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OAKLAND, Calif. NFL Cheap Jerseys . -- The Athletics have completed their trade with Baltimore that brought closer Jim Johnson to Oakland by sending minor league catcher David Freitas to the Orioles as the player to be named. Infielder Jemile Weeks also went to Baltimore in last weeks swap. Freitas batted .231 with seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 90 games between Triple-A Sacramento and Double-A Midland this year. Also Thursday, the As outrighted left-handed pitcher Andrew Werner to Triple-A Sacramento. He had been designated for assignment Dec. 4 and cleared waivers Thursday. Robert Jones Jersey Retro . -- Brandon Hope stopped 46 shots and Kurtis MacDermid scored with 27 seconds remaining in overtime as the Owen Sound Attack edged the visiting Kingston Frontenacs 5-4 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action. Cheap Jerseys 2020 . Kyrie Irving and the Cleveland Cavaliers were left fretting over an MRI on the stars left knee. Paul George scored 21 points, Roy Hibbert added 19 and the Pacers used a dominant fourth quarter to blow out the Cavaliers 91-76 on Tuesday The Pacers (25-5) have won eight in a row over Cleveland, their longest active streak against any opponent.Montreal Canadiens defenceman Douglas Murray has been suspended three games for an elbow to the head of Tampa Bay Lightning defenceman Mike Kostka during Tuesday nights 3-1 loss.   With just over two minutes remaining in the third period, Kostka carried the puck over the blue line into the Canadiens zone when he was met by the raised elbow of Murray. Murray was assessed a match penalty on the play.   On Wednesday, the Lightning announced that Kostka was diagnosed with a concussion and have not yet set a timetable for his return. Coach Jon Cooper said that Kostka is doing well, but has no recollection of the hit.   Though Lightning captain Steven Stamkos called Murray a “clean, honest player,” he took umbrage with the hitt on Kostka. Lloyd Harrison Jersey Retro.   "But that play was dirty," Stamkos said to the Tampa Bay Times. "Thats a flying elbow right to the jaw, and (Kostka) is absolutely knocked out on the ice. I dont think anyone can argue the fact, if theyve seen the replay and seen multiple angles of the replay, that was a dirty play."   Murray told Montreal reporters that he never intended to hurt Kostka.   "Hes cutting through, and Im trying to finish my check,” the 34-year-old Swede said. "I dont think Im a dirty player."   In his nine seasons in the NHL, Murray has never been disciplined by the league.   Murray becomes the 30th player to be suspended during the 2013-14 season and the first Canadien. ' ' '
BALTIMORE -- It was one of those rare days when everything went right for the Houston Astros. Paul Hornung Super Bowl Jersey . Houston took an early lead and added to it late. The starting pitching was solid. The bullpen was nearly perfect. The result was a 5-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday that enabled the young Astros to avert a three-game sweep. "Overall, a good team win," manager Bo Porter said. Jason Castro and Marc Krauss homered to account for all of Houstons offence, and Jarred Cosart (2-3) allowed two runs over six innings for the Astros, who had lost seven of eight before ending Baltimores five-game winning streak. Castro hit a three-run homer off Chris Tillman (3-2) in the first inning, and the Astros made the advantage stand up. "When we can come out and score early, thats really when were at our best," Castro said. "It kind of gives some of the young staff a little bit of a breather from the beginning." It was 3-2 before Krauss connected against T.J. McFarland with a runner on in the seventh. "Those are the runs we have not been able to get," Porter said. "Those tack-on runs that give you an extra cushion, make it a three-run lead instead of a one-run lead. That was a huge home run." Houston is 11-11 when it hits a home run and 1-15 when it doesnt. Although the Astros bullpen came in with a 6.21 ERA, Tony Sipp struck out five in two perfect innings and Chad Qualls worked a hitless ninth for his second save. "I have confidence no matter who they put in behind me that they can get the job done," Cosart said. Jose Altuve had three hits for the Astros, who improved to 6-12 against the Orioles -- including 2-10 at Camden Yards. Everything seemed to fall into place for the team with the worst record in the major leagues. "Weve played some good baseball the last two days," third baseman Matt Dominguez said. "Pitched the ball well, got some timely hits. Hopefully that can give us a jumpstart." Adam Jones drove in both Baltimore runs, giving him 501 RBIs in 981 career games. Tillman gave up three runs, four hits and a season-high five walks in five innings. The right-hander settled down after issuing three walks and a home run in the first inning, but needed 105 pitches to get 15 outs. "It was a struggle for me. Fastball command wasnt there for me from the get-go," Tillman said. "It was a battle all day." Before the game, the Orioles activated Chris Davis (strained left oblique) from the 15-day disabled list and put catcher Matt Wieters on the DL with a strained right elbow. Davis went 2 for 4 in his first game since April 25. "Felt good," Davis said. "Timing is a little off, little in-between. But it was definitely good to be in there, moving around again." Houston took a 3-0 lead before Tillman retired a batter. After Altuve and Dexter Fowler walked, Castro hit the right-handers next pitch over the centre-field wall. Tillman has yielded seven first-inning runs this season, his most in any inning. "He kept us in the ballgame and threw some zeros up after that," manager Buck Showalter said. "But it wasnt what hes capable of or what weve come to expect. Or more importantly, what Chris has come to expect." Jones hit a two-run single to get Baltimore to 3-2 in the third. A double by Davis in the fifth put two runners in scoring position, but Jones struck out before Nelson Cruz flied out. NOTES: The Orioles were denied consecutive three-game sweeps for the first time since 2005. They won three in a row at Tampa Bay before facing the Astros. ... The game drew 45,944 fans, the second sellout of the season at Camden Yards. ... Baltimores Nick Markakis singled in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, one short of his career high. ... Tillmans 399th and 400th career strikeouts came against George Springer in the first and third. ... Houstons Alex Presley snapped an 0-for-14 skid with a sixth-inning single. ... Bud Norris takes the mound for Baltimore on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series against Detroit. The Astros return home to face Texas. ... Since coming to Houston from the Padres organization, Sipp has retired all 12 batters hes faced with seven strikeouts. Davante Adams Super Bowl Jersey . Lisicki beat South African Chanelle Scheepers by a 7-5, 7-6 (7-1) margin. Next up for the Wimbledon runner-up will be Slovenian Polona Hercog, who outlasted Czech Petra Cetkovska 6-4, 5-7, 6-1. Dave Robinson Super Bowl Jersey . - Pete Rose didnt want it to be about him, not on a day when four new members were elected to baseballs most exclusive club.DETROIT -- Mike Napolis drive cleared the wall in centre field and landed in the ivy -- a spot at Comerica Park usually reserved for Miguel Cabreras prodigious homers. In this series, Napoli has been the