Report: Mets consider demoting OF Conforto

The Mets are considering sending to the minors to help the slumping outfielder regain his swing, according to the New York Post.

On the disabled list since May 14 because of a strained right hip flexor, the oft-injured slugger hit two doubles Saturday in his second rehab game for Double-A Binghamton but was removed early with tightness in his right quadriceps.

Same stuff he’s been battling. It’s not a total setback to day one but still not feeling the way he would like it to feel to come up here and contribute, Callaway said.

Callaway said Cespedes’ first hit Saturday was a stand-up double, but on the second one, the slugger had to run a little harder to make sure he made it to second, and that’s when he felt discomfort again.

He feels like he’s not quite ready, so we’re going to send him to Florida to kind of start that day-to-day process of getting him where he needs to be, Callaway said.

Max Muncy went 1-for-2 with two walks and a two-run homer off Sean Newcomb and is now hitting .272/.395/.616 with 12 home runs.

Seems the best-hitting team in the big leagues can win with pitching and defense, too.

Brock Holt and Jackie Bradley Jr. each delivered a sacrifice fly in the 12th inning, and the Boston Red Sox limited the Baltimore Orioles to five hits in a 2-0 victory Monday night.

Though the Red Sox lead the majors in runs and batting average, they managed only four hits through 11 scoreless innings in this one.

Sometimes we’re going to go through stuff like this, throughout the season, manager Alex Cora said. But the pitching did outstanding, we played great defense and we ended up winning.

Goldschmidt homered twice in each of the first two games against the Rockies. He was 8 of 13 with four home runs and nine RBI in the three-game sweep.

Jones said whichever team signs Bryant will be getting a motivated player.

You know at the [NFL owners] meetings I have had different conversations about him, Jones said. At the Competition Committee meeting, some of the coaches there speak to it. I’m sure other coaches have called our coaches and wanted input on him. The greatest thing about Dez is he is a fierce competitor. I think he is now more driven and more competitive than he has ever been. We wish him nothing but the best.

And hey, if RG3 continues to impress the Ravens’ coaching staff while mentoring Jackson, perhaps he can find second life in the NFL as a backup quarterback. Robert Griffin in the quarterback room has been excellent — pro’s pro in every way,Ravens coach said. We do our early morning coach workouts, and he’s down there always working extra. He’s just a pro’s pro. I love every way he handles himself and I think you saw out there in practice that he practiced well.

At the time Adams tweeted that, he might’ve been right. The number of retweets has continued to climb, though.

On NBA.com, a replica LeBron James jersey is priced at $74.99. Multiply that by the 300,000 people who have retweeted so far and that’s a cool $22.5 million.

But Randall didn’t specify what kind of jersey he’d buy

If the Cavs win, Randall’s best chance at actually paying up and not squelching on the bet is to be creative. Randall told everyone he’d buy them a jersey — he didn’t promise that it’d be a nice one.

On NFLShop.com there are some truly awful Browns memorabilia up for sale. Randall could save a lot if he goes digging through the graveyard of Cleveland past to scoop up Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson, Peyton Hillis, and Colt McCoy jerseys.

Congratulations, Eli Manning. 

The New York Jets haven’t won a division crown since 2002 and haven’t been to a Super Bowl since winning it in 1968. A big reason why? Just five Jets quarterbacks have made Pro Bowls in the last 40 years, and their recent efforts to find an answer under center have all failed.

Can he help franchise quarterback Derek Carr bounce back from a down year? Gruden didn’t have much success late in his tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but he hasn’t worked with a signal-caller like Carr since the days of Rich Gannon. This Raiders team has a lot of top-end talent and is two seasons removed from a 12 wins.

The Steelers offered no hints on what the “new’ uniform might look like, but we do know it’s a throwback, which means we can probably take a few guesses here, since there are only so many options that they can throwback to.  One thing we do know is that Steelers won’t be wearing their bumblebee uniform, which is should be pleasing news out there to anyone who loathes horizontal stripes. For years, the bumblebee uniform divided the internet: Everyone seemed to love or hate the team’s 1934 uniform, with no in-between.  You can see the bumblebee uniform below.  The Steelers are probably not bringing back their bumblebee uniform.

Much has been made of the lack of pass protection, which continues to be a concern considering the sorry state of Seattle’s offensive line. But renewed backfield balance would go a long way toward taking pressure off Wilson; the Seahawks running game ranked in the bottom 10 in each of the last two seasons.

