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Archive for February 23rd, 2018

NFL announces 15 teams to have 32 Compensatory Draft Choices in 2018

A total of 32 compensatory choices in the 2018 NFL Draft have been awarded to 15 teams, the NFL announced today.

Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents (“CFA”) than it acquires in the previous year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

The compensatory picks will be positioned within the third through seventh rounds based on the value of the compensatory free agents lost.

Compensatory free agents are determined by a formula based on salary, playing time and postseason honors.  The formula was developed by the NFL Management Council.  Not every free agent lost or signed by a club is covered by this formula.  No club may receive more than four compensatory picks in any one year.  If a club qualifies for more than four compensatory picks after offsetting each CFA lost by each CFA gained of an equal or higher value, the four highest remaining selections will be awarded to the club.

The Collective Bargaining Agreement limits the number of compensatory selections to the number of clubs then in the League (32).  This year, five clubs: the Atlanta Falcons, the Baltimore Ravens, the Houston Texans, the New England Patriots, and the New York Giants qualified for compensatory selections under the net loss formula, but will not receive those picks because the final numerical values of the CFAs who were lost by those clubs ranked 33rd through 37th among the final numerical values of all compensatory selections.  Each of those five clubs will receive compensatory selections for other CFAs lost whose final numerical values ranked within the top 32.

The following 2018 compensatory draft picks have been determined by the NFL Management Council for the 2018 NFL Draft, which will be held on April 26-28 in Dallas:

Round Round Choice/

Overall Selection

3 33-97 Arizona
3 34-98 Houston
3 35-99 Denver
3 36-100 Cincinnati
4 33-133 Green Bay
4 34-134 Arizona
4 35-135 New York Giants
4 36-136 New England
4 37-137 Dallas
5 33-170 Cincinnati
5 34-171 Dallas
5 35-172 Green Bay
5 36-173 Dallas
5 37-174 Green Bay
6 33-207 Green Bay
6 34-208 Dallas
6 35-209 Kansas City
6 36-210 Oakland
6 37-211 Houston
6 38-212 Oakland
6 39-213 Minnesota
6 40-214 Houston
6 41-215 Baltimore
6 42-216 Oakland
6 43-217 Oakland
6 44-218 Minnesota
7 33-251 Los Angeles Chargers
7 34-252 Cincinnati
7 35-253 Cincinnati
7 36-254 Arizona
7 37-255 Tampa Bay
7 38-256 Atlanta

The compensatory free agents lost and gained in 2017 by the clubs that will receive compensatory picks in the 2018 Draft:

