Sixers’ Joel Embiid reflects on NBA All-Star Game

Irving offered up additional servings of word salad about his flat Earth shtick in the interview, which you can read in full by following this link, but one particularly wild passage stood out after Deb informed him a middle school science teacher was unable to convince his students the Earth is round because they were taken by Irving’s past comments: I mean, history has shown even back then, our biggest scholars did think the Earth was flat. It didn’t just spark out of anywhere and then everyone just goes into their own groups….

Rougned Odor (L), 28 percent, Texas Rangers at Minnesota Twins (RHP Fernando Romero): As has been suggested in this space previously, it was just a matter of time before Odor’s underlying metrics that showed a high hard-hit rate proved to be fruitful. It’s only three games, but Odor has a homer and triple in that span. Romero throws the ball hard, but he has recorded only 40 punchouts in 45 1/3 innings, as opposed to 46 hits allowed.

Saturday doesn’t bring us any marquee matchups, but it’s still a pretty decent slate headlined by Aaron Nola, Zack Greinke and Trevor Bauer. While the streaming options aren’t necessarily of the high-upside variety, they all have solid-to-good matchups, which is equally important.

I’d say there’s a good chance at that, Boone said. I just like the way it sets up with our lineup, with our guys at the top, especially with (Aaron) Judge at the two-hole. Especially a guy of Gleyber’s quality down there. The idea that in the middle of the game you’re probably hitting for the pitcher there anyway, I think our personnel suggests that we do it this way.

There’s nothing more important to the Cardinals this season than protecting the oft-injured starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, and giving first-round rookie, Josh Rosen, time to develop.

The Cardinals think they have the offensive line to make that happen. That’s the word from Cardinals offensive line coach Ray Brown, who said he believes the Cardinals can have the best offensive line in the NFL. What I tell guys all the time, when I got this job and went into that first meeting, I said, ‘Guys, we really can be the best in the world. We can be the best in the league. We can have the best offensive line in the league.’ I was like, ‘Wow, I said that,’ Brown said. When you say things like that [out loud], you have to work toward it.

Without Landry, Thomas and Ajayi, the quarterback supporting cast in Miami just isn’t the same.

The receiving corps still isn’t awful with Kenny Stills, DeVante Parker and free-agent additions Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson on board, but there isn’t a clear-cut top gun there. Parker has the best shot at replacing Landry, but the 2015 first-round pick has come along slowly and regressed statistically in 2017. 

The vacant tight end job will either go to a rookie non-first-rounder (Mike Gesicki or Durham Smythe) or a journeyman (A.J. Derby, Gavin Escobar, MarQueis Gray), which at least for now leaves that group below average.

They also lack depth at both of those positions, which isn’t a problem at running back because they have four potential starters in Doug Martin, Marshawn Lynch, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. But while options are nice, that also means there isn’t one particularly strong member of that group. Martin and Lynch are both beyond their primes, while both Richard and Washington experienced sophomore slumps in complementary roles last season. 

Unless Cooper explodes in his fourth year, Carr will almost certainly be working with a low-ceiling group of weapons in 2018. 

The good news for Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota is he has three high-quality security blankets supporting him in the Tennessee offense. The bad news is none of those three weapons are wide receivers. 

I have great confidence in Deshaun Watson, coach Bill O’Brien said. I have great confidence in the type of work ethic he has. I’ve said it time and time again, I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to coach him. I love the kid…. But there’s a long way to go. He knows that, and on top of that you have an injury he’s got to rehab from. He’s doing a great job of rehabbing, but we have to kind of start it from the bottom up again.

Watson was able to participate in practices this spring without a brace on his right knee and said he is pretty much where I wanted to be in his recovery.

The Giants did not draft Barkley until April 26, but his ticket might as well have been punched as soon as I became a Giants beat reporter in mid-January.

That’s how karma works, right? The Tweet that haunted me when we both were part of the Big Ten will live under my nose during his potentially Hall of Fame NFL career.

The negative stuff, sometimes it motivates you, Barkley said. You don’t read too much into it, but I’ve seen multiple things said about me: I’m going to be a bust or this and that.

Report: Roy Miller suspended six games

The NFL has suspended free agent defensive tackle Roy Miller six games, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports. The violation was undisclosed, but he was arrested on domestic battery charges in Jacksonville, Florida, in November.

The Chiefs released Miller two days later, and he has remained without a job since.