Enter first-round pick Rashaad Penny, who is coming off a monster senior season (2,383 scrimmage yards, 25 touchdowns) at San Diego State and appears to have the experience, patience, vision and talent to play a major role from the get-go. 

NFL has no issue with David Tepper’s casino holdings

The prospective owner of the Carolina Panthers owns a company that holds ownership interest in casino stock. That won’t keep David Tepper from owning the team. Via Carleton English and John Kosman of the New York Post, the league has no issue with Tepper’s company, Appaloosa Management, holding ownership interests in Caesars Entertainment, MGM Resorts International, and Boyd Gaming.

This was vetted to the satisfaction of ownership and was not an issue in 2009 when Mr. Tepper became a minority owner of the Steelers, a league spokesperson told the Post. Currently, owners can hold investments in casinos, as long as they don’t participate in the operation of them.

“We had five rookies in the lineup tonight. So the future is bright,” he said. “I thought our window was closed, and that we were an old team!”

The Jaguars cut Gennesy on Monday. He originally entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M in 2017, signing with the Jaguars. Gennesy spent part of last season on Jacksonville’s practice squad.

The Browns signed Carrizosa as an undrafted free agent May 4. They signed Schneider as free agent January 31.

“It’s an amazing moment and also message,” Green said. “I’m just grateful to be a part of it. I think it was historic when people first saw it.”

When asked if he has gained business from the exposure of the Cavs, Browne echoed Green’s take.

“This wasn’t a commercial initiative for me,” he wrote. “This was a cultural initiative that represents to power of unity and true individuality.”

As the playoffs have gone on, several Cavs players have expressed their individuality by adding their own twists to the uniforms.

Dickerson’s disputed homer lifts Pirates over Tigers 1-0

Corey Dickerson celebrated his first game-ending home run in the major leagues. Twice.

Dickerson’s disputed one-out drive in the ninth inning that lifted the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Detroit Tigers 1-0 Thursday.

“We’re going to view Jonny in that role, to come in and get a lefty out,” manager Kevin Cash said after an 8-4 win. “I thought it was perfect. It worked out. He came in, got a big out with a two-run lead for us.”

Venters received high-fives and fist bumps in the Tampa Bay dugout because, after all, it was a comeback that everyone could appreciate after all his elbow surgeries.

Hours earlier, Venters was sitting out a rain delay in the minors during a morning game when he got word the Rays were recalling him from Triple-A Durham.

So the 33-year-old hopped into his truck, grabbed a flight to Baltimore and was in the clubhouse when Tampa Bay formally announced the move.

“It’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling. It’s been an emotional day,” Venters said prior to the game. “I’m excited to be here. Grateful for the opportunity. Hopefully go out and get some people out today.”

It’s not so easy to guarantee the Capitals will go shift-for-shift with the Penguins like they did most of Game 1, especially with the potential return of Pittsburgh star Evgeni Malkin. Washington did get as many quality scoring chances, if not more, than Pittsburgh, but those third-period goals by the top line of Patric Hornqvist, Crosby and Jake Guentzel tipped the balance.

It’s the case that began with the NCAA’s infractions around Reggie Bush’s time at Southern California. McNair is claiming defamation after he was caught up as a chief culprit.

A 2012 video deposition of Shep Cooper, who served as a liaison to the Committee on Infractions, took up the bulk of Tuesday’s proceedings before former NCAA investigator Angie Cretors took the stand at the end of the day and remained there through the end of the day Wednesday. Cretors’ testimony will conclude Thursday morning.

The Timberwolves became the first team to be outscored by 30 points in a playoff quarter since May 6, 1986, when the Boston Celtics had a 36-6 advantage over the Atlanta Hawks in the third quarter.

The Rockets shot 14-of-23 from the floor, 9-of-13 from 3-point range and 13-of-13 from the free throw line in the quarter.

Free tickets to NFL draft fetching as much as $300

The NFL draft has turned into a significant event business, as 420,000 people applied for tickets to attend this year at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. And 20 NFL teams have expressed interest in hosting the event over the next five years.

This year’s draft, which begins Thursday night at the home of the Dallas Cowboys, will be the first held in a stadium. Demand has been big enough that free tickets to see the first round in person have sold on eBay for as much as $300 each.

Those who didn’t win tickets to be inside AT&T Stadium still have plenty to do outside. There is an area that is 26 football fields in size and includes a stage where local musicians play, an area where fans can test their 40-yard dash times, and a place to sample food from local restaurants.