ARIZONA Lost: Campbell, Calais; Cooper, Marcus; Jefferson, Tony; Minter, Kevin; Okafor, Alex; Swearinger, D.J.
Gained: Dansby, Karlos; Dawson, Phil; Peterson, Adrian*
ATLANTA Lost: Compton, Tom; DiMarco, Patrick; Robinson, Aldrick; Weems, Eric; Worrilow, Paul
Gained: Crawford, Jack; Poe, Dontari; Roberts, Andre
BALTIMORE Lost: Aiken, Kamar; Ducasse, Vladimir; Guy, Lawrence; Juszczyk, Kyle; Wagner, Rick
Gained: Carr, Brandon; Jefferson, Tony; Woodhead, Danny
CINCINNATI Lost: Burkhead, Rex; Dansby, Karlos; Hunt, Margus; Peko, Domata; Whitworth, Andrew; Zeitler, Kevin
Gained: Minter, Kevin; Smith, Andre
DALLAS Lost: Carr, Brandon; Church, Barry; Claiborne, Morris; Crawford, Jack; Davis, Ryan; Dunbar, Lance; Leary, Ronald; McClain, Terrell; Sanchez, Mark; Wilcox, J.J.
Gained: Paea, Stephen
DENVER Lost: Okung, Russell; Watson, Dekoda; Webster, Kayvon; Williams, Sylvester
Gained: Leary, Ronald; Peko, Domata; Watson, Menelik
GREEN BAY Lost: Cook, Jared; Hyde, Micah; Lacy, Eddie; Lang, T.J.; Peppers, Julius; Tretter, J.C.
Gained: Evans, Jahri
HOUSTON Lost: Aboushi, Oday; Bouye, A.J.; Demps, Quintin; Jones, Don; Simon, John
KANSAS CITY Lost: Foles, Nick; Poe, Dontari​
Gained: Logan, Bennie
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS Lost: Te’o, Manti; Woodhead, Danny
Gained: Okung, Russell
MINNESOTA Lost: Ellison, Rhett; Kalil, Matt; Munnerlyn, Captain; Patterson, Cordarrelle; Peterson, Adrian*; Smith, Andre
Gained: Keenum, Case; Murray, Latavius; Reiff, Riley; Remmers, Mike
NEW ENGLAND Lost: Blount, LeGarrette; Long, Chris; Mingo, Barkevious; Ryan, Logan; Sheard, Jabaal
Gained: Burkhead, Rex; Gilmore, Stephon; Guy, Lawrence
NEW YORK GIANTS Lost: Gould, Robbie; Hankins, Johnathan; Newhouse, Marshall; Sensabaugh, Coty
Gained: Ellison, Rhett; Smith, Geno
OAKLAND Lost: Allen, Nate; Bates, Daren; Hayden, D.J.; Holmes, Andre; McGee, Stacy; Murray, Latavius; Rivera, Mychal; Trawick, Brynden; Watson, Menelik
Gained: Cook, Jared; Newhouse, Marshall; Patterson, Cordarrelle
TAMPA BAY Lost: Glennon, Mike; McDougald, Bradley; Shepard, Russell; Spence, Akeem
Gained: Baker, Chris; Jackson, DeSean; Wilcox, J.J.

*Adrian Peterson qualifies as a CFA lost by Minnesota and signed by New Orleans.  His contract was subsequently traded by New Orleans to Arizona.  By rule, Peterson also counts as a CFA gained by Arizona via trade.


Cincinnati 4
Dallas 4
Green Bay 4
Oakland 4
Arizona 3
Houston 3
Minnesota 2
Atlanta 1
Baltimore 1
Denver 1
Kansas City 1
Los Angeles Chargers 1
New England 1
New York Giants 1
Tampa Bay 1


Baltimore 49
Green Bay 42
Dallas 41
New England 35
Los Angeles Rams 33
Cincinnati 32
Pittsburgh 32
Philadelphia 30
San Francisco 30
Tennessee 30
Seattle 29
Buffalo 28
Kansas City 24
New York Giants 24
Arizona 22
Indianapolis 22
Denver 21
Detroit 21
Oakland 21
Los Angeles Chargers 20
Miami 20
Atlanta 19
Jacksonville 19
Minnesota 19
Tampa Bay 19
Carolina 17
Chicago 17
Houston 15
New York Jets 14
Cleveland 13
Washington 12
New Orleans 10



Yankees 2018 coaching staff under new manager Aaron Boone is set

New Yankees manager Aaron Boone as a player with Marlins 2007 photo Chrisjnelson on en.wikipedia via wikipedia commons

The Yankees have announced their coaching staff for the 2018 season. Joining Aaron Boone for his first season as Yankees manager will be bench coach Josh Bard, pitching coach Larry Rothschild, bullpen pitching coach Mike Harkey, hitting coach Marcus Thames, assistant hitting coach P.J. Pilittere, third base coach Phil Nevin, first base coach/outfield instructor Reggie Willits and Major League quality control coach/infield instructor Carlos Mendoza. In addition, Jason Brown will serve as catching coach, Radley Haddad will be the coaching assistant/bullpen catcher and Brett Weber returns as coaching assistant/instant replay coordinator.