one hitting key home runs, while Cabrera remains stymied by a tough Boston bullpen. Napoli opened the scoring with another big long ball, Junichi Tazawa again bested Cabrera in a crucial spot and the Red Sox moved within one win of reaching the World Series by edging the Detroit Tigers 4-3 on Thursday night. Boston returns to Fenway Park with a 3-2 lead in the AL championship series. The Red Sox can win the American League pennant Saturday, when the Tigers Max Scherzer faces the Red Soxs Clay Buchholz in Game 6. "Our guys are well aware of where we are," Boston manager John Farrell said. "But at the same time the beauty of them is to not get ahead of themselves, and that will be the case once that first pitch is thrown on Saturday." Cabrera was thrown out at the plate in the first inning, halting an early Detroit rally, and he hit into a double play against Tazawa with runners at the corners in the seventh. The Tigers scored a run on the grounder, but it was a trade-off the Red Sox were willing to make. Napoli opened a three-run second with his homer off Anibal Sanchez. Detroits starters had allowed only three runs in 27 innings through the first four games of the series. After pitching six no-hit innings in Game 1, Sanchez allowed four -- three earned -- in six innings Thursday. "It seemed like he was living on the corners and got us to chase some pitches the first game," Napoli said. "Me personally, I was just trying to get something up in the zone and see pitches like I always do, and I was able to get something up." Jon Lester allowed two runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out three, and the Boston bullpen held on to finish off the fourth game of the series to be decided by one run. "Theres probably a reason I dont have any hair," Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "Its stressful." Down 4-2 in the seventh, the Tigers put runners on first and third with nobody out when Jose Iglesias and Torii Hunter singled. Cabrera, who struck out with runners at the corners against Tazawa in the eighth inning of a 1-0 loss in Game 3, hit a soft grounder to second for a double play this time. "We have to go to Fenway and we have to fight hard enough to win a game," Cabrera said. "If we do that, we have to keep fighting and get the next one. Weve done this before, and weve got great pitchers. We just have to do our jobs." Craig Breslow retired slumping Prince Fielder to end the seventh and got the first out of the eighth. Then Koji Uehara retired five straight for the save. Now Detroit turns to Scherzer, a 21-game winner, to try to extend the season. The Tigers will have Justin Verlander ready to pitch Game 7 if there is one. Detroit may be without catcher Alex Avila in Boston. He left after the top of the fourth with a strained left knee and is day to day. Boston led in only four of 36 innings in the first four games, but the Red Sox won two of them. They struck early in Game 5 when Napolis drive easily cleared the 420-foot marker in centre and landed in the ivy above two rows of bushes. That was the start of a three-run second inning, and it was Napolis second homer of the series. His solo shot accounted for the only run of Game 3. Napoli wasnt all that concerned with where the ball went, as long as it cleared the wall. "It can go in the first row for all I care," he said. Detroit revamped its lineup before its Game 4 win -- droppinng Austin Jackson from the leadoff spot to eighth and moving almost everyone else up a place. Custom Packers Super Bowl Jerseys. The Tigers went with that same general framework Thursday, but it was Farrells adjustments that paid off. After Napolis homer, Jonny Gomes -- starting in left field instead of Daniel Nava -- reached on an error by Cabrera at third base. One out later, 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts -- he started at third instead of Will Middlebrooks -- hit a double. David Ross, catching in place of Jarrod Saltalamacchia, doubled with men on second and third. Only one run scored on the play because Bogaerts didnt get a good jump from second, but he came home anyway when Sanchez couldnt handle Jacoby Ellsburys line drive back to the mound. It went off Sanchezs glove for an infield single and a 3-0 lead. Boston missed out on another run that inning when Ross was thrown out at home on Shane Victorinos grounder. Ross plowed through Avila at the plate -- then gave Avila a pat on the backside after he held onto the ball. Ross and Avila have both dealt with concussion problems this year, and Avila was later hit in the mask by a foul ball. In the third, Iglesias gave the Detroit fans something to cheer about with a terrific catch on a shallow flyball by David Ortiz. Iglesias, who plays shortstop but was shifted over to the right of second base, ran all the way out to short left field, finally catching the ball with a quick snatch of his glove hand. But Napoli followed with a double, went to third on a groundout and scored on a two-out, two-strike wild pitch by Sanchez to make it 4-0. Sanchez allowed nine hits and struck out five. Lester worked in and out of trouble. He was helped in the first inning when Cabrera was thrown out at home for the third out. Cabrera has been slowed by a number of injuries over the last couple months, and when Jhonny Peralta singled to left, it appeared the Tigers would have the bases loaded with two outs and Omar Infante batting. But coach Tom Brookens started waiving Cabrera around third, and when Brookens changed course and put up the stop sign, the Detroit slugger ran through it and was out at home on a play that wasnt close. "Tommy was waving," Leyland said. "In defence of him, the natural instinct is to wave right away -- you dont want to stop him really too quick in case something would happen in the outfield with the ball, the guy would boot it or something. Its hard to get him going again. He just held him too late. With Cabrera right now, youve got to be cautious." The Tigers had two on and one out in the fourth when Brayan Pena pinch-hit for the injured Avila. Pena hit a grounder to the pitcher, and the Red Sox turned a double play with a nifty catch-and-relay at second by shortstop Stephen Drew. Cabrera managed an RBI single in the fifth. With two on and one out in the sixth, the Red Sox pulled Lester, bringing in Tazawa. Pena immediately singled home a run, but Jackson hit into an inning-ending double play. NOTES: At 21 years, 16 days old, Bogaerts became the youngest Red Sox player to start a post-season game. The previous record holder was Babe Ruth, who was the starting pitcher at 21 years and 246 days old in Game 2 of the 1916 World Series. ... Thursdays game was played under a misty rain at times, but was never delayed. ... There was an odd play in the Boston ninth when Middlebrooks, in the game as a pinch-runner, went from first to third on a sacrifice bunt by Ross. Cabrera came charging in to field the bunt, and Pena was slow to get to third and cover the base. Pena caught Fielders throw and, when he spun to attempt a tag, he first made contact with umpire Rob Drake, who was very close to the bag. ' ' '
