The NFLPA also released a statement on Kaepernick

Our union has a duty to assist Mr. Kaepernick as we do all players and we will support him.

The NFLPA has been in regular contact with Mr. Kaepernick’s representatives for the past year about his options and our union agreed to follow the direction of his advisors throughout that time.

We first learned through media reports today that Mr. Kaepernick filed a grievance claiming collusion through our arbitration system and is represented by his own counsel. We learned that the NFL was informed of his intention to file this grievance before today.

He’s second on the Bears in rushing yards (181), and he’s second on the team in receiving yards (150). He leads the Bears in both targets (29), and in receptions (24). He’s eighth in the league, and first among all rookies, in catches. Cohen is also Chicago’s primary punt returner.

He’s been used in the slot, on the wing, split out wide, and at running back. He’s the most electric playmaker that the Bears have had since Devin Hester.

Despite falling into the fourth round of this year’s draft, Lawson has easily been one of the best defensive rookies across the NFL.

That gave Manning just under three minutes to lead a game-winning two-minute drill; instead, his interception with 48 seconds to go doomed New York to an 0-5 start — and kept him winless against the team for whom he refused to play.

The Spurs have won 128 regular-season games since Aldridge joined the team, which is the best two-year span in the franchise’s history. The second-best mark came the two years prior to Aldridge’s arrival, when the team won 122 games.

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College World Series 2017 scores and bracket: LSU upends Florida State out of Omaha

The Beach still trailed in the bottom of the ninth, but mustachioed leadoff hitter Brock Lundquist cracked a beauty of a double to left center to get the buildup going. Designated hitter Luke Rasmussen then popped up in the infield for the first out, followed by an Alex Muzzi dribbler to second for the next out. David Banuelos then struck out swinging and Fullerton punched its ticket to Omaha.

Just fives games separate first place and last place in the division, and while they aren’t the only one where things are that close-ish the Blue Jays are in last place in the AL East and six back, and the Pirates are 5.5 back in the NL Central the AL Central is where things seem the weirdest. The Jays, at 29-31, would be ahead of the Royals and White Sox. And the Pirates at least have the excuse of having a series of terrible things happen to them that put them in this situation.

The White Sox were supposed to be bad, and there was a high chance of the Royals being even worse, and yet, they’re both oddly close to the division leader. It’s only June, of course, so these sorts of things can clear up in a hurry. The Indians are about to face the White Sox, even, so we could see some separation in two directions after that series concludes. As of right now, though, the AL Central is a mess, and things are close enough that it could be anyone’s division.

Maybe if we’re lucky, the AL Central will give us what the 1994 strike robbed us of: a division winner with a record under .500. Come on, Twins and Indians and Tigers: you can all just be a little bit worse, for history’s sake.

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Al Riveron stands by call to reverse Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ TD catch

Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, said Monday it was clear and obvious to overturn New York Jets tight end’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins’ touchdown catch in the fourth quarter Sunday against the New England Patriots.

You have to get the ball out of Joe Flacco’s hands and let the defense and special teams take over (The only other Ravens touchdown today came from a kickoff return).

The Ravens convert the two-point attempt to tie the game, and the Bears have 1:30 to take the lead back. With the game on the line, Mitchell Trubisky leads … a three-and-out. Once again, we get an extra period of ham-fisted ding-dongs flailing at each other instead of sending them home with the tie they deserve. BAN OVERTIME.

As the Packers lose in Minnesota, the news gets even worse: Rodgers has broken his right collarbone, just like my daughter earlier this season. She healed completely in four weeks, but Rodgers, being a slightly lesser athlete, may be done for the season. We go now to race for the NFC North division title:

In Jacksonville, it’s Jags 14, Rams 10 barely eight minutes into the game. I’m gonna need this game to come down off PCP.

The Lions have a disastrous muffed punt that nearly goes for a safety. Instead, they start a drive at their own one-yard line, and Matt Stafford promptly gets picked by Cam Robinson for the insta-six. It looks nearly identical to the play that brought them within a score. Now it’s 52-38, and while the score isn’t THAT surprising, these teams combining for FOUR defensive touchdowns certainly is.

With the early games finally done, I’d like to celebrate the rarest of RedZone occasions: A good slate of late games! Chargers-Raiders is a great rivalry game despite the two teams’ records, Steelers-Chiefs is a battle of AFC heavyweights, and Rams-Jaguars is high on bath salts and running loose through the swamp.

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NCAA baseball tournament 2017 scores and bracket: Texas A&M and Davidson set super regional record

The first day of super regional action of the 2017 NCAA baseball tournament has begun, and the Louisville and College Station supers promise to provide some outstanding baseball drama over the weekend.

It’s nigh impossible to tell whether the ball strikes the yellow — which it clearly does — further to the left or right of the left edge of the stripe. Whatever the case, this hit should probably have been ruled a fair ball — good for, let’s say, a double. It was ruled foul on the field.