Bard, 39, spent the last five seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, including the last two (2016-17) as the club’s Major League bullpen coach. In 2017, Dodgers relievers set a National League record with 637K and led all NL bullpens in ERA (3.38), opponents’ BA (.222) and K/9.0IP ratio (10.24). He also worked in the Dodgers front office as a pro scout from 2014-15 and as a special assistant to the general manager in 2013.

Born in Ithaca, N.Y., Bard played 10 Major League seasons as a catcher with the Cleveland Indians (2002-05), Boston Red Sox (2006), San Diego Padres (2006-08), Washington Nationals (2009) and Seattle Mariners (2010-11), batting .254 (452-for-1,778) with 162R, 109 doubles, 3 triples, 39HR and 220RBI over 586 career games. Bard and Boone were teammates with the 2005 Indians. The switch-hitting catcher was originally selected by Colorado in the third round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft out of Texas Tech University.

Rothschild, 63, returns for his eighth season as Yankees pitching coach and his 44th in professional baseball as a player, coach or manager.

In 2017, Yankees pitchers set a franchise record with 1,560 strikeouts and posted the AL’s third-lowest ERA (3.72), while holding opponents to an AL-low .228 batting average. Yankees relievers also set new Major League records in K/9.0IP ratio (10.92) and strikeout rate (29.0%). Since joining the Yankees in 2011, Rothschild has helped the club’s pitchers log an AL-best 2.96 K/BB ratio, the third-best mark in the Majors.

Harkey, 51, returns for a ninth season as Yankees bullpen coach, having held the position from 2008-13 before returning in 2016. In 2017, Yankees relievers struck out 653 batters, eclipsing the 600K mark for the first time in franchise history. The bullpen set a Major League record with their 10.92 K/9.0IP ratio, their second consecutive season leading the Majors in the category.

The San Diego native was the fourth overall pick of the 1987 First-Year Player Draft by the Chicago Cubs and went 36-36 with a 4.49 ERA in 131 Major League games (104 starts) with the Cubs (1988, ’90-93), Colorado Rockies (1994), Oakland Athletics (1995), California Angels (1995) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1997).

Thames, 40, takes over as hitting coach after two seasons as the club’s assistant hitting coach. In 2017, Yankees batters led the Majors with 241HR, the fourth-highest total in franchise history. Their 858R and 5.30 runs-per-game average ranked second among Major League clubs, trailing only Houston (896R, 5.53 per game). Yankees hitters in 2017 outscored the 2016 club by 178R (858 to 680), the team’s largest year-over-year scoring increase since improving by 247R from 1936 to 1937 (excludes strike years).

Born in Louisville, Miss., Thames was selected by the Yankees in the 30th round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft and played in parts of 10 Major League seasons as an outfielder with the Yankees (2002, ’10), Texas Rangers (2003), Detroit Tigers (2004-09) and Los Angeles Dodgers (2011), combining to hit .246 with 115HR and 301RBI.

Pilittere, 36, enters his seventh season with the Yankees, his first on the Major League coaching staff. Pilittere (“pill-ih-TAIR-ee”) served as the hitting coach at four different levels in the Yankees organization over the last five years: Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (2017), Double-A Trenton (2015-16), Single-A Tampa (2014) and Single-A Charleston (2013). He began his coaching career with the GCL Yankees in 2012.

The San Dimas, Calif., native played eight minor league seasons as a catcher in the Yankees system, hitting .264 with 77 doubles, 16HR and 183RBI in 470 games. A former team captain at Cal State Fullerton, he helped lead the Titans to a College World Series Championship in 2004.

Nevin, 47, was the third base coach for the San Francisco Giants in 2017 after managing at the Triple-A level in the Arizona Diamondbacks (2014-16) and Detroit Tigers (2011-13) organizations. He also managed the Tigers’ Double-A affiliate in 2010.

In 12 Major League seasons, Nevin hit .270 with 584R, 209 doubles, 6 triples, 208HR, 743RBI and 449BB over 1,217 games for the Houston Astros (1995), Detroit Tigers (1995-97), Anaheim Angels (1998), San Diego Padres (1999-2005), Texas Rangers (2005-06), Chicago Cubs (2006) and Minnesota Twins (2006). In 2001 with the Padres, Nevin was named to the NL All-Star Team and set career highs with a .306 batting average, 41HR and 126RBI.

