Germany vs. Spain: 2017 European U21 Championship Final Schedule and Prediction

Germany will face Spain in the final of the 2017 UEFA U21 European Championship on Friday, June 30, after both teams won their semi-final matches on Tuesday.

A Saul Niguez hat-trick helped Spain beat Italy 3-1 at the Krakow Stadium in Krakow, Poland. Germany made it through after beating England in a penalty shootout but only after Southampton forward Nathan Redmond missed the crucial spot-kick. The two teams had drawn 2-2 after extra time at the Tychy Stadium.

Before a preview of the showpiece game at the Krakow Stadium, here are the schedule and live-streaming details for the final:

    

Date: Friday, June 30

Time: 7:45 p.m. BST/2:45 p.m. ET.

TV Info: Sky Sports 1. ESPN 3.

Live Stream: Sky GoWatchESPN.

    

Preview

This is a fitting final, since it matches the two best teams at the tournament against one another. There is an abundance of quality in both sides, an abundance most obvious in their respective midfield ranks.

The Spain midfield is surely the envy of every team in the competition. Barcelona’s Denis Suarez is a cultured playmaker who can thread multiple passes between the lines, while Niguez is a box-to-box workhorse with a knack for finding the net.

His qualities as a finisher were enough to dump out Italy, while also putting the Atleti ace in a distinguished bracket of U21 stars who have netted three times in the same game at this level, per Squawka Football:

Niguez and Sanchez are a brilliant pairing, but they are supplemented by outrageously gifted Real Madrid youngster Marco Asensio. The 20-year-old is a classy presence markers have a hard time tracking between the midfield and forward lines.

It’s a testament to Spain’s plethora of creative aces in the middle, when a player as gifted as Malaga schemer Pablo Fornals usually has to occupy a seat on the bench.

Yet it’s a similar story for Germany, where Max Meyer, Mahmoud Dahoud and Maximilian Arnold pull the strings from central areas. Their quick and intelligent, one-touch passing produces some artful combination play for Die Mannschaft.

Centre-forward Davie Selkie, who found the net against England, has naturally benefited from such a prolific supply line:

While the players operating along the spine of each team have been excellent, both nations are also blessed with prolific wide players. For Spain, Gerard Deulofeu and Dani Ceballos are as tricky as they come, capable of tying any defence in knots.

Yet Germany are no slouches on the flanks, either. They can rely on Bayern Munich’s Serge Gnabry for perceptive movement, pace and goals.

This final will present an embarrassment of riches in terms of precocious attackers, making picking a winner a no easy task.

Germany are always tough to beat in a final, but their defence can be vulnerable, as England proved. Spain have the arsenal to ruthlessly exploit any hint of weakness.

Prediction: Germany 2-3 Spain

Read more World Football news on BleacherReport.com

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2718358-germany-vs-spain-2017-european-u21-championship-final-schedule-and-prediction

Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell

Former Packers RB Ahman Green Arrested on Suspicion of Child Abuse

Former NFL running back Ahman Green was arrested on suspicion of child abuse and placed in jail Monday morning, according to Paul Srubas of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

Per that report, “The Brown County Sheriff’s Office acknowledged Green was arrested at his home about 11:30 p.m. Sunday over a family matter, but it would not provide other details.”

According to TMZ Sports, Green is charged with “intentionally causing harm/cruelty toward a child” and is facing a maximum six-year prison sentence if convicted of the crime. 

Per that report, “Green is being held without bond until he goes in front of a judge.” He is expected in court Monday afternoon, according to the Associated Press (via the Washington Post).

Green, 40, spent 12 seasons in the NFL, playing for the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans

Read more NFL news on BleacherReport.com

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2718036-former-packers-rb-ahman-green-arrested-on-suspicion-of-child-abuse

Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane

Radja Nainggolan Reportedly Wanted by Jose Mourinho Amid Nemanja Matic Rumours

Manchester United are reportedly prepared to pay £40 million for Roma star Radja Nainggolan amid speculation they’re set to bring in Nemanja Matic from Chelsea for a similar fee, having been “convinced” to do so by manager Jose Mourinho.

According to Massimo Cecchini of Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Football-Italia), Mourinho has talked United into offering between €40 and €45 million for him, as well as offer him €7.5 million per year in wages, significantly higher than the €4 million including bonuses that Roma have offered.