“It’s pretty much the opposite of the Super Bowl,” O’Reilly said. “It’s incredibly accessible and anyone can get close to the action for free.”

Linking what happens on stage to off stage takes on a new wrinkle this year.

“This year we took some inspiration from the political conventions and we have team delegations on the floor,” O’Reilly said. “We gave each team 50 tickets and the player will come over to that section to be welcomed after they are drafted.”

Although there’s no immediate revenue to be made by the host team — the league fronts the undisclosed costs to put on the event — there is economic impact locally.

New York was held hitless through five innings and trailed 3-0 before Aaron Hicks’ sacrifice fly in the seventh. Didi Gregorius grounded to third leading off the ninth and reached second when Miguel Sano’s throw went wide for an error.

“I just couldn’t complete the play,” Sano said through a translator.

Giancarlo Stanton followed with a slow roller gloved by a charging Sano, who did not make a throw as Stanton crossed first with an infield hit.

“That’s just a swinging bunt,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “It’s one of those plays where he split (Ehire) Adrianza and Sano there. Either one didn’t have much of a chance.”

Sanchez took a strike, then sent a fastball from Rodney (1-2) down the left-field line and into the lower deck. The Yankees bounded out of the dugout to mob Sanchez as he crossed the plate and doused him with Gatorade.

“If we can get traffic on the bases, we’re always one swing away with our guys,” rookie manager Aaron Boone said.

New York finished an 8-2 homestand and has outscored opponents 47-13 during its winning streak.

“We’ve got a lot of fight in here, a lot of bulldogs,” Yankees starter Jordan Montgomery said.

Believe it! 76ers roll with Meek Mill past Heat in Game 5

Joel Embiid hoisted diminutive comedian Kevin Hart not unlike the way a parent would toss up a toddler. Embiid then pulled him in for a hug as confetti rained on the court, team flags waved around them and the promise of a rowdy late-night celebration was on deck.

Hart grabbed the mic and yelled, “Let’s give it up for Joel Embiid!”

Believe it, Philly.

“For him to come to this type of game … I was just happy,” Embiid said.

Hart talked trash, wandered onto the edge of the court to rile up fans and palled around with Mill as the young and gettin’ it Sixers proved they just might be the team to beat in the East.

They’ll have plenty of time to rest and recover — Embiid again played in a black mask to guard a face injury — with the other Eastern Conference playoff series expected to stretch into the weekend.

Betts got the Red Sox on the scoreboard with leadoff homer in the first — his third such shot of the season and 14th of his career — over the left-field fence. He then put the Red Sox in front for good in the seventh, taking reliever Danny Barnes (1-1) deep over the right-field wall for his eighth homer of the season — a two-run shot that also drove in Brock Holt.

Alex Cora said it is games like this that has Betts keeping the very best of company in the major leagues.

“They’re special,” the Red Sox manager said. “The Trouts, the Altuves, the more at-bats they get the better you feel about it,”

Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez (3-0) gave up three runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings, throwing a season-high 106 pitches.

One night after giving up a walk-off home run to Curtis Granderson, closer Craig Kimbrel worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his sixth save of the season.

Though Boston has now won all of Rodriguez’s four starts this season, after the recent losing skid, the left-hander was more than happy to give credit to the guy who jump-started the offense.

“We needed something like that, somebody to get us in front and do it like he did it today,” he said.

However, Yangervis Solarte wasn’t handing out much credit after the game. The third baseman’s sixth home run of the season into the second deck of left field in the sixth inning gave Toronto its only lead of the game at 3-2.

Lions could find impact pass rusher after first round

The Relative Athletic Score (RAS) system was developed by Kent Lee Platte in 2012 to provide fans with a contextualized score on a 0-10 scale, making it easier to understand how athletic draft prospects are when compared to their position dating back to 1987.

It’s no secret the Detroit Lions need to add some juice to their pass rush in the 2018 draft. It was a hot topic coming into the 2017 draft, but it was one left largely unaddressed, with only a couple of late-round, athletic, developmental picks, not prospects expected to step in immediately. The 2018 class is not considered an edge heavy class, but if the Lions are to address their pass rush, there are a few clear targets to watch.

This draft class has three possible first-round talents on the edge who could have a similar impact. Bradley Chubb (9.47) is likely out of reach for the Lions, while Harold Landry (9.43) and Marcus Davenport (9.59) could make it to the team’s No. 20 pick, and both have ties to the Lions’ coaching staff.