ROME -- England cheered for France, to no avail. Mark Melancon Jersey . France couldnt do itself or England a favour by beating Ireland in the Six Nations finale, as Ireland won 22-20 to take the title and leave England runner-up for a third straight year on Saturday. England did its bit with a 52-11 win over Italy at Stadio Olimpico hours earlier, putting added pressure on Ireland to win in bogey Paris. Ireland pipped England on points difference by 10. The English underlined their game-by-game improvement, rebounding from an opening loss to France with four straight statement wins over Scotland, Ireland, defending champion Wales, and Italy, which conceded 50 points at home to the English for the first time in a decade. Italy, which wound up with the wooden spoon and winless, also hadnt shipped 50 to a Six Nations team in five years. "Credit to Ireland - they are deserved winners and its a fitting finale and send-off for Brian ODriscoll, a legend of the game whom everyone in this squad respects massively," England coach Stuart Lancaster said in a statement. "We always knew this was going to be one of the tightest Six Nations and go down to the wire." England scored seven tries to one in perfect spring conditions in front of a sell-out crowd. Owen Farrell scored a try and converted all seven to finish with 22 points. He made all eight of his goalkicks. Man-of-the-match fullback Mike Brown crossed twice. "We scored some great tries and weve come here and scored 50, and not many teams have done that," Lancaster said. "There were some errors in the first half, but Im just proud of the boys. Its a great squad weve got developing and the bigger picture is important." Lancaster emptied his bench in the second half, and centre Manu Tuilagi, on for Luther Burrell, made his first England appearance in a year, and six month after a chest surgery, and scored the teams sixth try. Then England conceded an intercept try to winger Leonardo Sarto, which hurt Englands hopes of making a bigger impact through points differential. It was little comfort for Italy. "We started this tournament well and we finished negatively," Italy coach Jacques Brunel said, referring to a narrow opening loss at Wales. "Were behind in terms of what our goals were." Dallas Keuchel Jersey . It was just business as usual for the Thunder at home. Durant scored 32 points and the Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. Hank Aaron Jersey . Louis still looking for a way out of Tampa Bay, the 38-year-old NHL veteran isnt showing his cards. LOS ANGELES -- Victor Martinez helped the Detroit Tigers overcome the struggles of Joe Nathan. The Detroit Tigers closer blew a three-run lead in the ninth inning Wednesday night against the Dodgers. But Martinez picked him up in a big way with a leadoff home run in the 10th against Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen, and Detroit pulled out a 7-6 victory in which both pitching staffs made a combined 382 pitches during the 4 hour, 16-minute marathon. "Kenley Jansen is filthy, but Victor Martinez is a professional hitter," Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter said. "Hes at the plate, just trying to figure you out, and I think he figured out how Jansens ball moves. "He was able to get inside of it and hit it out of the ballpark and come up with another clutch hit. Thats what this team is capable of doing. We have some veteran guys who have good at-bats and can get the job done." Martinez drove a 2-2 pitch deep into the pavilion seats in right-centre to make a winner of Nathan (2-0). One night earlier, Martinez tied the score with a two-out single in the ninth against Jansen before the Dodgers pulled out a 3-2 victory in 10. "Vic takes hitting very seriously, and I think his main focus is to just try to get the barrel of the bat to the ball," manager Brad Ausmus said. "If you watch him on a regular basis, hes fighting to do that. And if a pitcher is trying to get him out, Victor is going to make it very difficult for him -- especially with men on base." Joba Chamberlain gave up a single to Hanley Ramirez to open the 10th. But left-hander Ian Krol struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier, and Al Albuquerque retired Matt Kemp on a grounder to get his first major league save. Nathan, who said during a radio interview earlier in the day that he was experiencing a "dead arm" -- and reiterated those thoughts in the clubhouse before batting practice, was trying to protect a 6-3 lead for Anabel Sanchez. But Gonzalez led off with a home run to centre field, and the Dodgers loaded the bases with walks to Ethier and Kemp and a single by Juan Uribe. Yasiel Puig, who wasnt in the starting lineup for the third straight game because of a strained ligament in his left thumb, batted for Tim Federowicz and struck out. Pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke got a run home with a fielders choice grounder before Dee Gordon singled to right field, delivering Kemp with the tying run. "Joes stuff looked as crisp as weve see it, and he said he felt like that was the best stuff hes had, in terms of the break on his sslider and the way the fastball came out of his hand," Ausmus said. Braves Jerseys China. "So maybe once he got out there, his arm played a little better than he mentioned earlier." Detroits Nick Castellanos helped spoil Josh Becketts long-awaited return with a three-run homer, his first in the big leagues. Sanchez allowed three runs -- one earned -- and six hits over five innings and struck out six. Beckett threw 85 pitches through four innings, giving up five runs -- four earned -- and five hits while striking out five. The three-time All-Star, who joined the Dodgers in a nine-player megadeal with Boston in August 2012, made only 15 starts with them prior to this one because of injuries that had sidelined him since his previous outing on May 13 of last season. Beckett gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the second, laying down a suicide-squeeze bunt in front of the plate with Uribe charging down the line. It was Becketts first RBI since June 14, 2009, when he homered against J.A. Happ in an interleague game at Philadelphia. But the Tigers pulled ahead 5-3 in the third when Castellanos drove a pitch to centre field, and the ball skimmed off the top of the eight-foot fence before landing on the other side. "It was just rust," Beckett said. "After the first inning it was just a baseball game. I felt good in that fourth inning." Hunter did not play because of a bruised left knee, which occurred Tuesday when he tried to make a sliding catch of a foul ball by Federowicz near the short padded wall in front of the grandstand. "I came here early today, trying to get it loosened up, and its still swollen," Hunter said. "I cant really do too much about it. But its only been a little over 24 hours, so what were going to do is just take it one day at a time. My plan is to come back Friday, but if its still a little sore, we want to get rid of it early in the season so Ill be able to perform for my ballclub." NOTES: One of A.J. Ellis biggest regrets about going on the disabled list Tuesday was missing this series against the Tigers and Ausmus, his teammate during Ausmus final two major league seasons (2009-10). "I was fortunate to catch in the major leagues before I met Brad, but I wasnt a major league catcher until after I met Brad," Ellis said a day after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. "The two-year mentorship he gave me was what turned me into the catcher I am today. He taught me how to prepare a game plan, how to take care of my body in between starts, how to be a better teammate, and how my focus should be on my pitching staff only." ' ' '