The MailOnline’s Robert Cottingham, also citing Cecchini, reported United’s offer equates to around £40 million in transfer fees and £125,000 per week in wages, in order to recruit him from the Italian capital.

Manager Jose Mourinho is said to have contacted the Belgian’s camp to make clear his interest in him.

The Roma star turned 29 in May, so the Giallorossi may be willing to let him go as they look to the long term. Matic turns 29 in August, so there’s only a matter of months between them age-wise.

The combative midfield general had another outstanding campaign in Italy, racking up 14 goals and seven assists in all competitions.

Squawka Football shared the numbers behind his Serie A campaign:

His chances created was more than any player managed in the Premier League at Old Trafford and 11 more than closest rival Paul Pogba.

According to Squawka, he further showcased his dynamism in the middle of the park by making 38 interceptions and completing 30 of the 41 take-ons he attempted.

Despite his age, he’d be a tremendous buy for virtually any side in Europe, such is the strength of his blend of the physical and technical aspects of the game, unified by an almost unrivalled tenacity.

However, GianlucaDiMarzio.com’s David Amoyal does not believe Nainggolan will be going anywhere this summer:

Indeed, following Francesco Totti’s retirement and Mohamed Salah’s departure to Liverpool, Roma will likely be reluctant to part with one of their most important players.

While he’s a much less exciting buy, Matic seems a far more realistic acquisition for United this summer.

If they do bring in another body in midfield along with the Serbian, it’s unlikely to be Nainggolan.

Read more Soccer news on BleacherReport.com

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2718205-radja-nainggolan-reportedly-wanted-by-jose-mourinho-amid-nemanja-matic-rumours

Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield

Serena Williams Says John McEnroe’s Comments ‘Are Not Factually Based’

Serena Williams responded on Twitter to comments from John McEnroe that she’d “be like 700 in the world” if she were to play with the men on the ATP World Tour.

“Please please keep me out of your statements that are not factually based,” Williams said to the seven-time Grand Slam champion:

McEnroe’s comments came during an interview with NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro in which Garcia-Navarro asked McEnroe if Williams is the best tennis player in the world—male or female.

It’s impossible to say how Williams would stack up with the best in the men’s game. As Garcia-Navarro alluded to on Twitter, though, Williams’ achievements largely speak for themselves:

Her 23 Grand Slam titles are second only to Margaret Court, who won 24 Grand Slams between 1960 and 1973. At age 33—a point at which many tennis players have declined significantly on the court—in 2015, Williams nearly captured the calendar Grand Slam.

At the time of her most recent Grand Slam victory at the 2017 Australian Open in January, Williams was almost two months pregnant.

Not only is Williams one of the greatest tennis players in the sport’s history, she’s also one of the best athletes ever across any sport. Tying and possibly passing Court’s Grand Slam record—in her mid-30s after taking nearly a year off for maternity leave—would be a great way to cap off a legendary career.

Read more Tennis news on BleacherReport.com

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2718128-serena-williams-says-john-mcenroes-comments-are-not-factually-based

Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton

Ranking Every NFL Division from Worst to First

It’s the end of June, everyone. That means us sports fans watch baseball games, break down basketball and hockey drafts and make and/or read lists about football. It’s been built into the sports calendar since the dawn of the internet age.  

But I’m taking a break from ranking players, coaches, executives and teams. With July nearly upon us, I’m ready to graduate to divisions. 

Here’s how I view all eight of ‘em in the NFL, from worst to first. 

Begin Slideshow

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2717466-ranking-every-nfl-division-from-worst-to-first

Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio

Miguel Montero Criticizes Pitchers for Not Holding Runners in Loss vs. Nationals

Chicago Cubs catcher Miguel Montero had some harsh words for starting pitcher Jake Arrieta following Tuesday night’s 6-1 loss to the Washington Nationals.

According to The Athletic’s Sahadev Sharma, Montero lit into Arrieta after the Cubs surrendered seven stolen bases, including four to Trea Turner, over the game’s first four innings:

Turner tied the franchise record with four steals in a game, while the Nationals set a new team record by swiping seven bags total.

