Twins reliever Ryan O’Rourke gets sick before almost every appearance


Ryan O’Rourke has made 54 appearances out of the Twins’ bullpen the past two seasons, and almost all had a common denominator — he got sick before each appearance.

The 28-year-old left-hander told TwinCities.com he always finds a private spot to do his business.

“I don’t do it in the public’s eye,” O’Rourke said. “I go in the bathroom, or sometimes it’s just on the back of the mound. But, yeah, it happens.”

O’Rourke says he’s been like this since his college days. While in the minors, he says the grounds crew would even wait with a new bag by the bullpen trash can before his appearances.

“It just happens,” O’Rourke said. “I’m pretty pumped up out there. I think everything is culminating as I’m getting ready for my big moment, whether it’s energy or what. I like the competitive aspect. I think this is just a way for me to release a little bit of my nerves.”

In his second big-league season last year, O’Rourke gave many opposing batters the jitters, averaging 8.6 Ks per 9 innings, with a 3.96 ERA and 1.12 WHIP.

For Leiter, who participated in the inaugural WBC, the solution is similar to that of any fractured locker room in any sport. There’s a simple remedy for some American fans’ seeming indifference to the WBC: winning.

“You’ll get more interest if we can get to the finals,” Leiter said. “We’ll see if their success will translate to more people watching.”

The United States’ highest finish in the WBC is Cheap Jerseys America fourth in 2009, so it’s easy to see why fans in this country might not care. Why tune in for an event your team has no hope of winning? Clearly, though, the rest of the world takes the tournament seriously. International TV ratings are through the roof after just three cycles.

Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes will try to end sad streak of QBs teams traded up for in the NFL draft


The Texans and Chiefs are just two of 10 teams who have traded a future first-round pick to draft a quarterback. Both Houston and Kansas City will hope that Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes will turn out better than the other quarterbacks in this scenario.

It all goes back to perhaps the most infamous quarterback on this list, Ryan Leaf. Much like the San Francisco 49ers did this year for Mitchell Trubisky, the Chargers traded up from No. 3 to No. 2 to select Leaf.

Leaf was a disaster. He played in just 21 games over three seasons for the Chargers and threw 13 touchdowns against 33 interceptions.

The other names on this list aren’t terribly inspiring, either. Kyle Boller played out his rookie contract with the Ravens, but never developed into a starter worthy of two Detroit Tigers Cheap Jerseys first-round picks. J.P. Losman started 16 games for the Bills just once, in 2006, and he threw 19 touchdowns, 14 interceptions, and fumbled the ball away 13 times.

Awuzie wasn’t an unbeatable cover corner, but his strengths fit CU’s. Playing in the Pac-12 meant facing three- and four-wide spread offenses, and Awuzie’s ability to double as a cover man and a tackler was critical.

The Buffs had one of the most active secondaries in the sport, so Awuzie had to lurk near the line of scrimmage. He and his fellow DBs got pretty good there, closing on the ball quickly and blowing up safe-gainers.

Kyrie Irving is his best self in the NBA playoffs, says Cavs GM


He reduces defenders to ash with his supreme handle before getting to the rim where he’s one of the league’s best finishers. He shoots 40.5 percent from three, stabilizing a Cleveland Cavaliers team built on pelting teams from distance.

And he’s hit big shot after big shot to help lead Cleveland to its anticipated third straight NBA Finals appearance, which includes a championship ring after his ice-cold shot in last year’s deciding game.

Plain and simple, Irving is big time, and Cavs general manager David Griffin knows. He confirmed as much in an interview with Fear the Sword, where he spoke about his All-Star point guard’s development from a one-and-done at Duke to linchpin of Cleveland’s championship aspirations.

After all, Irving only played 11 college games before a right toe injury cut his season short. He was never on the court at Duke to deliver the big shots NBA fans have grown accustomed to seeing. That development took place in his early years in the league.

His play style really is sort of linebacker-ish. During a four-year Vintage MLB Jerseys Cheap run at Colorado, Awuzie played outside cornerback, nickelback, and safety. He never became an interception master (he had three in four years), but he knocked down a bunch of passes and made a bunch of tackles.

“Learning defenses, being able to prepare for other teams, and really understanding the game and understanding what everybody else is doing, I think that separates me,” he Soccer Cheap Jerseys said. “My instincts, my cerebral-ness as a football player.”

Mike Conley is as important to the Grizzlies as Russell Westbrook is to the Thunder


You might think no team this postseason could rely as heavily on their star point guard as much as the Oklahoma City Thunder relied on Russell Westbrook, but think again. In Memphis, the exact same thing is happening when Mike Conley leaves the floor.

In 66 minutes when Conley hasn’t played against San Antonio, the Grizzlies have been outscored by 60 points. Whenever he leaves the floor, they hemorrhage points and completely fall apart. Here are the two players compared, for reference.