Robertson, Betances and Chapman threw three scoreless innings Saturday to hike the bullpen’ scoreless streak to 15 ¹/₃ innings. The 0.39 ERA in eight games since June 1 is the lowest bullpen ERA in the majors this month.

There is no good time to learn about a diagnosis of cancer, and the news general manager Dave Gettleman will undergo treatment for lymphoma certainly shook up the Giants. That the news arrived late in the spring, after NFL free agency and after the NFL draft, allows the Giants to regroup during a down time, as far as front office activity.

Grigson was most recently with the Browns, working as a senior personnel executive for one year. He was the general manager of the Colts from 2012-16, where he saw most of his success.

During his tenure with the Colts, Grigson drafted franchise cornerstones Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton in the 2012 draft. Following the 2012 season, Grigson was named Sporting News Executive of the Year.

Things started to take a turn shortly after, though. Grigson missed badly in the 2013 draft, selecting defensive end Bjoern Werner with the 24th overall pick. Then, at the start of the 2013 season, he traded away the Colts’ 2014 first-round pick for running back Trent Richardson.

Grigson’s time in the NFL dates back to 1995, when he was drafted in the sixth round by the Bengals. He also briefly spent time in the CFL, playing for the Toronto Argonauts.

Astros’ win streak ends at 12

The Astros’ franchise-record 12-game winning streak has come to an end.

Houston fell to the Rays 2-1 Tuesday on a night when most would have thought they could have pulled out a win.

Justin Verlander was on the mound and he opposed a young Blake Snell who features most of what the Astros shell.

Snell is a young lefty with occasional control problems and Houston loves to hit left-handed pitching.

I go, ‘What dog?’ and he said, ‘A red dog, Clifford.’ And I went, ‘There’s no dog here.’

He hopped in a black SUV and left, but the woman called cops, who soon arrested a man near the trailer park on a burglary charge, according to a report.

It was Kellen Winslow Jr., once the highest-paid tight end in the league and the son of San Diego Chargers Hall of Famer Kellen Winslow Sr.

Winslow, whose publicist downplayed the arrest, posted bail the next day and was released. But prosecutors say the incident was a critical clue for authorities, who a week later charged Winslow Jr. in a string of sexual attacks from March to May 2018 on women in Encinitas, where he lives.

Winslow stands accused of targeting five women, ages 54 to 86, in charges including forcible sodomy, rape and kidnapping. If convicted, he could end up behind bars for the rest of his life.

I was a little rusty, but I knew that’s how it was going to be, Fisher said, via ESPN.com. I hadn’t played football since last November, so there’s going to be rust. You’ve just got to take it [for] what it is, understand what you’re doing wrong and fix it and get out there the next day and do it again.

Fisher will still get regular checkups to make sure all is well with his heart, but said on Wednesday that he’s focused entirely on trying to be the best player I can for this team. Fisher was the starting right tackle when his season ended last year, but figures to have some competition from Bobby Hart and Cedric Ogbuehi heading into this year.

His social-media numbers have been ticking upward (a musical impressions sketch with Ariana Grande has hit more than 114 million views), which he attributes to viewers’ need to escape the angry news cycle. I think people just go online and think, give me something funny.

He’s been delivering exactly that for years, often with longtime collaborators like Paul Rudd, Justin Timberlake and Will Ferrell — the latter of whom showed up in a karaoke skit earlier this year called Peter and His Heckler, which still has Fallon giggling.

Brady: Retirement coming ‘sooner rather than later’

In a wide-ranging interview with Oprah Winfrey broadcast on OWN this weekend, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady stared into the abyss of retirement and acknowledged his football mortality, but provided no real timetable for the end of his storied career.

I think about it more now than I used to, the 40-year old QB told Winfrey. I think I’m seeing that there’s definitely an end coming, sooner rather than later.’

That was taken as a sign that Brady was unhappy with the culture in New England and was eyeing the exits. But Brady denied to Winfrey that had any issues working with Patriots coach Bill Belichick, saying, I mean, I love him. I love that he’s an incredible coach, mentor for me. And he’s pushed me in a lot of ways. Like everything, we don’t agree on absolutely everything. But that’s relationships.

His dad, Steve Bouye, routinely put him through lengthy workouts as a teenager in hopes that his son would one day become an NFL player. As a former linebacker for Sam Houston State, Steve left what might’ve become an NFL career due to stubbornness and not being coachable throughout his college career, he told Yahoo Sports. I wanted him to understand that whatever you want in life, you’ve got to work for it, Steve said.