The Fullerton, Calif., native was selected first overall by the Astros in the 1992 First-Year Player Draft out of Cal State Fullerton. Nevin will be the first former No. 1 overall pick to serve as a Yankees coach.

Willits, 36, spent his first three years (2015-17) with the Yankees organization as the club’s minor league outfield/baserunning coordinator. During his tenure, Yankees minor leaguers were successful on 70.3 percent of their stolen base attempts. Prior to joining the organization, he served as the head coach at Binger-Olney H.S. (Okla.) from 2012-15, capturing two state championships.

The Chickasha, Okla., native played six seasons as a switch-hitting outfielder for the Angels (2006-11), batting .258 (218-for-844) with 146R, 35 doubles, 58RBI and 40SB in 414 Major League games. He was selected by the Angels in the seventh round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Oklahoma.

Mendoza, 38, joins the big league staff for the first time. He enters his 10th season with the Yankees, spending the last five as infield coordinator after managing Single-A Charleston in 2012 and the GCL Yankees in 2011.

Born in Barquisimeto, Ven., Mendoza played 13 minor league seasons (1997-2009) as an infielder in the Giants and Yankees organizations, as well as three years for the independent Pensacola Pelicans. The switch-hitter compiled a .232 batting average with 97 doubles, 15 triples, 19HR and 200RBI in 705 career minor league games.

Brown, 43, will be the Yankees’ catching coach in his second season on the Major League staff, his fourth overall with the Yankees. In 2017, he served as a coaching assistant/bullpen catcher for the club after two seasons as the bullpen coach with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (2015-16).

Haddad, 27, will serve as a bullpen catcher and coaching assistant in his second season with the Major League club. He spent 2017 as a bullpen catcher after four seasons as a catcher in the Yankees minor league system (2013-16).

Weber, 41, begins his 10th season in the Yankees organization and his fifth year in control of the team’s replay review operations. The Yankees have led Major League teams in replay challenge success rate in three of the four seasons of the replay review system, including a 75.0 percent rate in 2017.

Read more: New York Yankees


Former MLB star Oscar Gamble dies at age 68

Oscar Gamble 1976 photo By Unknown - Desert Sun, Public Domain, https

Former MLB star Oscar Gamble died of ameloblastic carcinoma[2] on January 31, 2018, at the age of 68.[12][13]

Oscar Charles Gamble (December 20, 1949 – January 31, 2018) was an American professional baseball player. He played as an outfielder and designated hitter in Major League Baseball for 17 seasons, from 1969 to 1985, for seven different teams: the Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees on two separate occasions, as well as the Chicago CubsPhiladelphia PhilliesCleveland IndiansSan Diego Padres, and Texas Rangers.

His quote about the Yankees’ disorganization and circus-like atmosphere, “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do”, has also been called one of baseball’s “immortal lines” by sportswriter Dan Epstein.[1]

Gamble was born in Ramer, Alabama to Sam Gamble, a sharecropper and Mamie Scott, a homemaker.[2] He was discovered playing baseball in a semi-professional league by legendary Negro league baseball player Buck O’Neil, who was working as a scout for the Chicago Cubs at the time. O’Neil convinced the Cubs to draft Gamble, which they did in the sixteenth round.[3]

Gamble played with the Caldwell Cubs of the Pioneer League in 1968 and the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League in 1969, from where he received his call-up to the Chicago Cubs late in the 1969 season.[4]

Nicknamed the Big O by Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto, Gamble was a great baseball player given the amount of time he was allowed to play in the game. Despite the limited playing time, he still hit 200 career home runs in just over 4,500 major league at bats. Oscar’s career peaked in 1977 with the White Sox, when he hit 31 home runs and tallied 83 RBI. After an ill-fated, injury-plagued year in San Diego, he returned to the American League in 1979 to hit a career-best .358 batting average, slamming 19 home runs with the Yankees and Rangers. (He did not have enough plate appearances to qualify for the American League batting title.)[4]