Two of Turner’s steals came in the first inning, while the last two came in the bottom of the third. Center fielder Michael A. Taylor got in on the action with a pair of steals in the bottom of the fourth and third baseman Anthony Rendon notched one in the same frame.

According to ESPN.com’s Eddie Matz, Montero has been historically underwhelming behind the plate in 2017:”The seven steals off Montero means the Cubs are now 1-for-32 (3 percent) this season throwing out would-be base stealers. Montero, who also made a throwing error in the game, is on pace for the lowest caught-stealing percentage (minimum 25 attempts) for a Cubs catcher since at least 1969.”

Following Tuesday’s loss, the Cubs (39-38) have now dropped three of their last five.

The defending champions will attempt to get back on track in the nation’s capital Wednesday night when John Lackey takes the mound against Stephen Strasburg.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2718438-miguel-montero-criticizes-pitchers-for-not-holding-runners-in-loss-vs-nationals

Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch

Which Surprise Starter Could Emerge for Each NFL Team in 2017?

With OTAs in the recent past and training camp in the near future, the jostling and jockeying has begun.

It’s depth chart shakeup time in the National Football League. 

Some players’ spots in the lineup are as safe as can be. There’s an excellent chance Aaron Rodgers will start at quarterback for the Green Bay Packers. Ditto for J.J. Watt at defensive end for the Houston Texans.

Others’ starting jobs aren’t as secure. Maybe there’s a newly drafted youngster nipping at their heels. Or maybe a free-agent acquisition is angling for their job.

Or perhaps there’s a surprise player who could open eyes in camp and work their way into the lineup.

You know, that last part kinda felt like a segue.

Yeah. I’m pretty sure that was a segue.

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2717266-which-surprise-starter-could-emerge-for-each-nfl-team-in-2017

Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle

British Tennis Star Dan Evans Tests Positive for Cocaine, Apologises to Fans

Great Britain’s Davis Cup star Dan Evans has confirmed he failed a drugs test in April, testing positive for cocaine. 

Evans, ranked 50th in the ATP world rankings, revealed he found out about the test earlier in the week and provided more detail in a press conference on Friday. BBC Sport’s Dan Roan relayed the statement made by the 27-year-old:

Per BBC Sport, the Birmingham-born player was last in action on June 10, when he pulled out of a tournament at Surbiton with a calf problem.

According to Stuart Fraser of the Times, the Tennis Anti-Doping Programme have confirmed Evans has been provisionally banned from playing as of Monday, June 26.

As noted by Mike Dickson of the Daily Mail, Evans failed the test during a busy portion of the 2017 season:

The ban will be a major setback for a player whose career has been on the rise as of late.

In 2015, Evans had slumped to a world ranking of 772, although some improved form and renewed focus saw him surge up the standings to scale an extremely respectable 41st in the ATP list in March this year.

Kevin Mitchell of the Guardian noted similar offences saw Martina Hingis suspended for two years in 2007 and Richard Gasquet given a one-year ban in 2009 that would later be reduced.

Read more Tennis news on BleacherReport.com

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2717562-british-tennis-star-dan-evans-tests-positive-for-cocaine-apologises-to-fans

Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick

LaVar Ball’s WWE Raw Debut Performance Scorecard

Whatever your expectations of LaVar Ball’s WWE debut—and I say “debut” because it would be foolish to assume this is his last appearance—they were met.

If you thought this would be the most idiotic, nonsensical celebrity wrestling angle since David Arquette won the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, you’d be right. The father of the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, Lonzo Ball, took his shirt off and performed a karate exhibition.

If, on the other hand, you expected it to be such exquisite train-wreck television that you wouldn’t be able to keep from texting your friends about it, then you were also satisfied. In a sense, it was the Platonic ideal of professional wrestling segments, because it reinforced everyone’s preconceived notions of what this art form is all about.

But was LaVar Ball actually good at being a WWE character? Did he show any aptitude when it came to crafting a compelling in-ring story? Well, that’s what you and I are here to decide. Here is Ball’s WWE Raw scorecard.

    

Entrance

So, this might have started us off on the wrong foot. The Miz, host of the eponymous Miz TV segment, didn’t seem to have his heart in the proceedings, listlessly welcoming the Balls to the WWE Universe. Then, out came LaVar and LaMelo Ball to the strains of generic WWE instrumental music. LaMelo looked like he had 80 centipedes crawling all over his body and would’ve preferred to be anywhere else in the world.

