Tag: sports

MLB Free Agent Feature: Josh Donaldson

Within this segment, we’ll be breaking down the careers of the top Free Agents on the market. How did they get here? What makes them so enticing to teams? Where could they end up? Let’s find out.

Let’s check in on a man of many names — the great Viking Hoskuld, the Bringer of Rain, the one and only, Josh Donaldson.

Donaldson Displays Dominance…

Joshua Adam Donaldson was born in Pensacola, Florida, and played baseball all throughout high school. He then went on to attend Auburn University, and was selected 48th overall in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs. Early in his career, Donaldson was admired for his excellent eye and plate discipline, as well as his power stroke. During the 2008 season, the Cubs and Athletics struck a six player deal that included Donaldson, and the then-catcher spent the entirety of the 2009 season in the Athletics Double A system.

The three-time All Star first debuted in 2010, but it was during the 2012 season that his major league career took flight, and he converted to the hot corner full time. Donaldson began as a split time third baseman, but, as his bat began to heat up, he started playing more and more often. In 2013, Donaldson became the Athletics full time third baseman, as well as their prominent bat. In 2014, Donaldson was traded to the Blue Jays for a four-player package, and proceeded to win the AL MVP Award in 2015 He turned in five straight All-Star caliber seasons from 2013-2017, in which hit hit a total of 164 home runs as well as a combined 491 RBI. Donaldson was also consistently praised for his excellent play of third base, as well as his unyielding drive to win. Though he muddled through last year plagued with injury, Donaldson is sure to see a sizable contract this offseason, and very well may be the best deal of this winter.

Who’s Bringing the Rain?

Donaldson’s age and recent struggles will undoubtedly affect the size and value of his nearing contract, however, that does not change the fact that he is due for a payday.

His primary suitors are the Saint Louis Cardinals, who are becoming less and less likely to land Bryce Harper with every passing moment, and are in dire need of an option at third (or first) base. Had Manny Machado been an option at the hot corner, they may have shown more interest in him, but Machado seems set in his choice to play shortstop.

Other teams that should have interest include the the Los Angeles Angels, the Chicago White Sox, and the Philadelphia Phillies, should they miss on their other big Free Agent targets.

Donaldson, if healthy, will prove an excellent addition to any teams’ lineup, and will serve as an major presence in the clubhouse as well. It is entirely possible that he ends up becoming one of the most undervalued Free Agents of his class, and he might play a much larger role in the 2019 season than many spectators suggest.

My Prediction: The Saint Louis Cardinals, 2 years, $36 Million

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Why Minnesota Came To The Decision to Finally Trade Jimmy Butler

According to ESPN Insider’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Zach Lowe, Minnesota Timberwolves’ President and Coach Tom Thibodeau came to the decision to finally trade Jimmy Butler after losing 5 straight games.

After devastating losses to the Kings, Lakers, Clippers, and Trailblazers, Thibodeau finally came to the realization that the team will accomplish nothing with Butler still present on the team. In light of everything, this trade did not help strengthen another Western Conference foe as Butler was sent to the Eastern Conference.

Butler was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers this afternoon and the Timberwolves hope to turn their ship around in hopes of reaching the playoffs with their new talent on the team.

Trade details included:

Minnesota Timberwolves Receives

Robert Covington
Dario Saric
Jerryd Bayless
2022 Second Round Pick

Philadelphia 76ers Receives

Jimmy Butler
Justin Patton

Minnesota has agreed to this deal and hopes to have everything finalized by Monday.

Philadelphia will add the 4x all-star to their core big three featuring Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid. Minnesota will add on two outstanding role players in Saric and Covington to build around Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins.

It has been a long time coming for Jimmy Butler as during the summer he has made it known around the league that he was open to being traded from Minnesota. With all the drama surrounding Butler, Andrew Wiggins, and Karl Anthony Towns, Butler was more than likely going to be traded. Rumors and speculations had Butler being traded to the Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, or the Los Angeles Clippers.

The 76ers hope to make a deep playoff push with their new additions and Butler hopes to seek out a contract extension from the 76ers during the season. Philly can offer Butler a 5-year max contract while other teams can offer only 4 years.

 

 

NBA Trade: Butler Blockbuster Bolsters Sixers Core

The Details…

The Minnesota Timberwolves and Philadelphia 76ers reached an agreement on a major trade on Saturday that sent Superstar Jimmy Butler and Justin Patton to the Sixers in exchange for Dario Saric, Robert Covington, Jerryd Bayless, and a second-round draft pick in 2022.

The trade aids both sides — the Timberwolves receive a great deal of bench depth, as well as a high-ceiling youngster in Saric, and, as an added bonus, they no longer have to worry about sending Butler to a Western Conference rival. Philadelphia, on the other hand, finally get their hands on the star they’ve been looking for.