Seattle, WA  - Seattle Sounders FC will attempt to extend their lead atop the Western Conference on Monday as the club welcomes the Los Angeles Galaxy to CenturyLink Field. Patrick Mahomes Jersey . The Sounders sit six points clear of second-place Real Salt Lake at the top of the West, and Sigi Schmids side will be attempting to collect a fifth win in six league games when his men come up against the Galaxy. You can watch the game live tonight on TSN2 starting at 10pm et/7pm pt. Seattle returns to league action for the first time in two weeks after notching a 2-0 win over Cascadia Cup rivals Portland. Clint Dempsey scored in the 76th minute against the Timbers to hand his team the lead, and Marco Pappa added a second goal to secure all three points for the Sounders. Pappas goal was his second this season and the second goal he has scored in the past five games. With DeAndre Yedlin away on international duty with the United States, Pappas defensive responsibilities on the left side increased, and Schmid believes that the 26-year-old has shown signs that his game is continuing to develop. "I see his game continuing to grow and develop," Schmid said of Pappa. "Theres some good, good defensive moments hes given us on the flank, and that was never considered a trait of Marcos. Hes on the field because he helps our attack, not because we want him to be a great left side defender, but hes got to do some of that work and has really grown as a player. He has found a mix and he knows how to find those pockets of space, which are really important." The Galaxy saw their eight-match unbeaten run ended last weekend at Sporting Kansas City in a 2-1 defeat, and the club will be eager to get back in the win column in an effort to climb toward the top of the conference. Los Angeles went behind in the 10th minute to a Benny Feilhaber free kick before Lawrence Olum scored just after the hour mark to double the advantage. Robbie Keane found the net for the Galaxy 11 minutes from time to notch his 10th goal of the season and his third in the last two games, but his team was unable to equalize. "The more I get on the ball, the more I can make things happen," Keane said. "Ive done that my whole career and the way we play certainly suits my style of play. But at the end of the day, weve lost the game. We gave up a good goal, then scored a good goal to get back (into the game). We showed good spirit in the second half and gave a good battle." Derrick Nnadi Jersey . So much so that even a simple foul pop up to the first baseman turned into a run. Houstons four-run rally in the ninth inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-4 on Monday night was capped by a bizarre play that started as Crowe fouled out to first baseman Justin Smoak with runners on second and third. Mecole Hardman Jersey . Jose Bautista homered for the fifth straight game in the sixth inning, following a two-out solo homer by Melky Cabrera. Edwin Encarnacion led off the seventh with a homer to tie the game 3-3 and, with two out in the seventh, Munenori Kawasaki came through with the two-out single to score pinch-runner Steve Tolleson with what proved to be the winning run. MIAMI -- The Oakland Athletics returned Josh Reddick to the 15-day disabled list Sunday after the outfielder aggravated a previous knee injury. Reddick left Saturdays 7-6 victory against Miami in the fourth inning with a strained right knee. He had an MRI on Sunday, but the As had not seen the results when they decided to put him on the DL. "Until we get the MRI were not sure, but regardless it was the feeling of the training staff that he wouldnt be available," manager Bob Melvin said before Sundays game at the Marlins. "Hes still sore and stiff. I think it scared him pretty good last night, but he felt better than he thought he would feeel this morning. Morris Claiborne Jersey. " Melvin said Reddick will not be on the field doing any activities for at least five days. He returned to Oakland, while the As flew to Detroit for a three-game series beginning Monday. Reddick had just been activated on Tuesday after he spent three weeks on the disabled list with a hyperextended right knee. In four starts since coming back from his first DL stint, Reddick had gone 5 for 11 with three RBIs. He is batting .229 with four homers and 24 RBIs on the year. Oakland also promoted first baseman Nate Freiman from Triple-A Sacramento, and he hit a three-run homer in Sundays 4-3 victory at Miami. ' ' '
Seattle, WA  - Seattle Sounders FC will attempt to extend their lead atop the Western Conference on Monday as the club welcomes the Los Angeles Galaxy to CenturyLink Field. Patrick Mahomes Jersey . The Sounders sit six points clear of second-place Real Salt Lake at the top of the West, and Sigi Schmids side will be attempting to collect a fifth win in six league games when his men come up against the Galaxy. You can watch the game live tonight on TSN2 starting at 10pm et/7pm pt. Seattle returns to league action for the first time in two weeks after notching a 2-0 win over Cascadia Cup rivals Portland. Clint Dempsey scored in the 76th minute against the Timbers to hand his team the lead, and Marco Pappa added a second goal to secure all three points for the Sounders. Pappas goal was his second this season and the second goal he has scored in the past five games. With DeAndre Yedlin away on international duty with the United States, Pappas defensive responsibilities on the left side increased, and Schmid believes that the 26-year-old has shown signs that his game is continuing to develop. "I see his game continuing to grow and develop," Schmid said of Pappa. "Theres some good, good defensive moments hes given us on the flank, and that was never considered a trait of Marcos. Hes on the field because he helps our attack, not because we want him to be a great left side defender, but hes got to do some of that work and has really grown as a player. He has found a mix and he knows how to find those pockets of space, which are really important." The Galaxy saw their eight-match unbeaten run ended last weekend at Sporting Kansas City in a 2-1 defeat, and the club will be eager to get back in the win column in an effort to climb toward the top of the conference. Los Angeles went behind in the 10th minute to a Benny Feilhaber free kick before Lawrence Olum scored just after the hour mark to double the advantage. Robbie Keane found the net for the Galaxy 11 minutes from time to notch his 10th goal of the season and his third in the last two games, but his team was unable to equalize. "The more I get on the ball, the more I can make things happen," Keane said. "Ive done that my whole career and the way we play certainly suits my style of play. But at the end of the day, weve lost the game. We gave up a good goal, then scored a good goal to get back (into the game). We showed good spirit in the second half and gave a good battle." Derrick Nnadi Jersey . So much so that even a simple foul pop up to the first baseman turned into a run. Houstons four-run rally in the ninth inning to beat the Seattle Mariners 6-4 on Monday night was capped by a bizarre play that started as Crowe fouled out to first baseman Justin Smoak with runners on second and third. Mecole Hardman Jersey . Jose Bautista homered for the fifth straight game in the sixth inning, following a two-out solo homer by Melky Cabrera. Edwin Encarnacion led off the seventh with a homer to tie the game 3-3 and, with two out in the seventh, Munenori Kawasaki came through with the two-out single