Then, just as Brooks Koepka prepared to tap in for bogey – and secure his second straight U.S. Open title – came the words.

Which of the three women said those words wasn’t quite clear. But one thing was -the supermodel celebutante and her friends had no clue that Johnson, the tournament’s 36-hole leader, had actually lost by two.

A few seconds later, though, the realization sunk in. Just as the final putt dropped and Bob Koepka stood there triumphantly, arms over head like Muhammad Ali, came the disappointed follow up.

Brooks just won.

Bill Keenist to transition to new role with Lions

Bill Keenist, the longtime head of P.R. with the Detroit Lions, will be transitioning to a new role.

According to Dave Burkett of the Detroit Free Press, Keenist will move from V.P. of communications into a team historian role. And Keenist is well-acquainted with team history; he arrived in 1986, and he has worked for the Lions for 32 years.

I’m embracing this, Keenist told Birkett. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity and I know how important it is to Mrs. Ford and her family and to Rod [Wood] and the organization.

We’re in fairly unknown territory, in that Goff has had one of the worst and best seasons in NFL history in back-to-back years. Is this the year he has a slump like Prescott did in 2017? Will he continue a streak of high play like Marino? The track that Goff takes in his career is worth monitoring for every NFL fan.

Obviously we were a little shocked because no one really knew, rookie running back Saquon Barkley said. We came together as a team, and coach kind of said he is in high spirits, he is getting better, he is going to fight this thing, and we are going to be there for him and pray for him.

With his stunt this week, the president succeeded in a few regards. He further strengthened his standing in the eyes of those who are willing to gulp down his narrative with little to no concern for the facts. And he further alienated the portion of the population fighting for equality and reform.

He again used the NFL – the country’s most powerful sports league and the exclusive club to which Trump tried in vain to gain membership with a failed attempt to buy the Buffalo Bills in 2014 – as his pawn. But he did not accomplish anything truly meaningful.

At a time when so many, from the White House to some NFL fans, are telling professional football players how to conduct themselves, perhaps a better solution is take a page from their playbook.

Get to know each other.

Will Giants use fullback in new offense? What Shane Smith sees

The Giants drafted Hernandez as part of an emphasis to bring more of a mean streak to their offensive line. Gettleman loves hog mollie linemen, and Hernandez fits.

It’s not as much as it seems, Hernandez said of his scuffle total. Some here and there, but at the end of the day those guys are my brothers. I love all those guys. I have all their backs.

I respect all of them, Hernandez said. But when things get heated out there, you kind of forget who is who. At that point, it doesn’t matter. Just like I treated it in college, once we get back into the locker room, it’s all done. We shake hands and it’s over, and get back to the next day.

They’re two different type of horses, Pharoah and this guy, Baffert said after Justify won the Preakness. I think I see a lot of resemblance in these two, the way they move…. When I worked him after the Preakness, American Pharoah, when he would breathe, he was like he was a machine. And this horse is getting there.

Justify’s recent works have brought some similarities into focus. American Pharoah didn’t have his best in the Kentucky Derby before rolling in the pouring rain in the Preakness. Three years later, Justify has rebounded from an imperfect Preakness to appear on top of his game with the mile-and-a-half Belmont coming up Saturday.

He just keeps doing more than we keep expecting, Justify jockey Mike Smith told The Associated Press after the Preakness. There’s always going to be that race where he’s going to have to fight one out. I believe that was the one, so hopefully he’ll come back and run even better next time.

Following American Pharoah’s lead and running a winning race in the Belmont is no easy task. American Pharoah is the grandson of 2003 Belmont winner Empire Maker and had the pedigree to make the distance.

Hot-hitting Martinez to lead Cardinals against Padres

Few hitters in baseball are hotter than Jose Martinez over the last nine games.

The San Diego Padres found out the hard way Monday night when Martinez went 3 for 4 and homered for the fifth time in five games, a two-run blast that gave the eagles_033 the lead for good in a 5-2 verdict.

The former Padre farmhand will try for his second win in just over a month against his old team. He earned a 2-1 victory on May 10 at Petco Park, permitting only five hits and a run over 6 2/3 innings with a walk and four strikeouts.

San Diego (31-37) will counter with its bullpen.