A big three of Embiid, Simmons, and Butler should send the Sixers soaring in Eastern Conference favorability, but they’ll have to work hard to get past Giannis and the Bucks, as well as Kawhi and the Raptors.

Philadelphia, Butler Already Talking Extension

There are also reports of discussion between Jimmy Butler and the Sixers about a multi-year extension, though no official talks are allowed to take place just yet.

NBA: Celtics point guard Terry Rozier shuts down rumors about playing time

Celtics point guard Terry Rozier spoke out on Thursday about the rumors surrounding his unhappiness with his playing time,

“I woke up to news just like y’all woke up to news. I don’t know where it came from. I’m happy to be in this position I’m at, playing on a team that’s mentioned to have a chance to be in a championship. So I’m not worried about what’s being said,” said Rozier.

Over the summer Rozier was on ESPN’s “The Jump” saying he expected Kyrie Irving to be the starting point guard to begin the season. Rozier also stated that the team will make it work because they all have one goal and that’s to hang another banner at TD Garden.

Decrease in Minutes and Production

On Wednesday, Bill Simmons of The Ringer reported that Terry Rozier is unhappy with his playing time with the Celtics and may soon be traded. The 24-year-old point guard is currently playing 22 minutes off the bench with Kyrie Irving reinstated as the starting point guard.

This season off the bench Rozier is averaging 7.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.1 assists, as opposed to last season where he averaged 16.5 points, 5.7 assists and 5.3 rebounds during the playoffs with Irving out with a knee injury. Rozier was eight on the team in minutes played per game and it’s clear his production and role have diminished because of the return of both Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward.

Danny Angie Denies Rumors about Team Monitoring Rozier

Shams Charania of The Athletic has reported that seven teams are currently monitoring the situation occurring in Boston. Of the seven teams the Phoenix Suns, who are desperately in need of a point guard are aggressively pursuing Rozier.

Boston General Manager, Danny Angie, denied the rumors surrounding Rozier on The Sports Hub saying Rozier has not vented about playing time to him, saying he feels Rozier would “come to me and talk to me or Brad and that hasn’t happened.” Angie has also said that no teams have contacted him about Rozier since the start of the season and knows nothing about seven teams monitoring him.

Rozier agreed with Angie’s statement, “What Danny said makes sense, because he knows me. I know I would not say something like that,” said Rozier

The Celtics continue their west coast road time against the team who “monitoring” Rozier aggressively as they visit the Suns in Phoenix Thursday night.

Emerging Undrafted Star: Meet Allonzo Trier

New York Knicks rookie guard Allonzo Trier has spent most of his life facing adversity. Trier went undrafted back in the 2018 NBA Draft and it seemed like the only way to reach the NBA was through the G-League. Trier signed a two-way contract with the Westchester Knicks on July 3, 2018, to prove that he belonged in the NBA.

The 22-year-old has already caught the attention of fans around the NBA for his aggressive play and explosive scoring ability. His play has left Knicks fans encouraged for the undrafted rookie as they may have snagged a diamond in the rough. Through 11 games in the season, Trier is currently averaging 11.5 points, 1.1 assists, and 2.6 rebounds and is shooting 49% from the field and 44% from the 3. Very impressive numbers from an undrafted rookie.

“The kid has shown that he is an NBA basketball player,”

said New York Knicks Coach David Fizdale in an interview with MSG.

Trier had a rather unusual childhood, born on January 17th, 1996 in Seattle Washington, he never met his father only growing up with his mother, Marcie Trier. As a child, Trier was diagnosed with dyslexia, a disorder which makes reading and interpreting words difficult. These setbacks never stopped Trier from reaching his dreams but pushed him forward.

In high school, Trier attended Findlay Prep and Montrose Christian school. Trier was a McDonald’s All-American and a Jordan Brand Classic MVP. His scoring prowess led him to be 5-star college recruit.

Spending 3 years at the University of Arizona, Trier did it all on the offensive end. He had a knack for knocking down open shots, making tough plays, finishing through contact, passing and running the floor. Trier was rewarded the nickname of “Iso Zo” due to his ability to score efficiently in isolation situations.

Listed at 6’5, 200lbs, Trier is the ideal size for a shooting guard in the NBA. His offensive ability is going to be valuable for any NBA team if the Knicks doesn’t sign him to a full-time contract. Although there are many signs that Trier is going to be a productive player, there are also some negatives that he needs to fix to become a consistent NBA player. Trier isn’t the best defender nor a consistent offensive player but through time and some tough coaching Trier can polish these negatives and produce.

 

Trier has already had career nights scoring 23 points in a win vs the Dallas Mavericks earlier this season and scoring 21 points and sending the game into overtime in Monday night’s loss vs the Chicago Bulls.