to score pinch-runner Steve Tolleson with what proved to be the winning run. MIAMI -- The Oakland Athletics returned Josh Reddick to the 15-day disabled list Sunday after the outfielder aggravated a previous knee injury. Reddick left Saturdays 7-6 victory against Miami in the fourth inning with a strained right knee. He had an MRI on Sunday, but the As had not seen the results when they decided to put him on the DL. "Until we get the MRI were not sure, but regardless it was the feeling of the training staff that he wouldnt be available," manager Bob Melvin said before Sundays game at the Marlins. "Hes still sore and stiff. I think it scared him pretty good last night, but he felt better than he thought he would feeel this morning. Morris Claiborne Jersey. " Melvin said Reddick will not be on the field doing any activities for at least five days. He returned to Oakland, while the As flew to Detroit for a three-game series beginning Monday. Reddick had just been activated on Tuesday after he spent three weeks on the disabled list with a hyperextended right knee. In four starts since coming back from his first DL stint, Reddick had gone 5 for 11 with three RBIs. He is batting .229 with four homers and 24 RBIs on the year. Oakland also promoted first baseman Nate Freiman from Triple-A Sacramento, and he hit a three-run homer in Sundays 4-3 victory at Miami. ' ' '
PITTSBURGH, Pa. Darwin Thompson Jersey . - The New York Rangers have momentum, a unified locker room and Henrik Lundqvist. The Pittsburgh Penguins have two of the worlds best players and a coach who could be needing a win to keep his job. No pressure or anything, just a Game 7 that could alter the long-term future of one of the NHLs most stable franchises and boost the immediate prospects of an emotionally charged group rallying around one of the games most respected veterans. Looking overmatched and overwhelmed while falling behind 3-1 to the Penguins four games into the Eastern Conference semifinals, its the Rangers who head to Game 7 on Tuesday night looking like the team ready to move on. Martin St. Louis, just days removed from the death of his mother, scored the first of New Yorks three goals in Game 6 to provide the jolt that carried the Rangers all the way back from the brink. The way St. Louis figures it, he is simply repaying the guys in a dressing room hes still learning after arriving in New York after a trade with Tampa Bay in February. "I think when something like that happens to one person to see the support you get from everybody else, it really makes it real," he said. "Theres not phoniness about the family feeling you want to create." Its a feeling that ebbs and flows in Pittsburgh. Dominant and disruptive to start the series, the Penguins have spent the last six periods giving New York every reason to believe it can rally from a 3-1 deficit for the first time in franchise history. Centre Sidney Crosby has just one goal in 12 games. The power play — which tied with Washington for the leagues best in the regular season — has converted just one of its past 19 chances. And now coach Dan Bylsma finds himself 60 minutes away from either taking the Penguins back to the conference finals for the third time in six years or possibly looking for work. Not that Bylsma is ready to talk about the big picture yet. The task at hand is worrisome enough. "These are the ones you dream about playing," Bylsma said. "This is one were going to remember." The memories havent been kind to the Penguins in deciding games on home ice. Pittsburgh is just 2-6 at home in Game 7s in franchise history, including losses to Montreal in 2010 and Tampa Bay three years ago. The Penguins played the entire series against the Lightning without Crosby or Evgeni Malkin, who sat out with injuries. Both have been healthy this time around, skating alongside each other in the hopes theyll provide offence. Only Malkin, who has six goals in 13 games, has delivered. Though Crosby ended a 13-game playoff goal drought in Game 3, he spent as much time in Game 6 jawing with the Rangers and getting water squirted on him by Lundqvist as he did trying to become the magnetic force that can sometimes change the course of a game with his will. Crosby insists he is healthy even while averaging just .75 points per game during the post-season, well below his career playoff average of 1.28. The leagues leading scorer received a pep talk from Penguins co-owner and Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux in the aftermath of Game 6. Having a quick chat is nothing new for Crosby and his mentor. "He definitely has a pretty good understanding of dealing with the pressure," Crosby said. So does Lundqvist. The goaltender thrives when the pressure is its highest. He was New Yorks best player early in the series, the main reason 3-2, 2-0 and 3-0 losses didnt look worse. When it looked as if the Rangers were out of it after falling behind 3-1, he responded by stopping 67 of the next 69 shots he faced and is 9-2 with a 1.35 goals-against average with the Rangers facing elimination. The three-time All-Star is 4-1 in Game 7s. "He takes his game up to another level," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "But this Game 7 against this team, its going to have to be a team level. Its going to have to be everybody taking their game to another level." The same can be said in the Penguins dressing room, which could have a very different look. If the team built to become a dynasty after winning it all in 2009 falls short of the Stanley Cup finals for the fifth straight season. The Penguins won that title in Game 7 on the road against Detroit, the defending champions. To take the next step back they have to find that magic at home. "We worked hard all year to get home ice in the playoffs," Crosby said. "To get to this point weve got to look at this like an opportunity and make the most of it." Chiefs Super Bowl Jerseys .com) - Its fair to call Mike McCarthy one of the best coaches in the NFL but its also more than objective to point out that the veteran mentor bookended the Green Bay Packers season with two, truly awful game plans in Seattle. Breeland Speaks Jersey . Meeks has agreed to a $19.5 million, three-year deal with Detroit, a person familiar with the situation said Tuesday night. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because free agents cant sign contracts until the leagues moratorium ends July 10, also said Cartier Martin had agreed to a one-year contract with the rebuilding franchise.Getafe, Spain (SportsNetwork.com) - Barcelona fell four points adrift of top spot following a disappointing 0-0 draw at Getafe on Saturday. Real Madrid opened up a five-point gap at the La Liga summit by cruising to a 4-1 win at Almeria on Friday, but Barcelona was unable to keep pace as the formidable Catalan attack was kept in check by a stout defensive effort from Getafe. Barcelona improves to 35 points, 19 points better than Getafe, which has not won a league match siince Oct. Jared Cook Jersey. 31. Valencia snapped a four-match winless run in league play by cruising to a 3-0 defeat of Rayo Vallecano at the Mestalla on Saturday. Sofiane Feghouli netted a brace in the victory and Pablo Piatti tacked on a third while Andre Gomes picked up a second-half red card for a second bookable offense. Also on Saturday, Samuel Garcia produced the lone goal in Malagas 1-0 defeat of Celta Vigo and Levante played to a 0-0 draw at Cordoba. ' ' '