Imagine if your dad asked you to come see him perform at open mic night at the Comedy Store on a Monday afternoon. And then he took his shirt off. This is how LaMelo must have felt walking down the ramp at Staples Center.

Then, LaVar started strutting a bit before committing to a full-scale sprint to the ring, a la John Cena. Unlike Mr. Cena, LaVar didn’t land the slide under the bottom rope. Instead of gracefully gliding to the middle of the ring and snapping up to his feet, he kind of flopped over on his back like an elderly golfer denied the use of a cart on the back nine. At least LaVar got his own TitanTron.

Grade: C-

     

Promo Skills

One of the most important parts of a WWE Superstar’s job is cutting live promos and selling the drama inside the squared circle. Those who can’t captivate an audience with their words are doomed to failure (or they’re getting a manager).

Kudos to LaVar for understanding a vital component of this job: getting your catchphrase in early. “Big Baller Brand in the house! This what we do,” he screamed for seemingly no reason. We were already aware that he was in the house, plus Big Baller Brand T-shirts were displayed on mannequins all over the ring. We got it.

LaVar introduced his son Lonzo, who trotted down the ramp at a healthy pace and remembered to shake everyone’s hand before taking a seat. I mean, that’s a leader, folks.

(Sidebar: Where was LiAngelo during this whole thing? I’m worried he’s become the Tiffany Trump of the Ball family. Hopefully we can get #FreeLiAngelo” trending on Twitter this fall.)

 

Now that all the principals are in place, we can begin getting into the meat of the segment. Cutting a wrestling promo is about convincing the audience that two people don’t like each other and hoping they pay to see the pair fight at a pay-per-view event. LaVar Ball and The Miz are not wrestling anytime soon, so what’s the point of this?

Well, The Miz started by claiming he’d partner with Big Baller Brand, which LaVar took exception to. You see, there’s only three letters: BBB. But Miz wanted to add an M—BBBM. When I think about this segment, the letters B and M do come to mind, so right now, everything makes sense.

After Miz degraded UCLA for losing in the NCAA tournament, LaVar stood up from his seat and said he knows what “Miz” stands for: misinterpreted zone. I don’t know what that means. I wish there was a joke here, but there isn’t. I’m just confused.

“Or, it stands for a million zippers.” There’s no way that’s what “M.I.Z.” stands for. For one thing, where’s the “I” come in? Please help. Has LaVar gone off script or did no one care to write one for him?

“There’s only two dudes better than me, and I’m both of ‘em.” That’s a pretty good line. It’s sort of like “Who has two thumbs and likes TGI Fridays? This guy,” but trademarked by Ball. If a shirt with that slogan on it isn’t available later Tuesday, then how can I believe anything Ball ever says?

LaVar started shaking on the bottom rope and imploring LaMelo to “handle my lightweight.” His poor son looked simultaneously confused and befuddled at what he was supposed to do. This might’ve been the first time in his life that his father has ceded the spotlight to him in any way, so I don’t blame him for being a bit flummoxed.

Miz asked LaVar to “prove it,” which led him to tell Miz “stay in yo lane.” More catchphrases equal more points for LaVar. Well done, if you smell what I’m cooking. “The hunt is on and you the prey,” LaVar threatened.

In a normal wrestling segment, this kind of gamesmanship leads to a physical altercation, being that the whole point of the art is to watch a fight with a predetermined outcome. As such, the moment grew more tense. “Oooh boy, you make me, blururuururueajrhearhah,” LaVar said while babbling and shaking again, like a new-age Bernie Mac. Miz took off his elaborate robe.

LaVar then said “put your clothes back on, buff man,” but took his own off. That’s what wrestling fans like to call a swerve, when you expect one thing but get something completely different in the process. Tell a dude to put his shirt back on, then take yours off? The mind is boggled.

Finally, the karate. Whatever dramatic tension there was in this segment was gone. LaVar’s martial art skills were somewhere between former WCW President Eric Bischoff’s and Chris Tucker’s in Rush Hour. “Beat that n—a ass. Beat that n—a ass,” LaMelo said directly into a microphone on live television. I’d say this was the most awkward moment for race relations in WWE history, but this happened in my lifetime.

