Adrian Beltre injury update: Rangers 3B only weeks away from return

It was good news for the Rangers on Tuesday ’ even better than their seventh consecutive victory, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram ’ that third baseman Adrian Beltre took a significant step by jogging on the field as he continues his recovery from a strained right calf.

It marked the first time he had run on solid ground, albeit at 50 percent effort, since he injured the calf April 8.

He was also with girlfriend Jennifer Lopez in Manhattan later that night, the Daily News reported, maybe around the time Jeter was being feted by the Yankees.

I watched the whole (ceremony). I put out a (social media) post, Rodriguez said, per the Daily News.

Rodriguez is in Kansas City this week for the Yankees-Royals series (he’ll be the color analyst for Fox Sports 1 telecast of Thursday’s game), so of course the small army of media covering the Bombers wanted the inside scoop. His choices, if he wanted to answer directly: Say he was a no-show, or say Jeter/the Yankees didn’t want him around. That’s tabloid gold either way.

He chose diplomacy instead. Smart move by him, but it doesn’t answer the eternal question: Do A-Rod and Jeter still dislike each other? Jeter reportedly was angry about having to do a joint interview with Rodriguez on CNBC recently, but of course Jeter isn’t going to volunteer that information. A-Rod, it appears, won’t go there either.

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John Elway is not losing his job

There may be consequences and repercussions from the public. But it’s been a day since Elway’s letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of his friend and big Denver Broncos fan Neil Gorsuch went public. The strongest reaction to it from anybody in any position of power has been to carefully point out that it’s really, honestly, seriously, not official team stationary on which he wrote.

Split that hair all you want, but that’s all the splitting there is on this.

John Elway is not losing his job. The NFL is not turning its back on him. It is not feeding the notion that today, despite everything Elway has ever done as team president (never mind as a player), he actually stinks at what he does ’ always has, always will, and he might as well get used to it, because he’s finished in this game. That will teach him to keep his political opinions to himself.

Stick to sports. Keep politics and sports separate. Period. End of story. And if you have a problem with that, end of career.

But there’s a caveat.

I surely did not deserve to be just wiped off the map after the first-year ballot,’ Stieb said. It’s like, please, amuse me and string me out for two, three years.

Hall of Fame voting can be brutal in this regard, with numerous fine one-and-done candidates from Stieb to Bobby Grich to Ted Simmons and many others.

It’s like an insult,’ Stieb said. What it told me was in (the writers’) minds, I didn’t even do anything worth recognizing.’

There’s good news for Stieb, though. This fall, he’ll be eligible for the first time as a veterans candidate on the Modern Baseball Committee ballot. Is Stieb about to be wiped off the map once more, or could delayed recognition come?

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Derek Jeter celebration is certainly deserved, but plenty premature

ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball crew must have been overjoyed that the Astros took an 8-0 lead on the Yankees after two innings Sunday night, because then it had even more reason to empty the Derek Jeter vault.

Ah, who are we kidding? Even if the game were 1-1 after seven, we still would have been clubbed over the head with all things No. 2 on the night the Yankees retired his number. We still would have gotten an in-the-booth interview with the Captain. We still would have gotten a collection of greatest hits/plays/vanilla quotes. We still would have gotten the climax to the breathless dawn-to-dark coverage.

We still would have gotten the hagiography that was put together about three years too early.

Gwynn led the league in at-bats per strikeout 10 times, including 1995, when he struck out once every 35.7 at-bats.

He would’ve had a string of 16 consecutive All-Star seasons, if not for the 1988 campaign when he was limited to 133 games. But he still won the batting title that year, hitting .313.

Perhaps the most impressive of Gwynn’s statistics were his numbers against one of the all-time greats. He faced Hall of Famer Greg Maddux arguably the greatest pitcher of the era 107 times. Maddux made even the best hitters look foolish. Gwynn hit .415 against him and never struck out.

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Braves’ Sean Rodriguez, family involved in Miami car wreck

Braves infielder Sean Rodriguez and his family were in an SUV that was struck by a stolen police cruiser Saturday afternoon in Miami, police said.

The Braves confirmed Sunday that Rodriguez, his wife Giselle and their two young children were inside a Chevrolet Suburban that was T-boned by the cruiser in West Miami around 1:45 p.m. Saturday. Miami-Dade police said the man who stole the vehicle died in the crash.

The cruiser was engulfed in flames during the wreck, police said.

Rodriguez, a Miami native, signed with the Braves this offseason.

The 31-year-old has played for three teams over nine MLB seasons.

Instead of staying at a hotel in Center City as it would normally do, the team has taken up residence across the border in Wilmington, Del., because the NFL has booked all the fanciest rooms in Philadelphia proper, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The Marlins, who were in Seattle and San Diego before here, have to stay in Wilmington, Del., because the NFL booked all rooms in Philly.