1. Chad Green Jersey . Kyle Busch, 72. Brad Keselowski, 42. Kevin Harvick, 44. Chase Elliott, 35. Brendan Gaughan, 25. Kyle Larson, 27. Sam Hornish Jr., 17. Elliott Sadler, 17. Kasey Kahne, 17. Paul Menard, 17. Ty Dillon, 17. Chris Buescher, 17. Regan Smith, 17. Ryan Blaney, 17. Marcos Ambrose, 1 Joe Girardi Jersey . -- Rodney Stuckey scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half, and the Detroit Pistons beat the New York Knicks for the first time in eight meetings, 92-86 on Tuesday night. Stephen Tarpley Jersey . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Marc-Andre Fleury, Pittsburgh Penguins (5) – He was locked in all night, made huge stops on Benoit Pouliot, Raphael Diaz, Ryan Mcdonagh, Carl Hagelin, Rick Nash (twice) but none better than the three saves on Mats Zuccarello.Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Charlotte Hornets used a dominant second quarter to crush the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-80 on Monday afternoon. The Hornets shot 12-of-22 from 3-point range overall to win for the seventh time in their last eight games. Gerald Henderson and P.J. Hairston each hit three triples, and Hendersonn led Charlotte with 17 points. Ron Guidry Jersey. Brian Roberts added 16 points and five assists for Charlotte, and the Hornets reserves outscored Minnesotas by a 52-31 margin. The Timberwolves lost for the second time in three games despite 18 points from Thaddeus Young. Andrew Wiggins added 12, but shot just 3-of-14 from the field. ' ' '
CONCORD, N. Len Dawson Jersey .C. - Things continue to go right for Joey Logano. The same cant be said for Jimmie Johnson.Logano recorded the fastest lap in final practice Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, while Johnson hit the wall late in the session a€” another setback for the six-time Sprint Cup champion.Logano, who has already advanced to the third round of the Chase by virtue of his win Sunday at Kansas, ran a lap of 190.597 mph. He will start 13th for Saturday nights race.Logano downplayed his success, saying its just one lap.Johnson enters the weekend under quite a bit more pressure than Logano.Johnson is 12th in the Chase field after finishing 40th last week at Kansas. The tough luck continued Thursday night when he qualified 21st at Charlotte.The defending Cup champion ran 63 laps in practice Friday night looking for the right setup in his No. 48 Chevrolet. However, two laps before he was ready to call it a night, Johnson hit the wall causing mostly cosmetic damage to his car.The good news is it is just a big scratch on the side of the car, Johnson said. Nothing is bent. Its just a little drama.Johnson didnt seem worried that it will affect his chances of running well, saying our car is really, really strong.Johnson won at Charlotte in May.Kurt Busch had the second-fastest lap in practice, while Chase contenders Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was 14th fastest in practice, will start ninth at Charlotte.Ryan Newman was the slowest of the Chase contenders, turning the 20th fastest lap.Earnhardt, who was 39th at Kansas, and Johnson are in need of strong showings the next two races at Charlotte and Talladega. Four drivers will be cut from the 12-driver field after Talladega.For Logano, things just seem to be clicking, even though he wasnt completely satisfied with his effort in practice.I dont think were that bad, Logano said. Were trying to get the balance a little better. Armani Watts Jersey . Many of those eyes are in the United States of America, a country that the sport has wanted on its side for some time. On Sunday the football Gods delivered once again, only this time it was time for good old USA to experience as much heartache as joy. Chris Jones Jersey .com) - The Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors are back in the great white north for a brief moment and will host the Dallas Mavericks Friday night from Air Canada Centre.MILAN - Carlos Tevezs fourth goal in three matches helped Juventus win 1-0 at AC Milan on Saturday in the first high-profile matchup of the Serie A.In the 71st minute at the San Siro, Paul Pogba set up Tevez with only the goalkeeper to beat, and he expertly chipped it in over Christian Abbiati.The victory gave new Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri a measure of revenge against the club that fired him in January.After 3 1/2 years at Milan this couldnt be a normal match. But its absolutely not revenge, Allegri said. Milan was an important step for me in my career. ... But now weve got to focus only on Juventus.Tevez also scored in a 2-0 win over Udinese last weekend then produced both goals in a 2-0 victory over Malmo in the Champions League on Tuesday.Juventus was clearly the more dangerous side and controlled for long stretches, holding 60 per cent of the possession, but it took a while for the Bianconeri a€” and Tevez a€” to find the target.We expected a match like this. They were coming off two victories, Tevez said. But we played a good match.Pogbas assist was a work of art, as he faked twice before sending the ball past three defenders toward Tevez from the edge of the area.I often get angry with Pogba, because hes a lad with huge potential, a lot of which he hasnt shown yet, Allegri said. Hes very strong physically and technically. He can give a big hand to the squad.With three wins from three matches, Juventus moved three points clear of Milan and Roma, which hosts Cagliari on Sunday.Earlier, Cesena and Empoli drew 2-2 in a matchup bettween two promoted clubs. Anthony Sherman Jersey. With former Juventus and Milan striker Filippo Inzaghi now coaching the Rossoneri, Milan entered with momentum following a wild 5-4 win over Parma last weekend. Inzaghi, however, believed they were still the underdog.After two matches we cant think that were at Juves level. Theyre one of the strongest squads in Europe a€” not just Italy, Inzaghi said.Juventus controlled early on but it was Milan that had the first real chance in the 27th when Keisuke Honda rose between two defenders for a header that goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon did well to deflect with his right hand.Juve midfielder Claudio Marchisio hit the post from beyond the area in the 38th after Nigel de Jong was late in defence.Often-injured Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy exited with an apparent physical problem in the 66th, and five minutes later Tevez found the target.Tevez celebrated by putting a pacifier in his mouth, to acknowledge his son.That should make him happy, Tevez said.Newly signed forward Fernando Torres made his Milan debut when he came on for Andrea Poli in the 76th, and picked up a yellow card in added time.Milan forward Jeremy Menez protested for a penalty after going down inside the area in the final minutes, but referee Nicola Rizzoli, who officiated the World Cup final, signalled to play on.In Cesena, the hosts went ahead with goals from Guido Marilungo and Gregoire Defrel in the 30th and 32nd, and Empoli responded with a penalty from Francesco Tavano in the 55th and an equalizer by Daniele Rugani in the 72nd. 