Watch: C.J. McCollum guesses Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann’s NBA impressions

When worlds collide, the results are often entertaining.

Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum made a trip to Madrid to visit with Atletico Madrid forward, and basketball enthusiast, Antoine Griezmann to shoot some hoops.

While doing so, Griezmann quizzed McCollum on some of his peers’ habits on the court. The result was fantastic.

Players with at least four previous pension-credited seasons are subject to the waiver system for the remainder of the regular season and postseason.

At 4:00 p.m., New York time, signing period ends for Franchise Players who are eligible to receive offer sheets.

Prior to 4:00 p.m., New York time, deadline for clubs to sign their unsigned Franchise and Transition Players, including Franchise Players who were eligible to receive offer sheets until this date. If still unsigned after this date, such players are prohibited from playing in the NFL in 2017.

The Clippers are getting this pick, too, clearly trying to use this deep draft to stock up on potential role players next to their stars. Overall, these are smart picks, even if Chris Paul and Blake Griffin don’t return. Thornwell is a killer defender, and he became a stronger shooter over the course of the year.

Cancar is a playmaking 4 who needs to improve as a jump Cheap Hockey Jerseys Canada shooter, but he has some passing skills at 6-9 with length. He’s the prototypical player for Denver, who has a better Cheap High Quality Jerseys scouting staff than any in the NBA, to keep overseas.

Lessort is a draft-and-stash that recently signed with Bamberg in Germany, meaning he’ll get minutes at the highest level in Euroleague. He’s an athletic 6-9 bruiser who rebounds and produces.

The ’Wait, what?’ All-Stars: MLB’s most surprising statistical leaders so far in 2017

The first month of the MLB season always produces a handful of odd statistics, but these things typically have ways of evening out.

Remember when Chris Shelton hit 10 homers in 25 games for the Tigers in April 2006 and then only six in his final 90 games of the season? Yeah. It happens.

Why that’s surprising: Dyson was expected to set plenty of career highs this season, his first as a full-time starter in the majors. This category is a bit surprising, though, considering the speedster had been hit by a pitch exactly nine times in 1,539 plate appearances heading into this season.

Thursday afternoon, Pillar tweeted a statement acknowledging he had used inappropriate language toward Motte.

By doing so I had just helped extend the use of a word that has no place in baseball, in sports or anywhere in society today, he wrote. I’m completely and utterly embarrassed and feel horrible to ahve put the fans, my teammates and the Blue Jays organization in this position.

Pillar added that he has apologized to Motte personally and extended that apology to the Braves, their fans, and the LGBTQ community.

This is not who I am and [I] will use this as an opportunity to better myself, he concluded.

Pillar and Motte’s incident wasn’t the only heated moment of the game. The very next inning, Jose Bautista flipped his bat after a homer even though Atlanta was up, 8-3. That led to the benches clearing yet again.

Emotions will be high again when the teams face off Thursday.

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Mariners’ Jean Segura heading back to DL

The Rangers have two picks, too, this one and then a couple later, at 29, as compensation for losing Ian Desmond (that one-year FA deal worked out very well for them, eh?). The Rangers have had 14 first-round (and supplemental) picks since 2010, and they’ve used 10 of those picks on high school players, which makes Lutz, a prep outfielder from Arlington, an easy pick to drop in this spot.

Lange is probably better than this spot, way down in the first round. But every year, someone slides down further than expected and a team in this spot gets lucky. The Cubs would be thrilled to wind up with a polished college right-hander.

The Mariners suffered a blow Friday when Jean Segura landed back on the 10-day disabled list with an ankle injury.

Segura, who is hitting .341 with four home runs and 20 RBIs this season, was injured Thursday night when sliding into second base.

This is Segura’s second DL stint of the season after missing 12 games in April due to a hamstring injury.

Manager Scott Servais hinted at troubling news Friday, stating that it could be a week before the All-Star shortstop is re-evaluated, via ESPN.com. The initial fear was that Segura broke his right ankle, but the Mariners said his latest injury is a high ankle sprain.

