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The Red Sox left-hander allowed four hits (three singles and a double) over three scoreless innings, striking out five with zero walks on 39 pitches. That's a very solid showing in Sale's first game action since Aug. 13, 2019, but it wasn't exactly lights-out against a low level of competition.

And the Astros, no matter how much fans want to boo them, have proved to this point to be an immovable object in the White Sox way.Cleveland Indians Face Masks
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Harrison and Corry both were high school draft picks who can struggle with command at times. When they're on, though, they can be lights-out lefties. Bednar attacks the zone and improved his fastball and slider going into his 2021 season.

2. The Mets jumped on Max Kranick early, getting runners on first and second for Jeff McNeil, who drove both runners in with a double in the right-center field gap to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead. In the third, Pete Alonso kept his power stroke, lining a solo shot down the left field line to give them a 3-1 lead as he gears up to defend his Home Run Derby title.

Selvidge has a good slider that could use improvement, and is working on his changeup, but his fastball, per, has good tail on his arm-side and could have some sinking action.Toronto Blue Jays Face Masks

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AL manager Kevin Cash, of the Tampa Bay Rays, said he “begged” MLB for a rule change to squeeze Ohtani in as both a pitcher and DH. All-Star rules now stipulate that both teams use the DH and pitchers don’t hit.New York Mets Face Masks

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A former promotions-department copywriter and college basketball player, Kendrick is president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. It’s a role he has used to teach the United States about a forgotten chapter in its history while raising the ghosts of yesterday, giving them the due in death they never received in life.Kansas City Royals Face Masks
Portis played 18 minutes in Game 3 after logging only 5 in the Bucks’ Game 2 loss in Phoenix. Portis’ role acceptance has defined his first season in Milwaukee.

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Unseld has spent the past six seasons with the Denver Nuggets, rising to associate head coach under Michael Malone. The Nuggets have become one of the top teams in the NBA the two past seasons with Nikola Jokic’s emergence as an MVP and Jamal Murray as a top scoring guard on the verge of All-Star status.

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Jones is an interesting prospect, especially for a Kings team that is in danger of losing their starting center in free agency. He's raw, averaging just 8.8 points, 4.8 rebounds and .9 blocks in 22.8 minutes per game for Texas, but he has incredible length and athleticism.Denver Nuggets Face Coverings
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It’s plausible, now, that Murphy goes in the first round. This was unthinkable a year ago and NEARLY unthinkable five months ago. From Rice to Virginia to the NBA. Fascinating path, all the more so because he wasn’t declared eligible until right at the start of last season. Murphy was one of only two players to shoot 50/40/90 last season. For the uninitiated, that’s the coveted club of players that make at least 50% of their total field goals, 40% of 3-point attempts and 90% of free throws. I have to put a top-30 assessment on a player like that, all the more when you factor in his length and perimeter defense proficiency. This is a good draft night story.Los Angeles Lakers Face Coverings

"I did this, 'I'm so great. I had 30, I had 25-10-10,' whatever the case might be, you're going to think about that," Antetokounmpo said. "Usually the next day you're going to suck, you know? Simple as that. The next few days you're going to be terrible. I figured out a mindset to have that when you focus on the past, that's your ego."Sacramento Kings Face Coverings

That Giannis block of Ayton is being completely overrated. IT WAS A LOB. Giannis had plenty of time to go up and meet Ayton as he was catching the ball at its peak. He almost couldn't help but block it.

"He will be the main sports ambassador in the Bahamas for the next 15 years," Thompson said of Ayton. "He has that kind of potential to represent the Bahamas and carry the flag for the Bahamas in sports for the next 15 years. I expect him to."Philadelphia 76ers Face Coverings
Budenholzer took over as coach in 2018, and the Bucks won 60 games that season. Antetokounmpo won his first of two MVPs and Middleton made the first of his two All-Star teams.
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The Milwaukee Bucks are down 2-0 once again this postseason, but can the Bucks find a way to rally against the Phoenix Suns as they did against the Brooklyn Nets?

And later, when Antetokounmpo was asked about his jovial mood amid the position Milwaukee finds itself in, he said that it's simply his way of processing what is happening, as opposed to letting the gravity of the situation -- playing in the NBA Finals for the first time and trailing 2-0 in the series -- weigh on him.Washington Wizards Face Coverings

Middleton can just give you buckets at opportune times, and when his heralded teammate has it going, sit on a 10-foot string to make himself open and available for kickouts when Antetokounmpo is doubled.Phoenix Suns Face Coverings

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If it is Simmons' unwillingness to shoot that worries Philadelphia, LaVine solves that problem and then some. Long considered a self-serving scorer, LaVine's production this season — a nightly 27-5-5 on 51/42/85 shooting splits to warrant his first All-Star selection — was undeniable, even to his detractors.