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CORTINA DAMPEZZO, Italy - A womens World Cup downhill slated for Saturday has been postponed due to heavy snowfall, delaying Lindsey Vonns pursuit for the all-time wins record again. Masahiro Tanaka Jersey .Organizers announced the decision early Saturday, moving the downhill to Sunday and a super-G that had been scheduled for Sunday to Monday.Vonn needs one win to match Annemarie Moser-Proells record of 62 victories. The American was only 10th in Fridays downhill in Cortina, which was won by Elena Fanchini of Italy on a shortened course.Fridays race was originally scheduled for Bad Kleinkircheim last weekend, which was postponed due to difficult weather conditions in the Austrian resort.The snowfall in Cortina is expected to slow by Sunday.Vonn tweets, Way too much snow. Hoping tomorrow it will be clear (hashtag)backtobed Authentic Custom Yankees Jersey . Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Steve Mason, Philadelphia (4) - Mason was brilliant all night long with save after big save on Benoit Pouliot, Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard. Babe Ruth Jersey .com) - Delon Wright scored 17 points and No.SEATTLE -- Not that it should come as a surprise, but Seattle is still crazy about its Super Bowl champion Seahawks. The latest example came Sunday when an announced crowd of 22,000 turned out at Safeco Field for Richard Shermans charity softball game. After being played in a minor league baseball park in Tacoma last season, Shermans event filled the entire lower bowl of the Seattle Mariners home stadium from one foul pole to the other. Shermans event featured a litany of Seahawks teammates, including quarterback Russell Wilson, defensive end Michael Bennett, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and safety Earl Thomas. Also playing was Kobe Bryant, who said he hadnt swung a bat in 20 years. It certainly didnt look that way in his first at-bat, with Bryant hitting a solo homer over the temporary fence in the outfield. "I respect these guys tremendously and its humbling, its not something you can put into words," Sherman said before the game started. "You dont wake up one day and be like Im going to have Kobe Bryant, Nate Robinson, Lawyer Milloy playing in my softball gamee, and Macklemore. Jonathan Holder Jersey. Its something that happened and youre numb to the feeling until like years later when you realize that was a pretty incredible event." Sherman was able to draw from a wide cross section of Seattle sports stars to participate in the event to benefit his foundation. Along with current NBA players Bryant, Robinson and Jamal Crawford, former Seattle SuperSonics stars Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton took part, as did Chris Hansen, the investor hoping to bring the NBA back to Seattle. "Hes a psycho like me," Bryant said of Sherman. "I think its just mutual respect and I have a great amount of respect for people who work at their craft. When him and I met, we just talked and hit it off." Bryant said it was his first time back in Seattle since the departure of the SuperSonics for Oklahoma City after the 2008 season. After earlier saying the Eagles were his favourite NFL team, Bryant admitted he needed to make up for that statement. "Ive always enjoyed coming here. Id much rather come here in the post-season than Oklahoma," Bryant said. ' ' '
Montreal Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges expressed his shock and disappointment on Monday with the news that the team is trying to trade him. Cheap NFL Jerseys China . TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reports that Gorges, who has played eight seasons with the Canadiens, is on the trade block after the club asked him to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs. "I want people to know that I never wanted to leave Montreal," he said in interviews with Dave Stubbs of The Montreal Gazette and J-F Chaumont of Le Journal de Montreal on Monday. "I have never asked for a trade - this is (general manager) Marc Bergevins call. I am in shock." Gorges, acquired in a trade with the San Jose Sharks in 2007 (along with a first-round pick that became forward Max Pacioretty) for defenceman Craig Rivet, has four years left on a six-year contract worth $3.9 million per season. McKenzie reported on Monday afternoon that Gorges would not allow a deal with the Leafs - one of 15 teams on his no-trade list. McKenzie added over the weekend that none of the six other Canadian teams are on his list of permissible trade destinations, but Gorges told Stubbs on Monday that hes expanded the list to include a couple of Canadian teams. "This is really hard to accept," Gorges added to both Montreal papers. "I have always given my heart to this team." Antonio Smith . Simon (10-3) allowed three runs on five hits and three walks in 6 1-3 innings to break a tie with the Dodgers Zack Greinke and Cardinals Adam Wainwright for the NL lead in victories. Simon went to spring training as a relief pitcher and moved into the starting rotation when Mat Latos was recovering from elbow and knee surgeries. Charley Brock . "Hes over there," the first baseman said. "You dont need to talk to anybody else." Indeed, Peralta did it all as the majors top team won again.TSN football analyst Chris Schultz breaks down all the teams and each division in the NFL leading up to the regular season. Next up, the Denver Broncos, San Diego Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders of the AFC West. Denver Broncos Sometimes you go with emotion or a feeling, other times you go with pure logic and history. Denver Broncos, first in the AFC West. Now, winning the Super Bowl? That may have to defy logic and history. No team has won the Super Bowl the year after losing the Super Bowl since the 1972 Miami Dolphins. And no team has made it back to the Super Bowl after losing the Super Bowl since the 1993 Buffalo Bills. Still, with the talent addition of DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, TJ Ward and Emmanuel Sanders at defensive end, cornerback, strong safety, and wide receiver you can say the Broncos are better than the team last year that finished 13-3. And the left side of Ryan Clady at left tackle and Orlando Franklin at left guard could be the best left side in football. The mentality of Denver is so different than any other team too. The 43-8 loss in the most important game of the year may have reignited determination and commitment as opposed to create animosity and blame. And it needs to be as the schedule is tougher this year than last: Indianapolis at home to start, Kansas City and then at Seattle. Also San Francisco, at New England, and at Cincinnati. Denver plays seven playoff teams this year. If Denver becomes a top 10 defence with a 55 touchdown offence duplicates another dominate regular season will happen. Then, if healthy come playoff time, another Super Bowl appearance in Phoenix is very possible. Will Manning stay hungry and motivated? Yes is an easy answer on two levels. First, he is not going to retire with 43-8 on his mind. And he is 17 touchdown passes away from the all-time touchdown record and should get that this year. He is 7,000 yards away from the all-time passing yardage record, give him two years. And he is 800 completions away from the most passes completed in football. That may take two years. Watch out Brett Favre. Finally as an organization Denver knows the time is now. Manning is still absolutely on top of his game but is much closer to 40 than 30 in age. His experience over his youth may get him back to the Super Bowl again and should easily get him on top of the AFC West. San Diego Chargers I thought last years success was a surprise for the Chargers, which will make this year tougher for the team, as no team will be surprised by them.  