates. And if trying to revive a middling White Sox team isn’t enough of an inspiration, he is also pitching for a new contract since he will be a free agent once the season ends.

“Yeah, you know, we need to keep playing the way we’ve been playing,” Samardzija said. “Keep pitching the ball well and keep hitting. Obviously those early runs are great and gets the pitchers calmed down and really get into a groove. We’ve been playing great baseball, we’ve been playing great defense, too, which … I don’t think is getting talked about.”

Defensive support was hard to come by for Samardzija in the early going. But Adam Eaton Jerseys in center field and Alexei Ramirez Jerseys at shortstop have been much improved in recent months, and the infield defense has received a boost from second baseman Carlos Sanchez and third baseman Tyler Saladino, not to mention the utility play from Gordon Beckham Jerseys.

So while the chance to appear in the postseason has its appeal, there is some comfort for Samardzija in playing for the team located closest to his Valparaiso, Indiana, hometown and not having to relocate midseason.

“Yeah, it’s nice to not have to get all that help wholesale jerseys from my wife moving, picking up and moving a house here and there,” said Samardzija, who lived out of Bay Area hotels when he was traded to the A’s last year. “All the things that go with it, it’s tough. It’s definitely a big adjustment when you get traded. It’s nice to be able to take a deep breath and really get back to concentrating on that five-day routine and getting ready to pitch again.”

At some point Samardzija will think about the future and his impending free-agent status. All indications are that the right-hander is intent on exploring his value on the free-agent market so the odds of signing an extension with the White Sox appear slim. They will have their chance, though, just like any other team when free agency begins.

Instead, Samardzija can now work on extending his recent run where he has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last 10 starts. He is also 4-2 at home this season with a 2.86 ERA in nine outings.

When will he think about free agency?

“Professional athletes, it don’t stop; they say there’s an offseason, but there’s really not anymore,” he said. “You gotta continue working out and staying on cheap jerseys top of things. When the season’s over, you’ll address those things.

“Right now, you don’t want to take anything for granted. What we do is not guaranteed tomorrow so you need to come out and work on what you need to work on, control what you can control and then worry about next year next year.”

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NBA in Africa: Mandela’s house, safaris and a game

Chris Paul Jerseys keeps waking up in his hotel at 3 a.m. because of jet-lag and is wiped, though it hasn’t stopped him getting out and visiting the house where Nelson Mandela lived.

Luol Deng Jerseys couldn’t wait to talk to Pau Gasol Jerseys about a trip he recommended the Spaniard take to one of South Africa’s most beautiful cities.

Gregg Popovich is planning a safari and a tour of the country’s wine region. As he said, “If you come all this way, you may as well do something.”

Oh yeah, there’s also a game to play on Saturday.

The NBA is in Africa, and a practice session at a downtown Johannesburg arena on Friday, the day before the NBA’s first exhibition game on this continent, was dominated not by basketball but by talk of who is going where and doing what off the court.

“How beautiful is Cape Town?” Deng asked a smiling Gasol of his trip to the city on the coast, breaking away from an interview with reporters offering boring questions like: Who’s going to win the game?

Saturday’s exhibition, where Paul will captain Team World against Deng’s Team Africa, is the NBA’s biggest statement of intent so far in Africa, and a precursor to a preseason and maybe even a regular season game over here, according to Commissioner Adam Silver, who is also on the trip.

But the exhibition, which also features, among others, Gasol brothers Pau and Marc, Washington’s Bradley Beal Jerseys, Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic Jerseys, and coaches Popovich, Mike Budenholzer and Brooklyn’s Lionel Hollins, is wholesale jerseys secondary right now to the African experience for many of the NBA’s biggest names.

Paul, an eight-time All Star, began his prep on the long flight from Los Angeles by reading “Long Walk to Freedom,” the memoir of Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and South Africa’s first democratic president who died in 2013.

“The coolest part of the trip so far was having the opportunity to go to Soweto yesterday and have the opportunity to visit Nelson Mandela’s house,” said Paul, who was in South Africa for the first time. “When you come on a trip like this, a lot of times everyone talks about the game, the game, the game. But, in actuality, the game has been secondary.”

The next thing on the to-do list for Paul is a lion park on the outskirts of Johannesburg.

Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol of the Chicago Bulls took time out to go to Cape Town on the southwest tip of Africa on the advice of Miami’s Deng, who has been traveling to South Africa every cheap nba jerseys summer for the last seven or eight years. It was a good tip, judging by Gasol’s grin when they met up on court.

Before heading off for his safari, Popovich, the five-time NBA title-winning coach, will handle the “home” team. Team Africa is made up of African-born players like Deng and those with African heritage like Portland’s Al-Farouq Aminu and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo Jerseys, who both have parents from Nigeria.

Popovich isn’t taking it too seriously.

“We’re going to have a great night, a lot of fun,” he said. “This isn’t regular season. We’re going to put on a great show for everybody. We’re not drawing up plays, we’re not going to stay up late tonight wondering if we’re going to win or lose.”

But it’s still a game, and NBA players being NBA players, it’ll be competitive on Saturday, exhibition or not.

“Once the juices get going and tip-off starts, you want to win,” Marc Gasol Jerseys of Team World said. “That’s our nature. All of us can tell you the same thing, we’re gonna be careful, we’re not gonna get hurt. This and that. At the end of the day, if you have a chance, you want to win.

“Of course if the game gets too out of hand, you’re not going to try anything crazy. But if the game is close …”

The NBA’s introduction to Africa will cheap jerseys be at the 4,000-seat Ellis Park Arena, which is perched at one corner of a much bigger and much more famous rugby stadium, one of the main sports in South Africa. The arena seats are, fittingly for the NBA, red, white and blue, and while it’s much smaller than the 20 NBA stars are used to, it’s a start.

“As long as the baskets are 10 feet, the court is the same length, same width,” Paul said. “I’m, what, 30 years old now. I feel like I’ve played everywhere you can possibly play.”

Even Africa come Saturday.

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Pryor faces ‘tall task’ to make Browns as WR

The Cleveland Browns Jerseys certainly could use a difference-maker at the receiver position, but that doesn’t mean Terrelle Pryor Jerseys is making this 53-man roster.

The former NFL quarterback turned pass-catcher has the support of his new teammates, but fellow wideout Brian Hartline Jerseys expects a bumpy transition.

“It’s a tall task. I’ve been doing it for 10 to 20 years,” Hartline said Wednesday, before hoping out loud that Pryor would be “successful” in his quest, per The Plain Dealer.

“It’s going to be very challenging for him,” said Browns Jerseys safety Donte Whitner Jerseys. “We’re not wholesale jerseys going to make it easy on him.”

Pryor appears serious about the position switch after using the summer to work out with future Hall of Fame wideout Randy Moss, the suspended Josh Gordon Jerseys and Browns jerseys quarterback Josh McCown Jerseys.

“I believe I can do this,” Pryor recently told The Plain Dealer. “When I work out and when I train to do something, I don’t do it just to be OK. I believe in cheap jerseys my heart with my God-given ability that I’m going to be the best. That’s not being arrogant or cocky. No one outworks me, so I believe in my heart if I put my mind to anything, I can accomplish it.”

Pryor’s advantage is his 6-foot-4, 233-pound frame and a freaky amount of athletic talent. From that angle alone he belongs on an NFL roster, but switching positions at the pro level is rarely successful.

We still see Pryor as a sneaky candidate to win the team’s No. 3 quarterback job, especially with new coordinator John DeFilippo having developed him in Oakland. For now, cheap nfl jerseys though, Pryor remains a long-shot to make an NFL roster.

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Martin robs Teixeira with leaping catch at wall

ARLINGTON — Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin Jerseys is sure to be seen on highlight cheap mlb jerseys reels everywhere after his second-inning catch Monday against the Yankees.

With the game tied at 0, Mark Teixeira Jerseys hit a towering fly ball to left-center-field off Rangers starter Matt Harrison Jerseys, but Martin ran over and was able to put one hand on the wall to aid his leap while still in motion. He snagged wholesale jerseys Teixeira’s ball near the top of the wall, turning a possible home run into an out.

Martin, who started with the Rangers giving Delino DeShields Jerseys a day out cheap jerseys of the lineup, also hit an RBI single and stole a base in the bottom half of the second as the Rangers took a 2-0 lead.

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