"These teams are experienced and they've spent a lot of time together," Lillard said. "We are still working at becoming a team."Miami Heat Face Coverings

Lopez: It feels like whoever wins Game 5 takes the series ... so I think I'll go with the Deer District and Bucks in 6.Denver Nuggets Face Coverings

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Check out the highlights that make Brady House a top prospect in this year's MLB draft.Oakland Athletics Face Masks

Leave it to Skip to make a terrible take with just a hint of truth sprinkled in.MLB Face Masks

In the winter before his junior season, Noah began to fill out. He was suddenly around 6-feet and 190 pounds. Like Owen, he worked at Hitters Baseball, and noticed scouts attending his games as he thrived at the plate and at shortstop alongside second baseman Brady Counsell, the son of former major-leaguer and now Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell.Washington Nationals Face Masks

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There weren’t any tears, so if you’re looking for that kind of emotion you’re looking in the wrong place. Freeman didn’t need those to get his emotion across, as he laid out all of the reasons the injury stinks for both the Braves and for the entire sport.Chicago Cubs Face Masks

“I hope that door is open, and more guys are given the opportunity to do that. But I could never do that.”

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And, in a pre-game ceremony, we also got a reminder of his status in the game, even as younger, dynamic stars such as Vladimir Guerrero, Jr., Fernando Tatis, Jr. and Shohei Ohtani dominated much of the talk around this Midsummer Classic.

For the fourth time since 2016, the Tigers have a top-10 pick in the draft, picking out of the No. 3 spot. The last time the Tigers selected a player No. 3 overall was Kyle Sleeth back in 2003.
It seems likely that the Blue Jackets are going to trade him given his contract situation (he is an unrestricted free agent after this season and does not seem willing to re-sign with the team) and the Blackhawks have been rumored to be interested.Baltimore Ravens for NHL Face Masks

Once again, Quest does its best work not with the action of today, but with the nostalgic charms of bygone teams. Nassau Coliseum was a character in this season's playoff drama, as the New York Islanders pushed all the way to a Game 7 in the last days of the old hockey barn. So it was lovely to spend some time with Denis Potvin, Islanders Hall of Famer, who spoke about the dynasty years and what it was like to win inside of Nassau -- which those teams did with frequency. Did the Islanders really skate out to "We are the Champions?" Because that's a baller move.Edmonton Oilers for NHL Face Masks

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ESPN: Are you ever worried that going with your gut too much, with a numbers-driven front office, could create a conflict?

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In a way last summer and inside the bubble, it felt like the Lightning were fortunate to have salvaged the one title, to have avoided having all the experience earned, and wonderful things done, being lost in vain due to a variety of circumstances. Still, the manner in which they won wasn't exactly ideal. Families were unable to attend and savour the moment due to the secure nature of the setting in which they won. Stamkos being unfit to perform beyond a handful of shifts was something that didn't sit right, either. Tennessee Titans for NHL Face Masks

So when new ownership came onboard this year, the thought was that it was time to move forward with some new branding.

What Flyers fans need to know about the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

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Stephen A: "If you are a star and you need an interpreter… that might have something to do with your inability to ingratiate yourself with that young demographic to attract them to a sport"
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The 22-year-old Toronto Blue Jays slugger became the youngest All-Star Game MVP in MLB history as the American League beat the National League 5-2 at Coors Field in Denver.Boston Red Sox Face Masks

The Yankees have been on a slide down the standings for a while. Their plight will be in the spotlight Thursday; Yankees-Red Sox is the only game on the schedule. It seems like the right play to take the Red Sox at +110, considering they've been the better team this season. But if you're going to get the best of the Yankees at any point this season, this weekend might be the time to start. 

Schoenfield: While Ohtani has certainly hit a few tape-measure shots this season, I'm going with Gallo as well. He hit a career-long 495-foot home run in 2018, and since 2017 he and Giancarlo Stanton are tied with 16 home runs of at least 450 feet. Now, factor in the Coors Field altitude and I'm going with a 529-foot blast.Cincinnati Reds Face Masks

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All-Star starters aren’t subject to the scrums of media day — instead they appear alongside their manager-for-a-day up on a dais. In a crisp white shirt with just the top button undone, Ohtani demurred. He was not even expecting to be chosen as a pitcher. A Japanese reporter told him that the country, still suffering through the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, awakes each morning to check his stats from the night before.Minnesota Twins Face Masks

First and foremost, Kuiper said, the Giants need to stay healthy and get healthy. They hit the break with several key players -- including Buster Posey, Evan Longoria and Brandon Belt -- on the IL, and one of the more serious injuries stands out to Kuiper. 