College baseball fairly recently installed rules of video replay assist, and fair and foul calls are absolutely reviewable plays. On a too-close-to-call play without any real conclusive proof in real time, this play should have been reviewed immediately. Furthermore, either the umpires or coaches can initiate a video review, which does not take place on-site. So if the umping crew didn’t call for a review, why didn’t Oregon State skipper Pat Casey? According to NOLA.com’s Ron Higgins, Casey said afterward:

Uh, yeah. Why Casey didn’t ask to stop for a review in such a high-stakes moment — Kwan’s is a big bat and he had runners at first and second — is inexplicable. Perhaps he didn’t see the ball’s flight path clear enough to raise a stink about it. Whatever the case, he most certainly should have asked for play to stop right there.

The controversy spun out onto the internet — above the fray of the field of play — so that the NCAA issued a statement regarding the policies in question in such an event as this.

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College football being played in Major League Baseball stadiums is a more recent trend we’ve been seeing over the years.

Kennesaw State, led by head coach Brian Bohannon, has only been around for two seasons in the FCS’ Big South conference. In 2015, the Owls went 6-5 in their inaugural season, and they went 8-3 last season and was just one win shy of a Big South Conference title. Jacksonville State, under John Grass, has gone 33-6 over the last three seasons and has successfully reached the FCS Playoffs each year.

College football being played in Major League Baseball stadiums is a more recent trend we’ve been seeing over the years. Three bowl games are played in them, including the Arizona’s Cactus, New York’s Pinstripe, and the St. Petersburg bowls. In 2010, Illinois and Northwestern played in Chicago’s Wrigley Field, the dimensions of which caused both teams to use just one end zone, which was a bit awkward.

Wednesday’s game gives us Rick Porcello and CC Sabathia, the former mostly recovered from his rough start and Sabathia once again looking like he’s still a capable arm even at 36. Finally, Thursday gives us David Price vs. Michael Pineda, which should be a significant test for both given Price’s elbow and Pineda’s consistency issues.

Like it or not, you probably have to get used to both of these teams playing important games again, especially given how young and productive the lineups for both clubs are. The Baby Boomers are rightfully getting a whole lot of attention, especially with Aaron Judge’s monster season, but don’t forget that Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, and Andrew Benintendi are all younger than he is: All this youth might be what reignites this rivalry, as neither team are seemingly going away anytime soon.

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Minor league baseball game settles ‘Star Wars’ vs. ‘Star Trek’ with a dance battle

The best way to settle Star Wars vs. Star Trek is to have a massive three-hour film featuring characters from both franchises battling it out for sci-fi supremacy. That will probably never happen. So the second-best way to settle Star Wars vs. Star Trek is at a minor league baseball game.

The Fresno Grizzlies, Triple-A affiliate of the Astros, had Star Wars night on Saturday, giving everyone free rein to dress up as their favorite Jedi, Stormtrooper, Sith Lord, or whatever the hell Yoda is. It was supposed to be a good time, until people dressed up in Star Trek costumes walked in, so they confronted each other while Ennio Morricone’s theme from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly played. (You know what, we’re already mixing franchises; we might as well add western movie theme music.)

But fans are affected, too, and the truest test of one’s dedication to the cause is one’s willingness to sit out getting shat on by rain for hours on end, just to witness a potential advancement to the College World Series.

Some might describe this as cavalier folly. Others might cite the Gators’ dramatic walkoff victory on Saturday night again, after a four-hour rain delay as factual evidence that the end of this game bears witnessing. Wherever you land on these fans’ collective decision to stick it out, one thing is indisputable: they’re getting absolutely drenched on purpose.

I used Baseball-Reference to search for shortstops from the last 20 years, and I used their quick-‘n’-dirty guide on what WAR totals usually mean, which is this:

The Yankees have enjoyed, at a minimum, starting-caliber seasons from their shortstop in 17 of the past 20 seasons. This is not a surprise. Derek Jeter had 15 of those seasons, And Didi Gregorius had two. There have not been a lot of seasons in which the Yankees have wondered what they were going to do about their shortstop.

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It’s probably the fault of the other teams with affiliates in the FSL for not thinking of this first

Judge has done his part for the Yankees in the same regard, as his on-base and slugging percentages both lead the AL, and New York finds itself a half game up on the Red Sox. Judge might even be having the top season in the AL, given Mike Trout’s inherent head start on everyone else in the game has been interrupted by his extended stint on the disabled list.

It would be fascinating and worthy of our attention if these two were on the dirt worst teams in MLB and putting up these kinds of numbers. But having them on teams that look like they should be competitive throughout the year, on classic franchises that seem to just be adding to their history of successful, homegrown stars? That adds another few layers, even if fans of Yankees and Dodgers rivals aren’t necessarily going to appreciate them the same way.

Fair enough. It’s probably the fault of the other teams with affiliates in the FSL for not thinking of this first, really.