Knicks fans should be optimistic about their young talent on the team, it’s going to take time for them to develop but the talent and potential are there.

Quarterfinal Prediction / Take

The First Round just rounded out with some great games were witnessed as teams gave it their all in order to proceed to the next round; taking another step further towards deciding who will be crowned this year’s National Champions.

Prediction Recap

Released earlier in the week, my predictions went 7-1.

The scores were scattered all over the place but the general decisions were more or so correct. Each team in the tourney has a shot of winning the title, making this year’s Quarterfinal a must see.

Saturday, May 19th

#6 Loyola vs. #3 Yale

Both are great teams here. Yale played a great UMASS team and came out the victor as the Bulldogs battled to score on Sean Sconone as he who made 10 saves to keep UMASS in the game.

Loyola kept the pace against Virginia, setting a lead at half 10-5. A late Virginia surge was stopped as Loyola went on to win 14-12.

Loyola’s offense has been great all season. The Loyola defense has to be locked down if they want to beat that dynamic Yale team. I’m going with another close game, but I’ll go with Yale to advance to the Semis. 15-13

Denver vs. #2 Albany

This will be another great game. Denver should be buzzing off their upset against Norte Dame.

If the Pios can find a way to stop that Great Dane offense, they’ll be able to win. However, I don’t think that will be the case.

Albany will also be up against Trevor Baptiste, the best Face-Off player in the country. He will matchup nicely against TD Ierlan, who is widely considered the #2 to Baptiste. It will be a true battle of who will win the face offs considering the legitimacy of both specialists. I’m going with Albany. 13-8

Sunday, May 20th

Cornell vs. #1 Maryland

Cornell is coming off an amazing win at the Dome, knocking off a talented ranked Syracuse team. Cornell played lights out, capitalizing on Syracuse’s mistakes.

Maryland did not have an easy game against Robert Morris University.

Being outplayed by a hungrier team is not something the talented Terps are used too.

RMU took a 6-3 lead to half as the Terps looked shell shocked by the effort RMU had given them, winning on offense and defense against the nationally ranked #1 Maryland team.

Maryland stormed back scoring 6 in the third, out-scoring RMU 6-1. It was all Maryland from that point as they went in to win 14-11, closer than everyone expected. If Maryland comes off lazy against Cornell, we could be looking at another major upset. I don’t think Maryland will come out that flat again. It will be a great game but Maryland should bounce back against a very good Cornell team. Maryland 13-10

If Jeff Teat isn’t contained, the Terps will have a tough matchup ahead.

#5 Johns Hopkins vs #4 Duke

Duke controlled the game against Villanova the entire way, going up 11-4 at half and ultimately winning the contest 17-11.

Hopkins is coming off a tight comeback win against Georgetown in OT. JHU underestimated the firepower that G-town has.

Down 8-3, Johns Hopkins found the will to win to tie it at 9-9, winning it in OT from Shack Stanwick.

Duke is looking real good. I don’t believe Hop has what it takes the beat the juggernaut that is Duke Lacrosse. It’ll be a battle of offenses, but Duke should win this one. I’ll go 14-10

Celtics/76ers Series Take

The Boston Celtics open up the semifinals against the Philly 76ers, setting up for a surely epic matchup.

After the past 10 games, the 76ers are 7-3 going up against the Celts who posted a 6-4 run the last 10.

The Celtics square up decently against the 76ers, but they will really need find that dominant player on the offensive side of the ball.

Yardbarker.com

The 76ers offense moves at its smoothest with Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid, which does not poise well for the injury prone Celtics already playing without Kyrie Irving, Gordon Hayward, and possibly Jaylen Brown. Players like Terry Rozier, and Jayson Tatum, give the Celtics hope each game with massive contributions from the other starters and role players.

If the Celts were healthy I’d say the Celts in 6 but unfortunately, that isn’t the case.

If the Celtics do play without Jaylen Brown, then the 76ers should have no problem beating the Celts barring any late minute comebacks. With Kyrie, the Celtics would be even better, making a harder push against the 76ers which is amazing considering the Celtics are already good without all their star pieces missing. The Celtics are a great team and hopefully prove me wrong.

I can see the Sixers losing early to the Celts due to the home court advantage. The young Sixers will be nervous, trying to combat the crowd and the solid play that the Celtics can give teams, especially at home. I still think the 76ers will pull out the victory in game 1.

At some point the 76ers will slip up due to their youth (maybe Game 1) but I’m going with the 76ers in 6 here.

The Sixers seem to always start the game as the underdog, trailing in the first half but it’s always W at the end of the game.

Predictions

Game 1 in Boston – 76ers

Game 2 in Boston – Celtics

Game 3 in Philly – 76ers

Game 4 in Philly – 76ers

Game 5 in Boston – Celtics

Game 6 in Boston – 76ers