"Las Vegas is a viable alternative for a major league club, and there are other viable alternatives that I haven't turned the A's loose to even explore at this point," Manfred said during a Q&A session with members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America on the morning of the All-Star Game.Arizona Diamondbacks Face Masks

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Major League Baseball's 2021 first-year player draft starts on Sunday, July 10 as part of All-Star Weekend, with the first round scheduled for 7 p.m. ET. The draft continues with Rounds 2-10 on Monday afternoon and Rounds 11-20 at noon on Tuesday.Kansas City Royals Face Masks

It is a message that has been lost in all the legal shuffling and posturing that has occurred in the two weeks since a San Diego woman filed for a temporary restraining order against Bauer accompanied by a declaration filled with graphic photos, hospital records and gory details.

Multiple images spring to mind at the mention of former Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel. There's the violent recoil after he blows away an overmatched hitter. The weird falconer pose while taking signs. Maybe it's simply the striking red beard.

"I think the way that these guys are playing, heck yeah," Nen added. "It’s fun to watch, they play the game the right way, and I think they’re heading in the right direction."Minnesota Twins Face Masks

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He retired Tatis, Max Muncy and Arenado, a Colorado fan favorite, in order in the bottom half, throwing 10 of 14 pitches for strikes.Colorado Rockies Face Masks

"I just feel healthy this year," Walker said on his success this season. "Coming back last year, first year back from Tommy John and I throw really good. And then this year I just feel like I'm finally putting the pieces together.Tampa Bay Rays Face Masks

Later in the podcast, David Kaplan, Maddie Lee, Tim and Gordon discuss possible trade scenarios with the White Sox and the Hall of Fame candidacy of Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel.

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Tough calls: The biggest decision the Kings have to make is regarding format, as there was a case to go with eight skaters so they could keep a fourth defenseman, Kale Clague. Clague, 23, played in only 18 NHL games last season, but he has top-four upside, especially with what he can offer offensively. But the Kings have too many forwards to protect, especially with the recent addition of Arvidsson. Dustin Brown is one of the last remaining core players from the Stanley Cups, but at age 37 and with a $5.875 million cap, hit it's a soft risk to keep him exposed. It's a similar situation for veteran goaltender Jonathan Quick, who has a $5.8 million annual cap hit through 2022-23 -- the Kings have identified Petersen as their No. 1 goalie. Selecting the last forward is a difficult exercise for the Kings. On this list, Andersson just made the cut, though it wouldn't be shocking to see the Kings choose Carl Grundstrom or Andreas Athanasiou instead.
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9. Matt Dumba, Minnesota Wild. The Wild are going to have another expansion draft log-jam and they could definitely stand to clear some salary cap space, especially with Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala needing to be re-signed. Dumba is no stranger to the trade rumor mill and would be an intriguing target for a team in need of defense. In fact, any team thinking of adding Keith or Jones should probably start their search with Dumba instead.

If the price on Tarasenko is this low, the Bruins should definitely call and see how they could massage this deal. Maybe change the first-rounder to a different pick and DeBrusk, or trade the first and hold onto Frederic. As is, though, I ultimately wouldn’t make that deal.Winnipeg Jets for NHL Face Masks

Off the ice, Rinne has been involved in many charities, including the Pediatric Cancer Fund, which has raised more than $3 million, and was named a finalist for the 2021 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, an award that goes to the player who “best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community."St Louis Blues for NHL Face Masks

ESPN: It sounds like Francis and the front office are selecting this roster. That maybe you can give your input, but you're not sitting there with a back-of-the-napkin expansion list, and saying, "Hey, get me this guy."New York Jets for NHL Face Masks

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Pierre McGuire, former NBC hockey analyst, joins Senators front office

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It was a wild season in New York. It began with expectations from fans outgrowing reality. After being included in the 2020 bubble, the Rangers were supposed to take a step forward. Instead, they looked stagnant. Goaltending struggled early, and the defense was leaky. After a breakout 41-goal campaign in 2019-20, Mika Zibanejad had a slow start -- which he later surmised was an aftereffect of recovering from COVID-19.Toronto Maple Leafs for NHL Face Masks
The Phillies were unquestionably at a competitive disadvantage Sunday in Boston, one brought on by their failure to reach the 85 percent COVID vaccination threshold. MLB loosens restrictions for teams that reach that mark and 23 clubs already have.