So where do the Nationals go now? For the time being, they’ve got Michael Taylor in center field, who isn’t nearly as fearsome as Eaton is with the bat or the glove. They could also shuffle their other players around a little bit: Harper could play some center and so could Trea Turner, who spent the 2016 season in that spot. But there won’t be a perfect replacement, of course, because what the Chicago Blackhawks Cheap Jerseys Nationals want is Eaton back. But they’re in a better place than most teams: Their core is solid enough to withstand this kind of loss. At least until they get their hands on a time machine. Then they’ll get Eaton back, and no one will remember any of this ever happened.

Cody Bellinger hit his first-ever major league home run last night and followed that up with his second one later in the game, so it’s a good time to read Grant Brisbee’s article on Bellinger’s potential.

Bellinger’s second home run was part of a three-homer comeback that tied the Dodgers and the Phillies in the ninth inning last night, and who doesn’t like watching three homers hit essentially together?

Chris Paul is still the Point God


Chris Paul is still the most well-rounded, technically sound and excellent point guard. He proved it again on Friday as the Clippers beat the Jazz 111-106 in Salt Lake City.

The Bucks have made a clear statement that they should be feared. Even if they somehow seize up and fall apart in a series loss, something nobody is predicting at this point, consider how damn young they are. We see teams rise and fall out of the Eastern Conference constantly — remember how the Knicks were good for a season, and only that? Remember the Indiana dynasties that fell obsolete so, so quickly? Now, Milwaukee might be doing the same thing to Toronto, who has run in the top of the East for a few seasons now. The Bucks, unlike any of those teams mentioned before, are built to last long into the future.

They have Antetokounmpo, who is 22 years old. They have the emerging Maker, who looks like another score for them. All around them are more young faces, and while this team isn’t near their final form, they have time to develop into that. Antetokounmpo, especially, has no ceiling on how high he can soar. Will he be the league’s best player in five years? There’s honestly a good chance.

But the Bucks don’t need to worry about the future, because right now, they’re here in the present and beating up a team that some called a dark horse finals NBA Jerseys For Sale squad. So far, so good.

Please fear the deer. What started as a catchy slogan has now become a public service announcement. After watching the fate that befell Toronto on Thursday, we really just Orioles Cheap Jerseys don’t want to see anyone else get hurt.

Capitals vs. Penguins 2017 live stream: Game time, TV schedule, and how to watch NHL playoffs online


The Washington Capitals may not actually have their backs against the wall. But they’ll probably enter Game 3 feeling like it.

Washington heads to the Steel City on Monday for Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. The Pittsburgh Penguins are fresh off a 6-2 rout in Game 2 on Saturday that gave them a 2-0 series lead.

The loss was a demoralizing one for the Capitals. Elite goalie Braden Holtby got pulled for backup Philipp Grubauer after his worst start of the playoffs. Holtby is 4-4-0 with an unimpressive .911 save percentage in seven playoff starts this season. Prized players like Kevin Shattenkirk also had terrible performances. The Capitals held a closed-door meeting after Game 2.

They’ll need to figure out how to stop Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and their Paypal Cheap Jerseys forward cohorts. Kessel scored twice in Game 2, and Crosby has four points in the first two games of the series.

Launch angles or exit velocity, probably. I don’t even know how to analyze Best Cheap Jerseys From China this stupid sport anymore. It’s passed me by.

Except this explanation might be a little more simple: Sometimes young players learn the game better as they gain more experience. I jumped the gun last year with this headline …

DeShone Kizer will probably be Browns’ starting QB in 2017


An uneven, losing season at Notre Dame did little to dampen the Cleveland Browns’ enthusiasm for DeShone Kizer. The Browns drafted the two-year starter with the 52nd overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, hoping he can become their franchise quarterback.

Kizer’s draft stock fluctuated this spring. His performance in the NFL Draft Combine’s athletic drills was underwhelming, but then then he somewhat redeemed himself by showcasing a powerful and accurate arm when asked to throw in front of scouts. His workout at Notre Dame’s pro day was more of the same — questionable measurables, but the ability to throw the hell out of a football.

One thing that’s not in question? His sense of style. Kizer donned a gorgeous, lavender-Sasquatch suit on Thursday night, supporting the Andrew Weishar Foundation in the process.

Salata, 90, was a 10th round pick in the 1951 NFL Draft, a time when 30 rounds existed. But even though he wasn’t a last pick, he’s changed the way the selection is viewed and even forced the NFL Cheap Authentic MLB Jerseys to change a rule.

The amount of publicity Irrelevant Week generated in the first few years after it was Cheap Euro Jerseys created led the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers to actually battle over the selection in 1980.

Los Angeles was slated to pick 332nd, but intentionally passed to allow Pittsburgh to pick and hand the Rams the 333rd and final pick. But the Steelers didn’t want it. So a stand-off ensued until Pete Rozelle forced the Rams to pick and instituted a rule, commonly known as the “Salata Rule,” that mandated the team awarded the final pick is the one to use it.