The Cincinnati Bengals had a forgettable season last year. But they did get to sabotage Baltimore's season, eliminating them from playoff contention on the last week of the regular season. What can they do to build on their late-season momentum?
Seriously. This will probably be one of the biggest mismatches in NBA Finals history. Then again, they said that about the 2004 NBA Finals, when the Detroit Pistons shocked the world by beating the Los Angeles Lakers, 4-1. However, the Warriors aren't as old as the Lakers were back in the day and LeBron James doesn't have much help around him. There's only so much LeBron can do before Golden State takes over. Unless someone on the Cavaliers (J.R. Smith or Tristian Thompson) can step up in a big way for the Cavaliers, this has Golden State written all over it.
Warriors in 5
Who's moving up? Who's sliding down? Here's a look at who's hot and who's not in this week of baseball.
A former Cy Young winner. A pitcher who's thrown a perfect game. Felix Hernandez used to be an imposing force on the mound with a devastating change-up. Now? He's become a shell of himself, being on the wrong side of 30 and prone to the occasional inning meltdown wrought with home runs, hits, and walks. At this time, the Seattle Mariners can't afford any more of his pitching outbursts.
The Mariners are in a prime spot, holding the second wild-card spot by 3.5 games over division rival, the Los Angeles Angels. Thanks to a light-out closer in Edwin Diaz and players like Mitch Haniger and James Paxton stepping up, the Mariners are in a playoff spot at the moment. This is in spite of losing Robinson Cano to a PED suspension and numerous contributors being out with injuries. This is also in spite of Hernandez's terrible pitching; his WAR of -0.3 along with his WHIP of 1.39, his ERA of 5.58, and a K/9 of 7.48 aren't helping much. With the Red Sox cutting ties with Hanley Ramirez, it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the Mariners take the same route.
If there's one thing general manager Jerry Dipoto loves to do, it's making a trade. He just traded two minor league players to the Tampa Bay Rays for closer Alex Colome and outfielder Denard Span. Unfortunately for Dipoto, Hernandez has a full no-trade clause on his contract, so Dipoto won't be able to work his magic by just trading Hernandez straight up. The good news is that the Red Sox aren't going to pay Ramirez $22 million next year by designating him for assignment, so the Mariners can actually save $27 million for next season by designating "King Felix".
So who would replace Hernandez on the Mariners' roster? Dipoto has built up pitching depth with the likes of Ariel Miranda, who has shown the ability to be a back-end rotation option for Seattle, and Erasmo Ramirez, who was originally fighting for a rotation spot at the beginning of the season. There's also players like Hisashi Iwakuma, who's proven to be a steady pitcher for Seattle in the past. In any case, if the Mariners are to make the postseason for the first time since 2001, they have to fix their Felix Hernandez problem and they have to fix it soon.
The Bears got lost in the mix of the NFC North again, finishing at the bottom of the division. What can they do to return to their former glory?
The Oakland Raiders have a young team that's filled with talent. What did they do in the off-season to help bolster their youthful squad?
Who are the top teams through the second half of May? Which teams are moving up and which teams are sliding? This list isn't based on who the sexy big-market teams are, just who's good and who's really good.
The Titans made their return to the playoffs, making it all the way to the divisional round. What do they need to do to get themselves to the next level?
It happens every four years, yet it remains a spectacle. The World Cup brings the gift of international football to global viewers in hopes of their country winning the tournament. You know who Messi and Ronaldo are. But do you know who these players are?
Photo courtesy of the Daily Star
There are growing concerns surrounding the Indianapolis Colts and their franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck. Will Luck ever come back? What can they do to protect him better? Most importantly, what did they do to better themselves as a team overall?
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