And, it appears, they are trying to push and challenge quarterback Russell Wilson to a new level of achievement at the precise juncture when both Wilson and the Seahawks are girding for what will almost inevitably be difficult, potentially contentious, contract negotiations.

That last one might prove to be the most difficult balance of all — and inextricably linked to the other two. The extent to which the roster shuffle succeeds, and the rapport which Wilson develops with the new staff, could be influential in forging a productive tenor to the talks.

Let me intercede here to say that few expect this all to end with anything but a long-term extension for Wilson, whose contract has two more years left. Yet just one season remains before the traditional time to work all this out, which would be after the 2018, but before the 2019, season.

In other words, the wild ride is about to begin, and so it’s not surprising that even small signs are going to be pored over for possible significance — by the Seahawks, by Wilson and his handlers, and by the media and fans watching it all from afar.

Raiders sign linebacker Emmanuel Lamur to continue busy offseason

Few teams have been as active as the Raiders this offseason, and Oakland struck again Wednesday signing linebacker Emmanuel Lamur.

Lamur heads to Oakland having spent his first six years with the Vikings and Bengals. He has played in 71 games with 15 starts and posted 90 tackles (64 solo), 1/2 sacks, two interceptions, 12 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. In four postseason games, he has recorded eight tackles.

The Kansas State product is also known as a leader on the special teams unit and contributed with four stops last season.

Two of the Mets’ runs resulted from defensive lapses. In the third inning, Miami catcher Bryan Holaday failed to catch a routine pop foul hit by Bruce, who then delivered a two-out RBI single. A wild throw by first baseman Justin Bour in the seventh led to an unearned run, which came home on Amed Rosario’s RBI single.

“Throwing that away, that just can’t happen,” Bour said.

Siemian started 24 games (13-11 record) for Denver over the last two seasons, but was expendable after the Broncos signed former Vikings QB Case Keenum to a two-year deal Wednesday.

The other two quarterbacks who saw action for Minnesota last season already have found new homes — Sam Bradford with the Cardinals and Teddy Bridgewater with the Jets.

Sabathia, 37, allowed four hits and three runs — all on solo home runs — on only 58 pitches. He didn’t show signs of trouble with the hip while he was on the field, but he said he started feeling the soreness as he finished his warm-up pitches in the third inning.

“It was sore, and I’ve never felt that spot before — ever, throwing a baseball — so it was a little nerve-wracking,” Sabathia said about coming out of the game following the fourth inning.

Other than an ankle injury that sidelined him briefly, Sabathia was mostly healthy during spring training. Last season, he spent time on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and right knee inflammation.

Closer Carousel: What to do with a struggling Kenley Jansen

Our updated closer depth chart displays the top closing options for each team.

Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Kenley Jansen is special and does not struggle with performance, injury or anything else, most everyone believes. He is different, everyone will point out, and that is why selecting a closer in the fourth round has not looked so strange. Jansen exalted himself to the top tier of closers, in which he and only he resides, after yet another magnificent campaign in 2017, in which finished last season as the No. 8 option — not pitcher, but overall — on the Player Rater thanks to his 1.32 ERA, 41 saves and fourth season of 100-plus strikeouts.

With two outs in the second, Roark walked three straight hitters before Gonzalez homered into the Nationals’ bullpen on the first pitch. It was Gonzalez’s sixth career grand slam and the Mets’ second of the series.

Callaway said Zack Wheeler will be called up from Triple-A Las Vegas and pitch in Miami Wednesday, when the Mets will need a fifth starter. In his first start at Las Vegas, Wheeler allowed one run in five innings. It would be the first time Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Harvey and Wheeler make a rotation turn together.

Bogaerts went 1-for-3 in Boston’s eighth straight victory. He is hitting .368 (14-for-38) this season with 2 home runs and 9 RBIs.

Holt said he’s prepared to step in at shortstop if Bogaerts has to miss any time.

“I feel comfortable at shortstop, second base, third base — pretty much anywhere,” Holt said. “It’s a tough team to crack the lineup. I hate to see [Bogaerts] get injured there, especially with his spot coming up there [in the eighth inning] in a big spot. But I feel like I can step in and do a good job.”

Boston opens a three-game series against the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.

For the second straight game, the Bulldogs scored two first-period goals and held on. They beat Ohio State 2-1 Thursday.

UMD took advantage of two Irish turnovers.