Buccaneers believe Jameis Winston’s problems due to immaturity

February 26, 2015 – 11:49 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Jameis Winston

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston performed very well at last week’s scouting combine, especially during the throwing sessions and in meetings with teams. The current thinking is that the quarterback-needy Tampa Bay Buccaneers will select Winston with the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Reports suggest the Bucs believe that Winston’s numerous off-field incidents can be chalked up to immaturity.

Apparently, Tampa Bay’s brass currently feels that Winston isn’t a bad kid, he’s just young and stupid. The Bucs seem willing to stake their future on the 2013 Heisman Trophy winner because they think he will grow up and become a great leader. I’m not sure I agree with that assessment, but it is certainly a possibility.

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A glass half-full look at Chicago’s terrible sports day

February 26, 2015 – 12:25 am by Hickey

Derrick Rose

Maybe there was an alien abduction. Maybe I’m finally maturing into a rational adult. Or maybe the reality simply hasn’t hit me yet. But for whatever reason, I’m still not freaking out over the major injuries suffered by the two faces of Chicago’s winter franchises on the same night. If anything, the loss of Derrick Rose and Patrick Kane has made me thankful for the few good things that have occurred in the history of Chicago sports.

Yes, Rose is facing his third straight season-ending knee injury. His absence makes it virtually impossible for the Bulls to compete for the NBA title, though his teammates have grown accustomed enough to playing without him that the team will still likely reach the second round of the playoffs and could possibly even sneak all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals if everything falls the right way.

But it could be worse. Perpetually injured stars mark the entire existence of the Portland Trail Blazers. Bill Walton’s injuries prevented Portland from turning its 1977 title into a dynasty. Brandon Roy, a point guard with a career path very similar to that of Rose, had to retire early because of chronic injuries. Greg Oden, rightfully picked first over Kevin Durant based on what we knew at the time, ended up being made out of porcelain. And then there’s the 1984 NBA Draft.

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Jurickson Profar: Former top prospect to miss season again

February 23, 2015 – 5:09 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Jurickson Profar

The Texas Rangers once looked like a team with an absolutely stocked farm system and the jewel of that system was Curacaoan middle infielder Jurickson Profar. Well, two years later Profar looks like a guy who just can’t catch a break, as he is now set to miss his second season in a row.

On Monday it was announced that Profar had a torn labrum in his right shoulder and would miss the 2015 season. The recovery for that procedure should take at least nine months. Profar was expected to take over the starting second base job for the Rangers in 2014, but a shoulder injury forced him out for the season. Now he’s out thanks to another shoulder issue.

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Video: Humberto Savigne suffers brutal knockout

February 21, 2015 – 3:44 am by Ryan Phillips
    Humberto Savigne Craig Baker

While most of the boxing world was focused on the announcement that Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have finally agreed to fight, Showtime put on a boxing even Friday night. And boy, did fans watching get their money’s worth.

Undefeated light heavyweight Craig Baker (16-0, 12 KOs) was facing Cuban veteran Humberto Savigne (12-2, nine KOs) and was the underdog in the fight. But Baker walked out with a win thanks to a brutal second-round knockout.

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San Diego Chargers re-sign King Dunlap to four-year deal

February 20, 2015 – 11:16 pm by Ryan Phillips
    King Dunlap

While they were busy making headlines for their potential move to Los Angeles, the San Diego Chargers also made a move to solidify the team they will put on the field in 2015. On Friday the Chargers agreed to a four-year, $28 million contract with massive left tackle King Dunlap, who was scheduled to become a free agent.

Dunlap started all 16 games as Philip Rivers’ blindside protector in 2014 and had what many around the team thought was a Pro Bowl-worthy year. The 6-9, 330-pounder has always been a road-grader in the run game, but his rapid improvement as a pass blocker took many around the league by surprise last season. Rivers was one of Dunlap’s most vocal supporters, which has to be a big reason the Chargers made him their first priority this offseason.

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Rangers sign Rougned Odor’s brother, Rougned Odor

February 19, 2015 – 9:19 pm by Hickey

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Oakland Coliseum is known for raw sewage backing up into its dugouts, but the strangest Odor in the American League West this year emanates from Texas.

On Thursday, the Texas Rangers announced that they have signed the younger brother of second baseman Rougned Odor… Rougned Odor. That’s right, the Odor Brothers have the same first name.

The elder Odor, who already gives the Padres’ Jedd Gyorko a run for his money as “Major League Player who can most easily be confused for a Star Wars character,” made his debut for Texas last season. The 20-year-old second baseman from Venezuela hit .259 with nine home runs in his rookie campaign, and apparently his father goes by George Foreman’s naming conventions.

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Report: Five teams willing to offer $70 million to Hector Olivera

February 17, 2015 – 10:07 pm by Ryan Phillips
    Hector Olivera

Cuban players are coming to Major League Baseball in increasing numbers and the latest crop has a few gems in it. Infielders Hector Olivera and Yoan Moncada are both set to sign soon and on Tuesday we got an idea how highly thought of Olivera is.

Peter Gammons is reporting that at least five teams are willing to bid more than $70 million on the 29-year-old Olivera. While he hasn’t officially been declared a free agent yet by Major League Baseball, that is expected to happen shortly. Because Olivera is 29, he will be signed to a major-league contract and not as a prospect, and the team signing him will not face tax penalties under the baseball’s international signing rules.

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SNL Reunion outdraws NBA All-Star Game

February 16, 2015 – 7:01 pm by Hickey

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Even when he’s the All-Star Game MVP, Russell Westbrook is playing second fiddle to a bigger star. Or in this case, multiple stars.

The NBA All-Star Game typically doesn’t have much in the form of entertaining competition for TV viewers, sports or otherwise, being that it takes place in the middle of February and all anyone ever wants in February is for the month to be done with because the best thing on TV is the NBA All-Star Game. (Olympic years provide an exception to this rule, though anti-curling forces will claim that the Winter Games are boring).

Alas, on Sunday night NBC was able to provide alternate programming that gave the All-Star Game a run for its money and then some — from the very same city from which the game was being played. Like a move you’d expect to see from J.R. Smith, Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary Special pulled the shorts off the All-Star Game in the Nielsen ratings.

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