There is a precedent for the unusual move. When rain interrupted Game 5 of the 2008 World Series, the Tampa Bay Rays were forced to vacate their hotel in Philadelphia and ended up at the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington.

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Raiders’ Amari Cooper thanks mom with new car, house

Amari Cooper is putting his comfortable NFL salary to good use.

The Raiders’ third-year wide receiver thanked his mother, Michelle Greene, for her years of sacrifice and dedication throughout his playing years by gifting her with a new car and house.

I grew up in the projects, we didn’t even own a car, the photo caption reads. The whole story is way too long and melancholic, but just know a dream can go a long way if it’s followed by faith and hard work. It took us 20+ years but now my mother has the house and car of her dreams. You deserve it mama, I love you.

Cooper was selected by Oakland with the No. 4 pick in the 2015 NFL Draft and went on to earn consecutive Pro Bowl selections in his first two seasons.

Kaepernick’s wait for employment has been well-chronicled and Griffin’s less so, but either would provide a veteran hand behind the durable Wilson, who has never missed a game in his five-year NFL career.

Rookie Trevone Boykin was Wilson’s backup last year after signing as an undrafted free agent and ended up seeing action in five games. He was arrested twice in the span of just over a week earlier this spring, first on March 27 for public intoxication and marijuana possession and later because that arrest was a violation of his probation from a December 2015 incident while he was at TCU.

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Derek Carr’s random act of kindness might have converted 49ers fan

Here’s another chapter for the Derek-Carr-is-a-good-dude chronicles.

The 25-year-old Raiders quarterback on Tuesday was driving in Dublin, Calif., a Bay Area suburb, when he noticed a man whose car was pulled to the side of the road. The man, Ron Reeser, had run out of gas.

Carr, who in January was credited with a Twitter assist in finding a missing Oakland child, pulled over to make sure Reeser was OK. Carr of course offered Reeser a ride to the gas station.

I understand that is a big comparison, but I remember Derek when he was young. He grew into that leadership role but that was Derek. Derek loved to have fun, loved to laugh and loved to play the game.

Obviously there are a lot of differences between the 6-7, 282-pound Judge and the future Hall of Fame shortstop, who was approaching his third of five World Series rings with the Yankees by the time he was Judge’s age.

One thing that stands out between the two is their approach to the game, Girardi said.

I see him doing things the right way on the field and off the field, he said. That is the way Derek was, as well, when he was young.

Like Jeter, Judge could be headed for Rookie of the Year honors. The slugger is tied for the AL lead in homers with 10 and has the fifth-fastest average exit velocity of any MLB player.

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Ichiro Suzuki finally sees business end of MLB trainers room

Ichiro Suziki has been a star in MLB since 2001. For the first time in his career, he says he finds himself in the training room for an injury.

The Marlins outfielder suffered a bruised right knee and stiff lower back after an outfield collision Tuesday with Brandon Barnes.

Marte was suspended 80 games by MLB on Tuesday for violating the leagues drug policy after testing positive for Nandrolone, a performance-enhancing substance. He also won’t be eligible to play in the postseason due to the suspension if the team is able to overcome his loss and qualify for the playoffs.

The Pirates dealt with a similar situation last August when infielder Jung Ho Kang was accused of sexual assault shortly before his scheduled bobblehead giveaway promotion. The team offered fans the option of a voucher for a different item in lieu of the Kang bobblehead.

The NFL has given second chances to domestic abusers, drunken drivers and other criminal athletes, Hill tweeted. But an “un-American” player accused of singlehandely driving down the NFL’s formerly impregnable TV ratings? Whoa. That’s a bridge too far.

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NFL free agency: Patriots officially welcome receiver Brandin Cooks

Brandin Cooks is officially a New England Patriot.

The 23-year-old wideout was introduced as a member of the team Sunday, just two days after the trade was announced.

In return, the Saints will get the 32nd overall pick in this upcoming draft, as well as a third-round pick. Along with Cooks, New England will receive a fourth-round pick from New Orleans.

Garappolo, who has served as backup to Tom Brady the past three seasons, has been talked up as a potential trade target for several teams, his reputation enhanced by his performances in games against the Cardinals and Dolphins while Brady was suspended at the start of the 2016 seasons.

The Browns, who hold the first and 12th overall picks in this year’s draft and acquired a 2018 second-rounder in a trade with the Texans on Thursday, are viewed as a possible destination for Garoppolo.

And it appeared for a few hours Friday morning that Garoppolo might’ve been moving after we wrote on Instagram: So grateful for my time in New England. Peace out Boston.

Supporting the hoax theory: The Patriots have maintained they have no plans to trade the backup QB. Oh, and 4 a.m. is a weird time to bid farewell. Finally, Yee’s statement.

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