SP Jason Vargas
Age: 34. Status: Free agent after 2017
Need to know: Sell! Sell! Sell! As soon as possible, preferably. Vargas was reliable in the first season of his four-year free-agent deal, posting a 3.71 ERA in 30 starts in 2014, but he made only a total of 12 starts in 2015-16 because of injuries (Tommy John surgery). Nobody knew what to expect from him in 2017, his Age 34 season, but the lefty has been brilliant out of the gate. Through nine starts, he has a 2.30 ERA (2.96 FIP) and has allowed only 44 hits in 54 2/3 innings, while striking out 49. The Royals won’t get a huge return for Vargas, but after two basically lost seasons, getting anything back has to be viewed as a win.

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Dexter Fowler gets Cubs World Series ring, promptly homers off John Lackey

Dexter Fowler hit .250 with three home runs, six RBIs and 11 runs for the Cubs in the postseason last year. He helped them win their first World Series title in 108 years. Then the Cubs let him walk, opting to give Albert Almora Jr. a chance in center field.

But the Cubs and their fans embraced the 31-year old outfielder and showed him a lot of respect as he got his World Series ring Friday before the match-up with his new team, the archrival Cardinals.

Fowler was so honored that he decided to give the fans a little taste of how much they pumped him up. On the first pitch of the game Friday he did this:

Dex turns from celebrated hero to villain in just one swing! Flip over to CSN for more of this rivalry.

Why that’s surprising: Look, Santana has been a pretty reliable starting pitcher in the majors for a long time, but what he’s done so far this season is kind of crazy. You see the numbers above, his MLB-leading totals.

RP Chris Young
Age: 38. Status: $8 million mutual option for 2018 ($1.5 million buyout)
Need to know: Young actually turned 38 today, which makes me feel a bit guilty for pointing out what he’s done so far this season. The veteran right-hander was vital to the 2015 World Series title, posting a 2.87 ERA in 15 2/3 postseason innings, but he’s struggled massively this year. In 22 1/3 innings, Young has allowed 46 base runners (34 hits, 11 walks, 1 hit-by-pitch) and has a 6.85 ERA. This, on the heels of a 6.19 ERA in 34 games (13 starts) in 2016. If he doesn’t turn it around, quickly, the only decision looming about Young will be when the club releases him.

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MLB’s $700K helps fund Marlins’ trust for Jose Fernandez’s daughter, report says

Marlins president David Samson wouldn’t comment on the insurance settlement but confirmed that the Marlins and owner Jeffrey Loria made a significant contribution last weekend to Fernandez’s family.

The focus for us and Jeffrey is making sure Maritza and Penelope were taken care of in the aftermath of such an unimaginable tragedy,’ Samson said.

Although Fernandez, 24 at the time of his death, had $6.5 million in career earnings, his estate is facing negligence and wrongful-death lawsuits from relatives of the two passengers on Fernandez’s boat who also were killed in the accident.

It’s unclear whether the money earmarked by the Marlins for the trust would be protected from those lawsuits.

Earlier this year, Jose Fernandez’s attorney told The Herald that the pitcher’s estate does not exceed $2 million.’

The next stop on MLB’s hat-sales cash grab: Father’s Day (only 19 days away!), then the Fourth of July.

You know the drill: pink for Mother’s Day ’ camouflage for Memorial Day ’ hold that thought.

It’s that last, most recent (and solemn) holiday that finally appeared to move a few players to push back (via UniWatch.com), led by Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy’s sarcastic tweet to start Memorial Day, connecting soldiers [who] died protecting our country and buying MLB-licensed hats to say thank you.

When followers noted that proceeds from the sale of the camouflage-themed gear go to veterans charities, McCarthy questioned: Seems like the sort of thing you’d mention on the product page?

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Top Cuban prospect Luis Robert signs with White Sox, reports say

Under the new Collective Bargaining Agreement in MLB no player under the age of 25 will be allowed to be signed to a deal of more than $5.75 million effective after this season. And with Robert being the consensus top prospect out of Cuba this year, no other player is expected to get more than he does.