Unlike some players who failed to cope with the New York media, Oscar thrived on it, and was always a favorite with sportswriters.[5]Gamble, whose hitting prowess was overshadowed by his famously large Afro hairdo, has the distinction of logging the last hit and RBI at Philadelphia’s Connie Mack Stadium on October 1, 1970.[6] His 10th-inning single scored Tim McCarver with the run that gave the Phillies the 2–1 win in the stadium’s final game.[4] The game was also overshadowed as unruly fans stormed the field during and after the game to claim bases, infield dirt, seats, and other various stadium items.

Gamble had one of the more unusual batting stances in the major leagues. He stood at the plate in a deep crouch with his back almost parallel to the ground. Gamble claimed this stance helped him see the ball better as his eyes were right above the plate and close to where the ball was pitched.[4]

Notably, Gamble also finished with more career walks (610) than strikeouts (546). [8] He was considered a below-average fielder, and consequently played over a third of his games as a designated hitter, but he had a good arm.

After retirement from baseball, Gamble returned to Alabama and lived in Montgomery where he was a player agent for several years. He was involved in youth baseball. He was married to Lovell Woods Gamble[2] and his son, Sean, was a player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization,[10] while another son, Shane,[2] played in junior college.[11] He also had one daughter, Sheena Maureen.[2]

He opened up a discotheque known as “Oscar Gamble’s Players Club’” in Montgomery; baseball writer Dan Epstein called it a “hip” place.[1]







New York Yankees issue statement on the death of former star Oscar Gamble


Oscar Gamble 1976 photo By Unknown - Desert Sun, Public Domain, https

“It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of former Yankee Oscar Gamble. His prodigious power, unique style and joy in wearing pinstripes made him a favorite of fans and of the Steinbrenner family. In recent years, his appearances at Old-Timers’ Day and work at our Fantasy Camp in Florida delighted those who got to reconnect with his personality and love of the game. Oscar was a treasured member of the Yankees family and will be deeply missed by our entire organization. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, friends and all who knew him.”

Read more: New York Yankees


NHL Morning Skate for Friday, February 23, 2018: Luongo addresses crowd as Panthers honor shooting victims; Trocheck nets emotional winner as playoff push continues for Florida



Home Team in Caps

TORONTO 4, NY Islanders 3 (SO)

Minnesota 4, NEW JERSEY 2

PHILADELPHIA 2, Columbus 1

MONTREAL 3, NY Rangers 1

Tampa Bay 4, OTTAWA 3

Buffalo 3, DETROIT 2 (OT)

FLORIDA 3, Washington 2

NASHVILLE 7, San Jose 1

EDMONTON 3, Colorado 2 (OT)

Calgary 5, ARIZONA 2

Dallas 2, LOS ANGELES 0

Goaltender Roberto Luongo, a longtime resident of Parkland, Fla., addressed the crowd at BB&T Center with an emotional speech as the Panthershonored victims of last week’s shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Speaking for nearly three minutes, Luongo expressed his love for the Parkland community, called for positive action in the wake of tragedy, addressed family and friends of the victims and commended the efforts of teachers and students.

* The pre-game ceremony included a stirring rendition of “God Bless America” and a video tribute to the 17 victims, whose names were projected onto the ice through the end of the moment of silence.


The Panthers (27-25-6, 60 points) scored twice in the final 3:42 of regulation – including the winning goal by Vincent Trocheck with 18.7 seconds remaining – to erase a 2-1 deficit and earn a victory over the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals (34-20-7, 75 points). Florida moved within five points of Columbus (30-26-5, 65 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference, with three games in hand.