Willie Ross was watching the game in a lower box when he noticed the female fan choking. Relying on his training in ER medicine, Ross hustled over to check on the fan, who was unable to talk. He helped dislodge the food that was trapped in the woman’s throat and was cheered by fans sitting nearby.Baltimore Orioles Face Masks

The Rays have emerged as the biggest threat to the Red Sox in the AL East. At 53-37, the Rays are just 1.5 games behind Boston at the break. Entering the year they had +2500 World Series odds. Now they are up to +1400, fourth-best in the American League.Milwaukee Brewers Face Masks

The Houston Astros are -140 favorites as they start the second half at the Chicago White Sox. The White Sox have the best record in the AL, but not by much and the Astros are huge favorites at Chicago to start the second half. This could be an ALCS preview. Miami Marlins Face Masks

While that mark could have them within striking distance of the New York Mets in the NL East, too bad Cleveland plays in the AL Central. Cleveland trails the Chicago White Sox by eight games in the division standings. With a rebuild coming at some point, it might serve them to sell high on a few marquee assets at the deadline. They have several key contributors who become available soon.Cincinnati Reds Face Masks

Not only is Bryant a big bat, but he’s a versatile defender, starting 10+ games at five positions this season — third and first base, and all three outfield spots. That only increases his market, if not the return the Cubs could get for him. 

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“It's not change, it's kind of restoration. That's why people are in favor of it. Front offices, in general, believe it will have a positive effect on the play of the game...I'm hopeful that we will have productive conversations with the MLBPA about non-radical changes to the game that will restore it to being played in a way that is closer to what many of us enjoy historically.”

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“After the fact, the word I most used most often to describe the entire process was fascinating,” said Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon, who was assistant GM to George McPhee during the expansion draft. “It was a fascinating process to be part of.”

The “problem” turned out to be that they were so good, so fast, that they never had an opportunity to follow step two (trade the assets) of the plan.Edmonton Oilers for NHL Face Masks

Pierre McGuire will be moving into a new role next season. On Monday, the Senators announced the hiring of the former NHL on NBC analyst as their Senior Vice President of Player Development.Denver Broncos for NHL Face Masks
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The Sabres thought they could be a playoff team, as suggested by their free-agency signings of Taylor Hall and Eric Staal.Seattle Kraken for NHL Face Masks

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Catch NHL games streaming live every night (and on replay) this season on ESPN+. Click here for the upcoming schedule and to learn how to subscribe.

One of only 13 defensemen in NHL history to win the Norris Trophy multiple times, Keith's top career highlight came in 2015 when he was unanimously voted the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as playoff MVP after recording three goals and 18 assists for 21 points in 23 games.Vegas Golden Knights for NHL Face Masks

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In his lawsuit, filed on May 7 in Cook County Circuit Court, the former player says Aldrich assaulted him, and that the team did nothing after he informed an employee. The suit also alleges Aldrich assaulted another unidentified Blackhawks player. The former player who sued and is seeking more than $150,000 in damages is referred in the document as "John Doe."
In late June, the Chicago Blackhawks were reportedly working on a trade that would send Keith to a team in the Pacific Northwest or western Canada.Winnipeg Jets for NHL Face Masks

At the other end was Tampa Bay, which spent 10 seasons mostly at the bottom of the standings with just one playoff berth. The Lightning are the defending back-to-back champions now, with three titles overall, but it took time and investment to finally get there.

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Keith is the latest member of Chicago’s three-time Cup-winning core to depart while the embattled Blackhawks attempt to rebuild their roster amid an investigation into sexual assault allegations from their 2010 championship run.Denver Broncos for NHL Face Masks

The building -- constructed under the original roof of the Seattle Center Coliseum -- will likely have a final price tag of more than $1 billion. Construction included supporting the 44 million-pound historic roof on temporary supports while dirt was dug out of the former bowl to create a massive increase in space to roughly 800,000 square feet.

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Serious Cup contender. The Panthers posted their best points percentage ever, and were tied for their best-ever goal differential in the 2021 season, despite playing in a brutal division. There's no reason to believe Florida can't build off of that, but the goal now is simple: make it past the first round of the playoffs, which the Panthers haven't been able to do since 1996.Seattle Kraken for NHL Face Masks
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Samsonov's sophomore season was rocky to say the least as his stats declined to a .902 save percentage and 2.69 GAA. There have also been some disciplinary issues, but when Samsonov was able to return from the NHL's COVID-related absence list in the playoffs, he put together some of his best performances. In those three games, he played like the No. 1 the team had always expected him to be.

"Look how many lives you've touched, Matiss. Look how many lives you've touched," Legace said. "Torts even flew in, and he hates goalies."Dallas Stars for NHL Face Masks