At that point, the Ball portion of the show was over. He’d disrobed, performed a shambolic display of fighting maneuvers and inadvertently convinced his son to speak a racial slur on national TV. LaVar did nothing to make me suspend my disbelief or cause me to think I saw anyone have an actual wrestling match, but he did remember all of his catchphrases and made sure to put over his merchandise:

Grade: B-

    

The Blowoff

Wrestling is all about the blowoff, as in what we pay to see. The good guys vs. the bad guys. Being that this is L.A. and LaVar’s oldest son is now the Lakers‘ most prized acquisition in years, you’d assume the Balls would get some measure of revenge on Miz to make the crowd happy. On the other hand, no one wanted to see LaVar attempt to throw a worked punch and either give the Miz a black eye or miss so badly the first five rows could feel the breeze from his fist blowing by on their faces.

Instead, former Intercontinental Champion Dean Ambrose entered the scene wearing a Big Baller Brand T-shirt with intent to do what LaMelo was saying earlier. “You don’t want none of this, cuz I’m real with it,” LaVar said as he wandered aimlessly around the ring, still shirtless. He served his purpose, though Lonzo told him to “say somethin’ to the crowd” anyway. Again, another first: The first time anyone has had to ask LaVar Ball to speak.

Ambrose made some ball puns, plugged the next pay-per-view (conveniently called “Great Balls of Fire”), and then his music played for no reason. It all culminated in a six-man tag team match that most of the people in my section used as a bathroom break. If the alternative was seeing Ball miss a roundhouse kick by a country mile and exposing the wrestling business for an entire generation of fans, I would have taken that instead.

Grade: F

     

Conclusion

Overall, Ball wasn’t that bad. Again, expectations were met. Surely, the TV rating for the segment will be higher than usual. Maybe Big Baller Brand even sold a T-shirt or two in the process. In the all-time rankings of celebrity wrestling appearances, Ball was miles better than Drew Carey but nowhere near the glorious heights of Mike Tyson. LaVar fits somewhere between Kevin Federline and RoboCop saving Sting from the Four Horsemen at WCW Capital Combat 1990.

Congrats to LaVar Ball. You’re better than RoboCop. And yes, you can put that on a T-shirt, free of charge.

Final grade: Better Than RoboCop

Read more Basketball news on BleacherReport.com

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2718230-lavar-balls-wwe-raw-debut-performance-scorecard

Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin

Portugal vs. Chile: 2017 Confederations Cup Live Stream, Schedule and Prediction

UEFA Euro 2016 winners Portugal take on Copa America champions Chile in the semi-finals of the 2017 Confederations Cup on Wednesday.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Alexis Sanchez will do battle in the Kazan Arena, Russia, as the nations fight for a spot in the final.

Either Germany or Mexico await the winners in the game to decide the championship.

Here is how you can watch the encounter:

     

Date: Wednesday, June 28

Time: 7 p.m. BST/ 2 p.m. ET

TV: ITV 1 (UK only), Fox Sports 1 (U.S. only)

StreamITV HubSky GoFox Sports GO

     

Preview 

Two superstars come face to face as Real Madrid icon Ronaldo meets Arsenal forward Sanchez.

La Roja limped past Australia to claim second spot in Group B in the final match of qualifying, as A Seleccao topped Group A on goal difference over Mexico.

Amitai Winehouse of the MailOnline reported burgeoning talent Bernardo Silva missed training ahead of the last-four game after picking up a knock.

Silva has impressed for the Portuguese during their time in Russia, and it is clear he could develop into major star for Manchester City after signing for the Premier League side from Monaco.

Ronaldo remains the central threat for his team after scoring twice in the tournament, but Portugal have a wealth of creative talent available to support him.

Chile appeared quiet against the Socceroos in their final group match, but they produced a solid second-half performance to qualify.

The form of Sanchez will be key against the Portuguese unit, and his ability to penetrate the defence could decide the outcome.

Per Winehouse, Portugal midfielder Pizzi is wary of the explosive capabilities of their opponents.

“Chile are one of the favourites,” Pizzi said. “They’ve players of great quality playing in big clubs worldwide, but our goal is to play the final.”

The two sides are evenly matched ahead of the semi-final in Kazan, but the individual contributions of Ronaldo and Sanchez will likely be telling at the final whistle.