The Maple Leafs (38-20-5, 81 points) and Flyers (32-19-10, 74 points) each earned wins to extend streaks and move closer to second place in their respective division:


Auston Matthews scored the tying goal with 3:29 remaining in regulation as the Maple Leafs overcame deficits of 2-0 and 3-2 en route to a shootout victory, their eighth consecutive home win. Toronto is third in the Atlantic Division and moved within one point of Boston (37-13-8, 82 points) for second place.


* Nolan Patrick scored the go-ahead marker with 10:11 remaining in regulation – his third straight contest with a goal (3-0—3) – to help the Flyersextend their point streak to 10 games (8-0-2), including four straight wins. Philadelphia moved into a tie with Pittsburgh (35-22-4, 74 points) for the second-most points in the Metropolitan Division; the Penguins, however, have more wins.



Pekka Rinne (33 saves) recorded the 300th win of his NHL career and seven different Predators (37-14-9, 83 points) scored as the club extended its lead atop the Central Division standings. Nashville, who scored seven goals in a game for the second time this season (also 7-1 W on Dec. 13 at VAN), improved to 8-2-2 in the month of February and moved within one point of Vegas (40-16-4, 84 points) for first place in the Western Conference.


* Rinne, the Predators’ all-time leader in wins, became the 34th goaltender in NHL history to record at least 300 victories and just the third Finnish-born netminder to do so.


The Stars (35-22-4, 74 points), Wild (33-20-7, 73 points) and Flames (31-22-9, 71 points) each secured key victories on Thursday:


Kari Lehtonen turned aside all 18 shots he faced to backstop the Stars to a 6-2-1 record in their last nine road games. Dallas occupies third in the Central Division, five points back of Winnipeg (35-16-9, 79 points) for second place.


Chris Stewart scored go-ahead goal as the Wild overcame a 2-0 deficit and improved to 7-2-2 in their last 11 games. Minnesota occupies the first Wild Card spot in the Western Conference standings.


Sean Monahan (1-1—2) scored his League-leading 11th game-winning goal of the season to help the Flames snap a three-game slide (0-2-1). Calgary moved within two points of tying Anaheim (31-20-11, 73 points) for third place in the Pacific Division and one point of St. Louis (34-23-4, 72 points) for the final Wild Card spot in the Western Conference standings.



Nikita Kucherov (5-9—14 in 8 GP) and Brayden Point (4-3—7 in 6 GP) each extended their point streaks to help the Lightning (41-17-3, 85 points) defeat the Senators and reclaim first place in the NHL standings.


* Kucherov became the first player to hit the 80-point mark in 2017-18 (32-48—80), reaching the plateau for the second straight campaign. He tallied career highs in goals, assists and points last season (40-45—85 in 74 GP).


* Point notched his ninth game-winning goal of the season (and second in as many games) to remain two back of Calgary’s Sean Monahan (11) for the most in the NHL in 2017-18. Only one Lightning player has recorded more such goals in a season: Steven Stamkos had 12 GWG in 2011-12 (82 GP).



Taylor Hall (1-0—1) extended his point streak to 13 games (9-7—16) and has recorded at least one point in 20 consecutive appearances dating to Jan. 2 (14-14—28), the longest such run in Devils franchise history.


* Hall, whose 13-game point streak is the longest in the NHL this season, became the fourth different player in Devils franchise history to record at least one point in 13 or more consecutive team games and first since Brian Gionta from March 21 – April 18, 2006 (12-13—25 in 15 GP). Hall also became the fifth player in the last 20 years (since 1997-98) to record at least one point in 20 or more consecutive appearances.


Islanders forward Mathew Barzal collected 1-2—3 and leads all rookies in assists and points with 17-48—65 this season (62 GP). Barzal recorded at least three points in a game for the eighth time this season – a number highlighted by a trio of five-point efforts.


* Barzal became the fourth rookie since 1993-94 to post three or more points in a game at least eight times in a season. Only one other Islanders rookie has posted at least eight outings of 3+ points in a season: Bryan Trottier achieved the feat nine times in 1975-76.












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