With the promotion, you’ll get more articles like the one from the AP. There will be some positives. Glimmers will be shown. Seeds of hope will be planted. Mistakes will be made, but mistakes will not make the headlines.

And there might be some 2-for-13 stretches with strikeouts mixed in, but that’s just a technical quibble.

How brilliant: Wouldn’t you love to be sponsored by something you love? Syndergaard, who adores Cholula, gets as much free Cholula as he wants! The guy has it made in the hot sauce department, and the hot sauce department is clearly a place he enjoys spending time.

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Oregon State hit 1st grand slam in TD Ameritrade Park’s 6-year history

LSU and Oregon State went in for one of the more intriguing Omaha matchups of the College World Series’ opening weekend, and the Beavers have blasted out of the gates to stonewall the notoriously big bad Tigers. Things began slowly enough, with Oregon State crossing a single run in the top of the first to pull out a tenuous 1-0 lead, but the Beavs have pounced on LSU in the middle innings.

In the top of the fifth, LSU completely forgot how to play baseball, committing two heinous errors in the frame to plate three Oregon State runners, and in the process granting every ounce of momentum to the Beavs. Things are not going well for the Tigers, to say the least.

The Rockies slipped in the standings, sure, but they still possess a postseason spot, and the Cubs only managed to gain one game in the process, one that will likely end up as their best chance to gain ground.

The gap has closed a little bit for the non-Cubs teams the Pirates were previously the next-closest after Chicago at 11 games back, but now it’s the Braves at eight games back. Do you think the Braves are going to end up winning a wild card spot in a rebuilding year when they’re already eight back? Probably not! Cheer up, Rockies fans: your team is still in a great place.

It also helps that Colorado won six games in a row before dropping eight, so over their last 14, they’ve been pretty close to .500, and are 14-11 overall in the month of June. It’s disappointing that the Rockies weren’t able to build on their 14-3 start to June, sure, but they’re still in a great place as the month nears its close, and taking their next series will turn that narrative right around again.

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Hero umpire helps prevent woman from jumping off bridge before working Pirates-Rays game

Major League Baseball umpires have one of the toughest jobs in the sport. They never have a home game, and no fans come to the stadium to cheer them on. Maybe that should change, thanks an umpire like John Tumpane.

Tumpane was in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, in town to work the series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Tampa Bay Rays. He spotted a woman climbing over the railing on the Roberto Clemente Bridge near PNC Park.

Zack Hess spelled Lange in the eighth, and he needed just 23 pitches to work his way out of the last five outs. The big boy pitcher currently sports the Wild Thing haircut shave from the Major League franchise on the back of his head, and he dealt absolute heat to strike out the day’s final batter.

That’s a big time celebration for the hurler, and synecdoche for LSU on a grander scale, insofar as they were crushed by 12 runs just days previous. Skipper Paul Mainieri was asked about Hess’ personality after the big win, and, well:

The Tigers and Beavers will meet to decide one of the College World Series’ final two teams on Saturday, time to be announced.

Zack Hess has kindly agreed via tweet not to strangle his day’s starter after such a masterful performance despite Lange calling him gross on Twitter what with Lange holding the Beavs down to just one run in the victory. Thank you, Zack Wild Thing Hess, you’re the best.

Dear Lange, Great job today on the 30th Win. And thank you for the compliment. Now I won’t strangle you in your sleep. With love, Hess ??

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You should be keeping an eye on the Diamondbacks this year

Earlier this week, we implored you to start paying attention to the Colorado Rockies. All the reasons you need to do so are in that article. But there’s another team in the NL West that you need to start paying attention to. In fact, the entire National League only has five teams with a winning record right now – three of them are in the NL West, and one of those teams just happens to be the Arizona Diamondbacks.

If this feels a little like shuffling deck chairs, that’s because it is. Changes to the coaching staff is the last thing a team can try before just firing its manager. And Mozeliak essentially said that the future is in manager Mike Matheny’s hands. He gave a four-to-six-week timeline for improvement and didn’t give any assurances to Matheny that his job was safe in the future. The only vote of confidence? Mozeliak said I want him to feel confident we trust him to do his job, but we need to do better. Yikes.

It’s not like there’s no hope for the Cardinals. They may be fourth in the division, but they’re just 4 1/2 games out of first place. They’re behind the Reds, who are supposed to be deep into their rebuild. And the Brewers are at the top of the NL Central, somehow. There are still a lot of games left to play, and that division is going to change a lot over the next three-plus months. This team may not be the best one the Cardinals have fielded in the past decade, but there’s still time for them to figure it out. And time for Matheny to save his job.

Charlotte Wilder found out that Noah Syndergaard loves hot sauce a lot. Like, a whole lot. Really, really, really a lot. And also: A hot dog is not a sandwich. Noah says so.

The super regionals for the 2017 NCAA baseball tournament started yesterday, and that means we’re even closer to the exciting College World Series.

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