The first, and most significant, reason for their success was Philip Rivers. He had one of his best statistical seasons ever with 4,478 yards, 32 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions. When you consider he threw 544 passes, completing 69.5 per cent, with only 11 interceptions, Rivers had a great year in 2013. The next surprise was for the Chargers was King Dunlap at left tackle. A part time starter became a 16-game performer and his consistency destroyed any previous criticism. Keenan Allen at receiver was also a surprise with 71 catches and over 1,000 yards. Allen was a third-round draft pick coming off a bad knee but played like a healthy first-round pick. Finally, DJ Fluker, their No. 1 pick, came in played tackle and guard and played like a top pick should. General manager Tom Telesco had an All-Star year and if their draft picks this year produce like last year, San Diego will be closer than ever to Denver in young and up and coming talent . Pass defence is the main area of concern of the Chargers this season. Only three teams had a pass defence more suspect than the Chargers in 2013. For that reason, their first draft pick was a pass defender in Jason Verrett , cornerback from TCU and their next pick was a pass rusher in Jerry Attaochu from Georgia Tech. When you consider the Chargers already use Jarret Johnson, Melvin Ingram and Dwight Freeney as present pass rushers and have free safety Eric Weddle as a top pass defender, if the two young guys can come through, what was a weakness for the team could become a strength very quickly . Although its never conclusive, when a team finishes strong there is great optimism that they will start the new season even stronger. The Chargers finished the season with four straight wins and, in impressive fashion, beat the Bengals in Cincinnati 27-10 in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. Considering Cincinnati beat The Chargers 33 days earlier, December 1st in San Diego 17-10, the playoff win has great value. October 23rd - at Denver - and December 14 - home to Denver – could be the dates that determine the AFC West champion. Will it be San Diego? Not yet. Chargers will finish second in the AFC West. Kansas City Chiefs What the Chiefs accomplished last year was remarkable. To go from 2-12 in 2012 to 11-5 in 2013 is an amazing accomplishment and shows with good coaches and excellent decisions on personnel, with a change in attitude, you can produce a winner quickly in the NFL. The 9-0 start for the Chiefs was mildly miss-leading though. Gary Roberts. . Of the nine wins, the Chiefs only beat one playoff team and when Denver came to town in Week 10, it was a relatively easy 27-17 win for the Broncos. Nonetheless, still a heck of a year for the team.             This year they need quarterback Alex Smith to have a "heck of a year." The criticism of Smith is an absence of a deep ball and a propensity to check down his passes too often. And by doing so, smith is not necessarily out to win the game but out to not lose it as a quarterback. However, that is exactly why Andy Reid brought him in, with the hope his even play will ensure Smith doesnt turn into the next Joe Flacco. The strength of the team is Jamaal Charles, and many think he is the best running back overall in all of football. The Chiefs use him accordingly. At 511, 199 pounds he doesnt punish defenders, but he has that sixth sense to avoid the "vicious collision" that happens every now and then to other running backs in the game. He is their best runner and best pass catcher and considering the conservative but safe approach of Smith; 508 passes and only 7 interceptions last season. Charles success dictates offensive success in Kansas City. Trying to duplicate last year for this team may be tough. Every year teams lose and gain players in free agency. You hope not to lose your best players or too many of them, but you also hope there are not too many signed away from one position. The Chiefs lost Brandon Albert, Jon Asamoah and Geoff Shwartz to Miami, Atlanta and the Giants, respectively. This year the Chiefs Eric Fisher will dominate on one end of the line and Donald Stephenson make all forget about Brandon Albert at the other. But we wont know if thats possible until at least October. The Chiefs have a very good defence and had five Pro Bowl players last season in Dontari Poe, Tamba Hali, Justin Houston, Brandon Flowers and Eric Berry. Yet, Denver, with Payton Manning, beat the Chiefs Twice scoring 27 and 35 points. San Diego beat the Chiefs twice with Philip Rivers scoring 41and 27 points. And finally, the Colts too beat the Chiefs twice with Andrew Lucks offence scoring 23 points in the regular season and 45 points in a disastrous playoff game. The Chiefs beat the teams they were supposed to beat and lost to the teams they should lose too with good to great quarterbacks. Are the Chiefs better than Denver? No . Are the Chiefs better than San Diego? Maybe. Are the Chiefs better than Oakland? Yes. Therefore the Chiefs finish third in the competitive AFC West. Oakland Raiders Nobody spent money like the Raiders last offseason, and the question will be; did they spend it effectively and wisely on the players that are all very well paid? You really wont know the answer to that question until they finish playing the Jets, Texans , Patriots and Dolphins to open their season. If the Raiders emerge from that stretch 4-0, then come that first week of October Reggie McKenzie, Dennis Allen and the Raiders will be the talk of the league. If they go 0-4, you can conclude what they invested in did not provide a return. The 2014 team truly will be completely different than 2013 because all 14 of the free agents signed should be starters; six on offence and 6 on defence. The Raiders did not go for the unknown that is anticipated to be good over time, but quite the opposite. They signed proven starters and key performers and most between the age of 28-32. The Raiders were in salary cap heck, but now find their book balanced like never before. A key for the team will be a rebuilt offensive line with four new starters, with the only returning player being Steve Wisniewski . The backfield combination of Maurice Jones-Drew and Darren McFadden could be special if only if both can stay healthy. With a Pro Bowl fullback in Marcel Reece, the Raiders have backfield talent. The truth is I can go through every positional group and speak optimistically about the Raiders because each group has an influx of proven talent. However, it is not about the best players, it is about players playing their best together. With 12 different free agents you also have 12 different egos, how those come together will be interesting. Dennis Allen is 8-24 as a head coach over two years. I doubt he can go 12-36 after three years and survive.   Matt Schaub lost his job in Houston because of four straight interceptions returned for touchdowns. Rookie Derek Carr is a good player at quarterback that is only getting better and better. Donald Penn at left Tackle is very good. Carlos Rogers at cornerback is very good. Antonio Smith, the defensive tackle from Houston Texans, is also very good. Everything says this season for the Raiders will be different; better. More wins. And that I agree with, maybe to the extent of even 8 wins, but that wont be enough. Raiders finish fourth in the AFC West. ' ' '
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