Manager Andy Green will start left-hander Matt Strahm (1-2, 3.07) for the second time in a week with four or five other arms ready to back him up. With rookie left-hander Joey Lucchesi on the 10-day DL, the Padres’ lack of MLB-ready starting pitching has led to the bullpen acting as their de facto fifth starter.

Strahm last pitched on Wednesday against Atlanta, going the first 2 1/3 innings in a 3-1 San Diego win and allowing a Freddie Freeman homer while fanning two. He tossed a scoreless inning in his only career outing against the Cardinals (36-28).

Green will at least have the luxury of a rested bullpen after needing just two pitchers to cover Monday night’s 24 outs. That means if he can tag-team his way into the late innings with a lead, St. Louis will probably have to deal with lefty Brad Hand, who has become one of baseball’s top closers with 19 saves in 21 chances.

It’s a lot of weapons, a lot of different choices, Green said of his deep bullpen. How long can you maintain it? We’ll wait and see.

Robertson was hurt in the first inning of Sunday’s game against Seattle.

The Rays also announced Monday that pitcher Chris Archer, who has been on the 10-day disabled list with a left abdominal strain, will not pitch in a simulated game on Tuesday, as planned. Archer threw a bullpen session Saturday and had hoped to rejoin the rotation next weekend.

He woke up today feeling not that great,” manager Kevin Cash said, so we’re going to take a little bit more of a conservative approach.”

Adames joined 22-year-old first baseman Jake Bauers on the big league roster. Bauers, who also drove in two runs in Monday’s 8-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, was called up last week when infielder Brad Miller was designated for assignment.

Max Muncy continues to torch Braves pitching as he homers in each game of the series.

eagles_034The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 7-2 on Sunday and these three all contributed to the win:

Ross Stripling allowed two runs over 6⅔ innings, striking out six with no walks, improving to 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA.

This is definitely a good weekend, Goldschmidt said. We had a stretch of where our offense was really struggling, maybe longer than that. This weekend was definitely a step in the right direction.

Ketel Marte had three hits and three RBI for Arizona on Sunday. The Diamondbacks scored 29 runs in Colorado after having just 10 in a three-game series in San Francisco.

You win three games here the way we did against this type of team, this atmosphere, you’re doing a lot right, Arizona manager Torey Luvollo said.

Same thing, manager Mickey Callaway said. It’s where the quad attaches to the hip.

A few hours after Callaway spoke, things got worse when Cabrera exited Sunday night’s 2-0 win over the New York Yankees with a tight left hamstring.

The switch-hitting second baseman stumbled awkwardly out of the batter’s box and grabbed the back of his left leg when he bounced back to the mound to begin the bottom of the first inning.

Cabrera, who leads the team with 11 homers and 36 RBIs, jogged slowly to first after a third-inning groundout and was replaced at second base in the top of the fourth by Jose Reyes.

It’s not a DL move, Callaway said. He felt like he could have kept on going, but he didn’t want it to get worse. So we’re going to check on him [Monday] and then make that determination.

Cespedes is headed to the team’s complex in Florida to again try to get healthy. The Mets had hoped the left fielder would be back Tuesday night in Atlanta, but now there is no timetable for his return.

Could Martin have a career renaissance in Oakland?

Doug has really jumped out in this camp with his quickness, his ability to pick up the offense and what we’ve given him, offensive coordinator eagles_035 said Tuesday. He’s really got a fresh set of legs. And that’s probably been the most encouraging thing when you watch him run out here in drills that we’ve run and the strength and conditioning stuff.

I just want to play for the Raiders and I want the Raiders to be successful, Martin said. Playing for my hometown and playing for my family that’s out here. Just show everybody that I can bounce back.

And he’s really confident the Warriors will beat the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, which begin Thursday:

As of the publishing of this post, Randall’s tweet has eclipsed 300,000 retweets. That’s a LOT of jerseys. And the Browns defensive back says there’s a 100 percent chance he delivers on the promise.

According to a report in the New York Times, the owners changed the league’s anthem policy because they were worried that continued attacks from President Trump, who has criticized the protesting players, would damage the league’s reputation. It didn’t work: Trump has continued to use the players as a talking point, suggesting in a television interview last month that they maybe shouldn’t be in the country. On Monday night, he canceled the Philadelphia Eagles’ planned visit to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl title, with the White House listing the Eagles’ protesting players as the reason. But The Post’s Josh Dawsey and Wesley Lowery reported that Trump was unhappy that only 10 to 12 people from the team planned on attending and canceled the event to avoid the bad optics such a small crowd would create.