      

Prediction

There is no doubt Chile have found it difficult to show the best side of their game in the group stages, but it would be foolish to doubt them in knockout football.

Portugal impressed as they crushed New Zealand, but they have also appeared short across their three games.

The team that puts their foot on the gas will prevail, and both sides are very evenly matched.

In this scenario, the presence of Ronaldo should be the difference, but Sanchez’s quality will hurt the Portuguese.

    

Predicted Result: 1-1Portugal to win on penalties.

Read more Soccer news on BleacherReport.com

Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2718011-portugal-vs-chile-2017-confederations-cup-live-stream-schedule-and-prediction

Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen Keith Hernandez Willie Keeler Buddy Bell Sal Bando Willie Randolph Bobby Wallace Jimmy Wynn Dave Winfield Sammy Sosa Jeff Kent Mike Piazza Sherry Magee Jack Glasscock Andruw Jones Ken Boyer Richie Ashburn Bid McPhee Zack Wheat Willie Stargell Will Clark Todd Helton Billy Williams Willie Davis Vladimir Guerrero Bobby Abreu Darrell Evans Bobby Bonds Hank Greenberg Andre Dawson John Olerud Elmer Flick Joe Medwick Lou Boudreau Billy Herman Joe Torre Joe Kelley Bill Terry Robin Ventura Jack Clark Joe Gordon Stan Hack Carlos Beltran Bill Dickey Enos Slaughter Bob Johnson Jimmy Collins Norm Cash Minnie Minoso Jason Giambi Jose Cruz Bob Elliott Harry Hooper Cesar Cedeno Buck Ewing Ron Cey Jimmy Sheckard Mickey Cochrane Tommy Leach Sam Rice Ted Simmons Ichiro Suzuki Max Carey Fred McGriff George Sisler Tony Perez Gabby Hartnett Chet Lemon Luis Aparicio Kiki Cuyler Hugh Duffy Frank Chance Brian Downing John McGraw Vada Pinson Joe Tinker Gene Tenace King Kelly Johnny Evers Joe Sewell Tony Lazzeri Bobby Doerr Ellis Burks Hughie Jennings Tony Phillips Fielder Jones Larry Doby Larry Doyle Fred Lynn Bernie Williams Cupid Childs Mark Grace Toby Harrah Harry Stovey Edd Roush Orlando Cepeda Mike Cameron Johnny Damon Sam Thompson Babe Ruth Barry Bonds Ty Cobb Willie Mays Hank Aaron Honus Wagner Tris Speaker Stan Musial Rogers Hornsby Eddie Collins Ted Williams Mickey Mantle Lou Gehrig Rickey Henderson Mel Ott Mike Schmidt Frank Robinson Nap Lajoie Joe Morgan Cap Anson Alex Rodriguez Eddie Mathews Jimmie Foxx Al Kaline George Davis Cal Ripken Wade Boggs Carl Yastrzemski Roger Connor George Brett Dan Brouthers Roberto Clemente Joe DiMaggio Charlie Gehringer Jeff Bagwell Rod Carew Ken Griffey Robin Yount Chipper Jones Albert Pujols Sam Crawford Bill Dahlen Frank Thomas Arky Vaughan Pete Rose Paul Molitor Frankie Frisch Ed Delahanty Reggie Jackson Paul Waner Fred Clarke Johnny Bench Johnny Mize Billy Hamilton Lou Whitaker Harry Heilmann Brooks Robinson Luke Appling Barry Larkin Derek Jeter Tony Gwynn Jesse Burkett Bobby Grich Carlton Fisk Duke Snider Edgar Martinez Larry Walker Jim Thome Alan Trammell Eddie Murray Jim Edmonds Ivan Rodriguez Pee Wee Reese Ron Santo Gary Carter Manny Ramirez Craig Biggio Rafael Palmeiro Willie McCovey Kenny Lofton Tim Raines Ozzie Smith Ernie Banks Frank Baker Roberto Alomar Al Simmons Gary Sheffield Mark McGwire Reggie Smith Jackie Robinson Goose Goslin Joe Jackson Joe Cronin Scott Rolen Ryne Sandberg Dwight Evans Yogi Berra Jake Beckley Graig Nettles Harmon Killebrew Dick Allen