Gone are the days of the Rusney Castillo’s and even the Jorge Soler’s contract. Now teams will have a level playing field rather than the richest teams going after those big name Cuban players.

Fighting attendance issues, the Diamondbacks are offering a ticket package that will get a fan into every home game in June and July for a total of $50. The team has 25 games scheduled at Chase Field for those two months, meaning each ticket costs $2 under the plan, dubbed Ballpark Summer Pass.

This is a chance to attract new fans, younger fans who are home from college, and fans who aren’t of the traditional mindset of attending 81 home games as a season-ticket holder, Diamondbacks president and CEO Derrick Hall told the Arizona Republic. We’re going to give it a shot and see what happens.

One person can purchase up to four of the $50 packages. Tickets cannot be shared or resold, and fans will find out the location of their seats two hours before each game via MLB’s Ballpark app, which they must download if they buy the package.

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Mariners’ Nelson Cruz, Jean Segura exit with injuries in consecutive innings

This is the Curse of the Bambino, Lelands’ Josh Evans said, via ESPN.com. It transcends everything. It changed America.

Boston ended the Curse of Bambino in 2004 with a sweep of the Cardinals. The Red Sox had previously won a World Series in 1918.

After the 1919 season, Frazee sold Ruth to the Yankees for $100,000. Frazee also received a $300,000 loan from the Yankees to seal the deal. The loan was secured using a mortgage on Fenway Park, meaning if Frazee defaulted, the Yankees would have owned the Red Sox’s ballpark as well.

With the Ruth contract back on the market, it will be interesting to see if it’s a Yankees supporter or a Red Sox supporter who buys it.

It could be a big blow for the slumping Mariners, who traded for Segura this past offseason. The 27-year old entered Thursday’s game batting a league-leading .344 with an .858 OPS but was placed on the DL in April with a hamstring injury.

Cruz, 36, was slashing was slashing .279/.362/.519 with 12 home runs and an AL-leading 42 RBIs. The Rockies went on for a 6-3 victory.

Both Judge and Conforto have climbed the ladder and rank among the top outfielders in their respective leagues. Both will garner All-Star consideration and are capable of sustaining their high level of success throughout the year. But who has more value?

While their bats are about equal, Judge has emerged as the more complete player. He has the lead in overall WAR (2.89 to 1.99), dWAR (0.42 to -0.32) oWAR (2.3 to 2.18) and has a slightly better batting line.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of their seasons ’ and careers ’ shape up. Both players will be successful, but Judge has the slight edge right now.

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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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Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson won’t return this weekend after all

One regional began Thursday. BYU is the No. 3 seed in the Stanford regional and, because the Cougars athletic teams do not play on Sundays, that regional started a day early. Should BYU (37-19) reach the championship game of the regional, it would be played Monday, June 5.

The SEC, led by No. 3-overall seed Florida (42-16) and No. 4 LSU (43-17), has a tournament-high eight teams in the bracket. The ACC, led by No. 2-overall seed North Carolina (47-12), and Big 12, with No. 5 Texas Tech (43-15) and No. 6 TCU (42-16), have seven teams apiece.

When John Gibbons predicted that Troy Tulowitzki (Wednesday) and Josh Donaldson (this weekend) were returning from the disabled list, Blue Jays fans got excited.

Unfortunately for them, Gibbons was a little off in his predictions.

As it turns out, Tulowitzki (hamstring) will not be activated ahead of Wednesday night’s game against the Braves.

MLB.com reported that Tulowitzki may need a couple more days to recover.

Gibbons was also hopeful that Donaldson, who has been out since April 13 with a calf injury, would return to the lineup this weekend. But he said Wednesday that he jumped the gun on Donaldson, and that he will not be back this weekend.

On a positive note, Gibbons said Donaldson did not receive a setback in his recovery. He just won’t be ready by the weekend.

Tulowitzki should still return before Donaldson, but both players’ statuses remain up in the air at this point.

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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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